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 permanent 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.

The picture below is worth more than a 1,000 words ...... Better than long speeches. It shows some Middle-Eastern people walking to reach their final objective,to live in a European country, or migrate to America.

In the photo, there are 7 men and 1 woman.up to this point – nothing special. But in observing a bit closer, you will notice that the woman has bare feet,accompanied by 3 children, and of the 3, she is carrying 2.There is the problem,none of the men are helping her,because in their culture the woman represents nothing.She is only good to be a slave to the men. Do you really believe that these particular individuals could integrate into our societies and countries and respect our customs and traditions ????


28 February, 2020

Parents Organize to Fight Back against authoritarian "welfare" organizations
Brian was a 15-year-old big man on campus. Good-looking and witty, he had a way with the girls, and the guys thought he was fun too.

But Brian’s party spirit included consuming lots of alcohol. Soon he was smoking pot, and then even that was not enough. In a few months he was not only using hard drugs but selling them, too.

For a while he was able to maintain his charm and respectful attitude at home. Inevitably, his personality and health quickly plummeted along with his school attendance and grades.

Thankfully, his parents finally recognized the problem before it was too late and enrolled Brian in a private residential drug-rehab clinic.

The reality that Brian had become a secret addict under their noses crushed his mom and dad. They felt guilty, helpless, and heartbroken.

On their knees before God, they pledged to do everything possible to help their son and committed to change their lives so they could be a bigger part of his.

When they called the clinic to arrange a meeting and seek reconciliation with their beloved boy, they were told that they could have no contact.

As a physician, Brian’s dad asked to review the medical records and speak to the doctor so he might understand the treatment. He was flatly turned down.

Why the secrecy? Brian’s father was told that the law forbids parental access to Brian’s medical information without his consent. And Brian — detoxing, embarrassed, and angry at the world — would not consent.

Since the state laws extended to every rehab center and Brian’s life was in jeopardy from drug abuse, there was no choice but to allow Brian to complete the program. Without his parents’ help, it took far too long for Brian to get well. He and his parents still despise the laws that kept them apart during a vulnerable and painful period.

The law far too often gets between parents and their children. Increasingly, just when kids need their parents the most, moms and dads discover that the state has taken their place; that the government has determined that immature children, often in trouble because of bad choices, are wiser than their parents.

A nonpartisan group of parents is fighting back. Led by Deborah Flora, Parents United America seeks to restore parental authority in every area of a child’s life.

“The biggest argument against parental rights is that the state needs to protect children from potentially abusive parents,” Ms. Flora said. “However, we have laws in place to deal with abuse. The state should never try to usurp the rights of the vast majority of parents who work tirelessly to provide a home and a future for their children. Yet that is what we are seeing from multiple fronts in our society.”

Ms. Flora points to several frightening examples of how the government is quickly becoming not just a nanny state — not just a bully of a big brother — but a god-like, all-encroaching force set on destroying the family unit. Consider:

A six-year-old girl in Texas was committed to a mental-health facility without parental consent.

State legislators in Washington are attempting to require mandatory sex ed for kindergartners even though 54% of the community is against it.

When parents of a five-month-old boy sought medical care for a broken bone, he was forcibly taken from his parents by Colorado by Child Protective Services and placed in foster care without due process. It turns out that the baby wasn’t abused but suffered from a bone disease.

In many states, parents of children as young as 12 are denied access to their medical records without the child’s consent.

Wisconsin parents are suing the Madison Metropolitan School District over a new policy that allows children of any age to change their gender identity at school without their parents knowledge.

You probably have your own horror stories. To share them, join hands and hearts with other loving parents — and get help to fight back — by logging on to www.parentsunitedamerica.org.

Ms. Flora told me, “Most parents want what is best for the children. The question is, who gets to decide? Remote bureaucrats who don’t know the individual needs and unique personalities of each child? Or the parent who knows their children intimately, who understand what brings them joy and what keeps them up at night? This radical shift is only happening because many parents are either unaware or bullied into silence.”

"Numerous studies in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that the key factor in helping children flourish is parental engagement,“ Ms. Flora continued. "Anyone who truly cares about the well-being of children will fight for increased parental engagement, not take a radical stance to exclude them. Parents United America connects, informs, and empowers parents by joining our voices. When united, parents will become an unstoppable force that can no longer be ignored by administrators, bureaucrats, or politicians.”


Supreme Court Strikes Down Orwellian Government Attempt to Redefine the Catholic Church in Puerto Rico

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a horrifying Orwellian court ruling that told the Catholic Church in Puerto Rico that it could not define itself as an organization. Puerto Rico's Supreme Court had ruled that individual Catholic churches and schools do not exist as independent legal entities, holding them jointly liable for claims against the "Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church in Puerto Rico."

In a unanimous decision in Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Juan, Puerto Rico v. Yali Acevedo Feliciano, et al. (2020), the Court struck down the previous ruling on technical grounds of jurisdiction that had nothing to do with the Puerto Rico court's extensive violation of the Catholic Church's religious freedom to define its own structure. However, Justice Samuel Alito wrote a concurring opinion insisting that the underlying religious freedom issue is important and may need to be reconsidered.

"Our clients are pleased that the court vacated the Puerto Rico court’s ruling that jeopardized their ability to operate without government interference," Lea Patterson, Counsel to First Liberty Institute, which represented two Catholic schools in the case, said in a statement. "If a court can dictate a church’s operating structure, it’s only a matter of time until government tells churches what they can believe. The Supreme Court’s decision is an important step towards protecting religious liberty in Puerto Rico."

The case dates back to 2016 when former employees of various Catholic schools brought suit against a number of Catholic entities, including the two schools in question. The Puerto Rico Supreme Court upheld a lower court's decision finding that individual Catholic churches and schools don't exist as independent legal entities but rather holding them jointly liable for claims against the "Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church in Puerto Rico," an entity that does not exist. The true organization unit is the Archdiocese of San Juan.

In its brief to the Supreme Court, First Liberty argued, "By assigning legal personality to an entity that does not exist within the Catholic Church’s polity while dissolving the legal personalities of entities that do exist within that structure, the decision below destroys the hierarchical polity governing Catholic churches and other Catholic entities throughout Puerto Rico."

The Supreme Court struck down the ruling on jurisdiction grounds, remanding the decision back to lower courts. Yet Justices Thomas and Alito argued that "As the Solicitor General notes, the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment at a minimum demands that all jurisdictions use neutral rules in determining whether particular entities that are associated in some way with a religious body may be held responsible for debts incurred by other associated entities."

They raised important questions that "may well merit our review": "(1) the degree to which the First Amendment permits civil authorities to question a religious body’s own understanding of its structure and the relationship between associated entities and (2) whether, and if so to what degree, the First Amendment places limits on rules on civil liability that seriously threaten the right of Americans to the free exercise of religion as members of a religious body."

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian law firm responsible for many Supreme Court victories, filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the Catholic schools.

"The U.S. Constitution protects every American’s right to exercise religious freedom, and central to that freedom is a church’s ability to decide its own structure without civil government intrusion," ADF Vice President of Appellate Advocacy and Senior Counsel John Bursch said in a statement. "The U.S. Supreme Court properly vacated the Puerto Rico courts’ ill-advised attempt at church governance by deciding for themselves what constitutes ‘the Catholic Church’ in Puerto Rico."

"Our country has an admirable history of restraining the government’s impulse to police and micromanage communities of faith, and we are confident that the Puerto Rico courts will now abide by this vital constitutional principle, which ADF highlighted in its friend-of-the-court brief and Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas echoed in their concurrence to the high court’s order," Bursch concluded.

Churches and religious organizations must have the freedom to define themselves as they see fit. Intrusions into this liberty are a serious injustice, as Luke Goodrich explains in his book Free to Believe: the Battle Over Religious Freedom in America.


Abortion Debate Shows How Media Deploys Language Gymnastics to Serve Left-Wing Goals

“Pregnancy Kills. Abortion Saves Lives.”

That was the headline on an absurd opinion article in The New York Times, deploying Orwellian language to turn the abortion debate on pro-lifers and comfort those who support abortion on demand.

The media, cleverly and often subtly, use rhetorical adjustments to reinforce left-wing ideas under the guise of objectivity.

It’s not just on the abortion issue that the media kowtow to the left in the terminology they use in charged public debates.

For instance, The Guardian, a British outlet, recently updated its style guide to reinforce the idea that challenging prevailing left-wing ideas about man-made climate change is fundamentally illegitimate.

The Guardian is updating our style guide to accurately reflect the nature of the environmental crisis.

“Climate change” —> “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown”

“Global warming” —> “global heating”

“Climate skeptic” —> “climate science denier”

Few topics, however, draw out media bias like abortion, where the concerns of pro-life Americans are left on the back page or uncovered, and a magnifying glass is put on anyone who challenges pro-abortion orthodoxy.

Ultimately, media bias regarding abortion is nothing new. Ross Douthat, a conservative New York Times columnist, wrote in 2012:

Conservative complaints about media bias are sometimes overdrawn. But on the abortion issue, the press’s prejudices are often absolute, its biases blatant, and its blinders impenetrable. In many newsrooms and television studios across the country, Planned Parenthood is regarded as the equivalent of, well, the Komen foundation: an apolitical, high-minded and humanitarian institution whose work no rational person—and certainly no self-respecting woman—could possibly question or oppose.

This is certainly the case today.

Not only is coverage of abortion highly skewed, but it’s clear that the language used to describe it is made to soften the reality of what the practice is, while diminishing the concerns of those who believe fundamental rights are being violated.

NPR, which is of course publicly funded, recently updated its language guidelines for reporters.

Here are some of the terms now off-limits for NPR journalists: pro-life, late-term abortion, fetal heartbeat, partial birth.

Instead they are to use terms such as “intact dilation and extraction” (to describe a partial-birth abortion)and “medical or health clinics that perform abortions” (instead of simply “abortion clinics”).

The phrase “abortion doctor” also would drop off the list of acceptable phrases. Instead, NPR reporters are instructed to list the doctor’s name and write that he “operated a clinic where abortions are performed.”

If anything, the attempt to use more scientific language to describe abortions, such as “intact dilation and extraction” in the place of “partial birth abortion,” at best merely confuses readers as to what actually is being performed.

This article does a lot to explain why our abortion debate is utterly dysfunctional. A mainstream outlet openly articulating its policy for manipulating language to disguise what abortion is

Of course, NPR has also set strict guidelines about how to treat the words “unborn” and “baby,” making sure that reporters never describe, well, unborn babies in anything other than technical language to remove thorny debates about personhood or humanity. NPR instructs its reporters:

The term ‘unborn’ implies that there is a baby inside a pregnant woman, not a fetus. Babies are not babies until they are born. They’re fetuses. Incorrectly calling a fetus a ‘baby’ or ‘the unborn’ is part of the strategy used by antiabortion groups to shift language/legality/public opinion.

Media bias on this issue will become only more pronounced as the “positive good” school of thought about abortion becomes more pronounced on the left than the “safe, legal, and rare” camp.

Regardless of where one stands on the issue of abortion, attempts to dance around prickly questions about life and humanity are unlikely to solve the division.

The media, as is so common today, distinctly reveals its biases and lets slip the mask of objectivity that’s becoming increasingly difficult for Americans to believe.


Audiences have had a gutful of incessant pontificating and virtue signalling by Hollywood and actors generally

Comment from Australia

While normally not one to believe conspiracy theories, I sometimes muse there is a secret and sinister political movement that over many years has infiltrated our creative and performing arts industry and now controls it. Its members are actors, writers and singers, and they range from the highest paid celebrities to those struggling to make a name for themselves.

If there is such a movement, its methodology is to subject audiences and the wider community to incessant pontificating and displays of virtue, the aim being to elect and defend centre-right governments worldwide. You read that correctly. Conservatives are massively indebted to celebrities for sabotaging so-called progressive causes.

You probably thought Hollywood is a hive of leftist activism, that writers’ festivals are an imbibing of wokeism, and that concerts take the form of endless social justice homilies, interrupted only by the occasional song. If so, you failed to look beyond the superficial. While ostensibly supporting movements that the left holds dear, these artists use self-ridicule not only to discredit themselves, but everyone associated with the cause in question.

When Sir Elton John paused his concert in Verona, Italy, last year to rage against the evils of Brexit, he personified the petulance of Remainers. “I’m ashamed of my country for what it has done,” he wailed. “It’s torn people apart … I am a European. I am not a stupid, colonial, imperialist English idiot.”

Not so ashamed, apparently, that he would surrender his knighthood, together with its connotations of a colonialist and imperialist country of old. Only months later Britain’s conservative government, led by prime minister Boris Johnson, won a landslide victory under a Brexit banner.

As for US president Donald Trump, the celebrities who so loudly opposed his election in 2016 are doing their best to ensure he is given a second term. To acknowledge all of them would be too massive a task. Two warrant special mention: first: actor Robert De Niro, who announced in a choreographed scene just before the 2016 election that he wanted to “punch” Trump in the face.

It reeked of De Niro trying to trade on his onscreen tough guy persona, and merely highlighted the Democrats’ bluster and impotence.

The other is singer and actor Bette Midler. When she’s not tweeting foul-mouthed insults to Republican supporters, she composes what can only be described as erotic Vogon poetry as she speculates about Trump’s sex life.

There once was a girl from Slovenia
Who now lives right on Pennsylvinia
To the East Room she’ll flee
From her husband’s wee wee
While he plays with his own schizophrenia

— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) June 18, 2019

It is behaviour that is imbecilic, pathetic and counterproductive. Given Midler’s abysmal record in trying to unseat Trump, prime minister Scott Morrison is unlikely to be fazed to learn that last month she questioned his leadership, as well as labelling him an “idiot” and a “f**kwit”.

Pity the poor #Australians, their country ablaze, and their rotten @ScottMorrisonMP saying, “This is not the time to talk about Climate Change. We have to grow our economy.” What an idiot. What good is an economy in an uninhabitable country? Lead, you fuckwit!!

— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) January 3, 2020

As for Australia, we too have a tradition of celebrities lending their support to causes, only to botch them completely. When the minority Gillard Government rolled out a publicity campaign for its carbon tax in 2011, remember who fronted the camera to serenely inform financially strapped Australians this was all in the name of addressing “carbon pollution”?

That’s right, it was actor and multimillionaire Cate Blanchett, accompanied by fellow actor Michael Caton, whose idea of establishing his common man cred was to wear a flannelette shirt. One of the few who thought the choice of Blanchett was a good idea was then Treasurer Wayne Swan, which only showed he knew as much about connecting with ordinary Australians as he did delivering budget surpluses.

In 2015 — just prior to the executions of Australian drug traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran — actors Bryan Brown, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce and Joel Edgerton and others featured in a video titled “Save our boys”. It was based on the false and slanderous insinuation the Abbott Government was doing nothing to ask the Indonesian Government to grant clemency.

While the celebrities were largely restricted to reciting “I stand for mercy”, the video also featured lesser known types indulging in rank opportunism. Some examples: “Show some ticker,” “Come on Abbott, be a leader,” “Imagine if it was your child”, and “The time for diplomacy has now passed”. The corollary being an invasion of Indonesia I take it?

If you thought that was abject stupidity, wait for this: “Tony Abbott you need to give diplomatic immunity and protection to Andrew and Myuran before it’s too late,” an anonymous blonde woman tartly states. But the daddy of them all was from actor Brendan Cowell.

“Tony, if you had any courage and compassion, you’d get over to Indonesia and bring these two boys home,” sneered Cowell as he was filmed reclining on a bed. “Show some balls,” he added contemptuously.

As to who was lacking a pair, that was made very clear when Cowell hurriedly deleted his Twitter account in response to a social media backlash. He also conceded to radio station 2UE that he had no idea how Abbott could prevent the executions.

Brown surfaced again in 2018, along with New Zealand actors Sam Neill and Rebecca Gibney and singer Jimmy Barnes, this time in a video decrying the policy of detaining asylum-seekers in Manus and Nauru. Urging politicians to “stop playing politics with people’s lives” (oh the irony), Neill described these measures as a “barbarity”. For good measure Gibney’s voice quavered as she urged Australians to lobby politicians. As expected, none of the celebrities concerned suggested a viable alternative to mandatory detention.

All these cases and countless others serve as an example to celebrities that the best thing they could do for their pet causes is not to be a part of them, at least not overtly. Or if they must appear publicly in these movements, they should not condescend or patronise.

Clearly this was lost on actor Simon Baker, star of the television series The Mentalist. This week Greenpeace launched a climate change and renewable energy campaign video titled “Dear Scotty” featuring the actor, which targeted the prime minister. “Mate, sorry to do this to you,” he says in the opening scene, dripping with faux melancholy as he and others lambast Morrison in sequence for his supposed failings. “How will history remember you?” he asks pensively.

Should not a renowned actor be expected to — how does one put this — act? Likewise, they should be able to recognise a lousy script. “The audience should be treated with a certain level of intelligence, and I get very upset when we talk down to them,” Baker told the Glasgow Times in 2015. “It annoys me,” he added. Yes, Mr Baker. It annoys us too.

In 2018, Baker campaigned against Adani’s Carmichael Mine, telling viewers it was “just inland” from the Great Barrier Reef. In fact, the distance between the two is around 350km. “It’ll unleash one of the biggest reservoirs of carbon pollution we’ve ever known,” he said. “It’s a death sentence for the reef.” This is fearmongering. It is also elitist, given the unemployment rate in regional Queensland is higher than 14 per cent in some areas. Then again, it is all too easy to forget the plight of the unemployed when your lifestyle reflects that of the highest-paid actor in US television.

Predictably he also voices his opposition to “fossil fuels”, yet when Baker resided in Los Angeles he and his family frequently travelled between the US and Australia. “Mate, sorry to do this to you,” you might ask him, “but can we assume none of these multiple international trips involved a zero-carbon yacht?” Or “When you were filming in Western Australia in 2018 and someone stepped on your glasses, is it true you flew to New York just to get a replacement pair from your favourite store?”

Again, sorry for the impertinent questions. We are just compiling a record about you and all other activist celebrities. Its title is “How will history remember you?”



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

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

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


27 February, 2020 

What’s Really Driving the Homelessness Crisis

The homelessness crisis in America’s West Coast cities is beginning to draw national attention. There are now an estimated 166,752 people on the streets in California, Oregon, and Washington, and sensational stories of human despair and the return of medieval diseases have captured the public imagination.

Even President Donald Trump has tweeted about the “very bad and dangerous conditions” in San Francisco and warned that leaders must take action “to clean up these hazardous waste and homeless sites before the whole city rots away.”

There has been remarkably little clarity, however, on the key question: What’s really driving the homelessness crisis in West Coast cities?

For the past decade, progressive political leaders, activists, and media organizations have insisted that housing costs are the primary cause of homelessness. There is some truth to that: It’s obvious that in the largest West Coast cities, where a one-bedroom apartment rents for at least $2,000 a month, it’s more difficult for low-income individuals to afford stable housing.

However, as an emerging body of evidence shows, homelessness in America’s West Coast cities—particularly unsheltered homelessness—is not driven primarily by high housing costs, but rather by three interrelated phenomena: addiction, mental illness, and permissive public policies.

In cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco, residents have complained about rampant public drug consumption, psychotic episodes, and millions of used hypodermic needles that have been discarded on city streets.

Still, despite the obvious visible evidence, progressive political leaders have insisted on the fiction that addiction and mental illness are only a small part of the homelessness crisis. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan insists that only “1 in 4” of the homeless struggle with drugs and alcohol, while Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti does not even list addiction as one of the major causes of homelessness on his official website.

However, as the Los Angeles Times has demonstrated in a recent investigation, “mental illness [and] substance abuse … are much more pervasive in Los Angeles County’s homeless population than officials have previously reported.”

While the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reported substance abuse for only 14% of the homeless population, according to a UCLA study, the real figure is likely to be 75%—more than five times higher than the official estimates.

The figures are similar for mental illness. Government authorities have estimated that 25% of the unsheltered population suffers from mental illness, while the UCLA study suggests that the true number is likely to be 78%.

As the Times points out, “the findings lend statistical support to the public’s frequent association of mental illness, physical disabilities, and substance abuse with homelessness.”

Put another way, the politically incorrect perception that homelessness, substance abuse, and mental illness are deeply intertwined is, in actuality, factually correct—and political leaders who insist otherwise are in a state of deep denial, preferring an ideological fiction to the harsh reality of life on the streets.

Unfortunately, the progressive political class in major West Coast cities is compounding the homelessness crisis with a set of permissive public policies.

Contrary to the conventional wisdom, homelessness is not a national crisis. In fact, homelessness has declined 14.6% nationwide over the past decade, while at the same time increasing dramatically in major West Coast cities, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle.

In part, it’s because these cities have adopted permissive policies on public camping, drug consumption, and property crime, which has created an attractive environment for the homeless.

In Los Angeles, more than one-third of unsheltered adults migrated to Los Angeles County after becoming homeless. In Seattle, even the former homelessness czar has admitted there is a “magnet effect” because of the city’s policies and availability of services. (As I have reported for City Journal, 9.5% of Seattle’s homeless population moved to the city “for legal marijuana,” 15.4% “to access homeless services,” and 15.7% were “traveling or visiting” and decided to stay.)

If political leaders in West Coast cities truly want to reduce street homelessness, they must first break through their denial about its causes.

Although reducing housing costs is a critical public policy goal, it will not significantly reduce the number of people on the streets. The compassionate response is not to maintain the fiction that homelessness can be solved with new housing developments, but to grapple with the complex human challenges of addiction and mental illness.


Intellectual Elitism: A Threat to Racial Reconciliation

Why is it that so many liberals assume that blacks have to hate President Trump?

Patrick Hampton
On Presidents’ Day, I met a pair of tourists who were enjoying their stroll around downtown Chattanooga. Upon wishing them a “Happy Presidents’ Day” greeting, they proceeded to engage with me about our nation’s origins.

After just a few minutes of conversation with the couple, it was clear that they inherited a liberal mindset. The lady openly expressed her hatred for our sitting president, upon which I explained how I actually support President Donald Trump. (Of course this would lead to being called crazy and ignorant. How kind!)

What was initially a cordial conversation turned into vocalized vitriol. Pleasantries turned into put-downs, as she lobbed a fury of insults toward our POTUS before storming off along the bridge walk. The man continued to engage with me, mentioning the usual mainstream-media headlines. His favorite? Where President Trump’s father prevented non-creditworthy individuals from renting an apartment block. Of course, the gentleman equated this to the fact that these low-income individuals were black.

“So are you saying that blacks are poor?” I responded. Anyone with business sense understands why non-creditworthy individuals may not qualify for certain purchases like a home or a rental property. But because the MSM told him so, the man repeated this without understanding how it made him sound.

The man stammered to provide a response, dancing around the question and using anything to justify the notion that Trump is a racist. Of course, running down a list of Trump’s many achievements supporting the black community didn’t make them flinch a single bit. For these individuals, credibility comes from a television screen and not out of the mouths of regular black people like myself. We eventually parted ways, I with a smile on my face, the couple with an imprint of disgust.

These sorts of engagements are actually quite common. People who are far removed from black people get the only information they know about the demographic from television and social media. This, in turn, leaves their minds at the mercy of the programming they receive. Which is why they repeat the hottest headlines without fail. Yet despite their limited knowledge and interaction with actual black people, they always seem to have a remedy for what ails our communities. This hypothesis is often replicated as Democrats come into urban communities and make them worse at the expense of minorities. (From the hills, these wealthy liberals and progressives rule over the black and brown people they live far away from. But I digress.)

We black conservatives are waging a sort of unknown war. But it’s not against other black liberals or the black community at all (like many liberals erroneously believe). The battle is against a sort of intellectual elitism — often dealt by white democrats who vote based on what television and mainstream media tells them about the black population. While some are individuals are well-meaning yet uninformed, others simply possess a profound lack of faith in minorities. This intellectual elite abhors and rejects those who think differently — this includes black conservatives and Republicans who don’t fit the narratives that the elite write for them. To engage with one of us — like the couple engaged with me — would trigger a total meltdown every single time.

The fact that black people largely overlook this is baffling. Are we, as a demographic, okay with intellectuals assuming our political ideas? Are black people happy that white liberals are speaking on their behalf, regardless of whether these people know any black people at all or have our interests at heart? What has the intellectual elite done to earn our undying trust? But most importantly, what happens if we disagree? Will your individual views be respected? I don’t know. Let each of us ask a liberal and find out for ourselves.


Calorie labels on food packages aren’t as precise as they seem

Changing numbers on nutrition labels reveal inexact science

NEW YORK — Almonds used to have about 170 calories per serving. Then researchers said it was really more like 130. A little later, they said the nuts may have even less.

Calorie counting can be a simple way to help maintain a healthy weight — don’t eat and drink more than you burn. And the calorie labels on food packaging seem like an immutable guide to help you track what you eat.

But the shifting numbers for almonds show how the figures printed on nutrition labels may not be as precise as they seem.

Last month, Kind said it was lowering the calorie counts for its snack bars, even though the ingredients weren’t changing. The company cited studies that indicate nuts have fewer digestible calories than previously believed.

Conducted by government researchers with funding from nut producers, the studies show the inexact method of determining calorie counts established more than a century ago. The widely used system says a gram of carbohydrates and a gram of protein each have 4 calories, while a gram of fat has around 9. Companies can also subtract some calories based on past estimates of how much of different foods are not digested.

But based on anecdotal comments, researchers suspected more of the nutrients in nuts may be expelled in the bathroom than previously estimated.

“If they’re not digested, then maybe the calorie content is not correct,” said David Baer, a co-author of the nut studies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which funded the research along with nut producers like the Almond Board of California.

To test the hunch, Baer and colleagues gave 18 people meals with and without raw almonds and instructed them to return daily with their urine and stool packed in dry ice. The contents were analyzed to calculate that a serving of almonds has about 130 digestible calories, rather than the widely used figure of 170.

A few years later, in 2016, another study by Baer and colleagues also looked at the effects of food processing. They found cooking and grinding helped break down cell walls in almonds, freeing more calories for digestion. Roasted almonds had slightly more digestible calories than raw almonds. When the nuts were ground up into almond butter, nearly all the calories were digested.

Notably, the second study also found raw almonds had even fewer digestible calories than suggested by the first study. Baer attributed the discrepancy to variations in how people digest foods and natural differences in almonds themselves.

“It’s unlikely you’re going to get the exact same number every time you repeat the experiment,” he said.

The almond studies are among several Baer has co-authored on the digestibility of nuts. Another last year was funded by the Global Cashew Council and found cashews had fewer calories than estimated.

Despite his findings, Baer said he thinks the calorie counts used for most other foods are fairly accurate. And even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lets companies use different methods to determine calorie counts, the agency says products aren’t supposed to have more than 20% more calories than what’s stated on labels.

That’s why health experts said the calorie counts on nutrition labels are still valuable: They offer general guidance for people trying to keep their weight in check. But it’s even more important to pay attention to overall diet and not get hung up on small caloric differences, experts said.

“That’s not what’s going to make or break someone’s attempt at weight management,” said Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, a University of North Carolina nutrition professor.

Mayer-Davis said the studies on the calories in nuts wouldn’t affect her general advice that they can be part of a healthy diet. She said it’s more important to pay attention to how they’re prepared, such as whether sweeteners are added.

Kind’s founder, Daniel Lubetzky, said he hopes the studies will help overcome the reluctance some might have about eating nuts because of their relatively higher calorie counts. The studies also mean the company’s most popular bar can now drop from 200 to 180 calories, which could be a marketing advantage that sways decisions at the grocery store.

“It can’t hurt,” Lubetzky said

Mars, which took a minority stake in Kind in 2017, said it doesn’t have plans to update the calorie counts for M&M’s with almonds. The Almond Board says it’s not aware of other companies yet using the lower numbers.


Activist chief executives are ‘stealing’ from shareholders

It's not their money to spend on "good" causes

Every other day a corporate chief somewhere will declare, in sombre tones and often for applause, that business must take a stand on an issue for the sake of the community. These big-noting corporate chaps justify their grand plans for humanity in many ways.

They claim businesses have a legitimate interest in matters affecting the wider community in which they operate. Political leaders are not doing enough, they say. Workers and consumers want us to do this, they assure themselves.

While it is not evident how they canvassed the views of workers or consumers, it is patently clear these new activist chief executives are endearing themselves to other activists with the same ­visions for the planet.

These reasons for corporate activism were, more or less, laid out last week by John Denton, the first Australian to head the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce. He waved away as “completely ridiculous” the notion that corporate leaders should stick to their knitting. “This is our knitting,” Denton declared.

This is also the same tedious click-clacking sound emanating from many self-important business people who make up the Business Roundtable in the US, and swan around at Davos. They imagine their own beliefs are so brilliant they form a modern-day list of corporate commandments.

Like the harm that’s done to the human body from ingesting too much sugar, Denton’s attempt to encourage corporate bosses to be more activist is loaded with so much corporate saccharin it threatens to kill off the company as a vehicle to pool people’s money.

If activist chief executives, and their Paris-based spokesman, are impatient with politics, they could, of course, stand for parliament and spend other people’s money as a politician. In choosing much ­higher-paid gigs running companies and managing shareholders’ money, credibility comes from ­explaining how, at law, an activist chief executive fits in the company model. But this is where modern-day ­corporate preachers fall silent.

When was the last time any chief executive, let alone the bloke running the International Chamber of Commerce, discussed the agency costs of activist chief executives?

When did any of them last mention the importance of rules that govern how managers spend other people’s money?

Talking about such matters is painfully dull compared with setting out your vision for ­humanity. But the bigger reason they don’t ­address this dry issue of agency costs is that it might cramp their activist style. If chief executives admit to the agency costs they have created for shareholders by spending shareholders’ money on issues that have nothing to do with running a company, they might have to stop doing what earns them applause from their friends

There is a deadly serious issue. Soon after the earliest companies were formed, separating the ownership of business ventures from management, agency costs were recognised as a critical issue.

How do the owners of a ­company stop management using shareholders’ money to feather their own nest? Or to put it more simply, how do owners stop ­employees stealing from them?

While some agency costs might be inevitable, others are ­entirely avoidable.

Doctrines of fiduciary duty evolved to regulate how managers use shareholders’ money. While managers learned they shouldn’t use shareholders’ money for their own benefit, they grew more creative about how they used shareholders’ money.

It was clearly wrong to take money from the petty cash tin and use it to buy yourself a new TV. And it was equally wrong for a manager to use the petty cash tin to pay for a romantic dinner with a lover. But what if the manager used shareholders’ money to pay for a big party for employees? This was probably legitimate because keeping employees happy makes for a more successful business. Similarly, using shareholders’ money to sponsor a local football or netball team might be good advertising, buying local goodwill that helps a business thrive.

But, of course, that way danger lay. As shareholders’ money began to be used in a wider range of ways, it became even clearer that some red-line rules were needed to separate legitimate uses of shareholders’ money from ­illegitimate ones.

To deal with these agency costs, company law established some sensible rules for managers, imposing duties on them to act in the best interests of shareholders, and the company, and basically preventing them from using other people’s money to line their own pockets.

Importantly, English and Australian common law dating back to the 19th century recognised that managers needed some flexibility to use shareholders money in a way that doesn’t directly benefit shareholders but does benefit the business, and thus shareholders, indirectly.

Courts apply the notion of shareholder primacy to separate legitimate from illegitimate uses of shareholders’ money by management. It means that the financial benefit to shareholders of expenditure for social purposes does not need to be immediate or direct or even terribly obvious — but it does need to exist, and be able to be demonstrated.

It is a deliberate furphy when activist chief executives and their spruikers claim that shareholder primacy must be dismantled because it ­requires managers to seek short-term profits. That is a straw man concocted by those who want no rules restraining chief executives from their glorious plans for the world.

The other straw man put up by activist chief executives is the claim that capitalism needs a clean-out. In fact, the clean-out is needed among the vainglorious chief executives, and their chamber of commerce boosters, who are creating a new, and egregious, set of agency costs for shareholders.

They want free rein to use other people’s money, not to line their pockets but to warm their hearts, and to earn kudos from other people like them.

Frankly, it is theft — idealistic theft, perhaps — but still theft. The fact Robin Hood stole money for noble purposes did not change the nature of his act: taking money from others without their consent.

Managers could ask shareholders to donate the profits they receive as dividends to a climate change fund. But to simply use company money on management’s pet causes without so much as a “by your leave” from shareholders is theft.

If activist chief executives think society should be putting more money into climate change or other noble causes, they should use their own money rather than shoving their sticky fingers into the retirement nest eggs of superannuants and ­investors.

And let’s be honest here. Much of the confiscation of shareholders’ money is done not for noble causes. There is a sizeable bullshit factor where chief executives seek self-aggrandisement rather than tangible outcomes.

It is not at all sexy to talk about rules that manage, and minimise, agency costs inherent in a public company where ownership is divorced from control. But this is a critical issue. And not just to protect today’s shareholders from a new form of theft.

If we allow chief executives and other activists to chip away at these foundations, they will end up destroying the company as a proven way to pool money from many people in order to do business.



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, 2020 

America's 'Brexit': Taking back power from the administrative state

On Jan. 31, more than three years after the people of the United Kingdom had voted for it, Britain left the European Union in a move nicknamed "Brexit." The reasons for this are complex, but the clearest motive was outlined by Boris Johnson, a leader of the movement who is now the country’s prime minister.

In a speech during the Brexit campaign, Johnson noted that 60% of the laws passing through the British Parliament and becoming the law of the U.K. came from decisions made by the EU in Brussels.

"We are currently unable to exercise democratic control over such basic economic matters as our tax rates," said Johnson. "We cannot control the EU budget … nor can we protect the U.K. taxpayer from the demands of the Eurozone countries for bailout funds … It is time to take back control and speak for freedom in Britain."

Here, as in so many other areas, British politics seems to foreshadow what happens in the United States. Obviously, we are not subject to foreign control through a supranational organization such as the EU. But there are serious questions about the degree to which the American people are currently able to control the rules and regulations made by unelected officials in federal agencies — agencies which, because of their remarkable power and apparent immunity from popular control, are called the administrative state.

Without question, the representative republic set up by the framers of our Constitution offered protection against the loss of popular control. The Constitution vests all law-making power in Congress, a Senate and House of Representatives elected by and theoretically subject to the will and priorities of the American people.

But since the New Deal, and increasingly in recent years, this system does not appear to be working as designed. Instead of making the difficult political decisions for society, who is benefited by and who pays the price for new legislation, Congress has been enacting laws that simply set goals for the agencies of the administrative state. This delegates unlimited authority to these agencies, but it insulates members of Congress from accountability for the political costs of making these controversial decisions.

In addition, under a key 1984 Supreme Court ruling, Chevron v. U.S., lower federal courts were directed to defer to the interpretations of administrative state agencies themselves about the authorities they were granted by Congress.

When broadly worded delegations of statutory authority are combined with court deference to agency views of their rule-making power, it should be no surprise that the agencies of the administrative state can expand their jurisdictions to matters Congress never contemplated. Executive agencies, then, rather than Congress, have been able to make the rules under which everyone must live.

In other words, the people are in very much the same position in relation to their government as the people of Britain were before they voted for and achieved a separation from the EU. As in Britain, people bound by the rules flowing from remote bureaucracies have little ability to affect the scope of these rules. As in Britain, this will eventually give rise to dangerous questions about the legitimacy of the rules.

Of course, the remedy in our constitutional system must be entirely different from what the British did, but there is a remedy. It’s a return to the original constitutional structure in which Congress — when it provides authority to the agencies of the executive branch — places limits on the scope of these powers. At the same time, the courts must be the key interpreters of what powers Congress intended to confer and should not be required to defer to agencies’ views of how much authority they have been given.

There is a way to bring this about. It’s called the nondelegation doctrine. This constitutional approach has not been invoked by the Supreme Court since 1935, but with five members of the Court now avowing that they favor the original meaning of the Constitution, it is a reasonable prospect.

Under this approach, the judiciary would strike down as unconstitutional any law that delegates excessive or unlimited authority to an executive agency. This would require Congress, in performing its legislative function, to place limits on the scope of the statutory authority it is granting. The judiciary, in turn, rather than deferring to the agencies’ views, will independently test whether executive agencies are remaining within these limits.

There will certainly be strong opposition to this approach from those who favor the expansive government powers currently exercised by administrative state agencies. But without a change in its current direction, the U.S. government is headed toward a structure not very different in overall effect from what the British people overturned with their Brexit votes.

It’s time either to start that process or resign ourselves to living in a governmental system the framers would not recognize.


A Two-Year Terror Campaign Against One Small GOP Office

Anyone who wants to take away your rights can also put a rock through your window.

Early Saturday morning, a bearded perpetrator in a hooded jacket, wearing gloves, smashed the glass door and windows of the Humboldt Republican headquarters with rocks. He poured an unknown liquid into the storefront office before escaping on a bike into the streets of Eureka in the pre-dawn hours.

There was one obvious clue. The bike had a giant BERNIE sticker on it.

When police caught up to the alleged perpetrator, Michael Valls attempted to escape on his bike, then he tried throwing the bike at the cops, and, when he was finally taken into custody, gave authorities a false name. But police caught him with the Trump flag that he had stolen from the vandalized office.

The Bernie Sanders supporter was charged with burglary, felony vandalism, attempted arson, resisting arrest, and providing a false name. The chemical liquid he had poured inside the office turned out to be flammable. Bail was set at only $25,000, and Valls was out of prison by Sunday. It is California after all.

And in an atmosphere of rising radical violence, maybe this story wouldn’t be so extraordinary.

But this wasn’t the first time that this happened to the Humboldt GOP HQ. It was the sixth time.

Not in a decade, but in only two years.

The small hole in the wall office on 5th Street in Eureka, unprepossessing tan walls, blue framed windows and single door, could just as easily be the bar next door or the burger place across the street. Aside from its narrow “Republican Headquarters” sign, it could just as easily be mistaken for a small business.

The 300 block of 5th Street with a Starbucks and Wells Fargo, adjacent to two motels and an AV shop, seems like an unlikely place for a pitched battle between radical leftism and the national norms. But that’s exactly what the extended campaign against the modest storefront with its “Republicans Register Here” notice and Trump signage on a street in this small 27,000 population city represents.

The small office with its American flag fan banners, a few tables and a bookcase is on the front line of a new war between radical leftist extremists and remaining conservatives in a formerly conservative area.

The windows of the office had been previously smashed in April of last year, before the release of the Mueller report. Like this latest attack, that assault had happened late at night over the weekend. After smashing through the windows with rocks, the “Make America Great Again” sticker was replaced with a “Keep America Green” sticker from the Sierra Club. Nothing says environmentalism like vandalism.

Eureka lefties justified the attack because the office has large cardboard cutouts of Reagan and Trump.

In March 2019, a window had been smashed. In August of 2018, the office was vandalized again, leaving behind signs reading, “Fake President Impeach + Indite”, “45 = Lies House of Lies”, and “Guantanamo and Torture x 20 Years 45 and all supporters." A “Make America Great Again” sign had been crossed out and the elephant on the “Republican Headquarters” sign had been defaced.

A month earlier, President Trump had nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

The windows of the Humboldt Republican Headquarters have been broken three times in two years. They’ve been covered with plywood so often that it’s become a familiar sight. And while this latest incident was the most severe, previous episodes of vandalism had marred the windows, defaced signs, and tried to cause as much damage as possible with whatever the leftist vandals had at hand.

This latest attack is expected to cost thousands of dollars in repairs. Previous acts of leftist vandalism had cost in the $700 range.

And despite the leftist signs, the Eureka Police Department dismissed it as “random vandalism”.

"The local police say, ‘Oh, it’s random vandalism,’ except it’s happened five times to us and nobody else,” Humboldt County GOP Chairman John Schutt said.

"This is the 5th time in two years and on prior occasions I have been told these are random acts of vandalism. Interesting the Democrat Office has not had any 'random acts of vandalism'", the Humboldt GOP noted last year.

There’s nothing random about 6 attacks on a Republican office either carried out by identifiable lefties, leaving behind leftist signage, or specifically defacing Republican signage. That’s as deliberate as it gets.

But Humboldt County, once a Republican area, had swung leftward. And the HQ has become a symbol of everything that the new radical population hates. During the Kavanaugh debate, lefty protesters had gathered outside the small office with signs like, “Party of the Predators” and “Stop Rapeublicans”.

The lefty protesters targeted the office even though it had nothing to do with Kavanaugh and had already been vandalized two months earlier.

When local lefties can’t get to D.C. marches, they target the Humboldt County HQ. That’s where opponents of the Bill of Rights appear toting signs like "Massacre Mitch" and "Republicans: Shame on you!"

Reagan was the last Republican to win Humboldt County which has passed its own sanctuary measure. And Eureka, with its large homeless population and regular anti-Trump protests, leans lefty.

The Humboldt County Republican headquarters has faced a uniquely sustained assault on its existence. It is not the only Republican office to be targeted for vandalism and harassment, but the persistence of the attacks and the general disregard of the authorities, is unique and revelatory. This is the first time an arrest has been made despite the presence of surveillance equipment and attackers who leave handwriting samples. And the one man arrested for this latest incident is already back on the street.

“This is about your friends and neighbors and coworkers and people you live with here. It’s just sad that we can’t exercise our First Amendment rights in peace,” Schutt noted back in 2018. “There is not one member of my party here that would go down and do this down the street at the Democrat office.”

The Humboldt County Democrats enjoy an all-glass office on 4th Street. If there were a random violence problem, somebody would have taken a rock to it by now. That’s because there’s nothing random here.

The sustained assault on the Humboldt County Republican headquarters is not the work of one man, but of a culture of intolerance and hatred. It can be summed up by the Bernie sticker on the bike that the vandal threw at law enforcement as he was trying to make his getaway from the scene of the crime.

In 2017, James Hodgkinson, another Bernie Sanders supporter, came to a Republican charity baseball game with a list of the names of Freedom Caucus members and opened fire. The FBI coverup of that attack, which falsely claimed that it was a spontaneous act with no motive, has yet to be investigated.

Like the “random vandalism” in Eureka, the assassination of Republicans was also treated as random.

Civil wars begin in small ways. They’re born out of intolerance. A refusal to coexist. A failure to enforce the law. To punish violence against people different than the ones who hold political power.

In recent weeks, Project Veritas Action has released videos of Sanders staffers threatening violence before and after a possible victory. The media has maintained a tight ban on covering these videos.

In Jacksonville, Florida, earlier this month, Gregory Timm drove a truck into a Republican voter registration tent to take a stand against President Trump. It is no coincidence that the attacks on the Humboldt County Republican headquarters are linked to Trump’s victory. Or that they’ve been excused by some local lefties because the GOP HQ dared to have Trump material on the premises.

There is nothing random or isolated about the reality that the Democrats have become radicalized.

Radicalism doesn’t just mean the embrace of increasingly extreme policies from denying basic biology to taking away everyone’s health insurance to demanding open borders and suppressing free speech.

There is no meaningful separation between extreme policies and extreme tactics. Anyone willing to take away your rights is also willing to put a rock through your window. That’s what we’re seeing in Eureka.

And across America.


Court Ruling Protects a Transgender Child More Than Other Kids

A federal appeals court has issued a ruling that not only portends a firestorm on transgender policies in public schools but raises fundamental questions about language, biology, and the law’s role in extricating truth from obscurity when political correctness is prevalent.

In its ruling in Parents for Privacy v. Barr, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision and found that an Oregon school district did not violate federal law or constitutional rights with a policy allowing a transgender boy (a biological girl who lives as a boy) to use restrooms, locker rooms, and showers set aside for boys.

A portion of the Feb. 12 ruling reads:

In summary, we hold that [Oregon’s] Dallas School District No. 2’s carefully-crafted Student Safety Plan seeks to avoid discrimination and ensure the safety and well-being of transgender students; it does not violate Title IX or any of Plaintiffs’ cognizable constitutional rights. A policy that allows transgender students to use school bathroom and locker facilities that match their self-identified gender in the same manner that cisgender students utilize those facilities does not infringe Fourteenth Amendment privacy or parental rights or First Amendment free exercise rights, nor does it create actionable sex harassment under Title IX.

The ruling is frustrating on legal grounds: Even though the panel of judges suggests the 14th Amendment doesn’t grant a child privacy rights, it states that the same amendment gives a transgender child the “right” to use a restroom matching their gender identity—which is essentially a different kind of privacy right.

How can that be?

According to the 9th Circuit panel’s ruling, the transgender child’s right to use a bathroom that matches how the child feels that day usurps another child’s right to privacy, and thus the transgender child isn’t simply as protected as other kids, but more protected.

Just as disturbing, if not more so, is the court’s insistence on making such a blanket ruling—denying the privacy rights of kids on so many legal grounds—after the judges clearly have accepted the premise of the transgender debate, which is hardly on solid ground at all.

For example, the ruling reads: “The panel held that there is no Fourteenth Amendment fundamental privacy right to avoid all risk of intimate exposure to or by a transgender person who was assigned the opposite biological sex at birth.”

A transgender person who was assigned the opposite biological sex at birth. What does that mean?

What does it mean to be “assigned” sex at birth, eschew that, live as the opposite sex, and demand to be legally recognized as that gender with protections under the law?

Perhaps the 14th Amendment does not offer protection for privacy or bathroom rights for children in public schools. But the 9th Circuit’s ruling is based on a premise that relies more on political correctness than scientific fact.

Without questioning science, biology, psychology, or ethics to be sure that a “transgender person who was assigned the opposite biological sex at birth” should be using the bathroom of that person’s choosing, judges accept as reality what might be, in fact, a pleasant but distorted fiction.

The last significant time a court did this was the Supreme Court, on the issue of abortion. Even though multiple disciplines—religion, science, philosophy, and bioethics—all offered counter arguments against legalizing the murder of an unborn baby, justices accepted without question the premise that a fetus wasn’t really a baby with separate rights.

Although this false premise made the Supreme Court’s legalization of abortion in Roe v. Wade somewhat easier, it never has made logical sense—as the late Justice Antonin Scalia often alluded to—and the juxtaposition has made abortion sacrosanct to progressives.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why this is happening with transgender issues and why it happened similarly with abortion.

Perhaps the existence of a large and vocal lobby behind the cause—particularly when groupthink is prevalent and political correctness already has begun to be the ruling order of the day—aids in helping a court to co-opt logic, reason, and cynicism, and to accept a premise that’s as confusing as it is strange.

In other controversial areas—gun rights, free speech, and especially religion—the judiciary analyzes almost to an extreme the language, details, and motives of the case at hand to ensure the constitutionality of the decision holds.

A simple review of the oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission would prove this point.

That Supreme Court case in 2017 included a robust debate over whether designing and baking custom cakes was protected speech—and specifically making such cakes at the request of customers with a certain intention or message, such as to celebrate a same-sex marriage or an occult being.

If courts continue to accept the transgender debate on its surface, as one of privacy rights versus bathroom rights as opposed to extricating the root of the issue—while promoting a progressive, politically correct agenda—these rulings will be as legally and culturally harmful as abortion turned out to be.


Desperate white South African farmers who rushed for protection visas in Australia have their claims rejected

It's a lot easier if you are an Afghan or an Iranian

A surge of South Africans seeking protection in Australia have been disappointed as no visas have yet been approved.

Rejection letters to the families applying for protection and humanitarian visas have said they are not refugees because the violence in South Africa is widespread, random and opportunistic.

'The risk of murder and serious physical/sexual assaults is one faced by the population of the country generally and not by the applicants personally,' said the letter, quoted in The Australian newspaper.

South Africa's minority white farmers say there has been a concerted campaign to drive them off their land, and violent murders - some involving horrific rape and torture - have been forcing them to leave.

Liberal National Party member Savanna Labuschagne, herself a migrant from South Africa, said some people had their skin ironed off and holes drilled through their knee caps.

'An elderly couple had boiling water poured down their throats. I could go on for days. How do we help our people?' she told The Australian.

Ms Labuschagne said both blacks and whites had suffered from the South African government's 'corruption'.

She also shared some of the racial hatred that has been directed at the white minority by black South Africans on Facebook.

One black South African man had posted to social media that it was his duty and the duty of others to 'eliminate every white person in South Africa'.

'The only way to end racism and the oppression of my people is to destroy the white race. This must be done as quickly as possible,' his post read.

Ms Labuschagne along with fellow LNP member Patti Maher, also a South African migrant, said they were feeling frustrated as South Africans were prevented from receiving assistance by the bureaucracy. 

South Africa has been divided by deep racial grievances since the apartheid system of racial segregation ended in 1994, and this has been worsened by an economic gulf between rich and poor.

White people, who are less than 9 percent of the population, own most of the farmland in South Africa.

They are vastly outnumbered by black people who make up 80 per cent of the country's 57.7 million population, but who have the least amount of land ownership.

South Africa's ruling party the African National Congress, led by Cyril Ramaphosa, plans to take land without compensation from minority white farmers, who own most of the farmland, and redistribute it to black South Africans.

South Africa's parliament voted in 2018 to amend the constitution to allow land seizures, and has issued a proposed land expropriation bill on which the public comment period is open until 29 February, Business Tech reported.

In March 2018, Mr Dutton suggested white farmers were being persecuted and deserved special attention under Australia's humanitarian program.

He instructed his department to consider claims from persecuted South African farmers, alongside people from Asia, the Middle East and other African countries.

Liberal politicians pushed for up to 10,000 South Africans to come to Australia.

South Africans responded with a surge of 220 claims for humanitarian visas made in the last two years, almost triple the previous rate.

South Africans had previously made just 350 applications for humanitarian visas from 2008 to 2010, an average of 35 per year.

However most of the visa applications have so far been denied leaving South Africans disappointed.

Of the 570 humanitarian visa applications since 2008, only 41 were granted and 340 are still to be finalised, The Australian reported.

Protection visa applications have also failed with 97 rejected in the past three months.

Of 33 protection visa applications lodged since November, none have been approved.

A Home Affairs spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia on Monday that anyone who makes a claim for protection will be considered under the humanitarian program, and that there are many other visas available to South Africans such as the skilled, temporary and family visas.

'Almost 80,000 visas have been granted to South Africans since July 2018, allowing them to come to Australia,' the spokesperson said.

'South Africa is the 9th largest source country of permanent migrants in Australia.'

To be considered a refugee, a person must have a well-founded fear they will be seriously harmed because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a social group, the Home Affairs Department says on its website.

The serious harm can be to their life and liberty, or the denial of a capacity to earn a livelihood to survive.

Australia's Refugee Review Tribunal wrote in 2011 that despite concerns among white South Africans that they were being targeted for race, most evidence pointed to other motivations such as financial gain.

Crime is widespread in South Africa where 14 million people live in extreme poverty, and farmers are isolated and thus can be seen as easy targets.

In 2018, South Africa suffered almost 20,000 murders with most of the victims being black victims of black violence, while only 62 were farm murders - not all of them white, according to government figures quoted by investigative journalist James Pogue writing in Harper's Magazine.

Mr Pogue wrote that the brutality of the torture inflicted on some of the white victims does indicate a level of racial vitriol in the attacks.

In May last year, South African activist Annette Kennealy, 51, who spoke out against attacks on white farmers was found stabbed and beaten to death on her own farm in Limpopo province.

Kennealy was a public supporter of the white Afrikaner community and in her last Facebook post, she shared a link alleging that 10 farm attacks, including one murder, had been reported in just four days in 2019.

She also routinely shared links and stories relating to politics in South Africa, and the government's plans to start expropriating farms from white land-owners.

The South African Human Rights Commission has said black farmers have given evidence that farm safety isn't the preserve of any one racial group, although it does not dispute that there are attacks motivated by racial hatred.



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, 2020 

‘Don’t bastardise all men… these things happen’: Pauline Hanson says cowardly Australian dad who murdered his entire family may have been ‘driven to do it’

It's good that we have sensible Australian women such as Pauline Hanson and Bettina Arndt to speak up against the hateful and totally unreasonable feminist claim that Hannah Clarke was murdered by her estranged husband because that is what "men" do. Baxter's maleness has been given as the sole explanation for his evil deeds.

That millions of women are NOT murdered by their partner is ignored.  It is surely the vast non-murdering majority of men who tell you what "men" do. But feminists are so full of hate that they cannot see that.

So why did Baxter really do it?  Unless we know that, how are we supposed to prevent similar deeds by other troubled men?

Until we are given the full facts about the family history involved we cannot know for sure how it all worked out but from my point of view as a psychologist there is one highly likely explanation for the tragedy:  Baxter was a bully.

He was a common bully type, physically imposing and very egotistical.  The combination of a strong body and a big ego can be very problematical.  We see it in schoolyards all the time.  Some stronger kid will pick on some weak and "loser" kid.  In the course of a schooling that behaviour will usually be suppressed in some way, partly by teachers, partly by parents and partly by other students.

I remember a question I once asked my well-built son when he was in High School  I asked him whether any other kids picked on him.  He said "No. I'm too big for them.  And if I see them picking on some smaller kid, I put myself in between them".  So the corrective role of other students should not be ignored.

Sometimes, however, the bully gets away with a lot and forms behaviour patterns that last into adulthood.  But such patterns are very limiting in adulthood.  The bully will find himself avoided if not ostracized.  The bully of course sees this and endeavours to change his ways at least superficially.  He practices being "nice". But that pretence periodically breaks down.  His real motivation comes out in hostility of some sort.

So in the end he will be mistrusted and socially excluded.  And for anyone that is very grievous.  Among Aborigines, social exclusion is the mechanism behind a wrongdoer being "sung" to death.  So the bully in any society has usually been locked into a behaviour pattern that badly hurts him emotionally.

And when that hurts too much he may strike out fatally at the one whose disapproval hurts him the most.  He blames the other  person -- such as his ex-wife --  for his own deep unhappiness rather than himself. He sees that his life has been a failure and there is nothing left in it for him.  So death seems to him to be welcome.  So murder-suicide ensues.

So what can be done?  Just one thing:  Bullying has to be stopped at its source.  It has to be stopped during the bully's schooldays.  All Education Departments have high-sounding policies that claim to do that but enforcement is very lax.  So we cannot look at the existing system for hope.  A firmer approach is needed.

I would advocate sending bullies to a special school where bullying behavior is vigilantly watched for and heavily punished.  Bullying must be negatively reinforced, to use psychologist's jargon.  And talk is no good.  The bully has to be subjected to treatment that is a replica of what he normally does to others.

Politician Pauline Hanson has defended controversial comments about the horrific Brisbane murder-suicide, saying 'these things happen'.

In a crime which rocked Australia on Wednesday, Hannah Clarke, 31, was murdered by her estranged husband along with her three young children.

Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3, were burned alive by their own father on their way to school after he poured petrol in their car and lit a flame.

But Ms Hanson said the cowardly murders shouldn't lead to people 'bastardising all men' - saying Baxter could have been 'driven to it'. 'Don't bastardise all men out there, or women for that matter, because these things happen,' she said on Monday morning.

Speaking about domestic violence murders, she added that: 'A lot of people are driven to this, to do these acts for one reason or another.'

The killings have led to calls for more protection for domestic violence victims, after Ms Clarke was emotionally, sexually and financially abused by Baxter for years.

Speaking on Today, Ms Hanson said the murders have been in the news more than if it was committed by a woman - and that Baxter may have been 'driven to it'.

'You know, this has been for a week we have been in the news nearly every day about this horrific tragedy,' she said on Today on Monday morning.

'But we don't hear much about it when a woman has murdered her children by driving a  car into a tree, she threw out a suicide note. 'Or the woman who doused her husband with fuel and set him alight an said she was possibly driven to it.

'Hopefully the family law inquiry will get to the bottom of it.'

She also defended commentator Bettina Arndt, who made controversial comments about the Baxter murders.

Some MPs want Arndt to be stripped of her Order of Australia, after she praised a Queensland police officer for saying Baxter may have been 'driven too far'. Queensland detective Mark Thompson was taken off the case after making the comments.

'Congratulations to the Queensland police for keeping an open mind and awaiting proper evidence, including the possibility that Rowan Baxter might have been 'driven too far'," Ms Arndt wrote on Twitter. 'But note the misplaced outrage. How dare police deviate from the feminist script of seeking excuses and explanations when women stab their partners to death, or drive their children into dams but immediately judging a man in these circumstances as simply representing the evil violence that is in all men.'

Speaking about Ms Arndt's comments, Ms Hanson said she should not be stripped of her Australia Day honour.

'It was a horrendous act of what he did to his children,' she said. 'It was a tragedy and I am very deeply sorry for everyone.

'But Bettina Arndt should not be stripped of her Order of Australia. She is clearly stating what she thinks and what a police officer said.

'This is why I have pushed for the family law inquiry to get behind what is happening on this.'

The mum-of-three had desperately tried to keep her young family safe from their evil dad, but was struggling after her domestic violence protection order was watered down.

It has since emerged that he subjected Hannah to years of domestic violence, prompting the brave mum to finally leave him last November.

There was a domestic violence order (DVO) in place, but she expressed frustration that the conditions wouldn't be enough to keep her family safe.

Despite being stalked every day by her monstrous ex, the DVO was watered down to allow her husband to be a close as 100 metres from her.

'I have to go back to court and had to drop off an application today to get the DVO conditions changed as he keeps turning up where I am,' the mother-of-three said in text message to a friend, sent on January 30.

'He got the DVO adjourned and when they did that they took off the no contact and made it just 100m from my home so technically he’s not doing anything wrong … hence why we need it changed!'

Even the female police officer who helped Hannah lodge her DVO last year told her it would do little to protect her from her evil husband.


Stab City

No one dares speak the truth about young black men stabbing each other to death on the streets of London.

Four stabbings in four East London locations within ninety minutes and it doesn’t even make the news. That tells you a lot about the state of London (or Stab City, as it is increasingly known).

The British Capital is witness to daily violence that is as unrelenting as it is overwhelming. Under the Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan, homicides are the highest in a decade and knife crime offenses are at record highs.

It is against this backdrop that these horrific stabbings have become something of everyday life for Londoners, too mundane to trouble a newsdesk and too routine for a reader to care.

Sunday’s victims were all found in East London: Barking, Dagenham, Hackney and Ilford (shown on the map below). Not the sorts of places you’ll find tourists taking selfies, but all in the vice-like grip of powerful gangs, organized by postcode (zip code) controlling the supply and distribution of drugs on their patch.

Being part of a gang is a way of belonging for young lads brought up on inner-city estates, often without a father figure, desperate to find a way to belong. For many, being part of a gang is a tenuous means of survival.

Stabbings are meted out as a mechanism of initiation, retribution or control, as ubiquitous as the mopeds used to courier their drugs, or the drill music that forms a soundtrack to their lives.

One gang member said: “I don’t even know what this war is about anymore. All I know is if I step out of my territory people want to kill me, and if people come into mine, I want to kill them. It’s as simple as that.”

And it is not just gang members or their rivals being killed. In November 2019, Jodie Chesney, a 17-year-old Girl Scout, was sitting in the park near her home with a group of friends. Two teenage boys unknown to the group, walked up and stabbed Jodie in the back in an unprovoked attack.The seven-inch wound passed straight through her body and she died screaming where she sat.

At the sentencing of her murderers, Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told jurors these young gang members took a "casual approach to violence" in a world where knife crime was “routine.”

“The drug dealing world is one of turf wars, rivalries and pathetic claims for ‘respect'. When drug dealers fall out, they do not take their problems to the police. Instead, they take matters into their own hands.”

And so the violence continues, one death necessitating the next, like some ghoulish relay race in which the baton is replaced with a knife.

If we overlay the area of London where four stabbings happened (on Sunday 16 February) with the gangs alleged to operate there, the scale of the problem becomes clear. Each colored block represents a gang and its territory. These demarcations are invisible to a stranger in the street, but a kind of no man's land for rival gangs just the same.

Which begs the obvious question; if kids are being stabbed in the street because of the gangs and we know where the gangs are located, why isn’t something being done?

There is a simple answer, but no one dares say it.

These gangs are mostly young black men; some of their foot-soldiers are as young as ten. But because they are mainly killing each other, isolating the problem to their own kind, no one in power needs to care.

Politicians know these black lads are not voters. They have no voice in the media. No one is howling with indignant rage. Even the mothers of the slain are silenced by the gangs they fear. Those who should be held to account can look the other way.

And they do. Sadiq Khan (who is about as effective as Mayor Bernard Young of Baltimore) is desperate to talk about anything other than the young black lads being knifed on his streets.

Khan has obstructed the Metropolitan Police in their efforts to grip the gang problem in London.

Elected into office on the promise of reducing stop-and-search in London playing on his BAME (black African minority ethnic) credentials, he reduced the abilities of officers on the street to check suspects for weapons. The sharp fall in stop-and-search corresponds with an equally steep rise in knife crime.

When the Metropolitan Police created a Gang Matrix as part of its War on Gangs, Sadiq Khan set up a task force to review whether this matrix was racist in its intent.

The Met claims the matrix, informed by intelligence, helps identify and assess the most harmful gang members in each of London’s boroughs, based on violence and weapon offenses.

Individuals are classified – given a computer-generated harm rating of red, amber or green, meant to reflect the risk an individual poses to others.

So far, so sensible. But of course, the left, Amnesty International, and other bleeding-heart liberals were outraged by this sensible approach, calling it: “Racist policing in its purest form. Of the almost 4,000 names on the matrix at any given time, 78% are black and 9% are other ethnic minorities.”

They demand to know why this shocking disproportion exists.

And there is no answer to give, because the numbers are not disproportionate. They are representative. They are an accurate picture of the demographic makeup of gangs.

In London, two-thirds of knife offenders under 25 were black or minority ethnics. Almost half of murder victims and murder suspects in the capital are young black men -- way out of proportion to London’s population, in which 13% are black.

Fearful of this truth, Sadiq Khan demanded gang names be removed from the matrix, obstructing the work of the Met Police, enabling the gang leaders. The Metropolitan Police have been forced to remove 374 names after the UK's data watchdog found they breached data protection laws.

It is a measure of the madness in which we live. While black lads as young as twelve are being stabbed to death in London, the Muslim mayor is more concerned with the privacy rights of members of the gang.

No one dares speak the truth of this slaughter for fear of being called a racist. It's racist to say these London gangs are mostly young black men. It is racist to say most don’t have a father figure. And it is racist to point out most have no education or qualifications. It is racist to say it is young black men killing each other. Even when the statistics prove this to be true.

Until you can be honest about a problem you cannot begin to solve it. And until a leader is willing to defy the racist label and speak the truth, the stabbing will continue.

In the words of one young gang member from South East London: “This is the only life we know, we just have to keep doing it -- there’s nothing else for us to do.”

And while Sadiq Khan knows he can rely on the votes of others voting by religion, the death of children, young black children, is no cause for alarm. It looks like Stab City is here to stay.


The global Left is utterly adrift in this alien populist landscape

Both British Labour and the Democrats are yet to grasp the new ideological dividing line

By a remarkable coincidence, the main opposition parties in Britain and the United States find themselves trapped in extraordinarily similar dilemmas. In America, the Democratic party is now running through the ritual slaughter known as the “primaries” in which prospective candidates do their best to undermine each other irreparably. Mike Bloomberg – who has been doing a plausible impersonation of Donald Trump as the billionaire outsider – crashed spectacularly in his first public debate last week when faced with a professional hit squad of experienced politicians.

Meanwhile, in the quieter backwaters of British political life, the candidates for Labour party leader determinedly discredit each other, and contradict themselves, on the irrelevant margins of public consciousness.

The Democrats in the US, and Labour here at home, both appear to be adrift in an alien political landscape, utterly at a loss as to how to respond to what they see as an incomprehensible change in the electorate. In their desperate confusion, they veer between condemning the voters, and trying to lure them with offers that totally miss the point.

Most often they end up with a mix of the two which is both incoherent and insulting, because the one thing they absolutely will not accept is that people might have had perfectly rational reasons for making the political choices that they made. But for the social democratic Left (which now includes the leading Democratic contender), there can be only one definition of rationality and only one morally acceptable way for society to go forward.

That is why they call themselves “progressive”: implying that any remedies or programmes or inclinations which countermand their own must be steps backwards to a time when social attitudes and living conditions for everyone except a privileged few were worse – and thus such inclinations are inherently immoral or benighted. Policies that do not involve, for example, state-enforced equality of outcomes and redistribution of wealth are simply not a matter for ethical debate.

So what happens when the opinions and proposals that you regard as beneath contempt become, not just debatable, but electable? Answer: you are left with nothing to say. Or you try to say too many things, but nothing that would count as actual argument against the new popular political wave – because you are still compelled to dismiss it as unfit for discussion.

But to the ordinary voter, this sounds like arrogant contempt: as if you cannot conceive of why anybody with any conscience could prefer lower taxes and a smaller state, or why the desire for private prosperity could be anything more than greed. So in the US the new social democratic prophets, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, offer the outright cancellation of all student debt (the cost of which would be staggering for taxpayers) or universal free healthcare which countries (like ours) with much higher levels of general taxation than the US are struggling to maintain.

This is done in the name of an amorphous notion of “enlightened progressivism” whose most fundamental principle is hatred of the rich. Never having experienced the actual effects of redistributive policies, American youth cheers ecstatically – and threatens to put the Democratic party even further out of touch with that mystifying mob who elected Donald Trump.

But, as you may have suspected, I do not really believe that the uncanny similarity between the present conditions of Labour and the Democrats is a coincidence. In fact, I would say that the kinship which commentators – particularly in the US – try to make between Trump and Boris Johnson is almost completely absurd.

The genuine – and historically significant – parallel is between the flailing Democrats and their Labour counterparts. This is part of a larger crisis in centre-Left politics throughout the West but in our two countries it is especially critical because they have both traditionally been two-party democracies rather than coalition-based governing systems. So the collapse of the only viable alternative party of government is very serious.

There have been some – not many, but some – attempts to address this problem from within the moderate British Left even if its actual leadership candidates seem either clueless or disingenuous. One of the more illuminating contributions has come from Tony Blair who might be expected to have some useful insights into a problem to which he was once the answer.

What Mr Blair did in a set piece speech last week was lay out the case for a Labour-Liberal Democrat “progressive coalition” which, he argued, could revive the centre Left project and regain power. That bit was wildly optimistic and implausible. But there was a historical analysis of the problem of the Left which bears proper exegesis. In order to resolve the differences between Labour and the Lib Dems, this coalition would have to discard the old Left ideas based on “class, industrial organisation, the role of the state and individual liberty, all of which are time bound”. (For time bound, read “outmoded”.)

What the two parties had in common was “social reform, advancement of opportunity and passionate commitment to fighting poverty and injustice, all of which are timeless”. (For timeless, read “relevant to modern life”.) Yes indeed, these principles certainly are timeless and relevant. They are, in fact, the precepts which no political party in a modern democracy could possibly disclaim. The debate now is not about whether there should be advancement of opportunity or a commitment to fighting poverty and injustice.

Nobody in his right mind would argue with those objectives. The question is, what is the best way of achieving them? As it happens, quite large proportions of the populations of both our countries have been persuaded that free markets are more likely to deliver mass prosperity, and that a less intrusive state will actually improve opportunities for the individual. In setting out a prospectus for a new New Labour, Mr Blair has only succeeded in making it clear that the Left has nothing new to contribute.


The Jihad Murder in Florida You Heard Nothing About

A 17-year-old, Corey Johnson, murdered a 13-year-old, Jovanni Alexander Sierra, and stabbed two others in Florida in 2018, and this week it was reported that the victim’s family is suing the Publix grocery store chain for selling Johnson the knife, as the sale violated a Florida law that prohibits the sale of knives to anyone under age 18. That’s all well and good, but there is a good deal more to this story: this was a jihad massacre committed in the name of Islam and in accord with its teachings, but it has been swept under the rug. Apparently it doesn’t fit the establishment media narrative.

According to The Blaze, “Johnson, who had converted to Islam prior to the attack, had been under investigation by the FBI because he was viewing radicalization propaganda online, including beheading videos.” Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Police Chief Clint Shannon explained: “Corey Johnson has confessed his actions to our investigators stating that he stabbed the victims because of his religious beliefs. Our understanding is he had converted to Islam and had been watching violent videos online.”

In the immediate aftermath of the murder, the Palm Beach Post reported that “in January 2017, several local law-enforcement agencies and the FBI came together with the staff at William T. Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens, where he was a student at the time. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office received information that Johnson supported the terrorist organization ISIS and had reached out to the group online, expressing his desire to join them.”

Not only that. “The FBI told Jupiter police that a counter-intelligence agency in Europe investigated Johnson’s connection to several threats made on Instagram to McAuley Catholic High School in Doncaster, England. Though the report does not say what the threats were, authorities said they ‘were so severe in nature that up to 100 students were removed from the school fearing some kind of attack.’ British news outlets reported that in October 2016, a threat posted on Instagram stated ‘we will kill every single infidel student at this school.’”

Yes, you read that right: he reached out to ISIS, wanting to join them, and likely sent threats of a jihad massacre to a school, and yet over a year later he was still running around loose and unsupervised to the extent that he was able to buy a knife, even though he was underage, and use it on three people, killing one.

No “watch list” for Corey Johnson. No nothing. So the kid wanted to join ISIS! Who cares! It’s just a phase! And anyway, it’s all right: “a sheriff’s detective interviewed Johnson for a mental-health assessment.” What a relief! His judgment? The sheriff’s detective “said the teen sympathized with terrorist organizations.” No kidding, really?

Johnson’s mother and grandparents said that the boy had “recently began discovering religion.” Which one? You guessed it: he had started, they said, studying the Qur’an. Sierra’s throat was slashed. Maybe Johnson got the idea to do that from one of his scripture studies: “When you meet the unbelievers, strike necks…” (47:4). Local10.com reported at the time of the attack that “in his statement, Johnson advised he stabbed the victims because of his Muslim faith,” and that “just before the attack, Johnson was reading the Quran from his phone ‘to give him courage to carry out his intentions.’”

So now Jovanni Alexander Sierra is dead, and there is no bringing him back, but surely authorities have learned from the blunders that led to his being killed and have taken steps to make sure that nothing like Johnson’s jihad attack happens again, right? Of course not. In the years immediately following 9/11, counterterror agents were taught that one sign of a potential jihad killer was a sudden turn to devout observance of Islam. Devout Muslims weren’t all jihadis, but all jihadis, especially those who were converts to Islam, were devout. During the Obama administration, however, all that was removed from counterterror training: it was “Islamophobic” and “singled Muslims out,” as if some jihad terrorists were Methodists, yet Methodism wasn’t being studied.

All these years later, Corey Johnson showed all the signs of being a dangerous jihadi. Nothing was done because to have acted upon those signs would have been “Islamophobic.” Sierra’s family is suing Publix for selling Johnson the knife; they should be suing law enforcement for not watching Johnson more closely, and the establishment media for relentlessly demonizing anyone who ever suggested that selling Johnson his Qur’an may have been just as dangerous as selling him the knife.

How many people even know that this incident happened at all? The murder of Jovanni Alexander Sierra should have been the occasion for a national discussion about the phenomenon of converts to Islam becoming violent, which keeps happening, and what should be done about it. Instead, the whole thing was hushed up, as always.



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, 2020 

'Woke' Media Fail to Notice Historic Cabinet Appointment by Trump. Of Course They Did.

These days we're often regaled with news stories highlighting  firsts – "she's the first LGBTIQ++ Latinx to graduate from the Che Guevarra School of Global Warming who has devoted her life to petting same-sex kittens, tilling community gardens while simultaneously running Riverkeeper kayak trips for one-legged dogs found on the streets of Portland."

You get it.

So it was rather surprising to discover that mainstream news stories about the first openly gay White House Cabinet member – ever, ever – were left on the newsroom floor.

Rick Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, was just named to head the Department of National Intelligence by President Trump.

For those of you not into identity politics, we can understand why you cared not two cents about the state of Grenell's private life.  However, the media hypocrisy shouldn't go by without comment.

To CNN, Grenell was merely a "staunch loyalist," without mentioning this Trump first.

The Daily Beast was upset over something completely different. The naming of Grenell to DNI "blindsided" intelligence apparatchiks. The news site didn't mention the "first" involving Grenell, either.

The BBC highlighted: "Trump criticised for appointing loyalist"! How dare Trump appoint a loyalist to an intelligence agency whose previous leader under President Obama helped try to frame Trump as a "Russian asset"? Codswallop, I tell you!

Yes, the media will try to memory-hole this move as they did when George W. Bush named Miguel Estrada to the D.C. Circuit Court with the objective of putting him on track for the Supreme Court. Democrats couldn't abide having – while not technically first – a Latino put on the court by a Republican. His nomination languished for years. We got far-Left Sonia Sotomayor, "the wise Latina," instead.


Liberals Oppose Equal Status for Faith-Based Organizations

Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., must really miss the days of Barack Obama, when faith-based groups were treated like second-class citizens when it came to government programs.

Every time a member of President Donald Trump’s team rolls back a rule and levels the playing field, the two Northwest Democrats kick and scream. For people who talk about equality so much, Senate liberals sure don’t understand it.

Nothing really sums up the left better than the first line of their protest letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar: “We write to strongly oppose the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule, ‘Ensuring Equal Treatment of Faith-Based Organizations.”

In other words, what they support is the unequal treatment of faith-based organizations—something the Obama administration had become quite good at. The pair of senators tries to argue that Trump’s policy reinstating religious freedom is actually a secret attack on it—a suggestion that would be funny if it weren’t so outrageous.

“The proposed rule—developed under the guise of religious liberty is actually … yet another step taken by President Trump to green-light federally-funded discrimination,” their letter claims.

No one is quite sure how, since the whole point of the regulation is to make sure every organization—religious or not—is treated the same.

What Obama’s team liked to do was burden religious groups with special reporting or referral requirements, creating ridiculous hoops that no secular organization had to jump through. Of course, the idea was to persuade faith-based groups it was too much trouble—or worse, too steep a compromise—to comply.

The new rule, just posted last month, guarantees that every qualified government organization has a seat at the table—no matter what they believe.

It appears by the words of Murray and Wyden not everyone believes in that kind of neutrality. They want religious groups to be disqualified from any government interaction before it starts.

“We demand the Department put the American people first and withdraw the proposed rule,” they write.

But putting the American people first means engaging all of the diverse options for health care, education, adoption, and disaster relief. If the Trump administration listened to those on the left, it would be jeopardizing billions of dollars in social services.

The Catholic Church spent roughly $97 billion in 2010 alone on health care networks, about $47 billion on colleges, and $4.6 billion on “national charitable activities. Does the government really want to pick up that slack? And, more importantly, where would the government find the resources to try?

Faith-based groups carry the load in this country for humanitarian work—feeding the hungry, clothing the needy, housing the poor. Do liberals really want to be responsible for elbowing out a sizable chunk of our drug rehabilitation programs, prison work, adoption placements, and foster care?

On top of that, HHS is actually bringing itself in line with the Supreme Court’s insistence that “The Free Exercise Clause ‘protect[s] religious observers against unequal treatment’ and subjects to the strictest scrutiny laws that target the religious for ‘special disabilities’ based on their ‘religious status.'”

Just because a group is operating in the government’s domain doesn’t mean it has to give up its convictions. Unfortunately, the vast majority of those on the left doesn’t agree.


Trump’s plan is our hope, says Israeli President Reuven Rivlin

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has supported US President ­Don­ald Trump’s controversial peace plan as creating hope for building trust between Israel and the ­Palestinians, as he arrives in Australia for an extensive state visit.

Mr Rivlin, in an interview with The Australian, said the Israeli­-Palestinian relationship was “a tragedy for us both” and Mr Trump’s controversial plan, widely seen to favour Israel, offered a chance to break the pattern of the past. “We have had enough of the cycle of violence … but we cannot hope for a better future if we continue to use the same approaches and tools that have failed time after time in previous rounds.”

Mr Rivlin will meet Scott Morrison, Governor-General David Hurley and the premiers of NSW and Victoria in his six-day visit. He is the third serving Israeli president to visit Australia.

He hailed the Australia-Israel friendship and the strong support given to Israel by the Morrison government, in particular at the UN: “Israel and Australia share values of democracy, equality and liberty, which are the foundations for our longstanding and strong relationship.”

The President lauded the long history of Australia’s connection with Israel. “Israelis remember with gratitude the bravery of Anzac forces, including the charge of the Australian Light Horse in the Battle of Beersheva in 1917, a critical turning point in the war,” he said.

Mr Rivlin expressed gratitude to Canberra for support in rejecting a Palestinian effort­ to bring charges of war crimes against the Israeli Defence Force at the International Criminal Court.

The Morrison government expressed the view that it did not recognise the Palestinian Authority as a state and therefore the PA did not have standing to bring such an action at the ICC. The US and a range of European nation­s took similar views.

Mr Rivlin said: “We deeply appreciat­e Australia’s stance. The IDF has a strong moral code and alleged breaches are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. We must stand together to oppose the politicisation of the ICC and the abuse of international institutions to resolve political differences that should be address­ed in direct negotiations.”

The Israeli President had harsh words for Iran, saying Israel would not allow Tehran “to grow and to breed and to export terror, instability and threats to the state of Israel”.

He said Iran was the greatest threat to regional and global stab­ility today. “Its malign influence extends across our region, and around the world,” Mr Rivlin said.

He said Iran funded and direc­ted Hezbollah, and the Shia militias in Syria, and supported Hamas and Islamic Jihad across the Middle East. “Iran destabilises the region,” he said. “Its regime is publicly committed to our destruct­ion and is openly pursuing the realisation of its aims.”

Mr Rivlin said Israel’s enem­ies should understand the Jewish state had the capacity and ­obligation to defend its citizens, “and will not hesitate to do so if necessary”.

Israel goes to the polls for the third time in a year on March 2, because no leader has been able to form a governing coalition after the past two elections. The President will be required to deter­mine which leader gets the first chance to try to form a government, should no party or bloc win a majority in the Knessett, as is normal in ­Israeli politics.

Mr Rivlin described Israeli society as consisting of “four tribes”: religious Jews, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Arabs and secular citizens.

Although in pre-presidential life, as a Likud politician, he was regarded as a right-winger and a strong supporter of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, he has also been an outspoken champion of the rights and interests of Arab Israelis, and speaks fluent Arabic. “My father, a professor of Arabic­ at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, translated the Koran into Hebrew to create deeper understanding between us,” he said. “Our agreements with Egypt and Jordan, once our greatest enemies, have endured, bringing benefits to us all.”

Mr Rivlin also stressed the need, with the election looming, for the divergent groups within Israeli society to have a more fruitful dialogue with each other.


Australia: The strange saga of Fireman Paul

Volunteer firefighters, like volunteer life savers, hold an almost sacred status in the Australian community and the hearts and minds of its citizens.

Nobody forces or even asks them to do what they do, nor do they gain any material reward. Instead they sacrifice their time and sometimes even their lives to save others. And they do it purely because they choose to.

Little wonder that they are so universally venerated and little wonder that they almost always awkwardly eschew it.

Even though they are the ones who are most literally on the ground and are almost always characterised as “down to earth” they are also seen to float above politics and personal pride. They are the closest we have to real-life superheroes.

It is for this reason that Rural Fire Service member Paul Parker’s expletive-laden spray against the Prime Minister was so shocking – despite also being pretty forgivable.

Parker was obviously a man under an enormous amount of stress – even as his own home was damaged by the bushfires that ravaged NSW he was out saving others, fighting the flames to the point of exhaustion. He is also obviously something of a character – a vital prerequisite for an unlimited bar tab.

But it is equally understandable that many of his comrades were angry and felt he had brought the unimpeachable status of volunteer firefighters into momentary disrepute.

It is, after all, a fiercely protected convention in Australia that uniformed personnel such as police and military officers are never seen to be remotely political or partisan. And so having a member of the RFS – which is arguably held in even higher regard – tell the Prime Minister to “get f***ed” is clearly pretty jarring.

But obviously not to everybody.

Through no fault of his own, Fireman Paul was instantly elevated to Messianic status by green-left social media warriors who seemed to see him as some kind of revolutionary hero. And then when he claimed this week to have been sacked by the RFS it was instantly seized as further proof he was a glorious martyr to the cause.

The only catch was that within 24 hours it emerged that the cause Paul Parker was fighting for wasn’t the Greens but One Nation.

As Nine’s political editor Chris Uhlmann so archly observed while posting a more fulsome interview with the man, the only politician Parker didn’t think should “get f***ed” was Pauline Hanson.

This, needless to say, caused a bit of cognitive dissonance with the hard left social media warriors who had ridden the #IStandWithFiremanPaul hashtag like drunken bar room cowboys on a broken mechanical bull.

Of course it had never occurred to any of them that Parker was attacking the PM from the opposite end of the political spectrum. It’s easy to forget that a conservative has enemies on both sides when you define a fascist as anyone who sits to the right of Fidel Castro.

As a result the groundswell of woke activist support for poor Fireman Paul has now disintegrated – so much for solidarity forever.

And yet the hard left unquestioningly flocked in their thousands to support him purely because he publicly swore at the PM only to just as quickly desert him when it emerged his politics didn’t match theirs. This tells you everything you need to know about both their intellect and their loyalty.

Again, for all their talk of solidarity, loyalty has never been the hard left’s strong point – just ask Comrade Trotsky.

For even the most passingly critical mind it was obvious from the outset that this story was crude, inconsistent and illogical and yet it was swallowed wholesale. No wonder it is so easy for the Hansons of this world to cry “fake news”. And no wonder the #IStandWithFiremanPaul movement sank beneath the waves quicker than a Swedish surfer.

All of this is just more evidence, were any needed, of the aching stupidity of so much of the social media commentariat and the tidal lunar idiocy of hashtag activism. All it took was a supporter of the far right to tell the PM to “get f***ed” and the far left just assumed he must be one of them. It’s hardly a Mensa-level entry threshold.



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

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

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


23 February, 2020 

Why ARE so many midlife women having children alone? In the past five years Britain’s seen a boom in solo motherhood

For a child to grow up with neither a father nor brothers and sisters is bound to be upsetting to the child at some stage and the deprivation is real.  A father and siblings can contribute a lot to a child's mental and emotional development.

So why the solo mothers?  The core reason is that some women fail to find a male partner.  Why that failure? Circumstances will vary but very often there will be a mismatch between what the women want and what is available.

So how come the unrealistic expectations?  A large part of the blame must lie with feminist attacks on men.  Women are likely to see something in whatever is attacked in men and want to avoid it.  That could mean avoiding normal men.

And then on top of that feminists tell women that they can have it all. As many women have found, they cannot. But some women  are nonetheless reinforced in demanding "all".  It is very unwise to expect any approach to "all" but the bombardment of feminist talk from the media and elsewhere about it must have an effect.

Little Olivia Coy loves drawing pictures of her family. There’s Mummy, sister Isobel and her grandparents, all with their stick arms and triangular bodies. There isn’t a daddy in the picture.

Even though she understands what one is, Olivia knows some families, like hers, don’t have one. She knows that ‘a nice man had helped Mummy’ make her, and that’s good enough for her . . . for now. This is her family, and she’s happy with it.

Olivia is a sperm donor baby. Her mother Jennifer wasn’t prepared to let the absence of a partner stand in her way of becoming a mother and decided to go it alone.

Moral or ethical concerns aside, no one can deny such families are a growing trend. According to NHS figures, in 2007, there were only 351 treatment cycles in Britain for single women. The latest statistics show this has risen to 1,290 — accounting for about 3 per cent of all cycles. When the women who were inseminated with donor sperm but did not have full in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are added, 2,279 women tried to start a family on their own in 2017. And this isn’t the full picture, with plenty more procedures being carried out privately.

Last month the singer Cheryl announced she would use a sperm donor to have her next child. The reality TV judge who has a son — Bear, who turns three next month — with former One Direction band member Liam Payne, said she feels she is running out of time to find a partner and plans to have ‘more than one’ child through fertility treatment.

She isn’t the only celebrity to consider going it alone either. In October, singer Natalie Imbruglia, 45, announced the birth of son Max. She had already posted on Instagram in July that she was expecting ‘with the help of IVF and a sperm donor’.

Yet not everyone thinks single women should be pursuing fertility treatment. Indeed, nine years ago documents were leaked revealing health chiefs for South London had created a policy to only fund fertility treatments for couples ‘living in a stable relationship’ because single women having children would ‘place a greater burden on society’.

The statement caused uproar — but it’s a conviction many NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) hold.

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, all women under 40 should be offered three cycles of IVF treatment. But at a local level, it is individual CCGs who make the final decision about who is eligible for NHS-funded IVF in their local area.

Yet for those single women with enough cash, there is always hope. It has led to the creation of a fertility industry worth £320 million, offering to help single women become mothers — for the right price.

Increasing numbers are freezing their eggs while they pursue careers or look for Mr Right.

Treatment cycles with frozen eggs rose from 410 in 2012 to 1,462 in 2017. Now the Department of Health and Social Care is considering whether to allow them to store eggs for longer; currently, the cut-off point is ten years.


Moving to a new state and finding a job could soon be a lot easier

Moving homes is stressful enough, but millions of people face another burden when moving to a new state: having to acquire a new, costly license just to keep working in the same job.

Last year, Arizona made it easier to move there by passing legislation to recognize occupational licenses from other states. This means that workers in licensed industries, such as teaching, nursing, and cosmetology, can now move to Arizona and continue their careers without having to go through the burdensome and often expensive process of obtaining a new license. Their old license moves with them.

The Arizona model, known as “universal recognition,” is now catching on like wildfire in state capitals across the country. It could lead to a sweeping wave of occupational licensing reform — all that’s needed is for more lawmakers to embrace this common-sense reform.

Occupational licensing is the practice by which governments, predominantly at the state and local level, require workers to obtain a government license or permit to engage in a certain profession. Licensing laws are often justified on the grounds of protecting public health and safety, with defenders evoking images of unlicensed amateurs conducting brain surgery.

But the reality is that licensing requirements have spread far beyond occupations where they can make sense, such as licenses for doctors and engineers, and now apply in fields as innocuous as floristry and blow-drying hair. Today, 1 in 4 jobs requires a license, up from 1 in 20 in the 1950s.

Even when licensing serves to protect public health or safety, it has become harder for the most economically disadvantaged among us to acquire a license due to the time, fees, and education necessary to acquire one. The result is that millions of would-be workers are locked out of the workforce because they lack the means to obtain a license. Consumers also suffer, because restricting the number of workers in an occupation limits competition, which in turn raises prices.

Worse yet, licensing often doesn’t even improve safety standards as supporters claim.

For example, just consider the rampant health problems in nail salons, a heavily licensed industry whose professionals have to complete hundreds of hours of training. This may be due in part to the fact that much of the mandatory training required to obtain a license in many fields is rarely even related to health or safety issues.

Licensing laws also restrict mobility.

Research has shown that interstate migration rates for individuals to states with licensing exams are more than 30% lower than states without such a requirement. Impinging on mobility is particularly harmful, as the ability to move for work has traditionally been associated with higher levels of income growth.

Given the growing political consensus against excessive occupational licensing (both the Trump and Obama administrations have voiced concerns over the practice), policymakers nationwide have started to ramp up efforts to overhaul licensing regimes. At first, much of the focus was on repealing or reducing individual licensing burdens in specific industries. Recently, additional attention has been given to the plight of military spouses who often must cross state lines, and therefore apply for a new license, as a result of their significant other’s military career requiring frequent moves.

While these discrete reforms are vital, Arizona’s universal recognition reform is the most comprehensive occupational licensing reciprocity model to date.

The idea has caught on: Pennsylvania followed suit with similar legislation last year, and so far in 2020, universal recognition bills are being pursued in Virginia, West Virginia, California, Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, New Hampshire, Indiana, and New Jersey. If these are enacted and similar laws continue popping up around the country, as is likely, movement between states could become a lot easier for millions of people.

To be sure, there is plenty of room for reforming and ridding ourselves of unnecessary licensing regulations beyond just granting universal recognition. The ideal fix for most licensing laws is to get rid of them altogether, or to use less-burdensome regulatory alternatives such as private certification or inspection regimes.

But in the meantime, laws that streamline the ability to move beyond state lines without dropping out of the workforce should be embraced by policymakers across the ideological spectrum. Greater workforce freedom is knocking at the door — politicians just need to heed the call.


‘We’ve been branded “hateful” for defending women’s rights’

Lucy Masoud on the British Labour party’s dangerous capitulation to trans ideology

Three of the four candidates for the Labour leadership have signed a controversial pledge card drawn up by the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights (LCTR). Some of the 12 pledges include ‘accepting’ that ‘that trans women are women, trans men are men, and non-binary people are non-binary’ and that ‘there is no material conflict between trans rights and women’s rights’. The pledge card also calls on Labour to expel ‘transphobic’ members from the party and for candidates to ‘fight against’ what it calls ‘hate groups’ such as Woman’s Place UK and LGB Alliance – groups which were established to defend women’s and lesbians’ rights against an increasingly authoritarian transgender movement. Lucy Masoud is a former firefighter and trade unionist, who has spoken at Woman’s Place UK meetings. spiked caught up with her to find out more.

spiked: What did you make of the LCTR pledge?

Lucy Masoud: When I first saw it, I assumed it had been put together by overactive teenagers. But then Angela Rayner signed it and Rebecca Long-Bailey signed it, and more and more started to sign it. I am utterly astounded. Firstly with the tone and the aggression of the statements. It shows no attempt to understand the view of females in this debate and where we are coming from.

Secondly, I was astounded that it name-checked Woman’s Place UK and the LGB Alliance as ‘hate groups’. To suggest that those involved in those groups should be expelled is nothing short of ludicrous. We are talking about people like Kiri Tunks and Ruth Serwotka. These are giants of the trade-union movement. These are people who have been fighting for the socialist cause their whole adult lives. They have dedicated their lives to fighting for LGBT rights, for people of colour, for women, and for the working class. And for them to be threatened with expulsion! The people making those threats are not fit to lick their boots.

Calling us ‘transphobic’ or a ‘hate group’ completely misses the point of the debate and fails to recognise what our argument is. We are not anti-trans. We fight for the rights of trans people. But we are also fighting for the rights of females. And the whole reason Woman’s Place UK was founded was to protect the single-sex exemption in the Equalities Act. We are called a ‘hate group’ simply for trying to protect female-only spaces, for saying that we want domestic violence centres, refugee centres and centres for the victims of sexual violence to remain female-only. It shows those people’s political naivety and downright dishonesty.

The labour movement has a long and proud history of people with different ideas, different opinions, being able to hash those ideas out and come to some kind of an agreement. And if you don’t come to an agreement, that’s fine, we carry on. But for us to be singled out in this way is unbelievable.

spiked: One of the pledges calls for Labour leadership candidates to accept that there is no material conflict between trans rights and women’s rights. Is there a conflict?

Masoud: There is absolutely a conflict when you have this mantra of ‘trans women are women’ being forced down your throat. We should be having a conversation. I do not believe trans women are women because I believe in biology. Some people do believe that and we should be able to have that conversation. To say there is no conflict between trans rights and female rights, is basically saying that trans women and females are the same. And they are not.

Being trans doesn’t mean what it used to mean five years ago. We wouldn’t even be having this conversation because back then being trans meant ‘transsexual’. Now trans is an umbrella term. It basically covers anyone who feels that they are a woman. They could even present as a man and make no attempt to be a female. They could have all the benefits of being male, but if they feel like a woman, that apparently makes them a woman.

The LCTR pledge calls for such people to be accepted legally as women and to be allowed into female-only spaces, which is of course is very concerning for women like myself. I don’t want to have to go into certain areas that are female-only and be faced with a male-bodied individual.

From my own personal experience of working on a fire station for 12 years, females fought tooth and nail to get female living facilities on fire stations. For decades we didn’t have them. We had to share our dormitories and showers with men. Many women left the job because they didn’t feel comfortable getting changed with men or sleeping in the dormitories with men. There was also a culture there where women felt ostracised, even bullied sometimes. Female firefighters would often end up sleeping in their cars or getting changed in offices, and ultimately leaving the job.

Eventually, we managed to secure female-only facilities on every fire station in London. And that’s essential. They need this when they’ve been out on a big job and they come back and they need a shower, or it’s a night shift and they are sleeping in dormitories. Women need to have their own space. And now that’s being threatened because anyone who self-identifies as a female would be able to have access to those spaces.

Now we’re also allowing male-bodied individuals to use the female-only changing space at the Hampstead Heath swimming ponds. Women are using the shower at six o’clock in the morning, and they’re having to stand next to people with penises. Muslim women who have joined a female-only gym are not going to use those gyms anymore because they can’t be sure that at any given time someone male isn’t going to walk into the changing room. People can no longer be sure that their children, when they are getting changed or in a shower area, aren’t going to be presented with a male-bodied individual.

So there is a massive conflict. A frank, honest and open discussion needs to be had because there has to be a compromise out there. But Labour is not even allowing us to have that discussion. It is saying that if you even step out of the echo-chamber view that trans women are women, or if you think that female rights need to be protected and not include men, then we will be expelled from the party that we have campaigned for our whole adult lives.

spiked: Is there a misogynistic element in the attacks on trans-critical feminists?

Masoud: For sure. This argument isn’t coming from trans men, it is mostly from trans women and their supporters, though many trans women agree with us too, like Debbie Hayton and Kristina Harrison.

It is generally not transsexuals but usually people under this ridiculous umbrella term of trans who are attacking us. It is those who think anyone who is non-binary, genderfluid, pansexual or whatever could be deemed to be a woman even if they are clearly a male, present as male and have male genitalia. They are quite a small minority but they have a lot of supporters. And they are the ones hijacking this agenda.

And it is very misogynistic. Women are going to be impacted by this. But we are being completely shouted down. We are being told that they know better than us and that our rights aren’t as important. If you listen to us, we can tell you why trans rights and women’s rights conflict. We can tell you that a female who’s been the victim of sexual abuse and rape may not want to share a centre for sexual violence with someone who is male-bodied, and that little children or teenagers may not want to share shower space with a full-bodied male.

As a lesbian, I do not want to include trans women in my dating circle because I am attracted to females. That’s what makes me a lesbian. And I should not have to be bullied and forced to accept trans women into my dating circle. But if I don’t, I’m cast as transphobic.

It’s funny because it is also homophobia. We are basically being told that there’s no such thing as same-sex attraction. We are being told that gender identity is what matters and we shouldn’t discriminate based on sex. But that is what makes me a lesbian. I discriminate against men. I do not have sex with them. But now I’m being told that is not okay anymore and my sexual preferences should not be based on sex. To me, that is pure homophobia.

spiked: Can Labour survive if it antagonises women in this way?

Masoud: It hasn’t got a future if it carries on down its current path. It has learned no lessons from the General Election. It had a disastrous policy on Brexit. It ignored the working-class voter and trumpeted the second-referendum nonsense and we saw where that got them. What Labour is doing now is alienating 51 per cent of the population and they don’t care.

I keep thinking about why the hell any Labour leadership candidate would want to sign this pledge. They know there will be a backlash. They have seen the #ExpelMe hashtag sweep Twitter. So why do they do it?

Most likely it is because they know they’re not likely to win the next election in five years’ time, or the one after that, either. So they’re not thinking about winning elections or winning over the general public. All they are thinking about is appealing to the Labour membership who they think will gobble this up.

Each candidate wants to be the most woke. They are appealing to this tiny, tiny minority of the electorate that is obsessed with identity politics. But they do not realise the damage they are doing. I didn’t even vote Labour at the last election and I’ve been a Labour member my whole life. And for someone like me not to vote Labour means it has a massive problem.


Australian veterans' organization bans Aboriginal flag and welcome to country ceremony

ANZAC day is when Australians remember family members who have died in war.  Intruding other concerns into that solemn occasion is offensive

A state branch of the RSL has taken the extraordinary step of banning the Aboriginal flag and traditional indigenous ceremonies on Anzac Day.

The Western Australian branch of the RSL has taken the extraordinary step of banning the Aboriginal flag and performance of welcome to country at its ceremonies honouring war heroes.

A report by the ABC today claimed that some RSL members last year were upset after an Aboriginal professor read the Ode of Remembrance, traditionally recited on Remembrance Day ceremonies, in an indigenous language last year.

The reading on last year’s Anzac Day ceremony by Professor Len Collard in the Noongar language reportedly sparked the change in rules. Professor Collard had translated the Ode himself. Members told John McCourt, the chief executive of the RSLWA, that reading poem in another language wasn’t appropriate.

After receiving complaints the RSLWA board developed new policies to control Anzac and Remembrance Day ceremonies held in the state.

“While having utmost respect for the traditional owners of land upon which such sites and memorials are located, RSLWA does not view it appropriate that a Welcome to Country is used at sites that were specifically established to pay homage to those who died and who came from a wide range of cultural backgrounds,” the new policy reads.

The new policy includes guidelines that all content be delivered in English (except the New Zealand National Anthem); only flying the Australian, New Zealand and WA flags and; having no welcome to country ceremonies.

The policy, which outlines rules for the RSL’s commemorations regarding “culture”, recognises Australia as a diverse and multicultural nation, before going on to acknowledge a “trend among sectors of the Australian community to seek to include specific cultural and ethnic elements into major commemorative events” including Anzac and Remembrance Day.

“While it is important to recognise cultural and ethnic contributions to the defence of Australia, it is also important to maintain Anzac Day and Remembrance Day as occasions to express unity, a time when all Australians – irrespective of race, culture or religion – come together to remember and reflect.”

A welcome to country is performed at the beginning of events in Australia to bring awareness about the traditional history and cultural owners of an area. A welcome to country is usually performed by an indigenous elder.

Mr McCourt said these ceremonies are only banned on Anzac and Remembrance Day. “All the RSL is asking for is two days,” he told the ABC.

He said the RSLWA “remains appalled” at the discriminatory treatment of indigenous Australians who returned after serving in World War I.



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, 2020 

UK: The purge of the unwoke

The Labour party is plotting a Stalinist purge of anyone who questions the cult of transgenderism

So now we know. If you believe in biology, Labour isn’t the party for you. If you think people with penises are men, not women, Labour isn’t the party for you. If you believe women should have the freedom of association to set up their own spaces and institutions, Labour isn’t the party for you. If you believe in reason, truth and freedom of thought, Labour isn’t the party for you. This is the loud-and-clear message of the disgraceful purge proposed by Labour members yesterday, and swiftly endorsed by some of the leadership candidates, against anyone who questions the cult of transgenderism – that Labour really has become an irrational, intolerant party of extreme identity politics.

The proposed purge has been given the deceptively liberal-sounding title ‘Labour Campaign for Trans Rights’. This gives it the appearance of being a decent, pro-minority campaign, but it is nothing of the kind. In truth, it is a deeply illiberal attempt to cleanse Labour of any individual or group that believes in biological reality and which thinks that women must have the right to speak freely and to set up their own spaces for association and debate.

So the purge demands unquestioning loyalty to one of the key orthodoxies of identitarian extremism: that ‘trans women are women’ and ‘trans men are men’. Fail to bow before this eccentric dogma and you will be branded a ‘transphobe’ and expelled from the party. As the purge makes clear: there should be the ‘expulsion from the Labour Party of those who express bigoted, transphobic views’. What this would mean in practice is that if you think people with penises are men, and if you think biological sex is immutable, and if you think big blokes should not be allowed to beat the crap out of women in sports such as boxing – all views that are now described as ‘transphobic’ – you will be purged.

The Stalinist vindictiveness of the purge is made clear in its demonisation of two perfectly reasonable campaign groups: Woman’s Place UK and the LGB Alliance. The former is an organisation of feminists concerned that gender self-identification could lead to born males entering women-only spaces – such as changing rooms, rape-crisis centres and female prisons – and which campaigns for the preservation of women’s sex-based rights. The latter is a gay-rights group concerned that transgenderism erases the specificity of the homosexual experience – of same-sex attraction – for example by allowing people with actual penises to identify as lesbian. Scandalously, the purge refers to these two organisations as ‘hate groups’. It says Labour members should ‘organise and fight against’ these despicable, hateful outfits.

This is deeply sinister. It effectively gives a licence to the use of violence, or certainly harassment, against women and gays and lesbians. After all, if Woman’s Place UK and the LGB Alliance are ‘hate groups’, a term normally reserved for racist or fascistic movements, and if they must be ‘fought against’, doesn’t that green-light the use of force against them?

For a few years now, woke leftists have depicted trans-sceptical women in particular as witches, essentially, as dangerous, hateful creatures whose very words and ideas are a mortal threat to trans people’s safety and self-esteem. They have dehumanised these women as ‘TERFs’, a term that means ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminist’ but which has really become shorthand for scum, bitch, someone who is beyond the pale. This has helped to generate some awful hostility and in some instances violence against trans-sceptical feminists. Now, the branding of these feminists as a ‘hate group’ takes the demonisation a step further: it risks endorsing hostility towards any woman who raises questions about the cult of gender self-ID. It sanctions the misogynistic harassment of free-thinking women.

That many of the figures running for Labour leadership positions – including Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Dawn Butler – have given their blessing to the purge is disgraceful. It confirms that Labour is doubling down on its embrace of intolerant identitarianism and PC groupthink. Anyone who thought that in the wake of its catastrophic defeat in the December election Labour might rethink its abandonment of class politics in favour of the divisive, destructive cult of identitarianism has now had a rude awakening. Labour is clearly going even further down the road of self-destruction.

Strikingly, even Tribune, George Orwell’s old magazine, has endorsed the purge of free-thinking women and critically minded homosexuals. That the magazine which published Orwell should now support such an Orwellian move confirms what a mess the modern left is in. Orwell raged against systems of intolerance that demand unflinching intellectual conformity and the suppression of doubt and dissent – now Tribune endorses such intolerance. In supporting the expulsion from Labour of anyone who questions the idea that ‘trans women are women’, Tribune plays the role of Big Brother demanding that we believe 2 + 2 = 5.

This purge suggests Labour is finished. A party that supports trans intolerance and which punishes any questioning of PC orthodoxies is a party that has absolutely nothing important or useful to say to the people of this country. Former Labour voters must be looking at this nonsense and congratulating themselves for abandoning this lost, deluded party.


LA Mayor and Police Chief Assure Illegals They Can Get Away With Breaking American Laws

In what can only be described as giving the middle finger to the United States of America and law and order, the mayor of Los Angeles and his equally law-breaking police chief recorded a public service announcement letting illegal aliens know they will not be held accountable to U.S. laws while living in .LA.

"Regardless of your immigration status, I want every Angeleno to know your city is on your side," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "Here in Los Angeles, our police department does not coordinate with ICE or participate in immigration enforcement."

It's amazing to me that he found a lawman to stand next to him and agree with this anarchist garbage, but indeed he did. The police chief, Michel Moore, weighed in with his thoughts: "Our police force does not do the job of federal law enforcment...we will not enforce immigration laws."

Watch the whole thing if you can stomach it. Will nothing ever happen to the ringleaders of sanctuary cities who are wantonly and openly flouting the laws of our land? It's outrageous that this is allowed to continue with no consequences. Why is California still receiving federal funds? Which federal laws do you think you, American citizen, can break at will without facing jail time?

We now have a three-tiered justice system: one for the elite Democrats, who never face time no matter what they do; one for the rest of us, who never get a break; and one for illegal aliens, who are exempted from all federal crimes based on their political importance to the Democrat voting block. How much longer can this go on?


There Is No Bending of Gender

Regardless of what the activists say, there are two biological sexes. It's science.

“The Dangerous Denial of Sex: Transgender ideology harms women, gays — and especially feminine boys and masculine girls.” This recent Wall Street Journal headline for a column co-written by a Penn State evolutionary biologist and a University of Manchester developmental biologist serves as additional information in the battle to protect children from adults.

Brutal, you say?

Some suggest kids know they’re born in the wrong body or that their behavior demonstrates a mistake of their God-given biology. But the growing demand for sex-change efforts for minors, even young children, is a result only of the warped adults in the lives of these children, not independent decisions by children themselves.

NBC is following the “courageous” story of one family with a nine-year-old girl now taking puberty blockers to help fight off nature and science. The one identifying as the father claims, “He’s [sic] becoming educated on what future choices he’ll [sic] need to make” knowing that the next step is surgery. The family insists that the girl has known since she was a toddler that she is really a boy. Hogwash. Mom has books to sell — that’s why this is happening.

Meanwhile in South Dakota, courage was being sought in a recent state government attempt to protect children from the irreversible impact of sex-change surgery. The Vulnerable Child Protection Act would have prohibited chemical hormone interference or surgical removal of a child’s body parts because of how their behavior, tendencies, or whims can be supported through the swarm of social media. The proposal passed the South Dakota House 47-23 but failed to exit a Senate committee despite shocking testimony from actual patients who regret surgical and chemical reversals.

Among those testifying was Scott Newgent, a 47-year-old “transgender” man-born-female who pursued complete chemical and surgical transition. Newgent’s testimony before the South Dakota Senate was that, after $1 million for operations and care, the result is to be “dependent on drugs and doctors for the rest of my life.” That is clearly not something a child can consent to. Newgent declared, “A hundred medically transitioned adults [are] standing behind me with a signed petition that they are also against medically transitioning children.”

The heartbreaking comments from Elaine Davidson, an Oregon mother whose daughter had both breasts surgical removed and a complete hysterectomy at age 17, point the finger of blame at therapists who steered her child toward sex transition rather than address the mother’s concerns about autism. She learned of her child’s surgeries via social media, as her estranged daughter could obtain life-altering interventions in Oregon as young as age 14 without parental consent.

Face it: There are activists, therapists, “healthcare” providers, and opportunists who contribute to the deception of some spectrum of sex or gender. Biologically, there are two sexes.

There is a spectrum of behavior that uses stereotypical actions to fuel the deception of this social construct of gender identity, rather than a binary sex determined at birth by the presence of either the XX or XY chromosomes along with corresponding sex hormones matching the reproductive anatomy.

Behavior is not biology as it relates to sex determination. Some men enjoy what could be argued are more feminine activities. Similarly, some women enjoy activities more traditionally performed by men. It doesn’t matter to biology: Men are still men, and women are still women.

As for the biologists writing in the WSJ, their words demonstrate the simple fact that it is our culture that has created gender confusion: “The evolutionary function of these two anatomies is to aid in reproduction via the fusion of sperm and ova. No third type of sex cell exists in humans, and therefore there is no sex ‘spectrum’ or additional sexes beyond male and female. Sex is binary.”


Australian Labor party rediscovering the workers

Joel Fitzgibbon and Anthony Albane­se met at a Young Labor conference in 1985. Both were elected to federal parliament on March 2, 1996, the day that John Howard became prime minister.

Even though they hail from differen­t ends of the party, as is often the way with MPs elected at the same time, Albanese and Fitzgibbon­ became and remain friends. Despite everything.

That “everything” includes the dinner for 20 right-wing Labor MPs — held at Kokomo’s in Canberra­, not Otis — on the Sunday­ in between sitting weeks, now cast as a sub-faction to pursue the interests of workers, residing­ within the party explicitly created to pursue the interests of workers, raising all sorts of questions for modern Labor.

Attendees have since told colleagu­es they thought it was an invitation to socialise or that they were trying to find ways of helping the Opposition Leader, something Albanese has struggled to see. They also insisted it was not driven by malice, there was no intent to undermine Albanese, and nor did they mean for it to become public.

It leaked because of the accid­ental inclusion of a government staffer on a group email. Oops. The idea for the group originated at a much more intimate dinner at Otis, the favourite restaurant of powerbroker Don Farrell.

The group subsequently opted to call itself after the venue where it was conceived, rather than after the more funky Kokomo’s, both in the hope of avoiding the puns and word games which could flow from a classic cock-up rather than conspiracy, and because the founders have a serious mission which they want taken seriously.

Revelation of their existence became a mitigated disaster. Both sides of politics took comfort from the other’s misery. Labor MPs were consoled by the fact that at least they weren’t plotting to get rid of their leader or his deputy while Coalition MPs rejoiced that at last Labor’s differences had erupted to the surface.

If anything good has come out of the exposure for Labor (and many senior opposition figures say none has) courtesy of The Australian’s Peter van Onselen, who broke the news on the Ten Network, it is that Albanese has got the message. Because if he hasn’t by now, he never will.

Sensible Laborites see clearly where the party went wrong. They saw what happened with Bill Shorten, a deeply flawed politician with flawed policies to match. They saw what happened with Jeremy Corbyn, also a flawed politician with flawed policies. And they can foretell Bernie Sanders’s fate if he wins the Democrat nomination.

They are entitled to ask how many suicide missions do there have to be before progressive-socialist leaders accept they have strayed too far from the centre, desertin­g the workers their parties were born to represent.

In the wake of the bushfires, Australians profess to care more about climate change and are less wedded to coal. But at the ballot box last May they showed they care more about their hip pockets, their jobs, their tax, their cost of living and their economic security.

Otherwise Shorten, regardless of his shortcomings, would have been elected. Labor would have won Higgins and Kooyong, Kerryn­ Phelps would have held on to Wentworth and perhaps Trevor Evans would have been turfed out of Brisbane. They cared about climate, but not enough to choose higher taxes and a leader they neithe­r liked nor trusted.

This is what Albanese’s colleagues, including Fitzgibbon, have been trying to tell him, believing that while sentiment in some parts of Australia has streng­th­ened, in other parts it hasn’t.

The right worries that despite its greater numbers in caucus it has lost its clout, and Albanese will be more susceptible to the arguments of his natural allies in the left.

Reflecting the tensions, Alban­ese has struggled to articulate a convincing position on coal. Early in his leadership he flew to Queensland to begin the tricky task of repositioning, trying to sound more accepting of it. Yet when Fran Kelly asked last week if he would support a coal-fired power station funded by industry, he replied: “You may as well ask me, Fran, if I support unicorns.”

Albanese risks being branded by the government as Bob-Each-Way Albo, or as Mr Inbetween, the likeable hit man on the TV series who tricked up a horse to look like a unicorn so he could impress his daughter.

Morrison, his authority weakened by his sorry summer, is trying to reweight his arguments with greater emphasis on climate change and less on coal. Thanks to the pressure from rebel Nationals, and his fight to save Michael ­McCormack’s leadership, he faces greater risks in the short and medium­ term.



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

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

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


20 February, 2020  

NHS will refuse to treat patients who are sexist and racist

Translation: If you go to a British public hospital, you are likely to get a poorly trained Third World doctor -- but you have got to cop it sweet

The NHS will refuse treatment to racist, sexist and violent patients, amid warnings that rising numbers of staff are facing “appalling” abuse.

From April, any patient or hospital visitor found to be inflicting discriminatory or harassing behaviour on staff could be barred from receiving care, unless the case is an emergency.

Previously, patients could only be refused help if they were aggressive or violent.

It comes as new figures show the percentage of staff who say they have experienced discrimination has risen by a quarter in five years, from 5.8 per cent to 7.2 per cent.

Racism was the most common form of discrimination, but the new figures also show the highest levels of reported sexism and intolerance of religion and sexuality....


The Moral Bankruptcy of the BSA's National Board

Mark Alexander

"On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight." —Oath, Boy Scouts of America

As a former Scout, a Scout leader, the father of two Eagle Scouts, and a BSA Executive Council member, it grieves me to report that the national BSA board has, as I estimated it would a year ago, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The declaration was the result of lawsuits brought by the victims of sexual predators, who concealed their predatory behavior in decades past in order to access a virtually unlimited field of young boys. According to The Washington Times, this "could be one of the biggest, most complex bankruptcies" ever. A lawyer for more than 300 victim plaintiffs, Michael Pfau, asserts, "You're talking about tens of thousands of victims. This will be the largest bankruptcy the country has ever seen."

For clarity, there is a significant distinction between the national BSA board and local Scouting councils — the latter effectively operate as autonomous, setting their own standards for leadership and membership. As the national board has made clear, the local councils "are legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization." Most councils, as is the case with the one I serve, have very high standards for troop and pack leadership and membership.

On the other hand, the national BSA board sold out in 2015 when, against all reason and logic, it voted to allow local councils to admit adult homosexual leaders. That was an apparent appeasement by wealthy national BSA board corporate types, who did not want their own companies boycotted by leftist "heterophobic gender deniers" accusing the BSA of being "homophobic" because the organization did not allow homosexual leaders. And in leftist-controlled states, there were legal actions against this once-highly esteemed private organization for not allowing gender disoriented leaders.

So, today the Boy Scouts of America national board is declaring bankruptcy because of homosexual predation on boys by Scout leaders over the last 40 years — and at the same time revelations about this history of abuse were surfacing five years ago, the BSA board, in its detached and warped sense of obligatory social justice, opened its doors to homosexual leaders. What could go wrong?

No organization can fully protect itself from pedophile predators, but inviting those with deviant sexual predilections into the ranks of Scouting was a grossly negligent decision. While the Boy Scouts oath is still the standard by which Scouts are held, the national BSA board abandoned its "morally straight" mandate and will pay the price well into the future.


History: 1776 vs. 1619

There's now an alternative to the New York Times's revisionist, race-baiting project.

A wide-ranging group of writers from ideologically diverse backgrounds has come together to challenge leftist assertions in the New York Times’s 1619 Project that the United States was built on slavery. In response, the educational series 1776 was recently launched by the Woodson Center under the guidance of longtime activist and scholar Robert Woodson.

The Woodson Center was founded in 1981 to raise awareness and funding for neighborhoods seeking to solve critical community problems through innovative initiatives. Robert Woodson began 1776 as a direct response to the misguided and harmful history put forth by the Times.

Woodson described the 1619 Project as a “lethal” narrative that perpetuates a culture of victimhood in the African American community by claiming that life for blacks in America has been predetermined by slavery and Jim Crow.

“This garbage that is coming down from the scholars and writers from 1619 is most hypocritical because they don’t live in communities [that are] suffering,” said Woodson. “They are advocating something they don’t have to pay the penalty for.”

Glenn Loury, economics professor at Brown University and 1776 contributor, added, “The idea that the specter of slavery still determines the character of life among African Americans is an affront to me. I believe in America, and I believe in black people. Something tells me … the 1619 Project authors don’t. They don’t believe in America … and I’m sorry to have to report, I get the impression they don’t believe in black people.”

Since its launch last year, the 1619 Project has been widely criticized by numerous academics and journalists. It pushes glaring historical inaccuracies through a leftist-driven narrative about slavery in America and the supposed lack of progress of black people since 1865.

Despite the criticism The New York Times has faced, the rag continues to push the 1619 Project, which, unfortunately, has been embraced countrywide by thousands of schools. When Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson called upon the Times to issue a correction regarding its claim that the Revolutionary War was fought to maintain slavery, New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein refused. He responded, “Historical understanding is not fixed; it is constantly being adjusted by new scholarship and new voices.” Spoken like a true leftist.

By comparison, the 1776 initiative seeks to tell a more balanced story about African American history. Contributors include academics, journalists, and activists across the political spectrum. Among the topics addressed in several essays are the moral meaning of America; what the new morality of “stain” and “purity” seeks to accomplish; Black America’s algorithm for entrepreneurship and success; critical race theory’s toxic impact on America; acknowledging slavery’s limits in defining America; and several others.

These essays, according to Woodson, “counter the false history that the 1619 Project espouses and has disseminated as a school curriculum. Our focus will be to identify and highlight solutions, models of success in reviving our streets and communities, and actionable goals that should be pursued.”

1776 will not refute every ugly anti-American lie that the 1619 Project has perpetuated. That would take too long. Instead, 1776 offers an inspirational alternative that encourages people about the history of the greatest country on earth.


Israel reduces humanitarian supplies that can enter Gaza after rocket fire

"Hamas is responsible for what is happening in and out of the Gaza Strip," COGAT said in a statement. "Unless the peace is maintained, the State of Israel will act accordingly."

The expected improvement in humanitarian conditions following an informal agreement between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip has been cancelled following the continuation of rocket fire, according to a report from Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). Some of these humanitarian measures include the expansion of the fishing zone for Gazan fisherman and the transfer of infrastructure supplies into Gaza.

COGAT said that trade permits would be reduced by 500 and that cement shipments can no longer enter the Strip. "Hamas is responsible for what is happening in and out of the Gaza Strip," COGAT said in a statement. "Unless the peace is maintained, the State of Israel will act accordingly."

COGAT is the unit in the Defense Ministry that manages coordinating civilian issues between the State of Israel, the Israel Defense Forces, international organizations, diplomats and the Palestinian Authority.

Over the weekend, Israeli fighter jets and helicopters struck multiple Hamas targets near Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip in response to rockets fired out of Gaza into Israel. No casualties were reported from the rocket attacks.



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, 2020  

Does the Catholic Church Really Have An 'Islamophobia' Problem?

Out of India this week comes the harrowing story of T.J. Joseph, a professor at a Catholic college and member of the Syro Malabar Church, an Eastern Catholic Church in communion with Rome.

Ten years ago, Joseph was accused of blasphemy, whereupon a Muslim group attacked him and severed his hand. In the ensuing years, the Syro Malabar Church, aghast not at the attack but at Joseph’s alleged “Islamophobia,” fired him from his job and excommunicated him. The day after that story came out, one Jordan Denari Duffner of Georgetown University’s Hamas-linked Bridge Initiative, published a piece in the Religion News Service (RNS) claiming that Catholics have an “Islamophobia” problem. Ask T.J. Joseph what he thinks of that, Ms. Duffner.

Duffner piece focused upon the case of the Rev. Nick VanDenBroeke, about which I wrote here at PJ Media. VanDenBroeke landed in hot water when he called Islam “the greatest threat” to Christianity and the U.S., and was subsequently forced to recant and apologize by his boss, Archbishop Bernard Hebda.

“The whole incident,” says Duffner, “is reflective of a deeper problem,” which is unlikely to be something she would say about the excommunication of T.J. Joseph. No, Duffner is more worried about what she characterizes as “the discrepancy between the church’s positive official teaching on Muslims and the Islamophobia that often permeates U.S. Catholic communities and discourse.”

Duffner reminds us that “in its 1965 ‘Declaration on Non-Christian Religions,’ issued during the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church begins by declaring its high esteem and respect for Muslims.” She apparently would have us believe that VanDenBroeke, by identifying a threat from the religion that preaches warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers, is demonstrating a lack of esteem and respect for Muslims. For “the most important aspect of the church’s statement about Muslims,” she says, “is the first line — the teaching that we are to treat Muslims with respect and hold them in high regard. In other words, as Catholics our default attitude toward Muslims is to be a positive one.”

Back in the real world, however, the real problem the Catholic Church has is not the spurious neologism "Islamophobia," but a fantasy-based Islamophilia that denies obvious reality and is ruthlessly enforced, as the outrages the Church committed against T.J. Joseph demonstrates, and of which Duffner’s article is an example.

Duffner is either spectacularly naive or outrageously deceptive or both; in all her writings, not just this one in RNS, she completely ignores the reality of jihad violence and the violent exhortations in the Qur’an and Sunnah. She continuously writes as if Muslims were victims of widespread discrimination and harassment in the U.S., which they are not and should not be, and that any examination of the motivating ideology behind that jihad violence is tantamount to inciting violence against innocent Muslims.

In her book Finding Jesus among Muslims: How Loving Islam Makes Me a Better Catholic, Duffner even laments the “Islamophobia” of a Christian family in Jordan she stayed with as an exchange student, claiming they picked it up from Christian television channels and not from their lived experience, which she assumes would have given them a positive impression of Islam: “Despite the fact that they lived among Muslims — who are the vast majority of the population in Jordan — my Christian host family bought into these Christian TV channels’ negative portrayals of Islam.”

Duffner also indulges in the familiar conflation of criticizing Islamic teaching or opposing jihad violence with failing to respect or esteem Muslims as human beings. The effect of this articles and the others that the Bridge Initiative churns out by the pound will be to inhibit (even more than it is already) honest discussion of the motives and goals of jihad terrorists, and of the nature of Sharia, and to stigmatize all resistance to it.

A personal note: Duffner identifies me in her RNS article as one of the “popular voices who write about Islam for Catholics.” I don’t. I write about Islam for anyone and everyone, and am relieved and grateful to say, in this fantasy- and lie-ridden age when the likes of Pope Francis and Jordan Denari Duffner are in the ascendancy, that I am not a Catholic.

“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)


Lawmakers in 9 States Move to Protect Children From LGBT ‘Transition’ Agenda

Conservative lawmakers have decided to become proactive about the transgender epidemic infiltrating the nation’s youth.

In the past couple of months, Republican lawmakers in at least nine states have introduced legislation to ban medical providers from helping boys and girls undergo a medical transition via surgery and/or hormone replacement therapy before they turn 18.

Some of the bills would make it a felony to prescribe hormones or perform related surgeries for minors.

In South Dakota, state Rep. Fred Deutsch, a Republican, spearheaded the effort. The South Dakota Legislature passed its version of the bill just this month.

If Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, signs the bill into law, doctors who offer medical transitions in the form of hormone replacements or surgery to children under 16 could receive a one-year jail sentence or a hefty fine.

Colorado, West Virginia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Missouri, Florida, Illinois, and Kentucky all have similar provisions in the works, although the details vary.

In a tweet, Deutsch said: “The world is upside-down that protecting children from sterilization and mutilation is causing a firestorm.”

In a statement emailed to USA Today, he said:

Every child in South Dakota should be protected from dangerous drugs and procedures. The solution for children’s identification with the opposite sex isn’t to poison their bodies with mega-doses of the wrong hormones, to chemically or surgically castrate and sterilize them, or to remove healthy breasts and reproductive organs.

Sex reassignment surgery—a phrase the LGBTQ lobby hijacked and changed to “gender reassignment surgery,” a subtle but important difference—has had enough success and failure for lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle to use to their advantage.

Or so they think. A USA Today article, which is rather thorough, paints GOP lawmakers as interventionists who suddenly want to get involved in people’s “personal” lives. It cites professionals who voice disdain for lawmakers who would keep today’s youth from living as their feelings dictate.

These lawmakers face an uphill battle because of LGBTQ backlash and public relations. Reputable medical groups such as the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry have come out in favor of providing surgical and hormone replacement transitions as appropriate treatment for children struggling with gender dysphoria, despite little evidence it cures the dysphoria.

In fact, while little evidence exists either for or against medical transitions, because it’s such a new phenomenon, statistics show that some people who transition experience regret.

Fortunately, conservative lawmakers who propose these bills come from a place of education, combined with empathy and caution.

Because this is optional surgery, and not a life-or-death medical procedure (such as neurosurgery following a stroke), Republican lawmakers propose banning the surgery for teenagers, to err on the side of safety.

Although a speckling of success stories are told by medically transitioned teens and adults, more tales of failure, and horror, are out there.

These stories abound, though critics of the proposed bills seem to ignore them entirely.

In a powerful essay published by The New York Times in 2018, a writer who was born a man and was about to medically transition to a woman admitted, as the headline stated: “My new vagina won’t make me happy.” But the writer wanted to go ahead with the surgery anyway.

Jazz Jennings, 19, was born a biological male but socially transitioned to female years ago. The teen’s transgender journey has been a hit TLC show.

Doctors recently performed a third surgery on Jennings to further the transition from young man to young woman. Jennings suffered from severe complications after receiving a “new vagina.”

Walt Heyer is well known for his crusade against such medical transitions. Heyer, a fellow contributor to The Daily Signal, lived as a woman for several years. After taking female hormones, he had breast implants but was still suicidal after a short reprieve.

Eventually Heyer came to the belief not only that sex reassignment surgeries didn’t make him female, but that his issues were rooted in trauma and abuse—as they are for most people.

Heyer wrote in The Daily Signal in 2017:

Too many post-surgical patients contact me to report they deeply regret the gender change surgery and that the false hope of surgical outcomes was a factor. For children, the focus on encouraging, assisting, and affirming them toward changing genders at earlier and earlier ages, with no research showing the outcomes, may lead to more suicides.

Although it’s true that many conservatives would reject government involvement in the family via heavy-handed legislation, there are times when it’s necessary, specifically when safety—even common sense—is rejected in favor of the cause du jour.

This is such a time, when parents and activists are blindly answering the rallying cry of progressives who favor feelings over facts, even when it means leading our own children down a path of pain and regret.


All men in Alabama will be forced to have a VASECTOMY at 50 or when they have their third child under 'outrageous' state law proposed by Democrat

All men would be forced to have vasectomies when they reach the age of 50 or have a three children, under a new law proposed by an Alabama lawmaker.

Rep. Rolanda Hollis, a Democrat, on Thursday put the bill forward requiring men in the state to pay for the procedure within a month of turning 50 or the birth of their third biological child.

The HB 238 bill to sterilize all men in the state has been branded an 'outrageous overstep' by critics.

Hollis said that her bill is a reaction to Alabama's near-total abortion ban, which was temporarily blocked by a federal judge in October 2019 after it was passed by the state

Hollis said she was trying to counter Alabama's abortion ban, which was temporarily blocked by a federal judge in October 2019.

The law, which was passed by the state where Republican's hold the majority last year, would block nearly all terminations for women.

Hollis defended her proposal on Twitter on Friday, saying that it was intended to 'neutralize' the abortion ban bill.

'The responsibility is not always on the women. It takes 2 to tangle. This will help prevent pregnancy as well as abortion of unwanted children,' she said.

Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Hill, a Republican, said that the bill was the first of its kind that he had come across. 'I've never seen a bill that attempted to sterilize a person, male or female,' he told CNN.

Hollis acknowledged in an interview with WSFA that her bill is seen as 'an outrageous overstep' by opponents.

She said: 'Year after year the majority party continues to introduce new legislation that tries to dictate a woman's body and her reproductive rights.'

She said she wanted to send a message that 'men should not be legislating what women do with their bodies'.

Randall Marshall, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, praised Hollis for making the statement but said that the bill would not progress.


Australian public broadcaster loses legal challenge on free speech grounds

Australia's national broadcaster has lost its legal challenge to controversial police raids on its Sydney newsroom last year.

In June, police searched the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the home of a newspaper journalist over articles which relied on leaks from government whistleblowers.

The raids sparked a public outcry and protests across the nation's media.

However, the Federal Court of Australia has ruled the searches were legal.

ABC's managing director David Anderson said the decision was "disappointing". He said the raids had been a high-profile "attempt to intimidate journalists for doing their job".

Why did police raid newsrooms?

Australian Federal Police alleged the stories and reporters at the centre of its searches had breached national security laws.

In the raid last year, they seized thousands of documents over a 2017 ABC investigation which alleged Australian armed forces had committed war crimes in Afghanistan.

Police also raided the home of News Corp reporter Annika Smethurst. In 2018, she had reported an alleged attempt by a government agency to spy on Australian citizens.

Australia's conservative government tightened its security laws in 2018 to make it a criminal offence for journalists to receive classified information from military or intelligence sources.

Canberra has previously said it backs press freedom but that "no one was above the law".

What was the ABC's challenge?

The ABC tried to challenge the legality of the police search warrant, arguing that it breached an implied constitutional right for free speech on political matters.

However, the court rejected that argument. It said "the purpose of the warrant in this case was entirely legitimate" as police had been investigating "valid" national security offences.

The court also said the few legal protections for journalists' sources were not applicable in this case.

The industry's union, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance said the case's dismissal showed "ongoing and serious threats to the public's right to know".

Mr Anderson, from the ABC, said the ruling was "a blow for public interest journalism".

Police have not ruled out prosecuting Ms Smethurst, and ABC reporters Sam Clarke and Dan Oakes over their stories.



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, 2020

Tainted jailhouse informants must be reined in

Jailhouse informants have probably been around for as long as there have been jails and inmates willing to trade information for a favor or two — including more privileges or a shorter sentence.

“Incentivized informants” is the legal term of art, but too often they also have “a strong incentive to lie,” said Michelle Feldman, state campaigns director for the Innocence Project. That explains why, according to the project’s figures, 16 percent of DNA exonerations involved false testimony by informants. Broader studies of wrongful convictions put the figure as high as 46 percent.

Innocent people have spent decades in prison while the guilty remained free, and often the victims of those informants never see justice either — a lose-lose-lose for the criminal justice system.

Case in point: the 1974 conviction of Laurence Adams for the murder of a Boston subway porter. The prosecution’s star witnesses were Wyatt Moore, already facing felony charges, and his sister. They testified at trial that Adams had confessed his guilt to both of them. Moore was released from prison the day after Adams’s conviction. His sister later recanted her testimony, saying she just wanted to get her brother out of jail. Their stories were complete fabrications, but that would take three decades to prove. Adams was exonerated in 2004 and won a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Boston for $2.1 million.

Another recently exonerated Massachusetts man, Gary Cifizzari of Taunton, had been convicted of the 1979 rape and murder of his great aunt. The DNA evidence that helped free Cifizzari was matched to Michael J. Giroux, who in addition to murdering his landlord in 1991 turned out to be something of a serial snitch himself — not in Cifizzari’s case, but in a long list of others.

“This man became an arm of the police,” Radha Natarajan, executive director of the New England Innocence Project, told the Globe. In 1994, a state police trooper offered up Giroux as a possible informant to a Worcester police detective, noting, “He calls me every week.”

Giroux died a free man in 2014. There’s no telling how many innocent people he helped send to prison while avoiding accountability for murdering Cifizzari’s relative.

So how to weed out serial informants like Giroux? And how to give judges and juries the tools they need to evaluate testimony from informants who police and prosecutors are able to “incentivize” — whether currently in prison or not?

“Judges understand how this works, activists and lawyers understand it, everyone but jurors,” Feldman said. “It’s not always apparent to jurors that there’s a benefit [to the person testifying].”

A state bill filed by Senator Joseph Boncore of Winthrop, and supported by the Innocence Project, would provide several significant guardrails around such testimony.

It would set up a kind of registry of jailhouse informants — a database that would list the criminal history of an informant, along with any “deals, promises, inducements or benefits” made by prosecutors now or “in the future.” A serial informant like Giroux would be suspect — at least by honest prosecutors and judges — fairly early on, rather than being passed around by police like a bowl of M&Ms.

The bill provides for “enhanced disclosure” of any inducements on the table. And informants would be subject to a pretrial reliability hearing, in much the same way certain expert witnesses are now.

“It’s ironic that actual experts are subject to more scrutiny than informants,” Feldman said.

A number of other states, most recently Connecticut, have adopted some variation of the law. Connecticut’s includes an informant-tracking system and pretrial reliability hearings.

In other jurisdictions, like Illinois and Orange County, Calif., such legal reforms followed notorious scandals involving informants. In Oklahoma and Florida, it took appellate court decisions to bring about changes to criminal procedure codes.

It shouldn’t take another scandal — surely that $2.1 million Boston had to pay out for the wrongful conviction of Adams would be lesson enough to spur action on Beacon Hill. Bringing more data transparency and rigor to such cases can only be good for the justice system.

Yes, lying jailhouse informants are a part of our history — a part that a modern criminal justice system can live without.


UK: The witch hunting of Daniel Kawczynski

The Tory MP is accused of associating with fascists. It is completely untrue.

The ease with which Daniel Kawczynski, the Conservative MP for Shrewsbury, was isolated and asked by officials of his party to apologise for something that does not need or deserve an apology is testimony to the power of the intolerant and illiberal ‘shut-down culture’ haunting public life in Western Europe. It confirms a really worrying trend: the imposition of a quarantine around individuals and organisations who advocate conservative, religious or patriotic ideals.

The promoters of political quarantining always rely on falsehoods and slanders to discredit their opponents. One prominent victim of this kind of campaigning was the late leading conservative intellectual, Roger Scruton, who was branded as a far-right racist and anti-Semite last year. Last week it was Kawczynski’s turn. He became the target of a media-concocted story claiming he had participated in a conference in Rome that was organised by the far right. Not only did he break the quarantine imposed on certain conservative groups, but in associating with such groups he apparently also endorsed their allegedly racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic views.

In truth, the groups that attended the conference do not hold ‘far right’ views at all. Rather, they are conservative, traditionalist and pro-sovereignty in outlook. But the project of quarantining conservative, sovereignist ideas has been remarkably successful so far. Although he was eventually exonerated, Scruton was fired by the Tory government from his post as chairman of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission. That he was abandoned and betrayed by his own party must have caused Scruton great anguish and pain. Now, like Scruton, Kawczynski has been abandoned by his own party. He was essentially given an ultimatum, ‘apologise or else’. According to my sources, he was also told by his party’s officials not to comment on this ultimatum.

The refusal of the Conservative Party to defend one of its own MPs speaks to the defensive posture it has adopted in today’s culture war. Even though it has just won a major electoral victory, the party appears unwilling to challenge in a serious way the imposition of a cordon sanitaire around traditional, conservative ideals.

Hopefully, Kawczynski will eventually be exonerated of the false accusations levelled at him. But in a sense, the real damage has already been done. The way he has been treated, and the reluctance of his parliamentary colleagues to have his back, will discourage many individuals from challenging today’s political quarantine. At least in the short term, opportunities for serious, open political debate will be further compromised.

What are the facts?

Almost overnight, Kawczynski, a respected MP, was transformed by his media and political detractors into the incarnation of xenophobic evil. Very few mainstream commentators and politicians were prepared to stand up to the powerful campaign of vilification directed against him. Very few even asked the question, ‘What did he actually do?’. Instead, the very fact that some media outlets branded him ‘far right’ was enough to condemn him.

Kawczynski’s alleged crime was that he attended a meeting of fascistic European politicians who apparently are in the business of promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. In the words of former Tory Party chairman Lord Pickles, who serves as the government’s ‘special envoy on post-Holocaust issues’, Kawczynski brought ‘comfort’ to ‘racists and extremism’. Pickles claimed Kawczynski had ‘let fellow Conservatives down’.

It is worth noting that Kawczynski himself is not accused of saying anything remotely racist, xenophobic or anti-Semitic. In the eyes of his persecutors, his crime was that he attended a conference with questionable people. In other words, he is guilty by association.

But who is he guilty of associating with, precisely? Some of his persecutors have alleged that he mixed with well-known anti-Semites and therefore he helped to legitimise anti-Semitism and racism. Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, carelessly waded into the discussion, asserting that the Tories ran the ‘serious risk of the public assuming that they share [Kawczynski’s] views’, unless, that is, they made an example of him. The Guardian and the Independent echoed this sentiment, implying that Kawczynski’s guilt was beyond debate.

Anyone who only had access to the British media could be forgiven for thinking the conference in Rome was organised to promote hatred against Jewish people. The reality is very, very different. In fact, the National Conservative Conference was organised by mainstream conservative groups, not by the far right. The purpose of the conference was to reflect on the intellectual and political challenges facing conservatism today.

As it happens, one of the sponsors of the conference was the Jewish Israeli think-tank the Herzl Institute. If anyone is wondering where the organisers of the conference really stand on the question of anti-Semitism, the sight of a large Star of David in the main hall – part of the Herzl Institute logo – should have made it pretty clear. It should confirm that the conclusions drawn by Marie van der Zyl and others were simply wrong. It is ridiculous to claim that a conference in which all participants spoke in front of a Star of David next to Hebrew text was promoting anti-Semitism.

One of the main speakers at the conference was Israeli academic Yoram Hazony. As Hazony ambled up to speak on the stage, his yarmulke visible to all, you could also see his wife with her ubiquitous knit cap covering her hair. The positive audience response to Hazony, who is a leading expert on the subject of Jewish nationalism, again suggests that the media depiction of the conference as anti-Semitic was driven by pure political malevolence.

It is a shame that Marie van der Zyl and her colleagues at the Board of Deputies have such a shallow grasp of what anti-Semitism actually means. Even worse, at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise in many parts of Western Europe, crying wolf about it trivialises the seriousness of the threat faced by Jewish people today. If anyone should apologise as part of this sordid, concocted controversy, it should be Eric Pickles and Marie van der Zyl.

The invention of the new ‘far right’

The claim that the conference was organised by the far right is no less tendentious than the idea that it was anti-Semitic.

Judging by the remarks made about the people who attended the conference, it is clear that the current usage of terms like ‘far right’ and ‘fascistic’ has nothing in common with how these terms were used in the past. There was a time when the term ‘far right’ referred to essentially anti-democratic organisations that frequently relied on force and extra-parliamentary activity rather than on electoral politics. Today, the phrase ‘far right’ is promiscuously applied to anyone who has strong conservative, religious or patriotic convictions and who is an opponent of identity politics.

The prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Órban, a man of Christian, democratic and conservative convictions, is now routinely described as far right by his Western critics. If the term far right had been used as casually in the past as it is today, then people like Winston Churchill, Konrad Adenauer, Charles de Gaulle and Alcide De Gasperi would almost certainly have been denounced as far right. In fact, virtually every leading conservative politician of the Fifties, Sixties, Seventies and Eighties would have courted this accusation.

Many of the so-called far-right sponsors of the Rome conference are actually individuals and groups who traditionally would have been seen as the mainstream wing of the conservative movement. Take the example of the Bow Group. It is the UK’s oldest conservative think-tank. Such a far-right figure as former prime minister John Major is a former president. Numerous former ministers have been members. Other sponsors of the conference were the Center for European Renewal (Netherlands), the Danube Institute (Hungary), the Edmund Burke Foundation (the US), the International Reagan Thatcher Society (the US), and Nazione Futura (Italy).

One can legitimately oppose the views promoted by these organisations. But simply to condemn them as ‘far right’ and ‘racist’ is just a way of saying that they do not have any legitimate role to play in public life; that they should be subjected to the political quarantine.

The cordon sanitaire around populism

The attack on Kawczynski is closely linked to the 21st-century project of delegitimising any views that call into question the illiberal and anti-populist consensus that is dominant among the Western political class. In effect, the use of the term far right is designed to signal that certain people are beyond the pale. Their views should not only be ignored – they should be No Platformed and blacklisted. This new intolerance against views that challenge the illiberal, cosmopolitan and anti-populist consensus is deeply hostile to debate, free speech and open political engagement. Instead, it demands the total isolation of anyone who opposes the new political orthodoxies.

The cordon sanitaire is not only aimed at keeping populist parties away from mainstream public life – it is also designed to delegitimise governments in Eastern and Central Europe, especially in Hungary and Poland, that take the idea of national sovereignty seriously.

What the Kawczynski affair demonstrates is that pure lies and invented accounts about a conference of pro-sovereignty conservatives will be endorsed by the powers-that-be. The speed with which the Conservative Party was prepared to sacrifice one of its own indicates that it is not prepared to stick its neck out and take on the culture warriors who are out to claim the scalp of anyone who stands in their way.

However, the cordon sanitaire cannot endure forever. It offers only a technical solution to the political challenge faced by the cultural and political establishment. Not so long ago, supporters of Brexit were denounced as far right, and far too few mainstream parliamentarians were prepared to counter this slander. And yet today, the UK is on the road to Brexit. Soon, many of the populist parties of Western Europe will learn to expand their influence to the point that the mainstream parties will have to engage with them. And as millions of voters have made clear in election after election, the pro-sovereignty governments of Central Europe are not going away anytime soon.


Smollett. Fake noose fallout, part deux

“A little less than a year after he walked out of a Cook County courthouse seemingly never to return,” the Chicago Sun-Times reports,  “Jussie Smollett again faces criminal charges as a special prosecutor Tuesday announced a new indictment accusing the former ‘Empire’ star of faking a 2019 hate crime attack.”

The new indictment brought by Special Prosecutor Dan Webb, “involves six counts that are the lowest level of felony offenses in state law.” Webb also issued a statement rebuking Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx for dismissing charges against Smollett last year, and the indictment comes as Foxx is fighting to win a second term.

In a statement Tuesday, Smollett’s attorney Tina Glandian said “the charges were appropriately dismissed the first time because they were not supported by the evidence. The attempt to re-prosecute Mr. Smollett one year later on the eve of the Cook County State's Attorney election is clearly all about politics not justice.” So was the hoax the actor staged.

Smollett sent a threatening letter to himself showing a noose, then paid two black friends to attack him in Chicago, which they proclaimed “MAGA country!”  This was to dramatize the narrative that Donald Trump had turned the nation into a cauldron of racial hatred. So right from the start leftist Democrats were all in.

“The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching,” proclaimed Cory Booker. “I’m glad he’s safe.” In similar style, fellow presidential candidate Kamala Harris tagged the attack a “modern-day lynching.”  Green New Dealer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who believe walls are immoral, called it a “racist, homophobic attack.” The media echo chamber also chimed in.

On February 14, 2019, Robin Roberts interviewed Smollett on “Good Morning America.” Smollett contended he was a victim and did not orchestrate the alleged attack. According to Roberts, “It’s a setback for race relations, homophobia, MAGA supporters.”

By February 20, Smollett’s story had completely collapsed, and African American comedians were mocking the actor. When NBA great Charles Barkley got word that Smollett had paid the fake muggers with a check, he told a national television audience, “do not commit crimes with checks.” The story was less credible than Al Sharpton’s Tawana Brawley hoax, but the establishment media only escalated the rhetoric.

Keith Boykin and Van Jones appeared on “At This Hour” with Kate Bolduan and both defended their belief in the story as it broke. “A lot of people say, how can you believe this story from the beginning?” Boykin said. Jones responded  “Because it happens!”

Embattled Chicago police came after Smollett with charges of felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. Obama crony Tina Tchen intervened on behalf of Smollett, and the Illinois state attorney’s office dismissed 16 felony charges as part of a sealed deal.

Overshadowed by the impeachment hoax, Smollett thought he was in the clear, but now special prosecutor Dan Webb is bringing a six-pack of felony charges. As the case unfolds, media sleuths might keep watch for new interventions by Tchen and other POTUS 44 insiders. The Democrats’ anti-Trump jihad is sure to surge again, and nobody should be surprised if the actor gets a tap on the wrist, or nothing at all.

There are enough bogus hate crimes to fill books such as Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left is Selling a Fake Race War, by Wilfred Reilly. Observers should also bear in mind the fakery going on in national politics.

For most of her adult life, Elizabeth Warren claimed to be Native American in general and Cherokee in particular. When those claims were proved false, Warren did not resign from the Senate and at this writing the fake Cherokee is still running for president of the United States.

In similar style, Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal claimed he served in Vietnam but he didn’t. When that claim was proved false, Blumenthal did not resign from the Senate. For his part, POTUS 44, formerly known as Barry Soetoro, has been rather quiet about the fakery of his fellow Democrats, with good reason.

According to his official biographer, Pulitzer Prize-winner David Garrow, “Dreams from My Father was not a memoir or an autobiography; it was instead, in multitudinous ways, without any question a work of historical fiction,”  and the “most important composite character was the narrator himself.”

The nation’s first composite-character president doubtless played a major role in launching the fake charges of Russia collusion against candidate and President Trump. That is as serious as it gets, but to date, none of the major players have served any jail time. So fake noose hoaxster Jussie Smollett may be feeling good about his chances.

Meanwhile, as the Chicago Sun-Times notes, “Smollett is due to return to the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Feb. 24 for arraignment, almost a year to the day after he turned himself in to police in 2019.” As President Trump likes to say, we’ll have to see what happens.


Australia: Female tradies want their OWN range of hi-vis workwear - saying being 'forced' to wear men's clothes is DANGEROUS

Quick! Call the feminists.  Men and women are the same!

Female tradeswomen say the male-oriented clothing used on work sites is not only ill-fitting but could put them in danger.

Research from Bisley Workwear has found nine out of ten tradeswomen have struggled to find protective workwear which fits properly.

Major issues include loose clothing snagging on ladders and frustrations around trying to remove a pair of overalls from inside a portaloo.  

Of the women surveyed, a third felt they couldn't work as hard in poorly-fitting uniforms.

Nearly half of all workers resorted to wearing their own casual clothing to worksites rather than proper workwear.

Former Block contestent Kara Demmich told the Today Show when she first showed up she was excited by the clothing options but soon encountered problems.

'I was given a bag of clothes and I thought we had hit the jackpot with free clothes but they didn't fit me. They were a bit big and when you're on a work site and climbing over joists you want something that fits and is not going to get caught,' she said.

Female landscaper Coralie Stuart said the lifespan of clothing had also been an issue for her.

'If you have to climb a ladder and if you're not wearing gear that fits properly it's dangerous,' she said.

'And the clothing I was wearing through it in the space of a couple of months and the menswear doesn't fit. So it's good to have something that is fitted to my body not going to get caught on anything and tear things.'

The research also found about 45 per cent of women surveyed felt self-conscious wearing uniforms which weren't designed for the female body. 

The rising number of women working in trades and research around workwear has prompted changes to the uniforms.

New gear has been created that is more form fitting with a feminine design twist to eliminate the risks associated with women wearing men's workwear.

The managing director of Bisley, David Gazal told the Australian that women's clothing is traditionally adapted from men's with very few changes.

'So we then got a men's silhouette and a men's garment and we put in nips and tucks and called it a women's style. It still didn't fit but we called it a ladies style.'

But he said the company's new female workwear was designed for women from the ground up.

'When we put this range together, we put it together knowing that the garment needs a completely different silhouette, and completely different fabric,' Mr Gazal said.

'Fabric needs stretch, it needs wearability, and functionality in the workplace. It needs to be durable and not be restrictive.'



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, 2020

Snopes Beclowns Itself with Awful 'Confirmation' of Hitlerian Tones in Trump Tweet

The author below picks up several of the glides in Mikkelson's post but misses some big ones. 

I was particularly amused by this: "[Hitler and Trump] unceasingly attack objective truth". It is certainly true that Trump gets some details wrong but who is it who constantly tell us that "There's no such thing as right and wrong". It's not Trump or any other conservative. It is the Left. So it is actually the current LEFT that Hitler resembles!

And the claim that "Fake news" is a paraphrase of Hitler's "Lügenpresse" (lying press) is extraordinary. "Fake news" was a term used by the American press in the run-up to the 2016 election.  It was a term made popular by Hillary Clinton in response to a claim that she was running a racket out of a NY pizza parlour.

So, again, both Lügenpresse" and "fake news" were first used by Leftists: Hitler and Hillary. Trump just made use of Hillary's term to use it against her and her ilk.

And there is the general point about Mikkelson's post that cherrypicking one bit from a longer screed can prove almost anything.  You have to look at the relevant literature as a whole to make a fair comparison.  But cherrypicking is a constant recourse of the Left.  The whole truth is just too embarrassing to them.  So Mikkelson is just another deceitful Leftist cherrypicker.

I could go on and talk about Hitler's party platform etc., but I think I have said enough for the moment.  I say much more about Hitler here

Fact-checking websites have a checkered reputation at best. Many lean so far to the left that they cannot recognize their own bias. None has carried that standard so proudly, however, as Snopes. This week, even they have completely outdone themselves. In a February 12, 2020 article titled, "Does This Trump Tweet Echo ‘Mein Kampf?’" Snopes engages in so many sophomoric logical fallacies that they may have done permanent damage to whatever remains of their reputation.

I kept screen captures, just in case they become so embarrassed that it would be too much to leave the article up, even for them.

Snopes founder David Mikkelson authored the article, in which he cites a tweet from August 2018 to examine the issue.

Incidentally, the author reveals his bias right out of the gate by choosing such an old tweet. This has clearly been on his mind for a while now. Here's how Mikkelson confirms this tweet:

The statement on the right comes from Hitler’s 1925 autobiographical manifesto “Mein Kampf,” begun while he was imprisoned for his part in a failed coup d’état in Munich, Bavaria, in November 1923. Although Hitler’s work is subject to the vagaries of translation (since Hitler wrote in German), the above passage does appear as worded in Chapter 11 of “Mein Kampf” in at least one English-language translation

There are so many holes in that explanation, it boggles the mind. Let's examine, first of all, the direct comparison of what Trump has said about the biased press, versus what Hitler said about the press not supporting his agenda. A rather large distinction right off the bat, no? They both criticize the press, so they're both Literally Hitler™. This is what's known as a Causal Fallacy — in this case, assuming a correlation with insufficient evidence.

It should go without saying but apparently bears repeating: Trump criticizes the press for their political bias and failure to report accurately, thereby misleading consumers of news and incompletely informing them. Hitler criticized the press for not getting on board with his fascistic plans for German society. The comparison falls apart on its face.

Mikkelson isn't done with the logical fallacies, however. He then commits an Appeal to Authority — and what an authority!

To what extent the two statements presented above resemble each other is something of a subjective issue, but many critics, such as civil rights lawyer Burt Neuborne, have drawn parallels between Trump’s and Hitler’s attacks on the mainstream press.

Burt Neuborne is an attorney and law professor who litigated cases for the ACLU and NOW, and founded the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School. Neuborne has repeatedly accused Trump of bearing a strong resemblance to Hitler. In fact, he wrote a book about it, which Mikkelson quotes:

[Hitler and Trump] unceasingly attack objective truth. “Both Trump and Hitler maintained a relentless assault on the very idea of objective truth,” [Neuborne says]. “Each began the assault by seeking to delegitimize the mainstream press. Hitler quickly coined the epithet Lügenpresse (literally ‘lying press’) to denigrate the mainstream press.

Trump uses a paraphrase of Hitler’s lying press epithet — ‘fake news’ — cribbed, no doubt, from one of Hitler’s speeches. For Trump, the mainstream press is a ‘lying press’ that publishes ‘fake news.’” Hitler attacked his opponents as spreading false information to undermine his positions, Neuborne says, just as Trump has attacked “elites” for disseminating false news …

They relentlessly attack mainstream media. Trump’s assaults on the media echo Hitler’s, Neuborne says, noting that he “repeatedly attacks the ‘failing New York Times,’ leads crowds in chanting ‘CNN sucks,’ [and] is personally hostile to most reporters.” He cites the White House’s refusal to fly the flag at half-mast after the murder of five journalists in Annapolis in June 2018, Trump’s efforts to punish CNN by blocking a merger of its corporate parent, and trying to revoke federal Postal Service contracts held by Amazon, which was founded by Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post.

Notice that? "Cribbed, no doubt, from one of Hitler's speeches." No proof, no detailed analysis of potential plagiarism. Just speculation. Neuborne engages in the same causal fallacy Mikkelson does. That explains why Mikkelson likes his writing so much — it affirms Mikkelson's own biases without having to ask himself the hard questions.

If an author refuses to show enough intellectual honesty to thoughtfully compare not just the words, but the intent of a statement, then why should anyone take them seriously?


The political earthquake in East Germany

Respectability for Germany's big anti-immigration party at last?  Like major political parties in most of the developed world, Germany's traditional major parties recoil from any hint that they may be racist.  But average Germans see all the Third world immigrants as a problem.  Only AFD represents that feeling

Events in Thuringia last week have had political consequences that reach far beyond the borders of this small state in eastern Germany. Five days after the surprise election of Thomas Kemmerich as the state’s new premier, the party leader of the ruling CDU, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (or AKK, as she is often called), has announced her resignation.

The problems began with last autumn’s state elections. Last week, it looked as if a state government could finally be formed. Kemmerich was chosen as premier despite his party, the centrist Free Democratic Party (FDP), winning just five per cent of the vote. He was elected with the support of local centre-right CDU politicians, alongside the controversial right-wing populist party, the AfD (Alternative for Germany), which pulled its own candidate for premier to throw its weight behind Kemmerich. It was the CDU politicians’ decision to join ranks with the AfD which has provoked a political earthquake powerful enough to reach the top of the party.

‘Unforgivable’ was how chancellor Angela Merkel described her party working with the AfD. The CDU leadership demanded a reversal of the vote which appointed Kemmerich.

All of the mainstream parties had, until now, maintained a cordon sanitaire against the AfD. But last week, a ‘crack in the establishment’s defences against the far-right’ had formed, in the words of Bloomberg’s Germany correspondent.

Before AKK’s shock resignation, other heads had rolled, too. First to resign was Kemmerich himself – only hours after his appointment. He was under pressure to do so from the CDU and his own party. The CDU’s minister for east Germany, Christian Hirte, was forced to stand down because he had congratulated Kemmerich for his election on Twitter.

The affair in Thuringia shows the difficulty the German establishment is having in dealing not only with the AfD but also with voters more broadly. Kemmerich’s contested election was, in many ways, the consequence of the establishment parties’ failures. The old established parties, particularly the Social Democrats (SPD), suffered massive losses in the state elections.

In Thuringia, neither the incumbent coalition government – made up of the Left Party (Die Linke), the SPD, and Greens – nor any other grouping was able to form a stable government. The CDU, which also lost votes, was faced with the choice of either tolerating the Left Party’s Bodo Ramelow or supporting Kemmerich alongside the AfD.

In her resignation speech, AKK said that as a person from the middle, she rejected both options. As party leader, AKK placed pressure on her colleagues from Thuringia to uphold the unwritten rule of ‘no collaboration’ with the AfD. But they did not listen to her. The current crisis in the CDU shows that that situation has become untenable.

The AfD came second in the Thuringia state elections, winning over 23 per cent of the vote. Local CDU politicians feel under much greater pressure from their voters than the party bigwigs in Berlin. They knew that supporting a candidate from the Left Party, whom their supporters rejected, would have cost them dearly.

Angela Merkel initially called for the reinstatement of the Left Party’s Ramelow as caretaker premier. The CDU general secretary, however, opposed to his party working with the left, has instead called for a ‘cross-party solution’. He has proposed that a non-partisan, technocratic leader could take over the state. This proposal shows how dangerous the anti-AfD taboo has become. To maintain its anti-AfD policy, the CDU leadership is even willing to abandon the basic principle of democracy: that governments must be elected and accountable to the voters.

It is true that Thuringia’s AfD is led by one of the party’s most obnoxious characters. Björn Höcke is a former history teacher from western Germany, known for his ugly historical revisionism which romanticises the far right. But calls for an unelected government, simply to shut out his party, are far more dangerous.

The calls for a technocratic government, not to mention the AfD taboo itself, reveal a worrying unwillingness to engage in serious and open debate. Formally, the main parties’ anti-AfD stance is presented as a defence against a right-wing party. But informally, it is also directed against its voters. Trying everything to outmanoeuvre and exclude the AfD has proven to be a futile strategy. More and more people are starting to think the mainstream parties are not even interested in courting their vote.

The AfD’s political tactics should not be defended, either. The party’s attempt to have a politician like Kemmerich appointed – whose party came last in the autumn state elections, and who represents only around five per cent of the voters – is just as contemptuous of democracy as the CDU’s idea of appointing a technocratic leader. The proper thing in a democracy would be for the party which won the largest number of votes to provide the premier. In this case, it should have fallen to the Left Party, which won 31 per cent of the vote, to form a government.

Sadly, far too few people in German public life – from those who hate the AfD to AfD supporters – are consistent when it comes to democracy. Instead of defending fundamental principles, such as the right of representation and majority rule, parties have instead been engaged in a tactical scuffle. Those who are upset about the events in Thuringia should ask themselves this: are they really worried about democracy, or do they simply want to isolate a party they disagree with?

For some commentators, the events in Thuringia have become symptomatic of the chaos democracy can produce. That is not true. The chaos was produced by the fact that so many politicians are unwilling to accept democratic results they do not like.


Martyr for free speech: Jordan Peterson is the professor vilified by the Left for his crusade against political correctness. Now he's seriously ill, his close friend DOUGLAS MURRAY reveals the very high price he's paid

In a dramatic video published on YouTube last week, a woman looked to the camera and delivered a deeply personal announcement.

She revealed that her father, Jordan Peterson, the famous 'professor against political correctness', was in intensive care in Russia after being hospitalised following a severe dependence on benzodiazepines – a class of anti-anxiety pills.

'He nearly died several times,' she says solemnly in the clip that has been viewed more than 2.4 million times.

'He almost died from what the medical system did to him in the West.'

Explaining why he was in Russia, not exactly a free society, Mikhaila Peterson says: 'The doctors here aren't influenced by the pharmaceutical companies.

'They don't believe in treating symptoms caused by medications, by adding in more medications and have the guts to medically detox someone from benzodiazepines.'

Of course, for the Canadian psychologist's family, the notion that he's been left with 'neurological damage', as Mikhaila says, is a tragedy.

But it is also an immense tragedy for everyone who cares about the culture wars that dominate so much of our lives today.

For the 57-year-old, who has been the most talked-about thinker on our planet in recent times, has bravely battled the political-correctness ninjas harder than anyone else. In an age of newly imposed, often suffocating dogmas, he said what people know to be true about a whole range of issues.

That women and men are biologically different. That people ought to take responsibility for their own lives.

That modern life often seems hollow and meaningless.

But there was a very great cost to pay for being the cause célèbre of telling the truth. Becoming Public Enemy No 1 may have helped lead him to where he is today.

Peterson first came to public notice in his native Toronto by refusing to use so-called 'compelled speech' – for example, being compelled by law to refer to a trans person by their chosen pronoun.

He was not 'transphobic', as his critics claimed, but he was motivated by a simple refusal to allow governments in a free society to dictate what people are allowed to say.

From that first storm, he seemed to start fires wherever he went.

And always singeing the people who tried to get the better of him.

His YouTube channel, where he posted lectures and speeches, racked up tens of millions of views.

Pilloried for speaking sense, parts of the Left-wing media tried to destroy him.

One of the most famous examples came during a visit to the UK in 2018 when Channel 4 News' Cathy Newman spent half an hour trying to put words in Peterson's mouth.

Attempting to catch him out on trans rights and women's equality, she tried in vain to twist what he said to fit her own ideological agenda.

Clips from the interview went viral and, like other attempts to destroy Peterson, only helped gain him a larger audience.

In 2018 his book Twelve Rules For Life was published and it instantly became a global No 1 bestseller.

He was quickly selling out arenas on speaking tours.

Though his audience were of all ages and backgrounds, he struck a particular chord with the young.

In a society whose guiding ethos is 'do whatever feels good' and then 'spend your spare time saving the planet', Peterson had a different message.

It included some reboots of good, old-fashioned values. Sit up straight.

Put your own house in order. He told people if they couldn't even keep their room clean it was unlikely that they were going to be much use reordering society or the planet.

He advised people to develop meaningful relationships. He recommended delayed, rather than instant, gratification.

And he invited people to live their lives as though they had purpose: to consider that this life we are living is more than just some shallow consumer game.

When I first saw him deliver a lecture in London, the atmosphere was electric.

In a tour-de-force, Peterson explained the virtues of the Judaeo-Christian tradition, the significance of myth and the relevance of great stories from the past to people's lives today.

It was religious and secular – familiar and radical.

By this point, we had become friends and we appeared on stage together in two venues.

Together with our friend, the philosopher Sam Harris, we appeared at the 3Arena in Dublin and the O2 Arena in London. On both occasions, some 10,000 people turned out to hear us discuss God, politics and society.

I have no doubt that the majority of the audience was there to see Jordan, and he deserved it.

Inevitably, he's made countless enemies. Not only among people who disliked his message, but among people who had never seen anything like this thinker's stardom and were jealous.

He was constantly abused on Twitter, while publications printed hit-pieces and slanders incessantly.

Then, last March, his visiting fellowship at Cambridge University was rescinded after a backlash from the faculty and students.

Looking for excuses not to host the world's most famous professor, they pretended to be horrified by a photo of him at a fan meet-and-greet standing next to a man wearing a T-shirt with the slogan 'I am a proud Islamophobe'.

The cowards at Cambridge said that by standing there, Peterson had 'casually endorsed' the man.

Meanwhile, people around him were worried about his crazy schedule. A speech in a different city – often a different country – every day. And media interviews at all hours.

Last April, his wife Tammy was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Trying to cope with the strain, Jordan began taking increased doses of the anti-anxiety drug benzodiazepine.

He has always been frank and open about his history of depression and has tried to advise other people on how to cope with this dreadful affliction.

Last September, his daughter Mikhaila announced her father had checked himself into rehab.

Then this week we got the awful news.

In her message, Mikhaila, who suffers from arthritis and an autoimmune disorder which she treats by eating a controversial all-meat diet, announced he has been trying to get off the medication for the past eight months.

I wish the reaction to this terrible news had been kinder.

But it is a feature of our toxic age that people who like to present themselves as the kindest can be relied upon to be vicious as hell in a cause they think is good.

Those social-justice activists who Peterson exposed when he was well are now being vile because he cannot remonstrate.

The Independent website attacked him as an 'alt-right figurehead' who has attracted 'widespread accusations of transphobia'.

The Guardian journalist Suzanne Moore tweeted gleefully: 'Hello Editor types. Jordan Peterson holed up in rehab in Russia. F*** me gently with a chainsaw… let me do that story. Come on!'

A fellow Canadian academic, Amir Attaran, wrote on Twitter under the hashtag 'Karma': 'Jordan Peterson, oracle to gullible young men, preacher of macho toughness, and hectoring bully to 'snowflakes', is addicted to strong drugs and his brain riddled with 'neurological damage'.

'He deserves as much sympathy as he showed others.'

And these are just three notable examples of the sewer of abuse directed his way.

So perhaps I could say a few words of support for him?

I have known a few remarkable people in my time. The best of them, inevitably, have fans.

You can tell the fans, as the novelist Martin Amis once wrote, because they shake when they meet their heroes.

With Jordan Peterson it wasn't like that. Walking down any street with him, or sitting next to him in book-signing queues, I saw first-hand what other people heard about.

In the 20 or 30 seconds that people might have him to themselves, they didn't tell him how much they loved his work.

They told him what a difference he had made to their lives.

A great author is lucky if this is said to them even a few times in their lives. Peterson was told it multiple times every evening.

I'll never forget a man in his 20s who came over after one event.

While Peterson signed his book, he related that 18 months earlier he had been living in a bedsit, spending his time gaming and smoking too much marijuana.

Today, he said he was married, holding down a job and his wife was expecting their first child.

This, he said, was all because of Peterson. I've heard similar stories many times.

A serious and grown-up society would take lessons from such a phenomenon.

Instead of dismissing him, deriding him or trying to catch him out, it would recognise that we live in a society where plenty of people are willing to tell easy untruths but too few people are willing to tell difficult, necessary truths.

It would also realise that underneath the glitz and technology of the modern age, there lies a deep lack of purpose – a chaos – that for young people in particular can be utterly terrifying and which almost no one addresses. Peterson has sought to address that chaos.

Not with grandiose plans but with small, achievable steps. All bolstered by a knowledge and curiosity that was frankly awesome as well as inspiring.

At no point has he held himself out to be a saint. And not once has he suggested that he has all the answers.

But he knows where the answers do not lie. And he knows that we can live lives of deeper meaning and purpose than this shallow and retributive age pretends.

Jordan Peterson is a remarkable man.

But he's still a man, with all the frailties and failings that condition involves.

His daughter says that he is on the mend. And I know I say on behalf of millions of people: 'Get well soon, my friend. Our world has need of you.'  


Everyone's got a victim story - so here's mine

By Bettina Arndt, an Australian opponent of feminist man-hatred

I have a strange little story, an interesting side-show to the bombardment I am receiving in the press.

The main accusation against me, from Victoria Attorney General Jill Hennessy, Rosie Batty and numerous media commentators, is that my views are an insult to victims of sexual abuse.

That’s pretty funny really because that’s exactly what I am – a victim of sexual abuse. Fifty years ago, as a nineteen-year old university student, I was one of many victims of a Canberra doctor who fiddled with me in his surgery and was eventually charged with molesting his patients.

I’ve never chosen to see myself as a victim, but I have had enough of people like Hennessy telling us how we are allowed to talk about such experiences. In 1997 I wrote a long newspaper article in the SMH talking about what that doctor did to me, outlining the complexities of his case, why a judge and then the full court determined he should not be charged, and how I felt about that.

Now selected quotes from that article are being used as part of the endless media pile-on, as feminists react to news of my award. The usual suspects, particularly Nina Funnell, have spent the past fortnight dishing out dirt about me. The story of the Canberra doctor is classic of their tactics – picking unrelated phrases from my writing to try and show me in the worst possible light.

So, this was a quote in an article about me, co-authored by Nina Funnell and published in New Matilda on Australia Day weekend:

In 1997 Ms Arndt defended a Canberra doctor who had molested multiple patients, including a 12 year old child, arguing that the sex offender should not be charged over the molestations, because in another context masturbating a person would be a “loving and pleasurable” act.

Notice how deceptively the authors fail to acknowledge I was a victim of this man – because that would have undermined their argument that my views are damaging to sex abuse victims.

Now let me tell you what actually happened. I went to see this unknown doctor because I thought I might be pregnant and picked a medical practitioner working on the other side of town from my parents, as teenage girls tend to do.

He suggested an orgasm might be just the thing to bring on my period and in a detached, professional manner he proceeded to try, unsuccessfully, to achieve just that with his fingers. I thought it was a bit odd at the time, but it wasn’t a big deal for me, and I barely thought about the experience until a quarter of a century later, when the first accusations appeared in the press about the doctor.

In 1994, 13 women laid sexual assault charges against him. A judge ultimately granted a permanent stay on the proceedings, noting that by then the man had retired from medical practice. The Judge said he would be prejudiced by the long delay and relevant medical records had been destroyed. A full court supported that decision.

Then, amazingly the doctor sent a written apology to two of the victims, expressing his grief that he had caused them pain and suffering. I ended up interviewing a number of his victims, some of whom said an apology was all they wanted from the man. That’s what my long, careful article was all about. What do victims want from a perpetrator? Is an apology ever enough? 

I urge everyone to please read it – it’s here, on my website. I agreed with some of the victims who said that because he’d given an apology, and was no longer in practice, that was enough for them. That said, I clearly spelt out in detail how important it is to prosecute and remove from practice doctors who betray their patients’ trust.

But I breached the feminist playbook by suggesting there’s a difference between violent rape and what this man did to me. That happens to be the truth as far as the outcome of such experiences on victims, as the research clearly shows.

Feminists are forcing us all to lie and pretend all sexual offences are equally damaging – even though the psychological literature clearly shows victim impact and recovery is very much related to the type of offence, as well as many other factors. It’s been wonderful this week to hear from so many psychologists applauding me for daring to speak out about the silencing of this type of research.

I’ve made a video about the Canberra doctor story. I have every right to define my own experiences and to write about them without zealots distorting what I say and shutting down conversations about these important topics. They are deliberately creating moral panic to fuel the outrage industry with their ill-informed, ideologically driven misinformation.  Here’s the video. Please help me circulate that.

Email from Bettina@bettinaarndt.com.au


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

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

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


16 February, 2020

Does immigration make littering worse?

Philippe Lemoine is a young and outspoken campus conservative.  He is also a very bright boy generally.  He is very much at ease with statistical analysis.  He uses that skill to do a thorough examination of the claim that minorities litter more.  He first takes apart a claim that they do not and shows the claim  concerned to be statistical garbage

He then goes on to examine statistically all aspects of the issue and shows that blacks and Hispanice litter more than twice as much as whites.  His analyses are pretty straightforward so should be understandable by many readers.  Because he has to cover so many bases, his article is very long.  I reproduce below therefore just the more important excerpts.

Does immigration make littering worse?  It sure looks that way
Alex Nowrasteh and Andrew Forrester just published a piece which they claim to show that, in the US, immigrants don’t litter more than natives.

Their post has been shared pretty widely and uncritically by pundits, academics and journalists and it’s already being used to argue that anyone who claims that immigrants litter more than natives is a racist. The problem is that, as I will argue in this post, not only does their analysis fail to show that immigrants don’t litter more than natives, but insofar as the data they used show anything, they show exactly the opposite.

Nowrasteh and Forrester claim to have been moved to write about this because, even though the issue seems a bit superficial, the argument that immigrants litter more is made increasingly often by restrictionists:

At the recent National Conservatism conference, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax argued in favor of restricting non-white immigration to the United States because she said they litter more. My colleague David Bier was heckled at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2018 and asked about immigrant littering. Fox News Tucker Carlson has been bringing up immigrant littering over the years, most recently with the help of City Journal associate editor Seth Barron.

If you ask me, this paragraph is extremely uncharitable, to the point of being dishonest. It makes his sound as if Carlson and Wax think the fact that non-white immigrants litter more alone justifies restricting non-white immigration, but obviously that’s not what they mean. They just use littering as one example of anti-social behaviors that, according to them, immigrants from certain parts of the world engage in more often than natives.

In fact, if you read what Wax said in her infamous talk (it was actually during the Q&A), she explicitly said as much:

"I think we are going to sink back significantly into Third Worldism. We are going to go Venezuela, and you can just see it happening. I mean one of my pet peeves, one of my obsessions, is litter, and I… If you go up to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, or Yankee territory, right? Or versus other places that are “more diverse,” you are going to see an enormous difference. I’m sorry to report. You know, generalizations are not very pleasant, but little things like that, which aren’t little, they really affect our environment, attitudes towards public space."

Anyway, having explained why they felt the need to jump into this debate, Nowrasteh and Forrester  describe how they allegedly showed that immigrants don’t litter more than natives:

"Fortunately, there are data available to at least partially answer this question. The American Housing Survey (AHS) is a biennial longitudinal housing survey that asks about the amount of trash, litter, or junk in streets, lots, or properties within a half-block of the respondent’s housing unit. The answers are a “small amount of trash,” a “large amount,” and “no trash.” We constructed a scale from zero to one using a min-max normalization for all non-missing observations where a higher value indicates more trash in a neighborhood. We then take a weighted average of these scores using the weighting variable present in the AHS public use file for each metropolitan area.

The smallest geographical unit in the AHS was the Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA) for 15 major urban areas in the United States that account for about 33 percent of the total U.S. population (around 58 percent of the foreign-born population and 30 percent of the native-born population).

We linked the foreign-born shares of the CBSA populations from the 2017 American Community Survey (2013-2017, 5-year estimates) to the AHS survey responses on the amount of litter and trash. We then ran a regression where the independent variable is the percent of the CBSA’s population that is foreign-born and the dependent variable is the response to the litter question."

As they explain in the rest of the post, when they did that, they didn’t find statistically significant relationship between the proportion of immigrants in a CBSA and the amount of litter.

But does it mean that Nowrasteh and Forrester are right and that immigrants don’t litter more than natives? Well, no, it does not. Not at all. The way they analyzed the data makes absolutely no sense and, when you do it correctly, you find exactly the opposite result. In fact, insofar as the data show anything, they completely vindicate Wax, but amazingly Nowrasteh and Forrester reached exactly the opposite conclusion. The problems with their analysis are so obvious that, when I read their post, I just couldn’t believe it. The dataset they used contains more than 50,000 observations, but by aggregating at the CBSA level, they reduced that to only 15 observations. The only reason to use this approach is that, by doing that, we can precisely determine the demographics of the area where respondents live instead of using their own demographics for the composition of their neighborhood. But the CBSAs in the dataset are huge and contain a lot of people, whereas respondents were asked about the presence of trash in the streets within 1/2 block of where they live, so this is not helpful.

In general, when people complain about “immigration”, even if they don’t use any qualifier, they are only complaining about some groups of immigrants but not all of them, so the average effect of immigrants is irrelevant to their claims. For instance, when people in France complain about immigration, everybody knows they’re talking about African and North-African immigrants. I have almost never heard anyone complain about Asian immigrants, because they tend to do very well and don’t cause many problems.  Thus, if we are going to use the American Housing Survey to assess whether people like Carlson and Wax are right, we must disaggregate by region of origin and/or race, which Nowrasteh and Forrester didn’t do. Again, even if they had, it wouldn’t have shown anything one way or the other, because it would have done nothing to alleviate the problems with their methodology that I described above.

Finally, restrictionists about immigration don’t just talk about immigrants, but also about their descendants, because their central point is that neither immigrants nor even their descendants magically adopt the culture of their country of destination just in virtue of living there. You may think that it’s wrong, although it clearly isn’t, but in any case that’s the claim they make, so you can’t possibly refute it by just looking at immigrants. Indeed, just looking at immigrants and ignoring the effects of their descendants is another trick that pro-immigration advocates often use, but the effects of immigration are not limited to the effects of immigrants themselves. It also includes, among other things, the effects their descendants have. In fact, if you go back to Wax’s answer where she talked about littering, you will see that she doesn’t even talk about immigrants. She claims that littering is worse in areas that are more “diverse”, so she isn’t making a point about immigration per se but about race/ethnicity, although those issues are obviously related. Thus, if we want to use the American Housing Survey to assess whether she is right, we have to examine whether race/ethnicity, not just place of birth, is related to littering.

Even though I have just explained that one should disaggregate between immigrants depending on region of origin, let’s first see whether, when the data are analyzed at the individual level, we find a difference between natives and immigrants.As you can see on this chart, where I represented the confidence intervals, there is a statistically different between immigrants and natives, so the answer is yes.

Next, since Wax singles out non-white immigrants, let’s see what happens when we disaggregate the group of immigrants into white and non-white immigrants.Well, look at that, it turns out that not disaggregating hid a significant difference between white and non-white immigrants. I wonder who could have predicted that? Well, I guess we know at least one person who had predicted it, Amy “the horrible racist” Wax.

But the white/non-white dichotomy is still very crude and no doubt hides a lot of heterogeneity, so let’s focus on immigrants and disaggregate further based on where they come from.As you can see, for most groups of immigrants, there is no way to know for sure whether they are less or more likely than natives to report the presence of trash in the streets near where they live. But this is not true for immigrants from South/Central America and the Caribbean, who are significantly more likely than natives to do so. As it happens, when people say that immigrants litter more than natives, hispanic immigrants are precisely the group they usually single out. Thus, far from undermining this claim, the data seem to support it. It should also be noted that South Asians are significantly less likely to report the presence of trash in the streets near where they live, but I’ve never heard anyone complain that Indian immigrants litter…

Finally, as I have explained above, people like Wax are not just concerned about immigrants themselves, but also about their descendants. Even if immigrants litter more than natives, it may not be a big deal as long as their descendants, having been socialized in the US, had adopted the local norms and behaved similarly to natives with respect to littering. In order to check whether the data supports this hypothesis, let’s look only at natives and disaggregate by race/ethnicity.


UK: Humberside Police condemned by judge for 'Gestapo' style investigation into transgender tweet

Judge compares investigation into free speech to the feared Geheimestaatspolizei from Nazi Germany

Humberside Police have been condemned by a judge for investigating who liked a tweet questioning transgender people.

In a damning court ruling, the High Court ruled Humberside Police unlawfully interfered with Harry Miller’s right to freedom of expression by turning up at his place of work over his allegedly "transphobic" tweets.

And Justice Julian Knowles made a contrast between Mr Miller’s freedom of speech and the approach of the “Gestapo or Stasi”, the feared and hated state police of the Nazi and Communist regimes in Germany.

Mr Miller, 54, a former police officer from Lincolnshire, said the police's actions had a "substantial chilling effect" on his right to free speech.

Mr Miller claims an officer told him that he had not committed a crime, but that his tweeting was being recorded as a "hate incident". Mr Miller had not actually created the tweet, a limerick about transgender people, but liked it.

In his ruling on Friday, Justice Knowles sitting at the High Court in London found Humberside Police's actions were a "disproportionate interference" with Mr Miller's right to freedom of expression.

The judge said: "The claimants' tweets were lawful and there was not the slightest risk that he would commit a criminal offence by continuing to tweet.

"I find the combination of the police visiting the claimant's place of work, and their subsequent statements in relation to the possibility of prosecution, were a disproportionate interference with the claimant's right to freedom of expression because of their potential chilling effect."

At a hearing in November, Mr Miller's barrister Ian Wise QC said his client was "deeply concerned" about proposed reforms to the law on gender recognition and had used Twitter to "engage in debate about transgender issues".

He argued that Humberside Police, following the College of Policing's guidance, had sought to "dissuade him (Mr Miller) from expressing himself on such issues in the future", which he said was "contrary to his fundamental right to freedom of expression".

The judge said Mr Miller strongly denies being prejudiced against transgender people, and regards himself as taking part in the "ongoing debate" about reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004, which the Government consulted on in 2018.

Announcing the court's decision, Mr Justice Julian Knowles said: "The claimant's tweets were lawful and that there was not the slightest risk that he would commit a criminal offence by continuing to tweet.

"I find the combination of the police visiting the claimant's place of work, and their subsequent statements in relation to the possibility of prosecution, were a disproportionate interference with the claimant's right to freedom of expression because of their potential chilling effect."

The judge added that the effect of the police turning up at Mr Miller's place of work "because of his political opinions must not be underestimated".

He continued: "To do so would be to undervalue a cardinal democratic freedom. In this country we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi. We have never lived in an Orwellian society."

The Cheka were Lenin's secret police during the Russian revolution while the Stasi were the secret police in East Germany under communist rule during the Cold War. The Gestapo were the hated and feared secret police during Hitler's Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Julian Knowles stated: "I conclude that the police left the claimant with the clear belief that he was being warned by them to desist from posting further tweets on transgender matters even if they did not directly warn him in terms.

"In other words, I conclude that the police's actions led him, reasonably, to believe that he was being warned not to exercise his right to freedom of expression about transgender issues on pain of potential criminal prosecution."


We need more Harry Millers. He fought the thoughtpolice, and he won

Today is a good day for free speech in Britain. The High Court has ruled that it is unlawful for police officers to harass members of the public for expressing views on the internet that some people find offensive, but are otherwise entirely legal to express. That this even had to be clarified tells us something about how far we’ve fallen, and how sorely this ruling was needed.

The legal challenge was brought by Harry Miller, a Humberside docker and former police officer. Last year, police visited his workplace and later spoke with him because he had posted around 30 trans-sceptical tweets that someone took offence to. An officer, speaking with Miller over the phone, told him he had committed no crime, but that he nevertheless needed to ‘check’ Miller’s ‘thinking’.

In an absurd exchange that followed, the officer, who had apparently been on some transphobia-awareness course, singled out a limerick that Miller had retweeted as particularly hateful. Miller says he argued with the officer, telling him Nineteen Eighty-Four was supposed to be a dystopian novel, not a policing manual. The reference went over his head.

As it turned out, Miller’s tweets constituted a ‘non-crime hate incident’, which is as chilling a concept as it sounds. These are instances, logged by the police, that a self-described victim, or any other person, considers to be motivated by hostility or prejudice but are not actually unlawful. No evidence has to be provided for one to be recorded, and the police are explicitly told, by the College of Policing’s Hate Crime Operational Guidance, not to challenge any claims made.

Miller – backed by his Fair Cop campaign – took Humberside Police and the College of Policing to the High Court. The judge ruled that Humberside Police had acted unlawfully in their pursuit of Miller for nothing more than his political opinions, and he did so in strong terms: ‘In this country we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi. We have never lived in an Orwellian society.’

The second part of the challenge, against the College of Policing’s guidelines, was rejected. Which is a great shame, given the section on non-crime hate incidents in that document is downright demented. Not only does it create a form of quasi-crime, the kind of which even those nodded-to police states never dreamt up, but those statistics have also completely distorted discussions around hate crime and racism, as Fraser Myers has noted on spiked.

But this is still an important victory, for free speech and for common sense. The police have become almost comically preoccupied with policing speech and social media recently, well beyond what they are required to do by law. Humberside Police are not some rogue example. Who could forget Glasgow Police telling people to avoid being unkind on Twitter, lest they risk getting a ‘visit from us this weekend’. Or South Gwent Police warning people on Facebook that mocking a drug dealer’s unfortunate haircut might be illegal. Meanwhile, knife crime is still a thing.

Miller has shown the importance of standing up to the new illiberalism that confronts us, and he’s done us all a great service. This should spur us on to go further, to start a debate about state censorship and to challenge all laws and police practices that criminalise speech, opinion and thought, either by design or in effect. From the teenager given on an ankle tag for quoting a rap lyric on Instagram to the notorious Markus Meechan case to the war on drill music, it’s clear Britain has gone down a dark and illiberal path.

Britain’s complicated web of malicious-communications, public-order and incitement-to-hatred laws has made trials of alleged hate-speakers routine. Just today, Kate Scottow, a gender-critical feminist, was convicted under the Communications Act. According to reports, the judge said that her ‘deliberate and persistent use of male pronouns’ to refer to one Stephanie Hayden, a trans activist, had caused ‘needless anxiety’. Scottow’s supporters say this concerns a dozen or so tweets sent over seven months.

More than ever, we need to remake the case for free speech, to make clear that the state has no right to police what we say and think, and to establish that the best and only way to deal with contentious social issues or to tackle genuine bigotry is through more speech, not less. To do that, we need more Harry Millers. He fought the thoughtpolice, and he won.


Australia: Paul Barry forgets the ABC of calling out media bias

His name is Paul Barry and if he is to be believed, he is leading the fight against bias in the Australian media. This week the Media Watch host presented an Australian Communications and Media Authority survey of around 2000 people which revealed 85 per cent of respondents had concerns that “news is reported from a particular point of view rather than being balanced or impartial”.

“That will come as no great surprise to fans of Media Watch, which regularly reveals how bad news and current affairs coverage can be,” proclaimed a self-congratulatory Barry. He then listed eight cases of what he claimed were examples of these breaches, two of which were from News Corp newspapers. Tellingly, he did not cite any from ABC.

Keen to point out this survey was not a reflection on “all journalism” (you know what’s coming next) he stated that “the ABC is praised by several respondents”. Of course. Referring to ACMA’s attempt to encourage the media to self-regulate, Barry was pessimistic. “What’s the chance of that,” he asked rhetorically. “Not much.”

If Barry is in the mood for self-regulation, he does not have to look far. The day after his bias denunciation, ABC Canberra radio presenter Adam Shirley hosted a panel to discuss the subjects “What makes a good man” and “When does a man become toxic”. Two of the three panellists were women. Not that the ABC is likely to discuss the subject of what makes a woman toxic, but if it did you can imagine the reaction from the sisters if a man were on the panel, let alone if men outnumbered the women.

But it gets even better. One woman was feminist, author and Sydney Morning Herald columnist Jane Caro. Just the night before, Barry, had slammed “presenters on current affairs shows who have an opinion on everything”. Presumably this does not extend to panellists.

The other woman was feminist and former ABC journalist Virginia Hausseger, now director of The 50/50 by 2030 Foundation. During the discussion she observed “I am disgusted at what I see in news media and popular culture now in terms of representation of women”.

Now think back to 2007 when Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan used the term “deliberately barren” to refer to the fact that then opposition deputy leader Julia Gillard did not have children. It was a sexist and stupid remark and he was right to apologise for it. That was not enough for Hausseger. Writing for the Canberra Times, she said he “deserves to be castrated”. Undoubtedly many readers would have been disgusted by what she – my bad, I had forgotten we were talking about toxic masculinity.

Shirley turned to what he referred to as “the bloke in the room”, journalist and author Phil Barker, who duly noted “Men are constrained by this performance of masculinity that results ultimately in horrific domestic violence and male suicide” You might remember Barker. Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald in 2017 spoke of his reaction to reports that journalist Tracey Spicer was about to release allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment against 60 figures in the media and entertainment industry. “’Oh my god it’s going to be a bloodbath!’ I shouted, delightedly,” he wrote.

Forget that this turned out to be the year’s biggest journalistic fizzer, and instead consider Barker’s language and fervour in that article. “In a war there’s always friendly fire, collateral damage,” he said gleefully, declaring to readers he was part of the “far left”. And finally: “So there’s no way around it. Some innocent men are going to get shot in the head. So be it.” Barker, incidentally, teaches male students about “positive masculinity”.

Now consider that ABC editorial policies require journalists to “present a diversity of perspectives” and “not unduly favour one perspective over another”. If that was a balanced panel, then my name is Beatrix Potter. We know the ABC holds that masculinity is inherently violent and misogynistic.

"We need to do the hard work and for all men to put their hands up and acknowledge their misogyny, acknowledge the fact that they are profiting from toxic masculinity in some way, even if they are not violent." @nicheholas #TheDrum pic.twitter.com/PN2xQshBk6

— ABC The Drum (@ABCthedrum) April 2, 2019
But would it be too much trouble for future ABC panels if the token male was someone other than the bloke who effusively parrots this misandrist drivel?

If Barry’s record of umpiring on his home turf is any indication, this carefree disregard of editorial policies is not likely to be mentioned on his show. In reviewing Media Watch’s Monday episodes for the latter half of 2019, I noted eight segments critical of ABC presenters compared with 24 in respect to News Corp columnists and presenters (this does not include Barry’s criticism of Fox News media).

That represents a disproportionate focus of three to one. That disparity increases even further when the focus shifts to Barry’s Twitter account as revealed by The Australian’s Associate Editor Chris Kenny on Sky News’ Kenny on Media this week. Of Barry’s last 300 tweets (those in which he was not replying to another user), 47 of them – around 15 per cent – targeted News Corp columnists and presenters. Conversely only two of them – 0.66 per cent – highlighted lapses by ABC presenters. Seventy-six of the sample – around 25 per cent – referred to climate change, a topic regularly seized on by Barry to castigate those portrayed as climate sceptics.

Barry also appears to have different rules for ABC programs compared to the standard he applies to commercial media. In October, he criticised Studio 10s Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Sky News’ Peta Credlin for joking about driving over Extinction Rebellion protesters who were blocking major intersections. “I think it’s time they got some new material and perhaps stopped making jokes about killing protesters,” said Barry. “Because some nutter out there might just take them up on it.

But Barry’s cease and desist notice was, well, noticeably absent when it came to covering ABC Q&A’s all-female panellists episode last November. During this debacle, feminist Mona Eltahawy asked “how many rapists must we kill” and indigenous activist Nayuka Gorrie declared that “violence is okay” to bring about change, urging people to “burn stuff”.

Barry’s response was to gently admonish Q&A host Fran Kelly for not challenging those views. “A bit more pushback was what Q&A needed,” he said, saving his condemnation for ABC’s decision to take the program down. Declaring it was “a massive over-reaction” and “a real failure of nerve,” he said it was “Q&A’s job to be confronting and at times offensive,” and “ABC management’s job to defend its right to be so.”

So, jokes on commercial television about using climate protesters as speed bumps must be stopped, but deadly serious panellists on the national broadcaster who call for extrajudicial killings and other violence as a means of effecting change require only “pushback”. Clear now?

Last August, Barry made positive mention of ABC presenter and activist Benjamin Law for donating $36 of his “hard-earned cash” to readers who cancelled their subscription to The Australian. This newspaper’s crime was to highlight alarming practices regarding children and teenagers diagnosed with “gender dysphoria”, particularly the health authorities’ embracement of the “affirmation model”. Barry claimed this coverage of this major public interest issue was “one-sided”.

Less than two weeks before, the ABC documentary “Waltzing the Dragon”, written and presented by Law, featured an interview with historian Dr Sophie Couchman regarding the Lambing Flat Riots in Burrangong, NSW in 1860. In that episode she noted reports that Australian miners had scalped their Chinese counterparts. However, what had been omitted from this screening was Couchman’s noting conflicting accounts that no scalping had occurred. Following the backlash, ABC subsequently apologised, acknowledging that an “error of judgment” had occurred in the editing process which had misrepresented Couchman. As for Barry and Media Watch, let’s just say a rather large dragon waltzed on by without them noticing.

And yet Barry would have us believe there is no entrenched bias at the ABC. Not so according to his predecessor Jonathan Holmes, who hosted Media Watch from 2008-13. Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald in 2016, Holmes stated it was “undeniable” that ABC’s capital city radio presenters leaned more to the left than the right. “I say ‘undeniably’, but senior ABC managers for decades have chosen, if not to deny it, then to ignore it, and they’ve certainly failed to do anything about it,” he said.

When ABC presenters repeatedly fail to abide by the broadcaster’s statutory charter, it also falls on Barry to acknowledge and expose its cultural bias. What are the chances of that? Answer, not much.

Self regulation needs to get serious and do it properly. Stamp out blatant lies. Draw a line between news and ads. Wind back bias. Respect the facts.

— Paul Barry (@TheRealPBarry) February 10, 2020
Thanks Ben for bringing the @australian gender coverage to our attention.

— Paul Barry (@TheRealPBarry) August 19, 2019


14 February, 2020  

Medical Journal: CPS Should Take Kids From Parents if They Oppose Transgender 'Treatment'

At the tail end of last year, the Journal of Medical Ethics published a paper advocating for government intrusion into the family if parents disagree with their kids about dangerous experimental transgender drugs. Among other things, the paper suggested that Child Protective Services should remove children from their parents if the children identify with the gender opposite their biological sex and the parents do not wish for them to take dangerous experimental "treatments."

According to the abstract, the paper focuses on "how to proceed if a minor and their parents have disagreements concerning their gender-affirming medical care." After studying "ethical, paediatric, adolescent and transgender health research," the authors "discuss three potential avenues for providing gender-affirming care over parental disagreement: legal carve-outs to parental consent, the mature minor doctrine and state intervention for neglect."

The authors — professors and plastic surgeons in New York, Michigan, and Washington State — approach "this parent-child disagreement in a manner that prioritises the developing autonomy of transgender youth in the decision-making process surrounding medically assisted gender affirmation." In other words, the authors assume that if a child consistently insists that he or she is "really" a she or he,  medical professionals should encourage that child to take experimental transgender drugs and be put on a path to surgery, even if the parents want to protect their child from taking this dangerous path.

The experimental drugs are "gender-affirming," so the child's "autonomy" outweighs the parents' rights, even though the child is not legally considered old enough to vote or drink alcohol or be considered responsible for himself or herself.

According to this logic, parents who object to transgender medical experimentation on children who seek to transition are guilty of neglect.

"Neglect, as a medico-legal term, can be used to initiate an evaluation by Child Protective Services and remove a parent as a child’s legal guardian in the most severe instances," the authors write in the full report. Citing pro-transgender literature, the authors claim that experimental medicine lowers depression and other high-risk behaviors among gender-confused young people.

Revealed: The Secretive Strategy Behind the Transgender Assault on Parental Rights
"We conclude that situations where a parent prevents a minor from receiving treatments related to gender dysphoria violate the Harm Principle and justify state intervention," the authors claim.

This position echoes a radical shift in the medical field. The binary nature of biological sex had long been seen as a given, especially after genetics revealed the XX and XY chromosomes that code for female and male, respectively. Yet thanks in part to the influence of billionaires and Big Pharma and the success of the LGBT activist movement, medical professionals have embraced the idea that experimental treatments to affirm a gender identity opposite a person's biological sex are not only healthy but necessary — to prevent these vulnerable people committing suicide.

Yet many doctors have spoken out against these "treatments."

"I call it a development blocker — it’s actually causing a disease," Dr. Michael Laidlaw, an independent private practice endocrinologist in Rocklin, Calif., who consults with Sutter Roseville Medical Center, told PJ Media last year. The disease in question is hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. It occurs when the brain fails to send the right signal to the gonads to make the hormones necessary for development.

While endocrinologists — doctors who specialize in hormones and the endocrine system — are familiar with the disease and gladly treat it when a patient has been diagnosed, many of them are effectively causing their patients to contract the same disease in an attempt to affirm gender identity, Laidlaw said. "An endocrinologist might treat a condition where a female’s testosterone levels are going to be outside the normal range. We’ll treat that and we’re aware of metabolic problems. At the same time, an endocrinologist may be giving high levels of testosterone to a female to 'transition' her."

The effects of cross-sex hormones and so-called "puberty blockers" are far from fully known, but studies suggest people who take these "treatments" increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, deep vein thrombosis, and weaker bone density. Laidlaw has suggested that alterations to children's chemical makeup may also stunt brain development.

These hormones may also leave children sterile, unable to have children of their own when they grow up. Children who start on "puberty blockers" and cross-sex hormones are far more likely to undergo genital surgery, which permanently sterilizes them. Concerns about "chemical castration" are very real.

Yet Dr. Andre Van Mol, a board-certified doctor in Redding, Calif., told The Christian Post's Brandon Showalter that transgender ideologues have taken control of major medical organizations.

"Transgender ideologues now seem firmly in the driver's seat of establishing policy for several of these medical organizations, most notably the ones for pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers," Van Mol said. "It is not based on science or long-term evidence. Many of us see this as a replay of the lobotomy movement of the '50s and '60s. Opposition to it knows no boundaries of politics or faith, and it is gaining momentum."

The case of 7-year-old boy James Younger has drawn national attention to this issue. Younger's mother insists that the boy is really a girl, and is engaged in a custody battle with the boy's father, whom she divorced. The mother claimed she "knew" James is a girl because he liked the movie Frozen and asked for a girl toy at McDonald's. The father claimed that the mother dressed up James in dresses at the tender age of three. The mother wants hormone "treatments" for her son and the father testified in court that she wants to remove the boy's genitals.

Parents who disagree with this approach to transgenderism have already lost custody of their children. In 2018, Christian parents in Ohio lost custody of their 17-year-old daughter for refusing to give her transgender drugs. Child Protective Services has a history of removing children from their parents for no good reason, and this Journal of Medical Ethics article is only making the situation worse.

Parents and citizens need to speak up to make sure that the government does not remove children from their parents for the crime of disagreeing with the new transgender orthodoxy. This is nothing less than terrifying.


NYPD Blasts de Blasio Over War on Cops

An assailant was arrested Sunday in New York City after two separate attacks on police officers that law enforcement dubbed assassination attempts. "He was depressed at times because his son got shot in the street," explained the perpetrator's grandmother. But others blame anti-police rhetoric for motivating the assailant.

"Anyone who spews hatred at our officers is aiding and abetting this kind of atmosphere; it is not acceptable," said Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio. "You could protest for whatever you believe in, but you cannot vilely attack those who are here to protect us. It creates this kind of dynamic."

We're glad to hear de Blasio say so, but many — including numerous NYPD officers — blame de Blasio himself for falling in with the Democrat war on cops begun by Barack Obama and his ilk. The two officers in New York aren't the first in that city or elsewhere to be attacked or murdered by anti-cop zealots inspired by leftists slandering police as racists.

A union representing New York's police sergeants declared, "Mayor DeBlasio, the members of the NYPD are declaring war on you! We do not respect you, DO NOT visit us in hospitals. You sold the NYPD to the vile creatures, the 1% who hate cops but vote for you. NYPD cops have been assassinated because of you."

Why the blame? De Blasio won office partly on promises to rein in policing in minority communities, and he has followed through with several measures. New Yorkers are starting to notice the resulting rise in crime. Blue lives matter, and until Democrats come around to that point of view, attacks on police will likely continue.


Evangelical Support for Trump Still Baffles Media

It goes without saying that the Democrat Media Complex is no fan of President Donald Trump. As numerous studies have observed, over 90% of the mainstream media's coverage of Trump and his administration has been negative and often aggressively so. In fact, if one were to take the Leftmedia's dubious characterization of Trump as the gospel truth, one would be hard pressed in distinguishing him from Adolf Hitler. Then with this over-the-top negative characterization of Trump, anti-Trumpers bash those who voted for him and support him as either unthinking fan boys or motivated by a sinister, immoral, and selfish ambition.

This straw-man tactic has been regularly applied to evangelical Christians in an attempt to shame them for giving 80% of their votes to Trump. The anti-Trump crowd falsely charges that evangelicals made a Faustian bargain when they voted for Trump and that they have made a mockery of their Christian faith.

What these anti-Trumpers conveniently dismiss or ignore is the reality of the massively divergent worldviews between the country's two largest political parties. Christians are called by Jesus to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The anti-Trumpers blast Christians for employing that first principle of wisdom in how they voted. The fact of the matter is we are not primarily voting for an individual and his record but rather for the political platform and vision that individual espouses. Does individual character matter? It certainly does, but so does what the individual is proposing for the nation.

In 2016, evangelicals were faced with a difficult decision only because Trump was an individual with well-known moral failures. Yet, as far as Trump's policy platform was concerned, there was little to object to and much to be encouraged by. So, the vast majority of evangelicals chose the candidate whose policy platform aligned most consistently with their own worldview values. And one of the biggest issues in this value system is the right to life.

With the choice presented to evangelical Americans, they were wise as serpents and made the best choice given the options before them. They recognized the implications of electing Hillary Clinton — her advocacy of abortion and ever-increasing government is a road to greater tyranny and loss of Liberty. A vote for Trump was risky, for it was unknown whether he would actually follow through on what he promised, but he has and by so doing has only strengthened his evangelical support. A good argument can be made that Trump, as deeply flawed and broken as he is, has been uniquely used by God to bring blessing to the country. This is what evangelicals were hoping for when casting their votes in 2016 and almost certainly again in 2020, perhaps in even greater numbers.


Australia: Lunacy protects foreigners over us

More racism from the establishment

Chris Merritt

The lunacy at the heart of the latest decision by the High Court comes down to this: this is pure racism built upon an illegitimate exercise of judicial power.

By the narrowest of margins, the nation's highest court haS elevated a racial distinction to a position of constitutional privilege that would never be acceded if such a question were put to the people at a referendum.

Four of the court's seven judg es have preempted the people of this nation by injecting a new racist concept in the Constitution that can only be overturned by referendum or a future High Court.

This shameful ruling has punched a hole in the principle that everyone is equal before Australian law and has eroded the federal government's ability to protect the community from foreign criminals who have never tried to become citizens.

Even when born overseas and holding the citizenship of another country, foreign criminals with Aboriginal ancestry can no longer be treated as aliens for the purposes of migration law.

There will be those who will say the impact can be confined to the specific facts of the case. But a dreadful precedent has been set. In this case, the High Court majority has effectively created a new right for foreigners that comes at the expense of Australians who expect their governments to protect them from criminals, regardless of their race.

The majority has decided that foreign citizens with Aboriginal ancestry have such a special connection with Australia that it would be inconsistent with that special connection to treat them as aliens for the purposes of migration law.

This principle was applied even though the men who brought this challenge never tried to become Australian citizens.

Common sense has gone out the window. The majority has invented a new, illogical category in migration law that applies only to Aborigines who hold foreign citizenship: they can simultaneously be non-citizens and non-aliens.

Because a crucial part of the test for Aboriginality depends on the views of communities or their leaders, this means Aboriginal communities — and not parlia ment — will have the power to determine when the normal migration law will apply.

This was too much for Chief Justice Susan Kiefel, who differed strongly with the majority and pointed out that such a mechanism "would be to attribute to the group the kind of sovereignty which was implicitly rejected by (the Mabo decision)".

Kiefel's dissent goes a long way to limiting the damage to the court's reputation. Four judges went off on a frolic: Geoffrey Nettle, Michelle Gordon, James Edelman and Virginia Bell.  Kiefel was steadfast, backed by Stephen Gageler and Patrick Keane.

The Chief Justice points out in her dissent that it is settled law that it is up to parliament, relying on the Constitution, to create and define the concept of citizenship and determine who is an alien. She also argues that "questions of constitutional interpretation cannot depend on what the court perceives to be a desirable policy regarding the subject of who should be aliens and the desirability of Aboriginal non- citizens continuing to reside in Australia".

"In the absence of a relevant constitutional prohibition or exception, express or implied, it is not a proper function of a court to limit the method of exercise of legislative power," Kiefel wrote.

The great tragedy of this decision is that it will inevitably be used to attack the arguments of those, like this writer, who have argued for a constitutionally entrenched Aboriginal voice to federal parliament.

The judges in the majority are massively out of step with community values and the core principle of equality before the law. They have done a disservice to the legitimate aspirations of indigenous Australians.

From "The Australian" of 12 February, 2020


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

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

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


13 February, 2020

The SPLC's Fall From Grace: How a Civil Rights Group Became a Threat to Free Speech

In 1971, direct-mail salesman Morris Dees got religion. He made his fortune teaming up with Millard Fuller — the man who would go on to found Habitat for Humanity — and Fuller had given away his fortune to become a missionary. Dees, who regretted not getting involved in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, sold his lucrative cookbook business and started a civil rights nonprofit, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

This same Southern Poverty Law Center would go on to become a notoriously wealthy and corrupt organization. Dees would find himself fired after a scandal involving claims of racial discrimination and sexual harassment. All this would be damning enough, but amid the scandal, former employees spilled the beans on an even bigger scandal — a "hate for pay" scheme exaggerating the number of "hate groups" in order to scare donors into cutting big checks. My new book, Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center, tells the story of how the SPLC fell so far from its noble intentions.

The SPLC started monitoring "hate groups" back in the 1980s. They began with the Ku Klux Klan and similar white supremacist terror groups, suing them into bankruptcy. Yet after easily defeating these real hate groups, the SPLC went on to target ever more mainstream organizations, mostly on the conservative side of the political spectrum.

The SPLC, originally founded to provide legal representation to poor people on death row, became a nefarious threat to America's free speech culture. Politicians, the media, Big Tech, and corporate America consider the SPLC's "hate group" list to be the gold standard in monitoring dangerous organizations that foment home-grown American terror. Just last month, an SPLC representative testified before Congress, asking Big Tech and the government to target "hate groups" for censorship in the name of fighting white supremacist terrorism like the horrific mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a law firm that has played a role in 56 victories before the Supreme Court, remains branded a "hate group" by the SPLC — even though ADF's ideological opponents (including a former president of the ACLU) vehemently contest the accusation. In 2017, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) compared ADF to the Cambodian dictator Pol Pot, citing the SPLC.

Acting on the SPLC's supposed credibility, Amazon has excluded mainstream conservative Christian nonprofits from its charity program, Amazon Smile. The event managing site Eventbrite blacklisted a mainstream conservative national security nonprofit, ACT for America, citing the SPLC's accusation that it is an "anti-Muslim hate group," because it warns against radical Islamist terrorism. Hyatt Hotels did the same. Last year, The New York Times, the Miami Herald, and the Tampa Bay Times repeated SPLC talking points against ACT for America and successfully pressured Mar-a-Lago to cancel a gala with the conservative group.

Google has even worked with liberal groups like ProPublica to try to shut down conservative websites targeted by the SPLC. Credit card companies like Mastercard and Discover have refused to process donations to "hate groups" targeted by the SPLC.

Yet government officials have also endorsed the SPLC's accusations against conservatives, weaponizing the law enforcement apparatus of the state of Michigan to monitor organizations based on their political positions. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel cited the SPLC's "hate group" list in announcing a "hate-crimes unit" last February. The American Freedom Law Center, a legal group that represents the rights of Jews and Christians, responded with a lawsuit against this "Orwellian" attack on its free speech. Last month, the lawsuit cleared a major hurdle that might reveal the SPLC's coordination with Nessel to silence the free speech of law-abiding citizens in Michigan.

The SPLC was not always like this, however. In its early years, the group took on noble causes: it forced the Alabama state troopers to admit black members and won a redistricting case that helped black candidates win elections for the first time since Reconstruction; it represented Vietnamese fishermen harassed by the KKK; it saved the Tarboro Three, three black men who were wrongfully convicted of raping a white woman, from death row.

How did this noble civil rights group become ensnared by claims of racial discrimination and sexual harassment? How did the Southern Poverty Law Center rack up a half-a-billion-dollar endowment and open offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands? How did an organization founded to help people become a cudgel to silence conservatives?

My book tells the inside story, and it details how brave Americans wrongly targeted by this corrupt organization are fighting back. Check it out on Amazon today, before the SPLC labels me a "hate group" and Amazon takes it down.


Challenging Sanctuary Jurisdictions

For as long as most Americans can remember, Democrats have made it clear that any law inimical to their agenda can be blithely ignored. Nothing makes this clearer than the hundreds of locales across the nation known as “sanctuary” jurisdictions, where policies forbid local law enforcement from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). New York state is one such place, and for the first time America has an administration willing to force the political class to choose between maintaining a haven for illegal aliens or keeping access to programs that help state residents move through customs lines more quickly.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf revealed the administration’s agenda last Wednesday. Wolf explained the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was immediately suspending enrollment in Global Entry and several other Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP), including NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST. Thousands of New Yorkers are members of these programs, because they allow people to bypass typically long Customs and Border Protection (CPB) lines.

The state’s recently enacted “Green Light Law,” which gives illegal aliens access to drivers’ licenses — but also blocks federal agencies like ICE and CPB from accessing the state’s DMV records without a court order — was the tipping point. In a letter provided to state officials, Wolf noted the law “compromises CPB’s ability to confirm whether an individual applying to TTP membership meets the program’s eligibility requirement.”

Why is that important? “In New York alone, last year ICE arrested 149 child predators, identified or rescued 105 victims of exploitation and human trafficking, arrested 230 gang members, and seized 6,487 pounds of illegal narcotics, including fentanyl and opioids,” Wolf added. “In the vast majority of these cases, ICE relied on New York DMV records to fulfill its mission.”

And that was before the law took effect in December, precipitating a surge of illegals rushing to New York DMVs to obtain their new identification, using foreign documents such as passports or a driver’s license to get it.

Not all New Yorkers were on board. Lawsuits filed by Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola and Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns, both of whom argued the law would put him in conflict with federal immigration law, were dismissed separately by U.S. district judges, Gary Sharpe and Elizabeth Wolford, for the same reason: Both judges deemed the clerks lacked standing to challenge the law.

New York Attorney General Letitia James was pleased the courts dismissed “meritless claims."And last Friday she announced her intent to sue the DHS. "Despite President Trump’s attempt to punish New Yorkers for passing our own laws and standing up to his xenophobic policies, we will not back down,” she said.

Xenophobic policies? During his State of the Union Address, President Trump made it clear what sanctuary jurisdictions are really all about. “Just 29 days ago, a criminal alien freed by the sanctuary city of New York was charged with the brutal rape and murder of a 92-year-old woman,” Trump stated. “The killer had been previously arrested for assault, but under New York’s sanctuary policies, he was set free. If the city had honored ICE’s detainer request, his victim would be alive today.”

CNN’s Van Jones, who was once the Obama administration’s “green jobs” czar until he was forced to resign due in large part to his association with the 9/11 conspiracy truthers, provided the typically progressive response to such inconvenient realities. After asserting that Trump is “managing” racial issues as a “tradeoff between the Latinos and the African Americans,” Jones insisted, “Sanctuary cities are safer than non-sanctuary cities. The Cato Institute, which is libertarian, has come out and said immigrants are committing less crime.” He added, “So, for some reason he thinks that doubling down on the anti-immigrant piece is a big part of this thing.”

Remarkably, no one ever challenges the utter bankruptcy of such an absurd contention. If the Rule of Law were upheld, crimes committed by illegals would be almost wholly avoidable. Thus, it would be truly enlightening to know what Jones and other sanctuary supporters consider a “reasonable” level of murders, rapes, robberies, etc., Americans must endure, not just for accommodating illegal immigration, but seeing it incentivized by “woke” politicians.

Trump addressed that reality as well. “No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration,” he stated. “Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls, gates, and guards. Meanwhile, working-class Americans are left to pay the price for mass illegal immigration.”

One political-class member, Richard Azzopardi, a senior adviser to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was annoyed by the crackdown. “This is obviously political retaliation by the federal government and we’re going to review our legal options,” he said. Cuomo echoed those sentiments, calling the crackdown “pure politics.” He also asserted the federal government is “anti-immigrant.”

Nothing is more political — or more dishonest — than the ongoing and highly orchestrated effort by progressives to conflate illegal and legal immigration, as if the difference between the two is somehow irrelevant.

It is not, and the Trump administration is making that crystal clear. Moreover, Ken Cuccinelli, the senior official performing the duties of acting secretary at the DHS reminded Americans what Cuomo and his illegal-immigration-supporting allies have either forgotten or don’t care about: “[A] majority of 9/11 terrorists used Virginia driver’s licenses to help accomplish their evil mission,” Cuccinelli stated. Moreover, unlike Virginia, which addressed the problem, Cuccinelli added that New York is “walking backwards, quite intentionally, in the other direction to bar the sharing of law-enforcement-relevant information like vehicle registration, matching driver’s licenses to identifications, and, critically, criminal records which are kept up to date, and DMV databases.”

Access to records is only part of the equation. The Real ID Act of 2005 requires states to establish an applicant’s date of birth, Social Security number, proof of residence, and citizenship or lawful status to obtain a driver’s license compliant with that law. It also empowers the DHS secretary to define “official purposes” for which those licenses can be used, including the boarding of commercially operated airline flights, or entering federal buildings and nuclear power plants.

Nonetheless, The Washington Post reveals the administration’s efforts are rather modest: “A DHS official with knowledge of the deliberations said the department does not plan to take immediate steps against other states and cities.”

Really? Why not? Fifteen states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico offer driver’s licenses to illegals, and it’s well past time to have the courts decide if this practice — asserted to be a states rights’ issue — is really another effort to nullify federal immigration law.

Furthermore, this administration should explore every option available to undermine sanctuary policies — including demands that Congress enact laws making officials who harbor illegals subject to civil and criminal liabilities when those illegals commit crimes that harm American citizens.

Hopefully, making it inconvenient to travel is the first in a series of initiatives that would ultimately make sanctuary jurisdictions politically untenable.

Americans have abided de facto anarchy long enough


The Remainer elites are the true bigots of Brexit Britain

On Brexit Day on Friday we witnessed just how much Remainers loathe ordinary people.

Brendan O'Neill

Everyone from Sadiq Khan to Remoaner newspaper columnists spent last week fretting that there would be an outburst of hatred and chauvinism on Brexit Day on Friday. And they were right, there was. But it didn’t come from Leavers, the vast majority of whom celebrated our leaving of the European Union in good, lively spirits.

No, it came from bitter middle-class Remainers. Anti-Brexit people in the worlds of culture and commentary unleashed some of the vilest hatred of recent times on Friday night. Their masks fell and we saw what many of us suspected to be the case – that behind the Remoaner facade of cosmopolitanism and tolerance there lurks an extreme, Victorian-level contempt for ordinary people and their stupid voting habits.

The tone was set by Tom Peck, political sketch writer at the Independent. He resuscitated the pre-democratic fashion for depicting the lower orders as animal-like savages, as not fully evolved, by describing the pro-Brexit gathering in Parliament Square as ‘a knuckle-dragging carnival of the irredeemably stupid’.

Knuckle-dragging. We all know what that means. Ape-like. Lacking in true sentience. Not properly human. Isn’t it striking that Alastair Stewart can lose his job merely for mentioning the word ape, in an entirely non-targeted, non-racist way, in a Twitterspat with a black gentleman, while Peck is cheered and celebrated by his fellow Remoaners for implying that a vast gathering of largely working-class people had the demeanour of apes. This is because the one group of people you are perfectly at liberty to hate in our woke era is the white working classes: thick, knuckle-dragging scum.

Indeed, the word ‘thick’ was trending on Twitter in the hours after the Brexit Day celebrations as armies of hateful Remoaners took to the web to express their disgust with the lower orders. They feverishly shared videos of mostly older working-class people being interviewed by news channels and not being as articulate as they might have been. Absolutely no consideration was given to the fact that many of these people – unlike the luvvies laughing at them and mocking them – are not used to the pressures of TV lights and cameras. No, they all had to be denounced as ‘thick as mince’ (to quote the editor of the Canary) plebs who sum up the bovine stupidity of the hordes who backed Brexit.

Across the Twittersphere these ordinary voters were ridiculed. Actor John Hannah insulted the ‘peasants and pensioners’ and other ‘idiots and racists’ who backed Brexit. He said: ‘I hope you choke on your crap cheapshit meat and extortionate US drugs.’ Peasants? God almighty. Hannah’s violent fantasies of the poor dying from choking was a low point of this orgy of Remoaner hatred.

Others contented themselves with the elitist sport of insulting the Brexit Day interviewees. They jeered at the men and women who lack their own clipped tones and thesaurus-standard command of the English language. They called them ‘thick as fuck’, dumb, a sorry image for this once great country. They look and sound like people who have had ‘Nigel Farage’s wet dreams piped directly into their fucking brains’, pushing out ‘all capacity for rational thought and normal human speech patterns’, as one online proponent of this nasty class hatred put it.

Lacking ‘normal speech patterns’? What they mean is that these people – with their working-class London and northern accents – don’t sound like us. They don’t look like us, either. In his hateful sketch of the working-class crowds in Parliament Square, Tom Peck expressed his horror at seeing men without their shirts (nothing horrifies the middle classes more than shirtless working men – see also their disgust with the kind of people who attend football matches). He also revelled in telling us that they virtually couldn’t read – even when the lyrics of ‘Rule Britannia’ flashed up on the big screen, it was all ‘infinitely beyond them’, he sneered.

Luvvies were out in force spreading hatred, too. All they could see in London and elsewhere were swarms of racist scum. Kathy Burke, in a flagrant insult to the working classes from which she and I come, titillated her fawning middle-class followers by saying: ‘Have a lovely day you stupid racist wankers.’ Eton-educated poet Musa Okwonga bemoaned the ‘growing nastiness’ of British society (funnily enough, he wasn’t referring to the class hatred unleashed by his fellow Remainers). Irvine Welsh, having for years provided the London literary set with the underclass moral pornography of his novel Trainspotting, gave them another thrill by sharing a video of working-class people in Warrrington celebrating Brexit and saying ‘it’s like we have regressed 80 years + already’. His followers took the bait. The ‘average cultural experience’ of these people is a ‘donkey ride on the Blackpool seafront’, one said.

Everywhere one looked on Friday night, on Brexit Day, there was hatred all right. Remoaner hatred. Hatred for the masses. Hatred for the not perfectly articulate working classes. Hatred for northerners. And of course, as many of us know, this hatred has been brewing for a long time. Indeed, the man who has done perhaps more than any other Remoaner to paint Brexit voters as thick, radio presenter James O’Brien, chided his fellow Brexitphobes for being shocked at the ‘ignorance’ on display on Brexit Day. ‘This shouldn’t be a surprise’, said the privately educated broadcaster who makes his living from mocking the state-educated people who phone his show.

What happened on Friday is this: the pretence of Remainer tolerance fell apart. There had been cracks in it for a long time. Many of us could see the anti-democratic, anti-masses impulse that fuelled hardcore Remainer activism. We saw it in Matthew Parris chastising the political class for ‘lick[ing] the boots of the mob’. We saw it in Paul Mason’s hateful commentary on ex-miners ‘sitting in the corner of the pub calling migrants cockroaches’. We saw it in the ceaseless commentary about ‘low-information’ voters and thick old people who should hurry up and die, and in the petitions and marches designed to overthrow the largest democratic vote in UK history. By its definition, Remainerism – as a post-referendum ideology and cultural identity – was intolerant: intolerant of democracy, intolerant of voters, intolerant of the uneducated. But on Friday night that became clear. Perhaps the reality of Brexit finally demolished Remoaners’ ‘liberal’ posturing, revealing the stark, ugly reality of their contempt for the crowd.

There are two important lessons to take from this extraordinary display of chauvinistic intolerance towards working-class people. The first is that Remainerism is far more intolerant than the movement to leave the EU. Indeed, a recent poll found that on various issues – from climate change to gay marriage to immigration – Remainers are less tolerant of people who disagree with them than Leavers are. Given that bigotry fundamentally means intolerance towards those whose beliefs differ to one’s own, it is clear that bigotry is more pronounced in Remain camps than in Leave camps. And the second sobering lesson to take from Friday’s orgy of Remoaner hatred is that Brexit – as a phenomenon, as a battle over values – is not over. Not by a long shot.

All those calling for the nation to come together now that Brexit is done (kind of) are kidding themselves. It isn’t going to happen and it shouldn’t happen. The divide is too deep, the chasm in values too wide. On one side we have vast numbers of people who have a deep moral attachment to the ideals of nationhood and solidarity, and on the other we have the narcissistic individualism and tendency towards intolerance of the out-of-touch cultural and intellectual elites. This is what Brexit exposed. And its exposure is a very positive thing. We now know how divided this country is. We now know how much the elites loathe ordinary people. We now know that being pro-EU was largely a cover for being uncomfortable with democracy and horrified by the masses. It’s good that we know this. And it’s important that we realise that such vast, clashing views of politics, life and the world will not be mended for years. Perhaps decades. The battle for Brexit is largely won; the battle for the future of Britain has only just begun. Those of us who hate intolerance and love democracy have our work cut out for us.


Young African migrants in Australia go insane at a great rate

New research has found teenage and young African migrants in Australia have a 10 times higher risk of developing a psychotic disorder than those born in Australia.

A study carried out by advocacy group Orygen outlined the mental health risks of young African migrants such as adapting to a new country and the experience of seeking asylum or discrimination.

The Risk of Psychotic Disorders in Migrants to Australia report identifies arrivals from Kenya as being at most risk at 10 times higher than Australian-born young people.

They are followed by migrants from Sudan who are at seven times greater risk and Ethiopians at more than five times.

"From the data here we see that the migrants from war-torn countries have an increased risk of psychosis," Associate Professor Brian O'Donoghue said.

"And we know that experiences of early childhood trauma, loss and separation can be risk factors for psychosis."

In contrast, the research found first-generation migrants from Europe, New Zealand and the United States were at similar risk of developing psychosis to Australian-born youth.

The study looked at young people aged 15 to 24 who presented with their first episode of psychosis over a six-year period.

The findings of the report build on research from the United Kingdom which found specific migrant and ethnic minority groups were at elevated risk.

"This is the first study that can conclusively say which young migrants are at higher risk for developing a psychotic disorder," Mr O'Donoghue said.

He said the findings highlighted the need to provide sufficient funding and accessible mental health services to vulnerable migrant groups.

“Areas that have higher rates of migrants from certain countries should have services that are adequately resourced, equipped and staffed for that,” he said.

He said research also indicates that young African migrants who are developing a psychotic disorder have longer delays in accessing appropriate services and treatment.

“So one of the immediate things that can be done is to improve the knowledge and awareness of the early signs of psychosis in the people who are likely to be in contact with young African migrants, such as teachers, school counsellors and youth workers.”



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

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

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


12 February, 2020  

In UK, Starbucks Ad Celebrates Gender Transition

Starbucks UK has partnered with Mermaids, a nonprofit group that provides support for transgender youth, on an advertising campaign, #WhatsYourName, celebrating gender transition.

Starbucks said in a press release that learning each customer’s name and calling it out with his or her order “creates a moment of connection between our baristas and customers,” and that the #WhatsYourName campaign “celebrates this signature act and the significance it can have for some transgender and gender-diverse people as they use their new name in public.”

“We discovered that they found Starbucks stores to be a safe space, where their new name was accepted, and they could be [recognized] as who they are,” the announcement said. “We were moved to discover that individuals find our stores a safe space to try out their new names when transitioning.”

The campaign includes a TV commercial that will air on the United Kingdom’s Channel 4 throughout February and March, and a special “mermaid tail” cookie, proceeds of the sales of  which will support Mermaids’ transgender help line.

The commercial follows a young person in the midst of transitioning from female to male who wants to be called James, but keeps getting reminders of her given name, Jemma. Only at Starbucks, it seems, is the person able to have the new identity validated, when the barista writes “James” on the cup without question.

It won Channel 4’s Diversity in Advertising Award, which the release says, “provides us with an ideal platform to demonstrate how moments of connection can have real impact, while also helping to address the transgender community’s lack of representation in UK advertising.”

The advertisement was created in conjunction with Mermaids, which supports lifting most barriers to gender transition for teenagers over 16. It will receive at least 100,000 British pounds (about $130,000) from the partnership.

“The [advertisement] was inspired by the discovery that many of our transgender service users were [trying out] their chosen names at Starbucks stores across the UK,” according to a Mermaids press release. “For some people, this was the first time they’d heard someone else [recognizing] their true identity.”

Emilie Kao, director of the DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, criticized the campaign.

“Starbucks has chosen to use its massive corporate power to promote an ideology that harms vulnerable children,” Kao said in an email, adding:

The activist group they have chosen to partner with has tried to overturn restrictions on permanent, sterilizing procedures offered to minors with gender dysphoria.

Puberty blockers, hormones, and surgeries aren’t the answer for kids who are struggling to accept their bodies, and Starbucks shouldn’t promote the idea that they are.

The campaign is limited to the U.K., and no U.S. Starbucks will participate.


Prominent black Democrat Admits Trump Is Helping Black People—and Democrats Are Panicking

In a very telling interview, CNN contributor Van Jones tried to warn Democrats that Donald Trump just "sent a warning shot over the bow" letting them know that he's coming "after the black vote." But what he also said is that it will work, terrifying Democrats everywhere who have relied on the black voter block for everything.

Jones has supported the president's criminal justice reform, which affects many in the black community. It's extremely interesting to hear Jones say that Trump's message is "you may not like my rhetoric but look at my results. If he narrowcasts that it's going to be effective." Does it strike you as somewhat unreal that Democrats are worried about the fact that Trump is helping minorities? You would think they'd be thrilled about that, considering they claim to be the party for minorities. But perhaps even their staunchest defenders, like Jones, are discovering that Democrats love to talk about helping people while Trump is creating policies that are actually helping people.

Jones strikes me as a reasonable person. When is he going to realize that his party never actually helps anyone, but is full of empty rhetoric? He needs to get on the Trump Train. Mike Gallagher, radio talker, noticed it too. "There's something interesting about Van Jones. He has acknowledged criminal justice reform, he has acknowledged Trump's outreach to the African American community, he has acknowledged historic unemployment in the black community and last night he did it again."

Jones called out the "bubble" that Democrats live in, where they don't see Trump's positive results within minority communities. Gallagher continued, "Now I understand the rhetoric he has to use is 'going after black voters' [but Trump is] lifting African Americans up out of poverty, out of joblessness, out of low wages and Van Jones is acknowledging it. If Democrats don't hold onto their normal percentage of the black vote, it's over. They can't win." The only question remaining is why is Van Jones still a Democrat? What's more important: talking about helping black people or actually helping them? Donald Trump has shown that his policies are creating higher-paying jobs, ending joblessness, and taking big steps toward equal justice under the law. What's not to love about that if you are a black American? Remind me what the Democrats have done for minorities besides let their neighborhoods be overrun with crime, drugs, and illegal gangsters.

The following report on the criminal justice reforms that Trump signed into law should give you some idea of how popular and needed this reform is. The bill shortened sentences for non-violent offenders who exhibit good behavior, expanded programs to help prisoners readjust to life outside and get jobs, expanded rehab programs and much more.

This is not just an empty bill, but one that is impacting tens of thousands of people in minority communities right now. Democrats have never made criminal justice reform a priority. Trump and Republicans did.


Muslims Celebrate! Harvard Declares Koran 'Best Book on Justice' -- NOT

Muslims around the world are thrilled at the recent news: “Harvard University ranks the Koran as the best book on justice,” is the January 20, 2020 headline of a report published by Youm7, a popular Egyptian news site visited by millions of Arabic readers.  It writes (in translation):

"The official website of the World Muslim Communities Council  said on social media that, after lengthy, scientific studies that closely examined the rules of justice contained in the Noble Koran, the American university of Harvard has ranked the Noble Koran as the best book on justice….  In its final evaluation, Harvard University’s Classification Committee cited verses from the Noble Koran which confirm that the Noble Koran is a book replete with the rules of human justice … and that Islam has no room for injustice but rather includes tolerance and respect for the other."

Several other leading news websites and newspapers—including Al Ahram, Egypt’s most widely circulated and state owned newspaper founded in 1875—carried the story, followed by all sorts of triumphant celebrations on social media.

But is it true?  Did Harvard make such a pronouncement?  No. The real story is that, back in 2012, a group of law students painted a number of historical quotes dealing with justice on the walls of a Harvard building.

Known as the “Words of Justice,” they consist of 33 quotes from a variety of thinkers and civilizations—including African, Chinese, European, and Hindu—from 600 BC to the present.  Among some of the more recognizable names and documents quoted are Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, the Magna Carta, Benjamin Franklin, Immanuel Kant, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Among these 33 quotes is one that is Islamic, derived from Koran:

"O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just (4:135)".

That’s it—the entire story.  There were no “lengthy, scientific studies,” nor “classification committees,” that led Harvard to announce that the Koran is the “best book on justice.”  Rather, one Islamic quote was deemed worthy of inclusion with 32 other non-Islamic quotations.

What to make of this shameful episode?  Why would Muslims fabricate such a story?  More to the point, why would they even care what infidel Harvard thinks in the first place?

For those in the know, the answer is simple: Muslims are ever and always looking for outside validation. Why?  Because a growing number of them have a nagging suspicion that their religion is not just.

Indeed, they need look no further than to the very same Koran chapter/sura (4, al-Nisa’, “the Women”) whence the much celebrated “justice” verse (4:135) was excerpted to encounter any number of decidedly unjust verses, including permission to sexually enslave—buy and sell—women (4:3), permission for husbands to beat their wives—since men are “superior” to women (4:34)—and so on.

Accordingly, what can be more reassuring than Western intellectual praise for Islam?

Consider this Arabic op-ed on Islam’s “inferiority complex” that I translated back in 2011.  Although its author, Khaled Montaser, an Egyptian intellectual, focuses on all the hoopla that erupts whenever a Westerner converts to Islam—whether in reality or not—the essence of his arguments perfectly apply to and shed light on this recent Harvard fiasco:

"We Muslims have an inferiority complex and are terribly sensitive to the world, feeling that our Islamic religion needs constant, practically daily, confirmation by way of Europeans and Americans converting to Islam. What rapturous joy takes us when a European or American announces their [conversion to] Islam—proof that we are in a constant state of fear, alarm, and chronic anticipation for Western validation or American confirmation that our religion is “okay.”.…  And we pound our drums and blow our horns [in triumph] and drag the convert to our backwardness, so that he may stand with us at the back of the world’s line of laziness, [in the Muslim world] wherein no new scientific inventions have appeared in the last 500 years. Sometimes those who convert relocate to our countries—only to get on a small boat and escape on the high seas back to their own countries".

He goes on to discuss how the Arab world—in the guise of “our media and Internet sites … our writers and intellectuals”—exulted when it mistakenly thought that the German writer Henryk Broder had accepted Islam, based on sarcastic remarks he had made: “but we are a people incapable of comprehending sarcasm, since it requires a bit of thinking and intellectualizing. And we read with great speed and a hopeful eye, not an eye for truth or reality.”  Montaser continues:

"How come the Buddhists don’t hold the festivities we do for those who convert to their religion? And some of these converts are much more famous than Broder. Did you know that Richard Gere, Steven Seagal, Harrison Ford—among Hollywood’s most famous actors—converted to Buddhism? What did the Buddhist countries of Asia do regarding these celebrities? What did the Buddhists in China and Japan do?  Did they dance and sing praise and march out in the streets, or did they accept these people’s entrance into Buddhism as a mere matter of free conviction?...  It is sufficient for the Buddhists that these celebrities purchase their nations’ electronic goods—without any beggary or enticements".

A closing thought: Muslim excitement over one small—and often fraudulent—compliment finds a parallel in the Western establishment’s behavior: government, media, and academia are all in the habit of highlighting and fixating over one small (and often fraudulent) compliment to Islam—such as the “Andalusian Paradise” (a myth)—while suppressing Islam’s numerous shortcomings.

And it’s a reminder that, instead of flattering Islam, openly and honestly criticizing it—objectively, without rancor or hyperbole—is potentially one of the Western world’s most powerful, though largely untapped, strategies that could go a long way in neutralizing Islam, and without force.


Australia: African gang raids a Melbourne Woolworths and menaces shoppers and staff with knives and bats

The frightening moment hooded thugs armed with baseball bats and a kitchen knife stormed a Woolworths has been caught on camera.

The video showed the gang of youths as they terrorised customers and employees at Lyndhurst Woolworths on Thompsons Road, in Melbourne's south east, just before 9pm on Sunday.

Scared workers screamed with their arms in the air as the offenders shouted from across the room and began counting back from five before throwing an object over the counter.

One man then approached an employee and struck her with a baseball bat.

Local man Rob was on his way to buy cigarettes when saw the gang trying to escape via the carpark with a trolley full of groceries. He saw the offenders assault a female employee and acted 'without thinking'. 'I saw them assault a lady that tried to stop theft, I chased them and then defended myself,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

Rob knocked two weaponless offenders to the ground before onlookers helped him against the remaining two.

One thug pulled a large kitchen knife before retreating to their car.

'I felt sick to the stomach because my girlfriend was nearby,' he said.

Another witness posted a screenshot on social media of a series of text messages they sent as the chaos unfolded.

'Five-six guys attacked this guy at the front of the store. I think they had bats and a knife,' the message read. 'The store is locked down.'

Woolworths confirmed no staff members were injured. 'There is no place for this aggression and violence anywhere in our community and our thoughts are with those caught up in the incident,' a spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.

We thank our team for acting quickly to lock down the store in line with our safety procedures. 'We've been supporting Victoria Police with its investigations and will continue to help in any way we can.' 'We've also moved to strengthen the security presence at the store.' 

Victoria Police spokeswoman Belinda Batty said the men escaped with a trolley of goods.

'Police have been told a knife was produced and several customers attempted to intervene,' she said.

'No one required medical treatment. The group left the scene in a vehicle and are yet to be located at this stage.'



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

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

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


11 February, 2020  

Speaking out against transgender extremists has made me the most hated man on the internet, writes "Father Ted" creator GRAHAM LINEHAN

Today I am one of the most loathed figures on the internet. My speaking events have been cancelled. I have been sued. The police have visited my home and former friends have turned their backs on me.

Yet I’m the man who wrote the much-loved Father Ted! Why is it that I’ve become so suddenly unpopular? The thought crime for which I have been tried and found guilty is that I believe biological reality exists.

I believe women are females. I believe everyone should be able to present themselves as they wish but that women’s hard-won rights must not be compromised for the benefit of men suffering body dysphoria – which is to say men who feel they are stuck in the wrong body.

Most of all, I believe that gender ideology, in its currently fashionable form, is dangerous, incoherent nonsense.

I believe trans people –those unfortunate enough to suffer body dysphoria – are having their condition exploited and trivialised by abusive, controlling and authoritarian trans rights activists. And I think women and children are suffering because of it.

Worst of all, I say so, loudly. This makes me Public Enemy No 1.

I make my arguments forcefully because I’m concerned, sometimes with humour because I’m a comedy writer and often while cursing, because I’m Irish. It’s the humour they hate most. It’s kryptonite to these activists.

I’m 51 and I’ve never seen anything like the authoritarianism on display, the desperate desire to shut down the conversation. No genuine civil-rights movement advances in secret but this one has as one of its mantras ‘NO DEBATE’.

So, while we are in a world where male sexual offenders in bad wigs assault female prisoners, where rape crisis centres are defunded because they won’t admit men and where a bloke in a full beard tells schoolchildren that he’s a lesbian, we’re informed with venomous aggression that we may not talk about any of it.

No debate? Oh, there’s going to be a debate all right.

The popular opinion among my detractors is that I’m cherry-picking negative stories to mask a hatred of trans people. In fact, I first came to this debate because I saw women being bullied, losing their jobs and suffering the most intense online harassment I’d ever seen, and I wanted to stand beside them.

Also, as a writer, I couldn’t watch as one of the most important words in the English language, the word ‘woman’, was being changed against the will of those whom it defined.

Suddenly, everywhere you looked, women were being erased, insulted or endangered. Amnesty referring to pregnant women as ‘pregnant people’. Productions of The Vagina Monologues closing because they excluded ‘women who don’t have vaginas’. Women’s toilets disappearing from public life – even though they were introduced to ensure that women could have a public life.

Worst of all, I saw the lack of compassion or empathy for the vulnerable women who are often at the sharp end of the new Gender Theocracy.

The four women attacked in prison by a male sex offender in 2018 (who everyone had to call ‘Karen’ or they were committing a hate crime) are four women too many.

Women in prison often have a history of abuse at the hands of men. Whatever they’ve done, they are entitled to safety from the type of men who helped put them there.

Rational people – and that includes rational trans people – are dismayed by those who have now taken over trans activism.

Body dysphoria is no longer seen as central or even necessary for those who decide to adopt a so-called trans identity.

To see just how elastic and meaningless the word ‘trans’ has become, one only has to look at the definition adopted by the Stonewall lobby group: ‘Trans people may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms, including (but not limited to) transgender, transsexual, gender-queer (GQ), gender-fluid, non-binary, gender-variant, crossdresser, genderless, agender, nongender, third gender, bi-gender, trans man, trans woman, trans masculine, trans feminine and neutrois.’

Neutrois, I discovered, literally just means ‘androgynous’. So androgynous people are trans. That’ll be news to Bake Off presenter Noel Fielding.

Under Stonewall’s definition, everyone is trans, and no one is. A cross-dresser such as banker Philip Bunce, who adopts the female persona ‘Pippa’ for only a few days every week, nevertheless receives the honour of being named by the Financial Times as one of its top 100 women in business.

This was seen as progress, a step forward for women. In fact, it is an insult to women and to those suffering from body dysphoria.

In order to maintain the fantasy that our sex is unconnected to our bodies, the truth must be bent and beaten in the fire of academic language. That is why trans activists talk about sex being ‘assigned at birth’ – an abuse of language, if ever I heard one.

Is the sex of a newborn ‘assigned’ by a capricious midwife? Of course not. Rather it is observed and recorded as a matter of fact.

‘Assigned’ is one of the more successful hijackings of English achieved by gender ideologues, yet you will hear it parroted across many organisations from the NHS to the BBC – the sort of institution where you really would expect people to know better.

Before I knew how toxic trans rights activism was, I wrote an episode of my Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd with a trans character. The response was more venomous than I was used to, but as bad as it was, at least I was allowed to write it. That was in 2013.

In 2020, such an episode would never air. And that is because the first generation who didn’t go out to play have grown up to become clones of Mary Whitehouse. The new puritans.

I am not new to outrage. There was fury on the part of some when we first released Father Ted but the executives we had were made of strong stuff and ignored the attacks. The same goes for The IT Crowd, Brass Eye, Black Books, and I guess a few comedies I haven’t worked on.

I’m worried we’re entering an era of pre-chewed, prissy art that offends no one. But it’s not comedy writers who are the victims of all this: it is women who are the real casualties.

Gender ideology is a disaster for women. They are expected to make room for men in their changing rooms and their safe spaces.

They are being robbed of the language to describe their reality by unintelligible academic ‘gender experts’, by teenagers encouraging each other online, by parents who are profoundly mistaken, and by well-meaning people who, confused by the ever-changing terminology, still believe they are defending what used to be called transsexuals.

All these forces working together are, whether they know it or not, providing a smokescreen for fetishists, conmen and misogynists to pursue their own agenda.

In years to come, we will look back at this scandal, at the ruined bodies, the confused crime statistics, the weakening of safeguarding and the rollback of women’s rights and wonder how it was left to go on for so long.


Why I’m anti-woke

Woke authoritarians are a threat to freedom and equality.

During 2019’s Last Night of the Proms, the audience was treated to a rendition of Daniel Kidane’s latest composition, ‘Woke’. Kidane had written the piece because he was concerned that the word had veered from its earlier definition – that is, to be ‘alert to injustice in society, especially racism’. This was how the word was understood when it originated in the various black civil-rights movements of the 20th century. If this is all it means to be woke, then count me in.

Unfortunately, over the past few years the term has been appropriated and sloganised by the cult of social justice. ‘Woke’ is no longer simply a matter of standing up to racism, but is irrevocably connected to the authoritarian mindset of the identitarian left. Rather than confront bad ideas through discussion, debate, ridicule and protest, those who self-identify as ‘woke’ would sooner intimidate their detractors into silence through what has become known as ‘cancel culture’. More insidiously, they have sought to empower the state and strengthen hate-speech laws, which curb individual freedom. They do all this in the belief that theirs is a righteous cause, but their illiberal actions ultimately bolster the very ideas they purport to despise.

Moreover, this monomaniacal need to expose an ever-expanding set of ‘phobias’ in society means that they end up detecting prejudice even where it does not exist. In the absence of evidence of racism the woke have a habit of simply concocting it; hence the continual emphasis on ‘unconscious bias’, ‘white privilege’ and ‘institutional power structures’. Such ideas have germinated over many years in academia – particularly in the postmodern branches of critical theory – and have since seeped into the mainstream.

This is why the public is routinely confronted with absurd articles in the media grounded in an extreme form of intersectionality. One, for instance, claims that white women are ‘evil’, another that white DNA is an ‘abomination’. Barely a day goes by without some frenzied denunciation of a movie or a television series for its lack of diversity and positive representation, as though the function of the arts is to send a message that accords with identitarian values.

Few members of the public are entirely familiar with the jargon (‘cisgender’, ‘mansplaining’, ‘toxic masculinity’), but are assured nonetheless that the premises are indisputable. There’s a very good reason why the Catholic Church resisted translating the Bible into the vernacular for so long. Those in power are always threatened when the plebeians start thinking for themselves and asking difficult questions.

Some commentators have recently raised concerns that ‘woke’ has been weaponised by the far right as a slur against anti-racist campaigners. Afua Hirsch, for instance, has claimed in the Guardian that anyone using the word is ‘likely to be a right-wing culture warrior angry at a phenomenon that lives mainly in their imagination’. This strikes me as particularly odd, given the Guardian’s own frequent use of the word, including in headlines such as ‘Can a woke makeover win Barbie and Monopoly new fans?’ and ‘My search for Mr Woke: a dating diary’. Perhaps Hirsch’s colleagues are further to the right than is generally supposed.

The effect of the woke movement has been to cultivate a climate in which good people feel unable to speak their minds for fear of being misinterpreted and mischaracterised – wilfully or otherwise. Activists have managed to restrict the Overton Window to such an extent that much-needed discussions – such as how to deal with the challenges raised by gender self-identification – are often avoided entirely.

As Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay note in their forthcoming book, Cynical Theories, ‘many people are wondering what’s happening, how we got here, what it all means, and how (and how soon) we can fix it and restore some common ground, charity and reason’. Yet to make this point openly is to risk being decried in the most damaging terms. Indeed, the labels ‘racist’, ‘misogynist’, ‘homophobe’, ‘transphobe’ and ‘fascist’ – extremely serious allegations that should only be used when there is incontrovertible evidence to support them – are now so promiscuously applied that they have lost their impact. This not only provides cover for the far right, but also actively promotes the worst people in society by creating an illusion of widespread crypto-fascism.

The bullying tactics of the woke were never likely to be persuasive, and have left many feeling resentful. This accounts for the collective sigh of relief that followed the actor Laurence Fox’s appearance on Question Time, in which he openly challenged these new orthodoxies. He pointed out that many are frustrated with being told that we live in a racist country, when studies repeatedly confirm that ours is one of the most tolerant countries on the planet. As Fox said, we need to be united in our opposition to genuine racism, not conjuring enemies out of thin air.

The explanation for such overzealous behaviour probably lies in the woke movement’s rehabilitation of racialised thinking. It regards people primarily in terms of group identity determined by skin colour, and only secondarily through their qualities as individuals. The ideal of colour-blindness, a beautiful notion that emphasises the equality of all human beings, is itself now routinely dismissed as racist.

If one were to deliberately construct an ideology intended to foster racial division and popularise the objectives of the far right, one could hardly do better than the social-justice movement in its current manifestation. It is for this reason that Pluckrose and Lindsay adopt a capitalised form of ‘Social Justice’ in their book to distinguish from the noble principles of ‘social justice’, the former inadvertently working against the aims of the latter.

This is also why Ellie Mae O’Hagan’s recent article for the Guardian – in which she describes the ‘anti-woke’ backlash as being in direct opposition to social liberalism – is so utterly wrongheaded, however well intentioned. Most of us who oppose wokeness do so precisely because it represents a direct threat to social liberalism. As I have argued previously on spiked, identitarians on the right and left have an interdependent relationship; each one nourishes and sustains the other.

If we are serious about true social justice we should take the woke to task for their ongoing trivialisation of important causes such as anti-racism, gender equality and rights for sexual minorities. It is the responsibility of true progressives to reassert the centrality of open debate as the cornerstone of any free society. In short, we need to robustly defend the liberal values that woke activists have foolishly rejected as forms of institutional oppression.


Mike Bloomberg Suggests Uneducated Midwest Rubes Are Just Too Stupid for Trans Bathrooms

Back in 2016, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg made elitist and demeaning comments about Midwestern rubes who are too uneducated to support transgender bathroom access. The remarks, which resurfaced on Friday, illustrate the patronizing attitude many pro-transgender activists have toward those who dare to disagree with the view that gender identity overrides biological sex. Ironically, transgender activists were triggered by how the former mayor insulted the Midwesterners who disagree with them.

Speaking to an audience at Oxford University and addressing the Brexit vote, Bloomberg said, "We, the intelligentsia, the people who could make it into this room, we believe a lot of things in terms of equality and protecting individual rights that make no sense to the vast bulk of people."

"They are not opposed to you having some rights, but there's a fundamental disconnect between us believing the rights of the individual come first and the general belief around the world, I think it's fair to say, that the rights of society comes first," Bloomberg continued.

Then came the geographical snobbery.

"If you want to know if somebody is a good salesman, give him the job of going to the Midwest and picking a town and selling to that town the concept that some man wearing a dress should be in a locker room with their daughter. If you can sell that, you can sell anything," he said.

"They just look at you and they say, 'What on Earth are you talking about?' And you say, 'Well this person identifies his or her gender as different than what’s on their birth certificate.' And they say, 'What do you mean? You’re either born this or you’re born that.'"

These remarks managed to trigger transgender activists while insulting both Midwesterners and those who believe biological sex takes precedence over gender identity.

Charlotte Clymer, a biological male who identifies as a woman and campaigns for transgenderism, called Bloomberg's remarks "deeply disgusting and disqualifying."

"Trans people were living openly in the Midwest long before Bloomberg woke up one morning and decided to start buying elections," Clymer added.

Activists like Clymer objected to the idea that biological men who identify as women and use the women's restroom should be referred to as "some man." In their eyes, such a person is a woman because he identifies as a woman, regardless of his male DNA, the effects of testosterone on his body from the womb onward, and the fact that his body developed differently from that of a woman.

Yet Bloomberg appeared to suggest that any disagreement with transgender ideology comes from a lack of education and sophistication. He insulted an entire geographic region of the country — the Midwest — by associating it with a lack of education and sophistication.

Yet a broad coalition of conservatives, feminists, and lesbians have allied against this ideology, for a whole host of reasons.

Feminists have condemned the transgender movement as a "men's rights movement" since it involves biological men forcing their way into women's spaces. A group of British lesbians tried to separate the LGB from the T, but eventually settled on removing the L from the acronym instead. "Let the L Out" accused the transgender movement of promoting "rape culture" because it "promotes the right of heterosexual males who 'identify' as women and lesbians (despite most of them still retaining their male genitals) over the right of lesbians to choose their sexual partners. This new 'queer' LGBT politics thus coerces lesbians to accept the pen*s as a female organ and promotes heterosexual intercourse between male and female as a form of lesbian sex."

It is very rational to oppose the transgender movement on the bathroom issue, specifically. After Target infamously opened its women's restrooms and changing rooms to biological men who identify as women, voyeurs across the country reportedly took advantage of the policy. In 2017, a 5-year-old boy allegedly sexually assaulted a 5-year-old girl in a girl's bathroom — after getting in by claiming he was "non-binary." Transgender provocateur Jessica Yaniv has allegedly used his transgender identity to prey on girls in bathrooms.

Bloomberg does need to apologize, not just for his smug attitude or his politically incorrect phrasing, but also for promoting a movement that puts girls and women in danger. Sadly, he is far from alone among Democratic presidential candidates on this issue — and the others have become savvier in their pandering to this dangerous movement.


70% of refugees in Australia are parasites

The federal government plans to set up English classes in refugee camps to give potential immigrants a better shot at getting a job when they get to Australia.

Acting Immigration Minister and Minister for Population Alan Tudge has decried a link between unacceptably high rates of unemployment amongst refugees and a lack of English skills.

'Long-term welfare dependence is debilitating for anyone, be they a refugee, long-term citizen or anyone else. We have to do better,' Mr Tudge will say in a speech at the Menzies Research Centre in Melbourne, The Australian reported on Friday.

'Data shows that when identifying reasons for finding it difficult to get a job, close to 60 per cent of humanitarian entrants said 'my English isn't good enough yet'.'

A trial of English-language classes in overseas camps to upskill refugees before they arrive in Australia is due to begin on July 1.

More than 70 per cent of refugees are unemployed a year after arriving in Australia, the government says.



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

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

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


10 February, 2020  

A Communist Pope

There is now no hiding what he is

Pope Francis has called tax cuts for the wealthy a 'structure of sin' before telling a conference at the Vatican the 'rich world can and must end poverty'.

At a seminar on economic inclusion hosted by the Church on Wednesday, Francis insisted that poverty could be beaten if the world's rich play a full part in ending inequality.

'Today’s structures of sin include repeated tax cuts for the richest people, often justified in the name of investment and development,' Francis told the meeting organized by the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences.

'We are neither condemned to inequality nor to paralysis in the face of injustice,' he later added.

'The rich world and a prosperous economy can and must end poverty.'

The Pope told attendants, including IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, that hundreds of billions of dollars of taxes are not being paid, causing health care and education to suffer. 

'We must be conscious of all being responsible,' said Francis, who has made inequality a central theme of his papacy.

'If extreme poverty exists amid riches which are also extreme it is because we have allowed a gap to grow to become the largest in history.'

'People who are poor in indebted countries suffer from strong fiscal pressure and the cutting of social services,' Francis added.

Calling for the 'globalisation of hope,' Georgieva responded that 'the first task is to put the economy at the service of the people,' highlighting the need to address the issue of 'inequality of opportunity.'

The International Monetary Fund head also urged investment in people and education.

But she also stressed the need to prioritise the environment as 'none of the economic challenges we face today will be important in 20 years if we do not today confront the challenge of climate change.'


Identity politics is really for rich white people

White liberal women are paying up to $2,500 to attend dinner parties aimed at confronting their ‘racism’.

Wow. If you haven’t already read it, stop what you’re doing and read this report in the Guardian about something called Race to Dinner, an initiative whereby white liberal women in the US are paying $2,500 to attend dinners aimed at confronting their privilege and racism. It’s remarkable.

The dinners were set up by Saira Rao and Regina Jackson. The idea is that one white woman volunteers to host the dinner, and invites strangers, friends or acquaintances, all hoping to rid themselves of their allegedly racist ways. Then, a ‘frank discussion’ over dinner ensues, led by Rao, who is Indian-American, and Jackson, who is African-American. According to the report, they started the initiative to ‘challenge liberal white women to accept their racism, however subconscious’.

There are so many bizarre parts of this story it’s hard to know where to begin. The attendees are literally asked to name a ‘racist thing [they] did recently’. And by ‘racist’, they don’t actually mean racist. One woman says she wants to hire more people of colour, then trails off because she is fearful of looking like a ‘white saviour’. In another exchange, a woman ties herself in knots when trying to talk about her adopted black children:

‘Morgan Richards admits she recently did nothing when someone patronisingly commended her for adopting her two black children, as though she had saved them. “What I went through to be a mother, I didn’t care if they were black”, she says, opening a window for Rao to challenge her: “So, you admit it is stooping low to adopt a black child?” And Richards accepts that the undertone of her statement is racist.’

Indeed Rao comes off far worse in this write-up than the white women she is supposed to be schooling. She has become semi-Twitter Famous in recent years for her absurd, un-self-aware musings. (She once said all her white female friends had disowned her because she kept pestering them about their privilege and racism.) In the piece, one of the less-satisfied former attendees says Rao is ‘needlessly provocative and mean-spirited, unaware of her own class privilege’.

Which reminds us of an important thing about this kind of identity politics, political correctness, wokeness, or whatever we want to call it: its primary audience is rich people, particularly rich white people. As a landmark survey by More in Common found in 2018, high income and education levels are two top predictors of support for political correctness, and white people are less likely than average to believe that political correctness is bad.

It makes sense. Woke politics is ultimately disempowering for minorities, it treats them as children who are forever bound by the invisible chains of language, culture and unconscious bias. Identitarians’ mad theories largely appeal to over-educated rich people with too much time on their hands and a heavy dose of bourgeois guilt. Wokeness doesn’t help minorities, it gives white people an opportunity to feel better about themselves and distinguish themselves from the allegedly (even more) bigoted masses.

Wokeness is a rich white person’s game, and these hilarious and expensive dinners attest to this.


More impeachments, please

by Jeff Jacoby

We should be using the impeachment tool more — not less.

"In the bitter end," fumed a Wall Street Journal editorial the day after Donald Trump's impeachment trial concluded, "what has all of this accomplished? The House has defined impeachment down to a standard that will now make more impeachments likely."

Let's hope so.

Impeachment wasn't meant to be the extreme rarity it has been throughout American history. Like other legislative checks and balances — the power to override vetoes and to reject judicial nominees, for example — the power to impeach a president (or any federal official or judge) for what Alexander Hamilton called the "abuse or violation of some public trust" was expected to be used by Congress as needed. The framers of the Constitution knew that regular elections wouldn't suffice to protect the public from a bad president. That's why it was "indispensable," as James Madison told the delegates in Philadelphia, "that some provision should be made for defending the community against the incapacity, negligence, or perfidy of the Chief Magistrate."

If that was true more than 200 years ago, when American presidents wielded far less power than they do today — when there were no nuclear missiles, no multitrillion-dollar federal budgets, no sweeping executive orders — it is even truer today.

Yet the idea long ago took hold that impeachment should almost never be resorted to, and then only in cases of serious criminal conduct. To hear Trump and his supporters tell it, the impeachment of the president was a "coup" — an illegitimate assault on the rule of law and an "end run around the ballot box." Exactly the same language was used two decades ago by Democrats when President Bill Clinton was impeached.

"When impeachment talk is in the air," observed the Cato Institute's Gene Healy in a 2018 monograph, "normally sober and judicious scholars resort to violent hyperbole." He quoted Charles Black, the renowned Yale law professor, who wrote during the Nixon impeachment hearings that, given the "dreadfulness" and "deep wounding" of impeachment, Americans should "approach it as one would approach high-risk major surgery." In 1998, Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe testified that impeachment was "truly the political equivalent of capital punishment." Last September one prominent Trump backer warned that removing the president through impeachment would trigger something akin to a second civil war, "from which this country will never heal."

These overwrought analogies are grounded in cultural superstition rather than good governance. The Founding Fathers regarded the impeachment process not as an unspeakable constitutional crisis, but as a mechanism for resolving such a crisis. So should we.

What would have happened if Trump or Clinton had been convicted in their Senate trials and removed from office? The president would have moved out of the White House, and the vice president — a handpicked member of his own party — would have moved in. Would that have been so awful? The closest historical example, the resignation of Richard Nixon to avoid being impeached, suggests the opposite.

"My fellow Americans," said Gerald Ford on being sworn in as president, "our long national nightmare is over."

If Clinton had been forced to yield the presidency to Al Gore, or Trump to Mike Pence, pretty much the same thing could have been said. The skies wouldn't have fallen, markets wouldn't have crashed, blood wouldn't have pooled in the streets. In both cases the country would have been better off — a lying scoundrel would have been peacefully removed from office — yet the party controlling the White House would have remained in charge of the Executive Branch.

The Trump and Clinton impeachments didn't end with the president's conviction, but that doesn't mean impeaching them was futile. In both cases, the nation got a hard look at bad behavior in the White House. In both cases, presidents were forced to defend themselves before Congress — a reminder that presidents are not kings, and that the legislative branch, which has relinquished so much of its authority in recent decades, is supposed to be preeminent. And in both cases presidents of bad character had no choice but to submit to the staining of their reputation with a scarlet "I," a stain that will remain in the history books long after the passions of the day have dissipated.

Impeachment shouldn't be a once-in-a-lifetime event. It was designed to keep powerful officials accountable, and to eject them from office when their "incapacity, negligence, or perfidy" is intolerable. That applies not only to presidents, but other federal officials as well: cabinet secretaries, agency heads, ambassadors.

And it ought to apply with particular force to federal judges. The Constitution doesn't say that judges serve for life. It says they "shall hold their Offices during good Behavior." Most of the nation's hundreds of federal judges are honorable and competent. But some have been arrogant and abusive, or rendered terrible decisions. Impeachment exists to get rid of judges who take bribes, no less than those who lose the public's confidence or issue unconscionable rulings. Yet in all of US history, only 15 judges have been impeached by the House, and only eight have been convicted by the Senate. The result has been an ever-more-autocratic federal judiciary.

Let's break the taboo against impeachment. Let's replace it with a taboo against retaining dishonest, destructive, or despicable officials in office. The Constitution provides a useful tool for preserving the integrity of our government and mitigating the electorate's gravest mistakes. That tool has grown rusty from disuse, but it's not too late to clean it off and put it to the use the Founders intended.


Confused Australian Marxists

They are afraid to admit their authoritarian impulses

Andrew Bolt

I'm SO glad Marxists will again hold their annual conference at Melbourne University. When you check out Marxism 2020, you'll stop worrying and start laughing. "A world to win!" its website declares, promising a discussion on "revolutionary struggle across the globe today".

To illustrate this "revolutionary struggle", it shows a picture of one of last year's massive protests in Hong Kong. Wait!! Those protesters weren't struggling for Marxism but against it. They were fighting for their freedom from China, which is, er, Marxist

Hmm. When Marxists praise the people struggling against their tyrannical creed, it's clear they're not the sharpest sickles in the shed. But this isn't the only sign in this conference that Marxism is in decay. I know, this isn't the impression you've got from the media Left or from protests on our streets.

In fact, you've probably fretted that Marxism seems much more in your face. Last October, for instance, Marxists from the Socialist Alliance battled police in Melbourne for days outside a mining conference. Just last week, the Queensland University of Technology student union said it would allow the Marxist Socialist Alternative to set up a recruiting stall for orientation week, but banned Generation Liberty, a youth arm of the libertarian Institute of Public Affairs.

And last year the ABC's youth network announced "young people are losing faith in capitalism and embracing socialism" ... well, at least in America.

But Marxism 2020 should put your fears to rest. For a start, the quality of the speakers is appalling.

When I checked the 2014 Marxism conference I found 12 speakers were at least academics (which was alarming). But this year's conference boasts just four academics, including the ubiquitous Roz Ward, who designed the controversial "Safe Schools" program for Victoria's Labor Government.  Another, Rick Kuhn, is now half out the door as an honorary associate professor at the Australian National University.

It seems Marxist academics are getting rarer. Most of this year's speakers are instead ageing street radicals, imported nonentities from the US, and some excitable youngsters from student politics and "refugee" politics. This intellectual decline shows in the crass early-bird special — book now and get your "F--k ScoMo" T-shirt.

Marxists must be thick or blind not to realise Marxism has led to tyranny in every place it's been tried — Russia, China, Cambodia, Poland, Cuba ... But Marxism 2020 seems to be organised by people so dumb that they've planned a session to praise the "contribution of early Korean women revolutionaries and communists" but none to discuss what a hellhole those communists actually created in North Korea.

Instead, there are two sessions to make excuses for Marxism's unbroken record of bloody failure. You know all those Marxist regimes that created all that misery? They weren't Marxist at all! They got hijaCked! Student activist Jairnine Duff will explain that "the Russian Revolution is the closest that the world has ever come to achieving socialism", until it was eventually crushed" by terrible Mr Stalin.

Attention, Jasmine: Russia's revolution was rotten from the start when it was led by nice Mr. Lenin, Stalin's boss. Just one year after the Bolsheviks overthrew Russia's elected government in 1917, Lenin was already issuing orders like this:

"Introduce at once mass terror"; "Hang (absolutely hang, in full view of the people) no fewer than one hundred known ... filthy rich men."

But the Marxism 2020 speakers seen unable to accept that a political theory which calls for a workers' "dictatorship" is the enemy of freedom and the creed of thugs.

They seem torn between knowing violence looks bad yet wanting to use it "We oppose terrorism and acts of individual violence as a strategy for change," says one speaker. On the other hand: "Marxists are not pacifists ... there will need to be an insurrection led by a revolutionary party ... seizure of power ... dictatorship of the proletariat" As for the police who'd defend our democracy: "Abolish them."

Notice how police are most likely to get hurt at Marxist protests? Such a history of failure, such an itch for violenCe and such ignorance.

Be glad Marxists are dying out, at least according to a survey last year by the United States Studies Centre and YouGov. "Older Australians use more positive words to describe socialism than younger people," it found.

How reassuring. The young are more woke to Marxism than their elders, and Marxism 2020 will just add one more nail to the coffin of that stinking corpse.

From the Brisbane "Courier Mail" of 3 February, 2020


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

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

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


9 February, 2020  

The SNP paradox: They campaign as national populists, but govern as cosmopolitan technocrats

The Scottish elite have discovered the power of nationalism.  They are true Fascists: Nationalistic Leftists

The rise of the Scottish National Party has been remarkable. In the recent UK General Election, it won 48 of the 59 seats in Scotland (albeit with only 45 per cent of the vote). Back in 2010, the SNP won just six seats, compared to the Labour Party’s 41. In 2019, Labour won only one seat. In this respect, we can see that the SNP has replaced Labour as the dominant party in Scotland – no mean feat for a group of politicians who not so long ago were known as the Tartan Tories.

In part, the SNP’s rise can be explained by the collapse of the once distinct political outlooks of left and right. The Labour Party no longer represents labouring people and there is no labour movement, as such, for Labour to represent. In many respects, the Labour Party is past its sell-by date (as are the Tories) and this has provided the space for an alternative to emerge.

In Scotland, unfortunately, this alternative came in the form of the SNP. At a time when there are few big ideas in politics, the SNP has one defining idea – that Scotland could genuinely be different by going for independence from the UK.

The SNP now presents itself in a more social-democratic, leftist way than it once did. It has also harnessed the anti-Tory sentiment that is common up north through the relentless condemnation of all things ‘Westminster’. The political chasm between the voters and the almost alien world occupied by politicians is reframed as a purely geographical problem, as something stemming from the toffs down south.

As a Brexiteer and a democrat who lives in Scotland, I found the success of the SNP in the last election frustrating. Boris Johnson’s Tories won in England and Wales under a pro-Brexit, pro-democracy banner. But in Scotland, the SNP won with an overtly anti-democratic ‘Stop Brexit’ campaign.

But despite their recent successes, the Scot Nats should be wary of resting on their laurels. There are many contradictions within the SNP project, which, if they were to properly come to the surface, could be the party’s undoing.

Writers examining the rise of populism and the new divisions in contemporary politics have identified three new areas of conflict. First, the rise of technocratic governance, which clashes with demands for popular democracy. Secondly, the rise of the supranational, as opposed to the nation. And lastly, the clash between cosmopolitanism and community. To a great extent, the SNP presents itself as being on the side of popular democracy, the nation and the community. But in reality, it is far more representative of the global, cosmopolitan, technocratic new elite.

The SNP represents the new technocratic elite as much as – if not more than – any other UK political party. You see this in the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, where the SNP has been in government since 2007. The SNP MSP’s comfort zone is the committee room, sitting with like-minded lawyers, heads of charities, academics and experts, formulating policies in an echo chamber, at a distance from the electorate.

But at the same time as being part of this aloof class of technocrats, the SNP claims to be the voice of the people, defending popular democracy against those in ‘Westminster’ who suffocate the voice of Scotland. The SNP tries to promote the idea of nationhood, and to engage with a national desire for more control over the country. It pretends to represent democracy and freedom, promising a vision of a new nation built upon the sovereignty of the Scottish people, breaking from the shackles of Tory England.

This is all totally unconvincing – not least because the SNP is wedded to the European Union, a supranational bureaucracy that undermines national sovereignty. Indeed, leading SNP figures, such as MEP Alyn Smith, portray the EU in the most remarkable, Disneyfied way imaginable, in which the EU is responsible for everything from world peace to workers’ rights. The SNP is among the most pro-EU political parties in the UK. This is strange considering the party is meant to be about nationhood and taking back national control for the Scottish people. With its craven love of all things Brussels, the SNP is the least convincing national independence movement in the history of national independence movements.

Similarly, the SNP is able to tap into a sense of community, of tradition and commonality, between people. David Goodhart’s idea of the ‘Somewheres’ captures this sentiment well. Many SNP supporters want a sense of belonging, of groundedness to a certain place, and of Scottishness. But at the same time, SNP MPs, MEPs and MSPs seem deeply uncomfortable and suspicious of the people of Scotland – a fear and loathing of ordinary people that is shared across the global cosmopolitan elite.

SNP politicians are chronically politically correct, prone to looking down their noses at ordinary people, and always on the lookout for new laws and regulations to control people’s speech and personal lives and relationships (see the now-defunct Named Person legislation or the recent smacking ban).

These contradictions are yet to play out properly, but there is a growing sense of confusion about what the party is for. For example, many SNP supporters and voters hate the politically correct, nanny-state dimension of the SNP. The party has a tendency to patronise the public and to interfere in their daily lives (their drinking, eating and parenting habits and use of language), and this aggravates many people. There is also a sense of frustration among Scotland’s voters about the poor state of many public services that the SNP is responsible for, from education to health and policing.

At the moment, the SNP has managed to avoid confronting these contradictions. SNP politicians stand for election as populists shouting ‘power to the people’, while running Scotland through committees and experts. The party campaigns for an ‘independent’ Scotland, but one that will be subsumed into the European Union. And it stands as a defender of democracy, while pushing the anti-democratic policy of stopping Brexit.

The SNP has benefited from the collapse of both the Tories and Labour in Scotland. It acts as a kind of anti-matter, feeding off the end of class politics and masquerading as the people’s party. Logically, the many contradictions of the SNP should result in a split, or the emergence of new political parties. For the people of Scotland, let’s hope so.


Puberty blockers for confused children

Data on all aspects of transgender medical interventions are poor. No one knows how many children have been prescribed these drugs. Little is known about how they have fared since. But in the past decade there has been a surge in the number of children treated as trans. Clinics serving them have mushroomed. In 2007 there was one. Today there are perhaps 50. Waiting lists at many are long and lengthening.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that standards of care have failed to keep pace. The biggest concern is that children put on blockers—first prescribed between the ages of 9 and 14 to suppress the action of sex hormones—and later, testosterone or oestrogen, do not first undergo sufficiently comprehensive evaluations.

Guidelines from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health say such interventions should follow “extensive exploration of psychological, family and social issues”. That seems elementary. There is no medical test for gender dysphoria. Research suggests that most children who identify as the other sex eventually grow out of it. They are also more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. Untangling all of this and establishing whether a child is likely to go on feeling that they are in the wrong body—a guess, at best— poses significant challenges for children, parents and their doctors.

Laura Edwards-Leeper, a professor of psychology at Pacific University in Oregon who helped found America’s first transgender clinic for children in Boston, reckons the “vast majority” of children on blockers or sex hormones have not undergone proper assessments. This, she says, is because of a shortage of mental-health professionals with the necessary training and the desire of doctors to provide care for a group that has long been denied it.

This carries the obvious risk that patients will regret transitioning. No one knows how many people fall into this category. A small number of those put on blockers and sex hormones have since “detransitioned”. The most outspoken among them are lesbians who say that had they been encouraged to explore gender non-conformi-ty—the idea, for instance, that women can be butch—rather than transgenderism, they would not have taken testosterone. Others say mental-health problems caused their gender dysphoria and cross-sex hormones were prescribed as the solution.

A second, related problem concerns the way blockers are sold to patients and their families. Developed in the 1980s to treat premature puberty, they have transformed transgender health care since they were first used for this purpose in the late 1990s. Doctors attest that they save adolescents who feel desperate about developing the “wrong” sex characteristics from enormous distress. Blockers can forestall more traumatic interventions later: the removal of breasts, or the shaving of an Adam’s apple. Their effects are largely reversible. Doctors who prescribe them routinely refer to blockers as a “conservative” measure.

Yet few children seem to step off the treatment path that blockers set them on. The great majority go on to sex hormones. Given the inadequacy of many pre-treat-ment evaluations, this seems unlikely to be wholly the result of sound diagnoses.

Puberty blockers also have other sideeffects. Over time, they can affect bone density. This means that doctors are keen to move patients who want to continue treatment onto sex hormones within a few years. But many of the effects of these are irreversible, including infertility. Paul Hruz, an endocrinologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, says interrupting puberty may have other harmful effects. A surge of hormones during puberty may help put adolescents at ease with their birth gender. Puberty blockers would prevent that process.

Few doctors worried by these problems are prepared to speak about them openly. That is unsurprising given how inflammatory the issue has become. When Lisa Littman, a professor of behavioural and social sciences at Brown University, published a paper in 2018 in which she noted that most transgender children were teenage girls with no history of gender dysphoria—a phenomenon she called “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” —she was denounced as transphobic.

In such a polarised environment, bills proposing blanket bans of puberty blockers are likely to be counterproductive. They may push advocates for early intervention to further extremes. A better approach would be twofold. A neutral assessment of the existing data on the use of blockers, hormones and their effects would help patients and their families make decisions. Most existing research has been undertaken by those working in the field. At the same time, clinics should ensure that children in transgender clinics undergo comprehensive mental-health evaluations.

For all this to happen there needs to be an acknowledgment of the dangers of starting children on often irreversible treatments. At present, that is unimaginable.


Obama Awarded the Medal of Freedom to a Sex Predator, But Liberals Are Triggered by Rush Limbaugh's award

If you watched President Trump's State of the Union address, one of the more touching moments was when he recognized Rush Limbaugh, acknowledging his recent cancer diagnosis, and announced that he was awarding Rush with the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was awarded to him on the spot by First Lady Melania Trump.

True to form, liberals were outraged that such a high honor would be bestowed upon a man they've hated longer than Trump.

"Oh FFS Rush Limbaugh getting the Medal of Honor [sic] is a low I sure wasn’t expecting," tweeted former Rep. Katie Hill. You probably remember her for resigning from Congress after her affair with a staffer was revealed by RedState in October.

"Only one thing to say about Rush Limbaugh getting a Presidential Medal if [sic] Freedom at The State of the Union: I loathe this f***ing man," tweeted Rob Reiner.

There are reactions from triggered liberals I won't bother quoting, but I will explain just how disgusting and hypocritical they are, by pointing out that these liberals had no problem when Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a pedophile rapist.

That's right, in 2009, Obama's first year in office, he awarded the late gay rights icon Harvey Milk with a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom. Harvey Milk "dedicated his life to shattering boundaries and challenging assumptions," Obama said during the ceremony. "As one of the first openly gay elected officials in this country, he changed the landscape of opportunity for the nation's gay community. Throughout his life, he fought discrimination with visionary courage and conviction."

Before presenting the award to Milk's nephew, Obama added, "Harvey Milk's voice will forever echo in the hearts of all those who carry forward his timeless message."

Harvey Milk may have been a gay rights icon and one of the first openly gay elected officials in this country, but often left out of his biography by those who choose to celebrate him was the fact that he liked to have sex with underage boys.

One such example of this is Milk's "relationship" with a 16-year-old runaway, Jack Galen McKinley. As told by San Francisco Chronicle reporter Randy Shilts in his 1982 biography of Milk, The Mayor of Castro Street,  “Sixteen-year-old McKinley was looking for some kind of father figure… At 33, Milk was launching a new life, though he could hardly have imagined the unlikely direction toward which his new lover would pull him.” Shilts was also a close friend of Milk's and wrote of many of his encounters with teenagers as though there was nothing wrong with them. “Harvey always had a penchant for young waifs with substance abuse problems,” Shilts wrote.

"Having sex with a 16-year-old is statutory rape," explained Patrick Howley of the Daily Caller. "The age of consent in California is eighteen. California’s current statutory rape law was instituted in 1970."

Milk also urged teenager Gerard Dols to run away from home in Minnesota to live in San Francisco, giving him help on how to do so in a letter that he sent Dols. Dols, who did not end up running away to Milk’s city, made the revelation in a 2008 interview, as conservative writer Matt Barber noted.
“Don’t tell your parents,” Milk told Dols.

“Milk was a pederast,” said Bryan Fischer, a host on the American Family Radio network. “A pederast is a man who fancies sex with post-pubescent boys."

But the Presidential Medal of Freedom wasn't the end of Obama's honoring of the sex predator. Under Obama, a postage stamp was dedicated to Harvey Milk, and a Navy ship was named after him as well.

Despite being a sexual predator, Milk is celebrated by the left and Hollywood. Sean Penn portrayed him in the 2008 biopic Milk, and Obama used the office of the presidency to honor him multiple times, even bestowing upon Milk the nation's highest civilian honor.

But liberals are outraged that Trump would dare bestow the same award to Rush Limbaugh?


Australia: Sandstone statue in Aboriginal Stolen Generation Memorial is vandalised in vile attack causing $50,000 in damage

It is a memorial to a lie.  It should be erased.  Leftists tear down statues to real events and real people.  A statue to a lie should all the more be torn down

The "stolen generation" is a fiction invented by Leftist historians.  White social workers in the '30s did their job and sometimes removed endangered children from severely dysfunctional black families and sometimes fostered the children into white families for their own safety.  THAT is the so called stolen generation

And if a "generation" were removed, there should be thousands ready to tell their story.  There are in fact at most a handful.  The thing is a lie from beginning to end

A Sydney memorial for the indigenous Stolen Generations has been vandalised, with the damage bill estimated to be $50,000.

Police were called to the Australian Botanical Garden at Mount Annan in southwest Sydney on Thursday, after reports a sandstone statue in the Aboriginal Stolen Generation Memorial was deliberately damaged.

Police believe the memorial was targeted between 10am on Wednesday and 10.45am on Thursday.



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

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

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


7 February, 2020  

A glorious victory for democracy

Brendan O’Neill wrote the following on Brexit eve

We did it. Against all the odds. Against the barbs and defamations and underhand tactics of a hysterical establishment. Against a Remainer Parliament that had been hell-bent on reversing what we voted for. Against the best efforts of Remainer agitators at home and the bureaucratic machine in Brussels to prevent our democratic voice from being heard.

Against all of this, we did it: we secured the UK’s exit from the EU. And now, on Brexit Day, on this day when the Eurosceptic wishes of the British people finally become a reality, let’s be frank about what Brexit represents: it is the most significant and stirring political achievement of the postwar period.

As we approach 11pm, the moment at which the UK will no longer be a member of the EU, there is much discussion about what tone we should adopt in our celebrations of Brexit Day. Brexiteer Tory MP Steve Baker is calling for ‘magnanimity’. Have a quiet one, at home, so that you don’t upset pained Remainers, he suggests.

Remainers, for their part, are furious about all the talk of parties. We’re rubbing their noses in it, they say. Everything from the Brexit Day gathering in Parliament Square this evening to Sajid Javid’s issuing of a commemorative 50p coin is being cited by the establishment’s bruised, Remoaning anti-democrats as proof of the vile populist streak in the Brexit movement. London mayor Sadiq Khan is even fretting that tonight’s Brexit bashes could give rise to xenophobic hate crimes.

Of course he is. That’s how they see us: as a pogrom-in-waiting. As a racist blob. As an unthinking mass driven almost entirely by hatred of the Other. They’ve been hurling these insults at us, at the millions of men and women who voted for Brexit, for three-and-a-half years now.

But all sides in the Brexit Day discussion are wrong. Baker and other timid Brexiteers are wrong to suggest we should play down the significance of this day lest we offend Remainers, and the Brexitphobic wing of the elite is wrong to say these celebrations are a screech of populist arrogance against the defeated side in the referendum. No, the reason this day must be marked — loudly, firmly and colourfully — is because it represents a glorious victory for democracy. What is being celebrated today is the defence of democracy against one of the greatest threats it has faced in modern times.

One of the peculiarities of the Brexit era, and of the contemporary era more broadly, is that very small and very unrepresentative sections of society are in control of the political and moral narrative. So even as 17.4million people, the largest electoral bloc in our history, voted for Brexit, and stood by their vote for Brexit in the face of the most extraordinary campaign of demonisation that I can remember, still the Remainer elites got to write the story of Brexit.

The powers-that-be — from the business elites to more than 70 per cent of MPs to virtually the entire academy and cultural sphere — were pro-Remain. And they used their influence in the worlds of commentary, letters and culture to paint a picture of Brexit as disastrous. As toxic. As fascistic. Or, at best, as very, very difficult to enact. The disjoint between public enthusiasm for Brexit and elite disgust with it was, at times, staggering.

As a consequence, it became incredibly difficult to draw out the historic significance, the magnificence, of Brexit. Even those in public life who supported Brexit, no doubt feeling the pressure of the often deranged establishment narrative around Brexit, became defensive. Brexit was manageable, they insisted. It would be okay. ‘Get Brexit Done’, as the Boris Johnson campaign said in December — a tellingly apologetic slogan which, thankfully, was enough to win the support of vast numbers of Leave voters, but which implicitly played into the denigration of Brexit, the reduction of it to a difficult, pesky task. Hardly anywhere was there an assertion of the historic, epoch-defining nature of Brexit.

So let’s do that today. Let’s now celebrate the meaningfulness of Brexit. It really cannot be overstated. Brexit is one of the finest acts of democracy in the history of this nation. It ought to take its place in the history books alongside the Levellers’ demand for universal male suffrage in the 1640s, and the mass march for democracy in St Peter’s Field in Manchester in 1819, and the Chartists’ agitation for the right of working-class men to vote in the 1840s, and the civil disobedience of the Suffragettes in the 1910s…

Because Brexit, and, more importantly, the post-referendum battle to protect Brexit from the anti-democratic elites, shares something incredibly important in common with those democratic leaps forward in British history. Which is that it embodies the patient but determined assertion of ordinary people that they have as much right as the rich and the well-educated to determine the political fate of the nation. That belief in the rights of the people energised the men, women and children on St Peter’s Field in 1819, and the women who gathered outside parliament on Black Friday in November 1910, and also the millions of us who voted to leave the EU and take back democratic control. Brexit is in keeping, entirely, with the great democratic struggles of our history.

Brexit did not only entail the British people reprimanding and rejecting the European Union and its anti-democratic ideology, which would have been wonderful enough. No, even more importantly than that, Brexit was a revolt against the domestic elites. Against the establishment that pleaded with us to vote Remain in 2016 and which devoted so much of its moral and political energy to sabotaging our vote for Brexit after 2016. Against a political class which, alarmingly, called into question the right to vote itself after the 2016 referendum and openly suggested that this mass vote should be ignored, erased, thrown into the dustbin of history.

This is why the vote for Boris in December last year was so significant. That so many ‘Red Wall’ Labour strongholds fell to the Tories was the clearest sign that the people still wanted Brexit and that the working classes had finally broken from the Labour bureaucracy and asserted their political and moral independence. The December election was the first time in the history of the European Union that a people refused to allow their vote against the EU to be overthrown or stitched up, as tragically happened in Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Greece and elsewhere. Across Europe, under extraordinary pressure from Brussels, Eurosceptic votes have either been ignored or overridden. Not this time. The people of Britain voted against the EU and then voted against the EU and the British establishment’s attempt to crush our vote and to deny us our democratic rights. This was a genuinely stirring and determined defence of the ideal of democracy and the meaning of the vote itself. In response to the most explicit and hateful establishment campaign against democracy in living memory, the British people said: ‘No, no, no.’

If that isn’t something to celebrate, I don’t know what is. Today, we should celebrate the British people’s defence of democracy. We should celebrate their perseverance and patience. We should celebrate the electorate’s capacity to think for itself, as captured in its constant refusal to fall for Project Fear or to heed the desperate overtures of the Remainer establishment. We should celebrate that the populist moment, the Europe-wide desire for greater people power, is not going away anytime soon. And we should celebrate the seismic shock that Brexit — that is, us, the voters — have delivered to a complacent establishment. We have called into question their authority, their power, and their unilateral right to impose their eccentric values and managerial tactics on the population at large. That battle isn’t over yet, by a long shot, but the first victory belongs to the demos.

People fought and died for the right to have a real, impactful say in political life. And Brexiteers have done those people proud. I’m celebrating that.


The dangerous delusions of the new anti-racists

Seeing racism everywhere, and blaming it for everything, is helping no one.

‘It’s pantomime season again’, writes Nesrine Malik in the Guardian. ‘Is Britain racist? Oh no it’s not. Oh yes it is!’ She has a point.

This January, liberal commentators have been hyperactively claiming that the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, is the victim of racism, while others have shouted that she isn’t. Oh yes she is! Oh no she’s not! And so on.

Malik is clear that Meghan is a victim of racism. She says it is because Britain has a racism problem, hence the ‘hate crime, systemic police prejudice and the dramatic disparity of opportunity between people of different ethnic backgrounds’. The bigger problem, she continues, is that too many white people are incapable of seeing this racism for what it is.

‘It is exhausting when you hear people deny that racism is at the heart of [the royal crisis]’, said lawyer and political activist Shola Mos-Shogbamimu on ITVs This Morning. Meghan’s experience was merely a symptom of Britain’s ‘cultural racism’, she said, before adding: ‘White folks need to educate themselves on the racism they perpetuate.’

Perhaps Mos-Shogbamimu had historian Robert Lacey in mind. Speaking on the BBC current-affairs show Newsnight, he suggested racism in Britain was not ‘so bad as in many other countries’. At that point, pop singer Jamelia, Lacey’s fellow guest, interrupted him. ‘I can’t possibly accept that’, she said. ‘That’s a terrible way to think. As far as I’m concerned, we do live in a racist society, we have to acknowledge it and we have to be able to speak about it’, she said.

Needless to say, Brexit is never too far away in the minds of those currently condemning Britain as a racist society. Labour leadership drop-out and firm Remainer Clive Lewis announced this month that Brexit has ‘racism at its core’. Reflecting on the 2016 referendum result, he said: ‘How many black people woke up with a sense of dread after what happened?’

Little of this hyperbole is a surprise. We constantly hear of how big a problem racism is in British society. We hear of the ‘empirical evidence’ of a spike in hate crime after the Leave vote. We hear of the rise of the far right. And now, just to show how deep the problem has permeated, we hear that racism is a growing problem in schools. Or, as BBC News puts it, ‘Exclusions for racism in primary schools in England up more than 40 per cent’.

Peer a little deeper, though, and it appears the BBC had made a bad-news headline out of good news. The report itself reveals that English primary-school exclusions for racism increased from 350 (in 2006-7) to 496 (in 2017-18). This was an increase of 146 over an 11-year period – a period in which the pupil population increased by 600,000 to over 4.7 million children.

If you bear in mind not just the increase in primary-school children numbers, but also the fact that, as the Department for Education cautions, exclusions frequently involve the same individuals, then a rise of 146 exclusions is tiny. Even if every one of the 496 exclusions in 2017-18 was a different kid, it would still amount to 0.01 per cent of all the primary-school pupils in England.

Not that the statistical insignificance of the racism-based exclusions has stopped some from drawing fear-laden conclusions. As Zubaida Haque, deputy director of the Runnymede Trust, put it, schools are ‘a microcosm’ of a society in which hate crime is increasing: ‘Children will pick that up very quickly, and that is what is happening.’

We’ve been here before. Back in 2007, having worked in numerous schools since 2000, it was obvious to me that two opposing trends were emerging. On the one hand, you had an ethnically mixed cohort of children, many from mixed-race families, uniquely equipped to transcend the old racial categories. And in the world beyond the school gate in 21st-century Britain, the visceral anti-black and anti-Asian racism, so evident decades earlier, had become so rare that instances of it appeared shocking.

And, on the other hand, there was an official, state-led form of anti-racism then emerging across the public sector, and especially in schools. It sought to collect, record and report any incident that might – according to the government guidance – be perceived as racist ‘by the victim or any other person’. In many instances, school staff were adopting the same approach as the police are now doing, recording and, importantly, ‘being seen’ to be recording any incident reported as racist.

Primary schools were an easy target for the racism spotters. Kids may have been inventing an intrinsically anti-racist model of multi-ethnic, multicultural interaction. But that did not mean they had stopped being children. Then, as now, amid the fizz of playgrounds at breaktime, children who fall out throw any usable insult at one another. And it was these playground spats that were transformed into evidence of racism. And so the myth of racist kids was born.

The same obsessive search for the racism in our midst, and subsequent, spurious statistical presentation of it as such, has established ‘the rise in hate crime’ as a straightforward incontestable truth. If that wasn’t bad enough, official anti-racism places a forcefield around the contention that racism is everywhere. It means you cannot question it without being accused of being racist, or blinded by white privilege.

The dangers of the rise of this new anti-racism are already apparent. A generation of young BAME (black and minority ethnic) people are increasingly likely to believe their life chances are damaged because of their race. They risk being consumed by their sense of victimisation at the hands of the white and privileged.

Racism does exist, of course. And no doubt it plays a part in the racial disparities we see in crime rates, employment and housing (to name but a few problem areas). But the new anti-racists make a bigger claim. They claim that ‘racism’ is the exclusive explanation for all BAME adversity. The role social class plays in social inequality is erased, even though ethnic minorities are more likely to be younger, poorer and live in areas of social deprivation. ‘Racial injustice’ has become a catch-all explanation for any social problem.

The miserablist view of a society dominated by racism risks becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. BAME citizens could increasingly retreat inside one grievance culture, while white citizens retreat inside another. And each will loathe and resent the other.

But this assessment is too pessimistic. The racism-is-everywhere trend certainly presents a danger, but we should remember that the new anti-racism, though influential, is not as potent as it looks. Back in the world in which many British people live, a tolerant, youthful superdiversity fizzes away. The lived experience of its inhabitants allows them to see through the divisive and frequently absurd claims of anti-racist officials and shouty racism-hunters. As always, it’s the people of this world, which lies outside that of the increasingly woke political and media class, who have the capacity to expose the dangerous delusions of the new anti-racism.


New dating app matches people based on INTELLIGENCE - and singles must complete an IQ test to determine how 'smart' they are

This is realistic but likely to be criticized

My Kitchen Rules finalist Olga Rogacheva and entrepreneur Gi Singhhas have launched a dating app that matches people based on intelligence.

The LoveSmart.app site has attracted more than 2,000 curious users through word-of-mouth after its Australian launch.

This new type of 'smart dating' avoids matching people who may not be on the same wavelength. 

'There is overwhelming scientific evidence that matching intelligence levels is the best foundation for long-lasting relationships,' Olga said.

The app predominantly aims to 'cut through the superficial clutter' of people by using a unique testing mechanism.

When users first log into the app a series of standardised questions similar to an IQ test are asked to determine how smart each individual is.    

Each question in the 'heimdall quiz' varies in difficulty and is picked from a range of different categories.

Once the common knowledge test is complete a second round of questions are asked to discover what type of person you are, such as if you're shy, outgoing or empathetic.

'We want smart, single people to go out and have the time of their lives, and in the process to find love in the foolproof cohort of intelligent dates,' Olga said.

Dating in the modern world is difficult enough, but the new app eliminates the fear of meeting someone who may not suit your level of intelligence.

'We made it our mission to fix the omissions of the current dating services and create a space for smart people to meet and bond without the pain of dealing with unsavoury characters,' Olga explained. 

LoveSmart.app is free to use online and hopes those who match create a successful long-lasting relationship together.


No, office football chat is not excluding women

A management body has suggested conversation about VAR [Discussing referee decisions] can lead to ‘laddish behaviour’.

Today in PC nonsense we have the Chartered Management Institute, with some stern words on office sports chat. Appearing on Radio 4’s Today programme, head of the institute, Ann Francke, said watercooler talk about football or cricket can exclude women. ‘A lot of women, in particular, feel left out’, she said. ‘They don’t follow those sports and they don’t like either being forced to talk about them or not being included.’ She suggested office managers should do all they can to moderate it.

After indulging the ‘girls don’t care about football’ stereotype, and presenting women as fragile beings easily upset by conversations they have little interest in, she further castigated the men. Not only is such office chat ‘excluding’, you see; it can also be a ‘gateway to more laddish behaviour’. ‘It’s very easy’, she went on, ‘for it to escalate from VAR talk and chat to slapping each other on the back and talking about their conquests at the weekend’ – a quote so insane it sounds like it’s straight out of the pages of the Daily Mash.

Needless to say, most listeners disagreed. As the BBC notes, most of the responses to the item online were bemused by what Francke had to say. As one eminently sensible listener put it, ‘I personally think companies should not dictate what people talk about’. That such a thing even needs to be said says a lot about the cultural moment we find ourselves in.



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

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

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


6 February, 2020  

Poll: Political Correctness Has Gone Too Far, Majority of Likely Voters Say

More than four out of five likely voters agree that political correctness has gone too far, a December poll shows.

More than 57 percent strongly agreed and almost 24 percent somewhat agreed with the statement, “Political correctness has gone too far. Today everybody is offended by the smallest thing.” Only 13.4 percent disagreed, 4.8 percent strongly (pdf).

The poll was conducted online among 1,000 likely voters Dec. 4–11 by GS Strategy Group, a marketing research company run by former Republican campaign pollster Greg Strimple.

The poll also asked how American businesses should respond to political correctness.

More than 65 percent picked the response, “There is no way for American businesses to make everyone happy. They need to run their businesses in a way that appeals to the broadest swath of Americans.”

Less than 23 percent picked the response, “American businesses should adapt their business models and products to avoid offending certain consumers.”

When it comes to issues the American business community needs to address, 43 percent said the most important, of the options given, was “Ensuring American workers receive competitive wages and benefits.” The next most popular response, at 10.6 percent, was “Upskilling the American workforce to have 21st century job skills.”

Asked about their impression of the business community, more than 56 percent picked the response that businesses are most interested in “Maximizing profits for shareholders.” Less than 20 percent picked “Providing customers the best quality product for the best price,” and only a bit over 9 percent picked “Supporting the communities in which they work.” Less than 7 percent said “Compensating their employees fairly.”

More than 40 percent of respondents identified as Democrats and nearly 34 percent as Republicans. Independents made up about 23 percent.

The results show a stronger opposition to political correctness than a 2017 Cato survey (pdf), which showed 70 percent of Americans agreed with the statement that being politically correct is a “big problem this country has.”

Also in that survey, 71 percent agreed that “Political correctness silences discussions society needs to have.” The results showed a partisan split on the question—78 percent of moderates and 87 percent of conservatives agreed, but only 42 percent of liberals and 32 percent of strong liberals did.

At the time, 70 percent of conservatives and 76 percent of strong conservatives agreed that the political climate prevented them from expressing their beliefs. Among moderates, 57 percent seconded that position, but only 45 percent of liberals and 30 percent of strong liberals did.


Don't regulate the rail industry

President Trump rightly touts the economy-wide savings from his deregulation initiatives. But one federal agency didn't get the memo. Some members of the Surface Transportation Board, which has oversight over the nation's network of freight railroads, wants to resurrect price controls on the industry.

It is a truly awful idea, and to understand why, it is vital to harken back to the bad old days of the 1960s and 1970s, when almost all modes of transportation operated under the stranglehold of Soviet-style price regulation. These rules nearly bankrupted the freight railroads, and a government takeover of the industry seemed inevitable.

Instead, in the late 1970s and 1980s, Congress acted to lift the price controls on the airlines, the shippers, and the railroads and allow the market to set shipping rates. The Staggers Rail Act deregulated prices and saved the dying freight trains, although it led to dramatic consolidation. Remarkably, these laws were even initiated by liberals such as the late Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and economists in the Carter administration. (Yes, Carter got something right.) The Reagan administration accelerated the process.

Today, nearly everyone agrees that the deregulation movement in the transportation sector was an unqualified success. Airline deregulation cut airfares for passengers by 50%, 60%, and in some cases, 90%. According to a 2000 study by the Department of Transportation, "rail economic regulatory reform resulted in significant economic efficiency benefits, most notably rapid productivity growth, that enabled railroads to become financially stronger while lowering average rate levels." Thomas Gale Moore of the Hoover Institution found that for rail customers, "freight rates fell by 45%," and even though the industry consolidated, it has remained "intensely competitive."

Intensely competitive is an excellent way to describe today's freight industry, and the transport of everything from Amazon deliveries, to oil and gas from the wells to the service stations, to crops and lumber and steel and semiconductors. Consumers and producers are greatly benefited from our world-class delivery of products. Rail competes with ships, truckers, airlines, pipelines, and now drones. That isn't to say there aren't some stranded producers who can face monopolistic pricing, but in 2020, that is rare.

So, it is puzzling that in a Sept. 12 decision, the Surface Transportation Board sought feedback on a plan to "apply a rate increase (price) constraint ... that would apply to long-term revenue-adequate carriers." A recent board staff report suggests that it "create separate rate standards for revenue-adequate and non-revenue-adequate railroads."

It is a backdoor plan to bring back price controls of yesteryear. It would do so through an antiquated provision of the Staggers Rail Act known as "revenue adequacy," which mandates a bottom-floor level of revenue for the industry. It was meant to ensure the survival of the railroads. The board now would turn that provision on its head and define "adequacy" criteria as an excuse to impose not a floor on prices, but a revenue ceiling. Kennedy must be rolling over in his grave.

Under this scheme, once rail shippers reach a specific revenue target, the government could deem them as having "adequate" — i.e., enough — funds and arbitrarily cap the rates on additional products they ship. It is similar to the government telling a diner owner, "Once you sell your 500th hamburger, you can't make a profit on the next 200 that people buy."

Of course, the problem is regulators lack the knowledge and foresight to know what "adequate" revenue is. Rail shippers' profits and operating costs fluctuate year over year and can ebb and flow with the health of the overall economy. Also, because this is designed to limit rail profits, economists at the Phoenix Center found that a revenue ceiling would significantly reduce railroad investment at a time when we should be incentivizing more, especially in automation. Such a command-and-control pricing model characterizes regulated industries such as water and electricity. This has been an enormous failure that shields consumers from the benefits of competition, such as more innovation, better prices, and more options.

It also flies in the face of the economic revival strategy of the Trump administration, which is to deregulate industries aggressively and let markets clear, to the benefit of consumers. Some at the transportation board think Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is president.

Back in the late 1970s, when the airlines were deregulated, the godfather of deregulation, the late Alfred Kahn, who oversaw the Civilian Aeronautics Board, shut the agency down after airlines were allowed to set their prices. It was a clever way to ensure that the regulations would never come back. The Trump administration may want to do the same with the transportation board, which is now trying to justify its existence by bringing back the 1970s regulatory structures. We suspect that some of the shipping industry's customers may be behind the call for price controls to squeeze lower prices out of the rail industry.

Arguably, Trump's most significant legacy is ending President Barack Obama's war on business by allowing firms to achieve more substantial rewards for becoming more efficient. The rail industry is doing just that and should be celebrated for its economic progress and its return to profitability, not punished for it.


Disputed New York Times ‘1619 Project’ Already Shaping Schoolkids’ Minds on Race

From the moment Fatima Morrell read The New York Times’ 1619 Project last year, the educator embraced the 100-page magazine special issue on slavery and racism as a professional godsend.

Morrell, an associate superintendent in the Buffalo, New York, school district, where 80% of the 31,200 students are non-white, was inspired by the project’s reframing of American history that put the struggles and contributions of black Americans “at the very center” of the nation’s self-understanding.

“I just think it really becomes a curriculum of emancipation, a pedagogy of liberation, for freeing the minds of young people,” said Morrell, who was involved in the decision to adopt the 1619 Project as part of the district’s curriculum.

“Particularly for our black children, it lets them know there actually isn’t something wrong with you. We don’t need to be self-destructive, to hate ourselves. There actually was an institution of enslavement that really put us 400 years behind in terms of where we are with prosperity.”

Since its publication in August, the 1619 Project has been adopted in more than 3,500 classrooms in all 50 states, according to the 2019 annual report of the Pulitzer Center, which has partnered with the Times on the project.

Five school systems, including Chicago and Washington, D.C., have adopted it district-wide. It is mostly being used as supplemental, optional classroom teaching material. By and large, school systems are adopting the project by administrative fiat, not through a public textbook review process.

Even as it is being embraced by schools, the project is facing strong pushback from some leading scholars who say it presents a false version of American history.

They dispute The New York Times’ claim that America’s true founding date is not 1776, the year the colonies declared independence from Great Britain, but 1619, when 20 to 30 enslaved Africans were brought to Jamestown, Virginia, leading to the creation of a “slavocracy” whose legacy of racism and oppression has been encoded in the nation’s DNA and hidden in plain sight.

Gordon Wood, a leading historian of the American Revolution and emeritus professor at Brown University, told RealClearInvestigations the Times material “is full of falsehoods and distortions.”

In its current form, without corrections, which the Times has declined to run, the only way to use it in the classroom, he said, would be “as a way of showing how history can be distorted and perverted.”

The 1619 Project reflects disputes about both the facts and meaning of American history at a time when the nation is divided by identity politics, including a movement to transform education in colleges and high schools through “ethnic studies,” an approach that emphasizes teaching about white oppression of minorities and their resistance to “whiteness.”

Proponents of ethnic studies use the term “whiteness” to refer to the political, economic, and cultural power structure imposed by a dominant culture of white Europeans.

Defenders of ethnic studies argue the movement is a necessary corrective to a whitewashed version of history. But critics denounce it as propaganda used to indoctrinate students. And they’re troubled by the endorsement of racial and identity-based histories by prestigious institutions such as The New York Times and publicly funded schools.

The project’s leader, Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, has declared since the magazine’s publication that her goal “is that there’ll be a reparations bill passed”—meaning financial reparations for slavery and subsequent racial discrimination. The newspaper editorial board has never officially endorsed such legislation, but several Times columnists and contributing writers have.

The 1619 Project is also a bold departure from traditional journalism that aims to provide readers with impartial information and a range of perspectives, rather than to unilaterally declare whose perspective is and isn’t true.

Instead of telling readers it is presenting a controversial view of history, endorsed by a minority of historians, the national newspaper of record declares in the opening pages of the 1619 Project: “It is finally time to tell our story truthfully.”


Australia: Addicts skip jail in prison proposal

DRUG abusers and fine dodgers could sidestep jail under reforms being considered by the State Government to avoid the cost of building new prisons.

Treasurer Jackie Trad last night confnned  the Government had rejected a Queensland Productivity Commission recommendation to decriminalise drugs but would consider the use of more diversionary methods for small-time users.

The commission's 516-page report into imprisonment and recidivism, due to be released today, warned the prison population was exploding and the 'Government would have to spend $3.6 billion in the next five years to increase the capacity of its corrections facilities.

The report found each prisoner cost taxpayers $111,000 in direct costs and a further $48,000 a year in indirect costs and drug users made up an increasing percentage of the prison population.

It recommended moving away from a criminal approach to drug use and devolving responsibility to indigenous communities to curb incarceration rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

"These reforms, if adopted, could reduce the prison population by up to 30 per cent and save around $270 million per year in prison costs, without compromising community safety," the report states.

Ms Trad said the commission's proposal for the wholesale decriminalisation of illicit drugs was off the table. But the Government would consult experts about ways of expanding sentencing options so few people who committed minor drug and traffic offences were sent to jail:

"People who commit serious crimes should go to jail — no questions asked," she said. "But given the cost of keeping prisoners in prison, we need to examine whether that is the best option for people who repeatedly fail to pay fines, or are repeatedly arrested with small amounts of drugs for personal use. That's especially true if that prison sentence pushes a small-time offender towards a life of more crime, rather than rehabilitation."

The commission report found Queensland's per-head prison population had increased more than 160 per cent since 1992 and credited improved police detedion methods and tougher justice policies for the rapid rise. It said if the growth continued, Queensland would need to house 4200 additional inmates within five years.

While the Government had to weigh the cost of this rise, Ms Trad insisted community safety was the top priority. "But before we spend another $3 billion on prisons, we need to be absolutely certain doing so is the best way to make Queenslanders safer," she said.

From the Brisbane "Courier Mail" of 31 January, 2020


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, 2020  

Explosive Leaked Confession of Domestic Abuse of Johnny Depp Turns #MeToo Upside Down

A leaked audio conversation between Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard is blowing up Hollywood. The audio reveals Heard confessing to committing physical violence against Depp. After BuzzFeed published photos of Heard with bruises and accusations of abuse against Depp, his life fell apart. Depp was implicated in the #MeToo movement and branded as a wife-abuser. He was dropped from "Pirates of the Caribbean" in 2018 and many speculate it was because of the allegations.

On Sunday, a taped conversation between Depp and Heard was posted online. In it, Heard admits to "slapping," "hitting," and throwing objects at him. Her biggest frustration with Depp appears to be that he tries to get away from her when she turns violent. Depp is heard saying, "There can be no physical violence," and Heard replies, "I can't promise I won't get physical again."

Heard spends a lot of time on the audio berating Depp for running away from her when they are fighting and not engaging with her when she's in a violent rage. At one point Depp says, "I'm not the one who f***ing throws f***ing pots and whatever the f*** else at me."

Heard doesn't deny it and replies, "That's different...one does not negate the other. That's irrelevant. Just because I throw pots and pans does not mean you don't come and knock on the door," equating him walking away from a violent encounter to throwing pots at someone's head.

Later in the audio Heard admits to slapping and hitting him and justifies that it's okay because she didn't punch him. "I'm sorry I didn't hit you across the face in a proper slap, but I was hitting you. I wasn't punching you," she said. "You didn't get punched. You got hit...but you're fine. I did not hurt you."

The privilege that women have when they accuse a man of abuse is widely known. Whole movements, like the #MeToo scam, spring up to attack the accused man and destroy his career. Phrases like "believe women" are printed on bumper stickers and t-shirts, but no one stops to wonder if the woman is telling the truth. In this case, it appears that Heard was lying. If a man claims he is abused, no one wants to hear his story. When Heard accused Depp of abusing her, he fought back and claimed that he was the one suffering physical abuse. Hardly anyone believed him. As a result, Heard's Hollywood star rose while Depp lost jobs.

Now that this audio is out, #AmberHeardIsAnAbuser and #JusticeForJohnny are trending on Twitter. Suddenly, the world realizes that women aren't always truthful or trustworthy. This is a subject that I wrote an entire book about after the Brett Kavanaugh fiasco, where half the country believed a Supreme Court nominee was guilty of rape or something because a mentally fragile woman accused him of a drunken grope 30 years ago that no one could recall and for which no evidence existed.

History is full of stories of duplicitous and scheming harpies who destroyed the lives of men over false accusations. I detail many of them in my book, Believe Evidence: The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo. Pick it up today on Amazon. And the next time some woman comes forward with a salacious story about a man, instead of labeling her "brave" and "courageous," check her facts and evidence. Men have been and continue to be abused, raped, sexually assaulted, and murdered by women. Their voices should not be silenced by the #MeToo hags who can't understand reality and human nature.


Kobe Contradictions: Why #GirlDad Isn't Reality in Black America

Many woke black people seek to live vicariously through the lives of the rich and famous.

Patrick Hampton
The world is numb, saddened, and in mourning for the tragic loss of basketball superstar Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, as well as the other passengers and pilot who also perished in the helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. In memoriam, the Twitter-verse is filled with heartfelt tribute for the basketball legend and his 13-year-old child, with posts shared under the now-viral hashtag #GirlDad. Among those sharing photos and telling stories are black socialites and #PretendParents — my term for parents who only exist to brag on children they didn’t raise. These groups band together to celebrate fatherhood in light of this devastating incident. But is a horrible event like this what it really takes for us to praise the value of having a father in the home?

First, let’s define what a #GirlDad is. In summary, a #GirlDad is a father who is actively raising his daughter into womanhood. But how many #GirlDads are there today?

I’m not here to question Kobe’s parenting abilities. It’s clear that he was as present as any celebrity athlete can be for his family. Instead, I call into question the false pride among the African-American community, which has clearly shown that fatherhood is no longer a priority. Statistics suggest that greater than 70% of black people are born to single-parent (mother) households.

It’s as if many woke black people seek to live vicariously through the lives of the rich and famous, but they never work to acquire and redeem any virtues of their own. They tune into Hollywood’s depiction of wealthy, powerful, and successful black families and are satisfied with just watching. The black family has been in television for generations, so how did we end up with fatherless homes at all? I estimate that to these woke black people, seeing their own in television, in headlines, is good enough.

This type of laziness is hard to tackle. For little effort is given because the notion of collectivism prevails. “One black person succeeds, so we all are succeeding,” some people believe. One strong tidal wave lifts all boats.

Sadly, this approach to living keeps black families lacking and unable to realize success for themselves. While Kobe may have had a wonderful relationship with his daughter, this hardly means that all black families are healthy and whole, and no amount of retweets and hashtags will make it so.

#GirlDad doesn’t address an alarming abortion rate among blacks.

#GirlDad doesn’t speak to the staggering crime rates for black men compared to other races.

#GirlDad does little to resolve the educational challenges present in today’s public schools.

#GirlDad says nothing about a culture of hateful mothers who pin their daughters against their dads.

#GirlDad hardly challenges the judicial biases against men who truly want to be good fathers.

With black families among those pressed up against these obstacles, the last thing we need is another useless #hashtag movement. Generations of television and film depicting a wholesome, successful black family didn’t do it, and neither will this. It’s time we turn away from the computer screen and face the mirror. Looking at ourselves, we must ask if we truly value family.


Thinking for ourselves — precious and threatened

Seventy-five years ago, as the war raged with unrelenting ferocity, Australia’s daily papers reported, typically in a snippet at the bottom of page 4, that on what is now Australia Day a “terrible concentration camp” had been captured at Oswiecim, in southwestern Poland.

According to Reuters, “tens of thousands of people were tortured” in the camp, while “thousands more were shot”.

In reality, 1.1 million people were killed at Auschwitz, of whom 960,000 were Jews. But the scale of the horror only began to become apparent months later, as other camps were liberated and the first newsreels were released, including a film, showing piled corpses and gaunt survivors, projected throughout Australia in May of that year.

Worldwide, the shock was enormous, including to those who had no illusions about the Nazi regime.

“We expected anything from that bunch,” Hannah Arendt, who had narrowly escaped deportation to the death camps, told Gunter Grass in an interview on German television in 1964. “But this was different. It really was as if an abyss had opened.”

Suddenly it became evident “that things which for thousands of years the human imagination had banished to a realm beyond human competence can be manufactured right here on Earth, that Hell and Purgatory, and even a shadow of their perpetual duration, can be established by the most modern methods of destruction”.

“We had the idea that amends could somehow be made for just about everything. But not for this. Something happened there to which we cannot reconcile ourselves. None of us ever can.”

At first, in trying to make sense of the incomprehensible, Arendt thought that perhaps Kant was right; perhaps there lurks, within the human mind, a capacity for “radical evil”, which acts with a diabolic force that can neither be explained nor understood by the conventional “evil motives of self-interest, greed, covetousness, resentment, lust for power, and cowardice”.

But as she reflected on the sheer scale of what had been done, Arendt found Kant’s account unsatisfactory. There were, for sure, plenty of monsters among the murderers; but vicious hatred was far less evident than might have been expected among the tens of thousands of people implicated in the killing machine. “At every level, the Nazis produced more evil, with less malice, than civilisation had previously known.”

That “banality of evil”, she argued, was only possible because so many Germans had suspended their sense of judgment: the capacity, when the accepted norms have evaporated and the guidance of tradition has broken down, to think critically for oneself.

The faculty of judgment “will not find out, once and for all, what ‘the good’ is” but “when the worst have lost their fear and the best have lost their hope, and everybody is swept away unthinkingly by what everybody else does and believes in”, the criterion it imposes — “whether I shall be able to live with myself in peace when the time has come to reflect on my deeds and words” — is all that stands between humanity and catastrophe.

And it was the courage to act on that criterion, and the conviction that their actions, however modest they might be, would form part of “the enduring chronicle of mankind”, that prompted ordinary people, such as Wehrmacht sergeant Anton Schmid, to risk their own lives to save those of others.

A devout Roman Catholic, Schmid hid Jews in his apartment, obtained work permits to save Jews from massacres, transferred Jews to safer locations, and aided the underground. It is estimated that he saved as many as 300 Jews before he was arrested, tortured and executed.

“The moral of such stories,” wrote Arendt, “is simple and within everybody’s grasp: it is that under conditions of terror most people will comply but some people will not. Humanly speaking, no more is required, and no more can reasonably be asked, for this planet to remain a place fit for human habitation.”

Whether, if tested, we would live up to that standard, we cannot know, and hopefully will never need to learn. Nor can we know what new and dreadful evils mankind, in its infinite inventiveness, reserves for the future.

What we do know is that the moral strength to think for ourselves remains as precious and as threatened as ever.

To say that is not to suggest that the dangers we face are in any way comparable to those braved by Schmid and the other “Righteous Among the Nations”. However, it is undeniable that the pressures to bow to mass opinion grow stronger every day, as does the hysteria that assails those who dare question the self-images of the age.

Those pressures do not come from the fear of disappearing into the “Nacht und Nebel” (night and fog) the Nazis promised their opponents. But as Alexis de Tocqueville warned nearly two centuries ago, it is rarely the thug who says “you will think as I do or die” who poses the greatest threat to liberal democracy.

Rather, it is the voice that proclaims: “You are free not to think as I do; but from this day forth you shall be a stranger among us. When you approach your fellow creatures, they will shun you as one who is impure. And even those who believe in your innocence will abandon you, lest they too, be shunned in turn.”

No doubt, our democracy will find a way of coping with those pressures, as it has with so many others. Whatever their defects, Australians retain a down-to-earth practicality that has always inoculated them both to promises of a Second Coming and to claims of an impending apocalypse. And they still have that sardonic sense of humour that has made them notoriously unreceptive to humourless, conceited ratbags and tinhorn demagogues.

But each people must win their liberty every day afresh — a liberty to which nothing is more inimical than the godlike certainty that muzzles the voice of others, stops all discussion and reduces social relationships to an ant heap.

Seventy-five years after its liberation, Auschwitz’s last survivors are passing away; each anniversary, the commemorations become more of a diplomatic formality, in which ritual replaces memory.

Inexorably, the morning hangings, the specially designed benches on which inmates were whipped until every bone was broken, the cages in which prisoners were starved to death, the operating theatres where children were deliberately infected with disease, the gas chambers and crematoriums, are fading into history. For the sake of our common humanity, the lessons must not.


Andrew Bolt returns to the fake history issue

Bruce Pascoe is just a fantasist

HOW can we trust Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt, when he sacks an adviser who's told him the truth? Incredibly, Wyatt has sacked whistleblower Josephine Cashman, who'd told him "Aboriginal historian" Bruce Pascoe was not actually Aboriginal, which actually seems obvious.

Pascoe is the author of the bestseller Dark Emu, which already makes him hard to believe, given Pascoe cites false sources to claim Aborigines were actually farmers, living in towns of 1000 people.

True, some people want to believe this so badly that Pascoe won the Indigenous Writers Prize at the NSW Premier's Literary Awards and the ABC will give him a two-part series this year.

But surely harder to swallow is Pascoe's claim to be Aboriginal, descended from the Yuin from NSW, Victoria's Boonwurrung and a tribe from Tasmania. Genealogical records uncovered on dark-emu-exposed.org show all Pascoe's ancestors are of British descent.

Sure, there could be a mistake and I've twice asked Pascoe to
explain it He won't and refuses to release the birth certificates he claims prove he's Aboriginal.

Yet people from the three tribes or areas Pascoe says he's connected to don't think he's Aboriginal either. Michael Mansell, head of the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania, says "he has no Aboriginal heritage and his claim is absurd". Jason Briggs, chairman of the Boonwurrung Land & Sea Council, says "we do not accept Mr Bruce Pascoe as possessing any Boonwurrung ancestry at all".

And there's Cashman, an Aboriginal businesswoman and inaugural member of the Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council. Cashman says Pascoe is not Yuin either, although a few welcomed him into the tribe and she demanded the Morrison government investigate his Aboriginality.

That triggered a federal police inquiry which last week cleared Pascoe of any Commonwealth offence, reportedly leading Wyatt to conclude Cashman now had to be sacked from the advisory group advising Wyatt on — ironically —reconciliation. Never mind that the Australian Federal Police admitted it hadn't actually checked if Pascoe was indeed Aboriginal.

On Tuesday, Wyatt told Cashman: "Your membership of the Senior Advisory Group is no longer tenable for the collaborative and consultative approach needed to progress the important codesign process for an Indigenous voice." Seriously? An Aboriginal woman who says a white bloke isn't Aboriginal can't work on an Aboriginal body? Don't we expect more respect for truth from a Minister?

From the Brisbane "Courier Mail" of 30 January, 2020


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

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

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


4 February, 2020  

Britain needs to rediscover failure if it wants to prosper

Britain needs to rediscover trial and error, serendipity, speed, and innovation

Viscount Ridley

What was Brexit for? After finally taking Britain out of the European Union, the Prime Minister can now start to give us his answer — and the opportunity in front of him is pretty clear. He could speed up, perhaps double, the rate of economic growth by unleashing innovation. After leaving the slow steaming European convoy, Britain must not chug along but go full speed ahead. That means rediscovering trial and error, serendipity and swiftness — the mechanisms by which the market finds out what the consumer wants next.

The stifling of innovation by vested interests in the corridors of Brussels has held Britain back for too long — but it is not the only reason for our sluggish innovation capacity. We can also blame creaky infrastructure, neglect of the north, a glacial-speed planning system, the temptations of a speculative property market, low research and development spending, and a chronic inability to turn good ideas into big businesses.

But compared with the continent, at least, we have an enviable ecosystem of innovation in some sectors. London is one of the best places to start a company in fintech, artificial intelligence or genomics. In the past five years, helped by enterprise investment schemes, Britain has spawned twice as many billion-dollar tech companies as the next best European country (Germany), and last year attracted a third of all European tech investments.

But that’s mostly digital. As the tech investor Peter Thiel is fond of saying, most innovation is now about bytes, not atoms, because we’ve made it so hard to develop new drugs and new machines. Far from living in age of rampant change, innovation has slowed in the West. It is half a century since jet aeroplanes got faster. Drug development has ground almost to a halt. The turnover of firms in the stock market is falling.

The problem lies in translating ideas into practical products people actually want to buy. Britain’s been bad at this for decades, and most policy-makers underestimate the difficulty — and the value — of turning an idea into a product. Thomas Edison, who worked through 6,000 different plant materials before settling on Japanese bamboo as the best material for light-bulb filaments, famously said that innovation is 1 per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration.

The answer does not lie in spin-outs from universities. As long ago as 1958 the economist John Jewkes in an influential book warned governments against investing in pure science as the main way of stimulating economic growth. Science is just as often the fruit of technology as it is the seed (though fruits contain seeds). Boosting science spending is a good thing, but it won’t turn Britain into Silicon Valley on its own.

Richard Jones of Sheffield University recently caught the attention of Dominic Cummings with an essay about the need for better innovation policies, especially ones that work up north. Many of his suggestions are valuable, but his focus is on how to use the government to boost innovation, and that way lies danger. Except when setting standards, government has a habit of picking technologies it thinks we should want, rather than the ones we actually do want. As Oxford’s Professor Dieter Helm has put it with respect to energy policy, governments love picking winners, but losers are good at picking governments.

Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver met a chap in the Grand Academy of Lagado who had ‘been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers… He told me, he did not doubt, that, in eight years more, he should be able to supply the governor’s gardens with sunshine, at a reasonable rate: but he complained that his stock was low, and entreated me “to give him something as an encouragement to ingenuity”.’

History shows that the way innovators make ideas into practical and affordable products or processes is trial and error. Edison understood that, as does Jeff Bezos, who made plenty of mistakes on his way to huge success. Says Bezos: ‘Our success at Amazon is a function of how many experiments we do per year, per month, per week.’ Among Silicon Valley’s best features is a forgiveness of going bust at least once. Capital there is patient and takes risks.

Paradoxically, one thing Britain needs is more failure, or rather the courage to take risks. In a high-cost economy it’s rational to be timid; in a low-cost economy, you can afford to fail in order to learn. We are currently a high-cost economy, which makes people risk-averse. Government has to make risk-taking less economically dangerous, and that means a liberal fiscal policy and speeding up the decisions of regulators: Brussels took more than two years to decide even whether to regulate genome editing in plants, while America and China forged ahead. Cutting costs and delays will be popular with households as well as innovators, so it really shouldn’t be too difficult.

Vast vested interests are ranged against innovation, especially in Brussels, where big business and big pressure groups swarm all over the Commission and parliament. For example, the green movement raised a lot of money by opposing agricultural biotechnology and fracking; big pharma tried hard to kill vaping to protect its nicotine patches and gums through an EU directive. The extreme version of the precautionary principle in the Lisbon Treaty is killing innovation: instead of ‘better safe than sorry’, it scores any future hazard, however small, but ignores any future benefit, however large. The principle demands that if a product is not known to be safe then it must be deemed dangerous, even if it is far safer than the existing technology it replaces. Thus the EU threatens to ban glyphosate herbicide on precautionary grounds even though the EU’s own food safety authority says it is less likely to be carcinogenic than coffee. And coffee is actually drunk, which herbicide is not — but the EU has formally switched to measuring ‘hazard’ not ‘risk’, which is hazard taking into account actual exposure. Reform need not be a race to the bottom, because existing technologies entrench existing hazards.

We should not abandon the precautionary principle altogether, because it is right to consider unknown risks, but we should abandon the EU’s extreme version and balance it with an innovation principle that requires government to take into account the impact of rules on stifling beneficial innovation. Innovation has always faced opposition: coffee was fiercely opposed by the alcohol industry and umbrellas by the hansom cab industry, but in the old days governments were more inclined to side with the consumer and against the Luddites.

If the British innovation engine starts purring again, we could rediscover the joys of rapid economic growth, with more money for schools, hospitals and improving the environment. Having a global financial centre, a great scientific reputation, the common law, the English language and an open trading system, Britain is as well placed as anywhere on earth to attract innovators. Give it a go, Boris.


Minnesota Catholic Priest Apologizes for Saying Islam Is the 'Greatest Threat in the World'

The world is so crazy these days that if you enunciate unpopular truths, people who are supposed to be moral authorities will pressure you to retract and apologize. A Roman Catholic priest in Ilhan Omar’s Minnesota, the Rev. Nick VanDenBroeke, has been compelled by Catholic authorities to apologize “for saying in a sermon that Islam was ‘the greatest threat in the world’ to the United States and Christianity.” This is rather like making a man apologize for saying that water is wet, but that’s where we are these days.

The whole episode, which unfolded this week, encapsulates a great deal of what is wrong with the contemporary Catholic Church and the imperative of “interfaith dialogue,” and illustrates the apparently impenetrable confusion people have today between criticizing ideas and discriminating against human beings. The implications are also much larger than just Rev. Nick VanDenBroeke and the Catholic diocese of St. Paul, Minnesota. This incident illustrates a deep sickness in American society: when telling the truth earns you rebukes and condemnations, we’re all in trouble.

VanDenBroeke landed in hot water “for saying in a sermon that Islam was ‘the greatest threat in the world’ to the United States and Christianity.” Let’s see. There have been over 36,000 jihad attacks around the world since 9/11, each committed in the name of Islam and in accord with its teachings. Jihad groups routinely call for jihad massacres in the United States and of Americans.

As for Christianity, in 2019, Christians faced “extreme, very high or high levels of persecution” in 73 countries, affecting 245 million Christians. In the Middle East, the Christian share of the population has shrunk to about 5 percent (if that), down from more than 20 percent at the turn of the last century. The decline attests to a century of ruthless persecution — bookended by the Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian genocides committed by Turkey a century ago and the recent one attempted by ISIS. The ten worst countries in the world today for Christians, with the worst ranked first, are North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Eritrea, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, and Iran — eight Muslim countries, one with nearly fifty percent Muslim population, and North Korea.

So is Islam a threat to the United States and Christianity? That is obvious. But when VanDenBroeke noted this, those earnest patriots at the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) complained, and no one involved seems to have pointed out that CAIR has ties to Hamas, and has opposed virtually every counterterror initiative that has ever been proposed or implemented.

Instead, Roman Catholic leaders immediately forced VanDenBroeke to apologize. Note carefully the statement of Archbishop Bernard Hebda: he “quoted Pope Benedict XVI as saying that the church looks with esteem to Muslims, who worship God through prayer, fasting and the giving of alms,” and said: “If all of us who believe in God desire to promote reconciliation, justice and peace, we must work together to banish every form of discrimination, intolerance and religious fundamentalism,” Hebda said. “He added that Pope Francis also has stressed the importance of dialogue between Catholics and Muslims and has urged all Christians and Muslims to be ‘true promoters of mutual respect and friendship, in particular through education.’”

All right. But none of what Hebda said actually speaks to the point VanDenBroeke was making. To note that Islam is a threat does not mean that one does not esteem Muslims as human beings. This point is constantly confused nowadays, often by people who want to discredit those who raise awareness of the jihad threat by claiming that they hate Muslims as people. In reality, however, to criticize an ideology is not to hate anyone. To note that Nazism was a threat did not mean that one hated Germans, or did not esteem them as human beings.

Nor did VanDenBroeke promote any form of “discrimination, intolerance and religious fundamentalism.” He simply noted a threat, which is a real threat. He said: “I believe it is essential to consider the religion and worldview of the immigrants or refugees.” Well, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be reckless not to do so?

One thing is certain: VanDenBroeke is right, at least regarding today’s Catholic Church, when he said: “I realize that my comments were not fully reflective of the Catholic Church’s teaching on Islam.” All too many in the Catholic hierarchy behave as if it really is a dogma of the Church that Islam is not and cannot be a threat. They are, of course, ignorant of their Church’s own history, as The History of Jihad demonstrates in detail.

“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14).


Actual vs. Counterfeit Intolerance
One of the most revealing things about the leftist mindset is the usual leftist’s lack of self-awareness about his own intolerance, hatefulness and inclusiveness — unless you distort all those terms to whitewash the reality.

I will never forget reading (and writing about) the unfortunate experience of Professor Janice Price, an education instructor at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. The school suspended Price and cut her salary for subjecting her students to a “hostile environment.” Her sin was placing issues of Teachers in Focus magazine on the table in the back of her classroom that contained articles written from a Christian viewpoint. One of the articles offered suggestions on how teachers should approach the issue of homosexuality in public schools.

Price told the students they could read the magazines if they wanted to but were not required to and would not be given assignments on them. The article on homosexuality offended one student, who filed a complaint with the administration. The vice president of academic affairs sent Price a letter of reprimand, saying her “reprehensible” action of providing students with “intolerant” material “served to create a hostile environment” in violation of school policy. This administrator said that the university “cannot tolerate the intolerable.” Savor that!

Price’s fellow professor and friend Dr. Mary English aptly described the university’s attitude. “We have to be tolerant and politically correct in all other areas except Christianity,” said English. “So it’s okay to be intolerant of Christians as long as Christians are tolerant of everybody else.” Interestingly, DePauw was — and still is — affiliated with the United Methodist Church. And, no, I’m not kidding.

In the nearly 20 years since this unfortunate incident, the double standard and intolerance against Christians has only intensified. Leftists have grown increasingly intolerant of an expanding universe of things they find intolerable. They are just as lacking in self-awareness as they were then, and even less capable of self-reflection. Their intolerance has, in many cases, turned to hostility and, in some cases, hate.

Now turn with me, if you will, to present-day America, where Sen. Elizabeth Warren seeks the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Warren tweeted a link to a HuffPost article about a U.S. Supreme Court case involving a challenge to a Montana law that provides tax credits for donations to school scholarship organizations that use those donations to fund private schools, both religious and secular. A provision of Montana’s constitution (the Blaine Amendment) prohibits the expenditure of public funds for religious purposes, and the Montana Supreme Court struck down the tax credit program, even though the use of these funds isn’t technically an expenditure of public funds and even though secular schools benefit along with religious schools.

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether the Montana Supreme Court infringed on the people’s free exercise of religion under the First Amendment by invalidating the program. The court is being asked to follow its precedent that states can’t discriminate against religious organizations by allowing secular organizations to benefit and not religious ones.

Warren, of course, stands with the Montana Supreme Court. She is against school choice programs and doesn’t want any private schools to benefit. But she’s especially against Christian schools benefitting, because in her view, they teach hate.

“States should focus on funding public schools, not private ones — especially not ones that maintain anti-LGBTQ+ policies,” Warren tweeted. “We must ensure every kid — especially LGBTQ+ kids — can get a high-quality education.”

How does allowing people tax credits for donations to private Christian and secular schools jeopardize LGBTQ+ kids’ education? Warren knows that’s nonsense. Her complaint is that some of the Christian schools that will benefit from the donations use a Christian-based curriculum. She’s upset that their student handbooks teach that God created each person as male or female, and that He created marriage to be between one man and one woman. She’s distressed that some of the schools require students and visitors to use restrooms and locker rooms that conform to their biological sex.

To have a snowball’s chance at the Democratic presidential nomination today, you have to push all the politically correct buttons and pander to the party’s leftist base. Sometimes this means you at least have to pretend that you believe certain scriptural passages constitute hate speech. It means you shouldn’t tolerate the opinions of those who follow these biblical teachings.

Sadly, there is a growing hostility from the left toward certain biblical teachings and those who subscribe to them — an insistence on demonizing them for their beliefs. Pretending this isn’t true won’t make it go away. Calling your attention to it should not be controversial. Pointing out intolerance and hate is not exhibiting intolerance and hate. Rolling over and surrendering one’s principles to conform to society’s ever-changing norms is not courageous. Pray for wisdom, understanding, peace and harmony.


Joe Hildebrand on Australia’s strengths

A week ago I was in Mexico City, a vast sprawling metropolis of crumbling concrete and silver skyscrapers that is home to some 22 million souls – almost the entire population of the Australian continent.

A few of these souls are sickeningly rich; the vast majority are sickeningly poor.

It is a place of staggering beauty and dynamism and staggering atrophy and decay. Culture, wealth, paucity and poverty sit cheek to jowl, separated only by invisible class barriers and ten-foot walls.

I was there to see an old friend, and accompany him and his two sons back home to Australia. For the few days I was there, as he packed up his life and said goodbye to his brotherhood, we were bombarded with wellwishers.

And they weren’t just wishing him well, but the whole of Australia. News of the ferocious flames that had consumed so much of our bushland had spread there like, well, wildfire. His many Mexican friends offered our country their deepest condolences.

And, frankly, it made him sick.

It was not that he was ungrateful to them or unworried by his fire-ravaged home. It was simply that he could not accept sympathy from people who lived in a poverty almost no Australian could imagine. For all the grief and loss and sorrow that the fires have caused, he knew that our country, our lives, were so much more fortunate than theirs.

I was contemplating this the morning after we arrived home. It happened to be Australia Day and, like most Australia Days, I had barely even noticed.

I am not exactly the flag-waving kind, nor do I need any encouragement from a calendar to get drunk and laugh with friends. But I am accidentally reminded on January 26, like most other days of the year, just how lucky we are to live in this country.

It certainly doesn’t mean that we are free from problems, nor that everyone in this country shares that luck.

But even among all the tragedy, violence and mistakes both well-meaning and malevolent, Australia remains, by almost any measure, the luckiest nation on earth.

This is not because of race or the patterns on a flag. There is no pride in being born in a certain place any more than there is being born in a certain skin. It is because of a series of stands taken by lawmakers and community leaders that have crosshatched into the most stable, generous and prosperous foundations of any liberal democracy.

The delicate balance of our political institutions protects us from the volatility of the UK’s first-past-the-post approach and the US’s incongruous electoral college vote. Our preferential voting system means we don’t always get the best government but we do get the least worst.

Within that framework we have woven into the national fabric social bulwarks like free education, free healthcare and a welfare safety net – many not entirely free but more free than most.

And we have strong workplace laws and a minimum wage, a justice system almost entirely untainted by corruption. And a political culture where elections are free and fair and come with a sausage at the end.

Plus we have an economy that even in its moments of weakness, has withstood the global turbulence of the last quarter century, forces which have plunged other nations into levels of recession and unemployment that our young Australians would scarcely recognise.

Again, none of these things is perfect – just as nothing in the world is perfect – but it is almost impossible to live in or even consider any other nation and not conclude that Australia is a remarkable triumph of good luck and good will.

Of course we must eternally strive to make it better. We must close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, we must work to stop wages flatlining and give people the dignity and security of having their own home, and we must do everything at all times to get people out of poverty – paradoxically both by jobs growth and a liveable dole.

But you have to wonder when you see some of the more hysterical laments of the commentariat if there is any real sense of just how lucky we are. Indeed, it often seems like the luckier they are the more they lament.

Australia, as it stands now, is a land beset by fire and flood and killer flu. You could be forgiven for thinking the end of days really is upon us.

And yet we are also a land beset by decency and kindness and common sense – in our laws, our culture and our nature. We are less perfect than imagined nirvanas but as good as any real nation on earth.

And I still believe that these strengths will overcome all disasters – be they natural or human – because our whole nation is built on the scandalous assumption that we are natural and human ourselves.



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

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

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


3 February, 2020  

World’s sexiest athlete Alica Schmidt hits new heights

It's hugely incorrect to say so but once again beauty is Nordic.  There's no mistaking those brilliant blue eyes, blonde hair, narrow face and lightly tanned skin. And it's a very Nordic nose. I say more about the widespread preference for Nordic looks here

Meet Alica Schmidt who has been dubbed the world's sexiest athlete. She might miss out on selection for this year’s Tokyo Olympics but German runner Alica Schmidt is still making headlines after being dubbed the world’s sexiest athlete.

The 21-year-old has risen through the ranks in her native country and ran a personal best in the 200m last week at an indoor event in Potsdam.

She’s won several medals as a junior, helping Germany take silver in the 4x400m relay at the European Under-20 Athletics Championships, before backing it up with bronze in the same event at last year’s under-23 titles.

But Schmidt is also turning heads off the track too with her sexy photos on social media. She has over 625,000 followers on Instagram and is already sponsored by Puma and other brands.

US publication Busted Coverage has named her the “Sexiest Athlete in the World” and she was sought out to pose for Playboy — an offer she declined.

“I do not know why I got this title,” a bewildered Schmidt said about her surprise moniker. “Sport clearly comes first … There are thousands of girls on Instagram who look good and still do not have as many fans — and that’s just competitive sport for me.”


Texas mother trying to transition her seven-year-old son into a girl loses in court as judge orders her to share custody with ex-husband who says boy is just 'confused'

What an evil woman!

A mother from Texas who was attempting to medically transition her seven-year-old son into a girl has lost a court case. 

Dr. Anne Georgulas, who is the mother of James Younger, originally won her previous court case last October that allow her to give him hormones that block puberty.

But the decision by the jury meant the boy's father, Jeff Younger, who opposed such a procedure, had absolutely no say in his son's medical decisions.

Now that ruling has been overturned after Dallas Judge Mary Brown ruled on Thursday that both parents should have joint conservatorship over their child which would mean all decisions would have to be agreed upon by both parents.

 Georgulas's attorney has since promised to challenge the judge's ruling.

Thursday's ruling means Georgulas and Younger will have to make joint medical decisions regarding their child, which includes whether James should undergo hormone replacement therapy to transition to a girl.

They will also have to jointly agree on haircuts for the child, as well as dental and psychiatric care.

Younger and Georgulas will also be forced to go to counseling.

The decision comes after a jury ruled in October last year in favor of giving sole managing guardianship of James and twin brother Jude to their mother. 

Georgulas, who is a pediatrician, had long argued that James is transgender and wanted her child to transition to a girl named Luna.

Her ex-husband, however, did not believe James has gender dysphoria and that his child was just experiencing some confusion with gender.

He accused Georgulas of forcing James to socially transition into a girl by making the child wear dresses.   

In November it was revealed the youngster had decided to attend school this year as a boy.

In a post from the Facebook page 'Save James,' pictures of James dressed in a button down shirt, slacks and tennis shoes were shared online.

The caption read: 'Going to school. This is what it looks like when JAMES gets to choose! *Affirm this! * Also, a photo taken yesterday, just before church. James and Jude proud to be men! Save James, save thousands of children!'

The bitter court battle began when Georgulas filed a court request in 2018 to change their joint custody arrangement to include a requirement that Younger start calling their child by the name Luna.

She claimed three mental health professionals had diagnosed James with gender dysphoria and that therapists had recommended they start using the name Luna instead of James.

Younger, however, filed his own request with the court to obtain sole custody of the twins to prevent the gender transition. Initially, he lost, but Thursday's ruling now sees him on an equal footing with his ex-wife over their son's welfare.

Georgulas and Younger married back in 2010 when they were members of the Orthodox Church.

They went through IVF to have twins and requested their gender be male before they were born in 2012.

The couple annulled their marriage several years later.

But the arguments over their child's gender began when Georgulas took James to see a gender therapist at the Children's Hospital Center.

She claims she had noticed James requesting girl-themed toys, that the child was imitating female Disney characters and had been asking to wear dresses.

The therapist recommended James start social transitioning by wearing dresses to school and going by the name Luna.

Younger claims his ex-wife had been forcing the transition ever since their divorce and has accused Georgulas of starting to manipulate their child when James was just three years old accusing her of locking their son in the bedroom and telling their child that 'monsters only eat boys'.

Younger also claims Georgulas had been forcing the child to wear dresses.

Younger went on to publicly accuse his ex-wife of sexually abusing their child.

'I want you to imagine having electronic communication with you son on FaceTime, and imagine that your ex-wife has dressed him as a drag queen to talk to you. He has false eyelashes and makeup. His hair has got glitter in it. He's wearing a dress,' he said.

'Now imagine how you would feel seeing what I believe is actual sexual abuse - I believe this is not just emotional abuse but is the very, most fundamental form of sexual abuse, tampering with the sexual identity of a vulnerable boy. Every. Single. Day.

'You have to see your son sexually abused, and you have to maintain your calm... because the courts are not going to be fair to you. And the only way you can survive this and get your son through this alive is to calmly allow your son to be tortured right before your eyes and outlast the opposition. That's what it's like.'

Separate from the custody court battle, Younger had been campaigning to prevent his child's gender transition.

Websites and Facebook groups called 'Save James' have been set up and there is a GoFundMe page with about $52,000 in donations to help with Younger's court costs.


Our Military Should Be Cultivating Masculinity, Not Denigrating It

A recent review of U.S. special operations forces pointed to a leadership crisis in our military, concluding that leadership, discipline and accountability must be strengthened at all levels. West Point Military Academy, which is supposed to be the Army’s preeminent leader development institution, hasn’t been immune to this breakdown in leadership. Earlier this month, West Point cadets attended "Honorably Living Day,“ a mandatory event dedicated to promoting diversity and feminist thought where facilitators discouraged what they called "toxic masculinity.”

The curriculum featured the documentary Miss Representation, which was produced by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, first lady of California and wife of Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.). The documentary included commentary from left-wing commentators such as Katie Couric, Rosie O'Donnell, and Jane Fonda. What does any of this have to do with fighting and winning wars? That was the question Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. “Jerry” Boykin asked when he joined Washington Watch Wednesday to discuss this new initiative. “In no way does this help enhance the readiness of our military,” he told me. “It is a reflection of what was forced on our military in the Obama administration. The disappointing thing is that it’s still there…”

Instead of developing leaders, West Point is taking time to attack masculinity. The program even questions the phrase “be a man.” Yet, by attacking masculinity, mandatory trainings such as Honorably Living Day undermines the very characteristics our military desperately needs. General Boykin quoted George Orwell, who fought in the Spanish Civil War and observed the hardships of battle first-hand: “Orwell said, ‘We rest well in our beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence against those who would threaten us.’”

General Boykin argues that the campaign against masculinity inflicts a great deal of damage on society beyond the military. “This whole idea of ‘hypermasculinity,’ which is one of the phrases that they’ve coined now… is absolute nonsense, has nothing to do with reality. It is about destroying men because they are the foundations of the family… The men are so important, and the men are walking out of their families today all over America. And this is a reflection of exactly what the crisis in masculinity is all about.” Indeed, a lack of male leadership has certainly taken its toll on American families. All the more, this highlights the importance of preserving strong and moral male leadership in the military, despite the Left’s effort to destroy it.

For centuries, men have largely been the ones fighting wars, protecting their countries, and defending their people. Instead of disparaging a perceived “toxic masculinity,” the U.S. military should be building the character of men and fostering their natural instinct to protect and defend. The strength of our military and the security of our nation depends on it.


Democracy may be messy but the alternative is chaos

Bills of Rights can go badly wrong.  Much depends on who drafts them.  They can very easily express a Leftist agenda

Janet Albrechtsen

The rights activists could not be more wrong. The latest bid for an Australian charter or bill of rights launched this week by Amnesty International fails at the most fundamental hurdle: the one about who should make laws in a democracy.

Should it be the Australian people? Or a handful of judges empowered by a bill or a charter of rights and egged on by lawyers in search of work and other impatient activists?

The activists, including legal academic George Williams, are trying to harness new recruits in the media to an old cause. Riding the slipstream of the media’s Right to Know campaign, they claim the only way to truly protect the media’s ability to report matters of public interest is with a complete legal overhaul. Simple tinkering will not do, they say.

It’s all very curious. These people weren’t free-speech fans when it came to repealing section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Nor are they the least bit interested in a religious freedom law. But the Right to Know campaign? That, apparently, demands a new law to protect freedom.

Except it’s not new. They have been flogging this same old dead horse for years and it is deeply anti-democratic. Even a charter of rights passed by our federal parliament as a mere legislative instrument is a ruse, a way to warm us up for the finale, a real lawyers’ picnic: a constitutionally entrenched charter.

If that all sounds rather dramatic, while in Canada these past four weeks I saw the perfect proof of why Amnesty is wrong and why we should steer clear of any kind of charter of rights. It involves one of the most fundamental rights imaginable: a person’s right to decide when to end their life.

In Canada the courts call the shots about this issue. In Australia, we, the people, decide these laws. And you don’t need a legal degree, let alone a doctorate in constitutional law, to work out which is more democratic and which model carries more legitimacy with the people.

Recall the history of assisted dying laws in Australia. The Northern Territory Legislative Assembly passed the world’s first law to legalise euthanasia in May 1995. Then, in March 1997, the federal Senate passed another law, rendering that law invalid.

It was a highly contested issue. More than 20 years later two Australian states, Western Australia and Victoria, have passed assisted dying laws because our elected representatives have undertaken the messy, long and laborious process known as democracy.

It involves considering, investigating, discussing, calling for submissions from lay folk as well as medical experts, drafting, deliberating over changes and, finally, passing these laws.

As Western Australia’s Health Minister Roger Cook said after the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passed in the state’s parliament last year: “We are at the end of a very long process, a momentous process for the West Australian parliament and West Australian public.”

Two years earlier Victoria’s parliament passed a similar law after an equally gruelling process.

Meanwhile, democracy led the NSW parliament to consider the same issue and reject it in 2017.

The ACT government has responded to, and largely agreed to, an end of life report, even though it lacks the power to enact such laws. Queensland’s parliament undertook an inquiry in 2018, extending it until March this year. South Australian Premier Steven Marshall also has committed that state’s parliament to an inquiry, with public submissions concluding last year.

Contrast our long, carefully considered and, yes, messy but very democratic path to assisted dying laws with Canada’s route.

There, a lovely sounding charter of rights and freedoms has turned a vibrant people’s democracy into a guided democracy with the Supreme Court of Canada playing the part of Lee Kuan Yew. In this and other major policy areas the real decision-maker in Canada is a judicial aristocracy, an unelected, unaccountable and unsackable body that treats elected parliaments with disdain, if not contempt.

It was not always thus. Canada, like Australian states and territories, historically followed a centuries-old legal principle embodied in section 241 of Canada’s Criminal Code. That law, enacted by parliament, provided that assisting someone to commit suicide was a crime. Indeed, even Canada’s Supreme Court, in a 1993 decision called Rodriguez, upheld that position despite the addition of the charter of rights and freedoms to the Canadian Constitution in 1982.

But then fashions changed. By 2015 the Supreme Court, in a case called Carter, decided the charter of rights and freedoms did, indeed, confer a right to assisted suicide for those with a “grievous and irremediable medical condition, including an illness, disease or disability, that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition”.

How did they decide? It was nothing short of a court assuming the role of philosopher king.

Somewhat condescendingly the Supreme Court gave the Canadian parliament 12 months to draft a law complying with the court’s ruling.

The government had to go to court to grovel for an extension but eventually parliament did what the court ordered it to do.

Or did it? Last September a single judge in a lower court, Justice Christine Baudouin of the Quebec Superior Court, marked parliament’s exam paper with F for fail. The judge decided that it breached Canada’s charter for the parliament to insert a limitation requiring that death be “reasonably foreseeable” before a patient was eligible for voluntary assisted death.

Activists cheered Bau­douin. And they are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of further judicial activism over two other aspects of the parliament’s law on assisted dying.

Parliament has prohibited minors from accessing assisted dying and also prohibited “advance directives”, preferring to demand that consent be given for assisted dying in the moments right before death.

If activists can find a few agreeable judges they can override the will of the people here, too.

Note that a single judge with no special expertise in relevant medical, social, or economic policy areas has widened the boundaries of a deeply complicated issue without access to all the analytic, expert and research resources of parliament, or the benefit of full, public consultation. And neither should courts have access to these resources. After all, they are not meant to be politicians.

Yet Canadian courts run the country in key areas because they can. And parliaments must dance to their tune.

Apologists for the Canadian charter will point to what is called the “notwithstanding” clause as rescuing parliamentary sovereignty. While it is true there is a theoretical ability for parliaments to override the courts, they can do so only for a limited period and some critical charter rights cannot be overridden, even temporarily. Proof that this is a useless fetter on the court’s ability to tell the parliament what to do is that the federal parliament has never once tried to use the “notwithstanding” clause.

Making all this worse, when the Supreme Court of Canada in the Carter case overruled its own Rodriguez decision it made stare decisis (the legal principle of determining points in litigation according to precedent) a dead letter and effectively invited lower courts to ignore legal precedents and get in on the lawmaking act.

Canada’s key social policies are hostage not merely to the latest fads sweeping the Supreme Court but also the policy fashions of judges in myriad lower courts.

And that is the other inherent flaw in the case for an Australian bill of rights to protect our basic freedoms. Like Williams, charter fans claim it is the only way to deal with issues that parliament squibs.

What the advocates and activists won’t mention is that they are simply impatient with old-fashioned democratic processes and often deeply scornful of its results.

A bill of rights is the undemocratic fast-track to laws they prefer. It gives judges a set of human rights laws that are vaguely drafted, inviting them to decide big policy issues and allowing them to inject their personal biases into judgments.

There is a reason the Americans call it an end-run around democracy. It’s how to run right past democratic processes without getting bogged down by the people or the politicians who represent them.

This battle between parliament and the courts is not confined to Canada. This week, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern backed euthanasia laws. If passed by the parliament, it will be only a matter of time before a few judges in that country use the New Zealand bill of rights to meddle in this controversial issue.

A fortnight ago, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was concerned that judicial review had become a way of “conducting politics by another means”. While judicial review is, indeed, a vital cornerstone of our legal system and a fundamental protection for the citizen against an over-mighty government, there is a pretty strong argument it has gone too far.

Judicial review was intended to prevent abuses of process and patently untenable decisions. Today, spurred by like-minded activists who head to court, judges increasingly are using their unelected pulpits to implement their personal policy preferences over those of elected and accountable politicians.

In Australia, we should never take for granted that Australian laws are still made by parliaments elected by, and accountable to, Australian voters.



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

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

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


2 February, 2020  

We're leaving a sinking EU Titanic on our Brexit lifeboat, rowing to a bright new future

By Nigel Farage (The man who started it all)

It is done. I have given my final speech in the European Parliament, handed in my security pass, and left Brussels for the last time as an MEP. After 20 years of trying to get rid of my job, I have succeeded, and it feels fantastic. At 11 o’clock tonight, our nation will pass the point of no return, enacting the wish of the majority which was first expressed back in June 2016. The EU, however, is only just getting to grips with the situation.

As I and my fellow (now ex) MEPs sat in the assembly on Wednesday, I sensed the other politicians were more scared of us and our departure than we were of them and the finality of it all. Is it any surprise? The UK economy is the equivalent in size of the EU’s 19 smallest economies. Our exit from the single market could hole the entire rotten project below the waterline, and while the Titanic sinks, our nation will be on a lifeboat rowing to a bright new future. Their fear was reflected in their behaviour.

During a lengthy debate on Wednesday, many said they regretted Brexit and warned that the EU must adapt or more countries will quit the bloc. On cue, Guy Verhofstadt, the Brexit Co-ordinator of the European Parliament, piped up with a solution: more European integration and no opt-outs for any countries. Deluded to the last.

When she spoke, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, tried to sound tough. Any trade deal with the UK could only happen if there is a regulatory level playing field, she threatened. She was booed loudly by Brexit Party MEPs. Gosh, how they will miss us.

Next came a moment which captured the small-mindedness of the EU. For more than 10 years my colleagues and I have placed small Union Jack flags on our desks in the chamber. But an usher told me recently that no national symbols are allowed. In my valedictory speech, I said that through our example of leaving, we would lead the way for other countries to follow. I then picked up a small Union flag and, with the redoubtable Ann Widdecombe and others, stood and waved goodbye.

At this, a humourless and self-important Irish MEP called Mairead McGuinness (First Vice-President of the European Parliament, don’t you know) cut off my microphone. In 20 years I have seldom been cut off, but the speed with which this jobsworth acted was telling. There was some cheering and clapping from our crew. McGuinness said we should take our flags and go, which we did. We headed straight to the bar.

On the pro-EU British side, the mood was very different. After the vote backing the terms of the UK’s departure, the Liberal Democrats led singing of Auld Lang Syne. It seemed fitting that they chose the very song played as the Titanic sank. Some cried, which did not surprise me. What other job would most of these people get where they are treated as VIPs, given chauffeur-driven cars and huge expenses? Remember: there are 10,000 “officials” in Brussels who are paid more than the British prime minister. Is this not reason enough to be glad about Brexit?

Getting to this stage has been tough. To have reached it is cause for celebration, and we will do so tonight at 11pm. Yet many Tory Leavers now seem embarrassed by Brexit and almost apologetic about tonight’s gathering in Parliament Square - despite thousands wanting to mark this historic occasion. I cannot understand why this should be but I would urge them to come and join in as we move to the next chapter in our nation’s history.

On Monday, the European Commission publishes its negotiating mandate. It will try to keep the UK trapped in the EU rulebook. Boris Johnson must see what a weakened position the EU is in. Britain is too big to bully. From now on, we must call the shots. He must also remember the promises he made in the general election: an end to transition in 2020 and no regulatory alignment.

Because of Johnson’s large parliamentary majority, Brexiteers need an insurance policy. So the Brexit Party, in conjunction with a new think tank, will continue its mission: to praise when necessary and raise the alarm if needed. I will not walk away. I am ready to catch the ball if the Tories drop it again.


Baroness Scotland [who is black] is hit by £2.5m cash snub as New Zealand pulls funds from her Commonwealth Office because it has 'no confidence in how she's running it'

Embattled Commonwealth chief Baroness Scotland's hopes of keeping her job suffered a blow yesterday after a snub by a member country.

New Zealand has pulled the plug on its annual £2.5million funding for the Commonwealth Secretariat because of 'significant weaknesses in its approach to managing procurement', a spokesman for its foreign ministry said last night.

The rebuff emerged after £160,000-a-year Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Scotland was strongly criticised by internal auditors for granting a lucrative consultancy contract to a firm run by a Labour Party friend.

The organisation's audit committee accused her of 'circumventing' usual competitive tendering rules by awarding a £250,000 commission to KYA Global.

The firm is owned by fellow Labour peer Lord Patel of Bradford, who served alongside Baroness Scotland as a minister in Gordon Brown's government.

Lord Patel's company was contracted to carry out a review of the secretariat. But the audit committee said the firm was 'apparently insolvent' at the time with debts of nearly £50,000.

New Zealand, one of the secretariat's biggest contributors, made the decision to block funding last month.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, 39, is the Commonwealth's most high-profile female political leader.

Baroness Scotland, 64, has been branded 'Baroness Brazen' and 'Baroness Shameless' for her lavish spending.

She has been under fire since it was disclosed in 2016 that she spent £338,000 refurbishing her grace-and-favour apartment in Mayfair, central London.

It later emerged that £590,000 of the UK's foreign aid budget had been spent on Marlborough House, the secretariat headquarters, in two years. She was also attacked for appointing political allies to key posts.

It came as a senior official forced to quit his secretariat job while working under Baroness Scotland won nearly £300,000 compensation.

Baroness Scotland, who was born in the Dominican Republic, retains the backing of Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean, but faces the risk of being dumped before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda in June, which will be attended by Prince Charles.

The disclosures have left her hopes of winning a second four-year term in her post hanging by a thread. Her first term ends on March 31.

Britain occupies the rotating chairmanship of the Commonwealth, giving Boris Johnson a major say over who is secretary general.

Tory Party co-chairman James Cleverly, a close ally of the Prime Minister, and whose mother is from Sierra Leone, is said to be among Baroness Scotland's powerful enemies in the Government. Mr Cleverly is said to have been highly critical of her at meetings of Parliament's all-party Commonwealth group.

The investigation into Lord Patel's KYA Global contract was carried out by accountancy giant KPMG at the request of the Commonwealth High Commissioners, the secretariat's board of governors.

KPMG found that the consultancy contract was given to Lord Patel in April 2016 – days after Baroness Scotland was appointed – on 'her personal recommendation' because he had 'a high level of proven trust with the secretary general'.

She asked one of her deputies to fill out a form waiving the usual competitive tendering rules, which she then approved.

According to KYA Global's accounts, it had assets of £971 and debts of £48,762 at the time.

The audit committee said yesterday: 'Awarding an apparently insolvent company two contracts totalling £252,000 is unusual.'

Baroness Scotland declined to comment. Her lawyers said the decision to award the contract was fully justified and complied with procurement procedures at the time.

The secretariat is the central administrative hub for the Commonwealth, made up of 53 countries. It declined to comment last night.

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman said it had stopped giving cash to the Commonwealth Secretariat because the auditors report had found 'significant weaknesses in the Commonwealth Secretariat's approach to managing procurement.'

It added: 'New Zealand has put on hold its voluntary financial contribution to the Secretariat until we receive independent confirmation the recommendations from the audit report have been addressed by the Secretariat.'


A kitchen knife to the throat, punched in the teeth... it’s the domestic violence scandal rarely talked about. But as numbers rocket, these startling testimonies reveal the Hidden shame of the men abused by the women they love

Rushing to get ready for work in the mornings, it’s not unusual for a husband or wife to have to wait their turn for the bathroom.

But when Tracy Hannington saw husband Tony was about to go in before her, she punched him so hard he was left with a bleeding lip and a loose tooth.

Then without a word, the 57-year-old, a carer in an old people’s home, walked in and slammed the door behind her.

Horrifyingly, this was normal for much of their five-year marriage. Tony, 56, the director of a transport business, was subjected to weekly violence at their Kent home that included being doused with hot tea and having a kitchen knife held to his throat. He suffered in silence, believing domestic violence was only taken seriously if the perpetrator was a man.

There is no question that violence against women is a big problem. About 8 per cent experience domestic abuse every year, according to official figures — or about 1.6 million women.

But while domestic abuse charities, such as Women’s Aid, treat this as a gendered crime — because females are far more likely to be sexually assaulted, abused over longer periods and murdered by partners or former partners — that isn’t the whole story.

Last week, data obtained under the Freedom of Information act revealed that the number of domestic attacks carried out by women more than tripled in a decade.

Between 2009 and 2018, the number of cases reported to police grew from 27,762 to 92,408, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

Police data also showed women were the aggressors in 28 per cent of all reported cases in 2018, up from 19 per cent in 2009. However, experts fear most cases of domestic abuse are never reported.

In the year ending March 2019, an estimated 786,000 men suffered domestic abuse, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show. Growing research suggests males may be abused in the same numbers as females — but are three times less likely to tell anyone.

The reasons are bound up in society’s views of men’s and women’s roles.

Fear of not being believed, of being accused of being the perpetrator and of being seen as ‘less of a man’ were key reasons why men did not seek help, Bristol University researchers found last year.

A glance at social media comments made about Love Island presenter Caroline Flack, who has pleaded not guilty to hitting boyfriend Lewis Burton, highlights age-old prejudices.

They include: ‘How much damage can a woman really inflict on a larger, stronger man?’ and ‘Surely if a woman strikes her partner, it must be in self-defence?’

Mr Burton is standing by his famous girlfriend and does not support her prosecution.

Tony Hannington says he might have agreed with some of these preconceptions before he found himself in a physically abusive marriage.

He recalls: ‘I’d been single for a couple of years and met Tracy on a dating site. She was a real livewire, attractive, with a wicked sense of humour. We hit it off and three weeks later she moved into my flat.’

After six months they married at Canterbury Register Office. But within months, things began to change.

Tony says: ‘Tracy would have huge mood swings. She’d ring me up at work, wanting to know where I was, why I was seeing my friends and calling me names.

‘She was extremely house-proud. At home, whenever I sat down, she’d shout at me for not helping with the housework. If I did so much as put a spoon in the sink, instead of straight into the dishwasher, she’d have a go at me.

‘At first, it was every weekend. Then her tempers became virtually every night, so I dreaded going home.

‘She was a Jekyll and Hyde. She’d hit me, then act like nothing had happened, or say I’d made her do it.’

Tony tried not to respond, but this seemed to enrage his wife even more, especially when he moved into the spare room to avoid her.

‘She’d kick me or square up to me when she was having one of her meltdowns. Once, as we were unloading the shopping, she hit me on the head with a can of baked beans. On another occasion, she hit me in the face with the head of the vacuum cleaner.

‘If I didn’t get up when she wanted, she’d punch me or pour a jug of water over the bed.’ She also dug her nails into his windpipe, he says.

Tony insists he never defended himself — except when Tracy put a knife to his throat for not doing enough to help around the house.

Believing she was prepared to kill him, he tried to move the knife away and was left with a badly gashed hand.

Tony says: ‘People may find it hard to believe a man of 6ft 1in didn’t defend himself against a 5ft 5in woman. But I was always taught that you never hit a woman.

‘Tracy made it plain she could do what she liked and get away with it. If I said I’d go to the police, she said she’d just tell them I started it.

‘So I felt I had no option but to protect my face or get away from her.’

There was another reason Tony didn’t fight back — Tracy’s controlling psychological abuse, typical of women who attack male partners.

Research has found attacks on a man’s self-worth may be especially debilitating as they view being a victim as ‘weak’.

Tony said: ‘If I told Tracy she’d hurt me, she’d say: “What kind of man are you?” She’d spit in my face, and say repeatedly that I was a spineless, pathetic excuse for a man.’

One reason domestic abuse of women is seen as more serious is that more females are murdered by their partners — 73 per cent of domestic killings are of women.

Yet abused men’s lives are lost in another way.

The ONS Crime Survey found that 11 per cent of men abused by female partners try to kill themselves, compared with 7.2 per cent of women who are abused by male partners.

Tony says that suicide often crossed his mind: ‘Tracy isolated me from my family and friends, questioning my need to see them and telling me who to be friends with on Facebook.

‘She told me no one would miss me if I killed myself and suggested I “find myself a quiet corner and hang myself”.

‘As she wouldn’t leave the flat, I had nowhere to go and couldn’t see a way out. I started to think seriously about suicide.’

However, just as Tony reached his lowest point, his niece asked for his help moving house. It prompted him to get back in touch with her mother (Tony’s sister) and tell her of the abuse.

She suggested he visit a centre for domestic violence victims, and they suggested he record the abuse on his phone and take it to the police.

Over three weeks, Tony captured three of Tracy’s harrowing tirades in which she talked of hitting him for ‘months’, complained he would never hit her back and told him she wanted to put him in ‘a six-sided box’ — or coffin.

Last October Tracy admitted a charge of actual bodily harm and controlling and coercive behaviour, and was jailed for two years. Tony found the courage to speak out, but many male victims stay silent for the simple reason that they are desperate not to be separated from their children.

Mark Brooks, chairman of Mankind Initiative, which runs a helpline for male victims of domestic violence, says stigma means men find it hard to admit the truth. Instead it’s often concerned sisters, mothers, friends and colleagues who make contact on their behalf.

Every year Mankind deals with more than 2,000 calls.

Mark says: ‘The average age is 42, and the men who need our help cut across every profession, from bankers to GPs and policemen. They ring us because they want to talk to someone who will listen without judgment.’

As a result, Mark believes there needs to be a shift in how we view domestic abuse.

‘We need to look for the same potential signs of domestic abuse as we do in women: physical injuries and changes in behaviour such as becoming introverted.

‘As well as more services for men, we also need more awareness campaigns aimed at male victims to encourage them to get help, as well as better training for police, council workers and NHS staff.

‘Above all, we need to challenge this traditional idea that women can’t be violent — and men can’t be victims.’

Yet while domestic abuse against men is being talked about more now, it’s also important that the issue is kept in perspective, says law lecturer Adrienne Barnett of Brunel University.

She says: ‘Both women and men can perpetrate domestic abuse, and both can be victims.

‘But substantial research and statistical evidence shows the violence is more common, persistent and severe when it’s inflicted by men against female partners.’

Six months on from Tracy’s jailing, Tony is still attempting to rebuild his life.

He has set up his own company (which Tracy told him he would never be capable of) and redecorated his home to try to erase the bad memories.

When he was stripping wallpaper recently, he found the words ‘I love you’ scribbled underneath.

He had written them for Tracy soon after she moved in.

Tony says: ‘I started weeping. It was a mix of: why did the woman I loved do this to me?; guilt that my marriage hadn’t worked out; and the relief of finally being able to feel safe in my own home.

‘It was as if I had been in a dark room and I didn’t realise how bad it had been until I stepped outside and into the light.

‘Nowadays, we rightly want equality, and that should apply to domestic violence, too. I’d like my story to illustrate that what happened to me shouldn’t happen to anyone — woman or man.’


Australian MP Amanda Stoker taking fight to transgender activists

A free speech champion and rising star of conservative politics, Amanda Stoker, has launched a petition to build support for a stand against the “dangerous and radical ideas” and “completely unreasonable” demands of the transgender activist agenda.

The Queensland Liberal senator has quietly joined this toxic identity politics debate with a preamble on her personal webpage saying most Australians recognise the freedom of others “to live their life the way they want.”

“But that doesn’t mean we abandon truth. It doesn’t mean we abandon common sense or our understanding of basic biology,” she writes.

“You do have a right to teach your children they are born as either a boy or a girl and that gender isn’t something we can choose.

“You do have a right to keep women’s sport for women.

“You do have a right to know what your child is being taught about gender and sexuality in school.

“You do have a right to protect children from hormone treatment and surgical procedures.

“I will continue to stand up for common sense and objective truth — but I need to know I have your support.”

Senator Stoker, 37, a former barrister and prosecutor, and outspoken Christian, took the Senate spot of former attorney-general George Brandis in 2018. In her maiden speech, she defended liberty of conscience, thought and speech.

Critics of trans activism — and of “gender affirming” hormone treatment and surgery for under-18s who feel “born in the wrong body” — face denunciation as “hateful transphobes”, vexatious complaints and online harassment, as well as real-world intimidation.

The latest target is Oxford University professor of history, Selina Todd, who has been given security guards to take her to lectures after students alerted her to trans activist threats. She defends the sex-based rights and protections of women from biologically intact men who declare a female “gender identity”.

Trans activists argue trans people are vulnerable and victimised, and that opposition to their rights is driven by rightwing religious bigotry.

Critics of medicalised gender transition of children include Christians and conservatives but also atheist psychiatrists, young adults who regret hormonal treatment and surgery, former gender clinic staff, parents with progressive politics, anti-queer theory lesbians and gay men, radical feminists, and mothers who were tom boys.

Not all activists for trans rights are trans themselves, and there are trans adults who deplore the aggressive tactics and oppose medical interventions with “gender non-conforming” children.

Senator Stoker told The Australian everyone was entitled to support and respect, but inclusion of trans-identifying adults could not “mean we neglect our duties to children.

“Providing chemical, hormonal or surgical treatments to children without the capacity to truly understand their implications and provide their consent, is wrong,” she said.

“There is a lack of research showing these treatments are the best way to deal with gender issues, and a growing body of evidence that they are harmful.

“The trend of treating any speech which questions the wisdom of gender-transitioning treatments for children as ‘discrimination’, has the perverse effect of denying people with gender issues the best treatment that research, medicine and psychology could deliver.

“The scientific method should prevail here, not hard gender ideology.”

Teenage trans

Practitioners disagree how to respond to a surge in teenagers, mostly girls, who turn up at gender clinics claiming to be boys, often with a host of problems including mental illness, autism, awkward same-sex attraction and family trauma.

The influential pro-trans “affirmative” approach regards children as “experts” in their gender identity, encourages gender change and sometimes medical intervention to mimic the opposite-sex body. Sceptics of the affirmative model say the trans declarations of troubled under-18s may mask the real issues.

Next week, a parliamentary committee in Queensland will hold a public hearing into a draft law that would criminalise “conversion therapy”.

The term conjures up images of coercive, hurtful attempts to change the fixed sexual orientation of an adult.

Queensland’s bill extends this to any perceived attempt to change a child’s feelings of gender, which may be at odds with biological sex. Psychology sees youth identity as a work in progress marked by experimentation and influence, especially around puberty.

Worried health practitioners, Christians and women opposed to “gender ideology” accuse Queensland’s Palaszczuk government of using the spectre of past conversion therapy as cover to mandate the affirmative model with its risky medical interventions.

The ban on conversion therapy would not apply to hormonal interventions and surgery that “affirm” a child’s transgender shift.

Advocates for the affirmative model, which has been endorsed by medical bodies, say its treatments are “life-saving” for suicidal trans youth, whose high rates of mental illness reflect their stigma in a transphobic world.

State Health Minister Steven Miles said there was “overwhelming evidence that conversion therapy is harmful and that it correlates with high rates of suicide”, and the government rejected the view that “being LGBTIQ is a disorder that requires correction”.

But Senator Stoker said the bill was an attempt to “silence dissent” and “entrench hard-left gender ideology”.

“No reasonable person supports what comes to mind when the words ‘conversion therapy’ are used — but this law goes much further,” she told The Australian.

She cited “credible minds in medicine, psychology and law” who complain the bill is a threat to ethical and necessary exploration of personal problems and social pressures that may help explain the recent teen epidemic of gender dysphoria (the distress of feeling “born in the wrong body”).

A submission to the committee from a GP with many years’ experience in adolescent mental health and gender issues says: “I can scarcely believe that the state government would threaten me — in the area that I specialise (in) — that good quality medicine could be punished with 18 months of prison.”

The GP, whose name was withheld, says a majority of young patients recover from gender dysphoria with professional care, supportive counselling and treatment of co-existing mental illness or help with autism.

“If you were to pass this law, I would feel compelled by force of law to discharge all of (these) patients from my care, and would not be able to take on new patients,” the GP says.

“Non-harmful, sensitive, respectful, patient-centred counselling should never be made illegal; to criminalise this would be an abuse of government authority and massive overreach.”

Before the post-2000 spike in teen dysphoria, the condition was typically diagnosed in a small number of pre-school boys and the vast majority grew out of it, following cautious psychotherapy or “watchful waiting”, and many emerged as young gay or bisexual adults comfortable in their bodies.

“The drastic medical interventions that accompany a gender affirmative approach and which are being applied to ‘transition’ many young people who would otherwise go on to identify as gay or lesbian would be more rightly be regarded as the ultimate ‘conversion therapy’,” the Sydney-based Feminist Legal Clinic says in its submission on the Queensland bill.

After mainstream medical bodies were blindsided by consultation on the bill being staged during the Christmas-New Year break, there has been confusion about whether or not late submissions will be allowed, or who will be asked to testify at a state parliamentary committee hearing pushed back from February 3 to February 7. The Australian sought clarification from the committee.

Meanwhile, after years of scant media reporting, the intensifying global debate over the affirmative model is getting more mainstream attention.

Last Wednesday, The Washington Post carried a front-page report on South Dakota in the US leading a “wave” of Republican-led state bills that could make medical transition of minors illegal.

In the UK last week, 23-year-old Keira Bell, who regrets taking hormone suppression drugs that interfere with puberty, joined a High Court case arguing under-18 patients at the NHS Tavistock gender clinic cannot give informed consent to this “experimental” treatment.

“I believe that the current affirmative system put in place by the Tavistock is inadequate as it does not allow for exploration of these gender dysphoric feelings, nor does it seek to find the underlying causes of this condition,” she said.



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

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

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


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(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

Bible references on homosexuality: Jude 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Leviticus 18:32; Leviticus 20:13

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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