The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

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

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

The picture below is worth more than a 1,000 words ...... Better than long speeches. It shows some Middle-Eastern people walking to reach their final objective,to live in a European country, or migrate to America. In the photo, there are 7 men and 1 woman.up to this point – nothing special. But in observing a bit closer, you will notice that the woman has bare feet,accompanied by 3 children, and of the 3, she is carrying 2.There is the problem,none of the men are helping her,because in their culture the woman represents nothing.She is only good to be a slave to the men. Do you really believe that these particular individuals could integrate into our societies and countries and respect our customs and traditions ????

31 December, 2017

Matt Ridley is wrong on IQ and designer babies

Matt Ridley is sound on a lot of things.  He is a climate skeptic, for instance.  But he has succumbed to political correctness below and ends up with an illogical argument.

Some of his arguments may be correct.  His point that the polygenetic nature of IQ makes genetic modification to increase it impossibly difficult, for instance.  Such is the rapid pace of progress in science, however that I would not rule out it one day becoming possible.

But his final argument -- that intelligence is a collective thing -- is just plain sleight of hand.   He is using "intelligence" where he should be using "achievement". It is true that scientific progress and human achievement generally is the product of a huge collectivity but one person can sometimes make a major contribution -- Einstein, for instance. And if genetic modification towards high IQ becomes a common thing, high IQ could give us the "great leap forward" that Mao longed for. Though what its end might be one can only imagine

Christmas Day marks the birthday of one of the most gifted human beings ever born. His brilliance was of a supernoval intensity, but he was, by all accounts, very far from pleasant company. I refer to Isaac Newton.

Would you like your next child to have the intelligence of a Newton? It may not be long before this is a consumer choice, according to an ambitious new company founded in America a few months ago. Genomic Prediction initially plans to offer people who use in-vitro fertilisation the chance to identify and avoid embryos that would be likely to develop diabetes, late-life osteoporosis, schizophrenia and dwarfism. The key is the application of smart software to gigantic databases of genomic information from the population at large so as to spot dangerous combinations of gene variants. The founders also talk of being able to predict intelligence from genes, at least to some degree.

It is of course already common practice to screen embryos for terrible diseases, but only those simply caused by single genes: cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease and so forth. The new idea is to extend this capability to disorders caused by the interaction of many genes, each of small effect: and that is most of them.

This is welcome and potentially ethical, but is it also, after many false starts, the beginning of the slippery slope to designer babies? No, it is not. If anything, the new knowledge will cause such a threat to dissolve.

It is true that intelligence is one of the most strongly heritable human traits, like height. In childhood, among people who get sufficient food and a reasonable education, genes account for about 40 per cent of the variation in IQ. Later in life this rises to more like 80 per cent. If this sounds puzzling, consider this friend of mine: left a bad school at 15, worked as a lorry driver for a big company, which spotted his intelligence and paid for him to attend a top university, where he got a first, rejoined the company and is now a global senior executive: his achievement at 45 better reflects his innate intelligence than his achievement at 15. As a child we don’t get to choose our environments, so clever kids often don’t get to read as many books or do as many mind-bending maths puzzles as they would like, while stupid children read more books and get more maths tutoring than they would if left to their own devices. By adulthood, we are choosing and modifying the life that suits us.

Hence it has always been possible selectively to breed for intelligence. Francis Galton in 1869 pointed out that just as it was easy to ‘obtain by careful selection a permanent breed of dogs or horses gifted with peculiar powers of running, or of doing anything else, so it would be quite practicable to produce a highly gifted race of men by judicious marriages during several consecutive generations’.

However, human beings proved surprisingly unwilling to do this, and most governments eventually gave up trying to coerce them to do it, often with horrific eugenic policies. Then along came artificial insemination and test-tube babies, and surely now we would see a rush to have bright babies, by using sperm banks of Nobel Prize winners? But we did not. People used these technologies to have their own children, not those of Newton-like sperm donors. It is curious
how wrong most experts were about where the demand for IVF would come from: mainly from infertile couples wanting their own children, not fertile people wanting other people’s.

Strange as it may seem to academics, not everybody thinks intelligence matters all that much. They would rather have good- looking or athletic or happy or kind children than super-bright ones. And healthy comes first for almost everybody, so if there is any risk of poor health as a result of selecting an embryo for intelligence, people will, and for all we know very wisely, avoid it.

That is the first reason we will not see designer-intelligence any time soon: there will be little demand, especially if the procedure carries risks. For 50 years we have fretted about designer babies every time there is a new reproductive technology: mitochondrial donation and cloning were the most recent reason for dusting off the old canard.

The second reason is that the genes involved are too numerous and too feeble to be of any practical use. For a long time there was a puzzling gap between what studies of twins and adopted children said about the heritability of intelligence (that it was high), and what genetic surveys found (next to nothing). The first genome-wide association studies — or GWAS — came up empty when looking for gene variants associated with high IQ.

That has changed, thanks to much bigger sample sizes, such as the UK Biobank, which has looked inside the genomes of half a million people of a certain age. Thus, a recent study of nearly 80,000 people, published in May, found 40 new gene variants associated with intelligence. Another study  published in Nature of 1,238 extremely gifted intellectuals turned up more gene variants, including three in a gene called ADAM12.

But the more we find, the more ridiculous the idea of selecting for intelligence looks. Each variant seems to have a small effect, so you would need to fiddle with scores of genes to make a child bright, and fiddling with them might have unforeseen consequences for the health of the child. ADAM12, for example, is hard at work in every organ of the body.

As for the concern that genomic selection for intelligence, if it comes, will be available to the rich but not the poor — well, the same is true for good education. Opportunities to buy the best genes for your children will be dwarfed for decades to come by the ability of the rich to buy the best education for their children. If you must do something, do something about that instead: and preferably do so by making all education as good as the best, rather than as bad as the worst.

Finally, staring us in the face is a more obvious reason why intelligent designer babies will not happen soon and if they do, will not matter much. Individual intelligence is overrated. This is partly the well-worn argument that lots of other characteristics determine success, especially energy and diligence. We know people who are too bright to be decisive; or conversely achieve much in spite of their apparent disadvantages.

However, I mean something more than this. I mean that human achievements are always and everywhere collective. Every object and service you use is the product of different minds working together to invent or manage something that is way beyond the capacity of any individual mind. This is why central planning does not work. Ten million people eat lunch in London most days; how the heck they get what they want and when and where, given that a lot of them decide at the last minute, is baffling. Were there a London lunch commissioner to organise it, he would fail badly. Individual decisions integrated by price signals work, and work very well indeed.

And here is the key insight from evolution. Our brains grew big long, long before we achieved civilisation. We’ve had 1,200cc of intelligence for half a million years: even Neanderthals had huge brains. For 99 per cent of that time we were just another hard-pressed species, as bottle-nosed dolphins are today, and around 75,000 years ago we teeter-ed on the brink of extinction.

What changed was not some bright spark of a new gene being turned on, but that we began to exchange and specialise, to create collective intelligence, rather than rely on individual braininess. To put it another way, dozens of stupid people in a room who talk to each other will achieve far more than an equal number of clever people who don’t. The internet only underlines this point. Human intelligence is a distributed, collaborative phenomenon.


Seattle Public Transit Religious Ads Guideline Could Prove Model for DC Metro, Which Won’t Run Religious Ads

Last week, a federal judge denied a motion from the Archdiocese of Washington for an injunction directing the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to accept and run the archdiocese’s advent advertisements on Metrobuses.

The advertisements, which featured shepherds following a star, urged people to “find the perfect gift” by directing them to a website with Catholic mass times and other religious content.

Metro previously rejected the advertisements as inconsistent with its advertising guidelines, which prohibit, among other things, “advertisements that promote or oppose any religion, religious practice or belief.” The archdiocese initiated a lawsuit in federal district court against Metro, asking that the guideline in question—Guideline 12—be declared unconstitutional.

This is far from the first lawsuit against Metro’s advertising guidelines, which it amended in 2015 to prohibit a wide array of noncommercial advertisements, including those with political or religious messages, endorsing public policies, or attempting to influence public opinion on contentious social issues.

What does this ruling mean? What are the legal arguments being raised against these guidelines? Could Metro have avoided these lawsuits by implementing more flexible policies?

The Injunction Denial Is Far From the End

The federal district court judge only declined to issue a preliminary injunction, which is different than deciding whether the guideline is constitutional.

An injunction is merely a request to make the other party to the lawsuit act or stop acting in a certain way, pending the outcome of the case. The archdiocese essentially asked the judge to require that Metro run its advent advertisements until the court rules on whether Guideline 12 is constitutional.

A preliminary injunction is an “extraordinary and drastic remedy” that is “never awarded as [a matter] of right” (Munaf v. Geren). In other words, it’s intentionally difficult for a party to obtain one.

The judge determined that the archdiocese did not establish that it was likely to succeed on the merits of its case, and that it would not suffer irreparable harm if Metro isn’t required to run the advent advertisements in the interim. On Wednesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals also declined to issue a preliminary injunction for similar reasons.

Legal Arguments Against the Guidelines

The archdiocese raises several legal challenges to Guideline 12, some of which are complicated by the fact Metro is a unique tri-jurisdictional agency, created by Congress as an interstate compact between Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. It’s difficult to ascertain whether and how this might impact the archdiocese’s claims that Guideline 12 violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a federal statute that the Supreme Court ruled cannot constitutionally be applied to the states (City of Boerne v. Flores).

The other major claims, however, appear fairly straightforward.

The archdiocese’s first claim is that Guideline 12 impermissibly restricts its First Amendment right to free speech. Because Metro is a government agency, this case is governed by law concerning the regulation of speech on government property. This means the restriction will be analyzed under the “Public Forum Doctrine,” which categorizes government property as either a traditional public forum, a designated public forum, or a nonpublic forum.

In traditional and designated public forums, regulations that discriminate against speech on the basis of its viewpoint or content are almost always struck down as unconstitutional. In nonpublic forums, however, content-specific regulations may be allowed as long as they are both reasonable and viewpoint-neutral.

The archdiocese contends primarily that Metro’s prohibitions are not viewpoint-neutral and are enforced in a discriminatory manner against religious expression. It points out that Metro allows advertisements for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle charity drive and for a yoga studio, both of which arguably promote religion and religious practices. Further, it argues that Metro allows secular and commercial viewpoints on the Christmas season, while disallowing any promotion of the holiday’s inherently religious underpinnings.

The archdiocese’s second major claim is that Guideline 12 burdens its First Amendment right to freely exercise its religious beliefs.

Similarly to laws and regulations restricting speech, regulations burdening a person or organization’s religious practices must be neutral and generally applicable to survive legal challenges (Emp’t Div. v. Smith). If they are not neutral and generally applicable, they must survive strict scrutiny—that is, they must advance a compelling state interest, be necessary to achieve that interest, and be narrowly tailored to achieve that interest.

To be neutral and generally applicable, laws and regulations cannot single out religious speech or practices for disfavored treatment, and they cannot be enforced in a discriminatory manner against religious practitioners. (Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah).

The archdiocese argues that Metro’s prohibitions disfavor religious speech in general, and establish a preference for nonreligious institutions and viewpoints. In practice, the prohibitions silence all ideological challenges to secularism.

Although absent from the archdiocese complaint, it should be noted that at the same time Metro banned all religiously-oriented viewpoints because of their polarizing nature, it amended the guidelines to allow the advertisement of alcoholic beverages—an equally polarizing advertising topic, according to Metro’s own research.

Metro’s Guidelines Are Misguided

As the late Justice Antonin Scalia famously noted, “It is entirely possible for a law to be really, really stupid and yet be constitutional.” Here, Metro notoriously demands increased funding while simultaneously rejecting revenue streams from fairly uncontroversial advertisements that technically violate its broad advertising guidelines.

Metro’s desire to adopt more restrictive guidelines was not completely unreasonable in and of itself—they were initially amended in 2015 after a proposed advertisement picturing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad caused significant and not entirely unfounded fears of violent backlash.

Similar public outrage had occurred in 1988 after Metro allowed advertisements alleging Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians, in 1995 when it ran anti-abortion advertisements, and in 2001 over advertisements attacking the Catholic Church’s stance on the use of condoms.

It is understandable that Metro sought ways to constitutionally prohibit these types of controversial advertisements that could legitimately hamper its ability to achieve its primary aim—safely getting a D.C. area passenger from Point A to Point B.

However, there are other ways in which Metro could achieve this goal with more narrowly tailored advertising guidelines that could prohibit only those advertisements likely to be harmful or disruptive to the transit system. Had it adopted guidelines similar to those implemented by the King County (Seattle) Department of Transportation, all of this unnecessary litigation and public relations nightmare could have been avoided.

Seattle’s transit advertising guidelines offer perhaps the best example of a healthy balance between raising revenue, treating viewpoints equally, and still ensuring that inflammatory advertisements will not threaten the efficiency of the system or the safety of passengers.

Its prohibitions are limited in scope, and provide flexible but instructive guidelines for assessing whether a particular advertisement falls within a particular prohibition.

Notably, Seattle prohibits political campaign speech and speech that “demeans or disparages an individual, group of individuals, or entity.” But the most relevant prohibition bars advertisements containing “material that is so objectionable as to be reasonably foreseeable that it will result in harm to, disruption of or interference with the transportation system.”

For all of these arguably subjective standards, King County seeks to make the process more objective by employing a “reasonably prudent person” test to determine whether the advertisement would be generally understood as violating the prohibitions on demeaning or disruptive material. In Washington, as in many states, this test has developed a substantial body of judicial precedent that allows for fairly consistent and discernable outcomes.

The practical benefit of this standard is that it protects King County’s interests in passenger safety by actually focusing the prohibitions on material most likely to impact passenger safety and business efficiency. The “harmful or disruptive” prohibitions are not concerned with quashing viewpoints, either on an individual or categorical level. Rather, the concern is much more aligned with “reserv[ing] the forum for its intended purposes,” (see Perry Educ. Ass’n) which is the provision of safe and reliable public transportation.

Under similar guidelines, Metro could have allowed the archdiocese to run its advertisements, while still having an emergency fire extinguisher to eliminate the would-be flames likely to be prompted by advertisements depicting Muhammad or accusing the Catholic Church of murder.

Although this lawsuit is still in its infancy, it appears—for this Christmas, at least—the archdiocese will not be able to run its advertisements on Metrobuses. It is too early to make conclusions on how the court will rule on the merits, as many more facts about whether and how Metro enforces its policy in a discriminatory way may come to light as the litigation proceeds.

One thing, however, is abundantly clear: Metro could have avoided this problem by adopting more narrowly tailored prohibitions that don’t exclude advertisements unlikely to cause disruptions to transit service.

At the very best, Guideline 12 might pass constitutional muster (barely). That doesn’t make it any less worthy of being repealed as a bad policy.


What We Can Learn from Portugal’s Drug Policy

For more than 100 years the United States has looked to prohibition to curtail the use of drugs. Proponents argue that by making substances like marijuana, cocaine and heroin illegal, government can significantly reduce drug-related crime, prevent addiction and stop the spread of drug-related disease.

The results have been less than impressive. In fact, Michael Botticelli, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said the War on Drugs has consisted of “failed policies and failed practices.”

Among alternative policies proposed to better achieve the stated goals are decriminalization of drugs—relaxed enforcement and penalties for drug offenses—and outright legalization of all drugs.

Yes, all of them.

These options may sound counterproductive, but the data tell a different story. In 2001 Portugal shocked the world and voted to decriminalize all drugs in response to a growing heroin problem.

Things like drug trafficking remain illegal, but drug users are viewed as ill rather than criminal. Instead of immediate arrest and incarceration, people caught with less than a 10-day supply of hard drugs are taken before a special court of legal experts, psychologists and social workers. The goal is a health-focused solution to drug use, with an occasional small fine or community service.

Fifteen years later plentiful data tell a drastically different story from what many predicted. Drug use among 15- to 24-year-olds has decreased dramatically and drug-induced deaths dropped from 80 in 2001 to 16 in 2012. Before 2001 Portugal confined around 100,000 drug users. Within the first 10 years of the policy’s adoption, this number halved. Today Portugal boasts one of the lowest drug-usage rates in all of Europe.

People are leaving the drug market and seeking treatment. The number of individuals registered in rehab has risen from 6,000 in 1999 to more than 24,000 in 2008. The number of heroin users who inject the drug has decreased from 45 percent to 17 percent. Injection rates are particularly important when discussing drug-related disease. Drug addicts now account for only 20 percent of HIV cases in the country, a significant improvement from the previous 56 percent.

These results can be explained with basic economics. As people get help for their drug use, the number of users—that is, the demand for drugs—falls. When the demand falls, drug suppliers find that their once-lucrative enterprise no longer bears fruit. So they exit the market.

This would explain why a 2010 study in the British Journal of Criminology found that after decriminalization Portugal saw a significant reduction in the imprisonment of alleged drug dealers, from 14,000 in 2000 to 5,000 in 2010. In fact, the proportion of people in jail for crimes committed while under the influence of drugs or to feed a drug habit fell from 41 percent in 1999 to 21 percent in 2008.

By redirecting resources previously allocated to arresting and jailing drug users, Portugal has not only curbed its drug problem but has created a healthier society. When asked what the global community should take away from Portugal’s policy, Alex Steven, president of the International Society of the Study of Drug Policy, said, “The main lesson to learn (is that) decriminalizing drugs doesn’t necessarily lead to disaster, and it does free up resources for more effective responses to drug-related problems.”

There is something to learn from treating drug use as a physical and mental illness. Consider the results of the Portuguese policy versus the U.S. approach. While Portugal’s rates of use, incarceration and illness have all fallen, drug use in the United States has remained relatively unchanged for the past decade. Each year 1.5 million people are arrested on drug-related charges, 80 percent for mere possession. Half of all federal incarcerations are drug-related.

Few would argue that drug use isn’t a problem. Without a doubt, drug use presents problems for public health and destroys many lives. But when examining the efficacy of drug policies, the U.S. model is nothing short of a complete failure. It’s time to look at alternatives. As the Portuguese case illustrates, so-called “radical” policies may be perfectly reasonable.


Protests Rage In Sweden After Cops Tell Women To ‘Stay inside’ To Avoid Gang Rapes

Hundreds of protesters raged against Swedish police Tuesday after the nation’s law enforcement warned women to “stay inside or walk in pairs” to avoid the slew of gang rapes that have plagued the country this fall.

Police issued the warning Sunday after a 17-year-old was gang raped early Saturday morning in Malmo, Sweden, by an unknown number of attackers, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday. The first of the series of rapes occurred on Nov. 4, followed by another just a week later. Malmo police have opened a preliminary investigation into the rape, and they have defended their comment, claiming their words are being taken out of context.

“It’s about common sense. We are not warning people not to be outside, but to think twice and maybe not walk alone late at night and instead go with others or take a taxi,” said Anders Nilsson, a Malmo police officer.

Despite their defense, however, Malmo police yielded to protesters Tuesday and retracted the statement.

Sweden’s rape rate is among the highest in the world. This summer, a Swedish music festival decided to cancel its 2018 event due to the spree of rapes that took place at the event. Attendees reported three rapes and 22 sexual assaults by the festival’s conclusion in early July, and the festival’s founder said he can no longer allow the festival to go on.

The country’s immigrant rape problem has also escalated as it has taken in more and more refugees from conflicts in the Middle East. Sweden has also shown great reluctance to deport refugees and foreigners who have been convicted of rape. Only 13 percent of foreigners registered as Swedish residents found guilty of raping children between 2010-2014 were sent home. Among those not registered as Swedish residents, only 40 percent of foreign child rapists are deported.



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

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

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


29 December, 2017

NZ singer Lorde talked out of performing in Israel by Leftist lies

Lorde announced on December 18 that she was going to play concerts in Moscow, St Petersburg and Tel Aviv next May as part of her Melodrama world tour. But it didn't take long for many of her fans to urge a rethink.

"Playing in Tel Aviv will be seen as giving support to the policies of the Israeli government, even if you make no comment on the political situation," wrote two female fans in New Zealand, one an Israeli Jew and the other a Palestinian. "Please join the artistic boycott of Israel, cancel your Israeli tour dates and make a stand. Your voice will join many others and together we can and will make a difference."

The issue they were highlighting was the continued occupation of Palestinian lands and the illegal construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. It has spawned the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign, which in part urges artists not to appear in Israel because doing so helps "create the false impression that Israel is a 'normal' country like any other". In fact, the Palestinian-led campaign insists, Israel is an apartheid state pursuing policies that amount to ethnic cleansing.

It's powerful, heavily charged stuff, complicated further by the fact that some within the BDS movement think the state of Israel has no right to exist at all.


Christians Sign Statement of Christian Faith, Left Goes Nuts

The Bible could not be clearer that homosexuality is an abomination to God

Christians aren’t supposed to believe what the Bible teaches; Christians are instead supposed to believe what 21st century social justice warriors allow them to believe. That’s essentially the message of progressives in the wake of the signing by many prominent Evangelical Christians of the Nashville Statement.

National Review’s David French, who was among the signers, sums it up: “It’s a basic declaration of Christian orthodoxy on sexuality, sexual orientation, and sexual identity. Its 14 articles can be boiled down to a simple statement: We believe the Bible is the word of God, and the word of God declares that sexual intimacy is reserved for the lifelong union of a man and a woman in marriage. It acknowledges the reality of same-sex attraction as well as the reality of transgender self-conceptions, but denies that God sanctions same-sex sexual activity or a transgendered self-conception that is at odds with biological reality. In other words, it’s basic Christianity.”

Naturally, that’s vile bigotry to many on the Left. In addition to the leftist Christians whose politics often trump their belief in the Bible’s teachings, Nashville’s Democrat Mayor Megan Barry weighed in, tweeting, “The @CBMWorg’s so-called ‘Nashville Statement’ is poorly named and does not represent the inclusive values of the city & people of Nashville.” But given the large conservative Evangelical presence in Nashville, we’d say that the statement is in fact a fair and accurate representation.

But as French notes, Barry’s proclamation, as representative of Nashville’s government, is “a declaration of state against church.” It’s the mayor telling many of her own citizens that they do not represent their city. This line of totalitarian thinking is exactly what drove the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage, among other things. Americans are being told what to think by the Rainbow Mafia and its Big Media enablers. Or should we say feel? Because that’s what this is — emotion-driven, “love wins” policymaking that subjects those who disagree to disdain, mockery and even criminal penalty. Is that the kind of religious liberty the Pilgrims came here to establish?


Banning Media Mega-Mergers May Protect First Amendment

By Rick Manning

The First Amendment to the Constitution protecting the right to engage in speech is fundamental to a free country. The past few years have seen multiple attempts by the Democratic Party and their far-left supporters to create a new definition of this right - the freedom from speech that one doesn't like.

While this trend toward the left trying to redefine rights as being freedom from activity they don't like is not new, it has taken hold as the dominant philosophy of the Democratic Party in the past few years. It was just in September of 2014, that Senate Democrats voted to repeal the First Amendment and replace it with language that would end protections for political speech.

Now, violent left-wing protesters shut down speeches of those they don't agree with on college campuses and spent last year attacking Donald Trump supporters with the acquiescence of local officials and the police they direct in places like Chicago and San Jose, California.

Facebook, Google, and Twitter have all come under fire for restricting speech from individuals and groups on the right with which their internal political culture disagrees.

It is this new, intolerant attitude toward speech that is leading to a re-examination of the wisdom of allowing the consolidation of media outlets that control both the pipelines for distributing and the content they distribute.

Into this mix, AT&T and Time Warner attempted to merge and candidate Donald Trump warned against the creation of this corporate behemoth saying in October of 2016, "As an example of the power structure I'm fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few."

After exhaustive review and more than a year later, the Justice Department announced that they would be filing a lawsuit against the merger writing, "As AT&T itself has expressly acknowledged, distributors with control over popular programming "have the incentive and ability to use . . . that control as a weapon to hinder competition."  And, as DirecTV itself has explained, such vertically integrated programmers "can much more credibly threaten to withhold programming from rival [distributors]" and can "use such threats to demand higher prices and more favorable terms."  This merger would create just such a vertically integrated programmer and cause precisely such harms to competition."

The legal challenge to the merger creates a new marker for big media that the Justice Department will not be a rubber stamp. But most importantly, it should force other potential mega-media mergers like the just announced Disney and 21st Century Fox acquisitions to worry about the stifling of competition inherent in behemoth companies and the new DOJ sensitivity toward media monopolies.

Disney Corporation, for instance, has been at the forefront of legally attacking VidAngel, a small Utah company, that allows movie purchasers to automatically fast forward past offensive materials. VidAngel encourages its customers to purchase Disney or other movie products and then use the filtering invention to protect their family from content that parents believe is inappropriate without having to miss the entire movie. In the wake of the new DOJ scrutiny of mega-media mergers, it is not a good look for Disney to be seeking to legally use its money and power to squash a small competitor.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions' DOJ decision to challenge giant media companies seeking to harm competition may turn out to be one of the most consequential decisions of the Trump Administration. And what's more, it may be the turning point in assuring that the First Amendment does not get washed away in media merger mania.


Too bad if working mothers deprive their chidren of needed attention.  Just give them a pill

Earlier this year I reviewed various topics covered in psychotherapist Erica Komisar’s much-needed book Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters. The book covers the culture of motherhood in such a profound way that I’d line it up with Ina May Gaskin’s Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and Stephen Camarata’s The Intuitive Parent in a trifecta of required reading for all new parents.

Komisar’s book is focused on the mental health of both mother and child during the first three years of a child’s life. Focusing on the mother-child relationship, Komisar delves into the reasons why ADD/ADHD, depression, and anxiety diagnoses have skyrocketed among children over the past decade. Her conclusion is simple: Culture pushes mothers away from their children long before children are ready to separate. This cultural demand puts the psychological health of both mother and child at serious, even long-term risk.

Komisar’s book became popular enough to attract the attention of the Wall Street Journal. Her profile in the paper then attracted even more attention, this time in the form of accusations Komisar originally received from publishers who rejected her manuscript, fearing feminist backlash. You’re setting women back! You’re making women feel guilty!

Komisar’s call for a child-centric culture was screamed against by feminists, the irony being twofold. One, mainstream feminists proved themselves to be the single-issue anti-child movement they’ve been accused of being since Roe v. Wade. Two, perhaps more frighteningly, these feminists favor '60s politics over current scientific data. If it is children who are being sacrificed on the altar of the former, the latter is an altar on which today’s women are being burnt alive by their own sisterhood.

The government is well aware of the toll cultural pressures have taken on the mental health of today’s mothers. So aware, in fact, that they’re right ready to step in with a new program called Healthy Steps, “ a national program designed to improve the delivery of developmental and behavioral services to young children through primary pediatric care.”

It is worth noting that Healthy Steps is managed by ZERO TO THREE, an organization that began as a pet project of the National Institute of Mental Health’s Clinical Unit in the 1970s. By the '90s, ZERO TO THREE was a corporation so intertwined with government agencies that then-First Lady Hillary Clinton was featured at their 20th anniversary gala honoring Senators Ted Kennedy, Chris Dodd, Jim Jeffords and John Kerry, all hearty advocates of universal healthcare.

Healthy Steps is being praised in parent media as a program that allows mothers to have mental health screenings at their children’s pediatric appointments. The belief is that through these screenings maternal depression that might otherwise go ignored can be diagnosed and treated before it has a long-term negative impact on the family.

What the Healthy Steps press doesn’t dive into is the fact that most general practitioners, given a limited window with patients, will simply prescribe antidepressant medication if their patient fits the bill. Hence, “the use of antidepressants increased nearly 400 percent between 1988 and 2008, mostly among women between the ages of 40 and 59.”

Instead of seeking out the right mental health experts to address mental health issues, busy mothers are more apt to take the pill at a timely appointment and keep going. And because general practitioners have become the primary prescribers of antidepressant medication, “the increasing trend in long-term antidepressant use was almost entirely in adults who received their medications from general medical providers.” And because drugs are cheaper than therapy, insurance companies prefer you just take the medication, regardless of the dangerous side effects of taking these medications long term.

Research indicating that “ important data about the safety of these drugs — especially their risks for children and adolescents — has been withheld from the medical community and the public,” doesn’t surface in Healthy Steps literature. This, combined with current medical practices leads one to conclude that if you’re planning on using Healthy Steps to address your own maternal health issues, you’ll just be given a prescription to pop a pill.

Ironically, Komisar was driven to write her book based on the dramatic increase in mental health diagnoses among children. Now we’re learning that the government’s response to addressing the child mental health crisis is to medicate mothers. Instead of addressing the real issue, culturally forced maternal-child separation at far too young an age, we’re sedating ourselves into acceptance of a cultural norm that is anything but normal.



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

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

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


28 December, 2017

Hate vs. Hate in the War to Whitewash History

The awful violence in Charlottesville is the inevitable culmination of the Left's goal of eradicating opposing viewpoints.

The despicable violence in Charlottesville is one predictable and inevitable outcome of the Leftist objective to eradicate opposing viewpoints. Whitewashing history (pardon the pun) and engaging in political violence are tools to that end.

As the Dallas Morning News observantly noted, “History is not easily compartmentalized. It isn’t simply right versus wrong, black versus white, or blue versus gray. But there’s an entire crowd of folks who want to do just that because they believe it is all those things, and most egregiously, they believe there is an individual right for all to go through life unoffended.”

Dr. Lee Cheek, senior fellow of the Alexander Hamilton Institute, concurred, noting, “The events in Charlottesville have no connection to understanding the political traditions of the American South, and everything to do with battles among professional ideologues without any attachment or knowledge of the historical situation.”

Millions of Southerners are proud of their heritage for reasons that have nothing to do with slavery. They revere Confederate General Robert E. Lee, who stated in 1856, five years before the commencement of the War Between the States, “In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former.”

For the record, Lee was not a slave owner but was in charge of the estate of his wife’s father in 1857, who decreed that his plantation slaves should be freed in five years. In 1862, Lee did just that, and part of that former plantation is now Arlington National Cemetery. Similarly, but rarely mentioned, Union commander Ulysses Grant managed the 850-acre White Haven plantation of his wife’s father near St. Louis, and actually worked and had purchased slaves, whom he also later freed.

Lee is heralded as a brilliant military strategist who served America faithfully in the Mexican War and as Superintendent of West Point. However, when called upon by President Abraham Lincoln to lead Union forces against the seceding South, he declined, incapable of bearing arms against his family, friends and home state. He accepted the commission as commander of Confederate forces in order to defend his beloved state of Virginia. Following the war, Lee worked tirelessly to convince his fellow Southerners to seek peace and reconciliation.

None of this matters to the Left, though. There is no understanding of the complexities of history, no appreciation for context. Slavery has existed throughout human history, regardless of color or nationality. In fact, there are more people enslaved worldwide today than ever before, including slavery practiced by Muslims. Mohammad owned slaves. One wonders if American progressives will now call for banning all things Islamic.

Indeed, how far will this go? Historical monuments of the Confederacy are being removed in Memphis, Lexington, Baltimore, New Orleans and elsewhere to appease angry leftists. These fascists even desecrated an Atlanta monument dedicated to unity and reconciliation.

Violent leftists have rioted in recent years in Brooklyn, Baltimore, Chicago, Ferguson, Charlotte, Berkeley, DC, Oakland and other cities, destroying businesses, setting cars on fire, and dragging people from their cars and beating them, declaring their right to do so because of past and current “injustices” — such as hearing words they don’t like.

As detestable as the KKK and white supremacists are, they have a right to speak and to peaceably assemble. Our First Amendment was written specifically to protect unpopular speech, and we show our own intolerance by silencing those with whom we disagree. The violence in Charlottesville would not likely have occurred had not the leftist agitators shown up looking to pick a fight, though the murderous Nazi thug is obviously responsible for his own actions.

So again we ask, how far does this go?

Do we eliminate all monuments to Democrat/progressive hero Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who opposed anti-lynching legislation, turned a blind eye to the Nazi eradication of Jews, and imprisoned 100,000 Japanese-Americans? What about progressive icon and racist Woodrow Wilson, who re-segregated the federal workforce?

Progressives have already declared war on Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, who owned slaves but sought to prohibit slavery in the newly formed nation. They now call for taking down the Jefferson Memorial.

Even Lincoln, author of the Emancipation Proclamation, is not immune to leftist hatred. The Lincoln Memorial was desecrated Tuesday. Is that because Lincoln, a staunch opponent of slavery, was willing to save it in order to preserve the Union, or because he also believed in the superiority of the white race?

If we truly want to rid our nation of its shameful history regarding racism, let’s start by abolishing the racist Democrat Party. After all, it was the Democrats who waged war to preserve slavery, founded the KKK, enacted Jim Crow laws, and fought against Republican efforts to pass the Civil Rights Act.

Democrat President Andrew Jackson owned slaves and signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

It was Harry Truman who wrote to his wife, “I think one man is just as good as another so long as he’s not a n—er or a Chinaman.”

It was the Democrat Party that praised Senator and former KKK Exalted Cyclops Robert Byrd until his death a few years ago, a man who filibustered the Civil Rights Act for 14 hours. It was Lyndon Johnson, a virulent racist but a political pragmatist, who told two Southern Democrat governors his signing of the Civil Rights Act would “have those n—ers voting Democrat for 200 years.” And it’s Johnson’s “Great Society” that has yielded today’s urban poverty plantations, where blacks slaughter other blacks without too much notice from the Leftmedia.

What about Bill Clinton, whining about the upstart Barack Obama: “A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags”? Oh, by the way, turns out Obama is the direct maternal line descendant of slave owners! Or the absolute devotion of Democrats to Planned Parenthood, founded by eugenicist Margaret Sanger for the express purpose of exterminating blacks through abortion and sterilization? According to Tuskegee University, the KKK lynched 3,446 blacks in 86 years. Planned Parenthood is a white supremacist’s dream, killing more blacks in two weeks than the KKK killed in a century. And the Democrat Party fights to ensure that $500 million a year in taxpayer funds is funneled to Planned Parenthood to kill all of those black babies.

Oh, and no small irony, it turns out that Obama, who has stoked the fires of racial hatred for his entire political career, and been the loudest voice for black supremacy, is, himself, the direct maternal descendant of slave owners. (Oops.) Hard to erase that history, though references to Obama’s family ties to slavery are sparse because, again, that doesn’t fit neatly with the Left’s race-bait political narrative.

Can we at least agree to remove the Seattle monument to Vladimir Lenin? Anyone? Anyone?

As 20th century philosopher George Santayana concluded in his treatise, “The Life of Reason”: “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” English writer Aldous Huxley put it more succinctly: “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”

How far do we go to whitewash history? When do they start burning books? Will the Left accelerate the violence in order to oppress of opposing viewpoints? If so, then Charlottesville is only a whistle stop along the road to national dissolution.

Footnote: Before tearing down statues became a Leftist fad, Virginia’s Clintonista Governor, New Yorker Terry McAuliffe, characterized the Robert Lee and Stonewall Jackson statues on Richmond’s Monument Avenue “parts of our heritage.” After Charlottesville, McAuliffe now characterizes them as “flashpoints for hatred, division, and violence.” And speaking of “New Yorkers,” the latest Leftist to jump on the race-bait freight train is New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who has found some Lee and Jackson statues to remove in his state. Perhaps he should pick up a history book – New York is named for one of the most notorious slave traders in history, the Duke of York. Finally, on the subject of historical revision, longtime friend of The Patriot Post, distinguished George Mason University professor Walter Williams, has issued erudite warnings about the consequences of historical ignorance here and here, including the removal of historic markers to Confederate generals and the rewriting American history.


Challenging the Racist Cops Myth

The petulant NFL kneelers are protesting a racism myth.

NFL players kneeling in protest during the national anthem was a movement steadily gaining momentum. It suddenly exploded after Donald Trump called out the protesting players for disrespecting the American flag. Now the Leftmedia elite are blaming Trump for causing “division.” But the truth is Trump hit upon an issue that has become deeply offensive to many Americans: Multi-millionaires are protesting supposed injustice and racism in America that is simply not backed up by the facts. Those protesting are demanding that Americans concede to accepting a reality that amounts to a lie. And what is that lie? That police across the nation are systemically racist against blacks. It’s the Democrat war on cops.

Any time an issue like racism is raised, it evokes high degrees of emotion and passion, because it hits at two fundamental truths. First, an individual has absolutely no control over their race; quite literally they are “born that way.” Second, people naturally gravitate toward and relate to those with whom they share the most in common. And neither of these truths are inherently wrong or evil. When these realities are raised as ultimate delimiters and primary identifiers between people, that’s when the ugly problem of racism emerges. In other words, friction happens when people are taught to attribute everything about themselves and others primarily to the lowest common denominator of race. For example, the reason you got in trouble was because you’re black, or the reason you got into a good school is because you are Asian, etc.

It is precisely this flawed race-based mindset that has been behind the current NFL anthem protests. When objectively looking at the actual data, an honest individual can easily see the flaw in these protesters’ objections. The truth is that police are not a bunch of racists running around seeking black men to kill or imprison.

In 2015, the number of individuals killed by police was 995. That’s out of a total population of 318 million people. Obviously, the bare fact that an individual was killed doesn’t tell the whole story, but of those killed only 90 were determined to be unarmed. Of those unarmed individuals killed only 4% were black men killed by white cops. In the vast majority of all police killings (three-quarters), law enforcement officers were confronted by individuals who were armed. One statistic often left out of the conversation is the number of police killed. In 2015, 124 out of an estimated 900,000 full-time federal, state and local officers lost their lives in the line of duty.

The objective data simply does not support the protesters’ message of a pandemic of racist cops. It is merely a popular myth perpetuated by those who ply their trade by convincing people that they are helpless victims and targets of some massively unjust society, especially the police.

Why is it that none of these NFL players or owners has the courage to actually stand up and challenge the lie that is being perpetuated? The greater problem is not players kneeling during the national anthem, it’s that no one is willing to step up and challenge the lie of systemic racism.


Masculinity: Being a Man in a 'Pajama Boy' Age

Our culture has dumbed down and feminized men for decades.

One of the enduring symbols of the Obama years may be that of the “pajama boy.” In an effort to get younger people to sign up for health insurance, in December 2013 Organizing for Action tweeted out the now-infamous photo of a young hipster with the caption, “Wear pajamas. Drink hot chocolate. Talk about getting health insurance.” Whether it was a present-day indication or a sign of things to come, college-age men are now told about “toxic masculinity” and warned that “the ‘three most destructive’ words a boy can hear growing up are ‘be a man.’” In terms of biology, boys have little choice but to become men, but their behavior as such is influenced by their culture and role models.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, we were told that it was time for the first female president to break the “glass ceiling” men had created. Hillary Clinton was even set up with a heel suitable for a WWE event: an opponent in Donald Trump who made headlines from decade-old remarks about his prowess in grabbing women he desired as sexual objects — remarks that were kept on ice by the Leftmedia until they could be released to devastating effect as an October surprise.

Intentionally or not, Trump has fit himself into one of the primary stereotypes Hollywood has created for male characters — that of the boorish, bigoted cad with little redeeming social value. He’s an even less sympathetic version of Archie Bunker. When leftist Norman Lear created spinoff shows from the popular “All in the Family,” he also created similar male characters like Walter Findlay (husband of “Maude”) and George Jefferson. “Seinfeld” had a different take on this with Frank Costanza, George’s dad.

From that style of behavior, we go to another Hollywood favorite: the incompetent dad who screws everything up, leaving the female lead to solve the problems. (Think Ray Barone of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” Homer Simpson or “Family Guy” Peter Griffin.) Another variation of this: the complete loser. (Think Al Bundy of the ‘80s sitcom “Married With Children.”)

A second media creation about how to “be a man” comes from the hardcore rappers who endlessly work out rhymes that call women some equivalent of the b-word or another that rhymes with “so.” (Some raunchy female artists do this, too, and then richly complain about objectification of women.) Over the years that mentality has led to millions of children born to unwed mothers who have no father in their life — meanwhile, the “baby daddy” may have several other children by multiple women. It’s the virility of being “macho” but without the virtues of decency, maturity or responsibility.

With these portrayals of fatherhood, it’s obvious our mass media celebrates an era of “girl power” that leaves younger boys as afterthoughts bereft of good role models. They can’t even pretend to be a good male Disney character anymore — the media giant hardly crafts such male role models any more.

To be an acceptable man in our culture is to have those elements as a beta male, allowing yourself to get in touch with your feelings. Being a strong male — not necessarily the John Wayne caricature, but simply a man with the mental and physical strength to be a provider, husband, family leader and thoughtful Patriot — is now frowned upon, to the lament of those who recall a time when men weren’t so “vulnerable.”

Good male role models are a requirement, though, for a boy to have the best chance at leading a happy, fulfilling life. Yes, boys can have a strong single mother and succeed — and millions have done so despite the odds being against them. But in our worldly base of knowledge that shakes its fist at tradition and insists that an enlightened few know better, we’ve devolved to living like the pajama boy.

Changing that requires much more than a new president. It requires looking past those emasculating “experts” who would tell our boys how to be men and finding good role models and mentors who do it the right way every day. Fortunately, such role models are still out there — if we would only look for them.


Conservatives get canceled, liberals quit laughing: How Trump’s election killed comedy

National Public Radio host Jesse Thorn announced this year that his now 6-year-old child, who was born a biological male, is transgender and will be raised as a girl named Grace.

Some on the left praised Mr. Thorn for his openness and tolerance. Conservative comedian Owen Benjamin had different words for it: child abuse.

Mr. Benjamin said as much while performing at a college campus. In one of his routines, he quipped that he would have been labeled a girl as a child because he liked to weave and hated sports. Once puberty hit, he was clearly male because he wanted to have sex with women.

Within days, the University of Connecticut canceled Mr. Benjamin’s scheduled appearance, costing him a $7,500 paycheck. His manager and agent both dropped him. Comedy clubs canceled his appearances, and the comedian, who had been performing at nearly 20 colleges a year, suddenly had nothing on his schedule.

“I just got massacred,” Mr. Benjamin said of the backlash. “I had people telling me that I was bullying a transgender child. I was actually bullying an adult that was committing child abuse. If anything, I am the only one standing up for the child.”

Conservatives who work in comedy say his experience is not unusual. In an industry that has historically tilted left, they have been ridiculed for their views.

But since the election of Donald Trump, they have become pariahs.

“Comedy is dead, except for calling Donald Trump a Nazi,” said Rodney Lee Conover, a right-leaning comedian who got his start writing jokes for Rush Limbaugh.

The tectonic shift left is not just in comedy clubs’ brick walls but in our living rooms. Johnny Carson’s middle-of-the-road political comedy has been replaced with Stephen Colbert (host of CBS’ “The Late Show”), John Oliver (host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight”), Trevor Noah (host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”) and others bashing all things conservative on a nightly basis.

Jimmy Kimmel has turned his late-night program on ABC into a seminar on health care. Although his rants have been judged as inaccurate and misleading, it doesn’t stop them from being shared across social media, where they become gospel for many Americans.

Mr. Kimmel revealed that some of his pro-Obamacare monologues were based on talking points provided by Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat.

Mr. Kimmel told CBS’ “60 Minutes” in October that he has no problem losing Republican viewers over his political commentary. The interview occurred shortly after he abandoned another monologue to call for stricter gun control.

At the heart of the comedy is Mr. Trump, who is on pace to become the most ridiculed president ever, according to the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University.

During his first 100 days in office, Mr. Trump was the subject of 1,060 jokes by late-night comedians — twice that of George W. Bush during his entire first year. Mr. Trump should easily shatter the full-year record for jokes, set by Bill Clinton in 1998 — the year of the Monica Lewinski scandal.

But the jokes go beyond Mr. Trump to include those who might have voted for him.

Samantha Bee was forced to issue an apology in March after mocking a Conservative Political Action Conference attendee for having “Nazi hair.” The target of her haircut joke had undergone radiation treatment for stage 4 brain cancer.

“There are no jokes anymore,” Mr. Conover said. “It’s just complete anger and rage.”

Steve McGrew nearly fell victim to the rage this year. The stand-up had always avoided politics in his act. But in March, he released a song parody mocking the left’s reaction to Hillary Clinton’s defeat. The song, “Friends in Safe Spaces,” featured Mr. McGrew playing “Liberal Larry,” a caricature of leftist stereotypes.

Released on social media, the song became a viral hit and was featured on Fox News. The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where Mr. McGrew is a regular performer, was flooded with calls and emails demanding his firing. Some of those calls even came from friends in the industry.

MGM refused to bow to the pressure, but two smaller comedy clubs said they didn’t want Mr. McGrew back.

“I was not prepared for the backlash,” Mr. McGrew said. “I’ve felt it before as a conservative comic, but it was not nearly as bad until Trump got elected. I’ve been called a racist, Nazi, hate monger — and people are trying to interfere with my livelihood.”

No conservative Colbert

Conservatives have longed to have their own version of Mr. Colbert break through, yet no one has emerged.

Some conservatives say Hollywood’s progressive gatekeepers would never allow such a show on the air, but others claim it wouldn’t attract viewers.

“Networks’ golden rule is to allow anything that makes money,” said Ned Rice, a conservative who has written for Mr. Kimmel, Bill Maher and others. “But the audience isn’t there to support a whole show.”

The numbers appear to support that theory.

Mr. Rice and Mr. Conover both wrote for the “The ½ Hour News Hour.” The show, which aired in 2007 on the Fox News Channel, was promoted as the conservative alternative to “The Daily Show.” It was canceled after 17 episodes amid poor ratings and brutal reviews from critics.

Seven years later, Michael Loftus launched “The Flipside,” a second attempt at a conservative “Daily Show.” It lasted three seasons but was distributed to small cable networks such as Family Entertainment Television and aired in the early mornings.

The comics say network censors forced them to tone down their conservative beliefs, limiting the targets of their comedy.

“When you have a view that is labeled as hate speech, you are afraid of getting sued,” Mr. Loftus said. “I played it safe, and it wasn’t as artistically rewarding.”

Trump-bashing, though, has been a recipe for success.

Mr. Colbert was trailing rival Jimmy Fallon (host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show”) in the ratings war for more than a year. There was talk of replacing Mr. Colbert with “The Late, Late Show” host James Corden before he went full-throttle anti-Trump. Mr. Colbert surged ahead of Mr. Fallon in the week of Mr. Trump’s inauguration and hasn’t looked back since.

Mr. Fallon, meanwhile, has never recovered from the critical scorn of his interview with Mr. Trump. He was blasted for asking softball questions and accused of “trying to normalize” Mr. Trump by mussing his hair.

“If you can do one-sided comedy and increase your audience size, then that is what is going to happen,” said Robert S. Lichter, director of the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. “There was always a fear of limiting your audience, but that is not an issue anymore because the country is so polarized you can pick your audience.”

Playing to the platform

Dannagal Young, a communication professor at the University of Delaware, was studying the lack of conservatives in comedy when she noticed that both sides have different senses of humor. Her work suggests conservatives prefer more explicit kinds of humor, while liberals appreciate irony, the tool most used by late-night comedians.

Nonetheless, conservatives dominate on the radio and on political commentary shows such as Fox News’ evening lineup.

“There already is a conservative Stephen Colbert, and it is Sean Hannity,” Ms. Young said.

Liberal radio, meanwhile, hasn’t cut it.

Air America was launched in 2004 as a liberal talk-radio network. Plagued by low ratings and a lack of advertisers, it declared bankruptcy in 2006 and went off the air in 2010 after a second bankruptcy filing.

Mr. Rice said it’s tougher to do conservative comedy because it challenges commonly held views.

“If you do a show about Republicans being greedy, people will laugh because they believe that to be true,” he said. “But if you do a joke about how welfare has made poverty worse — which is a fact — people won’t laugh because they don’t know if it is true.”

But establishing a conservative late-night show is necessary if the movement wants to survive, Mr. Loftus said.

“If you are a kid and clicking around at night, you can’t even stumble across a conservative view by accident,” he said. “If a kid can’t find a different opinion and say, ‘I never thought of that,’ then the conservative movement is doomed.”

Mr. Benjamin, the comic who racked up cancellations after his transgender riff, had to change his business model. Now he asks fans in various cities to donate $20 for a ticket. Once the total donations for an individual city reaches $3,000, Mr. Benjamin will rent a theater in that town and perform for his supporters.

He doesn’t regret his comments, however.

“Now that the source of my income is the people I’m actually trying to entertain. I’m much happier for it,” he said.

Mr. McGrew said he now has fans who never heard of him until the outrage over his Liberal Larry character.

“As much as it was a horrible time because I lost friends and [was] attacked by people in the industry, it was a great time because I got discovered by middle America,” he said. “YouTube and social media has done more for me than a Hollywood executive ever could.”

Being a conservative in such a liberal-dominated industry has a special kind of allure, Mr. Loftus said.

“I became a comedian because I wanted to speak for the underdog, and conservatives are the underdog,” he said. “Being a conservative comedian is edgy, dangerous and kind of cool. I haven’t felt this way since I was in a punk band in high school.”



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

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

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


27 December, 2017

#MeToo and Innocent Men


John Hawkins has a post up on the #MeToo movement and  how it affects "normal" men:

Maybe all these people are creeps and everything is much worse than they are claiming it is. On the other hand, maybe they’re not. Maybe we’re just entering an era where a normal guy can have his life destroyed years or even decades later because an angry ex-girlfriend makes an allegation, a woman doesn’t like a man patting her on the back or because some woman changes her mind about what certainly must have seemed to him to be a consensual sexual encounter.

It’s great to root out the Harvey Weinstein and Russell Simmons types (if they’re guilty), but it’s not okay for legions of regular guys to lose their jobs and have their lives destroyed because they’re making an awkward attempt to find a girlfriend. If more of us aren’t willing to speak up, that seems to be exactly where all of this is going.

The problem with this hysterical movement is that it labels all men rapists, but that's the idea.

Women today and their enablers are seeking to control all men--believe it.  John is right,  men must speak up.  If more men and their allies speak up and fight back, maybe this will be a fad rather than a new era of political and social control of half the human experience. Don't stay silent.


UK: Empire-bashing National Archive backs down

For some, Britain's imperial past is a source of patriotic pride; for others, a stain on the national conscience.

However, while the official government archive might have been expected to have taken a neutral stance, it has withdrawn a series of displays at its headquarters and a blog post after it was criticised for "empire bashing".

The National Archives admitted it was presenting a view of Britain's colonial history without "due impartiality" after it was accused by a retired history lecturer of anti-British bias in an exhibition at its Keeper's Gallery, where it introduces visitors to historic moments covered by its 11 million records.


No Nativity Scene Allowed at the Beziers Town Hall

 Press release from the town of Beziers in France:

We reported last week on Robert Menard, the Front National mayor of the town of Beziers in the South of France. Mr. Menard had sinned against French secularism by setting up a Christmas creche at the town hall. The local prefect demanded that the mayor take it down, but he refused.

Now the prefect has taken action. Many thanks to Ava Lon for translating this press release from the town of Beziers, as posted on Twitter:

"For the first time in France, the state expels the Nativity Scene of a town hall

The Nativity Scene at the office of the mayor of Beziers is expelled from the Town Hall. The decision of the Administrative Court of Montpellier fell on Monday, December 18th. An aberrant decision against which the City of Beziers reserves the right to appeal. But is the most striking is that this court decision comes after a complaint. by the prefect of Herault"

It's no longer a question of some nasty secular associations determined to do our figurines in, as was the case in 2014 or 2016. No, this time it is the State which, alone, via its representative in Herault, has the Nativity Scene removed. It's a "first", whose symbolic -and historical- significance is absolutely stunning to us.

More staggering still, the judgment that has just been rendered. The judge hearing the application, who is supposed to rule on the "urgency", makes a basic decision on the Nativity Scene. The court considers that "the installation of such a Nativity Scene ... in a public place, is legally possible only when its character is cultural, artistic or festive" and that "the installation in question does not exhibit any particular artistic character, being comprised only of ordinary figurines." Thus, we learn that the judge is now competent to judge the presence -or absence - of the cultural aspects of an exhibition in the context of Christmas animations.

The court decision therefore requires the municipality of Beziers to remove its Nativity Scene from the hall of their Town Hall. Tomorrow, it will be moved. To continue to admire the traditional Christmas Nativity Scene of Beziers, we invite all Biterrois [residents of Beziers] on Thursday, December 21 to come to the lobby of the Hotel Dulac, 27 rue 4 September. The Nativity Scene of Beziers will be there and very visible too, from 8am to 7pm.

Bottom line, the city of Beziers will not let this rest. Because it knows it will be able to count on the 23,000 visitors who, last year alone, came to admire the Christmas Nativity Scene of Beziers. It knows it can count on these thousands of visitors of all faiths who have expressed their liking for our traditions in the five visitors' books filled with messages of support. It knows it can count on myriads of French people to fight at her side, to defend what they refuse us.

"They" are those who always want to ban everything, those who fight against our traditions. "They" are those who, in reality, neither love Beziers nor France. The novelty, chillingly, is that "they" are now the State.


A Frosty Reception to Trump's Prayer

If you thought tax reform terrified liberals, try praying about it! During Wednesday's historic votes, Donald Trump sent the Left into a full-on panic by pausing a moment in his Cabinet meeting to thank God for their pending success. Before he turned the floor over to Secretary Ben Carson, the president looked at the media in the room and told them they could stay if they wanted to. After all, he joked, "You need the prayer more than I do. I think you may be the only ones. Maybe a good solid prayer, and they'll be honest then. Is that possible?"

Well, the media was honest all right - but only about their distress. Most liberal reporters were, if not alarmed, completely baffled by Carson's appeal. MSNBC led the parade of the perplexed, calling the display "unusual" and "striking." ThinkProgress's overreaction was almost comical. The group's Aaron Rupar described what has always been a normal expression of faith in the White House (until recently) as "creepy" and "cult-like." In some pockets of the press, the prayer overshadowed the real news itself: that Congress had passed the most meaningful tax overhaul in 30 years.

Meanwhile, Dr. Carson's appeal was hardly the stuff of controversy. He thanked God for our freedom and the opportunities we, as Americans, have been given, and continued:

We thank you for the president and for cabinet members who are courageous, who are willing to face the winds of controversy in order to provide a better future for those who come after.

We're thankful for the unity in Congress that has presented an opportunity for our economy to expand so that we can fight the corrosive debt that has been destroying our future. And we hope that that unity will spread even beyond party lines so that people will recognize that we have a nation worth saving. And recognize that nations divided against themselves cannot stand.

In this time of discord, distrust and dishonesty, we ask that you will give us a spirit of gratitude, compassion and common sense. And give us the wisdom to be able to guide this great nation in the future we ask in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Since the birth of our nation, we've had presidents who prayed and called the nation to prayer - including Democrats! Franklin Roosevelt's 1944 prayer was so significant that he put it on the White House's official Christmas card. "Not only did we have prayer in meetings like this," David Barton told me on Wednesday's "Washington Watch," "but by the time you get to 1815, there had been 1,400 government-issued calls to prayer for the nation, so that's not just prayer in Cabinet meetings. That's calling the whole nation to prayer."

And this isn't just a colonial times phenomenon. In case MSNBC has forgotten, David pointed out, "Just on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, we don't do anything in the House and Senate without having someone who is paid to pray open things up with prayer. So why they would think that's unusual in a Cabinet meeting is pretty much indicative of their lack of polish on everything else." Although, he went on, "I guess if your framework is based on the last eight years [under Barack Obama], then yes, it would be unusual and striking."

For almost a decade, Obama treated faith like a toxin that needed neutralizing. Christianity was his favorite target, and he spent eight years training Americans to treat religious expression like public enemy number one. Now, David points out, Donald Trump is "making it mainstream again. And this is really bothering [the media], because they're no longer the sole outlet for where people get their information. And so because of what happened today, it allows us to [hear] things that they'd just assume people not know."

In all honesty, the Left's reaction only shows its own hostility to faith. Liberals preach inclusion, but when it comes right down to it, they don't believe in any of it. Instead, they mock the White House, knowing deep down that the real battle isn't over Christmas or Cabinet prayers. The real war is over Christianity - and for the first time in a long time, they're losing.



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

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

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


24 December, 2017

Does Yes Ever Mean Yes?
I have always taken No to mean No -- sometimes in situations where I was later told that I was just meant to try harder.  I don't like games and don't think I missed much -- JR

Over the weekend, Jessica Bennett, gender editor of The New York Times -- yes, that's a real title -- wrote a piece titled "When Saying 'Yes' Is Easier Than Saying 'No'." She argued that in many cases, women say yes to sex but actually don't want to do so: "Sometimes 'yes' means 'no,' simply because it is easier to go through with it than explain our way out of the situation. Sometimes 'no' means 'yes,' because you actually do  want to do it, but you know you're not supposed to lest you be labeled a slut. And if you're a man, that 'no' often means 'just try harder' -- because, you know, persuasion is part of the game." Bennett continues by arguing that consent is actually societally defined, that "our idea of what we want -- of our own desire -- is linked to what we think we're supposed to want."

But Bennett offers no clear solutions to this issue. If it's true that women say yes but mean no, are men supposed to read minds? If a woman says no but a man seduces her until she says yes, is the initial no supposed to take precedence over the final yes?

Unfortunately, Bennett offers no guidance. Neither does Rebecca Reid, who wrote in Metro UK that she once participated in a threesome because she "didn't want to be rude." And Reid says that such experiences aren't uncommon: "There are hundreds of reasons why, but they all boil down to the same thing. We're nice girls. We've been raised to be nice." She adds: "sometimes being careful means having sex that you don't want, that leaves you feeling dirty and sad and a bit icky. It's not rape. It's not abuse. But it's not nice, either."

In the pages of The New Yorker, a similarly vague story went viral. Titled "Cat Person," it describes a woman named Margot who seduces a man and sends him all the signals that she wants to have sex with him but is internally divided over whether to go through with it: "she knew that her last chance of enjoying this encounter had disappeared, but that she would carry through with it until it was over." In the end, she cuts short their relationship, and he texts that she is a "Whore."

It's a painful story, to be sure. But it also raises a serious question: What exactly are men supposed to do in such scenarios? Because as a society, we're beyond suggesting that women are doing anything wrong in consenting to nonmarital sex; women are free to do what they want. But we are in the midst of a push to punish male aggressors. And if we water down consent to nothingness, how can we ever expect men to feel safe in the knowledge that a sexual encounter won't come with life-altering implications?

Perhaps the problem is expectations. All three articles articulate the complaint that women want to fulfill men's expectations. But none of them admit to another expectation, one created by the feminist movement: the expectation that women themselves must treat sex casually or fall prey to reinforcing the patriarchy. Ask a person of traditional moral standards whether the woman should have said no in all of these stories. The answer will be yes. But then that person will be regarded as a prude.

There are costs to societal expectations. Traditional mores ruled out the male expectation of sex in non-commitment scenarios. Yes, men had hopes of sex -- all men do, virtually all of the time. But men had no expectation that such hopes would be achieved absent serious commitment. Thanks to our consent-only society, however, in which sexual activity is a throwaway and any notion of cherishing it is scoffed at as patriarchal, men have developed expectations that too many women feel they must meet -- and men have taken up the feminist standard that consent is a goal to be achieved. The cost to such a system is borne almost entirely by women.

The healthiest system of sexual interaction is a system in which most women can be sure enough of themselves most of the time to feel decent after saying yes. That system no longer exists, thanks to the disconnect between commitment and sex. And the continuing disconnect between consent and expectation will continue to burden women in heavier and heavier ways.


Another victim of the  British rape frenzy

Any feminists care to defend what's starting to look like an epidemic of rigged rape trials? Who would have thought when you inject an ideological demand to see more rape convictions into the justice system, that it would lead to injustice?

If a Southwark Crown Court jury had decided differently this week, Samuel Armstrong would now be spending Christmas in a prison cell.

The 24-year-old former chief of staff to the Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay has spent seven days on trial accused of raping a female worker at the Houses of Parliament. On Thursday, he was unanimously cleared on all charges.

Instead he will be with his parents and two younger brothers at their home in Danbury, Essex. They will visit church in the morning and enjoy a traditional lunch of famous Kelly Bronze turkey, which are farmed nearby.

But even as he describes the classic family Christmas, the pale young suited man slumped in a chair opposite me betrays little trace of the joys of freedom.

"This is not a cause for celebration but simple relief," he says. "My life has been turned upside down. I haven't slept or eaten for a year. And I was innocent."


A politically correct hunger for rape convictions in Britain at last under scrutiny

Scotland Yard has announced a review of all current rape and sex abuse investigations after a second trial collapsed in less than a week amid claims that police withheld crucial evidence.

Isaac Itiary, 25, had been charged with the rape of a child, but the case was thrown out on Tuesday after concerns were raised over the failure of detectives to disclose vital material to prosecutors and the defence.

Just days ago, 22-year-old Liam Allan had his case thrown out when it emerged police had failed to disclose thousands of text messages that would have proved his innocence.

It has since emerged that it was the same Scotland Yard detective who had worked on both cases. Detective Constable Mark Azariah, 37, who works on the Met's specialist rape and sex abuse unit, is still on full active duty.

But the collapse of two cases in similar circumstances in a matter of days has prompted senior officers to launch a review of every live rape case currently being investigated by the force.

There are warnings that police are making basic errors in their desperation to improve conviction rates in sex abuse cases. Currently 11.2 per cent of rape allegations result in a conviction.

Nigel Evans, the Tory MP who was himself cleared of rape after a controversial investigation and prosecution, accused the police of making basic -errors.

He said: "There has been an absolute systemic failure in the disclosure of evidence that might result in people not being charged ... it is putting people through a mental torture, it is a colossal admission of failure. "They [police and prosecutors] need to change practice and ensure full disclosure is given at the earliest possible moment.

"I have a suspicion there is a desire to ensure that the number of convictions increases."

Angela Rafferty QC, the chair of the Criminal Bar Association, suggested "unconscious bias" stops the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) "impartially and thoroughly investigating and scrutinising complaints in sexual offence cases?".

She added: "It should be remembered that it is not the job of the police or CPS to judge the truthfulness or otherwise of any allegation made."

David Lidington, the Justice Secretary, said police and prosecutors should not be chasing targets in sex abuse investigations but should ask themselves if the evidence is sufficient.

He expressed sympathy with the view that rape suspects should be granted anonymity until conviction, but said naming suspects upon charge, as is currently the case, often prompted more victims to come forward.

The Metropolitan Police review, announced late on Tuesday evening, will involve all rape cases currently being investigated by its specialist sex abuse unit.

It is thought scores of investigations could now be in jeopardy amid concern that police have failed to follow proper procedures.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "As a precaution, every live case being investigated by the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences [Caso] command, where the Met is in discussion with the CPS, is being reviewed to ensure all digital evidence has been properly examined, documented and shared with the CPS to meet obligations under disclosure."

Isaac Itiary was charged with the rape of a child under 16 in July and was due to stand trial next year.

He had reportedly spent four months in prison awaiting trial as he was considered to be a risk to the public.

But at a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday, the CPS offered no evidence after issues arose regarding the full disclosure of material.

A Met spokesman said: "In response to the defence case statement received by the officer in the case on Dec 15, all material was reviewed to identify any further relevant information likely to assist their case.

"This resulted in the identification of relevant material which was passed to the CPS to disclose.

"Given the time elapsed between the charging decision and receipt of the defence case statement, the Metropolitan Police Service will carry out a review of this investigation to ensure that all reasonable lines of inquiry were pursued at the earliest practical opportunity."

Liam Allan, a criminology student, had been three days into his trial when it emerged police had failed to disclose a vast amount of crucial information.

He had been accused of six rapes and six sexual assaults, spending almost two years on bail.

Among the text messages that were not passed to the defence, was one from the alleged victim that stated: "It was not against my will."

Mr Allan, who endured a two-year ordeal, has now threatened to sue the police and CPS, accusing them of chasing rape convictions "like sales targets".

Mr Lidington said: "The police and CPS need to look rigorously and ask themselves honestly ... whether the evidence is sufficient."


Detective Mark Azariah removed from duty after two rape trials collapse in a week

A Metropolitan Police officer involved in two collapsed rape cases was removed from active duty last night. Detective Constable Mark Azariah was stood down as a "precaution" while the force reviews all open sex abuse cases, prioritising roughly 30 alleged rapes about to go to trial.

Two cases collapsed in one week after failure to disclose material that assisted the defence. Jeremy Wright, QC, the attorney-general, described them as "appalling failures". Mr Wright is conducting a review and Theresa May told the Commons: "It is important that we look at this again so we make sure we are truly providing justice."

The Times understands that at least two other police officers were involved in the disclosure process in the case of Isaac Itiary, 25.


Ho! Ho! What?!? Children's Book Depicts Santa as Gay, Black Man
Mrs. Claus is now a mister in a new gay-themed Christmas storybook for children that has CNN and the rest of the mainstream media all aflutter.

"Santa's Husband" tells the story of a black Kris Kringle and his white husband living in holy matrimony at the North Pole.

I don't mean to curdle your eggnog, but the storybook was written for children as young as four years old.

Yes, good readers. Now you can tuck in your preschoolers on Christmas Eve and regale them with tales of Frosty and the Sugar Plum Fairy and a jolly old gay elf who slides down chimneys and stuffs holiday stockings.

"As this charming book reminds us, Santa Claus can come in all shapes and colors and sizes - just like the children and families he visits all over the world each Christmas Eve," read a description of the book on Amazon.com.

Author Daniel Kibblesmith, a writer for "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert," told CNN he was inspired to write the book to over the so-called "war on Christmas" - "pretending that there's a giant war on Christmas, and that traditional Christmas is under attack."

Mr. Kibblesmith also took exception with the generally held belief that Santa Claus is a white guy.

"We were reading all of the news about Mall of America hiring a black Santa Claus last year and me and my now wife made a joke on Twitter that if we ever had a child they would only know about black Santa Claus and if they saw a white Santa Claus at the mall we would just explain `Well, that's his husband,'" he told CNN.

Mr. Kibblesmith's politically correct version of Santa Claus is all the rage among mainstream media types - pretty much the same crowd that celebrates depictions of Jesus as a gay man.

The book is "as true and humble a Christmas tale as any Santa enthusiast could want," declared Chicago Tribune writer Rex Huppke.

"And that is the beauty of this holiday tale," he wrote. "The fact that Santa Claus is black and gay has little bearing on the story. What it's really about is accepting that every family sees Christmas in a different way."

Esquire.com heralded the book as "war on Christmas trolling at its finest."

"The all-ages book about a black, gay Santa takes on the Yuletide zealots with a warm smile," one headline screamed.

"In a lot of ways, it was just a reaction to people who wanted to police Christmas and keep it all to themselves, without acknowledging the reality of how diverse the country is, and how diverse our traditions have become-not just with people from different religions, but just with pop culture becoming one of the driving forces behind it," Mr. Kibblesmith told Esquire.

Mr. Kibblesmith does not offer any advice for parents on how to address questions that might arise from curious youngsters. Like, for example, why does Mrs. Claus have a beard?

Well, I suppose it could've been worse. Santa could've been married to a gender fluid, androgynous elf or a non-binary reindeer with a red nose.



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

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

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


21 December, 2017

Victoria Beckham under fire over traditional nursery rhyme

Victoria Beckham – designer, businesswoman and mum in the spotlight – is being criticised for sharing a 'sexist' nursery rhyme.

Beckham posted a photo on Instagram on the weekend, of a collage she'd done with daughter Harper, 6, and London illustrator Tatiana Alida. "Mummy and Harper having so much fun," she wrote.

But some Beckham's followers were seriously unhappy with the traditional poem on the collage: "Boys are made of slugs and snails and puppy dog tails," it read. "Girls are made of sugar and spice and all things nice."

In 2017, many commenters seemed to think, we should be warier of these kind of 'pink and blue' stereotypes – especially Beckham, who's been a staunch advocate for female empowerment since her Spice Girl days.

"'Sugar and spice and all things nice' is not girl power, it's gender stereotyping and cultural rules that are telling girls what they are 'supposed' to be," wrote one.

"So girls shouldn't be mischievous or act out, cause they are supposed to be sweet and nice. But it is ok for boys to do that because that is how they are born. It is crap and we really need to move away from such stereotypes that are harmful for our girls."

"This is whete[sic] conditioning begins," wrote another. "I've always hated this poem."

Plenty of others disagreed, and accused these commenters of being too 'politically correct'.

"Why do things need to be taken so literally?" said one. "She's a child having some fun."

"The more creative thing that artist could have done is compose an original poem," one of the original commenters responded. "Not a dig at VB at all."


‘Politically correct do-gooders’ preventing debate over Muslim grooming gangs

The co-founder of counter-extremism think tank Quilliam said “politically correct do-gooders” were responsible for preventing “moderate voices” from having an evidence-based debate about the issue.

This has effectively silenced many reasonable people, who are worried about being branded anti-Muslim, Islamaphobic or bigoted, the LBC presenter said.

As a result, he said, more extreme far right views were “rising to the forefront”.

His comments come after a study by the Quilliam Foundation found 84 per cent of all people convicted for gang grooming since 2005 were Asian.

And a series of high-profile cases, which have resulted in British Pakistani men being convicted for targeting vulnerable white young women and girls, has raised questions about the link between ethnicity and the offenders.

Speaking on his LBC show, Mr Nawaz said: "Why are we still, despite the years of evidence mounting up, uncomfortable talking about this issue? And accepting that there is a hugely disproportionate number of British South Asian Muslim men involved in what can only be described as a despicable crime?

"The fact is that since 2011 these sort of crimes have occurred in cities up and down the country, they are spreading.

"They have occurred in Rochdale, Rotherham, Oxford, Telford, Leeds, Birmingham, Norwich, Burnley, High Wycombe, Leicester, Dewsbury, Middlesborough, Peterborough, Bristol, Halifax and newcastle and only in two of those cases were the men not of British South Asian Muslim heritage.

"All of the victims, in all of those cities and the list was very long, except three were white teenage girls.”

The research by Quilliam found out of the 264 people convicted for gang grooming over the last 12 years, 222 were Asian.

This is in stark contrast to the ethnicity of child sex offenders in paedophile rings, 100 per cent of whom were white, according to the most recent figures from the National Crime Agency's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command which were released in 2012.

Mr Nawaz went on: ”The fact that 84 per cent of these cases involve British South Asian Muslim men must beg the question, why?

"If we are not asking the question, I can guarantee you somebody else will be asking the question.

"Then you sit back and wonder 'why is the far right rising?'

"I'll tell you. When you silence those liberal, secular, humanist and reasonable voices who are attempting to have a rational conversation around facts, when you call those voices anti-Muslim, Islamophobic, bigoted or racist, and moderate voices are intimidated from speaking up, what happens as a result is the fringes, the extremists, then those extremist voices rise to the forefront.

"That is the consequence of those do-gooders who are attempting to be politically correct."


Trump Policy Recognizes That ‘Israel Is Not the Cause of the Region’s Problems’

President Trump in his National Security Strategy released Monday laid out two very different foreign policy positions from those of his predecessor – a priority on countering Iran’s behavior, and a challenge to the notion that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is the primary cause of instability in the Middle East.

The stances are in contrast to President Obama’s prioritizing of the nuclear program in his dealings with Iran, and his administration’s view that the Palestinian issue was central to problems in the region.

Trump’s NSS identifies Iran, along with North Korea, as one of three main sets of foreign security challenges facing the United States, the other two being jihadist terrorism and the “revisionist powers of China and Russia.”

“Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, has taken advantage of instability to expand its influence through partners and proxies, weapon proliferation, and funding,” it says, going on to highlight ballistic missile development, cyberattacks and “harm to civilian populations” in regional violence.

“Iran supports terrorist groups and openly calls for our destruction,” the document says.

The NSS underlines steps the U.S. is taking to counter Iran’s “malign” activities and influence, including working with regional partners and NATO allies, deploying missile defense systems – which it says “will include the ability to defeat missile threats prior to launch,” implying preemptive strikes – and denying the regime “all paths to a nuclear weapon.”

It also takes a swipe at the Obama administration’s decision to set aside other Iranian activities as it pursued the nuclear agreement, saying the U.S. is now “confronting the danger posed by the dictatorship in Iran, which those determined to pursue a flawed nuclear deal had neglected.”

Trump repeated that criticism in his speech Monday at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, introducing the NSS.

Enumerating what he called “the failures of the past,” the president said his predecessors had “made a disastrous, weak, and incomprehensibly bad deal with Iran.”

‘Centrality’ of Israeli-Palestinian dispute challenged

Trump’s NSS also counters the view that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is central to the problems of the Middle East.

“For generations the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been understood as the prime irritant preventing peace and prosperity in the region,” it says. “Today, the threats from jihadist terrorist organizations and the threat from Iran are creating the realization that Israel is not the cause of the region’s problems.”

“States have increasingly found common interests with Israel in confronting common threats,” it adds, without elaborating but likely referring to Egypt’s challenges with ISIS-affiliated jihadists in the Sinai, and the seething hostility between Iran and some Arab Gulf states.

The reference to Israel not being seen as “the cause of the region’s problems” pushes back on what has been called “the theory of Palestinian centrality” – the belief that resolving the Palestinians’ grievances will dramatically boost stability in the region.

It’s a view long promoted by some Western policymakers and also championed by Arab governments, often in a bid to divert attention from repression and corruption at home.

Even before he entered the White House, Obama described the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a “constant wound” that “does infect all of our foreign policy.”

Its lack of a resolution, he said in a 2008 interview with The Atlantic, “provides an excuse” for anti-American terrorists.

In response, the Jewish Institute for National Security Policy countered that jihadists battle against the West “for reasons that are unlikely to change either with our new president or with the creation of a small, corrupt state wedged between Jordan and Israel.”

Buoyed by such sentiments expressed by the new president, Islamic leaders in the run-up to Obama’s promised address “to the Muslim world” urged him to use the speech to tackle the Palestinian issue as a “root cause” of terrorism.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, in an open letter to the incoming president, attributed terrorism to “deprivation, poverty, despair and, most importantly, political injustice.”

“The decades-long suffering of the Palestinian people provides only the most recent and potent illustration of the link between oppression, injustice, and violence,” added the OIC, calling for “an urgent and just remedy.”

Even as Arab societies exploded in so-called “Arab spring” protests in 2011, the Obama administration continued to stress the urgency of an Israeli-Palestinian settlement – despite the fact the issue played little if any part in driving the protests in Arab streets.

“With the winds of change blowing through the Arab world, it’s more urgent than ever than we try to seize the opportunity to create a peaceful solution between the Palestinians and the Israelis,” Obama said in early April. In previous months popular protests had erupted in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, Syria and Jordan.

The State Department echoed that view. Asked if the Arab upheavals indicated that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was now “on the backburner” or whether it remained “central to Mideast stability,” spokesman Mark Toner replied, “It’s always central to Mideast stability.”

Secretary of State John Kerry in mid-2013 met with Arab government ministers in Jordan, and was told that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute was the “core” reason for regional instability – even as Syria’s deadly civil war raged, Egypt had just weathered a military takeover after months of violent protests, and more than 1,000 Iraqis were killed in the course of one month by Sunni jihadists.

Kerry did not challenge the assertion, telling reporters afterwards that many ministers had told him “that the core issue of instability in this region and in many other parts of the world is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”

“The only way to resolve that,” he continued, “is through direct negotiations …”


Australia records its highest ever immigration rate – with the population tipped to reach 25 million in months

This is insane. What will we do with them all?  Housing prices will be pushed up.  Traffic congestion will increase. Law and order will decline and hospitals will be stretched even more. Time to move out of Sydney and Melbourne if you want a convenient life

Australia's population is set to reach the 25 million milestone within a matter of months.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates the nation adds a new person every one minute and 26 seconds, making Australia the world's fastest growing developed nation.

With Australia's population standing at 24,772,437 people as of Tuesday night, the 25 million milestone is set to be reached in 2018.

Australia's net immigration soared by a record 27 per cent in the year to June 30, 2017, compared with the previous year, as 245,400 new foreigners arrived.

Sydney and Melbourne are choking with new residents, with the ABS's director of demography Beidar Cho pointing out overseas migration grew by 31 per cent in New South Wales and 23 per cent in Victoria.

Both states recorded their highest ever net immigration pace surpassing a growth level last experienced in 2008, the ABS said.

In the year to the end of June, NSW added 98,600 new migrants while Victoria absorbed 86,900 new overseas residents.

Growth was slower in the other states, with Queensland's net migration rate up by 31,100 while Western Australia took in 13,100 new migrants.

Australia has the fastest population growth pace of any developed nation in the Organisation for for Economic Co-operation and Development with an annual growth pace of 1.6 per cent.

That is more than double the annual population growth pace of the United States (0.7 per cent) and the U.K. (0.6 per cent), and above the expansion rate of The Philippines and Singapore (1.5 per cent).

Only Papua New Guinea, a poor nation to Australia's north, posted a faster population growth pace, expanding by 2.1 per cent.

Australians are also retiring later, with the ABS's chief economist Bruce Hockman revealing on Tuesday the planned retirement age for those aged over 45 had stretched out to 65, up from 63 in 2007.

'This is consistent with the continuing trend of people staying in the workforce for longer,' he said. 'A decade ago, around 9 per cent of people aged 65 and over were employed. This has increased to around 13 per cent in 2016-17.'

In 1998, the ABS forecast Australia's population wouldn't reach between 23.5 and 26.4 million until 2051.



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

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

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


20 December, 2017

Pew: 66% Say Christian Displays Should Be Permitted on Government Property

In a 2017 Pew Research Center (Pew) survey, a majority of Americans (66%) said Christian displays like nativity scenes should be permitted on government property during the Christmas season.

Of the 66 percent who said they believe Christian displays like nativity scenes should be permitted, 37 percent said that Christian displays should be allowed on government property – even if unaccompanied by other symbols – and 29 percent said Christian displays should be allowed on government property, but only if accompanied by other symbols like Hanukkah candles.

According to Pew, less than one third (26%) of Americans said that Christian displays should not be allowed on government property. Eight percent said that they don’t know or refused to answer.

Pew asked respondents the following question in their survey:

“Thinking about holiday displays on government property, which comes closest to your view?

“No religious symbols, like Christian nativity scenes, should be allowed on government property,

[OR] Religious symbols like Christian nativity scenes should be allowed on government property, but ONLY if accompanied by symbols from other faiths such as Hanukkah candles,

[OR] Christian symbols like nativity scenes should be allowed on government property whether or not they are accompanied by symbols from other faiths[;] Don’t know/Refused.”

When Pew asked American respondents this question in 2014, a slightly larger majority said Christian displays should be allowed on government property (72%).

44 percent of 2014 respondents said they believed Christian symbols like nativity scenes should be allowed on government property even if unaccompanied by other symbols, while one percent less than 2017 respondents (28%) said such displays should be allowed only if accompanied by other symbols like Hanukkah candles.

Only 20 percent of Americans said Christian displays should not be allowed on government property in 2014, denoting a six percent increase of American respondents in 2017.


Risking Offense in the Trans Pronoun Debate – Because Truth Matters

If a transgender person asks you to use a pronoun or name in line with his or her preferred gender, what do you do? It’s no longer a hypothetical question.

In “Romeo and Juliet,” we remember Shakespeare asking, “What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” A rose is still a rose no matter what we call it. But what’s in a pronoun? Specifically, if a neighbor who identifies as transgender asks us to use ze rather than he or she, does it really matter? What should we do to honor the relationship and the gospel?

It’s a sticky issue for Christians, and it’s becoming stickier by the day. That’s why I’m glad to tell you about a very helpful perspective, an article by Andrew Walker entitled, “He, She, Ze, Zir? Navigating pronouns while loving your transgender neighbor.” Walker, who wrote the great book “God and the Transgender Debate,” is Director of Policy Studies at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

In the article, Walker exhibits the truth and grace so necessary for believers to navigate these choppy waters in our homes, at work, and in church. Regarding the truth, he forthrightly points out, “Pronouns are not an insignificant issue. … The question we as Christians have to consider is whether the reality we are being asked to affirm is objective and corresponds to biblical truth, or whether the reality we are being asked to acknowledge is subjective and false. Nothing less than the truth and authority of God’s revelation over created reality is up for grabs in something as seemingly innocent as pronoun usage.”

Andrew adds, “Because, at root, the transgender debate is a metaphysical debate about whose version of reality we live in, and only one account—Jesus Christ’s—can lead us into truth about reality and human flourishing.”

The Bible reminds us, as well, to speak the truth in love—that is, with grace. While God’s Word unequivocally says that we’re created male and female, it also makes clear that each of us has been made in God’s image and therefore deserves to be treated with dignity and compassion. So while Andrew never backs down from our mandate to obey God’s Word as we see it and follow our consciences, he counsels godly wisdom in how we respond to people, depending on things like the social context and the depth of the relationship.

Surprisingly, Andrew first counsels avoiding the pronoun dilemma whenever possible. Rarely do we have to use the third person when speaking to someone. Second, generally, we can use the person’s preferred first name, since names are gendered culturally. Third, don’t lie! “Those with writing or speaking platforms,” Andrew writes, “have an obligation to speak and write truthfully and not kowtow to political correctness or excuse falsehood. … I will call Bruce Jenner ‘he,’ or if I do say ‘Caitlyn,’ I will still say, ‘him.’”

Then Andrew covers what he calls some “tricky situations.” When it comes to a close family member who is transgender, Andrew says he would not honor the pronoun or first name request. “I know this person intimately,” Andrew explains, “and in all likelihood I possess the relational capital to understand this person’s story and speak truthfully.”

He acknowledges this decision may be deemed offensive even when done kindly, but sometimes this is unavoidable.

Same thing with the workplace. If you know the other person well, you should tell him or her the truth. Andrew acknowledges this might mean you will run afoul of company HR policies. “None of this is easy,” he acknowledges, “but Jesus never promised that following him would be without great personal cost.” Indeed not.

While it may not matter what you call a rose, it matters very much what you call a fellow human being.


Catholic League: 'Homosexuals Committed Most of the Abuse'

Commenting on an Australian commission report that recommends ending mandatory celibacy of priests in the Catholic Church to apparently curtail sexual abuse, Catholic League President Bill Donohue said this possibly is Australia's way of saying there are too many homosexuals in the Catholic clergy, and he added that in the United States "homosexuals committed most of the abuse" in the church over the last 50 years.

"Though it is not considered polite to say so, most people know that homosexuals are responsible for the lion's share of the problem in the Catholic Church," said Donohue.  "This includes those who insist they are gay-friendly."

"We do know that in the U.S., 81 percent of the clergy victims were male, and 78 percent were post-pubescent, meaning that homosexuals committed most of the abuse," said Donohue,  "less than 5 percent of the abusers were determined to be pedophiles

As for the Australian commission report, it claims that 7 percent of priests who worked in Australia between 1950 and 2009 "had an accusation of child abuse made against him," said Donohue, and the report recommends "that the Catholic Church end mandatory celibacy, saying it is tied to sexual abuse."

But the 7 percent number is "virtually meaningless," he said, because "what matters are cases of alleged abuse that have been substantiated."  "For instance, in the U.S., between 1950 and 2002, accusations of abuse were made against 4 percent of the clergy," said Donohue.  "But only half were substantiated.

"In other words, the real number was half the reported figure; that may be true in Australia as well," he said.  "At least in the U.S. an attempt was made to validate the accusations, which is more than can be said for the Australian 'royal commission.'"

Donohue continued, "Citing celibacy dodges several issues. The rate of sexual abuse of minors among the Protestant clergy in the U.S. is at least as high, if not higher, than exists among Catholic priests. Most of them are married. What about stepfathers? It is not celibacy that is driving their numbers."

"Most signficant, are calls for ending mandatory celibacy a nice way of saying that there are too many homosexuals in the Catholic clergy?" he said. "If so, the commission should come right out and say so."


Chick-Fil-A Feeds Stranded People at Atlanta Airport — On a Sunday!

Fast food restaurant chain Chick-Fil-A is famously closed on Sundays, but that didn’t stop them when people stranded at the Atlanta Airport needed help.

Chick-Fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy was a devout Christian, and his restaurants are all closed on Sundays, as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even the company’s website has a different splash page on Sundays, showing a video message about why they are closed.

It all started with a power outage at the Atlanta Airport, not too far from Chick-Fil-A’s corporate headquarters in College Park, Georgia. According to WSB-TV Atlanta, the power outage stranded thousands of passengers in the terminals and left hundreds of flights sitting on the tarmac, taking hours to deplane all the passengers.

After hours of no electricity, and hotel rooms and rental cars scarce, Chick-Fil-A stepped up to help.

The Atlanta city government announced that they were providing shuttle services from the airport to the convention center for anyone who needed shelter, and Chick-Fil-A was providing food.

The news was met with much cheering, appreciating Chick-Fil-A’s kind gesture (and those waffle fries).

Chick-Fil-A had faced a threatened boycott several years ago over the company’s support for traditional marriage, despite the fact that company policy was not to discriminate in hiring or serving customers, and those supporting a boycott focused their anger over comments made by the founders and corporate donations, not any actual acts of discrimination. The boycott failed as Chick-Fil-A supporters made a point to go to the restaurants, resulting in long lines at many locations.

In fact, since 2010, Chick-Fil-A has been the top earner among fast food restaurants in average sales per restaurant, earning an average of $4.8 million per restaurant in 2016 (Whataburger was second at $2.7 million). This ranking is even more impressive considering that the majority of their competitors are open seven days a week and Chick-Fil-A is, as mentioned repeatedly above, closed on Sunday.

So kudos to Chick-Fil-A for looking out for their neighbors stranded at the airport. As for the rest of us, we’ll continue craving those waffle fries until our local stores open tomorrow morning.



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

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

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


19 December, 2017

Liberal city is also very racist

Boston is in the heart of Yankee country where the descendants of Puritans still think they know best what is right for everybody.  They are of course a Democrat stronghold.  So of course they believe in racial equality. 

That commitment to racial acceptance provoked the powers that be at the "Boston Globe" to do an extensive set of surveys to find out how well blacks in Boston were in fact accepted.  Did a belief in racial togetherness translate into action?  Did the deeds of Bostonians reflect their avowed beliefs? 

They did not.  The anti-racism in theory went with mostly polite but nonetheless real racism in behaviour in Boston.  They are too polite to wear Klan hoods but they might as well do so

THAT BLACK people find Boston racially inhospitable isn’t news. While angry white faces standing between a black child and a schoolhouse door does not represent the city today, Boston isn’t any more inclusive for black people now than it was during its rancorous busing era four decades ago.

In its seven-part series “BOSTON. RACISM. IMAGE. REALITY,” the Globe’s Spotlight team outlined the indelible stain of racism on Boston’s reputation. It also painstakingly detailed how that mark has deepened and hardened over time. As Boston enjoys an economic boom, black residents still find themselves segregated in housing, schools, and even hospitals, and excluded from boardrooms, job opportunities, and political power.

“To be a black person in Boston, is [often] to be the only one. . . . The only one in the office; the only one in the leadership position. It’s lonely,” Bridgit Brown, a communications specialist from Dorchester, told the Globe. “You’re aware of the racism. You’re aware of the subtleties. It’s like the air we breathe, if you’re black.”

Racism is nimble. It shape-shifts away from the most obvious, headline-grabbing horrors, allowing those in corridors of power, as well as ordinary white people, to insist things aren’t as bad as they used to be. And, in the most superficial sense, they aren’t. Still, such facile readings ignore how racism burrows in, normalized and equivocated, until it becomes just another accepted part of our landscape.

Its toll on Boston’s black community is immeasurable. Yet the price for a city that considers itself world class is also unacceptably high. For all its achievements, pervasive racism forces Boston to operate with one arm tied behind its back.

No city fully realizes its potential unless it makes the most of what political leaders like to call its “human capital.” Those are the people who, given an opportunity to do so, share their singular talents and vision to help stamp a city’s identity. With its many esteemed colleges and universities, Boston has always been in a unique position to welcome fresh young minds into the city every year and make its case that this city is more than just an academic destination.

In recent years, Boston has made it a priority to retain as permanent residents graduating students. In 2013, a Federal Reserve Bank of Boston study revealed that, compared with other census areas, New England retains fewer college graduates, leading to a so-called “brain drain.”

With black college students, even getting them to come to Boston is difficult. Few want to confront what they see as entrenched racism. The Spotlight team found that African-American enrollment in Greater Boston area universities was less than 7 percent in 2015. That’s significantly less than other major metro areas; nationally, the average for black enrollment is 11 percent.

This could be a refreshing infusion of young black people, some who might stay to establish a real black middle class in Boston. Instead, they won’t even step foot in the city.

“I had the impression that it was this liberal city and that the race relations were on par with Los Angeles or New York,” Melissa Potter Forde told the Globe. A 2006 Northeastern University graduate, she left Boston to finish her last semester in New York. “But I realize there’s still a time of evolution that’s still taking place in the city. Racism was a big part of why I left.”

It’s also a big part of why African-Americans generally don’t stay in Boston after college. In a national survey commissioned by the Globe this fall, black people ranked Boston, out of eight major cities, as the least welcoming to people of color. More than half of those surveyed also rated Boston as unwelcoming

When they come at all, many black college students leave the city as soon as they have their degree in hand. For many, four years in Boston is enough, and greater opportunities, they believe, lie in such places as Atlanta, Philadelphia, or Chicago. These cities also have their own persistent issues with racism, yet present more opportunities and cultural balance. It’s a sentiment passed from one generation to the next. Black people who move to Boston are often warned by their families to reconsider. And when black friends visit, they are usually struck by what looks like Boston’s overwhelming whiteness.

As the Spotlight series pointed out, Boston has worked to ensure that the city does not slip back into the tragic errors of its troubled past. Mayor Martin Walsh has sponsored public conversations about race, but there’s still not much of an indication how that talk will be translated into action. We’ve long since answered the question about whether Boston is racist. The question remains how best to address that fact.

Leaders often speak of diversity, but it’s ardent inclusion that allows cities to thrive. Right now, Boston is failing to utilize to the fullest 23 percent of its population. Nor is it doing enough to convince black professionals that this city welcomes what they have to offer.

Boston is a fine city, but systemic racism continues to bleed us of black talent, innovation, and the cultural spark that turns a good place to live for some into a great place to live for everyone.


Traditional Depictions of Mothers to be Banned in Adverts From Next Year Amid Ongoing War On ‘Gender Stereotypes’

Cooking, cleaning mums will be banned in advertisements across the UK from next year, following a study which claimed traditional gender roles are “harmful and outdated”.
The decision to tighten regulation was announced by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) this week, after a report published in summer identified gender stereotypes in adverts as a driver of inequality between men and women.

“Wherever they appear or are reinforced, gender stereotypes can lead to mental, physical and social harm which can limit the potential of groups and individuals,” the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) alleged in its study.

Depictions deemed problematic include “family members creating a mess while a woman has sole responsibility for cleaning it up”, and adverts which “[suggest that] a specific activity is inappropriate for boys because it is stereotypically associated with girls, or vice-versa.”

Nanette Newman, an actress who appeared in 1980s Fairy Liquid commercials, told the Daily Mail the ban is “ridiculously over the top”.

“What a bizarre world we live in where the adverts I starred in might today be considered harmful, yet it’s considered perfectly acceptable for women to be shown on mainstream TV having sex,” she told the Mail.

While campaigns to change the view of society presented in advertisements is intended to increase equality, it may be having the effect of skewing representations in a different way. Breitbart London reported in August a major survey of major advertising companies in Britain which found that businesses are over-representing ethnic minorities and homosexual in their marketing in order to ward off accusations of bigotry.

The majority of 500 advertisers surveyed admitting producing campaigns which featured same-sex couples and non-traditional families even if doing so clashed with their brand identity, while half of respondents reported using fewer white people, who they said no longer represented “modern society”.


Alliance Defending Freedom helps Blaine Adamson
Blaine Adamson never expected to get caught up in the legal battles over religious freedom. He's just a regular guy. In fact, he's probably a lot like you.

Blaine owns Hands On Originals, a small promotional printing shop in Lexington, Kentucky. He works hard to support his family, provide jobs for his employees, and honor God in all he does.

He was just living life, like we all do. He wasn't bothering anyone.

But his world was suddenly and unexpectedly turned upside down when the City of Lexington threatened to take away his freedom. And government officials who were opposed to Blaine's beliefs decided to teach him a lesson.

What had Blaine done? Why did the government come after him? It's all because he politely declined a request to print a shirt promoting a local gay pride festival. Blaine simply could not in good conscience print a message that was so clearly at odds with his faith and its teachings.

Blaine even offered to connect the festival organizers to another printer. He thought it was a good and reasonable solution, but the situation escalated quickly.

He thought he would lose his business

The pride-festival group sent a press release to the Lexington newspaper. LGBT groups called for a boycott of Blaine’s business. He received hateful emails, phone calls, and Facebook comments. Lexington’s mayor publicly criticized him. And large customers began pulling their business.

Blaine remembers sitting with his wife on the floor of their bedroom, pouring out their pain and uncertainty to God.

“I was almost sure we were going to lose the business,” Blaine says. “I felt sick, thinking about what might happen to the people who worked for us. But worse even than that — I just felt so very alone.”

Blaine was beginning to understand just how frightening it can be to face the coercive power of the government on your own.
But when Blaine realized he wouldn't have to fight alone, he resolved to endure to the end

The very next morning, an ADF attorney walked into Blaine’s office. And after introducing himself, he told Blaine that other Christians were struggling through similar legal attacks, and that Alliance Defending Freedom would be glad to take on his case, completely free of charge.

Blaine still remembers the relief he felt: “It was just like, ‘Okay, God — You’ve got this. It’s going to be all right. It’s going to work out.’ ”

Almost immediately, the City of Lexington launched an investigation into Blaine’s business. The process was invasive and intimidating. The investigator demanded that Blaine produce thousands of pages of documents about his business, and the city ordered him to come in for questioning.

But ADF succeeded in limiting the investigator's overwhelming requests. And ADF attorneys sat with Blaine during the government's attempts to question him, ensuring that he was treated fairly during the process.

Because of generous ADF supporters, Blaine didn't have to go through any of this alone. ADF — and many Americans — stood with him in a very tangible way. 

Not only did the legal team at ADF begin working on Blaine’s case, but our experienced communications team leapt into action and quickly turned the tide on the negative press Blaine had been receiving.

Within days, the calls for boycotts ended, and the Lexington paper published an article that set much of the record straight. This was crucial, because, whether we like it or not, the court of public opinion often affects the outcome of cases. More than that, Blaine needed to make sure that he wouldn’t be driven out of business by the relentless smear campaigns launched by his opponents.
Blaine knew he was facing a long struggle

The government agency that had launched the investigation against Blaine eventually ruled against him, declaring him a lawbreaker, and ordering him to attend “diversity training.”

Blaine knew that unless that decision was reversed, he would likely be forced to close or sell the business that he worked so hard to build.

Yet, what worried Blaine more was the risk that his employees would lose their jobs. “I got a call from someone,” Blaine explained, “and they said to me, ‘You know you’re going to cause all your employees to lose their jobs.’ ”

Blaine is demonstrating what it means to “run with endurance” the race God has set before him. Realizing that he had so much support, Blaine resolved to march ahead, and so we did. Almost immediately, we asked the state court to correct the government’s wrong decision. And thankfully, the court did just that.

The court said that Blaine is free to live out his faith and that the government cannot force him to violate his beliefs.

Although the appeals in his case continue, Blaine is currently free to live out his faith thanks to your faithful support of ADF. And his employees are still able to support their families.

Via email

More Kids Should Play Football Despite 'Some Inherent Dangers,' Former Player Tells Congress

Violent face-offs like the recent Steelers-Bengals football game have raised the NFL’s awareness of the seriousness of concussions, traumatic brain injuries and other major impacts, former player Shawn Springs told Congress on Wednesday.

“Football is a beautiful sport when played properly within the confines of the rules. Even when played correctly, there are some inherent dangers that are unavoidable,” Springs said in his opening remarks before the House Science Subcommittee on Research and Technology.

The former cornerback, who spent his 13-year career with the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins and New England Patriots, added later: “We saw what happened a few weeks back when … (Steelers linebacker) Ryan Shazier was hit in the Steelers-Cincinnati game, and I think every player is aware of the seriousness of the sport and injuries, and I think the NFL is also doing its best and trying to educate the players, as well.”

The Steelers announced this week that Shazier will miss the rest of the season after undergoing spinal stabilization surgery hours after a tumultuous game on Monday Night Football in week 13. Shazier was injured when he led with the crown of his helmet while making a tackle on a Bengals players crossing the middle after a catch. Shazier went limp on contact and appeared unable to move his lower body. He was taken off the field on a stretcher and taken to the hospital.

The game included several other brutal hits, and following the 23-20 Steelers win players from both teams were suspended for unsportsmanlike conduct. Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and Bengals safety George Iloka were each suspended one game. Smith-Schuster in the fourth quarter blindsided Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who is infamous for dirty play, and then stood over him in celebration. In an apparent payback hit, Iloka laid a helmet-to-helmet hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in the end zone, while he scored a game-tying touchdown.

Wednesday’s hearing was held to discuss how federal resources can best be deployed to address head trauma issues, for the sake of competitive sports and for the military. Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) noted that concussion protocol at the high school level in his state has been raised to a higher standard in recent years. Great Bend High School, for example, has a “super concussion protocol,” he said.

“There’s no more pressure from the coaches that, ‘Hey, your kid’s the star running back,’” Marshall said. “‘He’s got to get back in there for this big game.’ That stigma’s gone away.”

Springs, who was born in Virginia and attended Springbrook High School in Maryland, now serves as chief executive officer of Windpact, a Northern Virginia company that specializes in protective gear. He told Marshall that the awareness at the youth level has risen as mothers, and the community as a whole, have a better understanding of the seriousness of the issue.

“When I came up, my generation, they would tell you to sniff a little smelling salt and go back in,” said Springs, who suffered concussions throughout his career. “Now I think the teachers, parents, coaches, everyone who’s involved with the youth or kids playing is aware of the seriousness of traumatic brain injury and concussions.”

In his opening testimony, Springs noted that the growing negative attention surrounding the sport has resulted in lower participation at the youth level.

“I feel strongly that this is the opposite reaction that is needed,” he said. “Team sports and recreational activities are invaluable in what they provide to our communities and our children.”

Last month, Boston University released findings showing that former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, a convicted murderer who committed suicide in prison at the age of 27, “suffered the most severe case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy ever discovered in a person his age.” The findings raised questions about the impact of CTE on a person’s decision-making and overall mental state.

The NFL is currently collaborating with the National Institute of Science & Technology and others on a four-year, $60 million partnership started in 2013 to better understand traumatic brain injury.



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

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

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


18 December, 2017

How the Left Became So Intolerant

When most people think of intolerance, they imagine a racist taunting a black person. Or they think of the white supremacist who killed a demonstrator in Charlottesville, Virginia.

It seldom occurs to them that intolerance comes in all political shapes and sizes.

A protester storming a stage and refusing to let someone speak is intolerant. So, too, are campus speech codes that restrict freedom of expression. A city official threatening to fine a pastor for declining to marry a gay couple is every bit as intolerant as a right-winger wanting to punish gays with sodomy laws.

There is a word that describes this mentality. It is “illiberal.” For centuries, we have associated the word “liberal” with open-mindedness. Liberals were people who were supposed to be tolerant and fair and who wanted to give all sides a hearing. They cared about everyone, not just their own kind.

By contrast, illiberal people were hardheaded in their opinions and judgmental about others’ behaviors, hoping to control what other people thought and said and to cut off debate. In extreme cases, they would even use violence to maintain political power and exclude certain kinds of people from having a say in their government.

Sadly, the kind of liberalism we used to know is fast disappearing from America. While the intolerance of the far right is well known, its manifestations on the far left are less known and often not fully acknowledged.

All too often, people who call themselves progressive liberals are at the forefront of movements to shut down debates on college campuses and to restrict freedom of speech. They are eager to cut corners, bend the Constitution, make up laws through questionable court rulings, and generally abuse the rules and the Constitution in order to get their way.

They establish “zero tolerance” regimes in schools where young boys are suspended for nibbling breakfast pastries into the shape of a gun. They are supposedly great haters of bigotry but sometimes speak of Christians in the most bigoted manner imaginable, as if Christians were no better than fascists.

American liberals are, in short, becoming increasingly illiberal. They are surrendering to the temptations of the closed mind.

We must be careful about what this means. There are hard (sometimes very hard) and soft forms of illiberalism that exist regardless of their ideological (left-right) variations.

The hard forms are totalitarian or authoritarian. They rely on the threat of force in some measure to maintain power, and they are invariably anti-democratic and anti-liberal. Think of communism, fascism, and all the various hybrids of authoritarian regimes, from Putin’s Russia to Islamist states that support terrorism.

Soft forms of illiberalism, on the other hand, are not totalitarian or violent. Outwardly they may observe the limits constitutional democracies place on the arbitrary use of power, but there is a suspicion that liberal democracies are not fully legitimate.

On the other side of the political spectrum, leftists often judge liberal democracies as economically and socially unjust because they are capitalist. Since most liberal democracies still allow conservatives to have a voice in the democratic process, leftists find them wanting, and in some cases condemn them outright as inherently oppressive (of racial and sexual minorities, for example), precisely because conservatives still have a voice.

Hard forms of illiberalism certainly exist in America today. On the right they are manifest in the form of hard-core racists and white supremacists, and on the left as communists, anarchists, or any leftist radical who openly threatens violence.

But soft illiberalism is present as well, and in America today it is pervasive.

Historically, a progressive liberal was someone who imbibed the intellectual nectars of both progressivism and classical liberalism.

The progressive tradition is easily recognizable. It is the legacy of prominent progressives from the turn of the 20th century such as Herbert Croly, John Dewey, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and others.

The classical liberal tradition is less well known, and as a result our understanding of it is murkier.

Classical liberalism is a set of ideas about individual liberty and constitutional government inherited from the moderate Enlightenment.

In America those ideas influenced the Revolution and the founding of the Republic. In Europe they were taken up in the 19th century by such liberals as Benjamin Constant, David Ricardo, Alexis de Tocqueville, François Guizot, and John Stuart Mill.

Although originally swimming in the same intellectual stream, American progressives and classical liberals started parting company in the late 19th century.

Progressives initially clung to freedom of expression and the right to dissent from the original liberalism, but under the influence of socialism and social democracy they gradually moved leftward. Today they largely hold classic liberalism—especially as manifested in small-government conservatism and libertarianism—in contempt.

Thus, what we call a “liberal” today is not historically a liberal at all but a progressive social democrat, someone who clings to the old liberal notion of individual liberty when it is convenient (as in supporting abortion or decrying the “national security” state), but who more often finds individual liberties and freedom of conscience to be barriers to building the progressive welfare state.

To untangle this confusing web of intellectual history, we need a more accurate historical rendering of what “progressive liberals” actually are. If they are not really liberals, then what are they?

As this volume will explore in more depth, they are postmodern leftists. A postmodernist is someone who believes that ethics are completely and utterly relative, and that human knowledge is, quite simply, whatever the individual, society, or political powers say it is.

When mixed with radical egalitarianism, postmodernism produces the agenda of the radical cultural left—namely, sexual and identity politics and radical multiculturalism. These causes have largely taken over the progressive liberal agenda and given the Democratic Party most of its energy and ideas.

The illiberal values inherent in these causes have been imported from neo-Marxism, radical feminism, critical race theory, sexual revolutionary politics, and other theories and movements imbued with the postmodern critique.

Combined with the dreams of the old social democratic-socialist left, of either dismantling or radically containing capitalism, the culture of the postmodern left today is a very potent force in politics.


Germany cuts its migration to 200,000

Germany has cut its migrant intake to less than 200,000 - a big drop from the 890,000 in 2015 when asylum-seekers from Syria and Afghanistan flooded in.
Deutsche Presse AgenturDecember 17, 20171:22pm

Germany expects to welcome less than 200,000 new migrants this year, the country's interior minister says.

"At the end of November we were around 173,000 and I calculate for the whole year we will be under 200,000 migrants," German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

The number in 2016 was around 280,000, while a year earlier the number of migrants sat at 890,000, as especially asylum-seekers from Syria and Afghanistan flooded into the country.

The drop in the number of migrants is likely due to the sealing off the so-called Balkan route for asylum seekers from the east, as well as the European Union's refugee deal with Turkey. Maritime efforts to stop migrants reaching Europe from northern Africa in boats have also been intensified.

German authorities have also recently introduced new financial incentives to encourage asylum-seekers to return to their countries of origin.


PBS's Costa Wrongly Suggests Segregationist George Wallace Was a Republican

Some liberal journalists just can't get the notion out of their minds that George Wallace was a Republican, even though the former segregationist governor of Alabama was a lifelong Democrat. On Friday's Washington Week on PBS, host Robert Costa -- also a Washington Post reporter -- suggested that Wallace was a part of the Republican party's "past" as he recalled that some black voters in Alabama are worried about the direction the GOP is taking. Costa:

"I spoke to a lot of African-American voters when I was down there, Jeff, and they said that they're worried that the Republican Party -- broadly speaking -- is turning back to its past. They cited the former governor of Alabama, George Wallace, a segregationist, and they say, in Roy Moore -- sometimes even in President Trump -- they hear echoes of a past that makes them uncomfortable."

Not one of the four panel members jumped in to correct the suggestion that Wallace was ever a Republican as CNN's Jeff Zeleny, CBS's Nancy Cordes, NBC's Kristen Welker, and Vice News's Shawna Thomas got their turns to speak. Cordes suggested that the RNC would be hurt by their decision to fund Roy Moore as she vaguely claimed he had made racist comments the week before the special election. Cordes:

"And I do think that the fact that the RNC decided at the end to get back into this race and back Roy Moore is a decision that is going to haunt them because -- had they not done that -- people could have said, "Well, this is the President popping off and he's impulsive -- of course he couldn't resist backing Roy Moore, but the party doesn't believe in someone like Roy Moore who has espoused racist views as recently as last week of the race." But because the RNC did get back in and support him financially, it's much more difficult for Republicans to make that case."


Furious outpouring of Leftist hate during an Australian election campaign

The debasing of our national political debate continues, the ABC is complicit and the Bennelong by-election has proved to be a case study of how this plays out. Labor’s so-called star candidate, Kristina Keneally, has embraced a now familiar tactic of the left: claiming victimhood while spouting vicious and baseless attacks on her opponents. Her willing accomplice has been Bill Shorten [Australian Leftist leader].

Along the way, national ­cohesion has been undermined as imaginary racist backlashes have been drummed up for political ­effect, tensions in our relationship with China have been inflamed, and the bar has been lowered yet again for the standards of our ­national political discourse. The damage will be bad enough if, as expected, Liberal backbencher John Alex­ander is returned by ­voters today. But ­imagine if ­Keneally wins — ­imagine the ­implications if this sort of shameless and reckless mudslinging is proven to be successful.

Many commentators and ­players lament the incontestable decline of public debate but most — presumably in the interests of demonstrating their even-­handedness — tend to address it with a pox-on-both-their-houses denunciation. Putting the lunatic fringes on the right and left to one side, it is the hateful rhetoric of the ­mainstream left that is most corrosive on politics. Transgressions by any people from any party should ­always be called out but, perhaps largely because of its ­preoccupation with identity politics, it is the mainstream left that engages in the most bilious and ­destructive attacks.

On Tuesday the Opposition Leader stood in the Sydney suburb of Ryde, in Bennelong, with Keneally and said this: “I think the Chinese community in Bennelong would be ­unimpressed by the constant, rampant China-phobia from Malcolm Turnbull — let’s call it as it is.” Shorten accused the Prime Minister and his government of racism without citing a word they had ­uttered to justify his claim.

“They will pay any price and make any slur or smear because they’re worried by Kristina Keneally and what happens in the by-election of Bennelong.” The alternative prime minister went on to say “Labor welcomes” all Australians whe­ther by birth or by choice, in a sin­ister inference that the govern­ment didn’t.

The following day they were at it again. “What we see from Malcolm Turnbull every single day is an assertion that our Chinese Australians, the people of Chinese ­descent or Chinese who are here studying or working on temporary visas, are people to be suspicious of,” Keneally said with Shorten by her side. “That is what Malcolm Turnbull’s doing.” Again, there was not a single shred of evidence proffered.

“We know that they’re getting tired by Malcolm Turnbull’s ­assertion that Asian Australians are not fully fledged members of Team Australia. You know, the last time we heard this rhetoric was from Pauline Hanson and One Nation 20 years ago and people think that we were all well ­behind it, but Malcolm Turnbull is reviving it.”

We all understand the tantalising prospect this by-election holds for Labor — the chance to force the Coalition into minority government — and with such high stakes we expect tough campaigning. Some may complain about how the Liberals have focused on Keneally’s past as the titular head of what transpired to be a corrupt and chaotic NSW Labor government. But it has been no more than scrutiny of her record. (Turnbull erred when he said she ­appointed Eddie Obeid to cabinet — she never did. Rather, Obeid and his acolytes thrust her into the leadership and she recalled Ian Macdonald to cabinet.)

We know Shorten was knocked off balance by the controversy over senator Sam Dastyari’s personal payments from a Chinese benefactor while spruiking Chinese foreign policy and tipping off his benefactor to the possibility of surveillance by intelligence agencies. Dastyari’s forced resignation during the Bennelong campaign showed how his double-dealing had hurt Labor and exposed the lack of action by Shorten. So Labor’s “China-phobic” attacks on the Coalition were a transparent attempt to deflect the heat.

All voters could see what was going on. Yet surely most of us were surprised that when placed under this sort of pressure by the obvious misdeeds of their own colleague, the knee-jerk reaction of Shorten and Keneally was to make the most vile accusation against Turnbull. Short of behaving in a racist fashion, seeking to dishonestly tar someone as racist has to be about as reprehensible as you can get. Turnbull was right to point out his own granddaughter was a Chinese Australian.

Given the vital foreign policy ­issues at the heart of the Dastyari scandal — no less than the ­allegiance of our politicians to this nation — it is extraordinary also that Labor would seek to play politics in a way that would recklessly imperil our bilateral relationship as well as risk stirring up resentment within the Australian Chinese community.

Beijing reacted with fiery rhetoric and diplomatic representations. It is hard to ­fathom whether Labor aped Beijing’s inflammatory words or vice versa, but the line that Australia’s public warnings on foreign interference were motivated by Sino-phobic ­racism was similar from China and Labor. Whether this reaction was cooked up in Beijing or Sussex Street, or both, it was appalling and should never have passed Shorten or Keneally’s lips.

The Opposition Leader might have done better to say he had learned the lessons from Dastyari’s diplomatic two-step and taken steps to ensure it would never happen again. He might then be taken ­seriously on the challenge confronting both sides of politics over accepting Chinese donations too willingly and perhaps having been too unquestioning about allies and former colleagues profiting as ­lobbyists for Chinese interests.

It should go without saying that our national interest takes precedence over that of any other ­nation and that the focus is on China only because of its economic weight, strategic posture, ­intense lobbying activity and the Dastyari disaster. Race has precisely nothing to do with it.

Still, it has become common for the aggressive left — particularly when losing policy debates on border protection or indigenous ­affairs — to use the slur of racism to silence or intimidate anyone who disagrees with it. In its world of identity politics and virtue signalling, political views are ­indistinguishable from individual iden­tity, so anyone holding an ­opposing view becomes a worthy target for character assassination.

It is a depressing descent from political debate into personal abuse. Sadly it is facilitated, if not encouraged, by much of the media debate. On ABC television news this week a reporter told us “both sides” were “playing the race card” in Bennelong. Say what?! Labor played the race card, as evidenced above, and the Liberals defended themselves. And just this week we saw the ABC continue to promote people who spew hate at their ideological enemies (yes, this invariably means leftists attacking people on the right of centre).

Sami Shah is a Pakistani-Australian comedian given a plum ABC radio job in Melbourne. “Does Peter Dutton wake up every morning with a hard-on for abusing refugees?” is the sort of thing he tweets. “It’s not Peter Dutton’s fault. His grandfather was an asshole,” is another in his Twitter feed that is peppered with all the standard anti-American and anti-Israeli fare. The ABC also has promoted Benjamin Law despite — or perhaps because of — his tweeting about how he would like to “hate-f..k” politicians ­opposed to same-sex marriage.

If this is the hate and abuse that wins promotion at the public broadcaster — if this is the invective that is deliberately amplified through publicly funded platforms — what hope do we have of ­improving the national debate, let alone our political outcomes?


Footnote:  The Leftist candidate lost.


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

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

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


17 December, 2017

Another careless rape prosecution by British police

They are under feminist pressure to "get" rapists

AN INNOCENT student accused of rape was put through two years of hell after police withheld sex messages from the complainant discussing vile fantasies and boasting about their romps.

Liam Allan, 22, faced up to 20 years in prison after being charged with multiple counts of rape and sexual assault by Met Police before the case dramatically collapsed in court yesterday.

Shortly before trial, Allan's newly-appointed prosecuting barrister Jerry Hayes discovered police had a disk with 40,000 messages from the complainant which "blew the prosecution case out the water".

They showed the woman discussing fantasies about rape and violent sex as well as pestering Mr Allan for casual sex and telling friends how much she enjoyed sleeping with him.

According to The Times, detectives repeatedly refused requests from Mr Allan's lawyers to examine the evidence, claiming they were not relevant to the case.

Judge Peter Gower found him not guilty on all counts at Croydon Crown Court and demanded an investigation "at the very highest level". Scotland Yard has said it is now carrying out an "urgent assessment" over what happened.

Meanwhile, prosecutors have accused police of 'sheer incompetence' and claimed officers hadn't even looked at the texts.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said they offered no evidence in the case on Thursday, as it was decided "there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction".

Speaking outside court, Mr Allan - a criminology student at Greenwich University - told The Times: "I can't explain the mental torture of the past two years. "I feel betrayed by the system which I had believed would do the right thing - the system I want to work in."

His mum Lorraine, 46, added: "The assumption is there is no smoke without fire.”

Mr Allan was warned he faced at least ten years in jail if convicted of the six counts of rape and six sexual assault charges.

He told the newspaper how he was suspended from his part time job after his arrest and feared going to prison in case he was "placed with other sex offenders".

Police took 14 months to charge him and Mr Allan believes police and prosecutors were "over-compensating" for failing to scalp celeb sex offenders.

The judge has now warned of the risks of a "serious miscarriage of justice" after hearing material wasn't always handed to defence lawyers to save costs, The Times reports.

The woman had told cops she didn't enjoy sex, but he insisted it was consensual and she was acting maliciously because he wouldn't see her again after starting uni.

Jerry Hayes, the prosecuting barrister, told the court yesterday that he would offer no evidence and apologised for the "terrible" and "inexcusable" failure.

The former Tory MP said: "There could have been a very serious miscarriage of justice, which could have led to a very significant period of imprisonment and life on the sex offenders register.

"It appears the [police] officer in the case has not reviewed the disk, which is quite appalling.”

Speaking to the BBC this morning, he added: "I don't think they had looked at it [the texts]. It's just sheer incompetence I'm afraid. Police don't always understand it is their duty to review it."

Defence lawyer Julia Smart had only received details of the messages the night before she was due to cross examine the woman and when she told the court, the case was halted.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We are aware of this case being dismissed from court and are carrying out an urgent assessment to establish the circumstances which led to this action being taken.

"We are working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service and keeping in close contact with the victim whilst this process takes place."


No justice for Justine Damond? Prosecutor says he does not have enough evidence to charge US policeman who shot dead Australian woman

Absurd statement.  The cop is a black immigrant.  That is all that protects him

The policeman who shot and killed Australian woman Justine Damond may escape punishment over the July shooting.

Mike Freeman, the prosecutor handling the case, told an activist group in Minneapolis he did not have enough evidence to lay charges.

Officer Mohamed Noor has been refusing to cooperate with investigators, and Hennepin County Attorney Freeman is yet to charge him over the incident.

A video of Mr Freeman speaking to activists from a group called Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar at an event on Wednesday was posted on Facebook.

When asked why Noor has not been charged, Mr Freeman made a series of statements about the case, but it is unclear if he knew he was being filmed.

'I've got to have the evidence, and I don't have it yet,' said Mr Freeman. 'Let me just say it's not my fault. So if it isn't my fault, who didn't do their job? Investigators. They don't work for me. They haven't done their job.'

'Fair question,' Mr Freeman said repeatedly when challenged by activists, who said they did not understand why Noor was not facing court.

'I have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, the moment he shot the gun he feared for his life, and he used force because he thought he was going to be killed,' he said.

'But he won't answer my questions. … I can't talk to her because she's gone, and the other cop just gave us s***. 'So guess what, I've gotta figure out angles of the shot, gun residues, reckless use of force experts

'But if you look at this, here's a nice lady who hears something bad outside, she calls the cops, they don't come, she calls again, they drive up in her alley, and she comes out in her jammies and she's killed by a cop.

'Sounds easy doesn't it? Can I prove that the cop shot her? I could have done that the first day.

Mr Freeman went on to say he was bound by legal procedure and had to prosecute the case in the proper manner.

'Would you like me to charge your friend just because I think maybe he did it, and let a jury decide?' Freeman said on the videotape. 'I'm ruining his life by doing [that].'

He finished by saying: 'Trust me, nobody wants it done more than me. That's the big present I want under the Christmas tree.'

Mr Freeman's reasonable doubt comments caused confusion, as he appeared to be using an argument the defence team would take - that Officer Noor feared for his life.

The lawyer for the Damond family said his clients were 'deeply distressed and unhappy' about Mr Freeman's comments, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

'We expected a quality investigation that would be fair, complete and accurate, and apparently that hasn't happened,' he said.

Officer Noor's lawyer Thomas Plunkett also expressed concerns about the prosecutor's statements, calling the death a tragedy, but not a crime.

'No lawyer wants their client placed under a Christmas tree as a present to a vocal segment of the community,' he said. 'Investigators gather evidence, they don't create it. That is their job. I am concerned by any supplemental investigation — especially if it is directly overseen and influenced by the county attorney.'

Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar was formed after the November 2015 death of Jamar Clark, who was shot and killed by police during a struggle.

Group organiser and union member Sam Sanchez told Daily Mail Australia local official lack accountability for the deaths of Ms Damond and many others. 'We as community members and Union members in the public and private sector are not happy,' he said. 

Ms Damond, 40, from Sydney's northern beaches, was shot as she stood outside the officer's patrol car in her pyjamas just before midnight.

She had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault near her home and had come outside to speak to the police.

Officer Noor was in the front passenger seat and shot across his partner and out the driver's side window, hitting Ms Damond in the stomach.


E Pur Si Muove

Earlier this year, I noticed something in China that really surprised me.  I realized I felt more comfortable discussing controversial ideas in Beijing than in San Francisco.  I didn’t feel completely comfortable—this was China, after all—just more comfortable than at home.

That showed me just how bad things have become, and how much things have changed since I first got started here in 2005.

It seems easier to accidentally speak heresies in San Francisco every year.  Debating a controversial idea, even if you 95% agree with the consensus side, seems ill-advised.

This will be very bad for startups in the Bay Area.

Restricting speech leads to restricting ideas and therefore restricted innovation—the most successful societies have generally been the most open ones.  Usually mainstream ideas are right and heterodox ideas are wrong, but the true and unpopular ideas are what drive the world forward.  Also, smart people tend to have an allergic reaction to the restriction of ideas, and I’m now seeing many of the smartest people I know move elsewhere.

It is bad for all of us when people can’t say that the world is a sphere, that evolution is real, or that the sun is at the center of the solar system.

More recently, I’ve seen credible people working on ideas like pharmaceuticals for intelligence augmentation, genetic engineering, and radical life extension leave San Francisco because they found the reaction to their work to be so toxic.  “If people live a lot longer it will be disastrous for the environment, so people working on this must be really unethical” was a memorable quote I heard this year.

To get the really good ideas, we need to tolerate really bad and wacky ideas too.  In addition to the work Newton is best known for, he also studied alchemy (the British authorities banned work on this because they feared the devaluation of gold) and considered himself to be someone specially chosen by the almighty for the task of decoding Biblical scripture. 

You can’t tell which seemingly wacky ideas are going to turn out to be right, and nearly all ideas that turn out to be great breakthroughs start out sounding like terrible ideas.  So if you want a culture that innovates, you can’t have a culture where you allow the concept of heresy—if you allow the concept at all, it tends to spread.  When we move from strenuous debate about ideas to casting the people behind the ideas as heretics, we gradually stop debate on all controversial ideas.

This is uncomfortable, but it’s possible we have to allow people to say disparaging things about gay people if we want them to be able to say novel things about physics. [1] Of course we can and should say that ideas are mistaken, but we can’t just call the person a heretic.  We need to debate the actual idea.

Political correctness often comes from a good place—I think we should all be willing to make accommodations to treat others well.  But too often it ends up being used as a club for something orthogonal to protecting actual victims.  The best ideas are barely possible to express at all, and if you’re constantly thinking about how everything you say might be misinterpreted, you won’t let the best ideas get past the fragment stage.

I don’t know who Satoshi is, but I’m skeptical that he, she, or they would have been able to come up with the idea for bitcoin immersed in the current culture of San Francisco—it would have seemed too crazy and too dangerous, with too many ways to go wrong.  If SpaceX started in San Francisco in 2017, I assume they would have been attacked for focusing on problems of the 1%, or for doing something the government had already decided was too hard.  I can picture Galileo looking up at the sky and whispering “E pur si muove” here today.

[1] I am less worried that letting some people on the internet say things like “gay people are evil” is going to convince reasonable people that such a statement is true than I fear losing the opposite—we needed people to be free to say "gay people are ok" to make the progress we've made, even though it was not a generally acceptable thought several decades ago.

In fact, the only ideas I’m afraid of letting people say are the ones that I think may be true and that I don’t like.  But I accept that censorship is not going to make the world be the way I wish it were.


Bill Donohue: Another Liberal Chef Predator Reportedly Exposed

On election night 2012, New York City restaurant icon Ken Friedman co-hosted a party for liberal Democrats. "I'm very political," he told the New York Times. By that he meant he champions women's rights. Now he is accused of preying on women, just like his liberal buddy, Mario Batali.

Friedman likes to travel in elite celebrity circles, serving the likes of Graydon Carter of Vanity Fair; they even own restaurants together. One of Friedman's prize possessions is the Spotted Pig, known by Zagat for its "celeb sightings." The Pig is also home to male pigs.

The third floor of the Pig, fondly known as the "rape room," is where fat cats like Friedman and Batali strut their stuff. This is where a drunken Batali was caught on video molesting a gal in 2008.

Ten women have reportedly accused Friedman of all sorts of sexual misconduct. Some say they were required to pull "all-night shifts at private parties that included public sex and nudity." Friendly's never sounded so attractive.

Some of the women are also gems. One woman who objected to Friedman going too far said she didn't mind being groped. "There is a grab-ass, superfun late night culture—I love that part of the industry." So do the men.

Liberals, of course, deplore Catholic sexual ethics: exercising restraint is a taboo. But not rape. Which is why liberal celebs from Hollywood studios to Big Apple restaurants are finally paying the bill for decades of cultural corruption and sexual debasement.



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

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

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


15 December, 2017

GLAAD's Tidings Grate Joy
For a party who argues there’s no war on Christmas, the secular Left sure spends a lot of time talking about one! From smart-alecky op-eds to condescending cartoons, it’s starting to feel like some liberals are more obsessed with the idea than anyone. But considering the wildly enthusiastic response to Donald Trump in Pensacola, maybe they’re right to be worried.

With almost 80 minutes of material at his Florida rally, the president wasn’t exactly lacking for applause lines. But it only took two — “Merry Christmas!” — to send the crowd into a cheering frenzy.

For reasons the liberal media will never understand, this crusade on Christmas is a success for the same reason Donald Trump is president: because it taps into a deep frustration that America’s common values are being mocked and marginalized. Look at the NFL’s scramble to stay afloat when patriotism was attacked, or how shoppers responded when Target opened its doors to the gender-free fringe. Through it all, liberals have been so consumed with moving the country into radical territory that they haven’t stopped long enough to look over their shoulder and see if anyone’s following them. And apart from their surrogates in the media, most aren’t.

Now, a year after voters said the Democratic Party didn’t understand them, the Left’s lampooning of Christmas shows it still doesn’t. And not just on the holidays but on the entire concept of religious liberty (which, if liberals bothered to look under the surface, is what this entire revolution is about).

Donald Trump gets it. He’s been leading the free exercise parade since he moved into the office, making “protecting religious liberty,” as he said to Pensacola Friday, one of the biggest priorities of his term. “We have stopped the government attacks on our Judeo-Christian values,” he explained, “because we know that families and churches, not government officials, know best how to create a strong and loving community… Above all else, we know this: America doesn’t worship government. We worship God.” The applause was so deafening, Trump couldn’t continue.

Unfortunately for the president, the government is just one part of the attack on our values. The political Left is the real threat, slowly wrapping its tentacles around powerful pockets of the media, business community, our schools, and sports. The squeeze is on for conservatives in America, who, extremists will tell you, don’t even deserve to be heard.

Over the weekend, NBC “Today” host Megyn Kelly came under fire for something as innocent as interviewing Christian baker Jack Phillips, the man at the center of the biggest religious liberty case in a generation. Why? According to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), because he thinks differently than liberals do. “Today Megyn Kelly allowed her morning show to be nothing more than a Trojan Horse to push the talking points of a known anti-LGBTQ group, Alliance Defending Freedom, into homes across America… Megyn Kelly is clearly choosing sides,” GLAAD tweeted later. “That’s not responsible journalism.”

Responsible journalism, apparently, is ignoring that there are two sides to every debate. As far as some on the Left are concerned, if you can’t win the argument, silence it. If you can’t create conformity, force it. Lately, liberals have been quite successful at arguing that what Christians believe is no longer relevant or no intelligent person thinks this way. The only trouble with this Rules for Radicals mentality is that it doesn’t account for the pushback conservatives, emboldened by Trump, have started to give it. Still, that message is amplified by their friends in the media, giving the dangerous illusion that everyday Americans — who still believe in basics like biology — are outnumbered.

Even former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, an open LGBT activist who just took the helm of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute, brags that her side has “already won the war.” In an interview about her new job with The Blade, she crowed that the radical transformation of America is all but unstoppable. “I think we’re going to make much faster progress [on transgender issues],” Parker insisted. “I think we’re going to win the war. In fact, we’ve already won the war, but … we can’t take our foot off the pedal. All of the things we’ve been doing for the last 45 years since Stonewall basically throwing ourselves into the political process, showing up, voting, protesting when necessary, we still have to keep doing it.”

In her new job, Parker can finally do publicly what she was attempting to do personally as mayor: unleash an all-out assault against freedom and truth. Looking back on her controversial days in Houston, she talked about her failure to pass a genderless bathroom order.

“This latest anti-trans movement really, I think, unfortunately, wasn’t launched in Houston, but our HERO campaign [the 2015 campaign to preserve the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance] was where it really flowered. We had right-wing groups from all over the country, pouring money and resources in Houston. We had the right-wing ideologues coming through, the Mike Huckabees and Ted Cruzes coming though Houston and doing trans-bashing in Houston, and then they took it on the road to North Carolina and back to Texas with the statewide bathroom bill.”

Even now, she still doesn’t see anything wrong with punishing and censoring pastors, which she tried to do with her infamous sermon subpoenas. The Blade reporter asked her about it, remembering that “there was this big argument that was infringing upon these pastors’ religious liberty.” She claimed it happened without her knowledge but admitted, “I didn’t think it was wrong, but I rescinded it simply because it created too much of a peripheral issue. But that had to do with litigation around HERO. It wasn’t anything to do with RFRA [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] or the ability to discriminate.”

Unfortunately, these views — GLAAD’s and Annise Parker’s — aren’t apparitions of the Obama administration. They now represent the heart and soul of the Left, whose full-throated intolerance is jettisoning biblical truth and thousands of years of human history in exchange for a view that’s been popularized by the media and cultural elite. Has anyone stopped to think where we’d be if Hillary Clinton were president and Obama’s radical agenda continued? Is there any doubt that the Left would have resumed the government-sanctioned punishment of anyone who dares to subscribe to biblical morality?

The “Never Trumpers” and others can continue to volley criticisms at the president, but to this point, Donald Trump has done more than any previous Republican president in most of our lives to reverse the destructive policies of his predecessor. Who knows when conservatives will have this opportunity again? Liberals, aided by a few spineless Republicans, are working hard to stop and stall this president. Now is the not the time to sit back or disengage. We must push harder than we’ve ever pushed before, lest we lose our chance to restore America to a firm foundation.


Biting our tongues in the era of political correctness

When history books look back at the times we live in, it would not be a stretch to call this the era of political correctness. Far from just being a talking point in last year’s presidential election, there is no doubt it is playing a substantial role in shaping how we discuss and debate key issues facing the country.

Feel you cannot share your true opinions for risk of offending someone? You are not alone.

A recent poll by the Cato Institute shows how much this mentality is shaping public opinions: 58 percent of survey respondents agreed they have self-censored some of their opinions due to the current political climate, while 71 percent believe political correctness has effectively silenced important discussions we need to have. This is probably the most concerning aspect of political correctness because it limits our ability to discuss critical issues that may be considered offensive.

While the PC movement grew out of a legitimate desire to reduce threatening speech, it is now used in many ways as a sword against non-hateful opposing viewpoints. Having a well-reasoned and rational discussion about whether affirmative action really helps disadvantaged groups get ahead or whether changes are needed to our immigration policy inevitably leads to a person being called a racist. For too many people dominating political debate in the media and academia, today’s most fundamental right is the right to not be offended.

The same poll by the Cato Institute showed the fallacy of supposed “microaggressions,” which theorizes that phrases like “America is a melting pot” or “everyone can succeed in this society if they work hard” are backhanded insults to minority groups. A vast majority of Latinos and African Americans surveyed were not offended by most of the commonly phrases cited by academics pushing the theory.

Despite a lack evidence to back up the claims, the president of the University of California instructed faculty leaders in 2015 to avoid unintentionally offending students through use of microaggressions while in the classroom. Political correctness has reached a point where stating “America is the land of opportunity” is now something that is objectionable.

Never mind that the principle of meritocracy goes back to our nation’s founding and was the reason so many immigrants flocked to come here in the first place. How can honest discussion on campuses across the country occur if people must constantly be assessing what they can or cannot say? The theory of microaggressions remains ill-defined. Generating a coherent list of phrases that universally offend minority groups has not been properly research. Despite a lack of evidence, many universities are now incorporating such lists into diversity training. This training does more harm than good by promoting hypersensitivity and diverts limited resources from more beneficial uses. Yet because of seepage of political correctness into every corner of society, college administrators feel the need to embrace it at the expense of their students.

Beyond stifling debate on legitimate political issues and turning our universities into safe spaces, PC culture has a divisive effect of putting a focus on race as a person’s defining attribute instead of who they are as an individual.


Pressure to legislate religious freedoms in Australia

The conservative pushback to same-sex marriage has begun with No-voting MPs seeking to influence a review of religious freedoms led by former Liberal attorney-general Philip Ruddock.

Conservatives yesterday said the substance of unsuccessful amendments to protect religious freedoms — defeated on the floor of parliament despite the passage of a historic gay marriage bill last week — needed to be revisited by the Ruddock review or risk being seen as an affront to No voters.

South Australian Liberal senator David Fawcett, who helped devise five of the unsuccessful amendments to the bill that passed the parliament last week with overwhelming support, yesterday signalled his interest in ­resurrecting his changes through the expert panel review process.

“Having been involved in this since the Senate select committee which I chaired that led me to become one of the leading advocates for amendments for protections in the actual same-sex marriage bill, I’m clearly disappointed that they were voted down,” Senator Fawcett told The Australian. “And I’ll be looking to work with Mr Ruddock and the government to ensure protections are put in place.’’

Labor MP Chris Hayes, who used his speech in the House of Representatives to argue for religious freedoms to be examined in the Ruddock review, said there was a need to consider enshrining Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in Australian law to better uphold religious liberty.

“I think there’s some utility in investigating the application or bringing into Australian domestic law the tenants of Article 18 of that convention,” he said. “I would think that it would be one of the areas that the expert panel might care to look at.”

Other Coalition MPs who supported religious freedom amendments voiced concern they had not been consulted over the decision to announce the expert panel, which includes Australian Human Rights Commission president Rosalind Croucher, retired judge Annabelle Bennett and Jesuit priest Frank Brennan.

“The inquiry panel was selected without consultation and largely reflects the biases and relationships of the Yes voting cabinet members,” one Coalition MP said. “I hold little hope after a close look at the voting patterns of both the Senate and the Reps with respect to the amendments (being revisited).”

A spokesman for the postal survey No campaign said supporters of traditional marriage remained “hopeful but extremely concerned” about whether religious freedom protections would be secured through the Ruddock review, which is due to report at the end of March.

“Not only has there been a lack of consultation, there is no clear understanding that this process will lead to an actual legislative outcome that provides protections for Australians of faith,” the spokesman said. “The absence of a prominent No voice on the inquiry is of concern, and does not send a positive message to the millions and millions of No voters.”

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said he supported the Ruddock review, and schools should have the ability to “teach in accordance” with their religious world view. “Once we’re out of the shadow of the marriage debate, the sorts of protections we talked about in the last parliamentary sitting week, I think it is proper for those to be considered,” he said.


The Dystopia in the Desert: Australia’s Remotest Aboriginal communities

In the clear-skied springtime of 2010, an enthusiastic new recruit to desert life named Tadhgh Purtill clambered aboard a light plane and took the long flight out to Warburton community, the little capital of the Ngaanyatjarra Aboriginal lands in Western Australia. He was a true believer, a robust advocate of strong self-determination, a supporter of the idea that indigenous people should be free to live on their ancestral lands.

Purtill felt these people had “every right to place themselves at a distance from mainstream Australian society, even to opt out of it, and that their cultural interests and rights might be best served by such a situation”.

He spent 2½ years in the remote world of the Ngaanyatjarra, first as a community development adviser and then as a managerial mentor to the region’s staff. None of his initial convictions survived his time in the bush: in fact, he found the opposite of his dreams.

His account of this remote community sojourn, The Dystopia in the Desert, brings together what he saw, heard and learned, and builds a theory from his observations. It is a detailed and disquieting narrative, at once an adventure of personal discovery and an exercise in wild social analysis. He plunges into delicate terrain, and deals in explicit fashion with matters that are usually airbrushed out of view. This is a work to set beside the darker texts of modern anthropology, and one that reveals a good deal about its author as well as its ostensible subjects.

It is a mark of Australia’s lack of serious attention to questions about remote Aboriginal life that this book has been ignored while headlines have been devoted to the elusive dream of indigenous constitutional recognition. For Purtill, the realm of the Ngaanyatjarra, a quarter of a million square kilometres inhabited by some 2000 people, is a place unlike any other:

The region is home to a social and organisational event of disorienting complexity. It is also home to a culture of deep darkness, one that is not seen in the official and statistical registers. This culture is not the Aboriginal culture. It is an operational culture that has grown up within the region, partly through what is perceived to be necessity, partly through convenience, partly through neglect, but in all cases through a strange encounter between Aboriginal culture and whitefella culture, and the contrary expectations of each.

The “region” is, in other words, a modern frontier zone, an ambiguous, shifting domain where policy ideas and strategies clash with each other, and interest groups and individuals strive for advantage in an ill-charted murk.

The rules are elaborate, and unwritten: Purtill sets them out. In this era of self-determination, those who run the communities, the “staff”, must appear to consult their Aboriginal subjects and obtain a degree of consent for the regulations they impose and the initiatives they advance. Welfare and municipal funds provide the life blood of the system: access to and control over the money flow equates to power. Administrators naturally seek accommodations with community leaders; they tend to favour their clients in return for expressions of support. Locals give lip service to the outside staff in return for benefits such as access to vehicles, housing, travel funds, store and fuel vouchers, all the items that lubricate remote community life and contribute to status and advantage.

This kind of patronage system is familiar enough in authoritarian regimes around the world, where power decides resource allocation. The novel element in the Australian remote indigenous community context is that the entire system is itself dependent on dependency. Locals depend on administrators and their service organisations, and service organisations depend on government. Worse is better: the poverty and dysfunction of the Aboriginal bush is what generates the necessary funds. Hence a premium is placed on the absence of progress.

“It is reasonable,” writes Purtill, “to ask whether any organisation that depends on government money, and whose entire existence therefore depends on a demonstration of its own need, is likely even to have the operational capacity to develop the independence, capacity and power of its own constituents.” Purtill came by his interpretation of the system through a hard exposure to its workings. He took up his initial post in a tiny Ngaanyatjarra community that he is careful not to name. It was in fact Tjirrkarli, one of the grittiest Aboriginal outposts in the Western Desert.

His experiences there and more broadly through the lands were exorbitant: he reports that violence and bullying were endemic. Advisers like him were regularly abused, threatened and on occasion assaulted by Aboriginal community members seeking money or protesting against local regulations and rules: “Most staff have witnessed violence among community members, or have dealt with its immediate aftermath, and perceive that threats made against them are not idle.”

In his 19 months at Tjirrkarli, a place with fewer than 25 residents, he saw a community member bashed outside his office, a man attacked with a machete, and a woman assaulted with rocks and projectiles by a group of eight or 10 assailants. He saw an older woman threatened with a brick by her own son after she refused him money; he found a man wandering about the community with a deep cranial gash and a piece of stick protruding from his forehead after an attack by a petrol sniffer. Death threats came his way from time to time. Sometimes tensions ran so high, he felt it best to spend his nights away from his house in the community.

One natural result of this pervasive atmosphere of threat and aggression is a high turnover of outside staff. Other writers seeking to convey the texture of remote community life tend to present this in oddly humorous terms, as a token of the amusing incompetence and ­naiveties of incoming do-gooders. Purtill provides a more sombre anatomy of the standard cycle of community employment. The new staff member arrives with much enthusiasm and sets to work with a will, determined to improve things. Over time they experience various stressful, disappointing or even frightening situations involving other staff or locals, and from that point on the person lives in “an emotional state in which his private tension never completely ­subsides”.

Then comes self-questioning, disillusion or a sense of defeat. Decision time now looms: either leave, or stay and accept that this is how things are in the bush communities.

Often this second course of action gives way to a position of acceptance: the staff member ceases to be offended by the social dysfunction and comes to see it as legitimate, as somehow authentic, as “the way the locals want to live”.

At this point the staff member has become part of the system, and even comes to resist any attempts at reform.

The missionary — nowadays the well-meaning secular idealist — becomes the disillusioned but well-remunerated mercenary and then, having lost his moral and ideological bearings, morphs into the ensconced misfit. The transformations are never witnessed or recognised by others because the others are not there long enough to see all three phases occur in the same person; and the eventual misfit himself continues to believe that he is still acting from noble motives.

Perverse progression! But perverse incentives and consequences, and ill-kept secrets and half-articulated compromises, are endemic in the portrait Purtill presents of the lands. This is a realm where staffers can forge the signatures of community leaders, where some shopkeepers feed themselves from the stock of the community store, where staff administrators running a strict alcohol-free zone drink in their homes and where spending public money irresponsibly is an art form. Purtill gives, again, examples from his own experience: a plumber based in Kalgoorlie is sent 900km to fix one pipe in a community, does the job and then, without offering his services to anyone else there, turns around and drives back. A school has too much food for its breakfast program, but reducing the oversupply is bureaucratically impossible and the surplus food mountain continues to grow. A plane flies in from Alice Springs to take a girl to boarding school, but no one has arranged the pick-up and it flies back without her.

Episodes of this kind are familiar features of remote community life. What is less familiar is Purtill’s willingness to describe the pattern.

His observations lead him to his theory: the entire Ngaanyatjarra region, he argues, has now become a special “operational space” where a greatly transformed post-traditional Aboriginal society interacts with the Western administrative culture. Much of this interaction is nominal, rather than real.

Training, employment, schooling, governance — the Ngaanyatjarra themselves tend to be apathetic towards these activities, and participate only when benefits, in the form of a barbecue, perhaps, or a sitting fee, are on offer. New programs aimed at community development come and go in quick succession. Work by ­locals on local projects is often skipped or poorly done, school attendance is low, the official claims of success and progress in economic or educational ventures are facade claims, quite at variance with reality.

“What we now have,” writes Purtill, “is a general image of disorder, imbalance, pointlessness, confusion — in its essence, futility.” It is a “carnival” of administered chaos, there is “the swirl and lurch of different people and processes, the cross-surgings, the many goals of a motley system”.

Deceptions and self-deceptions are everywhere, dewy reports to government that misrepresent the dire condition of the communities are routine. Meanwhile the entire frontier zone operates to maintain the dystopian status quo. Not only do Aboriginal people not run their communities, they do not have the capacity to run them.

The polite story locals and administrators profess to believe is that the whitefella staff carry out the wishes of Aboriginal leaders, but this is “simply a myth”. Aboriginal leaders have influence, of course, but that influence falls far short of self-determination, and the powerful “custodial class” of long-established whitefellas in the region has no desire to surrender control.

Hence the unspoken arrangement in place, the “implicit moral contract in which whitefellas gain professional status, salaries and operational power while Aborigines retain formal pre-eminence and personal freedom from the burdens of operational responsibility”.

What has developed in the far desert Ngaanyatjarra lands is not, then, a society that is in a state of dysfunction but a smoothly running mechanism, a successfully dysfunctional little state.

This is quite a charge sheet, made yet more potent by its evident relevance to scores of other similar groupings of remote indigenous communities strewn across the centre and the tropical north: Aboriginal people viewed as indolent, manipulative, violence-prone and devoid of any serious commitment to economic or educational advancement; whitefella staff as mediocre, profiteering, hypocritical basket cases, presiding over a failed, chaotic network of human zoos. The whole remote community world as a long-running enterprise of conspiracy devoted to propagating a profitable lie.

A handful of the key administrators and anthropological specialists who work in the Ngaanyatjarra region have read The Dystopia and, unsurprisingly, disagree with the harsh contours of Purtill’s analysis. No doubt Ngaanyatjarra men and women would be wounded, if they read it, by certain aspects of the frontier portrait the book sketches out.

No work of such critical intensity has been published to date on the modern remote community system, and while there is much in the portrayal that is frank, fearless and precise, there are aspects of it that invite modifying commentary. This is a work pitched, for all the specifics and case examples, at a high level of abstraction, an elegantly written intellectual jeremiad rather than a standard memoir of a season spent in the indigenous bush. This its besetting difficulty.

Purtill seems not to have learned any Western Desert language, and not to have enjoyed close relations with any local informants. The Aboriginal figures who appear in the narrative are ghostly shadows, rather trapped and exploited by their compliant-seeming whitefella custodians.

The view of Western Desert traditional culture that is presented is at once respectful and elegiac. Yes, there are times of “creativity, joy, celebration, happiness” in the communities, and these are often related to ceremonial life, but regional bodies in the desert are seen as overplaying the cultural strength of the locals because they know that their own legitimacy is strongly tied to that culture’s continuing resilience.

The truth, for Purtill, is that the culture is fading away, and “to admit the true extent of cultural depletion” would be “an embarrassment”. And of course by some fundamental, pre-contact benchmark, indigenous culture is changing, adapting, becoming a less potent dilution of what it originally was, and in a fateful way all Aboriginal societies are following this trajectory.

But if there is one place in Australia where the picture is a little different, it is the deep Western Desert region centred on Warburton and the Ngaanyatjarra lands.

From this January to May, a vast ceremony cycle bringing more than 200 desert men together unfolded smoothly, in secret, free from all outside involvement, at sites in the vicinity of Warburton.

Once the enduring position of ceremony, ritual, law and the bonds they forge is given its central role in desert community life, Aboriginal behaviour begins to look slightly less inexplicable, less feckless and perverse.

For many of the current generation of senior men and women leading traditionally accented lives, religion and law provide the heartbeat for their world, and the administrative presence and the programs and incentives that seek to usher them into a modern existence are mere distractions from the true, fulfilling purpose of their lives.

Resistance and noncompliance with the dreams of mainstream Australia for a placid, integrated Aboriginal society in the remote bush thus have a certain logic. It is a resistance that runs paradoxically alongside submission to welfare dependency and to the encroaching blandishments of Western influence, its alcohol, drugs and tidal waves of mass entertainment.

It’s a resistance that has the strategy of exploiting its masters and the effect of subverting their reforms.

Purtill himself hovers close to this more nuanced analysis in his final pages, as he describes the limits that inevitably preclude full comprehension by outsiders of the desert world: “That world, a foreign domain of thought and feeling, novelty and inheritance, with its seething weave of the tragic and the beautiful and the intriguing — its different notions of what is — can it ever be really understood?”

There is an unknowable hinterland that he sees stretching out beyond his compass of desert life. “It is in that hinterland that the communities of the Ngaanyatjarra region are functioning, and creating, and defying. The defiant creation, the dystopian system, caters to inextinguishable Aboriginal instincts — the instinct to survive as a people, to refuse to become something else.”

And refusal helps create the present impasse, and invites the ever more concerted policies of surveillance and supervised community-based work governments are now mandating in a bid to promote change.

But the present landscape contains a double bind: the remote Aboriginal frontier, ­chaotic as it is, offers no obvious prospect of constructive evolution in conformity with mainstream desires. Hence the vital, unask­able questions: How long can the bush communities continue to exist in their present form? How might they develop, and under what terms? And who, what kind of people, will live in them in generations to come?



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

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

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


14 December, 2017

What the War Over Jerusalem is Really About

It's not about a "piece of land here or there", as the PA's top Sharia judge clarifies, it's a religious war.

Hamas has announced that President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has opened the "gates of hell." Its Muslim Brotherhood parent has declared America an "enemy state."

The Arab League boss warned that the Jerusalem move "will fuel extremism and result in violence." The Jordanian Foreign Minister claimed that it would "trigger anger" and "fuel tension."

"Moderate" Muslim leaders excel at threatening violence on behalf of the "extremists". The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) warned that recognizing Jerusalem will trigger an Islamic summit and be considered a "blatant attack on the Arab and Islamic nations."

PLO leaders and minions meanwhile made it quite clear that now the dead peace process is truly dead.

A day later, the peace process is still as alive and as dead as it ever was.

Since the chance of a peace process is about the same as being hit by lightning while scoring a Royal Flush, that "chance" doesn't amount to anything. The peace process has been deader than Dracula for ages. And even a PLO terrorist should know that you can't threaten to kill a dead hostage.

The only kiss of death here came from Arafat. Peace wasn't killed though. It was never alive. Because a permanent peace is Islamically impossible.

"The world will pay the price," warned Mahmoud Habash, the Palestinian Authority's Supreme Sharia judge. Habash isn't just the bigwig of Islamic law, he's also the Islamic adviser to the leader of the Palestinian Authority. And Abbas, the terror organization's leader, was there when Habash made his remarks.

Previously Habash had declared that the Kotel, the Western Wall of the fallen Temple, the holiest site in Judaism, "can never be for non-Muslims. It cannot be under the sovereignty of non-Muslims."

While the official warnings from the Palestinian Authority, the Arab League and assorted other Islamic organizations have claimed that recognizing Jerusalem threatens the non-existent peace process, Habash had in the past had made it quite clear that the issue wasn't land, it was Jihad.

"The struggle over this land is not merely a struggle over a piece of land here or there. Not at all. The struggle has the symbolism of holiness, or blessing. It is a struggle between those whom Allah has chosen for Ribat and those who are trying to mutilate the land of Ribat," Habash had declared.

Ribat means that Israel is a frontier outpost between the territories of Islam and the free world. The Muslim terrorists who call themselves "Palestinians" have, according to the Abbas adviser, been chosen for "Ribat" to stand guard on the Islamic frontier and expand the territories of Islam.

The sense of Ribat is that the Jihadists may not yet be able to win a definitive victory, but must maintain their vigilance for the ultimate goal, which a Hadith defines as performing Ribat "against my enemy and your enemy until he abandons his religion for your religion."

That is what's at stake here.

It's not about a "piece of land here or there", as the PA's top Sharia judge clarifies, it's a religious war. And Israel is not just a religious war between Muslims and Jews, but a shifting frontier in the larger war between Islam and the rest of the world. It's another territory to be conquered on the way to Europe. And Europe is another territory to be conquered on the way to America.

There can be no peace in a religious war. Nor is there anything to negotiate.........

President Trump made the right decision by refusing to let our foreign policy be held hostage. We don't win by giving in to terrorists.

We win by resisting them. Or else we'll have to live our lives as hostages of Islamic terror.

Jerusalem is a metaphor. Every free country has its own Jerusalem. In America, it's the First Amendment. Our Jerusalem is not just a piece of land, it's a value. And the Islamic Jihad seeks to intimidate us into giving it up until, as the Hadith states, we abandon our religion for Islam.

Moving the embassy to Jerusalem will do much more for America than it will for Israel.

The Israelis already know where their capital is. We need to remember where we left our freedom. Islamic terrorists win when they terrorize us into being too afraid to do the right thing.

President Trump sent a message to the terrorists that America will not be terrorized.

Previous administrations allowed the terrorists to decide where we put our embassy. But Trump has made it clear that we won't let Islamic terrorists decide where we put our embassies, what cartoons we will draw or how we live our lives. That is what real freedom means.


Obama-Appointed Judge: Salvation Army—Not Catholic Church—Can Advertise on D.C.’s Metro

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, issued an opinion on Saturday permitting the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to ban an advertisement by the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., while allowing one by the Salvation Army, which, like the archdiocese, is also a Christian organization.

The ad that the Catholic archdiocese proposed running on the back of Metro buses featured only four words: "Find the Perfect Gift." But it also included silhouetted images of three shepherds, two sheep, and a number of stars-including one particularly bright star. The Catholic ad also featured a web address (FindThePerfectGift.org) and a hashtag (#perfectgift).

This is the ad from the Archdiocese of Washington that Metro refused to run on buses:

The Salvation Army ad, which WMATA did allow to run on Metro buses, was wordier.

It included an image of a red Salvation Army donation bucket on one side and the face of a man on the other. Between these two images were the following words: "Give Hope/Change Lives/He could have been sleeping on a street this winter./Thanks to you, he's safe and warm. Your donations MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN./GIVE TO THE SALVATION ARMY and give your neighbors food, shelter, and a second chance."

Below that message it made a plea, and, like the Catholic ad included a web address and a hashtag. It said: "DONATE NOW. SALVATIONARMYNCA.ORG/#REDKETTLEREASON."

The web address included in the Salvation Army advertisement that the Washington Metro accepted was for the National Capital Area Command of Salvation Army. At that website, the Salvation Army has posted its mission statement.

That statement-on the website advertised on Metro buses-says: "The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination."

WMATA, which accepted and ran on its buses the Salvation Army ad, refused to run the "Find the Perfect Gift" ad from the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington. WMATA said it would not run the Catholic ad because the ad was prohibited by the agency's "Guideline 12."

Guideline 12, which WMATA adopted in November 2015, states: "Advertisements that promote or oppose any religion, religious practice or belief are prohibited."

The Archdiocese of Washington sued WMATA last month in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It argued that its rights to freedom speech, the free exercise of religion, due process and equal protection were being violated. The archdiocese asked for immediate injunctive relief so that its ad could run during the current Advent season leading up to Christmas.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson, whom Obama nominated to the court in 2011, ruled that there was no reason to believe WMATA had violated any of the rights of the Catholic Church-even the right to equal protection of the law, given that Metro ran the Salvation Army's ad but not the Catholic ad.

The judge argued that the Salvation Army's ad did not "promote or advance religion" while the Catholic ad did.

"While the Salvation Army is a Christian organization, and its  charitable efforts, like those of the Archdiocese and other religious organizations, may be motivated in some measure by religious beliefs, the ads it chose to display on the buses do not promote or advance religion.

"Therefore," the judge concluded, "WMATA's policy is not likely to be found to violate the First Amendment or the Equal Protection Clause on the grounds that it has been inconsistenly applied."

In a footnote to her opinion, Judge Jackson argued that even though there were few words on the Catholic ad, the images of shepherds and a star "telegraphs a religious message"-thus, in her view, making it unacceptable, as per Metro's policy, for posting on a Metro bus in Washington, D.C.

"But," Judge Jackson wrote, "plaintiff also acknowledged that the images of the shepherd and the star of Bethlehem are part of the iconography traditionally used to depict the night Christ was born, and that the ad, notwithstanding its simplicity, telegraphs a religious message even before one takes the website into consideration."


Moral Values and Customs vs. Laws

By Walter E. Williams

I'm approaching my 82nd birthday, and my daughter will occasionally suggest that modernity is perplexing to me because I'm from prehistoric times. As such, it points to one of the unavoidable problems of youth — namely, the temptation to think that today's behavioral standards have always been. Let's look at a few of the differences between yesteryear and today.

One of those differences is the treatment of women. There are awesome physical strength differences between men and women. To create and maintain civil relationships between the sexes is to drum into boys, starting from very young ages, that they are not to use violence against a woman for any reason. Special respect is given women. Yesteryear even the lowest of lowdown men would not curse or use foul language to or in the presence of women. To see a man sitting on a crowded bus or trolley car while a woman is standing used to be unthinkable. It was deemed common decency for a man to give up his seat for a woman or elderly person.

Today young people use foul language in front of — and often to — adults and teachers. It's not just foul language. Many youngsters feel that it's acceptable to assault teachers. Just recently, 45 Pennsylvania teachers resigned because of student violence. Back in what my daughter calls prehistoric times, the use of foul language to an adult or teacher would have meant a smack across the face. Of course, today a parent taking such corrective action risks being reported to a local child protective service and even being arrested. The modern parental or teacher response to misbehavior is to call for "time out." In other words, what we've taught miscreants of all ages is that they can impose physical pain on others and not suffer physical pain themselves. That's an open invitation to bad behavior.

It has always been considered a good idea to refrain from sexual intercourse until marriage or at least adulthood. During the sexual revolution of the 1960s, lessons of abstinence were ridiculed, considered passe and replaced with lessons about condoms, birth control pills and abortion. Out-of-wedlock childbirths are no longer seen as shameful and a disgrace. As a result, the rate of illegitimate births among whites is over 30 percent, and among blacks, it's over 70 percent.

For over a half-century, the nation's liberals — along with the education establishment, pseudo-intellectuals and the courts — have waged war on traditions, customs and moral values. Many in today's generation have been counseled to believe that there are no moral absolutes. Instead, what's moral or immoral, right or wrong, is a matter of convenience, personal opinion or what is or is not criminal.

Society's first line of defense is not the law but customs, traditions and moral values. Customs, traditions and moral values are those important thou-shalt-nots, such as thou shalt not murder, shalt not steal, shalt not lie and shalt not cheat. They also include respect for parents, teachers and others in authority, plus those courtesies one might read in Emily Post's rules of etiquette. These behavioral norms — mostly transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings — represent a body of wisdom distilled over the ages through experience, trial and error, and looking at what works and what doesn't.

The importance of customs, traditions and moral values as a means of regulating behavior is that people behave themselves even if nobody's watching. There are not enough cops. Laws can never replace these restraints on personal conduct in producing a civilized society. At best, the police and the criminal justice system are the last desperate lines of defense for a civilized society. Unfortunately, customs, traditions and moral values have been discarded without an appreciation for the role they played in creating a civilized society, and now we're paying the price — and that includes the recent revelations regarding the treatment of women.


UK: Urgent call for new divorce laws as judges demand overhaul of ‘corrosive’ system

Senior judicial figures have called for an end to “unjust” and “outdated” divorce laws as The Times begins a campaign to modernise family legislation.

Lord Mackay of Clashfern, the lord chancellor to two prime ministers, and Baroness Butler-Sloss, the former lord justice of appeal and president of the High Court family division, join other legal grandees to condemn the “antediluvian, damaging” 50-year-old laws governing marital break-ups. They are backing this newspaper’s demand for sweeping reform, including:

 *  The abolition of the need during divorce proceedings to allege fault or blame, which has caused people to remain locked for years in loveless marriages.

 *  The end of the so-called meal ticket for life maintenance awards.

 *  Statutory backing for prenuptial contracts.

The call comes two weeks after a report by the Nuffield Foundation, which condemned divorce laws in England and Wales for forcing couples to make false and exaggerated allegations of adultery or bad behaviour, causing bitterness and harming the mental health of children.

Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia, the barrister for several senior royals, and Baroness Deech, the former chairwoman of the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority, are also among those backing divorce reform as part of The Times’s Family Matters campaign, which joins forces with the former High Court judge Sir Paul Coleridge to push for new laws to modernise and protect marriage.

Sir Paul, chairman of the Marriage Foundation, an organisation that has pushed for more support for couples experiencing marital difficulty, in an attempt to stem the tide of family breakdowns, said that the institution needed to be for “everyone from all walks of life, not just the better off”.

He added: “We must urgently do something about the laws on marriage and divorce. These are antediluvian and no longer fit for purpose. Our chief concern is to address the impact of the breakdown of relationships, particularly where there are children. These breakdowns have devastating consequences for both adults and children that can last for decades.”

Although laws should ease the pain of the separation process, they do the opposite, according to Sir Paul. “They fuel acrimony, hostility and pain — and make good long-term relationships between two parents caring for children impossible.”

Lord Mackay, who as lord chancellor under Margaret Thatcher attempted the last reform of divorce laws, said that he still supported change and removal of the need to allege blame. He is among many to have been concerned by the recent case of Tini Owens, who has been refused a divorce from her millionaire husband despite the couple living apart for almost three years.

“Marriage is a two-sided arrangement and involves children as well,” Lord Mackay said. “Unless both parties are willing to continue, it is difficult to have anything that can properly be called marriage.” The need to allege fault had a “corrosive effect on relationships”, he said. “It does not help to heal in any way… and of course [it] is very damaging to the children.”

Lord Mackay’s reforms reached the statute book as the Family Law Act 1996 despite a storm whipped up by Tory MPs and in the tabloid press. “There was concern that it undermined marriage,” he said. “But people did not understand how it worked. All it was doing was removing the unnecessarily provocative material from the separation.”

The act was approved by parliament 20 years ago and had the backing of Cardinal Hume, then the most senior Roman Catholic in Britain, as well as the Church of England. It was never implemented and was removed from the statute book by David Cameron’s coalition government. “Every year that passes is doing unnecessary damage to the possibility of satisfactory arrangements on breakdown,” Lord Mackay said.

Baroness Hale of Richmond, president of the Supreme Court, and Sir James Munby, president of the High Court family division, are known to favour reform. Sixty per cent of divorces in England and Wales are based on allegations of fault — ten times the number in Scotland or France, the Nuffield report says. Elsewhere fault has largely been abolished.

Lady Butler-Sloss, who sits as a crossbench peer, said: “The law on divorce is unsuitable, hypocritical, out of date, unfair, unkind . . . and very damaging to the children.” Allegations of fault “immediately raise the temperature, needlessly”.

Lady Shackleton said: “The pendulum has swung far too far in the direction of vesting control in the judges rather than parliament. Reform is urgently overdue.”

Sir Alan Ward, a former Court of Appeal judge and family specialist, said: “The disconnect between the letter of the law and the practice is now risible. The law was last reformed 50 years ago. The changes since then have transformed all social values, from behaviour towards women to the religious imperative requiring the upholding of the sanctity of marriage as a vital foundation of public morality.”



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

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

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


13 December, 2017

Turkish President calls Israel a terrorist state

According to the Hurriyet Daily News website, Erdogan, speaking at a meeting of his AKP Party in the central Anatolian province of Sivas, charged Israel with using “disproportionate” force against Palestinians protesting Trump’s declaration and declared Israel an “oppressive, occupation state.”

Netanyahu, who has made it a general practice of refraining from responding to Erdogan’s anti-Israel rhetoric, shot back this time at a press conference in Paris alongside French President Emmanuel Macron.

Asked about Erdogan’s verbal attack, Netanyahu replied, “I am not used to receiving lectures about morality from the leader who bombs Kurdish villagers in his native Turkey, who jails journalists, who helps Iran go around international sanctions, and who helps terrorists, including in Gaza, kill innocent people. That is not the man who is going to lecture us.”

His comments hit a nerve, as Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin issued a statement condemning Netanyahu’s remarks and said: “It is not possible to take seriously the allegations and accusations made by a mentality, which massacred thousands of Palestinians, turned the lands of the Palestinians into an open-air prison, in order to suppress its guilt.”


Stop harassment but don’t slide into secular sharia

 The new workplace morality is welcome; just keep the thought police at bay

We now know what it must have felt like to be a Regency dandy who lived long enough to experience Victorian prudery. For we are living through a revolution in manners not unlike the one that occurred in the second and third quarters of the 19th century. In the space of a generation, libertines became pariahs.

It is a feature of such revolutions that no one can say exactly when they begin. Historians of Victorian values seek their origins in the upsurge of evangelical religious feeling on both sides of the Atlantic often called “the Great Awakening”. In the same way, there is clearly some connection between the feminist movement and the spasm of revulsion against sexual harassment in the workplace that is currently — and belatedly — sweeping the English-speaking world.

And yet it was not a professional feminist who exposed the allegations of rape and sexual assault against the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, but the male broadcaster Ronan Farrow. And he cannot have foreseen, when he published his devastating j’accuse in The New Yorker last month, that it would unleash a cascade of accusations fatal to the reputations of such erstwhile darlings of New Yorker readers as the comedian-turned-senator Al Franken, the actor Kevin Spacey, the comedian Louis CK, the political journalist Mark Halperin and the interviewer Charlie Rose.

The New York Times — which along with The Washington Post has been working the phones to keep the cascade going — is keeping score. To date, it reckons, 34 “high-profile men have resigned, been fired or experienced other fallout after accusations that have ranged from inappropriate text messages to rape”. Embarrassingly, it emerged last week that one of them was that newspaper’s very own Glenn Thrush.

It would be interesting to know what proportion of these people waxed indignant last year about Donald Trump’s confession — in a conversation recorded on a “hot mic” during an Access Hollywood appearance in 2005 — to being a serial sexual harasser. Rather a high one, I would guess. Here was Mark Halperin’s response on Twitter: “When people say some new Trump tape could have material that is WORSE than the @accesshollywood video, what exactly could be WORSE?!?”

Al Franken also commented. “I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms,” he said in an interview on NBC. “I belong to a health club in Minneapolis . . . Our locker-room banter is stuff like, ‘Is Trump crazy?’”

Louis CK preferred to equate Trump with Hitler, the least of whose crimes was inappropriate behaviour towards women. On Stephen Colbert’s show in April, CK called Trump a “gross, crook, dirty, rotten, lying sack of shit”. Well, who’s gross now?

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Sexual harassment was supposed to be the kind of thing only Republicans did — inveterate sexists such as Trump or alleged molesters of underage schoolgirls such as Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama. How very awkward that the majority of names in the New York Times list of top harassers are men of the left, not the right.

Awkward, but not surprising. For the Weinstein case has proved to be a moment of truth for a liberal elite that for decades has been guilty of the most egregious hypocrisy. The same Weinstein who stands accused of rape today went on the Women’s March in January. For years, he and his ilk have been signalling their feminist virtue by day and practising the degradation of women by night. Sadly, they have too often been enabled in their two-faced conduct by feminists who could not quite resist the allure of their power.

“Even if the allegations [made by Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones] are true,” wrote Gloria Steinem in The New York Times in March 1998, “the president [Bill Clinton] is not guilty of sexual harassment.” No, Clinton had just made “dumb passes” at those women. As for Monica Lewinsky, her “will” had not been “violated” — “quite the contrary”.

Worse, Steinem & co have spent their lives deriding the values of men such as Vice-President Mike Pence, who in 2002 told an interviewer “that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either”. “Is that sexist?” asked a female columnist for the Los Angeles Times. Absolutely, according to a lecturer on gender and psychology at University of California, Los Angeles, though she preferred to call it “gender discrimination”.

We find ourselves in a bewildering dual world. The world of education is patrolled by the gender-studies thought police — witness the departmental interrogation of a teaching assistant at Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University, Lindsay Shepherd, who had the temerity to show students a TV clip featuring the Toronto University psychology professor Jordan Peterson. This, she was told, was a violation of WLU’s “gendered and sexual violence policy” because Peterson is known for “critiquing feminism, critiquing trans rights”. In this world, a mere accusation of sexism can end a career.

Meanwhile, in the entertainment world, Hollywood continues to churn out movies in which alpha-male heroes enjoy casual sexual encounters with pouting, scantily clad twentysomethings. Or are we to believe that in the new James Bond film, Bond 25, a transgender 007 will issue a heartfelt apology for her character’s 64-year career of sexism and sexual harassment? The fact that Bond films are still being made illustrates the extent of the cognitive dissonance at the heart of western civilisation today.

In many ways, Bond came to personify the sexual revolution of the 1960s. At least some of the acts of which eminent men today stand accused read like crude imitations of his seduction techniques. In that sense, the sexual revolution is finally devouring its own children, who made the mistake of believing that Pussy Galore was forever.

I’m against sexual harassment. I condemn anyone who abuses their power in the workplace for gratification. So I am on the side of this revolution in manners. My concern is only that such revolutions have a tendency to overshoot. I wonder: do we risk sliding into a kind of secular sharia, in which all men are presumed to be sexual predators and only severe punishments can prevent routine rape? Will one-to-one work meetings between a male and a female co-worker soon be a thing of the past? What next? A more general segregation of the sexes? How the Islamists must be enjoying all this.

If the feminist revolution in manners has a sacred text, it is Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, with its dystopian vision of an America in which women have no rights, but only reproductive obligations. Few fans of the book appear aware that this vision is much dearer to the hearts of Islamists than to those of evangelical Christians. As a corrective, I recommend Michel Houellebecq’s Submission, in which the liberal elite of France embraces sharia in — yes, that’s right — a spasm of revulsion at its own decadence.


Now "Stop Funding Hate" wants to ruin Christmas

Naomi Firsht

These snobby censors want to punish both tabloids and their readers

Who doesn’t love the run-up to Christmas? The lights go up, carollers start bringing festive cheer to the streets, and shoppers are tempted by all manner of Christmas offers. Well, it turns out not everyone loves Christmas. In a kind of reverse version of the 12 days of Christmas, the Scrooges of the anti-press freedom campaign "Stop Funding Hate" are seeing how much they can take away from people this festive season.

They started with wrapping paper. Stationery chain Paperchase offered all Daily Mail readers two free rolls. But after numerous complaints on social media and pressure from Stop Funding Hate for working with the supposedly hatemongering Mail, Paperchase quickly issued a grovelling apology for its actions. ‘We’ve listened to you about this weekend’s newspaper promotion’, it said. ‘We now know we were wrong to do this.’

Next, Stop Funding Hate moved on to food, attacking Pizza Hut for a promotion in the Sun offering readers a free pizza. Once again, the company caved in; Pizza Hut apologised for ‘any offence caused as a result of this partnership’.

Stop Funding Hate’s Twitterfeed has daily updates naming and shaming companies that advertise with newspapers that SFH accuses of spreading hate, namely the Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express. One supporter tweeted a picture of Tesco’s promotional offer with the Mail, offering 20 per cent off on gift cards. Tesco, Aldi and Argos are just some of the major retailers in the campaign’s sights. So, with any luck, by the time Christmas comes around, it will not only have stopped tabloid readers from enjoying free wrapping paper and free pizza, but cheaper Christmas gifts, too.

Stop Funding Hate appeared on the scene last Christmas with its cringeworthy John Lewis-style Christmas advert, calling on big brands to boycott the Mail and Co. It repeated the exercise this year, with a new ad upping the cringe factor with a sad-looking dog.

In response to criticism of its censorious ways, it always claims it is a campaign for consumer choice. ‘If you are affected by media hate, or concerned about media hate’, reads its website, ‘then you have the right to use your voice as a consumer to ask the companies you shop with not to advertise in newspapers that publish hateful, inflammatory and divisive stories’.

But Stop Funding Hate founder Richard Wilson let slip the campaign’s real goal on Newsnight: ‘I think the endpoint for us is a media that does the job that we all want it to do, that upholds the public interest, that treats people fairly.’ He was immediately taken to task for this by The Sunday Times’ Sarah Baxter, who called him out for arrogantly appointing himself arbiter of what Britain’s media should be like.

Wilson and his supporters can dress up their censorious campaign however they like, but they are fooling no one. By targeting companies who advertise with certain newspapers, they are attempting to damage the finances of those papers, which could ultimately lead to their demise. This is a censorious attempt to shut down newspapers they disagree with – and an explicit attack on press freedom.

Influential supporters of the campaign have similarly appointed themselves judge and jury of what the British people should be allowed to read. Owen Jones called Paperchase’s apology ‘a victory for basic decency’, before going on to explain why the Mail is so evil: ‘When Theresa May announced her fateful snap election, the Daily Mail celebrated an opportunity to “Crush the saboteurs”, demonstrating its utter intolerance of political dissent.’ How ironic for Jones to criticise the Mail’s supposed ‘intolerance of political dissent’, given his intolerance of the tabloid press.

The Daily Mail remains the widest-read newspaper in Britain, with 31.1million monthly readers across print and online. The Sun comes in second with 28.8million. Stop Funding Hate wants to censor what they consider to be offensive messages in the tabloids, and yet they have no qualms about the offensive message they are putting out to millions of tabloid readers. By labelling tabloids poisonous peddlers of hate, these campaigners are painting tabloid readers as brainwashed bigots who unquestioningly devour everything they read.

As Christmas draws ever nearer, Stop Funding Hate might win a few more victories. And each time, no doubt, it will claim it supports press freedom and is merely acting in support of consumer choice. Let’s cut the bullshit, shall we? If you don’t like a newspaper, don’t buy it – that’s consumer choice. Trying to cut off a newspaper’s funding? That’s called censorship. Don’t let them trample press freedom, nor ruin your festive cheer.


Detentions spike, border arrests fall in Trump’s first year

President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown has produced a spike in detentions by deportation officers across the country during his first months in office. At the same time, arrests along the Mexican border have fallen sharply, apparently as fewer people have tried to sneak into the U.S.

Figures released by the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday show Trump is delivering on his pledge to more strictly control immigration and suggest that would-be immigrants are getting the message to not even think about crossing the border illegally.

Even as border crossings decline, however, Trump continues to push for his promised wall along the border — a wall that critics say is unnecessary and a waste of cash.

The new numbers, which offer the most complete snapshot yet of immigration enforcement under Trump, show that Border Patrol arrests plunged to a 45-year low in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, with far fewer people being apprehended between official border crossings.

In all, the Border Patrol made 310,531 arrests in fiscal 2016, down 25 percent from a year earlier and the lowest level since 1971.

Officials have credited that drop to Trump’s harsh anti-immigration rhetoric and policies, including widely publicized arrests of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

US Border Arrests Lowest Since 1971

“There’s a new recognition by would-be immigrants that the U.S. is not hanging up a welcome sign,” said Michelle Mittelstadt, of the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute think tank. She pointed to Trump’s rhetoric, as well as his policies. “I think there’s a sense that the U.S. is less hospitable.”

But Mittelstadt also stressed that the numbers are part of a larger trend that began well before Trump’s inauguration: Mexico’s improving economy and more opportunities at home have stemmed the tide of people flowing across the border for work.

“You’ve really had a realignment in migration from Mexico,” she said, noting that the numbers of Mexicans apprehended in 2017 fell by 34 percent from the previous year.

The decline in border crossings continues a trend that began during the Obama administration, and marks a dramatic drop from 2000, when more than 1.6 million people were apprehended crossing the southwest border alone.

Overall, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said, deportations over the last year dropped about 6 percent from the previous year — a number tied to the sharp decline in border crossings as well as a backlog in the immigration courts that process deportations.

But that number masks a striking uptick in arrests away from the border. Those arrests have sparked fear and anger in immigrant communities, where many worry the government is now targeting them.

ICE said the number of “interior removals” — people who are apprehended away from the border — jumped 25 percent this year to 81,603. And the increase is 37 percent after Trump’s inauguration compared to the same period the year before.

“The president made it clear in his executive orders: There’s no population off the table,” Thomas Homan, ICE’s acting director, told reporters in Washington on Tuesday. “If you’re in this country illegally, we’re looking for you and we’re going to look to apprehend you.”

In February, former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who now serves as Trump’s chief of staff, scrapped the Obama administration’s policy of limiting deportations to people who pose a public safety threat, convicted criminals and those who have crossed the border recently, effectively making anyone in the country illegally vulnerable to apprehension.

Trump campaigned as an immigration hard-liner, accusing Mexico of sending rapists and other criminals to the U.S. and promising to build “a great wall on our southern border.” As president, he has signed a series of travel bans aimed at curtailing who can enter the country, pushed to overhaul the legal immigration system and tried to crack down on so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to share information about illegal immigrants with federal authorities. He has also pushed for funding for his border wall.

The new numbers, which include the last months of the Obama administration, provide new ammunition to Trump critics who question the need to spend billions of dollars on a border wall if crossings are already dropping. But officials insisted the wall was still needed.

“Yeah, the traffic is down. That’s a good thing,” said Ronald Vitiello, the acting deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection. But, “to take the 1,000 arrests a day to say that we’re finished, it’s not stating what the facts are. We’re still arresting nearly 1,000 people a day coming across the border,” he said.



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

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

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


12 December, 2017

Germany condemns antisemitism while welcoming millions of antisemites

German authorities have strongly condemned the wave of anti-Israeli protests that have gripped Berlin for three consecutive days in response to Donald Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying anti-Semitism has no place in the country.

Some 2,500 people waved Palestinian flags and carried placards denouncing the US and Israel. Anti-Semitic calls were heard in Arabic and German as Israel’s Star of David flag was set alight. Burning a flag on its own does not constitute a criminal offense, unless it is attached to an embassy or public institution, police said. Officers detained eleven people from the vocal crowd before releasing them after writing up criminal complaints.

Sunday’s rally was Berlin’s third show of anger against Trump’s move since Friday. Two flags had been burned at the start of the weekend in an anti-Israel rally in front of the American Embassy on Pariser Platz, which drew around 1,500 people. The enraged crowd chanted “Death to the Jews!” and “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is coming again!” According to legend, Khaybar was a Jewish-populated oasis in Saudi Arabia, which was attacked and conquered by Prophet Muhammed and his army.

The crowd also shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Allah is great), and “in spirit and in blood we will redeem you.” In addition, several people dressed in Palestinian colors also waved Hamas flags, classified by the European Union and the United States as a terrorist group. Police said they arrested ten people Friday, citing 12 criminal charges.



Support Grows for Air Force Colonel Suspended Over Religious Beliefs on Marriage

When Heather Wilson was picked to be secretary of the Air Force, she told the Senate: “Air Force policy must continue to ensure that all airmen are able to choose to practice their particular religion.” Now, she has a chance to prove it.

On Wednesday, the Family Research Council’s Lt. General Jerry Boykin and Travis Weber gave Wilson 77,024 reasons to reconsider the action taken against Col. Leland Bohannon.

A distinguished combat pilot, Bohannon has served his country for more than 20 years. In May, the reputation he’d built in the Air Force came crashing down when his superiors decided that the colonel’s decision not to sign a “certificate of appreciation” for a same-sex spouse was enough to suspend him from duty.

Never mind that Bohannon had requested a religious accommodation. Or that he’d consulted the command chaplain and a staff judge advocate. Leaders seemed determined to make an example of the dad of five, grounding him and snuffing out any chance of promotion. Eight senators were outraged, demanding that Air Force leaders intervene. Then, more than 77,000 of you piled on, urging justice for Bohannon and others like him.

Wednesday, Boykin and Weber delivered those petitions on behalf of the Family Research Council and our friends at the American Family Association—along with a letter signed by 31 religious advocacy groups.

“In his Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty issued earlier this year,” the organizations write, “President Trump stated that ‘it shall be the policy of the executive branch to vigorously enforce Federal law’s robust protections for religious freedom,’ and that people should be ‘free to practice their faith without fear of discrimination or retaliation by the Federal Government.’ Yet despite his impressive decades-long career with the Air Force, Col. Bohannon’s life and service are about to be derailed by the violation of this fundamental principle.”

Not only is there no right to a certificate of spousal appreciation, an accommodation should easily have been granted here … If the Air Force policy reflected the view of [Department of Justice] on this issue, those in Col. Bohannon’s situation would have no need to be concerned for their religious liberty in the first place, and we urge the Air Force to bring its policies into line with the understanding of the DOJ in this area … In addition to correcting Air Force policy to ensure this does not happen again, we respectfully request that you reverse the complaint against Col. Bohannon and remove any unfavorable materials related to this complaint from his record.

As far as Boykin is concerned, “We not only delivered petitions, we delivered a message: We will not back down from defending the religious liberty of those in the military. The action taken against Colonel Bohannon is unacceptable, and Air Force policy must be corrected to ensure this does not happen again.”

Thanks to tens of thousands of you, Secretary Wilson may be motivated to do just that.


Female Entrepreneur Says Google’s ‘Women in Tech’ Program Ostracized Her for Being Conservative

A female tech entrepreneur alleges she faced character assassination and career sabotage by two “women in tech” groups over her conservative beliefs, including Google’s Women Techmakers.

Senior software engineer and co-founder of Polyglot Programming Marlene Jaeckel says that Martin Omander, Google Developer Group program manager for North America, formally banned her from the Google Developer Group and Google Women Techmakers after complaints from a feminist activist who objected to her moderate conservative positions.

According to Jaeckel , Omander “declined to provide me with any details of the complaints against me or the rules that I’d allegedly violated.”

In a Medium post published earlier this week, Jaeckel explained that the two Atlanta-based feminists who reported her to Google, local Women Who Code director Alicia Carr and Atlanta Google Women Techmakers organizer Maggie Kane, had become hostile to her after a series of disagreements over politics, and repeatedly sought to damage her career.

The publicly-stated objectives of both Women Who Code and Google Women Techmakers are, ostensibly, non-partisan. Women Who Code says their goal is to “inspire women to excel in technology careers,” while Google Women Techmakers says they merely wish for “visibility, community, and resources for women in technology.”

None of these organizations openly say that Republican or conservative women are excluded from their goals. Yet Jaeckel , a senior software engineer and co-founder of a tech company, says that is the reason why Carr and Kane sought to both exclude her from the groups and sabotage her career in tech.

According to Jaeckel ‘s account, which can be read in full at Medium, she had a falling-out with Carr over a number of issues, including her opposition to gender-segregated classes. Jaeckel says she was also banned from two other coding workshops in Atlanta because the founders “strongly objected” to her conservative political views.

    Unfortunately, during the Women Who Code hackathon, it became clear to me that this event focused on marketing strategies, creativity, and the discussion of gender politics, and not on the development of technical skills. At the group presentations and award ceremony, I observed that my group of mentees were being discouraged from discussing any of the technical details of the fully-functional application they had developed in less than two days, and I expressed my frustration about it on Twitter, stating that “when you’re a mentor and your mentees don’t get the recognition they deserve, you go to bat.”

    In August 2016, Alicia reached out me via email and private Slack messages. She proposed forming a class for female coders who were interested in learning iOS development and asked me to tutor these students. I told her that I’d be glad to teach if the class also included males. She refused, stating that “I need everybody and anybody to help my Women and I’m sorry there is a gender issues [sic] but right now it [sic] about my ladies.” We were unable to reach an agreement, so I declined.

    In September 2016, I again crossed paths with Alicia at a monthly meeting of the Atlanta iOS Developers group. She was extremely irate over my Twitter comment and my refusal to teach women-only classes. She became loud and disruptive during the meeting and the event’s organizer had to intervene repeatedly.

    Despite her hostility, I still wanted to participate in Alicia’s ConnectTech panel discussion. I spent weeks preparing to represent iOS developers and the “Apple way” of doing things. Alicia was, however, completely unprepared to moderate and many of the attendees were visibly disappointed. Shortly after the session, Alicia posted disparaging remarks about me on Twitter, implying that she had to “carry the iOS side” and that I failed to contribute anything to the panel discussion.

    Following this incident, I had limited interaction with other women in technology groups in Atlanta until January 2017, when I decided to volunteer as a mentor for a RailsGirls and RailsBridge workshop. Within hours of signing up, both organizations banned me from their groups and events. They even enlisted the help of two young white male developers to replace me as a mentor. Although the organizers of both groups declined to provide me with a formal explanation and refused to explain why or how I had allegedly violated their codes of conduct, I later learned that they strongly objected to my conservative political views. In addition, they were also friends of Alicia.

Jaeckel later volunteered to assist the Atlanta chapter of Google Women Techmakers, which was then being organized by Maggie Kane, and says she worked to secure a venue and speakers for their event. However, after viewpoint diversity advocate James Damore was fired from Google, Jaeckel says her public support for him drew a backlash.

    In mid-September 2017, Maggie contacted me and told me that Alicia, acting on behalf of Women Who Code, had sent her an email to lodge a written complaint against me and Polyglot Programming. She stated that Women Who Code refused to work with the Atlanta GDG, or attend or sponsor any of the group’s events because of my involvement. Then she added that Alicia had accused me of harassing and doxxing Women Who Code members by contacting their employers to get them fired.

    I was absolutely dumbfounded by these ludicrous allegations. It made no sense?—?I’ve had almost no interaction with Women Who Code’s members beyond my exchanges with Alicia Carr. It’s simply not in my nature to harass anyone and I’ve always been strongly opposed to retaliatory actions like doxxing and no-platforming.

    Maggie informed me that she had forwarded Alicia’s statements to Google and that she had also filed a written complaint with Google because I had “violated the codes of conduct”. She even felt that it might be best if I stopped attending any GDG and Google Women Techmakers events, because members might be “triggered” by my presence.

When Jaeckel later sought to attend an event organized by Google Women Techmakers, a group of which she was still a member, she was asked to leave by Kane, who said she held views that were “very harmful to gender equality.” Jaeckel also claims that Kane falsely accused her of “stalking” her, after which Jaeckel and her company were banned from a number of influential tech groups in Atlanta.

    Two days later, I got an email from TechSquare Labs. Daniel had discussed the incident with Allen Nance, Paul Judge, and Rodney Sampson, the owners of the facility, and he informed me that they had collectively decided to ban me and my company from using their venue or attending any of their events because they were concerned about the “safety” of their members. I later learned from a fellow developer that Maggie had, in fact, told various people that I’d been stalking her. She also recruited a young white male developer, David Hope, to replace my partner Lance as GDG organizer and invited David to act as her co-organizer for Google Women Techmakers.

    The following week, Martin Omander, GDG program manager for North America, formally banned me from the Google Developer Group and Google Women Techmakers and, again, declined to provide me with any details of the complaints against me or the rules that I’d allegedly violated.

At this point, says Jaeckel , she realized that the “women in tech” activists had become “determined to ostracize me from the tech industry and ruin the business that I’ve painstakingly built .”

Her story, in particular the intervention from Google’s Martin Omander, bears many similarities to that of James Damore, who was fired from Google after expressing a moderate critique of the company’s diversity agenda and for calling for more political tolerance. Like Damore, Jaeckel says she is now facing censure from Google and Google-backed activists over her moderate conservative politics.

Jaeckel  has now taken to the legal system to fight back:

    I decided that it was time to fight back. I retained renowned civil rights lawyer and GOP official Harmeet Dhillon, who sent a cease and desist letter to Women Who Code, Alicia Carr, Maggie Kane, and Google. In the letter, we demanded a full retraction of the defamatory statements about me. I also requested to have my GDG and Google Women Techmakers memberships reinstated, because I’d been unfairly banned based on false allegations and not on any actual code of conduct violations.

In a comment to Breitbart News, Maggie Kane denied the allegations made against her in Jaeckel ‘s story, calling them “untrue on many counts and defamatory towards me.”

Kane also claims she received an email from someone who “read Marlene’s article and accused me of being a criminal, which is also defamatory and untrue.”

“I hope Marlene’s legal counsel directs her to retract these defamatory statements and personal attacks towards me as they are causing unnecessary harm to our free and volunteer-run tech community groups here in Atlanta.”

Alicia Carr, Martin Omander, and Google did not return requests for comment.


PC Grinches at Huffington Post Are Hating on ‘Rudolph’

On Saturday night, CBS will rebroadcast the annual Christmas special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

The seasonal favorite, narrated by Burl Ives, was first telecast in 1964, and has entertained three generations of Americans in the half-century since.

It’s must-see TV for anyone who has ever sung along with Ives’ Sam the Snowman character crooning “Holly, Jolly Christmas.” But in an era of political correctness that has left hardly any corner of pop culture unscathed, not everyone is experiencing the Christmas cheer.

Ever the PC Grinch, the Huffington Post published a withering critique of “Rudolph” that was subsequently picked up and repeated by Yahoo “News.”

HuffPo begins by renaming the stop-motion animation classic “Rudolph the Marginalized Reindeer,” because the title character is teased and bullied by his peers because of his peculiar proboscis.

“Viewers are noticing the tale may not be so jolly after all and [are] sharing their observations online,” it says, reposting a series of tweets critical of the beloved—by most of us, anyway—special.

One Twitter user calls it “a parable of racism and homophobia w/Santa as a bigoted, exploitative pr—.” Another opines that “Santa’s operation is an HR nightmare and in serious need of diversity and inclusion training.”

“Rudolph’s father [Donner] verbally abuses him” and forces the young reindeer to conceal his unique attribute so he can fit in with the other young reindeer, while Santa blames Donner, and Rudolph’s school P.E. coach, Comet, is portrayed as a discriminatory “bully” because he won’t “let Rudolph join in any reindeer games.”

Rudolph has a girlfriend, Clarice, which is probably where the charge of “homophobia” comes in, inasmuch as Rudolph isn’t gay.

And if that’s not bad enough, “Clarice’s dad is a bigot” because he’s not as willing to overlook Rudolph’s nonconforming nose as she is. “No doe of mine is going to be seen with a red-nosed reindeer,” he harrumphs.

Meanwhile, Hermey, one of Santa’s elves, is excoriated by the tyrannical elfin boss of Santa’s workshop because he aspires to be a dentist (not that there’s anything wrong with that), rather than make toys.

As fellow “misfits,” Hermey and Rudolph become fast friends, because, as one of the Twitter posts reprinted by HuffPo notes, “It’s good we don’t fit in. It means we’re not a–h—s.”

Even the fable’s happy ending, where Rudolph’s unusual attribute saves the day, is cast by HuffPo in the worst possible—dare we say, Marxist—light. “In the end, Rudolph and friends learn the bitter truth,” it says. “Deviation from the norm will be punished unless it’s exploitable.”

HuffPo might have unwittingly given Dr. Seuss’ heirs the sequel to “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” but it somehow missed one decidedly un-PC thread in the storyline: It failed to criticize Mrs. Claus, who early on in the film prods Santa to eat to fatten him up before Christmas Eve.

Doesn’t that qualify as “body-shaming”?

More tellingly, HuffPo’s narrative conveniently fails to acknowledge that, in the end, Donner apologizes to Rudolph for being so hard on him and that the nonconforming “misfit toys” finally find loving homes.

In any case, these PC critics of “Rudolph” need to take a deep breath and get a grip, and if they must, just change the channel. (They got a Christmas fable surely more to their liking Tuesday night, when the cast of NBC’s “Will & Grace” imagined traveling back in time—to 1912—for an episode, “A Gay Olde Christmas,” replete with loads of double-entendre gay sex jokes.)

One can easily imagine that that other perennial Yuletide favorite, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (which debuted in 1965, a year after “Rudolph”), will be the next target in HuffPo’s and the PC left’s cross-hairs. They’ll likely start by faulting the climactic scene, in which Linus recites “what Christmas is all about,” as too sectarian and exclusionary.

These are the same leftists, by the way, who deny there’s a “war on Christmas.”

“Ho-ho-ho,” indeed.



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

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

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


11 December, 2017

The End of Identity Liberalism


The article below first appeared in the NYT just over a year ago (Nov. 18), when it generated a furore among Leftists.  Why?  It is a very level-headed article and in fact hits on the very issues which led to the triumph of Trump on Nov. 8.  He is essentially an old-fashioned Leftist who thinks that the Democratic party needs to stick to traditional Leftist themes if it wants to win power and do good.

It is what he criticizes that led to fury, however. He points out quite logically that the current Democrat obsession with identity politics cannot win a majority.  Focusing on homosexuals, feminists, blacks etc. simply leaves out the great majority of people who are not part of those minorities.  Mainstream people will tend to feel left out and will look to someone who includes them. 

The Left talk about inclusion but their version of inclusion tends to exclude the majority.  Leftist "inclusion" consists of forcing minorities down the throats of the majority, with no concern about how the majority might feel about that.

As Lilla said, the majority did feel left out and looked for someone who spoke for them: Donald Trump.

So why did that very reasonable and much needed message arouse so much rejection among American Leftists ("liberals" if you like)?  I think a major reason is in the tone of the article.  There is no rage and hate in it.  It is just calm and considered.  It could mostly have been written by a conservative. 

The Left feed on rage and hate and Lilla gave them not a skerrick of that.  In those circumstances what he was arguing hardly mattered.  He was not one of "us" to Leftist readers.  Every word of his was therefore suspect

It is a truism that America has become a more diverse country. It is also a beautiful thing to watch. Visitors from other countries, particularly those having trouble incorporating different ethnic groups and faiths, are amazed that we manage to pull it off. Not perfectly, of course, but certainly better than any European or Asian nation today. It’s an extraordinary success story.

But how should this diversity shape our politics? The standard liberal answer for nearly a generation now has been that we should become aware of and “celebrate” our differences. Which is a splendid principle of moral pedagogy — but disastrous as a foundation for democratic politics in our ideological age. In recent years 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.

One of the many lessons of the recent presidential election campaign and its repugnant outcome is that the age of identity liberalism must be brought to an end. Hillary Clinton was at her best and most uplifting when she spoke about American interests in world affairs and how they relate to our understanding of democracy. But when it came to life at home, she tended on the campaign trail to lose that large vision and slip into the rhetoric of diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American, Latino, L.G.B.T. and women voters at every stop. This was a strategic mistake. If you are going to mention groups in America, you had better mention all of them. If you don’t, those left out will notice and feel excluded. Which, as the data show, was exactly what happened with the white working class and those with strong religious convictions. Fully two-thirds of white voters without college degrees voted for Donald Trump, as did over 80 percent of white evangelicals.

The moral energy surrounding identity has, of course, had many good effects. Affirmative action has reshaped and improved corporate life. Black Lives Matter has delivered a wake-up call to every American with a conscience. Hollywood’s efforts to normalize homosexuality in our popular culture helped to normalize it in American families and public life.

But the fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life. At a very young age our children are being encouraged to talk about their individual identities, even before they have them. By the time they reach college many assume that diversity discourse exhausts political discourse, and have shockingly little to say about such perennial questions as class, war, the economy and the common good. In large part this is because of high school history curriculums, which anachronistically project the identity politics of today back onto the past, creating a distorted picture of the major forces and individuals that shaped our country. (The achievements of women’s rights movements, for instance, were real and important, but you cannot understand them if you do not first understand the founding fathers’ achievement in establishing a system of government based on the guarantee of rights.)

When young people arrive at college they are encouraged to keep this focus on themselves by student groups, faculty members and also administrators whose full-time job is to deal with — and heighten the significance of — “diversity issues.” Fox News and other conservative media outlets make great sport of mocking the “campus craziness” that surrounds such issues, and more often than not they are right to. Which only plays into the hands of populist demagogues who want to delegitimize learning in the eyes of those who have never set foot on a campus. How to explain to the average voter the supposed moral urgency of giving college students the right to choose the designated gender pronouns to be used when addressing them? How not to laugh along with those voters at the story of a University of Michigan prankster who wrote in “His Majesty”?

This campus-diversity consciousness has over the years filtered into the liberal media, and not subtly. Affirmative action for women and minorities at America’s newspapers and broadcasters has been an extraordinary social achievement — and has even changed, quite literally, the face of right-wing media, as journalists like Megyn Kelly and Laura Ingraham have gained prominence. But it also appears to have encouraged the assumption, especially among younger journalists and editors, that simply by focusing on identity they have done their jobs.

Recently I performed a little experiment during a sabbatical in France: For a full year I read only European publications, not American ones. My thought was to try seeing the world as European readers did. But it was far more instructive to return home and realize how the lens of identity has transformed American reporting in recent years. How often, for example, the laziest story in American journalism — about the “first X to do Y” — is told and retold. Fascination with the identity drama has even affected foreign reporting, which is in distressingly short supply. However interesting it may be to read, say, about the fate of transgender people in Egypt, it contributes nothing to educating Americans about the powerful political and religious currents that will determine Egypt’s future, and indirectly, our own. No major news outlet in Europe would think of adopting such a focus.

But it is at the level of electoral politics that identity liberalism has failed most spectacularly, as we have just seen. National politics in healthy periods is not about “difference,” it is about commonality. And it will be dominated by whoever best captures Americans’ imaginations about our shared destiny. Ronald Reagan did that very skillfully, whatever one may think of his vision. So did Bill Clinton, who took a page from Reagan’s playbook. He seized the Democratic Party away from its identity-conscious wing, concentrated his energies on domestic programs that would benefit everyone (like national health insurance) and defined America’s role in the post-1989 world. By remaining in office for two terms, he was then able to accomplish much for different groups in the Democratic coalition. Identity politics, by contrast, is largely expressive, not persuasive. Which is why it never wins elections — but can lose them.

The media’s newfound, almost anthropological, interest in the angry white male reveals as much about the state of our liberalism as it does about this much maligned, and previously ignored, figure. A convenient liberal interpretation of the recent presidential election would have it that Mr. Trump won in large part because he managed to transform economic disadvantage into racial rage — the “whitelash” thesis. This is convenient because it sanctions a conviction of moral superiority and allows liberals to ignore what those voters said were their overriding concerns. It also encourages the fantasy that the Republican right is doomed to demographic extinction in the long run — which means liberals have only to wait for the country to fall into their laps. The surprisingly high percentage of the Latino vote that went to Mr. Trump should remind us that the longer ethnic groups are here in this country, the more politically diverse they become.

Finally, the whitelash thesis is convenient because it absolves liberals of not recognizing how their own obsession with diversity has encouraged white, rural, religious Americans to think of themselves as a disadvantaged group whose identity is being threatened or ignored. Such people are not actually reacting against the reality of our diverse America (they tend, after all, to live in homogeneous areas of the country). But they are reacting against the omnipresent rhetoric of identity, which is what they mean by “political correctness.” Liberals should bear in mind that the first identity movement in American politics was the Ku Klux Klan, which still exists. Those who play the identity game should be prepared to lose it.

We need a post-identity liberalism, and it should draw from the past successes of pre-identity liberalism. Such a liberalism would concentrate on widening its base by appealing to Americans as Americans and emphasizing the issues that affect a vast majority of them. It would speak to the nation as a nation of citizens who are in this together and must help one another. As for narrower issues that are highly charged symbolically and can drive potential allies away, especially those touching on sexuality and religion, such a liberalism would work quietly, sensitively and with a proper sense of scale. (To paraphrase Bernie Sanders, America is sick and tired of hearing about liberals’ damn bathrooms.)

Teachers committed to such a liberalism would refocus attention on their main political responsibility in a democracy: to form committed citizens aware of their system of government and the major forces and events in our history. A post-identity liberalism would also emphasize that democracy is not only about rights; it also confers duties on its citizens, such as the duties to keep informed and vote. A post-identity liberal press would begin educating itself about parts of the country that have been ignored, and about what matters there, especially religion. And it would take seriously its responsibility to educate Americans about the major forces shaping world politics, especially their historical dimension.

Some years ago I was invited to a union convention in Florida to speak on a panel about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous Four Freedoms speech of 1941. The hall was full of representatives from local chapters — men, women, blacks, whites, Latinos. We began by singing the national anthem, and then sat down to listen to a recording of Roosevelt’s speech. As I looked out into the crowd, and saw the array of different faces, I was struck by how focused they were on what they shared. And listening to Roosevelt’s stirring voice as he invoked the freedom of speech, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want and the freedom from fear — freedoms that Roosevelt demanded for “everyone in the world” — I was reminded of what the real foundations of modern American liberalism are.


Wisconsin AG recommends contempt charges against 'John Doe' prosecutor and his henchmen

About time

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker enraged Democrats and unions when he rammed a bill through the Republican legislature in 2011 that limited the power of public unions.  In response, Democrats gathered enough signatures on petitions to initiate a recall election.

Walker won that election handily in 2012.  But that was only the beginning of the story.  A Milwaukee Democratic prosecutor decided to build a case against conservative activists for illegally communicating and coordinating their political efforts.  The result was something straight out of a dystopian nightmare, as The Federalist describes:

In the predawn hours of October 3, 2013, armed deputies raided the homes of R.J. Johnson, Deborah Jordahl, and several others in a paramilitary style blitz across Wisconsin. The detainees weren't terrorists bent on mass murder or the overthrow of the government. The agents weren't looking for contraband narcotics or illegal firearms. In fact, no one was quite sure what they wanted, but agents got it all; computers, phones, business records, files, and communications dating back years. Deputies told the raided subjects to keep quiet or there would be consequences, as a pedophile might tell his prey.

The targets represent only a fraction of political activists sucked into Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm's "John Doe" – a grand-jury-type mechanism Wisconsin prosecutors prefer for its secrecy. Chisholm accuses them of "illegal talking" by coordinating messaging, which is supposedly forbidden under Wisconsin's prolix campaign finance code. The investigation, which Chisholm has expanded 18 times, has engulfed advocates, large and small, for years on end. His favorite tactic is bulk intimidation. Alongside raids and gag orders, he employs kitchen-sink subpoenas, many of which are eventually quashed at great legal expense. When he fails to get sufficient obeisance, he serves arrest warrants and sends people to jail on nonexistent charges. One judge reviewing a John Doe prosecutor's actions stated, "The conduct described is nothing that we as Wisconsinites should be proud of, bottom line . . . . Mr. Landgraf was behaving badly, probably for political reasons."

America had never seen anything like it.  Dozens of ordinary people, some of them unpaid volunteers, were swept up in a terrifying political dragnet.  But the "evidence" in the cases being investigated was so badly mishandled that key details were leaked about the prosecutor's methods.  The resulting outcry eventually led to the shutdown of the investigation by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, who found no evidence of illegal activity on the part of the prosecutor.  But one justice, writing for the majority, said, "It is utterly clear that the prosecutor has employed theories of law that do not exist in order to investigate citizens who were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing."

Chisolm's wife Colleen was a teacher union shop steward whose job was directly affected by Walker's curb on union power.  Both were Democratic activists.

Now, after an exhaustive investigation, the attorney general of Wisconsin, Brad Schimel, has issued a report that recommends contempt charges against the prosecutor and that professional sanctions be imposed on one of his investigators.

Milwaukee Sentinel:

In a 91-page report made public Wednesday, the Republican attorney general sharply criticized the probe's leaders for engaging in an overly broad investigation and failing to secure the vast amounts of evidence seized. He contended contempt proceedings should be initiated against special prosecutor Francis Schmitz and the team he led for how they handled seized material after courts told them they could not review it further or had to get rid of it.

Schimel also wants to seek professional sanctions against Shane Falk, who served as an attorney for the now-defunct Government Accountability Board, as part of his investigation into the leak of secret John Doe material to the Guardian U.S.

"The systemic and pervasive mishandling of John Doe evidence likely resulted in circumstances allowing the Guardian leak in the first place, and now prevents prosecutors from proving criminal liability beyond a reasonable doubt," the report says

Jefferson Circuit Court Judge William Hue made Schimel's report public Wednesday. Hue, who is overseeing the wrap-up of the Doe investigation, wrote in a brief order that he would consider Schimel's request for contempt proceedings.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and Schmitz ran the investigation into whether the Republican governor's campaign illegally worked with conservative groups in recall elections. Chisholm is a Democrat and Schmitz has identified himself as a Republican.

The state Supreme Court shut down the investigation in 2015, finding nothing illegal had occurred.

What is truly frightening about this story is that the Democratic prosecutor apparently acted within the law when his goons rousted ordinary people from their homes at gunpoint.  As The Federalist's Paul Jossey points out:

"Chisholm's John Doe represents the worst kind of legal thuggery, rife with personal enmity, conflicts of interests [sic], and professional skullduggery. Unfortunately victims are left with little practical recourse. The laws, judicial doctrines, and disciplinary structures that shield Chisholm and his cohorts should be reformed to prevent this type of abuse from ever happening again."

Prosecutors have been given enormous leeway to enforce the law.  But they are expected to behave within the bounds of propriety, non-partisanship, and common decency.  Chisholm not only crossed the line; he obliterated it.  The least that can be done to punish him is to try him for contempt.


Sweden's comversion to the religion of peace

The President of the United States made an announcement some people don’t like, so protesters in the UK and Sweden are threatening to kill Jews. Not Americans – Jews. Not Israelis – Jews

Twenty-one masked men have been seen throwing molotov cocktails at a synagogue in central Gothenburg.

'We are in place with a number of units,' said Peter Nordengard, police chief of the West Western region, told the Expressen newspaper.

Dvir Maoz, the World Bnei Akiva youth movement's emissary in Gothenburg, said the attack happened a little after 10 p.m. while youths from the local Jewish community were attending a party inside the synagogue complex.

He described looking out from inside the synagogue lobby area and from the corner of his eye seeing 'a ball of fire' approaching the building.

'The guards saw it in the security cameras and called police right away. The children were stressed, it was the first time they had ever experienced a terrorist attack near them.' 

Allan Stutzinsky, chairman of the Jewish Assembly in Gothenburg, witnessed the attack and he said: 'There were tens of masked people throwing burning objects into the courtyard.'

The attacked happened after several hundred people marched through the centre of Malmo on Friday night to protest against President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

According to local media some chanted: 'We have announced the intifada from Malmo. We want our freedom back, and we will shoot the Jews.'


The myth of Britain’s far right

Britain First is as insignificant as its racist and fascist predecessors

So, with a few retweeted anti-Muslim propaganda videos, US president Donald Trump did it again. He gave a bunch of irritants the oxygen of publicity. He gave them a platform. He gave them legitimacy. No, not the plums of Britain First, whose deputy leader, Jayda Fransen, originally posted the videos Trump retweeted, but those ever ready to tell us about the rise of fascism, those ready to warn us of the ‘the reach of far-right groups in the UK and Europe’, those ready to warn us that the spirit of Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts is among us once more.

What’s odd about the dark mutterings of fascism’s rebirth is that in Britain there is simply not much to be reborn. The far right has remained, throughout its meagre British existence, a threat largely in imagination only, its overseas version treated with ‘derision and contempt’ according to Foreign Office minutes in the 1920s, and as no more than a public-order problem in the 1930s (they tended to provoke the left). Even when ex-Labour MP Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists was literally on the march in the 1930s, the far right’s lack of traction was palpable. Such was its failure, that by the end of the 1930s, even Mosley himself was moved to complain that he was tired of ‘pouring money down the drain of British fascism’.

It is not an overstatement to say that the far right has never been able gain much of a foothold in British political culture. So while world war, fear of revolution and economic crisis in the interwar years were providing the social and political tumult in which fascism proper flourished in Europe, Britain’s political institutions, comprising in the main a mass Conservative Party, a highly reformist, social-democratic Labour Party, and a trade-union movement largely free of syndicalist elements, proved adept at preserving capitalism, rather than threatening its overthrow. This meant that, with no clear threat of revolution, no spectre of communism, there was little to frighten the ruling classes into the arms of fascism.

There was certainly anti-Semitism in British society, especially among its upper echelons, not to mention a fear of the Reds. But as opposed to the open class-based conflicts on the continent, the predominance of a reformist Labour Party – ready, if push came to shove, to ally itself with the Liberals and Conservatives ‘in the national interest’, as happened with the national government of 1931 – left the negligible British fascist movement stuck on the outside of political culture looking in.

Again and again Britain’s far right has found history repeating itself, always in farce. In the late 1960s and 1970s, the National Front, which was itself an amalgamation of various residual fascist and racist grouplets hanging around in the aftermath of the Second World War, found itself persistently marginal, standing in elections… and losing its deposits in elections. Not because of the innate virtue of British politics, but because the ground on which it wanted to make its appeal – race and immigration – had been already largely cultivated by the British party-political mainstream.

A Tory government introduced immigration controls in the early 1960s, and while Labour was initially pro-immigration, it too was soon making anti-immigration arguments. As Labour MP Roy Hattersley put it in 1965, ‘I believe unrestricted immigration can only produce additional problems, additional suffering and additional hardship unless some kind of limitation is imposed and continued’.

Moreover, it has never helped Britain’s tiny band of fascists and far-righters that British postwar nationalism has been dominated, ironically enough, by the so-called fight against fascism. Defeating the Nazis, indeed defeating the evil of fascism, has persisted as just about the only source of national pride for much of the past three-quarters of a century – ‘Why we have to cut off the head of fascism again and again’, ran a broadsheet headline earlier this year.

So important has the Second World War been to a sense of being British, on both left and right, that in a 2005 YouGov poll, ‘defiance of the Nazis’ was voted second only to ‘free speech’ as a defining characteristic of Britishness. Given the peculiarly anti-fascist flavour to a British nationalism long shorn of any attachment to Empire, it’s hardly a surprise that Britain’s far right, mired in a Nazi-invoking past, has consistently found itself unpalatable to the British public.

The National Front’s successor and Britain First’s seedling party, the British National Party, did have a moment in the sun, or more accurately, a moment on BBC’s Question Time, in the mid-to-late 2000s. But even at its height in the 2009 European Parliament elections, when it amassed 943,598 votes (6.2 per cent of votes cast), there was no real sense that those voting for Nick Griffin and his henchmen really supported them because they supported his (admittedly watered-down) views on bloodlines.

Rather, the BNP’s attraction was negative – it was not one of the three main parties; it was not part of the political establishment; it was not toeing the line of acceptable political discourse. Unsurprisingly, given its lack of real support, no sooner had it briefly flourished, then, almost overnight, it collapsed. By early 2012, the BNP had been obliterated as even a minor electoral irritation, and its side-parted caricature of a leader was on the verge of bankruptcy. Griffin was last heard talking earlier this year, with no little irony, of emigrating.

By comparison, Britain First, which was spawned by some disaffected BNP members in 2011 and named after an Oswald Mosley rallying cry, makes the BNP look like an electoral behemoth. Fransen, Trump’s newfound Twitter friend, stood in the 2014 Rochester and Strood by-election, and won a mighty 56 votes. Britain First leader Paul Golding tried his luck in the London mayoral election and picked up just 1.2 per cent of the vote. Its current membership is estimated to stand at around a thousand, and its public meetings, such as they are, would struggle to fill a curry house. Yes, it has 27,000 Twitter followers, but then @GrumpyCat, ‘The World’s Grumpiest Cat’, has over one million, and no one anticipates a downcast feline takeover anytime soon.

So why the constant trumping up of the threat of the far right despite its chronic insignificance? A decade ago, the fear of the BNP, this ‘evil, vile, fascist organisation’, as the Lib Dems’ former leader, Nick Clegg, called it, grew as the political elite’s estrangement from the public deepened. At the same time, bashing the phantasm of the BNP gave the political class some semblance of moral purpose, and a sense that its members were engaging with the public.

Today, the myth of the far right, indeed, the fear of the far right, continues to play on the political class’s fear of and estrangement from the public – fear and estrangement that has deepened in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. But it also allows the political elite to manage the explosive form that estrangement has now taken – to manage, that is, the very real threat to the status quo posed by the millions of people who forcefully rejected it last June. Because by saying, as one columnist does, that although ‘Britain First is tiny… some of [its] views are more mainstream than we feel comfortable acknowledging’, commentators both acknowledge that hitherto establishment views are no longer carrying the day, while reducing those anti-establishment views to something almost comically neo-fascist.

By equating Britain First with an anti-establishment mainstream, it acknowledges the threat, while simultaneously disavowing it, morally undermining it, delegitimising it. It allows supporters of the status quo to believe the threat it is facing is old and discredited, rather than new and as yet uncredited. It says ‘we, the good, the right, the pro-EU, are still battling fascism after all. We’re still fighting the good fight, still waging the war of the righteous.’ The rise-of-the-far-right narrative is, at the same time, a way of downplaying the rise of a new constellation of forces opposed to the status quo.

Facing down the far right, it seems, remains what it has long been: an elite displacement exercise.



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

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

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


10 December, 2017

Your genes determine your sexual orientation, study suggests

There are many instances in families, even among twins, where only one child is homosexual so any genetic influence must be weak

A NEW study comparing the DNA of homosexual and heterosexual men could prove that sexual orientation is rooted in a person’s biology.

IT HAS long been debated whether sexual orientation is a result of a person’s biology or is determined by environmental factors and outside influences.

A new study in the US could bring experts a step closer to proving that homosexuality is rooted in a person’s DNA. Research undertaken by North Shore University in Illinois claims to have discovered genetic markers that indicate whether or not a person is gay.

Scientists compared the whole genomes of around 1000 homosexual men and 1200 heterosexual men and found there were two specific DNA regions that differed between the groups.

One of the regions dealt with a gene that plays an important role in brain development and hormone production, which could also be linked to a person’s sexual orientation. The other gene is linked to thyroid function, which is an area previously been linked with sexual orientation, according to the authors of the study.

While some genetic differences were found in these areas, the researchers have cautioned that the results are “best described as speculative”, but still leave researchers a step closer to understanding how sexual preferences develop.

“Because sexuality is an essential part of human life — for individuals and society — it is important to understand the development and expression of human sexual orientation,” lead author Dr Alan Sanders told The Telegraph.

“The goal of this study was to search for genetic underpinnings of male sexual orientation, and thus ultimately increase our knowledge of biological mechanisms underlying sexual orientation.” He added: “What we have accomplished is a first step for genome wide study on the trait, and we hope that subsequent larger studies will further illuminate its genetic contributions.”

The purpose of genome-wide studies such as this one is to find variations in DNA that are linked to a specific trait, in this case homosexuality. But other studies usually use a much larger subject group, often including more than 100,000 people, with a smaller group possibly indicating a less reliable overview of the population as a whole.

Dr Nina McCarthy of the University of Western Australia told Cosmosthat “findings from small studies are less likely to be robust and less likely to be generalisable compared to large studies”.

“As this study was carried out in European men, we do not know whether the findings will apply to homosexuality in women, or even to homosexuality in non-European men. It’s really important to appreciate that association does not imply causation,” she said.

“All that is required to see a genetic association in this study is for slightly more homosexual men to carry the genetic variant than heterosexual men, and many times this will simply be due to chance.”


Rogue Leftists in the Wisconsin judiciary

Despite concluding a crime was committed during the use of state resources to target Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s Justice Department recommends no criminal charges

On Wednesday, a Wisconsin judge unsealed an 88-page report on the state Department of Justice’s (WIDoJ) investigation into a leak of sealed evidence from the politically motivated “John Doe” investigation of Gov. Scott Walker, his supporters, and various conservative groups related to his recall election campaign.

Despite concluding a crime was committed during the John Doe proceedings, WIDoJ recommends no criminal charges. Instead, the report recommends that former Government Accountability Board (GAB) lawyer Shane Falk be referred to the state judiciary’s Office of Lawyer Regulation for discipline and that contempt proceedings be initiated against John Doe special prosecutor Francis Schmitz and former GAB employees for violating court orders during the John Doe proceedings.

Moreover, the WIDoJ investigation uncovered another previously secret investigation into the personal and political activities of Republicans and conservatives at the state and federal level, evidence from which was filed away as “opposition research.”

John Doe Means Secret Criminal Investigations

Wisconsin law provides for secret, so-called John Doe criminal investigations, overseen by a John Doe judge with the assistance of a district attorney. Ironically, this story begins with the “John Doe I” investigation Walker requested as Milwaukee County executive in 2010, based on a report of stolen public funds.

John Doe I resulted in six convictions. But within a month of Walker’s recall election victory over union-fueled opposition in June 2012, the district attorney received approval from the judge to expand the scope of the investigation into a probe of Walker’s campaign-finance practices.

The district attorney’s office then began consulting with GAB, then the agency charged with regulating campaign fundraising and spending. A GAB staff attorney wrongly advised the district attorney that the state’s campaign finance laws had been violated, based on the theory that conservative groups illegally coordinated their activities during the recall election.

This bad advice led to opening “John Doe II” proceedings. The abuses of the John Doe II investigation are well-documented, not least by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in its opinion shutting down the probe:

"The breadth of the documents gathered pursuant to subpoenas and seized pursuant to search warrants is amazing. Millions of documents, both in digital and paper copy, were subpoenaed and/or seized. Deputies seized business papers, computer equipment, phones, and other devices, while their targets were restrained under police supervision and denied the ability to contact their attorneys. The special prosecutor obtained virtually every document possessed by the Unnamed Movants relating to every aspect of their lives, both personal and professional, over a five-year span (from 2009 to 2013). Such documents were subpoenaed and/or seized without regard to content or relevance to the alleged violations ***. As part of this dragnet, the special prosecutor also had seized wholly irrelevant information, such as retirement income statements, personal financial account information, personal letters, and family photos."

Indeed, two “search warrants were executed at approximately 6:00 a.m. on October 3, 2013, in pre-dawn, armed, paramilitary-style raids in which bright floodlights were used to illuminate the targets’ homes.” The mishandling of this vast pool of personal and financial data ultimately became the focus of the WIDoJ investigation.

DA Continues Probe Despite Judge Order

For example, the John Doe II investigation should have effectively ended on January 10, 2014, when a judge quashed the subpoenas and warrants upon the motion of some John Doe targets, ruling they had not violated campaign finance laws. On January 27, 2014, the judge stayed the order pending appeal, but specifically ordered that the investigation team should not examine property and evidence seized.

The WIDoJ investigation found that Falk nevertheless ordered the compilation of records of donations to and from the Wisconsin Club For Growth, and compiling records from a database containing emails seized pursuant to search warrants. The special prosecutor learned of Falk’s activity and failed to order him to stop.

Moreover, a GAB specialist continued to access the database after a second order was entered in February 2014 broadly barring the review of any material obtained by any legal process. The special prosecutor did not halt this activity for days.

Next, when the Wisconsin Supreme Court formally ended the John Doe II investigation on July 16, 2015, “because the special prosecutor’s legal theory [was] unsupported in either reason or law,” it also “ordered that the special prosecutor and the district attorneys involved in this investigation must cease all activities related to the investigation, return all property seized in the investigation from any individual or organization, and permanently destroy all copies of information and other materials obtained through the investigation.”

An Attempt to Skew the U.S. Supreme Court

That did not happen, despite a detailed follow-up order specifying how it was to be accomplished. Instead, the prosecution team petitioned for review by the U.S. Supreme Court, which set the petition for consideration on September 26, 2016. Just 11 days before that conference, The Guardian published a leaked trove of documents from the John Doe II proceedings, including court filings, draft filings, and selected evidence prepared and kept by only some members of the prosecution team.

Analyzing the nature of the illegally leaked documents—as opposed to those kept secret—the WIDoJ report concludes that “the nature of the leaked court filings indicated an intent by someone – likely a lawyer – to respond directly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision.” Indeed, the report argues that “[o]nly someone with an intimate knowledge of the case and familiarity with the leaked documents would know which documents to leak that would correspond directly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s opinion.” WIDoJ believes “the leaked court filings show a specific intent to try to influence the United States Supreme Court as it was considering the pending petition for writ of certiorari in September 2016.”

The investigation also led WIDoJ to find that while all of the core prosecution team attorneys had access to the court filings, only former GAB members had access to certain leaked emails (some of which were involved in the prior violations of court orders). The report concludes:

"[B]ased on the evidence collected, [WIDoJ] assesses with reasonable certainty that the hard drive of Shane Falk is the only place where all of the leaked documents *** were located. Yet despite executing a search warrant at the offices of the former GAB and conducting numerous witness interviews, no one could account for Falk’s missing hard drive, which remains missing and unaccounted for to this day."

You’re shocked that this key piece of evidence has gone missing, aren’t you? But it gets worse.

Sucking Up Personal Conversations for Oppo Research

Additional documents related to the John Doe II proceedings continued to be “found” periodically throughout the WIDoJ investigation. On May 23, 2017, one day prior to the scheduled interview of a former GAB attorney (and roughly six months after all evidence was supposed to be returned), WIDoJ learned of a large file cabinet containing John Doe documents in the basement of the Wisconsin Ethics Commission (one of two successor agencies to GAB after the Wisconsin legislature enacted a law disbanding GAB).

This last batch of documents included not only documents related to John Does I and II, but also evidence related to a previously unknown GAB investigation into members of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, which the WIDoJ dubs “John Doe III.”

Based on the commingled nature of the evidence discovered, WIDoJ believes that John Doe III, which apparently began as an investigation into whether state employees were campaigning on state time, became intertwined with John Does I and II and was based on the same unsupported legal theory as those investigations.

The WIDoJ report’s description of some of the John Doe III evidence is chilling:

"[T]hree hard drives in particular contained nearly 500,000 unique emails (from Yahoo and Gmail accounts, for example) and other documents (email attachments, for example) totaling millions of pages. The hard drives included transcripts of Google Chat logs between several individuals, most of which were purely personal (and sometimes very private) conversations. GAB placed a large portion of these emails into several folders entitled, ‘Opposition Research’ or ‘Senate Opposition Research.’ [WIDoJ] has been unable to determine who labeled these emails as ‘Opposition Research,’ what the purpose of this label was, or how these emails were to be used in the future. However, [WIDoJ] is deeply concerned by what appears to have been the weaponizing of GAB by partisans in furtherance of political goals. Indeed, it is difficult to conceive why GAB needed any information from GoDaddy.com related to former Republican Senate Leadership Association Chairman Ed Gillespie or why staff attorneys wanted information held by Google for Leonard Leo, Executive Director of the Federalist Society."

Rogue Investigators Seize Info Of High-Level Republicans

The report identifies at least 35 people for whom John Doe III investigators obtained complete personal email accounts, chat and messenger logs, contact lists, and technical information. For example, the report notes: “investigators obtained, categorized, and maintained over 150 personal emails between [state] Senator Leah Vukmir and her daughter, including emails containing private medical information and other highly personal information. [WIDoJ] was unable to determine why investigators ever obtained, let alone saved and labeled, over 150 very private and very personal emails between a Senator and her child, or why investigators placed those emails in a folder named ‘Opposition Research.’“

Furthermore, as the references to Ed Gillespie and Leonard Leo make clear, those who merely communicated with the 35 targets also had their messages swept into the GAB dragnet. That list included Walker, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, former U.S. Sen. Terrence Wall, former RNC chairman and President Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus, U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, two other state senators, the state treasurer, Walker campaign chairman Joe Fadness, and various legislative staff members.

The systematic mishandling of the evidence prevents prosecutors from affixing individual criminal guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Although the WIDoJ report concludes that the leak of the sealed evidence was a crime, committed for the purpose of attempting to influence the U.S. Supreme Court, it ultimately could not recommend criminal charges be brought against anyone involved with the John Doe investigations scandal because of how scandalous the misconduct was.

In particular, the prosecution team, especially GAB, was ridiculously careless with the vast quantities of evidence they collected (when it wasn’t being filed away as opposition research). There was no designated custodian for the evidence. There was no central log of the evidence collected. The evidence was not stored in a central location.

Indeed, documents and hard drives were left unsecured on staffers’ desks. The digital evidence was spread among hard drives, network drives, Gmails, cloud-based databases, the Dropbox file-sharing service, and flash drives. Accordingly, the systematic mishandling of the evidence prevents prosecutors from affixing individual criminal guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

One reason for this dysfunction was investigators’ paranoia that if they used state computer systems, Walker might discover what they were doing. Thanks to the WIDoJ report, the public now knows what they were doing. Perhaps the Wisconsin judicial system can provide some measure of discipline for those involved in this abusive, partisan persecution.


SCOTUS Justice Kennedy Insists Tolerance Be a ‘Two-Way Street’ in Religious Freedom Case

John Stonestreet

I was honored yesterday to rally in support of Jack Phillips on the steps outside the Supreme Court. Now I’d like to tell you what went on inside.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Eric Metaxas and I have given you the details before, of Colorado master cake designer Jack Phillips who declined to design a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

As David Brooks wrote in Monday’s New York Times, “Phillips is not trying to restrict gay marriage or gay rights; he’s simply asking not to be forced to take part.”

Neither the couple or the state of Colorado saw it that way. Phillips was found to have violated the state’s anti-discrimination law, and forced to choose between his convictions and losing forty percent of his business. Phillips appealed to the Supreme Court.

While Phillips’s actions were grounded in his religious beliefs, the legal argument was primarily about whether Colorado had violated his right to free speech.  Unlike those commentators who disparaged the idea that creating custom cakes constitutes a form of speech, yesterday the Court took the question seriously.

Phillips’ lawyer, Kristen Waggoner of the Alliance Defending Freedom, argued that “the first amendment protects bakers such as Mr. Phillips against being forced to express any belief, and that as a custom-cake maker, he sketches, sculpts and hand-paints—in other words, he’s an artist.”

Waggoner had barely gotten started when the questions began.

Responding to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she reiterated that neither she nor her client were challenging his obligation to sell his ordinary wares to everyone. In fact, he offered to sell the couple any already-made cake in his store.

Custom cakes, Waggoner told the Court, were a different matter. The use of writing and symbols convey a message in a way that a cake off the shelf does not.

Inevitably the comparison to race came up. The best answer was given by U. S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco. Francisco, in response to several justices, argued that discrimination on the basis of race, such as refusing to serve an interracial couple, was different than refusing to participate in a ceremony.

He also argued that upholding Phillips’ free speech rights would not damage civil rights protection because it would only apply to “a small group of individuals” in “narrow circumstances.” However, Justice Breyer disagreed.

But the roughest treatment was reserved for Colorado’s Solicitor General Fred Yarger because of Colorado’s treatment of Phillips throughout the whole ordeal. Justice Kennedy—likely the swing vote in this case—told him that tolerance must go both ways, adding that, “It seems to me the state has been neither tolerant nor respectful” of Jack Phillips views.

He cited a comment by a member of the Civil Rights Commission, who called Phillips’ religious beliefs “one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric.” He then asked Yarger to disavow the comment. After Yarger lamely replied that he wouldn’t counsel a client to say such a thing, Kennedy pressed him, and Yarger disavowed.

It’s never a good thing when a judge asks you to disavow your client’s statement.

So where are we? Justice Kennedy definitely seems troubled by the way Phillips was treated, and it’s encouraging that he insisted tolerance is a “two-way street.”

Heartening as well was Justice Breyer’s asking Yarger if some kind of compromise might be possible. Whatever else Breyer is thinking, he seems to be concerned that Colorado didn’t make sufficient allowance for people with dissenting views.

I can’t tell you whether Phillips will prevail, but there’s reason to be encouraged. It’s also possible that Kennedy could side with Phillips, but in a narrow opinion that would open the floodgate for future cases. Even then, that’s better, far better than a Phillips loss.

So let’s continue to pray earnestly that Phillips, and freedom, prevails.


Australian Leftist leader panicked by rejection of homosexual marriage in heavily Muslim electorates

Pandering to Muslim beliefs about homosexuality might give Christians protection as a side-effect

Bill Shorten has reached out to religious leaders and No voters to reassure them that Labor, in ­“opposition or government”, wants to ensure religious liberties remain protected.

The Opposition Leader made the move within hours of Malcolm Turnbull taking the same-sex marriage legislation to Government House to be written into law. While still celebrating the passage of the same-sex marriage laws, Mr Shorten immediately addressed concerns by Christian and Islamic leaders, specifically in nine Labor-held electorates in western Sydney that voted No, about “their freedom to practise their religion”.

On Thursday, Mr Shorten told parliament in his final speech on the same-sex marriage bill: “I say to those who voted No, I recognise that now is the time for healing, to put this debate behind us. And when this law is passed, we should declare that we are no longer a nation of people who voted No or people who voted Yes — we are simply Australians, one and all.”

In the wake of the 60 per cent Yes vote in the postal survey — now revealed to have cost $80 million, $42m less than expected — Mr Shorten has repeatedly expressed “respect” for No voters and declared that as someone who was “raised a person of faith”, he wants to ensure ­religious protections.

In a letter to 12 religious ­leaders including Christian archbishops and bishops as well as muftis and imams in southwest and western Sydney, Mr Shorten said Labor understood their concerns, believed the ­legislation protected religious freedoms but offered to make ­himself available “to work through any concerns you may have in relation to religious freedoms around Australia”.

“I can assure you that Labor understands your concerns, and takes them most seriously,” Mr Shorten said in a letter written yesterday and obtained by The Weekend Australian. “In the event that Labor forms the next government, I can guarantee that I will continue to be available to work through any concerns that you may have in relation to religious freedoms in Australia. In government and in opposition, I intend to continue to work collaboratively with religious leaders around Australia to ensure religious liberties remain protected.”

Mr Shorten offered to meet the religious leaders “as early as next week” to discuss their concerns. He also urged them to work with the Coalition’s religious freedoms inquiry headed by former federal attorney-general Philip Ruddock, which is due to report next year.

Mr Shorten offered to consider more protections for religious freedom. “Given the importance of the issue of religious freedom, and the need to give any changes proper consideration, we believe this is an appropriate mechanism for determining whether changes might be required to enhance protections for people of faith and religious institutions,” he wrote.

“Should the expert panel into religious freedoms find gaps in the legal framework for protecting ­religious freedoms more broadly, Labor will carefully consider those when they are delivered next year.”

Labor was attacked during the debate on religious freedom this week for not allowing a true free vote on amendments and denying its MPs the chance to support religious protections. Labor MPs have denied there was a direction denying them a chance to vote on amendments and said they wanted to use the ­religious freedom inquiry to ­rectify any shortcomings.

Mr Shorten has campaigned strongly for same-sex marriage and all Labor MPs voted for it but there was a political backlash when the postal vote showed that nine Labor-held electorates in Sydney with large migrant communities and committed religious groups voted No against same-sex marriage.

The Labor electorates of Barton, Blaxland, Chifley, Fowler, Greenway, McMahon, Parramatta, Watson and Werriwa in NSW as well as Calwell and Bruce in Victoria voted No.

Three Liberal Sydney seats — Bennelong, Mitchell and Banks — and three rural Queensland electorates — Groom and Maranoa held by the Nationals and independent Bob Katter’s Kennedy — also had a majority No vote.

NSW Liberals believe the No vote in the western Sydney electorates, some in areas once held by the Liberal Party under John Howard, gave the Coalition an opportunity to regain ground in western Sydney at the next election by campaigning as a defender of religious rights after Labor’s blanket refusal to vote for any amendments this week.

Mr Shorten’s letter seeks to reassure leaders including Bishop Antoine Taraby, the Maronite Bishop of Australia; Bishop Robert Rabbat, of the Melkite Catholic Church; Sheikh Yahya Safi, imam of the Lakemba mosque; and Sheikh Malek Zeidan, the Australian representative of the mufti of Lebanon.



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

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

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


8 December, 2017

Oklahoma: Pyongyang on the Prairie

A criminal justice system that operates in the dark is arbitrary, unjust and criminal.  In Oklahoma, it asks us to believe that a Japanese American of impeccable reputation is a serial rapist of black women.  No wonder they fear the light of day!

In Oklahoma this year, a Kafkaesque set of sealed motions, secret orders and closed-door hearings completely shut out a criminal defendant, his public defenders and the public. A trial judge served as handmaiden for the prosecutors, even failing to notify the defendant and his lawyers of the kangaroo court proceedings until after they had occurred.

The defendant, who is appealing his convictions and maintains his complete and actual innocence, was denied an opportunity to challenge the state's legal arguments for hiding information about a crime lab analyst's shoddy work on his case that could be exculpatory and key to his exoneration. His public defenders were also denied the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses — all government employees from Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Welcome to Pyongyang on the Prairie.

The Oklahoma attorney general's office claims that the trial judge, Timothy Henderson, conducted an "exhaustive" review of the protected materials and "deeply explored" their contents with government witnesses who only represented the government's side of the story.

Don't worry, be happy, comrades.

Here's the thing: While the defendant was denied representation at the secret hearings, Oklahoma County Assistant District Attorney Gayland Gieger was allowed to enter the star chamber with an entire "team" of fellow prosecutors. (We only know this after two local TV journalists obtained video footage from a surveillance camera outside the hearing room.) In fact, the state attorney general divulged in one of the few unsealed court filings on the matter, Gieger "facilitated the District Court's inquiry by thoroughly examining those witnesses in an ex parte proceeding."

Gieger was the original prosecutor in the defendant's case. The defendant's appeal argues that Gieger "repeatedly and flagrantly misrepresented" evidence at trial, including the forensic evidence and testimony of the OCPD crime lab analyst, Elaine Taylor. A report by six internationally renowned DNA scientists and experts released this summer highlighted Taylor's "flawed forensic science, including insufficient serological analysis and improper DNA testimony" in the case at hand. The scientists concluded that the defendant, former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, who is now serving 263 years for a bandwagon pile-on of sexual assault allegations, "was deprived of his due process right to a fair trial because the State misused DNA evidence" and stated that his "conviction should be overturned and he should be given a new trial."

Taylor's work on the case, the state was forced to acknowledge, just happened to be the subject of the secret hearings that Assistant District Attorney Gayland Gieger was allowed to "facilitate."

Can you spell "conflict of interest"?

Incredibly, the state attorney general pats itself on the back for "its strong commitment to transparency" and argues that the "State was forbidden by law from turning any of the material over to the defendant" because a crime lab review of Taylor's work is "an unfinished personnel review" protected by the state open records act.

Nonsense on a stick. The law specifically states that a public body "may," not must, keep personnel records confidential — and there is no indication that a review of Taylor's work would invade her privacy.

Both the public's right to know and the defendant's constitutional rights to exculpatory information (as well as information subject to cross-examination) trump the phony "personnel records" shield erected by the state attorney general's office and its collaborators.

In fact, given the wave of crime lab scandals across the country from Austin, Texas, to Washington, D.C., it is in the national interest to disclose such information about questionable forensic analysis and testimony (which I've exposed more at length in my CRTV.com work on the Holtzclaw case and other wrongful convictions for "Michelle Malkin Investigates" ).

It's even more imperative given the Oklahoma City Police Department's sordid history of fabricated forensic evidence and misconduct dating back more than 15 years.

Fact: Elaine Taylor worked under disgraced former OCPD forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist, who was fired for systematic fraud, false testimony and planting evidence that led to countless death row and other convictions.

Fact: Taylor reportedly told a former supervisor that she destroyed rape kits under Gilchrist's orders because she "believed the only thing (she) could do was to follow (Gilchrist's) orders or else pay the consequences."

Fact: Elaine Taylor is the mother-in-law of Detective Rocky Gregory, the co-lead investigator in the current defendant's case (a relationship that was not disclosed at trial).

Fact: My attempt through a public records request to obtain a list of cases from the DA's office in which Taylor served as an expert witness — so that the public can learn if she botched other analyses and testimonies — was flippantly rejected because "our office maintains no list of cases in which Ms. Taylor appeared as a witness to give testimony as an expert or otherwise," and so "this matter (is) now closed."

Nearly six months after the cloak-and-dagger confab on Taylor's work held in late June in Judge Henderson's locked courtroom, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has yet to respond to Holtzclaw's motion to unseal the secret proceedings. In fact, the criminal appeals court has yet to issue a ruling on his public defenders' simple motion for an order to preserve evidence in light of the police department's admission that it had deleted Taylor's email account after she retired on Feb. 2, 2017 (a fact not known to the defendant until media public records request forced disclosure).

Legal experts left, right and center tell me they've never seen anything like this. Former ACLU of Oklahoma president and retired University of Oklahoma law professor Randall Coyne blasted the secrecy circus this summer, and his words bear repeating:

"This is no way to run a criminal justice system. In 29 years of practicing and teaching criminal law in Oklahoma, I have never seen the level of sealed orders and secret, ex parte courtroom proceedings that has occurred in the Holtzclaw matter. ... The dark cloud of secrecy over the Holtzclaw case gives rise to suspicions that somebody is hiding something. ... The court immediately should unseal all orders and filings so the public — as well as other convicted defendants whose cases and lives may be impacted — can see the details."

Is this North America or North Korea? Over to you, Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.


Guam Has a Racist Voting Law  -- and Obama didn't care
It took Jeff Sessions to make the department fulfill its duty.

It looks like Arnold Davis is finally getting some justice. I have written numerous updates about the voting-rights lawsuit that Davis, a retired Air Force officer, filed back in 2011 against the territory of Guam. Guam refused to allow Davis, a longtime resident of Guam, to register to vote for a plebiscite on the future of the territory because he is white and not Chamorro, the racial designation given to the natives who originally inhabited Guam.

Through eight long years of litigation, Davis has been represented by J. Christian Adams and the Center for Individual Rights. The Eric Holder/Loretta Lynch Justice Department refused to represent Davis or otherwise assist with the lawsuit. Holder even made a ceremonial visit to Guam in 2012, one in which he voiced no criticism whatsoever of the territorial government, or even of the racist attacks that Guam’s community leaders and government officials have launched against Davis.

Finally, in March of this year, a federal judge in Guam ruled in favor of Davis and issued a permanent injunction against the territory, barring it from enforcing its discriminatory registration law. Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood held that limiting voter registration to so-called Native Inhabitants of the island violated both the 14th and 15th Amendments. The Constitution does not allow the government “to exclude otherwise qualified voters in participating in an election where public issues are decided simply because those otherwise qualified voters do not have the correct ancestry or bloodline."

 After Guam lost in March, it appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. On Nov. 28, after eight years of studied indifference, the U.S. Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions finally did the right thing: It filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit supporting Arnold Davis.

DOJ’s brief, which was filed by John Gore, the acting assistant attorney general of the Civil Rights Division, argues that "Guam’s plebiscite law intentionally discriminates based on race.” It directly violates Supreme Court precedent set in Rice v. Cayetano, a 2000 decision in which the Court threw out a similar Hawaii law. DOJ points out that the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments both apply to Guam; the fact that it is a territory does not deprive its residents of those constitutional protections. The brief asks the Ninth Circuit to uphold the district court’s decision.

This follows on a lawsuit filed in September by the Civil Rights Division against the government of Guam and its Chamorro Land Trust Commission for violations of the Fair Housing Act in discriminating against non-Chamorros. The government and its land trust owns about 15 percent of the land on the island. It leases one-acre residential tracts at a cost of $1 per year for 99 years and also provides below-market-rate loans and numerous housing-related benefits. However, not all residents of the island are eligible — only Chamorros. So if Arnold Davis wanted such a lease, he would not be eligible for one, just as Guam told him he couldn’t vote.

As the saying goes in Washington, “personnel is policy,” and that is certainly true in both of these cases. The Obama administration refused to enforce federal law barring racial discrimination in voting, housing, employment, and education on a race-neutral basis. The Holder/Lynch Justice Department didn’t care if you were being discriminated against unless you were a member of one of its favored groups, a distinction that does not exist in our anti-discrimination laws. The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, as well as federal statutes such as the Voting Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act, protect all Americans from racial discrimination.

It took a Jeff Sessions Justice Department to finally recognize that.


The marvelously 'wild richness of American philanthropy'

by Jeff Jacoby

WOULD YOU LIKE to be happy? A Chinese proverb offers advice:

If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody else.

On the calendar this week was "Giving Tuesday," the informal start of the post-Thanksgiving charitable season, when many people make a particular point of donating to charity. Two-thirds of American households give money to charitable causes each year, and 63 million adults give of their time to charities as unpaid volunteers. If you're in either camp (they overlap significantly), you probably don't need a Chinese aphorism to tell you that charity blesses those who give as well as those who get.

Researchers have found notable correlations between charitable giving and happiness. For instance, data from the 2001 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey, a major source of information on civic activity, indicates that people who donate to charity were 43 percent more likely to say they are "very happy" than nongivers, while nongivers are more than three times as likely to say they were "not happy at all."

America's philanthropic culture has amazed foreign observers for generations. In the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville famously marveled at Americans' "innumerable multitude" of charitable endeavors: "The Americans make associations to give entertainments, to found seminaries, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries," he wrote. Eighteen decades later, the German-born British journalist Matt Frei expressed similar astonishment: "Americans give to schools, hospitals, libraries, galleries, and the poor like no other country in the world," he noted with awe on BBC. "Americans, wealthy and not so wealthy, are giving their dollars away by the lorry load."

There are some who argue that most of this giving doesn't really count as charity since it isn't dedicated to the relief of the poor and sick. Peter Singer, a well-known professor of bioethics at Princeton, disdains those who give money to orchestras and museums when so many people still suffer from hunger and disease. Former NPR executive Ken Stern laments that charitable status is granted so promiscuously — not just to groups that help "the poor and downtrodden," but also to "organizations that have little connection to common notions of doing good: the Sugar Bowl, the US Golf Association, the Renegade Roller Derby team . . . and the All Colorado Beer Festival."

Clearly there are better and worse ways to donate one's money and time; and clearly those who help the poor, sick, and hungry should be praised and emulated.

But I think Karl Zinsmeister, editor of the Almanac of American Philanthropy, makes a better argument. I'm a fan of Zinsmeister's work, which I've cited in the past. I return to it today because he persuasively refutes the idea that only generosity aimed directly at the poor should count as philanthropic. That attitude, he writes in the lyrical introduction to the almanac's 2017 edition, "is astoundingly narrow and shortsighted."

For starters, he notes, direct aid is only one way to help the poor. He cites the example of George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak photography company, who donated tens of millions of dollars to higher education, transforming the University of Rochester and MIT into top-tier research institutions and sustaining Tuskegee, Hampton, and other historically black colleges for decades. In so doing, he contributed to the knowledge, prosperity, and advancement of tens of thousands of individuals across the social spectrum — and through them and their achievements, to the welfare of millions of human beings. Viewed in that light, is donating money to a college really less valuable than giving to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter?

American philanthropy comes in more varieties, supports more ventures, and has done more good than the most industrious team of researchers could ever fully tally.

"The wild richness of American philanthropy," as Zinsmeister calls it, is exhilarating. Historic treasures like Mount Vernon and Monticello; houses of worship from the tiniest neighborhood churches to the National Cathedral; innumerable public libraries; vast swaths of Acadia, Grand Teton, and other national parks; great astronomical observatories; cutting-edge medical facilities; art museums and orchestras — all them of them thrive today thanks to the benevolence of legions of charitable donors. Entire scientific disciplines, such as oceanography and biomedical engineering, have been brought into existence through visionary philanthropy. And without philanthropy, some of the nation's most enlightened causes, like the temperance movement and the preservation of endangered species, would never have gotten off the ground.

American philanthropy comes in more varieties, supports more ventures, and has done more good than the most industrious team of researchers could ever fully tally. Yes, some charities are of dubious worth. But taken as a whole, private giving in America has been one of history's greatest engines of progress, kindness, and uplift. Be a part of it. Give.


Ahead of Jerusalem Announcement, House Passes Bill Withholding Funding Until Abbas Stops Paying Terrorists

With all eyes on President Trump’s expected Jerusalem policy announcement, the House of Representatives on Tuesday dealt the Palestinian Authority another potential blow by passing legislation withholding funds until the P.A. stops paying terrorists.

“If you finance or reward terrorism, you don’t deserve a penny from the United States,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said after the bipartisan bill passed by voice vote. “The Palestinian Authority should be forced to choose between its despicable practice of paying terrorists’ salaries and receiving foreign aid funded by the American taxpayer.”

The Taylor Force Act, introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) and co-sponsored by 169 lawmakers from both parties, is named for U.S. Army veteran and Vanderbilt student Taylor Force who during a visit to Israel was stabbed to death by a Palestinian in Jaffa in March last year.

P.A. chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization hailed Bashar Masalha, the terrorist who killed Force and wounded another ten people during the attack before being shot dead, as a “heroic martyr.”

Masalha’s relatives benefited after his death from the longstanding P.A. policy of paying stipends to terrorists – or if they are killed, to their families.

Published reports indicate that a Palestinian jailed for an attack which did not lead to fatalities receives a $400 monthly salary, while in cases where victims were killed the amount rises to $3,400 a month. There are also increases linked to the length of sentence, and grants issued upon release from prison that can reach $25,000 for a released killer.

Dead terrorists’ families receive stipends that begin at $100 a month and increase depending on the family circumstances of the “martyr.”

A comprehensive study published last summer by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs found that the P.A. dedicates almost half (49.6 percent) of all 2017 foreign budgetary aid – most of which comes from the U.S. and Europe – to payments to prisoners and ex-prisoners, and the families of “martyrs.”

Critics say the payments not only send the wrong message to Palestinians, but amount to an incentive to carry out attacks – and especially attacks that cost lives.

“This system is a disgrace,” House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said Tuesday. “It is also the result of an abiding climate of hatred Palestinians leaders continue to foster toward Jews and Israelis.”

The P.A. has defended the payments as “humanitarian” and a form of welfare.

Last August, the head of the PLO mission in Washington, Husam Zomlot, was quoted by the Palestinian news agency Ma’an as saying he had told U.S. decision-makers that “if there is a choice between the American aid and our responsibilities to our people we will choose the latter.”

“In Taylor’s memory, we must stop sending aid money to an entity that rewards his murderer’s family and prevents any future injustice,” Lamborn said Tuesday after the measure passed.

“I urge my colleagues in the Senate to vote ‘yes’ on this bill and hold the Palestinian Authority accountable for financing terrorism.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee last August passed an amended version of the original bill, including an amendment to create an escrow fund to hold the set-aside money until the secretary of state certifies that the P.A. has stopped the 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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


7 December, 2017

Happy Holy Days From the Trumps

There are few things as big as President Donald Trump’s personality—but the National Christmas Tree comes close. At 50 feet, it loomed large over the crowd at the lighting ceremony, almost as large as the debate about the holiday itself.

For the Trumps, Thursday’s event wasn’t so much about flipping the switch on a giant evergreen, but about turning the page on eight years of sanitized celebrating.

“We’re saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again,” Trump said with gusto. And they aren’t just saying it, they’re embracing it. From the official White House Christmas card to red and green press conference signs, this is the December Trump has been waiting for.

“Today is a day that I’ve been looking very much forward to all year long. It’s one that we have heard and we speak about and we dream about. And now, as the president of the United States, it’s my tremendous honor to finally wish America and the world a very merry Christmas,” he told the crowd at the ellipse.

With a bit of irony, Trump pointed back to the 1870 legislation signed by President Ulysses Grant making Christmas a federal holiday. “And I sort of feel we’re doing that again. That’s what’s happening,” he said.

But Christmas isn’t the only thing making a comeback under Trump—so is the story behind it. In a speech that no one would ever mistake for President Barack Obama’s, the 45th president made it clear that this “is a holy season, the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

… [That is] the most extraordinary gift of all—the gift of God’s love for all of humanity … Whatever our beliefs, we know that the birth of Jesus Christ and the story of this incredible life forever changed the course of human history. There’s hardly an aspect of our lives today that his life has not touched—art, music, culture, law, and our respect for the sacred dignity of every person, everywhere in the world.

“Each one of us is a child of God,” the president reminded Americans. “That is the true source of joy this time of the year … And so, this Christmas, we ask for God’s blessings for our family and for our nation. We pray that our country will be a place where every child knows a home filled with love, a community rich with hope, and a nation blessed with faith.”

For most of America, though, it was a refreshing break from the left’s pageants of political correctness. To millions of them, Trump isn’t just tapping into the frustration they feel about Christmas—but the mockery of every value they hold dear: marriage, family, faith, and patriotism.

As far as some liberals are concerned, believing in Jesus is as childish as believing in Santa. They’re embarrassed by the “unsophistication” of Christianity. And, for years, they’ve done a bang-up job persuading others to feel likewise.

“The opponents of ‘Merry Christmas’ and other uses of the word ‘Christmas’ know exactly what they are doing…” writes Dennis Prager. “They are disingenuous when they dismiss defenders of ‘Merry Christmas’ as fabricating some sort of ‘war.’ The left in America, like the left in Europe, wants to create a thoroughly secular society … That’s why ‘Merry Christmas’ so bothers the anti-religious left. It is perhaps the single most blatant reminder of just how religious America is.”

“The ‘Happy Holidays’ advocates want it both ways,” Prager argues. “They dismiss opponents as hysterical, while at the same time, relentlessly pushing to rid America of ‘Merry Christmas.'”

Why? Because in the end, this isn’t a war on Christmas. It’s a war on Christ. Every time the nine letters of Christmas are used, people come face to face with the six that secularists are trying to drive out.

So this is hardly a silly little controversy invented by hypersensitive Christians. It’s the epitome of the fight for faith in America. And don’t believe any liberal who says otherwise.


'It's very difficult to find normal women who call themselves feminists': Milo Yiannopoulos

Right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos has launched a scathing attack on modern feminism during his speech at Australia's Parliament House.

The controversial figure labelled the movement 'vindictive' and 'man-hating' as he addressed MPs and journalists in the Mural Hall in Canberra on Tuesday.

'Feminists like to say that feminism is about equality for women - about giving women equal standing with men. They have it,' Yiannopoulos said.

'What feminism has become - since it has run out of things to complain about - is a mean, vindictive, sociopathic, man-hating movement.

'You'd be hard pressed to find a journalist who doesn't describe themselves as a feminist these days. But it's very difficult to find a normal woman who does.'

Yiannopoulos said Western women should be 'enormously proud' of the advances they had made, but said there is 'no place left for an organised feminist movement'.

'[Women] now have equal access to education, equal access to the workplace - they get paid the same for the same work.

'A female Harvard economist attempted to establish the existence of a wage gap last year and failed to do so.

'When you take in women's different educational choices, different preferences and the fact they have to have children... the wage gap narrows to almost nothing.'

Yiannopoulos argued there is a divide in how modern-day feminists describe themselves and the way they behave.  

'The horror of mainstream media companies employing people who tweet things like ''kill all white men'', ''I bathe in male tears'' and ''masculinity is so fragile''.

'People just don't want to be around that kind of thing... it has alienated an entire generation of women who realise the great victories that feminism fought for in previous generations have all been won.

'There is no place left for an organised feminist movement in society because, thankfully, we won.'   

Greens leader Richard Di Natale launched an unsuccessful bid to have the British-born commentator banned from making the Parliament House speech.

Senator Di Natale last week wrote to the Presiding Officers of the House of Representatives and the Senate to revoke his invitation from Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm.

He wrote that Yiannopoulos is 'an individual who has become notorious for his racist, sexist and abusive behaviour'.

Though the request was unsuccessful, he did manage to have a Senate motion passed condemning the 33-year-old author.

'Good on the Senate for passing the Greens motion condemning Milo Yiannopolous,' Senator Di Natale tweeted. 'His desperate attempts to seek attention through vile and hateful rhetoric has no place in the Australian Parliament.'

Meanwhile, a police officer was hit by a rock and two protesters were arrested for 'discharging a missile' during violent clashes outside Yiannopoulos' Melbourne event on Monday.

Scores of protesters from left-aligned Campaign Against Racism and Fascism and two right-wing groups, Reclaim Australia and the True Blue Crew, rallied with a heavy police presence attempting to maintain order.

Dozens of officers worked to keep the groups separated, but still had to use pepper spray.

Protesters could be heard chanting 'Milo is a w**ker' before the clash, which lasted nearly five hours, turned physical.

Yiannopoulos spoke of the ugly scenes on Tuesday morning.  'There was a lot of kerfuffle out front,' he told Alan Jones on 2GB Radio.

'It was not as the newspapers reported ''a clash between the far left and far right'' it was the left, showing up, being violent to stop freedom of speech.

'The left really showed us who they are. They attack the police, they attacked other people, they attacked journalists - they showed us they are petulant babies.'


Anti-Trump Media: White House Christmas Decor 'Spooky,' Like a Scene from 'The Shining'

Did you know that those exquisite White House Christmas decorations First Lady Melania Trump proudly unveiled yesterday are "spooky," "spine-chilling," and "nightmarish" — like scenes from Mordor, Narnia, or The Shining?

It took most of the day yesterday, but by nightfall, the Trump-hating media was able to settle on an unfavorable narrative with which to belittle the newly unveiled decor.

Here is the official White House video of the first lady showing off the decorations:

What's not to like? According to HuffPost, the "Spooky White House Christmas Chamber Is Creeping Everyone The Heck Out." "One chamber in particular is getting attention online for all the wrong reasons. It’s a twig-lined hallway that’s being compared to everything from 'The Shining' to 'The Blair Witch Project,'" HuffPo wrote.

The photo in question is poorly lit and apparently looks "creepy" to those with overactive imaginations:

Speaking of overactive imaginations, "Melania Trump decks the halls with dead branches, spine-chilling wails of the damned," according to the AV Club. "The holiday in question, in case you were checking your calendars, is Christmas, which in Melania Trump’s mind apparently conjures up the naked terror of running through a dark forest, alone, pursued by wraithlike shadows and the grasping claws of brittle, dead branches, the only sound the cackling of the ancient witch who will grant your wish to be rich and famous with a designer wardrobe and a gold-plated toilet… for a price," they opined.

Good Lord. Someone tell this Edgar Allan Poe wannabe that these are fairly standard Christmas decorations.

Of course, some fashion magazines had to chime in, too.

Elle magazine covered the story with a mocking tone: "The Theme for the White House Christmas Decorations Is Fear!" "This year, guests of the White House can have the perfect holiday experience of racing, screaming, through the halls of power before paying to leave. Nothing says Christmas like echoing cries of terror!" Elle complained.

Yes, see how frightened these children were? One of them even thought Melania looked "wraith-like" (or angelic) herself.

Of course, Vogue had to weigh in, remarking that the decor is "very, very white" and perhaps a manifestation of the first lady's loneliness and isolation living in a White House with a man she can't stand. "Is she trying to tell us something?" they asked. "Indeed, some of the decorations brought to life an apocalyptic, barren landscape similar to what some of us imagine lies in America’s future, or the calming white walls of a mental institution. One grim hallway in particular, lined with white branches lit from below, created a shadowy portal into, well, who knows."

The Washington Post felt the need to slam "the odd assortment of books that make up the White House Christmas book tree."

    The titles that make up President Trump's holiday book tree are a perplexing assortment. "Holding Up the Earth" (2000) is a teen novel about five generations of women whose tales come together in a "story quilt." "Sangoma" is a memoir of a former Eagle Scout from Illinois who moves to Swaziland to become a spiritual healer. "Developing Superior Work Teams" seems like a book the president might want to at least skim. "American Mourning," an academic study of how public mourning shapes politics "and might be employed to shape our future outcomes," seems an unusual choice, given the public mood.


Apparently these people despise Trump so much they must also despise his Christmas decorations.

I can't help but wonder where these journalists were nine years ago during the Obamas' first Christmas at the White House. The first family chose a far-left partisan to decorate the White House that year and the results were truly amazing.

Does anyone but me remember their tacky Christmas tree with Chairman Mao, transvestite Hedda Lettuce, Obama on Mount Rushmore, and Obama Lincoln ornaments?

The MSM was curiously quiet about these outrageously inappropriate ornaments.


'Why are a rapist's rights more important than a victim's?'

Australia: Senator Derryn Hinch has named a convicted rapist who is feared to be stalking female doctors after escaping a transitional facility dubbed the 'Village of the Damned.'

The 40-year-old sex offender slipped away from supervision at Corella Place, on the outskirts of Ararat in south-west Victoria in August.

Since then, he has repeatedly travelled to Melbourne demanding to see only female doctors at clinics since August, according to the Herald Sun.

After a number of female GPs were put in 'dangerous' situations, Victoria Police and the Australian Medical Association issued a warning – however they are unable to name him.

But on Tuesday night, Senator Hinch used his parliamentary privilege to reveal the sex offender's identity.

'Why are a rapist's rights more important than a victim's or possible victim?' he told the Senate.

'Although he has a history of raping, stalking and assaulting women, court orders – which I believe to be dangerous, irresponsible, court orders – prevent the AMA revealing his identity to medical centres so they can stop his appointments,' he added, according to the Herald Sun.

AMA Victoria issued warnings for the convicted criminal in August and again in November after 'several' GPs had appointments with the man.

Early on Tuesday, Senator Hinch told 3AW he would name the 40-year-old in the Senate and he has previously named other sex offenders using his parliamentary privilege.

Convicted paedophiles and sex offenders are sent there where they live freely but are monitored with GPS ankle bracelets

Parliamentary privilege means members of Parliament cannot be sued or prosecuted for anything they say in debate in the houses.  But for legal reasons, the man cannot be named or pictured by the media.

The man has a history of raping, stalking and assaulting women, the Herald Sun reports. He was convicted on two counts of rape in 2008 after sexually assaulting his housemate's partner. He was also convicted of assault in 1995 and has a background of violent crimes, stalking and breaching intervention orders.

Since August, has repeatedly travelled to Melbourne demanding to see only woman doctors at clinics since August.

Victoria Police and the Australian Medical Association are warning people after several female doctors found themselves in 'dangerous and unacceptable situations'.

AMA Victoria president Lorraine Baker said more needed to be done to protect doctors from the convicted rapist. 'The police have been informed, but appear limited in their powers to assist,' she said.

'During August and November 2017, AMA Victoria has been contacted by some of our GP members who work in Melbourne's northern suburbs.'

In August, AMA Victoria sent out a short alert to members warning them of the man's behaviour.

'The male usually rings and says: 'Dr X has seen me in the past and can I make another appointment to see her',' the warning read.

'This is a serious issue. Female GPs are being exposed to dangerous and unacceptable situations in their workplaces.'

Orders demand that the man is accompanied by a supervisor when seeing female doctors but it is alleged he showed up without a supervisor to at least one consultation.



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

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

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


6 December, 2017

My Family’s Adoption Story Could Be Impossible If ACLU Wins This Case

Five international adoptions from China, Guatemala, and South Korea—in addition to my four biological siblings—have made me the oldest of 10 children.

As National Adoption Awareness Month has come and gone, I’ve reflected even more than usual on the incredible blessing I am grateful to call my family.

Each of my siblings has a unique story—one filled with countless challenges and moments of suffering, but also many more of great joy, laughter, and love.

But they all have one thing in common. Their addition into our family was made possible through the gift of adoption, specifically through Christian adoption agencies.

But an ongoing court case in Michigan has posed a new threat to the very existence of families like mine.

In Dumont et al. v. Lyon, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has sued the state of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services over a 2015 state adoption law that allows private adoption agencies, like the ones my family used, to freely exercise their religious beliefs in the way they choose to operate their agencies.

This is not a case about hindering a couple’s choice to adopt, nor is it a case about the establishment of religion.

Rather, it is a case about religious liberty, and whether the government should partner with faith-based groups to provide adoptive services to families while allowing them to simultaneously maintain their religious views.

Even more so, it is a case about how these agencies envision children flourishing in family structures.

In addition to Michigan, six other states—Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia—have enacted similar legislation to protect these adoption agencies from closure.

Additionally, Congress is currently considering the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, which would implement protections for these faith-based agencies at the federal level.

But if this law is overturned, and these agencies are forced to close, countless children will suffer in incomprehensible ways.

The plight of over 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S. (13,000 in the Michigan foster care system alone) and 110,000 waiting to be adopted warrants a resounding call to gladly welcome children into our families.

Until every child has a home, we ought to make great efforts to remove barriers between waiting children and loving families. One of the surest ways to do this is by making it possible—legislatively—for more adoption agencies to exist.

We ought not to create new barriers by decreasing the number of groups actively assisting in child placement, groups that played an instrumental role in the formation of my family.

My family’s story might not have been possible if it were not for these Christian adoption agencies—and countless staff—who walked with us every step of the way, from the first photo to the first hug.

Adoption is easily one of the hardest, but most beautiful journeys my family has traveled.

For the Christian, adoption is central to the gospel. We adopt because when we were most destitute, we ourselves were adopted into the family of God.

In his book “Adopted for Life,” Russell Moore writes,

When we adopt—and when we encourage a culture of adoption in our churches and communities—we’re picturing something that’s true about our God. We, like Jesus, see what our Father is doing and do likewise. And what our Father is doing, it turns out, is fighting for orphans, making them sons and daughters.

Christian adoption agencies serve families and communities in a unique way. They provide spiritual support throughout an arduous process that comes with many tears and heartaches over the course of many months, and often times, years.

The years of waiting our family experienced with five adoptions could not have been sustained without prayer—prayer from our family, community, and the staff of our adoption agencies.

There was a deep sense of comfort knowing that the people we were opening our family, home, and hearts to were caring for us and our future family members in a way that had a profoundly eternal impact.

Rather than this being a time of unfounded hope and yearning, we had assurance—and regular reminders from our caseworkers—that it was a time sovereignly ordained by God.

Every single child, both born and unborn, has inherent dignity. Through adoption, we demonstrate to these children that they are valuable, wanted, and loved.

We must protect the most vulnerable among us, and signal through both word and deed for our communities to do the same.


The Taylor-haters shouldn't despise her for refusing to get political, they should ADMIRE her for it (and other celebrities should try it sometime)

By Piers Morgan

 Why does everyone hate Taylor Swift so much? I don't mean her fans – the 'Swifties' - obviously. I mean the rest of Planet Earth, which seems to delight in mocking and abusing the woman at every opportunity.

This withering crescendo has soared to record height levels in the past few weeks, culminating in a viral Twitter storm responding to one fan's question: 'Name a badder b*tch than Taylor Swift.'

She didn't mean a more awful woman. She meant a tougher, stronger, more empowered female.

The reaction was fast and ferociously furious, with 99% of responses being either resolutely negative or openly hostile to Ms Swift.

It soon became clear that the wider non-Swifties world believes even Dora the Explorer is a badder b*tch than Taylor.

That is their prerogative, and for what's worth I can think of many women who might pip Taylor Swift to that particular title, led by Malala Yousafzai who faced down the Taliban to fight for girls to be educated.

But why the raging anger towards her? Well, look no further than Charlotte Cylmer, self-styled 'gender-queer' writer and former Army vet.

She tweeted a whole host of names from Beyoncé and Katy Perry to Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga that she considered to be a badder b*tch than Taylor Swift.

At the end, she said: '…and every other woman entertainer in popular music who used their platform to publicly support Hillary in 2016.'

So, as with almost everything these days, it's about politics.  Taylor Swift is being vilified at the altar of sanctimony, resentment and blind hatred because of her political stance.

Only here's the twist: she doesn't actually have one.

Or rather, not one we know about.  Taylor's apolitical; she doesn't engage in political debate at all, preferring to stick to singing about love and romance.

This strikes me as extremely sensible given the current maelstrom of febrile, toxic political warfare, particularly as she will have millions of right and left wing fans. Why anger a large chunk of them unnecessarily?

During my anti-guns campaign at CNN, several male action movie stars pulled out of doing interviews with me because they didn't want to offend half their audience by expressing an opinion about gun control.

I understood that completely. They were movie stars, not elected officials.

But by opting for the same stance, Taylor Swift is being demonised in a quite staggering manner – especially by other women. Marie Claire magazine was first out with the bitchy scalpel.

'We're still waiting for an explanation of Taylor Swift's decision to remain apolitical during the 2016 election,' it tweeted recently. 'Fall of 2016 saw a slew of celebrities get vocally and visibly involved in the political process, supporting candidates and encouraging their fans to get out and vote.

After a period of complete silence about the election, Taylor did post on Instagram about the fact she was voting. Taylor is not required to be open about her politics, of course, but it's also fair to question her decision to remain silent in what was a particularly contentious and consequential presidential battle.

 Whether she likes it or not, Taylor's politics (or her perceived political apathy) are a part of her reputation, and a song addressing or at least acknowledging that would have been impactful.'

The Guardian, Britain's supposedly most cerebral pro-feminism newspaper, followed suit with an even more outrageous attack.

'Taylor Swift: an envoy for Trump's values' ran the headline on an editorial it published last week. The sub-header spat: 'The world's biggest pop star is not simply a product of the age, but seems a messenger for a disturbing spirit.'

I read on, eager to see what evidence the Guardian had for such an extraordinary claim. Of course, it didn't have any.

The Guardian called her 'an envoy for Trump's values'. Her culpability was simply that she hasn't denounced Trump in public and didn't support a woman who many thought was a dreadful candidate. The ACLU has even admonished Taylor for demanding that a blogger retract an absurd post about her effectively endorsing racists

The blog, written by Meghan Herning, was titled: 'Swiftly to the alt-right: Taylor subtly gets the lower case KKK in formation.'

It was a preposterous and deeply offensive tirade that effectively accused Taylor of endorsing racists who like her music by not publicly decrying them.

'Taylor's sweet, victim image is the perfect vehicle and metaphor for white supremacists' perceived victimization, Herning wrote, adding that her lyrics have 'dog whistles to white supremacy.'

Think about that argument for a moment. I imagine there are ISIS terrorists and pedophiles out there who like her music too.

Does Taylor Swift thus have to also denounce all ISIS terrorists and pedophiles now, or be automatically accused of supporting them?

Herning even compared her to Adolf Hitler. 'At one point in the accompanying video (to 'Look What You Make Me Do'),' she wrote, 'Taylor lords over an army of models from a podium, akin to what Hitler had in Nazi Germany. The similarities are uncanny and unsettling.'

It is hard to imagine a more disgusting, defamatory analogy, which explains why Taylor's legal team asked for the blog to be removed.

And, of course, with heavy irony, it is precisely vile nonsense like this that encourages white supremacists to hitch their disgusting wagon to Taylor Swift.

In 2013, a teenager named Emily Pattison began overlaying quotes by Hitler on Pinterest photos of Taylor, prompting another legal letter demanding they be removed, which Pinterest refused to do.

This led to white supremacists lauding Taylor as an icon for their movement.

Yet why is that her fault? The blame, surely, lies with the idiot who did the Pinterest images in the first place?

I don't get all this hatred for Taylor Swift, I really don't. She is the No1 pop star in the world, and an incredibly talented singer-songwriter.

Her new album Reputation is the biggest-selling album of the year, shifting a monster 1.23 million copies in its first week in the US alone. This destroyed her nearest rival Ed Sheeran by over 300,000. In fact, it sold more than the rest of the Top200 albums PUT TOGETHER.

She works hard, lives clean, doesn't post topless selfies, takes good care of her fans and donates millions to charity.

On the few occasions I've met her, she's seemed a delightful lady – charming, down-to-earth and mature beyond her 27 years.

But that's not enough, apparently. No, she has to publicly declare her hatred for Donald Trump and love for Hillary Clinton, or she's dead to the world. Really?

I'd say Taylor is the best kind of celebrity political activist, one who urges young people to vote, but doesn't tell them which way to vote.

'I try to be as informed and educated as possible,' she explained preciously, 'but don't like to talk about politics because it might influence other people.'

In other words, she subscribes to the theory that celebrities should shut the **** up about politics and get on with entertaining us.

Given how many of the Trump-hating liberal stars have been exposed as flaming hypocrites lately, I say hurrah for that refreshing attitude.

It's time people backed off Taylor Swift and stopped this hideous hounding of a thoroughly decent young lady. She's a singer, not a Senator, and a bloody good one too.


Study finds eating meat perpetuates ‘hegemonic masculinity’

DO YOU think taking a bite out of a juicy buger is making you sexist? A new study certainly thinks so after it linked meat consumption with promoting the patriarchy.

BEING told meat is murder by vegetarians is one thing, but what if you were informed that eating barbecue brisket is actually making you sexist and anti-feminist.

This is the belief of a study recently published in the Journal of Feminist Geography, which argued “hegemonic masculinity implies an imperative to eat meat” and helped concrete other power hierarchies as well.

For the purpose of the research, professor Anne DeLessio-Parson spoke with vegetarians from Argentina to discover the diet itself is a political act that helps break down the gender binary.

“The decision to become vegetarian does not itself destabilise gender, but the subsequent social interactions between vegetarian and meat-eater demand gender enactment — or resistance,” she explained.

As an example of destabilising gender norms. she suggested male vegetarians opt to spend more time in the kitchen than out on the grill as expected.

“Refusing meat therefore presents opportunities, in each social interaction, for the binary to be called into question,” Ms DeLessio-Parson explained.

She said she started the study after spending five years as a vegetarian in Argentina, where she learnt the diet wasn’t just a lifestyle choice, but a feminist act. Ms DeLessio-Parson believes vegetarianism is a way women can assert their agency and autonomy.

“One of the ways [women] push back against patriarchy, they say, ‘This is my body. You don’t get to tell me what comes in and out’,” she told Campus Reform.

Ms DeLessio-Parson also believes that even though many men in Argentina “still have these very hegemonic masculinity traits”, male vegetarians “seem more egalitarian and respectful” and “more open about talking about how sexism exists”.

She closed her argument by suggesting vegetarianism can help destabilise hierarchies, and drive social change.

“If we can pay more attention to what we put in our bodies ... we can create a better sense of peace in the world. Vegetarianism is a part of that,” Ms DeLessio-Parson wrote.


Why ANU’s Derek Freeman took on Margaret Mead

She was a giant of American anthropology, a celebrity scientist, an icon of public culture whose research into the carefree sexual habits of Samoan adolescents helped shape feminism and the sexual revolution of the 1960s.

He was an obsessive, brilliant professor from Canberra often sidelined by his colleagues as a crazy nonconformist.

But when Derek Freeman took on Margaret Mead he launched one of the great academic controversies of our times, one that propelled the largely unknown researcher to global notoriety and appearances on Good Morning America and The Phil Donahue Show, and shook the foundations of anthropology.

Indeed, the furore over whether Mead got it wrong with her idealised version of an idyllic South Seas island life where teenagers avoided the stresses of adolescence through multiple, casual sexual partners even made it into popular culture, thanks to David Williamson’s 1996 play, Heretic.

It is more than 30 years since the Australian National Univer­sity academic argued that Mead’s research was shoddy and that the locals had hoodwinked her when she wrote her 1928 book, Coming of Age in Samoa, still the highest selling work of anthropology ever published.

Freeman’s claims went to the heart of the debate about whether we are formed by our biology or race, or by our culture — that is, whether nature trumps nurture or vice versa. He was vilified and dismissed by American anthropologists who lined up to defend Mead.

The stakes were high in 1983 as Freeman launched his attack in Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth.

For decades, Mead’s depiction of “Samoan adolescence (as) an idyll of untroubled sexual and temperamental licence” had been used to support sexual liberation and an approach to child rearing centred on choice rather than discipline.

ANU academic Derek Freeman, who challenged Margaret Mead’s work on Samoa, at home in August 1987.
The belief in nurture can be seen in 20th-century attitudes to everything from adoption to eugenics and racial tolerance. And it played to an America eager for evidence of the perfectibility of human nature. Mead became a hugely important commentator in the mid-20th century, with a status based directly on her Samoan research. In the 1970s, her slim, readable book was still selling more than 100,000 copies a year, 50 years after it was first published.

Mead died at the age of 76, just five years before Freeman’s book was released. Freeman had retired from the ANU in 1981 but remained there on a fellowship for the next 20 years. He died in Canberra in 2001 at the age of 84, still largely marginalised by his professional colleagues, and still arguing his case.

Now emeritus professor Peter Hempenstall, a Newcastle-based biographer and historian, takes a fresh look at the man and the controversy in a new book, Truth’s Fool: Derek Freeman and the War over Cultural Anthropology.

Hempenstall researched Samoan history and spent 18 months in the Research School of Pacific Studies at ANU, just along the corridor from Freeman. They met only once, Hempenstall deliber­ately avoiding the man known around the corridors of the Coombs Building as the “Dragon of Canberra”, who was renowned for an overbearing manner and his intellectual intimidation of students and colleagues.

“I never had much to do with him at all because I was too scared to go near him,” Hempenstall says from his home in Newcastle. He is an emeritus professor of history at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and a conjoint professor of history at the University of Newcastle.

“When I started my career he was the great guru on Samoa and I was heading off to Samoa for research. He’s the first person I should have gone to, but he was the last person I was going to see because of all the stories.

“So I kind of tiptoed around Derek Freeman the whole of my scholarly career …”

Hempenstall came back to Freeman 17 years ago while working on a different project on major Australian and New Zealand thinkers, but Freeman died before they could meet.

It has been a long gestation but Truth’s Fool is far more than a biography.

As a historian, Hempenstall positions Freeman squarely in the 80s turmoil over the direction of anthropology, which had been dominated since the 20s by the cultural determinists.

Peter Hempenstall, the author of Truth’s Fool: Derek Freeman and the War over Cultural Anthropology. Picture: Milan Scepanovic
He describes a man driven not so much by a vendetta against Mead, as many have argued, but by a conviction that anthropology had to move away from the “ideology of cultural determinism” to a more integrated discipline that recognised the importance of biology and behaviour in the study of societies. But Freeman’s work emerged at a time when the nature v nurture argument was intensely political.

“Americans had been battling the eugenic movement since the 1920s right through to the 1970s,” says Hempenstall. “It was a real living political battle for liberal social scientists in America to make sure that the racists — and those who believed we were simply products of our genes and that you could prove, for instance, that whites were superior to blacks — were wrong.

“It became more heightened in the 1980s because of the more conservative Reagan period and through the work of people like (sociobiologist) EO Wilson and others who saw our biology as controlling our culture and as the major driver of American society.

“Mead is the great champion of culture against these genetic warriors and American anthropologists didn’t want to see her defeated.”

Mead had been at the centre of that fight all her career.

She was just 23 in 1925 when she was sent to Samoa by her mentor at Columbia University, Franz Boas, the “father of American anthropology”. Boas wanted an answer to the question of whether the difficulties experienced by adolescent girls were due to the physiological changes that took place at puberty or the civilisation in which they grew up.

The product of Mead’s 8½ months of fieldwork was Coming of Age in Samoa, a book Hempenstall argues was more a message for American society than an ethnographic study, and a work that shored up the Boas school of anthropology based on cultural determinism.

He writes: “Mead went to the Samoan islands influenced by a 1920s intellectual movement seeking to integrate individuals into a distinctive American national culture that would dampen the country’s parochial, puritanical materialism.

“Coming of Age had the educational goal (which was equally a political one) to make Americans rethink their cultural assumptions … Mead identified for American educators a series of lessons in the Samoan scheme of life. Modifying American approaches, particularly around the organisation of the family and attitudes to sex, would reduce the stress and anguish of growing through adolescence.”

Her book focused on Samoan girls, who at 17 pursued not marriage but sexual adventures with a range of partners. She wrote of a society where the concept of celibacy was meaningless. And she described a “curious form of surreptitious rape, called moetotolo, sleep crawling”.

Hempenstall writes that Mead described this sexual activity as a kind of Russian roulette played out in the silent hours when the village was supposedly resting until dawn, and that she differentiated it from rape (although Mead saw it as “definitely abnormal”).

Mead’s influence on feminism and sexual education was profound, in part because her book was read as a text by millions of undergraduates over many decades. Its rendering of a sexually free, harmonious society underpinned her later career as a public figure. When Freeman’s claims emerged in the 80s, they threatened to destroy not just her reputation but the liberal values championed by a generation of American social scientists that had shaped social and educational policies.

Freeman was an excellent academic who had done important ethnographic work with the Iban people of Borneo and also in Samoa, and had been appointed to a chair at the ANU in 1972, despite his intimidating manner. But his own research was sidelined as he became obsessed with Mead’s work. Freeman spent years rebutting his American critics. Hempenstall believes he was naive about the impact of his claims.

“I think it’s probably because of his strictly scientific view of knowledge as a simple series of formulas, without recognising there are all sorts of complexities and ambiguities and ambivalences.”

Some feminists saw Freeman’s work as an attack on women’s sexual freedom but Hempenstall rejects that view.

“Freeman was a very conservative person morally, an extreme moralist, a puritan,” he says. “He probably saw Mead as an example of how loose morals had become in the 20th century, particularly because of her marriages to various people and her (lesbian) relationship with (American anthropologist) Ruth Benedict.

“He would not have approved, but that was not his beef with Mead. He actually thought she was brilliant but that she had got it wrong in Samoa. He wasn’t trying to demolish her completely, he would say he was trying to deal with her work on Samoa and its deficiencies.”

Freeman initially believed in Mead’s work but found it wanting when he went to Samoa as a teacher in 1940. He admired the Samoans and respected their culture, but he discovered a puritanical and hierarchical society rather than one defined by harmony and free love. But it was another 20 years before he returned to Samoa for fieldwork and another two decades before he published Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth. As Hempenstall says: “The mission (to prove Mead wrong) grows slowly on him.”

Along the way, Freeman reinvented himself intellectually as he attempted to change the direction of the profession.

Says Hempenstall: “He’s a man who says in 1961, ‘Social anthropology is going nowhere, it’s not getting us an understanding of what human beings are really like in society, I’m going to retrain in psychology and bring a whole new behavioural perspective to anthropology.’ And he goes to London to be trained to do that.”

His determination to move the profession was undermined at times by his complex personality. He suffered nervous breakdowns in Borneo in 1961 and during fieldwork in Samoa in 1967, and his appointment to the chair of anthropology at ANU’s Research School of Pacific Studies in 1972 was highly contentious. Stories and rumours circulated for years about his eccentric behaviour, but the university seemed unable to set any restraints on him and maintained that he did not suffer from a psychiatric disorder.

Hempenstall reveals that in 1974 Freeman was diagnosed as suffering from a bipolar disorder and received treatment, but this was not widely known at that time. Freeman, he says, faced a “constant struggle throughout his life for mental equilibrium … His vehemence in pursuit of opponents was legendary, his academic life speckled with incendiary encounters and comments, as though his subconscious were always spoiling for a fight.”

Was Freeman mad, as some claimed? “No, he was not, but I am prepared to say he suffered from a mild psychosis at times and extreme emotionalism.”

When Freeman began seriously to question Mead’s work in the 60s, she answered his criticisms in detailed letters. When she visited Australia and came to the Coombs Building in 1964, the duo spent two hours and 40 minutes discussing her work.

Freeman’s critique was known inside anthropology departments from at least 1968, when he published his first major paper on the issue, but it was when his 1983 book hit the front page of The New York Times that he was catapulted on to the global stage. He claimed Mead’s fieldwork was deficient, had been undertaken in a very short time, and had been influenced by her preconceptions as a disciple of Boas. He spent years dealing with the backlash from Mead’s supporters but fired another shot in 1988 with the documentary Margaret Mead and Samoa by renowned Australian filmmaker Frank Heimans.

Filming in Samoa, Heimans and Freeman had found an 86-year-old woman, Fa’amu, who had been one of Mead’s informants 60 years earlier. She told Freeman that “she and other girls who had been constant companions of Margaret Mead in the 1920s had jokingly told her exaggerated stories about free love under the palms, never supposing she would write them down or believe them”.

In the film she says: “As you know, Samoan girls are terrific liars and love making fun of people, but Margaret thought it was all true … we just lied and lied.”

For Freeman, it was a gotcha moment. Heimans tells Inquirer: “It was the first proof that anyone ever had that Margaret had embellished it.”

He recalls Freeman as “obsessive about this story, it never left him … I shared accommodation with him in Samoa and it was very hard living with him. He had a strange personality but he wasn’t bipolar as far as his work was concerned. I think he was right. It was always about nature v nurture and Freeman came to the conclusion that (life) is a mixture of both.”

Hempenstall argues that the revelations from Fa’amu are not crucial to the debate.

“Freeman didn’t need the hoaxing argument to show that Mead’s findings were distorted by her own methods,” he says. “None of this is in any way to disparage Mead’s talent or her abilities but there’s an argument that Freeman makes quite convincingly about Mead’s deficiencies in 1926 (and) it is a much stronger argument than anything to do with the hoax.”

Hempenstall says anthropology remains the most tension-ridden of all the social sciences because it seeks answers to the most essential question: what does it mean to be human?

Developments in the neurological sciences have enormous implications for the discipline, he argues. “We are much more appreciative of the chemistry of the brain, the power of evolution and our connection to the environment,” he says. “I think we are much closer to an appreciation of the importance of nature than we were in the 80s and 90s.”

Was Freeman right? “I think he was right about Margaret Mead in all sorts of ways and wrong about her in all sorts of ways. Was he right to keep the war going for so long? I don’t think he was. He should have gone off to pick wildflowers on Black Mountain. He took it too far and he became repetitive. He should have drawn a line under the whole project.”

Mead never recanted her views, but in Heimans’s film a colleague recalls that Mead once told her that Freeman “has proven me wrong” and had “looked very sad and puzzled”.

Says Hempenstall: “Freeman’s work did not destroy Mead’s reputation because she was brilliant, but it did show Americans that they needed to take a good hard look at Margaret Mead.”

As for Freeman, he says in the 1988 documentary: “I have always been a heretic. I think being a heretic is the most beautiful thing because this comes from a Greek root, meaning someone who chooses for himself. What you’ve got to be in science is a heretic who gets it right. It’s no use being a heretic who gets its wrong because then you’re a pariah dog in their eye, but if you’re a heretic who gets it right, you can’t do 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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


5 December, 2017

Democrats Are Now Running Campaigns That Specifically Tell Voters Not To Vote For A Man In Order To Stop Sexual Harassment

Despite losing the 2016 election largely because the Democrat Party refused to move away from divisive identity based politics they have apparently not learned their lesson, with at least one powerful female Democrat deciding to piggyback off the wave of sexual assault allegations sweeping the country by openly telling Michigan voters to vote for her because she is a women.

Democratic candidate for Michigan’s Attorney General, Dana Nessel, has released an ad for her campaign that directly implies that voters should choose her simply because she does not have a penis and therefore cannot sexually assault someone she works with like many male politicians (on both sides of the aisle) have been accused of over the past month.

“Who can you trust most not to show you their penis in a professional setting? That would be the candidate who doesn’t have one,” Nessel says with a straight face as headlines of male sexual harassment play across the screen.

Nessel attempted to explain the fact that she is now attempting to guilt voters into voting for her as a way to show that they are against sexual harassment in an interview with a local news outlet.

“If you get more women in office, if you get more women in positions of authority, you’re less likely to have issues where someone is pulling out their penis at an inappropriate time in the the workplace,” she told WWJ’s Charlie Langton.

“I’m not saying that all men harass and I’m certainly not saying that women are incapable of sexually harassing, but I know from many years serving as an assistant prosecutor prosecuting sex crimes, honestly, the vast, vast majority of those cases do involve men. So I thought that point needed to be made.”

So there you have it. The Democrats apparently plan to run on a platform that uses guilt to force Americans to vote for them or risk making it look as if they do not care about the issue of sexual harassment.

Absolutely disgusting.


Nigel Farage DEFENDS Donald Trump over his Britain First re-tweets as he accuses the 'liberal elite' of over-reacting

Nigel Farage today defended Donald Trump's decision to re-tweet Britain First insisting the 'liberal elite' had over-reacted.

The ex-Ukip leader used an appearance on the BBC Andrew Marr Show to claim the reaction has been 'out of all proportion' to the offence.

The President's decision to re-tweet three messages from the far right Britain First group has been widely condemned.

The episode has triggered the worst public clashes between US and UK leaders in memory. Prime Minister Theresa May launched a rare direct attack on Mr Trump, branding him 'wrong' for his tweets - prompting a bizarre cross-Atlantic spat.

The row took a turn for the bizarre when Mr Trump attempted to reply directly to Mrs May on Twitter - only to send his message to the wrong Theresa May account. 

Other critics even claimed Mr Trump should be arrested when he next visits Britain and for his planned state visit to be cancelled.

Education Secretary Justine Greening added to criticism today, warning any visit by Mr Trump would not be 'positive'. 

Mr Farage said today: 'Do I think those tweets were in good taste? Not particularly, no.  'But the point is that the level of outrage from the liberal elite in this country is out of all proportion with what happened here.'

He added: 'Was the story about ISIS throwing people off buildings fake news? No. It wasn't, it was true.'

Farage also repeated his claim to have 'done more than anybody in this country to stop the rise of the far-right in Britain,' by giving BNP voters someone else to vote for.

And he endorsed the President's controversial claim that there were 'extremists' on 'both sides' of a protest in Charlottesville,

The event saw far-right groups marching with torches yelling 'Jews will not replace us' and a counter protester was mown down and killed when a car was driven into pedestrians.

On the same show, ex-Labour aide Ayesha Hazarika told Mr Farage: 'Just remember as Jo Cox lay dying, the scumbag who executed her shouted out the words 'Britain First.'

She added: 'Donald Trump is a racist, he's misogynistic and he's Islamophobic. He peddles in stirring up hate and division. That might be something you agree with, but that is not what British values are in this country.

Farage interrupted, repeatedly saying: 'You're out of touch, you're out of touch.'

Ms Greening suggested the retweets had made any prospective visit by Mr Trump more problematic.

'I don't think the tweets over the past week have particularly helped make any such visit a positive one,' she told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show.

'I think he was wrong to make those tweets. Of course, Britain First is a group that is beyond the pale. I don't think they deserve any publicity.'

The row erupted on Wednesday when the president retweeted three anti-Muslim videos posted by the Britain First group.

One claimed to show a 'Muslim migrant' beating up a Dutch boy on crutches. Dutch authorities have insisted the alleged migrant was born and raised in the country and his religion is unknown.

Mr Trump also retweeted a video of a Muslim man 'destroy(ing) a statue of Virgin Mary', and another where Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen - who has previously been convicted of religiously aggravated harassment - to wrote: 'Islamist mob pushed teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!' The provenance of the footage is unknown.

In her attack on the President, Mrs May has insisted she would not be afraid to raise concerns about Mr Trump's views.

Questioned by journalists during a visit to Jordan, Mrs May said: 'The fact that we work together does not mean we are afraid to say when we think the United States has got it wrong and to be very clear with them.

'And I am very clear that retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do.'

'I think that we must all take seriously the threat that far-Right groups pose and both in terms of the terrorist threat that is posed by those groups and the necessity of dealing with extremist material which is far-Right as well.'

And she warned the UK will not be afraid to rebuke America, despite the so-called special relationship, when she feels Mr Trump has got something wrong.


Why Do My Social Media Accounts Keep Getting Suspended After Rush Reads My Articles?

Megan Fox

Don't get noticed in the major mainstream press as a conservative if you want to keep your social media accounts. The first time Rush Limbaugh read one of my articles, my YouTube channel was demonetized. The second time, which was last week, my Twitter account was suspended. On November 26, I published an article titled "Teachers Attend 'LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP' Sensitivity Training (WTF?)." The next day Matt Drudge linked it and it went viral. Then Rush Limbaugh read it on the air.

A few hours later, my Twitter account was suspended for responding to someone commenting about the article who accused me of "harming people" by writing it. My response used a colloquialism, "go hang," which Twitter claims is harassment. I used it in the colloquial style that, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, means "I don't care what you say," which is exactly how I meant it.

Twitter forced me to delete the tweet in order to regain access to my account and imposed a 12-hour suspension on me. When I regained access to my account it happened again shortly after. The second infraction occurred when I retweeted the president's tweets of Muslims behaving murderously and tossing people off roofs. Someone tried to tell me that Muslims don't really behave this way in England. I responded with a tweet that got me a second suspension.

Twitter forced me to delete a tweet urging someone to be cautious and safe. This one didn't even have an insult in it! In case you're wondering what a "sexual emergency" is, it was a Muslim rapist's actual defense of child rape! This is not The Onion but an actual news article from the UK Daily Mail!

    An Iraqi refugee who raped a 10-year-old boy at a swimming pool has had his conviction overturned because a court didn't prove he realised the boy was saying no.

    The rapist, identified as Amir A, 20, violently sexually assaulted the boy in the changing room of Theresienbad pool in Austria claiming it was a 'sexual emergency' because he had not had sex for four months.

The term "sexual emergency" is now a legal term! Don't get me started on what kind of judge would allow such an argument to not only be used but to prevail in a court of law. Nothing I said in my tweet was untrue. I also was expressing concern that this woman would be harmed and wished her well. This is apparently grounds for suspension. What's more alarming is that with each suspension the threat of having your entire account deleted grows. Twitter keeps warning me that more infractions will result in permanent banning. Of course, I have no idea what rule I will break next.

With this recent crackdown on "personal attacks" or whatever, it's interesting to note that Twitter doesn't care at all about people threatening to kill President Trump or hating white people.

Assassination threats are okay and being a black racist is okay, but suggesting women should not walk alone at night near Muslims having sexual emergencies is not okay.

I fully expect my Twitter account to be deleted in the coming days. Is it related to how popular my columns are and how widely they are read? Alternatives to Twitter are in the works but not coming fast enough for the conservative purge.


SAS considers watering down its gruelling selection tests to give women a better chance of joining the elite unit

Britain's most elite special forces unit could allow women to take an easier test to increase their chances of joining, it has been reported.

The SAS, whose selection process is considered among the toughest in the world, could be planning to permit female applicants to carry lighter rucksacks during gruelling marches.

Troops hoping to enter the legendary unit are expected to pass uniquely difficult challenges - some of which are so intense that candidates have died trying to complete them.

But according to sources who spoke to the Sunday Times, women - who can apply for all military roles from 2019 - might be allowed more time to complete tests and be given lighter loads to carry.

The potential watering down of selection criteria will also apply to the SBS (Special Boat Service), the sources add.

It would specifically affect the initial selection phase, during which candidates are pushed to their limits in the Brecon Beacons over a month-long period.

The Ministry of Defence, however, has not commented on the story.

One of the sources explained: 'There is a determination to get women into the special forces. 'There will be changes to the selection of women but it is not about lowering standards — it's about levelling the playing field.

If you want to join the SAS, you certainly need to be tough. Most of the soldiers who join the elite unit come from other elite units within the military - the Parachute Regiment or the Royal Marines Commandos.

But despite that, the near-impossible selection process - which lasts for five months - proves too difficult for 90 per cent of applicants.

The ‘Special Forces Aptitude Test’ applies to both the regular British Army unit (22 SAS) and also the reservist unit. It likewise applies to Special Boat Service hopefuls.

There are two courses a year - one in winter and one in summer. 

In the first phase - unchanged since the 1950s - applicants must march across the Brecon Beacons carrying a rifle, water and a 45lb bag.

After these walks there is a map-reading tour which takes three weeks.

Then is there is 'Test Week', during which applicants are subjected to increasingly gruelling marches.

The final one, called 'Endurance', is 40 miles long and must be completed without any breaks.

Troops carry a 60lb bag, a rifle and a full water bottle - and are timed.

After that, with the number of applicants already halved, the small group deemed good enough are sent for even more training in the jungles of Brunei.

At the end of the process, the few strong enough to have passed are allowed entry into the legendary regiment.     

'For a woman to pass special forces selection, she will have to be very focused and very fit — exactly the same as her male colleagues.'

Despite this promise, however, there is reportedly displeasure among some of the senior officers in the SAS who wish to protect the exclusivity of the unit.

In 2016, David Cameron lifted a ban on women fighting in combat roles in the military. About 9 per cent of military roles are currently filled by women.

But analysis has shown that only about 4.5 per cent of women would be able to pass the tests to join even the infantry or tank units, both of which have significantly lower requirements than the SAS.

The SAS was founded in 1941 as a commando unit designed to help defeat the Nazis in North Africa during the Second World War.

It has since become Britain's most famous special forces unit.



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

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

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


4 December, 2017

Enough with the Victim hood: Millionaire Athletes and Their Lost Cause

by Sylvia Thompson

I must admit I have never in my life purchased a ticket to a sports event. I am not a sports enthusiast. But I am an American black citizen, and I have had it up to the gills with black people who embrace victimhood. I also highly resent my being expected to do the same in order to affirm my "blackness."

Black victims these days, for the most part, are the product of decades of Black Americans being used primarily by white progressive leftists to advance an anti-American agenda.

The current brouhaha surrounding the despicable behavior of NFL athletes toward the National Anthem and the American flag is a prime example of what the Left has done to my race.

One must assume these players and their guilt-conflicted white coaches and owners (and victimhood-inflicted black coaches) are being manipulated by the Left, because no intelligent, thinking people would deliberately cut themselves off at the knees. Essentially, what these young misguided mostly black men are doing is ensuring the demise of their lucrative paychecks. Further, I would wager that if these teams consisted of all white athletes, none of this idiocy would be allowed. We are witnessing this travesty because the vast majority of players are black and can whine "oppression" if appropriate action is taken against them for their unconscionable behavior.

The twisted reasoning that claims these protests are to highlight "injustice" and "police brutality" is a laughable crock. What they do in fact is dishonor valued symbols of this nation's heritage and cover over truth about black crime.

Black males bear the brunt of police encounters because black males commit disproportionately more crimes. Police encounters with black men are so often confrontational because so many of these men, especially the young, don't think "compliance" applies to them. They foolishly assume they are above the law and disrespect for police officers is an act of honor.

These young blacks, sadly, took much of their direction from racists Obama and Eric Holder during Obama's destructive, eight-year regime and Holder's corruption of the Justice Department. These two men, abusing their federal powers, gave young blacks the impression they need not heed the law, because laws are somehow unjust when they are applied to black Americans. The NFL lot, and any other athletes taking a similar stance, are also influenced by Obama's and Holder's disdain for law and law enforcement.

I am not familiar with one case where a black suspect to a crime was not proven legally to have caused the behavior against him, particularly in cases where the police officer involved was exonerated by facts. Michael Brown of "hands up, don't shoot" infamy is one good example. Blatant lies were spread to cloud the truth about Brown's case.

Back in the day when I was growing up in the racially segregated South, the opposite prevailed in many cases. There was much injustice particularly toward black men, but not today. Today, too many blacks have been fed the notion that it is now "pay-back" time, and they can flaunt their lawlessness because some whites flaunted theirs during an earlier time in our nation's history.

Although Obama and Holder no longer wield power in this country, some of their minions continue on the pernicious path of "paying back" American whites for wrongs, real or imagined. But as the saying goes, there is a new Sheriff in town and he is not guilt-conflicted. He expects fair play under law and tolerating pay-back is not part of his agenda. Black Americans, when they break the law, can no longer claim victim status simply because they are black. Those days are over.

American laws and law enforcement personnel will be respected in America, again; our traditions and values will not be impugned in America without consequences, again. Anybody unsettled about this turn of events is welcome to leave this country. I suggest all the black players try a country in Africa, and see how successful they will be at making millions playing games. They will all soon learn what oppression really means.

Some self-directed, independent-thinking blacks (and there are many of us) have offered that if these millionaire protestors want to tackle some real problems, they might consider the thousands of black children killed in abortions annually (by the progressive Left), or perhaps the many, many young blacks murdered routinely on inner-city streets by other young blacks (in cities run by progressive, leftist Democrats), or the downright criminal state of education of black inner-city children, orchestrated by the progressive leftist National Education Association (NEA). The NEA's aim is to produce unintelligent pawns to feed the cause of progressivism.

I am annoyed by the expressions of "sincerity" gracing the faces of the NFL protestors—as if to convey the "hallowedness" of their cause. In actuality, they provide a picture of grown men allowing themselves to be made fools of by the progressive Left. I don't doubt, however, that some of these men have been coerced into compliance with this lost cause, either through threats of violence or shunning (from coaches and players). Alejandro Villanueva of the Pittsburgh Steelers and former Army ranger is very likely a victim of such threats. He was publicly castigated by his leftist coach for his patriotism. The coach demanded unity behind an ignorant cause.

And finally, this issue has nothing to do with First Amendment rights. President Trump's speaking out against the clownish behavior of the athletes, on behalf of the majority of American citizens, does not mean he can or would stop any of these misguided people from making fools of themselves. To restrict them, as a government entity, would indeed be a violation of the First Amendment. But their employers, if they were to develop even a modicum of testicular fortitude, could and should fire them for doing major damage to the bottom line of the business. The rest of us non-millionaire "Joes" would certainly be pink-slipped by an employer if we dared to be so clueless about the necessity of profits and so disdainful of the sensibilities of customers.

I will wait patiently for the true sports enthusiasts to vent their rage by simply boycotting the games. It will be sweet revenge to witness the slain goose cease producing its golden eggs.

Via email

The Essential Arabic Muslims Don't Want You To Know

Allahu Akbar = Allah Is Greater -- 'Allah' is not simply the Arabic word for 'God,' but the name of Islam's chosen deity and 'Akbar' does not mean 'great', but 'greater'. Greater than what? The answer is, Allah is greater than whatever God, government, philosophy, or political system you happen to follow or live under.

Understanding Islam is to know Allahu Akbar is the foundation of Islamic Supremacism.

The precedent for Allahu Akbar was set by Muhammad when he attacked and murdered the Jews of Khaybar.  "We reached Khaybar early in the morning and the inhabitants of Khaybar came out carrying their spades, and when they saw the Prophet they said, "Muhammad! By Allah! Muhammad and his army!" The Prophet said, "Allahu-Akbar! Khaybar is destroyed, for whenever we approach a (hostile) nation (to fight) then evil will be the morning for those who have been warned."

Most every follower of Islam knows this Bukhari Hadith, over glorifying Mohammad's massacre of defenseless Jewish farmers and the first use of Allahu Akbar as a battle cry.

Did you know most all followers of Islam say Allahu Akbar no less than 111 times a  day totaling  40,515 times  a year in their 5 daily prayers.  The repetition of saying Allahu Akbar 111 times a day becomes a conditioned supremacist response for the follower of Islam.

When the New York Times or CNN reports that Allahu Akbar is nothing more than a kind salutation, they are lying to you.  Muslim advocacy groups like CAIR understand the full supremacist significance of Allahu Akbar and their job is to tell non-Muslim's that Allahu Akbar means only God is Great like the Christians say, no big deal.   Islamic apologists are desperately afraid you non-Muslims will learn the true Islamic supremacist meaning of Allahu Akbar - Allah is Greater than all others.
Your next question should be - What do  these Islamic supremacists call those who reject their Islamic supremacist ideology when talking amongst themselves?

Kuffar - Derogatory word for a non-Muslim.  Kuffar is an Arabic word that literally means "ingrate or infidel"  For a follower of Islam to call someone a Kuffar is as offensive as using the N word in America.

When a follower of Islam calls you a Kuffar they believe you are the vilest of creatures, referring to Qur'an 8:55.  The next time you hear the word Kuffar, it is one of the worst put downs a Muslim can say to anyone.

The followers of Islam also use the word Kuffar to describe their fellow Muslims, in the worst of ways, and is often a precursor to Muslim on Muslim violence.  Like the recent Sunni on Sufi Muslim attacks we just saw in the recent Mosque bombing in Egypt killing 235 Muslims by Muslims  where the Jihadis were screaming Allahu Akbar.  Why you ask? The Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims have been killing each other for 1400 years because they believe each other to be a Kuffar or Mushrikin.  In this Egypt attack above, we have Sunni Muslims killing Sufi Muslims who are viewed as Kuffar by the Sunni.  Confused yet?  Keep reading and it will all make perfect sense.

Jihad - "Jihad means to war against non-Muslims,and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion (Islam)." Umdat al Salik P.599.
When Muslim Advocacy groups like CAIR, ISNA, MSA, tell you  Jihad is a personal spiritual struggle like losing weight or doing daily chores,  it is a deception of the most clever kind.  Spiritual Jihad is a deception because Mohammed said in  Qur'an 9:111 that those who fight in the way of Allah are assured paradise.

In Islam, getting into paradise is not guaranteed.  Mohammad says violent Jihad in the advancement of Islam will guarantee you a place in the highest levels of paradise.  That makes dying in the way of Jihad a noble religious act and taking as many Kuffar with you assures ones place in paradise or Jannah.

Killing oneself in the act of Jihad brings honor upon your family, tribe, and village.  Mohammad says the dead Jihadi can intercede for 70 of his family members assuring them all a place in paradise.  For the followers of Islam, this  is such a big deal parents of Jihadis often celebrate when their children die in Jihad.  Yes - you heard me right - parents celebrating the death of their own children. 

The arabic word for a Jihadi Martyr is Shaheed and garners instant respect in the Muslim world.  This is why a devout Muslim parent will sometimes encourage their children to martyr themselves.  Here in the West, our immediate response is, that can't be true because its so evil!  In the eyes of a follower of Islam becoming a Jihadi martyr is a spiritual religious act displaying ones love for  Allah and Islam.  In many cases, the Jihadi believes they are showing love for their non-Muslim victims who are living a sinful life by not reverting back to Islam.  The Jihadi, in Mohammad's teachings is keeping these Kuffar from living a sinful life,  killing them is seen as an act of love.

Islamic apologists will say, "So why aren't the worlds 1.3 billion followers of Islam going Jihadi and jumping on the Martyr death train securing their place in Islamic paradise?"

Mohammad was clever and knew not every follower of Islam is a warrior ready to die for Allah.   So Mohammed taught there is Jihad with your money, Jihad with your pen, civilizational Jihad in non-Muslim lands, and the personal Jihad of losing weight or to stop smoking.  If a follower of Islam does not tell you the entire meaning of Jihad, they are willfully lying and you should be offended because they think you are stupid. 


German Justice Ministry Urges Ban on Kuwait Airways Over Israel Issue

The German government should revoke landing rights for Kuwait Airways given its ban on Israeli passengers, a senior Justice Department official said on Friday, saying such discrimination was intolerable.

Christian Lange, parliamentary state secretary in the ministry, appealed to Chancellor Angela Merkel to personally advocate a ban on Kuwait Airways' operations in Germany.

A German court ruled on Thursday that the airline had the right to refuse to carry an Israeli passenger due to his nationality, a verdict that Jewish groups said condoned anti-Semitism.

Lange told Merkel in the letter that he had received countless phone calls from members of the Jewish community and from others in Israel, expressing shock about the court ruling, made just days after Germany solemnly marked the anniversary of the Nov. 9, 1938 Nazi pogroms against the Jews.

"We cannot say 'Never again' at a remembrance ceremony, but then remain silent when activists in Germany call for a boycott of Israel, or, as in this case, when an airline refuses to carry Israeli citizens," Lange said.

"Especially the German government must make clear that we reject this form of discrimination and hate, and that we stand by the side of our Israeli friends," he told the chancellor.

The Lawfare Project, the legal group that represented the plaintiff in the case, has vowed to appeal against the ruling

"To see a Jewish person banned from exercising his freedoms in Germany in 2017 is chilling enough. To see that discrimination whitewashed and legitimized by a German judge is grotesque," said the group's executive director, Brooke Goldstein.

Deputy German Foreign Minister Michael Roth also criticized the airline's policy, telling Die Welt newspaper that he had contacted the Kuwaiti ambassador in Germany about the issue.

German Transport Minister Christian Schmidt told Bild newspaper that it was not acceptable to discriminate against airline passengers because of their nationality, and said the German government would address the matter with the Kuwaiti government.

"This requires contacts at the ministerial level," Schmidt told the newspaper in an interview to be published on Saturday.

"We will do all we can within our legal means to prevent something like this in the future," Schmidt told the paper.

There was no immediate response to a request for comment emailed to the airline.


Number of anti-Semitic hate crimes edged up last year, FBI reports

The number of anti-Semitic hate crimes in the United States rose slightly in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to FBI statistics.

The data released Monday by the federal law enforcement agency show there were 684 anti-Semitic hate crime incidents last year, a 3 percent increase from the 664 recorded by the FBI in 2015.

Overall, there were more than 6,100 hate crimes last year, up about 5 percent percent from the previous year. In both years, anti-Semitic incidents accounted for just over half of religious hate crimes and about 11 percent of hate crimes of all types.

Muslims were the second-most common targets of religious hate crimes in 2016 with 307 anti-Islamic incidents.

African-Americans were far and away the main target of hate crimes in general, targeted in 1,739 incidents, accounting for more than half of racially motivated hate crimes and about 28 percent of the total.

For the purpose of collecting statistics, the FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense that involves bias against against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” The definition can include everything from vandalism to murder.

In a statement addressing the report Monday, the Anti-Defamation League focused on the overall increase in reported hate crimes. It expressed “disappointment” at the trend and also pointed to a lack of voluntary reporting by police agencies around the country, saying that “nearly 90 cities” with more than 100,000 residents either reported no hate crimes or did not respond to the FBI’s request for data.

“There’s a dangerous disconnect between the rising problem of hate crimes and the lack of credible data being reported,” ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt said. “Police departments that do not report credible data to the FBI risk sending the message that this is not a priority issue for them, which may threaten community trust in their ability and readiness to address hate violence.”

However, the FBI statistics seem to belie a number of reports by the ADL and others that suggested a spike in anti-Semitism in the United States last year.

In April, the Anti-Defamation League reported 1,266 anti-Semitic incidents in 2016, a 35 percent increase from 2015. The report included a rash of bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the country that were later traced to a teenager in Israel.

Earlier this month, the ADL said the first nine months of 2017 saw a 67 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents compared to the same period of 2016. It identified the 2016 presidential elections, and particularly the divisive candidacy of President Donald Trump, as a cause of anti-Semitic acts.

“In the face of this latest news, we stand strong in our commitment to improving hate crime data collection, advocating for better hate crime legislation, and working closely with law enforcement on hate crime training,” Greenblatt said Monday. “We will not stop until everyone feels free from hate in their communities.”



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

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

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


3 December, 2017

The German town that said 'nein' to Angela Merkel's migrants

 SUE REID reports from Salzgitter after its mayor called a moratorium on accepting any more foreigners

The Christmas market selling Santa chocolates, Advent wreaths and spiced wine is in full swing.

In a German town with an unrivalled record of welcoming migrants and making them feel at home, excited children wave from carousel rides as shoppers chattering in German and Arabic mingle.

On the face of it, it's a relaxed scene of which Angela Merkel, the German leader, would surely approve.

Except that here in Salzgitter, things are abruptly changing. It's pro-refugee Mayor has declared a moratorium on any more foreigners coming to join the 5,800 who have already arrived.

He admitted a few weeks ago: 'Right now, we are overwhelmed. We have received too many in too short a time. The locals are having fears for the future.'

Even the migrants living in Salzgitter, which sits on a lake in Lower Saxony, north-west Germany, agree there is a crisis.

'Not everyone can come or there will be nowhere to sleep and no free chairs in the schools,' says Khaled Rasti, a 32- year-old Syrian from Damascus, who with his wife Slivi, 30, is wheeling two-year-old Jodi — one of their three children — in a pushchair near the Christmas market.

'We have worries,' he says. 'I am still learning German. I do not have a job. There are many like me.'

This town's decision to refuse any more migrants is a slap in the face for Mrs Merkel, who relentlessly lectured her nation that 'We can do it' when she unilaterally welcomed 1.5 million migrants, many of them Muslim, from the war-shattered Middle East and impoverished African states in 2015

Today, increasing numbers of ordinary Germans feel the influx has been too large and too fast for the incomers to integrate properly. Already, six per cent of the German population is Muslim.

And this week an international think tank warned the numbers will only increase, and predicted Europe's Muslim population could double by 2050, due to migration and high birth rates among those who have already reached the continent.

The Pew Research Centre forecast that if both regular migration and the heavy flows of refugees were to continue, this deeply Christian country will have the highest number of Muslims in the EU, amounting to 17.49 million people or 20 per cent of the population.

This uncontrolled immigration is seen as a key factor in the reversal of Angela Merkel's fortunes.

It is directly responsible for the rise of a new anti-migrant party, the radical Right-wing Alternative for Deutschland (AfD), which in September's national election gained 13 per cent of the vote and its first ever parliamentary seats.

Coupled with her own poor performance in the election, the success of the AfD is the reason Mrs Merkel has been unable to form a coalition government.

The irony of all this is that for three decades, in an attempt to expunge the legacy of its Nazi past, Germany has championed multiculturalism and liberal democracy — only to find that its recent openborders immigrat ion pol icy, introduced without a vote in Germany's parliament, has rekindled the flames of the radical Right.

In the town of Salzgitter, AfD support was even higher at 14 per cent than it was nationally.

But if Mrs Merkel is shocked at events since she provoked the biggest migration wave across Europe since World War II, so are many of the newcomers.

They believed Mrs Merkel's promise of giving them homes, jobs, an education and money with few questions asked. Now they — as well as many Germans — fear they are not becoming part of the wider society, and never can be because their numbers are so huge.

No place illustrates the shattered Merkel dream better than Salzgitter.

It took in a higher proportion of migrants compared to its population than any other part of Germany.

Ninety-one per cent of those migrants in the town today are jobless and live on benefits, according to new statistics from town officials, compared with a slightly less dismal picture nationally for migrants of 84 per cent.

One of the charities trying to find them work says they are only qualified for the simplest of jobs because of low education.

'We just don't have the jobs that these people could take,' a volunteer explained. But aside from the problems of work and welfare are the sheer numbers who have arrived.

A mother taking her six-year-old to a Salzgitter school this autumn found that her child was one of two German children in her class amid 20, mostly Syrian, migrants. 'I'm not against foreigners,' said the woman. 'But there is a point where we have to wonder who is integrating with whom.'

What's particularly fascinating about this town is that it is the officials who are backing the mayor's policy stopping the arrival of further migrants.

Dincer Dinc, a German of Kurdish descent who is a Salzgitter's integration chief, says he agrees with the moratorium — which two other overburdened German towns in Lower Saxony copied last week.

'We need a break from more newcomers to help those who are already here,' he says.

'What good will it do for more to come so that the problems we have keep compounding?

The town's image is changing for residents. They encounter more and more people with darker skin and wearing headscarves.'

Both he and the mayor, Frank Klingebiel — a member of Merkel's CDU party — believe the ban will stop more local voters embracing the xenophobic and populist Alternative for Deutschland.

The reason the town encouraged migrants in the first place is the same one that drove Mrs Merkel to invite them in.

Germany has an ageing population and needs new blood to drive the economy. Back in 2013, Salzgitter was in the doldrums.

It was established during World War II to house workers from a nearby steel factory used to produce armaments for Hitler's war machine. But a few years ago, it became clear that young people were leaving for the bright lights and jobs in big cities.

The population — as in the rest of Germany — was predicted to drop dramatically because of the falling birth rate.

In Salzgitter, population was expected to fall from 100,000 to around 90,000 by 2030.

Houses lay empty, schools were short of pupils, and the shopping centre, scene of the jolly Christmas Market this week, was often deserted.

'If this keeps going on, there won't be a town any more,' one 78-year-old pensioner, Herbert Haschke, told the local newspaper at the time. Then came the migrants and Salzgitter saw its salvation.

The town hall produced welcome leaflets for the incomers, the locals waved flags and soon word got round that this was a safe-haven with plenty of vacant housing and school places.

The mayor himself says that in those early days ' everything was perfect'.

'But in the second half of 2016, [local] people approached me for the first time,' he explains now. 'They were worried about overcrowding. We have kindergartens and schools where the proportion of migrant children is between 60 and 80 per cent.

'People have told me our German children are growing up in an environment where barely any German is spoken.'

The fresh arrivals in town have congregated in the bleak workingclass suburb of Lebenstedt, where this week the local kebab house and Arabic shops were doing a brisk trade.

Here, they stick together. There are cheap housing association flats, a handful of mosques, and the mayor claims there is a real threat of 'ghettoisation'.

With unemployment among all residents of this down-to-earth town at just under 11 per cent — about twice the national average — the locals feel 'crowded out' of an already suffering employment market.

The area's largest employer, Volkswagen, has been re-thinking its workforce after the recent diesel engines emissions scandal, and international pressure to produce electric cars.

The moratorium on new migrants sparked by these local worries brought a rebuke from the United Nations' refugee agency this week.

It says those in need, wherever they come from, should have the right to freedom of movement, and that Salzgitter's ban breaches international law.

Sascha Schiessl, of the Refugee Council for Lower Saxony, said the moratorium (which is expected to last three years) will only encourage the notion that the migrants are harming German society and thereby increase support for the anti-immigrant Alternative for Deutschland.

Whatever the truth of this, there's no doubt the tide is shifting in public opinion over migrants in Germany.

I have been reporting on this story for two years, since I inteviewed the first young Syrians to arrive in Germany after Mrs Merkel threw open the doors in 2015.

Back then they were excited and full of expectation for a new life in the West. This week, I met some of them again — and they told a very different story.

A number of them are downcast, and have considered leaving to go home to Syria.

They are stopped from doing so only by the terrifying prospect of being compulsorily drafted into President Bashir Assad's despotic government army, or the prospect of life in a home town destroyed by Islamic State terror.


Ben Shapiro: Molester Bill Clinton Won After All

His Leftism saved him again

Two weeks ago, it seemed that former President Bill Clinton was finished as a public figure. A variety of public intellectuals on the left had consigned him to the ashtray of history; they'd attested to their newfound faith in his rape accuser Juanita Broaddrick or torn him to shreds for having taken advantage of a young intern, Monica Lewinsky.

The moral goal was obvious: Set up a new intolerance for the sexual abuse of women. The political goal was even more obvious: Show that Democrats are morally superior to Republicans, and in doing so, shame Republicans into staying home rather than voting for Alabama Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore, who has been credibly accused of sexual assault of minors.

Then it all fell apart.

On Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. — the first female speaker of the House — brushed off Clinton's scandals with a simple one-liner: "Well, I think it's, obviously it is a generational change. But let me say the concern that we had then was that they were impeaching the president of the United States, and for something that had nothing to do with the performance of his duties."

Why would Pelosi defend Clinton? Because she also has to defend Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., both of whom have been accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault. And why would she have to defend either of them?

That's the $64,000 question. She really doesn't — just as the Democrats never had to defend Clinton. If they'd kept their mouths shut and let Clinton resign, then-Vice President Al Gore would have been president. There's a high likelihood he would have been re-elected in 2000. If the Democrats were to let Franken fall today, his replacement would be appointed by a Democratic governor of Minnesota. If they were to let Conyers go down, he'd be replaced in a special election in what The Cook Political Report deems a D+32 district, meaning it performed an average of 32 points more Democratic than the nation did as a whole in 2016. Democrats wouldn't miss a beat, and they'd have a shot at taking out Moore to boot. By defending Franken and Conyers, Democrats give Republicans ample opportunity to back Moore and point at Democratic hypocrisy all the while. While Republicans can at least point at the potential loss of a Senate seat to justify backing Moore, Democrats wouldn't suffer any loss by dumping Franken and Conyers.

There's only one real reason Pelosi would stand by accused Democrats: She doesn't care. Her logic with regard to Clinton is the only one that matters. He was a Democrat, and his sexual improprieties had nothing to do with his capacity for voting for her agenda. This was the national argument we had in 1998, and it was settled in Clinton's favor. Character doesn't matter. Only agenda does.

Republicans bucked that agenda. They don't anymore.

In order to shame Republicans, Democrats seemed to buck that agenda this time around. But that was all bluster.

Bill Clinton didn't just escape impeachment in 1998. He won the argument. He taught Americans that no matter how scummy our politicians might be, so long as they side with us on matters great or small, we ought to back them. We ought to back them not because our principles are important but because there might be some point in the future when our principles are at stake, and we don't want our feet held to the fire then, do we?

In the famous play "A Man for All Seasons," Sir Thomas More, betrayed by his former colleague Richard Rich in exchange for the post of attorney general in Wales, says: "Why, Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world. ... But for Wales?" We're willing to give our souls for nothing. Or perhaps they're already gone.


Benghazi Islamist Avoids Conviction on Most Charges

The outcome of the trial has many people under the reasonable impression that justice didn't prevail.   

In September 2012, Libyan Islamists killed American Ambassador Chris Stevens as well as Sean Patrick Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty in the infamous Benghazi attack. One of the perpetrators, Ahmed Abu Khattala — the primary facilitator in the attack — remained in Libya for nearly two years after the assault before U.S. Delta Forces apprehended him in the summer of 2014. From there he was shipped to the U.S., where he faced a civilian trial that concluded this week. The outcome of that trial has many people under the reasonable impression that justice didn’t prevail.

According to Fox News, “A federal jury found Ahmed Abu Khattala guilty Tuesday on just four of 18 charges related to the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, precluding him from facing the death penalty. Khattala, 46, was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, one count of maliciously destroying U.S. property and placing lives in danger, and one count of using and carrying a semiautomatic weapon during the attack.”

Former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy believes one of the problems in the upshot of the case revolves around the previous administration’s handling in the immediate aftermath of the attack. He tweeted, “Obama admin, which insisted civilian prosecution always the way to go, tolerated Libya’s 3-week delay in giving FBI access to crime scene. Resulting taint, of course, huge problem in prosecution.” But as the first part of his tweet suggests, there’s also considerable concern over the decision to bring Khattala stateside at all.

Tyrone Woods’ father Charles reacted with justified dismay. He stated, “I am very bothered by the fact the U.S. government gave constitutional rights and due process rights to a foreign national who allegedly killed Americans outside the U.S. This is what bothered me from the very beginning.” He’s right — the civilian court aspect of this situation is contentious and will continue to be, especially with outcomes like Khattala’s. A place like Guantanamo Bay would likely have been more appropriate. The Obama administration sent terrorists away from there. Fortunately, the Trump administration can change that. Perhaps then unbridled justice will be served.


YouTuber Demonetized Hours after Rush Limbaugh Reads Her Article on His Show

On the same day that Rush Limbaugh read my recent column on air, YouTube — in the dead of night — demonetized a large percentage of videos on my channel. My YouTube channel has been around for years with many recordings of very boring village meetings highlighting local Chicago-area corruption. Recently, I started doing reaction videos and comedy and gained a bunch of new subscribers and it's been fun. I don't swear (certainly no "F" words) and there's nothing really controversial unless you count making fun of gender-confused rabid leftists with blue hair "controversial."

Yesterday, October 5, after Rush read my article on his show, I made a video that included my reaction to him talking about it on the air. It wasn't up for three hours before my videos started getting the dreaded yellow dollar signs — which means YouTube just took away my ability to be paid for them. YouTube made sure that whatever bump in subscribers or views I got from Rush would not benefit me in any way.

YouTube decided that a video discussing Rush — who broadcasts every day and is paid obscene amounts of money by advertisers — is not "advertiser-friendly." This would be news to Rush's entire staff who are making a living off his advertiser-friendly show that the FCC has allowed for over twenty years.

YouTube has been going after politically conservative content creators for a long time. Paul Joseph Watson's videos have largely been demonetized along with those of Trump-stumping sisters Diamond and Silk and other big-name conservative talkers. Diversity & Comics creator Richard Meyer has received two strikes against his account in the last week. One more will result in his account being deleted and his content lost forever. All he knows is that his channel has been reported for dubious reasons by people who don't want to be criticized in the comics industry. YouTube shows no desire to right such situations.

In fact, YouTube does not allow anyone to dispute the demonetization strikes unless the video in question receives 1000 views in the next seven days (go watch it—now!). This makes it impossible for anyone without hundreds of thousands of subscribers to have a prayer of being monetized again.

Even an advertisement I made for my book, "Shut Up! The Bizarre War That One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment" was hit unironically with the YouTube censorship stick. If a video depicting an ad for a book about free speech isn't allowed, what is? One thing is for sure:

Google sucks.



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

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

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


1 December, 2017

Feminist justice in Australia: Mother who admitted killing her own baby walks free

When a father kills a child he usually and rightly receives about twenty years in prison. Whether he has depression of not is irrelevant. But the maximum to which a woman can be sentenced for infanticide in Victoria is 5 years in prison. And she seldom receives that.

She might receive a year or two but more often walks free from court with an order to have counselling or to do some community work such as a few hours a week in a local op-shop. This week – along with white ribbon day – we had yet another woman walk free from court after deliberately killing her child.

There are plenty such cases of infants being killed – drowned, suffocated, stabbed with scissors, brains dashed out on door frame...  by their mothers and she not serving prison time or perhaps just a little.

Having one law for men and a lenient law for women is not equality. It is an example of feminists desire for rights without accountability

A MOTHER who admitted suffocating her 15-month-old daughter before throwing her body into a suburban Melbourne creek will be released from custody.

Sofina Nikat, 24, was on Thursday sentenced to a 12-month community correction order after earlier pleading guilty to infanticide over the April 2016 death of her daughter Sanaya Sahib.

“In the unusual circumstances you have already served 529 days of pre-sentence custody,” Victorian Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry said.

Nikat served 529 days of pre-sentence detention after being charged over Sanaya’s death, before she was released on bail in September.

The maximum prison sentence for infanticide in Victoria is five years. Prosecutors had pushed for a jail term, but her lawyers said a non-custodial community corrections order was appropriate given Nikat’s mental state.

Victorian Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry said he accepted evidence from a psychiatrist that Nikat was depressed when she suffocated Sanaya and threw her body into Darebin Creek. “Since I accept the (psychiatric) conclusions, I will sentence you on that basis,” he said.

Nikat was originally charged with murder but this was downgraded because of her depressive disorder.

On April 9, 2016 she told police a barefoot man of African appearance who smelled of alcohol had snatched Sanaya from her pram while they were at a Heidelberg West park.

The Fijian-born woman later admitted she took the infant to the park and played with her before suffocating Sanaya until she stopped moving. A family who joined the public search found Sanaya’s body in Darebin Creek, and Nikat admitted what she did three days after the killing.

“It is a tragedy for you and everyone connected with your family,” Justice Lasry said. “I accept that the way you acted after you had killed Sanaya was consistent with your irrational mental state.”

Outside court, Sanaya’s paternal family said the sentence was unfair. “Our justice system has really failed us today. We have not had justice for her death,” Zahraa Sahib told reporters.
“We were expecting something, and I don’t think it’s fair that we’ve lost a little girl.”


Girlguiding UK Allows ‘Transgender’ Guides to Share Showers, Tents with Girls

Male guides who “identify” as female will be allowed to shower with girls during camping trips, Girlguiding UK literature has revealed.

Official guidance distributed by the organisation, which applies to Girl Guides between the ages of five and 25, tells guide leaders to let “transgender” members share changing rooms, toilets, tents, and cabins with girls while away on excursions.

The move came as the 107-year-old organisation updated advice regarding male guides who “identify” as female, a demographic it was revealed in January is now being admitted to the girls-only organisation.

On its official UK website, Girlguiding UK says that for transgender people, “the use of gendered facilities, such as toilets, can cause anxiety”.

“Members are entitled to use the facilities of the gender that they self-identify as,” adds the organisation, which confirmed when asked by the Mail on Sunday that this includes showers, toilets, and changing rooms.

Earlier this year, Girlguiding Chief Executive Julie Bentley stated that the move to allow male children to join as guides follows rules set out in the Equality Act 2010, which “makes clear organisations providing single-gender services should treat people according to their acquired gender”.

“In line with our values of inclusion, we welcome any young person who self-identifies as a girl or young woman,” said Bentley, a pro-abortion campaigner who describes Girlguiding as “the ultimate feminist organisation”.

The radical changes made to the Girl Guides’ single-sex policy in January apply to adults, and declare that it would be against the law for guide leaders to tell parents that their daughters are being supervised on trips by transgender people.

In addition, the guidance states that families should not be told if a “transgender” child joins their group, adding that it is not “best practice” for parents to know if their daughters are sharing facilities with males who “identify” as female while on trips away.

Conservative MP David Davies told the Mail on Sunday: “If transgender girls who are physically male are going to be sharing facilities, it’s going to make some girls threatened and uncomfortable and the Guides shouldn’t be doing that.”

As reported by Breitbart in 2013, Girl Guiding in the UK decided to do away with the oath to God as said by girls at meetings, replacing it instead with an oath to “myself”, arguing that continuing the strong Christian roots of the organisation discouraged some from joining.

Last week, Breitbart London reported how campaigners have warned that government plans to let people “self-identify” as the opposite sex without having even to see a doctor will put female prisoners at risk, after a study revealed more than 40 per cent of transgender inmates are sex offenders.


Archdiocese Sues D.C. Bus Transit Over Christmas Ad -- 'Clear Violation of Free Speech'

The Catholic archdiocese of Washington, D.C. filed a lawsuit in federal court today challenging the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) advertising guidelines because the group rejected a Christmas season ad that reads, "Find the Perfect Gift," and which shows several shepherds in sihouette.

In full, the ad states, "Find the perfect gift," and includes the url  FindThePerfectGift.org and #PerfectGift.  There are three shepherds and two sheep in silhouette, and a few stars in the background.

"The rejected ad conveys a simple message of hope, and an invitation to participate in the Christmas season. Yet citing its guidelines, WMATA’s legal counsel said the ad ‘depicts a religious scene and thus seeks to promote religion,'" said Ed McFadden, the communications secretary for the Archdiocese of Washington.

“To borrow from a favorite Christmas story, under WMATA’s guidelines, if the ads are about packages, boxes or bags … if Christmas comes from a store … then it seems WMATA approves," said McFadden. "But if Christmas means a little bit more, WMATA plays Grinch.”

Kim Fiorentino, general counsel for the archdiocese, said,  “We believe rejection of this ad to be a clear violation of fundamental free speech and a limitation on the exercise of our faith.

Paul Clement, an attorney with Kirkland & Ellis LLP, who is representing the archdiocese in this case, said, “As the papers filed in Court today make clear, WMATA’s rejection of the archdiocese’s speech amounts to a violation of the First Amendment, plain and simple. We are bringing this complaint to vindicate the basic principle that the government may not allow a wide variety of speech in a forum and then turn around and deny the archdiocese access because of the religious nature of its speech."

Susan Timoney, secretary for Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns for the archdiocese, said,  “Our ad was designed to be placed on metro bus exteriors to reach the broadest audience and to invite everyone to experience the well-accepted joyful spirit of the season, or to share their many blessings with others less fortunate through service opportunities. The archdiocese wishes to encourage our society to help feed, clothe, and care for our most vulnerable neighbors, and to share our blessings, and welcome all who wish to hear the Good News."

In the Archdiocese of Washington there are 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes, and 93 Catholic schools.


These Gay Rights Supporting Groups Back Cake Baker’s Free Speech Rights

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission on Dec. 5, in what will be one of the most closely watched cases of the term.

This is the case of Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, who declined to design a custom cake for a same-sex wedding.

The same-sex couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which resulted in a finding that Phillips engaged in sexual orientation discrimination in violation of the state’s public accommodation law.

Now, the case is before the Supreme Court, and the justices will consider Phillips’ free speech and free exercise claims. More than 100 groups have filed amicus briefs supporting one side or the other.

The Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, and Individual Rights Foundation argue in their amicus brief that Phillips’ custom cakes are an artistic expression that deserves protection under the First Amendment’s free speech clause.

The three groups cite Wooley v. Maynard, a 1976 Supreme Court decision that makes clear that the First Amendment protects against compelled speech: “The right to speak and the right to refrain from speaking are complementary components of … ‘individual freedom of mind.’”

In Wooley, the court considered whether New Hampshire could force Jehovah’s Witnesses to display “Live Free or Die” on their license plates, over their objections to displaying a message that violates their religious beliefs.

In ruling against the state, the court explained that forcing people to “becom[e] the courier[s] for … messages with which they disagree” interferes with the right to “refuse to foster … an idea they find morally objectionable.”

The three libertarian groups state that Wooley “secure[d] an important constitutional right to which all speakers are entitled—whether religious or secular, liberal or conservative, pro or anti-same-sex-marriage.” And this right applies to both the creation and distribution of speech.

Indeed, the groups point out that requiring someone to create speech “is even more of an imposition … than is requiring the person simply to engage in the ‘passive act of carrying the state motto on a license plate.’”

They also explain why the court should recognize Phillips’ trade of baking custom cakes as a form of art. They point out: “The art of baking and decorating cakes, particularly wedding cakes, exhibits all the characteristics of other expressive formats that this Court has recognized as constitutionally protected.”

The Supreme Court has previously found that many other forms of art qualify as speech—such as music without words, dance, theater, and movies. Even tattooing is considered expressive activity, as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Anderson v. City of Hermosa Beach (2010).

Though Phillips’ “media are icing and chocolate rather than ink or paint,” the three groups maintain, “that does nothing to diminish the artistic content of his work.”

“Baking and decorating a cake,” they continue, “involves hours of effort and a large range of artistic decisions. … Clients pay good money for such cakes, precisely because of the bakers’ expressive decisions regarding flavors, textures, structure, and decorations.”

But they draw the line at compelled expression, explaining that the First Amendment would not protect “caterers, hotels, and limousine companies” if they asserted a free speech right to refuse services for same-sex weddings. That’s because the free speech clause covers expression—not “all human endeavors.”

Creating expression is “constitutionally different” from nonexpressive activity, and courts “routinely police the line between expression and nonexpressive behavior.”

The libertarian groups conclude their brief noting that it’s understandable that a couple would be offended if a baker refused to make a cake for their wedding. But “the First Amendment does not treat avoiding offense as a sufficient interest to justifying restricting or compelling speech.”

For these reasons, the Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, and Individual Rights Foundation maintain that the Supreme Court should rule in favor of Phillips’ free speech claims and recognize custom wedding cakes as an expressive activity that is protected by the First Amendment.



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

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

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



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(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

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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