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, 2018

Alt-Right: Are Racists Mentally Ill? Some Psychiatrists Say Yes

The article below isn't too bad, considering that it is written from a Leftist perspective.

There was in the '50s a big push (mentioned below) among psychologists, led by the Marxist Theodor Adorno, to brand ALL conservatives and racists as mentally defective.  That was very poorly founded so eventually ran its course and, by 1965, Roger Brown's textbook "Social psychology" declared ethnic favoritism to be universal and ineradicable.  That view seems to be held by the majority of psychologists and psychiatrists to this day and that has obviously frustrated some of the Left-wing activists below.

The innovation in the article below is that not all conservatives and people with racial views are in the gun.  It is only extremists who are mentally suspect. So it is interesting to read  that the psychiatrists have knocked back that theory too.

The scores of people carrying flaming torches and chanting “Jews will not replace us” last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, bore the message of the “alt-right,” the name given to the white supremacist movement dedicated to eradicating religious and ethnic minorities from America. This racist uprising will be followed by at least nine rallies this weekend—ostensibly dedicated to free speech but sure to broadcast messages of hate—across the U.S., held by members of the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other groups.

Many find the sight of hundreds of racists chanting their intentions for a so-called "ethno-state" and the forceful removal from America of anyone who isn't white horrific. But others—namely, some psychiatrists—see these individuals as mentally ill. Which leads to a disturbing question: Are we seeing the emergence of a nationalist movement fueled by prejudice or a widespread personality disorder that requires psychiatric care? Answering that dredges up long-held notions about racism in America.

In the 1960s, Alvin Poussaint, now a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, was providing medical and psychological care to civil rights activists in Jackson, Mississippi. As a black psychiatrist in the South, he often feared for his life. He witnessed many acts of violence, cared for victims of racist acts and had frequent run-ins with state troopers. Once, when he told an aggressive police officer that he was a doctor, the officer continued to call him “boy” with a hand on the gun in his holster.  “I saw the malignancy of the racism much more clearly, and the genocidal element of the extreme racism where they wanted to kill you,” Poussaint tells Newsweek.

He wondered if that hatred was an actual sickness that could be diagnosed and potentially treated. When he was in his early 30s, and a prominent psychiatrist at Tufts Medical School, Poussaint and several other black psychiatrists approached the American Psychiatric Association (APA) with the idea that extreme racism wasn’t just a social problem or a cultural issue. To these professionals, extreme racism—the kind that leads to violence—was a mental illness.

Poussaint and his colleagues wanted the APA to include extreme racism in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as a “delusional disorder.” The DSM is the definitive guideline used by mental health clinicians to diagnose patients.

The DSM is not infallible. Over the years, it has provided insights into the country’s ever-changing values and belief systems. Homosexuality, for example, wasn’t completely omitted from the DSM until the late 1980s. The APA now has a new system for continuous updates, but last time the APA revised the DSM (in 2013) they declined the request by a group of psychiatrists to add pornography and sex addiction to the index. For psychiatrists updating the guide—a process that in the past might take more than a decade—doing so means wrestling with the very nature of humanity, what is normal and abnormal when it comes to behavior and beliefs.

Poussaint wasn’t arguing about the relatively milder beliefs that cause a person to stereotype and classify groups of people negatively. Rather, he and the other psychiatrists were addressing the kind of racism that leads to violent behavior, like killing and injuring people by driving a car into a crowd, as happened in Charlottesville. That extreme form of racism, said Poussaint, could reasonably be classified as paranoid and delusional.

The APA was unreceptive. “There was a lot of resistance to the idea,” he says. The problem, Poussaint explains, was that those in charge saw racism as too ubiquitous to diagnose. “They felt racism was so embedded in culture, that it was almost normative, that you had to deal with all the cultural factors that lead to this behavior,”

Members of the APA also argued that the extreme racism is a mental illness claim lacked hard science. That objection was weak, says Poussaint, because many mental health diagnoses  listed in the DSM don't have a solid scientific premise, including personality disorders. Some APA members said classifying extreme racism as an illness would excuse terrible beliefs and reprehensible behavior.

But Poussaint wasn’t interested in excusing or stigmatizing behavior; he wanted to help people he believed were sick. Inclusion in the DSM, he insisted, could allow individuals suffering from extreme racism to access services such as state-mandated psychiatric counseling, and therefore benefit society because, “it could protect people they might otherwise attack.”

Poussaint still believes extreme racism is a form of paranoia and should be treated that way. In therapy, a psychiatrist would help the patient understand the origins of their racism. “Like any psychotherapy or treatment you would try to tie it all together,” he says. “Other psychiatrists have testified and acknowledged such individuals may improve from treatment when they come to understand these beliefs and why they are projecting them onto other people and acting out.”

Racism as a Symptom

The question of whether extreme racism is a mental illness still haunts psychiatry. About 15 years ago, Carl Bell, a psychiatrist at Jackson Park Hospital Family Medicine Clinic and professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Medicine, resurrected Poussaint’s attempt to convince the APA to classify racism as a mental disorder. But Bell tried a different tack from Poussaint. He viewed extreme racism as a type of pathological bias that signaled an underlying personality disorder.

Bell proposed adding pathological bias to the DSM as a trait of personality disorder. With that addition, extreme bigotry would be a major criterion for the diagnosis. The broad term could also apply to individuals who direct violence and hatred toward other groups, such as gays or women.

But again, the APA said no. “When I raised this issue for the personality disorders working group they shut me down,” says Bell, “they were like, ‘Hell, no.’” As in decades past, the APA justified their objection on the grounds that racism is and always has been entrenched in society.

“The difficulty is that if you are in a racist society, how do you tease that out from biology or personality?” says Bell, who could not even convince the APA to study why racist thoughts and action manifest in some people during manic episodes.

The Association did finally issue a statement in 2006 acknowledging that some psychiatric factors cause a person to become racist, although “further research would be needed to explore this hypothesis.” The group also noted that racist beliefs and behavior often cause depression and psychiatric illness in people who are subject to them. In a statement provided to Newsweek about its approach to prejudice-based violence, Saul Levin, CEO and Medical Director of the APA, said, "The APA has a longstanding policy noting the negative impact of racism on mental health. APA policy supports public education efforts and research on racism and its adverse impact on mental health."

Bell and other experts continue to view some instances of racism as a symptom of other disorders. Racist thoughts and actions are often a manifestation of some other established and diagnosable mental disorder, says Bell. People with narcissistic personality disorder—a mental condition many experts have claimed Trump has —often have fixed values rooted in racism. Dylann Roof, the teen white supremacist convicted of killing nine black people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, had been diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder. People with conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder often experience extreme paranoia related to race or ethnicity, though not always violence.

There is also evidence that most of us harbor prejudices, leading some experts to believe we are hardwired to discriminate in some fashion (though not specifically against others). The Implicit Association test (IAT), a tool used to understand the roots and extent of bias, measures impulses of subconscious racism—for example, whether we associate certain types of people with negative or positive feelings. The test, which was developed by social psychologists at Harvard, the University of Virginia and the University of Washington more than two decades ago, has been taken by more than 17 million people. The results show that at least 90 percent of Americans are at least slightly biased against people unlike themselves. Psychologists remain split on where to draw the line, though. Some say discrimination requires a diagnosis when thoughts become actions. But others doubt whether acting on racist beliefs warrants a label of its own.

This Is Not Normal

The fact that many people who act on extreme racist beliefs lead high-functioning lives may also stand in the way of labeling this demographic as mentally ill. In the early 1960s, Jewish author and journalist Hannah Arendt covered the trials of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann for the New Yorker. She was shocked that “half a dozen psychiatrists had certified Eichmann as ‘normal,’” despite the fact that he orchestrated the mass murder of millions of Jews. One psychiatrist described his familial relationships as not just normal but desirable.

In the decades following the Holocaust, the idea that someone who commits crimes against racial and ethnic minorities could still be considered sane by psychiatrists was unsettling, says James M. Thomas, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Mississippi. “Many people turned to the explanation that there must be something wrong with the German psyche to have allowed this to happen.”

Social scientists knew that creating a clinical definition was critical. They understood that stigmatizing extreme racism could help society wake up to the abnormality of this pathology, and possibly prevent other genocidal acts. Three psychologists [There were actually four -- Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson & Sanford] devised the California F-scale —F stands for fascist—a test used to evaluate a person for “authoritarian personality type.” They thought  understanding how people were seduced by Adolf Hitler’s rhetoric could help prevent future such movements. Although the F-scale fell out of favor, it enabled psychologists to identify common traits of people who cling to dangerous ideologies. They included an inflexible outlook, strong allegiance to leadership, a tendency to scapegoat others and a willingness to lash out in anger and violence.

Sander Gilman, who teaches psychiatry at Emory University, and co-authored with Thomas the book Are Racists Crazy?, agrees that dangerous racists leading seemingly normal lives are hard to identify. “Racists, sadly, cope quite well with daily life,” says Gilman. “They have a take on the way the world should be, and that take functions in the world they live.”

Gilman does not favor a standalone diagnosis of extreme racism, and believes that attempts to categorize such people as mentally ill masks the greater problem of society allowing them to commit vengeful acts. “Those people are evil. They’ve made bad choices, but they’re not choices you can then attribute to mental illness,” says Gilman. “The minute you do that you let people off the hook.”


Racist organizers cancel Women's March for being too white

Organizers of the Women’s March in Humboldt County, California, announced Friday that they have canceled the local Jan. 19 event because the marchers are overwhelmingly white.

In a Facebook statement, the group said it opted to nix the third annual march “after many conversations between local social-change organizations and supporters of the march,” saying they would work on how to “broaden representation in the organizing committee.”

“Up to this point, the participants have been overwhelmingly white, lacking representation from several perspectives in our community,” said the statement. “Instead of pushing forward with crucial voices absent, the organizing team will take time for more outreach.”

The Humboldt County group said it was still interested in holding an event in March on International Women’s Day.

Some followers on Facebook said they were disappointed in the decision. “I was saddened to hear that the March is off for 1/19,” said David Holper. “Isn’t there still time to reach out to minority groups and make this event more inclusive? I’d be happy to help.”

Others pointed out that the Northern California community of about 137,000, located near the Oregon border, is predominantly white.

Census Bureau data from July showed that the county was about 74 percent non-Hispanic white, 12 percent Hispanic, 6 percent Native American, 2 percent Asian, and 1 percent black.

“I was appalled to be honest,” said Amy Sawyer Long. “I understand wanting a diverse group. However, we live in a predominantly white area … not to mention how is it beneficial to cancel? No matter the race people still want their voices heard.”

The national Women’s March is scheduled to hold Jan. 19 its #WomensWave rally in D.C., while some state and local sister organizations are also holding marches.

Also organizing events that day are other women’s groups such as March On and the Women’s March Alliance, which have formed as alternatives to the Women’s March over anti-Semitism concerns. The four national co-chairs of the Women’s March have denied allegations of anti-Semitism.


Tennis legend Martina Navratilova is accused of being 'transphobic' in furious Twitter row after suggesting people born male should not be allowed to compete in women's sports

Martina Navratilova has become embroiled in a row with the transgender community after she claimed that people born male should not compete in women's sporting events.

Navratilova, 62, a former Wimbledon champion and LGBT campaigner, was accused of being 'transphobic', following her remarks which she made on social media.

Her comments had come in response to a question from a follower about transgender women in sport. She was forced to delete the comments last night following criticism.

'Clearly that can't be right. You can't just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.

'For me it's all about fairness. Which means taking every case individually… there is no cookie cutter way of doing things.'

Her accusers included Dr Rachel McKinnon, a transgender activist and competitive cyclist who won a women's event at the UCI Masters Track World Championship, earlier this year.

Dr McKinnon, who was born male, demanded that Navratilova apologise and criticised the comments. She wrote: 'Genitals do not play sports. What part of a penis is related to tennis? How does that "level" any playing field?'

The government held a consultation on changes to the Gender Recognition Act, between July and October this year, which has been accused of toxifying the transgender debate.

Navratilova said that she stood by her comments and wouldn't be 'bullied' into silence.

She did concede, however, that she would leave the conversation since 'it seems to be my decades of speaking out against unfairness and inequality just don't count with you at all'.

Dr McKinnon said Ms Navratilova's LGBT campaigning 'doesn't change the fact that you did something very wrong today. Past good deeds don't give someone a pass.'

Navratilova had originally said in response to the criticism: 'I am sorry if I said anything anywhere near transphobic – I meant no harm. I will educate myself better on this issue but meantime I will be quiet about it.

She then clarified: 'Rachel [Dr McKinnon], you might be an expert on all things trans but you are one nasty human.'


Diverse Coalition of Middle Eastern Women condemn FGM and Sharia and Endorse Donald Trump

An international coalition of women’s rights activists hosted a high-profile Speakers’ Forum and News Conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to raise awareness about barbaric abuse of women and child brides under sharia law and to express their unwavering support for President Donald Trump, who champions their cause.

Elizabeth Yore noted that more than 513,000 women and girls across America are at risk for FGM, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Yore also said FGM is recognized by both the World Health Organization and the United Nations as a human rights violation perpetrated upon little girls and women. Over 200 million women worldwide have been subjected to this cruel and barbaric practice.

“We are bringing women from all across the country and all over the world to raise our unified voices in support of President Donald Trump,” said Rabia Kazan, best-selling author, journalist and women’s rights activist against child marriage and president of the Middle Eastern Women’s Coalition. “President Obama created ISIS and encouraged sharia law throughout the Middle East, and for eight years he turned a deaf ear to our cries. Finally, there is hope for us because of President Trump. He is changing the game. He is the only one fighting for us and for our human rights.”

23 year old activist Kelly Long brought a youthful, Christian angle to the question of women’s rights in the Middle East

The Middle Eastern Women’s Coalition wants to reform the barbaric practices of child marriages, genital mutilations, honor killings and dress code restrictions by initiating a cultural and religious revolution throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. They believe that only President Trump has both the will and the international stature to do that.

Magda Odendaal, Ph.D. of South Africa, a psychologist and activist against female genital mutilation brought a unique perspective to the event

The Press Club gathering featured female anti-abuse crusaders from America as well as Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Libya and Kurdistan—all countries that allow or endorse sharia law. The stellar panel of prominent women speakers, many of whom at one time risked their lives to escape from oppressive conditions in their own native countries, included:

Elizabeth Yore: Internationally renowned attorney and activist specializing in human rights and child welfare advocacy and head of the national EndFGMToday campaign

Ola Hawatmeh (Lebanese-American): Women’s rights activist against arranged marriages, fashion designer, founder of Ola Style and vice president of the MEWC

Adele Nazarian (Iranian-American): Writer, filmmaker, Middle East expert and human rights advocate

Arian Lev (Israeli): Human rights activist and best-selling author

Nahren Anweya (Assyrian-American): Activist for persecuted Christians

Marilyn Matrisciana (American): Ordained Christian minister who spent 35 years in Middle Eastern countries and co-founder of Servant Group International

Chiman Zebari (Kurdish-American): Author and activist against honor killings

Uzma Hayat (Pakistani-American): Activist, writer and Middle Eastern expert

Magda Odendaal, Ph.D. (African activist): Psychologist and activist against female genital mutilation

Mina Attaran (Iranian-American): Women’s rights activist and Middle Eastern expert

Soat Tebrizi, Ph.D. (Persian-American): Women’s rights activist and psychotherapist

Eva Hasqueal (Iraqi-American): Human rights activist and Middle East expert

Sonya Elizabeth (Libyan-American): Women’s rights activist

“These courageous women will be telling their own personal stories,” said Kazan before the event. “Their stories are real, gripping and painful, as each one has experienced horrific abuse in some way, either in their own personal lives or in what they saw happen to their loved ones. Each one will share her testimony about women and little girls who have been subjected to forced child marriages, genital mutilation, honor killings and horrific abuse, perhaps even by fathers and brothers. You will leave better understanding the dilemma of women hopelessly trapped in the slavery and degradation that exists under sharia law, and why this has to change.”



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

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

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


30 December, 2018

The Queen's piano

A few people, presumably Leftists, are angry at the Queen over her piano. A psychologist I know, who has worked a lot with prisoners, comments as follows:

"People distort and poison their own soul by being jealous of others. Jealousy always feels justified, even though it is not. Jealousy leads to anger, and anger leads to hatred, which is the desire to harm and see harm done.

Anger, like jealousy, always feels justified, always feels itself to be in the right, even though it is not in the right. The sense of rightness that anger feels is false. Anger is a delusionary condition. And the sense of justification that jealousy feels, is as false as the sense of rightness that anger feels. They are both bitter, resentful, poisonous conditions, maladapted to reality.

Prisons are full of people who have acted on jealousy and anger, feeling justified and righteous at the time of their crime, and often continue to feel justified and righteous afterwards. But they are in the wrong and are not justified. They are criminals with criminal attitudes.

Jealous angry lefties who complain about wealthy people, are just weak criminals. They have the criminal attitude but are too weak to commit the crime. Strengthened by weight of numbers, lefties tend to commit the crimes that their jealousy and anger drive them to commit.

History shows us that... the Soviet socialists, German National Socialists, Cambodian socialists, Chinese socialists,... they all enjoyed killing the wealthy people that they were jealous of.

There are two ways to see what a particular kind of person is really like. Look at what comes from them, their effect upon others, their fruits. And look at how they behave when they are in large numbers with unbridled power.

The jealous and angry socialists who have largely taken control of our universities feel justified and righteous in hating those who have more than they have. When they are in large numbers we can easily see their propensity to indulge in righteous crime"

There’s been an online backlash to the Queen’s Christmas message this year after viewers took offence at her gold piano.

The Queen was filmed sitting at a desk in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace when she delivered her speech, which included personal reflections on her long life and a wish for peace.

But it was the presence of a gold piano in the background that sparked accusations of hypocrisy and that she was out of touch.

Daily Mirror associate editor Kevin Maguire said the Queen had killed satire by “lecturing the nation to pull together” while sitting in front of a golden piano in a palace she was charging taxpayers to renovate.

Scottish National Party politician James Dornan also pilloried her message suggesting a singalong on the gold piano might cheer up those hungry and sleeping on the streets.

The gold piano is part of the Royal Collection, an art collection made up of more than one million objects owned by the British royal family. The Queen owns some of the objects as a private individual but others are owned in the right of the Crown.

The gold piano is not actually made of gold but is mahogany, painted and gilt in gold. Queen Victoria commissioned the piano in 1856 and it was recently went through a 12-month restoration to clean it of surface dirt, which covered many parts of its decoration.

While the Queen’s wealth is offensive to some, others defended her and pointed out it was not surprising she had a gold piano.

"Look personally I love the Queen’s gold piano, is she supposed to stage a fake room for her Christmas address with IKEA furniture in it? she’s the Queen"

"She’s the freakin’ Queen. If anyone should have a gold piano, it’s her. Or Liberace."

"She has a gold piano!.. in a time of austerity!... who does she think she is, the Queen of England?"


A Morally Pretentious #MeToo Movement

Feminism is less about expanding independence or strength, and more about expanding victimhood.

One of the leading voices of the feminist movement is being excoriated for taking on the insufferably self-righteous perpetrators of the #MeToo movement.

“I want, I’ve always wanted, to see women react immediately,” Germaine Greer stated during an interview in London, preceding a gala where she was named Australian of the Year in Britain. “In the old days, there were movies — the Carry On comedies, for example — which always had a man leering after women. And the women always outwitted him — he was a fool. We weren’t afraid of him and we weren’t afraid to slap him down.”

“What makes it different is when the man has economic power, as Harvey Weinstein has. But if you spread your legs because he said, ‘Be nice to me and I’ll give you a job in a movie,’ then I’m afraid that’s tantamount to consent, and it’s too late now to start whingeing about that,” she added.

“Whinge” is the British version of “whine,” and there was no shortage of whining in response to Greer’s assertion. Columnist Tracy E. Gilchrist insists Greer appears “stuck in another era,” and that she “victim-blamed in the middle of making the point." Guardian columnist Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, who believes older generations of feminists blazed a path for today’s social justice warriors, nonetheless characterizes Greer as "some older woman or other [who] is brought in to tell anyone who will listen how stupid the whole [#MeToo] endeavour is.”

Stupid? Selective is more like it, and in that regard Greer herself is rightly taken to task for giving Woody Allen a pass regarding allegations by stepdaughter Dylan Farrow that the director molested her when she was seven. “It was 20 years ago, so you want him to stop making movies now? It might be a good idea because he’s probably no good anymore,” Greer stated.

But why single out Greer? Many of the #MeToo warriors themselves also gave Allen a pass for years. And as it is with Harvey Weinstein, their newfound outrage demonstrates the same ex post facto hypocrisy of working for Allen first, and criticizing him afterward. Moreover, there’s no shortage of hypocrisy with regard to convicted child rapist Roman Polanski: Activist Natalie Portman, who champions her solidarity with sexual harassment victims, once signed a petition calling for Polanski’s pardon.

Nonetheless, Greer and other critics of the #MeToo movement, including Catherine Deneuve and 100 prominent French women, are getting hammered for suggesting #MeToo is rapidly devolving into a witch hunt. And as it must be for a generation marinated in progressive ideology, “intersectionality” drives that criticism. Thus New Yorker columnist Lauren Collins bemoans the fact that Deneuve, et al, are “mostly, though not exclusively, white members of the professional and artistic classes,” whose petition wasn’t signed by “housekeepers or bus drivers.”

For those insufficiently attuned to modern-day feminism, a 2014 column by Ava Vidal reveals what such “intersectionality” is all about. “There is no one-size-fits-all type of feminism,” she writes. “For example, I am a black woman and as a result I face both racism and sexism as I navigate around everyday life.”

In other words, today’s feminism is less about expanding the boundaries of independence or strength, and more about expanding the boundaries of victimhood.

Why the seeming paradigm shift? “Previous generations understood that our decisions, our whims and consents, had to be ordered by a larger purpose. But the millennial ‘nones’ are the least likely to understand that,” columnist Daniel Greenfield explains.

The term “nones” is a reference to those who do not identify themselves as having any religious affiliation. Tellingly, 36% of Millennials identify as such, a total double that of similar-minded Baby Boomers.

Why is a lack of religion important? “The history of human civilization is built on societies ordering the various states of human emotions to a higher purpose. That is one of the fundamental gifts of religion,” Greenfield explains. “Philosophers across thousands of years sought answers and offered solutions. And then in the last few generations, we tossed them all on the rubbish heap and exchanged them for Marxist pottage.”

That Marxist pottage swaps a higher purpose for “states governed by the emotions of the moment,” and a moral code “based on an academic analysis of power relationships between races, genders and sexual orientations.” As a result, leftists have created an environment “in which consent could be obtained with sufficient pressure,” but also one where “what can be obtained with sufficient pressure can also be withdrawn with sufficient pressure.”

Thus, as Greenfield and Greer have noticed, “retroactively withdrawn consent” drives far too many members of the #MeToo movement — and infuriates them when they’re called on it.

That fury can’t obscure the reality that the women who allowed Harvey Weinstein to exploit them made the choice that an acting career was worth compromising their integrity. That doesn’t mean Weinstein, and the rest of overwhelmingly leftist predators with power to procure sexual favors, aren’t utter low-lifes. It just means a lot of women need to be honest about what their priorities were.

And are. It’s worth remembering that after many of them became stars — and thus economically comfortable — the only real downside to outing these predators would have been having a harder time getting additional roles — often from the same predators.

That doesn’t mean outing them retroactively isn’t a good thing. Going forward, women will undoubtedly benefit from what appears to be a permanent alteration of a contemptible dynamic that has played itself out for far too long.

But telling America what paragons of integrity they are now? It is revealing that both Rose McGowan and Asia Argento, the two women who accused Harvey Weinstein of rape, and are arguably the primary catalysts of the #MeToo movement, both insist they weren’t invited to the 2018 Golden Globes, the awards-show-turned-paean to sexual harassment, in all its black gowns-only glory.

Thus, despite all of the ostensible high-mindedness championed by the current generation of feminists, perhaps “states governed by the emotions of the moment” — with an ample dose of hypocrisy added to the mix — is the best we can expect.



Pat Condell has below some scathing comments on the elitist opposition to Britain leaving the European union.  The British elite and the American elite would appear to have a lot in common

Democrats Question Judicial Nominee About Membership in Catholic Association

Two Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are pressing a nominee for the Nebraska federal trial court about his membership in the Knights of Columbus, a fraternal service organization of the Catholic Church.

Democratic Sens. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Kamala Harris of California submitted written questions in December to Brian Buescher, an Omaha lawyer nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, proposing that he resign his affiliation with the Knights, which they call an “all male society” that “has taken a number of extreme positions” on social questions.

The Catholic News Agency was first to report Friday on Hirono and Harris’ questions respecting the Knights of Columbus.

Buescher leads the agribusiness litigation practice at Kutak Rock LLP, where he has practiced since graduating the Georgetown University Law Center in 2000. President Donald Trump nominated him to the federal bench on Oct. 10 at the recommendation of GOP Sens. Ben Sasse and Debra Fischer of Nebraska.

Lawmakers did not question Buescher about his enrollment in the Knights during his Nov. 28 confirmation hearing, though he listed his association with the group in a questionnaire he returned to the Judiciary Committee prior to his appearance. The issue was only raised in a series of follow-up questions Democrats transmitted to Buescher on Dec. 5. Senators often submit written questions to nominees following a confirmation hearing, though they generally escape public notice.

Christian leaders have previously criticized Judiciary Committee Democrats for perceived anti-Catholic bias. Hirono was among the Democratic lawmakers who expressed concern that Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s religious convictions would impede the discharge of her judicial duties during Barrett’s confirmation hearing for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in September 2017.

Like Buescher, Barrett is a Catholic. She is considered a serious contender for the Supreme Court, should another vacancy arise during the Trump administration.

Among other items, Harris asked Buescher if he was aware that the leadership of the Knights opposes gay marriage, while Hirono asked whether he can assure litigants that he will fairly judge matters relating to reproductive rights.

Founded in 1882 as a mutual benefit society for impoverished Catholic immigrants in New England, the Knights currently operate in over a dozen countries and distribute almost $200 million in charitable funds annually. The organization has some 15,000 chapters.

“The Knights of Columbus is a Roman Catholic service organization with approximately two million members worldwide,” Buescher wrote in response to Hirono and Harris’ questions. “The organization has a religious and charitable purpose. I joined the Knights of Columbus when I was 18 years old and have been a member ever since. My membership has involved participation in charitable and community events in local Catholic parishes.”

“The Knights of Columbus does not have the authority to take personal political positions on behalf of all of its approximately two million members,” he said elsewhere in his responses.

Most members of the Judiciary Committee, including Harris, were absent from the Nov. 28 hearing, which took place an hour before a widely attended briefing with senior administration officials on the Saudi war effort in Yemen.

Aside from his affiliation with the Knights, Democratic lawmakers questioned Buescher about his unsuccessful bid for Nebraska attorney general. During the campaign he described himself as “an avidly pro-life person” and vowed to resist overreaching federal regulations.



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, 2018

An Evidence-Based Faith
“Eighty and six years I have served Him, and He has done me no wrong,” said Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna, in A.D. 156, before climbing onto a pyre — where Roman authorities would burn him to death. Eyewitnesses reported that the local authorities respected Polycarp and begged him to recant his faith in Christ. He would not. The Romans did not even tie Polycarp to a post, as they knew he would not flee the fire. Polycarp fed his captors, prayed over them and then climbed the pyre to die.

Authorities carted off Polycarp’s friend Ignatius, the bishop of Antioch, and fed him to wild beasts in the Circus Maximus on July 6, 108. Ignatius had refused to renounce Christ. Histories of the time, their personal writings and the writings of others tell us Polycarp and Ignatius were students of the Apostle John. They vouched for him as the author of his gospel. John installed Polycarp as bishop of Smyrna, and the Apostle Peter placed Ignatius in charge of Antioch.

In A.D. 99, the Romans drowned their acquaintance Clement in the sea — tied to an anchor — for the same reason. Paul mentioned Clement in his letter to the Philippians, and history shows Clement interacted with Peter, Paul and John.

Clement, Ignatius and Polycarp were one generation removed from the direct eyewitnesses of Jesus. They were students of the Apostles. They vouched for the veracity of the apostolic letters that form the New Testament. They died refusing to reject Jesus as the Christ.

Some skeptics say Jesus did not exist, but by any historic standard, the man known as Jesus of Nazareth existed. If he did not exist, then neither did the Greek philosopher Socrates. We have no writings from Socrates himself. We only know of his existence through the writings of other people. But no one would doubt Socrates existed. We actually have more eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ existence than of Socrates’. Some, however, argue that because Jesus made claims of divinity, there must be extraordinary evidence — perhaps as to his divinity, but not for his historical existence. We have to wipe a lot of people out of history to wipe Jesus out of history.

The Apostle John was Jesus’ best friend. We know this from scripture. We also know this from Polycarp, Ignatius and others. They studied under John, recounted his stories of being with Jesus — including stories not in scripture — and confirm John, Peter, Paul and others as eyewitnesses to Christ’s resurrection.

According to John, Jesus’ own brothers — perhaps like some reading this — rejected Jesus’ claims of divinity. At Jesus’ death, John had to care for Jesus’ mother because none of Jesus’ brothers or sisters went with Mary to the crucifixion. John, Luke, Paul and others tell us that Jesus’ brothers then became leaders in the early Christian church.

Histories of the era recount that James and Jude, the brothers of Jesus, wrote the New Testament letters named after them. Both were executed for proclaiming Jesus as the risen Lord. In fact, the Romans ultimately exterminated the entire earthly bloodline of Jesus’ family.

The leaders of Jerusalem respected James. The oral and written histories of the early Christian church recount that they asked James to publicly push back against claims of his brother’s divinity. Instead, James proclaimed his brother Jesus, whom he had rejected prior to Jesus’ death, was Yahweh. The leaders of the city, enraged, carried James to the top of the temple wall in Jerusalem and threw him off — to his death.

Jesus could have been a conman surrounded by other conmen. They, in turn, were willing to die to keep the con going and got others to die keeping the con going. Or there is something else. Dozens claimed to be the Christ, but only Jesus is remembered and worshiped as the Christ. Why?

Perhaps because it is true. I, however, cannot convince you of more than that the historic evidence for his existence and the willingness of many to die for him is true. But if I am right, you can ask Jesus yourself. Take to your knees and embrace the wonder of this season. Cry out to Jesus, be still and listen. Merry Christmas.


Two Female Christian Artists Could Be JAILED For Not Creating Art For Same-Sex Weddings

Two female Christian artists in Arizona who refuse to make custom-art for same sex weddings could actually be jailed for sticking to their religious beliefs.

Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski , who own Brush & Nib Studio, make custom artwork using painting, calligraphy and handlettering. They filed suit against the city of Phoenix, as a Phoenix city ordinance threatens them with up to six months and/or a fine of $2,500 each day they refuse to make the artwork. First the women filed in state court to overturn the ordinance, but lost in a court of appeals, prompting them to appeal to the state’s Supreme Court, which said on November 20 it would hear the case.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents the women, asked in their petition:

Does Phoenix violate the Arizona Constitution’s Free Speech Clause when it forces commissioned artists to create custom artwork—consisting of words and paintings—conveying messages they object to and when it bans commissioned artists from publishing a statement explaining the artwork they can and cannot create?

Does Phoenix violate Arizona’s Free Exercise of Religion Act when it uses criminal penalties—including jail time—to force commissioned artists to create custom artwork expressing messages that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs and when it bans religiously motivated speech?

The petition added, “Their Christian beliefs forbid them from creating ‘custom artwork that conveys messages condoning, supporting, or participating in activities or ideas that violate their religious beliefs. For example, they cannot create artwork expressing messages that ‘contradict biblical truth, demean others, endorse racism, [or] incite violence.’”

ADF senior counsel Jonathan Scruggs stated at the time the state Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, “The government must allow artists to make their own decisions about which messages they will promote. Joanna and Breanna are happy to design custom art for anyone; they simply object to being forced to pour their heart, soul, imagination, and talent into creating messages that violate their conscience.”

On Friday, ADF reported that a group of legislators weighed in in favor of the women:

The Arizona attorney general joined by other states, numerous state lawmakers, various scholars, and a diverse array of business, artistic, and faith-based groups have filed friend-of-the-court briefs with the Arizona Supreme Court in support of preserving artistic and religious freedom. Specifically, the briefs support two Phoenix artists who face jail time and fines if they violate a sweeping Phoenix criminal law that forces them to design and create custom artwork expressing messages that violate their core beliefs.

The brief filed by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and other state attorneys general states, “A government simply cannot force a citizen to engage in or endorse expression. ... [Phoenix] must not be allowed to force artists to create customized expressions contrary to their moral, religious, or political beliefs, even if such work is paid for by the one requesting it.”

Scruggs added, “As the briefs filed this week affirm, the government shouldn’t threaten artists with jail time and fines to force them to create art that violates their beliefs. Joanna and Breanna work with all people; they just don’t promote all messages. Creative professionals should be free to create art consistent with their convictions without the threat of government punishment. Instead, the government must protect the freedom of artists to choose which messages to express through their own creations.”


Colorado Is Still Trying to Destroy Jack Phillips
Over the past few years, Colorado has been on a crusade to destroy Jack Phillips’ business over a thought crime. The state’s Civil Rights Commission had bored into Phillips’ soul and established that his refusal to create a specialty cake for a same-sex couple was driven by his personal animosity toward gay customers rather than by his Christian faith.

Unelected officials began fining Phillips in an effort to put him out of business for being a Christian. I wrote about the case numerous times, and every time, I was assured that his actions had nothing to do with “religious liberty” — a term almost always placed within quotation marks to intimate that it’s a bogus concern. I was assured that it’s constitutionally acceptable for a gay couple to force a man to create art that undermines his faith. I was assured the case against him would be a slam-dunk for Colorado.

Perhaps it’s unsurprising that so many assumed Phillips’ cause was a lost one. After all, legacy media had fostered a number of misconceptions about the case. Most noteworthy, news reports (and, more importantly, headlines) created the impression that Phillips had refused not only to design an artistic cake with a personalized message that would have undermined his long-standing beliefs — the same beliefs Barack Obama and many other Democrats (but not all conservatives) were still pretending to hold when David Mullins and Charlie Craig walked into Masterpiece Cakeshop — but also to sell gay costumers anything in his shop. It was untrue.

In the end, the 7-2 Supreme Court decision earlier this year protecting Phillips from this attack was both heartening and welcome. But despite all the celebration by First Amendment advocates, it was also a narrow victory. The only real mistake the commissioners had made, according to the court, was openly demeaning their target.

It was then-Commissioner Diann Rice, for example, who had compared religious liberty to Nazism and slavery. The fact that Colorado would not take similar cases against bakers who refused to make specialty cakes for Christian customers (also a protected class) was another obvious example of its social activism. The Supreme Court found that Colorado didn’t display religious neutrality when punishing Phillips for his beliefs, showing “a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs.”

The commission would not make the same mistake next time.

On June 26, 2017, the day the Supreme Court agreed to hear Phillips’ case, Autumn Scardina, a transgender attorney and activist, called Masterpiece Cakeshop and asked Phillips to design a custom cake with a blue exterior and a pink interior to symbolize a transition from male to female. Phillips politely turned Scardina down. “I was stunned,” the lawyer risibly claimed in her complaint to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Scardina, of course, didn’t accidentally ask the most famous Christian baker in the nation to make a “transition” cake. Scardina is leading a crusade against Phillips. In one call, Scardina allegedly asked for “an image of Satan smoking marijuana.” In a written request, members of “the Church of Satan” asked for “a three-tiered white cake” with a “large figure of Satan, licking a 9” black Dildo.“ "I would like the dildo to be an actual working model, that can be turned on before we unveil the cake,” went the request. You can just sense the sanctimonious smugness of people who think this sort of thing is edgy.

In any event, the state of Colorado has allied itself with activists, formally determining that there was probable cause that Phillips had indeed discriminated against Scardina based on “gender identity.” Of course, the baker’s refusal to make dildo and pentagram cakes only proves that Phillips isn’t specifically antagonistic to same-sex couples and the newly consecrated belief in malleable “gender identity,” as he’s shown a consistent adherence to his less malleable Christian values.

It’s those values that upset Scardina and members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Though they can’t say it explicitly, most progressives are fine with discrimination against religious groups. In their hierarchy of moral concerns, free expression isn’t nearly so concerning as the hurt feelings of aggrieved gay couples. And Colorado is again complicit in another attack on the Constitution. Until the Supreme Court comes down with a ruling that explicitly protects religious liberty from state-sponsored attacks on faith, they’ll keep trying.

But it goes well beyond those legal concerns. Activists — including the commission — are trying to destroy a man for thought crimes. This state-sponsored harassment isn’t only about Phillips’ modest business in Lakewood, Colorado, though that’s surely part of it. It’s a warning to all those with unpopular opinions to stay in line.

Trust me, no businessperson wants to deal with the Kafkaesque nightmare of having to account for the moral veracity of every transaction. So in many ways, no matter what happens in court, these inquisitors have already won.


Boy Scouts Facing Bankruptcy: Sacrificed on ‘altar of political correctness’

The Boy Scouts is reportedly considering bankruptcy amid what many saw as the imminent result of a series of poor decisions.

The 108-year-old organization may be seeking bankruptcy protection amid a significant decline in membership and a financial hit due to legal costs in dealing with sex abuse violations, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Multiple social justice decisions by the organization, including the controversial re-naming of the Boy Scouts to Scouts BSA in order to let girls join, and allowing openly gay leaders and members, led to a spiraling loss of membership and sponsorships.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced it would be severing all ties with the Boy Scouts at the end of next year, signaling the end of a long-standing partnership which could cost the embattled organization nearly a third of its members. The Mormon Church indicated that its decision was based on the Boy Scouts representing values that diverge from its own.

In its pursuit to be more inclusive, it seems the Boy Scouts organization lost its way and is now looking at Chicago law firm Sidley Austin being able to help with what could be a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Decades-old cases of alleged sexual abuse were kept under wraps in what came to be known as the “perversion files,” leading to multiple lawsuits against the organization that has led to crippling legal debt.

Chief Scouts executive Michael B. Surbaugh noted the group’s “financial position” in a letter obtained by People magazine, issuing the statement “in anticipation of news reports that will speculate about the BSA’s financial position.”

“We have an important duty, and an incredible opportunity, to focus as an organization on keeping children safe, supported and protected, and preparing youth for their futures through our nation’s foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training,” Surbaugh said.

“To do so in perpetuity,” he continued, “we are working with experts to explore all options available to ensure that the local and national programming of the Boy Scout of America continues uninterrupted.”

Perhaps a return to its original principles would provide the oxygen mask the Boy Scouts needs, but it seems many think that time has passed and the demise of the program for 11- to 17-year-olds.



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


23 December, 2018

A Leftist admits Leftist hypocrisy but says it is justified

Writing on the Leftist "Medium" site, a Seattle graphic designer is full of rage.  Excerpts below. His admission of the shallowness of Leftist claims is refreshing but he goes on to say that what really matters is that Leftists are fighting a huge fight against vast injustices.  The vastness of the injustices in the world is apparently sufficient to justify almost any opposition to it.

So what are these vast injustices?  He seems principally concerned about that old chestnut, black/white inequality.  Somehow whites are responsible for black failure and, to correct that, great and coercive changes are needed.

The immutability of low black economic success does not seem to faze him.  That it persists in the face of extensive affirmative action policies does not interest him.  He shows no serious interest in the causes of the situation at all.  It is all just WRONG and he and a heroic band of progressives must fight to overturn it.  He has elected himself as a hero of rightness and justice.

Black disadvantage first prominently manifests itself in the schools.  Blacks just find it very difficult to do the same work as their same-age white peers and about a third of of them drop out, never graduating from High School at all.

But teachers are overwhelmingly Left-leaning and have over the years turned themselves inside out in an attempt to bridge the black/white educational "gap".  But nothing works.  The gap barely changes regardless of what policies and ideas are thrown at it.  So that shows with perfect clarity that the gap is rooted in something inside blacks themselves.  Blacks are just not good at doing many important things.  The problem is IN blacks, nobody else.  So our Seattle graphic designer is tilting at windmills.  Far from doing any good for anybody he is just banging his head on a brick wall -- but it appears to make him feel big.  That he is in fact a great steaming nit he cannot acknowledge

I have some difficult news for everyone: Progressives aren’t interested in diversity. We aren’t interested in inclusion. We aren’t interested in tolerance. The progressives I know give exactly zero shits about those things.

We have no interest in everyone getting treated the same. We have no interest in giving all ideas equal airtime. We have no interest in “tolerating” all beliefs. I don’t know where this fairy tale comes from, but it’s completely disconnected from every experience I’ve had with progressive liberal folks in my lifetime.

When conservatives cross their arms and glare and shout “It’s not fair! You’re supposed to welcome everyone but you aren’t being nice to me!” it stings about as much as if they shouted, “It’s not fair, you’re supposed to be wearing tutus and juggling flaming donuts!”

The progressive liberal agenda isn’t about being nice. It’s about confronting evil, violence, trauma, and death. It’s about acknowledging the ways systemic power, systemic oppression, systemic evil, work in our world around us. I’m not fighting for diversity. I’m not fighting for tolerance. I’m fighting to overturn horrific systems of dehumanizing oppression.

What We’re Actually Confronting

Take a few facts on race. White America is exhausted of Blacks invoking 200-year-old history as an excuse for their problems. They’ve had it just like whites since the Emancipation Proclamation. Or since MLK. Or since Obama made it into office.

Let’s pause on this. I live in Seattle, Washington. A liberal city if there ever was one. Full of cheery whites with “Black Lives Matter” signs in their windows. But in Seattle, Washington, black residents make less money than white ones. 5% less, 10% less? No. The average black Seattlite’s income is less than half of the average white Seattleite’s income.

Less than half.

So, either there are unspoken forces at play that make it twice as hard for black people in Seattle to earn money, or black people are exactly half as intelligent and hard-working as white folks. Take your pick. But be honest about which one you’re choosing.

How’s the country as a whole? Well, on average, white families have more wealth than black families. How much more? Is it 200%, like Seattle’s income disparity? 500%. No. White families in the US, on average have 1700% the wealth of black families.

How much progress have we made on racial equality in America? Well, apparently we’re 1/17 of the way there. Only 16/17 more to go.

I have a four-year-old white son. A black boy his age, in the same income bracket, same level of education, will live, on-average, 5 years less than him. Half a decade. Mysteriously.

That same black boy has a higher chance of spending time in prison than my son. How much higher? 110% the rate? 150% the rate? Nope, 500% as likely to be imprisoned.


Envoy Says Trump Willing to ‘Stand Up and Push’ for Global Religious Freedom

President Donald Trump is committed to pushing for greater tolerance of different faiths by governments around the world and dismantling an “iron curtain of religious persecution,” his envoy for religious freedom said in an interview with The Daily SIgnal.

“Most people in the world move by what their faith tells them,” Sam Brownback, the former Kansas governor who is Trump’s international ambassador-at-large for religious freedom, said in the interview.

“Much of the world—we’re looking at numbers now—nearly 80 percent live in a religiously restrictive atmosphere, so they don’t have freedom of religion,” he said.

But in the United States, Brownback said, “religious freedom is a foundational right, it’s a God-given right,” and “governments don’t have the right to interfere with it.”

“So we’re going to push on it,” he said. “And the reason it’s so important is it impacts so many people, and so few countries are willing to really stand up and push for it.”

Trump nominated the Kansas Republican for the job in July 2017, while he was in his second term as governor after a stint in the Senate from 1996 to 2011. He resigned as governor and assumed the ambassadorship Feb. 1.

Brownback grew up a Methodist, converted to Catholicism in 2002, and as of last year attended a nondenominational evangelical church in Topeka, Kansas, according to an article by the Religion News Service.

Brownback, 62, called the current state of international religious freedom “not good” for citizens of countries such as Iran who live in “restrictive atmospheres.”

“Unfortunately, I think the religious restrictions have been growing over the last 20 years,” he told The Daily Signal in the Nov. 30 interview. “There are places where it’s quite good. But the trend line has been against religious freedom.”

“Yet,” Brownback added, “I think [the administration can make progress] with the United States really leaning in on this, pushing on this, and then showing to countries, ‘If you want to grow, one of the key things you can do is provide religious freedom.’”

Iran’s Islamist regime is a sobering example of what people face in countries that actively restrict religious liberty, he said.

“In Iran, you get caught, you’re going to jail, or you can get a hand cut off, or you’ll be killed for practicing a faith that’s different than the dominant Shia religion there.”

Brownback said Trump has made international religious freedom a focus of his administration. He said the inaugural Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, a conference hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, showcased the president’s commitment.

A total of 84 countries participated in the meeting, held July 24-26 in Washington, and the gathering included 1,000 representatives of civil society and religious groups, he said.

“I think what we found, because we did this on such short notice, is that we’ve hit a vein. This is something that touches a lot of people, and it touches them very deeply,” Brownback said, emphasizing that governments around the world not only have fallen short in providing their citizens with religious freedom, but also have taken steps to prevent it.

“Governments have been messing in this space in an increasing role for the last three decades,” he said. “It needs to stop.”

Brownback said organizers plan to hold a second international gathering next year and to set up regional meetings on specific topics in other countries.

“There are a number of countries who are stepping up to do this,” he said. “And my hope is, really, we can bring this iron curtain of religious persecution down. The same way as the Iron Curtain of communism came down, so you can get that burst of freedom as the world wakes up.”

Brownback said the release in October of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor held for two years in Turkey on terror and treason charges, showcases Trump’s commitment to religious freedom.

“He’s an amazing man, Andrew Brunson, and President Trump’s an amazing president,” Brownback said. “He, the president, Trump, got that done.”

Trump’s work for Brunson’s release was remarkable, he said, including tariffs on aluminum and steel from Turkey that “tanked” that country’s currency.

“It was gratifying to see an administration go to bat for somebody that was innocent, in spite of all the other equities and all the other relationship issues we have with Turkey,” Brownback said. “They said, ‘This guy is an American citizen being wrongly treated, and we’re going to go to bat for him,’ and they did. I was delighted to see him get on out.”

Brownback said his role as international ambassador-at-large for religious freedom has given him the opportunity to hear many stories of people like Brunson who are faithful even in adversity.

“You can elevate the topics, and that’s been very gratifying, but the most gratifying thing is when you talk with people that you help get out of jail,” he said, adding:

The beauty of their soul that’s gone through such persecution just really grows my faith, because I look at that and I’m just so impressed with the peace and the joy that they have. You can’t counterfeit it. You can’t act this way. It has to be a real thing that flows out of you. And I get to meet people and work with people like that every day.


US Pushes Back Against ‘Reproductive Rights’ Language in UN Texts

The United States waged a lonely struggle at the United Nations on Monday as it opposed language that some advocacy groups have used to promote abortion – and even a global “right” to abortion.

The U.S. attempted, without success, to remove references to “reproductive rights” and “reproductive health services” in two resolutions – one relating to child, early and forced marriage, and the other to preventing sexual harassment of women and girls.

The votes went overwhelmingly against the U.S., which stood alone in one (131-1, with 31 abstentions) and was supported by only Nauru in the other (134-2, with 32 abstentions).

After the amendment to delete four paragraphs from the text on child, early and forced marriage failed, U.S. delegate Sofija Korac explained the administration’s stance, voicing U.S. “concerns about wording that exceeds prior international consensus on issues related to reproductive health care.”

The United States believes that women should have equal access to reproductive health care,” she said, adding that the U.S. continues to support commitments laid out in key documents that came out of the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, and the 1995 Beijing world conference on women.

“As has been made clear over many years, there was international consensus that these documents do not create new international rights, including any ‘right’ to abortion,” Korac said.

While the U.S. supports “the principle of voluntary choice regarding maternal and child health and family planning,” she said, it does “not recognize abortion as a method of family planning, nor do we support abortion in our reproductive health assistance.”

Soon after his inauguration President Trump reinstated a Reagan-era policy prohibiting federal funding for organizations promoting or performing abortions abroad.

That “Mexico City policy” was subsequently strengthened, to cover all U.S. foreign health assistance, not only funding for family planning programs as had been the case earlier.

Korac reminded the U.N. on Monday that the U.S. remains the largest bilateral donor of reproductive health and family planning assistance.

Since the 1994 and 1995 U.N. conference documents referred to by the U.S. delegate, pro-abortion advocacy groups have frequency asserted that the term “reproductive rights” includes abortion.

Some NGOs, citing those documents, have sought to pressurize governments to annul or amend their abortion laws. At the same time they, and supportive governments, have accused Republican administrations in Washington of trying to “roll back women’s rights” by opposing the vague terms in U.N. documents.

In its annual country reports on human rights for the year 2017, the State Department earlier this year removed subsections on “reproductive rights” for each country assessed, which had been inserted by the Obama State Department.

Instead the department reverted to the requirement – in legislation dating back to 1961 – for the annual report to “include information on practices regarding coercion in population control, including coerced abortion and involuntary sterilization.”

Accusing the State Department of having “omitted vital information on reproductive rights” from the report, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking records relating to the decision.

When the CRR filed a second FOIA lawsuit earlier this month, its foreign policy counsel Stephanie Schmid said it would continue to hold the administration accountable, to ensure that U.S. foreign policy “promotes, rather than hinders, women and girls’ access to basic health care like contraception, safe abortion, and maternal health care in order for them to achieve economic, social, and political empowerment.”


Secularism Is Attempting to Destroy Christmas – And America

The Christmas season is upon us, with trees up, lights twinkling and general merriment abounding.

These things put most people in the Christmas spirit—but some will say “reason” should prevail instead.

Here are just a few examples:

The Chicago chapter of The Satanic Temple was recently permitted to place a statue in the Illinois Capitol building alongside displays of a Nativity scene and a menorah. The sculpture, called “Knowledge Is the Greatest Gift,” depicts the forearm of a woman holding an apple with a snake coiling toward her hand.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation posted a “free-thinking” banner in a New York park declaring “Reason’s Greetings,” as well as erected two digital billboards in Atlanta depicting a snowy scene with the phrase, “At This Season of the Winter’s Solstice May Reason Prevail.”

FFRF also demanded that several Ohio towns cease displaying nativity scenes this Christmas season. After the mayor in Ravenna relented and announced there would be no nativity this year, townspeople protested. The town of Dover was also forced to remove its nativity and Ten Commandments display. In Streetsboro, however, the mayor says the nativity will stay up after receiving a similar threatening letter several years ago.

Another nativity scene was removed from a park in Woodland, Washington, where it had been displayed for 40 years. The mayor decided to move the scene to a privately-owned spot after several complaints.

The atheists are ready again to try to save the U.S. from the season’s irascible burdens of “tidings of comfort and joy.” But the annual roadside “Humbug!” proclamations and community banners elicit little more than a “ho-hum.” Each December, atheists have put up strategically placed, carefully worded signs and made efforts to turn people away from Christmas. But when groups like these work to promote a worldview that denies God and undermines truth, there are repercussions in terms of human behavior—tragically negative ones. At this point, atheists will say that the greater tragedy is to believe in a “mean old man in the sky” or an “antiquated book of fairy tales.”

But the reality is this: the encouraged, and often enforced, secularism we are living with is destroying the country. As a scholar, I would argue that the atheists’ anti-Christmas efforts are vacuous from the standpoints of historical fact and logic. To get any sort of traction in the public consciousness, or the press, atheists must have something to “ride on”—usually something directly or indirectly Christian. These attempts to evangelize for unbelief represent the atheists’ annual attempt at relevancy. This season is an opportunity for the God-deniers to emerge from their ideological vacuum and enjoy some momentary news coverage. But this requires the presence of and reality of Christianity. Strangely enough, God and Jesus have to “be there” in order for the atheists to fight recognition of them—thus highlighting the schizophrenic nature of these annual campaigns and of atheism itself.

At a time when more youth are leaving their faith behind or identifying as the religious group “nones,” the culture needs God more than ever—and Christmas is a time when many find Him.



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, 2018

Neo-Nazi couple who named their son after Adolf Hitler jailed for membership of far-Right group

No free speech in authoritarian Britain.  These people have been jailed for their opinions only.  They have harmed nobody.  And psychologists have long known that there is a negligible relationship between attitudes and behaviour in racial matters

A fanatical Neo-Nazi couple who named their baby son after Adolf Hitler have been jailed for membership of a terrorist group that a judge warned wants to use "serious violence and murder" to "overthrow of democracy" in the UK.

Adam Thomas, 22, and Claudia Patatas, 38, were found guilty of being members of the extreme Right-wing organisation National Action, which was banned in 2016.

The jury was told that Thomas and Patatas gave their child the middle name "Adolf", which Thomas said was in "admiration" of Hitler, and the couple had Swastika scatter cushions in their home.

Thomas and Patatas were jailed at Birmingham Crown Court for six years and six months, and five years, respectively.

The sentencing judge said both had "a long history of violent racist beliefs".

Their close friend, Darren Fletcher, who admitted National Action membership before trial, was also jailed for five years for the same offence.

In all, six people were sentenced on Tuesday, for being members of what Judge Melbourne Inman QC described as a group with "horrific aims".

He said: "Its aims and objectives are the overthrow of democracy in this country by serious violence and murder, and the imposition of a Nazi-style state which would eradicate whole sections of society by such violence and mass murder."

Last week, the court heard the prosecution claim that Fletcher had taught his daughter to give a Nazi salute, and that he sent a message to Patatas saying "finally got her to do it".

Photographs recovered from their address also showed Thomas cradling his newborn son while wearing the hooded white robes of a Ku Klux Klansman.

In conversation with another National Action member, Patatas said "all Jews must be put to death", while Thomas had once told his partner he found "all non-whites intolerable".

Former Amazon security guard Thomas, and Patatas, a wedding photographer originally from Portugal who also wanted to "bring back concentration camps", were found guilty after a seven-week trial.

Thomas, a twice-failed Army applicant, was also convicted on a majority verdict of having a terrorist manual, namely the Anarchist's Cookbook, which jurors heard contained instructions on making "viable" bombs.

The couple, of Waltham Gardens, Banbury, Oxfordshire, held hands and wept as they were sentenced.

Daniel Bogunovic, 27, of Crown Hills Rise, Leicester, a leading member in National Action's Midlands chapter, was also jailed. He was convicted of membership of National Action after standing trial with Patatas and Thomas, and sentenced to six years and four months.

He was described by prosecutors as a "committed National Action leader, propagandist and strategist", within the group's Midlands cell.

Two other men, cyber security worker and National Action Midlands cell "banker" Joel Wilmore, 24, and van driver Nathan Pryke, 26, described as the group's "security enforcer", were also sent to prison.

Fletcher, 28, of Kitchen Lane, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, Wilmore, 24, of Bramhall Road, Stockport, Greater Manchester, and Pryke, 26, of Dartford Road, March, Cambridge, all admitted membership of the banned group prior to the trial.

Pryke was handed a jail term of five years and five months, and Wilmore was sentenced to five years and 10 months.

Opening the case, Barnaby Jameson QC, prosecuting, said all six defendants had been members post-ban and taken part in the organisation's chat groups, which were staging posts for comments of "virulent racism, particularly from Thomas, Patatas and Fletcher".

He added: "Leaders Pryke, Wilmore and Bogunovic were more circumspect in their views but on occasion the true depth of their racial hatred leeched out."


Why the National Enquirer Probe Threatens Free Speech

Buried in all the hoopla over the Michael Cohen plea deal is something that should frighten any member of the press. The federal government’s criminal probe has included editorial decisions made by the National Enquirer about the purchasing and publication of various stories from women who claimed to have had affairs with Donald Trump more than a decade ago.

Let’s put the personal morality of paying off porn stars and Playmates for their silence aside. Whether these are campaign expenditures or illegal donations as opposed to a personal matter is, thanks to the hairy mess that is campaign-finance law, now hotly disputed. There is actually a bigger issue here: The First Amendment.

For all the complaints that come from some media personalities about how Trump is a threat to freedom of the press, perhaps we should be looking at those who are investigating Trump instead. The criminalization of the National Enquirer’s exercising its editorial prerogatives is a dangerous precedent and could enable some renegade bureaucrat to investigate other outlets.

The accusation is simple: A decision to publish (or not publish) a story would be viewed as a campaign contribution. When The Patriot Post covered the big differences between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in 2016, First Amendment issues played a big role, and Hillary came out the poorer. Under the perversions espoused by some, that would have been seen as a campaign contribution.

Far-fetched interpretation? Well, in that piece, it was also noted that Democrats on the Federal Election Commission were targeting conservative media and talk radio. Imagine a Democrat-controlled FEC or Department of Justice probe on The Patriot Post team for deciding to drop George Will.

We don’t have to imagine the Democrats using the power of the government to target political opponents. Look at Andrew Cuomo’s use of financial regulations against the NRA. Look at the IRS scandal that the Obama administration got away with. Look at the John Doe investigations in Wisconsin. These are just the high-profile cases. Granted, the NRA’s suit has gone to discovery, and under Trump the DOJ settled allegations, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court put an end to the witch hunt against conservative groups, but the incalculable damage has been done.

How many Second Amendment supporters or other conservatives have decided not to get involved because they don’t want to risk the wrath of some Lois Lerner-type in a cubicle who could kick off a process that could lead to crushing legal fees in the best case of a successful defense? How much advocacy was delayed or halted because of the need to deal with investigations? We can never truly know.

It’s not as if a prominent Democrat didn’t have his political future aided by a decision to bury a story. In 2005, then-Senator Barack Obama was photographed in the company of Louis Farrakhan at a Congressional Black Caucus event by journalist Askia Muhammed. The photographer chose to bury the photo in order to protect Obama’s political future. It stayed buried for more than a dozen years, until January 2018. That photo, had it come to light a decade sooner, would have killed Obama’s campaign — and Muhammed’s comments indicate he knew it would have.

Somehow, we get the feeling that had Muhammed been investigated by the Justice Department, the FEC, or Congress, the folks who are eagerly hoping that the Enquirer payoffs can bring down President Trump would be much less eager to see “justice” done. So, the question that some conservative Trump critics must answer is why they would seek to subject conservatives to yet another witch hunt?

That is already on the agenda. According to former Investor’s Business Daily reporter Paul Sperry, Democrats are planning to investigate conservative media outlets for “ties to Russia.” In reality, the real “crime” will be supporting President Trump. Even without a successful prosecution, the process itself will serve as punishment for those who dare oppose progressives, as was the case with the IRS and John Doe abuses.

There is only one way to stop this: We must put aside the grievances and disagreements that have emerged since the Trump candidacy began in 2015 and draw a line in the sand. The right of media outlets to make editorial decisions that are protected by the First Amendment must be defended.

It is better to have to explain editorial decisions with our free-speech rights intact than to accept a double standard and find our ability to make the argument extremely limited at best. If conservatives can’t make the argument, how can they win debates, much less elections?


Sweden's 'man-free' feminist music festival is found guilty of discrimination by authorities

A 'man free' feminist music festival in Sweden has been found guilty of discrimination, it has emerged.

The event, called Statement, was held in Gothenburg in August this year having been billed as 'the world's first major music festival for women, non-binary and transgender only'.

But describing the festival as 'male-free' was a violation of anti-discrimination legislation, Sweden's Discrimination Ombudsman (DO) has ruled.

Men were not prevented from buying a ticket or entering the festival grounds but male members of artists' entourages and the likes of technicians and managers were reportedly restricted to a so-called 'man-pen' in a backstage area.

DO press officer Clas Lundstedt said in a statement: 'It is important to point out what an infringement is. These are the statements made before the festival, what they wrote on their website.

Lundstedt said nobody suffered damage as a result of Statement saying men were not welcome and there will be no penalty for organisers.

The festival was billed as being a 'safe space' featuring 'cis-men free' artists, security and catering. The term cisgender refers to a man or a woman whose gender matches the sex they were at birth. A trans or non-binary person is someone whose gender does not conform to their sex assigned at birth.

Swedish comedian Emma Knyckare came up with the idea for the festival after a huge number of sexual offences were reported at Bravalla, Sweden's biggest music festival, last year.

No such crimes were reported during Statement, which carries pictures of women dancing and celebrating together.

Lundstedt added: 'Clearly, we believe that sexual abuse, especially at festivals, is a serious problem. So we are looking forward to trying to correct this. However, it shouldn't happen in a way that violates the law, which their statements in the media and their website do.'

In response, Statement said on Facebook that it was unfazed by the ruling and was 'busy changing the world'.

'It's sad that what 5,000 women, non-binaries and transgender experienced as a life-changing festival, made a few cis-men lose it completely.

'The success of the Statement festival shows that is exactly what we need, and the DO's verdict doesn't change this fact. Otherwise, we have no comments. We are busy changing the world.'


State Bills of Rights Have the Real Protections

By presidential proclamation, December 15 is Bill of Rights Day. President Donald Trump urges Americans to take time to “recognize the key role of the [federal] Bill of Rights in protecting our individual liberties and limiting the power of government.”

While we are better off for having the first ten amendments to the Constitution, it is intellectually dishonest for the media and our national leaders to pay such obeisance to the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is a mere shadow of the protections the states originally urged Congress to pass and pales in comparison to the rights guaranteed in many state constitutions.

James Madison, the primary architect of the Bill of Rights, merely sought to mollify Anti-Federalist critics of the Constitution without imposing real limits on the powers of the federal government.

The various states had sent Congress many substantive amendments that would have limited federal power and protected individual liberty. For example, Virginia offered a lengthy amendment aimed at limiting federal judicial power. Massachusetts suggested amendments on the power of taxation as well as prohibiting gargantuan congressional districts, where the people would have little chance of truly knowing their representatives. New York wanted an amendment requiring two thirds of Congress to approve any borrowing on the credit of the United States.

Unfortunately, Madison and Congress ignored these proposals. Madison followed the advice of Samuel Johnston, the governor of North Carolina, who had counseled that amendments should be “a little Flourish & Dressing” and no more.

Americans desiring real protections and limits on federal power were not deceived by the final product. Virginian William Grayson, writing to Patrick Henry, complained that Congress’s proposed amendments “are so mutilated & gutted that in fact they are good for nothing.” Theodorick Bland of Virginia lamented that the congressmen “have not made one single material” alteration to the Constitution. South Carolina’s Thomas Tudor Tucker thought the amendments sent to the states were “calculated merely to amuse, or rather to deceive.”

Amusement and deception aside, today, when we think of the Bill of Rights and landmark cases, we typically think of restrictions on state power. It does not occur to modern Americans that the Bill of Rights originally applied only to the national government. As the preamble to the Bill of Rights declares, “further declaratory and restrictive clauses” were adopted because the state conventions wanted some security to “prevent misconstruction and abuse of” powers delegated to the national government. The people of the states were satisfied with their own bills of rights and restrictions on state power appearing in the various state constitutions.

It was not until 1925 that the U.S. Supreme Court began applying selected provisions of the Bill of Rights against the states – a practice that is still questioned by a number of legal scholars.

While most Americans have some general familiarity with notable provisions of the Bill of Rights, such as guarantees to free speech, the right to bear arms, and the free exercise of religion, it’s doubtful they have any comprehension of what is contained in the bills of rights of their home states. This is a pity. Most state bills of rights have far more extensive protections than those found in the federal version.

For example, in addition to the “usual” protections associated with its federal cousin, New Hampshire’s bill of rights recognizes that the people possess the “natural rights” of acquiring and using property; are entitled to an “open, accessible, accountable and responsive” government; and have a constitutional right to revolution if government becomes oppressive.

South Carolina’s bill of rights provides constitutional protections for crime victims, prohibits imprisonment for debt, and guarantees court review of the decisions of administrative agencies.

California’s bill of rights specifically secures the property rights of noncitizens, the right of a victim to receive restitution from the perpetrator of a crime, and the right to have all relevant evidence introduced in criminal proceedings.

Americans should pause on December 15 and contemplate their rights. But their time would be better spent on the texts of their state constitutions rather than idolizing the “Flourish & Dressing” of James Madison’s offering.



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, 2018

As CAIR Challenges Texas Ban on Boycotting Israel, Governor Retorts, ‘Texas Stands With Israel. Period’

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced a lawsuit Monday challenging legislation in Texas which prohibits government agencies from contracting with or investing in companies that boycott Israel.

CAIR’s legal defense fund is supporting a speech therapist whose attempt to renew her contract with a school district in an Austin suburb hit a hurdle when she refused to sign a document affirming she does not boycott Israel.

According to documents filed in the U.S. District Court in the city on Monday, Bahia Amawi, who supports the so-called boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, declined to sign an addendum to contract papers, and was told her contract could not be renewed as a result.

“Ms. Amawi advocates for boycotts of Israel due to Israel’s continuing violations of international law in its treatment of Palestinians,” the suit says. “Specifically, Ms. Amawi boycotts products created in Israel in support of the peaceful Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.’

“As an advocate for Palestinian rights and justice, she cannot in good faith certify or state that she does not boycott Israel, and will not engage in a boycott of Israel.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott last year signed into law legislation prohibiting state entities from entering into contracts for goods and services unless the entity concerned verifies in writing that it “does not boycott Israel” and “will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract.”

The Texas House of Representatives had earlier approved the bill by 131-0, and the Texas Senate by 27-4.

On Monday, Abbott sounded a defiant note on Twitter: “Texas stands with Israel. Period.”

CAIR, which calls itself the nation’s biggest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, claims the BDS movement is “in support of Palestinian human rights.”

Other prominent backers include the first two Muslim women to be elected to the U.S. Congress, Rep.-elect Ihlan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep.-elect Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)

Critics view BDS as inherently anti-Semitic, on the grounds that it targets only the Jewish state and none of the other nations around the world embroiled in territorial disputes.

A working definition of anti-Semitism adopted by the U.S. and 30 other countries in 2016 provides among “contemporary examples” in public life, requiring of Israel “a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

In an address to an “anti-BDS conference” in New York last year, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said, “how tragic is it that, of all countries in the world to condemn for human rights violations, these voices [from college campuses to the U.N.] choose to single out Israel.”

“We should boycott North Korea. We should sanction Iran. We should divest from Syria – not Israel,” she said. “It makes absolutely no sense. And it has no connection to any reasonable definition of justice.”

As governor of South Carolina, Haley in 2015 passed the nation’s first “anti-BDS” law.

At least two dozen U.S. states have now enacted similar laws, and the ACLU is currently warning against any attempt by the U.S. Congress to include legislation entitled the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act” into a year-end omnibus spending bill.

That measure also enjoys substantial bipartisan support – in the U.S. Senate, it is sponsored by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and has 58 co-sponsors; and in the House, the bill introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) has 292 co-sponsors.

The ACLU argues that the legislation violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The case in Texas also invokes the First Amendment.

The lawsuit document states that the state of Texas “chose to categorically take Israel’s side in this international conflict by adopting” the law signed by Abbott last year.

“Political speech on issues of great national and international importance is central to the purposes of the First Amendment,” it says.

“Speech and advocacy related to the Israel–Palestine conflict is core political speech on a matter of public concern entitled to the highest levels of constitutional protection.”

The lawsuit calls on the court, among other things, to declare the Texas law “unconstitutional and unenforceable.”


No more excuses: British health chiefs vow to step up war on salt as targets to cut content missed Health chiefs have demanded “no more excuses” after new figures showed just half of targets to cut salt intake in common foods have been met

Food authoritarianism. NOBODY should heed government food advice.  It goes into reverse too often to be worthy of respect.  And the war on salt is absurd.  The Japanese are the world's greatest salt eaters by far and they have especially long lives.  Japanese soy sauce is almost solid salt

A report by Public Health England (PHE) reveals zero progress reducing average salt content in some foods – including bacon and ham – since pledges were made four years ago.

Ministers have repeatedly vowed to wage war on salt, which increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

The new analysis found that just 52 per cent of the average sodium level targets were met for products consumed in the home, PHE said.

Meat products were the saltiest culprits, with no average targets met and 43 per cent of products above recommended maximum limits.

No progress at all was made reducing the average salt content of ham and bacon, the figures show, with targets missed for sausages, ready meals, rice and soups.

Overall, manufacturers met just 37 per cent of their average targets, the figures show, with better progress by retailers, who achieved 73 per cent of the goals they were set.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: “Too much salt can lead to increased blood pressure which can cause heart disease and stroke – two of the biggest killers of adults in the UK – which is why government has set such stretching targets.

“While we have seen some progress, those that have taken little or no action cannot be excused for their inactivity. It is clear that, with the right leadership from industry, further salt reduction in foods continues to be possible.”

The health body is calling for mandatory labels on foods so that they display their salt content.

Health officials recommend that adults should eat no more than 6 grams of salt a day.


UN immigration pact loses support in Belgium

Charles Michel, the Belgian prime minister, resigned on Tuesday night after his government collapsed in the face of virulent opposition to his signing of a UN migration pact from his erstwhile coalition partners.

Mr Michel lost the support of the Flemish nationalist N-VA, the largest party in his coalition, over the non-binding UN agreement, which opponents had claimed would open the door to greater migration.

Belgium is now bracing itself for a snap election as early as next month after Mr Michel said he was going to the king to offer his resignation amid demands for a motion of no confidence in his now minority government.

He had refused to submit to such a vote or the calls from some in the assembly for an early election. A snap poll, he said, would only lead to "stagnation for the whole of 2019". The next election is due in Belgium in May.

Instead, Mr Michel announced: "I am taking the decision to offer my resignation. I am now going to see the king."

Amid applause from parlamentarians, he picked up his briefcase, shook the hands of a number of government ministers, and left.

King Philippe of Belgium received Michel and is now expected to hold consultations between the political parties before calling elections in January.

The right-wing Flemish party quit the government after Mr Michel refused its demand to drop his support for the migration pact, and secured parliamentary approval to go ahead against its wishes.

It branded his weakened administration "the Marrakech coalition," after the city where the accord was signed just over a week ago.

Its withdrawal left his French-speaking liberal MR supported only by two smaller Flemish parties.

The UN migration pact was agreed in July by all 193 members except the United States, but only 164 formally signed it at the meeting on December 10.

Some European politicians say the accord, aimed at fostering global cooperation on the issue, could increase immigration to the bloc, which tightened restrictions on refugees and migrants in recent months. But supporters of the deal say claims it will encourage uncontrolled flows and embed migration as a human right are entirely false and aimed at fearmongering.

On Sunday, thousands of people turned out in Brussels to protest against the pact, at a rally called by Flemish right wing parties. Some 5,500 people, according to police figures, marched in the district housing the main European Union institutions, eclipsing a smaller demo of around 1,000 people in support of the deal.

Police deployed teargas and water cannon after scuffles broke out at the right wing demonstration, where some held banners bearing slogans including "Our people first" and "We have had enough, close the borders."

Riot police stepped after projectiles and firecrackers were thrown, an AFP journalist on the scene reported. Some 90 people were detained, according to the Belga news agency.

The UN's Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is designed to frame an effective international approach to the issue, which has become deeply divisive in Europe since the peak of the migrant crisis in 2015.

Several EU countries pulled out of the pact before it was signed, including Austria, which holds the EU presidency,  the Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, and Slovakia.

On Tuesday, Pope Francis warned against a growing tendency of politicians to exploit nationalism and fear of foreigners. He used a message to mark World Peace Day to insist: "Political addresses that tend to blame every evil on migrants and to deprive the poor of hope are unacceptable".


Australians For Tommy Robinson

Below I reproduce the current iteration of Avi Yemeni's home page.  Avi is a conservative Israeli of very Arab appearance who lives in Australia.  His videos are on the right (Fittingly!) of his original page.  His latest efforts are in defence of British immigration critic Tommy Robinson, who is greatly feared and therefore heavily persecuted by the British elite.  Robinson has the daring to speak common sense about Muslims

Avi Yemini was one of a handful of real reporters who went to London to cover Tommy Robinson’s court appearance. As you know, the British media are so hostile to Tommy, they can’t even be trusted to accurately report the facts of the case.

So Tommy’s supporters crowdfunded Avi’s flight, and other reporters from Canada and the U.S. too.. Afterwards, Tommy said it made a huge difference having honest journalists there — it helped get the truth out, despite the mainstream media’s lies.

Well, Tommy had another demonstration — this time, it was about Brexit.

Tommy supports Brexit, and he worked with UKIP to organize this rally. But the British media are demonizing Tommy, and everyone involved with the demo. They know that Tommy is a growing political force, so they think that they have to defame him.

So when Tommy asked Avi to come all the way to London again, he agreed.

And we’re glad he did. Because it’s so important to have real reporters covering Tommy’s activities, because the BBC, Sky News and other British outlets lie and defame him.



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, 2018

Acceptable Racism

Walter E. Williams
How appropriate would it be for a major publicly held American company to hire a person with a history of having publicly made the following statements and many others like them? (In the interest of brevity, I shall list only four.) “The world could get by just fine with zero black people.” “It’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old black men.” “Dumbass f—ing black people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants.” “Are black people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically only being fit to live underground like groveling bilious goblins?”

I think most Americans would find such blatant racism despicable and would condemn any company that knowingly hired such a person. Leftists of every stripe would be in an uproar, demanding the dismissal of such an employee. College students and their professors would picket any company that hired such a person. I could be wrong about this, so I’d truly like any employer who’d hire such a person to come forward.

Most Americans would see such statements as racist, but consider this: Suppose we slightly changed the wording of each statement, replacing the word “black” with “white.” For example, “The world could get by just fine with zero white people.” Would you consider that statement to be just as racist? I would hope you’d answer in the affirmative. They’re all racist statements!

The full scoop on those statements can be found in an excellent essay by William Voegeli, “Racism, Revised,” in the fall edition of the Claremont Review of Books. The racist statements about white people were made by Sarah Jeong, one of the newest members of The New York Times’ editorial board. Jeong attended the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School. She decided to become a journalist specializing in technology and the internet. She has an active Twitter account with over 97,000 followers.

One person excused Jeong’s tweets by saying they “were not racist” but merely “jokes about white people.” Leftists have been taught utter nonsense by their college professors. The most insidious lesson taught is who can and who cannot be a racist. Jeong was born in South Korea in 1988 and became a U.S. citizen in 2017, so she is a minority. According to the thinking of academia’s intellectual elite, a minority person cannot be a racist. The reason is that minorities don’t have the political, economic and institutional power to adversely affect the lives of whites.

Such reasoning is beyond stupid. Here’s a test. Is the following statement racist? “Jews are money-hungry hustlers.” Before you answer, must you first find out the race of the person making the statement? Would you suggest that it’s not a racist statement if the speaker is black but it is if he’s white?

Voegeli says that calling someone “racist” is one of the most severe accusations that can be made against a person but at the same time is among the vaguest. Years ago, one had to don a hood and robe to be a certified racist. Today, it’s much easier. Tucker Carlson of Fox News questioned whether diversity is all that it’s cracked up to be. He asked: “How, precisely, is diversity our strength? Can you think, for example, of other institutions, such as … marriage or military units, in which the less people have in common the more cohesive they are?” The Washington Post’s media critic declared that it was racist for Carlson to cast doubt on the proposition that diversity is good.

Voegeli’s article is rich with many other examples of how lots of Americans are losing their minds in matters of race. Muhammad Ali had it right when he said: “Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”


Now we have seen the true colours of Britain's Leftist "Momentum" movement

Their counter-protest at the Brexit Betrayal march betrayed their middle-class elitism

How are these for catastrophic optics. Across Europe people are in revolt. They’re raging against the EU. They’re beating the streets in their tens of thousands in France to rage against the Louis XVI of Euro-technocracy, Emmanuel Macron. Belgian ‘yellow vests’ tried to storm the European parliament. Dutch protesters are agitating against Brussels rule, too. And while this is all happening, as Europe teeters on the brink of continent-wide revolt, what is Momentum doing? It’s popping into London to scream ‘fascists!’ at largely working-class people who are concerned about the betrayal of Brexit.

In the bad-optics stakes this is up there with Gordon Brown branding an elderly lady who raised concerns about mass immigration a ‘bigoted woman’, or Ed Miliband launching his manifesto on what looked for all the world like a tombstone. Yes, Momentum, the quite posh, mostly youthful Labour Party outfit that does Jeremy Corbyn’s bidding online and on the streets, has chosen this moment of Euro-revolt to counter-protest a pro-Brexit march; to brand as Nazis a gathering of people concerned about Theresa May’s awful deal; to play-act at chasing down fantasy fascists rather than taking sides against the very real forces infuriating millions of ordinary Europeans right now: the technocratic elites.

Momentum and other leftists, including the perma-protesters of the SWP, traipsed to the Brexit Betrayal demo in central London on Sunday. That demo was led by Tommy Robinson and attended by some Robinson supporters, some UKIP supporters, and people who are neither of these things but who are looking for a forum in which to express their anger with the political class’s relentless assaults on Brexit. They wanted to make their voices heard ahead of the Commons’ vote on May’s Withdrawal Agreement this Tuesday. It is estimated that 2,000 turned up to the Brexit Betrayal march, while a reported 15,000 attended the anti-Brexit Betrayal march. Corbynistas are crowing about this having been a huge victory for the left when of course all it really shows is that their pre-march claims that Tommy Robinson is the new Oswald Mosley and Britain is infested with 1930s-style fascism was bunkum of the highest order.

The self-flattering narrative promoted by Corbynistas in relation to their counter-protest has at times been unhinged. Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell implored ‘all Labour members’ to join the counter-protest on the basis that ‘the working class of Britain have a proud history of beating the far right’. That’s true. Though it is no thanks to Labour, which, lest we forget, advised its members not to attend what became the Battle of Cable Street in 1936, during which East End Jews and radical leftists faced down Mosley’s marchers. More importantly, what we had in Sunday’s counter-protest was nothing like the working classes confronting fascism – it was mostly middle-class leftists shouting abuse at working-class people.

We come back to the optics question. Did no one in Momentum, or in McDonnell’s office, or among the Media Studies Marxists (ie, not Marxists) of Novara Media, stop to think about what it might look like for plummy leftists to spend a day hurling epithets at notably less well-off people? To take photos of men with St George flag tattoos and mock them on social media, akin to when Lady Nugee (Emily Thornberry) took the piss out of people in Rochester who had the English flag hanging from their windows?

The two demos were actually a good snapshot of a very important divide in politics today – that between what David Goodhart refers to as Anywheres and Somewheres. The Anywheres are the new elites who prefer global institutions over national democracy because it means they can make decisions far away from the madding crowd; the Somewheres are those who still long for a sense of place, of national attachment. So we had the counter-protest leftists calling for the opening of borders and the Brexit Betrayal marchers demanding greater national democratic control. Anywheres vs Somewheres. But here’s the thing: millions of Europeans are currently in revolt against the paternalistic, anti-democratic rule of the Anywheres, and at precisely that moment, Momentum makes clear that it is in the Anywhere camp. Sunday’s counter-demo was a quite colossal self-defeat for the radical pretensions of the Corbynista movement.

It is actually quite disgraceful that the first protest by Labour’s pseudo-radicals in the era of Yellow Vest rebellion involved slandering concerned Britons as ‘fascists’. It doesn’t matter what you think of Robinson or UKIP. The fact is that the people on the march were not fascists. Many were not even supporters of Robinson or UKIP. As a reporter for the Independent said, it would be ‘disingenuous’ to say this protest was ‘only about Tommy Robinson’; lots of people were there simply because they ‘passionately believe in Brexit’ and they feel ‘Theresa May’s deal offers [Brexit] in name only’. To travel into London and libel normal, politically worried people as fascists is a pretty low form of politics and a searing indictment of Corbynistas’ distance from the Brexit worldview and by extension from public sentiment.

This is about more than optics. It speaks to the great moral and political error that the British left has made since the populist revolt began, and particularly since the vote for Brexit. Which is that they have uncritically bought into the old, bruised establishment’s depiction of this populist anger as a species of fascism. They have swallowed the political, bureaucratic and even religious elites’ propaganda about the new populism representing a return of 1930s-style hatred. They have obediently parroted police exaggerations about post-Brexit hate crimes and bishops’ warnings of the march of a New Nazism. And so when these leftists see working-class people gathering to defend Brexit, they think to themselves: ‘They must be fascist scum.’

People across Europe are nailing their colours to the mast right now; Corbynistas have clearly nailed theirs to the technocratic status quo. Their counter-protest was a greater defeat for them than it was for Tommy Robinson.


Misguided Proposal From Christian Leaders and LGBT Activists Is Anything but ‘Fairness for All’

Does the golden rule ever require bad public policy? That’s the implication of what some political strategists are proposing in the name of fairness.

At issue is a proposal among some Christian leaders to strike a compromise with some LGBT activists to balance “LGBT rights” with religious liberty. The proposal would elevate “sexual orientation and gender identity” (SOGI) to protected classes in federal law in exchange for certain exemptions for religious colleges and institutions. They call this approach “Fairness for All.”

Compromises can be good, but this particular one is bad. As I explain in a recent issue brief, such proposals would not result in actual fairness for all. Instead, they would penalize many Americans who believe that we are created male and female, and that male and female are created for each other. They would violate the privacy and safety of women and girls, the conscience rights of doctors and other medical professionals, and the free speech and religious liberty rights of countless professionals who find themselves outside the select group of institutions who are exempted.

Establishing bad public policy for everyone and then exempting select religious institutions is not acting for the common good—and is certainly not fair for all. And there are better ways forward for those who seek compromise.

Yet some are now claiming that this bad public policy is required by the golden rule.

Rod Dreher reports on a conversation he had with “a prominent conservative Evangelical political strategist” who requested to remain anonymous. Dreher writes: “He simply believes that ethically and politically, this is the right thing to do. In Smith’s view, in a pluralistic society like America 2018, do unto others as you would have them do unto you is a good rule for religious liberty advocates and gay rights supporters alike.”

The golden rule is always a good rule for all people. But the public policy being proposed doesn’t embody the golden rule. Making “gender identity” a protected class in federal policy, for example, could impose a nationwide transgender bathroom policy, a nationwide pronoun policy, and a nationwide sex-reassignment health care mandate.

This is anything but the golden rule. And imposing bad law on everyone else while exempting yourself is the exact opposite of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.

The anonymous political insider Dreher talked with also seems confused about pluralism:

If pluralism is about accommodating deep difference—if conservative Evangelicals are going to ask for accommodation of difference, then they can’t turn around and say in every single case when they are asked to accommodate sexual minorities, ‘No, we will fight to the death.’ That’s not pluralism if all you’re doing is protecting your own rights and saying error has no rights when it comes to you. Pluralism has to be seen by others who disagree with you as fair.

It’s rather remarkable to think that accommodating deep difference requires passing laws that impose orthodoxy. But that’s what SOGI laws do, including Fairness for All.

Dreher summarizes the anonymous insider’s perspective: “He said there really is a question of justice within a pluralistic society that conservative Christians have to face. We may sincerely believe that homosexuality is morally wrong, but at what point does the common good require that we agree that gay people have a right to be wrong?”

But that’s not what this policy debate is about. In the United States of America, people who identify as LGBT are free to live as they want. But SOGI laws, including Fairness for All, are not about freedom—they are about coercion. SOGI and Fairness for All are about forcing all Americans to embrace—and live out—certain beliefs about human sexuality. They are not about protecting the freedom of people to live as LGBT, but about coercing everyone else to support, facilitate, and endorse such actions.

This is one fundamental problem in equating coercive antidiscrimination laws with permissive religious freedom laws. And imposing a bad coercive policy on everyone while exempting select faith-based institutions is anything but fairness for all.

Antidiscrimination laws are about the government coercing people to live according to the majority’s values. Religious liberty laws are about removing government coercion and allowing people to live by their own beliefs. While there can be good justifications for certain antidiscrimination policies, there is no human right to them. Religious freedom, however, is a human right. Fairness for All mistakenly conflates these rather different concepts.

And yet, the president of a Christian college—who also sits on the board of two Christian organizations who recently voted to support Fairness for All—claims that these coercive policies that undermine the common good are actually “basic human rights for members of the LGBT community.”

But coercing other people into supporting LGBT values is not a “basic human right.”

Nor is religious liberty the only value at stake. And yet, the anonymous political strategist says: “The so-called Fairness for All project has always been about how do we protect the most religious liberty that we can in a realistic way.”

But as any number of policy analysts have pointed out, the problem with SOGI laws goes well beyond “religious liberty.” And exempting your own institutions while imposing these bad policies on everyone else doesn’t address the problems.

How do religious exemptions help women in secular institutions who don’t want men in their bathrooms? How do religious exemptions help secular doctors who think it a misdirection of medicine to perform a double mastectomy on a woman who wants to identify as a man?

All of the misguided rhetoric suggests that the underlying policy of elevating sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes is misguided from the start.

None of this, however, is to say that we shouldn’t work to find compromises and win-win solutions. I’ve been participating in these discussions for several years now, and contributed a chapter to a forthcoming Cambridge University Press book, “Religious Freedom, LGBT Rights, and the Prospects for Common Ground,” proposing how to properly craft policy that would be fair for all.

The title of the book is misguided, both because there are no such things as “LGBT rights”—human rights are equally possessed by everyone, but there are no special human rights based on one’s sexual identity—and because it frames the discussion as one primarily about religious liberty.

As I explain in my chapter (and this National Affairs essay), a better policy approach would be to better define the specific needs of people who identify as LGBT that actually require a policy solution, tailor a policy response to that need, and properly define what constitutes “discrimination.”

Indeed, properly defining “discrimination” is key. Part of the problem with SOGI policies, including Freedom for All, is that they leave it entirely at the whim of hostile bureaucrats and judges to declare that commonsense actions may constitute “discrimination.” SOGI laws treat reasonable actions as discriminatory.

A better approach would define specifically what constitutes “discrimination,” as distinct from genuine difference in a pluralistic society, and target a legal response at that.

Does anyone even really know what elevating gender identity to a protected class in civil rights law will mean long term? What does “discrimination” on the basis of “gender identity” entail?

Activists currently claim that combating “discrimination” requires new bathroom, pronoun, and health care policies. But when you consider the fact that most Americans hadn’t even heard the phrase “gender identity” five years ago, it seems premature to suggest that elevating it to a protected class status is a “basic human right” and a requirement of the golden rule. Now is not the time to rush to conclusions, but to think critically and prudently.

In the midst of the redefinitions of marriage, sex, and gender, all Americans—wherever they fall on the political spectrum and whether they are religious, secular, or agnostic—should join the effort to find ways to coexist peacefully.

SOGI laws, including Freedom for All, do not achieve this goal. Instead, they penalize disagreement as if it were discrimination, impose sexual orthodoxy, and coerce dissenters.

SOGI antidiscrimination laws are unjustified, but if other policies are adopted to address the needs of people who identify as LGBT that require a policy response, they must leave people free to engage in legitimate actions based on the conviction that we are created male and female, and that male and female are created for each other.

Any such laws must protect the privacy and safety of women and girls, the conscience rights of doctors and other medical professionals, and the free speech and religious liberty rights of countless professionals. This would leave all Americans free to act on those convictions. It would also protect diversity and promote tolerance, and it would promote true fairness for all.


The Chihuahua Effect

Bettina Arndt comments on her defence of men against feminist abuse

Promoting my new book #MenToo has provided a wonderful example of the chihuahua effect. In case you haven’t heard of this before, that’s a term coined by Eric Weinstein, the brilliant American mathematician, economist, writer and managing director of Thiel Capital, which he used describe a small group producing most of the noise. Like our feminists.

No question we’re talking here about a tiny group. Only 19 per cent of Australians call themselves “feminist”, according to the Macquarie University survey that was at the heart of the recent SBS documentary, Is Australia Sexist – I recently made a video about that appalling programme. 

Boy, is this small group busy yapping away, putting their own spin on what I am doing. Last week I was interviewed about #MenToo, on Channel 7’s Sunrise programme – see that interview on my video from last week. The two female hosts were surprisingly positive about my central message about mothers being concerned about their sons in this male-bashing society. It triggered a huge response from viewers, with nearly 5,000 likes on their Facebook page, compared to only 200 critical responses. Most of the 1.8 thousand comments posted were positive and included many from women supporting my argument that feminism is no longer promoting equality but rather is advantaging women at the expense of men.

There’s been no mention of this overwhelming public support in the stream of critical articles being published commenting on the interview. Instead journalists like Stephanie Bedo on news.com.au attacked the Sunrise hosts for their “one-sided” interview in which my “controversial views were left unchallenged.” Many other commentators have followed suit invariably saying Sunrise had “copped criticism” for the interview. The fake news took over as other media sites promoted this minority view as if it was the main story.

My Sunrise experience is all about the chihuahua effect. A small, noisy band of feminists attack a mainstream television programme for an interview overwhelmingly endorsed by the bulk of the programme’s audience. But it is their yapping about the shameful, one-sided television interview which attracts all the subsequent media attention.

Roll on the day when the Great Dane, the sensible majority concerned about what’s happening to men in our society, puts a stop to the antics of this irritating creature and takes it on.

Via email from bettina@bettinaarndt.com.au


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

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

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


18 December, 2018

‘Minorities suffer the most from hate-speech laws’  -- says ACLU boss

An interview with Nadine Strossen on why we must be free to hate below.  It is a big surprise that she wants to allow hate speech.  The ACLU these days is mainly in the business of using any excuse to criticize and harass Christians.  She relies on tales of what the ACLU did in the 20th century to make her points.  But the days of Skokie are long gone. And the ACLU these days is a very different organization.  See here for the facts on what the ACLU does these days.  It has become a defender of identity groups even if that means abandoning free speech

So the interview below would seem to be just propaganda, unrelated to what the ACLU actually does these days.  It is an attempt to revive fraudulently the good reputation the group once had

Another possibility is that Ms Strossen has finally seen what blind Freddy could see --- that the big fountain of hate these days is the Left.  Just say "President Trump" to any Leftist and you will get a foaming torrent of hate from the Leftist concerned.  So perhaps she sees a need to rehabilitate hate speech -- to legitimize what the Left already do

Today, feminism, anti-racism and LGBT advocacy have sadly become synonymous with demands for Safe Spaces and the censorship of so-called hate speech. Yet Nadine Strossen, who served as president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for 18 years, is a staunch defender of both minority rights and unfettered free speech. This is the starting point for her latest book, Hate: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship.

spiked: Why is it so important to defend the right to use hate speech?

Nadine Strossen: Experience in the US and around the world throughout history shows that as well-intentioned as efforts to censor hateful speech might be, they are at best ineffective and, at worst, counterproductive. They certainly don’t stop hateful, discriminatory attitudes and behaviour. In many cases, they actually fuel the cause of the hatemongers.

From the Nazis in Weimar Germany up to the present day, the hatemongers have used the same strategy. The alt-right on college campuses, for example, deliberately seek to provoke attempts to censor them. This gets them media attention that they would not have had otherwise. They also gain sympathy because people see them as free-speech martyrs.

Throughout US history, warriors for racial justice and any other form of human rights have also been champions of free speech and have had to battle against censorship. That was true of the abolitionist movement, it was true of the civil-rights movement of the 1960s, it was true of the earlier movements for women’s rights and LGBT rights.

I think it is really tragic that, today, we actually have free speech equated with hate speech on a number of college campuses. At Harvard recently, a student group wanted to have a panel discussion on free speech, but had to take the words ‘free speech’ out of the event description. They knew that a certain administrator saw free-speech advocacy in itself as a form of hate speech. The panel wanted to explore how minority causes and rights are being undermined by censorship.

There is a predictable pattern now in which hate-speech codes and laws are introduced, purporting to protect minorities, but end up censoring them. In the US, campus hate-speech codes came into vogue in the late 1980s, early 1990s. The ACLU immediately challenged those codes in court. And in the process, we learned a lot about how they were enforced. Unsurprisingly there was a pattern of suppressing speech by minority student groups. At the University of Michigan, the first university we successfully challenged, a black student was punished for calling a white student ‘white trash’. Similarly, in the UK, after the introduction of the Race Relations Act in 1964, the first person to be punished for inciting racial hatred was black. He was accused of using hate speech against a police officer.

We see the same thing today on social media. Facebook, for example, has been the subject of complaints for years by a large coalition of civil-rights and civil-liberties organisations. Advocating Black Lives Matter or for Native Americans, who were protesting new pipelines through their reservations in the Dakotas, can be deemed hate speech.

spiked: One of the ACLU’s landmark free-speech cases was regarding Skokie, Illinois. Why was that case so important?

Strossen: Between 1972 and 1978 the ACLU came to the defence of free speech for a group of neo-Nazis, who wanted to protest in Skokie, Illinois. This was a town with a large population not only of Jewish people, but also Holocaust survivors.

The ACLU’s case was an easy win in the court of law, because there is such a time-honoured principle that government may never suppress speech simply because it deplores the viewpoints conveyed by it.

But it was a very challenging case in the court of public opinion. Even die-hard free-speech supporters asked, ‘How can the ACLU, which champions equality and opposes discrimination, do that?’. We even lost 15 per cent of our members as a result. This shows the disconnect between the First Amendment free-speech standard, that even abhorrent viewpoints have the right to be expressed, and the views of the wider public. Most people think ‘that’s a hateful idea and therefore you shouldn’t have the right to say it’.

But there is a real danger that we take for granted the free-speech protections that we have today. For most of US history, the First Amendment was largely unenforced. For example, the ACLU was founded in 1918 at a time when thousands of people were imprisoned for objecting to the US’s participation in the First World War.

It was only in the 1960s that the Supreme Court actually put teeth into the First Amendment. It was no coincidence that the greatest free-speech victories were fought and won in the context of the civil-rights movement. The strategy for conservatives at the time was censorship and the landmark victories for free speech were won on behalf of Martin Luther King and other civil-rights campaigners. At the time, their views were deemed to be hateful, dangerous and subversive.

It is really important to convey that even if the immediate beneficiaries of a free-speech principle happen to be against civil rights, you can’t take away their rights without taking them away from those arguing the opposite. It is no coincidence today that we have government officials saying that Black Lives Matter protests are ‘hate speech’. If you’re advocating on behalf of minority causes and law reform then it is especially important to defend free speech.

spiked: What about censorship that does not come from the government?

Strossen: The First Amendment, wonderful as it is, only protects against government censorship. It cannot protect against powerful forces in society or private companies. Peer pressure too can create a chilling effect on free speech.

We see examples all the time of a kind of ‘mobocracy’, where there is so much shaming and pressure against certain viewpoints that people feel unable to express themselves. According to surveys, a very large majority of students, faculty and administrators are walking on eggshells.

Sadly, the subjects people feel the most pressure to exercise self-censorship over are the very ones that require the most urgent discussion: race, gender or immigration, for instance. We are never going to advance toward understanding, diversity, inclusion or equality unless we can engage with each other over points of disagreement on these contentious issues.


Women’s March Leaders Spouted Anti-Semitic Theories at First Meeting

Two leaders of the anti-Trump Women’s March engaged in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories prior to the massive gathering, according to a report by Tablet magazine.

Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez “allegedly first asserted that Jewish people bore a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people — and even, according to a close secondhand source, claimed that Jews were proven to have been leaders of the American slave trade,” Tablet reported.

This popular theory can found in a book by Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews.”

The theory became so popular that Henry Louis Gates Jr. wrote, “Among significant sectors of the black community, this brief has become a credo of a new philosophy of black self-affirmation,” in an Op-Ed for The New York Times in 1992.

Mallory, however, is denying the allegations that such conversations ever took place.

Another leader of the group, Mari Lynn Foulger who took on the name Bob Bland, said, “There was a particular conversation around how white women had centered themselves — and also around the dynamics of racial justice and why it was essential that racial justice be a part of the women’s rights conversation.”

According to Tablet, both Bland and Mallory insist that the conversation had nothing to do with Jews.

However, Evvie Harmon, another leader of the group, wrote Tablet concerning an anti-semitic incident that occurred shortly after the march.

A group of about seven women, including Mallory and Linda Sarsour, met in Mallory’s apartment for a debriefing.

Harmon wrote, “I suddenly realized that Tamika and Carmen were facing Vanessa, who was sitting on a couch, and berating her — but it wasn’t about her being white. It was about her being Jewish. ‘Your people this, your people that.’”

“I was raised in the South,” she continued, “and the language that was used is language that I’m very used to hearing in rural South Carolina. Just instead of against black people, against Jewish people. They even said to her ‘your people hold all the wealth.’ You could hear a pin drop. It was awful.”

Additionally, a bi-weekly phone call in March 2018 ended with upset members as Mallory defended her attendance at a Louis Farrakhan rally where he blamed Jews for “degenerate behavior in Hollywood, turning men into women and women into men.”

A few weeks later, members of the march heard that the members of the Nation of Islam would be providing security detail.

A former spokesperson for the Women’s March, Mercy Morganfield told the Tablet, “Bob called me secretly and said, ‘Mercy, they have been in bed with the Nation of Islam since day one: They do all of our security.'” Bland denied making this phone call in an interview with Tablet.

Last month, the founder of the Women’s March, Teresa Shook, called on its leaders to step down over the anti-semitic remarks.

Shook wrote in a Facebook post, “Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez of Women’s March, Inc. have steered the Movement away from its true course. I have waited, hoping they would right the ship. But they have not.”


Government targets a shelter for homeless abuse survivors

The Downtown Hope Center in Anchorage, Alaska, has a heart for helping abused and battered women.

For more than 30 years, the Hope Center has been serving men and women in its local community—fueled by a vision to share the love of God with the homeless in Anchorage. It started as a simple soup kitchen operated out of a garage. But through charitable donations, it has grown into an organization that during the day offers job skills training, daily meals, laundry and shower services, and clothing for the homeless men and women in Anchorage—all free of charge.

At night however, after the dinner service has been cleared away, the main room transforms into a free overnight shelter for abused and battered women. The Hope Center provides a safe place for these vulnerable women—many of whom have been victims of rape, domestic violence, and even sex trafficking.
But, incredibly, the city of Anchorage is trying to take that safe place away to further its own political agenda.

It all started one evening when a biological man, who identifies as a woman, tried to gain access to the women’s shelter. The man was drunk and injured, so the Hope Center referred him to the local hospital to get the care he needed. The Hope Center even paid for his cab ride there. Soon after, that individual filed a complaint against the Hope Center with the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, claiming the center had discriminated against him.

Now, the city is investigating the Hope Center for providing safe shelter only to biological women!

Imagine how traumatizing it could be for these vulnerable women to suddenly find themselves sleeping alongside a man, John.

Most of these women are survivors of rape, as well as physical and domestic abuse. They need and deserve a safe place to sleep—and that’s what the Hope Center offers them.

It’s appalling that the city of Anchorage would even consider forcing these women to sleep or disrobe in the same room as a man. And it’s unacceptable that the city would attack the Hope Center’s mission and the very beliefs that lead this vital charity to serve these women.

The city’s true motivation is clear: It wants to force this faith-based homeless shelter to get on board with its political agenda—at the expense of the battered women that the Hope Center serves.

Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a lawsuit against the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission and the city on behalf of the Hope Center. The Hope Center simply wants to minister to the homeless and hurting in downtown Anchorage. But the city is demanding that it do so on the government’s terms—or shut its doors.

In their rush to push religious beliefs out of the public square, Anchorage officials are pushing these women out in the cold!

Across America, we’re seeing legal challenges that could shut the doors of faith-based ministries and non-profits, including adoption agencies, pro-life pregnancy centers, and shelters.

At the center of these challenges are efforts by some government officials to prevent faith-based ministries from operating consistently with their deeply held religious beliefs. They’re willing to further their anti-religious agenda regardless of the vulnerable people they hurt in the process.

But the government has no business dictating to faith-based ministries how they fulfill their missions. All Americans should be free to live and serve others according to their faith without fear of unjust government punishment.

You’re free to believe what you want to believe. Say what you want to say. And work in the community doing something you love, without sacrificing your deeply held beliefs. And that freedom includes non-profits like the Hope Center.
Crippling faith-based ministries harms those in need

You would think that the local government would want to support an organization like the Hope Center. It provides a valuable service to some of the most vulnerable in society.

Instead, Anchorage officials are going after the Hope Center because of their Christian beliefs, twisting the law in order to do so. And now the future of this vital ministry is at risk.

That’s what happens when government hostility toward religion and people of faith goes unchallenged

The Hope Center serves everyone, but it also has a duty to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of the battered women it serves.

If Anchorage succeeds in its crusade against the Hope Center, the results would be disastrous. It would not only force a religious ministry to abandon its mission and message, but also force homeless women to sleep alongside men—even though those women may have been beaten, raped, or sexually assaulted by a man the day before!

As disturbing as all of this is, there is hope. Our foundational freedoms can be defended.

Via email

Malaysia says Australia’s Jerusalem decision is ‘humiliating’ and ‘premature’

PM Morrison made a very balanced announcement that included recognition of Palestinian claims but compromise is alien to Muslims

Malaysia has come out strongly against the Australian government’s move to recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, calling the decision “premature” and a “humiliation to the Palestinians”.

But Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it’s a decision for Australia, and wants the nation’s new position to become an election issue if Labor won’t support it.

Mr Morrison confirmed the foreign policy change on Saturday, which Labor has suggested it could reserve if it wins government in 2019.

The prime minister says Opposition Leader Bill Shorten needs to make the case for such a reversal before Australians vote.

“He will have to outline to the Australian community why he would want to now reverse that position and step Australia back from what should be, I think, a very strong stand of support for Israel,” he told reporters in Canberra earlier this week.

A decision on the capital came after the government flouted the idea of moving its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in October, ahead of a crucial by-election in Wentworth.

It drew criticism from political rivals as a cynical ploy to buy votes in the electorate, which has a large Jewish population.

The step also drew rebukes from South East Asian trading partners, who feared Australia wading into the multi-generational political quagmire could fuel unrest.

The government now says it won’t move its embassy until a two-state solution is reached, at which time it will also recognise East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital.

But Australia will establish a defence and trade office in Jerusalem and will start looking for an appropriate site for an embassy there.

The Malaysian foreign ministry expressed its strong opposition to the changes in a statement on Sunday.

“This announcement, made before the settlement of a two-state solution, is premature and a humiliation to the Palestinians and their struggle for the right to self-determination,” the ministry said.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has called the shift in foreign policy a “humiliating backdown” after the coalition’s announcement during the dying days of its Wentworth campaign.

“We’ve seen a complex debate derailed by reckless and foolish behaviour,” he told reporters in Adelaide on Saturday.

Labor believes Jerusalem should remain recognised as the capital of both Israel and Palestine until the final stages of negotiations on a two-state solution. Israel’s foreign ministry commended the move as a step in the right direction, while Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said the announcement was born of Australian “petty domestic politics”.

Mr Morrison has defended the new position, saying it was time to call out the “rancid stalemate” in progress towards a two-state solution. A delayed multibillion-dollar trade deal with Indonesia is expected to be on shaky ground as a result of the announcement.

Indonesia’s foreign ministry spokesman, Arrmanatha Nasir, noted that Australia had not moved its embassy to Jerusalem and called on all members of the United Nations to recognise a Palestinian state “based on the principle of two-state solutions”.



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, 2018

Does 'Merry Christmas' Matter?

Dennis Prager
Is “Merry Christmas” a thing of the past, a greeting from a bygone era, a remnant of a past with which we no longer want to be associated?

We might not be there yet, but if current trends continue, we’re not far off. If so, it’s a shame, a further coarsening of the culture — and worse. It is yet another example of the removal of religion, specifically Christianity, from a country that has long been the most religious major industrialized democracy in the world.

Proponents of “happy holidays” argue that this is no big deal. They say the advocates of saying “merry Christmas” are making a mountain out of a molehill. There is no “war on Christmas,” they say. But the “happy holidays” advocates want it both ways. They dismiss promoters of “merry Christmas” as hysterical while simultaneously replacing “merry Christmas” with “happy holidays”; “Christmas vacation” with “winter vacation”; and “Christmas party” with “holiday party.”

So, is all this elimination of the word “Christmas” important or not?

The answer should be obvious. It’s very important. That’s why so much effort is devoted to substituting other words for “Christmas.” And these efforts have been extraordinarily successful. In place of the universal “merry Christmas” of my youth, in recent decades I have been wished “happy holidays” by virtually every waiter and waitress in virtually every restaurant I have dined; by virtually everyone who welcomes me at any business; by flight attendants and pilots; and by just about everyone else.

When I respond, “Merry Christmas!” I often sense I have created tension. I suspect many of those to whom I wish “Merry Christmas!” are probably relieved to hear someone utter what has become the “C” word, but all the sensitivity training they’ve had to undergo creates cognitive dissonance.

The opponents of “merry Christmas” and other uses of the word “Christmas” know exactly what they’re doing. They’re disingenuous when they dismiss defenders of “merry Christmas” as “fabricating” some “war on Christmas.” Of course there’s a war on Christmas — or, more precisely, a war on the religious nature of America. The left in America, like the left in Europe, wants to create a thoroughly secular society, not only a secular government — which is a desirable goal and which, in any event, has been the case in America — but a secular society.

Most people do not realize that the left believes in secularism as fervently as religious Christians and Jews believe in the Bible. That’s why “merry Christmas” bothers secular activists. It’s a blatant reminder of how religious America is — and always has been. That’s why I predict activists on the left will sooner or later seek to remove Christmas as a national holiday.

Now, the left doesn’t announce that its agenda is to thoroughly secularize American and European societies. Instead, it camouflages what it is doing by offering the “inclusiveness” argument: “Merry Christmas” or “Christmas party” or “Christmas vacation” is not “inclusive.”

This inclusiveness argument plays on Americans’ highly developed sense of decency. But the argument is preposterous: Who, exactly, is being “excluded” when one wishes someone “merry Christmas”? Non-Christians?

I’m a non-Christian. I’m a Jew. Christmas is not a religious holy day for me. But I’m an American, and Christmas is an American national holiday. Therefore, as an American, it is my holiday — though not my holy day — as much as it is for my fellow Americans who are Christian. It was a Jewish-American, Irving Berlin, who wrote “White Christmas,” one of America’s most popular Christmas songs. In fact, according to a Jewish musician writing in The New York Times, “almost all the most popular Christmas songs were written by Jews.”

Apparently, all these American Jews felt quite included in Christmas!

And while on the subject of Jews, here’s a question for those Jews disturbed by “merry Christmas”: Should Israeli radio and TV stop saying “Shabbat Shalom” to be more inclusive of Israel’s non-Jewish minority?

It borders on the misanthropic, not to mention the mean-spirited, to want to deny nearly all of your fellow citizens the joy of having Christmas parties or being wished a merry Christmas.

By not wishing me a merry Christmas, you are not being inclusive. You are excluding me from one of my nation’s national holidays.

But even if Christmas were not a national holiday, I would want pilots to wish their passengers a merry Christmas, companies to have Christmas parties and schools to continue to have Christmas vacations. Just because I don’t personally celebrate Christmas, why would I demand my society drop the word “Christmas” when the holiday is celebrated by 90 percent of my fellow Americans?

The vast majority of Americans who celebrate Christmas — and who treat non-Christians so well — deserve better.

Please say “merry Christmas” and “Christmas party” and “Christmas vacation.” If you refuse to, you’re not “inclusive.” You’re hurtful to most of your fellow Americans.


Churches no longer welcome?

Churches throughout America embrace the call to love and serve their neighbors while sharing the Gospel of Christ.

That mission particularly inspires Redemption Community Church. The church has a heart for reaching out to the underprivileged and homeless in their community. In order to follow this calling, they sold their property outside of the city and bought a building in downtown Laurel, Maryland.

The church’s plan was to operate a non-profit coffee shop during the week in order to connect with the surrounding community. And then on Sundays, they would host a worship service. The church also planned to donate the proceeds from the coffee shop to other local non-profits that share its goal of serving the community.

Sounds like a win for the church and the community, doesn’t it?

But shortly after Redemption Community Church purchased a building downtown, the city changed its zoning laws to exclude non-profits.

Then, a few weeks later, the city changed its laws AGAIN.

It required churches that are on less than one-acre lots (nearly every church in the area) to apply for a “special exception” in order to hold church services. This expensive and time-consuming process didn’t even guarantee the church would be granted the exception at the end of it all.

This was no coincidence.  The city of Laurel was singling out churches—like Redemption Community Church—and discriminating against them because they are religious!

Thankfully, with your help, Redemption Community Church was able to file a lawsuit and get justice. In September, the city of Laurel changed its zoning code to remove the special exception requirement for churches.

But Redemption Community Church is not the only church to witness this type of government overreach.
Attempts to silence churches are increasing

For years, anti-religion activists have used “separation of church and state” as a misguided battle cry to remove God from public schools, erase historical religious landmarks, and even block faithful Christians from public service.

Meanwhile, REAL violations of separation of church and state are increasing.

Across the country, we’re seeing numerous incidents in which some government officials are trying to control what churches teach, where they worship, or how they exercise their religious freedom.
The city of Monroe, North Carolina abruptly changed its zoning code to specifically exclude churches—no exceptions.

The California Department of Managed Health Care is trying to force churches to pay for elective abortions in their health insurance plans.

Churches across the country are regularly harassed and fined by their local governments for noise ordinance issues (even though these churches are abiding by the laws).

Multiple churches are being sued—with six-figure penalties—for simply meeting in public schools. But it’s unconstitutional to try to ban churches from meeting in public spaces that are open to everyone else.

America was founded on religious freedom. It’s so deeply woven into the fabric of our nation that it’s become part of the American dream. You’re free to believe what you want to believe. Say what you want to say. And worship how you want to worship.

But the more the government reaches its hand into the affairs of the church, the more at risk your freedom to worship becomes.
When did some government officials start attacking the American dream?

You’ve probably never imagined waking up one day to find the government attacking your faith and freedom. Why would you? This is America. It’s supposed to be a place where anyone has a chance to work hard and succeed. To speak freely. To worship freely.

But we’ve reached a point in America where some government officials are blatantly targeting churches and trying to run them out of our cities.

Today, it is not a question of if churches will be threatened or sued for standing true to God’s Word – the question is when and where such cases will arise.

We must stand against these attempts to crush our freedom to live out our deeply held beliefs and protect our freedom to worship without government control.

Churches in America face legal challenges that were unimaginable even a few years ago. They need an ally who will stand with them as they fight back against these attacks—they need you.

Via email

Harvard Study: Gender Pay Gap Explained Entirely by Work Choices of Men and Women

"Gender pay gap is worse than thought: Study shows women actually earn half the income of men,” NBC announced recently in reference to a report titled “Still a Man’s Labor Market” by the Washington-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research, which found that women's income was 51 percent less than men’s earnings.

The "Gender Pay Gap" Isn't What You Think It Is

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “gender pay gap”? Perhaps you think of a man and woman who work exactly the same job at exactly the same place, but he gets paid more than she does. This sort of discrimination has been illegal in the United States since the passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963.

But that is not what is generally meant by the phrase “gender wage gap.” Instead, the commonly reported figure—that a woman earns 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man—is derived by taking the total annual earnings of men in the American economy in a given year and dividing that by the number of male workers. This gives you the average annual earnings of an American man. Then you do the same thing but for women. The average annual women’s earnings come in at about 80 percent of the average annual man’s earnings. Presto, you have a gender wage gap.

That’s it, honestly. It isn’t much above back-of-a-cigarette-box stuff. This methodology takes no account whatsoever of a whole host of factors that might explain this discrepancy. It ignores the fact that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2017, men worked an average of 8.05 hours in an average day compared to 7.24 hours for women.

True, women are more likely to be raising children, taking care of elderly family members, or doing housework, leaving them with fewer hours in the day for paid employment. But this does not alter the essential fact: that people working fewer hours, on average, can be expected to earn lower incomes, on average.

Not Exactly Apples-To-Apples

And there are differences in the type of work men and women do, which bears on their earnings. BLS data shows that, in 2017, 94 percent of child day care services workers were female, the highest percentage of any category, and that the mean annual wage of childcare workers was $23,760. By contrast, just 2.9 percent of workers in logging were women, the lowest share of any category, and the mean annual wage here was $42,310.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research study fails to account for these differences. Indeed, its authors are airily dismissive of analysis that takes into account “occupational differences or so-called ‘women’s choices.’”

Its headline claim is that the 80 cents figure is wrong; in fact, women earn more like 49 cents for each dollar a man earns. The authors, Stephen J. Rose and Heidi I. Hartmann—listed in that order because that is how it is presented on the cover of their report, not because of sexism—arrive at this conclusion by taking a longitudinal dataset from 2001-2015 and measuring average annual earnings across the period for people who worked any amount during any of these years, and then comparing the overall averages for male and female workers, as well as for different subsets of men and women. Workers who were employed full-time for the entire 15-year period are lumped in with those who worked only part-time or occasionally.

Rather than starting with an observation (that 80-cent statistic) and examining possible causes, Hartmann and Rose have simply assumed a cause (rampant sexism) and carried out a slightly grander version of the back-of-a-cigarette-box calculation to support it. This isn’t how social science research should be done. It is exactly the wrong way round.

A New Study Out Of Harvard

Remember, if we truly want to measure the impact of sexism on male and female relative earnings, we want to look at men and women doing exactly the same job at exactly the same place. Fortunately, a new study by Valentin Bolotnyy and Natalia Emanuel of Harvard University—again, listed in that order because that is how they are presented in their paper—does just this.

They look at data from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). This is a union shop with uniform hourly wages where men and women adhere to the same rules and receive the same benefits. Workers are promoted on the basis of seniority rather than performance, and male and female workers of the same seniority have the same choices for scheduling, routes, vacation, and overtime. There is almost no scope here for a sexist boss to favor men over women.

And yet, even here, Emanuel and Bolotnyy find that female train and bus operators earn less than their male counterparts. From this observation, they go looking for possible causes, examining time cards and scheduling from 2011 to 2017 and factoring in sex, age, date of hire, tenure, and whether an employee was married or had dependents.

They find that male train and bus drivers worked about 83 percent more overtime than their female colleagues and were twice as likely to accept an overtime shift—which pays time-and-a-half—on short notice and that around twice as many women as men never took overtime. The male workers took 48 percent fewer unpaid hours off under the Family Medical Leave Act each year. Female workers were more likely to take less desirable routes if it meant working fewer nights, weekends, and holidays. Parenthood turns out to be an important factor. Fathers were more likely than childless men to want the extra cash from overtime, and mothers were more likely to want time off than childless women.

In other words, the difference in male and female earnings at the MBTA was explained by those “so-called ‘women’s choices,’” which Hartmann and Rose so easily dismissed.

“The gap of $0.89 in our setting,” the authors concluded, “can be explained entirely by the fact that, while having the same choice sets in the workplace, women and men make different choices.”

The “gender wage gap” is as real as unicorns and has been killed more times than Michael Myers. Yet politicians feel the need to genuflect before this phantom figure. President Obama’s White House was obsessed with that ridiculous 80-cent number. Let us substitute the quest for phantoms with serious research into the causes of relative incomes.


Australian Government recognises West Jerusalem as Israel's capital but keeps embassy in Tel Aviv

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the foreign policy shift during a speech in Sydney, arguing it was a "balanced" and "measured" position.

"Australia now recognises West Jerusalem, being the seat of the Knesset [Israel's parliament] and many of the institutions of government, is the capital of Israel," Mr Morrison said.

"Furthermore, recognising our commitment to a two-state solution, the Australian Government has also resolved to acknowledge the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a future state with its capital in East Jerusalem."

Mr Morrison delayed moving Australia's embassy from Tel Aviv but said a trade and defence office would be established in West Jerusalem.

"We look forward moving to our embassy to West Jerusalem when practical, in support of and after, final status determination."

He said his decision to weigh into the issue had been mocked but that Australian had earned the right to have its say on the issue.

"When you look at our incredible influence, both in the creation of the state of Israel and our partnership with it over so many years, it's hard to say that Australia's influence has been small. It's been quite great," Mr Morrison said.

"So, while Australia's voice and the megaphone we have is not as great as the great powers — that's true. "But I've got to say, ever since I raised this issue several months ago, people have been pretty keen to know what we were going to say."



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

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

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


16 December, 2018

‘Christmas miracle’: Mall overturns nativity set ban after Christians protest with living nativity

A shopping mall in Scotland has overturned its ban on displaying a Christmas nativity scene after Christians protested the decision by staging a living nativity, right within the mall.

Thistles Centre in Stirling released a statement today saying that they had changed their minds and would allow a representative from the Legion of Mary to set up a nativity scene as part of their Christmas decor. 

“We’ve listened carefully to everyone who contacted us about the installation and have decided to reverse our original decision," it said.

"We have offered Mrs Patterson the opportunity to host a nativity scene at the centre this Sunday in line with her original request and we are delighted that she has accepted,” it continued.

Thistles Centre’s decision not to permit the display on the grounds that it “prides itself on being religiously and politically neutral” made national headlines and was covered on LifeSiteNews.

Both the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh and the Church of Scotland had voiced disappointment at the mall’s “Grinch-like” decision.

On Monday, Scottish Catholics John Mallon and Elena Feick protested actively by visiting the mall dressed as St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mallon chatted with shoppers and discussed the “crib controversy” with them. A video of the dynamic duo “looking for a place at the inn” has been viewed thousands of times on social media.

John Mallon is delighted by Thistles’ change of heart. “It’s a Christmas miracle,” he told LifeSiteNews via social media. “What great news! The real reason for the season!”

Mallon has a message for Scottish readers, too. “If you are shopping in Thistles Shopping centre this Advent, why not pay a visit to the Crib and share your picture with us to spread the peace and joy of the Christmas season to all, “ he suggested.

Mallon is an administrator of Glasgow’s Holy Family Roman Catholic Church Facebook page.

The Scotsman has reported that the Archdiocese of St. Andrews & Edinburgh has likewise expressed great satisfaction that Thistles Centre has responded with “generosity and inclusivity” to Christians.

“The management of the Thistles Centre, along with owners Standard Life Investments, are to be commended and congratulated for listening to the general public and responding with such generosity and inclusivity, recognising that contemporary Scotland should be a place that both respects and upholds religious liberty in the public square,” an archdiocesan spokesman said.

“We wish the management, staff and shoppers at Thistles a very happy and very peaceful Christmas indeed.”


'I believe I'm proof no man can truly become a woman'

It's a hugely controversial statement, but Leanne, who's never really found happiness after a sex-change operation 23 years ago, wants to warn others that surgery isn't always the answer

On the phone, Leanne Mills’s voice is gentle and could never be mistaken for a man’s. When she opens the front door of her neat house in a quiet English village, I am greeted by a trim blonde with feminine hands and a perfect complexion.

Yet a few minutes later, as she serves coffee in her sitting room, Leanne says with feeling: ‘I can never be a woman. I was born male and it has taken me years to accept the truth that I am biologically still a man, whatever female hormones I swallow and whatever bits have been cut off me.

‘Today it’s trendy to be trans, especially among the young. I want to warn them that a man can never become a real woman, or vice versa. They are being oversold an impossible dream. They are being tricked.’

Leanne speaks with emotion. She is a transsexual who, at 34, had sex reassignment surgery — as it was then called — on the NHS at a clinic in Hove, East Sussex, after years of dressing sometimes as a man and sometimes as a woman. She is now 57 and says that, since then, she has lived in a twilight world where — despite being bright and having passed the 11-plus — she has had only a string of dead-end jobs, has never found the love she craves, and remains to this day (as male or female) a virgin.

Although she says she doesn’t regret having had surgery herself — what else, she reasons, could she have done? — she advises others not to rush into it.

Born a boy and called Lee Antony, she began to feel she was in the wrong body at the age of four, when she tried on a Native American woman’s costume at a children’s dressing up party because ‘it made me feel like one of the girls’. At seven, she was being bullied at her all-boys primary school because she appeared so feminine and loathed football and playground rough-and-tumble.

By her early teens, she was secretly rooting through the wardrobe of her mother, Mavis, trying on her clothes.

‘I hated my male self and couldn’t even look at my body naked in the mirror,’ she says. ‘Dressing as a woman made me feel happy.’

By her 17th birthday in January 1978, her ‘girly feelings’ were overwhelming. It was a day she will never forget. She blurted out to her astonished parents that she didn’t want to be a boy any more.

At the family’s dormer bungalow in Nottinghamshire, first came the tears, then profound shock.

Her father Geoff, a police officer and former traffic warden, put his arm around his then teenage son and said: ‘Oh Lee, all the doctors can do for you is cut it off.’

Today, of course, these sound like harsh words. But Leanne says: ‘I realise now my father was right. He knew, as I do, that I could never become a biological girl. I am only a facsimile of a woman.’

Leanne — then still Lee, of course — buried her head in those delicate hands and wept at her father’s pronouncement. The teenager had learnt about transsexualism — a term coined only a decade or two before — from a Seventies book by a U.S. psychiatrist that was on her parents’ shelves. It was called Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid To Ask) and contained a short reference to transsexuals.

To the horror of her distraught parents, Leanne then threatened to commit suicide if she couldn’t become a girl. Her determination to change sex marked the start of a rift with her parents that lasted, on and off, until they died.

‘I have seen my family torn asunder, friends turning away and my hopes of ever finding love dashed,’ she says. ‘I have been denied children and, therefore, grandchildren — the important relationships that other women enjoy at my time of life.

‘I want to warn others of the reality of being a transsexual, and the tragedies it can bring.’

She was out shopping recently when she saw a man who used to be a pupil at the same school as her when she was still Lee. The old schoolmate was standing in front of Leanne, who said: ‘Hello, don’t you recognise me? It’s Lee.’

She explained she had transitioned and was now a woman. His response was to shake her hand, after which he turned on his heel and walked off.

No wonder Leanne says her life now is lonely. When I visited, she’d not had a caller at home for five weeks. So it is little surprise that she warns others who feel they were born in the wrong body not to make hasty decisions, especially when young.

‘The propagandists tell them it’s a bed of roses and they will be accepted by society. They think they’ll find the right partner, that it will all be wonderful.’ She shakes her head sadly. ‘


A Democrat Christmas

Australian Federal Government vows to keep gender on birth certificates

The Morrison Government has vowed gender will remain on birth certificates as it plans to override states that wish to make it optional.

The Morrison Government is planning to override state laws to prevent a person’s gender from being stripped from their birth certificate.

Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert said the “identity wars” now posed serious risks to planning for hospitals and schools, and would destroy the function of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

“This identity war now poses some pretty serious risks. I can’t allow states to do it (remove gender),” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“This data is essential for sensible planning across Australia. Governments at all levels use it for planning including where hospitals and schools go. It’s used by housing developers.

“It will make planning exceptionally difficult for the Department of Health which has to make decisions about where obstetrics wards go and fertility services.

“We provide cervical cancer vaccines for free. How will we know how many to order? “Cervical cancer doesn’t care about how you identify, it cares about whether you have a cervix.”

The decision follows landmark reforms in Tasmania which could make it a crime not to call a person by their preferred gender pronoun.

The proposed law would also give parents in Tasmania the authority to decide whether their child’s gender is recorded on birth certificates, and allow people aged 16 or over to legally change their gender.

Last week, the Western Australia Government abandoned its plans to remove a baby’s gender from birth certificates.

Under growing pressure from church groups and with questions about how proposed changes would affect West Australians applying for documents such as passports, the government confirmed earlier this month it would not take gender off birth certificates.

It had been considering the idea as part of a raft of changes around gender reassignment laws.



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, 2018

Under Trump, U.S. Finally Blacklists Pakistan for Religious Freedom Violations

For 16 consecutive years, the State Department under three administrations has rejected advice from an independent statutory watchdog to blacklist Pakistan for religious freedom violations – until now.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Tuesday that he has designated the world’s second most-populous Islamic nation as a “country of particular concern” (CPC) for egregious abuses of religious freedom.

Under the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), the federal government identifies countries that have engaged in or tolerated ”systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom” as CPCs, a designation that provides for sanctions or other measures designed to encourage improvements.

Pompeo also named nine other CPCs – Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Every year since 2002 the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a body established by the IRFA to advise the executive and legislative branches, has called for CPC designation for Pakistan.

And each year since 2002 the State Department has declined, despite continuing concerns over arguably the world’s most notorious blasphemy laws, which have disproportionately targeted non-Muslim minorities.

No reasons have been given for disregarding the annual recommendation, but Pakistan since 9/11 has been viewed as an important – if often truculent – ally in the war against terrorism. For that reason it has been a major recipient of U.S. military and other aid, receiving more than $33 billion in direct aid or as reimbursements for counterterrorism efforts.

(That, too, has shifted under the Trump administration. Last January the Pentagon said $300 million in aid was being withheld until Pakistan ensured terrorists no longer found safe haven on its soil. Eight months later the suspended funds were “reprogrammed” to other priorities.)

USCIRF Chairman Tenzin Dorjee on Tuesday welcomed Pompeo’s announcement, and singled out the Pakistan decision.

“We are particularly gratified that, after years of documenting systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom in Pakistan, the State Department has finally added that country to the list of the world’s worst violators for the first time,” Dorjee said.

Pakistani governments have long resisted calls to annul or amend the blasphemy laws.

Ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom Sam Brownback told reporters Tuesday that of those incarcerated around the world for blasphemy offenses, “half of them are in Pakistani prisons.”

The laws were spotlighted again recently after Asia Bibi, the first Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy, was acquitted by Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

Six weeks have passed, but Asia Bibi’s fate remains uncertain, as authorities refuse to allow her to travel to safety abroad, to escape Muslim radicals demanding her death.

Brownback said the administration “continue[s] to watch very carefully what’s happening to Asia Bibi.”

Christians are not the only minority persecuted in Pakistan. Ahmadis are members of a Muslim sect considered heretical by mainstream Muslims, and Pakistan’s penal code criminalizes Ahmadi worship.

Brownback noted the plight of Ahmadis, and added the Pakistan’s government also “often fails to hold accountable perpetrators of killings and violence against members of religious minorities targeted on account of their religious beliefs or affiliations.”

Waiving sanctions

Pakistan Christian Congress president Nazir Bhatti welcomed the U.S. move and urged other Western democracies also to apply pressure on Pakistan to improve.

Bhatti, who is based in the U.S., said thousands of Christian and Hindus have fled Pakistan for safety in neighboring countries where they face “miserable conditions as refugees.”

He also accused the government of clamping down on his group and its affiliated Pakistan Christian Post publication, blocking access to both websites inside Pakistan in a bid to stop a “powerful voice” advocating for religious freedom. Attempts to access them bring up the message, “This website is prohibited in the territory of Pakistan.”

Despite the concerns, Pakistan’s CPC designation will not have an immediate practical effect: Brownback said sanctions against Islamabad would be waived for “national interest” reasons.

Of the other nine CPCs, sanctions against Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan have also been waived, for the same reasons.

(Despite appeals from the USCIRF, Saudi Arabia has received a pass since first being listed as a CPC in 2004, with administrations each year invoking annual “national interest” waivers.)

When Congress reauthorized IRFA in 2016, lawmakers voiced frustration over what many saw as the overuse of presidential waivers.

The reauthorization legislation limits waivers to 180 days, after which time they may be extended provided the president reports to Congress either that the government concerned “has ceased the violations,” or that “the important national interest of the United States requires the exercise of such waiver authority.”

It also expresses the sense of Congress that “ongoing waivers do not fulfill the purposes” of the IRFA.


Knights of Columbus Applaud Genocide Relief Law Signed by Trump

The Knights of Columbus, which has been aiding religious minorities persecuted by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, attended a White House ceremony today where President Donald Trump signed into law the "Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018." The legislation is similar to past efforts to aid the survivors of the Armenian genocide and the Jewish holocaust.

“The legislation signed today again reminds us of America’s earlier efforts to aid victims of genocide – Christian communities targeted by Ottomans a century ago and Jewish survivors of Shoah," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson in a press release.

“With the legislation signed today, America speaks with bold moral clarity and political unanimity,” he said.

According to the Catholic fraternal organization, "Over the last four years, the Knights have allocated more than $20 million to aid Christians and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria to provide food, shelter and clothing. Those efforts also included $2 million to rebuild the liberated Iraqi town of Karamles that had been largely demolished by ISIS."

The Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act is designed "to provide relief for victims of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes who are members of religious and ethnic minority groups in Iraq and Syria, for accountability for perpetrators of these crimes, and other purposes."

The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development will have the authority to provide financial and material aid to the religious minorities through their offices and through non-governmental organizations, including faith-based organizations. They will also be allowed to conduct criminal investigations; develop indigenous investigative offices; and collect and preserve evidence.

Also, "the State Department shall encourage foreign governments to identify and prosecute individuals who are suspected of committing such crimes, including members of foreign terrorist organizations operating in Iraq or Syria," reads the legislation. The State Department is further authorized to provide reports on the investigations/prosecutions to Congress.

In March 2016, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution declaring “the atrocities perpetrated by ISIL [Islamic State] against Christians, Yazidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.” Then-Secretary of State John Kerry affirmed that resolution and, in July 2017, then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson affirmed it.

In April 2016, the British House of Commons voted unanimously to declare the actions by the Islamic State genocide, despite the opposition of then-Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative Party administration. Numerous other governments have declared ISIS's actions against Christians, Yazidis, and Shia Muslims as genocidal.

In December 2016, the Knights of Columbus traveled with Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) to Iraq on a fact-finding trip about religious persecution. In January 2017, Rep. Smith introduced H.R.390, the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act.

The legislation passed the House in 2017 and in the Senate, a reconciled version, in November 2018.

Given the genocidal attacks by ISIS, "the number of Christians living in Iraq has dropped from an estimated 800,000 to 1,400,000 in 2002 to fewer than 250,000 in 2017," states the new law. "[T]he number of Yazidis living in Iraq has fluctuated from 500,000 in 2013, to between 350,000 and 400,000 in 2016, and between 600,000 and 750,000 in 2017."

The Knights of Columbus advised the USAID in October on how "religious minorities are to be assisted in the rebuilding and stabilization of their communities," and they "also worked in conjunction with the U.S. government to de-escalate tensions between the Kurdistan and Iraqi governments that threatened a recently rebuilt Christian town," reads the press release.


Christians Fight Fiercest Ever Attacks on Christmas

The War on Christmas is very real. Everyone has seen the massive attempt to take Christ out of Christmas. There are sparkle trees, X-mas cards and Happy Holidays. Major retailers jumped on the bandwagon and filled their advertising with joyless celebrations of an unnamed winter solstice holiday. Merry Christmas has become the war cry for millions of Americans who have fought against this politically correct mutation of the birth of the Christ Child.

The main thrust of the War on Christmas was not a direct attack but the deliberate ignoring of the feast. There was a big reaction to this offensive. Millions of Christians nationwide protested against this new winter holiday forced upon them. They organized boycotts, petitions and complaints nationwide targeting the culprits on many media. The public outcry was so great that gradually many retailers, including mighty Walmart, restored real Christmas themes to the stores. The issue even made it into the presidential elections. One fulfilled promise of the 2016 presidential campaign was the return of Merry Christmas in the White House and the return of the traditional crib scene that was unused the Christmas before.   

For all practical purposes, the War on Christmas 1.0 is over. Christians have won an uneasy peace over those of questionable goodwill. There are still obstinate retailers who continue the savage practice of ignoring Christmas. Many still celebrate a winter holiday. However, for the most part, this phase is over with a reluctant admission that Christmas exists. Secular media have even gone into denial mode by saying that there never was a war against Christmas, save in the imaginations of overzealous Christians.

A New Phase in the Old War Against Christmas

Now, a new phase in the war on Christmas has appeared. It is much more insidious than the first one. The earlier version made the mistake of trying to ignore Christmas and thus eliminate its mention and presence in the public square. It had the contrary effect of galvanizing opposition into shouting out Merry Christmas all the louder.

This new second phase is much more brutal because it recognizes Christmas and seeks to either destroy, caricature or deform it. Those who oppose Christmas now weaponize it by using the feast against itself to further political and cultural agendas contrary to the meaning of Christmas. Activists are arranging their “celebrations” or spoiling the celebrations of Christians.  

Politicizing Christmas

There are, for example, people who are displaying outside nativity scenes with two Josephs as an obvious promotion of homosexual lifestyles using a deformation of the Christmas story.

In Dedham, Mass., Saint Susanna Parish is displaying a traditional nativity set. However, there is a cage around the Infant Jesus to symbolize restrictions to immigration. There is also a fence separating the Holy Family and the Magi Kings with a sign reading “Deportation.” The parish is politicizing Christmas to promote its pro-immigrant position.

Removing Decades-Old Displays

Another front of the new War against Christmas is the dismantling of traditional Christmas displays in communities across America. Atheists have taken it upon themselves to suppress decades-old displays that community members have enjoyed for generations.

The Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists, for example, is demanding that a school district remove a large Three Wise Men display from the roof of the Newaygo Elementary School in Newaygo, Michigan. Local citizens are putting up the fight for the simple figures that were made in the forties by students. They see them as a symbol of the community and the way things have always been.

The activists, however, see things differently. With all the fervor of communist Chinese during the Cultural Revolution, they have set themselves up as a censorship board to erase all such symbols in the state. One activist even went so far as to say that the local people will get used to not having the Wise Men like citizens in other cities where Christmas displays have been taken away.

Similar censorship efforts are taking place in Ravenna, Ohio. The Freedom from Religion Foundation has flooded the offices of city officials asking them to take down a nativity scene organized by a local woman. The scene has enjoyed support from the population. One citizen pointed out that the city-sponsored Halloween displays, celebrating a pagan holiday on city property. Now outside groups are pressuring the city to ban the Christ Child even though the sponsor has followed all the rules.

Other cities across the nation are facing similar challenges by groups like the American Atheists Legal Center and others. In fact, the placing of nativity scenes on public property is legal and constitutional. Court decisions support the initiatives of citizens to do so provided rules are followed.

The Satanic Offensive

Perhaps the most egregious attacks on Christmas are those involving Satanic themes. 

Across the country, Satanic groups are forcing upon the public their mutations of the feast. They take advantage of public square celebrations of the real Christmas to introduce their own decorations, tree and “manger” scenes laden with Satanic symbols and themes. They will often insist that these horrific displays be placed side by side with true depictions. Most of these attacks have no other purpose than to challenge Christmas since there is no comparable Satanic holiday at this time.

The Chicago branch of The Satanic Temple, for example, has placed a display next to Christian decorations and trees in the Illinois Capitol rotunda called “Snaketivity.” The work consists of an arm holding an apple, with a snake coiled around it. There is also a sign that reads “Knowledge Is The Greatest Gift.” The display is a parody of the Incarnation that redeemed mankind from Original Sin lost in paradise. 

A group called Satanic Bay Area is displaying a Satanic-themed Christmas tree in Cesar Chavez Park in San Jose, Calif. The tree has 140 decorations, including skulls, spiders and Pentagram-themed ornaments inside a family-theme Christmas tree display. It is all part of a constant attempt to mainstream Satanic themes and presence in the public square.

The incarnation signals the coming of Christ who would vanquish the power of Satan in the world. The placing of Satanic symbols next to and equal to those of Christians seeks to deny Christ’s victory. 

Protest and Prayer: Effective Means to Fight

The most effective way to fight the War on Christmas 2.0 is to protest against the efforts of those who no longer ignore Christmas but seek to distort, suppress and ridicule this most glorious feast. Organized protests, rallies and petitions can be extremely effective in affirming the right to celebrate Christmas in the public square.

Last year, for example, over 200 faithful Catholics in Florida converged on Boca Raton’s Sanborn Park Square to protest a Satanic “Christmas” display next to a Catholic nativity scene. One of the “decorations” had the slogan, “in Satan We Trust.” The protesters soon learned that the display would not be appearing largely due to their protest and a massive 50,000 name petition.

These victories are possible because those who oppose Christmas seek validation and acceptance for their extreme positions, whether they be atheistic or Satanic. When uproars make their positions unpopular, they find their efforts are working to defeat their purpose and are forced to retreat. Moreover, when good Christians defend their faith in the public square, it only serves to energize reactions to the unpopular and horrific displays. Heaven often blesses their efforts with unexpected victories.

Indeed, the War On Christmas now intensifies. It should be no surprise since the Church is Militant and is always fighting against the ways of the world, flesh and devil. The Christ Child Himself was persecuted at the time of His Birth. Christmas is a call for all those who adore Christ to defend Him and celebrate His victory over sin. 


Australian PM's stand on freedom of religion

Scott Morrison will take a ­religious discrimination act to the next election, in a major change to commonwealth discrimination laws that will introduce, for the first time, stand-alone legal protections for Australians of faith.

The Australian can reveal the Prime Minister will today unveil the long-awaited review into ­religious freedoms conducted by former Liberal attorney-general Philip Ruddock and accept its centrepiece recommendation for a religious discrimination act.

The overhaul is aimed at ensuring religious discrimination is treated as seriously as racial or sexual discrimination, and will not pose curbs on free speech by avoiding replication of controversial provisions in section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Draft legislation for the shake-up will be released early next year and will include a provision for the creation of a “freedom of religion” commissioner to sit within the Australian Human Rights ­Commission.

The government will seek feedback on the draft legislation, which will make it unlawful to ­discriminate on the basis of an ­individual’s religious beliefs, ­before taking the overhaul to next year’s election.

In a key step, the government has also moved to defuse the parliamentary impasse over the treatment of gay students within religious schools by referring the issue to the Australian Law Reform Commission for ­review.

The Prime Minister told The Australian last night he was taking action because religion and faith were central to the lives of millions of Australians, their families and their communities.

“Australia is a secular democracy but that does not mean that Australians are a godless people,” Mr Morrison said. “Australians have a diversity of faith and religious backgrounds and these should all be respected.

“This is an essential part of multiculturalism, in the same way no Australian should be discriminated against for their ethnicity or sexuality. Protecting freedom of belief is central to the liberty of each and every Australian.”

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, yesterday said a religious discrimination act was necessary because society had changed. “There have been attempts in some states to ban the sacrament of confession,” he said.

“There’s moves to remove the few existing religious liberty protections from our schools.

“There was an attempt to prosecute the ­Tasmanian Catholic Archbishop Julian Porteous for upholding Catholic teachings about marriage.

“A lot of other supporters of traditional marriage felt that they were, one way or another, discriminated against — including being sacked just for saying they supported traditional marriage.”

Archbishop Fisher said Australians used to be “live and let live” on religious matters. “Our neighbours could have a different religion to us,” he said. “We gave each other the space to be different. But lately there has been a hard-edged secularism that wants to stamp out religion from public life. So that’s why I think there are calls today for religious discrimin­ation legislation.”

The government has accepted absolutely or in-principle all 20 of the Ruddock review’s recommendations and will move to implement some changes more quickly than others. Mr Morrison and Attorney-General Christian Porter will today announce their intention to accept 14 recommendations immediately.

The Coalition government will seek to enact these recommen­dations through legislation when parliament resumes in February and views them as uncontroversial. They include measures such as an amendment to the Charities Act ensuring groups that uphold a traditional view of marriage are not stripped of their charitable status.

The Australian has confirmed that five of the Ruddock review recommendations dealing with exemptions in the Fair Work Act and existing anti-discrimination laws will be referred to the ALRC. These include the recommen­dations relating to students and teachers at faith-based schools.

Mr Porter said the ALRC would be charged with devising a mechanism to balance the rights of gay students with the rights of religious schools, unless Bill Shorten accepted key government amendments.

“Labor’s refusal so far to accept religious-based schools should be allowed to impose what are known as rules of general application, or school rules, such as a requirement for all students to attend chapel, meant this issue could not be dealt with by parliament before the end of the sitting year,” Mr Porter said.

“If Labor is able to support the government’s amendments to ensure religious schools can educate within the doctrine and tenets of their faith, then this issue could be dealt with in the first sitting days of 2019.”

He also said there was no reason for any political party to oppose the introduction of a religious discrimination act. “I don’t see what arguments you would legitimately raise as to why we should protect people from discrimin­ation based on their age, their race, their sex or the fact of a disability but not similarly protect them by virtue of the fact that they are a ­religious person,” Mr Porter said.

He said the government would not make it unlawful to “offend, insult or humiliate” someone on the basis of their religion — a move that would have replicated section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and has been attacked as an impediment to free speech.

Religious freedom expert Mark Fowler said the protection of ­people against discrimination on the basis of religious belief was “the missing piece in the constellation of Australian equality legislation … Of the five main equality rights recognised in the inter­national law to which Australia is a signatory, being race, age, disability, sex (including sexual orientation) and religion, only religion fails to receive protection in commonwealth law.”



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, 2018

Jordan Peterson: The gender scandal – in Scandinavia and Canada

Men and women are similar. But importantly different. No matter what Sweden's feminist foreign minister says

Part One (Scandinavia)

Over the past few weeks, I have been in Oslo, twice; Helsinki, twice; Stockholm, twice; and Copenhagen, once. One of the trips to Stockholm was only for press interviews and television. The other six trips were part of my 12 Rules for Life tour, which has now covered 100 cities. The reason for the dual visits? We arranged relatively smaller venues for the lectures in those Scandinavian towns and they sold out immediately. Scandinavians are interested in what I am saying. They are radically over-represented among those who view my YouTube lectures.

In the last lecture, in Helsinki, it was Finland’s Father’s Day, so I talked about masculine virtue. In Stockholm, I concentrated more on what has come to be known as the “gender paradox.” Here is the paradox in a nutshell: as societies become more gender equal in their social and political policies, men and women become more different in certain aspects, rather than more similar.

Had you asked any group of social scientists — left-wing, centrist, conservative (if you could find them) — 30 years ago “Will egalitarian social policies in wealthy countries produce men and women who are more similar or more different?” the majority would have certainly said, “more similar.” And, to some degree, that has happened. Women have entered the workforce en masse, and are participating at levels approaching or exceeding equality in many of the domains that were male majority prior to the 1960s. But …

And this is a major but. We seem to have reached the point of diminishing, or even reversing returns. Over the last five decades or so, psychologists have aggregated great numbers of descriptions of personality traits, using adjectives, phrases and sentences, throwing virtually every descriptor contained in human language into the mix, in a remarkably atheoretical manner. The method? Describe people every which way imaginable, and then use large samples and powerful statistics to sort out the resulting mess.

The results? Something approaching a consensus among psychologists expert in measurement, known as psychometricians (or, less technically, personality psychologists). The latter happens to be my field, in addition to clinical psychology. When you ask thousands of people hundreds of questions (or ask them to rate themselves using descriptive adjectives such as “kind,” “competitive,” “happy,” “anxious,” “creative,” “diligent,” etc.) powerful statistics can identify patterns. People who describe themselves as “kind” tend not to consider themselves “competitive,” for example, but are likely to accept “cooperative” and “caring.” Likewise, creative types might regard themselves as “curious” and “inventive,” while the diligent types are also “dutiful” and “orderly.”

Once a relatively standard model had been agreed upon, and been deemed reliable and valid, then differences, such as those between the sexes, could be investigated. What emerged? First, men and women are more similar than they are different. Even when men and women are most different — in those cultures where they differ most, and along those trait dimensions where they differ most — they are more similar than different. However, the differences that do exist  are large enough so that they play an important role in determining or at least affecting important life outcomes, such as occupational choice.

Where are the largest differences? Men are less agreeable (more competitive, harsher, tough-minded, skeptical, unsympathetic, critically-minded, independent, stubborn). This is in keeping with their proclivity, also documented cross-culturally, to manifest higher rates of violence and antisocial or criminal behavior, such that incarceration rates for men vs women approximate 10:1. Women are higher in negative emotion, or neuroticism. They experience more anxiety, emotional pain, frustration, grief, self-conscious doubt and disappointment. This seems to emerge at puberty.

There are other sex differences as well, but they aren’t as large, excepting that of interest: men are comparatively more interested in things and women in people. This is the largest psychological difference between men and women yet identified. And these differences drive occupational choice, particularly at the extremes. Engineers, for example, tend to be those who are not only interested in things, but who are more interested in things than most people, men or women.

It’s very important to remember that many choices are made at the extreme, and not the average. It’s not the average more aggressive/less agreeable male that’s in prison. In fact, if you draw a random man and a random woman from the population, and you bet that the woman is more aggressive/less agreeable, you’d be correct about 40% of the time. But if you walked into a roomful of people everyone of whom had been selected to be the most aggressive person out of a 100, almost every one of them would be male.

So even though men and women are more the same than they are different, the differences can matter.

What happens if you look at sex differences in personality and interest by country? Are the differences bigger in some countries and smaller in others? Would the differences between men and women be larger or smaller in wealthier countries? In more egalitarian countries? The answer: the more egalitarian and wealthier the country, the larger the differences between men and women in temperament and in interest. And the relationship is not small. The most recent study, published in Science (by researchers at Berkeley, hardly a hotbed of conservatism and patriarchy) showed a relationship between a wealth/egalitarian composite measure and sex differences that was larger than that reported in 99% of published social science studies. These are not small-scale studies. Tens of thousands of people have participated in them. And many different groups of scientists have come to the same conclusions, and published those results in very good journals.

Given that differences in temperament and interest help determine occupational choice, and that differences in occupational choice drives variability in such things as income, this indicates that political doctrines that promote equality of opportunity also drive inequality of outcome.

This is a big problem — particularly if the goal of such egalitarian policies was to minimize the differences between men and women. It’s actually a fatal problem for a particular political view. The facts can be denied, but only at the cost of throwing out social science in its entirety and a good bit of biology as well. That is simply not a reasonable solution.

The best explanation, so far, for the fact of the growing differences is that there are two reasons for the differences between men and women: biology and culture. If you minimize the cultural differences (as you do with egalitarian social policies) then you allow the biological differences to manifest themselves fully. I have seen social scientists struggle to offer a cultural explanation, but I haven’t heard any such hypothesis that is the least bit credible, and have been unable to formulate one myself.

There are also those who insist that we just haven’t gone far enough in our egalitarian attempts — that even Scandinavia and The Netherlands, arguably the world’s most egalitarian societies, are still rampantly patriarchal — but that doesn’t explain why the sex differences have grown, rather than shrunk, as those cultures have become demonstrably more equal in social policy.

Those who adopt this viewpoint, despite its apparent logical impossibility, maintain that we must  redouble our efforts to socialize little boys and girls in exactly the same manner — rendering all toys gender-neutral, questioning even the idea of gender identity itself — and believe that such maneuvering will finally bring us to the ideal utopia, where every occupation and every strata of authority within every occupation is manned (so to speak) by 50% men and 50% women. Why should we launch large-scale experiments aimed at transforming the socialization of children when we have no idea what the outcome might be? And why should we presume that we know how to eliminate gender identity among young children? Finally, why exactly is it a problem if men and women, freed to make the choices they would make when confronted with egalitarian opportunities, happen to make different choices?

So, this is the Scandinavian conundrum —  one that also affects the broader Western world (and the rest of the world, soon enough). Policies that maximize equality of opportunity make equality of outcome increasingly impossible. The doctrine, ever more radically and loudly insisted upon by the politically correct, that sex differences are only socially constructed is wrong. Get it? Wrong.

It’s no wonder that when I came bearing this news the Swedish Foreign Minister (a proud member of the world’s only self-proclaimed feminist government) suggested publicly that I crawl back under my rock, and that one of Sweden’s leading female politicians objected on prime time TV that her daughter could be raised to be anything she wants to be. But facts is facts, I’m afraid, and no amount of neo-Marxist leftist postmodern suggestion that social science is a patriarchal construction is going to make the ugly truth disappear: Men and women are similar. But they are importantly different.

The differences matter, particularly at the extremes, particularly with regard to occupational choice and its concomitants. There are going to be more male criminals, and more male engineers, and more females with diagnoses of depression and anxiety, and more female nurses. And there are going to be differences in economic outcome associated with this variance.

Game over, utopians.

And that’s why the information I shared during my visit to Scandinavia caused a scandal that continues to reverberate.

Part Two (Canada)

We all remember that our current Prime Minister, the Right Honorable Justin Trudeau, decided early on when he formed his government to make his cabinet 50% women, because “it was 2015.” He got a hall pass for this, no doubt because of his boyish charm and modern mien. But it was a mistake of unforgivable magnitude and here are some of the reasons why:

 *  The job of the federal government is important, necessary and difficult.

 *  To make important, difficult decisions properly, competence is necessary.

 *  There is no relationship between sex and competence. Men and women are essentially equal in their intelligence, and they differ very little in conscientiousness (which is the second-best predictor of success, after intelligence). Thus, selection for competence should optimally be sex-blind, if competence is the most important factor.

 *  The possibility of identifying a competent person increases as the pool of available candidates increases.

 *  Only 26% of the elected MPs in Trudeau’s government were women.

 *  By selecting 50% of his cabinet from 26% of the pool of available candidates, Prime Minister Trudeau abdicated his responsibility to rank-order all of his elected officials by competence (which could have been done by blind, multi-person rating of their resumes, including education and accomplishments) and staffing his cabinet from the most qualified person downward.

Given that only 26% of the elected MPs were women, the selection of half the cabinet from this pool means that it is a statistical certainty that the cabinet members chosen were not the most competent available.

It might also be pointed out that such a move is particularly appalling given its source. Let’s assume (which I don’t) that there is patriarchy, and with it, generally undeserved privilege. Let’s even assume (which I don’t) that much of this is accrued unfairly by straight white men, as the identity politics players, such as our Prime Minister, self-righteously and vociferously insist.

Is it truly unreasonable to point out that the absolute poster boy for such privilege is none other than our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau — a man who dared run for the highest office in the land despite his utter lack of credentials (other than good looks, charm and a certain ability to behave properly in public) merely because his father, Pierre, turned the Trudeau name into the very epitome of status unearned by his sons?

Is it also unreasonable to point out that the women who accepted those positions, granted to them unfairly, in a prejudiced and discriminatory manner, took that as their due, despite the unlikelihood, statistically, of their suitability for the positions in question, and thus betrayed themselves, men and women everywhere striving fairly for advancement, and their country? All in the name of redress for some hypothetical prejudice, a consequence of the patriarchal tyranny, experienced in large measure by vaguely apprehended women of the past and definitely other than themselves.

Appalling. All of it. Appalling.


Hulking Transsexual Helps Destroy Women’s Sports

Stick a fork in women’s sports; they are about done. Soon they will be dead of the sickness that is the transsexual agenda:

Standing at six-foot-two and weighing-in at 220 pounds, male-to-female transgender handballer Hannah Mouncey is dominating at the women’s Asian Championships in Japan.

Of course he is. He used to play for the Australian men’s handball team. Competition is significantly easier to overcome when playing against women, most of whom he could throw across the court with one hand. This is because in the real world outside the bubble of twisted liberal dogma, men are men, women are women, and there are physical differences between them.

Mouncey also wanted to play in the Australian Football League Women’s, but for once common sense prevailed. Mouncey raged that it was “body shaming” (a thought crime) to exclude him from the league due to his weight, height, and testosterone level.

No doubt it is only a matter of time before the likes of Mouncey are allowed to play in every women’s league, resulting in severe injuries followed by the end of organized women’s sports.

What do freaks like Mouncey get out of denying women their own athletic leagues? Maybe he is so insane that he literally believes that saying he is a woman makes him a woman — although it is hard to believe someone who takes liberal ideology for literal truth could function outside of a lunatic asylum.

Another possibility is that male athletes who destroy women’s sports with their transsexual bullying do it to advance the LGBT agenda by engendering resentment. Privileged minority groups like transsexuals scream at the top of their lungs that people hate them because being hated by regular Americans is the ultimate status symbol in the perverse realm of Cultural Marxism. The more they are hated, they higher their position in the politically correct caste system, and the more leverage they have to impose their will in a world mostly run by liberals. That is why LGBT militants might go out of their way to give people reason to dislike them, as Mouncey has done.


On Gender, the Science Is Deafening

Reading the headlines this week is like taking a trip to an alternate universe. Ten years ago, if you’d have said that in 2018 teachers would get fired for calling a girl a girl, most people wouldn’t have believed you. Unfortunately, that’s the ridiculous world Americans are waking up to every morning. But to most people’s relief, not everyone is playing along with this charade. And that includes President Donald Trump.

Almost two years in, this administration is still trying to mop up the mess made by Barack Obama. And considering the huge disaster it inherited, it’s amazing how much progress the White House has already made rolling back the absurdity of Obama’s LGBT legacy.

After squashing the government’s gender-free bathroom mandate, Trump moved on to the military. Now, he’s directed his agencies to make one of the most important changes of all: protecting the 54-year-old Civil Rights Act.

Obama chose to read the law the way he wanted—not how it was written by Congress. For the last few years of his administration, he started using his own interpretation of the Civil Rights Act to give special protections to people who identify as transgender. There’s just one problem: that’s not what the 1964 Congress meant—and it’s not what the statute says.

So, Trump issued his own memo. For the purposes of his administration, the Justice Department explained, “sex discrimination” would not include “gender identity.”

That was music to the ears of a lot more than conservatives. In the medical community, experts were relieved to see that the president’s policy matched what was wise and prudent for patients. In a letter to the departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services, a coalition of doctors, bioethicists, therapists, academics, and policy groups all praised the president for taking a scientifically-sound approach.

Dr. Michelle Cretella, head of the American College of Pediatricians, explained why that’s so important in an interview on Thursday’s “Washington Watch.” The letter, she points out, represents the views of more than 30,000 physicians who all understand that gender identity is a very real threat to modern health care.

“Transgenders are saying, ‘I think and feel this way, therefore, I am.’ And it’s one thing for us to, as physicians, [to] treat the person with respect and honor their name change, but it would be a complete malpractice to treat them as the opposite sex.”

As she explains, there is nothing any of us can do to change our binary, biologically-determined-at-conception sex. “A man on estrogen is not a woman. He is a man with a male physiology on estrogen, and that’s how a physician must approach him.” The very serious problem, she points out, is that people are so ideologically-driven that they want to ignore the medical research.

More than ever, Cretella says, “Medicine is at the point now where we understand that men and women have—at a minimum—6,500 genetic differences between us. And this impacts every cell of our bodies—our organ systems, how diseases manifest, how we diagnose, and even treat in some cases.”

Treating a person differently based on their feelings isn’t just harmful, she argues, but deadly. In cases like heart disease, certain drugs can endanger women and not men. Even diagnoses present differently in men and women. The symptoms for certain diseases, she explains, can manifest themselves in completely opposite ways. “And these are nuances that medicine is finally studying and bringing to light. And it’s actually ironic that the transgender movement [is] so anti-science.”

“There is absolutely no rigorous science that has found a trait called ‘gender identity’ in the brain, body, or DNA. Now sex—I can show you that. It’s in our chromosomes. It’s in the body. It’s in the reproductive organs. Over 99.98 percent of the times, our sexual development is clearly and unambiguously either male or female.” The sex differences, she explains, are real and consequential.

If she had one message for America, Cretella said, it would be this: “Stick with science.” Thank goodness for us, the president has.

This was originally published in Tony Perkins’ Washington Update, which is written with the aid of Family Research Council senior writers.


Thought Police Target 'Homophobic' Athletes

Famous people who don't fall in line with the homosexual agenda will be punished. 

Celebrities and athletes are enlightened philosophers who can pontificate from on high to impart their profound wisdom upon the unwashed masses. Unless they deviate from leftist groupthink, that is. A recent spate of rhetorical assaults upon rogue celebrities and athletes by the Rainbow Mafia reminds us again that some Americans seem to think freedom of speech and individual liberty are things to be mercilessly crushed under the jackboots of the thought police.

The man getting the most attention is University of Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, who won the Heisman Trophy Saturday night only to be dragged through the mud by USA Today’s Scott Gleeson over “homophobic” tweets Murray made … when he was 15. Murray went from what should have been one of the greatest moments of his life to a perfunctory apology for his “poor choice of word that doesn’t reflect who I am or what I believe.” And it was all thanks to a vindictive Leftmedia eager to punish “wrongthink” about any favored group such as homosexuals.

Murray, who was drafted to play baseball for the Oakland A’s, is hardly alone, however. Gleeson wrote (as if he were merely an innocent observer), “Murray, 21 now, joins several other famous athletes to find themselves thrust in a negative spotlight as a result of their old tweets resurfacing in the midst of big accomplishments. The Milwaukee Brewers’ Josh Hader had racist, homophobic and misogynistic tweets resurface from when he was 17 years old this past summer. Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen saw racist tweets resurface from his teenage years ahead of the NFL draft. And Villanova Final Four Most Outstanding Player Donte DiVincenzo had a profane tweet with racist rap lyrics surface on the Internet right after he helped the Wildcats win a national title.”

Gleeson is part of the problem, waiting for a moment of accomplishment to destroy a target. Baltimore Ravens lineman Patrick Ricard, Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu, and Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb are also recent victims of media-generated outrage over using the “wrong” words. And then there’s comedian Kevin Hart, who will no longer host the Oscars after “homophobic” comments just happened to surface after the Academy Awards organizers asked him to host. The list could — and unfortunately will — go on.

To be clear, we’re not defending some of the words in question, which are indeed crass and offensive and aren’t part of what should be a better response to gender dysphoria. But humans have always had a knack for saying awful things about one another. In this case, it’s the rabid heterophobic gender deniers who ought to apologize for aiming to destroy accomplished people over offhand teenage snark.



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, 2018

DNC Chair Tom Perez Suggests Christians Are Stupid

DNC Chairman Tom Perez has a problem with Christians. He thinks they are stupid.

Speaking on December 6 at a liberal gathering in Washington, D.C., Perez appeared unhinged as he delivered a whining speech over the inability of Democrats to get their message across. He identified three obstacles: “Fox News, their NRA newsletter, and the pulpit on Sunday.”

Perez then unloaded on the clergy and the faithful, making a veiled stab at President Trump. “That person on the pulpit is saying, ‘Ignore everything else that this person has done and is doing. We have to focus on one issue of Roe v. Wade.’ And people buy it because that's their only source.”

This man is from some other universe. When I go to church on Sundays, I rarely hear a priest mention abortion, except in passing. More important, we Christians are not stupid people who take our political cues from any one source. We actually read and think for ourselves. That we regard the fate of unborn children to be a paramount issue is true. We only wonder why others don't agree. What is more important than the right to live?

This is not the first time that Perez's passion for abortion has sent him off the rails. Last year he said, “Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman's right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”

Perez's statement was too much for Democratic commentator Mark Shields. After quoting the remark I just cited, Shields said, "The Democratic Party, which is a pro-choice party, would now become the ‘no choice’ party."

In 2002, Shields blasted the DNC for providing a link on its website to Catholics for a Free Choice, an anti-Catholic front group. I followed through by taking out a New York Times op-ed page ad on September 16, 2003, titled, “Why Are The Democrats Insulting Catholics?”

The DNC is in trouble, and so is the Democratic Party. This demeaning comment by Perez suggesting that Christians are stupid is not going to sit well with millions of Americans. One thing is for sure—we will repeat what he said over and over and over again.


One Syrian rapist, 29 crimes


That’s how many crimes one single Syrian migrant had allegedly committed since entering Germany four years ago. He had already been wanted for drug trafficking and had been investigated for a rape last year. And then he struck again, this time in a case that has once again torn apart a sleepy college town.

Freiburg is a German city of 226,000 people. Foreigners make up 36,800 or 16% of the population. Of the foreigners in Freiburg, whose name means fortified city of free people, 18,750 or 8.5% are men.

Even though foreigners are only a small percentage of the population, they commit 42% of the crimes.

These days, Freiburg is mainly known as a college town. One site describes it as the “sunniest and warmest city in Germany” with a "progressive mindset" and "a remarkable commitment to the environment". The University of Freiburg’s 30,000 college students make the area a magnet for parties, clubs and eateries catering to the booming student population. And for those who prey on the students.

The medieval cobblestone streets of Freiburg bulging with bars aimed at college students had come to host a very different population as a mass of Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis and others claiming to be refugees poured into Germany. Facilities catering to refugees quickly popped up all over the sleepy college town.

Unaccompanied minors, migrants, many of them claiming to be underage when their actual ages ranged into the twenties and even the thirties poured into Freiburg. By November 2016, 577 of these ‘minors’ had showed up in Freiburg. And crime, drugs, theft and sexual assaults came traveling along with them.

Trouble had already been reported at the White Rabbit, a trendy club where sexual assaults by refugees have become routine. Reports even described men forcing their way into women’s bathroom stalls. A refugee reportedly attempted to assault a woman in the bathroom and the dance club soon announced that it would not allow asylum seekers inside. “This is not an easy thing to do but we see no other way as currently we are experiencing problems with refugees,” it said in a statement.

On New Year’s Eve of that year, the wave of refugee sexual assaults taking place across Germany, most notably in Cologne, reached Freiburg with two women being assaulted by seventeen men.

But none of that had any impact on the eagerness of the Freiburg establishment to continue welcoming in migrants. Even as the violence grew worse, Freiburg followed Merkel’s slogan, “Wir schaffen das” or “We’ll make it work.” Refugee violence was only a minor obstacle on the road to integration.

The University of Freiburg has a special refugee initiative, as do other educational institutions in the area. The City of Freiburg commissioned rapid prefabricated housing that could hold hundreds of refugees. It hasn’t asked any of the difficult questions about what those refugees will do in Freiburg.

The “progressive mindset” made Freiburg a very welcoming destination for Muslim migrants; and for the crime and violence that has come with the great migratory wave from the terrorlands.

In 2017, Syrians had committed 282 of crimes in Freiburg. The Turks were responsible for another 246, the Iraqis for 158, the Algerians for 141, the Afghans for 121, the Tunisians for 77, the Moroccans for 76, the Somalis for 69, and the Albanians tying the Pakistanis for 59 for a grand total of 1,288 crimes committed by immigrants from Muslim majority countries.

But those statistics also conceal the human cost of migration to Europe from Muslim countries.

In March, Hussein Khavari, an Afghan refugee, was sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of Maria Ladenburger, a 19-year-old med student volunteering for a refugee charity, in Freiburg. Khavari had already been sentenced to 10 years in prison in Greece after pushing a woman off a cliff. Then, even though evidence shows that he was in his thirties, the Greeks released him as a juvenile offender.

The monster continued on to Germany where he pulled the same scam and attacked another woman. His previous victim had been twenty, his new victim was nineteen. His previous victim had survived, but the Muslim refugee made sure that Maria wouldn’t, by strangling her and then drowning her.

In October, 7 Syrian men were arrested in Freiburg for the gang rape of an 18-year-old woman. The assault, like many others, took place at a club. And, like a number of other assaults, rape drugs were involved.  The female student had gone out to celebrate with a friend. Someone had slipped her a drink.

The first Syrian rapist assaulted the woman in the bushes. After he was done, he went into the club and called on his friends to join in.

The suspects include a Majid, an Ahmed, a Muhammad, a Munahad, an Alaa and a Jekar. Some of the Syrian men also allegedly had links to terrorist groups.  A number had posted pictures of themselves brandishing guns on social media. The full number of attackers may be in the double digits.

The alleged rapists lived in refugee housing around Freiburg. They had previously come to the attention of the authorities for drugs, assaults and robberies. And still they weren’t deported.

One of the suspects is a refugee who had come to Germany in 2015 during the great migration.

Majid and another of the suspects had already been suspected of the rape of another 20-year-old woman in her home. And Majid had also been suspected of committing yet another sexual assault. He was also due to be arrested shortly for drug trafficking, but before the police could take him in, he struck again and destroyed a young woman’s life.

"In Freiburg, there is no room for criminals and such terrible crimes," Mayor Martin Horn insisted.

But the evidence tells another story.

Sexual assaults have been rising in Freiburg with over 50% of the suspects listed as foreigners. The parties are slowing down. There are more bouncers than ever around the club. And fear is in the air.

Muslim migrants have turned a sleepy German college town, a place once known for having the most sunshine in Germany, for its Black Forest hikes and its nearness to France and Switzerland, into a place where college students are stalked by predatory refugees. The “sunniest place” in Germany has become a place of shadows, and its progressive mindset has turned a city of free people into hunted prey.


Why the New Testament shouldn’t come with trigger warnings

Demands for the New Testament and Koran to contain alerts in the margins of those passages that have been used to justify and promote anti-Semitism should come as no surprise in our increasingly trigger-obsessed times.

The European Jewish Congress (EJC), an umbrella organisation for Jewish groups in Europe, recently produced a catalogue of policies to combat anti-Semitic hatred. EJC president Moshe Kantor called for scriptures to include “marginal glosses and introductions that emphasises continuity with Jewish heritage [and] warn readers about anti-Semitic passages in them.”

You might think this is just the latest instance of our contemporary obsession with tearing down the past and correcting anything sculpted, painted, or written more than five minutes ago. What next? Trigger warnings beside the Rosetta Stone, or alerts for vegans queueing to admire the hunting artwork of the Lascaux Caves? But wait… It is worth examining why such a move on the part of the EJC is understandable.

Anxiety about anti-Semitism is well founded. It is now rising to new levels in Europe – just 70 years after the Holocaust. This has prompted many Jews living on the continent to ever higher levels of vigilance as they pay close attention to the language and actions of their political leaders.

Young Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, is emphatic that a Europe without Jews is no Europe at all. But, British Labour’s ageing leader, Jeremy Corbyn, offers little assurance to Jews, and spices his equivocation about the anti-Semitism endemic in the UK Labour Party by roundly and regularly denouncing Israel whilst honouring his ‘friends’ in Hamas.

And don’t forget that across the Atlantic, in a most violent and shocking act of hatred, Jewish worshippers were recently gunned down at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Little wonder that Jewish organisations are looking for new ways to anticipate and counter acts of Jew-hatred. The devil of anti-Semitism continues to stalk the earth.

Anti-Semitism is humanity’s greatest and most persistent hatred; and disturbingly, it has fed for centuries on the teachings of other religions. Islam holds all Jews (and Christians) to be subservient – a status to be acknowledged in their legal designation as dhimmis. Dhimmitude continues to heap humiliation on the heads of Jews.

But the devil of anti-Semitism has also supped on Christian teachings about Judaism — Martin Luther, for instance, was a notorious anti-Semite — as well as on passages in the New Testament that blame the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus. Hence, the greatest source of Christian anti-Semitism is the claim that every Jew in every age is a ‘Christ-killer’.

Whereas Jesus of Nazareth, a pious Jew, was sure he knew what God wanted from the people of Israel, the Jewish leaders of the day were equally sure that they knew, too. And the consequences of that early religious split continue to roll through the ages of history. This was something acknowledged in 2016 by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, who declared that the church had been complicit in spreading the virus of anti-Semitism.

Given that grim history, a decision to publish trigger warnings about passages in scriptures that have been used to encourage anti-Semitism might seem like a sensible idea. After all, trigger warnings are intended to signal that potentially distressing materials are about to be encountered. However, the trouble is that as you leaf through the Bible, material with the potential to disturb leaps out at you from almost every page, threatening to trigger feelings or memories.

It might be a vision of slaying the children of one’s enemies (Psalm 137); or calling down divine fire to incinerate the disobedient (2 Kings 1); or an adulterous king who has his lover’s husband conveniently slain in battle (2 Samuel 11); or a brutal execution (Acts 7). In the Bible, you’ll also find a hair-raising account of preparations for an act of child sacrifice forestalled by the last-minute intervention of the angel of the Lord (Genesis 22); and the bloody beheading of a man at the behest of a vindictive woman (Matthew 14).

No doubt about it: the Hebrew and Christian scriptures — or Old Testament and New, as they are known to many — embrace the broadest range of human life and experience and contain abundant moments of bloody vengeance, vindictive vituperation, and downright nastiness that can to alarm the sensitive or tantalise the hate-filled. (It is, for example, often overlooked that Anders Behring Breivik claimed it was Christianity that motivated his killings in Norway in 2011.)

And some of the content in the New Testament — especially in St John’s Gospel -—– is overtly very derogatory about the Jews, and especially about the Jewish leaders with whom Jesus was in constant conflict; resulting in his death. This prejudice finds its way into the great music of J.S. Bach, whose St John’s Passion remains, to this day, deeply distasteful to many.

So, there’s much to be disturbed by in the Bible, and plenty there that can cause offence and distress. But this kind of New Testament material demands to be confronted and engaged with; it needs to be interpreted, criticised, and explained for what it is: ancient writings whose Christian authors were motivated by the belief that the arrival of the new, in the figure of Jesus Christ, called for the dismantling of the old, in the form of the Jewish legal and religious establishment.

But to insert trigger warnings in the margins of these texts is to side-step these thorny questions of interpretation rather than to confront them head-on. For the problem with trigger warnings of any kind — and the reason they threaten such mischief — is that instead of maintaining the focus of study on the text itself and upon the intent of the writer, they shift it towards a self-absorbed and self-indulgent focus on the impact of the text on the reader.

Indeed, this shift away from intent to impact lies at the heart of the bitter culture wars currently being waged on some of our university campuses. Far from minimising discomfort, trigger warnings inserted beside testing passages of scripture could actually inflame sensitivities and cause people to withdraw from confronting anti-Semitism at just the time when they need to do battle.


If Tommy Robinson is a monster, the left is his Dr Frankenstein

Time and again, the left’s failings have fuelled the Tommy Robinson phenomenon. If Tommy Robinson really is the monster that much of the media claim he is, then the left is his Dr Frankenstein.

Almost every aspect of the Tommy Robinson phenomenon – from his positioning of himself as the teller of difficult truths to the idea that he poses a one-man threat to the social order – has been gifted to Robinson by the left.

Through demonising open discussion about radical Islam and the tensions in multicultural Britain, leftists and liberals paved the way for Robinson to pose as the lone brave voice raising awkward questions about Islamist terror or Muslim grooming gangs.

And in then raging against Robinson as if he were Oswald Mosley Version 2, a bona fide fascist who threatens to unravel social peace in the UK, these same people imbued Robinson with an awesome power and sense of global menace he could never have earned for himself.

They facilitated both his USP – his willingness to break censorious codes and say the unsayable about cultural divisions – and they boosted his public profile in a way no PR man ever could have. I don’t know if Robinson has an agent, but if he does he should sack him, because he has an army of agents on the left who are cultivating and inflaming the Tommy Robinson phenomenon literally for free.

This weekend, Robinson will be one of the key figures at the Brexit Betrayal march in London. On Sunday, in a protest backed by UKIP leader Gerard Batten and Robinson, who was recently made one of Batten’s advisers, protesters will gather to kick up a stink about the political class’s selling-out of the vote for Brexit and its determination to keep us entangled in EU institutions.

This UKIP-Robinson hook-up has understandably caused a stir. Some UKIP members are unhappy that their party is rubbing shoulders with the former leader of the English Defence League. Nigel Farage resigned in protest.

In the left-leaning and liberal media, meanwhile, you could be forgiven for thinking it was 1936 all over again and that literal Blackshirts will descend on the seat of power on Sunday.

‘This is our Cable Street’, Corbynistas cry, in reference to the Battle of Cable Street in east London in 1936 when East End Jews and radical leftists heroically faced down Mosley’s mob. (Not Labour Party leftists, though: the Labour Party counselled its members to stay away from this affray, cowards that Labour has always been.)

Of course Sunday will be nothing like Cable Street. First, because this is not a march of fascists, but simply of right-wing people, and some hard-right people, of course. They might have views that many of us find unpalatable, but that doesn’t make them Nazis.

And secondly because 2018 is not 1936. It is nothing like 1936, in fact, whatever Guardian editorialists, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Prince Charles and Momentum members might say to the contrary. (This is the rather mixed bourgeois bunch who have hysterically compared the rise of Brexit Britain and the spread of populism in Europe to the march of fascism 80 years ago.)

No, Sunday is being compared with Cable Street not because it will be anything like Cable Street, but because the Corbynista movement desperately needs a Cable Street, and so they’re inventing one.

Corbynistas need that kind of moment, something that feels historic, real, meaningful, in order to add a dash of reality to their otherwise unhinged claims that fascism is returning and Corbynism is the brave internationalist movement that will face it down.

Corbynistas are engaging in what we might call historical appropriation: they are appropriating working-class East Enders’ genuinely brave direct action against actual fascists in order to give the appearance of revolution to their drab, decidedly un-radical state-socialist project and their pointless march against a gathering of disgruntled right-wingers on Sunday.

In the process, they massively overstate their own radical credentials and they dilute the heroism of Cable Street. It does a disservice to those working-class heroes of the 1930s to speak of them in the same breath as today’s middle-class academic leftists who will in essence just be shouting at a gruff bloke from Luton for being mean about Muslims. Anti-fascist resistance it is not.

But then, this sums up the Tommy Robinson phenomenon: its fuel is almost always the rashness and exaggerations and fears of the left.

So the left establishment’s chilling of frank, free discussion about Islam, multiculturalism and fragmented Britain has played directly into Robinson’s hands. The censorious branding of any questioning of Islam as ‘Islamophobia’, and any opposition to mass immigration as ‘xenophobia’, sends the signal to people that there are certain things they mustn’t say in polite society.

It is made clear that the mainstream public square will not tolerate their ‘racist’ concern about Muslim grooming gangs, or their ‘hateful’ dislike of the niqab, or their ‘Europhobic’ desire to end the freedom of movement foisted on us by membership of the EU.

And so, with baleful predictability, other forums emerge, outside of the mainstream, in which people gather to say the unsayable. One of the chief architects of these forums has been Tommy Robinson. He has proven himself adept at creating self-styled ‘no censorship’ zones in which people who feel ignored or demonised can express themselves. Witness both the EDL and later the Football Lads’ Alliance (much of which has distanced itself from both Robinson and the old EDL): these are not fascistic people, but mostly individuals who feel that mainstream politics no longer caters to their views and, worse, looks upon them with naked, elitist contempt.

And, strikingly, there’s Brexit. If some people are turning to the likes of Robinson to represent their frustration with the prevention of Brexit, as they will be on Sunday, that is surely because much of the left has spent the past two years demonising Brexit and the people who voted for it. With no serious mainstream voice willing to speak to their concerns about the EU, Brexit and the future of democracy, some people go looking for other voices.

It isn’t ‘too much freedom of speech’, or being ‘given a platform’, to use the modern parlance, that has energised the Tommy Robinson phenomenon, as censorious leftists would have us believe. Rather, it is their censorship that did that. It is the stymying of open debate that nurtures the space for the rise of self-styled and often quite eccentric ‘truth-speakers’.

And then the left throws petrol on this fire by massively exaggerating Robinson’s threat. Not content with creating the conditions in which he can rise up as a self-styled leader of the ignored, they then speak of him in the same breath as Mosley, and even Hitler, despite the fact that he has no real movement, no military forces, no actual power. They flatter, incessantly, the Tommy Robinson phenomenon, and enable Robinson to continue styling himself as one of the most important political figures not only in Britain, but in the Western world.

We end up with a darkly symbiotic relationship: the left needs Tommy Robinson, in order to prove that its ridiculous thesis about the return of fascism is correct, and Tommy Robinson needs the left because it is the left’s fear, loathing and pursuit of him that furnishes him with political importance and substance.

What we will see in London on Sunday is not a protest, far less a new Cable Street-style battle, but rather a mutually reinforcing performance, where the left will get to play at being anti-fascists and Robinson and his supporters will once again have their sense of historic importance stroked and strengthened. It will be a sad spectacle.



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, 2018

The Ministry of Trans Truth

The language of transgenderism is designed to silence dissent.

I’m fascinated by the way that concepts apparently arise from nowhere, take hold in the popular imagination, then become naturalised and beyond question.

One such idea is that individuals can be ‘born in the wrong body’, so that men can be women. Since there is no scientific evidence, neuroscientific or otherwise, that an unambiguously biological male can in fact be female, how can society have arrived at a stage where people who question the claim ‘trans women are women’ are routinely labelled Nazis, bigots and transphobes?

A new nomenclature has arisen which bifurcates women into two groups, ‘cis’ (biological women) and ‘trans’. This performs a linguistic sleight of hand that enables the idea that some men can actually be women. But no matter how cultivated their ‘feminine’ outward appearance, ‘trans women’ (as opposed to transsexuals) have penises.

The concept that ‘trans women’ are women, and that we must believe this is so because they affirm it, is further translated into the idea that ‘trans women’ are even more oppressed by the patriarchy than their ‘cis’ sisters. Progressives routinely turn with vitriol on women who challenge this newly minted ‘Truth’, labelling them ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminists’ (TERFs), no matter how moderate, thoughtful, or indeed trans-friendly those women are.

This new definition of womanhood is having bizarre effects on our political institutions. The Labour Party now admits men who identify as women on to all-women shortlists, without any necessity for a gender-recognition certificate. A number of these men have successfully applied to the Jo Cox Women in Leadership programme.

Then there’s the misogyny. Labour continues to support Lily Madigan in the role of women’s officer for Rochester and Strood, despite his bullying of gender-critical feminists and other women. One of his latest Twitter missives states that TERFs ‘can go fuck themselves’, and he is allowed to say this with impunity not only by the party but by Twitter itself.

Labour also (briefly) appointed the ‘trans woman’ Munroe Bergdorf to an LGBT working group. Bergdorf had recently been quoted in Grazia saying that many feminists are biological essentialists, because we apparently ‘summarise women as walking vaginas… a similar approach to that of misogynists’.

A kind of informal Ministry of Truth has emerged around the trans issue – or rather, a Ministry of Propaganda, since it is responsible for the falsification of historical events and biological facts. In keeping with the concept of doublethink, the ministry creates and then spreads ‘Truth’ through the new language of ‘cis’ and ‘trans’.

And in a chilling twist, it is now feminists who are the alleged extremist misogynists, purely because they don’t allow human beings with penises to control the political narrative. The statement – both mundane and tautological – that women don’t have penises is now considered inflammatory. When a feminist group distributed stickers making this observation recently in Liverpool, the police opened an investigation.

A cold wind of authoritarianism is blowing through our allegedly progressive, liberal-democratic society. When telling the truth becomes hate speech, when oppression becomes ethics, when non-facts become Truth, we all better look out.


Starbucks bathrooms may be open to all, but good luck finding a free stall

Seven months ago, Starbucks declared its toilets open to all after a racism scandal. But the result of the policy has been disgusting.

When you’ve gotta go, don’t go to Starbucks.

Seven months after the coffee kingdom declared its toilets open to all — no purchase necessary — visitors who hear nature’s call are finding it isn’t always easy to lighten their loads.

Finding a usable Starbucks toilet in New York might actually have gotten harder since last spring’s announcement — and not just for non-customers.

Starbucks chief executive Kevin Johnson declared the open-toilets policy after two black men were infamously arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks. They asked to used the toilet and were told it was for customers only. When they sat to wait for a friend, they were handcuffed and charged with “trespassing”.

But a Post survey found some supposedly liberated loos in different Manhattan neighbourhoods closed to everyone.

It’s bad news, given that a “grande” drip coffee (around 450ml) contains a bladder-bursting 330mg of caffeine.

A half-dozen toilets were locked or barricaded for no clear reason. Others were closed for prolonged “cleaning” which an insider said was needed after extreme soiling caused by drug-using, incontinent vagrants.

“Letting everybody in has resulted in nobody getting in,” an employee at one branch fumed.

“Restroom closed,” declared signs at two Manhattan outlets. At another, the road to relief was blocked by rubbish bins. And furniture and boxes formed a barrier at yet another New York store.

A rope and traffic cones barred the way at one Downtown Starbucks. When a desperate visitor asked if the loo would reopen any time soon, a barista directed him to a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts.

After The Post asked for explanations from Starbucks’ Seattle headquarters, corporate spokesman Reggie Borges said that all the shuttered rest rooms had reopened.

But signs posted on about one-third of Manhattan’s Starbucks toilet doors don’t reflect the new policy, still saying “for customer use only”.

Most Starbucks toilet doors also sport numerical punch-code panels. Although some post the magic number, many don’t.

Mr Borges said: “Yes, some stores are still in the process of removing the signs.”

He said it wasn’t “as simple as using a screwdriver. Our stores have to work with landlords to make sure they’re appropriately removed.”

But, he added: “As soon as someone enters our door they are considered a customer whether they buy anything or not.”

On the punch codes, he said: “They don’t mean that you’re not allowed to use the rest room. “We are reconsidering them and might do away with the punch cards. If a barista won’t give you the code, you should call it to a manager’s attention.”

The new open-toilets rule pushed by Starbucks chairman emeritus Howard Schultz was supposed to help the chain repair the damage to its socially conscious reputation — which includes “community outreach” and a “fair trade” policy with its Third World suppliers.

Starbucks toilets can be an adventure even when they are open. At Broadway and 47th Street on Thursday, the men’s and women’s bathrooms were suddenly plunged into darkness, sending panicked customers fleeing to the bright lights of Times Square.


The myth of xenophobic Britain

Take it from an immigrant: this is one of the most welcoming nations on Earth

Konstantin Kisin

Since moving to Britain from Russia as a boy in the 1990s, I have been continuously shocked by the British attitude to foreigners: the mix of healthy curiosity, warmth and acceptance that is, globally speaking, the exception, not the rule.

As someone with dark hair and dark skin, I experienced more xenophobia in my own country than I have in my new home. My only encounter with racism here was at school. ‘Go back to Russia’, my tormentor implored, before adding ‘you… uhh… Paki’. Naturally, I was offended – I haven’t spoken to that teacher since.

Joking aside, my parents taught me that the best way to give ignorance power is to take it seriously. When did we decide that endless outrage about stupid people saying stupid things was the best way to improve the world, one Facebook post at a time?

To be clear, for the permanently offended: I am not saying that racism, xenophobia and stereotypes are harmless. They aren’t, and they must be resisted: the sooner Bond villains stop speaking with terrible Russian accents, the better.

As a comedian, I have travelled the length and breadth of Britain, poking fun at British idiosyncrasies from my viewpoint as an outsider. Routines where I ridicule the locals are often better received than jokes about Russia or my marriage. By contrast, a British comic who made fun of the locals in Russia would be the one in stitches, not the audience.

This tolerance of others, of free speech and of freedom of choice, is the reason Britain and the West are an example and a draw to the rest of the world.

Immigrants may come here to share in our prosperity, but often they stay because of the other freedoms on offer: freedom from corruption, nepotism, suppression of thought, oppressive religious dogma, and government interference in their lives.

But the backlash to the Brexit vote has shown that, in one of the most open, welcoming and inclusive nations in the history of humanity, many prominent voices have become convinced that half of our fellow citizens are racist xenophobes. As someone who voted Remain, I find this allegation to be disrespectful, hugely damaging to society, and, most importantly, untrue.

Oddly, the hordes of mainstream journalists gleefully labelling millions of people racist for exercising their democratic rights offer little by way of explanation for how half of voters became such horrendous bigots. At best, the assertion is that the suffering caused by the 2008 financial crisis led to frustrations which have coalesced around the issue of immigration. There is some truth to this, but it is, at best, a partial explanation.

The vast majority of the immigrants who have come to Britain in recent decades are thoroughly decent, hard-working people. I am proud to be one of them. They sweep our streets, pick our fruit and prop up our NHS. One day they might bring their ingenuity to bear on the railways, so that a smattering of autumn leaves no longer brings the system grinding to a halt.

I am confident that over the decades to come, the children and grandchildren of today’s migrants will help to write our laws, run our businesses and judge our talent shows.

The truth, however, is that, over the time I have lived in Britain, this country has witnessed unprecedented levels of migration. Whether you think this is good or bad is irrelevant – any honest discussion of immigration has to begin with this fact.

In 1995, net migration to the UK was 76,000 people. I was among them. By 2015, net annual migration had reached 330,000. This dramatic change in the pace of immigration has caused an abrupt shift in attitudes: according to figures from YouGov and Ipsos MORI, as late as 1997, just three per cent of the British public thought that immigration was a major concern. Today, this figure hovers around 50 per cent.

While this was happening, successive governments, starting with Labour under Tony Blair, sought to dismiss rising concerns about immigration through the effective combination of deceiving the public and smearing anyone who called them out on the lie.

This has led to the self-censorship of moderate voices in the immigration debate, thus polarising the conversation. When we hear concerns about the issue, too often they are voiced by unsavoury characters like Katie Hopkins. The people who refuse to listen to the two-thirds majority of the British public who think migration levels are ‘too high’ can then conflate criticism of their politics with ignorance, bigotry and prejudice.

Where ignorance cannot be used to explain away worries about the scale and pace of immigration, as in the case of someone like the articulate conservative author Douglas Murray, people simply dismiss him as a ‘gentrified xenophobe’, the thinking man’s racist. God forbid we should engage with his arguments.

This potent mix of lies and slander remains the dish du jour: in polite company, the mere suggestion that concerns about immigration might have some validity raises the heavily plucked eyebrows of the chattering classes.

Just as we can support our troops while being opposed to war, we can appreciate the contribution immigrants make while acknowledging that a society’s ability to integrate them is not limitless.

While mainstream media continue to churn out their clickbait nonsense about xenophobia and intolerance, ordinary people continue to live their lives in peace, harmony and understanding. The reason we avoid getting to know our neighbours isn’t intolerance: it’s that it is the British thing to do.

The growing chasm between the stories being told about Western culture and the reality of our daily interactions is the reason that we have grown so utterly distrustful of politicians and the media. When truth becomes unspeakable in the public square, when nuance and detail are replaced with Twittermobs and bad-faith arguments, all of us withdraw further and further into our echo chambers.

It is time for people in Britain to remember who we are and what we stand for: tolerance of opposing views, diversity not just of skin colour but also of thought, and freedom to speak and hear the facts, no matter how uncomfortable they may be. And the fact is this: British people don’t hate immigrants — they hate the politicians who keep claiming that they do.


Combating Racism and Anti-Semitism Includes Fighting Against BDS

Calls on Congress to combat anti-Semitism and racism are well-taken. The massacre at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue where 12 congregantswere murdered at the hands of a Neo-Nazi white supremacist was a horrific act of evil.Though still on the fringe of society, members of white supremacist groups pose a significant danger to blacks and to Jews.

However, there is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which targets Israel as an illegitimate state. Many see this movement as being fundamentally anti-Semitic since Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people. Of concern now is that two supporters of the BDS movement have been elected to Congress.

Although these victories are minimal in comparison to the number of seats there are in Congress and even in comparison with the amount of seats the DemocraticParty holds, this nonetheless encourages the BDS movement to stay its course.

It is important to understand that BDS operates on a strategy that follows the ideas of early 20thcentury Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci argued that the dominant capitalistic class does not only dominate through economic means but also through cultural domination. This cultural domination takes place in society through a consensus of values, norms, and beliefs that are widely accepted including by those who are victims of this domination. In other words, the dominated believe in the values of the dominant.  Thus, the media, universities, religious institutions, the school system and other spheres of the system reproduce this set of values and beliefs and individuals “buy into them”. Gramsci proposed a strategy to combat this type of sophisticated domination. The idea was to create a counter-hegemony. The strategy was to begin to advance alternative ideas that could affect the mindset, values and beliefs of society so as to adapt them to a possibility of change.

The idea was to define a new normal and a new concept of what is legitimate in order to seek gradual changes that would eventually lead to total change.

As an example, before the Muslim Brotherhood took over the reins of power in Egypt, it managed to gain control of the trade unions, student unions, professional associations, the educational system and certainly the mosques.  Later they won seats in parliament and eventually the presidency of Egypt.

Although more limited in scope, the method used by BDS is similar. Islamization in the secular and Christian West is not a realistic goal in the short run. However, the de-legitimization of Israel and the breakdown of pro-Israel sentiments in American public opinion is viewed as an attainable goal.

BDS is not the work of one man or one organization. BDS is a coalition of groups that include well-funded Muslim organizations (mostly with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood) such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and others, Palestinian student organizations, anti-Israel Jewish groups and individuals, and left-wing students and academics. (To clarify, I make a distinction between Muslim Americans and organizations such as CAIR. Muslim Americans, as a community, are not part of this movement. Muslim Americans constitute a complex and diverse community and for many of them the Israeli/Palestinian conflict does not mean much).

The strategy of the de-legitimization of Israel is possible through a combination of two elements. First, the openness of the left to these ideas. Second, and as a direct consequence of the first, is BDS’s skillful use of intersectionality.

To be sure, the Soviet influence on the Western intellectual left from the cold war era denoted a predisposition by elements of the left to adopt anti-Zionist views. The logic was simple: the USSR and the communist/socialist idea stand with the oppressed and against imperialism. Israel oppresses the Palestinians and stands with America. Therefore, all those who represent oppressed people should stand against Zionism and Israel.

The Arab oil embargo of the 1970’s added fuel to this idea. The 1975 resolution, “Zionism is Racism,” as absurd as it sounded, made inroads in many elements of the left. That was aggravated by the Israeli/Palestinian conflict where Palestinians were succeeding in portraying themselves as victims rather than perpetrators despite the fact that they were responsible for multiple terrorist attacks and despite the Palestinian leadership’s rejection of any compromise with Israel. The first Israel-PLO war on Lebanese soil (1982) and the first intifada (1987-1993) reinforced that image of David vs. Goliath, where Israel was the latter.

The idea of intersectionality stands on similar ground: different forms of discrimination and oppression “combine, overlap, or intersect”. Thus, oppression of or discrimination against women, African-Americans and other minorities, homosexuals, immigrants, and others are all part of the same scheme. Therefore, the fight against the oppression of the Palestinians is an integral part of the oppression of the groups mentioned above. Thus, a rabid pro-BDS, anti-Israel supporter such as Linda Sarsour becomes a leader of the Women’s March when her main agenda is the de-legitimization of Israel. Sarsour could not fake it any longer when she began associating with homophobic and anti-Semitic personalities such as Louis Farrakhan and Imam Siraj Wahhaj.

By the same token, BDS also made alliances with Immigration coalitions and with movements such as Black Lives Matter. The latter is a movement that emerged as a response to police killing of black people and racial profiling. BDS, through one of its organizations, Jewish Voice for Peace, created a website called “Deadly Exchange.” That website includes an entire pamphlet directed at Black Lives Matter where they try to prove in a document full of distortions that the “exchange programs that bring together police, ICE, border patrol, and FBI from the U.S. with soldiers, police, border agents, etc.” to Israel, “promote and extend discriminatory and repressive policing practices that already exist in both countries, including extrajudicial executions, shoot-to-kill policies, police murders, racial profiling, massive spying and surveillance, deportation and detention, and attacks on human rights defenders.”

The pamphlet resorts to anti-Semitic rhetoric by claiming that those who are promoting these programs are “the neo-conservative Jewish Institute on National Security of America (JINSA), Jewish Federations, the Anti-Defamation League, and even Birthright.” In other words, Jewish institutions with different views, whether they are right, left or center are all without exception systematically promoting violence against black people. Black Lives Matter adopted a statement repudiating these exchanges despite the fact they have been purely professional, as many black officers who participated in these exchanges testified. BDS scored a victory when the city of Durham in North Carolina prohibited police officers from participating in those exchanges.

Mainline protestant Churches adopted harsh resolutions and some of their religious leadership defined the Israeli occupation of the West Bank as a “sin against God,” misappropriating a term used by Pope John Paul II to describe the Holocaust.

Victories of this type are not only based on distortions but are blood libels that are too often accepted as unquestionable truths. Thus, it is in academia where this point is best proven. Professors who are supposed to have an open mind and critical judgement have too often joined the boycott of Israel. Likewise, academic associations adopted resolutions condemning Israel.

Thus, BDS aims at creating a counter-hegemony to force changes in mindset by conquering key cultural and ideological positions in the university, the churches, the black community, the artistic community, some trade unions, liberal causes and other civil society entities. BDS is not just about economic boycotts. They are well aware that a thriving economy such as Israel’s is not going to be sabotaged so easily.

Passing anti-Israel resolutions in different academic entities is not always successful. So Why bother? The answer is that the more the idea that Israel is an illegitimate entity based on “land theft” and oppression of the Palestinian people is heard and the more the idea of the “horrors” of the occupation makes its way into people’s minds, the more the Zionist narrative breaks down. Although BDS has not succeeded in exercising substantial pressure on Israel or its supporters, it has created significant doubt about the purity and justice of the state of Israel. When the only Jewish state is coming under such attack and the fact being that Israel was created to protect Jews from anti-Semitism, an attack against the very foundation of Israel is an attack on the Jewish community, which generally supports the existence of the State of Israel.

In other words, BDS is turning anti-Semitism into a social movement. In pre-Holocaust Europe, antisemitism was already a social movement.

In addition, last summer it was reported that the Virginia-based U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, which oversees the work of 329 different BDS organizations, funnels money to the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC). This committee is based in the West Bank and Gaza and one of its members is the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, which includes Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. All of these entities are designatedterrorist groups by Israel, the U.S. and Europe. In fact, this requires an FBI investigation as to how donations made in the U.S. are being spent since American charities are not allowed to benefit terrorist groups.

The election of Ilhan Ohmar and Rashida Tlaib to Congress is the last major victory of BDS in its hegemonic ambition. Omar called Israel “evil” although she said nothing about the cruelty of the Assad regime in Syria that claimed the lives of 500,000 people or the violence in Yemen where Arabs kill Arabs and Muslims kill Muslims. Likewise, except for one insignificant tweet, she never acted to help prevent the genocide perpetrated against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar or raised an issue about children starving in Yemen as a result of a war between two Muslim groups and countries. Tlaib-who like Omar remained silent on Syria, Myanmar, Yemen and other cases-expressed her support for a one-state solution and cutting off military aid to Israel. The one-state solution is an idea that from a Palestinian point of view would merge Israel with the West Bank and Gaza with the objective of destroying the Jewish character of Israel by overpowering its Jewish majority.

Ron Klein, chairman of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, called the problem raised by these two new congresswomen a matter of “policy disagreement” and failed to acknowledge the extremism of their anti-Israel positions. Policy disagreements exist within a certain consensus, not when one side seeks to destroy the other. It is the obligation of the Democratic Party to vehemently reject these two Congresswomen’s positions on Israel.

However, pushing back against extremism and anti-Semitism is also the obligation of both parties in Congress, the president and every sector of civil society.



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

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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, 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, 2018

Once again, Leftism is destructive: Wall Street execs too afraid to hire women in wake of #MeToo

Men on Wall Street are so spooked by the #MeToo movement they're avoiding women at all costs. Wall Street risks becoming more of a boy's club, rather than less of one

No more dinners with female colleagues. Don’t sit next to them on flights. Book hotel rooms on different floors. Avoid one-on-one meetings.

In fact, as a wealth adviser put it, just hiring a woman these days is “an unknown risk.” What if she took something he said the wrong way?

Across Wall Street, men are adopting controversial strategies for the #MeToo era and, in the process, making life even harder for women.

Call it the Pence Effect, after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who has said he avoids dining alone with any woman other than his wife. In finance, the overarching impact can be, in essence, gender segregation.

Interviews with more than 30 senior executives suggest many are spooked by #MeToo and struggling to cope. “It’s creating a sense of walking on eggshells,” said David Bahnsen, a former managing director at Morgan Stanley who’s now an independent adviser overseeing more than US$1.5 billion.

This is hardly a single-industry phenomenon, as men across the country check their behaviour at work, to protect themselves in the face of what they consider unreasonable political correctness — or to simply do the right thing.

The upshot is forceful on Wall Street, where women are scarce in the upper ranks. The industry has also long nurtured a culture that keeps harassment complaints out of the courts and public eye, and has so far avoided a mega-scandal like the one that has engulfed Harvey Weinstein.

Now, more than a year into the #MeToo movement — with its devastating revelations of harassment and abuse in Hollywood, Silicon Valley and beyond — Wall Street risks becoming more of a boy’s club, rather than less of one.

“Women are grasping for ideas on how to deal with it, because it is affecting our careers,” said Karen Elinski, president of the Financial Women’s Association and a senior vice president at Wells Fargo & Co. “It’s a real loss.”
There’s a danger, too, for companies that fail to squash the isolating backlash and don’t take steps to have top managers be open about the issue and make it safe for everyone to discuss it, said Stephen Zweig, an employment attorney with FordHarrison.

“If men avoid working or traveling with women alone, or stop mentoring women for fear of being accused of sexual harassment,” he said, “those men are going to back out of a sexual harassment complaint and right into a sex discrimination complaint.”

While the new personal codes for dealing with #MeToo have only just begun to ripple, the shift is already palpable, according to the people interviewed, who declined to be named. They work for hedge funds, law firms, banks, private equity firms and investment-management firms.

For obvious reasons, few will talk openly about the issue. Privately, though, many of the men interviewed acknowledged they’re channeling Pence, saying how uneasy they are about being alone with female colleagues, particularly youthful or attractive ones, fearful of the rumour mill or of, as one put it, the potential liability.

A manager in infrastructure investing said he won’t meet with female employees in rooms without windows anymore; he also keeps his distance in elevators. A late-40-something in private equity said he has a new rule, established on the advice of his wife, an attorney: no business dinner with a woman 35 or younger.

The changes can be subtle but insidious, with a woman, say, excluded from casual after-work drinks, leaving male colleagues to bond, or having what should be a private meeting with a boss with the door left wide open.

On Wall Street as elsewhere, reactions to #MeToo can smack of paranoia, particularly given the industry’s history of protecting its biggest revenue generators.

“Some men have voiced concerns to me that a false accusation is what they fear,” said Zweig, the lawyer. “These men fear what they cannot control.”

There are as many or more men who are responding in quite different ways. One, an investment adviser who manages about 100 employees, said he briefly reconsidered having one-on-one meetings with junior women. He thought about leaving his office door open, or inviting a third person into the room.

Finally, he landed on the solution: “Just try not to be an asshole.”

That’s pretty much the bottom line, said Ron Biscardi, chief executive officer of Context Capital Partners. “It’s really not that hard.”
In January, as #MeToo was gathering momentum, Biscardi did away with the late-night, open-bar gathering he’d hosted for years in his penthouse suite during Context Capital’s annual conference at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. “Given the fact that women are in the minority at our events, we want to make sure that the environment is always welcoming and comfortable. We felt that eliminating the after-party was necessary to remain consistent with that goal.”

In this charged environment, the question is how the response to #MeToo might actually end up hurting women’s progress. Given the male dominance in Wall Street’s top jobs, one of the most pressing consequences for women is the loss of male mentors who can help them climb the ladder.

“There aren’t enough women in senior positions to bring along the next generation all by themselves,” said Lisa Kaufman, chief executive officer of LaSalle Securities. “Advancement typically requires that someone at a senior level knows your work, gives you opportunities and is willing to champion you within the firm. It’s hard for a relationship like that to develop if the senior person is unwilling to spend one-on-one time with a more junior person.”

Men have to step up, she said, and “not let fear be a barrier.”


When Can Americans Be Arrested in Retaliation for What They Say?

It may be a prudent policy to always be polite to the police, but does that mean Americans must give up the right to be rude?

A question similar to this — transcending it, in fact — is now before the Supreme Court of the United States.

It started at an Alaskan event called "Arctic Man," where an individual engaged in two contentious conversations with two policemen. The second conversation ended with the policemen arresting the person, who, according to a petition filed in the Supreme Court by the attorney general of Alaska, "was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest."

At issue now is not that state's laws forbidding disorderly conduct and resisting arrest but a federal law that permits individuals to bring suit against government officials who use government power to deprive them of a constitutional right.

As quoted in the Alaska attorney general's petition, 42 U.S.C. 1983 says: "Any person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress."

No criminal case was brought against the man arrested at Arctic Man. "The prosecution later dismissed the case for budgetary reasons," said the attorney general's petition.

But the person arrested did not dismiss the case. He brought a suit against the arresting officers in federal court alleging, among other things, that he is the victim of a "retaliatory arrest" because of his conversations with them.

The district court ruled that if there was probable cause against the individual, he could not bring suit for a retaliatory arrest.

"The court ruled," said the attorney general's petition, "that the existence of probable cause also barred respondent's First Amendment retaliatory-arrest claim, noting that this Court 'has never recognized a First Amendment right to be free from a retaliatory arrest that is supported by probable cause.'"

The man appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which disagreed with the district court on this point. It held, according to the attorney general, "that the existence of probable cause for an arrest does not bar a plaintiff's claim that the arrest was retaliatory in violation of the First Amendment."

The police officers appealed to the Supreme Court.

"To maintain a damages claim for retaliatory arrest in violation of the First Amendment, a plaintiff must plead and prove the absence of probable cause for the arrest," the attorney general of Alaska argued to the Supreme Court on their behalf.

In other words, unless an American can prove that there was no probable cause for the police to arrest him for any crime whatsoever, the police can arrest him in retaliation for exercising his right to free speech.

The Rutherford Institute submitted a brief to the court rejecting the rule that Alaska wants.

"A probable-cause shield that makes it easier for police officers to arrest speakers in retaliation for speech that offends or upsets an officer would not only squash expressive disorder at the cost of individual freedom, but also silence debate on controversial issues of public concern," Rutherford said.

"That approach," it said, "would result in less protection for precisely the type of speech that needs protection most."

"Many Americans, though they may not know or intend it, break the law daily by committing crimes that go largely unrecognized, such as jaywalking, exceeding the speed limit, or failing to signal before making a turn," said Rutherford.

"Although these types of crimes may not often result in arrest, the fact remains that an officer possesses the authority to arrest someone whenever probable cause exists to believe that person committed any crime," said Rutherford. "That means that in almost any circumstance in which a person might publicly exercise First Amendment rights — and potentially experience retaliation for that speech in the form of an arrest — the arresting officer could likely identify some violation of the law, however trivial, and claim probable cause existed to justify the arrest."

"And," Rutherford concluded, "even if the arrest were motivated by the officer's animus toward the speaker and would not otherwise have occurred, the existence of probable cause would defeat the First Amendment claim outright under petitioners' proposed test."

Fifty years ago, who would have imagined that an American president (Barack Obama) would stand behind a regulation requiring Catholic nuns to provide insurance for abortifacients — or else pay ruinous fines? Who would have imagined that a president would take those nuns all the way to the Supreme Court, seeking the power to restrict their free exercise of religion by forcing them to act against the right to life?

Who doubts now that future American politicians could be just as aggressive in restricting freedom of speech?


Catholics to Consecrate California to Virgin Mary to 'Defeat Culture of Death, Abortion, Natural Disasters'

On Dec. 8, Catholics in the Golden State will hold public ceremonies at churches throughout the state, and openly along the coastline, to consecrate California to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, and to pray to God to spare California from the "just punishment" it deserves "from killing our unborn, sick, elderly, unwanted and for the violence, sex abuse, drugs, alcoholism, and sex trafficking we commit to others."

The public prayers will also call on God to protect California "from natural disasters and war" and defeat "the whole Culture of Death." Although it is a Catholic event, everyone is welcome to participate.

The event, organized by BVM Blue Mantle (consecratecalifornia.com), is supported by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Santa Rosa Bishop Robert Vasa, the Knights of Columbus, Jackie Francis, Jesse Romero, Fr. Chad Ripperger, Catholic Answers, Lila Rose, and numerous other Catholic leaders and organizations. 

The event starts at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8. People are invited to gather at the parishes participating or to stand "near the California coastline, parallel to the San Andreas Fault." At 12:30 p.m., people will walk to a designated location by an event coordinator and then at 1:00 p.m. people will pray the Rosary, then the Prayer of Consecration, and then the Closing Prayer.

The Prayer of Consecration is:  “Most Holy Trinity: Our Father in Heaven, who chose Mary as the fairest of your daughters; Holy Spirit, who chose Mary as your spouse; God the Son, who chose Mary as your mother; in union with Mary, we adore your majesty and acknowledge your supreme, eternal dominion and authority.

"Most Holy Trinity, we put the United States of American, and particularly, the State of California, into the hands of Mary Immaculate in order that she may present the country and our State to You. Through her we wish to thank you for the great resources of this land and for the freedom, which has been its heritage. Through the intercession of Mary, have mercy on the Catholic Church in America. Grant us peace.

"Have mercy on our president and on all the officers of our government. Grant us a fruitful economy born of justice and charity. Have mercy on the capital and on industry and labor. Protect the family life of the nation. Guard the innocence of our children. Grant the precious gift of many religious vocations. Through the intercession of our Mother, have mercy on the sick, the poor, the tempted, sinners – on all who are in need.

"Mary, Immaculate Virgin, our Mother, Patroness of our land, we praise you and honor you and give our country and ourselves to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pierced by the sword of sorrow prophesized by Simeon, save us from degeneration, disaster and war. Protect us from all harm. O Advocate, pray for us, that acting always according to your will and the Will of your Divine Son, we may live and die pleasing to God. Amen.”

The ceremony will also include a Prayer of Offering that partly states, "In this way we hope to be spared the just punishment for our souls that our State deserves from killing our unborn, sick, elderly, unwanted and for the violence, sex abuse, drugs, alcoholism, and sex trafficking we commit to others.

"Please, Blessed Mother, protect our State from natural disasters and war. Intercede to defeat and claim victory over the whole Culture of Death, worldliness, and help us to bring back God and the concept of family in our life, so we learn to live God’s commandments and to love our Neighbor in our everyday life.

"Please touch the minds and hearts of those on the Supreme Court, as well as all the people of this land; that all may see what horror has been done to our young. Please, Advocate of God’s Children, intercede that our message may spread far and wide, so that all may work for the protection of the unborn, elderly, sick and unwanted.

"Please petition your Divine Son on our behalf to protect our nation from all harm and to move us to reform those ways which are contrary to His law so that His glory may be greatly manifested here on earth. Amen."


Australia: Parents are being advised to discourage their daughters from playing with dolls and think twice about giving sons toy trucks

I doubt that this theorist has had any sons.  I know a mother who had three fine sons close together.  She always gave them boy's toys to play with.  One day she decided that they might like a doll.  The boys took an immediate interest in the doll.  They pulled its eyes out and its legs off and threw it into a corner to be ignored thereafter.  One wonders how the 'feminist academic' below would deal with that

Australian parents are being urged to refrain from encouraging their daughters to play with dolls if they want them to succeed later in life.

Curtin University 'feminist academic' Dr Marilyn Metta said toy choices in early childhood would affect girls' future career prospects.

'Limiting girls to traditional girl toys has a direct impact on the under-representation of women in science and technology and engineering,' she told SBS program Is Australia Sexist?

Dr Metta, who teaches sociology and anthropology to students in Perth, also suggested parents steer boys away from toy trucks and towards dolls to improve their social prospects as adults.

'Boys have a lot to gain from playing and being exposed to traditionally girls' toys,' she said.

'It gives them the opportunity to develop human skills like relational skills, interacting with people, developing empathy.

'Those skill that are very, very crucial for healthy, emotional development.'

Traditional boys' toys helped develop spatial awareness while dolls were regarded as items that helped develop nurturing skills.

Dr Metta said gender stereotypes based on toy choices for children had the effect of 'limiting of the skills that they develop'.

As part of another experiment on gender roles, SBS dressed boys in girls' clothes and girls in boys' outfits to see what toys adult volunteers would give them to play with.

The male volunteers gave a toy dinosaur and a train to girl dressed as a boy while a female volunteer gave a toy tea set to a boy dressed as a girl.

Dr Metta describes herself as a 'feminist academic in anthropology and sociology' and on her Curtin University staff profile website.



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

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

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


9 December, 2018

BBC One Christmas ad: heartwarming tale or lousy depiction of working mothers?

Sorry to be prehistoric about this but I think the mother should be at home rather than working.  Many families manage it.  The key is to value people above things.  I live on very little from Presbyterian cussedness.  I give most of my money away.  So I know it can be done.  I concede that living in London on little could be a big problem but let me surprise Londoners by noting that London is not the world.

We have a lot of Londoners in Australia -- enjoying blue skies, dry winters and everything 90% the same as it was at home. Marmite is available in all supermarkets.  You have to watch out for that pesky New Zealand Marmite though.  It's not the same

And no-one  will despise you because of your accent

Featuring a mother who leaves the office to spend time with her teenage son, BBC One’s new Christmas advert was intended to be heartwarming.

But the two-minute film has divided female viewers into those who love it and those who believe it “guilt-trips” working mothers.

Wonderland, made by the BBC’s in-house creative team and set in a seaside town, begins with a harassed mother dashing out to work as her family eat breakfast. Her teenage son texts her to ask if she can watch the Christmas lights switch-on that evening but she says she may be too busy.

The unhappy boy, is pictured roaming the seafront and playing arcade games alone, while his mother is stuck behind her desk. Just as she becomes overwhelmed with work, time freezes and she leaves the office so the pair can spend precious time with each other.

The BBC said the message of the film is simple: “When you do manage to get some time with the ones you love, be sure to cherish it.”

But some women felt it struck the wrong tone, and asked why the man pictured briefly at the breakfast table - the boy’s stepfather, according to the BBC, although this is not clear in the film - was not taking an active parenting role.

Justine Roberts, founder of Mumsnet, the parenting forum, said: “Our users are pretty united in thinking the BBC’s Christmas ad hits a bit of a bum note.

“From the apparently incapable dad to the implication that mothers’ employment is both optional and selfish, it pulls off the distinctly non-festive trick of putting all the blame on already frantic mothers and making them feel pretty lousy (and, presumably, making emotionally competent fathers feel ever-more invisible).”

One mother on the site said: “I absolutely hate BBC One’s Christmas advert. I feel like that woman every single day and, like lots of parents, I have no choice but to work full time. It’s a constant juggle and the guilt is unbearable.

“You can’t bloody well freeze time and I think they are playing on people’s emotions to sell a product.”

Another said: “Where is the dad? Why isn’t he sorting out the morning? Why isn’t he ridden with guilt? Why isn’t he taking time off to spend with his son?”

But another said: “I cried but partly because my teenage children don’t want to spend any time with me!”

On social media, the response was largely positive, with viewers praising the film as “wonderful” and “emotional”. Many said they had been moved to tears and it had reminded them of the importance of spending time with loved ones.

One wrote that it had struck a chord: “As a mum of three boys this has tipped me over the edge. Charity shop drop this morning, rugby fixtures, Christmas fairs, picking up the tree… cannot wait to press pause with my family this Christmas.”

Last year’s film, The Supporting Act, explored a similar theme but with a single father who appeared too busy to help his daughter practise for her school talent show, only to help her out in the end.

Working Families, a charity which helps companies including Barclays, Royal Mail and the Foreign Office with work-life balance, said the Wonderland film painted a negative picture of office life.

“Some working parents do have the experience portrayed in the ad but it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Catherine Gregory, the company’s head of marketing and communications.

“Work shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing or something that prevents us from spending time with our children. It’s possible, with the support of your employer, to have a fulfilling work life and also be there for loved ones that depend on you.

“The tide is turning in terms of that. Employers are starting to realise there is a business case for being flexible and family-friendly.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “We have had an extraordinarily positive response to the film from audiences. Everyone is busy at this time of year and the film is simply about people cherishing the time they spend with loved ones.”


Forensic science meltdown in Britain

This comes on top of notorious integrity breakdowns in the USA and Australia so must further undermine confidence in scientific evidence

Forty-one motorists have had their criminal convictions quashed after alleged tampering with evidence by scientists in the biggest forensics scandal for decades.

A further 50 accused of drug-driving but who had yet to come to court have also had their cases dropped after an investigation into the data tampering led by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

They were among 10,500 cases across 42 forces re-examined by police after allegations emerged that scientists at a Randox Testing Services (RTS) site in Manchester had manipulated forensics data.

James Vaughan, the NPCC’s lead on forensics who headed the inquiry, said that there were few more serious conspiracies to pervert the course of justice than undermining the safety of more than 10,000 cases.

“It’s the most serious breach of forensic science standards in my living memory,” said Mr Vaughan, who is chief constable of Dorset. At least 35 of the people are said to be suing for compensation.

A team of 12 detectives have so far interviewed eight suspects over the alleged forensic data manipulation which dates back to 2014.

Two men, aged 31 and 47,  arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice by Greater Manchester Police have been bailed until January.

Much of the work carried out at the laboratory involves the analysis of blood samples of people arrested for allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs.

Of the 2,700 cases that have so far been fully re-examined, 90 have been discontinued or reopened. One conviction was overturned in the Court of Appeal. All were road traffic offences.

Of the 90, 40 had already been convicted, fined and banned. Although most had pleaded guilty, their convictions were quashed.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has also dropped cases against the 50 who had been charged or were in the process of being prosecuted.

Four have been taken to the Court of Appeal, with one case overturned, one resulting in a reduced sentence, one being rejected and a fourth still to be decided.

Some 2,300 cases have been struck from the retesting process as there were no evidence the outcome would have been affected by the scandal.

No rapes, sex offences or cases of serious violence were affected. Of the highest priority cases, nearly 90% - some 800 - have been re-tested with the rest to be completed by April 2019. Mr Vaughan said he hoped re-examination of the final, lower priority cases would be completed by the end of next year.

Mr Vaughan said the scandal had created a “perfect storm” for an already stretched police forensics service now facing huge demand for re-testing in the investigation and the loss of RTS, which is no longer being used by forces.

The knock-on effect could be delays in investigations and prosecutions across the UK. “There was already a chronic shortage of toxicology capacity in England and Wales that has been further exacerbated by the fact that RTS gave up their accreditation. We have a perfect storm,” he said.

Civil Liberties specialists Hudgell Solicitors confirmed they are representing 35 people who have already had their convictions quashed, and others who are now pursing civil cases to seek damages for the impact it has had on their lives.

“This is a national scandal which has had a devastating impact on the lives of the many people we are representing,” said Andrew Petherbridge, Head of Civil Liberties at Hudgell Solicitors.

The final bill for retesting is expected to be more than £2m with Randox covering the cost. Mr Vaughan said that all retesting was expected to be completed by the end of 2019.


Political Correctness and Parroting Talking Points Are Destroying Civil Discussion

Experts estimate that the average consumer sees 10,000 ads a day. Slogans like “Just Do It,” “Drivers Wanted,” and “I’m Loving It” are easily recognizable to the modern ear. But what if advertising has penetrated beyond just products and services? What if it has saturated our lives so much that we hardly notice?

Think of these familiar mantras: “Build Bridges Not Walls,” “Love Trumps Hate,” or “Believe Women.” These political slogans sound almost identical to any major ad campaign. Yet, when the political space becomes transformed into an advertising space, it changes civic debate into slogans wars. And the with the best one-liner wins.

While it may seem easier to don your tribe’s T-shirt and march away from a discussion, this current cultural trend stands as an alarming threat to liberty and a civil society. Rather than discussing, debating, or examining the evidence of an argument, we yell a catch-phrase. Or we simply parrot soundbites. Yet, neither method takes the time to analyze and discuss, to weigh the positives and negatives of an issue. Neither method approaches a problem with a mind open to creative solutions or evidence-based results.

Indeed, our culture steers away from factual discussions because they can “hurt people’s feelings.” However, when we cannot have an honest discussion for fear of offending, we have lost our ability to truly connect. Political correctness ironically sought to provide “tolerant” guardrails for our communication, but has ultimately yielded a society which fears open dialogue.

Moral relativism, which denies the existence of truth, has further resulted in everyone’s “perspective” being held as equally true and valid, regardless of the facts or evidence.

It says, “We all have different ways of seeing this issue.” While that may be true, evidence points to certain perspectives being more intellectually feasible than others. When a society cannot identify one position as being morally correct or intellectually feasible, debate becomes useless, and thinking becomes futile. This stands as an extraordinarily dangerous trend in a governmental system designed to be run “by the people.” When the people cease to think, how can they produce a reasonable society?

Another contributor to the lack of dialogue stems from the public education system which often prizes memorization of answers over analysis. Critical thinking scores in higher education have also plummeted as reported last year in The Wall Street Journal. In more than half of the 200 schools reviewed, “at least a third of seniors were unable to make a cohesive argument, assess the quality of evidence in a document or interpret data in a table.” When thinking for oneself is not taught, students begin to prefer another person’s interpretation of data to analyzing a primary source on their own.

Further, as a result of our over-processed, fast-paced world, our ability to stop, to read and to think has become compromised. Preferences for videos over reading, has turned our culture into a primarily visual culture which relies on another’s interpretation of facts rather than our own primary source discoveries.

However, the human heart longs to seek, to understand and to know. This longing does not apply only to certain generations or times in history. Rather, this need for analysis, discovery and connectedness stands as a hard-wiring of human beings. Reacquainting ourselves with this basic need will help us to rediscover what it means to be human, to live civilly, and to be part of something greater than ourselves.

The Renaissance marked a period of a return to the sources, classic texts and ancient philosophy. In Latin it is called ad fontes, or “back to the sources.” Thus, the current lack of dialogue in our culture presents a unique opportunity to return to primary sources, and to ourselves. Groups like the National Review Institute Fellowship Program, the Policy Circle and the Trinity Forum foster dialogue between people about liberty, morality, economics, and what it means to live in a civil society. Whether in a program context or informal meetings in a home, ordinary Americans can begin discussion groups centered around what really matters for the future of our families and this country.

Perhaps at this cultural crossroads of advertising instead of analyzing, we have an opportunity to return to the sources. Such a return would benefit our country not only on an individual level, but it could give meaning to our divisions and perhaps result in better unity, better understanding and a better country.


The New York Times Reveals Serious Problems with Trans Ideology in Opinion Piece

Every once in a while, we’re offered a peek behind an ideological curtain. That’s what happened last week in The New York Times.

If you were a surgeon and someone asked you to perform a surgery that would not heal, would not help, would not make them feel better, and would leave the patient with a permanent wound, would you do it? Is there any area of medicine where such a request would even be considered?

The answer to the first question is, of course, no. No one should perform a surgery that does not help, does not heal, does not make someone feel better, and that would leave a permanent wound. The answer to the second question – does any field of medicine perform such surgeries—is yes. One. Only one.

In the case of gender dysphoria, doctors perform a surgery that, in effect, amputates perfectly healthy body parts. This kind of surgery is not performed in the case of any other type of what’s called “body dissociative disorder,” cases in which patients believe they were born into the wrong body. For example, there are those who believe they should be without an arm or a leg. But their requests to become an amputee are not honored, nor even taken seriously.

However, in the case of gender dysphoria, amputative surgery will, we’re told, “align someone’s physical body with their internal sense of sex and gender.” We are told that without this surgery, they’d be a high risk of suicide and other mental health risks.

At best, this is pseudo-scientific. Dr. Paul McHugh, longtime chair of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School, has argued for years that such procedures ignore and may even aggravate underlying psycho-social troubles. In fact, those who undergo sex-reassignment still have a suicide rate nearly twenty times that of the general population. That’s why McHugh famously called transgender medicine “cooperating with mental illness” and that’s why he put an end to surgeries at Johns Hopkins.

So why should these surgeries proceed? Andrew Long Chu, in a stunning, must-read piece in The New York Times, ventured an answer. Chu is a man who identifies as a woman and is currently raising money for sex-reassignment surgery. In his Times piece, he says that he knows the transition won’t make him happy. “Until the day I die,” he writes, “my body will regard [the result of this surgery] as a wound … (that) will require regular, painful attention to maintain.”

Chu even admits that the transition process and treatments have made him more miserable. “I was not suicidal before hormones,” he writes. “Now I often am.” And yet he insists that he has a right to the surgery—and that no doctor should refuse. Why? Because, it’s what he wants. That’s it.

This deeply troubling opinion piece reads like a cry for help. In fact, more than a few transgender advocates have condemned it. And to be clear, not everyone who pursues gender reassignment surgery reports being as miserable as Chu. But his story is revealing something very important. Already, this is the only type of surgery that amputates fully-functioning and otherwise-healthy body parts for no physically necessary reason. The justification has always been emotional and psychological health. Now we have an individual admitting that it won’t help him emotionally or psychologically either, but that he still wants the surgery anyway. If that’s all it takes, then it’s clear: Transgender ideology isn’t really about health or scientific reality at all. What we’re doing is aiding and abetting serious problems, not helping.

As hard – brutal even – as this piece is to read, please do. It’s a look behind the curtain of a harmful ideology to which our entire culture is currently bowing down. Anyone who disagrees is a bigot. Well, read this piece, and then read Ryan Anderson’s important response to it, and see who’s being hateful and who’s being loving. As Ryan writes, The New York Times just “revealed painful truths about transgender lives.”



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 2018

Catholics win Years-Long Legal Battle Against HHS Contraceptive Mandate

On Thursday, the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) announced victory in a lawsuit against the U.S. government over the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “contraceptive mandate,” which requires health insurers to provide co-pay-free coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilizations.

After nearly seven years of lawsuits, EWTN, a Catholic news network whose broadcasts reach over 300 million households in more than 145 countries and territories, will no longer have to cover these services in its health plan.

The contraceptive mandate is a regulation that was ordered by the Obama administration’s HHS Department in 2011, to complement the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) that became law in 2010. The rule states that health insurers must provide no-cost-sharing coverage for FDA-approved contraceptives, which include abortion-inducing drugs and the IUD, and sterilizations – all blanketed under the term “women’s preventive health care.”

The Trump administration has expanded exemptions from the mandate in several areas to include, recently, non-profit groups and small businesses that morally or for religious reasons object to such “health care” coverage.

However, the regulation is still in place and forces most Americans who pay for health insurance, individually or through their employer, to subsidize other people’s contraception, abortifacients and sterilizations.

As Trump’s HHS Department states, “Under the existing regulatory requirements created by the previous administration, employers, unless they qualify for an exemption, must offer health insurance that covers all FDA-approved contraception, which includes medications and devices that may act as abortifacients as well sterilization procedures.”

“The rules leave in place contraceptive coverage guidelines where no religious or moral objection exists, and they do not change the Health Resources and Services Administration’s authority to decide whether to include contraceptives in the women’s preventative services guidelines for other entities,” the HHS added. It also noted that it only expected exemptions to impact “approximately 200 employers.”

For EWTN, which began its legal battle against the mandate during the Obama years, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled on Nov. 29 to “vacate” and remand the matter entirely.   

EWTN Chairman and CEO Michael P. Warsaw said the network’s win “has been a long time coming.”

“Almost seven years and two presidential administrations later, the government and the courts have now realized what EWTN has been saying all along, that the HHS mandate was an unconstitutional attempt to coerce us into violating our strongly held beliefs,” Warsaw said. “This is the right outcome for EWTN and for all those who value religious liberty in America.”

EWTN first sued in 2012, represented by attorneys from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, after Obama’s HHS introduced the contraceptive mandate.

The initial suit, according to a press release by EWTN, “sought an injunction against the imposition of the mandate as well as a declaratory judgment that it was unconstitutional.”

The lawsuit was dismissed, but EWTN filed another suit in 2013, joined by the state of Alabama. In June 2014, an Alabama district court ruled against EWTN, but the network appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

According to the Catholic News Agency, after a lengthy process, the government agreed “not to enforce the contraceptive mandate” against EWTN, and the network asked the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the decision of the District Court, which it did on Thursday.

Becket Senior Counsel Lori Windham said EWTN had “fought long and hard” for its basic freedoms.

“This victory ensures that EWTN can continue to serve as a voice for religious liberty for many years to come,” Windham said.


Bathroom Policy Needs Some Remodeling
Alexis Lightcap may have graduated from Boyertown High, but she’s not done fighting for the students there. Someone has to. And based on the last three years, it’s not going to be school officials.

You don’t ever dream you’re going to sue your high school, Alexis says. “But that’s exactly what several of my peers and I had to do.” If the adults aren’t going to do their job protecting kids, then a handful of teenagers in Pennsylvania are determined to do it.

Like most students at Boyertown, Alexis had no idea the school’s policy had changed until she walked into the girl’s restroom and saw a teenage boy. “My first thought was to get out,” she remembers. So she did. On the school’s security cameras, you can watch her running out and down the hall. What happens next is a story she tells in yesterday’s USA Today. “I tried to get the attention of administrators to explain to them how uncomfortable — how scared — I felt sharing the girls’ restroom with a boy,” she says. “They wouldn’t listen. The principal simply wrote down my concerns on a Post-it note and said he’d contact me soon. He never did.”

Alexis’s parents, who’d adopted her out of the state’s foster care system, were just as shocked. “Boyertown officials kept it a secret from them, too.” Not a single parent had been told about the change — which meant that school locker rooms were also open to everyone. One of Alexis’s classmates found that out the hard way when he walked into the boys’ changing area and saw a teenage girl in a sports bra and shorts. The administrator he talked to told him to “tolerate it” — to “make it as natural as possible.”

“Hollywood movies and TV shows try to make that kind of moment seem funny,” Alexis explains. “But in real life, it’s embarrassing and unnerving. Locker rooms and restrooms are supposed to be a refuge for students, and adults, too, for that matter… Why is it so hard for school officials to understand that young girls care about the privacy of their bodies? It’s natural for us and our parents to worry about who might walk in on us in a vulnerable moment.”

Boyertown officials may not care about her privacy, but Alexis and her attorneys at ADF are hoping the Supreme Court will make them. She and other students, listed in the suit as Joel Doe and Jack Jones, are hoping the justices will step in and decide an issue that could have been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction months ago. See, the problem isn’t that schools are trying to accommodate these confused kids. The problem is that their solution is taking everyone’s privacy away in the process.

“Schools can,” Alexis writes, “and should be compassionate in supporting students who experience gender dysphoria. So should other students. But a truly fair and genuinely compassionate policy doesn’t have to be kept secret from students and parents. And an effective policy would be one that secures the privacy of every student.”

Ironically, that’s the kind of common sense policy that states like North Carolina worked to pass into law. Like most of these debates, it wasn’t a fight the Tar Heels picked. Leaders were just responding to some activists on the Charlotte city council that had an agenda and the Obama administration who were trying to force this gender free-for-all on Americans against their will. One of the biggest lies the Left trotted out in an effort to kill the efforts to protect women and children from predators was that it would cost the state billions of dollars in business. What a joke that turned out to be!

North Carolina didn’t just weather the storm of H.B. 2 — it thrived in it. For two years in a row, Forbes named the Tar Heel State #2 on Forbes’s top states for doing business. This week, it surpassed even that — winning the #1 spot for 2018! Two years after the law, more businesses are moving to North Carolina than away from it. “The outlook is also strong. Job growth and gross state product growth are expected to rank among the strongest in the country over the next five years,” Forbes points out. As for all of those people moving out of the state because it dared to protect women and children? “The population is growing twice as fast as the U.S. average…”

If liberals were hoping to make a case study out of the fallout, they’ll have a tough time trying! Other states have considered measures like H.B 2 — and based on these numbers, it might be the best decision they ever make.


A Marriage Message Made in Taiwan

Taiwan was supposed to be the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Then, they asked voters. And like countries the world over, the island’s leaders got the same answer: No.

Of the 10 questions on the Taiwanese ballot, none got more attention than the five dealing with LGBT “rights.” “Do you agree that marriage defined in The Civil Code should be restricted to the union between one man and one woman?” voters were asked. An overwhelming portion of the country — 70.1 percent — said yes. Of course, you’ll have a hard time finding the actual number in American newspapers, since our media is doing its best to ignore the landslide. But the message from the country off the east coast of China could not be clearer: there is no significant international movement toward same-sex marriage.

Some people might see the results and think the island has a massive Christian population. They’d be wrong. Less than five percent of the country are Protestants or Catholics. And although they were vocal about their opinion on the issue, the fact of the matter is, most of the world’s population knows how unnatural the idea is. Until 2015, when the Supreme Court forced same-sex on America, LGBT activists here at home insisted the U.S. was outside the mainstream. But the irony is, we’re only outside of the mainstream now that it’s legal! There are 195 countries on this planet, and only 27 of them allow same-sex marriage. That’s 13 percent — hardly the stuff of global consensus.

Besides, not even global consensus is a substitute for truth. And as the Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan of Taipei told his church’s leaders, no law can change God’s design for marriage. While the Church does not condone discrimination, he said, “We cannot support same-sex ‘marriage’ and same-sex unions,” he insisted. “The legalization is… not in line with our teachings.”

Seven thousand miles away in America, the vote is having an interesting effect on our own debate. In a country where natural marriage is still the popular view, it’s become difficult — if not impossible — to voice those views without backlash. Scott Chen, who was educated in Taiwan, found that out when he posted a message about the vote in Chinese. “Some people think that marriage is a holy union between a man and a woman, I think so too, but that’s your own business.” You can imagine how well that would be taken by the LGBT movement if Chen were an average businessman. They’d demand his resignation. The problem is, Chen isn’t just an average businessman. Three months ago, he was named president of an app facilitating same-sex dating. For how much longer, after this backlash, no one knows.

Chen tried to defend himself. “I said marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman is based on my own personal experience,” he said. “I am a straight man married to a woman I love and I have two beautiful daughters I love from the marriage. This is how I feel about my marriage. Different people have their different feelings about their marriages. You can’t deny my feelings about my marriage.”

Now, we expect that kind of backtracking from a lot of people in corporate America. The problem for believers, however, is that some Christians are doing the same thing. They become so intimidated by the cultural bullies that they put the fear of man above the fear of God. They shrink back and go silent on truth that is found not only in the Bible, but history and science as well. If Christians, who know the truth and are called to speak the truth ignore the truth, then what hope do we have? As a church in this country, we need a clarion call for courage. In a culture where 62 percent of student conservatives are too afraid to share their ideas in class, America is in a crisis situation.

Fortunately, this country has a president who, when it comes to doing and saying the tough things, refuses to be intimidated. That kind of courage breeds courage. It only takes one person — an Isabella Chow — doing something radically brave, to help others find their voice. And before you know it, people like Isabella won’t be standing alone, because tens of thousands of people will be standing with them and behind them, inspired by their bravery. We need more Isabellas in this country — and if we’re going to change anything, we need them now.


Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes denied visa to tour Australia with 'The Deplorables'

Right-wing provocateur and founder of the Proud Boys group Gavin McInnes has had his visa application blocked by the Home Affairs Department, failing the character test to enter Australia.

Critics of Mr McInnes were urging the department and Immigration Minister David Coleman to ban him from travelling to Australia for a speaking tour next year, concerned about his extreme views and promotion of violence.

The ABC understands Mr McInnes was notified a few weeks ago that the department was likely to block his visa application because he was judged to be of bad character, and the formal window for him to appeal closed on Friday.

Mr McInnes cut ties with the Proud Boys group earlier this month. The group, which Mr McInnes has previously labelled a "gang", describes itself as a men's organisation, committed to upholding "Western chauvinist values".

The FBI designated them as an extremist organisation.

On Thursday, a petition of 81,000 signatures was delivered to Federal Parliament calling on the Government to block Mr McInnes from entering the country.

Lawyer Nyadol Nyuon, who founded the petition, said the Government's decision was a win for free speech.

"To have allowed him to come still I think would have made it seem as if the Government had given tacit approval at the very least to these calls for violence against people you don't agree with as a legitimate form of free speech," she said.

"It's not and it should never be."

Ms Nyuon said Mr McInnes could not possibly have met the character test for entry to Australia.

"I'm happy that women, non-whites, certain members of the LGBTI communities don't have to live in an atmosphere of fear after these individuals are allowed to come in, or from the fear of what that might suggest to them," she said.

Mr McInnes was due to tour the country early next year, alongside UK far-right activist Tommy Robinson.

The ABC understands no visa application has been received for Mr Robinson.

The Proud Boys list their values as including being against political correctness, racial guilt and racism, while promoting free speech and gun rights.

But they have been widely criticised as promoting violence against people who do not share their views.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Department of Home Affairs said all non-citizens entering Australia had to meet character requirements before a visa would be granted.

"For visitors who may hold controversial views, any risk they may pose will be balanced against Australia's well-established freedom of speech and freedom of beliefs, amongst other relevant considerations," she said.

Dvir Abramovich, chairman of Australia's leading civil rights organisation, the Anti-Defamation Commission, issued a statement praising the Government's decision to reject Mr McInnes's application.

"I have no doubt that his visit would have cultivated a disruptive atmosphere of incitement as well as attracting hardcore extremists, and this explosive combination could have resulted in rioting and street fights," Dr Abramovich said.

"This moral decision is a strong affirmation that the noxious rhetoric often spewed by Mr McInnes will never be tolerated in Australia.

"At a time when anti-Semitism and far-right activism in our nation are on the increase, we should not be providing such individuals with an opportunity to promote their divisive and dangerous agenda which runs counter to our core values."



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 2018

Black sex educator accuses staff at The Bean coffee shop of being racist after they 'singled her out and asked if if she had ordered anything' while she was sat alone

She is just being defensive about her own poor behavior.  She should have ordered.  A shop is not a rest home.  But in a climate of racial tension created by the Left it was inevitable that she should see the approach to her as racist.  She did not consider that other customers who were not approached might (for instance) previously have made it known to management that they were waiting for a friend to turn up.  Meeting in coffee shops is common

A white male employee at a lower Manhattan coffee shop singled out a black woman to ask if she had ordered anything, the woman asked him why he hadn't asked anyone else, and then the manager told her she 'was making a big deal out of nothing.'

Ericka Hart, a sex educator who has a masters degree in education, shared what happened to her in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

'#sittingincafeswhileblack || They will do anything so you are left wondering if it happened,' Hart wrote at the end of the post detailing how she was treated at The Bean on Astor Place.

Co-owner Ike Escava apologized to Hart for the 'terrible experience she had,' after she claimed she had been sitting in the coffee shop amongst other people who hadn't ordered anything when the employee asked her and her alone to make a purchase.

Escava added, 'Nobody should ever be made to feel singled out for any reason, least of all for the color of their skin.'

Hart used an image of white text on a black background as the photo for a post on Tuesday, which read, 'If it looks like racism, smells like racism, maybe is racism, where they just being racist? racism.

Hart went into detail about what happened to her at The Bean in the East Village that day, describing in detail how she was the only person asked to buy something, how the scenario made her react almost reflexively, and how the entire ordeal made her feel.

'So I am sitting at @thebeannyc on Astor PL in NYC and a presumable white cis man comes up to me and asks if I have bought anything,' she wrote.

'I have been sitting here for about 20 min, so I find this question weird as there is no signage indication that an order needs to be placed within a certain amount of time. I go to the counter (racism is evil genius, making you act accordingly) at his request to order something and then it occurs to me that he has not asked anyone around me this question.

'I ask to speak to the person who asked me to buy something as I wanted to know the basis as this has never happened to me in my 9 years sitting in cafes in NYC.

'As I am speaking to this person, the manager walks up behind me and interrupts our interaction with an introduction. I wonder how he knew what we were talking about...or did he tell his staff to ask me as he has been sitting one seat away from me since I sat down?'

Now that Hart had the manager's attention, she went on to explain to him why she was bothered at being asked to place an order. 'I tell him that being asked if I had bought anything after I had been siting there for 20 minutes made me uncomfortable especially in my positionality and no one else has been asked,' she wrote.

'He tells me "this does not make anyone uncomfortable and it's not (waves hands to help him look for a word other than 'race') about your identity."

'I let him know I would be posting this on social media and he said "I am making a big deal out of nothing"

'I'm now looking at people who haven't purchased anything and have not been asked when they will be. So here I am, making a big deal out of nothing.'

A full day after Hart shared the post on social media, The Bean co-owner Escava finally responded with regard to the purchase policy.

'We do in fact have a policy requiring people to make a purchase in order to use the tables in the shops but the enforcement of the policy needs to be carried out in a better way than it was in this case,' he wrote.

Escava made mention that he had read the comments about the incident, and would take steps to put people on notice of the store's rules about when an order is required.

'I saw some suggestions about having better signage regarding this policy and will get that done, thank you,' he said. 

Escava acknowledged how terribly Hart had been treated, and that her race should not have played any part in how his employees behaved towards her, but stopped short of calling what happened 'racism.'

'I will review all of our training policies and speak to each of our employees over the next few days in order to ensure that we do better with this,' he said.

'I will get to the bottom of exactly how and why we went wrong here and take whatever measures are needed to correct it going forward.'


Radio station stops playing ‘inappropriate’ popular Christmas carol

A radio station has come under fire after they decided lyrics to a much-loved Christmas carol were seriously inappropriate.

Backlash was inevitable when an Ohio radio station deemed a popular Christmas Carol inappropriate and decided not to play it this Christmas.

Most would be familiar with the holiday duet Baby, It’s Cold Outside; it’s been around since the 1940s and it has been covered by the likes of Jessica Simpson, Michael Bublé and Idina Menzel, Lady Gaga and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel in the movie, Elf.

But on Tuesday listeners were shocked to discover the station had axed the popular carol, with Star 102 Cleveland’s website explaining why the radio station won’t play the song.

“I do realise that when the song was written in 1944, it was a different time, but now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong,” presenter Glenn Anderson said in an statement.

“The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place,” he said.

Apparently the song has been subject to scrutiny for years, even prior to the #MeToo movement which Mr Anderson cited in his explanation.

The lyrics read like a conversation between a man and a woman with the woman saying she must leave, while the man insists she stays.

Some of the woman’s lines include “Say, what’s in this drink?”, and “I ought to say no, no, no”, while the man’s lines are persistent.

Comedian and writer Jen Kirkman explained how the song may not be about a man persuading a woman to stay and have sex with him, but rather how a woman’s reputation will suffer if she wants to stay, and does.

“If you want to be outraged, be outraged about what the song is actually about - the double standard in regards to sex that women face and how nothing much has changed,” she tweeted.

It was implied listeners wanted the song to be taken off the air, however a Facebook poll showed 94 per cent of people think the song is “a classic”, with 6 per cent deeming the song as “inappropriate”.

More than 5,000 people have voted since the station launched the poll on their Facebook page on 29 November.

“I can only speak for my own experience, but personally I adore this song and have never been offended by it or freaked out by it,” one posted in the comments, saying they were a survivor and part of the Me Too movement.

“I do not believe it’s about rape - it’s a playful banter from a time when a woman would have been concerned people would think badly of her for staying, even if she wanted to. I’m glad my husband and I will be enjoying it on our holiday playlist.”


Pope Francis says 'fashionable' homosexuality 'is something that worries me' and claims there is no place for gay priests in the Catholic church

Pope Francis has said that 'fashionable' homosexuality 'is something that worries me' and claims there is no place for gay priests in the Catholic church.

Quoted in a soon-to-be published book, Francis remarked that some societies are considering homosexuality a 'fashionable' lifestyle.

Francis was quoted as describing homosexuality within the walls of seminaries, convents and other religious places where clergy live as 'a very serious question.'

Italian daily Corriere della Sera's website Saturday ran excerpts of the book in the form of an interview that Francis gave on religious vocations.

In the interview with Spanish-born missionary priest, Fernando Prado, he was quoted: 'In our societies, it even seems homosexuality is fashionable. And this mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the church.'

The book, based on four hours of conversations the two had in August at the Vatican, will be published in 10 languages next week.

Francis reiterated past Vatican pronouncements about the attention that must be given to selecting men for admission to seminaries, saying 'we must very much take care of human and sentimental maturity' when training future priests.

Separately, quoted Francis in the book as commenting on a clergyman who had told him that having gay people in Catholic religious housing 'isn't so grave' because it's 'only an expression of affection', according to Italian news agency ANSA.

That reasoning 'is in error,' Francis said. 'In consecrated life and priestly life, there is no place for this kind of affection.'

He said candidates with 'neuroses or strong unbalances' should not be accepted 'to the priesthood nor to (other forms of) consecrated life.'

But Francis, as he has in the past, stressed that gay Catholics contribute to the life of the church.

He said the church must always remember that 'they are persons who will live in the service of the church, of the Christian community, of the people of God. Let's never forget this perspective.'

Francis in his papacy has sought to stress that while obeying church teachings, the faithful must also be compassionate and open to others with different views.

Catholic teaching considers homosexual activity sinful, and that everyone, except married heterosexual couples, should abstain from sex.


In a brothel, racial preferences come out

When a sex worker began applying for a new job at a brothel, she discovered one problem within the sex industry that won’t go away.

It was an average Saturday night around the dinner table when, over a glass of wine, one of my friends said that she was checking out some new places to work.

She wasn’t looking on your average job website, though.

She’s a sex worker, so she had been scrolling through the web pages of different brothels in Sydney, comparing their locations, premises and rates to choose which ones sounded the most promising.

Those of us at the table crowded around her, peering over her shoulder as she searched on her phone. There was nothing out-of-the-ordinary at first – at least, nothing out of the ordinary for our industry – until she happened upon one particular brothel.

On the “prices” page of one particular site, the cost of the booking wasn’t only dictated by the amount of time a client might be interested in spending with a girl. It also differed depending on what kind of girl he would choose: “Western” girls commanded a higher rate.

It was written right there, clear as day. For some bookings, a client could expect to pay almost $100 more to see a “western” – or white – girl than he would to see an Asian girl who worked at the same parlour.

While private workers are free to set their own rates and charges, brothel-based workers are paid a percentage of the price that the business sets.

So, this brothel didn’t only charge clients more to see white workers, it also paid white workers more than non-white workers for the same amount of work. While the ethnic pay gap has been discussed and debated at length, seeing such a blatant example of it left me feeling horrified.

In no world would it be appropriate to charge a customer more to have their coffee made by a white barista, to get their taxes done by a white accountant, or to see a white doctor. So why was it okay here?

To pay one worker more than another because of their race, or to charge more for a service because of the provider’s race, is racism – plain and simple.

The adult industry is frequently considered to be ahead of the curve when it comes to progressive politics. After all, if we can make it past the hang-ups that most people have about sex and nudity, surely we must be a pretty enlightened group – right?

Sex worker and sociologist Zenith Breitling has been in the industry for six years now. She describes herself as Australian-Asian and says that “refreshingly honest” is something she hears a lot about herself, adding, “I’m happier in a pair of Merrells than I am in a pair of Louboutins”.

Zenith has met people through work who have made well-intentioned, genuine mistakes in assuming things about her: Clients who’ve taken her to dinner and assumed she would love chilli, for example. But she’s also had more sinister experiences.

“A brothel wrote a biography of me on their website using phrases that exoticised my race, like ‘here to please you’ and ‘oriental dream’. Both are phrases intended to evoke the stereotype of the submissive Asian woman,” she told me over email.

“There’s also definitely a cohort of clients who fetishise Asian women for how we look. I’ve got no drama with fellas who appreciate a certain look – hey, I like ginger dadbods!

“But when they prey on Asian women specifically, expecting us all to behave the same...that’s when it’s no longer a preference and fetishisation becomes a problem.”

As a white woman in the adult industry, I can’t say I’ve ever been judged negatively because of my race. But I’ve seen it happen to others; friends, co-workers, and clients.

I’ve met plenty of clients who refuse to see workers of specific races and just as many workers who refuse clients based on race, too.

While in some circumstances this might make sense – a client visiting from China may feel more comfortable seeing a worker who speaks fluent Mandarin or Cantonese – it’s rarely ease of communication that informs these judgements.

There are also brothel and agency managers who are quick to discriminate against workers who aren’t white; something that Zenith has also experienced (“thanks, but we don’t need another worker – we already have an Asian girl working tonight,” is something she has heard before.)

Every single person in the adult industry – whether they’re a worker, a manager, or a business owner – faces some form of judgement and stigma because of their work.

Sometimes it’s the assumption that we’re working unsafely or illegally, or that we’re harming ourselves or others in our work. Other times, it’s just the age-old belief that sex is dirty or wrong and that anyone who has it, especially for money, is also dirty or wrong.

It has always surprised me that people who face so much stigma and judgement because of their work can be so quick to stigmatise and judge other people. While the adult industry might be enlightened when it comes to sex and nudity, we clearly have a lot of work to do in letting go of harmful stereotypes and prejudices about our colleagues and friends.

If we demand acceptance from others, should we not also give it in turn? How can we be so hypocritical as to ask someone not to judge our occupation, when we turn around and judge the worker or client sitting right next to us?

“It’s an image-obsessed industry that uses the guise of ‘preference’ as an easy gateway to encourage racist practises, mostly rewarding whiteness or proximity to whiteness,” Zenith told me.

“No layperson needs it explained that racism is a visually-coded form of discrimination.”

When I asked Zenith what I – and other workers – could do to help combat racism in the industry, her advice was simple.

Encourage diversity and listen to migrant workers, but also, be conscious of the kind of behaviour we ignore in our workplaces because speaking up feels too hard, or intimidating. “Encouraging, or being complicit to, racist practises within the sex industry gives people yet another green light to treat people outside of the industry the same way,” she said. “But when we embrace diversity, everyone gets work.”



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

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

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


3 December 2018

Bigoted? Problematic? HuffPo Takes On ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’

Among those observations was the suggestion that the TV classic was a story about racism and homophobia, while calling Santa Claus abusive and bigoted.

“Yearly reminder that #Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a parable on racism & homophobia w/Santa as a bigoted exploitative prick,” read one comment shared by HuffPost. “Santa’s operation is an HR nightmare and in serious need of diversity and inclusion training. #Rudolph,” read another.

The video also suggests it was problematic that Rudolph’s father verbally abused him by forcing him to wear a fake nose to be accepted by others.

Some eagle-eyed social media critics also said the cartoon is sexist because Rudolph’s mom was snubbed after she wanted to help reindeer husband Donner to search for their son after he goes missing. “No, this is man’s work,” Donner says.

But HuffPost’s effort to highlight the perceived bigotry of the beloved movie attracted tens of thousands of negative comments, most of them mocking the video.

“Oh look! Something people like and enjoy; let’s go ruin it!” tweeted Rebeccah Heinrichs.“If you try hard enough you can find offence in almost anything,” Chloe Westley seconded.

Others pointed out that HuffPost misunderstood the cartoon as the troubling characters learn their lesson in the end. “But… but… the bigoted characters learn they were wrong. It teaches a lesson. It doesn’t endorse the problematic stuff,” tweeted Robby Soave.

Even President Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. weighed in on the topic, tweeting “Liberalism is a disease.”

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” isn’t the first classic cartoon that was decried as problematic today.

Critics attacked ABC’s “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” which first aired in 1973, for seating its only black character, Franklin, alone on one side of the holiday table while all other white friends were seated on the other side.

The special attracted particular criticism this Thanksgiving, with many users lashing out on social media and calling the cartoon racist.


So Much For The Happy Meal: Michigan Lawmakers Want ‘Gender-Specific’ Toys Banned In Fast Food Restaurants

Lawmakers in Michigan are so worried about the ill effects of “sexism” on children that they’ve proposed a law leaning on restaurants like McDonalds to cease offering “gender specific” toys inside their kid’s meals.

More than a dozen Michigan state lawmakers are behind the proposal, according to the Detroit Free Press, and they’re looking to urge “food establishments and franchises to stop gender classification of kid’s meal toys.”

The “problem” is simple: fast food restaurants like McDonalds occasionally offer more than one toy choice in their kids meals, and occasionally, those choices have a clear basis in gender. For instance, a recent promotion asked Happy Meal purchasers to choose between a Transformer (a “boy” toy) and a Hello Kitty item (a “girl” option).

“Often, the designated ‘boy toys’ are action figures or building toys; typically in primary colors, whereas ‘girl toys’ are often stuffed animals and are usually in a pastel color scheme,’’ the resolution, which doesn’t list a specific punishment for fast food sexism, notes.

“This is a significant issue as billions of these meals are sold every year and this practice can influence and limit children’s imaginations and interests by promoting some toys as only suitable for girls and others only for boys,” the law continues, adding that the lawmakers hope to “highlight the harmful effects of gender-classified toys.”

That’s right, Michigan lawmakers are concerned that if your female child accidentally gets a stuffed animal in her Happy Meal, she’ll be subsequently trapped under the oppressive constraints of traditional gender norms, which will likely put her on the path to inequality.

Most fast food restaurants have ceased using the terms “boy toy” and “girl toy” to refer to Happy Meal premium selections, though it appears McDonalds has no official policy on the matter. And this isn’t the first time a fast food chain has fallen into disrepute with social justice warriors for failing to abide by the more modern “non-binary” system of gender when handing out free trinkets to children.

Back in 2016, an angry mother who had been asked if the Happy Meal she was purchasing was for a boy or a girl, launched a global petition begging McDonalds and Burger King to change their ways, so as to help parents and children avoid dangerous classifications into the “ridiculous boxes society calls gender.”

At the time, both companies say they were “working on” a plan to be more gender neutral, but that they recognized a need to offer different toy options to consumers. McDonalds added, then, that they planned on introducing “gender-neutral” toy options — like miniature books — in he future. Burger King put out a commercial in 2017 where a boy was seen playing with a Barbie doll meal toy and a girl is shown zooming around with a toy car.

If the resolution in Michigan does pass, it will be considered merely a “suggestion” to Michigan’s fast food restaurants to improve their policies. The law does not provide for any official response if a fast food restaurant is caught being sexist.


Parents will be BANNED from spanking their children in France – where 85 per cent of adults are thought to use the punishment

French politicians have passed a law banning parents from smacking their children.

The French parliament voted today to outlaw corporal punishment in a bid to make sure parents do not overstep their authority.

The bill on 'corporal punishment or humiliation' seeks to ensure that parental authority is exercised 'without violence' of any sort, including 'physical, verbal or psychological' violence.

Despite 85 per cent of French parents saying they resort to smacking their children to discipline them, the National Assembly passed the bill.

MPs voted it through 51-1 early Friday morning, after a late-night debate, and it will now pass to the Senate.

The move has largely been seen as a symbolic ban on parents smacking their children, as although the practise has been condemned by the UN, it still enjoys widespread support in the country.

Attempts by previous governments to ban the practise have been scuppered by conservatives.

A 2016 bill condemning the smacking of children was later struck down by the Constitutional Council, which vets legislation, because it was adopted in the form of an amendment to an unrelated piece of legislation.

Schools have long been banned from physically punishing children, but not parents.

According to the non-governmental Childhood Foundation, 85 per cent of French parents resort to corporal punishment, to the dismay of many European neighbours, including Sweden and Germany.

Crucially, the bill would not sanction parents who continue to 'discipline' their children as its main goal is 'educational' - a way to encourage society to mend its views, according to Maud Petit, the MP who sponsored the measure.

The French National Assembly voted to ban 'corporal punishment or humiliation' to ensure parental authority is exercised 'without violence' of any sort    +2
The French National Assembly voted to ban 'corporal punishment or humiliation' to ensure parental authority is exercised 'without violence' of any sort

But it will slap down a 19th-century addendum to the Civil Code's definition of parental authority, which is read out to couples taking their wedding vows and which specifically allows for 'disciplining' children.

It will also bring France into line with international legislation.

In March 2015, human rights organisation the Council of Europe singled out France for failing to ban smacking, unlike most other European countries.

A year later, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child took up the issue, calling on France to 'explicitly prohibit' all forms of corporal punishment of children.

Those in favour of the ban say scientific studies prove that children suffer both mental and physical consequences when smacked.

If the bill is adopted, France will become the 55th state to ban corporal punishment of children, a move started by Sweden in 1979.


A brutal culture that neeeds to change

By Jacinta Nampijinpa Price

Like most traditional cultures around the world, Warlpiri [Aboriginal] culture is deeply patriarchal; men are ­superior to women and more privileged, and the collective quashes the rights of the individual. These principles, thousands of years old, come together to oppress women now. If I misbehaved as a young girl, some well-intentioned family member might threaten me with forced marriage to a much older “promised husband”. I would obey out of terror.

Aboriginal children are rarely punished physically but are controlled psychologically. I recall when I was a little girl my female kin playing cards at Yuendumu. A Japangardi, one of my potential husbands, walked past. The women pretended he was coming to take me away. They teased me and huddled around, pretending to protect me from his clutches. He played along, pretending to grab for me. I was terrified. Everyone burst into laughter. Japangardi signalled it was all a joke and ­handed me a $20 note to compensate for the terror he caused me.

Girls are trained to be submissive from birth and their fear is laughed at. My mother was ­expected to join her middle-aged promised husband as his second wife at 13. She would have gone to her big sister’s household as her co-wife. Mum rebelled. Her father and promised husband relented and told her she could ­finish school first. They were good and thoughtful men who knew the law but also knew when not to enforce it and that the world was changing. Others of my ­mother’s age weren’t so lucky and were beaten senseless for daring to rebel.

My parents were determined I would be able to choose my husband. There are still some not granted that right. In customary law, a man is entitled to have sex with his promised wife without her consent. This has been used in court to defend men who had violently and sexually assaulted their teenaged promised wives. In 2002 a 50-year-old Aboriginal man faced court over the abduction and rape of his 15-year-old promised wife. He had already killed one wife. Despite this, his new wife’s family had promised her to him. She was held against her will at his outstation and repeatedly raped. When she attempted to leave with relatives, he fired his shotgun to scare them off. His lawyers argued he was acting within the parameters of his law and fulfilling obligations to the victim’s family.

This was true. The initial charge of rape was reduced. He ­received 24 hours’ imprisonment for unlawful intercourse with a minor and 14 days’ imprisonment for the firearm offences. When the details were published in a ­national paper there was outrage and a successful appeal.

I know of many other cases like that: stories of rape, domestic violence and murder; stories belonging to women in my family and many other Aboriginal families. Stories that never reach the ears of the wider public. My close family regularly contributes to the hideous statistics relating to family ­violence. My Aboriginal sisters, aunts, mothers, nieces and daughters live this crisis every day. There is not a woman in my family who has not experienced some kind of physical or sexual abuse at some time in her life. And none of the perpetrators were white. One of my aunts had her childhood violently stolen from her at the age of 14. Her promised husband, a much older man, held her captive. She was bound with rope “like a kangaroo”, as it was described to me, and repeatedly raped. No one reported the incident. Everyone went about their lives as if nothing had happened. My aunt — one of the most loving, caring and, as I’ve come to learn, resilient women I know — lived on in silence. She lost the ability to bear children. She was left to deal with her scarred womb and tormented ­psyche while her perpetrator lived on to die as an elder and law man, revered by both the Aboriginal and the wider community.

I was told of another relative who had also been promised to a much older man who, again, had been convicted of killing his first wife. She was terrified she’d suffer the same fate. Her female relatives tried to protect her. I was told her promised husband and other male relatives took her out bush with the connivance of her own father who had also caused the death of his wife. No one has seen her since. That was more than 30 years ago when I was a baby. No complaint was made to the police. These are the kinds of women’s stories I’ve grown up with, told to me in whispers by aunts, grandmothers, mothers. They were also warnings of what can happen when a girl breaks the law.

As an Aboriginal woman I have grown up knowing never to travel on certain roads during “business” time for fear of accidentally coming across a men’s ceremonial party. Like all Aboriginal women, I am at risk of being killed as punishment for making such a simple mistake. This was, and still is, the rule for Aboriginal women in central Australia.

In January 2009 a police car drove on to a ceremonial ground in a remote community. They were pursuing a man who had assaulted his wife. There was a female police officer in the car. That evening the ABC news reported that white police had shown no respect for Aboriginal law. The fact they were pursuing a man who had perpetrated violence against his wife wasn’t mentioned.

Interviewed for the evening news, the late Mr Bookie, former chairman of the Central Land Council, said: “It’s against our law for people like that, breaking the law, they shouldn’t be there. Aboriginal ladies, they’re not allowed to go anywhere near that. If they had been caught — a woman, Aboriginal lady, got caught — she would be killed. Simple as that!” He knew the law and he told the truth.

There was great anger in June this year when Victoria Police ­issued a statement cautioning women to have “situational awareness” and be “mindful of their surroundings” after the terrible rape and murder of a young Melbourne woman in a Carlton park at night. Aboriginal women in remote Australia must be acutely aware of their situation and surroundings all the time during Aboriginal men’s ceremony. They are taught this from birth. This is the way it is and has always been.

A few years ago I was contacted by a female family member who told me that because of feuding ­between her family and her in-laws she was wrongly accused of insulting a man in a culturally sensitive way relating to sacred men’s business. As a result she and her daughter were told they had to strip naked publicly in their community to be humiliated. Women know insulting a man with reference to men’s sacred ceremony can result in severe punishment. An accusation is usually believed and supported by the accuser’s ­female kin. Denial is useless.

A son-in-law can do whatever he likes and his mother-in-law will blame her daughter. In traditional communities in the Northern Territory, the patriarchal and kin-based society is so deeply embedded it’s common for female relatives of even violent offenders to support them against the victim. The obligation to male kin is so strong it can be crippling.

Premature death and life-threatening illness are blamed on sorcery. Misfortune falling on a family can be blamed on the misbehaviour of women who have ­attracted the attention of sor­cerers. They may be blamed for the death of their children or husbands. Mothers and widows in mourning are sometimes badly beaten after attracting blame. They usually accept punishment because they share the belief system that imposes the penalty. As long as the belief that women can be blamed for the bad behaviour of men, or for accidents and illness, exists in the hearts and minds of Aboriginal people, we will never progress in the fight against physical and sexual violence against women. It is heartbreaking but true.

Ironically, in my experience many of those most horrified by the idea of Aboriginal people questioning the old ways or adapting to the new are people who fully embrace modernity themselves. They are often well-educated and em­ployed, fluent and articulate in ­English. They live safely in suburbs, have access to the media and the world’s best health services. They don’t die young and they stay out of prison. They have their own culture, don’t live by our customary law, perhaps don’t know what it is. To me, it’s never clear what it is they’re so keen for us to hold on to. Or why we should.

In a small-scale society without prisons and without ­material wealth, incarceration or fining weren’t available as penalties for law-breaking. Physical punishments such as wounding by spear, beatings or death were the only ones available. Once the punishment had been carried out, conflict could be resolved and everyone could carry on with life. With no defence services or police, everybody, male and female, was trained to fight to defend themselves and their families when called upon. Communities haven’t fully shed these ancient practices.

But they don’t work in a complex, modern society, especially one suffering from high levels of ­alcohol and drug abuse; a world where we have all of these old traditions plus internet connection to the world, pornography and poker machines — new things that can kill, none of which existed when our culture and laws were formed.

This is the point at which traditional culture and the modern world collide to tear each other apart. My peaceful childhood days in the bush were a stark contrast to town, where members of my family lived in town camps. There, ­alcohol-fuelled violence took a stranglehold on their lives. I watched as my uncles, whom I loved dearly — men who loved their families — became addicted to grog because they no longer knew where they stood in society. I’ve witnessed alcohol-fuelled rage from men and women towards each other and inflicted on themselves. The principles of traditional and modern economies also clash.

Traditionally we couldn’t preserve or transport food in a harsh climate. Food had to be consumed immediately and shared with those present; and it could be ­demanded. That was the only way we could survive. But the only things my ancestors possessed that could be shared were food, water and firewood. The principle of demand-share cannot coexist with money, with the need to save, invest and budget. It cannot coexist with addiction. Now, in the cash economy, demand-share and immediate consumption applied to money, clothing, vehicles and houses cause poverty. You can’t say no to kin. They have unrestricted access to your income and all of your assets under the old rules. Some kin will be addicted to alcohol, drugs and gambling.

The addicted are allowed, under the rules of traditional culture, to demand their kin fund their addiction. It is the single biggest barrier to beneficial participation in the modern economy. If you are obliged to give, with no questions asked, you can’t budget, you can’t save, you can’t invest. It strips away your incentive to work. I have had to live with this and cope with it all of my life. Sharing reinforces kin relationships and the status of the sharer.

Men have higher status than women and are less obliged than women to share. This system further subjugates women. To avoid the pain of saying no, my mother insists her white husband won’t let her share. My father is happy to take on this role and use the “male privilege” given him by his wife’s culture to protect his ­Aboriginal loved ones from poverty.

These problematic attitudes and practices I’ve described did not arrive on the Australian continent with white people in 1788. They are millennia old and fundamentally rooted in a deeply patriarchal culture.

James Massing is a senior minister in the Sarawak state government in Malaysia. His people are the indigenous Iban. His great-grandfather was a headhunter. He has a simple message for other ­indigenous peoples: “If you don’t adapt, you die.” He knows the traditional culture of his people and speaks their language. He has a PhD in anthropology from the Australian National University. He no longer hunts human heads. He has kept the best of the old ways, and taken the best of what the world has to offer now, to lead his people out of poverty and marginalisation. He knows how his people must adapt to survive.

Recently I was helping my 33-year-old niece to cope with end-stage renal failure and her 11-year-old daughter to attend to an ongoing battle with rheumatic fever; we have the highest rates in the world. Their mother and grandmother, my sister-in-law, is in her 40s. She walks with a limp and has permanent damage to her sight and hearing resulting from assaults by Aboriginal male partners and a Warlpiri man who bashed her in the head with a rock because she had no grog or cigarettes to give him. Not long before that I helped ambulance and police officers to place the body of my aunt in a body bag. She had died of a massive heart attack following a drinking binge. She was one of my favourites. Not long before that I identified the body of my young cousin killed in a car crash caused by ­alcohol abuse. None of these, my female loved ones, had the English skills, confidence or competence to deal with the wider world effectively when crises hit. They all spoke their traditional languages. They were all traditional owners under the Land Rights Act. They knew their Jukurrpa and could name the sacred sites in their country. The old rules of traditional culture simply do not give them, the most marginalised of our communities, the tools they need to deal with contemporary problems and challenges; challenges that the old ones, elders past, couldn’t have imagined.

Massing is correct. We need to adapt to survive and we can do it our way. I have spoken of the need for cultural reform. I have called on Aboriginal people to question long-held beliefs, to challenge that which contributes to violence in our culture and to hold ourselves to account for the part our culture and attitudes play in our communities’ problems. Just as European women have challenged the treatment of women in their cultures to bring about change, I am doing the same in mine.

My message is too much for many people to hear. When I or others relate stories like the ones I’ve told here, we attract labels like “coconut” and “sell out”, and ­obscene, misogynist, violent abuse. If white people do so, of course, the label is “racist”, “assimilationist” and “white supremacist”. Truth can be threatening and offensive. Truth can be too much for some. Aboriginal women and children are Australian citizens and they must be able to make the same choices as other citizens. ­Aboriginal activists campaigned for decades for my people to have the full rights of citizens. Now we have them. We also won the ­responsibilities of citizenship. They can’t be separated. If Australian citizens are in danger of abuse and neglect, they deserve to be protected, not on the basis of their culture but on the basis of their human rights. We cannot sacrifice their lives on the altar of culture.

Thirty per cent of us in the Northern Territory are of indigenous descent. We are determined to hold on to the best of traditional values. We need to let go of the ones that no longer work. My kinsmen, who suffer through these crises, haven’t been taught the best of Western, indeed world, culture to help them cope with the problems whitefellas have brought to us. Many haven’t even been taught to speak, read or write the national language. Our traditional culture simply doesn’t provide all the tools they need for a modern world.

The West has progressed so far because constructive criticism is embraced. Progress cannot be made if long-held beliefs cannot be challenged or if we cannot be honest. My people are intelligent, prag­matic and resilient. We’re not delicate or weak but clever, funny and strong, like our language. And just as our language has adapted to a new world, I have faith our culture can be adapted and improved. And it will still be our culture.



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

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

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


2 December 2018

Father Tries To Save His 6 Year Old Son As Mother Has Decided That He’s A Girl And Wants Him Chemically Castrated

This is a terrible story and one that shows the harm the transgender agenda can do to a little 6-yr-old boy and his family:

 Meet James, a healthy 6 year old American boy.  His mother decided her son James (whom she calls "Luna") is actually a transgender girl, and the Texas court has sided with the mom.


James prefers to be a boy, but since the age of 3, his mother has chosen to dress him as a girl, and call him by the name “Luna”
She has enrolled him in school as a girl. He is currently in 1st grade. The teachers and administrators know that he is a boy, but the other parents and students are unaware

He is undergoing “social transitioning” therapy to prepare him for chemical castration at age 8

James’ father, Jeff is fighting to protect his son all alone
His mother has support and financial backing

Jeff needs both financial help with legal fees and help networking to find expert witnesses who will help him keep his son safe

The court is requiring Jeff to pay for transgender therapy and the future sexual mutilation of his son

Courts have enjoined Jeff from dressing James as a boy at school, from teaching him that he is a boy, and from sharing religious teachings on sexuality and gender

He has been accused of ABUSE for saying that his son is a boy

Court documents indicate that the 6-year-old boy only dresses and identifies as a girl when he’s with his mother, who enrolled him in his first-grade class as “Luna.” But James’ father claims that when the boy is with him he consistently wears boy’s clothing, “violently refuses to wear girl’s clothes at my home,” and identifies as a boy.

The father has also obtained eyewitness accounts from family friends and a religious leader, all of whom testified that they’ve never seen the young boy attempt to identify as a girl.

“Based on the three occasions I’ve spent time with him, I’d say he acts and looks unmistakably like a healthy six-year-old boy,” wrote Bill Lovell, senior pastor of Christ Church Carrollton. “…I am praying for James, an average six-year-old boy, a sweet-natured, intelligent, lovable and at this point particularly vulnerable young man, caught up in a titanic clash of worldviews.”

The idea that a 6-year-old would be forced to grapple with such issues is the height of irresponsibility. I don’t even think a teenager could make such a sane deduction like this, given that most of us are still getting to know who we are well into our twenties. For some it takes even longer.

To think that a child would have to not only deal with this issue, but be faced with undergoing chemical changes to his body is nothing short of child abuse. The fact that a court sided with the mother on this issue just shows how wrecked our courts have become.


Declining U.S. Life Expectancy Reflects Cultural Depravity

"We are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable."   

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Mortality in the United States, 2017” report reveals that, while mortality hasn’t cliff-dived — the aggregate rate of 78.7 years in 2016 fell just a tenth of a point to 78.6 years in 2017 — some of the chief contributors are greatly disconcerting.

In 2017, 47,173 Americans took their own lives, propelling the suicide rate to a half-century high. According to the Associated Press, “The suicide rate was 14 deaths per 100,000 people. That’s the highest since at least 1975.”

The AP adds, “Drug overdose deaths also continued to climb, surpassing 70,000 last year, in the midst of the deadliest drug overdose epidemic in U.S. history. … Accidental drug overdoses account for more than a third of the unintentional injury deaths, and intentional drug overdoses account for about a tenth of the suicides, said Dr. Holly Hedegaard, a CDC injury researcher.”

We’ve come a long way in terms of life expectancy, of course, and we’re still better off than European and Asian nations with higher suicide rates. But the trend has unfortunately become transposed. “For decades,” the AP explains, “U.S. life expectancy was on the upswing, rising a few months nearly every year. Now it’s trending the other way: It fell in 2015, stayed level in 2016, and declined again last year, the CDC said. The nation is in the longest period of a generally declining life expectancy since the late 1910s, when World War I and the worst flu pandemic in modern history combined to kill nearly 1 million Americans. Life expectancy in 1918 was 39.”

Thankfully, today’s mortality is nowhere near that. But taking into account the technology age that has revolutionized medicine, the fact the rate is falling at all signals a deeper issue. It speaks to the cultural rot that has inflicted America to an ever-worsening degree. Even researchers partially acknowledge this.

According to Dr. Robert Redfield, “These sobering statistics are a wake-up call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable.” Dr. William Dietz added, “I really do believe that people are increasingly hopeless, and that that leads to drug use. It leads potentially to suicide.”

But what causes hopelessness? The Left and Right differ greatly on the answer. But common sense suggests the collapse of the family and even technology are foremost culprits. As columnist Mona Charen observes, “Due to unmarriage and divorce, more Americans are living alone than at any time in our history. Let me quickly acknowledge that the steep rise in adolescent depression in recent years may have more to do with social media than anything else.”

She adds, “Not only do divorce and rapidly cycling relationships (and living arrangements) leave adults and especially children emotionally scarred, the loss of secure families also leaves millions of people lonely. … We are not meant to be alone, and we don’t find emotional succor or physical satisfaction in relationships with screens.”

Fewer than 20,000 people are murdered every year (less than half of those with firearms), meaning suicides and drug overdoses vastly outnumber homicides. Yet far more attention is paid to murders and “gun violence.” But make no mistake: All of them are linked by an indifference for earthy life, which in turn stems from a mentality that’s devoid of gratitude, meaning, and, most importantly, spiritual direction. For these reasons, don’t hold out hope for the secular, fearmongering media to provide the right remedy.


New Study Proves Myth of Gender 'Wage' Gap

Yet the MSM ignores the fact that personal choice is the leading cause of the gap.  

Mainstream media headlines exploded with predictable outrage Thursday, reporting on the findings from another study on the popular gender “wage gap” trope. NBC News declared “Gender pay gap is worse than thought: Study shows women actually earn half the income of men.” Reuters headlined, “U.S. women earn half the income of men, new study finds.” But that far-Left rag known as Jezebel took the cake for the most emotionally unhinged headline: “The Gender Pay Gap Is Way More F—ed Than You Thought.”

The study was released by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and entitled “Still a Man’s Labor Market.” Such language is clearly contrived to continue promoting the myth that women are suffering sexist wage discrimination due to a misogynistic economic and western cultural system better known as the “patriarchy.” The study highlights seemingly damning statics such as this: “Women today earn just 49 cents to the typical men’s dollar, much less than the 80 cents usually reported.”

But as has been noted by many in the past, the devil is in the details — details that equality-of-outcome absolutists reject outright as insignificant because equality of outcome is their only standard for determining “social justice.” Ironically, details within the study actually undermine the headline presumption that sex-based discrimination is the leading cause for the gender pay gap. The study notes, “Comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges, women earn close to what men earn: Women in similar workplaces with similar titles and similar credentials make pretty much what their male peers do, whether they are fast-food employees making close to the minimum wage or corporate executives making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.”

So how exactly is it a “man’s labor market” if women working the same jobs as men earn the same as men?

The reason for the overall wage gap boils down to freedom of choice. The data shows that on average women choose to work fewer hours, work less overtime, and take more time off than their male counterparts. As a result, women take home less pay, even as they are paid the same hourly wage as men. This is basic math.

So what is really behind the continued promulgation of the gender wage gap myth? Two things. First, it is a political tool designed to misinform women voters into believing that more government is needed to end this “sexist injustice.” Second, it is an outright attack against America’s free-market economy, which is supposedly a system responsible for perpetuating injustice. Replacing it with socialism is the only way to promote “justice.”


Alliance Defending Freedom
Time and again, we’ve seen God’s hand of blessing when we stand together to defend religious freedom. Through His provision and your prayers and support, ADF is winning nearly 80% of our cases, including nine victories at the U.S. Supreme Court in the last seven years!

We are filing more cases all the time to protect your brave brothers and sisters who are standing for religious freedom. Here are just a few recent cases that will benefit from your continued prayers and support:

* The city of Anchorage, Alaska, is investigating a women’s homeless shelter—Downtown Hope Center—because it only shelters biological women. During the day, the Hope Center provides food, laundry and shower services, and job skills training for any man and woman in need. At night, the Hope Center becomes a shelter for women, most of whom have escaped sex trafficking, domestic violence, rape, and other emotional and physical abuse. The city claims that providing this women’s-only safe space for battered women violates a local law. If Anchorage succeeds in its crusade against the Hope Center, it would force a religious ministry to abandon its mission. And it would force homeless and hurting women to sleep 3 to 5 feet from men.

* A Shawnee State University professor was punished by school officials for declining a male student’s demand to be referred to as a woman, with feminine titles and pronouns. Although philosophy professor Dr. Nicholas Meriwether offered to use the student’s first or last name instead, neither the student nor the university was willing to accept that compromise, choosing instead to force the professor to speak and act contrary to his own convictions.

* Boyertown Area School District in Pennsylvania instituted a policy that authorizes students who self-identify as the opposite sex to access the locker rooms, shower areas, and restrooms of their choice in its schools. And it did so without informing students or parents. The policy led to multiple unexpected and uncomfortable encounters by students, like Alexis Lightcap, who were shocked to find themselves sharing a restroom or changing in the locker room with a member of the opposite sex. Now these brave students are asking the United States Supreme Court to intervene and protect their privacy rights.
The government is getting bolder in its efforts to stifle your God-given freedoms. But we will not back down. And thanks to your help—we will continue to fight for freedom on behalf of these brave men and women.

Link for donations to this very worthy cause


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

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

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


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(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

Bible references on homosexuality: Jude 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Leviticus 18:32; Leviticus 20:13

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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