The creeping dictatorship of the Left... 

The primary version of "Political Correctness Watch" is HERE The Blogroll; John Ray's Home Page; Email John Ray here. Other mirror sites: Greenie Watch, Dissecting Leftism, Education Watch, Gun Watch, Socialized Medicine, Recipes, Australian Politics, Tongue Tied, Immigration Watch, Eye on Britain and Food & Health Skeptic. For a list of backups viewable in China, see here. (Click "Refresh" on your browser if background colour is missing). See here or here for the archives of this site.

Postmodernism is fundamentally frivolous. Postmodernists routinely condemn racism and intolerance as wrong but then say that there is no such thing as right and wrong. They are clearly not being serious. Either they do not really believe in moral nihilism or they believe that racism cannot be condemned!

Postmodernism is in fact just a tantrum. Post-Soviet reality in particular suits Leftists so badly that their response is to deny that reality exists. That they can be so dishonest, however, simply shows how psychopathic they are.


31 December, 2013

Real Problem In The Real World

Barack Obama, the stone age god-king presently occupying our White House, has declared that our nation has a problem, the inequality of income.

In reality the difference in personal incomes is the result of differences in human actions.  This includes differences in knowledge and effort for each individual.  Differences in economic income is simply a natural consequence of the differences of each person's actions in the economic sphere of action.

The desire on the part of our god-king and his followers to ignore the reality of natural differences in  actions is similar to their insistence on ignoring the changes in the planetary environment that occur as a result of natural processes.

The fact is that within living memory the state of economic equality was enforced upon a nation.

In 1975 in the wake of the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese Army, the Khemer Rouge, a Communist faction took power in Cambodia.  The result was nothing less than horrible.  In order to enforce a state of material equality upon their victims the KR murdered anyone anyone who had any ability above that of a peasant farmer.  They even murdered those they suspected of being able to read.  Entire families where broken up and children were ordered to murder their own parents.

By the time the NVA invaded in 1979 one third of the people of Cambodia had been directly murdered or starved to death as a result of KR policies.

For the God-King Barack Obama to obtain a similar result, to recreate the killing fields, in the United States he and his followers would have to murder roughly ninety percent of our people.

For someone to wish a massacre upon us clearly indicates his absolute unfitness to the hold the office of President of the United States.

Barack Obama must go now!


Countryside Alliance chief urges members to stop supporting 'sinister and nasty' RSPCA as they are now 'more interested in badger culls than animal welfare'

The RSPCA has turned from a 'great institution' into a 'sinister and nasty' organisation which is not interested in animal welfare, the head of the Countryside Alliance has warned.

General Sir Barney White-Spunner has urged his members to stop donating to the charity because they are becoming more interested in animal rights issues such as fox hunting and badger culls.

The former Army comanding officer, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, also questioned where the charity's 'authority' came from and believes the animal inspectors have been given intrusive powers which have no basis in law.

Sir Barney raised money for the RSPCA as a youngster but now wants a new organisation to replace the 189-year-old charity, he told the The Daily Telegraph.

They have received heavy criticism from rural campaigners after their campaigning during the fox hunting ban and the badger cull was investigated by the Charity Commission.

Last year, the RSPCA was condemned during its pursuit of fox hunters, after it spent £326,000 on a private prosecution against Oxfordshire’s Heythrop Hunt.  The judge in the case questioned whether members' money could have been better spent.

More recently, the charity has infuriated dairy farmers by trying to stop the badger cull, intended to halt the spread of bovine tuberculosis.

Sir Barney claims farmers were targeted and 'intimated' by campaigners during the bid and is concerned ministers may now drop the policy.  His cattle herd was shut down because of an outbreak of TB, and he claims to have only just cleared the financial costs.

'It’s a sad story. A once great British institution has been turned from an animal welfare organisation to one concerned with animal rights.

'They have no statutory responsibility, yet when their inspectors turn up in uniform it’s as a private organisation. There is something rather sinister and nasty about it.'

In the interview he also claimed that the National Trust was responsible for turning the countryside into 'some sort of theme park' and said the BBC was guilty of portraying rural people as 'Neanderthal'.

Sir Barney also attacked the limited mobile reception in rural areas of Britain saying there is more signal in Helmand Province than in Dorset.

He said the BBC’s coverage of the countryside was neither fair nor balanced and said Countryfile had failed to cover issues such as shooting.

In terms of mobile phone coverage, he claims there is an ongoing 'digital apartheid' between urban and rural areas. Other nations manage to cover 98 per cent of their population, whereas in the United Kingdom it is around about 80 per cent.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: 'Sir Barney White-Spunner's interview shows once again how far out of touch he and his colleagues at the pro bloodsports Countryside Alliance are with the reality of public opinion in this country.

'He is clearly unhappy that the RSPCA continues to be proud to represent the views of the majority of British people who do not want to see the return of fox hunting and to speak for animals who have no choice and no voice.

'This has been reinforced once again this week by a new opinion polling showing that more than 80% of both rural and urban dwellers oppose any repeal of the hunting act.

'Sir White-Spunner criticises the RSPCA for bringing a prosecution against a hunt, but fails to mention that the hunt pleaded guilty and the judge in the case was himself criticised for making unhelpful and inappropriate comments.

'He also criticises the RSPCA's inspectors, who work every day of the year to ensure animals are protected from cruelty. Indeed most of their visits involve giving support and advice to pet owners to help them improve care for their animals. But in some cases the only option is the legal route.

'The RSPCA has over a million supporters - a number that is growing, contrary to Sir Barney's assertion.

'The RSPCA does not apologise for doing what the charity was formed to do more than 100 years ago - stopping animal abuse and without fear or favour, bringing those who harm animals to justice.


Former Lord Chief Justice warns European Human Rights court has too much power and is not answerable to anyone

Over-mighty European judges are undermining the power of Parliament to make laws, one of Britain’s most senior judges has warned.

Lord Judge, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales until September, delivered an unequivocal message on the actions of the Court of Human Rights: ‘Stop here.’

His remarks will give encouragement to Tory Ministers seeking to rein in abuse of human rights laws by criminals, terror suspects and illegal immigrants.

They come as the President of the European court, Judge Dean Spielmann warned Britain's ban on prisoner voting is a breach of international law.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister David Cameron called for the court's powers to be restricted.

He said Britain 'damned well shouldn't' be forced by European judges to give prisoners the vote if Parliament decides they should be barred from elections.

Judge Spielmann warned any attempt by Britain to pull away from the European Convention on Human Rights could set the UK on a path to leaving the EU altogether.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Lord Judge, said: 'The most fundamental principle of our unwritten constitution is parliamentary sovereignty.

'Our elected representatives have ultimate sovereignty not only over our own unelected judges but in my view over the unelected judges of any other jurisdiction, including Europe, unless we choose to give them sovereignty.

'My very strong belief is that this issue now needs to be resolved by Parliament,' he said.

'This is a court which is not answerable to anybody,' he added. 'If it's right, it can't be overruled by anybody.  'I genuinely don't think that a body of judges - however distinguished - should have that sort of power.'

Lord Judge, who declared himself a supporter of the European Convention on Human Rights, said the court's claims have implications for every EU nation, not just the UK.

He said: 'His (Judge Spielmann's) view means that the court in Europe is entitled to tell every country in Europe how it should organise itself.

'He refers to it as a living instrument. Of course the convention isn't a dead instrument, but it means that legislation can be made by judges on all sorts of societal issues - binding legislation - and if that's the position there is a very serious problem with sovereignty.  'It's not a UK problem, the sovereignty issue affects every single country in Europe.'

He added: 'It is time for us to recognise that it is a very important time. My own view is: stop here.'

Judge Spielmann, however, insisted that the UK should not defy the court's ruling on prisoner voting rights.

'This would be clearly inconsistent with the international law obligations of the United Kingdom and also the obligations under the convention,' he told the Today programme.

He said that if Britain sought to pull out of the convention - as some Tory MPs are demanding - it would mean leaving the Council of Europe, the body which created the European Court of Human Rights, and ultimately the EU.

'I cannot see how the United Kingdom could remain a member of the Council of Europe while at the same time withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights,' he said.

'All the members of the European Union are also members of the Council of Europe. I can hardly see how a member of the European Union could withdraw from the Council of Europe. I see a problem there.

'I think from a political perspective it might be very difficult to stay in the European Union.'

In a strongly-worded attack on interference from Strasbourg, Mr Cameron called for the European Court of Human Rights to have its wings clipped earlier this month.

The defiant remarks put the government on a collision course with judges who have ruled that the Britain's blanket ban on votes for those behind bars is a breach of their human rights.

In February last year the Commons called for the blanket ban to be maintained by an overwhelming margin of 234 to 22, despite repeated warnings from Strasbourg.

Mr Cameron said: 'If Parliament decides that prisoners should not get the vote then I think they damn well shouldn't.'  He added: 'It should be a national decision taken in our Parliament.'  The PM said the court's powers must be restricted, telling workers 'we need to clip its wings'.

The prisoner voting row has been running since 2005, when Strasbourg judges ordered Britain to give the vote to convicted prisoners, who have historically been considered to have removed themselves from the electorate.

Despite overwhelming votes in favour of maintaining the law in the Commons, the European judges have continued to repeat their instructions.

In 2010 Mr Cameron said it makes him 'physically ill' to even contemplate having to give the vote to anyone in prison.

And in October last year he added: 'No one should be under any doubt - prisoners are not getting  the vote under this government.'


Reporting of Muslim lawyers' trial banned 'for cultural reasons': Judge's gagging order lifted after appeal by the Daily Mail

A judge allowed two Muslim solicitors accused of trying to cheat the legal system to hide behind a cloak of secrecy for  ‘cultural reasons’, the Daily Mail can disclose.

He banned reporting of the case of Asha Khan, 30, and her brother Kashif, 34, to prevent them allegedly being shamed in the eyes of their community.

In the latest farce involving secret justice, the pair were told they could enjoy the court’s protection because members of their family would pass judgment if the case was reported.

It is a privilege rarely bestowed on defendants in the justice system, which has operated on the principle of transparency for centuries. However, following a challenge by the Daily Mail, the restriction was lifted – enabling the case to be reported.

Judge Peter Hughes reversed his original ban after deciding that the principle of open justice was more important than saving the embarrassment of a defendant.

After almost a year of court appearances and legal argument, Miss Khan has been convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice, while her brother was acquitted of the charge.

They were on trial accused of helping their father, Mohammed, dodge a speeding fine by pretending he was not driving at the time of the offence.

In a saga with echoes of the Chris Huhne scandal, he allowed a man who worked for the family to take the blame instead.

At the beginning of the hearings, Miss Khan’s barrister, Glenn Gatland, argued  she would not give evidence properly in the presence of the Press because she was afraid of family repercussions.

He said she did not want to criticise her father in public – though she was quite happy to have her mother sit in the public gallery.

‘Miss Khan is quite upset that if matters are reported she doesn’t feel she would be able to give her evidence as freely as she would have done otherwise,’ said Mr Gatland. ‘Culturally, it’s very difficult for them to say things in public. The evidence would be impacted on by the cultural background of Miss Khan.’

Judge Hughes accepted the argument and banned reporting of the case but then changed his mind after a two-day legal battle with the Mail. ‘We are dealing with members of the legal profession charged with perverting the course of justice,’ he said.

‘People of all faiths or no faiths should be treated in precisely the same way. We’re not dealing with discrimination against. We’re dealing with discrimination for.’

York Crown Court heard that in August 2010 Mohammed Khan was caught by a speed camera in Newcastle while driving daughter Asha’s silver BMW.

When Miss Khan received the speeding notice, she claimed that the driver was David Moat, who worked for the family.

Some months later, the day before Moat was due before magistrates, her brother faxed the court a letter on Moat’s behalf, saying he wanted to plead guilty by post.

Moat was fined £100 with £30 costs and six penalty points for the speeding offence. Prosecutor Jacob Dyer said: ‘There is no dispute in this case that the man actually driving the car was Kashif Khan’s father.

‘It was hoped by supplying the false details that the trail would be lost and the fixed penalty unit would eventually take no further action. But the suspicions of the unit were aroused.’

Kashif Khan successfully argued he did not realise what was going on and had only been trying to help Moat by filling in the form using information provided by him.

‘It was horrible,’ he said. ‘All my life I have worked so hard and told the truth.’

The Khans work for KK Solicitors in Newcastle and live in the city. Asha Khan, a trainee at the firm, will be sentenced in the New Year, with her father and Moat, who both admitted their part in the plot



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

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

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


30 December, 2013

A greeting from Jerusalem

Very meaningful for Bible-loving Christians

If Jews can acknowledge Christmas, why cannot the "atheists"  of the Left?  Of all people Jews have the most reason to see anything Christian as "offensive"

What our Bible says about Israel and Jerusalem:

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" -- Genesis 12:3

If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy -- Psalm 137 (NIV)

A Real Life Example of Welfare Reform

Welfare advocates regularly urge Americans to look to the European welfare state as a model. At least in the case of the Netherlands, they might be on to something.

The Dutch have just announced a massive reform of their welfare system, designed to reduce dependency and put a new emphasis on work. For example, welfare applicants will now be required to prove that they spent at least 4 weeks actively searching for a job before they become eligible for any assistance. And once they begin to receive benefits they will either have to work or perform volunteer community service. Dutch welfare recipients would be required to take available jobs even if they had to move or commute up to three hours per day.

Given that just 42 percent of U.S. welfare recipients are engaged in even broadly defined work activities (including job training, college, or job search), and that an attempt to restore work requirements to the food stamp program has been met with a storm of resistance, the Dutch appear to be much more pro-work than we are.

Other reforms would reduce benefits by treating families as a single unit, rather than as separate individuals. For instance a mother with two children would receive a single payment rather than three separate payments. The combined payment would be less, based on the assumption of “shared expense.”

According to the Dutch government, the reforms will ensure that welfare is seen as “a safety net, rather than a right.”

What the Dutch apparently understand is that, in the long run, welfare dependency hurts the very people it is designed to help. Making poverty a bit more comfortable may be satisfying in the short term, but the real goal should be to reduce the number of people in poverty. To do that requires people to take more responsibility for their own lives.

That’s a lesson in European compassion that the U.S. could learn from.


Thomas The Tank Engine is to blame for a lack of female train drivers because all characters are male, claims sexist Leftist politician

Why can't people be judged as people? Why do we have to obsess over how many are male or female?

The popular Thomas The Tank Engine series has been blamed for the lack of female train drivers by Labour's shadow transport secretary.

Mary Creagh said the series set a poor example to children and that more female characters should be introduced in order to encourage girls to become train drivers.

She described the lack of women train drivers as a 'national scandal', and said the 'negative stereotypes' portrayed in children's television were partly to blame.

There are just 1,000 women working as train drivers, which equates to just 4.2per cent of the total number.  Train drivers' union Aslef is currently working to encourage more women into the industry.

Mother-of-two Ms Creagh said that the Thomas The Tank Engine books and television show were 'wonderful', but criticised the series for not having enough female characters.

In the original books the only female characters were coaches Annie and Clarabel, Isabel the auto coach, Mrs Kyndley, an elderly woman, and female engine Daisy.

Thomas and the other main characters - James, Edward, Percy, Henry, Gordon, and the Fat Controller are all male, although a principle character named Emily, another steam engine, was introduced to the Thomas & Friends series, which aired on Channel 5, in 2003.

Ms Creagh said the only female characters were an 'annoyance', and could even be seen as a danger to those on the railway.

'There is a preponderance of men in the transport industry and I am very keen to unpack some of the myths that stop women from taking up what are often highly paid and highly skilled jobs.'

There are 42 books in the Thomas series, which was originally created by the Reverend Wilbert Awdry in 1946, as well as the television show.

Ms Creagh said that the tales of the little blue steam engine should follow the example of CBeebies series Underground Ernie, which features a main character called Victoria.

She also suggested that train companies could up the numbers of female drivers by advertising in womens' interest magazines, or offering more part-time posts.

Hit Entertainment, which owns the rights to Thomas, said that more female characters were being developed to address a historical imbalance.


Deconstructing the ASA’s boycott of Israeli Institutions of Higher-Ed

A variety of BDS activities took place during December but were overshadowed by the American Studies Association’s (ASA) adoption of a BDS resolution. Though the ASA is a minor academic organization, this BDS move has attracted widespread attention and is likely to be a turning point.

Passing the ASA’s BDS Resolution In November the National Council of the American Studies Association debated a BDS resolution that originated with the organization’s Academic and Community Activism Caucus. The resolution was proposed at the last minute and the debate was dominated by pro-BDS voices. These are typical BDS tactics. The National Council then unanimously agreed to put the resolution forward to the entire ASA membership for a vote.

During the two week voting period eight former presidents of the ASA issued a public statement urging members to reject the resolution, as did the American Association of University Professors. Of approximately 5000 members, the ASA stated that 1252 voted, of whom 66% voted in favor of the resolution while 30% objected. The motion was thus passed by approximately 16% of the ASA’s total membership.

The background of the ASA and the resolution requires separate discussion. The ASA is a second tier academic organization with a strong anti-imperialist and anti-American orientation, and a notable history of promoting connections with a regime-connected Iranian academic. The boycott resolution was put forward by ASA activists who have promoted BDS in other settings. It faithfully follows the templates provided by the (PACBI), U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP), Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

The ASA has issued several statements articulating what the boycott resolution actually means. The key argument is that “Israeli academic institutions function as a central part of a system that has denied Palestinians their basic rights” and that “By responding to the call from Palestinian civil society for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions, the ASA recognizes that 1) there is no effective or substantive academic freedom afforded to Palestinians under the conditions of Israeli occupation; and that 2) Israeli institutions of higher learning are a party to Israeli state policies that violate human rights.”

These blanket indictments of Israeli universities and academics as being intrinsic elements to the “occupation” are standard BDS rhetoric. The ASA will therefore refuse “to enter into formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions, or with scholars who are expressly serving as representatives or ambassadors of those institutions (such as deans, rectors, presidents and others), or on behalf of the Israeli government, until Israel ceases to violate human rights and international law.”

The resolution is “expressly not endorsing a boycott of Israeli scholars engaged in individual-level contacts and ordinary forms of academic exchange, including presentations at conferences, public lectures at campuses, and collaboration on research and publication.” This formula singles out academics with administrative responsibilities, as all academics do at one time or another.

The ASA resolution has produced an unprecedented level of media coverage. The responses have been overwhelmingly negative. The sheer quantity of news items and negative comments suggest that the ASA has, perhaps again inadvertently, elevated BDS to a new level. It has unquestionably catalyzed unprecedented opposition.

Criticism of the ASA has been widespread across the political spectrum, notably an editorial in the Washington Post that characterized the resolution as “utterly narrow-minded” and which pointed out the ASA’s failure to boycott countries with far worse human rights records. Criticism has also come from far-left journals like The Nation and left-center publications like The New Republic, along with numerous publications and commentators from the center and right.

The Jewish left organization J Street condemned the resolution, as did the Jewish weekly The Forward. Several commentators on the left, including Peter Beinart, have also condemned the move. Some commentators from the left have pointed to the ASA as a move that will marginalize progressive causes on campus.

The negative responses from the political and cultural left suggest that BDS was either unknown or not taken seriously in these quarters. Conversely, the negative responses suggest that BDS supporters also overestimated the support from the mainstream cultural and political left. In that sense the ASA resolution may ultimately be a Pyrrhic victory for BDS in academia.

Jacobson has noted several times on his web site that boycotts are illegal under American law and indicated that he will spearhead a challenge to the ASA’s tax exempt (501(C) 3) status. The legal restrictions on boycotts by American organizations have also been extensively described by Israeli attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, founder of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center.

Here, too, the ASA’s victory appears to have created unforeseen effects that will have a negative impact on BDS in academia.

 Of equal note are responses emerging from political quarters. In an interview with Charlie Rose, former Harvard University president and Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers reiterated his previous position that BDS is antisemitic in practice if not intent and called on university leaders to shun the ASA.

Finally, Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas has stated his opposition to boycotts of Israel, except for products of Israeli communities beyond the “Green Line.” Predictably, however, Palestinian Authority representatives in South Africa have backtracked and issued another statement in which Abbas is said to express his “deep appreciation” for the BDS movement.

After the passage of the resolution the ASA adopted a defensive stance. It posted a series of talking points on its web site to guide members and also purged its Facebook page of critical comments. These moves indicate that the organization is attempting to shape the debate over the resolution but imply that the leadership has been surprised by the negative reaction. When questioned, ASA president Curtis Marez acknowledged that Israel was not the world’s leading human rights abuser but stated that “one has to start somewhere.” This formulation elicited considerable ridicule from observers.

 To summarize, the ASA BDS resolution has created an unprecedented opposition across the political spectrum and from academic, cultural, and political leaders. The long-term results are difficult to predict but it is likely that the ASA affair has changed the landscape for BDS debates in the United States.



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

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

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


28 December, 2013

Medical multiculturalism in Britain

A foreign doctor attacked a female patient in his surgery when she disagreed with his diagnosis.

Dr Abiodun Bale, 42, grabbed Sheena Cunningham as she tried to leave his consultation room in tears after they argued over treatment for a facial condition.

The doctor from Nigeria denied assault when he appeared in court but was found guilty after a two-day trial.  He was given a six-month  conditional discharge but will face a disciplinary hearing at work and could lose his job.

Bale, who qualified as a doctor at the University of Lagos in 1995, worked as a gynaecologist in his home country before  coming to Britain and registering with the General Medical Council in 2006.

He was given a licence to practise here in November 2009 and was on a placement, for speciality GP training, at Hyndburn Medical Practice in Accrington, Lancashire, when the assault happened on March 26.

Eddie Harrison, prosecuting, said Bale had asked Mrs Cunningham to come in to the practice after a telephone consultation about a problem with her face, during which she had become distressed.

When she arrived, the doctor told Mrs Cunningham she might need to call for an ambulance if her condition deteriorated later when the surgery was closed.

Mr Harrison told Burnley Magistrates’ Court: ‘She didn’t want to do this and at this point he raised his voice.’

Mrs Cunningham was frightened, got up to leave and said she wanted a second opinion, the court was told. ‘[Bale] became agitated and, as she stepped out, he grabbed her hand to prevent her closing the door,’ Mr Harrison said.

‘He then grabbed her by the forearm with both hands and tried to drag her back into the room. She screamed and shouted at him to get off her arm. This attracted the attention of another doctor and two cleaners. The other doctor told Bale to go back into his office and then escorted Mrs Cunningham out of the surgery.’

The court was told that a week earlier the GP, who lives in  Manchester, ‘flipped’ at another patient, shouting at her: ‘For God’s sake, I have other people to see besides you.’ ‘She got up to leave and he tried to grab her hand. She felt frightened and vulnerable,’ said Mr Harrison.

Bale claimed the incident with Mrs Cunningham was a misunderstanding, saying: ‘I’m a  doctor, not a thug.’

But Mr Harrison said: ‘There was no mistake or misunderstanding. She was crying so loudly that two ladies outside heard her crying.’

After the allegations, the GMC placed conditions on how Bale worked, including allowing him to carry out consultations only if another qualified medical practitioner was present.

The Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust, which employs Bale, said he would face disciplinary  proceedings.  ‘The trust will now consider the consequences for his ongoing employment and training,’ a spokesman said.


No hiding place for those who opt for a life on welfare, says British government minister

Unemployed people who make a 'lifestyle choice' to live on benefits without bothering to seek work will face a crackdown from next year, Iain Duncan Smith has announced.

The Work and Pensions Secretary has warned that anyone who refuses to seek work will have 'no hiding place' under his reforms.

Today, in an article written for the Daily Mail, he goes on to insist that looking for work should be a 'full-time job' in itself.

And he reveals that from 2014, thousands of jobless people who are 'lacking motivation' will be forced to spend 35 hours a week applying for work.

He says: 'This will make it crystal clear that looking for work requires as much effort and commitment as a full-time job – and that jobseekers should think of themselves as in work to find work.'

The minister adds that the decision to claim unemployment benefits should no longer be 'a lifestyle choice'.

Mr Duncan Smith also makes clear that the Government remains unbowed by recent controversy over the introduction of Universal Credit as well as the cuts to housing benefit for claimants with spare rooms – the so-called 'bedroom tax'.

And he writes: 'I'm not going to say “job done”. We've made great strides in fixing the system, but there is more to do. That includes asking for more from jobseekers.'

Mr Duncan Smith recognises that most jobseekers 'are determined to get a job' and pledges to help those who are genuinely searching for work.

At October's Tory Party conference, Mr Duncan Smith announced that there were plans to make some jobless attend 'full-time mandatory attendance centres'.

He said the plans for enforced full-time job searches would be aimed at the long-term unemployed and those suspected of working in the black economy, who earn cash in hand rather than searching for legitimate jobs.

Today, he has made it clear that the new system will also be targeted at unemployed people who lack 'the motivation' to find work.

DWP sources say that those who can't be bothered to look for work will be identified early by job centre staff.   They will have to enrol in a full-time job search before they are referred to the Work Programme – the Government scheme to provide support, work experience and training to the unemployed.

Addressing his critics, Mr Duncan Smith insists in his article that it is 'a complete nonsense' to suggest that the Government has removed the welfare safety net.

And he vows to continue rolling out Universal Credit, which will replace most out-of-work benefits with a single payment, despite having to delay the full introduction of the plans until 2017.

Making a virtue of the delay, Mr  Duncan Smith says the scheme will be rolled out across the country 'carefully and safely over the next four years'.

He goes on to say that he believes the slower time frame should help avoid the 'costly mistakes' that Labour made introducing schemes 'in a “big bang” approach'. Mr  Duncan Smith last week revealed that the welfare cap of £26,000 per household has pushed 250 people into work every week.

Government figures show that almost half of those affected by the benefit limit are now back in work. And since April, adults in 19,000 households who have had their benefits capped have taken up jobs.  Some 1,300 of these households now claim £200 less a week than they did before the cap.

And another 51 households  are claiming £400 less under the new rules. Previously these claimants could have been receiving £46,000 from the Government each year.


Mother who baked cookies for children on school bus for 15 years ordered to stop after anonymous complaint

A Minnesota mother dubbed the 'Cookie Lady' who has been baking treats for the kids on her children's bus for 15 years has been shut down by an anonymous complaint.

Every Friday, Anne Tabat has met the school bus in her subdivision with a basket of cookies. It began as a thank you to the bus driver.

And, Tabat said, she couldn't give the driver a cookie without giving one to every child on the bus.

Tabat said the cookies were also a way to get to know her neighbors.  'I didn't live in the suburbs until I turned 40,' she told Minnesota Public Radio.

'Look at the way these houses are designed here. They're not designed with a friendly neighborliness community in mind. I haven't been in most of the houses in my neighborhood.  'People live such busy lives; you don't talk to your neighbors, you don't know your neighbors.'

But for the first time in many years, Tabat wasn't at the bus stop yesterday.

She received a phone call from the school this week telling her someone had complained and that she should cease and desist the dispensing of cookies.

She said she never really had a straight answer about the specifics of the complaint.  'She (the woman who complained) didn’t bother to know me, the bus driver, or anything about the cookie-bus thing. I don’t care if I get shut down, the kids are going to live,' she said.

'I woke up the day after this and thought ‘let’s have a protest, let’s sign a petition,’ but the person this would fall back on would be the bus driver.  'Whatever you do I don’t want anything to stick to the bus driver because this was meant to thank the bus driver.'

Tabat said it was soon time to end the tradition - the last of her three kids will graduate high school soon - but she wanted to stop baking on her own terms.

'I know all these well-meaning people who do kindly gestures but they backfire because they’re not thinking about things like that. That’s not what this is about,' she said.


Australia: Racist Muslim spokesman loses defamation case against radio station

The report below is from 4 years ago.  I report it here because Trad has just lost his final appeal against the judgment.  He will be up for hundreds of thousands of legal costs but the Lakemba mosque will no doubt help with that

KEYSAR Trad, the longtime spokesman for Muslim cleric Sheik Taj bin al-Hilaly, has been described as "racist" and "offensive" by a judge who today rejected his defamation claim against radio station 2GB.

Mr Trad sued the top-rating Sydney station in the NSW Supreme Court after presenter Jason Morrison described him "gutless" and " just trouble" for his conduct at a rally after the Cronulla riots in December 2005, The Australian reported.

Mr Trad's comment about the "shame of tabloid journalism' caused the crowd to boo and harass a 2GB journalist near the stage.

The reporter told Mr Morrison he feared for his safety, prompting the presenter to deliver his tirade the following morning, in which he also described Mr Trad as "disgraceful and dangerous individual who incited violence, hatred and racism."

In August 2007, a jury found Mr Morrison had defamed Mr Trad but Justice Peter McClellan found for 2GB in the second - or defence - phase of the trial that was heard in May, saying the statement were true and also protected as comment based on fact.

"There is little doubt that many of the plaintiff's remarks are offensive to Jewish persons and homosexuals," Justice McClellan said in his judgment.

"Many of his remarks are distasteful and appear to condone violence.   "I'm satisfied that the plaintiff does hold views which can properly be described as racist. "I'm also satisfied that he encourages others to hold those views. In particular he holds views derogatory of Jewish people.

"The views which he holds would not be acceptable to most right-thinking Australians."

Mr Trad, who founded the Islamic Friendship Association, faces up to $400,000 in court costs and there are question marks over his credibility after Justice McClellan's scathing judgment.

During the trial he was subjected to close scrutiny about his public profile as Sheik Hilaly's right-hand man and he frequent statements he made to "clarify" the controversial views of the cleric.

These included comments that women who dressed provocatively were "uncovered meat" inviting the attention of rapists.

Mr Trad suggested Hilaly was "talking about people who engage in extramarital sex."

Neither Mr Trad or Mr Morrison were at Sydney's Supreme Court to hear the judgment.  Outside court, a representative for Mr Trad said he planned to appeal.



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

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

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


27 December, 2013

Some Kenyan multiculturalism in Britain

Daniela Vinci was finding it hard to sleep. It had been an exceptionally difficult time for the unmarried 40-year-old, who had suffered a break-in at her three-bedroom maisonette in Slough just two nights before.

Though unhurt, she had been deeply unsettled by the burglary, during which her mobile phone, laptop and bank cards had been taken while she slept.

The following day Daniela, 40, had replaced her locks, but she still felt unsafe in her own home.

Just after 11pm she checked that everything was secure and went to bed and, after tossing and turning, eventually fell into a deep sleep.

Three hours later, she was woken by a flashlight shining in her face — and found herself plunged into a nightmare.

One of the burglars who had broken into her home had returned. And this time he had come back to rape her.

Her ordeal is horrifyingly similar to that of the 59-year-old woman identified by police only as Linda, who spoke last week of how Ashley Mills, a burglar who had been convicted of breaking into her home, returned to rape her four years after the first crime.

Daniela had owned her immaculate £300,000 three-storey maisonette for six years, her retreat from the pressures of a jet-setting career as a senior cabin attendant.

‘There was a balcony on the second floor, but I would leave the window ajar because I didn’t think it was possible for anyone to climb up there,’ she says.

But in April, two young men managed to clamber up onto the balcony, breaking into Daniela’s home while she lay sound asleep upstairs. They stole her purse with her bank cards, her laptop and mobile phone, before fleeing out of the front door.

Daniela resolved to be more careful about home security. But two nights later, one of the raiders broke in again through her kitchen window.

‘As I awoke I became aware of something on my bed. I thought it was my cat, Texas, who loved cuddling up to me,’ says Daniela.

‘Suddenly I sensed a torch shining in my face. I stretched out, still half-dreaming, to switch on my bedroom light.

‘Then I saw him. I immediately realised I was in serious danger and knew instinctively it was the same man who had stolen my belongings two days before.

‘In that awful moment, the training I had done when I began work  as an airline stewardess kicked in.  ‘Keeping my voice as steady as I could, I said: “What’s your name? What are you doing here?”

‘He replied: “My name is Josh and I am 19.”?’

Police would later discover that he was Joseph Innocent Mwaura — a Kenyan who had committed a violent knife crime within a year of being granted a British passport at the age of 16.

As Daniela would discover, he decided to pay her another visit when he saw her photographs on the laptop he had stolen. 

Daniela, who is softly spoken and slightly built, found herself in a desperate fight for survival.  ‘I asked him: “What do you want?” There was a terrible pause before he replied menacingly: “I want your t**s.”  ‘I knew then that this was not a  simple robbery. The realisation that he planned to rape me was truly horrific.

‘I tried to stay still, desperately trying to stay calm. But I was alone in my bedroom with no one else in the house and no means of calling for help. The odds were truly against me.

‘Slowly he raised his gaze and looked me square in the eye, before saying: “I’ve been watching you.” My stomach flipped in fear and I started to shake.’

What followed was terrifying. ‘He pulled up his top, rubbed his chest and said: “Do you want some of this?” Then he lunged at me, grabbing my body and saying filthy things to me,’ says Daniela.

‘Somehow, I found the strength to push him away, frighteningly conscious I was naked under the duvet. I felt so vulnerable.  ‘I began saying “No” again and again as firmly as I could. I knew  that it was imperative I remained calm.

‘I had to get him out of the bedroom to give me a chance to escape or call for help, so I took a gamble and said: “You can do what you want, but let’s go downstairs.”  ‘He didn’t object so, as he walked out to go down the stairs, I leapt out of bed, pulled on my pyjamas and followed him.’

Daniela thought the only chance for survival would be if she could keep him distracted, so she tried to strike up a conversation.

‘I felt physically sick. His actions were strange and detached, but I tried to talk to him.  ‘I said: “The best thing you can do is to leave my property now. There’s the door.”

‘He replied: “How do I know you won’t call the police?” I said: “Take my phone and hide it.” He walked into the kitchen with my new mobile phone, but suddenly, something seemed to click.

‘His strange, almost robotic compliance ended and he wrenched open a kitchen drawer and pulled out a large, sharp knife.

‘I threw myself down the stairs. I’d managed to half-release the lock on the front door when my attacker grabbed me by the throat and pulled me back.

‘His words came spitting out. “I’m going to rape you,” he snarled. I screamed and screamed. He pushed the knife against my throat and spat: “If you do that again, I’m going to kill you.”

‘I thought I was going to die there, like that.’

Then Daniela did something extraordinarily brave.

‘I smelt the sickening sweet smell of marijuana on his breath and felt anger surge through my body. I thought: “I can fight him — he’s under the influence of drugs.” I rolled on top of him and grabbed the knife.

‘I acted so quickly it took him by surprise. I put it to his throat and screamed “Get out — now,” kicking the door open with my foot.

‘He shouted “Bitch!” and punched me hard in my left eye. But then he grabbed the knife and ran.

‘Though my head was swirling from the force of the blow, I managed to slam the door shut after him. I half-ran, half-crawled upstairs and rang 999.  ‘The police arrived in minutes and officers with dogs started to comb the area.

Five days later, the police called to report a breakthrough. A local teenager had tried to top up his mobile phone using Daniela’s stolen bank card.

A trace on the phone led them to a squalid bedsit just ten minutes from her home, shared by three young men.

They were arrested and put in an identity parade of 27 men. Daniela instantly recognised her attacker from the line-up.

Mwaura was charged with trespassing with intent to rape, sexual assault, burglary, actual bodily harm and being in possession of cannabis.

Daniela — her voice barely rising above a whisper — says: ‘I lost almost a stone in weight. When the police asked if I was willing to appear in court as a witness, I thought: “I can’t let this man get away with this.” So I said I would.’

‘When it was his turn to appear in the dock, he was nonchalant. I thought: “This has almost wrecked me and it means nothing to you.”

‘When the foreman of the jury stood to give his verdict, my legs almost gave way. I was shaking uncontrollably. When he said “Guilty”, I wept.

The court heard that Mwaura, who had come to Britain from Kenya with his parents, had previously robbed a 16-year-old boy and his 13-year-old sister at knifepoint.

Last week, he was jailed for seven years and four months for his latest crimes.


Christianity is no longer automatic in Britain and Western Europe

But nothing can take away its power to transform lives

By AN Wilson (A former atheist)

Is Christianity a dying religion? Anyone watching the huge crowds assembled to hear the popular new Pope’s Christmas message yesterday would have concluded that the news of the death of Christianity had been much exaggerated.

Every year, huge numbers of Chinese, Koreans and South Americans are still being drawn to evangelical Christianity. The Queen’s Christmas message, and the sight of her, with the Royal family, loyally attending morning service at Sandringham is a reminder that we are still, notionally at least, a Christian country, with – as it happens – a Head of State who is herself a committed Christian.

And yet – in spite of the vast crowds clapping Pope Francis, it is difficult to feel sanguine.

Ever since William Dalrymple published his classic From the Holy Mountain in 1997, about the decline of Christianity in the very lands which gave it birth, it has been impossible to ignore the shrinkage. In eastern Turkey – St Paul’s earliest stamping-ground – Syriac Christians have been so persecuted that they fled to neighbouring Syria. President Assad is one of the few Middle Eastern leaders to protect Christians and their ancient shrines, and since the outbreak of civil war, Christians have paid the price for being the tyrant’s beneficiaries.

In Egypt, Coptic Christians suffer harassment and persecution. In Israel, the government turns a blind eye to encroachment, or destruction, of church property, and many young Palestinians, reared as Christians, have turned to Islam. As Dalrymple has more recently said, the Arab Spring was the Christian Winter.

Meanwhile, Britain, despite our Christian Queen, grows ever more secular. Public discourse assumes that most intelligent people have given up religious belief. Anglican congregations are, on the whole, ageing, and, outside the big cathedrals or evangelical rallying points, have dwindled to almost nothing. The rising generation – many of whom do not even have nativity plays any longer at their primary schools, let alone a grounding in the Bible – simply have no idea what Christianity is, let alone whether they might believe in it. Why, there is no historical evidence that Jesus ever went to Bethlehem, let alone that his birth there, of a Virgin Mother, was heralded by choirs of angels.

The child-abuse scandals in the Catholic Church have had a devastating effect in all Western countries, especially in America and Ireland, the two places which used to supply priests for the rest of the world. Priestly vocations in Ireland are more or less nil. The tsunami of sad sordid stories about the mistreatment of children did not just make faithful people think twice before allowing their child to become an altar boy; they made the world in general think that Christianity, with its long abhorrence of sex – and indeed its general distrust of the body – was an unwholesome creed, based on a fundamentally fallacious conception of humanity, and sustained by miraculous claims – about a virginally conceived saviour who rose from the dead – which were candidly incredible.

For those who try to soak themselves in the Gospel, however, the world news sends out signals that are more or less the opposite of those which a secular statistician might consider reliable.

Huge numbers of people clapping in a square – even if they are clapping the Pope – do not tell you anything about whether Christianity is actually true. Nor does the dwindling congregation at the 8 o’clock Communion at Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh undermine the truth of the Word Made Flesh – if it is true.

The Gospel is hard, and it contains within it, not the fear but the absolute certainty, that persecution and misunderstanding will always follow in its wake. It is based on the idea of dying in order to live; of losing life in order to find it; of taking up the cross, that instrument of torture, and finding therein not merely life but glory.

Yes, the hype and sentimentality surrounding the funeral of Nelson Mandela’s funeral were embarrassing, but at the core of it all was the central idea, embodied by a figure such as Archbishop Tutu, that it is possible to ignore the poison of hatred bubbling in your heart and forgive your enemies. The ANC, for long – yes – a terrorist organisation, changed its mind, and behaved, not like Jihadists, but like Christians. South Africa, riven as it is with every kind of human problem, got that thing right largely because Mandela in his prison years decided to risk all on what was a fundamentally Christian idea.

Yes, the Arab Spring is the Christian Winter because there is no truth or reconciliation apparently at work in Israel-Palestine, nor in Iraq, nor in Syria… But the Christian writings, beginning as they do with a refugee mother and baby surrounded by invading armies, and ending with world conflict, the utter destruction of Jerusalem, and the coming of apocalyptic death and plague, are not comfortable.

The paradox is that growing or shrinking numbers do not tell you anything. The Gospel would still be true even if no one believed it. The hopeful thing is that, where it is tried – where it is imperfectly and hesitantly followed – as it was in Northern Ireland during the peace process, as it is in many a Salvation Army hostel this Christmas, as it flickers in countless unseen Christian lives, it works. And its palpable and remarkable power to transform human life takes us to the position of believing that something very wonderful indeed began with the birth of Christ into the world.


The War on Rich White Men


I heard a knock on the door of my hotel room. It was Donald. "Turn on Megyn Kelly. She is reporting about an MSNBC commentator's claim that using the term "Obamacare" is the same as calling him the N word." http://bit.ly/18QPu5V

MSNBC's Melissa Harris Perry's accusation is absurd. It is an obvious weak attempt to distance the president from Obamacare which is wreaking havoc in the lives of millions of Americans who are losing their health care.

What I found most disturbing and what I wish to focus on is Perry's evil attempt to gin up hate against "wealthy white men" who she claims created the term "Obamacare" to demean and undermine the black president.

Due to the Obama Administration playing the race card to win every argument and silence opposition, America is polarized along racial lines. Perry's false accusation is like throwing gasoline on the flames of national racial tensions; as irresponsible and cruel as screaming fire in a crowded auditorium.

Perry's specific use of the term "wealthy white men" was insidiously strategic. Low info blacks in my family along with blacks across America will believe Perry's nonsense to be the gospel truth. With the wave of black flash mob violence and the rising incidents of the racially motivated knockout game, the last thing we need as a nation is another black TV celeb promoting a racially charged false narrative.

Democrats and liberals like Perry have been promoting the same irresponsible, divisive and racist false narrative for decades. They claim that all evil in the world is the fault of racist, greedy, sexist and evil wealthy white men usually identified as conservative Republicans.

Perry's rant is simply the latest blow to the chin of America's white males by a liberal. Flash back to New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd's 2009 article titled, "White Man's Last Stand." Dowd's article excoriated white men. http://bit.ly/1bsYmc5

Obama and company's reelection strategy was centered around a shock-and-awe media blitz branding the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney as an evil super-wealthy racist white guy. http://bit.ly/1cz7noO

So, we get it. While political correctness is the unwritten law of the land, it is open season on trashing and targeting the American rich white male for destruction; even deemed morally correct and patriotic.

Who is out there giving rich white men props for their many positive contributions to society? Where are their advocates? I am sure with me being an American black man, liberals think it unconscionable that I would suggest such a thing; elevating me to "super" Uncle Tom status.

In 1895, Booker T. Washington formed a coalition of black leaders, politicians and white philanthropists (rich white guys), with a long-term goal to build the black community's economic strength and pride by focusing on self-help, education and entrepreneurship. http://bit.ly/19fDhpF

Perry's ridiculous claim that the term "Obamacare" is the new N word is laughable. The N word is defined as a contemptuous term for a black or dark-skinned person. Sadly, American rich white men are viewed with a similar contemptuousness; despised, kicked around and unfairly mistreated.

Bottom line, Ms Perry and the whole liberal machine pushing the war on rich white men should be ashamed of themselves. The left's hate speech is ripe with negative consequences for the lives of real people; decent folks who simply worked hard, made good choices and achieved their American Dream.

Why should they be demonized in such a way as to inspire violence against them? It simply is not right.


The unspoken truth about marriage and kids

Bettina Arndt

Couples should not have children if their relationship is not stable enough to merit getting married, a British High Court judge said last week.

Sir Paul Coleridge, speaking out before retirement from a long family law career, challenged the common notion that it makes no difference whether parents cohabit or marry. "One [arrangement] tends to last and the other doesn't," he said, quoting Marriage Foundation research suggesting children with unmarried parents were twice as likely to suffer a family break-up as those with married parents. The proportion of children born to unmarried parents in Britain reached a record 47.5 per cent last year.

Children in cohabiting families lag behind children with married parents in overall socio-emotional and general development.

When a British authority figure dares to give voice to concerns about this crucial social issue, it makes news because it is so rare. Here in Australia, too, there is deathly silence from our leaders - politicians, social scientists, the clergy, judges - about the increasing casualisation of relationships involving children.

Yet talk to people working with disadvantaged communities and you hear a very different story. They witness the effects on children of being raised in unstable relationships - effects well documented in Australia.

Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, Lixia Qu and Ruth Weston, from the Australian Institute of Family Studies, found young families with cohabiting parents were nearly three times more likely to break up than married families. The same researchers showed children in cohabiting families lag behind children with married parents in overall socio-emotional and general development, show poorer learning, more behavioural problems and experience poorer parenting.

Contrary to expectations, it has turned out that children don't provide the glue to keep cohabiting parents together. Marriage - often dismissed as just a piece of paper - does make a difference.

This year, the "Knot Yet" report on changing marriage patterns, by the Washington-based Brookings Institution, examined why this was so and suggested the answer may lie in the decision-making process.

Most people marry after a process of discovering mutual commitment to long-term goals. That's often lacking in cohabiting relationships where couples move in together sometimes because a lease runs out, or they are seeking cheaper rent, or it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Families that evolve from these non-decisions are, unsurprisingly, far less stable. The non-decisions apply also to child-bearing - the Brookings report notes the high incidence of unplanned pregnancy in these arrangements, with half of births to unmarried 20-something women "unintended".

The result, according to the report, is a growing social divide, with well-educated people still tending to marry and then have children, while lower socio-economic groups are more likely to have children in de facto relationships. These children often end up in single-parent families. This emerging difference in marriage patterns is adding to the gap between the haves and have-nots, increasing social disadvantage.

Of course there are de facto couples with lasting relationships and thriving children, but the broader patterns tell a different story - just as the 90-year-old who smokes has no bearing on the link between cigarettes and health risks.

Pope Francis recently announced he was surveying all Catholics about family life. His questionnaire, which seeks response from clergy, Catholic organisations and parishioners, expresses concern about social changes, including "the widespread practice of cohabitation", and asks about the prevalence of such couples in Catholic communities and problems with pastoral care in these circumstances.

Responses will be interesting, given that 40 years ago clergy readily spoke out about the benefits of marriage, whereas these days few dare raise the "M" question for fear of ostracising their shrinking pool of parishioners and attracting unfavourable media attention.

The media is part of the problem, given in their number are more than a fair share of cohabiting couples. For instance, the ABC is full of well-educated presenters and producers bucking social trends by successfully raising children in stable de facto relationships or single-parent families. They naturally resist any public discussion of their choices.

One example is Richard Glover, from ABC Sydney, who boasts of his long-lasting de facto relationship. He has publicly taken issue with my reporting of research on this subject. "Do our children miss out on anything?" he wrote. "Well, yes, Bettina … Principally, I think, they miss out on vases," he said, of his family's lack of expensive crystal vases commonly given as wedding presents.

Public discussion of this important social trend is discouraged by media players who won't acknowledge that their preferred lifestyle choices have very different consequences on the other side of the social divide - yet the impact on kids of the casualisation of family relations is no laughing matter.



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

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

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


25 December, 2013

Leftists sure are a ball of fun

Orwell wrote an essay in 1943 called "Can Socialists Be Happy?" His answer was that they can't even imagine it.

A multicultural nurse in England

A Bupa care home nurse who was discovered pulling a screaming resident's hair by a shocked colleague could face being struck off.

Osironke Olugbile, 53, also barricaded residents in their rooms and dressed them in multiple incontinence pads so as not to disturb her during the night, it is alleged.

She was caught by a healthcare assistant, identified as Mr 1, pulling the resident's hair to force her into bed.

The nurse also layered incontinence pads in stacks of five and repeatedly switched off the call bell so that she could work undisturbed, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

Olugbile also left pensioners fully clothed overnight so that she did not have to dress them in the morning at the Bupa-run Collingwood Court Nursing Centre in Clapham, south London,

Giving evidence Mr 1 said he was initially worried about making a complaint after Olugbile said she had a friend with supernatural powers.

'I was hesitant to report the issue to management because Ronke (Olugbile's nickname) would often comment that she has someone back home, in Africa, with supernatural powers who will do whatever she says, to the point of killing someone if necessary,' Mr 1 told the hearing.

The tribunal found nearly all the allegations against Oligbile proved and she could now face being struck off the register.

Robert Benzyne, for the NMC, told the panel that Mr 1 witnessed the abuse through the resident's room door after it had been left ajar on August 6, 2010.

'He approached room 59 where he heard screaming and shouting. The door to the room was ajar and he witnessed the registrant pulling Resident A's hair trying to get her to bed.'

He also said that Olugbile would remove the stacked up incontinence pads before the day staff arrived.

Olugbile barricaded Patient F who was described as 'restless and aggressive' in his room, it was said.

She also turned off the call bell between August 13 and August 15,  2010 and on several other occasions, preventing vulnerable patients from being able to contact the nurse's desk.

Mr Benzyne said: 'He (her colleague) recalls that the bell had been switched off. The reason that was given to him about why the bell was switched off was that it prevented the bell disturbing her during the night.

'The registrant put the resident's day clothes on intending that they would be able to get up in the morning and they would already be changed and that would save time in order to clean them and get them ready for the day shift.'

On another occasion she wrote that a patient 'enjoyed falling deliberately on to the floor and sliding from the chair' in their hospital passport.

Finding all but one allegation against Olugbile proved NMC panel chairman Clive Powell said she was guilty of 'serious abuse', 'The panel determined that some of your conduct in relation to the vulnerable residents at the Home amounted to serious abuse,' he said.

'The panel noted that you have not shown any remorse or regret. You have denied these charges from the beginning and have sought to blame others and accuse them of lying.  'You have sought to abdicate yourself from any personal responsibility for your actions,' said Mr Powell.

The nurse, who claimed she is the victim of a 'conspiracy', now faces an anxious wait as her hearing has been adjourned for the second time.

When the hearing resumes next year, the panel will determine what sanction to impose which could see the nurse struck-off the register.

Olugbile worked at the Collingwood Court Nursing Centre between March 27, 2006 and February 9, 2011 after registering as a nurse in 2005.


Why was the monstrosity above not stopped earlier?

Because the authorities were too busy fussing about the sort of politically correct nonsense we read about below -- where a lovely lady was taken off her nursing job because she offered to pray for a patient:

Nurse Petrie

A nurse was suspended after offering to pray for the recovery of an elderly patient, it emerged yesterday. Caroline Petrie, 45, was accused of failing to show a commitment to equality and diversity after the incident and is awaiting the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.

The community nurse, who lives in Weston-super-Mare and carries out home visits, has been suspended by North Somerset primary care trust and could lose her job. Petrie, a Baptist who has two children, said she had not forced her beliefs on anyone, but had simply asked if the woman would like a prayer said for her.

She said: "I'm not angry, and I understand if people don't believe in the way that I do. But I am upset because I enjoy this job and it [prayer] is a valuable part of the care I give.

"I became a Christian 10 years ago after my mother died. My faith got stronger and I realised God was doing amazing things in my life. I saw my patients suffering and as I believe in the power of prayer, I began asking them if they wanted me to pray for them. They are absolutely delighted."

She said she had seen her supplications have real effects on patients, including a Catholic woman whose urine infection cleared up days after she said a prayer.

Petrie said the incident that led to her suspension occurred after she visited a woman in Winscombe in December. She said she asked the woman: "Would you like me to pray for you?" after putting dressings on her legs. The woman replied "No, thank you", and Petrie insists she did not press the matter.


After the media got wind of it, nurse Petrie was eventually reinstated.  Which of the two ladies above would you like to have looking after you if you were frail?

Duck Flap: Truth is ‘Hate’ to Those Who Hate Truth

As widely reported, Phil Robertson, the patriarch in A&E’s breakaway hit “Duck Dynasty,” recently ran a-fowl of homosexual pressure groups, ruffling “progressive” feathers throughout concentrated pockets of deep blue America. He remains suspended “indefinitely” for candidly summarizing, in a recent interview with GQ Magazine, the millennia-long “Love the sinner, hate the sin” biblical stance on homosexual practice.

“It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me,” he bluntly opined. “I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes!”

Dudes worldwide – save self-styled “gays,” Pajama Boy and a few liberal men actually rumored to be heterosexual – responded: “Eww! I know, right.”

“You know what I’m saying?” continued Robertson. “But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical,” he noted.

Robertson also addressed other sins, paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers – they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

“I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me,” he later added. “We are all created by the Almighty, and like Him, I love all of humanity.”

Barring a handful of “progressive” revisionists, Christian theologians have since observed that, while Robertson’s position on sexual sin is 100 percent biblically, morally and biologically correct, it is, nonetheless, precisely 0 percent politically correct.

Furthermore, Robertson seems to have been quoting directly from the rare, though accurate, “Louisiana Revised Standard Living Translation.”

Even so, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) was outraged. GLAAD spokesman Francis Twinklebean offered a scathing, though typically insightful, analysis of Robertson’s opinion: “Quack quack quack bigot,” said Twinklebean. “Quack quack vile quack intolerance quack quack homophobia quack,” he added, finally demanding: “A&E must fire Phil Robertson.”

The “gay”-activist Human Rights Campaign (HRC) was no less distressed, as evidenced by HRC mouthpiece Randy Van Grindr: “The First Amendment? That’s so 1776,” he said. “This is 2013. Speech isn’t free, you know. Intolerance will not be tolerated. Give us our pound of flesh! A&E must fire Phil Robertson.”

A&E, which had already begun censoring the cast’s Christian speech with fake bleeps to cover words like “Jesus” and “Christ,” dutifully complied. “We’re just sick of all this redneck Jesusy stuff,” A&E representative Moe Ronic told reporters. “And besides, making truckloads of money is really overrated,” he added, referencing the show’s No. 1 all-time ranking.

“In fact,” he continued, “just the other day I was sharing an Appletini with Bob, our program director, and he was pining for the good ol’ days – back when we had ratings like MSNBC’s ‘Winter Solstice Generic Holiday Special.’

“You know, more money means more work – what, with the bookkeeping and all,” he pointed out. “Most of us at A&E are actually quite excited to get back to the utter irrelevance and obscurity from whence we came.”

Meanwhile, the Fox Network and a bevy of cable channels have reportedly lined up with drool bibs to pounce on the show should relations with A&E go deeper south.

A Fox source offered comment on condition of anonymity: “Remember that time someone disagreed with Christianity and got fired?” he asked. “Me neither. A&E needs the Robertsons more than they need A&E.”

Still, questions remained as to who’s got it right on homosexuality; GLAAD, HRC and other “progressives,” or Phil Robertson and Christianity. To get answers, we went straight to the Source: God, Author of all truth, sovereign Creator of the universe and Maker of mankind.

God said to relax. The issue has been long settled.

All sexual sin – adultery, fornication, bestiality, incest and, yes, the practice of homosexuality – is “contrary to sound doctrine,” He noted unequivocally (1 Timothy 1:10). “Guys, when I said, ‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination,’ I meant it,” He added (Leviticus 18:22).

The Creator then offered an urgent admonition to GLAAD, HRC and others living under both sexual deception and the unrepentant homosexual lifestyle. He warned that unnatural behaviors beget natural consequences: “Because of this, [I] gave [you] over to shameful lusts. Even [you ladies] exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way [you fellas] also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. [You’ve] committed shameful acts with other men, and [have] received in [yourselves] the due penalty for [your] error” (Romans 1:26-27).

Still, being both wholly righteous and merciful beyond measure, The Heavenly Father then offered hope for homosexuals, as well as for every other sinner on the planet (that would be all of us). He was quick to point out that no one person is better than another, and that He loves us all, not because of our sins – to include the “intrinsically disordered” homosexual identity and lifestyle – but in spite of them. “None is righteous, no, not one,” He said (Romans 3:10).

We are all lost and in need of the Savior, He further urged (especially yours truly), saying, with specific reference to homosexuality, adultery and other forms of sexual immorality: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by [My Spirit]” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

As untold thousands – likely millions – of former homosexuals will attest, through the unmatched grace of Christ, there can be freedom from all forms of bondage to sin – even “LGBT” behavior.

Meanwhile, since the Duck flap hit, Jesus Himself has reportedly reached out to Phil Robertson with a Word of encouragement. He told him to keep fishing for souls and hunting for ducks. He said that Robertson shouldn’t sweat the small stuff – like the ongoing assault for speaking truth in love.

“Phil,” He said, “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but [if you] stand firm to the end, [you] will be saved” (Matthew 10:22).

“Oh, and by the way,” Jesus added: “Well done my good and faithful servant.”


Another account of how important fathers can be for their daughters

Tessa and her girls gathered round their grandfather, 2009

I would give anything to be spending the next week with my father. But this will be my first Christmas without him.  Dad died in April, and I am dreading the festive break more than I ever imagined.

So when my friends discussed with such perverse delight how they loathe the arrival of elderly relatives  at their exquisitely  decorated dining tables, it infuriated me.

But it also made me feel a deep shame. Because once, I, too, would join in this moaning. My list of complaints about having Dad over for Christmas was endless.

It would irritate me that he insisted lunch was served at 2pm - he'd be snoozing if it was any later - while I'd prefer to serve it at 4pm. I carped about having to heat rooms to the temperature of an orchid house because Dad felt the cold.

I groaned every time he would butt into a conversation because he was deaf and didn't realise anyone else was talking.

With hindsight, I can see that it was these eccentricities, his gloriously quirky, determined character, which gave me the 'perfect' Christmas. It just took me a long time to realise it.

I know without Dad I will feel lonely, even though I will be surrounded by people. My daughters Ellen, 22, and Elise, 20, will be home for Christmas. My single brothers Simon and Andy will arrive on Christmas Eve loaded with presents, wine and food.

And while my boyfriend Richard (I divorced four years ago) will be spending Christmas Day with his daughters, both in their 20s, we will be together for much of the rest of the time.

But for all the company around me, I will still feel bereft.

It was different when my mother died, aged 77, of cancer in January 1995. Although I missed Mum desperately, I didn't feel the aching loneliness I do now. Perhaps it was because she lived on through Dad, who talked about her so often she remained a vivid part of our lives.

After Mum died, I took on the role of running Christmas at my home for all the relatives who wanted to come. Until then, I had normally taken my daughters to my parents.

Dad was always there at the head of the table. He was the glue that kept our family together. He was so excited and happy to have his family around him that his pleasure permeated everything.

Dad was 98 when he died, peacefully in hospital after a bout of pneumonia, so I cannot possibly argue that I wasn't prepared. Nor can I claim to be cheated.

But perhaps his absence is more acute because, for the past two-and-a-half years of his life, ever since he fell and broke his hip, Dad lived with me.  The thought that Christmas morning will break without Dad giving me a peck on the cheek fills me with dread.

And this will be the first year there will be no box of Black Magic chocolates wrapped up under the tree for me. For 40 years, Dad was convinced they were my favourites when actually it was my sister - who died in a car accident in 1973 - who loved dark chocolate, not me. I never had the heart to tell him.

The very best part of Christmas for most people will be the hardest to endure: exchanging presents.

It's not just that there will be no gift from Dad. Like most men of his generation, he largely left it up to my mother to choose presents. After she died, Dad contented himself with handing over a generous cheque and the reliable box of Black Magic. No, it's much more than the gifts themselves. It's the ritual.

Ever since I can remember it was Dad who handed out the presents on Christmas morning, straight after Mass.

It took hours because every present would have to be individually admired, and the wrapping paper carefully removed without ripping it so it could preserved for next year. He couldn't abide waste.

Who will hand out the presents this year? Me? One of my brothers? I can't bear to think about it.

I'm trying to maintain as many traditions as I can, not just for my girls but for myself. But so many of them seem pointless without Dad.

He had a weakness for sweet things and adored puddings and cakes, particularly Christmas cake. So every year, my festive preparations would begin with making him a traditional cake. To please Dad, I even followed Mum's well-thumbed Fanny Craddock recipe from 1966.

A cup of tea and a slice of Christmas cake would be the highlight of Dad's day, right through until the last crumb disappeared some time in late February.

But I know no one else really appreciates the cake - me included. Although I've baked one this year because not doing so would just be too sad, I know that without Dad's eager enjoyment, my heart won't be in it. 

Even dressing the tree rekindled memories I knew I'll find painful. The box of baubles I've inherited from Mum is stuffed with decorations my parents bought together. And this was always a job I used to do with Dad.

Then there is our wooden crib with beautifully painted figures. My parents bought it in Germany when Dad - a teacher in the Army - was posted to Dusseldorf for a brief period in the early Sixties.

This year, I've laid it out carefully on the hall table as always, waiting until Christmas morning, as my parents did, to position baby Jesus.

This year, with Dad no longer here and champing for breakfast, I can luxuriate in bed until late. We will eat Christmas lunch at whatever time suits me best. 5pm? 6pm? It won't matter a jot.

Instead of The Sound Of Music or some other twee family film, we'll sit down to the final series of Breaking Bad, something I know Dad wouldn't have liked.

But all these self-indulgent little treats suddenly seem a very poor substitute.

Even sitting down at our dining table with elicit a painful memory. Last year, Dad was so frail he couldn't manage the stairs when lunch was served, so we decided to take it up to him instead.

There were ten of us crammed into Dad's room, balancing our dinner plates on our knees.

Did we know this was our last chance to eat a Christmas meal together? Maybe it was at the back of our minds, because to us it was perfect.

There was brandy butter in the bedsheets, gravy splashes on the carpet and, of course, there was Dad at the centre of it, wreathed in smiles.

I hope I showed him how much I loved sharing Christmas with him. But did I show him the depth of my feelings? I doubt it. The truth is I only realise now, my first Christmas without him, just how much he meant to me.

Would I swap all the perfect table decorations, fancy food and expensive presents to have one last Christmas with Dad? In a heartbeat.

So everyone, please, as exasperating as your relatives may be, as much as they might make you grit your teeth, cherish them this Christmas.



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

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

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


24 December, 2013

Zagmuk conquers all!

L. Neil Smith

Conservatives have long whimpered about corporate and goverment policies forbidding employees who make contact with the public to wish said members "Merry Christmas!" at the appropriate time of the year, out of a moronic and purely irrational fear of offending members of the public who don't happen to be Christian, but are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, Rastafarian, Ba'hai, Cthuluites, Wiccans, or worshippers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The politically correct benediction, these employees are instructed, is "Happy Holidays".


As a lifelong atheist, I never take "Merry Christmas" as anything but a cheerful and sincere desire to share the spirit of the happiest time of the year. I enjoy Christmas as the ultimate capitalist celebration. It's a multiple-usage occasion and has been so since the dawn of history. I wish them "Merry Christmas" right back, and I mean it.

Unless I wish them a "Happy Zagmuk", sharing the oldest midwinter festival in our culture I can find any trace of. It's Babylonian, and celebrates the victory of the god-king Marduk over the forces of Chaos.

But as anybody with the merest understanding of history and human nature could have predicted, if you give the Political Correctness Zombies (Marduk needs to get back to work again) an Angstrom unit, they'll demand a parsec. It now appears that for the past couple of years, as soon as the Merry Christmases and Happy Holidayses start getting slung around, a professor (not of Liberal Arts, so he should know better) at a nearby university (to remain unnamed) sends out what he hopes are intimidating e-mails, scolding careless well-wishers, and asserting that these are not holidays ("holy days") to everyone, and that the only politically acceptable greeting is "Happy Midwinter Break".

He signs this exercise in stupidity "A Jewish Faculty Member".

Double feh.

Two responses come immediately to mind, both of them derived from good, basic Anglo-Saxon, which is not originally a Christian language. As soon as the almost overwhelming temptation to use them has been successfully resisted, there are some other matters for profound consideration.

First, what we are seeing here, in both the "Happy Holidays" and "Happy Winter Break" instances, is the yawning gulf of difference between pluralism, on the one hand, and multi-culturalism on the other.

The former accepts and allows everything. Nothing is compulsory and nothing (barring the initiation of physical force) is forbidden. Pluralism is frank and open, and it has standards. It doesn't tolerate priests as child molestors or "honor killings" of errant children. We all get to laugh, and eat each other's food, enjoy each other's music, and dance each other's dances. It's the essential American way. As a nation, we don't always manage to measure up to that standard, but we try.

Pluralism is a good thing. A very good thing.

The latter crouches in xenophobic terror, rejecting everything that might indicate that people are different from one another. or have different opinions. Multi-culturalism allows nothing to be said or done, but locks the world in eternal frozen conflict. It's a sort of pathological isolation in a crowd that is humiliated by its own humanity.

Multi-culturism is a bad thing, trying to disguise itself as pluralism.

My old friend, the late Aaron Zelman, the founder of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, used to observe that some individuals value their victimization so highly, they'll sacrifice anything -- fortune, family, anything -- in order to hold onto it. Look at the way black people often ignore the fact that none of them were ever slaves themselves, and no one living today was ever a slave owner, in order to establish a claim to what they see as infinite entitlement.

My own ancestors were slaughtered in the thousands by their evil conquerors (who posed to the world as benefactors and bringers of civilization), forced at swordpoint and gunpoint to grow, harvest, and ship crops out of the country in record amounts while millions of them starved to death, and were finally captured and sold into slavery overseas.

My ancestors are Irish.

To my knowledge, none represent themselves as social arbiters, prescribing to other folks the right thing to say or the way to say it.

Finally, there is this: if you were to fly all the way to Australia on vacation, would you be grateful or disappointed if all the Australians you met said "Hello" to you, rather than a hearty "G'dai"?

My then-wife (not Cathy, born and raised in Cheyenne) was deeply embarrassed that I accompanied her to London in 1976 wearing cowboy boots, jeans, and brightly-colored Western shirts. She learned better. Her friends all seemed to love the way I dressed and for the first -- and last -- time inb my life, I was a sartorial hit. Most people from around the world expect us to be different. That's why they came to see us. Part of that difference is Christmas, which many (especially the Japanese, and, it now appears, the Chinese) have adopted as their own.

Those from foreign parts who have come here to live, and benefit from what freedom has made possible, should learn to practice pluralism, rather than multi-culturalism. As for that professor, an Easterner who'd dearly love to think of himself as a real live cowboy, he should know better by now than to tell Westerners what to say and do.

They're likely to respond by telling him, "Merry Christmas!" Or "Happy Zagmuk!"


British Department store chain  faces furious backlash from customers over Muslim policy

Marks & Spencer's official Facebook page is deluged with messages from customers furious at bosses' decision to let Muslim staff refuse to serve pork and alcohol to customers

Marks & Spencer is facing a boycott from hundreds of customers furious at the store’s decision to allow Muslim staff to refuse to serve customers buying alcohol or pork products.

The policy was revealed after customers trying to buy pork or alcohol from a Muslim shop assistant in central London were told they would have to use another till because of the cashier's religion.

The chain has admitted, however, that it has breached its own internal policy - by forcing its staff to choose between their beliefs and their responsibilties to the supermarket.

A spokesperson for M&S said that it works closely with employees with specific beliefs that restrict what food or drink they can handle, but on this occasion it had to “regret” that it had not followed its own guidelines.

“Where we have an employee whose religious beliefs restrict food or drink they can handle, we work closely with our member of staff to place them in suitable role, such as in our clothing department or bakery in foods.  “We regret that in the case highlighted today we were not following our own internal policy.”

The official M&S Facebook page was today deluged with vitriolic messages from previously loyal customers.

Meanwhile a Facebook campaign group calling on people to boycott the store attracted hundreds of ‘likes’ within just a couple of hours of being set up this afternoon.

Writing on the group's Facebook page, called Boycott Marks and Spencer, customer Matt Syson accused M&S of creating “division and hatred within our communities”.

He wrote: “M&S if you read this you have gone over the top.  “If you have Christian workers who wish to refuse the sale of ladies garments to male homosexuals or men's trousers to lesbians, I do hope you will equally stand by those workers’ religious or personal beliefs…

“Or perhaps if an atheist worker notices a customer purchasing hot cross buns during Easter and wishes to refuse sale to that particular customer based on beliefs that conflict with their own, I do hope you will not punish such workers for their actions surrounding refusal of sale…

“If not then I would like you to know that my family and I shall no longer purchase any goods from your company due to the implementation of this 'one rule system' that creates further division and hatred within our communities.

“It's the customers who pay your wage and profits, it's the customers who wield the power and dictate success or failure within a company. Something you will soon realise when word spreads.”

And another customer Angela Phillips posted: “If M&S go ahead with this they are going to lose so many loyal customers… if they do not want to serve people with pork or alcohol they shouldn’t work in the food hall… simple!”

Meanwhile, Heather Playdon posted on M&S's official Facebook page: “I shan't be shopping in M&S anymore. The quintessentially British retailer bows down to Muslim beliefs. And in turn alienates the majority of Christian and non-religious customers. Outrageous.”

Another customer using the name Mike Hubby Coneman Pearce posted: “PC gone mad! WHAT?! I don’t get it you walk into a shop, you want some bacon, you get served by someone who is a vegetarian do they then get the right to refuse to sell you meat? NO”

And Tony Frost posted: “I hope the halfwits behind this insulting idea are ashamed. I will never shop in your stores again & will be spreading the word in the hope you lose maximum customers.”

In an earlier statement an M&S spokesman said: “We recognise that some of our employees practise religions that restrict the food or drink they can handle, or that mean they cannot work at certain times.

“M&S promotes an environment free from discrimination and so, where specific requests are made, we will always make reasonable adjustments to accommodate them, whilst ensuring high levels of customer service.”

The spokesman said the policy applied throughout its 700-plus stores and to other religions as well.  For example, Christians who did not want to work on Sundays and religious Jews who chose not to work on Saturdays would also be excused


More than 100 sex offenders - including one who raped a girl under 13 - use human rights ruling to get names taken off British register

More than 100 of the country's most dangerous sex attackers - including paedophiles and violent rapists - have had their names secretly removed from the Sex Offenders' Register, it has been revealed.

The criminals have used a human rights ruling to remove themselves from the list, arguing that they no longer pose a threat to the public.

The 108 convicts who have successfully used the argument, include one offender convicted of rape of a female under 13, another of burglary with intent to rape and one sentenced for buggery.

One police force removed a criminal convicted on seven counts of indecent assault on a boy under 16 from the register.

The figures were obtained under the Freedom of Information act, and asked for details of the number of convicted sex offenders who had their names removed from the register since the law was passed in September last year.

Nearly half of those who applied were successful, at rate of nearly four a week.

Those whose names have been removed from the list were once placed on it for life, but now no longer now no longer need to tell the police where they are living, or if they move near a school or young family.

It comes following a human rights ruling last year, which decided offenders who have been monitored by officers for 15 years are now free to apply to have their details taken off the register.

Peter Saunders, chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood said: 'It's downright dangerous that so many sex offenders are effectively able to remove themselves from the Register.

Mr Saunders, who was abused as a child abuse himself, said: 'The victims and survivors of sexual abuse suffer a life sentence at the hands of these people, coping with the miserable consequences.

'It seems inordinately unfair that so many could be removed from something which simply keeps them on the police radar.  'I can't think of anyone who would challenge that apart from the perpetrators themselves.

'Everything we know about sex offenders leads us to believe firmly that they will probably always be a threat to children and to others.'

Assistant Chief Constable Michelle Skeer, of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said:

'It is recognised that the legislation under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and the multi-agency public protection arrangements provide some of the most effective tools in the world to manage registered sex offenders.

'Protecting the public from harm is a fundamental role for the police service but we recognise that this must be balanced with the rights of individuals, as highlighted by the Supreme Court judgement.

'We have worked closely with the Home Office and other key partners to develop a robust review process that ensures a full assessment of the risks posed before an offender is removed from the notification requirements.

'The reality is that the risks posed by some offenders can never be completely eliminated, but we will continue to do all in our power to keep them to a minimum and believe that the proposed review process strikes the right balance between individual rights and public safety.'


Labour Party should not be afraid to 'do God' in order to stop the persecution of Middle East Christians says shadow foreign secretary

The Labour shadow foreign secretary has said his party should 'do God' in order to stop the persecution of Christians and shouldn't be put off by the fear of causing offence.

Douglas Alexander, who is a Church of Scotland follower, has said that a 'misplaced sense of political correctness' is to blame for people feeling 'embarrassed' to talk about God.

His calls follow a speech by Prince Charles this week in which the heir to the throne warned that Christianity was beginning to disappear from its birthplace because members and places of worship were being targetted.

Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Alexander says: 'Across the world, there will be Christians this week for whom attending a church service this Christmas is not an act of faithful witness, but an act of life-risking bravery. That cannot be right and we need the courage to say so.

'People of all faiths and none should be horrified by this persecution. We cannot, and we must not, stand by on the other side in silence for fear of offence.'

Mr Alexander added that persecution of Christians should be viewed in the same way as anti-Seminism or Islamophobia, and not just opposed by lone voices.

He said he had felt 'very personally' an attack on a Church of Scotland place of worship in September which killed 122 including the mother, nephew, niece, two uncles and other friends of the priest.

Earlier this week Prince Charles said that bridges between the Islamic and Christian communities he had worked to foster were being 'deliberately destroyed'.

Speaking at an event for Middle East Christians in Clarence House, he said: ‘It seems to me that we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are increasingly being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants.

‘Christianity was literally born in the Middle East and we must not forget our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters in Christ.’

Others have also issued warnings on the issue, including Baroness Warsi who delivered a speech to the House of Lords last month on the 'mass exodus' of Christians from the Middle East, and former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks.

Mr Alexander's comments come in stark contrast to the Labour government's stance under Tony Blair, when Alastair Campbell famously said that the party 'doesn't do God'.

Since retiring from politics Mr Blair himself has become a Roman Catholic, and says he was a believer while in office but was too afraid to admit it in case he was viewed as 'a nutter'.

The article by Mr Alexander marks a shift towards religion in politics, with David Cameron being an active member of the Church of England - though he admits his faith can be patchy - and Ed Miliband saying he has a 'huge respect' for people who believe in God, despite being an atheist himself.

Mr Alexander’s words were welcomed by Church leaders. The Rt Rev Lorna Hood, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said: 'Too often these situations are ignored by politicians worried at offending someone. Such silence should be offensive to all who cherish the right to live safely in a pluralistic society.'



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

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

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


23 December, 2013

GLAAD: Lethal Enforcers of the Left's Tolerance Mob

"Duck Dynasty's" Phil Robertson is not alone. He's the latest in a long, long lineup of politically incorrect targets of the left's sensitivity mob. Founded in 1985, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) gangstas won't stop until both the cultural and legal enforcement of their agenda are the norm.
The A&E network (Atheists & Elitists) suspended the reality TV patriarch and self-made businessman on Wednesday for the Biblical views he expressed in an interview with GQ. Robertson was asked by the liberal magazine what he viewed as sinful. Drawing on the condemnation of sexual immorality in Corinthians 6:9, he cited "adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers -- they won't inherit the kingdom of God."

Robertson's punishable transgressions? Responding honestly to a question posed to him (this was not an unsolicited "anti-gay rant"; it was a response) and abiding by his Christian faith. GLAAD's P.C. Praetorian Guard sprung into repressive action. The same group that initially gave f-word-spouting, homophobic liberal Alec Baldwin a pass accused Robertson of uttering "some of the vilest and most extreme statements" against "LGBT people" ever. (They should listen to the Koran-inspired executioners' rants of gay-hanging and gay-stoning Iranian mullahs sometime.) GLAAD also railed against Robertson's "vile" preference for female anatomy over male as if it were an international human rights violation.

A&E folded faster than a stadium seat, immediately disavowing Robertson and suspending him from his family's show indefinitely. Meanwhile, network execs continued to cash in on the lucrative "Duck Dynasty" empire with a marathon of program reruns on the very day they threw Robertson under the bus. The network is free to do that, of course. And I am free to tell you all about the radical thugs that A&E indulged.

GLAAD has worked tirelessly to marginalize and suppress the free speech of Christian leaders, Christian businesses and conservative talk-radio hosts dating back to their infamous Dr. Laura boycott 13 years ago. The group's mission is not about equality or defending against "defamation." It's about silencing critics, making open debate radioactive, demonizing people of faith and making even the slightest perceived slight a hate crime.

Last year, GLAAD speech-squelchers issued a blacklist of 34 Christian commentators they wanted networks to ban from their air for "extreme" views (read: opposing gay marriage). Earlier this year, GLAAD attacked the National Geographic Channel for partnering with the traditional values-promoting Boy Scouts on a reality TV program. GLAAD is free to start its own Gay Scouts, but instead chose to harangue NatGeo for refusing to run a "disclaimer" at the beginning of each show condemning the Boy Scouts' leadership policies.

It's not enough to live and let live. You must repent and genuflect before the self-serving gods of selective progressivism. That's why GLAAD forgave Hollywood director Brett Ratner for using the word "fag." He was allowed back into the protected Hollywood club after submitting to GLAAD reeducation camp and appearing in GLAAD public service announcements. Bill Clinton, who authored both the Defense of Marriage Act and the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policies so reviled by the homosexual lobby, ended up receiving a GLAAD "Advocate for Change" award earlier this year -- for changing his mind when politically expedient.

For the civility police, the operational motto is always: "Do as we say, not as we do, in the name of social justice. Amen."

In the 1960s, radical philosopher Herbert Marcuse popularized the "repressive tolerance" theory of modern progressives. "Liberating tolerance would mean intolerance against movements from the right and toleration of movements from the left," Marcuse pontificated. "Certain things cannot be said, certain ideas cannot be expressed, certain policies cannot be proposed."

The tolerance mob's insatiable quest for power and control has led to such unhinged witch-hunting that many of its own erstwhile allies are balking. Novelist Bret Easton Ellis called GLAAD the "gatekeepers of politically correct gayness." He was attacked as a "self-loathing gay man," but unlike A&E, he didn't give in. "An organization holding an awards ceremony that they think represents all gays and also feels they can choose which gays can and cannot be a member of the party is, on the face of it, ridiculous."

The liberal The Atlantic magazine recounted how GLAAD invited Fox News anchors Kimberly Guilfoyle and Jamie Colby to a New York event and then issued a press release condemning them and their employer after the network failed to cough up big donations for gala tables. Wrote the Atlantic's James Kirchick: "Aside from raising money to perpetuate its own existence and throwing swanky parties (the event feting Bill Clinton was one of three different media-award ceremonies, with others in New York and San Francisco), GLAAD has no purpose. That is, unless one views it not as a gay-rights organization but rather a partisan liberal one."

Nail, meet head. GLAAD's counterculture warriors know full well: It's a small leap from forcing Phil Robertson, the Boy Scouts and Rush Limbaugh out of the public square to forcing wedding photographers and cake bakers to serve gay customers against their will and mandating that Catholic medical providers and Hobby Lobby violate their religious conscience and cover abortion pills in order to stay in business.

These GLAAD tidings have everything to do with repression and nothing to do with rights.


NYC: Lesbian boss ‘fired me for being straight’

A married, heterosexual gym teacher at a tony Upper West Side private school was fired because his lesbian supervisor disapproved of his “traditional family status,” the canned teacher claims in a new Manhattan lawsuit.

Gregory Kenney, 50, taught gym at the Trinity School on W. 91st St. for 16 years before he was let go in June 2012.

Kenney, who lives with his wife and three young children in LI, says he was a well-liked employee at the elite institution that counts Truman Capote, Ivanka Trump and Eric Schneiderman as alumni, until a gay athletic director named Pat Krieger took over in 2009.

Krieger allegedly forced him to coach three sports, even though his contract only required him to join two teams, according to his reverse discrimination suit.

When he complained that the extra responsibilities interfered with his family obligations Krieger allegedly told him, “We all make choices,” the suit says.

After Kenney told Krieger that he couldn’t keep working nights and weekends, she reported him to the headmaster “while a single, female teacher faced no scrutiny when she refused to coach a third season.”

Kenney claims the allegedly biased athletic director “routinely favored other single, younger females without children and discriminated against [him] because of his gender, sexual orientation, ‘traditional family status,’ and age.”

“He felt ostracized because of his family,” Kenney’s attorney, Steven Morelli told The Post in an interview.

“He had been doing this for so many years and he certainly did the job well or they would have gotten rid of him a long time ago,” Morelli added.

Kenney coached soccer, basketball and golf at Trinity, where tuition costs as much as $41,370 a year.

“On at least one occasion Kenney was dissuaded from attending social events with his peers because he was a heterosexual, married male with children, who wouldn’t fit in with [Krieger’s] ‘culture.’”

He says three other married coaches with young children were also sacked. Kenney was replaced by a gay female, according to court papers.

Kenney, who has 7-year-old twins and a 9-year-old, is still looking for a new job.  He’s seeking unspecified damages in the suit.


'Police ignored victims of Muslim child sex grooming gang because they were from COUNCIL ESTATES' (Projects; Welfare housing)

The only thing British police and social workers are good at is persecuting decent families for fancied infractions.  Real abuse gets ignored

Hundreds of young girls were allowed to fall into the hands of Asian grooming gangs because police and social workers may have been scared of seeming racist, an official report says.

They refused to believe that race was an issue even though dozens of young, white girls were being specifically targeted and groomed for sex by older Pakistani men.

Children in the town of Rochdale were let down by all 17 agencies that were meant to protect them, the report said.

Police chiefs yesterday dismissed accusations of political correctness. They said the girls were targeted by because they were vulnerable, not because they were white.

But a review into the scandal says there was a ‘colour-blind’ approach by police and social workers that was ‘potentially dangerous’.

The findings have been backed by Rochdale’s Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who said ethnicity ‘is a factor’. Tory Baroness Warsi said there existed a small minority of Pakistani men who saw white girls as ‘fair game’.

Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation said elders of the Pakistani community were ‘burying their heads in the sand’ on the matter. The review highlights a catalogue of failings. Experts in child sexual exploitation estimate that between 2003 and 2012 hundreds of young girls slipped through the care net in Rochdale alone.

Extrapolated across the UK, the number of young victims could run into many thousands.

The report criticised social  workers, police and the Crown Prosecution Service for failing to join together sufficiently to halt the grooming. Last night Mr  Danczuk said it was clear that all the agencies dealing with children  in care had failed.

He said: ‘This report shows that policies, culture and attitudes within many agencies were actively unhelpful when dealing with victims of child abuse and that’s why we have to see a very different approach.

‘It worries me that the reports show there is evidence of a focus on performance targets, which has meant that child sexual exploitation is not a police priority.’

Jane Booth, chair of Rochdale Safeguarding Children Board, said she had been shocked by what the board’s report had uncovered.

‘This is a bleak situation,’ she said. ‘These young people were let down by all the agencies they dealt with. What shocked me was the willingness of staff to accept that they couldn’t do anything.’

She said the girls were often already vulnerable because of family issues and once they fell into the grip of the gangs ‘they were not listened to or understood’.

The young girl whose abuse at the hands of an Asian gang provoked a wave of revulsion was told she had made a ‘lifestyle choice’.

The 15-year-old, who was being repeatedly plied with alcohol and then raped by the gang, was told it was her own decision.

The victim, known as Girl A, said the police, social services and the Crown Prosecution Service had ‘ruined her life’.

She said: ‘They knew all along what was going on. They knew crimes were being committed, but they just told my mum and dad I was making lifestyle choices.

‘How is being raped by dozens of men a lifestyle choice? Why would any girl of 15 want to do that?’

Girl A was 14 when the gang began to groom her. By the time she escaped, shortly after her 16th birthday, she had been raped countless times and passed between gang members across northern England.

The child she gave birth to a short time later was initially taken into care before being returned to her.

Now 20, Girl A says failures by the police officers who initially dealt with her case and Crown Prosecution Service lawyers who decided not to take it to trial allowed her to slip back into the gang’s clutches.

She became so desperate that she made repeated suicide attempts.

It was not until last year that her nine abusers were finally brought to justice. Girl A is convinced that she and numerous other girls were abandoned to their fate because the authorities were terrified of appearing racist. ‘They didn’t want to acknowledge that it was Asian men hitting on white girls in case it started a race thing. It was uncomfortable for them. But it’s not racist if it’s really happening. I never wanted to be part of anyone’s agenda. I just wanted to be rescued.

There were cases going back 10 years they knew about. If they’d opened their eyes to it they could have helped girls like me.

‘But they just buried it. They were turning a blind eye to girls being raped in their own town.’

She recently accepted six-figure compensation from Rochdale council and has co-written a book about her ordeal.

Girl A is convinced the type of abuse she suffered is still going on in towns and cities across Britain.

‘I fear for kids of 11, 12, 13. If I went out on the streets tonight, I’d probably see girls like I was. And in the daytime I’d see them being picked up outside schools. Girls like that need to know that when they’re offered stuff it’s never for free. There’s always a price to pay’.

She added: ‘People need to realise that it’s only a minority of Asian men who do this. They think white girls are available, and they see them as pieces of meat.’

Her ordeal has had a lasting  effect, she says. ‘I know I don’t really have emotion any more. I’ll never forgive the men – and I’ll never forgive social services. I never want to see them again’

The board has demanded action plans from all the agencies. Last year nine men – eight Pakistanis and an Afghan – were jailed for between four and 19 years for grooming young white girls in Rochdale, plying them with alcohol and gifts before passing them around the group for sex. Forty-seven victims, some as young as 13, were thought to have been abused by the gang. Two were forced to have abortions after becoming pregnant.

Yesterday another five men who sexually exploited a 15-year-old girl in Rochdale in 2008 and 2009 were jailed for between two and a half and eight and a half years. About a dozen similar cases in northern England are under investigation.

A 2012 report by the deputy children’s commissioner said that 33 per cent of child sex abuse by gangs in Britain was committed by Asians – who form 7 per cent of the population – but concluded that it was ‘irresponsible’ to dwell on the point.

The head of children’s services in Rochdale resigned last year in the wake of the scandal.

It is thought that only two agencies – Greater Manchester Police and Rochdale social care – have disciplined staff over the failures.

Greater Manchester chief constable Sir Peter Fahy admitted his force had allowed itself to ‘get into a mindset of hopelessness’, but said: ‘I think there is a real danger that if we try to see this as a racial issue – which we don’t believe it was – it then means society is not confronting some of these really difficult issues.’


Australia:  A specious defence of Judge Mordecai Bromberg in the Bolt free-speech case


The long and windy article below can be severely condensed with very little loss but I reproduce it in full for the sake of fairness.  The article simply regurgitates what Bromberg said about Andrew Bolt's wrong "facts" in Bolt's articles about white "Aborigines". 

Bromberg said he was not against free speech but merely opposed to Bolt making claims of fact that were not true. On that basis most issues of most Australian newspapers would be worthy of punishment.  They often present as facts things that are not true (many global warming claims, for instance).  The remedy for that however is for someone to present more accurate facts at a later date, not to involve the judiciary.  Note that this was not a libel case but an anti-discrimination case.

And the examples of wrong facts given are tendentious.  Everything Bolt said does have a basis in fact as far as I can see.  Bolt was condemned for saying that "Anita Heiss had won "plum jobs"" when the job concerned was an unpaid one.  But who says a "plum" job had to be a paid one?  For many people fame and prestige are a bigger prize than money and the job concerned would undoubtedly have conferred a modicum of fame and prestige. 

And note the hilarious claim below that  Heiss's other appointments were not prejudiced because "Neither the arts board position nor the university job was reserved for indigenous applicants".  Who said they were? The formal rules and the private criteria can be very different -- and given the ubiquity of "affirmative action" thinking among Leftists, there can be little doubt about what actually tipped the balance.

I could go on along those lines in discussing Bolt's other condemned facts but I think that readers can probably  do their own dissections without further help from me.

And in the end Bromberg lets his own case down by conceding that he really thought that Bolt was being racist.  Read with care the second-last paragraph below and you will see.  That Bolt was motivated solely by a disgust at Aboriginal welfare provisions being ripped off was clearly not visible to Bromberg.

I am not surprised that Bromberg was over-sensitive about matters involving race.  He is Jewish and Jews have a history which makes that understandable. But arriving at a strained judgment largely on the basis of his own sensitivities was very unjudicial.  He should have recused himself from the case.

During the 12 months since journalist Andrew Bolt was found guilty of breaching racial discrimination laws — on the basis that his published facts were wrong — error and invective have continued to warp the debate.

Has Australia just experienced one of the great media heists in modern history?

It's a year since the Eatock v Bolt decision was announced on September 28, 2011, in the Federal Court, a landmark case brought under Australia's Racial Discrimination Act. And much of the subsequent commentary has been — like the Andrew Bolt articles that triggered the case — filled with errors and designed to sting.

For example, Justice Bromberg's judgment has been seriously misreported. Parts of it have been ignored completely.

It's telling that we should still need to ask: What was the real reason Bolt and the Herald and Weekly Times (HWT) were found to be in breach of the Act? How many untruths were published? And what motivated this "offensive conduct reinforcing, encouraging or emboldening racial prejudice"?

The applicant was Pat Eatock, a fair-skinned Aborigine, who brought the suit on behalf of herself and others, who claimed Melbourne's Herald Sun had accused them of pretending to be Aboriginal to gain benefits fraudulently. Attempts at conciliation had failed.

Rupert Murdoch’s HWT declined to appeal. Instead, it commenced a vigorous — and extraordinarily successful — campaign in the court of public opinion to undermine the judgment.

The applicants claimed two of Bolt's articles published in 2009, titled 'It's so hip to be black' ('White is the New Black' online) and 'White fellas in the black', were derisive and riddled with fabrications.

Justice Bromberg found in their favour. His findings were "that fair-skinned Aboriginal people (or some of them) were reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to have been offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated by the imputations conveyed by the newspaper articles" (summary 17); and:

"I have not been satisfied that the offensive conduct that I have found occurred, is exempted from unlawfulness by section 18D [guaranteeing free speech]. The reasons for that conclusion have to do with the manner in which the articles were written, including that they contained errors of fact, distortions of the truth and inflammatory and provocative language." (summary 23)

Rupert Murdoch's HWT declined to appeal. Instead, it commenced a vigorous — and extraordinarily successful — campaign in the court of public opinion to undermine the judgment.

To understand the process of attempting to undermine the judgment in the minds of readers, we need to grasp the intent of two provisions in the Racial Discrimination Act.

Section 18C requires that the articles were "reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people …" Hence for the HWT to have been in breach of the law, offence taken must be established.

The judge found that the applicants had been offended. That wasn't hard. Both sides knew this to be so beforehand. The contest wasn't about whether or not offence had been caused.

The case was about 18D, the vital section guaranteeing liberty of opinion and freedom of speech. "Freedom of expression is an essential component of a tolerant and pluralistic democracy," Bromberg asserted early in the proceedings.

The judge made it clear that 18D protects any opinion, however obnoxious or offensive — provided it is genuinely held, for academic, artistic or scientific purpose, or in the public interest, or in publishing a fair and accurate media report.

He repeatedly reinforced this: "Those opinions will at times be ill-considered. They may be obstinate, exaggerated or simply wrong. But that, of itself, provides no valid basis for the law to curtail the expression of opinion."

The issue central to the case was not whether Bolt's article was an expression of opinion, but whether the factual allegations on which that opinion was based were accurate. This question occupied most of the court's time and is the subject of the greater part of the judgment.

So the case was clearly not about freedom of opinion. It was about freedom to spread untruths.

In Bolt's articles Bromberg found inferences which leave "an erroneous impression", "gratuitous references" based on "a selective misrepresentation", and omissions which "meant that the facts were not truly stated".

He found assertions "shown to be factually erroneous", comment that was "unsupported by any factual basis and erroneous", asserted facts that were "untrue" and several contentions that were "incorrect" or "grossly incorrect".

His key finding was that "in relation to most of the individuals concerned, the facts asserted in the Newspaper Articles that the people dealt with chose to identify as Aboriginal have been substantially proven to be untrue". (378)

“Freedom of expression is an essential component of a tolerant and pluralistic democracy,” Bromberg asserted early in the proceedings.

For example, Bolt wrote that Anita Heiss had won "plum jobs reserved for Aborigines" at Koori Radio, at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board and at Macquarie University. (381) The Koori Radio job was a voluntary unpaid position. Neither the arts board position nor the university job was reserved for indigenous applicants. Three untruths there. In one sentence. More damagingly, Bolt asserted that Heiss had made a conscious "decision to identify as Aboriginal" and was "lucky, given how it's helped her career". Bromberg found, however that Ms Heiss "has Aboriginal ancestry and communal recognition as an Aboriginal person." And further, "She did not consciously choose to be Aboriginal. She has not improperly used her Aboriginal identity to advance her career."

Bromberg's conclusion was emphatic: "Untruths are at the heart of racial prejudice and intolerance."

The day after the judgment, the dissembling, the skewing of commentary away from the core of the judgment began. The Herald Sun led the resistance with a front page declaring 'THIS IS A SAD DAY' with a large photo of Andrew Bolt looking, well, sad. Bolt himself declared it a "terrible day for free speech in this country".

It was then widely asserted in Murdoch outlets, much of the rest of the media and even some legal opinions that the decision had attacked and diminished freedom of opinion.

A Herald Sun piece titled 'Ruling against Andrew Bolt will harm healthy debate', say libertarians' called for the Act to be reviewed.

The article quoted 10 'libertarian' commentators besides Andrew Bolt. On careful reading, however, only two were critical of the decision: academic and former Murdoch employee Andrew Dodd and Institute of Public Affairs director John Roskam.

The campaign was underway. Brendan O'Neill wrote in The Australian, "For simply expressing his opinion about the weird fluidity of modern-day identity politics, Bolt was found guilty of racial discrimination."

O'Neill called the judgment "shocking" and an "alarming attack on journalistic liberty", and described it as having "spectacularly illiberal implications" and as serving up "a double whammy of censure and censorship".

O'Neill's published article made no reference to the multiple errors of fact made by Bolt in his articles. He did quote paragraph 23 of the judgment, shown in full above, but the published piece omitted the two key phrases, thus:

"He [Bromberg] slated Bolt for 'the manner in which the articles were written', for their 'inflammatory and provocative language'."

What happened to "they contained errors of fact" and "distortions of the truth"? Gone. Edited out. Bolt himself was quick to quote O'Neill's treatise.

Former Liberal candidate Chris Kenny also railed in The Australianthat the finding "has drastic implications for free speech". He acknowledged there were misrepresentations. But, hey, so what?

"Errors are always unfortunate and sometimes egregious but in this case they are hardly the central point," Kenny wrote. "Some of what Bromberg cites as factual error is more a matter of emphasis. It is a canard to suggest the case was about disputed facts: it was about apparent offence caused by Bolt's controversial and strongly worded opinion."

Kenny then emphasised the key Murdoch talking point: "It is Bolt's opinions and the way they were expressed that are at the heart of this case, not his facts."

Incidentally, Kenny erroneously referred also to "the now banned columns". They were not banned. They are still accessible online, with the required corrective notice.

The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) has vigorously backed News Limited. An article by the IPA's James Paterson achieved wide circulation the next day via The Drum. It was quick to assert that Bolt had been prosecuted "for expressing an unfashionable opinion".

So the case was clearly not about freedom of opinion. It was about freedom to spread untruths.

That column — also posted on the IPA website — completely ignored the untruths, misrepresentations and omissions made by Bolt, noting disingenuously that he had merely written "a couple of controversial articles".

Not surprisingly, Fairfax media ran significantly different analyses. "Bolt was wrong. Spectacularly wrong," wrote David Marr in The Sydney Morning Herald.

"Freedom of speech is not at stake here," Marr argued. "Judge Mordecai Bromberg is not telling the media what we can say or where we can poke our noses. He's attacking lousy journalism. He's saying that if Andrew Bolt of the Herald Sun wants to accuse people of appalling motives, he should start by getting his facts right."

This was a minority view, however, drowned out by louder voices. Among lawyers to comment was Professor James Allan of the University of Queensland. In The Australian he called for the Act to be repealed. "Start with section 18C, the provision relied on against Bolt," he wrote.

Allan continued, "But on top of that, Bromberg decided that the onus of proof for triggering the section 18D exemption lay on Bolt and, anyway, that the articles as written were not reasonable nor written in good faith. It is not at all clear on what basis the judge comes to those latter conclusions other than he thinks Bolt was being gratuitously offensive, that Bolt made a few factual errors…"

Firstly, onus of proof for 18D has always been on the respondent. (paragraph 337) It rests with the applicant for 18C.

Secondly, the judge made the basis for his conclusions perfectly clear: "The deficiencies I have relied upon … are about deficiencies in truth. The lack of truth in conduct which contravenes 18C, seems to me to have an obvious bearing on whether the conduct should be exempted from unlawfulness by s 18D." (386)

Thirdly, there were not "a few factual errors". There were many. Some "grossly incorrect".

So how many errors were there? In all the volumes of commentary it seems no-one has counted them.

The Herald Sun's hometown rival newspaper, The Age, began a list in the early aftermath of the judgment, in an article gleefully titled "Andrew Bolt: Australia's least accurate columnist?"

The Age was content to stop at 13. Bromberg in fact identified at least 19 errors — in two articles. (Paragraphs 351 to 413)

Since the judgment, comments in the blogosphere have amplified the flawed analysis of the judgment and Bolt's professionalism.

Henry Thornton declared, "Bolt's mistake was to put unwelcome truths into print, to point out that the Emperor has no clothes …" Again, there's no reference whatsoever to the untruths.

And, bizarrely, "Honesty about this [Aboriginal and Torres Islander] industry is now a violation of the law as understood by the political activists who have captured control of the judicial system."

Sustained commentary throughout the past year has reinforced these strained interpretations. Despite claiming that he had been gagged, Bolt himself has maintained a continual offensive.

Last month, in The Australian Financial Review, Bolt told former opposition leader Mark Latham he was still "very depressed, very alarmed and very cynical about these laws".

"What does it say about free speech?" he asked the former Labor leader. "My columns were figuratively burned — that's what it was, it was book burning."

The remarkable success of the Murdoch campaign was confirmed last month when Opposition Leader Tony Abbott promised to repeal part of the Racial Discrimination Act.

"The article for which Andrew Bolt was prosecuted under this legislation was almost certainly not his finest. There may have been some factual errors. Still, if free speech is to mean anything, it's others' right to say what you don't like, not just what you do. It's the freedom to write badly and rudely," Abbott reassured the IPA.

Wrong and wrong. There's nothing 'may have been' about the errors. They were clearly identified — 19 of them. And the Act does not impede bad or rude writing. It impedes fabrication.

What the judge has made of the year's commentary we don't know. But we do have the view of one of his former associates.

Earlier this month Benedict Coyne, who previously spent time as Justice Bromberg's associate, responded to Mr Abbott's promise. "Mr Bolt's shoddy journalism, however, is an unlikely candidate, on its merits, to give rise to a reconsideration of part IIA of the RDA.

"The lesson that is ripe to be drawn from the facts of this litigation is, we suggest, not that section 18C should be repealed but, rather, that Mr Bolt should go back to journalism school."

Finally, why so many untruths in Bolt's pieces? Were they accidental? How so with "editorial oversight by an editor of the Herald Sun, whose function is to check articles and identify any changes that may be required"? (13)

These questions are left hanging in Bromberg's paragraph 458 regarding remedy, which has not been referred to in any analysis on record: "Mr Bolt and HWT contended that the terms of any declaration made should expressly state that the conduct in contravention of s 18C 'did not constitute and was not based on racial hatred or racial vilification'. It is contended that the inclusion of these words will facilitate the educative effect of the declaration made and contribute to informed debate. I do not regard the inclusion of the words suggested as appropriate."

So the question was left open: if, as Bolt and the HWT maintain, the articles were not indeed "racial vilification" and were not based on "racial hatred", then what were they?



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

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

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


22 December, 2013

Another multiculturalist in Britain

A man living on benefits used his landlord's bank details to pay for subscriptions to adult TV channels.  Abdul Shahid has been jailed for three years, after carrying out a £192,000 fraud.

The 34-year-old set up a series of direct debits and used a national social housing firm's details to pay for them.

Unemployed Shahid was a tenant of Guinness Northern Counties Housing Association, which provides more than 60,000 homes across the country.  He managed to get hold of the bank details of his landlords enabling him to start a string of direct debits.  They paid for subscriptions to paid TV services, including adult channels.

He also used the bank details to pay off debts, his phone bill, as well as buying a  range of goods from a catalogue.

In addition the fraudster managed to get his hands on the bank details of Telefonica, the Spanish telecommunications company which owns O2, and started paying his rent to Guinness Northern Counties through their account.

Shahid also posed as a door-to-door salesman for Sky television and BT, gathering cash payments from unsuspecting customers.

Many of the people he duped spoke little English and were left to find that within weeks their services had been switched off and Shahid was uncontactable, police said.

At Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court today Shahid admitted seven counts of fraud by false representation and one theft and he was sentenced to a total of three years in prison.

Pc Sarah Langley said: 'Shahid has effectively used these bank accounts as his own over a period of several months.

'He has been able to pay for goods and services worth tens of thousands of pounds and the cost to the businesses involved is considerable.

'His history of offending proves he is dishonest to the bone and he clearly has no qualms about ripping off unsuspecting people and organisations.

'This was a complex fraud and demonstrates that he is clearly an extremely intelligent person and it is just a shame he has channelled these talents into criminality.'


She may as well have wished us Happy Winterval!' Liberal MP who sent out Happy Holidays card faces backlash for 'marginalising' Christmas

Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt has provoked anger among her constituents after she omitted the word 'Christmas' from her annual card in favour of the message 'Happy Holidays'.

Residents accused the Liberal Democrat politician of being politically correct and unBritish, forcing Mrs Burt to issue an apology.

Constituent Aminah Mehboob said: 'I am shocked that she has employed an obviously American phrase, rather than a more British greeting.'

One pensioner told The Birmingham Mail: “I feel offended. In my 66 years of living in this country, it is the first time I’ve seen our traditional Christmas card abandoned. I wonder which tradition we will be losing next.”

Mrs Burt has apologised for her decision to wish local residents ‘Happy Holidays’ - a seasonal Christmas greeting preferred by Americans.  She said: “I am sorry if my Christmas card offended anyone, and I look forward to continuing to fight for improved local services in the New Year.  'I have no hesitation in wishing all my constituents a very Merry Christmas.'

Resident Adam Higgs complained: ‘She may as well have wished her constituents a Merry Winterval since that is the name Birmingham City Council once used to seemingly marginalise use of the word Christmas.’

‘I would wish those who celebrate them a Happy Diwali, Hanukkah, Eid, Chinese New Year, to name a few celebrations, not Happy Holidays. Of course, unlike Lorely, I have no problem in wishing all a Merry Christmas,’ he said.

Julian Knight, the Conservative Solihull candidate said the card was a “nonsense” and that several people had contacted him to complain.

He said: ‘No one can be offended by being wished a Merry or Happy Christmas. It is a Christian festival and those of other faiths, welcome it as such.’

'This politically correct, treading on eggshells approach doesn't do anyone any favours. We should wish each other a Merry Christmas and be proud.'


British welfare  controls rushed through: EU migrants will now have to wait three months before they can claim out-of-work handouts

EU migrants will have to wait for at least three months before they can claim any out-of-work benefits under emergency regulations to take effect from January 1, David Cameron will announce today.

The Prime Minister will say he understands the concerns of voters worried that incomers should not be allowed to take advantage of Britain’s benefits system and public services.

The Government has rushed to assemble a package of measures because Britain is required to lift temporary restrictions on the free movement of people from Romania and Bulgaria at the start of next year.

The new time limit on benefit claims had not been expected to be in place in time for January 1.  But Mr Cameron will today confirm that regulations are being laid before Parliament to bring them in by that date.

Previously, EU migrants have been able to start claiming jobseeker’s allowance and other benefits within weeks of arriving – prompting concern that some people are arriving, signing on and only then looking for work.

‘The hard-working British public are rightly concerned that migrants do not come here to exploit our public services and our benefits system,’ Mr Cameron said.

‘As part of our long-term plan for the economy, we are taking direct action to fix the welfare and immigration systems so we end the “something for nothing culture” and deliver for people who play by the rules.

‘Accelerating the start of these new restrictions will make the UK a less attractive place for EU migrants who want to come here and try to live off the state. I want to send the clear message that while Britain is very much open for business, we will not welcome people who don’t want to contribute.’

Other measures already announced include cutting off benefits after six months for EU jobseekers with no employment prospect and stopping them from making housing benefit claims.

The Government is also toughening the so-called ‘habitual residence test’ to include a minimum earnings threshold, to check whether migrants are in proper employment.

There will also be a 12-month re-entry ban for people who have been removed for not working or being self-sufficient, and £20,000 fines for businesses found to be undercutting British workers by paying migrants less than the national minimum wage.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith announced last week that migrants will also be expected to demonstrate a ‘reasonable standard of English’ or be barred from claiming benefits. Migrants are to be tested on their language skills to determine whether they are likely to prove a barrier to them finding employment.

Yvette Cooper, Labour’s shadow home secretary, said: ‘Labour called for these benefit restrictions nine months ago. Yet David Cameron has left it until the very last minute to squeeze this change in. Why is the Government leaving everything until the last minute.’

The European Commission has objected to parts of the way Britain applies the habitual residence test, claiming it breaks the right to free movement across the EU and has started legal action.


'This is a case of compensation culture gone mad': Judge criticises claim that restaurant should have told a mother about the risk of using sugar dispenser when her daughter cut her finger

A senior judge has described a mother's attempt to sue a restaurant after her five-year-old daughter caught her finger in a sugar jar as 'compensation culture gone mad.'

Vanessa Behan took a High Court action over the incident, which happened when her daughter Robyn was nearly three years old in September 2011.

Ms Behan claimed her daughter suffered a laceration to the base of her right little finger and had to be taken to hospital. She said the company that runs the restaurant was liable for the injury.

The north Dublin woman began her legal battle in the Circuit Court earlier this year but lost her case in July when a judge ruled that 'common sense must prevail'.

She then took her case to the High Court. President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns yesterday dismissed the case.

The Irish Independent has reported how after hearing the details of the case, Judge Kearns said: 'Quite frankly, this is another case of compensation culture gone mad concerning an extraordinary suggestion that the restaurant should have warned Robyn's mother when she was being shown to a table that the sugar dispenser had a risk associated with it.'

Ms Behan now faces a legal bill of between €50,000 and €100,000 for her failed lawsuits in both courts.

The woman's barrister John Wilde-Crosbie argued the child was entitled to damages for 'personal injury, loss, damage and expense' incurred by the injuries caused to her daughter.

The court heard the little girl has suffered 'pain, general limitation of movement, loss, damage and a cosmetic deformity' and was left with a small scar on her finger.

The court heard the child got her finger stuck in the small hole in the top of the jar that allows sugar to be dispensed.

The containers are used as standard in the US-style 50s-themed diners. The High Court heard that Ms Behan had brought her daughter Robyn for a meal in the Blanchardstown shopping centre branch of Eddie Rocket's in west Dublin more than two years ago, only for the child's finger to become 'stuck in a defective and/or unprotected sugar jar on the table'.

After the child 'became distressed' because her finger was bleeding and stuck in the dispenser, staff came to her assistance but were unable to free her finger, the court heard.

The child was then brought to the emergency department of Temple Street Children's Hospital.

The fast-food business was accused of 'causing, permitting and/or allowing a defective sugar dispenser to be and to remain on the table' at which the girl was seated. In the court claim, Eddie Rocket's was also accused of failing to train staff adequately.

Sample sugar dispensers from the fast-food restaurant were examined by Judge Kearns, who also stepped down from the bench to examine the child's injured finger at one point during the hearing.

The five-year-old was brought up to the front of the court by her mother to meet the judge and display her injury.

Judge Kearns threw out the case after hearing expert evidence from both sides during a one-day hearing, saying: 'I am dismissing the case.'

The judge awarded costs in favour of Eddie Rocket's, saying: 'The defendant [Eddie Rocket's] has been brought into the Circuit Court and the High Court. They have had to defend this claim twice and it has been dismissed twice.'

Earlier, as the judge examined one of the dispensers, engineer Seán Walsh told the court: 'My view was this type of dispenser is unsuitable to an environment that markets at families.'

But under cross-examination, Hugh Mohan SC, for Eddie Rocket's Ireland Ltd, put it to Mr Walsh that if that logic is applied to restaurant utensils in general, then 'parents would have to eat with plastic knives and forks and with plastic plates'.

Mr Walsh argued the hole in the top of the jar presented a 'known hazard' for a child. To this, Mr Mohan said: 'Mr Walsh, what planet are you on? That, on no basis, could be perceived as a foreseeable risk, that utensil.'

Later, Mr Mohan agreed to withdraw the, 'what planet are you on?' remark, assuring the expert witness: 'I do respect your professionalism.'

Chartered engineer Ian Kavanagh told the court there are no regulations dealing with 'the design of sugar dispensers'.

In July, Ms Behan told the Circuit Court the lid of the sugar jar had been cutting into Robyn's right hand little finger 'like a blade'. However, Judge Jacqueline Linnane found there was no negligence on the part of the restaurant and rejected her case.

A stay had been placed on the resulting legal bill pending the High Court hearing.



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

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

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


20 December, 2013

Victory for intolerant feminism as shop chain pledges that all of their toys will be gender neutral by the spring

Will boy's toys become black-market buys?

Let Toys Be Toys are celebrating today after retail giant Marks and Spencer announced that it will ensure all toys stocked in store are gender neutral by the spring.

The parent-led group campaigns against gender stereotyping in toy shops, and started putting pressure on Marks and Spencer at the beginning of the year.

Mystery shoppers for the campaign found toy marketing at the store to be one of the most gendered on the high street with Marks and Spencer selling a wide range of science and tech-themed toys branded as 'boy stuff', and craft toys marketed only to girls, branded 'Lil' Miss Arty'.

Kerry Brennan from Let Toys Be Toys said, 'We're really pleased that Marks and Spencer have publicly committed to leave behind these outdated stereotypes. Girls can enjoy tech and science, and boys love arts and crafts too - why turn them away?

It's especially good that Marks and Spencer are tackling their packaging too, as the problem of sexism in the toyshop goes far beyond just the retailers’ signs.

'In many stores, pink-and-blue colour coding, gender-specific packaging and promotion of toys continue to send the message that some interests are only for boys, and others only for girls.'

Marks and Spencer’s announcement is part of a wider trend on the high street.

Twelve toys retailers have agreed to take down gendered signs after contact with Let Toys Be Toys, and the group's recent survey of the high street across the UK and Ireland showed a 60 per cent reduction in shops using ‘Boys’ and ‘Girls’ signs in their toy departments since the campaign was formed a year ago.

Laura Bates, founder of Everyday Sexism says: 'I understand that for some people this may sound like a minor issue, but it isn't until you have heard the hundreds of stories we've received about little girls genuinely believing they 'aren't allowed' to be doctors because science is a 'boy thing', or asking if they can be turned into a boy so they can go into space, that you realise the true impact gendered toy marketing really does have on young children.  [If toys are so influential, why not buy boy's toys for girls?]

'Why cordon off science, adventure, technology and engineering as 'boys' toys' from such a young age when only one in ten UK engineers is female and we're struggling to recruit enough women into STEM careers?

'Why send the message to boys at a young age that dolls, or cooking are only 'for girls'? Don't we want them to grow up to be great parents and partners too? It's the sort of issue that some people will scoff at, but when you stop and really think about it, removing gendered toy division really is an important step forward.'

Marks and Spencer say on the issue: We offer a wide range of fun and educational toys which are designed to appeal to children regardless of gender.

'We always listen carefully to feedback from our customers and based on this a decision was made earlier this year that by spring next year all our toys will be gender neutral.'


Navy to remove Nativity secenes at Guantánamo after some troops complain

The commander of the Guantánamo Bay naval base decided on Wednesday to move Nativity scenes from two dining halls following complaints that the decorations improperly promoted Christianity.

Both Nativity scenes will be moved to the courtyard of the base chapel, said Kelly Wirfel, a spokeswoman for Capt. John Nettleton, commander of the base in southeastern Cuba.

The displays were set up by foreign contractors who manage the two dining facilities and were “not intended to endorse any religion,” Wirfel said in response to concerns raised by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

The group, which advocates for religious freedom in the U.S. military, had said earlier that it had been approached by troops who felt the Nativity scenes and Christmas decorations were inappropriate.

Wirfel said base officials had received no complaints about the displays. Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said the organisation received an email from 18 service members who were afraid that any direct appeal to commanders would be ignored and result in retribution.

“They are terrified. Right now, there is a witch hunt going on to find out who did this,” said Weinstein, a former Air Force lawyer who said the troops wanted to remain anonymous.

Eleven of those who complained are Protestant or Roman Catholic and the rest are Muslim, Jewish, agnostic or atheist, he said.

The base has a population of nearly 6,000 military and civilian personnel. Outside the coils of razor wire surrounding an area where nearly 160 prisoners are held, the base has set up many exterior displays of Christmas lights and other decorations along wide streets, creating the feel of a typical suburban American town in December.

The challenged decorations are inside two dining facilities, one of which is used primarily by people who work inside the prison such as guards and translators. An email sent to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation from the troops said the Nativity scenes went up in late November in the centre of the eating area and no other religions were represented despite the presence of other faiths on the base.

“By placing these displays in prominent common areas, the impression is that one faith is better than others and that the military institution singularly promotes Christianity,” said the email, provided to The Associated Press by the organisation without the names of the senders.

The email said prominent members of their command had shown “Christian religious undertones,” which led them to believe they could not complain directly about the decorations.

The senders said they put up with a great deal of hardship in their jobs, including having bodily fluids hurled at them by prisoners, and should not be made uncomfortable on their time off.

“We would prefer to not have a large deal made out of this situation and only ask that these clear violations of military policy, and the Constitution, be removed immediately,” the email said.


What does it say about British values when a judge is rebuked for speaking up for marriage?

A prominent High Court judge, Sir Paul Coleridge, has been reprimanded by the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice, and found guilty of ‘judicial misconduct’.

It is a serious ruling. Has Sir Paul been consorting with members of the criminal classes? Was he caught driving under the influence? Or perhaps he has delivered a spectacularly wrong-headed judgment?

The answer is that he has done none of these things, or anything at all reprehensible. The Judicial Conduct and Investigations Office, which acts on behalf of the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice, has taken exception to Sir Paul’s views on marriage, of which he is strongly in favour.

You may think he is accused of proselytising his opinions during court cases, but that is not the charge. No, Sir Paul has fallen foul of the authorities because he gave an interview to The Times newspaper almost exactly a year ago, and wrote a piece for the Daily Telegraph last June. For these little acts of candour he must be punished.

He suggested during the interview that the Government had spent too much energy in championing gay marriage, which he thinks is of minority concern, and too little energy in supporting married couples. But he emphasised that his independent charity, the Marriage Foundation, did not take a stance on gay marriage.

In the Telegraph article he took issue with a report which suggested that stable couples tend, whether married or not, to do equally well. He argued that this is beside the point. The crucial issue is that co-habiting couples are far more likely to break up than married ones, with all the resulting harm to children.

Until quite recently Sir Paul’s beliefs would have been shared by most judges. (He thinks they still are, but I have my doubts.) His views are empirical rather than sternly moralistic. As a judge in the family courts for more than a decade, he has seen at first hand the devastating consequences of family breakdown.

As he put it in a recent article he wrote for the Mail (for which he hasn’t been censured, or at least not yet), ‘study after study’ has shown that ‘the single most vital factor, by far, in the successful development of children is a committed, healthy relationship between their parents.’

And such a relationship, he observed, is far more likely to last if the couple are married. According to research carried out by his pro-marriage organisation cited in his article, ‘cohabiting parents account for only 19 per cent of all couples — but the separation of cohabiting parents makes up 48 per cent of all family breakdowns’.

What alarms me is that an intelligent man who has been presented with more evidence of family breakdown in his professional career than most of us, and who has studied and thought about the reasons for its rapid increase over recent years, should have had his knuckles publicly rapped by the Judicial Conduct and Investigations Office.

It goes without saying that judges should not make political remarks, but Sir Paul’s comments cannot be so construed. He was expressing his considered beliefs — beliefs that would have been held by about 99 per cent of sentient beings until quite recently.

His crime, of course, was to veer off the official script. In such cases free speech is not allowed. My strong suspicion is that there would have been no reprimand from the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice had he expressed the now fashionable view that marriage is merely one of several lifestyle choices, none of which is preferable.

There were no official reprimands for Mr Justice Eady, or any discernible intake of breath, when in a series of judgments the learned judge appeared to place no particular importance on the institution of marriage.

In one case in 2006, he ruled that a cuckolded husband could not name a man (a famous sporting figure) who had seduced his wife.  In Mr Justice Eady’s view, rights of privacy trumped natural sentiments of outrage at adultery. The legal estate of marriage was subservient, and seemingly not worth upholding.

Two years later, the same Mr Justice Eady took a relaxed, almost humorous, view of the deviant sexual antics of Formula One racing chief Max Mosley (a married man) in a mega-orgy in which blood was shed, women were beaten and other amazing practices took place.

I can’t say whether Mr Justice Coleridge’s views or those of Mr Justice Eady are more widely represented among the judiciary. But I do know that there is a marked reluctance among the political classes to do anything to uphold or strengthen marriage.

One way of achieving this is to give allowances to married mothers who stay at home to look after their children. Whereas those in Britain currently receive no support, mothers in Norway receive nearly £400 a month for a child up to the age of three, and in Germany parents who stay at home are paid two thirds of take-home salary up to a maximum of £1,520 a month for 14 months.

No wonder that, according to a study just published by the University of Trento, in Italy, stay-at-home mothers in Britain feel under twice as much pressure as those in the rest of Europe.

From April next year, some married couples in Britain will be able to make use of  a transferable tax allowance worth £3.85 a week at  most. This extremely modest innovation — indeed, some would call it footling — has been criticised by Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, and is known to be opposed by the Chancellor, George Osborne.

Meanwhile, as a result of this Government’s policies, families in which both parents work have been handed up to £1,200 a year for each child to help with childcare costs. It’s not a remotely even playing field.

The question is why, to a greater extent than anywhere else in Europe, our political class is unwilling to uphold marriage. I think it unlikely that Nick Clegg or George Osborne — or indeed the Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling, or the Lord Chief Justice, Sir John Thomas, who have upbraided Sir Paul Coleridge — have had experiences that have turned them against the institution.

Why not do more to encourage it, then? The very same people who dispute that tax incentives can strengthen marriage have no doubt that tax measures can be used to influence other forms of human behaviour — for example, tax breaks to encourage saving and charity-giving, or penal duties on tobacco and alcohol.

The truth is that deep in our political culture there is an unwillingness to strengthen marriage because it is widely regarded by our elite as just another lifestyle option. The prevalence of such beliefs surely owes much to Britain’s status as the most secular, and irreligious, country in Europe.

Along comes Sir Paul  Coleridge, cautiously and judiciously speaking in favour of society’s most important institution, and he is cut down by the judicial Establishment. A man who has served justice is rebuked and humiliated. Unsurprisingly, he has decided to thrown in his wig and robes five years before he is required to.

Sir Paul knows we have the worst marriage breakdown record in Europe. And it is getting worse. The politicians do little or nothing about it; the Churches are regrettably too weak. This, sadly, is a country in which a judge can be charged with ‘judicial  misconduct’ for speaking the simple truth.


Australia:  Conservative  appointment to head Human Rights Commission stirs controversy

The Abbott government has sent shockwaves through the anti-discrimination and political establishments by appointing one of the nation's most vociferous critics of the Human Rights Commission as its new chief.

Tim Wilson, for the past seven years a policy director of the Institute of Public Affairs, a free-market think tank that early this year called for the abolition of the Human Rights Commission, will be informally known as the "Freedom Commissioner".

Mr Wilson, who resigned from both the IPA and the Liberal Party soon after the announcement, told Fairfax Media he was determined to "refocus" the commission on defending free speech rather than concentrating on anti-discrimination work.

Attorney-General George Brandis made it clear Mr Wilson's $325,000-a-year appointment was made on both political and ideological grounds.

"The appointment of Mr Wilson to this important position will help restore balance to the Australian Human Rights Commission which, during the period of the Labor government, has become increasingly narrow and selective in its view of human rights," he said.

On Wednesday, Senator Brandis said that he knew Mr Wilson was a very strong advocate of traditional, liberal rights, such as the freedom of expression and freedom of the press. 

"I think he is the person with the policy background and the intellectual grunt of the public reputation to be just the person to be the Freedom Commissioner," Senator Brandis told ABC Radio.

The Attorney-General also argued that there was no contradiction between Mr Wilson's appointment and his previously expressed belief that the Human Rights Commission should be abolished. 

"People can have a view about whether or not a particular agency or organ of government should exist or not  but hat doesn't foreclose them for serving that agency or organ of government while its exists," he said.

When asked if he - like Mr Wilson - believed that Section 18 c should be abolished, Senator Brandis replied: "That's something I'm looking at at the moment".

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus described Mr Wilson's appointment as "dubious".

"How can Mr Wilson possibly undertake the role of a Human Rights Commissioner when it's obvious he has such contempt for the commission itself?" Mr Dreyfus said.

"By appointing Mr Wilson, Senator Brandis has sent a strong signal about exactly the kind of blatant political agenda he wishes to pursue as Attorney-General."

Greens legal affairs spokeswoman Penny Wright described Mr Wilson's views as "extreme".

"The Attorney-General has already made it clear he thinks some human rights are more important than others, including that free speech ought to trump anti-discrimination laws," she said.

Mr Wilson, who described himself as a "an economic and social liberal and a cultural and institutional conservative" conceded that "no doubt some people will find my appointment challenging". However, he did not expect any of his fellow commissioners to resign.

Commission president Gillian Triggs, who has been acting as Human Rights Commissioner since August last year, offered cautious support.

She said although Mr Wilson had been critical of the commission, it was implicit in his acceptance of the position that he recognised the commission undertook worthwhile work.

On Wednesday, Ms Triggs said she expected Mr Wilson to bring "some fresh air" to the organisation.

But he had to understand he had to work with other commissioners in his new role, Professor Triggs said.

"This is not the place for party-political rhetoric," she told ABC radio, adding the commission needed to be independent of government.

Professor Triggs said the commission could see some value in amending Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

"Of course it’s possible to tweak it to amend it to take bad language out, put new language in that strengthens it," she said.

Early this year, in a heated debate on ABC-TV with Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, Mr Wilson condemned the commission as a "silent observer" which had displayed a "massive absence of knowledge and judgment on freedom of speech" when the Gillard government tried to impose new regulations on the media.

Mr Wilson made clear on Monday he supported repealing the section of the Racial Discrimination Act that made it illegal to insult or offend people on the basis of their race.

Conservative News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt was found to have breached in 2011 section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act after he wrote two articles implying some light-skinned people who identified as indigenous Australians were doing so for personal gain.

Prominent members of the Abbott Coalition, particularly Senator Brandis, have been fiercely critical of the ruling and have moved to modify the section of the Racial Discrimination Act that landed Mr Bolt in trouble.



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

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

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


19 December, 2013

With More Women Bringing Home the Bacon, Who’s Going to Fry It Up?

Cathy Reisenwitz

With More Women Bringing Home the Bacon, Who’s Going to Fry It Up?

The New York Times has an interesting think piece up on upper-class gender relations: Wall Street Mothers, Stay-Home Fathers.

The thrust of the piece is that many of the women with children who manage to make a killing on Wall Street are able to do so because their husbands have taken their feet off the gas pedal on their own careers and are handling things on the domestic front.

What the piece helps illustrate is that making a lot of money in America still mostly requires a lot of time spent working. It is therefore mostly incompatible with being the primary person responsible for raising children and running a household. With the ascent of women to the upper echelons of finance and other highly paid careers, the question for families now and in the future becomes, who is going to take care of the house and kids?

There are three primary responses to this question offered by most thinkers and commentators. But all of them have serious drawbacks and miss a huge part of the picture.

Women Love Being Homemakers

The first response is that women are naturally suited to and mostly like being the primary person responsible for raising children and running a household. Therefore, they should do it and let their husbands bring home the bacon.

It’s true that, when asked, most women say they don’t want to work as many hours as most men. As Independent Women’s Forum Executive Director Sabrina Schaeffer recently pointed out:

"It may be unpopular – or simply not politically fashionable to say this – but most women don’t want to be Sheryl Sandberg. The Pew Research Center recently found that if offered the choice, only 23 percent of married mothers would choose to work full-time outside of the home. What’s more, “working fathers place more importance on having a high-paying job, while working mothers are more concerned with having a flexible schedule.”

The problem here is that it’s a solution which relies on but does not critique the role of pernicious gender-based expectations in shaping what women "are suited to" and "want."

How ironic is this. By telling women that they are best suited to and should enjoy staying home and taking care of kids, the culture influences their desire to do so. Most women don’t want to be seen as “masculine,” just as most men don’t want to be seen as “feminine.” Mostly without ever realizing it, women are making choices that ensure they meet what they’ve spent their whole lives hearing are the expectations of their gender.

It’s also losing credibility as an accurate description of what women are best suited to as women are earning more degrees than men, and are also demonstrably better suited to earning money in an information- and service-based economy than are men.

Women Need Wives

The second response is that as now women are earning more degrees than men, it's time for women to step into breadwinner roles and men to become the new wives. This is a big part of the premise of Lean In.

The problem here is that, as the article shows, even men without jobs aren't doing as much in the childcare and household duties arena as unemployed wives do. And there is still societal stigma directed at men who don't do paid work. As mentioned before, gendered expectations persist. In this environment, unpaid work is seen as “feminine,” and a patriarchal culture swiftly punishes men seen a man acting like women.

In fact, TIME just posted a response to the NYT article, Vivia Chen: When Stay-at-Home Husbands Are Embarrassing to Their Wives, pointing out how many feel about such arrangements:

"All of this points to our entrenched ambivalence about changing gender roles. Men in these situations often feel alienated, particularly if they are surrounded by stay-at-home moms. But the power moms with the stay-at-home husbands are just as uneasy, often more embarrassed than proud that they’ve upset the traditional order."

Workplaces Should Cater to Women

The third response is that American workplaces should adapt to allow women the flexibility they need to be primary caretakers AND earn big paychecks. This is the solution offered by Anne-Marie Slaughter.

The problem here is that it is kind of a fool's errand. As pointed out earlier, women don't want to work as long or as hard as men, and no amount of corporate coddling is going to make them want to.

The Fourth Way

Who should handle raising the kids and taking care of the house? Simply put, it should be whoever’s opportunity cost is lowest.

Besides being a hindrance to women, gendered expectations actually inhibit economic growth by distorting labor markets. This wasn’t much of a problem in the past. In an agriculture and manufacturing economy, most women really didn’t have as much earning potential as most men. But in an information- and service-based economy, that’s no longer true. Keeping women with high earning potential in the home because they feel that’s where they belong robs society of their potential value in careers.

But where does that leave men? Simply put, high-earning women who want to unlock their potential should wife uneducated men. The big drawback to this solution is that it requires that individuals defy gendered expectations. This is a tall order, and people who defy expectations are stigmatized accordingly.

But it’s an economic reality that people who arrange their lives this way will be more financially successful than people who either don’t get married or cling to traditional gender roles. Economics will eventually re-dictate gendered expectations to conform to what’s most effective. The winners will be the early adopters.


The surname of the lady who wrote this article could be translated as "Giant Joke" and I suspect the last two paragraphs above are satirical.  They are economically rational but lead to a conclusion that most women abhor -- marrying a man who is "beneath" them

Hey, Rich Kids: If You Get Wasted and Kill People With Your Truck Blame It On “Affluenza”

Lawyer’s for 16-year-old Ethan Couch were able to pawn off on a doe-eyed court that “affluenza” was to blame for his stealing beer at WalMart, getting wasted and then plowing his out of control Ford F-350 into a group of folks, killing four.

Affluenza? Please.

For those who’re not hip to “affluenza“, allow me to help you add another word to that ever growing list of PC terms spun by blame-shifting therapists in order to explain away criminal behavior by little Ethans who need to go to prison instead of a luxury rehab in Newport Beach:

Affluenza is a portmanteau of “affluence” and “influenza“. It’s the malady of rich kids whose parents never let them suffer the consequences of their bad behavior. In my day we called them spoiled little bastards and the way we’d help them get healed from affluenza is by beating the crap out of them at school when mommy and daddy weren’t around.

According to a defense psychologist, this is what Ethan suffers from and we should feel sorry for this brat. Yep, these wizards postulated that little Ethan was unable to link his criminal/deadly behavior with its being bad due to his parents’ teaching him that wealth buys privilege. Therefore, to impart to him this hard lesson in reality, his parents hired out an expensive law firm that successfully convinced a court that numb-nuts needed rehab versus jail. Wow. Way to go. Lesson learned.

God knows this ain’t the last specious, bullet-dodging word we’re doomed to learn to let evil people off the hook. Mark my word, some redneck is going to die trying to ride one of T.Boone Pickens’ wind turbines after getting all liquored up at Hooters. His trailer trash parents, upon learning it was one of T. Boone’s turbines, smell blood in the water and sue Pickens for not taking into account their sons Dipshitzophrenia that disallows him to time his jump on to the moving blades. That would be the swiftly rotating unsafe blades, mind you.

Hey, losers. Two can play at that game. I say our conservative reps in the House should start getting more vociferous regarding their disdain for BHO and The RINOS. They could blame their new, aggressive outspokenness on a Stercore Tauri Disorder that makes ‘em scream “BS” uncontrollably when those twins trample upon our founding docs.

Silliness aside, we have four dead individuals who lost their life because this punk didn’t have a life; and now walks away unpunished because our land defines deviancy down.

Personally, as you can imagine, I feel no sympathy for Ethan’s made up ailment. No, my empathy begins and ends with the victims and their shattered families who, not only have to live with their loved one’s loss, but they have the additional pain of watching our justice system dole out a comfy sentence to a kid who should swing.


Federal judge decriminalizes polygamy in  Utah

First, homosexual marriage and then polygamy.  Leftists scoffed at that sequence but it is happening

Judge Clark Waddoups’ 91-page ruling, issued Friday, sets a new legal precedent in Utah, effectively decriminalizing polygamy. It is the latest development in a lawsuit filed by the family of Kody Brown, who became famous while starring in cable TV channel TLC’s reality series "Sister Wives."

Waddoups’ ruling attacks the parts of Utah’s law making cohabitation illegal. In the introduction, Waddoups says the phrase "or cohabits with another person" is a violation of both the First and 14th amendments. Waddoups later writes that while there is no "fundamental right" to practice polygamy, the issue really comes down to "religious cohabitation." In the 1800s — when the mainstream LDS Churh still practiced polygamy — "religious cohabitation" in Utah could have actually resulted in "multiple purportedly legal marriages." Today, however, simply living together doesn’t amount to being "married," Waddoups writes.

"The court finds the cohabitation prong of the Statute unconstitutional on numerous grounds and strikes it," Waddoups later writes.

Utah’s bigamy statute technically survived the ruling. However, Waddoups took a narrow interpretation of the words "marry" and "purports to marry," meaning that bigamy remains illegal only in the literal sense — when someone fraudulently acquires multiple marriage licences.

Jonathan Turley, the attorney representing the Brown family, called the opinion "magnificent" Friday in a phone conversation. In a blog post, he added that it strikes down "the criminalization of polygamy" and will allow "plural families to step out for the first time in their communities and live their lives openly among their neighbors."

"Regardless of how you feel about the legal issues in the case," Turley told the Tribune on Friday, "this is a decision that was rendered after considerable amount of reflecting and consideration by the court."

Turley explained that the ruling means everyone is entitled to freedom of religion as well as due process. He also expects the ruling to stand up over time, and potential appeals, which the Utah Attorney General’s Office has indicated in the past it might pursue.

The Browns filed their lawsuit in July 2011, arguing Utah’s law violated their right to privacy. The family’s argument relied primarily on the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down the Texas law banning sodomy, which was celebrated by gay rights advocates.

At the time, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff responded that the bigamy law is different because it involves entire families, not just consenting adults.

The lawsuit also came at a time when the Brown family faced possible prosecution from Utah County. However, nearly a year after the Browns filed their lawsuit, Utah County District Attorney Jeff Buhman announced that his office wouldn’t file bigamy charges against any consenting adult polygamists unless violence, abuse or fraud was involved.


OIC Blames Free Speech for "Islamophobia" in West

by Soeren Kern

The common thread that binds the entire document together is the OIC's repeated insistence that the main culprit responsible for "the institutionalization of Islamophobia" in Western countries is freedom of speech.  "The Istanbul Process started with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.... We need to build on it." — OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Isanoglu

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, an influential bloc of 57 Muslim countries, has released the latest edition of its annual "Islamophobia" report.

The "Sixth OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia: October 2012-September 2013" is a 94-page document purporting to "offer a comprehensive picture of Islamophobia, as it exists mainly in contemporary Western societies."

But the primary objective of the OIC—headquartered in Saudi Arabia and funded by dozens of Muslim countries that systematically persecute Christians and Jews—has long been to pressure Western countries into passing laws that would ban "negative stereotyping of Islam."

In this context, the OIC's annual Islamophobia report—an integral part of a sustained effort to prove the existence of a "culture of intolerance of Islam and Muslims" in the West—is in essence a lobbying tool to pressure Western governments to outlaw all forms of "Islamophobia," a nebulous concept invented by the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1990s.

The OIC report comprises five main chapters and several annexes aimed at documenting "incidents of slandering and demeaning Muslims and their sacred symbols including attacks on mosques, verbal abuses and physical attacks against adherents of Islam, mainly due to their cultural traits."

But the common thread that binds the entire document together is the OIC's repeated insistence that the main culprit responsible for "the institutionalization of Islamophobia" in Western countries is freedom of speech, which the OIC claims has "contributed enormously to snowball Islamophobia and manipulate the mindset of ordinary Western people to develop a 'phobia' of Islam and Muslims."

According to the OIC, freedom of expression is shielding "the perpetrators of Islamophobia, who seek to propagate irrational fear and intolerance of Islam, [who] have time and again aroused unwarranted tension, suspicion and unrest in societies by slandering the Islamic faith through gross distortions and misrepresentations and by encroaching on and denigrating the religious sentiments of Muslims."

Much more HERE


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

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

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


18 December, 2013

Another one of Britain's multiculturalists at work

A husband [above] has been jailed for 17 years after he killed his wife by stabbing her at least 15 times then running her over with his car because he thought she was having an affair with a neighbour.

Minta Adiddo sent Akua Agyeman a Christmas card as she was being treated in hospital, blaming the attack on 'devils', the Old Bailey heard.

The 32-year-old mother of two died two months after the brutal stabbing, which was witnessed by her five-year-old daughter.

Adiddo, 38, was today given a life sentence after being convicted of murder, with a minimum term of 17 years.

The Sainsbury's worker from Enfield, North London, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter, although he denied murder.

The court heard he suspected his wife was having an affair with their neighbour Oledapo Etti-Williams in October 2012.  Mr Etti-Williams denied it, but said they exchanged three to four 'sometimes flirtatious' texts a day - and phone records showed they had sometimes sent as many as 80 messages in one day.

On November 5, Adiddo stabbed his wife with a large kitchen knife in their bedroom while their one-year-old daughter slept in a cot next to them.

Ms Agyeman managed to escape through the living room window, waking neighbours with her screams.

But her husband chased her down and stabbed her again in the street as she lay on the ground, leaving her with 15 separate stab wounds.

When he realised she still wasn't dead he got in his car and tried to run her over, almost ploughing into shocked witnesses who were tending to her.

Ms Agyeman's last words as she lay injured were to ask if her children were all right.

She fought for her life in hospital for nearly two months, but she was so badly injured that she would have been permanently paralysed if she had survived.

Adiddo fled the scene but was arrested after police spotted him driving his car shortly the next day still wearing his blood-stained shirt.

In victim impact statements read to the court, Ms Agyeman's family said the 'vibrant, sociable and intelligent' 32-year-old was 'irreplaceable.'  The judge heard her relatives in Ghana were now struggling financially without her support.

They said they had accepted Adiddo as a son and treated him with respect and dignity 'but all he has done is inflict pain and suffering on our family'.


So, crime DOES pay: Two men fight deportation to war-torn Congo. One is a thug who assaulted a policeman. The other's an innocent asylum seeker. Guess which of them gets to stay in the UK?

A violent foreign criminal has been allowed to remain in Britain – while a failed asylum seeker from the same country has been sent back home in an ‘utterly perverse’ human rights judgment that appears to show that crime does pay.

The Congolese thug has served time for robbery in the UK and once attacked a policeman, but has been spared deportation after a court ruled he would face being locked up if he returned to his native country.

A senior judge overturned the Home Office’s attempts to boot him out because of the risk that he would suffer torture or ill-treatment, contrary to human rights laws, in the ‘severe’ prisons of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The unnamed man, who is 26, may now even be granted asylum in the UK.

But a fellow countryman who was seeking refugee status in Britain, but had committed no crime, was told he could be safely deported because he did not have a criminal record, and so would not face detention from the authorities.

Last night it was feared the High Court ruling will lead to many more offenders born in the war-torn African state being allowed to remain in the UK after serving jail terms, despite Ministers’ repeated attempts to crack down on dubious human rights claims.

Dominic Raab, Conservative MP for Esher and Walton, who is a former Foreign Office lawyer, said: ‘This utterly perverse ruling allows yet another spurious human rights claim to scupper the deportation system.

'It will have a far-reaching impact for public protection and border control. We urgently need to change the law.’

Thousands of people from the DRC have come to Britain to escape the bloodiest conflict in modern African history, with an estimated five million deaths since 1998.

The UK authorities have tried to return those deemed not to have genuine asylum claims or who have committed crimes while in this country. There were 62 ‘enforced removals’ to DRC in 2010, 49 in 2011 and 32 last year.

Failed asylum seekers and convicted criminals have argued that they would face breaches of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights – which protects against torture or inhuman treatment – back in Africa.

But in a judgment published last week, a senior judge has ruled that failed asylum seekers can be safely sent back while the criminals cannot.

Mr Justice Phillips considered the case of a man known only as ‘P’ who arrived in Britain in 2001 from the DRC and was given indefinite leave to remain.

When still a teenager, he was convicted of ‘street robbery, affray and assault on a police officer’. He was sentenced to detention for public protection in 2006, with a minimum two years, for a serious robbery.

The judge also looked at the case of a 28-year-old, known as ‘R’, who came to Britain in 2010 and sought asylum on the grounds that he was a Tutsi who faced persecution in the DRC. But this claim was refused.

The pair were due to be sent home on the same flight in July 2012, until their lawyers were granted a last-ditch reprieve following comments made by a DRC ambassador to an English politician concerned about the plight of those returned to the country.

According to Mary Glindon, Labour MP for North Tyneside, the diplomat ‘typecast all of these  people, saying they have come to this country as members of the former oppressive regime in the DRC, are here because we have a good benefit system, and having committed terrible crimes in this country have to be punished when they return to the Congo’.

Challenged by the UK authorities, the ambassador insisted failed asylum seekers were ‘reunited with their families’. But he admitted: ‘People who are being deported for having committed crimes in the UK are held in custody to allow the Congolese justice system to clarify their situation.’

The judge considered reports by human rights groups and charities, concluding that only failed asylum seekers ‘perceived to be opponents of the DRC government’ would face ill-treatment.

By contrast, criminal returnees will be ‘detained for an indeterminate period’ in a prison or detention facility near the capital, Kinshasa, where they would face violence and rape.

He ruled ‘with considerable regret’ that the Congolese criminal must be allowed to stay in Britain as he would face human rights breaches at home.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We are considering the best legal approach to appeal this judgment.’


British Girl Guide group told to ditch God or be expelled: Troop faces removal from national body after leaders rejected new rules   

A girl guide group faces being thrown out of the national association after refusing to force members to drop God from the oath.

Troop leaders have rejected new rules saying that the inclusion of God should not be compulsory but a matter of personal choice.

But they have now been sent an ‘aggressive’ letter ordering them to back down or leave GirlGuiding UK at the end of the month. Critics branded the approach a ‘move for exclusion’.

The Guiding Promise was altered earlier this year so that members now swear ‘to be true to myself and develop my beliefs’ rather than the original ‘to love my God’.

But Glynis Mackie, 55, who has been leading the 37th Newcastle Guide Unit in Jesmond for more than 25 years, said the new pledge ‘sidelined’ Christianity.  Mrs Mackie, added: ‘This is an example of people not realising the importance of faith, of all faiths, in our community.  'I would go as far as saying that it is an example of faith being sidelined in society.’

‘I imagine changing the pledge was intended to include more people, but what it is actually doing is excluding those who have faith.

‘I understand why an atheist might not want to make a promise to God, and that is fine by me, but it has to be up to the individual.’

Mrs Mackie and the other leaders of the group slammed the new pledge as a ‘fridge magnet promise that doesn’t really mean anything’.

But Chief Guide Gill Slocombe insisted the move ‘opened our arms to welcome even more girls and adults, of all faiths –  and none’.

The words ‘to be true to myself and develop my beliefs’ have replaced ‘to love my God’, and the words ‘to serve the Queen and my community’ will replace ‘to serve the Queen and my country’.

Girl Guiding’s chief commissioner in the North East has told the group their membership of the organisation will be ended on December 31.

It means that the unit, which includes more than 100 girls in Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers from a variety of different faiths, will now have to meet as an independent group.

She added: ‘This letter, which is surprisingly aggressive, says that we "will not use" the new Promise and that simply isn’t true.

‘We would use this new form of words but we do want the children to have the choice to say the old Promise if they want to.’

Mrs Mackie wants Girl Guiding to take the same stance as the Scouts’ pledge, which says a member will ‘uphold our Scout values’ and can be taken by those who do not choose to vow to ‘do my duty to God’.

She added: ‘They are trying to force us out of Girl Guiding with no process and with only three weeks’ notice. The girls are really incredibly angry and they just want their voices to be heard.’

Chief Guide Gill Slocombe said: ‘Girl guiding is extremely sorry to hear of any Guide group leaving our organisation.

‘By changing the wording of our promise, after an extensive consultation with over 44,000 people, we have opened our arms to welcome even more girls and adults - of all faiths and none - who will benefit from all the fantastic things we do in girl guiding.

‘We hope the new wording will help us reach out to girls and women who might not have considered guiding before, so that even more girls can benefit from everything guiding can offer.’

David Holloway, the vicar of Jesmond Parish Church, wrote in the church’s monthly newsletter: ‘The hard reality is that this new promise is, whether intentionally or not, a move for exclusion.’

The changing of the Guide promise earlier this year sparked 839 official complaints from members amid fears of a split in the movement.

In August, one troop in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, vowed to resist the change but was forced to back down by national leaders.


Inequality and the Knock Out Game

The “knock out game,” where defenseless people are brutally and randomly attacked, is a shocker. It’s hard to imagine why teenagers, apparently bored out of their minds, would get a thrill out of beating up an old man or woman.

We are all outraged. But we are also divided on the causes. Some charge racism. Others cry a sick culture. Still others blame rising inequality in America.

Inequality was the subject of President Obama’s recent speech. He did not address the knockout game, but he clearly believes income inequality is the root cause of many of the social problems in America. It’s behind the rising mistrust in our society which he believes is damaging families and harming our “social cohesion.” I wouldn’t be surprised if the president thinks that his narrative of “mistrust” is at least partly to blame for the spread of the knockout game.

He is right about one thing--partly. There is an “income gap” in America, although as The Heritage Foundation’s Stuart Butler and Donald Schneider point out, the research shows little or no relationship between that gap and people’s ability to move up the ladder of opportunity. Yes, it is true that there is a problem with social mobility for those starting out near the bottom, even though the degree of the problem is often exaggerated.

But Obama is wrong about the cause. He thinks it is that the government has done too little to redistribute money and create new programs. The welfare state is still too small and entitlement spending too low, he says. Not enough is spent on unemployment insurance or federal education programs. If only the minimum wage was higher, or unions had stronger collective bargaining rights, presumably the “defining challenge of our time,” as he calls the issue of inequality, could be solved.

Put aside the grand canyon-sized gap between rhetoric and the reality; how raising the minimum wage a few dollars, or giving unionized government employees a raise, is supposed to even begin to solve the deep-seated social problems of America’s declining civil society is beyond me.

But the deeper problem is that President Obama has completely reversed cause and effect. America’s inner-city public schools are not a disaster because the minimum wage is too low. Rather they are a disaster because they don’t give young people the education and skills they need to command a sufficient wage in the market place. It is not insufficient government intervention which has caused inequality, but too much of the wrong kind of intervention.

As Butler, the American Enterprise Institute’s Charles Murray and Harvard’s Robert Putnam have shown, the causes of poverty and low income mobility are due much more to the decline of habits and attitudes that once fueled the upward rise of American households. The key building blocks of advancement, such as industriousness, the habit of savings, marriage and civic associations, are crumbling and in some cases even non-existent. The cause is not insufficient redistribution of income by government, but the destruction of the social and personal capital of people by that distribution system—namely, the welfare state.

The dependency and life style created by it is not some temporary thing, as the president pretended it was in his speech. Rather it has become the culture of a government-sponsored underclass. The dependency not only deprives lower-income people of a future, it destroys the habits, attitudes and positive outlooks needed to get ahead in life. It takes what may have been a “run of bad luck,” as the president put it, and institutionalizes it into a debilitating way of life.

There are indeed income and social divisions in American society today, but they are driven not by a run-amok free-market economy. America’s falling score on The Heritage Foundation’s and The Wall Street Journal’s Index of Economic Freedom shows that the U.S. has steadily been moving away from free markets. In other words, there’s been more government intervention in recent years, not less. And yet the economy continues to flounder, and President Obama still insists we need more government to solve problems which government itself created.

We have economic problems to be sure, but when it comes to inequality, it’s not the free market, but the “culture, stupid.” It’s a yawning gap in habits, education and attitudes that underlay the divisions of rich and poor.

On the one side are wealthy Americans with Harvard MBAs and strenuously honed work ethics, many of them socially liberal and increasingly dependent in their businesses on government support. On the other side are low-income people who, regardless of race, find themselves without the skills, habits and education to get ahead. Some are stuck because they are too dependent on government benefits. But most are trapped by a culture that ignores the value of marriage and fails to teach the hard virtues of industriousness, discipline and personal responsibility.

The sad truth is this: If there are “two Americas,” it is a divide in economic opportunity caused largely by different cultures. Economic inequality is mainly the result of the “stickiness” (as Butler calls it) of cultural values determining the outcomes of economic behavior in America.

So to put the knockout game in perspective, it may or may not be true that the criminal perpetrators were denied economic opportunities. It’s no excuse even if they were. But if so, it is more likely the result of a dysfunction in values than anything else—the very anti-social attitudes which caused them to attack innocent people to begin with.



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

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

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


17 December, 2013

Those who fail to defend the freedom of speech do not deserve the right to protest

By Brendan O'Neill

Students in London and Sussex are outraged that their right to protest is under attack. And well they might be. Management at both the University of London and Sussex University have been extremely heavy-handed in their dealings with student protesters over the past week. In Sussex, five students who occupied a building in protest at the privatisation of certain university services were suspended. Their suspensions have now been lifted but they've been told they will still face "disciplinary processes". Things are even worse at the University of London (ULU), where management has outlawed protests on its campuses for the next six months. ULU students have nonetheless promised to protest against this "erosion" of their right to protest.

It is refreshing to see students standing up for their rights. And yet, something about modern students' demand for the right to protest, for the right to express their political views and grievances as they see fit, rings hollow. For over the past decade and more, students – or at least their representatives in the National Union of Students and various student unions – have become addicted to censorship, thinking nothing of expelling from their campuses views, newspapers and music they feel offended by. They've become extraordinarily cavalier about the value and importance of freedom of speech, denying it to far-right groups, Zionists, sexists and others with strong or offensive views. And the right to protest, which they now demand, is but the offspring of the far more important right to freedom of speech. Students who fail to defend freedom of speech don't have a leg, or foot, or even a toe to stand on when it comes to challenging restrictions on their right to protest.

It is astonishing how detached modern students have become from the great democratic and enlightened ideal of freedom of speech. Every week one reads about yet another student union banning from its bars an offensive song, or removing the Sun newspaper from all union buildings on the basis that Page 3 makes female students feel uncomfortable, or, more seriously, demanding, and very often winning, the banning of a speaker whose views run counter to the generally Leftish, PC outlook of most student organisations. Everyone from BNP spokespeople to speakers who merely want to put up a robust defence of Israel will find themselves surrounded by shrill, screeching, censorious students demanding that their wicked, toxic views be "no platformed" – that is, expunged from otherwise right-on, right-thinking campuses.

Students at the two universities where the right to protest has been most explicitly undermined over the past week – Sussex and London – have a long track record of squashing political views or cultural material that offends them. Sussex students recently banned Robin Thicke's controversial ditty Blurred Lines from their radio station; when the song was accidentally played at Sussex's freshers' fair, student union bureaucrats, behaving like nuns at a school disco, switched it off. Currently Sussex is debating whether or not to ban the Sun, as many other student unions have done. Students at Sussex have voted in large majorities to maintain their union's "No Platform" policy against any hard-Right presence on campus – a policy which, for all its pretensions to niceness and fairness, amounts to intolerance, "zero tolerance" in fact, of political views considered beyond the pale.

Student reps at ULU have also acted censoriously in recent years. They recently bussed students to Cambridge to protest against its union's granting of a platform to the hard-Right French politician Marine Le Pen, arguing that politicians like her "use freedom of speech to spread [a] message of hate". Apparently free speech should only be used to ends that ULU and today's other illiberal, controversy-allergic students consider "Good". ULU student officials (alongside Sussex's) also signed a letter earlier this year chastising students at Leeds for interviewing BNP leader Nick Griffin and demanding that they "remove the interview… from their website and newspaper immediately". That is, censor it, erase it from history, on the basis that the political views expressed by Griffin in the interview were unacceptable.

And now, lo and behold, students at Sussex and London have been forbidden from expressing themselves – on the grounds that what they're saying and how they're saying it is unacceptable. This is not surprising. Freedom of speech is the father and mother of every other freedom we enjoy. All of our rights – from the right to protest to the right to vote – are dependent on having freedom of speech, the freedom to spread ideas, publish our thoughts and speak our minds. Those who fail to defend the freedom of speech do not deserve the right to protest. They have failed to learn one of the most basic lessons of freedom – which is that if you fail to defend it for others, even those you hate, then you cannot expect to enjoy it yourself. In the words of Thomas Paine, "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself".


All migrants to Britain must pass English tests before they can claim welfare payments

All migrants will have to  demonstrate a ‘reasonable standard of English’ or be barred from claiming benefits, says Iain Duncan Smith.

The Work and Pensions Secretary  announced that tests applied to those who end up claiming any work-related welfare payments will be tightened.

For the first time, migrants are to be quizzed about their language skills to determine whether these are likely  to prove a barrier to them finding employment.

In order to pass the more rigorous test, they will have to answer up to 100 new individually-tailored questions, and submit more evidence before they will be allowed to make a claim.

The Department for Work and Pensions said that, for the first time, migrants will be quizzed about what efforts they have made to find work before coming to the UK and whether their English language abilities are likely to affect their chances of employment.

Migrants are entitled to benefits only if they can prove that they are legally allowed to be here and have sufficient ties to this country to show they are ‘habitually resident’.

Mr Duncan Smith said a more robust system was being introduced in job centres across England, Scotland and Wales this week – and vowed to fight attempts by Brussels to overturn elements of the UK’s existing controls.

‘It is only right that we expect migrants to have a reasonable standard of English if they are to get and keep a job, and participate fully in British society,’ he told the Daily Mail.

‘It is absolutely right that we have strict rules in place to  protect the British benefits system from abuse.  ‘That’s why we strengthened the habitual residence test [of eligibility to benefits].

The European Commission don’t like it – and even want to take us to court over the test. I am determined to fight that court action, believing that the test is not only legal, but vital.

‘While language skills form only one element of the habitual residence test, I believe they are a crucial indicator of migrants’ commitment to playing a full role in contributing to this country.

‘The British public are rightly concerned that migrants should contribute to this country, and not be drawn here by the attractiveness of our benefits system. We are taking action to ensure that that is the case.’

The latest figures show more than 5.6million people are claiming working-age benefits.  Of these, 397,000 – or 7 per cent – are thought to have been non-UK nationals when they first registered for a national insurance number.  This is an increase of more than 100,000 since 2008.

Under the tightened system, migrants must provide more comprehensive evidence at the point of making a claim.

This might include what measures they have taken to establish themselves in the UK, their housing and family situation, or what ties they still have abroad.

They will also have to provide more evidence that they are doing everything they can to find a job, said Mr Duncan Smith.


Vicar tells children as young as five that Father Christmas doesn't exist - before regaling them with gory details behind legend of St Nicholas

A vicar has been forced to apologise after he told children at a primary school that Father Christmas doesn't exist and instead told them the gruesome tale of St Nicholas.

Rev Simon Tatton-Brown, 65, questioned the existence of Santa in a special Christmas assembly and then went on to add that the kindly character was in fact based on a gory legend about the saint, who brought three murdered children back to life

The Church of England vicar told shocked children at Charter Primary in Chippenham, Wiltshire, how the children were killed by an evil butcher and placed in a barrel to be pickled and sold as ham.

Parents complained when their children - aged between five and 11 - came home shell-shocked and the vicar of St Andrew's Church in Chippenham, has now apologised.

The blunder came as the reverend - who is due to retire at the end of the year after 13 Christmases at his church - delivered his annual festive address to the local school last Wednesday.

Due to a technical issue he had to abandon his prepared talk and had to 'ad lib' without notes.

It is reported he also claimed stockings exist only because of a myth about St Nicholas dropping a gift down a poor family's chimney which happened to land in a sock hung by the fire to dry.

He said his biggest concern was that he had spoilt the kids' Christmases.

Thankfully, the very youngest children from the reception class were not part of the assembly.

But some furious mothers have already pulled their little ones from the school's Christmas concert at his church later this month.

The vicar wrote to headteacher Sarah Flack to apologise.  His letter said: 'I was very sorry to hear of the trouble following my assembly. I talked about St Nicholas, and the stories about him, which tells us why Santa Claus brings gifts at Christmas.  'I am sorry if this was misunderstood.

'I fully support parents who want their young children to enjoy the Christmas stories, including Father Christmas, and I had no intention of undermining their belief in the reality of Santa Claus.'

Mrs Flack said she accepted his apology.  She said children had made comments to their parents at home but the school was looking forward to moving on.  She said the school would still use St Andrew's for their carol service and would welcome a vicar at next year's assembly.

Parents dropping their children off have expressed their anger.   Linzi Merritt, whose son Levi, nine, attends the school, said: 'We wouldn't just walk into the church during one of his services and tell everyone there that Jesus isn't real. He's a person of authority and it's not his place to be telling the children that.

'It's the older children who have suffered the most because their parents can't really talk their way out of it like the parents of younger children can.

'Loads of kids went home crying - it has ruined Christmas for them. It wasn't a nice story for children to hear, there were lots more he could have told.

'Not only has he spoiled Father Christmas for them, a lot of them are now questioning the existence of the tooth fairy as well.

'He has been coming in for years now so who know what else he has told them - he may have even been talking to them about Satan.


Australian PM Tony Abbott admits to spanking his children

Mr Abbott warns political correctness can go too far and says there is nothing wrong with gentle smacks

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has admitted he smacked his children when they were young and warned against bans that could take political correctness "to extremes".

Mr Abbott was commenting after the issue was raised in the first report submitted to parliament by the newly established National Children's Commissioner.

It highlights the United Nations' concern "that corporal punishment in the home and in some schools and alternative care settings remains lawful in Australia".

The UN Committee of the Rights of the Child document recommends "that corporal punishment be explicitly prohibited", but Mr Abbott said "a gentle smack" was fine.

"We often see political correctness taken to extremes and maybe this is another example," the conservative leader, who has three grown-up daughters, told Channel Seven television.

"I was probably one of those guilty parents who did occasionally chastise the children, a very gentle smack I've got to say. "I think that we've got to treat our kids well, but I don't think we ought to say there's no place ever for smacks.

"All parents know that occasionally the best thing we can give is a smack, but it should never be something that hurts them."

Corporal punishment of children is banned in more than 30 countries around the world, including Germany, New Zealand and Spain.



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

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

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


16 December, 2013

Ethnic minorities flock to Britain's most conservative political party  -- UKIP

And Leftists are outraged to be losing their clients

Lefties are a funny breed, especially when it comes to their self-righteousness and perceived monopoly on certain sections of the society.

Last Saturday The Times published an extensive article on the rapid rise in the support for UKIP amongst ethnic minorities. The article, entitled “The new faces of UKIP”, covered some prominent party members including Winston McKenzie, UKIP’s spokesman for the Commonwealth. This clearly infuriated quite a few Labour trolls who in pursuit of revenge piled onto the newly set up Facebook profile of the Friends of Poland in UKIP with some rather incoherent spam.

In particular, a lot of hate for the Friends of Poland in UKIP seems to have been orchestrated by HopeNotHate.org, who under the false pretence of being an anti-hate campaigners, are basically another one of Labour’s assumed online identities with a special nag for trolling all things UKIP.

Friends of Poland in UKIP was recently set up with a couple of Old Wellingtonians at the helm: the writer and seasoned member of UKIP, Nikolai Tolstoy, as Honorary Patron, and the UK Representative of the Confederation of the Polish Nobility and a former committee member of the Conservative Friends of Poland, Przemek Skwirczynski, as the Chairman. The group’s aim is to preserve the spirit of British-Polish camaraderie dating back to the days of Second World War, EU or no EU.

It is funny that most of the insinuations in Labour trolls’ posts were to do with accusations of UKIP’s “anti-Polishness”, which is why it is perhaps worth reminding the sections of Labour supporters who are suffering short-term memory loss, that Ed Miliband famously declared that Labour “got it wrong” over the East European immigration, which certainly was no slip of his tongue, given that Jack Straw reiterated that stance on immigration as recently as last month.

So with both the Labour Friends of Poland and Conservative Friends of Poland now defunct, the officially-approved Friends of Poland in UKIP has a good case to make that UKIP is the last party formally in support of the Polish minority in the UK, and yet more proof that you do not have to support Labour just because you happen to belong to an ethnic minority.


Fatherlessness Harms the Brain, Neurobiologists Find

Kids need dads, according to a neurobiological study published this month in the journal Cerebral Cortex. The absence of fathers during childhood may lead to impaired behavioral and social abilities, and brain defects, researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada, found.

"This is the first time research findings have shown that paternal deprivation during development affects the neurobiology of the offspring," senior author Dr. Gabriella Gobbi told MUHC News.

Other studies have observed that children raised without fathers are more likely to demonstrate a number of risk factors, such as substance abuse. There are a large number of environmental factors, though, that could contribute to those risk factors, so previous studies have had difficulty demonstrating that the absence of fathers directly contributes to social and behavioral difficulties.

To better control the environment, the MUHC researchers studied the effects of fatherlessness on mice.

"Although we used mice, the findings are extremely relevant to humans," Gobbi said. "We used California mice which, like in some human populations, are monogamous and raise their offspring together."

"Because we can control their environment, we can equalize factors that differ between them," Dr. Francis Bambico added. "Mice studies in the laboratory may therefore be clearer to interpret than human ones, where it is impossible to control all the influences during development."

The researchers found that the mice raised without a father had abnormal social interactions and were more aggressive, compared to the mice raised with a father. The effects were stronger among daughters than sons.

Being raised without a father actually changed the brains of the test subjects. The research found defects in the brain's prefrontal cortex, which controls social and cognitive functions, of the fatherless mice.

Bambico and Gobbi were joined on the study, "Father Absence in the Monogamous California Mouse Impairs Social Behavior and Modifies Dopamine and Glutamate Synapses in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex," by Dr.'s Baptiste Lacoste and Patrick R. Hattan.


The politics of empirical truths
Having spent the last 14 years working for public policy think tanks in Australia and Britain, I have become increasingly frustrated by the 'stupidity and baseness' of politicians who refuse to acknowledge awkward empirical truths. Even when, occasionally, a politician summons up the courage to tell people facts they would rather not hear, he or she immediately comes under pressure to withdraw their comment, and even apologise for it. 

Rod Liddle recently offered one example in the UK edition of The Spectator. He highlighted an apology issued by the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, who had warned of a culture of 'endemic corruption' in certain Asian countries (notably Pakistan) from which many British ethnic minorities originate. As Liddle showed, Grieve's warning was fully justified, for Pakistan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and the UK Electoral Commission has expressed concern about bribery and vote-buying in certain Pakistani communities in Britain. But although he was right, Grieve issued a grovelling apology.

This problem of thought crime and self-censorship is not limited to issues of race and ethnicity. It extends to discussion of gender and class differences too.

Last week, for example, a UKIP Member of the European Parliament, Stuart Agnew, was censured by his own party after claiming that men outnumber women in top jobs partly because many women choose child-rearing over career building. But he was right. A 2009 survey found only 12% of British mothers want to work full-time, and a 2008 report found two-thirds of working mums would still want to reduce their hours even if improved child care were made available. In Norway, where mothers can choose between free child care (if they continue working) or cash payments in lieu (if they raise their children at home), four-fifths choose to stay home.

Again last week, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, landed in hot water for pointing out that one reason upward social mobility is not more extensive is that some people lack the intelligence needed to perform high-level jobs. Again, he's right - this is something I have been documenting for the last 20 years, and Boris is the first prominent politician in all that time to acknowledge it. But in politics, evidence is often irrelevant. Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, attacked Boris for his 'unpleasant, careless elitism,' Cameron hastily distanced himself from him, and the BBC and newspaper journalists declared open season on him for several days afterwards.

Max Weber wouldn't have been surprised by any of this. He taught that political leadership is about charisma, the mobilisation of emotion among your followers. Evidence can be left to faceless bureaucrats. Populist leaders in search of votes work on sentiment.

If like the CIS, you are in the business of shifting policy agendas through appeal to evidence and reason, this emphasis on emotion and sentiment can represent a major frustration. But as Weber concluded in his Munich lecture: 'Only he who in the face of all this can say 'In spite of all!' has the calling for politics.'


Book on 'submissive wives' becomes hit in Spain

A book advising newly-wed women on how to be "submissive" has become a publishing phenomenon in Spain while outraging feminists who have called for it to be banned.

The polemic book by married Italian author Costanza Miriano titled 'Cásate y sé sumisa – Get Married and Be Submissive – was published by the Catholic Arbishopric of the southern city of Granada in November and soared up the bestseller list.

The book, which was a bestseller in Italy, preaches a message of "loyal obedience, generosity and submission" on the part of the new wife and offers nuggets of advice for the newly-wed on how to please one's husband.

The book currently appears at number 15 on the Amazon bestseller list in Spain but has raised the hackles of modern-minded Senoras who even staged a public demonstration against the tome, where they tore up copies.

Women's groups are considering legal action to get it banned arguing that it promotes gender violence.

One passage suggests: "We [women] like humiliation because it is for a greater good."

The author claims the book is based on the teachings of St Paul and that a perfect wife should be submissive.

"It's true, you're not yet an experienced cook or a perfect housewife," she writes. "What's the problem if he tells you so? Tell him that he is right, that it's true, that you will learn. On seeing your sweetness and your humility, your effort to change, this will also change him.

Granada's Archbishop Francisco Javier Martinez, who chose to publish the book has defended its content and insists that the furore surrounding it is "ridiculous and hypocritical" in a society that allows abortion, which he argues is a much clearer example of violence against women.



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

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

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


15 December, 2013

An especially dumb multiculturalist

A man was sliced in half by a passing freight train in Des Moines, Iowa, after stabbing the owner of a home he had broken into just minutes earlier.

Police say 32-year-old Lopez Christian Webster died a gruesome death Tuesday night after trying to climb between freight cars of a moving train.

Des Moines Sgt. Richard Wallace says a witness told officers the man appeared to be running to beat the Union Pacific train before it crossed the 1900 block of East Grand Avenue.

Just minutes before the train ran over Webster, someone matching his description entered a nearby home, ordered a man inside to his knees and stabbed him in the arms and neck with a small knife.

The intruder then threatened to kill the victim if he moved, snatched something from the home and fled towards the railroad crossing.

The train engineer didn't notice Webster. It wasn’t until the locomotive reached Ankeny some 12 miles away that authorities stopped it.

According to investigators, at around 9pm Tuesday, Webster, who had had several run-ins with the law in the past, barged into the home of Timothy Kingery on East Walnut Avenue and stabbed him three times before taking off.

Two other occupants of the residents told police they ran to another room and locked the door when they heard fighting, according to Des Moines Register.

College student Ivan Nery, 18, told WOI-TV that he was sitting in his car near the East Grand Avenue railroad crossing when he spotted a man running beside a Union Pacific train.

‘As soon as it gets faster, this guy suddenly jumped between two cars there,’ Nery said.

Webster crossed one set of tracks and then attempted to leap between two cars, but failed. Sgt Halifax said the 32-year-old father of two did not clear the jump and landed on the tracks under the wheels of the 75-car locomotive.

Nery witnessed the horrific aftermath, describing how Webster was sliced in half.  ‘His body was torn apart,’ a visibly shaken Nery said.

Police are not sure whether Webster intended to hitch a ride aboard the train, or simply reach the other side of the tracks.

Webster's rap sheet dates back to 2000. His latest arrest took place November 29 on a first-degree theft charge, which was later dismissed.

Kingery declined medical treatment and refused to cooperate with police. He has denied knowing his assailant, but detectives believe it is a lie.

Webster is survived by a 15-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. The teen told the station KCCI that his father was a caring parent, while the boy’s mother said that the 32-year-old had a good heart but went astray.


Retired judge confesses he was acting on 'reverse racism' when he convicted white man of killing a black man as he calls for his release

A judge has said he wants a white man he convicted in 1999 of killing a black man to be freed because he found him guilty due to his own reverse racism.  Frank Barbaro, a retired Brooklyn Supreme Court judge, said he convicted Donald Kagan, now 39, of shooting Wavell Wint, 22, because he saw the man as 'a bigot'. He said that he had denied Kagan a fair trial because of his own civil rights activist opinions.

'Mr. Kagan had no intent to kill that man,' Barbaro, 86, told Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice ShawnDya Simpson in court, the New York Post reported.  'I believe now that I was seeing this young white fellow as a bigot, as someone who assassinated an African-American.'

He said his work during the civil-rights movement caused his bias in the case.  'The question of discrimination against African-American people became part of my fiber - my very fiber,' he said in court.

Barbaro, who also served 23 years in the state Assembly, said that because of his views he didn't consider a justification defense by Kagan in the trial, which had no jury.  But ever since, he has been able to stop thinking about it and when he read about people who were mistakenly sent to jail and later exonerated, he would think of Kagan, he said.

'I was prejudiced during the trial,' he admitted to the court. 'I realized I made a terrible mistake and there was a man in jail because of my mistake.'

Barbaro contacted defense attorney Jeff Adler, who filed a motion in 2011 to overturn Kagan’s conviction, the Post reported, and the case will now be revisited.

The Supreme Court Justice will either present an acquittal, a retrial or a plea deal for time served.

Kagan was convicted of shooting Wint after they struggled over Kagan's chain outside a movie theater in New York in 1998.

He was convicted of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.


8-year study: Black federal judges 'conditioned' to go easy on fellow blacks

Black federal judges, inspired by racial “solidarity” and “conditioned” in life to sympathize with other blacks, side with African-Americans filing discrimination cases in significantly higher percentages than white judges, according to a first-of-its-kind study.

The California State University, Northridge study of 516 discrimination cases in federal courts over eight years found that black federal judges side with black claimants 32.9 percent of the time. For white judges it was 20.6 percent.

But when the study looked at how black and white judges ruled on discrimination claims made by "non-black claimants," there wasn't any difference.

“The results indicate that African American judges are more likely than white judges to rule in favor of a claimant," said study author Jason Morin in the authoritative American Politics Research. "Findings suggest that African American judges are most likely to rule in favor of claimants and that they are conditioned by the presence of racial cues,” he added.

“The results also cause one to theorize about claimant cues and their ability to heighten a sense of group solidarity, such as perceptions of group consciousness or linked fate among African American judges,” he said.

Morin’s solution to black judicial favoritism might be unexpected. He argues for more black judges, claiming that blacks are underrepresented on the bench when compared to the racial makeup of discrimination claims, which are majority African-American.

“Black claimants may continue to face an uphill battle since African-American judges continue to be underrepresented in the federal courts,” said Morin.


The anti-Semitic stench of Pink Floyd

Rabbi Boteach

I’ve read some heavy-duty attacks on Israel and Jews in my time, but they pale beside the anti-Semitic diatribe recently offered by Roger Waters, Pink Floyd’s co-founder and former front man. In an interview with CounterPunch online magazine, Waters experienced a Jew-hating colonic where he purged himself of all the racist refuse that had accumulated in his putrid system and clearly required release.

According to Waters, Israel is a “racist apartheid regime,” which practices “ethnic cleansing.” A great artist such as himself will not play in a country equivalent to the “Vichy government in occupied France.” But accusing Jews of being Nazi collaborators was not enough. Waters then went further, comparing Israel to the Nazis themselves. “I would not have played in Berlin either… during the Second World War.” Waters believes that Israel is guilty of genocide, only “this time it’s the Palestinian People being murdered.”

Waters was on a roll, with no intention of stopping. Israel is “a brutal and oppressive regime.” And the Rabbis, oh, those murderous, racist rabbis. “The right wing rabbinate is so bizarre. They believe that everybody that is not a Jew is only on earth to serve them and the indigenous people of the region that they kicked off the land in 1948… since they are sub-human. The parallels with what went on in the 30’s in Germany are so crushingly obvious.”

The Jews are dumping a “huge bucket of crap that they are pouring into the mouth of a gullible public, in my view, when they say ‘we are afraid of Iran, it is going to get nuclear weapons’… It’s a diversionary tactic.”

I could go on quoting Waters’ interview but I’m getting nauseous just writing this stuff. Suffice it to say that he claims he was offered “$10 million” by a Jewish promoter to play in Israel but retorted, “Are you f—ing deaf or just dumb?! I am part of the BDS movement, I’m not going anywhere in Israel, for any money.” He then tried to dissuade Cyndi Lauper from playing in Israel.

I would assume that given his interview not too many Israelis will lament losing the chance to see a Pink Floyd reunion in Israel, and maybe we should just leave it at that. But even loathsome, stomach-turning anti-Semitism deserves a response in case gullible fans might actually believe this twisted, incendiary twaddle.

The Nazis, Mr. Waters, were a genocidal regime who murdered six million Jews. That you would have the audacity to compare Jews to monsters who murdered them shows you have no decency, you have no heart, you have no soul. The Jews of Germany did nothing to invite the aggression against them. Indeed, they were loyal citizens of a country that many of them had fought for courageously just twenty years earlier in the First World War. They did not blow up buses for political purposes. They did not send terrorists into schools to murder children. They did not preach that killing German children would get them virgins in heaven. They lived lives of humanity and decency and were murdered for no other reason than the fact that they were Jews.

You have disgraced yourself by comparing the martyred six million, which included one-and-a-half million children who were gassed to death in cold blood, to Palestinian terror organizations like Hamas, and to Hezbollah, both of whose stated intention it is to wipe Israel off the map.

The Palestinians were given endless opportunities to live with Israel in peace, including the 1936-1937 Peel Commission, which partitioned the land into two states, and the UN partition plan of 1947, both of which gave the Arabs far more land than the Jews. The Jews accepted the offer and the Arabs rejected it and dedicated themselves to Israel’s destruction. If you don’t believe me, Mr. Waters, then surely even a bigoted ignoramus like you is capable of accessing Wikipedia or opening a Britannica.

After the Arabs launched another war of annihilation against Israel in 1967, the Jews miraculously defeated four invading Arab armies and conquered huge tracts of land. Rather than practicing any kind of ethnic cleansing, Israel gave back the entire Sinai Peninsula — an area three times the size of Israel — to Egypt in exchange for a peace treaty, and announced that they would leave the Arabs and the Muslim Waqf in charge of the holiest site in all of Judaism, the Temple Mount. This act of accommodation has no precedent in the history of the world.

Still, in 1964 Arafat launched the PLO, with its declared intention of liberating the land through armed struggle and destroying the Zionist presence. Terrible terrorist outrages like the 1970 Avivim school bus massacre and the 1974 Ma’alot school massacre followed. Still, Israel never relinquished its hope that Arab leaders who were sincere about peace might arise.

In 2005 Israel voluntarily withdrew from all of Gaza. Their reward? Hamas, with its genocidal charter against Israel, was voted into power and almost immediately began launching thousands of rockets into Israel, targeting homes, schools, and buses filled with children.

I have long preached how we Jews owe an eternal debt of gratitude to Islam for welcoming us in after repeated Christian expulsions, especially from Spain in 1492 and Portugal in 1498. Islam, as a great world religion that has often protected Jews, is stained by those who murder in its name and by hate-filled buffoons like Waters who defend atrocities perpetrated by those who claim to lead lives of faith. Likewise, the moral equivalency between Hamas firing rockets to intentionally murder a pregnant woman, as it did last year, November 15, 2012, with 26-year-old Mira Sharf, and Israel’s responding by taking out Hamas military commanders like Ahmed al-Jabari, the mastermind of so many acts of terror, is itself repugnant. The Ten Commandments says, “Thou shalt not murder,” rather than “Thou shalt not kill.” Murder is the taking of innocent life in cold blood. Killing is protecting the innocent from murderers as an act of self-defense. There, in a nutshell, is the difference between Hamas and Israel.

Muslims have every right to expect that Jews in general, and rabbis in particular, similarly condemn any acts of violence intentionally directed at any Arab civilian. We are all equally children of one God.

Hamas’ values are just as much a disgrace to the peace-loving principles of Islam. Hamas is motivated not by Palestinian freedom but by hatred of Jews. Hamas’ charter continues to call for genocide against Israel and the Jewish people: “The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, O Muslims… there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

When Hamas came to power in 2006, they channeled the billions they received as the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid into rockets rather than hospitals, bombs rather than universities. And they intentionally launch their rockets from nurseries and schools turning the innocent Palestinian population into human shields, not surprising for an organization which regularly murders Palestinian homosexuals under the false accusation of collaboration and engages in honor killings of young Palestinian women whose only crime is to have a boyfriend.

I recognize and mourn the loss, in extreme circumstances, of innocent Palestinian life amid Israel’s attempts to destroy the Hamas terrorism infrastructure. Even the most advanced military instruments that Israel employs in order to reduce as much as humanly possible any and all civilian collateral casualties are still ultimately imprecise. Every Arab life is the equal of every Jewish life, and Israel goes to lengths unmatched in modern warfare to avoid innocent deaths. But what choice does Israel have when Hamas has coiled itself around Gaza like a poisonous viper, bringing suffering to Palestinian and Israeli alike.

Waters’ balderdash about rabbis believing that non-Jews are subhumans is the dirtiest of blood libels and contradicts the core teachings of the Torah which states in its very first chapter, Genesis 1, that every human being is created equally in the image of God.

And surely, even someone with as rancid a heart as Waters is familiar with what Christians call Jesus’ Golden rule, but which is actually found in the Hebrew Bible, the commandment to
“Love your fellow man as yourself” (Leviticus 19.17), which Hillel, in the Talmud, interpreted to mean, “That which you hate do not do unto others.”

Perhaps Waters should take Hillel’s advice to his desiccated soul and stop maligning a people who have paid a terrible price for the kind of abominable lies that people like Waters unjustly hurl.



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

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

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


13 December, 2013

An example of why Americans need guns

76 year-old veteran shoots home invader (above)

A burglary suspect, who was shot by an elderly Hampton man after he was found hiding in a closet, remains hospitalized Tuesday.

Police say a 76-year-old man called 911 after he heard loud noises at his home in the 100 block of Patterson Ave. around 2 a.m. Tuesday.

According to police, officers searched the home and located a broken window but no suspect.

Shortly after police left the home, the elderly man found the suspect hiding in a closet.  Fearing for his safety, police say the man shot the suspect in the arm.

According to police, the suspect then ran from the home.

After hearing the gunfire, officers ran to the backyard and arrested the suspect.

The homeowner is described as “an airborne Ranger” and is wearing a 101st Airborne hat. According to the reporter the senior was unfazed about the shooting, and after spending a little time with the reporter to tell his story, he shooed the journalist away so that he could make something to eat.

The suspect was much younger and presumably stronger than the homeowner. How do you think the situation might have ended differently if the old paratrooper didn’t have a pistol in his hands when he encountered the burglar hiding in his closet?


The Mandela Cover-up Unravels

It appears that AIM and blogger Trevor Loudon are among the few sources highlighting the official statement of the South African Communist Party (SACP) about Nelson Mandela having been a high-ranking member. SACP deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila is quoted by a South African magazine as saying it was denied at the time for "political reasons."

The communist Workers World Party, which supports North Korea, has also reprinted the official SACP statement about Mandela. The communists are proud of Mandela and what he accomplished. His false claims of being a non-communist fooled South Africa and the world (except for his domestic and international comrades who were in on the secret). The official SACP statement includes these words: "At his arrest in August 1962, Nelson Mandela was not only a member of the then underground South African Communist Party, but was also a member of our Party's Central Committee."

Politicians lie, but this was a whopper, designed for the purpose of turning South Africa and its strategic materials over to the communists. The perfect front man, Mandela had always denied being a party member and, for the benefit of foreign audiences, publicly rejected Marxism as a "foreign ideology" as recently as a few years ago. It appears that was just a ploy to keep the foreign aid coming. South Africa has been among the top ten recipients of U.S. foreign aid, getting close to $500 million in fiscal year 2013.

Many in the media are calling Mandela a "political prisoner" when he served prison time. But on the Fox News "Special Report" show on December 5, Jesse Jackson admitted Mandela told him that he was planning bombings of hospitals and schools in South Africa when he got caught. That is why Mandela went to prison. He ran Umkhonto we Sizwe, the terrorist wing of the African National Congress (ANC) and South African Communist Party. The white minority made a deal to release him because they feared for their lives against a Soviet-sponsored terrorist onslaught that was documented in 1982 Senate hearings entitled "The Role of the Soviet Union, Cuba, and East Germany in Fomenting Terrorism in Southern Africa."

One of the witnesses before those hearings was Bartholomew Hlapane, a member of the African National Congress's national executive committee and the South African Communist Party's central committee. Bartholemew, who described SACP domination of the ANC, was assassinated in his home in South Africa on December 16, 1982, by an Umkhonto we Sizwe assassination squad. The ANC later admitted to the crime.

President Obama condemned the Boston Islamic terror bombings, saying, "Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror." But that is what Mandela was orchestrating in South Africa. And Mandela is Obama's role model. Apparently, it was okay to kill whites in the name of black majority rule.

So how is that working out for the blacks, the supposed beneficiaries of Mandela's revolution?

WikiLeaks is usually a source that our media trust. But little attention was paid to information from WikiLeaks demonstrating that the South African government is now resorting to "forced removals, violence, [and] intimidation" against poor blacks demanding their rights. Referring to a group of black shack dwellers known by the initials AbM, the U.S. embassy cable from 2010 said: "While the ANC claims to be making efforts to clean up slums and provide the poor with adequate housing, AbM leadership claims intimidation and anti-democratic tactics are used against its members by the ruling party."

It's true that Mandela failed to authorize a bloodbath of the minority whites once the black majority took power. But that decision recognizes, as the Chinese communists did, that socialism doesn't work. The whites had to be tolerated because of their economic expertise. However, whites are now getting killed regularly in the "new" South Africa, and the country is being featured on "Genocide Watch" because of the racist dangers there. A spin-off from the ruling African National Congress, the Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) movement, held a rally in October in South Africa featuring banners saying the "Honeymoon is over for white people in South Africa." The group is openly Marxist-Leninist.

Interestingly, a column in the far-left Huffington Post hints at the truth, noting that Mandela "spent much of his life as a radical Marxist allied with global communist luminaries..."

In addition to the evidence of Mandela's secret membership in the Communist Party, those "global communist luminaries" deserve some attention. He admired Fidel Castro, praised his "brother in arms" Yasser Arafat, and was a big fan of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi. He was awarded the Soviet Union's International Lenin Peace Prize. Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Nelson Mandela on his 95th birthday in July and "gave a high assessment to Nelson Mandela's role in developing friendly Russian-South African relations, which have now reached the level of a strategic partnership." Indeed, Russia and South Africa have become strategic partners in the BRICS group. BRICS refers to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

An objective source of some of Mandela's famous quotations is the book, In the Words of Nelson Mandela, edited by Jennifer Crwys-Williams. They include:

    "Islam has enriched and become part of Africa; in turn, Islam was transformed and Africa became part of it."

    "The people of Libya shared the trenches with us in our struggle for freedom." (Spoken at a banquet in Tripoli, Libya in 1997).

    "He [Muammar Gaddafi] helped us at a time when we were all alone, when those who are now saying we should not come here were helping our enemies." (Spoken at the start of his 1997 trip to Libya).

    "My brother leader." (referring to Gaddafi).

Gaddafi was the terrorist leader who killed 189 Americans, most of them college students, by bombing Pan Am 103. The year was 1988. Gaddafi was also behind the La Belle bombing in Berlin in April of 1986. This killed two Americans and a Turkish woman and injured well over 200 persons, including 41 Americans.

In a story about the 1997 visit to Libya, The New York Times noted: "Although Mr. Mandela had twice visited Libya before, this is his first trip since becoming President [of South Africa] in 1994. No Western leader has visited Libya since the sanctions were imposed after Colonel Qaddafi refused to turn over suspects in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland."

But Mandela was thankful Gaddafi gave his terrorist movement weapons. He didn't care about the terrorism that took American lives. Later, Gaddafi renounced terrorism, paid restitution to the families of Pan Am 103 victims, and gave up his own nuclear program. Nevertheless, Obama authorized his overthrow and he was killed by a mob in Libya.

Bill O'Reilly said on his Fox News show that Mandela "was a communist, all right? But he was a great man. What he did for his people was stunning. ... He was a great man, but he was a communist." Throwing out the word, without documenting it, leaves people without adequate information and O'Reilly vulnerable to the tired charge of "McCarthyism."

The notion of a good communist, considering the bloody history of the movement, seems absurd. But sadly, that is some of the best coverage of Mandela that we have seen.

The left's hero worship of Mandela-as well as of Obama-is to be expected. Strangely, similar coverage came from Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak, who claimed Mandela "embraced constraints on his power," was a George Washington-type figure, a friend of Israel, opposed terrorism, and "did not turn his back on the United States and her ideals." He went on Mark Levin's radio show to repeat some of these dubious, and even ridiculous, claims.

Pollak quoted Mandela during his treason trial as saying, "I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities." Mandela also declared at the time that he was not a communist.

Now we know better. Or do we?


Free Hunter Yelton

Affection demonized:  Meet the littlest casualty in the war on men

Hunter Yelton, sex offender (!)

Hunter Yelton of Cañon City, Colo., is accused of sexual harassment. Hunter Yelton is 6 years old and in the first grade. "He has a crush on a girl at school, who likes him back," reports Colorado Springs' KRDO-TV. "It may sound innocent enough," the station intones. But in Barack Obama's America, even a small boy can become a sexual suspect.

"It was during class yeah," Hunter tells the station. "We were doing reading group and I leaned over and kissed her on the hand. That's what happened." His mother continues explaining:

"[The girl] was fine with it, they are 'boyfriend and girlfriend.' The other children saw it and went to the music teacher. That was the day I had the meeting with the principal, where she first said 'sexual harassment.' This is taking it to an extreme that doesn't need to be met with a six year old. Now my son is asking questions . . . what is sex mommy? That should not ever be said, sex. Not in a sentence with a six year old," said Hunters' [sic] mom, Jennifer Saunders.

Hunter spent Monday at home, under suspension from school. The school-district superintendent says, in KRDO's paraphrase, that "Hunters' [sic] actions fit the school policy description of 'sexual harassment.'  . . . The school district also says Hunters' [sic] parents may believe that kissing the girl at school is overall acceptable--but that's where the school disagrees."

Clearly buffoons are in charge of the school and the district, but what does that have to do with Obama? The answer is that these buffoons are following orders from Washington.

In April 2011 Russlynn Ali, then assistant education secretary for civil rights, issued a directive in which she threatened to withhold federal money from any educational institution that failed to take a hard enough line against sexual misconduct to ensure "that all students feel safe in their school." The directive's preamble declared: "The sexual harassment of students, including sexual violence, interferes with students' right to receive an education free from discrimination and, in the case of sexual violence, is a crime."

The Ali directive has received attention mostly for its application in higher education, including our Saturday exposé of Auburn University's comically unprofessional and shockingly unjust Discipline Committee. But the mandate to prevent and punish "sexual harassment" applies to all educational institutions that receive federal funding, including elementary and secondary schools.

"If a school knows or reasonably should know about student-on-student harassment that creates a hostile environment, Title IX [of a 1972 civil rights law] requires the school to take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects," Ali wrote. The music teacher and other school officials were faithfully if ridiculously executing that command when they investigated the tip from the kids who tattled.

The Ali directive does stipulate that "the specific steps in a school's investigation will vary depending upon . . . the age of the student or students involved (particularly in elementary and secondary schools)." But that's the only allowance it makes for the difference between small children and physically mature adolescents and adults. It includes no acknowledgment even of the existence of innocent children's play, much less any exhortation not to get carried away like they did in Cañon City.

Given the threat of federal action for insufficiently zealous enforcement of "sexual harassment" rules, overzealous enforcement--as silly as it ends up looking--is rational. In "Sexual Harassment Panda," a classic "South Park" send-up, pupils at a fictitious Colorado elementary school accuse each other of sexual harassment, leading to a lawsuit styled Everyone v. Everyone, in which the same lawyer represents both sides. Perhaps Russlynn Ali saw the episode and didn't realize it was satirical.

As amusing as the story of Hunter Yelton is, however, it is an example of a dire and widespread problem. "Sexual harassment" rules are ostensibly sex-neutral, but in practice they are used primarily to police male behavior. Feminists like Hanna Rosin note with triumph that girls and women do better in school than their male counterparts. One reason is that normal female behavior is seldom stigmatized or punished in the name of "civil rights."

And while college "justice" is often downright oppressive, the excesses of contemporary feminism know no age limits. As the story of Hunter Yelton demonstrates, the war on men is also a war on little boys.


Fall in crime in Britain 'overstated', says expert

The fall in crime levels has been “over-stated” because of mistakes and dishonesty in the way offending is recorded by police forces, MPs have heard.

Prof Mike Hough, a member of the Crime Statistics Advisory Board (CSAB), told an all-party committee it was impossible to say how much crime was dishonestly recorded by police officers in an attempt to improve clear-up rates.

The comments will further undermine confidence in official government statistics which claim crime is at its lowest level for more than 30 years.

Last month the public administration select committee heard from junior police officers who said crime figures are regularly skewed to make police forces’ performance appear far better than the real picture.

Prof Hough, of Birkbeck, University of London, said: “The police are overstating the rate of the decrease in the fall in crime.

“There are systemic reasons for thinking there is quite a lot of misinterpretation. I would suspect that outstrips deliberate, wilful dishonesty - but that is a guess.”

Prof Stephen Shute, the chairman of the CSAB, told the committee: “There is a question about the extent to which police are manipulating the crime recording process either to inform external performance targets or to improve the way their are perceived in the locality or within the force.

“That may come about for a variety of reasons.  “It may not be due solely to dishonesty and deliberate misapplication of the counting rules. That may be part of it.  “It may be the police officers don’t throughly understand the counting rules.”

In November, junior and retired police officers gave evidence that crimes are deliberately down-graded or not recorded at all, in some cases because senior ranks have applied pressure to meet performance targets.

Bernard Jenkin, the chairman of the committee, said it should be a “matter of great concern” that witnesses have previously told MPs that about 10 per cent of crime appeared to be wrongly recorded by police.

The CSAB was set up by the National Statistician, following a 2011 report into crime figures, to give independent advice to the Home Office, police forces and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.



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

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

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


12 December, 2013

A multicultural doctor in Britain

A former diplomat exposed himself to a colleague during a two-year ‘onslaught’ of sexual harassment, a tribunal heard.

Chukwuma Igbokwe, 46, grabbed Vanessa Turley from behind and thrust himself towards her before exposing himself and asking her to perform a sex act, it was claimed.

The former Consul to the UK of the Republic of Niger is accused of bullying and harassing his junior colleague in his role as director of St Luke’s Healthcare group.

Mrs Turley, 42, was allegedly subjected to an ‘onslaught of sexual innuendo’ and verbal abuse when she worked with Igbokwe at a private hospital in Ebbw Vale, south Wales, between March 2008 and July 2010.

She told the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service how she quit her job and took legal action to stop Igbokwe when she realised she may not be his only victim.

'It was just never ending with him,’ she said giving evidence.  'I thought he’s got to stop this. People came to me and said it was happening to them.  'I thought "when is this guy going to stop".

'The only person who had enough evidence to go forward was myself.'

Referred to as 'Mrs A' during the current proceedings, she told the panel she felt the police did not take her seriously when she complained, but was vindicated when she won an employment tribunal against her former bosses last year.

She said: 'It was never about the money. It was about proving to people what he was like as a person and what he put me through.'

She added: 'I was trying to stop him doing it to other females because in my eyes he had no respect at all no matter what your position in the company. It was a conquest.'

Igbokwe was not present or represented at a fitness to practise hearing in Manchester where he could be struck off the medical register if the string of misconduct allegations against him are proved.

One of the charges relates to a 'Mayor’s ball' held in his honour in his role as Niger’s Consul to the UK in November 2009 when he made a sexual innuendo towards her.

After the incident he then quizzed her in the tea room at St Luke’s about why she had told people what he had said, the hearing was told.

On another occasion, on April 9, 2010, Igbokwe is said to have called her into his office and held her hips from behind.

He then thrust himself against her, told her to sit down, exposed his privates and gestured to her to perform a sex act.

'He touched me on a previous occasion, but the actual grabbing was the same time when he exposed himself and actually grabbed me from behind,' said Mrs Turley.

She said he was aggressive and rude to her, asking her to bring him dinner or make his tea.

But it was in June 2008 that he is alleged to have called her into his office and said: 'Because I want to f*** you over my desk.'

Mrs Turley told the panel: 'I'm from a deprived working area and I was devastated.  'Most nights coming home and on Sundays not wanting to face the next day.

'The harassment started back up again because he was thinking I was going to say something and made my life and working environment unbearable to try to make me finish on my own.

'But when I didn’t report it he started up an onslaught of sexual innuendo and text messages again because he got away with it the first time.'

The panel heard Igbokwe would 'make eyes' at her when they were working in the same room and ask her to meet at local hotels.

Even when she had left her job and was pursuing legal action against Igbokwe she claims the harassment didn’t stop.

She received pornographic emails, which were sometimes opened by her husband and children, and was told by friends they had seen a suspicious silver Mercedes following her.

'It was just unreal, my life. I’m trying to start to get it back together, but it’s still there. I just want to shut the book on it,' she said.  'I feel I have moved on a lot, but to talk about it, when I go into any detail and depth I get upset because I think was there anything that I did,' she added.


If we can't even send the Boat Race saboteur back to Oz because it's 'racist', who can we deport?

He was the man who tried to wreck the 2012 Varsity Boat Race, received a six-month jail sentence back on dry land and was subsequently branded ‘undesirable’ by the Home Secretary and her department.

One year on, Trenton Oldfield has pulled off yet another stunt which, in its own way, is as spectacular as the original. And it is one which leaves the rest of the world asking: what does it actually take to get kicked out of Britain?

For the Australian amphibian will not now be going back Down Under, after all. His argument, absurdly, is that his home country is full of ‘racists’. And it has been enough to persuade an immigration judge to overrule the Home Office and let him stay put to entertain us all indefinitely.

If our own Home Secretary cannot deport a criminal to perhaps the most civilised place on earth, maybe it is  time to give up this deportation lark altogether.

Oldfield now joins the ever-growing list of foreign criminals who have managed to avoid the efforts of the British Government to have them returned to their motherlands.

Of course, many of those have committed more heinous crimes than Oldfield. But his case is yet another mockery of our immigration system.

Certainly, any Brit jailed for scuppering a great Aussie sporting ritual like, say, the Melbourne Cup or the Sydney-Hobart race, would soon be on a plane once they’d done their stint in the slammer.

For all the tired old jokes about its convict origins, Australia has a robust record on such matters. In 2008, it deported Simon Wilson to Britain, even though the convicted murderer and rapist had left Britain at the age  of two. (And who can blame  the Aussies? Three months after coming ‘home’, Wilson launched a horrific sex attack on a 71-year-old woman in North London).

But what is particularly striking — and risible — about the Oldfield story is the garbage offered up in his defence, and the readiness of our liberal establishment to swallow it.

The usual tactic deployed by foreign criminals trying to dodge deportation is to pull the ‘human rights’ joker from the pack. No matter what Theresa May and her staff — let alone the public — might think, they just need to convince a judge that they would have a horrid time in their home country.

But Oldfield was due to return to perhaps the nicest place on the planet. According to the UN’s latest Human Development Index, Australia is second only to Norway as the best place on earth to live. Britain, by comparison, is down at number 27 — which may explain those long queues of miserable Brits queuing up at Australia House in search of a new life Down Under.

Despite all this, Oldfield managed to argue he shouldn’t go home because his country is full of ‘passive aggressive racists’ and his wife, Deepa, is of Indian descent. ‘Australia to Deepa,’ he told the court, ‘is a particularly racist country. There are particularly racist attacks on people of Indian descent.’ He added: ‘I don’t think I could put either Deepa or my child through that.’

He wasn’t just peddling the old cliche about Australia being a land of beer-chugging, Sheila-squeezing ockers. He was presenting his homeland as some sort of grim cross between the Raj and post-war Mississippi. If I were Australian, I’d want him back in court on a charge of perjury.

On top of this canard, we have also heard friends of Oldfield attempting to justify his actions as if he were some latter-day Emily Davison. Thankfully, no one has compared him with Nelson Mandela, but it’s probably only a matter of time.

One group fighting his cause, an outfit calling itself Defend The Right To Protest, argues that disrupting the Boat Race was a legitimate act of civil disobedience. ‘Trenton’s choice of target,’ it proclaims, ‘was designed to highlight the injustice of growing inequalities being presided over by a government Cabinet composed of almost 70 per cent Oxbridge graduates.’

The Oldfield camp even managed to rustle up 200 signatures from Oxbridge academics and alumni. ‘The Boat Race is a game,’ states their petition. ‘Its disruption should not result in any individual’s deportation.’

They go on to argue that no one was hurt and that the race was completed. But that was only thanks to the sharp eyes and quick thinking of Oxford old boy, Sir Matthew Pinsent, looking on from the umpire’s launch. The four-times Olympic champion noticed something not right and called a halt to the race. A few seconds later and Oldfield could have been decapitated or drowned.

But as far as the Oldfield fan club is concerned, the Boat Race is merely a jolly day out for a gilded elite.

Had Oldfield tried to halt a major football match, of course, he would have been in real trouble.

Every time football fans invade a soccer pitch, up goes the ritual demand that they be banged up and ‘banned for life’. But Oldfield was only inconveniencing a few toffs. So that’s all right then.

In fact, we are talking about one of our oldest sporting events. Televised all over the world, it attracts a live audience on the banks of the Thames four times the size of an  FA Cup final crowd and is part of our sporting culture.

Mention the Boat Race and no one will ever ask: ‘What boat? What race?’ Such is the calibre of these athletes that many go straight on to the Olympics.

What is particularly striking - and risible - about the Oldfield story is the garbage offered up in his defence, and the readiness of our liberal establishment to swallow it (Pictured: Trenton with his wife Deepa)

And it was the rowers, not Oldfield, who suffered that day. As the race was restarted midstream, Oxford broke an oar in the chaos. Desperate to compensate for his oarless comrade’s lack of power, Oxford’s Alexander Woods rowed so hard that he collapsed at the finish and was rushed to intensive care.

Though Woods recovered, for a few anxious hours it seemed that the race might be remembered for something far worse than a moronic piece of human driftwood. Don’t tell those athletes that it was just a youthful prank. Oldfield is 37 for heaven’s sake — nearly twice the age of the average undergraduate.

Yet this parody of self-importance and self-righteousness felt qualified to ruin a great sporting occasion on the grounds of, er, well?.?.?. what? At the time he mumbled something about inequality.  Yet most of those oarsmen had not attended a public school — unlike the privately educated Oldfield.

This week, he came up with a new excuse, saying he had been ‘heartbroken’ after visiting Deepa’s dying father. ‘I think I was very emotional,’ he said. ‘When you walk around London, you see pockets of deprivation that still exist.’

Did the judge really buy this ‘dog ate my homework’ tosh? I can’t think of any city on earth that doesn’t have its ‘pockets of deprivation’. Does that entitle me to barge into every local sporting fiesta and spoil it?

Oldfield has dragged his wife’s Indian ancestry into all this. He’d be on stronger ground if he’d hopped on a plane to Calcutta and dug up the crease at Eden Gardens.

Online tributes from friends and neighbours make much of the fact that Oldfield now has a baby and would be cruelly separated from his child if he went back to Australia while his wife stayed here.

What sort of a society, they ask, could do such a thing? It is clearly a sad state of affairs — but who is the guilty party in all this? The Home Office? Or the messianic maniac in the wetsuit?

Trenton Oldfield is not an evil man. He is clearly not half as much of a menace to society as hundreds of other foreign criminals whom successive governments have failed to deport. Yet he sought to send a dramatic message to the world on live television and he duly did so.

The world may have no idea what he was on about. But it will have drawn a pretty clear conclusion from this case: if it’s this hard to get thrown out of Britain, it’s hardly surprising that so many people are trying to get in.


Air Force Kicks Baby Jesus off Base

The Baby Jesus has been kicked off Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, according to an organization who relishes any opportunity to eradicate Christianity from the U.S. military.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation praised officials at Shaw Air Force Base for removing a Nativity scene located near Memorial Lake on Friday. The traditional Nativity included plastic statues of Mary, Joseph, the Baby Jesus and an assortment of animals.

Apparently, an undisclosed number of Airmen were so emotionally troubled by the sight of a manger scene that they immediately notified the MRFF.

I can only imagine the psychological damage they must have suffered as a result of glancing at the plastic statues. I hope no one needed hospitalization, God forbid.

The MRFF’s Paul Loebe wrote in a statement that since the display was not erected near a chapel, it was illegal.

“It was very sectarian in nature and a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution as well as a blatant violation of Air Force Instruction 1-1, Section 2.11,” he said.

So the Newborn King is a violation of Air Force regulations? Who knew?

Loebe swiftly alerted MRFF President Mikey Weinstein who then called his BFF’s at the Pentagon. That led to an immediate investigation and more than two hours later, the Nativity had been removed.

“To the Air Force’s credit, it agreed with MRFF’s arguments to remove the Nativity scene swiftly and apparently found this scene to be as much a violation of all the pertinent regulations and the United States Constitution as MRFF did,” he stated.

He praised the Air Force for “acting so swiftly to reverse this egregious violation.”

So why did the Air Force unceremoniously boot the Son of God and why are they so terrified of Mikey Weinstein?

The public affairs office at Shaw AFB did not return eight telephone calls and an email seeking comment. They must have been preoccupied hauling away the donkey and the sheep.

Public affairs officers did take down three media queries from me – including a query as to why the other queries had gone unanswered.

Hiram Sasser, the director of litigation for Liberty Institute, told me the military’s actions were unconstitutional.

“This was private speech,” he said. “The military can say no displays on a base but it cannot allow a display and then ban it simply because of its religious viewpoint.”

Sasser said the Supreme Court has ruled in the past that viewpoint discrimination even in a non-public forum such as a military base in unconstitutional.

“It appears that Mikey Weinstein has a special hotline to call his friends in leadership at the Pentagon to alert them to engage in unnecessary and, in this case, unlawful censorship of private religious speech,” he said.

Fox News commentator Sarah Palin, the author of the new book, “Good Tidings and Great Joy,” said what happened at Shaw Air Force base is not surprising.

“We see stories like this every day and yet leftwing pundits still claim that the so-called ‘War on Christmas’ is a figment of the imagination,” Palin told me. “The War on Christmas is just the top of the spear in a larger battle to marginalize expressions of faith and make true religious freedom a thing of the past.”

Palin’s book is a call to arms for Americans to “stand strong on America’s faith-filled foundation.”

“Never let these scrooges strip away the true meaning of Christmas,” she told me.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation bragged that it only took the Air Force two hours and 15 minutes to remove Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Sasser doubted the military would respond with such speed to correct what he called “unconstitutional religious viewpoint discrimination.”

He said he was surprised the Pentagon responded so swiftly to Weinstein’s demands - “as if he were under attack in a foreign country in need of rescue from a deadly mob.”

“Apparently if you are ever in trouble and need a quick response from the Pentagon, tell them a plastic Baby Jesus is at the gates.”

Maybe that’s what they should’ve done in Benghazi


Home of the Church of England fails to celebrate Christmas after Canterbury is left in the dark with council bosses refusing to put up festive lights

It is the spiritual home of the Church of England - but Canterbury is failing to get in the Christmas mood after after Scrooge-like council bosses refused to spend money on festive lights.

Local residents have complained that the decision has left the historic city centre looking 'dark and depressing' with some saying it reminds them of the war days.

But John Gilbey, Canterbury City Council leader, insists leaving the high street without Christmas lights is the right thing to do in the face of its growing budget crisis.

The council has been ordered to make savings of £5.5million by 2017, and cutting the funding for illuminations will spare £56,000 - but traders are furious at the council's attitude.

The Kent city is home to Canterbury Cathedral - the most important place of worship in the Anglican Church - where the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England delivers his Christmas sermon on Christmas Day.

John Hippisley, leader of the Canterbury Independent Traders Alliance, said: 'It beggars belief that Canterbury - the very cradle of Christianity - doesn't have any Christmas lights.

'Every town and city up and down England has Christmas lights, but here we have none. It's a public disgrace.

'All the little businesses are really struggling in the recession and they were banking on Christmas trade to help them through. It's the most important time of year for them.

'But without any Christmas lights, the city just looks dull, dark and depressing. One pensioner told me it felt like the war, all over again.'

He said he fears customers will go to the nearby shopping centre in Bluewater as it's more appealing with 'fantastic Christmas lights'.  'Traders have told me that trade is much worse than last Christmas and it's a real worry,' he said.

Meanwhile campaigner Steve Coombs organised a protest march through the city last weekend to put pressure on the council to reverse its decision.

He said: 'A lot of people are dismayed about the lack of Christmas lights. The council have underspent by nearly £1million this year, so why can't they afford some lights?'

Only the Whitefriars precinct and the King's Mile in Canterbury have lights to lift the mood.

These have been funded privately, although a grant from the council was put towards the display in independent traders' area King's Mile.

A local business has paid for a Christmas tree in the city centre, with the council paying around £2,000 to decorate it.

Mr Hippisley added: 'I looked into the costs of hiring and putting up Christmas lights in the high street, but the public liability insurance would have cost £7,000, making it prohibitively expensive.

'The council has the money, but they don't want to celebrate Christmas. Instead they've squirreled away £103,000 for re-paving an area of the city that does not need repaving and they've set aside £17,000 to refurbish the Lord Mayor's robes.

'Does anyone even care about the Lord Mayor's robes? I know most people here would prefer to have some Christmas lights.'

A spokesman from Canterbury City Council said that start-up grants totalling around £10,000 have been given to community and business groups in Herne Bay and Whitstable to help them take over the organisation of the lights in their towns.

Councillor Gilbey said: 'It was inevitable that this day would come. Christmas lights were a nice thing to do when we had money, but now they are not of sufficient quality to make a difference and there is simply no cash to invest in new displays.

'Instead of persisting with something sub-standard, the only option left is to stop doing it.  'Much has been said in the media and elsewhere about cuts in council funding. This is one very real example of its impact'

He added: 'As the money goes down, we are going to have to take more difficult decisions not to do things, in order to protect important frontline services and the services we are required to provide by law.

'It's not an easy message, but I think people need to be prepared to see more of the things they like disappearing in the years ahead.'



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

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

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


11 December, 2013

BBC receives 1,350 complaints about 'excessive' coverage of Mandela's death  -- which was hardly unexpected

It would have given them repeated orgasms to be able to give high praise to a black man

More than 1,000 viewers have complained about 'excessive' coverage of Nelson Mandela's death on BBC services, including some who grumbled about a repeat of Mrs Brown's Boys being interrupted.

The BBC has defended the extent to which it featured the death of the former South African president, a major news item which led bulletins around the world.

By today the corporation had received 1,350 complaints about too much coverage across its news services, with some saying the emphasis had reduced the coverage of severe weather across the UK that day.

Programme chiefs broke into a repeat of BBC1 sitcom Mrs Brown's Boys to break the news.

The BBC has defended its coverage and said Mandela's death was of 'considerable interest' to audiences in the UK and across the rest of the world.

A BBC spokeswoman said the corporation had also continued to cover other major stories.

The spokeswoman today said: 'Nelson Mandela was a hugely significant world leader with an enormous political and cultural influence across the world.  'His death is of considerable interest to our audiences at home and across the globe.

'We know that people turn to the BBC for authoritative coverage of breaking news and we will continue to provide comprehensive coverage for a wide range of BBC News outlets, across TV, radio and online, as the world reacts to his passing, reflects on his legacy, and prepares for his funeral.

'After the initial announcement we have, of course, continued to cover other major stories as they have developed.'

The news of Mandela's death dominated news coverage throughout the weekend, while Parliament today cleared its agenda for eight hours of tributes to the former South African president.


Tree wars: Now killjoy council responsible for Christmas tree dubbed 'Britain's worst' take away pub landlord's replacement

After their high street's Christmas tree was dubbed the worst in Britain, residents of Stockton Town Centre were left feeling a little less festive than others.

So, in a bid to restore the community's Christmas spirit, a local pub landlord decided to put up his own fir near the council's effort, which has been likened to 'an upside down cornet'.

But within hours of erecting the improved tree, council officials were on site to tear it down after branding it a 'health and safety hazard.'

Craig Harker was left mortified by the attention the town's tree had received, with some critics slamming it as a 'disgrace'.

With the help of some local children, the 26-year-old decided to put up a real Christmas fir, complete with tinsel, baubles and beads.

But despite being admired by customers at The George Pub, the tree was swiftly taken away on the back of  a JCB by council workers who deemed it 'dangerous'.

Mr Harker said: 'A bar worker saw the council workers driving away with the tree and she called me.  'She was too late to do anything about it, as they were already leaving when she saw them.'  Though the pub was open at the time, Mr Harker claims no one bothered to tell staff the tree was to be removed.

'When I rang the council I was told that it had blown over and that it was a health and safety hazard,' he added.

The landlord wasn't the only local resident who was left red-faced by the council's 'tree' which was likened to a dunce's hat and wigwam by passers-by.

'It's not good for the town to get such publicity, I wanted to do something positive.  'I am devastated, I don't understand why they could not have just spoken to me about it.'

'It meant a lot to me, I was running round trying to sort out the buying of the tree while by partner was in hospital with our newborn baby.'

Mr Harker has even offered to gift the tree to the council so they can put it back up, but is waiting for a response.

Stockton Council has said it received a report that the tree had blown over - and that workers took it away on Monday morning 'while making efforts to establish who owns it.'

The council has since tweeted that it is talking to Mr Harker, but did not indicate whether the tree would be reinstated.

Councillor Bob Cook, Leader of Stockton Council, said: 'The tree was blown over during the early hours, narrowly missing a passer-by.

'Thankfully nobody was injured but I think the CCTV footage speaks for itself really – this is not a case of the council overreacting, more a case of being sensible in light of the windy conditions.  'Our staff recovered the tree after a report that it had been propped up against a barrier.'

Stockton Council was not available for a comment this evening.

Last week the town's tree was lambasted as the country's worst, with critics comparing it to an upside down cornet and dunce's hat.

Local residents were dismayed by the effort, with some saying they would take their children and grandchildren elsewhere to see the Christmas lights being switched on.


‘Tis The Season For Militant Atheists To Whine

There’s nothing like the holidays for laughing at anti-religious malcontents being driven to madness by the thought of Christians and Jews celebrating their faiths. Crosses, menorahs, happy people with satisfying personal lives – these things drive the militant atheists into a sputtering rage.

Watching them fume is the gift that keeps on giving.

Normal atheists just don’t believe in God, and those of us who do, figure that’s between them. They respect our religion and we respect their right to have no part of it. Sure, some religious folks talk to people about their faith, but it’s not clear why someone advocating his beliefs to another is committing a terrible faux pas. After all, the believer believes he’s trying to do the recipient a favor. The proper response if one is uninterested isn’t exaggerated indignation but a polite, “No thanks.”

That’s how things should work in a pluralistic society where people believe different things. Sometimes you come into contact with people who don’t share your ideas. We call that “diversity” – not the bogus “crush all opposition to progressivism” diversity of the left but real American diversity. The key is not to be a jerk – that goes for both the person sharing his views and the person hearing them.

But jerkiness is the difference between the decent guy who’s just not feeling the connection with the Lord and the smug militant atheist who thinks that putting a fish sticker with legs that says “Darwin” on his Prius is biting social commentary.

Last year, I took my hideous terrier out after opening presents and my orthodox Jewish neighbor saw me and immediately wished me a “Merry Christmas.” And when he saw I was alone on Easter, he invited me to join his family for Passover. See folks, that’s how you do it in America.

So, spiteful little digs like the Darwin fish show us “theists” … well, I’m not actually sure what they’re supposed to show us. That militant atheists are too smart to believe in God? Sorry, my mind is not blown. What else ya got?

Do they think that their militant atheism is some sort of powerful statement of nonconformity? If so, it’s right up there with other emblems of no-cost rebellion, like facial pieced and stupid tribal tatts.

Being a militant atheist in America is about as rebellious and nonconformist as being a virgin at a Brony convention. You really to want live on the edge? Go be an atheist in Iran. See how that works out for you.

These atheist evangelicals aren’t satisfied not to believe. They think we need to not believe too. They seem to live under the bizarre misapprehension that if they are just rude enough to us believers, we’ll somehow unsee the light, put the scales back on our eyes and cast off our faith to embrace a life of spiritual emptiness.

To fill that vast void, militant atheists have taken to forming atheist churches, with sitting in pews, group singing long and sermons. Congratulations – you picked all the worst parts of religion.

What do their sermons cover? “Good morning. There is no God. See you next week?” Maybe they talk about the intolerable cruelty of having to experience people wishing them “Merry Christmas.” Or how their kid heard “Joy to the World” at school and started asking uncomfortable questions when he figured out that who has come wasn’t Santa.

Militant atheists are not all the same. The third most annoying kind likes to shout about how believers hate “science.” I sure hate science. And that’s not an iPhone in my pocket. It’s a magic talking-box that I power with prayers.

The ones shouting about “science” at us superstitious knuckle-draggers are inevitably the ones most breathlessly pushing the global warming scam. Just don’t point out that their claim that all weather phenomena support their climate change hypothesis makes it not really scientific at all. They’ll call you a “denier,” and in militant atheist-speak, “denier” means “heretic.”

Militant atheists are irony-free.

The second most annoying militant atheists are the ones who think they’ve mastered Christian dogma. They’ll quote some obscure passage from the Book of Habakkuk (2:15) and start quizzing you on how you can consider yourself a good Christian after you gave drink to your neighbor. Of course, I have an edge on them. I was raised a California Methodist, and we don’t actually have any dogma.

The most annoying ones file lawsuits. Somebody wants to say a prayer before a Friday night high school football game in East Tumbleweed, Texas, and you can be sure some litigious twerp will allege that he is being subjected to the worst religious oppression since the Christians played the lions in the Colosseum.

And what Christmas and Hanukkah season would be complete without some friendless killjoy suing because a town decided to stick a cross and a menorah out in front of city hall? The sight of so many happy, content people seems painful to them. But then, have you even met a happy, content militant atheist? If so, what was the name of his unicorn?

This is not to say that some holidays don’t deserve mockery. Take Kwanzaa, which is a religious holiday in the sense that progressivism is, itself, a pagan religion. Some communist professor/convicted felon named Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga (née Ronald McKinley Everett) invented it in 1966. He hung bits of Marxy foolishness off it like ornaments on a Christmas tree. My favorite is the principle of Ujama, or “cooperative economics.” Gee, how could a concept called “cooperative economics” possibly go wrong?

So, to all the believers and nonbelievers out there who live in harmony with their neighbors of all faiths or none, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! And to you militant atheists, have a socially just and redistributive Kwanzaa, comrades!


Judge Says Baker Must Make Wedding Cakes for Homosexuals

A Colorado judge says a Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs, a ruling that a civil rights group hailed as a victory for gay rights.

Administrative Law Judge Robert N. Spencer ruled Friday that Jack Phillips, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver, will face fines if he continues to turn away gay couples who want to buy wedding cakes.

“The undisputed facts show that Respondents (Phillips) discriminated against Complainants because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage,” Spencer wrote.

Last year, David Mullins and Charlie Craig visited the Masterpiece Cakeshop to order a cake for their upcoming wedding reception. The couple had planned to marry in Massachusetts and hold a reception in Colorado.

Phillips told the men that he could not bake their cake because of his religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage. He offered to make them any other baked item, but not a wedding cake. The couple immediately left the shop and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.

“Being denied service by Masterpiece Cakeshop was offensive and dehumanizing especially in the midst of arranging what should be a joyful family celebration,” Mullins said in a statement. “No one should fear being turned away from a public business because of who they are.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado hailed the ruling and said it serves as a warning.

“While we all agree that religious freedom is important, no one’s religious beliefs make it acceptable to break the law by discriminating against prospective customers,” ACLU staff attorney Amanda Goad said in a statement. “No one is asking Masterpiece’s owners to change his beliefs, but treating gay people differently because of who they are is discrimination plain and simple.”

Phillips was represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal firm specializing in religious liberty cases. Attorney Nicolle Martin condemned the judge’s ruling.

“America was founded on the fundamental freedom of every citizen to live and work according to their beliefs,” Martin said in a prepared statement. “Forcing Americans to promote ideas against their will undermines our constitutionally protected freedom of expression and our right to live free.”

Martin said this was simply a case of a baker who declined to use his personal creative abilities to promote and endorse a same-sex ceremony.

“If the government can take aware our First Amendment freedoms, there is nothing it can’t take away,” she said.

Martin added that Phillips is a devoted Christian who has an unwavering faith. She said he is a person of such deep faith that he won’t even bake Halloween-themed treats – at all.

“He’s just trying to live within a certain set of biblical principals because he believes that he answers to God for everything that he does,” Martin told Fox News.

She said this case is an example of gay rights trumping religious rights.

“It sends a message not just to other business owners, it sends a message to Americans – that if the government can take away our First amendment freedoms and tell you what to say and when to say it, there’s nothing they can’t take away,” Martin told Fox News.

Judge Spencer said Phillips did not demonstrate that his free speech rights had been violated and he said there’s no evidence that forcing him to make a cake for a same-sex ceremony would hurt his business.

“On the contrary, to the extent that the law prohibits Respondents’ (Phillips) from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, compliance with the law would likely increase their business by not alienating the gay community,” he wrote.

Martin said it was unclear if Phillips will appeal the judge’s ruling.



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

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

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


10 December, 2013

Bizarre 'Elf and Safety rule will see mother of baby Jesus ride into Bethlehem on a Donkey wearing HARD HAT

Health and Safety chiefs have put paid to a church's plans for a realistic Christmas nativity play -  by insisting that Mary wears a crash helmet as she rides into Bethlehem on donkey back.

The open air play, organised by The Bridge Church, in Neath, near Swansea, will see Mary don the hard hat and instead perch her traditional shawl on top as she rides the real donkey.

The animal's owners have insisted the schoolgirl must wear the protective head wear in keeping with council guidelines and their insurance policy.

Church youth worker Mark Barrett, 44, said: 'We’ve been advised that any young child riding a horse or donkey needs a hard hat for health and safety purposes.

'The owner of the donkey has asked us to do this to make sure we’re in keeping with council guidelines and his insurance policy.   'We don’t really mind, we’ve just got to comply with it, we’ve got to do everything we can to make sure everyone is happy.

'Our stars will be the children taking part who are aged between six and 16 and the donkey.'

The school girl playing Mary has not been chosen yet but she will wear her shawl over the high hat hiding it from view.

Mr Barrett added: 'Lot’s of children have been on donkeys at the beach so I don’t think we’ll have any problem finding a girl who’s comfortable with it.  'The donkey in question has been used on the beach before so he’s very docile.

'But a donkey is very high of the ground for a small child so it is better to be safe than sorry.


Helicopter parenting leaving adults stuck in adolescence

Amy (not her real name) sat in my office and wiped her streaming tears on her sleeve, refusing the scratchy tissues I'd offered. "I'm thinking about just applying for a PhD program after I graduate because I have no idea what I want to do."

Amy had mild depression growing up, and it worsened during the first year of university when she moved from her parents' house to her dorm. It became increasingly difficult to balance school, socialising, laundry and a part-time job. She finally had to dump the part-time job, was still unable to do laundry, and often stayed up until 2am trying to complete homework because she didn't know how to manage her time without her parents keeping track of her schedule.

I suggested finding a job after graduation, even if it's only temporary. She cried harder at this idea. "So, becoming an adult is just really scary for you?" I asked. "Yes," she sniffled. Amy is 30 years old.

Her case is becoming the norm for twenty to thirtysomethings I see in my office as a psychotherapist. I've had at least 100 university and grad students like Amy crying on my couch because breaching adulthood is too overwhelming.

In 2000, psychologist Jeff Arnet coined the term "emerging adolescence" to describe extended adolescence that delays adulthood. People in their 20s no longer view themselves as adults. There are various plausible reasons for this, including longer life spans, helicopter parenting and fewer high paying jobs that allow new university grads to be financially independent at a young age.

Millennials do have to face some issues that previous generations did not. A university degree is now the career equivalent of what a high school degree used to be. This increases the pressure on kids to go to university and makes the process more competitive. The sluggish economy no longer yields a wealth of jobs upon graduation.

It seems as if every article about millennials claims that these kids must all have narcissistic personality disorder. It's easy to generalise an entire population by its collective Facebook statuses. However, narcissism is not Amy's problem, or the main problem with millennials.

The big problem is not that they think too highly of themselves. Their bigger challenge is conflict negotiation, and they often are unable to think for themselves. The over involvement of helicopter parents prevents children from learning how to grapple with disappointments on their own. If parents are navigating every minor situation for their kids, kids never learn to deal with conflict on their own. Helicopter parenting has caused these kids to crash land.

The Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal have reported that millennials are now bringing their parents to job interviews, and companies such as LinkedIn and Google are hosting "take your parents to work day." Parents went from strapping their kids into a Baby Björn carrier to tying their kids' ties.

A 2013 study in the Journal of Child and Family Studies found that university students who experienced helicopter-parenting reported higher levels of depression and use of antidepressant medications. The researchers suggest that intrusive parenting interferes with the development of autonomy and competence. So helicopter parenting leads to increased dependence and decreased ability to complete tasks without parental supervision.

Amy, like many millennials, was groomed to be an academic overachiever, but she became, in reality, an emotional under-achiever. Amy did not have enough coping skills to navigate normal life stressors - how do I get my laundry and my homework done in the same day; how do I tell my flatmate not to watch TV without headphones at 3 am? - without her parents' constant advice or help.

A generation ago, my university peers and I would buy a pint of ice cream and down a shot of peach schnapps (or two) to process a breakup. Now some university students feel suicidal after the breakup of a four-month relationship. Either ice cream no longer has the same magical healing properties, or the ability to address hardships is lacking in many members of this generation.

The era of instant gratification has led to a decrease in what therapists call "frustration tolerance." This is how we handle upsetting situations, allow for ambiguity, and learn to navigate the normal life circumstances of breakups, bad grades and layoffs. When we lack frustration tolerance, moderate sadness may lead to suicidality in the self-soothingly challenged.

Maybe millennials are narcissistic, like most 14-year-olds are. And maybe they will outgrow their narcissism later in life if 30 is the new 18. We don't have the data on what millennials will be like when they're 40. But more importantly, they need to learn how to cope.

Amy is still figuring out how to grow up. After a few months of therapy and medication to stabilise her depression, she started exercising to help relieve anxiety. She started online dating, something she found daunting before, and got a girlfriend. She started applying to post-graduate courses but also made a list of places she wants to apply for jobs. Amy still has no idea what she wants to do when she grows up, but she's a little less frightened of it now.


Men's and women's brains are VERY different

Men! Useless at discerning a woman's true feelings, deaf as a post when a baby is crying and utterly incapable of performing more than one task at a time.

Women! Forever getting overemotional, completely hopeless at map-reading and liable to go into meltdown at the prospect of parallel parking.

Men and women moan continually about the supposed shortcomings of the opposite sex - but now brain scientists have found a real reason for the stereotypical differences in male and female behaviour.  Women's and men's brains are wired in fundamentally different ways.

Neurologists used magnetic resonance imaging (radio-wave scans that produce detailed images of the inside of the body) to study the brains of almost 1,000 volunteers.

The differences between the genders were so profound that men and women might almost be separate species.

Men generally have more connections within each hemisphere and between the front and back of the brain.

In women the stronger connections usually run from side to side, between the left and right hemispheres.

In essence, what this means is that men are more logical and better at coordination and spatial awareness. Women are more intuitive, have greater 'emotional intelligence' and better memories for words and faces.

The research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Ragini Verma, of the University of Pennsylvania, who led the study, concludes that male brains are geared 'to link perception with doing' - so men would be better at, for example, learning a new sport.

Female brains, meanwhile, are configured to handle matters of heart and mind and to study others' behaviour, then interpret it using intuition and analysis.


The genders also respond to pain differently. It has been known for years that women feel pain more than men.  Most chronic pain sufferers are women, and twice as many women as men get migraines.

Indeed, when it comes to migraines, the highly connected, emotionally sensitive female brain might be the problem.

A recent study of migraines by experts at Harvard Medical School's Centre for Pain and the Brain suggests that women's and men's migraines are different.

Their MRI scans of sufferers  showed that women's 'emotional circuitry' played an active role in their migraines far more than men's. This suggests that stress and negative feelings such as anger may play a much greater role in sparking women's migraines.

In fact, emotions seem to play a much greater role in magnifying the intensity of pain felt by women. Canadian investigators have shown that, while women generally report their pain sensations as being much more intense than men's, the disparity does not result from any difference in chemical pain messages. Rather, it seems to be determined by the amount of anxiety the women are experiencing.


The case against progress

By Marta H. Mossburg

Human moral progress is not a given, as progressives would like Americans to believe.

Take the ancient punishment of stoning, for example. A report in The Wall Street Journal earlier this week said the Afghan government is considering draft legislation to inflict as punishment public stoning on men and women who commit adultery.

Abdul Raouf Brahawee, the director of legislation at the Afghan Ministry of Justice told the paper that, “The Islamic Sharia instructs us to do so… There is a verse in the Quran about it.”

So much for 21st century enlightenment. Is this a case of former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton not properly communicating the importance of human rights and women’s rights – her number one priority? Or could it be that scientific knowledge and human nature are not fused at the hip but two distinct lines on the chart of life? It would be nice to believe in moral evolution. It’s very alluring to think that humans are inherently good and only need the right messaging or appropriate government prompts to create a more perfect union and world.

But it requires a permanent state of cognitive dissonance to accept it as true.

Look at Obamacare. People don’t seem to care that their previous health policies were “substandard” and the system immoral, at least to those who passed the legislation. Polls suggest they want both back, and so few are signing up for the new legally compliant and expensive policies that the system will blow up without major changes.

To take an older example, what about the War on Poverty? Has it done more to end poverty or impoverish the minds of generations of Americans who now take for granted being a ward of the state?

Even those at the top of society do not act according to the progressive worldview.

Psychologist and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman wrote brilliantly in 2011’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow” about how even the smartest people make dumb decisions, limited in part by their own small sphere of knowledge and inherent prejudices. In one example he wrote about how he changed his method of grading after realizing how much weight he put on a student’s first essay to determine the quality of the entire exam. For example, if a student wrote an A essay for the first essay, he tended to grade the other essays higher, even if they were of lower quality because he had deemed that student an “A” student. The reverse was true as well.

And think about how people consume social media. Have we become more compassionate and more willing to give to those in need as we’ve become more connected? Not according to giving statistics, which show Americans’ charitable contributions holding steady as a percentage of gross domestic product over four decades.

Could it be that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter merely serve as platforms to amplify our best and worst traits and everything in between?

For those who see human existence as a long march of progress it might be unsettling to think that some of our biggest achievements do not improve who we are as people. But as Joan Didion wrote in “Slouching Toward Bethlehem,” “when we start deceiving ourselves into thinking not that we want something or need something, not that it is a pragmatic necessity for us to have it, but that it is a moral imperative that we have it, then is when we join the fashionable madmen, and then is when the thin whine of hysteria is heard in the land, and then is when we are in bad trouble. And I suspect we are already there.”

She wrote that essay in 1965 when “fashionable madmen” were not yet the establishment.



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

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

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


9 December, 2013

Nelson Mandela

The mainstream media treat Mandela as a saint.  The conservative blogosphere is much less impressed.  See here for example.  Mandela was a Communist and a terrorist in his youth but was aged 72 at the time of his release  from prison, by which time the normal mellowing with age had set in -- and he behaved in an exemplary way from that point on.  What he is credited for largely consists of his being old and grandfatherly at the time of his re-entry into public life.

IQ tests don't test your intelligence. They test your patience (?)

There is a lightweight article below by historian Tim Stanley which I am reluctant to dignify with comment but it could mislead so I will say something.  He is right in pointing out that the questions "failed" by Boris Johnson were trick questions, not IQ questions.  But he goes on to mention more such trick questions so could leave the reader confused.  For the record he gives NO examples of questions from any IQ test.  And his claim that IQ tests  measure patience is simply wrong.  When people are given unlimited time to do a test, their scores rise very little.  That his own score was low probably reflected an unserious approach to the test

So, it turns out that I’m stupid. All those A-levels were for nought: my entire career at Cambridge was the result of a clerical error. Because, according to the IQ tests, I have the intelligence of a goldfish with learning difficulties. I’d probably get lost trying to find my way around the glass bowl.
It was Boris Johnson who put the IQ test back in the news after he declared that the intelligent tend to rise to the top. Having met plenty of MPs, I’d dispute that assertion, but someone else came up with a smart way of putting it to the test – they asked the Mayor a couple of IQ questions live on air. And he got both of them wrong…

Is Boris just a dim blond? Certainly not, or minime vero as he’d put it in Latin. He’s a brilliant classicist who was the victim of some pretty odd questions. The first was: “A man builds a house with four sides of rectangular construction each side with southern exposure. A big bear comes along. What is the colour of the bear?” Sorry?! What? How on earth should I know? Boris said: “the bear is brown”, perhaps because he instantly thought of Paddington Bear. But the correct answer is “white”. Apparently, a house can only have four southern exposures at the North Pole. Ergo, it’s a white polar bear knocking at the door.

Question two is just as weird. “Take two apples from three apples and what do you have?” The answer is two (read it again carefully: “Take two apples…”) but Boris said “one” – and that’s understandable. School has trained us so that whenever we hear a question about the number of apples we instinctively turn it into a subtraction, and go straight for “three minus two equals one”. These IQ questions are all about catching us out.

It’s as if they were written by a swot who compensates for his diminished height and body odour by making other people feel idiotic. Question: “You take the 8.15 train to Edinburgh travelling at 85mph and you arrive one hour late. Why?” Answer: “Because you should’ve caught an earlier train, you goon!” Or: “If a 10-ton elephant grew wings and flew into the air at a rate of two feet per second, how long before it gets a mile high?” Answer: “Never: it’s an elephant! Whoever heard of an elephant growing wings you moron?! Do you have any formal education or were you raised by feral dogs?”

Don’t be embarrassed, Boris – no one normal can answer these questions. Even the supposedly straightforward ones are often so complicated (“Square, circle, triangle, square – what comes next?”) that they quickly become boring and you decide that you won’t play along (“A cat with a lollipop?”).

In short, IQ tests are a test of patience, not wit. When I finally tried one, I came out with a score that puts me in the category of the educationally subnormal. And I’m happy about that. I’m an idiot with better things to do…


British Labour leader  accused of contempt for voters after his polling guru said their anti-immigration views made him 'depressed'

Ed Miliband was last night accused of displaying contempt for voters after his polling guru said their anti-immigration views made him ‘depressed’.

James Morris made a series of scornful remarks after holding a focus group meeting intended to help  the party devise Election-winning policies on the issue.

Mr Morris, a key member of the Labour leader’s strategy unit, dismissed the views of those present  as ‘fill jobs with Brits’.

His outburst reflects tensions among Mr Miliband’s team over immigration. The party is haunted by claims that the last Labour Government  was responsible for mass immigration from Eastern Europe – and divided over whether Mr Miliband should take a stronger line.

Mr Morris, a former No?10 adviser to Tony Blair at the time of the ‘open-door’ policy, used the social-networking website Twitter to announce on Monday evening: ‘Recipe for a miserable evening:  off to do focus groups on immigration.’

And afterwards, he wrote, in a line dripping with sarcasm: ‘Tonight’s focus groups as progressive as  I hoped,’ adding: ‘Their plan: end migration and fill jobs with Brits who have to take job.’

He declared that it had left him ‘depressed, as you might imagine’.

The liberal views on immigration of many of Labour’s frontbenchers are not shared by most voters.  In a recent opinion poll,  72 per cent of respondents favoured slamming the door on unskilled immigrants, while 59 per cent thought we should allow fewer relatives of people already living in Britain into the country to join them.

The findings forced Mr Miliband to announce that, if he wins the next Election, he will introduce measures to help British workers.

Last night, Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi said of Mr Morris’s remarks: ‘This shows the contempt Labour and Ed Miliband have for the public. They don’t want to hear people’s views about immigration.

'Instead they want to censor and shut down any sensible and rational debate on an extremely important subject.  ‘It’s the same old Labour. Anyone who doesn’t share their world view is mocked and attacked.’

A spokesman for Ed Miliband declined to comment.


Liberals Talk Race and Crime - And Hilarity Ensues!

Ann Coulter

On a break from pretending to believe they live in a country bristling with violent white racists, the Non-Fox Media have been trying to debunk stories about the "Knockout Game," in which young black males approach random strangers and try to knock them out with one punch.

The left's leading line of defense against the Knockout Game is to argue that young black males have always been violent, so, hey, this is nothing new.

You're welcome, black America!

In Slate, Emma Roller wearily recounted other episodes of black-on-white violence in order to announce: "The 'Knockout Game' is a myth."

Reminiscing about the flash mobs that shook many parts of the country a few years ago, Roller wrote: "I remember the summer of 2011, a story about a crowd of (black) teenagers at the Wisconsin State Fair randomly attacking fairgoers went viral as a sign of a burgeoning race war."

So you see, stupid right-wingers, young black males have always been violent, so what's the big deal about the Knockout Game? Your honor, my client's not a killer; he's a serial killer.

MSNBC's Chris Hayes reached for a different example of monstrous black-on-white violence in order to dispute that the Knockout Game is anything new.

Looking like a translator for the deaf with all the air quotes he had to make for "supposed" "trend" and "Knockout Game," Hayes compared it to what he called the fake trend of "wilding" after a mob of black youths violently attacked and raped a white woman jogging in New York's Central Park in 1989. According to Hayes, "there never was such a thing" as wilding.

Whether the boys who were convicted of the crime did it or, as liberals now claim, a man already sentenced to life in prison did it, the Central Park jogger was brutally raped and nearly murdered by either one or several young black men. (They all did it -- see Chapter 13 of my book "Demonic.")

The following year, 1990, blacks committed 57 percent of all the violent crime against whites, while whites committed only 2 percent of the violent crime against blacks, according to the Department of Justice's annual Victimization Report.

Thanks for the memories, Chris!

Oh, and contrary to Hayes' proclamation, black men raping white women is something of a "trend" -- at least according to FBI crime statistics. At least since 1997 (I got bored and stopped looking any farther back) blacks have raped several thousand white women every year, while white-on-black rapes have numbered between "0.0" and "Sample based on 10 or fewer." (See Chapter 11 of "Mugged.")

In a particularly incomprehensible defense of black America in Mediaite, Tommy Christopher denounced the "sketchy" news reports of "the so-called 'Knockout Game'" by citing the video of a group of black teenagers walking past teacher Jim Addlespurger, when one of the black teens steps from the group and knocks the teacher out cold, and then they all laugh about the assault as they continue walking.

But Christopher helpfully notes that a cop said this "was just a random act of violence." So don't worry about the Knockout Game, white people -- this is mostly just ordinary, everyday black-on-white violence.

Flash mobs, wilding, day-to-day black violence -- talk about damning with faint praise!

Liberals have to work so hard to avoid noticing the astronomical crime rate among young black males that their brains freeze.

Roller attributed public interest in a story about mobs of young black males attacking families at a state fair to white people's need to validate their "fear" that black people are dangerous. (Milwaukeeans hardly even notice when mobs of whites surround their families at a state fair, punch them, kick them and smash their cars, while shouting racial slurs.)

But Roller implied that blacks engaging in violence is wildly unusual: "When a few YouTube videos are able to convince terrified white folks that young black people are dangerous, they may as well assume that all cats can play the keyboard."

Is a disproportionate amount of keyboard playing in the country being done by cats?

According to the FBI, between 1976 and 2005, blacks, who are about 12 percent of the population, committed 53 percent of all felony murders and 56 percent of non-felony murders. The Centers for Disease Control recently reported that young black men are 14 times more likely to commit murder than young white men.

White liberals know this. Blacks certainly know it. Despite the hoo-ha over George Zimmerman shooting Trayvon Martin, most black people's experience is not that white vigilantes are shooting them. For every one of those, there are 1,000 black teens killing other black people.

But if liberals took the first step toward sanity and admitted that young black men commit an awful lot of violent crime, they might have to ask why that is.

That's a dangerous question for people who refuse to acknowledge the devastation of fatherless boys caused by liberal welfare policies. (See Chapter 6 of "Never Trust a Liberal Over 3" to see how the British welfare system has created the same social disaster among hordes of white people.)

Unable to consider the obvious explanation -- single-motherhood -- liberals are left with nothing but genetic determinism.

So liberals defend young black males from the charge of playing a Knockout Game by telling us young black men are always violent.

Don't worry, black America. White liberals have your back.



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

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

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


8 December, 2013

Another reward for Britain's multiculturalism

A violent criminal with a string of convictions fractured an 86-year-old's pelvis eight months after he won a human rights battle to stay in Britain.

A judge said Herve Mika, 24, should have been deported to his native Congo in central Africa, five years before he attacked a vulnerable pensioner in Ipswich, Suffolk, a court has heard.

Mika was convicted of racially or religiously aggravated assault and affray at Coventry Crown Court in 2008, and the judge recommended he serve his sentence before being thrown out of Britain.

However, he successfully appealed against his deportation in July last year, arguing he would not get the medication he needed for his mental illness in the Congo.

In March this year Mika, 24, committed grievous bodily harm on a frail 86-year-old at a Sainsbury's.

The attack has turned his devastated victim's life upside down, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Mika was trying to flee from staff who suspected him of shoplifting when he pushed the woman to the ground.

Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday there had been doubts over his mental fitness to enter a plea to GBH after the incident in the town.

But Mika admitted the charge after being ruled fit to do so.

Prosecutor Michael Crimp said he was suspected of shoplifting in Sainsbury's on February 24, but ran off.  He returned to the store on March 5.  Mika, of no fixed address, tried to escape again when an employee said they wanted to speak to him.

Mr Crimp said he shoved the elderly woman to the ground with 'some force', wrecking her life.

The court was told that Mika was first convicted at Birmingham juvenile court in 2006. He also has convictions for theft and assault.

Mr Crimp said Mika had also been convicted of battery on two people he had met in the street.  It also emerged that the serial offender was given a 12-month conditional discharge by Norwich magistrates last Friday for assaulting a prison officer.

Sentencing Mika for GBH at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge David Goodin ordered him to be detained without time restriction under the Mental Health Act.


Brazilian mother forced to flee to her country's embassy in Norway after officials try to take her daughter, 3, into care 'for not eating like a Norwegian'

No multiculturalism there!  Norwegian racism?

A Brazilian woman has fled to her embassy in Oslo with her three-year-old daughter after Norwegian child protection services threatened to take the child into care.

Vitoria Alves Jesumary, 37, a Brazilian native, claims social services tried to take her daughter Sofia because she is not ‘eating like a Norwegian’.

Ms Jesumary has now been hiding at the embassy for a week and is refusing to leave until she is allowed to leave for Brazil with her daughter.

Ms Jesumary recently divorced Sofia’s father, a Norwegian man of Chilean descent, and the custody battle and troublesome split led to her contacting welfare services for help, but instead was threatened with losing her child, she claims.

A friend of Ms Jesumary says she was told the reason for Sofia being taken into care is because of her eating habits and dominating character, however the mother does not speak either English or Norwegian.

‘Put simply, it's an abuse of authority," Ana Lucia Lima, a pastor at a pentecostal church in Oslo, told The Local.

‘They say she's not eating like it's normal to do here in Norway and that she's developing a dominating character among her friends. They say this is because she's not getting good parenting.’

Child Protection Services were contacted by local media, but refused to comment on individual cases.

Brazilian embassy representative Francisco Chagas Catunda Resende told state broadcaster NRK that although Brazil respected Norway's laws and institutions, it is in Sofia's best interest  that she and her mother move to Brazil.

‘We’re trying to resolve this case diplomatically with Norwegian authorities,’ he said.  ‘It is a very uncomfortable situation for the embassy.’

The Brazilian embassy has met with representatives from the local CPS as well as the Chilean consulate, Mr Resende added.

Sofia’s father told the state broadcaster that he also supports Ms Jesumary’s wish to travel to Brazil.  ‘As I see it, it’s the only solution. We don’t think this can be solved in court,’ he told NRK.


Mistake of multiculturalism aided extremists says British PM

Timid politicians with a ‘misplaced’ fear of offending Muslims have allowed Islamist extremism to take root in the institutions of Britain, the Prime Minister warned yesterday.

A task force chaired by David Cameron said the policy of treating different cultures as ‘separate and distinct’ – known as multiculturalism – had been a ‘mistake’.

The panel said it was far easier to combat the fanaticism that leads to terrorism when different communities ‘come together to challenge it’.

Yesterday’s report – a response to the killing of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich – was scathing about the ‘reticence’ of politicians to confront Islamists.

It was published by Downing Street on behalf of Mr Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and a string of other senior Cabinet ministers.

The report gives a stark warning of how – by being afraid to challenge hard-line views – politicians had allowed fanaticism to take root in a string of British institutions.

It says: ‘The Government, as much as organisations and communities in the UK, must take responsibility.  ‘We have been too reticent about challenging extreme Islamist ideologies in the past, in part because of a misplaced concern that attacking Islamist extremism equates to an attack on Islam itself. This reticence, and the failure to confront extremists, has led to an environment conducive to radicalisation in some mosques and Islamic centres, universities and prisons.’

For three decades, Whitehall promoted a strategy of multiculturalism that Mr Cameron has previously described as ‘encouraging different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream’.

The task force, which the PM personally chaired, warns this was a ‘mistake’. It says: ‘Extremism is less likely to be tolerated by communities which come together to challenge it.

‘Britain is stronger because of its open, multi-faith and multi-racial communities, which can tackle extremists together and challenge the view that it is not possible to be a true Muslim and be integrated in British society.

Mr Cameron called on the  Government and wider society to ‘take action to confront extremism in all its forms, whether in our communities, schools, prisons, Islamic centres or universities’.

He said yesterday: ‘I have been absolutely clear that this is not something we should be afraid to address for fear of cultural sensitivities.’

The task force is recommending new civil powers – dubbed ‘Tebos’, or terror and extremism behaviour orders – to target extremists.  They could be used to bar people from preaching messages of terror and hate, associating with named individuals thought vulnerable to radicalisation, and from entering specific venues such as mosques or community halls.

Ministers also want new internet filters to block extremist websites and extended powers for watchdogs to shut down charities suspected of being fronts for extremist groups.

The Government is also introducing a new definition of extremism which specifically includes a ‘distorted interpretation of Islam’ which argues against ‘liberal values such as democracy, the rule of law and equality’.

In 2004 Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality – now the Equality and Human Rights Commission – said multiculturalism was out of date because it ‘suggests separateness’. He warned that Britain was sleepwalking into segregation.


It's OK to shoot burglars in Britain -- but only if you are a drug dealer

Tony Martin will be fascinated to hear it

A retired watchmaker who became a Breaking Bad-style drugs manufacturer has been cleared of wrongdoing after shooting a burglar while trying to protect his cannabis crop.

Malcolm White, 63, fired at Robert Richards when he caught him trying to smash his living room window in October 2011.

The burglar was so badly injured when he was arrested that doctors had to amputate his right leg - but yesterday a jury ruled that White had not meant to harm him.

He had previously pleaded not guilty to unlawful wounding with intent to commit grievous bodily harm at Worcester Crown Court.

However, White admitted growing cannabis and illegal possession of weapons at a previous court hearing, and will be sentenced at a later date.

A jury heard that the retiree spent 20 minutes locking up the garage which contained his £18,000 cannabis farm before he reported the attempted break-in at his £420,000 home in Whitborne, Herefordshire by Richards, 30, and Darren Randall, 26.

He told officers he believed the robbers had been after his Audi A8 sports car - but failed to inform them he had shot one of the thieves.

The jury was told that White had a total of 20 firearms stashed around his home, and boasted to partner Josephine Merrick that he 'shot the bastard' during the botched burglary.

Prosecutor Simon Phillips said that White was 'no ordinary householder' and shot Richards in order to 'protect his turf'.

He continued: 'The reality was, Mr White knew this raid was a possibility and took the initiative to shoot Mr Richards before he knew it.

'He was protecting his turf and was prepared with a number of firearms around his property.

'In Mr White's garage was a valuable and extensive crop of cannabis. He was somebody who had something to protect.'

The barrister told the court that the couple's home was 'set apart from other houses', making it easier for White to conceal his drug farm, for which he had bought £20,000 worth of equipment.

When police searched the garage they seized 60 plants worth up to £18,000 but capable of producing £60,000 of cannabis a year.

Mr Phillips said: 'Mr White and Josephine Merrick were watching television when someone began banging on the living room window with a tool of some sort but were unable to gain access.

'Mr White turned to Josephine Merrick and said, "I'll get the bastard" before she escaped into the hallway. She then heard three shots - boom, crack, crack.

'She then heard a man's voice shouting "He's got me" and "We've got to get him out of here," before a sound consistent of people moving away from the house.

'Next, she went to the living room and saw through the smashed window essentially Mr Richards and Mr Randall doing a runner.

'Mr Richards was found with Mr Randall by passersby and then police outside a Chinese takeaway in nearby Leigh Sinton.

'Josephine Merrick wondered where Mr White was, she noticed the upstairs lights were on, they were previously off. Mr White then came in from the kitchen when she said, "Did you get him?"

'To which he replied, "Yes I got the bastard." She said, "Is he still alive?" And Mr White said, "Yes, he's still walking, I think I got him in the leg, I wish I would have finished him off."'

During a police interview, White said he thought he had shot the gun in the air, adding that he believed the men were trying to get to his car or his partner. He said he had been growing drugs for four or five months.

Ms Merrick was ordered to perform 15 hours of unpaid work and given a 12-month restraining order after she pleaded guilty to producing a controlled substance last month.

Richards was jailed for 10 and a half years and Randall sentenced to 13 years and four months after they were convicted of aggravated burglary in February.



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

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

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


6 December, 2013

A Canadian lady defends Boris

She does not like his untidy appearance but ....

I’m concerning myself entirely with his recent “Margaret Thatcher Lecture” at the Centre for Policy Studies, or, as I’ve dubbed it, his “Rivers of Cornflakes” speech.

By now, many readers will have heard tell of the so-called “backlash” caused by this supposedly “controversial” speech—or, more precisely, one of Johnson’s observations in particular.

“What could that have been?” ask the blessedly uninformed few. “Did the man call for the mass detention and execution of gypsies? He didn’t say ‘wogs,’ did he?”

Nope. Johnson merely observed that some people are smarter than others.  Here be the verse:

"Whatever you may think of the value of IQ tests, it is surely relevant to a conversation about equality that as many as 16 per cent of our species have an IQ below 85, while about 2 per cent have an IQ above 130. The harder you shake the pack, the easier it will be for some cornflakes to get to the top."

I’ll leave it to our resident experts to parse Johnson’s statements about IQ. As for his inelegant cornflake metaphor, he returns to it later in his speech when advocating “apprenticeships and every other means of giving young people the cunning and confidence to succeed in a place of work.”

Sounds like he favors one form of statism (government-sponsored make-work projects) to another (government-sponsored don’t-work projects such as welfare). Yawn. As for some people being dumber than others, I noticed that within the first ten minutes of kindergarten. Yet Johnson’s mere mention of IQ is what’s evidently left his nation’s left reaching for their collective ideological EpiPens.

“Stupid poor people are stupid and poor, says massive blonde-haired child,” blurted the satirical site The Daily Mash, sounding not that much different, frankly, from some of its ostensibly serious media mates. “[W]hen they grow up, they can do all the stupid jobs while the clever people do all the clever jobs.”

That’s not what Johnson said, but so what if he had? Doesn’t that, well, make sense?

The alternative is the increasingly demoralizing, inefficient, and downright dangerous “Harrison Bergeron” society the elites have foisted upon us in the name of “equality,” with its affirmative action American president and female firefighters and pot-smoking Indian Mounties and transsexual rape-crisis counselors and blind (!) Internet “hate speech” investigators.

Progressives enjoy nothing more, it seems, than calling their political opponents “stupid.” (Although calling them “crazy” is a close second, and “racist” is third runner-up.) Yet suddenly, they’re feigning outrage at the very concept of stupidity.

Johnson’s critics are nitpicking his IQ stats, indulging in predictable ad hominem jokes, and throwing around a lot of 1970s-era clichés about class and economics (and sounding more than a little like the Pope, in spite of themselves). I don’t remember the last time an English politician’s speech generated this much unfiltered and accidentally revealing invective.

Oh, wait. Yes I do. [Enoch]

So if everything rolls out as it usually does, after Boris Johnson’s death a few brave souls will attempt to rehabilitate his reputation. Heck, we’ll probably see a grey-haired Russell Brand sheepishly admit that the guy was right all along. And by then it will be too late.


No more 'elf and safety bans: British government launches crackdown on 'bonkers' bans on traditional Christmas fun

Ministers have launched a crackdown on bogus 'health and safety' rules which ban innoucuous activities, in time for the festive season.

In previous years, workers have complained about being banned from decorating their offices because of supposed Government regulations.

But officials insist there are no restictions on popular Christmas traditions, and they are encouraging members of the public to report the most ridiculous cases to an official website.

As well as bans on decorations, health and safety regulations have in the past been cited to restrict activities such as carol singing and children's snowball fights.

In addition, over-zealous jobsworths have apparently tried to stop people donating second-hand toys and putting coins in Christmas pudding.

Mike Penning, the minister responsible for health and safety, expressed frustration that bogus cases undermined the importance of rules which are intended to safeguard the public.

'Every year, I hear of more bonkers "excuses" that ban hard-working people from the traditional hanging of Christmas decorations at work - which does nothing more than spoil the festive fun,' he said.

'My message to everyone is - use your common sense. Don't just invent a health and safety myth because you think it's easier than giving a real reason - this gives real safety rules a bad name.'

Mr Penning has written to managers at the Department of Work and Pensions reminding them not to be overly strict when ruling on workplace decorations.

Official advice to the public states that there is no need to take Christmas lights to be tested, and that people should simply examine devices to make sure there are no obvious defects.

The minister urged people to report unreasonable applications of the law to the new 'myth busters' panel at the Health and Safety Executive.

The panel has ruled on more than 220 cases since being launched earlier this year in a bid to improve the reputation of health and safety laws, which have been tarnished by years of abuse.

Among the absurd cases which the HSE denounced were pubs which refused to offer glasses with handles, and a restaurant removing toothpicks from its tables.

One school banned shredded paper from the lucky dip stall at its fete for 'safety' reasons, while a hotel chamber maid refused to make up a cot bed on similar grounds.

In the most recent case, concerning a steam train which blamed health and safety for its failure to accommodate customers' dietary needs, the panel said that workers were 'using health and safety as an excuse for poor customer service'.


Did the Pope attack ‘unfettered capitalism’?

Did Pope Francis really lay a broadside into what he called “unfettered capitalism”?

That is certainly what headline writers the world over would have you believe. Well, at least the ones that picked up Reuters’ account of the Pope’s new apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel,” a news story that was then syndicated globally.

“Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as ‘a new tyranny,’” reads the lead of the Reuters story by Naomi O’Leary describing Francis’ work.

This led to the propagation of headlines such as by NBC: “Pope Francis attacks ‘tyranny’ of unfettered capitalism”. Or by the Daily Kos: “Pope Francis: Unfettered Capitalism Is ‘Tyranny’”. Or by the Nation: “The Pope Versus Unfettered Capitalism”.  Or by Bill Moyers: “Pope Francis Calls Unfettered Capitalism ‘Tyranny’”.

Even the Wiki warriors posting on Wikipedia fell for it, apparently forgetting to cite a primary source, writing under the “Capitalism” entry, “Pope Francis described unfettered capitalism as ‘a new tyranny.’”

So prevalent were the headlines, they even convinced conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh that the pontiff had actually written it. “This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope.  Unfettered capitalism?  That doesn’t exist anywhere.  Unfettered capitalism is a liberal socialist phrase to describe the United States.  Unfettered, unregulated,” Limbaugh told his millions of listeners.

And he might have been right.

There is, however, one acute problem with the quote. Francis never actually wrote that. Naomi O’Leary did. Search the document for yourself and search for the words, either “unfettered” or “capitalism.” They’re not there.

The actual phrase “unfettered capitalism,” ironically, was apparently coined in 1942 by economist Joseph Schumpeter, himself a critic of communism — he even had a chapter entitled “The Dictatorship of the Proletariat.” An even greater irony is that the phrase has since been adopted by various socialist and Marxist writers as a pejorative against capitalism’s supposed excesses.

But before returning to Francis, let us pause on Schumpeter for a moment, for it was he who famously argued that capitalism, after raising standards of living in a way no other system had ever before in history, would eventually fall, but not through violent uprising.

Instead, it would succumb as a victim of its own success that “undermines the social institutions which protect it.” That, through the passage of time it would morph into what he termed a “corporative state.” It would become “bureaucratized,” and since the system “by its very achievements, tends to automatize progress, we conclude that it tends to make itself superfluous — to break to pieces under the pressure of its own success.” It would give way, he wrote, to socialism.

The entrepreneurs would be replaced by bureaucrats, and then, when the daggers came out and government stepped in to take over, those very bureaucrats would simply surrender.

Just look, he wrote, at the manner in which these “capitalist interests… as a whole behave when facing direct attack. They talk and plead — or hire people to do it for them; they snatch at every chance of compromise; they are ever ready to give in; they never put up a fight under the flag of their own ideals and interests.”

In short, it “absorbs the slogans of current radicalism and seems quite willing to undergo a process of conversion to a creed hostile to its very existence. Haltingly and grudgingly it concedes in part the implications of that creed.”

One need look no further than the experience of 2008 through 2010, the bank bailouts, the seizure of AIG, the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government purchase of GM and Chrysler, the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing programs, and then Obamacare, the takeover of the student loan industry, and Dodd-Frank’s financial regulations to conclude that Schumpeter at least in this narrow regard was indeed prophetic, even if he would have quibbled with the idea he was making any sort of prediction.

These were all episodes in a very short span of very big businesses — and their supposed representatives in government on the right side of the political spectrum — seemingly ceding their own interests, making way for unbridled state control of whole industries, and even going as far in some cases as to argue in favor of it.

This societal transformation, a revolution to be sure and still ongoing, is being achieved without firing a shot.

Which brings us back to what Pope Francis actually wrote. He criticized those who “assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.”

Here, Francis’ discussion of the so-called “free market” is very much misplaced. For, nobody paying any level of attention can look at our current system and call it a “free market.”

The housing bubble that brought about the current recession is a case in point, where government-directed finance to achieve self-styled “affordable housing goals” found its way to millions of borrowers who it turned out could not afford the homes they were purchasing. Trillions of dollars flowed from the Government Sponsored Enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, driving the market with little more than a printing press.

This was no “autonomy of the marketplace,” or simply “financial speculation,” as Francis described. It was an asset bubble the likes of which had never been seen in economic history, and without government-created debt — without the backing of the federal government — it would never have been possible. Never.

Francis is right that there is a “crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system,” which he called “a new tyranny.”  But Francis’ critique really should lay at the feet of the corporatists Schumpeter described, and the central planners they have long since surrendered to.

For it is they who bear responsibility for the consequences of their own policies, including those who now suffer under them. Francis accurately described the “masses of people [who] find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape… the outcast, the ‘leftovers’” living under what he called “a globalization of indifference.”

Observe high youth unemployment throughout Europe and rising here, too, to get an idea who he is talking about. Those being excluded from opportunity today, an entire generation, are no figment. This is a real problem.

Overall, Francis is pointing to the rot of the system that Schumpeter had 71 years ago foreseen.

But, no one should be confused that the rot is a “free market” phenomenon, when instead it is the corrosion caused by decades of central-planning and in particular government-directed credit creation.

This is the necessary destruction brought about when government, not markets composed of individuals acting in their own self-interest, makes such sweeping economic decisions.


ACLU sues to deprive Catholic bishops of religious freedom, freedom of speech

The American Civil Liberties Union announced on Monday that it had filed a lawsuit against the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops, arguing that their anti-abortion directives to Catholic hospitals hamper proper care of pregnant women in medical distress, leading to medical negligence.

The suit was filed in federal court in Michigan on Friday on behalf of a woman who says she did not receive accurate information or care at a Catholic hospital there, exposing her to dangerous infections after her water broke at 18 weeks of pregnancy.

In an unusual step, she is not suing the hospital, Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon, but rather the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Its ethical and religious directives, the suit alleges, require Catholic hospitals to avoid abortion or referrals, “even when doing so places a woman’s health or life at risk.”

The suit opens a new front in the clash over religious rights and medical care. The Catholic Church has fought against requiring all health plans to include coverage of contraception and is likely to call the new lawsuit an attack on its core religious principles.

Catholic hospitals account for about one in six of the country’s hospital beds and in many regions their influence is spreading as they forge alliances with non-Catholic medical groups.

“This isn’t about religious freedom, it’s about medical care,” said Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the civil liberties union, in a telephone news conference on Monday.

Both the Muskegon hospital and the bishops conference declined to comment.

Tamesha Means, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, said that when she was 18 weeks pregnant her water broke and she rushed to Mercy Health, the only hospital in her county.

Her fetus had virtually no chance of surviving, according to medical experts who reviewed the case, and in these circumstances doctors usually induce labor or surgically remove the fetus to reduce the mother’s chances of infection.

But the doctors at Mercy Health, Ms. Means said, did not tell her that the fetus could not survive or that continuing her pregnancy was risky and did not admit her for observation.

She returned the next morning, bleeding and in pain, and was sent home again. That night she went a third time, feverish and writhing with pain; she miscarried at the hospital and the fetus died soon after.

At the news conference Monday, Dr. Douglas W. Laube, an obstetrician at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, described the care Ms. Means received as “basic neglect.” He added, “It could have turned into a disaster, with both baby and mother dying.”

The A.C.L.U. said it had filed suit against the bishops because there had been several cases in recent years in which Catholic hospital policies on abortion had interfered with medical care.

John M. Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia and an adviser to the bishops, said he could not speak about the current suit because he was unfamiliar with it. But he said that the bishops’ directives were more nuanced than critics allege, allowing for actions to treat a woman at risk even if that treatment might result in the loss of the fetus.

He said some hospitals might have misinterpreted the bishops’ rules and added that doctors were required to tell patients of potential risks and alternatives, though they may not provide direct abortion referrals.

In 2010, the diocese of Phoenix stripped a hospital of its affiliation after doctors there said they performed an abortion to save a mother’s life.



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

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

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


5 December, 2013

This is how disgusting feminists really are

Extremely disturbing video footage from Argentina shows a mob of feminists at a recent protest attacking and sexually abusing a group of Rosary-praying Catholic men who were peacefully protecting the cathedral in the city of San Juan from threats of vandalism.

The men, protecting their cathedral from desecration, endured all manner of abuse and assaults and stand, with linked arms passively recanting prayers as they are abused. One man has red paint sprayed into his eyes.

You don't have to be religious to sympathize and admire their courage. Where were the police? Why was no action taken to control this aggressive criminality? Are women allowed to get away with rioting, criminal assault and damage because they are women?

NSFW Warning. This video contains nudity. And pigs.

Well there you have it verbal, physical and sexual abuse of men peacefully locked hand in hand in prayer and solidarity who do not retaliate to this blatant and celebrated provocation by these women. Must be part of that testosterone fuelled epidemic of violence against women by men? Disgusting behaviour and abuse of human rights.


Rhode Island 'Holiday Tree' Corrected to 'Christmas Tree'

A pine tree dressed in lights will be lit Thursday in the Rhode Island State House rotunda, and for the first time in two years it will be called a “Christmas tree.”

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee (D) altered the term to assuage his constituents. According to the statement released Monday:

 “In 2011, my first year celebrating December in the State House I gave a simple six word instruction to the planners of the annual tree lighting: “Do what they did last year.” Despite the myriad of pressing issues facing Rhode Island and the nation, this presumably happy event became a focal point for too much anger.

Strangely lost in the brouhaha was any intellectual discussion of the liberties pioneered here in Rhode Island 350 years ago in our Charter. Because I do not think how we address the State House tree affects our “lively experiment,” this year’s invitation calls the tree a Christmas tree.”

Last year, Diocese of Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin was one of the many to lament the jilted “heartfelt sentiments of the vast majority of Rhode Islanders” who sought to “simply call the tree what it is – a Christmas tree.”

Bishop Tobin praised Chafee’s “common sense” decision:

 “Hopefully the presence of a 'Christmas Tree' at the State House will speak the true meaning of this special season, and will allow us all to enjoy the blessings of peace, joy and fellowship with one another.”

This seemingly small correction should not be overlooked. Terminology is fundamental to society because language frames thought. As C.S. Lewis lucidly said:

 "The most dangerous ideas in a society are not the ones being argued, but the ones that are assumed."

Gov. Chafee not only listened, but also responded to his constituents. Rhode Islanders and their governor should be praised for a job well done


Hate preachers in Britain to be 'silenced' by new anti-terror Asbos to block their bile on the internet

Preachers of hate are to be ‘silenced’ with new anti-terror orders based on a dramatically tightened definition of extremism and attempts to block their bile on the internet.

The Government is to introduce new civil powers, similar to those used against anti-social behaviour, to target extremists who radicalise others.

They are expected to be used to bar people from preaching messages of terror and hate, associating with named individuals thought vulnerable to radicalisation, and from entering specific venues, such as mosques or community halls.

The move is part of a sweeping package of measures drawn up by an anti-extremism task force set up by David Cameron after the death of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

In its initial report to be detailed to Parliament today, the task force will also propose new internet filters to block extremist websites and extended powers for watchdogs to shut down charities suspected of being fronts for extremist groups.

‘I want to see an end to hate preaching in Britain,’ the Prime Minister said.

As well as new civil orders against extremists – dubbed ‘Tebos’, or terror and extremism behaviour orders – the Government is to consider the case for another new type of order to ban groups which ‘seek to undermine democracy or use hate speech, when necessary to protect the public or prevent crime and disorder’.

Controversially, both types of order are to be based on a new definition of extremism which specifically includes a ‘distorted interpretation of Islam’.

It identifies Islamist extremism as a distinct ideology which should not be confused with traditional  religious practice. This ‘distorted’ view argues for a global Islamic state and against ‘liberal values such as democracy, the rule of law and equality’, and tells people they cannot be both Muslim and British.

The Government is also working with internet firms to remove hate-filled websites including material that would be illegal if published in the UK.

Family-friendly filters being made standard for web users to block porn will also be expanded to block extremist material, allowing concerned families and institutions to filter out such websites.

Mr Cameron said: ‘This summer we saw events that shocked the nation with the horrific killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich and murder of Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham.

‘These tragedies were a wake-up call for government and wider society to take action to confront extremism in all its forms, whether in our communities, schools, jails, Islamic centres or universities.

'I have been absolutely clear that this is not something we should be afraid to address for fear of cultural sensitivities.

'We have already put in place some of the toughest terrorism prevention controls in the democratic world, but we must work harder to defeat the radical views which lead some people to embrace violence.

‘The task force I set up has proposed a broad range of measures to counter the extremist narrative. When you look at this report, you can see a very clear analysis, a very clear definition of the extremism we’re talking about ... now everyone can see what it is that we need to tackle.’

He added: ‘There are just too many people who have been radicalised at Islamic centres, who have been in contact with extremist preachers, who have come across material on the internet who haven’t been sufficiently challenged.’

‘Some institutions have wanted to get rid of radicalisers but haven’t had the means to do so,’ he added.

The task force includes Home Secretary Theresa May, Deputy Premier Nick Clegg, Minister for Faith Baroness Warsi, and has taken advice from police and intelligence chiefs.

Other proposals include legally requiring intervention by local authorities in 30 areas identified as radicalism hotspots.


Did you ever lick a knife?

When I was about four years old, we stayed for a while with our Aunt Kay after father died. She had a mirror polished chrome electric percolator, and it sat in the middle of the table at every meal. She and mother drank a lot of coffee. My little sister and I used to sit there and make faces in our reflection, and one day my sister leaned too far forward, stuck her tongue out at the image and touched the hot pot. OUCH!!! She cried, screamed and fought as mother put an ice cube on her tongue and tried to comfort her. Eventually the pain went away, but the memory was permanent. Did she ever stick her tongue out at something she knew to be hot after that? Not that I know of. And neither did I.

Experience is the best teacher. Learning from the experience of others is even better, of course, but merely being TOLD such things is pretty useless unless a decent amount of actual experience has taught one the wisdom to listen and learn. Young children don’t learn well from lecture, usually, so the fact that both our aunt and mother told us endlessly that the pot was hot didn’t help much until we did have that experience. We might have easily had that touching it with our fingers, of course, but my sister has always done things the hard way.

I can hear people screaming that it would have been much better, then, not to keep the pot on the table! Remove the danger! Eliminate all threat, or as much as possible.  And, of course they could have done so. But let’s look at this a little more…

Most of the children I knew had roller skates then. We had a lot of cracked, heaved sidewalks and uneven pavement, but enough smooth stuff to really enjoy the skates. The process of learning to enjoy the good parts almost inevitably involved doing dumb things and getting knees and elbows scraped up trying to negotiate the bumpy parts. We wore out a lot of shoes and jeans.

We climbed trees and fell out of them. We played baseball in the streets and dodged autos and motorcycles. We rode bicycles and had to negotiate traffic and avoid some nasty dogs. We raced insanely built crates with wheels (and no brakes) down a steep hill with a scummy pond at the bottom. We swam in the scummy pond, captured endless polliwogs, ate the berries that grew around it, and learned quickly the difference between ripe and green.

Mother bought raw milk from a neighbor who had a cow. We made butter from the cream off the top. I can’t remember anything that tasted so wonderful, unless it was the butter on home made bread toast afterwards.

When we got older, we hiked out into the woods and followed the animal trails, and some of the boys were given single shot .22 rifles to hunt with. I don’t remember anybody getting hurt with the guns, but if they did something stupid they lost that privilege very quickly until they learned better.

Some of the older boys (and maybe a few girls) ventured farther out and spent some time along the railroad tracks that ran on the outskirts of town. They put precious pennies on the track, and went back to retrieve them after the train flattened them. Sometimes the train would stop and the engineer would let the boys climb onto the engine and even ride a few hundred feet if he was feeling mellow and wasn’t behind schedule.

We walked to school, even several miles, and all over town to the shops, the cinema, the park and the museums. It was a small town, so we didn’t have much to choose from, but I spent a good part of each summer and many weekends in the beautiful county library that had once been a gracious home. I adored the librarian, at least some because she did not try to limit me to the “children’s” section. I read about six grade levels beyond my years and it was torture to be limited to “Dick and Jane.”

It was a learning environment that has probably never been equaled. I don’t know just when people started to think that wasn’t important… Actually, I don’t believe most people thought about it that way at all. At some point they were railroaded into thinking only about “safety,” and gradually most of those things became forbidden or banned. Along with a lot of other things, of course.

Was it dangerous to be a child then? We had plenty of scrapes and cuts, bruises and even a few broken bones. I don’t remember any children dying, but I’m sure there were some. Good parents knew that children needed to experience life, risks and all. They knew that everyone had to be responsible for themselves. Parents who did not understand this usually raised spoiled brats who never understood personal responsibility. I suspect that’s were most of the politicians came from.

Is it less dangerous to be a child now? You tell me.



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

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

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


4 December, 2013

Manufacturing Intolerance

By now everyone knows that Dayna Morales, the lesbian waitress who claimed to have been denied a tip over her sexual orientation, was lying. It's not the first politically correct receipt hoax and it won't be the last. These hoaxes happen because leftist activists promote them and the media picks them up. The world is full of liars and con artists, but it's revealing to see which of their lies and cons succeed.

Morales' hoax is a blip in the larger pattern of faked hate crimes. Bigotry is the witch hunt of the modern Salem and progressive witch hunters are just as careless about facts and evidence. Now as then, the goal is to stamp out an attitude and a cultural threat, rather than to enforce the law, and that leads inevitably to the entire tawdry parade of hysterical denunciations and moral panic.

But what is behind this need to manufacture intolerance?

The left built up its replacement for class warfare around identity politics. Though we take most of these identities, including the racial trinity and homosexuality, for granted, they are really modern artificial constructs that define how people should define themselves, rather than accepting them as they are.

Strangely enough, racial and sexual identities were more nuanced centuries ago than they are today where the "one drop rule" now goes completely unchallenged in matters of race and equally so in matters of sexual orientation. Anyone who can be claimed on any grounds by the victim group, must be identified with them or face accusations of false consciousness.

We are less willing to contemplate biracial and bisexual today than we were a century ago. Instead leftist collectivism demands that everyone be either one thing or another. Everyone is divided into categories of victim and oppressor. Just as no one can be both on both sides of the class struggle; so too the left rejects the idea of being on both sides of the victim line in race or sexual orientation.

On Seinfeld, Jerry's dentist joined Judaism for the jokes. Leftists are joining native tribes for the victimhood. Meanwhile they're defining those identities solely in terms of victimhood.

The absurdity of people lining up to be victims has led to the proliferation of fake Indians, like Elizabeth Warren and Ward Churchill in the United States, and white aborigines in Australia. The fake indigenous tribal has little in the way of a genetic or cultural connection to any native people; but chooses to trade in his or her white identity, at least temporarily, to enhance their leftist politics.

They are engaging in a fraud much bigger than a forged receipt; but they are doing it for the same reasons.

An identity defined in terms of victimhood needs fresh injections of oppression to sustain its existence. Those African-Americans who define "blackness" not in terms of positive values but in terms of negative values, need white racism, the real thing or the fake one, to remind them of who they are. And the same holds true for other oppressed minorities who define themselves not by their culture or values; but by their resentments.

Intolerance has become identity. If you define your minority identity on the left's terms, then if you aren't being oppressed, you aren't real. And if you constantly read accounts about other black people or other gay people being discriminated against and those experiences don’t match yours; you begin to wonder if something isn't wrong with you. If maybe you aren't an authentic member of the group.

There are two ways out of this intellectual trap; either recognizing that an identity need not be based on a sense of persecution or becoming "creative" about finding new forms of persecution.

It's easy to mock Dayna Morales for forging a receipt snub. If only she had learned about critical race theory, she would have been able to denounce the family in question for their privilege. Instead of faking a receipt, she would have been able to express her internal need for persecution in the political language of the left.

Dayna only forged a single receipt. Obama spent five years in the White House forging phony racism accusations to protect him on every issue from the economy to ObamaCare.

The left's need for victimization means that increasing levels of tolerance actually lead to escalating confrontations with these manufacturers of intolerance. The assertion that all white people are innately racist because of their privilege is one such response to increasing tolerance. By claiming that whiteness itself is racist, the left gets back to political identity, rather than actual discrimination, as the source of conflict and redefines even the most tolerant university multicultural spaces as racist.

The manufacturers of intolerance, whether they're tenured academics like Ward Churchill, professional politicians like Barack Obama or angry waitresses like Dayna Morales, respond to tolerance with provocations. Their goal is to elicit evidence of intolerance to sustain their political identity. The more tolerance they encounter, the more they escalate their provocations.

Their goal is not a tolerant society. It's not a multiracial society or a post-racial society. It is a society perpetually at war over identity politics. That conflict is what gives them power.

Tolerance provokes them by challenging their identity as members in good standing of the officially oppressed. Being accepted insults the entire basis of their identity. Schizophrenics experience the discontinuity between the real world and the distorted world in their heads as threatening. Likewise the left, which insists on racism, reacts with paranoia to any talk that the country has become more tolerant. Their political schizophrenia is unable to accept America as it is. Instead they are bent on seeing the bigoted country that they experience inside their own heads.

Paranoid schizophrenics manufacture things to be paranoid about. Identity politics manufactures its own illusory bigotries. The schizophrenic Two Americas of liberals are really the America that exists and the hateful cartoon of it that they draw in their own heads, depict in movies, scrawl into articles and broadcast on television.

Liberals claim to want a better America, but they reject it at every turn. Their cynicism even poisons what should have been their triumphs.

Obama's victory was an opportunity for healing and unity. Even many Republicans cheered his inauguration, but liberals rejected the gift that Americans were giving and instead doubled down. Racism became their response to everything. Now every week brings another editorial accusing skeptics of government health care of being the new Confederacy. The New York Times even ran an op-ed describing a new Mason-Dixon line composed of states that rejected Medicaid expansion.

As disappointing at this behavior was to many, it was an inevitable as that forged receipt. The left derives its purpose from defending the oppressed and doling out social justice. If racism were gone, it would have to find a new reason to justify its existence. It had to go through that once when class warfare imploded under the pressure of American prosperity. It isn't about to go searching for a substitute for the racial tensions it manufactures.

The dominant political identity groups have responded to growing tolerance in the United States by defining intolerance down or provoking intolerant responses through aggressive publicity stunts. If the stunts don't bring out disgust and anger that they can work with, then they will simply invent intolerance wholesale by claiming that bigotry isn't an act or a word, but an innate attitude that lurks buried deep within the majority group. And that the only healing can come when the majority rejects its own identity and joins a minority group.

Beyond the community organizers, the academics and the political hacks who feed off that hatred are the millions of Americans who have not only unknowingly swallowed their dogma, but who have built entire identities around that sense of insecurity and oppression. These people are driven to organically manufacture intolerance because it defines who they are.

The left has dumped millions of Americans into this shadowy world where they have no positive reason for existing, only a negative one of defying some phantom establishment of patriarchy and some nebulous idea of white privilege.

Wearing chips on their shoulders they seek to provoke the confrontations that give them meaning and when their anger is met with tolerance, they manufacture intolerance with forged receipts, with accusations of white privilege, with fake hate crimes and phony accusations of racism.

It's a short distance from Dayna Morales forging a receipt to get some money and attention to Barack Obama faking accusations of racism to win a political fight and score another term.


BBC chairman Lord Patten says political correctness stops politicians speaking the truth on immigration and says Europe's weak borders have led to rampant crime

Lord Patten has weighed in to the immigration debate by suggesting that British politicians are now unable to cope with the country’s ‘porous borders’.

The Chairman of the BBC Trust and former Conservative minister blamed the ‘dark side of globalisation’ for the problem.

Chris Patten also suggested that elected representatives were increasingly reluctant to tell people the truth about such vexed issues.

His words – delivered to an international audience at the British Embassy in Paris – comes at a time when Britain is preparing to deal with an influx of immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria.

Lord Patten said: ‘Today with porous borders, the amount that politicians and political leaders can actually do on their own is very limited, and I think that it’s a pity that people don’t make that point rather more vigorously.’

He said that ‘immigration, organised crime, drugs’ and ‘epidemic disease’ were just some of the ‘aspects of the dark sides of globalisation’ leaving national governments increasingly powerless.

Referring to the September 11th 2001 attacks on America in which almost 3000 people died, Lord Patten said: ‘The 9/11 terrorists were paid for with credit cards – that’s the world we live in and I think it’s astonishing that politicians are so reluctant to say we’re not any more facing a series of challenges which are manageable within our own space, we’re trying to cope with a predicament.

‘It’s proved extremely difficult for political leaders to tell people what they may not want to hear and get elected.

‘And the general consequence has been that political leaders only tell people a bit of what they don’t want to hear, which doesn’t entirely prevent the growth of populism and parties on the extreme but can just about secure their election or near election.’

Lord Patten, who is also a former European Commissioner, said the problem with Brussels as it faced up to such problems was its lack of accountability.

While ‘the buck stopped’ with leaders like David Cameron in Britain and Francois Hollande in France, there was no-one in Brussels who was ultimately to blame for anything.

Lord Patten said: ‘I would give national parliaments a greater role in the legislative process and policy making in Brussels.

‘I would give them a red card as well as a yellow card when it came to proportionality and subsidiarity, and secondly I would create a parliamentary body, a sort of senate in Brussels – a body which represented national parliaments and had some kind of overriding view.’

Lord Patten warned against transferring any more power to the European parliament because ‘currently there isn’t any European demos’.

On the growth of power of European institutions, Lord Patten said: ‘I think that at the moment we’re in a crazy world. I bet you would hardly find a single European political leader who thought that the right way to get greater accountability into the system would be by giving more power to the European parliament.’

In words which may anger Mr Cameron, Lord Patten also praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He said: ‘Quite interesting how Chancellor Merkel who is probably the most successful politician in Europe at the moment, has been very nervous of ever embracing any agenda for radical change.

‘If you look at the agenda, which she has agreed with her allies in the coalition you can see that confirmed.’

There were also stern words about Russia, whom Lord Patten suggested was living up to its international role as a ‘trouble maker’.

Referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin and to the disgraced former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, Lord Patten said: ‘In Europe we have been pretty weedy, as schoolboys would say, in the way we have dealt with Russia in the European Union.

‘And I think we’re being pretty weedy at the moment in the way we are debating the future of the Eastern partnership and those countries which escaped the Russian empire of the 1970s and 80s and which Mr Putin would like to have back in the hutch.

‘Russia is of course a country with a great history, with great literature and artistic tradition but I don’t see much of that in Mr Putin frankly, and I’m not surprised that his best European friend is Mr Berlusconi.’

Lord Patten was a speaking about international affairs and answering questions on Thursday at an evening celebrating the purchase of the Ambassador’s Residence in Paris by the Duke of Wellington. It was hosted by the current Ambassador, Sir Peter Ricketts.


Obama expands war on political speech

There is one mystery that has perplexed political observers after Senate Democrats decided to violate Senate rules allowing the minority party to block presidential appointments. And that was why it was so important to do so to help Patricia Ann Millett to get confirmed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

A cynic might want to take look at a new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulation severely restricting political activity of 501(c)4 organizations that was dropped the day after Thanksgiving.

After all, when this regulation is challenged — and it will be — that is the court where the case will invariably wind up, which handles cases involving federal regulations.

As for the regulation itself, not content with merely targeting tea party and other 501(c)4 organizations that engage in various types of political activity on an ad-hoc basis, the Obama administration via the Treasury Department has come out with a far more uniform approach to stifling (c)4 political speech.

Never mind that the law itself only explicitly prohibits 501(c)(3) charities from engaging in political activity, but not (c)(4) social welfare groups. In fact, it was the regulation that put a limitation in place. The 1960 regulation implementing 501(c)(4) states, “The promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.”

It also further defines what social welfare means under the law: “An organization is operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare if it is primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people of the community.”

Under existing rules, an organization may carry on electioneering activities so long as it does not constitute a majority of its activities. But, no longer.

Now, limitations will be imposed not simply on advocacy for or against a candidate for public office, as has been the case for over 50 years, but on any communication that even mentions a public official who happens to be a candidate. Specifically, the regulations will define “certain communications that are close in time to an election and that refer to a clearly identified candidate as electioneering communications.”

It applies blackout periods 60 days prior to the general election and 30 days prior to primary elections at the federal, state, and local level.

But as Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens notes, this will not apply to 501(c)5 labor unions and (c)6 trade associations: “the proposed regulation does not apply to labor organizations, although the proposal states that the Administration is considering a regulation in this area.  Thus, a likely result is that a final rule will be promulgated further restricting non-profit speech and activities long before any comparable regulation is promulgated on the activities of labor organizations.”

Mehrens summarized, “The net result will be more restrictions on the rights of conservative leaning organizations while the same restrictions on left leaning labor organizations remain unfinished.”

Adding ambiguity to how the regulations might be implemented, the IRS will no longer merely consider the costs of communications in determining eligibility for the 501(c)4 tax status. It will use a far more subjective, content-based standard: “the expansion of the types of communications covered in the proposed regulations reflects the fact that an organization’s tax exempt status is determined based on all of its activities, even low cost and volunteer activities, not just its large expenditures.”

And, the icing on the cake, “The Treasury Department and the IRS intend that content previously posted by an organization on its Web site that clearly identifies a candidate and remains on the Web site during the specified pre-election period would be treated as candidate-related political activity.”

Can you say ex post facto?

To give readers an idea of the broad implication of this regulation, Americans for Limited Government is a 501(c)4 organization whose websites have content dating back to 2008.

Understandably under prior rules allowing it we have written extensively about public officials, including members of Congress, who also happen to be candidates that run for office every two years.

Thousands of articles, in fact — nearly all of them mention public officials (who are usually running for reelection) or reference legislation or policies they support.

These are not electioneering communications. They do not advocate for or against the election of candidates — a constitutionally protected activity, but let’s leave that aside for a moment — they supported or criticized policies being proposed in the public arena.

But because the articles mention officials who happen to be candidates, and because primary elections occur at various intervals throughout election years, and because it is impossible to decipher by what standard the agency will determine to what degree actions are “candidate-related political activity,” complying with the new regulation might make it impossible for Americans for Limited Government to continue in its current form.

It is possible we would have to either shut down our website or go article by article to remove ones that mentioned public officials who happen to be running for reelection. Or redact the names of any officials who might be running for office and replace the names with black rectangles.

We publish lots of cartoons, too. We might have to go back and black out the faces of any officials who appear that also happen to be running for office. Then there’s all of those Youtube videos we made that mention officials who happen to run for reelection at regular intervals. Can’t forget those.

We might even have to remove any hyperlinks to roll call votes alerting the American people how their elected representatives voted on critical issues, since those links would include the names of candidates too. Or also links to any other news articles that might mention candidates. You know, just to be thorough.

Because primaries occur throughout federal election years, the blackout could apply through the better parts of 2014 and 2016. But don’t forget Virginia and New Jersey, which have state elections in federal off years (i.e. 2013, 2015, etc.), and we’ve written about issues concerning public officials there, too. Don’t want to go through all the trouble of redacting federal, state and local officials in 2014 and 2016, and not remember to remove Virginia and New Jersey ones for 2013 and 2015.

During all of those years, it is possible that to comply we’d have to shut down much of our communications since they so often reference government, if not elections.

That is, to keep 501(c)4 tax status, and not be classified as, say, a 527 political action committee. Both are tax-exempt entities, but with one critical difference: 527s have to disclose donations to the Federal Election Commission, and 501(c)4s do not.

And therein we get to the true intent of the new IRS regulation, which is to achieve via regulation what Congress could not when the DISCLOSE Act was defeated in 2010. The Obama administration is hell-bent on regulating critics of the administration out of existence by threatening to expose organizations’ membership lists.

Never mind what the Supreme Court stated clearly in NAACP v. Alabama (1958). Then Justice John Marshall Harlan’s majority opinion stated, applying the First Amendment via the Fourteenth to Alabama, “We hold that the immunity from state scrutiny of membership lists which the Association claims on behalf of its members is here so related to the right of the members to pursue their lawful private interests privately and to associate freely with others in so doing as to come within the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Should the regulation go into effect in 2014, considering that it took about two years for federal courts to litigate the Citizens United decision, the blackout periods could be in effect through the entire 2016 election cycle.

Before it comes to this, the Supreme Court upon finalization of the rule will need to be petitioned and stay all implementation of the regulation in order to protect the First Amendment rights of citizens of all political stripes. To allow these regulations to govern speech during the next few cycles without full court scrutiny would be a grave disservice that the Supreme Court can and should stop.


Background Checks as the New Racism

Leftists push to make it illegal for employers to ask, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”

John Fund

The Obama administration has a schizophrenic attitude toward requiring people to go through criminal-background checks. Last week, Senator John Cornyn (R., Texas) grilled Kathleen Sebelius, the Health and Human Services secretary, about why the 45,000 “navigators” who assist people in signing up for Obamacare aren’t required to undergo a criminal-background check, even though they handle sensitive personal information.

“So a convicted felon could be a navigator and could acquire sensitive personal information from an individual unbeknownst to them?” Cornyn asked her. “That is possible,” said Sebelius, noting that states could always impose their own requirements — as some have done.

The risk that unscrupulous or untrustworthy people could hold federally funded jobs or own guns certainly concerns the Obama administration in other contexts. The Office of Personnel Management conducts more than 2 million background checks a year for federal jobs. The FBI conducted just shy of 20 million background checks on gun owners in 2012.

In 2009, Robert Groves, President Obama’s handpicked director of the U.S. Census Bureau, announced that every one of the 1.2 million to 1.4 million people he would hire for the next year’s national head count would be investigated and fingerprinted — and felons wouldn’t be hired. “The goal is to ensure the public is protected,” the bureau announced at the time.

So given all of the background checks at the federal level, why not include the Obamacare navigators?

Michael Astrue, who served as commissioner of Social Security until earlier this year, and Scott Gottlieb, physician and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, warned in the Wall Street Journal in September about the security risks presented by the navigators:

    "The Obama administration created unnecessary opportunities for fraud with the White House’s pork-minded insistence on funding favored community groups to employ “navigators” to solicit applicants and help them input their personal information, such as income and Social Security numbers. The navigators were hastily hired and trained (they are still being hired) and were not given extensive background checks. The personal data for millions of people will be entrusted to these navigators — and to a computerized system that has been rushed into operation."

Astrue and Gottlieb cautioned against the possibility of identity theft. That is not idle speculation. Remember ACORN, the fraud-laced “community organizing” group that once boasted Barack Obama had served as its lawyer and as one of its key trainers? ACORN finally went bankrupt in 2010 after dozens of its employees were convicted of voter-registration fraud and others showed up in undercover tapes offering advice on how to set up brothels and evade paying taxes. Investor’s Business Daily has reported that United Labor Unions Local 100, a New Orleans group run by ACORN founder Wade Rathke, announced on its Facebook page that it’s going “to do mass enrollment and help navigate people into the marketplaces In Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas under the Affordable Care Act!”

Many of the groups that have divvied up the $67 million in federal money available for hiring navigators say that they can’t afford the background checks some states are requiring. They note that the 20 hours of training each navigator receives includes warnings about the penalties for misuse of personal data. Amanda Ptashkin, outreach director for Georgians for a Healthy Future, complains that Georgia requires “a time-consuming process” that includes an affidavit of citizenship, a $50 fee, fingerprinting, and a background check. But the navigator jobs pay up to $48 per hour — exceptionally good money in a soft job market — and the burdens aren’t different from those that many private-sector applicants face.

But even these basic requirements will change if many of the civil-rights and advocacy groups involved in the navigators’ patronage trough have their way. There is an active campaign on the left to “ban the box,” or remove the checkbox question that’s common on job applications: “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”

Last month, California governor Jerry Brown signed a law banning public employers from asking about criminal records until the employer has established the applicant’s “minimum qualifications.” The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a “guidance” last year saying that employers must establish that an inquiry into an applicant’s criminal record is a “business necessity” before they can make the inquiry. Otherwise, the employer could face employment-discrimination lawsuits under the theory that such background checks have a “disparate impact” on African Americans and Hispanics and are therefore unfair. The EEOC’s guidance also effectively requires that employers signal to job applicants that they were screened out of the job-applicant pool because of their criminal records, making the odds of a lawsuit against them dramatically higher.

Even worse, the EEOC has pursued employers that have a clear “business necessity” interest in the integrity of their employees, such as G4S Secure Solutions Pennsylvania, a firm that provides security guards for nuclear power plants and other sensitive sites. The EEOC went after the security firm for not hiring an individual convicted twice of burglary. G4S thought it was merely being prudent: Pennsylvania law forbids the hiring of individuals as security guards if they have felony convictions.

The Obama administration is clearly moving away from its prior support for background checks, at least when its politically correct allies find such checks offensive. But I am certain that most Americans would be angry to learn that the kind of vigorous background checks census workers underwent just three years ago have been abandoned in the case of Obamacare navigators. After all, the personal data the navigators will handle is even more sensitive than what census workers were tabulating.

Roger Clegg, head of the Center for Equal Opportunity, laments that we seem to have ignored Martin Luther King’s appeal to judge people “by the content of their character” rather than “by the color of their skin.” Today, all too often, skin color trumps all: Race is often used as the basis for preferring one job applicant or college student to another. But under the EEOC’s guidance, employers who try to factor in the content of one’s character, at least as revealed by one’s criminal record, risk costly litigation and stigma. Welcome to the Catch-22 world of the Obama administration.



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

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

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


3 December, 2013

Multiculturalism in France too!

A mother faces life imprisonment after confessing she drowned her 15-month-old daughter in the English Channel because the child was 'incompatible' with her love life.

CCTV footage has emerged of Fabienne Kabou, 36, from Senegal, pushing little Adelaide to the coast of Berck sur Mer on November 19.  The next day, Adelaide was found dead, strapped in a pushchair submerged in the water, by a fisherman.

After ten days of searching nationwide, police used DNA from the pram to trace Ms Kabou to the home she shares with a 63-year-old man in Paris, where she was arrested.

Ms Kabou, a philosophy student, told police she took the drastic move after deciding motherhood was 'incompatible' with her love life with Adelaide's father.

The case has sparked outrage as hundreds took to the streets outside the court and on the coast in a White March - a French style of demonstrating against child cruelty.

Ms Kabou had told her boyfriend, a sculptor, that she had handed over the little girl to her grandmother who had agreed to look after her in Senegal, police claim.

On Saturday, Kabou was taken under Police guard to Boulogne sur Mer and questioned for four hours by an examining judge in a closed court session.

The judge placed her under investigation for murder. She was remanded in custody pending her trial. Her lawyer Fabienne Roy-Nansion  who was present during the interrogation said that her client had made a full confession.

In an interview with Le Parisien newspaper the father of Adelaïde said that Fabienne Kabou had been 'a magnificent' mother to her child.

Neighbours of the couple said they were at a loss to understand how the mother of the Adelaïde could have wanted to be rid of her.


Lying For the homosexual Cause – Par for the Course

It comes as no surprise that the militant activists who champion immoral and amoral lifestyles are more than happy to use any method to achieve their goals. So lying is par for the course. And it also comes as no surprise that the lamestream media will always happily promote the deceit and falsehoods, but almost never report on any retractions or corrections.

The media is up to its ears in collusion with the activists, and they are an utter disgrace. That is why of course the alternative media has sprung up and is flourishing – it is vital that truth gets out in the public arena, and if the MSM will not report the facts, then others will.

I have discussed a number of hoax homosexual hate crime incidents previously.

There are plenty more. Indeed, one of the biggest hoaxes (which many of us knew about all along) has to do with the death of homosexual icon Matthew Shepard. This was proclaimed by the MSM as a typical case of anti-homosexual hate. But it was nothing of the sort. And while every MSM outlet in the world pushed the original story like crazy, the new-found truth is barely being heard about.

I refer to a new book written by homosexual author Stephen Jimenez. It completely blows the lid on all the lies and deception that have been going on over this story. And of course the MSM has basically ignored it – there are just too many inconvenient truths here.

Here is how one review of this opens: “Stephen Jimenez didn’t set out to be the most dangerous journalist on earth. Or, more to the point, the most dangerous gay journalist. But Jimenez unearthed a story that few people wanted to hear. And it calls into question everything you think you know about the life and death of one of the leading icons of our age. Matthew Shepard, college student. Killed, at 21, for being gay. Or was he?

“Jimenez’s The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard, out last month, challenges every cultural myth surrounding Shepard’s short life and unspeakable death. After some 13 years of digging, including interviews with more than 100 sources, including Shepard’s killers, Jimenez makes a radioactive suggestion: The grisly murder, 15 years ago this month, was no hate crime. Shepard’s tragic and untimely demise may not have been fueled by his sexual orientation, but by drugs. For Shepard had likely agreed to trade methamphetamines for sex. And it killed him.”

Ignored by the MSM, Jimenez was also vilified by his own: “Yet the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog recently accused Jimenez of serving as a lapdog of ‘right-wing pundits, radio hosts and bloggers.’ In Washington, DC, gay activists pestered bookstores to cancel Jimenez’s appearances. So much for free speech. ‘It’s offensive,’ said Jimenez.”

But as I say, there are plenty of these frauds and hoaxes around, all vigorously promoted by a compliant MSM. Let’s look at a few more recent cases. The first one comes from Wisconsin:

“A former full-time volunteer for Wisconsin state senator and U.S. House candidate Chad Lee (R) recanted his claim Monday that he had suffered a beating and threats for his sexuality and political affiliation. Kyle Wood, 29, had originally reported to the Madison, Wis., police that a man had broken into his apartment and proceeded to assault and threaten him on Oct. 24….

“When Wood first contacted The Daily Caller with the story, he submitted photos detailing the injuries he sustained to his face and neck. It is unclear whether Wood inflicted the injuries on himself or if he simply made up the political backstory to an unrelated violent act.

“The issue of falsely reported hate crimes also came into play before the 2008 presidential election. In October of that year, a Republican campaign volunteer for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) carved a backwards ‘B’ into her own cheek and told police that a black man had done it after seeing her McCain bumper sticker.”

A more recent episode comes from New Jersey: “After a gay server at a New Jersey restaurant said a customer denied her a tip and wrote her a hateful note on the receipt, a local family contacted NBC 4 New York and said their receipt shows they paid a tip and didn’t write any such note.

“Dayna Morales, a former Marine and a server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, posted a photo on Facebook earlier this month, showing the bill with a line through the space for a tip. The photo of the receipt showed someone had written, ‘I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle.’

“Morales indicated in her Facebook post, and in subsequent media interviews – including with NBC 4 New York – that the customer wrote that line. But a family contacted NBC 4 New York claiming their receipt from the restaurant shows they did leave a tip, and provided what they said was a credit card statement as proof.”

Even more bizarre is the fact that the couple in question are actually pro-homosexual and pro-homosexual marriage. Yet the original story went viral on the MSM. Of course the subsequent rebuttal has barely been found anywhere with the MSM. Why are we not surprised?

There are plenty more homosexual hate crime hoaxes which have been revealed recently.

So what we have here are homosexual militants quite happy to lie through their teeth, making up stories of fake attacks. And just as bad is a complicit media which swallows everything these guys tell them, without even asking any hard questions or expecting a shred of evidence.

Yet when the stories are found to be whopping lies, where is the media then? Crickets chirping – that’s it. So the MSM is clearly fully in bed with the militant homosexual activists, and are as happy to spread lies and deception as are the activists.

Thankfully the alternative media exists to expose these frauds and challenge the lies. But this is what we are up against from the other side. Morality means nothing to them. Just as during the Cold War morality meant whatever advanced the cause of communism, so too with the activists and social engineers today.

They will lie at the drop of a hat if they think it will advance their cause. So we not only have a deathstyle which is dangerous in the extreme, but we have militant activist groups which will resort to any immoral or amoral means to achieve their perverted ends.

More HERE  See the original for links

Does prayer help us resist temptation? Talking to God boosts self-control and emotional stability, claims study

Praying helps people stay in control of their emotions and behaviour, according to a new study.

People turn to prayer 'as a coping response to the high demands in life' and are rewarded with increased strength and ability to resist temptation, researchers said.

Previous findings have shown that when people try hard to control their emotions and thoughts, the risk of aggressive outbursts and binge drinking or eating rises.

But the latest study, by German psychologists at Saarland University and the University of Mannheim, found that praying helps people maintain self-control.

'A brief period of personal prayer buffered the self-control depletion effect', wrote the team, whose findings are published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology online.

'These results are consistent with and contribute to a growing body of work attesting to the beneficial effects of praying on self-control.'

Praying has already been linked in the past to reduced levels of infidelity and alcohol consumption.

The German authors recruited 79 people, of whom 41 were Christian, 14 atheists, 10 agnostic and 14 belonged to other religions.

Participants were each left alone for five minutes and asked to either pray or think freely about one thing as intensely as possible.

Next they all watched a funny film clips with half told to react normally and half required to try to suppress their emotions and control their facial reactions.

Finally, they took part in Stroop tests, where words describing colours appear in different coloured inks, such as the word blue written in red ink.

Participants must respond to the ink colour, not the written word, which requires self-control as our instinct is to read the word in front of us.

Those who thought freely in the first part of the test and then tried to suppress their emotions during the film clips were found to struggle with the Stroop task.

But this was not the case for participants who prayed at the start of the study - showing they still had high levels of self-control at the end.

The authors also found those who first prayed had tried just as hard to suppress emotions during the film clips 'but did not become depleted'


The supermarket chain  that British elitists love to hate

On a bleak November afternoon, on an industrial estate on the Welsh border, the Iceland team are gearing up for another battered and breaded Christmas.

At the HQ of the frozen food giant, chefs have prepared — defrosted! — a banquet featuring all their festive showstoppers.

Like a little matchstick girl, I press my nose against the test kitchen window and gaze upon the golden and glazed glory of Iceland, spread across a groaning table.

Behold an Iceland hog roast crouching on a platter, an Iceland three bird roast, an Iceland venison roast and an Iceland pastry cushion stuffed with meat.

There are tiny bread coffins with tails sticking out of them (prawn toasts), there are rolls, goujons, sticks, bites, mini-kebabs, savoury cones, quiches and thimble-sized pies.

There is a big, fluffy cake that looks as if it has just hosted a raspberry massacre.

‘Come on, Jan, tuck in!’ cry the Iceland men, as I hesitate between a dough ball or a chorizo pastry — the two items rather remind me of a thumb before and after it’s been flattened by a hammer.

Merrily snacking away in the middle of the kitchen is Malcolm Walker, the boss, the big frozen cheese, Mr Iceland himself.

He is holding an indeterminate nugget of something or other in his hands. I know what he is going to say. We all know what he is going to say. So say it, Malcolm.

‘This is absolutely delicious,’ he cries.

Of course he does. Walker is the effervescent chief executive, the plain-speaking northern entrepreneur who started Iceland way back in 1970.

He and his partner began with one shop in Oswestry, Shropshire, selling loose frozen vegetables to grateful housewives, and turned it into a frosty giant.

Today, Iceland has 800 stores in the UK — from Aberdeen to Truro — employs 25,000 people and is still run by Walker, who seems to have an impeccable perception of his customer base and the appeal of his stores.

Walker also knows what his customers want to eat — from prawn rings to platters of frozen sandwiches.

Frozen sandwiches?

‘Yes. We tried to take them off the shelves, but they are so popular, especially at this time of year.’

Walker knows all too well that there is a blizzard of metropolitan snobbery about Iceland; a great deal of misplaced mockery about the type of food they sell and the kind of people who buy it.

‘A woman from the Guardian came to interview me recently. She kept saying: “You got rich selling s*** to poor people on benefits, what do you say about that?” She just wouldn’t let it go,’ he says, bemused.

‘Maybe some of our customers don’t care because they are on a budget and they just need value.

‘Nevertheless, we care. We go as far as we can to make our products as healthy as possible for the money. Whatever you might think of our products, I’m so proud of them.’

The lady from the Guardian was  also unimpressed with the pin-up calendar displayed in the Iceland executive bathroom.

‘I told her it was only there because the photoshoot took place on the Iceland company aeroplane,’ says Walker, as if that explains everything.

Still, he long ago banned (nearly) all artificial additives from his stores, his company and its own products came out of the horsemeat scandal well and he pays his staff more than most High Street employers — but can we forgive him for selling doner kebab pizzas for £1?

‘I was horrified myself when the buyers introduced it, but it makes a fortune so who am I to contradict? It sells like hell.

We do £80,000 a week on doner kebab pizza,’ he says, pointing out that Iceland sells a great many other pizzas, including a more expensive range which are ‘made in the foothills of the Dolomites’.

Are they better because they’re made in Italy? ‘No, but that is just the starting point.’

A sprightly 67-year-old with a boyish haircut, and — I’m going to say it — a rather kindly air, Walker certainly enjoys the appurtenances of his wealth. He shoots, he sails, he skis, he eats a healthy Mediterranean diet.

‘Anita Roddick of The Body Shop once said if you eat tomatoes every day, you will never need to buy her products. So I have lots of tomatoes, grilled fish, olive oil, whatever.’

Do you eat a lot of your own products? ‘Yes, I do.’ How do they fit into the Mediterranean diet? ‘They don’t. But I am not obsessive about it.’

Married to Rhianydd (‘Ranny’) for more than 40 years, he has two daughters, one son and eight grandchildren.

The kids were brought up having to work for their pocket money and were educated privately at day schools — he was aghast at the thought of sending his beloved children away to boarding school.

He is a family man who has been shattered by the onset of his wife’s Alzheimer’s, but grateful he has the funds to cope as best he can.

‘The past nine months it has become impossible, but I am in a position that I can afford care,’ he says. ‘I cannot imagine how it must devastate people’s lives if they cannot.

‘Give up work, have somebody from the council coming in two hours a week? I just cannot imagine. I worry about where it is all going to go with Ranny, but she still recognises me and she goes out to lunch, but has to have people with her.’

Reportedly worth £215?million, he lives in a meticulously restored Elizabethan manor house on a grand estate just outside Chester, sends his Bentley Flying Spur and chauffeur to pick me up from the station and wears discreetly stylish clothes of excellent quality, regularly purchased from a menswear shop in Belgravia.

He loves his family and living well, but most of all, he love, love, loves his Iceland.

Iceland has also recently been the subject of a three-part fly-on-the-wall BBC?2 documentary, Life In The Freezer Cabinet.

It revealed Walker to be a popular boss, the first to leap into fancy dress at staff parties, very hands on, able to take direct criticism and act upon it.

He is proud of the fact that Iceland staff, besides being better paid than those of rival shops, enjoy lots of perks.

In one episode, we saw him personally delivering a suitcase containing a £10,000 cash bonus to be shared among the sobbing employees at the best-performing store.

It was hard to know who got the biggest kick out of this annual stunt, Walker or his staff.

Indeed, he was such a hit in the documentary that some have even suggested he is a new entrepreneurial telly star in the mould of Lord Sugar, or perhaps Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary. Walker looks horrified.

‘Alan Sugar is horrible and that’s not how we behave here. Michael O’Leary doesn’t give a s*** about his customers, but we do.’

Perhaps neither of them would ever dare to put chicken tikka masala or hoisin duck on a pizza (‘It’s only meat shavings and the sales are going ballistic’), but Walker’s mission now is to convince us that Iceland food is not as terrible as you might think. Indeed, their best sellers are bread, milk, frozen chicken breasts and skinless salmon fillets.

‘Half the population of the UK would never shop in Iceland and half love us and shop in us all the time.

‘It is polarised. Middle-class shoppers will go to Waitrose or Sainsbury’s and never dream of going to Iceland but their prejudice is unfounded.’

He believes Iceland cannot enjoy the modish popularity of budget supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl because its image is too entrenched.

But perhaps the company does not help itself with products such as this year’s notorious Bubble Bobble Prawns, a seafood snack that looks like lizard toes enrobed in a coating of Rice Krispies.

At £1 for a pack of ten, you have to wonder what dark corner of hell they were dragged from.

‘But you haven’t tried them, Jan!’ says Malcolm, as he bites into one. ‘They are fantastic. If you were at 10 Downing Street and David Cameron came around with a plate of Bubble Bobbles as a canape, you would say thank you Prime Minister, that is delicious — and it is.’ ....

He is evangelical about the benefits of frozen food, admitting only  that green beans, at a push, taste better fresh.

He is dismissive of ‘fresh’ foods in supermarket chiller cabinets — ‘How can a chicken casserole stay fresh for ten days?‘ he scoffs — and is planning still further Iceland expansion.

He is a proper, old-fashioned British businessman, whose darkest days came in 2001, when he stepped down as Iceland’s chief executive, amid an investigation into a £13.5?million share sale.

‘Instead of retiring a hero, I retired under a cloud, so it was shattering,’ he says.

Three years later, Walker was cleared of any wrongdoing and returned to Iceland in 2005. By that time, the company had severe problems — and rescuing it was a matter of urgency.

‘We were on the edge of bankruptcy, it was game over. The books were a mess, the offices were a mess. I got everything cleaned up, got some pride back. The place had been trashed.’

Iceland’s recovery was immediate. The company now operates a franchise in Spain and is opening 150 new international stores — including in the Czech Republic.

‘Hungary is corrupt and they pickle everything in Poland, so we are going Czech,’ says the boss. They are even starting to export Iceland frozen foods overseas — to the Falkland Islands, among other places.

Is that entirely fair? First an Argie invasion, now a Bubble Bobble Prawn one. One thing is for sure, second time around, there is no stopping Malcolm Walker. Beware everywhere — the Iceland cometh.



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

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

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


2 December, 2013

Soviet Britain: Authorities forcibly removed baby from woman's womb

There is no end to the horrors inflicted by British social workers

British social services forcibly removed a baby from a pregnant Italian woman's womb by caesarean section while she was in the country on a work trip.

The woman was sedated and then had the girl removed from her womb after authorities in Essex obtained a court order, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper said.

The authorities said the woman had had a mental breakdown and it acted in the best interests of the child, which is now 15-months-old, the paper said.

The Italian mother has now launched a legal battle for the child, which is being put up for adoption by the social services, it said.

"I have never heard of anything like this in all my 40 years in the job," her lawyer, Brendan Fleming, told The Sunday Telegraph.

The woman had flown into Britain in 2012 for a two-week Ryanair training course at Stansted airport north of London when she suffered a panic attack, which her family believe was due to her failure to take medicine for a bipolar condition, the newspaper said.

She has since launched legal action in Britain and Italy for the return of her daughter but has been told that the child will be placed for adoption.

A British MP, John Hemming from the Liberal Democrat party, will raise the case in parliament this week, the newspaper said.


Seven Phony Hate Crimes Trumpeted By The Media

One of the oldest rules in psychology and economics is that if you reward a behavior, you can expect to see it more often.  In America, we reward victimhood.

That makes us feel good about ourselves and in some cases, it helps improve the lives of the people who've been victimized, but there's a dark side to it as well. It creates perverse incentives for people, it helps legitimize a victimhood mentality, and it also encourages people to fake hate crimes.

Under normal circumstances, that would seldom happen. However, in a society where we celebrate victimhood and savagely attack people we decide are “bullies”, being a "victim" can potentially be the high point of someone's life. It can mean getting attention from the media, being showered with sympathy, and even making thousands of dollars.

Is it any wonder that there are unscrupulous people who take advantage of the situation?

1) The Tawana Brawley Hoax: This was the case that made Al Sharpton's career and surprise, surprise, it was all a lie.

    In a healthy society, Sharpton might be on parole now — not the must-get guest for “Meet the Press” and “Today” on issues of racial justice. He was a ringleader in perpetuating the evil Tawana Brawley hoax in which he and two corrupt lawyers (now disbarred) falsely accused Assistant District Attorney Steven Pagones and others of gang-raping a 15-year-old girl in a racist attack (Brawley claimed that she’d been smeared with feces and had racist epithets written on her body). No person of any ideological stripe could doubt it was a fraud — except, that is, for the unrepentant Sharpton, who recently insisted “something happened.”

2) She wasn’t even Jewish: On the very day that College professor Kerri Dunn was supposed to speak at a campus forum on racism, she announced that she’d just been a victim of racism. That would have made for a great story....if it were true.

    Dunn, a visiting psychology professor (at Claremont McKenna College), was scheduled to speak at a campus forum on racism. During her talk, she shocked the audience by announcing that she had been — that very day — the victim of a hate crime. Ta da!

    Her car had been vandalized, its windows smashed, tires slashed. And profane, anti-Semitic graffiti covered the wreckage.

    The campus was shocked. CMC and all four of its sister colleges canceled classes (they didn’t even do that on 9/11). An emotional student body held a giant rally against racism. The riveting spectacle was covered by network news.

    Undoubtedly, the whole affair would have been a great career boost for Dunn if only two students hadn’t seen her doing all the vandalism herself. Dunn lost her job, of course, and also went to prison for lying to federal investigators and for insurance fraud. (She had claimed that $1,700 worth of items, including a laptop computer, had been stolen by the hate-crime bogeyman. These items were later found in a closet in Dunn’s home.)

    Dunn might have avoided prison if she hadn’t tried to cash in. Her long years of education at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where she earned both a Ph.D. and a J.D., were not sufficient to instill in her an appreciation for the risks associated with perjury and fraud.

    By the way, she wasn’t even Jewish.

3) Faking racist messages as a political tactic: A black student at St. Peter’s Prep came up with an ingenious technique to try to get elected at a largely white school: He sent racist messages to himself to try to generate a sympathy vote.

    The black St. Peter’s Prep student who purportedly received racist text messages warning him to drop out of the Jersey City high school's student government election sent the texts to himself, a school official confirmed last week.

    ...The 16-year-old was running for president for the Student Council in May when he supposedly received four hateful text messages. He brought them to the attention of school officials who called in his father and police.

    "We have NEVER and will NEVER have an (n-word) to lead our school," was one of the messages supposedly sent to the 16-year-old student, who at the time, was a resident in Jersey City.

    The message went on to call President Obama by his middle name Hussein and used a racial slur in referring to Obama, a police report said. "We will never make that mistake again. Drop out right now . . ." it continued, a police report said.

    A second message read "Whites! Your a waste on this earth, a waste at this school, and most importantly a Waste for this campaign." That message called the student government candidate a "slave" and used a racial slur, a report said.

    The third message texted to -- and as it turns out from -- the student, contained a warning to drop out of the race and the fourth read, in part, "COMEONE your black!!! lol your a joke for even trying to run," according to a police report.

    The 16-year-old eventually lost the race for student council president but was elected vice president.

    …In an interview with The Jersey Journal at the time the texts were sent, the boy’s father said his son was “extremely nervous and feels threatened” and did not want to be interviewed.

    "He is the type of boy who does not want any kind of trouble," the father said. "It's so sad. He doesn't want the image of the school to be tainted."

    "It is a predominantly white school and there may be a few sections of the school who are fearful of a new face trying to get in office,” the father said at the time.

4) The lesbian waitress who was stiffed on a tip: There have been a wave of, "Instead of a tip, I was left this nasty note by a customer," stories that’ve exploded in social media over the last few months. At least two of them have already been confirmed as fake. The latest one is a doozy.

    After a gay server at a New Jersey restaurant said a customer denied her a tip and wrote her a hateful note on the receipt, a local family contacted NBC 4 New York and said their receipt shows they paid a tip and didn’t write any such note.

    Dayna Morales, a former Marine and a server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, posted a photo on Facebook earlier this month, showing the bill with a line through the space for a tip. The photo of the receipt showed someone had written, “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle.”

    Morales indicated in her Facebook post, and in subsequent media interviews — including with NBC 4 New York — that the customer wrote that line.

    But a family contacted NBC 4 New York claiming their receipt from the restaurant shows they did leave a tip, and provided what they said was a credit card statement as proof.

    The husband and wife, who asked to remain anonymous, showed NBC 4 New York a receipt that appeared to be printed at the same minute, on the same date, for the same $93.55 total, except with an $18 tip.

    They also provided a document they said was a Visa bill, which appears to indicate their card was charged for the meal plus the tip, for a total of $111.55.

    The couple told NBC 4 New York that they believed their receipt was used for a hoax. The wife says she is left-handed and could not have made the slash in the tip line, which she said looks to be drawn from the right.

    …They said they came forward because the story of the receipt note didn’t appear to be going away; Morales had recently announced that people were sending her tips from all over the world, and was donating some of the money to the Wounded Warrior Project.

    “I just felt like people have a right to know that — it’s fine of people (to) want to donate to her or to the Wounded Warriors, but they’re doing it under a false pretense,” the wife said.

5) The Oberlin College Hoax: Michelle Malkin called the scam at her former alma matter, Oberlin, the "hate crime hoax of the year."

    Just as I suspected, “progressive” pranksters at Oberlin College have been definitively unmasked as the perpetrators of phony campus “hate crimes” that scored international headlines in March. The blabbermouth academic administrators who helped fuel the hysteria are now running for cover.

    The Associated Press, The New York Times, MSNBC, Yahoo News and the Huffington Post were among the media outlets that trumpeted the story of supposed racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism run amok at my alma mater. Throughout the winter, anti-black and anti-gay graffiti, swastikas, and a shadowy figure in a “KKK hood” surfaced on the tiny campus outside Cleveland, Ohio. Black Entertainment Television News decried the hate outbreaks and “KKK sighting.”

    ...My suspicions about the latest “hate” crime were bolstered by police statements that the “KKK hood”-wearing menace was actually a female student wrapped in a blanket. Hollywood darling and Oberlin alumnus Lena Dunham was undaunted, however, in ginning up emotional calls for Obie solidarity on Twitter, which the AP dutifully reported as “news.” My warnings and reports on previous Obie hoaxes, alas, were not deemed AP-newsworthy.

    The orgy of self-flagellation swelled. Liberal grievance-mongers applauded the administration’s decision to shut down classes. Faculty, students and opportunists took to the airwaves and the Internet to bemoan “white privilege,” institutional bigotry, lack of diversity, yada, yada, yada.

    And now, the rest of the story. According to police reports published by Chuck Ross of The Daily Caller News Foundation this week, two students had ‘fessed up to most of the incidents (and fellow students suspect they are responsible for all of them). The Oberlin Police Department identified the hoaxers as Dylan Bleier (a student worker bee for President Obama’s Organizing for Action and a member of the Oberlin College Democrats) and Matthew Alden. Bleier told police the pair posted inflammatory signs and a Nazi flag around campus to “joke” and “troll” their peers.

    Investigators “caught them red-handed” trying to circulate anti-Muslim fliers, and a search of Bleier’s email confirmed he had used a fake account to harass a female student. Cops told Oberlin President Marvin Krislov, but he failed to pursue any criminal action. The two students were removed from campus before the bogus “KKK” brouhaha and news-making shutdown.

6) A liberal smashes up Colorado Democratic Headquarters: Faking political hate has gotten much more popular on the Left in recent years, but most people don't go to these lengths to try to blame the opposition.

    A 24-year-old arrested this morning on suspicion of smashing 11 windows at Colorado Democratic Party headquarters tried to conceal his identity while allegedly committing the crime, according to police descriptions.

    Maurice Schwenkler wore a shirt over his face, a hooded sweat shirt and latex gloves before he and another man fled the scene on bicycles, police said. Schwenkler was apprehended after a short chase. The other suspect remains at large.

    While Schwenkler does not appear in the state’s voter registration database, a person by that name in November 2008 received $500 from a political 527 committee called Colorado Citizens Coalition for “communications,” according to campaign finance disclosures.

    The accountant for the 527 appears to be the same woman who handles the books for many other Democratic-leaning political committees.

    A Maurice Schwenkler also signed an online 2005 petition to free anti-war Christian protesters who were captured in Iraq.

    State Democratic Party Chairwoman Pat Waak initially blamed the vandalism on animosity surrounding the health care debate, though Denver police declined to comment on possible motives.

7) Matthew Shepherd wasn't murdered for being gay: The Matthew Shepherd case is the most famous "hate crime" of the past couple of decades. There's even a "Matthew Shepard Act" that was signed into law by Barack Obama. Unfortunately, the story most people think they "know" about Matthew Shepherd is about as real as Barack Obama's promises about Obamacare.

    Matthew Shepard was the winsome young homosexual in Laramie, Wyoming who in October 1998 was tortured, killed, and left hanging grotesquely from a fence. He was discovered almost a day later and later died in the hospital from his horrific wounds. On the night of October 6, Shepard met “two strangers” in the Fireside Lounge in Laramie. The two men offered Shepard a ride home but instead drove him to a remote area, robbed him, beat him with pistols, and left him splayed on a fence.

    Cops found the bloody gun along with Shepard’s shoes and wallet in the truck of the two men — Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. McKinney and Henderson claimed the “gay panic” defense, that they freaked out when Shepard came onto them sexually and killed him in a rage. They made other claims, too, but were convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

    ...Thanks to a new book by an award winning gay journalist we now know that much of this narrative turns out to be false, little more than gay hagiography. As gay journalist Aaron Hicklin, writing in The Advocate asks, “How do people sold on one version of history react to being told that the facts are slippery — that thinking of Shepard’s murder as a hate crime does not mean it was a hate crime? And how does it color our understanding of such a crime if the perpetrator and victim not only knew each other but also had sex together, bought drugs from one another, and partied together?”

    ...But what really happened to Matthew Shepard?

    He was beaten, tortured, and killed by one or both of the men now serving life sentences. But it turns out, according to Jiminez, that Shepard was a meth dealer himself and he was friends and sex partners with the man who led in his killing. Indeed, his killer may have killed him because Shepard allegedly came into possession of a large amount of methamphetamine and refused to give it up. The book also shows that Shepard’s killer was on a five-day meth binge at the time of the killing.


A happy family that would not have existed if the knowalls had prevailed

The world's first test-tube baby paid tribute to her parents' bravery today - saying they stepped into the unknown by having her.

Louise Brown, 35, was born at Oldham General Hospital on July 25 1978 after her parents Lesley and John became the first people to successfully undergo in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

Her birth attracted controversy, with religious leaders expressing concern about the use of artificial intervention and some raising fears that science was creating 'Frankenbabies'.

However, it also paved the way for five million further IVF births.

Lesley died last year aged 64, following the death of her husband several years earlier.

Mrs Brown lives in Bristol with her husband, Wesley Mullinder, and in August the couple celebrated the birth of their second son Aiden.

Her sister Natalie, who was the first IVF baby to have a child, gave birth to her fourth child, Aeron, in August. There are now six grandchildren in the family.

Today the sisters planted a tree in memory of their parents at Bourn Hall - the Cambridgeshire clinic where the techniques and drugs were first developed.

Mrs Brown described how the breakthrough not only gave life to herself and her sister, but also to their own children.

She said: 'I don't know what would have happened to mum and dad if it hadn't work - it was what made them.'  'It's a shame she didn't meet Aeron and Aiden but being able to look after her grandchildren meant a lot to her. Having grandchildren and a wider family was part of her original dream.'

Her parents' pioneering role was only a by-product of their desire for a family, she said.

'After nine years of trying I think mum just heard the words "you might be able to have a baby" and they were that desperate they would have done anything.

'I don't really think they knew it hadn't happened before and, in a way, that was good because it meant they believed it would work. They didn't really talk about the controversy. They wanted children and that was that.

'With all the media attention, she would sometimes say it was as though I wasn't her baby. But she was brilliant, she did everything a mother could do and I try to follow her example.  'She was always there, a good listener. She was quite strict as well and kept us on the right path. She just did her best.'

Both sisters conceived naturally, but she said she would have considered IVF had she not been able to.  'Although it doesn't work for everybody, you just do what you have to do,' she said.

The sisters planted the tree at the clinic in recognition of the role it played in making medical history and making two generations of their family possible.

The clinic's founders, Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards, are seen as the pioneers of IVF. Current medical director Dr Thomas Mathews said John and Lesley Brown were also pioneers.

'Lesley was one of the sweetest and most cheerful women I have ever met at Bourn Hall. She always had a smile on her face, and was a source of great inspiration to others. She and John were more than willing to share their previous experiences with others around them,' Dr Matthews said.

Bourn Hall continues to collaborate with the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Centre to develop the science behind IVF.


Does God Make People Work Harder?

Religion is becoming more acceptable at work. And that's a good thing for both workers and employers, new research suggests.

A study revealed that employees working in environments that support their right to be open about their religious beliefs feel safer, have better working relationships with colleagues, and are more likely to be engaged in their work.

Patrick Hyland, of Sirota Survey Intelligence and one of the study's authors, said it is important to note the differences between having a spirituality-accepting workplace and religious proselytizing. He says spirituality at work is not about getting employees to buy into a specific set of religious beliefs.

"It's about helping employees tap into their personal core values and work towards goals that are both personally and professionally meaningful," Hyland said. "It's about enabling employees to connect their inner lives and personal passions with their day-to-day work."

The study, presented at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology's annual conference earlier this year, was based on more than 11,800 responses to an annual survey conducted for a multinational company. It found that employees were more engaged in their work, felt safer and were treated more fairly when they felt their organization was taking steps to accommodate faith in the workplace.

Hyland said there are small actions that business leaders can do to signal employees that the organization is spiritually friendly, without pushing religion.

"Senior leaders can remind employees about the bigger mission their organizations are trying to achieve," Hyland said. "Immediate managers can help employees find more meaning in their day-to-day jobs, their struggles, and their successes."

Additionally, Hyland said human resource departments can create the space for spirituality at work by setting up affinity groups and meditation rooms.

"At the end of the day, it’s about creating an environment where employees feel they can bring their full selves to work and have a professional life that is aligned with their deepest inner convictions," 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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


1 December, 2013

Paedophile who sexually abused five-year-old girl is given permission to adopt a child in Sweden

There are a very small number of headlines that so disturb me that I have to get up and walk away from the article concerned for a while.  This is one such.  Leftist amorality is triumphant in Sweden and this story tells some of the fruit of that.  Almost everything is permitted in Sweden -- praise of Israel excepted, of course.  Having Muslims rape your daughter?  No problem!  What a sick society   

A convicted paedophile has been given permission to adopt a child in Sweden despite sexually abusing a five-year-old girl.

Swedish authorities say the man, aged in his sixties, is now not in danger of reoffending.

The man, from the town of Helsingborg, has committed more than 90 crimes (mostly fraud-related charges) including molesting a young girl from his neighbourhood in 2004 according to The Local.

He was also suspected of raping a young teenage girl.

He now wishes to adopt his 10-year-old stepson following the death of the boy’s mother, whom the man married in 2009.

The mother and biological father were reported to consent to the adoption application.

A municipality social affairs committee deemed the man’s risk of reoffending as low, with nine of the 10 panel members voting to allow the application.

The committee did not however have access to information about the suspected rape according to Helsingborgs Dagblad.

Despite not being charged for rape, social services ruled that the man needed to be supervised around his own children.

Then in 2007 he was allegedly considered at high risk of sex offending again, with his ‘probable victims’ were underage girls. Treatment was again recommended as well as parenting classes.

According to local media reports, the 10-year-old boy is disabled and allegedly has no relatives willing to care for him.

The town’s head of social services has decided to file a complaint about the investigation into the man’s behaviour after the case made headlines in Sweden.

According to The Local, Dinah Abinger said: ‘I should have stopped it… it was a weak investigation. There are questions that aren't described in depth and the investigation should have been resubmitted to family court even before it reached the committee. Because of that I'm reporting us to the Health and Social Care Inspectorate.’

Back in 2007 paedophile David Mason, who is in his 50s, was allowed to foster a child despite his history of abusing young boys. He did not have his identity checked by Kent County Council, which permitted the placement.

The council were heavily criticised by a High Court judge after formal checks on Mason's application may have exposed his true identity and a history of sexual abuse, said Mr Justice Baker


Brutish British bureaucracy:  Father told to tear down steps he built to make road SAFER

This is just territoriality.  Subordinating the lives of children to speculation is unforgivable.  If the bureaucrat had proper concern for children he would have taken out a small insurance policy to cover eventualities.  But protecting his turf was all that mattered to the scum

Father of four Charlie Howard laboured long and hard in his own time to try to make his children's walk to school safer.

Giving up three weekends, he built a set of steps down a muddy embankment to keep them off a busy road.

But his good deed failed to impress the health and safety police...?who ruled the creation was a hazard in itself and ordered him to demolish it.

Without the steps, the children must scramble down the slippery bank or cross the road at a bend further along the road and walk 100 yards with no pavement to reach the bus stop.

Mr Howard went to work without complaint to try to eradicate the danger, taking his nine-year-old son Tommy with him to help build the steps.

But two weeks later he received a letter from Magna Housing Association which owns the embankment in Bridport, Dorset.

He was told that should anyone fall and hurt themselves while using the steps the association would be liable for any litigation.

Mr Howard, who also has a seven-year-old son and two daughters aged six and four, has taken the steps down but described the authority's reaction as 'ridiculous' because it has made the children's journey to Salway Ash primary school more hazardous.

The 37-year-old, who owns a vehicle restoration company, said: 'I only spent about 10 pounds doing it because a lot of the materials I had left over from work.

'It was much safer than what was there before. The school bus stops directly opposite the steps, so the children and my wife just have to walk down the steps and cross the road at a straight point.'

Mr Howard added: I have reluctantly taken them down now but it is a ridiculous thing to have to do - now they are far more dangerous.'

Bob Roberts, of Magna Housing Association, said: 'The steps are on Magna's land and if anyone were to be injured we may be liable.  'We cannot risk this and this is why we asked the residents to remove the steps.'


Oh Joy: The New York Times Changes the Definition of a Nuclear Family

America’s Thanksgiving tables yesterday may have looked a bit different than, say, the 1950s. The changing family dynamics is a fact the New York Times is applauding in a new piece glorifying the increasing diversity of American households, be it blended families, same-sex partnerships or cohabitation.

From “The Changing American Family”:
The typical American family, if it ever lived anywhere but on Norman Rockwell’s Thanksgiving canvas, has become as multilayered and full of surprises as a holiday turducken — the all-American seasonal portmanteau of deboned turkey, duck and chicken.

While diversity is something to encourage, I believe in the home there is still no greater institution than the traditional family. It provides stability and comfort – especially for children growing up in uncertain climates.

Granted, the Times piece did begin to suggest family was still a cherished institution. But, that suggestion was quickly clarified.
“It’s the backbone of how we live,” said David Anderson, 52, an insurance claims adjuster from Chicago. “It means everything,” said Linda McAdam, 28, who is in human resources on Long Island.

Yes, everything, and sometimes too many things. “It’s almost like a weight,” said Rob Fee, 26, a financial analyst in San Francisco, “a heavy weight.” Or as the comedian George Burns said, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”

A large part of this “weight” or burden, according to the Times, is the cost of raising a child.
The nation’s birthrate today is half what it was in 1960.

One big reason is the soaring cost of ushering offspring to functional independence. According to the Department of Agriculture, the average middle-class couple will spend $241,080 to raise a child to age 18. Factor in four years of college and maybe graduate school, or a parentally subsidized internship with the local theater company, and say hello to your million-dollar bundle of oh joy.

To wrap up, the Times has encouraged the breakdown of the traditional family and put a price on children.

What, pray tell, is wrong with the white picket fence? America is founded on tradition and our strong families are a major part of our country’s success. Family is something to strive for, not avoid.

The moral implications notwithstanding, broken or nontraditional families can also have a negative impact on the country’s economic growth. Children without fathers, for instance, are much more likely to grow up in poverty, abuse drugs and alcohol or go to prison.

But, the New York Times is only concerned with diversity and making the Thanksgiving table as “multilayered” as possible.


Women must not touch bananas!

Egypt's Latest Fatwas from Salafis and Brotherhood

As the full ramification of the Muslim Brotherhood's year in power continues to be exposed, a new study by Al Azhar's Fatwa Committee dedicated to exploring the fatwas, or Islamic decrees, issued by the Brotherhood and Salafis -- the Islamists -- was recently published.

Al Azhar, in Cairo, is considered by many to be one of the oldest and most prestigious Islamic universities in the world. The study, written by Al Azhar's Dr. Sayed Zayed, and entitled (in translation), "The Misguided Fatwas of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis," reveals a great deal about how Islamists view women.

The Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm summarized some of the Al Azhar study's main findings and assertions on November 15 in a article entitled (in translation), "Muslim Brotherhood fatwas: A woman swimming is an 'adulteress' and touching bananas is 'forbidden.'"

According to the report, "fatwas issued by both groups [Brotherhood and Salafis] regard women as strange creatures created solely for sex. They considered the voices of women, their looks and presence outside the walls of their homes an 'offence.' Some went as far as to consider women as a whole 'offensive.'"

The study addressed 51 fatwas issued during the rule of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. Among them, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis "permitted wives to lie to their husbands concerning politics," if the husband forbids her from being supportive of the Islamists or their agenda; she may then, through taqiyya [dissimulation] -- a Muslim doctrine that permits deceit to empower Islam -- still be supportive of the Islamists while pretending to be against them.

The study similarly revealed that some of these fatwas decreed that women who swim in the sea are committing "adultery" -- even if they wear a hijab: "The reason behind this particular fatwa, from their point of view, is that the sea is masculine [as with many other languages, Arabic nouns are gender specific, and "sea" is masculine], and when the water touches the woman's private parts she becomes an 'adulteress' and should be punished."

Moreover, "Some of these fatwas also forbade women from eating certain vegetables or even touching cucumbers or bananas," due to their phallic imagery, which may tempt women to deviate.

Other fatwas decreed that "it is unacceptable for women to turn the air conditioning on at home during the absence of their husbands as this could be used as a sign to indicate to neighbors that the woman is at home alone and any of them could commit adultery with her."

One fatwa suggested that marriage to ten-year-old girls should be allowed to prevent girls "from deviating from the right path," while another prohibited girls from going to schools located 25 kilometers away from their homes.

Another stated that a marriage is annulled if the husband and wife copulate with no clothes on.

These fatwas also sanctioned the use of women and children as human shields in violent demonstrations and protests, as these are considered jihads to empower Islam.

Even slavery was permitted, according to the study: "the people who issued these fatwas demanded the enactment of a law allowing divorced women to own slaves," presumably to help her, as she no longer has a man to support her.

An earlier report (summarized in English here) listed some other fatwas issued by the Brotherhood and Salafis during Morsi's tenure: advocating for the destruction of the pyramids and sphinx; scrapping the Camp David Accords; killing anyone protesting against ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (which happened and is one of the main charges against the imprisoned Brotherhood leadership); forbidding Muslims from greeting Christians; forbidding Muslim cab drivers from transporting Christian priests (whose clothing makes them identifiable); forbidding TV shows that mock or make light of Islamists; and forbidding women from marrying any men involved with the former Mubarak government.

Predictably, the Al Azhar study criticizing the Brotherhood and Salafi fatwas concludes by saying that only al Azhar, which styles itself as a moderate institution, is qualified to issue fatwas. Of course, one of the most sensational of all fatwas -- "adult breastfeeding," which called on women to "breastfeed" male acquaintances, thereby making them relatives and justifying their mixed company -- was issued by Al Azhar, but later retracted. It is apparently this retraction that makes Al Azhar seemingly more moderate than the Brotherhood.

Meanwhile, the Salafis -- who, in light of the Brotherhood's ouster have become Islam's standard bearers there -- continue successfully to push for strict interpretations of Sharia law in Egypt's new constitution.



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

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

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


Examining political correctness around the world and its stifling of liberty and sense. Chronicling a slowly developing dictatorship

BIO for John Ray

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take 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

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And the command in Leviticus 20:13 that homosexuals should be put to death 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 Romans chapter 1 that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

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.

"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)

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.

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

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