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 ????


28 February, 2018

Dozens of companies boycott NRA over Florida shooting — but it’s backfiring big time

Democrats love government so when they are faced with multiple failures of government -- in the Florida school shooting --  what do they do?  They blame the NRA.  These are people who will never learn even the most obvious lessons.  We cannot influence them.  All we can hope to do is to block them -- JR

A multitude of companies that had longstanding relationships with the National Rifle Association have severed their relationships with the NRA in recent days, caving to pressure from anti-NRA, anti-gun advocates who place blame on the NRA for the tragic Florida school shooting on Feb. 14.

But that boycott is beginning to backfire and it appears the corporations ending their relationships will have no lasting effects on the NRA — and maybe even help the pro-Second Amendment organization pad its rolls.

What’s going on? In response to the NRA boycott, thousands of people are posting on social media they have decided to join the NRA because they believe in freedom, the Second Amendment and stand opposed to the liberal outrage mob unfairly placing responsibility on the NRA for the Florida shooting.

Others posted they had upgraded their memberships to higher levels.

The #TweetYourNRAMembership hashtag contains thousands of posts and the number of people joining the NRA is swelling. It’s not clear how many people have joined the NRA because of the boycott, but it appears the boycott will only help the NRA — not hurt it.


Here Are 5 Reasons Transgender Policies Are Harmful
Who knew that removing the federal government from debates over school bathroom policies would be considered an assault on LGBT rights?

That’s the argument activists made last week when the Department of Education announced that it would be enforcing Title IX the way the federal government always had — up until the second term of the Obama administration. That’s when the Obama Department of Education announced that the word “sex” now meant “gender identity” — and ordered schools to open up their bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and dorms accordingly.

It’s understandable why many ordinary Americans recoiled at this transgender mandate. Most Americans — including those who identify as transgender — aren’t activists and want to find ways to peacefully coexist. Most can understand why a man who identifies as a woman doesn’t want to be forced into the men’s room, but also understand why women don’t want a man in the ladies’ room. These concerns are even more heightened when dealing with students.

As I explain in my book, When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, new transgender policies raise five distinct areas of concern — privacy, safety, equality, liberty, and ideology — and the Trump administration is right to reject the radical Obama policies in favor of letting local officials work to find reasonable compromises.

It shouldn’t be hard to see the privacy concerns when men who identify as women can enter female-only spaces. When changing for gym class, most high school girls don’t want to see or be seen by boys who identify as girls.

The reason we have separate facilities in the first place is not because of “gender identity” but because of the bodily differences between males and females. This privacy concern is particularly acute for victims of sexual assault, who testify that seeing naked male bodies can function as a trigger.


Ex-Air Marshal Comes Forward on FL Shooting With Statement Democrats Hate

The recent mass shooting at a Florida school that left people 17 dead is once again sparking a gun control debate — and this time around, the main focus revolves around whether or not educators should be allowed to conceal carry on school grounds to protect students in the event of another shooting.

And according to Chad Robichaux, a former special agent with the U.S. Federal Air Marshal Service, the logic behind arming educators is sound.

Robichaux appeared Thursday on SiriusXM’s “Breitbart News Tonight” to discuss the recent shooting as well as the steps that can be taken to deter such an incident from occurring again.

As noted by Breitbart News, Robichaux was responsible for the development and implementation of the Federal Flight Deck Officer program created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The FFDO program, which started in 2003, trains select flight crew members on how to effectively use a firearm “to defend against an act of criminal violence or air piracy,” according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Crew members wishing to become certified in the program must undergo 56 hours of training at a state-of-the-art facility in Artesia, New Mexico.

“Upon successful completion, the pilot is deputized as a federal law enforcement officer and issued a TSA-approved firearm and federal flight deck officer credentials,” the TSA states.

Robichaux revealed that the program has proved successful at deterring hijackings, and a similar result would be seen if educators and other staff members in schools across the United States were armed.


Stop immigration! Sydneysiders don't want a bigger population. They are voting with their feet

This could apply to many large cities

Traffic jams. Housing costs. Packed beaches. High-rise living. The pace and general stress of life.

Many of Sydney people’s everyday concerns can be linked in some way to population growth. What if we could just turn it off, and keep a stable population of around five million?

It might surprise you to learn it would be relatively easy for Sydney to cut its population growth to near zero. It wouldn’t take an onerous “one-child” policy like China’s. All we’d have to do is turn off the tap of foreign immigration, to a net in-take of zero, and almost overnight the city’s population would plateau, staying basically flat right out to 2036.

At least, that’s what modelling done by the state Department of Planning and Environment in 2016 showed.

The department, which expects the city’s population to reach 6.4 million by 2036, said that the population would actually stagnate at beneath five million without any immigration (we have since already passed five million). Their projection takes into account both the loss of immigrants expected to arrive, and the babies they would be expected to have.

So it can happen. The question is, do we really want it to happen?

There would be side effects, that’s for sure, and they wouldn’t all be pretty. My colleague, Jessica Irvine, detailed some in an article in 2016. The budget would be in disarray. The ageing population would cause increase strain on working people. Education and tourism would suffer.

Ever the opportunist, Tony Abbott popped up again last week, arguing for a reduction in immigration to reduce supply pressure in the economy. His comments were immediately denigrated by Liberal colleagues, but it was hard not to suspect they were playing the man and not the ball.

The question is, is dreaming of a stable population unreasonable? Do we want Sydney to grow the population ad infinitum? Will there ever be a point when we say ‘that’s enough’? Ten million? Twenty million?

There are many first-world cities with populations much larger than Sydney, so it clearly can absorb more growth. But it would appear Australians don’t want that.

The clue is in the hundreds of thousands of people who are voting with their feet, deciding that Sydney is not for them. As the Herald reported on Monday, more people leave Sydney than arrive from within Australia every year. And it has been that way for four decades.

This seeming distaste for a bigger, more expensive Sydney seems born out in the planning department modelling also. Otherwise, why would the city’s only path to growth be via immigration?
Australians are overwhelmingly in favour of multiculturalism. But a majority don't want further population growth. The thing is, they don’t want a recession either.

Changing our relationship with population growth is complex because it requires a rethink of our economic approach.

At the moment, growth dictates our priorities. Australian rightfully celebrates going 27 years without a recession (defined as two consecutive quarters without economic growth). And politicians are no doubt determined to not be in charge when that streak ends.

However, Australia has been taking the shortcut on this by growing the population. Growing the economy while growing the population is a lot easier.

There’s another system that requires a constant input of new people to achieve returns: a Ponzi scheme. Those don’t normally end well. Unless you are prepared to grow literally forever, then such a system is set up for failure eventually.

If some day we want to consider having a stable population without an economic meltdown, it might pay to start thinking about how we do it. Japan is having to do just that, and is seemingly making an OK fist of it.

But it requires having a nuanced conversation that, in this political climate, seems somewhat optimistic. It doesn’t help if anyone who raises the idea of reducing immigration is tagged a racist or economically illiterate.

Whatever the optimum size for Sydney might be, it would be nice to get there as the result of considered decision making rather than just drift into it because we couldn’t face the hard questions of how to deal with the economic ramifications.



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

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

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


27 February, 2018

The one-sided Left

There is a rant here by an atheist who objects to the alliance between Christians and Mr Trump. He seems to think that he as an atheist knows the business of Christians better than they do. The article is basically just one long fulmination but he does get around at one point to telling us what is wrong with Mr Trump.  It is this paragrah:

"He's told transgender soldiers they can't serve in the military, he's ripped apart immigrant families through Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), he's put hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients in danger of being kicked out of the country, he's made it harder for poor people to receive adequate health care, etc."

At no point, however, does he offer any reasoning behind transgenders in the military being unwelcome nor does he mention that the immigrants concerned are illegally in the country and  commit a lot of crime. And he does not consider that the current unaffordability of health care is mostly a result of Obamacare and its large deductibles.

Typically one-sided.  Leftists couldn't make an honest argument if they tried.  If he had been interested in mounting an honest argument he would have mentioned that military men generally dislike having sexual deviants among them on the grounds that it degrades unit cohesion and morale.  So if they are to do well the jobs they are employed for, deviants should be excluded from their ranks.

He might also have considered that Obamacare is unsurvivable as it stands, which is why insurers are steadily pulling out of its exchanges.  He might also mention that the Democrats have steadily resisted Mr. Trump's attempts to replace it with something more affordable.

One of the reasons why I read Leftist tracts is that I hope I might learn something from them.  I rarely do. Mostly all I find is unreasoning hate.  I strongly suspect that most Leftists are quite incapable of mounting a rational argument.

Can everyone PLEASE quit being so politically correct

When it comes to fashion-related upsets, the outage brigade is on an absolute roll this week.

First, it was the colour of the Duchess of Cambridge’s dress at the BAFTA Awards – dark green instead of black – that sparked a wildfire of fury on social media.

Then it was a picture yesterday of actress Jennifer Lawrence that elicited a response comparable to a digital riot.

It was a photo call for her new film Red Sparrow, that saw the talented thespian pose among her male co-stars on a terrace in London, on a chilly late winter’s afternoon.

The blokes were all rugged up in cosy coats and jackets, while Lawrence wore a plunging Versace gown with a thigh-high split.

No sooner had the photographer clicked his camera and a controversy was erupting, with cries of sexism, that she had been forced to freeze in a frock, that it was typical Hollywood double standards and the continued mistreatment of women in the entertainment industry.

The response was an overreaction, symptomatic of our growing tendency to become distracted by the unimportant and whip it up into a poo storm of epic proportions.

Can we please, in Lawrence’s own words, get a grip?

As she later explained, she selected that dress herself. She loved that dress. She wanted to wear that dress and doing so was her choice, and hers alone.

“This is sexist, this is ridiculous – this is not feminism,” she wrote of the furore.

“You think I’m going to cover that gorgeous dress up with a coat and a scarf? I was outside for five minutes. I would have stood in the snow for that dress because I love fashion and that was my choice.”

Can we please stop being offended on behalf of others? Can we all take a collective breath the next time there’s a sense that we should be outraged… and just not be?

There’s plenty going on in the world to be upset about at the moment. A woman’s dress isn’t one of them.


Ministers too 'politically correct' to enforce hijab policy in schools, former Ofsted boss warns

The Government is too politically correct to enforce rules on hijabs in schools, leaving teachers "alone, isolated and vulnerable", the former head of Ofsted has warned.

Sir Michael Wilshaw said a lack of formal policy from the Department for Education on whether children should be allowed to cover their heads in lessons has led to angry clashes.

He also highlighted concerns that there are 150 schools around the country which make it compulsory for children to wear hijabs, adding that "the country has enormously changed" and some communities hold very conservative views which cannot easily be challenged.

It follows a public outcry after a primary school in east London announced it was banning children from wearing hijabs but was forced to reverse the decision after complaints from parents.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live yesterday Sir Michael said: " There’s something like 150 schools…. which in short make it compulsory for youngsters to wear a hijab - so what’s happening about those schools?

"The country has enormously changed. When heads want to change things, they have now to take into account deep-seated and sincere feeling of communities, some of whom who have conservative views.

“The Government needs to step in. It can no longer say it’s up to the headteachers. That head might be faced with an opposition which says, well hang on, you made this decision, but there’s a school half a mile away which does allow [wearing hijabs for primary aged children].”

Asked if a fear of being politically incorrect was stopping the Government from developing a national policy on hijabs in schools, he said:  “Yes absolutely. There is a reticence, and it’s leaving headteachers alone, isolated and vulnerable.”

Currently schools are expected to set their own policy on uniform, but critics have warned some feel unable to do so because of strong held views about religious attire, and have called on ministers to help by setting national guidance.

The Government is expected to come under further pressure to publish formal guidance on hijabs later this month, after the education select committee said it would hear evidence from the current chief inspector of schools about the issue.

Amanda Spielman will be questioned by MPs after she backed the Newham school's decision.

Earlier this month she said some religious fundamentalists want to "actively pervert the purpose of education ... and in the worst cases indoctrinate impressionable minds with extremist ideology".

She added: "Schools must have the right to set school uniform policies as they see fit in order to promote cohesion. It is a matter of deep regret that this outstanding school has been subject to a campaign of abuse by those who want to undermine the school’s position.”

Sir Michael also raised the issue of the Trojan Horse scandal which prompted 21 schools in Birmingham to be investigated amid fears Islamist groups were seeking to have teachers removed and sex education lessons banned.

He said: "The Trojan Horse issue showed what can happen, and it’s really up to the Department for Education to say this is now an ongoing issue that is affecting more than a few schools. You need to come up with some policies."

Lord Agnew, minister for schools, condemned the "vitriolic abuse" and "intimidation" staff at the primary school in east London experienced after proposing a hijab ban.

He said: "As the minister responsible for faith and counter-extremism in the Department for Education, I wanted to send out a clear message: bullying or intimidation of school staff is completely unacceptable.

"Our teachers ... are completely within their right to make decisions on how to run their schools in the best interests of their pupils — in line with the law and in discussion with parents, of course — and we back their right to do so."

But a spokesman for the department for education stopped short of promising to develop guidance to help teachers who want to ban religious attire, despite Sir Michael's calls.

The current chief inspector of schools in England, Amanda Spielman, will be questioned by MPs later this month after she backed the Newham school's decision.

She said some religious fundamentalists want to "actively pervert the purpose of education ... and in the worst cases indoctrinate impressionable minds with extremist ideology".

She added: "Schools must have the right to set school uniform policies as they see fit in order to promote cohesion. It is a matter of deep regret that this outstanding school has been subject to a campaign of abuse by those who want to undermine the school’s position.”

Ofsted added: "Inspectors visited St Stephen’s to look at the appropriateness of decision making - including the leadership team’s ability to make and implement decisions as they see fit, what support the school received, and the way the school communicates with parents. Ofsted will publish the outcome of this inspection shortly."


Fred Siegel on the long history of liberal elitism

Collins: Do you think the liberal elite today see themselves self-consciously as the ruling class of one nation, as Americans primarily, or do you think they see themselves as distinct from other Americans, maybe feeling they have more in common with the global elite? Are they almost embarrassed by their own society?

Siegel: Very much so. Something happens in the 1990s. The elites of Washington, New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles meld together. Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Washington and Wall Street all come together, and for the first time you have something like the British establishment. The British establishment could organise itself more easily because it was centred on London. For decades the American elite was divided among different coastal cities, plus the ‘third coast’ of Chicago, and it wasn’t until space collapses due to technology that you have the creation of this unified American elite. That unified elite is overwhelmingly liberal. Three hundred people who work for Google were part of the Obama administration at one time or another.

So this elite comes together, it looks across the Atlantic, it looks across the Pacific, but it doesn’t look at the heartland. The rest of the country recognises that. Whatever you want to say about Trump, he was the only candidate in either party who recognised that globalisation and immigration are the burning issues for much of America. One of the things he talked about early in the campaign, which was largely set aside, was the enormous mistake of allowing China into the World Trade Organisation in 2001. President Clinton pushed for this, President George W Bush pushed for this, and I supported it at the time. In retrospect it was an enormous mistake. If you draw a map of the places where jobs were lost due to competition from China, and look at the areas of Trump support, there’s a tremendous overlap.

Collins: In the past, Republican presidential candidates would use liberalism’s anti-middle-class tendencies as a foil – I’m thinking of Nixon and Reagan in particular. A good portion of Trump’s support, I believe, was down to his ability to draw a sharp contrast between himself and Hillary Clinton’s brand of liberalism. How would you compare Trump with other explicitly anti-liberal presidents?

Siegel: I think Trump is better compared with Nixon than with Reagan. Reagan was a free-trader, he had ideas about immigration that Trump wouldn’t agree with. But the hard edge of Nixon in denouncing George McGovern, with McGovern said to be representing ‘acid, amnesty and abortion’, that’s something you could hear from Trump. The elements of what we think of as Trumpism were coming for a long time. They were there in the 1992 Perot campaign, where he campaigned against free trade. I was working for the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) at the time, and I remember watching Al Gore, who was at one time the head of the DLC, debating Perot. In retrospect, Perot scored serious points (I don’t think either man was entirely correct, as is often the case in a debate). But it was interesting, it was a reasoned debate, and I haven’t heard reasoned debates over trade and immigration in recent years. People don’t debate, they exclude, especially the liberal-left. They cut people off, rather than debating them. The recent events at Evergreen College are an extreme example of that.

Identity politics has risen twice in this country. It rose to an apex in the early 1990s, but then it was diminished by a series of scandals. Some people may remember the Sokal hoax. Alan Sokal was a physicist who wrote an article for a postmodern magazine called Social Text, in which he claimed to prove that gravity was a social construction. And the magazine published it! It was obviously a parody.

But then identity politics fades. Bill Clinton is a moderating influence – he creates a broad coalition that sidelines an identity-based approach. But then Bush’s decisions in the Iraq War revive the left, and it slowly begins to gain force, until it rises again with Howard Dean, even before Obama. Howard Dean was a white male version of Obama. He barely considers Republicans human (even though – or maybe because – his father was a famous Republican fundraiser on Wall Street).

Collins: How do you view the liberal response to Trump’s election? You wrote in The Revolt that, ‘Liberalism is sufficiently adaptable, that even in failure, self-satisfaction trumps self-evaluation’. That sounds to me like a pretty good description of the past year. Liberals have struggled to come to terms with Trump, and to take responsibility for their losses – not just the presidency, but in both houses of Congress and in state governments.

Siegel: Liberalism has taken on a religious aspect. It’s a belief system, and not a system that represents political interests. Liberalism is seen as a source of grace, in religious terms. It is hard to talk to people, when you are effectively suggesting they are not among the blessed (or, to use Thomas Sowell’s phrase, the ‘anointed’), that they are in fact mistaken. Trump is wrong about many things, but you can argue with Trumpism. But it is very hard to argue with contemporary liberalism, especially in its West Coast incarnation.

When I was a kid, to be liberal was to be open-minded and highly educated. Liberalism doesn’t represent that today. It represents a secular version of baptism

Collins: Yes, I am surprised how very few liberals were willing to engage in self-criticism after the election, not even to try to understand why they have been losing in recent years.

Siegel: On the contrary, liberals’ idea is to push forward. One of the elements of liberalism is environmentalism. Now, environmentalism has its virtues. The Clean Air and Clean Water Acts under Nixon (interestingly enough) were great successes. But over the years environmental regulations cost more and more money for less and less in return. Environmentalism is increasingly a way to undercut the middle class – and in that sense it fits perfectly within liberalism. As one writer has pointed out, the environmentalists in Oregon have undercut the jobs traditionally filled by less-educated white males – ranching, lumber, fishing. These industries have been essentially regulated out of existence. It’s hard to see how that population can vote for Democrats in large numbers down the road.

What happened in coal country is interesting. Hillary foolishly said she wanted to shut down the coal industry, then she changed her mind. When I tell people that the US coal industry is thriving, in part because of exports to China, they look at me like I’m crazy. How can I say that? It’s officially dead, case closed. Then I say, ‘You do know that the Germans, who in their self-righteousness closed down their nuclear industry and moved away from coal, are now importing American wood blocks to heat themselves – which has a terrible effect on CO2 emissions?’.

Or, when you tell them that Trumpism is not peculiar to America. In the Czech Republic, in Hungary, in Poland, in the Baltic states – you have variations on Trump. Liberals are incredulous. First of all, they don’t pay much attention to Europe, which I think is unfortunate. Second, the idea that there is something larger at play, that it’s not all about Trump’s venality, is inconceivable for many American liberals. When I was a kid, to be liberal was to be open-minded and highly educated. Liberalism doesn’t represent that today. It represents a secular version of baptism.

Collins: Yes, this new populism, or whatever we might call it, takes different forms in different countries, and influences the mainstream parties as well.

Millennials, who are so crazy about Corbyn and Sanders, are the dumbest generation. They know nothing. History began the day they were born. The collapse of our educational system has political consequences

Siegel: Even Macron in France has moved towards Trumpian positions. He has talked to people in West Africa about the need to constrain their population growth. Not very liberal. Macron will be the subject of the first state dinner at the White House. Macron is one of the few foreign leaders Trump has a certain rapport with. So even Macron, who is supposed to be anti-Trump, has been forced to move in his direction, because globalisation creates pressures we haven’t seen since 1914.

Collins: You write in the book how, at different times, the liberal elites express fears that the masses are going to turn to right-wing populism or fascism. We talked about Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here. Do you see any similarities in today’s liberal response to Trump, viewing the Trump voter as problematic?

Siegel: The continuity is quite stunning. The same arguments, the same dispositions. But the difference today is the geographic dimension, and the number of people who are part of the liberal axis. Liberals have created a top and bottom alliance: the upper middle class, much of the well-to-do, and the subsidised poor and immigrants, legal and illegal, are all pulled into liberalism. In places like New York and California, this is a very powerful coalition. It’s interesting that when people say that Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary, which he did, what’s not noted is that the entire popular vote loss came from two places – New York City and Los Angeles.



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


26 February, 2018

My compromise offer to the politically correct

Yep. Donald Trump’s tweets are childish, his speech is vulgar and insensitive. But what the victim-centric left refuses to acknowledge is that the backlash to the insanely politically correct society they’ve created rewards him for it.

In our hyper-sensitive culture, where it’s not what you say but the words you use to say it, enough Americans needed to elect a president proved they’re sick and tired of feeling censored. Middle America voters can only be told their white-privileged micro-aggressions are triggering some victim’s oppression so often before Trump’s crudeness becomes a welcome and needed relief.

Really, when a coffee shop’s tongue-in-cheek sign, “Happily gentrifying the neighborhood since 2014,” causes near race riots, it’s gone too far. The message sent is if whites move into downtown, they’re gentrifying it, making them racists. If they move out of downtown, it’s white flight, and they’re racists.

And somehow NPR-listening elitists still can’t figure out how Trump was elected?

Most of the politically correct terms we’re now mandated to use, or else be ridiculed for being ignorant or hateful, have been manufactured via well-meaning intentions. People want to accurately describe others without seeming to disparage or judge them. Seems honorable enough. But do we have to call an average chick a “cisgender demisexual female”?

I’d like to offer a very sincere compromise in the escalating war of terminology. Let me introduce the Caldara Compromise this way:

My son has Down syndrome.

Words could never come close to describing the love I have for him or just how far I’d fight for his right to be treated as an equal, with respect.

And we should celebrate how far we’ve come accepting people like my son, Chance. When I was his age, kids like him were warehoused in a windowless school room all day until escorted to the short bus. No other students knew their names, interacted with them, or played with them. It’s no wonder kids like Chance were teased, mocked and isolated for being different.

Today is different. My son is welcomed throughout school. Kids and adults there love what makes him special. And I wouldn’t have thought it possible when he was born, but my Downs kid has lots of normal friends.

Did you see it? I just broke two rules of the PC code for the disabled. According to the PC police, I don’t have a “Downs kid,” I have a “kid with Downs,” because the “person” is always supposed to come before the modifier. This of course makes no sense in the English language. You want a cold beer, not a beer cold. Charlie Brown loves the redheaded girl, not the girl with redhead.

My son doesn’t have “normal” friends, he has “typical” friends. “Typical” is required because “normal” is a value judgement.

He isn’t “disabled,” he is “differently abled,” because we all have abilities, some just might be different. My son can’t use the toilet without assistance, but somehow, he’s not disabled.

Note that in nearly every case in the PC tyranny, it takes longer to say the things we want to say. It’s PC word inflation that drives us crazy — I mean, mentally ill.

Every PC term requires more syllables. “Undocumented worker” is longer than “illegal alien.”  “Gender reassignment surgery” is longer than “sex change.” “Developmentally delayed” versus “retarded.” We could go on all day.

But there’s a notable exception. An acceptable term for “homosexual” is “gay.” Even those who hate the gay agenda use the word “gay.” Why? It’s one-fifth the amount of syllables! The PC left won. They got their opponents to use their own terminology!

So here’s my sincere compromise offer: We boorish ignorant anti-PC bigots will accept whatever terms you hyper-sensitive social engineering snowflakes want to describe whatever victim group or situation you want. We have only one small condition. The new term must be shorter than the one you want us to stop using. It would also be great if you’d stop changing the words every other year, but that’s not a deal killer.

Or keep doing what you’re doing and risk more Trump.



Catholic Bishop Bars Democratic Senator from Receiving Communion Due to Abortion Vote

Illinois Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield responded in a very strong way last week to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) voting against legislation that would’ve banned abortion after 20 weeks, the point at which science increasingly shows unborn babies can feel pain. Paprocki said Durbin could not receive communion until he “repents of this sin.”

“Fourteen Catholic senators voted against the bill that would have prohibited abortions starting at 20 weeks after fertilization, including Sen. Richard Durbin, whose residence is in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois,” Bishop Paprocki said in a statement.

“In April 2004, Sen. Durbin’s pastor, then Msgr. Kevin Vann (now Bishop Kevin Vann of Orange, CA), said that he would be reticent to give Sen. Durbin Holy Communion because his pro-abortion position put him outside of communion or unity with the Church’s teachings on life,” he wrote. “My predecessor, now Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha, said that he would support that decision. I have continued that position.”

Paprocki went on to cite the official teaching of the Catholic Church on the matter as well as guidance from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

“Canon 915 of the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law states that those ‘who obstinately persist in mani­fest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion,’” he said. “In our 2004 Statement on Catholics in Political Life, the USCCB said, ‘Failing to protect the lives of innocent and defenseless members of the human race is to sin against justice. Those who formulate law therefore have an obligation in conscience to work toward correcting morally defective laws, lest they be guilty of cooperating in evil and in sinning against the common good.’”

“Because his voting record in support of abortion over many years constitutes “obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin,” the determination continues that Sen. Durbin is not to be admitted to Holy Communion until he repents of this sin,” the bishop concluded. “This provision is intended not to punish, but to bring about a change of heart. Sen. Durbin was once pro-life. I sincerely pray that he will repent and return to being pro-life.”

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act failed in the Senate in January with a vote of 51-46 in favor, failing to reach the 60 votes required to advance to a final vote.

The legislation passed the House of Representatives in October by a 237-189 vote mostly along party lines with three Democrats voting in favor of the measure.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had initially announced the bill alongside Micah Pickering, a five-year-old boy who was born prematurely at 22 weeks gestational age (20 weeks).

Shortly after the bill’s passage in the House, The Washington Post fact checked the claim that the U.S. is one of just seven countries in the world to allow elective abortion after 20 weeks gestation and found it to be true.


BBBB - The Biased Better Business Bureau

Mark Fitzgibbons, President of Corporate Affairs at American Target Advertising (ATA), America's oldest and largest cause-related direct response agency founded by political direct mail pioneer Richard A. Viguerie, issued the following statement about a February 7 smear of Veterans in Defense of Liberty (VIDOL) by the Better Business Bureau's St. Louis office:

"The BBB's issuance of, then refusal to take adequate actions to correct, its false and reckless smear of VIDOL is an indication that the BBB may be biased against conservatives in the same way as disgraced former IRS official Lois Lerner.

"The bias of the BBB against those who don't pay them money was well documented in the ABC News show 20/20 and reported in March 2013 by Time magazine: Why the Better Business Bureau Should Give Itself a Bad Grade.

"The BBB February 7 release is the latest example of its continuing bias and questionable integrity. The release recklessly misleads the public about the mission of VIDOL, which is NOT a charity established to distribute funds to veterans, but is a social welfare organization established to educate and inform the public about the plight of veterans, lobby on their behalf – especially with regards to the VA health care system, and to promote the constitutional values shared by millions of veterans who have graced our country and our flag with their service. VIDOL is tax-exempt under tax code section 501(c)(4). Charities are exempt under section 501(c)(3), and have substantially different purposes.

"The BBB seems to have used one standard to judge a liberal organization, and a different standard for a conservative organization. It claimed, for example, with regard to the controversial leftwing 501(c)(4) organization Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, an imitator of the now-defunct ACORN, that the 'organization is also not a charity and therefore BBB would not issue a BBB Charity Report.' The treatment of VIDOL is so inconsistent with what the BBB claims to be its standards that this smells of partisan politics from another large institution whose national headquarters are tightly within the Washington, D.C. swamp.

"The BBB's evaluation of expenditures by VIDOL for its grassroots education and advocacy program is unprofessional, misleading, and legally incompetent. The BBB failed to attempt to properly verify the information in its libelous smear of VIDOL and ATA. The BBB's Michelle Corey and principals within the national headquarters were advised of the falsity of this BBB smear, but have stubbornly refused to cure this libel many days later, causing one to seriously question their true motivations and integrity.

"VIDOL was founded by a true patriot and veteran, Dr. William Scott Magill. Dr. Magill and his team take no salary from VIDOL. VIDOL receives no taxpayer dollars, and is not funded by billionaires, unions, corporations, or wealthy foundations that finance leftwing organizations attempting to destroy the constitutional values shared by millions of our hero veterans.

"The BBB release begins with misleading readers to believe VIDOL is a charity: 'A Galena, Mo., man recently turned to BBB for advice after receiving dozens of charity mailers … A Springfield, Mo.-based group called Veterans in Defense of Liberty was among the more than dozen organizations which sent the man donation forms.'

"The BBB knows full-well that the public would be shocked and disturbed if a professional fundraiser "kept 94 percent of the money raised for" a charity, and positioned and pushed its whole ambush to harm the reputation and finances of VIDOL and Dr. Magill.

"Since the BBB was 'caught,' it has removed an inappropriate negative rating of VIDOL from its release, but the release remains misleading, and its publication, and the BBB's active encouragement and participation with news agencies in this smear, remains forever on the Internet.

"Consistent with the BBB's bullying conduct, last week I 'coincidentally' received in the mail a letter from the BBB asking for information on ATA, sent just one day after I complained to the BBB about its February 7 release. The letter included a warning that if I did not reply, that has an effect on our 'rating.' Strange that I received the first BBB letter I can recollect within days after I complained about the BBB's lack of integrity. Perhaps the BBB's website should carry a warning: 'Question or criticize us, and you'll pay.'"

Via email

Jordan Peterson: six reasons that explain his rise

Why has an obscure Canadian academic become a phenomenon across the Anglosphere? The man seems genuinely surprised at his 18-month transformation. Hence his tweet asking why so many people have watched the interview he did on Britain’s Channel 4. On March 8, Jordan Peterson kicks off his Australian speaking tour. At sold-out events in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane he will talk about his bestselling book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

One way to explain this rise of a man who has been described as a cowboy psychologist and an egghead who gives practical advice is that he drives many on the left bonkers.

There are at least a dozen reasons for this, but this is a column, not a book, so here are six.

Reason 1. Peterson reckons that listening is good for our soul and even better for human progress. Sounds banal, but in an age when campus outrage and an angry mob mentality have seeped into our broader culture, listening to those we disagree with is a truly revolutionary message.

The University of Toronto psychology professor is old school. He gathers information and builds knowledge the Socratic way, by listening and testing ideas. That’s how he developed a fascination with why totalitarian regimes murdered millions in the quest for utopia. He’s suspicious of ideology, dogma and the doctrinaire. Ideology is dangerous, he says, because it’s too certain about things and doesn’t allow for dissent.

Moral relativism is equally dangerous because it makes no judgments and is blind to the greatness of Western civilisation. Human beings need a moral compass. The demise of religion has left a vacuum, and it has been filled by rigid ideologues and nihilistic moral relativists. Well-timed, given so many millennials are bunkering down with socialism or moral relativism.

If you want to ignore Peterson, that’s your right. But he is a symbol of what’s rotten within parts of our culture. When he speaks, his critics try to howl him down. Students scream over him, university administrators try to censor him.

Last year, Lindsay Shepherd, a teaching assistant at Ontario’s Wilfrid Laurier University, played one of Peterson’s YouTube videos in a communications class. In a meeting with university honchos, one professor, Nathan Rambukkana, accused her of breaking Canadian law and creating a toxic environment for students. Another said her decision to show a Peterson debate clip was akin to the Nazis relying on free speech. The meeting was taped. It’s literally crazy. An uproar led the university to apologise to Shepherd.

Some of this explains why, as of Thursday, Peterson’s cracker interview with Channel 4’s Cathy Newman has attracted 7.4 million views since it aired on January 17. Sure, some of us have watched it more than once, because it’s funny, it’s serious and it ought to be shown in the first lesson of a journalism 101 course.

As reported in Inquirer last month, the interview is a 30-minutes precis of what happens when you don’t listen. Peterson was calm, measured, respectful. He used science and evidence when explaining the differences between men and women. He raised obvious questions about dogma on the gender pay gap. And he smiled politely when a woman who brought him on to her show wasn’t interested in listening.

There are now memes about Newman’s closed-ears interviewing style. Like this one. Peterson: “Women want strong and competent men.” Newman: “So what you’re saying is women are incompetent.” And this. Peterson: “I’m a clinical psychologist.” Newman: “So what you’re saying is I need therapy.” But none is as humiliating as the interview.

Reason 2. Peterson believes in free speech. He’s worried about the illiberal direction of modernity, not just on campus. That’s another reason this solid-gold cultural disrupter, with a quiet but firm tone, drives many on the left nuts. The professor attracted headlines at home in Canada when he said he wouldn’t abide by Bill C-16, introduced in May 2016, amending the Canadian Human Rights Act and making it illegal to use the wrong pronoun. It became law last June. Peterson baulked at being told by the state to use the pronoun “ze” for transgender people. He said if someone asked him to use it for them, he’s a polite guy and he’d do it. But when the state tells you what to say, the state has crossed the line into forced speech.

Reason 3. Peterson is a force because he’s also damn good at getting his message across. He uses our most important stories, drawing from history, psychology, neuroscience, mythology, poetry and the Bible to explain his thinking.

The man described as an “ardent prairie preacher” grew up in the small town of Fairview, Alberta, watched some of his friends succeed while others ended up drug addicts. He spent years searching for answers to big questions such as what makes life more meaningful and, going back a step, why meaning even matters.

His 12 Rules book, extracted in Inquirer earlier this month, sprang from an online free-for-all forum called Quora, where anyone could ask questions and provide answers. His answers attracted a huge online crowd, then a curious publisher, and this week his book is topping Amazon’s bestseller list in Australia.

Why storytelling matters calls for a divergence. Last December Jonathan Sachs, a rabbi and member of Britain’s House of Lords, said we need an army to defend a country. And to defend our civilisation we need a conversation between generations. “We need to teach our children the story of which we and they are a part, and we need to trust them to go further than we did, when they come to write their own chapter,” he said.

This is not woolly idealism, Sachs said. “It’s hard-headed pragmatism.” Understanding our own story, our history, where we went wrong and what we got right, allows children to face the challenges and the chaos of a rapidly changing world. “We need to give our children an internalised moral satellite navigation system so that they can find their way across the undiscovered country called the future,” he said.

Peterson is a navigation system with a twangy Canadian accent, trying to direct us towards meaning. Wrong way, go back, he’ll tell you when you’re heading down a dead-end street.

Reason 4. Peterson is secretly feared by utopians on the left. Life is full of unexpected and unavoidable suffering, he says. We get sick, we get betrayed, we lose jobs and friends and a sense of order. Get used to it. Deal with it.

This starting premise is where he departs so spectacularly from cultural Marxists. The utopian imaginings of socialism and communism created great suffering. So stop dreaming, Peterson says, accept that life can be hard. Accept, too, that each of us is capable of being monstrous and marvellous in all our human complexity. And make choices about that. Accept individual responsibility.

Start by standing up straight because it can “encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence”. If people around you see you as strong and capable and calm, you might too — and vice versa.

Face your problems with honesty, he says. Choose friends who are good for you. Pursue what’s meaningful rather than what’s expedient. It’s the kind of advice given a generation ago when people talked more about responsibilities than rights and parents warned their children that life is tough. Today it offends our rights culture, not to mention our mollycoddling parenting. So three cheers for common sense from this Canadian disrupter.

Reason 5. Get your own house in order before you start lecturing others or presuming to know how to fix other problems. Peterson’s message is a direct challenge to two particularly rank strains of modernity: victimhood and virtue-signalling. Both are cop-outs. Much harder, and more important, says Peterson, is to fix what you can at home because if we all did this there would be fewer victims and less misery in the world.

Reason 6. Men need to grow the hell up, he says. A whiny guy who blames others for his poor life choices is of no use to himself, no use to women, no use to children and no use to a world that has prospered from those who take responsibility. A boy who never grows up can’t possibly deal with the periods of chaos we all must face. And parents shouldn’t bother children when they’re skateboarding, meaning let them take risks so they can manage them as adults.

Maybe now you’re seeing why the mild-mannered Canadian psychologist is attracting brickbats and bouquets.

Those living in a women’s studies world can’t bear him and wail about him entrenching the patriarchy. Men especially want to listen to him, and plenty of women, to be fair, because he makes a reasoned case, based on evolutionary science and evidence, for men to be men, in all their masculine complexity. The “patriarchy” hasn’t hampered human progress, he says, but helped it.

Peterson, who is the only member of his department to maintain a clinical practice, draws on his work with patients when he says that being “agreeable” doesn’t drive achievement. Instead, it’s being assertive, even aggressive.

And there’s this. He said recently he has figured out how to monetise social justice warriors. The more they scream and go crazy over what he says, the more money he makes.

They just keep feeding him material to work with and he’s making a motza each month from a crowdsourcing fund that pays for his YouTube videos.

If this information leads some of them to change their tune, it will mean they have listened after all.



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


25 February, 2018

Race/ethnicity and criminal behavior: Neurohormonal influences

This is an amazingly "incorrect" paper.  It is no wonder that the author is semi-retired. In plain words, what he shows is that blacks are hormonally different and that makes them more criminal

Lee Ellis


Evolutionary neuroandrogenic (ENA) theory asserts that brain exposed to androgens plus the brain's ability to learn accounts for most of the sex and age variations in criminal behavior. Here, the theory is extended to explain race/ethnic variations in offending. The article documents that among seven different racial/ethnic groups, blacks have the highest and East Asians have the lowest criminal involvement. Strictly social environmental explanations for race/ethnic differences in criminality appear to be inadequate for explaining these differences. Two main elements of ENA theory are offered in the present context: (a) criminal behavior is promoted by exposing the brain to testosterone and other androgens. (b) rapid postpubertal declines in offending depend heavily on learning ability. Ten lines of evidence concerning average racial/ethnic variations in androgen exposure are reviewed, and four lines of evidence of racial/ethnic differences in learning ability are reviewed. With some exceptions and qualifications, currently-available evidence seems to support the idea that racial/ethnic variations in offending could be at least partially explained by ENA theory. Closing comments are offered to suggest that biosocial approaches to the study of racial/ethnic variations in criminal behavior can help to supplement strictly social environmental theories in criminology


For over a century, scholars have struggled to explain racial and ethnic differences in criminal behavior (reviewed by Gabbidon, 2015; McNulty & Bellair, 2003). In just the past five years, eight scholarly books have been published dedicated to this topic (Barak, Leighton, & Cotton, 2014; Delgado & Stefancic, 2012; Gabbidon, 2015; Glynn, 2013; KaluntaCrumpton, 2012; Rowe, 2012; Unnever & Gabbidon, 2011; Walker, Spohn, & DeLone, 2011). And, in a fairly recent presidential address to the American Society of Criminology, Peterson (2012, p. 303) called for “placing race and ethnicity at the center of the study of crime and justice”.

As will be shown, nearly all past and contemporary explanations for racial/ethnic variations in criminal behavior consider only social environmental variables as relevant. The present article proposes that the inclusion of neurohormonal variables along with learning ability and sociocultural variables can provide a more complete explanation for the race/ethnic differences in offending that have been documented.


Out with "nation of immigrants" and "customers," in with "lawful system" and "protecting Americans."

“America First” has been President Donald Trump’s message from the beginning, and it’s what resonated with so many voters tired of Democrats putting Americans last. Trump’s message isn’t just a slogan — it’s now part of the mission statement of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.

Out with the old: “USCIS secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system.”

And in with the new: “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation’s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values.”

In a memo explaining the change, USCIS Director Lee Cissna wrote, “We are … responsible for ensuring that those who naturalize are dedicated to this country, share our values, assimilate into our communities, and understand their responsibility to help preserve our freedom and liberty.” That’s what U.S. immigration policy should be all about. Americans, by and large, have always welcomed immigrants who love this country and want to make it and themselves better. The problematic ones come in illegally, commit other crimes and create an economic drain by demanding services they don’t pay for. How hard is it to tell the difference when discussing policy? Impossible if you’re a demagoguing Democrat.

In related news, as we reported in January, California is now a “sanctuary” state because Democrats there put illegal aliens first. Trump fired a shot across the bow yesterday, saying the situation is “a disgrace” and that he’d even consider pulling Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) out of the state. “If we ever pulled our ICE out, if we ever said, ‘Hey, let California alone, let them figure it out for themselves,' in two months they’d be begging for us to come back,” the president said. “And you know what? I’m thinking about doing it.” To be sure, this is far more likely Trumpian hyperbole meant to make a point than it is his actual policy recommendation. But it sure does make that point, does it not?

It’s pretty simple, really. Trump puts America first and Democrats don’t.


‘Dictator,’ ‘Idiot’: Tempers Flare Over Hungary’s Anti-Migrant Campaign

Hungary’s foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto, has called his counterpart from Luxembourg an “idiot” who wants to “flood” Europe with migrants, illustrating again a widening rift between the country’s populist government and the liberal European establishment over immigration policies.

Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, had earlier likened Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to a “dictator,” in response to his government’s campaign targeting NGOs that support asylum-seekers.

Asselborn also urged the European Union to punish Hungary by triggering a far-reaching provision of E.U. law that could led to suspension of a member-state’s voting rights.

Responding to the criticism of his government, Szijjarto said in a statement Asselborn had “crossed all possible boundaries” and clearly “hates Hungary.”

Szijjarto charged that Asselborn, who he lumped with the Hungarian-born billionaire philanthropist George Soros, wants to “flood” Europe and Hungary with migrants.

“Jean Asselborn is an idiot, but the Hungarians are not,” he said. “The people of Hungary have no need of the Luxembourgian foreign minister’s crazy ideas to know what’s good for them.”

Szijjarto said the government was working to protect the country’s security while “extremist liberals” like Asselborn and Soros want to demolish Hungary’s security fence. The government erected the barrier along Hungary’s southern border in 2015 to stop a flow of migrants from mostly Mideast and African countries.

The flare-up comes ahead of elections in April which Orbán’s populist Fidesz party is expected to win easily.

In a weekend state of the nation speech, Orbán painted Hungary and its allies as a last line of defense against Muslims wanting to inundate the continent in pursuit of “the conversion of Europe to what it calls the true faith.”

In contrast, “the great old European nations in Western Europe have become immigrant countries,” he said. “Day by day their cultural foundations are being transformed, the population raised in a Christian culture is declining, and the major cities are undergoing Islamization.”

Orbán charged that “politicians in Brussels, Berlin and Paris” want Hungary to adopt policies which in their own countries “opened the way for the decline of Christian culture and the expansion of Islam.”

Nationalist opposition was coming not just from Hungary, he said, but from its partners in the Visegrad Four group – Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Orbán also suggested that Austria, Croatia and the German state of Bavaria were moving in the right direction and that Italy’s elections next month could bring that country onboard if the party of the populist former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wins.

Orbán’s government accuses Soros of wanting to flood Europe with millions of refugees from the Middle East and Africa. The Hungarian-American financier has denied the allegations, accusing the government of trying to “create an outside enemy,” to divert attention away from issues such as healthcare and education.

A draft bill under consideration, dubbed the “Stop Soros” law, builds on controversial legislation passed last summer that targets NGOs who receive foreign funding.

The earlier legislation is being challenged by the E.U. Commission in the European Court of Justice, but the new proposals go further.

NGOs identified as “supporting migration” would be required to apply for a permit from the interior ministry, a process that could take months. Those determined to pose a “national security risk” could be outlawed.

Any foreign funding determined to be promoting migration would incur a 25 percent tax.

A spokesman for the U.N. human rights apparatus on Friday called the draft law an “assault on human rights” and said the proposed tax would likely lead to reduced budgets,  “thereby undermining NGOs’ ability to carry out their activities and services.”

Szijjarto told reporters on Tuesday that anyone who criticizes the “Stop Soros” bill is questioning the right of the government to take sovereign decisions.

He said NGOs promoting migration and open borders were acting against Hungary’s national security interests, and it was the government’s duty to respond.

A senior official at the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR urged Hungarian lawmakers to reject the proposed bill.

“Seeking asylum is a fundamental human right,” Montserrat Feixas Vihé, UNHCR’s Central Europe regional representative, said in a statement Friday.

“People should have access to seek protection and no one should be punished for helping those who seek asylum.”

The E.U. mechanism which Luxembourg’s Asselborn is recommending that the E.U. institutes against Hungary is Article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union.

Sometimes dubbed the “nuclear option,” it provides for suspension of voting rights for a member-state deemed to have committed a “serious and persistent breach” of E.U. norms and values. No country has yet lost its voting rights under the mechanism.

Getting it implemented would be an uphill battle for advocates: it would need to be endorsed by a two-thirds majority in the European Parliament as well as four-fifths of the members of the “European Council,” a group comprising the heads of state of the 28 member-states plus two top E.U. officials.


Comedy Central’s Latest Outburst of Bigotry

Last week we noted how the Comedy Central show, "Corporate," assaulted Christ. That was bad enough, but after we flagged what happened on the February 14 episode, Jake Weisman, co-creator and writer of the show, responded by making incendiary remarks about the Catholic Church on Twitter.

Weisman was so incensed by our decision to report him to Viacom president Robert Bakish (Viacom owns Comedy Central), that he went on an obscene Twitter rampage against me. Personally, I really don't care what he says about me, but I do care about his filthy tirade against Jesus Christ.

The worst of Weisman's tweets was a remark he made about Christ, saying that our Lord "sucked his own d---."

We live in a time when Hollywood is engulfed in one sexual scandal after another, and while this has provoked a responsible pushback, stars like Weisman continue to defile Christ with impunity.

If someone spoke about his mother the way he does about Jesus, he would go ballistic. But maybe I overestimate him—he is so crude that he may not care.

Bakish needs to have someone call this guy in and hold him accountable. To do nothing is to say that when it comes to vile hate speech directed at Christianity, Hollywood is incapable of being shamed.



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 February, 2018

Max Hill: An official British ostrich

Britain's terrorism watchdog, Max Hill QC (Queen's Counsel), recently told a parliamentary committee that it is "fundamentally wrong to attach the word 'terrorism' to any of the world religions," and suggested that the term "Daesh-inspired terrorism" should be used instead of "Islamist terrorism" to refer to attacks carried out by Muslims ("Daesh" is the Arabic acronym for ISIS). His recommendation comes despite the fact that Hill himself, whose official title is Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, referred to the "threats from Islamist terrorism" in his first report, released in January.

In that first report, Hill also argued that "what [Islamic terrorists] claim to do in the name of religion is actually born from an absence of real understanding about the nature of the religion they claim to follow."

How impressive that he knows more about their religion than they do, despite the fact that the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, received a PhD in Koranic Studies from Saddam University for Islamic Studies in 2007.

Although Hill's statements ostensibly put him at odds with Prime Minister Theresa May, she too has mystifyingly called terrorism "a perversion of Islam."

There are two problems with this expression of political correctness. One is that although the Quran and Sunnah contain inherently contradictory texts, most jihadi leaders and ideologues follow and act upon the most extremist and violent interpretation of them. Therefore, constantly apologizing for the religion is worse than counter-productive: it is incorrect. The other, related, problem is that British policy is forged and implemented on the basis of ideas; so when those ideas stem from a fear of offending Muslims, the policy is necessarily flawed.

In October, for instance, Hill told BBC Radio that Britons "possibly [brainwashed] in their mid-teens... who travelled [to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS] out of a sense of naivety... and return in a sense of utter disillusionment" should be spared prosecution upon their return home.

"Really," Hill said, "we should be looking at reintegration and moving away from any notion that we are going to lose a generation from this."

Meanwhile, also in October, MI5 Director General Andrew Parker delivered a speech in London, during which he talked about the threat of Islamist terrorism. He said that jihadists are increasing the speed at which they plan and carry out attacks, many of which security services have thwarted. In 2017 alone, there were four ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks in the UK.

Hill's skirting this issue impairs his ability to carry out his highly important and sensitive role, which is to review terror legislation for the British government and the public. His aim to ban the term "Islamist terrorism" indicates that political correctness is more important to him than strengthening Britain's counter-terrorist efforts.


Art should not have to bow down to political correctness

Grammy and Oscars rows are based on a puritanical idea about the function of artists

To hear many critics tell it, last weekend’s Grammy awards got the pick of winners all wrong. Not because they overlooked deserving performers or tracks on artistic grounds, the kind of complaint you’d expect to be levelled at an event dedicated to the subjective business of judging popular culture. No, the consternation stemmed from the event’s supposed failure to send the correct message about inequality and sexism, particularly during a period of reckoning around sexual harassment.

To many, the decision to award Ed Sheeran the award for best pop solo performance ahead of four female performers – Lady Gaga, Pink, Kelly Clarkson and Kesha – was a case in point.

Writing at Splinter, an American news website, one critic described Sheeran’s win as a damning comment on the “music industry’s commitment to highlighting the work of underrepresented and oppressed women”.

Over at Cosmopolitan, another writer lamented that, in a night with few female winners, Sheeran had beaten a field of women with a song containing the refrain “I’m in love with your body”.

Oscars run-up

The run-up to the Oscars has similarly been overshadowed by controversies to do with the political connotations of various nominated films.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, written and directed by Martin McDonagh, has been singled out for its supposedly “problematic” depiction of race.

In the UK Independent, one commentator complained that the “vitriolic racism” of one character “is not condemned or tackled in the film”. A white, male director such as McDonagh, he continued, should be “sensitive and truthful” when tackling a subject such as racism.

Fintan O’Toole: If theatre is not a safe space, what is left?
Truthful? A prerequisite for a documentary, no doubt, but a work of fiction?

In our current age of warring internet tribes and social media-fuelled outrage, such moral criticism dominates discussions of popular culture.

Barely a day seems to pass without another book or film being taken to task by critics, professional and armchair-rank alike, because it does not conform to a certain world view or brand of politics.

Embedded in these critiques is a curiously old-fashioned and indeed puritanical idea: that art exists only, or at least primarily, for our moral betterment. Forget the local priest or university philosopher professor – the instructions for a good life should be laid out in easy-to-follow steps in your favourite Netflix series or romance novel. To this mindset, it seems, entertaining or engaging the audience is an afterthought at best.

Much as religious censors demanded that art be wholesome in times past, our contemporary moral arbiters reject as impure any narrative, fictional or otherwise that contains even a hint of the “incorrect” politics.

More often than not, this includes anything that doesn’t belong unambiguously on the liberal-left edge of the political spectrum. The sins may have changed, but the underlying impulse to view people as easily-corrupted moral simpletons remains much the same.


While resurgent, the idea of art as a moral guide isn’t new. In fact, it’s literally ancient, fittingly described by a word, “didacticism,” that has its origins in ancient Greek. It’s also an extremely limiting principle on which to moor the creative impulse. By the 19th century, artists had accordingly begun abandoning the notion that art had to function, in the words of literature professor Carolyn Burdett, as “a means of self-improvement or a spur to good works”.

Oscar Wilde, a man who knew a thing or two about puritanism, wrote, in a similar vein, “A work of art is useless as a flower is useless. A flower blossoms for its own joy.”

One doesn’t need to look hard to see the chilling effect on artistic expression that has resulted from applying political purity tests to every facet of popular culture.

Last year, an article in US entertainment outlet Vulture detailed the rise of vitriolic social media campaigns aimed at ensuring that certain “problematic” works of young adult fiction don’t see release. Tellingly, the piece noted that many of those leading the charge against texts that “engage improperly with race, gender, sexual orientation, disability and other marginalisations” had never read them.

The artistic realm is surely the very place where contentious, dubious or even blatantly offensive ideas and scenarios can be explored without harm. Since when does a depiction constitute an endorsement of real-world behaviour?

Micro-parsing everything we watch, listen to and read for its moral connotations is a recipe for dull, staid art. Worse, it risks making us all dull people, too.


Steven Pinker at Davos: excessive political correctness feeds radical ideas

At the January 25th panel of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Steven Pinker, popular science author and cognitive psychologist who teaches at Harvard University, made the case that political correctness may be responsible for feeding some of the most odious ideas out there, developed by tech-oriented loners who grow such thinking in isolation from the mainstream discussion.

Pinker pointed out that by treating certain facts as taboo, political correctness helped “stoke” the alt-right by “giving them the sense that there were truths the academic establishment could not face up to.” He said the alt-right feeds on overzealous political correctness, pushing back with wrong-headed ideas that develop in their own bubbles - ideas on differences between the genders or capitalist and communist countries or things like crime statistics among ethnic groups.

Pinker thinks all discussion should be in the open so the bad ideas can be weeded out instead of inadvertently fueling movements like the alt-right and making them grow.

“If those beliefs are allowed to fester in isolation,” said Pinker, then people who hold them can “descend into the most toxic interpretations” of them. If such beliefs were in the open, then “they can be countered by arguments that put them in perspective that don’t allow them to become fodder for some of the more toxic beliefs of the alt-right”.

Pinker also argued that members of the alt-right are not necessarily all torch-carrying “knuckle-dragging brutes,” but often quite intelligent and literate, with some studying at Harvard University. He does think they “stay under the radar,” afraid of being put in professional jeopardy.

The professor related the story how at a previous panel held at Harvard University, he expressed such thoughts and immediately became praised by the alt-right for supposedly supporting their views, while being blamed by the left for somehow giving the alt-right cover. Of course, no such thing really happened as Pinker’s thoughts were grossly misrepresented by the opportunistic alt-right websites. But the incident illustrated how quickly even the meta discussion of political correctness was attacked by the “political correctness police” who distorted his views and misdirected the discussion.

Should there be some views that are taboo and that cannot be legitimized through discussion? Pinker thinks we should be “mindful of excessive taboos” on opinions because the demonization could “backfire by sapping the credibility” of academics and journalists, especially when discussing certain topics that are self-evident to many people. This can only help poisonous opinions grow.

Pinker explained that this problem extends further because it can make the knowledge offered by academia and experts less legitimate. If there are some opinions that are squashed and proper debate is not allowed, then who is to say that the bigger claims from the experts like climate change should be trusted?

“If only certain hypotheses can be discussed, there’s just no way that you can understand the world because no one a priori knows the truth. It’s only by putting hypotheses out there and evaluating them that you can hope to increase your knowledge about the world,” said Pinker.

Pinker warned against “left-wing orthodoxy” as much as any radical movement from the right, because there has to be a “range of opinions” to preserve the credibility of academia and journalism.

He also proposed that students are not necessarily more intolerant today towards dissenting opinions. The students in the 60s were much the same in their practices. “Free speech is highly unintuitive,” remarked the author.

"Everyone understands why there should be free speech for themselves. The idea that there should be free speech for people that you disagree with is a major accomplishment of the Enlightenment and one of the things America should be proud of,” pointed out Pinker.

He elaborated that the idea of free speech in a way goes against human nature and always deserves fighting for. This is why the rationale for free speech needs to be articulated and people need to be reminded that the principle is important for our society.

“Human beings are highly fallible," proposed Pinker. "Most of the things we think are right, history will show to be wrong. A lot of human progress was advanced when people voiced heterodox opinions in the face of opposition.”

Our world today has features, like improved civil rights, that were banned just recently, pointed out the professor. And many of these changes that we experienced in our society began as opposition voices that were allowed to be heard under the commitment to free speech. For that reason, it's important to not sink into tribalism or make free speech “an alt-right issue."

He also cautioned that societies which enforce their version of political correctness are often the ones experiencing a “descent into totalitarianism.” Just look at Soviet Russia, Maoist China, and Nazi Germany. They all began by criminalizing speech, said Pinker.


Whither political correctness?

A striking illustration of lunacy perpetrated in the name of political correctness is the banning by some US cities of two classic American novels, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, from their schools.

The first novel describes a principled white lawyer fighting a losing battle for the life of a colored man wrongly accused of murdering a white woman, and Mark Twain’s story tells of two boys, one white and one black, who run away together, and the white boy’s affirmation of friendship over racial discrimination.

It does not require a bachelor’s degree in literature to grasp that these books are two of the most forceful and dramatic arguments against racial discrimination.

Beautifully and, in the Harper Lee novel, heart-wrenchingly written, one does not have to search for a hidden message to understand that these powerful writers bent their creative skills to making people understand that the dignity of the human being is blind to color and race.

That the ban on these books should be praised by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) makes me wonder whether the lunatics really have taken over the asylum.

What do the burgomeisters of the cities issuing these proscriptions imagine is the meaning of a free world?

It is bad enough that university students in Hong Kong think it is acceptable to shout down a speaker with whose opinions they disagree, forgetting that for free speech to have legitimacy it must apply across the board.

It used to be that civilized communities were based on consideration for others, in every form of social intercourse

What is meant by political correctness? It does not help that the very concept is highly subjective. From where does it spring?

May I respectfully suggest that at bottom, it is a question of good manners. Before Donald Trump erupted on to the scene, there was an almost universal norm of accepted behavior. Quite distinct from criminal behavior, it was not permitted to insult people for no good reason or describe people in derogatory terms just for the sheer hell of it.

It used to be that civilized communities were based on consideration for others, in every form of social intercourse.

When societies experienced discriminatory practices, it became necessary for those discriminated against to take a public stand against such practices. Inevitably, some of those advocating non-discrimination expressed themselves in a manner that offended parts of those societies. In so doing, these overzealous advocates alienated part of the community they wanted to win over, leading to a backlash.

Again, each situation had to be looked at through the prism of those discriminated against, and where the discriminators were themselves excessively vocal, it required equal emphasis to overcome it. Thus the oppression of America’s black communities demanded powerful advocates. But it was voices of reason like Dr Martin Luther King who achieved the results, rather than those of the Black Panthers and their ilk.

The quest for equal opportunities and rewards for women is an ongoing evolution, but it is not strident feminism that wins the day but the reasoned professionalism of successful women that will succeed eventually.

Underlying all these movements are fundamental principles that the liberal Western democracies recognize as givens.

At its heart, the battle against discriminatory practices is a quest for balance in society. It is no less true for being trite that moderation in most things is to be preferred.

If a rabid Christian sets fire to a mosque, that is no cause to blackguard all Christians any more than condemning all Muslims for an attack on a church. This leads to blind, indiscriminate hatred and anarchy.

Humor is a particularly interesting area in the context of political correctness.

John Cleese has gone on record asserting that only humor that is intentionally hurtful should be considered politically incorrect. Think of the countless jokes that Englishmen tell about Irishmen, Jews tell about Gentiles, indeed the whole cornucopia of jokes that involve one nationality poking fun at the idiosyncrasies of another. Unless they are manifestly cruel, why can there not be an equality of humor by one race at the expense of another?

Or are we to live in a world where only Chinese can tell jokes about Chinese and only Irishmen can tell jokes about the Irish?

It is both sad and mad to see students at universities, places where people go to have their minds opened, to learn to think and reason, insisting on statues of historical figures being removed lest the students’ sensitivities be offended.

Historical figures have to be viewed through the lens of the norms of civilization of their time, not with eyes that no longer see or understand the complexities of the age in which they lived and achieved pre-eminence. Oliver Cromwell was responsible for beheading King Charles I, but Cromwell’s statue still stands, albeit in a ditch. It is historical fact and if we allow others to select what parts of history accords with their current philosophy, we will never learn from history.

In a world whose principles and priorities are being thrown into such turbulence, it is even more important for children to have the opportunity to have their minds opened to the events of the past.

Political correctness, improperly applied, is the greatest threat to our civilization.



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


22 February, 2018

ABC Pays the Price After Joy Behar Attacks Christianity on ’The View’

“The View” co-host Joy Behar’s comparison of Christianity to a mental illness on last Tuesday’s program has prompted over 25,000 calls to flood into the ABC network in protest.

The Media Research Center watchdog group reported that this tally had come in as of Monday morning.

The segment where Behar made the comparison centered around a back-and-forth regarding Vice President Mike Pence’s faith, based on some recent comments made by former White House staff Omarosa Manigault.

“He’s extreme,” Manigault told Vanity Fair. “I’m Christian. I love Jesus, but he thinks Jesus tells him to say things. And I’m like, ‘Jesus ain’t say that.’”

First, co-host Sunny Hostin observed, “I think what’s interesting is she says that Jesus tells Mike Pence things to say.”

“When you have a Mike Pence that now puts this religious veneer on things and who calls people values voters, I think we’re in a dangerous situation,” she added. “Look I’m Catholic. I’m a faithful person, but I don’t know that I want my vice president, um — speaking in tongues and having Jesus speak to him.”

Behar chimed in, joking, “Like I said before, it’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you.”

“Exactly. That’s different,” Hostin replied.

“That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct. Hearing voices,” said Behar.

The Bible, in fact, records in the Gospel of John that Jesus said regarding born-again believers, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

He further described Himself as a good shepherd, “And when (a good shepherd) brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

Pence responded to Behar’s put down of his faith in an interview that aired on Fox & Friends on Monday.

Host Ainsley Earhardt asked the vice president, “Is it hypocrisy that Liberals, Democrats, mainstream media, they preach tolerance, but yet when someone wants to be a Christian and says that God speaks to them, they have a problem with that?”

Pence responded that he is used to criticism, “But when I heard that ABC had a program that likened my Christianity to mental illness, I just couldn’t be silent.”

He continued, “Look, my Christian faith is probably the most important thing in my life. I do try and start every day reading the Bible. My wife and I try and have a prayer together before I leave the house every morning. But I do think I’m a very typical American.”

 “I think (Behar’s comment) is evidence of how out of touch some in the mainstream media are with the faith and values of the American people,” Pence stated.


Clarence Thomas Decries Victimhood Culture in Rare Public Remarks

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas decried the contemporary culture of victimhood during public remarks, telling an audience at the Library of Congress that constant aggrievement would exhaust the country.

Ever a touchstone for controversy on racial issues, Thomas related a story from a recent trip to Kansas, where a black college student told him she was primarily interested in school work, and less interested in the political tumult gripping college campuses.

“At some point we’re going to be fatigued with everybody being a victim,” the justice said Thursday at the library event.

Thomas has struck similar chords throughout his public life. He appeared on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News program in November 2017, and suggested contemporary activists could learn from the example of his grandparents, who exhibited quiet fortitude during the heady days of white supremacy.

He made his remark last week in the context of a broader discussion about his childhood. Thomas was born in Georgia’s coastal lowlands among impoverished Gullah speakers, and spent his childhood working his grandfather’s farm. He likened his upbringing to Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel “The Help” as most of the women in his life, including his mother, were domestics in white households.

Given the few options open to blacks in the Jim Crow South, Thomas’ family felt they had no choice but to do the best with what they had. The justice detects the hand of providence in those select opportunities open to him, like parochial education and Savannah’s Carnegie Library, which served the black population.

“You always have to play the hand you’re dealt,” he said. “If you’re dealt a bad hand, you still have to play it.”

As detailed in his 2008 memoir, Thomas inherited these sensibilities from his grandfather. The future Supreme Court justice was sent to live with his grandparents after a fire ravaged his mother’s home during his childhood.

By Thomas’ telling, his grandfather was the defining figure of his life. When he joined the Supreme Court in 1991, his wife commissioned a bust featuring his grandfather’s favorite quote.

“His favorite quote was, ‘Old Man Can’t is dead. I helped bury him,’” Thomas said.


The Anti-Religious Agenda Behind Gun Control

Leftists continue their hostile denial that Christian morals have anything to do with solving "gun violence."

After every mass shooting, America succumbs to recycling the same old tropes, a process that inevitably devolves into social media attacks, public shouting matches, vitriol and polarization. The subject, regardless of which side of the debate you’re on, always ends up revolving around guns because even those who believe there are evil outside forces at work when mass shooters commit their carnage are faced with dispelling the shortsighted and erroneous notion propagated by the Left — namely, that the culprit is guns.

To be fair, Democrats occasionally concede that cultural depravity is partially to blame. Even Barack Obama admitted that the lack of fatherhood and family structure affects cultural norms. For example, in June 2010, he declared, “I can’t legislate fatherhood — I can’t force anybody to love a child. But what we can do is send a clear message to our fathers that there is no excuse for failing to meet their obligations.” And in May 2013, during his commencement address at Morehouse College, he observed, “Everything else is unfulfilled if we fail at family, if we fail at that responsibility.”

But that’s about as far as most Democrats are willing to go. And most are certainly not willing to even touch on any spiritual angle, though in some ways, the opposite is true — naysayers have increasingly berated conservatives for invoking God. To put it another way, while leftists will admit that fatherhood is important, they don’t want to acknowledge that every human needs a father figure in the form of Christ. What used to be a bipartisan call for “thoughts and prayers” upon news of a shooting is now extreme anger and agitation toward people who yearn for providential peace and healing.

Just consider the invective Keith Olbermann spewed at Paul Ryan after the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas: “Speaker Ryan, bluntly: shove your prayers up your a— AND DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR LIFE BESIDES PLATITUDES AND POWER GRABS.” Or the mockery from Neil deGrasse Tyson after last week’s shooting: “Evidence collected over many years, obtained from many locations, indicates that the power of Prayer is insufficient to stop bullets from killing school children.”

The Left’s plea for gun control stems largely from its refusal to acknowledge the connection between cultural depravity and America’s throwing away Christianity. The reason organizations like the Freedom From Religious Foundation are so successful is because too many Americans share the view that God is either nonexistent or is ill-suited to fulfill our idea of what faith demands.

Pornography has been mainstream for decades now, and the consequence is that women are utterly objectified, not respected, and the hostility it creates toward them is burgeoning. But that doesn’t mean the industry is going anywhere — the demand for it is too strong. Moreover, much as guns are blamed for mass shootings, “toxic masculinity” is blamed for the objectification of women.

Both America’s long relationship with guns and “toxic masculinity” are scapegoats the Left uses because it objects to moral changes. On the issue of gun control, for all the talk of how conservatives don’t offer ideas to curb violence, the truth is that we do; they’re just meaningful and religious-oriented ones leftists reject.

The Second Amendment, like other rights codified in our Constitution, is inalienable. And that’s another problem leftists have with it. They hate the idea of a “God-given right.” They believe the government is god and, therefore, should have the authority to dictate our rights. To do otherwise exhibits certitude toward a higher authority.

If America wants to see an end to mass shootings, it’s literally impossible to do so without a return to the moral standard set forth through Christianity. Most leftists believe in a lot of coincidences — the big bang, for example — and their argument against guns implies that the lack of mass shootings before God was stripped from schools is also coincidental. In reality, it’s the unavoidable outcome of engendering a godless society. Our national discussion must take on and rebut the secular approach to stop the bloodshed. Otherwise, our rights will continue to be undermined with absolutely nothing to show for it.


Christian Schools Australia defends right to hire and fire teachers over beliefs

Schools must retain the ability to hire and fire teachers and other staff based on their beliefs and adherence to religious codes, Christian Schools Australia has said.

It also called for “the right to select students”, including to eject them from a school community, in a joint submission with Adventist Schools Australia to the Ruddock religious freedom review.

During the marriage law postal survey campaign the Catholic church threatened to sack gay teachers, nurses and other staff if they engaged in civil same-sex weddings in breach of church doctrine.

Submissions from LGBTI organisations and Amnesty International called for a repeal or narrowing of religious exemptions to discrimination law, which the Rationalist Society called an example of “religious privilege”.

Christian Schools Australia warned that “removing the ability of Christian schools to employ staff who share the school’s values and beliefs would undermine the essential nature of the school”.

“If freedom of religion is to remain a legitimate hallmark of Australian education then the rights of school communities to operate in accordance with religious beliefs must be upheld.

“This must include the right to choose all staff based on their belief in, and adherence to, the beliefs, tenets and doctrines of the religion concerned.”

CSA proposed giving schools a power to choose staff by defining it as a legal form of “differentiation”, rather than merely an exemption to discrimination law.

It warned that existing exemptions were “narrow in scope” and did not necessarily allow religious organisations to deny their services or facilities based on belief nor to “separate from families” when their values did not accord with the school’s.

CSA took aim at Queensland’s anti-discrimination laws, which require that a religious objection must be an “inherent requirement” of the religion, and staff can only be discriminated against if they “openly act” in contravention of religious beliefs.

It warned that meant schools could not take any action against staff who “may have a fundamentally antithetical faith position” to the school.

Staff leading a “double life” undermines their duty of fidelity and good faith to the school and was a form of “duplicity and deceit” that was “not in anybody’s interests”, it said.

The CSA called for the creation of a new religious freedom commissioner in the Australian Human Rights Commission and for protections that mirror the amendments in the conservative Paterson same-sex marriage bill, including to guarantee free speech about what a marriage is and to secure religious organisations’ charitable status.

The National Council of Churches in Australia, in a submission written by its president, the Melbourne Anglican bishop Philip Huggins, said the right to freedom of religion was “in reasonable shape” in Australia.

But the submission said religious people had been subjected to more “verbal and physical abuse”, including Christians who supported the “no” case in the postal survey – which it compared to the abuse of Muslims after the 11 September terrorist attacks.

The NCCA recommended that the government consult about the benefits of a human rights bill and suggested a review of school curricula to counter “a growing level of religious ignorance in the Australian population”.

The LGBTI rights group Just Equal called for the abolition of all laws that allow discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.

“This includes those provisions that allow discrimination and vilification by religious individuals and faith-based organisations such as schools, hospitals, welfare agencies and aged care facilities,” it said.

The Rationalist Society, which advocates for secularism, accused religious groups of seeking an “unfettered right to manifest [their] beliefs, even if this involves breaching the fundamental rights of others”.

A permanent, belief-based exemption to discrimination law “promotes and entrenches traditional prejudice and harm against women and LGBTI communities”, it said.

Amnesty International suggested a prohibition on religious vilification and the removal of an exemption that allows civil marriage celebrants who profess a religious faith to refuse to solemnise a marriage on religious grounds.

Amnesty International recommended that religious organisations, including educational institutions, in receipt of public funding be prohibited from “discriminating in the provision of those services in ways that would otherwise be unlawful”.

In January the deputy Labor leader, Tanya Plibersek, said Labor had “no plans … at the moment” to change discrimination law exemptions but downplayed the likelihood religious schools would sack staff over sexuality.

In November a Baptist school in Rockingham, Western Australia, sacked a relief teacher who revealed his sexuality in a Facebook post.



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 February, 2018

Gun Confiscation in Australia:  A model for the USA?  

The writer below is correct in saying that differences between Australia and the USA mean that what works in Australia would not work in the USA.  He ignores the elephant in the room, however.  America has many blacks who frequently mount assaults of various kinds on whites.  So whites need guns to defend themselves.  Australia has for a long time had almost no Africans so has had much less personally endangering crime.

The situation has however just changed.  Australia has recently taken in a population of Africans as "refugees".  And in one Australian city -- Melbourne -- they have become numerous enough to form gangs of criminal black youth.  These gangs frequently break into people's homes even while the family is home and even use crowbars to defeat security doors.  That is immensely disturbing to the people victimized and leaves them feeling helpless and very insecure.

The response so far is to demand that the police stop the raids but the police clearly have got not a clue what to do about it.  Talk has been the only response so far.  Once the impotence of the police has been widely accepted, Australians too will be demanding guns to protect themelves

In the wake of last October's mass murder by a sociopath in Las Vegas, comes tragic news of another mass murder on a school campus in Florida.

The contrast between the response of two presidents is revealing, one focusing on culture and the other focussing on guns. Despite all the Democrat rhetoric about “gun control," as is the case with their faux rhetoric about immigration, when Barack Obama took office in 2009, Democrats had full legislative control of the 111th Congress. In the Senate there were 57 Democrats and two Independents who caucused with Democrats. In the House there were 257 Democrats and 178 Republicans.

Democrats could have enacted every gun control measure they wanted between 2009 and 2011 – but didn't. Why?

Regarding the most recent tragedy, predictably Democrats and their MSM propagandists have re-warmed their latest batch of lies about the murder of children in order to peddle their political agenda.

The BIG lie this week, in order to bolster the Left's calls for “gun control," is that there have already been “18 school shootings" this year. Even The Washington Post has called foul on that claim, noting it's “a horrifying statistic. And it is wrong." Indeed, it is wrong, but most of the Demo/MSM colluders don't allow facts to impede their political agendas.

However, this is an indisputable fact. There are three things the Leftmedia's saturation coverage always communicates to future mass murder assailants: 1. We will make sure you are famous by devoting all our air time, 24/7, to you! 2. As targets go, a school is best because that will get you the most attention, and nobody will shoot back! 3. Use an AR-15 – they are the most popular gun for the job and we can call it an “assault weapon"!

There are many media myths about gun control being propagated by the Left this week, and by extension, all their lemmings who regurgitate those “facts."

Most prevalent myths in social media forums are calls echoing the MSM's solution: Enact the Australian gun confiscation model. By way of addressing this claim, allow me to repost here a debate with my friend Neville, who is a deeply entrenched liberal from the UK now living in the US, and who has taken it upon himself to reform our nation. Here is an abridged summary of that debate…


The time is now to talk about Gun Control! The maiming and death of these children is so pointless, unnecessary and PREVENTABLE. Get rid of the guns. No mass shootings in Australia for over 20 years and counting after a government gun ban.


The tragic murders in Florida were, indeed, senseless — as are the emotive “solutions" that, predictably, follow such tragic events. I share your grief for these victims and their families, but not your prescription to resolve the culture of violence.

As for your solution … as I am sure you are aware, the culture in Australia has not been conducive to violence in decades. In fact, at one time the culture in America was not conducive to violence either. Not long ago, there were plenty of guns on high school campuses, but no mass shootings.

Yes, Neville, there have been no mass shootings in Australia since the gun ban was enacted, but there were few before then.

In fact, there are few murders in Australia, period. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 1996, before enactment of the gun ban, Australia had had 311 murders, 98 by assailants with guns (including the 35 people killed in one mass shooting that prompted the confiscation). In the latest year of record, there were 227 people murdered, 32 by assailants using guns.

I should note here that the population of Australia is only 7% that of the United States, but when adjusting for population size, the number of murders in Australia are still only 20% of the US annual total, of which about 70% were assailant using firearms. But note that, after Australia confiscated all guns, assailants are still using guns to murder people… I guess only law-abiding citizens turned in their guns.

Of course, crime in the U.S. has actually declined more than in Australia over the last two decades. Concurrently, gun ownership in America has increased significantly while homicides by assailants with guns have also declined.

Apparently, more guns, less crime.

So what accounts for the difference in murder rates?

Australia is not plagued with urban poverty plantations created by five decades of failed Democrat social policies, and the resulting epidemic of violent crime. For the record, the top urban crime centers have the most restrictive firearm regulations in the nation. Using Demo-logic, shouldn't these “gun-free zones" be the safest places in America?

As for the “gun problem," if you are NOT a gang-banger or associated with drug trafficking (and Neville, I think you are clear on both counts), the probability of your being murdered in the U.S. falls in line with the probability of your being murdered in your beloved native UK homeland — where most types of guns have been banned for years.

Notably, however, American children are at much greater risk of being killed by a drunk driver than an assailant with a gun. Thus, while I know you favor the finer labels of liquid libation and use it responsibly, by your logic, the government should confiscate it because there are far more deaths associated with alcohol use than firearms — in fact, in many cases assailants using a firearm are alcohol impaired…

As for your sentiments about guns, I would be pleased to provide you with some “Gun-Free Household" stickers so you can broadcast the fact that your home is the best neighborhood option for uncontested intrusion!


Court: Accept Your Child's New Gender or Lose Custody
This week, a shocking story hit the national news about an Ohio teenager who was removed from her parents’ home by authorities. Why? Because they didn’t support their daughter’s decision to identify as a boy and declined to authorize hormone therapy to facilitate her gender “transition.” Yesterday, the story broke that Juvenile Court Judge Sylvia Hendon has permanently removed the child from her parents’ custody (despite the fact that the child is already 17 and would be able to make medical decisions for herself in less than a year).

What’s especially alarming is that a lawyer representing the child — as well as Donald Clancy of the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office — cited the parents’ religious beliefs as an argument for robbing them of their rights! The mom and dad are being criticized for seeking out a Christian therapist for their daughter and for daring to send her to Catholic school. Even so, the parents were clear that their stance on the gender transition wasn’t motivated on faith alone. After all, they pointed out, they’d had lengthy consultations with medical professions and did hours of research on their own. Only then did they come to the conclusion that “this is not in their child’s best interest.” (The American College of Pediatricians — not to be confused with the more “politically correct” American Academy of Pediatrics — agrees.)

For years, LGBT activists have scoffed at warnings from FRC and others that the radical LGBT movement poses a threat to personal and religious freedom. In the past, the Left directed most of its attacks on religious expression in the public square, doing everything it could to restrict faith to the four walls of your house or church. Now, even that tolerance is tumbling down.

I wrote this week about the shocking attack by two Michigan state legislators against a church in metropolitan Detroit that offered an “Unashamed Identity Workshop” for teen girls struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s becoming ever clearer that if we don’t fight to defend our liberties everywhere, they will not be safe from attack anywhere — not even in your church or your home.


Germany’s far-right AfD is the second biggest party in the country after poll shows its popularity surging

A far-right party has become the second biggest in Germany after Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, a recent poll has found.

Alternative for Germany (AfD) surpassed Merkel's coalition partners, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), for the first time in a national poll, an Insa survey for the daily Bild showed.

Some 16 per cent of Germans said they would vote AfD, while the SPD fell one percentage point to just 15.5 per cent.

Merkel's CDU/CSU bloc gained 2.5 percentage points to reach 32 per cent, the weekly poll showed on Monday.

Nearly five months after the national election, Germany is still without a federal government as the SPD consults its members before embarking on a re-run of their 'grand coalition' with Merkel.

The election saw the AfD win seats in parliament for the first time - a political earthquake that followed Merkel's 2015 decision to leave open German borders to more than 1 million migrants.

Leaders of the party have repeatedly made headlines with insulting remarks about Germany's immigrant community.

Just last week, Andre Poggenburg, the head of AfD in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, referred to Turkish people as 'camel drivers'.

Poggenburg made the derogatory comments during a party rally in Nentmannsdorf near Pirna, eastern Germany, where he also called immigrants with dual passports as 'homeless mob that we no longer want to have here'.

The increased support for CDU/CSU bloc comes as Merkel has put forward close ally Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to take over as secretary general of the party.

The decision to entrust Kramp-Karrenbauer, also known by her acronym AKK, with bolstering the CDU after it lost ground in an election last year, is significant as some party members are starting to look ahead to a post-Merkel era.

Merkel, who was CDU secretary general before becoming chancellor, said Kramp-Karrenbauer, premier of the western state of Saarland, would bring 'a lot of weight' to the role in what she called 'difficult times, uncertain times'.

The chancellor has been under pressure from within the CDU to bring fresh faces into senior positions and to begin planning for her own succession. By promoting Kramp-Karrenbauer she achieves both, and moves an ally into a key role.

'We have known each other a long time and can rely on each other, even if we have our own views,' Merkel, 63, told a news conference with Kramp-Karrenbauer, 55.

Asked if she saw Kramp-Karrenbauer as a possible successor, Merkel replied: 'It is your privilege that you are always three laps ahead of others ... We have our hands full managing the business of the day.'

Though Merkel has said she is available as chancellor for four years, the succession debate has been supercharged by the inclusion of a clause in a coalition deal with the SPD that envisages a review of the next government's progress after two years to assess whether any changes to its mission are needed.

Kramp-Karrenbauer is expected to be voted into her new role at a Feb. 26 party congress. Her promotion is a setback to Jens Spahn, a 37-year-old arch-conservative long seen as a rising star in the CDU with an eye on the succession.

Outgoing secretary general Peter Tauber is giving up the role after a period of illness.

'Sometimes dubbed 'mini Merkel' by German media, Kramp-Karrenbauer is highly regarded in her party for winning an election in her region last year that buoyed the CDU's national standing ahead of the Sept. 24 federal vote.

By taking on the secretary general role, she will build up her network in the CDU, something she has had only limited ability to do as premier of Saarland, a state of just 1 million people that borders France. Merkel will remain CDU chairwoman.

She said she had decided to step down as Saarland premier and take up her new job in 'one of the most difficult political phases in the history of the German federal republic so far.'

Kramp-Karrenbauer commands respect in the party for her serious, factual approach to policymaking.

She impressed Merkel last month when, after a car crash, she continued work on coalition negotiations from her hospital bed. 


Former Australian PM calls to limit migrants to 110,000 a year to help them integrate, make housing more affordable and increase wage growth

Australia should drastically reduce immigration levels until migrants are better integrated into society and to prevent further pressure on wages and housing prices, former prime minister Tony Abbott says.

Mr Abbott wants to see a cut in immigration numbers from 190,000 to 110,000 people a year, urging Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to take the issue to the electorate at the next election.

In a speech to the Sydney Institute on Tuesday evening, Mr Abbott is expected to tell his audience cutting the number of migrants will help wages growth and make house prices more affordable, News Corp Australia reports.

'My main concern tonight is another topic, no less taboo, lest anyone be upset or comfort be given to the racists supposedly in our midst, namely the rate of immigration,' he will say.

'It's a basic law of economics that increasing the supply of labour depresses wages; and that increasing demand for housing boosts price.

'At least until infrastructure housing stock and integration has better caught up, we simply have to move the overall numbers substantially down. In order to win the next election, the government needs policy positions which are principled, practical and popular.'

Asked whether Australia needs to change its immigration policy, Cabinet minister Mathias Cormann said the intake is lower now than its peak under the previous Labor government.

'The most important thing with our immigration intake is that we attract the right people to make Australia their home,' he told reporters in Canberra.

'In the end attracting appropriately skilled migrants with the right attitude also helps ensure our economic growth into the future.'



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

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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, 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 February, 2018

Beyond the bottom line: the B-Corp boom

This is just virtue signalling.  They give no evidence that it does anybody any good

Like most entrepreneurs, Dean and Audrey Jones have a strong focus on financials.

Their dress rental business, GlamCorner, was one of the first movers in the sector in Australia and last year turnover was over $10 million with a target this financial year of over $20 million.

But the Jones' say it's not just about the money and their goal is profit with purpose.

To that end GlamCorner has just achieved its B-Corp certification, one of a growing cohort of businesses in Australia looking beyond the bottom line.

"We are building a company we want to be very proud of 10 years from now," says Mr Jones. "To be a great business you have to have a healthy bottom line but you could do more for the community, your employees and the environment around you."

Growing popularity

There are now 227 Australian & New Zealand B-Corps, employing more than 4000 people and turning over $1 billion in revenue.

Charlie Syme, marketing and community manager for B Lab Australia & New Zealand, the not-for-profit organisation which authorises B-Corp certification, says the popularity of B-Corp certification is increasing in Australia.

There were 12 businesses certified as B-Corps in the first cohort of Australian businesses to undertake the certification in 2013 and the number has continued to climb with around 100 certified last year.

"B-Corp is a certification for profit businesses and these are businesses which have voluntarily met the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability," Mr Syme says. "The philosophy is to pursue stakeholder value not just shareholder value. It looks at impact on employees, the physical environment and the community. It's a really holistic assessment of a business."

B-Corp businesses pay an annual certification fee based on revenue, starting at $500 for businesses with under $200,000 in turnover to $50,000 for businesses with more than $1 billion in turnover.

Rigorous application process

Mr Jones says GlamCorner paid an annual fee of around $1000 for the certification but the main cost to the business was the rigorous application certification process which took several months.

"It's actually a really big milestone for us," he says. "Companies are in a really unique position about educating employees and customers about how we can reduce our footprint.

As companies get bigger and the world gets smaller, companies of the future need to get better and more efficient about how they utilise resources of any kind because economic resources of any kind are scarce. It's a liability and it's a debt and it's a debt that has to be repaid at some stage."

Mr Jones says the reaction from GlamCorner customers has been positive.

"I think you are going to see more of the B-Corp certification coming up," he says. "Our vision is to become every Australian woman's online wardrobe and impact will continue to be an increasingly important part of our messaging and our thesis. We appeal to Australian women who are tired of the old way of consuming fashion."

Providing recognition

Indigenous-owned furniture business Winya has also recently achieved its B-Corp certification.

Winya was started just over two years ago supplying major corporates and government around Australia with office furniture.

The business turned over $5 million last year and its clients include Lend Lease, the Australian Tax Office and the Department of Immigration.

Winya has eight staff, the majority of which are Indigenous and through its work has placed six Indigenous trainees in the factories in Australia which manufacture its products.

Winya director, Greg Welsh, says B-Corp certification is helping spread the word about the work Winya is doing.

"We are a for-profit business but we are majority Indigenous owned and we are doing a lot of work in remote communities and in the prison system," he says. "It's not visible unless we go and boast about it. Being a B-corp will help our marketing and is a way to get us recognised for the work we are doing."


Jorge Ramos: Why Does the GOP Want to 'Make America White Again'?

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, known for his advocacy of illegal aliens, is accusing Republicans of wanting to "change the essence of America" and seriously wondered whether the GOP wants to "make America white again."

In an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN, Ramos also said that chain migration leads to a "tolerant, diverse, multiracial and multicultural country." He said that the Republicans are not proposing immigration reform, but rather "immigration revenge."

RAMOS: “The fact is, Republicans with these negotiations, they want to change the essence, I think, of the United States. I mean, do they really want to make America white again? Is that the deal? What I have seen from the Democratic side, and from talking with the DREAMers, is that they’re willing to negotiate DACA for a few miles of wall, maybe 300, 350 miles of wall. That’s as much as they can go. But to tell them that from now on, everything is going to change, that change migration has to be stopped, that in other words that family unification is no longer going to be the immigration principle that’s going to guide us into this tolerant, diverse, multiracial and multicultural country. I don’t see it. The way I see it, DACA for just a few miles of wall. But nothing else.”

What good would 350 miles of wall do? Nothing -- which is exactly what Ramos wants. The more Spanish-only speakers in the U.S., the better it is for Ramos and Univision. It's not complicated at all.

Ramos also totally misrepresents the GOP position on chain migration:

COOPER: Jorge, you hear the President. How much does a DACA deal fall on the shoulders of the Democrats right now?”

RAMOS: “Well, it’s not going to be easy for Democrats to accept everything that President Trump and the Republicans want. They’re not proposing immigration reform. They’re proposing immigration revenge. Because they not only want to help the DACA students, but also they want a wall, they want more border security, they want to end the so-called chain migration, which is really family reunification, and then, the visa lottery. I don’t see a deal possible that way. For the DREAMers, what they’re asking them is the impossible because Republicans are saying, ‘You know, we want to legalize you. However, we want to deport your father, your mother, your siblings.’ That’s simply an impossible choice for them.”

Under a couple of GOP plans that are being proposed this week, the parents and siblings of DACA recipients would be allowed to stay, although they'd be ineligible for citizenship. Ramos is either an ignoramus or he knows full well what is being proposed and chose to make the GOP plans sound worse than they are.

This marks Ramos as little more than a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party and not much of a "journalist" -- which, these days, isn't saying much at all.


Men, Misandry, and Suicide Rates

Feminism kills young men

While having a drink with a friend in a neighborhood bar a couple years ago, a distraught-looking woman approached us and started chatting. We engaged in typical barroom banter until she introduced herself as the mother of a guy I had met in the same bar almost two years before: Mitch, who introduced himself to me then because he recognized me from my column in a local newspaper.

Our conversation lasted only a few minutes, but I remembered the encounter because Mitch seemed to be troubled.

While talking about her son, Mitch’s mother told me that he described having meeting me then with the words, “I talked with the guy from the newspaper.” She also described Mitch’s suicide note to her, and at this she shed some tears. Mitch’s problem, as I learned sometime later, was an addiction to heroin that he could not shake.

By the end of the night I had promised her that I would check out a Suicide Prevention event she was organizing. After that I thought about the suicides that had affected my life in some way:

A school chum of my brother’s shot himself while a student at a Washington, D.C. college in the 1970s. This A student, who used to decorate his bicycle with Barry Goldwater for President bumper stickers, had been on the Dean’s List.

A “full of life” female friend of mine who died of a prescription drug and alcohol overdose in the bathtub of her home.

My uncle who hung himself in a motel after years of drifting from job to job along with fighting bouts of depression and alcoholism. I was 14 when my mother announced his death. He was a tall good looking man who resembled the actor Tyrone Power.

Sometime later I happened upon an article in Psychology Today by Dr. Miles Groth, who posited that suicide among young males is four times more common than among young females. Not only that, but suicide is now occurring at younger ages, in the early teens. With males, Dr. Groth said that one problem may be the relationship between fathers and sons, such as young males not having had a father in boyhood. He cites other issues as well, such as body image and relationships with women. “Young males are very impulsive, more than females, and they act without thinking,” he said.

Dr. Groth elaborated on this theme in a 2014 interview, in which he said that men and boys have come to hate themselves:

This is a result of the image portrayed of them and of the roles they are compelled to play, but also given what they hear about themselves and, especially as young boys, come to believe about themselves. As a result of self-hate, the suicide rate of boys and men has increased at an alarming rate over the last twenty years. It is 4-6 times higher in teenage males than in female peers.

The life expectancy of males is about seven years less than for females, compared to a two-year difference a century ago. College courses that are pro-male are now necessary to offset the misandric curriculum.

“Misandry” means contempt for men, but you don’t hear that word very much these days because it has been trumped by the word “misogyny,” thanks to the antics of third-wave feminism.

The month of September may be National Suicide Month, but every month needs to be a suicide month of sorts. The transitory nature of many of life’s problems which lead some to take their own lives -- a broken love affair, a job loss, drug addiction (“There’s no hope for me”), the loss of financial security, or a startling medical diagnosis -- can, over time, turn into quite manageable situations.

Robert Gebbia writes that studies show men are less likely than women to say they would tell anyone they were considering suicide. Here we have a reworking of that old stereotype: men hold things inside, and are less likely to reveal their feelings. Isolation makes young men feel inadequate and angry. This can sometimes lead to thoughts of self-directed violence.

An essential side note to this topic is the current role of men and boys in American society. According to Dr. Groth, the rise of certain strands of feminism have devalued the essential role of men -- even though a certain devaluation of men and boys has always been present in our culture. He cites that Father’s Day did not appear until 1966, while Mother’s Day was instituted in 1905. Why did it take so long for America to recognize fathers?

Today on college campuses, it’s hardly permissible even to talk about men’s issues. Men are seen as the primary advocates of sexism, as perpetrators of rape, so-called “male privilege,” and the “patriarchy.” Dr. Groth cites a university lecture about boys and men in contemporary society that was held at the University of Ottawa which drew a number of hecklers. The hecklers seemed to believe that “men’s issues” were not something to take seriously.


25 Disturbing Facts About Refugee Resettlements from Somalia

How terror arrives on American shores

Of the 11 countries included in President Trump's refugee ban, one stands out -- Somalia.

That ban expired two weeks ago and the U.S. has begun accepting refugees again from Somalia and 10 other high-risk nations.

Although Trump promises "extreme vetting," many Muslim refugees come as children and become radicalized years later.

Somali crime rivals Somali terrorism as a major problem, and the two clearly blur into one another. The problem is leaking from Minnesota into South Dakota -- as Lutheran Social Services has resettled more than 4,500 Somalis in Sioux Falls. Many of the Somalis have migrated from Sioux Falls to the city of Aberdeen in search of work at Demkota Ranch Co.'s beef-packing plant.

South Dakota State Senator and GOP congressional candidate Neal Tapio is leading perhaps the nation's most aggressive effort to expose the danger and fraud of refugee resettlements. Tapio has introduced several bills that seek to rein in high-risk resettlements in his state.

"While many people see compassion to serve the less fortunate, the truth is the Somali community has not been able to assimilate and has proven to be a major terror threat in the United States," Tapio said.

Consider the following 25 incidents that should raise red flags about refugee resettlement from this perpetually war-torn country:

[1] The Somali man who knifed two men in November at the Mall of America was not involved in an attempt to steal clothing – a false narrative put out by Bloomington police – but was actually carrying out jihad. He admitted it in a detailed statement to the court. Mahad Abdiraham said he went to the mall that day to "answer the call for jihad.”

[2] A Somali refugee who had just arrived in Aberdeen for a meatpacking job was convicted last year of trying to sexually assault a wheelchair-bound woman at a group home. Liban Mohamed, 39, found the vulnerable woman sitting outside the home and he was caught reaching up between her legs.

[3] Also in Aberdeen, Abdirhman Noor, 24, shot at two men outside the Foxridge Apartments, wounding one critically. Noor, who came to the U.S. as a child refugee, was charged with attempted murder and released on $50,000 bail. He never showed up for his March 2017 court hearing and remains at large.

[4] A 73-year-old Meals on Wheels volunteer was dropping off meals at a homeless shelter in Shelburne, Vermont, when she was attacked by 32-year-old Somali migrant Abukar Ibrahim with a machete in early January 2018. She sustained multiple injuries including a severe leg wound.

[5] Tnuza Jamal Hassan, a 19-year-old woman from either Somalia or Ethiopia (Minneapolis police wouldn't release her status), was arraigned last month on charges of first-degree arson after she allegedly set fires on the campus of St. Catherine University. Hassan told police she "wanted the school to burn to the ground" and that her intent was to "hurt people,” according to charges filed in Ramsey County District Court. Hassan told police she had written a letter to her roommates containing “radical ideas about supporting Muslims and bringing back the caliphate.” The prosecution further alleges "[s]he told the police and fire investigators ‘You guys are lucky I don’t know how to build a bomb because I would have done that,’” the Star-Tribune reported.

[6] Morgan Evenson, 24, was attacked just before Christmas while walking home from work in Minneapolis. She was stabbed 14 times by a man described as Somali. That man remains at large and the Minneapolis police falsely described the attack as a failed robbery. Evenson said he never reached for her purse.

[7] On July 15, 2017, a Somali refugee serving as a Minneapolis police officer, Mohamed Noor, shot and killed an unarmed woman, Justine Damond, who had called 9-1-1 to report a rape taking place outside her apartment. No charges have been filed against Noor, who had three previous complaints about his treatment of women while on patrol.

[8] Dahir Ahmed Adan stabbed 10 shoppers at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on Sept. 17, 2016. The refugee asked shoppers if they were Muslim. If they said “no,” he attacked them with his knife, until he was shot dead by an off-duty cop.

[9] In December 2016, Somali refugee Mohamed Ayanle, 22, was charged with first- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct after he allegedly raped a woman while riding a bus through Polk County, Minnesota. Ayanle reportedly forced her to have sex with him at knifepoint in the back of the bus. Ayanle had just arrived in Minnesota from Somalia three months prior to his arrest.

[10] Davee Devose, a promising 21-year-old black student at St. Cloud Technical and Community College, was stabbed to death at a house party in June 2015 by then-16-year-old Muhiyadin Mohamed Hassan, a Somali refugee who violated his juvenile probation and has since been moved to the adult system.

[11] In 2008, the government revealed thousands of Somali families had fraudulently entered the U.S. as "refugees" by lying on their applications that they were to Somalis already living in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal originally reported on how this fraud was uncovered by DNA tests, which led to a four-year closure of the so-called P-3 family reunification program for refugees coming from East Africa. The program was eventually restarted and none of the thousands of Somalis proven to have entered the U.S. by these fraudulent means were ever deported.

[12] On the day after Memorial Day, May 31, 2016, in Lawrenceville, Georgia, a Somali refugee woman, Aisha Ibrahim, 31, appeared out of the woods wearing a burqa and beat an American woman with her own American flagpole.

[13] A federal appeals court in December 2016 upheld the conviction of Mohamed Mohamud, the Somali refugee sentenced to 30 years in prison for plotting to bomb downtown Portland, Oregon, during the annual Christmas-tree lighting.

[14] In 2013, Somali refugee Omar Mohamed Kalmio in North Dakota was sentenced to life in prison for the 2011 murder of a Native American family he had become involved with.

[15] In November 2016, Abdul R. Ali Artan, an 18-year-old Somali refugee and student at Ohio State University, wounded 11 people at OSU in a car and knife attack. Minutes before his attack, Artan posted on Facebook his hatred for the United States.

[16] In April 2011, Somali refugee Said Biyad was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his four children in Louisville, Kentucky. He avoided the death penalty by taking a plea agreement.

[17] In July of last year, Somalia native Abdinzak Ahmed Farah, 29, was arrested and charged with threatening his fellow Minnesotans with a knife. According to an eyewitness, Farah was eating raw beef with the knife and holding it out to patrons, asking them to play games. In a July 25 article, the Faribault Daily News reports a complaint filed in Rice County Court alleges Farah was pointing a knife and threatening to kill anyone who called police. Witnesses said Farah was twice told to leave, but began chasing several people and threw the knife at them.

[18] At least 40 Somali refugees have left the country to join overseas terrorist organizations such as al-Shabaab in Somalia and ISIS in Syria, the FBI has confirmed. Dozens of others have been charged and/or convicted of providing material support to terrorists.

[19] One of the top terror recruiters for ISIS in the U.S. was Mohamed Hassan, a Somali refugee with roots in Minnesota. He turned himself in to authorities in Somalia in late 2015, after leading dozens of Somali-Americans to join ISIS. He also played a role in the terror attack on Garland, Texas, in which two Muslims planned to kill participants in a "Draw Muhammad" contest and behead activist Pamela Geller.

[20] Dozens of large-scale khat busts have taken place in recent years, such as this seizure of 69 pounds of khat at the Philadelphia airport bound for Minneapolis, and this one sending nearly 20 pounds to Minneapolis. Khat is a stimulant chewed by Somali men.

[21] In June 2016, residents of the Linden Hills community in Minneapolis were terrorized by a Somali mob for three straight days. They raided the waterfront community and pretending to shoot women on the beach, ran their cars over lawns while screaming "jihad," threatened to rape one woman and beat one resident's dog. Police were called repeatedly but never could make it to the scene before the Somalis disappeared.

[22] Minneapolis Police Department has for years tolerated an active Sharia cop, who married a Somali woman and patrols the Cedar Riverside area making sure Somalis are complying with Islamic dress codes and other Sharia rules.

[23] Liban Haji Mohamed, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Somalia who came to the U.S. as a child refugee, was named to the FBI's list of Most Wanted Terrorists in January 2015. Mohamed, who worked as a cab driver in northern Virginia, was charged with providing material support and resources to al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab.

[24] In May 2015, a UK media outlet broke the story that one of the Islamic State's major recruiters turned out to be a female journalism student in Seattle who liked football, cheeseburgers, and convincing women in Syria and the EU to wage jihad. The student, a Somali named Rawdah Abdisalaam, was discovered to be working as a senior recruiter while living the good life in Seattle.

[25] In January 2014, Somali refugee Ahmed Nasir Taalil, living in San Diego, was sentenced to six years for his part in a conspiracy to funnel money to al-Shabaab. Among Nasir-Nasir's co-conspirators were cab driver Basaaly Saeed Moalin, who was sentenced to 18 years, Mohamed Mohamud – a Somali imam at a local mosque – sentenced to 13 years, and Issa Doreh, who was sentenced to 10 years for working at a money-transmitting business that helped move the illegal funds.

Refugee proponents, many of them working for resettlement agencies that receive government tax dollars for every refugee they bring into the U.S., continue to allege that Somalis are an asset to the communities in which they live. But those communities deserve security too. Now that the refugee ban has expired, it is time that the clear issues of lack of assimilation and terror risks posed by many Somali refugees are taken seriously.



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 February, 2018

Social justice warriors as oppressors

The methodology underpinning much of the social justice perspective is known as critical theory, which draws heavily on German philosopher Karl Marx’s notion of ideology. Because the bourgeoisie control the means of production in a capitalist society, Marx suggested, they control the culture. Consequently, the laws, beliefs, and morality of society come to reflect their interests. And importantly, workers are unaware this is the case. In other words, capitalism creates a situation where the interests of a particular group of people—those who control society—are made to appear to be necessary truths or universal values, when in fact they are not.

The founders of critical theory developed this notion. By identifying the distorting effects power had on society’s beliefs and values, they believed they could achieve a more accurate picture of the world. And when people saw things as they really were, they would liberate themselves. Theory, they suggested, always serves the interests of certain people; traditional theory, because it is uncritical towards power, automatically serves the powerful, while critical theory, because it unmasks these interests, serves the powerless. All theory is political, they said, and by choosing critical theory over traditional theory one chooses to challenge the status quo, in accordance with Marx’s famous statement: “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.”

Gradually, critical theorists broadened their attention to other forms of oppression—gender, race, and sexual orientation especially—but the methodology remained the same: to identify the hidden and complex ways in which power and oppression permeate society, and then dismantle them.

There’s something missing from the social justice narrative though, demonstrated by the situation in Silicon Valley and those other fields I mentioned: it doesn’t take into account the power and oppression it exerts itself. In a society where social justice advocates are outside the dominant power structure—as was the case when these ideas were originally articulated—this doesn’t matter much, since their power is negligible. That’s increasingly no longer the case, as social justice advocates have come to exert major influence over central areas of society, and consequently have also gained substantial power over society as a whole. Clearly, an accurate model of societal power must include social justice ideology and its advocates.

If this seems strange, it’s because social justice advocates have created a portrayal of themselves as being outside the flow of power; everyone else is exerting power or being oppressed by it, while they are simply observing it, and any power they do exert is selfless and unoppressive. Oppression is class-based, we’ve been conditioned to think, or based on race, gender, or sexual orientation. We therefore don’t see the power and oppression exerted by social justice advocates, because it’s based on none of those things; it’s based on values. And there’s nothing selfless about it. People exert power to shape the world according to their values, while preventing others from doing the same. In fact, there are close similarities between value oppression and other forms of oppression.

Take for instance morality. Marx proposed that a society’s morality serves the interests of its ruling class, while purporting to be universal. Capitalist societies, he argued, have a morality centred around classical liberal principles such as the sanctity of private property and the freedom from government intervention, combined with religious virtues such as the Protestant work ethic, self-reliance, accepting one’s lot, and expecting to be rewarded in the afterlife. Workers internalise these values as their morality, thus preventing them from questioning the status quo and improving their situation. Instead, they dutifully work hard without complaining, while considering attempts to change the system immoral. Morality is a tool the bourgeoisie uses to ensure that workers act in its interests, rather than in their own.

An analogous claim can be made of a social justice society, it seems to me. This is most obvious in parts of society where social justice ideology is strongest. In those parts of society, values like equality, liberation, and cosmopolitanism aren’t just treated as values—organisations of society that different people prefer to different degrees—they’re considered moral. Consequently, conflicting values are considered immoral: people who value a more competitive society, or a smaller government, or a stronger national identity, or a tougher culture, or more traditional family structures, or less immigration aren’t just regarded as having different values; they’re regarded as bad people.

This is especially clear in the context of immigration, which is something I’ve witnessed myself. I grew up in a part of Europe undergoing significant changes due to immigration, and I lived close enough to troubled areas to see how working-class people were especially affected by rising crime rates and cultural clashes. Yet there was a virtual ban in mainstream society on people expressing their concerns. Anyone doing so would be met by a unified front of academics, journalists, and cultural figures expressing their moral outrage, wrapped up in sophisticated words and scientific-sounding terminology like xenophobia. (Further implying that being critical of mass immigration is a psychological disorder.) And being morally tainted could have serious consequences for a person’s career and personal relations.

This is unquestionably an exertion of power. Morality is used here by the intellectual and cultural elite as a tool to suppress the expression of values by people they disagree with. By embedding their morality in thick moral concepts like xenophobia, producing academic theories supporting their position, and filling the culture with idealisations of their values, they produce an impenetrable web of power that—combined with the threat of direct moral condemnation and its social consequences—shuts down any expression of alternative values, or even of information that threatens the idealised picture of the dominant values. Hence, you get situations where people in these areas are afraid to come home at night and are wondering how things could have changed so quickly, yet no one is allowed to talk about it. And when someone does say something, they are met with a wave of sophisticated terminology backed by academic credentials that they have no way of parsing. All they know is something is wrong, but they’re unable to parse the academic discourse, and so they’re effectively shut down. And as conservatives and libertarians become increasingly scarce in academia, academia becomes more and more a tool of power to oppress their values.

*   *   *

So, assuming we accept that power and oppression work on values, what do we do about it—should we make conservatives and libertarians protected groups and add them to the oppression hierarchy? No, I don’t think that’s the answer. The larger lesson from including value oppression in our societal power analysis is that it reveals the limitations of social justice ideology. We can’t simply set as a goal to ‘fight oppression’ and ‘dismantle power structures’ because social justice ideology doesn’t just do those things, it simultaneously creates its own power structures and oppression. Social justice advocates don’t see this because their power analysis is incomplete; it doesn’t include value oppression.

Including values in our power analysis makes it clear there can be no such thing as simply removing power, because it takes power to remove power. Consequently, power doesn’t disappear, it redirects. In order to remove what they perceive as oppression—say by class, or race, or gender—social justice advocates have to erect their own power structure. They reshape morality, the culture, the language, and the legal system to make people do what they otherwise wouldn’t. And the more they try to eliminate those other forms of oppression, the more tightly they have to oppress people’s values. To increase freedom on one dimension, one must remove it on another.

This isn’t just theoretical speculation. Some of the most explicitly social justice-oriented societies ever to exist were the communist regimes of the 20th century, and they were characterised by tremendous oppression of their citizens. Why—when the explicit aim of these regimes was to liberate their citizens from oppression—did the opposite occur? The answer, surely, is that they made the same mistake contemporary social justice advocates make: not including themselves in the power analysis. (Which is especially questionable when you’re the dictator.)

This means they could send millions of political opponents and dissenters to prison camps, have a population living in terror of a secret police ready to pounce on any word deemed subversive, erect walls manned by armed guards to prevent people from leaving, yet consider themselves liberators for having reduced class differences. This is what happens when you: 1) base your ideology on the dismantling of power, 2) leave out important dimensions of power in your analysis, including your own exertion of it.

The irony of doing a proper power analysis—not the selective power analysis of social justice ideology, but a complete one—is that you end up with something not that far from the Hobbesian view of human nature that formed the foundation of classical liberal thought, and which social justice advocates dislike. Granted, you have a much better understanding of the way power permeates language and culture and morality, but the underlying idea is still the same: people try to shape the world to their values; these values often conflict; the best way to deal with this is through an open society that allows for free debate and which has mechanisms in place to limit the power of any person or ideology.

Social justice ideology thinks it can remove power from society, but it thinks this only because it omits value oppression from the analysis, which is the dimension in which its advocates are exerting their power. Societal power doesn’t go away, it simply accumulates where there’s a gap in their analysis. In the extreme case, you get the absurd situation of communist dictators proclaiming themselves liberators while running some of the most oppressive regimes in modern history.


The murder and dismembering of this 18-year-old girl and arrest of a failed asylum seeker has convulsed the Italian elections where mass migration is THE issue

Flowers are still arriving at the roadside for Pamela Mastropietro. It is just over two weeks since this troubled blonde 18-year-old went missing here, only to resurface in a pair of suitcases left in a ditch.

No sooner was an illegal immigrant arrested for her killing than a local neo-fascist took it upon himself to drive around town in broad daylight shooting anyone who looked vaguely foreign.

Six African migrants were injured — though no one has left any flowers for them.

Several arrests and the arrival of one of the country’s top police officers here have done little to calm the mood.

Troubling questions continue to emerge. Why are some of the girl’s body parts allegedly missing? And why was the suspected murderer here in Macerata at all, having had all his claims for asylum rejected?

It may sound like something out of a gritty American inner-city drama, but it is all too real here in north-east Italy.

The shockwaves caused by events in this handsome hill town are not merely reverberating through Italy.

They may end up having a bearing on all of us. For Macerata finds itself at the political epicentre of an election campaign which could have consequences across the EU and even at the Brexit negotiating table.

A fortnight tomorrow, Italians will go to the polls in an election that was ill-tempered enough before the horror show in Macerata.

The EU’s failed migration policies and the arrival of hundreds of thousands of African migrants on the Italian coast had already made immigration one of the two big issues in the election on March 4. The other is Italy’s dismal economy, currently buried under £2 trillion of national debt.

Macerata has raised the stakes even higher.

Most Italians I meet blame their politicians for ineptitude and the EU for abandoning them. They are in a vengeful mood.

The rest of Europe, Britain included, cannot simply shrug all this off as internal business.

If Italy were to default on its debts, the carnage would be felt across the eurozone and beyond. If Italy could not cope with a fresh surge of migrant arrivals and merely sent the next wave on their way to northern Europe, the knock-on effect would soon be felt at Channel ports.

The next Italian government will also play a big part in shaping the direction of Europe and, thus, Brexit.

But you need only look at a ballot paper to appreciate the chaotic state of the political system, even by Italian standards.

This is a country that is about to elect its 66th government since World War II, a nation with five prime ministers in the past seven years.

If you thought British politics had a credibility issue, then study the current line-up here.

The two front-runners are the ‘anti-politics’ Eurosceptic Five Star Movement, founded by an anarchic comedian, but now led by a nervous young man in a suit. On the other side is a Eurosceptic, Right-wing coalition led by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Here is a man who cannot actually stand for elected office himself because he is a convicted tax fraudster.

Though he has overturned a conviction for sex with an under-age prostitute, he is currently indicted for paying women not to testify about his ‘bunga bunga’ sex parties — gatherings that make Britain’s sleazy men-only Presidents Club look like a Sunday school picnic.

Berlusconi’s coalition partners are the hard-Right League or ‘Lega’ (previously the breakaway Northern League) and the even-more-Right-wing neo-fascist Brothers of Italy. Despite the name, they are led by a woman and their candidates include Rachele Mussolini, granddaughter of the wartime dictator.

As for the Left, things are looking bleak. Italy’s centre-Left Democratic Party (PD) is the only one sharing the vision of ever-closer European union peddled by France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel. But Italians want less Europe, not more.

Even diehard supporters of the PD admit this is not their year. Their great hope, the shiny Macron-style Matteo Renzi, was prime minister for five minutes, but destroyed his career with a botched referendum on the constitution in 2016 and had to be replaced by a caretaker PM.

Once the country has voted a fortnight hence, Italy seems likely to join the EU’s anti-Brussels nationalist awkward squad of Poland, Austria, Hungary and others.

There is, though, little appetite for a Brexit-style break with Europe — there will be no ‘Quitaly’ just yet — largely because the country could not stand the economic shock.

But Brussels is viewed with utter contempt [I like that]. And politicians across the board are now capitalising on the Macerata situation.

Berlusconi himself has warned of a ‘social bomb’ as a result and says that just 5 per cent of Italy’s 600,000 migrants are legitimate refugees who should be allowed to stay.

The newspaper La Repubblica has carried a pre-Macerata opinion poll showing that 40 per cent of Italians ‘strongly or very strongly’ agree that migrants represent ‘a danger to public order and personal safety’.

Here in Macerata, 150 miles north of Rome, I find zero appetite for greater European integration — and this is a Left-wing university town. Historically, it would have been firmly behind the liberal consensus.

Not any more. Even the liberals talk like Ukip, while those on the Right talk of mass deportations. Every conversation involves the phrase: ‘I’m not racist but . . .’

Last weekend, thousands of Left-wing demonstrators descended on the town for an anti-fascist demonstration following the attack on the migrants. The locals, however, did not take part.

All tell me that the situation had been getting out of hand long before recent atrocities, with a marked rise in begging, petty theft and increased inter-racial tension.

Most suspect the authorities are not telling them the whole story about Pamela Mastropietro’s death.

At first, it was suggested that she was a drug addict who had taken an overdose and that her panicking drug dealer had disposed of the body.

Then the coroner informed a newspaper that there were signs of a violent death.

Next, came reports of body parts being removed, prompting wild theories about ritualistic killings. Four men, all believed to be Nigerian, have now been arrested in connection with the death.

Today, the tension is palpable. I am standing on the steps of the town hall when a furious row breaks out right in front of me. A middle-aged Italian man is hurling racist abuse at a Nigerian migrant who is riding his bike down a flight of steps.

The Nigerian man unleashes a torrent of fluent Italian swear words right back at him. It is so loud and unpleasant that the mayor leans out of his office window above and appeals for calm. The two move on, yelling back at each other.

All over town there are ugly reminders, starting with the fresh bullet hole in the wall of the railway station. Walk up the hill and you find the shattered glass in the window of Catia Monachesi’s patisserie.

Three members of one family were enjoying a Saturday morning coffee at this counter when a bullet missed them by inches as neo-fascist Luca Traini, 28, went on his racist mission to avenge Pamela’s death. Catia, her family and her customers all had to dive for cover behind the counter.

On a country road a few miles out of town, I find flowers and rosary beads at the roadside ditch where Pamela’s remains were found.

‘I am a mother of a girl your age,’ says the card on one bouquet. ‘How could they do this to you?’

Traini’s shooting spree ended at Macerata’s war memorial, where he was arrested draped in the Italian flag. Ulderico Oratzi’s cafe is opposite. He is appalled by what has happened — both to the girl and to the migrants — but says tighter migration controls are now vital.

‘The first thing the new government needs to do is check all these migrants and send back those who do not have the right to be here,’ says Ulderico, who happens to be an active member of the centre-Left PD.

In the streets, all voice incredulity at the twin horrors of a murder and drive-by shootings.

‘It’s like being in a horror story,’ says Anna, a neighbour of the private apartment block where Pamela was murdered.

The suspected killer was paying £600 a month for a flat in a complex with a private garden, entryphones and a tidy marble hall. Like everyone else around here, Anna wonders how a failed asylum seeker could afford it.

It has been widely reported that the man was a known drug-dealer who applied for asylum and was rejected, but had simply remained in Italy. That is confirmed to me by Macerata’s mayor, Romano Carancini, who says the migration system needs speeding up so failed asylum seekers are not left eking out a criminal existence.

But he also urges Italians to keep things in perspective. In his town, he says, there are only 350 asylum seekers in a population of 42,000. He wants people to think of Macerata as a civilised, welcoming place.

That, unfortunately, is not how it is seen elsewhere. I go to Milan to meet a man who may be the prime minister of Italy in a fortnight.

Matteo Salvini is the charismatic leader of the hard-Right Lega or ‘League’, the main coalition partner of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.

His party was originally the ‘Northern League’ and favoured separating Italy’s prosperous north from the poorer, subsidised south. He has now dropped the ‘Northern’ bit and is campaigning nationally.

In Milan’s Prealpi district, most of his activists are young.

‘People of my age are joining the League because we do not see Europe as the future of Italy,’ says Stefano Pavesi, 26, a local councillor for the League.

He is currently studying for a second university degree because, he says, youth unemployment of 36 per cent means there are few jobs going.

In Britain, it is the young who tend to be most pro-EU. In Italy, they are the keenest Eurosceptics.

A media scrum gathers as Salvini arrives at a market and is mobbed by old ladies and young mothers.

Giorgio, 64, a market trader, complains that he is rigorously taxed and monitored by the authorities, whereas illegal street vendors — ‘Moroccans’ — go unchallenged. Salvini promises ‘tighter controls’.

Suddenly, a man pops forth from the crowd and announces that he is an Egyptian migrant. ‘What is wrong with me? Why am I not a good person?’ he asks.

Salvini does not hold back. ‘If you have documents, fine. If you’re illegal, then you shouldn’t be here,’ he retorts.

He goes into a cafe where I join him for a coffee. He is, he says, an admirer of both Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. ‘Make Italy great again!’ he jokes.

He likes British football, Brexit and Nigel Farage. So would he like to take Italy out of the EU, too? Not just yet. ‘We need to be part of the EU, working within to change it,’ he says, adding that he is looking forward to working with Eurosceptic leaders such as Viktor Orban of Hungary.

I ask him about events in Macerata. The man with the gun was a failed candidate for his party, not that this seems to have harmed the League much in the polls.

‘I don’t want to win elections on dramas, but the fact is that immigration is a problem we see every day,’ says Salvini.

Back on the street, he announces: ‘I want an Italy where our children can hop on the bus without being in danger!’

The latest opinion polls suggest that his Right-wing coalition, with Berlusconi and the neo-fascists, is the largest grouping and currently just shy of the 40 per cent threshold required to form a government. The largest single party, however, is the Five Star Movement, with 27.5 per cent of the vote.

Founded by comedian Beppe Grillo, it has made great strides in recent years, even winning the mayoral election in Rome. But Grillo has handed the leadership to Luigi Di Maio, 32, a former student activist who lacks his star quality.

‘I’m not going to say much,’ Di Maio announces at a rally in Torre del Greco, outside his native Naples, and proceeds not to say much beyond promising a ‘new’ kind of politics. ‘The bankers have lost your savings and are out shopping with your money,’ he says peevishly.

Grillo has turned up at this event to inject some passion as he rails against the EU’s inability to crack down on fake imported goods. ‘What is Europe?’ he shouts. ‘Europe has lost its bearings!’

It’s a mixed crowd in terms of age and background. Giuseppe Vitiello, 52, a gas company manager, tells me he usually votes PD, but will vote Five Star because Italy needs a ‘radical change’ and ‘Europe has forgotten us’.

At another Five Star rally, in the rough Neapolitan suburb of Scampia, it’s a very different crowd. Many are poor and jobless. This is the location for Gomorrah, the Italian TV series about organised crime and inner-city lowlife shown on British TV.

Di Maio talks of political corruption and his determination to slash the number of MPs and their salaries. In Italy, MPs take home £10,000 a month after tax, plus perks.

‘We need to get our money back,’ says Di Maio. ‘The era of having a nice life in politics for 40 years is over.’

Some members of his party would seem to have other ideas, judging by this week’s series of pay and expenses scandals involving several MPs from the Five Star Movement. Having pledged to slash their salaries and reimburse the difference to the state, a million euros has gone missing. So much for ‘new’ politics.

This will be Italy’s first election under a complex new electoral system which already has its critics. But two things seem clear enough. Italy is in deep trouble. And it regards the EU as the problem rather than the solution.

The Eurocrat elite might have thought their troubles had passed following last year’s election wins for the status quo in France and Germany — albeit with increased support for the far-Right. Brussels may soon have to think again.



Why is a right-of-centre liberal being painted as a hatemonger?

We’ve all done it. You crack a joke, spin a line, or punch out a tweet that doesn’t quite work, that doesn’t quite express what you were trying to say, or just looks a bit awks. That’s what Bari Weiss, staff editor on the New York Times’s opinion section, did on Monday. In celebration of American figure skater Mirai Nagasu’s historic Olympic performance, where she became the the first American woman to pull off a triple axel at the games, Weiss tweeted the story with the line: ‘Immigrants: They get the job done.’

Irate tweeters pointed out to Weiss that Nagasu was born in California, to Japanese parents. Weiss said she knew this, but thought ‘the poetic license was kosher’, and that she meant to celebrate Nagasu and her parents. Weiss is a firm anti-Trumper, and was one of the chorus commentators lambasting Trump’s ugly ‘shithole countries’ comments recently. Her tweet was clearly pro-migrant, even if it seemed to suggest, incorrectly, that Nagasu was one. The line was lifted from Hamilton. You could call it poetic license, or a bit awks. That’s it.

But going on the response to it, you’d have thought she told Nagasu to go back to where she came from (and not California). There’s been self-righteous indignation. She’s been accused of ‘othering’ Nagasu, and making her feel unwelcome. After Weiss denounced the backlash, one writer said she was just another right-leaning commentator who craves to ‘be racist in public without consequence’. Trump comparisons have flown. And now a group chat among her NYT colleagues has been leaked to the Huffington Post, showing that the outrage is not consigned to the identitarian blogosphere.

This slim but strange chapter in the online culture wars tells us two things. First, that the propensity for speech-policing, hysteria and the crushing of even the most minor verbal transgression is not limited to college campuses. The NYT chat shows employees of one of the most esteemed journalistic organs in the world waxing lyrical about the daily violence of ‘microaggressions’ and calling for implicit-bias training. One said, ‘I felt that tweet denied Mirai her full citizenship just as the internment did’. The Safe Space no longer begins and ends at the college gates.

Second, that the demand for intellectual conformity, and the bad faith that abounds online, is now so intense that even the most moderate among us can be marked out for censure. This isn’t just about one tweet. So-called progressives have raged against Weiss since she was hired by the NYT last year. She’s been dubbed a ‘troll’, and a writer who ‘thrives on cheap, easy, and superficial “controversy”’. And for what? She says she’s socially progressive and hawkish on foreign policy, right-leaning but thoroughly liberal. She’s also very pro-Israel, but that rarely comes up in the denunciations.

What does come up is her willingness to question the excesses of the new PC orthodoxy. She’s written in praise of cultural appropriation, and criticised the excesses of the #MeToo movement, and the throwing out of due process, most infamously with her viral Aziz Ansari piece. Her main crimes, then, amount to her saying that racialising culture is bad and that, while, in her words, #MeToo is ‘long overdue’, we need to be careful it doesn’t turn into a witch-hunt. She’s explicitly anti-racist and pro-feminism, she just disagrees with the illiberal turn of those two movements. And for that, she’s been painted as Milo Mark II.

After this latest Twitterstorm, Weiss’s critics have accused her of playing the victim. But she doesn’t need to be drummed out of journalism for the rage against her to be a cause for concern. An intellectual culture this intolerant cannot produce rigorous, interesting debate, let alone new and radical thinking. Over the past year, Weiss has been a breath of fresh air at the NYT, but her most ‘explosive’ columns have simply spelt out what many people already think but are afraid to say. In a time of such stifling groupthink, common sense has become a radical act. And that’s bad news for everyone.


TRANSTrans vs TERFs: scrabbling for the victim highground

The argument over who is a woman has descended into ugly victim politics.

The UK Labour Party’s use of all-women shortlists raises many questions. Why are women deemed incapable of getting elected on their own merits? Why does Labour consider its voters to be so stupid they wouldn’t elect a woman even if she was the best candidate? Why does the party have such little regard for democracy that it feels entitled to impose candidates on a constituency? Yet since Labour first began using all-women shortlists in 1997, these issues have scarcely been addressed. Instead, the lists have prompted one question in particular: what does it mean to be a woman?

To most people, this question is so ridiculous it takes us beyond the realm of common sense. A woman is a biological female. Not someone who has been randomly assigned the label female at birth in some odd bureaucratic act, but a person with a vagina and XX chromosomes. To members of the Labour Party, however, defining a woman is proving to be anything but straightforward.

Labour has opened its all-women shortlists to self-identifying transgender women – in other words, to men who feel like they fancy a go at being women for a change. This has prompted a row between those who think the lists should be preserved for real women (or at least those with a Gender Recognition Certificate proving their womanly credentials) and those who think wanting to be a woman should be qualification enough for inclusion in the women-only line-up.

Thankfully, women in the Labour Party have spoken out against ‘transgender males’ being allowed ‘to push biological females out’. In response to this pushback, Labour Against Transphobia was formed. In acts reminiscent of the Stasi, this group drew up secret lists, gathered evidence and hatched plans to oust ‘transphobes’ from the party. Labour member Jennifer James was suspended and has, in turn, set up a crowdfunding site to launch a legal challenge to the party’s decision.

In the eyes of Labour’s transgender militants, wanting all-women shortlists to be the preserve of biological females (or women with a gender recognition certificate) makes you a transphobe. And the party hierarchy is, it appears, standing firm behind gender as a matter of self-definition. To the Labour Party it seems that to be a woman means nothing more than having declared you are a woman. Whether or not you were been born female is irrelevant. All that matters is how you feel.

Because feelings are so important, any attempt at questioning this shallow version of womanhood challenges the self-declared woman’s fragile sense of self. The trans woman comes to be defined through the ensuing process of struggle. Lily Madigan, the first transgender Constituency Labour Party women’s officer, has said: ‘The whole community are still more likely to be bullied, assaulted, to self-harm and to die by suicide.’ Trans women are ‘on the margins of our society and most at risk of rape, sexual violence and abuse’. To be a trans woman is to suffer. Identifying the ‘transphobe’ and shouting ‘TERF’ at radical feminists allows trans women to assert their own identity.

But defining trans women according to their victimhood undermines feminist claims that women uniquely suffer sexist discrimination and misogynistic abuse. Those defending all-women shortlists argue that they are needed not just because women suffer prejudice in the political process but, far more fundamentally, because the whole experience of being a woman is one of suffering. To be a woman, we’re told, is primarily a brutal and painful experience marked by rape, violence, abortion, shoddy maternity services, blood and abuse. Sexual harassment is, apparently, all pervasive: the backdrop to many women’s lives, some say.

We’re told that transgender women must be included in Labour’s all-women shortlists because they suffer bullying and abuse in order to be recognised as women. At the same time, we’re told that all-women shortlists must be exclusively female because to be born a woman is to endure lifelong violation and discrimination. However it’s defined, being a woman today seems to be primarily about being a victim. Depressingly, this appears to be the one point on which transgender activists and ‘TERFs’ agree.

A far more positive vision of what it means to be a woman would begin with a taken-for-granted assertion of a connection between biology and gender. But it would go on to celebrate women as more than simply a product of either nature or nurture: agency means not just that biology and society happen to women, but that they, in turn, respond to and shape their own bodies and socialisation. As a result, we can point to women’s successes in education and employment; in science, engineering, politics, art and architecture. A more positive view of womanhood would focus on what women do rather than what women endure.

Unfortunately for the feminists, focusing on women’s successes, and the sexual equality we now have in virtually all aspects of life, would call into question the need for patronising all-women shortlists and, indeed, a continued need for feminism at all. Instead, with transgender activists on one side and radical feminists on the other, we are pitched into an unedifying competition for who can claim to be most oppressed. This woeful construction of womanhood offers nothing to aspire towards. Women deserve so much better.



Why is it okay to censor Christians?

Vue’s pulling of a film about gay-conversion therapy is disturbing

One of the UK’s largest cinema chains, Vue, refused to screen a film premiere at one of its outlets last week. The film, called Voices of the Silenced, was produced by the Core Issues Trust, and explores the extent to which Christians feel under severe pressure to conform to contemporary morality, in particular the demand to approve of homosexuality. Vue cancelled the screening following complaints from gay-rights charity Stonewall, which said the film promotes gay-cure therapy.

Big deal, you might think. Gay-conversion therapy is nuts and, judging by the trailer for the film, the documentary is a bit nuts, too. What can be good about showing a film that promotes a practice born of homophobia and hatred?

Those supporting the move by Vue claim it was not censorship. They argue that this was a case of a private organisation simply refusing to offer services to a group with which it disagrees. In truth, this was unquestionably an act of censorship. Vue was not withholding its services based on anything other than a judgement about the content of the film. Pulling the film was a way for Vue to express its moral objection to the film’s content and to prevent people from accessing it. That is censorship, pure and simple.

It was a move that also demonstrated a deep intolerance of traditional religious beliefs. The message of the film is that Christians are under pressure to accept contemporary standards of sexual morality, and that any challenge to the dominant sexual morality is treated with hatred and disdain. The censorship of the film proves the filmmakers’ point. We in the West are so unsure of the case for liberated sexuality, so nervous about robustly putting the case for sexual freedom, that instead we have to rely on shutting contrary ideas down rather than taking them on. Furthermore, this case raises serious questions about our equality laws. Anyone remember the gay-cake case? Why do Christian bakers get punished for refusing to bake a cake celebrating gay marriage, while others, like Vue, are championed as progressive for refusing services to Christians?

The film also highlights an important point about contemporary attitudes to sex. We may think gay-conversion therapy is crazy. But it does operate on the premise that our sexuality is a matter of individual choice. This is an unpopular notion today. The idea that sexuality is a choice that we make, that who we sleep with is an expression of our freedom and self-determination, is currently under attack. So where gay campaigners in the past argued that people should be free to choose who they love, that being homosexual was a choice that people should be free to make, today we see our sexuality as being ingrained in our DNA. In the words of Lady Gaga, we are ‘born this way’. Instead of making the argument that people should be free to choose to love whoever they want, gay campaigners now argue that our sexuality is biologically determined.

This appeal to nature over individual autonomy shows how depleted our belief in sexual freedom has become. Perhaps we are so worried about showing films about gay conversion because our own arguments for sexual liberation, for genuine autonomy in our private lives, have become so compromised. Of course we should show the film. We should use it as an opportunity to discuss what is important about sexual autonomy. Gay-conversion therapy isn’t wrong because it denies something natural about who we are that we cannot escape; it is wrong because it promotes the idea that loving certain people is problematic. Meeting these arguments head-on relies on us robustly putting the case for freedom, not retreating into biology.

Being free to choose who we love has been one of the great gains of the 20th century. The idea that we would now choose to justify this freedom on the basis of bad science, or Lady Gaga’s half-baked appeals to genetics, shows that the gay-conversion therapists are not the only ones confused about the merits of sexual freedom.


19 February, 2018

A Cure for Mass Shootings Doesn't Exist

There need to be a lot more articles like the one below.  Politicians on all sides are always offering solutions to social problems.  But what if all the offered solutions do more harm than good?  They often do in fact.  It would take a brave politician to say of some problem:  "We cannot solve that" but  we need bravery like that

Every time there is a mass shooting, a chorus goes up: "We must do something to keep this from happening again. We can't tolerate it any longer."

Revulsion understandably creates a demand for remedies. But every time, we do nothing, to the fury of those who denounce the inaction as shameful.

There is a simple explanation, though, for the inaction. It's not that the National Rifle Association is all-powerful, that too many Americans are blind to reason, or that most are complacent about wanton slaughter. It's that there are no plausible options that offer more than the faintest prospect of preventing a massacre in the next year or the next decade.

Our constitutional framework was not designed to facilitate drastic government action. It was designed to prevent it in the absence of a clear and durable public consensus. In this instance, there is none.

Mass shootings are a horrific problem that is peculiarly resistant to solutions. To a great extent, public policy is impotent. Until the advocates of new restrictions can make the case that they would make a difference, little is likely to happen.

What answers do they offer? One is reinstituting the federal ban on "assault weapons" and high-capacity magazines that was in effect from 1994 to 2004. Another is expanding the federal background check system to cover private sales. Another is to make it easier to flag people with mental health problems and bar sales to them.

These are not necessarily wrong, but they are unpromising. Though an AR-15 may be particularly useful for mass shootings, there are many substitutes that fire just as rapidly and use equally destructive ammunition. A ban on high-capacity magazines would be a puny impediment to someone like the killer in Parkland, Florida.

Mass shooters, Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck told me, "always use multiple guns and/or multiple magazines, enabling them to easily fire many rounds quickly even if they had only smaller-capacity magazines. And they do not need guns that fire fast, because they do not fire fast during their crimes." The Parkland shooter had multiple magazines.

A 2013 study of the 1994 law for the National Institute of Justice said, "We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation's recent drop in gun violence." It also said, "Should it be renewed, the ban's effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement."

Even if the law had any positive effect then, it would be far less likely to help today, because there are far more of these guns now. In 1994, Americans owned about 1.5 million "assault weapons." The number is now around 8 million.

Restoring the 1994 law would not eliminate them. It would only block new sales—and foster new models engineered to get around the new rules. People would be able to keep and buy the "assault weapons" already out there.

Background checks for private sales would make it harder for felons to acquire guns. But mass shooters have typically gotten their arms legally from licensed dealers as the alleged killer in Parkland did.

Yes, it might make a difference if the United States emulated Australia by outlawing certain guns and requiring owners to surrender them. Constitutional issues aside, that sort of law couldn't be passed here—or enforced. It belongs in the realm of fantasy.

Broadening the exclusion for mental health problems would mean penalizing millions of people who pose no danger. It would also deter troubled gun owners from seeking treatment.

"To say no one with mental illness should have a gun—how do you accomplish that?" Ronald Honberg, senior policy adviser for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, asked The New York Times. "Does that mean anybody that goes to a therapist for depression or anxiety should be reported and put in a database and prohibited from purchasing a firearm? That would impact a fair number of police officers."

None of this is to argue against any changes whatsoever. Some reforms could modestly reducing gun crime without putting much of a burden on law-abiding gun owners. Universal background checks, banning bump stocks, and improving databases to prevent the omission of people who are barred from purchasing guns could help diminish gun violence.

Outrage is an appropriate response to the carnage in Parkland, but it's not an answer. Those demanding dramatic action accuse those who disagree of enabling murder. But it's no sin to reject false remedies.


The British Labour Party in the era of Jeremy Corbyn

No longer a party of the workers.  Comments below by a "moderate" Labour party member

Corbyn circumvented Labour's institutions and drew his authority from the plebiscite of the membership. A You Gov analysis described the new membership as "not remotely representative of the rest of the country". For many this difference was a virtue to be celebrated. Labour was now a party of social liberalism dominated by the public sector and higher educated middle class. The trade unions, once a bulwark against the hard left, gave their money and support. A generation of graduates indebted by tuition fees and raised on identity liberalism provided energy and enthusiasm.

In 2017 Corbyn led the party into the election under the certainty of a heavy defeat. The 1980s had taught that hard left sectarian politics could not build a broad based coalition to win an election. National political culture punished political moves to the extremes. In the event the lessons of the 1980s proved correct. Labour was defeated by a Conservative Party running the worst campaign in its history. But against the low expectations the defeat was victorious. Corbyn won over young people, added ten points to Labour’s vote share and achieved 41 per cent of the total vote.

And so Jeremy Corbyn marks a revival of the Labour Party under the new class and sociological conditions of post-industrial Britain. After a long period of torpor Labour has energy and a sort of anti-leadership, if no strategy. It believes it can win. The sectarians of the hard left, a very small minority, have been buoyed up for their march through the institutions of the party. Corbyn’s summer Tour of Britain attracted large enthusiastic crowds. Like the music industry, politics has lost its old system for distributing product and reward. Corbyn is out on the road and his young supporters have gone online.


It’s time for those of us who identified themselves as moderates to reject the label. It was conferred by the media. To have one’s identity defined by others is a symptom of powerlessness. It persuades us that somehow we are in the right place politically in the country, in tune with the majority, when in reality we are in a state of acute political crisis.

Many of those who originally opposed Corbyn did so because they argued he was unelectable. Moral or ideological objections were trumped by tribal loyalty to Labour. During the election, local campaigns were fought on the basis that a vote for the local Labour candidate would not mean a vote for Corbyn. With a 41 per cent vote share this option is now closed. A future election campaign means a vote for the Labour candidate will be a vote for Prime Minister Corbyn and Chancellor McDonnell, including their record on defence and security, their historical allegiances and their foreign alliances.

The election of Corbyn as leader tipped the PLP [Parliamentary Labour Party]  upside down. Once the pre-eminent institution of the labour movement it had taken for granted an authority conferred on it by the electorate.  The role of the membership was to follow instructions and service it. The tables are now turned. The PLP failed to recognise the nature of the threat from the hard left. To use a military metaphor, it became the victim of an encirclement by the combined populist forces of leadership and membership. It might imagine itself autonomous. Its political resources might appear intact, but in reality it has been kettled and its authority within the party broken.

The PLP [Parliamentary Labour Party] does not have the trust of a majority of the membership. It has had no collective sense of how to resolve its predicament. It has had no language, no conceptual framework and no distinctive corporate identity with which to challenge the sectarian forces that want to destroy it. It has never had to fight for its authority and hasn’t yet learned how to. And so its tactics – the mass resignations from the front bench, the second leadership contest - backfired.

The task of its sectarian enemies who do not believe in representative democracy is to destroy its institutional power. Within the PLP there has been a resurgence of machine politics from the right to defend its positions, but it has been more of a fighting retreat. Its goal of restoring the status quo was never a viable option. Having failed in the last two years to build a collective sense of political strategic purpose, individual MPs are left to battle for their own survival.

Where is Labour going?

Labour’s 2015 manifesto was full of technically competent and costed policies that had been tested for their popularity. But what it did not include was a compelling story about the country and the British people. Where was the hope? We had only a bleak story to tell. And what did Labour stand for? People no longer knew.

Labour’s manifesto in 2017 was a bolder more hopeful version. But it wasn’t "genius" as some have claimed. It suffered from the same limitations. It took little account of the participatory politics championed by Corbyns supporters. It opposed the dominance of the market but instead of devolving and spreading power through society, it gave more power to the central state. It settled for the same kind of command and control, tax and spend politics that had characterised Labour in the last century. In place of reform and innovation it promised very large sums of money and in spite of its accompanying costings the sums didn’t add up. Fortunately no-one seemed that interested in checking, least of all the Tories, a neglect unlikely to be repeated. 

Despite the surge of hope and optimism that has swept over the party, our 2017 manifesto showed an organisation still limited by its institutional conservatism and its failure to reform its centralising, top down approach to politics.

The excitement of Labour’s resurgence hides a more prosaic truth. At its heart the Labour Party remains intellectually threadbare. As a consequence all kinds of pseudo theories and ideas are sucked into its empty centre without being contested. In this ideological battle over the future character of the Labour Party the PLP has nothing much of interest to say. The right that was once New Labour has become irrelevant. The hard left and its Trotskyist allies are fit only to pursue their entryist tactics of taking over CLPs [Constituency Labour Parties] by boring them to procedural death.

The membership want power with purpose. Most are idealists rather than idealogues and many no doubt would have supported New Labour in 1997. The political system is broken and they want change: a more equal society and an end to poverty and homelessness. They want a properly funded NHS, a mental health care system, and respectful treatment of the disabled who cannot work. But as time passes the likelihood of a Labour election victory will start to fade. If the Conservatives succeed in muddling their way through Brexit the threat of a Labour election disaster that didn’t happen in 2017 will return. Labour will need to reassess its current belief that one more heave brandishing its 2017 manifesto will win it power.


Infamous Google memo author shot down by federal labor board Panel: Damore's gender-focused memo was "discriminatory, constituted sexual harassment.

Certain scientific truths are now illegal to be stated in the USA. What about all the scientific papers indicating gender differences?

Former Google engineer James Damore has attempted to take civil and legal action against his former employer after being fired in August, but on Thursday, a federal memo revealed that one of Damore's filings has been unequivocally denied.

The National Labor Relations Board published its memo this week, which was issued in January after Damore filed a charge against his former employer on August 8. In spite of Damore withdrawing his NLRB filing in September, the board proceeded to examine and issue its own ruling: Google "discharged [Damore] only for [his] unprotected conduct while it explicitly affirmed [his] right to engage in protected conduct." The NLRB emphasized that any charge filed by Damore on the matter should be "dismissed."

In explaining the board's reasoning, NLRB member Jayme Sophir points to two specific parts of the controversial memo circulated by Damore in August: Damore's claim that women are "more prone to 'neuroticism,' resulting in women experiencing higher anxiety and exhibiting lower tolerance for stress" and that "men demonstrate greater variance in IQ than women."

Sophir describes how these gender-specific claims resemble other cases decided by the NLRB that revolved around racist, sexist, and homophobic language in the workplace. She says that specific Damore statements were "discriminatory and constituted sexual harassment, notwithstanding [his] effort to cloak [his] comments with 'scientific' references and analysis, and notwithstanding [his] 'not all women' disclaimers. Moreover, those statements were likely to cause serious dissension and disruption in the workplace."
The NLRB memo also includes a quote from Google's letter of termination given to Damore in August, which Sophir says focused specifically on offending, fireable content while also protecting other portions of his speech:

I want to make clear that our decision is based solely on the part of your post that generalizes and advances stereotypes about women versus men. It is not based in any way on the portions of your post that discuss [the Employer’s] programs or trainings, or how [the Employer] can improve its inclusion of differing political views. Those are important points. I also want to be clear that this is not about you expressing yourself on political issues or having political views that are different than others at the company. Having a different political view is absolutely fine. Advancing gender stereotypes is not.

Damore's lawsuit, which was joined by former Google employee David Gudeman when filed in January, is still awaiting trial.


People Will Eat What They Want, Not What Government Prefers

This month, a pair of seemingly unrelated stories—a story about Chile's crackdown on subjectively unhealthy foods and a bill now before the U.S. Congress—make clear that the legions of do-gooders who want to compel you and others to eat just what they think you should eat are—despite their persistence—failing miserably at their jobs.

In Congress, the bill in question seeks to modify and delay the FDA's menu-labeling mandate, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The bill is nothing new. It's been kicking around since at least 2012, shortly after Obamacare became law.

Currently, the menu-labeling portion of that law, set to take effect later this year, would require many chain restaurants, vending-machine owners, grocers, theater owners, and others to post total average calorie information for most menu items.

The bill to amend the Obamacare menu-labeling law, dubbed the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, which passed the House last week, would allow chain restaurants to list calories per serving for menu items intended to be consumed by more than one person, and allow pizza chains and other carry-out restaurants to post calorie information online instead of in stores. It would also delay implementation of Obamacare's menu-labeling provisions for at least two years.

Supporters claim the existing law would help people make better and more-informed choices, and oppose the listing of calories per-serving (rather than total calories), along with the other elements of the bill.

"[W]e see from the research that actually, when consumers are given this information, they actually can make lower-calorie choices, and restaurants can also come out with lower-calorie options," Colin Schwartz, deputy director of legislative affairs at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told CNN.

Certainly people can actually "make lower-calorie choices." It's just that, with mandatory menu labeling, research shows they most often don't actually make those lower-calorie choices.

"Overall, when you are looking at average consumer response to labeling, there doesn't appear to be much difference in calories purchased before and after labeling," said Dr. Jason Block, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, coauthor of a recent study on menu labeling, also in remarks to CNN.

But even that's an optimistic take on the impact of mandatory menu labeling.

"Research has shown that posting mandatory calorie counts on restaurant menus doesn't help people make better choices," I wrote last year.

Why don't people just do what the law wants them to do? Well, maybe one reason is that dietary preferences and choices are deeply personal, and laws like this one that seek to change those habits ignore that fact.

A 2016 study sheds more light on that idea. In the study, researcher Olga Kozlova looked at food choices made by people in months when they had comparatively more money available (due to lower heating costs). The study found that when low-income consumers have more disposable income, they tend to buy more of the foods they already purchase, rather than spending the additional money on healthier foods.

"[I]f you were thinking—or hoping—that low-income consumers look on healthy food as a luxury that they could buy if only they could afford it, the evidence in this study doesn't seem to be in your favor," reads a New Food Economy piece on the study.

That has serious implications, writes the New Food Economy's Patrick Clinton, for many people's thinking (though not my own) around policy strategies to deal with the (now mainly debunked) problem of food deserts.

So what can be done if both nudgy policies and better economic situations don't lead individuals to make the choices that food policymakers and activists want them to make? Restrict choice!

Two years ago, as a lengthy New York Times piece last week detailed, Chile did just that, enacting pervasive and intrusive anti-obesity regulations, including bans on marketing foods to children, removing junk food from schools, adopting mandatory packaged-food nutrition warnings, and sugar taxes.

How's that working? As the Times piece notes, "Obesity rates in Chile have yet to fall."

This mimics what's happened in the United States, where despite eight years of sweeping policy changes designed to cut obesity, many enacted with the support of then-First Lady Michelle Obama, obesity rates continued to rise.

Several years ago, I wrote a column here in which I blasted the negative results produced by efforts to socially engineer our food choices. For these failed efforts, it appears there's no end in sight.



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 February, 2018

Leftist think tank Eyes Quashing Military Vote  

On the Center for American Progress (CAP) website is a May 12, 2017, article that discusses the “Five Truths About Voter Suppression.” It begins by noting how America “has a troubled history of voter suppression.” But even though the U.S. is past its mid-20th-century Jim Crow epoch, “some lawmakers continue to pursue policies that would undermine our nation’s progress.” The organization takes issue with things like voter ID requirements and early voting scale-backs. Ominously, it warns, “The right to vote is a fundamental pillar of American democracy, but if the new administration succeeds, countless Americans could face barriers to voting ahead of the next election.”

Trump’s targeting Americans’ ability to fairly cast a vote is baloney, of course. In contrast, however, if CAP succeeds in its sinister plan, the military will find it exceedingly more difficult to take part in what CAP rightly calls “a fundamental pillar of American democracy.” Sadly, in addition to its supposed devotion to anti-voter-suppression methods, CAP also believes that efforts to thwart voter suppression should pertain only to select groups and constituents and be contingent on their voting records.

According to The Washington Times: “After years of accusing states of voter suppression, the Center for American Progress, citing election security, wants to make voting tougher for Americans serving overseas in the military. The left-wing public policy group issued a report Monday, ‘Election Security in All 50 States,’ that called for stricter standards to prevent cybermeddling in elections by foreign governments, including banning military stationed abroad from submitting ballots via email or fax. One state that allows such vote casting is Colorado. The center called on the state to ‘prohibit voters stationed or living overseas from returning voted ballots electronically.’”

In other words, CAP is calling for actual voter suppression by virtue of advocating prohibitions on the already limited voting abilities of soldiers. What would prompt such a turnaround? After all, the Times notes, “The report is something of a departure for the center, given its record of fighting for greater ballot access.” Here’s how: To the organization’s chagrin, the Armed Forces are a different breed. Responding to the report, Public Interest Legal Foundation’s J. Christian Adams hit the nail on the head. He rightly points out that the organization doesn’t “like that the military votes against their interests nearly all of the time.” Moreover, “CAP wants to make it easier for felons and criminals to vote, but wants to make it harder for fighting men and women overseas.”

In 1797, John Adams cautioned, “We should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.” The Center for American Progress would probably claim that it agrees wholeheartedly with that statement. But the way in which it wants to discriminate against its political opponents tells us something very different. In this instance, those “political opponents” are the ones who fight to protect our freedoms — like voting. To put our military members in the crosshairs is adding insult to injury.


The War That Never Ends
There is a war that has lasted longer than the one in Afghanistan. It is the so-called “war on poverty,” launched by President Lyndon Johnson during his State of the Union address on Jan. 8, 1964.

While the poverty rate dropped from 17.3 percent to 11.1 percent in the ensuing decade, it has remained between 11 percent and 15.2 percent ever since, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Interestingly, as Census figures show, the poverty rate had already begun to decline starting in 1959, five years before the LBJ initiative was announced.

Many conservatives have argued that anti-poverty programs have created a permanent underclass that has little motivation for doing what is necessary to raise them from poverty to independence. These include, among other things, two essentials: a decent education (denied by the Left, which opposes school choice), and a strong two-parent family unit.

In his budget proposal Monday, President Trump is asking Congress to cut certain entitlement programs that have arguably failed to motivate people to emerge from poverty and instead have subsidized and sustained many in poverty.

The Washington Post’s reporting is typical of what the Left has promoted for more than 50 years. It says the proposed budget “takes a hard whack at the poorest Americans, slashing billions of dollars from food stamps, public health insurance and federal housing vouchers, while trying to tilt the programs in more conservative directions.”

If the more liberal directions aren’t working, why not try a more conservative direction? It was the late Jack Kemp, former congressman and secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, who best addressed the conservative and most compassionate approach to ending poverty when he said: “Conservatives define compassion not by the number of people who receive some kind of government aid, but rather by the number of people who no longer need it.”

That should be the goal of most federal programs and not just the ones addressing poverty. They should be measured by a standard of success, not seen as permanent entitlements into which increasing amounts of money is poured.

I recall an experience I had a few years ago in Singapore where I asked a taxi driver about that country’s poverty rate. At the time, he said it was less than 2 percent. I asked how that was possible. He replied that Singapore has no welfare. The government will help the truly needy, but if one is able-bodied and doesn’t work, he said, that person gets nothing from the government. The threat of an empty stomach is a prime motivator to find a job and take care of one’s self.

That has been the missing ingredient in America’s broken welfare system. Programs need to be reformed and the approach to poverty re-imagined, and not just by the government but also by those who are stuck in poverty, believing there is no way out.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. The key to a better life is inspiration, followed by motivation, followed by perspiration. A change of mindset can produce a change in virtually any circumstance.

President Trump’s budget proposal offers an opportunity to open a new front in the anti-poverty campaign, one that has the potential for success. It worked once before when President Bill Clinton and then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich forged what was called the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. The Left screamed that people would starve. They didn’t. In fact, many found jobs and discovered they no longer had to rely on government. That produced then and can produce again a sense of self-worth that is necessary for the improvement of any life.


Black History Month

Walter E. Williams
Carter G. Woodson, noted scholar, historian and educator, created “Negro History Week” in 1926, which became Black History Month in 1976. Woodson chose February because it coincided with the birthdays of black abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln. Americans should be proud of the tremendous gains made since emancipation. Black Americans, as a group, have made the greatest gains, over some of the highest hurdles, in a shorter span of time than any other racial group in mankind’s history.

What’s the evidence? If one totaled black income and thought of us as a separate nation with our own gross domestic product, black Americans would rank among the world’s 20 richest nations. It was a black American, Colin Powell, who, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, headed the world’s mightiest military. There are a few black Americans who are among the world’s richest and most famous personalities. The significance of these achievements is that in 1865, neither a former slave nor a former slave owner would have believed that such gains would be possible in a little over a century. As such, it speaks well of the intestinal fortitude of a people. Just as importantly, it speaks well of a nation in which such gains were possible. Those gains would have been impossible anywhere other than the U.S.

Putting greater emphasis on black successes in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds is far superior to focusing on grievances and victimhood. Doing so might teach us some things that could help us today. Black education today is a major problem. Let’s look at some islands of success from yesteryear, when there was far greater racial discrimination and blacks were much poorer.

From the late 1800s to 1950, some black schools were models of academic achievement. Black students at Washington’s racially segregated Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, as early as 1899, outscored white students in the District of Columbia schools on citywide tests. Dr. Thomas Sowell’s research in Education: Assumptions Versus History documents similar excellence at Baltimore’s Frederick Douglass High School, Atlanta’s Booker T. Washington High School, Brooklyn’s Albany Avenue School, New Orleans’ McDonogh 35 High School and others. These excelling students weren’t solely members of the black elite; most had parents who were manual laborers, domestic servants, porters and maintenance men. Academic excellence was obtained with skimpy school budgets, run-down buildings, hand-me-down textbooks and often 40 or 50 students in a class.

Alumni of these schools include Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice (Frederick Douglass), Gen. Benjamin Davis, Dr. Charles Drew, a blood plasma innovator, Robert C. Weaver, the first black Cabinet member, Sen. Edward Brooke, William Hastie, the first black federal judge (Dunbar), and Nobel laureate Martin Luther King Jr. (Booker T. Washington). These examples of pioneering success raise questions about today’s arguments about what’s needed for black academic success. Education experts and civil rights advocates argue that for black academic excellence to occur, there must be racial integration, small classes, big budgets and modern facilities. But earlier black academic successes put a lie to that argument.

In contrast with yesteryear, at today’s Frederick Douglass High School, only 9 percent of students test proficient in English, and only 3 percent do in math. At Paul Laurence Dunbar, 12 percent of pupils are proficient in reading, and 5 percent are proficient in math. At Booker T. Washington, the percentages are 20 in English and 18 in math. In addition to low academic achievement, there’s a level of violence and disrespect to teachers and staff that could not have been imagined, much less tolerated, at these schools during the late 1800s and the first half of the 20th century.

Many black political leaders are around my age, 81, such as Rep. Maxine Waters, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Jesse Jackson. Their parents and other authorities would have never accepted the grossly disrespectful, violent behavior that has become the norm at many black schools. Their silence and support of the status quo makes a mockery of black history celebrations and represents a betrayal of epic proportions to the blood, sweat and tears of our ancestors in their struggle to make today’s educational opportunities available.


House Conservatives Gear Up to Hold Line on Immigration

Some conservative lawmakers in the House say they will be uncompromising on legislation to reform the nation’s immigration system, regardless of what more liberal colleagues urge.

“The idea that we are just going to do whatever the Senate says is a little too played out, and it’s really especially wearing thin after we didn’t even make the Senate vote on our budget,” Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, said Wednesday during Conversations with Conservatives, a monthly meeting with reporters hosted by conservative lawmakers and The Heritage Foundation.

“The feedback I got from our district was pretty strong, like, ‘You guys really let us down on the spending plan, we’re not sure if we are going to hang with you if you let us down on immigration.’ ”

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said his colleagues as well as House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., will face consequences if immigration reform isn’t in line with what President Donald Trump campaigned on in 2016.

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That, he said, includes the solution to those brought to America illegally as children and protected from deportation in 2012 under former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Trump ordered phased out by March 5.

“It is the defining moment for this speaker,” Meadows said of Ryan. “If he gets it wrong, it will have consequences for him, but it will also have consequences for the rest of the Republican Party.”

Meadows added:

We can’t afford to miss the opportunity and do it right because we promised the American people we would do it right. This president was elected largely on an immigration issue that defined him differently than every other candidate, and so it is the defining moment, more so than the budget or anything else that we passed.

“We clearly need to address this issue in March; I’ll just leave it at that,” Ryan said Wednesday.

Trump is asking lawmakers to support an immigration bill, introduced Monday, that mirrors his framework for reforms.

The bill, sponsored by seven senators, including Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, would allocate $25 billion for border security measures, including radar, physical and virtual fencing, and other technologies. A border wall is among those measures.

“The Grassley bill accomplishes the four pillars of the White House framework: a lasting solution on DACA, ending chain migration, cancelling the visa lottery, and securing the border through building the wall and closing legal loopholes,” Trump said Wednesday in a statement issued by the White House.

“I am asking all senators, in both parties, to support the Grassley bill and to oppose any legislation that fails to fulfill these four pillars—that includes opposing any short-term ‘Band-Aid’ approach,” the president said.

But conservative lawmakers such as Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, are throwing their support behind a House bill proposed by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.

Jordan said conservatives like the bill that Goodlatte put together with Reps. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho; Michael McCaul, R-Texas; and others:

It’s the only piece of legislation we’ve talked about that is consistent with the mandate of the 2016 election, because it does all the security things, several good policy areas, border security, wall, chain migration, [Diversity] Visa Lottery, E-Verify, sanctuary cities, it does all of the things that regular, commonsense Americans want dealt with. And then it also says we’ll address the DACA situation. So it’s the one bill that is consistent with the mandate of the election, and that’s why we support it.

House Republicans’ whip team started counting votes Wednesday for the Goodlatte bill, Roll Call reported.

“The Goodlatte-McCaul bill is the bill that we’re moving,” Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said. “And if you look at where we start today we are finally at least working on a way to come together to address this problem.”

The Goodlatte bill would give legal status to DACA recipients for three years, which would be renewable, and also end the Diversity Visa Lottery.

The latter is a controversial program that issues green cards granting legal permanent residence to 50,000 immigrants each year, as described in a commentary by David Inserra, a policy analyst specializing in homeland security and immigration at The Heritage Foundation.

The legislation also would require employers to use E-Verify, now a voluntary system, to check the immigration status of workers. And it would authorize a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and other efforts designed to increase border security.

The Grassley plan in the Senate, however, which mirrors Trump’s framework, would grant amnesty to 1.8 million illegal immigrants in exchange for new priorities for legal immigration and more border security, including the president’s promised border wall.

Lawmakers said they will stick to conservative principles in the immigration debate.

Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., called it “a watershed moment.”

“I … really don’t care what the Senate does, we in the House, we are responsible for a good bill, putting it forward and sticking with it,” Norman said, “because a lot of us just aren’t going to settle for anything just because the Senate wants us to. This is a watershed moment, in my opinion … this was the 2016 election.”

The Grassley bill also would restrict family-based immigration to the nuclear family; budget for increased border security personnel; and close what sponsors call loopholes in the immigration process.

The six other Republican senators whose names are on the bill are Tom Cotton of Arkansas, John Cornyn of Texas, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, David Perdue of Georgia, James Lankford of Oklahoma, and Joni Ernst of Iowa.

The Grassley bill “grandfathers all pending family-based visa applications in order to reward those who chose to follow the law and immigrate legally,” according to a press release from Cotton’s office. “The allotment for the Diversity Visa Lottery will be reallocated to reduce this backlog and the employment-based visa backlog.”

Meadows said lawmakers in the House like the Goodlatte bill, and Scalise and other leaders should be able to drive support for it.

“I think that when they whip it, it will have more votes than the tax reform bill did when they originally whipped that,” the Freedom Caucus chairman said. “It will have more votes than the budget that we passed had when they originally whipped that. So getting to 218 would be easier to do if we just continued to work the Goodlatte-Labrador bill, and not try to run to some Senate bill.”



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 February, 2018

An end to separate men's and women's sport? Australian Government MP makes radical suggestion for 'desegregated' competitions during heated debate about females in war

This should set the cat among the pigeons

A Turnbull Government MP has suggested men and women should compete against each other on the sporting field.

Perth-based Liberal senator Linda Reynolds made the radical call during a Twitter debate about women serving on the frontline of war.

In a social media battle with former Australian Christian Lobby boss Lyle Shelton, the 52-year-old backbencher suggested sporting codes allow women to compete against men - like the Australian Defence Force does when it comes to recruitment.

'So why don’t we take the lead from the ADF and desegregate women in sport, so men and women compete equally on talent, not by gender?,' she said.

Mr Shelton, who plans to run as an Australian Conservatives candidate at the next federal election, is opposed to the idea of female soldiers fighting in battle.

'If the AFL and the NRL are allowed to recognise the physical differences between men & women, why can’t the Army?,' he said.

Senator Reynolds, who spent 28 years in the Australian Army Reserve before becoming a brigadier, had described Mr Shelton's views as '1950s'.

'Your flippancy does great disservice to the thousands women who have, and continue, to serve our nation with great distinction side by side with their equally capable male counterparts,' she said.

She pointed out the Women's Royal Australian Army Corp was disbanded in 1985 when women were fully integrated into the Army.

The Australian government took another 26 years to allow females to join combat regiments.

Her proposal on mixed-gender sports could see the likes of Women's One Day International cricket star Ellyse Perry play on the same Test team as Steve Smith.

Australian women's soccer star Sam Kerr could be playing on the same side as Socceroos goal-scoring legend Tim Cahill.

However almost all sports have seperate competitions for male and female athletes, because of the difference in physical traits such as speed and strength.

Senator Reynold's call to gender desegregate sport comes as the AFL allows transgender footballer Hannah Mouncey to play in women's state and territory league matches.


More Cops Means Less Crime, Analysis Shows

An increase in the number of policemen, driven by an Obama-era boost in federal funding, led to drops in violent and property crime, including a reduction of one murder per every 11 police officers, a new paper argues.

The analysis, authored by Princeton Ph.D. candidate Steve Mello, examines what Mello identifies as a natural experiment in the relationship between the number of police and the rates of crime in a given jurisdiction.

Specifically, Mello focuses on the increase in police funding that came when a newly elected President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law, allocating some $2 billion to the Department of Justice for police hiring grants, mostly through the Department's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. COPS grants were issued based on a "fuzzy cutoff," meaning a city's chances of receiving a grant jumped substantially if its scoring by DOJ (a combination of factors including crime rate and current police force size) passed a certain threshold. That fuzzy cutoff creates two natural groups for comparison: Those that received COPS funding and those that didn't.

Mello demonstrates that, while "high and low scoring cities follow[ed] similar trends in police and crime prior to the application year," cities above the threshold saw a 3.6 percent increase in police. This translated into a 4.8 percent decline in violent crimes and a 3 percent decline in property crimes for cities over the threshold, over average, an effect which Mello ties directly to the increase in police.

Those declines are driven especially by police effects on robbery, larceny, and auto theft, Mello notes. But police also exert a notable downwards pressure on murder rates, with the analysis finding a particularly robust negative response: For every 11 police officers hired, one murder is prevented.

The analysis concludes these declines are not driven merely by incapacitation, i.e. the prevention of crime by the physical removal of offenders from the streets. To determine this, Mello analyzed arrest rates and found they did not increase concurrently with the increase in number of police officers.

This, Mello argues, "suggests a deterrence mechanism underlying the estimated crime effects," with the simple presence of additional police reducing criminals' likelihood of committing a crime.

Mello's paper contributes to a growing body of research that supports a relationship between an increase in the number of police officers and a decline in the crime rate. This seemingly intuitive point struggled to find empirical verification until a 1997 paper by noted University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt analyzed the effects of police hiring driven by the ostensibly independent variable of electoral cycles, at last identifying a relationship between cops and crime.

Since then, the literature has grown, including more than one other analyses of COPS, and a natural experiment analyzed by Jonathan Klick and Alexander Tabarrok, who found fluctuations in police around the Capitol in Washington, D.C., affected crime rates.

Mello's paper provides a novel contribution to this body of literature because "several of the most-cited papers on the topic have studied the high crime periods of the 1980's and 1990's," whereas Mello "study[s] a period with low and falling crime rates and show[s] that additional police still have a meaningful impact in this very different environment."

This means that even during the notably low-crime 2010 to 2013 period police still drove crime rates down. Today, the 20-year crime decline may be in jeopardy: after having risen for two years in a row, violent crime rates fell in the first half of 2017, but murder continued to increase.

Funding for police hiring, specifically through COPS, has been a priority of the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In November, Sessions announced $98 million in new COPS grants, allowing 179 law enforcement agencies nationwide to hire 802 new full-time officers. COPS has provided over $14 billion in funding since 1994.


Pesky! Countries with greater gender equality have a lower percentage of female STEM graduates

Why does this matter?  If women have equal access that should be the end of it

Countries with greater gender equality see a smaller proportion of women taking degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), a new study has found. Policymakers could use the findings to reconsider initiatives to increase women's participation in STEM, say the researchers.

Dubbed the 'gender equality paradox', the research found that countries such as Albania and Algeria have a greater percentage of women amongst their STEM graduates than countries lauded for their high levels of gender equality, such as Finland, Norway or Sweden.

The researchers, from Leeds Beckett University in the UK and the University of Missouri in the USA, believe this might be because countries with less gender equality often have little welfare support, making the choice of a relatively highly-paid STEM career more attractive.

The study, published in Psychological Science, also looked at what might motivate girls and boys to choose to study STEM subjects, including overall ability, interest or enjoyment in the subject and whether science subjects were a personal academic strength.

Using data on 475,000 adolescents across 67 countries or regions, the researchers found that while boys' and girls' achievement in STEM subjects was broadly similar, science was more likely to be boys' best subject. Girls, even when their ability in science equalled or excelled that of boys, were often likely to be better overall in reading comprehension, which relates to higher ability in non-STEM subjects. Girls also tended to register a lower interest in science subjects. These differences were near-universal across all the countries and regions studied.

This could explain some of the gender disparity in STEM participation, as Gijsbert Stoet, Professor in Psychology from Leeds Beckett University explains:

"The further you get in secondary and then higher education, the more subjects you need to drop until you end with just one. We are inclined to choose what we are best at and also enjoy. This makes sense and matches common school advice." he said. "So, even though girls can match boys in terms of how well they do at science and mathematics in school, if those aren't their best subjects and they are less interested in them, then they're likely to choose to study something else."

The researchers also looked at how many girls might be expected to choose further study in STEM based on these criteria. They took the number of girls in each country who had the necessary ability in STEM and for whom it was also their best subject and compared this to the number of women graduating in STEM. They found there was a disparity in all countries, but with the gap once again larger in more gender equal countries. In the UK, 29% of STEM graduates are female, whereas 48% of UK girls might be expected to take those subjects based on science ability alone. This drops to 39% when both science ability and interest in the subject are taken into account.

Co-researcher Professor David Geary from the University of Missouri said: "Although countries with greater gender equality tend to be those where women are actively encouraged to participate in STEM, they lose more girls from an academic STEM track who might otherwise choose it, based on their personal academic strengths. Broader economic factors appear to contribute to the higher participation of women in STEM in countries with low gender equality and the lower participation in gender-equal countries."

Countries with higher gender equality tend also to be welfare states, providing a high level of social security for their citizens, compared to those with lower gender equality which tend to have less secure and more difficult living conditions. Using the UNESCO overall life satisfaction (OLS) figures as a proxy for economic opportunity and hardship, the researchers found that in more gender equal countries, overall life satisfaction was higher.

Professor Stoet said: "STEM careers are generally secure and well-paid but the risks of not following such a path can vary. In more affluent countries where any choice of career feels relatively safe, women may feel able to make choices based on non-economic factors. Conversely, in countries with fewer economic opportunities, or where employment might be precarious, a well-paid and relatively secure STEM career can be more attractive to women."

Professor Geary adds: "Essentially when you lessen economic concerns, as is the case in gender-equal countries, personal preferences are more strongly expressed. In this situation, sex differences in academic strengths and occupational interests more strongly influence college and career choices, creating the STEM paradox we describe."

Despite extensive efforts to increase participation of women in STEM, levels have remained broadly stable for decades, but these findings could help target interventions to make them more effective, say the researchers.

"It's important to take into account that girls are choosing not to study STEM for what they feel are valid reasons, so campaigns that target all girls may be a waste of energy and resources," said Professor Stoet. "If governments want to increase women's participation in STEM, a more effective strategy might be to target the girls who are clearly being 'lost' from the STEM pathway: those for whom science and maths are their best subjects and who enjoy it but still don't choose it. If we can understand their motivations, then interventions can be designed to help them change their minds."


Sex and STEM: Stubborn Facts and Stubborn Ideologies

Many academics in the modern world seem obsessed with the sex difference in engagement with science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM) fields. Or rather they are obsessed with the fact that there are more men than women in some of these fields. There is particular concern about the lack of women in prestigious STEM fields, such as Ph.D.-level faculty positions, but surprisingly there is no concern about the under-representation of women in lower-level technical jobs, such as car mechanics or plumbing.

The concerned academics have been especially effective in convincing others, or at least intimidating them, into accepting their preferred interpretations regarding the source of these sex differences (as illustrated in the Google memo debate). These interpretations are not surprising and they include sexism, stereotype threat, and more recently implicit bias and microaggression. Each of these ideas has gained traction in the mainstream media and in many academic circles but their scientific foundations are shaky. In this essay, we’ll provide some background on the STEM controversy and consider multiple factors that might contribute to these sex differences.

The U.S. National Science Foundation reports that women are awarded 57 percent of undergraduate STEM degrees, but with substantial differences across fields. Women earn the majority of degrees in the life and social sciences but less than 20 percent of the degrees in computer science and engineering, sex differences that have held steady for several decades. The STEM debate is primarily about sex differences in educational and later occupational choices in inorganic fields, those focused on understanding non-living things. These differences are socially important because these tend to be prestigious occupations, and practically important because the different numbers of men and women in these fields contribute, in part, to the sex difference in earnings.1

At the core of the obsession is the zeitgeist that there should be gender equity – equal outcomes – for anything of monetary or social value. The combination of an extreme agenda among some feminists and a stubborn sex difference has created a cottage industry focused on rectifying this ‘injustice.’ The federal governments in the U.S., U.K., and other Western nations have devoted hundreds of millions of dollars to interventions to close the gap. Some of the activities funded by these initiatives make sense and are possibly helpful in some ways, such as programs to increase interest in mathematics or programming among girls. Other programs, such as developing mentoring programs exclusively for women who are junior faculty in science and engineering in university settings (e.g., U.K. Athena Swan’s programs) are ethically problematic because they assume men do not need that level of support. From an evidence-based perspective, the most questionable and perhaps the most favored of these interventions are focused on stereotype threat, implicit bias, and microaggression.

Stereotype threat occurs when one is confronted with tasks or situations that trigger negative stereotypes (e.g., that “women are not as proficient at math as men”), that in turn result in a preoccupation about performing in a way that confirms the stereotype.2 Critically, the preoccupation is said to undermine actual performance, even when there is no factual basis to the stereotype. Implicit bias is a related concept and involves an unconscious association between group membership (e.g., sex) and stereotypical positive or negative attributes that can also, in theory, result in prejudicial behavior towards individuals within that group.3 Microaggressions are subtle behaviors (e.g., facial expressions) or statements that are not explicitly hostile but are nevertheless interpreted by the receiver as conveying contempt, stereotypical attitudes, or other negative beliefs.

Proponents of these theories and their activist followers believe that some significant proportion of the sex differences in STEM fields – but curiously only those in which men outnumber women – are thought to be caused by pervasive negative stereotypes about women’s abilities in these fields that in turn undermine their performance. Their argument is that in school and in the workplace, women in these fields are subjected to microaggressions by teachers and colleagues that seep from their unconscious belief in these same stereotypes. The result is the creation of unsupportive and even subtly hostile classrooms and work environments. These types of explanations fit hand-in-glove with the narrative of some feminist scholars; that the sex difference is largely due to oppressive social and cultural factors that undermine women’s pursuit of degrees and occupations in STEM fields.4

These concepts have been embraced by the mass media and beyond, and include accusations made in the New York Times that the wording of several SAT items trigger stereotype threat and undermine girls’ performance on the mathematics section of the test, and the publication of self-help books to purge one’s own unconscious biases.5 On the face of it, there is nothing wrong with an academic and mass media focus on these topics. The real issues concern the magnitude of these effects on women’s STEM participation and the foregone opportunities of not focusing on other factors that might have an even stronger impact on their participation.

Let’s start with the magnitude of stereotype threat on girls’ and women’s mathematics achievement.6 Given the prominence of the topic and the resources devoted to it, we carried out the first meta-analysis (i.e., statistical aggregation of experimental results across many studies) of the effect of stereotype threat on sex differences in mathematics performance.7 We reasoned that if stereotype threat had a substantive effect on girls’ and women’s mathematics performance then the most basic experimental manipulation of the effect should replicate across studies. It replicated in about half of the studies that used the same and most basic experimental design. And of the half that replicated, half of these used a questionable statistical approach. The summary of the other half did not show a stereotype threat effect. Thus, if you accept the questionable statistical approach, you may still argue that a small stereotype threat exists.

In a related analysis, Flore and Wichert found a similar overall effect, but when they corrected for publication bias – the tendency for positive but not negative results to be published – the effect essentially disappeared.8 Because studies that do not find an effect tend not to get published, this means that even when there is evidence for a small stereotype threat effect in some reports, the real-world impact could be close to zero. Currently, a large replication effort is being carried out, and we are optimistic that this will be a significant step towards finally determining whether or not stereotype threat can undermine girl’s and women’s performance in mathematics, and if so to what extent.



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

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

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


15 February, 2018


Matt Ridley, below, is more puzzled by the things he notes below than he should be.  The "Puritanism" he notes is not a phenomenon of young people generally.  It is another pose of the Left.  As they have gained power and influence they have become snooty and have alienated their old power-base -- the workers. So they are going all out to get any minority they can onto their plantation. 

By exaggerated concern for any conceivable minority they hope to get votes from the minorities concerned.  They live off victims.  They need victims as a justification and outlet for the anger that is always boiling within them.  It is also a form of patronage that makes the patron feel good

I am sure I am not alone in finding the cultural revolution that we are going through difficult to understand. Like a free-living Regency rationalist who has survived to see Victorian prudery, like a moderate critic of Charles I trying to make sense of the Cromwellian dogma, like a once revolutionary Chinese democrat hoping not to be denounced and sent for re-education under Chairman Mao (or John McDonnell), I am an easygoing Seventies libertarian baffled by the aggressive puritanism and intolerance that seems to be everywhere on the march.

I turned 60 last week and expected by now to find myself in periodic, grumpy disapproval of the younger generation’s scorn for tradition, love of change and tolerance of “anything goes”. Instead I find something approaching the opposite. Many people of my generation have mentioned the same experience recently: the terrifying censoriousness of the young, even sometimes their own children, and the eggshell-treading dread of saying the wrong thing in front of them. The young are a bit like our parents were, in fact.

What happened to the liberation of the Sixties and Seventies, when you could start to forget hierarchy and say just about anything to and about anybody? Pictures of young women in make-up, short skirts and high heels walking down the street in Kabul or Tehran in the Seventies are in shocking contrast with the battle that modern Iranian women, dressed mostly in all-concealing black, are bravely fighting to gain the right to remove a headscarf without being arrested.

Is it so different here or are we slipping down the same slope? Pre-Raphaelite paintings that show the top halves of female nudes are temporarily removed from an art gallery’s walls; young girls are forced to wear headscarves in school; darts players and racing drivers may not be accompanied by women in short skirts; women are treated differently from men at universities, as if they were the weaker sex, and saved from seeing upsetting paragraphs in novels; sex is negotiated in advance with the help of chaperones. We have been here before.

In Orlando, Virginia Woolf’s novel of 1928, she portrayed the transition from the 18th century to the Victorian period thus: “Love, birth, and death were all swaddled in a variety of fine phrases. The sexes drew further and further apart. No open conversation was tolerated. Evasions and concealments were sedulously practised on both sides.”

How we laughed at such absurdity in my youth. But even for making the point that some of the new feminism seems “retrograde” in promoting the view that women are fragile, the American academic Katie Roiphe suffered a vicious campaign to have her article in Harper’s magazine banned before publication. “I find the Stalinist tenor of this conversation shocking,” she told The Sunday Times. “The basic assumption of freedom of speech is imperilled in our culture right now.”

The sin of blasphemy is back. There are things you simply cannot say about Islam and increasingly about Christianity, about climate change, about gender, to mention a few from a very long and growing list, without being accused of, and possibly prosecuted for, “hate speech”. Is it hate speech to say that Muhammad “delivers his country to iron and flame; that he cuts the throats of fathers and kidnaps daughters; that he gives to the defeated the choice of his religion or death: this is assuredly nothing any man can excuse”? That was Voltaire, one of my heroes. You may disagree with him but you should, in accordance with his principle, defend his right to say it. In demanding tolerance of minorities, many younger people seem to be remarkably intolerant.

There is an odd contradiction between the declared wish to live and let live — “diversity!”, “don’t judge!” — and the actual behaviour, which is ruthlessly and priggishly judgmental. They never stop drafting acts of uniformity, always in the name of the collective against the individual. The minority of one is the most oppressed minority of all.

Perhaps, being a meat-eating, heterosexual, titled, atheist, climate-sceptic male who thinks communism was evil, gender is partly biological, genetically modified crops are good for the environment, free markets make people nicer and that Britain should leave the European Union, it is just me who finds himself perpetually on the politically incorrect side of arguments, or at least the opposite side from the BBC. But it does feel as though almost everybody, whatever their views, is one step away from public denunciation.

We need a morality, of course, and one that does more to challenge bad behaviour whether in Hollywood or Oxfam, but that does not require being more puritan about speech and thought. I have often wondered how it was that in the past societies suddenly became more censorious, conservative and intolerant, as they did at the start of the Victorian era, but I thought that I was living in a time when none of that could happen, when culture was on a one-way escalator towards liberality.

In the Sixties Francis Crick held a contest for what to do with the college chapels in Cambridge, because in the future nobody would be religious. Imagine that. Of course, we knew what was going on in China — the Cultural Revolution was a political purge dressed up as moral rearmament — but we shuddered at the alien nature of such a thing. Now it seems closer.

The thugs who recently tried to prevent Jacob Rees-Mogg speaking at a university are now a familiar routine on campus. But, as the American journalist Andrew Sullivan warns, the campus is a harbinger for the whole of society: “Workplace codes today read like campus speech codes of a few years ago . . . the goal of our culture now is not the emancipation of the individual from the group, but the permanent definition of the individual by the group. We used to call this bigotry. Now we call it being woke. You see: we are all on campus now.”

Nevertheless, I remain a rational optimist. Like the psychologist Steven Pinker in his new book, I think “the Enlightenment is working”, still. Reason can prevail over dogma, science over superstition, freedom over tyranny, individualism over apartheid. Progress is not dead. Yet. But we have certainly taken a few steps backward towards a darker way of running society. Why? I still don’t have an answer.


Trigger warning: Either you’re for free speech or you’re not

A broadly reasonable article from the Left below

THE HUMOR POLICE are cracking down, from the right and left.

During a lecture on “The rule of law in a time of polarization,” Northeastern University Professor Barry Bluestone said, “This president that we have is really out of control. . . . Sometimes I want to just see him impeached. Other times, quite honestly — I hope there are no FBI agents here — I wouldn’t mind seeing him dead.”

“ . . . Of natural causes,” quickly added liberal journalist Robert Kuttner, who also participated in the event.

“Of natural causes. Thank you. Thank you,” said Bluestone, according to an account by Campus Reform, which identifies as a campus watchdog “exposing bias and abuse.”

Reasonable people could interpret Bluestone’s initial comment as a weak joke, not incitement to violence against President Trump. And the follow-up banter definitely comes off like academia’s idea of jocularity. But the right was not amused. Fending off backlash from angry conservatives, Northeastern quickly distanced itself from the professor’s remark. Bluestone apologized, said the comment was “stupid,” and explained he didn’t mean it literally. A video of the public lecture was taken down from YouTube.

So much for lefty humor.

But seriously, folks, have you heard about the latest uproar over at WEEI concerning the stereotypical Asian accent used by cohost Christian Fauria to mock sports agent Dan Yee?

Fauria apologized and was suspended for five days. My colleague Shirley Leung argues that’s not enough. She believes the cohosts who laughed along with Fauria’s sorry joke should also be punished. While I absolutely respect Leung’s perspective and agree that the pretend Asian accent was offensive, I just wonder where we draw the censorship line. What if the agent had an Italian-sounding name, and a radio host did a Marlon Brando-Godfather-like impersonation? Or aped an Irish brogue or upper-crust British accent? If the radio station is going to ban pretend-Asian accents, shouldn’t it also ban all fake accents? Otherwise, where’s the consistency? And how will WEEI hosts know the rules of engagement?

Leung is also much braver than I. She actually reads what WEEI listeners tweet at her. I generally leave that to others, although I do read and respond to as much e-mail as possible. I understand her disgust with the tone of the daily conversation and the middle-school meanness it elicits from the audience. But you’re either for free speech or you’re not. That’s why I reluctantly backed WEEI cohost Alex Reimer’s use of an unpleasant word to describe Tom Brady’s five-year-old daughter and suggested Brady had no grounds for complaint, since he put his daughter in his “Tom vs. Time” video. Trust me, that was an unpopular position, on both the left and right.

WEEI’s suspension of Reimer had rare appeal across the ideological spectrum. Usually, outrage breaks along predictable political lines. Indeed, an entire book has been written about that. In “Free Speech for Me, But Not For Thee,” Nat Hentoff explains “how the American left and right relentlessly censor each other.”

That applies to humor, too. Comedian Kathy Griffin sparked outrage for posing with a replica of President Trump’s bloody, decapitated head last May. For that, she was fired from CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast. She’s just starting to venture back in public and made her first red carpet appearance since the controversy, at the 2018 Writers Guild Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills.

Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Entertainment just issued an apology over a scene in its new film “Peter Rabbit,” during which a character with an allergy to blackberries is attacked by them. “Food allergies are a serious issue. Our film should not have made light of Peter Rabbit’s archnemesis . . . being allergic to blackberries, even in a cartoonish, slapstick way,” Sony said in a statement after an advocacy group, “The Kids with Food Allergies Foundation,” complained about the movie.

Someone also told The New York Times the movie should come with a “trigger warning.” Maybe this column should, too.

I know. There’s no absolute right to free speech. Employers can set limits and the marketplace applies its own standards. So do individuals. I’d prefer a less sexist and less racist radio station. But I also support Bluestone’s right to muse out loud about a Trump-free world. So I find it hard to call for censoring one without censoring the other. And that’s no joke.


California Yoga Studio Offers ‘Rap Yoga’, Black Lives Matter Immediately Makes Absurd Move

It’s really unfortunate watching the left turn everything into a race issue. It’s starting to become really clear that race is the most important thing in the liberal mind. Your typical liberal will look at a person and see a white man or a black woman. That’s wrong in a variety of ways. Primarily because it’s racist.

In California, one of the most liberal places in the world, a yoga studio thought it would be fun to offer ‘rap yoga’. Harmless right? A bunch of people getting together to exercise while listening to one of the most popular music genres on the planet. Maybe drop a few bars (rap thing) during the session? What’s wrong with that?

According to Black Lives Matter, it was offensive enough of a move to cause a protest.  From The Daily Caller:

The Sacramento chapter of Black Lives Matter staged a protest outside a yoga studio Saturday because the studio had planned to host a yoga and rap session.

An instructor at Solfire Yoga came up with the idea to hold a blended rap and yoga session, only to draw the ire of the local Black Lives Matter chapter, reports Fox 40.

Though the studio quickly canceled it because the group did not like the idea of a white woman hosting it, Black Lives Matter still decided to host a demonstration outside the studio to protest cultural appropriation.

“Historically rap music has been a way of expression for black folks to talk about the pain that they go through in their neighborhoods and their lives,” Tanya Faison, the founder of the Sacramento BLM, explained. “We’re just trying to make change and we’re trying to get them to acknowledge what they’re doing and be accountable.”

Music is art. No one owns any certain kind of music. The idea that a yoga studio can’t play rap music or do whatever they want with rap music without being called racist is absurd.

The message here from Black Lives Matter is that only black people can listen to rap music. That’s an argument a small child would find strange. These are adults. Also, the argument is apparently that only white people do yoga. That’s also not true.

It’s unfortunate that the studio canceled the event but that’s pretty much how BLM operates. They intimidate small business owners until they do what they want. It’s similar to Antifa and we see it all over with today’s left. No tolerance. Just bullying. It’s so important to stand up to people like this. Rap music is an art that was created for everyone to enjoy.

Simply put. This is racism and it’s racism that is propped up by Democrats constantly.


The EU is the enemy of the working classes

Leftists who support the EU should look at Greece, and be ashamed.

There are two European Unions, it seems. There is the EU that stands up for the citizen, for his or her rights; the EU that can face down the behemoths of global capitalism and rein in their avarice and callousness; the EU that has legally enshrined workers’ freedoms, and which exists as a bulwark against untrammelled neoliberalism. And then there is the real EU.

That heroic EU is a castle in the anti-Brexit sky, built by those who identify themselves as left-wing. It is maintained by those Labour MPs and peers who, as they did on the eve of Labour’s autumn conference, ceaselessly urge Labour leader Jeremy Corybn ‘to commit to staying in the Single Market and Customs Union… and to work with sister parties and others across Europe to improve workers’ rights’.

It is fortified by the self-appointed keepers of the left-wing flame, those among the commentariat who never tire of telling us that ‘workers’ rights… would be imperilled’ by a so-called ‘Hard Brexit’. And it is peopled by all those who cling to this image of the EU as an essentially social-democratic institution, sticking it gently to the man, defying the Daily Mail, and protecting working men and women against the inhuman workings of capital.

Then there’s the other EU, the one that actually exists. This is the EU that uses the pooled-without-consent sovereignty of its member states to pursue its own institutional self-preservation, impoverishing struggling Eurozone members, from Spain to Italy, in the name of economic stability; imposing leaders-cum-administrators on recalcitrant electorates in the interests of austerity; and brazenly betraying workers’ rights at every self-interested turn. This EU – the actual EU, the one stubbornly committed to its own, not citizens’, interests – is not on the side of the worker. And it never was. Because this EU, when the economic imperative demands, is always against the worker.

But those attached to their fantasy left-wing ideal of the EU refuse to see the reality. To face up to this reality would simply be too much. It would mock their left-wing pretensions, humiliate and expose them for what they are: a craven defence of the status quo – a status quo in which they have long prospered.

This is presumably why so little attention has been given to what happened in Greece last month, when the real EU was there for all to see. The EU forced the Syriza-led government of Alex Tsipras to implement new anti-union legislation, rendering strike action illegal unless over 50 per cent of union members have formally approved it. The effect of such a measure, as the British trade-union movement discovered in the 1980s, will be to strangle workers’ freedoms in bureaucracy, and emasculate organised labour.

Not that the legislation was a surprise – it was a condition of the bailout package agreed with the EU (alongside the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank) back in 2015. But that doesn’t make it any less of an assault on the Greek working class. ‘These were rights won with sweat and blood more than three decades ago’, said Odysseus Trivalas, president of the union of public sector workers. ‘Banks, industrialists and foreign investors want to deny us them. We won’t make it easy. We will take to the streets.’

And take to the street they did, when workers and union activists stormed the Greek labour ministry last month, prising open metal shutters before confronting the minister, Effie Achtsioglou, and hanging a banner from the ministry’s windows that declared: ‘Hands off strikes, it’s a labour right.’ But it has all been to no avail. The bill, of which the anti-union laws were part, was passed by the Greek parliament, as well it would given Greece’s political class has pinned its own survival to that of the EU and the Eurozone, taking the cash in return for giving up even the semblance of political autonomy.

Not that you would be especially aware of any of this from the UK’s media coverage of the EU’s continued assault on Greece, and Greek workers’ rights in particular. Instead, the focus among the rump of the UK’s pro-EU media has been on Greece’s journey back from a double brink — the brink of economic collapse in 2010, and the brink of Grexit in 2015—with the bailout programme due to end in August this year. ‘2018 should be the year Greece ends eight years of economic tutelage’, as the resolutely Remainer Financial Times put it, ‘closing a chapter on an extraordinary period in the EU’s financial crisis fighting’.

Yet peer beneath the narrative peddled by the EU’s UK-based PR machine, be it the FT or The Economist or the Guardian, and the reality of life under the EU in Greece tells us something different. It speaks of EU-driven impoverishment, of a nation in which nearly one in four adults is unemployed (an unemployment rate that rises to one in two among under-25s); a nation in which net household income has fallen by over 40 per cent since 2009; and a nation, above all, in which people’s freedom to resist, to try to determine their own future, has been curtailed and, at points, eviscerated. As Fotis, a 70-year-old former welder from Athens, put it, ‘It is a moment of humiliation I never expected to live. It is what our lives have been reduced to for the sake of getting the national numbers right.’

This EU, in which Greece is impoverished and politically neutered, is what Remainers support. This is their utopia of workers’ rights and compassionate capitalism. This is their oh-so-left-wing cause. They should be ashamed.



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 February, 2018

California Will Free 10,000 Sexual Predators

California will soon send 10,000 sexual predators pouring onto the streets and into neighborhoods where children play, and the vulnerable make easy targets.

California is a state of rich and poor, great wealth despite being the poorest state in the union. They spend obscene sums of money on welfare for foreigners but leave their roads in disrepair. There is a housing shortage and the taxes are very high.

Businesses are fleeing while environmental regulations grow ever more oppressive. They also have tons of criminals released from prison early because prisons are overcrowded. They won’t build new jails, instead, they let them loose on the streets.

The residents are obedient and say nothing unless the gas tax is raised or a Republican needs to be silenced. They now face the likelihood of 10,000 sex offenders pouring into their neighborhoods all at once. It’s unlikely they will say anything about that either.

The Daily Caller reports that Cali will release 10,000 perverts because Proposition 57 orders California prisons to consider early parole for non-violent offenders.

It’s amazing what they think is non-violent. Brown promised voters non-violent sex offenders would not reap the benefits, but a Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Allen Sumner knocked that down.

Pimping minors, incest, and child pornography is non-violent according to this judge. Their rights trump the victims.

“If the voters had intended to exclude all registered sex offenders from early parole consideration under Proposition 57, they presumably would have said so,” Sumner told reporters.

However, California is on top of the real crimes. They plan to put people using improper LGBT pronouns in nursing homes in prison. Waiters offering straws in restaurants without being asked are in danger of fines and prison.

Democrat Cali has their priorities straight. No wonder so many people are fleeing the state.


GENDER POOL ROW in Britain.  Feminists protest against decision to let transgender women into Hampstead Heath’s female only swimming pond

A row has erupted after the City of London Corporation allowed self-identifying trans women to use the ladies' pond and the female changing rooms

FEMINISTS have called for a ban on self-identifying transgender women from using a female-only pond on London’s Hampstead Heath.

Activists from Mayday 4 Women protested outside a private meeting of the Kenwood Ladies’ Pond Association (KLPA) as they sat to discuss the situation on Thursday, February 8.

Around 100 members of the 400-strong association held a closed meeting to discuss “perspectives on transgender swimming”.

It comes after the City of London Corporation, who are responsible for the facility, said self-identifying trans women were now welcome to use the pond and the female changing rooms.

In a statement, the Corporation said: “Over the last year all lifeguards and managers at Hampstead Heath ponds have taken transgender awareness training courses, which have been offered to, and taken by, the ponds’ swimming associations as well.

“We are working with the LGBTQ community to ensure our facilities are fit to serve the needs of everyone who enjoys them, and will continue to do so in the future.”

The pond in question is the only all-women swimming area in Britain and counts actress Helena Bonham Carter, comedian Rhona Cameron and author Esther Freud among its regular users.

According to the Guardian, activists from the radical feminist group Mayday 4 Women protested outside the meeting, urging members to lobby to “keep the Hampstead Heath ladies’ pond a sanctuary for women”.

Armed with flyers and placards, the group added: “Males already have access to two ponds: the men’s pond and the mixed pond. Why should they have access to three ponds when they already have access to two?”

The group also urged members attending the closed meeting to “represent the voices of women to have a space where women can feel safe, bring their daughter and not worry about a man who says he’s a woman being allowed through the gates.”


Do-gooder evil

The sexual misconduct scandal at Oxfam deepened on Monday night as the charity's former head of safeguarding revealed teenage volunteers at UK shops had been abused and overseas staff had traded aid for sex.

In some of the most explosive allegations yet against the charity, Helen Evans accused her bosses of ignoring her evidence and her pleas for more resources, forcing her to quit in despair.

Ms Evans said that staff had been accused of rape and that sexual abuse by shop managers in UK stores against young volunteers was covered up.

Ten per cent of staff in some countries had been sexually assaulted by colleagues or witnessed abuse, she added.

Her allegations emerged just hours after Penny Lawrence, the charity's deputy chief executive, quit over the scandal and the Government announced that it would be launching a unit to investigate sex abuse in the aid sector.

Any suggestion that the furore was subsiding was quashed by Ms Evans' new revelations which included that volunteers in Britain were not subjected to criminal checks and that her complaints were dismissed by senior Oxfam managers, the Charity Commission and the Home Office.

Speaking on Channel 4 News she said: "Behind Oxfam there are thousands of committed staff. They put their lives at risk every day. In terms of the senior leadership team I think they need to look back and say, did they do everything they needed to keep beneficiaries safe?"

The latest allegations emerged as there were calls for criminal charges to be brought against Oxfam executives and staff in the UK if they had turned a blind eye to abuse overseas. Concerns were also raised over Oxfam's use of public money.

Oxfam executives met with Penny Mordaunt, the International Development Secretary, on Monday evening in an attempt to assure the minister that the charity could be trusted with the £32m of public finding it receives.

Caroline Thomson, Oxfam chair of trustees, said: "We recognise that we have some way to go to persuade her that we have the right moral leadership to be fully entrusted with public money."

But the problems deepened less than an hour later as Ms Evans came forward with a number of claims including that volunteers as young as 14 in Oxfam shops in the UK had complained of abuse.

She detailed one case of an adult volunteer assaulting a child volunteer and said that she was extremely concerned that children were being left alone with volunteers who had not been checked for criminal records.

There were 12 allegations of abuse over two years and one involved a shop manager allegedly attempting to force a young volunteer to drop charges against an adult male volunteer who was said to have assaulted them.

Furthermore, in the course of one day in 2015 she received reports from the charity's global operation of "a woman being coerced to have sex in a humanitarian response by another aid worker, another case where a woman had been coerced in exchange for aid and another one where it had come to our attention where a member of staff had been struck off for sexual abuse and hadn’t disclosed that and we were then concerned about what he might be doing."

It comes just 24 hours after the charity insisted that it had not detailed the allegations surrounding the use of prostitutes, some of whom were said to be underage, because they did not involve "sex for aid".

Ms Evans said that the latest revelations about the use of prostitutes in Haiti were "not a surprise" as she had been informing the charity commission of her concerns since 2015.

Mark Goldring, chief executive of Oxfam GB, on Monday night apologised to Ms Evans and said that he would resign if the board of trustees asked him to.

He told Channel 4 News: "I certainly apologise for not acting fast enough, I think we did take them seriously and we responded on many different fronts - the records checking was one of them, training was another, the promotion of the helpline was another - she did some great work.

"What I recognise now, with the severity of issues as they have emerged, is that we should have resourced that team up faster as we now have, indeed, done."

A spokesperson for the Charity Commission said that in 2015: “We took the concerns Ms Evans raised very seriously and engaged with Oxfam on a formal regulatory basis to address them. This included meeting with the charity and requesting detailed information about its safeguarding procedures. Indeed Ms Evans acknowledged our initial response at the time; stating that she appreciated 'the time taken by the Charity Commission to look into safeguarding concerns'."

They said that she did not raise concerns on specific incidents and they met her again in 2017 and "opened a formal regulatory compliance case with the charity which has been ongoing since that time".

It came after Professor Andrew MacLeod, a  lawyer and former aid worker, said: "Under the UK child sex tourism laws, if one of these prostitute was underage, then the person has broken the law here. And possibly Oxfam executives have broken the law by aiding, abetting and supporting."

He said that if the charity "were treating this seriously" they would hand a dossier on the Haiti allegations to police, adding: "Until they start putting people in jail nothing will change."

But Penny Mourdant, the International Development Secretary, announced instead that she had asked for the crimes to be investigated in the home countries of the aid workers.

Though she has written to all charities asking for assurances over their safeguarding procedures she has not announced any investigation into the Haiti allegations.

Ms Lawrence on Monday became the first executive to resign, admitting that the charity were made aware of allegations relating to prostitute use by Roland van Hauwermeiren and his team in Chad in 2006.

Five years later he was posted to Haiti and became embroiled in a scandal where senior aid workers were accused of using prostitutes at orgies, some of whom were allegedly underage.

Four members of staff were dismissed as a result of Oxfam's 2011 investigation into the claims and three, including Mr van Hauwermeiren, were allowed to resign before it concluded.


Transgender Ideology Is Riddled With Contradictions. Here Are the Big Ones

People say that we live in a postmodern age that has rejected metaphysics. That’s not quite true.

We live in a postmodern age that promotes an alternative metaphysics. As I explain in “When Harry Became Sally,” at the heart of the transgender moment are radical ideas about the human person—in particular, that people are what they claim to be, regardless of contrary evidence. A transgender boy is a boy, not merely a girl who identifies as a boy.

It’s understandable why activists make these claims. An argument about transgender identities will be much more persuasive if it concerns who someone is, not merely how someone identifies. And so the rhetoric of the transgender moment drips with ontological assertions: People are the gender they prefer to be. That’s the claim.

Transgender activists don’t admit that this is a metaphysical claim. They don’t want to have the debate on the level of philosophy, so they dress it up as a scientific and medical claim. And they’ve co-opted many professional associations for their cause.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone. Find out more >>

Thus the American Psychological Association, in a pamphlet titled “Answers to Your Questions about Transgender People, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression,” tells us, “Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression, or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.”

Notice the politicized language: A person’s sex is “assigned at birth.” Back in 2005, even the Human Rights Campaign referred instead to “birth sex” and “physical sex.”

The phrase “sex assigned at birth” is now favored because it makes room for “gender identity” as the real basis of a person’s sex.

In an expert declaration to a federal district court in North Carolina concerning H.B. 2, Dr. Deanna Adkins stated, “From a medical perspective, the appropriate determinant of sex is gender identity.” Adkins is a professor at Duke University School of Medicine and the director of the Duke Center for Child and Adolescent Gender Care (which opened in 2015).

Adkins argues that gender identity is not only the preferred basis for determining sex, but “the only medically supported determinant of sex.” Every other method is bad science, she claims: “It is counter to medical science to use chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, external genitalia, or secondary sex characteristics to override gender identity for purposes of classifying someone as male or female.”

This is a remarkable claim, not least because the argument recently was that gender is only a social construct, while sex is a biological reality. Now, activists claim that gender identity is destiny, while biological sex is the social construct.

Adkins doesn’t say if she would apply this rule to all mammalian species. But why should sex be determined differently in humans than in other mammals? And if medical science holds that gender identity determines sex in humans, what does this mean for the use of medicinal agents that have different effects on males and females? Does the proper dosage of medicine depend on the patient’s sex or gender identity?

But what exactly is this “gender identity” that is supposed to be the true medical determinant of sex? Adkins defines it as “a person’s inner sense of belonging to a particular gender, such as male or female.”

Note that little phrase “such as,” implying that the options are not necessarily limited to male or female. Other activists are more forthcoming in admitting that gender identity need not be restricted to the binary choice of male or female, but can include both or neither. The American Psychological Association, for example, defines “gender identity” as “a person’s internal sense of being male, female, or something else.”

Adkins asserts that being transgender is not a mental disorder, but simply “a normal developmental variation.” And she claims, further, that medical and mental health professionals who specialize in the treatment of gender dysphoria are in agreement with this view.

Transgender Catechism

These notions about sex and gender are now being taught to young children. Activists have created child-friendly graphics for this purpose, such as the “Genderbread Person.” The Genderbread Person teaches that when it comes to sexuality and gender, people have five different characteristics, each of them falling along a spectrum.

There’s “gender identity,” which is “how you, in your head, define your gender, based on how much you align (or don’t align) with what you understand to be the options for gender.” The graphic lists “4 (of infinite)” possibilities for gender identity: “woman-ness,” “man-ness,” “two-spirit,” or “genderqueer.”

The second characteristic is “gender expression,” which is “the way you present gender, through your actions, dress, and demeanor.” In addition to “feminine” or “masculine,” the options are “butch,” “femme,” “androgynous,” or “gender neutral.”

Third is “biological sex,” defined as “the physical sex characteristics you’re born with and develop, including genitalia, body shape, voice pitch, body hair, hormones, chromosomes, etc.”

The final two characteristics concern sexual orientation: “sexually attracted to” and “romantically attracted to.” The options include “Women/Females/Femininity” and “Men/Males/Masculinity.” Which seems rather binary.

The Genderbread Person tries to localize these five characteristics on the body: gender identity in the brain, sexual and romantic attraction in the heart, biological sex in the pelvis, and gender expression everywhere.

The Genderbread Person presented here is version 3.3, incorporating adjustments made in response to criticism of earlier versions. But even this one violates current dogma. Some activists have complained that the Genderbread Person looks overly male.

A more serious fault in the eyes of many activists is the use of the term “biological sex.” Time magazine drew criticism for the same transgression in 2014 after publishing a profile of Laverne Cox, the “first out trans person” to be featured on the cover.

At least the folks at Time got credit for trying to be “good allies, explaining what many see as a complicated issue,” wrote Mey Rude in an article titled “It’s Time for People to Stop Using the Social Construct of ‘Biological Sex’ to Defend Their Transmisogyny.” (It’s hard to keep up with the transgender moment.)

But Time was judged guilty of using “a simplistic and outdated understanding of biology to perpetuate some very dangerous ideas about trans women,” and failing to acknowledge that biological sex “isn’t something we’re actually born with, it’s something that doctors or our parents assign us at birth.”

Today, transgender “allies” in good standing don’t use the Genderbread Person in their classrooms, but opt for the “Gender Unicorn,” which was created by Trans Student Educational Resources. It has a body shape that doesn’t appear either male or female, and instead of a “biological sex” it has a “sex assigned at birth.”

Those are the significant changes to the Genderbread Person, and they were made so that the new graphic would “more accurately portray the distinction between gender, sex assigned at birth, and sexuality.”

According to Trans Student Education Resources, “Biological sex is an ambiguous word that has no scale and no meaning besides that it is related to some sex characteristics. It is also harmful to trans people. Instead, we prefer ‘sex assigned at birth’ which provides a more accurate description of what biological sex may be trying to communicate.”

The Gender Unicorn is the graphic that children are likely to encounter in school. These are the dogmas they are likely to be catechized to profess.

While activists claim that the possibilities for gender identity are rather expansive—man, woman, both, neither—they also insist that gender identity is innate, or established at a very young age, and thereafter immutable.

Dr. George Brown, a professor of psychiatry and a three-time board member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, stated in his declaration to the federal court in North Carolina that gender identity “is usually established early in life, by the age of 2 to 3 years old.”

Addressing the same court, Adkins asserted that “evidence strongly suggests that gender identity is innate or fixed at a young age and that gender identity has a strong biological basis.” (At no point in her expert declaration did she cite any sources for any of her claims.)

Transgender Contradictions

If the claims presented in this essay strike you as confusing, you’re not alone. The thinking of transgender activists is inherently confused and filled with internal contradictions. Activists never acknowledge those contradictions. Instead, they opportunistically rely on whichever claim is useful at any given moment.

Here I’m talking about transgender activists. Most people who suffer from gender dysphoria are not activists, and many of them reject the activists’ claims. Many of them may be regarded as victims of the activists, as I show in my book.

Many of those who feel distress over their bodily sex know that they aren’t really the opposite sex, and do not wish to “transition.” They wish to receive help in coming to identify with and accept their bodily self. They don’t think their feelings of gender dysphoria define reality.

But transgender activists do. Regardless of whether they identify as “cisgender” or “transgender,” the activists promote a highly subjective and incoherent worldview.

On the one hand, they claim that the real self is something other than the physical body, in a new form of Gnostic dualism, yet at the same time they embrace a materialist philosophy in which only the material world exists. They say that gender is purely a social construct, while asserting that a person can be “trapped” in the wrong gender.

They say there are no meaningful differences between man and woman, yet they rely on rigid sex stereotypes to argue that “gender identity” is real, while human embodiment is not. They claim that truth is whatever a person says it is, yet they believe there’s a real self to be discovered inside that person.

They promote a radical expressive individualism in which people are free to do whatever they want and define the truth however they wish, yet they try ruthlessly to enforce acceptance of transgender ideology.

It’s hard to see how these contradictory positions can be combined. If you pull too hard on any one thread of transgender ideology, the whole tapestry comes unraveled. But here are some questions we can pose:

If gender is a social construct, how can gender identity be innate and immutable? How can one’s identity with respect to a social construct be determined by biology in the womb? How can one’s identity be unchangeable (immutable) with respect to an ever-changing social construct? And if gender identity is innate, how can it be “fluid”?

The challenge for activists is to offer a plausible definition of gender and gender identity that is independent of bodily sex.

Is there a gender binary or not? Somehow, it both does and does not exist, according to transgender activists. If the categories of “man” and “woman” are objective enough that people can identify as, and be, men and women, how can gender also be a spectrum, where people can identify as, and be, both, or neither, or somewhere in between?

What does it even mean to have an internal sense of gender? What does gender feel like? What meaning can we give to the concept of sex or gender—and thus what internal “sense” can we have of gender—apart from having a body of a particular sex?

Apart from having a male body, what does it “feel like” to be a man? Apart from having a female body, what does it “feel like” to be a woman? What does it feel like to be both a man and a woman, or to be neither?

The challenge for the transgender activist is to explain what these feelings are like, and how someone could know if he or she “feels like” the opposite sex, or neither, or both.

Even if trans activists could answer these questions about feelings, that still wouldn’t address the matter of reality. Why should feeling like a man—whatever that means—make someone a man? Why do our feelings determine reality on the question of sex, but on little else? Our feelings don’t determine our age or our height. And few people buy into Rachel Dolezal’s claim to identify as a black woman, since she is clearly not.

If those who identify as transgender are the sex with which they identify, why doesn’t that apply to other attributes or categories of being? What about people who identify as animals, or able-bodied people who identify as disabled? Do all of these self-professed identities determine reality? If not, why not?

And should these people receive medical treatment to transform their bodies to accord with their minds? Why accept transgender “reality,” but not trans-racial, trans-species, and trans-abled reality?

The challenge for activists is to explain why a person’s “real” sex is determined by an inner “gender identity,” but age and height and race and species are not determined by an inner sense of identity.

Of course, a transgender activist could reply that an “identity” is, by definition, just an inner sense of self. But if that’s the case, gender identity is merely a disclosure of how one feels. Saying that someone is transgender, then, says only that the person has feelings that he or she is the opposite sex.

Gender identity, so understood, has no bearing at all on the meaning of “sex” or anything else. But transgender activists claim that a person’s self-professed “gender identity” is that person’s “sex.”

The challenge for activists is to explain why the mere feeling of being male or female (or both or neither) makes someone male or female (or both or neither).

Gender identity can sound a lot like religious identity, which is determined by beliefs. But those beliefs don’t determine reality. Someone who identifies as a Christian believes that Jesus is the Christ. Someone who identifies as a Muslim believes that Muhammad is the final prophet. But Jesus either is or is not the Christ, and Muhammad either is or is not the final prophet, regardless of what anyone happens to believe.

So, too, a person either is or is not a man, regardless of what anyone—including that person—happens to believe. The challenge for transgender activists is to present an argument for why transgender beliefs determine reality.

Determining reality is the heart of the matter, and here too we find contradictions.

On the one hand, transgender activists want the authority of science as they make metaphysical claims, saying that science reveals gender identity to be innate and unchanging. On the other hand, they deny that biology is destiny, insisting that people are free to be who they want to be.

Which is it? Is our gender identity biologically determined and immutable, or self-created and changeable? If the former, how do we account for people whose gender identity changes over time? Do these people have the wrong sense of gender at some time or other?

And if gender identity is self-created, why must other people accept it as reality? If we should be free to choose our own gender reality, why can some people impose their idea of reality on others just because they identify as transgender?

The challenge for the transgender activist is to articulate some conception of truth as the basis for how we understand the common good and how society should be ordered.

As I document in depth in “When Harry Became Sally,” the claims of transgender activists are confusing because they are philosophically incoherent. Activists rely on contradictory claims as needed to advance their position, but their ideology keeps evolving, so that even allies and LGBT organizations can get left behind as “progress” marches on.

At the core of the ideology is the radical claim that feelings determine reality. From this idea come extreme demands for society to play along with subjective reality claims. Trans ideologues ignore contrary evidence and competing interests, they disparage alternative practices, and they aim to muffle skeptical voices and shut down any disagreement.

The movement has to keep patching and shoring up its beliefs, policing the faithful, coercing the heretics, and punishing apostates, because as soon as its furious efforts flag for a moment or someone successfully stands up to it, the whole charade is exposed. That’s what happens when your dogmas are so contrary to obvious, basic, everyday truths.

A transgender future is not the “right side of history,” yet activists have convinced the most powerful sectors of our society to acquiesce to their demands. While the claims they make are manifestly false, it will take real work to prevent the spread of these harmful ideas.



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 February, 2018

Charles C Johnson has found a home

If I have got the right Johnson, he started blogging about the same time I did and he at first made some good points.  He eventually drifted off into what I and other conservative bloggers saw as more Leftist territory -- so most of us lost interest in him at that time. 

He does however seem at home with the Trump message and is undoubtedly bright.  The article below tries to discredit him but only lays a glove on him when it says he was a holocaust denier.  It appears however that he was only questioning the numbers involved.  Anyone who is fully aware of the issue knows that the 6 million figure is only a rough estimate but we also accept it as a "good enough" estimate

Basically, Johnson seems to be a clever stirrer rather than a persuader so that will surely limit his future in politics

 Charles C. Johnson, one of the country’s most notorious Internet trolls, sank into a plush couch in the lobby of the soaring Trump Hotel here on a recent afternoon, sipping a jasmine green tea while chatting with a top staffer at a pro-Trump super PAC.

He’d just attended the State of the Union address as the guest of a congressman from Florida, garnering national attention, and was squeezing in some meetings at Washington’s new clubhouse for the powerful before heading back to Los Angeles to spend time with his wife and infant daughter.

It’s a stunning scene given that, during any normal era in American politics, Johnson, a 29-year-old Massachusetts native, would be radioactive — the kind of person who could end a political career by just appearing in a photo with an aspiring lawmaker.

He’s argued that black people are “dumber” than white people, questioned whether 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust, was banned from Twitter for threatening a Black Lives Matter activist, and posed making a white power sign while standing next to white supremacist leader Richard Spencer.

But now he’s managed to secure himself a foothold not far from the center of influence in Washington, taking advantage of the new anything-goes environment to win sit-downs with political leaders. Johnson’s rise to prominence is a case study in the empowerment of the so-called alt-right, the white nationalist movement that has gained mainstream currency in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election.

He’s met with Trump’s interior secretary to discuss a border wall, huddled with Julian Assange and a Republican congressman on a jaunt to London, and written an article on his conspiracy-focused website, GotNews.com, that has landed on the president’s desk.

What’s also surprising is how he traces his extreme views, and his knack for grabbing headlines, to his education at Milton Academy, the exclusive prep school outside Boston, where he was a lonely conservative voice known for provoking outrage online and in person.

Like the influential Trump adviser Stephen Miller, who says his far-right worldview stemmed from being an outcast at liberal Santa Monica High School, Johnson says his views were shaped in opposition to wealthy, liberal Milton — a place where he sought acceptance but felt rejection.

In Trump, Johnson says he has found a leader he respects and wants to emulate, someone he might have looked up to when he was a downcast teen at Milton.

“He’s very aggressive and he’s very alpha male. But he’s also having fun,” Johnson said in a recent interview. “Trump is the kind of person I’d want to be. He goes in front of crowds with tens of thousands of people. Jokes around and has a good time.”

And with Trump in power, Johnson feels included.

“He enlists people in this cause,” Johnson said. “It’s very deliberate. He has a way of inviting people to join him.”

The oldest of three children of a high school history teacher and the owner of a small import gift business, Johnson was born in Dorchester and moved to Milton when he was about 6.

He said his parents wanted to keep their children in Milton public schools. But Johnson had his heart set on Milton Academy, the elite school founded in 1798 whose graduates include former governor Deval Patrick and the late senator Edward M. Kennedy. So Johnson’s parents secured a scholarship to enroll their son as a day student, he said.

At Milton, Johnson was constantly challenging his classmates’ beliefs about abortion, affirmative action, and other highly charged issues.

“He was definitely polemical, and he liked to press people’s buttons,” said Matthew Boyle, a fellow member of the class of 2007, who was co-president with Johnson of the Young Republicans Club. “I used to tell him, ‘God, let it go. You’re not going to convince people.’ But that wasn’t what he did at all.”

Johnson also got into trouble for hosting an online discussion about controversial comments made by former US education secretary William J. Bennett, who said crime rates would drop if doctors were to “abort every black baby in this country.”

Johnson said that he was merely trying to start a conversation about Bennett’s comments and never endorsed them. Nonetheless, a firestorm erupted, and the school shut down the online discussion board and canceled classes so students could attend an assembly on racial issues.

Johnson sought out some of the famous people who came to speak at Milton [school] and cultivated relationships with them — including Alan M. Dershowitz, now a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School and a frequent Trump defender on cable news.

Dershowitz confirmed he first met Johnson when he spoke at Milton, where his daughter was a student. After Dershowitz delivered a talk on civil liberties in the gymnasium, a red-headed 16-year-old with glasses who had been sitting in the audience suddenly pounced.

“Charlie Johnson asked me an extremely critical, difficult question, very negative, and kind of hostile,” Dershowitz said. “He was kind of rude. The teachers looked at him because he was treating me as an equal, which I felt very comfortable with, but the school didn’t.”

Although he can’t recall Johnson’s question, Dershowitz said the two had a “good discussion” and Johnson approached him after the talk.

“He came over to me and said, ‘You know, you’re one of the first liberals who has ever taken me seriously and answered my question. I’d love to work for you one summer,’?” Dershowitz said. “So I hired him.”

Johnson became one of Dershowitz’s summer research assistants, a position that allowed the high school student to spar with the famously pugilistic attorney five decades his senior.

The two still talk once or twice a year when Johnson calls for advice, Dershowitz said, and they last saw one another about three months ago outside the Fox News building in New York, as Dershowitz was headed in for an interview.

“It seems to me he hasn’t changed much,” Dershowitz said. “He’s a provocateur — very smart, very opinionated, and he was that way when he was 16.”

Johnson cemented a reputation as an Internet troll when Rolling Stone published an inaccurate account of an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia in November 2014. Johnson publicly named the accuser in the case after taunting her on social media. He turned out to be right that the rape wasn’t substantiated, but it wasn’t a total victory. At one point, Johnson posted a photograph of someone he believed was the victim, but it was actually somebody else.

In 2015, he was banned from Twitter for asking his followers to help him “take out DeRay McKesson,” a Black Lives Matter activist.

None of this bars him from trying to cozy up to power in Trump’s Washington. And Johnson feels he can contribute to the administration by helping Trump win funding to build the border wall.

“I do everything I can to support his agenda,” Johnson said. “He has changed the game in how politics is done. It’s deeply entertaining.”

Johnson says he believes the Nazis had a systematic program to kill Jews. But he’s offered a number of different opinions about the number of Jews killed.

“I think the Red Cross numbers of 250,000 dead in the camps from typhus are more realistic” he wrote on Reddit.

In an interview with the Globe, he gave another answer.

“It’s probably like 3 to 4 [million],” Johnson said. “Somewhere in there. It was a war. And people were not keeping detailed records.”

In a demonstration of how flexible his views can be (another hallmark of Trump’s Washington), Johnson said his thinking on the matter has evolved further. He said this week that he has “new information” that’s led him to believe the 6 million figure, after all.


"A society dominated by a victim mentality cannot flourish for long."

I actually read a non-politically correct piece at Psychology Today about the rise of Jordon Peterson, author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. The author makes good points about why Peterson's work is so important:

There is a decent chance, of course, that you still haven’t heard of Jordan Peterson. After all, the general public doesn’t get as excited about psychology professors as they do about the solar eclipse, the Super Bowl or President Trump. But if you care about psychology, especially the way it’s influencing education, culture, politics, history and general mental health, do a search on Jordan Peterson. You will discover that he is currently the most sought-after psychologist in the world. He went viral not only in cyberspace, a “relatively” easy accomplishment, but also in the concrete worlds of print and TV....

Why Peterson’s time has come

"In my previous article, I noted that society tends to correct itself when it goes in a destructive direction for too long, and that we are now in the early throes of this correction.

With the admirable intention of creating a society in which no one feels offended by anyone else, academic psychology has been campaigning for the noble-sounding but nebulous goal of “social justice,” based upon left-wing political ideology rather than upon science and well-established wisdom. Academia has become increasingly oppressive, shaming into silence anyone who dares to defy its left-wing political agenda and denying faculty positions to anyone who expresses conservative sentiments.[2]

It has successfully fought for laws, most notably anti-bullying laws, that undermine the precious right to freedom of speech, define as hate speech any utterance that doesn’t conform to official diversity etiquette, and require schools and other organizations to apprehend and punish anyone that displays insufficient sensitivity. Unfortunately, one area of diversity academia stopped championing is diversity of opinion.

A few decades of teaching children that no one is permitted to hurt their feelings, and that it is society’s responsibility to protect them from each other and to punish anyone who upsets them, has produced a generation of what I’ve been calling “emotional marshmallows” and others like Peterson and Jonathan Haidt have been calling “snowflakes.” Our young adults have learned to think like victims, blaming others for their difficulties rather than taking personal responsibility for their feelings and problems. They have learned that it’s legitimate to denounce as “bullies” – and even to physically attack – anyone who dares to challenge their beliefs. It’s even become mainstream to express the wish to have bullies killed.[3]

A society dominated by a victim mentality cannot flourish for long. While its citizens may feel comforted by laws that protect their feelings and by the belief that they are not responsible for either their misery or for ending it, their chances for achieving successful, happy lives are eroded."

And this is the social soil that has become ripe for someone like Jordan Peterson. The massive support he gets from young adults – especially males – is an indication of their hunger for truth and responsibility. Feeding them with good science and wisdom of the ages, he dispels the irrational, counterproductive beliefs with which they have been inculcated and provides them with instructions for taking charge of their lives. His teachings offer salvation not only for individuals but also for society as a whole.

Let's hope that we are in the throes of a correction of the victim mentality that has caused so many to become weak, fragile and downright mean. Peterson's work and popularity shows that it is possible.


UK Midwife Forced Out for Refusing Abortion Participation

Religious and pro-life doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are under increasing threat of being forced to choose between their careers and not committing what they consider to be grievous sin or otherwise violating their consciences:

A Victoria, Australia MD was punished for refusing to perform or refer for a sex selection abortion in contravention of a law requiring all doctors to abort or refer on request.

A Swedish midwife was forced out of her career for refusing to participate in abortion.

An Ontario court has ruled that all MDs must either euthanize legally qualified patients who ask to be killed or refer to a doctor they know will do the deed–meaning forced complicity in homicide.

The usual suspects howled when the Trump HHS gave notice that it intends to reverse Obama priorities and emphasize protecting medical conscience in the enforcement of existing law.

The ACLU has sued several hospitals for refusing to violate the Church’s moral teachings at the institutions.

Some of the world’s foremost bioethicists writing in the most prestigious medical and bioethical journals advocate shattering medical conscience rights.

And now in the UK, an experienced midwife has gone public in support of conscience rights by discussing how she was forced out of her profession for refusing to violate her Catholic faith by supervising the performance of abortions. From the Daily Mail story:

It was in 2014, after a gruelling six-year battle that had taken Mary, now 63, and a fellow midwife, Connie Wood, all the way to the Supreme Court in London that they finally lost their case.

The judgment effectively decreed that while midwives can opt out of ‘frontline’ abortion work, those in senior positions — like Mary and Connie — still have to supervise

The ruling overturned an earlier decision, in an Edinburgh court, which supported the women’s claim that they were ‘conscientious objectors’. 

As the law now stood, they could be disciplined for refusing to take part. So, having delivered some 5,000 babies over three decades in a job she adored, Mary felt she had no choice but to take early retirement.

So, an experienced professional who has delivered thousands of babies can deliver them no more, nor mentor younger colleagues, because she refuses to help kill the unborn.

I call this phenomenon “medical martyrdom.” It is so wrong. Here’s the thing: Very powerful forces want to drive people who refuse to violate their religious faith, Hippocratic Oath beliefs, and/or pro-life principles out of medicine–but note, not those who for reasons of conscience, refuse to maintain wanted life-extending treatment.


Australian churches and their institutions are generally legally free to hire and fire on religious grounds regardless of anti-discrimination law

The article below by Brian Morris deplores that.  It is said to be based on a Religious Freedom Review submission by NSW barrister, Dean Stretton.  Something has got lost along the way, however, as the article is founded on a belief that is wrong at law. He says "the constitution was framed on secular principles, with the foundational concept of separation between Church and State."

That is utter rubbish.  The separation of church and State is not even in the American constitution, though it has been read into the anti-establishment clause of the 1st amendment.  But nothing like that exists in the Australian case because our head of State, the Queen, is also head of the Church of England.  In her person, the Queen embodies both the church and the State. Try to split that up! So the claim that Australia should be wholly secular is without legal foundation.  It is just the preference  of the writer

And in the end it all comes down to politics.  The churches believe that their mission requires certain freedoms from restrictions and they have the political heft to ensure that they get those freedoms from the politicians.  Enough people believe in freedom of religion to ensure that the politicians go along with it. 

Australians are for the greatest part happily secular but they are not dogmatic about it.  They are happy for AustrAlia to be only partly secular.  "One size fits all" is a great Leftist prescription in the simple-minded tradition of Procrustes but not everybody is trapped in that rigid mindset.  They can allow exceptions to even a generally good rule where circumstances seem to warrant it.

Quite remarkably, a public majority will be unaware of the likely impact of Prime Minister Turnbull’s decision to empower the Religious Freedom Review. Few will grasp its social implications. Some may recall the PM appointing Philip Ruddock to head an ‘expert panel’ to take public submissions on ‘religious freedom’ — and to identify freedoms believed “lost” when same-sex marriage was legalised.

On 31st March, Ruddock will recommend to parliament measures to restore those “lost” freedoms.

For most, this rather solemn-sounding review will be seen simply as one more political committee — with Ruddock sifting through a few submissions to appease Christians, Muslims, and other faiths who continue to feel aggrieved about gay marriage.

But fundamentalists of all faiths see this as a rare opportunity to win new concessions. One has only to view the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) website, with its 15-point rallying cry for devout Christians to swamp the Review with submissions.

Indisputably, religion asserts its current raft of freedoms through exclusive exemptions from Australian law. They are privileges not accessible to the 78 per cent of citizens who believe the constitution was framed on secular principles, with the foundational concept of separation between Church and State.

Under federal law, protection of ‘religious freedom’ and legal exemptions include: the Fair Work Act; Migration Act; Age Discrimination Act; Sex Discrimination Act; Evidence Act; and Section 116 of the Constitution. And religions pay no tax under the Charities Act and Tax Act — based on the sole criterion of “Advancing Religion.” International and State laws double this list of entitlements to all faiths!

Here’s the problem. Religion is now, collectively, one of the largest employers in the nation. Private religious schools currently enrol close to 40 per cent of all children — that alone is a huge workforce. Include, too, all the private hospitals, aged care facilities, employment agencies, charities, shelters, and a raft of commercial enterprises, and the total number of religious employees is staggering.

Church institutions are already free to “hire and fire” on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and marital status. Without question, submissions to the Ruddock Review will call for further entitlements to discriminate in employment in favour of the faithful — the Australian Christian Lobby website makes that clear. The truth is that most of the duties performed are not religious in nature — they are secular.

Ironically, these religious institutions will argue vigorously that it should be illegal to discriminate against them — because of their religious beliefs — but in the same breath insist they should be given further employment entitlements to discriminate against people who do not share those beliefs!

Certainly, it is fair to say many roles within private religious enterprises require training suitable to their ‘mission’. Those engaged in overt religious practice, in pastoral care, theological positions, and for advocacy, will need to meet church criteria. But for the majority of ‘secular’ positions, employment opportunities should not be barred to those who do not meet their strict standards of biblical faith.

It would be wrong for the Religious Freedom Review to extend faith-based exemptions for secular positions in education, health or social services. In fact, exemptions should be wound back for all ‘public services’ run by religious organisations.

These exemptions are not a matter of genuine religious freedom, because there is no religious law or doctrine that requires its followers to run education, health or social service facilities! Our constitution rejects a ‘religious test’ for public office; why not also for secular roles in ‘publicly funded’ religious enterprises?

If religious adherents cannot follow laws that apply to all other citizens — and without privileged legal exemptions — they should consider withdrawing from those activities and focus solely on their beliefs and religious worship. One clear example is private religious schools which are free to discriminate against secular employees, while the institutions are publicly funded to the tune of $12.8b.

Religious exemptions undermine our secular constitution; they weaken the basic rule of law that must apply to all people; and they deny the non-religious the right to their own beliefs. Why do we give exclusive entitlements to people of faith when all religion is purely a matter choice? Believers are not compelled to believe — particularly when “doubt” is uppermost in the minds of many. Every religion cannot, by pure logic, be equally true. It raises questions for people of faith to contemplate.

Special entitlements, based on arbitrary faith, are necessarily problematic. Such privileges should be equal to all — or to none. However, there seems little doubt the Ruddock Review will make a number of recommendations to parliament, to rectify the perception of “lost” freedoms.

We can only trust parliament does not acquiesce to further religious entitlements. Indeed, the process needs to be reversed — specifically for non-theological positions in faith-based institutions funded by taxpayers. The level of religious privilege and authority is already inappropriately high — in a nation that claims to be a secular democracy.



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 February, 2018

A song to burn feminists up

Liberal progressivism stinks, literally, and it’s building sanctuary cities

By Richard McCarty

In recent years, liberals have been advocating for a way to “help” the homeless deal with the lack of sufficient public toilets. And just what is this brilliant idea? Is it more public restrooms, or more homeless shelters? No, their radical idea is to decriminalize public urination and defecation. Think about that. As the developing world embraces modern hygiene practices and races to stamp out the bad habit of open defecation, urban liberals in the U.S. are pushing to return our cities to the Middle Ages.

In 2015, San Francisco judges stopped issuing bench warrants for the arrest of those who failed to appear in court for quality-of-life crimes, including urinating on the sidewalk. The following year, those judges discarded 66,000 outstanding bench warrants. The judges wanted police officers to suggest treatment programs to offenders rather than write citations for quality-of-life crimes.

In 2016, New York City passed legislation sharply downgrading the penalty for public urination and other antisocial behaviors. According to the champion of this legislation, the purpose was to keep people from getting criminal records. Last year, the Denver City Council unanimously voted to decriminalize public urination and defecation. Their reason: to protect illegal immigrants from deportation.

While no decent person wants to see impoverished or mentally ill people being unnecessarily harassed by the government, let’s not forget that ordinances criminalizing disgusting behavior can have positive effects. For example, jail time — or the threat of it — could cause a runaway to reconnect with estranged relatives; incarceration could help an addict or alcoholic to give up drugs or alcohol; and the threat of an extended jail sentence could push some homeless people to move to a shelter where they might find resources to break out of homelessness.

Public defecation is a severe threat to public health. Recently, California has experienced an outbreak of Hepatitis A, which is spread by fecal contamination. That outbreak has sickened hundreds and killed more than 20. Many of those affected have been homeless or drug users. Public urination may even be a safety hazard: several years ago, a San Francisco light pole fell over on a car after being corroded by urine. Fortunately, the driver of the car was not hit.

Decriminalizing public urination and defecation is a threat to the environment. If human waste remained where it’s deposited, it would be bad enough; but it doesn’t. Unless the waste is cleaned up, it may wind up being dumped into rivers or other bodies of water. This pollution can lead to algae blooms and harm fish, aquatic plants, and other sea life.

Decriminalization of public urination and defecation is also a threat to jobs, the economy, and property values. With brick and mortar stores under siege by online retailers, and with mom and pop businesses battling for survival against much larger competitors, a filthy, smelly street just might force a business to close or move to a cleaner suburb. And with the closing of urban stores, life grows more difficult for those living in poverty nearby. Also, raw sewage can force the closure of beaches and fishing areas endangering yet more jobs. Furthermore, dirty streets and sidewalks can depress real estate values by discouraging potential buyers, thereby trapping owners in upside-down mortgages.

Of course, maybe there wouldn’t be as many homeless people in need of toilets if liberal politicians didn’t fight to keep students in failing schools, didn’t pursue policies that discourage the construction of housing, didn’t create laws and regulations that hinder job creation — and did not pursue sanctuary city policies to attract illegal immigrants.

Anyone who genuinely cares about the less fortunate should seriously reconsider their support for decriminalizing public urination and defecation due to its detrimental impact on public health, the environment, jobs, and property values. Finally, the EPA should investigate to see whether or not these localities that are doing little to discourage such unsanitary behavior comply with the Clean Water Act.


Massachusetts: Democrat legislator proposes bill to categorize Asian-Americans

Sounds a lot like South Africa's old racial classification act under apartheid

A State House effort to categorize Asian-Americans into specific ethnic groups is clashing with a vocal and well-organized opposition that has likened the effort to racial profiling.

A bill by state Representative Tackey Chan urges “all state agencies, quasi-state agencies, entities created by state statute, and sub-divisions of state agencies” to identify Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, as defined in the US census, in all data they collect and report.

But critics say Chan’s efforts would “subdivide Asian-American ethnic groups” and likened it to a registry to track Asian-Americans.

Emotions were high during a packed State House hearing on the issue last week, when at least one opponent carried posters with an image of Chan wearing a Hitler moustache.

“It’s gotten out of hand,’’ said Karen Chen, executive director of the Chinese Progressive Association, which supports Chan’s bill.

The opposition’s language and tactics have confounded Chan, who is of Chinese descent, and befuddled Asian-American advocates who have been asking for such data for years to better serve their community.

“There are a lot of inaccuracies’’ out there, said Chan in an interview in his office. “They are using inaccurate facts. And they don’t speak for all of us.”

Tricia Liu, a critic of the bill, said the disadvantages outweigh the benefits, adding that even a bill with good intentions can be misused.

“The thing that bothers us the most is: Why is this [only] targeting Asian-Americans?,’’ asked Liu, who said she is a strategic adviser to a group called Asian Americans for Equal Rights, which has been fighting the data collection issue. “We feel that Americans should not be asked again and again ... where they are exactly from.”

She argued that such questions from the government insinuate that there are two sets of Americans: The “more real Americans” and the “less real Americans.”

“We are proud of our heritage ... [but] where does it end?” for second and third generation Asian-Americans, she said.

Chen, the advocate, said the bill only targets Asian-Americans because Asian-American advocates, particularly in health care, asked for the data.

A House committee is still examining the more than 1,500 pages of testimony on the bill and will issue a report Wednesday.

The controversy playing out at the State House is putting a special focus on Asian-Americans, a fast-growing and diverse group in the state. Their ancestry has roots in a vast continent that has various ethnic groups who speak different languages and have different cultural norms.

The hubbub comes as the US Census Bureau is proposing to begin asking white respondents to write down their ethnic origins. In addition to checking the box that says “white,’’ respondents on the proposed 2020 Census would be asked to write down whether they are of German, Irish, English, Italian, Lebanese, or Egyptian origin, the census said.

Similarly, blacks would be prodded to note if they are African-American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, or Somali, the Census said.

Chan, a 44-year-old Quincy native and Democratic lawmaker, said he is simply following the census’ lead on a local level. The census has long asked Asian-Americans or Pacific Islanders to check off if they are Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Filipino, or Asian Indian.

Over the past 30 years, he said, Asian-American advocates and lawmakers in states like California, Michigan, and Rhode Island have been seeking such disaggregated data to advocate for better health care, educational opportunities, and cultural programming.

Now that effort is catching on in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, he said.

Under Chan’s bill, the five largest “Asian-American and Pacific Islander ethnic groups living in the Commonwealth shall have individually reported data as part of the total Asian American Pacific Islander reporting.’’

The ethnic information is voluntary. And any other racial group can also seek out similar information, Chan said.

The data would help organizations like Dorchester’s Asian American Resource Workshop advocate for appropriate funding, language access, and appropriate programing for Vietnamese youth, said Carolyn Chou, the executive director.

Chan added that the needs of the Cambodian population in Lowell are far different from those of the Chinese immigrants in Quincy.

Some Asian-American immigrants are refugees, with deep emotional wounds from which to heal.

“Every group has different issues, and [we need to have] different conversations about what the government can do for them,’’ he said.

“Asia is not a language,” Chan stressed. “Asia is not a culture. And Asia is not a food. It’s a continent. ... Why shouldn’t we all take pride in where we are from in our culture, our heritages and our languages?”

Paul Watanabe, director of the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, described the opposition as primarily composed of a new Chinese immigrants who are largely conservative. They mostly voted for President Trump, he said, are distrustful of government, and are skeptical of the Census.

He noted that there is real fear among the opponents who may have relatives who can still recall the Cultural Revolution and data the Chinese government kept and used against its own people.

“But I think those particular fears are being preyed upon [by the opponents],’’ said Watanabe, a political science professor who has followed this issue closely.

Liu countered that she is of Chinese origin and is a US citizen. Her mother, who Liu said lives in Wellesley, is from Hong Kong and her father is from mainland China.

“According to this bill, I don’t even know which box I should fill out,’’ she said.


Atheists Complain About Gospel Music in MLK Day Celebration

The good people of Hobbs, New Mexico are under siege from a Wisconsin-based group of atheists, agnostics and free-thinkers who are angry that gospel songs were performed during a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day program.

“It is laudable that the city is celebrating Dr. King and promoting unity within the community,” Freedom From Religion Foundation legal fellow Christopher Line wrote in a letter to city leaders. “However, including gospel music and religious messages in the celebration is inappropriate.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a Wisconsin-based group of atheists, agnostics and free-thinkers that are on a mission to eradicate Christianity from the public square.

On Jan. 15 the city hosted an MLK Day march and program at Booker T. Washington Elementary School. The program was advertised as “an opportunity to display hope and faith.” Click here to watch the video.

FFRF said they were contacted by a “concerned resident” who discovered the celebration included “religious music performed by a gospel choir and numerous speakers that made reference to God and Jesus.”

“Officials are not permitted to lend credibility or prestige to religion by including religious messages in city events,” Line wrote in the letter to city leaders. “We urge you to cease including religious music and messages in official Hobbs events.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is apparently unaware that Dr. King was not just a Civil Rights leader – but he was also a renowned Baptist minister – a preacher of the Gospel.

It’s beyond ludicrous that anyone would take issue with religious overtones and gospel songs performed during a ceremony honoring a former Christian minister.

“This letter is a gross, intolerant display of anti-religious bigotry over the celebration of a man who dedicated his life to fighting injustice,” First Liberty Institute attorney Michael Berry told the Todd Starnes Radio Show.

First Liberty Institute, one of the nation’s most prominent religious liberty law firms, accused the atheists of being intolerant.

“No court has ever declared a ceremony observing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day unconstitutional because it featured a gospel choir and religious language similar to those of the civil rights leaders,” Berry said.

Based on the FFRF’s flawed argument, they would have also objected to Dr. King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech delivered on the National Mall.



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 February, 2018

Some more vibrant multiculturalism

The perp smiling

An Ohio man has been sentenced to 62 years behind bars for the brutal murder of a 16-year-old girl whose body he carried in a playpen bag to a landfill after killing her.

Ricki Williams, 22, was jailed on Tuesday for the 2014 murder of Gina Burger.

Burger had been at her birth mother Jackie Bacher's apartment in Austintown, Ohio, when she vanished not long after telling her she was going out to get bags for ice tea.

The teenager was adopted when she was three and taken out of Bacher's care.

She grew up in Texas, with adoptive mother Michelle Bennett, and had traveled to Ohio to spend time with her birth siblings after reconnecting with them on Facebook.

On June 23, she ended up in the apartment of her birth mother's neighbor where Williams, who is homeless and who she did not know beforehand, was staying.

He stabbed her to death and chillingly pulled the knife out of her chest to smell it afterwards.

The neighbor Ronisha Johnson, testified against him and described the killing. She said Williams held her and Gina hostage and the teenager pleaded for her life before being stabbed to death.

After he killed her, Williams used a bag that Johnson used to carry her son's portable playpen to move the teenager's body out of her apartment.  

He brazenly left it in the dumpster outside where it sat for a whole day before being taken by trash collectors to a landfill 20 miles away across state lines near Hermitage, Pennsylvania.

On Tuesday, Williams was sentenced to 62 years in jail.

He was remorseless and maintained his innocence, telling the judge: 'I didn't kill that girl. 'I just want to put that out there. 'I didn't do it and I'm sticking with it,' he said, according to WYTV which attended the sentencing hearing.

In earlier proceedings, he tried to plea guilty by way of insanity. He was convicted on a plea deal but claims he only accepted it to avoid being executed.

Bacher, who overdosed on heroin days after Gina's murder and who paraded herself to local media as her mother in the immediate aftermath of her death, was not present for the sentencing.

Bennett was there, having travelled from Texas to see Gina's killer put behind bars.

In a stern victim impact statement, she labeled him a 'piece of s***' and 'waste of oxygen.' 

I am the p***** off mother of a murdered child who you had no right to take away from me, her father and our family.

''You're a piece of s*** who killed a defenseless and innocent 16 year-old, 5ft 3, 100lb child.



Bermuda abolishes same-sex marriage after legalising it a year ago

In an unusual move, Bermuda has abolished same-sex marriage less than a year after it was legalised, replacing same-sex unions with domestic partnerships.

On Wednesday, Bermuda Governor John Rankin signed into law a bill that reverses an earlier Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.

The new law gives domestic partners in the British island territory similar rights as married couples - but without the legal title.

The government said the Domestic Partnership Act was "intended to strike a fair balance" between opposing parties on the conservative island.

"While the majority of Bermudians do not agree with same-sex marriage," according to a statement on the government's website, "it is the Government's belief that this Act addresses this position while also complying with the European Courts by ensuring that recognition and protection for same sex couples are put in place.

"The Act is intended to strike a fair balance between two currently irreconcilable groups in Bermuda, by restating that marriage must be between a male and a female while at the same time recognising and protecting the rights of same-sex couples."

The British government said it disapproved of the move but couldn't rightfully intervene, and critics called it a dark day for civil rights.

"This is not equality," Joe Gibbons, a gay Bermudian who is married to his partner, told The Guardian. "And the British government has obviously just said, 'This is not our fight.' "


North Carolina Settles With Magistrate It Forced Out for Not Doing Gay Marriages

The state of North Carolina has restored lost salary and retirement benefits to a former magistrate whom officials forced out because she wouldn’t abandon her religious beliefs to perform civil marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.

Gayle Myrick won $300,000, including $122,660 in back pay, in a settlement agreement made public Wednesday by her lawyers at Becket, a Washington-based nonprofit that defends religious freedom.

“This case is about protecting the dignity of everyone in our diverse society,” Becket counsel Stephanie Barclay told The Daily Signal in an email. “Faith and sexual orientation are deeply important to the identity of many people, and these two things don’t have to be at odds with each other.”

An administrative law judge ruled nearly a year ago that the state violated civil rights laws when it forced Myrick to resign as a Union County magistrate because of her religious beliefs about marriage.

North Carolina was “obligated to provide an accommodation” to Myrick as provided by federal law, Judge Michael Devine’s March 8 ruling said.

Myrick, now 68 and a resident of the Charlotte area, originally filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under the federal Government Employee Rights Act. The final settlement in Myrick v. EEOC ends the case.

“The state of North Carolina should not have discriminated against Gayle Myrick for her sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage. Accommodating her conscience took nothing away from same-sex couples’ ability to obtain marriage licenses,” Ryan T. Anderson, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, and Emilie Kao, a lawyer who directs Heritage’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, said in a joint statement to The Daily Signal.

“Our country has found ways to honor the consciences of those with differing views on the death penalty, the draft, and abortion. And federal employment anti-discrimination law requires we do the same on marriage too. Anything less would be un-American,” Anderson and Kao said.

Here’s what happened to Myrick, according to Becket:

As a magistrate, Myrick issued warrants, set bail, processed fines for traffic violations, and occasionally performed civil marriage ceremonies.

Even before the Supreme Court redefined marriage to include same-sex unions in 2015, Myrick, an evangelical Christian, decided that she didn’t want to stop any couple from getting married but knew it would violate her religious beliefs to officiate at a same-sex wedding.

Her immediate supervisor proposed that Myrick could shift her schedule by a couple of hours so she wouldn’t be at work when other magistrates did marriage ceremonies.

The state government rejected this accommodation, however, and forced Myrick to resign in October 2014, two weeks before her retirement benefits vested.

“I have always wanted to find a way to protect everyone’s dignity,” Myrick said at the time, according to a written statement provided by Becket. “The solution in my case would allow any couple to get lawfully married without facing rejection or delay, and magistrates with religious beliefs like me could step aside and still keep our jobs.”

Later in 2015, state lawmakers passed a bill allowing magistrates to decline to perform same-sex marriages if they cite religious beliefs. In doing so, they must refrain from all marriage ceremonies, the Associated Press reported.

Other magistrates in Union County routinely shifted schedules for various reasons, including vacations or night classes, Myrick’s lawyers argued, and she could have kept her job if she made the change for a reason not motivated by faith.

“If one government employee can change their work schedule to go fishing, another should absolutely be able to change their schedule for their faith,” Barclay told The Daily Signal.

State officials later acknowledged treating Myrick unfairly, she said, and the Nov. 27 settlement agreement “makes her whole” by paying the lost salary and retirement benefits.

W. Ellis Boyle, a lawyer in Raleigh, also represented Myrick.

A spokeswoman for the North Carolina Justice Department, the agency that represented the state in the case, declined comment Wednesday, AP reported.


Fixing a Foster Care System That Would Ban Mother Teresa

In one of the most moving parts of the president’s State of the Union address, President Donald Trump honored Ryan Holet—a police officer who decided to adopt the baby of a heroin addict.

Holet encountered the baby’s parents while on duty and asked the mother, “Why do you have to be shooting that? You’re going to ruin your baby. You’re going to kill your baby.”

After some thought and reflection, Holet and his wife decided to adopt the baby, who was born in October. They named her Hope. Little did they know that three months later, they’d be attending the president’s annual address.

Stories like Hope’s are inspiring, but sadly rare among kids born into her situation. Children like her often end up in
foster care and never find a happy ending.

What’s even more tragic, however, is that the ACLU and other groups are doing everything they can to prevent that happy ending. In many states, the ACLU is fighting to have faith-based foster care and adoption agencies shuttered.

Why? Because those agencies operate consistently with the same religious beliefs that lead them to serve these vulnerable children, including some that place children only in homes where they’ll have a married mother and father.

The ACLU wants to give these faith-based agencies an untenable choice: Renounce your faith, or stop helping children.

The most absurd aspect of the ACLU’s activism is that in each of the states where it is threatening faith-based adoption agencies, there are secular adoption agencies more than willing to place children in other family arrangements—no one is prevented from fostering or adopting.

But that’s not good enough for the ACLU. According to it, it’s better for no one to help a child in need than for a Catholic to help a child in need.

This purge of religious adoption agencies has already taken place in Illinois, where activists successfully shut down Catholic Charities, displacing 3,000 children because they dare to share the same religious tradition that motivated Mother Teresa to care for the orphans of Calcutta.

Faith-based agencies like Catholic Charities are an essential element of a foster care system that needs more—not fewer—foster care providers, especially as the opioid crisis worsens.

Children in the foster care system are passed around from home to home, constantly facing an unstable, unpredictable future. For half of the girls and for more than half of boys in the foster care system, that future will include jail.

While some kids are reunited with their parents, more than a quarter never will be, leaving over 100,000 of them waiting to be adopted.

The reality is that more than 60 percent of kids who spend time in foster care spend two to five years there without being adopted, while almost 20 percent spend more than five years in the system.

Many never find a family simply because there are not enough high-quality foster homes, group homes, and other critical services.

The demand for foster care has never been higher. Nationally, the number of kids in foster care rose by 10 percent in the last six years. In Florida, for example, that number rose by 129 percent in just three years.

Drug abuse is the No. 1 reason children enter the system. When I worked in Florida’s child welfare system, I witnessed firsthand families ravaged by drug abuse. More than 60 percent of child removals last year were due to substance abuse, a figure that nearly doubled in the last few years.

Now, the ACLU and others on the left have decided that this public health emergency is the right time to sabotage these children’s hopes of being placed with a loving family.

Congress should protect our children from this misguided effort to score culture war points at the expense of our country’s children.

Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., introduced the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act to prevent states from discriminating against foster care agencies on the basis of religion.

This bill takes the right approach. Unlike the ACLU’s litigation strategy, which excludes, this bill welcomes everyone who is willing to lend a hand to help an already overwrought foster care system.

This is too urgent to ignore. The opioid health crisis has children pouring into the foster care system. States must be permitted to take federal funds to care for children without driving out some of the best, longest-serving foster care providers from a system that desperately needs their help, all because these providers follow religious beliefs the ACLU dislikes.

Every child deserves hope and a home. Congress should not let the ACLU steal even one more child’s chance at a happy ending.



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 February, 2018

California baker who refused to make a wedding cake for same-sex couple for religious reasons IS allowed to turn away customers because it is 'artistic expression', judge rules

A California judge has sided with a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple's wedding because of her religious beliefs.

Cathy Miller, the owner of Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, made headlines last year when she turned away a Lesbian couple who wanted her to make their wedding cake.

Miller's lawyers had argued that making the cakes violated her Christian beliefs and free religious expression.

Superior Court Judge David Lampe ruled in favor of the baker on Monday, saying the act of making cakes was 'artistic expression' and did not violate California anti-discrimination laws.

'A wedding cake is not just a cake in a free speech analysis,' the judge wrote in his eight-page ruling.

'It is an artistic expression by the person making it that is to be used traditionally as a centerpiece in the celebration of a marriage. There could not be a greater form of expressive conduct.'

The case was initiated when same-sex couple Eileen and Mireya Rodriquez-Del Rio complained to the California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing after they tried to buy a cake from Miller's bakery for their wedding in October.

The state ruled in the couple's favor arguing that the First Amendment did not apply because the couple had not asked for any words or messages on the cake. They issued an order to force Miller to make the cake.

But Judge Lampe rejected the ruling and said his decision was based on the fact that Miller had not yet prepared the cake.

He said it would have been discrimination if the cake was already on display at the shop and Miller refused to let the couple buy it.

'A retail tire shop may not refuse to sell a tire because the owner does not want to sell tires to same sex couples,' Judge Lampe wrote.

'No baker may place their wares in a public display case, open their shop, and then refuse to sell because of race, religion, gender, or gender identification.'

At the time, Eileen Rodriquez-Del Rio said Miller had told them she would take their order, but give it to another bakery to make because she doesn't 'condone same sex marriages and will have no part in this process'.

A similar case in Colorado is still awaiting a Supreme Court decision involving baker Jack Phillips.

He has argued that he should be allowed to refuse service to same-sex couples based on free speech and free exercise of religion.


Antisemitism in the British Labour party

by John Mann, a Labour Party politician in England who has spoken out against antisemitism

I made my Question Time debut last week as a Labour MP. I was asked about Theresa May, about Brexit, about allegations of rape and how to deal with them and about statues of Margaret Thatcher. I talked about my work as a constituency MP, and as the longest-serving member of the Treasury Select Committee.

I discussed my work against child sexual exploitation and abuse and spoke about the economy and immigration. And yet, when I looked at my phone, I found I had received anti-Jewish abuse and an antisemitic death threat on social media. I am not Jewish, I didn’t talk about Jews and I didn’t discuss the Middle East.

This isn’t the first time. I can speak out about knife crime and drugs and the tweets come in – “who is paying you to do your work” “Why don’t you admit you’re in the pay of the Israeli government” and the like. It is not just tweets though. One Labour party member called me a “CIA *******” for dealing with the “antisemitism nonsense” following an appearance I made on the Daily Politics at Labour party conference talking about the Brexit. Not all, but the vast majority of these attacks have come from self-identified “left-wing” activists or Labour party supporters.

Anti-Jewish hate and invective is becoming so obsessive, so fervent that irrespective of what an anti-racist activist is discussing, antisemitism is the online reaction. Last week, Phillip Collins, in the Times, highlighted the problem of Left wing antisemitism and the obsessive hate of Israel. He pointed out that most of the statements people make are not actionable. The death threat I received will be, but much of the abuse fell into the other category. As he said: the “tone of voice, the severity, the passion, the elevation of an issue that should be one among many to a defining idea of political identity.” ”It connects to a loathing of America and of capitalism and of alleged western interference in the Middle East. For the uncomplicated racist, hatred of the undesirable people is the starting point. For the complicated, confused leftist, the denigration of a people is their conclusion.”

But now it’s one step further. There’s a group-focussed enmity. Anyone who calls out racism, or seeks to address anti-Jewish hatred is a target. It’s even now the case that allegations of antisemitism are being inferred or created and attributed to Jews in order to try and diminish the charge when one has not been made. This of course, undermines victims of antisemitism and their right to define such abuse and call out the abusers.

If you have had the misfortune of engaging these racist Twitter trolls, it won’t be long before you find some patterns emerging. It starts with talk of “Zionism” and quickly leads to allegations of the Holocaust being “rammed down our throats” and support for Holocaust revisionism. There is an antisemitic sickness, particularly afflicting the left, and it is spreading.

With the type-and-click ease and public platform that companies like Twitter provide, it is far easier than ever before to exist in a self-edifying bubble of conspiracy and hate. Despite promises and plans, the truth is that social media companies are ill equipped to deal with the problem. The initial response from Twitter to the death threat I reported, was to say it did not violate the company’s terms. The account was suspended, but clearly something went wrong. Most of the abusive, racist rubbish will however remain on line, easily discoverable by the young or any other people interested in searching about plans to address sexual abuse, Brexit or other matters. All the while, the obsessive racists fall further down the rabbit hole, convinced they will triumph over the fabricated “other” they define themselves against.

My political convictions are premised on action. I have acted, and I will continue to act, to deal with addressing these problems.

I expect Labour to call out the anti-Semites. When someone with a public platform in the party tweets a racist slur or alleges antisemitism is fabricated, they must be called out. Each and every Labour MP has a duty to speak. We cannot ask other party’s to deal with issues of antisemitism in their parties if we don’t call it out in our own.

As for social media, we need to change our framework for understanding how the online world operates. The Germans have done so, and the European Commission is on its way to doing so too. Social media platforms are publishers of content, not simply conduits. The more these companies manipulate and edit our feeds and timelines, the more apparent the case for them taking responsibility. Later this month, I will begin the process of seeking a change in the law to hold these companies to account for failing to take action against racism on their platforms.

We all have a responsibility to call out antisemitism. Any MP should be able to appear on a public show about the key policy issues of our time without being subjected to racist abuse. If we can’t defeat racism, then it’s not the politicians we need to be questioning but rather our future as a civilised society.


Is Jacob Rees-Mogg being turned into the Donald Trump of the Conservative party?

Clearly, there could hardly be a greater contrast between the two men in terms of personality, character and demeanour. Rees-Mogg is almost beyond caricature as the very essence of old-fashioned gentlemanly behaviour, self-restraint and thoughtful intellect; Donald Trump is… well, Donald Trump.

Just like Trump, however, Rees-Mogg has been transformed very fast from a joke figure on the fringes of politics to a front-runner for the leadership of the Conservative party and to become the next Prime Minister.

This is due to three factors. He is considered to be a political outsider, and is thus attractive to people for whom the entire political establishment is tainted; he has the virtue of absolute authenticity since he stands for things on which, however unpopular they may be — as a Catholic he is opposed to abortion, for example — he will remain staunch through thick and thin; and he represents values which are supported by millions of people but which the mainstream political establishment disdains.

Namely, he believes that since the British people have voted to leave the European Union they should actually leave the European Union. Accordingly, he stands robustly against all the weaselly ways in which the political establishment is attempting to ensure that Brexit happens in name only, with Britain remaining tied to the EU even after it has in legal terms made its exit.

Rees-Mogg therefore stands unequivocally for democracy, integrity and the independence of Britain as a self-governing nation. As a result, the political and media establishment is now intent on stopping him.

Exactly the same thing happened to Trump, whose relentless rise was the result of the same three factors (apart from the devout Catholicism) and who consequently has been the target of a frenzied attempt to destroy him. Now the cry has gone up: “Anyone but Rees-Mogg” — and also Boris Johnson, who has positioned himself as a staunch Brexiteer and is also still considered (amazingly) a leadership front-runner.

The Tory MP Anna Soubry, an extreme Remainer, says if Rees-Mogg and /or Johnson were to become leader she would quit the party. “They are not proper Conservatives”, she says. She has also urged Theresa May to “get a spine” and remove 35 “hard ideological Brexiteers” from the party.

So she wants 35 members of the party to be expelled because she disagrees with their views! The person who is not a conservative is surely Ms Soubry; indeed, she would appear to be not even a democrat.

Ms Soubry is in fact emblematic of precisely why the Conservative party has so completely lost its way. It no longer understands what it needs so urgently to conserve, and insofar as it does dimly grasp this most certainly lacks the spine to do so.

That’s precisely why, like Trump in the US, Rees-Mogg has risen so fast — as the champion of values so deeply cherished by millions but which, along with those millions themselves, the political and cultural establishment so deeply despise.


'Settled Science' Just Got Blown Up

For decades, the federal government has been telling people to cut fats and increase carbs in their diet, relying on supposedly settled nutrition science. A new study shows that the advice has been completely wrong.

In Woody Allen's 1973 comedy, Sleeper, his character wakes up 200 years after routine surgery, and two doctors discuss his health status. The conversation goes like this:

Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called "wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk."

Dr. Aragon: (chuckling) Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.

Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or ... hot fudge?

Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy ... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.

Dr. Melik: Incredible.

Incredible, indeed, since it turns out that Allen had it exactly right.

That's the conclusion of a massive new study published in Lancet that followed 135,335 people in 18 countries on five continents.

The study found that consumption of fat was associated with a lower risk of mortality, while consumption of carbohydrates was associated with a higher risk.

It found that the kind of fat didn't matter when it came to heart disease, and that saturated fat consumption was inversely related to strokes.

The researchers say, ever so politely, that "dietary guidelines should be reconsidered in light of these findings."

No Hidden Agenda: Get News From A Pro-Free Market, Pro-Growth Perspective
This research adds to a growing body of evidence that the government's war on fats has been dangerously misguided, if not deadly.

For example, a 2010 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, after looking at years of research, concluded that "there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease."

Other studies have found that whole milk lowers the risk of obesity.

Yet the government still admonishes against saturated fats and tells people to drink skim milk.

Meanwhile, government's push for a low-fat, high-carb diets has contributed to the explosion in obesity in the U.S.

The national obesity rate had been relatively flat between 1960 and 1980 — the first year the USDA issued its nutrition guidelines. But less than a decade after 1980, obesity rates shot up from 15% to 23%.

But don't expect the USDA to "reconsider" its guidelines, much less admit it was wrong, based on the new findings, since doing so would undermine the government's credibility.

This is the problem when science becomes politicized. And it's a prime example of why the public should be extremely wary of any claims that science is "settled" on any issue as complicated as health, nutrition, or, say, predicted changes in global climate 100 years from now.



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

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

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


8 February, 2018

A partial explanation of black crime

With ethically vacant parental attitudes like this, young blacks have little to tell them that they should not commit crimes

The parents of a dead armed robber are very angry over his death, and are demanding to know why his innocent victim was allowed to be armed.

It’s been a difficult week for parents Temia Hairston and Michael Grace Sr. Their son, Michael Grace Jr., was shot and killed during an attempted robbery early Sunday morning.

Police said Grace Jr. and two other people tried to rob a Pizza Hut in the 3200 block of Freedom Drive. During the incident, an employee fired his own handgun and killed Grace Jr.

Hairston said she learned of her son’s death on social media, and only got confirmation from police after contacting them first. The grieving mother said she has been left with dozens of questions about the situation that have thus far gone unanswered.

“If there was to be a death, it was not the place of the employee at Pizza Hut. That is the place of law enforcement,” said Hairston

The parents are angry that their son was shot and killed by an employee. They don’t believe the full story has been released to the public.

“Why in the hell did this guy have a gun?” questioned Hairston about the employee who shot her son.

She said her son was shot in the head, and she thinks the shooting may have even been personal, citing past conflicts Grace Jr. had had with other employees at the restaurant.

“This wasn’t a body shot. This was a head shot. My son was shot in the left side of his head just behind his ear. A head shot is personal,” said Hairston.

Even though their son was in the process of committing a crime, the family thinks his death was undeserved and unjustified.

Hairston said she thinks the employee who shot her son needs to be in jail, and wants all parties involved in the situation to be honest about what happened.

You want honesty, Temia Hairston? I’ll give you honesty.

The honest truth, Temia Hairston, is that every human being is born with the natural human right to arm themselves for the defense of their lives from both rogue governments and violent criminals. Your dead thug of a son was one of three vile human predators who obtained deadly weapons and put the lives of innocent people at risk—and likely would have ended their lives without a second thought—over the petty contents of a restaurant cash drawer.

Here’s some more honesty for you.

It is not the role of law enforcement to protect individual lives. This is immutable truth that which is also both a practical fact and a legal reality. One person and one person alone is responsible for defending your life against violent predators, and that person is the individual.

This Pizza Hut employee respected his own life enough to arm himself, and it proved to be a wise decision. Your son Michael Grace Jr. and his accomplices were committing a violent armed felony when the employee drew his (lawfully) concealed weapon and opened fire to defend not only his life, but the lives of other employees in the store.

Ms. Hairston, you then complained that the bullet that struck your son behind the ear during the ensuing firefight was “personal.”

Ma’am, preying on your fellow human beings is incredibly personal, even if armed robbery seemed to be your son’s idea of business. Would you have been mollified if the Pizza hut employee had put a controlled pair through his heart instead? I think not. At the core of it, your complaint is that your son was killed committing a crime, and you don’t seem to think that he deserved it, even as he callously and intentionally put numerous other lives at risk.

You’re wrong. This Pizza Hut employee had the right to defend his life and the lives of others against the violent actions of your predator son.

Your son chose to be a violent criminal, and earned the bullet that ended his life.


Is #MeToo Anti-Men?

Ignoring fundamental differences between men and women while demanding that men behave differently is no solution.  

The #MeToo movement, spurred on by the alleged desire to expose and fight against men who sexually abuse and harass women, has, for some, already become yet another feminist tribal battle cry in their ongoing obsession of pitting women against men. An unintended consequence of any serious movement is that it devolves into a kind of pop-culture fad, where the promotion of an image or idea is more important than the telling of truth.

One of the unintended messages from the #MeToo movement is the promotion of the extreme feminist idea that all men are essentially predators due to the so-called “patriarchy” within mainstream culture. This message follows that cultural “maleness” must be resisted, and put down because it produces unjust things like inequality and sexual harassment.

So while the movement recognizes the problem of sexual harassment and abuse it refuses to accept commonsense cultural safe guards that help to protect women against abuse. For example, Vice President Mike Pence has been much maligned over his long-time practice of refusing to be alone one-on-one with a woman who is not his wife. Feminists complain that this standard may hamper a woman’s ability to move ahead.

The Miami Herald recently reported that female lobbyists and staffers have found that “many male legislators will no longer meet with them privately.” Jennifer Green, a lobbyist, noted, “I had a senator say, ‘I need my aide here in the room because I need a chaperone,’” She elaborated, “I said, ‘Senator, why do you need a chaperone? … Do you feel uncomfortable around me?’ ‘Well,’ he said, ‘anyone can say anything with the door shut.’”

Of the #MeToo movement, Claire Berlinski recently wrote that it is “a frenzied extrajudicial warlock hunt that does not pause to parse the difference between rape and stupidity.” In fact, she added, “It has become a classic moral panic, one that is ultimately as dangerous to women as to men.”

It makes both logical and common sense for men who find themselves in positions of power to protect themselves from even the perception of indiscretion. The truth is that men and women have always played different roles within society, and no amount of cultural manipulation or denial of fundamental differences will remove this reality. Men are men and women are women, no matter how much the transgender movement may claim otherwise. To deny this is to deny both biological and experiential truth. Sexual attraction and tension are facts of life. No amount of politically correct social reengineering will remove this from either the workplace or society at large. If men feel they are being targeted, why would they not act to protect themselves?


In Defense of Evangelicals Who Support Trump

Dennis Prager
It is usually easier for an outsider to defend a person or a group that is attacked than for the person or group.

In that vein, this Jew would like to defend evangelicals and other Christians who support President Donald Trump. They are regularly attacked as religious hypocrites who give Christianity in general, and evangelical Christianity in particular, a bad name.

The people writing such things are often Christians, including evangelicals.

Ross Douthat, New York Times columnist, wrote: “Whether the subject is the debauched pagan in the White House, the mall-haunted candidacy of Roy Moore or the larger question of how to engage with secular culture, there is talk of an intergenerational crisis within evangelical churches, a widening disillusionment with a Trump-endorsing old guard, a feeling that a crackup must loom ahead.”

Jared Wilson wrote on The Gospel Coalition website: “From the same believers who raised us to believe that standing for the truth was more important than anything, that being persecuted for your integrity was better than compromise, that morality was not relative, that ethics are not situational. And now these same teachers are wanting us to believe that a little ‘R’ by a man’s name covers a multitude of sins.”

Robert P. Jones wrote in USA Today: “White evangelicals … are, in many ways, a community grieving its losses. … Thinking about the white evangelical/Trump alliance as an end-of-life bargain is illuminating. It helps explain, for example, how white evangelical leaders could ignore so many problematic aspects of Trump’s character.”

Shortly before the election, Marvin Olasky and the editors wrote in World magazine: “Glorifying God by honoring His standards is worth more than political gain.”

Jay Caruso, a Dallas Morning News editorial board member, wrote a column titled “Evangelical Leaders Expose Their Hypocrisy By Playing Palace Guard to Trump.”

In The Arizona Republic, Jon Gabriel, an evangelical, wrote a column titled “Evangelicals Are Hypocrites to Support Donald Trump.” In it he wrote, “As an evangelical myself, one of the strangest developments of the Trump era has been the abandonment of moral character as a political essential.”

I could give dozens more examples of attacks on evangelical Christians who support President Trump.

I believe these attacks are not biblical, moral or wise.

Religious Christians and Jews who support Trump understand that the character of a public leader is quite often less important than his policies. This is so obvious that only the naive think otherwise. Character is no predictor of political leadership on behalf of moral causes. I wish it were. Then, in any political contest, we would simply have to determine who the better person is and vote accordingly.

Therefore, I would like to pose some questions to critics of evangelicals who support Trump:

Former President Jimmy Carter has been married once (virtually all critics of Trump note that he is thrice married, as if that were ipso facto a character defect), and to the best of anyone’s knowledge, he has been faithful to his wife all those years. If you are conservative, religious or secular, would you vote for Jimmy Carter over Donald Trump?

Do you believe that Hillary Clinton has a finer character than Donald Trump? For the record, I believe his character is superior to hers. And the choice in the 2016 was between Trump and Clinton. A Republican who voted for anyone else or didn’t vote voted for Clinton.

Who should pro-choice voters support: a pro-life activist of fine character or a pro-choice activist of dubious character?

Who should pro-Israel voters support: an anti-Israel activist of fine character or a pro-Israel activist of dubious character?

If they were to have cancer, would any of the evangelicals’ critics choose an oncologist based on character? If not, why not?

One of the few moral heroes of the Holocaust was the German industrialist and member of the Nazi Party Oskar Schindler. He personally saved more than a thousand Jews’ lives. He was also a serial philanderer. I suspect many leading Nazis never cheated on their wives. Character is a complex issue.

I have spent my life making the case for good character: that God wants us to be good more than anything else; that our children’s character is way more important than their grades; and that the most important question a society can ask is how to make good people (since we are not born good).

Evangelicals realize that the moral good of defeating the Left is of surpassing importance. It can feel good to oppose the president, but religious supporters of the president are more interested in doing good than feeling good. On issue after issue — religious liberty, the unborn, Israel, the American flag and free speech, to cite just a few — the president and religious Americans have made common cause.

Like evangelicals, I look to the Bible for moral instruction. I also look for wisdom. And in that book, God chooses, of all people, a prostitute (Rahab) to enable the Israelites to enter the Promised Land.

There’s a lesson there.


Who's Afraid of Jordan Peterson?

When a British interviewer tried to shut him up, I knew he had something interesting to say

Peggy Noonan
When I speak with young people beginning their careers I often tell them that in spite of the apparent formidableness of the adults around them — their mastery of office systems, their professional accomplishments, their sheer ability to last — almost everyone begins every day just trying to keep up their morale. Everyone’s trying to be hopeful about themselves and the world. People are more confused, even defeated by life, than they let on; many people — most — have times when they feel they’ve lost the plot, the thread. So go forward with appropriate compassion.

This flashed through my mind when I saw the interview between British television journalist Cathy Newman and clinical psychologist and social philosopher Jordan Peterson. It burned through the Internet, in part because she was remarkably hostile and badgering: “What gives you the right to say that?” “You’re making vast generalizations.” He seemed mildly taken aback, then rallied and wouldn’t be pushed around. It was also interesting because she, the fiery, flame-haired aggressor, was so boring — her thinking reflected all the predictable, force-fed assumptions — while he, saying nothing revolutionary or even particularly fiery, was so interesting. When it was over, you wanted to hear more from him and less from her.

I wondered when I first read the headlines: What could a grown-up, seemingly stable professor (former associate professor of psychology at Harvard, full professor for 20 years at the University of Toronto) stand for that would make a journalist want to annihilate him on live TV — or, failing that, to diminish him or make him into a figure of fun?

He must have defied some orthodoxy. He must think the wrong things. He must be a heretic. Heretics must be burned.

I had not known of his work. The interview was to promote his second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. Mr. Peterson is called “controversial” because he has been critical, as an academic, of various forms of the rising authoritarianism of the moment — from identity politics to cultural appropriation to white privilege and postmodern feminism. He has refused to address or refer to transgendered people by the pronouns “zhe” and “zher.” He has opposed governmental edicts in his native Canada that aim, perhaps honestly, at inclusion, but in practice limit views, thoughts and speech.

This is unusual in a professor but not yet illegal, so I bought his book to encourage him.

In it he offers advice, much but not all of it based on decades of seeing patients as a psychologist, on the big eternal question: How to Live.

He is of the tough school: Know life’s limits, see and analyze your own, build on what you’ve got and can create. And be brave. Everything else is boring and won’t work.

Deeper in, you understand the reasons he might be targeted for annihilation. First, he is an intellectual who shows a warm, scholarly respect for the stories and insights into human behavior — into the meaning of things — in the Old and New Testaments. (He’d like more attention paid to the Old.) Their stories exist for a reason, he says, and have lasted for a reason: They are powerful indicators of reality, and their great figures point to pathways. He respects the great thinkers of the West and the Christian tradition.

More undermining of the modernist project, Mr. Peterson states clearly more than once that grasping at political ideology is not the answer when your life goes wrong. There’s no refuge there, it’s a way of avoiding the real problem: “Don’t blame capitalism, the radical left, or the iniquity of your enemies. Don’t reorganize the state until you have ordered your own experience. Have some humility. If you cannot bring peace to your household, how dare you try to rule a city?”

That is a dangerous thing to say in an ideological age.

What should we do instead? Admit life ain’t for sissies. You will die and on the way to death you will suffer; throughout you will be harassed by evil, both in the world and in your heart: “Earthquakes, floods, poverty, cancer — we’re tough enough to take on all of that. But human evil adds a whole new dimension of misery to the world.”

The only appropriate stance: “Stand up straight with your shoulders back” and “accept the terrible responsibility of life with eyes wide open.” Literally: “Quit drooping and hunching around. Speak your mind.” Competitors and predators will start to assume you’re competent and able. Moreover, it will “encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence.”

“Aim up. Pay attention. Fix what you can fix.” Respect yourself, take part, keep “the machinery of the world running.”

Don’t be arrogant. “Become aware of your own insufficiency. … Consider the murderousness of your own spirit before you dare accuse others, and before you attempt to repair the fabric of the world. And above all, don’t lie. Don’t lie about anything, ever. Lying leads to Hell. It was the great and the small lies of the Nazi and Communist states that produced the death of millions of people.”

He’s suggesting here the personal is political, but not in the way that phrase is usually meant.

If I were of the radical established Left, bent on squelching contending thought, I’d hate him too.

Success is a mystery, but failure is not: “To fail, you merely have to cultivate a few bad habits.” Drugs, drinking, not showing up, hanging around with friends who are looking to lose, who have no hopes for themselves or you. “Once someone has spent enough time cultivating bad habits and biding their time, they are much diminished. Much of what they could have been has dissipated,” he writes. “Surround yourself with people who support your upward aim.”

The past is fixed but the future is not. You can learn good by experiencing evil. “A bullied boy can mimic his tormentors. But he can also learn from his own abuse that it is wrong to push people around.” Your future is not preordained by experience; don’t be cowed by the stats. “It is true that many adults who abuse children were themselves abused. It is also true the majority of people who were abused as children do not abuse their own children.”

“Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient.”

It is a good book, blunt and inspiring.

We live in a time when so many young (and not so young) people feel lost, unsure of how they should approach their lives, or life in general. Mr. Peterson talks about the attitudes that will help find the path. It is not a politically correct or officially approved path, but it is an intensely practical and yet heightened one: This life you’re living has meaning.

Back to the hostile interview, and the labeling of Mr. Peterson as “controversial,” which is a way of putting a warning label on his work. When people, especially those in a position of authority, like broadcasters, try so hard to shut a writer up, that writer must have something to say.

When cultural arbiters try to silence a thinker, you have to assume he is saying something valuable.

So I bought and read the book. A small thing, but it improved my morale.



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

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

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


7 February, 2018

Top House Dem: Trump 'Would be Mussolini and Putin Would be Hitler'

Look at all those unhappy faces surrounding Rep. Clyburn.  Contrast it with all the happy faces that surround Trump.  Democrats really are the miserable party

The Trump effect

And their utterances are so often motivated by hate rather than any contact with reality.  Trump is like Mussolini?  Musso passed antisemitic laws. Trump is a great friend of Israel

Both Hitler and Trump discredit the media?  Hitler had the media on a leash.  The American media are not only free to criticize Trump, they do little else.

Trump discredits the judicial system?  They do a pretty good job of discrediting themselves.  By allowing affirmative action, they deny the equal treatment right explicitly granted in the 14th amendment, and invent rights, such as abortion, that are nowhere even mentioned in the constitution.  Trump is just trying to clean up that mess by appointing judges with known respect for the law

Swastikas hanging in churches?  Trump does that?

Rep. Clyburn is clearly a very dim bulb

The third-ranking Democrat in the House said Monday said that if one was comparing America today to Europe before World War II, "this president would be Mussolini and Putin would be Hitler."

"Having studied history and having taught history, I can only equate one period of time with what we experience now, and that was what was going on in Germany around 1934 right after the 1932 elections when Adolph Hitler was elected chancellor," Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told CNN. "He began to do things to discredit the media, to disrupt the judicial system, and if you recall from your studies, they had swastikas hanging in churches all over Germany."

"And when I see and hear, and experience what's going on in the country today, I think back to that time, and I really believe that we as Americans had better get a handle on things," he added. "If we don't, we could very well see ourselves going the way of Germany."

Clyburn appeared with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus -- Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), and Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) -- to discuss race in America under the current administration.

Richmond said the president's first year "has not been friendly to African-Americans," and caucus members will "either boycott or will sit together in solidarity and stare down what we believe is inequality and injustice and racism."


The corruption of affirmative action

Yeah, I know it was supposed to be a temporary measure, and overcome temporary prejudice, and make everyone equal and give them a fresh start.

That’s not the way things work in government.  Whatever is instituted stays around, festers, and becomes ever more complicated.

So it has been with affirmative action.  There are government set-asides for practically every category of humans under the sun, and more interestingly, the idea of affirmative action has percolated through the culture, even to those companies that aren’t involved with the government, and therefore don’t need to keep strict proportions amid their employees.

And yes, if anyone wonders, this idea of the government saying you have to have x number of this type of humans and y number of this type of humans is a very bad one.

It is bad for the companies because sometimes the best-qualified applicant isn’t the one you have to hire.  More importantly, though, it is very bad for the people thus singled out, and hired, and thus consigned to a special category.

I’ve dealt with this before on my own blog, and I won’t recapitulate the whole story here, but when I first came to the U.S. I fell in with a group of minority people who viewed everything that happened to them as a sign of discrimination.  This was easy, because, given my accent and the fact when younger I tanned darker, people treated me very strangely, including my first boss who was convinced I was both Mexican and illegal.  (No, don’t ask.  He thought Portugal was a city in Mexico.)

For a while with everything that went wrong, everything I failed at, I thought it was “the man” keeping me down.  But after a couple of years I realized that even if that were true, it was not the way to deal with the situation.  I realized that even if people were discriminating against me, to accept that as an excuse only guaranteed they won, and I’d never succeed.

Instead, I decided to treat it all as though it were my fault alone, and therefore only I could deal with it. After that, I was not only more successful but a lot happier.

Do people still discriminate against me?  Sure.  But people discriminate for the stupidest things.  I’m sure my husband who is from New England, and whose ancestors fought in the American War of Independence, gets discriminated against just as much because he’s short or because he prefers informal clothing, as I do for being (sometimes, depending on the person) identifiable as Latin.

All I can do to counter it is do the best work I can do and be the best I can be – and it is enough.

We are now more than a generation since equal civil rights were enshrined – restored? – as the law of the land.  There shouldn’t be anyone who needs a hand up by virtue of belonging to a special group.

What the continued preferences do is enshrine the idea that some people are perpetually inferior and always need a hand up.  This is a dangerous preconception to set up because sooner or later compassion fatigue sets in, and then anger.

Until then, it’s corrupting society at all levels.

One of my colleagues on a panel, in a conference with me, recently said that she had taught at Clarion West, the premier writing conference, in its one franchise, and had been told you can’t have women and minorities in stories and give them defects of character.  The “diversity” characters have to be perfect and perfect victims.

This is, of course, profoundly racist, a throwback to the noble savage, and a belief that people who tan, or women, are not fully human and not capable of human flaws.

I don’t know if it’s worse or just tragically comic that this has now started generating (heck, has probably always generated) carpetbaggers, willing to get rich off the conquered territory and willing to lie and scheme their way to power and prominence.

Rachel Dolezal, Shaun King, and yeah, Ward Churchill and Elizabeth Warren are such carpetbaggers, and you know where they get prominent there are hundreds more hiding in the weave of society, pretending to be something they’re not, to take advantage of those who have to hand them something for nothing (and their chicks for free) for the sake of their claiming “minority” and “victim.”

Still worse than that is that in my field one can craft an edgy and interesting persona, particularly if one lives far away, and get all the acclaim and awards because people think that some groups should be eternally receivers of largesse, as the poor things can’t do it themselves.  At least I hope that some of these personas are crafted.  Otherwise, the “gay Muslim” is plain insane.

This corrupts the field and elevates to prominence works that have barely grade school competence.

In fact, it corrupts all fields and all enterprises.  People elevated beyond their achievements are resentful and think they’re being deliberately being kept down – see Michelle Obama’s reaction to Harvard – while those around them feel put upon and not a little angry.

Progressives complain of the president being “divisive.”  But their policies of giving unearned benefits to people, on the basis of presumed past discrimination against long-dead ancestors, are what in fact do cause divisiveness and hatred.

It creates social justice carpetbaggers, multiplying like maggots on the body politic.  And it makes a mockery of our land’s idea of equal rights before the law -- be they to liberty or to the pursuit of happiness.

There is only one way to fight carpetbaggers and to heal the country: equality for all under the law. 

* People and their works judged by themselves, and not offenses against long-dead ancestors.

* The assumption that all people are capable of the full range of humanity, whatever their skin color, sex or orientation, the good along with the bad.

* And a willingness to see people as individuals again.


Black men prefer light-skinned women

Beyonce's father Mathew Knowles says she and sister Solange wouldn't be as famous if they had darker skin and says many black men with 'eroticized rage' prefer lighter skinned women

He masterminded his talented daughter's rise to fame in Destiny's Child, before helping her get started on a solo career.

Now Beyonce's father Mathew Knowles has spoken out about colorism in the music industry, saying that his superstar daughter and her sister Solange wouldn't be as famous if they had darker skin.

Talking to Ebony, he said the biggest black female stars all had lighter skin.

'When it comes to Black females, who are the people who get their music played on pop radio? Mariah Carey, Rihanna, the female rapper Nicki Minaj, my kids [Beyonce and Solange],' he told Ebony magazine.

Since parting ways with Beyonce professionally in 2011, African-American Knowles has reinvented himself as a college professor, and is promoting a new book about race relations, titled Racism: From the Eyes of a Child.

In his interview the 66-year-old also addressed his own deep-rooted attitudes to skin color, saying that when he first met Beyonce's mother, his ex-wife of 31 years, he assumed she was white.

'I actually thought when I met Tina, my former wife, that she was White. Later I found out that she wasn’t, and she was actually very much in-tune with her Blackness.'

He said that his preference for white or light-skinned black women was embedded in his childhood in Gadsden, a small town near the city of Birmingham, Alabama.

Said Knowles: 'When I was growing up, my mother used to say, "Don’t ever bring no nappy-head Black girl to my house." In the deep South in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, the shade of your Blackness was considered important. So I, unfortunately, grew up hearing that message.'

And this had a lasting effect. 'I used to date mainly White women or very high-complexion Black women that looked White... I had been conditioned from childhood.

'With eroticized rage, there was actual rage in me as a Black man, and I saw the White female as a way, subconsciously, of getting even or getting back. There are a lot of Black men of my era that are not aware of this thing.'

Beyonce's rise to stardom began in 1988 when she won the Baby Junior Award at the Sammy Awards, a ceremony held to honour Sammy Davis Jr.

She signed up to join a girlband, Girls Tyme, when she was eight, with Knowles quitting his full-time sales job to co-manage the band two years later.

The band became Destiny's Child, which three years later signed a seven-album deal with Columbia/Sony.

Knowles co-managed Destiny's Child throughout, and was also credited as executive producer on Beyonce's first solo album Dangerously In Love, before she ended her working relationship with her father in 2011.


Australian Senator slammed for claiming that having women serve in combat roles in the army is a RISK to national security

Bernardi is of course right.  Women don't have the stregth or stamina of men.  Just look at how the sports are segregated.  So women would wilt in a real battle.  There was plenty of hand-to-hand action in Afghanistan.  Check what Ben Roberts-Smith got his VC for

Women in combat units is not 'in the best interests of Australia's national security' according to controversial Australian Conservatives Senator Cory Bernardi.

He was slammed by his former colleague Western Australian Senator Linda Reynolds in Parliament on Monday.  'I want to say to Senator Bernardi: shame on you,' she said while labelling his comments appalling.

Senator Bernardi spoke against removing an exemption in the Sex Discrimination Act which allows discrimination against women being given combat roles. 

'It's about blurring the lines between political correctness and sound tactics in the name of what I think is social justice,' Senator Bernardi told parliament. He said he had deep concerns about the dangers of women serving in combat roles.

'I don't believe incorporating women into combat units is in the best interests of Australia's national security,' Senator Bernardi said.

Senator Reynolds, who was Australia's first woman brigadier in the Army Reserve, branded the Australian Conservatives' leader a 'complete and utter disgrace'.  'He could not have chosen a more insulting or demeaning topic, not only to all of our women who now serve in uniform, but all those women who want to put their hand up, she said. Senator Reynolds said entry standards had not been reduced as part of a push to get more women in the ADF, including in combat roles.

'For the future of defence forces and the security of our nation we need more women,' she said.

The change is part of a largely non-controversial omnibus bill which makes technical changes to a wide range of civil justice legislation.

Today's first day in Parliament was busy for Senator Bernardi, who is forming a new 'right wing' voting block with Senators David Leyonhjelm and Fraser Anning.



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

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

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


6 February, 2018

The #MeToo movement has descended into a savage and irrational frenzy

It has created a “presumptive criminalization of all male sexual initiatives.”

By Katie Roiphe

No one would talk to me for this piece. Or rather, more than twenty women talked to me, sometimes for hours at a time, but only after I promised to leave out their names, and give them what I began to call deep anonymity. This was strange, because what they were saying did not always seem that extreme. Yet here in my living room, at coffee shops, in my inbox and on my voicemail, were otherwise outspoken female novelists, editors, writers, real estate agents, professors, and journalists of various ages so afraid of appearing politically insensitive that they wouldn’t put their names to their thoughts, and I couldn’t blame them.

Of course, the prepublication frenzy of Twitter fantasy and fury about this essay, which exploded in early January, is Exhibit A for why nobody wants to speak openly. Before the piece was even finished, let alone published, people were calling me “pro-rape,” “human scum,” a “harridan,” a “monster out of Stephen King’s ‘IT,’?” a “ghoul,” a “bitch,” and a “garbage person”—all because of a rumor that I was planning to name the creator of the so-called Shitty Media Men list. The Twitter feminist Jessica Valenti called this prospect “profoundly shitty” and “incredibly dangerous” without having read a single word of my piece. Other tweets were more direct: “man if katie roiphe actually publishes that article she can consider her career over.” “Katie Roiphe can suck my dick.” With this level of thought policing, who in their right mind would try to say anything even mildly provocative or original?

For years, women confined their complaints about sexual harassment to whisper networks for fear of reprisal from men. This is an ugly truth about our recent past that we are just now beginning to grapple with. But amid this welcome reckoning, it seems that many women still fear varieties of retribution (Twitter rage, damage to their reputations, professional repercussions, and vitriol from friends) for speaking out—this time, from other women. They are, in other words, inadvertently creating a new whisper network. Can this possibly be a good thing?

Most of the new whisperers feel as I do, exhilarated by the moment, by the long-overdue possibility of holding corrupt and bullying men such as Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, and Matt Lauer to account for their actions. They strongly share some of its broader goals: making it possible for women to work unbothered and unharassed even outside the bubble of Hollywood and the media, breaking down the structures that have historically protected powerful men. Yet they are also slightly uneasy at the weird energy behind this movement, a weird energy it is sometimes hard to pin down.

Here are some things these professional women said to me on the condition that their names be withheld:

I think “believe all women” is silly. Women are unreliable narrators also. I understand how hard it is to come forward, but I just don’t buy it. It’s a sentimental view of women. . . . I think there is more regretted consent than anyone is willing to say out loud.

If someone had sent me the Media Men list ten years ago, when I was twenty-five, I would have called a harmlessly enamored guy a stalker and a sloppy drunken encounter sexual assault. I’d hate myself now for wrecking two lives.

One thing people don’t say is that power is an aphrodisiac. . . . To pretend otherwise is dishonest.

What seems truly dangerous to me is the complete disregard the movement shows for a sacred principle of the American criminal justice system: the presumption of innocence. I come from Mexico, whose judicial system relied, until 2016, on the presumption of guilt, which translated into people spending decades, sometimes lifetimes, in jail before even seeing a judge.

I have never felt sexually harassed. I said this to someone the other day, and she said, “I am sure you are wrong.”

Al Franken asked for an investigation and he should have been allowed to have it; the facts are still ambiguous, the sources were sketchy.

Why didn’t I get hit on? What’s wrong with me? #WhyNotMeToo

I think #MeToo is a potentially valuable tool that is degraded when women appropriate it to encompass things like “creepy DMs” or “weird lunch ‘dates.’” And I do not think touching a woman’s back justifies a front page in the New York Times and the total annihilation of someone’s career.

I have a long history with this feeling of not being able to speak. In the early Nineties, death threats were phoned into Shakespeare and Company, an Upper West Side bookstore where I was scheduled to give a reading from my book The Morning After. That night, in front of a jittery crowd and a sprinkling of police, I read a passage comparing the language in the date-rape pamphlets given out on college campuses to Victorian guides to conduct for young ladies. When I read at universities, students who considered themselves feminists shouted me down. It was an early lesson in the chilling effect of feminist orthodoxy.

But social media has enabled a more elaborate intolerance of feminist dissenters, as I just personally experienced. Twitter, especially, has energized the angry extremes of feminism in the same way it has energized Trump and his supporters: the loudest, angriest, most simplifying voices are elevated and rendered normal or mainstream.

In 1996, a six-year-old boy with Coke-bottle glasses, Johnathan Prevette, was suspended from school for sexual harassment after kissing a little girl on the cheek. This was widely interpreted as a sign of excess: as the New York Times put it, a “doctrine meant to protect against sexual harassment might have reached a damaging level of absurdity.” Yet I wonder what would happen today. Wouldn’t feminists be tweeting, “Don’t first grade girls have a right to feel safe?” Wouldn’t the new whisperers keep quiet?

One thing that makes it hard to engage with the feminist moment is the sense of great, unmanageable anger. Given what men have gotten away with for centuries, this anger is understandable. Yet it can also lead to an alarming lack of proportion. Rebecca Trais­ter, one of the smartest and most prominent voices of the #MeToo movement, writes:

The rage that many of us are feeling doesn’t necessarily correspond with the severity of the trespass: Lots of us are on some level as incensed about the guy who looked down our shirt at a company retreat as we are about Weinstein, even if we can acknowledge that there’s something nuts about that, a weird overreaction.

At first glance, this seems honest and insightful of her. She seems, for a moment, to recognize the energy that is unnerving some of us, an anger not interested in making distinctions between Harvey Weinstein and the man looking down your shirt—an anger that is, as Traister herself puts it, “terrifyingly out of control.” But weirdly, she also seems to be fine with it, even roused. When Trump supporters let their anger run terrifyingly out of control, we are alarmed, and rightly so. Perhaps Traister should consider that “I am so angry I am not thinking straight” is not the best mood in which to radically envision and engineer a new society.

It would be one thing if collapsing the continuum of bad behaviors happened only in moments of overshoot recognized by everyone. But I am afraid that this collapse is an explicit part of this new ideology. The need to differentiate between smaller offenses and assault is not interesting to a certain breed of Twitter feminist; it makes them impatient, suspicious. The deeper attitude toward due process is: don’t bother me with trifles! (One of the editors of n+1, Dayna Tortorici, tweets: “I get the queasiness of no due process. But . . . losing your job isn’t death or prison.”)

The widely revered feminist Rebecca Solnit made a related argument in a 2014 interview, speaking in the immediate wake of California’s Isla Vista mass shooting. “I think it’s important that we look at all this stuff together,” she said. “It begins with these microaggressions; it ends with rape and murder.” Solnit is not arguing literally that all arrogant men will go on to sexual assault. But by connecting condescending men and rapists as part of the same wellspring of male contempt for women, she renders the idea of proportion irrelevant, and lends an alluring drama to the fight against mansplaining. She gives a gloss of mainstream respectability and intellectual cachet to the dangerous idea that distinctions between Weinstein and a man who looks down someone’s shirt don’t ultimately matter.

Because of the anger animating the movement, incidents that might otherwise seem outrageous become acceptable or normal to us. The Shitty Media Men list, the anonymously crowd-sourced spreadsheet chronicling sexual misconduct in the publishing world, is a good example. If we think of how we would feel about a secretly circulating, anonymously crowd-sourced list of Muslims who might blow up planes, the strangeness of the document snaps into focus. And yet the Guardian described the list as an attempt “to take control of the narrative by speaking out,” while the Washington Post said “the point was community.” According to The Awl, “a few false positives is probably an acceptable price,” and Mashable opined: “Maybe the women accessing it will see a name and feel a little less crazy, a little more validated in knowing that weird interaction they had with that media guy in a bar was, in fact, creepy.” There is something chilling about circulating lists like this, with their shadowy accusations capable of ruining reputations and careers, simply so that a woman can be sure that a weird interaction she had at a bar with a media guy was, in fact, creepy. (“It feels Maoist,” says one of the deeply anonymous, while others question whether the list was ever designed to remain clandestine in the first place.)

To do a close reading of the list: some of the offenses on the spreadsheet (“creepy DMs,” “weird lunch ‘dates,’” “leering,” “flirting,” “violent language,” and “leading on multiple women online”) seem not quite substantial or rare enough to put into the category of sexual misconduct. I am not even sure they merit a warning to a hopeful young employee. I have graduate students who go on to work for these sorts of publications, and I am very mother-hen-ish about them. But I can’t imagine sitting with one of my smart, ambitious students in my office, lined with shelves of books like The Second Sex and A Room of One’s Own and I Love Dick and The Argonauts, saying, “Before you go work there, I just want to warn you, that guy might leer at you.” I would worry I was being condescending, treating her like a child who doesn’t know how to handle herself in the world.

I am not trying to suggest that the list makers don’t understand the difference in scale between leering and assault, but rather that the blurring of common (if a little sleazy) behavior and serious sexual harassment reveals a lot about how they think. For them, the world is overrun with leering monsters you have to steer around, as if in a video game. And if some of us seem overly occupied with problems of scale, with separating small gross moments from larger criminal ones, it is because we think the very idea of women’s power is at stake.

One man on the spreadsheet—a writer with no authority over anyone, and a drinker himself—is accused of the following: “targets very drunk women.” To me, the verb “target” is eloquent of the motives and the mind-set of the list’s creators. Why is hitting on someone, even with the third drink in your hand, targeting? Surely some of the women are targeting him back, or targeting someone else—the tall guy with a paperback tucked into his jacket pocket, maybe, on the other side of the room. However one feels about the health of drinkers who hang around till the last minutes of the party consorting with other drinkers, I am not sure you can accurately frame this as political oppression. Among other things, the verb makes a series of sexist assumptions about how helpless and passive the women (I mean, targets) at the party are.

In one of the sexual harassment stories in New York magazine’s The Cut, Emma Cline describes a drunken evening during which the head of a literary organization sits too close to her in a cab and asks for her number on the way home from a party. (“Why is this a story?” one of the deeply anonymous says.) Granted, we’re now used to the endless mediation of screens in our personal lives. Still, one wonders when someone asking for your phone number became an aggressive and dehumanizing gesture rather than, say, annoying or awkward. In a way, asking someone for her phone number seems like asking for consent—it’s asking, not assuming, it’s reaching out, risking rejection. It begins to feel as if the endgame of this project is not bringing to account powerful sexual bullies but, as a male acquaintance puts it, the “presumptive criminalization of all male sexual initiatives.”

A couple of days after my friend made this potentially outsized claim, Josephine Livingstone issued a fresh dictum in The New Republic: “You probably shouldn’t kiss anybody without asking.” She insists that everyone, not just college students, must now obtain verbal permission; all those ways you used to think you could tell whether someone wanted to kiss you six months ago no longer matter: “The world has changed, and affirmative consent is now the standard.” Note the friendly yet threatening
tone of a low-level secret policeman in a new totalitarian state.

Men are not entirely deluded if they sense that some of the anger is aimed at all men. Barely submerged in this project is the simmering idea that men have committed the dramatic and indefensible crime of being male. This tweet comes from Kaitlin Phillips (Twitter handle: ­@­yoloethics), a spirited young writer about the publishing world: “It’s not a revolution until we get the men to stop pitching ­LMAO.” In The Outline, a new digital publication, Leah Finnegan writes, “Many men wonder what to do with their entitled mouths and brains at moments like this and the answer is: shut up and go away.” She also tweeted, “Small, practical step to limit sex harassment: have obamacare cover castration.” While this is fairly extreme, its tone is not alien to anyone who dips even briefly into Twitter or Facebook. We are alarmed at the rampant and slippery Trumpian tendency to blame “all immigrants” or “all Muslims,” and blaming all men seems to me only a little less ominous.

Traister writes about men living scared,

the friends and colleagues self-aware enough to be uneasy, to know they’re on a list somewhere or imagine that they might be. They text and call, not quite saying why, but leaving no doubt: They once cheated with a colleague; they once made a pass they suspect was wrong; they aren’t sure if they got consent that one time. Are they condemned?

It seems that they are, because she continues: “Men have not succeeded in spite of their noxious behavior or disregard for women; in many instances, they’ve succeeded because of it.” In this context, it’s not entirely surprising when she reports her husband saying to her, “How can you even want to have sex with me at this point?”

If on some subterranean level of this conversation all men are presumed guilty, then all women are innocent, and I guess my question is, Do we really want that innocence? What is the price of it? In her prescient early-Seventies critique of the women’s movement, Joan Didion wrote, “Increasingly it seemed that the aversion was to adult sexual life itself: how much cleaner to stay forever children.” She went on to object to a feminist idea of sex that assumed women were, in her memorable phrase, “wounded birds.”

Didion’s phrase rang in my mind as I read Rebecca Solnit’s comment in the interview quoted earlier:

Every woman, every day, when she leaves her house, starts to think about safety. Can I go here? Should I go out there?. . . Do I need to find a taxi? Is the taxi driver going to rape me? You know, women are so hemmed in by fear of men, it profoundly limits our lives.

(To this, one of the deeply anonymous says, “I feel blessed to live in a society where you are free to walk through the city at night. I just don’t think those of us who are privileged white women with careers are really that afraid.”)

The idea of this ubiquitous, overwhelming fear is repeatedly conjured and dramatized by Twitter feminists. In one of her pieces, Rebecca Traister complains about a man who was fired many years ago from Harper’s Magazine following an instance of sexual misconduct and now writes for New York. She does not mention that he has worked uneventfully in two offices since then. Moira Donegan (former Twitter handle: @MegaMoira; current handle: @MoiraDonegan), the creator of the Shitty Media Men list, tweeted:

What about the women at New York who feel uncomfortable working with him? Why is their ability to feel safe at work less important than his second chance? It’s their first chance.

The man, as Traister herself says, has no women working under him. He does not work in the office. So the looming threat of his mere existence to the safety of the young New York employees seems somewhat overblown. I can’t help thinking it is @MegaMoira here who is endowing him with a power he doesn’t have, and at the same time, not giving those allegedly scared and unsafe young women at the magazine enough credit: Why should they care about a writer puttering at home?

The rage can at times feel like bloodlust. In the essay she wrote about creating the list, Donegan describes her “desire for a kinder, more respectful, and more equitable world.”1 However, after the list came out but before Lorin Stein resigned as editor of The Paris Review, she tweeted: “every profile of Lorin Stein calls him ‘skinny and bespectacled’ but here’s the thing: he’s not that skinny.” She added: “I guess ‘bespectacled, bald, and busting out [of] the bespoke shirts he’s still having made with 15 year old measurements’ doesn’t have the same ring to it.” Later, these tweets were deleted. But if we could think in less gendered terms for a moment, one could reasonably ask: Who is harassing whom?

Can you see why some of us are whispering? It is the sense of viciousness lying in wait, of violent hate just waiting to be unfurled, that leads people to keep their opinions to themselves, or to share them only with close friends. I recently saw a startling reminder of this when Wesley Yang published an insightful and conflicted piece in Tablet called “Farewell to a Scoundrel,” about former Paris Review editor Lorin Stein and the feminist moment.

I teach Yang’s work to my graduate students, so I know a little bit about him. He is a Korean-American man who has written memorably about being viewed as a sexual neuter by the white women in his social circle. Now he is married with a child. Shortly after the Tablet piece appeared, @yoloethics started tweeting:

DAILY REMINDER that the men who can’t for the life of them figure out how to get fucked are more dangerous than those who do.

All I want for Christmas is a list of Male Media Virgins!! Having a child does not exempt you from this list, men who direct their repressed sexual rage at women.

In another tweet, she made fun of Yang for publishing in Tablet. After reading these, I was curious about who she was, and discovered that her work had appeared in places such as n+1, Artforum, and Vice, and that in other moods she tweets about her Margiela boots and fur coat; her feed basically mixes the frivolity of Sex and the City with the viciousness of Breitbart.

I wouldn’t normally quote so much Twitter, but the extremes of vitriol unloosed in this conversation find their purest expression there. Some of these seemingly fringe figures are actually writers and editors who publish in places like The New Republic and n+1, who are involved in setting the tone of the conversation; one can very easily connect the dots between their views and those of more mainstream feminists. I have a feeling that if one met @yoloethics or the rest of her Twitter cohort in person, they would seem normal, funny, smart, well read. But the vicious energy and ugliness is there beneath the fervor of our new reckoning, adeptly disguised as exhilarating social change. It feels as if the feminist moment is, at times, providing cover for vindictiveness and personal vendettas and office politics and garden-variety disappointment, that what we think of as purely positive social change is also, for some, blood sport.


Democratic Leaders, Why Do You Find Patriotism Divisive?

Did you ever think you’d see the day when a prominent political party would accuse the president of being divisive and exclusionary for saying “America” too many times during his State of the Union speech?

The American Civil Liberties Union made that very complaint. No, the ACLU is not the Democratic Party, but its positions on such matters are virtually indistinguishable. Besides, many prominent Democrats and media liberals made similar objections after the speech.

MSNBC host Joy Reid brazenly trashed traditional American values and institutions with her tweet accusing President Trump of trying to force the normalization of himself by using “terms of the bygone era his supporters are nostalgic for” — namely, church, family, police, military and the national anthem.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Trump’s unapologetically pro-America speech, which was widely approved by the American people in flash polls immediately afterward, “dangerous.”

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), who recently compared Trump’s presidency to a time “right after the 1932 elections when Adolf Hitler was elected chancellor,” took umbrage at Trump’s statement that Americans, like the immigrants whose parents brought them here illegally as children, “are dreamers, too.”

Fox News analyst Juan Williams was deeply disappointed by the speech, saying that this was an opportunity for Trump to reach across the aisle and bring us together but he didn’t take it. More bizarrely, Williams said in response to Trump’s statement that “Americans are dreamers, too,” “David Duke and the KKK would love that.” Seriously?

Obviously, today’s Democratic Party (at least its leadership) has a problem with raw expressions of patriotism, because Democrats can’t seem to look at America through anything but their distorted prism of Balkanized identity politics.

They assume that when Republicans promote church, family, police, the military, the national anthem and wholesomeness and goodness, they are somehow dog whistling to white supremacists, or some such nonsense. Democrats said Trump delivered a “wedge speech,” one that “inflames the cultural divide.”

Perhaps their habit of divining code language in our every pronouncement is simple projection. For all of Trump’s faults, he pretty much says what he believes. His SOTU speech was no exception. Probably the most consistent message he delivered on the campaign trail was his belief in an America-first philosophy — not certain groups in America at the exclusion of others but all Americans.

What these kvetching liberals can’t grasp is that we conservatives don’t view our heartfelt expressions of patriotism as exclusionary or divisive. Indeed, by definition they are not.

Liberals say we promote white privilege. We don’t. They say our policies disfavor minorities, but they don’t; they are race-neutral and aimed at lifting up all people. They say immigration enforcement advocates are driven by nativism and bigotry. We aren’t; we are animated by a love for America and the American idea, which is enshrined in our founding documents. We don’t believe that America is the greatest nation in history by accident, and certainly not because of ethnic demographics.

Rep. Joseph Kennedy, in the official Democratic response to the SOTU, audaciously quoted a U.S. motto, “e pluribus unum,” meaning “out of many, one” — though every other thing out of his mouth and that of his Democratic colleagues undermines that precept. Conservatives, though, actually believe in a melting pot and equality of opportunity and equal justice for all.

Sadly, Kennedy and his Democratic leaders view America only through race-conscious eyes. They are the ones who deliberately divide us, by constantly agitating over race, gender, sex, religion and any other category that will incite their base into a frenzy.

America was mired in a perpetual malaise under Barack Obama, and the Democrats’ goal, when Obama’s scapegoating of George W. Bush had finally extended even beyond the Democrats’ willing suspension of disbelief, was to delude Americans into accepting economic stagnation as inevitable and the new normal.

Already, in one short year, with Trump’s tax cuts, his deregulation, his business-friendly policies, his recommitment to America’s domestic energy industries, and his overall contagious optimism and bullishness on America, this nation is roaring back, and Democrats are conspicuously vexed about it.

They have no viable alternative agenda; everything they tried under Obama failed. Yet they’re still promoting the same destructive ideas. That is why they have reduced themselves to ad hominem Trump slanders, bogus charges of collusion with Russia and blanket smears of conservatives as bigoted extremists.

Democrats are the ones who have become more extreme every year. Yesteryear’s liberal extremism is far too conservative for today’s Democratic Party. With Democrats’ constant westward shifting of the goal posts, they regard mainstream conservatism as radical. Proof of their extremism and intellectual bankruptcy is their maniacal rhetoric, such as accusing Trump of being a dangerous dictator.

Their emotional breakdown over innocuous and uplifting presidential expressions of patriotism and traditional American values — with their perception that such inherently unifying ideas are divisive and exclusionary — screams volumes.

Such utterances of national pride cannot credibly be depicted as divisive. Likewise, Democrats’ quest to force-fit identity-tinted lenses on all Americans so that we can see one another only as members of certain groups cannot be spun as uniting or constructive.

It would be refreshing if Democrats could at least be truthful about where they stand, but as of now, they are saying one thing and at the same time, well, saying another. Please keep it up through November, guys.


Words mean things. Beware when people endeavor to redefine them in service to a political agenda

Language is critically important when it comes to understanding other people. It’s one of the things that separates man from beast. But perhaps ever since the Tower of Babel, we humans are destined to misunderstand each other. Unfortunately, sometimes, that misunderstanding is due to people deliberately reshaping language for political ends. Time and space won’t permit a comprehensive list, but here are a few prominent examples.

Much of the current debate in Washington revolves around immigration, where there’s no shortage of manipulated and deceitful terminology. The technical and legal term “illegal alien” has been not just discarded but rejected with prejudice by leftist open-borders advocates, who for years now have referred to illegals as “undocumented.” Sometimes for good measure they add “workers,” so we don’t think these folks are taking from the system. News flash: they are.

“Dreamer” is another one. Granted, that’s actually derived from an unpassed bill called the DREAM Act (an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act), but that title too was a clever spin on the language to make amnesty for certain illegals sound as appealing as possible. Who could possibly oppose “dreamers”? Hence the word play.

In days past, “racism” meant prejudice against another race. Now it’s a catch-all term for conservative policies on taxes, “welfare” (another distorted word), immigration, etc. Leftists don’t argue policy merits, they shout “racism” and spike the football, thinking they’ve won the argument.

The homosexual agenda, too, is rife with redefinitions. “Gay,” of course, used to mean carefree. “Love” once meant selfless acts of compassion for someone else; now that “love wins” is the slogan for same-sex marriage, it means forcing your political agenda upon someone else. “Love” — “tolerance” too — means putting good people out of business for conscientiously objecting to providing artistic services for same-sex weddings.

That agenda has expanded to include transgenderism, so we read and watch emotional stories about boys using feminine pronouns and vice versa with the desired result being our celebration of a “brave” choice. Bruce and Bradley are now Caitlyn and Chelsea. Enabling a young child to decide she’s a “boy” is no longer child abuse, it’s “tolerance.” All that matters is affirming a person’s gender dysphoria, not sticking with facts or science - much less actually helping such people.

“Phobia” is a suffix now attached to numerous words and it serves much the same purpose as “racism.” Conservatives are “homophobic,” “transphobic,” “xenophobic” and so on, because it helps leftists dismiss good-faith policy or moral arguments as irrational fear.

Along a similar cultural vein, media organizations refer to “pro-life” groups as “anti-abortion,” which is true in a sense yet woefully inadequate and deliberately negative. “Life” itself has been shifted from conception to birth. “Choice” is a sick euphemism for ending life. Again, never mind scientific definitions when an agenda is on the line.

One of the more sinister efforts at language manipulation is with guns. Media reports ubiquitously refer to certain guns with the misnomer “assault weapons,” or they speak of “high-capacity” magazines instead of standard capacity. When a deranged individual or a religious fanatic murders numerous people, he is, according to the media, a “gunman,” because that puts the focus on the instrument of death rather than the killer himself. Subtly, that sways people’s emotions against a tool, and it provides - pardon the pun - ammunition for those who would curtail our Second Amendment rights.

Terrorists motived by loyalty to a worldwide entity we in our humble shop call Jihadistan are, to the media, “lone wolves.” And yet fatherless, medicated and unaffiliated killers are somehow motivated by the “gun lobby”?

Far more broadly speaking is calling our “republic” a “democracy.” The latter has become lazy shorthand for getting to vote for stuff, while “republic” is too often associated with communist tyranny that isn’t republican at all, as in The People’s Republic of… For many Americans, accepting this terminology shift is largely just lazy, but make no mistake - Democrats benefit from the widespread good feelings associated with “democracy,” while the converse is true for Republicans. That same marketing technique was employed when the media shifted red and blue states 30 years ago. Ronald Reagan’s map was blue, but Democrats didn’t want the association with communist red. Hence the change.

Walter Williams recently wrote an outstanding explanation of why the Founding Fathers “went to great lengths to ensure that we were a republic and not a democracy.” Moreover, Williams notes, “The word democracy does not appear in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution or any other of our founding documents.” In fact, the Founders warned against democracy as its own form of tyranny.

We could go on ad nauseum, but readers can see the point. Words mean things, and all Americans should beware and reject the mainstream media’s redefinitions, which often advance specific points in the Left’s agenda. Unfortunately, most other conservative media outlets don’t bother getting these words right and thus cede ground to leftists. Your Patriot Post team, on the other hand, has endeavored for more than 21 years to fight for the language as part of our fight for both truth and Liberty. We aim for that to continue.


Australia: New Liberal Party senator Jim Molan posts inflammatory anti-Muslim videos

Good that there is someone who is not afraid to mention Muslim hostility

New Liberal senator Jim Molan has used social media to share inflammatory anti-Muslim videos from Britain First - the same racist hate group Donald Trump was widely condemned for promoting.

The conservative hardliner has also shared articles about banning Muslim migration to Australia, as well as posts highlighting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's poor polling and advocating for the Coalition to "lurch to the right".

But it is his promotion of Britain First likely to prove most controversial. The US president sparked a global uproar when he shared three video tweets by Britain First's deputy leader Jayda Fransen last year. British Prime Minister Theresa May quickly said the president's actions were "wrong".

Those videos purported to show a group of Muslims pushing a boy off a roof, a Muslim destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary, and a Muslim violently beating a Dutch boy on crutches. At least one of the videos was later exposed as a fake.

Senator Molan - a retired major general sworn in to the Senate on Monday to replace former Nationals deputy Fiona Nash - shared two of Britain First's videos on his personal Facebook page in March last year.

But a spokesman for Senator Molan defended the posts. "The senator often posts material in order to generate debate. The sharing of any post does not indicate endorsement," he said.

The first video - which he shared on March 12 - is titled "Muslim Thugs Beat Girl in Holland" and shows a man punching, knocking down and then kicking a girl in a street. He posted the video - which claims the violence was motivated by the woman's clothes - without comment but many others weighed in on the link.

"Charming. And we're meant to be tolerant, accepting and welcoming of this 'breed' in our country," says one of his Facebook connections.

"Unbelievable," Senator Molan responds.

Other Facebook users refer to the men as "disgusting apes", "disgusting thugs" and "filth".

"Deport them. Send them back to there (sic) shitty country's (sic)," says one.

One commenter however points out the video is likely fake and urges Senator Molan to take it down. There is nothing in the video to suggest the attackers are Muslim or the violence was in anyway motivated by race or religion. Dutch news sites have reported the altercation was actually about a scooter collision.

Two weeks later, Senator Molan shared another of Britain First's videos, this one purportedly showing Muslim men attacking French police cars in a "Muslim no-go area". Again the video has no context or verification.

Senator Molan again does not comment on the video but his Facebook connections contribute comments like "Machine gun them down, take back the streets" and "Drown the rounds in pigs blood before using them though, that'll piss em off".

Mr Trump ultimately apologised for sharing the group's material. He said he knew nothing about who the group was when he retweeted them.

“If you are telling me they’re horrible people, horrible, racist people, I would certainly apologise if you’d like me to do that," he recently told a British journalist.

Britain First is a far-right political and vigilante organisation, renowned for filming themselves harrassing Muslims and marching through multicultural neighbourhoods brandishing white Christian crosses.

Drawing on white nationalism, the group was founded by an evangelical Protestant minister and also stages "Christian patrols" in armoured vehicles and "mosque invasions", where they confront imams and worshippers.

The group has nearly two million Facebook followers. Ms Fransen is facing charges for using "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour" during a speech in August in Northern Ireland, and has previously been fined for harassment. The group's leader, Paul Golding, has also been arrested numerous times.

The group has also been indirectly linked to more serious violence. A man who drove into pedestrians outside a mosque in London last June - injuring eight people - had had contact with Britain First and other far-right groups.

Labor frontbencher Doug Cameron said Senator Molan's Facebook activity raised questions for the Liberal Party.  “Fresh from sharing racist hate videos on Facebook, he’s now got a scored a position in the Liberals’ Senate team,” Senator Cameron said.



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

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

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


5 February, 2018

A male backlash against #MeToo is brewing

Another instance of feminism not being good for women

Men are scared, and feminists are delighted. But the urge to call out and punish male sexual transgression is bound to clash with an inescapable truth: We’re all in this together, men and women.

Consider what’s happening in the capital of Florida. Female staffers and lobbyists have found “many male legislators will no longer meet with them privately,” reported The Miami Herald. “I had a senator say, ‘I need my aide here in the room because I need a chaperone,’ ” lobbyist Jennifer Green told the paper. “I said, ‘Senator, why do you need a chaperone? .?.?. Do you feel uncomfortable around me?’ ‘Well,’ he said, ‘anyone can say anything with the door shut.’?”

“I’m getting the feeling that we’re going back 20 years as female professionals,” said Green, who owns her company. “I fully anticipate I’m going to be competing with another firm that is currently owned by some male, and the deciding factor is going to be: ‘You don’t want to hire a female lobbying firm in this environment.’?”

This kind of thinking is catching on in aggressively P.C. Silicon Valley, where men are taking to message boards like Reddit to express interest in sex segregation — sometimes labeled “Men Going Their Own Way,” or the “Man-o-Sphere.” How will that work out for women in the tech industry, where they already face substantial challenges?

Across industries, “Several major companies have told us they are now limiting travel between the genders,” Johnny Taylor, president of the Society for Human Resource Management, told the Chicago Tribune, citing execs who tell men not to go on business trips or share rental cars with women co-workers. UCLA psychologist Kim Elsesser, the author of “Sex and the Office,” sees a nascent “sex partition.” If men start to back away from women, at least in professional settings, it’s difficult to see how that will aid the feminist cause.

As is characteristic of movements led by the left in general, #MeToo faces the prospect of being seen to push too far, too fast. Not long ago, the British magazine The Spectator depicted the cause a feminist Reformation, with a modern woman nailing her demands to the door of a church like Martin Luther. These days the entirely justified anger and calls for change are venturing into iconoclasm: Let’s knock over some innocent statues and shatter all those stained-glass windows!

Companies are firing perverts and sexual harassers, which is great, but those who can’t find any bad behavior to punish are casting around angrily looking for random things to attack. Jordan Peterson, the University of Toronto professor and author of the bestseller “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” who has become a YouTube sensation by rebutting crazy left-wing students, has been lambasted on social media for citing sociological studies that say women are more agreeable in the workplace and suffer some salary repercussions because of it.

Although this is essentially a restatement of the thinking behind “Lean In” — if you want it, push for it — Peterson found himself being subjected to an absurdly hostile interview by British broadcaster Cathy Newman in a confrontation that went viral and led to more abuse being heaped on Peterson.

Writing in The American Interest, Claire Berlinski calls the #MeToo movement “a frenzied extrajudicial warlock hunt that does not pause to parse the difference between rape and stupidity” and “a classic moral panic, one that is ultimately as dangerous to women as to men.” She tells a story about how she just discovered she has a new power: the power to ruin the career of a professor she knew at Oxford who grabbed her butt 20 years ago while drunk at a party. “I was amused and flattered,” she writes, saying, “I knew full well he’d been dying to do that. Our tutorials — which took place one-on-one with no chaperones — were livelier intellectually for that sublimated undercurrent. He was an Oxford don and so had power over me .?.?. But I also had power over him — power sufficient to cause a venerable don to make a perfect fool of himself at a Christmas party. Unsurprisingly, I loved having that power.”

Reformers should keep her underlying point in mind: Change may be good, but be wary of unintended consequences. Turning men and women into hostile opposing camps is not going to be good for either sex.


And still it goes on:  False rape charges in Britain

Another destructive triumph for feminists.  They have been heavily criticizing police and prosecutors for not getting enough rape convictions

A schoolboy has been cleared of rape after lawyers discovered that police had missed key evidence proving his innocence.

It comes amid a growing scandal over disclosure failures by the Crown Prosecution Service that have seen more than a dozen sex cases collapse in recent months.

It likely means that innocent men were wrongly accused, but also that dangerous criminals may have escaped justice because of blunders by police and the CPS.

The 17-year-old boy was found not guilty after the emergence of thousands of social media messages proving his innocence that police officers had failed to uncover.

He was expelled from his school in Leicestershire in 2016 following his arrest at the age of 15, according to The Times.

After the messages emerged, the prosecution offered no evidence - with not guilty verdicts entered for 14 charges against him including rape and sexual activity with a child.

It came after defence lawyers found more than 200 pages of Facebook messages proving his relationship with a girl of the same age was consensual.

A spokesman for the CPS said: "We have a duty to keep cases under continual review. "In March 2017, as part of the charging decision, the CPS requested that police investigated social media interactions, but were informed that no messages existed.

"As a result of new material made available to the CPS in November 2017, further reviews of the case were undertaken."

Last month, prosecutors admitted that 13 rape trials collapsed last year because they failed to disclose vital evidence that undermined the case against the defendants.

The total doesn't include four rape trials which had to be abandoned in the past month at the last minute.

In January, Oxford University student Oliver Mears had a rape charge against him dropped after being on bail for two years, because of a diary discovered on the eve of his trial.

The embarrassing revelation by the CPS has put fresh pressure on Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders, who has insisted no one is wrongly behind bars because of disclosure failures.

The true scale of the problem was quietly slipped out in the House of Lords last month. Former Attorney-General Lord Morris asked how many rape trials had been discontinued because of a failure to disclose evidence.

In reply, Lord Keen, the Ministry of Justice's spokesman in the Lords, said: 'Internal CPS case outcome recording data for 2016-17 shows that issues connected to the disclosure of unused material were recorded as the primary reason for two per cent of the rape prosecutions that were subsequently not proceeded with after charge.'

A spokesman for the CPS said: 'The two per cent represents 13 rape cases that were not proceeded with in 2016/17 after being charged due to a failure to disclose unused material.'  He added: 'This represents 0.3 per cent of the 5,190 rape cases we prosecuted in 2016-17.'

During a parliamentary debate last week, former Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas said: 'We can no longer continue this failure of accountability. 'It is a disgrace – I do not use that word lightly – that this problem has been left unresolved for so long.'

The 13 cases dropped last year included those of four agricultural students wrongly accused of gang-raping a woman at a college ball.

The young men endured two years of 'being dragged through hell' because the detective in the case had failed to disclose what the judge called 'game-changing' evidence that undermined their accuser's claims.

The CPS said: 'The CPS accepts that we, along with police colleagues, need to do more to improve our disclosure of unused material. There are systemic disclosure issues across the criminal justice system, and it will take a collective effort from all participants for improvements to be made.'

Critics say DPP Mrs Saunders has still not got a grip on the problem, after she declared that police did not always have to look for evidence on social media or mobile phones. 'We don't ordinarily trawl through people's lives,' she said.

'If people have known each other for a day, you might look at the texts between each other on that day or perhaps a day after.

'But you wouldn't and couldn't, without a huge amount of resources, completely download a phone and trawl through it all.'

Former Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West Nazir Afzal, said: 'We wouldn't be saying that about looking for witnesses or DNA or fingerprints. We've got to do it, that's how we ensure a fair trial.'

He added that the DPP had been 'very bold' to claim that no one was currently wrongly in jail because of a failure to disclose evidence. 'I know of cases where digital evidence would have perhaps meant that person wasn't convicted, and with 84,000 people in prison it's a bold statement to say that not one of them shouldn't be where they are.'


Why Pro-Lifers Have Cause for Hope

Forty-five years ago Monday, the Supreme Court issued its decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, inventing a constitutional right to abortion on demand.

Since then, over 59 million babies have been lost to abortion, and the U.S. remains one of only seven countries that allows abortions after 20 weeks, the age when studies suggest preborn infants can feel pain.

Yet there remains cause for hope. This past Friday, tens of thousands of Americans gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 45th annual March for Life in order to show their support for women facing unplanned pregnancies as well as the unborn.

This year’s theme, “Love Saves Lives,” served as a reminder that love has the ability to overcome all obstacles and grant women and children the opportunity to experience life to the full.

This year’s march was a historic one. While Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush addressed the March for Life via phone during their respective terms, President Donald Trump became the first president to address the March for Life rally via broadcast from the Rose Garden.

“The March for Life is a movement born out of love: you love your families; you love your neighbors; you love our nation; and you love every child born and unborn, because you believe that every life is sacred, that every child is a precious gift from God,” the president told the crowd.

Congress was in session during the March for Life this year. As people gathered at the National Mall before the march, the House passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act over on Capitol Hill. This bill ensures that children who survive failed abortions are treated as persons and given appropriate medical care.

The bill augments a 2002 law by providing for criminal consequences for health care providers that fail to care for an infant who is born alive. Treating a baby that is born alive after an abortion with the same medical care as any other newborn should not be controversial.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan addressed the crowds shortly after the bill had passed, saying:

You know, I’ve been participating in the March for Life for years. One thing that has always struck me—and there’s one thing that strikes me again right now—is the vigor and the enthusiasm of the pro-life movement.

Looking out on this crowd, I can see there are people here of all ages, from all walks of life, but the young people here is what is so inspiring because it tells me this is a movement that is on the rise.

He is right. Millenials are increasingly pro-life. And a recent poll shows that 76 percent of Americans support substantial limits on abortion. Among the 51 percent of citizens that identify as pro-choice, 60 percent support restrictions on abortion.

Approximately 2,200 pregnancy resource centers nationwide continue to provide women not only with the physical resources necessary to choose life, but the emotional support and social networks that they need. Lawmakers at the state and federal level have passed commonsense laws to protect children. And the day before the march, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a new division charged with protecting the consciences of medical professionals who will not participate in abortions.

Although the pro-life movement is already changing the culture, the March for Life was a reminder that there remains much to be done.

In order for women to have access to as many resources as possible, pregnancy resource centers and faith-based adoption agencies must be free to operate according to their missions. And additional measures must be taken to protect the consciences of pro-life medical personnel.

The pro-life movement will continue to fight for life on all of these fronts.

On the anniversary of Roe and Doe, we remember the millions of children who have been denied their first and most fundamental right, the right to life. But we also reflect on the truth and beauty of the pro-life cause: that every human life, no matter how small or weak, has inherent dignity and worth.

Until our laws reflect this most essential truth, we will continue to gather and march, thousands strong, to proclaim the joy of the pro-life message. While we sorrow for what is lost, we hope for what is to come, and allow love to bring healing to all who have been affected by the pain of abortion.


The New Threat Children Face 45 Years After Roe v. Wade

It’s been 45 years since Roe v. Wade, and the pro-life movement is stronger than ever.

This week, thousands of pro-life Americans will take a stand for life at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. This year’s theme, “Love Saves Lives,” reminds us that women facing unplanned pregnancies have options besides abortion—like adoption—that protect life and demonstrate love.

Take Hannah Mongie, for example. She placed her son Tagg up for adoption after her boyfriend and Tagg’s father, Kaden, died suddenly. She created an emotional video telling Tagg her story before sending him home with his adoptive parents, Brad and Emily, “so that he would be able to look back and know that this decision was made purely out of love for him.”

Hannah wrote:

I hope anyone who watches this will be able to gain a new perspective on what the birth mom goes through when she places her child for adoption. It is the farthest thing from a heartless act. It shows [t]he definition of love. To love someone this much is to give away your happiness for them.

Stories like Hannah’s remind us that adoption gives everyone—expectant mothers, children, and adoptive families—the chance to experience life and love to the fullest.

Like any mother, Hannah had a unique set of needs and desires for her child. Through online resources, she was able to find a family that was “beyond anything [she] could have asked for,” given her “really, really high standards for anyone who is going to raise [her] child.”

Every mother should be afforded this wide range of options. Public policy needs to ensure that women facing an unplanned pregnancy have not only the option to adopt, but also to work with an organization that supports their unique needs.

That’s why a diversity of adoption agencies, including faith-based ones, is so important. Not only do they provide relief to the overburdened public foster care and adoption system, but they provide mothers and adoptive families with intangible yet invaluable resources: the spiritual, emotional, and relational support that state-run agencies are ill-equipped to offer.

But unfortunately today, some lawsuits and local policies are putting faith-based adoption agencies out of business. These agencies are unique within the industry, yet in very high demand.

In November 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state of Michigan over a law that allows faith-based adoption agencies to operate according to their belief that children should be placed with a mother and a father.

If the ACLU wins the case, it would drive highly successful faith-based adoption providers—which make up a quarter of adoption agencies in Michigan—out of business by forcing them to choose between their religious beliefs and fulfilling their mission.

This is not the first time faith-based providers have faced discrimination. In Boston, Illinois, and Washington, D.C., religious adoption agencies were forced to close their doors after decades of service when the state denied them the ability to place kids with a married mom and dad. Thousands of children were displaced in the process.

The ACLU alleges that the religious beliefs of faith-based agencies are preventing the children from finding loving homes. But a diversity of adoption providers actually increases the likelihood that these children will find homes.

Why is that? Because more providers means more agencies working to connect children and families, and that means more opportunities for kids to find homes.

Faith-based adoption agencies take nothing away from anyone. They do not prevent anyone from adopting or fostering children. Individuals or couples are free to work with the majority of private adoption agencies and government-run programs.

Meanwhile, birth mothers and potential parents who prefer faith-based support services are free to work with a like-minded adoption agency. Some may even be persuaded to choose adoption due to these personalized support services and the promise of less bureaucratic red tape.

Without these religious adoption agencies, expectant mothers would have fewer options. Children would wait longer to be adopted or simply age out of the system. And adoptive families would go without any spiritual resources, potentially have to wait longer to adopt, and may even forego the process altogether due to the inefficiencies of the public system.

The ACLU is targeting religious adoption agencies at a critical time. As the opioid epidemic has put thousands of children in foster care, more and more parents are leaving the foster care system. Around 80 percent of foster families drop out within two years.

That is why protecting faith-based adoption agencies must become a pro-life priority. As these organizations come under attack, those who stand the most to lose are the exact individuals that the pro-life movement seeks to protect: vulnerable children and mothers.

Promoting adoption as an alternative to abortion is not enough. Faith-based adoption agencies need legal protections from discrimination, like those of the Michigan state law in question or those proposed at the federal level in the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act.

When these organizations are free to operate according to their values, they are free to serve people like Hannah, Tagg, and Tagg’s adoptive parents.

Protecting the freedom of faith-based child welfare providers to act in accordance with their own convictions must become part of the pro-life agenda. To protect birth moms, children, and adoptive families, we must protect providers too.



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 February, 2018

Sorry, but I don’t think feminists can fight the male gaze by baring their breasts

Imagine that you have stepped back in time to the 1970s. Feminists are out on the streets of London protesting against the Miss World competitions. There you meet a sleazy men’s magazine publisher who tells you he has a new idea for getting women to show men their breasts. He’s not going to offer them money or fame like Playboy or Penthouse. No, he’s going to get them to take off their tops in the name of women’s liberation. ‘I have seen the future of feminism,’ he tells you, ‘and it has great tits!’

Naturally you think: this man is insane! Surely no woman would fall for that? Wrong. Not only did they, but the link between showing your breasts and serving the feminist cause didn’t come from men but from women themselves! How’s that for insane?

I call it flaunt-it feminism. A key moment in its history was the founding of Femen — a radical feminist protest group of ‘brave topless female activists’ created in the Ukraine in 2008. Their motto and means are summed up thus: ‘Our mission is protest. Our weapon is bare breasts.’

They are the ones behind the first ever International Topless Jihad Day, two years ago. One Femen member was quoted as saying, ‘Our tits are deadlier than your stones.’ It would be funny if women weren’t actually being stoned to death and cartoonists shot dead. But for sheer flaunt-it feminism lunacy you can’t beat the woman in Dresden last year who stripped off her top as an anti-fascist protest to reveal a slogan praising Bomber Harris on her breasts. It read: ‘Thanks Bomber.’

Bare breasts are still at the forefront of the battle against sexism and most recently the publication of naked pictures of girlfriends (revenge porn) and celebrities who have had their phones or emails hacked like Jennifer Lawrence. The ideological justification has been provided by the Guardian. There you can find its ideological champions like veteran feminist Joan Smith, who not long ago wrote that ‘Posing nude is one of the ultimate feminist acts.’

The Guardian, in the name of feminism, recently provided sexy pictures of a naked blonde and her breasts. The pin-up was Emma Holten, a Danish journalist who had been the victim of ‘revenge porn’. (Her ex-boyfriend published naked pictures of her online four years ago.) Holten has been receiving nasty comments and emails ever since and decided that enough was enough; it was time to fight back. So what did she do? Write a complaint to Google? Name and shame her odious ex-boyfriend? No. Holten arranged to have photos of her breasts taken and then posted them online! It’s a curious logic, this — fight pictures of naked women with more pictures of naked women.

The movie actress Jennifer Lawrence has likewise decided to fight nudity with nudity. When last October naked photos of her were posted online without her consent, Lawrence told Vanity Fair magazine she was the victim of a ‘sex crime’. Now that she has consented to appear naked in Vanity Fair (with a boa constrictor covering her private parts), Lawrence defends her actions thus: ‘It’s my body and it should be my choice.’

For Holten, Lawrence and the flaunt-it feminists, choice is everything. The theory is that when a woman chooses to take off her top, she is magically transformed from ‘passive object’ of the male gaze to active ‘autonomous subject’. But the choice argument reduces publication of naked breasts to an act of copyright infringement that has nothing to do with sexism.

And I hate to spoil the party but I suspect that her consent doesn’t change anything as far as men are concerned; that male gaze is still happily pointed at the new Holten and Lawrence-approved photos. As far as men are concerned breasts are breasts, and they’re likely to leer. Even right-on feminist men of the Guardian persuasion are going to look, because Holten’s consent means they now have permission to look and still be good feminists. It’s a kind of Page 3 titillation for people who despise Page 3.

Feminist academics provided the vocabulary — terms like ‘empowerment’ and ‘autonomy’ — for the flaunt-it feminists of today. But it was Madonna who in the 1980s brought the idea into pop culture and public consciousness. It reached the point where you could justify any degrading and sexist image of a woman in the name of empowerment. When Madonna was confronted with claims that appearing in a video wearing a neck manacle and crawling on all fours degraded woman, her defence was simple: ‘But I chained myself! I’m in charge!’

The same defence has been taken up by Page 3 girls, lap dancers, porn workers, prostitutes and female pop stars. Empowerment is the big buzzword in the debates surrounding the film Fifty Shades of Grey. According to director Sam Taylor-Johnson the story is all about ‘empowerment’ — which might seem counter intuitive given that it concerns a girl who is made powerless for male pleasure. Not so, claims Taylor-Johnson, ‘It is all her choice… all decisions she clearly made. That’s the message I want people to walk away with.’

But choice never exists in a vacuum. Women choose to strip off for Page 3, have the breasts enlarged, their vaginas tightened and all sorts of things the flaunt-it feminists would claim are symptoms of a sexist society that seeks to exploit women. Their argument begins and ends with a woman’s right to choose — they never stop to consider that one woman’s empowerment is another man’s erotic pleasure.

I first grasped this with the release of the film Basic Instinct in 1992. There’s the infamous scene where Sharon Stone’s character is being questioned by the police and she opens and crosses her legs, revealing quick flashes of her pubic hair. Some academic feminists — like Camille Paglia — claimed it was an ‘empowering moment’ that was frightening to men — but my friends and I just kept replaying that scene over and over again and squealing with delight.

And that’s what I expect still happens today when women flaunt their breasts in the name of feminism. When five members of Femen staged a topless ambush on Vladimir Putin at the Hanover trade fair in 2013, he merely smiled and gave the protesters the thumbs up sign, while the assembled men looked on with bemused pleasure. Holten is still being ogled and googled. And God knows what men are thinking about the naked Lawrence and her snake. It’s time the flaunt-it feminists really served the cause of feminism — and put them away for good


SHOCKING: Hate Crime Charges Dropped in Paris Trial of Muslim Accused of Killing Jewish Neighbor

A judge in Paris scrapped hate crime charges from the indictment of a murder suspect who confessed to killing his Jewish neighbor.  The move came amid a rise in reported violent anti-Semitic attacks in France.

The Paris Prosecutor’s office said it would appeal the dismissal Monday of the aggravated element of a hate crime in the trial of Kobili Traore, a 28-year-old Muslim man who on April 4 threw his neighbor, Sarah Halimi, 65, to her death from the window of her third-story apartment.

The charge of murder aggravated by racial hatred was excluded from what is now the indictment against Traore by the examining magistrate — a function designed to oversee prosecutors and intercept flawed indictments before they form the basis of an active trial.

Francis Kalifat, president of the Jewish umbrella group CRIF, told Le Parisien daily that the examining magistrate’s move was “an insult” to Halimi’s memory.

William Attal, the brother of Sarah Halimi, denounced the deafening silence and “cover up” over his sisters death
Separately, the Interior Ministry of France on Wednesday reported a 7.2 percent decrease in 2017 in the number of anti-Semitic attacks in the country over 2016. The ministry recorded 311 cases. But of those, 97 were classified as violent assaults – a 25 percent increase over 2016, Le Figaro reported.

The SPCJ watchdog unit of French Jewry, which receives and collects reports independently to the Interior Ministry, has not yet published its report for 2017.

In the Halimi case, Traore was heard shouting about Allah and calling her “a devil” in Arabic. Halimi’s daughter said he had called the daughter a “dirty Jewess” in the building two years before the murder. But the examining magistrate in Traore’s trial, which opened this week, dismissed the aggravated hate crime charge before the trial actually began, Le Parisien reported Wednesday.

For months after the slaying of the 66-year-old Jewish physician, leaders of French Jewry urged authorities to include the aggravated element of a hate crime in the draft indictment against Traore. They finally agreed in September.

The incident occurred months before France’s general election, in which the French political establishment was bracing for unprecedented gains for the far-right National Front party.

Marine Le Pen, the anti-immigration party’s leader, received a historic third of the vote in the final round of the presidential elections, which she lost to the centrist candidate, Emmanuel Macron.

Many French Jews believe authorities and the media covered up or ignored the alleged anti-Semitic elements connected to Halimi’s suspected murder to prevent it from becoming fodder for Le Pen’s divisive campaign


Gallery removes naked nymphs painting to 'prompt conversation'

John William Waterhouse's painting Hylas and the Nymphs

It is a painting that shows pubescent, naked nymphs tempting a handsome young man to his doom, but is it an erotic Victorian fantasy too far, and one which, in the current climate, is unsuitable and offensive to modern audiences?

Manchester Art Gallery has asked the question after removing John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs, one of the most recognisable of the pre-Raphaelite paintings, from its walls. Postcards of the painting will be removed from sale in the shop.

The painting was taken down on Friday and replaced with a notice explaining that a temporary space had been left “to prompt conversations about how we display and interpret artworks in Manchester’s public collection”. Members of the public have stuck Post-it notes around the notice giving their reaction.

Clare Gannaway, the gallery’s curator of contemporary art, said the aim of the removal was to provoke debate, not to censor. “It wasn’t about denying the existence of particular artworks.”

The work usually hangs in a room titled In Pursuit of Beauty, which contains late 19th century paintings showing lots of female flesh.

Gannaway said the title was a bad one, as it was male artists pursuing women’s bodies, and paintings that presented the female body as a passive decorative art form or a femme fatale.

“For me personally, there is a sense of embarrassment that we haven’t dealt with it sooner. Our attention has been elsewhere ... we’ve collectively forgotten to look at this space and think about it properly. We want to do something about it now because we have forgotten about it for so long.”

Gannaway said the debates around Time’s Up and #MeToo had fed into the decision.

The removal itself is an artistic act and will feature in a solo show by the artist Sonia Boyce which opens in March. People can tweet their opinion using #MAGSoniaBoyce.

The response so far has been mixed. Some have said it sets a dangerous precedent, while others have called it “po-faced” and “politically correct”.

The artist Michael Browne who attended the event where the painting was taken down said he was worried the past was being erased.

“I don’t like the replacement and removal of art and being told ‘that’s wrong and this is right’. They are using their power to veto art in a public collection. We don’t know how long the painting will be off the wall – it could be days, weeks, months. Unless there are protests it might never come back.”

Browne said he feared historical paintings were being jettisoned in favour of contemporary ones.

“I know there are other works in the basement that are probably going to be deemed offensive for the same reasons and they are not going to see the light of day.”

Gannaway said the removal was not about censorship.

“We think it probably will return, yes, but hopefully contextualised quite differently. It is not just about that one painting, it is the whole context of the gallery.”

Waterhouse is one of the best-known pre-Raphaelites, whose Lady of Shalott is one of Tate Britain’s bestselling postcards, but some of his paintings leave people uncomfortable and he has been accused of being one step away from a pornographer.

Reviewing the 2009 Royal Academy of Arts show devoted to Waterhouse, the critic Waldemar Januszczak wrote of a painting showing the death of St Eulalia, a 12-year-old girl: “I did not know whether to laugh, cry or call the police.”


What We Lose When We Take Down Statues of Men Like Columbus

On Tuesday, the San Jose City Council voted to remove a Christopher Columbus statue from City Hall. The California city joins a long list of other municipalities that have considered removing Columbus statues or have abolished Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

So, why did this statue have to come down?  The San Francisco Chronicle reported:

The vote came after activists repeatedly denounced the explorer, whose conquests in the Caribbean led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of indigenous people, and declared him not statue-worthy.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo backed the move, saying, according to CBS SFBayArea, that “there is no policy basis for keeping a statue of somebody who was not from San Jose in City Hall.”

“Look, I’m Italian-American. I think my grandfather was a member of the group that donated it,” Liccardo said. “But I think that our understanding of history evolves as we learn more.”

No local museum wants the statue, according to the report, so its final location is currently in limbo.

There is a lot to unpack from this absurd decision.

It’s sad that a man who most Americans once recognized as the seed-planter of their civilization has been so unceremoniously cast aside.

There was a time when Columbus was a nearly universally revered figure in the Americas, a man who stood for the bold, entrepreneurial spirit of the New World.

Columbus was a hero for immigrants, a man who risked all to forge a new beginning in a far-off land.

It’s incredible that modern, anti-Columbus activists have adopted the rhetoric of anti-immigrant and white supremacist groups from the 19th and early 20th centuries to denounce the famed adventurer.

As I wrote in October:

… In the 1920s, the [Ku Klux Klan] “attempted to remove Columbus Day as a state holiday in Oregon,” burned a cross “to disturb a Columbus Day celebration in Pennsylvania,” and successfully “opposed the erection of a statue of Columbus in Richmond, Virginia, only to see the decision to reject the statue reversed.”

The Klan and other anti-immigrant organizations hated the growing Italian and Catholic influences in America and tried to portray Columbus as a barbaric and unremarkable figure.

It didn’t work.  Americans adopted Columbus as one of their own and have celebrated him with statues, street names, city names, and a federal holiday.

Where the Klan failed, modern-day left-wing activists are succeeding in, literally, tearing up Columbus’s legacy.

It’s amazing that San Jose, of all places, wants to sever all connection to Columbus.

The Italian explorer sailed under the Spanish flag and thereby opened the Americas to Spanish migration. In many ways, he is the father of Latin America and all of the places touched by Spanish colonization efforts, even more so than the United States.

San Jose is, of course, a Spanish name, and though Columbus never stepped foot in the city, its existence owes a great deal to his voyages. To say that he has no link to it is like saying George Washington has no direct connection to the state of Washington, so its name should be changed.

While there has been a long-term move by academia to discredit Columbus and paint him in a negative light, especially in regard to how he treated the natives he met in the New World, many of these portrayals have been unfair or simply untrue.

Columbus has certainly had his detractors, even from his own time, but he was not the monster many have tried to portray him as, nor is it fair to judge the actions of a man in the 15th century strictly by the standards of the 21st.

“Columbus strictly told the crew not to do things like maraud, or rape, and instead to treat the native people with respect,” said Stanford professor emeritus Carol Delaney in an interview with Catholic fraternal organization the Knights of Columbus. “There are many examples in his writings where he gave instructions to this effect. Most of the time when injustices occurred, Columbus wasn’t even there. There were terrible diseases that got communicated to the natives, but he can’t be blamed for that.”

The efforts to purge Columbus from every aspect of the public sphere go to the heart of why much of the anti-statue movement has been absurd.

We are now combing through history, searching out historical grievances with little context and even less appreciation for why Americans once paid tribute to these now hated individuals.

The bottom line is that while the city of San Jose has every right to make a decision about who it will or won’t celebrate, it is nevertheless a sad and telling moment in our history when we give license to such ruthless and uncompromising iconoclasm.

Columbus deserves better.



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

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

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


2 February, 2018

ANOTHER ONE!  British cops charge an innocent man with rape

The Brits do sometimes lock up women who make blatantly false rape allegations. Let's hope they do that this time.  Some deterrent is needed

These are the bombshell messages that cleared a BT engineer accused of rape — including one in which the alleged victim wrote 'I'll see you in court'.

Other messages sent to 19-year-old Connor Fitzgerald - who said his life has been 'ruined' - read: 'If I can't have you, no-one can.' 

Charges were dropped only last week against the teenager when it emerged that the complainant, who is entitled to lifelong anonymity, had sent the texts threatening to destroy him.

One of the messages read: 'I'm not just going to mess up his life, I'm going to ruin it lol [laugh out loud].'

Another read: 'I'll see you in court'.

The case is the latest in a string of investigations or trials that have collapsed after police failed to disclose vital evidence to defence lawyers.

Mr Fitzgerald, from South Norwood, south London, now plans to sue the police and CPS.

He told The Sun: 'It's been heartbreaking. It felt like I was guilty until proven innocent. My life has been ruined. I'm scared to even leave the house because everyone thinks I'm a rapist.'

It comes after Scotland Yard apologised to Liam Allan for failing to provide vital text messages during the 22-year-old's rape trial, in which he was found not guilty.

Mr Fitzgerald was arrested in front of his mother and sister in November when police officers raided the family home. It followed a complaint that a woman made in June.

She alleged Mr Fitzgerald raped her after a drunken night out.

After the arrest he was denied bail and was instead held on remand at HMP High Down, which is a category B prison in Banstead, Surrey.

He was reprieved after Mr Fitzgerald's brother found some of the text messages from the woman on his iCloud account and informed the authorities.

It emerged last week that more than 900 criminal cases were dropped last year due to a failure by police or prosecutors to disclose evidence.

Thousands of rape prosecutions are being re-examined to check whether they have been affected by similar errors.

In London alone, 600 rape cases in the final stages before trial are being reassessed.


Boris Johnson calls on Jeremy Corbyn to denounce 'hard left mob' for their 'disgraceful' attack on Churchill as MPs slam group who stormed 'Blighty' café inspired by Britain's wartime PM

Boris Johnson has today called on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to denounce the 24-year-old activist who stormed a Winston Churchill-inspired cafe shouting that the wartime prime minister was a 'racist'.

Halimo Hussein, 24, stormed the Blighty UK cafe in Finsbury Park, north London, and urged customers to boycott it for 'colonialism' and chanted 'Churchill was racist'.

The politics student, who is the co-president of Equality and Liberation at SOAS, University of London, later asked the owner to apologise to the local community.

Mr Johnson, 53, was outraged after watching a video of the 'hard-left mob' inside the cafe after they launched a 'disgraceful attack' on the UK's finest ever wartime leader'.   

The group read from scripts as they urged customers inside the packed cafe to boycott the Blighty UK

It comes as other Tory MPs branded Ms Hussein and the other eight campaigners as 'childish' and 'puerile'. 

Mr Johnson tweeted on Monday afternoon: 'Disgraceful attack on our finest ever wartime leader by hard-left mob. 'Jeremy Corbyn should denounce the actions of these 'activists' immediately.'   

Meanwhile, Jack Lopresti, the Conservative MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, said her behaviour was 'ignorant' and praised the 'courage and leadership' of Sir Winston.

He told MailOnline: 'This outrageous behaviour represents the hard left's politics which is of the most puerile and ignorant kind.

'Without the bravery, courage and leadership of Sir Winston Churchill, we would not be living in a free country where we have the freedom to express our personal views, regardless of how, in their case, ridiculous or offensive they are.' 

Michael Fabricant, Tory MP for Lichfield, told MailOnline: 'It is thanks to Winston Churchill that fools like these are able to hold their childish views and not be thrown into a concentration camp.

'They should think about this before the next time they behave like yobs.

'As the local MP, I hope Jeremy Corbyn will join me in condemning these actions.'

Police were called after the nine campaigners stormed the eatery, which has already been under attack from vandals and more Labour activists.

Owner Chris Evans, 47, reported the intruders, who are also leaving scathing online reviews slating the cafe, to police after his staff were left shaken.

He was also forced to remove a giant mural of Churchill after it was daubed with graffiti which branded the former prime minister 'scum' and and 'imperialist'.

Mr Evans said: 'If you cannot celebrate Britain and great Britons you are just erasing history. And if you cannot celebrate Churchill, you cannot celebrate anyone.' 

It has now emerged that the group's leader, Ms Hussein, is an avid Labour supporter and Jeremy Corbyn fan.

Ms Hussein, whose family fled the civil war in Somalia, could be heard shouting: 'We have nothing to lose but our chains.'

Ms Hussein, who who studied at William Morris Sixth Form in Hammersmith, west London, also uploaded a picture on her Facebook page which read: 'No Tories on my profile.'

She also posted a photograph of her with fellow Labour supporter, comedian Russell Brand, on her Facebook page.

In 2015, the student also said 'another five years of austerity, snaking the poor, students and migrants' after David Cameron was re-elected.

And when Corbyn was elected the leader of the Labour Party in 2015 she uploaded an image of the moment he found out he was in charge.

She wrote: 'Found my cover photo' and she added that the moment had 'made her day'.

Ms Hussein was elected Co-President of Equality and Liberation by her fellow students and said 'I F***ING WON' when the news was announced.

Outlining her policies and aims before the vote, she said: 'Decolonial politics should be at the forefront in pushing for institutional change.

'I want to fight against the exploitation of our tutors and cleaners, SOAS claims to be committed to living wage yet disregards workers rights.'

Ms Hussein also left a scathing online review of the cafe which read: 'Bland breakfasts and awful watery tasting coffee, toilets filthy.'

It also emerged that she has backed the anarchist online trend which uses the hashtag #RobThisEngland.

People on social media who use the hashtag are seen to be committed to not paying for services and goods.

In 2016 she wrote on Facebook: 'I will live and embody the spirit of #RobThisEngland from not paying back tuition fees to not paying for TV license.'


The feminist war on attractive women heats up

Feminist shrieks describing as sexism the employment of attractive women is getting results

The Australian Grand Prix will be the first Formula One event without grid girls after the governing body decided they weren't 'appropriate or relevant' to the competition.

Grid girls have been a mainstay of each event for years, holding the driver's names and numbers above their car prior to races, lining the hallway to the podium for the successful racers and joining the winners on stage for the post-race festivities.

Jane Stewart, the managing director of Promotional Models Australia and former grid girl, told Daily Mail Australia F1 is the more 'glamorous' sector for models and she is 'concerned' for the ramifications the decision could have on the industry.

'The grid girls are the complete package when it comes to Formula One, it is very different to Superbikes or ring card girls, the way they're dressed is conservative,' Ms Stewart said.

'It is going to affect the sport, and they also need to take into account from a models perspective these girls choose to do the job.' 

Grid girls have been a mainstay of each event for years, holding the driver's names and numbers above their car prior to races, lining the hallway to the podium for the successful racers and joining the winners on stage for the post-race festivities

F1 decided grid girls have no place in its future, releasing a statement Wednesday saying they would no longer feature the models.

'While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 grands prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms,' commercial operations managing director Sean Bratches said.

We don't believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world.' 

PMA employs 1,500 models across Australia and Ms Stewart said whenever the F1 grid girls come up she is inundated with applications. 'Every girl wants to be a grid girl, They love it. It's glamorous, it's renowned,' she told Daily Mail Australia.

'These jobs from a models perspective is in high demand. This is every model's dream, put them on the grid, it sets up their career.'    

The ongoing presences of the glamorous models had come under review in recent months, with the internationals darts competition making the decision to stop the use of women often in little clothing.

Formula One had recently moved away from the over-sexualisation of its grid girls and used models dressed in attire relevant to the culture of the race's nation.

The clothing of the grid girls at Melbourne's Australian Grand Prix saw a huge change in 2017,  with plunging necklines and black leather as seen in years gone by replaced by green and white playsuits.

Jane Stewart, the managing director of Promotional Models Australia and former grid girl, told Daily Mail Australia F1 is the more 'glamorous' sector for models and she is 'concerned' for the ramifications the decision could have on the industry.

'The grid girls are the complete package when it comes to Formula One, it is very different to Superbikes or ring card girls, the way they're dressed is conservative,' Ms Stewart said.

'It is going to affect the sport, and they also need to take into account from a models perspective these girls choose to do the job.'

PMA employs 1,500 models across Australia and Ms Stewart said whenever the F1 grid girls come up she is inundated with applications.

'Every girl wants to be a grid girl, They love it. It's glamorous, it's renowned,' she told Daily Mail Australia.

It is not known yet whether the other major motorsport codes will make the same decision.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted V8 Supercars and Australian Superbike Championship for comment.

 The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, which begins on March 25, will be the first without the models.


Why Professing Christ is Becoming a 'Hate Crime' in the West

What is the source of dhimmitude-which in many ways paralyzes responses to Islam-in the West?

First a definition: "dhimmitude," which was coined by the late Christian president of Lebanon, Bashir Gemayel, and popularized by writer Bat Ye'or, is a neologism based on the Arabic word, dhimmi-that is, a non-Muslim (generally a Christian or Jew) who falls under Islamic rule and, as a price for maintaining his religion, accepts an inferior social standing.  Simply put, the dhimmi must know his or her place and never rock the boat, including by seeking equal rights with Muslims.

While this is the classic and original manifestation of dhimmitude, a new and unprecedented form has arisen in the West: in the Muslim world, where might naturally makes right, Muslim majorities impose an inferior status onto non-Muslim minorities; but in the West, it is the West itself-or at least homegrown elements-that in certain fields impose an inferior status on a non-Muslim majority.

The question becomes, Why?  Why would a stronger civilization impose the unjust and supremacist stipulations of a weaker, hostile civilization, onto itself, and thereby paralyze itself against that same hostile civilization?

The answer is evident in the words of an ancient strategy: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."  The Western elements that are forever protecting and empowering Islam, and which operate under various names-"Liberals," "Leftists," "Marxists," "Progressives," "Social Justice Warriors," etc.-ultimately care little about Islam; rather, Islam is for them a tool to combat their real and much closer enemy: Christianity, and the mores and civilization borne of it and culminating in the West.

This is evident everywhere and in a myriad of forms.  Most recently, the British government "refused to say whether telling people about the Christian faith could be a hate crime."  Lord Pearson of Rannoch, a UKIP peer, asked the House of Lords if they would "confirm unequivocally that a Christian who says that Jesus is the only son of the one true God cannot be arrested for hate crime or any other offence, however much it may offend a Muslim or anyone of any other religion?"  Government spokesperson Baroness Vere of Norbiton responded by equivocating, saying that the legal definition of "hate crime" has been the same for the past 10 years.

But as Pearson explained in a later interview, the current definition of "hate crime" is subjective and revolves around whether the "victim" feels offended-thus leaving the door wide open to charging those who proclaim Christ and the Trinity of committing a hate crime, especially vis-à-vis Muslims, who adamantly object to the claim, as Pearson himself acknowledged: "Certainly the stricter Muslims do feel offended by Christianity and our belief in Jesus being the only Son of the one true God."

Pearson also pointed to a double standard in how "hate crimes" are applied: "You can say what you like about the Virgin Birth, the miracles and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, but as soon as you say ‘come on, is Islam really the religion of peace that it claims to be,' all hell breaks loose."

Indeed, and there is a reason for that: unlike Islam-which many Western elite feel no (direct) connection to and thus no threat therefrom-Christianity is the faith of their forefathers; it is ever present in their societies, judging them-and they hate it for it.  But rather than seek to suppress it openly, they operate indirectly, including by propping up always angry and easily "offended" Muslims against it, while they play the role of "impartial" secularist or progressive-people who will make themselves (meaning others, notably Christians) walk on eggshells lest the "feelings" of the "other" are hurt.

From here one understands why liberals and progressives who forever whine against any vestige of traditional ("oppressive") Christianity habitually make common cause with Islam-despite the latter's truly oppressive qualities.  Feminists denounce the Christian "patriarchy"-but say little against the Muslim treatment of women as chattel; homosexuals denounce Christian bakeries-but say little against the Muslim execution of homosexuals; multiculturalists denounce Christians who refuse to suppress their faith, including by banning Christmas phrases and images, to accommodate the religious sensibilities of Muslim minorities-but say little against the entrenched and open Muslim persecution of Christians.

From here one understands the ultimate reason why domineering Western elements are imposing the unjust and stifling effects of dhimmitude on and thus making the West weak and vulnerable:  "The enemy [Islam] of my enemy [Christianity] is my friend."  As this most recent example from the UK shows, Muslims are now even being used to make the central claim of Christianity-which the progressive elite especially despise hearing as it convicts their godless lifestyle-a "hate crime."



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

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

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


1 February, 2018

Life expectancy increases are slowing around the world due to the AIDs pandemic and a disinterest in public health, study reveals

Rubbish! In the developed world, life expectancy is probably approaching an asymptote.  All the easy fixes to causes of early death are now mostly in place.  Fixes of the remaining  forms of early death will require large medical advances which may take a long time to arrive

Life expectancy increases are slowing around the world, new research suggests.

Although global life expectancies have increased since 1950, the rate of this rise has eased regardless of how developed the nation is, a study found.

Between 1950 and 1959, the average person's life expectancy increased by 9.68 years, compared to just 1.89 years in 2000 to 2009, the research adds.

Life expectancy growth rates are expected to slow in developed countries as people approach the maximum age of human existence, which is generally up to 83 years old.

Yet, this should not occur in less-developed regions that have continuously improving incomes, sanitation and medicine.

The researchers believe the global HIV pandemic, as well as disinterest in public health, has significantly slowed life expectancy progress in less developed countries.

In the US, the life expectancy is around 78 years. 


This Junk-Science Approach to Sexual Assault Cases Would Trample on Rights of the Accused

It throws all conceptions of justice out on their ear.  Lying women are all too common.  Britain jails a few of them every year

A group of bipartisan congressmen have introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would award monetary grants to law enforcement and related agencies that use so-called “trauma-informed investigation” for handling cases of sexual violence and stalking.

The money distributed under H.R. 4720 would directly fund training programs that instruct relevant personnel on a “trauma-informed” approach to crimes of sexual violence, informed by “the fundamentals of the neurobiology of trauma [and the] impact of trauma on victims.”

H.R. 4720 pursues the admirable goal of promoting justice in the interests of victims. However, despite these good intentions, it fails to achieve that goal and instead promotes a scientifically unsound pseudo-science and a criminal justice theory completely at odds with well-established concepts of procedural due process.

Congress should reject this effort to fundamentally alter the role of the impartial police investigator.

 What is a ‘trauma-informed’ investigation? Trauma-informed investigative practices are an offspring of the “Start by Believing” campaign, launched in 2011 by End Violence Against Women International as part of its goal to “transform the way we respond to sexual assault.”

As the name suggests, the basic premise of the campaign is to dramatically reconstruct the role of law enforcement officers, detectives, and other investigators of sexual assault by training them to focus on how the complainant could be telling the truth despite evidence to the contrary.

Under this approach, investigators should no longer be neutral, third-party fact-gatherers, but agents of the person alleging sexual assault. They should assume all complainants are genuine victims and must find ways of making even inconsistent, inaccurate, and exculpatory evidence support the complainant’s allegations.

“Trauma-informed investigation” theory attempts to cloak “Start by Believing” with an air of scientific credibility, instructing investigators and adjudicators of assault claims to consider the “neurobiology of trauma” and how it affects an alleged victim’s behaviors and ability to recall information.

Proponents of this theory claim that trauma—such as being sexually assaulted—often causes a disabling physiological response that severely inhibits victims’ memories of an event, limits their cognizance of time frames, and results in actions otherwise considered abnormal by a passive observer.

In layman’s terms, “trauma-informed” investigators are told to ignore standard red flags, such as inconsistent accounts, counterintuitive behavioral responses, and even factually wrong statements, because these things are normal from trauma victims.

In fact, because these are the exact type of responses expected of “real victims,” their presence should be interpreted as evidence that the complainant experienced psychological trauma and must be telling the truth.

‘Trauma-informed investigation’: Scientifically and legally problematic

There are two substantial problems with the use of a “trauma-informed” approach to criminal investigations.

First, it is based on “junk science” with no grounding in reality. Second, its use necessarily destroys very important due process safeguards, effectively stacking the deck against any person accused of sexual assault and increasing the risk of erroneous convictions.

It is absolutely true that victims of trauma will respond to the experience in a variety of ways, some of which may be out of step with how even the victim thought he or she would react.

It is also true that people who experience the most severe cases of trauma—such as those who spend time in war zones—may have gaps in their memory of the events. Such gaps can also exist due to the presence of drugs or alcohol, which limit the brain’s ability to form and retain memories.

However, there is no scientific support for claims that victims of trauma store infallible, but “fragmented,” memories, as proponents of the neurobiology of trauma contend.

In fact, many studies seem to indicate an opposite conclusion. As Richard McNally, a Harvard psychology professor and expert on trauma and memory, notes in his book “Remembering Trauma,” extreme stress is known to often enhance the subsequent recall of life-threatening incidents.

This is not to say that this enhanced recall will always be present, but it is certainly not evidence tending to support a theory that victims of trauma suffer from memory-recall problems as a general rule.

Equally disturbing is the apparent lack of concern from proponents about the well-documented malleability of memory, or the very real likelihood that complainants can be vulnerable to post-event suggestions that lead them to label consensual acts as rape.

As one writer from The Atlantic has noted, the neurobiology of trauma theory is eerily reminiscent of the “repressed memory” scare of the 1980s and 1990s, which is now widely regarded as “psychiatric folklore devoid of convincing empirical support.”

The use of “trauma-informed investigation” in criminal cases also poses significant, perhaps even irreconcilable, constitutional problems. Under the Fifth and 14th Amendments, no person may be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

Procedural due process ensures that a defendant facing criminal charges receives adequate and fair proceedings for the determination of his guilt or innocence. Although what constitutes “fairness” is relative and may depend on the circumstances of the particular defendant (Snyder v. Massachusetts), there are certain safeguards that the Supreme Court has determined are absolutely necessary to the provision of procedural due process.

The presence of an impartial investigator concerned with separating fact from fiction—one who does not take sides, but who gathers and analyzes evidence in a neutral light—is a principle vitally important to the concept of fundamental fairness.

Like the presumption of innocence and the use of a reasonable-doubt standard, the use of neutral investigators is a prime instrument in reducing the risk of convictions based on factual errors.

But this is, in fact, the very purpose of “trauma-informed” investigation. In the words of Janet Halley, a professor at Harvard Law School, the intended effect of “trauma-informed” investigation training is “100 percent aimed to convince [training recipients] to believe complainants, precisely when they seem unreliable and incoherent.”

One poignant illustration of just how devastating “trauma-informed” investigations can be to due process is the case of a male former student at the University of Oregon who is now suing the school and several school officials after finally having his suspension for sexual assault overturned by a judge.

The student, known only as John Doe, was accused of rape by a female student, whose inconsistent—and sometimes blatantly false—testimony was either ignored or, worse, weaponized under the “neurobiology of trauma” theory as proof that she was raped.

The stunning ways school investigators managed to ignore the overwhelming weight of the evidence is detailed in John Doe’s complaint, which was filed in federal district court.

If Congress is truly worried about helping victims of sexual assault, it will not fund training programs designed to obfuscate the due process rights of every person accused of this heinous crime.

Due process safeguards are not obstacles to be overcome or avoided. They are, on the contrary, precious protections of liberty to be cherished in a free society that values justice and equality before the law.

Depriving defendants of due process rights does not make justice easier to obtain, but harder to obtain, because it taints convictions with the most conscience-damning burden known to a just society; namely, doubt.

When the even-handed and fair nature of a society’s justice system sits in doubt, its legitimacy as an institution sits equally in doubt.


Rep. Pete Sessions: No Pathway to Citizenship; Make Dreamers Guest Workers

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) is among the conservatives who opposes a pathway to citizenship for the 690,000 people who were brought to this country illegally as children but who received temporary legal status under President Barack Obama's DACA program.

Sessions told CNN on Monday it is an issue that needs to be dealt with, but he favors guest worker status, not eventual citizenship:

"I am for them receiving what we've called a long time as guest worker status. That is what (Rep.) Bob Goodlatte has -- that's the bill that we are pushing in the House."

Sessions said he's concerned about adding another million or so dreamers to the already burdened Medicare and Social Security rolls:

"Why would we bring people into our system that would cause it to be a failure? Why would we allow people who are in this country to move ahead of people who lawfully attempting to do that?" he asked.

"So we want to give them a status that they can continue to work in this country, continue to follow the law and continue to work and be a part of what this country does, but we do not think that having a citizenship pathway is the correct way to do it. But addressing them much like what other countries do -- and they are welcome in this country but we should not extend citizenship as part of the DACA plan."

President Trump has outlined a plan that would grant legal status and eventual citizenship not only to DACA enrollees but to all 1.8 million dreamers, many of whom did not sign up for DACA.


Australian senator attacks cultural awareness training as ‘racism’

Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm has accused the federal government of racism after the staff of all federal politicians were offered special “cultural awareness” training to help them interact with Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

Ministerial and parliamentary services employees were offered two hours’ training designed to provide “a better understanding of indigenous Australians in your workplace, social environments and the community in which you live and work”.

“Whether you are delivering services specifically to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, working with indigenous colleagues, working with the general public or you just want to increase your understanding about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people you live with, this course is of benefit to you,” an email to staff said.

The course includes an overview of indigenous Australian history; the modern impact; understanding common terms and indigenous culture; protocols, including awareness of sensitive issues affecting indigenous people, and indigenous people in today’s workplace.

Senator Leyonhjelm said although the training was not compulsory, he was opposed to the use of taxpayers’ money to deliver it. “It’s racist because it favours a particular race (indigenous Australians) over another race (all other Australian races),” Senator Leyonhjelm said.

“It infers other Australians require training to become culturally aware of indigenous Australians, whereas we don’t require training to be aware of other cultures (Swedish barons, for example).”

He said such training was “misguided”. “I went to school with Aborigines and we mostly got on fine,” he said. “When people choose to be racists, cultural training won’t help.”

Australian Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi said: “This kind of tokenistic fawning is symptomatic of the growing malaise relentlessly foisted upon us by the politically correct mafia.”

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the training was not compulsory.


Not sure whether the Senator referred to a Swedish barony above or whether a journalist inserted it. Leyonhjelm (Lion helmet) is a Swedish baronial title and the senator is of that ilk


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



HOME (Index page)

BIO for John Ray

(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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