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


This document is part of an archive of postings on Political Correctness Watch, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here. Archives do accompany my original postings but, given the animus towards conservative writing on Google and other internet institutions, their permanence is uncertain. These alternative archives help ensure a more permant record of what I have written. My Home Page. My Recipes. My alternative Wikipedia. My Blogroll. Email me (John Ray) here. NOTE: The short comments that I have in the side column of the primary site for this blog are now given at the foot of this document.

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 ????




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28 February, 2019

When opposition to racism is racist???

It’s 2019. Who would want to oppose a code of ethics for K-12 teachers telling them not to “segregate students according to race”? The answer is the media.

When State Rep. Mark Finchem in Arizona proposed HB 2002, a code of ethics for educators that included a ban on segregation, he was targeted with media hit pieces accusing him of extremism.

Since his bill had some similarities to the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s K-12 code of ethics, the media attacked a code of ethics opposing racial segregation with smears accusing Horowitz of racism.

Brenna Bailey of the Arizona Daily Star called David Horowitz, a “white extremist”.  Bailey was smearing a Jewish civil rights activist as a “white extremist” for opposing racial segregation.

"Is it too much to ask of our elected officials NOT to copy a so-called ethics code for teachers from an operation with racist overtones?" EJ Montini at the Arizona Republic bleated.

"It is not difficult to figure out where Horwitz is coming from," Montini wrote.

David Horowitz has written countless books, pamphlets, editorials and articles laying out his views. Meanwhile the activists misrepresenting his views can’t even bother getting his name right.

The Freedom Center fought back with an op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star, but not before our name had been dragged through the dirt in an attempt to falsely smear Rep. Finchem and stop HB 2002.

Columnist Tim Steller of the Arizona Daily Star claimed that HB 2002 is part of an attack on "Arizona liberals". But the bill never mentions any political ideology.  Instead it expects teachers of all ideological orientations to refrain from “engaging in political, ideological or religious advocacy in their classrooms”.

A code of ethics for educators can only be an attack on leftists if they are the ones abusing children by twisting lessons into opportunities for indoctrination. The accusation serves as its own guilty admission.

The Arizona smear campaign is typical of how local politics is being hijacked by national blacklists. The blacklist in Arizona was derived from the scam artists at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The SPLC’s blacklist is as notorious for its false claims, misstatements and smears as for its ubiquity. The SPLC blacklist has listed a bar sign and individuals (including myself) as hate groups. It put the entire town of Amana, Iowa on its hate map because an internet troll had proposed holding a racist meeting in a bookstore. It was forced to pay out $3.3 million after libeling a Muslim as an anti-Muslim extremist.

But the SPLC blacklist continues to be widely used, not because it’s accurate, but because it’s useful.

In Arizona, the media didn’t have to bother finding rational grounds to oppose HB 2002, which, in addition to tossing out racial segregation and scapegoating in the classroom, also prohibits teachers from endorsing candidates, bills and measures, and asks them to teach both sides of political issues.

Making arguments for segregation and against political indoctrination of children might have been awkward. It was easier to misleadingly link Rep. Finchem to David Horowitz and then to use the SPLC’s blacklist to accuse anyone who opposes classroom segregation and child indoctrination of racism.

David Horowitz and the Freedom Center are proud to have popularized the idea that students at every educational level have the right to be free of indoctrination and the right to be graded based on the quality of their work, and not on their level of agreement with the political views of their professor.

Their advocacy for student civil rights has provided inspiration to state lawmakers across the country.

This is no different than the way that many civil rights groups operate by laying out a policy framework and inspiring political change by local activists, organizations and legislators willing to tackle a problem.

And the leftist response hasn’t been reasoned debate, but blacklists and dirty tricks.

What happened in Arizona is happening all over America. Debate is shut down with blacklists. The blacklists are sloppy smears, but they save the leftist radicals from having to listen both sides.

That is the purpose of a blacklist.

HB 2002 asked educators to teach both sides of political issues. Its radical opponents responded by using smears to argue that the other side should not be heard from. That’s the exact mindset that is the problem. Classrooms have been hijacked by radicals who believe that every issue only has one side. Their side. And the other side is deplatformed, banned and blacklisted from ever being heard.

Every issue is polarized into the familiar dichotomy of perpetrators and victims. Open inquiry is sacrificed on the altar of social justice. The blacklist is upheld as a safe space for victims of injustice. The targets of the blacklist are dismissed as not only wrong, but wicked. They must be stopped at any cost.

This mindset got its start on college campuses where dissenting speakers were met with shouts, bomb threats and even physical violence. A rash of fake hate crimes was used to kickstart a panic over bigotry on college campuses. Administrators allowed bias response teams to create climates of political terror. Free speech by college students was smothered in a blanket of official and unofficial intimidation.

The David Horowitz Freedom Center had been ahead of its time in debuting the Academic Bill of Rights over fifteen years ago. As David Horowitz saw the battleground shifting from college campuses to the K-12 level, a new call to protect the classrooms of K-12 students from the cultural revolution was launched. And that call was also met with the same blacklists and smear campaigns all over again.

Both the Academic Bill of Rights and the K-12 code of ethics present stark choices between blacklists and open debates. They ask parents and legislators to decide whether they want the next generation to be able to engage with ideas, or to reflexively ignore, purge and shout down anyone they don’t like.

Radical teachers who replace debate with blacklists in the classroom don’t just teach students bad political and civic habits, but also bad social habits. The inability of many millennials to deal with criticism in the workplace, and to meet criticism with political attacks, can be traced back to how they were socialized in the classroom to treat any disagreement as unacceptable and dangerous.

The David Horowitz Freedom Center has never called for barring political ideas from the classroom. That is a false statement repeatedly made by blacklisters who want classrooms to include only one point of view. The Center believes that a free society is built on the ability to see different points of view. The blacklisters believe that any point of view other than their own ought to be blacklisted from public life.

The blacklist has become the defining engine of politics.

“For more than a decade, I myself have been at the top of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate lists,” David Horowitz wrote of his experience being blacklisted.

But you don’t have to be David Horowitz to be blacklisted. Every conservative sooner or later will experience the force of the blacklist. And even children in the classroom will feel it too.

That’s why the Freedom Center has made fighting for the civil rights of students in classrooms across the country into its signature issue. No child should have to go through what Horowitz and many conservatives have had to endure as adults. The freedom of their minds is worth fighting for.

The K-12 code of ethics is being blacklisted, but it’s also the best defense against the blacklist.

SOURCE 


    



Poll: Dramatic Shift to Pro-Life Side Among Democrats and Young People

A new, national survey on the heels of legislation in New York and Virginia to allow abortion up to the moment of birth shows a major shift to the pro-life side among Democrats and young people, according to the Marist College for Public Opinion and the Knights of Columbus.

The Feb. 12-17 survey revealed that in just one month, the number of Democrats who identified as pro-life shifted from 20% to 34%. Also, the number of Democrats identifying as "pro-choice" fell from 75% to 61%. That's a 14-percentage point swing in only four weeks.

For Americans age 45 and younger, the shift was from 28% identifying as pro-life four weeks ago to 47% today; the percentage of young people who said they were "pro-choice" fell from 65% to 48%.

“Current proposals that promote late-term abortion have reset the landscape and language on abortion in a pronounced – and very measurable – way,” said Barbara Carvalho, director of The Marist Poll, in a statement.

"In a substantial, double-digit shift, according to the poll, Americans are now as likely to identify as pro-life (47 percent) as pro-choice (47 percent)," reads the statement. "Just last month, a similar survey conducted by The Marist Poll found Americans more likely to identify as pro-choice than as pro-life by 17 percentage points (55 to 38 percent)."

“The recent legal changes to late-term abortion and the debate which followed have not gone unnoticed by the general public,” said Carvalho. “In just one month, there has been a significant increase in the proportion of Americans who see themselves as pro-life and an equally notable decline in those who describe themselves as pro-choice.”

The Marist Poll also found that overwhelming majorities of Americans -- Democrats, Republicans, and Independents -- oppose late-term abortions. Sixty percent of Democrats, 72% of Independents, and 85% of Republicans said they oppose abortion in the third trimester (after 24 weeks of pregnancy).

"In addition, the poll found that 80 percent of Americans would like abortion limited to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy -- an increase of five points since just last month," said the survey firm.  "This includes 65 percent of those who identified as pro-choice, as well as strong majorities of Democrats (64 percent), Republicans (92 percent) and independents (83 percent)."

“Arguments in favor of late-term abortion are simply not convincing the American people,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “If anything, since these proposals have been unveiled, people are moving noticeably in the pro-life direction. It is now clear that these radical policies are being pursued despite the opposition of the majority of Americans of both parties.”

"This survey of 1,008 adults was conducted Feb. 12 through Feb. 17, 2019 by The Marist Poll sponsored and funded in partnership with The Knights of Columbus," according to the polling group. "Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the United States were contacted on landline or mobile numbers and interviewed in English or Spanish by telephone using live interviewers." The margin of error was +/- 3.5 percentage points.

SOURCE






Why Gender Dysphoria Must Remain a Bar to Military Service

In normal usage, “discrimination” is an ugly word. But discrimination has two meanings. The first and more familiar definition is “the treatment of a person or particular group of people differently, in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated.” Discrimination of that sort is clearly unacceptable.

The second, less common usage is the “the ability to judge the quality of something, based on its difference from other, similar things.”

Earlier this month, several members of Congress introduced a bill to allow transgender individuals to serve in the military. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., one of the bill’s sponsors, said in introducing the bill, “President Trump’s ban on transgender service members is discrimination. It undermines our military readiness, and it is an insult to the brave and patriotic transgender Americans who choose to serve in our military.”

What members of Congress like the sponsors of this bill—and indeed, the American public—often seem not to grasp is that discrimination—the less common meaning of the word—takes place every day at military recruiting stations across America.

That’s neither unjust, nor prejudicial. And contrary to Gillibrand, who aspires to be our next commander in chief, it’s necessary to ensure the readiness of the military and protect at-risk individuals.

Some examples are in order. Have asthma? You’re probably ineligible to join the military. A depressive disorder? Sorry, no. Torn rotator cuff in your shoulder? Nope. Come back perhaps when it heals or is repaired.

It’s the difference between an individual who is able to serve, and those for whom service presents a risk—either of not being able to complete military service or of doing so without incurring harm to themselves. In a strict sense, that’s discrimination.  

By law, the military can accept only “qualified, effective and able-bodied individuals.” That means people who are expected to need more than routine medical care or treatment are not qualified to join.

Without this lawful ability to “discriminate,” we would place our military in jeopardy of not being able to protect the nation.

That brings us to the issue of service by transgender individuals. Anyone who wants to serve their nation is worthy of our nation’s thanks, because not enough do. A mere desire to serve, however, does not equal qualification. 

What is often described as “Trump’s transgender ban” is anything but. Underreported is the fact that the policy that the Pentagon wishes to put in place—but that has been thus far been stayed by the court system—is far more permissive and evidence-based than the policy that existed for decades prior to June 2016, when President Barack Obama’s defense secretary, Ashton Carter, abruptly unveiled a new policy.

Before that, individuals who identified as transgender were automatically excluded from the military. Under the new policy devised by then-Defense Secretary James Mattis, the Pentagon makes a distinction between individuals who identify as transgender, and those who identify as transgender and experience gender dysphoria.

It’s necessary to get a bit technical here. An individual who is transgender is a person whose gender identity does not correspond to that person’s biological sex. Transgender individuals who suffer from gender dysphoria often “experience significant distress and/or problems functioning associated with this conflict between the way they feel and think of themselves (referred to as experienced or expressed gender) and their physical or assigned gender.”

Unlike the previous policy, the new rules allow individuals who are transgender but not experiencing gender dysphoria to join and serve in the military.

Why does the policy prohibit service by individuals who experience gender dysphoria? It’s principally because exhaustive Defense Department clinical and U.S. survey data confirms that individuals with gender dysphoria attempt suicide at rates between eight and 10 times the average for individuals not suffering from gender dysphoria.

Individuals with gender dysphoria experience severe anxiety again at between eight and nine times the rate of individuals without gender dysphoria. What’s more, there is no evidence that medical treatment, including gender-reassignment surgery, can remedy those challenges.

Military service is inherently stressful. It takes service members and puts them in unfamiliar, lonely, austere, and often hostile areas. Stress, anxiety, and suicide are already existential military problems. Indeed, the suicide rate for active-duty military members has been slowly rising over the past couple of decades.

At one point, it was lower than the U.S. national average. In 2015, however, in the active component, it stood at 20.2 per 100,000 service members, compared with the U.S. average of 13.3 per 100,000.

It would, therefore, be reckless and ill-advised to allow individuals demonstrably at a higher risk of suicide and anxiety to join the military and be subject to the increased stresses of military duty—both for the readiness of their units and for the safety of the individual.

Critics, in raising objections, ask why then can’t transgender individuals with gender dysphoria be allowed to serve far from the front lines, perhaps in a desk or office job? Surely, they say, that wouldn’t be stressful.

But the military doesn’t work that way.

In order for the military to be effective, to borrow an analogy, every player must be able to get on the field and play their position. If there were a job divorced from stress, it would be reasonable to ask why we would need a uniformed service member to fill it at all.

Still others ask how such a tiny fraction of the military force that would be transgender, if allowed, could constitute a risk to a force the size of the U.S. military.

That ignores the fact that the U.S. military often goes to war one squad, one plane, one ship at a time. Often, the performance of a single individual can mean the difference between mission success and failure.

Finally, those opposed to the restrictions point to examples of transgender individuals who have successfully served in the military, including those who have been decorated for bravery.

Kudos to these individuals for serving, and serving well. But the military must set entrance criteria based on broad evidence, as opposed to isolated examples. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that individuals experiencing gender dysphoria, if allowed to enlist, would present unacceptable risks to both a prospective military unit and to themselves.

Thus far, the courts have seen fit to substitute their judgment on military enlistment criteria in place of that of the commander in chief. That’s unfortunate.

What would be even more unfortunate is if a decision were made to permit individuals with gender dysphoria to serve in the military, and in so doing, took a reckless gamble with both the readiness of the U.S. military and the safety of those patriotic individuals.

SOURCE






Life, romance and relationships, the Jordan Peterson way

Jordan Peterson is in town, and it seems like everyone wants to talk about identity politics, gender pronouns, and whether or not there’s a pay gap — but he’s a clinical psychologist.

Seems a shame not to ask him about his practice. To get his thoughts on mental health, and modern relationships?

It’s been almost a year since Peterson was last in town, and he’s lost so much weight on his infamous, all-meat diet that his wedding ring is turning. (He takes this diet seriously, to the point he now carries cold, cooked steaks in a baggie in his pocket, in case he finds himself hungry and somewhere meatless.)

He’s more famous now than he was last time, having sold three million copies of Twelve Rules for Life. His life is one of standing ovations, and of people approaching him shyly in the street, to thank him for saving their lives.

He doesn’t think it’s turned his head, and he’s often moved by “how little encouragement” can turn a person around.

“But it’s been a very two-sided experience, a lot of positive publicity and attention but also a tremendous amount of stress,” Peterson says of the impact of fame on his own equilibrium.

In an hour-long interview, he tackles a range of topics, including the rise of Trump, which he characterises more as the fall of Clinton. (Had Peterson been an American, he says he would have “held his nose and voted for her”.)

He talks about #Metoo, and the conundrum facing women in their thirties, who want both baby and briefcase. “Nobody can have it all,” he says. “My general advice to people is that there aren’t that many fundamental necessities in life. You need a job, you need intimate relationships, and you need family. If you forgo any of those, you pay a huge price.

“You may decide that your ­career is worth the price. Perhaps it is, but it’s not worth the price very often. You have to be careful. You only have one life, and if you forgo your opportunity, it’s done. And I think it’s a catastrophe for people to forgo the opportunity to spend substantial time with their young children.”

You can see how that kind of thing could quickly become: “Peterson tells women to give up their ­careers to have kids!”

It’s not what he means — he means, maybe work part-time for a bit — but he can shrug it off, having dealt with issues far more important than trolling, including a decade-long depression battle.

Peterson in his lectures likes to warn people: life is hard, and if you’ve not yet experienced a tragedy, brace yourself, because trouble is coming. In his own life, he says it’s a “toss up between dealing with my daughter’s illness, and the depression that runs through my family”.

“It’s hard to say which was more challenging,” he says. “The depression issue is a decades-long problem. We’ve made a lot of headway. My grandfather, who never received any medication, was basically immobilised by his depression. My father was struck very hard in his fifties. By the time it came to me, additional improvements had been made.

“But depression is a brutal ­enterprise. For me, in particular, it’s hard on the lecture front, professionally, because it makes it hard to move physically and interferes with the flow of my thoughts.

“There’s a fair bit of intense misery associated with it as well. It’s like severe grief (and) proclivity to tears, that has characterised me since I was young.”

Peterson’s daughter had depression; a severe form of arthritis; and an auto-immune disease that left her with brittle bones. The bone condition was agonising.

“I asked my daughter, who walked on broken legs, who had to take opiates for pain, and wanted to sleep 24 hours a day, if she would rather have the depression or the arthritis,” he says. “She said virtually immediately that she would take the arthritis over the depression any day.”

Peterson says “anxiety and depression” are by far the most common conditions he saw when people came to his clinical practice, but the most frightening ­patient he saw was a pedophile.

“He was the worst,” he says. “Unbelievably narcissistic, and completely incurable by any known means. It was like nobody existed except him. He had justifications and rationalisations for everything he’d done, not only for why his molestation of his grandchildren was OK, but why it was a positive good. He was quite the piece of work. I’ve had other clients who were malevolent in their own way. Not many. It’s rare. Most people you see clinically have hard lives. That’s why they’re there (because events) are beyond their ability to overcome.”

On modern romance, Peterson says hook-up culture, and apps such as Tinder, are virtually bound to create misery for people.

“We are still under the delusion that we can divorce sex from life,” he says. “You can’t divorce sexuality from emotion. You can’t have sex without entangling yourself, at least to some degree.

“The problem with hook-up culture, with Tinder, let’s say, is it’s predicated on the assumption that people can be partners in a purely physical sexual exchange … first of all that’s an experiment that has never been conducted in the entire human history, very unlikely to go well; and second, it’s predicated on a naive, wilfully blind view of the relationship between people. It doesn’t work.”

The sexless marriage is just as problematic, and painful for people, he says. “You get married, you have kids, you have two careers, it’s very easy for the sexual part of your relationship to settle to 11th place on a 10-item schedule,” he says. “In order to maintain an intimate relationship with sexual energy … well, it takes a lot of work, and people don’t do the work … My sense is, it’s useful if you want to keep your sex life alive, to assume that you’re going to be intimate a minimum of once a week and perhaps twice a week — but you have to agree on that, and you have to make it a priority and perhaps you have to engage in that, with that, really whether you’re in the mood or not, because you’re thinking about the long game, not the short game. Use it or lose it, shall we say?”

SOURCE  

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

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

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

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27 February, 2019

SPLC's Hate Hoax: A New Report on 'Extremism'

There are many good reasons to treat SPLC's work as nothing more than leftist pablum.

In the midst of the endless news cycle surrounding Jussie Smollett’s hate-crime hoax, our own Louis DeBroux highlighted just how prevalent such hoaxes are. Ask yourself a simple question: Do we really live in a nation filled with hate groups committing rampant hate crimes when the hip new thing is to perpetrate fake hate crimes to get attention?

The nation’s premier hate group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, laughably insists the answer is yes and that it’s getting worse under President Donald Trump. In its newest Intelligence Report (try not to laugh), the SPLC calculates that the number of “hate” groups in the U.S. supposedly increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2019. Citing the report, The New York Times warns, “The law center said the number of hate groups rose by 7 percent last year to 1,020, a 30 percent jump from 2014. That broadly echoes other worrying developments, including a 30 percent increase in the number of hate crimes reported to the F.B.I. from 2015 through 2017 and a surge of right-wing violence that the Anti-Defamation League said had killed at least 50 people in 2019.”

U.S. News & World Report laid bare the blame game with the headline “Trump ‘Fear-Mongering’ Fuels Rise of U.S. Hate Groups to Record.” Clearly, this SPLC report is political, not an honest assessment.

Two points about reports from the FBI and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). First, as we observed in November, the reason “hate” crimes are supposedly on the rise is because hundreds more law-enforcement agencies have begun reporting such a category. So if that category is to be taken seriously instead of dismissed as political and subjective, all it means is that we’re now keeping count. Second, assume for a moment that the leftist ADL’s numbers are even remotely accurate (they’re not). Fifty murders is 50 too many for any reason, but blacks kill 50 other blacks in American inner cities every week. Is it a worse crime when the race of the perpetrator is white?

That brings us back to the SPLC. The organization is a tax-exempt, charitable organization with an endowment of $432.7 million. This war chest is used to tabulate a few actually hateful groups, but much of the organization’s very uncharitable efforts are spent serving as a bludgeoning tool for the Leftmedia and the Democrat Party. Why else would the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom be listed as “hate” groups? Or why would the SPLC warn about “members of Congress who traffic in hate and extremism” but only include Republicans and not, for example, actual anti-Semite Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar? A qualification for this political hate? Opposing same-sex marriage, just as Barack Obama did until 2012.

Despite — or rather because of — all this political chicanery, the SPLC is routinely cited by Leftmedia outlets as a “nonpartisan” and “objective” source for tracking hate in America. That is the essence of fake news.

SOURCE






Chicago has a very political police chief who closes his eyes to the real problems in the city

Now that the Chicago Police Department has, to its credit, solved the Smollett hate hoax, the comments from CPD superintendent Eddie Johnson beg closer scrutiny.

No doubt in Barack Obama’s hometown, there was a lot of pressure on Johnson to solve the “race hate-crime” case, but his attempt to pivot to “gun violence” was unacceptable, though consistent with the party line. After all, Johnson was fast-tracked by leftist Mayor Rahm Emanuel to be his superintendent, bypassing the three candidates selected by the Chicago Police Board.

In Johnson’s remarks, after the PD investigation shifted from one of hate-crime solving to hate-hoax-crime solving, he opened with this observation: “I just wish that the families of gun violence in this city got this much attention because that’s who really deserves the amount of attention that we are giving to this particular incident.”

Those lives do deserve more attention, but suffice it to say that if Johnson was sincere about that pivot, he would admit that the “gun violence” problem is actually a culture problem that is the direct result of generations of statist Democrat policies giving rise to the urban violence.

Regarding the hoax, Johnson said that the investigation shift “recognizes that [Smollett] took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.” Of course, most (not all) of the “pain and anger” in this era is the result of leftist political rhetoric to keep “people of color” beholden to the Democrat Party. Johnson may be so deep in that ruse that he actually believes it.

Johnson asked, “Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations?”

In the next breath he answered his own question: “This phony attack received national attention for weeks. Celebrities, news commentators, and even presidential candidates weighed in on something that was choreographed by an actor.” Smollett knew he could depend on the mainstream media and politicos to make his “attack” national news. But he badly overestimated his acting skills.

The sum total of the Left’s “weigh in” became part of the farce. Johnson said, correctly, “Bogus police reports cause real harm. They do harm to every legitimate victim who is in need of support by police and investigators as well as the citizens of this city.”

He concluded, “I only hope that the truth about what happened receives the same about of attention as the hoax did.” But it didn’t and won’t. None of the Leftmedia talkingheads were as breathless in their coverage of the hoax as they were of the original hate-crime report.

SOURCE






Don't rant at Jordan Peterson – understand his appeal, then do better

This is one of many articles by intelligent Leftists that concede that Peterson has a point and could teach Leftists a lot

As Jordan Peterson tours Australia to promote his book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, he is being met with protests every stop along the way. Peterson, whose roadshow continues on Monday night on the ABC's Q&A, has been attacked by some protesters for his purported sexism, racism, homophobia and other bigotry.

I find many of Peterson’s views appalling. From his advocacy of enforced monogamy to his  arguments in favour of social hierarchies, they can be regressive and reactionary. Yet, attending the protest in Canberra before his talk, I became confused.

A crowd of maybe 20 protested, chanted and gave speeches as people entered the theatre, but didn't engage with them at all. They yelled and labelled his supporters as sexists, racists or, as one speaker asserted, "incels [involuntary celibates] and pathetic basement dwellers".

I was dissatisfied with this approach. Despite the hyperbole, if you actually look at what Peterson says, it's easy to understand why he appeals to so many people. Our society is going through massive changes that bring rising social and economic insecurity and growing distrust of  democratic institutions.

Peterson provides a framework to understand these changes. His book is part self-help, part philosophy. He argues society is finely balanced between order and chaos, the latter emerging from our loss of shared meaning and values. He attempts to give readers a way out of the chaos. While mocked, his rules, ranging from "stand up straight with your shoulders back" to "pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)", present often sensible techniques for individuals to navigate life's difficulties. In these more psychological areas, Peterson is empathetic and insightful.

He offers a level of order and certainty through self-improvement and individual action, an approach best viewed in a BBC video in which he sits with young men at a boxing ring in a working-class area of Manchester. Peterson listens and connects the dots between their challenges and broader social change.

This doesn't mean we should accept his arguments. In providing his framework, Peterson blames the wrong people, and ignores the massive economic shifts caused primarily by neo-liberal capitalism. Offering individualised solutions to big social issues, he sells snake oil.

But it's not enough to dismiss Peterson and his followers as racists, sexists, homophobes, incels and pathetic basement dwellers. Yes, reject the bigotry, but we must connect the dots better than he does, understand the root causes of societal insecurity and address them. People are disenfranchised and looking for alternatives. Offer better ones than Peterson.

SOURCE






Many people do not believe that Australia's Cardinal George Pell is guilty of child sex offences

Nor do I.  We must note that he has not had his opportunity to appeal the verdict yet. It is common for verdicts to be overturned on appeal. So regarding the case as closed could be most unwise and expose those who do leap to conclusions to some contempt. John Crowley of St Patrick’s College in Ballarat certainly runs that risk.

One needs to note that the case boils down to one person's word against another and that fantasies about sexual matters can be readily taken as true when they are not -- as we saw in the hugely disgraceful matter of "Nick" in Britain, who is now being prosecuted for his lies.  He wrecked the lives of several people before he was disbelieved

It is reminiscent of the Nick affair that in this matter many of the details the complainant gave were improbable, if not impossible.

That the conviction is very fragile can also be seen in the fact that the first trial of the matter left a hung jury.  It was only on retrial that His Eminence was convicted. It seems likely to me that in such a finely balanced matter knowledge of misdeeds by other Catholic clerics swung the verdict towards guilt.  That is of course guilt by association, long recognized as a grave injustice



News of Cardinal George Pell’s conviction for child sex offences is being greeted with disbelief by shocked Catholics around the world.

Pell is the most senior Catholic cleric in the world to be found guilty of these offences and apparently, some just can’t believe it’s true.

Ed Pentin, the Rome correspondent for the oldest national Catholic newspaper in the United States, the National Catholic Register, has pointed to conspiracy theories circulating in the Vatican that Pell was set up.

“Most people here don’t believe the verdict,” Pentin told the Nine newspapers. “Most here believe Pell is innocent, certainly those who worked with him.”

Pentin said there was scepticism about the guilty verdict because Pell was investigating Vatican corruption and there was suspicion about the timing of the charges.

Suppression orders were lifted in Australia today that has allowed the conviction to be reported, although the judgement was handed down in December and reported by some international news outlets.

In an article for the Register, Pentin notes that after news broke in December about the verdict, a source told him, “People in court saw how flimsy the evidence was.

“This is an act of outrageous malice by a prejudiced jury. The media convicted him long ago in the court of public opinion and he did not receive a fair trial.”

Pell has faced years of negative coverage over what he knew, or should have known, about the activities of paedophile priests including the notorious Gerald Ridsdale, a former friend of Pell’s who was convicted of the abuse and indecent assault of 65 children, some aged as young as four years old.

Pell’s own hometown of Ballarat had such a high incidence of sexual abuse that the city was used as a case study in the final report of the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, which Pell gave evidence at in 2016 via video link from Rome.

Some believe Pell became a poster child for all that went wrong with the way the Catholic Church handled the abuse scandal.

Victorian County Court’s Chief Judge Peter Kidd acknowledged this, telling the jury at his trial that “you must not scapegoat Cardinal Pell”.

Peter Westmore, Pell’s friend of two decades and who attended the trial, told reporters outside the court: “I think the public mind has been so contaminated by the misdeeds of the Catholic Church and by the complaints, which people have raised, which have not been dealt with, that they said, ‘Well, he must have been guilty.’”

Others believe Pell didn’t help himself by refusing to give evidence in his own defence.

“Pell didn’t take the stand, and that definitely made a negative impression; it doesn’t look good if you won’t deny it with your own lips,” one source told the Catholic News Agency in December.

However, Father Frank Brennan, a Jesuit priest who attended some of the Pell proceedings noted that the complainant’s evidence must have been compelling for the Cardinal to be convicted.

The media and public were not allowed to be present when the complainant gave his evidence, which is normal in sexual assault cases.

But the case hinged on this testimony and in the end, the verdict came down to the jury believing the complainant was telling the truth.

“I was very surprised by the verdict. In fact, I was devastated,” Father Brennan wrote in an opinion piece in The Australian.

He noted that Pell’s defence barrister, Robert Richter QC had poked holes in the complainant’s evidence but ultimately the jury had still found the Cardinal guilty.

“Although the complainant got all sorts of facts wrong, the jury must have believed that Pell did something dreadful to him,” Father Brennan wrote.

“The jurors must have judged the complainant to be honest and reliable even though many of the details he gave were improbable if not impossible.”

Pell’s old school St Patrick’s College in Ballarat has also announced it will remove the Cardinal’s name from a building that had been named in his honour. It will also revoke his status as a Legend of the school and a line will be struck through his name on a College honour board listing ordained former students.

“The jury’s verdict demonstrates that Cardinal Pell’s behaviours have not met the standards we expect of those we honour as role models for the young men we educate,” the school’s headmaster John Crowley said.

Mr Crowley said the college must respond to the jury’s findings, although it reserves the right to revisit the decision if the conviction is overturned on appeal.

Today Pell’s lawyers confirmed they have lodged an appeal against the conviction and Pentin does not believe it’s likely Pope Francis will take any action until this has been heard.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has not commented on Pell’s conviction and either has Liberal MP Tony Abbott, a Catholic and vocal supporter of Pell in the past.

But senators Derryn Hinch and Sarah Hanson-Young are calling for the Cardinal to be stripped of his Companion of the Order of Australia.

Meanwhile, senior Catholic figures in Australia have also expressed shock and disbelief at the verdict.

“While acknowledging the judgment of the jury, I join many people who have been surprised and shaken by the outcome,” Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli said in a statement.

“I fully respect the ongoing judicial process, noting that Cardinal Pell continues to protest his innocence. An appeal against the verdict has been lodged. It is important that we now await the outcome of this appeal, respectful of the ongoing legal proceedings.”

He said his thoughts and prayers were with all victims who had been abused by clergy, religious and lay people in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

“I renew my personal commitment to do all I can to ensure victims of such abuse in Melbourne receive justice and healing,” Archbishop Comensoli said.

“I also acknowledge all in the Catholic Church who are walking with survivors and communities harmed by the scourge of abuse, and who are committed to building a culture of safety for our children and vulnerable people.

“At this time, may I assure you that I keep all involved in my prayer.”

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge released a statement on behalf of national body, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

“The news of Cardinal George Pell’s conviction on historical child sexual abuse charges has shocked many across Australia and around the world, including the Catholic Bishops of Australia,” the statement said.

“The Bishops agree that everyone should be equal under the law, and we respect the Australian legal system.”

SOURCE  

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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, 2019

Black Pastor: New Democrat members of Congress may look diverse, but their harmful ideas are not

Most of the newly-elected Democrats are fighting for agendas that hold my community down in poverty, Rev. C.L. Bryant writes

When I served as president of the NAACP branch in Garland, Texas in the 1980s, we believed in the dignity of work. We fought for equal treatment under the law, and quality education for our children. We called on society to judge our neighbors by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

I watched with pride as President Donald Trump delivered the opening remarks of his State of the Union address to the most racially diverse U.S. Congress in history. This scene, I thought to myself, is one big, beautiful step toward achieving the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

That pride was short-lived, as I realized most of these newly-elected Democrats are fighting for agendas that hold my community down in poverty.

DEM SILENCE DURING STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH SHOWS ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS OPPOSING TRUMP

When President Trump announced that African-American, Hispanic-American, and Asian-American poverty rates have reached their lowest recorded points in American history, we should have seen a standing ovation from this modern and diverse Democratic Party.

Instead, we saw outright disdain on their faces. Nobody clapped. The message wasn’t worth celebrating, because they didn’t like the political party of the messenger.

In that moment, I realized the 116th Congress is not diverse at all. The new generation of Democrats in power may look different, but their ideas are the same: big government, less freedom, and a message of entitlement and victimhood.

Our abolitionist forefathers died fighting for the freedom and self-empowerment of black Americans. They believed our rights come from God, not the government. They knew that with equal access to jobs and education, the black community would rise.

Now we find ourselves enslaved once again, this time voluntarily, to a culture of government dependency. Big-government policies have trapped us on a plantation of food stamps and welfare checks.

The modern Democratic Party needs black Americans’ lives to depend on the size of government. They want our votes, and our fear. They want us to believe that without them in power, what little we are given to make ends meet will be taken away. That we can’t thrive in this world on our own grit. That we need them to survive.

Sadly, Stacey Abrams, the first black woman to deliver a State of the Union response, perpetuated this damaging message of entitlement and victimhood in her remarks following the president’s speech.

Within a matter of minutes, Abrams accused Republicans of voter suppression, racism, elitism, hurting women and families, attacking the LGBTQ community, closing plants, abandoning children, and conspiring against blue collar American families.

She insisted hard-working families are being left behind, despite 5 million new jobs and the lowest unemployment rates in half a century. She ignored the 304,000 new jobs created in January (double what was expected), and instead painted a picture of federal employees waiting in food bank lines to get a “box of food and a sliver of hope” during a 35-day partial government shutdown.

According to Abrams, plants are closing, and layoffs are looming. More than 600,000 people with new manufacturing jobs would be surprised to hear this, especially Roy James, a black plant manager at the Vicksburg Forest Products lumber facility, which was saved from having to close its doors by provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The reality is, Donald Trump’s economic policies have done more for the black community than Barack Obama’s ever did. Since President Trump took office, nearly 4 million people have left the food stamp program. Wages are rising. Unemployment for Americans without a high school diploma is at the lowest rate ever recorded.

Thanks to historic legislation like the First Step Act, black families suffering from an epidemic of mass incarceration are getting a second chance at life together. Their loved ones are getting a chance at redemption, to become productive members of society.

President Trump has loosened regulations on small businesses, empowering black business owners to keep their doors open and protect the livelihoods of their families and their employees.

Through entrepreneurship and empowerment, black America is rising to greatness. We are getting back to work. These achievements did not warrant applause from the Democrats on the House floor, or a single mention in Stacey Abrams’ rebuttal speech.

It was a painful reminder that the modern Democratic Party doesn’t want us to get woke, they want us to stay broke.

SOURCE







Swedish Feminists Demand State Ban on 'Dangerous' Sex Robots

Sex robots and sex dolls reinforce the view that women are objects and normalise men's violence against women, three feminist Swedish organisations claim. They're demanding legislation targeting technology that "reproduces ideas about exploiting women's bodies".

Three Swedish feminist organisations, Sweden's Women's Lobby, the National Organisation for Women's Shelters and Young Women's Shelters (Roks) as well as the empowerment organisation Unizon have published a joint appeal in the newspaper Expressen, in which they demand a state ban on "dangerous" sex robots for men.

The debaters noted that today's sex robots often have the "appearances and attributes typical of the objectifying, sexualised and degrading attitude to women found in today's mainstream pornography".

"Why are men willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a robot that obeys their smallest command?" the feminists asked rhetorically. "A female robot cannot say no to something that the man wants, if she is not programmed to do so", the feminists complained.

The leaders of the women's organisations claimed that fantasies stimulated by such technology may lead to real violence against girls and women. They also drew parallels with pornography, whose consumption, they claimed, leads to sexist attitudes and actual violence. The dehumanisation of women justifies slavery, and the exploitation of the female body through new technology is part of this, they claimed.

The three organisations demanded that an inquiry be made to produce proposals on "how technology and activities that normalise abuse can be restricted and prohibited".

The feminists also want Swedish authorities to make it difficult for "brothels with sex robots and dolls" to open in Sweden. Unlike neighbouring Denmark and Finland, Sweden has yet to open an automated brothel with no human prostitutes. The organisations drew comparisons between sex robots and prostitution.

"Sweden has for 20 years had a regulatory framework that punishes sex buyers and which has reduced the demand for prostitution. <…> Now, Sweden must take the next step and dare to address the ongoing technological developments that are driven by the sex industry at the expense of real women and girls", they concluded.

Lastly, they demanded that such dolls and robots be included in sexual education curricula and addressed from a perspective that portrays the relationship between sexuality and power as problematic.

In 2014, Sweden received its first "feminist" government, which puts a special emphasis on women's rights.

SOURCE






Assessing Gay Priests’ Role in Scandal

According to Vatican observer Edwin Pentin, it is "not clear" whether "the role of homosexuality in the abuse crisis" will be addressed at the Vatican summit on clergy sexual abuse; it begins today. One thing is for sure: every effort to downplay the role of gays is being made.

A front-page story in the February 18 edition of the New York Times is typical of the way most of the media are covering this subject. "Studies repeatedly find there to be no connection between being gay and abusing children. And yet prominent bishops have singled out gay priests as the root of the problem, and right-wing media organizations attack what they have called the church's 'homosexual subculture,' 'lavender mafia,' or 'gay cabal.'"

Furthermore, Cardinal Blase Cupich, who will be at the summit, says that while most of the problem is a result of "male on male" sex abuse, "homosexuality itself is not a cause." He says it can be explained as a matter of "opportunity and also a matter of poor training on the part of the people."

All of these statements can be challenged. First of all, not all studies have shown that there is no link between homosexuals and the sexual abuse of minors.

A good summary of the literature that shows the central role of homosexual priests in the abuse scandal can be found in an article by Brian W. Clowes and David L. Sonnier. The most recent research that challenges the conventional wisdom on this subject is the study by D. Paul Sullins, a sociologist who teaches at Catholic University of America. He found that the link between homosexual priests and sexual abuse was strong.

Let it be said emphatically that it is morally wrong to blame all gay priests or to bully someone who is gay, be he a priest or a plumber. It is also wrong to call on all gay priests to resign: such a sweeping recommendation is patently unfair to those gay priests who have never violated anyone.

However, it is not helpful to the cause of eradicating the problem of sexual abuse in the priesthood to dismiss a conversation about the obvious. We can begin by talking honestly about who the victims are.

Notice that the New York Times says, "[s]tudies repeatedly find there to be no connection between being gay and abusing children." This is a common way of framing the issue, and it is a deceitful one. Most of the victims were adolescents, not children. In other words, the problem is not pedophilia.

We know from one report after another, in both this country and abroad, that approximately 80 percent of the victims are both male and postpubescent. Ergo, the issue is homosexuality. This does not mean that homosexuality, per se, causes someone to be a predator (Cupich is technically right about that), but it does say that homosexuals are disproportionately represented in the sexual abuse of minors. We cannot ignore this reality.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that puberty begins at age 10 for boys. A study of more than 4,000 boys examined by a doctor, nationwide, also put the figure at age 10. The John Jay report on priestly sexual abuse found that less than 5 percent of the victims were prepubescent, meaning that pedophilia is not the problem.

The John Jay researchers try to protect homosexuals by saying that not all the men who had sex with adolescent males consider themselves to be homosexuals. But self-identification is not dispositive. If the gay priests thought they were giraffes, would the scholars conclude that the problem is bestiality?

It was the John Jay researchers who first floated the "opportunity" thesis that Cardinal Cupich picked up on. This idea is flawed. Predator priests hit on boys not because they were denied access to girls, but because they preferred males. More important, there is something patently unfair, as well as inaccurate, about this line of thinking.

It suggests that many priests are inclined to have sex with minors—and will choose the sex which offers them the greatest opportunity. There is no evidence to support this unjust indictment. Also, girl altar servers date back to 1983, after Canon law was changed. They became even more common in 1994 when Pope John Paul II ruled that girls can be altar servers.

If the "opportunity" thesis had any truth to it, we should have seen, over the past few decades, a spike in altar girls being sexually abused by priests, but this has not happened. Indeed, 80 percent of the victims are still male and postpubescent.

The notion that "poor training" is responsible for the scandal raises the obvious question: If all seminarians, straight and gay, were trained the same way (they were not segregated), then why didn't the "poor training" that the heterosexuals experienced lead them to sexually abuse minors?

Finally, every honest observer who has examined this subject knows there is a homosexual subculture in the Church. Two months ago, Pope Francis said, "homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the church." Previously, he spoke about the "gay lobby" in the Church. Moreover, a 2016 decree on training for priests spoke about the "gay culture." Also, it was Father Andrew Greeley who used the term "lavender mafia."

Pope Francis is not a "right-winger," and neither was Greeley.

We need to stop, once and for all, playing politics with this issue and face up to some tough realities.

SOURCE






How political correctness assisted a vast con

For no particular reason, my summer has been filled with con men. Some old, some young, all charming and all cheats. Happily, it’s been from a safe distance, reading about, watching and listening to some shocking swindlers.



But the worst con wasn’t by any of these men. The worst con artist was a woman, a very young woman. She features in a mesmerising new podcast called The Drop Out. She is also the subject of John Carreyrou’s forensic book, Bad Blood — Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. She stars in a new HBO doco due out next month called The Inventor — Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. Here is a poster girl for gender equality, if you will, proving women can be just as bad as men.

And the story of Elizabeth Holmes is very, very bad. Though she shares much in common with con men, another part to her story deserves scrutiny.

The rise of Holmes reveals ­another, darker side to female empowerment. Feminist warriors won’t tell you how gender works a treat for women who seek to lie, con and defraud. The feminists talk only about woeful discrimination by men against women, glass ceilings that can’t be cracked, boys clubs and men’s networks that stop women from achieving their true potential.

Holmes reached her full potential as a con artist, aided and abetted by being a woman. She dropped out of Stanford after two semesters of chemical engineering with a mission to transform blood testing across the globe. Phyllis Gardner, a professor of medicine for more than 30 years, spotted ­delusion right away. She told the freshman at their first encounter in 2002 that her idea was not scientifically possible.

Holmes moved on to another professor, Channing Robertson. The middle-aged man was mesmerised by her and not long after joined the board of Theranos, the company Holmes set up in 2003 when she was 19 years old.

Holmes used her female charm to cajole many others, to trick and defraud legions of men, young and old. And women too, mostly young women, many of whom left Theranos disillusioned and disgusted.

Plenty of men fell out with Holmes eventually, but it is striking how many men fell for Holmes and her story. She spruiked a revolution delivered via a small device to extract a pinprick of blood, the sample fed into a Theranos machine called the Edison, which would run hundreds of tests simultaneously in an hour.

Before her story turned rancid, Holmes hit all the sweet spots. She was young and gorgeous with big blue eyes, articulate and passionate about her claim to change the world. Holmes dazzled a bunch of pale, stale males who joined her board. The all-male board included Henry Kissinger, then US Marine Corps general John Mattis, who became secretary of ­defence, former secretary of state George Shultz, and other men who made their millions in Silicon Valley. Shultz was taken with her “purity of motivation”. Mattis was impressed with her “well-honed sense of ethics”. Park these thoughts.

Holmes claimed she was revolutionising blood testing, reducing medical costs, even saving lives on the battlefields of Afghanistan. Brilliant young graduates, even senior people from Apple, flocked to work with the next Steve Jobs.

Holmes raised $US700 million from investors — again lots of men, including Oracle founder Larry Ellison, venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the Walton and De Vos families, and Rupert Murdoch. Theranos also signed a game-changing deal with pharmacy chain Walgreens.

The media loved Holmes too. The blonde, self-made billionaire, worth $4bn at her height, was a ­female success story in the boys club of Silicon Valley.

Her pitch to be the modern-day cross between Marie Curie and Steve Jobs was kind of sexy. Though more Jobs than Curie. Holmes deliberately dressed like her icon, copying the Jobs uniform of black skivvies and trousers. She even changed her voice to a weirdly slow and low baritone.

A brilliant woman in a man’s world was forced to do this to get ahead? Or a cunning young woman exploiting her gender to con the world? Undoubtedly, both.

Business journalists know how this goes. A picture of a pretty young woman makes the front page, no matter how small the news value or how shallow her achievement. It breaks the long run of grey men in suits. The media, drunk on the Holmes Kool-Aid, were so excited to promote gender diversity that they didn’t listen for alarm bells. Holmes was plastered over the media, scoring covers and profile puff pieces, appearing on TV, collecting awards and addressing rapturous crowds. Introducing the ­inventor at an event, Bill Clinton was especially excited. Of course.

Did Holmes cash in on lashings of gender virtue-signalling by men too? No doubt. Just like those Male Champions of Change in Australia, male board directors who flock to promote women ­because it gives them a public glow of goodness, the men around Holmes gained gender cred by boosting her. Except their outer glow blinded them from seeing the red flags about her poor leadership and her false claims about Theranos technology and revenues. As Carreyrou observed, there was also a dose of FOMO — a fear of missing out.

That said, Holmes’s skin-deep CV piqued the interest of Carrey­rou. Why not others? There is a reason, writes The Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, that Nobel prize winners in medicine are in their 60s. It takes time to develop, test and authenticate genuine medical innovations. This Stanford dropout was in a rush, leading a company that lied to ­patients, ­investors and even staff.

Carreyrou’s first explosive report about this con woman ran in October 2015. Holmes claimed Theranos machines could run hundreds of blood tests from a single drop of blood. That was untrue. The tests that it did run were often faulty. Holmes ran fake tests to convince investors and her board.

Holmes and her chief operating officer Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani set up silos within Theranos, forbidding staff members from communicating with other sections. Employees were routinely sacked on the spot for raising questions about the technology. They were threatened with lawsuits, and dossiers of information on them were collected for “leakage”.

The Theranos offices were gripped by a culture of secrecy, fear and retribution

Holmes was at the centre of this cult-like story of a tech girl genius. Even as the myth exploded, she ­responded to critics by saying: “This is what happens when you work to change things. First, they think you’re crazy, then they fight you, and then all of a sudden you change the world.” Employees chanted “f..k you, Carreyrou” over and over again at a staff meeting.

As Carreyrou continued his forensic exposes in the Journal, Theranos staff members created a Space Invader game with Carrey­rou as the villain.

The house of Holmes came crashing down in March last year when the SEC charged her and Balwani with widespread fraud.

Holmes settled with the SEC and has been banned from running a public company for 10 years. Theranos closed its doors six months later. Holmes and Balwani are awaiting trial for other offences that could put them in prison for 20 years.

The most despicable con was inflicted on people who used dodgy Theranos blood tests to make decisions about their lives.

So, the next time someone says that more women are the antidote to a toxic culture, remember that women can be bullies, harassers, and fraudsters too.

SOURCE

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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, 2019

Man Accused of Pulling Gun on Sam’s Club Customer All Because of MAGA Hat

A Tennessee man faces a charge of first-degree wanton endangerment after allegedly pulling a gun on a Sam’s Club customer in Kentucky for wearing a Make America Great Again hat.

James Phillips, 57, told police he made an obscene gesture with his finger towards Terry Pierce and his wife inside the store because they were wearing MAGA hats, according to a police citation obtained by WKNY.

After Pierce returned the gesture, Phillips, who was wearing a veterans hat, “pulled a .40 caliber out and stuck it in my face, backed up and said, ‘It’s a good day for you to die,'” Pierce told WBKO.

“I said, ‘Then pull the trigger. Put the gun down and fight me or pull the trigger. Whichever one you want,’” Pierce added. “And he backed up and he said it again, he said, ‘It’s a good day for you to die.'”

Phillips then left the store and waited in the parking lot for his mother, who was still inside shopping, according to Pierce.

“I went out the front of the store to confront him again and that’s when I got him in his car,” Pierce told 13 News. “He tried telling me I assaulted him and I said, ‘I never touched you.’”

Pierce said the impetus for the altercation was the MAGA hat he was wearing. “I have as much right to wear that hat and support my country and my president as he has not to,” he said.

Surveillance video captured inside the store confirms that Pierce did not lay his hands on Phillips, according to the police citation. However, footage of Phillips allegedly pulling his gun on Pierce was not captured due to him backing away from the view of the camera.

Police arrived on the scene after multiple witnesses called in to report Phillips pulling a gun on the couple, according to the citation.

Phillips had a concealed .40 caliber Glock with a bullet chambered in one pocket and two additional magazines in another, according to police.

He has concealed carry permit from Tennessee, according to WKNY.

SOURCE







Moment Brazilian immigrant, 41, 'drunkenly assaults a man, 23, wearing a MAGA hat at a Mexican eatery before being arrested' - but claims SHE is the victim

A woman accused of assaulting a fellow diner at a Mexican restaurant because he was wearing a 'Make America Great Again' hat claims that she was actually the victim of the confrontation caught on video.

Rosaine Santos, a 41-year-old Brazilian immigrant living in Falmouth, Massachusetts, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, assault and battery following the row at Casa Vallarta Mexican restaurant last Friday.

Police say Santos approached 23-year-old Bryton Turner and began yelling at him about his red hat with Donald Trump's 2016 campaign slogan emblazoned across it.

A video recorded by Turner shows Santos walking behind him and knocking the hat off his head. 

'That's the problem – the problem with American these days, people are just ignorant,' Turner says in the video.

The incident escalated to the point that the police were called, and when they arrived at the restaurant Santos reportedly told them that Turner should not be allowed to eat at a Mexican restaurant because he supports the President, who is hellbent on erecting a wall at the US-Mexico border. 

Santos took one last swipe at Turner while police were escorting her out of the restaurant. 'She just tried to grab my hat in front of four officers, not smart,' Turner said in the video.

Bartender Geo Macarao told local TV station Boston 25: 'I couldn’t imagine somebody just coming up and hitting them when there’s cops right here.'

Santos defended herself after the fact, telling Boston 25 that she had been provoked. 

'I had a little bit to drink maybe that’s the reason that I couldn’t walk away but being discriminated for so many times in my life, I just had to stand up for myself,' she said.

'He’s not a victim. I am the victim. I have been bullied, okay?' 

Macarao said Turner didn't do anything to provoke Santos and had just walked in an ordered his food when she confronted him.

SOURCE





A British police force 'discriminated against a white heterosexual male'

A police force which rejected a "well prepared" potential recruit because he is a white, heterosexual male has been found guilty of discrimination.

Matthew Furlong, 25, whose father is a detective inspector in Cheshire Police, applied to join the force in 2017.

When he lost out to other candidates, his father lodged a complaint.

An employment tribunal ruled the force had used "positive action" to recruit people with different characteristics, but in a discriminatory way.

Mr Furlong, who studied particle physics and cosmology at Lancaster University, said he was told at the interview "it was refreshing to meet someone as well prepared as yourself" and that he "could not have done any more".

Employment lawyer Jennifer Ainscough said: "Matthew was denied his dream job simply because he was a white, heterosexual male.

"This is the first reported case of its kind in the UK where positive action has been used in a discriminatory way."

'Fallacy'

The tribunal in Liverpool ruled Mr Furlong had been a victim of direct discrimination on the grounds of his sexual orientation, race and sex.

It ruled that while positive action can be used to boost diversity, it should only be applied to distinguish between candidates who were all equally well qualified for a role.

The force's claim it had seen 127 candidates who were equally suitable for the role of police constable was a "fallacy", the tribunal ruled, and imposing such an artificially low threshold - assigning candidates a pass or fail rather than any kind of score - was not a proportionate response to addressing the force's lack of diversity.

Cheshire Police was among a number of forces criticised in 2015 for having no black officers, but has since taken steps to improve opportunities for those of different ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and disability.

The case has been adjourned until later this year for a remedy hearing to determine the amount of compensation to be awarded.

A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: "We have been notified of the outcome of the tribunal and will review the findings over the coming days."

SOURCE






Take responsibility for your life

Prominent intellectual and speaker Jordan Peterson’s current Australian tour could well be the first time many millennials have heard a message of personal responsibility.

For most of their lives, millennials have been coddled by the narrative of having rights without responsibility. For many millennials, individual accountability was obsolete in western culture, until people like Peterson revived the discussion in a new way for a new generation.

As an unintended consequence of the cultural change in the 1960s, there has been an overemphasis on group identity and intersectionality in our culture.

The most important aspect about an individual has become their group identity — characteristics such as race, gender, cultural background, and sexuality, take primacy over the individual.

This has led to people being classified as belonging to either an oppressor or a victim group. Being a white person meant that you had to forever reimburse the sins of western imperialism and slavery. Because you share the characteristics of those who did wrong in the past, you must pay in the present.

Meanwhile, being a minority victim group meant that you can ‘never be guilty’ or be responsible for any suffering in your own life. If you belong to a victim group, your problems were caused by the oppressors.

Peterson’s message directly counters this narrative. For the first time, many young people are being told they have control over their life. You are not responsible for the sins of your ancestors. Nor are you a victim because of the trials of your ancestors.

Take control of what you can. Start small, slowly build competence, and your life will drastically improve. This is how you build a meaningful life.

As Peterson says in his book, 12 Rules for Life, “We must each adopt as much responsibility as possible for individual life, society and the world”.  

We must bring personal responsibility back onto the table.

SOURCE

*************************

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

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

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

***************************





24 February, 2019

Lesbians are FAT

A popular stereotype confirmed.  My late sister was a Lesbian and her "friend" was certainly large.  But why is it so?  The explanations advanced by the authors below are typically Leftist grievance explanations.  The real explanation is probably simple.  Many Lesbians think like men and men are much less careful of their appearance than women are.  So lesbians "let themselves go" as men often do but as women rarely do

It is however a puzzle that the Lesbian sample was much younger than the normal sample.  What do we conclude from the expected fact -- which was also the observed fact -- that the older women in general got, the fatter they got (Table 2)?  That finding seems wildly contradictory to the headline finding.  Going  by age, the lesbians should have been slimmer. The two findings could be resolved by saying that young Lesbians tend to be HUGELY overweight but that is seemingly not so. The percentage overweight for lesbians was given as 59.3 versus 57.0 for normals, which is a fairly small difference.

So some puzzles there



Sexual orientation identity in relation to unhealthy body mass index: individual participant data meta-analysis of 93 429 individuals from 12 UK health surveys

J Semlyen et al.

Abstract

Background

Lesbian, gay and bisexual adults are more likely than heterosexual adults to experience worse health outcomes. Despite increasing public health interest in the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight, no study has considered sexual orientation identity (SOI) and unhealthy BMI categories among adults in the UK population.

Methods

Individual participant data meta-analysis using pooled data from population health surveys reporting on 93 429 adults with data on SOI, BMI and study covariates.

Results

Adjusting for covariates and allowing for between-study variation, women identifying as lesbian (OR = 1.41, 95% CI: 1.16, 1.72) or bisexual (OR = 1.24, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.48) were at increased risk of overweight/obesity compared to heterosexual women, but men identifying as gay were at decreased risk (OR = 0.72, 95% CI: 0.61, 0.85) compared to heterosexual men. Increased risk of being underweight was seen for women identifying as ‘other’ (OR = 1.95, 95% CI: 1.07, 3.56), and men identifying as gay (OR = 3.12, 95% CI: 1.83, 5.38), bisexual (OR = 2.30, 95% CI: 1.17, 4.52), ‘other’ (OR = 3.95, 95% CI: 1.85, 8.42).

Conclusions

The emerging picture of health disparities in this population, along with well documented discrimination, indicate that sexual orientation should be considered as a social determinant of health.

Journal of Public Health, 2019  Also here






Catholic Church Leaders, Homosexuals, and Abuse

By ignoring the sin of homosexualty among its priests, the church has enabled child abuse    

The Bible is clear: Homosexual behavior is wrong and a sin. It’s not an acceptable alternative lifestyle, let alone a practice in which to take pride or a choice that others must celebrate. From the Old Testament to the New, Biblical writers call it an “abomination” and “dishonorable,” listing it among the sins that will keep its practitioners from inheriting the Kingdom of God.

To be fair, sometimes conservative Christians elevate homosexuality as a particular bogeyman because they’d rather not deal with their own idolatry, greed, adultery, or other sinfulness. Homosexuality is not the cause of the epidemic of broken man-woman marriages in Christendom, for example. Neither is it beyond the reach of redemptive grace. Yet unlike many other sins, homosexuality is also a sin of disorder. It’s not too much of a good thing; it’s a perversion of what God created — something the Apostle Paul calls “contrary to nature.”

Nevertheless, liberal Christians have handled the issue by declaring that the Bible doesn’t actually say what it says, or that Scripture’s prohibition is now culturally irrelevant. In any case, our culture’s brazen embrace and outright promotion of gender disorientation presents particular challenges for Christians.

One of those manifestations is that the Catholic Church has for decades struggled to come to grips with the sin of sexual abuse among its clergy. Unfortunately, many Catholic leaders flatly reject the notion that this is a homosexual problem. “Anyone who tries to make the argument that homosexuality is a root cause does so against all the research that has been out there,” insisted Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago. The Washington Post claims research shows no connection between sexuality and abuse.

Yet the empirical evidence is crystal clear: This abuse is disproportionately perpetrated by men upon boys.

Pope Francis, who in December said homosexuals should “leave the priesthood,” is leading a four-day summit to address the problem of sexual abuse. “Listen to the cry of the young, who want justice,” and “transform this evil into a chance for understanding and purification,” Francis declared. “The holy people of God are watching and expect not just simple and obvious condemnations, but efficient and concrete measures to be established.”

Francis’s newfound zeal for stopping and punishing this abuse is welcome, though it remains to be seen what concrete actions will result from this summit. That depends on the effectiveness of his 21-point plan.

Regarding the prevalence of homosexual priests, the Catholic Church must come to grips with how it hates the sin but loves the sinner. Perhaps those tempted by homosexual desires are drawn to the priesthood because they hope the ordered celibacy will provide needed guardrails. If so, it’s evidently a yoke too heavy for some to bear, and rather than finding grace and healing, they’re finding rules and restraints they can’t abide. Perhaps others are drawn to the dirty little secret — what some cardinals fear is a cabal of homosexuals bent on advancing an agenda.

The truth is in there somewhere, and we hope the pope and other Catholic leaders can deal with it honestly and forthrightly.

SOURCE






Dear Feminists, Stop Ruining Life for the Rest of Us

I realize that it comes from a good place: Empowerment. Confidence. Success. But your way of achieving this has caused some real problems. Take, for example, men. Can women only achieve “empowerment” by destroying men, masculinity, and male leadership? Gender is not a zero-sum game. You don’t have to pick a team. It’s not a “cat’s rule, dogs drool” situation. Being pro-woman should not mean being anti-man.

We both live on this planet and we need each other. On a basic level, men and women need each other to make the human race continue. Men and women also bring different things to both family and work dynamics. For all the talk of unity, where is the unity of male-female relations?

And what about the “toxic masculinity” thing? What does that even mean? To be sure, there are some terrible men in this world. There are abusive men, chauvinist men, cheaters, and oppressors. But are these men inherently terrible because they are male or because they are simply toxic people making bad choices?

On the flip side, there are some terrible women in this world: abusive, manipulating, and vengeful women. Was it due to their femininity? Was it due to their gender? Or were they terrible because they were toxic people making bad choices? It does not seem reasonable to claim a person’s bad behavior is an inherent quality of their gender. Where is the personal responsibility in that? It seems more reasonable to call people (of either gender) toxic because of their poor choices.

And here’s another irony. With all your talk of discrimination and victimization, what about the guys? Are they victims of their gender like women are? It’s not like they had a choice in the matter. It’s XX chromosomes for females and XY chromosomes for males. None of us had a choice. So to discriminate against all men based on something they couldn’t help is wrong. To accuse every man of being an abusive, misogynist, patriarchy-obsessed warlord — without evidence — is not fair, either.

Further, our legal system is based, among other things, on the presumption of innocence. To shift that system into one that finds women to be inherently innocent and men to be inherently guilty compromises the rule of law for everyone.

Shaming men for masculinity attacks them for being strong, for being protectors, and for being providers. Yet what does that accomplish? Do we really want a society with weak, passive men who won’t stand up for their families?

In the end, most women still prefer strong men who act as able leaders, protectors, and heroes. To the feminists who are destroying the last remaining vestiges of chivalry in this county, please stop the anti-man crusade. If you want to turn your guy into a passive man, do that on your own time. But stop ruining life for the rest of us.

SOURCE
  





UNREAL: Lib Magazine Says It’s Racist For Trump To Pressure Iran Into Decriminalizing Homosexuality

The Trump administration has recently launched a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality with a focus on countries such as Iran, where it is currently illegal to be gay.

This completely destroys the Democrats argument that “Trump hates gay people.”

Check out what NBC reported:

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highest-profile openly gay person in the Trump administration, is leading the effort, which kicks off Tuesday evening in Berlin. The U.S. embassy is flying in LGBT activists from across Europe for a strategy dinner to plan to push for decriminalization in places that still outlaw homosexuality — mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.

This campaign is focused mainly on decriminalizing homosexuality and came in response to a recent execution of a gay man in Iran.

Although the decriminalization strategy is still being hashed out, officials say it’s likely to include working with global organizations like the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as other countries whose laws already allow for gay rights. Other U.S. embassies and diplomatic posts throughout Europe, including the U.S. Mission to the E.U., are involved, as is the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

Narrowly focused on criminalization, rather than broader LGBT issues like same-sex marriage, the campaign was conceived partly in response to the recent reported execution by hanging of a young gay man in Iran, the Trump administration’s top geopolitical foe.

Pretty good of the Trump administration to make this a priority, right? Maybe the Left will finally get behind President Trump on an issue, right?

Well according to a far Left magazine, “Trump’s plan to decriminalize homosexuality is an old racist tactic.” Seriously? You can’t make this up!

"The Trump administration is set to launch a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality in dozens of nations where anti-gay laws are still on the books, NBC News reported Monday. While on its surface, the move looks like an atypically benevolent decision by the Trump administration, the details of the campaign belie a different story. Rather than actually being about helping queer people around the world, the campaign looks more like another instance of the right using queer people as a pawn to amass power and enact its own agenda"

Instead of praising President Trump for standing up for gay people all around the world, Out Magazine finds a way to make the news about Trump being a “racist.” How pathetic!

No matter what your views are on gay marriage, it’s good that The Trump Administration is taking the lead in ending the criminalization of homosexuality.

Instead of constantly attacking him, the Left should agree with the President, especially on an issue that they claim to care so much about.

SOURCE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
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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, 2019

UK.: Man ("Nick") who sparked Westminster child abuse probe in 2014 pleads not guilty to perverting course of justice

Police took his fantasies seriously, despite no corroboration -- resulting in huge disruption to the lives of many innocent men.  One of the accused, Harvey Proctor, later said that the investigations had "irreparably ruined my life" and that as a result of the allegations he had lost his house and his job.

The police should be beside "Nick" in the dock.  They called their investigation "Operation Midland".  Since when did they mount  huge investigations of uncorroborated allegations? In an extraordinary case of prejudging the issue, the officer leading the investigation, Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald, said in December 2014 that experienced officers had concluded that the allegations were "credible and true", which they certainly were not. The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police at the time was the controversial Bernard Hogan-Howe, known for going easy on Muslims.

That nearly all of the accused were prominent conservatives hints at a political motive for these bizarre happenings. Below is the blob they took seriously:




The man who sparked the Westminster child abuse investigation has pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice and is due to stand trial in May.

Carl Beech, 51, who was widely known by the name, Nick, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court for a trial preparation hearing, where he pleaded not guilty to 13 separate charges.

The former NHS manager and father of one, is accused of lying to the police when he accused a string of high profile politicians and public figures of abusing him as part of a paedophile ring operating in the 1970s and 80s.

He is also accused of profiting from his lies by making a fraudulent compensation claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

Mr Beech appeared at Newcastle Crown Court via videolink, in front of his honour Judge Paul Sloan QC, Recorder of Newcastle.

Speaking in a loud, clear voice Mr Beech answered not guilty as each as the 13 charges were put to him.

Mr Beech is accused of falsely telling police he been raped and abused for nine years by a VIP gang which included the Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, the former Home Secretary Leon Brittan, the former head of the army, Lord Bramall, the former Tory MP, Harvey Proctor and former Labour MP Greville Janner.

As well as alleging child rape, Mr Beech also told police officers he had witnessed members of the gang murder young boys.

On the back of his claims the Metropolitan Police launched Operation Midland, a Ł2.5 million investigation, which was closed after 18 months without any arrests having been made.

In July last year the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced that Mr Beech was to be charged with 12 counts of perverting the course of justice.

He was also charged with fraud in relation to an allegation that he profited from his allegations by making a Ł22,000 claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

The trial, which is due to last for eight weeks, is due to begin at Newcastle Crown Court on May 7, in front of Mr Justice Goss.

SOURCE






Smollett Is the Latest in a Long List of Leftist Hate-Hoaxes

The sheer number of anti-Trump hoaxes in just two years is staggering. Here's a small sampling

Renowned race-bait pimp “Reverend” Al Sharpton has thrown Hollywood actor Jussie Smollett under the proverbial bus, declaring, “If it is found that Smollett and these gentlemen did, in some way, perpetrate something that is not true, they ought to face accountability to the maximum. Let us get to the bottom of it, and let justice be done.”

This would be the same Al Sharpton who spearheaded the Tawana Brawley gang-rape hoax — a fraud that he never faced “accountability” for, but one that rocketed him to political prominence even as it destroyed the lives of the accused. That hoax also became a template for America’s race-bait political hustlers.

TV show “Empire” star Smollett received wall-to-wall Leftmedia coverage after claiming he was attacked by two MAGA-hat-wearing Trump supporters. Smollett, who is black and homosexual, claims two white men beat him, tied a noose around his neck, and threw bleach in his face while shouting, “This is MAGA country, nigger!” and calling him “Empire faggot!”

The MSM and Democrat notables immediately pounced on the story, without consideration of how unlikely it was that two Trump supporters would roam the streets of Chicago at 2:00 a.m. in sub-freezing weather, with a bottle of bleach and a noose, on the off chance that a random black actor would decide to go out in the middle of the night for a sandwich.

It now appears Smollett orchestrated the attack himself, paying two Nigerian brothers to play the role of his attackers, even scouting the area and rehearsing beforehand. Not only that, but he did so because he was supposedly upset that a racist letter he received didn’t yield more media attention — and the FBI is now investigating whether Smollett even sent the letter to himself. Smollett was not the victim of a hate crime, he perpetrated one.

Now that the hoax has been exposed, prominent Democrats like Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, who initially mugged for cameras while decrying America’s teeming racism, calling the attack a “modern-day lynching,” are notably silent.

Much like the Covington Catholic School boys story (where white teenaged boys supposedly threatened an elderly Native American man while wearing MAGA hats), this story had the perfect combination of elements to advance the narrative of virulent racism and homophobia in Trump’s America.

Now the boys are suing The Washington Post for libel and seeking $250 million in damages.

A reasonable person might ask why the media immediately validates any story that demonizes President Donald Trump or his supporters, while simultaneously warning us not to rush to judgment when the black, Democrat Lt. Governor of Virginia faces multiple credible accusations of rape.

They certainly didn’t extend the same courtesy to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he was accused of sexual assault by a woman who could not provide even the tiniest shred of evidence for her claim.

In a moment of unusual honesty, “The View’s” Joy Behar revealed the truth when, in response to Whoopi Goldberg asking why progressive Democrats keep falling for the hoaxes, she said, “Because we’re desperate to get Trump out of office.”

Wilfred Reilly, political science professor at Kentucky State University, is the author of Hate Crime Hoax — How the Left Is Selling a Fake Race War. “Virtually all of the high profile widely-reported hate crimes over the last two years have been hoaxes,” Reilly notes. “A broader motivation for these hoaxes is that the demand for bigots in America greatly exceeds the supply. … We have a very well-funded grievance industry. … The SPLC currently has an active invested endowment of $432 million dollars.”

Indeed, the sheer number of anti-Trump hoaxes in just two years is staggering. Here are a few of the more notable examples:

A Muslim woman at the University of Michigan claimed a man threatened to set her on fire if she didn’t remove her hijab. Another Muslim woman in Louisiana claimed two white men, one wearing a Trump hat, beat and robbed her, taking her hijab and wallet while yelling racial slurs. Yet another Muslim woman in New York claimed to have been attacked by a group of Trump supporters while bystanders watched idly. Each later admitted fabricating the stories.

In Indiana, a black church was vandalized with spray-painted swastikas and the words “Heil Trump!” and “fag church.” The Washington Post claimed it was the latest in a string of such incidents since Trump’s Election Day victory. It turns out the church’s organist was the culprit.

In Mississippi, the 110-year-old Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church was burned to the ground. The words “Vote Trump” were found on the remaining brick wall. Initially investigated as a racially motivated hate crime, it turns out that, again, the black church’s own organist was the arsonist.

At the Air Force Academy, St. Olaf Academy (MN), Kansas State University, a Missouri high school, two Texas restaurants, and Drake University, among others, “victims” who claimed they received threatening racist or homophobic notes later recanted their stories; they made up everything.

These are just a few of the hundreds of such hoaxes blamed on white Trump supporters. Michelle Malkin lists even more. In each case the media immediately reported the claims as fact. The later corrections or retractions were buried deep in the newspapers or given just seconds of airtime, if the corrections came at all.

In a bitterly ironic twist, this deluge of hoaxes blamed on Trump supporters has actually incited violence against innocent Trump supporters. The Democrats, the media (but we repeat ourselves), and their social-justice-warrior allies take these hoaxes as absolute fact and feel justified in physically attacking Trump supporters (which of course creates a ratings bonanza for the press on both sides of the ledger).

Journalist Andy Ngo, who did a masterful job of cataloguing many of these hoaxes, perfectly captures the danger of what some have called “outrage porn.” He warns, “Jussie Smollett’s hoax is symptomatic of America’s illness. Because of the mainstreaming of academia’s victimhood culture, we are now in a place where we place more value on being a victim than on being heroic, charitable, or even kind. Victims or victim groups high on intersectionality points are supposed to be coveted, treated with child gloves, and believed unreservedly. Their ‘lived experience’ gives them infinite wisdom. Those who urge caution are treated as bigots.”

Decent Americans of every race, sex, religion, political leaning, or any other means by which we divide ourselves must be aware of the very real danger of these incidents turning from brushfires into uncontrollable infernos that lay waste to our nation, escalating into a full-blown civil war. Those who preach tolerance must practice it.

SOURCE






7 Year Old Texas Boy Decided To Sell Hot Chocolate To Raise Money For The Wall: Branded ‘Little Hitler’

A 7-year-old Texas boy who decided to sell hot chocolate to fund President Donald Trump’s wall got branded a “little Hitler” for his efforts. Even so, he has raised more than $5,000 so far.

The angry comment came after the enterprising young man, Benton Stevens, set up a stand with large signs reading “Hot Chocolate $2” and “Proceeds help Trump build the wall.”

PJ Media Reports:

“Some people were mad at me, calling me a ‘little Hitler’ and stuff,” the boy told CBS Austin in a video interview.

While one person called Benton Stevens “little Hitler” in person, at least two did so on Facebook. Others accused him of “supporting terrorism.”

His father, Shane Stevens, confirmed this account to PJ Media. When asked if someone called his son a “little Hitler,” the father said, “Yes. Right to his face by an adult male pointing his finger at him.”

Shane and Jennifer Stevens say their son decided to start the fundraiser after attending Trump’s inauguration and after watching the president’s State of the Union address earlier this month. While both the parents are members of the Republican National Convention, they said their son got the idea on his own.

The boy would beg his parents to let him set up the stand, and they finally relented this past weekend, the parents told CBS Austin. “Every day he would get off the bus and say, ‘Mom can we go do my stand?'” the mother said.

Benton Stevens had it all: steaming hot chocolate with Beto O’Rourke-themed small marshmallows for free or Nancy Pelosi-themed large marshmallows for an extra fifty cents.

The “little Hitler” comment wasn’t the only attack Benton Stevens received. The boy said three women in pink hats walked by and mocked his “Make America Great Again” hat.

Shane Stevens said that “the usual crazy man” has been “threatening and wishing harm on my son” on Facebook. While Stevens has reported him, Facebook has not removed him.

The boy’s father said backlash is natural, but he wished adults would treat his son better. “If he’s going to do it, he needs to learn that there’s going to be a little backlash,” the father said. “But I just wish [the critics] would do it in a little more respectful, adult-like manner.”

The little boy said he wanted to raise the money for the wall and mail it to the president, or go to Washington, D.C., and hand the money over in person. He did this “so that the illegal immigrants can’t get into our town illegally.”

CBS Austin reported that Benton Stevens raised $1,400 in two days, but his father set up a Venmo account and posted an update late Monday evening.

By the time Shane Stevens spoke with PJ Media on Tuesday, they had raised more than $5,000. The response has been “lots more positive” than negative, he said. He mentioned a radio show praising Benton Stevens and “lots and lots of support” on Facebook.

“Money is pouring in from two dollars to 209 to 500,” the proud father said. “There is an awesome guy buying a cup of hot choc for every negative comment and donating in their name.”

On Venmo, donors wrote supportive messages. One man wrote that he gave money to Benton Stevens “for being an amazing young man.” Another wrote, “Support for wall! So impressed with you, Benton!”

SOURCE






Australian politician had a lot to say about domestic violence this morning — and not one word about the Patriarchy (sob!)

In a rather limp-wristed article excerpted below, Gary Nunn has a lot to say about domestic violence but has only a feminist understanding of it.  His explanations apply to all men but only a small minority of men engage in domestic violence.  So his explanation fails.  He says domestic violence is caused by gender inequality.  So how come most of those "unequal" males don't bash women?

Domestic violence has real psychological and sociological causes but that does not mean we can do much to prevent it. Most of the time it is an expression of an inadequate personality in the man concerned but inadequate personalities rarely lead to domestic violence so any attempt to predict and prevent it will have little success. 

And using domestic violence to slam men in general is absurd.  It penalizes many innocent men.  But Gary Nunn does not care about that.  He goes by the old Leftist thinking:  "You've got to break eggs to make an omelette".  Stalin's purge of the Kulaks would be OK by him, it seems.

Fortunately his squawks about the "patriarchy" are so old hat that nobody will take any notice of him.  He has nothing useful or original to say.  Leftists will like the hate in his writings, that is all.  He is a freelance writer so hate apparently sells well

Latham is right to say that domestic violence is most rife in Aboriginal communities.  I have seen with my own eyes how Aboriginal men treat their women.  Has Gary Nunn? So there is the one place where preventive measures might succeed.  A greater police presence in Aboriginal communities could give endangered  women an escape hatch.  But there's no evidence that Gary cares about them



I feel the same way about Mark Latham that Labor probably does: I can’t believe he’s been one of us and wish he’d just go away. By one of us, I mean men. Decent men. He doesn’t deserve that title.

Today, he has said that domestic violence isn’t about patriarchy or toxic masculinity, it’s about socio-economics.

This myth he’s peddling is not just wilfully ignorant but downright dangerous.

Violence against women is driven by one thing, and one thing primarily: gender inequality.

It is absolutely about toxic masculinity and patriarchy. Of course Latham will claim it isn’t. He’s a patriarch and a toxic male.

The necessary social context for violence against women to occur happens within a toxic patriarchy — where men’s control of decision-making limits women’s independence.

Where disrespect towards women and male peer relations emphasise aggression.

Where a condoning or normalising of violence against women and stereotyped constructions of masculinity and femininity set all the awful conditions for violence to happen.

In his interview, he said, “The demonisation of men is out of control. Fair minded men think it has gone way too far.”

Can every fair-minded man in Australia start by calling this out, please? Do you really want this man to speak for you? It shouldn’t just be left solely to women to — time and again — respond to this vitriolic stirring.

What is out of control is the domestic violence problem in this country. On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner and one in three Australian women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15. That’s what you call gone way too far, Mark.

In terms of the socio-economic factors that, he claims, trump the patriarchal and toxic ones, Latham claims that, “Statistics actually show for every middle class man involved in a family or domestic dispute, there are 10 in a public housing estate and 25 in a remote indigenous community — so if you want to look at where the problem is heavily concentrated, it’s not about patriarchy or toxic masculinity, it’s about a socio economic factor and it’s in indigenous communities.”

This is more complex than Latham would have us believe. Socio-economic factors do play a role: those “middle class men” are inflicting violence on women who are less visible in the system. Women with greater access to resources like money, a job, support from friends and family, are more able to escape escalating family violence earlier.

The ones who can’t are the women with no income (often due to male financial control), the women who pack out the full-to-the-brim refuges.

Jacqui Watt, CEO of No to Violence, told news.com.au: “Anyone can be affected by the impacts of family violence, as gender inequality affects all women and children, not only a pocket of people living in low-socio economic areas.

YES ALL MEN

I’m the only male on the Walkley Our Watch 2019 Fellowship, devised to improve the media coverage of violence against women in Australia.

I don’t feel demonised. I feel galvanised. I’ll call out the Lathams wherever and whenever they pop up, and I encourage other men to join me. Yes. All men.

SOURCE  

*************************

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, 2019

Proposal to research 'trans regret' rejected by university for fear of backlash, claims psychotherapist

A psychotherapist who wanted to research reverse gender reassignment claimed that he had his academic proposal rejected because his university was scared of backlash from trans community, the High Court heard.

James Caspian, 59, planned to study the experiences of people who have detransitioned as part of an MA at Bath Spa University, but his idea was rejected because it was "too ethically complex for a piece of research at master's level".

When Mr Caspian proposed the project, the university’s ethics subcommittee said: "attacks on social media may not be confined to the researcher but may involve the university."

On Tuesday, Mr Diamond told the court: "That is not academic judgment, that is terror on the streets of our universities."

Mr Caspian’s barrister, Paul Diamond, argued that the Bath Spa had rejected the proposal on the grounds that "engaging in a potentially politically incorrect piece of research carries a risk to the university" and was seeking a judicial review of the process.

However, the judge, Michael Kent QC, quashed their case, saying: “I entirely accept that there are important issues of freedom of expression. I just do not accept that, on the facts of this particular case, there is an arguable case made out.

He added that the application was brought too late after the university's decision, and said: "I accept that it could be said that this is pedantic and it is far removed from the underlying decision, but I can’t see any way round that."

Speaking afterwards, Mr Caspian told The Telegraph: “I think this sets a dangerous precedent in that research into sensitive areas will not be carried out because universities don’t want to take ownership.”

Mr Caspian was described by his barrister as "a psychotherapist with an esteemed reputation in the field of gender transition and gender dysphoria", and as a "highly qualified and experienced professional" who is "clearly objectively qualified to do research on this subject matter".

“He’s not a spotty-nosed adolescent student. He’s the real McCoy,” said Mr Diamond.

He argued that "research in this complex field is needed as there are pressing social pressures on wider society to commence the procedure of gender realignment", but added: "There is an atmosphere of fear in the academic community on researching this phenomenon."

The psychotherapist had worked with transgender patients for eight years when he enrolled for the MA at Bath Spa University, and was a trustee of the transgender charity the Beaumont Trust.

He previously told BBC’s Radio 4 that he was “astonished” at the university’s decision to stop him studying people who regret changing their gender.

"I think that a university exists to encourage discussion, research - dissent even, challenging perhaps ideas that are out of date or not particularly useful,” he said.

Since 2017, when his case first gained public attention, more than 50 people have approached Mr Caspian after deciding to reverse their gender reassignment surgery.

Now, having failed in his bid for a judicial review, he says: “I will be discussing with our lawyers the next steps which may include going to the court of appeal.”

SOURCE






Outrage at recent anti-Semitic acts bring thousands to rally in France

Rallies against anti-Semitism attracted crowds of thousands in Paris and other French cities Tuesday following a series of aggressive acts with Jewish targets, including a cemetery where about 80 gravestones were spray-painted with swastikas overnight Monday.

In the French capital, former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy joined a rally led by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Republic Plaza.

Political parties from across the spectrum participated in the nationwide rallies with the theme "That’s enough," although Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party held a separate event.

French President Emmanuel Macron went to the Shoah Memorial, a Holocaust museum in Paris, to observe a moment of silence with Parliament leaders.

"Every time a French person, because he or she is Jewish, is insulted, threatened — or worse, injured or killed — the whole Republic" is attacked, Macron said at a news conference in Paris.

Hours before the rallies started, Macron visited the vandalized Jewish cemetery in Quatzenheim, a small town in the northeastern Alsace region. He said he felt shame at the sight of the defaced grave markers.

"This looks like absurd stupidity," the French leader said, looking visibly sad and concerned.

Macron observed several moments of silence in front of the vandalized graves while local Jewish community representatives stood by. "We will take action," he promised.

France is home to the world’s largest Jewish population outside Israel and the United States. Among the incidents arousing worries was a torrent of hate speech directed at Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut during a Saturday march by yellow vest protesters.

In recent incidents, swastika graffiti were found on street portraits of Simone Veil — a survivor of Nazi death camps and a European Parliament president who died in 2017. The word "Juden" was painted on the window of a bagel restaurant in Paris, and two trees planted at a memorial honoring a young Jewish man tortured to death in 2006 were vandalized, one cut down.

Two youths were arrested Friday after they allegedly fired shots at a synagogue with an air rifle in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles, where a large Jewish community lives. Sarcelles Mayor Patrick Haddad told BFMTV on Tuesday that prosecutors believe the motive was anti-Semitism.

According to sociologist Danny Trom, author of "France Without Jews," thousands of Jewish people leave France every year because of anti-Semitism.

"This is a low-intensity war, perhaps, but let’s not forget the murder of children killed at close range by Mohamed Merah in a school," Trom told French magazine Telerama, referring to the 2012 slayings of three children and a teacher from a Jewish school by an Islamic extremist in the southwestern city of Toulouse.

"It is without equivalent in the history of France," he said. "Jews have been present in France since the dawn of time. Now, the pressure is such that they are led to consider their country inhospitable."

The French government reported a big rise in anti-Semitism last year: 541 registered incidents, up 74 percent from 311 in 2017.

Leaders from France’s main religious communities, including Christian, Muslim, and Jewish representatives, met at France’s Interior Ministry on Tuesday. In a joint declaration, they solemnly condemned anti-Semitic acts and called on people to make individual commitments to combat all forms of racism and hatred.

SOURCE






‘MAGA teen’ Nick Sandmann launches $350 million defamation suit against The Washington Post

An American teenager who was falsely accused of harassing a Native American activist while wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat has launched a $US250 million defamation case against The Washington Post.

The complaint was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky on Tuesday by prominent defamation lawyer L. Lin Wood on behalf of Covington Catholic high school student Nick Sandmann. It is expected to be the first of many.

“In order to fully compensate Nicholas for his damages and to punish, deter, and teach the Post a lesson it will never forget, this action seeks money damages in excess of $US250 million ($AU350 million) — the amount Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, paid in cash for the Post when his company, Nash Holdings, purchased the newspaper in 2013,” the complaint reads.

Kristine Coratti Kelly, vice president of communications at The Washington Post, said in an emailed statement, “We are reviewing a copy of the lawsuit and we plan to mount a vigorous defence.”

Sandmann, a 16-year-old from Kentucky, was on a school trip to Washington to attend a pro-life rally last month when he was confronted by Nathan Phillips in an incident that made headlines around the world.

A short video clip of the teen smiling as the 64-year-old bangs a drum in his face went viral online, with Phillips claiming in multiple media interviews that he “felt threatened” as the teens surrounded and racially harassed him.

Longer video of the incident released soon after debunked Phillips’ claims — including that the teens chanted “build that wall” at him — showing it was Phillips who approached the group of students as they waited for their bus.

The students had begun a school chant to drown out verbal abuse from nearby members of the Black Hebrew Israelites hate group, who called them “dirty ass crackers”, “incest babies” and “future school shooters”.

The complaint alleges the Post “rushed to lead the mainstream media to assassinate Nicholas’ character and bully him”. It says the paper “wrongfully targeted” the teen because he was a “white, Catholic student wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ souvenir cap”.

“In targeting and bullying Nicholas by falsely accusing him of instigating the January 18 incident, the Post conveyed that Nicholas engaged in acts of racism by ‘swarming’ Phillips, ‘blocking’ his exit away from the students, and otherwise engaging in racist misconduct,” it says.

It accuses the paper of using its “vast financial resources to enter the bully pulpit by publishing a series of false and defamatory print and online articles which effectively provided a worldwide megaphone to Phillips and other anti-Trump individuals and entities to smear a young boy”.

“The Post wanted to lead the charge against this child because he was a pawn in its political war against its political adversary,” it says, describing Sandmann as in the Post’s view “an acceptable casualty in their war against the President”.

The Post also later retracted a claim, widely reported in other media, that Phillips was a Vietnam veteran. Phillips served in the Marine Corps Reserve from 1972 to 1976 but was never deployed and left “after disciplinary issues”.

The complaint says Sandmann suffered “rampant cyber-assault and cyber-bullying” in the aftermath, from the Post as well as “the mob of other bullies made up of other members of the mainstream media, individuals tweeting on Twitter, church officials, celebrities and politicians”.

“The Post must be dealt with the same way every bully is dealt with and that is hold the bully fully accountable for its wrongdoing in a manner which effectively deters the bully from again bullying other children,” it says.

The complaint, which relates to four online articles and two print articles, alleges a number of false and defamatory claims were published “negligently and with actual knowledge of falsity or a reckless disregard for the truth”.

As a result, it says, Sandmann suffered “permanent harm to his reputation”, will continue to suffer “severe emotional distress” and is “forced to live his life in a constant state of concern over his safety and the safety of his family”.

The complaint outlines a number of Phillips’ “inconsistent and false claims” in media interviews. Sandmann’s lawyers have separately indicated they intend to sue Phillips for his “lies and false accusations” that are “well documented”.

Earlier this month, Sandmann’s lawyers sent out more than 50 “preservation letters” to media outlets, journalists, pundits, politicians, celebrities and Catholic dioceses seeking to prevent the destruction of evidence in advance of potential legal claims.

The list included everyone from New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman and HBO host Bill Maher to celebrities Kathy Griffin, Alyssa Milano and Jim Carrey. Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar and 2020 presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren also received letters.

Wood, based in Atlanta, Georgia, is best known for acting on behalf of the late Richard Jewell, who was falsely accused in a “trial by media” of being behind the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing.

SOURCE






Australian Firemen are banned from climbing ladders more than two metres high because they may fall off and hurt themselves

The galoot behind this should be given the boot forthwith

Firefighters at airports have been banned from climbing ladders more than two meters high during training in case they fall and hurt themselves.

Airservices Australia chief fire officer Glenn Wood confirmed the ban during a Senate Estimates hearing on Monday.

It means firefighters cannot practise climbing high ladders as required to fight a real fire in a highly stressful situation.

Mr Wood told the Committee for Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport that the ban was for health and safety reasons. 'We take the safety of our people very seriously and there is a risk of fall from height,' he said.  

'We've examined that issue and we've determined that at this time we will restrict our firefighters from climbing up a ladder greater than two metres so they can practise the necessary skills while we form a working group to look at alternatives.'

Wood said firemen can 'work with' high ladders but just can't climb them.

Alternatives such as using harnesses are being explored, the committee was told.

Airport firefighters have also been banned from using power saws - and now have to wait for local firefighters to bring different tools if they need to cut through material. Mr Wood described them as 'out of date' and 'a safety hazard for our people.' 

SOURCE  

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

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

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

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20 February, 2019

How to Judge People by What They Look Like

By Edward Dutton.  Review by Sean Gabb

Ed Dutton is a relentless truth-teller.  Some of his previous work is here.  There is an extraordinarily venomous biography of him on a far-Left site  He really stirs them up.  I suspect that he outdoes me in political incorrectness -- JR

This short book is equally naughty and entertaining. It bounces along, making its points in a light-hearted and generally a witty manner. It is naughty so far as it is a flat challenge to many of the pieties of our age.

We are told never to judge a book by its cover – that the substance of a person, this being character and intelligence, have no measurable relationship to his external form, this being his physical appearance. At the extreme, of looking at correlations between race and intelligence, you can get into serious trouble for disputing this piety. Even moderate dissent earns hostility or just ridicule. Look, for example, at the relevant textbooks. The phlogiston theory is covered as an early theory of combustion, superseded by the truth. Phrenology is denounced as barely short of a moral and intellectual failing. No one thinks ill of Lamarck for this theory of inherited characteristics. Lombroso and his measurement of criminal heads are seen as steps on the road to Auschwitz.

The author of this book takes aim at every one of these pieties. He begins with the easy targets. Within ethnic groups, he goes over the increasingly rehabilitated claim that intelligence is largely inherited – about 80 per cent. He adds the other increasingly rehabilitated claim that there are differences of average intelligence between groups – that the peaks of each distribution curve occur at different points along the scale.

This done, he sets about demonstrating that the substance of a person is, on average, shown by his external form. He groups his argument under the two headings of innate and acquired characteristics. Either external form is a direct indicator of substance, or it is modified in the light of cultural facts to indicate substance.

First, for example, he looks at fat people. Obesity often indicates poor control of impulses. As such, it may be a sign of lack of consciousness or lack of intelligence. Conscientious people take care not to eat more than they need. They also understand the long-term cost of giving way to short-term impulses. Intelligent people are able to judge what foods are suitable for them and what are not. “It follows,” the author says, “that the person who is ‘slim’ or who has maintained a healthy weight is going to be relatively high in Conscientiousness, low in Extraversion and relatively high in intelligence.” [p.14]

Second, and perhaps more interesting, he looks at the relationship between substance and external form as mediated by culture. Until the industrial revolution, the majority of working class people laboured in the fields. This made them darker than the higher classes, who spent much of their time indoors or wearing elaborate hats and clothes. A suntan was seen then as evidence of low status, and perhaps of low intelligence and all else that correlates with low economic status. Then the majority of workers were herded into factories, while the higher classes discovered the joys of an outdoor life. Now, a suntan was seen as evidence of high status. More recently, with the availability of cheap package holidays, we have returned to the pre-industrial correlation between suntans and low status.

The difference between these two headings is that having a big or small distance between the eyes is direct evidence of substance. It is unchanged by time or location. Suntans are indirect evidence. What they correlate with is determined by the prevailing circumstances. At any particular time, though, they are external markers that do correlate with substance.

Now, what follows from all this? The answer is that all truth is important – so far as this is the truth; and I do lack the statistical grounding and the time or inclination to check the author’s scholarship. Even when a particular truth has no practical value, a regard for truth is a generally useful prejudice. But there are certain conclusions that appear to follow.

First, there is has been a progressively greater diversity of external form since the industrial revolution. The stated reason for this is that the harsh conditions of a traditional society, in which about 40 per cent of children died, and the higher classes had more surviving offspring, created a strong bias towards the survival of the intelligent and conscientious. Since then, the fall of infant mortality towards zero has thrown this process into reverse. That may explain the growing fall in genius or just high intellectual quality as a fraction of modern populations. It may also explain the decay – and the author says nothing of this – of free institutions, and their replacement by less complex and more maternal forms of government. Old England was free because its people were capable of being free. Modern England is unfree because the people have changed.

Second – and, again, the author says nothing explicit here – the modern celebration of diversity, and insistence that every group should be represented in every part of national life according to their proportionate share of the population, is at least misguided. People are different in their abilities, and this is shown by their appearance, and it is unwise to try arguing with the facts.

Third – and this is discussed by the author – many old prejudices about the choice of mating partners and friends and business colleagues may be grounded in the facts that his statistical research appears to have uncovered. On this point, I know a former professor at an American university who, towards the end of his career, gave up on grading his students according to the quality of their written work. Reading tens of thousands of words was far more inconvenient, and gave no more accurate basis for judging, than a quick look at their faces in the first teaching session.

I would not try this myself as a guide to assessing my students. As said, I do not have the ability or time or inclination to check the author in his various claims. But his claims are interesting, and they are made with at least a good show of reason

SOURCE






It’s not France vs Italy – it’s the old order vs the new one

Relations between Italy and France, two historic allies and founder members of the European Union, have sunk to a new low. For the first time since 1940, when Mussolini declared war on France, the French government has withdrawn its ambassador to Rome.

There has been a number of disputes over practical matters, including the possible cancellation of a planned Lyon-Turin high-speed rail link. But the main reason relations have reached such depths is because the warring governments are on different sides of Europe-wide political and cultural divides.

The war of words between the two countries began with the formation of Italy’s national-populist government, a coalition between Luigi Di Maio’s Five Star Movement and Matteo Salvini’s League. The centrist, pro-EU Emmanuel Macron warned that nationalists and populists were ‘rising like leprosy’ and could drag Europe back to the 1930s.

Many of the most intense rows have been over migration. When Salvini refused to allow the Aquarius, a ship full of migrants rescued off the Libyan coast, to dock in Italy, Macron denounced the move as ‘cynical and irresponsible’. The Italians hit back – Macron was a hypocrite, they argued. He too had refused to harbour the migrant ship, leaving it to Spain. Furthermore, France had failed to take its fair share of non-EU migrants, they said.

Following another dispute over migrants, this time on the French-Italian border, Salvini said he hoped the French people would soon get rid of their ‘terrible president’. Last month, Di Maio claimed that France was to blame for fuelling the migrant crisis. France had ‘never stopped colonising Africa’, he said. French diplomats described the comments as ‘hostile’ and ‘unacceptable’.

But the straw that broke the camel’s back was Di Maio’s surprise visit (unknown even to Italy’s foreign ministry) to the outskirts of Paris, where he met with a group of gilets jaunes (yellow vests). The movement has staged the largest revolt in France since the 1968 uprisings, demonstrating against the French government for the past 13 weeks.

Di Maio posted a picture with a group of yellow-vest activists to Instagram, saying the meeting was the first of many to come: ‘We talked about our countries, social rights, the environment and direct democracy. The wind of change has crossed the Alps. I repeat. The wind of change has crossed the Alps’. French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux denounced Di Maio’s ‘provocation’ by echoing Macron’s leprosy insult, calling on Europeans to ‘beat back the nationalist leprosy, populism [and] the mistrust of Europe’.

But Di Maio was meeting with a movement that has great resonance with the wider French public. In a recent YouGov poll for the Huffington Post, 64 per cent of respondents said they ‘support’ the gilets jaunes, while 74 per cent agreed that its protests were ‘justified’. It is with some justification, then, that Di Maio can claim to be on the side of French citizens in standing with the yellow vests.

Meanwhile, Macron’s approval ratings have collapsed since he assumed office. They hit a record low back in December 2019 of just 23 per cent. Although his popularity has recovered slightly since then, the last thing the beleaguered French government wants to encourage is the ‘wind of change’. The president has tried various carrots and sticks to quell the yellow-vest uprising – from hikes in the minimum wage to draconian new laws that forbid unauthorised protest. But the gilets jaunes continue to march. Their demands for a greater say in politics and a greater standard of living present a direct challenge not only to Macron’s aloof, top-down, technocratic style of politics, but also to the anti-democratic, austerity-driven EU, which takes decision-making power out of the hands of European electorates.

The great irony is that while France and Italy’s diplomatic row appears to reveal a great faultline between the two nations, it actually reminds us that the people of Europe share similar frustrations and aspirations. The success of Italy’s populist parties and France’s yellow vests are an expression of this. While each nation is revolting against the old order in its own way, the trend across Europe at the ballot box is clear: anti-establishment, populist and nationalist parties have been gaining ground in nearly every national election over the past few years. They are expected to cause an enormous upset in the European Parliament elections in May, too. At the same time, establishment parties of the centre-left and centre-right have struggled to cling to power – and in some cases, like the Socialist Party in France, the Democratic Party in Italy and Pasok in Greece, they have faced electoral oblivion.

The ‘wind of change’ in Europe has already spread far beyond the Alps.

SOURCE







How Mass Deinstitutionalization Harmed the Mentally Ill

One year ago Thursday, the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, sparked an intense national debate over firearm-related violence.

As some pushed for broader restrictions on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, The Heritage Foundation has undertaken the task of evaluating the complex, underlying realities of gun violence, including its relationship to untreated serious mental illness.

As part of a series of papers exploring this relationship, John Malcolm and I authored a Heritage legal memo, “The Consequences of Deinstitutionalizing the Severely Mentally Ill,” focusing on the mental health crisis in the United States and how states can combat that crisis to make communities safer.

Our paper begins by exploring several catalysts for the mass removal of the seriously mentally ill from inpatient facilities during the 1960s and 1970s, a process referred to as deinstitutionalization.

The first catalyst was a growing public awareness of the truly abysmal conditions in some large state psychiatric hospitals, which caused some to look for treatment options with more humane conditions.

Second, a general trend in the medical profession toward promotion of community-based treatment centers coincided with development of promising psychiatric medications that led many professionals to reconsider the possibility of successfully managing mental illness outside institutional settings.

Third, the establishment of Medicaid in 1965 de facto encouraged states to eliminate public psychiatric beds by prohibiting states from using federal money to pay for adult inpatient psychiatric care and promising additional money for each patient moved to outpatient care. It was financially beneficial for states to have as few public psychiatric beds as possible, and states began altering provision of mental health services to maximize their receipt of federal dollars.

Finally, beginning in the 1970s, the Supreme Court issued a series of opinions that made it harder for states to civilly commit even the most clearly mentally ill individuals, and also made it easier for those individuals to refuse treatment even when civilly committed.

As a result of these social, medical, and legal changes, the number of available public psychiatric beds in the U.S.  dropped by 95 percent between 1955 and 2016.

Most policy experts indicate that states need a minimum of 40 to 60 beds per 100,000 people to meet the needs of a population. But in 2016 the average state provided only 11.7 beds per 100,000 people.

States Cut Mental Health Budgets

The dramatic reduction in available beds has been compounded by equally dramatic reductions in state mental health spending. States cut a cumulative $4.35 billion from their mental health budgets between 2009 and 2012.

Although mass-scale deinstitutionalization began with the best of intentions, society simply did not have adequate community-based alternatives in place—nor have states since created the necessary alternatives.

The results have been devastating for both those with serious mental illness and communities that spent decades struggling to cope with a crisis they were not equipped to handle.

Several studies have found that having fewer psychiatric beds is associated with higher crime rates, including for violent crimes such as murder and assault. There are also strong indications that the dramatic rise in violent crime during the 1980s and 1990s was, in large part, an effect of deinstitutionalization and the massive influx of individuals with untreated mental illness back into their communities.

Meanwhile, the equally sudden decline of crime rates in the 1990s and 2000s can be explained in large part by the “reinstitutionalization” of these individuals into jails and prisons.

The burden of dealing with these individuals with untreated serious mental illness has fallen increasingly on law enforcement officers instead of on mental health professionals. This results not only in millions of lost man hours for law enforcement departments, but also places officers and mentally ill individuals at greater risk.

Some studies suggest that as many as one-third of all shootings by law enforcement officers are the result of individuals with mental illness committing “suicide by cop.” A 2012 analysis estimated that at least half of all physical attacks on law enforcement officers were by mentally ill individuals—many of whom were untreated.

To our national shame, many mentally ill individuals are reinstitutionalized into jails and prisons, where they do not receive proper treatment. In fact, America’s jails and prisons have become the nation’s new psychiatric facilities: One recent survey found that between 37 percent and 44 percent of state and federal inmates had been told by a mental health practitioner that they suffered from a mental health disorder.

Not Enough Psychiatric Beds

These mentally ill inmates cost considerably more to incarcerate, stay incarcerated for longer periods, and are victimized at far higher rates than are inmates who aren’t mentally ill.

Further, the few public psychiatric beds remaining often are filled up quickly as “forensic beds” for these mentally ill inmates, while nonviolent, noncriminal, but seriously mentally ill individuals are left to overcrowded emergency rooms. There, they spend days and sometimes weeks being stabilized, waiting for inpatient beds to open up and proper long-term treatment to begin.

This not only disproportionately diverts emergency room resources to crisis management for psychiatric patients, but helps exacerbate the mental health crisis by leaving many individuals in need of serious long-term treatment on waiting lists, allowing them to grow sicker—and in some cases, violent—before beds open up.

This can have catastrophic results, as shown by the case of David Logsdon in 2007. Logsdon suffered a mental health crisis but was released from a Missouri mental hospital after just six hours due to a bed shortage, and did not receive anymore mental health treatment. His condition deteriorated to the point that he killed a neighbor and used a stolen rifle to shoot people at random in a mall parking lot, killing two and injuring seven.

States can take practical steps to combat the effects of deinstitutionalization, including strengthening their civil commitment laws, better using existing mental health frameworks, and increasing the number of available public psychiatric beds.

Recent studies have produced strong evidence that when states make it easier to order those with untreated mental illness to submit to outpatient or inpatient treatment, they tend to have lower murder rates as a result. In fact, over 25 percent of all state-to-state variations in murder rates could be explained solely by differences in civil commitment laws.

Strengthening the ability of law enforcement officers to involuntarily detain an individual suffering from a mental health crisis on an emergency basis realistically could have prevented a significant number of mass public killings.

Enforcing Existing Procedures

Further, enforcement of current mental health mechanisms is often too lax and allows individuals who are known to be dangerous to themselves or others to legally access firearms and avoid necessary mental health treatment.

This, too, has been a primary factor in many otherwise preventable mass public shootings, including the events that occurred Feb. 14, 2019, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. There, law enforcement and school officials had ample evidence that the shooter was in desperate need of court-ordered mental health treatment, but never acted on that evidence in a meaningful way.

States also should reinvest in public psychiatric facilities, ensuring a sufficient number of beds of last resort to meet the needs of their citizens. The up-front costs of providing adequate numbers of public psychiatric beds may seem daunting, but they pale in comparison to the long-term costs of shifting the burden of housing and treatment to the criminal justice and emergency medical systems. The human and economic costs associated with untreated serious mental illness also are tremendous.

These steps—which focus on serious, underlying problems instead of on particular means of violence—are more much likely to prevent future atrocities than the broad imposition of gun control measures on the general public.

More importantly, these steps have the capacity to change the lives of those mentally ill Americans who have been left in the crosshairs of deinstitutionalization and whose illnesses can’t be treated with gun control.

SOURCE






Challenging Disparate Impact

The Trump administration is pushing back against one of Obama's favorite racial tools

“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” —Section 1, Amendment XIV, U.S. Constitution

“A theory of liability that prohibits an employer from using a facially neutral employment practice that has an unjustified adverse impact on members of a protected class. A facially neutral employment practice is one that does not appear to be discriminatory on its face; rather it is one that is discriminatory in its application or effect.” —the definition of “disparate impact.”

For years, many Americans have been unable to reconcile the Constitution’s demand for equal treatment with a theory whereby “discrimination” is defined solely by statistical outcomes as they relate to a protected class. In what might be the most ambitious effort undertaken by the Trump administration to date, White House officials are reportedly planning to ban disparate impact.

According to a bombshell report by Paul Sperry, White House Budget Director and interim Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is the prime mover of “a proposed executive order, originally drafted by two conservative Washington think tanks” that would “repudiate the underlying rationale for scores of regulations and thousands of government lawsuits alleging racial discrimination, resulting in billions of dollars in fines.”

Disparate impact was engendered by the Supreme Court’s 1971 decision in Griggs v. Duke Power Co. Using Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as their vehicle, black American employees sued the power company, challenging its requirement that one must posses a high-school diploma or pass intelligence tests as a condition of employment in, or transfer to, jobs at the plant, even though those requirements were not intended to determine or measure job-related performance. SCOTUS found in favor of the employees, and further determined that Title VII “proscribes not only overt discrimination, but also practices that are fair in form, but discriminatory in operation.”

In a 5-4 ruling in 2015, SCOTUS reaffirmed disparate impact in Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. The Court agreed with the non-profit’s assertion that the state housing department “segregated housing patterns by allocating too many tax credits to housing in predominantly black inner-city areas and too few in predominantly white suburban neighborhoods.” Thus, SCOTUS once again endorsed the idea that statistics trumped intent.

So why challenge the law now? Sperry asserts that “conservative opponents of the doctrine believe the currently constituted high court would uphold an executive order doing away with it.”

How ironic. For decades, leftists have viewed an activist Supreme Court — empowered by a “living” Constitution — as their ultimate vehicle for implementing policies they could not get through state legislatures or Congress — all while many warned that such activism cuts both ways.

Yet there is more than activism involved here. While some claims of discrimination are obviously legitimate, Sperry explains that the Left has used disparate impact as a “social-engineering weapon aimed at equalizing outcomes and extending the government’s power over the private sector.”

Two of those incarnations were devastating. In one, when the federal government pressured banks to relax loan standards for minority applicants to avoid charges of racism, that effort fueled the 2008 financial meltdown.

How much pressure? At one point, “valid” income considerations for obtaining a mortgage included welfare payments and unemployment benefits.

The other incarnation? An Obama administration that sued hundreds of schools for disciplining black students at higher rates than whites — while ignoring the inconvenient reality that black students committed more infractions — precipitated the Florida-based PROMISE program. PROMISE sought to limit the number of minority-student interactions with the criminal-justice system by exempting 13 specific misdemeanors from police involvement. As a result, the Parkland assailant was able to obtain the weapon with which he killed 17 students and wounded 17 more at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year.

Regardless, the battle to do away with this pernicious concept will be fierce. “The attack on disparate impact is the latest in a series of Trump administration assaults on civil rights,” asserts Sarah Hinger, an ACLU Racial Justice Program staff attorney. “As the nation continues its long march toward equality, it would be outrageous to destroy such an important means of advancement — one the civil rights bar still depends on to make its case in court,” declares the New York Times editorial board. “Donald Trump wants to make racism OK unless someone can prove the accused party intended to discriminate against them,” claims columnist Michael Harriot.

That would be proof — as opposed to a legally enforceable presumption of racism.

Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative think tank, sees the absurdity of such assertions. “The disparate-impact approach requires decision-makers to make decisions with an eye on race,” he states. “That is exactly what the civil rights laws are supposed to prohibit.”

Instead, the Obama administration forced the issue. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) discouraged employers from checking a job applicant’s criminal records because that had “disparate impact” on black men whose incarceration rate is seven times higher than that of whites. In one egregious case, auto manufacturer BMW paid $1.6 million in relief to 56 black Americans with criminal records it turned down for jobs. The feds also forced the company to ignore criminal charges against any job applicant, even if they included violent felonies.

In another case, auto lender Ally Financial was [fined(https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-and-consumer-financial-protection-bureau-reach-98-million-settlementto) a record $98 million by the DOJ and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for refusing to admit bias against minority borrowers. Yet in subsequent congressional testimony, the CFPB admitted it didn’t even factor credit scores of minority applicants into its investigation, despite many studies showing they are the most reliable indicators of potential loan defaults.

Yet the beat goes on. New House Banking Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) has promised to take on “dishonest and criminal” banking officials who don’t loan out enough money in low-income urban areas. New House Education Committee chairman Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) wants to expand the Title VI statute to include disparate impact and precipitate more lawsuits, while Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) of the House Judiciary Committee promises to use it as a vehicle to engender reparations for slavery.

“If you don’t favor using the disparate impact approach in civil-rights enforcement to the nth degree, then you are a ‘racist,’ and the mainstream media can be counted on to accept this narrative uncritically,” said Clegg.

The American public? The bet here is the race card is “maxed out,” and that color-blindness, equal opportunity and meritocracy still resonate with a majority of the electorate. The same majority increasingly tired of the idea that the rights of specific groups supersede those of individual Americans, and that those groups are apparently entitled to equality of outcome, not opportunity.

Let the pushback begin — in earnest.

SOURCE

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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, 2019

Lesbian Ousted From LGBTQ Commission for Believing in Biology

The "transgender" movement is dangerous to actual women.

Julia Beck is a lesbian woman who was recently kicked off an LGBTQ commission for daring to acknowledge the reality of biology. In an article entitled “How I became the most hated lesbian in Baltimore,” Beck relays her brief experience on Baltimore’s LGBTQ Commission and how her refusal to use a female pronoun when addressing a “transwoman” — i.e., a man claiming to be a woman — got her thrown off.

In her article, Beck argued that treating and viewing “transgender women” as biological females was in fact dangerous to actual women. She writes, “I brought up Karen White, a convicted pedophile and rapist who was placed in a UK women’s prison, despite being legally male and undergoing no steps to socially or medically transition, where he then raped two inmates. White’s case illustrates how easy it is for men to manipulate the law, but Pipitone [a self-identified transwoman] smirked and claimed I was being performative. In delicate tones, he expressed concern with my leadership. He claimed Lesbianism and transgenderism are incongruent political forces (probably the only thing we agree on). Instead of enacting ‘lateral violence’ against transfolk by crashing ‘our parades,’ he argued that lesbians should assimilate with male lesbians to ‘punch up’ at an unnamed oppressor.”

In an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, Beck explained her reasoning for refusing to adopt the transgender paradigm: “I believe in the truth.” That’s debatable given her own life choices, but it’s interesting nonetheless. She added, “When we get down to it, women and girls all share a biological reality. We are all female. But if any man, if any male person, can call himself a woman, or be legally identified as female, then predatory men will do so in order to gain access to women’s single-sex spaces, and it puts every woman and girl at risk.” Hmm… that sounds a lot like the argument we’ve been making since this whole “transgender” crusade reared its twisted head.

It will be interesting to see how many more folks within the Rainbow Mafia ranks start stepping out to call foul over the obviously incongruent ideologies currently being artificially forced together under one big tent.

SOURCE






McCarthyism is back: Among the Left

Are you now or have you ever been a supporter of  an anti-EU party?

Praising UKIP. That is the great sin that led Katie Ghose to step down last week from her job as CEO of Women’s Aid.

As the Guardian reports, the London Black Women’s Project wrote to Women’s Aid earlier this month demanding Ghose be sacked – all because members of the group had come across a clip of her addressing UKIP’s party conference in 2015.

Ghose was then chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society. In her speech, she praised UKIP – along with the Lib Dems, the Greens and Plaid Cymru, other small parties who felt disadvantaged by Britain’s first-past-the-post voting system – for backing the campaign for a more proportional electoral system.

She said Douglas Carswell, then UKIP’s sole member of parliament, was ‘an outstanding MP’, lamenting that, after the 2015 election, UKIP’s four million votes had only produced one seat in Westminster.

Nigel Farage and others in UKIP, she added, were ‘champions’ of electoral reform.

That was it. She didn’t praise Kippers’ policies, or endorse them for office, purple Union Flag fluttering behind her.

Indeed, as British Future’s Sunder Katwala has pointed out, Ghose has a reputation as a ‘liberal campaigner on democratic reform, human rights, feminism’, and narrowly missed out on being selected to stand for Labour at the 2015 election.

All she did was speak out about what she saw as the unfairness of the electoral system for smaller parties like the (then) insurgent UKIP, and welcomed its support for reform.

But apparently saying anything remotely positive about right-wing politicians is enough to render people like Ghose compromised, unsuitable to run a women’s charity.

Another supposedly damning clip has also surfaced: at the same conference, the ERS hosted a fringe event featuring Katie Hopkins, at which she joked about gassing the House of Lords, while Ghose, the chair, failed to rebuke her.

We can argue about whether Hopkins was an appropriate panellist. In 2015 she had long established herself as an inflammatory troll, and anyone looking to have a serious discussion would have been wise to look elsewhere.

But the idea that any of this made Ghose’s leadership of Women’s Aid ‘untenable’, as activists claim, is ridiculous. Worse, it reflects the remarkable McCarthyite bent of many in public life today.

Whether it is editors being edged out for commissioning controversial pieces or academics being hounded for merely attending controversial conferences, it isn’t just your own beliefs that Twittermobs will go after you for these days.

Merely offering a platform to those deemed to be guilty of wrongthink, merely trying to engage with people whose views you might otherwise dislike, is held up as proof as one’s moral taint.

As happened during the McCarthyite witch-hunts of the 1950s, guilt by association is fast becoming the weapon of choice in our Twittermobbing era.

SOURCE







Covington Boys Cleared, but MAGA Hats Still Trigger

Private investigators conclude the obvious: The Catholic students were innocent all along.


    
We’d file this one under “Better Late Than Never,” although a lot of damage was done before the record was corrected. Private investigators have concluded, after 240 man hours of interviews with 43 students, 13 chaperones, and several eyewitnesses, as well as scouring YouTube and news articles, that the MAGA-hat-wearing Covington Catholic boys did nothing wrong while at the March for Life in January. Greater Cincinnati Investigation, Inc. was hired by the Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic High School to get to the bottom of the story once and for all.

In late January, the Leftmedia pounced on the boys for alleged racist taunting and bullying of a Native American on the National Mall. But the resulting hate-narrative lynch mob had the facts all wrong. Not only were the boys not the aggressors, they were the recipients of racial epithets from the Black Hebrew Israelites, a group of racist haters advocating black supremacy. Then Nathan Phillips, a well-documented liar and fraud, showed up to beat his Native American drum in the face of the most famous of the boys, Nick Sandmann. The video evidence is clear, and investigators concluded that the statements they received “are remarkably consistent” with each other and “with the videos we reviewed.”

Investigators could not reach Phillips, however, even when they parked outside his home for a day. It’s no surprise that he doesn’t want to talk to them. He’s much more comfortable spouting lies on CNN.

Nevertheless, the reason that even a few conservative outlets initially dumped on the Catholic students was that their own diocese was so quick to throw them under the bus. Within hours of the initial reports, Covington Catholic High School and its Kentucky diocese shamefully issued a joint apology to Phillips, noting, “This behavior is opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person.”

That apology was taken down from the web, and Bishop Roger Foys of Covington soon issued an apology to the students. In fact, he now says “I commend them” for what “one might even say [was] laudatory” behavior. That’s as it should be, but, again, a lot of damage had been done already.

Unfortunately, there will also be those who are so deeply insulted at the mere sight of a MAGA hat that the truth is irrelevant. Guy Jones, a Hunkpapa Lakota and member of the Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition, complained after the report, “The fact that you have these students wearing these MAGA hats and they were doing the tomahawk chop — that was a statement.” Dina Gilio-Whitaker, a member of Colville Confederated Tribes in California and professor of American Indian studies at California State University at San Marcos, likewise grumbled, “They were all wearing MAGA gear, which is, unfortunately, a visual cue.”

Sandmann’s attorney, Lin Wood, was having none of that nonsense. “The MAGA cap that Nick was wearing provides no legal excuse or justification for the politically motivated accusers, rather it only confirms their bias and malice. Anyone who falsely attacked, disparaged, or threatened a minor because of the cap he was wearing should hang his or her head in shame and be held fully accountable in a court of law.” Well said.

SOURCE





How Tech Giants Are Banning True Speech About Biological Sex

Like a strong cocktail that promises a quick buzz, social media offers us instant gratification that can be hard to resist.

But just as alcohol disguises the smell of chemicals, social media hides the bitter poison of identity politics—a poison that increasingly dominates the content we read.

This toxic cocktail is killing our freedom to speak the truth. And sadly, some of the world’s most powerful companies are siding against freedom and truth.

Twitter’s latest move against free thought came in the form of a ban on “misgendering” and “deadnaming.” This essentially means users who use pronouns and names that align with a person’s biology rather than their professed gender identity will be punished.

This is a victory of feelings over facts. Big tech is enabling identity politics to dominate the virtual public square—and it’s even aiding its takeover of the real one, too.

Take the United Kingdom. In England, police have already used tweets to investigate and arrest citizens for referring to individuals according to their biology rather than transgender ideology. In two separate incidents, police responded to complaints against women from men who identify as women.

Police arrested Kate Scottow at home in front of her children and then held her in a jail cell for seven hours after transgender activist Anthony Halliday (aka Stephanie Hayden) accused her of “misgendering” him.

Halliday/Hayden also seemed to suggest that transgender activists ought to “[storm] into” a parish church to ask “robust questions” of a priest’s wife who has opposed transgender ideology.

Police also went after a 74-year–old woman named Margaret Nelson. The reason: She posted two statements on Twitter that didn’t accord with transgender ideology: “gender is fashionable nonsense” and “in life or in death, trans women are not women, no matter how many times you say it’s so.”

Forced to Speak Untruths

In the novel “1984,” George Orwell coined the phrase “Big Brother is watching” to refer to the government. Today, he’d have to include social media companies as enforcers.

Twitter’s ban on “misgendering” and “deadnaming” crosses a red line. Twitter users should be able to choose what pronouns and names they use for each other. When Twitter punishes users for misgendering and deadnaming, the company pressures us to speak untruths.

Princeton University professor Robert George has warned, “Ordinary authoritarians are content to forbid people from saying things they know or believe to be true. Totalitarians insist on forcing people to say things they know or believe to be untrue.”

Social media companies’ embrace of identity politics has led to biased enforcement of content standards that favors transgender activists.

In Canada, for instance, feminist journalist Meghan Murphy testified before the Canadian Senate against the notorious Bill C-16, which added “misgendering” to the human rights code and criminal code in May 2017. In August 2019, Twitter told her to delete tweets that referred to a biological man, Ryan Kreut (who self-identifies as a woman named Lisa), as a man.

Then, last November, Murphy tweeted several rhetorical questions: “How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between a man and a transwoman?” She referred to transgender activist Jonathan Yaniv according to his biology. In the past he had filed lawsuits against female beauticians who refused to give him “bikini waxes.”

Twitter classified these statements from Murphy as hateful and permanently shut down her account. Yaniv then bragged that he was personally responsible for getting Murphy banned from Twitter.

Murphy is now suing Twitter over the ban.

Companies like Twitter clearly see themselves as defending transgender individuals. But they are much more passive about enforcing “hateful conduct” policies when it comes to protecting women from transgender activists.

Trans activists frequently target Murphy and others by name, referring to them as trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs). A website called terfisaslur.com displays tweets like “All TERFs deserve to be shot in the head.” “All TERFS need to cease existing. Wipe them from the earth.”

Transgender activists have also targeted Kaeley Triller, co-founder of Hands Across the Aisle, a coalition of women opposed to transgender ideology, on Facebook by posting her home address and violently threatening her children.

“Ironically,” Triller says, “the least ‘safe spaces’ in the history of the world are spaces where speech is censored and dissent is punished. If people are not safe to disagree, they are not safe at all.”

Social media companies could be protecting women from the violent, graphic, and threatening content against feminists documented at terfisaslur.com, but instead, Twitter is “protecting” those who identify as transgender from the “hateful conduct” of those who simply say that we are born male and female.

The Eclipse of Women’s Rights

For a brief moment during the #MeToo movement, it seemed that women were ascending the identity politics hierarchy. But as PayPal founder Peter Thiel predicted, when conflict comes between identity groups, the solution will be brokered in a way that most benefits the left as a coalition, not any particular group.

Twitter and Facebook’s double standards are proving Thiel correct. Transgenderism is making war on feminism, and feminists are losing out.

Identity politics is poisonous to freedom. It divides Americans up by ethnicity, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc., and ranks us in a hierarchy based upon degrees of “victimization.”

This is deeply out of step with America’s founding, which championed the legal equality of each citizen based on inalienable natural rights. It is also out of step with the way most Americans developed their identities—from their families, religious communities, and civic groups.

But as our society has become more atomized, identity politics has filled the void and offered an alternative kind of social identity—albeit a toxic one.

The Marxist struggle, which originally was seen as a struggle for power between economic classes, has been recast as a struggle between social identity groups. Individual guilt, virtue, and responsibility are replaced with collective guilt, virtue, and responsibility.

And because this scheme treats the group as the fundamental unit of responsibility and agency, individual freedoms become irrelevant. At worst, they are seen as tools that “oppressors” can use to exploit the “oppressed.”

We should not be surprised, then, when incidents of identity politics seem to reveal a totalitarian streak. Identity politics doesn’t just produce a grievance culture, it produces a vengeance culture—one that never ends and can never be resolved.

When students and faculty who hold unpopular views are shouted down or even physically assaulted, we are witnessing the fruit of a tree that is rotten to the core.

Identity politics requires the jettisoning of America’s constitutional heritage. It would ultimately replace ordered liberty with a society in which freedoms are enjoyed only by those who have earned them through victimization.

Tech Giants Driving the Train

Twitter, Facebook, and Apple are among 107 major companies that have endorsed federal legislation that would make “misgendering” a punishable offense. Named the “Equality Act,” this bill is anything but.

State and local bureaucrats have already used similar laws and policies to derail the careers of people like high school teacher Peter Vlaming and professor Nicholas Meriwether at Shawnee State University because they referred to students according to biology and not gender ideology.

These laws give government control over our freedom to speak and think according to the truth. The Equality Act would extend that to all 50 states.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the great Russian writer who survived life in the Soviet gulag, once told the Nobel Prize Committee: “One word of truth shall outweigh the whole world.”

As big tech seeks to restructure both our virtual and brick-and-mortar public squares according to the frame of identity politics, now more than ever, we must fight for the freedom to use language to speak the truth.

SOURCE

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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, 2019

Opposition to immigration stirring in Spain too

Wedged between the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, the Almería province of southern Spain was once a setting for the spaghetti Westerns that turned Clint Eastwood into a star.

These days, shimmering miles of plastic greenhouses stretch to the horizon, incubating the tomatoes, peppers and other produce that have transformed this once-impoverished region into a farming hub.

But the most important seed growing here along Spain's southern coast may be that of Vox, Spain's first far-right party since the end of the Franco dictatorship in 1975.

With Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez's decision on Friday to call for new elections, Vox, which got its election breakthrough in El Ejido, will now have a chance to test its appeal on a national stage. Its entry will break a taboo for Spain, which until now has resisted the pull of far-right nationalism alive in much of Europe.

In regional elections in December in Andalusia, where Almería is located, Vox won 11 per cent of the vote. In El Ejido, a municipality of about 90,000, it came out on top with almost 30 per cent.

What animates Vox, its supporters say, is an urge to reclaim and defend Spanish nationalism in the face of perceived threats to the country's integrity.

For Vox, that includes migration, though this region is heavily dependent on seasonal labour, and the independence drive in Catalonia, seen as an attempt by the affluent north-eastern region to turn its back on poorer southern Spaniards.

"Illegal migration is a problem for the whole of Spain," said Juan Francisco Rojas, the president of Vox in Almería, where about 14,000 migrants arrived from Africa last year as the populist government in Italy tightened its borders.

As for Catalan secessionism, he said, "Anything that affects one part of our territory also impacts the rest of Spain, which is why Vox wants to guarantee nobody can threaten our unity."

While much of the country favours a hard line toward Catalonia, Spain has been relatively tolerant on the issue of migration.

Just how far Vox's message will carry beyond the coastal south, then, is unclear. But the party's emergence in a country with a long chapter of dictatorship under Francisco Franco has unsettled many.

Santiago Abascal, founder of Vox, has quickly found like-minded company in Europe, joining French nationalist Marine Le Pen on her presidential campaign in 2017. Vox has also sought advice from Steve Bannon, the former chief strategist of President Donald Trump.

In fact, the party also wants to follow Trump's example and erect walls around two Spanish enclaves in North Africa, to block migrants.

"If you look at Trump in America or Bolsonaro in Brazil, you see that people now want politicians who are tough enough to do what they promise," said Juan Carlos Perez Carreńo, owner of a fleet of refrigerated trucks that transport produce picked in the greenhouses, referring to President Jair Bolsonaro, the right-wing leader of Brazil.

"The problem with those who say horrible things about Vox is that they preach democracy, but only when their favourite candidates get elected," he added.

Vox has not officially taken up the Fascist symbols often used by much smaller groups in Spain, which have become more visible as the Catalonia dispute simmers.

Instead, Vox has promised to abolish a 2007 "law of historical memory", which calls for the removal of Francoist symbols from public places. The party considers itself a defender of Catholic values and says it would close mosques suspected of radical preaching.

So far, Spain's established conservative parties, far from shunning Vox, have indicated they will partner with it if needed. After Andalusia's election, Vox helped form a regional right-wing coalition government — a role of kingmaker that it could repeat at a national level in Spain's fractured politics.

This month, when tens of thousands of right-wing protesters gathered in Madrid to demand the replacement of Sánchez, a Socialist, Vox founder Abascal occupied the front row, alongside the leaders of the Popular Party and Ciudadanos.

Abascal is hoping to take votes away from the conservative Popular Party, which he abandoned in 2013 to form Vox. Andalusia showcased the decline of mainstream parties, left and right, as the election ousted Socialists from power for the first time in four decades.

Pepe Moreno, 67, who has turned his home into a museum for his collection of vintage automobiles, said he had always voted for the Popular Party, but considered switching to Vox, mainly over concerns about corruption. But migration was also on his mind.

"I'm fine with letting some migrants in," he said, "but not with an open-door policy that means nobody even knows who gets into Spain."

Many migrants live apart, next door to the greenhouses, in smaller towns like Las Norias de Dazas, which has been "taken over by the Moors", remarked Fernando Fuentes, a bar owner.

"I've got the last truly Spanish establishment," along his street, claimed Fuentes, who keeps a Franco-era flag hanging in the backroom and spoke with some patrons about how migrants bring infectious diseases.

In the early mornings, migrants gather at roundabouts to seek day-labour on farms. Ibrahim Hantar, 30, picks tomatoes and lives in a makeshift shelter with four other migrants from Morocco. They share two mattresses and a set of dirty blankets, and cooked two pieces of chicken for their dinner on a portable gas stove.

SOURCE







Liberals’ Anti-Semitism Problem Isn’t Going Away

Anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist and Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar—someone who had previously argued that Jews hypnotized the world regarding their “evil” deeds—recently claimed that Americans only support Israel because of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s “Benjamins”—and then retweeted a person pointing out that she might as well call all Jews “hook-nosed.”

Though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who put Omar on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, offered a condemnation of Omar’s comments, many progressives jumped immediately to her defense.

Some of them implored Omar to stop deploying these ugly “tropes” because they undermine what is a completely reasonable position toward the Jewish state. (Omar has since apologized, promising to avoid using insulting stereotypes when peddling her anti-Semitism.)

The problem is that “anti-Zionism”—the predominant justification for violence, murder, and hatred against Jews in Europe and the Middle East—is a growing position on the American left.

Though Omar embraces the worst caricatures of this ideology, it’s her core contention regarding the Jewish state—not her clumsy “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”-style insults, which are just a manifestation of her underlying position—that is most consequential.

One of the dishonest arguments regarding Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., who we recently found out wrote a piece for a publication of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, is that they are merely being “critical of Israel.” Yet no serious person has ever made the claim that being critical of Israel’s policies is anti-Semitic.

Israel has had both left-wing and right-wing governments over the years. And like governments in any liberal democracy, they can be corrupt, misguided, or incompetent. Millions of Israelis are critical of their own nation’s policies every year without any fear of repercussions. Israel isn’t Iran or Turkey, countries that most of Israel’s critics never disparage.

But the best way to gauge whether people are merely being critical of Israel’s policies or they are being critical of the existence of the Jewish state is to use Natan Sharansky’s “3D” test:

1) Do they engage in “delegitimization” of the nation’s existence as does every supporter of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement?

2) Do they engage in “demonization” of the country as do people who claim that Israelis hypnotize the world for evil and that they go around murdering children for kicks?

3) Do they engage in “double standards”—for example, having an obsession with Israel and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee while ignoring illiberalism found throughout the Islamic world and ignoring such things as Muslim concentration camps in China?

The second myth pushed by Omar’s defenders is that Israel dictates American foreign policy with its shekels. The first part of this argument is absurd when one considers that over the past few years, the American government passed the Iranian nuclear deal—which Israel saw as an existential threat—and the American president has embraced the idea of withdrawing troops from Syria.

Most of the time, the United States sides with Israel because most of the time Israel’s ideals comport with our own.

Then, of course, there’s a significant difference between contending that you disagree with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s positions and contending that the lobbying group bribes Americans with lots of Benjamins.

For starters, it’s a lie, because the American Israel Public Affairs Committee doesn’t give any money to politicians. And as Emily Zanotti and others have pointed out, the lobbying organization with all its supernatural ability to hypnotize lawmakers, spends about $3.5 million on lobbying for Israeli policies in a good year.

“It barely even cracks the top 50, is dwarfed by the beer wholesalers,” Zanotti writes. “In contrast, Planned Parenthood’s PAC spent $20M in 2016.”

Although it might be tough for progressives to understand, many Americans still prefer Israel over Hamas, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and Iran for reasons other than money—e.g., a shared understanding of liberalism, theological reasons, historical ties, political realities, and practical geopolitical reasons.

I do concede that contemporary progressives may not embrace these values anymore. For many decades, however, polls showed widespread support for Israel. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s success is predicated on that support.

Some of Omar’s defenders also engaged in a little whataboutism by pointing out that Republicans have had their own anti-Semitic problems. I’m sure they have.

But I hate to break the news to people: Being critical of billionaire activist George Soros, who happens to be Jewish but holds positions on Israel that are generally in line with Omar’s, is not automatically anti-Semitic—no more than attacking Sheldon Adelson is necessarily anti-Semitic. Omar’s Jewish stereotypes were aimed at all defenders of Israel.

It will be interesting to see how the Democratic Party’s presidential hopefuls react to Omar’s comments. Their positions have increasing currency in the activist wing of their party.

On this issue, there is a big rift opening between young and old. That does not bode well for the establishment or Jews.

SOURCE







Man who says he’s ‘female’ enters women’s bathroom, sexually assaults 10-year-old girl

Decades after feminism swept the West, transgender rights have now formally replaced women’s rights as the emerging ideology of gender fluidity wipes out any formal conception of what a “woman” is to begin with.

Women and girls who feel unsafe when biological males enter spaces once reserved for females only are being essentially told that they are transphobic and that they should shut up. The University of West England even launched a poster campaign recently urging students to disregard those who look like they may be in the wrong bathroom. When journalist Josephine Bartosch noted that, “UWE are saying that the feelings and fears of women matter less than those who identify as transgender,” she was promptly condemned by the head of the LGBT society.

Over and over again, LGBT activists insist that there is no downside to eliminating female-only spaces or limiting them to biological women. Anyone who claims that there might be a danger in allowing anyone into private spaces based on how they decide to identify is told that they are motivated by hatred for transgender people rather than by concern for vulnerable women. Any discomfort expressed by women themselves is condemned as bigotry. And this system is impervious to questioning: It is not only transphobic to ask whether some spaces should be limited to biological females for the purposes of safety, it is also transphobic to ask any follow-up questions about this. The transgender community, apparently, is a uniformly perfect group, utterly without sin and lacking any nefarious members whatsoever. I suppose if you can believe a woman has a penis, you can believe anything.

That has unfortunately but predictably proven not to be the case. In the United Kingdom, the Courier reported recently that a violent young man, which the media outlet obediently referred to as a “she” throughout their reporting, received a slap on the wrist after sexually assaulting a ten-year-old girl in the women’s bathroom at a supermarket in Morrisons, Kirkcaldy. The 18-year-old, who currently goes by the name “Katie Dolatowski,” grabbed the little girl by the face, shoved her into a bathroom stall, and demanded that she take off her pants, adding that a man outside the bathroom would kill her mother. The girl panicked and began punching Dolatowski, hitting him in the groin, midriff, and face. She then bolted outside to her father and siblings, who were waiting just outside the presumably safe women’s bathroom.

The ten-year-old girl has continued to suffer flashbacks since the traumatic incident, which understandably rendered her hysterical. Her enraged mother noted that the assault is "something that will remain with her for the rest of her life."

"He was stalking the toilets. He went there specifically to attack a child. We were so, so lucky that nothing worse happened. It was only her reaction that stopped that. It could have been a five-year-old child that wouldn’t have been able to fight back.”

This was not Dolatowski’s first offense, either. Last February, he filmed a 12-year-old girl on the toilet in another supermarket in Dunfermline by putting his cell phone over the stall partition. Despite that, Dolatowski has been labeled only a “moderate risk” to the community, and has been ordered to stay away from children but released from the Polmont Young Offender’s Institution. The court took pity on Dolatowski after hearing that he had been in the social care system since he was a young child and that he struggled with mental health issues. The parents of the little girl who was sexually assaulted by Dolatowski are understandably furious, with her mother pointing out that “she” was obviously a “he.”

There are more examples of this, as well. In fact, plenty of people have already used claims of being transgender to get access to female bathrooms for the purposes of voyeurism—and sometimes worse behavior. These examples are usually ignored entirely, and even mentioning them can get you labeled a bigot. Teacher’s guidelines in the United States have explicitly stated that high school girls who complain about biological males in their showers and locker rooms or bunking down with them on field trips should be re-educated to relieve them of their “internalized transphobia,” and it is actually a teenage girl and her friends who are leading the charge by suing their high school over policies that allow biological males into their change rooms. Unfortunately for them, our society has moved past their admiration for young girls taking initiative and sticking up for themselves. It is no longer you go, girl!

Now, it’s shut up, transphobe.

SOURCE






France to replace 'mother' and 'father' with Parent 1 and Parent 2 on school forms to avoid excluding same-sex parents

The French national assembly has voted to amend its education law to replace the terms 'mother' and 'father' on school forms with 'Parent 1' and 'Parent 2'.

The move, which passed its first reading on Tuesday, paves the way for the change which lawmakers say gives fair recognition to families with same-sex parents and tackles discrimination. 

President Emmanuel Macron's République en Marche (REM) party backed the amendment to the 'Schools of Trust' law in the interest of 'anchoring the diversity of families with children in the law', said Valérie Petit MP.

Members of the Parliament begin the session  at the National Assembly in Paris on February 12, 2019, during which the amendment to an education bill was carried that would change mother and father to Parent 1 and Parent 2 on school forms     +4
Members of the Parliament begin the session at the National Assembly in Paris on February 12, 2019, during which the amendment to an education bill was carried that would change mother and father to Parent 1 and Parent 2 on school forms

Petit, who tabled the amendment, cited many the fact that most forms - such as those for a student's absence - mention a father and mother but do not take into account the French marriage equality law that passed in 2013.

Another REM assembly member, Jennifer De Temmerman, agreed that today's 'social and family models are a little outdated'. 'No one should feel excluded from this society by backward thinking,' she said.

The amendment says: 'To prevent discrimination, school enrollment, class registers, parental authorisations and all other official forms involving children must mention only Parent 1 and Parent 2.' 

Parties on the left and centre welcomed the amendment, which has angered Christians and conservatives.

But it does not enjoy unanimous support in Mr Macron's party, as education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said that the removal of 'les mčres' and 'les pčres' was a legislative overreach by the government.

Alexandre Urwicz, President of the Association of Homo-parental Families, had mixed feelings. 

'At first, we welcomed the amendment because, technically, it allows our families to be included in forms that previously did not allow it, ' he told AFP.

However, admitted that he was afraid that the new formula is misleading as it might lead to a parental hierarchy: 'Who is parent number 1 and who is parent number 2?,' he asked.

The amendment has its second reading on February 19. It has yet to be approved by the Senate but is expected to pass.

SOURCE

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

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

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

***************************





17 February, 2019

Universal income study finds money for nothing won’t make us work less

This was originally one of Milton Friedman's ideas so should not be immediately dismissed.  Friedman, however, saw it as a replacement for ALL government support of the individual so his idea has not really been tried yet.

A major reservation about the study below is that the target people were ALREADY unemployed at the beginning of the study so that they did not work less is not very meaningful. One has to laugh

But the big problem with such schemes is cost. Even the most optimistic analyses from Leftist jurisdictions end up showing them as being unaffordable for large numbers



For the last two years the Finnish government has been giving 2000 unemployed people a guaranteed, no-strings-attached payment each month. It is the world’s most robust test of universal basic income, and the preliminary results, released this morning, seem to dispel some of the doubts about the policy’s negative impacts.

Universal basic income comes in different flavours, but the essence of the idea is to give everyone a guaranteed income that covers their basic needs, like housing and food. Crucially, the income is the same for everyone all the time – it does not get reduced if, for example, a person gets a job or a salary increase.

The Finnish results were hotly anticipated because the experiment’s careful design promised robust evidence on UBI. “This is an exceptional experiment, both socially and globally,” said Pirkko Mattila, Finland’s minister of social affairs and health, at a press conference.

The experiment began in December 2016. Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, randomly selected 2000 people aged between 25 and 58 from across the country who were on unemployment benefits.

It then replaced those people’s benefits with a guaranteed payment of €560 a month. They would continue receiving the payments whether they got a job or not.

The experiment ended on 31 December 2019 and preliminary results were published this morning. It compared the income, employment status and general wellbeing of those who received the UBI with a control group of 5000 who carried on receiving benefits.

There was no difference between the two groups in terms of the number of days in employment in 2017 – both groups worked on average 49 days. The UBI trial group only earned €21 less on average than the control group during 2017.

The surveys also showed that the UBI group perceived their health and stress levels to be significantly better than in the control group.

“This is early data but nonetheless a significant moment as global interest gathers in basic income,” says Anthony Painter at the RSA think tank, which is working with the Scottish government to scope out a possible trial of UBI in Fife.

Supporters of UBI say that it frees people’s time for social goods like looking after children or serving their community, although this wasn’t measured in the Finnish trial. Additionally, requiring unemployed people to continually prove they are looking for work creates a lot of stress for them, which is bad for their health and may mean they are less likely to be able to find work. It also creates bureaucracy for the state.

On the other hand, basic income is expensive, even if it replaces existing benefits. And some say it could encourage people to work less.

“The criticism levelled at basic income that it would disincentivise work is not supported by [the Finnish] data,” says Painter.

An old idea

UBI is a concept that originated at least 200 years ago. But over the past few years it has become a fashionable policy idea, with many countries exploring pilot studies.

One reason for the increased interest is the fear that automation might displace large numbers of people from employment – essentially robots taking our jobs.

There have been several other trials of the idea, but none were definitive. Take for example the Mincome experiment, in which the 10,000 citizens of Dauphin in Manitoba, Canada, were guaranteed a basic level of financial security in 1975.

Recent analysis of public records from the time showed that it was only young men and young women who spent less time in work during the trial, and this because they were either in college or looking after babies.

Yet there was no control group. And it wasn’t a true basic income, because the money wasn’t given unconditionally — people’s earnings were topped up when they dropped below a threshold.

There is still more to find out about UBI that has not been revealed in experiments as yet. “What we have been able to find out so far is not the whole truth,” said Olli Kangas at the University of Turku, who led the Finnish study in partnership with Kela. “That is much more sophisticated.”

For example, Painter points out that, because the experiment chose people randomly from across Finland, it can’t tell us about any regional differences in the effects of UBI. “There is a strong case for further experiments,” says Painter. “It would be good to see ‘saturation’ pilots where everyone in an entire area receives a basic income.”

SOURCE






Left out in the cold

Nights in Anchorage, Alaska can be deadly cold.

It’s hard to imagine being homeless in such an extreme climate. The need for shelters to house vulnerable women, men, and children is high—lives depend on it.

But what if you were a homeless woman who had survived domestic violence? Or sexual assault … or even human trafficking?

What would you do? Where would you turn?

You see, most overnight shelters are co-ed. And these women are often forced to choose between spending the night out in the freezing cold or sleeping in a space shared with men. Understandably, sleeping and changing in the same room as men leaves many of these vulnerable women feeling anxious. And under these conditions, they can never truly rest.

Thankfully, Anchorage, Alaska has the Downtown Hope Center.

As a Christian non-profit organization, the Hope Center offers an overnight shelter for women. It’s a place where women can feel safe and protected, especially those who have survived abuse or sex trafficking.

But now, the local government is threatening this important refuge – the only one of its kind in Anchorage. Why? Because Anchorage wants to force the Hope Center to admit biological men if they identify as female when they show up to the shelter.

It all started in January 2019 when a biological man, who identifies as a woman, tried to gain access to the women’s shelter. The individual was drunk and injured so the Hope Center sent him to the hospital to get the care he needed, even paying for his taxi.

Soon after, a complaint was filed against the Hope Center with the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, claiming that it had discriminated against this individual. There’s just one problem: The Hope Center never violated the law. In fact, they helped this man get the care he needed.

Since then, Anchorage has pushed the Hope Center to change its policies and admit biological men if they identify as female when they show up to the shelter. The Hope Center cannot do this. Not only does it violate their religious beliefs, but it places the women they protect at great risk. The shelter houses women who have experienced unspeakable abuse. If Anchorage has its way, the Hope Center would have to allow biological men to sleep mere feet from vulnerable women despite the trauma and anxiety that would trigger in these women.

Think about that: The government is trying to force a shelter for abused women to house men. The city’s true motivation is clear: It wants to force this faith-based homeless shelter to get on board with its political agenda—all at the expense of the women the Hope Center serves.

Inspired by their Christian faith, the Hope Center serves everyone. During the day, it offers job skills training, meals, and clothing to women and men, no matter how they identify. It’s just that at night, to protect the women in their care, the shelter is open to women only.

You would think the local government would applaud the Hope Center for all that it does for the community. Instead, the City of Anchorage is targeting this faith-based shelter because of its Christian beliefs. And in their rush to push religious beliefs out of the public square, Anchorage officials are pushing vulnerable women out in the cold.

That’s why Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Hope Center. No one should be forced to violate their sincerely held beliefs, especially a vital ministry like the Hope Center.

We must stand up for religious freedom now before it is too late. This case is a clear example that some government officials are willing to push their agenda no matter whom it hurts—even the most vulnerable.

Via email from Alliance Defending Freedom -- info@adflegal.org







Kansas OB-GYN on Dangers of NYC Late-Term Abortion Law: ‘Moms Are Going to Die from This Procedure’

Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), who has delivered 5,000 babies during his 30 years as an obstetrician, told Fox News on Wednesday that the later in the pregnancy an abortion is performed, the greater the risk to the mother as well.

In an interview on “Fox & Friends,” Marshall condemned New York’s new late-term abortion law, calling it “the most barbaric law that’s been written in American history.”

He said no one in America thinks “murdering a baby just minutes before delivery is right,” but what “no one is talking about is that this is actually very, very dangerous for moms, that moms are going to die from this procedure.”

“The most common complications that I saw as an obstetrician is number one, the uterus was perforated during the procedure. When that uterus gets bigger, it’s much easier to perforate, but the other complication even more common is just hemorrhaging,” Marshall said.

“So what I would typically see is a woman in the emergency room in shock, hemorrhaging from this procedure, and we would have to rush them to the emergency room and literally, we would be fishing out pieces of the baby that they left behind or pieces of the placenta so that uterus cannot clamp down afterwards,” he added.

In an op-ed Tuesday on Fox News’ website, Marshall wrote,

In a late-term abortion, a mother is at higher risk for uterine perforation and incomplete separation of the placenta – and thus, life-threatening hemorrhaging that can occur, potentially resulting in the death of many mothers.

Late-term abortions also have high risk of permanent scarring, and the possibility of an infection of the uterus and surrounding organs, which often leads to infertility. Point blank, late-term abortions are unsafe and are more dangerous than naturally occurring childbirth in almost any situation.

Throughout my 30 years and thousands of deliveries, every pregnancy was different. Every situation had its challenges – every single one.

No mother goes through pregnancy without some physical, emotional, financial or medical trials. Contrary to the pro-abortion movement, regardless of the mother’s underlying medical health, I never saw the scenario where we had to choose between a mom’s life and a baby. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but thanks to advancements in medicine, that scenario is extremely rare.

Furthermore, he said, New York’s late-term abortion bill and a similar proposed bill in Virginia that was defeated both listed mental health “as a reason to allow for a late-term and partial-birth abortion if the mother is experiencing mental or emotional distress.”

First off, pregnancy triggers some type of emotional distress in almost every patient. But more importantly, I also served as an OB-GYN to a state mental health hospital and prison, where I would see moms who were struggling with the worst of the worst of untreated mental health issues.

To this day, I can't think of a single scenario where I thought a late-term abortion would help to improve a woman’s mental health.

“You write about how it’s safer for you just to deliver the baby, and there’s so many moms that want these babies that can’t have children of their own. You write in the op-ed, you say mental health is listed as a reason to allow for late-term and partial birth abortions in the state of New York,” Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt said.

“You say that was part of the bill, but we’ve gotten a comment from the governor’s office – Cuomo’s office – and he says, ‘These comments are not only legally incorrect but are irresponsible. The Reproductive Health Act does not reference mental health contrary to Congressman Marshall’s blatantly false statement. Federal law and court decision clearly outline the standard for health which New York has adopted. We encourage him to actually read the law.’ What is your response?” Earhardt asked.

“I think the governor should maybe walk in the shoes of an obstetrician for 20 years as well. I think this is very mentally damaging to the patients, and I think he’s a lawyer, not a physician. Maybe he should stick to being a lawyer,” Marshall said.

SOURCE





Australian tribunal finds that Muslims are not a race.  So criticism of them is not racist

TV host Sonia Kruger vilified and stereotyped Muslims living in Australia during a controversial segment on Channel 9’s Today program, but she did not racially vilify Muslims because religion is not a race, a tribunal has judged.

Nine has said the network is standing by its star.

The Nine Network was taken to the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NSW CAT) by Sydney man Sam Ekermawi after he saw a segment on Today on 18 July 2016 where Kruger said no more Muslims should be allowed into Australia “because I want to feel safe”.

On the show’s Mixed Grill segment, Kruger and co-hosts Lisa Wilkinson and David Campbell discussed a newspaper opinion piece by News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt on Muslim immigration within Europe.

The discussion came just days after an attack in the French city of Nice perpetrated by a Muslim terrorist that saw 86 people killed when a truck slammed into revellers at a Bastille Day celebration.

Talking to Wilkinson about whether Australia’s border should be closed to Muslim immigrants, Kruger said: “Personally, I think Andrew Bolt has a point here, that there is a correlation between the number of people who … are Muslim in a country and the number of terrorist attacks.

“Now I have a lot of very good friends who are Muslim, who are peace-loving who are beautiful people, but there are fanatics.

“Personally I would like to see it stopped now for Australia. Because I want to feel safe, as all of our citizens do, when they go out to celebrate Australia Day.”

Later Wilkinson asked Kruger to clarify if she really “would like our borders closed to Muslims at this point?”.

“Yes I would. I think we have something like 500,000 (Muslims) now in our country … but for the safely of the citizens here, I think it’s important,” Kruger replied.

Mr Ekermawi complained Kruger’s comments amounted to racial vilification.

The tribunal said the comments went “beyond simply a fair report of Andrew Bolt’s article”. “(Kruger) provided her own views and commentary on the issues and these additions were not just opinion, they were vilifying remarks in their own right,” it said.

Mr Bolt’s article, the tribunal noted, said that “the number of Muslims in the country does not tell the full story” and that Germany might have faced fewer attacks because many Muslims who had emigrated there had come from Turkey, a country with a more western outlook. However, a similar distinction was not expressed by Kruger.

“In particular, we refer to her remarks that all Muslim migration should be stopped now ‘because I want to feel safe, as all of our citizens do, when they go out to celebrate Australia Day’,” the decision read.

“Ms Kruger could have expressed her comments in a more measured manner to avoid a finding of vilification. For example, she could have referred to the need for Australia to engage in greater security checking of people wishing to migrate who may happen to be Muslims and the need to prevent a drift towards radicalisation among Muslims currently in Australia, rather than simply stating that 500,000 Muslims represents an unacceptable safety risk which justifies stopping all Muslim migration.”

Overall, the tribunal accepted that the discussion was in the public interest and Kruger and Nine “were acting in good faith without malice and not for an improper purpose”.

But the tribunal said they could not accept Kruger’s statements were “reasonable” and appeared to be “unsupported by any evidence or material”.

“A type of stereotyping was being made in … that all members of this ‘Muslim community’ were tarnished as potential terrorists or sympathisers of terrorism,” it found.

The tribunal said Muslim Australians face discrimination and Kruger’s comments could have stoked this.

“Some ordinary members of the Australian population already harbour feelings of hatred towards, or serious contempt for, Australian Muslims as a whole. In our view, such feelings or emotions would be encouraged or incited among ordinary members of the Australian population by Ms Kruger’s remarks.”

“I want to make it very clear that I have complete respect for people of all races and religions. I acknowledge my views yesterday may have been extreme,” she said. “There is no simple answer here and if we are to find a solution, at the very least we need to be able to discuss it.”

The tribunal dismissed Mr Ekermawi’s racial vilification claim chiefly because it could not find grounds for a religion being a race. “The evidence does not support a finding that Muslims living in Australia are a ‘race’ by reason of a common ethnic or ethno-religious origin.”

However, the NSW CAT said had the definition of race been different: “we would have found that both of the Respondents engaged in racial vilification of the Australian Muslim community.”

SOURCE  

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

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

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

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15 February, 2019

Lost, Buried, Burned: Oklahoma's Rape Kit Scandal

If you are puzzled by the nationwide rape kit testing backlog, Oklahoma provides maddening insight on the bureaucratic forces that create intolerable inertia — and injustice.

An estimated 225,000 rape kits have gone unprocessed across the country; more than 7,200 have been neglected in Oklahoma. Last month, a woman who reported an Oklahoma City sexual assault to police back in 2011 discovered that her rape kit had gathered dust on a shelf in Tulsa's police department for seven years — after the Oklahoma County district attorney had informed her he was dropping the case because no rape kit existed.

Police, prosecutors and politicians do not have a sense of urgency about the issue. Why? My ongoing investigation shows that status quo obstructionists don't want to clear the backlog because they don't want the public poking around government-run crime labs — especially ones with a shameful history of forensic misconduct and a culture of destruction.

Solving the rape kit testing problem requires accountability and transparency. That means shedding light on long-buried secrets that go well beyond the usual incompetence and inattention that have led to backlogs. It's not just rape victims who suffer when criminal justice agencies shut out the public. It's criminal defendants trying to prove their innocence against charges of sexual crimes.

Consider Rayshun Mullins, who petitioned the state of Oklahoma three times for post-conviction testing of DNA evidence used against him in 2009. (The Sooner State was last in the nation to adopt a post-conviction DNA testing statute in 2013.) Three times he was denied. Why? Shockingly, dozens and dozens of crucial forensic items in Mullins' case have been destroyed or "lost."

Gone. Poof. Disappeared.

Oklahoma requires that criminal justice agencies "retain and preserve" biological evidence for as long as a person convicted of a violent felony offense is incarcerated. Mullins certainly meets that criteria: He is serving a whopping 1,015 years plus six consecutive life terms behind bars for multiple rapes and robberies.

There is an exception allowing destruction of biological evidence if a criminal defendant is notified in advance and given 90 days to object. But as Mullins revealed to me last week:

"They never told me that they would destroy them. I found out when I got them papers."

The papers are part of an inventory compiled by the Oklahoma County district attorney's office, which I obtained exclusively. Among the destroyed or lost pieces of evidence in Mullins' case:

—34 items collected in one victim's case, including SANE/Rape kit, clothes, buccal swabs (taken from the cheek for DNA), sheets, cuttings and sexual assault trace evidence from the victim and Mullins, which were all "destroyed in 2013."

—A second victim's purse, photographs, check card, calendar book, checks and papers, which were released to Oklahoma City Det. Kim Davis. According to the documents, "their current location is unknown." Davis claimed D.A. David Prater's office had them. The D.A.'s office denies having them after a "thorough investigation."

—A third victim's swabs and trace lifters, which "were destroyed in 2013."

—A fourth victim's SANE/rape kit, swabs, buccal swabs, clothes, bedding, swabs of persons of interest, Mullins' swabs and buccal swabs, which were all "destroyed in 2013."

—A fifth victim's SANE/Rape kit, clothing, toilet paper, bedding, disc containing photographs and fingerprint cards, which were all destroyed on an unknown date.

The Oklahoma City forensic analyst responsible for analyzing evidence in Mullins' case is former crime lab employee Elaine Taylor. She is the same analyst who confessed to her OCPD supervisor Byron Boshell back in 2000 that she destroyed untold numbers of rape kits after two years at the behest of her colleague and infamous OCPD rogue chemist Joyce Gilchrist (who said she was authorized to destroy evidence by former D.A. Bob Macy) because "the only thing I could do was follow her orders or else pay the consequences."

Taylor was conducting tests on rape kit evidence in Mullins' case less than three years after this shocking admission. It is unknown for how long and in how many other cases this routine evidence destruction continued. What is known: Gilchrist facilitated several wrongful convictions (including two exonerated death row inmates) over more than a decade by falsifying blood evidence, destroying human hair evidence, concocting junk science testimony on dog hair, and lying about and destroyed semen evidence while Taylor worked under her.

Taylor is also the analyst at the center of former OCPD officer Daniel Holtzclaw's wrongful conviction, which he is appealing. Six internationally renowned scientists called for a retrial after examining Taylor's faulty work on the case. Like Mullins, Holtzclaw was charged with serial rape. Like Mullins, Holtzclaw was investigated by sex crimes Det. Kim Davis, who worked closely with Taylor for nearly 20 years.

At a recent deposition in federal lawsuits against Holtzclaw, who is represented in the civil litigation by famed exoneration attorney Kathleen Zellner, Taylor admitted she personally witnessed boxes of evidence from sex crimes, homicide and other cases being burned and shoved "in a big ole hole" down by the Oklahoma City river.

Moreover, Taylor contradicted her trial testimony, admitted the Holtzclaw forensic evidence could have been contaminated (by her son-in-law and co-lead Det. Rocky Gregory), and admitted to being involved in at least six other contamination cases (which Oklahoma officials, who held illegal secret hearings on Taylor's work, refuse to disclose to the public).

Lost, burned, buried, tainted: This is an alarming crisis, whether you are a rape survivor, criminal justice reformer, forensic scientist or taxpayer. And I'm certain it's not just an Oklahoma problem. Peel the layers of government intransigence enveloping a rape kit backlog and underneath you'll find much more than criminal neglect.

SOURCE







Stacey Abrams Promotes the Fallacy of Identity Politics

National unity cannot be achieved by pitting identity groups against each other

Stacey Abrams, the loser of Georgia’s gubernatorial election and the Democrat pick to give the rebuttal to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address last week, recently wrote an article for Foreign Affairs entitled “Identity Politics Strengthens Democracy.” Some may ask why a long-respected policy magazine such as Foreign Affairs would provide a platform for a political loser with little academic acumen in the field of foreign policy — she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies before a career as a pseudonymous romance novelist.

But to ask the question reveals that one has missed the argument entirely. It reveals one to be stuck in that “old liberal” ethic that believes respect is earned rather than demanded, and that sees victims as those to be pitied and protected, not praised and emulated.

The times, they have changed. With the rise of the Left’s “intersectionality” ethos, individuals don’t merit respect with accomplishments gained through hard work, discipline, and personal sacrifice; rather, respected status is determined via an entirely new paradigm based upon where one’s communal identity falls in the hierarchical scale of “victimization.” In other words, a person’s “real” value is not found in individual accomplishments but in identity classification.

You see, Abrams provides the perfect example of how the new “accomplishment” paradigm works. She’s a black woman, which ticks off two of the largest categories on the intersectionality checklist.

Arguing in favor of identity politics, Abrams, because of her leftist equity ethos, must construct a false historical narrative replete with straw men and non-sequiturs to make the argument for the demonstrably false notion that identity politics is a good thing. She then concludes that, “By embracing identity … Americans will become more likely to grow as one.”

The truth is unity only comes when individuals who come from a myriad of different backgrounds, experiences, and challenges can all identify with a common universal set of core values and beliefs. What makes Americans be and become Americans is not our DNA, nor the color of our skin, nor our ethnic heritage, nor our gender, nor our “victim” status; it’s found in our having a shared status of equality under Rule of Law and individual Liberty and rights espoused and protected by the Constitution. That’s why Abrams’s argument is entirely flawed. She attacks the God-given core value that makes the uniquely American experiment even a possibility.

SOURCE






A Travesty in New York murder
    
There were two victims in the horrific attack earlier this month on Jennifer Irigoyen in New York City. But the state’s law recognizes only one of them.

Anthony Hobson allegedly dragged his pregnant former girlfriend into the stairwell of her Queens apartment building and stabbed her in the stomach, neck and torso. Irigoyen was in her second trimester. Neither she nor her unborn child survived.

The Queens district attorney initially announced that Hobson would be charged with second-degree murder and abortion, reasonably enough, considering that he stands accused of killing both Irigoyen and her child. Then he dropped the abortion charge in light of the state’s radical new pro-abortion law.

The law aims to bless any abortion under any circumstance, and with a grim consistency doesn’t allow the state specially to punish even violent attacks on the unborn.

The New York State Catholic Conference warned of exactly this prior to passage. “Moving abortion from the Penal Law to the Public Health Law,” it warned, “is a major policy shift that removes accountability for those who would harm unborn children outside the context of medical termination of pregnancy.” No one cared.

New York is wildly out of the mainstream on this question. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of mid-2019, at least 38 states had fetal homicide laws, and 29 of them had laws that applied from conception. There is also a federal law.

It doesn’t take much moral insight to realize that stabbing to death an unborn child is a profound wrong that deserves to be treated as a crime. But America’s abortion advocates specialize in moral obtuseness. They are opposed to recognition of personhood of any sort for the unborn child, worried that such a concession might undermine the premises of our sweepingly latitudinarian abortion regime.

Such protections raise the question: If an assailant can’t kill a fetus, why can anyone else?

The pro-abortion advocates argue that there’s no practical need for fetal protection laws. Judges, they say, can increase the penalty against an attacker who kills an unborn child. Yes, but there is no guarantee that any given judge will. The charges for a serious assault on a pregnant mother will be stiff regardless, they say. Perhaps, but why ignore one of the crimes?

We don’t say of a mass murderer, “He will spend a lifetime behind bars for one killing, so why charge him with the others?” Justice demands that the state pursue charges in behalf of all the victims.

The pro-abortion forces blinker themselves against how the vast majority of people consider an unborn child. Even before her child is born, a mother — and her family — sacrifices for her child, protects her child, prays for her child and dreams for her child. She talks to her child, and often names her child. She takes her child to the doctor. She, later in her pregnancy, knows when her child is active and when her child is resting.

Her unborn child, in short, is already what it will be after he or she is born — a cause of worry and joy, and ceaseless wonder at the miracle of life.

It is telling that pro-abortion advocates resort to euphemism even in this season of extremism. The New York law is called the Reproductive Health Act, an audacious abuse of language; the law is hostile to reproduction and dismissive of the health of unborn children. Two New York legislators wrote a defense of the law that constantly referred to “abortion care,” as if the addition of “care” softens the reality of what they are supporting.

The wordplay is cute, but the fact is that they deliberately denied the most innocent and vulnerable any explicit protection from heinous violence. This isn’t pro-choice. It isn’t humane. And it doesn’t have anything to do with medicine. In New York, pro-abortion advocates have shown us what they really are, and no one should ever forget

SOURCE






Asset Forfeiture: Lessons from Mississippi

A  national movement to reform “civil forfeiture” is underway. In many states, current policy allows the government to confiscate property on the grounds that it is connected to a crime — without ever convicting anyone of the crime. In court, a lower burden of proof applies in these civil cases than in criminal cases, even when valuable property such as a vehicle is at stake.

Twenty-nine states have reformed their civil-forfeiture laws since 2014. Fifteen states now require a criminal conviction for most or all forfeiture cases. And the recent skirmish over forfeiture laws here in Mississippi — a “law and order” state by any measure — illustrated that the voting public does not believe there is a contradiction between upholding due process and enforcing the law.

In 2019, the Mississippi legislature allowed the law authorizing one especially troubling type of civil forfeiture, known as “administrative forfeiture,” to sunset. With administrative forfeiture, law-enforcement agencies in Mississippi could take and keep property worth $20,000 or less, so long as they believed it was connected to drug crime, simply by obtaining a warrant and providing a notice to the owner. If the owner did not file suit within 30 days, the property was automatically forfeited to the agency. And given that almost half of all administrative-forfeiture cases involved property worth less than $1,000, it was unrealistic and outrageous to expect property owners to incur court costs and attorney’s fees to bring those cases to court on their own.

In 2019 there was a concerted campaign to bring back the old regime — but it met with pushback led by liberty-minded conservative legislators and my colleagues at the Mississippi Justice Institute, the legal arm of the conservative Mississippi Center for Public Policy.

Keeping administrative forfeiture off the books was a modest reform. It simply ensured that all forfeiture cases go to court for a final adjudication. It did not affect criminal forfeiture, which is when authorities keep property after a criminal conviction. It did not even affect ordinary civil forfeiture, in which agencies keep property after filing suit and proving in a civil court that the property was connected to a drug crime. When asked, most citizens seem to believe that is the least the government should do before it gets to keep your iPhone, your cash, or your truck.

But that did not keep the law’s advocates from painting a doomsday picture of life in Mississippi after the demise of administrative forfeiture. One elected leader declared that drug dealers would move into Mississippi to “get a better deal.” An official for a state police agency took to the airwaves to warn, inaccurately, that drug money would have to be returned to convicted drug dealers after they got out of prison. Officials bluntly advised the public that opponents of changing the law back were “anti–law enforcement” and “pro–drug dealer.” Dozens of police chiefs and sheriffs canvassed the state capitol in full uniform to warn against ending the practice.

The message to legislators was clear: Oppose administrative forfeiture and you oppose law enforcement as a whole. The message to citizens was even more ominous: Choose between your rights and your safety.

Despite all of this, Mississippians made it clear they were overwhelmingly opposed to reinstating administrative forfeiture. Legislators were inundated with calls and emails from concerned citizens. Social media was awash in opposition to reauthorizing the practice. Callers flooded radio stations asking how this could ever have even been the law in the first place. Ultimately, Mississippi legislators listened to the voices of these ordinary citizens. The effort to reauthorize administrative forfeiture did not even receive enough votes to move out of committee.

The lesson for elected leaders in states still weighing forfeiture reforms is this: Don’t fall for false dichotomies. Trust your citizens. They understand that you can support strengthening constitutional rights and also support law enforcement. If you are brave enough to start the conversation, and to stand your ground, you may be surprised how many will stand with you.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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14 February, 2019

Not 'All Americans' Are 'Proud That We Have More Women in the Workforce Than Ever Before'

Dennis Prager
    
In his State of the Union address, President Trump announced, “All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before.” It was one of the few times he received a standing ovation from both Democrats and Republicans.

I would not have stood and cheered.

Either the president or whoever wrote that line honestly thought it was something worth celebrating, or the president simply wanted to say something that would sound wonderful to both Democrats and Republicans, as well as to Americans who do not otherwise support him.

Whatever the reason, both the fact that there are more women in the workforce than ever before and the fact that Trump thought mentioning it would bring credit to his administration constitute a victory for the feminist left. Getting women to leave home for the workplace has been one of the central goals of modern feminism.

Feminists deny this, claiming they don’t prefer women work outside the home; they only want women to have the choice to do so. But if that were true, why did congressional Democrats — the women in white, feminists all — jump up and cheer?

The answer is obvious: Feminists consider women who eschew a career to take care of their home, their children and their husband to be less than women who place career first.

But even if one prefers that women work outside of the home, “All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before” is simply not true. As feminists often note, many women work outside of the home not because they want to but because they have no choice: They have to support themselves, their household and/or their children.

Why should we be proud of that?

What if every woman in America were in the workforce? Would we be proud of that? By the “more of women than ever” logic, we should be.

On the other hand, if the president had said, “All Americans can be proud of the fact that more women than ever now have the choice to work inside or outside the home,” that would be true. That is something I, too, would have cheered.

But the members of Congress did not stand and cheer because more women have the choice to work outside the home. They cheered because more women than ever before are working outside the home.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017, nearly 75 million women were in the American civil workforce. But it is inconceivable that 75 million women want to be in the workforce. So, again, why all the cheering?

We know why Democrats did: They want women to eschew homemaking and time with children in favor of work outside the house.

But why did Republicans stand up and cheer?

One reason bears testimony to the thesis of a recent column I wrote: The greatest fear in America is fear of the left.

 The last thing Republican members of Congress wanted was to be photographed sitting quietly after the president of the United States announced, “All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before” — especially while every Democrat was standing and cheering. The left-wing media, meaning virtually all mainstream media, would have depicted every such Republican “sexist” and “misogynist.”

A second reason bears testimony to another fact of contemporary life: Republicans have been far more influenced by leftism than Democrats have been by conservatism. While many of the Republicans who cheered did so out of fear of the left and/or to support their party’s beleaguered president, many sincerely believe the record number of women in the workplace is something worth celebrating.

But believe it or not, there are still many women and men who do not agree. We all acknowledge that with enough money and/or familial support, a woman can raise fine children and maintain a happy home and a loving marriage. Nevertheless, we also know that doing all three is difficult enough when a woman devotes full time to those three goals. But when a woman works outside the home, devoting full time to home and family is impossible.

So, yes, more women than ever are in the workplace. But before we stand and cheer, it is worth asking:

Are women happier today?

Are families doing better today?

Are marriages happier with wives at home or in the workplace?

Do young people grow up happier and better-adjusted with mothers at home or with mothers in the workplace?

Is society’s emphasis on work and career inhibiting more young women from marrying and having children?

Is society better off or worse off when a record number of women leave home to enter the workplace?

Only when those questions are answered will we know whether to cheer.

SOURCE




  
Due Process and Proving Guilt Are Important Principles of Fairness
    
NOBODY should be judged on mere allegations

Defending Democrats is not something I feel the need to do very often, but recent developments compel me to defend those condemned for something without due process.

In America, we live by an important principle: Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

When the hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh for appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court began last year, many people automatically believed Kavanaugh was guilty of the accusations against him without having seen or heard anything besides the accusation of wrongdoing that allegedly occurred decades ago.

Today, the Lt. Gov. of Virginia, Democrat Justin Fairfax, stands accused of sexual improprieties from years ago. Immediately upon those accusations being made public, people were again jumping to conclusion by rendering him guilty based upon nothing more than accusations.

Yes, there is more evidence of Fairfax having a connection to each of his two accusers than what was shown against Kavanaugh. But so far it is just an accusation, albeit a somewhat convincing story. Even so, that falls well short of what ought to be required to remove someone from office.

There is a process for removing an official like a lieutenant governor from office. It’s called impeachment and trial.

If we are so shortsighted as to be willing to demand someone be removed from a position simply because of an accusation, we will have abandoned a critical protection from vicious and unfounded charges that every one of us benefits from.

Never forget: Anyone can accuse anyone of anything at any time. If that is the standard required for trashing someone’s reputation and removing them from a position they hold, we are indeed in trouble as a nation.

There are also demands for the resignations of two other Democrats in high Virginia government offices for activity decades ago. Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring both have admitted to appearing in public in blackface.

Northam first apologized for being in a photo showing a blackface man and another person in a KKK costume, but later denied being one of those two people. He also said later he had participated in a dance contest in blackface as Michael Jackson.

Northam and Herring are also hearing demands for them to resign. If these resignations happen, the new governor for the Commonwealth would be the speaker of the House of Delegates, who is a Republican.

As much as I personally would like to see a Republican as governor of Virginia, this is not the way that should be accomplished. Northam and Herring might be racists. This episode of decades ago, however, does not prove that.

Today, the activity Northam and Herring participated in is identified as wrong. However, a few decades ago, it was not unusual for white folks to appear in blackface for minstrel shows and other performances. Blacks actually were sometimes in those shows. Many times these performances involved a white person playing the part of a black person, but they were not ridiculing or insulting blacks. They were often honoring them.

Perhaps this outrage is due, at least in part, to not knowing much about our history. White people appearing in blackface goes back a long, long way, to the 19th century. More recent Americans to have appeared in blackface include old-timers Judy Garland, Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, and Bob Hope.

But some current popular folks appearing in blackface include Ted Danson, as his girlfriend, Whoopi Goldberg, looked on laughing; Dan Aykroyd, who appeared in a movie with Eddie Murphy; and left-media darlings Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Joy Behar, and Sarah Silverman. Billy Crystal, Cyndy Lauper, Robert Downey, Jr., and Jason Aldean have also have painted their faces.

The key element here is that when Northam and Herring performed these acts, they were not considered wrong. Context is important.

When someone is offended by what someone else does, says, or writes, that is not all there is to the story. Being offended has replaced baseball as the national pastime. It’s almost as if people go to college and major in “how to be offended.”

But just because being offended is popular today does not mean that the offended party is always correct in their reaction to things. And just because someone or some group takes offense at something doesn’t mean we must hasten to pass laws against it. The intent of the person being accused of some social infraction is the most important thing.

Just because one or more people think what someone wrote, spoke, or did is bad doesn’t mean that the person intended it that way. The error might well be on the part of the offended party that doesn’t understand the context but feels empowered to complain about it.

Furthermore, it is unfair for people to be criticized today for doing things that were common and not unacceptable when they did them years or decades before.

We’ve got to get past this idea of perpetual victimhood, get control of the tendency to believe that our individual feelings are paramount, and return to dealing with things we don’t like in a mature, American fashion.

SOURCE








Ilhan Omar: The Effluent of Leftist Identity Politics

But if Democrats ever start to lose Jewish votes in significant numbers, watch out.

Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar appears to think her role as a freshman member of Congress is to troll the president, tell lies about Catholic boys, and peddle anti-Semitism. After already facing rebuke for a 2012 tweet asserting that “Israel has hypnotized the world,” Omar suggested Israel’s American political allies were motivated solely by money, saying, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” — clearly a nod to old stereotypes about Jews and money.

Given her own Muslim faith, associations with other anti-Semitic individuals, backing of the socialist and anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and general support for the Palestinians terrorizing Israel, Omar’s comment is more than just misspeaking. There’s a hate-Israel pattern here. The same can be said of her fellow Muslim congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

Stung in recent years by valid charges of rampant anti-Semitism in their ranks — not to mention the whole racist fiasco in Virginia — Democrats may have had enough. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrat leaders quickly issued a statement condemning Omar’s “use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters” and demanding an apology.

That apology was soon forthcoming, but Omar couldn’t resist a wink and nod to make clear it wasn’t sincere. “Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” she said. “My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. … I unequivocally apologize.”

But then she added, “At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists [like] AIPAC” — the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Translation: Sorry not sorry.

At least she has the support of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

From a larger perspective, the growing anti-Semitism on the Left could become a political problem for Democrats. More than 75% of American Jews voted Democrat in the 2019 midterms, and that’s roughly in line with most of the last century. There are 34 Jews in Congress, and all but two are Democrat.

Dennis Prager and Don Feder, both conservative Jews, have attempted to explain this seeming paradox. The situation may be unlikely to change anytime soon, but Democrats must also be careful to sweep their anti-Semites under the rug where they won’t cause too much voter bleed. That also explains their effort to elevate a small rabble of anti-Semitic “alt-right” loudmouths and tie them to President Donald Trump. Like blacks or women, if Democrats ever begin to lose Jews in serious numbers, they’ll be in serious trouble.

SOURCE







Outrageous decline in reason

Driving down a meandering mountain road in British Columbia late last month, I passed a sign outside a small Christian church that read: “Try hard not to offend. Try harder not to be offended.” It sums up our modern malaise, a culture that suffers from a surge in fragility, an overriding focus on feelings. That sign is a gentle dig too that growing secularism hasn’t freed us from zealotry; it has led us to different forms of fervour in the wrong places.

Unless we start joining the dots to this cultural demise and retrace how this happened, we will continue to grow weaker, more complacent as a society, unable to confront the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. We are certain to become angrier, and dumber too. Worse still, we will be less free.

Here is a small vignette, part of this bigger story about us. Last week, Liam Neeson gave an interview to promote his new movie, Cold Pursuit, a story of revenge killing by a father whose son dies in mysterious circumstances.

The 66-year-old actor told The Independent newspaper that he knows something about revenge, describing his reaction many years ago after a close friend was raped by a black man. Neeson said that for a week he went out at night looking to be set upon by “some black bastard” so he could kill him.

Neeson didn’t kill anyone. He described his actions as awful. “But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f..k are you doing?’ ” Neeson spoke about primal urges for revenge, his early years growing up during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. “I understand the need for revenge, but it just leads to more and more killing.”

Social media exploded. Neeson was labelled a racist. The movie premiere was cancelled. Neeson tried to explain himself in later interviews but the fury continues. And Neeson’s message that a primal urge for revenge only fuels more killing was lost in a caco­phony of outrage. Ironically, his critics succumbed to their own tribal urge: to howl outrage, hurl racist epithets and demand boycotts of films and people.

Another small report this week adds to this bigger story. The Oscars, on February 25, will be without a host. And who in their right mind would put up their hand for this once coveted gig when they risk getting torn down for a comment from years ago?

Comedian Kevin Hart was lined up last year to host the star-studded Hollywood evening, but he stepped down in December after an outcry over homophobic tweets he posted a decade ago.

Hart has apologised for those tweets many times. He was called on to apologise again. He refused. And then came the same crazed chorus line of feeling offended, confecting outrage, and ripping into Hart until he resigned as host.

Hart’s departing message — “I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve, I don’t know what to tell you” — was entirely lost on a modern army of offence-takers.

In fact, the puritanical search for any tiny misdemeanour, from 30, 40 years ago, at odds with modern pieties is intensifying. The Democratic governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, is under pressure to resign after photos from his 1984 medical school yearbook hit the media, featuring people in blackface and KKK robes. Northam was swiftly hoisted on the Left’s petard of puritanism. He apologised. But that was not enough.

He has been hounded with demands to resign so he can “start his road to redemption”.

Except that the new puritans offer no redemptive path for sinners. Only complete reputational destruction. Northam’s next move was to deny that he was in the photo.

To avoid the pack-hunting mob, people are now outing themselves. On Wednesday, Virginia Attorney-General Mark Herring admitted that he wore blackface makeup at a college party in the 1980s.

Where and when does this house-by-house search for past indiscretions end? Who is so pure as the driven snow that there is in our past no small transgression of modern values? One critic of Northam was former Democratic vice-president Joe Biden, now considering a run in 2020 for president. Yet in 1975 Biden was in favour of segregated schools.

Pity the polite German teenager who stayed with our family on exchange a decade ago. For History Day at the school she attended with my daughter, she dressed up as Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager who wrote The Diary of a Young Girl describing her life hiding from the Nazis during World War II. Let’s hope the exchange student doesn’t consider a public life, certainly not one in politics. Today she would be excoriated. You dressed as Anne Frank? But the Germans murdered her.

My daughter, a wise girl even at 15, dressed as Agnetha from ABBA. These are not unrelated fragments. The Stasi-style hunt for past transgressions of modern values are part of a bigger picture of cultural decline, one hastening in recent years. Finding a remedy will depend on more people being willing to identify the sources of our malaise.

Tracing our way back starts with how parenting has changed in the past few decades. Children are constantly clad in protective wrapping to avoid anything that might graze them physically or emotionally. It’s a natural step for schools to apply more layers of overprotective cladding to their young charges.

No one condones the bullying of a child. But the modern anti-bullying phenomenon routinely treats anything that one kid says or does to another that hurts their feelings as a form of abuse.

It is a small, yet inevitable step for university campuses to craft a new lexicon to frame words and ideas as a form of violence.

Students seek safe spaces, demand trigger warnings, uncover micro-aggressions and cultural appropriation and no-platform people with views that are uncomfortable.

To these cultural changes add legal and institutional shifts from almost 40 years ago that prioritised a new human right to “equal concern and respect” — a notion developed by legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin. This transformed human rights into a movement based on victimhood. Feelings became the new measurement of human rights.

This new victimhood movement rejected Enlightenment ideas around what it means to be a human being. People are not seen as autonomous, resilient and rational beings. Under this new framework, people are weak, vulnerable, quivering masses of nerves needing safe havens and trigger warnings, and, of course, laws to prohibit words that are offensive or insulting.

The marketplace of ideas, where we critique ideas and sharpen our minds, has been usurped by a crude, highly competitive market place of outrage. If you see yourself as a victim, where words and ideas are a form of violence, then it’s easy to justify shutting down words, ideas and people that challenge you.

There is another layer to our personal and cultural fragility. Today in the West fewer people go to church or join political parties or other community groups. But we still seek a sense of meaning, of belonging.

Religious tribalism has been replaced with people seeking meaning elsewhere, in groups — from Black Lives Matter to #metoo, people fracturing along sex, sexual identity, race, colour, creed or other such traits. Forty years of multiculturalism and its related cousin, cultural relativism, followed by the more recent obsession, diversity, have been a fertiliser for this growth in identity politics.

When people join smaller and smaller identity groups, the “others” — the outsiders — grow larger in number. There are more people to be suspicious of, to fear and loathe. And more people for a growing army of puritans within groups to censor, shame and destroy as sinners.

And there is a special place in hell for those from within who transgress group politics, for people such as [Australian] Warren Mundine and Jacinta Nampijinpa Price.

It has reached the stage where stamping out supposed oppressors ranges from shaming a Hollywood actor to demanding the head of a Democratic governor for dumb behaviour from decades earlier, to repudiating the teaching of Western civilisation on campus as an exercise in violent white supremacy.

As Francis Fukuyama has written, identity politics on the Left and more recently the Right, whether from Black Lives Matters or the American working class, is cemented in the lived experiences of group members and “prioritises the emotional world of the inner self over the rational examination of issues in the outside world”. Today’s outraged mob of virtue signallers have drifted dangerously from empiricism, from a search for truth that dates back to the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment.

The upshot is that identity politics is undermining the modern liberal project, supplanting timeless ideals that all individuals are equal regardless of colour, creed and gender. If we continue down a path of being less educated about the legacy of freedom delivered by Western civilisation, we risk becoming less free.

Yes, these small stories signal a culture in decline, but each of us — as parents, students, educators, politicians, citizens — has the power to repair our intellectually fragile culture.

Small stories can signal a culture in ascent.

SOURCE 

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

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

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

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13 February, 2019

Gulags:  An interesting problem

A reader writes as follows.  If you can help him, use the "Comments" facility at the bottom of today's postings.  You can post as "Anonymous"

I do not know if you have heard about it but over seven years ago there were some murmurs of problems, in academia, with Robert Conquest's numbers regarding deaths in Gulags. When the Soviet archives were opened they claimed the death rate was lower than Conquest had. His demographer even apologized and pled inexperience.

The problem is that the data showed how many millions of people were 'missing'. Conquest then proposed his theory that they were murdered in the Gulags. If that theory is not correct; it does not mean those missing millions did not exist or that they did not go missing. That is the sleight of hand the left is using. Had a couple nauseating conversations with leftists where they claimed to have 'really respected Conquest' before these 'new revelations' made him a liar, propagandist, or whatnot.

Thing is; my family had many members to the gulag and none died there either. So; between that and my knowledge of Soviet history I have my own theory as to what happened. Basically that Gulags were easy to escape from (many of my relatives did) because all of the Soviet Union was a prison. In that if you were undocumented / a escapee you would starve due to a lack of a rational card or freeze to death. So; Soviet citizens just stayed in the Gulag. While their family's ration cards and apartments were often taken from them. I suspect right there was a large number of the missing millions. My relatives were lucky. None died after escape or release. But; none were Soviet citizens and none had family in the USSR. They were welcomed home, whether an escapee or released, once they were back in their own country (even though it was in Soviet orbit / socialist).

If you know anyone in academia who might be interested please pass it on as a possible subject for a paper. I think it is an important subject for further research. It should also be done soon. People with first hand accounts are quickly leaving us. If no one takes this up; eventually it will be common to deny these Soviet atrocities.






How House Conservatives Are Planning to Force a Vote on Protecting Abortion Survivors

Conservative lawmakers in the House are trying to force a vote on a bill protecting babies born alive after abortion, after a Democrat in the Senate last week blocked Republicans in the upper chamber from passing similar legislation by unanimous consent.

“Protecting innocent life shouldn’t be a partisan issue and it shouldn’t be difficult,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal.

“Infanticide is barbaric and the growing trend of Democrats advocating it is frightening,” he added. “Republicans are united in seeing that a bill protecting babies who survived an attempted abortion urgently receives a vote on the House floor. It already passed the House with Democratic support last Congress. But so far the new Democrat majority refuse to even consider the bill. But we will ask again. And again. And again, until this body speaks up for life.”

Using a procedural tactic know as a discharge petition, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., want to force a floor vote on the legislation that protects babies born alive during an abortion. Wagner, who has introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, said in a statement, “To my colleagues, this is the simplest vote you will ever take: either you support babies being killed after they are born or you don’t.”

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., chairman of the Republican Study Committee, told The Daily Signal in an interview Monday that he is shocked that the legislation is even controversial.

“I will be helping to do everything I can to make sure this legislation goes to the House floor,” Johnson said. “We do not think this should be a controversial notion.”

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would require medical professionals to give the same medical care to a baby who survived an abortion as any other baby of the same age would receive, as well as take the baby to a hospital. If a child was intentionally killed, the abortionist would face fines or up to five years jail time, according to a press release from Scalise.

“I think it is disappointing that we have to use the discharge petition to get a vote on infanticide,” Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, told The Daily Signal Monday in a phone interview. “It is stunning to me that this discharge petition is a partisan issue, these babies are alive.”

Davidson, who said he “100 percent,” supports the effort, added that “it is stunning to me that this is not unanimous consent.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., tried last week to hold a unanimous consent vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in the Senate following New York legalizing abortion up to birth in January and the Virginia Legislature attempting to pass a similar bill. However, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., objected.

The discharge petition strategy requires at least 218 signatures to force a floor vote that would oblige the Democrat leadership of the House to bring the pro-life legislation to the floor for debate and a vote.

Discharge petitions can only be considered on the second and fourth Mondays of the month when the House is in session.

Republicans currently hold 197 seats in the minority while Democrats hold 235 seats, meaning Republicans would have to acquire 21 Democrat signatures to force a floor vote.

Scalise says he thinks some Democrats will join the discharge petition, The Hill reported, since six Democrats voted to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act last January.

“Every member of Congress, regardless of party, needs to go on record against infanticide, and we must immediately take action to stop it,” Scalise said in a statement. “The American people deserve to know where their representatives stand on this critical issue.”

“Democrats have blocked House Republicans from bringing the bill to the floor under unanimous consent,” Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal, adding:

They don’t want to vote to protect babies who are born alive after failed abortions. Recent expansions for abortion in New York and comments relating to infanticide from Virginia’s governor have sparked outrage across the country.

We’re talking about living, breathing children here. I’m hopeful that we can get the 218 signatures needed to bypass Democrat leadership and get this bill to the floor for a vote. This isn’t pro-life vs. pro-choice—this is about living human beings.

SOURCE






Black Republicans Told Us Why They're Sticking with Trump

Democrats too politically correct

There have always been black Republicans, but for decades they have been a tiny minority. This isn’t a coincidence: The GOP has focused on courting white voters rather than people of color and routinely supports cuts to programs that benefit the poor, who are disproportionately likely to be black; at times, Republican figures have slipped into outright racism. According to Pew, just 14 percent of black male voters and almost no black female voters cast ballots for Donald Trump in 2016, and exit polls found that 90 percent of black voters supported Democrats last year.

The Trump era has given black people even more reasons to reject the president’s party. When Utah’s Mia Love—one of the few black Republicans in Congress—lost her reelection bid last year, she criticized Trump and the “transactional” way politicians treat black voters, saying that Democrats “at least make them feel like they have a home.” Kanye West’s weird and brief foray into conservative politics ended when he basically told his Twitter followers that he was being used by the Republican Party. And Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, has recently criticized his party’s handling of race. But there have also been visible examples of black people who have embraced Trump, from Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to Candace Owens, a shit-stirring activist Trump has personally praised. These black conservatives are notable not because they hold particular sway in the Republican Party—which is predominantly white and male in both Congress and the Trump administration—but because it prompts a kind of double take. Why would any black person step forward and support Trump?

For Republican strategist and political commentator Rob Smith, a gay black veteran who was an anti–Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell activist, the breaking point came after the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Smith felt that the Democratic Party didn’t appropriately condemn what he calls an act of “radical Islamic terrorism” (a common critique leveled by conservatives and Trump). He felt the party’s approach was too politically correct. “They [Democrats] seemed so concerned with not offending people who may be Muslim. They seemed so concerned with parsing their speech that I just thought it was so weak.”

But according to Smith, the number-one reason black Republicans he has spoken to leave the Democratic Party is illegal immigration. “Working-class black people know just from their own two eyes that illegal immigration devastates working-class black communities,” he told me. “They see the jobs going away and they see that small business use and manipulate immigrants for smaller wages, and they know that hurts working-class black men and black women the most.”

SOURCE






The Special Air Service, the Punisher, and political correctness

British media reports state that Special Air Service (SAS) operators were ordered to remove all Punisher patches and other similar insignias from their kits. SAS received the removal order after military VIPs visited the unit’s headquarters in Hereford, saw the skull-like emblems on troopers’ combat kits, and considered them controversial.

The rationale behind the decision appears to be the Punisher skull closely resembles the death’s head “Totenkopf” emblem of Nazi Germany’s SS. More specifically, British outlets report the British military hierarchy believes the Punisher emblem could be “be upsetting to other units and disrespectful to enemy forces.”

Just by that remark, you can tell the leadership’s level of detachment from reality on the ground. If the destruction of an enemy is disrespectful––destruction being what the Punisher insignia portrays––then something is utterly wrong. Of course, all troops must abide by the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions. But in the end, armies are mostly intended to wreak havoc, not be politically-correct organizations that strive for designations of the “most friendly” group to work alongside.

Whether accurate or not, the story highlights the deep rift between troops on the ground and their political––and sometimes higher military––leaders. Units formed, funded, trained, and kitted for close combat have one primary mission: to engage with the enemy and destroy it.

Former SAS Sgt.Trevor Coult, a recipient of the Military Cross for his actions during a combat deployment to Iraq, said that “the Ministry of Defense should be doing everything in its power to support the SAS, not messing around telling them what they can and can’t wear on operations. This is politically-correct nonsense, and it’s ludicrous.”

Marvel Comics’ the Punisher symbol has a long history with the military. But its popularity skyrocketed after Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his fellow frogmen in SEAL Team 3 adopted the insignia. Kyle, heralded for his astounding effectiveness during multiple combat deployments to Iraq, wrote about the decision in his autobiography, American Sniper.

“We called ourselves the Punishers. He’s a real bad-ass who rights wrongs, delivering vigilante justice. A movie by the same name had just come out; the Punisher wore a shirt with a stylized white skull. Our comms guys suggested it before the deployment,” Kyle wrote. “We all thought what the Punisher did was cool: He righted wrongs. He killed bad guys. He made wrongdoers fear him. That’s what we were all about. And so, we adapted his symbol––a skull––and made it our own, with some modifications. We spray-painted it on our Humvees and body armor, and our helmets, and all our guns. And we spray-painted it on every building or wall we could. We wanted people to know: we’re here, and we want to f*ck with you.”

SOURCE

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

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

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

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12 February, 2019

The moral idiocy of our times

How leftist political degeneracy leads to civilizational collapse

One of the foundational myths of modernity holds that the progress of scientific knowledge and technology has been accompanied by moral progress. As wealth and knowledge increase, the old impediments to moral improvement such as poverty, religious superstition, and ignorance are being swept away, resulting in a kinder, gentler, and more pacific human nature.

Last week we were presented with evidence that this argument is woefully mistaken. In New York a bill was passed that removed restrictions on late-term abortions, allowing infants viable outside the womb to be killed “at any time” to protect the mother’s life or “health.” Worse yet, this regression into primitive custom was met with celebratory cheers and a standing ovation by the “lawmakers” who had approved it. In Virginia a similar law was proposed but rejected. It had been defended by Del. Kathy Tran and Gov. Ralph Northam (pictured above). They admitted that a baby could be killed even after the mother went into labor, or after delivery. Tran, by the way, on the same day as she introduced the bill to liberalize late-term abortions, also introduced a bill to protect gypsy moths and cankerworms.

In other words, infanticide, once a practice of savage and barbaric cultures like cannibalism, incest, and human sacrifice, has now been legalized by the culture that boasts of its moral progress and superiority. But this legislation is not just a return to ancient brutality, but a species of moral idiocy much worse than the savagery of the past.

Abortion and infanticide in the past had practical and religious purposes. Tribal bands aborted the unborn or killed the newly born, usually females, as a means of controlling their numbers to avoid overstressing their resources. The militarist Spartans killed infants deemed inferior in order to protect the strength of warriors. Several cultures sacrificed children in order to propitiate the gods. The ancient Phoenicians burned children, usually infants, as offerings to Baal or Moloch. The Aztecs cut the hearts out of children as offerings to the rain god Tlaloc; the tears of the parents and children were considered signs that the god would reward the people with abundant rain. The Incans also killed children to commemorate the death of a ruler, or to propitiate the gods during calamities like famines.

As horrific as such practices were, they made religious sense to the peoples who performed them. In their spiritual darkness they thought such barbarity pleased the gods and ensured their favor, since an infant or child was the purest and most valuable gift one could offer. Nor is there evidence that the ancients ever stooped to our ghastly crimes, like the charnel-house butchery of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, or the peddling of baby organs by government-subsidized Planned Parenthood abortion mills.

But to what god are we, who fancy ourselves morally superior and products of reason and science, legalizing the sacrifice of a baby able to live outside the womb at 22 weeks? Very few late-term abortions are performed to save the mother’s life, or because of the infant’s severe deformity. The protection of the woman’s “health” is vitiated by the inclusion of “mental health,” which often involves subjective and vague interpretations of moods and emotional states. The justification based on protecting the mother is a red herring.

In fact, for the supporters of no-limit abortions, the god is “choice,” the right of a woman to be free to make decisions regarding her life, even at the cost of another life. But this “choice” seems to be a strange deity, one that is indifferent to the non-negotiable corollary of choice –– responsibility for one’s freely chosen behavior and its consequences. True freedom cannot exist without people taking responsibility, and holding themselves accountable, for their choices. To sacrifice a human life––and scientifically, a person at any stage of development is still a human being––in order to avoid the consequences of one’s careless choice and to serve one’s own convenience, is moral idiocy.

But abortion is just one example of our culture’s daily demonstration that we have morally regressed, not progressed. The Virginia governor who casually described a scenario in which a woman would give birth, and then legally could kill the baby, was not criticized by his party for this ghoulish speculation. But he has been attacked and pressured to resign for a medical school year-book photo from thirty years ago in which he allegedly posed dressed in either a Klan robe and hood or in black-face. Even conservatives called this photo “horrific,” which is a hysterical debasement of that word’s integrity. You want to see some truly horrific racist acts, visit this website about lynching postcards (not for the squeamish). Abusing the meaning of words, a staple of the totalitarian playbook, is moral idiocy.

Indeed, the issue of race is rife with moral idiocy. Nearly 5000 male blacks are murdered every year, the vast majority by other black men. This yearly toll is about equal to all the blacks murdered in race-riots and lynchings over the last century. Yet this crisis of slaughter only occasionally gets in the news, or is addressed by politicians “woke” or otherwise. Instead, an uncorroborated and sketchy story about a black, gay star of a television show claiming to have been attacked by two white men in MAGA hats is hysterically reported and analyzed as yet another example of Trump’s inveterate racism––the same Trump whose policies have put millions of blacks to work and lowered black unemployment to historic levels. Ignoring those benefits to blacks while harping on a dubious claim of racist assault is moral idiocy.

How about immigration? Well-heeled progressives who enjoy walled compounds and armed security, who interact with immigrants legal or illegal only as domestics or gardeners, whose children attend private schools or ritzy zip-code public schools, who agitate against immigration reforms and border security, or who preen morally about their city’s or state’s “sanctuary” policies that release felons and murderers back onto our streets, where their primary victims are other immigrants–– they are moral idiots.

Likewise with “climate change.” The green catastrophists, mostly comprising the upper-class and college educated, demand anti-carbon policies that primarily will impact the developing world and our own low-income people. People who never think twice about their gas or electric bills lobby for global regulations that deny coal-fired electrical power to the one billion people across the globe who lack it, and who have to burn charcoal or dung for light and cooking. What makes this callous indifference even more reprehensible is that all these policies will do nothing to stop the alleged warming the warmists blame on human use of carbon. These modern-day Marie Antoinettes are moral idiots who blithely sacrifice the lives and well-beings of the less fortunate not for a practical purpose, but to signal their class sophistication and “moral” superiority.

Or take the willful blindness to the intolerance, misogyny, illiberalism, and sanctified violence of Islam––proudly proclaimed in word and deed for fourteen centuries, and still today inspiring terrorist murder and state violence against Christians and other “infidels.” Westerners who fret and fulminate about “Islamophobia,” which includes merely quoting accurately from the Koran, pass over in silence the oppression of women, anti-Semitism, and the on-going genocide against Middle Eastern and Nigerian Christians, even as they wax hysterical over the measures Israel is forced to take to defend itself against terrorist murder and global calumny simply because they are living in their ancestral homeland, which is also the home of the freest Middle East Muslims. That is suicidal moral idiocy.

But this contradiction between the Western claim to moral progress, and the immoral cultures and barbaric practices of Western nations, has been around since the Enlightenment started to popularize this self-congratulatory interpretation of history. Even as European nations created transnational institutions that presumably reflected this growing moral progress, they continued to slaughter each other with ever-increasing lethality and demonic ingenuity.

We haven’t progressed morally, we simply have become rich and comfortable. We can afford an empty sentimentalism about suffering, and think such conspicuous compassion is the same thing as moral judgment. But moral idiocy is unsustainable, particularly when it is enshrined in laws that diminish the intrinsic worth of human beings, and that sacrifice their well-being to ideology, cultural fashion, and political cults that choose which people deserve moral solicitude and which don’t. Politics then degenerates into raw power, and power becomes the slave of humanity’s worst passions and instincts. And that’s how civilizations die.

SOURCE





Social 'Justice' Is Unforgiving

The Left's "morality" accepts no apologies, only unending groveling and kowtowing to its agenda.

The “new morality” of the Left has little room for mercy and none for forgiveness. Any indiscretion of its hallowed and ever-evolving “morality,” no matter how far back in the past it may have occurred, is met only with howls of rage by a “woke” mob demanding its pound of flesh. This new morality finds no virtue in honesty or the self-disclosure of one’s past “indiscretions”; instead, any wrong-think is greeted by demands that the individual be destroyed as a lesson to anyone else, lest they dare venture outside the realm of leftist dogma.

Case in point: The recent admission by actor Liam Neeson that he once entertained racist animosity in his past when he learned that a family member had been raped by a black man. Neeson explained, “I went up and down areas with a cosh [billy club], hoping I’d be approached by somebody — I’m ashamed to say that — and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some [in air quotes] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could … kill him.”

Neeson also expressed remorse and regret for his racist thoughts and actions: “It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that. And I’ve never admitted that, and I’m saying it to a journalist. God forbid. It’s awful. But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f— are you doing,’ you know?”

Instead of receiving commendations for being honest about the ugliness of his past racist thoughts — and expressing sorrow for it — social media instead piled on Neeson for being a racist. It is the “unforgivable” sin, after all. There was no consideration for Neeson expressing that he used to think one way and saw the error of it and changed. Nope, it’s too late — once a racist, always a racist.

And this same judgmental mindset is being applied across all intersectional “victim” classes. For example, this year’s Academy Awards show will be host-less after actor and comedian Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting following blowback he received over disparaging comments he had made about homosexuality in the past. Hart noted that he had repeatedly apologized for his past comments, writing, “if u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me. I’m almost 40 years old and I’m in love with the man that I am becoming. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past then… I’m the wrong guy, man.”

As are millions upon millions of Americans. Nothing less than perpetual apologizing and groveling will be accepted by the “social justice warriors” — and even then one’s past cannot be truly forgiven.

SOURCE  






The ugly classism behind Britain's Pro-Eu movement

Their gloating over Nissan’s withdrawal from Sunderland summed these elitists up

Classism is never far below the surface of Remoaner campaigning. That small but influential section of society that has devoted its moral, political and financial energies to stopping Brexit can barely conceal its disgust for the little people who voted Leave. You can see it in their denunciation of Leave voters as ‘low-information’, in their promotion of graphs showing that the uneducated are more likely than the educated to be Brexiteers, in those New European cartoons in which the plebs are always gargoyle-style imbeciles leaping off cliffs or getting fat on ice-cream as the nation goes to shit thanks to their stupid vote.

There has been more than a whiff of this neo-Victorian elitism in the commentary on Nissan’s decision not to go ahead with production of its diesel SUV X-Trail at its plant in Sunderland in the north of England. Instead the Japanese car-maker will make the new vehicles in Japan. Almost instantly this was turned by media talking-heads and politicians on Twitter into further proof of the devastating impact of Brexit – a devastating impact brought about, these Remoaners whispered, by idiots in places like Sunderland where 61 per cent voted Leave. ‘Look what you ill-informed people have done to yourselves’, has been the tone of much of the Nissan / Sunderland commentary.

In October 2016, five months after the EU referendum, Theresa May assured Nissan that it would suffer no additional tariffs as a result of the Brexit vote and so Nissan agreed to produce the X-Trail in Sunderland. Fast forward to 2019 and Nissan’s Europe boss says X-Trail production will be done in Japan, partly as a result of ‘the continued uncertainty around the UK’s future relationship with the EU’. Cue Remoaner gloating. This is the kind of thing we warned you about, they’re saying.

Entirely unsurprisingly, there’s far more to the story than the Brexit-bashers would have us believe. Indeed, one could say they are engaging in the kind of fact-cherrypicking and intellectual contortionism that they would swiftly denounce as ‘fake news’ or ‘post-truth’ if it were being done by Brexiteers. Nissan bigwigs might namecheck Brexit in their justification for the X-Trail move but that isn’t the half of it. As Auto Express pointed out, Nissan is in a bit of trouble. It produced 10.7 per cent fewer cars in the UK in 2019 than it did in 2017. The X-Trail is a mainly diesel-engined vehicle, but for various reasons – including the Volkswagen emissions-faking scandal of 2016 – sales of diesel-engine vehicles are in freefall. They fell by around 30 per cent last year.

Then there is the question of shipping costs. Yes, the diesel engines for the X-Trail would have come from France, which is a fairly short distance from Sunderland; but the model’s petrol engines would have come all the way from Japan, at huge expense. Many in the anti-Brexit lobby who leapt upon the Nissan story as proof of Brexit’s wickedness, and of their own moral correctness, glossed over what Nissan’s Europe boss said before he said the thing about Brexit uncertainty making things harder for car manufacturers. He said ‘[we] have taken this decision for business reasons’. And all the evidence suggests they have.

Even the Guardian – never shy to blame Brexit for everything bad that happens – had to admit that Nissan’s decision isn’t entirely, or even mainly, a Brexit-driven one. It quoted the opinion of a professor of industry: ‘Falling demand for diesels [is] likely to be the primary factor in Nissan’s decision.’ The Guardian admits that demand for the diesel version of cars already produced at Nissan in Sunderland have slumped sharply: they now account for just 20 per cent of Nissan’s ‘sales mix’, having accounted for 40 per cent two years ago.

And yet still the Blame Brexit narrative was the first one to emerge. This was a marriage of political convenience between two sections of the elite. On one side, the capitalist elites who run Nissan, who hoped that their referencing of Brexit uncertainty would dominate the discussion of their X-Trail withdrawal and drag attention away from their broader troubles. They’re not stupid: they know the BBC and the broadsheet UK media have an insatiable thirst for Blame Brexit stories and so they fed them one. And on the other side, the political elites who are agitating against Brexit, who could hold up the Nissan story as yet more evidence that Brexit itself is a bad idea. They never distinguish between Brexit itself and so-called ‘Brexit uncertainty’, despite the clear difference between them: the former is simply a vote to change how British politics is done, the latter is a consequence of our useless technocratic leaders’ inability, and unwillingness, to deliver on that vote.

But perhaps the nastiest thing in the Remoaner gloating over Sunderland is its hateful classist undertone. The message was that the people of Sunderland had unwittingly punished themselves by stupidly voting for something that will cause job losses and hardship in their own city. Labour MP Peter Kyle said the fact that 21,000 jobs are on the line in Sunderland – and that many of these workers will be Leave voters – means we must have a ‘People’s Vote’. That is, give the plebs a chance to rethink their colossal political idiocy. (Even though Nissan’s decision does not entail any job losses.) Radio presenter and professional snob James O’Brien said people in Sunderland were ‘encouraged to vote Leave’ by ‘Farage, Rees-Mogg, Gove, Johnson’ and now they are suffering as a result. Of course these people in the north, these mere manufacturers, cannot think for themselves; they need posh people to tell them what to do in the ballot box. They were led like sheep to this Brexit mess.

This poisonous elitism, like something out of John Carey’s The Intellectuals and the Masses, his study of early 20th-century literary bigotry towards the lower orders who read tabloid newspapers and eat tinned food, is rampant in the Remoaner movement. It is the core of it, in fact – the idea that they know what is best for the UK while people in less well-off places like Sunderland don’t have a clue. The irony, of course, is that it is precisely this kind of hectoring from their workplace bosses and the broader political class that made many people rebel in the referendum and vote to leave the institution that embodies this elitist new style. I would trust the political instincts of the first 10 people I meet walking through the streets of Sunderland than I would a thousand technocrats. Because these people have a keener, more direct appreciation of the problems facing society than cut-off bureaucrats and academics in London or Brussels ever could.

SOURCE






Australia's problem with 'hate speech' laws

When Facebook posts lead to Federal Court proceedings, a parliamentary inquiry, and a bankruptcy, something has gone seriously wrong with Australia’s ‘hate speech’ laws.

This is made clear by the news that Cindy Prior — the plaintiff in one of the most infamous Section 18C cases — has been declared bankrupt after failing to pay $250,000 of legal costs to the students she sued.

To recap: in 2013, three Queensland University of Technology (QUT) students were asked to leave an ‘Indigenous only’ computer lab by (then) staff member Prior.

Two of the students subsequently posted about the incident on Facebook; and three more became involved after they commented on the posts.

The comments were removed after Prior complained to QUT, but she subsequently complained to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) — then sued, alleging the five students breached 18C, and QUT and their employees violated section 9 of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Two students settled, paying Prior $5000. The other three won their case in court, and Prior ultimately dropped her action against QUT.

Those who support repealing or amending 18C might welcome the news of Prior’s financial distress as rightful comeuppance. But there is no good news out of this situation.

Prior should not be absolved of responsibility: she was ultimately the one who decided to pursue court proceedings that always carry the risk of a financial loss.

But if not for the existence and current terms of Section 18C, Facebook posts would not be able to be turned into a legal weapon that landed university students in years of legal strife and has now left a woman bankrupt. One of the students even filed an affidavit denying he was the author of the posts attributed to him.

Some argue 18C and other hate speech laws are necessary to prevent racism and ensure multiculturalism is a success. In his book Don’t Go Back to Where you Came From, Tim Soutphommasane argues, “Prejudice, bigotry and racism thrive in the absence of public policies that affirm the freedom of citizens to express their different cultural identities.”

But given the disastrous outcome for all involved in the QUT case it is absurd to suggest such laws are justified to prevent racism and bigotry taking hold in Australia.

The trivial nature of the original complaint, compared to the ultimate havoc wrought in the lives of all involved, demonstrates what a damaging law 18C is.

SOURCE 

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

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

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

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11 February, 2019

Chase Bank Shuts Down Proud Boys Leader’s Personal Bank Account

Enrique Tarrio, who is the Chairman of the Proud Boys fraternal organization, had his personal Chase bank account shut down abruptly earlier this week.

In a letter obtained exclusively by Big League Politics, the bank informs him that he must shut down all of his accounts by April 1st, 2019, without giving a reason.

This comes just days after Chase Bank’s payment processor, Chase Paymentech, de-platformed him on a website he runs that allows groups and charities to sell merchandise, and raise money for causes. The website, 1776.shop, is most known for selling the famous “Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong” shirts which Stone was spotted in during the late-night arrest at his home.

Tarrio has been facing months of backlash for his affiliation with the Proud Boys, first getting onto the radar in an article published on The Daily Beast, which asserts that people of color are joining white supremacist organizations. Tarrio is both Cuban, and black, and was profiled in that article.

The Proud Boys, despite simply being a fraternal organization that believes in Western culture, have been smeared as a hate group. Gavin McInnes, the group’s founder, is currently suing the SPLC over their hate group label.

Since the Daily Beast article, Tarrio has been facing an onslaught of targeting by both tech companies, and financial services.

He tells Big League Politics he has been banned from the following services, among others:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Airbnb
FirstData
Square
Stripe
PayPal

Speaking to Big League Politics, Tarrio questions why so many major companies feel the need to target him.

“My political views pretty much mirror those of President Donald Trump,” Tarrio says. “But the media, and groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, smear me trying to tie me, an Afro-Cuban, to ideologies that would force me out of my own country if they went into effect. It’s completely asinine and based completely outside of reality.”

Now that he has lost his bank account, his own life will become much more difficult, as Tarrio explains.

“How am I supposed to get food to feed my family? Are taking the directions of the Governor of Virginia and trying to abort me 34 years after birth,” Tarrio questions. “They are essentially denying my existence, and trying to force me into homelessness, and ultimately death.”

Tarrio believes that unless President Donald Trump steps in, the de-platforming and dehumanizing of conservatives will continue.

“He needs to step in, not only because if he doesn’t he will lose in 2020 with all of his supporters being kicked off social media, but because it’s the right thing to do,” Tarrio finishes.

SOURCE






Fake Vietnam Vet Nathan Phillips Is Being Sued For Defamation By Nick Sandmann’s Lawyer

An attorney representing Nick Sandmann, the 16-year-old Covington Catholic High School student who was smeared as a bigot when he was, in fact, the victim, will be suing Nathan Phillips, the Native American activist who lied about his encounter with the teen.

Atlanta-based lawyer L. Lin Wood told LifeSiteNews on Thursday that he would be suing Phillips for his “lies and false accusations” against the Covington Catholic students – and Sandmann in particular. He also told the outlet that he would “file the first round of civil lawsuits within the next two weeks.”

Sandmann’s attorneys previously sent letters to 54 entities – including Democrat politicians, news outlets, and individual reporters – notifying them of a potential lawsuit. That list “continues to grow in number,” Wood told LifeSite, adding that Sandmann’s attorneys are “in the process of sending formal written retraction demands in conformity with statutes in states in which litigation may be filed.”

Wood also released a 15-minute video detailing the lies and smears perpetrated against his client by the media and others.

LifeSite asked Wood why Sandmann and the other Covington Catholic students were still being investigated by the Diocese of Covington.

“We have no idea why the investigation by the Diocese has not been concluded but we are confident that any objective review of the evidence will conclude that Nick did nothing wrong,” Wood responded. “Nick remained calm and well-mannered despite being confronted by an activist beating a drum within inches of his face while chanting loudly. Nick did not utter one word except to quietly urge a classmate to refrain from making any comments that might aggravate the situation created by Phillips and the Black Hebrew Israelites.”

Wood also said that Sandmann was initially barred from returning to school after the encounter, but the school relented after attorneys stepped in.

Phillips’ smear of the Covington Catholic students – and especially Sandmann – is “well documented,” as Wood told Life Site. Phillips initially told the Washington Post that the teenagers surrounded him as he was simply trying to get out of a bad situation and proceed to the Lincoln memorial. Once video showed that it was Phillips who approached the teenagers – and not the other way around – he changed his story to claim the Covington teens were engaged in a racist back-and-forth with some Black Hebrew Israelites.

Further video showed that it was the Black men who were harassing the teenagers, who then began singing school songs to drown out the harassment. Phillips then walked into the middle of the group and began beating his drum just inches from Sandmann’s face, as the student smiled. Phillips then claimed that he believed there would be violence between the Catholic teens and the Hebrew Israelites and that his idea to defuse the situation was to… walk into a large group of teenagers and beat a drum in one’s face while his fellow activists told the teenagers to “go back to Europe.”

SOURCE






Most women are not feminists

A new survey confirms that feminism is an elite pursuit

No one wants to admit that they are out of touch. It can be painful to realise that your views are only shared within a small echo chamber. So spare a thought for the professional feminists who now have to deal with the news that large percentages of both men and women do not identify with the F-Word.

A YouGov survey has found that just 26 per cent of people in Britain would call themselves a feminist, including just 34 per cent of women. Those most likely to say they were feminists were women in their twenties who live in London and are in the three highest socio-economic grades. Politically, they support the Lib Dems and want to remain in the EU. (Make of all that what you will.)

More interesting is that almost half of the people in the same survey agreed that there is still a need for feminism: 49 per cent in total, rising to 56 per cent among women alone. Clearly, many men and women believe that there are still things that could improve for women, but very few would call themselves feminists.

A similar disjunct was apparent in a poll commissioned by the Fawcett Society as part of its sex-equality report in early 2016. It found that a measly seven per cent of people call themselves feminists – rising to just nine per cent of women. And yet, 67 per cent of the respondents supported equality for men and women. The Fawcett Society came up with a neat explanation, that ‘We are a nation of hidden feminists’. Its chief executive, Sam Smethers, went even further: ‘The simple truth is if you want a more equal society for women and men then you are in fact a feminist.’ In other words, we silly women who don’t want to associate with feminism just don’t get it – we are actually feminists, whether we like it or not.

But this is not just a question of semantics. Women’s reluctance to identify with feminism has nothing to do with superficial reasons like branding. Feminists should be asking themselves why so many women aren’t willing to join them under the feminist banner.

One reason might be that organisations like the Fawcett Society and the Women’s Equality Party, and the vast majority of feminist commentators in the media, are part of a political and media elite that is out of touch with most women’s experiences. As the polling illustrates, many women (and men) realise that there are still things that need to change in society in order to make women’s lives better. (Abortion rights and access to free, high-quality childcare would be two good places to start.) But so much feminist activism today has nothing to do with improving the lives of ordinary women. Instead, professional feminists never stop whinging about trivial issues, from sexist packaging to period emojis.

Perhaps most women don’t identify with feminism because it is mostly concerned with well-off women. One of the most prominent feminist campaigns in the UK of late was against the BBC’s gender pay gap, in which an absurdly well-paid journalist, who happened to be female, was backed by other absurdly well-paid journalists in her demand for more money.

Perhaps women are put off feminism because many contemporary feminists have supported the silencing of women (and other feminists) at the behest of petulant trans activists. Perhaps it is because feminist supporters of #MeToo have spent the past two years telling men that they are beasts and women that they are wilting wallflowers – caricatures that most men and women do not recognise.

I’d argue the main reason why so many of us are just not interested in feminism is that it no longer seeks to make women free. Instead, it treats women as vulnerable and in need of protection from the outside world. In recent years feminists have called for the censorship of online comments in the name of protecting women, for the enforcement of consent classes to teach young people how to have the ‘right’ kind of relationships, and for the criminalisation of catcalling. The feminism of the past, which sought to champion women as independent equals, has all but disappeared.

Worse still, contemporary feminism has the feel of a religious sect, whose followers want to maintain a sense of moral superiority. Like any zealous project, feminists do not tolerate dissent. Any woman who raises concerns about the witch-hunt nature of #MeToo, questions the middle-class orientation of feminist campaigning or suggests that perhaps we should celebrate the fact that women are doing pretty well nowadays, is told she is suffering from ‘internalised misogyny’. Today’s feminism is not just hostile to freedom, it is also scared of free, independent, strong women.

Will these YouGov stats change contemporary feminists’ approach? Will it provoke a little soul-searching on Woman’s Hour? I doubt it. But one thing has become clear: these feminists do not speak for women.

SOURCE





Joe Hildebrand writes: The death of truth, how facts have been replaced with feelings

Australia's Joe Hildebrand normally writes in a notably good humoured and even jocular way but he is not laughing over the response to his Australia Day writings.  Australia day is a patriotic celebration, celebrating the arrival in Australia of the first British settlers. The Left hate it. The settlers were WHITE!  How awful!

Hildebrand was savaged by irrational comments from the hate-driven Left. As Kerri-Anne Kennerley also found out, the Left are quick to allege hate and racism when it is they who are the haters and they are the ones obsessed by race.  White Leftists even manage to hate whites in some weird way



Facts have been replaced with blind emotion, usually driving a huge backlash if you dare dive into contentious issues like Australia Day.

A little over a week ago one of my beloved editors at news.com.au asked me if I’d like to write a piece about the Australia Day race debate, which is a bit like a Roman asking a Christian if he’d like to be fed to the lions.

Of course, I said. What could possibly go wrong?

Needless to say I had a fair idea and so I set about writing a lengthy, three-part, background and opinion piece on Australia’s colonisation and our relationship with our first peoples today.

I made every possible effort to provide global and historical context, to be measured, to note the differing perspectives of indigenous and non-indigenous people and carefully distinguish between the impact of events and the intent behind them.

I noted many of the crimes and contradictions of colonisation and clearly and categorically stressed that we needed to acknowledge the atrocities of the past. I had hoped to establish some common ground and a common goal in ending indigenous suffering and disadvantage.

Instead, within 24 hours I was being called a white supremacist and an apologist for racial genocide.

This was hardly unforeseen. Online outrage is as utterly predictable as it is utterly pointless. Nor, before the next predictable accusation starts, am I appealing for pity.

No, the truly disturbing part was not how angry or abusive so many of the responses were, but that they appeared to be responding to things I had not said. Indeed, in many cases they were accusing me of saying things I had in fact said the opposite of.

I do not wish to reopen these old historical arguments here but instead demonstrate the disconnect.

One common refrain was that I was denying massacres or atrocities were committed and attempting to whitewash history. In fact, I said this: “It is vital that non-indigenous Australians are made acutely aware of the sorrows and stains on our history; the suffering that Aboriginal people have gone through and the atrocities that have been perpetrated by many of our ancestors.”

Another was that I was wearing rose-coloured glasses or downplaying the suffering of Aboriginal people. In fact, I said this: “Yes, there were unspeakable atrocities committed by some settlers, and yes, disease and grog had a catastrophic effect on the indigenous population. Indeed, there can be no denying that the effect of European colonisation has been devastating for huge swathes of the indigenous population — especially in Tasmania.”

I also presented the view, based on well-known historical evidence, that colonists such as Cook and Phillip did not come to Australia with the intention of wiping out indigenous people — which is apparently how I became an apologist for genocide.

At first I just assumed that these people hadn’t bothered to read the piece they were angry about — which is usually the case in social media debates — but then I realised something more worrying was at play. People had read it — or at least looked at it — but seen only what they wanted to see.

The same was true of many of the supposed sources they produced. Some were as crude as internet memes; others were highlighted passages from various books or documents, when merely reading even the rest of the page would have supported the arguments they were railing against.

But credit to them for at least engaging with some of the facts. Sometimes there is so much outrage over so few facts that people actually need to invent things for their enemies to say just so they can be outraged by them.

One case was when someone said there was “evidence based scholarly research” to prove I was wrong and then accused me of being “ … a bloke from News Corp, with no qualifications …”

I humbly responded that I had in fact majored in history at university and been accepted into history honours before I left to take up my journalism cadetship. This then prompted outrage that I was suddenly now either A) the product of a racist colonial education; or B) not educated enough.

Another was when one of several people dared me to compare colonial Australia to the Holocaust and I replied that colonial Australia was nothing like the Holocaust. Naturally, the response was: I CAN’T BELIEVE HE COMPARED IT TO THE HOLOCAUST!!!!

Thus the new definition of proof in online debate is to say something untrue of a person and then when the person says it’s untrue cite that as proof of them saying it. It’s just like Monty Python’s “Jehovah” sketch from Life of Brian except without the intelligence or humour.

And then there is the third and laziest response, which is to simply ignore all facts both real and imagined and dismiss the argument based on the colour of the person making it. Thus whatever a white man says about history is inherently racist and wrong and if such an argument is championed by a brave indigenous woman like Jacinta Nampijinpa Price she is dismissed as a racist enabler.

And of course if you are accused of being a racist you cannot deny being a racist because racists don’t get to decide whether they are racist or not. This logic is straight from the Salem Witch Trials, although again without the intelligence or humour.

And of course if none of that works anyone the hard left disagrees is simply told to “shut the f*** up”.

And so this is the world we have become. A world where people comb through texts for something to be outraged about or try to force people to say things that they can be outraged about or just call people racist and then get outraged by how racist they are.

The facts don’t matter in public debate anymore. All that matters is whether something fits within a pre-constructed “correct” narrative; if not it is deemed offensive. If something upsets somebody then it cannot be true.

Is this really the new standard of public discourse in Australia? Is this really what we are now going to call scholarly debate? Is this really what activists think is the most pressing issue facing Australia?

Apparently so. This is the death of truth. History has been replaced by ideology. Facts have been replaced by feelings.

And maybe there is more than one truth. It’s true there were a great many atrocities in our history and it’s true there are a great many atrocities happening now.

There are also different “truths” for indigenous women and children. When domestic violence happens in the rest of the country it is described by activists as a “national emergency”. When it is highlighted in Aboriginal communities it is dismissed as a “distraction” or “whataboutism” or cloaked by bulls**t academic buzzwords like “intersectionality”.

I believe in clear words and clear truths. We must confront and acknowledge the sins of the past but we must also fight for the future of those who are suffering today. People say we can do both but I don’t see many marches or Twitter hashtags for the indigenous women being assaulted at a rate dozens of times higher than everyone else.

And there’s no escaping the truth confronting them.

SOURCE 

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

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

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

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10 February, 2019

Children raised by same-sex couples do better in school, new study finds

Here we go again! Same old, same old crap. We read below:  "The researchers found that same-sex parents are often wealthier, older, and more educated than the typical different-sex couple." 

So better educated children have better educated parents.  So what else is new?  We have known that for a long time. The finding says NOTHING about the family type

I would like to have had a closer look at the original study but it is so far only a conference poster so a lot of detail is missing.  They presented their data in correlational form and appeared to have removed some confounding variables by partial correlation.  They did not apparently  do a full set of partial correlations, it seems.  Since a modern partial correlation program does that systematically, the omission looks suspicious. If they had done a stepwise removal of ALL confounding variables, I am pretty sure that there would have been no main effect left.  Family type would NOT have predicted educational attainment.

The statistics they do provide do however have one very odd feature.  The income of same sex families with children was more than twice as high as the income of same sex couples without children!  That is weird.  What is going on there?  What is behind that difference? Why do Dutch homosexuals fall into such starkly different groups?  Are children a trophy for Dutch homosexuals?  If so, that could greatly influence their treatment and make generalizations to countries outside Nederland very shaky

So the most authoritative finding in the area remains the well-known paper by Doug Allen, who DID control for parental education and found a greatly reduced High School graduation rate among the children of homosexual families.  Allen's data came from the Canadian census



Children of same-sex couples perform better in school than youngsters raised by a mother and a father, according to new research from several European economists.

The researchers found that children raised by same-sex couples had higher test scores in elementary and secondary school and were about 7 percent more likely to graduate from high school than children raised by different-sex couples.

The study by economists Deni Mazrekaj, Kristof de Witte, and Sofie Cabus of Belgian university KU Leuven used government data tracking all children born in the Netherlands since 1995. The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001 and has generally been one of the most supportive nations for same-sex couples.

"The results indicate that children from same-sex couples outperform children from different-sex couples on standardized test scores at the end of primary education by 0.18 standard deviations," the researchers wrote in their paper. "Our results suggest that children from same-sex couples are 6.7 percent more likely to graduate than children from different-sex couples."

What’s unique about this latest research is that it follows all children born in the Netherlands from 1995 to 2005. The data includes information about the child’s educational performance as well as data on the child’s parents and family income. Prior studies of the children of gay and lesbian parents have often had a small sample size of only a few dozen youngsters or have used US Census Bureau data, which is only a one-time snapshot.

In total, this latest study tracked 1,200 children raised by same-sex couples and more than 1 million children raised by different-sex couples.

The researchers found that same-sex parents are often wealthier, older, and more educated than the typical different-sex couple. Same-sex couples often have to use expensive fertility treatments to have a child, meaning they are very motivated to become parents and tend to have a high level of wealth. This is likely to be a key reason their children perform well in school, the economists found.

"It is difficult for same-sex couples to obtain children, so they have to have a high socioeconomic status," said Mazrekaj, who presented the research at the American Economic Association conference in Atlanta in January. "Research shows that socio-economic status positively influences the school outcome of children."

When the economists controlled for income and wealth [not education??] , there were a much smaller gap between the test scores of children of same-sex parents and children of different-sex parents, although children of homosexual couples still had slightly higher scores.

Many prior studies have found no statistical difference in the educational performance or well-being of children from gay or lesbian couples, but this latest research was also able to control for the effects of divorce, which often has a negative impact on school performance and can skew results.

"Many children come into a same-sex family through divorce of a homosexual parent with a heterosexual partner and therefore did not grow up in a same-sex family," the economists wrote. "Divorce may exert an independent negative effect on school outcomes."

When the researchers looked specifically at children born and raised by same-sex couples, they saw the higher educational performance vs. heterosexual couples. The data from the Netherlands echo an [equally crappy] 2014 study from Australia that found children of same-sex couples are generally happier and healthier than their peers, possibly because gay and lesbian couples share parenting and home work more equally.

What a joke!  You just have to see the title of the 2014 study to see what a crock it is:

Crouch S, Waters E, McNair R, Power J, and Davis E (2014) Parent-reported measures of child health and wellbeing in same-sex parent families: a cross-sectional survey. BMC Public Health 14:635

The data was PARENT REPORTED.  In other words homosexuals SAID their kids were better off.  But they would, wouldn't they?  One wonders why anyone would bother to do such inconclusive research.  They obviously have a great need for affirmation


SOURCE






The Return of Ancient Prejudices

Victor Davis Hanson
    
In the latter half of the 19th century and early in the 20th century, as Catholic immigrants poured in from Ireland and eastern Europe, an anti-Catholic wave spread over a mostly Protestant United States. The majority slur then was that Catholic newcomers’ first loyalty would be to “Rome,” not the U.S.

Anti-Semitism grew even more deeply rooted, marked by Ivy League quotas on Jewish applicants and exclusionary clauses against Jews in clubs and neighborhoods. It was no accident that the Ku Klux Klan often targeted Catholics and Jews as well as African-Americans.

In the late 19th century, with the influx of Japanese and Chinese immigrants arose the “yellow peril” scare, a racist distrust of supposedly workaholic automatons and unassimilable immigrants whose first loyalty was to their close-knit Asian communities and homelands, not the U.S.

Most of these injustices grew from both original prejudices (as evidenced by slavery) and fears of demographic change. An original population that was mostly British, Protestant and white gradually was augmented by people who were not northern European, often Catholic and increasingly non-white.

The stereotyped hatreds were battled by the melting-pot forces of assimilation, integration and intermarriage. Civil rights legislation and broad education programs gradually convinced the country to judge all Americans on the content of their characters rather than the color of their skins or their religious beliefs. And over the last half-century, the effort to end institutional bias against African-Americans largely succeeded.

But recently, other ancient prejudices have been insidiously returning. And this time, the bias is more subtle, and it can be harder to address than traditional racism against non-white populations. The new venom, for example, is often spread by left-wing groups that claim victim status themselves and thus, by their logic, should not be seen as victimizers.

Progressive senators such as Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) have attacked judicial nominees on grounds that they are Catholic, apparently because the Catholic Church and its affiliates officially disprove of abortion and gay marriage.

Feinstein complained that one appeals court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, was a dubious choice because “the dogma lives loudly within you.” Hirono claimed that judicial nominee Brian Buescher was suspect because the Knights of Columbus held “extreme positions.” Harris whined that the public-service Catholic organization was an “all-male society comprised primarily of Catholic men.”

Recently, a number of newly elected congressional representatives — Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib — have voiced virulent anti-Israel bias that came off as anti-Semitic. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) compared Jewish settlers on the West Bank to “termites.” CNN pundit Marc Lamont Hill (who has since been fired) parroted the Hamas eliminationist slogan “Palestine from the river to the sea,” which is code for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Universities feel free to discriminate against Asian-Americans because their hard work and excellent preparation often leads to superb grades, test scores and application credentials. In other words, Asian-Americans supposedly distort progressive agendas of proportional representation, disparate impact and diversity by overachieving and being overqualified — purportedly robbing spots from other minority applicants.

Asian-American achievement also disproves the old canard that prejudice makes it impossible to find parity in the United States.

What is behind the rebirth of these old prejudices? In short, new, evolving prejudices.

First, America seemingly no longer believes in striving to achieve a gender-blind, racially and religiously mixed society, but instead is becoming a nation in which tribal identity trumps all other considerations.

Second, such tribal identities are not considered to be equal. Doctrinaire identity politics is predicated on distancing itself from white males, Christians and other groups who traditionally have achieved professional success and therefore enjoyed inordinate “privilege.”

Third, purported victims insist that they themselves cannot be victimizers. So, they are freer to discriminate and stereotype to advance their careers or political interests on the basis of anything they find antithetical to their own ideologies.

The Democratic senators who questioned the morality of judicial nominees’ religion likely would not treat a Muslim nominee in the same manner – although one could make the argument that contemporary Islam has had as many or more problems with gender equity than Western Catholicism has.

Calling any other ethnic group other than Jews “termites” might have earned Rep. Johnson congressional censure. And if professional football and basketball franchises turned away talented but “over-represented” African-American athletes to ensure greater diversity in the same manner that universities now systematically discriminate against Asian-Americans, there would be a national outcry.

What once helped to diminish ancient prejudices was the American creed that no one had a right to discriminate against fellow citizens on the basis of race, gender, class or religion.

And what fuels the return of American bias is the new idea that citizens can disparage or discriminate against other groups if they claim victim status and do so for purportedly noble purposes.

The more attitudes and agendas may change, the more they stay the same.

SOURCE







Double Standard: Apple Gives Deep State Access To Roger Stone’s iCloud Account – Refused To Violate Privacy of San Bernardino Terrorists

Three years after Apple refused to give the federal government access to the devices used by the San Bernadino terrorists who killed and injured dozens in a mass shooting event, the company has given the office of the Special Counsel complete access to Trump advisor Roger Stone’s iCloud account, reports Apple Insider.

Gateway Pundit reports:

According to the Washington Post, Apple objected to giving the federal government backdoor access to the shooters iPhones, claiming it would “set a dangerous precedent.”

“From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent. As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought.”

Fast forward to present, and we see that Apple no longer seems to have the same privacy concerns it once did in 2015. Without any fight, they simply turned over Roger Stone’s iCloud passwords and God knows what else, because Orange Man Bad. The fact that Apple views a political persecution less of a hill to die on than protecting the rights of terrorists who killed and maimed dozens of Americans is quite telling.

More from the Washington Post on Apple’s refusal to turn over access to the San Bernandino shooters devices…

“If allowed to stand, the order in Apple’s case would have forced company engineers to create software to disable a phone security feature so that the FBI could try its hand at unlocking the device by cracking a numeric password. Apple quickly resisted, arguing that forcing it to create such software would violate the company’s constitutional rights and weaken privacy for users around the world.”

Which makes us wonder… what exactly was Apple threatened with by Robert Mueller and the Office of the Special Counsel for them to abandon their firm stance against turning over user data and access to federal investigators? Surely they didn’t reason that two mass shooters were more deserving of their tough stand against government overreach and backdoor programs? There must be some explanation as to how they could give the federal government the power to access our privately held devices and accounts at will right?

You may not like Roger Stone and you may not agree with him. However, he has been charged with non-violent process crimes that have nothing to do with Russian collusion. Robert Mueller’s team has yet to provide one scintilla of evidence that points to real Russian collusion, instead using his unchecked power and un-elected authority to exact political revenge on the people who stopped his pal Hillary Clinton from becoming President.

SOURCE







Race-obsessed hate from the NYT

The “Grey Lady” serves as one of the nation’s foremost repositories of hate and boasts an all-star team of propagandists and virulently anti-Trump race-baiters.

Today, it’s longtime columnist Charles Blow’s chance to let loose with a primal scream of anguish and despair over Barack Obama being constitutionally term-limited and like so many of his media cohorts, he is directing his rage at supporters of President Trump.

In advance of the president’s address to the nation tonight at the State Of The Union, the NYT’s resident angry black man ripped the border wall as a “monument to white supremacy” during a Sunday appearance on CNN.

Just in case you haven’t noticed, it’s no longer simply enough to be smeared as a racist by the heinous bigots on the left who have now moved on to “white supremacist” as the rhetoric continues to become more inflammatory and race relations continue to be set back decades by fools like Blow and his fellow travelers.

New York Times columnist Charles Blow said on Sunday that a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border would be a “monument to white supremacy.”

He also accused President Donald Trump of using the border wall for “theater” to bait “white people against people who are not white.”

“And so you keep sending more troops to the southern border because of the brown people,” Blow said on CNN. “You want to build this wall, you know, this monument to white supremacy, as a medieval wall along the border because it’s about brown people.”

Blow said that many people who are in the country illegally “came on legitimate visas” and “did not come over the southern border.” He added that “many of those people are not brown.” The Times columnist, who has on multiple occasions called Trump a racist, said Trump also wants to target the visa lottery program because the visa lottery benefits immigrants from African countries.

Blow also went on Twitter and said anyone who ignores or defends “Trump’s racism” is also “a racist.”

Blow’s bitterness towards white people has often been expressed in the pages of the Times where such wonderful columns such as “Why Blacks Loathe Trump”, “Trump: Making America White Again”,  “White Male Victimization Anxiety” and “Count Me Among the Mob” among dozens of others that would seem to be a better ideological fit on  Louis Farrakhan’s Nation Of Islam blog than the nation’s so-called newspaper of record.

If you are this obsessed, then it’s quite possible that the real racist is the one staring back at you in the mirror every morning.

The sinister shift away from Trump himself to those who support him seems to be borne out of a creeping dread that Democrats will once again implode in a national election so the radicalized left is turning toward demonization of ordinary patriotic citizens who they hope to suppress with their intimidation and thuggery.

One need look no further than how the Covington Catholic students were subjected to a vicious hate campaign by the media including Blow’s employer, the same paper that published a glowing portrayal of the black identity extremists who started it all with their anti-American racist and homophobic slurs.

Shame on the New York Times and CNN for providing this unhinged angry bigot with a platform from which to spew his vile hate speech.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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8 February, 2019

The latest parenting advice: “It makes no difference how you treat your kids”

She is of course right.  Many well balanced adults emerge from difficult childhoods and many disastrous kids emerge from good families.  She appears not to know why, however.

There is now an extensive genetics literature that tells us most traits are inherited. If you have the genes for emotional stability, for instance, you will mostly be stable even while in the care of a ratty mother.  And if you are lucky enough to be born with a high IQ, that will solve most of your problems.  Such people can come from very humble backgrounds and reach rare heights with little effort.

You actually have very little control over how your kids turn out.  The genetics literature is replete with research reports that show family background to be a totally trivial influence compared to the genetic given.  Your kids will turn out how their genetics dictate regardless of what you do.  So perhaps the best advice is simply to be kind to them.  You can at least make their childhood more or less happy

But while there is little you can do to help your kids psychologically, there are some social advantages you can give them:  A good accent, manners, proficiency in social sports (tennis, golf, cricket) etc.  But the chief good thing you can do to benefit your kid is undoubtedly to send him/her to a private school.  In Britain that opens all doors.  One young woman whom her middle-class parents sent to a private school is now set to be Queen of England.  Beat that!



Modern parenting literature portrays raising a child as difficult business. Make your own baby food or you risk raising a sugar addict. Letting a bored child play with your phone rather than sustainably sourced wooden blocks is an invitation to delinquency. Such advice is often premised on helping parents raise children “naturally,” perhaps as children were parented at some ideal time in the past. But, notes Jennifer Traig—a book author, humorist and mother of two—in “Act Natural,” the word “parenting” itself “only came into common usage about forty years ago, which I guess means parenting was invented after I was.”

As a frazzled new mother dealing with such deep questions as “Why is there yogurt on the TV?,” Ms. Traig decided to investigate the history of child-rearing practices and advice from around the globe. She discovered that “people have done crazy, crazy things to their children throughout history.” They have convinced themselves that vegetables are dangerous but beer is great. They have let children play with knives or sleep out in the cold, or told fairy tales involving dismemberment.

Her key takeaway is this: “Why do we think any of this matters? The best research indicates that little of it actually does. Above a certain threshold, it makes no difference how you treat your kids.”

In “Act Natural,” Ms. Traig mocks contemporary and historical parenting advice with usually spot-on dark humor. For starters, much of this advice has been written by people—such as monks and clergymen—who weren’t parents (or at least weren’t supposed to be). “It’s easy to think you know what to do when you’ve never actually spent any time with a toddler,” Ms. Traig observes.

Other “experts” had offspring but were terrible parents; Jean- Jacques Rousseau’s romantic conceptions of childhood have garnered fans for centuries despite the fact that he abandoned his own children to a foundling hospital.

Much has been based on pure speculation rather than research. We can laugh about this in historical writings, such as this early-1800s nonsense that Ms. Traig digs up: “In all cases of dwarfishness or deformity, ninety-nine out of a hundred are owing to the folly, misconduct or neglect of mothers.” But we somehow take it seriously when modern writers suggest that day care will ruin a child for life.

Ideally, modern parents surveying history with Ms. Traig will reach this conclusion: You should just relax. Feeling guilty because you only pumped breast milk twice a day at work, instead of three times, seems silly in light of a finding that “out of the 21,000 infants born in Paris in 1780, a full 17,000 were put out to country wet nurses.”

Ms. Traig wagers that modern parental neuroses have created problems where they did not exist before. “A lot of parenting’s thorniest issues—sleep resistance, picky eating—began when we started trying to fix something that wasn’t particularly broken in the first place.” When there’s one pot of gruel, you all eat it, or don’t, but there’s little point in feeling angsty about it. When there’s one bed for the whole family, you sleep when you sleep. The virtues of a strict 7:30 p.m. bedtime are less clear when the clock in the next town says something entirely different from your own. Somehow, the species survived.

How should you raise your children? Long ago, experts offered falsehood, myth and speculation. Modern parenting advice isn’t much better.

Ms. Traig, thank goodness, takes pains not to portray herself as an expert anyone should emulate. She confesses to handling one particular dilemma—that of needing to work but being unable to afford full-time child care—with the time-honored solution of turning on the television. “In our home we do not emphasize attachment parenting but connection of another kind: the entertaining tether of premium cable.”

It is expensive, Ms. Traig notes, “but given how much our children watch, it’s far less than the hourly rate we would pay a human to keep them occupied.” She notes that her children sleep terrifically, but rather than tout her own sleep methods she writes that in parenting “you win some, you lose some.” Her son survives on pizza and revolting sweets. Parenting philosophies probably matter less than genetics and the luck of the draw.

The one flaw of “Act Natural” is that Ms. Traig is so taken with the silliness of her historical material that she starts to repeat herself. The practice of swaddling babies for up to 24 hours at a time, partly so they don’t go anywhere— and perhaps partly to limit the frequency of pre-Pampers diapering to once a day—comes up a lot. Almost every other page has a footnote taking the reader off on a tangent that doesn’t quite fit in the narrative. (A paragraph on how famous teachers disciplined students leads to this: “Still, they got off easier than Beethoven’s cook, at whom he threw eggs,” followed by a discussion of adults biting children in the hopes of teaching them not to.) This can make for a disjointed reading experience. Her dark comedy is occasionally very dark, such as this observation on obstetric innovation: “The invention of the Chamberlens’ forceps meant that a stuck child could be guided out gently, with spoons, rather than piecemeal, with knives.”

The upside of reading “Act Natural” is that you feel better about whatever nonsense your children have committed, which is the point. “That is what the good advice books do,” Ms. Traig writes. “They make you feel like you’re doing a good job, even if it’s simply by reassuring you that someone else is doing a worse one.” So your kid ate Cheez-Its for breakfast. Most of us, at least, do change diapers more frequently than once every 24 hours.

SOURCE







The boom in egg-freezing is the fault of 'selfish men' and NOT because of career-minded women claims academic who's spent years researching the trend - and the sex war it can trigger

This is undoubtedly partly true but no insight is shown as to why.  In Britain the penalties attached to divorce are Draconian, and they are even more so if children are involved.  In Britain, a divorce can leave a man ruined in every sense.  Wise men therefore refuse to "commit".

The laws were put in place under feminist influence and are a prime example of how feminism hurts females.  Unlike feminists, most women WANT a baby. But feminists have put up huge roadblocks against that. They have done their best to ensure that wise men will NEVER marry

The laws were put in place to defend women from predatory men.  They have had the effect of making men fear predatory women



For her 30th birthday, Anna Brown was taken out for a special supper by her husband. Seizing the moment to have what she thought would be a wonderful watershed moment in their relationship, she said: 'Let's not wait any longer: I'm 30 now, we're happily married, let's start trying for a baby.'

Her husband's response? 'Oh my God. What? No, no, no.'

Bewildered and upset, Anna asked him if not now, when? To which he replied: 'I don't know. Maybe in a couple of years. But the more you talk about it the less I'm going to want to do it.'

Anna told me in retrospect that she knew then the relationship was over. But it was some time before she came to terms with the bitter truth that she'd have to end the marriage and find a partner who actively wanted to be a father if she was ever to fulfil her dream of motherhood. By then in her mid-30s, with her fertility waning, Anna took the step of freezing her eggs to buy herself more time.

She wanted to be able to get to know new prospective partners without the pressure on them, or herself, of having children immediately.

I don't know how her story ended, but it's typical of so many I am told. As a senior lecturer in the Centre for Reproduction Research at De Montfort University, Leicester, I specialise in researching the growing trend of women who freeze their eggs for non-medical purposes.

The number of egg freezing cycles performed in the UK rose by more than 400 per cent between 2010 and 2016. And although the most common age to freeze eggs is around 37, anecdotal evidence is beginning to suggest that women are engaging with this technology at an earlier age — perhaps spurred on by sustained media and public interest in the procedure.

But contrary to popular belief, the main reason for doing so is not because a woman's career comes first. When I hear that lazy assumption it makes me want to scream.

The truth is, 'social egg freezing' — when a woman chooses to do this rather than because she is having a medical procedure such as chemotherapy which will make her infertile — is linked to men and their behaviour.

Far from investing so heavily in their careers that they are egg freezing to postpone motherhood, single women are sensibly doing the maths in their early to mid-30s and working out that it takes at least a year to get to know if someone is the right partner and actively wants fatherhood, and then at least another year to enjoy life together, under no pressure, and another 18 months to get engaged and married.

I froze my eggs because my partners weren't ready to be Dads, by TV Doctor Zoe Williams:

Towards the end of last year, aged 38, I paid thousands of pounds to freeze my eggs (storing seven in total). I wish I'd done it sooner; the difference in the quality of your eggs aged 30 as opposed to eight years later is significant.

My late mother had suggested it when I was 34, but I felt I still had time so used my savings as a deposit for my first flat. Four years on, though, I feel there is nothing more important I could spend money on than the chance of having a child.

Even though I've always been career-focused, qualifying as a GP in 2013 and appearing regularly on ITV's This Morning and BBC's Trust Me I'm A Doctor, I've never prioritised work over becoming a mother.

This idea that women give precedence to education and career is a common misconception in society, which then tacitly blames them when they are unable to conceive later down the line.

Research has found that for most women, the reason is the same as it is for me. I haven't yet found the right partner, making me a classic case of social infertility. In my last two serious relationships, neither man felt as sure as I did that they wanted children.

I'm dating at the moment and when I do meet someone new, I'm pretty upfront about my desire to have kids. I don't see the point in pretending.

I find people are often ill-informed when it comes to fertility. It's drilled into us at school how not to get pregnant. This will rile some, but as a GP I feel children should also be educated, in schools, about how to get pregnant — and the importance of considering their fertility before it's too late. A woman is born with all the eggs she will ever have. As she ages her eggs age with her, and their number and quality reduces over time. Her chance of having a baby also reduces over time, especially for women older than 35.

Men need to consider their fertility, too. They are often surprised to learn a significant proportion of miscarriages occur because of the sperm, and sperm quality is linked to age. They don't always feel the same time pressures women do, and so delay fatherhood.

All of this can be exacerbated by advances in fertility treatment, but there are no guarantees, and IVF success rates decrease as we age. As a result of all of this, we're on the cusp of an infertility epidemic.

Women in Britain are more likely to end up without children than almost anywhere else in the West.

An international league table found a fifth of British women are childless in their early 40s. And the rate of childlessness among UK women is up by almost 50 per cent since the mid-1990s.

I'm speaking out because it's time we looked the issue of infertility square in the eye, investigating why babies continue to elude many women of my generation. The process of egg freezing is an emotional and physical rollercoaster. First you must inject yourself with hormones for two weeks. You may experience sickness and abdominal pain. By the end, I felt like I had two cricket balls in my pelvis and my hormone levels were more than 100 times the normal level.

Then there is the egg retrieval procedure, which requires sedation. Doctors were able to extract seven eggs that were good enough quality to freeze — which I was told is average for my age. The eggs are then frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen until you wish to try to create an embryo, and conceive.

There is a risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), a potentially serious complication that can arise from an excessive response to fertility drugs.

Then there's the cost — potentially up to Ł8,000 (including the egg freezing, scans and procedures).

I'm now considering using donor sperm so I can freeze embryos as well as eggs.

Egg freezing isn't for everybody, but I want women like me — who can't imagine their lives without a baby — to know it's out there. And to act sooner rather than later.

That's three years before even attempting to conceive.

For many of the women I speak to who live in big cities, the large number of single and unmarried adults creates less of a sense of urgency among men to pursue parenthood.

Women also tell me the men they meet simply aren't committing to fatherhood or are seeking relationships with younger women so that they are able to put off such decisions for longer.

According to the Office of National Statistics, the average age of fathers at the birth of a child has risen by four years in four decades and according to the latest figures recorded in 2017 is now 33.4 years.

Men's indecision about becoming a father seems to be acting as a drag on the fertility of some women around them. So the time and fertility equation just doesn't add up.

All of the women I spoke to in my research had assumed they would one day become mothers. They'd either been in long-term relationships they thought would lead to motherhood which had then broken down or they had not met a man they loved who was prepared to commit to starting a family.

They didn't want to use sperm donors to become single mothers or 'panic partner' with a man and regret it later.

None of the women I have talked to wanted to freeze their eggs. Many had spent years thinking about it, putting it off in the hope they would find a partner and conceive naturally.

But it was the lack of a suitable man who also wanted to become a father that was the problem.

I recall one lovely woman who effectively used egg freezing as a last ditch wake-up call for her partner, who flatly refused to start a family with her. He was older than her and already had a teenage son from his previous relationship. He had told her he didn't want any more children but she hoped he would change his mind as time went on.

When he didn't she decided, aged 34, to freeze her eggs — and to tell him she was doing so. He was supportive, but ultimately her actions ended their relationship. He, correctly, took it as a sign that if he didn't change his mind she would leave him for a man who wanted children with her. But at least through her decisive actions she found out exactly what he wanted and had her eggs banked in time to have the option of becoming a mother in the future.

Another woman, a film producer called Rosie, told me her decision to have her eggs frozen at 37 allowed her to be free of 'an intense and overwhelming anxiety about motherhood'.

She'd always known she wanted to have children but the serious relationship she thought would lead to parenthood stalled when they discussed children and he said he 'wasn't ready'. She then found herself single in her mid 30s, aware that time was running out.

So, at 37, she paid for egg freezing. 'It wasn't a guarantee but it felt comforting to know I had them banked,' she said.

Not long after, Rosie met a man who wanted a family and conceived naturally so she didn't need to use those banked eggs. (Her path to motherhood wasn't easy though, as she had four miscarriages before finally having a child at 46).

But I hear many variations of her story from the women I interview and not one of them has ever centred around a woman's desire to further her career at the expense of delaying motherhood.

Of course freezing eggs as an insurance policy is not any guarantee of future motherhood.

It is difficult to access high quality, reliable information about the chance of success with frozen eggs.

Data from the US suggests that if a 35-year-old woman freezes 20 eggs she may have up to 75 per cent chance of one of those eggs resulting in a live birth in the future.

However, a woman who undergoes the procedure when she is 39 will need 50 eggs to achieve the same likelihood of success.

The ideal age for women to attempt childbearing, biologically speaking, is between her late teens and early 30s but there is data showing men consistently overestimate older women's ability to conceive and the success rates of IVF.

Figures from the UK Fertility Regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), show that only 15 per cent of IVF cycles in women aged 40-42 result in a live birth.

Other women told me that having frozen their eggs they were then in a dilemma about whether or not to tell the men they dated they had done so.

Some of them said their male friends had cautioned them, 'Don't tell any men you meet you've done it, they'll think you're mad'.

Their own thoughts were often that the person they were dating needed to know their commitment to having a baby — it was a kind of potential mate litmus test.

One of the biggest problems faced by women who have undergone social egg freezing is that under current legislation their frozen eggs have to be used or destroyed after ten years.

By contrast, women who freeze their eggs due to illnesses such as cancer can store eggs for up to 55 years.

The ten-year time limit on the storage of eggs frozen for social reasons effectively works to discourage women from freezing their best quality eggs when they are in their 20s, as they would have to be destroyed before the time they may most want to use them.

As a result, many fertility experts, academics and clinicians have been campaigning to extend the ten-year time limit on eggs frozen for social reasons to allow women the time they need to complete their families.

At the moment egg freezing is only as good as the IVF it ultimately depends on for a successful outcome.

When that improves and legislation catches up with need, I wonder if mothers will be giving daughters egg freezing as an 18th birthday present.

Of course, what they would really be giving is the gift of avoiding panic partnering, of allowing motherhood with the right man at the right time.

That said, until men rethink their priorities and start to see fatherhood in a different light, this gift may be redundant.

SOURCE






Peer Pressure Gender Perils
    
Parents used to worry about “peer pressure” encouraging their kids to experiment with alcohol or drugs, or to have sex. Now, they have to worry that it may encourage their kids (especially daughters) to change sex altogether.

If you are a parent of a child or teenager, you owe it to yourself to read World magazine’s latest cover story, which addresses the relatively new but expanding phenomenon of “rapid-onset gender dysphoria,” abbreviated “ROGD.”

Advocates for the LGBT movement have long argued that you can diagnose “gender dysphoria” in children who are “consistent, insistent, and persistent” in expressing a discomfort with their birth sex from an early age. Just like we are (wrongly) told about people who identify as homosexual, people who identify as transgender are born that way, we’ve been assured.

Now, however, social trends are evolving so rapidly that even the pseudo-scientists of the sexual revolution are having a hard time keeping up. Children (especially girls) who have successfully navigated childhood without a hint of gender confusion are suddenly, shortly after hitting puberty, declaring that they are the opposite sex (or “genderqueer,” or “agender,” or one of dozens of other “gender identities”).

“What’s going on?” parents ask. “Is this a biological issue?” If it were, we wouldn’t expect such declarations to suddenly emerge from a half a dozen girls in one friend group at the same time. And we wouldn’t expect them to use almost the exact same language in making such declarations.

Last summer, Dr. Lisa Littman of Brown University published a study based on interviews with over 200 parents of children who had experienced “rapid-onset gender dysphoria.” Most of the parents were not social conservatives (85% supported allowing legal civil marriages for same-sex couples), but they were taken aback by what happened to their children.

Two things were common to the parental accounts — neither of which had anything to do with being “born that way.” There was a strong element of “social contagion” at work; and the young people were being coached by websites as to how to demand — and get — puberty-blocking or cross-sex hormones and even, for some, elective double mastectomies. And in 2019, such teens are not inviting persecution to be “true to themselves” — 60 percent of parents thought coming out as transgender increased their child’s popularity at school. “Being trans is a gold star in the eyes of other teens,” wrote one.

FRC’s Cathy Ruse and Peter Sprigg have previously written about the Littman study, and the transgender backlash it provoked. It now seems clear that among the values parents need to instill in children from an early age is an appreciation for how God made them male or female. And limiting children’s time on the internet and social media is not just to make sure they get their homework done.

SOURCE






Is Reality Optional?

Walter E. Williams
    
Suppose I declare that I am a king. Should you be required to address me as “Your Majesty”? You say, “Williams, that’s lunacy! You can’t prove such nonsense.” You’re wrong. It’s proved by my declaration. It’s no different from a person born with XY chromosomes declaring that he is a woman. The XY sex determination system is the sex determination system found in humans and most other mammals. Females typically have two of the same kind of sex chromosome (XX) and are called the homogametic sex. Males typically have two different kinds of sex chromosomes (XY) and are called the heterogametic sex.

Governments are beginning to ignore biology and permit people to make their sex optional. Sex can be changed on one’s birth certificate, passport, Social Security card and driver’s license. In New York, intentional or repeated refusal to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun or title is a violation of the New York City Human Rights Law. If a person born with XY chromosomes asserts that he is a woman, then repeatedly addressing the person by the name on his birth certificate, referring to the person as “him” or addressing him as “Mister” violates the law and subjects the villain to heavy penalties. The law requires acknowledgment that sex is optional rather than a biological determination.

Do the people who support the optionality of sex also support the optionality of age? My birth certificate shows 1936 as my year of birth. Age cutoffs exclude me from many jobs, such as police officer, service member and firefighter. If one can change his sex on his birth certificate according to how he feels, why not his age? I think I’ll petition to change my year of birth to 1972.

Super Bowl LIII made history. For the first time, there were two male dancers working out with a cheerleading squad — in this case, with the Los Angeles Rams’ squad. Men being on the field with female squads is not new. They’ve helped the women with stunts. But Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies danced with the female cheerleaders and performed all the same moves. It’s nice to see cheerleader barriers fall, but there’s another form of rampant cheerleader discrimination that needs to be addressed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a full-figured older female cheerleader for any professional sports team. Most appear to be younger than 30 and don’t look as if they weigh more than 120 pounds.

There are other forms of discrimination in sports. There’s a sensible argument that can be made for segregating sexes in football, boxing, basketball and ice hockey. Men are typically stronger and bigger than women, so integrating sports such as football, boxing, basketball and ice hockey would lead to disproportionate injury and possibly death to women. But what about sports in which there’s no contact, such as tennis, bowling, billiards and swimming? Why should there be men’s teams and women’s teams? Why aren’t feminists protesting against this kind of sports segregation? After all, feminists have ignored the huge strength, aggressiveness and competitiveness differences between men and women in their demands that women be assigned to military combat units.

Refusing to acknowledge chromosomal differences and giving people the right to declare their sex can lead to opportunities heretofore nonexistent. For example, the men’s fastest 100-meter speed is 9.58 seconds. The women’s record is 10.49 seconds. What if a male sprinter with 10-second speed claimed womanhood, ran in the women’s event and won the gold? A lower bar to achieving fame and fortune exists in women’s basketball. It would take only a few tall men who claim they are women to dominate the game.

Suppose a college honored the right of its students to free themselves from biological determinism and allowed those with XY chromosomes to play on teams formerly designated as XX teams. What if an “unenlightened” women’s basketball team refused to play against a team with a starting five consisting of 6-foot-6-inch, 200-plus-pound XYers? The NCAA should have a rule stating that refusal to play a mixed-chromosome team leads to forfeiture of the game. It’s no different from a team of white players refusing to play another because it has black players.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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7 February, 2019

Military judge tosses out two charges against decorated Navy SEAL who 'killed a 15-year-old ISIS terrorist, posed with his corpse for a photo and bragged about killing 200 others during his tour of duty'

It does sound like he went too far but what stresses was he under?  He was dealing with some pretty disgusting people

A military judge has dismissed two charges against a decorated veteran who is accused of murdering a 15-year-old Afghan terrorist with his knife.

Edward Gallagher is currently being held in a military prison in California amid accusations he repeatedly plunged a knife into the wounded body of a young ISIS fighter in 2017 and fired sniper rounds at innocent civilians in Iraq. 

On Tuesday, Navy Capt Aaron Rugh, the judge in the court martial, announced that Gallagher, 39, will no longer face trial for allegedly performing a reenlistment ceremony next to the militant's corpse or for operating a drone over the corpse, according to The San Diego Tribune.

However, Gallagher is still facing charges for premeditated murder for stabbing the teen and aggravated assault for firing rounds at civilians.  Gallagher is also facing an allegation he posed for a photo with the militant's body.

The chief petty officer's platoon commander, Lt Jacob Portier, is also facing court martial charges alleging that he was aware of the complaints against Gallagher, but failed to report them.  Portier has also been charged with conducting Gallagher's reenlistment ceremony.

Last week, seven Navy SEALs were granted immunity to testify against Gallagher. Up to 13 additional witnesses are expected to testify against the soldier whose trial begins on February 19.

During a motion hearing on January 25, prosecutors said witnesses told NCIS investigators that Gallagher bragged about killing up to 200 people – 'three a day' he allegedly said – during his 2017 deployment to Mosul, Iraq, according to the Tribune.

Prosecutors also revealed at the time that they had recovered a knife that tested positive for DNA, although they did not reveal whose DNA was found on the weapon - or say conclusively that it was related to the incident in question.

In November last year, prosecutors presented accounts from several other SEALs in Gallagher's platoon describing his behavior as reckless and bloodthirsty.

They said he fired into civilian crowds, gunned down a girl walking along a riverbank and an old man carrying a water jug, and threatened to kill fellow SEALs if they reported his actions.

In May last year, Iraqi forces in Mosul caught an Islamic State fighter aged in his teens, who was left battered and bloody from the combat.

Investigators allege while the teen was receiving medical treatment from SEAL medics, Gallagher walked up and stabbed him in his neck and side with a knife, killing the fighter.

Then, they said, he posed for photographs with the fighter's body, holding his head in one hand and his blade in the other – and sent one of the images to a fellow SEAL with the caption: 'I got him with my hunting knife'.

Gallagher is a married father-of-three and a highly lauded special warfare operator who has racked up numerous awards during his eight tours of duty.

After his latest tour, fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq, he was named the top platoon leader in SEAL Team 7 and nominated for the Silver Star, the military's third-highest honor.

He fought in Iraq and Afghanistan several times and has been a Navy Seal for 14 years.

In November, his brother, Sean, defended him in an interview with Fox News. 'This investigation is not about justice and the truth, it's about a win,' Sean told the network at the time. 'A SEAL is a shiny, golden nail where if you take them down it makes you look good,' he added.

The Navy has charged Gallagher with premeditated murder, attempted murder and nearly a dozen other offenses, including obstruction of justice and bringing 'discredit upon the armed forces'.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

SOURCE






Kate Hudson Raising Daughter ‘Genderless’: “We still don’t know what she’s going to identify as.”

Child abuse.  A girl should be raised as a girl.  It seems that the girl is pretty girlish anyway, fortunately

Last week, actress Kate Hudson revealed that she’s raising her daughter with a “genderless” approach, since she’s unsure what gender she’ll “identify” as in the future.

Asked if raising a baby girl will change her parenting approach from how she’s raising her two boys, Hudson told AOL.com, “It doesn’t really change my approach, but there’s definitely a difference. I think you just raise your kids individually regardless – like a genderless [approach].”

“We still don’t know what she’s going to identify as,” added the “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” star.

“I will say that, right now, she is incredibly feminine in her energy, her sounds and her way,” she continued. “It’s very different from the boys, and it’s really fun to actually want to buy kids’ clothes.”

“With the boys it was just like onesies … actually, I did pretty good with the boys,” Hudson said. “But with her it’s a whole other ball game. There’s some stuff that I’m like, ‘I can’t do that to her, because it’s so over-the-top.”

Hudson, 39, announced the arrival of her and her musician boyfriend ?Danny Fujikawa’s daughter in October. “She’s here,” Hudson posted on Instagram.

“We have decided to name our daughter Rani (pronounced Ronnie) after her grandfather, Ron Fujikawa,” explained the Fabletics founder. “Ron was the most special man who we all miss dearly. To name her after him is an honor.”

“Everyone is doing well and happy as can be,” she added. “Our family thanks you for all the love and blessings that have been sent our way and we send ours right back.”

In December of 2017, singer Pink gushed about taking a “gender neutral” approach to parenting her daughter Willow and son Jameson; Willow was 11 at the time of the interview and Jameson was 11 months old. The celebrity boasted to The Sunday People that she and her husband have a “very label-less household.”

“I was in a school and the bathroom outside the kindergarten said, ‘Gender Neutral – anybody,’ and it was a drawing of many different shapes,” Pink said. “I took a picture of it and I wrote, ‘Progress.’ I thought that was awesome. I love that kids are having this conversation.”  The “What About Us” singer said her daughter told her “she is going to marry an African woman.”

“I was like, ‘Great, can you teach me how to make African food?’ And she’s like, ‘Sure, Mama. And we are going to live with you while our house is getting ready,'” Pink added. “I was like, ‘What the f***, who are you?'” Pink added. “‘Who is paying for this by the way?'”

Actor Liev Schreiber turned heads during the summer of 2017, when his eight-year-old son was dressed as Harley Quinn for Comic-Con. The boy’s mother is actress Naomi Watts, Schreiber’s ex-wife. The young boy was dressed in ripped fishnet stockings, short shorts, makeup, and had red and purple hair extensions worn in pigtails.

SOURCE






Stacey Abrams’ Full Embrace of Identity Politics Is a Recipe for Disaster

As a fat black female she certainly has some choice of identities

Following the 2016 elections, liberal intellectuals like Mark Lilla and Francis Fukuyama counseled Democrats to stop embracing identity politics and instead appeal to Americans as Americans, not as divided groups.

The Democrats’ choice of Stacey Abrams to deliver the response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address may be a sign that’s not in the cards.

Abrams ran for governor of Georgia last year and lost by more than 50,000 votes, but has yet to be gracious about her defeat. She is now using the enthusiasm her campaign generated among her far-left base to argue against the universalist Enlightenment ideas upon which this nation was founded.

Abrams says those ideals are false, or at best “devoid of context.” What we need is “revolt.”

Her recent essay on identity politics, published last Friday by Foreign Affairs, is a forthright defense of dividing America into groups based on identities that can be as varied as race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and even disability status. The only thing that matters is the ability to claim a trait that bestows victimhood status.

To people like Abrams who subscribe to this view, this status—and not intrinsic worth, hard work, or talent—is what entitles one to respect, government protection, and benefits.

This is a Marxist worldview that divides humanity into monolithic dominant or subjugated groups where any interaction between them is viewed only in terms of power relations.

Not everything that Abrams wrote in her essay is wrong. She is right to note that organized labor for a long time discriminated against African-Americans, and this “contributed to the rise of a segregated middle class and to persistent pay disparities.”

But much of the rest of her essay, written in a response to one by Fukuyama in the same publication, relies on selective or just plain wrong views of history.

She is wrong, for example, when she writes that “the marginalized did not create identity politics: their identities have been forced on them by dominant groups, and politics is the most effective method of revolt.”

Blacks in America have a long history of victimization and exclusion. But analogizing their unique experience to that of other people and creating a long list of different castes with grievances is a complete non-sequitur. Yet it is a project to which activists have devoted a lot of time and effort, as an examination of the record shows.

A 1970 study from UCLA, funded by the Ford Foundation, showed that even at the dawn of the ‘70s, rank-and-file Mexican-Americans neither saw themselves as a marginalized group nor even as a minority at all. “Indeed, merely calling Mexican-Americans a ‘minority’ and implying that the population is the victim of prejudice and discrimination has caused irritation among many who prefer to believe themselves indistinguishable white Americans,” the authors concluded.

The testimony of the time is riddled with evidence that identity politics was far from a grassroots movement, as Abrams and others always proclaim. As the historian David G. Gutierrez wrote, “Even if many Mexican-Americans refused to accept a Chicano self-identity, much less the ethnic separatism espoused by the militants, the actions of the Chicano activists undoubtedly convinced at least some government officials that the militants’ grievances warranted attention.”

Even earlier, the sociologist George I. Sanchez had written to Julian Samora (one of the activists who sought group making, and later went on to found La Raza), “For gosh sakes, don’t characterize the Spanish-American with what is obviously true of the human race, and then imply, by commission or omission, that his characteristics are peculiarly his and, OF COURSE, radically different from those of the ‘Anglos.’”

The poor, Sanchez wrote to Samora, all shared the same societal dysfunctions, no matter their race and ethnicity. “The characteristics that distinguish the Spanish-speaking group in any part of the United States are much less ethnic than they are socio-economic … . [T]here is no real ethnic sameness among the various subdivisions of the same Spanish-speaking group.” It takes “a veritable shotgun wedding to make Puerto Ricans, Spanish-Mexicans, and Filipinos appear to be culturally homogenous.”

But in her essay, Abrams rejects socio-economic arguments as a “class trap” and doubles down on what she thinks is the real narrative: identity politics.

And of course, there’s the part about politics being a means to revolt. The Declaration of Independence takes an entirely different view when it states that “governments are instituted among men” to secure the rights to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

But of course, these are natural rights that are part of the inheritance of the Enlightenment, and Abrams makes very clear that she thinks its universalist claims are a bunch of hooey.

She attributes the success of her coalition (again, she lost, despite the support of the entire cultural establishment; even Oprah Winfrey campaigned for her) to “articulating an understanding of each group’s unique concerns instead of trying to create a false image of universality.”

She returns to this theme when she warns against “a retrenchment to amorphous, universal descriptors devoid of context or nuance.”

It is here that Abrams demonstrates the danger of identity politics. She is rejecting the ideals of the Enlightenment and even the Renaissance, and returning us back to the estates and classes of the Middle Ages. This threatens fundamental concepts such as the right to conscience, property, speech, and due process, never mind the bedrock ideal that “all men are created equal.”

It simply isn’t true, as Abrams writes, that identity-politics activism “will strengthen democratic rule, not threaten it.” It is equally contradictory that embracing “the identities of groups in a democracy enhances the complexity and capacity of the whole.”

Thinking of individuals as members of sub-collectives can never strengthen democracy, at least not democracy as we understand it, just as minimizing or even erasing commonalities is destructive of common purpose.

Abrams has a momentary lapse into lucidity when she points out that “the current demographic and social evolution toward diversity in the United States has played out alongside a trend toward greater economic and social inequality.”

Right. That’s why identity politics isn’t working. It is predicated on inequalities, so it has to perpetuate them.

But, alas, that’s not her takeaway. Instead, she says the entry of marginalized groups into public life has “spawned reactionary limits on their legal standing.”

Pray tell, what are those limits? Is this philosophy what one of our two major parties is going to be pushing going forward?

SOURCE






Margaret Thatcher statue approved in hometown of Grantham despite threat of 'far-Left' vandalism

A statue of Margaret Thatcher has been approved in her hometown after the local council ignored a vandalism threat posed by the "motivated far-Left movement".

Councillors in Grantham, Lincs, on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve plans for the Ł300,000 bronze statue of Britain’s first female prime minister to be erected in the centre of town.

Lincolnshire Police recommended the statue - which has been privately funded by Douglas Jennings, a leading UK sculptor - be placed on a "sufficiently high plinth" to deter attackers.

The work, which is currently said to be in storage at "a secret location", will be unveiled in the centre of Grantham at St Peter's Hill and will be over 6.4 metres tall.

Despite several suggestions by successive mayors, Grantham's only tribute to Baroness Thatcher until now has been a tiny plaque above her father's former grocer's store.

The local council adopted the statue after plans to build it on Parliament Square were rejected by Westminster Council due to the fear of it being targeted by protesters.

A Westminster council planning document suggested the proposed statue had come too soon after Baroness Thatcher's death in 2013. The council has a "10 year principle", where statues or memorials are generally not erected until 10 years have elapsed since the subject's death.

The Metropolitan Police also raised concerns over possible civil disobedience, but this did not form part of the planning application.

The deadlock over Baroness Thatcher’s statue was finally broken last week when a report to South Kesteven District Council stated there is not felt to be a significant threat to the installation of the statue locally.

However, it added: “In general there remains a motivated far-Left movement across the UK who may be committed to public activism.

“It still remains that there is a possibility any public statue of ‘Baroness Thatcher’ would be a likely target for politically motivated vandals.”

The application, by Grantham Community Heritage Association (GCHA), which runs the Grantham Museum, had received 17 letters of objection to the proposals, mainly noting Mrs Thatcher’s position as a “divisive figure” and the potential for crime and disorder.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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6 February, 2019

Migrants pushed three 16-year-old Germans in front of train – mainstream media covered up the murders

Three young boys were pushed onto the rails at the Nürnberg S-train station Frankenstadion end of January. Two of them were ran over by the oncoming train and killed.

German mainstream media spoke deceitfully of “Germans”, in order to cloak a migration background. Furthermore drivel about “accident” and “tragedy” was put out there, and the three 16 year old’s “fell” onto the rails.

The Nürnberg News respectfully called the first offender that was arrested a “young man”.

The Süddeutsche newspaper suggested that a fight between the youths had just taken a “tragic end”. Three 16 year olds were “falling” on the rails and were “caught by the train and ran over and killed”.

Even the Bavarian Rundfunk was of the opinion that the three Germans “fell” on the tracks: “On Friday night, the two youths got into an argument with two other 17 year old youths at the Nürnberg S-train station Frankenstadion. All in all three 16 year old youths fell onto the train tracks during the argument.”

The next morning, BR Online described the double murder as an “accident”, by which “three men” after a fight “fell onto the train tracks”.

The Franken television channel even titled the murderous events as a “S-Train Disaster”. After a row the two victims “fell onto the train tracks” and were “killed by the nearing train”.

But on Monday morning BILD uncovered the bone hard truth: the murderers, who pushed the three German boys onto the rails, were a Turk and a Greek who were merely born in Germany.

The two victims, Luca and Frederic came from Heroldsberg. On Friday night they were visiting the Nürnberg dance club “Nightlife” and around midnight they wanted to ride home on the train.

At the train station, after meeting a third friend, they got into an argument with the migrants. According to the police, the fight started due to a ridiculously inane reason, which led to a highly aggressive reaction by the two offenders.

Surveillance footage proves that it was pure intent to push the three onto the rails, since the train had already been approaching the station at roughly 80 km/h.

Since that train usually does not stop at that station, it ran over Luca and Frederic at full speed. The boys didn’t stand a chance, and they were both killed instantly. Their friend could barely make it back out.

SOURCE






‘Toxic Masculinity’ is Misnamed

Feminists can be pretty toxic too

“Toxic masculinity” has become one of the latest rallying cries on the left, a new way to attack a favorite target, white men. All kinds of behavior is lumped in under this label. Men who rape women are labeled the same as men who play contact sports. Instead of specifically describing “toxic rapists” or similar, the phrase implies that all men are toxic.

But it’s not accurate. Not all men are toxic. Rapists, abusers, murderers, etc. are toxic. Children’s sports coaches, pastors and men who are caregivers are not. Gillette came out with a controversial ad last month condemning toxic masculinity. It featured men looking the other way as boys behaved badly. But what kind of men did it show? Not thugs and absentee fathers. As author Barbara McKay pointed out, these were neatly dressed, middle-class men barbecuing. These are fathers “deeply invested in family life.” But the ad made it look like even the best of regular, good guys enable toxic behavior by their gender.

The reality is there are plenty of evil women too. Why not “toxic femininity” then? Because feminists know that it will tarnish all women. I asked a lefty friend of mine why no one uses the phrase, and he says because it means the same thing as misogyny. Well if that’s true, and toxic masculinity means misandry, then why is it OK to use it to describe men?

An article in The New York Times paints a broad brush defining toxic masculinity. It describes it as tough-guy behavior, suppressing emotions or masking distress and maintaining an appearance of hardness. It makes no pretense to even include serious crimes.

But you can’t paint a broad brush of all men engaging in these behaviors. Some men really enjoy getting physical; whether as a boxer, police officer or engaged in manual labor. And the latter two are necessary jobs, we need tough, strong men in those positions.

There are plenty of men who don’t feel comfortable talking about their feelings and that’s just the way they are. Just like there are many women who don’t feel comfortable talking about their feelings. The problem is the left likes to paint everyone with a broad brush and fit them into group stereotypes. Why not treat men and women as individuals?

What’s wrong with men maintaining an appearance of hardness? Maybe it’s necessary for some men if they work in a field such as the military, in order to maintain control. Look at the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. She represented the epitome of maintaining an appearance of hardness. Was it OK for her because she’s a woman?

The effort to label men as toxic seems to be contrived, in order to pit the sexes against each other. It’s part of a larger strategy by the left to keep women within the Democratic fold. Since more men than women are conservative, they’re an easy target. Portray them as toxic and conservatism looks toxic by association. Democrats look like the party that cares about protecting poor innocent women from all those dangerous men.

It’s difficult to refute accusations of toxic masculinity, because the Democrats will just point to real criminals, such as mass shooters. No one wants to be seen appearing to defend mass shooters. The Democrats portray toxic masculinity as a slippery slope, with shooting people just a step away from tough-guy behavior. It’s hard to prove a negative — how can any man prove that he’s not going to become a serial murderer or rapist?

The sad result of this is it’s taken away energy from focusing on the real criminals. Instead, every man is looked at suspiciously and required to do things like obtain written consent from a woman on college campus before dating her. Men are walking on pins and needles around women, afraid their toxic masculinity will be attacked as sexual harassment and result in discipline. It’s gotten so bad men are afraid to hold doors open for women. Feminist site The Lily says it’s an outdated gesture and men should stop doing it.

How did we go from men doing something nice for women to something lumped in with rapists and murderers? It’s time to start calling out the phrase toxic masculinity for what it is — a dishonest way to delegitimize half the population.

SOURCE






New York City Being Sued by Therapist Over Law Banning Faith-Based Counseling

Licensed psychotherapist Dr. Dovid Schwartz is suing the city of New York for infringing on his and his patients’ religious faith and freedom of speech by way of a new ordinance imposing limits on counseling services to LGBT patients that the city discredits.

Schwartz is a member of the Chabad Lubavitch Orthodox Jewish Community in Brooklyn.

The New York City Council’s “Counseling Censorship Law” restricts the counseling of an adult patient to change their same-sex attractions or discourage a person to choose the gender identity that doesn’t match his or her body.

More specifically, the ordinance penalizes the illegal exchange of such services with hefty fees.

Fines for the first violation start at $1,000, $5,000 for the second, and $10,000 for each following violation.

Conversely, therapists who counsel patients to embrace the gender identity opposite their physical body are not subject to such fines.

“Of course the state has authority to regulate medicine to ensure safety, but that’s not what this law is about,” said Ryan T. Anderson, The Heritage Foundation’s William E. Simon senior research fellow in American principles and public policy.

“This law imposes an ideological ban because the state disagrees with the viewpoint of doctors like Dovid Schwartz. It’s not targeted at harmful practices, but at particular values.”

Schwartz v. City of New York, filed at the federal level on Jan. 23 by the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, involves Schwartz’s requests to be protected from paying the fees or censoring his conversations with LGBT patients, who are largely from his religious community and wish to abide by their orthodox faith.

“Nearly all of Dr. Schwartz’s patients share his faith, and they value his counsel about issues of sexuality and family in part because his perspective is grounded in their shared Jewish faith and respect for Torah teachings,” said Jeana Hallock, the Alliance Defending Freedom attorney representing Schwartz.

Schwartz says the only techniques he uses with his patients are simply listening and talking, but the law claims to forbid even that.

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Roger Brooks commented on the matter, asserting Americans, whether secular or religious, deserve the right to have private conversations that are free from censorship laws imposed by the government.

“The city council’s regulation is unprecedented and threatens to stand between Dr. Schwartz’s patients and the lives they choose to pursue,” Brooks said.

“As the U.S. Supreme Court noted in its 2019 NIFLA decision, ‘(T)he people lose when the government is the one dictating which ideas should prevail.’”

SOURCE






Jordan Peterson wimps out over toxic women

Bettina Arndt

Jordan Peterson is in Australia next week and I was thinking back to my long interview with him last year. At the time I considered taking him on about his reluctance to call out women’s bad behaviour  - which seems odd when he constantly tells men to pull themselves together. But since this was just after the Cathy Newman interview I realised that strategy was a really lousy idea.

When we did the interview I did make some pretty strong statements about women’s misbehaviour which in some areas seemed to make him a little braver. But he was still is very reluctant to sheet home women’s misdeeds.

I decided this week to put together a video about why men are so reluctant to criticise women – using my interviews with a number of prominent men to illustrate what’s going on here. I suggest that as an academic, Peterson is trained to avoid the wrath of the feminists who dominate his workplace.

Ditto Josh Zepps, who made a long podcast with me last year. Zepps is a great interviewer, happily exploring diverse ideas in his  wethepeople podcasts. But hs is a self-confessed “lefty”, works occasionally for the ABC and approached the interview with me clearly nervous of irritating his feminist friends. But I noticed I was able to embolden him by voicing strong criticisms of women’s duplicitous behaviour, which lead him to become positively brave by the end of the long interview.

Conservative men are equally reluctant to call out women’s bad behaviour but for different reasons. Here the problem is chivalry, old-fashioned adherence to the gynocentric ideal of women on a pedestal, whose virtue no gentleman would challenge. This form of benevolent sexism exploits men’s culturally-imposed desire to protect and show reverence for women. And that means they too wimp out when it comes to acknowledging that women can be very, very bad.

It proved a fascinating exercise pulling together my video showing how all this works. Here it is:



See also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwhWlm7YwV8

Via email from Bettina -- bettina@bettinaarndt.com.au

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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, 2019

Was the attack on a homosexual black fake news?

Something appears to have happened but what was it?  Maybe he just had a falling-out with his boyfriend.  Spousal violence is very common among homosexuals

Americans were stunned earlier this week when initial reports circulated that an actor was attacked, insulted with homophobic slurs, doused with an unknown substance, and forced to wear a noose around his neck. The horrific details were covered by multiple news sites.

According to CBS, Actor Jussie Smollett from the show “Empire” alleged he was “attacked” by men who were Trump supporters….in the middle of the night…in the frigid temperatures of Chicago….

I’m sorry, but something about this just didn’t seem right from the very start. Do people REALLY believe that a group of Trump supporters were walking around in the Sub-zero midwest temperatures just waiting for a “gay guy” to attack?

However, as expected, the media united in their support for the actor even though there was NO evidence of many of his claims:

An example from NBC: “He is a victim, and we treat him like a victim. He’s been very cooperative,” Johnson said. “We are making gains in the investigation and hopefully we’ll bring it to a successful resolution soon.”

However, some doubts started to surface after video footage of the actual event was proving difficult to find.

From the Associated Press: Detectives have recovered more surveillance footage of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett walking in downtown Chicago before and after he says he was attacked by two masked men, including video of him arriving home with a rope around his neck, but they’re still searching for footage of the attack, a police spokesman said Thursday.

The video from a surveillance camera at Smollett’s apartment building showing him arrive home with a rope around his neck is part of a larger effort to obtain as much footage as possible of his walk from a Subway restaurant to his apartment at around 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said detectives, who are investigating the case as a possible hate crime, have pieced together more footage from the hundreds of public and private surveillance cameras in that area of downtown Chicago, which is home to many high-end hotels and restaurants. But they still haven’t found video of the attack or the men who match Smollett’s description of the suspects, he said.

Still more doubts surfaced after it was reported that the victim’s story seemed to change to include that the attackers told him that the area where he was attacked was “MAGA country.” Also suspicious was that the actor apparently had a phone conversation with his manager near the time of the event but they are refusing to turn over their phone records.

This from the Daily Caller: The Chicago Police Department (CPD) said “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett and his music manager are not handing over phone records of a conversation that occurred Tuesday morning during an alleged attack.

“Update on the ‘Empire’ Smollett case: The victim and his manager reported that they were talking on their cell phones to each other but CPD has been unable to independently verify this because they refused to turn over their cell phones,” CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a Thursday statement obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

SOURCE

UPDATE: Jussie Smollett Managed To Keep Hold Of His Subway Sandwich Throughout ‘MAGA’ Attack. So this guy managed to hold on to his PHONE and a SUBWAY SANDWICH as two hateful white supremacists tied a noose around his neck, broke his rib, and poured bleach all over him?






Time to tell the truth about the Palestinian issue

by Alan Dershowitz

The front page of the New York Times Sunday Review featured one of the most biased, poorly informed, and historically inaccurate columns about the conflict between Israel and Palestine ever published by a mainstream newspaper. Written by Michelle Alexander, it is entitled, “Time to break the silence on Palestine,”ť as if the Palestinian issue has not been the most overhyped cause on campuses, at the United Nations, and in the media.

There is no silence to break. What must be broken is the double standard of those who elevate the Palestinian claims over those of the Kurds, the Syrians, the Iranians, the Chechens, the Tibetans, the Ukrainians, and many other more deserving groups who truly suffer from the silence of the academia, the media, and the international community. The United Nations devotes more of its time, money, and votes to the Palestinian issue than to the claims of all of these other oppressed groups combined.

The suffering of Palestinians, which does not compare to the suffering of many other groups, has been largely inflicted by themselves. They could have had a state, with no occupation, if they had accepted the Peel Commission Report of 1938, the United Nations Partition of 1947, the Camp David Summit deal of 2000, or the Ehud Olmert offer of 2008. They rejected all these offers, responding with violence and terrorism, because doing so would have required them to accept Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, something they are unwilling to do even today.

I know because I asked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that question directly and he said no. The Palestinian leadership indeed has always wanted there not to be a Jewish state more than it has wanted there to be a Palestinian state. The Palestinian issue is not “one of the great moral challenges of our time,”ť as Alexander insists in her column. It is a complex, nuanced, pragmatic problem, with fault on all sides. The issue could be solved if Palestinian leaders were prepared to accept the “painful compromises”ť that Israeli leaders have already agreed to accept.

Had the early Palestinian leadership, with the surrounding Arab states, not attacked Israel the moment it declared statehood, it would have a viable state with no refugees. Had Hamas used the resources it received when Israel ended its occupation of the Gaza Strip in 2005 to build schools and hospitals instead of using these resources to construct rocket launchers and terror tunnels, it could have become a “Singapore on the Sea” instead of the poverty stricken enclave the Palestinian leadership turned it into.

The leaders of Hamas as well as the Palestinian Authority bear at least as much responsibility for the plight of the Palestinians as do the Israelis. Israel is certainly not without some fault, but the “blame it all on Israel”ť approach taken by Alexander is counterproductive because it encourages Palestinian recalcitrance. As Israeli diplomat Abba Eban once observed, “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

One striking illustration of the bias is the absurd claim by Alexander that “many students are fearful of expressing support for Palestinian rights”ť because of “McCarthyite tactics”ť employed by pro-Israel groups. I have taught on many campuses, and I can attest that no international cause is given more attention, far more than it deserves in comparison with other more compelling causes, than the Palestinians. It is pro-Israel students who are silenced out of fear of being denied recommendations, graded down, or shunned by peers. Some have even been threatened with violence. Efforts have been made to prevent from speaking on several campuses, despite my advocacy of a two state solution to the conflict.

Alexander claims that there is legal discrimination against Israeli Arabs. The reality is that Israeli Arabs have more rights than Arabs anywhere in the Muslim world. They vote freely, have their own political parties, speak openly against the Israeli government, and are beneficiaries of affirmative action in Israeli universities. The only legal right they lack is to turn Israel into another Muslim state governed by Sharia law, instead of the nation state of Jewish people governed by freedom and secular democratic law. That is what the new Jewish nation state law, which I personally oppose, does when it denies Arabs the “right of self determination in Israel.”

Alexander condemns “Palestinian homes being bulldozed,” without mentioning that these are the homes of terrorists who murder Jewish children, women, and men. She bemoans casualties in Gaza, which she calls “occupied” even though every Israeli soldier and settler left in 2005, without mentioning that many of these casualties were human shields from behind whom Hamas terrorists fire rockets at Israeli civilians. She says there are “streets for Jews only,”ť which is a categorical falsehood. There are roads in the disputed territories that are limited to cars with Israeli licenses for security. But these roads are in fact open to all Israelis, including Druze, Muslims, Christians, Zoroastrians, and people of no faith.

The most outrageous aspect of the column is the claim by Alexander that Martin Luther King Jr. inspired her to write it. But he was a staunch Zionist, who said, “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism.”ť It is certainly possible that he would have been critical of certain Israeli policies today, but I am confident that he would have been appalled at her unfair attack on the nation state of the Jewish people and especially on her misuse of his good name to support anti-Israel bigotry.

SOURCE  







Abortion Maximalists Stand on Shaky Moral Ground
    
A bill proposed by Virginia state Delegate Kathy Tran — ultimately voted down — would have made certain forms of baby killing legal. The proposed law would have reduced the number of doctors required to sign a baby’s death warrant and expanded the number of excuses for why a mother could choose at the last minute to ask for one. A video of Tran explaining how, under her bill, a fully developed baby could be terminated even during labor, ignited a burning controversy.

The flames shed light on movements in other states, particularly New York and Rhode Island, to make abortion legal past the point of viability, meaning past the point where the baby could live independent of its mother.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam threw gasoline on the fire when he defended the legislation clumsily (to put it charitably), making it sound like he believed a viable baby could be fully delivered before the doctor and mother decided whether it should be permitted to live.

Many in the mainstream media — who often treat conservative reactions to an outrage as the “real” story rather than the outrageous thing itself — have been falling over each other to demonstrate how much more complicated and nuanced this issue is.

And they have a point — or points. Tran now says she misspoke and acknowledged that the way she had described the law would have run afoul of anti-infanticide laws.

It’s also true that the number of women who will bring a baby fully to term only to terminate it during the 40th week is indeed extremely small.

But it is only small in comparison to the total number of abortions in this country. According to the respected (and pro-abortion rights) Guttmacher Institute, there were some 926,000 induced abortions in 2014 (the most recent year for which data is available), and 1.3 percent — or roughly 12,000 — of those were after the 20th week.

Meanwhile, it’s not necessarily true, as Northam has tried to argue, that most women who seek late-term abortions do so solely for compelling health reasons or in response to a severe fetal deformity. According to a 2013 Guttmacher study, “most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”

If you don’t think late-term, post-viability abortions are morally troubling, you might want to ask yourself why we are only one of seven countries in the world that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks. It’s unclear how many countries allow abortion at 40 weeks, mid-delivery, but it’s possible that the U.S. and North Korea would be the only members of that club.

I’m all in favor of debating such details, but what bothers me about these abortion controversies is the way utilitarian arguments are given the presumption of moral superiority. In almost every other sphere of debate where progressives claim the moral high ground, they are categorical. “If it saves just one life, it’s worth it,” they say about gun control, health-care reform, police abuse, etc.

Imagine if I were to argue that since lynchings are so rare, we don’t really need strict laws against lynching. Infanticide, like racism, murder and rape, is a moral category. It’s not less evil if it’s rare. It is rare — thank God — because we’ve agreed to treat it as evil.

Many people have trouble being 100 percent certain that a fertilized egg or a blastocyst is a human being, but vanishingly few of us dispute that a delivered baby outside the womb is a human being. And it is not a large leap in logic or morality to believe that a partially delivered viable baby is a human being. If you want to argue that the status of the baby gets murkier as you wind the clock backward, fine. But that’s a different argument. It’s not murky at 40 weeks.

In debates over the death penalty, there is one thing virtually everyone agrees upon: It’s profoundly wrong to execute the innocent. Our criminal justice system is rightly crammed with all manner of checks to minimize the risk of a terrible mistake. Well, a viable baby is surely innocent, too. And yet, among abortion rights maximalists, it is considered the morally sophisticated position to remove as many checks as possible from preventing infanticide. If you think it’s worth tolerating a certain number of baby killings to protect abortion rights, you should say so. But please don’t pretend the moral ground you’re standing on is very high.

SOURCE





Why Is There A War On Cheerleaders?

If I were to tell you that a growing group of killjoys wants to ban NFL cheerleading, would you guess that this group is on the political left or right?

Must be the right, right? They're the religious ones with all the sexual hang-ups.

Wrong. They're on the left. And what's their problem with cheerleading? I'll let them speak for themselves.

In The Boston Globe, Margery Eagan, Globe columnist and co-host of NPR's "Boston Public Radio," wrote a column titled "It's time to say goodbye to the NFL cheerleaders." She described NFL cheerleading as "creepy and demeaning."

USA Today sports columnist Nancy Armour came to the same conclusion: "The underlying premise of NFL cheerleaders is degrading. ... NFL cheerleaders need to go."

Chicago Tribune sports reporter Shannon Ryan wrote, "The league has shown only that it regards cheerleaders as pieces of sideline eye candy." To make her point, she asked, "why aren't there scantily dressed male cheerleaders and dance teams?"

Only the well-educated could ask such a stupid question — because only the highly educated deny that, with few exceptions, the only people who would like to see scantily dressed male cheerleaders are gay men.

In USA Today, Yale Divinity School Director of Communications Tom Krattenmaker added a theological voice to the anti-cheerleader chorus. "It's time," he intoned, "to call this out for what it is: demeaning to women and an anachronism that ought to be beneath the male fans to whom this titillating eye candy is served." This sentence, and his whole piece, is what goes for deep thought on the left today. He doesn't explain how being an NFL cheerleader is "demeaning." He simply declares it so. Did he bother to interview any cheerleaders? I did, and the consensus among cheerleaders is that it is one of their greatest life experiences.

Jacie Scott, a black woman who retired from being a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader in 2016, wrote in response to Nancy Armour: "I spent four years as a cheerleader in the NFL, and the experiences that each year brought helped shape me into the woman I am today. ... I saw countries I never imagined seeing. I made a positive impact in lives, young and old, and I did it all with 30-something incredible women. I wouldn't trade my time as a cheerleader for anything."

What is demeaning to cheerleaders is not cheerleading but people like Tom Krattenmaker, Shannon Ryan, Margery Eagan and Nancy Armour who have the conceit — and meanness — to label these women demeaned.

I interviewed a former Atlanta Falcons cheerleader, Nina Ahlin (now Noa Hami), on my radio show. When she entered my studio, I was struck by how attractive she was 20 years after retiring from cheerleading, and by her modest dress. Regarding her dress, she explained that soon after retiring as a cheerleader, she met an Orthodox Jewish man, fell in love, converted to Orthodox Judaism and married.

Apparently, her religious husband, a successful businessman, didn't find this woman's cheerleading background "demeaning." On the contrary, like the vast majority of men — religious or secular — he was delighted to be dating and ultimately marrying an NFL cheerleader. Good thing he didn't go to Yale Divinity School.

It was clear that even now, as an Orthodox Jew who dresses in the long skirts and long sleeves, she doesn't find cheerleading demeaning: She sent me a photo of herself from her cheerleader days.

As she wrote to me: "I can't imagine my life without having the experience I did as an NFL cheerleader. It was literally life changing for me. The friendships I made, the places we were able to go and the people we were able to meet can't be duplicated. ... The thought of that being taken away from young girls who dream of one day becoming a pro cheerleader scares me!"

Why do leftists have contempt for cheerleading and cheerleaders (who, after all, choose to be cheerleaders — and for virtually no pay)?

A Vanity Fair piece on cheerleaders gave the game away: "The league profits from selling a retrograde notion of masculinity — big, strong men, unafraid to take a hit, surrounded by enthusiastic, scantily clad women."

Or as a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation article titled "Pro cheerleading 'should be abolished'" reported, former professional basketball player Mariah Burton Nelson said, "Cheerleading implies that women's proper role is to support men, smile at men and fulfill the sexual fantasies of males."

The left has contempt for masculinity and the male sexual nature that is part of it. The new emasculated man will not look at sexy women. And the new defeminized woman will not want to "support men," let alone appear sexy for them.

The left claims to be pro-choice. But it demands the abolition of NFL (and NBA) cheerleading without giving women a choice to be cheerleaders — just as it never gave Miss America participants a choice when it abolished the Miss America swimsuit competition. Leftists believe they are morally superior people and, therefore, have the right to deprive anyone — man or woman — from choosing what the left disdains. The only woman's choice the left cares about is the choice to extinguish nascent human life.

Even if you have no interest in football or cheerleading, this should be your issue. We have to tell the left here, as in virtually every other area of life, and in the most forceful terms possible: Just leave us alone. Let us live our lives with our small joys. And grow up — men like looking at women, and women like being looked at.

A world with NFL cheerleaders is far preferable to the world the left wants to create: a dystopia in which men and women are interchangeable.

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

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

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

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4 February, 2019

The Class Ceiling review – why it pays to be privileged

What affects whether you get promoted? Not just your ability, argue sociologists Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison



The review below is quite a perceptive account of the skills needed to fit in with the people at the top of British society.  More than a formal education is needed.  Lots of small stuff has to be known too. Most of the people concerned learned it at their "public" schools but if you did not go to one of those you just have to grit your teeth and learn it all if you really want to fit in. 

It can be done but it may not be easy.  You really may need to know who G.W.F. Hegel was -- to quote the example below.  I did during my time in England and I experienced no social barriers.  And above all, you have to acquire an acceptable accent. 

Something only hinted at below but which is of first-rate importance is self-confidence. The public schools do a remarkable job  of instilling self-confidence into their pupils so you need to have that too.  I did and do.

What the authors below wrongly deny is the role of ability. Ability may in fact be everything, even if education is not. Top people are generally bright -- so class manners and customs are largely the manners and customs that come naturally to high IQ people.  A lot of the class behavior is just high IQ behaviour.  So ability is much more important than it seems. If you are naturally in the high IQ category, the "right" reflexes and responses will largely come to you with little or no effort.  You will not have to grit your teeth at all to learn what you need to know.

That may all be deplorable but it is how the world is and there in no likelihood of it changing



Social mobility is not a myth, but meritocracy is a sham. It is possible, though difficult, to come from a working-class background and enter the elite professions, but, as sociologists Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison point out in this innovative study, you will find it harder to progress and you’ll earn less money, even when you have the same degree from the same university as someone with more privileged beginnings. On average, in fact, you’ll earn Ł7,000 a year less.

If you’re a black British woman with working-class origins, the “class pay gap” for those working in top jobs is an astonishing Ł20,000. If you’re a white upper middle-class man, the path to the top is as smooth as ever. But how does this happen? To adopt a phrase from Pierre Bourdieu, the French sociologist to whom the authors’ work is indebted – how does “social reproduction” at the top occur?

This is the first book to combine an analysis of earnings data from the large-scale Labour Force Survey with many of the findings from the Great British Class Survey, an online questionnaire hosted on the BBC website in 2011. Friedman and Laurison met while working on the latter survey. Both became convinced that objective data alone could not get to the bottom of why vast pay gaps persist between people of differing social positions, even when they are doing similar jobs.

In the case of the creative industries, being told that their employment practices are classist, racist and sexist would irritate and anger most senior staff, even when they implicitly accept the reality. Take their case study of one of the major TV companies, which they disguise as “6TV”, who, in the words of one self-employed – and underemployed – working-class actor, are “all these middle-class people making … working-class programme[s]”.

The creative industries’ diversity problem is obvious from the outset. It is partly about behaviour, an easy switch between the demotic and more rarefied. Senior commissioners at 6TV can put their boxfresh trainers up on the desk and swear freely, but only because they know how to do it at the right time and in the “right” context.

Friedman and Laurison’s interviews illustrate the power of “studied informality” – essentially the way in which working class ways of being have been ruthlessly appropriated by the upper middle-class as a way to make money and cachet from authenticity. 6TV’s commissioners pride themselves on programming that connects with “real people”, living “real lives” in ‘real places’. At the company’s gladiatorial commissioning meetings, where programme ideas get thrashed out, the most coveted skill is a kind of highbrow banter. You can proclaim, as one commissioner does, that “We’re talking about TV … it’s not Hegel!”, but you still have to know who Hegel is and to know how to get a laugh out of bringing up his name.

In other words, the authors highlight the multiplying effects of factors that privilege the already privileged. It’s not just that having rich parents makes your upbringing well resourced, which in turn makes you less risk-averse, secure in the knowledge that you have money to fall back on. It means being used to dinner settings with more than one fork. It means going to schools where the stock in trade is the cultivation not of passionate argument but of dispassionate debating skills – because none of it really matters, does it Boris? Wordplay, wit, highbrow references, and above all, the display of lightly worn intelligence deployed to raise a knowing chuckle, are the real currency of the professional elite.

Friedman and Laurison end their study with 10 suggestions for elite employers wishing to make their workplaces more representative of the society we live in. Perhaps the most significant of the 10 is the authors’ instruction to do away with the practice of senior staff informally identifying “favourites” and selecting them for promotion, as this tends to lend weight to interpersonal skills – would you go skiing with him or her? – over professional competency.

Reading The Class Ceiling hit home in so many places I felt bruised by the end. As the authors note in their conclusion, social mobility hurts, to the extent that it can sometimes feel that it outweighs the (hard-won) benefits. Earning less money than your more privileged colleagues, when you arguably need it more than they do, is only the final insult. In the words of the writer Annette Kuhn, quoted here, “class is something beneath your clothes, under your skin, in your reflexes, your psyche, at the very core of your being”. [In other words, it is high IQ]

SOURCE






How limericks became a police matter in Britain

Outside Muslim countries, Britain must now be one of the most intolerant societies on earth.  I have no intention of ever again going to Britain so maybe I can nail my colours to the mast:  I think transgender people are mentally ill -- and as a highly qualified psychologist I think I have some basis for saying that.  They should be treated kindly but should be encouraged to adapt to us rather than vice versa

After that, if ever I do step off the plane at Heathrow I may well be met by the British police. Free board and lodgings, I guess: Not to be sneezed at in London


Harry Miller, a docker from Humberside in northern England, was subjected to 34 minutes of questioning by police in order to ‘check [his] thinking’ on trans issues. A police officer said that 30 of Miller’s tweets had the potential to offend, but singled out an anti-trans limerick that Miller had retweeted. It opens with the following lines: ‘You’re a man. / Your breasts are made of silicone / Your vagina goes nowhere.’ While Miller’s retweet did not constitute a crime, it was recorded as a ‘non-crime hate incident’.

When Miller protested that he did not even write the offending limerick, the officer retorted that Miller ‘liked it and promoted it’. In other words, simply holding a particular view on a hugely contentious political issue, not even necessarily expressing it in your own words, is grounds for a police investigation. Helpfully, the police officer gave the official view that we should all adopt if we want to stay on the right side of the law. According to his training, ‘sometimes, a woman’s brain grows a man’s body in the womb and that is what transgender is’.

This will have a chilling effect on discussion of trans issues – Miller told the Telegraph that he has been inundated with messages from people saying they are ‘terrified’ of police action for expressing their views on the subject.

While the police’s latest foray into investigating thoughtcrime has angered many, Keith Hunter, Humberside’s police and crime commissioner, failed to understand what the fuss was about. This was a ‘reasonably proportionate response… following national guidance on such issues’, he tweeted.

Indeed, the scary thing is that there is nothing unique or unusual about the case of the trans limerick being treated as a ‘non-crime hate incident’. Occurrences such as a dog pooing on a neighbour’s lawn, a man saying he intended to campaign for Brexit and a speech on immigration by then home secretary Amber Rudd have all been recorded as hate incidents.

A non-crime hate incident is any incident or occurrence that is perceived to be motivated by hostility or prejudice by the victim or any other person. Perception, not proof, is the deciding factor. According to the College of Policing’s Hate Crime Operational Guidance, ‘the victim does not have to justify or provide evidence’ of their belief that the perpetrator acted in hostility or prejudice, and police officers ‘should not directly challenge this perception’. In other words, what constitutes a hate incident is totally subjective, but cannot be questioned once the allegation has been made.

Police recorded 94,098 hate incidents in the year 2017-18, a 17 per cent rise on the previous year and a record number. The figure rises every year as police forces actively encourage the reporting of non-crimes. Despite the often breathless media reports decrying a ‘rising tide of hate’ in post-Brexit Britain, the Home Office has cautioned that the rising figures should not be interpreted as a genuine increase in hateful acts. (Actual hate crimes, according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, an alternative to police-recorded statistics, have fallen by 40 per cent over the past decade.)

Some police chiefs have expressed frustration at being drawn into ‘petty squabbles over the remote control’, ‘the dispute in the playground’, and the ‘row on Facebook’. Nevertheless, the overall trend points towards more recording and monitoring of non-criminal incidents, and even an expansion of the police’s remit into perceived thoughtcrimes. A review by the Law Commission, commissioned by the government, recommends adopting a definition of hate crime and hate incidents that would include prejudice towards men, the elderly and even goths.

The way things are going, any interaction between people could potentially become a police matter, should a self-declared victim or a witness decide that something offensive happened. In Britain, in 2019, George Orwell’s thoughtcrime has arrived.

SOURCE





It isn’t TERFs who are bigoted – it’s their persecutors

TERF = trans-exclusionary radical feminist, feminists who think men cannot become women

The censorship of trans-sceptical views is the definition of bigotry.

Five years ago, if someone had told you it would soon become tantamount to a speechcrime to say ‘There are two genders’, you would have thought them mad.

Sure, we live in unforgivably politically correct times. Ours is an era in which the offence-taking mob regularly slams comedians for telling off-colour jokes, demands the expulsion from campus of speakers who might offend students’ sensibilities, and hollers ‘Islamophobe’, ‘homophobe’ or ‘transphobe’ at anyone who transgresses their moral code on anything from same-sex marriage to respecting Islam. (A phobia, we should always remind ourselves, is a mental malaise, a disturbance of the mind. How very Soviet Union to depict your opponents essentially as mentally diseased.)

And yet for all that, surely it would never become a risky business to utter the opinion: ‘There are men and women and that’s all.’ Well, that has now happened. It is now looked upon as hateful, sinful and phobic, of course, to express a view that has guided humanity for millennia: that humankind is divided into two sexes, and they are distinctive, and one cannot become the other.

Say that today in a university lecture room packed with right-on millennials and watch their faces contort with fury. Write it in a newspaper column or blog post and witness the swift formation of a virtual mob yelling for you to be fired. Say it on TV and there will be protests against you, petitions, demands that you and your foul, outdated ideology be denied the oxygen of televisual publicity.

Consider what happened with Graham Linehan. Last week, Linehan, the comedy writer behind Father Ted, The IT Crowd and Black Books, appeared on Prime Time, a current-affairs show on RTE in Ireland, to discuss the rising number of young people being diagnosed as transgender. And the trans lobby went berserk.

Like many people – most of whom understandably keep their concerns to themselves – Linehan is worried that telling kids they were born in the wrong body might screw them up rather than help them out. It is indeed worrying that growing numbers of young people are being told they are gender dysphoric and in some cases are being offered therapeutic and even medical intervention to stop them from proceeding in ‘the wrong gender’.

Some trans kids are being given puberty-blocking drugs that prevent them from developing normally. Young girls who are convinced they are boys are binding their breasts. Boys who might simply be exhibiting gay-like behaviour are increasingly likely to be told that maybe they are really girls and should perhaps have some kind of intervention. What happened to the old cry, ‘Gay is okay’?

It is perfectly natural – good, in fact – that some people have deep reservations about this strange new crisis of gender, this trend for diagnosing wrong-body syndrome among people who might just be confused about their sexuality or worried about puberty or unhappy in some other way.

Feminists, for example, are worried that the politics of transgenderism will allow male-born people to enter what were once considered female-only spaces and even to take certain roles and jobs away from women. In the UK feminists have set up groups like Woman’s Place to make the case against allowing people who were born male to ‘self-ID’ as women – that is, where the law would allow any man to identify as a woman and would put pressure on employers and institutions to recognise the validity of his (sorry, her) womanhood.

This will mean born-males getting on to all-women shortlists in the world of party politics, they argue. It will mean born-males waltzing into women’s toilets and changing rooms. And it will mean men in women’s prisons. It already does, in fact. Men who identify as women have been incarcerated with women, and it has had disastrous consequences in some cases. In 2017, Karen White – who was born Stephen Wood – was placed in the female prison of New Hall in West Yorkshire. Despite being a convicted paedophile, rapist and sexual assaulter of women. While at New Hall, White / Wood assaulted two female inmates.

It is right that people are asking questions about all of this. And it is wrong – wrong, censorious and dangerous – that trans activists and their numerous influential allies in the world of politics, the academy, the media and the celebrity set want to shut such questions down by rebranding them as a form of ‘hate speech’.

Indeed, in mentioning Karen White’s male name – Stephen Wood – I have committed a transphobic speechcrime. I have ‘deadnamed’ her, and this is apparently a wicked and maybe even criminal thing to do. Linehan was recently warned by police in the UK – by actual police – for, in the words of the Guardian, referring to a trans activist ‘as “he” and for “deadnaming” her by referring to her by names used before she transitioned’. This is the behaviour of a police state. When the police are punishing people for dissenting from the transgender narrative, you know we live in scarily intolerant times. Witness, too, the questioning of a man for the crime of liking a trans-sceptical limerick on Twitter.

This new intolerance was on full display in the Prime Time controversy. Dozens of protesters gathered outside RTE HQ in Dublin last Tuesday to demand that Linehan be ‘omitted’ from the episode that was being broadcast that evening. More than 6,000 people signed a petition demanding his exclusion from the show on the basis that ‘his hateful views have no place in our public discourse’. The activists took particular umbrage at the trailer for Prime Time, which featured Linehan saying: ‘You do not tell kids that they have been born into the wrong body, just as you don’t tell [people with anorexia] that they are fat.’

Omitted, excluded, expelled from public discourse – let’s be clear what these campaigners are calling for. They are demanding the erasure of views they disapprove of. They are calling for the silencing of voices they dislike. They can dress up their agitation in as many PC, progressive-sounding adjectives as they like, but the bottom line is that they are behaving like a McCarthyite mob. They want broadcasters to blacklist anyone who is trans-sceptical.

Don’t pretend that this is driven by a caring, loving, tolerant pro-trans worldview. Because to the rest of us it looks like the precise opposite. It looks like intolerance, in all its nastiness and ugliness, where morally transgressive individuals are denounced as a threat to public safety and are threatened with censorship and even police questioning. It doesn’t matter that Linehan himself is a frequently oafish public commentator who says needlessly offensive things to trans people and who doesn’t understand the crisis of free speech that he himself has become a victim of – witness his reactionary defence of the arrest of Count Dankula for making a jokey video showing a pug doing a Nazi salute. The fact is that even those who are intellectual oafs, offensive and clueless about the importance of liberty, should have their liberties defended.

The Linehan / RTE affair and the broader intolerance of any criticism of the new gender ideology should worry all of us. It should be everybody’s right to criticise the idea that there are 51 genders, or 76, or however many it is now. Everyone should be free to say ‘there are two genders’ or ‘sex cannot be changed’. It should not be a mob-worthy offence to say, ‘Trans women deserve the same rights and protections as everyone else but they are not real women’.

The irony of the new PC intolerance is that the enforcers of it always denounce people as bigots. You aren’t a big fan of Islam? You’re a bigot. You think marriage is for men and women? Huge bigot. You believe a man cannot truly become a woman? Outrageous bigot. And yet bigotry means something quite specific. In the words of the Oxford English Dictionary, bigotry is ‘intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself’. Today, far greater bigotry is displayed by the PC agitators for censorship than it is by the likes of Linehan. Their war on those who hold different opinions to theirs is the living, breathing definition of bigotry.

SOURCE




Australia: 'We are losing our sense of humour': I'm A Celebrity's Tahir Bilgic slams political correctness by saying 'people are offended over the slightest thing'

I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! star Tahir Bilgic, 48, has slammed political correctness, saying the country is losing its sense of humour.

The reality TV star, who is best known for his roles as Habib in comedy shows Fat Pizza and Housos, struck an impassioned tone when discussing the issue.

'We are losing our sense of humour, and the Australian sense of humour is part of the fabric that identifies us as a nation,' Tahir The Daily Telegraph on Saturday.

He continued: 'We were built on being laid-back, knockabout, "don't take life too seriously". But also smart enough to understand not to cross the line.'

The Street Smart actor went on to say that he thinks a small section of 'people offended over the slightest thing' seems to have the greatest impact.

Tahir said he thinks that it is affecting the stand-up comedy scene, and that the loss of humour in the general public has been shockingly stark.

Tahir claimed that shows with diverse casts, such as Channel Ten's Street Smart, appeared be the ones to get the most scrutiny.

In the past, the comedy actor has championed diversity, and he lauded his new show for that aspect.

'The thing with Street Smart, we have such a diverse group,' he told The Daily Telegraph in August.

'We have Vietnamese, Turk, Greek, Indian, Aboriginal, Asian - it is all there and [they're] all playing lead roles. It is incredible. It is a fruit salad.'

SOURCE 

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

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

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

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3 February, 2019

Measles Outbreak Spreads To New States Thanks To Anti-Vaccination Campaigns

Anti-vaxxers should be hanged.  They kill babies by destroying herd immunity

The state of Washington has declared an emergency of an outbreak of measles and now it appears the disease is spreading to several other states as well. From ABC News:

Health officials in Georgia, Hawaii and Oregon have now reported that there have been at least one — if not multiple — confirmed cases of measles in their states.

This comes amid an outbreak in Clark County, Washington, where there have been 38 confirmed cases of measles and 13 suspected cases.

The presence of the highly-contagious disease in other states is prompting warning calls.

This active cluster comes on the heels of 187 confirmed cases of measles in New York State this winter clustered in New York City and Rockland County in unvaccinated communities.

The spread of the disease to Hawaii has been connected to the Washington state outbreak. So far, a connection to Georgia remains uncertain. In that state three members of one family have the disease but the point of origin remains unclear. What all of the people coming down with the disease do have in common is that they were not vaccinated.

“These outbreaks are due to the anti-vaccine movement,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, told CBSN AM.

He stressed that the vaccine has been scientifically proven over many years to be safe and effective in preventing measles. However, some parents still refuse to vaccinate their kids.

Abigail Eckhart is one of them. She is refusing to vaccinate her youngest son because she said her middle child suffered severe reactions.

“If I could go back, I wouldn’t have vaccinated any of my kids,” Eckhart said.

I don’t think there are any good reasons not to vaccinate your kids but I guess someone could make an argument for not allowing the government to require you to do so. The problem is that vaccination only works so long as a high percentage of kids are vaccinated (“herd immunity”).

If not, the disease could spread and potentially even infect some kids who have been vaccinated as well as those who haven’t. Most people survive this disease but it is serious and can result in hospitalization or death. So long as parents are sending their kids to public schools, they have an interest in making sure those schools are safe.

SOURCE






Gov.‘Northam’s Abortion Comments Were Barbaric,’ the Rationalization of a ‘Twisted Mindset’

Republican House Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has condemned Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s description of how a post-birth abortion would take place under his abortion bill, calling Northam’s comments “barbaric.”

On Thursday, Rep. McCarthy tweeted that he couldn’t even imagine the kind of “twisted mindset” that would rationalize Northam’s vision for abortion in his state:

“Ralph Northam’s comments were barbaric. I cannot begin to fathom the twisted mindset that rationalizes the killing of the innocent — born or unborn. #ProLife”

On Wednesday, Gov. Northam said that, under a bill he supports, a baby born alive could be “kept comfortable” and then “resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired” – the implication being that the baby could be left to die if the family decided they did not want to keep their child.

SOURCE







Tony Perkins: Where Are the Self-Proclaimed 'Human Rights Advocates' When It Comes to Late-Term Abortions

For 40 years, America has had one of the most extreme abortion laws on the planet. Babies in the womb -- boys and girls, unwanted by their families, rejected as members of the human family, have been deprived of their human rights and legal protection until the moment of birth, thanks to the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973. But rarely has there been the collective outrage we now see against the New York legislature and its governor, Andrew Cuomo.

What has awakened the outrage? Certainly the terms of the law itself are sick and horrific. A medical license or a medical degree is no longer needed to conduct an invasive procedure on a woman to kill her baby at any time up until birth. The would be abortionist need only claim that killing the baby will further the mother's “health.”

“Health” is not defined, on purpose. In 1973 the Supreme Court defined late-term “health” abortions as abortions that further the “emotional, psychological, or familial” well-being of a woman. But the media have lied about this brutal reality ever since. A day after the Roe ruling, the headline in The New York Times read: “High Court Rules Abortions Legal the First 3 Months.” The original Fake News.

But last week, Cuomo didn't lie about it, and the media didn't hide it. We are in a new abortion era, where leftists “shout their abortions” and Democrat governors order light displays to celebrate the death of innocents.

It's almost as if realities which for years have been concealed behind Soviet-style propaganda are now being revealed for all to see -- and many are rightly outraged, especially as science and technology has been steadily moving the nation away from abortion on demand toward embracing the life in the womb. For as Dr. Ingrid Skop, an experienced obstetrician-gynecologist, explains in a new video series for FRC, it is a myth to claim that abortion does not destroy a human life. Basic science tells us that a life is in the womb. Abortion is killing these babies, and NY's extreme abortion law only makes it worse. Dr. Skop lays this and other lies bare in this new video series and publication, available here.

Where are the self-proclaimed “human rights advocates” in all this? It is almost as if the womb which hides the baby from daylight also hides him or her from the advocates for the vulnerable. When a baby that can survive outside the womb is being killed inside of it simply because we can rationalize the killing, this is a human rights violation of the first order.

Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights both protect the “right to life.” The latter, which is a binding treaty, describes the protection as one's "inherent right to life," which amazingly, has still been distorted by abortion advocates to deprive the baby in the womb of human rights. Yet the right to life is right there in the text, and the nations agreeing to this treaty would have reasonably expected to be bound to protect all life, not some twisted pro-abortion interpretation of the treaty.

The United Nations -- seated in the very city where this killing is now being celebrated -- pays attention to extrajudicial killings, disappearances of journalists and others by governments, and matters like the current election-related violence in Venezuela. If it can concern itself with all these things, how can the UN so blatantly ignore this violence that is being perpetrated in wombs just down the street?

Polls have shown for years that most Americans believe in common sense restrictions on abortion, including gestational limits. Even those who self-identify as “pro-choice” believe in such restrictions. We are not divided down the middle about abortion as a nation -- that's an illusion, based on confusion about the law that the abortion lobby propagates.

No doubt the self-described progressives who have just embraced savagery are preparing for that day when the Supreme Court returns abortion policymaking to the people. Cuomo and his fellow politicians in New York want to be prepared so that they do not miss even one killing day.

Pro-lifers need to prepare for that day, too. We should pick up the phone and call our representatives, today, and ask them: Do you agree with Governor Cuomo or not? We must ensure that we never vote for a candidate or politician who will support the continued killing of unborn children. Facilitating ending the lives of unborn babies should be a career-ending move.

SOURCE







The media sold off its own temple last week and no one noticed

A decade ago, a 643,000 square foot shrine to the media went up off the Washington Mall. The media funded organization behind it boasted that its Great Hall of News atrium was taller than the Sistine Chapel. The pseudo-religious metaphor continued with 50 tons of Tennessee marble being used to “create the First Amendment tablet on the building’s Pennsylvania Avenue façade”.

The thousands of artifacts included a 3,262 year old cuneiform brick from ancient Sumeria and a 2,756 year old statue of the Egyptian god Thoth, the mythical inventor of writing, worshiped by the media.

Last week, the $450 million temple constructed by the media to worship itself was sold off for $372 million to Johns Hopkins. There’s no word on whether they threw in the statue of their fallen god.

The fall of the media temple comes just as the media is on the defensive after fallout from a fake news hate campaign targeting a 16-year-old boy based on an out of context video clip. And the only thing that the media can say in defense of its lies about Covington Catholic is that it got them from social media.

That’s also its epitaph. The media doesn’t make the news. It’s just the noisiest part of the echo chamber, amplifying messages from lefty politicians from above and lefty social media trends from below.

The media temple was a project of the Freedom Foundation. The Foundation was backed by media giants like the New York Times, Bloomberg, Comcast, ABC, NBC and Time Warner. And much of the cash came from the Gannett media titan. In 1999, it commanded over $1 billion. By 2001, it was down to $700 million. Blowing through $450 million on a temple, complete with idol, couldn’t have helped.

The original Newseum had cost $50 million and offered free admission. The new Newseum was pure media hubris, stuck between the Capitol and White House as if it were another branch of government.

With a plethora of better museums to choose from, tourists to Washington D.C. weren’t interested in $24.95 tickets to see a news chopper suspended in the New York Times Ochs Sulzberger Great Hall’s atrium (taller than the Sistine Chapel). In desperation, the fake news museum even began selling a t-shirt carrying President Trump’s “You Are Very Fake News” taunt. Unlike most of its merchandise, the shirts were popular, but media protests soon put an end to the only popular thing about the Newseum.

And nobody was buying the Newseum’s t-shirts of Thoth; the dead idol of a dying industry.

Around the same time that the Newseum was selling its temple to the pagans of a useful profession, Gannett, which had once funded it, announced the layoff of as many as 400 employees.

The bloodshed is just beginning at the mammoth publisher responsible for USA Today and a massive portfolio of papers coast to coast, from the Detroit Free Press to the Arizona Republic to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. (If you visit a local paper and its site looks like the USA Today site, it’s a Gannett paper.)

Gannett money had poured into the media temple in happier times. Its finances have been troubled this year. And now it’s in a bloody war with Tribune, another newspaper giant, and the winner of the hostile takeover campaigns will consolidate by cutting jobs and putting more Thoth worshipers out of work.

It’s been a cold winter for the media. The Huffington Post was hit with major layoffs after its corporate parent, Verizon, grew tired of subsidizing Arianna’s vanity lefty project. The casualties decimated HuffPo’s opinion section and filled social media with unintentionally hilarious tweets by ‘journalists’ specializing in gender politics, poverty inequality and culture looking for work.

BuzzFeed, fresh off its recent Trump fake news scandal, announced 15% layoffs. The casualties included the fake news site’s national news team and national security team. Lefty site Mic had already imploded. Bustle’s attempted relaunch of Gawker collapsed with a slew of resignations. The Forward fired its editor and dumped 40% of its staff after $5 million in losses.

And that’s just the very recent bad news for the news. The full list of bad news in just the last year, never mind the last decade, would take more space to tell than even the Newseum could accommodate.

If the media falls with no one to report it, does it make a sound?

The big news here is that the media is dying. And in its desperation, its members are seeking survival strategies. Reporters are unionizing at an unprecedented pace in a futile effort at surviving the rounds of consolidations and layoffs. That strategy didn’t save anyone at Gawker, Al Jazeera America or the Huffington Post. Unions can’t save a bad business model that takes entire companies down with it.

And you can understand why someone who claims to be a “columnist with 10 years of writing about gender politics (and a literal PhD in romantic comedies)” seeking work after the latest layoffs would want the protection of a union.

Or the idol of a dead civilization.

Trump’s big win touched off a media gold rush. But radical partisanship left too many media outlets chasing too few anti-Trump eyeballs after having alienated everyone else. Some like the Washington Post and the New York Times have been more successful at it than others because of their role as brokers between their insider contacts and their insider audiences. Outsiders like BuzzFeed, who don’t have their own people inside the Mueller coup team, were left to make up even more dubious stuff.

The last desperate strategy of the media is blackmailing the big dot coms for operating income. Amazon’s boss is behind the Washington Post. And Google and Facebook are pouring in hundreds of millions of dollars into the media. But while that might have been enough to keep the Newseum afloat, it’s not nearly enough to maintain the media as anything more than a boutique operation.

The media declared a fake news crisis and demanded that Facebook and Google prioritize their traffic. As a piece at Columbia Journalism Review argued, "the one thing journalism actually needs: a guarantee that the conditions on the platform will benefit those producing high-quality reporting."

Google and Facebook have already privileged media content and censored conservative media, even though that’s not what their users have signed up for. But that makes the media dependent on the business model of a handful of internet monopolies already being targeted by the GOP and the Dems. And the same disruptive trends that wrecked the media’s old business models will wreck its new one.

The media has never addressed the fundamental problem with its business model. It wants a monopoly on the marketplace of ideas even as its own positions drift further leftward. It has tried to outgrow that problem by becoming a bigger monopoly, but the internet limited the extent to which its old infrastructure investments could monopolize the public square, leaving its expensive investments in broadcasting and printing equipment as useless as the massive square footage of the Newseum.

And when that failed, the media swung fully leftward, becoming the messaging arm of the most radical elements in the country, while campaigning vigorously for the censorship of social media “fake news”.

But its new masters rightly view it with contempt.

“They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo,” Ben Rhodes once sneered to the New York Times. “Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

The Obama adviser wasn’t wrong.

It doesn’t take much skill to repeat talking points. Or to edit an article that a Fusion GPS hack or one of his many counterparts had already assembled for you behind the scenes.

The dedication of the Newseum in 2008 also marked the death of journalism. That was the year when the media tossed aside any appearance of independence and officially joined a political campaign. A decade later, journalism may be occasionally practiced on the sly, but it doesn’t exist as a profession.

Politicians, never mind PR hacks like Rhodes, once respected and feared journalists. Then they became the unpaid ideological errand boys and girls for Rhodes and his bosses. When lefty politicos and activists whistled, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the rest of the media asked, “How high?”

Readers, listeners and viewers used to be the media’s customer base. The man on the street who paid fifty cents for the paper was the audience all those thousands of reporters were serving. Now the media serves a dizzying assortment of lefty special interests, spinning their stories and doing their PR.

And then the media acts outraged when the public won’t pay it or share its stories on social media.

The Newseum white elephant at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue isn’t just narcissistic idolatry, it celebrates an idea of journalism that doesn’t exist. Journalism now is a bunch of millennial social justice activists playing dress-up. They’re not a profession or an industry. They don’t report. They don’t know anything. And they don’t serve the public. It’s not our fault that the people they really work for, won’t pay them.

Journalism is as extinct as the worshipers of Thoth and the Newseum. The media sold off its temple last week, but long before that its hacks and flacks had sold their soul.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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1 February, 2019

Plastic fibres that pollute our oceans, factories using toxic chemicals, clothes that never decompose: Devotees think they’re saving the planet but we reveal the guilty secret about vegan fashion

Head along the High Street and it’s hard to miss the biggest trend of the year. From Greggs’ sausage-less sausage rolls to McDonald’s meat-free Happy Meals, veganism is going mainstream.

But it’s not just confined to what we eat. According to the Vegan Society, veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals — not just for food but for clothing and any other purpose as well. Tapping into that market, earlier this month, Marks & Spencer announced it was launching a range of vegan shoes featuring 350 styles for men, women and children.

Billed as ‘guilt-free’ purchases, they include everything from tasselled loafers to stilettos.

And the company is far from being alone in responding to the growing demand for animal-friendly fashion.

Fashion giant ASOS has banned suppliers from using animal-derived materials including mohair, silk and fur. Next month will see the first ever Vegan Fashion Week in Los Angeles — and even the Duchess of Sussex, has spoken of her penchant for vegan ‘leather’ trousers.

All well and good in theory, but how ‘guilt free’ are the vegan materials being used in place of traditional, animal-sourced ones?

Take fake fur, for example. Last month, the head of a parliamentary inquiry into the fashion industry called for it to be relabelled ‘plastic fur’ to make consumers aware of what they are buying.

‘A lot of big retailers and brands have removed animal fur from their products but simply replaced it with plastics,’ said Mary Creagh, chairwoman of the Commons environmental audit committee.

Made from fossil fuels, not only will fake fur never biodegrade, but it is made of polyester, a plastic-based fabric also commonly used to make fleeces.

Washing the material loosens plastic microfibres, which end up in the world’s oceans.

The tiny fibres — thinner than a human hair — are then eaten by plankton and shellfish and can ultimately be consumed by humans.

And what about those vegan shoes? Sure, they may contain no leather, but a spokesperson for M&S reveals they are made from a mixture of ‘synthetic materials’ including polyurethane and polyester. In other words, more plastic.

The company says ‘all M&S shoes are designed to last’ and points out that its vegan range contains a ‘proportion’ of recycled materials.

The company added: ‘We encourage our customers to give their footwear a second life through our recycling scheme, Shwopping, which has seen us recycle 30 million items to date.’

There are similar issues with materials used to replace wool. Most of the mainstream replacements are plastic-based, such as acrylic and polyester.

As for silk — a no-go fabric for vegans because it involves killing silk worms — the cocktail of chemicals used to manufacture rayon, a common alternative, is so toxic it has been blamed for poisoning workers and wiping out waterways globally.

All of which is why some experts are warning consumers not to assume they are saving the planet simply by buying a vegan item of clothing.

‘While vegan shoes, clothing and fabrics sound great we mustn’t confuse vegan with always being environmentally-friendly or even people-friendly,’ says Rachelle Strauss, environmental campaigner and founder of the annual awareness campaign Zero Waste Week.

‘The danger comes if “vegan” is used as a way to sell more fast, cheap fashion. If that happens then there will be a cost further down the line, whether it’s cheap labour or the use of cheap plastics that are likely, at some point in the manufacturing process, to use toxic chemicals.

‘The way these items are made, and what they are made from, is crucial. If it’s wrong to kill animals for leather, then we have to look at the wider picture.

‘Isn’t it also wrong to kill fish, birds and other creatures with the pollution caused in the manufacture of these synthetic materials, and the fact that once worn and discarded they will never biodegrade?’

An estimated Ł140 million-worth (around 350,000 tonnes) of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year, with more than half of it made from plastic-based fabrics.

Vegans don't wear fur because they believe often times animals are treated cruelly and exploited, however alternative fabrics used for faux fur never biodegrade    +11
Vegans don't wear fur because they believe often times animals are treated cruelly and exploited, however alternative fabrics used for faux fur never biodegrade

The scourge of plastic pollution prompted the Daily Mail’s Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign, which has been instrumental in dramatically cutting the use of plastic shopping bags.

This year, we have joined forces with Keep Britain Tidy to launch The Great British Spring Clean, urging voluntary litter picks. Discarded, non-biodegradable clothing is sure to be among the detritus recovered.

Proponents of vegan alternatives insist that while some of these materials may have shortcomings, they are ‘less bad’ than animal-derived items.

‘There are consequences to all actions that can cause harm to the environment or to animals,’ says Dominika Piasecka, spokesperson for The Vegan Society.

‘However, we are trying to minimise the harm to both and choosing to buy vegan things often results in the least harm caused. We acknowledge that there will be some environmental consequences of buying things like plastic but we encourage people in their purchases to go for the least harmful option.’

So are fur and leather really worse for the environment?

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition — a global collective of environmentally minded fashion brands — uses a measure called the Higg Materials Sustainability Index. It scores textiles based on the amounts of energy, water and chemicals that go into their production, and the pollution and greenhouse gases that result. A higher score, means the material is worse for the environment.

According to the index, cow leather, for example, is worse than synthetic polyurethane leather, since it scores 161 versus 59. This is because leather comes from an animal which requires large amounts of energy to produce the feed it eats, while emitting climate-warming methane gases and polluting effluents. By contrast, petroleum-based products such as polyester, acrylic, nylon and polyurethane fare much better.

However, critics say the index doesn’t consider how consumers use clothes, or what happens to them when they are discarded.

A woollen coat, for example, is likely to be worn for longer than a synthetic one and, during its lifetime, will not leach plastic microfibres into the ocean.

The hope is that future materials will solve these problems. Already, innovations are seeing ‘leathers’ made from pineapple leaves and mushrooms, and artificial silk grown in the laboratory.

SOURCE






The Demonizing of White Men

Rush Limbaugh’s December 2019 “Limbaugh Letter” has an article titled “Demonizing White Men.” It highlights—with actual quotations from people in the media, academia, and the political and entertainment arenas—the attack on white men as a class.

You can decide whether these statements are decent, moral, or even sensible. Should we support their visions?

Don Lemon, a CNN anchorman, said, “We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them.”

Steven Clifford, former King Broadcasting CEO, said, “I will be leading a great movement to prohibit straight white males, who I believe supported Donald Trump by about 85 percent, from exercising the franchise [to vote], and I think that will save our democracy.”

Teen Vogue, a magazine targeting teenage girls, wrote, “Not only is white male terrorism as dangerous as Islamic extremism, but our collective safety rests in rooting out the source of their radicalization.”

Economist Paul Krugman, a New York Times columnist, wrote a column titled “The Angry White Male Caucus,” in which he explained, “Trumpism is all about the fear of losing traditional privilege.”

There have been similar despicable statements made by academics.

James Livingston, a Rutgers history professor: “OK, officially, I now hate white people. … I hereby resign from my race. F— these people.”

Stacey Patton, a Morgan State University professor: “There is nothing more dangerous in the United States than a white man who has expected to succeed and finds himself falling behind.”

Stony Brook University sociology professor Michael Kimmel explained, “White men’s anger comes from the potent fusion of two sentiments: entitlement and a sense of victimization.”

Then there’s the political arena.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: “There’s no question that in Georgia and in Florida racism has reared its ugly head. And you have candidates who ran against [Andrew] Gillum and ran against Stacey Abrams who were racist. … And that is an outrage.”

Michael Avenatti, criticizing the GOP senators during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings: “These old white men still don’t understand that assault victims and women deserve respect and to be heard.”

“What troubles me is … they’re all white men,” commented former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm regarding GOP senators questioning Christine Blasey Ford at the Kavanaugh hearings.

William Falk, editor-in-chief of The Week, said, “There’s something odd about the overwhelming white maleness of Washington’s current leadership.”

Not to be outdone, entertainers have hopped on the demonizing-white-men bandwagon.

Joy Behar, talking on ABC’s “The View” about senators supporting Kavanaugh, said: “These white men—old, by the way—are not protecting women. They’re protecting a man who is probably guilty.”

Actress Gabourey Sidibe, also on “The View,” said: “Older white men are a problem, y’all, for everyone. We’re all at risk.”

Moira Donegan wrote an article for The Guardian titled “Half of White Women Continue to Vote Republican. What’s Wrong With Them?”

Renee Graham wrote a column in The Boston Globe that counseled, “Memo to black men: Stop voting Republican.”

Comedian Chelsea Handler tweeted, “Just a friendly reminder for the weekend: No white after Labor Day, and no old, white racist men after the midterms. Get out and vote.”

That is just a partial list of statements that would be viewed and condemned as racist simply by replacing “white men” with “black men,” “Mexican men,” or “Asian men.” You can bet the rent money that university presidents and media executives would sanction any of their employees for making similar broad, sweeping statements about nonwhite men.

Suppose a white anchorman said, “Black people are the greatest murder threat in this country.” I guarantee you that he’d be shown the door.

There are only two ways to explain the silence by people who should know better. Either they agree with the sentiments expressed or they are out-and-out cowards.

Decent American people ought to soundly reject and condemn this brazen attack on white men. I think that the attack is on masculinity itself and that white men are a convenient scapegoat —for now.

SOURCE






BBC should boycott Eurovision in Israel, say Nazi entertainers

Celebrities including designer Vivienne Westwood, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters and 2019 Mercury Prize-winning band Wolf Alice have called on the BBC not to support the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Israel this year.

"Eurovision may be light entertainment, but it is not exempt from human rights considerations – and we cannot ignore Israel’s systematic violation of Palestinian human rights," they write, in an open letter also signed by singer and Womad Festival founder Peter Gabriel, author AL Kennedy, actresses Miriam Margolyes and Maxine Peake, and film directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach.

The contest is traditionally held in the latest winner's home country. Last year's winner, Israeli singer Netta, ended her acceptance speech by saying "next time in Jerusalem!" In September, however, it was announced that Tel Aviv had been chosen to host the contest.

The letter, published today in the Guardian, states: "The European Broadcasting Union [EBU] chose Tel Aviv as the venue over occupied Jerusalem – but this does nothing to protect Palestinians from land theft, evictions, shootings, beatings and more by Israel’s security forces."

The EBU's Jon Ola Sand, who runs the contest, has defended the choice of city. "We cannot permit the contest to be politicized," he told Israeli newspaper Haaretz in November. "We were very clear about that. It seems that now everyone understands that Tel Aviv was a good choice.

"Jerusalem hosted the event twice before [in Jerusalem in 1979 and 1999] and in Tel Aviv, which has proven itself in hosting diverse cultural events, it will be much easier to deal with the issue of Shabbat."

The letter pushes the BBC to act ahead of its "You Decide" contest to choose the UK's Eurovision entry, which takes place on February 8: "The BBC should consider that 'You Decide' is not a principle extended to the Palestinians, who cannot decide to remove Israel’s military occupation and live free of apartheid [...] The BBC is bound by its charter to 'champion freedom of expression'. It should act on its principles and press for Eurovision to be relocated to a country where crimes against that freedom are not being committed."

RTÉ, Ireland's equivalent of the BBC, has already said it will allow its employees to refuse to travel to Israel to cover Eurovision. According to a statement released by the broadcaster in September, there “will not be any sanction against anyone from within RTÉ who doesn’t wish travel on conscientious grounds”.

SOURCE






Australia: McDonald's employee who broke her leg after climbing on to the roof for a smoko wins compensation payout under a bizarre law EVERY worker should know

This is absurd.  She may have been in the timeframe that counts as employed but it was her own responsibility to climb onto the roof.  How can the company be blamed for that?

A McDonald's employee who broke her leg while climbing on to the store roof for a pre-shift smoko will receive worker's compensation.

The Industrial Court of Queensland ruled Mandep Sarkaria was entitled to a payout because her employer's policy required her to arrive for work 10 minutes before her shift started at McDonald's Richlands on Brisbane's outskirts.

It is a stunning decision after two previous attempts for compensation failed and will have ramifications for workers in all industries who are required to be at work early.

The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission dismissed her initial appeal after WorkCover rejected her first compensation claim.

Her claim was dismissed because Ms Sarkaria had not established she had been 'temporarily absent from her place of employment' or that she was on an ordinary recess at the time of her injury, according to court documents.

Ms Sarkaria hasn't worked since November 2016 when she climbed a three metre ladder to access the roof to smoke a cigarette before she fell and broke her right leg when climbing down, according to court documents.

Ms Sarkaria's latest claim for compensation was accepted by the Industrial Court of Queensland despite the rooftop not being a designated smoking area for staff and a sign on the ladder at the time warning against staff going on to the rooftop.

Justice Glenn Martin ruled that Ms Sarkaria was injured during the time she was required to be at work.

'Although none of the employees at the restaurant would serve a customer, or cook food, or lift a mop from the time they arrived until their shift commenced they had, in my view, commenced work,' Justice Martin ruled.

'Their presence at the place of employment at a fixed time before their shift commenced meant that the people they were replacing could leave in a timely way at the end of their shift and there would be no disruption to the efficient conduct of the enterprise.'

He added that in Ms Sarkaria's case, the period of time during which an employee was required to attend work before a shift commenced should properly be regarded as an 'ordinary recess'.

The compensation amount is yet to be determined.

Candice Heisler from Quinn & Scattini told The Courier-Mail the ruling demonstrated to workers that  they were entitled to make a claim for for an injury sustained before or after work if required to be there at a specific time.

SOURCE 

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

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

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

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HOME (Index page)

BIO for John Ray






(Isaiah 62:1)


A 19th century Democrat political poster below:








Leftist tolerance



Bloomberg



JFK knew Leftist dogmatism



-- Geert Wilders



The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog



A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?


Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair



Enough said


Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.



There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though


What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so


Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.


Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners


Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.


The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole


Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males


Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations


Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

Bible references on homosexuality: Jude 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Leviticus 18:32; Leviticus 20:13


I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.


I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass


Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies


The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"


Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"


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


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


So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”


Children are the best thing in life. See also here.


Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."


Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".


One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.


It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.


A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."


Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).


The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin


"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


RELIGION:

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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To be continued ....
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