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

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

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

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


31 December, 2015

A first-hand account of current events in Israel

The media tell only half of it

By Paul Driessen and Glenn Taubman

When we planned our recent trip to Israel with 50 other Northern Virginians, we didn’t expect that it would coincide with the latest spasm of Palestinian violence against Israelis. We didn’t anticipate that this new war would be more insidious than past “intifadas,” with almost daily violence coming out of nowhere, with no warning, rhyme or reason.

No one is exempt. Old people have been stabbed and brutalized on city streets; so have young mothers with toddlers, rabbis in study halls, students in cars, people praying. Soldiers have been attacked at checkpoints. Children have been forced to watch their parents murdered in front of them. People waiting for buses have been rammed by cars and split open by meat cleavers.

A rocket hit Sderot, where a menorah atop a yeshivah was crafted from rockets that had previously rained down on this beautiful city, and where a colorful playground caterpillar doubles as a bomb shelter during frequent attacks. The Iron Dome defense system took out another flying bomb over Ashkelon.

Our group never wavered in its countrywide visit, but we were always looking around warily for signs of trouble. In some places an armed security guard accompanied us.

A suburban Jerusalem shopkeeper told us he and his six-year-old twins experience constant rocks and Molotov cocktails thrown at their house. He asked plaintively, “How do I explain that to my children?” Many nearby neighborhoods endure similar threats.

We thought back to October 2002, when the Beltway sniper and his young accomplice paralyzed the DC region for weeks, sowing fear and keeping people from pumping gas, buying groceries, holding soccer practices, or venturing from their homes. We ponder what happened in Paris and Mali, Chattanooga and San Bernardino, Boston and Fort Hood, Belgium and other countries.

Americans might try to imagine 50 or 100 copycats doing the same thing for weeks, months or years on end, and exhorting others to join them. Would they send their kids to school or engage in normal activities under such terrorism? Might they want the National Guard deployed? How would they respond if snipers return, or Paris and San Bernardino become more commonplace?

While many of these attacks occur in what the news media likes to call “Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory,” many have actually occurred in pre-1967 Israel, including downtown Jerusalem and Tel Aviv suburbs like Netanya and Ra’anana. As tourists, we saw firsthand how such random attacks sow fear, changes in daily life and calls for retaliation.

Markets had fewer people, restaurants were less crowded, businesses suffered. Mothers refused to send their children to school for almost a week, until more troops patrolled the streets. Life in cities gradually began returning to “normal” as our trip ended, but the stabbings and shootings continue.

News stories and anti-Israel activists often say more Palestinians than Israelis have died in these attacks – and repeat the vicious canard that “alleged perpetrators” have been “victims” of “extra-judicial summary executions.” In reality, the assailants were shot and killed while attempting to murder as many Israelis as possible; they were killed in the act by Israelis who are increasingly arming themselves for protection.

Israelis recognize that police and soldiers cannot be everywhere, and too often arrive only in time to count bodies and prevent additional murders. Self-protection under these circumstances is a citizen’s duty, and those attacking Israelis do so knowing the response is likely to be swift and uncompromising.

In fact, the response by Israelis exactly reflects Washington, DC Chief of Police Cathy Lanier’s recent advice: Citizens should do more than run or hide. They should “take the gunman down, take the gunman out. It’s the best option for saving lives before the police can get there.”

What do the Palestinian Arabs gain from their murderous mayhem, inspired by Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, the Arab media and many imams? Absolutely nothing, because the vicious attacks destroy any notion within Israel that it has a true partner for peace.

They destroy any hope or belief that West Bank and Gaza Strip Arabs will ever govern themselves peaceably, in close proximity to Israel’s major cities, sole international airport and neighborhoods teeming with children – even if their “two-state solution,” settlement removal and other demands are met.

The media, United Nations, State Department and boycott-divestment groups frequently claim the Palestinian side merely wants a state of its own next to Israel. However, the blatant refusal of attackers and their supporters to accept even pre-1967 Israel – or even depict Israel on maps – shows they are intent on keeping this 90-year war boiling for their own nationalistic or religious supremacy purposes.

Abba Eban famously said “the Arabs never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity” for peace. They seem determined to continue that dismal record, and many want Israel obliterated.

With our own eyes, we saw that Israel is a place of marvelous vitality, creativity and diversity: amazing food, archaeology, culture, science (cell phone apps, desalination plants, miracle cancer treatments and much more), agriculture, beaches, secularism and profound spirituality. Its racial and ethnic tolerance, its human rights record – while not perfect – are worlds better than anything found in its neighboring countries, where ethnic and religious minorities are routinely repressed, tortured and massacred.

Under horribly adverse conditions, dating back decades before its founding almost 68 years ago, Israelis have built a thriving and energetic society, a marvel on the ruins of their ancient past and recent Jewish history. They are not going anywhere, nor should they be expected to – anymore than the English should leave England or Americans the United States.

Indeed, Israel has integrated some 600,000 Jews who were driven penniless from Arab lands after its 1948 independence, plus millions of other Jews and non-Jews from around the world over later decades. Its Christian population has risen from 34,000 in 1949 to 170,000 today. As they built new lives in their adopted land, Israel prospered with them.

By contrast, virtually no Arab countries have accepted or integrated any Palestinian Arabs, many of whom still claim “refugee” status generations after this long war began. They treat refugees from the current Iraq-Syria conflagration the same way, while driving out or murdering non-Muslims. How many Syrians are in Saudi Arabia or Qatar today, instead of Germany or France?

Israel’s Jews live the Jewish people’s dream of a sovereign state reborn in its ancient homeland, and they are there to stay, along with Circassian, Christian, Druze, B’hai, Arab and other Israelis we met. In sad parallel, the Palestinian Arabs have built a society based on death, perpetual grievance, medieval attitudes and beliefs, and murder-suicides they mistakenly call martyrdom.

The sooner they sheath their knives, step out of the Middle Ages, and accept the fact that their Jewish neighbors will be in Israel for another 3,000 years, the sooner they too will have a chance to thrive in a country of their own. The first genuine steps would be a wonderful way to begin 2016.

Via email

Leftist academics think the Jihadis are good guys

Bloodshed has never bothered Leftists.  Comments below from an Australian academic

Academic theoreticians are to blame for Australia being in a position where ASIO head Duncan Lewis, “an unelected securocrat”, tells democratically elected MPs that “silence is the price they have to pay for an uneasy civil peace”.

David Martin Jones, a former associate professor at Queensland University who is visiting professor at the War Studies department at London University’s King’s College, told The Australian that, from a widespread academic perspective, “the market and the West perpetuate the real global ­violence, not terrorists, who merely resist the capitalist behemoth”.

He said that “in asking MPs and, by extension, the wider political community to refrain from commenting on the connection between Islam and political violence, Duncan Lewis merely reflected a widespread view that criticism of Islam by a non-Muslim will only provoke Muslim rage and provide more recruits to Islamic State”.

Since the terror attacks on the US in 2001, “liberal political elites, academe and state broadcasters have consistently denied any connection between religion, in its Islamist form, and religiously inspired violence”.

He said that after the London bombings on July 7, 2005, and the more recent Paris attacks, “a predictable chorus of academic ­experts have appeared in the media to claim the latest outrage has nothing to do with religion”.

“Well might they,” he said. “For the past decade, grants and chairs in terror or peace and conflict studies have been dedicated to showing modern terrorism has no Islamic association.” Even if some Islamic connection was conceded, he said, this was viewed as part of a wider, anti-capitalist “resistance” by the rest to the West.

The past decade, said Professor Jones, had witnessed a ­proliferation of peer-reviewed academic journals that reinforced this “resistance” message. These included, he said, Critical Studies on Terrorism and Critical Security Studies. “Tracing this critical posture reveals how deeply imbued contemporary academe has become with anti-western self loathing”. Such journals explained, for example, that “the rhetoric of freedom and the democratic way of life it upholds inflames the Muslim community”.

Professor Jones said that “the antidote they suggest is not to condemn, but to enter into ‘force-free dialogue’ with the forces of resistance”. Thus, he said, this academically fashionable critical theory shared an elective affinity with “the resistance”.

Reading Islamism as a form of revolutionary Marxism with a relig­ious facade, he said, “enables the Western theorist to present the Islamist in more attractive academic garb as a fellow critic ‘representing a distinctive combination of Islamic and enlightenment thought’ ”.

Not surprisingly, he said, Islam­ism’s most effective online journals embraced this unmasking of the “true” sources of terrorism. “They also consider the war on terror ‘a narrative’ and a distorted Western ‘construct’ that Islamism ‘deconstructs’, and accept that orientalism and colonialism are the real causes of their ‘radical’ reaction,” he said.

Professor Jones said that “ultimately, to empathise with Islamism and provide it with a justification for its hyper-megalomaniacal violence was delusional”.

“Such a delusion, ironically, depends on the liberal pluralist tolerance that both Islamic State and critical theory otherwise abhor,” he said. The result was “a curious disjuncture between what Islamists say and have said for a while, and what the critical theorist and now ASIO say they mean — and what Islamists actually do.”


Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin Upheld Religious Freedom in Issuing Marriage Licenses

Acting to resolve a conflict between personal conscience and political duty on the subject of same-sex marriage, Kentucky’s new governor decided that marriage licenses don’t have to bear the name of the county clerk whose office issues the license.

Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, announced his executive order last week along with four others.

“To ensure that the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored, Executive Order 2015-048 directs the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives to issue a revised marriage license form to the offices of all Kentucky county clerks,” a statement from the governor’s office reads. “The name of the county clerk is no longer required to appear on the form.”

During his campaign for governor, Bevin came out in support of Kim Davis, the Democratic clerk of Rowan County,  who drew national attention when she went to jail for five days for refusing to issue any marriage licenses to avoid issuing them to same-sex couples. Davis cited her religious belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.

“As we move into the New Year and upcoming session,” Bevin said in a statement, “I look forward to working with legislators and stakeholders to build consensus and drive policy that makes a meaningful impact on the lives of all Kentuckians.”

Bevin and Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton were sworn into office earlier this month. He succeeds Steve Beshear, a Democrat, as governor.

Whether or not she personally issued a marriage license, Davis had said, her name on the document signaled her consent.

“The controversy over Kim Davis and marriage licenses was a creation of a governor who was unwilling to do anything to help accommodate people with reasonable religious beliefs,” Roger Severino, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal.

Anticipating the Supreme Court decision that would redefine marriage, Davis petitioned the Kentucky Legislature in January to accommodate the religious beliefs of clerks, Severino said. The legislature did not act.

Republican lawmakers in the state had requested that Beshear issue an executive order to accommodate Davis and other objecting clerks, USA Today reported.

“Regardless of whatever their personal feelings might be, the overwhelming majority of county clerks are following the law and carrying out their duty to issue marriage licenses regardless of gender, and the courts will deal appropriately with the two or three clerks who are acting otherwise,” Beshear said in July.

“Kim Davis didn’t want to attach her name and title to forms recognizing a marriage she does not believe exists,” Severino said. “So she asked for accommodation. She was ignored.”

With Bevin’s new executive order, Severino said, “nobody is denied anything.” Clerks who are willing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples may do so, he said:

The Supreme Court has had its say and is requiring that states issue licenses to same-sex couples. That does not mean that a same-sex couple has a right to a license delivered by a particular clerk. Nobody has a right to have a license delivered by a particular clerk or have their wedding solemnized by a particular magistrate when others are willing to do it just as well.


A Leftist sleazebag and an attempted feminist coverup

Earlier this month, Nona Willis Aronowitz wrote a piece for Matter titled “(Not) All Men: Why women want to believe Our Dudes are the exception.” It was about how women—even very feminist women—can rationalize or deny sexism perpetrated by the men in their lives. One of the “major obstacles in the Fight Against Patriarchy,” she wrote, “is that a sexist guy will always seem like an outsider—a bad-news ex-boyfriend, perhaps, but not your male feminist friend, your super chill brother, your gentle dad.”

I thought of Willis Aronowitz’s piece when I learned about the sudden dissolution of the progressive public relations firm FitzGibbon Media amid accusations of sexual predation by its founder, Trevor FitzGibbon. According to the Huffington Post, which broke the story, FitzGibbon’s former employees say their boss committed at least a half-dozen incidents of sexual harassment, as well as two sexual assaults. He reportedly propositioned a woman who sought a job at the firm, and later asked her for sexy photos. HuffPo’s Amanda Terkel tweeted that several of FitzGibbon’s clients also say they were assaulted. For many in the progressive media world, where FitzGibbon was well-known, the idea that he was a serial sexual abuser is deeply shocking.

Outwardly, the Washington, D.C.–based FitzGibbon Media appeared committed to feminist ideals: In addition to clients like Amnesty International and WikiLeaks, it represented NARAL Pro-Choice America and the women’s rights organization UltraViolet. But despite the ostensibly progressive environment, the alleged victims evidently didn’t feel as though they could speak out, and until recently, by all accounts, they didn’t speak to each other. Assuming the multiple and still-proliferating charges are true, it begs the question: How did FitzGibbon get away with it for so long?

According to HuffPo, FitzGibbon’s alleged misdeeds came to light at an Austin staff retreat a few weeks ago. A friend of a FitzGibbon employee, Sierra Pedraja, had met with FitzGibbon during the day in a hotel lobby about possible employment opportunities; he invited her to spend some time with him and his staff that evening. That night, he reportedly told her she was beautiful and, according to HuffPo, “asked her if she was open to having any fun while he was in town.” The next day, he asked her to meet alone at the hotel. She declined. “I was very eager to get a job, and he used that to his advantage,” she was quoted saying.

Soon, the news of FitzGibbons’ alleged behavior with Pedraja spread through FitzGibbon Media. Female employees began telling each other their own stories: some similar to Pedraja’s, some much worse. It was as if Pedraja had kicked over a rock, revealing all the vermin beneath. “When I heard them say this was sexual harassment—no, it’s so much bigger than that!” one former FitzGibbon employee told me. She says that FitzGibbon sexually assaulted her, though she asked me not to print the details lest he recognize her and try to make contact. Until Pedraja spoke out, she thought she was alone—that what happened to her was a “happenstance freak incident.” (I reached out to FitzGibbon for this piece, but he declined to comment.)

As the internal crisis mounted, FitzGibbon decided to close his company. Now his nearly 30 employees are out of a job just before Christmas.

Like a lot of people in progressive media circles, I was friendly with FitzGibbon, and I understand why it took time for some his alleged victims to see him as an abuser. He and my husband had been colleagues at another progressive PR firm, Fenton Communications, during the last years of the Bush administration. Once FitzGibbon founded his own firm, I frequently worked with his team to set up interviews, and would see him at lefty political events and in MSNBC greenrooms. Occasionally he’d call me out of the blue just to talk, and we communicated regularly on social media.

Hyperearnest, enthusiastic, and confiding, FitzGibbon comes across like an eager puppy. He’s a hugger, but that never set off red flags for me. (His former employee says the same thing: “I didn’t think he would be capable of crossing a line like that.”) A few years ago, we met for drinks when he was in New York. I suggested SoHo’s Temple Bar, which is great for conversation but, being dark and intimate, not a place I’d go with someone who seemed potentially creepy.

Certainly, some of FitzGibbon’s alleged victims kept quiet because they feared for their jobs or their professional reputations, but others found themselves making excuses for him. A lawyer whom he reportedly groped at the Bowery Hotel told the Guardian, “I brushed it off as I thought he was having a needy moment.” It never occurred to her, she said, “that this was dangerous serial behaviour that he was probably doing to other women, or that he was keeping us silent by giving us a guilt trip.” The former employee I spoke to was worried about how FitzGibbon’s wife would feel if she ever found out what had happened. “I had this irrational fear that she would show up on my doorstep one day crying with her twins in her arms,” she says. FitzGibbon had apologized to her profusely, she said, as he did to many of his alleged victims. Even as she worried about her career, she remembers also feeling a sort of pity for him.

In theory, most of us know that men who commit sexist aggressions appear to be perfectly ordinary; they are not some special breed of leering monster. Still, when someone we know as a nice guy turns out to be sleazy, we’re thrown. These situations force us to choose between a number of unpleasant possibilities. We can regard the man as a sort of double agent from the land of misogyny, and treat everything we know about him as a lie. We can accept that some men, including men with admirable qualities who we know and like, don’t see women as fully human, which can leave us wondering about all the men in our lives. Or we can think that since the guy was nice, maybe what happened didn’t actually happen, or wasn’t so bad, or won’t happen again.

Yet word didn’t get out. The media critic Jennifer Pozner tweeted that two women had warned her about FitzGibbon and that his behavior was an “open secret”—but if it was, it was only open within a small circle. I reached out to several of my husband’s former colleagues, three of them women. None knew about his sexual harassment history. The employee who told me about her assault says she never heard a single rumor about FitzGibbon. And yet more women are now coming forward: “Women keep reaching out to us with more creepy allegations about Trevor FitzGibbon. People who didn’t work at the firm,” tweeted HuffPo’s Terkel on Friday. Many women, it seems, kept quiet about what happened to them, some because they were scared, some because the dissonance between his persona and his behavior knocked them off balance.



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, 2015

A politically incorrect Christmas

Michael Graham

Say what you want about the conservative, churchgoing Grahams of Lexington County, S.C., but we knew how to cut loose for Christmas. Growing up in the Deep South, I never had the pleasure of a white one, of course. But what we southerners lack in snowfall, we make up for in lard. And sugar. And gravy. Usually in the same dish.

My father is a lifelong fiscal conservative (aka “cheapskate”), yet Christmas was the one time of year he would crack open his wallet. Though he bragged about being “tighter than Dick’s hat band”—a vaguely disquieting southernism that has something to do with frugality—my sister and I awoke to a mountain of presents every Christmas morning.

And I do mean morning. As evangelical Christians, we celebrated Christ’s birth in the early hours of daylight, as the Good Lord intended. People who celebrate Christmas on the eve are either utterly unfamiliar with biblical teaching or Catholic. (I kid, my papist friends.)

For us, Christmas morning always exceeded expectations. The breakfast of spicy Bisquick sausage balls and “mimosas” made with sparkling grape juice never disappointed. Even the music was from Christmas Central Casting. For reasons still unclear to me, gas stations used to give away Christmas albums produced by Firestone and Goodyear (nothing says Christmas like a lube, oil, and a filter). These were all-star collections of Andy, Bing, Burl, and the gang. Mom would stack them on the record player and—assuming the arm of the record changer didn’t get stuck—we’d have a nonstop soundtrack for Christmas morning.

My mom’s philosophy on Christmas present distribution might be called the “Chicago voting” model: early and often.

Do I even need to say that we had a real tree? Of course we did. And not some scruffy pine from the woods behind our house, either. (“Too redneck!”—my mom.) No, sir, Dad would splurge on a Fraser fir bought from the Rotary Club. Did he do it because it sent my sister and me into paroxysms of Christmas glee? Or because it gave him an excuse to screw around with digit-endangering power tools late into the night? Only Santa knows.

I do know that the tree filled our small, 1970s prefab home with an opulent scent of celebration. When I was young, I thought every fancy cocktail party I saw in the movies must smell the way my house did on Christmas. My mom would add to the overall effect with potpourri and stacks of presents around the tree. Her philosophy on Christmas present distribution might be called the “Chicago voting” model: early and often. Just days after the tree went up, we already had significant giftage growing. By Christmas Eve it looked like a dump truck from Macy’s had crashed into our living room.

I remember one Christmas morning in particular. I was 9 years old, and we were having a banner day. My sister and I were exhausted from the sheer volume of presents. Shards of wrapping paper were scattered like shrapnel on the North African desert after Rommel had rolled through. We were just transitioning from the “heartfelt gratitude” portion of the program to the “Hey, that’s mine” ceremonial combat when my dad asked, “Are you sure that’s it?”

I looked under the tree. Nothing. I scanned the post-Christmas carnage. Not an unwrapped package in sight. I glanced at my mom, who was also looking around the room with a “Did I forget something in the attic?” look on her face.

(The fact that I never heard my parents rummaging around the crawlspace over my room late on Christmas Eve is proof that Santa is real.)

Then Dad nodded his head toward the upright piano along the wall. “Look over there,” he said.

I waded through the wrapping paper, peered behind the piano and saw . . . something. A long, leather case leaning against the wall. I dragged it over to our floral-print sofa and laid it on the cheap, olive-green carpet at my father’s feet. “Open it up,” my dad said, a twinkle in his notoriously nontwinkling eyes. There was a zipper at one end. I slid it down, reached in, and pulled out something long and heavy.

“Oh, Simon!” my mother cried.

No, it wasn’t a Red Ryder BB gun. (This was years before “A Christmas Story.”) It was a single-barrel, break action, 20-gauge shotgun. A real live gun.

There aren’t actually words for what I felt in that moment. I was astonished, flabbergasted, stupefied, and more. Of course I hadn’t asked Santa for a shotgun. I hadn’t asked him for a Lamborghini or a date with Princess Leia either, because certain things are simply beyond a boy’s imagination. My shotgun wasn’t a crazy, extravagant Christmas present. It was an impossible one. And yet here I was, holding it in my hand, as my father beamed with satisfaction.

And that’s when it got me. The thrill of hope.

I have very few other specific memories of my childhood Christmases after that. What I do remember are vague feelings of disappointment. It’s not that my Christmases were less bright. They were the high point of my year. But when a child is convinced that Christmas is the season when impossible hopes come true, then he can only be disappointed. For no matter how glorious the gifts beneath the tree are, he has the human capacity to hope for even more.

Christmas is an irrational celebration of the limitlessness of our hopes. And yet, that’s why the disappointment we inevitably feel isn’t a bug. It’s a feature. Unrealized hope is always there to tempt us away from the joy of what we have, the good things already grasped in our hands. Which is why every child has, at least once in his life, cried on Christmas morning.

Now that I’m a father, I’m doing my best to keep my childhood traditions alive: A real tree, spicy sausage balls, and children bursting out of their bedrooms on Christmas morning like joyous, uncaged beasts.

But my favorite moment comes the night before, in the waning hours of Christmas Eve. The children are asleep. The fading fire still burns, though darkly. Music drifts softly through the house (the same Goodyear Christmas soundtrack), and the tree stands in the red-tinged darkness, warm with lights.

I’ve got a drink in one hand, and the other draped over the shoulder of my wife, lying drowsily on the sofa next to me. The warm, heavy scent of the tree fills my lungs and unleashes my memories—memories of my children on Christmases past, along with fresh smiles over how giddy they’ll be in the morning when they see all the wishes Santa made true.

Christmas is an irrational celebration of the limitlessness of our hopes.

I have hopes for my children, these four precious gifts I have been given by grace, though these hopes may seem modest to you. Other parents may fantasize about a family of Nobel Prize winners who star in Oscar-nominated movies in their spare time. Me? I just want them to be healthy, to be happy, and to avoid a few of the painful mistakes I’ve made. A future without sorrow or want. Is that too much for a father to hope for?

I think of my wife, nestled beside me so warm and vulnerable. Dare I hope she loves me even half as much as I love her? She doesn’t talk about it often, but my wife has multiple sclerosis. Every day she wages a solitary battle against her own body, and she does it without complaint. And if that’s not bad enough, she has to live with me—a husband who works in radio and writes on the side, an enthusiastic, but often inept, partner. How does she do it? Why must she? Can’t she just live, without another day of worrying about bills, or struggling with her health, or being let down by her oaf of a husband?

Those days are coming, I know they are. But as I sit beside the tree, so still, so quiet in the light of the fading fire, that knowledge fades, too. I’m drawn away by my own impossible Christmas gift. By the elemental power of a simple story, whose symbols are all around me: A star. A manger. A baby, born so helpless, so alone. And yet somehow, so full of hope.

I don’t notice it, but my eyes are moist. My throat is dry. And there in the pale light of the glistening tree, hope envelops me like swaddling clothes. It warms me like the breath of a newborn child. It fills my lungs. It pumps the very blood through my heart. I close my eyes. I bow my head.

And I believe.


Liberal Activists, Celebrities And Politicians Lose Their Minds Over Tamir Rice Ruling

Evidence be damned!

The Tamir Rice verdict sparked outrage from celebrities, activists and politicians after it was announced Monday that Cleveland police would not go to trial in the death of a 12-year-old boy they fatally shot. Rice was shot Nov. 22, 2014, after appearing to reach for a gun in his waist band.

The gun turned out to be a fake, and the case grabbed national attention as one of the premiere cases in the Black Lives Matter movement.

As protesters took to the streets of Cleveland, Twitter exploded with reaction.


Cleveland officers won’t face charges in shooting death of black boy with toy gun

CLEVELAND — After more than a year of investigation, a grand jury declined to bring charges against either of the two police officers involved in the fatal 2014 shooting of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was playing with a toy weapon in a Cleveland park.

In announcing the decision Monday, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty said he did not recommend that the grand jury bring any charges.

McGinty said he believes both of the Cleveland officers involved were reasonable in their belief that Rice had a real weapon, and that new analysis of the video of the shooting leaves it "indisputable" that the boy was pulling the weapon from his waistband when he was killed.

"The outcome will not cheer anyone, nor should it," McGinty said. "Simply put, given this perfect storm of human error, mistakes, and miscommunications by all involved that day, the evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police."

Rice, who was black, was fatally shot by officer Tim Loehmann, a white rookie officer, on Nov. 22, 2014, as the young boy played with a toy gun in a public park. The grand jury also reviewed the actions of Loehmann’s partner, Frank Garmback.

The officers said earlier this month that Rice appeared much older and reached for the toy gun that was tucked in his waistband before Loehmann shot at him.

Police officers are rarely charged after on-duty shootings. There have been at least 975 police fatal shootings in the United States this year, according to a Washington Post database; officers have been charged with a crime in just eight of those shootings.

McGinty said the death of Rice did not meet the standard of a crime.

In a statement issued not long after the prosecutor’s announcement, attorneys for Rice’s family decried the grand jury process and renewed their calls for the Department of Justice to bring federal charges.

"It has been clear for months now that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty was abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment," the family attorneys said.


Australia: A government hospital system with three times more bureaucrats than doctors

A review of South Australia's hospital system needs to examine the number of bureaucrats after documents show administrators outnumber doctors, Family First MP Robert Brokenshire has said.

Mr Brokenshire called for an independent review after obtaining the data under Freedom of Information which showed administrators now outnumbered doctors by three to one.

The number of administrators has jumped by more than 1,600 to 13,477 in the past 10 years compared to the number of salaried doctors which rose to 3,897.

The documents also showed the number of executives increased to 113 from 84 - 10 years ago.

Mr Brokenshire said the disparity needed to be examined. "So I'm calling for an independent audit to actually have a look at and put a public report out to say whether or not, all these bureaucratic positions are required at a time when we have unprecedented pressures in our hospitals that our doctors and nurses are trying to cope with," he said.

SA Health said since 2010 there had been a more than 10 per cent reduction in executives working in SA Health and that in May it announced cuts to 25 executive roles and 425 staff from head office.

"South Australia has more doctors and nurses per capita than the national Australian average and there are only two other states that have a lower ratio of administrative and clerical staff per capita than South Australia," the statement read.

"The vast majority of SA Health staff are based on the frontline in local health networks or in roles directly supporting frontline staff."


Australia: Killers and terrorists will be served Halal chicken at 'religious friendly' Christmas lunch at Supermax - because so many of the inmates are Muslim

Christmas dinner inside Goulburn's Supermax prison for many of the inmates will be Halal chicken with cranberry sauce in an aluminium tray slid through the hatch of their four-by-three metre cell door at around 11am on Friday.

An unprecedented number of arrests of terror related suspects has boosted the number of Muslims locked up inside Supermax this Christmas alongside longer term inmates like serial killer Ivan Milat and double murderer Vester Fernando.

Daily Mail Australia can reveal that 37 high risk inmates will be spending the holiday season inside the prison and the increase in Islamic prisoners means there will be more call on the 'religious friendly' meal option on Friday's menu.

Although they are unlikely to be celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, Supermax's newer inmates like teenager Raban Alou will find little comfort in the culinary nod to his religion.

Alou was locked up in October for allegedly supplying schoolboy Farhad Jabar, 15, with the gun that killed police accountant Curtis Cheng at Parramatta in western Sydney.

Supermax prison is a modern jail within the larger 19th century jail which lies on the edge of the town of Goulburn, 200km southwest of Sydney.

While Goulburn's main prison, where inmates are caged in open-air yards in a noisy and sometimes menacing rabble, the atmosphere inside Supermax is more like a hospital than a jail.

It feels clinical, and with dozens of the country's worst offenders behind the glass doors of their day rooms like animals in a zoo, it is creepy.

Alou is likely being held in Supermax's segregation area, 7 wing, where all fresh admissions are held as they get used to the high risk management prison's rules and restrictions.

Alou, who is spending his first Christmas inside after being charged with aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring the commission of a terrorist act, will be offered the Halal chicken with potatoes and mixed vegetables.

Muslim inmates can also opt for the vegetarian Christmas lunch option of a spinach and ricotta burger with potatoes and vegetables.

Prepared three days earlier by criminals in one of the state's four prison kitchens in Sydney and regional NSW, the meal will be reheated, placed on a trolley and given to Alou in his cell. For dessert, he will receive a fruit mince pie.

The food will have been precisely measured to be high on vitamins and minerals and low in harmful fat or salt rendering it, many inmates claim, completely tasteless.

After a year in which breaches at Goulburn prison have resulted in escapes, attempted escapes and the amassing of contraband such as mobile phones, security will be tight in Supermax where guards can only interact in pairs with inmates.

In the lead up to Christmas, Corrective Services usually instigates a pre-season crackdown with officers from a special anti-contraband force and dogs searching common areas of the prison to sniff out drugs.

At this time of year, these teams also step up searches of visitors who may try to bring illegal substances into prisons.

Searches unearth stashes of methadone, fruit to make 'jail brew', cannabis, pills, steroids, 'ice', mobile phones and SIM cards, weapons such as shivs made from filed toothbrushes, wood or metal, and other banned items tattoo guns and cigarettes.



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


29 December, 2015

Another charming multiculturalist

PENNYSYLVANIA man Rick ‘Ricky’ Webster is just 26-years-old, but he is set to serve his second prison sentence for having unprotected sex with women without telling them he is HIV positive.

Webster was slapped with a 33 to 66 month prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to nine counts of reckless endangerment, related to not disclosing his HIV status to three female sexual partners.

Senior Judge Leonard N. Zito described Webster’s actions as ranking “among the most cowardly of human acts”, the Morning Call reported.

“This was not only disrespectful but it borders on the most heinous and deplorable acts,” he said.

“What he did, what Ricky Webster did, was to steal the lives of these young girls.”

Webster, who was born with HIV, showed remorse in court and his father asked the judge to take his obstacles in life into account, but Judge Zito refused to give him any sympathy.

“I get the feeling everyone is out to make him the victim. He’s not the victim,” Judge Zito said, the Le High Valley Live reported.

None of the three women have tested positive for HIV, but the testing period has not expired yet.

Assistant District Attorney Anthony Casola said the emotional trauma would be difficult to overcome even if there was no infection.

“I know that they’re going to be concerned about this for the rest of their lives,” Casola said.

In court, Webster admitted to cheating on his pregnant girlfriend when he slept with his female co-workers.

Webster was previously sentenced to four years in prison in 2010 for having unprotected sex with two women in New Jersey, including a 15-year-old girl.


Children brought up by both parents far less likely to suffer mental ill-health

Britain's Draconian feminist-inspired divorce laws have greatly discouraged marriage, thus depriving children of the best environment for them

Children brought up by single parents and in step families are three times as likely to suffer from mental health problems, a major study has found.

Research on more than 10,000 children found that those brought up by both natural parents are far less likely to suffer severe emotional and behavioural problems.

The major study by University College London shows large differences in the well-being of children, depending on their upbringing.

Experts said the findings added to “a mountain of evidence” about the damage caused by family breakdown, with children left stressed by marital breakdowns, or falling into poverty which could increase their risk of psychiatric distress.

The Millennium Cohort Study examined the mental health of 10,448 11-year-olds living in the UK. Overall, 6.6 per cent of children living with both natural parents were found to have severe mental health problems, compared with 15 per cent of those living with single parents, and 18.1 per cent of those living in step-families.

Those brought up by single parents and in step-families were particularly likely to suffer from conduct and hyperactivity problems, the mass study found.  Almost one in five children brought up in step-families were rated as suffering some form of conduct problem, such as tantrums and fights. The figure of 19.5 per cent compared with a figure of 7.1 per cent among those brought up by both natural parents and 17.4 per cent among those brought up by a lone parent.

Higher levels of mental health problems were found among boys, who were more likely than girls to suffer from conduct problems, hyperactivity and inattention.

Racial differences were also found. White boys were the most likely to suffer from hyperactivity and conduct problems while mixed race girls were the most likely to suffer from any type of severe mental health problem.

Children brought up in low income households were also more likely to suffer mental health problems, with a four-fold difference between the wealthiest and poorest households.

Andy Bell, chief executive of the Centre for Mental Health said: “It is not known from the information available to us why children living with both their parents are less likely to have mental health problems at age 11, but there are likely to be a range of reasons.

“We know that incomes are an important factor and children from the poorest families are four times as likely to have mental health problems as those from the wealthiest households. “Stress and distress among parents may also be an important factor putting children at risk.”

Norman Wells, from the Family Education trust, said: “This study adds to a mountain of evidence that family stability matters and that family breakdown can have a damaging effect on the mental health of children.

"The fact that a growing number of children lack the advantages of being raised by both their natural parents in a stable family unit is not something we can afford to be complacent about.”

Children who are bullied at school grow into adults with an increased risk of anxiety disorders, depression and suicidal thoughts, the findings show

Calling on the Government to do more to promote and encourage marriage, he said the rise in births outside marriage in recent years was having a damaging impact on children.

"In an age that places great emphasis on personal fulfilment at all costs, this study is a salutary reminder that the personal choices we make can have a lasting impact on others, and especially on our children,” he said.

Carey Oppenheim, Early Intervention Foundation chief executive, said families needed help earlier if children were struggling.
“Every child deserves the best opportunity to realise their full potential and we know that those with well-developed social and emotional skills have a better chance of being happy and healthy adults. That is why it is so important to tackle the inequalities that exist in these vital skills between children from different backgrounds,” she said.


Fewer British women are seeking divorce as men behave less badly: Number of wives seeking split drops by half since the mid 1980s

I doubt that male behaviour has changed much.  Draconian divorce laws mean that they marry less frequently, however.  So they will mostly be very confident of the relationship when they do marry and slower to end it

Women are less likely to seek a divorce in the first five years of marriage today than they were 30 years ago because their husbands have a more realistic expectation of marriage, according to a pro-marriage researcher.

According to the analysis, fewer women are asking for a divorce early in their marriage because men are walking down the aisle with their eyes wide open.

Sir Paul Coleridge, founder of the Marriage Foundation, commissioned the data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which distinguishes between divorces instigated by husbands and wives.

'The scale of the decrease in women filing for divorce suggests that 'men doing better' must be a significant factor,' Sir Coleridge told The Sunday Times.

While 7.9 per cent of women initiated divorce proceedings within five years after marrying in 1986, the figure dropped to 4.2 per cent in 2013.

The proportion of men seeking to part in the same period also dropped from 3 per cent of those who wed in 1993 to 2.2% for those married in 2008 and seeking a divorce by 2013.

Dismissing reasons such as a change in work-life patterns, and the later stage at which women now get married, Marriage Foundation researcher Henry Benson says the change is because men get married these days because they want to, not because they 'have' to because of social pressure.

'In the 1990s, a man was under social pressure from his family or friends. 'Do the right thing,' they say. 'Make an honest woman of her. Tie the knot.' So he enters marriage under a certain amount of duress, without ever fully buying into it,' Benson said in The Sunday Times article.

'So as long as things are good, he is broadly content with his new arrangement, but over time, and perhaps with the arrival of a baby, inevitable little conflicts emerge.

'Instead of dealing with them responsibly, he feels less constrained in the way he behaves because he never really bought into a long-term plan. She becomes aware of his indifference and pulls the plug,' he said.

Other experts attribute the uptick of divorces in the 1980s as women no longer accepted their role as sole child carer and pushed back against old stereotypes. 

They argue that some men have caught up with expectations of equal division of domestic labour, which causes less conflict


War on Christians? This Doctor Spoke Out About Homosexuality. Guess what happened next...

The War on Christians continues: Boston urologist Paul Church should have just stuck to telling co-workers that smoking is unhealthy.

But making similar arguments about the gay lifestyle to his Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) colleagues ultimately got him expelled from the hospital’s staff after 28 years of apparently impeccable service.

The BIDMC board of directors has quietly upheld Church’s expulsion for expressing “offensive” views when he again objected to the hospital’s gay pride events. That edict was the capstone of Church’s 11-year battle with Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital over its glorification of all things homosexual.
Homosexual activists used to advocate for equality, to be treated like everyone else. Now, predictably, they're asking for preferential treatment. As a result, those who disagree with their lifestyle are losing their freedom of speech.



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

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

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


28 December, 2015

Woman who falsely claimed she had been raped twice at the same park is jailed for two years

Such claims are common in Britain.  At least British judges do usually lock the bitches up for a few years

A young woman who falsely claimed she had been hauled into bushes and raped twice by the same man in the same park five months apart has been jailed for two years.

A court heard former Edinburgh Academy pupil Naima Shereen Mirza, 21, 'spun a web of lies and deceit', causing police to waste hundreds of hours investigating her malicious allegations.

Officers became suspicious when Mirza named her attacker as a man from Perth, who was actually in jail at the time the alleged offences took place when she was a pupil at Edinburgh Academy, a court heard.

After searching her property, they found a journal where she documented her increasingly alarming thoughts and fantasies, including the names and offences of rapists and sexual offenders from around Scotland.

She later told detectives she concocted the attacks to explain her poor exam results after failing to get in to Strathclyde University, in Glasgow.

Mirza denied that on various occasions between May 15, 2012, and April 2, 2013, she falsely represented to police officers and civilian operators at the 999 service that she had been sexually assaulted and raped in Edinburgh's King George V park.

But a jury of 12 women and three men found her guilty after a nine-day trial earlier this month at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

The first police officer to interview Mirza was DC Lesley Robertson of the Public Protection Unit on May 15.

She described how Mirza sat with her hair over her face as she talked to her and ran out of the room several times.

She said she found her behaviour quite strange. 'I had concerns about her hiding her face and running out of the room' she said. 'I had the impression it was very well planned. I didn't see any real distress or anything like that'.

DC Barry Murphy said Mirza told him she had been distressed and unhappy about her exams and had decided to 'make up' her alleged attack to explain her poor results.

She wrote a letter to one of the officer's in the case which said: 'Nothing happened. I went to the park and made it up. I wanted another year at school to get to Strathclyde University'.

Mirza told the jury she had wanted to do forensic biology at Strathclyde University and had had a conditional offer from them, but failed to get the 'A' in chemistry she needed

She said she wanted to do an extra year at school as she thought she had not done well in the exams. The court heard she did well in one exam however, getting 80 per cent for Drama.

Sentencing Mirza, Sheriff Michael O'Grady QC told her: 'In many years in these courts in one capacity or another, I have come across the whole range of hateful, hideous and downright bizarre things that people do to each other and the world at large.

'But I doubt, however, in all that time that I have encountered a course of conduct so strange, so needless and so hard to fathom as yours.'  He added: 'It is also a course of conduct that is selfish, devious and persistent to a truly remarkable degree'.

He said resources were diverted from 'genuine crimes where genuine victims were anxiously and fearfully waiting for their assailants to be brought to book', adding: 'That is not only appalling, it is positively cruel.'

'For almost a year you spun a web of lies and deceit of quite remarkable scope, intricacy and forethought.

'Throughout that time, you caused huge amounts of public money and effort, not to mention the dedication and commitment of the police officers from whom we heard, to be needlessly expended for no other purpose than the gratification of watching them dance to your tune'. 


State Silences Bakers Who Refused to Make Cake for Lesbian Couple, Fines Them $135K

Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian finalized a preliminary ruling today ordering Aaron and Melissa Klein, the bakers who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, to pay $135,000 in emotional damages to the couple they denied service.

“This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage,” Avakian wrote. “It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal.”

In the ruling, Avakian placed an effective gag order on the Kleins, ordering them to “cease and desist” from speaking publicly about not wanting to bake cakes for same-sex weddings based on their Christian beliefs.

“This effectively strips us of all our First Amendment rights,” the Kleins, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, which has since closed, wrote on their Facebook page. “According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech.”

The cease and desist came about after Aaron and Melissa Klein participated in an interview with Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins. During the interview, Aaron said among other things, “This fight is not over. We will continue to stand strong.”

Lawyers for plaintiffs, Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, argued that in making this statement, the Kleins violated an Oregon law banning people from acting on behalf of a place of public accommodation (in this case, the place would be the Kleins’ former bakery) to communicate anything to the effect that the place of public accommodation would discriminate.

Administrative Law Judge Alan McCullough, who is employed by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and was appointed by Avakian, threw out the argument in the “proposed order” he issued back in April.

But today, Avakian, who was in charge of making the final ruling in the case—and is also an elected politician—reversed that decision.

“The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders [Aaron and Melissa Klein] to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation,” Avakian wrote.

The Kleins’ lawyer, Anna Harmon, was shocked by the provision.

“Brad Avakian has been outspoken throughout this case about his intent to ‘rehabilitate’ those whose beliefs do not conform to the state’s ideas,” she told The Daily Signal. “Now he has ruled that the Kleins’ simple statement of personal resolve to be true to their faith is unlawful. This is a brazen attack on every American’s right to freely speak and imposes government orthodoxy on those who do not agree with government sanctioned ideas.”

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, called the order “outrageous” and said citizens of Oregon should be “ashamed.”

“This order is an outrageous abuse of the rights of the Kleins to freely practice their religion under the First Amendment,” he said.

It is exactly this kind of oppressive persecution by government officials that led the pilgrims to America. And Commissioner Avakian’s order that the Kleins stop speaking about this case is even more outrageous—and also a fundamental violation of their right to free speech under the First Amendment.

Avakian would have fit right in as a bureaucrat in the Soviet Union or Red China. Oregon should be ashamed that such an unprincipled, scurrilous individual is a government official in the state.

The case began in February 2013 when Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer filed a complaint against the Kleins for refusing to bake them a wedding cake.

At the time of the refusal, same-sex marriage had not yet been legalized in Oregon.

The Bowman-Cryers’ complaint went to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, which is in charge of defending the law that prohibits businesses from refusing service to customers based on their sexual orientation, among other characteristics, called the Equality Act of 2007.

In January 2014, the agency found the Kleins unlawfully discriminated against the couple because of their sexual orientation. In April, McCullough recommended they pay $75,000 to Rachel and $60,000 to Laurel.

In order to reach the total amount, $135,000, Rachel and Laurel submitted a long list of alleged physical, emotional and mental damages they claim to have experienced as a result of the Kleins’ unlawful conduct.

Examples of symptoms included “acute loss of confidence,” “doubt,” “excessive sleep,” “felt mentally raped, dirty and shameful,” “high blood pressure,” “impaired digestion,” “loss of appetite,” “migraine headaches,” “pale and sick at home after work,” “resumption of smoking habit,” “shock,” “stunned,” “surprise,” “uncertainty,” “weight gain” and “worry.”

In their Facebook post, the Kleins signaled their intention to appeal Avakian’s ruling, writing, “We will not give up this fight and we will not be silenced,” already perhaps putting themselves at risk of violating the cease and desist.


The year race made a comeback

In 2015, we saw the rise of a toxic new racialism.

I’ve always loathed the phrase ‘people of colour’. It’s awkward and dehumanising – one of those PC phrases that somehow manages to be more ‘Othering’ than the alternative. But I’ve been hearing a lot of it over the past year. The phrase, popularised by Eighties anti-racist activists, has crept into the mainstream – into newspaper columns, campus debates and Twitter slanging matches. That along with the inexorable tweeism ‘black folks’.

There’s something in this. Among young politicos in particular, a new politics of race arose in 2015. Some of it is familiar and old-school, growing up around issues of police brutality and social inequality, but much of it is quintessentially modern, draped in therapeutic concerns about ‘racial consciousness’, ‘microaggressions’ and ‘cultural appropriation’. But what unifies it all is a troubling desire to erect racial boundaries – a call for black people to adopt the role of the victim and for white people to self-flagellate in a corner.

The discussion about race has been more live in the West than it has been in years. From protests against police brutality to Oxford students demanding ‘Rhodes Must Fall’, there is a sense that racism is not only alive and well but more insidious than ever. Everything from ‘offensive’ statues to racist coppers is seen as part of the same existential threat. This stoked-up sense of racial peril has not only conflated genuine concerns about persisting inequalities with mere thin-skinned offence-taking — it has also worked to rehabilitate race, to give it a PC make-over.

In 2015 there was a constant insistence not on unity or solidarity, but on difference. There is a new racialism festering, which springs not from white supremacist gunmen, policemen with itchy trigger fingers or the bluster of Donald Trump, but from those who deign to call themselves anti-racist. And in almost every corner of modern life this year, its divisive presence was felt.

On college campuses, the rise of microaggressions has made socialising a fraught activity. The brain-child of Seventies academics, microaggressions is the idea that white people’s clumsy comments can destroy black people’s self-esteem and contribute to their macro-oppression. Colleges across the US, including Oberlin, Carleton and Willamette, maintain lengthy lists of verboten phrases, and it’s starting to catch on in the UK, too.

More often than not, microaggressions amount to little more than impertinent questions: asking where someone is ‘really from’ or if you can touch their hair. But as well as implying that black people are incapable of challenging someone’s clumsy comments without running to the authorities, they encourage a kind of paranoid racial etiquette, where we are told to treat people differently depending on their skin colour. When it was discovered this year that UCLA included the statement ‘I don’t believe in race’ on its list of microaggressions, the divisive trajectory of it all was laid bare.

Then there’s the cultural realm. Under the new racialism, you see, it’s not only people who must be separated into our own convenient boxes — so must culture be. That most risible of 2015 trends – the rise of ‘cultural appropriation’ – has seen white people lambasted for rapping, wearing corn rows or just doing a yoga class. The fact that all artistic and cultural movements are built on borrowing – and that from rock’n’roll to rap this exchange has played a big role in bringing people of different backgrounds together – seems to have done nothing to dent this toxic idiocy.

But most tragically of all is the influence the new racialism has had on politics. Time and again this year, political campaigns on racial issues have focused not on collective strength and solidarity, but on vulnerability and division. Black Lives Matter (BLM), the hashtag-turned-direction-action-group, responds to each police killing of black people by hosting ‘die-ins’ or marches where so-called white allies are encouraged to hang to the back or hold up signs repenting for their ‘white privilege’. Meanwhile, protests at the University of Missouri and elsewhere over allegations of discrimination have focused on demands for ‘racial-awareness training’.

At every turn, race is reified. Revelations that leaders in black-activist organisations, including the NAACP’s Rachel Dolezal and (allegedly) BLM’s Shaun King, are in fact white, should come as no surprise. In this toxic, racialised climate, political authority is calculated not on the basis of your arguments, or your support from a section of society, but from the position you claim for yourself in a hierarchy of oppression. That some white people are blacking up, and bolstering their credibility by cooking up fake hate crimes against themselves, is only a bizarre expression of the new politics of segregation.

March 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the civil-rights marches from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama. Defiant in their Sunday best, those protesters were the antithesis of the victim-obsessed quasi-radical radicals we see today. Marching in spite of police beatings, targeted assassinations and constant threats from government for them to cease their activities or else, they refused to be cowed – and made it out the other end with undented optimism. On the steps of the Montgomery state capitol, Martin Luther King hailed the coming of ‘a day not of the white man, not of the black man’ but ‘the day of man as man’. In 2015, that day felt as far away as it’s ever been. 


James Deen: the injustice of Twitter trials

The rape-culture crusade has ushered in a new era of mob justice

The world of adult entertainment has been rocked by allegations of rape and sexual violence against one of its biggest stars. James Deen, variously called the Tom Cruise and Ryan Gosling of porn, was accused by his ex-girlfriend and fellow porn actor, Stoya, earlier this month. Deen had developed a reputation as a ‘feminist porn star’, often including disclaimers in his films that everything depicted was completely consensual, and advocating for greater awareness of consent and sexual violence. Stoya took to Twitter and denounced Deen, accusing him of holding her down and raping her ‘while I said no, stop, used my safe word’. The tweet has been retweeted over 11,000 times. And there are now a total of 10 porn actresses who have come out and accused him of similar crimes. One woman, Tori Lux, posted an online essay accusing Deen of pinning her to the floor during a film shoot and hitting her on the head.

These accusations led to an online rush to express support for the women making them. An article in Time claimed the case represented a ‘shift in rape culture’ in which a ‘tidal wave of women’s truth’ was ‘washing away the detritus of lies about sex and violence’. The article appeared to have the case against Deen all sewn up, arguing that because between 0.2 and 8 per cent of rape allegations are false, Deen was probably guilty. Another writer said, ‘I don’t need Stoya or any woman to “prove” that she has been raped for me to believe her… I BELIEVE WOMEN. Period.’ The hashtag #IStandWithStoya began trending, with one tweeter claiming that if you questioned the truth of the allegations then you were ‘part of rape culture’. The fallout from the tweets has been swift: Deen has had his sex-advice column with a women’s magazine pulled and he has resigned from the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee.

Make no mistake: what’s happening to James Deen and others who find themselves on the harsh end of the Twitterati is terrifying. Deen’s is just the latest case of an allegation of serious sexual violence playing out in the kangaroo court of social media, in which the presumption of innocence and due process are routinely ignored. Sadly, these informal Twitter courts are becoming more popular. Deen’s case mirrors that of Jian Ghomeshi, the Canadian talk-radio host, who was subject to an allegation of sexual assault in a newspaper at the end of 2014. Shortly after the story was published, the hashtag #BeenRapedNeverReported began trending, with women posting allegations of sexual violence that they had not taken to the police. Ghomeshi has now been charged with sexual assault. Last year, 23-year-old YouTuber Sam Pepper was accused by a young woman in a lengthy YouTube video of raping her. The video received over two million views. But when the Los Angeles police contacted the woman, she refused to proceed with a complaint.  

These Twitter tribunals pose a significant threat to justice. By plastering allegations all over the internet, by throwing opinions and judgements on to any available social-media platform, those making allegations and their supporters risk seriously prejudicing any future trials that may come as a result. When these allegations are made, the internet becomes awash with all kinds of potentially inadmissible evidence, which any defence lawyer worth their salt would point to as potentially prejudicial.  Worse, the online scrutiny these allegations receive may work to undermine the credibility of these women. What if they say things at this stage that are inconsistent with what they may say later on? We may be very keen to ‘believe’ Deen’s accusers, but if he is ever to receive a fair trial they will have to convince a jury of his guilt. This will be a lot harder if they have shown themselves to be unreliable on Twitter or in the celebrity gossip pages.

The use of statistics in the discussion of Deen’s case, and other cases in which people rush to ‘believe at any cost’, has also been revealing. It is often said that a low number of rape allegations are false, and so most allegations of sexual violence are likely to be true. But the important caveat to the statistic that the Time piece and others missed was the word ‘provably’. It is true that only 0.2 to eight per cent of rape allegations are provably false. But, for obvious reasons, proving an allegation is false or misconceived is extremely difficult, perhaps even more difficult than proving an allegation to be true. Rape is a crime for which there is likely to be little objective evidence. It often comes down to one person’s word against another. The whole concept of ‘truth’ and falsity is very difficult when considering rape: two people’s perceptions of a particular interaction could be very different, with one person feeling as though what occurred was consensual and the other genuinely believing otherwise.

This is especially true in Deen’s case. Working on a porn set, in which extreme forms of sexual behaviour are far more common than in your average bedroom, means that the scope for misunderstanding, confusion and ambiguity is bound to be far higher. Once the word ‘provably’ is included the logic of the argument so often used to convict men like Deen completely collapses. Just because a low percentage of allegations are provably false does not mean that the rest of them are true.

But what makes these twitch-hunts even more dangerous is that we may never know if an injustice has been done. The move away from due process to online kangaroo courts means that those accused are simply punished at the behest of an online mob, without any scrutiny whatsoever, and then left to live with their sentence. If James Deen loses his career without ever going before a courtroom, we will never know whether this was a just outcome. We will just have to accept blindly the verdict of the Twitter court.

What the James Deen fiasco shows is that rape culture is a catastrophically dangerous idea. It is being used to usher in a new era of ‘no smoke without fire’ justice. In this world, the rush to ‘believe’ at all costs is elevated above the need for objectivity, impartiality and due process. We need to end the Twitter trials and give allegations of rape and sexual violence the serious and careful attention that they deserve.



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, 2015

Multicultural dentist is jailed after he tried to kiss young woman patient and grabbed her breast as he worked on her teeth

A dentist who grabbed a patient's breast and joked he could cure a nurse’s intimate medical condition with his ‘magic tongue’ has been jailed.

Fadi Sukaria was already under investigation for repeatedly assaulting one of his colleagues when he tried to kiss and caress a young patient as he was filling her tooth.

The court heard how the 45-year-old, originally from Syria, 'deliberately engineered' a situation to ensure he was alone with the victim at his surgery in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

At the time, he was already subject to restrictions - including being unable to carry out work without a chaperone - due to a General Dental Council (GDC) probe into his behaviour.

He was later struck off over his behaviour towards his colleagues - which included asking the nurse if she had ever been raped - at the dental practice in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

Sukaria will now spend Christmas behind bars after a jury found him guilty of one count of sexual assault.

Jailing Sukaria for ten months, Recorder Abdul Iqbal QC said the female patient had suffered emotionally and psychologically as a result of her ordeal.

He said: 'Health professionals are entrusted to a very high level by members of the public.

'With that high level of trust placed in you comes a high level of responsibility. The public deserve to be protected from professionals who abuse that trust.'

Recorder Iqbal added that Sukaria never accepted responsibility for what he did.

'You still maintain....that she has lied and she wants compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority even though there is no evidence that she has tried to make a claim,' he said.

Sukaria, who used to live in Leeds but now lives in London, was struck off by the GDC in March this year for professional misconduct while working at Gateway Dental Practice in Barnsley.

At GDC hearing heard how he repeatedly groped his colleague, made sexually explicit comments and asked if she had any 'rude' pictures or videos on her phone.

When he heard she was suffering from cystitis, Sukaria said: 'I have a magic tongue to make it better.'

The hearing was told how Sukaria also asked the woman, referred to as Nurse A, if she had ever been raped before adding: 'I’ve never raped anyone.’ He stroked her breast, groped her bottom and bit her arm.

Saba Naqshbandia, for the GDC, said the incident took place in November 2012 while they chatted about going to the gym.

'During this Sukaria stroked her bottom very lightly and said it was "nice". The complainant responded by saying: "Don't ever touch my bum",' the hearing was told.

'He stroked her breast saying: "I will touch these instead". She recalled that he was laughing.'

The panel heard the woman then had to lean next to him to use the computer. As she used the mouse, he stroked her right breast again, before grabbing her right arm with his teeth and sucking it.

Sukaria also showed another dental nurse - Nurse B - pictures of a woman's bottom on his phone. He also thrust his groin while laughing, the hearing was told.

Giving evidence, Nurse B said: 'I think he was a bit filthy minded. I don't think he thought there was anything wrong with what he did even though it was inappropriate.'

Sukaria, who qualified as a dentist in his home country before moving to the UK, denied all the allegations against him but was struck off.

GDC panel chair Mary Harley said: 'The committee takes a particularly serious view of your conduct because it took place in a professional setting.

'As a dentist working directly with these dental nurses, you were in a position of authority over them; you abused that position for your own sexual gratification.

'Your conduct would be considered deplorable by members of the dental profession and indeed by members of the public.' 

The court was told Sukaria, the sole breadwinner for his family in Syria after his brother was injured and left paralysed following a bombing, was now unable to find work and was living on Jobseekers' Allowance.


Houston Restaurant Chain Warns Customers: ‘This Store is Politically Incorrect’

The Berryhill Baja Grill says it will not let political correctness ruin its celebration of Christmas.

The Houston area restaurant chain put signs up in each of its five locations that warn potential customers to be prepared for a big serving of Christmas spirit and patriotism when they walk through the door.

“Notice. This store is politically incorrect. We say Merry Christmas. God bless America. We salute our flag and give thanks to our troops, police officers, and firefighters. If this offends you, you are welcome to leave. In God we trust,” say the signs, which are simply signed “Berryhill.”

Berryhill CEO Jeff Anon said he was inspired to put up the signs when he saw the generic red cups debuted by Starbucks this winter, which he and other Christians have interpreted as the company’s attempt to downplay the celebration of Christmas.

Anon’s son showed him similar signs at other stores across the country, and he decided to follow suit.

Even with the politically incorrect warning, Anon says business is still good at the popular Tex-Mex chain and most of his customers approve of the message.  “I’d say for every one who thought it wasn‘t appropriate, probably 10 to 20 who thought it was and supported it," he said.

“I guess the political correctness has gone overboard sometimes,” customer Randy Massy commented.

“I celebrate Christmas. I salute the flag. I’m an American. It doesn’t offend me at all,” said attorney Cynthia Bivins while eating lunch with her friend at the chain’s Post Oak location.

Employees at Schuler’s Bakery in Springfield, Ohio told The Blaze that despite a few angry phone calls, business doubled after they put up the sign, a photo of which went viral in November.

“We didn’t do it for the publicity,” bakery clerk Katelynn Jackson added. “It was just to prove a point. We still live in America, and we’re standing up for what we believe.”

“I had no idea it was going to turn out like this,” bakery owner Trent Schuler told Breitbart regarding the “overwhelming amount of support” he has gotten from the public.


Are we hardwired to be religious because of EVOLUTION? Fear of God may have led humans to co-operate more which gave us an edge over other animals

Religion is often seen as being at odds with the science of evolution, but according to a growing area of research, it may actually be a product of this fundamental biological process.

Fear of incurring the wrath of God, or a range of gods, may have played a key role in the development of our species, according to a leading expert in the evolution of human co-operation.

He argues that belief in a divine being who will punish bad behaviour may have allowed humans to co-operate in a way our relatives in the animal kingdom do not.

The sense of being watched by an omnipotent or supernatural being may have ensured members of early human groups behaved less selfishly.

Increased levels of co-operation is thought to be one of the key traits that allowed Homo sapiens to become so successful.

Researchers at North Carolina State University found that belief in all-powerful and moralising gods tended to appear at times of hardship in human history.

They claim that believing in such a supreme deity helps to ensure people within a society live by certain moral rules that are necessary when living in harsh environments or in times of hardship.

The researchers studied the origins of 583 religious societies around the world.

They compared these to climate, rainfall and plant growth data for each area to build up a historical picture of the conditions each society was living in.

The findings may help to shed light on how religions such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam first emerged and why stories of hardship play such a central role.

Professor Dominic Johnson, an expert in evolutionary biology and international relations at the University of Oxford, believes this may be why fear of God is such a dominant feature in world religions.

In his new book, God is Watching You, he said that belief in divine punishment is actually hardwired into us by evolution and so led to the development of the world's religions.

He suggests that rather than being an opposing theory of the world to the ideas of evolution by natural selection put forward by Charles Darwin, religion is actually a product of it.

'The ability to anticipate rewards or punishments arising from our behaviour would clearly have been favoured by Darwinian natural selection, because it promoted survival and reproduction,' he said.

'I argue this extended to the anticipation of supernatural reward and punishment.

'God-fearing people were better able to avoid raising the ire of their fellow man, lowering the costs of real world sanctions, and raising the rewards of co-operation.

'It offers a striking twist on the old science and religion debate - religion is not an alternative to evolution, it is a product of evolution.'

Professor Johnson added the reason why fear of punishment has become such an important force in religion rather than other aspects like love and altruism, which are also promoted in the major religions like Christianity, is mainly due to the way our brains our wired.

Psychological research has demonstrated that negative events tend to have a more potent impact on our thinking and behaviour than positive ones.

Indeed, people tend to value losses almost twice as much as when they make gains.

This is perhaps due to the innate drive among our earliest ancestors to avoid negative and dangerous situations that may pose a threat to their lives, and so their ability to pass on their genes.

As humans began to live in larger and more social groups, this led to a greater ability to understand each other's intentions.

Professor Johnson said: 'When humans evolved the capacity for complex language and theory of mind – the ability to know what others' know - our behaviour became increasingly transparent and selfish behaviour and social transgressions risked increasing costs from retaliation or reputational damage.

'Avoiding these costs ushered in a new era in which the suppression of selfishness became a vital ingredient of an individual's evolutionary success.

'The idea that one's good and bad deeds will be observed, judged and rewarded or punished by God or some other supernatural agent is a recurring feature of virtually all of the world's religions, both past and present.

'The looming threat of supernatural punishment deterred selfish behaviour and increased cooperation, and this was a good thing for individuals as well as society.'

He said that all of the major religions emphasise the importance of moral to avoid incurring the displeasure or anger of a god.

In Christianity, those who are faithful and ask forgiveness of God will be granted entrance into heaven, while those who do not will be sent to hell.

The Old Testament and Hebrew bible depict a far more vengeful God that actively punishes mankind for its transgressions.

Hindus believe that if they are sinful during their life they will be reincarnated as an undesirable animal.

Even the Romans and ancient Greeks believed in gods that were responsible for natural disasters and had to be appeased.

Professor Johnson claimed that pagan belief systems often feature spirits with powers of retribution and many indigenous cultures believe ancestral spirits watch over their activities.

He added: 'When we do something selfish or wrong, even if we are alone and could never be found out, we nevertheless find it hard to shake a sense that somehow our actions are observed and disapproved of by someone or something.

'It's not logical. It's not rational. But it turns out that such a belief is common to religious and nonreligious people alike.

'In fact, it seems to be ubiquitous across history and across cultures – part of human nature.'


The Rhetoric of Nonsense, Fabricating Palestinian History

For nearly two decades the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been denying Israel's right to exist, and a recent "Nakba Day" was no exception. In a Gaza speech on behalf of Mahmoud Abbas, his personal representative made the following statement:

"National reconciliation [between Hamas and Fatah] is required in order to face Israel and Netanyahu. We say to him [Netanyahu], when he claims that they [Jews] have a historical right dating back to 3000 years B.C.E.—we say that the nation of Palestine upon the land of Canaan had a 7,000-year history B.C.E. This is the truth, which must be understood, and we have to note it, in order to say: "Netanyahu, you are incidental in history. We are the people of history. We are the owners of history."[1]

This remarkable assertion has been almost completely ignored by the Western media. Yet it bears a thorough examination: not only as an indication of unwavering Palestinian rejection of Israel's right to exist but as an insightful glimpse into the psyche of their willfully duped Western champions.

Archaeologists have only the dimmest notion of prevailing ethnic concepts in 7000 B.C.E. There may have been tribes and clans of some sort, and villages may have had names and a sense of collective or local identity, but their nature is completely unknown. Even with the elaborate symbolism of the period, as seen in figurines, and other data such as the styles of stone tools and house plans, nothing whatsoever is known regarding the content of the makers' identities. Writing would not be invented for almost another 4,000 years and would only reach the Levant a thousand years after that, bringing with it the ability to record a society's own identity concepts.

There were no Jews or Arabs, Canaanites, Israelites, or Egyptians. There were only Neolithic farmers and herders. In fact, none of the concepts that Abbas used developed until vastly later. The Plst—a Mediterranean group known to the Egyptians as one of the "Sea Peoples" and who gave their name to the biblical Philistines—arrived around 1200 B.C.E. Arabs are known in Mesopotamian texts as residents of the Arabian Peninsula from around 900 B.C.E. The concept of a "nation" emerged with the kingdoms of Israel and Judah and their neighbors sometime after 900 B.C.E. The Romans renamed the Kingdom of Judea "Palestina" after the biblically attested Philistines, the hated enemy of the Israelites, following the defeat of the Bar Kochba revolt in 135 C.E. The ethnic identity called "Palestinian," denoting the local Muslim and Christian inhabitants of the region south of Lebanon and West of the Jordan River, tenuously developed as an elite concept at the end of the Ottoman era and did not propagate to the grassroots until the 1920s and 1930s.[2]

Is there perhaps genetic continuity between modern Palestinians and Neolithic farmers and herders? Perhaps, but that is not what Abbas claimed. Is there cultural continuity, a nation with a name? Hardly.

Why then should Abbas make such an incredible fabrication? And why lie in such a ludicrous and extravagant fashion? Part of the answer is that for Abbas, as it was for PLO leader Yasser Arafat before him, there is a reflex that simply and absolutely cannot accept the antiquity of Jews. Arafat famously told then-U.S. president Bill Clinton that there was no Jewish temple in Jerusalem, causing the usually unflappable Clinton to nearly explode.[3] Denials regarding the Jewish historical connection to the Land of Israel generally and categorical denials that Jews constitute a nation are all frequently heard from Palestinian leaders, intellectuals, and others.........

An example of the erosion of Western critical filters was the unchallenged appearance of an opinion piece in The Washington Post in December 2011 that effectively repeated some of Abbas's absurd statements regarding the antiquity of the Palestinians. Maen Rashid Areikat, the PLO representative to the United Nations, stated that Palestinians had "lived under the rule of a plethora of empires: the Canaanites, Egyptians, Philistines, Israelites, Persians, Greeks, Crusaders, Mongols, Ottomans, and finally, the British." Throwing history out the window, he added

"we are Arabs with black, brown, and white skin, dark- and light-colored eyes, and the whole gamut of hair types. Like Americans, we are a hybrid of peoples defined by one overarching identity. Many in the United States forget that Palestinians are Muslims and Christians. They ignore the fact that Palestinian Christians are the descendants of Jesus and guardians of the cradle of Christianity."

Palestinians can simultaneously be Arabs, who arrived in the Levant in the seventh century C.E., and be more ancient than the Canaanites. At the same time, the empires they endured and that infused them include everyone except Arab ones, notably the Umayyad and Abbasid, which brought Arabs and Islam to the region in the first place. The fact-checkers of The Washington Post editorial page fall mute and shared reality is eroded further. Unfortunately this sort of rhetorical nonsense resonates deeply, especially with some Christian supersessionists committed to anti-Zionism.[19] History no longer matters.

It is often stated that peace can only come when Israelis and Palestinians recognize one another's narratives. Claims regarding the Neolithic Palestinian nation indicate this unlikely to occur either in the future or in the past. In the meantime, anti-reality continues to spread.

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


24 December, 2015

Backward special needs kids are born that way, not the product of some misfortune (They're not "equal")

That's what the academic article below means.  Verbal IQ level was found to be 93% inherited.  The original title of the article was: "Longitudinal Analysis of the Genetic and Environmental Influences on Components of Cognitive Delay in Preschoolers"

By TC Eley et al


The etiology of verbal and performance delays were investigated in a large population sample of twins at 2 and 3 years (N = 2,449 pairs). These data replicate and extend earlier analyses at 2 years (T.C. Eley et al., 1999). Several ways of defining delay were compared, selecting from the lowest 5% of the sample on both verbal (V) and performance (P) measures.

V delay with or without P delay was highly heritable (.93 and .62, respectively), whereas P delay without V delay was less heritable (.29), with substantial shared environment influence (.48).

Longitudinal genetic analyses indicated substantial heritability of V delay from 2 to 3 years, especially in combination with P delay (.48 and .81, respectively). Similarly, genetic influence on continuity of P delay without V delay was much lower (.22). These results suggest that it is useful to consider the strong genetic contribution to verbal delay regardless of nonverbal impairment in preschoolers.

Journal of Educational Psychology, 2001. Vol. 93. No. 4. 698-707

Leftist racism again

The Leftist obsession with race never stops

A 19th century political poster

Sam's Club CEO Rosalind Brewer is being accused of discriminating against white men following a CNN interview where she discussed the importance of workforce diversity.

Brewer was asked by the interviewer how she promotes diversity within her company.

"It has to start with top leadership," Brewer said. "My executive team is very diverse and I make that a priority. I demand it within my team."

She said she mentors women inside and outside of her company, as well, and also encourages Sam's Club's partners to hire a more diverse workforce.

Now here's the comment that ignited the uproar. Brewer said:

Just today we met with a supplier and the entire other side of the table was all Caucasian males. That was interesting. I decided not to talk about it directly with [the supplier's] folks in the room because there were actually no female, like, levels down. So I'm going to place a call to him.

Critics are claiming that Brewer's remarks are evidence that she advocates against employing and hiring white men — even though four of the eight people on her executive team are white men. Some customers are now accusing Brewer of being "racist" toward white men and are threatening to boycott Sam's Club.


ID Cards: Solving a Problem that Dare not Speak its Name

by Sean Gabb

Writing in the Daily Telegraph on the 10th December 2015, two Members of Parliament – Frank Field and Nicholas Soames – regret the cancellation, in 2010, of the previous Labour Government’s identity card scheme. They argue that the threat of terrorism requires us to think again.

By all means, let us think again. However, since no material facts have changed, I see no reason for reaching any different opinion from the one I have always held. Identity cards are an astonishingly bad idea – so bad that it is hard to make a case for them with any semblance of good faith.

Undeniably, there are benefits to having a single and authoritative means of identification. We all need to identify ourselves several times a week, sometimes more often. There are times when the authorities have legitimate need to identify us. Fraud appears to be a growing problem – so too illegal immigration. A biometric identity card would simplify large parts of our lives. It would smooth many of our interactions with the authorities.

The problem is that these benefits are not as great as we are told. Those European countries that already have identity cards do not seem to have less crime than we have. Certainly, France, which has a comprehensive identity card system, has suffered much more terrorism in the past few years than we have – large scale terrorism that gets reported in our news, and a continuous round of intercommunal violence that is not reported. In most cases, identity cards are irrelevant to solving these crimes. The problem is less the identification of suspects once arrested than finding someone to arrest in the first place. For the rest, identity cards are no more secure than bank cards and passports and bank notes. Whatever document is issued and has value can and will be forged by the dishonest.

As for identifying ourselves, most of us already have passports and National Insurance cards and bank cards and driving licenses. The inconvenience we face is, at most, trivial.

Against these doubtful or minor benefits, there are the substantial costs of an identity card scheme. Some of these costs are financial. Issuing everyone with secure biometric identity cards will be expensive, and we do already have a large budget deficit. The main costs, though, will be to our traditional way of life.

Preventing Islamic terrorism is clearly not a main objective of the authorities. If it were, they would not have opened the borders after 1990, and kept them open. They would also not have done so much to cover up various kinds of wrongdoing in our Islamic communities. Fighting crime against life and property is equally not a main objective.

Far more important objectives of the British State, so far as I can tell, are to stop us from smoking and drinking and looking at pornography – and to keep us from organising against our increasingly Potemkin liberal democracy. There is already a vast database, filled with who we are and what we are doing. Identity cards would be a useful front end to this. It would allow us to be tracked as we went about our daily business. It could be used to see who was buying cigarettes or drink, and who was attending meetings of anti-corporate or identitarian pressure groups.

And the knowledge that we were being watched would change our behaviour. Raise even the potential costs of nonconformity, and there will be fewer nonconformists. Would you go to a gay strip club, or to a meeting of the British National Party, if there was a policeman outside with a pretext for checking the identity cards of everyone going in? How many cigarettes or bottles of gin would you buy, if you had to show an identity card at the checkout, and if you knew the records would be shared with the National Health Service and the child protection authorities?

In short, identity cards enable a soft totalitarian police state. To be watched is to be controlled. Without a single concentration camp or rubber cosh in sight, they will take us into a world that has become a stage on which we act at all times under the watchful eye of the authorities.

Look at the history of the debate over identity cards. Every real or alleged problem we have faced in the past quarter century – football hooliganism, bank and welfare fraud, personation in driving tests, selling stolen goods, being drunk in public, terrorism, illegal immigration – has been made into an argument for identity cards. If another Black Death were to wipe out a third of the population, the surviving officials in the Home Office would make this into an argument for identity cards. The problems change. The solution stays the same. The obvious reason is that the authorities really want to know what we are doing, and to scare us into stopping.

And so, my response to Messrs Field and Soames is: I will take my chance with the terrorists; you go back to Westminster and do the job we elected you to do. This is to protect our lives and property and traditional rights from a British State that is going, or has already gone, out of control.


Virulently anti-Israel programs on Australia's ABC

A series of programs on ABC Radio National, produced by a long-standing anti-Israel activist, has undermined the objectivity of the national broadcaster and exposed serious failings in its editorial process. The programs may also have put the ABC in breach of its statutory obligation of ‘maintaining independence and integrity’, and its Code of Practice requiring ‘impartiality’ in current affairs.

The programs, Jerusalem: a divine crime scene, and An unholy mix – Jerusalem, religion and archaeology, produced by former Greens Marrickville Councillor Cathy Peters, presented the views of a parade of veteran anti-Israel propagandists, whose unstated purpose was to discredit the historical connection between Jerusalem and the Jewish people, and to level an array of unchallenged and inaccurate accusations against Israel in the guise of expert analysis.

An editor’s note published online described Peters as a member of the NSW Greens, an executive member of the Coalition For Justice and Peace in Palestine and a member of Jews Against the Occupation. What the ABC failed to disclose is that Peters is also a fierce proponent of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. She was the instigator of the 2010 Marrickville Council motion urging the Council to consider boycotting all goods made in any part of Israel, as well as Israeli artists, athletes and academics. The motion, which also called on state and federal governments to adopt BDS, provoked a surge of protest and derision, especially from ratepayers unimpressed that the Council was being used as a vehicle to prosecute a pet international cause of a few Councillors.

None of this background was disclosed by the ABC. The Code of Practice requires the ABC ‘to equip audiences to make up their own minds’ about news and current affairs issues, but Peters’ audience was not given vital information about her partisan record on the issues about which she was supposedly ‘reporting’.

Further, the requirement of ‘independence’ and ‘integrity’ in the ABC Act does not merely mean independence from the influence of the government of the day and political parties, as important as that is. It also means independence from the personal opinions, agendas and private activism of program producers and journalists contracted or employed by the ABC itself. Peters’ use of her position on Marrickville Council to push an anti-Israel agenda was rejected by rate-payers. The use of the national broadcaster for the same purpose is as objectionable.

Given her background in the anti-Israel movement, it was unsurprising that the two programs were as blatantly inaccurate and one-sided as they were, featuring a panel of speakers all coming from a relentlessly one-eyed anti-Israel perspective. One panellist, Ross Burns, the former Australian Ambassador to Israel, has previously served on the board of the Palestinian lobby group, Australia Palestine Advocacy Network.

Sara Irving, described as a historian and a writer, has filed over 200 stories for the virulently anti-Israel Electronic Intifada website.

Jeff Halper, the Israeli professor, ostensibly chosen to present an Israeli perspective, calls for the eradication of a Jewish national home through a ‘one-state solution’ to the conflict, and has made the bizarre claim that Israel has developed a ‘spectral dust’ it can spray over wide areas of land, every grain of which is a sensor, programmed with a person’s DNA to track, locate and kill that individual.

Shawan Jabarin was presented as a human rights activist from a Palestinian NGO. The audience was not told that he has also had a long association with a Palestinian terrorist organisation. In 2007, a court found that Jabarin is a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ figure: ‘in part of his activities, he is the director of a human rights organization, and in another part he is an activist in a terrorist organization which does not shy away from acts of murder and attempted murder which… deny the most basic of all human rights – the right to life.’

The former Jerusalem city councillor, Meir Margalit, provided perhaps the most extreme turn of all, in likening archaeological digs which seek to understand, preserve and honour the history of Jerusalem, to the acts of wholesale archaeological destruction and grotesque vandalism committed by Isis.

The opinions of the panellists were punctuated by recordings supposedly presenting Israeli and Palestinian perspectives. The audience heard a gentle-sounding Palestinian poet reciting incantations of longing and pain. The ostensible Israeli perspective was presented in the form of thick American accents repeatedly speaking of God and King David. As if those are the only, or predominant, voices on either side.

Ignored was the vast body of historical, poetic and literary works from the empires of antiquity to Josephus to Amoz Oz, that capture the essence of the long and deep Jewish bond to Jerusalem. Instead of presenting Israel and Israelis in all their rich diversity and complexity, Peters portrayed them as a caricature, precisely as BDS leaders would have everyone see them – American interlopers, settlers with pistols and prayer shawls.

There were also straight-out factual errors. Listeners were told ‘if you’re not Jewish in Jerusalem you don’t have the right to vote.’ In fact, all citizens of Israel (Jewish and Arab) have the right to vote and enjoy identical civic rights. With the end of the Jordanian occupation of east Jerusalem following Israel’s military victory in the Six-Day War of 1967, Jerusalem’s Arab residents were granted permanent residency status entitling them to vote in municipal elections and were offered full Israeli citizenship. Some 12 per cent have taken up Israeli citizenship while the remainder are evidently deterred by nationalistic considerations and long-standing threats and accusations of treason by the Palestinian leadership.

While Peters is free to hold her views, no matter how offensive or misguided they may be, the ABC’s listeners are entitled to question why the broadcaster trusted an activist with a record of fanatical anti-Israel campaigning to produce current affairs content directly relating to Israel, and without disclosing the full extent of her biases to the audience.

At best, the ABC may have naively believed that Peters could set aside her extreme views and produce sensible, balanced content. At worst, those in charge of the ABC’s news and current affairs programming ignored their statutory and Code obligations and indulged Peters’ agenda by commissioning the programs knowing exactly what they would be getting, without requiring even a semblance of balance, impartiality or accuracy.



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, 2015

The super-rich ruler who stones gays, now bans Christmas: Sultan of Brunei threatens Muslims who celebrate it with up to five years in prison

Muslim hate again

The super-rich ruler of Brunei has told residents of his country that if they plan on celebrating Christmas, they could face up to five years in jail.

In fear the the religious holiday will affect the faith of its country, the tiny oil-rich nation’s Sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, has banned the public celebration of Christmas.

Any Muslims caught celebrating Christmas, and non-Muslims who are discovered organising celebrations, could face the lengthy prison sentence.

While non-Muslims are allowed to celebrate the holiday within their own communities, they must not disclose their plans to the nation's Muslims – which make up 65 per cent of the 420,000-strong population.

Around 20 per cent of Brunei's residents are non-Muslim, including substantial Buddhist and Christian communities.

'These enforcement measures are…intended to control the act of celebrating Christmas excessively and openly, which could damage the aqidah (beliefs) of the Muslim community,' said the Ministry of Religious Affairs in a statement.

The small Borneo nation prohibits propagating religion other than Islam to a Muslim, and breaking this is a violation of the penal code.

Other banned activities include putting up Christmas trees, singing religious songs and sending Christmas greetings, reported the Borneo Bulletin.

'Some may think that it is a frivolous matter and should not be brought up as an issue,' the imams are quoted as saying in the Bulletin. 'But as Muslims…we must keep it [following other religions' celebrations] away as it could affect our Islamic faith.'

Some Burnei residents, however, are risking jail time by still celebrating Christmas and uploading pictures to social media as part of a #MyTreedom campaign that celebrates religious freedom.

Imams have told followers to abide by a government edict banning celebrations that could lead Muslims astray and damage their faith

The tiny state on the island of Borneo is ruled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and relies on oil and gas exports for its prosperity.

The nation embraced a harsh new penal code in April 2014, led by 68-year-old Bolkiah.

At the time, he said: 'Today I place my faith in and am grateful to Allah the almighty to announce that tomorrow,Thursday, May 1 2014, will see the enforcement of Sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases.'

The change means people can face conviction by Islamic courts and fines or jail terms for a range of offences such as pregnancy outside marriage, failure to perform Friday prayers and propagating other religions.

A second phase of the law comes into effect in May this year covering theft and alcohol consumption by Muslims, which would be punishable by whipping and amputation.

The death penalty, including death by stoning, will be introduced in the final phase a year later for offences such as adultery, sodomy and insulting the Koran or the Prophet Muhammad. Most of the laws will also apply to non-Muslims.

Even before that law was passed, there was a ten year prison sentence for gays.

The land of gold-plated mosques and wooden water villages is so rich from its oil and gas resources that no one pays tax.

Alcohol is also banned in the nation.

Despite the no alcohol, no smoking and strict sexual laws in place in Brunei, the Sultan has an infamous playboy brother.

Prince Jefri gained notoriety for his harems of beautiful women, his flotilla of luxury yachts including a boat named 'Tits' and his alleged misappropriation of billions of dollars while he was finance minister.

The Sultan lives in the Istana Nurul Imam, also the seat of Brunei government (which is effectively the sultan and his family).

The palace has a reported 1788 rooms, a 110-car garage, a stable for the sultan's 200 polo ponies, five swimming pools and 350 toilets.


Muslim cabbie fined for refusing to allow a woman to sit in the front seat

A MUSLIM taxi driver refused to let a woman take the front passenger seat as her family piled into his yellow cab in New York City — later claiming that his religion forbids him from being that close to a female stranger.

But a city judge didn’t buy the Islam argument and socked the driver with a $486 ($US350) fine for discrimination.

Fellow Muslims on Friday said Tamsir Drammeh’s excuse was a stretch.

“There’s no such rule in Islam,” said the manager at his garage, J and I Maintenance Corp. in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, who refused to give his name. “There’s no such thing.”

A driver at the garage added: “Maybe if she was drunk and wearing a skirt hiked up to here,” as he pointed to the tops of his thighs. “He wouldn’t have her in the front, but only if she is alone.”

Drammeh, 64, was at a taxi stand on Eighth Avenue near Penn Station when the family of four walked up. He popped the trunk from his seat so that the family could stow their luggage.

The husband and kids, 6 and 11, got into the back, and the mom went to the front passenger door, which Drammeh refused to unlock.

The woman asked whether there was a problem, and all Drammeh would say is that her husband could sit in the front, but that she was not welcome.

The family snapped a photo of Drammeh’s medallion number and hailed a different cab.

The wife filed a complaint alleging sex discrimination, and Drammeh lost the case twice — once in a regular city hearing and again on appeal.

At his hearing, the driver claimed that the woman was belligerent and cursed him out — and he said he still came around and reluctantly invited her to sit up front.

The hearing’s judge, Laura Fieber, told the cabbie he needs to keep his religion to himself when serving the public.


Nonjudgmental Absurdity

It’s been a slow year for the Christmas bashing that’s become rather routine at the Capitol rotunda in Tallahassee, Florida. Pam Olsen, president of the Florida Prayer Network, the group that has provided a Nativity scene there for the last two years, is taking a pass. “After much prayer, I truly want the message of Christ, The Son of God, born in a manger so long ago in Bethlehem, to be heard very clearly at this difficult time, instead of the dissension in the Capitol rotunda — this is not the year for that kind of debate in our rotunda,” Olsen said in an open letter.

The “debate” to which Olsen refers has been the recent effort to turn the rotunda into a citadel of competing displays, that mostly illuminate the determination of those who can’t stand to see Christians enjoying themselves during the holidays. It is coupled with the timidity of public officials cowed by political correctness. Political correctness that demands equal respect for the sacred and the profane.

Thus in 2014, for the sake of “balance,” the rotunda sported a protest display from the Satanic Temple. It featured an angel falling into a pit of fire. “There’s no significance to it; it’s just a display that we put up to counteract the Nativity scene,” explained Satanic Temple member John Porgal at the time. “It’s all or none, and this represents the other side of the manger scene.”

All or none also included a six-foot pole comprised of beer cans celebrating “Festivus,” a fictitious holiday spawned by the sitcom “Seinfeld.” Other atheist banners, including a display from the “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster” whose followers are known as “Pastafarians,” were also part of the mix.

This year, because the FPN is taking a pass, the Satanic Temple is too. But they warn that could change if another group decides to put up a Christmas display. “As the assertion of plurality is always primary in our holiday displays, and many of our activities, we feel that our Satanic Holiday displays work best in a forum where a Nativity is present,” the Satanic Temple stated in an email.

Plurality? One suspects a willful dilution of the Christmas message is more accurate.

As of Dec. 7, the only applications for a display were submitted by the Chabad Lubavitch of the Panhandle-Tallahassee, a group that wished to display a menorah, and Chaz Stevens, a political blogger from Deerfield Beach, who wants his Festivus pole.

Make no mistake: All of this is perfectly legal. Any doubt of that was removed last year, when the state caved following the Satanic Temple’s enlistment of legal counsel from Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which threatened to sue lawmakers to get its display into the rotunda. Comically, the same lawmakers that countenanced Festivus and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster had somehow determined that a display by the Satanist group was “grossly offensive.” “Free speech is for everyone and all groups,” said Americans United executive director Barry Lynn. “State officials simply can’t get into the business of deciding that some unpopular messages are ‘offensive’ and must be banned.”

That is certainly correct, but it provokes an essential question: When did Americans become so petty and self-righteous that every display of genuine religious conviction had to be offset with absurdities designed to offend? And not just in Florida. A Satanist in Oklahoma plans to pour fake blood, along with sulfur powder and ash, over a statue of the Virgin Mary outside of St. Joseph Old Cathedral on Christmas Eve. “The purpose of the blood is to add another layer of corruption to Mary, which is an emblem of the Catholic Church,” contends Adam Daniels, whose display is entitled “Virgin Birth is a Lie.”

Such insults are only possible in a country that has embraced a culturally suicidal proposition: All ideas have equal merit. Thus a religion with more than a billion followers over thousands of years is “no better or worse” than one created by TV sitcom writers in the 1990s, or one whose adherents call themselves Pastafarians.

This is the essence of “nonjudgmentalism,” a progressive-based theory that asserts any discrimination of thought constitutes some type of bigotry. This nonsense has been pounded into the heads of public school children over the better part of two decades, and the results are both predictable and tragic: for millions of Americans, freedom and license are now interchangeable terms.

Yet conferring equal amounts of legitimacy on solid and dubious concepts is hardly limited to religious displays. Bums, drug addicts, alcoholics and mentally disturbed people are now homeless, and illegal aliens are undocumented immigrants. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. There is no right and wrong, only shades of gray. Everyone gets a trophy just for showing up. And despite one’s genitalia and chromosomal makeup, one is a woman trapped in a man’s body — or black person trapped in a Caucasian one.

Blowback against such perniciousness was inevitable. Yet in perhaps the greatest irony of the ages, the most indoctrinated generations of Americans have not only rejected the notion that all ideas have equal merit, but that any idea with which they disagree has no merit whatsoever, and must be labeled with trigger warnings at best, or stricken altogether from the national conversation at worst.

Last week, Congress passed a massive “bipartisan” spending package that will add billions of additional dollars to the national debt. Donald Trump remains on top in the GOP presidential polls. The spending package testifies to the reality that any judgment regarding the mathematical certainty of national bankruptcy has no more value than the “spirit of compromise” used to sell this monstrosity. Trump’s continuing popularity testifies to the reality that millions of Americans have had quite enough of the notion all ideas have equal merit — especially those that could get us killed by religious extremists.

If not? Perhaps there will be an Islamic State flag hanging in the Capitol rotunda in Tallahassee next Christmas.


Australia: Christmas carol ban is out of tune with society

Victoria’s public schools are the frontline in the war on Christmas.  In an extraordinary decision of the Andrews government, Education Minister James Merlino issued a diktat to state government schools that has the effect of banning Christmas carols.

You may need to read that sentence one more time.  In an attempt to secularise public schools, a directive was issued last month to the principal of every Victorian public school. These new rules restrict the way in which teachers, parents and volunteers talk about religious ideas in our state schools. The most shocking aspect of the rules is that the teaching and singing of traditional Christmas carols will now be banished from the classroom.

“Praise music”, defined as “any type of music that glorifies God or a particular religious figure or deity” will be banned from music classes beginning in January. This is the last year parents will be allowed to volunteer their lunchtimes to teach kids Christmas carols for the end-of-year concert.

Most children aren’t even aware there’s a religious dimension to Christmas carols. It’s Christmas, and singing carols is just what people do. Silent Night has taken on its own significance beyond anything that may be characterised by some government bureaucrat as “praise music”. Christmas carols now form a unique genre of music, and removing them from schools has the same effect banning any other genre of music would have; it ignores an important part of the complex tapestry of musical history.

In fact, the motivation behind a ban on Christmas carols today is remarkably similar to that which parents and teachers of children growing up in the 1950s and 60s shared in relation to rock ’n’ roll. Sixty years ago, older generations worried Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry would lead a generation to juvenile delinquency. Today, the concern is that Christmas carols may lead to alarming ideas about religion and the meaning of Christmas. Christmas carols are the new subversive influence on youth that parents and teachers should be concerned about — a nonsense idea ironically given life by the fact the elite are attempting to ban them.

Of course, the government hasn’t banned all Christmas carols, just those that refer to God. So while drab, contemporary Christmas songs such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will be spared, the traditional carols — those that drip with a rich Christmas spirit — such as Once in Royal David’s City, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and O Come, All Ye Faithful are verboten in Victorian public schools.

But it’s far bigger than all that. This is a cultural turning point. The Victorian government isn’t just banning Christmas carols; this is an attempt to strip away the meaning of Christmas. It’s an overt attack on one of the most significant events in the Christian calendar.

The decision goes to the heart of good education. Christmas, and all the ceremony and custom associated with it, has been a significant religious and cultural ritual for 1700 years. A ban on these traditions is a denial of our history. Suppressing aspects of the Christmas celebration denies a cultural heritage that has formed the basis of Western civilisation and that underpins our understanding of life and liberty.

A well-rounded education should include lessons on Christianity and its contribution to who we are today. We can’t expect the next generation to defend the values of Western civilisation if they don’t know what they are.

The inflammatory decision of the Andrews government to ban Christmas carols in Victoria’s public schools must be reversed immediately. Former Victorian attorney-general Robert Clark is to be congratulated for taking a stand on the issue. In parliament Clark called on the government to “withdraw this appalling edict and make clear that students at government schools are entitled to learn, sing and enjoy Christmas carols as they have for generations”. In the meantime, and while I’m still able to say it — merry 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


22 December, 2015

Jessica Chambers update

The story big media will not cover.  White girl murdered by black gang is not news

From local media:

PANOLA COUNTY, Miss. -- The FBI spent the morning rounding up suspected gang members.

There is a total of 17 people facing charges under Operation Bite Back.

Nine people were picked up Tuesday. The others were already in custody on other charges or had been arrested under this operation and bonded out.

FBI agents targeted suspected members of the Black Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, and Sipp Mob street gangs.

"The charges range from drug, weapon, child endangerment, counterfeiting, et cetera, so it's a variety of charges," said Special Agent in Charge for the State of Mississippi Donald Alway.

The Jessica Chambers murder investigation tipped off investigators to gang issues in Panola County. A year-long investigation into gangs led to Operation Bite Back.

"We started the deep interrogation with the Jessica case, and people began to volunteer information to us and things like that, and we realized right away that something had to be done," said District Attorney John Champion.

Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby stressed that the suspected gang members' charges have nothing to do with the Chambers case but agreed that her case encouraged investigators to dig into Panola's gang issue.

Most of Tuesday's suspects were found in Batesville.

BACKGROUND -- from a year ago:

The truth about murder and race in Mississippi may prove reducible to black and white after all, as with fifty years ago in the infamous “Mississippi Burning” case.  Breaking, bombshell social media evidence in the Jessica Chambers case suggests the dynamic is reversed, but similar.

In trying to follow and sort out the details surrounding the grisly immolation death of the white former cheerleader two weeks ago, one encounters a cast of very shady characters a country mile long and wide, with the sordid backstory of small-town police corruption in Panola County, and a troubled family tale, all of it murky and convoluted almost beyond belief.

Nailing the actual guilty party, however, could turn out to be not all that complicated.  That’s because some black terrorists in the victim’s immediate circle have left a rather obvious trail of specific, racially-oriented murder threats.

For readers familiar with the concept of Occam’s Razor, what seems to be an incredibly tangled mystery might instead just fit the boilerplate template of what I’m calling Occam’s race war.

One week before, and on just the day before Jessica Chambers was carjacked and burned to death, certain blacks among her intimate circle and acquaintance were involved in Facebook exchanges wherein calls for the rape and burnings of white women and children, especially the families of white police officers, were posted. 

Although not a police officer himself, Jessica Chambers’ father is an employee of the Panola County sheriff’s department, in the vehicle maintenance section.

You’ll need to grab a cup of coffee or an energy drink to slurp on, while you try to get a grip on what follows.

In the first Facebook comment in question, on November 30th, a woman using the name “Teapooh Itiswatitis Latrice” reacts to a fake news story carrying the headline “Cop Shoots 1Yr Old Black Baby After Mistaking Pacifier For Gun.”

“Teapooh,” apparently not being very bright, looks to have shared the story without realizing it was actually absurd satire, typical of incendiary internet hoax sites.  In sharing the bogus article, “Teapooh” typed the comment, “Somebody need to rape all his kids in front of him then sit(sic) the house on fire an watch them burn….i bet he was a white man SAD”

She shared it via the Facebook timeline of a woman named Sandy Rudd (now please bear with me for a minute while I outline some crucial connections before giving you the rest of the specific, criminal threat).

Sandy Rudd is the aunt of Bryan Rudd, Jessica’s abusive, criminal ex-boyfriend and local gang member.  Sandy, who gave the false name of  “Cassandra Market” to a reporter in an interview, is herself alleged to be a member of at least one notorious criminal gang —  she denies it, even though at least one picture of her has surfaced showing her making gang signs in a group picture with others, all of them defiantly throwing gang signs.

Sandy Rudd acknowledges that she is the one at the gas station who asked Jessica Chambers for a cigarette, when Jessica is seen on the store surveillance video walking over to someone who is off-camera.

Jessica lived with Bryan Rudd and his mother, Theresa Rudd Fleming, for two years in the period leading up to her murder, before a brief stay in a Christian-run rehab/shelter for troubled women.  Bryan Rudd has since moved away, to Iowa.

Now get this:  “Teapooh” is, according to the “hacktivists” who have accessed various social media accounts of the people involved, actually Teanna Rudd, the wife or live-in girlfriend of a man named Brejuan Buyers.

Brejuan Buyers is the man seen on the gas station’s surveillance video with the gas can in the hours just prior to Jessica being burned over 98% of her body.  He rode with Sandy Rudd in her car to the gas station, on that same night the murder victim is seen at the store — while he is filling the gas can at the pump — only 90 minutes before she is found burned.

“Teapooh” made more than just that one murderous comment on Facebook.  On the day before Jessica’s murder, on December 5th,she shared a video via someone posting as “Derrick Jaxn” (Jessica’s last word, uttered to a first responder, is reported to have been “Eric” or “Derrick”).  The post was accompanied by her comment, “Somebody needs to rape all they(sic) kids in front of them then set them on fire there(sic) learn then white bitches need to be dead”

Britain to send women soldiers into close combat for the first time

Women soldiers will be allowed to serve in ‘close combat’ roles within 12 months, David Cameron signalled yesterday.  He has told Defence Secretary Michael Fallon to prepare to welcome servicewomen into the new roles by the end of next year.

Mr Cameron’s intervention is designed to speed up historic plans to allow women in the UK forces to fight in combat roles alongside men for the first time.

A review on the potential ‘physiological demands’ on women from combat is due to report next summer.

But ahead of that, Mr Cameron threw his weight behind the plan. He said: ‘The Defence Secretary and I are united in wanting to see all roles in our Armed Forces opened up to women in 2016.

‘We’ve already lifted a number of barriers in our Armed Forces with the introduction of female submariners and women reaching the highest ranks in all Services.

‘We should finish the job next year and open up ground combat roles to women.’

No 10 said that women could begin training for combat service as early as next autumn.

The new move would mainly affect roles in the Infantry along with the Royal Marines, Royal Armoured Corps and the RAF.

However, there have been warnings that women lacked the killer instinct to fight on the front line.

Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, said last year female fighters would harm the ‘warrior ethos’ and damage the Forces’ capabilities.

But Downing Street said the move would bring the UK in line with other nations such as Australia and the US which earlier this month announced it would open all jobs with combat roles to women.

Mr Fallon has already said that Armed Forces roles ‘should be determined by ability and not gender’.

Women are already allowed to serve on the front line but not where the primary aim is to ‘close with and kill the enemy’.

Hundreds of women served in the front line in Britain’s long and bloody campaign against the Taliban in Helmand province, Afghanistan. They patrolled with troops in war zones – with some of them coming under fire.

But their primary responsibility was not to kill the enemy but to serve in a medical or communications capacity.

The Prime Minister’s intervention follows an earlier six-month study into whether women were suitable for the rigours of frontline combat.

In preparation for a final decision on the plan, Government officials are already putting in place procedures to ensure that women are aware of the new opportunities and able to take them up.

Women make up just over one tenth of the military’s staff. More than 80 per cent of jobs across the Armed Forces are currently open to women.


Rev. Graham: Islam Is Not Compatible With American Values

Noting how Islamic law, sharia, contrasts with the U.S. Constitution and how women are treated under sharia, Rev. Franklin Graham said he did not believe that Islam is compatible with American values, and added that all immigration should halt “until we have a proper system to vet people.”

On CNN’s Newsroom on Dec. 15, host Carol Costello asked Rev. Graham, “Is Islam compatible with American values?”

Reverend Graham, son of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham, said, “I don’t think so.”

When Costello remarked that Muslims claim such “rhetoric” is “hurting them,” Graham responded, “Well, you asked me a question and I answered you. But I don’t go out and preach against Islam. I don’t go out and preach against Muslims. I don’t. And I certainly welcome them.”

“But our Constitution certainly, the way we treat women, the way we treat all people – Islam doesn’t do that under sharia law,” he said.

Costello then claimed one could say the same about “Catholicism,” and moved on to ask about Donald Trump’s proposal to monitor radical mosques in the United States.

“Let me play Devil’s advocate just a little longer,” said Costello.  “Donald Trump thinks that some mosques should be shut down. Do you agree with that?”

Rev. Graham said, “Well, I don’t know, I haven’t heard what Donald Trump has said. I know that in France they have certainly shut down some mosques that were preaching hatred and violence against the people in France, so the French government has shut down some mosques. I don’t know how many it is, but I know they have done it there.”

Costello then asked, “Does that mean we should do it here?”

The reverend answered, “We might have to at some point. I don’t know. We need – our country’s broken right now, our borders are broken. We need to get it fixed. We need to get immigration fixed. We need to know who’s coming in to this country.”

“We can’t just open up our arms and just say ‘everybody come,’ because there’s people out there that want to destroy our nation, and want to destroy you and our way of life,” said Rev. Graham. “We have a responsibility, our government, the president, our Congress has a responsibility to protect all Americans.”

Franklin Graham is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and also runs the international Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse, which is working with refugees from the Middle East.

In relation to that work, earlier in the interview on CNN, Rev. Graham said, “I don’t believe in banning Muslims from coming [here], I think we should put a halt on immigration because our borders are broken, until we have a proper system to vet people. All immigration, but especially people – all people but especially those coming from the Middle East right now.”

“Carol, I’m working  in Greece,” said the reverend.  “We have people on the islands. As people [refugees] come out of those little rubber boats, I have people there helping them. They’re not just Syrian [refugees]. They’re Syrian, Iraqi, they’re also Iranians, they’re also Afghans coming into Greece.”

“We see a lot of families and, no question, they are fleeing for their life,” said Rev. Graham.  “They’re wanting a better life. But we see a lot of young men, who are military age, by themselves, coming in that way as well. And we don’t know who these people are and there needs to be some proper way to vet them.”

“So, I think we should be putting a halt on any immigration from that part of the world until our government has a system in place where we can vet them,” he said.


Tony Blair Isn’t Politically Correct When Talking About Islam and Terrorism

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair strode into Washington last week speaking urgently about the need to have a long-term strategy to defeat Islamist extremism on the ground as well as ideologically, with both superior military force and confident Western values.

It was as if he were a visitor not from the U.K., but from another planet. Washington is not exactly what you’d call a bustling wartime capital.

The Obama administration is, in fact, making the case that the proper response to current threats from ISIS is to tighten gun control laws, reduce carbon emissions, and double down on political correctness. These ideas are, moreover, being actively promoted by ideological allies in the media and the culture.

Such an approach is—to nobody’s surprise—failing spectacularly to rally the nation, which appears more divided than ever. Conservatives are stunned that anyone would want to disarm the citizenry at this point, that there are people who actually believe that climate change causes terrorism, and that a society can battle a jihadist ideology without proudly asserting an alternative, in this case the values of liberal democracy.

There would be some hope of a national conversation, a large Socratic dialogue of sorts, if sides were listening to each other. Very few liberals, however, listen to talk radio, watch Fox News, or read National Review or the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal or The Federalist. They have no idea how divorced from reality their proposals can sound.

Conservatives, by contrast, are much better aware of the other side’s arguments. They are surrounded by NPR; The New York Times; and CBS, NBC, and ABC. They consume them as well, never mind the culture. Thus their consternation at what they are hearing, watching, or reading.

Blair, prime minister from 1997 to 2007, is no conservative; rather, he is a former Labour leader. He knows, however, what it’s like to fight a long war and, after many mistakes, be able to hand his successor a stable Iraq, which Vice President Joe Biden in 2010 referred to as the “greatest achievement.”

In his speech at the Library of Congress Thursday night, Blair did not go out of his way to pick a fight with President Obama or his administration, but neither did he shrink from answering questions forthrightly.

Asked by the moderator, former ambassador Martin Indyk, why he dares speak about Islamist terrorism and extremism, given that the Obama administration insists that such mentions will alienate all adherents of the religion, Blair simply smiled and said, “Because that’s what it is.”

“Those who believe in concepts of the caliphate and the apocalypse—so much part of Daesh [ISIS] propaganda—stretch deep into parts of Muslim societies,” Blair said. “A belief in innate hostility between Islam and the West is not the preserve of the few.”

“In many Muslim countries, large numbers also believe that the CIA or Jews were behind 9/11. Clerics who proclaim that non-believers and apostates must be killed or call for jihad against Jews have Twitter followings running into millions. … The ideology has deep roots. We have to reach right the way down and uproot it.”

At times, Blair’s criticisms of President Obama were indirect, as when he said that “sustained engagement over a period of time is preferable to a vacuum.”

“They have to be eliminated on the ground … to destroy the so-called caliphate.”

But it was when he spoke up for the all-important battle for ideas that Blair seemed to be more at odds with an administration and a president who seems to be apologetic at best and condemnatory at worst of Western civilization.

“We have to explain to our citizens and those coming in why our values and our way of life matter to us, and why we will defend them to the last,” said Blair. “We must recover our own confidence in our own belief system.”

Far from fearing being too strong lest the West alienate Muslims, Blair considers the reverse the real threat. “A continued failure to recognize the scale of the challenge and to construct the means necessary to meet it, will result in terrorist attacks potentially worse than those in Paris, producing a backlash, which then stigmatizes the majority of decent, law-abiding Muslims,” he said.

“Force alone will not prevail—the Islamist ideology also has to be confronted,” Blair added.

The chasm between this approach and the ideological pieties being espoused by the administration could not be wider. Obama’s comment that this week’s massacre in San Bernardino by terrorists who pledged allegiance to ISIS were “another tragic reminder that here in America it’s way too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on guns” and Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s remark that her “greatest fear” is anti-Muslim rhetoric seem downright dangerous.

As the Heritage Foundation’s Middle East scholar Jim Phillips put it Friday, “the long string of ISIS victories have given it an aura of invincibility” that has enabled it to attract 25,000 recruits from 80 countries.

President Obama’s decision to pull troops out of Iraq in 2010, against the military’s advice, has undermined what looked set to be a real achievement. Continuing not to take ISIS seriously or pay heed to Blair will only replicate the failure so far. As Pete Wehner put it this week, the president “may be hermetically sealed off from facts that are inconvenient to this worldview,” but “by ignoring the reality of things, he makes everything worse.”



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

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

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


21 December, 2015

Sexism row scientist back working for Royal Society

A Nobel prize-winning scientist who became embroiled in a sexism storm is back working for the Royal Society just six months after being forced out for saying women are a distraction in the lab.

Sir Tim Hunt resigned from his duties after sparking a furore with comments he made at a conference in Korea, where he said the problem with female scientists was that they 'fall in love with you'.

He claimed women should have separate laboratories and that they cry when criticised – in comments meant as a joke.

But such was the vilification from feminist scientists and students, the 72-year-old father of two was asked to resign from an honorary professorship at University College London. He also left positions at the Royal Society and European Research Council but remained a fellow of the Royal Society.

Now, six months after the row, he has resumed his official duties, according to The Times. A report on UK research in the European Union, which was released yesterday by the Royal Society, was written by a working group including Sir Tim.

A spokesman for the Royal Society told the Times: 'We will always put the leading experts we have on any working group. 'Sir Tim is a leading expert on European research, and was an obvious choice.'

It came as it emerged Sir Tim and his wife are now planning to leave the country and move to Japan.  According to friends he will accompany his wife, Mary Collins, who is to leave her own professorship at UCL to take up a job at a Japanese University with a five-year tenure.

The couple are said to be hoping to put the sexism row behind them.

Confirming the move earlier this week, Professor Collins told the Daily Mail: ‘This is a job I applied for before the Tim Hunt incident and is a very positive career move for me.’

But a friend of the couple, who live near Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, said the move would not be happening were it not for the witch-hunt that was triggered by the scientist’s comments.

The friend, who did not wish to be named, said Sir Tim continued to be upset by the false accusations of sexism, adding: ‘It’s very sad, it’s quite clear it’s based on their exhaustion.

‘I’ve kept in touch with Tim over the past six months. They have been up and down, even quite recently. They have been emotionally affected by it.

'They have had a lot of criticism, he’s had invitations to talk at conferences withdrawn on the grounds he’s not a suitable person, or if he appeared it might produce a reaction, backlash or protest.’

Sir Tim was speaking at a meeting of the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul, South Korea, when he made the controversial comments. He said: ‘Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab. You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them, they cry.’

A lecturer in science journalism at City University in London, Connie St Louis, who attended the meeting, then posted an article mentioning his remarks on Twitter entitled ‘Why are the British so embarrassing abroad?’ This sparked the massive witch-hunt.

Mrs St Louis, a former BBC radio producer, said the event was ‘utterly ruined’ and asked: ‘Really, does this Nobel laureate think we are still in Victorian times?’

The Mail later revealed she had falsified parts of her online CV.

Many high-profile women in the field leapt to Sir Tim’s defence, denying claims he was sexist. Figures ranging from Richard Dawkins, Brian Cox, and Mary Beard to Boris Johnson also voiced support for the scientist – but UCL refused to reinstate him.

Jonathan Dimbleby quit his honorary UCL fellowship, accusing the university of a ‘disgraceful’ rush to judgement.

In a statement, UCL president and provost Michael Arthur said he regretted accepting Sir Tim’s resignation but that reversing the decision would send out ‘entirely the wrong signal’.


Queers Fight NC Law That Protects Believers Against homosexual Marriage

Historically, Democrats and Republicans have agreed that religious liberty is a core American value that should be protected whenever possible. Yet over the past decade, this consensus has come under increasing assault from the left.

A recent manifestation of this hostility to people of faith is a Dec. 9 lawsuit challenging a North Carolina statute (known as Senate Bill 2) that accommodates state magistrates and clerks whose sincere religious objections prevent them from solemnizing or licensing certain marriages allowed by law. According to Equality North Carolina, an LGBT advocacy group that plans to draw attention to the lawsuit along with the Campaign for Southern Equality, the law “allows magistrates who do not believe in marriage equality to renounce their judicial oath to uphold and evenly apply the United States Constitution.”

This is nonsense. The Supreme Court’s recent decision redefining marriage for the entire nation requires North Carolina to legally recognize same-sex marriages, but there is no constitutional right for couples to be married by any particular state official.

Indeed, North Carolina could conceivably dispense with the solemnization requirement for marriages entirely and use an online system similar to that used by Hawaii for licensing. But, like most states, it has elected to allow magistrates to solemnize marriages and clerks (called registers of deeds) to license them.

All Senate Bill 2 did was permit those with sincere religious objections to any part of the process to recuse themselves entirely. Adding this opt-out system into the North Carolina law provides a reasonable accommodation for those with religious objections and hurts no one, because the law guarantees that there will be magistrates available to perform marriages.

Only about 5 percent of North Carolina’s roughly 670 magistrates have taken advantage of this accommodation. In these few cases, other state officials have been made available to perform marriages in affected jurisdictions, just as the law requires. To date, exactly zero couples have been unable to marry because of this protection.

North Carolina’s law is a perfect example of a win-win situation. Everyone gets a marriage license, and no one is forced to choose between losing his job and violating his conscience.

To be clear, it isn’t just North Carolina law that requires an accommodation. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires all employers, including the government, to make reasonable accommodations for those who do not want to shed their religious beliefs when they step into the workplace. North Carolina’s law is eminently reasonable. Civil servants, whose jobs have been redefined with the redefinition of marriage, deserve the opportunity to remain in their jobs without violating their consciences.

As Mark David Hall, one of the authors of this article, argued in a recent backgrounder, America’s history of accommodating religious citizens stretches from the founding until the present day.  These religious protections have not kept the nation or states from meeting important policy objectives and courts, including the United States Supreme Court, have regularly ruled them to be compatible with the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

In an ironic twist missed by Equality North Carolina, some of the oath provisions they claim require magistrates to violate their religious convictions themselves contain religious accommodations.  Both the U.S. and North Carolina constitutions permit individuals to “affirm” rather than “swear” their oaths. Although any citizen can take advantage of these provisions, historically they were adopted to protect Quakers and other religious minorities who had religious objections to taking oaths.

Americans have long recognized that it is unconscionable to force individuals to choose between public service and their religious convictions if the latter can be reasonably accommodated. An excellent example of this is a federal law that protects federal and state prison officials from being forced to attend or participate in an execution contrary to their moral or religious convictions.

Indeed, few know that before the Kim Davis controversy over marriage licenses, Kentucky clerks were allowed by law to opt out of issuing hunting licenses if they were, for example, strict vegetarians. These laws, along with numerous others granting religious accommodations, show that America can and should find reasonable ways to protect its citizens from being forced by the government to violate their conscience.

The lawsuit attacking the North Carolina statute has no legal or historical standing. The statute continues America’s proud history of recognizing and protecting the rights of conscientious objectors without denying anyone’s rights. Other states would do well to follow North Carolina’s model.


Rep. Steve King: 'Jesus Never Ordered Anyone to be Killed ... But Muhammed Did'

When MSNBC’s Chris Hayes tried to argue that the man who shot three people at a Planned Parenthood office in Colorado was no different than the radical Islamists who slaughtered 14 people in California, because the killers were following their religion, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said it was not the same because Jesus never ordered people to kill but Muhammed did.

On the Dec. 9 edition of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes, the host said, “Why is this any different?  You, understandably, as a Christian, as someone of the faith, right, you look at what happened at Planned Parenthood and say, ‘that’s not the faith that I believe in.’”

Rep. King answered,  “What Planned Parenthood is doing [aborting babies] is not the faith that I believe in.”

“But Jesus never ordered anyone to be killed,” said King, “and He never raised his hand to injure anyone specifically, but Muhammed did.”

“There’s a big difference in this,” said the congressman.  “They’re [radical Muslims] carrying on the traditions that are centuries old.”

Back on Nov. 27, Robert Dear went to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he allegedly shot and killed two civilians and one police officer. He has been charged with first-degree murder.

On Dec. 2, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik targeted the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, where they shot and killed 14 people and wounded 22 other people. Farook and Malik were later killed in a shootout with police. Both terrorists had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.


The debacle of DJ Dr Fox's sex assault trial was the latest example of the Crown Prosecution Service acting like the legal wing of the rabble-rousing left

By Richard Littlejohn

The spectre of Jimmy Savile continues to cast a long, menacing shadow over the administration of justice in Britain.  This week, another disc jockey, Neil Fox, faced the prospect of a lengthy jail term after being accused of ‘historic’ sex crimes.

Fortunately for Fox, he was found not guilty of eight indecent assaults and two sexual assaults. Although the judge said he believed the witnesses for the prosecution, he added that the allegations should be treated with caution.

District Judge Howard Riddle, presiding with two lay magistrates, said: ‘The question we must ask ourselves is whether we are sure of the facts alleged, sure of the context in which they occurred, and sure that they amount to criminal offences.’

In that single sentence, Judge Riddle delivered a timely and overdue restatement of the fundamental principle of British justice — that the accused must be presumed innocent until proven guilty and that for anyone to be convicted of a crime, the evidence must be compelling beyond a reasonable doubt.

Some of the charges against the DJ — known as Dr Fox — dated back 26 years. Given that other celebrities have found themselves accused of crimes more than half-a-century old, that’s fairly recent history.

Even so, Judge Riddle and his colleagues clearly considered that in the circumstances, and because of the time which has elapsed, any conviction would be unsafe.

Fox himself cut a pretty unedifying figure in the box, admitting to what he calls workplace ‘banter’ — what others might describe, at best, as boorish and, at worst, as sexual assault.

He said of one female colleague: ‘There are times when I would easily wander by and slap her bum, touch her on the way past. If I thought anyone was uncomfortable with that, I wouldn’t do it. She joined in high-spirited banter, funny chats — none of this would in any way have offended her.’

Some of the women involved would no doubt profoundly disagree with him, even if such casual ribaldry was commonplace at the time. But, as Judge Riddle said, did any of this actually amount to criminal behaviour?

After Fox was freed, one of the witnesses against him — a former teenage fan who claimed he’d ‘snogged’ her in a car park and indecently assaulted her during a studio tour — expressed her disappointment that the case had been heard in a magistrates’ court.

‘Perhaps if there had been a jury, they might have been more affected by the emotions of it,’ she said.

Perhaps they might. But that’s not the point. English law is founded upon fact, not emotion. It is also supposed to be administered without any regard for political expediency or public relations posturing.

All of those essential tenets have been cast aside enthusiastically by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), as they have been swept along on the tide of hysteria surrounding their failure to snare Jimmy Savile when he was still alive.



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, 2015

Multiculturalist imported more than a tonne of drug-cutting chemicals used with cocaine to give it a street value of £35million --  jailed for 10 years

A baby-faced criminal has been jailed for importing more than a tonne of drug cutting agents that could have been used to make £35million.

Shem Lovelace set up a website called Strictly Benzocaine UK to sell chemicals to cocaine and heroin dealers when he was just 17.

But his operation was uncovered after customs officers at Felixstowe, Suffolk, seized 40 drums of cuttings agents sent by a Chinese company on August 20.

A judge at Croydon Crown Court found that Lovelace, 20, played a major role in the operation and has jailed him for 10 years.

Judge John Tanzer said told him: 'Your looks, how you come over from a distance especially as baby faced, are belied by your criminality.'

Beverley Akinbile, prosecuting, said the consignment seized in Suffolk included 750 kilograms of benzocaine and 250 kilograms of phenacetin.

She said the chemicals are usually cut with cocaine on a three to one basis.

Croydon Crown Court heard Lovelace was interviewed following the seizure and police seized his laptop from his home in Thornton Heath, south London.

His laptop search history included searches for 'how to open an anonymous bank account' and 'how to buy benzocaine'.

He was linked to another Brighton based dealer who would supply customers with the drugs, cut with the agents Lovelace supplied.

Lovelace would then get a 20% share of the deal due to him supplying the cutting agents.

Despite the scale of the seizure at Felixstowe, Lovelace only made around £37,000 from importing benzocaine and phenacetin between July 2013 and July 2015, the court heard.

Lovelace admitted encouraging or assisting in the commission of an offence and one of acquiring criminal property.

Sentencing him, Judge Tanzer said: 'You are a man who is very young still. Conversely, you are a young man with a substantial criminal record.'

The judge added: 'The volumes of importation were massive, in all 1.1 metric tonnes. There is substantial money around as shown in count two of the first charge where you are charged with having criminal property.

'It would be naive to say that you other than knew what this was all about. The crown assists it makes the value involved as some £35million on the street.

'The level of what you were involved in is way above the figures set out in the sentencing guidelines.'

Nigel Shepherd, defending, said Lovelace was merely naive and not at the heart of the operation.

He said payments and exchanges had continued to take place while Lovelace was remanded in custody,

Mr Shepherd said: 'Somebody else was operating this importation and the defendant had been put in prison. It cannot have been him.'

He claimed Lovelace believed that the cutting agents were legal to sell and distribute.

'He was told it is like the cannabis shops where people sell hookahs and lighters for the consumption of cannabis.

'He was told that these are legal things. They may be for an illegal purpose but they are legal things.'

Speaking after the case, Detective Sergeant Phil Carruth of Croydon Crime Squad said: 'This was a bespoke investigation over a six month period by Met officers working in conjunction with the National Crime Agency.

'Tenacious detective work resulted in the seizure of a large quantity of cutting agent that had no purpose other than to be illicitly cut with class 'A' drugs.

'Today's sentence should act as a deterrent to others. The MPS will pursue, charge and convict those involved in such illegal activities.'


The glorification of the tiny minority who feel born into the wrong sex has troubling implications

By Sarah Vine

No one should have been surprised last week to hear that Eddie Redmayne has received a Golden Globe nomination for his role in The Danish Girl. The film, which opens later this month, tells the story of Twenties artist Lili Elbe.

Born Einar Wegener, Elbe first slipped into the role of a woman when his wife (also an artist) needed a female model for a portrait sitting.

It was then that he realised that his true gender was female, and Lili was born, or so the story goes.

In 1930, he became one of the first men to undergo gender reassignment surgery. For the transgender community, the story of Lili’s conversion is a tale of heroism comparable with Nelson Mandela’s struggle against apartheid, or Emmeline Pankhurst’s emancipation of womankind.

And since Hollywood loves a tale of triumph against the odds, it stands to reason that they should already be thinking of lobbing gilded statuettes in Redmayne’s direction.

But that is not the whole story, for 2015 has been the year in which being transgender went global.

It has been front and centre-stage for months, starting with the arrival of Caitlyn Jenner — formerly the ripplingly muscled Olympic decathlon champion Bruce Jenner — wearing only a basque on the front cover of Vanity Fair magazine.

We’ve also had, in no particular order, the Guardian’s food writer Jack Monroe — a mother of one — deciding to reposition herself as a ‘non-binary transgender’ (meaning that she identifies as neither man nor a woman).

The boxing promoter Frank Maloney, meanwhile, is now a regular on television and in newspapers presenting a new persona as a woman named Kellie.

We have had the irony of Benedict Cumberbatch, the most self-consciously politically correct actor on the planet, being accused of the modern equivalent of blacking up his face for playing a funny cameo in the upcoming sequel to the fashion industry comedy film Zoolander, as a gender indeterminate supermodel by the name of ‘All’.

We’ve seen the introduction of the term ‘Mz’ instead of ‘Ms’ as the correct title for people of a transgender persuasion.

There have been lessons for primary school children about gender identity — presented by a transgender man.

Germaine Greer has been banned by students in Cardiff for saying transgender women don’t ‘look like, sound like or behave like women’.

Schools in Britain have been offered a £30,000 ‘grant’ to encourage them to hire transgender teachers.

And just this week, we’ve seen Fiona Manson, who posed as a single father and used a fake penis to seduce a female friend, avoid jail after a judge accepted the 25-year-old transsexual — known as Kyran Lee and awaiting gender reassignment surgery — was a man trapped in a female body. (‘It must have been enormously difficult growing up,’ said the judge.)

Only a month earlier, in a similar case, Gayle Newland was jailed for eight years after impersonating a man to trick a female into sex.

The mother duped by Manson said the judge’s decision to impose a two-year suspended sentence left her a ‘victim of a sex attack and political correctness’.

Even mainstream entertainment channels such as TLC, widely watched by teenagers, have jumped on the transgender bandwagon.

When my 12-year-old daughter happened to inquire this week what I was working on and I replied, ‘a piece about being transgender’, she knew exactly what I meant (when I was her age I wouldn’t have had the faintest idea).

‘Oh yes, Mummy,’ she said, ‘Transgender is really trending right now. You should watch I Am Jazz on TLC — everyone’s really into it.’

I Am Jazz, it turns out, is a transgender reality TV show about a 15-year-old American boy growing up as a girl. Like any other 15-year-old girl, she worries about her bra size, and whether she will ever find a boyfriend.

Under close medical supervision, Jazz is undergoing therapy to block her male hormones, designed to prevent the development of male characteristics such as an Adam’s apple and facial hair. At the same time, she takes oestrogen to help her body look more feminine.

Eventually, once she is an adult, she will have surgery to remove all physical vestiges of her birth sex.

Her parents, who seem like nice, ordinary middle-class people, are fully behind her. Her mother, fiercely protective of her youngest child, accompanies her on medical visits and shopping trips.

Her father wipes away tears and dispenses hugs with studied attentiveness.

They are, in short, the very model of the all-inclusive 21st-century family, a shining example to us all of what life for your average transitioning transgender teen ought to be like. And all this is presented as perfectly normal.

A related story appeared in the Mail last week, of a six-year-old boy from Scotland called Daniel, who is being brought up as a little girl called Danni, complete with dresses and pretty hair bunches.

The child’s parents say that when Daniel reaches puberty he will be prescribed hormone blockers until he is 16 and old enough to decide whether he wants to become a she. Then, he will decide whether to start taking oestrogen for two years before undergoing gender reassignment surgery.

So how did we get here? Well, the sudden interest in this area of life is, in some respects, a sign of more enlightened times.

Against a backdrop of increasing intolerance in the Middle East, with organisations such as the Taliban and ISIS preaching vile hatred of all alternative lifestyles — and throwing homosexuals to their deaths from rooftops — it is to our credit as a society that we have come to develop a greater tolerance of less conformist lifestyles.

Live and let live is the modern mantra — and rightly so. Freedom of expression, whether it be political, sexual, social or religious, is a cornerstone of democracy. But the sheer force with which the transgender agenda has been pushed to the forefront of the cultural discussion has been quite remarkable. As has the aggression used by various lobby groups to promote what we might call the transgender case.

Personally, I feel very sympathetic. It must be incredibly traumatic and confusing to feel alien in one’s own skin, to want so desperately to be something you are not.

I cannot imagine that anyone would undergo gender reassignment surgery or pump themselves full of hormones unless their suffering were genuine. It must require both courage and conviction to make irreversible changes to one’s gender.

But the sheer dominance of the transgender narrative in the media, and the aggression directed at anyone who exhibits the merest twitch of a quizzical eyebrow, is astonishing.

Raise even the slightest moral, ethical or sociological question about this issue, and you might as well be saying Hitler wasn’t such a bad chap after all.

Quite simply, we seem to have spent most of this year being told that it’s not good enough for us simply to accept transgender individuals as a small but perfectly valid community: we must also embrace and praise them as though theirs were some sort of heroic achievement on a par with the discovery of penicillin and not, at the very core of the thing, just a rare and often traumatic condition.

The simple fact is that like so many ‘culturally sensitive’ issues these days, all open and honest conversation about gender identity is drowned out by the kind of cultural fascism that prides itself on standing up for minority interests while at the same time denying many others — who often form the majority — their right to expression.

After Caitlyn Jenner appeared in Vanity Fair, one American TV actor, Drake Bell, tweeted: ‘Sorry ... still calling you Bruce.’

Such was the flood of outrage that he had dared to criticise her sexual transformation that he was forced to issue a grovelling apology: ‘I sincerely apologise for my thoughtless insensitive remarks. I in no way meant to hurt or demean those going through a similar journey.’

So it is that any kind of debate or discussion is shut down.

Just as those in the mainstream should learn to accept and understand the alternative life choices of others, there must, I would argue, also be some acceptance and understanding of those who choose to question this cultural trend.

And yet tolerance, on this issue as well as on many others — such as Christianity (bad), the traditional family (bad), climate change (good), animal rights (good) and so on —appears all too often to be a one-way street in favour of those who shout the loudest.

Indeed, the crescendo of noise around gender issues is particularly surprising when you stop to think how small the transgender community really is.

While every individual’s experience is doubtlessly precious, the numbers involved are extraordinarily small.

Only 400 or so people a year actually apply to have their gender legally re-assigned. According to the transgender community, at any given time in the UK, one per cent of the population is, to use the approved terminology ‘gender non-conforming’. That seems like an awfully high estimate to me.

In any case, assuming those numbers are correct, of that one per cent, only around one in five will, at some point in their lives, seek treatment. And yet you could now be forgiven for thinking that gender dysmorphia — when someone feels their true gender identity is not the one they were born with — is as common in the population as, say, ginger hair.

There is something else, too, that I, as a parent, find increasingly worrying. Because while I’m perfectly comfortable with grown-ups making these sorts of decisions, I’m deeply uncomfortable with the idea of children having their normal growth altered in the run-up to puberty and beyond.

Earlier this year, the Tavistock and Portman Trust, which specialises in gender issues, described a four-fold rise in referrals of children under the age of ten reporting ‘gender confusion’.

In total, the number of under-11s referred to the unit has risen from 19 in 2009/10 to 77 in 2014/15. Still a tiny number; but nevertheless a very significant increase. There has to be a reason for this, and it cannot simply be a sudden epidemic of gender dysmorphia. Surely there must be some cultural pressures at play here, whether from schools or from parents themselves.

Any parent knows that children enjoy trying on different personalities and roles. My daughter used to love dressing up as male characters for National Book Week, for example, and my son once went as The Boy in the Dress, from his favourite David Walliams book.

He often complains, too, that girls get shouted at less in class, and how monstrously unfair it is that they seem to be so much better at maths than he is. But I wouldn’t for one moment infer from these actions that he has a burning desire to be a girl.

Children pass through many phases in their lives, and nine times out of ten they grow out of them. You have no way of knowing who or what they really want to be until they have completed the process of growing up.

No, my big concern is that as a result of this increasing focus on transgender people, we are imposing the adult anxieties of a marginal group on innocent children who are not yet old enough to understand the implications — and whose sexuality may not yet have been defined.

There is something else, too. A wider — and far more sinister — agenda at work here: an attack on traditional gender roles.

I call myself a feminist because I believe women should be able to be proudly female as mothers, wives, daughters while at the same time being respected and treated as equals to men.

But some of the more radical sisters hate this idea of a clear, confident gender identity. They want to undermine the idea of true masculinity by adopting male characteristics and behaviour themselves; but in doing so they also undermine a woman’s fundamental right to be a woman.

The proselytising of transgenderism is surely part of that attempt to blur the divide between men and women.

Cruelty or prejudice towards anyone is ugly. But something almost as ugly is using the difficulties that individuals with genuine problems face as a kind of Trojan horse for an attack on the traditional gender roles.

So-called equality experts and campaigners in universities and schools mistakenly teach as fact the idea that differences between the sexes are an illusion, as outmoded and discredited as the idea of the earth being flat. Not only is this simply not true, it also hasn’t achieved the desired outcome.

No amount of gender-neutral pronouns can detract from the fact that it is still mostly men who run for political office and blow things up, while women still spend more time looking after children and running homes. It is, I’m afraid, the way of the world.

Of course people who suffer from gender dysmorphia need society’s help, support and infinite understanding. But it’s important to recognise that, however divine Eddie Redmayne may look in a dress, the vast majority of us are still very happy living in the bodies we were born with.


Security Dies Where Multiculturalism Thrives

While Americans fret over Donald Trump’s plans to ban Muslim immigration to the United States temporarily thanks to the government’s inability to keep us safe, the government continues to prove its inability to keep us safe. This week, we found out that President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security prohibited agents from screening foreign citizens applying for visas to enter the country. According to former acting undersecretary at DHS for intelligence and analysis John Cohen, “During that time period immigration officials were not allowed to use or review social media as part of the screening process. … The primary concern was that it would be viewed negatively if it was disclosed publicly and there were concerns that it would be embarrassing.”

He continued, “It was primarily a question of optics. There were concerns from a privacy and civil liberties perspective that while this was not illegal, that it would be viewed negatively if it was disclosed publicly.”

So 14 Americans in San Bernardino died for optics.

While President Obama insists that the government must check the metadata of American citizens to catch terrorists, he insists that his own people stop checking the publicly posted Facebook messages of potential terrorists.

This is the essence of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism suggests that all cultures are equal, that they carry equal values, that they pose equal threats to public safety. Extending that logic, we must treat suspects from all cultures with equal care. But what if not all cultures provide an equal threat? What if the people who engage in some cultures are more likely than others to participate in terrorism? Then, in order to maintain the multicultural fiction, we must bend over backwards not to check out threats from such cultures. Either that, or we must violate everyone’s civil rights equally.

The former is happening in the United States; the latter is happening in France, where the government has been knocking down the doors of hundreds of mosques on grounds of “preach[ing] hatred” or using “takfiri speech,” according to French imam Hassan El Alaoui. In the United States, we’d see such raids as a violation of the First and Fourth Amendments. In France, they have no such amendments. They do, however, have a multicultural view of the world.

Or at least they did. Across Europe, the reality of multiculturalism is hitting home. German chancellor Angela Merkel, who was recently named Time’s Person of the Year for taking in one million Syrian refugees, said, “Multiculturalism leads to parallel societies and therefore remains a ‘life lie’ … We want and we will reduce the number of refugees noticeably.” She was forced to denounce her own former viewpoint thanks to the fallout from her decisions: Refugee camps have turned into hotbeds of rape and child abuse. Mass Muslim immigration into Europe has heightened such challenges for years, of course, but the left and the press have suppressed such information.

No longer.

This is what happens when the West denies its values. Eventually, reality forces the West to confront the truth: Its own culture is superior to others, and that pretending otherwise creates real danger. But so long as leftists like President Obama remain in denial, that danger will only grow.


Church Slapped With Criminal Summons Over Worship Service 'Noise'

“Silent Night” has new meaning for a Louisiana church after they were issued criminal sanctions because their worship services exceeded 60 decibels — which is about the same noise level of a dishwasher.

The executive pastor of Vintage Church was issued a criminal summons and the rest of the staff was threatened with “physical arrest” if they used any microphones or amplified sound in their worship services, according to a lawsuit filed by Liberty Institute.

Jefferson Parish, Louisiana and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office are named in the lawsuit, alleging that the local government is “imposing unwarranted and unreasonable demands on the members of Vintage Church.”

“Federal and Louisiana law both protect Vintage Church from this sort of targeted enforcement,” Liberty Institute attorney Justin Butterfield said.

For the record, I reached out to the sheriff for comment, but he declined to speak to me.

The trouble started back in August when the small evangelical congregation announced plans to expand its existing sanctuary located within a subdivision.

However, that meant the church had to temporarily relocate its two Sunday morning worship services to an enclosed outdoor tent. The church applied for, and was granted, a permit to erect the structure.

On Aug. 9, a neighbor called authorities to complain about the noise levels.

On Aug. 18, the church was told by the sheriff’s office that any sounds before 8:50 a.m. had to be kept below 60 decibels. They also told the church they could not set up for the Sunday service until after 8:50 a.m.

Pastor Rob Wilton told me that was the start of what would become weekly visits by heavy-handed authorities.

“It’s been difficult,” he told me. “We have been consistently hassled by our neighbors and by the parish officials since the first of August — every single week.”

By Nov. 12, the sheriff’s office escalated its bullying tactics by issuing a stern warning to the church, vowing to either “issue summons or even ‘physically arrest’ Vintage Church personnel if any amplified sound were used by the church for the first service, including the pastor’s use of a microphone to preach, regardless of the sound levels.”

So that meant no microphones, no electric guitars, no musical instruments that required amplification.

The church complied with those demands — but it turned out not to matter. The following was written in the lawsuit:

“On Nov. 15th, 2015, six JPSO officers in six marked JPSO vehicles, plus Sheriff (Newell) Normand in an unmarked black SUV, arrived at Vintage Church in response to a neighbor’s call. Vintage Church was not using any sound amplification, but JPSO officers demanded to inspect the equipment in the Vintage Church’s tent to ensure that there was no sound amplification. Vintage Church’s pastors showed the JPSO officers that all sound equipment was unplugged. JPSO nevertheless issued a second summons to Pastor (Matt) Brichetto, stating that the sound levels were above 60 dB without any amplification at all.”

What the heck were they supposed to do — whisper the morning sermon?

“I preached without a microphone but we still received a second criminal summons,” the pastor told me. “They literally issued the summons in front of the congregation. Thankfully they allowed me to continue to preach.”

The executive pastor had previously been slapped with a criminal summons, delivered in front of stunned church members. “They even took his fingerprints on our property,” Pastor Wilton told me.

Let’s put this in some perspective, folks. The church was not hosting a weekly Guns & Roses concert. It was a worship service.

Liberty Institute says parish ordinances allow local residents to engage in all sorts of activities on Sunday morning that are much louder than 60 decibels.  “The parish allows things like lawn mowers and jackhammers starting at 8 a.m. on Sunday while placing these burdensome restrictions on the church,” attorney Butterfield told me.

If it’s okay to use a jackhammer on Sunday morning, why isn’t it okay to worship Jesus?

There are always two sides to a story. The neighbors may very well have a valid argument. But since neither the neighbors nor the sheriff’s office want to go on the record, we don’t know what that argument might be.

Regardless, the storm trooper tactics of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office are uncalled for.

“We are seeing more and more of this sort of hostility toward churches in the United States,” Butterfield told me. “Five or ten years ago the idea that a church would be issued a criminal summons and would be subjected to this sort of continuous investigation just for having a worship service would be unthinkable.”

I’m certain that Sheriff Normand has much more important things to do on a Sunday morning than bully and harass a small evangelical church.

Perhaps he might consider spending next Sunday reading the Good Book or the U.S. 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


18 December, 2015

The thought police are livid about my cartoon? Now that’s funny

By Bill Leak, a well-known Australian cartoonist

I don’t know an associate professor of sociology at Macquarie University called Amanda Wise, but she knows me. She knows me so well, in fact, that she’s not only able to tell me what my cartoons mean, but she’s also able to tell me what I was thinking while I was drawing them.

There I was, naively thinking that if I drew a group of poor Indian people trying to eat solar panels contained in parcels sent to them by the UN anyone seeing the cartoon would assume it meant the people in it were hungry. But, no. What I thought I was thinking wasn’t what I was thinking at all. According to Ms Wise, my “unequivocally racist” cartoon drew on “very base stereotypes of third world, underdeveloped people who don’t know what to do with technology”.

These and other startling revelations were included in an article by Amanda Meade in The Guardian on Monday. As well as being sternly reminded by the shocked Ms Wise that my cartoon would be unacceptable in Britain, the US and Canada (heaven forbid!), I was also told my cartoon was “racist” by no less an authority than Yin Paradies of Deakin University, whose research includes the economic effects of racism.

Professor Paradies didn’t think I’d made the people in my cartoon look hungry, either, but rather, in my own twisted, racist way, I’d managed to portray not only them but the entire population of India as “too stupid to handle renewable energy”.

I’ve been reliably informed my cartoon also triggered a hostile response from the sanctimonious but bloodthirsty mob who spend their time trawling the internet looking for anything they find offensive to provide them with an opportunity to join the orgy of competitive compassion and moral grandstanding that is Twitter.

Such people, understandably, are probably on a bit of a high at the moment having just spent a couple of weeks watching heroic and revered climate scientists such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Sean Penn and Robert Redford spouting a series of hypocritical platitudes in Paris that culminated in world leaders signing up to an agreement to meet again in five years so they can sign another one, thereby saving the world from an impending environmental catastrophe. Again.

No wonder they’re angry. First chance I get I spoil the party by reminding them that, back here, in the real world, there are billions of people who not only lack food, health, water and education, but also have no access to electricity, and more than 20 per cent of them live in India.

And there’s something obscene about the fact that there are billions of others who’ve had all those things all their coal-power-driven lives and they’re now distributing solar panels to the world’s poor because they think that provides a virtuous, if inadequate, form of electricity for which they should be grateful. I think that’s racist, I think it’s condescending, and I think it’s immoral. But it’s also the truth, and when an impertinent cartoonist dares to tell the truth these days he’d better watch out because telling the truth is a dangerously subversive thing to do.

It has the same ability to simultaneously shock some people while amusing others that four-letter words used to have when Lenny Bruce discovered he could use them to such devastating effect that his audiences would still be laughing while he was being dragged offstage by the police and arrested for obscenity.

In court, Bruce argued he was being denied his right to freedom of speech, and so he was. But I can’t help thinking he had it easy, living at a time when the only people who had to stand up for their rights to freedom of speech were comedians who wanted to say f. k in public.

And not only that, but the only people he had to worry about offending were undercover coppers in the audience whose job it was to be offended so they could arrest him for doing his job.

These days, the undercover policemen in the audience waiting for him to swear would be the least of his worries. They’d be outnumbered 100 to one by members of the Politically Correct Thought Police Task Force, all armed with iPhones and Twitter accounts, ready to pounce the moment he said something that might not necessarily offend them but could, potentially, offend someone else.

There’s no doubt the cartoon I drew for Monday’s paper offended a lot of people. While they might not have enjoyed looking at it, I’m quite sure they enjoyed using it as an excuse to parade their moral vanity.

And, while I prefer to discover there are people who think my cartoons are funny, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t derive a certain amount of pleasure from discovering they enrage the ones that don’t


'She'd get lost': Children's surprisingly old-fashioned answers when asked if Santa could be a woman

They haven't been talked out of reality yet

Children asked if Father Christmas could be a woman in a video have shocked viewers by overwhelmingly answering 'no'.

Creative agency Anomaly, based in London, asked children 'If Santa was a woman, could she do the job?' and young boys and girls gave surprisingly old fashioned answers, pointing out that she wouldn't be strong enough and her navigation skills wouldn't be up to scratch.

The 90-second video, which has been seen 10,000 times, was made to highlight gender bias and how it's present even at such a young age.

One boy, who didn't like the idea of a female Santa, said: 'Number one, she would get lost in the sky.'

While even girls answered no with one reason being  that she might become pregnant, which would interfere in her ability to do the job.

One girl said she would be breastfeeding while trying to deliver the presents, while another argued her baby bump would 'crush all the toys.'

A young boy worried she would 'get a headache'.

While another said: 'She'd have to go to the gym first,' because he thought she would not be strong enough to carry presents.

One boy said the sack of presents would 'be too heavy for a lady'.

A young girl was worried that female Santa won't have seen Father Christmas deliver the presents, so she wouldn't know what to do.

While another boy felt Santa is 'better at bossing around the elves.'

At the end of the film he is asked what he thinks the woman would be best at, 'Cooking,' he replied.

But equally alarming were the reasons why a female Santa would be better.

One boy answered: 'I think a lady Santa would be better because she could fit down the chimney quicker.'

It appeared he meant that a woman would be slimmer compared to Santa Claus's rotund figure.

But when one girl in the video said: 'Santa's stronger than a girl Santa,' there was young boy who disagreed and replied: 'How do you know?' He also said: 'Girls aren't any different than boys.'

Their innocent responses raise questions about how early gender bias becomes an issue.

Stuart Smith, Anomaly partner and chief strategy officer, said in a statement: 'We tested the idea by asking my kids, and their answers were uncomfortably surprising.

'What started as a bit of elfish fun about one issue, surfaced another. Who and what are shaping our children's gender perceptions?'



The Left's War on Religion

But Islam is OK, of course

For the briefest of moments, Sister John Bauer's sparkling smile - framed by her nun's habit, as she held the 10-point, 200-pound buck she bagged in Elk County, about 100 miles northeast of Pittsburgh - went viral statewide.

Within hours, the photo of the Elk County Catholic High School teacher received more than a million views on the Erie County Roman Catholic Diocese's Facebook page.

She told local reporters she didn't understand all the fuss: "In St. Marys, this is what you do. You go hunting. And everybody goes hunting. The coach, myself. The students."

She learned to hunt while serving in the Navy.

She bagged the buck on deer season's opening day; after three hours alone in her tree stand, waiting for a target to pass by, she prayed the rosary.

"After I realized I got the deer, I thanked God," she said, explaining that she views hunting as a spiritual endeavor and a form of conservation, a way to help ensure the deer population can be sustained by the land.

She shared the butchered meat - sausage and steaks - with two families.

Within days, the nearby Erie Diocese removed the Facebook post because of nasty comments posted by activists who apparently were offended enough by guns, God and hunting to feel justified in reacting offensively and lewdly.

God, guns and prayer have been intertwined as enemies of the political left ever since Barack Obama described Pennsylvania voters as being "bitter" over job losses and surmised that "they cling to guns or religion."

Despite handily winning this state twice, his and the left's hatred for the very people who voted for him has never waned. As with everything else he dislikes about traditional American culture, he has sought to "correct" the behavior of those people.

Last week, that corrective zeal reached an entirely new level when the left condemned the act of offering thoughts and prayers to the grieving, treating it as code for gun ownership.

The left wants religion confined to the four walls of a house of worship for a few hours on Sundays.

It tolerates the invocation of religion - mostly, the Gospel of Luke - only when necessary to coerce the devout to spend more money on government aid programs. The left uses religious metaphors as a way to reach the rabble; otherwise, it doesn't respect it.

This is no different than the left's occasional references to believing in our "hunting heritage" and "sporting traditions" instead of simply believing in a right to self-defense and gun ownership.

When the left unleashed aggressive social-media condemnations of people and politicians who offered prayers for those lost in the San Bernardino terror attack, many Americans (not just Republicans) were stupefied, angry - and then totally depressed to realize we had passed a tipping point.

The incident has caused Main Street Americans to confront the challenges their kids and grandkids will face in a post-Christian America.

American leftists have made a religion out of government; they were angry, not because people called for appeals to a higher being, but because it was to God - not government.

The left does not want Americans to lift up victims in prayer because it wants us to seek solace in public policy. Left-wing politicians think religion is an opiate for the masses, and they want to take the rabble off that drug.

It was no accident that this outburst of liberal anger included both guns and religion. The modern urban-coastal left believes guns and religion are totems for fools.

Even many liberal religious leaders have use for prayer only when it does not get in the way of liberal secular political aims.

That is why the liberal Interfaith Alliance, right after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, sent out a news release sharing sympathies and prayers with families of those attacks' victims. Yet that same group ripped on prayer in the aftermath of the terror attack on American soil, declaring: "It's time for a moratorium on thoughts and prayers."

Shaming the call for prayer in America is tragic. It is shaming our most basic freedoms, and it is the left's way to finally break through on shaming gun ownership - correcting what they see as one of America's great fault lines.


Religious vs. Political Islam

Americans take many things for granted. One of them is a rather brilliant decision made by the Founding Fathers, who were among the many settlers coming to the New World to escape religious oppression by state-affiliated faiths. The Founders decided that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Hence, while people were free to worship as they please, church and state would remain separate entities. Islam makes no such distinction, and America is in desperate need of a forthright conversation regarding the differences between religious and political Islam.

“Some Muslims come to the United States to practice their religion peacefully, and assimilate into the Western tradition of tolerance of other people’s liberties, including religious liberty — a tradition alien to the theocratic societies in which they grew up,” writes National Review’s Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor who led the case against the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. “Others come here to champion sharia, Islam’s authoritarian societal framework and legal code, resisting assimilation into our pluralistic society. Since we want to both honor religious liberty and preserve the Constitution that enshrines and protects it, we have a dilemma.”

Dilemma indeed. As McCarthy further explains, the overwhelming majority of people emigrating from Muslim-majority countries to Western nations are coming from societies where “Islam is a comprehensive ideological system that governs all human affairs, from political, economic, and military matters to interpersonal relations and even hygiene.” And while Islam does have religious tenets, McCarthy argues “these make up only a fraction of what is overwhelmingly a political ideology.”

At the center of that political ideology is Sharia Law, a system of governance that embraces such concepts as discrimination against women, homosexuals and non-believers, the suppression of free speech and unfettered economic activity, and the denial of due process and protection against cruel and unusual punishment. As recently as last week, while the world was acknowledging International Human Rights Day, the Obama administration’s Iranian “allies” announced a woman had been sentenced to death by stoning. Thus 21st century Muslim societies still countenance burying people up to their shoulders and pelting them with stones until they die. According to the International Committees against Execution and Stoning, Iran has meted out that particular punishment at least 150 times since 1980.

Now, one might think Muslims emigrating to nations that view such barbarity with contempt might be inclined to heartily embrace more enlightened views of their new countries. Not exactly. A poll released last June by the Center for Security Policy reveals that 51% of Muslims believe “Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.” By comparison, 86% of the broader U.S. population held that Sharia should not replace the Constitution. Even more ominously, nearly 25% of Muslims surveyed insisted violence is legitimate “to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed,” and nearly a fifth believed violence was justified to turn America into a sharia-based nation.

Such thinking can be characterized as many things. A commitment to assimilation isn’t one of them.

And not just here. The United Kingdom has already abided the establishment of at least 30 Sharia Councils, responsible for the issuance of Islamic divorce certificates and the offering of advice on other aspects of religious law. They have existed since 1996, courtesy of the Arbitration Act allowing various religious laws to be applied in cases such as divorce. They are abetted by cultural surrenderists, such as the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who insisted in 2008 that some aspects of Sharia Law would be beneficial in terms of social “cohesion”; former senior judge Baroness Butler-Sloss, who chaired a two year commission that ultimately decided Britain is no longer a Christian country and should stop acting as if it is; and Britain’s Labour Party leader who vowed he would outlaw “Islamophobia” had he become prime minister in last May’s election.

They’re not alone. Demonstrating an equal amount of ignorance and appeasement, a bipartisan majority of U.S. senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee adopted an amendment by Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) aimed at preventing the federal government from considering religion as part of the process in immigration and entrance decisions, because “such action would be contrary to the fundamental principles on which this Nation was founded.” Such consideration is currently the law for those seeking asylum.

Not only do these senators completely ignore the political aspect of Islam, their proposal runs completely contrary to the thinking of Founding Fathers such as James Madison, who stated “those who acquire the rights of citizenship, without adding to the strength or wealth of the community are not the people we are in want of.” Likewise, Alexander Hamilton asserted that the “safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment.”

The alternative? “To admit foreigners indiscriminately to the rights of citizens the moment they put foot in our country,” Hamilton warned, “would be nothing less than to admit the Grecian horse into the citadel of our liberty and sovereignty.”

To their credit, there are Muslims who recognize the difference and reject Sharia Law. A Muslim Reform Movement has been established whose adherents declare they “are in a battle for the soul of Islam, and an Islamic renewal [that] must defeat the ideology of Islamism, or political Islam.” Toward that end they “reject interpretations of Islam that call for a violent jihad, social injustice and political Islam” and declare loyalty “to the nations in which we live.” On Dec. 4, 2015, the group produced a Declaration for Muslim Reform and posted it on the door of the Islamic Center of Washington, DC.

It was quickly taken down. In an article for Front Page Magazine, Dr. Steven M. Kirby expressed profound skepticism, labeling the movement “Fantasy Islam” because, while well-intentioned, it is utterly inimical to the tenets of the Koran. “If folks are serious about religious reform, one thinks they would like to maintain some connection to their own religious traditions as a basis for that reform,” Kirby writes. “But the Muslim Reform Movement has apparently decided otherwise and seems more interested in establishing a connection with the non-Muslim Western world as the basis for their reform.”

Middle East Forum president and historian Daniel Pipes explains the underlying problem with modern-day Islam. “The trauma of modern Islam results from this sharp and unmistakable contrast between medieval successes and more recent tribulations,” he writes. “Put simply, Muslims have had an exceedingly hard time explaining what went wrong.” The search for an answer has precipitated “three political responses to modernity — secularism, reformism and Islamism.”

Secularism is an effort to emulate Western values, reformism an effort to selectively appropriate them, and Islamism is the effort to thoroughly reject those values as a means of transforming “faith into ideology.” “Islamists espouse deep antagonism toward non-Muslims in general, and Jews and Christians in particular,” Pipes notes. “They despise the West both because of its huge cultural influence and because it is a traditional opponent — the old rival, Christendom, in a new guise. Some of them have learned to moderate their views so as not to upset Western audiences, but the disguise is thin and should deceive no one.”

Unfortunately, virtually the entire American Left and a considerable number of Republicans are more than willing to be deceived, because a stultifying political correctness demands it. Thus we are assured a vetting process that allowed San Bernardino terrorist Tashfeen Malik entry in the United States despite years of radicalization — discovered after the atrocity, of course — can be used to vet Syrian “refugees” emigrating from a country embroiled in a civil war where no reliable databases exist. We are assured the continuing emigration of more than a quarter of a million Muslims per year, helping to make them the fastest growing bloc of immigrants entering the nation, poses no threat to the Republic. And anyone who disagrees embraces the “racism behind the agenda of the right wing on immigrants and foreigners [that] has long been plain as day,” states The New York Times editorial board.

Following Paris and San Bernardino, such assertions ring increasingly hollow. Moreover, they might very well be obliterated by “events on the ground”: a terror plot discovered last Friday reveals that Chicago, along with Geneva and Toronto, may be targeted by the Islamic State.

McCarthy explains, “If we continue mindlessly treating Islam as if it were merely a religion, if we continue ignoring the salient differences between constitutional and sharia principles — thoughtlessly assuming these antithetical systems are compatible — we will never have a sensible immigration policy.”

Make no mistake: There is no “right” to enter our nation. And a progressive ideology that willingly ignores the difference between religious and political Islam — for political correctness' sake — is utterly anathema to national security and national sovereignty.



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, 2015

UK: The great public backlash over bid to curb freedom law: 30,000 people submit views to government review

Ministers have been hit with a huge public backlash over plans to neuter the Freedom of Information Act, the Daily Mail can reveal.

Some 30,000 members of the public, campaigners, civil society groups and journalists have submitted their views to a government review of the legislation.

Such is the scale of the response, the review has been put back by several months so they can be considered.

From a sample of responses, the public is overwhelmingly supportive of the Act.

Yesterday the Mail revealed how public sector bureaucrats are demanding the transparency law be reined in to stop the flow of revelations about scandals in the NHS, police, town halls and education.

They complained that the Act was too expensive and that key services such as elderly care would suffer unless it was curbed. But, alongside their submissions to the Commission on Freedom of Information, are those from thousands of ordinary people who are outraged by the threat to the law.

A sample of the submissions published by the Commission online include former public sector workers warning about the importance of FoI in preventing cover-ups. Others point out the scale of spending by taxpayer-funded bodies on spin and marketing, which dwarfs the costs of FoI requests.

The Commission panel, many of whom are no friends of FoI, is examining ways to restrict the public’s right to ask for data held by government and other public bodies.

It was due to report by the end of November. But the scale of the submissions means it has been delayed by months. Officials are now planning a series of evidence hearings at the end of next month.

Jeanetta Shearer, a retired GP practice manager, wrote: ‘Without scrutiny, it becomes possible to maintain secrecy over information that is merely embarrassing or shows people in positions of trust or power in a poor light.

‘Secrecy often becomes a goal in its own right, covering up all manner of misdeeds.’ Robbie Guillory wrote: ‘As the old saying goes “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”, and having the FoI taken away from the public, or hidden behind a pay-wall, is a good way to continue that corruption.’

Roger Saxon wrote: ‘These bodies spend vastly more on non-statutory advertising and PR. Public information is the lifeblood of democracy, not just an optional add-on that can be suppressed because it costs a small amount of money.’

Another submission, from James Pragnell, said: ‘Charging for information would be tantamount to censorship for people who could not afford the charges.’

Patrick Twist made a similar point, adding: ‘Of course there is a cost to providing that service but it is no more a burden than the cost of employing a nurse is a “burden” on the NHS.

‘I consider it highly likely that any costs of complying with FoI requests are more than made up for by the savings made through the uncovering of waste and fraud.’

Tim Davies said: ‘FoI requests should not be viewed as a “burden”: they are the very template of a genuinely democratic society.’

Jill Sanders, from the Friends of Hurst Park, wrote: ‘I have worked in a large local authority; I have seen how most senior officers disapprove of FoI and consider it an imposition. All the more reason to protect it: for the common man.’

Gavin Barker, a former civil servant added: ‘The public must have a right to know what is done in their name – always. That is the necessary burden borne by public departments in any genuine democratic system.’

The panel is led by former Treasury mandarin Lord Burns.

In a statement published on its website he said: ‘I’m pleased to have received approximately 30,000 submissions of evidence from individuals, campaign groups, journalists and civil society organisations from all over the country.

‘Given the large volume of evidence that we have received, it will take time to read and consider all of the submissions.’


Cruz: Obama ‘More Interested in Promoting Homosexuality in the Military Than He Is in Defeating Our Enemy’

Morale in the U.S. military has “plummeted” in recent years because President Barack Obama “doesn’t support our soldiers,” won’t even name the enemy “radical Islamic terrorism,” and is “more interested in promoting homosexuality in the military” than in “defeating our enemy,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

During a conference call with Bishop E.W. Jackson of the National Emergency Coalition (NEC), Senator Cruz said, “You look at the military and one of the things we’ve seen is morale in the military under the Obama administration has plummeted, and it has plummeted because you have a commander-in-chief that doesn’t support our soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marines."

“You have a commander-in-chief that doesn’t stand up against our enemies, that won’t even acknowledge or say the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism,’” said Cruz. “And you have a commander-in-chief that treats the military as a cauldron for social experimentation.”

“He’s more interested in promoting homosexuality in the military than he is in defeating our enemy,” said the senator.

“So, for example,” he added,  “the military is now focused on trying to promote transgender soldiers. The role of the military is not to be some left-wing social experiment.”

“The reason we have the brave men and women who sign up as servicemen and women to defend this nation is to stand for our values, to protect our safety and security, to protect innocent men and women, and to stand up and defeat our enemies,” said Cruz.

In conclusion, he said,  “I would stop the shameless politicizing of our military to push a left-wing agenda that is contrary to the values and contrary to who we are as an American people and a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values.”


Tyson Fury: falling victim to PC tyranny

It’s an outrage that the police are investigating Fury’s beliefs

If you were in any doubt that Britain is skating perilously close to tyrannical territory, get this: the boxer Tyson Fury is being investigated by police over his comments on homosexuality. Fury, a Manchester-based boxer who became the heavyweight champion of the world at the end of last month, is a born-again Christian. He thinks homosexuality is sinful. In a recent newspaper interview he compared it to paedophilia. And now, after receiving a complaint from a member of the public at 10.30 this morning, Greater Manchester Police will put him under the spotlight to determine if his words constituted a hate crime.

To put this another way: in 2015, in a nation that claims to be liberal and democratic, a nation which just last week launched missiles attacks on ISIS to demonstrate its love for liberty against ISIS’s desire to traduce our enlightened values, a man is being investigated by the authorities over his beliefs; his convictions; his deeply held faith. The police are opening a file on Fury, not over any physical act he carried out, not for robbery or assault or affray, but because he thought and said something that many people disagree with.

British politicians wring their hands over Saudi Arabia’s arrest of blasphemous bloggers or ISIS’s severe punishment of those who doubt the Prophet. Yet at the same time they give the nod as police investigate a man who dares to hold to Biblical scripture on homosexuality. In fact, they wrote the very hate-speech laws that allow those judged to be overly Godly, too Biblically literal, to be investigated for ‘hate crimes’. Is this not religious persecution, too? The potential punishment of someone for believing in God in a particular way? Sure, Fury won’t be flogged or even jailed, but the principle is the same here as it is in Saudi Arabia: officialdom presumes it has the tyrannical authority to question and punish individuals for what is inside their minds and hearts.

Some will say that Greater Manchester Police’s opening of an investigation into Fury is, at this point, a formality. And that’s true. Every complaint of a ‘hate crime’ must be investigated by the cops. Yes, it takes just one person phoning them up and saying, ‘Someone said something that I think is a hate crime’, for the police to poke their noses into our speech and ideas. The police might later decide that there’s no case to pursue against Fury and leave it at that.

But it is outrageous that they have even opened an investigation. It’s not enough for them, or us, to say, ‘Hate-speech laws demand that every complaint be taken seriously and that’s why we’re looking into Fury’; we should campaign to abolish any law that empowers the police or any other wing of the state even to think about feeling someone’s collar simply because he holds unpopular or strange or non-mainstream beliefs and has the temerity to express them.

The police probe into Fury’s comments confirms that hate-speech laws facilitate actual, old-fashioned, moral censorship. Apologists for hate-speech legislation claim it’s only about tackling explicitly racist or bigoted comments. (As if that wouldn’t be bad enough: racists and bigots should be as free as everyone else to express themselves.) But hate-speech laws also punish moral convictions, religious beliefs, political speech. In Europe in recent years, Christian pastors have been arrested for denouncing homosexuality; people have been fined for describing the Islamic ritual slaughter of animals as ‘barbaric’; columnists who want to stop immigration have been grassed to the police. These are viewpoints, whether you like them or not, and they’re no business whatsoever of officialdom. The Fury case should remind us that one man’s hate speech is another man’s belief system. Fury really believes homosexuality is sinful. Deal with it.

The spread of hate-monitoring, which is just a fancy term for thoughtpolicing, represents a reversal of the Enlightenment we’re supposed to be defending against Islamists and nihilists. Post-Inquisition, the great English jurist Edward Coke insisted that ‘No man, ecclesiastical or temporal, shall be examined upon the thoughts of his heart’. Today, a man is being investigated over the contents of his heart, over his expression of faith. Loads of people are. There should be a lot more anger about this. If the police make plans to go to Fury’s home to question him, there should be people outside, stopping them, pushing them back, expelling the state from the realm of belief and speech.


Our Timid Military Leaders

By Walter E. Williams

This month, President Barack Obama's defense secretary, Ashton Carter, decreed that there will be 220,000 combat military jobs offered to women — including in Army special operations forces and the Navy SEALs. He said, "They'll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars and lead infantry soldiers into combat ... and everything else that was previously open only to men."

Technological changes since the time of the M60 Patton, embodied in the M1 Abrams tank, mean that a woman can probably drive a tank. But what if track pads or a tank track has to be repaired in the field and under enemy fire? Such repairs pose a significant physical challenge to men, who generally have far greater strength than women. Will our military leaders relieve women from such a task, claiming that demanding equal performance creates a "disparate," sexually discriminatory impact?

Then there's hand-to-hand combat training, which comes near the end of the Army's basic training. Recruits spend a few hours facing off against each other in pugil stick bouts. Pugil sticks are padded training weapons used since World War II by each branch of the military to train service members for hand-to-hand rifle and bayonet combat. The object of the training is to subdue your opponent. Women are at a severe disadvantage because upper-body strength really counts.

Given the timidity and character of today's military leaders, I predict several possibilities: Training with pugil sticks will be banned, or servicewomen will train only against other servicewomen, or, if the training is integrated, servicemen will be court-martialed if they knock out or knock down a servicewoman. Even if our military leaders fudge this aspect of training, what happens in actual combat when hand-to-hand skills are called upon? I wouldn't be surprised if today's military leaders call for an amendment protocol to the Geneva Conventions to make the hand-to-hand killing of a female fighter a war crime.

What about other training standards? The Army's physical fitness test in basic training is a three-event physical performance test used to assess endurance.
The minimum requirement for 17- to 21-year-old males is 35 pushups, 47 situps and a 2-mile run in 16 minutes, 36 seconds or less. For females of the same age, the minimum requirement is 13 pushups, 47 situps and a 19:42 2-mile run. Equal fitness standards would wash most women out.

"USMC Women in the Service Restrictions Review" found that the average woman has 20 percent lower aerobic power, 40 percent lower muscle strength, 47 percent less lifting strength and 26 percent slower marching speed than the average man. Women are less likely to be able to march under load — 12.4 miles in five hours with a 71-pound assault load — and to be able to crawl, sprint and negotiate obstacles with that load and move a casualty weighing 165 pounds or more while carrying that load.

There are other differences between male and female troops. Women are twice as likely to suffer injuries and are three times more undeployable than men. Servicewomen are four times likelier to report being ill than servicemen. The percentage of servicewomen being medically unavailable at any time is twice that of servicemen. Then there's pregnancy. Each year, between 10 and 17 percent of servicewomen become pregnant.

Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of military social engineering is the cover-up of failure. Officers who criticize double standards or expose official lies and deception about servicewomen's performance risk their careers. Those official lies and deception will eventually reveal themselves with unnecessary loss of lives on the battlefield.

Finally, the Selective Service System's website (http://www.sss.gov) reads: "While there has been talk recently about women in combat, there has been NO decision to require females to register with Selective Service, or be subject to a future military draft. Selective Service continues to register only men, ages 18 through 25."

How can that, coupled with reduced performance standards, possibly be consistent with the Defense Department's stated agenda "to provide a level, gender-neutral playing field"?



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, 2015

Australia:  Male feminist is in deep trouble

Jack Kilbride is a student at the University of Melbourne. Like me, he seems to think that Fairfax columnist Clementine Ford is a bit of a ratbag. So he wrote a politically savvy article (see below) that called for feminists to reach out to others rather than alienate them.  But reaching out is the last thing feminists want to do.  Stewing in their own hate is their thing.  So poor Jack has attracted a flood of condemnation for his thoughts.  His article was published in the Far-Left "New Matilda" and was passed for publication by Chris Graham -- another uncomprehending male.  So Chris has been in deep do-do too. His "Mea culpa" is here.  Is there such a thing as a moderate feminist?  I guess so but they would be unwise to say what they think in Leftist circles

I am a man and I am a feminist. I wholeheartedly condemn the actions of the men who have threatened and abused feminist writer Clementine Ford. I also commend the decision of one particular boss who opted to terminate the contract of Mathew Nolan after his embarrassing and disgusting remarks. However, while Clementine Ford is a great advocate of the feminist movement in this country, her strategy may be doing more harm than good.

We obviously need people like Clementine, breaking down walls on the front line in the push for equality. Illuminating the dark, misogynistic corners of our society so that women can walk the streets without the fear of assault and abuse.

These people are important, but slapping one man on the wrist so publicly has inevitably isolated thousands more.

Scores of men are posting across social media, infuriated by the whole situation. In their eyes, crazy Clementine is just a whiney girl with daddy issues that despises all men. While their hatred may arguably prove that Ford’s writing is doing its job, it has also highlighted the continued divide between sexists and feminists in Australian society.

A gap we need to close.

The problem with writers like Clementine Ford is although their sentiment is justified, their vitriolic writing style means that people will always get offended. Unfortunately, those getting offended are usually the ones who need to read it the most.

If we are to give our young girls a more safe and equal society to grow up in, we need everyone on our side. The people who are abusing Clementine are the problem and reinforcing the battle lines between feminist and bigot is not going to help them change. And, if they don’t change, then nothing will.

Think of it this way. There are men, like myself, who are feminists and believers that true equality for women is paramount to our future.

We are not the people that need convincing. We are not the people assaulting our women in the streets, scoffing at calls for equal pay, or abusing writers on the Internet. We are already on your side.

Then there are the other men.

The men catcalling you on your way to the shops. The men groping and assaulting you in the nightclubs. The boss telling you they didn’t give you a promotion because they didn’t think you could handle it. The men who make you scared to walk home at night for fear of being raped. The men telling you that maybe you should dress more appropriately to avoid the unwanted stares and slurs. The men abusing Clementine across social media.

The mission of feminism is to make these men change and starting fights with them is only making that mission harder. We need a way to bring them in and luckily we may already have one.

On the 20th of September last year, beloved actress Emma Watson stood in front of the United Nations and produced one of the strongest and most well received feminist speeches in decades.

“Men think it’s a women’s word and it’s only for women, but really it just means you stand for equality,” Watson said in launching the HeforShe movement. “If you stand for equality, you are a feminist.”

“I have realised that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.”

Watson’s words were plastered throughout the media, presenting feminism as a way to improve society as a whole, not just the lives of women. It was a positive push for change; a fresh approach to the shouting and shaming that feminism has sadly become associated with.

If we want to actually change our world we need to stop trying to knock down the wall and instead, start helping people climb over.

Watson showed us a better path; it would be nice if we started to walk it.


Multicultural sisters stabbed a grandmother to death on her doorstep in petty row over brown sauce

Charice, 19, and Amberstasia Gassman, 22, were convicted of the killing of a grandmother after they clashed because the condiment had been smeared over Alison Connolly's daughter's bicycle seat.

Grandmother Mrs Connolly, 49, who had eight children and seven grandchildren, was fatally stabbed in the chest with a steak knife on the doorstep of her daughter's flat in Swindon, Wiltshire.

The single deadly blow was delivered by Charice Gassmann, who was described as 'a bully out for revenge'. 

The stabbing came after Mrs Connolly confronted Charice in a local shop about the mess found on her daughter Kylie Hayes' pushbike.

Charice was left with a bloodied forehead after being headbutted by Mrs. Connolly and was heard saying: 'I'm going to f*****g nank some b****'.

A jury at Bristol Crown Court convicted Charice of murder and her sister of manslaughter.

Detective Sergeant Liz Coles said: 'This was a brutal attack on a mum-of-eight and a grandmother-of-seven during the middle of the day, within a communal area.  'Alison suffered a single stab wound to her chest which tragically proved fatal.

'Both Charice and Amberstasia are violent individuals who have shown no remorse for their actions.

'As a result, eight people have been left without their mother, and seven children will now grow up without their grandmother.'

The family of Ms Connolly said: 'We are completely devastated to have lost our mum in such a cruel and horrific way.

Nobody deserves to die in such awful circumstances. She was a brilliant mum and grandma - full of life, happy, funny and caring.  'We miss her every single day and wish she was still here with us.

'We will now try as best as we can to rebuild our lives as our mum would have wanted. We will always remember mum and will treasure the memories we have of her.'

Charice Gassman was jailed for life and told she will spend at least 19 years in prison.

Amberstasia was sentenced to 12 years for manslaughter and ordered to serve at a least six of them.

Judge Graham Cottle told them: 'Both of you were involved in a joint enterprise which left Alison bleeding to death from a stab injury inflicted by you. 'She died there and those near and dear to her have been deprived of a mother and a grandmother and a very good friend.

'That afternoon, in what was clearly a prolonged incident, Alison had gone to a convenience store. 'It's not possible to know what was said but there was this continuation of this unpleasantness.  'Alison delivered a headbutt to you. It was painful and caused injury to your forehead.

'You wanted to settle the score. This killing is explained by the fact that you wanted revenge.'

Mrs. Connolly's family said they will never forgive the killer sisters. Her daughter Tanya Hayes, 30, said: 'My beautiful, happy, loving mummy has gone. We have never had a death in my family. At first I couldn't believe it. She will never get to spend time with her grandchildren.

'I wish I could call her. I wish I could give her one last hug. I will never forgive the girls who did this to her. I think my mum would've forgiven them but she is not here.'

The court heard Charice had a previous conviction for biting a 14-year-old on the face.

She looked visibly upset as she waved to her family while she was removed from the dock along with her sister.


Rev. Graham Backs Air Force Prayer: 'Since When is Voluntary Prayer Scandalous or Putrid?'

Reverend Franklin Graham is expressing outrage at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an atheist group that is demanding that the Air Force Academy football team quit praying on the field before games.

On Dec. 5 in San Diego, several member of the Air Force Academy Falcons knelt in prayer before the game. Mikey Weinstein, president and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, complained.

"It’s a disgrace,” Weinstein told NBC San Diego. “It’s a putrid example of fundamentalist Christian supremacy, triumphalism and exceptionalism and it has to stop. Those individuals that are dressed in the Air Force uniform; that’s their uniform of the day. They’re members of the military and they are under different rules than the civilian counterparts they’re playing on the field."

Reverend Graham took issue with Weinstein on Facebook:

    "Atheist Mikey Weinstein and his ironically named Military Religious Freedom Foundation is now picking on the US Air Force Academy (Official) football team! After seeing Falcon players kneel in prayer before last Saturday’s game against San Diego State, he says it must stop. He said Air Force players participating in public prayer “is a scandalous outrage” and calls it “a disgrace” and “a putrid example of Christian supremacy.” Since when is voluntary prayer scandalous or putrid? The Air Force Academy now says that it will conduct an inquiry into the situation. I call this a foul! Join me in praying that the religious freedoms of these young men will not be taken away as a result of one bitter person bent on removing God and His Son Jesus Christ from everything in this country. America owes its blessings to Almighty God—and our founding fathers knew that.

    Pray that the Falcons will be allowed to continue their voluntary time of prayer—and let them know your support and encouragement in the comments below".

The Air Force announced plans to formally look into the situation and issued a statement:

    "The United States Air Force Academy is attentive to all religious freedom concerns, and we are conducting an inquiry into the complaint. The Air Force is dedicated to maintaining an environment in which people can realize their highest potential, regardless of personal religious or other beliefs."


All religions are not the same

In the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris one month ago, millions of people across the world took to social media to express their horror at what had happened and to convey their support for the city’s citizens.

It seemed harmless enough, and there was no disputing the noble intentions and goodwill behind the rapidly widespread hashtag #PrayForParis, but a single response exposed the inappropriateness of invoking faith for an attack brought about by a misguided devotion to faith.

It came from Charlie Hebdo illustrator Joann Sfar, a man more qualified than most to comment on the brutal reality of terrorism in his homeland.

“Friends from the whole world,” he tweeted, “thank you for #PrayForParis, but we don’t need more religion! Our faith goes to music! Kisses! Life! Champagne and joy! #Parisisaboutlife.”

Some might ask what’s the harm in believing in the power of prayer? Query why anyone would object to turning to a higher power for solace and solidarity in a time of unspeakable tragedy?

For Sfar, who has witnessed first-hand the bloodshed that the devout seek to justify as devotion to a higher power, the answer is unambiguous — even if he is largely alone in his willingness to reveal our warm and fuzzy prayers to be the dangers they are.

It was his workplace, Charlie Hebdo, that became a target for Islamic extremists in January when brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi stormed the magazine’s offices and killed 12 people in retaliation for the repeated publishing of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

“We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad,” witnesses reported the gunmen as shouting, confirming the attack was a direct response to the magazine’s long and proud history of lampooning religious figures, from the Pope to Muhammad.

It was the refusal of Charlie Hebdo’s editors to be censored by outraged believers, who took offence to their respective faiths being ridiculed, that saw religious extremists embark on a killing spree.

So you’ll forgive Sfar’s unwillingness to see yet more carnage at the hands of religious extremists used as a platform to promote praying, however benign those prayers might be.

It’s at this point many will argue that not all religions are created equal when it comes to facilitating the murders carried out in their name. And while the history books would suggest none of the major faiths can claim not to have blood on their hands, there’s no denying Islam has proven a uniquely potent recruitment tool for modern jihadists.

It’s not only disingenuous to pretend otherwise, as many do, but is profoundly unhelpful. Shutting down all analysis, or refusing to ask difficult questions in the aftermath of a siege or a massacre, might be “polite” but it’s also hopelessly counter-productive.

We all know the script: within hours of an act of terror being carried out by Islamic fundamentalists, well-meaning political leaders tell us that it has nothing to do with Islam, and in fact is behaviour that flies in the face of what we are assured is a very peaceful religion.

Note I said “well-meaning”. Because it’s not hard to understand their reasoning and it is indeed vital that innocent Muslims (which is, of course, the overwhelming majority of Muslims) do not become the undeserved target of abuse and paranoia.

But a willingness to speak up for the majority does not, and should not, excuse political leaders from condemning the minority. And to truly condemn fundamentalist Islam — and indeed eradicate it — demands more than a cowardly refusal to speak up for fear of offending religious sensibilities.

Guess what, guys? If we’re going to get serious about addressing the violence and abuse carried out in the name of religion — and that goes for all religions — then we’re going to have to get serious about addressing the one-eyed ideology and zealotry certain holy books transmit to the vulnerable and the dangerous.

Whether it’s the Catholic Church condoning the systemic prejudice against women and homosexuals, or Islam implicitly endorsing a literal interpretation of the Koran to a violent believer, we can no longer afford to tiptoe around these issues for fear of causing offence.

The key to a peaceful and tolerant society is the clear division between church and state, and that requires our laws and politicians to be beholden only to secular values. Murmuring platitudes about personal beliefs is a cop out.

As British counterextremist expert and former member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Maajid Nawaz, wrote in a searingly honest piece in The Wall Street Journal this weekend, world leaders are only compounding the problem of Islamic fundamentalism by refusing to acknowledge the Islamic part of the equation.

“Islamic State does indeed have something to do with Islam — not nothing, not everything, but something,” he wrote. “That something is the way in which all Islamists justify their arguments using Islamic scripture and seek to recruit from Muslims.”


Former Australian PM Stokes Islam Debate: ‘Not All Cultures Are Equal’

Calls by Australia’s conservative former prime minister for Islam to be reformed have stoked debate, with some critics accusing him of behavior reminiscent of Donald Trump.

Never one to shy away from controversy, Tony Abbott – who remains a member of parliament three months after losing a party leadership challenge and thus the premiership – said in a letter published in a Sydney tabloid this week that the West “can’t remain in denial about the massive problem within Islam.”

“Islam never had its own version of the Reformation and the Enlightenment or a consequent acceptance of pluralism and the separation of church and state,” he wrote.

“It’s not culturally insensitive to demand loyalty to Australia and respect for Western civilization. Cultures are not all equal. We should be ready to proclaim the clear superiority of our culture to one that justifies killing people in the name of God.”

Abbott’s political rivals accused him of bigotry, with some trying to draw parallels with GOP presidential candidate Trump and his recent call for Muslims to be temporarily banned from entering the U.S.

Andrew Leigh, a senior lawmaker in the opposition Labor Party, called Abbott an “Australian Donald Trump” while another Labor member of parliament, Ed Husic – who is Muslim – wondered in a television interview whether Abbott and others were trying to “Trumpify Australian politics by bringing in the extreme elements of conservative discussion within the U.S. political system to Australian shores.”

The criticism lead to newspaper headlines like: “Australia ex-PM Tony Abbott defends Trump-like ‘modernize’ Islam comment.”

But after delivering a speech in Singapore on Wednesday night, Abbott did not back down.

“Not all cultures are equal,” he told the audience at an event hosted by the Institute for International Strategic Studies Asia. “And I am more than ready to assert the superiority of a culture that is decent and humane, open and welcoming, over a culture that thinks it's right to kill in the name of God.”

Abbott said “the allure” of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) must be addressed. “Part of that is defeating it – because as long as it survives, there is this idea that somehow it is of God, and if it fails, almost by definition, it is not.”

Abbott was also asked his views on Trump, and replied cautiously, saying it was not his habit to speak about other country’s politics.  But he did observe that looking at the U.S. from a distance, “there appears to be a degree of popular alienation from Washington in general and the leadership of both major parties in particular.”

“Now I would very much be inclined to think that at some stage in the Republican nominating process the frontrunner will come back to the pack – that would be my instinct,” Abbott said.

“Because certainly the sorts of things that he [Trump] said would suggest that he would be an interesting person to be the leader of the free world.”

Australian Islamic leaders rejected the notion that Islam needs to be reformed.  “Islam is not in any need of reformation since the normative principles and practices of the religion allow Muslims to harmoniously coexist within pluralist societies that are based on the universal values of compassion and justice,” said Australia’s grand mufti, Ibrahim Abu Mohammad.

The Egyptian-born Sunni cleric has himself stoked controversy on occasion, most recently with a statement following last month’s terror attacks in Paris highlighting the need to address what he called “causative factors [of terrorism] such as racism, Islamophobia, curtailing freedoms through securitization, duplicitous foreign policies and military intervention.”

(Amid negative reaction, the mufti then said he was not implying that the “causative factors” justify terrorism.)

The ambassador of Indonesia, Australia’s near neighbor and the world’s most populous Islamic nation, called Abbott’s remarks unhelpful.  “A rhetoric boasting of cultural and religious superiority over other cultures and religions is unhelpful to the cause and divisive,” Nadjib Riphat Kesoema told the Australian Associated Press.

“It is important for us including the multicultural societies of Australia and Indonesia to keep our focus on efforts to creating a long-term solution to the common challenges of violent extremism that we face.”

Abbott’s successor, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told Australia’s national broadcaster that Abbott was “entitled to his opinion.”

“I’d simply make the observation again that the one thing that we need to be very careful not to do – and I’m sure Tony agrees with this by the way – what we must not do is play into the hands of our enemies and seek to tag all Muslims with responsibility for the crimes of a few,” 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


15 December, 2015

The biology that feminists ignore

I really think feminism is a form of insanity.  It certainly ignores large slices of reality.  Almost any mother will tell you that her sons were boyish from the beginning and that her daughters were girly from the beginning.  So let me add a few little anecdotes to that effect:

A family I am close to have a 5-year old boy who has been boyish from the beginning.  At age 5 he loves building things.  And there is also a 2 year old girl in the family. I have just received an email from the mother concerned in which she said that her daughter "doesn’t have an ounce of ‘tom boy’ in her. I tried to dress her in a brown top yesterday and she cried until I took it off and replaced it with a pink one!"  LOL

I often have brunch in a coffee shop which is well attended by middle-class young mothers during the day. And I have always been a bit astounded by the almost totally invariant colours that the mothers put on their children.  In whole or in part, it almost always is pink for girls and blue for boys.  I often wondered at such a strong consensus but now I think I understand it.  It is at least in part what the kids themselves demand!  I remember that my son was quite choosy about his clothes when he was aged 2 or thereabouts.

And I know another family in which the mother IS a tomboy. She dresses in a way that feminists would applaud.  But to her great surprise, she found that she has a totally girly girl!  Now aged 5.  The little girl's genetic code completely swamped any example from her mother.  But her mother is a loving soul who buys her daughter plastic tiaras and lots of frilly things so there is no horrible feminism to upset the little girl.  She claims to be a "Princess" and we all just smile indulgently. 

A relative bought her from overseas a very girly dress -- all frills and gauze and bows -- the sort of thing you would normally see only in the Philippines these days.  But the little girl loved it and proclaimed it her favourite dress.

And it is relevant that the mother concerned has a fraternal twin sister who was a born Lady, very feminine from her earliest years.  The two girls grew up in the same environment but their genetics separated them starkly.  Being twins, they still get on well, however.

And I have mentioned before that a mother I know had 3 little boys in close succession who tended to play together.  She gave them boy toys -- trucks, trains, guns etc -- but one day was sufficiently influenced by feminist talk to see if her boys might like a doll.  So she gave them one.  In short order they ripped  its eyes out and tore its legs off -- and ignored it thereafter.  Normal boys do NOT like dolls!

I helped bring up a boy who one Christmas was delighted to get a "transformer" toy called Optimus Prime.  It could be changed either into a truck or a warrior.  Being a bit of a tease, I told him that his "warrior" toy was actually a doll. He was quite outraged and vehemently denied it!

And normal mothers don't harass their kids over their choice of toys.  The floods of tears are not worth it. In fact, some mothers are sufficiently impressed by the experience of having a totally boyish boy to become anti-feminists.  They become advocates for their sons in the face of feminist oppression at school and elsewhere -- JR.

There are now EIGHTY-FIVE Islamic courts dispensing 'justice' across the UK

Sitting in one room, a young Muslim woman tells an elderly cleric about the parlous state of her marriage to a 50-year-old man. ‘He oppressed me to the maximum,’ she declares. ‘He is violent, physically, and treats me like a dog.’

The woman — who looks barely out of her early 20s — describes her spouse as verbally and physically abusive about ‘every little thing’ she does.

When the husband’s around, he forces her to wear a headscarf. When he isn’t, which is often, he likes to travel to Tunisia, where she suspects he has secretly married several other women.

For all she knows, she adds, he might have accumulated as many as ten other wives. Fighting back tears, as she finishes this tale of betrayal, the woman glances to the cleric, who has a long white beard, and sits at a raised desk in front of a bookcase full of Islamic texts. Perhaps she’s hoping for a supportive smile, confirming she’s not at fault. Maybe she’s seeking reassurance that the man will hold her misogynistic, wife-beating husband to account.

Instead, the elderly cleric, whose name is Suhaib Hasan, starts laughing. ‘Why did you marry such a person?’ he chuckles.

Down the corridor, another vulnerable Muslim woman is telling a second elderly cleric about her ill-fated marriage. This woman, in her 30s, says that at 19 she was coerced by her family into marrying a Bangladeshi illegal immigrant (who duly gained British citizenship). They had two children, but the relationship foundered.

‘There was a lot of fighting. He threw stuff at me. He put me in debt,’ she says.

The husband, to whom she gave £38,000 during their time together, is now back in Bangladesh, where he’s taken a second wife. The woman has not seen him for four years, and therefore wants a divorce.

But the cleric won’t grant one. Instead, says a witness, he decides to ‘tell her about the “scientific biologic reasons for polygamy” ’.

Finally, the cleric, Maulana Abu Sayeed, makes an effort, in the words of the witness, to ‘persuade the woman towards acceptance of the marriage in polygamous form’.

This being the 21st century, the woman isn’t prepared to play ball. So she leaves unhappy.

Elsewhere, in the same building, a third hearing is taking place, presided over by a much younger cleric, Furqan Mahmood. In front of him sits a nervous-looking Muslim couple, who have several children.

They are, they explain, concerned that their marriage, conducted several years ago, might somehow be invalid. To blame is a technicality of Islamic law: the woman divorced her first husband in the UK courts, but failed to also obtain a religious divorce, or Talaq.

So the couple are worried this inadvertent breach of Muslim custom could, on paper, mean that she is living as an adulteress.

The cleric certainly seems deeply concerned. ‘It is going to be a difficult case,’ Mahmood, who wears long white robes, tells the couple. ‘We are going to ask our scholars to give you the answers.’

One potential way to adhere to the letter of Islamic law, he later explains, would be for the couple to undergo a process called Nikah Halala. This would begin with them divorcing, a step that would allow a cleric to legally declare the woman’s first marriage over.

Then, before re-marrying her second husband, the woman would be required to have a temporary marriage, to a third man.

‘She will need to have sex first [with the third man], divorce him, [and] wait three menstrual periods,’ reports a witness to the hearing. ‘Then she can return to the father of her children.’

This medieval-sounding procedure apparently derives from a passage in the Koran that stipulates it’s ‘not lawful’ for a divorced woman to sleep with her ex-husband ‘until after she marries a husband other than him’.

Quite understandably the prospect horrifies the couple.

After they leave, the witness asks Mahmood if there will be any ‘consequences’, should they decide against taking his advice.

‘What?’ he replies. ‘Do you think we are going to stone them to death, or something?’

This remark is, of course, a joke. However, the same does not apply to the other strange and at times deeply worrying events I have described so far.

They are, instead, among the very serious proceedings documented in a forthcoming book which claims to offer an unprecedented insight into the secret world of Britain’s so-called Sharia courts.

Written by Machteld Zee, a Dutch academic, the controversial, 200-page Choosing Sharia carries a detailed description of events that Zee claims took place over three days in 2013, when she was allowed to observe goings-on in two of Britain’s busiest Sharia courts, or councils.

Around 85 such tribunals, usually attached to mosques, are believed to operate in the UK, according to research by the think-tank Civitas.

They are designed to help religious Muslims settle financial, family and marital disputes according to the principles of their faith, as laid down in the 7th century.

To supporters, including many on the Left, such courts provide a unique and valuable service to the Muslim community by helping its members stay true to Sharia law, a legal system derived from the Koran and the rulings of Islamic scholars, known as fatwas.

In keeping with the principles of multiculturalism, critics of Sharia courts therefore almost invariably find themselves accused of Islamophobia.

That hasn’t silenced them, however. Indeed, recent years have seen growing concerns that Britain’s Sharia courts are fostering extremism, undermining human rights and creating a parallel justice system whose basic principles conflict with the law of the land. To this end, Home Secretary Theresa May recently promised a review of Sharia courts to ensure they support ‘British values’.

And last Thursday, a coalition of 150 women’s rights groups and campaigners presented a petition to David Cameron urging the Government to ban them from hearing divorce and other family cases on the grounds they are ‘denying vulnerable women and children access to equality and human rights’.

Last week, meanwhile, a House of Lords committee considered a Bill by Baroness Cox, a crossbench peer, that would force Sharia courts to ensure their rulings are compatible with the Equality Act. It would, among other things, prevent them from stipulating that men can be preferred over women in inheritance and property disputes.

Against this feverish backdrop, Machteld Zee’s book, which is based on her PhD thesis and will be published in January, makes explosive reading.

The 31-year-old academic, who describes herself as an atheist, was permitted to observe hearings at the Islamic Sharia Council (ISC), the country’s busiest Sharia court, based in a converted corner shop in Leyton, East London. The experience — one of the most detailed academic studies of Sharia courts ever printed — led her to conclude they are condemning Muslim women to ‘marital captivity’ and failing to properly protect victims of domestic violence.

‘In a toxic mix of religious fundamentalism, culture and tight-knit communities, Sharia councils uphold the theory and practice of the stronghold men have over women,’ she wrote.

During one controversial ISC case, for example, she says a qadi, or judge, refused to intervene even though a woman said her husband was effectively blackmailing her by denying her a divorce unless she gave him £10,000.

In another, she claims that she observed a male judge dealing with an abusive husband. The man was not referred to the police, but instead told to put things right by swearing on the Koran not to mistreat his wife any more.

During a third hearing, Zee saw a judge declare that divorces granted in British courts are worthless to proper Muslims. ‘A secular judge does not do religious divorces,’ she quotes him saying. ‘Can a kaffir [non-Muslim] come in and judge Islamic matters?’

Zee says the vast majority of the cases involved women seeking to divorce absent husbands, due to the fact that under Islamic law, men only need to say ‘I divorce you’ three times to separate from their wives — while women need the sanction of clerics, whom they must pay for the privilege.

‘Sharia councils exist so that Islamic fundamentalists can promote their ideology whilst at the same time making money by letting women buy their freedom,’ she observes.

In minority communities, Zee argues, Muslim women feel heavy cultural pressures to settle personal and family disputes via Islamic rather than normal courts. And, almost invariably appearing before male judges, they often disadvantage themselves in the process.

For example, the first ruling made in 2008 by the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal in Nuneaton (Britain’s first Sharia court whose judgments complied with the Arbitration Act, making them legally binding) involved an inheritance dispute between three sisters and two brothers.

The tribunal found, in accordance with standard Sharia principles, the male heirs should be given twice as much money as the women.

Despite her critique of what she regards as institutional misogyny, Zee describes the judges in Leyton as ‘very friendly’.

‘The problem is not that they were mean, but that the foundation of their justice acts in a system of Sharia Islamic law, in which the principle focus is making women dependent on their husbands and clerics,’ she says.

According to Zee: ‘One judge said: “Under Islam, we should reconcile marriages even if there is violence.” They don’t care. It was shocking: they would have you cling to a marriage.’

It should, at this stage, be stressed that the Islamic Sharia Council takes issue with many of Zee’s conclusions, and says it vigorously disputes her version of events with regard to several of the cases she witnessed. A representative denied that the ISC condones domestic violence, and said allegations that its judges favour men are ‘absolute rubbish’. She added that it intends to file a formal complaint with the University of Leiden, where Zee works, calling for her PhD to be withdrawn in light of ‘serious factual inaccuracies’ in her account.

It’s impossible to say with 100 per cent certainty who is right, however, because the ISC (whose hearings are usually held behind closed doors) forbade the academic from recording her visit. Zee’s account is instead based on detailed written notes. Yet even without her testimony, an extended look at some of the senior figures behind the ISC does raise a host of unsettling questions.

Dig into its annual reports, for example, and you’ll find that a troubling proportion of the organisation’s most senior male clerics — many of whom sit on its small board of trustees — have, over the years, appeared to support and promote Islamic fundamentalism. One has even expressed a desire to turn Britain into a Sharia state and impose Islamic law on all its citizens.


Goodbye Christianity, hello multicultural wasteland...

By Peter Hitchens

If you want to wreck the country, get some grandiose people to sit on a panel. Make sure you don’t choose anyone who disagrees with your aim. Then write a pamphlet demanding the destruction of something good, and call it a ‘report’.

And most of the media, especially the BBC, will oblige by treating your propaganda as if it is some sort of impartial study.

The latest example is from the self-proclaimed ‘Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life’, whose demands were published last week, masquerading as the conclusions of a balanced study.

Would you believe they want to make state schools even less Christian than they already are – accusing our many excellent Church schools of being ‘socially divisive’ and of promoting ‘segregation’ – and to revise the Coronation and services of remembrance to make them more inclusive?

Of course, there are luminaries of the poor, bewildered Church of England among this report’s ‘patrons’ and on its ‘steering group’. Its chairwoman is a jolly nice church-going baroness. But what purpose do they serve in such things? They do not necessarily stand for the established order, even if they belong to it.

This may be a clue: among those who paid for this ‘commission’ were the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, which until recently funded the rather militant Islamic rights group CAGE (about as far from a vicarage tea party as you can get) and the Open Society Foundations, backed by the ultra-liberal billionaire George Soros, a keen supporter of relaxing the drug laws.

Now, these modernisers have a point of view. I have a lot of time for atheists, humanists and members of other religions from my own. At least they’re interested in what seems to me, more and more, to be the most important question we face – what sort of universe is this? (Full disclosure: I am an old-fashioned Broad Church Anglican, 1662 Prayer Book, King James Bible and all.) But the idea that we should carry on adapting Britain and England to ideas and religions from elsewhere seems to me to be a mistake.

All we have and are is based on the Christian faith, which has shaped law, government, morals, music, landscape and education here for a thousand years. Abandon it, and what holds up the trust which keeps us from chaos?

I accept that Christianity is dying fast in this country. I know that many schools teach religion badly, if at all, and that ignorance is everywhere. But there is more than one response to this. You could say, as this ‘report’ does, that we should accept that this isn’t a Christian country any more, and adapt it to become a sort of religious salad of all faiths and none.

You could give up trying to teach Christianity as a living faith, and instead get children to study it as a quaint, eccentric curiosity. Or – and the weeks around Christmas are a good time to say this – we could say that we still have a chance to rebuild and restore what has been lost.

Why do we so lack the confidence to do this, and readily abandon a heritage of such power and beauty, which has brought us so much good, for a multicultural wasteland in which a dozen competing faiths squabble in the ruins, and everyone else bows to the neon gods of consumerism?

Perhaps there is a multibillionaire out there somewhere who would fund a ‘commission’ that would be pretty much bound to come up with such a conclusion (I could pick the members). We could call the resulting propaganda a report. Then everyone would have to take it seriously.


A politically correct Santa

Once upon a time, life was simple for a shopping mall Santa Claus. For a small fee, he’d growl ‘ho, ho, ho’, lift a child on to his knee, listen patiently to their requests, and send them on their way with a small gift.

But in today’s politically correct world, Father Christmas must safely negotiate the minefield of modern manners – and that is where School4Santas comes in.

Tim Connaghan spotted a gap in the market and set up the world’s first Santa school to help colleagues avoid the pitfalls. Connaghan has become the go-to St Nick in Hollywood, hired by celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Jamie Lee Curtis and Paris Hilton for private parties.

The 67-year-old, who sports a snowy beard and flowing silver mane, has used his 17 years’ experience as a professional Santa to train more than 3,200 others on grotto etiquette.

‘The days of hoisting a kid on to your knee and giving them sweets is long gone,’ says Tim. ‘It’s a very PC world and even Santa has to follow the rules. Bringing festive cheer has turned into a science.’

The ‘golden rule’ is that parents are in charge: ‘I would never touch a child first. I allow the parents to hand the child to me and place them on my knee. That avoids any accidental touching. Your hands must be visible at all times.’

Once the child is in place, the questions they pose can be a minefield: ‘I’ve had kids ask me if I can bring Mummy and Daddy back together again or cure Grandma’s cancer. You must always acknowledge what the child says and respond. I’ll say something like, “Santa only does gifts but I’m sorry to hear about that. Just remember, Mummy and Daddy both love you.” ’

Santa no longer stocks sweets in his big red sack: ‘One Santa was sued after a child stabbed the top of his mouth with a candy cane. I hand out small toys, trading cards, coins, books. Candy rots teeth and causes hyperactive children.’

This year’s most requested gift is a hoverboard, and Tim adds: ‘Children ask for pets too. I have to explain that pets don’t fly well on Santa’s sleigh.’

He carries a Santa survival kit including wet wipes, a hand sanitiser, breath mints and a spare red suit (‘I’m always getting peed on’), and says he never breaks out of character: ‘You have a moral responsibility to uphold Santa’s values. You can’t be caught boozing, smoking or doing anything un-Santalike. You can’t be naughty.’

He even politely declined a request by former world boxing champion Oscar de la Hoya to pose with a ‘fists up’ stance. ‘Santa’s a pacifist,’ he says.

Tim reveals that being a professional Santa can be a lucrative business – some can earn up to £10,000 a day: ‘Most Santas work only seasonally but I also shoot adverts and catalogues in June.’

He first donned the famous red suit to entertain fellow troops in Vietnam, and started School4Santas after retiring from his radio marketing job. The school runs every summer at venues across the US.

So does he ever get fed up of hearing White Christmas? ‘I love my job,’ he replies. ‘You never get tired of the joy Santa brings. And if you don’t like Christmas music, you’re in the wrong job.’



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

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

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


14 December, 2015

Whistleblower Report: Could Obama Have Stopped the Terror Attack in San Bernardino?

Did political correctness cost American lives?

Once again, the Obama Administration is putting political correctness ahead of your national security, and this time there are real consequences:

    A former Homeland Security employee says he likely could have helped prevent the San Bernardino terror attack if the government had not pulled the plug on a surveillance program he was developing three years ago.

    Philip Haney told Megyn Kelly tonight that as part of his investigation, he was looking into a collection of global networks that were infiltrating radical Islamists into the U.S.

    But a year into the investigation, Haney said they got a visit from the State Department and the Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, who said that tracking these groups was problematic because they were Islamic.

    His investigation was shut down and 67 of his records were deleted, including one into an organization with ties to the mosque in Riverside, Calif., that San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook attended.

    Haney explained that if his work was allowed to continue, it could possibly have thwarted last week's attack.

    "Either Syed would have been put on the no-fly list because association with that mosque, and/or the K-1 visa that his wife was given may have been denied because of his association with a known organization," Haney explained.

The level of denial that infects the Obama Administration on the issue of radical Islam is so great that it's now cost American lives.


Angela Merkel is doing more damage to the future of the West than Donald Trump

The founders of the European Union wanted it to give Christendom modern democratic form, but this is now nearly invisible

One day, a historian will pinpoint exactly when we in the West started talking about Muslims. It came surprisingly late. Even in anti-immigration rhetoric, mention of religion used to be rare. The issue then was race. Enoch Powell’s famous “Rivers of Blood” speech of 1968 did not tackle religion. In the index of Simon Heffer’s definitive biography of Powell, the words “Islam” and “Muslim” do not appear.

Probably the first time in modern Britain that Muslims, so named, became the big headline was in 1989. The Ayatollah Khominei’s fatwa called for the death of Salman Rushdie because of his “blasphemous” novel The Satanic Verses. This made waves in the United States too, but my guess is that the question of Islam did not reach the front of the American mind until 11 September 2001.

Sir Salman Rushdie faces the threat of reprisals from Indian Muslims after a leading Islamic institute demanded the government ban his scheduled appearance at the Jaipur Literature Festival.

Fewer than 15 years later, it is the hottest subject. This week, Donald Trump made it hotter still. He wants a “complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s elected representatives can work out what is going on”.

How have we reached this plight? Until we know the answer, we shall not begin to be able to decide how to get out of it.

Like most other commentators, I agree that Mr Trump’s remarks were nasty and dangerous – nasty because they libel millions of decent people, dangerous because they could drive such people to think: “If you hate and fear us, we must hate and fear you.”

But there is another reason why he has caused such a stir. Like all skilled populists, Mr Trump is touching (or rather trampling) on a real problem. If, after all, he had replaced the word “Muslims” with the words “Hindus” or “Christians” or “Jews”, everyone would immediately have concluded that he was, as well as nasty, mad. Politically, that would have been the end of him.

Alas, there are two true things lying behind his idiotic policy suggestion. The first is that the problem is about Muslims. The second is that our “elected representatives” do not know what to do about it.

The above-mentioned Ayatollah Khomeini also said “Islam is politics”. He meant that Islam tells you how to rule, and therefore any unIslamic way of ruling is illegitimate. His remark also implied that his religious status meant that the best person to rule – directly in his own stamping ground, Iran, and indirectly, through his teaching, everywhere – was one Ayatollah Ruollah Khomeini. Islam was his power grab.

Khomeini was a Shia, but a similar way of weaponising the faith was also developed in Sunni Islam. It stands behind organisations like the Muslim Brotherhood (linked here with the Muslim Association of Britain), Jamaat-e-Islami (strong among some members of the Muslim Council of Britain) and Hizb Ut-Tahrir.

It rests not only on an interpretation of the words of God allegedly spoken through the mouth of his Prophet, but on a tale of grievance. In this tale, bad people – colonial powers, Christians, Jews, America, “hypocrite” Muslim monarchs – destroyed the right rule of true Islam (the caliphate) and humiliated the faithful.

This world-view is known as “Islamism”. Islam itself is related to Islamism as patriotism is related to nationalism, the former being based on love of something, the latter on hatred of something else. Islamism validates resentment. Its emotional appeal is like that of communism and fascism, but stronger, because it promises heaven to those who commit its violent acts on earth.

Such ideas have become powerful in the West, partly because of arithmetic: we now have a great many Muslims in our midst – far more here, proportionately, than in Mr Trump’s country, and more in France than here. The risk of violence rises with the total. Even if it is true that 99 per cent of Muslims would not hurt a fly, when you increase the numbers you inevitably get more of those who would. People are, therefore, right to worry more about mass immigration from, say, Syria, than from, say, Poland.

But, even with high numbers, the problem would be much less severe if our leaders and institutions had greater cultural confidence. If they upheld a robust belief in the Western way of life, reflected in what our schools taught, what the BBC broadcast, what rules of citizenship were insisted on, and what was considered injurious to our values, then the doctrines of Islamism would be better resisted.

It is not as if our institutions refuse to have any public doctrine at all – look at the preaching against climate change, or racism. If Mr Trump starts shouting, or Tommy Robinson, formerly of the English Defence League, pops up, the authorities all know how to try to squash their “unacceptable” thoughts.

But if Muslim leaders say that the plight of their brethren in Britain today is like that of Jews in Germany in the Thirties, or that no Muslim should serve in the British armed services against a Muslim country, no one jumps on them. It is not only Jeremy Corbyn, dining last night with what would be better called the Stop the West Coalition, who devoutly believes the narrative of our “Islamophobia”: it is almost the official orthodoxy.

There is a tremendous reluctance to study the genealogy of the harmful ideas. None of the Islamist organisations named above is, so far as I know, actively engaged in promoting violence in this country, but all of them preach extremism which creates the mental space in which violence can breed.

For years, David Cameron has been pushing this point, but the bureaucratic response is agonisingly slow. The website of MI5 still emphasises that, since the Cold War, “we no longer undertake counter-subversion work”. Instead they concentrate on terrorism. Goodness knows, there is a need to head off actual plots, and MI5 should be congratulated for its success, but one reason we won the Cold War was because we understood what, ideologically, we were up against. The ideological content of Islamism is even more important than was that of latter-day Soviet Communism, and much more persuasive within a section of the British population.

The Security Service Act of 1989 allows MI5 to investigate attempts to “undermine parliamentary democracy” by “political” means as well as violent ones. Islamism is, by self-definition, a political attempt to undermine parliamentary democracy, yet is largely unstudied. If our own spies won’t do it, who can? Public bodies dealing with Muslim organisations are, therefore, fighting blind, having few means of telling the good guys from the bad.

Ultimately, the capacity of a civilisation to resist those who hate it depends on its self-belief. In Europe, this was expressed in what was called Christendom, enriched by the ideas of the Enlightenment. The founders of the European Union wanted it to give Christendom modern democratic form, but this is now nearly invisible. The leader of the union’s largest Christian Democrat party, Angela Merkel, has let more than a million mainly Muslim immigrants into her country this year alone. The East German pastor’s daughter is surely a much nicer person than Donald J Trump, but I wonder if she is not doing more actual harm to the future of the West.


Why the Gasps?

You don’t get a reaction of shock and disgust when you say something crazy, you get it when you say something pretty sensible that everybody has been supposed to ignore precisely because the rational arguments against your idea aren’t as strong as the emotions against it.

Besides Trump’s call for a temporary moratorium on Muslim immigration, today there was Justice Scalia pointing out that black affirmative action beneficiaries might do better in slower paced colleges. From the Times:

"An affirmative action plan at the University of Texas seemed to be in trouble at the Supreme Court on Wednesday. By the end of an unusually long and tense argument, a majority of the justices appeared unpersuaded that the plan was constitutional.

… In a remark that drew muted gasps in the courtroom, Justice Antonin Scalia said that minority students with inferior academic credentials may be better off at “a less advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well.”

“I don’t think it stands to reason that it’s a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible,” he added."

The horror, the horror …  Here’s the New York Daily News upcoming cover, making my point for me:

I’m not sure if Scalia’s question is totally true, but, obviously, it’s essential to discuss it to have an intelligent debate on affirmative action. And that’s precisely why it was so shocking that Scalia dared bring it up.

Respectability in modern America is proportional to the number of plausible and important ideas you would never dream of mentioning, even if you are a Supreme Court justice or a Presidential candidate.


Hijacking the Little Sisters' Religion

When President Barack Obama addressed the nation Sunday night about the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, he was careful to build a wall of separation between the terrorists who had murdered 14 Americans and the religion they claimed to embrace.

"But it is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization, embracing a perverted interpretation of Islam that calls for war against America and the West," Obama said.

Were the president to exhibit this same zeal in defending the integrity of Christianity, he would drop his administration's legal pursuit of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

He would also let all Americans decide for themselves whether it is in keeping with their moral principles to buy, provide or take actions intended to facilitate the provision of insurance that covers sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs and devices.

Yet the Obama administration has pursued a case into the Supreme Court that, if the administration prevails, would prohibit Catholic nuns from freely exercising their Catholic faith.

It could also move the United States toward accepting the fallacious argument that federal judges ought to have the authority to interpret what are and are not legitimate religious views.

The Little Sisters are bravely resisting.

In practical terms, the government wants to force this order of nuns to take one of two actions. It can sign a document instructing the third-party administrator of its self-insured employee health plan that the administrator is obligated to provide coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs and devices. Or it can give the Department of Health and Human Services the information it would need to tell the third-party administrator it is obligated to do so.

Either way, the government wants to force the nuns to take an action whose purpose is to facilitate distribution of sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs and devices.

"Our beliefs forbid us from participating, in any way, in the government's program to promote and facilitate access to sterilization, contraceptives, and abortion-inducing drugs and devices," the Little Sisters have said.

As this column noted in July, the sisters' lawyers explained their moral objection in a brief submitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which heard their case.

"This is necessary not only to prevent complicity in grave sin, but also to avoid even appearing to condone wrongdoing, which would violate the Little Sisters' public witness to the sanctity of human life and could mislead other Catholics and the public," said the brief. "Such scandal would itself be sinful and would undermine the Little Sisters' ability to carry out their ministry."

The majority of a three-judge panel ruled against the sisters, and, in September, the full appeals court voted not to take up their case.

The appeals court refused to accept the proposition that forcing an order of Catholic nuns to take an action that is expressly intended to convert their health care plan into a conduit for delivering abortion-inducing drugs places a "substantial burden" on the sisters' exercise of their faith. They argued that this is especially true because the Christian Brothers, who currently act as the third-party administrator for the sisters' plan, are themselves exempted from the mandate to provide sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients.

Therefore, the judges argued, the action the government wants to force the nuns to take will not result in the government's intended purpose: the provision of sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients.

When the full appeals court voted not to take up the case, Judge Harris Hartz, joined by four other judges, dissented. He argued that the court was taking a step toward empowering federal judges to rewrite the moral rules of a religion.

"All the plaintiffs in this case sincerely believe that they will be violating God's law if they execute the documents required by the government," said Judge Hartz. "And the penalty for refusal to execute the documents may be in the millions of dollars. How can it be any clearer that the law substantially burdens the plaintiffs' free exercise of religion?

"Yet the panel majority holds otherwise," he wrote. "Where did it go wrong? It does not doubt the sincerity of the plaintiffs' religious belief. But it does not accept their statements of what that belief is. It refuses to acknowledge that their religious belief is that execution of the documents is sinful. Rather, it reframes their belief."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit hijacked the Catholicism of the Little Sisters of the Poor. It made itself the interpreter of what that faith truly demands.

In its own brief to the appeals court, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had warned of this.

"Indeed, the test repeatedly championed by the government would transform the Religious Freedom Restoration Act's substantial burden analysis into an exercise in amateur theology," said the USCCB brief. "The Constitution, however, does not permit federal courts or government officials to be arbiters of matters of faith."

It is time for the Obama administration to entirely drop its sterilization-contraceptive-abortifacient mandate and declare that federal judges have no right to rewrite the Catholic faith.



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, 2015

Australia: Some typical feminist lack of perspective below

The woman below -- "Em" Rusciano -- is crying into her beer because she and other feminists cop online abuse.  So what else is new?  She should try being a conservative blogger and see what abuse she gets from her friends on the Left.  It's a two-way street Madame.

There she is!  Complete with feminist haircut.  I wonder why she is "Em"?  Short for "Emilia"?

Abuse is so common on the net that the writer below clearly has a glass jaw.  She just can't take the heat.  She is a fragile little female petal.  Is she missing the courteous way men used to treat women?  Seems like it. Does she want men not to swear in front of women the way they once did?  She needs to look in the mirror if she wants to see who has destroyed that old-fashioned courtesy.  Everybody wants to have their cake and eat it but even feminists are not going to achieve that.  They asked for equality but the writer below is testimony that they can't handle it.

But she is typical of feminists in her total lack of perspective. Feminists see only the difficulties that life throws at women.  They seem completely oblivious of the fact that men have burdens too.  Men are just braver at coping with their burdens so you rarely get any sexist whining from them. You want to know who has the bigger stresses?  Look at life expectancy.  Men die about 5 years sooner than women.

So my advice to the lady is old-fashioned to the point of cliche: "If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen"

THE INTERNET is an amazing invention that has united humanity, but it has also taken humanity and given us the worst version of ourselves.

This week writer Clementine Ford reported a man to his employer for an abusive comment he wrote on her public Facebook page. After investigating the matter his employer chose to dismiss him, and at first she received overwhelming support from members of the public. Sadly, it wasn’t too long until the ever reliable troll train arrived and she was fielding death and rape threats at a frightening rate.

Hundreds of irate men smashed out angry comments, (engage sarcasm font) incensed that she’d taken away another man’s livelihood. And right before Christmas!

Stop being so sensitive sweetheart!

Grow a pair!

You can’t even get a man!


(You guys pick a metaphor would you, she can’t be both unlovable and a tart OK?)

Cyberspace has truly become the final frontier for hardcore misogyny hasn’t it?

The men who are truly opposed to feminism have been smoked out and driven to the dark corners of the universe, to be united transformers-style when a female dare stick her head up and say: “No, I’m not going to endure your bulls*** behaviour. I’m going to hold you accountable for it”.

It’s also clear to me that this is a very small minority of men, I’d go so far as to say only a few lousy per cent. None of the awesome males in my life would partake in this kind of behaviour.

When you think about it this small group of infuriated dudes have nowhere left to turn, I mean imagine if Mark shouted the thing he wrote on Clem’s Facebook page on a street corner.
Hahahahahahahaha? WHAT THE HELL MARK?

Hahahahahahahaha? WHAT THE HELL MARK?Source:Facebook
Dear Cody, I’m confused, what version of World War II were you told and my follow up question is: are you calling Hitler a sl**?

Dear Cody, I’m confused, what version of World War II were you told and my follow up question is: are you calling Hitler a sl**?Source:Facebook

Aaaaaaaaaaand that’s enough of that.

After I had finished forensically examining these men’s Facebook pages trying to gather some clue as to why they were so full of hate and rage, I released that there was a common theme among all of the comments.

I noticed their resistance to change, their worry that somehow women will rise up against them and smear the streets with our menstrual blood.

That we’re starting a secret cult that wishes to castrate them and take away their jobs, rights and lives.

We’re totally not! I just want my daughters to be paid the same as men, to not receive death and rape threats for having strong opinions and to be free from the constraints of archaic gender stereotypes.

That’s reasonable, right?

I could sit here and say that when I am attacked viciously by these people online I don’t care, that it doesn’t effect me, but that would be completely untrue.

It stings. I feel raw, vulnerable and exposed. It makes me not want to put myself out there, it makes me want to hide and protect myself and my family.

It still manages to take my breath away, the ferocity at which these men come at me, the fact that they can’t just disagree with me in a civilised manner. Is this how they handle differing opinions in their own lives? Shouting obscenities at anyone who irks them?

I’m all for robust discussions and differing opinions but having: “Die you short haired feminist c***” written under an article or column I’ve written doesn’t encourage debate, it just makes me feel sick. Let’s be honest, I’m a comedian so I’m not exactly hitting the hard issues on the regular, but I still manage to rile them by having a strong opinion on anything at all.

I don’t need to get a thicker skin or toughen up, they need to stop being aggressive a***holes.

We’re not opposed to being opposed, we just want the death and rape threats to stop.

That seems reasonable, right?

I’m here today to inform you that thousands of women are copping this kind of ferocious vitriol online from men on a daily basis.

When I sat down to write this column I was worried about putting myself in the firing line, then I realised that’s what they want and what good am I to any of you or my girls if I let that fear censor me?

I’m done with pretending this doesn’t happen.

I’m adding my voice to the growing roar of females who voice their opinions online that this behaviour is not OK.

That if you write something offensive, malicious or abusive you will be called out. That if you’re stupid enough to put your name, photo and employment details anywhere near it to expect consequences.

What I want to say to these men is that I see your aggression and I now see past it, to your fear.

You have been reduced to scared, marginalised, children having a cyber tantrum and we’re not going to put up with your s*** anymore.


Poll the BBC told you about... and the one they didn't

Petition calling on immigration to the UK to be stopped until ISIS is defeated has almost as many signatures as one calling for Trump to be barred

A petition to ban Donald Trump from entering the UK last night became the most popular ever on Parliament’s website.

As of last night, more than 450,000 people had signed up to the call to ban the US presidential hopeful for hate speech in the wake of calls to ban Muslims from the US.

Started two weeks ago, before Trump’s comments that the US should bar all Muslims and that parts of the UK were no-go zones for police, it has comfortably passed the 100,000 threshold required to force the Commons to consider debating the issue.

However, until yesterday another petition demanding the UK close its borders had attracted almost as many signatures – but received less coverage in the media.

This petition on Parliament’s website - called ‘Stop all immigration and close the UK borders until ISIS is defeated’ - had attracted 444,000 signatures as of 6pm.

But despite the interest created in the Trump petition, this one had been all but ignored by the liberal media and the BBC, which promoted the Trump petition via its BBC News Twitter account.

The petition refers to a warning in February from Dr Jamie Shea, Nato’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, that Islamic State terrorists might inflitrate Europe posing as Syrian refugees.

The petition was created last September, before the Paris attacks.

It was set up by Tina Reeves, 62, a copywriter who is originally from Plymouth but spends half the year at her holiday home in Jaén, Spain.

The petition says: ‘Allowing uncontrolled immigration and taking in these refugees potentially endangers the entire UK population. At any other time in our history this would be tantamount to a declaration of war and borders would be closed.’

The government has already responded and on petition website a Home Office spokesman wrote: ‘The UK government will not close Britain’s borders.

‘It will ensure access for legitimate travellers and trade whilst operating its borders securely to protect the public from the threat of terrorism.’

Meanwhile the petition to ban Trump received prominent coverage by The Guardian and the BBC, which even provided an analysis of whether or not he could prohibited from entering the UK.

The Trump petition was set up by a Scottish woman who has said she is ‘pleasantly shocked’ by the amount of support it has received.  Suzanne Kelly, from Aberdeen, created it on Parliament’s website because she was appalled at Trump’s incendiary rhetoric. She put it up on November 28, before Trump called for his ban on Muslims entering the US.

Kelly has long investigated Trump’s golfing development in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, for community website Aberdeen Voice.  But she was moved to act after his anti-Muslim comments and calls for a database of everyone who worships Islam.

She told the Guardian: ‘The more I looked at Donald Trump and the remarks he has made before entering the presidential race, the more my hackles were rising. This man is no longer a joke in the corner, but someone who is aiming to become leader of one of the most powerful nations in the world,” she said.

‘There are few things a person in my position can do against a person like that but make use of this country’s wonderful laws and procedures. This petition also gives all those people who agree with me a platform to say we also disagree with hate speech.’

Her petition states: ‘The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the UK.

‘If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the ‘unacceptable behaviour’ criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful.’


The world war on Donald Trump is truly ‘unhinged’

We must defend free speech even for politicians branded ‘fascists’

The civilised world, it seems, has finally found the will to unite and fight against evil; not by waging all-out war against Islamic State or anything, but by shouting a global chorus of You Can’t Say That at Donald Trump.

To judge by the extraordinary outburst of headline Trump-bashing this week, one might imagine that the Republican presidential contender had led an armed assault on an abortion clinic or a mosque. In fact, what Trump the ‘billionaire buffoon’ did aboard retired aircraft carrier the USS Yorktown, in the wake of the San Bernardino massacre by an Islamist couple, was not to launch air-strikes. Instead he made a speech calling for ‘a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States while we figure out what the hell is going on’. Trump acknowledged that his proposed ban on Muslims was ‘probably not politically correct’ before concluding: ‘But. I. Don’t. Care.’

Trump’s combination of offensive speech and a refusal to apologise was enough to have the entire Western political mainstream effectively demanding ‘a total and complete shutdown’ of Donald Trump. The Obama White House declared that Trump’s ‘incendiary’ speech was not just ‘morally reprehensible’ but even ‘disqualifies him to serve as president’. In other words, he should be kicked out of the election for talking out of turn.

Senior figures in Trump’s own Republican Party, who would like nothing better than to ‘disappear’ The Donald, have joined in the assault on the ‘unhinged’ Trump. One Republican strategist announced that ‘There was a whiff of fascism around this guy. Now there’s a reek of fascism.’ Many others have accused Trump of being a fascist, compared him to Hitler and, perhaps even worse, branded his remarks about Muslims ‘un-American’.

Nor has the war on Trump been confined to American soil. A spokesman for United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon condemned his ‘Islamophob[ic], xenophob[ic]’ and hateful rhetoric. In the UK, Tory prime minister David Cameron broke the unwritten rule of non-intervention in US election campaigns to denounce Trump’s words as ‘divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong’. Then the Metropolitan Police broke their own rule on political impartiality to attack Trump, after he suggested they were too scared to police radicalised areas of London. To put the tin lid on it, after Twitter users compared Trump to the evil Lord Voldemort, Harry Potter author and ‘national treasure’ JK Rowling tweeted: ‘How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad.’ (After all, the fictional Dark Lord was only a mass murderer seeking to establish his ‘pure-blood’ domination of both the wizard and human worlds…)

It seems as if every politician, public figure and social-media poseur wrestling with the big questions of our age, such as who we are and what our societies stand for now, has finally come up with the answer: we’re not Donald Trump, and we all stand united against him! Who needs to bother with the struggle against IS abroad or nihilistic terrorism at home when you can establish your moral authority by hate-bombing The Donald?

This reaction to Trump appears truly, to coin a phrase, ‘unhinged’. Many of us may not want to defend a word of the nonsense he talks about Muslims, Mexicans or much else. But we should defend his right to say it.

Instead, the response to Trump’s troublemaking speeches throughout the campaign has been not to engage with and challenge his arguments (such as they are), but to try to shut him up, and so shut down controversial debates. As Democratic Party hopeful Hillary Clinton declared in response to Trump’s earlier attacks on Mexican immigrants, ‘Everybody should stand up and say that’s not acceptable. You don’t talk like that on talk radio. You don’t talk like that on the kind of political campaigns.’

That is the real meaning of branding Trump ‘fascist’ this week – that he is beyond the pale and unfit to take part in democratic debate. After all, who wants to bother having a political argument with Hitler or Voldemort? The widespread use of the label ‘un-American’ is also telling in this respect. It conjures up the ghosts of the congressional committee investigating ‘un-American Activities’, which led the anti-Communist witch-hunt during the era of McCarthyism – a time when even the US Supreme Court refused to uphold the First Amendment free-speech rights of the blacklisted Hollywood 10.

The historical irony of it now being brandished against a maverick rightwinger rather than leftists does not alter the danger of using ‘un-American’ in a bid to outlaw political opinions you find offensive.

As always with free-speech issues, there are two reasons why we should, however reluctantly, proclaim ‘Je Suis Le Donald’ – one a question of principle, the other is a matter of practical politics.

The principle is that free speech is an indivisible liberty that we defend for all or not at all. Once you start trying to cherry-pick who qualifies for that liberty, you turn free speech into not a right but a privilege, to be handed down by the authorities to those deemed deserving. As George Orwell famously put it, ‘If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear’. Or, in the words of Larry Flynt, publisher of the Hustler porn mags, ‘If the First Amendment will protect a scumbag like me, it will protect all of you’. The principle of unfettered free speech must be defended even for dirty Larry and The Donald, or we will all be the losers.

In practical political terms, the lesson is that attempts to ban or close down your opponents don’t work. Indeed, having the entire political establishment come out against Trump in such vituperative terms is more likely to consolidate his support among a section of voters as the ‘outsider’ candidate.

And, as ever, what you think about free speech reflects your view of the public. The true target of much of the censorious bile directed at Trump is not the billionaire himself, but the ‘ordinary’ Americans who might support him and be moved by his words. Many in US and Western public life now view such voters as a wooden-headed lump, just waiting to be set ablaze by an incendiary word from a rabblerouser in a bad toupee. Or as the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations puts it, ‘Donald Trump sounds more like a leader of a lynch mob than a great nation like ours’.

Trump is, of course, an unlikely victim of political censorship – he is everywhere. Nor is Trump any worthy champion of free speech; defending his other idiotic recent proposal to ‘close down’ parts of the internet, he dismissively noted that some people would object: ‘“Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.” These are foolish people.’ Speak for yourself, fool.

However, the unhinged response to Trump is a revealing sign of the creeping culture of conformism and You Can’t Say That which seeks to delegitimise and outlaw any opinion that could not be expressed at a polite Manhattan dinner party. That’s why we should stand against any demands for the ‘complete and total shutdown’ of Donald Trump.

One UK newspaper has been running a readers’ poll asking ‘Should Donald Trump be banned from the UK for his views?’. The two answers we are asked to choose between are ‘Yes – he’s a hate preacher’ and ‘No – he talks a lot of sense’. The correct answer surely ought to be ‘Yes, his views might be hateful – but no, neither he nor anybody else should be banned, gagged or disqualified for expressing foolish, “fascist”, “un-American” or otherwise offensive opinions’.


Counteterrorism Chair: ‘There Should Be Much More Surveillance in the Muslim Community in United States’

Rep. Peter King (R.-N.Y.), who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, told reporters Thursday that he believes “there should be much more surveillance in the Muslim community in the United States.

King was responding to a reporter who asked him what Congress could do to prevent something like the San Bernardino terrorist attack from happening again.

“The only way you are going to find out this in advance is to do the same type of 24/7 surveillance that was done in the Italian-American communities when they were going after the mob, mafia, and the Irish communities when they were going after the Westies,” said King.

“You look where the terror threat is going to come from and right now it is going to come from the Muslim community, and it is a small percentage but to me the only way you find out about it in advance is to have sources and informers on the ground with constant surveillance,” he said.

Here is a transcript of part of King’s exchange with reporters:

Question: "What can you do on Capitol Hill to prevent something like this from happening again?"

King: "Well, that is part of the process now. I have my own view. But that’s a different--I believe there should be much more surveillance in the Muslim community here in the United States.

The only way you are going to find out this in advance is to do the same type of 24/7 surveillance that was done in the Italian-American communities when they were going after the mob, mafia, and the Irish communities when they were going after the Westies.

You look where the terror threat is going to come from and right now it is going to come from the Muslim community, and it is a small percentage but to me the only way you find out about it in advance is to have sources and informers on the ground with constant surveillance. It was done--"

Question: "Should they have known sooner? Should authorities have been alerted sooner to the fact that those two people were there and were a potential threat?"

King: "Well, again, we’ll to have to find out. I think the only way you are going to find that out in the future is if you have constant surveillance on the ground. Unfortunately, police departments have been pushed away from that. I think if every department followed the model of what the NYPD was doing you would have much less chance of a plot like this succeeding."



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, 2015

Multicultural drug kingpin in Britain

A drug dealer who modelled himself on Idris Elba's character from The Wire has been jailed for more than six years.

Zahir Hussain, 40, ran a sophisticated crack and heroin supply network while taking a small business course at college to improve his understanding of the drugs trade.

Police say he was inspired by ruthless gangster Stringer Bell from the hit TV show, who went to night classes in between running a multi-million pound heroin empire.

Bell was played by British Hollywood star Idris Elba and was eventually gunned down by rivals after being sold out by his associates.

Hussain tried to use tips from his course to motivate his street dealers and even sent them texts asking for sales figures.

He attempted to avoid capture by receiving calls diverted through an accomplice's phone over what he called the 'Zee Line'.

Police began investigating Hussain after receiving a tip-off about his partner Mohammed Zubair, 37, who was caught with over 20 wraps of crack cocaine in January last year.

Zubair's phone records led investigators to Hussain and they arrested him at a flat in Birmingham city centre in March last year.

In addition to college textbooks, officers found a small quantity of class A drugs, £10,000 in cash and mobile phones he had used for drug dealing.

Last Thursday, Hussain, from Yardley, Birmingham, was jailed for six years and three months after admitting conspiracy to supply drugs at Birmingham Crown Court.

Speaking after the case, Pc David Harman, financial investigator with West Midlands Police, said: 'This was a sophisticated drugs operation.

'Messages on his phones showed text messages to drug users boasting about the quality of the drugs, advice to runners about how to boost sales and even demands for sales figures.

'Further messages showed desperate drug users offering personal belongings in exchange for drugs highlighting the misery being brought upon the community.'

Zubair, from Handsworth, Birmingham, was handed a two-year jail term suspended for 24 months for possession with intent to supply drugs.


KATIE HOPKINS: Don’t demonise Trump, he speaks for millions of Americans. And who can blame them for not wanting to end up like us?

'Trump is terrifying. We have seen the future—and it is bleak' said one reporter.

In turn, thousands are busy clicking on a hideously impotent petition to 'BAN TRUMP FROM GREAT BRITAIN'.

What exactly are they achieving? Having their say? Joining in the outrage bus?

No doubt petition sites like change.org are on their web favourites, right up there with erectile dysfunction.co.uk. and single.com.

They may as well calm down. We are not banning Donald from the UK.

And even if Trump were elected President, he wouldn’t be able to ban Muslims from his shores - even if he wanted to. Ask yourself: how could he possibly make it work?

America struggles to control its southern border as it is. It is not going to be able to change the global passport system and get your religion stamped on your passport or your head to establish your faith.

What's the Christianity test going to be? Snurfling a hot dog whilst singing 'Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising'?

After a Muslim couple gunned down 14 residents of San Bernardino, California, Americans looked for strong leadership. Just like after 9/11 when Bush made like a dog of war and took the fight to the terrorists.

They didn't get from dreary Obama. He makes me want to wrap a suicide vest around my head and text BOOM to my brain

It took the President a couple of days to even admit the attack was terror and when he did finally address a nervous nation on Sunday night his tone-deaf message was that Muslims were their 'friends, neighbours and sports heroes.'

In contrast, Trump IS providing leadership. He knows some of his grand-standing is hot air. But he is articulating a sentiment held by millions and reinforcing himself as a protector of the American people.

It's the reason Trump is the Republican front runner. He has spent just $330,000 on broadcasting to Jeb Bush's $42.5 million —which is indicative of how much America is enthralled by this new voice.

I hear cries that he is a blithering idiot. I have often been called a deranged fool. But if this were true you could ignore me, ignore us, imaging the two of us shouting naked at the rain.

It's because we articulate sentiments repressed by the politically correct consensus that we have a voice.

Trump said: ‘We have places in London so radicalised that police are afraid for their lives.'

Within moments the Met Police, Prime Minister David Cameron, and the clownish Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, jumped to defend the reputation of the UK and distance themselves from this glaring truth.

Yet, at the time of writing, no less than five bobbies on the beat have come forward to confirm that there ARE estates where they will only patrol out of uniform.

There is fear among the police AND the public.  I work with a team of cameramen in town who text their wives and partners on the hour to confirm they are safe.

My family is not keen for me to be in the capital. Some friends will no longer come to London.

How do you feel about the security of the city's shopping centres right now, after what happened in Paris?

I watch the BBC news, our national broadcaster, ramming home messages of inclusiveness.

Today they gave platform to a representative of the Muslim community telling Trump he is an Islamophobe and is not welcome here.

But that's not my voice. That is not the voice of a nation. All Brits don't think that way.

Being force-fed multi-culturalism brought us to this place. When the only permitted message is acceptance, any views to the contrary result in a label to shame you into silence.

Racist! Islamophobe! Nazi!

Don't just stick a label it. Be curious. Wonder, how has Trump come to articulate the views of a majority of Republicans across the States?

Because I don't buy into the clear divide between extremist Muslims and peaceful ones. I don't see these as two separate entities. It is a sliding scale, a spectrum. From utterly peaceful, to ambivalence to sympathising, to extremist, to a man blowing up buses in Woburn Place.

It is the same slippery slope which sees regular mosque attendees from Luton slip off to Syria to join ISIS. And suddenly a tight knit Muslim community knows nothing.

Not the local imam, not local families, no one. No one denouncing terrorism. Just a wall of silence. In our country.

Hate hidden behind walls we are told to accept and tolerate because we are multi-cultural. Repeat after me. Multi-cultural.

The IRA would not have enjoyed decades of success without many among the Northern Irish Catholic population acting just the same way as the imams and family and friends of extremists in Luton today.

We have gone too far and lost control of vast swathes of our country. In part we ARE a radicalised nation and it does nobody any favours to deny the obvious.

Trump wants to call a temporary halt to Muslim immigration until America figures out what is going on.

Adversaries may be quick to jump on Trump and make him the problem.

But look around. You are too busy gazing at the fluff in your navel to see the gangrene in your foot.

You lost sight of what is terrifying. It isn't a big, brash American untroubled by the need to be loved. It is the march of ISIS and the so-called Islamic State.

You may want to distance yourself from Trump. You may want to carry on navel gazing. But for many Americans, Europe is rapidly becoming an example of everything they never want to be.


Born bad

Bad behaviour in teenagers could be caused by a lack of grey matter in their brains, a study has found.  Youths who behave in an antisocial and aggressive way appear to be deficient in parts of the brain associated with decision-making.

The findings could help to explain why some young people behave in the way they do and lead to better interventions, researchers claim.

The study showed young people with behavioural problems - such as antisocial and aggressive behaviour - had reduced grey matter volume within the amygdala, the insula, and the prefrontal cortex.

Scientists at the University of Birmingham said those areas of the brain are important for empathic responses, reading facial expressions and emotion regulation - key cognitive and affective processes that are shown to be deficient in youths with behavioural problems.

The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, combined brain imaging figures from 13 previous studies including 394 youths with behavioural problems and 350 typically developing youths, making it the largest study of its kind.

Study lead author Dr Stephane De Brito said: 'We know that severe behavioural problems in youths are not only predictive of antisocial and aggressive behaviour in adulthood, but also substance misuse, mental health problems and poor physical health.

'For that reason, behavioural problems are an essential target for prevention efforts and our study advances understanding of the brain regions associated with aggressive and antisocial behaviour in youths.'


Blaming Terrorism on Climate Change Isn't Just Stupid—It's Dangerous

A few weeks before Syed Farook went on his ritual killing spree in San Bernardino, he got into an argument about Islam with one of the co-workers he later murdered.  The co-worker said that Islam wasn't peaceful. Farook said it was.

Like most Islamic theological arguments, this was one was settled with bombs and bullets.

The motive is officially still unknown. Obama said it might be terrorism or a workplace thing. His laughably corrupt Attorney General, Loretta Lynch said, "We don't know if this was workplace rage or something larger or a combination of both."

The kind of workplace rage that leads a couple to assemble a small army's worth of firepower, some bombs and tactical gear, destroy their cell phones and carry out a massacre all within 20 minutes.

This story is brought to you by the same people who insisted that the assault on the Benghazi compound conducted with heavy firepower was really a spontaneous movie review.

Farook's father said, "He was very religious. He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back." Neighbors say that he "grew a beard and started to wear religious clothing. The long shirt that's like a dress and the cap on his head." Neighbors noticed something was wrong, but they were afraid to "profile" him. That might be Islamophobic. And it's better to let Americans die than be thought a bigot. That's the policy in Washington D.C. and over in the Redlands in California.

So his motive remains a mystery wrapped in an enigma and tucked inside an IED. We could speculate, but that would be Islamophobic. All we can do is shoot back once the latest perpetrators of workplace violence have killed enough people that killing them no longer seems disproportionate.

Syed Farook sought his soulmate in "a girl who has the same outlook, wear hijab, but live the life to the fullest." And in a cult of death, living life to the fullest means taking the lives of others.

Farook, as his dating profile said, came from a "religios but modern family of 4". And you can tell they were modern because they used guns, not swords.

When the Redlands Tea Party Patriots objected to the resettling of Syrian Muslim migrants in their community, CAIR accused them of "paranoia and phobia is rooted in a combination of ignorance and bigotry."

But "paranoia and phobia" are the modern condition that the free world has found itself living in. Islamic terrorism can strike anytime and anywhere from a Paris concert hall to a San Bernardino County facility where disabled children were being helped. It's ignorance to ignore that and bigotry to defend it.

"What will be done to ensure the safety of our community? Our biggest concern is the safety of our family, our children and our grandchildren," Victoria Hargrave of Redlands Townhall had asked.

It was a good question. As the country watched police charge towards a home in the Redlands, it has become an even better question.

Everything possible was done to deny Nidal Hassan's terrorist motivations in the Fort Hood Massacre. His attack was deemed workplace violence. Even his own attempts to explain that he supported the terrorists were shut down so that he was reduced to smuggling messages to get his story out.

And despite multiple statements by Hassan that he was a terrorist, the official story is still workplace violence. Right after the shooting, it was some strain of airborne PTSD that had somehow transmitted itself from American veterans to the Muslim employee who had never seen combat until he began killing them.

There are always excuses.

The Times Square bomber had financial issues. The Tsarnaev terrorists were poorly adjusted. Once the media digs into Farouk's life, it will no doubt find that he had financial issues, was poorly adjusted and may have even been suffering from some mysterious form of airborne PTSD.

Obama and the media would like to make this story about "gun violence". But guns don't shoot themselves. There is a hand that pulls the trigger and a mind whose foul purposes that hand serves.

Gun violence is not a mechanical problem. It is not a hardware problem of guns going off at random. It is not a biological problem of fingers randomly twitching on triggers. It is a problem of the mind.

Behind each massacre, there is a mind. And it is that mind, its ideas and its beliefs, that kills.

San Bernardino is home to what is described as a "growing Muslim population" and that growth comes with terrifying growing pains.

This latest attack appears to be one of them.

It's a matter of simple math that as the population most likely to commit terrorist acts increases, so do the acts themselves.

Two months ago, Marilyn Snyder of the Redlands Tea Party Patriots wrote of "the runners and spectators of the Boston Marathon who never imagined that refugee jihadists were stealthily plotting their demise - just because they were not Muslims."

Most people in San Bernardino County did not expect that anyone was plotting to kill them. They did not think that one evening the events from far-off France would suddenly be taking place where they lived. And yet that is the new reality.

Islamic terrorism can strike anywhere and everywhere.

"While it is impossible to prevent death delivered by madmen who kill because of religious extremism, it is possible to put in place federal policies that limit the influx of Muslim extremists through the wide-open refugee doors of the Obama administration," Marilyn wrote.

That remains true.

Sayeed Farouk, like Nidal Hassan, did not suddenly fly over here from Syria. But that only makes it more vital that we prevent the next attack and the next massacre by closing the doors and keeping our country safe.

We cannot bring back the dead, the victims of the long horrifying roll of Islamic terror that stretches back for thousands of years, but we can protect the living.

The left approaches this as a mechanical problem, but it's an ideological problem. It's a conflict between two sets of ideas and two sets of worldviews. It is a war between those who believe that men must be ruled by the dead will of Mohammed and his brutal successors and those of us who believe in the freedom of our founding documents and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It is not a war that we will win through appeasement or disarmament. And we can begin to fight back by protecting ourselves and our country.

"We Redlanders and all Americans need to stand up with "common sense and judgment" with an emphatic "No!" to Syrian refugee resettlement. It's time to bar the doors against jihadi infiltration," Marilyn wrote.

From Redland to Paris, it's time that we did the right thing, for our towns, our cities and our country.    



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

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

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


10 December, 2015

"Proof" that Australian whites are racist

It is a stunt, not a scientific experiment. Those who set the prank up did so with lots of non-racial differences between the men - differences which subtly say something to others.

Notice the black man has a backpack on, which the video makers tried to hide while leaving straps visible so they can deny they tried to hide it. The black man has work boots that look steel capped, a workman's bright contrasting shirt. The white man is dressed in soft shoes, casual homelike clothes. Also notice the
differences in body type, posture and body language which say a lot.

And most significantly, positioning:  The white man is positioned more in the open so people can see walk all around him easily. The black is more to the side, his back against a structure so people will walk past. The whole thing is a set up

2016 may be right around the corner, but this social experiment shows racism is evidently still alive and well in Australia.

Brooke Roberts, an Adelaide-based entertainer who runs the brand PrankNation, secretly filmed two men standing blindfolded in public with a sign reading: “I trust you. Do you trust me?” They were placed in the same location during busy periods, and left in the hands of the busy passersby flocking around them.

The only difference? One man was white and the other was black.

“Today I went out to see the comparison between my light-skinned friend and my dark-skinned friend,” said Roberts in the video. “The sign didn’t say ‘hug me’, the sign didn’t say ‘take action’. Let’s see what reactions we can get.”

The results were not good. Over the course of three and a half hours, the light-skinned man is shown being approached by a total of twelve people over three hours. He gets 10 hugs, one handshake, and just one negative reaction for standing in the middle of the walkway.

But when his dark-skinned friend stands in the exact same position, blindfolded with the exact same sign?


Nothing more than a few points and stares over the course of six hours - double the time of the first. And not a single hug.

Roberts said he was inspired to create the video after reading about a racist incident last month, in which a Melbourne Apple store removed a group of African teenagers.

“I saw a video posted about the dark-skinned school kids that got kicked out of the Apple store in Melbourne,” Roberts told news.com.au.

“I felt like this was very unprofessional and I wanted to test Adelaide and see how their racism compared.”

He admitted he had positive expectations for the outcome of this experiment, and described the public’s response as “unexpected”.

“I am hoping that not only the city of Adelaide can see how they did in the experiment, but also other places around the world.

“I want people to become aware of how they act and decrease the amount of racism.”


British Leftist leader uses his Christmas party speech to quote an Albanian dictator responsible for death or imprisonment of 100,000 people

Jeremy Corbyn quoted the words of a Communist dictator of Albania at Labour's Christmas party last night.

The hard-left Labour leader dismayed attendees at the staff party when he quoted the words of Enver Hoxha, blamed for the deaths, torture and imprisonment of 100,000 Albanians.

The outrage comes just weeks after John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, quoted from Chairman Mao's Little Red Book in the Commons chamber.

Hoxha was chairman of the Democratic Front of Albania and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces from 1944 until his death in 1985.

In his speech to staff, Mr Corbyn said Hoxha had been a 'tough ruler'.

He went on to use the dictator's phrase that 'this year will be tougher than last year'.

The Christmas party was thrown for both current staff and veterans of the 2015 election campaign.

Attendees were reportedly stunned by the remarks, which will raise memories of Mr McDonnell's decision to quote Mao in his response to George Osborne's budget.

The row overshadowed Conservative U-Turns on cuts to tax credits and the social security budget.?

Hoxha ruled Albania with an iron fist for 40 years, over a time characterised by the elimination of the opposition, prolific use of the death penalty[1][2] or long prison terms for his political opponents.

He would evict his opponents'families from their homes to remote villages that were strictly controlled by police and the secret police, the feared Sigurimi.

His rule was also characterized by Stalinist methods to destroy his associates who threatened his position.


British football chiefs ban local newspapers from printing results of children's matches - in case it upsets the losing teams

Football chiefs have banned local newspapers from publishing match results of children's games - in case it upsets the losing teams.

The Football Association has ordered local papers in England to stop publishing the youth football results to make it more 'child centred and less results orientated.'

It applies to newspaper articles, club and league websites and social media channels.

Youth FA officials say publishing 'one sided score lines can act as a disincentive to continue playing for many children.'

But parents and football team managers have criticised the Youth FA ruling which covers U7 to U11 matches.

They say it makes their children proud to see themselves mentioned in the press and can't understand the official's bizarre new rules.

Mike Wood, whose son plays for Horley Town Allstars U9s, in Surrey, said: 'I just think it's a little bit disappointing because nothing's ever been put in the paper that is defamatory about the other teams.

'From a personal point of view, it buoys my son a little bit and raises his confidence.  'They look forward to it. They see their photos and their names and it boosts them.

'As long as things are friendly and they are not derogatory I do not personally see a problem.'

He added: 'It's human nature that you are never going to go through life winning everything and I know they are only young children, but it's the way of life.  'You can't win everything, all of the time.'

For trophy events leagues can publish who won the competition but not any related score lines, or scorers in an attempt to boost children's self-esteem.

Merstham Mustangs coach Paul Slaney said local paper The Surrey Mirror was important to his team - even when they were losing.

He said: 'I can't see any reason why people can't be proud and have a mention in the newspaper. 'It's not how you win, it's how you lose as well and you have got to lose to win.

'We had three seasons where we never won a game at home and it's only this season that we started winning.  'It's something we are very proud of and the Surrey Mirror supported us. That was essential for our development.'

The penalties for breaking the ruling remain unclear.

An FA spokesman said: 'The FA places a great deal of importance in ensuring that youth football is played in a positive and fun environment.

'Our aspiration is to ensure that a progressive, child-friendly approach pervades and we challenge the win-at-all-costs mentality that has been recognised to stifle development and enjoyment for young people.

'Among the range of measures to have been introduced to reflect this, The FA now directs leagues not to publish individual score-lines from matches in competitions featuring Under 11s teams.

'While it is not the intention of The FA to stifle the positive benefits that come from recognition of achievement - and do not suggest this - significant consultation during our FA Youth Review with children (players), parents, coaches, clubs and league volunteers concluded that where there are one sided score lines, these can act as a disincentive to continue playing for many children.

'This conflicts with our aspiration to make youth football more child-centred and less results orientated on order to support the long term development of players.'


An Evening with Enoch Powell: A memoir from Sean Gabb

Saturday 22nd November 1986

No concert after all last night. Instead to Newham North East Conservative Club, to see Simon Pearce – and, much more than that, to see ENOCH POWELL.

Last time I was at the Club was almost a year ago, when it was Harvey Proctor speaking. Nothing much had changed in a year – the same elderly women, the same sprinkling of epicene young men. Oh, of course, there was a good showing of the locals last night. Like me, they’d come out on a wet night to see Enoch. Who wouldn’t?

He came into the meeting room at about 8pm. Dressed with elegance that nearly shocked me in a black, three-piece suit, he must be pushing 75. He didn’t look a day over fifty, nor a day older than the last time I saw him in the flesh, at the Alternative Bookshop. He sat at the front table, on his right the local PPC – some chinless creature whose name I missed and didn’t bother asking for afterwards – on his left Simon, beard impressive as ever, white streak in his hair ditto.

Simon opened the proceedings, with a lavish though halting panegyric on EP. He was scholar, soldier, former Minister, prophet. He drew attention to EP’s great and continuing kindness to East London Conservatives. He sat down to great applause. To greater applause, EP stood up.

He began slowly, thanking the Association for the kindness of inviting him to speak. Looking at his notes, he started the main body of his speech. This was an attack on the idea of positive discrimination and on the system of quotas that would be needed to give it any real meaning. He spoke of the craze for “ethnic monitoring” – “a plague more deadly than aids” – currently sweeping the professions. He gave the Law Society’s recent survey as a prime example. He then attacked the idiotic Prince of Wales with a reference to complaints of “not enough black faces under the buzbies.”

All this, he said, was just one more symptom of the mischievous importation of race into the laws of Great Britain, an importation first made in the Race Relations Act 1965, and now widened and entrenched to the point where it directly endangers the indigenous heritage of these islands.

Our constitution and whole way of life, he went on, was based on the premise of a largely homogenous population, with more fundamental points of agreement than disagreement, and a bare majority of whom could be trusted with unlimited formal power, because there were commonly-accepted, if not explicit, rules of how that power might be exercised. Undermine that basis – let areas of the country be settled by groups without this perception of common interest – and the system would become unworkable. This was happening now all about us, here in East London.

There was a conspiracy of silence among the powers that be, he concluded, and his duty over the past twenty years had been to see that the truth was told, before it became too late for remedial action to be peacefully taken.

Questions followed. I asked for his comment on Lewisham Council’s policy of removing “offensive” literature from its libraries. He said this was another illustration of the tendency he had described. The Labour Party was exploiting the race issue throughout the inner cities. As such, it was like a man riding on the back of a tiger – but any man who tried this would find himself eaten alive before proceeding very far on his journey. He mentioned the current fuss in the Labour Party over the issue of black sections.

Someone else asked about education and “mother-tongue” teaching. The answer was fascinating. Education, he said, has two functions. One is to hand on from one generation to another the heritage of a nation. The other is to satisfy human curiosity,. Deny the first of these purposes, and you add yet more kindling to the funeral pyre of our nationhood.

Someone asked what was to be done. As ever, he raised repatriation as the only sure answer.

He said much else beside the above, which is only a poor abstract of the speech – an abstract made a day later and without benefit of notes. Oh, inter alia, he praised Mrs Thatcher for her skill in avoiding the imposition of sanctions against South Africa, and he condemned all attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of another country, without also assuming a corresponding degree of responsibility.

It was a grand performance, quite in the old style of English oratory. There was no tinselly rhetoric, no use of long words for their own sake, no striking for alliteration or sentences without verbs. Nor was there any of the monotonous delivery you get from someone who is reading from a text. Instead, every sentence was as grammatically perfect as if written down in advance, yet delivered naturally – and all linked into a single persuasive whole.

That was his speech. I have read greater – of course, I have: last night’s speech was only good, not great – but have heard nothing in my life so far to match it.

One further point. I have mentioned the audience – mostly working class locals. None of these, I suspect, has had the advantage of an education much beyond sixteen. EP spoke, during more than half an hour, in long and often complex sentences. Once he referred to Greek history. Once, he mentioned the French Revolution. At no point did he lose his audience. They listened in silence. They understood him. They questioned him on what they had understood, and listened to him again. I suspect that those politicians who say they are adapting their style to suit the limitations of their audience are only trying to excuse their own limitations.



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, 2015

Gang of multiculturalists attacked strangers with a baseball bat ‘for the pleasure of doing so’

A judge sentenced a gang of baseball bat wielding teenage thugs to more than 40 years in prison after accusing them of carrying out a sickening crime spree for 'pleasure'.

Judge William Kennedy handed extended sentences of detention, ranging between eight and 10 years, to Yusuf Akram, 18, Usamah Aftab, 18, Mohammed Ali, 18, Thamid Zaman, 17 and Hamzah Jawyd, 17, at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

The group roamed the streets of east London looking for lone men to attack and struck each of their victims to the back of the head with a baseball bat, before kicking and punching them.

 After targeting the men the group then stole phones, cash cards and Oyster cards.

All the defendants admitted conspiracy to rob and Judge Kennedy said they would have received sentences of up to 20 years had they been adults at the time of committing the offence.

He also branded the robberies as 'almost incidental' to the extreme violence used.

He said: 'Whilst by your pleas of guilty you admit a conspiracy to rob, the reality is that this was primarily a conspiracy to cause extremely severe and potentially fatal injuries to innocent members of the public. 'The robbery after the infliction of such injury was almost incidental.

'To go out with a baseball bat demonstrates a settled preparedness to seriously wound.

'Its use before any demands are made of victims clearly demonstrates a pre-planned determination to cause dreadful injury for no other reason than the pleasure of doing so.'

The victims of the crime spree were left with life-changing injuries including brain injuries, a broken neck and extensive facial fractures.

The career of pilot Arfath Miah was left in tatters after the attack caused him to be suspended from flying for three years and he also still requires a frame to walk.

The callous and vicious gang, who smirked, hugged and shook hands with each other before leaving the dock, hit across two days.

Mohammed Munshi was battered to the ground and left with acute haemorrhage to the left side of his brain, in Harold Road, Forest Gate, on March 7.

The following night, at around 10pm, another victim was beaten with a bat in Hatherley Gardens, East Ham, and his iPhone was taken.

Just 40 minutes later, a man was attacked from behind for his cash, Oyster card and mobile phone.

He suffered a fractured skull and a brain haemorrhage.

Aftab sent a congratulatory message to Jawyd the day after and later offered the stolen phone for sale.

On March 9, another victim was savagely attacked in Blenheim Road, East Ham.

He heard the youths counting down 'three, two, one' before they hit him over the head with the bat leaving a 4cm gash to the back of his head.

The gang then made their way to Henniker Gardens and attacked Essen Mohammed for his wallet and mobile phone.

Two hours later pilot Mr Miah was knocked unconscious and left with a fractured skull.

A seventh robbery took place the following evening, after Mohammed Khan was approached by the group and asked for directions.

Akram drew the bat from under his clothing and struck the man from behind and beat him repeatedly while he lay unconscious and defenceless on the floor.

Mr Mohammed sustained extensive facial fractures, a fractured skull and bleeding requiring hospitalisation for a month and is still having his speech capacity rebuilt.

The last robbery took place less than an hour later in Stone Road, Manor Park, where the man was left with a fractured neck, extensive skull and facial fractures along with brain injuries.

Akram and Zaman made off with the man's phone, cash card, money and Oyster card while the victim also lost his job as a chef when he was unable to work.

Judge Kennedy said there was no need for the gang to use violence as the number of them involved would be enough to intimidate victims into handing over their belongings.

He said: 'The use of a baseball bat before the taking of relatively minor items of personal property clearly shows an intention to commit more serious harm than such street robbery would ordinarily have involved.

'It is likely that the sheer force of numbers of you defendants would have been sufficient to persuade each of these victims to hand over his property without the need for any violence at all.

'Whilst you may not at this moment regard yourselves as fortunate, your good fortune is that none of these people that you injured so seriously, fracturing skulls and facial bones, died.

'Both actually and figuratively, you went with the blood of one victim on your hands to inflict similar injuries upon the next.'

Jawyd, was jailed for eight years, Aftab was handed a 10-year sentence and Akram was sentenced to eight years in prison, all come from Plaistow, London. Zaman, from Beckton, was jailed for eight and a half years and Ali, from Forest Gate, was jailed for nine years. All of the defendants except Ali were given a two-year extension to their sentences for dangerousness.

Detective chief inspector Jamie Piscopo, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: 'These were serious acts of violence and a clear example of a gang going on the rampage.

I honestly believe they would have continued and eventually killed someone if they had not been apprehended. One victim pretended to be dead in a desperate attempt to get the gang to cease their unrelenting attack.

'The custodial sentences handed down today have removed five very dangerous individuals from society.'


I wouldn't want him round for dinner, but boxer Tyson Fury SHOULDN'T be banned by the BBC for his offensive views

By Dominic Lawson

The BBC's Sports Personality of the Year is a baffling competition.

Its winners are all great sports champions in their field. But the 'personality' bit is less obvious. Nigel Mansell (twice); Nick Faldo; and — only last year — Lewis Hamilton. Do these men have memorable personalities? Would anyone find them the least bit interesting, once conversation strayed from Formula One or golf?

Perhaps I am doing all these outwardly dull men an injustice. Sometimes the apparently bland sportsman can turn out to be amusing and intelligent — such as 1988's winner, the snooker player Steve Davis.

But, in general, the top sports stars have (necessarily) been so intensely focused from an early age on their specific and intensely competitive physical pursuit that they have become quite confined characters.

But this year, one of those shortlisted by the BBC panel has a genuinely startling and unconfined personality.

Tyson Fury, who just over a week ago became the first British boxer since Lennox Lewis to win the world heavyweight championship, is a manic character of natural intelligence (though completely uneducated) and highly articulate.

Unfortunately — as it might now seem for the BBC — Fury gave an interview with The Mail on Sunday's Oliver Holt just before he won his title from Ukraine's Wladimir Klitschko, in which he was all too articulate about his religious beliefs.


Fury explained: 'There are only three things that need to be accomplished before the Devil comes home. One of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other is paedophilia . . . This is a free world we live in, and an evil world. People can say, oh you're against abortions and you're against paedophilia, you're against homosexuality . . . but my faith and my culture is based on the Bible. If I follow that and that tells me it's wrong, then it's wrong for me.'

As a result of this, a petition has been launched to remove Fury's name from the BBC shortlist, which now has more than 50,000 signatories.

Alice Arnold, a former BBC newsreader and wife of the sports presenter Clare Balding, joined this call and, referring to Fury's winning his title on the same day Andy Murray brought the Davis Cup home, declared: 'Two British victories. One by a consummate professional and gentleman, the other a homophobic idiot. I know who I'm cheering.'

There is, indeed, something deeply offensive in Fury's apparently drawing moral equivalence between adult same-sex relationships and sex with children.

But Fury was not proposing that politicians take action against gay people, still less was he condoning or fomenting violence against them.

He was merely repeating the fundamentalist Christian preaching he must have picked up at whichever Bible class he attends: that unless mankind turns away from what it sees as the paths of wickedness, the world will be taken over by the Devil.

It is, by the way, the kind of preaching you can still hear within the established Anglican Communion, albeit in Africa rather than this country. Fifty years ago, these would have been views commonly expressed here; this caused enormous torment to gay people who were told that their natural desires were intrinsically evil — and as a result hated themselves for no good reason. In my view, the acceptance of homosexuality is one of the great social advances of our time.

Yet we also live — allegedly — in a country that believes in freedom of speech (short of exhorting the public to acts of violence). So the idea that Fury should be punished for his stated beliefs is also abhorrent. Freedom of speech only to echo the established view on something, is not freedom of speech at all: freedom of speech means the freedom to offend those of a different view.

Look at it, if you will, from Tyson Fury's point of view. He comes from what is known now as the 'Irish traveller community'. While this community is regarded as primitive by modern society, its practices and beliefs would have seemed completely orthodox 50 or so years ago.

So, for example, he and his wife were 'introduced' by his Aunt Theresa. They went out on chaste family-authorised dates — no kisses or cuddling. And, as Mrs Fury told the Mirror last week: 'Even after we got engaged, Tyson would sleep in a caravan at my parents' home, while I slept in the house. We didn't sleep together until after we got married. That is the travellers' way.'

She added that, after her husband had won his fight against Klitschko (to the amazement of almost every pundit, even though Fury had won all his previous bouts): 'When we got back to the hotel, we both got on our knees by the bed and said our prayers and thanked God.' And neither of them touched a drop of alcohol.

There is, admittedly, a crude side to the 6ft 9in new heavyweight champion of the world. He has said that woman's 'best place is to be in the kitchen or on her back'.

He recently observed of his rival for the Sports Personality of the Year, the Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'She slaps up good. When she's got a dress on she looks quite fit.'


These are not the sort of remarks that would make Fury a congenial guest at a middle-class dinner party. But why should he be? He's a professional boxer, up for Sports Personality of the Year, not auditioning for a regular slot on BBC Radio 4's Thought For Today.

Anyway, I don't think Tyson Fury has any desire to enter polite society.

After winning the WBA, IBF and WBO belts (plus £4 million in prize money), he decided against flying home from Dusseldorf in a private jet and, instead, drove to Rotterdam to take the ferry to Hull.

He is, in other words, as far removed as one can imagine from the PR-obsessed, homogenised, ineffably bland world of your standard modern-day sports star.

If Fury were any of those things, Oliver Holt would never have got that extraordinary interview. There would have been at least two PR men present, one to turn off the journalist's tape recorder, the other to tell Fury that he should change the subject immediately.

So, of course, the BBC should not kick Tyson Fury off the list of Sports Personality of the Year candidates. And those viewers who think his offensive views on homosexuality outweigh any of his sporting achievements can vote accordingly.

They could even vote once again for the Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton. Wake me up when that's over.


Jason Benham’s Son Worries: ‘Daddy, Please Stop Talking About Jesus – I Don’t Want Someone to Kill You’

In a tweet posted on Sunday, Jason Benham said his 11-year-old son was concerned that expressing one’s belief in Jesus Christ could put one in danger.

“So my 11 yr old says, ‘daddy, please stop talking about Jesus - I don't want someone to kill you.’ Yes, it's time for that conversation,” Benham tweeted.

Benham and his twin brother, David, are real estate developers and outspoken Christians, who regularly share their views on social media platforms.

The brothers first gained national recognition for being tapped by HGTV to host the “Flip it Forward” show focused on their real estate dealings, but the cable network canceled the show after a liberal media outlet reported that they are opposed to same-sex marriage and abortion.

On their website, benhambrothers.com, their take on the show’s cancellation is expressed in a banner across a photo of the brothers and their families playing tug-a-war.

“If our faith cost us a television show then so be it,” the banner states.


Pig's head left near University of Western Australia mosque

No reflection heard on how this compares with the chopping off of human heads that Muslims do regularly

A Muslim student has described the "frightening" experience of finding a pig's head near a mosque at a Western Australian university just before his traditional midday prayer.

University of WA PhD candidate Majdi Fal was working in his office on Sunday morning before taking a lunchtime break, he told Radio 6PR on Monday.

He then went to complete his regular prayers around 12.40pm and stopped at the bathroom first.
The University of Western Australia's Perth campus.

The University of Western Australia's Perth campus. Photo: Bohdan Warchomij

He had taken off his glasses, so when he first saw stains on the floor he thought they might be dirt. He then realised they were blood, and thought for a moment it was human blood.

Then, inside the traditional Turkish toilet, he saw the pig's head, surrounded by more dried blood.

Mr Fal said it was a "frightening" experience and he believed it to be a message to Islam as a minority group.

He said the toilet was in a central location and well used by all kinds of students, but was clearly the closest toilet to the prayer room.

He said though similar incidents had happened in Perth before, he thought for this to happen at a university was "alarming", given UWA was a place of education and diversity, with many minority groups co-existing peacefully.

Mr Fal, who has lived around the world before coming to Australia and never before personally encountered prejudice, said he hoped people could learn to ask more questions and talk about their beliefs and concerns.

We come to a university to seek knowledge and understand others," he said. "We need commonality, rather than difference."

He said he was confident investigators would do their best to find the perpetrator.

The incident prompted an immediate social media response in response to Mr Fal's Facebook post saying he believed tensions in the community were "escalating".

In a statement, the UWA Guild condemned the incident and said it was investigating the "unprecedented display of Islamophobia".

"Acts like this are designed only to incite religious and racial hatred," it said.

A UWA spokesman said university management was saddened by the "deplorable act".

"It is concerning that people using the UWA Muslim prayer room have been targeted this way," he said.

"The matter has been reported to police. We would like to reinforce that UWA strives to support a culturally inclusive and tolerant campus community and the University will offer help and support to our Muslim students at this time."

WA Police spokeswoman Susan Usher noted that the incident was in a public toilet and cautioned against leaping to conclusions.

She said police were making inquiries and until they had more facts, could not confirm the motivation behind the incident.

On Saturday night, a joint Muslim-Christian meeting was held in Perth to discuss "tough issues" facing both societies.

It was the second such meeting in recent weeks, with representatives of various faiths also coming together for a Perth prayer vigil in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Beirut and Paris.



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, 2015

UK: We need the right to make the ‘wrong’ choices

The government should not dictate what we – or our children – can eat

In a severe case of Something Must Be Done-ism, a committee of MPs is demanding government control of our food.

On Monday, the Commons Health Committee published its report on childhood obesity. The central premise is that although obesity is actually a very complex problem, Something Must Be Done. And it seems it must be done without regard to the negative consequences.

Childhood obesity rose sharply in the Nineties and the early part of this century. But, since 2005, rates have been either flat or falling, even if they remain much higher than 20 years ago. However, children from better-off families still have lower rates of obesity than those from poorer households. To tackle this, the committee’s proposals include taxing sugary drinks, extending the current ban on ‘junk food’ advertising from children’s programmes to all programmes shown before 9pm, a crackdown on price promotions in supermarkets, regulation of the use of cartoon characters in marketing and a state-led programme of product reformulation to reduce the levels of the ‘wrong’ stuff – including sugar – in manufactured foods.

Most of the attention fell on the idea of a sugary-drinks tax of 20 per cent. Such a tax would be an illiberal restraint on our choices; it would be regressive, because the poor would pay a bigger share of their incomes than the wealthy; it would be ineffective, because people would change their behaviour to get around it; and it would be unnecessary, because in most cases there are almost always alternative versions of the same products that have less sugar, fat or salt. Right next to that can of Pepsi on the shelf are cans of Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max. If we are personally concerned about sugar, for example, we can easily avoid it.

But the broad sweep of the committee’s proposals is really quite astonishing. In effect, these measures would mean state control of the price, content, availability and marketing of food. At the moment, we have plenty of choice about what we eat. We can organise our diets almost any way we choose. However, a handful of MPs (the committee wasn’t even unanimous) have decided that such choice should be taken away from us – and particularly from those poorer people who have the temerity to make the ‘wrong’ choices.

One of the shocking things about all this is that such measures just won’t work. Even when chubby children get direct intervention from doctors, it is hard to make much impact on their waistlines. Either the doctors are getting the advice wrong, in which case they could do us all a favour and butt out of our lives, or this obesity business is a much harder thing to solve than MPs and health campaigners seem to assume.

There are plenty of downsides to these proposals. The current advertising ban has made it difficult to fund children’s TV programming – and extending it will do even more damage. The proposals also represent another small blow to free speech, with the government deciding which legal, widely available products can be promoted and which cannot. The attitude of the government towards the masses is neatly summed up by the idea that we cannot be trusted to see Coco the Monkey without being compelled to eat sugary, chocolate-flavoured cereal.

The idea that the government should decide what manufacturers are allowed to put into their products is even more buttock-clenchingly awful. Rather than firms creating products and seeing if we like them enough to keep buying them, the formulation of foods would be determined by a committee of the great and good. The result is likely to be less-pleasant food. In the name of protecting us from our own foolish choices, we’ll be offered crap, tasteless food, with all the nice stuff – fat, salt and sugar – reduced to the bare minimum. Of all the people you don’t want deciding how food should taste, it’s a panel of health-obsessed puritans and hamfisted bureaucrats. It brings to mind Julian Clary’s old putdown: ‘Who cuts your hair for you? Is it the council?’

These proposals represent government intervention on a scale seldom seen since rationing ended in 1954. And at least then there was the excuse of being at, or recovering from, a world war. There’s little chance the grandkids will be asking you what you did during the Great War on Crunchy Nut Cornflakes.

We need to push back against these petty dictators and their belief that they know what’s best for us – especially when it’s obvious they haven’t got a clue. We should be the ones who decide what we eat and how much we eat.


Pro-Lifers to Sing Christmas Carols at Home of Planned Parenthood Doc

Mary Gatter became a household name in July when she was shown having been caught on camera negotiating the sales prices of the body parts of aborted babies. Gatter infamously said she was hoping to sell enough aborted baby parts to purchase a Lamborghini.

In the shocking undercover video, Gatter, the Medical director at Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley in Calfiornia, discusses selling aborted baby body parts with undercover investigators posing as officials with a biotech company that acts as a middleman to sell aborted baby body parts to universities and other places that conduct such research. Gatter is a senior official within Planned Parenthood and is President of the Medical Directors’ Council, the central committee of all Planned Parenthood affiliate medical directors.

Gatter discusses the pricing of aborted baby body parts — telling the biotech company officials that the prices for such things as a baby’s liver, head or heart are negotiable. She also tells the officials that she could talk with the Planned Parenthood abortion practitioners to potentially alter the abortion procedure to kill the baby in a way that would best preserve those body parts after the unborn child is killed in the abortion.

Gatter suggests $100 per specimen is not enough and concludes, “Let me just figure out what others are getting, and if this is in the ballpark, then it’s fine, if it’s still low, then we can bump it up. I want a Lamborghini.”

Now, local pro-life advocates from a group called Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust are planning to regale Gater with Christmas carols outside her home.

“Mary Gatter was the abortionist in the CMP videos who callously joked about wanting a Lamborghini from the profits of aborted baby parts sold by Planned Parenthood. This will be a peaceful event in front of her home and neighborhood,” the group said in an email LifeNews received.

Singing Christmas carols for abortion clinics is not a new phenomenon, as pro-life groups in Chicago have sung Christmas carols at local abortion centers for years.

The infamous video that helped bring the Planned Parenthood scandal to light showed Gatter haggling over payments for intact fetal specimens and offering to use a “less crunchy technique” to get more intact body parts.

Actors posing as buyers ask Gatter, “What would you expect for intact [fetal] tissue?

“Well, why don’t you start by telling me what you’re used to paying!” Gatter replies.

Gatter continues: “You know, in negotiations whoever throws out the figure first is at a loss, right?” She explains, “I just don’t want to lowball,” before suggesting, “$75 a specimen.”

Gatter twice recites Planned Parenthood messaging on fetal tissue collection, “We’re not in it for the money,” and “The money is not the important thing,” but she immediately qualifies each statement with, respectively, “But what were you thinking of?” and, “But it has to be big enough that it’s worthwhile for me.”

Gatter also admits that in prior fetal tissue deals, Planned Parenthood received payment in spite of incurring no cost: “It was logistically very easy for us, we didn’t have to do anything. So there was compensation for this.” She accepts a higher price of $100 per specimen understanding that it will be only for high-quality fetal organs: “Now, this is for tissue that you actually take, not just tissue that someone volunteers and you can’t find anything, right?”


The internet must never be a safe space

When Toronto artist Gregory Alan Elliott entered a heated argument with feminists back in 2012, he could not have anticipated the illiberal fate that would befall him. For having the temerity to disagree with them on Twitter – over a plan to ruin the life of an anti-feminist games developer – a criminal harassment report was filed against Elliott by one of the feminists, Stephanie Guthrie. Two further reports were later filed by Heather Riley and Paisley Rae.

Most sensible people would have expected the case against Elliott to be thrown out before it reached court. Instead, Gregory has been subjected to a three-year investigation and trial, racking up legal fees in excess of $100,000. He was also banned from the internet for two years and his artwork has been defaced by feminist groups around Toronto. His livelihood and reputation have suffered immeasurable damage.

This case was extreme, but far from unexpected. In recent years there has been growing hysteria about the alleged harassment women experience online. In September, the United Nations published a bizarre report called Cyber Violence Against Women and Girls. Riddled with inaccuracies and falsehoods, the report was published with the intention of making the internet a ‘safer space’ for women and girls. But, as the Elliott case demonstrates, what a ‘safer space’ really means is placing the easily offended above criticism and debate.

The internet must never be a safe space for anyone. The internet is, at its best, an intellectual space designed for sharing information and ideas. It is not your home – it is a public platform. Words do not wound. When we allow self-professed victims the power to decide what is considered safe and unsafe, we abandon free speech entirely.

A judge is set to rule on Elliott’s case in January 2016. The outcome will set a precedent for online free speech across the Western world. Those of us who believe in free expression for all need to get behind him, not only for his sake, but in defence of the internet as we know it.


Australia's Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane labels Hizb ut-Tahrir views 'absurd'

Hizb ut-Tahrir held a large conference at Bankstown in south-western Sydney on Sunday and told the more than 500 men, women and children who attended that Muslims were being demonised over their faith.  "Deradicalisation has come to mean making Muslims less Islamic, more Western, more secular, more submissive to secular, Liberal political ... norms," Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar said.

"It is nothing more than an agenda of forced assimilation justified by exaggerated fears of a security threat."

But Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane said this was "absurd".

"Hizb ut-Tahrir's views on citizenship are a rejection of our liberal democratic values and a denial of Australian multiculturalism," he said. "They further confirm this group's extremist agenda."

Dr Soutphommasane said that when migrants became citizens, they chose to become a part of the Australian community.

"There's nothing oppressive about committing to our democracy, abiding by the law, and respecting the rights of others.

"Our multiculturalism means that everyone has a right to express their cultural heritage but also accepts the responsibilities of being an Australian citizen."

The federal government has reportedly abandoned plans under consideration by former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Federal Social Services Minister Christian Porter told Sky News earlier this week the Hizb ut-Tahrir comments were "unhelpful, divisive and fundamentally ill informed".

"The recruitment process of radical organisations is to put in the mind of the people they seek to recruit that there is widespread prejudice amongst Australians against Muslim Australians.

"That level of prejudice simply does not exist in Australia."



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

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

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


7 December, 2015

African terrorist mounts attack in London

A knifeman slashed a man  at a busy London tube station and allegedly shouted 'this is for Syria' before being Tasered by police in what has been described by Scotland Yard as a terrorism attack.

The victim suffered serious knife injuries at Leytonstone underground station shortly after 7pm last night.

Anti-terror police are now investigating the attack after eyewitnesses claimed they heard the 29-year-old man shout 'this is for Syria' and 'all of your blood will be spilled' during the terrifying attack.

Terrified children ran for safety with their parents as a victim was left on the floor of the ticket hall lying in a large pool of blood. The distressing scenes were filmed on mobile phones and posted online by onlookers.

Witnesses said that until police arrived, the knifeman, 29, attacked people at random for up to ten minutes screaming: ‘This is what happens when you f*** with mother Syria. All of your blood will be spilled.’ But one onlooker defiantly shouted back to him: 'You ain't no Muslim bruv.'  Another called out: 'Drop it, you fool.' 

One victim, 56, was left with serious injuries and rushed to hospital with a police escort while two other people suffered minor wounds. None was life-threatening.

After reportedly slashing his victim's throat, the man allegedly threatened several other passengers before being confronted by a number of unarmed police officers.

The officers ordered the man to drop his weapon, who continued to wave the large knife.

One video shows the man lunge towards the police, with witnesses shouting 'he's stabbed someone'.

One of the officers reportedly shouted 'Taser, Taser, Taser' before discharging the weapon. It is understood the man needed several bolts of electricity before he collapsed to the ground. 

The incident has now been handed over to the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command.

Head of Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism unit, Commander Richard Walton said; 'We are treating this as a terrorist incident. I would urge the public to remain calm, but alert and vigilant.

'The threat from terrorism remains at severe, which means that a terrorist attack is highly likely.

'I would appeal to anyone who was in the vicinity of Leytonstone underground station earlier this evening at around 7pm who saw anything suspicious to call the anti-terror hotline on 0800 789 321.

A defiant East Londoner has been filmed condemning the knifeman who carried out a knife attack 'for Syria' at Leytonstone underground station, dismissing the killer as not being a true Muslim.

'You ain't no Muslim bruv,' the witness can repeatedly be heard saying as he watched the attacker being pinned to the ground by police.

The powerful statement has been widely quoted on social media with many people saying the man's actions represented only the work of a killer rather than someone showing their support for Syria.

Astonishingly, bystanders filmed clips on mobile phones and immediately uploaded them to Twitter to show the aftermath of the rampage and the knifeman’s tense stand-off with police.

One short film showed a man dressed in dark clothing lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Families with children dashed across the ticket hall within yards of the machete-wielding man, as concerned bystanders shouted at them to get away.

Following the attack, Transport for London ceased all services between Liverpool Street and Woodford / Newbury Park while the scene was examined.

There were conflicting reports over where the man had been injured. Some witnesses claimed the victim had been slashed in the throat, while one video showed a man with an apparent arm injury. 

A London Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: 'We were called at 7:09pm to reports of an assault at Leytonstone underground station. 'We sent a number of resources to the including our joint response unit, an incident response officer, an ambulance crew and London's Air Ambulance to the scene.

'We treated a man for stab wounds. 'He was taken as a priority to hospital escorted by the doctor from London's Air Ambulance.'

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: 'The stabbing in Leytonstone is absolutely shocking. My thoughts are with the victim and his family.'


From the Tele:  "He was tall and black, wearing a black jacket and a headscarf. It looked like he was attacking people at random."

The rage against Cumberbatch: no one is safe from PC

Benedict Cumberbatch, fresh from riling members of his theatre audience with his preachy post-Hamlet soliloquies about the plight of refugees, now finds himself on the receiving end of a barrage of self-righteousness.

His role in zany comedy Zoolander 2 has been met with outrage, after the trailer was released last week. This is all because of his cartoonish portrayal of a fashion model of ambiguous gender. His performance has been called a ‘mockery of androgyne/trans/non-binary individuals’. Right. As compared to all the straight-faced, serious, Oscar-chasing performances that will no doubt pepper the rest of the film?

Inevitably, there have been calls for a boycott, with a petition opining that ‘If the producers and screenwriters of Zoolander wanted to provide social commentary on the presence of trans/androgyne individuals in the fashion industry, they could have approached models like Andreja Pejic’. Well, I have a feeling that’s not at all what they wanted to provide.

For anyone who’s watched the original Zoolander, it’s clear this new instalment will be camp, crass and ridiculous. Watching the trailer for Zoolander 2, it occurred to me: who isn’t a ludicrous caricature in this film? Is Will Ferrell not playing an extremely camp wizard-like figure with a wig lifted from Blackadder? Zoolander 2 will be another silly send-up of the fashion industry – nothing more. It beggars belief that anyone thinks we should look to Ben Stiller and Co for a digest of contemporary gender politics. But for a large swathe of today’s so-called progressives, culture must act as a loudspeaker for their latest, modish preoccupations.

There’s something amusing about Cumberbatch, a man so PC he asked his female fans to stop calling themselves ‘Cumberbitches’, being attacked for not toeing the gender-politics line. But it’s also a bit scary. Do any of these boycotters really think they’ve rumbled a bigot? Nowadays, it seems, no one is safe.


Mother faces six months behind bars for letting her four-year-old son play alone 120ft from her front door in Sacramento

A mother is facing up to six months behind bars for letting her four-year-old son play alone in a playground 120ft from her front door.

Sonya Hendren, who described herself as a ‘free-range’ parent, found herself in hot water with Child Protective Services after letting her son play alone in the playground of their gated apartment complex in Sacramento.

Two neighbors spotted the young boy, Tomahawk Hendren, playing by himself in the playground and asked him to go home.

But when he replied that he wasn’t finished playing, they called the police and the CPS took over.

‘Of course I love him, I do everything for him. I breastfed for 28 months. I cloth-diapered, you know, obviously I’m avoiding helicopter parenting,’ insisted Ms Hendren.

She was initially arrested for felony, child endangerment and neglect. But her charges have been reduced to misdemeanors and she was offered a reduced sentence of 30 days in jail and one year probation.

She rejected the offer, however, and now faces a maximum penalty of six months in jail and three years’ probation.

Her attorney said that it is now up to the prosecution to prove that the she wilfully put her son in danger, in order to proceed with the child endangerment and neglect charges.

‘I just thought she would get a warning,’ said one of the neighbors who called CPS.

‘I’m not mad she has to do things now to teach her, because what if someone did take him?’

Meanwhile Tomahawk, an ‘outdoors’ child, said: ‘I love her like 20 times – maybe a thousand.’


The Misguided Advocates of Open Borders


The poor quality of analysis behind Australia’s abandonment of traditional assimilationist immigration policy reached its apotheosis recently in a spate of articles by well placed commentators. The proposal of the moment was open borders, immigration unrestricted by consideration of all factors save for security. Most Australians will reject the proposal as absurd. Unfortunately the analytical basis for policies followed by federal governments since the 1970s has not much differed apart from economic criteria.

Prof. Mirko Bagaric (SMH, 7 April 2010, p. 15[i]), professor of law at Deakin University, argues for unrestricted immigration from the poorest to the richest countries as the best means to reduce Third World poverty. Initially his article came as a pleasant surprise to one who applies biological concepts and methods to the study of human society. Prof. Bagaric opened by stating two truths about human ethnocentrism: “[M]ost still prefer people of their own type and find different cultures jarring”; and “It is in the human DNA.” [ii]

However from that point the article provided almost no hint that humans are an evolved species with an interest in survival. Prof. Bagaric superficially discusses three interests that could be affected by open borders – material prosperity, national security, and cultural tradition – more of which later. This leaves many interests unmentioned.

Unrestricted migration would harm Australia’s national interests in ways documented by scholars in economics, sociology and related disciplines. Much of the harm is predictable from what is known about the dysfunctions of diversity. They include growing inequality in the especially invidious form of ethnic stratification. No one likes to be ruled over by a different ethnic group or to see his own people worse off than others. The result is resentment or contempt, depending on the perspective taken.

Diversity has also been associated with reduced democracy, slowed economic growth, falling social cohesion and foreign aid, as well as rising corruption and risk of civil conflict.[iii]

The loss of social cohesion bears emphasis. Disapproving of birds flocking together is beside the point; it is a biological fact that needs to be taken into account.[iv] Rising diversity within human societies tends to drive people apart, causing them to take sanctuary in individual pursuits and ethnic communities. The practical consequences are reduced public altruism or social capital, evident in falling volunteerism, government welfare for the aged and sick, public health care[v]and a general loss of trust.[vi] Ethnic diversity is second only to lack of democracy in predicting civil war.[vii] Globally it correlates negatively with governmental efficiency and prosperity.[viii]

Thus the thrust of accumulating research in several disciplines indicates that unrestricted mass immigration would be disastrous for wealthy countries. Some of this research has been well publicised; some has been published in Australia.

There are also philosophical issues that deserve comment.

I found the single-minded concern with Third World poverty puzzling, especially coming from a declared moral universalist. It is true that poverty would be reduced for those immigrating to the wealthy West, but do not the populations of industrial countries also have interests – in ecological sustainability and national continuity – that would be injured by the influx of millions of foreigners? Should not global problems be solved in ways that optimize interests instead of benefiting one population at the expense of another? Should we not be aiming at win-win outcomes? 

From the global perspective, humanity as a whole stands to lose from overpopulation. As the late Garrett Hardin pointed out, allowing poor countries, which generally have high birth rates, the expedient of offloading excess population on low-birth rate regions reduces the incentive to solve their own population problem, for example by tackling the poverty and under-education of women. Global overpopulation can only be solved one country at a time, not by rewarding profligacy.

Another philosophical issue is Prof. Bagaric’s equating parochialism with morally repugnant “racism”. Surely that is not true, firstly because “racism” has no agreed definition and has been deployed for ideological and ad hominem purposes. It is more an instrument of abuse than of reason. If its use cannot be avoided it should be reserved to describe ethnically aggressive statements and acts, not the peaceful expression of pro-social sentiments common to humans everywhere.

Secondly, the notion that preference for one’s own people is immoral ignores the universal interest we all share in particular affiliations. All humans share parochial interests that give rise to social preferences. It would be maladaptive not to prefer people of our own type, beginning with kin. And in general this preference is moral. Bearing and caring for our own children, choosing friends on intuition, and having a special affection for our own country cannot be equated with hating others.[ix] A liberal society that allows free expression of these moderate preferences is hardly the moral inferior of one in which the elite scolds and punishes the people’s aspirations to have a country of their own.

The universality of parochial interests contradicts Prof. Bagaric when he states: “For most of human history there have been few migration limits. . . . A relevant reason [for restricting immigration] cannot be a person’s birthplace. This is merely a happy or unhappy coincidence.” The anthropological reality is the precise opposite: until recent decades almost all human society have sought to prevent permanent mass migration. Hunter gatherers and primitive agriculturalists, farmers and herders have all laid claim to a territory and fiercely defended it. Marriage partners have been found almost exclusively within the ethnic group, encompassing the local dialect. The psychological motivations for this are well established in such predispositions as social identity mechanisms, collectivism, assortment by similarity, innate cognition of human kinds, and rational choice.[x] Evolutionary origins of territoriality and ethnocentrism are indicated by their being human universals as well as being found in apes. And from the evolutionary perspective, which acknowledges the limited carrying capacity of all territories and of the world itself, it is maladaptive to allow one’s lineage – family, clan, or ethnic group to be replaced by others.[xi]

The vital interest all societies have in controlling a territory also falsifies the assertion that national security consists solely of defending individual citizens from attack by vetting immigrants for terrorist connections as is already the practice with tourists. Unlike tourists, immigrants affect the receiving country’s identity and cohesion. Societies have a corporate interest in retaining national sovereignty, which entails control of a territory, which in turn implies the will to defend against displacement in that territory. Inviting the world to a country as prosperous as Australia would result in the displacement of the Australian people inside their historical homeland.

The final philosophical point I shall discuss is the claim that open borders are somehow consistent with liberal thinking, that everyone in the world has the same rights. The problem with arguing from rights is that they can conflict, as implicitly admitted in the disclaimer that no one should infringe on others rights. Arguments based on interests have the same problem, but also the advantage of undercutting a mountain of abstractions. More to the point, the father of modern liberalism, John Stuart Mill, though generally a universalist who set his disciples on a course away from the natural sciences, was sufficiently acquainted with the real world to support liberal nationalism:

Where the sentiment of nationality exists in any force, there is a prima facie case for uniting all the members of the nationality under the same government, and a government to themselves apart . . . One hardly knows what any division of the human race should be free to do if not to determine with which of the various collective bodies they choose to associate themselves.[xii]

Mill also wrote:

"Free institutions are next to impossible in a country made up of different nationalities. Among people without fellow-feeling, especially if they read and speak different languages, the united public opinion, necessary to the working of representative government, cannot exist".[xiii]

Mill is not the final word on these subjects but he does show that basing an argument on rights does not logically entail open borders.

The calibre of open-borders arguments raises questions. How could the research documented above be ignored – not even hinted at – by a professional academic in the age of google? Individual scholars are technically responsible for covering the literature bearing on their research. But in this case there is the mitigating circumstance of the general state of the social sciences in Australia and overseas. Three weeks after Prof. Bagaric’s article appeared I have not come across one academic rebuttal. The SMH has not published a reply by another professor pointing out the obvious empirical fallacies, the failures of scholarship, the sloppy and inflammatory language. Neither has there been a storm of denunciation by colleagues or the media; no multiply-signed letters sent to newspapers defending the credibility of Deakin University or the humanities and social sciences. Nothing on radio or television. The online comments were overwhelmingly critical and were generally cogent but none of these authors identified as an academic. It seems that ordinary citizens have retained their common sense, while intellectuals are ominously silent.

Mike Steketee, a senior journalist at The Australian newspaper (10 April 2010[xiv]), appears to disagree with Bagaric. He also takes issue with Chris Berg,[xv] a research fellow at the Institute for Public Affairs, who advances a similar case for unrestricted immigration. Steketee writes that advocating open borders is “well intentioned” but would cause “chaos”, without describing the latter state. Well intentioned? He agrees with Bagaric and Berg that opening the floodgates would be ethical and that it would reduce Third World poverty. It would be the liberal thing to do in light of universal human rights: “[W]e believe individuals have the same rights, wherever they live”. But alas democracy would get in the way. Voters would reject the dissolution of the nation state and the installation of a world government. They continue to support (immoral) tough treatment of boat people. Mr. Steketee thinks that despite the proven benefits of immigration the Australian people wish to retain “control of their destiny”, implying that a rational electorate would let go and accept a much larger immigrant intake.

It seems that Mr. Steketee cannot fault Mr. Bagaric or Mr. Berg on social or ethical grounds. Indeed, he agrees with them that the free movement of people across borders is ideal. His disagreement, such as it is, concerns public relations and the pace of transformation that is politically feasible.

Berg’s article strikes a radical libertarian stance that also fails to discuss collective interests. Instead he focuses on moral claims, namely that all humans have equal moral worth regardless of where they live (p. 1). He also emphasises the benefits of immigration to immigrants. The following provides the gist of the remainder of his argument:

But immigration is good for the developed world, too. It’s good for the economy—immigrants end up being entrepreneurs and shopkeepers; employees and employers; and consumers and producers. More people mean more creativity, more opportunity, and more culture. Migrants bring skills, knowledge and international connections (p. 3).

As Mr. Berg does not distinguish immigrants by education or origins, every sentence of the above quote is either outright false according to available research or contentious. Immigrants from impoverished countries do not provide overall benefits to advanced economies, though they help some employers by reducing wages.[xvi] Inequality rises. In the United States Third World immigration increases the size of the overall economy but reduces per capita incomes. It is the latter that affects living standards. Immigrants from different cultures differ dramatically in their educational performance and entrepreneurship for several generations.

Prof. Bagaric writes off the nation as essentially racist. Mr. Berg thinks that “[t]here’s really nothing that special about national borders or the nation itself.” This is a strong claim but it becomes clear that Mr. Berg thinks that a nation is a state, failing to make an elementary and important distinction.[xvii] A nation is at its core an ethnic group living in its homeland, with shared elements of culture and means of communication. A nation can exist without its own state, an example being the Kurds. And most states are not limited to one nation’s territory. All nation states are built around a founding ethnic core.[xviii] However even without this distinction Mr. Berg is wise to state that: “A nation is the most convenient mechanism by which the institutions of liberty can be delivered.” (p. 4) True enough, but is that not a good reason for libertarians and all who treasure civil rights to defend national integrity?

The intellectual void surrounding the concept of the nation becomes most apparent when Mr. Berg wonders why an otherwise consistent libertarian, Murray Rothbard, thought that culture is worth defending by restricting immigration (p. 6). He quotes Rothbard’s reason thus: “[A]s the Soviet Union collapsed, it became clear that ethnic Russians had been encouraged to flood into Estonia and Latvia in order to destroy the cultures and languages of these peoples.” Not a bad reason. It could be supported by other examples of regimes that have used the demographic weapon, such as China in Tibet or Indonesia in West Irian. The extraordinary thing is that Mr. Berg offers no comment after quoting Rothbard. It is as if the concepts being used, “ethnic” and “destroy the culture and languages” failed to register. But they are real. Australian policy makers should bear in mind that ethnic nationalism is still a powerful force that tears countries and empires apart and creates new nations. Recent examples are the dismemberment of the Soviet and Yugoslavian empires in the 1990s. When people are allowed to choose they vote for policies that make or keep them as the ethnic majority. The result is that spreading democracy creates relatively homogeneous small states with heightened social capital and its flip side of social stability, efficient government, low corruption, more democracy, and higher economic growth.[xix] Why would a libertarian want open borders? Why would anyone want to become a minority in his own country?

By the way, one can add to Rothbard’s excellent reason for defending the cultural integrity of nations. All the benefits of relative homogeneity (and thus of assimilation and prudent immigration) documented above belong to nations, not to multi-ethnic states. One can also extend Rothbard’s reasoning. The Soviets attempted to Russify Estonia and Latvia as a means of controlling those territories. They assumed that the ethnic-Russian minorities would maintain their identity distinct from that of the target nations. As these national communities shrank in relative size they were meant to become just another competing ethnic group, national unity would be replaced by a multi-ethnic state, and the capacity of the original Estonian and Latvian nations to strategise on their own behalves would be diminished. This is what Rothbard was getting at. And who would put it past the Soviets to have reckoned that if demographic transformation could be continued long enough, the original nation would die. Another might arise in its place but that would take a long time and would not replace what was lost to the original nation.

These two pieces, one by a senior press commentator, the other by a researcher with a respected think tank, confirm the impression that the egregious standard of analysis behind open borders advocacy is not an aberration. It is deeply embedded at the elite level of Australian political culture. The problem lies with an influential tradition well established within the universities and intellectual class as a whole.

How have so many scholars come to ignore accessible knowledge about human nature and interests?  Australia’s 39 universities employ thousands of lecturers and professors in relevant disciplines. Any one of them should be able to expose elements of the case for open borders. A first year student of social anthropology should know that borders have always been closed to replacement-level migration. Students of government and sociology should know in outline the cases for and against diversity. How can bold assertions such as those in the three articles examined here go unremarked? What is being taught at our universities?

A century ago the social sciences began suing for divorce from the biological sciences.[xx] Reconciliation began in the 1970s but sociology, political science, large sections of anthropology and much of the humanities remain aloof. Add to that the political straight jacketing of these fields, an important reason for their doctrinaire rejection of biology, and it is not surprising that we see utopian socialism of the most naive variety emanating unchallenged from the professoriate. The world of ideas is one arena in which diversity is an unalloyed benefit, where homogeneity demonstrably degrades standards.

The evidence refuting the case for open borders also applies to the scale and diversity of existing immigration policy. Any policy is suspect that threatens a country’s ecological sustainability, increases diversity or tends to subordinate the core ethnic group. Such a trend was already in place for several years before historian Geoffrey Blainey warned that immigration from non-traditional Asian source countries was outrunning its welcome in the mid 1980s.[xxi]

Ethnic stratification is taking place. Aboriginal Australians remain an economic underclass and some immigrant communities show high levels of unemployment. Anglo Australians, still almost 70 percent of the population, are presently being displaced disproportionately in the professions and in senior managerial positions by Asian immigrants and their children.[xxii] The situation is dramatic at selective schools which are the high road to university and the professions. Ethnocentrism is not a White disorder and evidence is emerging that immigrant communities harbour invidious attitude towards Anglo Australians, disparaging their culture and the legitimacy of their central place in national identity.[xxiii]

The democratic process has been prevented from correcting our maladaptive immigration policies due to bipartisanship – a long-term deal between the major political parties to keep immigration issues off the table at election time. The collusion began responsibly enough as a measure to facilitate assimilation during the massive post-WWII immigration program from Europe. By the 1970s bipartisanship served to shield both parties from majority objections while they profited from multicultural politics, garnering votes from immigrant communities in exchange for immigration favours. Arguably this collusion would have been difficult to sustain if a substantial number of academics and commentators had spoken truth to power.

Instead, the rapid transformation of Australia by mass Third World immigration has been a top-down revolution in which exclusivist politicised circles within academia have been complicit by commission and omission. Political leaders and citizens alike look to intellectuals for the facts and analysis needed to make wise policy. In technical matters we have been well served, but not with regard to issues of population and diversity. The policy failure is not limited to the present federal government. It goes back decades, as does the failure of the nation’s brain trust. Correction will necessitate tackling the intellectual and ideological corruption of the humanities and social sciences by reintroducing some intellectual diversity and free speech, the only way to reestablish open-minded scholarship and teaching.



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, 2015

The Reaction of the Liberal Media to the San Bernardino Terrorist Attack by two Muslims?  Demonize prayer!

California has very strict gun-control laws so a call for more gun controls made even less sense this time than usual.  But Leftist bile had to find some outlet so yet another torrent of abuse directed at Christians was the result

The liberal media took a note from Rahm Emanuel. They're not letting a crisis go to waste. 

Less than 24 hours after the shooting, failing New York liberal rag the Daily News Snooze rushed to mock any politician who dared to offer thoughts and prayers for the victims of the tragedy. They weren't the only ones. As Mollie Hemingway notes:

That’s when things got super weird. For some reason, much of the media began mocking the efficacy of prayer. This was happening while victims of the shooting were actually asking people to pray. I mean, the critiques were everywhere. An editor at ThinkProgress said, and I quote, “Stop thinking. Stop praying.” There’s a bumper sticker for you!

At the Washington Examiner, Becket Adams outlines some of the comments. They are, in a word, revolting:

"Other countries must have fewer mass shootings because their conservative politicians offer thoughts and prayers more vigorously," said Vox.com's Matt Yglesias.

Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten added, "Dear 'thoughts and prayers' people: Please shut up and slink away. You are the problem, and everyone knows it."

The Huffington Post's Sam Stein and Arthur Delaney even penned an entire article smirking at both Democratic and GOP officials for offering prayers in the wake of mass shootings.

"Another Mass Shooting, Another Deluge Of Tweeted Prayers," read their headline. "Seems to have been an ineffective strategy so far."
Journalists on the coast have little to no interaction with people of faith. As Hemingway concludes:

The bizarre outpouring from journalists of anti-Christian sentiment yesterday was not becoming. And some of it was downright alarming. But consider that many journalists didn’t really understand what they were doing. They are bad at understanding the religious practices of much of the country, of course. But they’re not particularly good at understanding their own theodicy and its attendant rites and rituals either.
Is it any wonder why people prefer conservative news sources?


Pentagon opens all combat jobs to women

But admits that women will rarely be able to meet the physical standards for elite units.  That's fine if it continues but there have already been occasions of standards being watered down for women.  If there is much more of that, it will endanger the effectiveness of the force concerned and may even endanger the lives of other unit members

In a historic transformation of the US military, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Thursday that the Pentagon will open all combat jobs to women.

“There will be no exceptions,” Carter said at a news conference. “They’ll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars, and lead infantry soldiers into combat. They’ll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers, and everything else that was previously open only to men.”

The groundbreaking decision overturns a 1994 Pentagon rule that had restricted women from combat roles — even though women often found themselves in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 14 years.

It is the latest in a long march of inclusive steps by the military, including racial integration in 1948 and the lifting of the ban on gays in the military in 2011. The decision this week will open about 220,000 military jobs to women.

The military faced a deadline set by the Obama administration three years ago to integrate women into all combat jobs by January or ask for specific exemptions. The Navy and Air Force have already opened most combat positions to women, and the Army has also increasingly integrated its forces.

The announcement Thursday was a rebuke to the Marine Corps, which has a 93 percent male force dominated by infantry and a culture that still segregates recruits by gender for basic training. In September, the Marines requested an exemption for infantry and armor positions, citing a yearlong study that showed integration could hurt its fighting ability. But Carter said he overruled the Marines because the military should operate under a common set of standards.

General Joseph E. Dunford Jr., former commandant of the Marine Corps who recently became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did not attend the announcement, and in a statement Thursday appeared to give only tepid support, saying, “I have had the opportunity to provide my advice on the issue of full integration of women into the armed forces. In the wake of the secretary’s decision, my responsibility is to ensure his decision is properly implemented.”

Women have long chafed under the combat restrictions, which allowed them to serve in combat zones, often under fire, but prevented them from officially holding combat positions, including the infantry, which remain crucial to career advancement. Women have long said that by not recognizing their real service, the military has unfairly held them back.

A major barrier fell this year when women were permitted to go through the grueling training that would allow them to qualify as Army Rangers, the service’s elite infantry.

Carter said that women would be allowed to serve in all military combat roles by early next year. He characterized the historic shift as necessary to ensure that the US military remained the world’s most powerful.

“When I became secretary of defense, I made a commitment to building America’s force of the future,” Carter told reporters. “In the 21st century that requires drawing strength from the broadest possible pool of talent. This includes women.”

Many women hailed the decision.

“I’m overjoyed,” said Katelyn van Dam, an attack helicopter pilot in the Marine Corps who has deployed to Afghanistan. “Now if there is some little girl who wants to be a tanker, no one can tell her she can’t.”

But the Republican chairmen of the Senate and House Armed Services committees expressed caution and noted that by law Congress has 30 days to review the decision.

“Secretary Carter’s decision to open all combat positions to women will have a consequential impact on our service members and our military’s war-fighting capabilities,” Senator John McCain of Arizona and Representative Mac Thornberry of Texas said in a statement. “The Senate and House Armed Services committees intend to carefully and thoroughly review all relevant documentation related to today’s decision.’’

Some in the military have privately voiced concern that integration will prove impractical, especially in the infantry, where heavy loads and long periods of deprivation are part of the job.

“Humping a hundred pounds, man, that ain’t easy, and it remains the defining physical requirement of the infantry,” said Paul Davis, an exercise scientist who did a study of the Marine infantry.

Carter acknowledged at the news conference that simply opening up combat roles to women was not going to lead to a fully integrated military. Senior defense officials and military officers would have to overcome the perception among many service members, men and women alike, that the change would reduce the effectiveness of the armed services.

The defense secretary sought to assuage those concerns Thursday by saying that every service member would have to meet the standards of the jobs they wished to fill, and that “there must be no quotas or perception thereof.”

He also acknowledged that many units were likely to remain largely male, especially elite infantry troops and Special Operations forces, where “only small numbers of women could” likely meet the standards.


Hildabeest hires antisemite

Does Hillary Clinton have a bigotry problem?  Her icy view of American Jews is becoming an issue again, after she named to her leadership team former Congressman Earl Hilliard, who blamed his re-election loss on a supposed Jewish conspiracy to control money and the media.

“The only thing I know for sure, that I saw in black and white, is $1,098,000 that [Davis] reported. You can’t take money from corporations, so that came from Jews and Republicans. There’s no question where that money came from,” he claimed in a July 16, 2002 interview with “Black Commentator” magazine.

Hilliard also claimed Jews control the media and were out to get him.  “Remember, the Jewish media. They started putting word out, they wanted everybody to know, because … obviously they felt that the money they had, that they put in, that they were going to beat me,” he said.

Hillary’s leadership team member then claimed Jews were plotting to control all blacks, and only a “conflict” will stop them.  “There is a group out there that wants to dominate us. They want us to do what they want us to do … and to Hell with our agenda if there is a conflict,” he said.

Hilliard expanded on his Jewish conspiracy theories in an interview with the Associated Press, where he promised “retribution” against Jews.

“I see a future with a great deal of conflict between African-Americans and Jews in this country,” said Hilliard. “It’s going to get worse before it gets better. I don’t think African-Americans are going to sit back and let this continue. There will be retribution.”

Given Hillary’s belief in collective guilt, will she apologize for her anti-Semitism by association?


The New French "Résistance"

Several weeks have passed since Islamist attackers bloodied Paris. France's President François Hollande is describing the killers as just "a horde of murderers" acting in the name of a "mad cause." He adds that "France has no enemy." He never uses the word "terrorism." He no longer says the word "war."

France never was, in fact, at war. Police were deployed on the streets. Special Forces had to "intervene" a few days later in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis. That was it.

French forces did bomb positions of the Islamic State in Syria; and Hollande traveled the world to find coalition, but could not. Now he says he wants to turn a page. The French public seems to want to turn a page, too.

From the beginning, pacifism and appeasement filled the air. A German pianist came to play John Lennon's Imagine in front of the Bataclan Theater; since then, other pianists have come. On the Place de la République, people assemble every evening to sing more songs by the Beatles: All You Need Is Love; Love Me Do. Candles are lit, and banners deployed, calling for "universal brotherhood."

Those invited to speak on TV about what happened allude to "senseless acts." They do not blame anyone.

Some spoke of "resistance," but to them, resistance meant listening to music. To others, it meant having a drink with friends in a bar. In a widely circulated video, a man tries to reassure his child. "They have guns," he mutters, "but we have flowers."

Heart-shaped stickers are posted on mosques. Words such as "We love you" and "We share your pain" are written on the hearts.

Just after the attacks, French philosopher Michel Onfray said that France for many years had led Islamophobic bombings against the Muslim world, so "it was logical if the Muslims now attacked France."

When his words were used in an Islamic State propaganda video, and reporters asked him if he regretted what he said, he replied, "No."

A man who lost his wife in the Bataclan massacre said on a talk show that he would live in the future as he did before; that he had no hatred at all against the murderers, just compassion. Another man on a different talk show said he was offering "free hugs."

If some French think otherwise, they are silent.

All political leaders in France speak like Hollande. They say the country must show "unity" and "solidarity." All of them know the mood of the vast majority; even those who might want to say more, stay silent.

Almost no one mentions radical Islam. Those who do, prefer the word "jihadism," and rush to emphasize that "jihadism" is "not related to Islam."

Hollande, when he still spoke of war, said that France had "an enemy." He avoided the word "Islamic," instead referring to the Islamic State by its Arabic acronym, "Daesh."

He knew that "Daesh" could not be defeated without an American intervention that would not take place. With symbolic gestures, he did the best he could.

He also seems to know that the main enemy of France is not in Syria or Iraq, but inside the country: France already finds herself defeated.

More than half the Islamists who attacked Paris on November 13 were Muslims born and raised in France. Mohamed Merah, the murderer of Jewish children in Toulouse in 2012, and those who attacked the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket in January all were Muslims born and raised in France.

Over 750 no-go zones -- autonomous areas ruled by radical imams and Muslim gangs -- exist in France.

Radical imams and Muslim gangs also control most of France's prisons: 70% of prison inmates in France are apparently Muslim. Non-Muslim inmates are attacked and threatened; many are forced to convert to Islam.

A British survey published in 2014 showed that 16% of French approve of the Islamic State. Among people aged 18-25, the proportion rose to 27%. Within the French Muslim population, the numbers are undoubtedly higher.

More than 1000 French Muslims have left France to fight for the Islamic State. At least 400 have returned without being stopped or vetted at a border. Thousands of radicalized French Muslims have never left. Many are good, loyal citizens; but many could have learned all they wanted to know on the internet and on Islamic satellite television stations. Still others -- hundreds of thousands of French Muslims -- are not radicalized but are ready to help the radicalized ones; ready to host them or offer them asylum.

More than 10,000 French Muslims are classified as extremely dangerous by the police and are linked to "jihadist activities". They are registered in what the French government calls "S files," but there is no way to monitor their whereabouts. Placing them all in detention centers would involve a complete break with what is left of the rule of law in France.

All of the French Muslims who participated in the November 13 attacks were registered in "S files," but that did not change anything. They were free to act, and they did.

For the first time in Europe, suicide bomb attacks took place. The explosive used to make suicide belts, triacetone triperoxide (TATP), is powerful and extremely sensitive to friction, temperature change and impact. Making belts containing TATP requires a "professional."

A French judge, Marc Trevidic, in charge of all the main Islamic terrorism cases over the last ten years, said a few days before the November attacks that the situation was "getting worse," was now "out of control," and that "radicalized groups" established in the country could "carry out attacks resulting in hundreds of deaths." He was quickly transferred to a court in Lille, northern France, where he was assigned to petty crimes and divorce cases.

All the French political leaders know that Marc Trevidic is right -- that the situation is out of control -- but not one will say so publicly. Not one has asked the government why it took almost three hours for the police to intervene during the attack at the Bataclan Theater, where 89 people were murdered and over 200 wounded. There are simply not enough well-trained police, and not enough weapons in the hands of the police, and not enough bulletproof vests.

For the next few months, more soldiers and police officers will be placed in front of public buildings, synagogues, churches and mosques, but "soft" targets, such as theaters, cafés and restaurants, are not protected. It is as easy to enter a theater in Paris today as it was on November 13. French police do not have the right to carry a weapon when they are on duty.

In a few weeks, French military actions against the Islamic State will doubtless stop. President Hollande, the French government, and most French political leaders probably hope that the French will soon forget the attacks. They know that the problems are now too widespread to be solved without something resembling a civil war. When more attacks occur, they will talk of "war" again. They are supposedly hoping that people will get used to being attacked and learn to live with terrorism.

In the meantime, French politicians are trying to divert the attention of the public with -- "climate change!" The conference in Paris will last a fortnight. President Hollande says he wants save the planet. He will be photographed next to America's Barack Obama and China's Jiang Zemin.

French journalists are no longer discussing jihad; they are discussing "climate change."

Until December 11, at least, Paris will be the safest city.

In June 2015, five months after the January attacks, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that the French had to "adapt to Islam". In November, he added that "Islam has to stand up to jihadism". The French Council of the Muslim Faith, offering "condolences" to the families of the victims, specified that Muslims were "victims" too, and that they should not be "stigmatized."

Regional elections will be held on December 6th and 13th, the same time as the conference on climate change.

Polls show that the rightist party, National Front, will almost certainly win in a landslide. Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front, did not depart from the calls for "unity" and "solidarity." She is, however, the only politician to say unambiguously that the main enemy is not outside the country, but within. She is also the only politician to say that a return to security implies a return to border controls. A National Front victory does not, however, mean that Marine Le Pen will win the 2017 presidential election: all the other parties and the media might band together against her.

France's National Front is part of the increasingly popular rejection of the European Union. The invasion of Europe by hundreds of thousands of mostly Muslim migrants has strengthened that stance. The Islamist attacks in Paris, combined with the state of emergency decreed in Belgium for several days after the attacks, have helped this rejection to gain more ground. In addition, the news that several of the Paris terrorists came to France among illegal migrants -- and had successfully used false Syrian passports to enter Europe, where they could go from country to country unhindered -- did not help.

The rise of populism is slowly destroying the unelected, unaccountable, and untransparent European Union. Many European mainstream journalists see this change as a "threat."

The real threat to Europe might be elsewhere.

"The barbarians," wrote the commentator Mark Steyn, "are inside, and there are no gates."

After the attacks in Paris, Judge Marc Trevidic, again, raised the possibility of simultaneous attacks in several cities in France and in Europe. He said that if these attacks took place, the situation would become "really serious". He said he had documents to show that Islamist groups were planning to organize such attacks. If the suicide bombers, he said, had been on time at the Stade de France, before the 79,000 spectators had entered, the death toll could have been worse. He concluded that too little had been done for too long, and that now it was probably too late.



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, 2015


Old habits die hard, even after the attacks in Paris

By Daniel Mandel

One hundred and thirty-two people have been slaughtered in Paris and hundreds more wounded, to say nothing of smaller incidents that followed, victims of a well-coordinated, multi-pronged massacre devised by jihadists owing allegiance to the Islamic State (IS). The French government of François Hollande has responded with air strikes and statements about a new war that has actually been in progress in Europe for quite some time.

But old habits die hard: Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström declares that it’s really about the war that entwines the Israelis and the Palestinians.

“To counteract the radicalization we must go back to the situation such as the one in the Middle East in which not at the least the Palestinians sees that there is no future; we must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence,” Wallström said in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.

Her remarks were echoed by Dutch Socialist Party leader Jan Marijnissen, who opined that the terrorists’ behavior “eventually is connected also to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict” which he described as “the growth medium for such an attack.”

All of which looks bizarre, were it not so commonplace. The IS’s own communiqué reveling in the slaughter said nothing about Israel. An IS recruiter in Turkey, interviewed at length on in Der Spiegel in October 2014, contributed 2,400 words of advocacy condemning colonialism, secularism, democracy and homosexuality without mentioning Israel or the Palestinians even once.

Until Paris, the on-going EU-backed strikes against the IS depredations in Syria and Iraq had caused the decades-long fixation with the Israelis and Palestinians to assume smaller proportions. No longer was it held to lie at the strategic heart of a troubled Middle East.

“That was probably the case before the Arab uprisings, but a number of other struggles have now joined it, such as the Sunni-Shi’ite struggle and an intra-Sunni conflict,” observed Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center think tank, last August.

European figures like Wallström and Marijnissen won’t take such commonsense lying down. But then the notion that the Arab war with Israel lies at the core of Middle Eastern problems, including apparently the Middle Eastern problems now washing over Europe, has been popular among the political class in all continents for years.

The idea is both nonsensical and tenaciously disproved by history: the Arab war on Israel had no bearing on the Algerian war in the 1950s; Egypt’s invasion of Yemen, the bloody emergence of the Ba’athist dictatorship in Iraq, or the Aden Emergency, in the 1960s; the Libyan-Chad war or the Polisario war against Moroccan forces in Western Sahara, in the 1970s; or the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, which claimed a million lives; or Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait in 1990.

Nor did it have any bearing on events that followed – like Saddam’s subsequent massacres of hundreds of thousands of Kurds and Shia, the Taliban seizure of most of Afghanistan, or the disintegration of Somalia into a Hobbesian arena of rival militias. Events in post-Saddam Iraq and Syria have followed their own trajectory, unrelated to what Israelis and Palestinians say or do.

But supposing for a moment that none of this were true and the conflict presently resolvable, it would still be difficult to see what possible influence an Israeli-Palestinian peace could produce elsewhere across the region.

When gunmen who murdered 19 people, mainly foreign tourists, in Tunisia’s National Museum in March, to take one random example of jihadist terror in the past year, they left no clue as to being motivated by the Palestinian cause. Would an Israeli/Palestinian peace caused them to stay home?

Would the Taliban and al-Qaeda lay down their arms in Afghanistan or Pakistan because of Israelis and Palestinians made peace?

Would the Sudanese regime end its atrocities in Darfur, let alone dispatch an ambassador to Israel?

Would the Al Shabaab jihadists would call off launching incursions into Kenya and Ethiopia upon news of an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty?

Would the Iranian regime revise its determination that Israel must be wiped from the map, just because Israel would now be sharing it with a neighboring country called Palestine?

Would not jihadists would still shed the blood of Hindus in India, Buddhists in Thailand and Catholics in the Philippines? And would they not still shed the blood of fellow Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey and Yemen?

Is it so outré to observe that the conflicts in Syria and Iraq would be completely unattenuated by any sudden outbreak of Israeli/Palestinian peace?

Those who insist on the centrality of this conflict to the world misfortunes are not making a credible assertion about the importance of producing an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

Rather, they are availing themselves of an alibi for their own hostility to Israel’s existence.

Hostility and convenience go hand in glove: European politicians gratify and appease the Arab/Muslim street –– coming, not coincidentally, in droves to their shores –– when laying the blame in whole or part on the absence of peace between Israel and Palestinians and issuing professions as to the complete irrelevance of Islam to the terrorism taking place in their streets.

Short of resolution, let alone a program, for resisting Islamist encroachments at home, this is what passes for the strategy of the free world today, or at least its governments: in Europe, as burgeoning insecurity and violence expand, we can expect populations to grow more restive even as their governments grow more obtuse (at least publicly) about what is happening.

Breaking out of this dangerous, self-defeating cycle of delusion and distraction will be painful. But for an exponential surge of attacks and casualties, we can expect much continued avoidance and denial in Western chanceries.


Why parenting may not matter and why most social science research is probably wrong

The twin studies have been showing this for years

I want you to consider the possibility that your parents did not shape you as a person. Despite how it feels, your mother and father (or whoever raised you) likely imprinted almost nothing on your personality that has persisted into adulthood. Pause for a minute and let that heresy wash across your synapses. It flies in the face of common sense, does it not? In fact, it’s the type of claim that is unwise to make unless you have some compelling evidence to back it up. Even then it will elicit the ire of many.

Psychologists especially get touchy about this subject. I do have evidence, though, and by the time we’ve strolled through the menagerie of reasons to doubt parenting effects, I think another point will also become evident: the problems with parenting research are just a symptom of a larger malady plaguing the social and health sciences. A malady that needs to be dealt with.

In terms of compelling evidence, let’s start with a study published recently in the prestigious journal Nature Genetics.1 Tinca Polderman and colleagues just completed the Herculean task of reviewing nearly all twin studies published by behavior geneticists over the past 50 years. For some background, behavior genetics is the field devoted to studying human differences, and let’s be honest, whether you are a scientist or not you are interested in why people are different from one another. Besides being inherently fascinating, the reality of those differences impacts your life daily. The knowledge that some people are more trustworthy, honest, violent, impulsive, and aggressive than others is essential to navigating life. It’s simply not a good personal policy to assume that everyone you stumble upon in life has your best interest at heart.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a behavioral scientist or a plumber; we’re all theorists about these differences. People speculate about human variability in their free time constantly (think about how often you’ve wondered why your boss is such a huge…source of inspiration). Parenting effects usually play some role in our conception of why some people behave differently than others. Behavior genetics, luckily, provides us with meaningful insight regarding the sources of human differences in the population (unfortunately I can’t say anything about your boss specifically). So what about the results of that massive review of twin research? Genetic factors were consistently relevant, differentiating humans on a range of health and psychological outcomes (in technical parlance, human differences are heritable). The environment, not surprisingly, was also clearly and convincingly implicated, but interestingly it wasn’t the “environment” you might have anticipated.

Before progressing, I should note that behavioral geneticists make a finer grain distinction than most about the environment, subdividing it into shared and non-shared components.1,2,3,4 Not much is really complicated about this. The shared environment makes children raised together similar to each other.3 The term encompasses the typical parenting effects that we normally envision when we think about environmental variables. Non-shared influences capture the unique experiences of siblings raised in the same home; they make siblings different from one another. Another way of thinking about non-shared environments is that they represent the parts of your life story that are unique from the rest of your family. Importantly, this also includes all of the randomness and pure happenstance that life tends to hurl in our direction from time to time. Returning to the review of twin research, the shared environment just didn’t matter all that much (that’s on average, of course, for some traits it mattered more than others). The non-shared environment mattered consistently.

The pattern of findings mentioned above is nothing new.1,2,3,4,5 The importance of genetics and the non-shared environment (and the relatively minor importance of the shared environment) was already so entrenched in behavior genetics that years before the Polderman study was published it had been enshrined as a set of “laws.”2 The BG laws, though, are based largely (but certainly not completely) on twin studies, the meta-analysis by Polderman et al. was comprised of twin studies, and if you pay attention to this sort of thing you’ve probably heard some nasty things about twin studies lately.3 You’ve read that twin studies contain an insidious flaw that causes them to underestimate shared environmental effects (making it seem like parents matter less than they do). The assumptions of twin research, however, have been meticulously studied. The methods of twin researchers have been around for decades and have been challenged, critiqued, refined, adjusted, and (perhaps most importantly) cross validated with other techniques that rely on different assumptions entirely.3,4 They work, and they work with impressive precision.

Based on the results of classical twin studies, it just doesn’t appear that parenting—whether mom and dad are permissive or not, read to their kid or not, or whatever else—impacts development as much as we might like to think. Regarding the cross-validation that I mentioned, studies examining identical twins separated at birth and reared apart have repeatedly revealed (in shocking ways) the same thing: these individuals are remarkably similar when in fact they should be utterly different (they have completely different environments, but the same genes).3 Alternatively, non-biologically related adopted children (who have no genetic commonalities) raised together are utterly dissimilar to each other—despite in many cases having decades of exposure to the same parents and home environments.3

One logical explanation for this is a lack of parenting influence for psychological development. Judith Rich Harris made this point forcefully in her book The Nurture Assumption (an absolute must read). 6 As Harris notes, parents are not to blame for their children’s neuroses (beyond the genes they contribute to the manufacturing of that child), nor can they take much credit for their successful psychological adjustment. To put a finer point on what Harris argued, children do not transport the effects of parenting (whatever they might be) outside the home. The socialization of children certainly matters (remember, neither personality nor temperament is 100 percent heritable), but it is not the parents who are the primary “socializers”, that honor goes to the child’s peer group (a fascinating topic, but one that merits its own separate discussion).

Now, the astute critic will respond with their own research in hand, papers centering on the deleterious impact of child abuse and severe neglect. There is a wealth of evidence linking child abuse with all sorts of developmental delays, and Harris fully acknowledges this. Mercifully, child abuse is not pervasive in the population, meaning that most kids don’t experience it and it is unlikely that it explains large swaths of why some kids are more extroverted or intelligent than others.6 That said, consider an analogy shared with me by the psychologist Steven Pinker: dropping your iPhone from six floors up is guaranteed to ruin it—iPhones don’t bounce. The impending destruction awaiting your phone as it plummets toward the Earth is assured, and the fact that you played no part in designing or building your phone will not atone for your slippery fingers. The same analogy applies to parenting, in some respects. It is possible for parents to wreck something that they did not construct (i.e., their child’s healthy development, language growth, cognitive ability, etc.) if their parenting style is harsh enough. Hopefully it is evident that this type of “parenting” is not the topic at hand.6

So why mount a frontal assault on parenting? I love my parents deeply, so it has nothing to do with some latent Freudian bitterness traceable back to the first few years of my life. The lack of parenting effects happens to represent an effective avenue for making a larger point about most social science research. It cannot be fully trusted. Brian Nosek’s incredible work on reproducibility in psychology (along with a cadre of collaborators) makes this point in one very powerful respect.7 However, I want to look at the issue from a slightly different vantage point.

The vast majority of research in the social sciences involves non-experimental observational research. What this means is that researchers collect data on individuals. The data collection might start early, perhaps shortly after birth.3 The researchers will usually want to know something about the parenting strategies used with the child (it’s usually the entire point of the study), and they will probably collect data on a host of other topics. All of the information is compiled into a large database that researchers can then analyze. With age, researchers can ask children directly about their behavior, while also collecting personality inventories and any other bit of information that they deem important. In some cases, researchers have collected data for so many years that they can use the personality traits of children to predict their behaviors decades later. This is fantastic but the problem is that you just can’t fully interpret what it means. It doesn’t matter if you collect data from a kid every year from the day they are born to the day they die, if you only gather data from one child per family you cannot pull out the genetic effects that we know are there (I would be remiss not to mention that newer techniques permit estimating genetic influences in the absence of twin subjects, using genetic data from very large samples of unrelated individuals).3 It really doesn’t matter if you show that maternal withdrawal experienced at age 3 predicts poor psychological adjustment when the child is 50, it would be impossible to make a concrete interpretation about the finding.

You must remember that parents share genes with their children and that overlap must be accounted for in research design. As psychologists pointed out years ago5, because parents pass along two things to their kids: genes and an environment, it shocks virtually no one that the two would be correlated. It is not surprising, based on shared genetics, that children resemble their parents, not only in appearance, but also in temperament, behavior, intellect, athletic prowess, etc. The environments that parents construct for their children when they are young, moreover, tend to mirror their natural inclinations (bright parents provide enriched environments). So if you’re wondering whether parents might selectively foster certain preexisting skill sets (i.e., buying an instrument for a child interested in music) the answer is, sure.6 In that case, parents might also shape things further by deciding on the type of instrument (guitar over drums, etc.).6 However, when you introduce controls for that genetic overlap in studies probing the impact of parenting on some outcome more generally, the effects that we often see can vanish.

I’ll give you a concrete example to mull over. Children who are spanked (not abused, but spanked) often experience a host of other problems in life, including psychological maladjustment and behavioral problems.8 In a study led by my colleague J.C. Barnes, we probed this issue in more detail and found some evidence suggesting that spanking increased the occurrence of overt bad behavior in children.8 We could have stopped there. Yet, we went one step further and attempted to inspect the genetic influences that were rampant across the measures included in our study. What we found was that much of the association between the two variables (spanking and behavior) was attributable to genetic effects that they had in common. The correlation between spanking and behavior appeared to reflect the presence of shared genetic influences cutting across both traits.

What about studies not directly devoted to examining parenting effects? Let’s say you’re interested in whether one trait in an individual predicts some other trait in that individual. For instance, let’s assume you think that novelty seeking predicts a higher likelihood of experimenting with drugs, or that eating fatty foods increases your body mass index (BMI). Simple enough: measure novelty seeking and measure drug experimentation; or eating habits and BMI. Then see if the two correlate. Let’s say that they do. Fantastic, write it up, publish it, get famous. But there’s a problem, what if there are genetic effects on novelty seeking and drug experimentation (or eating habits and BMI)? Even more troublesome, what if some of the same genes that predict novelty seeking also predict drug use, and the same genes that predict eating habits, also predict BMI? This means that the traits are correlated at the genetic level, just like in our study that I described above.

My colleagues and I have tried to quantify just how irksome genetic correlations might be for studies that cannot account for them.9 What we found is that in some cases a genetic correlation can render a phenotypic correlation (the correlation between two outwardly observable traits) nonexistent. For some studies it might “look like” personality trait A correlates with behavior B, but it could simply be that the same genes influence both traits, thus explaining why the two outcomes are correlated to begin with. So, why should you care? Could this just be overly technical, nerdish handwringing? Not even close. This matters because most of the social science research that rockets into the headlines, grabbing your attention when you fire up the web, is likely wrong.

Whether it’s a study purporting to link some aspect of parenting to child development, or a study intended to link some new diet fad to weight loss, the results are unclear if they did not control for genetics. Lest someone put words into my mouth later, this does not mean that every correlation reported by social scientists is the result of correlated genetic influences. The point, however, is that we have spent decades churning out correlations and we have no idea whether the findings were polluted by unmeasured genetic factors. That’s frightening, especially since public policies have been built on some of these potentially illusory correlations. The standard way of doing business in the social sciences ignores genetic influences, and has for years. Be careful which findings you cling to. Most social science research can only reveal associations; which is important, no doubt, but I presume you want to know something about causality also (i.e., if you eat bacon everyday what’s the chance that it’ll cause you to get cancer; that sort of thing). To even begin approximating causality (assuming you cannot do an experiment, which you can’t with most social science research), you must account for all confounding factors—genes included.

Let’s return then to the overarching theme of our discussion, parenting. Is it possible that parents really do shape children in deep and meaningful ways? Sure it is. In line with the phrase often trotted out by my ilk: “it’s an empirical question.” The trouble is that most research on parenting will not help you in the slightest because it doesn’t control for genetic factors. What we do know (largely from twin studies) is that beyond the genes they contribute, parents are not responsible for autism (or schizophrenia, or ADHD, etc.), and they likely bear zero responsibility for injecting general intelligence or a personality into the heads of their children. So, why the dogmatic adherence to the idea that parents are the “puppet masters” in our lives? The are many reasons, some of which are explicitly religious (the whole “spare the rod spoil the child” bit) and some are more secular, rooted in dubious research, but we should nevertheless let them all go.

Natural selection has wired into us a sense of attachment for our offspring. There is no need to graft on beliefs about “the power of parenting” in order to justify our instinct that being a good parent is important. Consider this: what if parenting really doesn’t matter? Then what? The evidence for pervasive parenting effects, after all, looks like a foundation of sand likely to slide out from under us at any second. If your moral constitution requires that you exert god-like control over your kid’s psychological development in order to treat them with the dignity afforded any other human being, then perhaps it is time to recalibrate your moral compass; does it actually point north or just spin like a washing machine (see Pinker’s work for this same point made more elquently10)? If you want happy children, and you desire a relationship with them that lasts beyond when they’re old enough to fly the nest, then be good to your kids.10 Just know that it probably will have little effect on the person they will grow into.


AIDS still a danger for homosexuals

Despite major medical advances and more than 30 years of effort, the United States is still in danger of losing the war on AIDS, according to the country’s top disease-control official.

In an essay in The New England Journal of Medicine published on Tuesday, World AIDS Day, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Jonathan Mermin, the agency’s chief of AIDS prevention, paint a bleak picture of the fight.

“Hundreds of thousands of people with diagnosed HIV infection are not receiving care or antiretroviral treatment,” they wrote. “These people account for most new HIV transmission.”

There are 45,000 new HIV infections each year, the article noted.

In an interview, Frieden said he “still views the glass as half-full.” While medicines are improving, legal barriers have been lifted, and Americans are getting tested, more people with HIV need to be put on treatment and kept on it.

While the article’s language was dry and academic, some AIDS experts said it amounted to a call for radical changes in how the disease is fought. But those changes can be made only by state and local health departments, over which the CDC has little control.

“Tom is giving the view from 30,000 feet,” said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University. “He’s trying to be the conductor of a disparate orchestra in which the drums and trombones have different bosses and are paid by different people.”

Other experts complained that Frieden should have gone further, calling for much more funding, a heavier reliance on preventive drugs, and the decriminalization of HIV transmission. “It’s a pretty weak piece,” said Mark Harrington, the executive director of the Treatment Action Group, an AIDS activist organization.

Frieden was effectively calling for HIV to be fought the way that syphilis and gonorrhea are, “and we’re doing terribly on those,” Harrington said.

He and other advocates urged wider adoption of a multipronged approach to treatment and prevention like that used in San Francisco, which offers services to the most difficult patients, including addiction and mental health treatment, help with housing, and even escorts to the hospital.

Among the notable failures cited by Frieden and Mermin:

 *  Nearly 65 percent of the estimated 1.2 million Americans with HIV are not on treatment; many disappear right after being tested. Those patients, undiagnosed or newly diagnosed but untreated, account for 90 percent of all new infections.

 *  Infected people are rarely asked to name their sexual partners so that health providers can reach out to them. When they do have names, little is done with the information.

 *  Risky behaviors, including unprotected anal sex and needle-sharing, appear to be increasing.

 *  Infection rates are rising among young gay men, especially blacks and Hispanics.

New tests can detect the virus within 10 days of infection, but they are not being used enough, Frieden said. An estimated 155,000 Americans with HIV do not know it. And of those who get tested, 20 percent already have AIDS or are close to it — meaning they may have been spreading the virus for years. The CDC recommends that sexually active gay men get tested four times a year, but that rarely happens.

Treatment is also inadequate. Multiple studies have shown that patients who are immediately put on drugs remain healthy longer and stop infecting others. Yet only about 36 percent of those infected have prescriptions, Frieden said. (Others have put the figure higher. In San Francisco, 82 percent of HIV patients get prescriptions.)

The national averages are dragged down by states, mostly in the South, that have high HIV rates but rejected the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid, which would have covered testing and treatment.

There have been important scientific advances, like new milder drugs and the rollout of Truvada, a pill that prevents infections.

But “the fact that the dial hasn’t moved on 45,000 new infections a year is a tragedy,” said Mitchell J. Warren, the executive director of AVAC, an organization lobbying for AIDS prevention.


NFL Star: Black Lives Don’t Matter When ‘Politicians Enable Generational Dependency’

New Orleans Saints’ tight end Benjamin Watson used his Facebook account Tuesday to call attention to his views on the Black Lives Matter movement. A view that is critical of abortion, fathers who abandon their children and politicians who “enable generational dependency.”

Watson, the author of “Under Our Skin: Getting Real About Race – And Getting Free From The Fears and Frustrations That Divide Us," is using social media to link people to a blog post where he discusses his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Benjamin Watson posts his thoughts on 'Black Lives Matter' on Facebook:

“Some contention is with the very phrase itself. This is problematic, though, because ‘black lives matter’ in context is clearly comparative to them not mattering. It obviously does not exist in a vacuum thus a response of 'all lives matter' is disingenuous at best and outright insulting at worst," Watson's blog post from late August reads. "It SHOULD go without saying that 'all lives matter,' including black lives, unborn lives, elderly lives, affluent and poor lives, Christian and atheist lives. But, today, in light of our present societal struggles and racial tension the question is worth addressing. As Americans, do black lives matter to us?”

Later in the post, the outspoken Christian athlete focuses on some of the ways he feels Black lives don’t and do matter in this country. Here are some selected excerpts:

“Black lives don’t matter when neighbors, black neighbors, kill each other. It’s no surprise that people generally commit crimes against the people they live nearest to. Even so, the truth is that we treat people no better than the value we place on them and the dignity we have in ourselves.”

“Black lives don’t matter when some politicians enable generational dependency, stifling individual responsibility while others completely deny the importance of programs that are needed to help the marginalized. A crutch is the vital friend of the injured, it’s ultimate purpose to one day be laid aside as it’s former dependent walks on their own. If it oversteps its purpose the user will no longer feel the need to walk. Erroneously, they may not even think they can ever do so. Consequently, a stagnant, hopeless life seems to matter less.”

“Black lives don’t matter when we support and engage in the termination of our most important resource and our hope for a brighter future, our unborn children.”

“Black lives don’t matter when their very real and documented negative experiences with law enforcement, employment opportunities, and educational funding is belittled and dismissed. Compassion for another’s experience, even if foreign to us is paramount when encountering situations we can’t understand.”

“Black lives don’t matter when fathers selfishly abandon their children and their children’s mothers, teaching them that family is not a priority, and almost ensuring the cycle will repeat itself. A strong foundation gives children the fortitude to weather the storms they are sure to face throughout their lives.”

“But BLACK LIVES MATTER, when we look at our black children and imperfectly strive to show them the compassion, love, leadership, hard work and sacrifice a man should exhibit in hopes that our sons will carry the banner further and our daughters will set the bar high for their future spouses.”

“BLACK LIVES MATTER when we understand that the black community can not be characterized by headlines of a single story, because it is filled with multiple stories from millions of contrasting individuals.”

“BLACK LIVES MATTER when we look at our white children, and realize that they are internalizing and will imitate every attitude, action, comment, and expression we make when the next racially charged incident occurs or when we engage with others on a daily basis, who don’t look like us. They are future change agents as well. Some of the largest victories in through abolition and civil rights came because of the compassion and activism of our white brothers and sisters.”

“BLACK LIVES MATTER when we are willing to stand up to our friends and family when they make racist comments and jokes that are dead wrong. AND they matter when we refuse to flippantly use words created to demean and degrade even if we feel we have a right to.”

"The attitudes inherited by our different heritages can breed in us unhealthy attitudes if left unchecked, including the foolishness of supremacy and the myth of inferiority. The cross bridges the gap, the power of the blood penetrating deep into our wickedness, convicting us, forgiving us, and reconciling us to God and subsequently reconciling us to each other. Only in Christ do the temporal distinctions between us fade, as our oneness in him takes precedence over our color creed and culture and our allegiance to Him compels us to make those who matter to Him matter most to us."



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, 2015

Multicultural fraud in High Court battle over £500,000 legal costs declares himself bankrupt

Crooked to the end

A former London mayor has declared himself bankrupt sparking a High Court battle over half a million pounds of legal costs.

Lutfur Rahman was elected as mayor of Tower Hamlets, but he was removed from office after being found guilty of corrupt and illegal practices after accusations of claiming racism and Islamophobia to silence his critics.

Four voters, led writer and filmmaker Andy Erlam, had taken legal action against him under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act. He was found guilty of wrongdoing  by Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey after an Election Court trial in London in April this year.

Rahman is the first person since the 19th century to be found guilty of the Victorian-era misdeed of unlawfully using religious influence.  He was ordered to pay the voters' legal costs, estimated to be around £500,000 and was also forced to pay £250,000 at the time.

However, the voters say they have not been given a penny and have taken legal action against him again. In hope of generating cash, they are trying to force Rahman to sell a property which they say he owns, but Rahman's wife claims she is a part owner.

A judge is analysing the claims at a trial in the High Court in London. The hearing started today and is due to finish later this week.

Lawyers for the four voters said Rahman, who was not in court today, had been 'adjudged bankrupt on his own petition' about two weeks ago.  They said the bankruptcy was 'plainly motivated' as an 'attack' on the voters' position.

Barrister Simon Johnson, who is representing the voters at today's High Court hearing, indicated that his clients wanted to be able to sell a property in east London in order to raise cash to cover legal expenses.

He said records showed that Rahman was the '100% owner' of the property. But he said Rahman's wife, Ayesha Farid, was now indicating that she was a part-owner.

Mr Johnson added that the judge would have to make a decision on the true position.

Labour's John Briggs was elected to the east London mayor role in June.


Greece to defy EU order on labeling settlement goods

A day after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited Jerusalem, his foreign minister Nikos Kotzias sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, informing him of the opposition by Athens to the EU guidelines, The Times of Israel has learned.

According to guidelines published earlier this month by the European Commission, goods manufactured over the pre-1967 lines may not state that they were “Made in Israel.” Rather, they should be labeled with a formulation such as “Product from the West Bank (Israeli settlements),” the Commission suggested.

“The European Commission expects all member states to comply with EU legislation,” an official in the union’s delegation to Israel told The Times of Israel last week.

Another European country, however, has already declared its intention to defy Brussels’s instructions on labeling.

“We do not support that decision,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó declared earlier this month at an event of the Israel Council on Foreign Relations. “It is an inefficient instrument. It is irrational and does not contribute to a solution [to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict], but causes damage.”

Earlier this month, the Bundestag faction of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party rejected the EU labeling initiative as “wrong,” also arguing that it would likely be misused by Israel’s enemies and did not promote Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation. However, Berlin has so far not announced whether it will implement or disregard the union’s directives.

On Sunday, Netanyahu announced Jerusalem was suspending ties with the EU vis-à-vis efforts to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians in response to the new labeling guidelines.

The Foreign Ministry said the suspension of ties on peace talks would remain in place “until the reassessment is completed.” While relations with individual European countries will continue, dialogue with EU organizations on the peace process is off-limits.

Despite Israel’s announcement, however, an EU diplomatic spokesperson insisted the EU “would continue to work on the Middle East Peace Process, in the Quartet, with its Arab partners, and with both parties, as peace in the Middle East was an issue of interest to the entire international community and also to all Europeans.”

The spokesperson said that “EU-Israel relations are good, broad and deep, and this will continue.”


Oh yes he is! Sleeping Beauty is now a prince called Percy after female theatre director switched the main character's gender

The traditional fairytale Sleeping Beauty has been shook up with swapped gender roles in a radical retelling.

Theatre director Sally Cookson rewrote the tale for a new version at the Bristol Old Vic which sees the unconscious princess played instead by a man called Prince Percy.

The director felt the usual version was outdated with a passive female heroine at the centre of the story, made famous by the Brothers Grimm in 1812.

Ms Cookson told the Guardian: 'What we wanted was a proactive, feisty heroine. 'Many of these earlier versions were recorded by men, so had heroines who were really so passive it is just not healthy.'

The Disney cartoon of the tale, released in 1959, furthered this idea of a helpless princess waiting for her prince to come and rescue her.

Ms Cookson wanted to actively move away from this, although she recognised that many adults or even children would be confused by the idea.

She told the Guardian: 'I am sorry if there might be some children or, more likely, parents who think that is not how it is meant to be.

'But every time a fairytale is retold we cannot help but adapt it in line with our ideology, regardless of whether that is a conscious plan.'

The play, which runs until January 17, follows Prince Percy, played by David Emmings, who was cursed to prick his finger and sleep for 100 years.

The Prince is rescued by a woman, Deilen, who was loved by her grandmother but got lost on her quest to mend her broken heart.

Gender-blind casting has seen a wider acceptance of swapping the traditional gender roles.

Maxine Peake played the title role in Hamlet at the Royal Exchange, Manchester, to widespread critical acclaim this year while Cate Blanchett was one of many actors to play Bob Dylan in 2007's I'm Not There.


A triumph of feminism

For years, the number of men drinking alcohol in the US has far outstripped the number of female drinkers.  But, now, new figures reveal that gap is narrowing, with experts warning of an 'alarming rise' in the number of women turning to alcohol.

Dr Aaron White, of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, said between 2002 and 2012, researchers found differences between men and women are diminishing in a number of areas.

They include current drinking, number of drinking days each month, alcohol use disorder and driving under the influence.

Dr White said: 'Males still consume more alcohol, but the differences between men and women are diminishing.'

NIAAA director, Dr George Koob, added: 'This study confirms what other recent reports have suggested about changing patterns of alcohol use by men and women in the US.'

Dr Koob said the evidence of increasing alcohol use by females is particularly concerning given that women are at greater risk than men of a variety of alcohol-related health effects, including liver inflammation, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity and cancer.

Examining data from yearly national surveys, conducted over the 10-year period, Dr White and his colleagues discovered the percentage of people who drank alcohol in the previous 30 days increased for females from 44.9 per cent to 48.3 percent.

Meanwhile, that figure decreased for men, from 57.4 per cent to 56.1 per cent.

Over the same time period, the average number of drinking days in the past month also increased for females, from 6.8 to 7.3 days.

Again, that figure decreased slightly for males - from 9.9 to 9.5 days.

The researchers said the reasons for the converging patterns of alcohol use are unclear, and do not appear to be easily explained by recent trends in employment, pregnancy, or marital status - all variables that the team controlled their analysis to take account of.

Dr White said additional studies are needed to identify the psychosocial and environmental contributors to these changes, and to assess their implications for prevention and treatment efforts.



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, 2015

UK: Where are the feminists on this?

Labour faced a sexism row today after men and women were segregated at an Asian [Muslim]  party rally.

The meeting organised by the party's Friends of Bangladesh group was held ahead of Thursday's crucial by-election, which Labour is in danger of losing.

Photographs of the event in Oldham West and Royton, where one in five voters is from an ethnic minority, shows Asian men and women sitting in separate rows.

Critics said allowing the sexes to be split up at the party-run event was 'shameful' and accused Labour of 'putting political correctness ahead of equality' in order to win votes.

Before the May election Labour was rocked by a similar segregation scandal when men and women were split at an Islamic centre rally in Birmingham.

Labour won the Oldham West and Royton seat with a majority of 14,738 in May but Ukip has launched a strong challenge.

Labour insiders say support for the party is 'bad' in working class areas of Oldham, with voters furious at Mr Corbyn's opposition to police 'shot to kill' orders, the killing of ISIS murderer Jihadi John and his response to the Paris attacks.

But the party is pinning its hopes on securing support from the Asian community to hold the seat which was won in May with a 15,000 majority.

According to the 2011 census more than 50,000 of the 220,000 population in Oldham are from an ethnic minority.

There have been some reports that some Asian voters have lived in the area for more than a decade and do not speak English - but will vote Labour.

Yesterday's Friends of Bangladesh event was in support of Jim McMahon, who is the party's candidate in Oldham West on Thursday.

Photos of the event, organised by Labour Friends of Bangladesh and attended by the Labour candidate and several high profile MPs, shows men and women were almost entirely segregated. Only two women sat among the men and both were not Asian.

Labour has denied that people were forced to sit separately based on gender.

Pictures of the event yesterday were tweeted by Debbie Abrahams, MP for neighbouring Oldham East and Saddleworth, and shadow minister for disabled people whose role involves fighting inequality.

John Bickley the constituency's UKIP candidate said: 'Is this really Labour's modern Britain?Where a political event is segregated by gender? This was not a religious meeting where cultural traditions must be respected. But a political gathering.

For a party that claims to be progressive, Labour seems to accept some pretty funny ideas about gender equality if they think them electorally helpful. 'How can it be acceptable in modern Britain that a political party that wishes to represent all the people, and in particular the various communities of Oldham thinks that it's OK to segregate by gender'. 

Labour today claimed that women were not forced to sit away from men.

A party spokesman said: 'The accusation of gender segregation is absolutely untrue. The Labour party's record on gender equality speaks for itself. Ukip are clutching at straws for something to say in this election because they have no answers to the real issues facing voters in Oldham'.

Internal polling is said to show that Labour could be in danger of losing the seat on Thursday after Michael Meacher's death.

Ukip is targeting the white working class in the town and hope to collect Asian voters who are unhappy with Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and also keen to leave the EU.

Mr Corbyn was due to visit Oldham on Friday but cancelled at the last minute to deal with the growing crisis in his party over whether to bomb Syria.

Before the May election Labour was rocked by a similar segregation scandal when men and women were split at an Islamic centre.

Senior party figures, including Liam Byrne, Tom Watson and Harriet Harman's husband Jack Dromey, spoke at the event in Birmingham where men sat on one side of the room and women on the other.

Labour has denied that people were forced to sit separately based on gender - even though photographs from the event show that the groups were clearly segregated.

Critics called the decision 'sickening' and claimed that the party was 'selling values for votes'. 


Microaggression theory: an assault on everyday life

Frank Furedi

This crusade against unwitting racism is deeply divisive

Today, we are forever scrutinising our dialogue and conversation, looking out for offensive and insulting content. Of course, words, especially demeaning or degrading ones, have always had the capacity to hurt people’s feelings. But it’s different today. Words don’t just insult; no, today they inflict verbal violence, they traumatise.

While words are considered to be incredibly powerful today, it’s also true that people are deemed massively vulnerable, and unable to deal with hostile words. Even everyday verbal exchanges, no matter how casual, can be indicted for causing offence. This inquisitorial attitude towards everyday speech is perfectly captured by ‘Everyday Racism’, a video produced by BBC3.

‘Everyday Racism’ offers numerous examples of so-called microaggressions. Its message is that racism is so banal that just about anything a white person says is likely to contain traces of prejudice. A typical example of an everyday, racist microaggression is the question, ‘where are you from?’. According to microaggression experts, this question is a covert way of saying ‘you don’t belong here’.

Watching this inane video, which the Daily Mirror described as a ‘shocking’ expose of the ‘unbelievable racial stereotypes ethnic minorities face’, I was reminded of the first time I encountered the conceit of microaggression. Ever since I’ve been able to afford taxis, I have always asked cabbies with unusual surnames, ‘where are you from?’. I’m fascinated by people’s names and origins, and enjoy discussing cabbies’ personal stories with them. But it wasn’t until last November that I discovered my curiosity regarding people’s origins can now be condemned as an act of microaggression. I was in New York and, after a five-minute exchange with an Ethiopian taxi about our mutual origins, a Boston-based academic told me my questions could be perceived as microaggressions.

Until then, I had always dismissed microaggressions as too silly to take seriously. But these are strange times. Microaggression refers to the allegedly subconscious offence that your words cause to individuals and cultural groups. According to ‘Tool: Recognising Microaggressions and the Messages They Send’, the Orwellian-sounding guidelines circulated by the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), I was indeed guilty as charged. Apparently, asking ‘Where are you from or where were you born?’ conveys the message that ‘you are not a true American’. Presumably, if I repeat this question in London I am saying, ‘you are not a true Brit’.

What’s fascinating about the UCLA guidelines is that anything that is said to someone from a different cultural group may constitute a microaggression. So, declaring that ‘America is the land of opportunity’ could be construed as a microaggression because it implies that ‘race or gender does not play a role in life successes’. There seems to be a veritable industry producing guidelines, running sensitivity seminars and creating microaggression-awareness websites.

At the same time, the number and variety of words and expressions castigated as aggressive and threatening are constantly expanding. The Inclusive Excellence Center at the University of Wisconsin declared that the latest addition to its list of censored terms is ‘politically correct’. Without a hint of irony, it said that PC has become a ‘dismissive term’, used to suggest that ‘people are being too “sensitive”, and police language’. By attempting to censor the phrase ‘politically correct’, microaggression-watchers proved they were indeed in the business of policing language.

Campaigns designed to tackle microaggressions have spread far beyond American campuses. In the UK, the denunciation of microaggressions has seamlessly meshed with the obsessive search for harmful gestures and words associated with everyday sexism and everyday racism. It is only a matter of time before the ‘everyday outrage’ movement is launched to cover the entirety of everyday life.

The performance of outrage is a central feature of the moral crusade against microaggression. There is a mushrooming of microaggression websites where likeminded victims are encouraged to air their grievances and broadcast their concerns in order to raise the awareness of those who are blind to the pandemic of microaggression enveloping the world. Typically these websites feature individuals holding signs with a message of studied defiance directed against the microaggressor. So, students from Oxford have copied the I, Too, Am Harvard campaign, which highlights the unintended slights and insults suffered by black students. On the I, Too, Am Oxford website, individuals post pictures of themselves holding signs advertising perceived insults addressed to them. One sign reads, ‘“Wow your English is great.” “Thanks, I was born in London.”’

Some of these scenarios are likely to have been made up for effect. One young woman holds a placard stating, ‘“I’m really happy I’m going out with you and you’re brown… it proves I’m not racist.”  Ummm.’ Did her partner really say that? What the pictures on the I, Too, Am Oxford website offer is not so much outrage but the performance of outrage.

Yet, despite its incoherence, the publicity campaign against microaggressions has had remarkable success. Val Rust, a professor of education at UCLA, was humiliated and disciplined by his administrators for his alleged ‘racial microaggression’. His crime? Changing a student’s capitalisation of the word ‘indigenous’ to lowercase. Rust was found guilty by UCLA of disrespecting his student’s ideological point of view. Given this climate, it was unsurprising to hear from numerous academics that they now practise self-censorship for fear of being accused of uttering a microaggression.

Such accusations are no longer confined to university campuses. Recently an American television interviewer, Melissa Harris-Perry, scolded one of her guests for describing Paul Ryan, the recently elected speaker of the House of Representatives, as a ‘hard worker’. She claimed that calling Ryan a ‘hard worker’ demeaned slaves and working mothers ‘in the context of relative privilege’. Typically, those individuals accused of uttering a microaggression backtrack, and implicitly accept the moral authority of their accusers.

What’s significant about the concept of microaggression is that it targets not just words, but the imputed meaning behind words. The question ‘where are you from?’ is denounced not because the words are offensive in themselves, but because the words’ implication is offensive. Microaggressors are being denounced for what they allegedly think, not necessarily for what they say. This is an open invitation to police our thoughts.

In the end, what matters is not the significance of the words exchanged but whether the individual claims to be offended by them. Neither the content of the words nor the intention behind them is important. All that matters is whether the alleged victim feels that the words disrespected his or her identity. Here, the meaning and status of a statement is defined by the victim. To ignore or question someone’s claim that they have been offended is to indulge in the unforgivable crime of ‘victim-blaming’.

Underpinning the microaggression-hunters’ crusade is the conviction that the victim is always right. The American comedian Louis CK has clearly internalised this ‘watch your language’ etiquette. ‘When a person tells you that you hurt them’, he said recently, ‘you don’t get to decide that you didn’t’. The arrogant intolerance of Louis CK’s position is striking. He is saying that individuals do not get to decide the meaning of their words or actions.

So what are microaggressions?

The term microaggression was defined by Derald Wing Sue, professor of counseling psychology at Columbia University, as ‘the brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioural and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial, gender, and sexual orientation, and religious slights and insults to the target person or group’. What’s important about Sue’s definition is that these indignities need not be the outcome of intentional behaviour. He argues that ‘perpetrators of microaggressions are often unaware’ of the indignities that they inflict on others.

The focus on the unconscious or unwitting dimension of microaggressions is crucial. People accused of committing microaggressions are not indicted for what they have done or or said, or even for what they consciously think; they are indicted for their unconscious thoughts.

According to Sue, ‘microaggressions are often unconsciously delivered in the form of subtle snubs or dismissive looks, gestures, and tones’. But how does one prove an act of microaggression? After all, if these are sentiments buried deep in the psyche of the microaggressor, how can their existence be verified? As far Sue and his collaborators are concerned, there is no need for a complex psychoanalysis of the perpetrator. Why? Because, according to Sue, ‘nearly all interracial encounters are prone to the manifestation of racial microaggression’. In other words, there is little to prove. The same holds for encounters involving women, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, and disability groups. In every case, microaggressions are all but inevitable.

In all these cases, the presumption of guilt precedes the words or gestures of the unconscious aggressor. This is a secular theory of original sin from which no white, heterosexual man can possibly escape. According to Sue, even ‘well-intentioned whites’ suffer from ‘unconscious racial biases’.

The crusade against microaggressions plays a central role in the elaboration of Western identity politics. The performance of outrage featured on microaggression websites, complete with numerous photos of placard-holding individuals, transforms the ‘micro’, banal insults and misunderstandings of everyday life into examples of major social injustice. The sign-holders’ outrage is inversely proportional to the scale of the slight suffered. Hence a poorly phrased compliment can incite the angriest of reactions, followed by a complaint to the relevant authorities.

The concept of microaggressions resonates with a wider mood of distrust among and between adults. Over recent decades, society has increasingly felt uncomfortable with leaving people to manage their own personal interactions. As a result, rules and codes of conduct covering bullying, harassment and conflict have proliferated, and interpersonal tensions and misunderstandings are now often managed by professionals.

Now, a whole new dimension – unconscious behaviour and its unintended consequences – has been brought to the attention of rulemakers and lawyers. Human communication has always been a complicated business. The reading of body language and the interpretation of words and gestures have always involved misunderstandings. In an enlightened environment, it has been recognised that it is difficult, if not impossible, to hold people responsible for the unintended consequences of their actions and words. If people are held to account not for what they do or say, but for what they unconsciously think, then the idea of moral responsibility becomes incoherent. What is truly tragic about the myth of microaggressions is that it makes genuine dialogue impossible. The micro-policing of human relations is the inexorable consequence of the project of criminalising unconscious thought and behaviour.

One of the achievements of modern, open societies is that people are free to make choices about how they express themselves, the language they use and the attitudes they exhibit in public. Unlike in pre-modern communities, people do not have to watch their language or conform to the prescribed language of traditional culture. But anti-microaggression crusaders want to turn back the clock. They loathe tolerance and seek to impose a new regime of conformity on contemporary public life.

The policing of statements and words is deeply intolerant. The statement ‘watch your words’, which is so casually used in the crusade against microaggression, is a call to close down discussion. So ignore the likes of Louis CK – we all should be free to decide the meanings of our words.


The mental obsession with offence-taking

Ken Livingstone has become the latest victim of these over-sensitive times

After the horrors of the recent terrorist attacks in France, it is clear that a governmental review of Britain’s defence strategy is required. This is also a priority for the Labour opposition, which announced that Ken Livingstone would co-convene its defence review alongside fellow MP Maria Eagle. This drew criticism from Eagle who had been led to believe that she alone would lead the review. Many of her supporters also decried Livingstone’s appointment, with Kevan Jones, the shadow defence minister, objecting due to Livingstone’s opposition to the Trident missile defence system. But it was Livingstone’s response to Jones that has caused the most outrage.

Livingstone told the Daily Mirror that he thought that Jones ‘might need some psychiatric help. He’s obviously very depressed and disturbed. He should pop off and see his GP before he makes these offensive comments.’ It is a crude tactic to label your opponents as mentally unstable and irrational, the implication being that their views need not be taken seriously. However, what made these remarks personal was that Jones has suffered from depression in the past and still has some difficulties in the present.

Livingstone’s remarks provoked much criticism. Jones himself said, ‘I find these comments gravely offensive not just personally, but also to the many thousands who suffer from mental illness. This is why Ken Livingstone can’t be taken seriously in defence or any other policy issues.’ Jones urged Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to ‘seriously consider whether Ken Livingstone is fit to represent the party if he’s prepared to insult tens of thousands of the electorate who suffer from mental illness’. Luciana Berger, the shadow mental health minister, said the comments were unacceptable, appalling and ‘should be treated as seriously as racism or sexism’.

Livingstone’s comments were indeed insensitive – but, then again, politics has never been about sensitivity. Instead, it was the response to his comments that was far more concerning; such a shrill overreaction casts a light on the sad state of political and public life today. While there was undoubtedly a political motive behind the attacks on Livingstone, with Jones and others hoping he would be removed from the defence review, the developments also followed a wearily familiar path.

First, there is the pronouncement of ‘offence’. This works as a silencer, a rebuke, a moral claim similar to that of accusing someone of being ‘mentally ill’. In the latter, my opponent is mentally suspect, in the former, they are morally questionable. In both cases, the implication is that we should treat their views with suspicion.

Second, there is the spectacle of public humiliation, with atonement, by public apology rather than confession, offering the only hope of absolution. Everyone knows the apology is insincere, but the symbolic value lies in the exhibition of someone to whom we can feel morally superior, and, in the process, have our own viewpoints publicly endorsed. What’s more, the errant individual may then need to be re-educated, or, in contemporary parlance, have their ‘awareness raised’.

For me, it is particularly galling to hear MPs harp on about mental health and stigma given that many of them will have backed the introduction of community-treatment orders (CTOs), which mandate extra supervision after mentally ill patients leave hospital. Introduced in 2008, CTOs effectively reduce many patients’ social standing. They become neither hospital patient nor member of the community, but a diminished hybrid of the two: the ‘community patient’. That MPs can berate the public for their attitudes, slam supermarkets for ‘inappropriate’ Halloween costumes and criticise each other for using ‘offensive’ terminology, all the while supporting CTOs, is remarkable.

There is also a certain irony in seeing Ken Livingstone brought to book for causing offence, given that he was one of the architects of today’s offence-seeking climate. In the 1980s, he was hugely influential in the expansion of race, gender and sexuality training within local government – processes that depoliticised such issues by reducing them to interpersonal conflicts, and focusing on the harm and offence caused by certain words and terms. Codes of conduct and speech proliferated, with any breach leading to censure and/or public opprobrium. At the time, many activists pointed out the dangers of this process; race-awareness training was seen as representing the degradation of the black struggle.

Fast forward 30 years and the politics of identity and offence are ubiquitous, seen in the demand for Safe Spaces and the banning of any speakers, singers, comedians or newspapers whose ideas are offensive to an individual or group. Many of today’s activists and academics are children of the 1980s and 1990s – people for whom being protected from offence is all important. Far from seeing such developments as the degradation of political struggle, many see them as progressive. In response, they begin to proclaim their own vulnerability. And, as many have found out recently, criticising them is held to be a manifestation of social advantage.

The verbal gymnastics of it all is something to behold. If you complain about being No Platformed you are told that, as you are criticising being censored, you are not being censored at all. To argue against Safe Spaces leads to the charge that you, as a ‘privileged’ individual, occupy one. Sooner or later you will be met with the exhortation to ‘check your privilege’, this being the contemporary version of the attempt to undermine an argument by labelling your opponent mentally ill or offensive. Like them, it is meant to give the speaker the moral highground not through having the better argument, but by virtue of claiming to be the most vulnerable and offended.

The real problem, then, is not with what Ken Livingstone said, but with the cultural climate in which he said it. However, he cannot complain too loudly – he was hoist by his own petard.


Cultural appropriation will eat itself

That yoga ban showed just how ludicrous it is to ghettoise culture.

The latest target in the war on ‘cultural appropriation’ has been yoga, a class on which has been suspended by the University of Ottawa in Canada. ‘While yoga is a really great idea’, explained a staff email, ‘there are cultural issues of implication involved in the practice’, and which cultures these practices ‘are being taken from’.

Let’s be clear: there is no such thing as cultural appropriation. Why? Because ‘culture’ itself is the product of appropriation from the very start. Every aspect of culture comes from elsewhere. ‘Your’ culture isn’t yours, it is the culture of your ancestors and your peers.

Cultures aren’t coherent entities with solid boundaries. Like organised religions or languages, which have neither ‘true’ nor ‘false’ versions, they’re organic and fluid, they mutate over space and time, like people’s personalities, the shape of clouds, or the contours of our coasts. For instance, the question ‘what is Britishness?’ is fundamentally meaningless. What is British today wasn’t what it was 100 years ago, 10 years ago or five minutes ago. It’s different for every single one of us and every day. You might as well ask: ‘What is the English language?’

Consider popular foods, music and entertainment. Rock’n’roll emerged from English folk music, which can be heard in The Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel and in songs such ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Waterloo Sunset’. In America, these elements were fused with more rhythmic exported African music. (This is why England, unlike Ireland, has no evident, popular folk music – its music went global.) Hip-hop in America has its roots in German techo music of the 1970s. Were Public Enemy, formed by a group of middle-class black men, culturally appropriating German culture? Not at all: rap music openly flaunts its magpie nature with its samples of old rock classics.

Which culture are Germans appropriating when they eat the popular currywurst sausage: Asian culture or British culture that emerged from India? Have we, in turn, appropriated the doner kebab from its birth place, Germany, or from the Turkish immigrants who invented it there? Pizza is regarded as inherently Italian, yet tomatoes are a New World fruit. Pasta was brought to the country from China after Marco Polo.

But what of the issue of ‘power’ – the idea that by eating Indian food we behave like our colonial forebears? That’s merely a superfluous coincidence. There’s nothing remotely imperialist about a working-class Englishman eating curry made by a company owned by second-generation Indian millionaires, nor ordinary students doing yoga in that painfully polite and right-on country, Canada. As for historical ‘blacking-up’, that comes under the category of ‘mockery’.

Like languages, cultures have no ultimate, tangible origins. They just emerge. Taken to its logical conclusion, ‘cultural appropriation’ is self-destroying. If everything is ‘appropriated’, then the term means nothing.



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, 2015

UK: Multicultural bookkeeper is jailed for three years after stealing £250,000 to pay for his daughters’ private school fees and luxury holidays

A bookkeeper who stole £234,000 from a solicitor's firm to finance his daughters' private-school education has been jailed for more than three years.

Ian Emmanuel Thomas, 53, defrauded Croydon's Cook & Partners for seven years by banking cheques meant for the HMRC into his own account.

He then used the payments to cover his mortgage, to go on lavish holidays and to cover the costs of schooling for his two daughters.

The court heard how his crimes - which he tried to pin on the office manager - were only discovered when the firm installed a new fraud system. One of the partners faced bankruptcy as a result.

Thomas, from Ashford, Kent, has now been jailed for three years and four months after pleading guilty to theft and false accounting between March 2003 and August 2010.

Jailing him at at Inner London Crown Court, Judge Owen Davies said: 'It's got to be prison. Clearly this was a breach of trust.

'The fraud was extremely simple. Pre-signed cheques were filled-out by you to yourself because you wanted to send your daughters to a good school, have holidays and pay off the mortgage on your home.'

He added: 'The effect against the firm has been devastating.'

The court heard how Thomas, who worked at the firm since 1986, was trusted to use the firm's money to pay suppliers and the VAT bill by cheque.

But he would instead make the cheques out to his own bank account, while writing on the stub that it was for a verified organisation.

After being caught in 2010, Thomas admitted taking money for two years. But when he questioned by police in 2012 he tried to blame the firm's office manager and did not plead guilty until the first day of his trial.

The court heard how, due to his fraud, the firm also faced conduct proceedings in front of the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA).

They were fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £15,000 costs which left partner Ian Douglas - said to be suffering 'acute and chronic stress' - facing bankruptcy.

The second partner, Christopher Cook, has had treatment for depression and the fraud was said to have had a 'major impact' on his health.

Thomas has now been ordered to pay £260,000 compensation following a County Court court brought by the firm.

The court heard Thomas has also been banned from ever working in a solicitor's firm again. 

His lawyer Mr. Azize Chelliah had pleaded for the judge to give Thomas a suspended sentence but Judge Davies said the offence was 'much too serious'. He told Thomas: 'You blamed a person who was blameless and the nightmare of every solicitor is being taken to the SRA.'


Politics and What Remains of the English Language

By Victor Davis Hanson

Here is a list of a few trendy words, overused, politicized, and empty of meaning, that now plague popular communications.

“Intersection” How many times have we read a writer, columnist, pundit, or job applicant self-describe himself with this strange word? Here's an example: “Joe Blow is a social theorist working at the intersection of class oppression, racial stereotyping, and transgendered emergence.”? Or: “Amanda Lopez writes at the intersection of Latina identity, Foucauldian otherness, and social media.” Most of the time “intersection” exists only in the grandiose mind of the writer. It is a patent though feeble attempt to become a threefer or fourfer on the race/gender/generic victim/revolutionary activist scale. The intersected topics are individually irrelevant -- and all the more so when cobbled together.  The use of "intersection" is a postmodern way of plastering bumper-sticker narcissisms without writing, “I am an identity-studies person without much knowledge of literature, history, or languages, but am desperately trying to convey expertise of some sort by piling up a bunch of pseudo-disciplines that credential my victimhood activism.”

“Diversity” The noun was rebranded in the 1980s, and does not mean what it by nature should -- “a range” or “multiplicity.” No one furthers the goals of “diversity” by ensuring plenty of conservatives, liberals, radicals and reactionaries on campus, or welcoming lots of Christian fundamentalists as well as atheists and Muslims. The word instead is a euphemism for non-white, non-male, non-heterosexual, non-Christian, and non-liberal. It is a relative and entirely political noun. The University of Missouri football team can both be 52% African-American and proof of diversity, even if African-Americans make up less than 12% of the population -- in a way that all white and elderly Democratic primary candidates are honorifically diverse by virtue of their homogeneous left-wing politics.

Three other observations: First, racial and ethnic diversity, without assimilation and integration into one culture, and when identity becomes essential rather than incidental to a nation (i.e. a salad bowl society rather than the melting pot), leads to Armageddon, whether in Austria-Hungary, the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, or Iraq.

Second, the word gained careerist currency because of the bankruptcy of the idea of affirmative action, after it became impossible to explain and thus defend racial set-asides. Who can define the proper DNA that makes one deserving of admissions and employment reparations: 1/4 African-American, but not Punjabi or Egyptian? Hmong, but not Japanese? Oaxacan, but not Castilian? Muslim, but not Mormon? An indigent Appalachian, but not Eric Holder’s son? As a result, universities had to lump everybody deemed non-white together as they pleased and called the catch-all result “diversity” -- regardless of class, income, status or history. If one wishes someone non-white to be hired on the physics faculty, then a South Korean immigrant green-card-holding PhD counts as diversity, in a way that his son would not qualify for traditional affirmative-action status as an 18-year-old applicant to UC Berkeley. Diversity lowered the affirmative-action bar and the natural consequence of vagueness were the fantasies of Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Dolezal, Shaun King, and Ward Churchill -- all professed to be diverse, but all without proper certifications of affirmative-action status.

Third, no one outside the campus much believes in the inherent advantage of diversity/diverse, as least as opposed to united: The Diverse States of America? Diverse Airlines? The Diversity Way? Diverse Technologies? The Diverse Auto Workers?

“Privilege” It certainly no longer means honor or pride (e.g., “It has been my privilege to know you”), but has degenerated into a word of disparagement, used mostly with “white,” as in “white privilege.” And so privilege so often means nothing other than a way for mostly upper-middle-class white kids on campus to feel that they will have fewer problems if they “check” their privilege by reeducation-camp-style confessionals. There are perhaps 230 million “white” somebodies in the United States. The idea that a guy selling cars in Toledo has some intrinsic edge over Valerie Jarrett, Jorge Ramos, or Beyoncé because he is slightly pinker is ridiculous. Don’t take my word for it: when President Obama blasted the “clingers,” his subtext was that poor white uneducated and supposedly superstitious people did not and should not enjoy the privilege that he as an Ivy-League, arugula eating, and golf-putting elite enjoyed. Usually “privilege” is a preemptory word: if you are wealthy or at least middle class and you do not wish to be assessed on your work and achievement, then you accuse others (usually rivals or superiors) of enjoying insidious “privilege” which otherwise explains your own happiness over your perceived lack of parity. Privilege is always asserted, never defined or analyzed.

“Swag” I mention this curious slang only because it has left street parlance. (Is it short for “swagger,” or some sort of acronym denoting sexual preference?)

Swag certainly has left its Nordic root of “sagging/rocking” and entered the language of the First Family. One has swag apparently in the sense that although thoroughly conventional in dress, language, income, status and career, one still has found a demonstrable way to denote that he is authentic, as in cool, hip, in with it.

Swag is supposedly attained by ever so slight adjustments in vocabulary, fashion, or comportment that do not threaten an otherwise studied conventionality. Swag is a reflection that one worries that he has lost the authenticity and legitimacy that helped him win conventionality, and from time to time feels it is career wise to swag his roots, both to fulfill psychological needs and to practice a studied otherness in case its easy demonstration might come in handy in the future. An otherwise slothful lion in the zoo has swag when he growls at an obtrusive onlooker. I suppose when I was farming and occasionally had to drive my decrepit Dodge 1974 pickup, with shovels, broken concrete pipes, valve castings, and bags of quickset in the back, into the faculty parking lot, I could be said to have had ag swag? Barack Obama is said to swag when he uses contrived street parlance when hanging with his basketball heroes.

In other words, swag is essentially a neurotic tic.

“Hurtful” is a strange word that certainly does not fit any standard, identifiable definition of experiencing genuine mental anguish or physical pain, as in it would be hurtful when stung by 6 wasps, or it would be hurtful should someone call you a SOB and then dare you to do something about it. Instead, it has become an entirely subjective term, useful for the enhancement of victimhood leading to envisioned concessions. Again, hurtful is a generic, catch-all adjective. A teacher whose speech is declared “hurtful” is usually not able to be charged with being “racist,” “sexist” or even “obnoxious.” Instead, hurtful is a word of first resort when there is no clear evidence that one has suffered racist or sexist attack, but is unhappy nonetheless for vague reasons. Presto, one finds another’s speech or behavior hurtful, a charge that allows all sorts of fantasies and speculation. Did his teacher’s unspecified “hurtful” behavior or language involve donning a Klan hood or employing “homosexual” instead of “gay”?

Hurtful is a useful political adjective because de facto it implies damage done, in the passive rather than active sense. An “obnoxious” person radiates his toxicity, and a “hater” projects his hatred. But hurtful (“full of hurt”) is entirely, not partly, in the eye of the victim, who alone decides what particular speech or act hit the target and drew blood.

“You are a nice girl” does not qualify as obnoxious or hateful speech, at least as so recognized outside the minute confines of the media-studies department. But it is probably “hurtful” speech, since some one can argue that “nice” and “girl” are proof of condescension and designed to hurt one by deliberately stereotyping her in some sort of subordinating fashion. In a nation of victims, almost anyone can find anything “hurtful” given that it requires no definition. The adjective is also passive-aggressive: a college student can confront a professor, unleash a string of obscene invectives, and then claim his attack was found to be “hurtful” because he had to make it. Storming the library, pushing around students, and insulting them could be “hurtful.”After all, why does an aggrieved group have to be forced to such heroic but nonetheless distressing dramatics?

What Has Happened to Language?

This tiny vocabulary sampling reflects another recent epidemic of victimhood, as the English language is further squeezed and massaged to create reality from fantasy.

First, over a half-century of institutionalized equal opportunity has not led to an equality of result. Particular self-identified groups feel collectively that they are less well off than others and are bewildered that this is still possible, since they can point to no law or custom that precludes their opportunity by race, class, or gender. Therefore, inventing a vocabulary of grievances is far more effective in gaining concessions than self-criticism and self-reliance are in winning parity.

Second, in an affluent, leisured and postmodern society of $300 Jordan-label sneakers that sell out in hours, big-screen televisions at Walmart that become prizes for warring consumers on Black Friday, and over 50% of the population exempt from income taxes, it is becoming harder to define, in the material sense, oppression-driven victimhood. In such a world, even multi-billionaire Oprah has difficulty finding discrimination and so becomes reduced to whining about a perceived snub in a Swiss boutique that sells six-figure purses. Language is pressed into service to create victims where there are few, but where many are sorely needed, psychologically -- and on the chance such a prized status might lead to a profitable trajectory otherwise impossible by passé notions of work and achievement.


Hater Deblasio is Ruining Christmas

New York Mayor Bill Deblasio is hated by most reasonable New Yorkers, who see his 60s style liberalism as a threat to the stable, civil New York City that was built by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and his sustained by Michael Bloomberg. There's a growing sense that his inability to aggressively handle quality of life problems will lead New York back to the bad old days.

In some parts of New York, it's already happening, just in time for Christmas:

    "Vagrants are urinating in the street, hassling passers-by for cash — and now they’ve ruined Christmas in The Bronx.

    The annual outdoor Christmas tree lighting in the borough’s famed Little Italy section was canceled because the soaring panhandler population forced the sponsors to spend so much on security that there was no cash left for the celebration.

    “It’s unfortunate,” Frank Franz, treasurer of the Belmont Business Improvement District, told The Post. “It was a very expensive event, so we canceled it.”

    The BID, he said, had to weigh the price of public safety against that of the holiday festivities, which cost about $15,000.

    “Every neighborhood should be concerned about the safety and the quality of life of their neighborhood. There’s always been homeless around, but now you’re seeing an increase all over the city,” he said about the sharp rise of aggressive panhandlers"


Australia: Same-sex marriage debate goes to the heart of our democracy

Can state recognition of same-sex marriage be reconciled with religious freedom?

The calculated assault on freedom of religious liberty in Australia is rapidly gaining pace with the focus in Tasmania where the Catholic Bishops of Australia now face formal action on the grounds that their defence of traditional marriage contravenes anti-discrimination law.

This action — an effort to deny the Catholic Church the right to ventilate its social and religious views on marriage as a union between a man and a woman — has become a test case. The issue is manifest: it is whether existing law and current public opinion can censor or partially silence the churches from full public expressions of their beliefs.

For Australia and its alleged open spirit of debate, this is an unprecedented situation. It reveals an aggressive secularism dressed in the moral cause of anti-discrimination justice but with a long-run agenda that seeks to transform our values and, ultimately, drive religion into the shadows. The vanguard for this drive is the same-sex marriage campaign.

The Tasmanian action before the state’s Anti-Discrimination Commission highlights what many parliamentarians and journalists have preferred to deny: that the campaign for same-sex marriage threatens to infringe the rights of the church and religious freedom. Sustained denials of this proposition by many pro same-sex marriage politicians are untenable given the evidence to the contrary.

Their denialism is based in several different notions — a desire to make the same-sex marriage transition as fast and smooth as possible, a naivety about its meaning and a more disreputable sentiment, namely, a quiet acceptance that same-sex marriage as an ideology must strike against freedom of religious conscience.

With the Turnbull government upholding the previous pledge of the Abbott government to conduct a national plebiscite on same-sex marriage the immediate issue is whether advocates of traditional marriage will be inhibited and intimidated in making their case in a campaign. This would be an extraordinary situation for the country. Yet it has a logic flowing from the Tasmania case.

The greater danger, however, lies elsewhere. It is whether the terms and conditions under which same-sex marriage is legislated in this country is founded in a new intolerance against religious freedom. The refusal of many federal parliamentarians to confront this issue honestly is a conspicuous feature of the public debate.

The churches, belatedly, are rallying on this issue. The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, said in his recent Acton Lecture that Pope Francis had identified “respect for the democratic ideal of religious liberty as an essential precondition of peaceful coexistence”. Going to the heart of the issue, he quoted the Pope that “religious liberty, by its nature, transcends places of worship and the private sphere” and must be preserved in the public square. Yet this is the exact point of the ideological attack.

Fisher’s lecture sketches the cultural crisis the church sees as a potential outcome for Australia — that in 10 years religious schools will be forced by law to teach a gay-friendly concept of marriage in conflict with their beliefs, that clergy will face fines and possibly imprisonment, that faith schools and teachers will be mired in legal threats for “hate speech”, that religious organisations will be compelled by law to extend spousal benefits on a same-sex basis and will have lost their charitable status and that all businesses will be compelled to provide services for same-sex marriage, regardless of their beliefs.

Referring to the decision of the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission, prominent Jesuit and law professor Frank Brennan, who accepts same-sex marriage will be legislated, tells Inquirer: “To date, the bishops have spoken cautiously and respectfully. They know their views are not in fashion. It is ridiculous to have a national debate on a plebiscite stifled by assertions that church teaching on marriage is offensive to some individuals and likely to cause offence to a reasonable person.

“Debate should not be put on hold while the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Board decides whether it is arguable that a reasonable person might be ­offended. The board is not the thought police or, at least, it shouldn’t be. Those who take ­offence are those who think churches should butt out of all moral debate in the public square. On this one, we should all let a thousand flowers bloom.”

This is a contest over power, ideas and law. With the Catholic Church deeply compromised and unpopular because of the child sexual abuses and cover-ups, it is vulnerable to a calculated strike by parliaments and anti-discrimination boards using the cover of same-sex justice to achieve a quantum reduction in religious freedom and a pivotal change in the norms of our society.

The complainant in Tasmania, transgender Greens political candidate, Martine Delaney, said the church’s 15-page pastoral letter, “Don’t Mess with Marriage” authorised by the Catholic Bishops of Australia was “insulting” and “offensive”. Tasmanian law has an exceptionally low threshold for unlawful conduct under anti-discrimination law and therefore is the ideal jurisdiction to intimidate expressions of faith.

Australian Marriage Equality, the main lobby group for same-sex marriage, has given robust support to the complaint. “This booklet denigrates and demeans same-sex relationships and will do immense harm to gay students and students being raised by same-sex couples,” AME national director Rodney Croome said in June.

“The Catholic Church has every right to express its views from the pulpit but it is completely inappropriate to enlist young people as the couriers of its prejudice. Any principal or teacher who exposes vulnerable children to such damaging messages not only violates their duty of care but is a danger to students.”

Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Robin Banks found the Catholics bishops and Archbishop of Hobart Julian Porteous have a case to answer. Procedures are under way that could involve a conciliation process and, if that fails, then a hearing before a tribunal.

Porteous has said the federal debate about marriage “has significant implications for the future of our society” and tells Inquirer his intention is to ensure the Catholic community “understood where we stand on the issue of marriage’’.

“It was not my intention to ­offend,” he says. “Rather, it was and is, to express the teaching of the Catholic Church. I regret if ­offence has been taken by individuals and will work with the commission to resolve the matter.”

The pastoral letter was distributed to parents of Catholic school students. It defends existing Australian law, including the Marriage Amendment Act of 2004 and the Catholic sacrament of marriage. The letter begins with a declaration that the Catholic Church opposes all forms of unjust discrimination. It says gay people must be treated with “respect, compassion and sensitivity” and “every sign of discrimination” against them “should be avoided”.

The letter says a struggle is now under way “for the very soul of marriage”. It says “the union of a man and a woman is different from other unions — not the same as other unions”. Accordingly, it is “unjust” to assert there is “nothing distinctive about a man and a woman, a father or a mother”. For the church, marriage is both a natural and holy institution. It ­argues the importance, as far as possible, of children having both a mother and father.

It says if the law changed, then our culture would teach marriage was merely an emotional bond rather than a union founded on sexual complementarity. It warns that in this situation, people who adhered to the natural definition of marriage “will be characterised as old-fashioned, even bigots, who must answer to social disapproval and the law”. Finally, it lists a series of examples from abroad showing that even if same-sex marriage law has an exemption for ministers of religion, freedom of religious conscience is gradually being eroded.

AME’s repudiation of this letter as an acceptable “public square” document reveals the sheer extent of the deadlock in the same-sex marriage debate. The consequences far transcend the definition of marriage itself. Same-sex marriage is provoking an upheaval about freedom of conscience, religious liberty and the norms that govern our democratic discourse.

The same-sex lobby believes such an authorised letter of church teaching constitutes prejudice, an offence against gays, a danger to children, denigrates same-sex relationships and should not be tolerated under anti-discrimination law.

In short, it is unacceptable for the Catholic Church to make its case because that case is offensive. Ultimately, this is the bedrock position. In Tasmania the church is now fighting for the right to expound its beliefs in the public square. The culture of repression sanctioned by anti-discrimination law continues to grow.

Its impact is already marked. Many people will not defend existing law or the centuries-long traditional concept of marriage precisely because they are accused of prejudice or offending others. Brennan’s point is correct: in its essence this is a campaign to force the voice of the churches from the public square on the grounds of ­offensiveness.

Anti-discrimination laws vary across the states. The extent to which they can be harvested once same-sex marriage is legislated is difficult to assess and, in some states, the churches may still sit on solid ground. But there can be no doubting that among same-sex marriage activists, the political will exists and the pathway is apparent to silence opponents. One upshot is that Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman has said he will review Tasmania’s law in the light of recent events.

What is required, however, is a new approach to the same-sex marriage debate. That approach has been best articulated by Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson, who said some time ago that in this transition, support for same-sex marriage and support for religious freedom should enjoy equal status. This would be the response of a tolerant society. It has not been the approach of the Australian parliament.

The legislation of same-sex marriage means the laws of the state and the laws of the churches (at least most churches) will be in conflict over the meaning of marriage. This leads to the question: how tenable will this historic difference be? And it prompts another question: is the push for same-sex marriage founded in tolerance or intolerance? The evidence is mixed and varies from person to person, group to group.

What is undeniable, however, is that marriage equality is a powerful ideology and ideologies rarely stop short of complete victory. Can state recognition of same-sex marriage be reconciled with religious freedom or is the erosion of freedom of religious conscience an integral step on this journey?

These are the real issues at stake. The country deserves more than weasel words from its politicians and hollow crusading from its media. Don’t be fooled, yet again, by phony assurances that Tasmania is a one-off, means nothing and will be easily settled. It is, rather, a signal that issues without precedent for our democracy are being put on the table.



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

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

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



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(Isaiah 62:1)

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals. But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think so. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

There really is an actress named Donna Air

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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