The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

The primary version of "Political Correctness Watch" is HERE The Blogroll; John Ray's Home Page; Email John Ray here. Other mirror sites: Greenie Watch, Dissecting Leftism. This site is updated several times a month but is no longer updated daily. (Click "Refresh" on your browser if background colour is missing). See here or here for the archives of this site.

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

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


30 December, 2016

Political correctness and opioids

On Friday, Dec. 16 the Centers for Disease Control released its annual report of drug overdose deaths. The CDC reported that "rates of other opioids, specifically heroin and synthetic opioids other than methadone (likely driven primarily by illicitly manufactured fentanyl) increased sharply overall and across many states." By "sharply", that includes a one year increase in New York State deaths of 135.7 percent from fentanyl alone.

While the CDC report is certainly worth reading and consulting on the heroin epidemic, it is also seriously deficient. In seven single-spaced pages with academic footnotes, there is precisely zero discussion of the sources of the problem. The words "Mexico," "China" (source of fentanyl), "the border," "cartels" or "trafficking" do not appear. A reader coming to the issue cold would have no idea where this poison came from or how it made its way to "Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island and West Virginia," among other American states devastated according to the CDC.

On the same Friday, Dec. 16, running well over an hour, President Obama held his final news conference as president. In his opening monologue, the president made a tour de force of the world and the United States during his eight years in office. Although he mentioned some continuing social problems, heroin was not one of them. Five reporters from The Associated Press, Bloomberg and other major media outlets asked him questions. None of them asked about heroin deaths.

Still staying with Friday, Dec. 16, The Wall Street Journal produced an otherwise excellent Page 1 above the fold feature on the effects of the heroin epidemic on children who lose their parents. The story ran 67 precious inches of type and included three large color photos and two charts showing the rise in children placed with relatives or foster care due to the heroin epidemic. Again, the Journal's reporters failed to reference "Mexico," "China," "the border," "cartels" or "trafficking."
So, we're 0 of 3 on Friday the 16th. But maybe that was just an anomaly?

On Sunday, Dec. 18, The Washington Post ran its own feature on children caught up in the heroin epidemic - Page A-1 again but this time the coverage ran to 80 column inches and four color photos, taking up the entirety of two inside pages. It clearly dominated the Sunday edition of the paper and, just like the Journal's feature totally failed to mention the source of the problem. None of the magic words appeared.

It is actually possible to report on the heroin epidemic in a reasonable and professional manner. In mid-November, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) ran a multipart feature which was shown in the United States and is still on their website. They began in Mexico with a first segment called, "America's Heroin Trail: The Outdoor Factory that Feeds the U.S". Later segments followed the drugs over the border to their users and showed the death and destruction that heroin and fentanyl cause. All or nearly all the magic words appeared.

The BBC's production makes good sense: The problem starts here (Mexico and China). It goes through there (the Border) and it causes harm over there- New Hampshire or some other American State. To my knowledge, no American broadcast or cable network has ever done that, certainly not in recent years as heroin from Mexico and fentanyl from China have exploded on the American scene. To the extent that they have covered the issue at all, the American networks have exclusively focused on the suffering of the users and their relatives, just as the Journal and the Post did in the examples cited above. In one case, ABC did an hour long show, with their evening Anchor, David Muir, in the chair and he mentioned the word "Mexico" in one half of one sentence in Minute 51.

The response of the CDC, the Journal, the Post and the broadcasters is pretty common. The BBC's report is what is uncommon and, to its credit, The Washington Times has also covered the subject professionally.

Why, then did the CDC and the American journalists not live up to normal professional standards? The answer, I would argue, is the border. Once you start asking, "Well, how did this poison get here to kill American citizens?" you are on a slippery slope towards Mexico, China and the border. That then feeds right into the border security arguments of Attorney General-designate Jeff Sessions and President-elect Donald Trump. It's a direct shot with no sidetracks.

So political correctness prevails. If you don't ask the "how" question, you never reach the answer which is, "Without border security, there will be no halting the heroin epidemic." And, if you don't ask the "how" question, that means that political correctness is more important than American lives.


UK: Furious supermarket shopper is ordered to 'go and join another queue' by Muslim cashier who refused to sell him a bottle of wine because it was 'against her religion'

A father-of-three has hit out at Tesco after a Muslim shop assistant refused to sell him a bottle of wine due to her 'religious beliefs'.

Lee Saunders was trying to buy the rosé wine at a superstore in Feltham, Middlesex, when he was told to go to a different till by the worker, who was aged in her 20s and wearing a headscarf.

He was eventually served by a duty manager but criticised the supermarket giant for putting a member of staff in that position.

Mr Saunders, 35, told the Sun he was 'miffed and baffled' by the incident.

He said: 'If you apply for a job surely you've got to be able to do everything within the boundaries of that job.'

Mr Saunders had been at the shop to buy the £4 wine along with LED lights and an Xbox FIFA 17 game for his son, with the total coming to £55.

He added: 'It should have been made clear if they can't serve you certain items. There were no warnings or signs.

'She apologised afterwards, but she's been put in that position. It's not entirely her fault to be fair.'

A Tesco spokesperson apologised for the incident and said staff did all they could to resolve the situation.  The spokesman said: 'We take a pragmatic approach if a colleague raises concerns about a job they have been asked to do. We apologise to our customer for any inconvenience caused on this occasion.'

The store confirmed the member of staff worked on a kiosk where alcohol is 'generally not purchased' and would request another colleague's help if the situation arose again in the future.



Merkel is punished for her open door refugee policy as backing for German chancellor's party crumbles amid surge in support for the far-right

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been punished for her open door refugee policy as new figures show support for her conservative CDU party continuing to crumble.

With 434,019 members at the end of last month the CDU has now slipped behind the social democrats with 13,000 people tearing up their party cards this year.

Many of them switched to the hard-right anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD).

The news was a little better for the centre left SPD which rules Germany as the junior partner in a coalition led by the CDU.

It has shed 9,000 members this year as a result of underwriting the migrant influx which brought with it terror and death to the country.

But when Donald Trump won the American election, and as support for extremism in the form of the AfD and neo-Nazis continues to rise, the party has been making up ground with 2,000 new members attracted in November alone.

It now boasts more members than Mrs. Merkel's party nine months before Germany goes to the polls in a general election in which she will seek a fourth term in office.

The AfD has capitalised enormously on the problems that the refugee influx has created in the country with nearly 5,000 new members in the past few months.

'Their enormous popularity lies witgh the policy failures of the old parties and the large vacuum that created,' said AfD's executive board member Georg Pazderski.

A new poll taken by the Forsa research group for Stern magazine showed 28 percent of respondents believing Chancellor Merkel's refugee policy was 'jointly responsib le' for the Berlin Christmas market attack on December 19 which killed 12 and injured 48.

And three quarters of all citizens - 76 per cent - assume that the terror threat and the security situation in Germany will play an 'important role' in the general election.

A total of 67 percent of respondents said they believed a debate on the subject of internal security during the election campaign would harm rather than help the chancellor.

The AfD, which trounced the chancellor in several key regional elections in 2016, is looking to gain seats in the national parliament for the first time next year.

But it is unlikely to get into power: the established parties look set to win again and have ruled out doing any deals that would give Germany's first hard-right political parts since 1945 any say in governing the country


Freedom of association isn't just for the Rockettes

Jeff Jacoby

LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE connected to Donald Trump, even the entertainment at his inauguration is generating controversy. The stories have been a godsend to the talk-shows and tabloids. But they have also provided a reminder of something too easily forgotten: Freedom of association is a vital human right.

According to news accounts, Jackie Evancho and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir are slated to sing during the inaugural festivities; Elton John and Andrea Bocelli have let it be known that they're staying away. The Radio City Rockettes will be part of the show — but any dancers who wish to opt out are free to do so.

Critics left and right have been lobbing attacks. Liberals on social media have inundated Evancho with hateful comments for agreeing to perform for Trump, while conservatives have mocked the entertainers steering clear of the Trump revels as "preening peacocks" choosing to "pout" because Hillary Clinton lost the election. Phoebe Pearl, the Rockette who posted on Instagram that she was "embarrassed and disappointed" at the prospect of dancing for Trump — or "#notmypresident," as she described him — was both praised and blasted after her message went viral.

The divisiveness doesn't stop with the inaugural entertainment. Heat Street reported that many Washington-area homeowners who had planned to rent out rooms through Airbnb pulled their listings once they realized that they wouldn't be sharing their homes with Clinton enthusiasts. "I have a visceral reaction to the thought of having a Trump supporter in my house," one owner said. "No amount of money could make me change my mind. It's about moral principles."

Others putting their money where their anti-Trump principles are include fashion gurus Sophie Theallet and André Leon Talley, who announced that they will refuse to dress Melania Trump, a former model, out of revulsion for her husband. "You make the choice to be in Trumpland or you make the choice to eject yourself from the horror of Trumpland," Talley told the New York Times. "I've made my choice not to be part of Trumpland."

There are also the artists who have publicly asked Ivanka Trump to remove their artwork from her walls, and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who says he will boycott any restaurant in Trump's hotels.

I support them all — the singers who refuse to sing for Trump, the fashion designers who refuse to design, the landlords who refuse to rent, the dancers who refuse to dance. No one should be forced to play a role in a celebration they want nothing to do with, or to hire themselves out to clients they would prefer not to serve.

And if a caterer turns down a request to prepare the meals for Trump's inauguration? Or a florist declines to provide the floral arrangements? Or a calligrapher says "thanks but no thanks" to addressing the invitations? I'd back them, too, and for reasons having nothing to do with Trump or Republicans or inaugurations — and everything to do with freedom of association.

The right to discriminate — to choose with whom we will and won't associate — is vital to human liberty. A dressmaker who can't say no to a commission to design a gown isn't free, and it doesn't matter whether the gown is for a First Lady or for the brides in a lesbian wedding. A liberal baker who declines to create a lavish cake decorated with the words "Congratulations, President Trump" is entitled to as much deference as a black baker who declines to decorate a cake with the Confederate flag, or a Muslim baker who declines to decorate a cake with the message "No Muslim Immigrants."

Freedom of association, like all freedoms, isn't absolute. Common carriers, innkeepers, and vendors open to the public are barred by law from refusing to serve customers because of their race, religion, or sex, for example. But when it comes to providing personal services to others — whether the service is cleaning homes or singing the national anthem or taking photos — coercion is anathema. It would be ludicrous for the Trump committee to sue Andrea Bocelli or Phoebe Pearl to compel their involvement in the inaugural. It is just as ludicrous, or ought to be, to sue florists and bakers to compel their involvement in weddings they prefer to avoid.

Tolerance and pluralism are important values in a free society. So are choice and association. Your choices may not be mine; my preferred associations may not be yours. In a diverse, live-and-let-live culture, our differences are manageable — as long as government doesn't interfere. The state can't force Elton John to take a gig he doesn't want. It shouldn't be able to force anyone else to, either.



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, 2016

Why the vitriol about race?

A conservative colleague wrote to me as follows:

"I have written much of late on Quora and have noticed that leftists reserve their most hate filled tropes for issues concerning Black White relations. I recently posted an article arguing that the Democratic Party has consistently failed Black Americans and that the GOP should work at targeting the fallout from such failure.

Needless to say the kickback was harsh. The usual unsubstantiated racist accusations came flying out of the woodwork with a venom that I rarely see on posts reserved for other issues.

But here is the kicker - the worst insults by far came from Whites. Is this a function of virtue signalling or something else as the responses from seemingly reasonable people seemed more visceral than normal?

I think I know EXACTLY why Leftist whites get so heated about race. It is because racial realities are so far away from Leftist beliefs about them. Leftists are cut to the heart when you remind them how exceptionally badly behaved many blacks are -- because they KNOW you are right but cannot afford to admit it.  So they get angry instead.

They know as well as you or I that many blacks are dangerous predators that they need to avoid.  And they do avoid them.  But to admit it would cause their belief structure to come tumbling down. 

It is a cause of pride to them that they are better than conservatives -- in being kind, tolerant etc -- so admitting that conservatives are simply realists about race undermines their entire self worth -- JR

How excluding!

'Born This Way'? New Study Debunks LGBT Claims

Correcting the record on the homosexual agenda's junk science.

Among leftists, it is at convenient times an accepted fact (“settled science,” you might say) that homosexuals and transgendered people are “born that way” — that their sexual attractions or gender identities are not the product of choice, but a matter of genetics. (When that’s not convenient, of course, it’s a perfectly acceptable “life choice.”) A new report, instantly controversial, torpedoes that understanding of homosexuality and gender dysphoria, the medical term for transgenderism.

The report, entitled “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences,” is co-authored by two of the most well respected experts on mental health and human sexuality. Dr. Paul McHugh, described as “arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half century,” is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and served for 25 years as psychiatrist in chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital. And Dr. Lawrence Mayer, Psychiatry Department scholar-in-residence at Johns Hopkins University, is a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University.

While, not surprisingly, many on the Left and in the LGBT “community” immediately raged against the report as anti-LGBT, it should be noted that Johns Hopkins was the first medical facility in the U.S. to perform sex-reassignment surgery, and did so for decades until a growing body of peer-reviewed studies, including an analysis of how Hopkins' own transgendered patients fared over time, led the hospital to end those types of surgeries. Furthermore, McHugh is no far right-wing ideologue or Bible-thumper; he’s a self-described “politically liberal” Democrat.

Yet it was his long-term experience with patients who suffer from gender dysphoria that led him to his conclusions, summarized in a report that analyzed more than 200 peer reviewed studies. McHugh and Mayer are also very up front about what the science does and does not show. They freely admit the gaps in the available research, which they argue underscores the need for more research before establishing medical standards, public policy guidelines, and laws, based on “settled science” that is not at all settled.

So what did the study find? A few excerpts:

“The belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property — that people are ‘born that way’ — is not supported by scientific evidence.

Likewise, the belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex — so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ — is not supported by scientific evidence.

Only a minority of children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood. There is no evidence that all such children should be encouraged to become transgender, much less subjected to hormone treatments or surgery.

Non-heterosexual and transgender people have higher rates of mental health problems (anxiety, depression, suicide), as well as behavioral and social problems (substance abuse, intimate partner violence), than the general population. Discrimination alone does not account for the entire disparity.”
One of the most shocking findings in the report is that not only do people who suffer from gender dysphoria experience far higher rates of social pathologies (depression, substance abuse, suicide) than the general population, but sex-reassignment surgery does not offer the relief those on the Left claim. One study finds that “compared to [the general population], sex-reassigned individuals were about five times more likely to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide.” The study finds a staggering 41% of transgendered individuals will attempt suicide in their lifetime.

The duo investigated the underlying causes of these tragic statistics, and found that while “stressors like stigma and prejudice account for much of the additional suffering observed in these subpopulations … [this theory] does not seem to offer a complete explanation for the disparities in the outcomes.” Even in social environments where transgendered people are accepted, they still suffer from above-normal rates of these social pathologies. McHugh and Mayer encourage additional research be done to study the correlation between childhood sexual abuse and sexual orientation (studies have shown non-heterosexuals to be two to three times more likely to have experienced childhood sexual abuse as compared to heterosexuals).

Far from offering condemnation or judgment, they stress the need for greater understanding of the science behind gender dysphoria, and a more thoughtful, science-based approached to treating it. “More research is needed to uncover the causes of the increased rates of mental health problems in the LGBT subpopulations,” McHugh and Mayer say, calling on society to work to “alleviate suffering and promote human health and flourishing.”

All the more reason to base medical treatment and public policy on sound science, which is not currently the case. The authors declare they are “disturbed and alarmed by the severity and irreversibility of some interventions being publicly discussed and employed for children. … We are concerned by the increasing tendency toward encouraging children with gender identity issues to transition to their preferred gender through medical and then surgical procedures.” The pair notes, “There is little scientific evidence for the therapeutic value of interventions that delay puberty or modify the secondary sex characteristics of adolescents.”

The Obama administration has used (and abused) its vast power to dismiss the concerns of parents, policymakers and medical professionals in implementing policy in the furtherance of its ideological goal — forced social acceptance of gender dysphoria as normal, all under the guise of medical science.

Part of that effort was Obama’s announcement earlier this year that schools receiving federal funding were prohibited from requiring students to use the restroom and shower facilities of their birth sex, while threatening a loss of funding for any school that didn’t comply with his imperial decree. Essentially, this meant boys who think they are girls would get to shower with female classmates.

Luckily, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor has injected some sanity into the debate, issuing an injunction against implementation of this policy, stating that Obama exceeded his authority in his attempt to reinterpret Title IX. As O'Connor said, “It cannot be disputed that the meaning of the term ‘sex’ [in Title IX] meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined by their birth.”

Gender dysphoria is a real and debilitating problem for a tiny minority of the population, and we should treat those who suffer from it compassionately. At the same time, we do not show true compassion by pretending it is not an illness, or by encouraging those who suffer from it to embrace and celebrate it.


Fmr. Archbishop of Canterbury: England Needs Citizenship Tests on Christianity For Immigrants

Commenting on the British government's review of communal integration in England, particularly involving Muslim communities, Lord George Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury, said Britain is forgetting its Christian heritage, suffers from a "creeping culture of religious illiteracy," and added that Christianity should be included in citizenship tests for all immigrants.

"It is a preposterous yet dangerous state of affairs when Christmas cards are considered offensive, or the Cross is banned because it is thought divisive. Yet this is the world we live in," said Lord Carey in a Dec. 17 commentary for The Mail On Sunday. "We should rejoice in our Christian identity as a nation and celebrate it."

"I believe we should include Christianity in citizenship tests for all those who want to come to this country," said Lord Carey, who was the archbishop of Canterbury 1991-2002.  "There are many questions asked of migrants about the Royal Family and Parliament, but little about the Church of England or Britain’s Christian history."

"And it is vital that the Government itself does its homework better," he said.  "Politicians and advisers would do well to remember the contribution of Christianity to our life, and not just our ‘holy-days’ and celebrations."

"In co-ordination with religious leaders, some thought should be given to special training in religious literacy for at least some judges, Ministers and senior civil servants who deal directly with religious communities – their freedom and equalities," said Lord Carey.

The archbishop also noted that the Christian population in the Middle East has fallen from 7% in 1996 to 1.5% today. "[T]he Middle East, the region that gave birth to our faith, could soon see the virtual extinction of Christianity," said the archbishop.

As for Muslim communities in England, Lord Carey, referencing the government's recent review, said the facts show "public authorities have been ignoring harmful social practices in some of our Muslim communities, such as the exclusion of women, domestic violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation."  People do not speak out about these problems, as the review documents, because they fear being labeled "Islamaphobic."

However, the review, by Dame Louise Casey, who heads the Social Welfare office in England, "equated conservative religious views with intolerance, even extremism," said Lord Carey.  "By condemning all those with conservative religious views – and not just an Islamist minority – she is imposing a new form of intolerance."

"In civil life as a whole, we are choosing to forget the Christian heritage which has contributed so greatly to our laws, rituals, language, our traditions and even our landscape," said the 81-year-old archbishop. "It has built our civil society and sustained charity and social movements and has been the fabric of our daily existence for a millennium and more."

"The glue which tied us together used to be the institutions of our civil society," he said, "including the Church of England...."


Heathrow mayhem gang walks free: NO punishment for protestors who obstructed highway

TWELVE protesters who caused mayhem for passengers at Heathrow by blockading major roads walked free from court today.

The campaigners against airport expansion were given conditional discharges after running on to the M4 and A4 and laying down in front of traffic last month.

Fifteen people aged between 21 and 67 were charged with causing willful obstruction of the highway on November 19.

At Ealing magistrates court yesterday 12 pleaded guilty.

12 out of 15 Heathrow protesters walked free after pleading guilty to their charges

They were also told to pay a victim surcharge and court costs of £105.

The remaining three, who pleaded not guilty, will face trial in February.

Prosecutor Richard Doolan said protesters were joined together by plastic tubing and some of the defendants had to be cut away.

The third runway at Heathrow Airport could involve planes taking off from a "ramp" over the M25 motorway, the transport secretary says.
The protestors will continue their fight against the runway plans
Madeleine EllisPetersen, 24, of Ealing, one of those who pleaded guilty, said: “It’s a great result within the realms of what we were expecting.

“This is not the end. We will continue to fight until the Government takes meaningful action to tackle climate change and that includes not building a third runway.”



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, 2016

Trump and Jerusalem

The media has been abuzz with reports that President-elect Donald Trump intends to honor his pre-election promise to act on the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act – whose implementation has been deferred by six monthly waivers invoked by successive presidents, most recently last week by President Obama – and move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Why has the Embassy Act, passed by massive majorities in the Senate (93-5) and House (374-37), remained a dead letter for 21 years? Fear of enraging the Arab street and the Muslim world, most of which has neither reconciled itself to Israel’s existence nor even the peoplehood of the Jews and thus the Jewish immemorial association and claim to the city, is the short answer.

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This clamor and fixation on Jerusalem, quite recent in Muslim history, has led many to conclude that Jerusalem is holy to Islam; therefore any US move ahead of a peace settlement is premature.

As it happens, however, it is a propaganda lie that Jerusalem is holy to Islam or central to Palestinian Arab life. Though possessing Muslim shrines, including the Dome of the Rock and al-Aksa mosques, the city itself holds no great significance for Islam, as history shows.

Jerusalem is not mentioned even once in the Koran, nor is it the direction in which Muslims turn to pray. References in the Koran and hadith to the ‘farthest mosque,’ an allusion to which al-Aksa Mosque is named, and which has sometimes been invoked to connect Islam to Jerusalem since its earliest days, clearly doesn’t refer to a mosque which didn’t exist in Muhammad’s day.

Indeed, the site of the biblical temples is called Temple Mount, not the Mosque Mount, and – in contrast to innumerable Palestinian Authority statements today – was acknowledged as such for decades in the Jerusalem Muslim Supreme Council’s publication, A Brief Guide to the Haram Al-Sharif,’ which states on p. 4 that ‘Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute.”

(After 1954, all such references to the biblical temples disappeared from this publication.) During the illegal annexation and rule of the historic eastern half of Jerusalem by Jordan (1948-67), Amman remained the country’s capital, not Jerusalem.

Under Jordanian rule, Jews were entirely driven out, the Old City’s 58 synagogues destroyed, and Jewish gravestones used to pave roads and latrines. Jewish access to the Western Wall was forbidden, in contravention of Article 8 of the 1949 Israeli/Jordanian armistice.

Indeed, the eastern half of the city became a backwater town, with infrastructure like water and sewerage scanty or non-existent, and its Christian population, denied the right to purchase church property in the city, also declined. No Arab ruler, other than Jordan’s King Hussein, ever visited. As Israeli elder statesman Abba Eban put it, “the secular delights of Beirut held more attraction.”

Significantly, neither the PLO’s National Charter nor the Fatah Covenant, drafted during Jordanian rule, even mention Jerusalem, let alone call for its establishment as a Palestinian capital.

This would never be obvious from the tenor and content of Palestinian, Arab and Muslim pronouncements on the city today, which are as emphatic as to the Arab, Muslim and Palestinian primacy of the city as they are in denying its Jewish provenance.

Conversely, Jerusalem, the capital of the biblical Jewish kingdoms, is the site of three millennia of Jewish habitation — hence the ‘Jerusalem 3000’ celebrations initiated by the government of Yitzhak Rabin.

The holiest of Judaism’s four holy cities, Jerusalem is mentioned 669 times in the Bible, and alluded to in countless prayers.

Major Jewish rituals, including the conclusion of the Passover Seder and Yom Kippur service, end with the age-old affirmation, “Next year in Jerusalem.”

Jerusalem is the only city in the world in which Jews have formed a majority since the 1880s. Today, in addition to being home to Judaism’s greatest sanctuaries, Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s government, the Knesset, the Supreme Court, the National Library and the Hebrew University. Its population is twothirds Jewish.

It is only under unified Israeli rule since 1967 that the city as a whole has been revitalized, enjoyed stunning growth and also, at last, full freedom of religion for its mosaic of faiths – precisely what would be threatened by its redivision, as is already obvious in the Christian exodus from Palestinian-controlled Gaza and Bethlehem.

Transferring the US Embassy to Jerusalem would acknowledge the reality of the city as Israel’s capital, and ultimately help consign to oblivion the fiction that Israel can be detached from it. Whatever the contours of any future peace settlement, there is no good reason for President-elect Trump to defer implementing the Jerusalem Embassy Act and move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.


Accused = guilty in politically correct Britain

York Minster's bells fell silent on Christmas Day for the first time in more than 600 years after the bell-ringing team was disbanded following a row over the reinstatement of one of their group.

Visitors at the cathedral have been warned to expect a silent Christmas period after the Minster's 30-strong ringing group was sacked in October.

Ringers had refused to accept the decision not to reinstate a member who had been suspended following a police investigation into allegations of sex offences against children, which did not lead to a prosecution.

Another group of campanologists from Leeds were asked to fill the gap but reportedly refused to help out in solidarity with their sacked colleagues.

The member has not been named by the Minster's Chapter, but is understood to be David Potter - who was awarded an MBE for his services to bell-ringing and has never been convicted of any offence.

Mr Potter was the subject of a police investigation in 1999, which was reviewed again in 2014, but he was never charged.

The Chapter of York Minster ordered a detailed risk assessment of Mr Potter's activities and ruled he "presented an ongoing risk and that the potential severity of the risk meant they could not be reinstated".

It added that the bell ringers refused to accept the decision and so had to be disbanded.

Colin Byrne, a solicitor acting for Mr Potter, said in October: "Mr Potter has no cautions or convictions or any civil findings ever made against him.

"Issues surrounding the bell ringers and the Minster is a private and confidential matter between those two parties but the process that he has been subject to has shown a disregard for due process and equally the treatment of his fellow bell-ringers."

The Dean of York Minster, Vivienne Faull, and the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu, who supported the decision, were both in attendance at the service on Christmas Day.


"Islamophobia" versus antisemitism

The Policy Exchange think-tank recently published a report on attitudes among British Muslims called Unsettled Belonging.

Among its many interesting observations, one in particular leapt out at me. No, it wasn’t that 43% of British Muslims support the introduction of some forms of sharia law in Britain. Nor that, despite this aspiration, more than half wanted to “fully integrate” with British society.

Nor that 7 per cent believed the Jews were responsible for 9/11, more than the 4 per cent who pinned it on al Qaeda (described by the authors as “slightly alarming”) but rather fewer that the 31% who thought the US government had perpetrated it (arguably even more alarming).

No, the bit that attracted my particular interest was this:

“There is undoubtedly a perception – expressed often in more anecdotal fashion – that Muslims face challenges posed by anti-Muslim bigotry and racism. It is striking that this issue did not loom as large in the quantitative survey. It is also notable how concerns about these problems were often relayed with reference to stories heard from friends, family, or via the media.”

None of this, it said, denied the reality of anti-Muslim abuse and discrimination. “But it does illustrate that often this is at least as much perceived as experienced. Here, as much as elsewhere, narrative is everything.”

Isn’t it just! Even when it bears scant relation to actual events. Or as we might otherwise call it, fiction.

For probe further and you find that, when asked about harassment on grounds of race, ethnicity or religion, only 6-7 per cent said it was a “big problem”, 14 per cent said it was a “slight problem” and a whopping 77 per cent on race/ethnicity and 79 per cent on religion said it was no problem at all.

The authors found this “somewhat surprising, given that there was a great deal of discussion in our focus groups about fears over personal security linked to anti-Muslim bigotry and harassment.”

This may be less surprising given that the authors also record a much greater concern about anti-Muslim harassment among the general population than among British Muslims.

Might it be, therefore, that British Muslims believe they are under more attack from the general population than they actually are largely because the general population itself tells them so?

Despite the authors’ manifest puzzlement, they hastily insist:

“Campaign groups such as Tell Mama have pointed to a significant increase in attacks and insults levelled against Muslims.”

And yet: “When pushed, focus group participants tended to say that they themselves had not experienced racism or Islamophobia; however, almost everyone had a story to which they could point, as examples of these phenomena.”

Curiouser and curiouser? Things get clearer when you look more carefully at these “hate crime” statistics. In its 2015 annual report, Tell Mama says it documented 437 anti-Muslim crimes or incidents that took place in person, a 200 per cent increase over the previous year.

There is no reason to doubt this rise. However, many of these incidents took place just after the atrocities in Paris in January and November, just as previous spikes in anti-Muslim incidents took place after 9/11 and the near-decapitation of Drummer Lee Rigby.

That doesn’t mean they are any less reprehensible — all unprovoked attacks are wrong, on Muslims or anyone else – just that they mostly occur specifically in response to Islamic terrorism rather than being a routine expression of intrinsic prejudice.

Moreover, the 437 figure has to be seen in the context of the size of Britain’s Muslim population, currently estimated at about 3 million.

Considering the intensity of public rage about Islamist aggression and the refusal by the Muslim world to take any responsibility for it, blaming it instead on “un-Islamic” or “anti-Islamic” forces, the number of hateful incidents against Muslims is thankfully remarkably low.

Now look at the number of attacks on Jews. Excluding social media abuse and threats, the Community Security Trust recorded 765 antisemitic incidents in 2015, with the highest number of violent assaults since 2011. Now put that 765 figure in the context of Britain’s Jewish population, estimated at around 270,000.

In other words, the rate of attacks on Jews proportionate to their population strength is vastly greater than the rate of attacks on Muslims – even though Jews have done nothing at all to provoke the general public.Narrative is not everything. Reality is.


Customer Leaves Restaurant Owner a Nastygram About His Christmas Music

A restaurant owner in Florida was recently shocked to find a nastygram left on a table by a disgruntled customer who didn't like his choice of Christmas music.

The Scrooge-like diner complained last week that the music was "offensive" and suggested that the owner of Michael's Tasting Room in St. Augustine "consider" playing less religiously themed "holiday music."

Pastor Tells Kids at Texas Mall: 'Santa Claus Does Not Exist'
The restaurant's owner, Michael Lugo, posted the note on Facebook commenting, "really, what is wrong with people?"

Via Fox News Insider:

Lugo said that though he is Christian he was not trying to force his religion on anyone, adding that it was "scary" that a note like that would be socially acceptable.
He posted the note on Facebook, a decision he said was to protect his staff.

The vast majority of the 855 comments are completely supportive of the restaurant owner and fed up with the politically correct cry-bully culture that encourages people to speak out so obnoxiously.



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, 2016

The decline and fall of Snopes

Leftists in the truth business was always an oxymoron and a paradox.  Inherently unstable

One of the websites Facebook is to use to arbitrate on 'fake news' is involved in a bitter legal dispute between its co-founders, with its CEO accused of using company money for prostitutes.

Snopes.com will be part of a panel used by Facebook to decide whether stories which users complain about as potentially 'fake' should be considered 'disputed'.

But the website's own troubles and the intriguing choice of who carries out its 'fact checks' are revealed by DailyMail.com, as one of its main contributors is disclosed to be a former sex-blogger who called herself 'Vice Vixen'.

Snopes.com will benefit from Facebook's decision to allow users to report items in their newsfeed which they believe to be 'fake'.

It is asking a number of organizations to arbitrate on items which are reported or which Facebook staff think may not be genuine, and decide whether they should be marked as 'disputed'.

The others include ABC News, the Associated Press and 'fact-checking' websites including Politifact.com.

Now a DailyMail.com investigation reveals that Snopes.com's founders, former husband and wife David and Barbara Mikkelson, are embroiled in a lengthy and bitter legal dispute in the wake of their divorce.

He has since remarried, to a former escort and porn actress who is one of the site's staff members.

They are accusing each other of financial impropriety, with Barbara claiming her ex-husband is guilty of 'embezzlement' and suggesting he is attempting a 'boondoggle' to change tax arrangements, while David claims she took millions from their joint accounts and bought property in Las Vegas.

The Mikkelsons founded the site in 1995. The couple had met in the early 1990s on a folklore-themed online message board, and married before setting up the site.

Profiles of the website disclose that for some time before it was set up, the couple had posed as 'The San Fernardo Valley Folklore Society', using its name on letterheads, even though it did not exist.

A profile for the Webby Awards published in October describes it as 'an entity dreamed up to help make the inquiries seem more legit'.

David Mikkeleson told the Los Angeles Times in 1997: 'When I sent letters out to companies, I found I got a much better response with an official-looking organization's stationery.'

In 2015, their marriage ended in divorce - but a bitter legal dispute continues. Both stayed on as co-owners of Snopes - which is registered under its legal name of Bardav, Inc. and were its sole board members.

Legal filings seen by DailyMail.com detail a lengthy financial and corporate dispute which stretches long after their divorce, and which one lawyer describes as 'contentious' in court documents.

In the filings, Barbara, 57, has accused her former husband, 56, of 'raiding the corporate business Bardav bank account for his personal use and attorney fees' without consulting her.

She also claimed he embezzled $98,000 from the company over the course of four years 'which he expended upon himself and the prostitutes he hired'.

When contacted by the Dailymail.com, David said he was legally prohibited from discussing his ex-wife’s allegations.

'I'd love to respond, but unfortunately the terms of a binding settlement agreement preclude me from publicly discussing the details of our divorce,' he said. Barbara Mikkelson said: 'No comment.'

In court records, Barbara alleged that her ex-husband removed thousands from their business accounts between April and June of 2016 to pay for trips for him and his 'girlfriend'.

She claimed he spent nearly $10,000 on a 24-day 'personal vacation' in India this year and expensed his girlfriend's plane ticket to Buenos Aires.

'He’s been depleting the corporate account by spending monies from it on his personal expenses,' said Barbara in a filing last June.

She added that he needed to be suspended from using the company checkbook and debit card 'right away before there are no funds left in the corporate account'.

David and his attorneys countered that the India visit was a legitimate business trip, and that he only expensed a fraction - 22.5 per cent - of the total cost of the excursion.

He said he was considering setting up a fact-checking website in India, and wanted to get a sense of the culture. He also said he went to Buenos Aires to attend an international fact-checking conference.

Meanwhile, his attorneys blasted Barbara as 'a "loose cannon" who simply must have her way'.

One major point of contention was David’s 2016 salary – which Barbara was responsible for approving.

David wanted his salary raised from $240,000 to $360,000 – arguing that this would still put him below the 'industry standards' and that he should be paid up to $720,000 a year.

'As I said, based on industry standards and our revenues, my salary should be about 2x to 3x what it is now,' he wrote in an email to Barbara in April 2016. 'I'll settle for $360K with the understanding that it’s to be retroactive to the start of the year.'

Barbara responded that his request was 'not even in the galaxy of reasonable'.

So bitter was the dispute, that they even fell out over the arbiter they had appointed to settle disputes, meaning that Facebook's arbiter cannot even agree on its own arbiter.

The court papers also detail the substantial financial rewards 'fact-checking' brought the former couple - and how they have even fallen out over remuneration.

The divorce settlement stipulated that David Mikkelson receive a salary of $240,000 a year in 2015, while both of the former couple were due to receive $20,000 a month as a draw against profits, as well as a share of any net profit the company made after those payments.

The settlement also noted: 'Each party waives his or her claim upon Bardav's revenues received by Husband into his PayPal account and spent by him, accountant's fees for restating tax returns to reflect previously unreported income...'

The nature of those revenues and fees, and of the unreported income is not disclosed.

The settlement saw savings, IRAS and stockholdings of well over $1.5 million given to Barbara, while she renounced claim on their marital home in Calabasas, California, in return for a payment of $660,000.

David kept their joint baseball card collection, a savings account with $1.59 million balance, and other savings worth more than $300,000. They also agreed to split the company checking account's $240,000 balance at the end of 2015 after his salary had been paid and a $50,000 float left.


Much more on Snopes bias and inaccuracy here

Academic: ISIS 'as Islamic as Anything'

"These things come and go," declared University of Toledo Islamic Studies professor Ovamir Anjum of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a phenomenon he demonstrated is not an aberration in Islamic history.  His December 1 presentation, "ISIS & the Future of Islam," at Georgetown University's Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) indicated that ISIS has far more Islamic legitimacy than many will admit.

Speaking in ACMCU's small conference room to about thirty-five listeners, including Georgetown Islamic Studies professor Emad Shahin, Anjum stated that "Islam is a discursive tradition; there are many different interpretations on any issue."  In Islam, "to say that something is wrong and I disagree with it - that is easy.  To say that something is beyond the pale of any possible legitimate interpretation is very, very, very, very difficult."  Regarding ISIS, "misinterpretations like this in a free-floating enterprise like Islamic law happen all the time."

As Anjum noted, ISIS consistently seeks justification in "Islamic texts, which they seem to know more or less," although members "use the hadith and the Quran in a way that is not resonant with the scholarly tradition and with the scholarly consensus."  Nonetheless, the condemnation of ISIS from many Muslim organizations, including the terrorist group al-Qaeda, "does not demonstrate that ISIS does not represent one plausible interpretation of Wahhabi or Salafi doctrine."

Explaining that ISIS is not unique in Islam's past, Anjum described the historical example of a "charismatic figure on the margins of the Islamic world agonized by the depraved condition of the community."  He "unites tribes under his leadership to wage war against existing regimes and peoples for their loose practices, [and] sternly and violently imposes moral norms."  "Most crucially, [he] calls his Muslim opponents disbelievers and uses that to declare jihad against them."  "Ultimately, his successors succeed in establishing a powerful dynasty over a large and prosperous stretch of territory."

Anjum suggested that this description could bring to mind eighteenth-century Saudi Arabian theological founding father Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab.  Yet Anjum actually wanted to examine the twelfth-century North African Almohad leader Ibn Tumart.  He also thought his statements had applicability to the Shiite Safavids in Iran.

Anjum's main criticism of ISIS was that it "excludes other Muslims from being part of Islam" similar to the "super-pietists, fanatics, zealots" of the Khawarij sect (modern-day Ibadis) from Islam's founding era in the seventh century.  "You have checked out of the discursive community; you have excommunicated other Muslims; you are killing other Muslims," he stated about ISIS members who violate Islamic norms demanding communal review of behavior.  "It is kind of like the academic process of academic review and other people holding you to account, and you act in accordance with the respect for the academic community."  Yet ISIS "is a group that draws on a very legitimate set of grievances and the rejection of these people as Khawarij comes from the mouths of people that serve up...the tyrants who create the conditions," giving ISIS "their major rebuttal."

Even these qualified theological criticisms of ISIS, which Anjum denounced as an "abomination by any standard," have flaws.  He condemned ISIS's slaughtering of civilians, claiming that in Islam's "legal, juristic tradition, you do not kill noncombatants" and that "in Islamic law, taking a life is the biggest crime" and must be "meticulously justified."  Yet these assessments are otherworldly in light of the brutal history of Islamic subjugation of non-Muslims under the dhimmi pact, which ISIS has newly implemented.  Additionally, a bearded Muslim audience member noted that historically, numerous Muslim scholars have issued religious opinions or fatwas contradicting an Islamic legal consensus or ijma: "giving fatwa against ijma is not something rare."

Anjum did not strengthen his argument with jabs at non-Muslims.  He opposed "ignoring the direct immediate role of Western imperialism, the two Gulf Wars, and the intervening sanctions on Iraq, and so on, on giving rise to ISIS."  He relativized ISIS in relation to other atrocities, such as Pol Pot's murder of millions in Cambodia, stating that the "secular Middle East regimes, many U.S.-backed, have for decades killed and imprisoned a far greater number of people."  The former argument disregards that ISIS arose in Syria, not just in Iraq, while the latter argument disregards that secular dictators have kept groups like ISIS in check, as Saddam Hussein's overthrow indicated.

Anjum's presentation belied his previously articulated thesis that ISIS is no more Islamic than the Ku Klux Klan is Christian.  Glossing over the non-Muslims outside Islam's "discursive community" who are subject to ISIS's genocidal rage, he could only conclude that ISIS jihadists are errant Islamic black sheep, no more misguided than others in Islamic history.  Given his concession to the historical controversy over such judgments, Anjum's paraphrase of Princeton University Near Eastern Studies professor Bernard Haykel is far more realistic: "ISIS is as Islamic as anything else."


The triumph of Chanukah

Jeff Jacoby

BECAUSE CHANUKAH usually occurs in December, it is sometimes thought of as the "Jewish Christmas." It isn't, of course. And yet it is fair to say that the reason for Chanukah's popularity — especially in America, where it is the most widely observed Jewish holiday after Passover and Yom Kippur — is precisely its proximity to Christmas.

Chanukah used to be regarded as a minor half-holiday, cheerful but low-key. It has become something bigger and brighter in response to Christmas, which transforms each December into a brilliant winter festival of parties, decorations, and music. Attracted by the joy of the season, not wanting their children to feel left out of all the merriment and gift-giving, American Jews in the 20th century began to make much more of Chanukah than their grandparents ever had. Today Chanukah is well established as part of the annual "holiday season," complete with parties, decorations, and music of its own. Its enhanced status is a tribute both to the assimilating tug of America's majority culture and to the remarkable openness of that culture to Jewish customs and belief.

Ironically, Chanukah was established to commemorate the very opposite of cultural assimilation. It dates back nearly 22 centuries, to the successful Jewish revolt against Antiochus IV, one of the line of Syrian-Greek monarchs who ruled the northern branch of Alexander the Great's collapsed empire. Alexander had been respectful of the Jews' monotheistic religion, but Antiochus was determined to impose Hellenism, with its pagan gods and its cult of the body, throughout his domains. When he met resistance in Judea, he made Judaism illegal.

Sabbath observance, circumcision, and the study of Torah were banned on pain of death. A statue of Zeus was installed in the Temple in Jerusalem, and swine were sacrificed before it. Some Jews embraced the new order and willingly abandoned the God and faith of their ancestors. Those who wouldn't were cruelly punished. Ancient writings tell the story of Hannah and her seven sons, who were captured by Antiochus's troops and commanded to bow to an idol. One by one, each boy refused — and was tortured to death before his mother's eyes.

The fight to reclaim Jewish religious autonomy began in 167 BCE. In the town of Modi'in, an elderly priest named Mattathias refused a Syrian order to sacrifice to an idol. When an apostate Jew stepped forward to comply, Mattathias killed the man and tore down the altar. Then he and his five sons took to the hills and launched a guerrilla war against the armies of the empire.

When Mattathias died, his third son, Judah Maccabee, took command. He and his band of fighters were impossibly outnumbered, yet they won one miraculous victory after another. In 164 BCE, they recaptured the desecrated Temple, which they cleansed and purified and rededicated to God. On the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, the menorah — the candelabra symbolizing the divine presence — was rekindled. For eight days, throngs of Jews celebrated the Temple's restoration. "All the people prostrated themselves," records the book of Maccabees, "worshipping and praising Heaven that their cause had prospered."

In truth, though, their cause hadn't prospered — not yet. The fighting went on for years. It was not until 142 BCE — more than two decades later — that the Jews finally regained control of their land. Geopolitically, that was the moment of real triumph.

But Chanukah isn't about political power. It isn't about military victory. It isn't even about freedom of worship, notwithstanding the fact that the revolt of the Maccabees marks the first time in history that a people rose up to fight religious persecution.

What Chanukah commemorates at heart is the Jewish yearning for God, for the concentrated holiness of the Temple and its service. The defeat of the Syrian-Greeks was a wonder, but the spiritual climax of the Maccabees' rebellion occurred when the menorah was rekindled and God's presence among His people could be felt once again.

Chanukah is the only Jewish holiday not found in the Hebrew Bible and the only one rooted in a military campaign. And yet its focus is almost entirely spiritual, not physical. For example, there is no feast associated with Chanukah, the way there is with Passover and Purim, the two other Jewish festivals of deliverance. Its religious observance is concentrated on flame, nothing more. And the menorah's lights may only be gazed at; it is forbidden to use them for any physical purpose — not even to read by.

The lack of a physical side to Chanukah is unusual but appropriate. For the Maccabees' war against the Hellenists was ultimately a war against a worldview that elevated the physical above all, that venerated beauty, not holiness; the body, not the soul. The Jews fought to preserve a different view of the world — one with God, not man, at its center.

Had they failed, Judaism would have died. Because they triumphed, the Jewish religion survived. And from it, two centuries later, Christianity was born.


Standing up to the new school of anti?Semitism

Hatred for Jews is now expressed in underhand ways

The British government’s announcement that it has agreed to adopt an international definition of anti-Semitism looks like another pointless exercise in ‘sending out a message’. Borrowed from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the definition says anti-Semitism is ‘a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews’. If you’re still confused as to what anti-Semitism is, the definition helpfully explains that ‘rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities’.

The stated aim of adopting this definition is to help tackle hatred towards Jewish people. But it’s far from evident how a mere definition could be used to curb hatred of any sort. Worse, this definition of anti-Semitism bears little relation to the context and situations in which such prejudice is expressed today, and to how anti-Semitism has changed.

The newly adopted definition fails to engage with the fact that, in 2016, anti-Jewish sentiment is rarely expressed explicitly. Consider this example. Recently, following one of my public lectures, a member of the audience came up to me to rail against ‘the Goldman Sachs of this world and the people who control all the banks’. In the old days, someone like this would probably have expressed his prejudices about Jewish world domination in unambiguously anti-Semitic language. Today, however, a wink and a nod and a reference to Goldman Sachs come to serve the same purpose. How can a new definition of anti-Semitism deal with the new culture of wink-and-nod prejudice?

The current culture of anti-Semitism bears only a passing resemblance to its old-school predecessor. Yes, this new-school anti-Semitism that has emerged in recent decades draws upon the conspiratorial imagination of old-school anti-Semitism, but otherwise it expresses itself in a very different way. In Western Europe, people, especially those on the left, who have a problem with Jews rarely use the vocabulary of anti-Semitism. Instead they use the language of bad faith. People express bad faith when they feel under pressure to adopt values that go against their own inclinations. So when people say something like ‘I don’t hate the Jews, but these cliquey people are far too powerful’, they are opting to self-censor, to express their prejudices in a somewhat disguised, guarded way.

New-school anti-Semitism often expresses its distrust of ‘those people’ through the language of anti-Zionism. Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism; it is perfectly legitimate to criticise Israel and to call into question every aspect of its history and its current political and military approaches. The problem is not attitudes to Zionism as such, but the way that some express their hostility to Jews through a hostility to Zionism. In recent years, hatred of Israel has come, among certain groups, to embody a venom towards Jews. So when British Labour Party councillors post images on Facebook calling on Israelis, or even Jews, to ‘stop drinking Gaza blood’, it is pretty clear that their target is not really Zionism. No, through resurrecting the infamous blood libel of the medieval anti-Semites, they have adopted the old outlook of the pogrom in what appears to be a new, politicised way.

The former Labour mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, shows us how anti-Zionist rhetoric can casually mutate into hatred towards a group of people. He tried to explain the difference between a ‘real anti-Semite’ and a mere critic of Israel in the following way: ‘A real anti-Semite doesn’t just hate the Jews of Israel; they hate their Jewish neighbour in Golders Green or in Stoke Newington.’ This attempt to explain what kind of Jews it is okay to hate, and which ones we might spare from our hostility, actually demonstrated how easily discussions of Israel can tip over into animosity towards Jews.

It is likely that Livingstone and his allies on the British Labour left do not perceive of themselves as anti-Semitic. However, they must be aware of the growing tendency for anti-Israeli views to serve as a vehicle for anti-Jewish views. A few years ago, one of my friends, who is from a Labour family, told me to ‘look out for the word “they”’. She had been caught off-guard when, during a family row about Palestine, her father kept repeating the word ‘they’. She was shocked and surprised. ‘In the recent past, it would have been unthinkable for him to describe Jews as “they”’, she said. How can a government definition of anti-Semitism deal with the word ‘they’?

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) tries to deal with the problem of Israel being used as a proxy for Jews by providing guidelines on what constitutes legitimate, as opposed to anti-Semitic, criticism of this nation. Its guidelines say that ‘criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic’. Its examples of anti-Semitic attacks on Israel include the now often stated accusation that Jews around the world are more loyal to Israel than they are to their own nations, or that the existence of Israel is intrinsically racist.

Fortunately, the UK government has not yet adopted the IHRA’s views on what should and should not be said about Israel. It is not the business of government to determine what is a legitimate way to criticise Israel. Not every radical criticism of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic. There is no reason why someone who accuses the state of Israel of being inherently racist is necessarily an anti-Semite. It all depends on the context in which such statements are made. And in an open society, critics of Israel ought to have the right to decide for themselves what points they want to make.

Unfortunately, the official codification of anti-Semitism distracts us from actively engaging with this evil. This definition will not defend Jewish people from hatred and prejudice. Doing that requires an active commitment to challenging the climate in which references to ‘those people’ have become tragically commonplace.



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


26 December, 2016

The rich live longer

Life isn't fair. With a difference of up to 14 years between rich and poor.  And it's not as mysterious as they make out. This is just the old trilogy of IQ, wealth and health.  IQ is the key variable. Smart people are better at getting rich and  going far in education. High IQ also appears to be in most cases just one indication of general biological fitness.  The brain is just another organ of the body, after all.  So the fitter live longer

The correlation with immigration and life expectancy among the poor presumably stems from immigrants having social disadvantages (language skills etc.).  They were poorer than their genetics would explain.  Had they been native-born they would have been richer

The Association Between Income and Life Expectancy in the United States, 2001-2014

Raj Chetty et al.


Importance:  The relationship between income and life expectancy is well established
but remains poorly understood.

Objectives:  To measure the level, time trend, and geographic variability in the association between income and life expectancy and to identify factors related to small area variation.

Design and Setting:  Income data for the US population were obtained from 1.4 billion deidentified tax records between 1999 and 2014. Mortality data were obtained from Social Security Administration death records. These data were used to estimate race- and ethnicity-adjusted life expectancy at 40 years of age by household income percentile, sex, and geographic area, and to evaluate factors associated with differences in life expectancy.

Exposure:  Pretax household earnings as a measure of income.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  Relationship between income and life expectancy; trends in life expectancy by income group; geographic variation in life expectancy levels and trends by income group; and factors associated with differences in life expectancy across areas.

Results:  The sample consisted of 1?408?287?218 person-year observations for individuals aged 40 to 76 years (mean age, 53.0 years; median household earnings among working individuals, $61?175 per year). There were 4?114?380 deaths among men (mortality rate, 596.3 per 100?000) and 2?694?808 deaths among women (mortality rate, 375.1 per 100?000). The analysis yielded 4 results.

First, higher income was associated with greater longevity throughout the income distribution. The gap in life expectancy between the richest 1% and poorest 1% of individuals was 14.6 years (95% CI, 14.4 to 14.8 years) for men and 10.1 years (95% CI, 9.9 to 10.3 years) for women.

Second, inequality in life expectancy increased over time. Between 2001 and 2014, life expectancy increased by 2.34 years for men and 2.91 years for women in the top 5% of the income distribution, but by only 0.32 years for men and 0.04 years for women in the bottom 5% (P?<?.001 for the differences for both sexes).

Third, life expectancy for low-income individuals varied substantially across local areas. In the bottom income quartile, life expectancy differed by approximately 4.5 years between areas with the highest and lowest longevity. Changes in life expectancy between 2001 and 2014 ranged from gains of more than 4 years to losses of more than 2 years across areas.

Fourth, geographic differences in life expectancy for individuals in the lowest income quartile were significantly correlated with health behaviors such as smoking (r?=??0.69, P?<?.001), but were not significantly correlated with access to medical care, physical environmental factors, income inequality, or labor market conditions.

Life expectancy for low-income individuals was positively correlated with the local area fraction of immigrants (r?=?0.72, P?<?.001), fraction of college graduates (r?=?0.42, P?<?.001), and government expenditures (r?=?0.57, P?<?.001).

Conclusions and Relevance:  In the United States between 2001 and 2014, higher income was associated with greater longevity, and differences in life expectancy across income groups increased over time. However, the association between life expectancy and income varied substantially across areas; differences in longevity across income groups decreased in some areas and increased in others. The differences in life expectancy were correlated with health behaviors and local area characteristics.

JAMA. 2016;315(16):1750-1766. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.4226


Teacher asked young Patrick Murphy: "What do you do at Christmas time?" Patrick addressed the class:

"Well Miss Jones, me and my twelve brothers and sisters go to midnight mass and we sing hymns; then we come home very late and we put mince pies by the back door and hang up our stockings. Then all excited, we go to bed and wait for Father Christmas to come with all our toys."

"Very nice Patrick," she said. "Now Jimmy Brown, what do you do at Christmas?"

"Well, Miss Jones, me and my sister also go to church with Mum and Dad and we sing carols and we get home ever so late. We put cookies and milk by the chimney and we hang up our stockings. We hardly sleep, waiting for Santa Claus to bring our presents."

Realising there was a Jewish boy in the class and not wanting to leave him out of the discussion, she asked, "Now, Isaac Cohen, what do you do at Christmas?"

Isaac said, "Well, it's the same thing every year. Dad comes home from the office, we all pile into the Rolls Royce, then we drive to Dad's toy factory. When we get inside, we look at all the empty shelves . . . and begin to sing: 'What A Friend We Have in Jesus'. Then we all go to the Bahamas."

Soft boycott: How the news of a revolutionary new cancer treatment was spun to hide its Israeli origins

The past 24 hours have seen wall-to-wall coverage of an amazing breakthrough on prostate cancer. Newspapers, TV, radio and social media have all carried reports of the research.

According to the BBC report:

“Surgeons have described a new treatment for early stage prostate cancer as ‘truly transformative’. The approach, tested across Europe, uses lasers and a drug made from deep sea bacteria to eliminate tumours, but without causing severe side effects. Trials on 413 men - published in The Lancet Oncology - showed nearly half of them had no remaining trace of cancer.”

And when I heard the report on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, I thought it does indeed sound amazing.

But let’s leave the science aside and look at another aspect of the story.

Guess where the breakthrough happened.

I say that not as a figure of speech but as an instruction – because from almost all the coverage, you would indeed have to guess where the research was carried out: the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Israel.

Not once in the Today programme report was it mentioned.

And in this BBC report there is a throwaway line right at the end detailing the originators of the science.

I wish I could believe this is just an honest mistake – that, purely by chance, the Israeli origins of a medical breakthrough had been left out. But I’m afraid I don’t think that – and I don’t think you will, either. It happens too often and too regularly for it to be pure chance. It’s what I call the soft-boycott strategy.

The campaign for BDS is so obviously racist and antisemitic, singling out the Jewish homeland alone in the world for boycott, that some of those who would rather Israel doesn’t exist choose an alternative approach – ignoring anything remotely positive about Israel and focusing only on bad news that fits their anti-Israel agenda.

And it is an unfortunate fact that many of those Israel haters work in the media and have the ability to shape perceptions.

So the huge and entirely disproportionate number of Israeli scientific breakthroughs are reported as if they have simply happened by magic, with their Israeli origins ignored.

The Weizmann Institute itself is in little doubt about this. As they told the JC: "We were naturally disappointed that the media coverage of game-changing treatment for prostate cancer managed to avoid any reference to Israeli scientists' fundamental role in this breakthrough treatment.

The discovery  of this drug called TOOKAD – meaning light in Hebrew - was the result of over fifteen years of painstaking research by Avigdor Scherz and Yoram Salomon at Israel’s Weizmann Insitute of Science. It was disappointing, but not entirely surprising, that the news providers should consider that fact unworthy of a mention."

Not entirely surprising - a classic piece of British understatement from an Israeli. It means, of course, entirely predictable. Which is why this latest egregious example was far from the first, and will certainly not be the last.


Immigration Control or Cultural Suicide

Trump has an opportunity to rectify Obama's disastrous record.

Now that the Left’s quasi-hysterical effort to derail the election results has failed, President-elect Donald Trump will begin getting down to the business of governance. And based on his campaign promises, one of the first items on his to-do list should be immigration, both legal and illegal. On the legal front, a lawsuit filed against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts last week should bring the abuses of the H-1B visa program front and center. On the illegal front, building a wall resonates, but there are far more effective efforts that can be conducted before that wall becomes physical reality.

First up, 30 of the approximately 250 IT workers fired by Disney almost two years ago and replaced with H-1B visa-holders — who they were forced to train as a condition of their severance packages — are taking an unusual tack in their quest for damages. Because the visa-holders are all from India, the fired IT workers are alleging they are victims of racial discrimination. “Between October 2014 and January 31, 2015, Plaintiffs applied for employment in several available positions posted by Defendant,” the filing states. “Plaintiffs were well-qualified for these positions, but were denied further employment with Defendant. On or about January 31, 2015, Defendant terminated the employment of Plaintiffs based solely on their national origin and race, replacing them with Indian nationals.”

Clever, but not likely to succeed. Disney, like many other American companies, almost certainly isn’t using race as a criterion for hiring foreigners to replace Americans. One sentence in UK newspaper The Register says it all: “Companies love H-1B workers because they are cheaper than hiring American staff, and they complain less and generally work longer hours because if their employer sacks them, they have only 14 days to leave the country.”

But not exactly. On the last day of 2015, Barack Obama issued an executive action offering extensions to high-skilled H-1B workers that would give them more time to be approved for a permanent employment-based green card. This would allow these workers to stay in America even if their employment was terminated.

This is a transparent effort to bypass the visa caps established by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) of 1952. The INA states that no nation may receive more than 7% of the total number of green cards available in a given year. This would bust the system completely and give far greater numbers of foreign college graduates a chance to compete with their American counterparts. “What is going on is he is effectively giving Green Cards to people on H-1B visas who are unable to get Green Cards due to the quotas,” explained immigration lawyer John Miano at the time. “It could be over 100,000.”

With the election of Trump, times have changed. During his campaign he made it clear where he stands on the issue, contending the H-1B program “is neither high-skilled nor immigration: these are temporary foreign workers, imported from abroad, for the explicit purpose of substituting for American workers at lower pay. … I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions.”

Since his election, he has set up an advisory group of prominent CEOs called President’s Strategic and Policy Forum. It’s mission is “drawing on private sector expertise and cutting the government red tape that is holding back our businesses from hiring, innovating, and expanding right here in America,” Trump stated Dec. 2. It will hold its first meeting at the White House in February.

Ironically — or is that tellingly — one of those CEOs is Disney’s Bob Iger. Stay tuned.

On the illegal immigration front, Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) director Mark Krikorian rightly insists that America’s border problem “isn’t so much physical as political.” And there is nothing more political than Obama’s de facto catch-and-release program. “We’re releasing basically everybody as long as you’re not from the country of Mexico,” National Border Patrol Council president Brand Judd told a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee last May. “And even if you’re from the country of Mexico and you claim that you have a credible fear and you’re asking for asylum for one reason or another — we’re still releasing those individuals.”

Judd estimated a whopping 80% of apprehended illegals have been released into America and stanching this flow, Krikorian asserts, “is probably more important than the wall, and quicker to implement.”

The urgency of this cannot be underestimated. During the month of November alone, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) apprehended a staggering 47,214 illegal aliens — as in nearly 1,574 per day — at the U.S.-Mexico border. That total marked the fifth straight month of escalation.

Next up and equally as important (if not more so), is cracking down of those who overstay their visas. Such overstays account for as much as half of the illegal population. As Kirkorian explains, this problem needs to be addressed at both ends of the equation. The State Department has to be far more circumspect in terms of issuing visas to people likely to remain here illegally, while the Department of Homeland Security has to make sure those who are supposed to leave do so at the appropriate time.

Once again, it’s all about political will. A Trump State Department and DHS are far more likely to enforce the same immigration laws an Obama administration was either willing to ignore or undermine. Thus, a wall mandated by the Secure Fence Act of 2006 can be completed and expanded. An exit visa system mandated in 1996 and re-mandated seven times can be instituted. A crackdown on businesses who hire illegals mandated by the 1986 immigration law and gutted by unilateral Obama edicts can be enforced with vigor. Sanctuary cities ignored by the Obama Justice Department can be forcefully challenged.

And a State Department that has routinely refused to pressure countries to take back both legal and illegal criminal alien deportees can apply new pressures.

All of the above upends an odious status quo embraced by both political parties. One aspect of it is galling: Americans are expected to compete economically with non-citizens and those here illegally, even if that competition drives down wages and makes jobs harder to find.

The other aspect of it borders on insanity, and the latest carnage in Germany exemplifies it: as in the EU, Americans are expected to endure a “reasonable” level of general lawlessness, serious crime — and, yes even domestic terror — so the ruling class can maintain their commitment to “diversity” and “multiculturalism.”

A Trump administration must thoroughly reject all of it.

Self-inflicted cultural suicide — or Rule of Law, defensible borders and economic stability. Making America Great Again demands a full embrace of the latter choice. Trump won the presidency in large part based on promises to be proactive on the immigration front. Millions of Americans expect nothing less — the sooner, the better.



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

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

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


25 December, 2016

An alternative Christmas.  Don't you love it?

    The "Christkindlesmarkt" in Nürnberg is the oldest and most famous Christmas markets in Germany and taken place annually since as early as the 16th century. The anchor of the German State TV channel Südwestrundfunk (SWR), however, considers traditional Christmas to be sad, melancholic and weepy.

In the program, that aired on December 6th last year, he said that he would rather have it happy - or, multicultural - and gives the stage to "cabaret artist" Alexandra Gauger, who proceeds to mock lyrics of Children's carols by singing them in an oriental tone.

    The (most likely staged) audience happily claps out of rhythm and provides applause after this arguably cringeworthy freakshow of a television program.

    Close to the end the camera captures a disheartened German man standing behind the beaming smile of a woman - looking at the floor and shaking his head in disbelief. The cameraman quickly realizes the error and switches scenes.

    German State Television is funded by a mandatory broadcasting tax, that every household is forced to pay, regardless of whether they even own a television or radio. Last year, this compulsory charge, averaging at €215 per household, netted the government 8 billion Euros. Their official goal is to 'broadcast the truth and provide citizens with investigative journalism'. If you don't pay, you can end up in jail. This is what they're really using this funding for.


Celebrating Christmas offends the politically correct, not minorities – I should know, I'm Jewish


Last year Colin, my local butcher, sold over 160 turkeys in the three weeks leading up to Christmas.

This year, business has been especially brisk . In fact on current, back-of-an-envelope projections, it looks like he'll be shifting even more birds by the time the big day swings around again. So much so that he is absolutely stiffing the competition.

All of which is great for Colin. Though not so great if you're a turkey.

But while "butcher sells loads of turkeys in time for Christmas" might not exactly make for show-stopping, headline news, there's something else to bear in mind too.

You see Colin only sells kosher meat. And his customers, to paraphrase an enthusiastic X Factor judge, are 1000 per cent Jewish.

Yet, as witnessed by the birds flying – not literally – out of my local kosher butcher's shop, what's clear is that many Jewish people are embracing Christmas.


Christmas BANNED from being mentioned on official menu over fears it would offend Muslims

CHRISTMAS treats have been taken off a menu and replaced with 'winter delicacies' over fears the phrase would offend Muslims.

A function held at the Austrian embassy in Germany still served traditional festive fare such as Lebkuchen but rebranded them as 'winter delicacies'.

The event was a presentation by the Chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek, who has written the book What Do Muslims Do at Christmas?: Islamic Faith in Everyday Life in Germany.

The invitation to guests, from ambassador Nikolaus Marschik, was described as a “cosy get-together with winter delicacies.”

A reporter attending the event wanted to know exactly what the Austrians suddenly considered "winter delicacies" and asked the embassy for a clarification.

The ambassador then admitted that the traditional Christmas foods had been rebranded out of respect for Islam.

The Austrian embassy said the description was meant to include Lebkuchen, the local name for gingerbread usually served at Christmas, as well as Kipferln, a type of croissant, and beer and wine, and that the term had been chosen out of consideration for Islam.

Journalist Gunnar Schupelius said: "It is advent season, we are on the territory of the Austrian Republic, they invite Christians and Muslims for a talk about Christmas and offer Christmas delicacies that cannot be called Christmas delicacies."

Ambassador Marschik admitted it was "a foolish mistake."  He said: "I have talked to the people in question and made sure that it will not happen again. Of course we adhere to our Christmas traditions. This is why our events include Christmas biscuits and other delicacies."


Number of Brits set to attend Church this Christmas hits RECORD LOW after rocky 2016

THREE quarters of the British public have no plans to go to church over the festive period with just five per cent planning to attend a service on Christmas Day, a YouGov poll has revealed.

The turbulent events of the past year may also have been a factor in the plunging numbers of people who believe in a god, with just 28 per cent claiming to have religious beliefs today compared with 32 per cent in February.

The four per cent difference is a big fall in comparison with previous years, which have generally seen a downward annual trend of around one per cent.

Meanwhile those who claim they actively do not believe in a god or a higher spiritual power has increased from 33 to 38 per cent.

The survey also showed 20 per cent of Britons do not believe in a god but think there is a higher spiritual power, while 14 per cent are unsure.

The results of the YouGov poll have raised questions over whether the events of the past year - including Brexit, global terror attacks and the ongoing refugee crisis - are behind the drop in the British people’s faith in a god.

The nation’s religiousness has in decline for decades, and this recent survey shows 63 per cent of UK residents claim they never go to church.

The 2011 census showed 15 per cent of people claimed to have no religion, yet increasing scepticism over religion saw that percentage increase by 10 points by 2015.

A spokesperson for the Church of England said: “The increase in those identifying as ‘no faith’ reflects a growing plurality in society rather than any increase in secularism or humanism.

"We do not have an increasingly secular society as much as a more agnostic one."

Interestingly, the poll of 1,595 adults which was conducted on Monday and Tuesday this week, showed people who voted Leave in the EU referendum in June are more likely to believe in a god than their Remainer counterparts.

Around 45 per cent of Remainers do not believe in any god, compared with 35 per cent of Brexiteers.

The difference between male and female believers is also remarkable - half of men claim there is not higher power, against 28 per cent of women.

Over the past decade the number of people regularly attending church has dropped by 14 per cent, leading the Church of England to start a ‘renewal and reform’ programme to boost numbers.



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, 2016

Church is good for you

You live longer if you go regularly.  The study below seems fairly sound -- but why the effect exists is not clear.  Stress reducing, maybe

Association of Religious Service Attendance With Mortality Among Women

Shanshan Li et al.


Importance:  Studies on the association between attendance at religious services and mortality often have been limited by inadequate methods for reverse causation, inability to assess effects over time, and limited information on mediators and cause-specific mortality.

Objective:  To evaluate associations between attendance at religious services and subsequent mortality in women.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  Attendance at religious services was assessed from the first questionnaire in 1992 through June 2012, by a self-reported question asked of 74?534 women in the Nurses’ Health Study who were free of cardiovascular disease and cancer at baseline. Data analysis was conducted from return of the 1996 questionnaire through June 2012.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  Cox proportional hazards regression model and marginal structural models with time-varying covariates were used to examine the association of attendance at religious services with all-cause and cause-specific mortality. We adjusted for a wide range of demographic covariates, lifestyle factors, and medical history measured repeatedly during the follow-up, and performed sensitivity analyses to examine the influence of potential unmeasured and residual confounding.

Results:  Among the 74?534 women participants, there were 13?537 deaths, including 2721 owing to cardiovascular deaths and 4479 owing to cancer deaths. After multivariable adjustment for major lifestyle factors, risk factors, and attendance at religious services in 1992, attending a religious service more than once per week was associated with 33% lower all-cause mortality compared with women who had never attended religious services (hazard ratio, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.62-0.71; P?<?.001 for trend). Comparing women who attended religious services more than once per week with those who never attend, the hazard ratio for cardiovascular mortality was 0.73 (95% CI, 0.62-0.85; P?<?.001 for trend) and for cancer mortality was 0.79 (95% CI, 0.70-0.89; P?<?.001 for trend). Results were robust in sensitivity analysis. Depressive symptoms, smoking, social support, and optimism were potentially important mediators, although the overall proportion of the association between attendance at religious services and mortality was moderate (eg, social support explained 23% of the effect [P?=?.003], depressive symptoms explained 11% [P?<?.001], smoking explained 22% [P?<?.001], and optimism explained 9% [P?<?.001]).

Conclusions and Relevance:  Frequent attendance at religious services was associated with significantly lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality among women. Religion and spirituality may be an underappreciated resource that physicians could explore with their patients, as appropriate.

JAMA Intern. Med. 2016;176(6):777-785

Inclusiveness and Diversity

By Walter E. Williams

Sometimes it seems as if every other word from the mouths of academicians is "inclusiveness" or "diversity." How sincere and truthful are these people about their "inclusiveness and diversity" religion?

Suppose a group of engineering students do not want to include black or Mexican students in their study group. Should they be permitted to have freedom of association or restrained from freely associating? The true test of one's commitment to freedom of association does not come when he permits people to be free to associate in those voluntary ways he deems appropriate. The true test comes when he permits people to associate in ways he deems offensive. I suspect that most academics believe that people should be permitted to associate only in ways they deem appropriate. This is no less than totalitarianism.

What about inclusiveness in dating? Would academics criticize people who expressed a desire to date only people of their own race? Would they criticize people who openly refused to date someone of the same sex? Would the "inclusiveness and diversity" people condemn or sanction same-race marriages? In other words, what limits would they impose to bring about inclusiveness and diversity?

Some might argue that when it comes to marriage, non-inclusiveness and lack of diversity are of little social consequence. That claim is pure nonsense. When there is assortative (non-random) mate selection, it heightens whatever group differences there are in the population. When high-IQ people marry other high-IQ people and when high-income people marry other high-income people, this non-inclusiveness in mate selection enhances the inequality in the population's intelligence and income distribution. In other words, there would be greater income equality if high-income people mated with low-income people. And to the extent that there is a racial correlation between these characteristics, there would be greater equality if white people mated with black people. But I imagine that most people, even academics, would be horrified by the suggestion of a mandate to require non-assortative mating.

What about diversity in academia? It's not at all uncommon to watch a college basketball game and see that 90 to 100 percent of the starting five players are black. Most of a team's white players are sidelined and warming the bench. College basketball — and, for that matter, college football — looks nothing like America. The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport's "2015 Racial and Gender Report Card: College Sport" gives us the numbers. Blacks make up about 14 percent of the college population, but in Division I, 55.6 percent of basketball players and 43.6 percent of football players are black. Whites are 27 percent and 43.1 percent, respectively. One can only look upon Asians with profound sadness, for they are only 0.4 percent of college basketball players and 2 percent of football players. Latinos have been boxed out, as well. The lack of diversity, inclusiveness and proportionality in professional basketball and football is much worse. Blacks are about 74 percent of NBA players and about 69 percent of NFL players. This diversity injustice is aggravated by the fact that among the highest-paid players, blacks represent bigger percentages.

One can understand the lack of concern for diversity in professional sports, where it's just about money. But one is left flummoxed by the lack of diversity in college sports. After all, you can't listen to any college president or provost speak for more than a few minutes without hearing the word "diversity" or "inclusiveness" drop from his lips. Colleges spend hundreds of millions of dollars on diversity. MIT has a manager of diversity recruitment; Toledo University has an associate dean of diversity; Harvard, Texas A&M, the University of Virginia, the University of California, Berkeley and many others boast of officers, deans, vice presidents and perhaps ministers of diversity. But in what appears to be the height of deviousness and deceit, these administrators allow sports, the most visible part of most colleges, to be the least diverse and least inclusive. One has to wonder just how serious academicians are about diversity and inclusion.


A Public Service

Thomas Sowell

Sometimes someone inadvertently performs a public service by bringing an unbelievably stupid and dangerous idea to the surface, where it can be exposed for what it is.

The New York Times can be credited — if that is the word — with performing this public service in a recent editorial against proposals to allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed guns. They refer to what they call the National Rifle Association’s “fantasy that citizens can stand up to gunmen by shooting it out.”

Nobody has suggested any such thing. Data collected over many years — but almost never seeing the light of day in the New York Times or the rest of the mainstream media — show many thousands of examples of people defending themselves with a gun each year, without having to pull the trigger.

If someone comes at you with a knife and you pull out a gun, chances are they will stop. The only time I ever pointed a gun at a human being, it was when someone was sneaking up toward me from behind a shed in the middle of the night. I never fired a shot. I just pointed the gun at him and told him to stop. He stopped.

Actually having to shoot someone is the exception, not the rule. Yet the New York Times conjures up a vision of something like the gunfight at the OK Corral.

Concealed guns protect not only those who carry them but also those who do not. If concealed guns become widespread, then a mugger or a car jacker has no way of knowing who has one and who does not. It makes being a mugger or a car jacker a less safe occupation. Gun control laws are in effect occupational safety laws — OSHA for burglars, muggers, car jackers and others.

The fatal fallacy of gun control laws in general is the assumption that such laws actually control guns. Criminals who disobey other laws are not likely to be stopped by gun control laws. What such laws actually do is increase the number of disarmed and defenseless victims.

Mass shootings are often used as examples of a need for gun control. But what puts a stop to mass shootings? Usually the arrival on the scene of somebody else with a gun.

Mass shooters are often portrayed as “irrational” people engaged in “senseless” acts. But mass shooters are usually rational enough to attack schools, churches and other places where there is far less likelihood of someone being on the scene who is armed.

Seldom do we hear about these “irrational” shooters engaging in “senseless” attacks on meetings of the National Rifle Association or a local gun show or a National Guard armory.

The fallacy of believing that the way to reduce shootings is to disarm peaceful people extends from domestic gun control laws to international disarmament agreements. If disarmament agreements reduced the dangers of war, there would never have been a World War II.

The decades leading up to that war were filled with international disarmament agreements. As with domestic gun control laws, the agreements were followed by peaceful countries and ignored by belligerent countries that built up huge war machines, such as in Nazi Germany and imperial Japan.

The net result was that the belligerent countries had every incentive to start wars, and that they inflicted devastating losses on the peaceful countries that had drastically curtailed their own military forces.

Eventually the Western democracies got their act together and turned things around, after they belatedly beefed up their military forces. But thousands of lives were lost needlessly before that happened. World War II was in its third year before Western forces won a single battle.

Undaunted by history, the same kind of thinking that had cheered international disarmament treaties in the 1920s and 1930s once again cheered Soviet-American disarmament agreements during the Cold War.

Conversely, there was hysteria when President Ronald Reagan began building up American military forces in the 1980s. Cries were heard that he was leading us toward nuclear war. In reality, he led us toward an end of the Cold War, without a shot being fired at the Soviet Union.

But who reads history these days, or checks facts before leading the charge to keep law-abiding people disarmed?


Anglican Archbishop warns 'hipster elitists' are ruining Christmas by removing religion from the celebration - after school children were banned from singing carols

The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney has taken aim at 'politically-correct elitists' after traditional Christmas references were banished from the streets.

Archbishop Glenn Davies accused 'left-wing elitists' of being behind the NSW government's decision to remove banners saying 'very merry' and avoid the term 'Christmas'.

It comes amid reports of festive season signs being altered to say 'happy holidays' rather than 'merry Christmas' and carols being scrapped by schools, reports Daily Telegraph.

Dr Davies said the movement threatens to hinder freedom of speech and must be tackled before it spirals out of control. 'This kind of ideology comes from the left or should I say, the far left.'

He said the the removal of traditional Christmas references was a 'great folly'.

'The politically correct vanguard of secularists are basically trying to conform people to their particular pattern of speech and belief.'

Last week Peter Dutton called on Australians to 'rise up' and defend Christmas after a school rejected traditional carols for more secular songs.

Appearing on talkback radio, the furious Immigration Minister said his 'blood was boiling' after learning there was 'not one Christmas carol' at the celebration at Kedron State School in Queensland.

'It is political correctness gone mad and I think people have just had enough of it,' he told 2GB radio host Ray Hadley.

A member of Mr Dutton's Dickson electorate Jim told the radio show the public secondary school ceremony did not have 'one Christmas carol'.

The lyrics to We Wish You A Merry Christmas were replaced with 'we wish you a happy holiday', The Age reported.

'Many of the people, regardless of their religious belief, would be there happy to sing Christmas carols, happy to enjoy the fact that we celebrate Christmas as a Christian society,' Mr Dutton told 2GB



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, 2016

The tyranny of ‘ze’

The words ‘he’ and ‘she’ are set to become a thing of the past at the University of Oxford, according to a story in The Sunday Times. Apparently, in a bid to promote an inclusive climate and avoid offending transgender students, Oxford University Students’ Union is recommending use of the recently invented gender-neutral pronoun ‘ze’. What’s more, it’s reported that students want this linguistic imposition to be extended to lectures and seminars.

On Twitter, Oxford’s vice president for academic affairs, Eden Bailey, has described this as a ‘completely made-up controversy’ for which there is ‘zero evidence’. Despite this, within the space of 48 hours, news of Oxford’s gender-neutral speech edict has been covered in just about every media outlet going.

The story has such traction because it comes at the end of a year when many students’ unions have been brazen in dictating what their members can read and listen to on campus – epitomised by the recent ban on tabloid newspapers at Queen Mary’s College London and City University. Likewise, the claimed prohibition against ‘he’ and ‘she’ taps into an obsession with transgender issues that runs through education.

Forget Oxford’s students’ union, it was the university council that approved a policy to label as harassment, and therefore potentially subject to disciplinary proceedings, deliberately using the wrong name or pronoun in relation to a transgender person, or persistently referring to their gender-identity history. Perhaps the bigger story, eclipsed by news from Oxford, is that teachers at schools in England are being sent a guidance book which advises against referring to pupils as ‘boys’ and ‘girls’.

The preoccupation with gender as something completely removed from biology, and something that every individual must discover and perform, reaches beyond the UK. In the US, young people applying for a college place are offered a range of gender options and ‘the chance to move past the traditional gender binary in classifying themselves’.

At the University of Toronto, professor Jordan Peterson sparked international controversy last month with his public refusal to use gender-neutral pronouns. While notionally supporting his right to academic freedom and free speech, the university warned Peterson that he could be in breach of the Ontario human-rights code, and asked him to ‘stop making statements’ because students and faculty had complained that his comments were ‘unacceptable, emotionally disturbing and painful’.

There are many reasons why dictates on gender pronouns should be opposed. Telling people what they can and can’t say, and what they must say, is a significant incursion into individual liberty. People are free, quite rightly, to refer to themselves however they want and to hope that others respect their wishes. But to compel individuals to speak in a particular way, and then seek to punish them if they disobey, is to force someone to act against their conscience.

In Canada, Peterson has criticised legislation to make ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’ protected categories under the Canadian Human Rights Act. Making words compulsory runs counter to free speech. Peterson’s critics have made numerous attempts to silence him, even glueing his office door shut.

The notion that one person can dictate the language used by others reveals the narcissism inherent in much of the current obsession with the idea of gender as a construct. It encapsulates a demand that others see the world as you do, and declares that any challenge to your view is a threat to your innate sense of self. The truth about gender, we are told, is located not in objective reality, and definitely not in biology, but in an individual’s head. People are to be referred to as what they say they are, irrespective of all evidence to the contrary.

Education officials are at the forefront of championing this new version of fantasy-as-reality. Ironically, these are often the very same people who have recently taken to expressing outrage at the ‘post-truth’ denigration of facts and experts, supposedly typified in the vote for Brexit and Donald Trump.

The effect of enforcing a view of gender as a construct performed through language is perhaps the opposite to that which is intended. In a bid to move beyond biology, people become compelled to represent and enact their chosen gender identity. Delegates to this year’s National Union of Students annual conference in the UK were greeted on arrival with a range of stickers they could use to indicate to everyone else whether they preferred to be addressed with ‘he’, ‘she’ or ‘they’.

At some universities in the US, seminars begin with students introducing themselves and their preferred gender pronouns. When people are pushed to declare a label, they risk becoming reduced to that category type and trapped in a performance of gender.

The push to take society – starting with schools and universities – beyond binary biological categories of male and female might seem radical. But not only does it fly in the face of how people make sense of the world, it can be a very conservative move. A teacher referring to ‘boys and girls’ will barely register with most children, let alone make them feel oppressed.

Introducing bizarre new words into the language, and telling children gender is something they can choose, is guaranteed to cause confusion. Even worse, it sends out the message that there is a correct way to behave, associated with each gender: if you’re a girl who likes football, or a boy who likes wearing dresses, you’re not just a normal child, but someone who needs a new set of pronouns and labels.

I hope the demand that Oxford students use ‘ze’ is nothing more than a ‘made-up controversy’. If it is, perhaps they could campaign to get the university policy overturned that states that deliberately misgendering someone is harassment. If nothing else, there are so many more interesting things students could be discussing with their professors than which pronoun they prefer.


ITALY AT BREAKING POINT: Hundreds take to streets after migrant attacks teenage girl

A MASSIVE protest erupted on the streets of the Italian port city of Trieste after an 18-year-old girl was attacked by a migrant group.

The incident sparked a large scale police response after the young girl said she was approached and detained by three migrants near a refugee centre in the city which is situated close to the Slovak border.

According to reports 400 citizens took to the streets after the girl reported the incident to her mother.

And it has been claimed that the mass demonstration turned ugly after migrants began throwing stones at the crowds who assembled to protest at the incident.

The mother of the girl who has not been named spoke to the newspaper Gazzettino insisting her child has been left traumatised by her experience after she was cornered coming off a bus.

She said: "It is not right to be afraid for your daughter, I do not know if my daughter will be able to go back to public transport."

The incident occurred after a migrant centre was set up at the Villa Nazareth di Trieste.

However a protest group known as Stop Before Trieste was set up after a number of females were alleged to have been harassed by migrants.

Stop Before Trieste organiser Alessio Edoardo said: "Ours was a protest against the institutions, we did not want to incite to racism. "We have always and will continue to work alongside the police.  "I as the organiser of the event agreed with the Police that we were to protest in an area agreed by the Police.

"However it was not possible to comply with the order because the turnout was remarkable. "

But the Solidarity Consortium which manages migrants said the demonstration was aggressive.

A spokesman said: "Only the strong presence and readiness of police forces prevented very serious consequences in terms of physical violence against foreigners who were only going to the canteen.

"The climate of racial hatred and related violence are growing rapidly and Trieste, behind a thin layer of normality."

According to local reports the city spent £9.2m hosting immigrants to the city last year.

However there has been anger because 7,000 people are reported to be unemployed in the city which has a population of 201,000.

Campaigners are reported to be upset over the influx of more than 1,000 Afghans and Pakistani immigrants who they claim are not fleeing war.

They have also reacted to the rise of what they call "shanty towns" of illegal migrants who have set up home in the city according to local news outlet Trieste Prima.


FRC's Perkins: Trump's Sec. of State Must Ferret Out LGBT and Abortion Activists in State Dep't

Commenting on the pro-abortion and pro-LGBT agenda emplaced at the State Department by President Barack Obama over the last eight years, Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins said Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of State, must make it clear that he will seek to dismantle this radical, anti-family agenda and ferrot out the radicals who are promoting it at the expense of true diplomacy and international human rights, such as religious liberty.

Under Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, the Obama administration has promoted its LGBT and pro-abortion agenda worldwide, said Perkins in the FRC's Dec. 15 Washington Update.

"Clinton made her intentions known early in her tenure that the administration would not only promote special rights based upon sexual behavior within the State Department but would use the State Department to export the LGBTQ agenda globally," said Perkins. "These behavior-based rights have consistently been a major emphasis of the Obama administration’s foreign policy."

In addition, he said, "the Obama State Department under Hillary Clinton also promoted abortion, declaring reproductive healthcare a basic human right." Perkins added that foreign diplomats "have complained about the strong arming by the State Department to force them to accept its liberal view on social issues."

"To carry out this extreme agenda, the Obama administration has systematically filled the ranks of State with LGBTQ and abortion activists," said Perkins.  "Unless the next Secretary of State is willing to resist and remove this embedded agenda, the promotion and protection of true human rights, like religious liberty, will continue to languish."

"It’s for this reason that I have raised concerns about the nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State," said Perkins.  "I certainly don’t see Tillerson cut from the same cloth as Clinton or Kerry, but he doesn’t have to be for these anti-life, liberal social policies to continue. He must have the courage to stop the promotion of this anti-family, anti-life agenda, which is very much a question mark given that he capitulated to activists pushing to liberalize the Boy Scouts’ policy on homosexuality when he was at the helm of the organization."

In closing, Perkins said, "The incoming administration needs to make clear that these liberal policies will be reversed and the 'activists' within the State Department promoting them will be ferreted out and will be replaced by conservatives who will ensure the State Department focuses on true international human rights like religious liberty which is under unprecedented assault."


Australia:  A politically incorrect warrior is unrepentant

STEVE Price doesn’t mean to annoy you. It’s just a perk of the job. “I do like upsetting people who have got thin skins, absolutely. I don’t set out to do it but when I do it it’s very enjoyable,” he tells news.com.au.

It means 2016 has been particularly entertaining for the controversial broadcaster. He’s found himself at the centre of several media storms in the past 12 months — from the now infamous stoush with The Guardian columnist Van Badham on ABC’s Q&A to countless fiery showdowns on Ten’s The Project. Uproar and calls to have him pulled from the air ensued.

While some personalities might read the cues and pipe down for a few months, limiting their appearances and softening their views, the 61-year-old chooses to go full-steam ahead. Because according to Price, it’s about time “white old men” were heard.

“Just because I’m a white old man doesn’t mean that my voice has to be silenced,” he says. “Old white men have as much right to have a view as anyone else. The left seem to think that unless you’re from some lobby group or some feminist action group or an LGBTQI community spokesgroup then that’s the only people who are allowed to have a view about things. Well, that’s not true.”

When that sentiment is repeated back to him — that old white men aren’t allowed to have a voice — he quickly clarifies.

“Well, I’m not because I’ve got a huge audience to express my opinion, I’m very lucky. (And) For a start, I don’t feel old,” he says.

And he’s right. His audience is massive. This week’s final radio survey for 2016 had Price’s nightly program at the top of its timeslot in Sydney and Melbourne for the year. The show is broadcast to 56 stations across the country on the Macquarie Media network and, for the past six years, he’s appeared twice a week on Channel Ten’s The Project.

On the popular current affairs program, it’s easy to pick what side Price will take when an issue is flung his way. His opinions on bikeways and politically correct seasonal greetings are enough to get under people’s skin. But it’s his thoughts on harder issues that see him hit the headlines — and rile the show’s hosts Waleed Aly and Carrie Bickmore.

“Carrie’s had a chip at me a couple of times this year. I must say they’re all very good people to work with, I don’t have a personal issue with any of them. We just have different political views. And I think that helps the show,” he says.

Despite the barbs he regularly throws at Aly on the air — their most recent biff earlier this month was about protesters who descended upon Parliament House — Price admits he has no issue with the host.

“No. It might look it, but no,” he says. “Waleed has very strong views about issues like offshore detention. He has strong views on climate change, he obviously has strong views about the Islamic community’s role in Australia. And my views happen to be completely opposite to that.”

Prior to his mainstream notoriety, Price became familiar with the burn of national backlash. In 2003, he came under fire for comments he made on his 2UE breakfast radio show about a gay couple on The Block. But even by the standards of a controversial broadcaster — he doesn’t see himself as a “shock jock”; he has a “journalistic background” — 2016 was a particularly rocky one.

On a personal level, he doesn’t care. When it comes to work and the controversies that follow, Price says he doesn’t let it affect his home life with wife of ten years, Wendy Black, who’s the Chief of Staff to industry minister Greg Hunt. “We just have to have a fence up between what I do and what she does,” he says. But he does get aggravated when commercial interests are targeted.

“The only time I get concerned is when people try this nonsensical idea of trying to convince advertisers not to advertise on your station — whether it’s radio or television — because of what someone’s said,” he says.

“There was a huge online campaign to try get advertisers not to advertise on Channel Ten — there was a massive campaign to get me thrown off The Project. Neither of those things happened. Not one advertiser cancelled. And not at any time did anyone who was running Channel Ten or The Project do anything but say to me, ‘We’ve got your back, nothing is furthest from our mind than having you on’. And in fact, in the middle of that Van Badham thing, it was contract time for next year and we re-signed.”

Four months after “that Van Badham thing”, Price admits he “should’ve seen it coming”.

He explains the finer details that happened behind the scenes that Monday night in July: He was told Derryn Hinch would also be a panellist. He wasn’t told Van Badham — “who I’d never heard of, quite honestly” — would be a guest. He says he was called that day by a producer who warned him there would be a “question about the Eddie McGuire, Caroline Wilson blow-up in regard to drowning and women and domestic violence” and to have an answer ready to roll out.

“What they do then, of course, is they then plant that question with someone in the audience,” he says. “The bloke who asks the question, he had a tragic story about how his sister had been a victim of domestic violence and been murdered by her partner.

“That question was aimed directly at me right at the end of the program, hoping they would get some reaction from me. I already had a view about Eddie and Caroline. I said, ‘Look we should’ve all just moved on’. And I didn’t recognise the tragedy of this guy’s story — and that’s what became the story, because Van Badham just started shouting at me.”

In the moment, Price told Van Badham: “I think you’re just being hysterical.”

His reply added fuel to the fire and left the audience in shock as they gasped.

Still, there’s only one thing about the moment he would change.

“The only thing I regret about that whole incident is I should’ve acknowledged the bloke’s loss of his sister at the beginning of my answer — that’s the only thing I regret,” he says. “And the only reason I didn’t was I’d already formulated in my mind what my answer to the question about McGuire and Wilson was going to be. So when you’re sitting there on live television in front of an audience ... I mean, I didn’t really hear clearly, as well as what I should have. I didn’t understand exactly what he was saying and I should’ve. I don’t regret using the word ‘hysterical’ because I had no knowledge that it had some historical meaning which people then started quoting at me the next day.”

So, is it too easy for Price to be set up as the bad guy?

“There’s not too much sympathy for me — I think most people realise I’m able to stand up for myself,” he replies when asked if he’s become a human punching bag. “If you have views that are a little bit awkward for people to hear, views that people feel are a little bit too aggressive, it’s easy to portray that person as the bad person. I don’t feel like the bad guy at all, I just stick up for myself. I have consistent views about things and if I need to express them I will.”

And it’s what makes him and Macquarie Media — the network behind his current radio show — money.

In 2002, as the breakfast host on Sydney’s 2UE, he was reportedly sitting on $1 million a year. He refuses to comment on his current salary.

“2GB’s a commercial radio station which survives on provocative content and strong opinions. And it only survives if it rates in the ratings. So what I will say about my show is that we rate number one. We make money and management leaves you alone,” he says.

Given that simple strategy to success, some may question the authenticity of the broadcaster’s “provocative” views. But Price denies ever hamming it up just to engage and enrage audiences.

“I’ve never ever confected an opinion about anything,” he assures. “If you don’t genuinely believe in what you’re saying, it’ll catch up with you. If you’re doing four hours of radio a night five days a week then you have to be true to your opinions. Otherwise, you will stumble at some point and say something and the audience will pick you up and say, ‘Hang on, last year you said this and now you’re saying that’. And saying you’ve just changed your mind is just not good enough.

“If it’s a strong view about something, you’ve got to genuinely hold it.”

Even if it gets you in trouble.



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

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

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


21 December, 2016

We must defend free speech, even for anti-Semites

The imprisonment of Joshua Bonehill-Paine should worry us all

‘Offensive blogger imprisoned’ is a news story that typically emanates from authoritarian Middle Eastern regimes. But now, it seems, the UK is getting in on the act.

For writing five anti-Semitic blog posts aimed at Labour MP Luciana Berger between October 2014 and January 2015, Joshua Bonehill-Paine has been sentenced to two years in jail. According to Berger, the blog posts left her feeling ‘sick’ and worried for her safety.

With headlines like ‘the legacy of the filthy Jew bitch’ and ‘racist anti-white Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger exposed’, it’s not surprising that Berger was left appalled. The fascist troll had already served a sentence for organising a rally in Golders Green against the ‘Jewification’ of the area. He has also superimposed Berger’s face on to rodents and Hebrew symbols.

Calling Bonehill-Paine a scumbag is an insult to scumbags. In a YouTube video, he decried an ‘occupation force of 50,000 Jews occupying what used to be an Anglo-Saxon settlement, Stamford Hill’. Demonstrating a standard of wit surpassed only by nine-year-olds, he promised his proposed march against north London Jews would be ‘an absolute gas’.

But Bonehill-Paine was not on trial for his previous actions. Although the sentencing judge listed his past misdemeanours, the defendant was only on trial for those five blog posts. In his remarks, the judge concluded that Bonehill-Paine’s posts ‘showed, beyond any doubt, the depth of [his] hatred of Jewish people, including Ms Berger’. But is being a repulsive bigot sufficient reason to be sent to jail? Is writing five, albeit downright horrendous, blog posts enough to warrant a jail sentence? Absolutely not.

No matter how deplorable or degenerate his intentions, punishing Bonehill-Paine for his opinions is a direct affront to a tolerant and free society. The prosecutor, Philip Stott, maintained that ‘we have a right to freedom of expression’, but meekly added that ‘it is not, however, an absolute right’. Freedom of expression should be ‘limited to protect the rights of others, including the right not to be harassed with racial abuse’, he said.

Stott is wrong. Free speech is absolute – it crumbles when you qualify it. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t sympathise with Berger. During the past year, she has been subject to a torrent of anti-Semitic abuse. In the space of just three days, she received 2,500 hateful messages. It’s completely understandable that she wants it to stop.

But Bonehill-Paine can’t be held responsible for all the abuse she suffered – which, worryingly, seems to be what happened in this case. The judge’s sentencing remarks didn’t focus solely on Bonehill-Paine’s blogs, but included the actions of Garron Helm, another anti-Semite, who launched a Twitter campaign against Berger in 2014. The judge also defended Bonehill-Paine’s conviction by pointing to the murder of Jo Cox. Following her tragic murder – which Bonehill-Paine didn’t commit – the judge maintained that ‘deterrence must be an important element of the sentence’. Quoting the case of R v Saunders (2000), he stated that ‘racism must not be allowed to flourish. The courts must do all they can… to convey that message clearly, by the sentences they pass in relation to racially aggravated offences.’

The judge condemned Bonehill-Paine in order to discourage other anti-Semitic fascists from airing their views. But allowing vicious bigots like him to air their views, and challenging them in public, is a far better way to fight anti-Semitism. In fact, censorship only gives people like Bonehill-Paine notoriety. Following his conviction, Bonehill-Paine stated: ‘I am really pleased… with the media that [it] will bring.’ And every time someone like him is put in jail, another narcissistic web provocateur is inspired to pick up where they left off.

Bonehill-Paine has little in common with Raif Badawi, the Saudi dissident blogger who was arrested in 2012, imprisoned, and later sentenced to 1,000 lashes. While Badawi bravely dared to question the authoritarian regime in which he lived, Bonehill-Paine expressed anti-Semitic bigotry. But both were convicted for expressing unpopular views, and the fate of both men should send a shiver down the spine of all those who believe in free speech. Some may argue that Bonehill-Paine’s conviction signalled a victory against bigotry. In truth, it was a victory for censorship.


Fighting Back Against Fake News


Every liar from Hillary Clinton to Brian Williams is up in arms at what the liars at the New York Times are calling the "Fake News Onslaught." The make-believe outrage, largely aimed at censoring conservative opposition to the media's left-wing agenda, hit fever pitch last week after an armed man walked into the popular D.C. Pizza joint and music venue Comet Ping Pong and fired a rifle, claiming he had come to investigate the online rumors known as Pizzagate.

Pizzagate is the notion that Hillary Clinton and her minions are running a satanic child sex ring in the restaurant's basement. I've taken the time to look into the theory and it's ridiculous, wholly unfounded, its "proofs" absurd.

But when I mentioned that the theory was bunk on my podcast the other day, a few listeners became angry with me. One was so incensed she says she cancelled her subscription to The Daily Wire, the website that hosts my cast. This certainly testifies to how attached people become to these false ideas, and how dangerous they can be.

So as a public service — and braving the anger of my readership — I'd like to expose a few other absurd fake news stories.

Police Target Blacks

After a white police officer shot and killed a large black thug who was attacking him in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, witnesses falsely claimed that the thug had surrendered before being shot, putting up his hands and saying, "Don't shoot." This fed into the mainstream media thesis that police were unfairly targeting black youths for violence. Both the "hands up, don't shoot" scenario and the overall notion of widespread police bigotry have been thoroughly debunked and yet fake news sites such as CNN and the New York Times continue to keep up their onslaught of lies. Unlike the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, these lies have contributed to multiple deaths and repeated riots. Should fake news sites like CNN and the Times be shut down before more people die?

2. The Obama Economy is Strong

Once again, we find the pernicious fake news site the New York Times at the center of this absurd story. Desperate to obscure the near-total failure of the Obama presidency, the Times has been using fake news sites like nytimes.com to spread the absurd notion that "Donald J. Trump can expect to inherit an economy that has added private sector jobs for 80 months, put another 178,000 people on payrolls last month and pushed the unemployment rate down to 4.6 percent today from 4.9 percent the previous month. Wage growth, though slower, is still running ahead of inflation, and consumers are expressing the highest levels of confidence in nearly a decade." In fact, while energy-rich states like Texas and Kentucky have thrived, the National Association of Counties reports that 93% of the nation's counties have not recovered from the 2008 crash. Median incomes are down. And the drop in the unemployment number disguises the fact that labor participation is at its lowest rate since the horrible Carter years. When you add people who would like to work or work more, the real unemployment rate is very close to ten percent. Oh, and by the way, those rising levels of confidence may have something to do with the fact Obama is leaving office.

3. The Climate is in Crisis

This nonsensical story, promulgated by various fake left-wing news sites like NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post and others, was designed to arouse the sort of panic that causes people to foolishly give more power to the government. In fact, reports of disastrous climate change have been dialed back even by those most committed to spreading the panic. Just as important, the proposed "solutions" to the climate catastrophe have been shown to be ineffective and overpriced.

These and other fake news stories have endangered lives, cost money and threatened, our liberties. It is time to take action against the fake news sites that spread these lies. Out of respect to the First Amendment, I believe our best approach is simply to ignore them entirely.

Oh wait. We already do.


Post-truth, and other such falsehoods

By Piers Akerman, writing from Australia

In the weeks that followed first Brexit and then Donald Trump’s election to the US Presidency it seemed that many in the West thought the world had passed the point of peak civilisation.

In fact, those rending their clothes and crashing on the sidewalk in screaming tantrums were merely reflecting the embrace of post-truth behaviour which, according to the Oxford Dictionary (which gave the term its Word of the Year award) describes circumstances where emotions and personal beliefs are more influential than facts.

Facts and truth are so last century, which is when, again according to the Oxford Dictionary observers, post-truth was first used in an essay by playwright Steve Tesich in the Nation.

Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Dictionaries, told an interviewer: ‘It’s not surprising that our choice reflects a year dominated by highly-charged political and social discourse. Fuelled by the rise of social media as a news source and a growing distrust of facts offered up by the establishment, “post-truth” as a concept has been finding its linguistic footing for some time.’

Not so fast, Casper. Those most addicted to post-truth are, in my experience, not from the Establishment but from the ranks of NGOs, and other subsidised protest movements; particularly any engaged in pushing the anti-fossil fuel climate change alarmist line, the great open border fallacy and Islam is a religion of peace mantra with its sub-clause (fill in the Islamist terrorist attack de jour) ‘had nothing to do with Islam’.

Trump’s election may well have marked the turning point for these frauds and charlatans given the volume of their protests. Certainly, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s belated revelation that claims that the atrocities of Islamic State ‘have nothing to do with Islam’ were actually harming efforts to confront and combat extremism was a welcome and refreshing indication that post-truth was being shown the door at Lambeth Palace.

The Most Rev Justin Welby put the mullahs (and leaders of other religions) on notice that that they had to ‘stand up and take responsibility’ for the actions of extremists who profess to follow their faith. He didn’t elaborate in his speech, in Paris in late November, on which other religions are known to incite their followers to murder and self-destruct, possibly because the church remains firmly in the mystery business, but his argument that unless people recognise and attempt to understand the motivation of terrorists they will never be able to combat their ideology effectively was more direct than most of the platitudinous murmurings we’ve heard from those who have addressed multicultural, multi-faith happy-clapping gatherings over the past 20 years.

Global figures ranging from the dead duck US President Barack Obama to former UK Prime Minister David Cameron historically waved the ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ flag but Mr Cameron at least reversed himself after the massacre at the Paris Bataclan nightclub and associated attacks which left 130 dead.

The Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, blamed ‘causative factors’ such as ‘racism, Islamophobia, curtailing freedoms through securitisation, duplicitous foreign policies and military intervention’ for the acts but not the ideology.

Rather at odds with Archbishop Welby’s view that it’s essential to recognise extremists’ religious motivation in order to get to grips with the problem.

Which makes me wonder whether our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull actually engaged in constructive conversation with his Muslim guests at the dinner he publicly hosted last year at Kirribilli House, among them Waleed Aly, the award-winning media figure who has described terrorism as just an ‘irritant’.

Mr Turnbull, who appears to be Christian-fluid, shifting between branches and discarding elements of social teachings as they suit, has publicly hardened up significantly since he took office after years of ridiculing his predecessor, Tony Abbott’s, hard-line on extremism.

It may take another Lindt Café or Sari Club attack to shift his soft inner-urban compassionista approach further toward reality.

Archbishop Welby believes it’s time for countries across Europe to recognise and rediscover the ‘Judeo Christian’ roots of their culture to find solutions to the mass disenchantment which led to the Brexit vote in the UK and the rise of anti-establishment leaders in the Continent and beyond. This would be an anathema to Mr Turnbull who regularly delivers encomiums to multiculturalism.

Archbishop Welby on the other hand not only lashed out at the ‘centralisation, corruption and bureaucracy’ rooted in Brussels, but also said Europe appeared to have lost its original vision of how economics could improve people’s lives rather than ‘economic structures enslaving human beings’. But it was his remarks on terrorism which particularly caught my eye, delivered to an audience which had experienced multiple attacks since Bataclan.

‘If we treat religiously-motivated violence solely as a security issue, or a political issue, then it will be incredibly difficult – probably impossible – to overcome it. A theological voice needs to be part of the response, and we should not be bashful in offering that. This requires a move away from the argument that has become increasingly popular, which is to say that Isis is “nothing to do with Islam”, or that Christian militia in the Central African Republic are nothing to do with Christianity, or Hindu nationalist persecution of Christians in South India is nothing to do with Hinduism. Until religious leaders stand up and take responsibility for the actions of those who do things in the name of their religion, we will see no resolution.’

Quite a turnaround for the Rev. Justin Welby – one which had me reaching again for the Oxford Dictionary which provided the new term ‘adulting’ which it defined as the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.

What we used to call acting maturely, a concept alien to the social media enthusiasts of the post-truth generation.


Trump-style political disaffection taking hold in Australia, review says

Australia is starting to see the beginnings of popular disaffection with the political class which has led to the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote, according to the authors of a major academic review of the 2016 federal election.

Key measures, including satisfaction with democracy, trust in government and loyalty to major parties, are at record lows among Australian voters while party leaders are suffering sustained falls in popularity unlike any other period in recent history.

The Australian National University has been tracking post-election voter sentiment since 1987, and its lead researcher Ian McAllister warned Australian politicians they should address the dissatisfaction because it was a clear trend.

“Dissatisfaction with democracy, lack of trust in politicians, these are reaching historic lows,” McAllister said.

“What it looks to me like is you are seeing the stirrings among the public of what has happened in the United States of the likes of Trump, Brexit in Britain, in Italy and a variety of other European countries.

“Now it’s not a crisis of democracy but what you are seeing is the start of something which has happened overseas. It’s coming here and I would have thought this is a wake up call for the political class that they need to start addressing this or it will continue.”

The latest survey was based on 2,818 people over three months beginning on the Monday after the 2 July election. It has been conducted on a similar basis for 30 years and some of the measures have been tracked back to 1969.

The most recent study found:

    only 26% of people think the government can be trusted, the lowest level since it was first measured in 1969

    40% of Australians were not satisfied with democracy in Australia, the lowest level since the period following the dismissal of Gough Whitlam in the 1970s

    a record low level of interest (30%) in the 2016 election

    a record low number (34%) who followed how to vote cards, a drop of 10% since 2013

    74% think the government makes little difference to household finances

    69% think government policies make little difference to the country’s finances.

On a leadership evaluation out of 10, the three most recent prime ministers – Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull – measured lower than five in the review.

Previous prime ministers, including Bob Hawke, John Howard and Kevin Rudd scored above five, but not Paul Keating, who scored below five. Of prime ministers since the 1980s, Hawke and Rudd enjoyed most popularity, scoring over six.

As leader of the Nationals in 2016, Barnaby Joyce scored lower (4.13) than his predecessor Warren Truss (4.34) in the 2013 election while Greens leader Richard Di Natale (4.13) scored higher than his predecessor Christine Milne (3.81).

Bill Shorten was evaluated more poorly than any other major party leader since the study started asking the question in 1993. The study rates leaders on nine characteristics; compassionate, trustworthy, inspiring, honest, strong leadership, sensible, competent, knowledgable and intelligent.

When compared with Malcolm Turnbull, Shorten only rated better than the prime minister for compassion. In seven of the nine characteristics, Shorten rated more negatively than any previous major party leader throughout the 1990s and 2000s, since the question was asked.

But Turnbull scored lower than any previous election-winning prime minister covered by the survey on characteristics of compassionate, sensible, strong leadership and honest. He scored second to lowest for election winners on trustworthiness (Gillard was lowest) and competence (Abbott was lowest).

McAllister said voters were clearly frustrated at the lack of connection with politicians and broken promises. He named Labor’s broken promise on the introduction of a carbon tax and the Coalition’s broken promise not to change superannuation policy.

He said the practice of government ministers leaving parliament to take plum postings or related jobs had fostered distrust among citizens. “Voters tend to disapprove of this sort of activity and there’s actually quite a lot of it in Australia compared to other countries,” McAllister said.

“We don’t have rampant corruption in the political system in Australia … but we have a lot of this grey area where politicians are perceived to be getting a lot of perks. And in a situation where economic performance is not doing very well, where people are under economic pressure, this is something that grates with a lot of people.”

The study also found attitudes becoming more liberal on various social and economic policies in the past 30 years. For example, there has been a steady decline since 1987 in the percentage of Australians who would prefer to pay less tax while there has been a relative increase in the percentage who favour more government spending on social services.

There is majority support for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians, marriage equality and legalised abortion. There has been a long-term decline in support for the reintroduction of the death penalty for murder and the continued criminalisation of smoking marijuana.

Immigration and asylum seeker policies were more important to voters at the 2016 election than any other election since the so-called Tampa election in 2001, when John Howard ordered commandos to to steer MV Tampa out of Australian waters.

While immigration and asylum seeker policy were in the top 10 issues, Australians have maintained a positive attitude towards the immigration program with a majority agreeing immigrants make Australia more open and cultured and are good for the economy. Only 30% believe immigrants take jobs from local-born workers and 37% believe they increase the crime rate.

One of the study’s authors, Jill Sheppard, said as the major parties moved closer on economic policies, voters looked increasingly to social issues to determine their vote.

“As voters are increasingly not finding economic differences between the parties – they are increasingly not believing parties can make a difference to the household finances or to the country’s finances in this recent election – that social issues will increasingly play a role in the next few Australian elections,” Sheppard 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


20 December, 2016

Where "Fake News" Meets Real News


With the media in disarray, even in meltdown, over their failure to prevent Donald Trump from winning the presidency last month, the issue of "fake news" has become an urgent concern. What is really of greater concern? Fake websites that are established to make money and discredit their political opponents? Or is it the establishment media that are pushing a political agenda, while claiming to adhere to high standards of journalism?

An armed man recently traveled from North Carolina to search for sexually exploited minors at a pizza shop in Washington, DC-he had been taken in by a phony Internet conspiracy theory known as PizzaGate [1]. This incident has fed the so-called mainstream media with additional reasons to publish stories highlighting the dangers of fake news and online conspiracies.

However, as the creators of fake news are exposed, it becomes clear that these sites are often motivated by making money-while mainstream media organizations use fake news as a means of furthering the Obama administration and the "progressive" agenda.

Georgian citizen Beqa Latsabidze "was savvy enough to change course when he realized what did drive traffic: laudatory stories about Donald J. Trump that mixed real-and completely fake-news in a stew of anti-Clinton fervor," reported [2] The New York Times on November 25. "Mr. Latsabidze said his only incentive was to make money from Google ads by luring people off Facebook pages and onto his websites," it reported. Ironically, Latsabidze found that he wasn't able to make any money publishing "gushing" stories about Hillary Clinton.

Another fake news writer, Jestin Coler, met with MSNBC News to detail his exploits.

"And lately there's been a lot of coverage in the real news about the growing and booming business of creating fake news," said [3] Brian Williams on his December 5 show, "The 11th Hour with Brian Williams." Coler helped organize the dissemination of a fake news story on the "Denver Guardian" about an FBI agent murder-suicide [4]: "FBI Agent Suspected In Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide."

"This is one that I would probably take back," Coler told MSNBC. "And even, to kind of add to that, Google closed all the accounts that were running on the site, so even that money is gone." Coler, the fake news propagator, admitted to MSNBC that he's a Hillary Clinton supporter, and in fact voted for her.

In an interview with NPR [5], Coler wouldn't cite exact numbers, but said that his fake news grossed similarly to others making $10,000 to $30,000 a month.

Yet, despite the lucrative business, Coler claims that he created these stories to undermine the so-called alt-right and Trump supporters. "The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right, publish blatantly false or fictional stories and then be able to publicly denounce those stories and point out the fact that they were fiction," he told NPR. As for Trump, "His whole campaign was this thing of discrediting mainstream media sources, which is one of those dog whistles to his supporters...He knew who his base was. He knew how to feed them a constant diet of this red meat." It should be noted that Coler started working on this back in 2013.

The mainstream media's fascination with exposing fake news writers such as Coler revolves around the desire to prove that their own reporting is above reproach, and should be trusted. A Gallup poll shows that current trust in the media is hovering at 32 percent [6], and bottoming out at 14 percent among Republicans.

It's not as if readers don't have reasons to distrust the media. Brian Williams' broadcast regarding the fake news industry was an exercise in irony, and just shows what's wrong with mainstream reporting today. He is, in effect, the recent "godfather" of fake news, having spread false tales for years about his alleged adventure in Iraq in a Chinook helicopter under fire [7]. Actually, Breitbart has documented [8] more than 30 examples of Williams telling lies or disputed stories. So when he is introducing a story about fake news, do he and his producers think we've all forgotten what got him suspended last year?

As we recently reported [9], the media continue to provide false and misleading reports about Obama's Iran deal, which is not an actual deal but merely a set of political commitments. Yet most major newspapers and TV networks continue to report that the Iran deal is "signed," which it isn't.

We've also documented [10] how fake news has allowed President Obama to claim success in everything from fixing the economy, to improving healthcare, to making the world a more peaceful place, to having a scandal-free eight years as president. His actual record, in each case, is quite different.

The reason that the media continue to obsess over fake news stories is that when viewed in contrast, they appear more credible at a time when their public credibility is in short supply. Generally, the fake news stories they are now reporting about are easy to detect. But if the news media continue to publish stories that mislead the public, then they are no better than the online peddlers of fake news, and more of a threat to the marketplace of ideas.

David Harsanyi of The Federalist explained why the left is pushing this issue of fake news so hard. He wrote [11], "Now that Democrats have sort of moved on from blaming the Electoral College [12] and James Comey [13] and the Russians, they're absolutely convinced that ‘fake news' turned the election against Hillary Clinton (although it's still a mystery why they lost more than 1,000 other seats since Obamacare was passed)."

Pamela Geller, the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), writing for Breitbart [14], has an even harsher assessment of what the left is up to: "I always understood that the objective was to taint the conservative news-sphere. Sites were created to spread disinformation and shame the right-wingers who jumped on it. This is classic disinformation. It's always games, games, games...from the people who brought you Soros' rent-a-mob-rioting, looting and destruction in cities, etc. even going so far as to risk a few deaths all for the cause. But what I didn't see coming is their ultimate goal: the shut-down of free speech. The left wants to crush free speech, which has been in their cross-hairs for some time now."

Geller asks, "If a blogger or news writer gets a story wrong, does that designate him or her, or his or her site, as ‘fake news'? If that's the case, they'll have to shut down the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, CNN, etc. They get things wrong all the time."

Indeed they do.


Can we Finally Now Turn the Page?

Every dictatorship needs a devil.  And the dictatorship that is the modern Democrat Party - with several Republican allies - has their devil in Russia.

When it comes to President-Elect Donald J. Trump and his swift-acting transition team, day-to-day politics are being criminalized.  Every occurrence is another outrage, an unparalleled indignity for the country with no precedent in modern history.*

For example, Trump's own businesses.  Everybody knew long before Trump ran for President that he was a billionaire with a sprawling, worldwide commercial empire.  But now that he has won the election and in the process of disentangling himself from the Trump Organization, his enemies are already speculating about impeachment over precisely the issue emoluments.  (Just out of curiosity: did these same people consciously overlook the Clinton Foundation during Hillary's tenure as Secretary of State... yes!)

That's but only one outrage among the left movement today.  The latest two manufactured, melodramatic and plain silly outrages both predictably cite a common devil shared by the Democrats and many in the Republican establishment: Russia.

Mr. Rex Tillerson is the CEO of ExxonMobil, one of, if not the, largest companies in the world.  The company he directs has energy-related projects across the world's continents and around its oceans, including in Russia.  In 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded Tillerson the Russian Order of Friendship.

Now you might be thinking: Why is this Russian connection of Tillerson more disqualifying than the Bush family's close association with Saudi monarchs, or ExxonMobil's own interests in Qatar, two known sources of terrorist financing?  Excellent question.

Speaking of terror states, let's get to the source.  John Kerry, who unfortunately is the current Secretary of State, is related by family links to his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif.  Iran is the number one sponsor of Islamic terrorism around the world. 

Thanks to John Kerry, they also find themselves with more influence, money, and international acceptance than they have since the days of the western friendly Shah Mohammad Reza.

Do you remember hearing the media, the pundits, or Washington establishment complain John "Ketchup" Kerry's close connections to the regime that chants "Death to America!" each Friday afternoon?  This relationship is more substantial than some government-given honor.  It's all in the family ... and some.

Up until now, nothing negative has been announced about Tillerson.  The same cannot be said about Kerry and his gang.
Russian Hack Attack?  So says Barack Hussein Obama and John Brennan

Ever looking to discredit and cast aspersion on the impending Trump presidency, the CIA has concluded that Russia hacked its way to a Donald Trump victory.  The so-called evidence?

 Allegedly, Russia also hacked the Republican National Committee, but did not release the information to WikiLeaks, like they (allegedly) did with DNC information.  Ergo, Vladimir Putin's government unfairly advantaged Donald Trump.

There's just one small problem with this manipulative story: RNC Chairman Reince Priebus denies they were ever hacked in the first place.  The "hack" of the DNC was an inside job by some disillusioned Democrats

One may be tempted to call this Russian fear mongering modern day McCarthyism - seeing "Reds under the Bed."  Yet, do you recall Putin ever calling for world revolution and the destruction of Western civilization, like his predecessors in the U.S.S.R.?  Do they chant this every Sunday morning after mass, like they do in Iran on Friday's after mosque?

Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, predictably soft, joined their Democrat counterparts in the Senate - among them, the poisonous propagandist Chuck Schumer - and issued the following statement:

"Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American ... Democrats and Republicans must work together, and across the jurisdictional lines of the Congress, to examine these recent incidents thoroughly and devise comprehensive solutions to deter and defend against further cyber-attacks."

Reminder: These are the same two Republican Senators who acted as special pleaders, in concert with Barack Hussein Obama, today's sitting president, for the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi.  Morsi's first trip abroad as President of Egypt was to Iran, to visit Kerry's buddies in the Iranian government.

Luckily for posterity, the FBI conducted a thorough examination of Russian interference into the election and declared there was no evidence to support the claim.

Politicized DOJ, Politicized CIA

The election of 2016 proved that our federal institutions have become discouragingly politicized.  The Department of Justice bent into a pretzel folded like a double helix while attempting to rationalize their reluctance to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

Obama, while bogged down in swamp of actual scandals in 2014, famously referred to them as "phony scandals."

Would the CIA under John Brennan, former National Security Advisor to Obama, dare to misinform the American public with a truly phony scandal, and raise the specter of Russian intelligence active measures where there were none?  Is Attorney General Loretta Lynch blind in her pursuit of justice?

To believe the Democrats, some Republicans, and the entire media today, is to believe that Trump going, unannounced, to dinner with his family is not only scandalous, but downright perilous to our democracy.

Speaking of phony, you know what really is?  Obama, and his thoroughly fraudulent administration.  Kindly, we have not covered the Podesta travesty here.

Note to those who are undermining the incoming President - Barack Hussein Obama, Hillary, and the rest of the gang - you are just a bunch of crying baby losers.


'You're turning affection into something perverted!'

Controversial campaign promoting childhood consent for hugs and kisses sparks outcry online

A controversial campaign encouraging parents to teach their children about consent from a young age has prompted widespread debate online.

The meme which first started circulating in October and has since resurfaced features a picture of a young blonde girl.

The photo is accompanied with the words: 'I am five. My body is my body. Don't force me to kiss or hug. I am learning about consent and your support on this will help me keep safe for the rest of my life.'

The meme was recently shared by New Zealand organisation Safe kids, thriving families who were supportive of the message.

They accompanied the meme with a status which read: 'Supporting our children's understanding of body autonomy has a lifelong reach. 'Let's do all we can to normalise a child's right to do what they want with their own bodies.'

The post has since been shared over 50,000 times and has hundreds of comments, with opinion from parents very much divided.

Many parents agreed that the meme was spreading a positive message to children and their families.

Chantelle wrote: 'If a person wants to hug, kiss or otherwise physically interact with a certain person and it is mutual: great!If its not mutual its not ok. Children are taught to respect property, why cant adults respect them?'

Becca agreed adding: 'Teaching our little ones boundaries and respect for their own bodies and that of others is vital!

'If an adult is making a child feel uncomfortable in any way "they" are in the wrong. Not the child. Back off. Love and respect are earned, not forced or taken.'

Courtney: 'Omg what's so difficult to understand. If a child doesn't want to hug or kiss someone they shouldn't have to.

'It may be innocent to you but if a child feels uncomfortable with it they should be able to say that to their parent.'

However, while many considered it to be an important message as many completely disagreed arguing that children should be encouraged to show affection.

Donna argued: 'So, we are going to make something innocent and used as a show of affection and turn it into something perverted?

'THIS is what is inherently wrong with our country. Human beings scientifically NEED touch for survival. It releases much needed endorphins which produce positive feelings in human beings.'

Rhys says that he was taught to show affection as a youngster and it hadn't affected his future.

He commented: 'So are you saying you should not tell your kids to hug and kiss their grandparents hello and goodbye? Or their aunt and uncles? I grew up having to give all my family members a hug or a kiss when we saw them and I grew up fine!'

Hailey said: 'I think having children "go hug grandma" and showing affection is good for children. They don't grow up thinking that showing affection is a bad thing.'

Following the surge of feedback the owners of the account, who aim to protect children from sexual abuse, commented on their post to clarify they are not trying to disuade affection.

They said: 'Just to be clear to everyone - WE LOVE HUGS AND KISSES! My own children are *so* affectionate. We are the huggy huggers from way back. 'However, we are VERY MUCH against FORCING kids to kiss and hug.'


Australia: Angry Lesbian wants a slice of her former partner's assets -- fails

The Family Court is defending claims it treats same-sex couples differently after a decision in which a lesbian was denied a share of her former partner’s ­assets, despite them having lived together in a bona-fide, legally recognised same-sex relationship for 27 years.

The Full Court of the Family Court has upheld a decision that the woman is not entitled to any of her partner's property, which includes a house, investments, and superannuation, mainly ­because the couple had kept their finances separate.

The couple did not have joint bank accounts or mutual wills, and they did not name each other as beneficiaries on their superannuation policies.

The woman, who cannot be named but is known in court records as Ms Chancellor, ­argued this was because “attitudes to same-sex relationships were less liberal” when the women started living together and “this explained why the parties had kept their financial ­affairs separate, as otherwise ­attention would have been drawn to the true nature of their cohabitation”.

In the Family Court decision, judge Leanne Turner, sitting in Brisbane, said: “It’s easy to assume when parties have been together, whether married or de facto, it automatically flows that a property settlement will occur, but that is not always the case.”

The decision is likely to energise the same-sex marriage ­debate, since opponents have long argued that the Marriage Act need not change while civil unions provide the same legal protections as marriage.

The case, known as Chancellor & McCoy, came before the court in January, with the appeal heard last month. The court heard Ms Chancellor, 59, and Ms McCoy, 55, commenced a same-sex relationship in 1982. Both are teachers; both had superannuation and accumulated property.

However, when the relationship ended in 2011, Ms McCoy’s ­assets were valued at $1.7 million, while Ms Chancellor’s were worth $720,000. The difference can mainly be explained by the fact Ms McCoy decided years ago to salary-sacrifice into super. Ms Chancellor did not. Each had a property, bought in their own name, using their own savings.

Judge Turner said the women were “mature, educated and ­intelligent”. They had “similar employment conditions and ­opportunities”. She acknowledged expenses and bills were split, and that some items for the houses were purchased jointly.

She found a “lack of joint ­fin­ancial decision-making”, while “each party remained respons­ible for their own debts”. The court ruled it was “unfair for Ms McCoy, who has taken steps to maximise her future wealth, to have to share that wealth with Ms Chancellor, who did not ­invest as wisely”.

The court relied on the High Court’s decision in Stanford v Stanford, which found splitting assets is not automatic.

In her appeal, Ms Chancellor argued her relationship had been held to a “higher or different standard” than other de facto couples. The appeals court dismissed the appeal, ruling that ­“although in a committed relationship”, the women had made a “somewhat unusual” ­decision to keep their financial ­affairs ­“almost ­entirely separate”.



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

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

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


19 December, 2016

Women’s Mental Health and Well-being 5 Years After Receiving or Being Denied an Abortion: A Prospective, Longitudinal Cohort Study

This study has been widely reported in the press.  But because the conclusions of it suit Leftists, I immediately went to the underlying journal article -- Abstract below.  After many years of reading academic articles with conclusions that suit the Left, I was immediately 90% certain the underlying article would be a heap of bullshit.  It is.  Leftists are so out of touch with reality, that reality rarely suits them.  So they have to spin like tops to claim support for their ideas.

This article purports to test the well-known intuitive claim that having an abortion damages a woman psychologically.  But it does not test that claim at all. Why?  Because it is a survey that includes only women who have sought an abortion.  It has no control group such as a matched sample of non-pregnant women or women who have never sought an abortion but who have instead bravely decided from early on to continue with an unplanned pregnancy.  And without a proper control group it tells you nothing.  You have no basis for comparisons

M. Antonia Biggs et al.


Importance:  The idea that abortion leads to adverse psychological outcomes has been the basis for legislation mandating counseling before obtaining an abortion and other policies to restrict access to abortion.

Objective:  To assess women’s psychological well-being 5 years after receiving or being denied an abortion.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  This study presents data from the Turnaway Study, a prospective longitudinal study with a quasi-experimental design. Women were recruited from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2010, from 30 abortion facilities in 21 states throughout the United States, interviewed via telephone 1 week after seeking an abortion, and then interviewed semiannually for 5 years, totaling 11 interview waves. Interviews were completed January 31, 2016. We examined the psychological trajectories of women who received abortions just under the facility’s gestational limit (near-limit group) and compared them with women who sought but were denied an abortion because they were just beyond the facility gestational limit (turnaway group, which includes the turnaway-birth and turnaway-no-birth groups). We used mixed effects linear and logistic regression analyses to assess whether psychological trajectories differed by study group.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  We included 6 measures of mental health and well-being: 2 measures of depression and 2 measures of anxiety assessed using the Brief Symptom Inventory, as well as self-esteem, and life satisfaction.

Results:  Of the 956 women (mean [SD] age, 24.9 [5.8] years) in the study, at 1 week after seeking an abortion, compared with the near-limit group, women denied an abortion reported more anxiety symptoms (turnaway-births, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.01 to 1.13; turnaway-no-births, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.39 to 3.18), lower self-esteem (turnaway-births, –0.33; 95% CI, –0.56 to –0.09; turnaway-no-births, –0.40; 95% CI, –0.78 to –0.02), lower life satisfaction (turnaway-births, –0.16; 95% CI, –0.38 to 0.06; turnaway-no-births, –0.41; 95% CI, –0.77 to –0.06), and similar levels of depression (turnaway-births, 0.13; 95% CI, –0.46 to 0.72; turnaway-no-births, 0.44; 95% CI, –0.50 to 1.39).

Conclusions and Relevance:  In this study, compared with having an abortion, being denied an abortion may be associated with greater risk of initially experiencing adverse psychological outcomes. Psychological well-being improved over time so that both groups of women eventually converged. These findings do not support policies that restrict women’s access to abortion on the basis that abortion harms women’s mental health.

JAMA Psychiatry. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.3478

Five Ways CFPB Regulations Harm the Middle Class

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was set up in 2010 to “make consumer financial markets work for consumers, responsible providers, and the economy as a whole.” Yet the Bureau has imposed rule after rule that hurts consumers and the middle class especially. Here are five ways the CFPB could be causing you financial problems:

If you’ve found it difficult to get a mortgage from your bank, that may be because of the CFPB’s qualified mortgage (QM) rules. The QM rule empowers trial lawyers and makes it incredibly easy for borrowers to sue banks not just for fraud and deception, but for overestimating the borrower's “ability to pay,” a standard that is inherently subjective. It also effective outlaws even slight adjustments on a mortgage’s interest rates.

As a result of these new costs and liabilities, many small banks and credit unions have simply stopped issuing new mortgages. Middle-income responsible borrowers suffer from the lack of available mortgages the rules have created. Some of this is the fault of the Dodd-Frank statute, but it’s the CFPB that refused to exempt many rural and small banks and credit unions, as the law directs.

It is making low-dollar short-term loans very difficult to get. Everyone who is in constrained financial circumstances knows that there will come a time when you need access to ready cash quickly. Financial responsibility dictates that you pay a bill on time even if you have to borrow to do so. Of course, many people in constrained circumstances have low credit ratings and may not have a credit card, so they are forced to look for short-term loan financing like payday loans or vehicle title loans. Yet the CFPB is looking to kill off these industries on the specious argument that they harm their consumers.

As our author Hilary Miller found earlier this year, academic research into the effects of payday loans suggests that there have no harmful effects, and are possibly beneficial. If you can’t get a short-term loan and fail to pay a bill, the consequences can be devastating – yet the Bureau thinks it is protecting consumers by effectively banning them. Worse yet, the rule will actually make it difficult for credit unions to offer loans designed to pay off payday loans!

The Bureau wants you to sue people you have a disagreement rather than engage in low-cost arbitration. Taking someone to court over a commercial dispute can be very expensive and time-consuming for both sides. That’s why throughout history, customers and vendors and other parties to agreements have bound themselves to decisions from private arbitration services – George Washington even inserted an arbitration clause into his will.

Congress recognized the vital role arbitration plays in the Federal Arbitration Act in 1925. Yet the CFPB wants to ban the use of binding arbitration services in financial contracts. This will raise the costs of financial companies and therefore raise costs to middle class consumers – many of whom will no longer be able to afford the services as a result. By forcing consumers to use the court system, most likely by being part of a class action run by trial lawyers, those middle class consumers will also suffer delays in their access to redress of grievances – a class action takes on average three years to come to a settlement while arbitration takes just under 7 months.

New rules for prepaid products could hurt innovative payment methods like Venmo. Anyone with college-age kids knows that the fastest way to get money to them when they need it is Venmo or another such payment app. Many middle class workers these days also get their wages delivered by a prepaid card, which takes away some of the hassles of having a bank account – you don’t have to wait for your wages check to clear, for instance.

Yet the CFPB is yet again worried that some people don’t understand the terms and consitions of prepaid products and payment systems and so has imposed an 800-page rule that mandates disclosures in such terms as font size – which is meaningless for an online app like Venmo. Once again, the rule will just pile up costs on financial firms and therefore reduce the amount and scope of the products they have available, harming the consumers who use those products.

The Bureau is compiling massive amounts of data, violating your privacy – and it wants to share some data even with foreign governments. As former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote last year in The Wall Street Journal, “Every month the CFPB … gathers data on 22 million mortgages, 5.5 million student loans, two million bank accounts with overdraft fees, and hundreds of thousands of auto sales, credit scores and deposit advance loans.” This database has been criticized by the Government Accountability Office for potential security risks and failing to adequately protect consumer financial data.

Moreover, a recent rulemaking entitled “Proposed Amendments Relating to Disclosure of Records and Information,” has come under fire from the American Civil Liberties Union as imposing prior restraints on speech. The same rule would also allow the Bureau to share supervisory information it collected with other regulators such as state attornies general and even foreign governments, allowing the potential for unwarranted fishing expeditions, despite being explicitly forbidden from doing so in the Dodd-Frank Act.

The CFPB’s unwarranted and abusive exercise of its unconstitutional power should hopefully come to an end soon. The new President should do what he does best and fire Bureau Director Richard Cordray. The middle class will thank him for it – and so will their pocket books.


Leftist child abuse


While appearing on a show that lowers the collective IQ of the nation by at least one standard deviation, The View, Ali Wentworth, wife of ABC News Objective News Anchor George Stephanopoulos explained what Election Night was like at the Stephanopoulos/Wentworth home: "It involves my 14-year-old getting upset about the election and screaming ‘NO ABORTION!' really loudly, and I was like, ‘you haven't kissed a boy yet. Don't use that term so flippantly.'"

If you're wondering why the left has gone insane, perhaps it's because they were raised to be insane, and they're raising their children the same way.

Why in the world does a 14-year-old girl think that her world is ending because Donald Trump has been elected president? More importantly, why would she think her world is ending because of possible restrictions on abortion? Are leftist parents truly raising their daughters to believe that their rights to freedom are dependent on their ability to kill their own offspring in the womb?

I will raise my children to believe that certain rights are sacred: the right to religious practice, the right to freedom of speech, the right to defend ourselves. But the notion of teaching a little girl that abortion is the chief right women should expect from their government, or that their life is somehow inevitably impacted by laws cracking down on abortion is patently nuts.

The fact that some leftists apparently teach their children that liberty can be boiled down not to individual choice and responsibility for that choice, but to the ability to pay a clinic to remove a baby from the womb - that's reprehensible.

As the parent of a daughter, here's what I plan to tell her about abortion: "Honey, when you get married, and when you have sex and get pregnant, that will be the greatest joy you can experience - I know that because it was the greatest joy your mother and I ever experienced.

Your birth was the highlight of our lives, and your existence is a timeless reminder that God loves us and you, and that He favors us with miracles, none greater than your creation. You are beloved of God, and your children will be too. Children are the greatest gift we can receive. To spurn that gift - and to destroy another human life - is a great evil, no matter countervailing concerns."

We're religious. But even if we weren't, the lecture wouldn't change all that much: children are the greatest thing in life -- and they are lives, regardless of religion or secularism -- and suggesting that true freedom lies in the ability to kill children in the womb is gross. Propagandizing 14-year-olds with that suggestion is even more gross.

But if you tell your kids that Evil Republicans are coming in the night to raid your womb, it's no wonder they get hysterical when Democrats lose elections.


Australia should take in more Middle Eastern Christian refugees

This Christmas will probably be the first in almost two millennia when there is no sizeable Christian presence in the Middle East. The situation in that part of the world is the ultimate confluence of religion and politics, two topics Australians do not like to mix. Most of us until recently have had very little understanding of how the two do intersect in the Middle East.

Christian refugees from the Middle East are not just casualties of war, they are victims of targeted persecution. They are fleeing war but, unlike many other refugees, they can never go back. We are not just facing a huge geopolitical realignment in the Middle East but the expurgation of entire Christian populations in the area that gave birth to Christianity: Iraq and Syria, the ancient lands of Mesopotamia.

In Iraq, where the 1987 census estimated a Christian population of 1.4 million, the numbers have dwindled to about 200,000.

Islamic fundamentalism is the cause of this, not just the war. The war has been the means to clear all minority groups, not just Christians but Jews, Yazidis and Druze Muslims. Things were better for religious minorities, particularly Christians, under Iraq and Syria’s Baathist regimes than they will ever be again.

Meanwhile, Australia pursues a religiously “blind” immigration and refugee policy. This is all very well as a general line in a secular society that does not privilege religion. But the Middle East’s Christians are fleeing not simply war but persecution because of their religion. Like it or not, we cannot be religiously blind in our choice of refugees.

Despite this, it is almost impossible to find out how many Christians have been allowed into Australia under the refugee program. When the government announced 12,000 new places, it was assumed they would be filled largely by Christians and other minorities, but the department will not, or cannot, reveal the make-up of these people. From November last year to December 2, a total of 10,092 visas have been granted and 8317 refugees have arrived in Australia.

The announcement of an extra 12000 refugees from Syria and Iraq was generally met with approval by the population. Many Australians had no idea until the conflagration in Syria and Iraq that there were so many Christians in those countries, who were being systematically murdered and forced out of their homes.

Likewise, until the murderous so-called Arab Spring turned to bleak winter for the Copts of Egypt, that large Christian minority, estimated at about 15 per cent of Egypt’s population, was usually ignored by most the world’s media. That changed when church burnings and massacres started to take a toll. Just last Sunday, a suicide bomber massacred 24 people in a Cairo church. The lukewarm response of the Australian government came in a tweet by Malcolm Turnbull condemning the atrocities in Turkey and Egypt. About 300 Egyptian Copts have applied for and been granted asylum in Australia, but at present many are being denied despite the acknowledged atrocities and persecutions.

Even after the latest atrocity, several Egyptians are awaiting deportation. Take, for example, the case of Inas Ghobreyal, who has been given about five weeks before deportation. Inas is the mother of two children and fled Egypt after the firebombing of St George Church by a Muslim mob next to where she lived not far from Cairo. Her husband was attacked and badly assaulted. She came to Australia on a visitor’s visa four years ago, with her two girls, Clara and Marie, now 10 and 7. Recently buoyed by the stated willingness of the Prime Minister to take more Christians from the Middle East, she petitioned Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, who she claims acknowledges the atrocities against the Copts but has refused her a visa. A spokesman for the Coptic Association says there appears to be inconsistency in the granting of asylum for Egyptians. He also claims the situation of the Coptics was more readily acknowledged under Labor.

The reason for this inconsistency is basically that the regime in Egypt has improved the official situation of Copts. However, as the latest massacre shows, this is not necessarily an improvement on the ground. There is a lot of suspicion that, in a country where the churches have X-ray machines to prevent explosives and weapons being smuggled in, some of the police have been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Egyptian Copts fear, with some justification, that it may not be long before they, too, are in the same position as the Syrians and Iraqis. Their fate will echo that of Christians in Palestine, the original Christians. In 1948, when Israel was founded, Christians formed more than a third of the Palestinian population. As Archbishop Fouad Twal, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, told me in 2007, “stuck between the hammer of the Israeli oppression, beaten on the anvil of Islamic fundamentalism”, Christians are now a mere 2 per cent of the Palestinian population.

Islamic fundamentalism is a scourge, even for Australia’s law-abiding Muslims. So we must ask: can Australia afford to be religiously blind in its choice of immigrants and refugees?



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, 2016

This Small Business Owner Didn’t Want to Make Shirts for Gay Pride Festival. Now He’s in Court

A lawyer representing a Kentucky print shop owner who chose not to print gay pride festival T-shirts argued in a hearing this week that the government cannot force a person to create speech against his or her beliefs.

Blaine Adamson, owner of Hands On Originals in Lexington, Kentucky, turned down business due to his religious beliefs in 2012. He chose not to print shirts for the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization in advance of a gay pride festival.

The LGBT organization filed a discrimination complaint against Adamson with a local human rights commission.

“This case is about the expressive freedom of everyone, because if the owners of Hands On Originals must print messages that conflict with their beliefs, then there’s nothing stopping the government from forcing a lesbian printer to create a religious group’s flyer objecting a same-sex marriage or forcing a Muslim graphic designer to build a website promoting Jewish beliefs,” Jim Campbell, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Daily Signal. “I think that there is a universal appeal to what we are arguing here.”

A Kentucky circuit court sided with Adamson in April 2015, saying that he had the right not to print the shirts. The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission had previously ruled that Adamson must print T-shirts, even if the messages on the shirts conflicted with his religious beliefs.

The commission appealed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals on the Fayette County Circuit Court ruling that overturned the commission’s decision. The oral argument was held Dec. 13.

“Protecting Blaine’s freedom protects everyone’s freedom, regardless of their beliefs or convictions,” Campbell said in a statement. “No matter what you believe, the government shouldn’t be able to force you to create speech that conflicts with your deepest convictions.”

“Protecting Blaine’s freedom protects everyone’s freedom, regardless of their beliefs or convictions,” says @AllianceDefends.

Adamson’s lawyers say they believe he has the right to decline printing shirts that conflict with his deeply held values.

“The trial court’s decision rightly affirmed that, and we are asking the court of appeals to do the same,” Campbell stated.

Campbell told a three-judge panel Tuesday that Adamson does not discriminate based on a person’s sexual orientation, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

“Hands On Originals declined to print the shirts in question because of the messages on them, not the sexual orientation of the individuals who asked for them,” Campbell told the Kentucky Court of Appeals, according to the local news outlet.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Ed Dove, a lawyer with the Lexington Human Rights Commission, said, “You can’t separate the message from the discrimination. That’s a red herring.”

Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian legal organization representing Adamson, said of the incident:

Blaine explained that he could not print a shirt bearing a message that conflicts with his faith. He then offered to connect the [Gay and Lesbian Services Organization] to another printer who would create the shirts for the same price that he would have charged.

“Hands On Originals, our client, regularly prints shirts for gays and lesbians,” Campbell told The Daily Signal. “In fact, Hands On Originals has printed promotional items for a lesbian singer that performed at the very pride festival in question in this case, so Hands On Originals has no objection serving gays and lesbians.”

Campbell said:

The owners of Hands On Originals object to printing anything that promotes sexual activity or relationships outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. That belief regularly requires them to decline orders from heterosexuals.

Alliance Defending Freedom says it expects a court decision to be made within 90 days.

“If they rule in our favor, then we’ll have to see if the commission decides to continue to spend taxpayer dollars to pursue this or if the court rules for the commission, then we’ll have to evaluate whether to appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court,” Campbell said.


Residents Protest Removal Of Cross From Town Tree

The cross was removed from the Knightstown, Indiana Christmas tree on Monday following a lawsuit filed by the ACLU.

WTTV reports that the lawsuit came on the behalf of town resident Joe Thompkins, stating the religious symbol should not be displayed on town property.

The town council released a statement, saying they couldn’t deal with the costs of a legal battle, so the cross was removed from the tree.

Now dozens of residents are taking to the streets to protest the council’s decision.

"One man shouldn't dictate how the rest of us express our religious freedoms. We have that freedom under the First Amendment,” resident Aaron Magee said.

At a town council meeting scheduled for Thursday, the council plans to pass a resolution that would keep the cross off the tree for good. Residents tell WTTV they will be attending the meeting to express their disapproval of the proposal.


Tom DeLay: Obama Has ‘Never Gotten Over His Racism’

In reaction to President Barack Obama saying America has not "overcome the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow and colonialism," former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) said this was an "unbelievable" comment and indicative of the fact that Obama has "never gotten over his racism."

During the Dec. 13 edition of the Steve Malzberg Show on NewsmaxTV, the host ran a Dec. 12 clip of Obama on Comedy Central. the president said, "We have by no means overcome the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow and colonialism and racism, but the progress we've made has been real and extraordinary."

Malzberg then asked DeLay what he thought of Obama's remark and the former House Leader said, “When is he [Obama] going away? My goodness gracious. This is just unbelievable, but you know, he’s never gotten over his racism."

"Many of us, in fact, I think the entire country has gotten over slavery and Jim Crow and all of that," said DeLay.  "It’s the professional racists like Obama and his buddies that can’t get over it because then they’re totally irrelevant.”

Malzberg then remarked that such remarks by Obama only divide the country and fuel division as the Obama administration prepares to end on Jan. 19.

DeLay agreed, saying, “Certainly. And that way they can continue their welfare programs that keep people on plantations and dependent on the government. They can keep government interfering in our lives all based upon some excuse about ‘you’re a racist, so you have to do this.’"

"[But] their era is over," said DeLay, "and we’ve gotten over slavery and Jim Crow. Yes, there may be some racists hiding around, white supremacist types hiding around America. But most of us have gotten over it.”

DeLay served in Congress from 1985 to 2006. He was House Majority Leader in 2003-2005.


Trump nominates David Friedman as ambassador to Israel, where he will ‘work from Jerusalem’

President-elect Donald Trump is nominating a top Jewish surrogate, David Friedman, to be ambassador to Israel, with a statement saying Friedman will serve from Jerusalem and describing the city as “Israel’s eternal capital.”

Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer who has for years worked for Trump and his real estate development business, was with Jason Greenblatt, another Trump lawyer, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, one of his main emissaries to the Jewish community. Friedman this week briefed the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on what to expect from a Trump presidency.

The Trump transition team’s statement said Friedman – who like the incumbent ambassador, Dan Shapiro, speaks Hebrew – intends “to work tirelessly to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

Congress recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 1995 and mandated the move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but successive presidents have exercised a waiver in the law, citing national security interests. U.S. security officials believe that moving the embassy to Jerusalem, a city holy to Christians and Muslims as well as Jews and claimed by the Palestinians as their capital, would precipitate anti-American violence in the region and beyond.

In what has become a feature of transition statements, the release included a dig at the outgoing Obama administration.

“The bond between Israel and the United States runs deep, and I will ensure there is no daylight between us when I’m President,” Trump said in the statement. “As the United States’ Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman will maintain the special relationship between our two countries.”

President Barack Obama increased U.S.-Israel defense and intelligence sharing, but challenged the practice of his two immediate predecessors – Bill Clinton and George W. Bush – of keeping diplomatic disagreements behind closed doors. Early in his administration, Obama told Jewish leaders the policy of “no daylight” had not advanced peace in the region.



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, 2016

Silent night, godless night

John Henningham comments from Australia:

Almost 30 years ago, fresh from Hawaii, I visited my daughter’s grade one class in Brisbane to show off my treasured koa wood ukulele.  It was the last week before Christmas, so teachers were happy to have any distraction for the restless six-year-olds.

The kids listened patiently as I strummed my entire repertoire of half a dozen chords and showcased a few Hawaiian ditties, none of which meant much to them.

So I invited the children to sing to my strumming and we launched into ‘Silent Night’. A most heavenly sound filled the little wooden classroom as the boy and girl sopranos seemed to channel the angelic host from the hills around Bethlehem.   Sitting among the children in the swirl of their voices was mind-blowing – real goosebump territory.  The children sang a few more songs and I was thanked for my appearance.  I felt it was I who should have been giving thanks.

A generation later a minstrel inviting children in Australia to sing Christmas carols would remain a soloist.  The kids simply don’t know the words.

In the last few years I’ve attended Christmas concerts at various child-care centres and kindergartens to find that Christmas carols are entirely absent. One concert began with an Aboriginal Welcome to Country followed by a Hindu blessing in honour of an Indian family.  Then the children lustily launched into a bracket of Christmas songs – ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ and their favourite, ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’.  It was all great fun, yet there was not even the hint of a mention of the religious basis of the feast, except accidentally, in ‘Christmas’.

And certainly no sign of a nativity play.  A teacher explained quietly that she’d have to talk to the Muslim parents and prepare them, if there were to be anything like that.

What a sad development.

I’d always felt that the ‘Silent Night’ everyone could once sing was as much a part of Australian heritage and culture as ‘Waltzing Matilda’.  Of the kids I made music with in the 80s, most were of nominal Christian background, though only a small number were from church-going families.  They’d learnt the Christmas carols at school.  It was a more monocultural time, but among them were kids of Jewish and Buddhist backgrounds.  Yet they all knew the words of ‘Silent Night’ and seemed pretty pleased at the chance to belt them out.

There are, I hope, no edicts against Christmas carols in schools or pre-schools.  Their disappearance is probably more a result of the deep sense of politeness and fear of offending that is felt by many contemporary Australians.  A cultural self-censorship.

And how self-defeating. We all know that foreigners in countries dominated by other religions do not receive apologies or expect the faith to be sidelined in their presence.

And I can’t imagine that the adherents of too many religions would be offended by those gentle, lullaby carols that everyone used to know.  After all, their purpose is to celebrate the birth of a baby – a little Jewish boy who was to become not only the inspiration for a new religion, but a prophet respected in the Muslim faith with the addition of the words ‘Peace be upon him’ whenever his name is mentioned.  And of course the pluralistic religions of Asia are very tolerant to all who preach peace and love. There’s apparently a Japanese kindergarten on the Gold Coast that stages a nativity play along with Japanese festivals.

If they were ever asked, immigrant parents would probably agree that Christmas carols shouldn’t be outcasts in school celebrations of Christmas.  And we could add children’s songs throughout the year for both the Hindu and Jewish Festivals of Lights – Deepavali and Hannukkah – and for the Muslim Eid.

But for most Aussie kids, the only way to hear a Christmas carol is to go to a shopping centre.


Australia: 'We're a Christian society: Furious Peter Dutton unleashes on school that banned Christmas carols to hold a secular celebration

Peter Dutton has called on Australians to 'rise up' and defend Christmas after a school rejected traditional carols for more secular songs.

Appearing on talkback radio, the furious Immigration Minister said his 'blood was boiling' after learning there was 'not one Christmas carol' at the celebration at Kedron State High School in Queensland.

'It is political correctness gone mad and I think people have just had enough of it,' he told 2GB radio host Ray Hadley.

A member of Mr Dutton's Dickson electorate Jim told the radio show the public secondary school ceremony did not have 'one Christmas carol'.

The lyrics to We Wish You A Merry Christmas were replaced with 'we wish you a happy holiday', The Age reported.

'Many of the people, regardless of their religious belief, would be there happy to sing Christmas carols, happy to enjoy the fact that we celebrate Christmas as a Christian society,' Mr Dutton told 2GB.  'It's beyond my comprehension but it has gone too far.'

The pro-Christmas politician likened the current climate of political correctness to when Prime Minister Paul Keating was in charge in the mid-1990s.

Mr Keating was known for his role in social issues - promoting Indigenous affairs, multiculturalism and inclusiveness.

'People had a gutful of it and I think we're back to the same stage now, and I think we need to rise up against it. People need to speak against it as they are,' Mr Dutton said.

'Because the vast majority of Australian people want to hear Christmas carols. They want their kids to be brought up in a normal environment and they don't want to be lectured to by do-gooders who frankly don't practise what they preach in any case.'

Radio host Ray Hadley was also outraged over the rejected Christmas carols, pointing the finger of blame at 'left-wing teachers' and the principal of Kedron State High School. 'It's insulting, it's demeaning and it's a farce,' he said.

The radio announcer had a similar discussion with Treasurer Scott Morrison just days prior to speaking with Mr Dutton.  Mr Morrison also slammed political correctness around Christmas and chimed: 'Have a great Christmas and enjoy the birth of our Lord.'


Rev. Graham: ACLU's War on Christmas Continues -- Man Has 'Unwelcome Contact' With Cross, Causes 'Irreparable Harm'

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing a very small town in Indiana because a single Christian cross on top of a spruce tree in the town square apparently is causing "irreparable harm" to one resident who, when he drives by, "is forced to come into direct and unwelcome contact" with the cross, reads the lawsuit. This is absurd, said Reverend Franklin Graham, who added that it proves the "war on Christmas is still on" and that "the ACLU wants to remove God from everything."

"The war on Christmas is still on!" said Rev. Graham in a Dec. 12 post on Facebook.  "Because of one person’s 'objection,' the ACLU is suing an Indiana town for having a lit cross atop their Christmas tree just as they have had for years."

"The man said he is being forced to have 'unwelcome contact' with the cross and it has caused him irreparable harm. Give me a break," said Graham.

"We shouldn’t really be surprised by this," he said. "The Bible says Jesus Christ would be a 'stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense' to many. 'For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.' "(1 Cor. 1:18).

"I hope this town will stand strong and not let one man’s objection override their celebration of the true meaning of Christmas," said Pastor Graham. 

"The ACLU wants to remove God from everything -- our constitution doesn’t require that," he said.  "Jesus Christ came to Earth to pay the penalty of sin for mankind on the cross. That’s what CHRISTmas is all about!"

The cross sits atop a spruce tree in the town square of Knightstown, Ind., which has a population of about 2,200.

According to CBS News affiliate WTTV, the lawsuit claims the cross "is the preeminent symbol of Christianity, representing the crucifixion of Jesus," and therefore cannot be displayed on town property.

The offended resident is Joseph Tomkins who, reported WTTV, drives by the tree every day and "is forced to come into direct and unwelcome contact with the cross." This, according to the ACLU, has caused Tomkins, "irreprable harm," which reportedly can only be cured by removing the cross and paying Tomkins monetary damages, said WTTV.


The jihad against Christians

David Horowitz

Islamists just sent Christians a horrific Christmas reminder...

Last weekend's bombing of St. Peter's Cathedral in Cairo by Islamists is the worst attack on Egypt's Christian minority in recent years. It left 27 dead, mostly women and children, and 65 severely wounded. The violence of this attack, in the targeting of women and children, is unspeakably horrifying.

But as numbing as these attacks and bombings have become, as more churches are destroyed, Christians tortured and murdered and women and children enslaved – the Freedom Center refuses to back down.

You see, we employ some of the best scholars on this subject in the world here at the Center – including Shillman Fellow and Egyptian-American Coptic Christian, Raymond Ibrahim.

Raymond has been a leading writer on the issue of the Muslim persecution of Christians for a number of years. And he knows firsthand the horrors that are taking place in his ancestral homeland of Egypt, as well as throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

In fact, Raymond has written a groundbreaking book, "Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians" that I believe is a must-read for anyone who loves freedom.

Via email

A New Victim in the War on Small-Biz Bakeries

It is not enough for family-owned pastry shops to bow to the gay marriage mob. Now, they're being targeted by the social justice mafia.

At my alma mater, radical Oberlin College in Ohio (which boasts hapless Baltimore mayor and rioters' champion Stephanie Rawlings Blake and bizarro feminist actress and fake rape accuser Lena Dunham as graduates), the operators of a small-business bakery are under siege by vengeful students and administrators trying to crush them under the wheels of the race-baiters' bandwagon. The true victim in this latest tale of political correctness run amok is Gibson's Bakery — a quaint shop founded in 1885 that still bakes all its goods using original recipes.

On Nov. 9, according to the city police report I obtained, shop employee Allyn Gibson caught a 19-year-old Oberlin College student allegedly stealing two bottles of wine and hiding them under his shirt. As officers approached the area, Oberlin Police Sgt. (Victor) Ortiz, and Officer (Raymond) Feuerstein both stated they observed Gibson lying on his back with several individuals kneeling over him punching and kicking him with several other individuals in the immediate area. Officers attempted to gain control of the situation and were met several times with resistance from several different individuals."

Allyn Gibson attempted to stop the alleged thief, Jonathan Aladin, from leaving the store and tried to take a photo him as he bolted. Gibson got whacked in the face with his own phone. Aladin then reportedly ran while throwing the two bottles of wine on the floor, becoming "violent" and "grabbing and hitting Allyn." Aladin ran out with two females who were with him in the store. Gibson followed and tried to detain the alleged shoplifter again on the street.

Gibson's right as a shop employee to detain a suspected thief with probable cause until police arrive is protected under Ohio statute. As the females punched and kicked him, police officers who had arrived on scene during the beating wrote: "Allyn had several abrasions and minor injuries including what appeared to be a swollen lip, abrasions to his arms and wrists and a small cut on his neck."

Aladin was charged with robbery and inflicting harm and faces a court hearing in the case this week. The two females, Endia Lawrence and Cecelia Whettstone, were charged with assault.

You can guess what happened next. Aladin, who is black, became the new poster boy of institutional racism and oppression. Students organized protests and shrieked about "racial profiling," claiming that the bakery had a history of discriminating against customers "of color."

It gets worse. Leading the charge in the latest War on Small-Biz Bakeries is the Oberlin College dean of students, Meredith Raimondo, who joined the baying mob in bullying the Gibson family. She disseminated flyers libelously asserting that Gibson's is a "racist establishment with a long account of racial profiling and discrimination." Convicted in the crazy Oberlin College court of public opinion, the school refused to renew its longstanding daily order of donuts and bagels. For a small business with razor-thin margins, losing that order could be devastating.

Never mind that the "racism" charge is a brazen lie. As the police department pointed out, since 2011, there had been four robberies at the store including Aladin, "and he was the only black person. There were 40 adults arrested for shoplifting in five years, and 32 were white. There were six adult black suspects arrested and two Asians, and 33 of the 40 were college students."

And never mind that Trey James, a Gibson's employee who is himself black, bluntly told the student newspaper that race had nothing to do with the incident. "If you're caught shoplifting, you're going to end up getting arrested," he told the Oberlin Review. "When you steal from the store, it doesn't matter what color you are. You can be purple, blue, green, if you steal, you get caught, you get arrested."

Never mind, either, that Oberlin is ground zero in fake hate crime claims — from the notorious 2013 sighting of a "KKK robe-wearing" menace on campus who turned out to be a female student wearing a blanket to Lena Dunham's disgraceful attempt to blame a college Republican for sexually assaulting her. She retracted the story after Breitbart.com blogger John Nolte and others in new media exposed the hoax.

Back in the 1990s, Asian-American students claimed that a phantom racist had spray-painted anti-Asian racial epithets on a campus landmark rock. It turned out that it was a warped Asian-American student who perpetrated the dirty deed. During my time there, a black student accused the elder Mr. Gibson of racism after he told the student she was not allowed to sit at an outside table because she hadn't purchased any items from his store.

Ohio talk radio host Bob Frantz, who has rallied sane, decent and hard-working members of the community to support the Gibson family, told me a Facebook page supporting the bakery had been censored by Facebook. (No surprise: Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is a fervent, damn-the-facts supporter of Black Lives Matter.)

It is time for real justice to prevail over truth-sabotaging, violence-stoking, thug-coddling social justice. If you are not actively fighting the mob, you're enabling it.



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, 2016

The PC culture is sexist

There are three simple stats that show life is unfair to us men:

* Men die earlier
* Far more men than women commit suicide
* Far more men than women are in jail.

If we then used the feminist assertions that we must enforce equality, then we would need to:

* Spend far more on men’s health than women’s so that men lived longer
* We would need to make men’s lives more worthwhile living (and thus women’s less worthwhile)
* We’d have to have far more draconian penalties for any women breaking the law.

So, why are these not seen as “fair” whereas the all pervasive “equality” for women is? The reason is that women demand “fairness” where it provides them benefits, and quietly ignore precisely the same arguments when it would overwhelmingly harm them. So, e.g. we hear demands for positive discrimination for women in the work place … but no demands for “positive discrimination” for women in prison places.

Discrimination against males is far subtler than that against females

However, what I want to discuss today, is a way in which society discriminates against males that no one seems to discuss. The argument is as follows:

In any society, we must have rules. As the number of prison places show, it is overwhelmingly men that break the rules and it is right that those that break the rules go to prison. However, let us suppose that a parliament dominated by women decide that they personally would prefer much stricter rules than most reasonable people in society. It therefore follows that because men break the rules more often … that it will be men who are overwhelmingly penalised by having rules much harsher than necessary.

Thus the “nanny state” or the “cotton wool state” overwhelmingly restricts men far more than it restricts women. As such it is extreme sexism, in that it is  men that suffer overwhelmingly  from an excessive state.

Similarly, it is widely known that men are the “less refined” sex in terms of social etiquette. Thus, when society or organisations within society create meaningless Politically Correct rules, it is men who find themselves overwhelmingly caught and repressed by those Politically Correct rules. As such, these extremist social prescriptions are overtly sexist, only mildly affecting women, but having a massive effect on men.

The difference of course, is that whilst women are highly effective and manipulating the rules of society to benefit their sex … men just grumble and die earlier.


The disunited kingdom

The British state’s multicultural dream has turned into a segregated nightmare

Dame Louise Casey’s government-commissioned report into integration between ethnic groups and community cohesion is not going to shatter the earth. She discovered what many already know: that British society is not very well integrated; that it is increasingly divided along ethno-cultural lines; and that there is a want of any cohering, collective identity.

‘I had thought that I knew what some of the problems might be’, she writes. ‘Black boys still not getting jobs, white working-class kids on free school meals still doing badly in our education system, Muslim girls getting good grades at school but no decent employment opportunities.’ And these, she confirms, are still problems. ‘But I also found other, equally worrying things, including high levels of social and economic isolation in some places and cultural and religious practices in communities that are not only holding some of our citizens back but run contrary to British values and sometimes our laws.’

She hammers the familiar message home with stats showing that certain ethnic groups tend to live and mix only among themselves, attending near-enough mono-cultural schools, and living and working, or increasingly not working, in mono-cultural communities. She mentions in particular the segregation of Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities in Blackburn, Birmingham, Burnley and Bradford, reporting that some wards are 70 to 85 per cent Muslim. She admits that the security and comfort the familiar affords is understandable. But she also notes that many in these segregated communities live almost parallel lives to mainstream British society, talking their own languages, sharing their own values and submitting to their own authorities. And she warns of the deleterious effect this segregation may be having on some members of these communities, in particular women – who are not just being held back, but subjected to ‘domestic abuse’ and ‘other criminal practices such as female genital mutilation, forced marriage and so-called “honour”-based crime’ - and gays and bisexuals, who are persecuted and worse.

It’s a soberly written report, and the diagnosis of a culturally fragmented society at least skirts the truth. But its content is often hyperbolic, with the lurking implication that something terrible is happening in these sequestered, isolated communities. Yet that’s not the real problem with the Casey Review. No, the real problem is that it doesn’t grasp why Britain is culturally fragmented; it doesn’t understand the dynamic that has led to increasing numbers of people firmly identifying themselves with, and entrenching themselves within, particular ethno-cultural communities. It doesn’t, in short, acknowledge the British state’s own role in fomenting this fragmentation through the promulgation of multiculturalism. Because it’s this, the active, state-driven implementation of multiculturalism, encouraging assorted ethno-cultural groups to identify themselves as such, that lies at the heart of what now appears under Casey’s eyes as social disintegration.

Not that this is even alluded to in the Casey Review. Instead, she heaps the blame on civil society itself, pointing the finger at rising levels of immigration over the past 20 years, and a combination of self-segregating communities led by segregation-happy faith leaders, and, as she puts it, changing ‘public attitudes [towards immigrants]... with negative judgments about the cultural and economic impact of migration growing’.

So there you have it: social fragmentation is society’s – our – fault. Too many migrants are too insular. And too many indigenous Brits are too anti-migrant. The British state’s role in all this is limited to what it hasn’t done. It’s been too weak, too lenient, too unwilling to censor or condemn, especially when it comes to the views and practices of certain parts of the Muslim community. ‘We need leaders at all levels – in government, in the public sector and faith institutions, and in communities – to stand up and be more robust on this.’

And above all, she continues, we need the state and its assorted agencies to be more proud to be British, complete with an oath of allegiance on offer to those migrants seeking public office. No wonder the government lapped it up. Casey sounded like she was confronting the big issues, asking the ‘difficult’ questions, while simultaneously letting the British state off the hook, while also empowering it. As the communities secretary Sajid Javid put it, ‘This government is building a democracy for everyone and our country has long been home to lots of different cultures and communities, but all of us have to be part of one society – British society’.

All of which ignores the fact that the division Casey has belatedly spotted, this separation and antagonism between different cultures and communities, was once the effective rainbow-hued dream of the state. This is not to suggest that multiculturalism, which emerged in full-throated song during the 1990s, with its focus on encouraging diversity, on celebrating difference, was some sort of pinko conspiracy, as some still lingering on the right maintain. No, multiculturalism became the ideology of a British state at a point when it was in want of a national idea. It was a vision of society, of what it values, in lieu of the desiccated, historic sources of national pride, from the British Empire, to queen and country.

Recall Tony Blair’s conjuring up of Britishness in 2000 as ‘a rich mix’ of migrated difference; or then Tory MP Michael Portillo’s portrait of Britain in the same year, as ‘a country of rich diversity’. Recall, too, that John Major’s Tory administration founded the Muslim Council of Britain in 1996, a signal moment in the state-led transformation of British society into different ethnic or religious groupings that were not only to be celebrated, but which apparently needed special state promotion and protection. And as this brave new world of pluralism was being ushered into being, so the old world of homogeneous nationalism was being turned into a source of colonialist shame and BME grievance. The dream was diversity, an inoffensive, rather bland idea in itself. But the result was a diverse whole, consisting of antagonistic parts, each competing under the banner of victimhood for state recognition, protection and funds.

But because Casey does not recognise the role the British state has played in the deliberate fragmentation of society, through the banality of multiculturalism, she is prepared to turn it into the solution. Hence throughout her review, it is the state that is to rebuild social cohesion, to reintegrate the parts into the whole, even to inculcate those dread words ‘British values’. And so it is a proposal doomed to failure. For the state, still wanting a national story, a source of legitimacy, can no more say now what British values are than it could back in the 1990s. Integration, cohesion and so on are all admirable and necessary ends; but the British state is not the means.


Liberals fire first shots of post-Trump War on Christmas

And the post-Trump liberal war to permanently secularize Christmas has begun in states across the country.

In Knightstown, Ind., the town council was strong-armed by the bullies at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to remove a cross atop the town Christmas tree after a single resident complained:

    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a town resident alleging the placement of the lit up cross on top of the town Christmas tree is an unconstitutional violation of church and state, a local outlet reported. Afraid they would lose the lawsuit and be forced to pay expensive legal fees, the town council voted to remove the cross for good.

    “It is with regret and sadness that the Knightstown Town council has had the cross removed from the Christmas tree on the town square and is expected to approve a resolution at the next council meeting stating they will not return the cross to the tree,” the Knightstown Town Council said in a statement regarding the decision.

Presumably an Islamic star and crescent would have been fine.

Meanwhile in Florida, a customer at a St. Augustine diner left a note complaining that the Christmas music being played in the restaurant was “offensive”:

    Michael Lugo, the executive chef and manager of Michael’s Tasting Room, a modern tapas bar in the historic Floridian city, has been playing holiday music in his dining room post-Thanksgiving to promote a festive spirit among diners.

    But on Dec. 3, one patron allegedly thought Lugo’s music was too much. A waiter at the restaurant found a note scrawled on the back of a receipt that read, “Christmas music was offensive. Consider playing holiday music or less religious themed.”

Lugo posted the note to Facebook with a five-word response: "Really…what’s wrong with people.”

Liberalism. Liberalism is what’s wrong with people.


Africans add multicultural enhancement to an Australian beach

No police action -- as one expects in Victoria

Up to 30 people were involved in a brawl at St Kilda beach which left five people in hospital.

A teenage boy and two teenage girls were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Two men who tried to assist the teenagers also received non-life threatening injuries and were taken to hospital.

Witness "Brad" told radio station 3AW that two groups of teenagers of African appearance were pushing and shoving each other on the beach before the fight erupted.

The brawl then moved towards the Stokehouse restaurant, he said.

He said one of the youths appeared to be carrying a slingshot and was being held back by a female friend. "All of a sudden, boom, a brawl took place and we bolted," he said. "It just ruined our night."

Brad said his family was enjoying the nice weather by visiting St Kilda beach for some fish and chips.

"To be be honest it's disappointing, I've got my kids asking 100 questions," he said. "My nine-year-old said 'Dad, can you make sure all the doors are locked'. He's never asked that."

"No one has been arrested in relation to the incident and the investigation remains ongoing," Acting Senior Sergeant Kris Hamilton 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


14 December, 2016

Netanyahu hopes to work with Trump to undo Iran nuclear deal

President-elect Donald Trump will be a good friend to Israel and hopefully the two countries can work together to dismantle the international nuclear agreement with Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview Sunday.

While the two countries are close allies, relations were sometimes tense between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama because of their vastly different world views on the Iran deal and other issues.

There is sentiment in the nationalist Israeli right wing that Trump's election could usher in a new era of relations with the United States.

"I know Donald Trump," Netanyahu told CBS's "60 Minutes" in an interview that will air later Sunday night. "And I think his attitude, his support for Israel is clear. He feels very warmly about the Jewish state, about the Jewish people. There's no question about that," Netanyahu said.

His remarks were significant because critics have accused Trump of tolerating anti-Semitism among some of his supporters.

Netanyahu said he "had differences of opinion" with President Obama the "most well-known, of course, is Iran."

The Israeli prime minister has been one of the fiercest critics of the nuclear deal and butted heads with Obama over the issue.
Iran has long backed armed groups committed to Israel's destruction and its leaders have called for it to be wiped off the map. Israel fears that Iran's nuclear program is designed to threaten its very existence.

Netanyahu said there are "various ways of undoing" the 2015 deal, in which Iran agreed to limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions on its oil industry and finances.

"I have about five things in my mind," Netanyahu said, declining to go into further detail.

During his campaign, Trump was harshly critical of the nuclear deal.


Fake News Exposes Real Hypocrisy

The Left has coalesced around the "real reason" for Clinton's defeat.

The American Left’s determination to blame virtually anything other than their alienation of millions of working-class Americans for the defeat of Hillary Clinton is finally coalescing around a prevailing idea: “stupid” voters were conned by “fake news.”

If one likes a good fake news story, the high-profile Washington Post screed about the Russian-generated fake news propaganda campaign that ostensibly put Trump in the White House goes right to the top of the list. How fake? After its publication, the paper’s editor added a “clarifier” at the top of the story, disavowing a group of anonymous “experts” calling themselves PropOrNot, who had named several fake news sources in the original article. The Post’s editor subsequently decided the paper could no longer “vouch for the validity of PropOrNot’s findings.”

Why? The New Yorker’s Adrian Chen reveals PropOrNot’s methodology for determining fake news was so flawed it “could include … nearly every news outlet in the world, including the Post itself.”

In short the Post’s story about fake news … was fake news.

Nonetheless, this weekend the Post, joined by other major Leftmedia outlets, doubled-down with both claiming “secret sources” within the CIA have come to a “consensus” view the Russians helped Trump win the election. Yet the Post was forced to admit a CIA presentation on the subject “fell short of a formal U.S. assessment produced by all 17 intelligence agencies,” and some disagreement remains because “some questions remain unanswered.”

Despite those unanswered questions, The New York Times said American intelligence agencies concluded the Russians hacked both the DNC and RNC computers, but only released the DNC information to hand the election to Trump. The same agencies ostensibly concluded the Russians gave WikiLeaks the DNC documents.

That contradicts what Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress in November, when he admitted America’s intelligence agencies “don’t have good insight” about a direct link between WikiLeaks and the Russians.

Clapper is not alone. An unnamed senior FBI official questioned for two hours by both Democrats and Republicans during a secret meeting of the House Intelligence Committee refused to confirm the CIA’s assertion that Russia tried to help Trump.

In a dead giveaway, the Washington Post explains the “cultural differences” between the agencies. “The bureau, true to its law enforcement roots, wants facts and tangible evidence to prove something beyond all reasonable doubt. The CIA is more comfortable drawing inferences from behavior.”

In short, the Times and the Post have conflated inference with proof. It doesn’t get more fake than that.

Yet the leftist beat goes on, even as they remain immune to the breathtaking hypocrisy that animates it. Hillary Clinton led the way during an appearance at an event celebrating retiring Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) career. She spoke about the “epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda that flooded social media over the past year,” and the “real world consequences” that attended it. “This isn’t about politics or partisanship,” she insisted. “Lives are at risk.”

At risk? Lives were lost in Benghazi. And to maintain Obama administration credibility toward the end of the 2012 presidential campaign, Clinton and Barack Obama perpetrated the most despicable fake news story of the decade, blaming the deaths of four Americans on an offensive video. Perhaps the hand wringers at the Times and the Post might ask themselves which is more egregious: an unproven fake news campaign disseminated by the Russians, or a thoroughly documented one disseminated by the Obama administration.

And then there’s Reid himself who penned a New York Times piece insisting “the responsibility for separating what is real and what is fake will fall on Democrats.” One is left to wonder if such Democrats include Reid himself, who not only used the floor of the Senate to make an unsubstantiated claim about Mitt Romney’s failure to pay taxes for 10 years, but subsequently bragged that his lying helped to defeat Romney.

As for Democrats tasked with separating “what is real and what is fake,” what could be phonier than celebrating the career of perhaps the most ethically challenged person to ever sit in the Senate?

Former NBC anchor Brian Williams gets in on the action as well, declaring that “fake news played a role in the election and continues to find a wide audience.” That’s the same Brian Williams given a six month suspension by NBC for perpetrating fake news stories, especially the whopper about being nearly shot down during a helicopter flight over Iraq. Ironically, Williams won the 2009 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and was praised by Cronkite, who called Williams a “fastidious newsman.” That’s the same “Uncle Walter” Cronkite never held sufficiently accountable for his lie about America losing the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. A lie that prolonged a conflict ultimately costing 54,000 Americans their lives.

“Fake news is hardly a new phenomenon,” Greta Von Susteren aptly asserts. “For decades, Americans have had an appetite for fringe stories, from grassy knoll conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination to the alien secrets of Area 51 and the baseless notion that 9/11 was an inside job.”

Von Susteren lays the blame for fake news squarely where it belongs. “Part of the reason fake news is so easy to believe is that fringe stories no longer read or sound all that different from too many of the real stories. Too often, both have little or no sourcing; they lack context and they get disseminated with almost no fact-checking.”

Maybe that’s because the Left’s determination to embrace the moral and cultural relativism that appeals to emotion in lieu of objectivity — makes fact-checking subservient.

Subservient to what? The Narrative, in all its “hands up don’t shoot” reality-twisting, divisiveness-inducing and ratings-generating glory.

Add calculated errors of omission to the mix, along with the fact these major media players have a reach that dwarfs that of the fake news purveyors they rail about, and it becomes clear who the most egregious disseminators of fake news are — and whose agenda they are determined to serve, at the price of journalistic integrity.

“Recall that the Times and its co-conspirators created a fictional Trump held aloft by goose-stepping brownshirts and toothless bigots rising from the swamps,” columnist Michael Goodwin explains. “They aimed to scare the country into supporting Clinton by turning their front pages into editorial pages, where ‘straight news’ became an oxymoron.”

Turning straight news into an oxymoron is an integral part of a progressive ideology and their “never let a crisis go to waste,” “win by any means necessary” worldview. The worldview animated by the disciples of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” who include our current president and Hillary Clinton. Fortunately, their Alinsky-advocated vision to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” just got steamrolled by a trash-talking, Twitter-posting political neophyte whose own bona fides — or lack thereof — have yet to be established.

Regardless, Donald Trump has already done the nation an enormous favor: In the course of winning the election, he exposed millions of self-professed “tolerant” leftists as the hateful hysterics they truly are. Better still, it is an “emperor has no clothes” revelation that cannot be walked back in the foreseeable future — all the fake news in the world notwithstanding.


The Rainbow Mafia Claims Another Victim

A ruling against TimberCreek Bed & Breakfast for refusing to host a same-sex wedding was upheld by a three-member panel of the Illinois Human Rights Commission by its refusal to hear an appeal of the original ruling. In 2011, Jim Walder, owner of TimberCreek, refused to host a same-sex couple’s wedding on religious-conviction grounds. Walder is a devout Christian and stated, “We will never host same-sex civil unions. We will never host same-sex weddings even if they become legal in Illinois.”

A same-sex couple evidentially took umbrage and sued Walden for discrimination. (That is the modus operandi for the Rainbow Mafia.) This past March, the couple won and the state ordered Walden to pay $30,000 for causing “emotional distress” plus another $50,000 in attorney fees. Walden argued, “In our opinion, forcing a small business with one employee to host gay marriage which violates the owners sincerely-held Biblical belief that marriage is between one man and one woman is an extreme circumstance, especially when marriage has been understood for thousands of years to be a union between one man and one woman.”

Once again the freedom for sexual deviancy trumps an individual’s First Amendment rights. For those who seek to argue that this is a discrimination issue — that no one should have the right to discriminate against another — the truth is one way or another someone is being discriminated against. Clearly, the message being sent by those in power is that freedom of conscience and freedom of religion are secondary rights that must be discriminated against if they don’t uphold the new moral order of sexual liberation. It may not be long before faithful Christians find themselves squeezed out of mainstream America entirely. Then again, Jesus Christ didn’t tell his followers that the world would love them…


Australia: Politically correct and risk averse Victoria Police ensure crime thrives

It took an attempted carjacking of a former assistant police commissioner for Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews finally to take his state’s soaring crime rate seriously.

Two weeks ago former detective Noel Ashby was ambushed by four "aggressive African males" who tried to force his Mercedes off the road. Just another day in the socialist state of Victoria, where carjackings and violent home invasions are a constant fear.

So Andrews and police commissioner Graham Ashton last week announced a $2 billion recruitment of 3000 new police officers.

But it won’t matter how many cops they hire, the politically correct, risk-averse culture of Victoria Police will ensure crime thrives.

Crooks and thugs are free to run riot, while police obsess about gender, racism and LGBTI. Rapists prowl, gangs brawl, losers brazenly smoke bongs in CBD parks, drunk drivers speed away from booze buses, while police are busy cracking down on racial abuse on Facebook, or denouncing "language" crimes by Eddie McGuire that "demean women".

Victorians accept a level of lawlessness unheard of in Sydney. It’s a lesson to the rest of the country how quickly life turns sour when you neuter your police force with politically appointed commissioners, and when your justice system is at the mercy of a judiciary stacked with human rights lawyers and former union functionaries.

After Melbourne’s iconic Moomba Festival fireworks in March, Sudanese members of the fabled Apex gang brawled with Pacific Islanders in Federation Square, forcing people to cower behind locked restaurant doors. Only four people were arrested.

When pot-smoking protesters fired up their bongs at a picnic in Flagstaff Gardens this year, police didn’t just turn a blind eye; a spokeswoman condoned the event as "freedom of expression".

When two officers tested positive to drugs on duty a few years ago, not only were they not sacked or charged, but a spokeswoman described their drug use as "no surprise".

No surprise former commissioner Ken Lay is the poster boy for drug decriminalisation. "We can’t arrest our way out of this", he says, which is true if you don’t even try.

Victoria Police don’t enforce the law on union picket-lines, either, but stand sentry in implied solidarity.

And, after a law suit for "racial profiling" young African men, street police now are required to issue "receipts" to anyone they talk to, in a humiliating, time-wasting farce.

Then there is the joke of police chases, restricted last year so 145 a month dropped to five. Crooks just have to step on the gas.

There’s no point wailing about African refugees as if they pose some sort of novel crime challenge. Wrongdoers have been empowered by a police force which has neglected its responsibilities for a decade.

As a result, Victoria’s crime rate keeps rising — up 12.4 per cent in the past year. It’s now the nation’s murder capital.

But the problem is not, as Andrews pretends, a shortage of police. Victoria has more police per capita than NSW, which boasts the lowest crime rate in 25 years. NSW has 218 police per 100,000 people, versus Victoria’s 258.

Victoria has half the imprisonment rate of NSW, a higher victimisation rate and a lower reporting rate for most crimes, a good indication people have lost faith in police.

Even more telling, in the western suburbs of Melbourne, residents are banding together to protect their neighbourhoods with DYI security. Locals in Caroline Springs call it "Criminal Springs" because of the brazen carjackings and home invasions. Fed up with the lack of police protection, they patrol their streets themselves.

But instead of being mortified by this vote of no confidence, Ashton told radio 3AW the patrols should stop "because it becomes vigilantism".

When Jill Meagher was raped and murdered in Melbourne four years ago, no one knew how complicit police and legal authorities were in the crime that shook the nation. Adrian Bayley had been convicted of raping eight women, yet was free on parole. He is suspected of raping at least 16 prostitutes in 2000, but the rape squad wasn’t interested. His DNA, taken in 2001, was lost by the hopeless police forensics lab.

Instead of locking up crooks, Victoria Police have become do-gooder agents of social change. Last year they embraced the gender scolds of the Victoria Human Rights Commission who made the usual "shocking" claims of entrenched sexual harassment and discrimination.

When he’s not pondering gender quotas, Ashton reserves his zeal for a self-serving vendetta against Catholic Cardinal George Pell, which wins plaudits from the ABC.

Rather than playing sectarian games and pandering to identity politics, Ashton might try doing his job. Better yet he could resign.



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, 2016

Trump Will Be Religion-Friendly

By Bill Donohue

None of the three biggest vote getters in the primaries—Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders—are known for their deeply rooted religious convictions. Trump is Presbyterian and Clinton is a Methodist, and like many mainline Protestants, they are religion-lite; Sanders is an admitted secularist. What makes Trump different from Clinton and Sanders is his religion-friendly posture, something the faithful from every religious community can welcome.

There are certain advantages to being religion-lite and religion-friendly at the same time. Having no strong personal stake in the conflict between religious liberty and the rights embroiled in abortion, marriage, education, housing, and healthcare, there is good reason to believe that Trump can be counted on to be religion-friendly.

Moreover, he won 52 percent of the Catholic vote (he did much better among practicing Catholics) and 81 percent of the evangelical vote. He is not likely to let his constituents down.

Trump is a businessman, not a culture warrior. As such, he was never seriously engaged in any of the fights that animate those of a more orthodox religious stripe. Take abortion. On October 24, 1999, Trump was asked by Tim Russert on "Meet the Press" if his support for abortion rights would extend to a defense of partial-birth abortion. "I'm very pro-choice," Trump said, adding that he would oppose a ban on partial-birth abortion.

Within no time, Trump reversed himself. "After the show," he said, "I consulted with two doctors I respect and, upon learning more about this procedure, I have concluded that I would indeed support a ban." His remark was published three months later in his book, “The America We Deserve.” This was the beginning of his evolution on this subject.

Trump has consistently said that he will appoint pro-life judges to the federal bench, and there is no reason to disbelieve him. Indeed, the month before the election he pledged to Catholics that he will work with us, "helping the ongoing growth of the pro-life cause."

On the collision between gay rights and religious liberty, Trump is less specific. He is welcoming to the gay community, assuring them, properly so, that he will not tolerate bullying, but he is also choosing cabinet members that are religion-friendly.

For example, Sen. Jeff Sessions (attorney general), Betsy DeVos (education), Rep. Tom Price (health and human services), and Ben Carson (housing and urban development), are all known for refusing to subordinate religious liberty to the gay rights agenda.

There is one more important consideration. To the extent that Trump makes appointing pro-life judges a priority, he is likely to select men and women who will honor our right to religious liberty; competing rights will not be eviscerated, but they will not eclipse our First Amendment right.

Trump is particularly good on school choice. His choice of Betsy DeVos as education secretary proves his commitment to academic excellence and religious liberty. It would be hard to find someone with a more stellar record of supporting school choice than her. That she is dedicated to including religious schools in her effort is indisputable. Indeed, she played a prominent role in helping Mike Pence succeed with a voucher plan in Indiana that was decidedly religion-friendly.

Ben Carson is a decent man with deep religious roots. As the new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, he will be positioned to advance the cause of religious liberty. He can be expected to ensure that faith-based programs that are tied to the department's block grants are not burdened with contrived church-and-state regulations. This will put a stop to the kinds of machinations sponsored by the Obama team.

In fact, the Obama administration's war on religious liberty, especially its attack on Catholic institutions, is coming to an end. The draconian Health and Human Services mandate will be dismantled by Secretary Price. Trump said as much when he noted that Hillary Clinton was aligned against the Little Sisters of the Poor. "That is a hostility to religious liberty you will never see in a Trump administration," he said.

The religious rights of men and women in the armed services will also spike under Trump. We know this not simply by citing what he says, but by reading what his adversaries are saying about him. Mikey Weinstein, who heads the Military Religion Freedom Foundation, is the most vociferous enemy of religious liberty in the military, and he is up in arms over Trump. That is a very good sign.

President Ronald Reagan was not known to be a particularly religious man, yet he was one of the most religion-friendly presidents we've had in recent memory. He was the first to establish formal diplomatic relations with the Holy See, and he was a champion of the pro-life cause.

All indications are that Trump will be more like Reagan, which is a good omen. When he is attacked for standing up for religious liberty—and he will be—it will be up to us to defend him. We plan to do so with vigor.


Despite Left's Bullying of Christians, Same-Sex Marriage Isn’t Settled

Bullying Christians may be a favorite strategy of the left—but it’s not necessarily an effective one. Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s popular show “Fixer Upper” may be sending that message without ever opening their mouths.

In what can only be described as a politically motivated witch hunt, BuzzFeed posted a non-story about how the fan favorites attend a church where it’s apparently news that the pastor preaches straight out of the Bible.

In her hit piece (disguised as journalism), author Kate Aurthur implies that Chip and Joanna may be hateful people for attending a church that has the nerve to believe what Scripture says:

“So are the Gaineses against same-sex marriage? And would they ever feature a same-sex couple on the show, as have HGTV’s ‘House Hunters’ and ‘Property Brothers?’ Emails to Brock Murphy, the public relations director at their company, Magnolia, were not returned.”

Not surprisingly, Aurthur’s piece got instant attention—not much of it good. BuzzFeed readers are angry that the site is trying to destroy a couple that many consider the best duo on HGTV.

“This is the dumbest story I have ever heard,” one reader commented. “It’s like a witch hunt for their beliefs, to try and stir the oil from a pot into the flames of the stove. This kind of article is exactly what is wrong with the media.”

Others fired back that this was a made-up controversy, designed to tear down good people.

“You are inciting a wave of negative attention on this couple for something that indirectly links to them,” another reader said. “That’s not journalism, it’s petty … ”

Even The Washington Post, hardly an ally of Christian conservatives, piled on, posting an op-ed from gay columnist Brandon Ambrosino called “BuzzFeed’s Hit Piece on Chip and Joanna Gaines Is Dangerous.” In it, he talks about the important message of the election, which is that “gotcha” stories like this only reinforce people’s negative opinion of the press.

“[This story] validates everything that President-elect Donald Trump’s supporters have been saying about the media: that some journalists—specifically younger ones at popular digital publications—will tell stories in certain deceitful, manipulative ways to take down conservatives. (And really, I can’t for the life of me imagine any other intention of the Gaines story.) … The old strategy of journalists shaming ‘hicks’ is not going to work anymore …”

And, he goes on:

“BuzzFeed can’t argue that the same-sex marriage issue is ethically settled, because it isn’t for a sizable population of our country and our world. It is no longer okay—indeed, it never was—to write cutesy articles shaming religious people as homophobic for simply being one of the many millions of Americans in 2016 who attend a religious congregation that does not support same-sex marriage. That is not a good move for activism or journalism.”

It most certainly isn’t settled, based on the latest polling from Wilson Perkins Allen, which puts the support for natural marriage at 53 percent almost a year and a half after the Supreme Court tried to redefine it.

Only 37 percent support the view that BuzzFeed seems to imply is the prevailing one.


The Real Anti-Semitism to Fear

Should we talk about the genocidal movement to eradicate the Jews or a cartoon frog? Pepe the Frog originated as an innocuous cartoon character in 2005. This week, he was added to the Anti-Defamation League’s database of hate symbols

After years of studiously ignoring it, dismissing it, whitewashing it, excusing it and even justifying it, progressives have rediscovered anti-Semitism. With this amazing archeological find the intrepid Indiana Jones' of the left dug up anti-Semitism, brushed it off and put it up on the shelf right behind Islamophobia, transphobia, racism, homophobia and sexism (in that order of importance).

Anti-Semitism on the left has been abruptly transformed from an excuse that Jews use to silence discussion about whether the Jewish State should be nuked or merely boycotted, to an issue worthy of concern. Assorted liberal celebrities with Jewish last names have surfaced to voice amazement that they had "not expected to see anti-Semitism return in my lifetime."

As if anti-Semitism had been vacationing in the Alps until it came to their attention. The truth is that anti-Semitism never went anywhere. The left just endorsed it. And therefore it ceased to be a bad thing.

There was plenty of anti-Semitism to find even on the local college campus. Almost every synagogue I have been to in the past few months has armed guards outside giving visitors the TSA treatment. Jews are fleeing to America, Canada and Israel from major European cities because of Muslim persecution. The largest Jewish population in the world faces an endless war against a genocidal ideology that not only calls for their extermination, but works toward it, from suicide bombers to nuclear weapons.

But there is a progressive gentleman's agreement not to discuss that real wave of anti-Semitism which has cost thousands of Jewish lives and ethnically cleansed cities because of the left's complicity in it.

The recent interest in anti-Semitism across editorial pages and social media carefully avoids discussing the anti-Semitic past of Keith Ellison, progressive favorite for DNC chair, and his time with the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam cult whose ugly views and hatred he had defended. The left isn't interested in Muslim anti-Semitism. It is greatly interested in discussing and promoting a small group of loathsome neo-Nazi trolls who recently held a conference in D.C. attended by a few hundred of history's losers.

These Twitter troll babies cling to Trump's legs almost as eagerly as he tries to shake them off. The "Hail Trump" stunt was a calculated gesture based on the certain knowledge that the media will only give their movement publicity if they try to smear Trump by associating him with their failed movement.

Despite the media's lies, they're not President-elect Trump's allies, but his needy desperate stalkers.

The Neo-Nazis rebranded by weaponizing their own loathsomeness, whether it's aimed at Trump or at Jews on Twitter. Instead of trying and failing to gain legitimacy, they embraced the classic troll tactic of trying to gain attention by becoming as repulsive as possible. But while it's easy to tweet Nazi propaganda from a thousand sockpuppet accounts at famous people on Twitter until someone writes it up, the scam falls apart when you try to fill up the back half of a Holiday Inn conference room.

It's easy to tell a real threat from a fake threat. Fake threats go away if you ignore them. Real threats only grow deadlier if you ignore them. Internet trolls are the former. Islamic terror is the latter.

The very same liberal organizations that claim to be very concerned about Twitter trolls, whitewash real anti-Semitism. The star of the ADL's conference on anti-Semitism was the inventor of Pepe, a cartoon frog adopted as a meme by a wide range of online communities, including by Neo-Nazis. The ADL won headlines and ridicule by adding Pepe to its database of hate symbols.

While the ADL was battling the threat of a cartoon frog, its conference featured a panel debating whether delegitimization of Israel was anti-Semitism and providing a platform to anti-Israel activists who defended attacks on Israel and even some forms of BDS. The ADL believes that a cartoon frog on social media is a serious threat, but that the delegitimization of the Jewish State is open to debate.

The brand of anti-Semitism embodied by Neo-Nazi trolls on Twitter is vile in content, but is helpless to deprive anyone of any rights. The anti-Semitism we should be worried about is the systematic delegitimization of Jews as a people. It's the rise to power of a political ideology that denies Jews basic civil rights, such as the right to live where they choose and just the right to live. Anti-Semitism is at its most dangerous when it can't even be seen because it has become a mainstream consensus.

Anti-Semitism is at its most dangerous when no one dares call it out for what it is.

The ADL and other liberal groups have defended Keith Ellison despite his history of anti-Semitism. Asked about his support for Ellison, Senator Schumer shrugged. "I'm not worried about the Israel stuff." The "Israel stuff" that Schumer wasn't worried about included labeling Israel an apartheid state and attacking its right to self-defense. It included a past promoting and defending the vilest anti-Semitism.

But at its heart the "Israel stuff" is about the question of whether our country will continue challenging the right of Jews to live in their homeland and to defend themselves against a genocidal cult.

The "Israel stuff" is the question of whether Jews have rights as a people. The left answered that question in the negative. Jews were not a people. They had no rights. They had to be eradicated.

And that is what the left proceeded to do.

When the left achieved total power, whether in the USSR or Nicaragua, it began to eradicate the Jews as a people. The left is as anti-Semitic as any Twitter troll. It just has better public relations.

The left would like Jews to believe that the bigger threat come from a cartoon frog than from a DNC head who was a member of one of the vilest anti-Semitic cults in the country and continues to work against the Jewish State. That's the dangerous and deadly lie of cowards complicit in anti-Semitism.

It is easy to condemn gas chamber cartoons on social media. It's also lazy and evasive. There is no great moral virtue in denouncing behavior that everyone already considers abhorrent. The real challenge of fighting anti-Semitism doesn't come from denouncing the political equivalent of public urination.

To truly fight anti-Semitism is to confront it in its whitewashed and mainstreamed forms. Anything less is the lazy cowardice of an Abe Foxman or the conniving complicity of a Jonathan Greenblatt.

Should we talk about actual anti-Semitism or a cartoon frog?

The Jewish communities of Europe that survived and rebuilt after the Holocaust are being depopulated by persecution from Muslim migrants and settlers. Muslim violence continues to be the main source of dangerous attacks on Jewish synagogues in Europe and America. Despite this, Germany encouraged huge numbers of Muslims to enter the country despite vocal warnings from Jewish leaders.

The single most successful ideology that calls for denying Jews equal rights today in the West isn't the half a conference room of Neo-Nazis, it's Islamism. Islamist organizations, including CAIR and ISNA, have formed close alliances with the left despite their anti-Semitism. Their goal is the revival of a system of discriminatory Islamic law which would deny equal rights to Jews and all other non-Muslims.

The rise of Islam depopulated the Jewish communities of the Middle East. Israel continues to hold out against the tide of violent Islamic bigotry by force of arms. And its right to defend Jews from racist Islamic violence is constantly under attack by the left. As the Jewish communities of Europe begin to vanish, the last refuge of the Jews in the West has become the United States of America. But the left demands that Muslim migration be empowered do to the Jews of America what it did to them in Europe.

Obama launched a diplomatic reset with a genocidal terror state that openly plots the murder of millions of Jews. And he financed that reset with billions of taxpayer dollars illegally smuggled on unmarked cargo planes, countless billions more in sanctions relief and a pass for its nuclear weapons program. He even spied on Israel to prevent it from taking out Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Money illegally smuggled by a left-wing administration to terrorists can be used to finance anti-Semitic violence and a uclear weapons program whose objective is the murder of millions of Jews.

But by all means, let's talk about cartoon frogs. It's easier than discussing the real threat of anti-Semitism.


West proves not all cultures are equal

A defence of Western exceptionalism from Jennifer Oriel in Australia

Long after the West has defeated Islamic State, the jihadist threat will remain.

For the past 40 years, Western immigration policy has been based on multicultural ideology.

Its consequence is clear: Islamism has become a Western condition. Successive governments have diluted Western values to the point where they are no longer taught in schools. The result is a population unschooled in the ­genius of our civilisation whose youth cannot understand why it is worth defending.

Multicultural ideology must give way to a renaissance of Western civilisation in which Australian exceptionalism is celebrated and Islamism is sent packing.

Multiculturalism is not merely the acceptance of diverse cultures, or open society. It is the a priori belief that cultural diversity has a net positive effect on the West, coupled with a double standard that excuses lslamic and communist states from embracing it.

Thus, Western nations must open their borders while Islamic and communist states remain closed. The West must accept the myth that all cultures are equal while Islamic and communist states celebrate their unique contribution to world history. Under multicultural ideology, the greatest civilisation of the world, Western civilisation, is held in contempt while theocratic throwbacks and communist barbarism are extolled.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al- Hussein, regularly frames the West as xenophobic and racist. In a recent speech, he decried xenophobia and religious hatred. But he did not address the Chinese government’s persecution of Christians, or the governing Islamist regime in Gaza, Hamas, for hatred of Jews. Rather, he took aim at the West, saying: “My recent missions to Western Europe and North America have included discussions of increasingly worrying levels of incitement to racial or religious hatred and violence, whether against migrants or racial and religious groups. Discrimination, and the potential for mob violence, is being stoked by political leaders for their personal benefit.”

Western governments should explain why they continue to send taxpayers’ money to the UN when it has become an organisation expressly devoted to defending the interests of Islamist and communist regimes against the free world.

The growing hatred of Western culture goes unremarked by politicians whose populism is firmly rooted in political correctness. No major political party has calculated the cost of multicultural ideology to Western society. Instead, they extol it as a net benefit without tendering empirical evidence. When politicians claim truth without substantive supporting evidence, ideology is at play. It may be that multiculturalism is a net benefit to the West. If so, why has the evidence been withheld? Without it, minor parties can contend that multiculturalism is a net negative for the West and appear credible.

In the absence of empirical proof that multicultural ideology is beneficial, politicians such as Pauline Hanson, Donald Trump, Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen seek to curb Muslim immigration and deport those who disrespect Western values. Hanson plans to push for a burka ban in the new year. The policy has international precedent as Dutch politicians voted recently to ban the burka in some public places. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also has proposed a burka ban, but it is reasonable to question her motives ahead of the 2017 election. In a state election held in September, Merkel’s party polled below nationalist and anti-Islam party Alternative for Germany. She has driven porous border policy and repeatedly castigated European heads of state who defend their sovereign borders, such as Hungary’s Viktor Orban. Her call for a burka ban is thus viewed by some as blatant political opportunism.

Malcolm Turnbull addressed the issue indirectly by citing poor border controls in Europe as the cause of the problem. However, as with so many issues concerning political Islam in Australia, the question of a burka ban is indivisible from the defence of Western values.

One such value is the universal application of law that requires the equal treatment of all citizens. If Australians are expected to not wear a balaclava in banks, courts or Parliament House, why are some citizens permitted to cover their faces in a burka or niqab? Double standards and preferential treatment of state-anointed minorities is fuelling widespread, and rational, resentment in the West.

Consider retelling the events of the past week to an Anzac just returned from war. We would tell him that a Muslim married to a terrorist recruiter refused to stand in court because she wanted to be judged by Allah. Muslims in Sydney and Melbourne were charged with preparing a terrorist act against Australians. In France, several people were arrested for plotting jihadist attacks. News broke that 1750 foot soldiers of a genocidal Islamic army had entered Europe without resistance from Western armies. As in Australia, many jihadists entered as refugees and lived on taxpayer-funded welfare under a program called multiculturalism.

In the same week, a German politician called Angela Merkel, who ushered Islamists into the West by enforcing open borders, was lauded by a respected magazine called The Economist as “the last leader of stature to defend the West’s values”. Yet men from Islamic countries who allegedly entered Germany under Merkel’s open-border policy were arrested for sexual assault, including the rape and murder of a teenage girl. Asylum-seekers and refugees had assaulted women and children across Europe. Less than a year before, on New Year’s Eve, Merkel’s asylum-seekers had attacked women and girls en masse.

We would tell the Anzac that Britain attempted to acknowledge the negative impact of its undiscriminating approach to immigration. A review recommended a core school curriculum to promote “British laws, history and values” and a proposal that immigrants sign an oath of allegiance to British values. But secularism, private property and Christianity were absent from the principle list and as such, it wasn’t very British at all.

There were few Anzacs left to see what the West has become. I suppose that’s a kind of mercy. We have dishonoured the millions of soldiers who laid down their lives in the 20th century fighting for our freedom and the future of Western civilisation. We should hang our heads in shame for letting the Anzac legacy come to this. We are the descendants of the world’s most enlightened civilisation. It is our turn to fight for its future.



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

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

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


12 December, 2016

The non-church replies

The Uniting Church has replied below to accusations that it has abandoned Christianity.  And their message is clear enough:  "We are just a do-gooder organization now".

The central aim of Christians, starting from Christ himself has always been to lead people to salvation from "kolasin", the everlasting cutting off (Matt. 25:46).  We know what John 3:16 says:  "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that those who believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life". Being saved into eternal life is the basic Christian offering. But the very word "salvation" is not mentioned below.  The only mentions of anything religious are the two vague phrases: "faith and life in Christ" and: "the way of Christ in the mission of God.".

The accusations aimed at the church organization are clearly correct. They have lost the faith.  They are not even pretending to be a Christian church now.  People will have to look elsewhere for the evangel of Christ

Today’s Daily Telegraph has run a series of inaccurate and vexatious news items about the Uniting Church and our Uniting community services agency in NSW and the ACT. The accusation on the front page of the newspaper that the Church is removing Christ and religious symbols is totally incorrect.

The explicit Christian commitment to people in the care of Uniting Church agencies remains the same as it has for the last 40 years. Our Church, since its beginning, has borne witness to a unity of faith and life in Christ which transcends cultural and economic, national and racial boundaries. The work of our agencies is a crucial expression of our continuing faith and mission. The Uniting agency in NSW and the ACT states clearly on its website "Christ invites us to serve humanity by creating an inclusive, connected and just world."

Uniting, the largest provider of social services in NSW and the ACT, changed its brand name last year. This decision was taken to ensure that awareness of our services reaches more of the vulnerable and disadvantaged people we seek to serve.

Preparation for moves towards the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the shift to self-managed care were important considerations in this decision. Other church agencies are considering adopting the Uniting brand.

The Daily Telegraph articles also misrepresent the Church’s very real concern for survivors of child sexual abuse. The suggestion that branding decisions are "a desperate bid to distance itself from child sex abuse scandals" is completely false and despicable.

The Uniting Church has acknowledged, apologised and expressed our deep regret to those children who were sexually abused in our care. We are committed to working with survivors to make amends for what happened in the past.

Our formal apologies to survivors predate the Royal Commission by many years. Yet the Daily Telegraph takes survivor group comments out of context to conflate an allegation about a "culture of denial". The representative quoted in the article has since verified to the Church that she told the journalist that she would not provide comment on specific institutions.

I would like to thank the many Uniting Church members and supporters who have condemned the Daily Telegraph for its disgraceful coverage. Their ongoing support and commitment is a significant endorsement of the effectiveness of our work as an inclusive justice-oriented Church seeking to follow the way of Christ in the mission of God. [Christ said to "seek first the kingdom of God" (Matt. 6:33).  THAT is the way of  Christ, not secular do-gooding]


Germany's top court rules Muslim schoolgirls MUST take part in mixed swimming lessons after pupil, 11, complained that even wearing a burkini was too revealing

Germany's highest court ruled that ultra-conservative Muslim girls must take part in mixed swimming classes at school.

It comes after an 11-year-old pupil who had argued that even wearing a burkini, or full-body swimsuit, breached Islamic dress codes.

The Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe rejected an appeal by the girl's parents that she should be excused the classes because a burkini did not conform with Islam's ethic of decency, German media reported.

A spokesman for the court could not be reached for comment.

Germany is in the grip of a heated public debate about the role of Islam in society as it seeks to integrate more than a million mainly Muslim asylum seekers fleeing war and persecution who have entered this year and last.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose conservatives have been punished at the polls in regional elections by voters angry at her open-door policy, on Tuesday proposed a ban on full-face Muslim veils.

Her Christian Democrats, who have been bleeding support to the AfD, a populist party that says Islam is incompatible with the constitution, toughened their tone on integrating migrants at a party conference this week.

Wednesday's ruling could give more credibility to future attempts by the government to ban the full-face veil after a parliamentary election next year.

The girl had argued before lower courts that swimming in a burkini revealed the shape of her body, something that goes against her religion.

The Constitutional Court noted that lower courts had found this to be untrue, and further found there were 'no binding rules in Islam' to define appropriate clothing.


‘Ayatollahs of Secularism’: French Court Orders Mayor to Remove Virgin Mary Statue

A French senator has slammed what she called “ayatollahs of secularism” after a tribunal ordered the mayor of a small town near the Swiss border to remove a statue of the Virgin Mary, erected in a public park five years ago.

The mayor of Publier, a town of 6,500 inhabitants overlooking Lake Geneva Lake, received the order from the district’s administrative court in Grenoble, which said if the statue was not removed within three months, the city will have to pay a penalty of 100 Euros (around $107) per day.

Mayor Gaston Lacroix said in a statement he would look for a new location for the statue – on private land – as soon as possible.

“I am not deaf to the decisions of the administrative court,” he said. “For five years, I have never received any injunction from the state nor from any court. Now I have.”

Lacroix pointed out that as an elected mayor in France he is required to be “a guarantor of secularism.”

But Senator Nathalie Goulet of the center-right Union of Democrats and Independents slammed the court ruling, which followed complaints by secularists. “I call those so-called free thinkers the ‘ayatollah of secularism,’” she said in a phone interview.

“It is the same thing as forbidding Muslim women to wear a burkini on beaches as happened last August in southern France.,” Goulet added. “Does it mean that we have now to change names of streets in our cities because they are called Saint Dominique or any other saint’s name?”

Jacques Closterman of the far-right National Front also criticized the court ruling saying in a tweet that decisions of that nature represent “a new tyranny.”

Critics say Lacroix used public fund to erect the statue in a public park in 2010.

After a citizen complained, an association of activists advocating free thinking and secularism took up the case in a bid to compel the mayor to comply with secular law.

Lacroix sold the statue to a religious organization for 24,000 Euros ($25,800) – which went back into the city coffers – but tried without success to also get it to buy the piece of land where the statue stands.

Goulet said many French mayors finance church roofs or other religious building without any problem, although she admitted in most cases the buildings are considered national heritage.

“If the mayor built the statue with taxpayers’ money without any council debate then it is wrong,” she said. “But going to the courts to remove a statue of the Virgin Mary erected in a public park seems to me very intolerant.”

France has very strict secular laws passed in 1905 and incorporated into the 1958 constitution. Displaying religious symbols in public is banned.

Last year some city halls came under fire for having nativity scenes set up in their premises.

Although the practice had taken place in previous years without problems, this year, many city halls are being more discreet, moving the nativity scenes to alternative locations to avoid potential complaints.

Goulet said she opposed stopping the tradition because a few secularists complain.

She recalled having recently attended a ceremony in a village in her ward – some 200 kilometers east of Paris – where a veterans’ flag was blessed by the local bishop. She wondered how secularists would have reacted to that kind of ceremony.


The Left's Arrested Development

In the wake of Donald Trump's election victory, the emotional instability many leftists have demonstrated is mind-boggling and, in some cases, downright hysterical.

We get being disappointed when your candidate loses. After all, there was plenty of disappointment — and even some fear — among Liberty-loving conservatives when Barack Obama ascended to power with the promise to "fundamentally transform" the land of the free and the home of the brave. There was even more dismay when the country saw what Obama had done ... and re-elected him anyway.

But we didn't ditch dating, chop off our hair, or lose our faith because of it. Clearly, "progressives" are outdoing us in their post-election mourning.

So great was the grief of Trump's win for single mom Stephanie Land, for example, that she gave up dating. And not just in theory. She actually ditched a man who was a potentially promising husband. "There is no room for dating in this place of grief," Land wrote in the Washington Post. "I've lost the desire to attempt the courtship phase. The future is uncertain. I am not the optimistic person I was on the morning of Nov. 8. ... Dating means hope. I've lost that hope in seeing the words 'President-elect Trump.'" And so, Land told her almost-significant other, "I can't. I just can't". (Despite her emotional dependency on Hillary Clinton, Land apparently didn't embrace Clinton's mantra that we are "stronger together.")

Then, there is hair. And no, not Trump's. New York magazine details the "post-Trump haircut." One client at the Georgetown Salon & Spa told her stylist, "Think of Melania Trump and go in the opposite direction. I don't want to be that person people see as sexual, I want to be seen as strong." Meanwhile, marketing director Julianna Evans had colored her hair the same shade for years, but when "president-elect" was prefixed to Trump's name, she "cried for three days." Then, she did the unthinkable. Instead of using medium-brown coloring, she went for natural black! "The election deadened my soul," she said. "I think I wanted to do something defiant to feel stronger." Because in the age of gender equality and breaking glass ceilings, we women find our greatest strength in our hair color.

The strong, feminist women aren't alone in their despondency. Benjamin Ryan writes in the Huffington Post that he learned of Trump's victory "while midstream in providing a urine sample for the emergency psychiatric staff of a New York City public hospital" where he had checked himself in after the results from battleground states started coming in. Ryan was eventually sent home and told, "You don't belong here," yet he characterized himself as having suffered "a genuine mental health crisis." Notably, he is a self-described Ivy League graduate. Those bastions of reasoned discourse sure prepare folks for the real world.

Haircuts, dating and safe spaces are one thing, but losing your religious affiliation? That's what Trump's win supposedly did to Brandi Miller. As the Wall Street Journal reports, after the election, Miller wrote on Facebook, "On Nov. 8, white evangelical Christianity and I called it quits." She noted that as a biracial woman, she couldn't condone the racial divide highlighted by exit polling showing 81% of white evangelicals backed Trump. "Evangelicals have decided who and with what they will associate. It's not me." Miller still calls herself a Christian, but not evangelical.

At least one person is taking an ever so slightly more reasoned approach to the loss — which isn't saying much. Instead of peeing in a psychiatric ward, journalist Mark Weston is calling for mass tax evasion if a Republican ever again wins the presidency without winning the popular vote. Give us the president we want or else we... we... we... won't pay taxes! He waves the banner of "no taxation without representation" because, you know, the inability to handle disappointment is on par with pledging one's life, fortune, and sacred honor. And note the hypocrisy of crying that Trump didn't pay taxes, only to turn around and promise not to pay taxes.

Aside from leftists displaying the maturity level of a five-year-old, the irony of all this is that regardless of how much the Left may hate Trump and Republicans, the latter aren't the ones trying to micromanage everyone's lives. While under the next administration liberals may lose their supposed right not to get offended and their ability to try to control everything, they won't lose their Liberty or true rights. What's worse, they may even be forced to endure hearing opinions different from their own.

And for Hillary-worshipping, glass-ceiling-breaking damsels in distress everywhere — and for the metrosexual males too traumatized to rescue them — living through such hardship may require not just a new hair color but also a full mani-pedi.


Anger in Australia over welfare for multiple Muslim wives

Conservative MP Cory Bernardi says the payment of Centrelink spousal benefits to the wives of polygamous Muslim men is political correctness gone mad.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott called for action after learning about the issue, only to be told that it would cost more to pay them the single parent benefit, News Corp Australia reported on Sunday.

Centrelink said it did not hold data based on polygamous relationships or religion. The Islamic marriages are religious unions that are not registered.

"We are always told the data is not kept. I think that is a convenient excuse," Senator Bernardi told News Corp.

"(T)he lack of will to confront some individuals who seek to apply a different law to themselves means politicians are afraid to speak out."

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann dismissed the story, saying the government doesn't recognise multiple marriages. "The proposition that somehow the government is authorising polygamy, that is just completely ridiculous," Senator Cormann told Sly News.

He also rejected the suggestion the government was refusing to crack down on such payments because of some sort of political correctness motivation.

He said there are only two options for these payments - a single parent payment, which is higher than partner payments.


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, 2016

Geert Wilders convicted of inciting discrimination

DUTCH anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders was found guilty Friday of insulting and inciting discrimination against Moroccans, a conviction he immediately slammed as a “shameful” attack on free speech and an attempt to “neutralise” him.

Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhuis said the court would not impose a sentence because the conviction was punishment enough for a democratically elected politician.

Wilders was not in court for the verdict that came just over three months before national elections. His Party for Freedom is narrowly leading a nationwide poll of polls and has risen in popularity during the trial.

Wilders quickly released a video message, in English and Dutch, slamming the judgment and vowing to appeal.

“Today, I was convicted in a political trial which, shortly before the elections, attempts to neutralise the leader of the largest and most popular opposition party,” Wilders said. “They will not succeed.”

The politically charged prosecution centred on comments Wilders made before and after the Dutch municipal elections in 2014. At one meeting in a Hague cafe, he asked supporters whether they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. That sparked a chant of “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!” – to which he replied, “we’ll take care of it.”

Prime Minister Mark Rutte, speaking after the verdict, underscored that he and his Liberal Party would not consider forming a coalition with the Party for Freedom unless Wilders retracts the comments.  “That is our stance and it remains our stance,” Rutte said at his weekly press conference.

Prosecutors say that Wilders, who in 2011 was acquitted at another hate speech trial for his outspoken criticism of Islam, overstepped the limits of free speech by specifically targeting Moroccans.

He had insisted he was performing his duty as a political leader by pointing out a problem in society.

On Friday, he was convicted for the interaction with the crowd of supporters in the Hague cafe, which judges said was carefully orchestrated and broadcast on national television. He was acquitted for similar comments he made in a radio interview a week earlier, which the judges said did not amount to inciting hatred.

Steenhuis stressed that freedom of expression was not on trial. “Freedom of speech is one of the foundations of our democratic society,” the judge said. But he added: “Freedom of speech can be limited, for example to protect the rights and freedoms of others, and that is what this case is about.”

Abdou Menebhi, president of the Euro-Mediterranean Center for Migration and Development, welcomed the judgment. “For us, it’s a very important verdict,” he told The Associated Press. “This gives the Moroccans who felt like victims a renewed belief in a democratic society.”

He said it also sent a message to Wilders’ supporters. “This man is not looking for solutions for you,” Menebhi said. “His is an ideology of smearing Europe, migrants, Muslims, without offering alternatives.”


When did brown sauce and Union Jack knickers become racist?

The owner of a novelty gift shop called ‘Really British’ says he has been smeared as a RAY-CIST! by a bunch of bigoted, brain-dead Guardianistas. Chris Ostwald claims to be the target of an online campaign aimed at forcing him to change the shop’s name.

He’s accused of being ‘pro-Brexit’, as if that’s on a par with paedophilia, and has been hit with a boycott.

The store only opened at the end of November, but Chris has already lost one member of staff who resigned after her first day because she was fed up with the abuse. And she’s Spanish.

People have been walking in to the shop, on Muswell Hill Broadway, in North London, simply to complain about its alleged ‘racism’. He’s been warned that the place will be picketed to deter potential customers.

From the furious reaction on anti-social media, you’d think Chris was selling National Front T-shirts, BNP baseball caps and signs reading ‘No blacks, no dogs, no Irish’.

All he’s doing is flogging quintessentially British nick-nacks and souvenirs, such as brown sauce, London Underground tea-towels, Union Jack knickers, Prince Charles’s favourite socks and models of the Queen.

Mind you, the mere sight of our national flag is enough to give these Left-wing mentalists an attack of the screaming ab-dabs. Chris says he was forced to take down two Union flags for fear of reprisals. How long before some self-appointed social justice warrior decides to lob a brick through the window?

A Facebook page called Muswell Hill and Friends provides a forum for this confected ‘anti-racist’ rubbish. Some of the protests are hilarious.

One nutter wrote: ‘Like many people I live in London because of its international nature, and for me having a big sign saying “Really British” makes me feel you’re implying that other businesses in the area are therefore somehow “not really British”.

‘Some will no doubt say I’m over-sensitive but I can’t help thinking that given the recent divisive referendum and the current political climate you might have chosen a more inclusive name in 2016.’


OK, so this could be a publicity stunt designed to get some free advertising for Chris’s new venture. He certainly seems to be enjoying the attention. But I have no doubt the rabid reaction he describes is genuine.

We lived down the hill from the Broadway for 12 years, so I’m familiar with the area. It’s where the Davies brothers — Ray and Dave — mainstays of the Kinks, that most English and proudly working class of pop groups, grew up. Chris even sells Muswell Hillbillies mugs, after the band’s 1971 album of the same name.

Muswell Hill has always had pretensions, though. It’s one of the posher parts of the London Borough of Haringey, which voted 75 per cent to Remain in June.

Like its near neighbour Crouch End, it’s home to people who can’t afford to live in super-affluent, artsy-fartsy Hampstead and Highgate. Consequently, house prices have gone through the roof. A bog-standard semi will set you back over £1 million.

These days it’s been colonised by Guardian-reading middle-class professionals, who can afford the mortgage payments. And they are precisely the kind of folk who find any hint of patriotism not only ‘racist’ but borderline Nazi.

I just wish they were a little more inventive with their invective. Their knee-jerk inclination is to scream ‘RAY-CIST!’ at anyone who offends their sensibilities. It’s the all-purpose insult intended to silence those who disagree with their political agenda.

You voted Leave?


Think immigration is too high?


Don’t believe in climate change?


The whole ‘racism’ slur is so tiresome and predictable that it has become utterly meaningless.

But it’s not difficult to imagine them going out of their tiny Chinese minds — to borrow an expression from the late Denis Healey — over a shop called Really British in the heart of Remain country.

It’s a daily reminder, as they trek to the health food cafe for their quinoa-infused soya wheatgrass wossnames, that they LOST.


How on earth, otherwise, can anyone get outraged about a suburban novelty shop, six miles from the centre of our capital city, selling British bric-a-brac, memorabilia and models of the Queen and flying the Union flag? It’s deranged.

In the normal course of events, I wouldn’t take much notice of ‘social media storms’. But this one is directed at defaming a small businessman and destroying his livelihood unless he falls into line and changes the name of his shop.

And it is also an illustration of the post-Brexit vote pantomime in microcosm. The Remoaners don’t really have any convincing reasons to stay in the sclerotic, corrupt and currently imploding European Union.

In fact, the noisy attempts to derail Brexit have almost nothing to do with the benefits or otherwise of being a member of the EU.

No, it’s all about them.

Ranting and raving about Leave voters being racist, ignorant and gullible scum of the earth is simply another way of reinforcing their own inflated opinion of themselves as morally superior beings. It’s why Chris Ostwald’s shop has been singled out for self-righteous abuse, too.

By smearing him as a RAY-CIST! these potty, po-faced protesters are burnishing their right-on credentials. They may be Muswell Hillbillies but — unlike those ghastly Little Englanders who wave the Union flag and voted for Brexit — they want everyone to know that first and foremost they are caring, compassionate ‘citizens of the world’.

To adapt Ray Davies, from the title track of that 1971 Kinks album:

I’m a Muswell Hillbilly boy,

But my heart lies in old West Somalia.

Makes you proud to be British.    


The Spectator: ‘Big Parts of Rock ‘n’ Roll Are Quietly Right-Wing’

Writing in Britain’s magazine The Spectator, Rod Liddle argues that there are, and have always been, “right-wing” rock musicians.

Liddle makes his argument after popular rock musician Kate Bush expressed admiration for British Prime Minister Theresa May. May is the leader of Britain's Conservative Party.

Talking to Maclean's recently, Bush said, “We have a female prime minister here in the UK. I actually really like her and think she’s wonderful. I think it’s the best thing that’s happened to us in a long time. She’s a very intelligent woman but I don’t see much to fear. I will say it is great to have a woman in charge of the country. She’s very sensible and I think that’s a good thing at this point in time.”

Bush received criticism on social media for the comments. According to Liddle, there are more conservatives in rock and roll than is widely thought:

Bush comes from a prog-rock background, a rather pompous genre which was never known for its revolutionary fervour...Over the Atlantic, the Canadian prog-metal band Rush were dedicated followers of Ayn Rand. That other blue-collar blind alley of rock music, heavy metal, had plenty of conservatives here and in the United States, insofar as anyone involved cared about politics at all. Even the few metal bands considered cool by the left-wing music press were right of centre. In the 1970s Iggy Pop (James Newell Osterberg from Muskegon, Michigan) released a magnificent, howling opus called ‘I’m a Conservative’. Brilliant, brilliant satire, the liberal music press agreed, clapping their hands. Until Iggy said: ‘Uh, no, I actually am a conservative.’ So was Ted Nugent, and so were a whole bunch of others.
Liddle also notes that Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker was a Republican Tea Party supporter, and that Leonard Cohen defended Israel. He also argues that there was a pro-capitalist element to punk rock:

The independent record labels which sprang up in the wake of punk were not anti-capitalist — far from it — they were just anti the in-effectual and conservative capitalism which pertained among the likes of EMI and CBS. Punk was also a reaction to the sopping wet liberalism of the hippies; and the poster boy for the post-punk movement, Ian Curtis of Joy Division, was a fervent Thatcherite. Or at least he was before he killed himself.
Liddle concludes: “Rock music is an intrinsically conservative medium, no matter how much its proponents and champions in the music press might try to pretend otherwise.”


10 Things We Should Learn From the Ohio State Attack

by Shireen Qudosi, a Muslim writer based in California.

Americans returned from Thanksgiving to news of the latest jihadi attack waged by a Somali Muslim, Abdul Razak Ali Artan. Declaring that he had reached a "boiling point," the 18-year-old Ohio State University student drove a car into a crowded area on the Columbus campus. He then exited the vehicle and attacked the crowd with a knife. Artan injured 11 students before being killed by a university police officer.

Artan was a legal resident who came to the US through Pakistan in 2014. He arrived with his family, securing a refugee status after having escaped from Somalia.

Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake, along with Ohio State Governor John Kasich, shied away from identifying the cause of the attack. This despite Artan's last Facebook post embracing a chilling message that in part read, "By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims..."

Terrorism expert Walid Phares is clear about the motive. In private correspondence, Dr. Phares shares his belief that the Ohio State attack is "Another case of urban Jihadism. At this point the issue isn't even a link or not to ISIS or al Qaeda, but a link to the specific ideology called Jihadism. This is the generator of terror."

In his book, The War of Ideas: Jihadism Against Democracy, Dr. Phares charts irreconcilable views between democracy and the violent ideology of jihadism that promotes a doctrine of death. Writing in The War of Ideas, Dr. Phares shares the insight that seems to escape academia and a former GOP presidential candidate:

    "The ushq al mout (love of death) is the backbone of suicide bombing and gives terrorism its most frightening firepower. Indeed, once the fear of death is subtracted from political planning and public concern, there are no limits to the power of Jihadism"

In the case of Ohio State jihadi Abdul Artan, the question is how did a child once fleeing Somalia under the fear of death then embrace death when finally under the protection of the greatest superpower? Further, how did decades of experience as a refugee escaping persecution not deter Artan from the jihadi doctrine of death? Answering these questions requires understanding how violent ideology slips through the slightest cracks in the system.

America is dealing with a crushing rise of jihadi dark web chatter that privatizes radicalization. Indoctrination into a violent political ideology thrives through combination of secret portals and chat rooms like AMAQ on Telegram that provide safe online communities for jihadi talk. Instant radicalization paired with travel to or from red-flag nations, broken immigration vetting and tracking systems, lack of community emphasis on assimilation, and the politicization of mosques as polarizing hotspots, places individuals on a three month fast track to radicalization.

Just three months prior, Artan was featured in ‘Humans of Ohio State' - a profile in the university's student paper - that showed Artan hyper-focused on prayer spaces and identity politics. Three months later, he's pledged allegiance to ISIS in a killing spree. We could conclude that time period of radicalization was just this brief- or we could, far more reasonably, conclude that Artan's use of the left's victimhood narratives dovetail quite comfortably with his jihadi beliefs.

That is the hard reality we're faced with. Instead, talking points have shifted to Islamophobia as a public health crisis for Muslims. And rather than recognizing the victims, mainstream media is humanizing the attacker as a social outcast who "loved America." That real problem is the killing sprees some Muslims are engaging in; it is not the mean words penciled and shoved into the mail slot at the local mosque. The inability of Muslims to recognize a present danger versus fear of a hypothetical threat, only further places all Americans at risk because it prevents us from being able to collectively move forward in dealing with radical Islam.

It also places Muslim Americans at greater risk; the more Muslims deny the causal link between Islam and jihad, deflecting attention to a self-victimizing rhetoric, the more rest of America grows frustrated. It is also worth asking whether Muslim American organizations and communities that obstruct discourse and discovery by misdirecting away from real problems should be included in a broader perimeter of public inquiry. Instead of dealing with the most recent eruption of radical Islam, the issue is swept under the rug and upon it sits the incubus we call Islamophobia.

Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Islamist groups like CAIR, who could not step away from the abacus of Muslim grievances for just one day, continued tallying letters (real or scripted) rather than looking beyond themselves to see that Muslim American communities have a much bigger problem: radicalization.

In fact, across American there were only a handful of outlets and personalities that are pressing for truth in dialogue. This includes Conservative Review's Carly Hoilman, who took to higher ground in a piece titled "Difficult Conversations: Challenging Islam in the Wake of the Ohio State Attack."

It also includes Michelle Malkin who tweeted, "Ohio State University jihad has virtually disappeared from national headlines -except for the p.c. ‘Muslims fear backlash' stories." That pattern was also spotted by the The Foreign Desk, which noted dark web chatter was on the rise with talk hailing the attack and allegiance being shown in the form of profile pics replaced with a photo of Artan.

Being able to move forward means treating thought process behind this attack as a forensic scene that requires precision and analysis. That scene tells that that the only public health crisis an ideological virus with a three month incubation period. This means that the next attacker is set to be radicalized by Inauguration Day.

Studying that virus for actionable intelligence means observing how that strain has formed and how it influences another host. Yet, the Ohio State attack was one of the least exhaustively covered jihadist attack on American soil; due to the uncomfortable questions it raises, the media dropped the issue like a hot potato.

The implications of the attack encompassed key crisis points facing our nation and new administration, including immigration, travel to red-flagged state sponsors of terror, and questions of assimilation. Not only were these though questions glossed over, but the intelligence we could gain from them were missed opportunities, including:

1. Failing to look at the radicalization of the Somali Muslim community and its troubled history in the United States as one of the leading actors of domestic terror.

2. Waiting for ISIS to confirm the attack rather than moving proactively on the facts that jihad comes from the doctrine of war in Islam. That doctrine is not limited to ISIS. It will continue to be a problem long after ISIS is defeated - if it's defeated.

3. Failing to spot that ISIS does not claim every attack; they prefer to take credit posthumously. ISIS didn't claim three radicalized women in France who failed carry out attacks against Notre Dame, but it did claim radicalized women in Kenya. ISIS also didn't claim New Jersey attacker Ahmad Khan Rahami, though the pattern of attack mirrors ISIS.

4. Failing to see that Ohio State attacker Adul Artan self-identified with ISIS in Facebook statement that called for the message being screen-grabbed before it was deleted. This is standard direction under ISIS to individual actors so that ISIS may identify the attack as a pledge. Those directions appear on page 12 of the latest issue of Rumiyah, an ISIS propaganda magazine.

5. Failing to identify the relevance of Artan's pledge to ISIS versus Al-Shabab, a Somalia-linked terror group that, itself, in 2012 pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda. If the most popular Somali terror group is Al-Shabab, and the most popular Pakistani terror group is Al-Qaeda, what does it say that Artan would self-identify with ISIS? This is particularly noteworthy considering Artan's family fled Somalia for Pakistan in 2007 before arriving to the United States in 2014. The desired affiliation with the most popular and coveted terror group on the planet right now - rather than the group associated with national identity - tells us that ISIS has come a long way from being a ‘JV team' and has secured global appeal.

6. Failing to understand that when ISIS claims Artan as a soldier, they're telling us that the face of war has shifted. Artan's last online statement confirms that theirs is ideological war, born in an ideology, bursting kinetically through physical attacks. Their soldiers don't wear uniforms and their war zone is the public space. Their targets are civilians.

7. The media and politicians' premature resurrection of gun control debate in a desperate attempt to politicize the attack along the lines of their preferred policy solutions. Of course, it became that a knife and vehicle were also used as weapons in the attack.

8. Ignoring the correlation between attacks in Europe and Canada with the Ohio State attack, all of which follow the 2014 instructions of then ISIS chief spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani who called for mobilized attacks using any tool available, including weaponizing vehicles.

9. Ignoring those instructions to weaponized vehicles were again detailed as a call to action this past Thanksgiving, also shared in the most recent issue of Rumiyah.

10. Trusting the public face of the Muslim community rather than engaging in investigative journalism to discover the true nature of comments shared by Artan's brother and his network of family and friends. His brother's Facebook page shows almost zero awareness of the gravity of the attack, no denouncement of Artan's actions as being against an Islam Muslims publically claim jihad has nothing to do with, and no sympathy for victims of the Ohio State attack.



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, 2016

The Democrats are now the party of the rich

In the wake of Donald Trump’s stunning and disastrous Electoral College victory, analysts have zeroed in on one demographic group that bears the burden for Hillary Clinton’s defeat: white voters without college degrees.

Crudely grouped under the rubric “white working class,” these voters helped push Trump past Clinton in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

In the weeks since, this same group — a vast and heterogeneous cohort that represents more than 40 percent of the electorate in all four states — has been the subject of a maddeningly unhelpful public debate.

Were some of these voters drawn to the siren of Trump’s white nationalist campaign? Yes, obviously. Were some of them expressing frustration at the social and economic decline of their communities, and the manifest inability of Democratic politicians to address it? Yes, just as obviously. Might these things all be related, in some fundamental way? You’re better off asking President Obama than a liberal pundit.

But while a chunk of this amorphous group may have decided the election by defecting from Obama to Trump, white Midwesterners without college diplomas were not the only Americans who voted this November. Nor are they the only demographic that can tell us something about the nature of the campaign and the evolution of both major parties.

Chasing the Moderate Republican

In the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton fended off Bernie Sanders’s challenge with the strong support of two key groups: wealthy, educated whites and mostly working-class nonwhite Democrats.

While Sanders gradually improved his standing with younger nonwhite voters, it was not enough to take the nomination. Clinton’s core coalition — an effective alliance between the Upper East Side and East Flatbush — held firm, leading Clinton to blowout wins in states like New York, Texas, and Florida.

Clinton counted on the same alliance to carry her to victory in the general election. Very quickly, though, Democratic leaders made it clear that in a campaign against Donald Trump, not all members of the coalition required equal attention.

Faced with a Republican opponent who openly touted his affinity for “the poorly educated,” Team Clinton focused on courting white voters at the opposite end of the class pyramid. Trump’s vulgarity and chauvinism, they hoped, would drive wealthy Republican moderates toward Clinton. Rather than aggressively contest Trump’s bogus populism, Democratic strategists concentrated on “moderate” suburban Republicans — the ideological cousins, and often the literal neighbors, of professional-class Democrats.

“For every one of those blue-collar Democrats [Trump] picks up,” former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell predicted in February, “he will lose to Hillary two socially moderate Republicans and independents in suburban Cleveland, suburban Columbus, suburban Cincinnati, suburban Philadelphia, suburban Pittsburgh, places like that.”

Electorally, of course, this strategy proved catastrophic. In the Midwestern swing states, Clinton hemorrhaged white “blue-collar Democrats” without winning nearly enough “moderate Republicans” to compensate.

Nevertheless, the election results show that the Democrats’ conscious effort to woo the rich wasn’t entirely for naught. Clinton ran nine points ahead of Obama’s 2012 tally among voters earning more than $100,000. Further up the income ladder, among voters making more than $250,000 annually, she bested Obama’s margin by a full eleven points.

And although overall Democratic turnout declined substantially from 2012, it is wrong to say that nobody was excited to vote for Clinton. In the wealthy and well-educated suburbs of cities like Boston, Chicago, and Minneapolis — as in the effectively suburbanized enclaves of Manhattan and Washington, DC — Clinton’s vote total far surpassed Obama’s mark four years ago.

Nate Silver has compiled tables that show the huge shift from Obama to Clinton in America’s most educated counties. But his confident gloss that “education, not income” guided the electorate somewhat overstates the case, even according to his own data. A look at affluent suburban returns on a district and town level suggests that some combination of income, education, culture, and geography — in a word, “class” — drove Clinton’s most dramatic gains.

Incomplete returns in wealthy, suburban West Coast areas — like Orange County, located outside of Los Angeles, and Marin and San Mateo counties, outside of San Francisco — reveal a similar Clinton surge.

Much of this, no doubt, reflects elite aversion to Trump rather than pure affection for Clinton. But that’s not the whole story. After all, these affluent and expensively credentialed suburbs also delivered Clinton huge margins during the Democratic primary.

Bernie Sanders’s style of class politics — and his program of mild social-democratic redistribution — did not gain much favor in New Canaan, Connecticut (where he won 27 percent of the vote) or Northfield, Illinois (39 percent). For some suburban Democrats, Sanders’s throttling in these plush districts virtually disqualified him from office: “A guy who got 36 percent of the Democrats in Fairfax County,” an ebullient Michael Tomasky wrote after the Virginia primary, “isn’t going to be president.”

Clinton was their candidate. By holding off Sanders’s populist challenge — and declining to concede fundamental ground on economic issues — the former secretary of state proved she could be trusted to protect the vital interests of voters in Newton, Eden Prairie, and Falls Church. They, more than any other group in America, were enthusiastically #WithHer.

To some extent, Clinton’s appeal even carried over to wealthy red-state suburbs. In Forysth County outside Atlanta, and Williamson County outside Nashville — the richest counties in Georgia and Tennessee — Clinton lost big but improved significantly on Obama’s performance in 2012.

But wealthy, educated suburbanites were never going to push the Democrats over the top all by themselves. Despite Clinton’s incremental gains, in the end, most rich white Republicans remained rich white Republicans: hardly the sturdiest foundation for an anti-Trump majority.


This Filmmaking Couple Doesn’t Want to Be Punished for Not Promoting Same-Sex Marriage

A Minnesota couple is suing state officials to allow their film production company to celebrate marriage as a man-woman union without being forced, against their biblical beliefs, to promote same-sex marriage.

Carl and Angel Larsen, of St. Cloud, Minnesota, say they run Telescope Media Group as a way to deploy their storytelling ability and production services to glorify God.

“The Larsens desire to counteract the current cultural narrative undermining the historic, biblically orthodox definition of marriage by using their media production and filmmaking talents to tell stories of marriages between one man and one woman that magnify and honor God’s design and purpose for marriage,” the lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota says.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal organization, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Larsens and Telescope Media Group, which they own.

“Because of their religious beliefs, and their belief in the power of film and media production to change hearts and minds, the Larsens want to use their talents and the expressive platform of [Telescope Media Group] to celebrate and promote God’s design for marriage as a lifelong union of one man and one woman,” the suit says.

Minnesota government officials argue that private businesses face criminal penalties if they promote a marriage between a man and woman but refuse to promote a same-sex marriage, the Larsens’ lawyers at the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom say.

“Filmmakers shouldn’t be threatened with fines and jail simply for disagreeing with the government,” Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, said in a formal statement.

“Filmmakers shouldn’t be threatened with fines and jail simply for disagreeing with the government,” @Jeremy_Tedesco says.

If convicted after criminal prosecution under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, the Larsens face a fine of $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail, according to the lawsuit. They also could be ordered to pay compensatory and punitive damages up to $25,000.

The Larsens, who are in their mid-30s and have been married for 14 years, are challenging the law before Minnesota officials take any action against them and their company.

The law in question is the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

“The law does not exempt individuals, businesses, nonprofits, or the secular business activities of religious entities from nondiscrimination laws based on religious beliefs regarding same-sex marriage,” the Minnesota Department of Human Rights website says.

The Larsens’ lawyers filed a pre-enforcement challenge against Kevin Lindsey in his official capacity as commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and against Lori Swanson in her official capacity as attorney general of Minnesota. According to the suit:

The Larsens simply desire to use their unique storytelling and promotional talents to convey messages that promote aspects of their sincerely held religious beliefs, or that at least are not inconsistent with them. It is standard practice for the owners of video and film production companies to decline to produce videos that contain or promote messages that the owners do not want to support or that violate or compromise their beliefs in some way.

The Daily Signal sought comment from both the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Human Rights, but neither had responded by publication.

Telescope Media Group’s services include web-streaming and video recording of live events as well as producing short films.

“Telescope Media Group exists to glorify God through top-quality media production,” the company’s website says.

The company has created content for clients such as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and LifeLight, an annual Christian music festival held near Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

“Every American—including creative professionals—should be free to peacefully live and work according to their faith without fear of punishment,” Tedesco said in a release from Alliance Defending Freedom. He added:

For example, a fashion designer recently cited her ‘artistic freedom’ as a ‘family-owned company’ to announce that she won’t design clothes for Melania Trump because she doesn’t want to use her company and creative talents to promote political views she disagrees with. Even though the law in D.C. prohibits ‘political affiliation’ discrimination, do any of us really think the designer should be threatened with fines and jail time?

French fashion designer Sophie Theallet published an open letter  Nov. 17 saying she would not dress President-elect Donald Trump’s wife, the future first lady, because of disagreements with him and urged other fashion designers to do the same.

Last week, American fashion designer Tom Ford said on TV’s “The View” that he would not dress Melania Trump, in part because “she’s not necessarily my image.”

“The Larsens simply seek to exercise these same freedoms, and that’s why they filed this lawsuit to challenge Minnesota’s law,” Tedesco said.


We need to talk about Islam

Islam is a problem; there is no getting around it. In the last 15 years violence has spread across the Islamic world like a plague. Islamic terror attacks have spread that violence into the West. Supposedly democratic revolutions have been replaced by either a return to dictatorship, or hardline theocratic governments with dreams of empire. Throughout all of this Muslims have demanded we keep silent as even discussing it is offensive to them.

15 years ago was the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Osama Bin Laden, a Saudi prince and Islamic hardliner, planned the attacks to draw the Western Alliance into a war they could not win. 15 years later he must be laughing from the grave, his plan worked flawlessly. We’ve spent millions of lives and trillions of dollars but in spite, or perhaps because of that, Islamic hardliners now rule over their ashen kingdoms from Tripoli in Africa to the Khyber Pass in the Himalayas.

The devastation has naturally created a migration crisis as millions of those rich enough or strong enough to flee arrive on Western shores. They carry the very ideology that started the war, and provide cover for the hardliners to infiltrate and recruit. In Western countries they find soft targets everywhere, they exploit the very freedom we give them in order to hurt us in the most gruesome ways.

The policy to date has been one of bombs away but don’t criticize Islam. To wonder for a moment why Al Qaida or ISIS might feel their violence is justified according to their religion is to risk the accusation of racist, Islamophobe, or bigot. This comes from the left of course, anything outside of their narrow understanding of things is racism, but it also comes from Muslims themselves. When discussing the war and the reasons for it the mere mention of the Qur’an, even in a neutral tone, will elicit outrage from Muslims.

The practice of pretending the problem “isn’t Islam” is not working. Through unprecedented military, intelligence and diplomatic capability we have replaced dozens of governments, killed thousands of so called leaders, and hundreds of thousands of their followers, yet we are further from peace than we have ever been. Through liberating Muslims from the restraints of tyrants we have freed them to become something wholly worse.

Islamic freedom is the freedom to punish those who rebel against Islam. You don’t have to dig far into Islamic theology to find that the concept of freedom comes with a huge asterisk. Mohammad al-Shirazi, an Iranian cleric, wrote about freedom in detail in his book ‘The New Order for the World of Faith, Freedom, Welfare and Peace’. At the beginning it seems fairly reasonable, that rights are afforded to both Muslims and non-Muslims, but by point 10 it’s clear that freedom in Islam is the freedom to be ruled by Islam. He concludes:

“In the matters with which Islam is in accord, it is clear that the Islamic expression of them – whether that be in the Qur’an or in the sunna – is more precise, deeper and profound and more in concord with the desired meaning than the prevailing expressions used in our time which were laid down by a group of scholars, jurists, and legalists after effort and inquiry, as well as adoption from Islam…

In the matters where Islam differs from man made laws, we always can see that the Islamic view is more fitting and more appropriate for both the individual and society…

There is no cure for the world if it wants to reclaim its nobility, its freedom and its humanity except by a return to the freedoms laid out in Islam according to the methods mentioned in the Qur’an and the sunna.”

So when terrorists call themselves freedom fighters we can understand they do so earnestly from their own point of view. The Charlie Hebdo attack was an expression of Islamic freedom against rebels breaking Islamic law. They believe in the freedom to be Muslim, but not the freedom not to be.

Pointing this out, criticizing their religion, understanding it and then rejecting it is a violation of their freedom according to Islam. Not knowing the Qu’ran is fine, ignorance is natural, but knowing the Qu’ran and rejecting its teachings is an act of hostility which can be answered with violence.

Islam apologists tell us that it is only a minority with a false interpretation. In the past they’ve been able to make this case because the Islamists have not been able to get their message across. ISIS solved that problem through cunning use of social media and English language propaganda. Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of theology can see that their interpretation is not false, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali puts it – this is Islam; Islamic State radicals are “good Muslims”, they’re the actual Muslims.

In fact the Qu’ran explicitly holds those who fight in the name of Islam above those who do not. Chapter 4 verse 95 promises a greater reward to those who take up arms or offer funding in the cause of Islam. It might be true that not all Muslims believe that but it’s a hard case to make that terrorists are doing anything other than obeying the dictates of Islam.

So the problem is Islam itself. Right now Iraqi government forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters lay siege to Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and key ISIS stronghold. If this can be considered a victory it is a temporary one at best. Taking territory from ISIS will once again leave us with hundreds of thousands of radicalized Muslim youth with nowhere to go and nothing to lose.

What will replace ISIS as the world’s leading terror organization is tough to say, but something will replace it; new tactics and strategies, new rhetoric, a new organizational structure and new accountants holding the purse strings will not erase the fact that it will still be the same basic beast. Dealing with this will come at an increasingly unaffordable cost to Western countries with Muslim minorities.

Policing the Muslim community is a wicked problem. In order to have Muslim communities in Western countries Western governments must police them for radicalization, crossing the line between maintaining law and order and policing religion itself. The act of secular government interference in the Islamic faith breeds resentment and further encourages radicalization. It is both a necessary but counterproductive policy, it is a short term band aid for a problem that is only going to get worse.

Terrorist organizations have math on their side, the same math that saw Britain abolish Fighter Command to focus on bombers – some attacks will always get through. If we can stop 99% of attacks then they will try one hundred times. Their human resources are inexhaustible thanks to a high fertility rate and with social forces on their side the death toll will increase.

But every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and while belated the Western reaction is inevitable. Few of us have personally felt the sting of terrorism yet, but how long is it until no one among us does not know someone who knows someone affected by an attack? How long until we each know someone who has lost someone? How long until those with a righteous grudge outnumber the naïve? How long is Western good grace expected to last?

The day is coming when innocent Muslims in the west will be given a choice – give up your religion or leave. How long until we reach this day I am unsure but it is only a matter of time and the longer we wait the more painful the choice will be.



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, 2016

U-turn in Germany: Angela Merkel calls for a BURKA BAN

Angela Merkel has called for a burka ban after saying the 'full veil is not appropriate' in Germany.

In an astonishing U-turn, the German chancellor told her conservative CDU party conference that wearing the burka should be outlawed 'wherever that is legally possible'.

It comes after the 62-year-old stressed her determination to ensure there is no repeat of last year's huge migrant influx as she seeks a fourth term as chancellor.

Merkel said she would back a nationwide ban just months after revealing that she believed the burka was a barrier to Muslim women becoming integrated into German society.

She told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland in August: 'From my point of view, a completely covered woman has almost no chance of integrating herself in Germany.'

Previously, Merkel has stopped short of calling for a ban on Islamic clothing, saying: 'This is a question of finding the right political and legal balance.'

Her new, tougher stance comes a week after Dutch MPs voted overwhelmingly to ban the Islamic full-face veil from some public places such as schools and hospitals, the latest such move in a European country.

The legislation must now go before the Senate for approval before becoming law. It follows similar bans imposed in France and Belgium, and comes amid rising tensions in Europe with Islamic communities.

Merkel came out fighting on the first day of her conservative party congress pledging to ban the burka and bring the refugee crisis under control.

A 77 minute speech interrupted by minutes of standing ovations proved the most powerful woman on the continent still has what it takes to rally the faithful.

She pledged to strengthen the forces of law and order while speeding up the sclerotic deportation process of failed asylum seekers.

'Not all the 890,000 refugees who came last year can or will stay,' she said at the start of her speech designed to claw back ground lost in recent months to the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

But the pastor's daughter who was raised in communist East Germany pledged that every asylum application would be judged on its merits and that people would not be lumped into an 'anonymous mass.'

She said that a refugee situation of the kind Germany had endured in the summer of last year 'can and should not be repeated.'

And she pledged that the law of the land stood above 'any honour codes or Sharia.'

Mrs Merkel's critical speech came as tensions continue to rise following the brutal rape and murder of a 19-year-old medical student by an Afghan refugee.

She criticised the groundswell of Internet hate against migrants. She said that she often had the opinion that those who wrote them needed an 'integration course' more than the newcomers.

She said the tasteless online attacks shocked and sickened her. 'So say I, so say we; this must not be.'

She said she recognized that the general election of next year was like 'none other' and that it would not be 'like swallowing a sugar drop.'

She pledged a stronger Europe, a stronger economic base for Germany and a stronger commitment to achieving peace in Syria. At the end of it she was rewarded with a standing ovation of over 11 minutes.

While Ms Merkel has continued to insist that Germany will take in people in genuine need of protection, her government has moved to toughen asylum rules and declare several countries 'safe' - meaning people from there cannot expect to get refuge in Germany.

Ms Merkel was a driving force behind an agreement between the European Union and Turkey earlier this year to stem the flow of migrants.

Ms Merkel announced last month that she will seek a fourth four-year term as chancellor in an election expected next September. Her springboard to that run is re-election as the chairwoman of the CDU.

The vote in Essen, where she was first elected chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union in 2000, offers a test of Ms Merkel's standing with members.

Aside from unhappiness about her migrant policy, some members are grumbling about what is perceived as a wider drift to the left during her 11 years as chancellor.

Polls show a solid lead for the conservatives, though their support is well short of the 41.5% they won in Germany's 2013 election.

They face new competition from the upstart nationalist Alternative for Germany party, which has thrived by attacking Ms Merkel's migrant policies.

She is running unopposed for another term at the CDU's helm. Two years ago, she won the support of 96.7% of delegates, one of her best results.


Fake News on Gay Science?

A widely reported study on longevity of homosexuals appears to have been faked. When social justice displaces truth as the core value of academics, bad things happen to science.

Professor Jonathan Haidt of NYU has taken the lead in pointing out that freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and viewpoint diversity are particularly necessary if universities are going to fulfill their once-core mission of serving the cause of truth. He founded Heterodoxacademy.org to help organize resistance from within the world of scholars.

One thing that happens when social justice displaces truth in the internal scientific community is that less than ordinary care is taken with scientific results that are pleasing to social-justice warriors.

We saw that in 2015, when a major study published in Science, which purported to show that personal canvassing by LGBT people had an amazingly large effect on people’s opinions, was revealed to have been entirely faked, and in ways that one lone grad student, David Broockman, found easy to debunk. (The “scholar” had even created easily checked fake grants from real foundations, thanking them publicly for grants they had never made.)

“In fact, throughout the entire process, until the very last moment when multiple ‘smoking guns’ finally appeared, Broockman was consistently told by friends and advisers to keep quiet about his concerns lest he earn a reputation as a troublemaker,” New York magazine reported.

Now Social Science & Medicine has demonstrated its own scientific integrity by publishing what amounts to a repudiation of another widely reported LGBT study, by Mark Hatzenbuehler, which concluded that “minority stress” was knocking an amazing twelve years off the lives of gay people. The roughly half of American people who don’t believe in gay marriage were killing gay people, the press more or less concluded.

“Can Prejudice Kill You? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Life Expectancy Drops 12 Years in Anti-Gay Communities,” blared Medical Daily.

The press was only echoing the study’s authors: “The results of this study suggest a broadening of the consequences of prejudice to include premature death,” Hatzenbuehler said in the press release announcing the study’s publication.

But in mid November, Social Science & Medicine published an attempt to replicate the authors’ data, which not only failed to replicate the results but could find no legitimate way of interpreting the data that would explain how the authors reached their conclusion:

Efforts to replicate Hatzenbuehler et al.’s (2014) key finding on structural stigma’s notable influence on the premature mortality of sexual minorities, including a more refined imputation strategy than described in the original study, failed. No data imputation approach yielded parameters that supported the original study’s conclusions. Alternative hypotheses, which originally motivated the present study, revealed little new information.

In conclusion, the authors note that “ten different approaches to multiple imputation of missing data yielded none in which the effect of structural stigma on the mortality of sexual minorities was statistically significant.”

To heighten the drama, the author of this new study is none other than University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus, who was subjected to public abuse for daring to publish, in a peer-reviewed journal, the results of a groundbreaking study suggesting that children raised by gay people fare about as well as children in other, alternative family forms but not as well as children in intact married biological families.

(Regnerus was unable to compare children raised from birth by gay couples in an intact relationship because he could find only two examples of such children in his data set, a finding he freely acknowledged in his own published study.)

In the weeks since the publication of Regnerus’s study attempting to replicate his work, Hatzenbuehler has yet to respond

Perhaps there is some explanation. Or perhaps, for reasons we can only suspect, Hatzenbuehler (who edited the special journal issue in which his original study was published) slipped a bogus study into a major social-science journal, confident that nobody would want to review and contest its findings, which so please the overwhelmingly liberal academy.

I charitably hope he can explain. But in any case, Mark Regnerus is emerging as a scientific hero, a modern-day Galileo standing up to the new theology of the Left. Science is not right-wing or left-wing. But to work, it needs scientists fearlessly committed to truth over their preferred outcomes.


British woman, 23, is jailed after her lies to police caused an innocent man to spend five months behind bars

A woman has been jailed after her lies to police resulted in an innocent man spending five months in prison.

The false statement Hayley Carter, 23, of West Sussex, gave to police led to one case being wrongly discontinued in relation to serious firearms charges, and a man charged for a crime he didn't commit.

But her lies were uncovered when a video on a mobile phone captured Carter admitting the man was innocent at a New Year's Eve party.

The telephonist from Crawley Down was originally handed an 18-month community order for perverting the course of justice.

But this has now been upgraded to a 12-month prison sentence by the Court of Appeal following intervention by the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, who felt the original sentence was too lenient. The Solicitor General said: 'False witness statements can destroy lives and undermine faith in the entire criminal justice system.'

Carter's lies to Sussex Police were related to the arrest of two men in 2014. In August that year officers had executed a drugs warrant at an address in Crawley.

Following the raid officers arrested and charged one man with possessing a stolen shotgun and with handling stolen property.

Later in the investigation a second man, Lee Goodsell, was arrested on suspicion of the same offences and was placed on police bail.

But having become aware of the second arrest, Carter decided to make a statement to the police which further incriminated Goodsell, who was subsequently charged on the authority of the Crown Prosecution Service.

In addition, as a direct result of Carter's statement the CPS also dropped the case against the first man.

But at Mr Goodsell's trial in February 2015, Carter failed to appear as a witness.

The defence also produced video evidence shot by a friend on a mobile phone in the toilets of a Crawley club on the preceding New Year's Eve in which Carter clearly admits that the man is innocent.

The trial was stopped, and no further action has been taken against either man.

Carter originally appeared at Hove Crown Court on Friday, October 7 where she was given an 18 month community order, consisting of; nine months of electronically monitored curfew between 9pm and 7am, 240 hours unpaid community work, and 30 hours at an attendance centre with Probation supervision. She was also ordered to pay £1,500 costs and a victim surcharge.

But the Crown Prosecution appealed against that sentence as being unduly lenient, leading to the Court of Appeal hearing which replaced it with the prison sentence.

Detective Sergeant Jon Robeson, from Sussex Police, said: 'Carter's action caused a man to be in prison for five months awaiting trial, and also had the effect of causing the original case against the first man to be called into question so that it had to be withdrawn.

'The sentence sends the message that attempts to pervert the course of justice are taken very seriously and that people who make false statements to the police, and to the courts, must expect to face justice themselves.'

Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, added: 'I referred this case as I did not believe the sentence reflected the seriousness of the offence. I am pleased that the Court of Appeal has agreed that a stronger sentence was necessary.'


A moonbeam from the greater lunacy: University of Toronto historian says biological sex is a ‘very popular misconception’

A lecturer at the University of Toronto says the notion of “biological sex” — that humans are born either male or female — is a “very popular misconception.”

Nick Matte, an historian who teaches a class on transgender studies as a part of the university’s Sexual Diversity Studies program, said the science has long been settled on the matter, reported Red Alert Politics.

“Basically, it’s not correct that there is such a thing as biological sex,” Mr. Matte said last month on “The Agenda,” a Canadian talk show, adding that “for over 50 years scientists have shown that that’s not true.”

Mr. Matte also said gender pronouns — a contentious topic within the transgender community — only reinforce the false idea that humans exist as sexually compatible organisms with distinct chromosomes, hormones and genitalia.

“I don’t focus on pronouns, because pronouns are actually part of a cisnormative culture,” he said.

He defined “cisnormativity” as “basically the very popular idea and assumption that most people probably have, and definitely that our structures convey, that there is such a thing as male or female, that they connect to being a girl or a boy, a man or a woman.”

“Cisnormativity is basically that everyone assumes that there is male and female, and so very little is actually looked at to understand what’s actually the case,” he said.

The historian also condemned his colleague, University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, whose unwillingness to call transgender students by their preferred gender pronouns sparked massive protests on campus earlier this year.

Mr. Matte said Mr. Peterson “abuses” students by refusing to address them by preferred terms including “zie,” “zim” and “zir.” He said it’s “tantamount to violence” and “hate 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


7 December, 2016

UN "rapporteur" says Australians (and their leaders) have a big racism problem

This is part of the U.N. -- itself a highly corrupt body -- hiring people from corrupt Third World countries -- in this case Kenya -- to criticize First world countries. But no country is perfect so they will always find something to pick at. 

What is lacking is any metric, any sense of proportion.  Even an ordinal scale might be interesting:  Is Australia the 3rd most racist or the 133rd most racist?  We are not told.  Which makes the criticism pretty meaningless.  The criticisms below are entirely consistent with Australia being the least racist country in the world.  If that is so, it does put a rather different light on the criticisms, does it not?

Even politically correct old Britain has been in their firing line

One wonders at the reasons behind these pointless exercises. Are they meant to make the inhabitants of poor countries feel good?  Are they meant to make the United Nations look good?  Who knows?  There is certainly nothing scientific or even original about them.  They just regurgitate the talking points of the political Left

The United Nations' special rapporteur on racism has condemned Australian politicians from major and minor parties whose statements are contributing to an increase in "xenophobic hate speech" and negative views about migrants.

Mutuma Ruteere has also warned that political leaders who do not denounce such views are tacitly contributing to the normalisation of hard-right and racist opinions.

"If they do not speak out they lend legitimacy to them. It's very easy for darkness to drive out the light. It's very easy for the bad to demean the good. It's much harder to clear out the political space once it's infected by racists," Mr Ruteere said in Canberra on Wednesday.

Mr Ruteere was finishing a visit to Australia, the first by someone holding his position in 15 years. He comments will form the basis of a report he will deliver to the United Nations Human Rights Council next year.

Mr Ruteere said Australia was not unique among western democracies in grappling with popular support for parties with discriminatory policies and racist views.

He said the "danger" for Australia was the experience of other countries where "the fringe elements keep moving to the centre, to the mainstream [and] the fringe becomes the mainstream".

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was criticised in November for comments he made about migrants. "That's a threat not just for Australia but all open multicultural societies. This is something open democratic states need to be aware about and to take pre-emptive action against," Mr Ruteere said.

Western democracies were "reckoning with history", he said, and "have to make the decision whether to confront the bigots and racists who purport to speak for the people but contradict" the values on which those societies were founded, such as equality of all people.

Mr Ruteere's visit to Australia coincided with the final two weeks of Parliament in which Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was criticised by Labor, the Greens, security experts and multicultural groups when he suggested Australia's immigration program in the 1970s had made "mistakes".

Challenged in Parliament to identify the groups he was referring to, Mr Dutton said "of the last 33 people who have been charged with terrorist-related offences in this country, 22 are from second and third-generation Lebanese Muslim backgrounds".

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull later praised the performance of Mr Dutton although he stopped short of endorsing his minister's comments.

The visit also coincided with a speech given by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson in which she said she was "fed up" with being called racist and backed the review of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Mr Ruteere said there was no need to change the law.

"Removing this provision would undermine the efforts taken by the various levels of government for an inclusive Australia and open the door to racist and xenophobic hate speech, which has been quite limited thanks to this provision," Mr Ruteere said.

He also praised the work of the Human Rights Commission and its president, Gillian Triggs.

During his visit, Mr Ruteere was briefed on the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.

He recommended Australia re-examine its criminal justice system to "embrace alternatives to detention and avoid mandatory sentences" and urged Australia to grant constitutional recognition to Indigenous peoples as soon as possible.

UK: 'Right on' critics are ignoring problems caused by immigration, government tsar warns

The author of a bombshell report on immigration and integration in Britain today slammed 'right on' critics for ignoring real problems.

Dame Louise Casey made a series of extraordinary recommendations today after months studying the impact of migration across the country.

Among her proposals is a demand for all new migrants to Britain to take an oath of allegiance where they promise to embrace liberal values before arriving. 

Dame Louise said ghettos have formed because the pace and scale of immigration has been 'too much' and some towns and cities have been transformed 'out of all recognition', it says.

She said successive governments have 'ignored or even condoned regressive, divisive and harmful cultural and religious practices, for fear of being branded racist or Islamophobic'.

But Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, has condemned the report as 'inflammatory, divisive, pandering to the agenda of the far right'.

'We are saddened that once again British Muslims have become a political football which is bashed from time to time without any regard for the impact this has on individuals who then are subjected to threats and violence,' he said.

When confronted with this on Radio 4 Dame Louise dismissed some critics as 'right on' and said the UK could 'no longer duck difficult issues' even if parts of her report would be 'hard to read'.

The report warns that rapid population change has also increased ethnic segregation and left communities more divided than ever, she said, adding: 'We are developing pockets where there is a monoculture, a monoethnicity and that's a concern'.

Warning of 'escalating division and tensions in society', she called for greater efforts at integration to 'bind Britain together'.

Currently migrants do not have to swear an oath unless they want to secure UK citizenship. At the moment, millions of migrants must take a 'Life in the UK' test about their knowledge of Britain to secure their right to stay.

Dame Louise also says the criteria for full citizenship should be reviewed.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said he would be studying the findings closely but the Ramadhan Foundation condemned the 'inflammatory' report.

Mr Javid said the UK was home to many cultures and communities 'but all of us have to be part of one society - British society'.

'So while it's right that we celebrate the positive contribution that diverse groups make to British life, we also need to continue making sure that nobody is excluded from it or left behind,' he said.

'To do that, we need to take a serious look at the facts and must not shy away from the challenges we face.'

Dame Louise's shock new report says Muslims in some parts of the country are so cut off from the rest of society that they believe the majority of Britons share their faith.

The new review says Muslim enclaves are concentrated in northern areas such as Bradford, Birmingham and Blackburn, where MailOnline revealed last month there is a halal butcher who has never served a white customer. 

Some rarely, if ever, leave their neighbourhoods, and believe that Britain is a Muslim country in which up to three-quarters of the population follow Islam, the report says.

However, figures from the 2011 Census put the actual proportion of Muslims in England and Wales at under five per cent, while Christians account for nearly 60 per cent.

Dame Louise's report criticises the rise of 'Sharia councils', which have been allowed to run unhindered and in some cases support extremist values, wife beating and forced marriage and marital rape.

Mosques and Islamic organisations are offering regressive advice about the behaviours expected of Muslim women and girls.

This includes not being able to leave the house without telling their husband, not being allowed to travel without a chaperone or even not being able to wear jeans, despite Islamic theologians dismissing such advice as inappropriate, she says.

And there is not just segregation in Muslim communities, Dame Louise said that there are hundreds of electoral wards where there are 40 per cent non-white British residents or more. In 17 wards the figure was 90 per cent.

In one borough of Sheffield there is a 6,000-strong Roma or eastern European community living together.

In Jewish orthodox communities they have been allowed to teach their children  'that a woman's role is to look after children, clean the house and cook'.

While some Christian groups have been allowed to try to 'cure' people of homosexuality' without being challenged.

And the Polish community in Britain has grown by 500,000 in a decade, with many heading to areas like Boston, Lincolnshire.

The report concludes: 'We know that where communities live separately, with fewer interactions between people from different backgrounds, mistrust, anxiety and prejudice grow.

'Conversely, social mixing and interactions between people from a wider range of backgrounds can have positive impacts; not just in reducing anxiety and prejudice, but also in enabling people to get on better in employment and social mobility.'

The report, commissioned by David Cameron to try to address how some Muslim communities are cut off from the rest of society, also:

- Recommends schoolchildren are taught 'British values' of tolerance, democracy and respect as well as the country's laws, history and values;

- Warns that women are being held back by regressive cultural practices and face coercion, violence and abuse;

- Warns that children being taught at home or outside mainstream schools are being exposed to divisive practices;

- Calls on ministers to provide more English language classes for 'isolated groups'.

Among community cohesion tsar Dame Louise's recommendations is an 'oath of integration with British values and society' for new arrivals. Migrants who want to come to the UK could also be required to sign up to 'clear expectations on integration' when applying for visas.

Her report says that while Britain has benefited hugely from immigration and increased ethnic and religious diversity, 'nowhere near enough emphasis has been put on integration in communities to match the pace and scale of the change in our population in recent years'.

In a bleak warning about the impact of mass immigration, it reports some communities saying the pace of change has been 'too much' for them to deal with.

Dame Louise, a former homeless charity executive, said last night: 'Social integration is about closing the gaps that exist between people and communities. This report has found those gaps exist in terms of where people live but also in terms of the lives they lead and the opportunities they have to succeed. So it is about how we get on in life, as well as how we get along with each other.

'To help bind Britain together and tackle some of the division in our society, we need more opportunities for those from disadvantaged communities, particularly women, and more mixing between people from different backgrounds.

'We also need more of a spirit of unity, compassion and kindness that brings people together under our common British values of tolerance, democracy, equality and respect.'

The report says promoting British laws, history and values within the 'core curriculum in all schools' would help build integration, tolerance, citizenship and resilience in children. Dame Louise also says it is 'extremely concerning' that some children are opting out of state education 'without sufficient checks on their wellbeing and integration'.

Dame Louise says efforts to promote integration in recent years have failed, adding: 'They have been well-meaning but grossly insufficient to cope with the scale of the challenge. Events and projects that have been described to us as 'saris, samosas and steel drums' can help bring people together but too often attract the already well-intentioned and do not succeed in tackling difficult issues.'

Her conclusions about the conditions facing some women are particularly excoriating. Women face 'persistent gender inequalities' in some communities, including lack of job prospects at best, and at worst 'coercive control, violence and criminal acts of abuse, often enacted in the name of cultural or religious values'.

Dame Louise also calls for more action to tackle 'regressive and harmful' practices in Muslim communities, such as forced marriage, female genital mutilation and other abuses.

Dame Louise's oath proposal has not even come before ministers, so is a long way from potentially becoming law.

Dr Alan Mendoza, of the Henry Jackson Society security think-tank, said: 'This review contains serious concerns about the state of integration between different communities in the UK today, particularly Muslim communities in certain areas. I would urge the Government to strongly consider the nature of this problem and commit to action to counter it.'

Jon Yates, of The Challenge, a leading social integration charity, said: 'Unless we act urgently our country is in danger of becoming a less integrated and more divided place.'


Newt Gingrich Defines Trumpism: ‘If You See Something That’s Really Stupid, Change It’

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Friday that Trumpism is all about getting things done in government and changing whatever is not working.

“Trumpism is going to be about the following principle: If you see something that’s really stupid, change it,” Gingrich said during a speech at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) States & Nation Policy Summit held in Washington, D.C.

Gingrich praised President-elect Donald Trump, saying that “the heart of the reason that Trump emerged was he actually knows how to do things.

“That is, when Trump would go out and raise the money to build a building, the people actually expected a building. And so he had to contemplate what does it take to build a building? And then he actually had to get the building built,” Gingrich explained.

The former speaker told the audience of state legislators that with Republicans now in the majority in Congress, it is time for them to learn a new “evolutionary process led by an entrepreneurial leader who has three characteristics that are amazing.”

“He’s three different people,” Gingrich said of the president-elect. “If you want to understand how Trump operates, he has the disruptive patterns of Andrew Jackson, he has the sheer biological energy of Theodore Roosevelt, and he has the compulsive salesmanship of P.T. Barnum.

“And these three weave together to produce outcomes that are dramatically better than anyone I’ve ever seen.”

Gingrich noted that the Republican Party is now at a “watershed” moment in the life of the nation.

“We are potentially, if we do our jobs, at a genuine watershed. I always use the watershed model because when the rain comes down, if it hits this side of the watershed, it goes this way. If it hits this side, it goes this way. It’s decisive.

“So, for example, in the Appalachians, there’s a point the water will go either to the Gulf of Mexico, or it’ll go to the Atlantic. It’s that decisive,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich pointed out there are now “over 4,100 state legislators, the most in the history of the Republican Party since its founding in 1854. The most ever. We have 34 governors, which ties the most in modern times. We have 25 states in which the legislature and the governor are Republican, which means in theory, we should be held accountable for whether or not we’re really different.”

Gingrich noted that during the presidential campaign, Trump frequently asked his advice before taking the debate stage.

“Every time I said to him: ‘I don’t have any advice about debating.’ I said: ‘You’re a better debater than I am,’ because he’s totally intuitive,” Gingrich said.

“He somehow senses the audience, he senses his opponent. He figures out exactly what language will work. His opponent stands there like a deer in the headlights, going: ‘You’re not allowed to say that.’ And he just pounds on them.”

However, the former speaker also stressed the fact that although Donald Trump won the election, the hard work has only just begun for him.

“I said to the President-elect the day after the election: ‘You have now won a ticket to the dance. That’s all. Now you’ve got to dance,” Gingrich said. “And you’ve got to dance well enough to get re-elected and you gotta dance for four more years. You gotta dance well enough to be successful as a Republican, and in eight years of good dancing, then you can write your memoir.

“But it ain’t like the election. The election was the beginning, not the end,” he concluded. 


'No Room at the Inn' -- Rejected Nativity Scene Finds Home at Homeless Shelter

CBN News is reporting that a nativity scene that was removed from a public park in northern Michigan has found a home in front of a homeless shelter.

The nativity scene had been at the Menominee Marina Park when the Freedom From Religion Foundation made a complaint that a religious display was not allowed on government property.  Menominee City Manager Tony Graff tells WLUK-TV that the display was taken down shortly when the city attorney determined that the display was “a violation of our own policy” governing what can be put up on public property.

Pastor David Pennell from Abundant Life Church and Mission then offered to help relocate the nativity scene in front of his homeless shelter. "You know it's kind of appropriate that the baby Jesus' home is now at the homeless shelter, seeing there was no room at the inn for him," Pennell told CBN.

He added that the nativity scene will now be the first thing anyone sees when they cross the bridge into town. "It's almost kind of a divine intervention that now many people will see it instead of just the ones that go downtown," 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


6 December, 2016

Britain BANS heroic bishops: Persecuted Christian leaders from war zones refused entry

THREE archbishops from war-torn Iraq and Syria have been refused permission to enter the UK despite being invited to London to meet Prince Charles.

The Christians, including the Archbishop of Mosul, were told there was "no room at the inn" by the Home Office when they applied for visas to attend the consecration of the UK's first Syriac Orthodox Cathedral.

Last night the decision was described as "unbelievable" by critics who pointed out that extreme Islamic leaders had been allowed visas.

But the welcome did not extend to Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, the Archbishop of Mosul, nor to Timothius Mousa Shamani, the Archbishop of St Matthew's, which covers the Nineveh valley in northern Iraq, who were refused UK visas to attend the event on November 24.

The UK also refused to grant a visa to Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh, the Archbishop of Homs and Hama in Syria.

In his case the British embassy told him that it would not waiver from its policy of not granting visas to anyone in Syria.

The men were also told they were denied entry because they did not have enough money to support themselves and they might not leave the UK.

Last night the leader of the UK's Syriac Orthodox Christians Archbishop Athanasius Toma Dawod condemned the decision. He said: "These are men who have pressing pastoral responsibilities as Christian areas held by IS are liberated. We cannot understand why Britain is treating Christians in this way

Dr Martin Parsons, head of research at the Barnabas Fund, an aid agency which has helped more than 8,000 Christians escape persecution at the hands of IS, said: "It's unbelievable that these persecuted Christians who come from the cradle of Christianity are being told there is no room at the inn, when the UK is offering a welcome to Islamists who persecute Christians."

The Home Office recently issued guidance stating that there should be a presumption that senior members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood should be granted asylum in the UK - despite the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood has repeatedly incited violence against Egyptian Christians.

Dr Parsons also claims that visas were granted in July to two Pakistani Islamic leaders who have called for the killing of Christians accused of blasphemy.

He said: "There is a serious systemic problem when Islamist leaders who advocate persecution of Christians are given the green light telling them that their applications for UK visas will be looked on favourably, while visas for short pastoral visits to the UK are denied to Christian leaders whose churches are facing genocide.

"That is an urgent issue that Home Office ministers need to grasp and correct."

Last night a Home Office spokesman said: "All visa applications are considered on their individual merits and applicants must provide evidence to show they meet the requirements of the immigration rules."

Last night International Development Minister Rory Stewart was in Iraq where he announced a raft of aid projects, including help for the 80,000 Iraqis displaced from Mosul.


Rep. McCaul: PC Should Not Stop Us From Saying Radical Islam

In a conversation about homeland security under a Trump administration, House Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said that political correctness should not prevent the United States from naming the enemy that has killed and injured Americans here and abroad: "radical Islamist extremism."

Yet Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson said American Muslims are strongly opposed to such language, and this makes it hard to make inroads in Muslim communities.

"I think it's important to define the threat for what it is," McCaul said at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. "My dad fought the Nazis."

"We didn't dance around fascism," said McCaul, who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. "We called communism what it was and defeated that."

"I think we're facing radical Islamist extremism today," McCaul said. "And it's important that we identify that and not be so politically correct that we can't identify the threat for what it is...."

McCaul was responding to a question from panel moderator and reporter Kimberly Dozier about Trump's campaign promise to prevent Muslims in countries infiltrated by terrorists from entering the United States - a promise Dozier described as a "ban on Muslims."

McCaul said a ban based on race or religion would be unconstitutional but that "extreme vetting" was called for in cases involving Muslims coming to the United States from terror-torn countries.

But Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson - who may be replaced by McCaul, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal [1] - said that radical Islamist extremism is a label that not only does not influence decisions on fighting our enemies but also is opposed by American Muslims, who would "kick him out the door" if he used the term to describe the terrorists.

"Here in the homeland, in very practical terms, if I walk into a community engagement with a group of American Muslims to encourage them to work with us on our homeland security and I refer to ISIL as Islamic violent extremism, I will get nowhere," Johnson said. "They will kick me out the door."

Johnson said that American Muslims object to radical Islamic extremism because it disparages their religion and that the debate over what to call groups like ISIL and Al Qaeda is "political."

"In my judgment, this debate about labels is a political debate ... referring to it in these terms does not help us in our efforts to counter violent extremism in this country," Johnson said.


I choose not to be offended, and you should, too

By Jeff Jacoby

One of the rules I try to live by is not to take offense when no offense is intended. A corollary to that rule is to presume, whenever possible, that no offense was intended. This is not, I admit, a discipline I've mastered perfectly. But make a daily point of affirming that you harbor no ill will, and you won't smolder with unresolved umbrage. At a time when Americans by the millions keep themselves in a state of high dudgeon, choosing not to be offended can be wonderfully refreshing.

Not taking offense isn't the same as not having pet peeves. (I've got a bunch of those.) Nor does it mean never condemning shameful or destructive behavior. (Where would newspaper columnists be if we never uttered any criticism?) It does mean recognizing that being offended is always a choice, and that other people's words can bend you out of shape only if you let them.

This isn't a column about politics, but during the recent "Hamilton" kerfuffle, Vice President-elect Mike Pence provided a pitch-perfect demonstration of how not to take offense. He didn't bristle or fume when he was booed by audience members and pointedly addressed by the cast during the curtain call. "I wasn't offended," he said afterward. He praised the "great, great show" and the "incredibly talented" cast, and made clear that actor Brandon Dixon's impassioned statement from the stage didn't trouble him.

"I nudged my kids," Pence told Fox News, "and reminded them, `That's what freedom sounds like.'?"

Unfortunately, picking at scabs has become a national pastime. Americans have lost their ability to shrug off other people's obnoxious comments or insensitive gestures or politically incorrect views. Instead of rolling their eyes and letting it pass, they proclaim: "I'm offended." They demand apologies. They insist on "trigger warnings" and "safe spaces." They howl about "microaggressions" and whinge about "mansplaining" and compile lists of banned words. When they get offended, they expect heads to roll or companies to be blackballed. They even take offense on behalf of people who don't take offense.

Remember Frank Costanza? He was the character on "Seinfeld" who invented Festivus, a family holiday commemorated with a dinner, an aluminum pole, feats of strength, and - the high point - an Airing of Grievances. "I got a lot of problems with you people!" bellows Costanza to those at his Festivus table. "And now you're gonna hear about it!"

It was funny as a sitcom shtick. As a national pastime, perpetual outrage is exhausting and debilitating. America could do with a little less Frank Costanza and a little more Mike Pence.

Waxing wroth when we're offended may feel temporarily satisfying, but the weight of all those chips on our shoulders does long-term damage. "In my work treating alcoholics," writes psychiatrist Abraham Twerski, a founder of the renowned Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh, there is "great emphasis on divesting oneself of resentments," since "resentments are probably the single greatest factor responsible for relapse." Twerski quotes one recovering alcoholic's insight: "Carrying resentments is like letting someone who you don't like live inside your head rent-free." No lasting benefit comes from it, but a lot of misery does.

In a society that thrives on taking offense - just turn on talk radio, or read an online comments section, or follow Donald Trump and Elizabeth Warren on Twitter - it can't be overemphasized that nursing a grievance is always optional. You may not be able to control other people's opinions, obnoxious jokes, or political loyalties. But you alone determine how you react to them.

Everyone has heard the biblical injunction to "love thy neighbor as thyself." Less well known is the first half of the verse: "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge." That's excellent counsel, for believers and nonbelievers alike.


Australian storage king hits out at gender cop

SELF-STORAGE mogul Sam Kennard has lashed out at the government's gender equality watchdog after his business was "named and shamed" for not filling a complicated annual questionnaire.

In its latest annual report, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency has published the names of businesses which fell foul of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.

Under the law, companies with more than 100 employees are required to lodge a report with the WGEA every year detailing "gender equality indicators" such as male-to-female ratios and salaries. The WGEA itself, which costs taxpayers $5 million a year to run, employs five male and 25 female staff.

Among the 74 businesses deemed "non-compliant" by the WGEA this year include household names like Kennards Self Storage, Bing Lee, Vittoria Coffee, Palace Cinemas and Sportsmans Warehouse. Also named were the likes of Williams-Sonoma, EB Games, and a number of plumbing, cleaning, freight and transport companies.

"Non-compliant organisations may not be eligible to tender for contracts under Commonwealth and some state procurement frameworks, and may not be eligible for some Commonwealth grants or other financial assistance," the report warns.

Mr Kennard, who contested Joe Hockey's North Sydney seat in the December 2015 by-election for the Liberal Democrats, said the WGEA was an organisation "dripping with hypocrisy" that "should be abolished".

"My company does not discriminate for race, age, sex or religion," he said.

"If someone has a good attitude, not afraid of work and willing to learn they're a starter in our view. This is not a particularly profound or enlightened perspective - it is just common sense. It is good for business.

"I can confirm that we do discriminate against time-wasting bureaucracies. The WGEA is a prime example of unnecessary government intrusion into the activities of businesses. My business has much more productive endeavours to pursue than filling out paperwork for government agencies like the WGEA."

Mr Kennard said his company was challenged enough to "make our business better, to give customers a better experience and to operate efficiently without distractions like this". "The WGEA impost is 100 per cent pure overhead," he said.

"While politicians and economists lament the declining productivity in our economy, it is exactly this red-tape and the imposts of these bureaucracies that tax the efforts of enterprise. If the government was serious about tackling productivity it would get out of our way - it would abolish the WGEA and the abundance of other regulations they lay on.

"I am personally driven to the see the best outcomes for my business and believe strongly that good performance should be encouraged and rewarded irrespective of sex. We are conscious of HR shortcomings, appreciate the challenges and work to overcome them."

Mr Kennard added that it was "pleasing that there are plenty of non-taxpayer funded advocates for the success of women, which further emphasises that this is an area the government does not need to participate in".

Meanwhile, Mia Johannsen, head of people and culture at Palace Cinemas, said the company was deemed non-compliant because it wasn't willing to share "private individual salary information" with the WGEA.

"Initially we did send through some information regarding gender split and the different roles, but we didn't want to comment with anything confidential such as the private salaries of our employees," she said.

"We employ more females than males, 53 per cent to 47 per cent, so obviously we are completely for gender equality. We have many women in senior management, including myself."

Ms Johannsen said Palace Cinemas "regret being labelled as non-compliant". "It would be a lot easier if the process was simpler," she said.

"The process to be able to lodge all of this information was very long and extensive and it took days for my predecessor to even locate that information, so I think that was the issue [in previous years]."



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

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

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


5 December, 2016

Australia: Weasel words from the Salvation Army

A little while ago, the Victorian branch of the Salvation Army gave unconditional approval to the "Safe Schools" program -- a program that promotes homosexuality and undermines the traditional family.  The Marxist authors of the program smuggled in the propaganda by using the language of "safety" and the Sallies have followed suit.

This sparked outrage from many quarters, including, one gathers, Army members.  Not so long ago the Sallies opposed homosexuality on scriptural grounds but they now have bowed down before the the false god of secularism. The false god who led the children of Israel astray after the Exodus was often Baal of Peor, a god of sexual license.  Not much has changed it seems. Despite their expansive lip-service to Christianity, Bible teachings no longer matter to the Sallies, it seems.  The gods of Canaan are OK for them now.

But in response to the flak that they have received from Godly and family-oriented people the national organization has now done a very half-hearted backdown. In the statement below, the only words of the backtrack are: "The Salvation Army cannot unconditionally support the Safe Schools programs in Australia in their current form".  They don't say why and the ordinary reader would never guess why. For them to say more would expose the hypocrisy of their claim to be Christian.  Clearly, they no longer support the Biblical view of homosexuality.  In Christ's words, they are "whited sepulchres" (Matthew 23:27)

The Salvation Army is a Christian movement dedicated to sharing the love of Jesus. We purposefully work to reveal this love to everyone by building loving communities combined with the provision of spiritual, emotional and material support. Our compassionate participation has evolved over 136 years of service in all spheres of the Australian community, especially to people who are vulnerable, suffering and underprivileged and we are humbled that our efforts are so widely welcomed, encouraged and supported.

This non-discriminatory commitment to love and serve others is highlighted in our international mission statement which says we are: `to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination'. We believe that God loves everyone. We call on all Salvationists and community members to show this same love to others.

We have zero tolerance for bullying and as such, there is no situation where it is acceptable. Every person regardless of race, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or religion has the right to feel safe so they can achieve their full God-given potential. We emphasize that the alarming high rate of bullying and suicide among LGBTIQ school students evokes deep concern within The Salvation Army.

There are many accounts of marginalised students benefiting from aspects of the Safe Schools programs which have resulted in a safer, more caring culture forming in those schools. In this regard, we recognise the program's intent to address bullying. Whilst acknowledging such positive outcomes, The Salvation Army cannot unconditionally support the Safe Schools programs in Australia in their current form. We believe there needs to be consideration and refinement to the scope and form of implementation.

We believe the availability of support services for every vulnerable student including those identifying as LGBTIQ is vital. We also believe the provision of a government approved anti-bullying program needs to consider all high risk student groups. To this end, The Salvation Army is open to working with State and Federal Governments and other agencies to develop a program that more comprehensively addresses the issues associated with bullying within schools.

We call on all Salvationists and the community at large to treat each other with respect and grace. Jesus said that after loving God, the second most important commandment is to love our neighbour as we love ourself. Everyone has the right to always feel safe and to be treated with respect and grace.


Diversity Dogma Dovetails with Waste, Corruption, Nepotism

The U.S. economy may be sluggish, but as we noted, bureaucracy is booming. University of California bosses cry out for more taxpayer cash even as they bulk up on "diversity" bureaucrats. Universities nationwide are now cranking out administrators to fill these useless posts, but diversity bloat is hardly confined to education.

For example, new Sacramento city manager Howard Chan will try to "increase diversity" at city hall, and fill the recently created position of "diversity manager." That pledge came in response to an "audit" showing that city management does not reflect the ethnic proportions of the population at large. If representation is not proportionate, according to diversity dogma, discrimination is always a problem and the only remedy is hiring on the basis of race, ethnicity and gender. Such "reverse discrimination" is actually illegal under Proposition 209, which Californians passed on November 5, 1996, but city officials elevate political correctness over the rule of law.

The new mayor of Sacramento is former state Senate boss Darrell Steinberg, on whose watch three Senators were busted on corruption charges. The Senate has been a hive of nepotism. Sergeant-at-arms Gerardo Lopez was involved in a gun battle that left one person dead, but he duly remained on the state payroll. Lopez's wife worked for Steinberg in his policy unit, and Lopez's mother was a big wheel in the Senate's human resources department. What a cozy world.

Steinberg authored 2004's Proposition 63, which hiked taxes to fund mental health services. The measure raised $8 billion by 2013, but according to news reports, mental health services had declined. The state auditor could not account for how the money was spent, and even the Sacramento Bee wondered if the money had been "shoved down a rat hole."

Four years ago in 2012, voters faced four ballot measures on taxes and spending. The Senate Governance and Finance Committee held hearings on the measures, and the California Channel gave voters statewide a chance to gain insights from the testimony. Unfortunately, Senate boss Darrell Steinberg blocked citizens' access by pulling the plug on the live broadcast. He then offered a lame apology in which he proclaimed, "I pride myself on being open and transparent."

For Steinberg and his Sacramento cronies, "diversity" means the proportionality dogma, which is not state law. Since hiring by racial, ethnic and gender preferences is in fact illegal, the "diversity manager" position is pure waste. On the other hand, taxpayers can find true diversity in the mixture of waste, secrecy, corruption and nepotism now so common in government at all levels.


ESPN lurches Left and loses subscribers

Over the last two months, ESPN has lost an astounding 1.176 million subscribers. October and November have set records in losses for the sports network, which now has a total number of cable and satellite subscribers at 88.4 million - down from well over a 100 million just a few years ago. ESPN, the largest provider of sports coverage in the nation, will see at least a $100 million loss in revenue this year thanks to this hemorrhaging of subscribers.

There are several contributing factors, such as changing demographics and competition from other sports networks like Fox's FS1. However, the largest contributing factor may be that the Entertainment Sports and Programming Network has changed into a leftist propaganda rag, unabashedly mixing sports broadcasting and commentary with the promotion of leftist social activism and politics. It's the old leftist ploy of co-opting everything as a means of promoting and instilling their politically correct worldview into the populace, with the expressed purpose of excluding other perspectives. It's Orwellian.

But American sports fans don't want to be lectured to on how "brave" Bruce Jenner was for declaring himself a woman, or listen to the glorification of Colin Kaepernick for disrespecting the national anthem. The history of sports in America is one of entertaining competition, not of "social justice" causes. There is no question that sports have had significant impact upon American culture, but conflating "social justice" with sports entertainment only turns people off. ESPN is learning the hard way that sports and politics just don't mix.


Bring back Christmas! Britain's equality chief says bosses should use 'common sense' and not dilute their festive cheer to avoid offending other faiths

Overzealous bosses should let staff celebrate Christmas and not fear offending other faiths, an equality chief has said.

David Isaac, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said employers needed to take a 'common sense' approach when dealing with the Christian holiday.

He said company directors had misunderstood current laws promoting freedom of religion and had dampened down festive celebrations so not to cause offence.  

There was no need for example to call the Christmas period 'the winter holidays', he said.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, he said: 'Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right and it shouldn't be suppressed through fear of offending.

'Lots of employers have now become really worried about doing anything discriminatory regarding their Muslim or Jewish staff.'

He added there were a lot of 'myths' surrounding what employers had to offer staff who did not celebrate Christmas.

The government's integration tsar, Dame Louise Casey, has also defended the right of Christians and non-Christians to mark the annual holiday.

She referred to a case of a 'well meaning white manager' who would call a Christmas tree a 'festive tree' because she feared causing offence.

There were controversy when the Church of England was banned from screening a promotion featuring the Lord's Prayer in cinemas during pre-film adverts. 

Mr Isaac said concerns that employers had to give staff time off to pray were wrong.

New guidance, to be issued next week, will make clear bosses only have to give religious requests proper consideration and do not necessarily have to agree. 



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, 2016

A church that is embarrassed to be a church

They are Australia's successors for the Methodists, who were notably confident in their faith. So it is sad to see how far they have fallen. They even deny Christ.  The Bible has some advice for them: 

Mark 8:38 "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." 2 Timothy 1:8 "Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God". Matthew 10:33 "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."

Australia's Uniting Church will avoid using religious symbols and the word 'Christ' as part of it's new advertising campaign to distance itself from child sex scandals.

The survivors of child abuse have hit back at the Uniting Church accusing the change as an attempt to 'disown' the past in a bid to avoid addressing the situation.

But the Uniting Church defended the change claiming it was the right move to no longer use 'overt' faith-based language after the royal commission into child sexual abuse ruined the image of religious institutions, The Daily Telegraph reported.

'You are right to highlight that sometimes we do not mention Christ's name in our advertising,' executive director of Uniting, Peter Worland, said.

'Since the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, faith-based organisations like ours are perceived pejoratively. So, sometimes we are overt with our religious language, sometimes we are not.'

However Mr Worland said if you look closely you can still see religious symbols.

`Sometimes we are overt with our religious language, sometimes we are not.The symbol of the cross at its heart (the `t'), with a person either side of it (each `i') to represent this connection and inclusivity.'


Don't brand Brexit supporters racist! Equalities watchdog insists people who voted Leave in the referendum wanted the 'best for the UK'

Brexit voters should not be branded racist because they believed leaving the EU was the best thing for the country, the equalities watchdog has insisted.

The message came as the Equality and Human Rights Commission urged politicians on both sides of the bitter row to tone down their rhetoric.

It warned that the hostility involved was polarising the UK and fuelling a rise in hate attacks

Nigel Farage has spoken of his fears for his safety in the wake of the referendum amid a welter of death threats. the outgoing Ukip leader was threatened with a glass at a bar last week and now does not go out without security guards.

Meanwhile, Remain campaigner Gina Miller - who is spearheading a legal challenge against Theresa May triggering Article 50 without a parliamentary vote - has revealed she has spent more than œ60,000 on her personal security. 

In a letter sent to the big political parties, the watchdog said: 'We are concerned that attacks on supporters of both sides of the Brexit debate have polarised many parts of the country.

'There are those who used, and continue to use, public concern about immigration policy and the economy to legitimise hate.

'The vast majority of people who voted to leave the European Union did so because they believe it is best for Britain and not because they are intolerant of others.'

The letter calls on the Government to do more to combat hate peddled by a 'small minority' as it also suggests there should be a review of the effectiveness of sentencing for hate crimes in England and Wales, including the ability to increase sentencing for crimes motivated by hate.

It states that 'politicians of all sides should be aware of the effect on national mood of their words and policies' even when those policies are not acted upon - like the Government's now-ditched proposal for companies to list foreign workers.

'Your offices bring with them a responsibility to ensure that policy debate is conducted in a way that brings the country together and moves it forward,' the letter states.

'Robust discussion is a central pillar of our democracy and nothing should be done to undermine freedom of expression.

'The right to free and fair elections supported by accurate information and respectful debate is also essential to our democratic process.

'Our elected representatives and the media should reflect and foster the best values in our society and engage people on contentious issues in a responsible and considered way.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the EHRC, David Isaac has also expressed concerns about the way in which businesses approach religious belief in the work place.

He said: 'There are a lot of myths out there when it comes to dealing with religion at work. I want to put the record straight.

'It is about taking a common sense approach. You can send Christmas cards and have a Christmas party and you might also decide to provide facilities for special religious diets, but that is your choice.'

Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green, who backed Remain, said he was 'uncomfortable' with the abuse surrounding the Brexit debate.

He told ITV's Peston on Sunday: 'One of the things that's wrong with this country is the political discourse we have. It's become abusive, it's become personal and it's not good for democracy so I suggest everyone on all sides of the Brexit argument or of any other argument, let's be civilised, let's agree that you can hold positions on either side of an argument and still respect each other. '

He added: 'I feel uncomfortable about the level of abuse, personal abuse that has spread to some extent from social media where it's always been present, into mainstream political discussion. It's not good for the health of our politics.'


Fury as watchdog says it's OK to send gay people death threats - but only if you're Muslim

A Dutch anti-discrimination hotline has said it is OK for Muslims to threaten gay people

In a shocking move, the taxpayer-funded hotline said it would not pursue a criminal complaint over horrific messages from radical Islamists because the Koran says gay people can be killed.

The disgraceful stance came to light when a member of the public complained about death threats posted to an online forum which called for homosexuals to be "burned, decapitated and slaughtered".

Dutch MPs today reacted with horror to the revelations, demanding an immediate inquiry into the remarks and calling for the hotline to be stripped of public funding.

According to Dutch media advisors from the anti-discrimination bureau MiND said that, while homophobic abuse was usually a crime, it was justifiable if you were Muslim due to laws on freedom of religious expression.

They argued that the Koran says it is acceptable to kill people for being homosexual, and so death threats towards gay people from Muslims could not be discriminatory.

In a jaw-dropping email explaining why they could not take up the complaint, they wrote: "The remarks must be seen in the context of religious beliefs in Islam, which juridically takes away the insulting character."

The revelations will further fuel the debate about free speech in the country

They concluded that the remarks were made in "the context of a public debate about how to interpret the Quran" and added that "some Muslims understand from the Quran that gays should be killed".

And they went on: "In the context of religious expression that exists in the Netherlands there is a large degree of freedom of expression. In addition, the expressions are used in the context of the public debate (how to interpret the Koran), which also removes the offending character."

The death threats had been made in the comments section for an article about a Dutch-Moroccan gay society, which had been posted to an online platform for Holland's large Moroccan community.

The revelation that they were so easily brushed aside by the anti-discrimination hotline will fuel an intense debate in the Netherlands over freedom of expression.

Far-right politician Geert Wilders, whose party is expected to win next spring's general election, is currently on trial for inciting racial hatred after telling a rally there were "too many Moroccans" in the Netherlands.

And two right-wing MPs, Joram van Klaveren and Louis Bontes, have now announced their intention to bring up the incident in the Dutch parliament by asking questions of the Justice Minister.

Mr Van Klaveren will ask: "Do you share our disgust at the fact that this explicitly states that inciting violence is not a problem if it comes from the Islamic belief?"

A spokesman for the MiND hotline admitted that after "further research" of the issue it had concluded that the complaint had been "unjustly assessed".

He added that when the complaint involved calling for violence against a particular group, the beliefs of the person making the threats should not matter.


Australia: African migrants at heart of daycare scandals

Another triumph of multiculturalism

Family daycare operators and teachers from non-English-speaking backgrounds are being targeted by state authorities in a bid to crack down on abuse and bending of rules that have cost taxpayers more than $1 billion in two years and put children at risk.

Senior departmental staff and Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones have confirmed a trend in rorting and noncompliance among ethnic communities, which has resulted in scarce investigative resources being focused on new services and migrant groups. Analysis of state government enforcement action in the past six months reveals family day care services slapped with conditions, suspended or cancelled were almost exclusively run by migrants from Africa, most from Somalia or Sudan.

Sudanese migrant Aluel Mawiir provided false and misleading information and failed to meet service conditions for her Victorian business, Dombai Family Daycare.

In one West Australian case, Sudanese woman Anyieth Makuei had her approval to run her Zebra Family Day cancelled on May 19 because she provided fake documents to the regulator regarding the first aid and asthma training of her staff. Weeks later Ms Makuei lost her ability to be a supervisor in the same industry because, according to the state, she "persuaded family daycare educators to produce false documents and provide false information at the interview" with the state government.

In Victoria, Milky Way Family Day Care, which lists its directors as Ethiopian-born Jale Tujuba and Adnan Yusuf, was put on notice by the Victorian government for providing false and misleading information, not meeting service conditions and failing to run required educational programs.

Family daycare providers fall under the National Quality Framework, introduced by the previous Labor federal government in 2012, and attract federal government child care subsidies.

Queensland's Acacia Ridge service Maka Family Day Care Scheme has been suspended until Christmas Eve because "there was an immediate risk to the safety, health or wellbeing of children being educated and cared for".

Family daycare services have grown 61 per cent in the past two years, compared with just 7 per cent for -centre-based childcare operators.

The hike in activity, which has been higher than 300 per cent in some regions, has placed pressure on state governments, which are responsible for making sure the businesses meet stringent rules and regulations under the quality framework.

Ms Jones said Queensland was now rejecting 60 per cent of new applications. "Queensland has put in place the toughest regulation process in the country for family daycare approved providers," she told The Australian.

"In addition (to approval rejections) there are strict conditions on approvals and ongoing monitoring and compliance checks."

Of the 15 most recent compliance crackdowns across the nation, all but one of the services are owned and operated by African directors, with six from Sudan and another six from Somalia.

The Australian revealed the case of Sudanese migrant Ruben Majok Aleer Aguer who received $1.6 million in federal funds over just 16 months to run a network of family daycare educators which authorities could not confirm were officially employed by him.

Nor, during at least 17 inspections, did any of the ACT department staff confirm a single child was ever in care.

Sharing of regulatory responsibility between Canberra and the states means the federal government only investigates fraud offences when it -suspects money has gone missing. The largest proven case of family daycare fraud ended last week when Albury-based 29-year-old Melissa Jade Higgins was found guilty of stealing more than $3m from the federal government.

Victoria has moved to take the heat out of the market by increasing inspections and investigations.

The family daycare sector in Victoria represents 10 per cent of the total childcare pool but -accounts for almost 80 per cent of enforcement actions taken by the state. Services have grown by 341 and 339 per cent respectively in Melbourne's highly multicultural western and northern suburbs.



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, 2016

Women's health at risk from political correctness

Professor Ripoff below is a feminist twit.  Because there are large areas of overlap between men and women, she says that proves men and women are the same.  That is totally illogical.  Just one defective gene can in some cases lie behind serious disabilities -- e.g. PKU.  But if one gene can have a big effect what must be possible from the many genetic differences between men and women?  Men are even missing half a chromosome compared to women!

So Prof. Ripoff certainly helps perpetuate the view that women are illogical

The male and female brain are different in many ways. But in the world of research, scientists are being warned to ignore this fact over fears they will be labelled sexist. 

As a result, women's health is being put at risk, with the majority of drugs only being tested on male brains, it has been claimed.

The way that male and female brains react to drugs can differ.

One area in which medication is understood to differ between genders is for the drugs that are used to treat stroke patients.

Under the current method, scientists are assuming that results can be generalised for both sexes, which could place women's health at risk.

It is thought that scientists focused on male brains as hormone levels fluctuate during a woman's menstrual cycle, making them more difficult to study.

The article stated that the evidence of differing reactions within the brains of men and women `matters fundamentally, powerfully, and pervasively'.

Professor Larry Cahill, a neurobiologist from University of California Irvine, said: `The assumption has been that, once you get outside of reproductive functions, what you find in males and females is fundamentally the same and therefore there is no reason to study both sexes - and beyond that it is not good to study females as they have pesky circulating hormones.

`The last 15 to 20 years has overwhelmingly proven that assumption is false, false, false.'

Others have called into question the need to test both genders, suggesting that there are no significant differences.

Professor Gina Rippon, of Aston University, described some of the research as `neurosexism'.

Speaking in August, Professor Rippon said: `The latest evidence shows that we are all part of a spectrum, so dividing us into binary categories gives misleading results'.

She told The Times: `A key issue in this area is the large areas of overlap between the scores of males and the scores of females in almost any comparison you might compare to make, to the extent that you might be forgiven for thinking that, actually, the sexes are more similar than they are different.'

Professor Cahill claims that he has been warned against studying the difference between sexes as it could harm his career.

`Some people start to get itchy though when you talk about sex differences in the brain. That in turn stems from a deeply ingrained, powerful and false assumption,' he said.

`The heart of the resistance is the view that if neuroscience shows males and females are not the same in brain function, we are showing they are not equal. That is false.'

The Times reported that another paper published in the journal highlighted a stroke treatment called Lazaroids that was rejected at the final stages of testing as its effectiveness seemed to decline.

The authors suggested that the drug may have continued to work, but only for men, and when it was given to women in the latter testing stages, the findings appeared worse as a result.


Breitbart declares war on Kellogg

BREITBART has called for a boycott of Kellogg's products following the food manufacturer's decision to pull advertising from the conservative news website.

Kellogg announced this week it was discontinuing advertising on the site because it was not "aligned with our values as a company".

Breitbart was formerly run by Steve Bannon, one of President-elect Donald Trump's top aides, and has been accused of being racist and sexist - claims the site vehemently denies.

"We regularly work with our media buying partners to ensure our ads do not appear on sites that aren't aligned with our values as a company," Kellogg spokeswoman Kris Charles said Tuesday.

"This involves reviewing websites where ads could potentially be placed using filtering technology to assess site content. As you can imagine, there is a very large volume of websites, so occasionally something is inadvertently missed.

"We recently reviewed the list of sites where our ads can be placed and decided to discontinue advertising on Breitbart.com. We are working to remove ads from that site."

It came as Amnesty International warned multinational companies including Kellogg's and Nestle were selling products containing palm oil from Indonesian plantations which used child labour and exposed workers to toxic chemicals.

In response, Breitbart has launched a #DumpKelloggs petition, urging its "45 million monthly conservative readers" to "ban bigotry from the breakfast table" and stop buying products including Coco Pops, Rice Bubbles and Special K.

"Kellogg's has shown its contempt for Breitbart's 45 million readers and for the main street American values that they hold dear," Breitbart president and chief executive Larry Solov said in a statement.

"Pulling its advertising from Breitbart News is a decidedly cynical and un-American act. The only sensible response is to join together and boycott Kellogg's products in protest."

The media company said the move - which came on the heels of pharmaceutical maker Novo Nordisk, online glasses retailer Warby Parker, the San Diego Zoo pulling advertising - would have "virtually no revenue impact".

"It does, however, represent an escalation in the war by leftist companies like Target and Allstate against conservative customers whose values propelled Donald Trump into the White House," Breitbart said.

"Kellogg's offered no examples of how Breitbart's 45 million monthly readers fail to align with the breakfast maker's values. Indeed, the move appears to be one more example of an out-of-touch corporation embracing false left-wing narratives used to cynically smear the hardworking Americans that populate this nation's heartland."

Breitbart News editor-in-chief Alexander Marlow described the website as "the largest platform for pro-family content anywhere on the internet".

"We are fearless advocates for traditional American values, perhaps most important among them is freedom of speech, or our motto `more voices, not less'," he said.

"For Kellogg's, an American brand, to blacklist Breitbart News in order to placate left-wing totalitarians is a disgraceful act of cowardice. They insult our incredibly diverse staff and spit in the face of our 45 million highly engaged, highly perceptive, highly loyal readers, many of whom are Kellogg's customers.

"Boycotting Breitbart News for presenting mainstream American ideas is an act of discrimination and intense prejudice. If you serve Kellogg's products to your family, you are serving up bigotry at your breakfast table."

More than 50,000 people had signed the petition within hours. It comes after comments by PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, a Hillary Clinton supporter, sparked calls for a boycott of Pepsi products. Prior to that, the CEO of food delivery service GrubHub caused outrage by suggesting employees who supported Mr Trump should resign.


That wonderful multiculturalism again

The disturbing injuries suffered by a woman after an African man broke into her home and sexually assaulted her as she slept next to her partner and baby can now be revealed.

The 21-year-old victim was asleep in her bed at home when Lang Kouth, 21, broke in and started aggressively kissing her on the lips, neck, face, and touching her genital area - all while the couple's 17-month-old baby slept at the foot of the bed.

The young mother was left badly battered and bruised from the sexual assault which happened at her Cranbourne North home in Victoria, July 24.

In a photo, she reveals the extent of the injuries - including a large brown bruise stamped on the left side of her neck.

'She was bruised black, bruised black all down her jawline, all down her neck. He had bitten her like she was a piece of meat,' a family member told Yahoo.

She and her partner were left so disgusted and traumatised by the attack, neither of them have spoken about it since - refusing to make victim impact statements in court.

'She's got to live with that for the rest of her life. She sleeps in the lounge room because she doesn't want to go to the other end of the house,' the family member said.

Lang Kouth broke into the woman's home, in Cranbourne North, Victoria, on July 24 with the intention of stealing a car.

But instead he went into the young couple's bedroom, removed his shoes and climbed into bed before assaulting the woman.

Still half asleep, the she pushed him away from her, believing he was her husband at the time.

But when she felt the man's hair and realised it was a stranger, she began screaming and woke her partner, who was still asleep beside her.

When he awoke to the stranger in his bed, he chased the man out of the house.

Kouth was 20-years-old and intoxicated at the time of the disturbing home invasion, the court heard.

Kouth was sentenced to four years and four months jail in Melbourne court on Tuesday for the aggravated burglary and sexual assault.

Judge Tinney said the young mother's experience of waking up in her own bed with a stranger on top of her was 'the stuff of nightmares' - especially because the young baby was in the room at the time.

Although Judge Tinney worried an adult prison might further 'corrupt' Kouth, he said he needed to send a loud and clear message that the court would not tolerate this type of behaviour.

Kouth will serve at least two years and three months of his four years and four month sentence before being eligible for parole. 


Nigel Farage fears for his LIFE after threats over links to Trump - but it WON'T stop him backing Marine Le Pen in France's elections

Nigel Farage has revealed his fears for his life after his high-profile backing for Donald Trump in the US presidential race.

The MEP, who is due to stand aside as Ukip leader tomorrow, said he has received a wave of death threats and no longer goes out in public without security guards.

But he has risked further fury by hinting he could endorse Front National leader Marine Le Pen in the looming French elections.

The Brexit campaigner has long been a controversial figure, and has repeatedly voiced concerns about his own safety in the past.

One of the main reasons he decided to quit as Ukip leader in July was the rising number of threats he was receiving after the historic referendum result. He said his political career had come at a 'significant cost' to his wife Kirsten and children.

However, since then he has taken a high-profile role in the US presidential battle - appearing at rallies for Mr Trump and predicting that he would pull off a Brexit-style political shock.

After the billionaire Republican emerged victorious, Mr Farage became the first British politician to meet him, spending an hour at Trump Tower in New York.

By contrast Theresa May had to make do with a ten minute phone call, coming after a host of other leaders.

Mr Trump then ratcheted up the pressure on the Prime Minister by calling for Mr Farage to be made Britain's ambassador to the US.

The prospect has been dismissed by Downing Street, with Chancellor Philip Hammond telling the MEP not to 'hold his breath' for a call from the government.

Speaking to the Daily Express, Mr Farage said: 'Certainly I would not go out in London of an evening on my own without security - couldn't even think about it. 'I can't even walk down the street without it. I have to go to private places, private venues.'

Mr Farage suggested his support for Trump had 'changed everything' and upped the level of animosity towards him

He also hinted that he could support Marine Le Pen's bid in the looming battle to become French president. He said the Front National leader was 'very determined' and 'brilliant on TV', but there was 'lots of baggage' with her party.

Asked whether he could back her in the latter stages of the presidential race, Mr Farage said: 'It depends what the circumstances are, you'll have to ask me in April. I have never said a bad word about her but I have never said a good word about her party and that's where I am with this - it's slightly awkward.'



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, 2016

Australia: When does physical discipline of a child become unlawful abuse?

This highlights something I have long said.  Some, perhaps most, children are tractable enough to diverted from undesirable behaviour without spanking.  But others are so unruly that no control of their behaviour can be achieved without corporal punishment.  All men are not equal nor are all kids equal, difficult to understand though that seems to be for Leftists.

In the case below, a man used very violent behaviour in an attempt to control extremely violent behaviour by two out of five kids in his household.  What else was he to do?  Shut the kids out on the street?  He was in fact being responsible in trying to teach them restraint.

The judge apparently saw that, pointing out that the behaviour was illegal but  taking a very mild view of the matter.  He ruled that the father could have access to his own untroubled son but cut off access to the violent children, who are now in state care anyway. Rather a Solomon-like verdict, I think

The question arose in the case of a father who had beaten his two eldest children with a cricket bat, but who argued he should still be allowed to see his six-year-old son.

The boy lives with his mother, who opposed her estranged husband having any contact with their boy.

Both she and the father had previously smacked the boy, the Family Court in Newcastle heard. But the mother claimed he was at risk of physical abuse if left with the father, because of the way the man punished his older sons from a previous relationship.

Under the NSW Crimes Act, the defence of lawful correction permits a parent, or someone acting with their authority, to punish a child with physical force. But the force must be reasonable in light of the child's age, health and maturity, as well as their alleged misbehaviour. Force applied to any part of the child's head or neck, or elsewhere on their body in a way likely to cause harm "for more than a short period", is not considered reasonable.

The court heard that from around the time they were aged aged six or seven, the father hit his two eldest sons with a cricket bat and once left them with bruises and welts after beating them with a broken broom handle. In what judge Stewart Austin called a description of "cruel brutality", a sibling recalled hearing the boys beg for mercy and scream with pain, saw the bat used with such force it broke and saw welts on the boys' bottoms.

The boys are now in their early teens and in state care. The three other children in the household had not been abused by the father.

In determining the case, Justice Austin said it was necessary "to differentiate between physical 'discipline' and physical 'abuse'".

"Despite modern society's changing opinion about the morality of corporal punishment of children, the law of NSW still envisages the legitimate administration of physical discipline by an adult to a child, subject to certain constraints," he said. "It is only when the discipline transcends those constraints that it becomes abusive and ceases to be lawful correction."

Justice Austin described the two older boys as "very troubled children", throwing objects, damaging property and "using weapons like knives, broken glass, hammers and loaded spear guns to threaten people".

But the fact that their behaviour "presented an extraordinarily difficult parenting challenge was not an excuse for the severity of their treatment", he said. Their punishment amounted to abuse and "criminal assaults".

However, the judge granted the father unsupervised visits with his six-year-old son, ruling it was in the child's best interests.

The father was not "so unfit as a parent that he is utterly incapable of safely caring for the child for short stints", Justice Austin said. He noted that the father had undergone parenting courses and the little boy was unlikely to be as challenging as his older stepbrothers.


Final Statement of Geert Wilders at his Trial

Mr. President, Members of the Court,

When I decided to address you here today, by making a final statement in this trial against freedom of speech, many people reacted by telling me it is useless. That you, the court, have already written the sentencing verdict a while ago. That everything indicates that you have already convicted me. And perhaps that is true. Nevertheless, here I am. Because I never give up. And I have a message for you and the Netherlands.

For centuries, the Netherlands are a symbol of freedom.

When one says Netherlands, one says freedom. And that is also true, perhaps especially, for those who have a different opinion than the establishment, the opposition. And our most important freedom is freedom of speech.

We, Dutch, say whatever is close to our hearts. And that is precisely what makes our country great. Freedom of speech is our pride.

And that, precisely that, is at stake here, today.

I refuse to believe that we are simply giving this freedom up. Because we are Dutch. That is why we never mince our words. And I, too, will never do that. And I am proud of that. No-one will be able to silence me.

Moreover, members of the court, for me personally, freedom of speech is the only freedom I still have. Every day, I am reminded of that. This morning, for example. I woke up in a safe-house. I got into an armored car and was driven in a convoy to this high security courtroom at Schiphol. The bodyguards, the blue flashing lights, the sirens. Every day again. It is hell. But I am also intensely grateful for it.

Because they protect me, they literally keep me alive, they guarantee the last bit of freedom left to me: my freedom of speech. The freedom to go somewhere and speak about my ideals, my ideas to make the Netherlands -- our country -- stronger and safer. After twelve years without freedom, after having lived for safety reasons, together with my wife, in barracks, prisons and safe-houses, I know what lack of freedom means.

I sincerely hope that this will never happen to you, members of the court. That, unlike me, you will never have to be protected because Islamic terror organizations, such as Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS, and who knows how many individual Muslims, want to murder you. That you will no longer be allowed to empty your own mailbox, need to carry a bulletproof vest at meetings, and that there are police officers guarding the door whenever you use the bathroom. I hope you will be spared this.

However, if you would have experienced it -- no matter how much you disagree with my views -- you might perhaps understand that I cannot remain silent. That I should not remain silent. That I must speak. Not just for myself, but for the Netherlands, our country. That I need to use the only freedom that I still have to protect our country. Against Islam and against terrorism. Against immigration from Islamic countries. Against the huge problem with Moroccans in the Netherlands. I cannot remain silent about it; I have to speak out. That is my duty, I have to address it, I must warn for it, I have to propose solutions for it.

I had to give up my freedom to do this and I will continue. Always. People who want to stop me will have to murder me first.

And so, I stand here before you. Alone. But I am not alone. My voice is the voice of many. In 2012, nearly 1 million Dutch have voted for me. And there will be many more on March 15th.

According to the latest poll, soon, we are going to have two million voters. Members of the court, you know these people. You meet them every day. As many as one in five Dutch citizens would vote the Party for Freedom, today. Perhaps your own driver, your gardener, your doctor or your domestic aid, the girlfriend of a registrar, your physiotherapist, the nurse at the nursing home of your parents, or the baker in your neighborhood. They are ordinary people, ordinary Dutch. The people I am so proud of.

They have elected me to speak on their behalf. I am their spokesman. I am their representative. I say what they think. I speak on their behalf. And I do so determinedly and passionately. Every day again, including here, today.

So, do not forget that, when you judge me, you are not just passing judgment on a single man, but on millions of men and women in the Netherlands. You are judging millions of people. People who agree with me. People who will not understand a conviction. People who want their country back, who are sick and tired of not being listened to, who cherish freedom of expression.

Members of the court, you are passing judgment on the future of the Netherlands. And I tell you: if you convict me, you will convict half of the Netherlands. And many Dutch will lose their last bit of trust in the rule of law.

Of course, I should not have been subjected to this absurd trial. Because this is a political trial. It is a political trial because political issues have to be debated in Parliament and not here. It is a political trial because other politicians -- from mostly government parties -- who spoke about Moroccans have not been prosecuted. It is a political trial because the court is being abused to settle a political score with an opposition leader whom one cannot defeat in Parliament.

This trial here, Mr. President, it stinks. It would be appropriate in Turkey or Iran, where they also drag the opposition to court. It is a charade, an embarrassment for the Netherlands, a mockery of our rule of law.

And it is also an unfair trial because, earlier, one of you -- Mrs. van Rens -- commented negatively on the policy of my party and the successful challenge in the previous Wilders trial. Now, she is going to judge me.

What have I actually done to deserve this travesty? I have spoken about fewer Moroccans at a market, and I have asked questions of PVV members during a campaign event. And I did so, members of the court, because we have a huge problem with Moroccans in this country. And almost no-one dares to speak about it or take tough measures. My party alone has been speaking about this problem for years.

Just look at these past weeks: Moroccan fortune-seekers stealing and robbing in Groningen, abusing our asylum system, and Moroccan youths terrorizing entire neighborhoods in Maassluis, Ede and Almere. I can give tens of thousands of other examples -- almost everyone in the Netherlands knows them or has personally experienced nuisance from criminal Moroccans. If you do not know them, you are living in an ivory tower.

I tell you: If we can no longer honestly address problems in the Netherlands, if we are no longer allowed to use the word "alien," if we, Dutch, are suddenly racists because we want Black Pete to remain black, if we only go unpunished if we want more Moroccans or else are dragged before a criminal court, if we sell out our hard-won freedom of expression, if we use the courts to silence an opposition politician, who threatens to become Prime Minister, then this beautiful country will be doomed. That is unacceptable, because we are Dutch and this is our country.

And again, what on earth have I done wrong? How can the fact be justified that I have to stand here as a suspect, as if I robbed a bank or committed murder?

I only spoke about Moroccans at a market and asked a question at an election-night meeting. And anyone who has the slightest understanding of politics, knows that the election-night meetings of every party consist of political speeches full of slogans, one-liners and making maximum use of the rules of rhetoric. That is our job. That is the way it works in politics.


The Muslim Non-Shooter at Ohio State

"What you need to know about the shooting at Ohio State," blared a headline at USA Today.

Well, first of all, what you need to know is that it wasn't a shooting at all. It was evidently an 18-year-old Somali refugee - a legal permanent resident of the United States and a student at Ohio State University - who drove a car into a crowd before jumping out to cut and stab people with a butcher knife. (Ohio State is a gun free zone, after all...) A campus security guard opened fire, killing the would-be murderer. (College cupcakes protest cops until they need one.) Several people were hospitalized with injuries, some critical, from either the car or the knife.

Media reports about such attacks are notoriously inaccurate, as various outlets scramble to be the first out with a "news alert." And the template for such incidents is to blame a "gunman." But somehow we don't expect to now see reports of the "carman" or the "knifeman."

NBC notes, "The motive was unknown, but officials said the attack was clearly deliberate and may have been planned in advance." No doubt. After all, it was modeled after attacks in Minnesota and California, as well as another that was slightly more famous - the one in Nice, France. In that attack, as in the aforementioned and countless other attacks, the Islamic State-inspired radical perpetrator yelled "Allahu Akbar!" as he took the lives of innocent victims. In Nice, 85 people were mowed down by a terrorist with a 15-ton truck. In September, The Washington Post reported on the model, as well: "The attacks carried out by Palestinians against Israelis often appear to be spontaneous and opportunistic. Many are undertaken by young, unmarried Palestinians. The most common weapon used is a kitchen knife. The second most common is the family car." Check, and check. The Islamic State has called for such attacks.

Meanwhile, the attacker's Facebook page featured a few clues: "America, stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah. We are not weak... By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims. You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday." Furthermore, "I am sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured EVERYWHERE. Seeing my fellow Muslims being tortured, raped and killed in Burma led to a boiling point."

Well, it's not Ohio State students torturing and killing Muslims (and Christians and Jews and others). It's Islamic State radicals.

So you might say that, while the motive is unknown in terms of the official investigation, it is not a reach to speculate that radical Islam is, as usual, the culprit. Yet Obama has imported 43,000 Somalian refugees, 99% of whom are Muslim.


Can Democrats Quit Identity Politics?

For the Democrats, no activity is immune from reflexive accusations of sexism and racism, not even soul-searching.

The initial postelection debate on the left has brought some tentative breaks with the party's oppressive and self-limiting identity politics. And they have been met, predictably, with a furious counterattack wielding all of the usual rhetorical weapons of identity politics - lest fresh air penetrate the intellectual and political hothouse where transgender bathroom issues loom incredibly large and it is forbidden to say "all lives matter."

Rep. Tim Ryan, an Ohio Democrat, is mounting a challenge against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and argues that Democrats are hurt by a paint-by-numbers view of politics. "We try to slice the electorate up," Ryan said on "Meet the Press" over the weekend. "And we try to say, `You're black, you're brown, you're gay, you're straight, you're a woman, you're a man.'"

Ryan might have pointed to a critique of his own leadership bid by a writer at the website ThinkProgress, who opined that his run against Pelosi "is how sexism works." How so? Ryan is a male; Pelosi is a woman. Q.E.D.

Outside of its political effects, this style of argument is childish and intellectually deadening, yet is too ingrained and widespread on the left to be extricated easily.

A recent essay in The New York Times elegantly diagnosed the problem and inadvertently illustrated it. Mark Lilla, a professor at Columbia and highly respected intellectual historian, wrote that "American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism's message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing."

His piece itself occasioned a moral panic, focused overwhelmingly on how Lilla is, in fact, himself a white male. His op-ed was denounced from the left as "the whitest thing I've ever read," and part of an "unconscionable" assault on "the very people who just put the most energy into defeating Trumpism, coming from those who will be made least vulnerable by Trump's ascension."

Most reprehensibly and sophomorically, a Columbia colleague, Katherine Franke, accused Lilla of promoting a "liberalism of white supremacy" (and, for good measure, of "mansplaining"). One wonders if Franke has any conception of words and arguments as a means to persuade rather than to excoriate and shut down debate, or any inkling of her own self-satisfied intolerance.

Bernie Sanders has entered this debate over identity politics, and, incredibly enough, as a voice of reason. He is cautiously on the side of less emphasis on race and gender. "It's not good enough," Sanders said the other day, "for someone to say: `I'm a woman! Vote for me!'" (Whom possibly could he have been thinking of?) The Vermont socialist argues, not surprisingly, that his style of populist economics is the real key to appealing to working-class voters.

The Sanders approach will have a lot of allure for Democrats, since it promises renewed political success on the basis of Hillary Clinton's policy agenda, only more so. There's nothing more comforting to any political party than the idea that the true religion is also a reliable vote-getter.

What Democrats won't want to grapple with is that their problem with Middle America goes deeper than an insufficiently socialistic economic agenda, and deeper than their hard-to-control instinct to call people who disagree with them names. To have broader appeal, Democrats will actually have to meet working-class voters partway on a few cultural issues, whether it is abortion or guns or immigration, even if their concessions are symbolical or rhetorical.

This is what Bill Clinton did in the 1990s when he made inroads into what would come to be known as Red America. This will be a truly painful step, and surely anyone advocating it will be accused of every -ism and -phobia in the book.



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



HOME (Index page)

BIO for John Ray

(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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