The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

The primary version of "Political Correctness Watch" is HERE The Blogroll; John Ray's Home Page; Email John Ray here. Other mirror sites: Greenie Watch, Dissecting Leftism. This site is updated several times a month but is no longer updated daily. (Click "Refresh" on your browser if background colour is missing). See here or here for the archives of this site.

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.


31 January, 2017

Heinous sexist culture inside STEM industries exists in Australia (and elsewhere)

Of course it does.  Women are being pushed into occuptions where they don't belong and where they don't generally do well.

 What's this about "belong"?  It's simple aptitude.  We have known for a hundred years that women do not perform well on tests of mathemtical ability.  And STEM fields have a heavy mathematical requirement.  So those who do do well (men) in such fields tend to look down on those who do not (women). 

All men (and all women) are NOT equal and ignoring that for the sake of political correctness is always going to create friction.  It opposes policy to reality and those who can see the reality will reasonably object. 

There is a small minority of females who excel at STEM tasks and it is they alone who should be in such fields.  If such women were the only ones is such fields the cause for derision would disappear.  Women in such fields would be respected

A PARTICULARLY heinous brand of sexism faced by Australia's most educated woman has been exposed in a damning survey of professional industries including engineering and IT.

Managers in STEM industries (science, technology, engineering and maths) have been revealed to avoid hiring women because they "nag", take on women considering reasons other than their skills and qualifications because they want a "work wife", and prefer men because they can "pee on the run".

The shocking details accompanied by the concerning warning that three quarters of women who work in these areas plan to drop out of their profession within the next five years due to restrictions in career progression.

The claims are included in a submission from industry group Professional Australia to a senate inquiry into gender segregation in the workplace.

The comprehensive submission includes results from a survey undertaken by the professional body, showing that 25.8 per cent of women reported being sexually harassed at work with half taking no action on the matter, and 7 per cent quitting their jobs over it.

Women in the STEM industries reported experiencing bias against women in their male-dominated fields, and described their industry as a "boys club".  "Career progression is not always based on merit," one respondent said.

Women reported having to "fight for the pay and respect that men get naturally", and were told to be a "good sport" when on the receiving end of sexist comments.

One employee said women were regularly accused of "nagging" when making reasonable requests of male colleagues, with one recalling being told "you sound like my wife" after requesting overdue information from a male colleague.

"I took over a job on an industrial site from an obviously disliked female employee and on first meeting an operator (was) told `not another f***ing woman, are you here to nag us as well?'" one respondent said.

A female scientist reported opportunities diminished for women in the eyes of male managers once they became more senior. "A lot of scientists like cute student girls," she said. "Once that time period has passed, you are less likely to be offered any roles in anything."

The report also highlighted that women felt sidelined once they had children, with men being considered "more serious about their careers".

One respondent reported being offered a demotion after returning from maternity leave to "help with family flexibility". Another said she was told by a manger if she applied for a job alongside a male of the same age and experience, the male would be selected "as they are less likely to take leave in the future to care for children".

The report showed male engineers earned 24 per cent more than their female colleagues when they worked fulltime, and fulltime male scientists earned 18 per cent more than their female counterparts.

In its submission, Professionals Australia said it hoped shining a light on the issues faced by highly-educated professional women could be addressed.

The group said it wanted to "encourage police-makers and employers to look at ways to tackle gender segregation by looking at the need to address entrenched structural bias in work practices".

"Tackling the issues will be fundamental to providing for the optimal attraction, development and retention of women in the STEM workforce, and to fully realising Australia's productivity potential and innovative capability into the future."

The senate inquiry into gender segregation into the workplace and its impact on women's economic equality is due to report by March this year.


Donald Trump’s election a rejection of identity politics

Donald Trump was, in effect, given permission to win by the progressives despite smashing the orthodox bounds of political and policy behaviour

By senior Australian journalist Paul Kelly

As Donald Trump’s new presidency surges across our politics, creating chaos and uncertainty, there is one element in his victory where most Australian politicians remain in ideological denial — the revolt against identity politics.

Trump, in effect, was given permission to win the election by the US progressive class despite his narcissism, his coarseness and his smashing of the orthodox bounds of political and policy behaviour.

In retrospect, the 2016 US election story is a grand joke — enough voters in Middle America decided to tolerate Trump’s juvenile viciousness because they felt the narcissism of prevailing closed-minded progressive ideology was no longer to be tolerated. In the end, the alternative was worse than Trump. Is this too difficult an idea to grasp?

During the Obama era the US underwent a cultural revolution. Fuelled by social activists on race, sex and gender issues and the ­decisive swing by younger people to social liberalism as a way of life, the Democratic Party embraced identity politics as a brand. It mirrored the values transformation that swept through many American institutions: the academy, media, arts, entertainment and much of the high income earning elite. But revolutions are only guaranteed to bring counter-­revolutions in their wake.

Barack Obama won two presidential elections enshrining iden­tity and minority politics at the heart of his campaign. But Obama is a unique historical figure. What works for him doesn’t work for other Democrats — witness Hillary Clinton. In 2016 minority politics failed to deliver. Its momentum has been checked, with American progressives sunk in an angry valley of rage.

Last year Clinton, after a long and often tortuous journey, embraced not a call to all, but a collection of separate identity groups, a pervasive agenda of political correctness and pledges to end discrimination for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. This testified to the US Supreme Court decision in favour of same-sex marriage, the injustices visited on African Americans, the voting power of minorities and their ­decisive capture of the soul of the Democratic Party. The problem for the Democrats is now obvious: managing the Obama legacy without the magic of Obama.

This election, beyond its madness, was about a clash of moral ­vision. Trump stood for three ­visions: economic protection against free trade, nationalism against internationalism, and cultural tradition against social liberalism. In Australia there has been immense coverage of Trump’s victory combined with denial of its full meaning. It is a historic failure of progressivism.

In his defining New York Times article of November 18, “The End of Identity Liberalism”, US professor of humanities Mark Lilla said the liberal orthodoxy that ­society should “celebrate” its differences was splendid as moral pedagogy “but disastrous as a foundation for democratic politics in an ideological age”.

Lilla said: “In recent years American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from ­becoming a unifying force capable of governing. One of the many ­lessons of the recent presidential campaign and its repugnant outcome is that the age of identity ­liberalism must be brought to an end.”

Lilla, no fan of Trump, said Clinton’s “strategic mistake” was slipping into “the rhetoric of ­diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American, Latino, LGBT and women at every stop”. It ­became a bigger problem when, having decided to play group politics, she ignored the biggest group: white voters without college degrees. They punted for Trump and who can blame them?

After the result Lilla said American voters were “disaffected with the liberal message”. He said: “Democrats have simply lost the country. They have lost the capacity to speak to the vast middle of America, an America that is, in large part, white, very religious and not highly edu­cated.” He said identity liberalism was about self-expression, not persuasion, and claimed that “it’s narcissistic, it’s isolating, it looks within”.

The superficial lesson of the US election is that identity politics failed at the ballot box. That’s ­important. But what’s even more important — for the US and Australia — is that identity politics is bad in its essence, bad for nations, bad for societies and bad for peoples. Identity politics is a far bigger issue in the US than Australia but that does not gainsay this reality.

It goes to the flaw in progressive politics — its blindness to consequences of its policies. This is relevant in Australia given the Labor Party is fully pledged to identity politics as a tactic while for the Greens it is core ideology. The pent-up backlash, however, will come in this country probably sooner rather than later.

Trump, personally liberal in many ways, rode the tide of conservative moral revolt. It was wider and deeper than liberals ­expected because the rising progressive ethos touches virtually every aspect of US life. Progressives misjudged partly because they felt Trump condemned himself as a bigot, sexist and anti-­Muslim extremist.

The genius of Trump’s “make America great again” slogan was that it resonated at multiple levels — with people who saw their jobs and incomes were being eroded along with something even bigger: they felt the values of their America were being stolen, that they were losing their country.

Lilla joins that other brilliant American academic, Jonathan Haidt, professor of ethical leadership at New York University and author of The Righteous Mind, whose speeches over the past year are a tour de force in documenting and exposing the crisis in the US university system caused by iden­tity politics.

These speeches are reinforced by Haidt’s 2015 Atlantic magazine article, “The Coddling of the American Mind”, co-authored with constitutional lawyer Greg Lukianoff, that reveals the ­destructiveness of identity politics.

The key lies in its cultivation of victimhood and the creation of laws, rules and processes to allow victims to pursue and punish the people who have offended them. This vests victims with a superior moral standing, even social status, with the assumption such pro­cesses represent superior public policy and prove the compassion of institutions that embrace these norms.

The argument “I’m offended” is the ultimate card. Once these norms are accepted, it is unbeat­able. This thinking is spreading rapidly into Australian institutions and is embraced by authorities who don’t understand the consequences of what they are doing.

Any Australian politician will gain currency by standing for the victim, winning moral acclaim and usually votes. The great examples are rejecting the same-sex plebiscite because it would offend and hurt gays and lesbians, the insistence under section 18C that people have a right to be offended because of racial comments, and the right of LGBTI students to have the school norms redesigned on gender grounds for self-protection. The principle in each case is the same: the norms of the majority must surrender to the demands of the victimised minority.

Once the victim culture prevails, then notions of morality and decency are redefined. As its scope widens any established idea is vulnerable: that male-female gender norms should be respected, that Australia Day should be kept as January 26 or that the British civilisation heritage should be fundamental to the school curriculum.

While Haidt’s analysis is university-based, it is valuable ­because US universities are the most advanced outreach of iden­tity politics. He argues this transformation weakens the integrity of institutions and damages the precise people it is supposed to protect.

“What has been happening since the 1990s is there’s been a change — the most sacred thing at university is the victim,” Haidt says. “There are six groups of victims traditionally since the 1990s so mostly whenever there are big political blow-ups and controversies they tend to be around race ­issues, gender issues, or LGBT ­issues. Those are the big three. There are three other groups that tend to be sacred but there seems to be less controversy around Latinos, Native Americans and the disabled. The last two years have been extraordinary ­because there’s been a revolution in just two years with a seventh group, now Muslims, in the ­sacred category. You know you’re in the presence of sacredness when any little thing, any affront or insult, elicits a huge reaction.”

Haidt describes how the process works at American univer­sities: “The transition to a victimhood culture is one characterised by concern with status and sensitivity.” The self-declared victim looks to the new norms for satisfaction. “They bring it to the attention of the authorities,” Haidt says. “If something happens, you don’t deal with it yourself. You ­report it. You get the president of the university, the dean, some older person, some bureaucratic authority, to bring them in. To punish the person who did this. In such a culture you don’t emphasise your strengths, rather the ­aggrieved emphasise the repres­sion and their social marginalisation. The only way to gain status is not just to be a victim but to stand up for other victims.”

This is an accurate description of the ethos and operating rules of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

What are the consequences? Haidt says: “Professors are ­increasingly afraid of students. Everybody’s on the Left but they’re increasingly being hauled up for some charge of racism or sexism. Professors all over the country are pulling videos, pulling material. Undergrads are being exposed to far less provocative material in 2016 than they were even in 2014. Just in the last two years professors all over the country are changing their teaching.”

The origins of this cultural sickness are deep and pervasive. Lilla says: “The fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life.

“At a very young age our children are being encouraged to talk about their individual identities, even before they have them. By the time they reach college many assume that diversity discourse exhausts political discourse and have shockingly little to say about such perennial questions as class, war, the economy and the common good.

“In large part this is because of high-school curriculums, which anachronistically project the iden­tity politics of today back on to the past, creating a distorted picture of the major forces and individuals that shaped our country.”

Haidt says that children born after 1980 got a message: “Life is dangerous but adults will do everything in their power to protect you from harm.” He’s right. But he misses the sharper political point. For progressives, identity politics and victimhood are a wedge to delegitimise leaders and institutions that sustain any conservative status quo against the radical ­social changes they want. This has played out in the politics of both the US and Australia.

Identity politics should be seen in its historical context. It is one manifestation of the chaotic yet momentous embrace of populism on both the Left and Right, fanned by social media, the crisis of traditional values and the debasement of the notion of what is a virtuous person. Emotional self-expression, not piety, is the behaviour that is now rewarded.

Haidt says identity politics is tied to the idea of “emotional reasoning” — or, to be crude, the elevation of emotion over reason. Its essence is: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.” Feelings are permitted to guide reality. Lukianoff and Haidt say: “A claim that someone’s words are ‘offensive’ is not just an expression of one’s own subjective feeling of offendedness. It is, ­rather, a public charge that the speaker has done something ­objectively wrong. It is a demand that the speaker be punished by some authority for committing an offence.”

Emotional reasoning is now evidence; it is seen as illegitimate for an authority or a government to inflict mental or emotional damage on people who constitute a historically repressed minority; subjective evidence of the hurt is all that is required to make the case. Let’s be clear: emotions and claims of mental damage have ­become political weapons to be ruthlessly deployed. This is a core tactic of identity politics.

Bill Shorten grasps this and has used it brilliantly. Shorten and most of his frontbench were ­explicit in their rejection of the same-sex marriage plebiscite: it had to be rejected because of the emotional damage it would do. Shorten said the “No” campaign would be “an emotional torment for gay teenagers” and raised the possibility of suicide. Many mental health clinicians backed him.

These views must be challenged. How healthy was it for the LGBTI community to present ­itself to the Australian public as such entrenched victims that they were unable to sustain a national vote on the marriage issue? Are such individuals better off having embraced this position? Are they better prepared for future life when, in an imperfect world, they will face inevitable discrimination from time to time?

Moving to the central contradiction in identity politics — as rele­vant in Australia as it is in America — Lilla said: “It says, on the one hand, you can never understand me because you are not exactly the kind of person I’ve defined myself to be. And on the other hand, you must recognise me and feel for me.”

Rates of mental illness have been increasing rapidly in both the US and Australia among young people. This is a serious issue but it is being exploited in the cause of ideology. As Haidt says, if young people are taught, encouraged and rewarded “to nurture a kind of ­hypersensitivity” that does not ­assist their lives. On the contrary, this new moral culture advocated by the progressives results in “an atrophying of the ability to handle small interpersonal matters on one’s own” while at the same time “it creates a society of constant and intense moral conflict”.

Nobody doubts that hurt and offence are genuine and justified across every minority group. That is a fact. But it is not the issue. The issue is the institutional, political and legal response. Haidt argues that the cult of victimhood in law and process “causes a downward spiral of competitive victimhood” and the generation of a “vortex of grievance”. The further tragedy is that victimhood penetrates both sides of the political conflict: men branded as sexist by feminists claim to be victims of ­reverse ­sexism.

Progressives have been setting the cultural agenda in Australia just as they have done in the US: on same-sex marriage, LGBTI rights, gender fluidity programs, social and ideological agendas in schools, the campaign against ­religious freedom, winning more support for affirmative action, radicalising the proposed indigenous referendum, shifting multi­culturalism towards the “diversity” side of the spectrum and deploying anti-discrimination law as an ­instrument of radical social change.

It is futile to think the counter-revolution will not occur. The only issues are its leadership, its rationality and the extent of its conservative or reactionary populism. If Malcolm Turnbull, as Coalition leader, feels this is not his responsibility then the vacuum will be ­occupied by others.

As the two-generations-long campaign in the West for individual human rights reaches its logical cultural conclusion in identity politics, the results are an increasingly fragmented society, the ­decline of a shared historical narrative and a distorted moral order that damages us all.


All cultures are not equal

by Jennifer Oriel

Long after the West has defeated Islamic State, the jihadist threat will remain.

For the past 40 years, Western immigration policy has been based on multicultural ideology.

Its consequence is clear: Islamism has become a Western condition. Successive governments have diluted Western values to the point where they are no longer taught in schools. The result is a population unschooled in the ­genius of our civilisation whose youth cannot understand why it is worth defending.

Multicultural ideology must give way to a renaissance of Western civilisation in which Australian exceptionalism is celebrated and Islamism is sent packing.

Multiculturalism is not merely the acceptance of diverse cultures, or open society. It is the a priori belief that cultural diversity has a net positive effect on the West, coupled with a double standard that excuses lslamic and communist states from embracing it.

Thus, Western nations must open their borders while Islamic and communist states remain closed. The West must accept the myth that all cultures are equal while Islamic and communist states celebrate their unique contribution to world history. Under multicultural ideology, the greatest civilisation of the world, Western civilisation, is held in contempt while theocratic throwbacks and communist barbarism are extolled.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al- Hussein, regularly frames the West as xenophobic and racist. In a recent speech, he decried xenophobia and religious hatred. But he did not address the Chinese government’s persecution of Christians, or the governing Islamist regime in Gaza, Hamas, for hatred of Jews. Rather, he took aim at the West, saying: “My recent missions to Western Europe and North America have included discussions of increasingly worrying levels of incitement to racial or religious hatred and violence, whether against migrants or racial and religious groups. Discrimination, and the potential for mob violence, is being stoked by political leaders for their personal benefit.”

Western governments should explain why they continue to send taxpayers’ money to the UN when it has become an organisation expressly devoted to defending the interests of Islamist and communist regimes against the free world.

The growing hatred of Western culture goes unremarked by politicians whose populism is firmly rooted in political correctness. No major political party has calculated the cost of multicultural ideology to Western society. Instead, they extol it as a net benefit without tendering empirical evidence. When politicians claim truth without substantive supporting evidence, ideology is at play. It may be that multiculturalism is a net benefit to the West. If so, why has the evidence been withheld? Without it, minor parties can contend that multiculturalism is a net negative for the West and appear credible.

In the absence of empirical proof that multicultural ideology is beneficial, politicians such as Pauline Hanson, Donald Trump, Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen seek to curb Muslim immigration and deport those who disrespect Western values. Hanson plans to push for a burka ban in the new year. The policy has international precedent as Dutch politicians voted recently to ban the burka in some public places. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also has proposed a burka ban, but it is reasonable to question her motives ahead of the 2017 election. In a state election held in September, Merkel’s party polled below nationalist and anti-Islam party Alternative for Germany. She has driven porous border policy and repeatedly castigated European heads of state who defend their sovereign borders, such as Hungary’s Viktor Orban. Her call for a burka ban is thus viewed by some as blatant political opportunism.

Malcolm Turnbull addressed the issue indirectly by citing poor border controls in Europe as the cause of the problem. However, as with so many issues concerning political Islam in Australia, the question of a burka ban is indivisible from the defence of Western values.

One such value is the universal application of law that requires the equal treatment of all citizens. If Australians are expected to not wear a balaclava in banks, courts or Parliament House, why are some citizens permitted to cover their faces in a burka or niqab? Double standards and preferential treatment of state-anointed minorities is fuelling widespread, and rational, resentment in the West.

Consider retelling the events of the past week to an Anzac just returned from war. We would tell him that a Muslim married to a terrorist recruiter refused to stand in court because she wanted to be judged by Allah. Muslims in Sydney and Melbourne were charged with preparing a terrorist act against Australians. In France, several people were arrested for plotting jihadist attacks. News broke that 1750 foot soldiers of a genocidal Islamic army had entered Europe without resistance from Western armies. As in Australia, many jihadists entered as refugees and lived on taxpayer-funded welfare under a program called multiculturalism.

In the same week, a German politician called Angela Merkel, who ushered Islamists into the West by enforcing open borders, was lauded by a respected magazine called The Economist as “the last leader of stature to defend the West’s values”. Yet men from Islamic countries who allegedly entered Germany under Merkel’s open-border policy were arrested for sexual assault, including the rape and murder of a teenage girl. Asylum-seekers and refugees had assaulted women and children across Europe. Less than a year before, on New Year’s Eve, Merkel’s asylum-seekers had attacked women and girls en masse.

We would tell the Anzac that Britain attempted to acknowledge the negative impact of its undiscriminating approach to immigration. A review recommended a core school curriculum to promote “British laws, history and values” and a proposal that immigrants sign an oath of allegiance to British values. But secularism, private property and Christianity were absent from the principle list and as such, it wasn’t very British at all.

There were few Anzacs left to see what the West has become. I suppose that’s a kind of mercy. We have dishonoured the millions of soldiers who laid down their lives in the 20th century fighting for our freedom and the future of Western civilisation. We should hang our heads in shame for letting the Anzac legacy come to this. We are the descendants of the world’s most enlightened civilisation. It is our turn to fight for its future.


Trump's immigration crackdown is a clear message to the Muslim world - get your own houses in order before you come to ours

By Katie Hopkins

Have you noticed? There has been more outrage from the left over Trump’s so-called Muslim ban, than over terror itself.

More gnashing of gums and loud wailing, more placards decrying the plight of a few tourists and travellers, than over the bodies blown apart by Islamic extremists at Brussels airport in March last year.

So much collective outrage, in fact, I wonder how on earth a ban imposed by 16 countries on Israeli citizens has remained in place for quite so long with such quiet acceptance.

Curious, isn't it? What liberals will and won't accept.

What is also strange that when I speak to Muslims and ask why they feel the need to flee persecution or seek refuge, I am told it is because Islam is suffering and is incredibly divided. Because the tensions between Sunni and Shia are simply overwhelming.

What stumps me is why non-Muslim countries are expected to welcome such a divided religion with open arms. And if we think about the problems facing Syrian, Iran, Somalia and Yemen and the rest in the context of the US president’s inaugural address, why would America want to keep allowing such division to its shores?

Whether Muslims want to acknowledge it or not, extremists commit atrocities in the name of Allah. They do it according to and in observance of their interpretation of their faith.

What has led us to this latest executive order is not only Islamic extremists knifing, shooting, stabbing and exploding peaceful citizens in the West, but also the abject failure of the wider Muslim community to denounce these vile acts.

It is troubling to many that after each terrorist act there is largely silence from the families and communities that raised the terrorists and from the mosques that they frequented. Imams seldom condemn terror. And in their silence, in the void, acceptance, encouragement even, is assumed.

The typical response in Western Europe is a hashtag, a tea light and a leader, saying their people will not be cowed in the face of terror. Except, they no longer speak for us. We are sick of their platitudes.

The response from the US president is far more reassuring: a ban on travellers from seven Muslim countries and a total ban on refugees and asylum seekers from Syria. Finally, a politician taking action.

Some have questioned why Saudi Arabia has been left off the list. They quote statistics: 15 of the terrorists involved in 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia.

When I ask if they would like Saudi added to the list of banned countries, they say no, appalled at the idea of a ban at all. At which point their argument dies on the spot. Doesn't matter if your country has terror or no terror, they don't agree with a ban. The Saudi argument is a distraction.

They lamely argue for more stringent checks to sift out jihadis. I offer the attacks on Western Europe by Islamic extremists as proof that we are not sophisticated enough to work out who is a jihadi and who is not.

In fact, we have allowed those who travelled to Syria to fight for ISIS to return to our country.

And even when we do know who would wish to hurt our people, the jihadis’ right to privacy and freedom trumps our right to safety or life.

In its wild lament, the left has missed the point entirely. Trump is sending out a message. His 90-day ban on seven Muslim countries is in place to achieve one thing and one thing only: Trump wants you to understand America has borders, and from now on it’s going to protect them.

He is going to build a wall with Mexico. He is going to reinforce Homeland Security. He is pouring funds into the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement services.

And thanks to the outrage, the placard-waving protests, the Clinton News Network and the Biased Broadcasting Corporation, you all know about it.  So everyone is now clear. Perfect.

All those desperate to get into the country, to get back to work or to their brothers or sisters in America originally from Iran, their daughter who has dual US-Yemeni nationality, or their American-Somali mother based in California — they now have 90 days to reflect.

To think about how lucky they are to have a home in the land of the free. How fortunate they are to live in a country where democracy works and laws are made by the will of the people, not religion.

Trump said, 'We only want to admit those who will support our country and love deeply our people.'

Think of it less as a Muslim ban, and more as an American invitation. If you support America and will put America first, you will be welcome.

If you cannot bring yourself to condemn the actions of those who commit terror in the name of your god, probably best stay in what's left of your home.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


30 January, 2017

Feminists need to stop hurting children

Toxicity knows no bounds when it comes to feminists raising children. If you care about the future you must take a stand against feminist parenting.

Trump-Hating Protestors, Deceit and Willful Blindness

Unveiling the Left's lies about immigration, drugs and terrorism

On January 20, 2017, the very same day that President Donald J. Trump was inaugurated, protestors who opposed Trump's election and his campaign promises took to the streets in Washington, DC and elsewhere. They falsely equated securing America's borders and enforcing our immigration laws with bigotry and racism.
The protestors carried signs with a variety of slogans including a slogan favored by Hillary Clinton during her failed bid for the presidency, "Build bridges, not walls."

Where were these protestors when Obama violated the Constitution, released hundreds of thousands of criminal aliens, commuted the sentences of record numbers of drug dealers and ignored the findings of the 9/11 Commission and imported millions of foreign workers to take Americans' jobs?

Ironically, on that same day, the Justice Department issued a press release, "Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera Faces Charges in New York for Leading a Continuing Criminal Enterprise and other Drug-Related Charges."

El Chapo was the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel that smuggled multi-ton quantities of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States and used extreme violence and corruption in order to achieve their criminal goals that included the smuggling of huge quantities of illegal drugs into the United States.

The press release contains links to the Detention Memo and the Indictment and begins with these two paragraphs:

The indictment alleges that between January 1989 and December 2014, Guzman Loera led a continuing criminal enterprise responsible for importing into the United States and distributing massive amounts of illegal narcotics and conspiring to murder persons who posed a threat to Guzman Loera's narcotics enterprise.

Guzman Loera is also charged with using firearms in relation to his drug trafficking and money laundering relating to the bulk smuggling from the United States to Mexico of more than $14 billion in cash proceeds from narcotics sales throughout the United States and Canada. As part of this investigation, nearly 200,000 kilograms of cocaine linked to the Sinaloa Cartel have been seized. The indictment seeks forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit profits.

Leaders of Drug Trafficking Organizations, alien smuggling rings and terrorists seeking to enter the United States surreptitiously could not devise a better slogan than "Build bridges not walls" to promote their criminal interests.

Perhaps, given the numerous reports about tunnels under the U.S./Mexican border, the open borders/immigration anarchists should amend their signs to read, "Build bridges and tunnels not walls."

That slogan must really resonate with El Chapo the leader of the violent Sinaloa Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization that, not unlike other such cartels, required the ability to cross the U.S./Mexican border to not only transport their drugs but their "employees" into the United States as well.

These cartel "employees" are primarily aliens who enter the United States illegally.  Among them as noted in the criminal indictment, are "sicarios," or hit men who carried out hundreds of acts of violence, including murders, assaults, kidnappings, assassinations and acts of torture at the direction of the defendants.

Often the victims of the violence are members of the ethnic immigrant communities in which these thugs operate.

The majority of violent crime in the United States has a nexus to the use and/or trafficking in narcotics and dangerous drugs.  The proceeds of the drug trade enriches the drug cartels and street gangs.  This fast flow of money also enriches terror organizations around the world.

All too often those who become addicted to drugs have bleak futures.  Tragically, often these addicts are teenagers.
The magnitude of the quantity of drugs smuggled into the United States across the U.S./Mexican border and through other means (in the holds of ships and in the cargo holds of airliners and in the baggage and secreted on passengers of airliners) is, in the aggregate, truly staggering.

El Chapo is being prosecuted in the Eastern District of New York because of the magnitude of his wholesale operations in New York City.  The Sinaloa Cartel also operated in Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and throughout parts of Arizona.

The magnitude and scope of the violence used by the Sinaloa Cartel was staggering and the press release noted that thousands of individuals were killed in Mexico to eliminate those who got in their way.

They killed law enforcement officials and others to intimidate those who would compete against this criminal organization or cooperate with law enforcement.  Many of the victims were beheaded as an intimidation tactic.

This investigation was conducted by courageous law enforcement officers in Colombia, Mexico, the United States and elsewhere.  In the United States the investigation was pursued by the multi-agency Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) that includes agents of the DEA, FBI, ICE, ATF as well as members of local and state police departments.

Having spent the final ten years of my career with the INS assigned to OCDETF I am extremely familiar with the effectiveness of the multiagency task force approach to the investigation and dismantling of late-scale narcotics trafficking organizations and just how critical border security and effective enforcement of our nation's immigration laws, from within the interior of the United States, are to the success of these law enforcement efforts.

Incredibly, however, when Donald Trump promised to build a wall to secure the border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico to prevent criminals, terrorists and drugs from entering the United States, the globalists, aided and abetted by dishonest journalists, created the false narrative equating Trump's goals and the goals of Americans who demand that our borders be secured against illegal entry with racism.

Securing our borders against illegal entry is not to be equated with preventing all aliens from entering the United States, only those aliens who violate our laws.

The doors on our homes have locks that can be unlatched not only so that we can enter our own homes, but so that we can selectively open our doors to those who wish to visit us.

However sensible people lock their doors to prevent the entry of burglars and those who might pose a threat to their safety.

This is comparable to the mission of the inspections process conducted at ports of entry by the more than 20,000 inspectors of CBP (Customs and Border Protection) the same agency that employs approximately 20,000 Border Patrol agents to attempt to interdict those aliens who seek to avoid the inspections process by running our borders.

Determinations as to the admissibility of aliens seeking entry into the United States is guided not by race, religion or ethnicity as politicians, pundits and pollsters falsely claim, but by the provisions of Title 8 U.S. Code § 1182 - Inadmissible aliens.

Jimmy Carter created the Orwellian term "Undocumented Immigrant" to describe illegal aliens that has, over time, enabled immigration anarchists to con many Americans into believing that deporting illegal aliens actually refers to deporting all "immigrants."

For the sake of clarity, the difference between and immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar.

However, while the protestors demonstrate and engage in free speech, they need to be mindful that a one-sided conversation is not a conversation.

When news organizations provide only one side of the debate and, indeed, create a false narrative under the guise of the First Amendment, they are doing a huge disservice to their profession and to America and Americans.

How many of the protestors who demanded that we "build bridges not walls" would have participated in the demonstration carrying those signs, if the organizations, faculty members of universities and teachers in our nation's schools would truly honor the First Amendment by ending "Safe Spaces" and encouraging and fostering honest and open debates to provide Americans with a vital but increasingly rare commodity:  The Truth?

It is unfathomable that hundreds of thousands of people, many of them parents, would protest on behalf of El Chapo and others engaged in the drug trade to facilitate the trafficking or narcotics in the United States and the violent crimes and malevolent transnational gangs associated with the drug trade.  Yet, unwittingly, this is precisely what they are doing.

It is equally likely that the numbers of such protestors would have been greatly reduced if the media and our politicians had honestly reported on the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission when reporting on the threat of terrorism and its nexus to failures of the immigration system.

Yet there they were, demanding that our borders be left vulnerable and our immigration laws not be enforced.
"Free speech" does not protect individuals who falsely cry, "Fire!" in a crowded theater to spark a stampede.

Memo to professors, journalists, pollsters and politicians: It is time for honest speech.


Why the rabbi’s inaugural prayer evoked hate mail

by Barbara Diamond

When I first received notification that Rabbi Marvin Hier had been invited to offer a prayer at the Trump inauguration on February 20th,  I wrote an article in which I elaborated upon the courage required to accept this invitation. You never saw the article because I decided not to publish it. After seeing the interviews with Rabbi Hier on television and in the press, I felt that he had so clearly explained his decision, that my comments were superfluous. He was unequivocal about his love of the United States and his respect for the US presidency as the pinnacle of its democracy. He has always been vocal on his commitment to the survival of the Jewish people.

In the meantime, the inaugural prayers have been delivered and his choice of passages from Torah and Psalms were poignant. They were messages that a large segment of the world did not want to hear.

Have there been complaints made about the prayers of the  four Christian ministers who blessed the future president of the United States calling on their savior in the process?  If so, I have missed them.  Who exactly is so irate at the words of Torah spoken by Rabbi Hier on that moment in history?  There are two distinct groups of haters. First there are the classic Anti-Semites who would simply be upset to see any Rabbi held in great respect appearing on the inaugural platform.  But there is an additional audience to consider. Am I the only viewer who noticed that there were no Muslim clergy invited to speak?   I am fairly sure that every Muslim around the world, received the message of their irrelevance to the founding fathers of the United States, and to its constitution quite simply by this omission. Let us examine my premise more closely:

One must only look at the words that Rabbi Hier emoted to understand why he selected them, and why others found them dangerous. “By the rivers of Babylon, we wept as we remembered Zion. If I forget thee, O Jerusalem may my right hand forget its skill.”   This prayer has become emblazoned in the heart of every religious Jew for the past three thousand years.  Those who have aligned themselves against the Jewish State and the Jewish people, began a calculated campaign to rewrite Jewish History.

Devised by Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian authority, it has focused on trying to prove that the Jewish people have no historic or religious connection to their land. This 3,000-year-old biblical prayer referring to the importance of Jerusalem to the Jewish people, contradicts their revisionism. Their incremental political successes in this effort have brought forth illegitimate UNESCO resolutions with false claims that the Jewish people have no connection to their holiest religious site, the Temple Mount and to their holy city.  The recent Paris Conference attempted to validate the calculated lie that Jews have no rights whatsoever to Jerusalem’s Old City — in spite of  massive historic evidence to the contrary.

Rabbi Hier’s quotes from the Old Testament (known by Jews world-wide as the Torah) are proof once again that the home of the Jewish faith is and has always been in Jerusalem, and is actually  on the  very Temple Mount which has been stolen from Jewish heritage by the Jordanians . The building of the Dome of the Rock on this specific location was and remains an insult to the Jewish world. In spite of this, Israel protects the site and the rights of Moslems to pray there in safety.  In agreeing to allow the Temple Mount to stay in Arab hands, Moshe Dayan took it upon himself to acquiesce to Arab demands in a futile effort for mutual respect and co-existence.  It was in essence, the first “land for Peace” swap. Dayan was not a religious man, but a General and an archaeologist who did not understand the damage that his concessions would impose on the future of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

The online vilification of Rabbi Hier’s speech and of the man himself came from cowards who would never have the courage to confront the rabbi in person.  The internet potential for rebellion brings rabid anti-Semites out from their hiding places and gives them a voice with anonymity.   This is not the first time he has been threatened. After more than thirty years of association with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, I know firsthand how much courage it requires to stand up for Tolerance in a world of prejudice.  As the founder and dean of very organization which has fought bigotry among different ideologies and religions throughout the world, he has met with every major leader in the free world. His efforts intended to bring human beings of varying cultures together, with respect and understanding of their differences.

This same man is now receiving hate mail for defending his own people and their own land. Even some individuals who understand the horrors of the Holocaust, and who support his institution, are so afraid of the new president, that they are apologetic and embarrassed when this rabbi stands up for his own beliefs. History has taught them little.

Social media has given power to the cowards.  It has given platforms to the haters. It has given anonymity to those who purport one goal, but have their secret agendas.  We live in dangerous times where the public is being manipulated by individuals looking to mobilize individuals for their own purposes.  We need to look carefully before joining mass events which purport to have one goal, but which are led by those who wish to cause unrest, discontentment and an American version of the “Arab-Spring” on the streets of  great cities throughout the free world. Riots have been mobilized against police forces and inspired the murder of innocents.

Organizations such as “Black lives Matter” altered their agenda midstream to become a support base  for the Palestinian cause, and the Women’s March on Washington is led by a woman who believes in Shariah law, which oppresses women world-wide. It becomes increasingly important for each citizen of every nation, to investigate carefully which organizations and events they support.  Allowing one’s self to be used as a pawn in a larger game, is naive and dangerous. 

We are living in complicated times, where what seems simple and straight forward, often is not. What appears pure may well be polluted.  It is time to sit back and reassess.  Arabic social media was used successfully to create havoc in the Middle East.  Those who wish the same for the Democratic nations will use similar techniques to create discontent and anarchy.  The past Presidential campaign was fertile ground for haters of every description to express their frustrations.

Anger from those who see life in its terms of “them” and “us” has come forth now, simply because of a prayer offered in the hope that the new President of the United States will succeed and stand up for that which is right and just.  When in American history did a prayer ever become an excuse to express hate and vilify a respected man of G-d?” The times they are a-changing.”


Leftists Hate Free Speech

Punching political opponents is the kind of thing you would think gets relegated to third world nations, brand-new democracies and college frat parties. Not any more. During the insane left-wing inaugural protests, white nationalist Richard Spencer was punched in the face. Salon noted that “many find it fun to watch someone who did a Hitler salute on stage get clocked.”

The problem with that idea is when your side views everyone who opposes them as Nazis or Hitler that rationalizes political terrorism, which is precisely what the left does, like this cartoon from Alternet depicting the attacker as a modern day Capt. America.

Salon cover editor Jeremy Binckes (who looks like he is on his way to his very own Bund  meeting) tried to make light of a serious and scary topic. Actual quote: “Maybe the question shouldn’t be, ‘Is it OK to punch a Nazi?’ but, ‘If you don’t want to be punched in the face, maybe you shouldn’t preach Nazi values to the public?’”


He wrote this after having done his part to preach Nazi values. Because beating up political opponents is precisely what the Nazis did in 1930s Germany. It’s wrong, even when it’s someone awful like Spencer. Because next time it might be 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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


29 January, 2017

How Liberals Really Feel About Black People

Liberal "elitist" students in the bastion of Liberal Hypocrisy – U.C. Berkeley – were asked about voter ID laws and black people. Then, "blacks" in Harlem, NY were asked their thoughts on what they just heard. Boom! Liberal lies and looney-bin "logic" exposed and utterly devastated!

‘Let’s stand together and halt eclipse of the West,’ says British PM to Trump

Theresa May offered to help President Trump to prevent the West from being “eclipsed” by China last night as she urged him not to shirk his “obligation” to lead the world.

In a speech to a Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia the prime minister matched parts of Mr Trump’s controversial foreign policy.

She criticised China’s increasingly “assertive” posture, promised to help to curb Iran’s “malign influence” in the Middle East and to do more to defend allies such as Israel in “tough neighbourhoods” while admitting that it was time to engage Russia in the search for peace in Syria.

Mrs May offered an updated edition of the special relationship, one that would be shorn of illusions about “making the world in our image” and without the baggage of “failed” interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Her central message, however, was that Mr Trump, whom she will meet on Friday night, had an obligation to accept US responsibility to take an active role in the world. She called on him to assume the “mantle of leadership”.

“An emboldened, confident America is good for the world, a nation that is strong and prosperous at home is one that can lead abroad,” she said. “We — our two countries together — have a joint responsibility to lead. Because when others step up as we step back, it is bad for America, for Britain and the world.”

She insisted that China’s economic rise, along with that of India, was hugely welcome because billions were lifted out of poverty and new export markets were created. However, she also said that China had little tradition of democracy, liberty and human rights and there was no guarantee that it would acquire one.

China’s rise, she said, coming at the same time as the financial crisis and a loss of confidence after 9/11 and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, had led many to fear that “we will experience the eclipse of the West”.

“But there is nothing inevitable about that,” she added. “Other countries may grow stronger. Big, populous countries may grow richer. And as they do so, they may start to embrace more fully our values of democracy and liberty.

“But even if they do not, our interests will remain. Our values will endure. And the need to defend them and project them will be as important as ever.”

Mrs May was met with cheers and rapturous applause. Observers confirmed that her speech had been well received. It appeared to mark a shift towards the US and away from efforts, led by George Osborne, to foster a “golden age” in relations with China. Beijing officials, nettled by her decision to pause the Hinckley C nuclear power plant, were growing increasingly frustrated at the apparent indifference towards them by No 10.

Senior political figures told The Times that Beijing had complained that Chinese diplomats had been blocked from seeing Nick Timothy, one of Mrs May’s chiefs of staff, in recent weeks. A Downing Street source disputed that.

Mrs May said that it was right to “engage” Russia in the search for a peaceful solution to Syria, marking the latest stage of a gradual retreat from Britain’s hardline stance. “There is nothing inevitable about conflict between Russia and the West,” she said. “And nothing unavoidable about retreating to the days of the Cold War. But we should engage with Russia from a position of strength.”

In her strongest language yet on Tehran she said that she was committed to reducing “Iran’s malign influence in the Middle East”. Her rhetoric, however, prefaced strong support for the nuclear deal that it signed with world powers last year.

Mr Trump has described the agreement as “the worst deal ever” and threatened to scrap it. Mrs May said: “The agreement must now be very carefully and rigorously policed — and any breaches should be dealt with firmly and immediately.”

Mrs May’s aides emphasised that she was appearing at the Republicans’ retreat as a Conservative Party leader. She underscored the shared values that she said bound the parties together after Brexit vote and US election. She said that Mr Trump’s victory had been “achieved in defiance of all the pundits and the polls and [was] rooted not in the corridors of Washington, but in the hopes and aspirations of working men and women across this land”.

Asked on the flight to the US in what way the outcome of the Brexit vote was similar to Mr Trump’s victory she said: “I think we both share a desire to ensure that governments are working for everyone and particularly that governments are working for ordinary working families and working-class families.”


A powerful woman who is no feminist

Last August, Kellyanne Conway told Donald Trump she would not call him by his first name.

Talking to The Hollywood Reporter, Conway says that she told then-candidate Trump her reasoning for this in 2016 when she was hired as Trump's campaign manager.

"I told him when he offered me the job, the very last thing I said to him was I don't consider myself to be your peer, and I will not call you by your first name. And some of the feminists may go crazy…but it's called respect, and it's called deference, and it's called hierarchy."

The profile in the Reporter by Michael Wolff goes on to describe Conway, who is now an advisor to President Trump, in military terms:

In sum, if Donald Trump is going to war with the media — if he is to continue his war — Kellyanne Conway will be both his general and, likely, his cannon fodder. In this role, she has become an extraordinary focus of liberal rage in "the public cesspool that is Twitter," whose users refer to her, she summarizes, as "ugly, stupid, liar, meth queen." She is the kind of weapon that causes media heads to blow up in incredulity and frustration.
Asked about the recent social media campaign for a news program boycott of her as a guest, Conway replied, "I can put my shoes and panty hose back on and go on any show at any time."

Conway added, "I am just trying to stand up to the cacophony, sameness and myopia of the media world."

Wolff also notes the reaction that occurred when Conway visited Michael’s a New York restaurant that is popular with the media:

A few weeks ago, when Conway paid her first visit to Michael's restaurant, the media canteen on West 55th Street in New York, the front room — always a study in power dynamics — fell into a kerfuffle. Charlie Rose, at an adjacent table, shifted his chair around to Conway's party. Former New York politician and current socialite Andy Stein tried to invite her to an event. Washington lawyer and Obama book agent Bob Barnett lingered a bit too long at Conway's table. Tom Rogers, former head of TiVo, hastened to recall a meeting he had with Conway more than 10 years ago (she remembered it, too). Equally, a prominent advertising executive at a nearby table, himself an adviser to Republican presidents, said, as he looked at her with intent fascination, "I can't even look at her."


Those Awful People With Kids

Liberals love to pretend they are nice and tolerant, until you take a closer look at how they talk in their own world. They love to mock people who live in a “cisgender normative society” – in other words, normal.

Another word they deploy to bash opponents is “breeder.” Urban Dictionary calls it a slang term, “used by people of homosexual persuasion to refer to heterosexual couples.” But it’s what liberals would call hate speech if our side used it. “A female breeder is commonly called a moo, and a male breeder a duh.”

Yeah, perfectly nice. So when Salon runs, “Thirtysomething, bisexual, single and satisfied: Your breeder friends can’t bear it,” you know the agenda. Actual quote: “If I’m not intentional about how I apportion time and on whom I focus, I wind up spending a majority of my life immersed in a sanctioned heterosexual culture that at best I can’t relate to whatsoever and at worst I find patriarchal and oppressive.”

The article is full of alt-left whining about the “erasure of non-conformist identities” and “structural oppression.” Mostly it’s just a long sip of bitter whine as the author copes with a liberal midlife crisis. But it’s filled with left-wing catchphrases and a nice peak at the lefty world.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


27 January, 2017

Donald Trump's New Culture War

The nation’s foremost culture warrior is President Donald J. Trump.

He wouldn’t, at first blush, seem well-suited to the part. Trump once appeared on the cover of Playboy. He has been married three times. He ran beauty pageants and was a frequent guest on the Howard Stern radio show. His “locker-room talk” captured on the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape didn’t, shall we say, demonstrate a well-honed sense of propriety.

There is no way Trump could be a credible combatant in the culture war as it existed for the past 40 years. But he has reoriented the main lines of battle away from issues related to religion and sexual morality onto the grounds of populism and nationalism. Trump’s culture war is fundamentally the people versus the elite, national sovereignty versus cosmopolitanism, and patriotism versus multiculturalism.

It’s the difference, in a nutshell, between fighting over gay rights or immigration, over the breakdown in marriage or Black Lives Matter. The new war is just as emotionally charged as the old one. It, too, involves fundamental questions about who we are as a people, which are always more fraught than the debate over the appropriate tax rate or whether or not we should have a defense sequester.

The participants are, by and large, the same as well. The old culture war featured Middle America on one side, and coastal elites, academia and Hollywood on the other. So does the new war. And while Trump has no interest in fighting over gay marriage or engaging in the bathroom wars, his staunch pro-life position is a notable holdover from the old war.

Yet any of his detractors who is warning, out of reflex more than anything else, of an attempt to control women’s bodies or establish a theocracy is badly out of date. Donald Trump has many ambitions, but imposing his morality on anyone clearly isn’t one of them.

Instead, he wants to topple a corrupt establishment that he believes has put both its selfish interests and a misbegotten, fuzzy-headed altruism above the well-being of the American people. This isn’t just a governing program, but a culture crusade that includes a significant regional and class element. It channels the concerns of the Jacksonian America that is Trump’s base and, as Walter Russell Mead writes in an essay in Foreign Affairs, “felt itself to be under siege, with its values under attack and its future under threat.”

The revolt of the Jacksonians as exemplified in Trump’s presidency sets up a cultural conflict as embittered as any we’ve experience in the post-Roe v. Wade era. “If the cosmopolitans see Jacksonians as backward and chauvinistic,” Mead writes, “Jacksonians return the favor by seeing the cosmopolitan elite as near treasonous — people who think it is morally questionable to put their own country, and its citizens, first.”

This backdrop will add intensity to almost every fight in the Trump years. Consider the president’s war with the media. Almost all Republicans have testy relationships with the press. For Trump, though, the media are something more than a collection of biased outlets; they are a particularly noxious, high-profile expression of exactly the Northeastern elite that he seeks to dethrone.

On the other side of the ledger, it’s nothing new for those occupying the commanding heights of our culture to accuse of Republicans of being narrow-minded and bigoted, but the level of vitriol will be elevated to meet Trump’s frontal challenge.

His emphasis on borders, cultural coherence, law and order and national pride will engender a particular fear and loathing. It is an article of faith among the cultural elite that these priorities — despite what they consider the aberration of November’s election — are the relics of a rapidly disappearing America that can’t possibly represent the country’s future. Trump and his supporters beg to differ.

The culture war is dead; long live the culture war.


Majority of Americans Want Some Abortion Restrictions, Object to Taxpayer Funding, Poll Says

A majority of Americans are in favor of stopping taxpayer funding of abortions and banning most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, according to a new Marist poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus.

“There is a consensus in America in favor of significant abortion restrictions, and this common ground exists across party lines, and even among significant numbers of those who are pro-choice,” Carl A. Anderson, CEO of the Catholic organization Knights of Columbus, said in a statement.

“This poll shows that large percentages of Americans, on both sides of the aisle, are united in their opposition to the status quo as it relates to abortion on demand. This is heartening and can help start a new national conversation on abortion.”

When polled, 61 percent of Americans opposed using tax dollars to fund abortions within the United States, while 83 percent of respondents opposed subsidizing abortions outside of the United States.

When it came to the partisan breakdown of individuals polled, 41 percent of Democrats and 87 percent of Republicans opposed using taxpayers’ money to fund abortions.

Large majorities of the Marist poll’s respondents supported significant restrictions on abortion, including banning the practice after 20 weeks, unless the mother’s life is in danger.

The poll found that 85 percent of Americans supported some restrictions on abortion.

“It’s also worth pointing out, we have 74 percent of all Americans who support these [significant] restrictions and 77 percent of women who would support these restrictions,” Andrew Walther, the vice president of communications and strategic planning for Knights of Columbus, said in a conference call to reporters.

Walther added:

We’ve been doing this now going back to 2008, asking Americans what kind of restrictions they would support on abortion, and what we found here, as in previous years, was an overwhelming support for limiting abortion to at most the first three months of pregnancy, with substantial support for limiting it to cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother.

The Marist poll’s numbers, showing the majority of Americans support some sort of restriction on abortion, were released during the same week as the annual March for Life event, an annual pro-life event that meets in the District of Columbia.

Additionally, on Monday, Donald Trump reinstated a policy that specifies that federal funds designated for family planning can only be used to support foreign nongovernmental organizations that will not promote or perform abortions in foreign countries.

The Marist poll sponsored by the Knights of Columbus was conducted between Dec. 12 and Dec. 19, 2016. The survey included responses from 2,729 adults living within the continental United States and has a margin of error of ±1.9 percentage points.


Big brave liberal male hits a conservative woman at a women's march

Police have charged a Canadian man with assault after he was caught on video at the Edmonton, Alberta, Woman’s March punching a camera held by a female conservative reporter who said the camera subsequently hit her in the face.

Jason Dion Bews, 34, is charged with assault and uttering threats, CTV News reported Tuesday.

Sheila Gunn Reid, Alberta bureau chief for Rebel Media, was covering the Saturday march and said she tried to interview Bews, who became indignant — and soon violent.

“Go away,” Bews said to Reid, who was shooting video of Bews from her tripod-mounted camera. “Get out of my f***ing face. I will break your f***ing camera.”

A few women there attempted to calm things and apparently blocked Reid as Bews walked off through the crowd — and Reid was furious: “Hey, don’t tell me to calm down! That guy just hit me in the face!”

One woman told Reid, “You deserve to be angry. You deserve to be angry. But I’m trying to make sure nothing else happens.”

Reid in a later video report said that the “left-wing women there helped him get away,” adding that “there was one woman there who said I was the problem. There was another man who said I provoked it all. There was another who said I incited it. One woman even blocked my camera with her sign so I couldn’t film the little puke coward running way.”

“Yeah, I’m the problem you victim-blamer!” Reid told those protecting the man in the raw video.

Ezra Levant, founder of the Rebel, told Metro News “there’s something weird going on at a women’s march when a man assaults a woman and the reaction of the assembled marchers is to assist him in scurrying away and to denounce the victim.”

CTV News reported earlier that Bews spoke with the network on Monday and said he talked to police and that he wouldn’t face charges.

CTV News added that Bews said he didn’t hit Reid in the face, just her camera — and that he doesn’t believe the camera hit Reid.

Bews added to the network that apologized via a tweet and said he’d replace the camera — and that he and his wife left their home due to threats via texts, phone calls and emails.

Two people who said they saw the incident disputed Reid’s claim and said she was never hit.

“He just hit the camera off the tripod … [he] didn’t actually assault her in any way,” a self-proclaimed witness who called herself Tiana said in a Facebook video.

“Had she been hit, there would have been a reaction,” said the other self-proclaimed witness, who called himself Ezra.

Bews’ violent behavior drew scorn from a couple of female Canadian columnists.

Danielle Paradis wrote that his “few short moments of ego” threw the work of the Women’s March into jeopardy:

The fact is the behaviour Bews displayed on the tape isn’t OK and you’d think a participant at a women’s march would have the wherewithal to know why.

When the cause is women’s rights that means you respect all women at the rally — whatever their reasons for attending, whatever their demeanour. If that’s too difficult, maybe you don’t belong there.

The sad irony is that it’s often violence against women that causes trouble at progressive events. In the hundreds of Occupy camps, incidents of violence and sexual assault against women were well reported. Indeed, reports of men raping or groping women in the tents in New York’s Zuccoitti Park was a part of the justification for shutting down the camps.

Candice Malcolm wrote that “modern feminism is no longer an inclusive movement to protect and improve the lives of all women.”

New feminism has morphed into an anti-Western, anti-conservative ideology. It aims to undermine men—especially straight, white men—and fight against “the patriarchy,” that is, the traditional institutions of society, like the family, marriage, religion and even the economy.

Malcolm added: “Some men — weak men like Dion Bews — use violence to intimidate and assert power over women.”

And new feminism bizarrely enables this behaviour, ironically, even a rally for women’s rights. Both at the rally, and later online, many on the left have rushed to defend Bews.

These leftist feminists have shown their true colours. They’ve demonstrated that feminism isn’t about women, it’s about politics – where a feminist man, even a violent one, comes ahead of a conservative woman.

This is the regressive left, the real source of violence and intolerance in our society.

TheBlaze’s Mike Opelka interviewed Reid on the radio, and she said Bews is a “beta male” who on Tuesday “turned himself in out of complete and utter fear.”


Ultrasound: The Anti-Science Left's Bugaboo

Abortion extremists are the new Luddites.

Remember Ned Ludd from your grade-school history lessons? He was the Occupy Wall Street agitator of his time — a phantom leader of early 19th-century British textile workers who vindictively smashed spinning jenny power looms to bits in a desperate bid to halt technological progress.

Now, it's radical feminists hysterically stoking fear and loathing of machines. Revolutionary developments in sonography have endangered their agenda of unrestricted abortion on demand, at all times, no questions asked. The popular diagnostic tools that give parents and doctors around the world an increasingly vivid window to the womb fundamentally undermine Planned Parenthood's dehumanizing propaganda.

With more and more pregnant women over the past three decades changing their minds about abortion after seeing and hearing the life growing inside of them, the peeved pussyhat brigade is on a mission:

Ultrasounds. Must. Be. Stopped.

The latest salvo in the wimmin's war on sinister sonograms? It's a doozy of a screed this week published by Moira Weigel, "writer and a doctoral candidate in comparative literature at Yale University," in the Atlantic Monthly magazine originally titled, "How the Ultrasound Pushed the Idea that a Fetus is a Person."

What a patriarchal jerk, that insidious Mr. Ultrasound is, pushing around such sexist lunacy as the idea that unborn babies are alive!

The original subheading of the article is even better (er, worse): "The technology has been used to create an imaginary 'heartbeat' and sped-up videos that falsely depict a response to stimulus."

Weigel sneered that "there is no heart to speak of" in a six-week-old fetus and used "heartbeat" in scare quotes to assert her scientific authority. She similarly employed those scare quotes to deride "life," "baby" and "baby bump."

After actual medical experts and parents exposed Weigel's Neanderthal ignorance of basic embryology, the ridiculous claim was removed and a sheepish noncorrection correction appeared at the end of the biology denier's piece for the once-august Atlantic Monthly.

"This article originally stated that there is 'no heart to speak of' in a six-week-old fetus," the editors' note admitted. "By that point in a pregnancy, a heart has already begun to form. We regret the error." (Read it in smarty-pants "Saturday Night Live" character Emily Litella's "Neeever mind" voice for full effect.)

Next in the anti-science Atlantic's investigative series: How X-rays pushed the idea that humans have skeletons! How microscopes pushed the idea that microorganisms exist! How electroencephalograms pushed the idea that human brains send electrical impulses! A deep dive by the intrepid Weigel into the world of "imaginary" bones, bacteria and beta waves will no doubt yield a Pulitzer nomination if not a Nobel Prize.

Curiously, Weigel raised no objection to the appalling use of ultrasound by Planned Parenthood operatives to harvest unborn baby parts. In 2015, the Center for Medical Progress exposed how Dr. Deborah Nucatola, the abortion giant's senior director, boasted of using "ultrasound guidance" to improve the quality of coveted organs ("a lot of people want liver"). Ultrasound machines helped their harvesters "know where they're putting their forceps" to score better prices.

"We've been very good at getting heart, lung, liver," Dr. Nucatola chirped, "because we know that, so I'm not gonna crush that part, I'm gonna basically crush below, I'm gonna crush above, and I'm gonna see if I can get it all intact."

Ironically enough, we don't need ultrasound to see quite clearly, through the ghoulish words and barbaric deeds of abortion zealots like Quack Doctor Wanna-be Weigel and Dr. Nucatola, that having a heart doesn't always guarantee humanity.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


26 January, 2017

The NYT on the Bible

We read:

"But the deep divide over gay rights remains one of the most contentious in American politics. And the murder of 49 people in an Orlando gay club has, in many cases, only exacerbated the anger from Democrats and supporters of gay causes, who are insisting that no amount of warm words or reassuring Twitter posts change the fact that Republicans continue to pursue policies that would limit legal protections for gays and lesbians.

In the weeks leading up to the killings, they pointed out, issues involving gays were boiling over in Congress and in Republican-controlled states around the country. More than 150 pieces of legislation were pending in state legislatures that would restrict rights or legal protections for sexual minorities. A Republican congressman read his colleagues a Bible verse from Romans that calls for the execution of gays. Congress was considering a bill that would allow individuals and businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian couples"

Romans chapter 2 in fact says that we should not judge homosexuals and other sinners.  It is for God to punish them


Act of mass petulance: spare us the shallow arbiters of morality

Yesterday’s “women’s marches” in the US and around the world were, at their core, anti-democratic. This was just mass petulance.

Sure, everyone has a right to protest. But this wasn’t about anything President Donald Trump has done: he was only installed on Friday.

These protesters were stomping their feet at the outcome of the election. Everyone hates losing and elections are important but there are always losers.

Smashed windows and burned cars on Friday, chanting crowds and ranting pop stars on the weekend, but Trump is still President.

We’ve had silly debates about comparative crowd sizes (parade envy?) and fake news stories about a bust of Martin Luther King being moved from the White House (it wasn’t) and, yes, some of this nonsense has been fuelled by the President himself.

But such media sideshows, aimed at mocking Trump, tend to fuel his support outside the Beltway. They amplify his core message — the theme of his inauguration address — that an outsider has moved in to shake up the Washington political and media establishment.

There wasn’t one clear policy or action the weekend protesters were rallying against. They are united against the Trump presidency — the vibe of the thing.

Fair enough — they all have the right — but the time to stir up opposition to Trump was in the lead-up to the election. A mass movement of people marching to polling booths in Democrat states won by the Republican nominee would have made a difference.

Not enough of them were enthused about Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton, who was, at best, pedestrian, offering only more of the same.

So the political imperative for the protests was belated, on the one hand: the election is done. And it was premature, on the other: Trump hasn’t done anything yet.

There was, of course, the feminist element — these were women’s marches. Clinton lost the election to a man who, on any objective level, lacked the political experience or character traits to make him an ideal candidate.

The fact Trump was able to win was an indictment on Clinton herself and her campaign. She chose to run in large part on identity — vote for me because I am a woman — and this didn’t work with enough women, let alone men. Yet she is offered up as the martyr.

(Many Trump critics point to the popular vote — winning that has never been the aim of the US presidential contest. So campaigns are tuned to winning individual states rather than a national majority. Who knows what the result would have been with different campaigns aimed at winning the popular vote. It is disingenuous and weak to try and change the terms of the contest after losing it.)

In the past Trump has said and done many things that most of us would regard as crass and sexist. Even during the campaign some of his references to Clinton were, to use a word, deplorable.

Yet if feminists want to rail against injustices to women, there are far more pressing issues around the globe than oafishness in the Oval Office; especially when you recall that Clinton defended her own husband when he was exposed for exploiting and harassing women from that same presidential office.

Whether it is female genital mutilation, forced marriages, rights to education and work, domestic violence and even the right to show faces in public, there is no shortage of outrageous subjugation of women around the world, with elements of it replicated even in Western democracies such as the US.

Protest against that.

Now we have Hollywood actors who live behind secure walls in multi-million-dollar mansions decrying increased fortification of the US border. And the stars of shallow, violent and amoral movies offer themselves as public arbiters of political morality. Spare us.

This is no defence of Trump — he has, after all, been a birther. But the protesters claim moral superiority. They claim higher aspirations.

If Trump grates with you — wait for him to do something in office and then criticise it.

Better still, if you are a US citizen, mobilise next time to
vote for a better candidate in order to defeat him.

That’s how democracy works.


Israel approves huge expansion of West Bank settlements

They no longer have to fear Obama

JERUSALEM — Israel announced a bold plan on Tuesday to construct 2,500 housing units in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, a decision made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just two days after he spoke with President Trump.

The move appears to be a clear sign that the Israelis no longer fear American criticism of settlement construction, which is condemned by most of the world.

For eight years, Netanyahu and his right-wing allies bristled at the harsh condemnations of settlement growth by the Obama administration, which referred to the Israeli communities as “illegitimate” and “an obstacle to peace.”

Trump, however, has signaled a more accommodating stance toward Israel. He has called for moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, a city claimed as the capital of both Israel and a potential future Palestinian state. Trump’s pick for U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is a hard-line opponent of the two-state solution and a supporter of the settlement enterprise in the West Bank.

The Jewish settlements have grown to house more than 400,000 Jewish residents in the West Bank and more than 200,000 in East Jerusalem. The settlers believe that they are living on land granted to them by God and won in military victories against Arab armies hostile to the Jewish state.

Just days after President Trump entered the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lifted a ban on construction of new settlements in East Jerusalem. (Reuters)
“We’re building — and will continue to build,” Netanyahu said Tuesday.

Netanyahu’s promise to grow the settlements comes a little more than a week after diplomats from 70 countries met in Paris and criticized settlement building as a threat to a two-state solution. In December, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution condemning the settlements, and Secretary of State John F. Kerry spoke out against them in a speech after the U.N. vote.

Asked at his daily briefing whether Trump supported the newly approved construction, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that “Israel continues to be a huge ally of the United States,” and Trump “wants to grow closer with Israel to make sure it gets the full respect that it deserves in the Middle East.”

Referring to a Monday announcement of a February meeting with Netanyahu, Spicer said, “We’ll have a conversation with the prime minister.”

Lior Amihai, a leader of the Israeli watchdog group Settlement Watch, said the 2,500 units represented the largest expansion since U.S.-led peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel broke down in April 2014.

 A view of construction work in Givat HaTamar neighborhood of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Efrat in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. (David Vaaknin/For The Washington Post)
Amihai cautioned that the announcement of future homes for the settlers did not guarantee fast-track construction. For the units to be built, the government needs to publish tenders and accept bids from builders.

But the potential sites could carry deep political resonance in the United States.

About 100 of the possible new units are in Beit El, a West Bank settlement supported by Friedman. The family of Trump’s son-in-law and newly appointed White House adviser Jared Kushner has donated to the charities that support Beit El.

Palestinians called the Israeli move a possible sign of more vigorous settlement construction.

“It is evident that Israel is exploiting the inauguration of the new American administration to escalate its violations and the prevention of any existence of a Palestinian state,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the Israeli plans undermine efforts to bring peace to the Middle East and will promote extremism.

The spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, called on the international community to take a “real and serious position” against Israel’s plans.

Jordan’s information minister, Mohammed al-Momani, said the settlement plan “deals a tough blow to efforts to revive the peace process.”

The Europeans also expressed their concern. “It is regrettable that Israel is proceeding with this policy, despite the continuous serious international concern and objections, which have been constantly raised at all levels,” the European Union’s diplomatic service said Tuesday.

During the Obama administration, settlement construction announcements came under increasingly bitter criticism, with the State Department suggesting that the moves undermined Middle East peace and raised questions about Netanyahu’s true commitment to a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

“We are returning to normal life in Judea and Samaria,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement announcing the plans, using the biblical terms for the West Bank.


Destructive political correctness about Australian Aborigines

The meat industry’s spirited attempt to persuade Australians to unite around a plate of lamb has come unstuck. Meat and Livestock Australia’s annual Australia Day campaign has ditched Sam Kekovich’s familiar rants against the long-haired tofu-munchers and the anti-Australianism that has infected our national day.

Instead, they’ve gone for diversity and inclusion. Never mind terra nullius; surely we all agree that there’s nowhere better for a barbecue.

The keepers of indigenous rage are furious. Nakkiah Lui ­demands “a more accurate ­portrayal” of history that includes state-enforced genocide, segregation, oppression, that sort of thing. Luke Pearson on SBS’s ­taxpayer-funded platform says accuracy would be improved by feeding Aboriginals meat laced with strychnine.

Welcome to the dismal world of identity politics, where history is not a quest to discover shared truths but a loaded weapon to avenge ancestral wrongs.

Stan Grant blundered into this fatalistic territory 15 months ago when he was invited to speak to the motion “racism is killing the Australian dream” at a debate ­televised by the BBC.

Racism was “the very foundation of the dream”, Grant said. “When British people looked at us, they saw something sub­human … we were ?y-blown, Stone Age savages.” Grant discovered the last quote in a satirical essay by Charles Dickens, The Noble ­Savage. Dickens, like Meat and Livestock Australia, made the ­mistake of using irony, a rhetorical device lost on today’s readers.

Grant was warming to the theme. “Every time we are lured into the light, we are mugged by the darkness of this country’s ­history,” he said.

The speech was widely viewed on the internet and praised by ­lovers of historical misery porn. The Sydney Morning Herald compared him to Martin Luther King.

Yet it was a speech that puzzled many of us who attended the event, including a businesswoman from India, who struggled to recognise her adopted country in Grant’s dismal description. She knew Australia as a land of opportunity and redemption, an experience common to most ­migrants since 1788, and possibly before.

Grant has developed his own misgivings about the speech, or at least its reception on the activist fringe. “That so many have sought to break my words into pieces and deploy only those that best suit them speaks of the age of the ­politics of identity,” he writes in a self-reflective contribution to Quarterly Essay.

He fears he may have perpetuated “a lazy narrative” of a people paralysed by history, unwittingly obscuring the true story of individual triumph against adversity.

The essay will make uncomfortable reading for the ­merchants of intergenerational victimhood; the notion that ­ancestral trauma is a debilitating inherited condition. Present damage caused by historical wrongs became a fashionable cause in Canadian indigenous politics in the 1990s, and Kevin Rudd’s acclaimed apology to indigenous Australians unwittingly encouraged its importation to Australia.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner Tom Calma called for the healing of “cumulative trauma” in a 2008 report, Beyond the Apology.

Indigenous Australians “have experienced trauma as a result of colonisation, dispossession and dislocation, as well as the trauma of ongoing racism, family violence and other events”, wrote Calma, citing as his authority a little-known emeritus professor by the name of Judy Atkinson.

The past cannot be changed, and memories of the past are ­disputed. Some may indignantly believe that Australia’s racist past has been censored. Others feel equally aggrieved that our ­colonial settlers have been defamed and that their gifts to us — the rule of law, stable institutions and the spirit of progress — are too frequently ignored. At any rate, having decided that indigenous Australians are prisoners of ­history, human rights activists have little idea how they might be released. A heartfelt public ­apology clearly isn’t enough.

What’s needed, wrote Calma, are “inclusive and holistic healing approaches’’, counselling, group therapy, yarning circles and healing circles, residential programs, retreats and — naturally — monetary compensation.

In his eagerness to correct an abstract historical injustice, Calma ignores a practical lesson of history; throwing money at a problem generally makes it worse.

Besides, those who define ­Aboriginals as victims of historical injustice have no interest in ­resolving the matter. Grievance is the fuel that powers identity ­politics and the cause that keeps the indigenous elite employed.

Hence the constant inflation of their demands. Rudd’s apology, the one John Howard wisely declined to deliver, was never going to be the end of the matter. Nor will constitutional recognition, in the unlikely event that a referendum ever gets off the ground.

Now they want a treaty — ­between whom hardly matters, nor what the treaty should say — so long as it affirms the victimhood of the permanently oppressed and shames their oppressors.

Grant, who spent some of last year touring the country as a member of the federally funded Referendum Council, admits to feeling “suffocated” by the “sti?ing and demoralising” world of indigenous affairs. “It is too easy to become consumed to the point that one loses all perspective,” he writes. It is hard to move beyond grief when you are locked in a cycle of “sorry business … a monotonous drumbeat of funeral marches”.

“Remembrance doesn’t necessarily stop the past repeating; sometimes it may even ­impede reconciliation and true justice. It is right to remember, but is it also right to forget?”

Grant hopes his essay will destroy the belief that indigenous Australians are helpless victims and challenge the attitude that success is not “black”. Indeed, his journey from an itinerant, working class, regional background to a respected international career in journalism shows that ­redemption for all Australians lies within our own grasp. “What emerges is, in many ­respects, a typical economic ­migration story,” he writes. ­“Migrants look to what they have built, not what they have left ­behind.”

If anything is killing the ­Australian dream it’s not racism but the identity politics that leads to what US writer David Reiff ­describes in his latest book as “the overvaluing of collective memory and the undervaluing of history”.

Far from ensuring justice, says Reiff, it is “a formula for unending grievance and vendetta”.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


25 January, 2017

Fake politics

Fake news has been a hot topic recently. All sides of the political sound and fury surrounding the recent presidential election have leveled charges and counter-charges against their opponents in this regard. Democrats, embracing a newfound, touchingly naive faith in the CIA and the other agencies of the so-called intelligence community, have claimed that the Russians hacked the Democratic strategists’ electronic files, released the information gained thereby, and hence influenced the election in Trump’s favor, costing Clinton the victory she so amply deserved.

Republicans have responded that such claims at best evince sour grapes and an attempt to shift the public’s attention from the substance of the revealed messages to the identity of the messengers who allegedly made them public. At the same time, libertarians and others have called attention to the fact that the government itself is and long has been a leading, if not the leading, propagator of fake news—sometimes called simply propaganda—in its various attempts to sway public opinion and diminish resistance to its schemes for aggrandizing its own power and enriching the crony capitalists on whom it relies for its principal financial support, especially during the electioneering season.

Fake news is as old as news itself. Political reporting in particular has always served as a tool of those who hold or seek to gain a grip on power. Respectable news sources, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, are not and never have been strangers to the distribution of false, twisted, or selectively partial and slanted reports. Less prestigious news outlets have also played the game. Perhaps the only new development on this front recently is the use of the Internet to spread fake news quicker and farther than the old media could. The news cycle revolves constantly now, and hence news, true and false, is placed before the public on an instant, worldwide scale as never before.

A little-noticed aspect of this ongoing activity relates to the matter of “failed polices.” Government’s critics constantly harp on allegations of such failures in an attempt to sway public opinion in favor of throwing the (current) rascals out and replacing them with the critics’ preferred rascals. Revelations of “scandals,” whether personal or managerial, provide especially useful allegations in the world of fake news.

Thus, for example, critics of the government’s so-called drug war(s) constantly allege that these efforts have failed to stem the use and trafficking in such forbidden fruits and therefore ought to be modified or abandoned. Such criticism, whether well founded or not, however, falls victim to the assumption that the policy has failed merely because it has not halted or even reduced drug use and trafficking.

But the policy, at least at the federal level of government, has not been altered substantially or abandoned in response to such criticism, and the reason it has proved so durable is that it has decidedly not failed insofar as its principal warriors are concerned. The drug war has brought tremendous infusions of money and power into the hands of its conductors, who would be crestfallen indeed if their effort had succeeded in reducing the use and trafficking they purport to be targeting. Such success would remove the foundation that supports their hold on money and power and hence would prove personally devastating to them, however desirable it might seem to be in the abstract.

Once one has come to understand this reality, one sees immediately the parallel between fake news and fake policy making and implementation. In short, the government’s alleged purpose—winning the drug war, suppressing foreign enemies of the American people, saving the public from harmful pharmaceuticals and medical devices, you name it—is a fake, a mere public-relations or propaganda cover for the real purpose, which is to empower and enrich government officials and their pals in the private sector. Seen in this light—somewhat as Bruce Yandle has taught us with his lovely bootleggers-and-Baptists model—one realizes that a very large part of everything the government does is derived from fake politics, from false characterizations or appealing cover stories that provide plausible rationales for government policies and programs whose true goals are quite different from those it advertises to the public in its quest to put the policies in place and keep them going, preferably with ever-increasing funding and an ever-larger bureaucracy.

Where government, politics, and policy implementation are concerned, we would be wise to remember that just as in the realm of often-fake news, things are rarely what they purport to be and, indeed, they are often the exact opposite.


Kellyanne Conway on Women's March: 'We...Frankly Didn't See the Point'

What did President Trump think of the women's march on Saturday, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway was asked on Sunday.

"I discussed it with him briefly," Conway told ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos. "We respect people's First Amendment rights but frankly didn't see the point. I mean, you have a day after he's uplifting and unifying. And you have folks here being on a diatribe where I think they could have requested a dialogue. Nobody called me and said, hey, can we have a dialogue?

"And you have celebrities from the podium using profanity-laced insults. You have a very prominent singer who is worth hundreds of millions of dollars not going over to women shelter here in D.C. to write a check, but instead saying that she thought of, quote, burning down the White House.

Conway was referring to Madonna, who told the women gathered in Washington: "Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House. But I know that this won't change anything. We cannot fall into despair...I choose love."

Madonna said some terrible things about President Trump, including sexual suggestions expressed with profanity.

Conway noted that the American people just held an election. "And a lot of what I heard from this march yesterday in Washington, we heard all through the election. And that whole messaging and their candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost. Twenty-nine to 30 million women voted for Donald Trump. Their voices are heard as well. They should be respected.

"I just thought they missed an opportunity to be about solutions and to really fight for those millions of women whose kids are trapped in failing school, who don't have access to health care, who don't have access to an economic, affordable life. And those are the -- those are the people that we're here for, the forgotten men, the forgotten women and their children.

"And I just thought it was such a contrast to have President Trump deliver an inaugural address that was so uplifting and aspirational and inclusive of America -- if you open your heart to patriotism, there's no room for prejudice, and then the very next day, you have these profanity-laced, threatening, vulgar comments coming from the podium.

"The whole celebrity thing didn't work for Hillary Clinton. She tried that in her campaign and it failed," Conway added.

According to the Associated Press, more than a million women (and men) turned out Saturday at demonstrations across the nation, apparently to oppose President Trump's agenda and to fight for "women's rights."

Appearing on CBS's "Face the Nation," Conway said Donald Trup "hears and sees a country that is divided."

"Donald Trump didn't divide the country," she said, "but as president, he has a great opportunity to help heal and unify it." She added, "He is going to be a president for all Americans."

And in a heated interview conducted by NBC's Chuck Todd, Conway again noted that "everything we heard from the these women yesterday happened on the watch of Barack Obama. He was president for eight years, Donald Trump has been here for about eight hours."


This Tweet From One Women's March Organizer Shows How NUTS The Left's Worldview Is

One of the four chief organizers for the massive Women's March that took place on Saturday is "Palestinian-American-Muslim racial justice & civil rights activist" Linda Sarsour. Sarsour, who also served as a Democratic National Convention delegate, was honored by President Obama's administration as a "Champion of Change"; fittingly, she also posed in Chicago with an alleged Hamas financier (fitting because Barack Obama used to give speeches in honor of Palestinian terror mouthpiece Rashid Khalidi).

So, what exactly drove Sarsour's ire during the Women's March? Here's a clue from 2014:

If you wonder why hundreds of thousands of women declared themselves "brave" for marching in favor of taxpayer-funded contraception while doing nothing for women abroad who live in abysmal circumstances, this would be it: a complete lack of perspective.

Perhaps one reason that Saudi Arabia is happy to pay for "maternity leave" is because they bribe their citizens not to rebel against the autocratic regime through massive welfare payments; perhaps another reason is because the government wants to encourage women to stay home rather than working. In Saudi Arabia, as The Week reports, women can't get a passport without the permission of a husband, father, or other male guardian; most Saudi women can't drive; Saudi women are prevented from wearing attractive clothing; go to public areas that are non-segregated; or even try on clothes at stores.

This is just another piece of evidence that a government big enough to give you goodies is big enough to take away rights. And it turns out that people who think that Saudi Arabia's maternity policies rather than their restrictions on female driving probably shouldn't be a guide to female freedom in the United States. But the left would prefer not to focus on such matters, since that would obligate them to favor Westernism rather than multiculturalism abroad and at home.


Pauline Hanson defends her call for a ban on the Burqa in Australia

A TRIPLE M [Rock radio] breakfast host launched into One Nation’s Pauline Hanson on Tuesday over her controversial stance of banning the burqa.

Ms Hanson, who has been pushing for a complete ban of the Muslim garment in recent months, as well as an inquiry into Islam as a religion, began the segment by asking the hosts a question.  “Do you like (the burqa)?,” she asked. “Do you wear one?”

Robin Bailey, who joined Triple M at the beginning of the year, took exception.

“You know what, I will say quite honestly, that is a representation for a group of people about their religion and you having a go at the burqa is like having a go at a Christian for wearing a cross,” Bailey said.

Ms Hanson laughed off the comparison. “The burqa is not a religious requirement ... countries around the world are now wanting to get rid of the burqa, we’re talking about the full face covering,” Ms Hanson said.

She told Bailey that she “couldn’t believe a woman ... believes a woman should be covered up from head to toe”.

Bailey fired back.  “I can’t believe a woman wants to have a crack at another woman about what she wears,” the host said.

Ms Hanson demanded: “Don’t pull the woman stuff on me.” “Just because I’m a woman and I’m complaining and I do not like it ... don’t try and shut me down because I’m having a go at a woman. I’ll have a crack at anybody.”

Ms Hanson told Bailey “you don’t understand the Islamic religion”.  “What are we doing, taking women back 2000 years?”

Bailey said: “No one is forcing ... in this country you are not forced to wear the burqa.”



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


24 January, 2017

One way Trump is different from European nationalists

History seems to be repeating itself in Europe. Brian Porter-Szücs below notes that European nationalists tend to be socialists -- exactly as Hitler was.  And he notes that Trump runs an opposite coalition -- between nationalism and capitalism. 

He does not seem to understand The Trump phenomenon or America generally, however.  He sees the Trump coalition as weak and unstable while the European coalition as strong.  From what we saw of Hitler, he may be right that the European coalition is strong but the Trump coalition could also be strong, given the different historical context in America.  Capitalism is much more traditional in America so any type of conservatism is likely to include support for capitalism

When comparing Europe and America, we frequently overlook differences that hide inside similarities.

There is no doubt that President-elect Donald Trump is surfing the same wave as European authoritarian nationalists like Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, France’s Marine Le Pen, Turkey’s Recep Erdo?an, Austria’s Norbert Hofer or Poland’s Jaros?aw Kaczy?ski.

The parallels are many. Yet, during this apparent moment of political convergence, the U.S. is diverging from Europe in one fundamental aspect. While Trump might resemble these European nationalists, he has tied himself to a Republican Party that is quite distinct from the parties they lead.

Authoritarian nationalism in Poland

Consider the case of Poland, where I am currently living and writing. Over the past year, the situation here has steadily deteriorated.

As recently as 2014, many were saying that Poland had entered a golden age, with greater wealth, stability and international prominence than ever. But in 2015, it all came crashing down with the election of the Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwo??, or PiS).

Since then, Poland has been censured by the European Union’s Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance and transformed from the EU’s exemplar of success to one of its biggest headaches. The formerly booming economy has slowed. The country’s credit rating has been downgraded. And the Warsaw stock market’s capitalization has declined by US$50 billion.

This authoritarian, nationalist movement is led by Jaros?aw Kaczy?ski. Kaczy?ski rules Poland with near absolute authority even though he is technically only an ordinary member of Parliament. He has installed a president and prime minister who are loyal to him, thus making the official offices of state subordinated to the leader of the ruling party – much as it was during the communist era.

Throughout most of 2016, the government openly defied unfavorable rulings from the constitutional court, a conflict that ended only when PiS installed its own obedient chief justice. New regulations restricting the media provoked a filibuster attempt by the opposition beginning in late December. The main opposition parties occupied the parliamentary dais, but PiS responded by holding a meeting of its caucus in another room and passing the legislation it wanted. Faced with threats of arrest, the opposition abandoned their protest on Jan. 12.

The state-owned media has become an unabashed propaganda outlet, with a bias not seen since the fall of communism. For example, on Jan. 15 the main TV station aired a “documentary” arguing that the recent parliamentary protests were a failed coup attempt with the goal of overthrowing democracy in Poland on behalf of unspecified foreign interests.

According to a recent IPSOS survey, only 25 percent of Poles believe that the state-owned media is trustworthy, and nearly all of them describe themselves as PiS supporters. An independent media still exists, but companies with state contracts are being pressured to pull advertising from media that oppose Kaczy?ski, and not sell opposition periodicals in their stores.

A massive and ill-planned educational “reform” has been pushed through. The main upshot will be the firing of thousands of teachers, setting the stage for an ideological purge of the profession. That’s necessary, because starting next fall students will be subjected to a new mandatory curriculum that emphasizes “patriotic education.”

PiS uses the slogan “Dobre Zmiany,” which means “Good Changes,” to encompass the move away from the norms of constitutional rule of law, pluralism and liberal democracy.

The same hatreds, the same promises

A comparison of the rhetoric of Kaczy?ski and Trump shows that they both come from the same ideological framework.

For example, on Jan. 10, Kaczy?ski was confronted with a loud protest during one of his speeches. Pointing to his opponents, he said “the day will come when Poland will once and for all free itself from all that, from the sickness that we see here. And no shouts, no screams, no sirens will change that. Poland will be victorious against its enemies, against the traitors.”

Both Trump and Kaczy?ski have appealed to explicit xenophobia. Both promise to return “greatness” to their country, even as their isolationism and extremism distance them from former allies. Both evoke memories of a lost era of job security and prosperity for industrial workers, and claim that they can bring those good days back. Most of all, both cultivate a worldview based on an existential struggle between themselves and a mysterious, conspiratorial network of enemies.

Even the path to power for both Trump and Kaczy?ski has been similar. Neither represents a majority, but both took advantage of constitutional quirks to transform extraordinarily tight electoral results into a victory.

In Poland, parties that get fewer than 5 percent of the vote get no seats in Parliament. Their votes are distributed proportionately among the larger parties. Because the left splintered into multiple parties, none of them got more than 5 percent and PiS’s 38 percent of the votes translated to 51 percent of the parliamentary delegates. As in America, a couple hundred thousand Polish votes cast differently would have led to a totally different outcome. Since the elections, PiS’s support has remained in the low to mid-30’s. That should give us some pause before we attribute either victory to profound cultural or sociological shifts.

Despite Trump’s unconcealed fondness for Russia, which is not usually an asset in Poland, the PiS government applauded his electoral victory. Kaczy?ski despises Putin and was happy to welcome U.S. troops to Poland on Jan. 12, yet his ideological affinity with Trump seems to be more important.

An essential difference

Despite all these similarities, there is an essential difference between the two leaders. Kaczy?ski, like his European counterparts on the far right, is genuinely hostile to capitalism.

On the European side of the Atlantic, “liberalism” has long been understood to encompass both free market economics and liberal constitutional democracy. PiS wants to expand the welfare state, lower the retirement age, outlaw commerce on Sundays and holidays and undertake a massive state-financed construction program.

The party’s hostile relation to the business community has sent the Polish stock market and the value of the z?oty to record lows. For Kaczy?ski, national freedom is what matters. Individual freedoms, including economic ones, are subordinate. As a result, most Polish businesspeople stand alongside civil rights activists in common opposition to the wave of far-right victories.

The contrast with the U.S. could not be more dramatic. Trump has named oligarchs, libertarians and Ayn Rand enthusiasts like Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson to cabinet positions.

The ability of the Republicans to bring together business interests with antiliberal populism is an impressive bit of ideological sleight of hand. If that stew can be kept in one pot, Trump will likely remain a formidable force, able to draw upon broad populist anger and vast financial resources. But it is hard to see how Trump will hold all that together.

The base that elected him is more closely aligned to their European counterparts than to the Republican leadership. This difference is crucial. Trump and Kaczy?ski are similar, but the latter is at the head of a coherent and committed movement, while the former is trying to ride two horses that won’t be going in the same direction for very long.

Perhaps the economic elites of the U.S. will make a compromise akin to that made by their peers in the 1930s, when business leaders in Germany reluctantly accepted fascist centralization and state control as the cost of maintaining their wealth and power. Most of Europe’s business elites today haven’t yet made this bargain, perhaps because they remember the consequences of that earlier deal with the devil. The decisions of their American peers will play a vital role in determining what happens over the next few years.


Netanyahu calls on Trump to unpick Iran nuclear deal

Israel pushed Iran’s nuclear programme to the top of President Trump’s foreign policy agenda last night, in the first phone call between the country’s leaders since Mr Trump’s inauguration.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, is hopeful that the new US administration will take a harder line on Iran. He has long criticised the 2015 Iran nuclear pact spearheaded by President Obama, which Mr Trump has pledged to “tear up”.

In a sign of the increased support Mr Trump appears willing to give to Israel, the White House said yesterday that it was at the “beginning” of discussing plans to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. The US, like most countries, has long kept its embassy in Tel Aviv to avoid taking sides in the dispute over the holy city, which is claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians.

Mr Trump has promised to move it, an action that Palestinian officials said would effectively end the peace process. Husam Zumlot, an adviser to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said: “For decades we’ve accepted that the road to peace goes through Washington. This will be the end of what you’ve been building for a quarter century.”

During last night’s phone call — described as a “very warm conversation” by Mr Netanyahu — the leaders agreed that peace between Israel and the Palestinians must be “negotiated directly between the two parties” and to “closely consult on a range of regional issues, including addressing the threats posed by Iran,” the White House said. Mr Netanyahu, who accepted an invitation from the president to visit Washington next month, said that there would be “no daylight between the United States and Israel” in their vision for the region.

At a cabinet meeting before the call, the prime minister had said: “I would like to make it clear, contrary to reports that I have read, that stopping the Iranian threat . . . continues to be a supreme goal of the state of Israel.”

He also made an unusual public appeal to Iranians in a video posted on Facebook on Saturday night. “You have a proud history. You have a rich culture. Tragically, you are shackled by a theocratic tyranny,” he said in the two-and-a-half-minute clip, recorded in English with Farsi subtitles.

Mr Netanyahu went on to mention the protests after the disputed 2009 election in which scores of Iranians were killed. “I’ll never forget the images of brave young students hungry for change gunned down in the streets of Tehran,” he said.

The message is unlikely to find a large audience in Iran, where Israel is not held in high regard. Instead it was a signal of Mr Netanyahu’s priorities in the Trump era. Israel considers Iran its main regional foe, both because of its nuclear work and its patronage of militant groups such as Hezbollah. Mr Netanyahu spent years threatening to carry out airstrikes against its atomic facilities and the issue came to dominate Israeli politics. He once answered a question about the high cost of apartments by invoking the threat from Iran.

These threats became moot in the summer of 2015 when Iran signed the nuclear pact with six world powers. The deal, reached after years of talks, offered Tehran relief from economic sanctions in exchange for strict limits on its nuclear activities.

Mr Netanyahu had strongly opposed the deal, the centrepiece of Mr Obama’s foreign policy. Its passage was a major diplomatic defeat and he quickly dropped the subject — until now.

On the campaign trail Mr Trump promised repeatedly to “tear up” the deal. His closest aides are similarly critical. Michael Flynn, his national security adviser, predicted that it would lead to a “large regional war.”

Jared Kushner, the president’s influential son-in-law, is also thought to oppose the agreement. The president said last week that Mr Kushner, whose family donates heavily to Israeli causes, would serve as his Middle East peace negotiator. The Justice Department ruled on Friday that his appointment as a senior White House adviser would not violate federal anti-nepotism laws.

Mr Trump’s cabinet nominees took a more restrained stance in their confirmation hearings earlier this month. James Mattis, the defence secretary, called it an “imperfect arms control agreement”. The president’s choice for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, wants to review the deal. Neither man supports tearing it up.

Analysts say it is unlikely that Mr Netanyahu will push to scrap the agreement altogether. Israeli spies have recently advised him not to: while they think that the deal is flawed, they also believe that it has delayed Iran’s nuclear programme and made it easier to monitor. The municipal planning committee in Jerusalem yesterday approved plans for 556 new homes in three neighbourhoods beyond Israel’s pre-1967 borders. The United Nations, and much of the world, considers such construction to be illegal.

The plans were originally tabled in December, days after the UN security council approved a resolution that condemned Israeli settlements, but Mr Netanyahu delayed the measure, afraid of how Mr Obama might respond.

Meir Turgeman, head of the planning committee, said it was no coincidence that the homes were approved on the first working day after Mr Trump took office.

“I hope an era has ended,” Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem, said after the vote yesterday. “From now on, we will continue to build and develop Jerusalem for the benefit of its residents.”

Mr Turgeman said that he would advance plans for thousands of other homes in the coming weeks.

Some of Mr Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition partners want to go even further. Naftali Bennett, leader of the pro-settler Jewish Home party, has already drafted a bill to annex Ma’ale Adumim, one of the largest settlements in the occupied West Bank. Such a move would prompt a furious reaction from the Palestinians and from many of Israel’s closest allies, particularly in Europe. The bill was scheduled for a cabinet vote yesterday but Mr Netanyahu postponed the debate.


Binyamin Netanyahu’s disagreements with President Obama were open and bitter, and most particularly so over the nuclear deal with Iran (Richard Spencer writes).

It is easy to forget how real the possibility of conflict with Iran was, whether stemming from an Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities or an American one, when Mr Obama took office.

Israeli leaders, and some American officials, were scathing of the attempts — led by the European Union — to negotiate with Tehran. However, back-channel talks were under way between the State Department and Iranian diplomats in Oman.

That eventually led to the deal under which most of Iran’s centrifuge programme would be dismantled and put in storage, and its stocks of low-enriched uranium transferred, in return for a gradual lifting of sanctions.

Mr Netanyahu was furious. He had publicly campaigned against any deal that did not scrap the nuclear programme altogether, most famously in 2012 when he used a cartoon of a bomb at the UN general assembly to illustrate his “red lines”. After the deal, he used an address to the US Congress to lay into President Obama, an unprecedented snub.

It all seemed too late. The American foreign policy establishment largely backed the deal and the debate has since focused on how far, and not whether, America and Iran will co-operate on a range of issues, such as fighting Islamic State.

With Mr Trump vociferously attacking the deal and appointing hardline supporters of Israel to key positions, Mr Netanyahu sees an opening, even though he probably knows the deal will not be completely ripped up.


Concerned About Anti-Israel Bias, Republicans Introduce Another Bill Targeting U.N. Funding

Republican lawmakers on Wednesday introduced yet another bill targeting United Nations funding, this time including a special focus on the U.N. Human Rights Council’s heavily anti-Israel agenda.

The bill introduced by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) aims to combat what they describe as “systematic bias and targeting of the Jewish state of Israel at the United Nations.”

It calls specifically for U.S. funding to be withheld until the president certifies that no U.N. agency or affiliated agency grants official status or recognition to any organization promoting or condoning anti-Semitism.

American taxpayers account for 22 percent of the regular budget of the U.N., plus almost 29 percent of the separate peacekeeping budget. The U.S. additionally provides billions of dollars more each year in “voluntary contributions” to a spread of U.N. agencies, ranging from the International Atomic Energy Agency to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

Under the new legislation, the Geneva-based Human Rights Council would be deprived of U.S. funding until it drops a permanent agenda item focusing on Israel and the Palestinian territories.

As CNSNews.com has reported, Israel is the only country out of 192 U.N. member-states that is the subject of a permanent item on the HRC’s agenda.

The item’s existence means that Israel is routinely condemned at every regular month-long HRC session – three times a year – irrespective of what crises and conflicts may be occurring anywhere else in the world.

When the HRC in 2011 held a review of its first five years in operation, the Obama administration sought to have the Israel agenda item removed. Although the move was unsuccessful, the administration chose not to vote against the final review report that left the item intact.

The Rubio-Cotton legislation says that until the secretary of state can certify that the Israel-centric item has been removed from the HRC agenda, the U.S. will be neither able to fund, nor run for a seat on, the council.

Also in the crosshairs is UNRWA, which has been dogged over recent years by allegations about associations with Hamas, and staff members’ posting of anti-Semitic messages on social media.

Established after the 1948 war launched by Arab nations against the newly-declared state of Israel, UNRWA is the only U.N. agency to deal exclusively with one group of refugees. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees is responsible for refugees from all other parts of the world.

The U.S. has long been UNRWA’s largest bilateral donor, providing it with $380.5 million in 2015. Since 1950, American taxpayers have accounted for more $4 billion in contributions to UNRWA.

In their bill, Rubio and Cotton make future U.S. funding for UNRWA contingent on the secretary of state certifying that no UNRWA official, employee, consultant, contractor (etc.) is a member of Hamas or any other U.S.-designated terrorist group; or has “propagated, disseminated, or incited anti-Israel, or anti-Semitic rhetoric or propaganda.”

Further, the secretary must certify that no UNRWA school, hospital or other facility is being used by Hamas or affiliated terror groups for operations, training, recruitment or fundraising

It also calls for independent audits to ensure no UNRWA resources are being diverted to Hamas or other terror groups.

“This bill simply puts into law what should be common sense,” Cotton said Wednesday. “Americans’ tax dollars should not fund anti-Semitic activities or nefarious efforts to undermine the legitimacy of Israel.”

“For too long, the world's worst actors have used the United Nations as a forum to point an accusatory finger at Israel and deflect from their own failings,” Cotton added. “That will stop only when America leads, stands on principle, and uses its considerable leverage to force true reform at the United Nations.”

Rubio said it was time the U.N. was “held accountable for targeting and singling out Israel while countries that actually threaten international peace and security – like Russia and China – go unchallenged.”

Other pieces of legislation already introduced in Congress this month seek to prohibit either assessed or voluntary U.S. funding for the U.N. – or both – or to tie future such funding to specific actions by the world body or to funding reports by the administration.

One, introduced by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) last week, would cut off all U.S. funding to the U.N. until last month’s U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel is repealed.

Another bill, the American Sovereignty Restoration Act introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), calls for an outright U.S. withdrawal from the U.N.

The Pew Research Center reported last fall that only 43 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of the U.N., compared to 80 percent of Democrats – the largest margin between the two measured by Pew in the 27 years it has polled the issue.


Obama was worse for freedom and peace than Bush was

On Tuesday, it was announced that President Obama would commute the sentence of Chelsea (nee Bradley) Manning, who was given 35 years in jail in 2013 for offences under the Espionage Act. Manning, then serving in the US army, delivered three quarters of a million classified documents to Wikileaks. WikiLeaks published them all online.

We should be happy for Manning; the sentence was extremely long. The power of the president to pardon citizens can be a humane one. And yet Manning’s commutation has a smell of hypocrisy to it. Commutations are usually applied to those who have spent a long time in prison and who are very unlikely to reoffend. Most of those granted commutations alongside Manning had been in prison since the 1990s, many on drugs charges. Manning has spent six years in custody, for a grave criminal offence, and has never expressed remorse. The commutation looks like a PR exercise, a cynical move to secure Obama’s place in the hearts of Western liberals who view Manning as a martyr to the cause of transparency.

The commutation seems especially cynical given Obama’s record on civil liberties. Upon taking office in 2009, he launched an unprecedented ‘war on whistleblowers’. In 2015 it was reported that he had brought prosecutions against nine people under the Espionage Act — more than double all previous presidents combined since that act was passed during the First World War. As one investigative reporter said, these prosecutions created a ‘chilling effect’ in officialdom.

Obama also shrouded his foreign policy in secrecy. He was the first president in history to carry out targeted killings of US citizens outside of warzones. And he did so using secret legal memos, which meant the legal basis for his decisions were never disclosed to the press or reviewed by a federal court. This was, as legal observers have pointed out, a ‘huge departure’ from US constitutional law. Through his targeted killing programmes, Obama dropped bombs in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Libya; he spread Bush’s ‘war on terror’ to more parts of the globe.

He was also a champion of detaining terror suspects without charge. In 2009 he signed executive orders mandating the closure of Guantanamo Bay within 12 months. These orders weren’t worth the paper they were written on. The so-called closure of Guantanamo involved transferring remaining detainees to prisons in their home countries or to US military or civilian prisons, rather than finally subjecting them to proper trials. Also in 2009 he called for a ‘preventative detention’ law that would allow the president to imprison people who had not been charged with a crime. This became reality under the National Defence Authorisation Act of 2012, which Obama personally authorised. Section 1021 of that act affirmed the authority of the president ‘to detain any person, including a US citizen, without trial until the end of hostilities against international terrorist organisations’.

Obama is also heavily into deporting immigrants. Much has been said of Trump’s anti-immigrant language; far less is said about Obama’s industrial-scale deportations. The Department of Homeland Secretary deported 414,481 people in 2014. Each year of the Obama administration involved more deportations than under any preceding president. Staggeringly, Obama is on track to deport more people than all previous presidents put together. He championed the use of the Priority Enforcement Programme, which allowed local law enforcement to check the fingerprints of the people they arrest against a federal database related to immigration. This basically turned local police officers into immigration officers, and increased arrests around the Mexican border.

Obama took some of the worst illiberal excesses of the Bush administration and made them legal and ordinary. And he always hid behind a shield of secret bureaucracy. Like many others, I did not want to see Chelsea Manning rot in prison. But for Obama to use this case to try to rewrite his own record on justice and liberty is an outrage. That so many so-called progressives are lapping it up is an indictment of their levels of critical thinking. What’s more, this commutation looks like little more than a final middle finger to those millions of people who thought Manning should remain in jail.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


23 January, 2017

Women’s March Organizer is a vicious Jew-hater with ties to Islamic Terror

Notorious Islamic Jew-hater Linda Sarsour is one of organizers of Saturday’s Women’s March. Ironic, of course, we have never seen Sarsour stand against the gender apartheid, honor violence, or the oppression and subjugation under Islamic law. No, what Sarsour agitates and incites against is the Jewish state and its people.

Born in 1980 in Brooklyn, New York, Linda Sarsour is a Palestinian-American community activist who has served as executive director of the Arab American Association of New York (AAANY) since 2005. She is also a board member of the Muslim Democratic Club of New York (MDCNY), and a member of the Justice League NYC.

An outspoken critic of Israel, Sarsour supports the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement, a Hamas-inspired initiative that uses various forms of public protest, economic pressure, and court rulings to advance the Hamas agenda of permanently destroying Israel as a Jewish nation-state.

Vis-a-vis the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict, Sarsour favors a one-state solution where an Arab majority and a Jewish minority would live together within the borders of a single country. She made clear her opposition to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state when she tweeted in October 2012 that “nothing is creepier than Zionism.”

Falsely maintaining that “Palestine existed before the State of Israel,” Sarsour seeks to help “bring back a Palestinian State for the Palestinian people.” To advance this agenda, Sarsour has tweeted images of fraudulent maps claiming to depict the “Palestinian loss of land” that supposedly occurred between 1946 and 2000.

As the head of AAANY, Sarsour has played a central role in pressuring the New York Police Department to terminate its secret surveillance of Muslim mosques and organizations suspected of promoting extremism or terrorism, and to curtail its use of “stop-and-frisk” anti-crime measures. In 2011 she worked in conjuction with Communities United for Police Reform, a coalition to advance the passage of the Community Safety Act (which expanded the definition of bias-based profiling and created an independent inspector general to review police policy in New York City). Sarsour also succeeded in pressuring City Hall to close New York’s public schools for the observance of the Islamic holidays Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

In May 2012 Sarsour tweeted that the so-called “underwear bomber,” an al-Qaeda operative who on Christmas Day 2009 had tried to blow up a Detroit-bound passenger jet with explosives hidden inside his underwear, was actually a CIA agent participating in America’s “war on Islam.”

In 2013 Sarsour campaigned for New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio. After de Blasio was elected, his office repeatedly featured Sarsour in press releases supporting the mayor’s positions on education and other matters. Moreover, his Mayor’s Fund pledged $500,000 to AAANY in 2016.

In a February 2015 appearance on Rachel Maddow‘s television program, Sarsour lamented that a nationwide epidemic of “Islamophobia” was responsible for “anti-sharia bills trying to ban us [Muslims] from practicing our faith,” “mosques being vandalized,” and Muslim “kids being executed” in the United States.

In August 2015 Sarsour spoke out in support of the incarcerated Palestinian Islamic Jihad member Muhammad Allan, a known recruiter of suicide bombers.

In October 2015, Sarsour posted on Twitter a photo of a young Palestinian boy clutching two stones as he stared down a group of Israeli soldiers, and labeled it “The definition of courage.” When numerous Twitter users, including Queens Councilman Rory Lancman, subsequently criticized Sarsour’s controversial post, she tweeted in response: “The Zionist trolls are out to play. Bring it. You will never silence me.”

On Melissa Harris-Perry‘s television program on December 12, 2015, Sarsour lamented the allegedly long list of “attacks on [Muslim] individuals and on mosques” that had been perpetrated by Americans who — by misperceiving all Muslims as potential terrorists — were themselves “engaging in terrorism against the innocent [Muslim] community that has nothing to do with [terrorism].”

Sarsour also scoffed at the notion of Muslim integration into American society: “We can’t change who we are. This is how we look [with Muslim attire]. We can’t integrate and assimilate…. We’re gonna look like this when we walk out into the streets of our cities when we’re traveling in this country.”

In 2015 as well, Sarsour co-founded MPOWER Change, “an online organization that enables [Muslims] to respond [to key events] in rapid, nationwide, coordinated ways as a community.”

According to CounterJihad.com, Sarsour “has attended numerous rallies sponsored by Al-Awda, promoted and solicited donations for their events, and … spoken at their rallies. Sarsour has also solicited donations for the Hamas-affiliated Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.


The fabulous wealth of the 'Oxfam 8'

by Jeff Jacoby

OXFAM GRABBED headlines on Monday with a report claiming that the world's eight richest men own as much wealth as the world's poorest 3.7 billion people — half of the planet's population.

The report was released in Davos, Switzerland, at the start of the World Economic Forum, an annual powwow of high-powered business and political leaders. The executive director of Oxfam International, Winnie Byanyima, seized the occasion to portray the gap between the world's superrich few and extremely poor many as a moral and social calamity.

"It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day," she said. "Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy." Oxfam's proposed solutions are the usual leftist nostrums: higher taxes, a "living wage" for employees, more government spending.

Headlines notwithstanding, Oxfam's "new" finding is the same-old, same-old it trots out every year. In 2014, Oxfam reported that the world's 85 richest people have as much wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest; in 2015, it shaved the number of multibillionaires to 80; in 2016, the number dropped again, to 62. Now Oxfam claims the world's poorest half is out-owned by just eight men.

To be sure, it's a striking statistic. It's also irrelevant.

The eight superbillionaires singled out by Oxfam are Microsoft founder Bill Gates, investor Warren Buffett, Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Spanish clothing magnate Amancio Ortega, Amazon creator Jeff Bezos, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, and Michael Bloomberg, the financial-services entrepreneur and former New York mayor.

Besides being unimaginably rich, the eight men have a few things in common that Oxfam doesn't dwell on.

To begin with, all eight men earned their extraordinary wealth. Through ingenuity, talent, and immense effort, they created enterprises that provide hundreds of millions, even billions, of human beings with goods and services that make life better, healthier, safer, and more affordable.

Moreover, the Oxfam Eight didn't grow their fortunes by preventing other people from growing theirs. Their wealth may equal that of half the people on Earth (though Oxfam's methodology is dubious), but the world's poor have been climbing out of poverty at the fastest rate in human history. Byanyima rightly bewails the fact that "1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day" — what she omits is that over the past 30 years, the number of people living in such extreme poverty has fallen by nearly 75 percent. Johan Norberg, writing in Spiked Review, provides hard numbers: Worldwide, an average of 138,000 people climb out of extreme poverty every day. Since 1990, the world's population has grown by more than 2 billion, yet the ranks of those in extreme poverty has shrunk by more than 1.25 billion.

It is, in Norberg's words, "the most important story of our time: Poverty as we know it is disappearing from our planet."

Just as capitalism made it possible for Gates, Zuckerberg, and the others to reach the highest rung on the economic ladder, it is making it possible for billions of men and women to climb up from the lowest rung. Oxfam's billionaires are richer than they used to be. So is almost everyone else.

The populist left is forever railing against wealth and those who earn it. Jeremy Corbyn, the British Labor Party chief, last week suggested the imposition of a maximum-wage law that would put a ceiling on the amount of money Britons can earn. But tearing down the rich has never yet succeeded in raising up the poor.

Of course, the super-wealthy ought to share their great fortunes. Not because wealth disparities are "obscene," as Oxfam says. And not because the economy is a zero-sum game, with the rich getting richer only as the poor get poorer. But as a matter of goodness and gratitude — the timeless moral principle that from those to whom much is given, much is required.

Oxfam's megabillionaires agree. They have all given vast amounts to charity, using their wealth to do good for enormous numbers of people in need, in danger, or in pain. Gates has donated more to charitable causes than anyone, ever. Buffett and Zuckerberg have pledged to give away more than half of their wealth to philanthropy, as have scores of other billionaires.

Wealth is good, and the more people who can create and earn it, the better. All decent people should worry about what the very poor lack. If you obsess instead about what the very rich have, you're doing it wrong.


One Step Too Far

One more day should not pass before the United States Congress votes to immediately halt all funding to the United Nations and end our membership in the U.N., largely comprised of our enemies, which falsely presents itself as an organization dedicated to worldwide freedom, liberty and "social justice" for all. Not only does the U.N. support terrorism, it is anti-American and anti-Israeli, and through U.N. schemes, like Agenda 2030 and "sustainable development", the U.N. promotes tyranny and the subversion of any mechanism for freedom, such as our U.S. Constitution, thus promoting the suppression of the unalienable rights of all mankind.

The U.N. claims that it seeks to create a peaceful world and protect human rights, and yet, many of the world's most troublesome and violent nations and human rights violators -- Russia, China, Indonesia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Cuba -- sit on the U.N. Human Rights Council. One should recall that the United States was removed from the U.N. Human Rights High Commission in 2001, in retaliation for the U.S.'s defense of Israel, an all-time high point for U.N. hostility towards the U.S.

U.S. taxpayers' money far too often is placed against American values and interests, whenever the United States gives it to the U.N. This occurs because the U.N. majority of votes is held by the undemocratic 57 member nations of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement, chaired by Iran from 2012 to 2015. And so, the U.N.'s World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, heavily funded by the U.S., was able to pass dual-use nuclear technology to Iran and North Korea, without batting an eye.

Did this promote peace? And does arming and supplying Hamas terrorists promote peace?

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees has embedded itself with Hamas terrorists, who have formed close ties with the Islamic State over the past two years, and rocket arsenals have been found numerous times in UNRWA's U.S. funded schools. UNRWA-provided construction materials are used in Hamas tunnels, which are staging areas for terrorist attacks that kill innocent Israeli citizens; and, the Leftist Obama administration must tacitly approve of this Palestinian initiative, since it has sent $380 million annually to the UNRWA.

In 2011, did the Durban III Conference in New York and the U.N. legitimization of the Palestinian recognition initiative promote peace or an OIC agenda?

Shortly after Durban III, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton noted: "You just don't read about it, you just don't hear about t in the media. But the pervasiveness of the anti-Zionism and anti-Americanism is there as an undercurrent -- all the time."

And if the December 23rd, 2016 UN Resolution 2334 is not one step too far for the American people, just how far will we go with the U.N.'s madness? Not much further, I suspect, especially once one looks at the U.N. Resolution 16/18, the Small Arms Treaty and Agenda 2030.

With the treason gene dancing nimbly through her mind daily in December 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton colluded with the 57 Islamic nations of the OIC to abrogate the First Amendment. They met in New York City to formulate a strategy that would convince the U.S. Senate to ratify U.N. Resolution 16/18, which criminalizes any criticism of Islam, essentially criminalizing free speech and a bedrock of our U.S. Constitution and our American heritage.

The Small Arms Treaty, adopted in April 2013, is another anti-American U.N. initiative aimed at the Second Amendment. It prohibits exporting conventional weapons, including personal firearms, to nations with poor human rights records. Since U.N. officials regularly fabricate "human rights abuses" against the U.S., this "treaty" would be a strong nuisance, if applied against us. Registration of all firearm imports down to the final purchaser is also demanded, which would be used as the next step towards private firearms confiscation and heavily resisted in America.

The U.N. currently strives to implement Agenda 2030, with its expected $3 to $5 trillion annual price-tag, and its undisguised plan for global socialism and fascism [i.e. corporatism]. Goal Ten calls on U.N. members and every single person worldwide to "reduce inequality within and among countries", which can only be made possible, according to the U.N., "if wealth is shared and income inequality is addressed". Basically, this confiscates Western wealth, shrinks their economies through Big Government policies and "redistributes" [gives] their money to authoritarian/ totalitarian Third World regimes, rather than their impoverished victims, keeping the tyrants in power.

Agenda 2030's premise that the world's current rate of consumption is "unsustainable" is based on fallacies straight out of Malthusian philosophy. The West does not have to reduce their consumption of everything -- meat, cars, electrical appliances, convenience foods, air-conditioning, or expansive and modest housing -- as suggest by U.N. globalists, in order that poor countries can have more and the world can achieve a "sustainable" balance. All that is required is keeping the independent spirit of freedom alive that opens the creative and innovative minds of men, which has always led to a prosperous reality.

Agenda 2030 will be forced on all the citizens of nations willing to use government coercion. Nowhere does it protect individual rights and the unalienable rights granted to all men by our Creator. Its 'Universal Declaration of Human Rights' absolutely denies individuals parental control over their children and the right to self-defense.

Thankfully, U.N. treaties, including the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, signed by any U.S. President do not hold any enforceable weight of law, even through "customary international law", without the U.S. Senate's imprimatur and a two-thirds majority vote, contrary to assertions by globalists, American leftists and Obama's State Department. And even then, the U.S. Constitution cannot be superseded by international law.

Is it any wonder that former U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced legislation every year he was in Congress to withdraw our membership in the U.N.?

All Americans, who wish to preserve freedom and liberty for their children's children and beyond, must eradicate the U.N.'s clear and present danger to the sovereignty and survival of the United States. We must fervently urge President Donald Trump and the 115th Congress to totally repeal the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 and expel the U.N. from the United States completely, releasing the $7.7 billion wasted on the U.N.'s validation of tyrants for better uses in America. And from this day 'til the end of time, let America stand only with those nations that are willing to bear any burden and fight the good fight against any foe to assure that future generations live in Freedom and Liberty.


Australia: Muslim Terror Attack in Melbourne

The malign influence of Islam again

Bill Muehlenberg

You will note that I used both the “M” word and the “T” word in my title – something that almost all of our authorities, leaders, politicians and police still refuse to do. As I said in my first piece on this horrible attack two days ago, there was plenty of evidence to suggest that Dimitrious Gargasoulas who drove his car into a crowd of people was a Muslim.

Before proceeding, let me point out the latest tragic news about this attack: we now have a fifth victim: a three-month-old baby. There may well be more deaths in the coming days due to this deliberate and atrocious attack on innocent men, women and children in a busy Melbourne shopping area. We need to keep the grieving families and loved ones in our prayers.

Since the initial attack on Friday afternoon there is even more evidence about who this guy is and what he believes. But from day one I and others were already compiling the growing list of indications of Islam at work. Those included:

-the allegation that he shouted “Allahu Akhbar” as he was wildly driving his car

-his burning of a Bible just before the attack

-his own claim on his own FB page where he said: “I am actually greek islamic Kurdish” [Kurds are Muslims]

-his rants on his FB pages about he and God dealing with the “dogs” – dogs of course are considered to be unclean in Islam, and the term is often used of the infidels

-his deliberate targeting of people with a vehicle, a by now quite common and bloody MO of IS

Yet for simply offering this data and asking relevant questions, I and others were attacked mercilessly. We were accused of being Islamophobic, of being fear-mongers, of stirring up trouble, of stereotyping people, etc, etc. And on top of this, the police had insisted almost immediately after the attack that this had nothing to do with terrorism.

In my first article I asked why this so often seems to be the case. All the evidence seems to indicate an act of terror, and an Islamic act of terror at that, yet the authorities insist from the very outset that this just cannot be the case. Why the desire to protect one political ideology, even though it puts so many people at risk?

And since my first report, we are now learning even more about the attacker. As one news report states:

Dimitrious Gargasoulas, 26, ranted about the Illuminati, called unbelievers ‘dogs’, and vowed to ‘have god’s laws re-instated’ in the weeks before the attack that killed four people. ‘I declare war on tyranny today, you dogs will have the option to either believe in me and his positive energy he offers and stay faithful to me or serve the one who enslaves you at his feet,’ he wrote on Facebook on Monday.

‘I offer freedom no work no bills just that we all keep faith and believe in the one god, the one higher being for the good and protect the energy that he gives with your heart. God bless everyone in the world it is about to change xoxo.’

He claimed to be ‘Greek Islamic Kurdish’ and a follower of Yazdanism, the native religion of the Kurds before the arrival of Islam, also know as the ‘cult of Angels’. ‘I know exactly how to take you DOGS down the power of knowing has revealed and I shall have GODS laws re-instated,’ he wrote last Saturday.

But one of the clearest pieces of evidence now comes from a close friend of his. The article continues:

A close friend said Gargasoulas’ rantings were driven by heavy use of the drug ice, and that he had recently converted to Islam. ‘He was a great guy but ice destroyed him. Then he converted to Muslim and changed very quickly. For over a month he’s been on edge,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

There you have it. Unless his close friend is a liar, or the media is just making this claim up out of thin air, we now have the smoking gun: he was a convert to Islam and this helped to push him over the edge. It is not the only factor of course, but as his close friend said, it was a significant factor indeed.

Undoubtedly we will learn even more about this guy in the upcoming days, and learn more about the Islam connection. In the meantime, I wonder if any of my critics will now relent and repent. For two days I have been attacked and hated on by all sorts of people for suggesting that the car terrorist may have been a Muslim.

Now we know that he was indeed a convert to Islam, and he had declared war on the infidels. So will any of my critics be apologising to me? Will they admit that they got things wrong in their zeal to defend Islam at all costs? I won’t be holding my breath on this.

Once again, let me make clear what I have been saying all along. Am I saying that Islam alone is the cause of this latest attack? No I am not. Am I saying his drug problems had nothing to do with this? No I am not. Yes we had known all along about his drug issues.

But it is not as if we should be forced to choose here, and insist that either he was drug-affected or Islam-affected. It is clear that he was greatly impacted by both. The truth is, ice makes everything worse. And the truth is, Islam makes everything worse.

They are both dangerous drugs. Neither should never be given a free run in the West, and both need to be closely examined, monitored and assessed for the harm that they may cause. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all of the terror attacks around the world over the past few decades have been committed by Muslims.

Our leaders, politicians and security forces need to decide whose side they are on here. Is the defence and protection of innocent citizens their top priority, or is a politically correct and dangerous fixation on exonerating Islam at all costs their number one priority?

I think many ordinary Australians and Westerners already know the answer to that question.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


22 January, 2017

Children are a joy and a great delight -- but not so much for feminists

That a woman of no great physical strength will fight like a lion to protect her children tells you something about the bond that forms between normal parents and their children.  So much so that a lot of parents are embarrassed by it.  When asked about childrearing, a mother will often stress the negatives rather than confess the great happiness that children bring.  Children give the happiness that drug users seek but do not find.  Foolish people frantically seek pleasures in all sorts of places when the key to happiness is right under their noses: children.

But children are a burden, too, right?  They can be.  A single mother bringing up children by herself has to be unusually capable and resourceful to come through the experience well.  But single mothers are well outside what humans have evolved for. For almost as long as we have been human, a mother was surrounded by  helpful others:  a husband plus two sets of grandparents. 

A husband took away much of the need to work so doing things with the children could be a fairly relaxed affair.  And whenever a mother needed time out -- to work or unwind, there were as many as four grandparents to help out with the childminding.  Often the grandparents did more of the child-rearing than the mother did. As a child, my son spent more of the day with his Nanna than with any other family member. And I won't mention aunts, uncles, siblings and cousins.  To this day, they often help out too.

And the scenario I have described still actually exists in most of the world and is not uncommon even in "modern" societies.

But some "independent" people in their wisdom think they can do without all that.  Their values are quite simply unwise. And to them children can be a great stress and a burden.  They make out of their greatest happiness their greatest burden.  They find that "independence" is not all it is cracked up to be.  Independence and support are basically opposites.  Anybody reading this might do well to think for a little while about whether their various connections with others could be strengthened.

And one of the greatest sources of the independence folly are feminists.  Contrary to all human experience, they even preach that men and women don't need one-another.  So some women are misled into missing out on children altogether.  Biology being what is is, however, most feminists do seem in the end to have a child or two.  And that's where the "fun" starts.  The "sisterhood" turns out to be surprisingly unhelpful to the mother concerned.  They may even scorn the mother concerned and call her a "breeder", a term of great contempt for them.  Children are just not their bag.

If there is a man consistently in the mother's life, that can be a big help but may not be. A strong bond between a man and a feminist is inherently unlikely.  So when children arrive the man may run, or at least distance himself.  So a feminist mother will generally be stuck in the stressful single mother scenario.  Her only salvation from that will be that she has retained enough connections with her parents for them to help.  But she will still be more burdened that she would have been in a traditional relationship.

Traditional relationships are wise.  They will of course have some conflicts but they are what has evolved to fit us best.  They are traditional because they do fit what we are.  But these days a lot of mothers don't even have a husband so they haven't even got their foot on the first rung of the ladder.

Why are they so foolish?  Again, feminism is a big part of the blame.  Feminists fill women's heads with lies such as women can "have it all" and even deceive women about how desirable "all" is.  They fill women's heads with fantasies about how wonderful is this "career" that men have. 

They fail to mention that a man enters onto a career as simply the best way to make money, not to achieve honour and glory.  And they fail to mention that a career entails spending the best part of most of your day in the company of people you don't particularly like and whom you would not seek out.  Sometimes you may get good feelings out of your career but all you usually get for all the stresses you endure is money. And many men would gladly throw it all away if they could reasonably do so.

And to cap it all, a feminist mother may well bear a boy.  And there is nothing more destructive of feminists delusions than a normal little boy.  90% of the time he will be indestructibly boyish.  Given him a choice of a dolly and a toy truck and 90% or more of the time he will choose the truck. I have two favourite real life stories about that:

* A woman has three boys in close succession, and being a kindly soul, she gave her boys toys that they chose.  She had however heard feminist ravings so wondered if they would like a dolly.  So she gave them one.  They promptly ripped it legs off, pulled its eyes out and threw it in a corner.  They decisively educated her about male/female differences.  She herself had a doll from her childhood which she greatly treasured. In a traditional society men fought the battles and women minded the children.  And that is now genetically encoded.

* I was at a party where there was a 4-year-old boy. I was talking to him about his toys and said to him, "Boys have trucks and girls have dolls, don't they? He promptly nodded.  But a more "modern" man nearby then said to the boy, "But boys sometimes have dolls too, don't they?"  The boy's reply was eloquent.  He simply said "AAARGH!".

And if the feminist mother bans her boy from having toy guns, he will simply imagine one into existence using a stick or something else as a prop.  So her boy will almost certainly disabuse a feminist mother of claims that males and females are born with no basic differences.

It probably eventually  occurs to a woman who has been "woke" out of feminist fantasies that maybe a husband might be a good idea after all.  But finding one at that juncture will make what is always a difficult task very difficult indeed -- JR.

Some Women Are More Equal Than Others

The Women's March doesn't actually include all women.

On Saturday, gaggles of anti-Trump feminists will descend on Washington to protest The Donald’s presidency. The Women’s March on Washington claims to “stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”

How curious, then, that march organizers disqualified from sponsoring the event a feminist organization whose founder is on record calling Donald Trump “a greedy, narcissistic, misogynistic, adulterer; a corporate mogul (who brags about not being able to be bought, but conveniently leaves out that he’s usually the one buying); a Godless, brainless reality TV star.”

Why the rejection?

Turns out the organization in question — New Wave Feminists (NWF) — is pro-life, and we all know that’s an unforgiveable sin on the Left. So when rabid pro-abortionists got wind that NWF was listed among event sponsors, they did what ultra-Leftist women do best: throw a fit. As one woman hysterically tweeted, “Intersectional feminism does not include a pro-life agenda. That’s not how it works! [Insert pouty face and foot-stomping here.] The right to choose is a fundamental part of feminism.” Unless you choose to be pro-life, that is.

Apparently, solidarity applies only if you support dismembering live babies and selling their body parts for profit. And diversity can go no further than choosing between D&E or suction abortions.

Quickly backtracking from any semblance of open-mindedness, the Women’s March issued a statement apologizing for the “error” and confirming that unless you favor killing babies, your diverse feminism is simply not identical enough to Planned Parenthood’s to be welcome. No free thinkers allowed. After all, the march takes place the day before the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Responding to the rejection, NWF founder Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa stated, “It appears that the [Women’s March on Washington] only wants to include a ‘diverse’ array of women who think exactly like them. That’s unfortunate, but we will not be deterred.” Despite being removed as a sponsor, the group will still march.

As will And Then There Were None (ATTWN), another pro-life group that received a similar rejection after first being approved as an event sponsor. You may recognize ATTWN founder Abby Johnson as the former Planned Parenthood director who left the abortion industry in 2009. Johnson shares on Facebook that after ATTWN applied to be an event partner, she received a phone call from a woman informing her that the application was rejected because all partners “must be supportive of women’s reproductive rights.” Johnson explains: “I told her that wasn’t a problem because we absolutely support reproductive rights, as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of individual human beings in the womb. I guess she didn’t like that, so she just repeated that we could not be a partner. … I finally asked, ‘So is this a pro-abortion March now?’ She hung up.”

Oddly, later that day ATTWN was approved and listed as an event sponsor — only to be disqualified once again later.

Of course, this hardly comes as a surprise. Groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL have hijacked the word “feminism” — and are even trying to hijack the word “women” — to advance their infant-dismemberment business. As The Federalist’s Joy Pullman notes, “[Feminist Susan B.] Anthony’s legacy has become largely a cover for people who profit from killing other humans and selling their dissected body parts for profit. So much for human rights. … [T]he decline in women identifying themselves as feminists has directly coincided with leading feminists' defenestration of pro-life women to obsess almost exclusively over abortion. Making abortion the core of the women’s rights movement isn’t helping.”

Indeed, nearly 40% of women believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, according to the Pew Research Center. With 40% of women unwelcome, Saturday’s event can hardly be called a “Women’s March.”

Turns out that to abortion-fixated females, equality looks good on paper. But when it comes to reality, they believe some women are more equal than others.


Episcopalian hatred of Donald Trump

For years, the Washington National Cathedral, an Episcopal parish with a dual role as a civic gathering place, has hosted a prayer service for the newly sworn-in president. But keeping the tradition this year has caused an uproar among Episcopalians opposed to President-elect Donald Trump.

It’s the latest example of the backlash against religious leaders, artists, celebrities and other participants in events surrounding the inaugural.

The cathedral for the largely liberal denomination will host an interfaith prayer service on Saturday, the day after Trump takes office.

Bishop Mariann Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington wrote in a blog post that while she shared “a sense of outrage at some of the president-elect’s words and actions,” she felt an obligation to welcome all people without qualification, especially those who disagree and need to find a way to work together.

That role “requires a willingness to put ourselves in places that make us uncomfortable,” Budde wrote.

Episcopalians critical of the decision were also upset to learn that the cathedral choir, drawn in part from local Episcopal schools, would sing at the inauguration before the ceremony started, and that the interfaith service the next day would not include a sermon. They saw a missed opportunity to speak out against Trump’s proposed temporary ban on Muslim immigrants and other policies, his calling Mexicans rapists and his remarks about grabbing women’s genitals.

Organizers for past services have said the presidential inaugural committees have chosen the preacher, and Trump chose not to have one this year.

Budde said most Episcopalians who have contacted her about the service “are dismayed, disappointed and angry.”

The Very Rev. Randolph Hollerith, the cathedral dean, defended the decision to participate in the ceremonies. “Our willingness to pray and sing with everyone today does not mean we won’t join with others in protest tomorrow,” he said in a statement.

The emotional dispute within the church mirrors the broader fight about the morality of taking part in inaugural events this year, which has stretched across the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, a Bruce Springsteen cover band, the Radio City Rockettes and the marching band of historically black Talladega College in Alabama. Groups participating in inauguration events have said they viewed their role in part as serving the country and supporting democracy, not giving an endorsement.

Broadway star Jennifer Holliday, who backed out as a performer following protests from her gay and black fans, said she was pained by the reaction.  “How could I have this much hate spewing at me, and I haven’t even done anything? I guess it’s not like those old days when political views were your own and you had freedom of speech,” she said. “We live in a different time now and a decision to go and do something for America is not so clear-cut anymore.”

Some clergy invited to offer prayers at Friday’s swearing-in have also faced criticism. New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who will read from Scripture at the inaugural, said he told critics he had a “sacred responsibility” to participate.

“Had Mrs. Clinton won and invited me I would have gone, too. It’s not the person. It’s the office, right?” Dolan said on Sirius XM’s Catholic Channel last week.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, who will offer a prayer near the end of Friday’s program, said, “I believe that all of us should pray for his great success, because his great success means our great success.”

But critics contend Trump will be a president unlike any other, because of his policies and vulgarity, so traditions surrounding his inauguration should not hold. The Rev. Gary Hall, who retired in 2015 as dean of the National Cathedral, noted that the church was envisioned as a Westminster Abbey for the U.S. It has long been the site of national events, hosting inaugural interfaith prayer services, presidential funerals and national prayers of mourning, including a ceremony with evangelist Billy Graham three days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

But Trump’s “xenophobia and misogyny,” among other behavior and proposed policies, have been “outside the bounds of all mainstream norms” and the church should not appear to bless him, Hall wrote.  “We cannot use the words, symbols, and images of our faith to provide a religious gloss to an autocrat,” Hall wrote.

The head of the Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, responded to the controversy over the cathedral with a statement urging all to pray for Trump and all civic leaders. “Prayer is not a simplistic cheer or declaration of support,” he wrote, but can also “ask God to intervene and change the course of history, to change someone’s mind or his or her heart.”


We need freedom, not human rights

There's nothing to fear from repealing Britain's Human Rights Act

Between Christmas and New Year, the prime minister, Theresa May, announced that the Tories would fight the 2020 General Election on a pledge to repeal the Human Rights Act (HRA). She said she hoped to ‘lift and shift’ the rights bestowed by the European Convention on Human Rights, giving the Supreme Court the final say on how these rights are applied.

This isn’t the first time the Tories have made this pledge. In fact, it’s starting to feel like they would be unable to fight an election if they actually succeeded in repealing the HRA. The Tory Party first promised to repeal it in 2005, then again in 2010. This was later supplemented with a promise to replace it with a British Bill of Rights. In 2015, the Tories promised to repeal and replace the act within 100 days of winning a majority. Over a year later, nothing has happened.

At the time, almost everyone thought the 2015 pledge was laughable. Repealing the HRA raised constitutional questions that would be hard to resolve in six months, let alone 100 days. May’s critics were right to say that the Supreme Court does, in reality, have the final say over how these rights are applied. The act only obliges the court to take European decisions into account, rather than binding the court’s own decision. Nonetheless, following the Tory victory at the 2015 General Election, Michael Gove was appointed justice secretary with a mandate to repeal it. But after a disastrous appearance at a select committee in 2016, he appeared to put his plans off until later in the year.

Then came the Brexit vote. Gove was sent to the backbenches and replaced by a new justice secretary, Liz Truss. Few people thought Truss was up to the challenge of repealing the HRA, and, after another disastrous select committee appearance later in 2016, it appeared that the repeal plans would be put off yet again.

But while the Tories’ political cowardice is laughable, the reaction from the left has been bizarre. Many left-wing commentators seem to think that the HRA is the only thing standing between us and despotism. Martha Spurrier, director of human-rights campaign group Liberty, says defending the HRA is the ‘struggle of our generation’. Liberty’s website claims that repealing it would ‘weaken everyone’s rights – leaving politicians to decide when our fundamental freedoms should apply’. One commentator suggested that repealing it would leave UK citizens ‘deprived of rights or the means to enforce them before the courts’. Another said that it would mean the UK state could ‘pick and choose which rights it granted, much like Russia’. One piece even suggested that leaving the remit of the European Convention on Human Rights would lessen our influence over countries like Russia and Turkey. These critics truly believe that repealing the HRA would propel us into an age of despotism and international chaos.

This panic is misplaced. It is foolish to rely on the law to defend freedom, and the HRA has proved this. Since it passed in 1998, we have seen people prosecuted for simply saying what they believe, for using insulting words, and for glorifying organisations that the government thinks are dangerous. Just before the New Year, it became illegal to ‘invite support’ for the insignificant far-right group National Action, after it became a proscribed organisation under the Terrorism Act. Football fans in Scotland have been prosecuted for singing so-called sectarian songs. The UK prosecutes thousands of people every year under harassment legislation that criminalises causing ‘alarm and distress’ through speech. The HRA has done nothing to stop these attacks on free expression.

The HRA has also been ineffective at protecting other important rights. The Tory government’s Investigatory Powers Act, nicknamed the ‘snooper’s charter’, passed without any intervention from human-rights law, even though it bestows significant new powers on the government to access our personal data. So much for the HRA protecting privacy. And what about our immigration detention centres? Since 1971, UK immigration laws have allowed people to be detained indefinitely while the state makes a decision about their immigration status.

Perhaps the most cringeworthy contribution to the human-rights debate in recent days has come from Lord Falconer. Falconer was central to the New Labour government that introduced the act. In a piece for the Guardian, Falconer said that in politically uncertain times, it was vital to maintain our commitment to human rights as a part of the ‘fabric’ of British politics. This is the same Lord Falconer who, with New Labour, oversaw a sweeping erosion of key civil liberties. In 2001, New Labour introduced emergency powers to allow for indefinite detention, without charge, for terror suspects. New Labour went on to introduce the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which granted the most sweeping surveillance powers to public bodies we have ever seen. It also repealed the double-jeopardy protection, which meant no person could be tried for the same crime twice. Human-rights advocates, take note: if you’re on the same side as Falconer, you’re probably doing something very wrong.

The HRA has shown us that no law can be relied upon to protect our freedom. If we believe in democracy, we have to recognise that freedom must be defended in the democratic arena. The kind of freedom we should strive for cannot be handed down from on high by a judge in the High Court or the European Court of Human Rights. It has to be won through the democratic process. The left’s panic at the prospect of repealing the HRA shows that it is no longer comfortable taking a fight for greater freedom to the public. But even proponents of the HRA must accept it offers a degraded model of human freedom, one closely managed by unelected and unaccountable members of the judiciary.

For true liberals, repealing the Human Rights Act is not an existential threat – it is an opportunity to fight for our most fundamental freedoms. I say, bring it on.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


20 January, 2017

Who decides what is fake news?

The German clampdown on ‘misinformation’ is a threat to free speech

By Sabine Beppler-Spahl

Fake news has become big news in Germany. Facebook in particular is being accused of facilitating the spread of hoaxes and misinformation. According to government officials and media commentators, this fake news could influence Germany’s elections later this year.

A Breitbart article claiming that a mob of Muslim immigrants burned down a church in the city of Dortmund is held up as an example of fake news. ‘Fake news: how Breitbart manipulates facts and lets a mob riot’, said one headline. ‘Politicians are alarmed’, the report continues, pointing out that the head of the electoral body Bundeswahlleiter, which oversees elections in Germany, thinks fake news could impact how people vote.

Concern about fake news really gained momentum following the US presidential elections. In December, Thomas Oppermann of Germany’s Social Democratic Party suggested Facebook should face fines of up to €500,000 for posts containing fake news or hate speech that aren’t removed within 24 hours. German justice minister Heiko Maas has called for tougher EU regulations: social-media owners should be held criminally liable for failing to remove hate speech, he says. Der Spiegel says officials have discussed opening a Defence Centre Against Disinformation.

But what, exactly, would be banned? What would Facebook and other sites be forced to take down? What is fake news? It is striking that in almost all German reports on this issue, the English term ‘fake news’ is used, as if this were a new phenomenon, thus requiring a new phrase. In the past, when a German newspaper or magazine published false information, the German words Falschmeldung or Zeitungsente would have been used. One of the most famous cases of Falschmeldung was the publication of the fake Hitler’s diaries in 1982. There have been countless others, including TV broadcaster ARD, who had to apologise for a series of incorrect reports about the conflict in Ukraine. Germany’s adoption of the English term feeds a sense of alarm; it implies that Germany is under threat from a novel phenomenon, and one that largely comes from without, with Mark Zuckerberg, Putin and Trump held up as instigators.

It is precisely because of its malleability that ‘fake news’ is a dangerous concept. If a Defence Centre Against Disinformation were only to concern itself with plain and imminently dangerous lies – like the one that spread after the Berlin terror attack in December, when a WhatsApp message warned of an imminent new attack on a shopping centre in Neukölln – then it wouldn’t actually be needed. For it is already an offence in Germany to spread such immediately threatening misinformation.

But there is more to ‘fake news’ than just lies. What is now discussed as ‘fake news’ is not simply completely made-up things, which should enjoy freedom too, though of course they must be challenged; news that comes in a certain style or with a certain opinion, one that the elites do not like, now also runs the risk of being branded ‘fake news’.

Consider the Breitbart report on the burning of the church in Dortmund on New Year’s Eve. It was sloppy, prejudiced, and in parts wrong, but it wasn’t really a lie. It was based on a report in Ruhr Nachrichten, a local paper in Dortmund, which it exaggerated in a tendentious way. Breitbart claimed that a mob of a 1,000 men, chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ had set the roof of Germany’s oldest church on fire. The original German report said groups of mainly foreign young men had roamed the streets of the city before joining another group in a local square; there were at least 1,000 people. From within this group, some fireworks were thrown at the police. On a different street, probably as a result of fireworks, a fire started on the netting on the scaffolding surrounding the church. Firefighters put it out.

The main problem is that Breitbart misled readers into thinking that the situation in Dortmund was out of control because immigrants were running amok. In fact, the night had been like most New Year nights in Germany, as the police later pointed out. Young men roaming the streets and setting of fireworks is a normal part of Germany’s New Year celebrations.

Breitbart is known for being provocative and insincere. But to clamp down on its stories in the name of protecting the German public from fake news would be chilling. Those calling on the state to tackle misinformation seem to believe there are some people — in the political and media class — who have that rare insight into what is true, and what is false. And who therefore know what the German public should and should not be allowed to read.

Is the political class really all-knowing? Ironically, Thomas de Maiziere, our interior minister and one of the main proponents of a war on misinformation, has himself been accused of spreading fake news. An internet platform called Hoaxmap, which aims to expose fake news, has included some of de Maiziere’s postings and comments in its lists. In one, he said 30 per cent of those claiming to be Syrian refugees were not really Syrians; in another he accused German doctors of undermining deportations by frivolously handing out sick notes to migrants. As Hoaxmap says, these claims have not been substantiated.

It isn’t only politicians who are worried about ‘fake news’; the media are, too. In a piece titled ‘The Power of Truth’, in Berliner Zeitung, Brigitte Fehrle wrote about how much she is fearing this year — ‘because of the poisonous mood… because we know the extent to which social media now dominate the public’.

In an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, titled ‘Yes, Mark, Facebook does bear responsibility for Donald Trump’s victory’, the editors of Wired Germany demand that Facebook add warnings to unserious news reports. Is it any wonder politicians feel they have the right to censor ‘fake news’, or just exaggerated stories, when the media are effectively calling on them to do so?

There are some critical voices. The German Journalists’ Association says talk of a government campaign against misinformation is ‘gibberish’. But for the most part the media are going along with, and stirring up, the fake-news panic.

Traditional news outlets have been under great pressure from social media in recent years. They have lost readers, listeners and viewers to internet platforms. They have also found themselves being criticised more. Many media people were shocked when supporters of the right-wing movement Pegida started ranting against ‘the press’, sometimes using the term Lügenpresse (‘the lying press’). They were accusing the established media of telling lies before the term ‘fake news’ was coined.

The traditional media’s attacks on social media can be seen as a fightback against these trends, an attempt to say: ‘We are still the serious media, and you are unserious.’

The warnings against fake news also reveal the establishment’s fear that things are spinning out of control. They especially fear losing their grip on the public’s imagination — this is what Fehrle meant when she wrote of social media’s new hold over the public. The most striking expression of this fear came with last year’s spate of sexual assaults by Muslim men on women in Cologne, when the authorities went out of their way to cover up the attacks. The paternalistic sentiment behind this cover-up — to withhold certain information or ideas from the public — is still strong. So in response to the Breitbart report on the burning of the church, one politician said: ‘The danger is that these stories spread with incredible speed and take on lives of their own.’

This is another way of saying that these reports will stir up dangerous public passions, so the authorities must keep a check on the flow of information.

Ironically, it is this deep distrust in the public’s powers of judgement that has led to ‘fake news’, or simply alternative news, becoming so popular: people are turning away from established narratives. There will always be liars and attention-seekers. We should challenge them, of course, in the public sphere, not with fines and bans. Even more importantly, we must challenge all attempts at censorship.


A generation of offended snowflakes

While most secular lefties today would want nothing to do with such (in their view) outdated notions as the Ten Commandments, they in fact still cling to a few moral absolutes which they insist must remain inviolate. One of them especially stands out like a sore thumb: "Thou shalt not offend anyone".

This is the one commandment these folks demand above all else. They think they have some sort of universal and absolute right never to be offended, and woe to those who dare to offend. These folks insist that they must be protected from any form of offence, and want swift punishment on anyone who is deemed to be offensive.

This of course is all part of rampant political correctness and the war on truth. The only thing that matters for these delicate little petals is that their feelings are not hurt. But the trouble is, they take offence at anything and everything. It is a Brave New World of thought crimes, hate speech, and thought police.

Everyone must be super careful about what they think or say, lest the Offence Police go after them. It is getting to the point where we dare not say anything about anything, for fear of upsetting and offending someone. No wonder so many folks never open their mouths any more – they fear the consequences for merely expressing a point of view.

Free speech and free thought is now verboten in our Big Brother world of "acceptable" thought and speech. Dare to resist the official PC orthodoxy and you will be punished. Examples of this are now legion, and I have featured plenty of them on my site. Consider two more recent cases of this insanity in action – once again found on our college campuses.

The first story, from the UK, is a real shocker, with the headline alone enough to make you question the mental state of those in charge there: "Bible students are warned...you may find the crucifixion too upsetting!" Here is how this story begins:

Theology students are being warned in advance that they may see distressing images while studying the crucifixion of Jesus, giving them a chance to leave if they fear being upset. It is part of a trend at a number of universities for 'trigger warnings' issued by tutors to let students know about course content that might prove disturbing. Advocates say it helps to protect the mental health of vulnerable students.

But critics say it is creating a generation of 'snowflake' students unable to cope with the harsh realities of the world.

The University of Glasgow, part of the elite Russell Group, confirmed that trigger warnings are issued to theology students studying 'Creation to Apocalypse: Introduction to the Bible (Level 1)'. According to university documents, a lecture on Jesus and cinema sometimes 'contains graphic scenes of the crucifixion, and this is flagged up to students beforehand'….

Students are told 'you can, of course, leave a class at any time should you need to, but please check in… later that day to let us know how you are'.

The article offers other examples at the university where trigger warnings are provided. Thankfully not everyone was impressed with all this. Liz Smith, a Scottish Tory education spokesman put it this way: "Universities are meant to be a place of learning where concepts are challenged and tricky subjects debated. That will become increasingly difficult if they go too far out their way to ensure everything survives the politically correct test. Some of the examples set out here are patently ridiculous."

They certainly are. But it seems Western universities are now specialising in such ridiculous and moronic PC foolishness. Consider another UK school where the stranglehold of political correctness is destroying higher education and turning students into perpetually offended cry-babies:

They are titans of philosophy, without whose work an understanding of the subject is all but inconceivable. But now students at a University of London college are demanding that such seminal figures as Plato, Descartes, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell should be largely dropped from the curriculum simply because they are white.

These may be the names that underpin civilisation, yet the student union at the world-renowned School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) is insisting that when studying philosophy 'the majority of philosophers on our courses' should be from Africa and Asia. The students say it is in order to 'decolonise' the 'white institution' that is their college.

Good grief. Um, isn't that a form of racism? Oh yeah, I forgot: only whites are guilty of racism it seems. Thankfully there were a few level-headed voices to be heard in protest. British philosopher Roger Scruton for example said this:

This suggests ignorance and a determination not to overcome that ignorance. You can't rule out a whole area of intellectual endeavour without having investigated it and clearly they haven't investigated what they mean by white philosophy. If they think there is a colonial context from which Kant's Critique of Pure Reason arose, I would like to hear it.

And Sir Anthony Seldon, the vice-chancellor of Buckingham University said this: "There is a real danger political correctness is getting out of control. We need to understand the world as it was and not to rewrite history as some might like it to have been."

The university used to be a place of learning, of gaining knowledge, of being exposed to differing ideas and perspectives, but today it is largely about enforcing a radical secular left agenda and forcing students into a diabolical groupthink, with no deviation allowed from the accepted ideology.

As Thomas Sowell once put it, "Education is not merely neglected in many of our schools today, but is replaced to a great extent by ideological indoctrination." Or as Scruton put it elsewhere: "Tenured professors enjoy all the privileges of the academy in return for relentless debunking of the civilization that made this possible."

In a 2000 essay on "The origins of political correctness" William S. Lind said this: "The totalitarian nature of Political Correctness is revealed nowhere more clearly than on college campuses, many of which at this point are small ivy-covered North Koreas..."

All this spells not only the death of higher education, but the death of the West. As Malcolm Muggeridge put it, "Whereas other civilisations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense."

It is getting to the place where concerned parents who want their children to be able to think and reason, and not emote and always feel offended, had best keep them out of most Western universities. Scary times indeed.


Sweden's leading shopping mall is deemed a no-go zone, with police blaming gangs of unaccompanied minors who have arrived in the country for spate of attacks

Sweden's leading shopping mall has been deemed a no-go zone amid a spike in violence police say has been caused by unaccompanied migrants.

Police are on high alert patrolling the Nordstan mall in Gothenburg after a spate of incidents involving staff and shoppers being threatened by gangs.

In some cases, the number of youngsters outnumber the police and the rise in the sinister behaviour has seen the sales take a hit.

Many shoppers are now afraid to even visit the complex, according to RT, and even officers are being threatened by the gangs.

'We have seen an increase since last autumn, with mostly unaccompanied minors who are staying here in Nordstan,' one of the police managers, Jonas Bergqvist, told Expressen.

'In the evening they deal drugs and violence between fractions sometimes occurs.

'If there are conflicts from their home countries, they bring them here.'

The trouble appears to start at around 8pm - the time shops shut for the day - when groups of up to 150 teens descend upon the mall. 

Police say the rise coincides with the increased number of unaccompanied migrants entering the country.

A number of those involved are said to be youths from Syria, Afghanistan and Morocco, according to RT.

Among the alarming incidents include a youngster and a shopkeeper who were robbed with a broken class held to their throats.

Added to the chaos is the fact that police are finding it increasingly difficult to charge the offenders due to the lack of identification, meaning the teenagers are merely handed over to social services.

Officer Rikard Sorensen told RT: 'I've had people in front of me that look like they are 35, but who claim to be 15.

'I can't prove they're lying so we have to release them,' Rikard Sorensen, another officer.'

The troubles have seen the mall labeled a no-go zone, according to Expressen. 

An area is listed as such if there have been dangerous cases of muggings, robberies, harassment, and sexual assault.


Strange case in Scotland

Landmark civil rape case ‘will help more women find justice’.  The burden of proof in civil cases is lower

A landmark court ruling that two footballers are rapists, despite their never having faced a criminal trial, will open the way for other women to gain justice, a senior lawyer has said.

Denise Clair, 30, waived her right to anonymity to sue David Goodwillie and David Robertson in the first civil case of its kind in Scotland.

Ms Clair, a mother of one, took the unprecedented step after the Crown Office declined to prosecute the pair, claiming there was insufficient evidence. She was vindicated after a judge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled on Tuesday that they were rapists and awarded her £100,000.

However, Goodwillie yesterday insisted he was innocent and said that he was considering an appeal.


Julie Bishop distances Australia from global statement on Israel-Palestine peace

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has distanced the Turnbull government from a communique agreed by ministers and diplomats of 70 nations, including Australia, concerning the pathways to peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

The concluding statement called on both sides to "take urgent steps in order to reverse the current negative trends on the ground", including acts of violence and the construction of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories.

The communique specifically welcomed resolution 2334, passed by the UN Security Council last month, which declared the settlements violated international law and called on Israel to immediately cease all settlement activity.

Following the conference, Ms Bishop distanced the Australian government from the contents of the concluding statement, insisting the government did not necessarily agree with everything its diplomats had agreed to in Paris.

"Australia was represented at the conference by diplomatic officials from the Australian embassy in Paris," Ms Bishop told Fairfax Media.

"While the Australian government was represented at the Paris conference this does not mean we agree with every element of the final statement."

Without specifically mentioning the conference's endorsement of resolution 2334, Ms Bishop noted the Coalition did not support "one-sided resolutions targeting Israel".

"The most important priority must be a resumption of direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians for a two-state solution as soon as possible," she said.

Australia became one of the few countries other than Israel to condemn the New Zealand-sponsored resolution 2334, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull labelling it "one-sided" and "deeply unsettling".

Crucially, the resolution was allowed to pass because the US - Israel's foremost ally on the security council - did not use its veto power and instead chose to abstain.

Sunday's meeting in Paris did not involve Israel or the Palestinians and was dismissed in advance by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "futile" and "rigged".

Chairman of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the communique and said the endorsement of resolution 2334 was among a number of "positive elements" in the text, Israeli media reported.

But Britain, attending the conference as an observer, also expressed reservations about the final agreement, arguing it was a time to "encourage conditions for peace" rather than entrench hardened positions.

"We have particular reservations about an international conference intended to advance peace between the parties that does not involve them," the British Foreign Office said in a statement.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault used the summit to warn Mr Trump against his proposal to relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, calling it a provocative and unilateral move.

Ms Bishop would not comment on Mr Trump's pronouncement but reiterated the Australian government had no plans to move its own embassy in Israel, despite the call from former prime minister Tony Abbott.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


19 January, 2017

UK: The ever-wailing Left

Only 12% of Brits realise that the number of people in extreme poverty has fallen

It's January so it's that time of year when various left-wing campaigning groups, some of which have charitable arms for branding purposes, release their killer statistics that show that the world is crueller and more unfair than ever before.

Today it was Oxfam's turn, with its annual release showing that a handful of tech billionaires own more in assets than half the world's population combined. The implication is that life is getting worse and worse for the bottom half of the world, because robber barons like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are getting richer and richer.

It's almost totally wrong. Life is getting much, much better for the world's poor, however you want to measure it – whether it's in terms of average incomes, life expectancy, child mortality, disease, poverty, or women's rights. Inequality between poor and rich countries is falling, and even inequality here in the UK has fallen to its lowest level in thirty years. (Do click that link for proof – nobody believes me when I tell them, but it's true.)

Oxfam's numbers come from estimating the number of people in debt and who don't own any assets. That includes lots of Westerners who aren't poor by any real stretch of the imagination even though they owe money to a bank somewhere. Hell, if you have a Harvard MBA and a six-figure income to go with it, but a lot of recent student loans as well, you're part of Oxfam's bottom half. On the other hand if you own a semi-detached home in London you're quite likely to be Oxfam's top 1%. This isn't actually the best argument against Oxfam's numbers, because these people make up a small fraction of the 'asset poor' people we're looking at, but it's worth noting all the same.

This all muddies the waters a little, so Oxfam sticks to the big shots: The Oxfam's PR team, because these guys are for the most part household names for creating immensely valuable products that most of us use on a daily basis. Like using Facebook to keep in touch with old friends? Me too – and it doesn't bother me that the man who invented it has made a lot of money in the process. Windows isn't perfect, but I don't mind that Bill Gates has made a lot out of it. And though I always find it a little weird that the founder of Zara is the second richest man in the world, if other people can fit into their slim-fit offerings, more power to him.

And of course all these people have created jobs, paid lots in taxes, and in the case of Bill Gates donated tens of billions of dollars to charity – more than Oxfam has raised in its entire history, by the way. And that's great. But even this is not really the point – these people have made their contribution by coming up with new products and ways of doing business that let people buy and do things that matter to them more cheaply and easily than before. They wouldn't be billionaires if they hadn't created products of enormous value, and it's the products themselves that really count in making the world better.

But the real story has nothing to do with these guys. As we at the Adam Smith Institute keep saying, once we accept that getting rich doesn't have to mean someone else getting poor, you quickly realise that it's not the wealth of the people on top that matters but the welfare of people at the bottom.

Here are two graphs, from Oxford University's Max Roser, of absolute poverty over the last two hundred years. It falls steadily from the early 19th Century (thank the Industrial Revolution for that) but starts falling like a stone from around 1980 onwards. That's the beginning of the neo-liberal era, when third world countries like China, India and Vietnam decided to try something other than socialism and opened up their markets instead.

Maybe you think there's more to life than money. You're right. When we measure things like child mortality, hunger, illiteracy and pollution – and take a minute to read back over those words and think about what they really mean, to the people who suffer from them, and how devastating any one of them would be to you if you experienced them – when we measure things like this we find that they've fallen enormously from where they were just 26 years ago.

Not all of this was because of markets! This isn't a hardcore free market argument, as much as I like making those. It's an argument that the world is getting better, and where these advances have been made because of government or technology it's because markets have created the wealth for governments to tax and created the incentives and resources for innovators to come up with their life-improving inventions.

But it matters, because thanks to groups like Oxfam people are deeply misinformed about the reality of global poverty. Just 12% of Brits realise that the proportion of the world population living in extreme poverty has fallen over the past 30 years. 55% think it has increased.

I'm fed up with people denying inconvenient truths. Climate change is happening; immigrants aren't stealing our jobs; neo-liberalism is making the world's poor better and better off.

It's probably too much to expect organisations like Oxfam to spend its money actually helping the world's poor. If you want to give to a charity that does so in a cost-effective way, consider supporting some of GiveWell's top-rated charities. But it shouldn't be too much to ask Oxfam to tell the truth about the trajectory of global poverty, and admit that it's neo-liberalism, not left-wing agitprop, that is doing most of the heavy lifting.

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

Absurd Leftist wailing in Australia

Wailing is what Leftists do

Former Labor Treasurer Wayne Swan found the publication of the 2016 OECD Better Life Index late last year to be a great disappointment, saying that it 'shows why we must fight harder to defeat Liberal/One Nation trickle-down agenda' and to focus more on '#inclusivegrowth'. The focus of his ire? Australia placed second -- a rise of two places over last year, but a fall from first in 2013.

I think I might be missing something here. If Australia had rated poorly, or fallen significantly from last year, you may be able to argue that our approach is wrong and fundamental change is needed. However typically when we compare well to other countries it means our policy settings are right!

This is just one example of a troubling trend in politics and public debate -- confirmation bias. All facts are filtered through an ideological lens until they provide evidence for your preferred position, no matter what those facts are.

Australia has plenty of policy problems, but to say the evidence for these problems is our high rating on a quality of living index seems a perverse argument.

I guess this shouldn't surprise. Last year, we were told that the extraordinary growth in Ireland's GDP is an argument against their low corporate tax rate.

The common factor here is that you can't win. Good news is bad news, and bad news is bad news. All evidence, whether good, bad or mediocre is an argument against a disliked policy.

Maybe we would be better off with an index of politicians' consistency, where we pay more attention to coherent and consistent pronouncements. One index where an improvement truly would be an improvement.


Why The Trump Presidency Will Bring A New Era For Racial Equality

Vijay Jojo Chokal-Ingam

In my op-ed for the Independent Journal Review before the election, I predicted Trump’s victory and commended the Republican nominee as “very courageous in his opposition to racism.” No doubt, Trump’s positions on border security, judiciary, and trade resonated with the clear majority of Americans. However, in my opinion, as an Indian American, he won because Americans believed Donald Trump when he told CNN’s Don Lemon, “I am the least racist person that you’ve ever encountered.” The American people understood Trump’s colorful and controversial language did not diminish his commitment to the cause of meritocracy and racial equality in our country.

In his landmark “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King envisioned a society in which people are not “judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Yet, in the over 53 years since the apex of the civil rights movement, we seem to have thrown that ideal out the window. In our zeal to create racial equality for African Americans and Hispanics, we’ve forgotten white people deserve fair treatment as well.

Somehow, America has become a place where it is perfectly legal to discriminate against white people. In university admissions, public housing, and employment, widespread racial discrimination toward whites (and Asians) is legally tolerated under the auspices of affirmative action. For instance, the National Football League has its Rooney Rule granting interview opportunities to minority coaches that are not granted to whites. Another example is medical school admissions; it is consistently easier (by as much as 57%) for blacks and Hispanics to gain admission to medical school than comparable Asians and whites with the same grades and test scores, according to published statistical data from the American Association of Medical Colleges.

The discrimination is so pervasive that I had to apply to medical schools as an African American to gain admission, an experience I wrote about in my book Almost Black. I discovered many American universities openly discriminated against white and Asian applicants by compromising their academic standards and state residency requirements to recruit minorities. For instance, the University of Wisconsin-Madison invited me to apply as an out of state minority, despite their strict state residency requirements. I also benefited from Case Western’s racially segregated admissions process that favored minority applicants. Despite my low 3.1 GPA, I got waitlisted at the University of Pennsylvania and Washington University, then the country’s third and fourth best medical schools, thanks to their adherence to affirmative action policies.

It is no coincidence that Donald Trump achieved resounding victories in states where local educational institutions practice racially discriminatory admissions policies. From my personal experience, I can assure you that white people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Missouri have every right to be angry that their hard-earned tax money goes into state-sponsored racism against Caucasians. After the election, students at Case Western, Washington University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison vehemently protested against Donald Trump. Ironically, those students fail to acknowledge their schools’ racist affirmative action policies alienated white voters, contributing to Trump’s victory.

Unfortunately, Trump’s defense of equal rights for white people is often misconstrued as racism against African Americans and Hispanics. At a Harvard post-election forum, Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri blatantly accused the Trump campaign of “providing a platform for white supremacists.” What Palmieri and other “civil rights activists” fail to recognize is their own hypocrisy – Why should white people be denied equal opportunity? Why are the rights of white people inferior to those of minorities? Perhaps, our country has become so politically correct that advocating rights for white people automatically equates to white supremacy. Even President Obama conceded that people who oppose affirmative action should not automatically be categorized as “being racists” in a recent Exit Interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep. Had Trump run a campaign based on “white supremacy,” he would not have performed as well as his Republican predecessors, Romney and McCain, among minority voters. Who would have thought a “white supremacist” could win almost a third of Hispanic votes?

President-elect Trump has already made strides towards winding down affirmative action and ending legalized racism. He has offered the position of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to Dr. Ben Carson, one of the most outspoken African American critics of affirmative action. As the head of HUD, Carson could gut affirmative action in public housing (“affirmatively furthering fair housing”). Trump’s Attorney General-designate Jeff Sessions has also combatted racism on multiple fronts, acknowledging bias in policing, persecuting violent racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, opposing housing discrimination, and openly criticizing affirmative action. Most importantly, Trump has pledged to appoint a conservative-leaning Supreme Court that will have the power to overturn the narrowly decided Fisher case, permitting racial preferences. That’s why I am fond of saying “Donald Trump will end affirmative action, like Lincoln ended slavery.”

History often repeats itself. In 1963, Alabama Governor George Wallace made his famous “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door,” blocking black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, from attending the University of Alabama. In many ways, Hillary Clinton and President Obama did the same thing in 2016 by supporting blocking a qualified white girl, Abby Fisher, from being admitted into the University of Texas at Austin. Hoping to win more black and Hispanic votes, Clinton and Obama publicly endorsed the Supreme Court’s Fisher case, denying educational opportunities to thousands of qualified Asian Americans and whites. To the credit of American voters, Clinton and Obama’s divisive racial opportunism backfired spectacularly.

After unsuccessfully running for President four times, Governor Wallace later recanted his racist views and publicly asked for forgiveness. After two unsuccessful presidential bids, perhaps one day, Hillary Clinton and her allies will acknowledge that their support of racism toward white Americans led to their crushing defeat.


Barack Obama's Fundamental Transformation

“We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” So declared Barack Obama in Columbia, Missouri, on October 30, 2008, on the cusp of his historic presidential election.

It was a stunning statement, boldly revolutionary, surpassed only by the response of those in attendance, who, rather than pausing to reflect upon such an audacious assertion, wildly applauded. To be sure, these Obama enthusiasts would have ecstatically cheered anything he said at that moment. There was a full-fledged Obama personality cult in motion at that time. He could’ve promised a box of “Lucky Charms” cereal in every home and gotten a giddy reaction. Obama himself admitted to serving as a kind of “blank screen” upon which Americans desiring some warm and fuzzy “hope and change” could project whatever they wanted.

But even then, the words “fundamentally transform” should have alarmed everyone. We Americans generally don’t do fundamental transformation. We make changes, yes, small and large, but who among us — other than the most radical revolutionaries — actually want to fundamentally transform the nation? Many people think that America has many problems, but those can be addressed without a fundamental transformation. Ask professors who teach history or political ideologies (as I have for two decades) and we will tell you that totalitarianism is the ideology that fundamentally transforms. Indeed, the textbook definition of totalitarianism, which I’ve scribbled on the chalkboard every fall and spring semester since 1997, is to seek to fundamentally transform — specifically, to fundamentally transform human nature via some form of political-ideological-cultural upheaval.

So, that being the case, I winced when Barack Obama said that, and then felt sick to the stomach when I watched people blissfully and blindly applaud without question or objection.

But now here we are, at the end of Obama’s presidency, a two-term one, and the question begs to be pondered: Did Barack Obama fundamentally transform the United States of America, as he promised?

The answer is absolutely yes.

That fundamental transformation, however, has not happened in areas where many might have hoped (or feared) in 2008. It has not been a fundamental shift in the attitudes of the vast majority regarding the role of government, taxation, regulations, economics, education, or even healthcare, where Obama had his signature legislative achievement. It hasn’t happened in foreign policy, though Obama has made a seriously detrimental impact in regions from Eastern Europe to the Middle East.

The reality is that the true fundamental transformation has been in the realm of culture, notably in matters of sexual orientation, gender, marriage and family. The shift there has been unprecedented and far beyond anyone’s imagination eight years ago. Looking back, that was where Obama’s heart was, and that was where his deepest impact will be felt. Changes there, more than anywhere, seem irreversible by anything other than the miraculous, than anything short of a religious revival or dramatic shift in spiritual-moral thinking.

Obama’s cultural revolution on the sexual-gender-family front is all around us. We see it in the culture of fear and intimidation by the forces of “diversity” and “tolerance” who viciously seek to denounce, dehumanize, demonize and destroy anyone who disagrees with their brazen newfound conceptions of marriage and family, even as our position (not theirs) has been the prevailing position of 99.99%-plus of human beings who have bestrode the earth since the dawn of humanity. Instead, in the Obama era, we are the ones portrayed as the outliers, as abnormal, as extremists, as “haters.” If you dissent from this new vociferous breed of human-nature redefiners, they sue you, they jail you, they smear you, they boycott you, they harass you, they ruin you — and they do so (with no sense of their hypocrisy) in the name of “tolerance” and “diversity.” Whether you’re a Baptist grandma who bakes cakes or a Catholic photographer who takes wedding photos or a Mormon florist who arranges flowers, they refuse your appeals to your conscience; they steamroll you. Changes by Obama and his allies here have constituted a major attack on religious liberty, where two-century-old First Amendment guarantees have been torched by modern culture warriors discerning heretofore unknown higher rights like “marriage equality” and co-ed toilets.

That is a fundamental transformation of a culture and a nation that did not exist prior to Barack Obama’s ascent.

The manifestations of this are so ubiquitous that laying them out here isn’t necessary, but I’d like to offer just a handful of brief illustrations and images:

The first was the Newsweek cover from May 2012 showing Barack Obama with a rainbow halo over his head above the words, “The First Gay President.” This was in response to Obama coming out for same-sex “marriage,” which for five years he had claimed to oppose. This public shift occurred as Obama was ramping up his reelection campaign, just as Hillary Clinton would do later that year when she announced her 2016 campaign. After that announcement, Obama went wild with an aggressive agenda of fundamental transformation on the sexual-gender-family front, one that picked up speed, depth and arrogance throughout his second term.

The second is another image, more profound than the Newsweek creation/coronation because it was real. It was from June 2015, when the Obama White House, the nation’s first house, was lit up in the colors of the “LGBTQ” rainbow on the day of the Obergefell decision, when a Catholic Supreme Court justice, Anthony Kennedy, led the liberal bloc of the court in redefining marriage and imposing this non-existent “constitutional right” on all 50 states. If ever there was a picture of Obama’s fundamental transformation of America, that was it.

Third was the bathroom fiat, when, according to Barack Obama’s word, all public schools were ordered to revolutionize their restrooms and locker-rooms to make them available to teenage boys who want to be called girls (among other gender novelties). It is hard to conceive a more surreal example of executive overreach. Truly, George Washington is rolling over in his grave.

Fourth is an ironic moment of Obama’s own doing, one that got virtually no press coverage. It occurred at a townhall meeting in London last April, where Obama was scolded by a young man for not doing enough to “recognize non-binary people” such as himself. This young man wanted the British government to “respect pronouns” — using not words like “he” or “she” but rather “hir” or “ze” — in addition to “commit to gender-neutral toilets.” “I really, really wish that yourself and [British Prime Minister] David Cameron would take us seriously as transgender people,” pushed the student. “And perhaps you could elucidate as to what you can do to go beyond what has been accepted as the LGBTQ rights movement, in including people who fit outside the social norms.”

It was almost hilarious to observe Barack Obama, of all people, reprimanded for inadequacies in this area, which brings me to my final example.

That London incident might have prompted a remarkable action by the Obama White House a few weeks later, which also got virtually no news coverage: The White House press office released two extraordinary fact sheets detailing Obama’s vast efforts to promote “LGBT” rights at home and abroad. Not only was it telling that the White House would assemble such a list, and tout it, but the sheer length of the list is striking to behold. It is hard to find any similar roster of such dramatic changes by the Obama White House in any policy area. The list runs page after page.

In short, what we see here is the true Barack Obama legacy, the genuine fundamental transformation. It has occurred not in economics, government or foreign policy but in culture. When we look back at Barack Obama’s eight years, we should visualize not ObamaCare or something in foreign policy but the White House illuminated in rainbow colors on June 26, 2015, or a rainbow-haloed Obama coronated as the “first gay president.” Those are the crowning images of the fundamental transformation of America that Barack Obama achieved.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


18 January, 2017

March on Trump-haters, but remember girls mutilated at home

CAROLINE OVERINGTON below has some restrained comments about the butchered genitals of *Australian* Muslim girls.  I would add:  "What about Clemmie?" Alleged feminist Clementine Ford wrote recently and angrily about the rude way some young Australian men at a car rally spoke to some of the women present. 

Where is her sense of values?  There is no record of any women being hurt by men at the Summernats but there is ample record of what some Australian Muslim families do to their daughters.  If rude car-freaks burn up Clemmie, female genital mutilation should set her on fire.  But there is no record of that.  No rage at all.

It is quite clear that Clemmie, like most so-called feminists,    doesn't care about women at all.  All that drives her is her hate of her fellow Australians -- in the best Leftist tradition.  She is a towering hypocrite and a nasty piece of goods.   She should be proud that even while in a drunken mob, young Australian men did women no harm. Her misdirected anger defiles Australian society.  Does someone have to perform a clitoridectomy on her to get her attention to it?  I think it would take that much.

Now, I’m a feminist, obviously. I believe in equal rights for women: to work, to vote, to drive, to travel. But the Women’s Marches around the nation this weekend has me worried.

The Women’s Marches have been organised so Australian women can “show solidarity” with American women as Donald Trump becomes president.

The organisers hate him, obviously. He’s the pussy-grabber. The misogynist-in-chief. The group behind the Women’s March has a Facebook page that promotes Meryl Streep’s speech at the Oscars,; and the hashtag Love­TrumpsHate. And that’s fine. Trump was democratically elected but nobody has to like him, and protests against government are an important part of democracy too. So, march away.

But where, I wonder, is the thousand-strong march, the loud protests, the hashtags and the Twitter campaign for women and girls suffering the vilest forms of misogyny right here at home?

Last week the Australian pediatric surveillance unit at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in western Sydney released a report on female genital mutilation in this country. It found 59 brutalised girls. But here’s the line you don’t want to miss: the study’s author, Elizabeth Elliott, said “most of the procedures on the girls were performed overseas”.

The key word in that sentence is “most”. Most of girls had been cut overseas. But some were Australian-born. Meaning they had definitely been cut here. It’s very likely that some of the others had been cut here, too, after they arrived. Of the 59 — according to the report, that’s a gross underestimation of the actual numbers — only 13 were referred to child protection services. Why only 13?

These were girls whose parents — usually their mothers — had taken them to have them cut. What will happen to them next? Will they be shoved into an arranged marriage with a much older man to whom they already may be related? Because that, too, is happening.

Last October, a young Iraqi girl, Bee al-Darraj, told The Australian that she knew several girls from her former Islamic school who had been sent to Iraq to be married, while still underage. Nothing was done. She knew one girl who gave birth while underage in a public hospital in Sydney with her 28-year-old husband standing by. Nothing was done. She knew girls in Year 9 who were married and had 30-year-old husbands picking them up from school. Nothing was done. (To be clear, there’s no suggestion the school knew, for to know and not report would be a gross breach of mandatory reporting obligations. What we’re talking about here is child rape.)

Last week, we had a prominent cleric, imam Ibrahim Omerdic, 61, charged with conducting a child marriage between a girl under the age of 16, and a man aged 30.

This is real, and it is happening here, and it is right now. Dozens, maybe hundreds, maybe thousands of girls are suffering vile abuse, but it’s like screaming in an abyss. Where is the march? Where is the hashtag?

Genital cutting is not as fancy a topic as Hollywood pay for women, obviously, but it’s a creeping tragedy that threatens the freedom of all Australian women. A freedom our grandfathers and great-uncles died for. A freedom the feisty Australian suffragettes of yesteryear, with their dry wit and their long skirts and their button-up boots, once marched for.

I get that there’s cultural sensitivity. People don’t want to be accused of racism or bigotry. They don’t want to discriminate. But what about the discrimination against girls going on right now in Australian schools? Don’t believe it? Cast your eye over this, the official uniform list for the al-Faisal College in Sydney’s west (see below).

What jumps out? Only the girls, from age five, have to wear long sleeves, even in summer.

Only the girls have to wear skirts to the floor (ankle-length) summer and winter. The hijab, or head covering, also is compulsory for girls, from age five. It is compulsory even for sport. The boys scamper about in short sleeves.

A friend of a friend who is a teacher at the school recently sent out some pictures of children at the school receiving certificates at an assembly.

The boys are relaxed and grinning. The girls are swathed in so much fabric you can see only their faces. You support this, with your taxes.

It’s blatant discrimination. It tells girls that there is something sinful about them, something that will drive men to distraction, something they need to keep covered while out in the world.

The sight of your wrists, or ankle, or forearm is offensive and wrong.

Now, Australian women are smart, and most of them are very used to carrying more than one bucket at a time. Meaning: they know that you can adore pretty clothes and still want equal pay.

Likewise, you can be outraged by female genital mutilation, and forced marriage, and lousy school uniform codes, and Donald Trump. But which is more important? Macho bragging about pussy-grabbing in a trailer on the set of The Apprentice? Or acts of extreme violence against girls — and the rights of girls — here and now?

Yes, it’s possible to carry more than one bucket, so, if you’re marching this weekend, good on you, that’s your right — but maybe also carry a placard for your Australian sisters, suffering vile misogyny as we speak.

They’re hidden from view but they deserve attention, too.


California Bureaucrats Learn It’s Not Okay to Lie in Court

This week, a three-judge panel of U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals laid down the law on whether government bureaucrats, in this case ones employed by Orange County, can have a free pass from having to comply with any sort of ethical standards of conduct while appearing in court as part of their official capacity as government employees. As R. Scott Moxley reports on the court’s decision in OCWeekly, it turns out that federal judges really do frown on anybody committing perjury or presenting false evidence in court, including government officials:

Using taxpayer funds, government officials in Orange County have spent the last 16 years arguing the most absurd legal proposition in the entire nation: How could social workers have known it was wrong to lie, falsify records and hide exculpatory evidence in 2000 so that a judge would forcibly take two young daughters from their mother for six-and-a-half years?

From the you-can’t-make-up-this-crap file, county officials are paying Lynberg & Watkins, a private Southern California law firm specializing in defending cops in excessive force lawsuits, untold sums to claim the social workers couldn’t have “clearly” known that dishonesty wasn’t acceptable in court and, as a back up, even if they did know, they should enjoy immunity for their misdeeds because they were government employees.

A panel at the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit this week ruled on Orange County’s appeal of federal judge Josephine L. Staton’s refusal last year to grant immunity to the bureaucrats in Preslie Hardwick v. County of Orange, a lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in damages. In short, judges Stephen S. Trott, John B. Owens and Michelle T. Friedland were not amused. They affirmed Staton’s decision.

Moxley goes on to present the verbal exchanges that took place between the attorneys hired by Orange County and the Ninth Circuit’s judges, which you have to see to believe really happened with state-licensed attorneys.

Following the Ninth Circuit panel’s decision that government bureaucrats, despite what they might believe, are not entitled to commit perjury without penalty, the civil case against the government of Orange County will continue forward, where the county is at risk of a multi-million dollar judgment against it for the so-far-unanswered misconduct of its employees.

Twenty-two years earlier, Orange County went bankrupt in large part because of the unethical conduct of its government officials. While its potential liability in the new case is far below the level that would sent it back into bankruptcy proceedings, it would be nice if the county’s officials would finally learn their lesson about the proper conduct of public employees so it can avoid imposing such unnecessary liabilities on Orange County residents for their abuses of power in the future.


Political Correctness: A Tool of Liberal Coercion – A Most Un-American Development

By Rabbi Aryeh Spero

It is naïve to think that political correctness is simply a matter of being scolded for saying something unacceptable to liberals. It has become much more than that. Political correctness is a deliberate tool used by the Left to intimidate conservatives and people of faith into silence, with the goal of making our classic and time-tested opinions illegitimate.

Political Correctness is a strategy, a weapon of social warfare, a bullying, against those unwilling to reshape and renounce their traditional belief system and bow to the dictates of the leftaucracy dead-set on total domination of our lives and culture. It enforces censorship and activates demonization, threatening those unwilling to submit and apologize with loss of job, livelihood, social acceptability, company sales, friends, reputation and status. It is the liberal version of Islamic blasphemy laws, ruthlessly excising anyone who questions or strays from the leftwing cultural and social dogmas. It is the most un-American development in our lifetime.

In many ways it is worse than the McCarthyism practiced in the early 50s. Senator Joseph McCarthy, who sat on the Senate Committee of Government Operations, targeted relatively few, mostly from Hollywood and Theatre, whereas liberal political correctness is targeting over 60 percent, tens of millions, of Americans. And whereas McCarthy was generally correct regarding the communist leanings and activities of his targets, liberal political-correctness czars are off-the-wall incorrect when accusing regular and patriotic Americans of racism, misogyny, xenophobia or whatever other “ism” they choose to develop. Joe McCarthy’s hearings lasted a mere couple of years, while the scourge and punishment of political correctness is into its 20th year.

Today’s  New McCarthyites exist and labor on the Left and are engaged in the thoroughly un-American activity of censoring speech, curtailing and ostracizing religious freedom, and doing whatever they can to deconstruct traditional family life and taint the values of our parents, our Founders, and our grandparents as evil. By deriding everything we hold dear as unacceptable, and making us pay the price of holding onto our cherished beliefs, they hope to transform America, and American family and religious life, into a Sweden/Brussels fantasy or a completely secular and unwholesome political entity.  They wish to replace America, while we stand by and watch it happen.

But, the good news is that we are not helpless.

Even enunciating, as we do, that marriage is defined by the union of man and woman only, as has been understood throughout history and until recently the law of our country, brings an indictment of being a “bigot” and “extremist” by those using political correctness to forever stigmatize and outcast those who disagree with their ever-expanding parameter of disallowable opinion. What is normal belief today will become tomorrow’s politically incorrect and forbidden opinion and be used by future inquisitors to defame and destroy those they want out of the way. And, what is radical and detestable today will be sanctified and normalized tomorrow, and you better subscribe if you want society’s opportunities or an ability to make a living.

When thinking of the modus operandi of political correctness, one is reminded of the Spanish Inquisition against non-believers. Today’s liberals have replaced the clerics of old with their own Inquisitors of right and wrong and have substituted the concept of sin with their own set of rigid “sinful” dictates. Anything that does not sanctify every form of public sexual (mis)conduct, or strives for wholesomeness, or even patriotism, is punishable. As with the Inquisitors 500 years ago, the politically-correct police assume you are guilty until you prove otherwise … even demanding that you denounce friends and family who hold views different than the Church of Political Correctness.

By virtue of being a conservative, a person of faith, a Southerner, a heartland American, or a white Evangelical Christian you are automatically assumed to be a racist, etc., and the politically-correct vultures are ready to pick your bones before you say anything, so that once you do, they can twist your words negatively to mean something you never intended or even envisioned.

We hear from liberals that when President Trump and his followers speak of making America Great Again we mean Make America White Again. This is a malicious falsehood. It is specious and malevolent. What we mean, as does Mr. Trump, is that America should once again be prosperous; that the middle class be revived and that good, manufacturing jobs be available so families can live with dignity; that family life and wholesomeness be once again exalted; that America be crime-free; that Americans be protected from terrorism and inhere a sense of confidence; and that our elected leaders, a President, love America instead of constantly castigating her.

No one I know wants an America where our African-American brothers and sisters are denied an iota of civil rights. We look back on the 50s fondly not because of segregation ,God forbid, but because it represented a time of American prosperity and confidence, American ingenuity, patriotism, safety, and religious freedom, a robust, working middle class that could dream and achieve, and a country that placed God above all else.

When liberals make these accusations it exposes the bigotry they carry, and have long carried, inside their bosom. Too many of the coastal elites have been taught to believe the worst about regular white Americans. They see racism in us because they have been raised and schooled on a diet of bigotry against fellow Americans as somehow un-educated, or religious and intolerant “rednecks.” They persist in these misguided beliefs regarding their countrymen because they don’t know their countrymen; they don’t live around them; they attend different schools and colleges; and because there’s no draft, they do not serve with them in the military. They assume the worst, but that’s their sin, their prejudice.

We need not prove ourselves to them; they need to get off their pedestal and strip their hearts of the false narratives around which they chatter. Only people harboring bigotry against fellow Americans, and a distrust and detachment from America itself, could take the common-sense phrase of America First and somehow turn that into a xenophobic, Nazi-like assertion. Precisely because they’ve been on their perch these last 50 years indicting heartland Americans and Evangelical Christians they’ve not undergone the introspection they should regarding their attitude towards the people they continue to criticize. They are unaware and do not give credit to the millions of across-the-board acts of charity and kindness routinely performed by religious and conservative heartland Americans. We’ve undergone 50 years of introspection; now it’s their turn.

There is no doubt that the enforcers of political correctness continue to do so as a way of constantly bragging about their moral superiority, that they are better than the rest of us, and get a thrill out of making others bend to their will. It gives them a sense of power and self-righteousness.  And, frankly, so long as we jump to their demands, we reinforce their power. Let’s stop caving in to them.


Why comedians must be free to say ‘faggot’

The calls to slap trigger warnings on Eddie Murphy's old stand-up special are insulting to gay people

Whenever news breaks of a controversial film or TV show ‘resurfacing’ online, it usually means a work, known to its target audience for years, has suddenly been discovered by easily offended malcontents looking to start a twitch-hunt.

Eddie Murphy’s 1983 stand-up special Delirious is the latest target. It recently became available on Netflix, and Pink News has taken umbrage with the ‘anti-gay comedy special’ and its repeated use of the word ‘faggot’. At the start of his act, Murphy speaks of his wish to ‘fuck with everybody’, including the ‘fag section’ of the audience. He then talks about AIDS – ‘AIDS is scary ‘cause it kills motherfuckers’ – and proceeds to make jokes about it. Pink News is shocked that Netflix ‘does not include a content warning’, and a spate of low-starred reviews have demanded Delirious be removed from the site.

This all raises the question: does the LGBT community really need content warnings? The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system assists parents in gauging what films are suitable for their children to watch. What Pink News and these enraged Netflix viewers are suggesting is that gay people are like children who need to be protected from subject matter that may upset them. Just imagine ‘may offend gay people’ appearing onscreen before a show.

And what would be the point? Even if content warnings were added, do the easily offended expect to avoid such humour for the rest of their lives? And would those who are likely to be offended by it be less offended if they were warned beforehand? Besides, comedy would be a lot less funny if the audience was told in advance about the contents of each joke. This is how censorship kills an art form.

Moreover, comedians have a long history of using offensive language to provoke and push boundaries. When Lenny Bruce used the word ‘faggot’ in his ‘Dykes and Faggots’ routine, he didn’t intend to get at homosexuals any more than his famed ‘Are there any niggers here tonight?’ bit was aimed at taking African-Americans down a peg. Bruce believed that suppressing slurs gave them power, and his routines were not just rallying cries for freedom of speech, but also impassioned pleas to destroy social division.

One of the greatest things about comedy is its power to challenge our most sensitive sensibilities. Unfortunately, many today believe that comedians only want to use words like ‘faggot’ to maintain their privilege. Freedom of expression must be demolished, they argue, because privileged comedians could never have any good, humanistic intentions. According to a recent Huffington Post article entitled ‘Why Straight Comics Still Cling to the Word “Faggot” and Why They Shouldn’t’, ‘the only way to earn the right to use the word “faggot” is by having sex with another guy and liking it’.

In 2009, South Park caused a stir with an episode called ‘The F-Word’. In it, the boys attempt to change ‘fag’ into a slur against obnoxious bikers. Though the episode sets out to convey the ever-changing nature of language, and how we can collectively remove the stigma from offensive words, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) demanded an apology for its repeated use of ‘the f-word’ (GLAAD couldn’t bring itself to say ‘fag’ in its statement). ‘While many South Park viewers will understand the sophisticated satire and critique in last night’s episode, others won’t’, it said.

This response highlights the innate snobbishness of identity politics types. Apparently, the people at GLAAD are ‘sophisticated’ enough to understand the joke, but the general public is not. But it also misses the crucial point: if you truly believe that slurs should not become the weapons of bigots, then censoring them is the worst thing you can do. Banning words gives them a false glamour they wouldn’t otherwise have. If anything, as South Park and Lenny Bruce tell us, you remove the stigma by saying the word more, not less.

Delirious should not be defended merely as an of-its-time special that is no longer acceptable in this PC age. Comedians should have the same right to artistic freedom in 2017 – to find humour in whatever they please – as they did in 1983. What’s more, how can you break the taboo of something like AIDS if you don’t talk about it? How can you alleviate the pain of something so tragic if you don’t laugh at it? The only protection the LGBT community needs is from those trying to remove their right to be laughed at like everyone else.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


17 January, 2017

Photograph of women in hijabs on billboard advertising Australia Day celebrations sparks heated online debate

One would think that Australia day would celebrate Australia as it is.  It is definitely NOT Muslim. They are a small minority and a poorly assimilated one that that. They are distinguished mainly by their high rate of welfare dependency, meaning that the positive contribution they make to the rest of us is minimal

I can see a case for celebrating Australia's diversity with a picture that included someone from our largest minority -- people of Han Chinese ancestry.  They have fitted in brilliantly and differ from Caucasians mainly in their superior educational achievements.  With the many services they provide to us all -- from medical specialists to restaurateurs, we are lucky to have them. That could indeed be celebrated

A billboard advertising Australia Day celebrations in Melbourne sparked debate online for appearing to feature two women wearing hijabs.

A picture of the huge sign showed it having an Australian flag on the left with the two smiling women on the right underneath the event details. There were no other people in the design.

It was said to be by the side of a road in Cranbourne, in Melbourne's southeast, and first shared by far-right groups on Facebook on Friday.

The debate attracted hundreds of comments with a variety of opinions, and was shared thousands of times.

Some commenters were outraged that Australia was only represented by a pair of Muslim women instead of a more diverse crowd.

'Some culture doesn't belong! Meh all this multi cultural bs being rammed down our throats,' one angry Facebook user wrote.

'Muslims on that is a disgrace... I don't know what's going on in this country... It's just going downhill... Muslims are not the face of Australia,' another said.

'PC to the extreme. There's nothing wrong with including people from different backgrounds as Australia is more or less a melting pot of different cultures,' a third wrote.

'But to represent Australia as just Muslim people (as the billboard implies) is just as ignorant as assuming Australians are all Caucasian,' they added.

'I find this advertisement for Australia day offensive yes I'm proud that we are a multi cultural nation but sorry to all the bleeding heart public and politicians when it comes to Australian views on Muslim values,' another wrote.

But the billboard also had its supporters, with many pointing out that Australia was a diverse nation of different people that should be celebrated. 'It doesn't matter what is on the board. Only thing is Australia is [a] multicultural county and everyone who lives there must be proud [of] Australia. So stop that nonsense,' one wrote.

'I don't get why people seem to think that one race or any race owns any land more so then the other. Those views are so close minded. We share this earth together, even if you don't like it,' another said.

A third person replied to another commenter claiming the billboard was evidence of the government 'bending down to the minority to make them feel better about themselves' and that Australia would slowly become Muslim.

They replied: 'No one seems to be suffering mate, our country is multicultural and if you've got a problem with that then you've got a problem with Australia.'

The billboard was advertising a RACV Australia Day Festival at the King's Domain Gardens in the centre of Melbourne, including a parade and flag raising ceremony.


President Obama’s Disastrous Record on Race

President Barack Obama and advisor Valerie Jarrett hold a White House meeting with Black Lives Matters activists, Feb. 18, 2016.
On Election Day 2008, many Democrats welcomed a new post-racial America. The hideous blight of slavery and Jim Crow could never be forgotten, but our first African-American President would in some small way help atone for those sins and ultimately transcend them. Even Republicans shared the emotions of Grant Park, where thousands crying elderly blacks finally saw that America could elect a person of color.

Despite these bipartisan hopes, the nation is more racially obsessed than it has been in 25 years. In a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 63 percent of Americans think race relations are “generally bad.” Shortly after Obama took office, that number was 22 percent. In the same time period, those who think race relations are “generally good” plummeted from 66 percent to 32 percent.

Of course, Obama fans assert that this increase in racial division is due to white contempt for a black president. This is illogical since months after he took office, the American people thought racial harmony was higher than it had ever been. So what changed?

Watching Ferguson, MO go up in flames, I ironically remarked, “My favorite part about the Obama era is all the racial healing.” Little did I know how many times people would republish that line in the years that followed.

Eric Garner’s death created racial unrest in New York City. Baltimore was racked with days of violence following Freddie Gray’s death. Five officers were murdered by a black separatist in Dallas. Other law enforcement officers were ambushed in Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Mississippi. The police-involved shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile sparked more violent protests in New York City, Chicago, St. Paul, Baton Rouge, and elsewhere. In each case, the major media misreported the facts, stoked the literal fires, and characterized the rampages as “mostly peaceful.”

Every time an officer of any race used lethal force against a black suspect, most of them ruled justifiable, Black Lives Matter cast it as another example of privilege and white supremacy. BLM harassed bewildered customers at malls and brunches, and regularly blocked traffic on major freeways. Concerned Student 1959 tried to shut down the University of Missouri as Amherst Uprising did the same for their school.

Did Obama comment on the widespread racial unrest wracking his country? Occasionally. But each time he used his “on the one hand, but on the other” formulation that defines himself as the moral fulcrum amidst the madness. The President didn’t mention that his fingerprints were all over the riots.

Before getting into politics, Barack Obama was a community organizer. This anodyne term was created by Chicago leftist Saul Alinsky who created the position to “rub raw the sores of discontent.” Many thought Obama’s moderate sounding speeches meant he had tossed Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals in the dustbin. Instead, upon entering the White House, Obama created Organizing for Action, which has trained 5 million Americans in Alinsky tactics.

Occupy Wall Street, Wisconsin’s anti-Walker protests, and Black Lives Matter didn’t arise of their own accord. They were the bitter fruit intentionally cultivated by OfA.

More disturbingly, Obama’s goal to “fundamentally transform America” is far from over. In his farewell speech, Obama repeatedly stressed the need for the crowd to “lace up your shoes and do some organizing.” The Hoover Institution’s Paul Sperry writes:

Obama’s presidential foundation — which hopes to raise $1 billion, roughly double what was raised for the George W. Bush library — may end up eclipsing OfA as a locus of destructive, nihilistic, antisocial activism in the post-Obama era. Obama intends to use his foundation, based at the planned Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side, to continue wreaking havoc in America and around the globe.

A “scaled down” version of OfA will reportedly reside at the Barack Obama Foundation whose website states ominously, “As President Obama has said, the change we seek will take longer than one presidency.” Obama’s “historic candidacy was never simply about winning an office; it was about building a movement to tackle challenges that would define a generation. This work will live on in the Obama Foundation, which will inspire citizens across the globe to better their communities, their countries, and their world.”

When I said, “My favorite part of the Obama era is all the racial healing” two years ago, I thought I could retire the tweet in January 2017. But perhaps the Obama era is just getting started.


Black Trump critic is a liar, no hero

John Lewis, the black racist Georgia Democrat who is portrayed as a ‘hero’ is a known liar. Six of Lewis’ racist accusations in just the last few years prove what a compulsive liar, racist and overall piece of garbage that John Lewis really is.

Six accusations by racist John Lewis that turned out false:

2008: Falsely accused Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Gov. Sarah Palin of racism. Lewis attacked McCain and Palin, then running against Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) for president: “Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division,” he said, going on to suggest that the Republican ticket were creating the climate for racist terrorism. “[Democrat] George Wallace never threw a bomb … but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans … four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.” Years later, McCain still had not forgiven him: “I’ll never forgive John Lewis,” he told AL.com in 2013.

2010: Falsely claimed that Tea Party demonstrators said the “N-word” during anti-Obamacare rally. Lewis joined several other members of the Congressional Black Caucus in claiming that a crowd of thousands of Tea Party protesters on the steps of Capitol Hill had shouted the “N-word” at them when they walked through the crowd — apparently in the hope of provoking a reaction. “It surprised me that people are so mean and we can’t engage in a civil dialogue and debate,” Lewis claimed. But he never proved the accusation — and when Andrew Breitbart offered to donate $10,000, then $100,000, to the United Negro College Fund for any video evidence of the “N-word,” none surfaced — despite hundreds of cameras present.

2012: Falsely accused Republicans of wanting to take Americans back to Jim Crow. Lewis gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina in which he recalled being beaten by white racists, along with fellow Freedom Riders, in 1961. He concluded by implying that Republicans wanted to bring back those days of blood and hatred: “Brothers and sisters, do you want to go back? Or do you want to keep America moving forward?”

2016: Falsely compared Donald Trump to George Wallace. Reviving his theme from 2008, Lewis said that Trump reminded him of the governors of the Jim Crow South and the police who let dogs loose on demonstrators: “I’ve been around a while and Trump reminds me so much of a lot of the things that George Wallace said and did … Sometimes I feel like I am reliving part of my past. I heard it so much growing up in the South…I heard it so much during the days of the civil rights movement. As a people, I just think we could do much better,” he told the Los Angeles Times in an interview.

2017: Falsely claimed Trump is “illegitimate” because of a Russian “conspiracy.” Joining the tin foil hat brigade, Lewis claimed that Trump was a kind of “Manchurian Candidate” put in place by Russia: “I don’t see the president-elect as a legitimate president. … I think there was a conspiracy on the part of the Russians, and others, that helped him get elected.”

2016: Falsely claimed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) played no role in the civil rights movement. Lewis, a supporter of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency, tried to trash Sanders’s civil rights credentials. “I never saw him. I never met him,” Lewis said. Proof later emerged of Sanders’s arrest in civil rights protests in Chicago in the 1960s.

John Lewis, like the rest of the Democrat doesn’t seem to understand that the country has moved on past him. The race hustling crap that got Obama elected, twice has played it self out. Maybe Lewis should go work for Al Sharpton’s NAN organization to cement his legacy as a racist, bitter black man.

Racism will never be fully eradicated in this country. As long as bitter, old racism black Democrats like John Lewis are around to pass their racist baton on to the next generation, racism will always be alive.


Unholy matrimony and the Islamic culture’s hidden stain

By Piers Akerman, writing from Australia

AS much as it may discomfort the multi-culti crowd, Australia must realise that there are some appalling aspects of ­Islamic culture that can never be embraced here.

In the 2015-16 financial year alone, the Australian Federal Police investigated 69 ­incidents of forced marriage, more than double that investigated the previous year.

Just last week, an imam, a Muslim religious leader, faced a Melbourne court after allegedly forcing a child into marriage, while the 34-year-old “husband” of the minor appeared via videolink charged with sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16.

Ibrahim Omerdic, 61, appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday over an alleged forced marriage at Noble Park, in Melbourne’s southeast, along with the husband, who cannot be identified. The latter is also charged with being a party to a forced marriage.

Ibrahim Omerdic was charged with forcing a child bride to marry him against her will. Picture: Nicole Garmston
The court heard that a DVD of the ceremony being conducted at a mosque last year may form part of the evidence. ­ According to The Weekend Australian no person has been convicted of arranging or being involved in a forced marriage in Australia despite the number of referrals of possible offences soaring since 2013, when the act was criminalised, according to data from the Attorney-General’s Department.

In 2013-14, the Australian Federal Police received 11 referrals of allegations of forced marriage. The AFP received 33 in 2014-15 and 69 in 2015-16.

Mr Omerdic is the imam of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Islamic Centre and Mosque at Noble Park and reportedly said in 2005 that there was no “clear proof” Osama bin Laden was behind the 9/11 terror attacks.

The Victorian Board of Imams released a statement earlier this week condemning marriages that are illegal in Australia.

“Imams are advised to meet both the bride and groom in person prior to the nikah ­(Islamic marriage) ceremony to ensure they are of marriageable age and both are consenting to the marriage,” the statement said.

“As Australian Muslims, we are required to observe and ­respect the laws of Australia.”

The average reader might well assume that the Victorian Board of Imams aren’t ­unhappy with forced child marriages in other countries. Little wonder that young Australian Muslim girls are at risk of being spirited abroad to marry older men.

Given the imams’ collective responses to the case of the imam charged in Melbourne on Friday, the young girls might be better advised to look elsewhere for protection.

The Islamic Council of Victoria also released a statement condemning forced marriage.

“It is true that marriage at a younger age is permitted in other countries and cultures, but this is not a justification for marriage below the legal age or child marriages here in Australia,” they said.

Which might make some readers wonder why the Islamic Council members didn’t say they think forced child marriage is absolutely abhorrent wherever it is practised?

Do they think that they lack the stature to condemn this disgusting tradition or are they afraid that by doing so they will open up the obvious questions which surround the marriage of their Prophet Muhammad to his child bride, Aisha, who, according to traditional sources was married to Muhammad when she was six or seven though the marriage was not consummated till she was nine or 10, and he was then 53.

School principals and teachers have reported girls as young as nine being taken overseas, where they are forced to marry, the NSW government has said.

Family and Community Services Minister Brad Hazzard is in no doubt about the magnitude of the problem. He said data collected by his department since a telephone hotline was set up in July 2014 left him in “no doubt that there is a tsunami of young girls, some as young as nine, who are being taken overseas and being forced to become child brides”.

During a 2016 press conference he said the Muslim community needed to be vocal opponents against the practice.

Given the imams’ collective responses to the case of the imam charged in Melbourne on Friday, the young girls might be better advised to look elsewhere for protection.

As these young girls are most at risk from their families, there is a huge reluctance on their part to report the crime because of the shame and ­embarrassment that conviction and publicity would bring.

The same goes for the hideous cultural practice of ­female genital mutilation.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics and UNICEF data, as many as 83,000 women and girls in Australia may have been subjected to FGM, a statistic that rests on the fact that a girl is most likely to be subject to this procedure if her mother has had FGM.

It is estimated that 5640 girls under 15 may be in danger and 1100 girls are born every year to women who have had FGM. The extrapolation was cited by Professor Gillian Triggs, the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, in April 2016.

Professor Triggs and her ­organisation would be among the first to defend multiculturalism and just behind them would be Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Why not, it’s been a howling success across Europe, hasn’t it? Even the queen of multi-culti, Germany’s leaderene Angela Merkel, has been forced to admit the policy stinks.

Time our leaders did the same and dumped it.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


16 January, 2015

A Hate to Kill and Die for

Muslim attacks on Christian churches are on the rise all around the world-including in America.  The worst occurred last month when a bomb exploded in Egypt's St. Peter's Cathedral, killing 28, mostly women and children.  Preliminary investigations had indicated that a woman entered the church, sat in the women's section, and then left an unattended purse that later detonated.  Later reports asserted that, although others were involved, including one Muslim woman, a male suicide-bomber was the chief culprit (graphic pictures of his remains here).

How much hate must a woman have to enter a church, smile in the faces of Christians, pretend to be worshipping alongside them-here's a similar example from Turkey-and then knowingly leave a bomb precisely where it would kill mostly women and children?  How much hate must a man have for people who are peacefully praying that, in order to kill as many of them, he is willing to kill himself?

The answer is an unfathomable-and, to Western and Christian minds, unbelievable-amount of hate.    Yet the wonder isn't that the church was bombed but rather that many are surprised by it.  After all, many Muslim scriptures, clerics, mosques, schools, satellite stations and Internet sites-even the ministry of education-openly incite hatred for Egypt's indigenous (but "infidel") inhabitants: the Christian Copts.   Among other forms of animosity, they teach that Muslims must hate-and show that they hate-Christians, even if they are their own wives.

Worse, they teach that the most abominable crimes in God's sight-"worse than murder and bloodshed"-take place inside churches: there, Christians flaunt their rejection of Islam's core doctrine of tawhid ("monotheism") by ascribing partners to God (shirk) via their worship of the Trinity. This is why some of Islam's most revered ulema (scholars) describe churches as "worse than bars and brothels" and "dens of iniquity" which "breed corruption throughout the lands" (see Crucified Again, pgs. 32-36).

Modern Egyptian clerics constantly echo these hateful slanders.  In August 2009, Al Azhar's Dar al-Ifta issued a fatwa likening the building of a church to "a nightclub, a gambling casino, or building a barn for rearing pigs, cats or dogs."  In July 2012, Dr. Yassir al-Burhami, Egypt's leading Salafi, issued a fatwa forbidding Muslim taxi and bus drivers from transporting Christian clergy to their churches, an act "more forbidden than taking someone to a liquor bar."  When the Islamic State launched a suicide attack on a packed church in Baghdad in 2011-killing about 60 Christians (graphic images of aftermath here)-it justified the massacre by portraying the church as a "dirty den of idolatry."

But it's not just ISIS and "radical" clerics that harbor such animosity for churches.  After the fatal bombing inside St. Peter's, "everyday" Muslims wrote things like "God bless the person who did this blessed act" on social media.  One average looking Muslim woman appears in the streets of Egypt jubilantly celebrating the massacre (video with English subtitles).   She triumphantly yells "Allahu Akbar!" and says that "our beloved prophet Muhammad is paying you infidels [Christians] back... for rejecting tawhid, which must be proclaimed in every corner of Egypt!"

Americans may remember that Muslims around the world also celebrated the terror strikes of September 11.  Then, the assumption was "we must've done something to make Muslims hate us so much."  But if powerful America is capable of provoking Muslims with its foreign policies, what did Egypt's already downtrodden and ostracized Christian minority do to make Muslims celebrate the news that a church was bombed and Christians blown to pieces?

In other words, the hate is everywhere and on open display for those with eyes and ears to see and hear with.  It's a regular feature of the West nowadays for Muslims to go on church vandalizing sprees (here's a video of one from Rome).  Indeed, the ongoing desecration of churches, crucifixes, and Christian icons at the hands of Muslims is so virulent that-from the earliest writings of Islam (see Athanasius of Sinai's 7th century chronicles) till today-it continues to be described as the "work of Satan's offspring."

In Egypt the hate is usually simmering below the line of what is deemed newsworthy and only reaches the West when Muslim piety boils over and leaves a trail of carnage in its wake.  "Amateur" attacks on churches that fail to claim lives, or Muslims abusing, kidnapping, beating, raping-and sometimes even murdering[1]-Christians, are habitual occurrences in Egypt and other Muslim majority nations that rarely get reported in the West.  Yet the fact remains: the animus that regularly causes large Muslim mobs to attack and/or torch buildings on the mere rumor that they are being used as churches, causes more zealous Muslims to bomb churches.

These latter-the professional jihadis and "martyrs"-believe themselves to be the greatest allies of God.  They cite the Islamic doctrine of al-wala' wa'l-bara' ("Loyalty an Enmity"), which is based on a number of Koran verses. It teaches that the best way for a Muslim to proclaim his loyalty to Islam (submission to Allah and adherence to Muhammad's teachings) is by showing and exercising hate for those who reject it.


‘If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem, Let My Right Hand Forget Her Cunning’

Arab response to the decision by US Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) to introduce The Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act, legislation to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, has been predictable.

Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas claimed the decision would put the Middle East peace process and the whole world into a “crisis.” His close advisor Mahmoud al-Habash called the move “a declaration of war on Muslims.” Ynet noted this description is significant because it echoed a similar sentiment expressed by former Jerusalem Mufti Achrama Sabri, whose extreme views generally do not reflect those of the Palestinian Authority.

Jordanian Information Minister Muhammad Momani said that the transfer would be a “gift to extremists” and would “inflame the Islamic and Arab streets.”

Hussein Ibish, a Senior Resident Scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, D.C., whom Daniel Pipes calls “anti-American, anti-Semitic, inaccurate and immoral,” went even further when he warned of a “spontaneous, or possibly even organized, [violent] uprising is extremely plausible—perhaps even inevitable, if not immediately.”

As if on cue, US Secretary of State John Kerry added his caveat, which could easily be interpreted as a justification for an aggressive Arab response: “You’d have an explosion, an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region.”

Relocation of Embassy Unsettles Palestinian Arab Campaign to Deny Jewish Claim to Jerusalem

Relocating the US embassy to Jerusalem poses a more serious problem for the Palestinian Arabs than disrupting a non-existent peace process. As part of a political strategy to delegitimize Israel, they initiated a campaign to obliterate 3,000 years of Jewish history in Israel and replace it with their own fabricated history, with the intention of creating the past history of a Palestinian Arab nation and state. The process involves appropriating Jewish traditions, tenets and historical narrative, allowing them to portray the Jews as interlopers, colonialists and usurpers of Arab lands.

The Palestinian Media Watch reported that this plot was first conveyed at a conference of Palestinian Arab historians in 1998. Dr. Yussuf Alzamili, Chairman of the History Department, Khan Yunis Educational College, urged all universities and colleges “to write the history of Palestine and to guard it, and not to enable the [foreign] implants and enemies to distort it or to legitimize the existence of Jews on this land... [History lecturer Abu Amar] clarified that there is no connection between the ancient generation of Jews and the new generation.”

To bolster Palestinian Arab claims, PA government media, flags, maps, cartoons, youth movement logos, schoolbooks and schools and children’s educational programs use maps removing Israel, signifying Palestinian Arab political sovereignty throughout all of Israel. The Holocaust and other areas of Jewish history are either denied, minimized or falsified. Christianity is also targeted. Jesus is falsely and improbably described as a Palestinian Arab who preached Islam (despite the centuries gap between the emergence of Christianity and the subsequent appearance of Mohammed), thereby not only repudiating Jewish history, but also the history and legitimacy of Christianity.

The PA accuses Israel of fashioning a false Jewish history in the land while appropriating Palestinian history, culture and heritage. The Palestinians refer to these actions as “Judaization.” The main target of this “Judaization” is the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which Israel allegedly schemes to demolish in order to build the Jewish Temple. At the same time, PA political and religious leaders, officials and academics refer to the Temple as Al-Haikal Al-Maz’oom, the “alleged Temple.”

Erasing any trace of archeological evidence of Jewish and Christian history is an essential part of this campaign, asserted columnist David M. Weinberg. Synagogues and Jewish holy sites in Jericho, Nablus and Gush Katif were burnt down as Palestinian Arab police watched. Palestinian Arab mobs in 1996 attacked Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem while Palestinian Arab policemen wounded the Israeli soldiers protecting the Tomb. Since then the Israelis were forced to enclose the site with concrete barriers, turning it into a veritable fortress. A Palestinian Arab horde led by Palestinian Arab policemen raided Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, torched the inside of the synagogue and killed six of the Israeli soldiers guarding the site.

The Temple Mount had a section known as the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant, containing the Ten Commandments and the Torah resided, explained Mark Ami-El, editor of The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Daily Alert. Jews were obligated to visit Jerusalem three times a year. After the Babylonians destroyed the First Temple in 586 BCE, Jews returned to Jerusalem from exile in 538 BCE and finished building the Second Temple in 515 BCE. Even after the Temple’s destruction by Roman armies in 70 CE, Jews directed their prayers to the Temple Mount.

To justify their claim that the Temple Mount is the site of a mosque dating back to the time of Adam and Eve, they are transforming the area into holy places, mosques and Muslim holy sites and removing everything to substantiate Israeli claims to the area. Thousands of tons of material have been dumped in the Kidron Valley and the city garbage dump at Eizariya, while they build underground mosques at the site.

Included in these ruins were the archeological remains—masonry stones, blocks, floor tiles and pottery—from the period of the First and Second Temples. Decorations and inscriptions on stones were removed, as were Hebrew lettering and five-pointed stars, a Hasmonean symbol found on handle seals from the second century BCE. The Wakf also destroyed stonework produced by Jewish artisans 2,000 years ago in the underground “double passageway.”

Similar to the well-reported Taliban and ISIS destruction of historical sites, less well known is that Christian relics on the Temple Mount were also demolished, including the Crusader pillars of the 13th-century Grammar Dome in the southwestern corner of the Mount, and the Crusader-era Chain Gate. Without any concern for the integrity of the these historic objects, the Waqf has permitted drilling holes in them, spray painting them and chopping through them for electricity cables, and allowed concrete and stone to be added to them.

Demolition of Artifacts: An Act of Resistance

Barnard College anthropologist Nadia Abu El Haj, representing the view of many Palestinian Arabs, defends destroying archaeological artifacts and sites: “Looting could well be analyzed as a form of resistance to the Israeli state and an archaeological project, understood by many Palestinians, to stand at the very heart of Zionist historical claims to the land.” She argues that Israeli archeologists use their craft to substantiate Jewish national homeland in a land where Jews never lived. In the process, the Israelis have “erased other geographies. Most centrally, it effaced Arab/Palestinian claims to and presences within the very same place.”

Responding to These Fabrications

The problem with these incessant barrage of lies is that they are repeated not just in the Palestinian Arab media, but in statements of human rights organizations, academic books and journals and at the UN.

Jewish religious, spiritual and historical attachment to Jerusalem and the land of Israel has never wavered, as Reuben Gafni, a legal expert on historical rights and one of the early members of the Mizrachi and Hapoel Hamizrachi Movement, stressed. The Jewish nation, he said, has never abandoned or surrendered its right to return to their ancestral home or claimed any other country or territory as their new homeland.

The need to explain the Jewish link to Jerusalem and the land of Israel is not new. In his testimony before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine in 1946, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, explained to the British and American committee members that more than 3,000 years before the Mayflower departed England for the New World, Jews fled from Egypt. And “every in the Jew in the world knows exactly when we left. It was the 15th of Nisan.”

Each spring, Jews commemorate their liberation from slavery and the Exodus from Egypt to the land of Israel at the Seder, which traditionally ends with the sentence: “Next year in the Jerusalem!” Some add the word rebuilt: “Next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem.”

Religious rituals were instituted to remember the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem and the subsequent exile. During times of joy and sorrow, Zion is always part of a Jew’s thoughts and liturgy. At least three times a day, observant Jews pray for the redemption of Zion and Jerusalem and for her well-being. When comforting a Jew on the loss of a loved one, we say, “May God comfort you (amongst) the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”

Throughout Jewish history, Jews have recited Psalm 137: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest Joys.” The verse is sung at the end of Jewish weddings.

The words of Jeremiah (33:10-11), form a prayer sung at weddings to ask God to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem and restore joy and happiness to the streets of Jerusalem: “Yet again there shall be heard... in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem. The voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.”

Israel’s national anthem, written in 1886 by Naphtali Herz Imber, makes this eternal connection point quite clear: “As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart, With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion, Then our hope—the two-thousand-year-old hope—will not be lost: To be a free people in our land, The land of Zion and Jerusalem.”

By moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, political scientist Miriam F. Elman suggests, “Sending a strong message that the new administration stands with the Israeli government on a major symbolic issue with high potential costs could push the Palestinian leadership to a greater sense of urgency in negotiations.” Moreover, given the failures of decades of diplomacy that deliberately fell sway to the same arguments being advanced today against moving the American Embassy to the capital of Israel, as the President-elect stated while campaigning for African-American votes, “What have you got to lose?”


UK: Rudd speech on foreign workers recorded as a hate incident

If a middle-of-the-road speech now counts as a ‘hate incident’, we’re all screwed

Amber Rudd’s notorious [Tory] party conference speech – in which she floated the idea of employers reporting on the number of foreign and British-born people they employ – has been recorded by the police as a ‘hate incident’, a new lesser category of hate crime that Rudd herself helped to introduce in July last year. In her desperation to prove she was taking post-Brexit hate crime seriously, she has effectively criminalised herself.

The complaint was made by Joshua Silver, a physics professor at Oxford, who told Andrew Neil in a laugh-a-minute Daily Politics interview that Rudd’s speech was ‘picking on foreigners’ – although he admitted to having only read a draft. Silver’s now getting a well-earned rinsing. But he’s not alone in seeing Rudd’s speech as criminal. At the time, some liberal commentators were literally comparing Rudd’s speech to Mein Kampf.

If you care about people’s freedom to move, strive and settle wherever they please, Rudd’s speech was nothing to celebrate. But it was painfully mainstream, even plagiaristic. As we pointed out on spiked at the time, she stole most of her ideas from Ed Miliband and Gordon Brown. When Brown called for ‘British jobs’ in 2007, was that a hate incident, too? Did commentators line up to present it as something straight out of Nuremberg? Of course they didn’t.

But far more worrying is the legal framework that allowed Silver’s complaint to go so far. Rudd’s speech will now be recorded in official statistics as a ‘non-crime hate incident’. A hate incident is defined as ‘any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them’ relating to protected characteristics, and must be recorded ‘regardless of whether or not they are the victim, and irrespective of whether there is any evidence to identify the hate element’.

Hate crime has always been an Orwellian idea. If someone attacks someone, they shouldn’t be criminalised for what they were thinking while they were doing it. It pushes us into the realm of thoughtcrime. But what this case shows is that hate crime has become even more insidious, it has lapsed into policing mere speech, or in this case a speech, that isn’t criminal in any real way – even under existing hate-speech law. Though they may never make it to court, any allegation – no matter how specious or ridiculous – must be recorded.

We already live under a tyranny of hate-speech and malicious-communications laws, through which people have been criminalised for wearing offensive t-shirts, getting their dogs to do Nazi salutes and preaching fire and brimstone from their own pulpits. The recording of so-called hate incidents will chill discussion further. It will make politicians watch their words and feed the particularly febrile climate that has been whipped up by reeling Remainers post-Brexit.

The much-quoted police statistics, denoting a ‘spike’ in hate crime after the vote, conflated both hate crime and hate incidents. This has been cynically exploited to explode the problem of racism, demonise Leave voters and delegitimise the vote. What could, for all we know, be largely uninvestigated ‘hate incidents’ – like that ‘committed’ by Rudd – are being used to imply that Brexit triggered a slew of racist attacks. It’s horrendous and divisive: migrant communities are being told on a daily basis that their white neighbours are out to get them.

But, again, you have to look at who’s really responsible. It wasn’t a cabal of Remainer Guardian journalists who laid down the groundwork for this panic, who over decades have sleepwalked into this Salem-like situation, where an allegation is enough and words are equated with actions – it’s our own government. It was people like Rudd, who are now themselves being bitten. There’s a kind of justice in that. But for those of us who believe in a free society, that’s not much comfort.


StemExpress Drops Its Lawsuit Over Undercover Fetal-Parts Video   

A seller of organs from aborted babies withdraws its suit, knowing it would probably lose.                                         
A prominent tissue-procurement organization (TPO) - StemExpress, LLC, which partnered with Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics to profit illegally from the sale of fetal body parts from aborted babies - has dropped its lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).

The suit concerned a compromising video that CMP's founder David Daleiden had filmed undercover during a lunch meeting with StemExpress founder and CEO Cate Dyer. StemExpress first sued CMP in July 2015, before the release of the video, but its request for a preliminary injunction was denied the following month. At that point CMP released the video to the public as part of its undercover series on the fetal-tissue trafficking industry, and it quickly went viral.

In this particular video, Dyer spoke with CMP's undercover journalists (posing as representatives of a biotech firm) about StemExpress clients that would frequently request "another 50 livers a week," meaning fetal organs obtained from abortion clinics. She also referred to some abortion clinics as "volume institutions," with which her group partnered to obtain a greater number of fetal organs for resale to researchers. (Planned Parenthood was the most prominent abortion group that had a formal partnership with StemExpress.) Dyer also refers in the video to "intact cases" being shipped back to the lab in their entirety, meaning the full corpses of aborted babies.

Interestingly, StemExpress dropped its ongoing suit against CMP this afternoon, just one day before a scheduled appellate hearing on a motion to strike its complaint. After failing to obtain an injunction - on the grounds of Daleiden's First Amendment rights - StemExpress continued with its suit, claiming that Daleiden interfered with the TPO's business interests and allegedly broke the law by recording their conversation in a public restaurant.

Chuck LiMandri of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, one of the attorneys representing CMP in this case, tells National Review that StemExpress likely dropped its case for fear that it would lose and then owe Daleiden legal fees.

"We had stronger arguments on appeal," LiMandri says. "They were pretty candid that one of the primary purposes of the lawsuit was to block the release of the video, an attempt that failed."

The timing of this decision is intriguing, as it comes just one week after the House Select Panel on Infant Lives released its final report on a 16-month investigation into the fetal-tissue-trafficking industry, much of which sheds light on the despicable practices in which StemExpress was engaged, along with Planned Parenthood, other abortion clinics, and other TPOs.

Over the course of the investigation, the House panel made 15 criminal and regulatory referrals, several of which appeared to implicate StemExpress in illegal activity, including violations of federal health and privacy regulations and the destruction of pertinent documents. For example, the report shows that, in at least one case, StemExpress paid a Planned Parenthood affiliate $55 for a fetal brain that the TPO then sold to a customer for $3,340; such profit from fetal body parts is normally against both federal and state law. In addition, the StemExpress website featured a drop-down menu allowing researchers to select the fetal body parts they wished to purchase, all of which were sold at dramatically marked-up prices.

The House panel referred StemExpress to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Justice Department, as well as to state and local law-enforcement agencies, for further investigation into its practices.

According to Daleiden, this lawsuit and its dismissal are particularly important because StemExpress was the first of the CMP-investigated entities to file a lawsuit or seek an injunction. "It's sort of a miniature version of the other lawsuits brought against CMP, under this exaggerated, frivolous theory that undercover work is a somehow a form of fraud, or that being a citizen journalist is something you can sue over," Daleiden tells National Review.

StemExpress's latest move also might shed some light on the future of two other ongoing lawsuits against CMP, the first brought by the National Abortion Federation (NAF) and the second by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). Both cases are being heard in federal court in San Francisco, before the same judge. The case brought by NAF, a trade group of North American abortion organizations, is especially important because it involves a preliminary injunction that is currently preventing CMP from releasing more damning footage. According to Daleiden, this footage comes from NAF conventions in 2014 and 2015, and if CMP wins the suit, it will be permitted to release that footage to the public.

Daleiden believes that StemExpress may have surrendered the lawsuit before its completion so that the outcome would not harm the cases of NAF and PPFA. "Their legal theory is totally discredited at this point, and they didn't want to go all the way through with the lawsuit because they knew they would fail," Daleiden says, referring to the claim that undercover investigation is somehow illegal.

The TPO's surrender in this lawsuit illustrates that there is more to the abortion industry than one might see on the surface, and should serve as a timely and unpleasant reminder that no amount of euphemism or obfuscation can hide the true nature of the dark and grisly business to which lawmakers will soon turn their attentions.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


15 January, 2017

Australia's Kirralie Smith tells it like it is

Being critical of Islam is not "extremist" or "right-wing".  It's fake news to say so

In "Laokoon" by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, we read: "Reiz ist Schönheit in Bewegung" (Charm is beauty in motion).  Kirralie has charm above

Obama boasts of better race relations, 75 percent of cops disagree

Concerned about their safety, the overwhelming majority of police are now less likely to do their job because of fatal encounters between law enforcement and the black community.

According to new polling from the Pew Research Center, 93 percent of police officers are concerned about their safety on the job; 72 percent are less willing to stop suspicious characters; and 75 percent report increased tension between cops and the black community.

While the majority of police officers, 67 percent, insist those encounters are isolated, the episodes have made viral news and front page headlines throughout 2016. The shooting of a 32-year-old Minnesota man, for example, was broadcast on Facebook Live, sparking local and national protests. As a result, 60 percent of the public disagrees with police and believe the shootings reflect a broader problem.

Last year, according to the Washington Post, 963 people were shot and killed by police.

Politicians from both parties have suggested solutions to the problem. The majority of police suggest greater accountability and favor tougher tactics. Two in three cops say they're ready to wear a body camera on the job. At the same time, 45 percent believe that getting physical is the answer for unruly individuals.

The findings provide an interesting footnote to Obama's farewell address. Though polls suggest that the majority of American believe race relations have worsened in the last eight years, the outgoing executive believes the country's made progress in this area.

"Now I've lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 10 or 20 or 30 years ago," Obama told supporters in Chicago Tuesday, "no matter what some folks say."

It seems, however, that the majority of America's police disagree.


Texas Judge Rejects ‘Clock Boy’s’ Defamation Lawsuit Against Conservative Pundits

A Texas judge on Monday rejected a defamation lawsuit that was filed last September by the father of “Clock Boy” Ahmed Mohamed against several conservative outlets pundits.

The Center for Security Policy (CSP), one of the defendants in the case, announced that Dallas County district court judge Maricela Moore dismissed the suit, the Daily Caller reported.

Mohamed Mohamed, “Clock Boy’s” father, filed the suit in September against CSP, its executive vice president, The Blaze, Inc., its founder Glenn Beck, Fox News, and several conservative pundits, including Ben Ferguson and Ben Shapiro, all of whom criticized his son.

Mohamed gained international attention and a White House invite when he was arrested in Sept. 2015 after he took a clock that closely resembled a timed bomb to his Irving, Tex. high school. One of Mohamed’s teachers referred him to school administrators, and the then-14-year-old was briefly arrested.

The incident led to a massive nationwide uproar as activists and Muslim civil rights groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) claimed it was a case of Islamophobia. President Obama praised Mohamed and invited the teen to the White House.

CSP executive Jim Hanson told Beck in an interview on The Blaze that he believed the lawsuit was a “PR stunt.”

“It’s a RadioShack clock that he put in a briefcase, and in a briefcase it looks like a bomb,” Hanson argued. “They did that to create the exact scenario that played out.”

Former Breitbart News editor Ben Shapiro also criticized the lawsuit and said that it was “a hoax.”

“This was a setup and that President Obama fell for it because it confirms a couple of his pre-stated biases against police and against people who he perceives to be Islamaphobic,” he said.

American Freedom Law Center senior counsel David Yerushalmi, who represents CSP, argued in court on Monday that the lawsuit was “a classic Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation or ‘SLAPP’ case and should be dismissed.”

There are 28 states, including Texas, that have adopted laws that protect defendants against SLAPP cases.

CSP said that Judge Moore, who is a Democrat, asked Mohammed’s attorney Susan Hutchison to provide facts to support the claim that defendants made any false or defamatory statements about the plaintiffs.

“After spending a painfully embarrassing 15 minutes flipping through reams of paper, Mohamed’s lawyer was unable to provide any such evidence,” CSP said in a press release.


Racist opinions are hateful, but that shouldn’t make them crimes

By Jeff Jacoby

Hate crime laws are in the news on multiple fronts this week.

 * In Charleston, S.C., jurors in federal court Tuesday sentenced Dylann Roof to the death penalty. Roof, a 22-year-old white supremacist who murdered nine black parishioners at Charleston’s Emanuel AME church in 2015, was convicted last month on 24 federal hate crime charges.

 * In Chicago, four young black men and women have been charged with Class 4 hate crimes, as well as with counts of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery assault, after abducting and torturing a mentally impaired white teenager, all the while livestreaming their attack on Facebook.

 * In Washington, the Senate Judiciary Committee opened confirmation hearings on Senator Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general. Sessions’ approval is likely, but one argument made against him is that he opposed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, which made sexual orientation and disability protected categories under federal hate crimes law.

Though they’ve been in effect since the 1990s, hate crime statutes have always been constitutionally and morally unsound. At best they are a symbolic declaration that crimes inspired by certain types of bigotry are especially odious. At worst they are a vehicle for grandstanding prosecutors eager to make a political point. Either way, they should disturb anyone who believes criminals ought to be punished for their harmful actions, not for their ugly opinions.

Faced with racism, we first choose sides rather than lament its attendant violence that was normalized long ago.

To grasp how gratuitous hate crime prosecutions can be, look no further than Roof’s case. The Charleston mass killer is a depraved monster; the day he is put to death, America will be a better, cleaner place. But there was no need for a federal trial to achieve that salutary end. South Carolina’s criminal-justice system was willing and able to do the job. Immediately after Roof’s bloodbath, Charleston County Solicitor Scarlett Wilson charged him with nine counts of murder; she later said South Carolina would seek the death penalty and urged that he be tried in state court first.

But the state’s legitimate interest in bringing Roof to justice was muscled aside by the federal Justice Department, which emphasized its desire to make Roof’s race hatred an explicit centerpiece of the trial. The Emanuel AME attack “directly fits the hate crime statute,” federal investigators told The New York Times. “This is exactly what it was created for.” There was no danger of Roof getting away with murder. But Washington wanted to federalize the case to spotlight the defendant’s beliefs. Those beliefs, revealed in Roof’s website, his Facebook page, and in a handwritten screed composed in jail, are beyond nauseating. But no opinion of his could be more nauseating than nine murders.

Had he never raised a hand against anyone, Roof’s hateful views would be fully protected by the First Amendment. Conversely, had he murdered nine people in cold blood not because of their race or religion, but simply because he craved publicity or wanted a thrill or was trying to impress a gang, he would still have been tried for capital murder and be facing execution.

In other words, all the “hate crime” designation accomplishes is more attention for Roof’s horrific (but not illegal) opinions. Wasn’t that just what he wanted — a platform for his racial animosity? Wouldn’t it have been far better to give Roof’s racism as little attention as possible, and to concentrate solely on his devastating crime?

The same is true of the four thugs in Chicago. Yes, their video showed them spewing racist epithets and mocking the victim’s disability. But in the eyes of the law, the attackers’ opinions should matter not at all. It is their cruel acts of abuse — the gagging, the beating, the cutting, the stealing, the threatening — for which they should be tried and punished. If the victim had been black, would his torture have been less horrible? If his assailants had chanted “We love white people,” would their crimes be any less hateful?

Hate crime laws are now part of the legal landscape, but conservatives like Sessions weren’t alone in opposing them. Many civil libertarians have warned consistently that such laws criminalize beliefs. Former US senator Russ Feingold, an ardent liberal, spoke against them during a 1993 congressional debate, pleading with his colleagues to “pause before we start sentencing people not on the basis of the viciousness of their act or actual harm, but based on what they might have been thinking when they did the act.”

Society has a duty to punish a criminal’s evil deeds. But there is never a duty to punish a criminal’s thoughts, no matter how evil they may be.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


13 January, 2017

Black sociology professor wants white people to keep ‘individual reparations accounts’

It's a basic principle of law that we are not responsible for what someone else has done -- and certainly not for what our ancestors did

It’s been nearly 152 years since slavery was abolished in the United States, but Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson believes modern white people should keep an “individual reparations account” to atone for the sins of America’s past:

    Mr. Dyson was discussing his forthcoming book, “Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America,” with New York Times Magazine when he touched on a subject in his book that talks about white people making reparations on the local and individual level.

    The Times’ Ana Marie Cox said Mr. Dyson suggested donating to the United Negro College Fund or paying “the black person who cuts your grass double what you might ordinarily pay.”

    “Look, if it doesn’t cost you anything, you’re not really engaging in change; you’re engaging in convenience,” Mr. Dyson said. “You’re engaged in the overflow. I’m asking you to do stuff you wouldn’t ordinarily do. I’m asking you to think more seriously and strategically about why you possess what you possess.

    “That is what I meant by an I.R.A.: an individual reparations account,” he continued. “You ain’t got to ask the government, you don’t have to ask your local politician — this is what you, an individual, conscientious, ‘woke’ citizen can do.

In case you aren’t familiar with it, “woke” is a slang term typically used by the black community to describe people who are self-aware. And, evidently, according to Dyson being “woke” means treating black people differently because of the color of their skin.

I wonder what Dr. King would have to say about that.


Beauty salon is forced to carry out intimate 'Brazilian' waxings in its SHOP WINDOW after Austrian health and safety officers said they must be performed in natural light

A former beauty queen is accusing health and safety chiefs of turning her beauty salon into a 'peep show' by making her carry out intimate waxing sessions in the shop window.

Katia Wagner, 28, says officials have banned her from waxing clients in private back rooms at her salon in the Austrian capital city of Vienna because of a lack of natural light.

The former Miss Earth Austria says that her only option is to offer clients intimate hair removal treatments in the street-facing shop window as this was the only other place with natural light.

The stunning brunette was shocked to be issued the instructions during a routine visit by the Viennese Labour Inspectorate.

Officials told her that she had to install windows in the private upstairs waxing rooms which she says is not a practical option.

She attempted to turn the tables on the bungling bureaucrats who forced her to modify her salon, by offering the first 10 intimate hair removal treatments to health and safety inspectors completely free of charge.

Ms Wagner said: 'They are making a peep show out of the waxing.

'It was such a strange demand - after all, our customers do not want to have an audience when they are having their intimate parts waxed, they want privacy.'

The Austrian health and safety directorate followed up the visit by issuing a written instruction saying that rooms where waxing takes place must have windows within 12 weeks.

Ms Wagner took them at their word and is now offering waxing sessions in the shop window.

She is being supported by her thousands of followers on social media - although some have accused her of playing up the drama as a PR stunt.

But Ms Wagner insisted: 'This is not true at all. We are well-booked, have many customers, and we really do not need it.'

And she made public the official notice sent to her by the inspectorate to silence her critics.

It says: 'On the upper floor, we found working rooms without external windows. They must be located and designed in such a way that the outside environment is visible.'


On Fire: The Racist Anti-Racists at MTV News

By Michelle Malkin

It's only the second week of 2017, but it's already been a banner year for preening liberals on cable TV who are hell-bent on self-immolation in the name of proving everyone else's moral inferiority.

To use young people's slang these days, you're "lit," media progressives. But not in a good way.

On Tuesday, just before the confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee and Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions kicked off, an MTV News reporter demonstrated his high and mighty commitment to racial tolerance ... by mocking Sen. Sessions' half-Asian granddaughter. Sessions' daughter, Ruth, is married to Asian-American John Walk. They have four girls.

Upon spotting Sessions with one of his multiracial granddaughters sitting on his lap as he waited for the proceedings to begin, MTV News "culture writer" Ira Madison III tweeted a photo of them and snarked:

"Sessions, sir, kindly return this Asian baby to the Toys 'R' Us you stole her from."

So much for liberals celebrating diversity. So much for Michelle Obama's rallying cry to the left that "our motto is, when they go low, we go high."

Madison sneered that Sessions' granddaughter was a "prop" and that there was "no reason for that child to be in his lap in a hearing other than to send an 'I'm not racist message.'"

Even after being informed that the beautiful little girl was Sessions' biological grandchild, Madison continued to attack — accusing conservative critics of having "long used Asian-Americans as 'model minorities' since the rise of the (C)ivil (R)ights (A)ct." He further justified his bigotry by accusing Sen. Sessions of "horrendous anti-black behavior" and snidely dismissed the senator's "love for an Asian family member."

What better way to send an "I'm not racist message" than to double down on the revolting dehumanization of the family members of one's political opponents?

MTV News, which touts itself as the "conversation authority for the millennial audience," has become the Sideshow Bob of the internet. Like the hapless character in "The Simpsons" cartoon series who can't stop stepping on rakes and smashing in his face, this supposed "music" network keeps veering into the social justice lane — and causing bloody self-harm.

(Fun fact: Bigot Ira Madison, who purports to protest bigotry by practicing it, pens a column called "Delete Your Account," poking fun at social media blunders by public figures.)

Before Christmas, the same MTV News division that employs Madison aired a sanctimonious video titled "2017 Resolutions for White Guys." Reeking of extremist identity politics, a parade of smarmy millennials lectures every last white man on the planet to "try to recognize that America was never great for anyone who wasn't a white guy." While assailing "mansplaining," the cast proceeds to MTVsplain that "Black Lives Matter isn't the opposite of All Lives Matter. (...) Also, Blue Lives Matter isn't a thing."

Swamped by mockery on both sides of the aisle, MTV deleted the condescending video, but apparently not the condescending attitude.

We've seen it before in cable TV news. Former MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry indulged in holier-than-thou anti-racism racism when she openly mocked Mitt Romney's black adopted grandson in 2013 and laughed with other MSNBC commentators at a sweet holiday photo of the devout Mormon's large family.

And MSNBC was forced to apologize again in 2014 after conservative multiracial parents, including me, battled the network's vile racism slurring "rightwing" Americans as intolerant of biracial families featured in a Cheerios ad.

Responding to those of us who refused to tolerate their prejudice disguised as tolerance, MSNBC commentator Richard Wolffe insisted at the time: "That's not who we are."

We see you for exactly who you are: Flaming hypocrites who can't help themselves. Stay lit!


The Black Community and Crime

Walter E. Williams

The FBI reported that the total number of homicides in 2015 was 15,696. Blacks were about 52 percent of homicide victims. That means about 8,100 black lives were ended violently, and over 90 percent of the time, the perpetrator was another black. Listening to the news media and the Black Lives Matter movement, one would think that black deaths at the hands of police are the major problem. It turns out that in 2015, police across the nation shot and killed 986 people. Of that number, 495 were white (50 percent), 258 were black (26 percent) and 172 Hispanic (17 percent). A study of 2,699 fatal police killings between 2013 and 2015, conducted by John R. Lott Jr. and Carlisle E. Moody of the Crime Prevention Research Center, demonstrates that the odds of a black suspect’s being killed by a black police officer were consistently greater than a black suspect’s getting killed by a white officer. Politicians, race hustlers and the news media keep such studies under wraps because these studies don’t help their narrative about racist cops.

The homicide victim is not the only victim, whether he is a criminal or not, for there are mourning loved ones. No one ever fully recovers from having a son, daughter, husband, mother or father murdered. Murder is not the only crime that takes a heavy toll on the black community. Blacks are disproportionately represented as victims in every category of violent crime — e.g., forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Today’s level of lawlessness and insecurity in many black communities is a relatively new phenomenon. In the 1930s, ‘40s and '50s, people didn’t bar their windows. Doors were often left unlocked. People didn’t go to bed with the sounds of gunshots. What changed everything was the liberal vision that blamed crime on poverty and racial discrimination. Academic liberals and hustling politicians told us that to deal with crime, we had to deal with those “root causes.” Plus, courts began granting criminals new rights that caused murder and other violent crime rates to skyrocket. The liberals’ argument ignores the fact that there was far greater civility in black neighborhoods at a time when there was far greater poverty and discrimination.

The presence of criminals, having driven many businesses out, forces residents to bear the costs of shopping outside their neighborhoods. Fearing robberies, taxi drivers — including black drivers — often refuse to do home pickups in black neighborhoods and frequently pass up black customers hailing them. Plus, there’s the insult associated with not being able to receive pizza or other deliveries on the same terms as people in other neighborhoods.

In low-crime neighborhoods, FedEx, UPS and other delivery companies routinely leave packages that contain valuable merchandise on a doorstep if no one is at home. That saves the expense of redelivery or recipients from having to go pick up the packages. In low-crime communities, supermarket managers may leave plants, fertilizer and other home and garden items outdoors, often unattended and overnight. They display merchandise at entryways and exits. Where there is less honesty, supermarkets cannot use all the space that they lease, and hence they are less profitable. In high-crime neighborhoods, delivery companies leaving packages at the door and supermarkets leaving goods outside unattended would be equivalent to economic suicide.

Politicians who call for law and order are often viewed negatively, but poor people are the most dependent on law and order. In the face of high crime or social disorder, wealthier people can afford to purchase alarm systems, buy guard dogs, hire guards and, if things get too bad, move to a gated community. These options are not available to poor people. The only protection they have is an orderly society.

Ultimately, the solution to high crime rests with black people. Given the current political environment, it doesn’t pay a black or white politician to take those steps necessary to crack down on lawlessness in black communities.



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

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

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


12 January, 2017

A confused theologian thinks you can defend pluralism by attacking it

Rev. Bird has got a screed published by Australia's public broadcaster which is a rather good example of the Leftist tendency to abuse words.  He first condemns the pluralism that actually exists in Australia -- with voices like those of Pauline Hanson and Cory Bernardi -- so apparently wants to shut them up.  But he then says that we need to defend our pluralism.  But he is the one who is attacking it!  I suppose such addled thinking is what we have to expect of a theologian.  He probably thinks the doctrine of the Holy Trinity (1+1+1 =1) makes sense too.  Excerpt below

We are at risk in Australia of creating a political climate where extremists like Holland's anti-immigration activist Geert Wilders or Greece's communist leader Dimitris Koutsoumpas are electable, writes Mike Bird. We must rise to defend our pluralism.

Burning anger has, lamentably, become the dominating feature of the Australian political climate.

Walking through Melbourne's Brunswick recently, I noticed Sex Party signs that say "Tax the Church" — trying to create the impression that all churches are contemptible multi-million dollar mega-complexes built on the moral bankruptcy of a televangelist.

Meanwhile, Liberal MPs Cory Bernardi and George Christensen are reportedly set to attend a dinner to raise funds for an anti-Islam and anti-immigration group called the Q-Society, whose views can be easily characterised as xenophobic.

How did this happen? How did we come to the point where disdain for others was the new normal in Australian politics?

The rancorous debates over same-sex marriage, immigration, refugees, and climate change, combined with people's fatigue with the two-party system, has created the perfect storm for some political monster to emerge from the abyss of communal fragmentation and political opportunism.

Who's laughing now?

I recoil at the idea of an anti-immigration party in the Senate just as much as I fear the possibility of the Sex Party ever having the balance of power in the Senate.

I shudder when I think of the prospect of the Greens' Lee Rhiannon or Pauline Hanson as president of the Senate, holding ministerial office, or even — heaven forbid — the office of prime minister.


Muslim girls MUST swim alongside boys during school lessons in Switzerland after the country wins legal fight with Turkish migrant parents

Muslim students will now have to take part in mixed-gender swimming lessons, even after the European Court of Human Rights said that religious freedoms were being interfered with.

Switzerland won a case at the ECHR on Tuesday after a ruling said that authorities were justified in saying that mixed-gender swimming lessons were part of a 'full school curriculum' and the children's 'successful integration' into society.

The case was brought on by two Swiss nationals of Turkish origin who wouldn't send their teenage daughters to compulsory mixed-gender lessons, according to the BBC.

While the ECHR did say that religious freedoms were being interfered with in the lessons, judges said unanimously that the interference did not amount to a violation.

The ECHR said in a statement that the refusal to exempt girls from swimming lessons 'had been an interference with the applicants' right to their freedom of religion'.

The law involved with the right for freedom of religion, however, was made 'to protect foreign pupils from any form of social exclusion,' the ECHR said in a statement.

The court said that schools are important for social integration.

Exemptions, the ECHR said, are 'justified only in very exceptional circumstances'.

'Accordingly, the children's interest in a full education, thus facilitating their successful social integration according to local customs and mores, prevailed over the parents' wish to have their children exempted from mixed swimming lessons,' the court said. 

The court said that 'very flexible arrangements' have been offered, including allowing the girls to use a girls-only changing room and letting them wear burkinis during lessons instead of traditional swimwear.  

Education officials said that exemptions from swimming lessons were only available to girls who had reached puberty.

The Swiss nationals' daughters had not reached puberty when their parents kept them from swimming lessons.

In 2010, the parents had to pay a fine of almost €1,300 (£1,100) 'for acting in breach of their parental duty'.

At the time, the parents said the fine was a violation of their human rights, particularly article nine of the European Convention on Human Right. Article nine covers the right of freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

In 2012, Switzerland's highest court in Lausanne ruled that the obligation to attend mixed-gender swimming lessons was not a violation on religious freedom. 


Black Freddie Gray Prosecutor Faces Civil Charges after Conducting an ‘Independent Investigation’

the Baltimore state attorney at the center of the Freddie Gray fiasco, will face civil charges. After the criminal case against the police officers fell apart, five of the six officers filed a lawsuit against Mosby and Assistant Sheriff Samuel
Refusing her claim of prosecutorial immunity, the judge reasoned that “Plaintiffs’ malicious prosecution claims relate to her actions when functioning as an investigator and not as a prosecutor.”

The Baltimore Sun noted how Mosby’s decision to launch her own independent investigation had already helped her prosecution of the officers fail, since prosecutors “had to turn over documents that would normally be protected from the evidence discovery process.” It’s safe to say that the risk of conducting her own investigation has not yielded a reward.

This is an unusual trial for a state attorney to be facing, but Mosby’s aggressive and seemingly political tactics — such as her appearance onstage at a Prince concert honoring Gray’s death — give reason for suspicion about her actions and motives.

The criticisms of Mosby’s handling of the case are too numerous to recount, but many who followed the events in Baltimore alleged that Mosby’s actions constituted extreme or even gross negligence. Former deputy state’s attorney Page Croyder wrote in the Baltimore Sun that Mosby’s decision to charge the officers a mere two weeks after the incident “reflects either incompetence or an unethical recklessness.”

A George Washington University law professor also filed a complaint that she violated conduct rules. Even Democratic Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake accused Mosby of rushing to charge the officers for political reasons.

This latest case is the beginning of yet another chapter in the court drama that started when Mosby used Gray’s death to enter the limelight. But now she will be the one defending her actions during that dark hour for the city of Baltimore.


CBS radio deceptively flips races of Chicago Facebook Live torturers, victim

By now you’ve heard about the four black Chicago teenagers who kidnapped a mentally disabled white teen and tortured him on a Facebook Live video stream. The four attackers have each been charged with a hate crime, felony aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and are being held without bail.

Again: the attackers were black, the victim white. But you wouldn’t know that from this Thursday morning CBS Radio News report on the incident. In fact, the report leads you to believe the exact opposite:

    The viral video of a beating and knife attack in Chicago suggests the assault had racial overtones. CBS’s Dean Reynolds tells us the victim is described as a mentally-challenged teenager.

    In the video he is choked and repeatedly called the n-word. His clothes are slashed and he is terrorized with a knife. His alleged captors repeatedly reference Donald Trump. Police are holding four people in connection with the attack.

As you can see, the report completely fails to mention the races of the involved parties — and heavily implies that the attackers were white and the victim was black:

    The report is technically correct, but widely misleading. By noting the attackers used the n-word during a racially-motivated attack while “referencing” Donald Trump, the clear implication is that the victim was black and his attackers were racist Trump fans.

    The n-word was indeed used to refer to the victim, but only in the more neutral sense that is often used in black vernacular. Omitted from the report are details that would [have] corrected that misapprehension.

Also left out of the report? The fact that the attackers yelled “f*** white people.”



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


11 January, 2017

By crying wolf over sexism, Irish politician undermines other women's achievements


I am not the feminism police. I appreciate that women’s experiences vary greatly, that sexism appears in many guises, and that being the actual target of prejudice can give you a radically different perspective compared to an impartial observer watching the same incident.

That said, I also believe in calling out shameless excuses when I see them, and every so often, a woman will attempt to mask blatant incompetence with claims of misogyny.

The culprit this time round is Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster. In 2012, when Foster was minister for enterprise, trade and investment, she set up the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme to encourage businesses to invest in renewable energy. The scheme subsidised businesses for using low-carbon heating systems (which, incidentally, included burning wood pellets).

So far, so good. But the flawed way RHI was calculated meant recipients could claim more in subsidies than the fuel actually cost them. You don’t need to be a market expert to figure out what happened: since the government was effectively paying businesses to use more fuel, with no upper limit, that’s exactly what they did. Thanks to Foster’s mismanagement of the scheme, Northern Ireland is now left with a bill of approximately £490 million extra, lavished on claimants like the farmer who reportedly received £1 million for heating an empty shed.

Foster and her government fought off a brutal no-confidence vote last month, saved only by Stormont’s complex power-sharing rules which meant the motion failed even though the majority of members voted against her. Seeing the sexism yet? No? Well Foster has since faced repeated calls to resign as First Minister, most notably from her government’s coalition partner Sinn Féin (although almost every party other than her ruling DUP has also called for her to step down). So far, she has refused, which is her right as Northern Ireland’s elected leader. But in an effort to cling on, she has fallen into the trap of making any excuse for her predicament, however farcical, including playing the misogyny card.

“There's a lot of it personal,” Foster told Sky News this week. “There's a lot of it, sadly, misogynistic as well, because I'm a female, the first female leader of Northern Ireland.”

Highlighting Arlene Foster's involvement in the Renewable Heat Incentive fiasco isn’t misogyny, it’s basic accountability
Nice try Arlene, but no one’s buying it. The First Minister screwed up. Whether she is personally to blame for the RHI fiasco or whether she just oversaw it is yet to be seen - hopefully there will be a full inquiry and we can find out why the government was literally paying businesses to burn wood pellets. But the fact remains that an initiative she launched ended in catastrophe, for both the taxpayer and the environment.

When women cry sexism to excuse their mistakes, they undermine the very cause they claim to support, attracting ridicule that makes it harder for victims of genuine prejudice to be taken seriously. It’s an easy trick to skirt responsibility, counter-productively providing canon fodder to those who pretend gender disparity doesn’t exist. If you’re confused about whether an incident is sexist or not, think about if it would ever happen to a man in the same position. Would an opposition party try to bring down a male leader whose glaring mismanagement cost the taxpayer £490 million? You’d better damn well hope so.

In contrast, what about critics arguing a female politician is too emotional or not attractive enough to hold office? Faux concern over whether having (or not having) children prevents a woman from doing her job? Journalists analysing men on their abilities and women on their hair or shoes or voice? Men addressing a female colleague as “sweetheart” or telling her to “calm down dear”? All common, all infuriating, and all the kind of everyday sexism that holds women back, in politics and in general.

But you know what isn’t sexism? Facing valid criticism after overseeing a calamitous failure.

It all reminds me of the Emily Thornberry debacle in September. The shadow foreign secretary was asked a relatively obscure but still relevant question in a Sky News interview. Rather than just admit that she didn’t know the answer and moving on (do you know who the French Foreign Minister is?), Thornberry went into attack mode and accused the interviewer of sexism. Because asking a female shadow minister about the people she might be involved with if her party ever got into government would apparently never happen to a man in her position… Oh wait.

The good news is that nobody fell for Thornberry’s diversion tactic, and in both her case and Foster’s the claims of sexism were so farfetched it’s impossible to take them seriously. God forbid we ever find ourselves a world where we feel we can’t criticise a woman who does a poor job. Hopefully one day women will fill at least half the posts in governments. They need to be held accountable for their actions, just like any man. Otherwise it’s just another double standard.


Officious: The Rise Of The Busybody State - A Review

This is about the UK but the USA and Australia are not far behind

It's a while since I've done a review here, but there's a recently-released book I think you might enjoy as much as I did.

During my trip to The Battle of Ideas in October I was particularly drawn to a panel discussing The Busybody State featuring Josie Appleton of the Manifesto Club. I was hoping to buy her book, Officious: Rise of the Busybody State while I was there but had to mark time till the December launch, but it was worth the wait.

The blurb gives you a good indication of the content:

    In Anglo-Saxon countries there is a new and distinctive form of state: the busybody state. This state is defined by an attachment to bureaucratic procedures for their own sake: the rule for the sake of a rule; the form for the sake of a form. Its insignias are the badge, the policy, the code and the procedure. The logic of the regulation is neither to represent an elite class interest, nor to serve the public, nor even to organise social relations with the greatest efficiency as with classic bureaucracy, but rather to represent regulation itself.

    This book analyses the logic of the busybody state, explains its origins, and calls for a popular alliance defending the free realm of civil society.

And it really does exactly what it say on the tin.

Back when meddling in other people's affairs was frowned upon, we used to call these type of people 'jobsworths'. The idea that a rule is so important that it could never be ignored because "it's more than my job's worth Guv" was anathema to us in an age where society was more important than petty rules, and the Jobsworths were so derided that even Esther Rantzen kept a special section of her That's Life show free to ridicule them.

As Appleton describes in her book, though, this has all changed and now rules have become so important that they are elevated above what is actually desired by the public and society at large. The rule itself is now so important that it has taken precedence over what is actually beneficial to the public, often being positively harmful as a result. If that seems an alien concept, the example - although extreme - of PCSOs standing by and watching a child drown because they weren't trained and the rule book says they have to ignore human instincts might help explain it.

Josie begins by describing how no-one is immune to the new state-sanctioned busybodies, however petty the regulation may be.

    War veterans must queue up with political activists to gain their charity-collection licence; foxhunters are targeted as equally as football supporters. Officious authority rises up only in counter-position to the shady, dubious citizenry.

And it is this deep mistrust of the public as a whole which is so shocking; modern affairs are being scrutinised and restricted by officialdom with the assumption being that whatever people wish to engage in should be immediately regarded with suspicion. The object is not to make life easier for what the public chooses to do, but rather to deliberately make it more difficult.

    Rather than starting from the position of a public need, these officials start from the position of problematic public behaviours, such as people leaving lights on, failing to recycle correctly, organising events without the latest safety guidance, drinking too much, smoking or eating unhealthy foods. The job is not related to a need or a public demand but to an identified problem with the things people are doing. Officious action does not serve but instead acts upon the public.

Indeed, the rise of the busybodies has become an independent force of itself, with the head of Cambridgeshire Police complaining in 2014 that there were more officers in her force carrying out criminal-records checks than there were investigating or prosecuting child-abuse cases. The checking of people had become more important than the tackling of real abuse.

The author has been investigating these abuses of power for a long time so it is a keenly-referenced work. You find yourself often flicking to the references section, astonished at some of the excesses such as school staff stubbornly determined to enforce a ban on photography despite overwhelming objection by the parents; clubs and societies either closing down or being starved of volunteers due to hysterical adherence to CRB check rules; and parents being so distrusted in Scotland that the state has decided a stranger to the family should be appointed to oversee their children. It is an atmosphere the author quite rightly interprets as "the contamination of the human relationship".

The book also highlights how the very idea of a space free of restrictions is one most specifically targeted by this new officious class of busybody.

    The English pub was traditionally a semi-autonomous sphere, with frosted glass and backrooms where the landlord held sway and police could enter only in the direst of emergencies. This has now become one of the most regulated spheres, with requirements for bag searches, ID scans and restrictions on certain cocktail names and happy hours. The very site of freedom becomes a particular target of officiousness. 

    Similarly, the beach was traditionally a space of semi-wilderness, independent from the conventions of the town. It was acceptable to do things on beaches that would not be allowed in a park: petting, nudity, sleeping in public. The threshold of the beach was a line of freedom, a release from social control. Now the beach has become the particular target for rules and regulations, with bans in various places on: ball games, beach tents, kites, barbecues, smoking and drinking, dog-walking, building sandcastles, surfing. It is the very freedom of the beach which marks it out for special attention, special bans (smoking is banned on the beach but not in the street) and special patrols by officials to confiscate alcohol or issue reprimands.

Appleton takes us through the history of bureaucracy and the officious tendency, discussing the causes of this modern state disease and how it has transformed our liberal nation into one where we are all under constant suspicion, often from friends and co-workers co-opted by the state to be a 'designated person' or 'compliance officer'. The emphasis is always that rules must be adhered to, no matter how disadvantageous and insulting they are to our way of life.

    The compliance officer is loyal not to their group or to the sport, but to the state. The designated person is required to view the group with the eye of suspicion, to monitor their actions and to report any infractions, treating their neighbours or colleagues as foreign and unknown. They must ask a neighbour to complete a police check, even though they go around to their house for dinner and their children are friends.

A system of licences, fees, databases, intrusive checks and restrictions on benign behaviour has grown which is in itself ironically anti-social. It is also, as Appleton highlights, self-replicating, where "rules beget rules, procedures beget procedures", which often attracts the most unpleasant contaminants in society.

    This structure also creates an opportunity for the genuinely officious people – the tut-tutters and curtain-twitchers, who in a previous age were ignored – to step forward into leadership roles.

As a measure for how oppressive this system has become, Josie points out that 15 years ago there were 11,000 on-the-spot fines levied on the public, whereas the figure now is over 200,000 thanks to coercive powers to enforce fines being handed out to hospitals, schools, councils and a whole array of other bodies for pretty inconsequential misdemeanours.

Not that the busybody state calls them coercive powers, of course. No, they are described in cuddly terms like "support", and each illiberal condition, restriction or ban is considered as a handy "tool" for state-appointed officials to clamp down on 'unregulated' public actions. Many of these will be familiar to readers here.

    For the officious state, there is rarely a good reason not to ban things, and lifestyle bans are posed as the answer to every social problem or ethical failing.

    Never has so much attention been paid to the appearance of tobacco or alcohol: the images on the packaging, the position and location of the display, the product name, the exact positions in which they may be consumed. Never did authorities tell smokers exactly where they should stand.

As the book describes, the overall contribution of officious regulation on society is a net negative, and often quite damaging. Conmen have been known to exploit the cult of the hi-viz by fraudulently issuing fines and profiteering ... though the effect is not any different from the one inflicted by official wardens.

I could quote loads more from this book because it is so succinct and condensed; but instead I'd just recommend you get yourself a copy and enjoy over a few cuppas. You will find yourself nodding throughout while also becoming quite angry in places, right up to the optimistic denouement where Josie helpfully suggests how we can best "[send] the busybodies back behind the curtains". A laudable goal and one I reckon we should all aspire to.


Sexism and Zombie Economics

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine linked to an article on Facebook titled, “Sexism in Hollywood is Rampant, and Emma Watson Says her Career Proves It.” The article was published in late 2015, but similar pieces pop up from time to time with similar themes.

Despite my better judgment, I clicked on the article. (Why do I do this to myself?)

When I tell people about the policies I discuss in my economics principles classes, I often say it’s like the economic version of the movie Groundhog Day. Every semester we debunk popular economic fallacies. We learn that free trade creates jobs as opposed to killing them, and that the minimum wage harms low-skilled workers as opposed to helping them.

These “economic zombies” come back again time after time. While it’s sometimes depressing to see the same fallacious thinking over and over, I don’t consider our class discussions a Sisyphean exercise. As any teacher knows, students often need to be exposed to an idea several times before it “sticks.”

Alas, here we are again—more terrible arguments in need of serious correction. The article begins discussing actress Emma Watson’s career. She’s starred in the Harry Potter series as well as other films. She’s done work for the U.N. and is a college graduate.

Then comes what makes me want to bang my head against a wall. In an interview, Watson said,

I have experienced sexism in that I have been directed by male directors 17 times and only twice by women. Of the producers I’ve worked with 13 have been male and one has been a woman. I am lucky: I have always insisted on being treated equally and have generally won that equality.... I think my work with the UN has probably made me even more aware of the problems. I went out for a work dinner recently. It was seven men...and me.

The article continues to say that women account for “a measly 1.9% of directors who created the top grossing films of 2014,” and makes further claims about the “pathetic” representation of minorities in the upper echelon of Hollywood directors.

I’m still waiting for the “proof” the article claimed to provide.

In fact, I’d say it’s quite difficult to argue that Watson’s career illustrates sexism in Hollywood. Of her two co-stars in the Harry Potter franchise, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, the protagonist) has a net worth of around $110 million. Watson’s net worth is around $60 million. Rupert Grint (Ronald Weasly) has a net worth of approximately $50 million. Considering that Radcliffe starred in the films (and has done several subsequent projects), it’s understandable why his wallet is substantially more padded.

Moving beyond paychecks, the fact that so many men and so few women have directed Watson illustrates absolutely nothing about sexism in Hollywood. All it shows is that men are much more likely to be A-list directors than women. Is it sexism? Maybe, but I doubt it. What’s more likely is that men are typically drawn into that particular part of the film industry.

I hear this type of “argument” a lot when it comes to gender and economics. If few women are present in a given field, or earn less than their male counterparts, so the story goes, it must mean that there’s some sort of boys’ club. Women, just as good and interested in the field, are prevented from breaking into the industry or positions of authority due to some nefarious, deeply ingrained sexism. It’s the dreaded patriarchy!

Let’s think about this a little bit before we go burn our bras in protest.

Consider the following, real-life scenario. Prior to going to graduate school, I worked at a dance studio for eight years. I can count the number of male dancers I had during that entire period on one hand (our studio had a few hundred students a year). Care to guess how many male instructors there were? None. That’s right, every single student in our studio was “directed” exclusively by females! When we went out to lunch with others, there may be twelve or thirteen women, but no men! Most other studios have similar dynamics.

If I said to you, “This proves that the dance industry is sexist!”, you’d look at me like I was insane. Of course it isn’t proof of sexism. You would reason (correctly) that more girls than boys are interested in taking dance classes and that more women are interested in teaching dance classes than men. It’s a matter of preferences. As an economist, I don’t question why these preferences exist or judge them. I merely acknowledge that some people prefer X and others prefer Y.

Dance studios aren’t the only industry where women dominate. Consider that more than 90 percent of RNs are women. Women make up more than 80 percent of elementary and middle schoolteachers and social workers. Women also outnumber their male counterparts in the following areas: medical and health services managers, counseling, tax preparation, social and community services management, psychological services (psychologist), tax examination, education administration, accounting and auditing, public relations management, insurance underwriting, and veterinary medicine.

We don’t see people discussing the “problem” of sexism in these fields.

When it comes to male-dominated industries, however, people are quick to dismiss preferences of individual choice and instead blame “gender issues.” Just because men largely populate engineering, this doesn’t mean that women are getting an unfair shake. The only thing we can glean from that information is that more men are in the field. End of story. We need more to make claims about sexism.

The author concluded the article by quoting an academic report saying that “longer-term solutions and further monitoring are required,” but he fails to mention what these would be. Allow me to make a suggestion—none. As I have said elsewhere, the idea of legislating “protections” for women in the labor force is downright offensive and counterproductive to gender equality. Think about what message the author of the article is sending by suggesting monitoring. Essentially, “Women are incapable of letting our skills, ambition, and output do the talking for us. We need Big Brother to come and make those mean old men employ us/give us more money/additional benefits.”

When it comes to issues of gender and economics, it’s important to understand what we’re talking about. Articles like these, with their shoddy argumentation and vague suggestions of monitoring do nothing to advance the careers of women in male-dominated fields or to advance gender equality. Instead, they perpetuate bad ideas, poorly interpreted data, and ultimately, bad policies.


Outrage over two Australian conservative politicians  attending a fundraiser for an anti-Muslim group

The left continues to flaunt its tendency to get offended at every move made by right-wing politicians to save Western civilisation. This time the outrage is directed at conservative parliamentarians Cory Bernardi and George Christensen attending a fundraiser associated with an organisation opposing the left’s migration agenda.

Cory Bernardi and George Christensen will be attending a fundraiser hosted by the Q Society of Australia in Melbourne this week. This comes after the two parliamentarians last year pledged to help the Q Society raise funds for the defence of a defamation case launched by a halal-certification company. The organisation promotes itself as “Australia’s Leading Islam-critical Movement”, making it plain and obvious why the left is airing its unjustified outrage.

In a Junkee article, the event was described as “the world’s worst fundraiser” simply because it aims at helping the Q Society’s mission to expose the truth about Islam. Apparently it’s now a scandal for conservatives to associate themselves with organisations that aim to protect Western values and freedoms against the tyrannical force that is Islam.

The Q Society has been the source of various material uncovering and investigating the ulterior motives of pro-Islam movements and organisations. It’s most recent venture has been the investigation of Halal Certification Schemes, which resulted in Mohamed El-Mouelhy, the director of the private company Halal Certification Authority Pty Ltd, suing the organisation for defamation.

The organisation seeks to expose the truth about the global halal-certified products market worth US$2.3 trillion, along with the fact that it’s imposed on non-Islamic consumers who are also unknowingly funding the scheme.  This ‘Islamic tax’, as the organisation calls it, is being imposed on consumers by the companies using halal certification.

The Q Society is also famous for the ‘Save Our Schools from Islamisation’ campaign, which opposes the “curriculum rationale of social inclusion that effectively fosters the opposite: religious and cultural exclusion”. This campaign is aimed at stopping the Australian education system from only showing positive, one-sided views about Islam. Such views range from broad themes such as the leftist lie that Islam is a religion of peace to specifics such as the ‘Arab Gateways’ material that shows students a map of the Middle East “on which Israel has already been purged”.

Yet when Cory Bernardi and George Christensen attend a Q Society fundraiser, the left commences its stream of ignorant criticisms. Bernardi and Christensen are at the forefront in the battle to protect Western values and freedoms, such as free speech and a Christian heritage, only to be defamed by the left.

The fact that the left is under the flawed impression that the Western world has an obligation to accommodate Islamic migrants is being taken advantage by Islamic leaders to infiltrate Australian culture and institutions. However, when such attempts are exposed by organisations like the Q Society, and conservatives show their support, the left does what it does best: denying the truth in favour of pushing the dangerous policy of multiculturalism in this country.

The Western world does not have any obligation to take in Islamic migrants, and certainly should not ignore its own culture and heritage in favour of catering for migrants. Western culture and values should be prioritised, and migrants should be expected to assimilate, just as other countries should expect of Western migrants. It is the rejection of this concept that has resulted in the hidden scandals exposed by organisations critical of Islam. If the left had its priorities straight, it too would listen to such organisations and support the actions of Bernardi and Christensen.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


10 January, 2017

Austrian integration expert calls for burqa ban on public sector, Muslims offended

Heinz Fassmann, an Austrian expert who is consulting the government on integration, has called for a ban on the burqa to be enforced throughout the country’s public sector. Speaking to the newspaper ‘Die Presse’, Fassmann bravely said, “When asked whether teachers in public schools should be allowed to wear a headscarf, I would clearly say: No”.

Fassmann went on to say that “you run the risk of importing certain religious conflicts into the civil service” if the burqa continued to be legal. It should be emphasised that the burqa facilitates violence and terrorism due to its ability to provide the wearer with a form of disguise. Even ISIS banned the burka because it allowed a female assassin to kill two of its soldiers.

He also said that it should be permissible for teachers to wear crosses or other symbols associated with Christianity, despite promoting the ban on the burqa. And rightly so, as Christianity defines Austrian heritage and should be prioritised by the government in order to ensure the continued preservation of this heritage. Christian values are of immense importance to the Western world because of the latter’s inextricable connection with the former. Other religions are simply new entrants to Austria, thus justifying the special position afforded to Christianity.

However, Austria’s Islamic community has aired its opposition to this proposal for obvious reasons. Spokesperson for the Islamic organisation IGGiO, Carla Amina Baghjati, unable to comprehend that “something so anti-integrative comes from an integration expert”. Did she not expect an Austrian integration expert to recommend banning a dress that would pose a danger to the public sector?

A responsible migrant would expect and embrace a certain degree of assimilation when moving to a different country. Calling a burqa ban an act of discrimination, as IGGiO did, is completely irresponsible as it ignores the association between the burqa and terrorism. Opposing the fact that Christian symbols would be allowed while the burqa ban is in place is even more irresponsible, and downright disrespectful, as it shows that Islamic migrants do not acknowledge or respect the culture and heritage endemic to Austria. They would not sacrifice their own religion in favour of migrants in the Middle East, so why get offended at the Austrian government prioritising its own religion in comparison to those of migrants?

This is not the first attempt for the burqa to be banned in Austria. The country’s Foreign Minister, Sebastian Kurz, attempted to enforce this ban late last year but had no success due to interference from left-wing parties.

France already bans the burqa along with all other religious symbols from being worn by public servants. This may seem commendable, but the fact that its ultimately flawed is evident in Christian symbols also being subject to the ban. France constitutes the other extreme within this debate: banning Christian symbols alongside those of Islam in the name of equality. A Western country should not ban Christian symbols because, as mentioned earlier, its culture is inextricably linked to the religion. Banning Christian symbols in the name of equality is also regressive, and is a grave act of disrespect to one’s own heritage.

While Fassmann’s words are of immense service to society, it has to be noted that he also denied that it was the state’s role to promote any religion. This is something not all conservatives may agree with. While preserving secularism is useful, it has to be emphasised that the state should benchmark its policies with religious beliefs that define its country’s heritage. However, government should not cave in to the pleas by Muslims to keep the burqa legal. National security and preventing terrorism are more important than catering to the feelings of migrants.


Social psychologist Roy Baumeister challenges bias

Gay marriage. Student harassment. Racial vilification. There’s an endless list of social issues dominating Australia’s culture wars, with ferocious lobby groups working hard to close down views that challenge the trendy orthodoxy. Well, there’s an eminent newcomer to town who loves getting up the nose of those trying to shut down proper debate.

American psychologist Roy Baumeister is known for ruffling feathers. One of the most highly cited psychology researchers in the world, Baumeister has recently moved from Florida State University to take up a professorship at the University of Queensland. The gender warriors should be on notice because Baumeister has a long history of using research evidence to take on their arguments.

He didn’t start out in this territory. Baumeister first made his mark exploding myths about self-esteem. He was touted in a profile describing his work as the “man who destroyed American’s ego” for proving high self-esteem is not a panacea for society’s ills. Baumeister was originally a believer in the self-esteem movement and began his studies assuming, like most people, that it was a good thing to boost kids’ self-esteem. To his surprise, that’s not what the research actually showed.

He ended up leading a team reviewing the literature for the American Psychological Society. “The first computer search on research on self-esteem came up with 15,000 papers. We had manuscripts stacked waist high,” he recalls, speaking from Brisbane during a recent trip.

This was in the 1980s when everyone was assuming if you boosted self-esteem you would also boost kids’ school performance, but that’s not how it turned out. “When they tracked people over time, the grades came first and then the self-esteem. High self-esteem was the result of good grades, not a cause.” Contrary to popular assumptions, boosting self-esteem also didn’t make people more likable, nor help their relationships. It didn’t prevent children from smoking or taking drugs, nor did it reduce violence.

That wasn’t what many people wanted to hear. “It was a shock to a lot of people,” reports Baumeister — a result he clearly rather enjoys. “I’ve always been a bit of a contrarian,” he explains, mentioning a time when he was just starting high school and noticed his mother, a teacher, giving a big sigh as she ploughed through a pile of exam papers she was marking. When he quizzed her about her reaction she replied it was so boring because most papers make exactly the same arguments.

“I remember thinking that if I could just answer the question differently, teachers would be more interested,” he says.

So he got into the habit of trying to approach things in a different way, looking for answers that were not what people would expect. “Both my successes and my failures have resulted from this strategy,” he says with a chuckle.

Much of Baumeister’s scholarly work is actually uncontentious. He’s a leading researcher on the difference between living a happy life and a meaningful life, and the role of conscious thought. He has also shown willpower is like a muscle — we can fatigue it if we overuse it, but we can also strengthen it through time and practice. Baumeister has authored more than 500 publications and been cited more than 100,000 times in research literature.

Yet some of his biggest successes have come from challenging current thinking in areas where the prevailing view is actually nonsensical. Like gender differences in sex drive. Even since the 1970s when there was much excitement about research showing women’s capacity for multiple orgasms there’s been a strong feminist push arguing women’s sex drives are generally as strong as those of men. The psychology literature is replete with articles by women arguing this case — yet out in the real world everyone knows that’s not true. Baumeister suggests we only need to think about the prevalence of jokes about men wanting sex and women knocking them back. He mentions the old chestnut from comedian Steve Martin: “You know that look women get when they want sex? Me neither.”

Well, Baumeister was the first to seriously investigate the truth of the matter, embarking in a series of studies, along with some female colleagues. One of these, Kate Catanese, started off totally convinced by the feminist rhetoric that there are no gender differences in sex drive, but as the evidence piled up ultimately she realised that was wrong.

The researchers examined more than 150 studies and concluded there was overwhelming evidence that men have more frequent sexual desires than women. The findings: men think about sex more often, desire more partners, masturbate more, want sex sooner, are less able or willing to live without sexual gratification, initiate more and refuse less sex, expend more resources and make more sacrifices for sex, desire and enjoy a broader variety of sexual practices, and have fewer complains about low sex drive.

“It’s pretty damn conclusive,” says a recent article in Psychology Today. Yet Baumeister still reports regular encounters with female academics, including some on his recent trip to Australia, claiming it just ain’t so.

Baumeister ended up as one of the world’s leading scholars in gender issues in sex drive, particularly famous for his notion of “erotic plasticity” — the idea that women have a more variable sex drive than men that is far more responsive to surrounding circumstances, while men have a more fixed, biologically determined drive that is relatively insensitive to context.

Baumeister illustrates his research findings with a quip from the movie When Harry Met Sally: “Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.”

Common sense, you might say, but sadly academic psychology often does lose its way, captured by the latest ideology and deviating far from such self-evident truths.

Baumeister remains optimistic. “A nice thing about science is that one can assume the truth will win out in the end,” he says.

“To be sure, that requires freedom of thought, freedom of inquiry and freedom of speech. On politically charged topics there are strong and influential minorities who actively work against those freedoms.”

Gender, sexuality, and race are key areas in which there is limited openness to new ideas and new facts, suggests Baumeister. He resents what he sees as left-wing bias in social psychology: “White prejudice is studied frequently while inter-minority racism is comparatively ignored. If you have a finding that says the conservative viewpoint did better, no one wants to publish it.”

One topic that is hardly likely to win brownie points in the current social climate is research suggesting that men are better than women in anything whatsoever. That is precisely what attracted Baumeister — like a moth to the flame. He explains: “I’m not a gender researcher but I do follow research findings and started to notice a pattern. If you pay attention to what is covered in the mass media (or in the scientific journals) about gender differences, some will say there are no differences. Plenty say that women are better than men in this or that way. But it’s very rare to hear a story saying that men are better than women at anything at all.”

He concluded that most people who write about gender are “too intimidated by the feminist establishment to conduct an open-minded consideration of the relative advantages and disadvantages of both genders. The basic feminist dogma is that women are equal to or better than men at everything, and that all women’s problems and failures must be blamed on men.”

Take the common assumption that women are more social than men. Psychologists often make this claim but Baumeister points out the evidence is actually weak and applies mainly to one-to-one close relationships. He says if you define “social” in terms of large groups or networks, it is men who are more social as shown in team sports, military groups, even children’s playing styles.

“It was men’s ability to co-operate with casual acquaintances and strangers to work towards common goals that led to men creating wealth, knowledge and power — which led to the gender inequality that our society is struggling to overcome,” concludes Baumeister, who is happy to label himself a feminist.

Men’s unique social skills were a key theme when Baumeister found himself addressing the American Psychological Association in San Francisco on the topic “Is there anything good about men?”

This led to a book of the same name looking at how culture exploits men. In it he argues differences in gender roles are a trade-off. A few lucky men are at the top of society and enjoy the culture’s best rewards. Others, less fortunate, have their lives chewed up by it. One mistake of many modern feminists, he writes, is that they “look only at the top of society and draw conclusions about society as a whole. Yes, there are mostly men at the top. But if you look at the bottom, really at the bottom, you’ll find mostly men there, too.” His examples: The homeless; the imprisoned; or people who do dangerous jobs (92 per cent of deaths at work are male).

It is refreshing to find such a serious scholar who doesn’t steer clear of controversy. It will be interesting to see whether Baumeister’s gravitas can lend some balance to the distorted public discussion of so many issues, particularly around gender, in his newly adopted country.


Political Correctness an Important Tool for Terrorists

The man who interrogated noted terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad explained how political correctness in Western nation’s is an important strategic tool used by radical Islamic terrorists to sow hatred and confusion.

For example, political correctness allowed a lone wolf Muslim terrorist to roam free in Germany before the horrifying attack in Berlin:

    “[It] was political correctness and their unwillingness to get this person out of their country who had no business being there because he didn’t have the right paperwork to prove who he was,” said Dr. James Mitchell, referring to Anis Amri.

Radical Islamic terrorists consider political correctness just another extension of the flaws in western civilization:

    Mitchell said that he and Mohammed, commonly known as KSM, had discussed the damaging potential of smaller, “lone-wolf”-style attacks more than a decade ago. Mitchell noted that Mohammed had been particularly struck by the terror caused by the 2002 D.C. sniper attacks.

    “For him, what surprised him was how much paralysis it caused given how few deaths were involved, few from his perspective,” Mitchell told host Sandra Smith. “And what he said to me was our civil liberties and our openness and our willingness to be responsive to other peoples’ cultures … were weaknesses and flaws that his God, Allah, had put into the American culture so that we could be defeated.”

The blueprint for imposing Shariah Law on Western states is pretty clear according to KSM through Mitchell:

    “He said that like-minded jihadi brothers would immigrate to Western democracies and to the United States, they would wrap themselves in our civil liberties for protection,” Mitchell said, “they would support themselves in our welfare systems while they spread their jihadi message, and then, when the time was right, they would rise up and attack.”


Why Does Everyone Seem to Be against Free Speech?

Free speech is one of the most settled principles of law and public policy, or so you might think. We recoil at censorships of the past. We acknowledge the freedom to speak as an essential human right. We are taught the legend and lore of the struggle for it in all our years in school.

And all of this is fine … until it is actually exercised, as it is moment by moment today, thanks to the mass distribution of communication technology. We are finally getting what we always wanted – the universal right and opportunity to reach the universe of humanity in an instant with thoughts of our own choosing.

And it turns out everyone hates it.


The Left says the Right is lying with fake news. The Right says the Left is lying with fake news. Mainstream commentators on all sides are annoyed that extremists have crashed their once-stable ideological culture, while the speech rebels say that the mainstream has never been truthful.

The whole battle is growing increasingly tense. The Center-Left is shaken to the point of documenting every nutty thing you find on the Internet. Vox showed how fake news in 2016 “filtered into the mainstream again and again: at the end of the election, fake news on Facebook outperformed real news, and 17 of the 20 highest-performing fake news stories were anti-Clinton.”

The Populist Right is warming to the Trump plan for dealing with press he doesn’t like. "One of the things I'm going to do if I win,” said Trump, “I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.” People at his rallies ate it up. And you can find hundreds of thousands of people on various pro-Deplorable groups on Reddit and Facebook who passionately agree with him.

The problem: the freedom to criticize the President has been an established feature of American law since the election of 1800 led to the repudiation of the Alien and Sedition Acts which made it a crime to criticize the top of the ticket. The laws criminalized anyone who would “write, print, utter, or publish … any false, scandalous, and malicious writing” about the president. Voters wisely noted that the first amendment surely invalidates such laws.

Freedom or Control

Freedom creates conditions under which truth stands a chance to emerge from the clamor.We don’t do that anymore, based on a general conviction that freedom for all is better than the attempt to control. Why? Freedom creates conditions under which truth stands a chance to emerge from the clamor, while the attempt to control ends up politicizing what we are and are not permitted to hear. Yes, freedom does not guarantee any particular result, but it does give good results a fighting chance while reinforcing other important things like human rights.

These days, that’s not good enough for some people. The Obama/Clinton crowd continues to believe that bad information flowing around the public square is what accounts for an otherwise-perfectly executed campaign. On the other side of the fence, there is a growing fear bordering on paranoia that Twitter, Facebook, and other social venues are punishing politically incorrect thought while boosting regime-approved ideas.

What’s so striking about these debates is that censorship has never been less viable than it is today. Try to suppress access in one venue and it immediately pops up on another one. Make it clear that some ideas are not welcome here, and you inspire an invisible army of champions of that idea to build yet another venue. You can block, ban, and exclude through known technologies only to have the same pop up in another technology you didn’t know about.

And herein lies the brilliance of a decentralized and highly competitive system of information-sharing and distribution. Consider this: from the end of World War II through the Reagan presidency, there prevailed only three television networks. The government itself exercised the primary influence over the content. These networks began to think of themselves as public utilities, a ruling class, a protected elite, and they dispensed canons of the civic religion on a daily basis.

Monopoly Broken

All of that has blown up. The cartel crumbled in the late 1980s, creating an avalanche of speech that only grows in power. Now the Big Three combined take up only a small percentage of people’s attention relative to the millions of other possible venues. And speaking of millions, the Big Three has become hundreds of millions of people with instant live television cameras in their pockets which they can use to broadcast to the multitudes, with zero civic control on the content.

There is no shutting this system down.And it’s more epic even than that. The establishment media was delivered a stunning blow with the election results of 2016. Following 18 full months of dismissing and denouncing the eventual winner, while predicting the certainty of an outcome that did not happen, the public credibility of the old-line establishment news source has hit new lows.

And so, there is a turn to something new. Incredibly, the man elected to be President of the United States prefers Twitter, a free platform similarly available to everyone. And it’s free! We’ve come a very long way from a time when FDR’s fireside chats were the only option.

There is no shutting this system down, despite all the talk of curation, censorship, lawsuits, algorithmic fixes, and so on.

Does this mean fake news, hate, mania, immorality, and so on are going to continue to thrive unchecked? In a word, yes. Every manner of everything will continue to be accessible to everyone. We need to learn to revel in and celebrate finding videos, podcasts, Twitter accounts, and Instagrams featuring ideas you find disgusting, abhorrent, false, and dangerous. Their freedom to speak protects your freedom to speak.

Everyone participates in, but no one finally wins, the argument. It’s a never-ending process.

How can we tell truth from untruth in such a chaotic environment? There is no substitute for trusting the individual human mind to sort out what is true news or fake news, valuable information or valueless information, meritorious or useless communication. No authority can substitute for the activity, creativity, and adaptability of the human mind.

Welcome to freedom, friends. This is how it works. And it’s beautiful.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


9 January, 2017

What common mistakes do people make when choosing a life partner?

The above question occurred on Quora and the answer below by a "liberal" New York woman seems very clear-eyed.  She focuses on "creative" men who readily accept the idea of an "equal" relationship with women.  She is very clear that "having it all" is a crock and points out that there is no equality if both parties do not have an equal and lifetime-long engagement with  the workforce.  I have myself observed how "sensitive", "creative", "spiritual" men seem to appeal to a lot of women.  As the woman below argues, that will in time not work well

I am in my late 30s and see women my age getting divorced for ONE reason only: the men they married were not as ambitious as they are and they lost respect for them. And it’s always the woman who wants the divorce, not the man.

It’s not just money, it’s the fact a lot of men don’t actually want to be out there necessarily working to make money that is enough to pay off their student loans or paying for college for their kid one day. They like life “as is” and don’t like to think of the future. If you really want to be with a man who is more of an “equal partner” “just like you”, then, sorry to say, he will more likely be less driven. And a less driven partner means *YOU* are going to be the one stuck with the male role whether you like it or not - someone has to do it.

What I have *seen* is that “equal marriages” with “best friends” end up thrusting women into masculine roles that women end up resenting. The world is NOT fair to women and yet we are educated to believe we can act in the same carefree manner as men when, if we want families, we really can’t. By the time we figure this out, it’s often too late.

My friends who married men like that (with “creative” backgrounds) were hypocritical in the sense that they wanted “equality” but became resentful once the consequences of “equality” presented themselves. They began to yearn for and fantasize about traditional men who made enough money to let them be stay-at-home moms. I told this my friend who is divorcing her laid-back husband:

“you KNEW who he is. You can’t expect him to make lots of money, that’s not who he is!!! He studied art, not finance!!!”.

The expectation that men MUST be the breadwinners and go-getters of the family is not reasonable or fair. Yet it is common among women I know. There is an irrational, instinctive distaste for men with low ambition among many women who have had children, once they realize the burden of providing for the child’s future is on them.

[Update: many people have commented on what I may have meant by “equality”. In the context I wrote I mean “equality” in the sense of relationships where we’re equal partners and men and women are expected to do the same jobs at home and work. Also, I am NOT A JOURNALIST and this is a *personal observation* , NOT a scientific study.

In terms of social equality, OBVIOUSLY I mean women should have the exact same rights and privileges as men in life and in the workplace. However if you look at REALITY not theory or the law, that is not what happens, generally. In life, women have fewer rights in the workplace and in dating life, women also a smaller window of time to start families. When women work outside of the home and at home, they are just “mom” while men get lots of praise for being good, modern dads. REALITY is not something you read in Gwyneth’s Paltrow’s books about kale salads, or Sheryl Sandberg “struggle” as a Harvard undergrad and HBS alumni as she traveled through the slums of McKinsey, White House, Google and Facebook. REALITY is what happens to people whose names you will never know, who don’t get pats in the back at the end of the day, who can’t do 5:30 everyday because they’ll get fired if they do.

Meanwhile, interestingly enough, it has never been harder to “marry up” for women in the USA since all women are now better educated than men and according to this study, people marry within their class and background. While divorce is down, marriage is now among class equals. In other words, Evidence suggest that women *will* avoid men who are lesser educated and poor. This is DATA folks.]

In the example I mentioned, when faced with financial hardships, women would rather leave than support the husband. Some people who wrote that they are equals and they both have good jobs that’s of course possible and normal. I just refer to women who may not be making a lot of money and yet need to work just to pay for their basic lifestyle or have a basic vacation.


If we were taught that life is hard and it is not fair to women I think many of us, myself included, would have been more aware of the choices we make in dating and relationships. Instead we buy into the “we can have it all-slash-find the one” Romantic Comedy Starring Jennifer Anniston scenario that creates a lot of disappointment.

This is the challenge all of us women have to deal with. I have seen this only in couples after they have a child, and the woman realizes she really does have to deal with the future and how to give the child a decent life. Men don’t seem to think about this quite as much. This creates a serious problem. The woman sees the stagnation, wants change, and the man wants to remain where he is in life. She realizes right at that moment, ONCE she has a child, that if she had married a more traditional man she could have been a stay-at-home mom at least for a while.

Women are penalized in the business world for being moms (i.e. she HAS to take time off to take care of sick child, she HAS to leave early to pick up the children, etc… and not working 24 hrs a day leads to less senior roles “…Hmmm did she have to miss that important meeting…? ” ) and this adds to the tension. Don’t get me started with Sheryl Sandberg and her whole “I’m home by 5:30 everyday” BS. That only works if you are a billionaire and have an army of assistants to take care of the nitty gritty for you [ or if you live in some European countries but that is a tiny percentage of the world’s population]. Everyday women, and I’d guess even well-paid female executives at large corporations don’t have that luxury. In the real world if you want to leave at 5:30 you either own your business or you will get fired sooner or later.

Meanwhile, the man expects the wife to take on a more motherly “supportive” role where she listens empathetically to his dreams and offers unconditional support (“you’re gonna make it!!!”) that works to shield him from the harsh realities of life, just so he can feel special, as if he were her child; she becomes the main breadwinner and “takes care of him” while he pursues a creative career. Once a child is born, the woman begins to resent this and boom there comes the therapist and then the divorce papers. I can empathize with both sides and I honestly wonder if the divorce is worth it.

My friend’s arguments were not reasonable. Since she was the one who wanted to move to slightly bigger apartment (they were nowhere near buying a house) and to pay off their outstanding debt asap, couldn’t SHE support him instead? Couldn’t SHE go back to work, just part-time? “No, I am the mom, THAT is my job already. The dad’s job is to provide”. Nope, there was no intention to compromise. If he didn’t manage to “become driven” like asap, and she had to go back to work, she was probably going to have to leave. Either the man grows up and gets a “real career” or she will most likely leave.

From her perspective, it is preferable to get divorced and have control over your destiny than to have a partner that drags you down by expecting you to support them instead of getting a “provider” type of job (the catch here is that the husband’s identity is attached to what he does, he’d have to give up on his artistic dreams and personal identity in the process). Although this had never been an issue before, once the child was born, the husband’s job prospects became *the issue*.

[This just reminded me of an incident I’d had with an ex-boyfriend’s mother. I was in my early 20s and dating an older man who didn’t have a lot of money (I did not follow my own advice-:) and we visited the apartment of a female friend of his who was a lawyer. She lived in a lovely apartment that was small but perfectly located, in Manhattan, in the West Village. I forgot what we were doing there, but his mother came along. When I innocently mentioned something like “wow can you imagine living in a place like this!”, she said, very curtly, “his apartment is good enough”.

I thought wow how rude; That was just a spontaneous comment I made as we entered *this* apartment, I had not mentioned or even thought of my then boyfriend’s apartment (a 4th floor studio walk-up in Brooklyn). Now I understand why she was upset - she could tell that if a woman has higher lifestyle expectations, or even if she just actively admires material things that cost more than what the man can provide, this is an indicator that she probably going to leave, eventually, and get what she wants on her own.]

I have seen this in several couples I know directly and indirectly, the moment the woman realizes the man won’t be able to “improve their station in life” and she’ll have to take on the go-getter role, she stops being attracted to him and starts considering a divorce.

The advice out there says you can have it all!!! No you can’t. But this is something women only learn after children come along. That’s when practicality kicks in. Human behavior is not math.

The hard thing some of my married friends who are contemplating divorce don’t realize is that at the end of the day, here just aren’t that many men who are “Alpha” AND willing to commit AND willing to date women close to their age. [“Alpha” here means he can offer commitment and financial security: enough cash in the bank to pay for kids’ college and grad school, owning your home, no debt, prioritizes stability over luxury, and he is not an “employee” who is easily replaceable]. Just because men look at you on the street and flirt with you, that does not mean they will want to MARRY you. Male attention and a ring on your finger are very different things.

Women out there, think really deeply about your levels of ambition and how compatible your partner’s and yours’ are.

No you can’t have it all. If you want to “have it all” you have to start your own business.

*REALLY* think about what equality means and if you are ok with taking on the traditionally “masculine” provider role.
If you (live in the USA and) *REALLY* want a family and especially, more than one child…marry a “traditional” provider-type man.

“Equality” has consequences that are hard to deal with (like having to spend a lot of time away from your children when they are little if you both work), so think of the lifestyle you *are* going to have in an “equal” marriage. “Marriages of equals” often means the woman takes on the traditionally male role outside of the home, becomes a sympathetic “mom” to the Man-Child husband AND does the bulk of the work in terms of child-rearing.

If you are looking to get divorced, remember that there are only so many high-earning CEO types to go around.

If you’re out there looking: Forget about online dating. It was created to give women the illusion that acting like an escort and not being paid for it will lead you to a “relationship” one day.

If you’re out there looking: Men who offer sex don’t have anything to offer. Casual sex has never led to relationships and it never will. Men who believe they are doing you some kind of favor by having sex with you with “no strings attached” are equivalent to people who expect to eat at the best restaurants and not pay the bill. Avoid them at all costs.

There is a reason prostitution has always been a *job*. That’s because there are lots of downsides and life-long consequences to sex (pregnancy, STDs, heartbreak, double standards) for women.

For these reasons, women see sex as a means to an end, not an end unto itself. That means you should only sleep with someone who acknowledges your greater needs minimally and makes it understood, over time, through actions that he is willing to meet them.

It’s your job to spell out your needs: Don’t be afraid to spell out what you are looking for before you sleep with anyone. If you don’t you’ll be stuck with the emotional bill. However, MEN CAN ONLY FIND OUT WHAT YOUR NEEDS ARE IF YOU SPELL THEM OUT USING DIRECT STATEMENTS AND SIMPLE WORDS. That way if they are not met, you can leave knowing that you’d rather pass than take a bad deal you will have to pay for later on.

If you’re out there looking: The only thing that really matters is commitment and showing up in person. Everything else is bullshit men say to get laid. This includes lots of texting without meeting. And impersonal, generic texts that ask “how’s your day going” and skip anything remotely personal. When men like you, they want to see you in person. When men only want to get laid, there is always an excuse.

[Important note: this expectation, that men *must* be breadwinners only came up after women have had kids. Before kids, the ones I mentioned were happy in their “equal” partnerships. After kids it was as if a switch had turned on, and they blamed the inability to be stay-at-home mothers on their husbands, which I think is not fair. But the sentiment was VERY strong. They took it personally, as if the husband had conspired to not “let them” be moms.

As an outsider, I was surprised at the irrational expectation that the men they married - who were exactly the same as before - had to somehow become a completely different person overnight. It is completely unrealistic and irrational to expect anyone to change overnight.

I observed this argument as an attempt to rationalize something that is irrational by definition. I realized there must be a deep-seated, instinctive pain women feel when they can’t be full-time moms, or at least spend more time with their kids when they are little, and this must be the reason for this change.

Of course not all women are like this, some do genuinely love their careers, but I suspect once children come along many realize there is more to life than the corner office. They feel a terrible wave of panic once they realize they are forever trapped in a role that does not fulfill them as deeply as motherhood does.

Yet because of the husband’s inability to be the sole provider (in all fairness, very few men can afford to be sole providers, the cost of living is very high and salaries are relatively low), they have to become the “man” of the house and work long hours to pay their bills, staying away from the kid(s) as a result.

This creates a huge amount of resentment and I think that’s why women prefer divorce over staying married to someone who, from their perspective, forced them to “sacrifice” their true nature, while the husband thrived in his Peter Pan Man role, getting kudos from friends and strangers for being the “cool dad” so involved in the kid’s life as she is now perceived as the “nagging selfish woman” who only cares about details and practical things.

At the same time, culture (in New York anyway) reinforces the idea that men never have to grow up, if they get fed up with the nagging wife who might pay for rent on their East Village apartment on the down low, all they have to do is sign up to the latest dating site and find a new person the next day. And everyday you have women signing up to dating websites, looking for…the mythical provider man, only to find it populated by men-children who want to “text” about nothing, ask for naked pictures and randomly brag on their profiles they are not looking for “demands”. ]

[Update: wow thanks for all the views and comments. This answer has curiously attracted a number of angry comments from some women who mention I don’t understand “equality” and that I can’t speak for all women. I have also received angry comments from men who are on the creative spectrum and believe I am advocating for “marrying for money”, and Europeans [who don’t realize outside of their countries women don’t get very long maternity leave benefits, (in New York I think it’s up to 12 weeks), and men, if they have paternity leave usually don’t take it].

Guess what, I am “anonymous” because I know I would be judged - my answer is not politically correct. Humans are not always politically correct. And many things that are truthful can’t be said in public because they are not politically correct.

Ironically as a woman who is very “liberal” and now works in technology I can’t say anything that might paint men in a positive light or suggest that we women can be hypocritical when it comes to dating and marriage. I guess we can only be Opressed By Patriarchy™ and never shallow assholes ourselves. The Everything is Men’s Fault ™ kool-aid flavor is more convenient than looking at our own attitudes a bit more critically.]


Any woman who claim her son's better off without a dad needs her head examined


Chatting to my teenage daughter over a family dinner the other evening, I paused to reprimand my nine-year-old son for slurping his spaghetti and making a terrible mess in the process.

‘You can’t tell me off,’ he spat back. ‘I’m the man of the house.’

Of course I was cross with Charlie for being so impudent, and told him so in no uncertain terms. But at the same time I felt terribly sorry for my confused little boy, growing up, as he is, in a home without a father, and a much-needed role model.

I was, therefore, appalled yesterday to read that the actress January Jones, of Mad Men fame, believes that her five-year-old son is better off fatherless.

Speaking about her son, Xander, the 39-year-old actress told Red magazine: ‘He doesn’t have a male person saying “Don’t cry” or “You throw like a girl”. All those s***** things dads accidentally do.’

However, as a fellow single mum, I couldn’t disagree more. Of course, many mothers raise children well without fathers after death, divorce or as a result of lifestyle choices. But I have never heard of a mother celebrating the fact that her son has no one to call ‘Dad’.

It was not long after Lucy, now 15, started at primary school that my relationship with my long-term partner Francesco began straining at the seams. Arguments about housework, childcare and bringing home enough money started eating away at the love we once shared.

In the end, the rows became so nasty, frequent and personal that, in November 2009, I asked for a separation. Francesco agreed, and by May 2010 we were officially separated. The biggest casualty of our failed relationship is, of course, our beloved children.

When she was younger, Lucy, like many little girls, was very pro-marriage, now she’s not so sure she ever wants to walk down the aisle.

As for my son Charlie — like the millions of boys who are being raised in homes without their dads — I fear he is missing out and can’t help but worry about what that will mean for him in the future.

Consequently, although I haven’t cohabited since leaving his dad, I go out of my way to ensure that Charlie has other male role models in his life, including my father and platonic male friends. And, while Lucy has never seemed to crave it, Charlie relishes the company of men.

He loves to wrestle with them, engaging in the kind of horseplay boys enjoy with their dads, and it’s incredibly important that he gets these opportunities.

I remember reading a psychologist’s account of how beneficial play fighting is in teaching boys about boundaries and developing awareness of their physical strength.

This is essential stuff and, likewise, when it comes to Charlie learning about respect for women, observing it in action will have a far greater impact than me simply reminding him that it’s important.

I think there’s undoubtedly a link between absent fathers and defiant, disrespectful behaviour in boys towards their mums.

Charlie will often refuse to get ready for bed when I tell him, and say: ‘I’ll do that when I’m ready.’ Or when I tell him to come off the iPad, he’ll say: ‘Why should I, you’re always on your phone?’

So I welcome it when male friends say, ‘Don’t speak to your mum like that’ or tell him ‘Be good for your mother’ as they’re leaving. And he definitely responds to male authority, while sometimes ignoring my boundaries.

I work as a freelance writer and my parents, who live nearby, do a lot of childcare.

When I return to our North London home in the evening, Charlie will start jumping on me and demand my attention and my dad will say: ‘Karen, he has been as good as gold all afternoon and you come in and his behaviour changes in a flash.’

Of course this makes me feel sad because I really am doing my best.

But disciplining lively boys is tough for single mums — maybe the guilt, or exhaustion, of being a lone parent makes us less inclined to enforce boundaries — but I can see it’s so much easier for mums with husbands.

Being from a broken home undoubtedly led to behaviour problems at school when Charlie was younger.

He would act up a lot in the classroom. He would refuse to get on with his work, talk when he wasn’t meant to, answer the teacher back and generally behave like the class clown.

Following one of his bi-annual visits to Italy to see his dad, his behaviour would always be worse.

I would warn the school that Charlie would be unsettled for a while, no doubt because, after spending a week with his dad, he was more acutely aware than ever of what he’s missing the rest of the year.

And I know that part of his anger towards me is because he thinks I’m to blame. More than once he has said: ‘You dumped Dad, didn’t you?’

I’ve tried to protect him and his sister from the adult themes surrounding our relationship but he knows that I was the one who left, taking the children with me.

I’m not sorry I did that, because the relationship made both of us unhappy, but I do regret the emotional impact our separation has had on our son.

The other day, he asked me, hopefully: ‘Mummy, do parents get back together when they’re older? When I have my children will you and Daddy be their grandparents?’

The world is confusing because, to him, grandparents live under the same roof, as my parents do, not hundreds of miles apart.

As for January Jones’s comments about boys growing up without fathers being spared the misery of being told not to cry, or throw like a girl, where has she been for the past 40 years? Most of the men I know, including my father, are highly emotionally intelligent and would never speak to Charlie like that.

I’m also very careful about what I say to him and, while I know some divorcees are critical of their exes, I make a determined effort never to be.

His father is an architect and I’ll often tell Charlie that he is a ‘great little artist, just like Daddy’.

It’s also important for him to be able to identify with his father physically, so I’ll remind him: ‘You’re a handsome boy, tall and strong with a good head of hair, like your daddy.’

However, that doesn’t make him any more of a regular presence in Charlie’s life and I’m acutely aware of how distant a figure he must seem.

When he goes on play dates, he always comes home full of tales about his friends’ fathers. He will say so-and-so’s dad likes gardening, as does Charlie, or Xbox games, or tell me how much fun they are.

Of course, there are some single mums who denigrate all men — if people are disappointed in love they can get bitter and tar all men with the same brush — but I’m not like that. In fact, I do the opposite because I know it would be harmful to my son.

In the absence of a father on hand to do that for him, I try to see the world through Charlie’s eyes.

For example, the other day my old banger of a car broke down and a male friend helped me fix it. Afterwards I said to Charlie: ‘Isn’t Simon clever?’

I say these things in a way I probably wouldn’t have to if his dad were on the scene and actively demonstrating it.

I’m totally impractical, with no DIY or repair skills — unlike my son. But while I can’t nurture these skills in him, I want him to grow up valuing them.

He’s already begun taking an interest in clothes and when his grandad, or uncle, compliment him on the way he looks, I watch him puff out his chest and smile proudly.

It can seem at times as though their words seem to carry more weight than mine, presumably, I guess, because he identifies with them as fellow males of the species.

We have the teenage years to get through yet and, while I have no qualms talking to Charlie about the birds and the bees, and even helping him learn to shave, I’ll never be able to truly show him what it is to be a man.

And no matter how much January Jones loves her son, nor, in the end, will she.


'Progressives' Wage the Real War on Women

Stars like Beyoncé and Grande are the consummate hypocrites.

In preparation for Inauguration Day, the Left is resurrecting its “war on women” propaganda. Not that it’s been dormant long, mind you. But they’ve scheduled a demonstration in Washington the day after Donald Trump’s swearing in with the message that “women’s rights are human rights.”

It’s an ironic approach, really. For years, Democrats have claimed the mantle of the “party of women,” culminating in the nomination of the Most Accomplished Woman in History™ for president. Yet it’s beyond hypocritical for the party to claim such “pro-women” bona fides when it supports coercing women into killing their unborn babies while denying them all the facts, tells women they should vote based on their sex not their brains, and pushes a candidate who attempted to break that phantom “glass ceiling” only by standing on the desk her husband used for different ends.

Still, they do, despite continued evidence from leftist leaders and supporters alike that respecting and advancing women is merely a front for objectifying them.

Consider, for example, leftist pop star Ariana Grande’s recent complaint over a fan’s sexist comments. Apparently recovered from crying at Trump’s election, Grande was out with her boyfriend, rapper Mac Miller, when a male fan allegedly told Miller, “Ariana is sexy as hell, man. … I see you hitting that!” (That’s a euphemism for sexual conquest.) USA Today reports Grande said the encounter left her feeling “sick and objectified.”

As any such ungentlemanly behavior should.

Yet Grande’s own music and music videos invite men to “hit that,” and then some. What’s more, Miller — whom we would imagine Grande thinks “respects” her — raps lyrics so sexually explicit and obscene it’s amazing anything said on the street would faze Grande at all.

As the always erudite Thomas Sowell put it in his final “Random Thoughts” column, “The word ‘risqué’ would be almost impossible to explain to young people, in a world where gross vulgarity is widespread and widely accepted.”

Still, Grande is one of many on the Left who scream foul at the “objectification” of women while perpetrating the very injustice she supposedly rejects.

Barack Obama is another.

Remember, when he said, “Beyoncé could not be a better role model for my girls because she carries herself with such class and poise and has so much talent.” Surely he wasn’t referring to her song lyrics that are far too graphic to reprint here. And the way Beyoncé conducts herself on stage should not be what any father wants for his daughter.

Yet, the Black Panthers wanna-be herself once wrote, “We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect.” Yup, respect Bill Clinton style. Obama seemed to agree.

The Left’s abhorrent treatment of women goes beyond just exploitation by powerful men like Clinton and the Kennedy clan, or even the raunchy behavior and performance and shameless attire of Beyoncé and Grande. Leftist policies and tactics do as much if not more to objectify women.

Need proof?

After Hillary Clinton’s loss, rabid feminist Lena Dunham, who recently confessed she’s never had an abortion but wishes she had, dried her tears (yes, she also cried) then lashed out that “white women, so unable to see the unity of the female identity, so unable to look past their violent privilege, and so inoculated with hate for themselves, showed up to the polls for [Trump].”

To the Left, women aren’t independent, thoughtful human beings free to choose Trump, Clinton, or any other candidate. They’re mere objects — vote tallies — who by nature of the “unity of the female identity” must toe the XX chromosome line.

That’s objectification.

And young girls are fair game for leftist objectification too. That’s why Planned Parenthood, which gets half a billion in taxpayer dollars each year, has repeatedly ignored reporting statutory rape. After all, women — and young teenage girls — are mere objects, good only for the abortion income they generate.

And yet, Planned Parenthood reps will be at the “war on women” Washington demonstration, along with other leftists who fly the flag of women’s rights but routinely strip women of dignity, choice and even basic legal protection against sexual predators.

To be sure, the Left doesn’t hold a monopoly on exploiting women, but they take the prize for hypocrisy on this front. So the next time you hear liberals whine about the objectification of women, remember, the loudest critic is oftentimes the chief offender.


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

Our culture has dumbed down and feminized men for decades.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


8 January, 2017

Another brainless study about living near a highway being bad for you

The Left hate major roads and motor vehicles generally but make heavy weather of condemning them.  So they are always keen to show that roads are bad for your health. And living near a busy road may indeed be bad for you.  There are some theoretical reasons which could lead to that conclusion.  And there seem to be an unending stream of studies "confirming" the connection. But they are all rubbish, as is the one below.

Why? Because they all fail to account well or at all for an obvious confounding factor:  Poverty.  As has been shown many times, the poor have worse health all-round and are more likely to live near a busy road.  "Noise affected" real estate often trades at a one-third discount.  Living near a busy road is a lot cheaper and often it is the only place where the poor can afford to live.  So to show any association of traffic on health, you have to control for income.  If you do not, you could be looking at an effect of poverty, not an effect of traffic.

Statistical control would have been possible but the study reported below did not control for ANYTHING.  I would never have passed it for publication were I the journal editor concerned. Marie Pedersen is a dimwit

Expectant mothers living close to busy roads are at greater risk of serious complications in pregnancy, experts have found.

Pre-eclampsia – a condition suffered by 42,000 pregnant women in Britain each year – is made more likely by noise and pollution from roads, according to a large study.

Researchers believe the toxins from vehicles and sound of traffic from nearby roads may increase stress levels and cause inflammation that leads to rising blood pressure associated with the condition.

The Danish study of 73,000 women - the first to establish a link between traffic and pre-eclampsia - adds to growing concerns about the health impact of air and noise pollution.

Pre-eclampsia affects around 6 per cent of pregnancies in the UK - and in severe cases can lead to stillbirth or maternal death.

Researchers found that for every 10-decibel increase in noise from traffic – roughly a doubling in audible volume - there was a 10 per cent increase in the risk of pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure problems in pregnant women.

Similarly, for every 0.01 micrograms of nitric dioxide from car exhausts in a litre of air - a tiny increase - the risk of the condition rose by 7 per cent.

Study leader Professor Marie Pedersen, of the University of Copenhagen, said: ‘The rise in risk we saw is significant in terms of impact on a population level, as a 10-unit increase in pollution and noise is very small.’

Professor Pedersen said her study shines new light on the root causes of the condition, which has been poorly understand in the past. She said: ‘Air pollution causes inflammation and oxidative stress, which has been linked to damage to blood vessels, immune system changes and elevated blood pressure.

She and her colleagues, whose work is published in the journal Epidemiology, studied data collected from 72,745 pregnancies in Denmark and modelled the noise and air pollution at their addresses.


The journal article is "Impact of Road Traffic Pollution on Pre-eclampsia and Pregnancy-induced Hypertensive Disorders"

And they call Trump supporters "deplorables"!  What are these Trump haters?

Black teens are charged with a HATE CRIME after live-streaming torture of white disabled man who they held prisoner for days before he escaped - as cops reveal they have shown NO remorse

The four black friends believed to be behind the disturbing torture of a white special needs man in a Facebook live video have been identified and charged with committing a hate crime.

Jordan Hill, 18; Tesfaye Cooper, 18; and sisters Birttany, 18, and Tanisha Covington, 24, were charged Thursday morning with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery and a hate crime, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. Hill was also charged with robbery and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. He, Cooper and Brittany Covington face additional charges of residential burglary.

The four are set to face a judge for the first time Friday afternoon at 1pm Central Time for a bond hearing.

Chicago authorities revealed more about the disturbing incident at a Thursday afternoon press conference.

At the press conference, it was revealed that the unidentified victim and Hill were 'acquaintances' who had hung out a few times before. The two knew each other from attending a school together in Aurora, Illinois at one point. 

The victim's parents dropped him off at a McDonald's in Streamwood on Saturday so that he could spend the night with Hill. He was reported missing on Monday when they could not get into contact with their son.

When Hill picked the victim up, he was driving a stolen van - something the victim apparently did not know. For the first two days, the two hung out visiting friends and the victim reportedly slept in the van at nights.

Things took a turn on Tuesday, when they visited the West Chicago residence of the Covington sisters. A few hours after they arrived at the house, where Cooper was as well, Hill and the victim got into a play fight that then escalated.

That's when the sisters tied him up and the group started torturing him for about six hours. Half an hour of this torture was live-streamed on Facebook, showing the group beating the young man, cutting off a piece of his scalp, forcing him to drink toilet water. At one point in the video, one of the four yells  'f*** Donald Trump. F*** white people' at the victim.

Police says the young man made so much noise as he was being tortured that the downstairs neighbors eventually called police to report the noise.

The group became angered with the downstairs neighbors, and three of them went downstairs to kick the neighbor's door in. It was at this moment that the victim was able to make a break for it.

Outside of the residence, a police officer saw the victim 'bloodied and bruised', wearing a tank top and shorts in the dead of winter, so he decided to walk up and see what was wrong.

The officer was then able to ascertain that the victim was the missing man from Streamwood.

Police were not able to elaborate at the Thursday press conference on previous reports that stated the group texted the victim's parents while they were holding him hostage.

The victim, who was friends with Jordan Hill from school, has been returned to his parents 

At the Tuesday afternoon press conference, a police spokesman said that the four suspects copped to the torture in their police interviews and none expressed remorse. 

'The actions in that video are reprehensible. That along with racism have absolutely no place in the city of Chicago or anywhere else for that matter, against anyone regardless of their race, gender, state of mental health or any other identifying factor,' Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Thursday.

The footage shows the four black people allegedly holding the white man hostage in an apartment on the 3400 block of West Lexington on Chicago's West Side on Tuesday.

It was originally posted on Facebook Live by Brittany Covington (who goes by the last name Herring on Facebook) but has since been deleted from her social media page.

In the first video, the victim was seen cowering in a corner with his arms tied and mouth taped shut.

He was filmed being kicked and punched before he had his hair cut until his scalp bled.

The victim also had his clothes cut and had cigarette ash flicked over the wound on his head.

Someone can be heard in the footage yelling 'f*** Donald Trump. F*** white people' while the two men express their hopes that the video will go viral.

Two more clips of the alleged abuse surfaced overnight as well, one of which shows the group forcing the man to drink water out of a toilet.

'It's sickening,' Supt. Johnson said Wednesday night. 'It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that. I've been a cop for 28 years, and I've seen things that you shouldn't see in a lifetime, but it still amazes me how you still see things that you just shouldn't.'  He added: 'I'm not going to say it shocked me, but it was sickening.' 

Police said the victim was treated and released from hospital into the care of his parents, who live in the suburb of Crystal Lake.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest says the beating demonstrates 'a level of depravity that is an outrage to a lot of Americans.'

Earnest says he has not yet spoken to President Barack Obama about the incident in the president's hometown of Chicago but says he's confident Obama 'would be angered by the images that are depicted on that video.


Why the Anti-Israeli Sentiment?

Victor Davis Hanson

Secretary of State John Kerry, echoing other policymakers in the Obama administration, blasted Israel last week in a 70-minute rant about its supposedly self-destructive policies.

Why does the world — including now the U.S. — single out liberal and lawful Israel but refrain from chastising truly illiberal countries?

Kerry has never sermonized for so long about his plan to solve the Syrian crisis that has led to some 500,000 deaths or the vast migrant crisis that has nearly wrecked the European Union.

No one in this administration has shown as much anger about the many thousands who have been killed and jailed in the Castro brothers' Cuba, much less about the current Stone Age conditions in Venezuela or the nightmarish government of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, an ally nation.

President Obama did not champion the cause of the oppressed during the Green Revolution of 2009 in Iran. Did Kerry and Obama become so outraged after Russia occupied South Ossetia, Crimea and eastern Ukraine?

Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power was never so impassioned over the borders of Chinese-occupied Tibet, or over Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus.

In terms of harkening back to the Palestinian “refugee” crisis that started in the late 1940s, no one talks today in similar fashion about the Jews who survived the Holocaust and walked home, only to find that their houses in Eastern Europe were gone or occupied by others. Much less do we recall the 11 million German civilians who were ethnically cleansed from Eastern Europe in 1945 by the Soviets and their imposed Communist governments. Certainly, there are not still “refugee” camps outside Dresden for those persons displaced from East Prussia 70 years ago.

More recently, few nations at the U.N. faulted the Kuwaiti government for the expulsion of 200,000 Palestinians after the liberation of Kuwait by coalition forces in 1991.

Yet on nearly every issue — from “settlements” to human rights to the status of women — U.N. members that routinely violate human rights target a liberal Israel.

When President Obama entered office, among his first acts were to give an interview with the Saudi-owned news outlet Al Arabiya championing his outreach to the mostly non-democratic Islamic world and to blast democratic Israel on “settlements.”

Partly, the reason for such inordinate criticism of Israel is sheer cowardice. If Israel had 100 million people and was geographically large, the world would not so readily play the bully.

Instead, the United Nations and Europe would likely leave it alone — just as they give a pass to human rights offenders such as Pakistan and Indonesia. If Israel were as big as Iran, and Iran as small as Israel, then the Obama administration would have not reached out to Iran, and would have left Israel alone.

Israel’s supposed Western friends sort out Israel’s enemies by their relative natural resources, geography and population — and conclude that supporting Israel is a bad deal in cost/benefit terms.

Partly, the criticism of Israel is explained by oil — an issue that is changing daily as both the U.S. and Israel cease to be oil importers.

Still, about 40 percent of the world’s oil is sold by Persian Gulf nations. Influential nations in Europe and China continue to count on oil imports from the Middle East — and make political adjustments accordingly.

Partly, anti-Israel rhetoric is due to herd politics.

The Palestinians — illiberal and reactionary on cherished Western issues like gender equality, homosexuality, religious tolerance and diversity — have grafted their cause to the popular campus agendas of race/class/gender victimization.

Western nations in general do not worry much about assorted non-Western crimes such as genocides, mass cleansings or politically induced famines. Instead, they prefer sermons to other Westerners as a sort of virtue-signaling, without any worries over offending politically correct groups.

Partly, the piling on Israel is due to American leverage over Israel as a recipient of U.S. aid. As a benefactor, the Obama administration expects that Israel must match U.S. generosity with obeisance. Yet the U.S. rarely gives similar “how dare you” lectures to less liberal recipients of American aid, such as the Palestinians for their lack of free elections.

Partly, the cause of global hostility toward Israel is jealousy. If Israel were mired in Venezuela-like chaos, few nations would care. Instead, the image of a proud, successful, Westernized nation as an atoll in a sea of self-inflicted misery is grating to many. And the astounding success of Israel bothers so many failed states that the entire world takes notice.

But partly, the source of anti-Israelism is ancient anti-Semitism.

If Israelis were Egyptians administering Gaza or Jordanians running the West Bank (as during the 1960s), no one would care. The world’s problem is that Israelis are Jews. Thus, Israel earns negative scrutiny that is never extended commensurately to others.

Obama and his diplomatic team should have known all this. Perhaps they do, but they simply do not care.


A Grand Canyon-Sized Divide Between Democrats and Christians
Of course — Democrats worship at the altar of the state

Eight weeks after progressive Democrats' world was rocked by the Earth-shattering, this-can-NOT-be-happening realization that tens of millions of “deplorable” Americans had turned out to vote for Donald Trump, thereby depriving Her Royal Lie-ness, Hillary Clinton, of the presidency, they are still dredging the depths of the political ocean for answers as to why they lost.

They blame FBI Director James Comey’s re-opening of the Hillary email investigation in the final days of the campaign. They also blame Russian hacking, though there is scant evidence for this (besides, had Hillary not illegally used a private server to conduct official government business out of the reach of congressional oversight, the Russians would have nothing to hack). Still others blame sexism, “fake news,” voter fraud, talk radio, or even Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her pervert husband, former Democrat Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-Creepystan).

A relative handful of introspective Democrat operatives have touched on a major reason for their loss, but it’s one which the progressive Democrat leadership and their uber-leftist foot soldiers don’t even see as a problem — the massive disconnect between the Democrat Party and America’s evangelical Christians, which make up approximately one-fifth of the American electorate. To put that into context, Evangelicals (which are just one subset of professed Christians) are a larger bloc of voters in the U.S. than black voters and Jewish voters combined.

Yet rather than court this critical demographic, Democrats and their “tolerant” base openly and defiantly mock and attack Christians as being the worst elements of humanity. Is it any wonder that Donald Trump, who openly admitted to serial adultery but promised to defend Christians, won a staggering 81% of the Evangelical vote?

In a recent interview with The Atlantic, Michael Wear, former 2012 Obama campaign director of faith-outreach efforts, got to the root of the Democrats' problem with Christians. “Liberals have been trying to convince Americans, and evangelicals in particular, that America is not a Christian nation,” Wear explained. “The 2016 election was evangelicals saying, ‘Yeah, you’re right! We can’t expect to have someone who is Christian like us. We can’t expect to have someone with a perfect family life. What we can expect is someone who can look out for us, just like every other group in this country is looking for a candidate who will look out for them.’”  

The Democrat Party has become a bastion of leftist radicals, including those who are rabidly anti-Christian. Other than popping up in black churches just before elections to remind parishioners that if Republicans are elected, they will take away Social Security and Medicare, try to implement school choice (gasp!), or reinstate slavery (conveniently forgetting it was Democrats who defended the abhorrent practice), Democrats have little good to say about Christians in general, and Evangelicals in particular. What else would you expect of people who booed God at their 2012 national convention?

Obama famously described salt-of-the-Earth Midwesterners as “bitter” people who “cling to guns or religion.”

Lest one think these are isolated incidents taken out of context, consider the following:

In a speech at the 2015 National Prayer Breakfast, the blood having barely dried from the murderous attacks by Islamist terrorists in Paris, Obama lectured us about how Christianity is no better than Islam, trotting out the brutality of the thousand-year old Crusades as proof. Obama haughtily declared, “Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

Obama conveniently forgot that the Crusades were a reaction of European Christians to Muslim hordes invading their lands, and also that it was Christian ministers who led the fight to end slavery in America.

It was likewise the Obama administration that used the power of the federal government to force The Little Sisters of the Poor, a charitable order of Catholic nuns, to provide as part of its employee health insurance contraception drugs, including abortifacients which trigger abortions in early pregnancies. The use of contraception, and especially abortion, are grave sins in the Catholic faith.

Obama also aided in the effort to force Christian bakers, florists, photographers and bed-and-breakfast owners, among others, to violate their faith by providing services for same-sex “weddings.” He has routinely implied that holding true to the biblical definition of man/woman marriage is driven by bigotry and homophobia.

His administration argued before the Supreme Court that religious organizations should be forced to hire employees not of their faith, and should be prevented from firing employees who violate their code of moral conduct. In a similar vein, the Obama administration instituted health care regulations under the ObamaCare monstrosity that stripped health care workers of conscience protections, effectively forcing them, for example, to participate in abortions or be fired, and possibly prosecuted.

He pressured Evangelical pastor Louie Giglio to withdraw from offering the inaugural benediction because of his biblical views on marriage.

Though anecdotal, to be sure, it’s interesting that in eight years, not one of the White House “holiday” cards sent out by Obama — who claims to be a Christian, even as he denigrates Christians — has ever included the word “Christmas.”

These are just a few of the dozens and dozens of examples of Obama’s hostility toward Christians (we won’t even here address Obama’s contemptible treatment of Israel, our staunchest ally in the Middle East).

In the present political atmosphere, it’s nearly impossible for the far-left Democrat Party to find common ground with Middle America, much less devout Evangelical Christians. The Democrats openly loathe and mock Christians, are rabidly pro-abortion, reject any respect for or compromise on moral issues so important to religious people, and in short, they find us “deplorable.”

That creates quite a problem for Democrats who find themselves unexpectedly in the political wilderness, having lost control of the House, the Senate, the White House, and two-thirds of state legislatures. They are vehemently opposed to the beliefs and principles of the very people they need in their camp to regain political power.

Democrats worship at the altar of the state, and as far as anyone can tell, they have no inclination to stop


Texas moves to limit transgender bathroom access

One of the most powerful Republican officials in Texas put the state on the front lines of the nation's culture wars Thursday, announcing the filing of a bill that would require people in government buildings and in public schools to use the bathroom that corresponds with their "biological sex."

The bill, announced by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, is similar to one that caused a political uproar in North Carolina and led to widespread boycotts there by companies, entertainers, sports events, and gay rights groups, which said the bill discriminated against transgender people who use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. Patrick played down the potential economic fallout for Texas and denied that the bill, which has been in the works for months, was discriminatory.

"We know it's going to be a tough fight," Patrick said at the Texas Capitol in Austin. "The forces of fear and misinformation will pull out all the stops, both in Texas and nationally. But we know we're on the right side of the issue, and we're on the right side of history."

Democratic lawmakers, civil rights groups, gay, and transgender rights activists, and the state's most influential business lobby, the Texas Association of Business, swiftly condemned the legislation and predicted an economic blow to Texas if it passed.

"If it's like HB2 in North Carolina, it's discriminatory, and it's bad for business," said Chris Wallace, the president of the Texas Association of Business, adding that the bill was likely to discourage corporate relocations to Texas and stop potential workers, particularly millennials, from coming. "We do not want our state to have an unwelcoming brand to future workers," he said.

Wallace said his organization would "fully engage" in an effort to block the measure in the Texas Legislature, which starts its 140-day session Tuesday. A study commissioned by the business group found that North Carolina-style bills on bathroom access and other similar measures could result in an economic loss in Texas ranging from $964 million to $8.5 billion, including the loss of up to 185,000 jobs.

The ACLU of Texas called the bill an antitransgender measure. The Texas Democratic Party described it as an "$8.5 billion bathroom bill," for the high-end estimated decline in gross domestic product predicted by the Texas Association of Business. Freedom for All Americans, a group that promotes the rights of transgender people, said defeating the bill would be one of its top national priorities. And as Patrick and state Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst, a Republican who filed the bill, spoke with reporters at the Senate, protesters outside the chamber could be heard loudly booing and later shouting: "Shame! Shame!"

Both chambers of the Texas Legislature are controlled by Republicans. Patrick presides over the Senate as lieutenant governor, but the passage of the bill is by no means assured, particularly given the involvement of the Texas Association of Business, which is typically aligned with the Republican leadership. The speaker of the House, Representative Joe Straus of San Antonio, who is one of the state's most prominent moderate Republicans, gave it a cool reception.

"Bathroom legislation is not an urgent concern for Speaker Straus," Jason Embry, his spokesman, said in a statement.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


6 January, 2017

Court Strikes Down Transgender Mandate, Protecting Doctors, Children, and Hospitals

While family and friends were counting down to the new year, I was watching a different kind of countdown—whether doctors and health care providers would be forced to violate their medical judgment and provide procedures, including gender transition services and abortions, under a new government mandate.

The mandate is a 362-page regulation that claims to interpret part of the Affordable Care Act. It was issued in May 2016, and major portions of this mandate would have kicked in on Jan. 1.

Becket Law had asked a Texas court for an order protecting health care providers. It was less than nine hours to midnight when we heard the good news: A Texas court issued an injunction protecting doctors and the families they serve from the mandate.

The court ruling came after eight states, an association of almost 18,000 doctors, and a Catholic hospital system challenged a new federal regulation that requires doctors to perform gender transition procedures on children, even if the doctor believes the treatment could harm the child.

Doctors who followed the Hippocratic oath—the historic medical vow that doctors take to act in the best interest of their patients—would have faced severe consequences, including losing their jobs.

This is a commonsense ruling. The government has no business forcing private doctors to perform procedures on children that the government itself recognizes can be harmful and exempts its own doctors from performing. The ruling ensures that doctors’ best medical judgment will not be replaced with political agendas and bureaucratic interference.

The federal regulation applied to over 900,000 doctors—nearly every doctor in the U.S.—and would have cost health care providers and taxpayers nearly $1 billion.

The government itself does not require its own military doctors to perform these procedures. It also does not require coverage of gender transition procedures in Medicare or Medicaid—even for adults—because the government medical experts that oversee those programs did not believe medical research demonstrates that gender reassignment surgery improves health outcomes, with some studies demonstrating that these procedures were in fact harmful.

But under the Department of Health and Human Services rule developed by political appointees, doctors citing the same evidence and using their best medical judgment in an individual case would have faced potential lawsuits or job loss.

A website about this court case provides leading research on the issue, including guidance the government itself relies on. This research shows that up to 94 percent of children with gender dysphoria will grow out of their dysphoria naturally and live healthy lives without the need for surgery or lifelong hormone regimens.

The government desperately wanted to avoid a court ruling on these facts, telling the Texas court that no injunction was needed. Instead, doctors should wait around to see if they got sued and then see whether the government would agree, based on the circumstances, that they were entitled to protection.

That argument was pretty rich coming from the Department of Health and Human Services, which has spent the last five years fighting lawsuits to limit conscience protections for groups like the Green family, who own Hobby Lobby, and the Little Sisters of the Poor.

In those cases and others, the government has been quick to argue for strict limits on protections like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Church Amendment, which protects providers from having to perform abortions.

Never did the government claim that rulings on the contraceptive mandate should wait until someone brought a lawsuit and the government had time to weigh the issues and pick a side. The court didn’t buy that excuse, instead recognizing that the mandate would create immediate and irreparable harm to doctors nationwide.

This ruling is an across-the-board victory that will ensure that the deeply personal medical decision of a gender transition procedure remains between families and their doctors.

This case was brought jointly by Becket Law—which defended Franciscan Alliance, a religious hospital network sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, and the Christian Medical & Dental Associations—and by the Texas attorney general and the states of Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Arizona, and Mississippi.


The rot has spread to Australia: Transgender students to choose their own toilets, uniforms and sleep alongside students of their chosen sex in new public school policy

Transgender school students will soon be able to use their preferred names, wear the uniform and use the toilets of their choice.

An Education Department policy has outlined how transgender students should be treated in South Australia.

They will also be able to sleep alongside students of the gender they identify with on school camps.

The department says the policy will ensure 'consistent' treatment of transgender pupils by school leaders.

'The difference is that this clearly articulates what we require from schools,' executive director of statewide services and child development Ann-Marie Hayes told The Advertiser.

'We had a number of queries from schools and parents, and we needed to make it very clear what our legislative requirements were and how schools enact them - supporting principals in particular but also families in what they can expect from schools.'

Hayes also defended the policy and said it could not be taken advantage of and that a boy could not pretend to be transgender in order to sleep in the same area as girls on a school camp.

Hayes also felt that the policy is one of tolerance and would send an important message to other students that transgender children are not to be bullied.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Education Department for comment.


State Lawmakers Seek to Stop New York City From Destroying immigrant ID Records

A judge is expected to rule soon on whether New York City can destroy records associated with an identification program commonly used by illegal immigrants who lack Social Security cards or driver’s licenses.

Earlier this month, Ron Castorina Jr. and Nicole Malliotakis, Republican members of the New York State Assembly from Long Island, filed a lawsuit contesting a provision of the identification program that says the city as of Dec. 31 can destroy records, including the personal information of applicants.

City Council member Carlos Menchaca, a Democrat representing Brooklyn, co-sponsored legislation creating the city’s identification program nearly two years ago. Menchaca said the measure calling for destroying data was intended to protect illegal immigrant applicants in case a future Republican president tried to access their personal information for immigration enforcement.

Menchaca told the New York Post the clause was included “in case a Tea Party Republican comes into office and says, ‘We want all of the data from all of the municipal ID programs in the country,’ we’re going to take the data.”

Since Donald Trump’s election as president, immigration advocacy groups and the city’s Democratic leadership have expressed concern that the new administration could try to pursue information from the ID program to fulfill its goal to increase deportations.

“The fear is that the Trump administration has made a lot of threats [about] deporting immigrants and they could use this data against immigrant communities,” Thanu Yakupitiyage, senior communications manager of the New York Immigration Coalition, a group that promotes policies that benefit immigrants, said in an interview with The Daily Signal.

Castorina and Malliotakis, in interviews with The Daily Signal, said security issues drive their concern about the prospect that the city will destroy documents associated with the identification program, known as IDNYC.

“Our lawsuit has nothing to do with immigration,” said Malliotakis, who is a daughter of Cuban and Greek immigrants.

Castorina and Malliotakis, the only two Republican members of the New York State Assembly who represent the city, did not vote on the IDNYC program because the City Council created it.

But the two lawmakers represent 300,000 New York City constituents between them, and they said they followed the program’s implementation closely. They became alarmed in September when New York state’s banking superintendent issued a directive encouraging all state-licensed banks and credit unions to accept identification administered through IDNYC.

Malliotakis said she worries that someone with “nefarious intent” could use the municipal identification, which is easy to qualify for, to open a bank account to “finance terror or engage in fraud.”

If the city destroys records associated with the program, she says, it would make it more difficult for law enforcement to investigate potential criminal cases.

“This lawsuit is about the safety and security of the people of New York City and our nation, and maintaining transparency and the rule of law in government,” Malliotakis told The Daily Signal. “That’s what it’s about. Everything else is a side issue that is not directly related to why we are seeking to preserve the documents.”

Earlier this month, in the first arguments of the lawsuit, Justice Philip G. Minardo of State Supreme Court on Staten Island delayed the impending Dec. 31 destruction of documents until a full hearing is convened in the first week of January.

Minardo requested that Mayor Bill de Blasio or City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito—both Democrats—be present at the hearing.

“I don’t want to order the mayor or the council speaker to be here, but it would be helpful,” Minardo said, issuing an unusual request that reflects the weight of the challenge before him.

In January 2015, New York City introduced IDNYC as the country’s largest municipal identification program to help those who struggle to obtain government-issued identification, including illegal immigrants, the homeless, and victims of domestic violence.

Applicants must provide their name, address, and proof that they live in the city’s five boroughs, among other personal data.

The program does not ask applicants to reveal immigration status.

“IDNYC was advertised to New Yorkers as a badge of being a New Yorker, that you could get it regardless of immigration status,” Yakupitiyage, of the immigration coalition, said. “We were told this card is safe and the program ensures confidentiality.”

To obtain a card, an applicant can use a valid foreign passport or consular identification, along with a utility bill that verifies a city address. An expired foreign passport is acceptable for up to three years, in some cases.

Proof of residency in a homeless shelter for 15 days also can be a form of identification.

The New York Police Department accepts the municipal cards as a means of identification. They also can be used to enter public schools and libraries, and to get free admission to the city’s zoos and museums.

Roughly 1 million people have applied for the IDs. It’s unknown how many beneficiaries are immigrants living in the city illegally.

The law that created the program states that the city would keep records for two years of the documents applicants used to apply, and make them available only through a judicial subpoena.

Malliotakis said only seven cardholders have had their records requested through a subpoena.

The New York Times reported that 92 applications for IDs have been flagged as highly likely to be fraudulent, and the city has denied 7,130 applications because of insufficient proof of identity.

Castorina and Malliotakis say applicants’ records should be kept for the five years that an IDNYC card is valid, and that data should be made accessible under the state’s freedom of information law.

Lawyers for the city argue that law does not cover the release of private data, such as the personal information used to obtain one of the city ID cards.

Before pursuing the lawsuit, Castorina and Malliotakis filed a freedom of information request in November to get the records for all IDNYC beneficiaries. The city denied the request.

“We were not looking to engage in litigation,” Castorina told The Daily Signal.

Castorina says he supports the IDNYC program, and contends that it “fulfills a worthy purpose” by giving opportunities to vulnerable people, including illegal immigrants.

In the interview with The Daily Signal, he acknowledged, unprompted, that he backs providing a path to citizenship for immigrants now living in the country illegally.

Yet, through the litigation process, Castorina says, he has grown frustrated with New York City’s Democratic leaders, including de Blasio and Mark-Viverito. He accuses them of politicizing the municipal identification program and its clause allowing for destruction of data.

“To say this is the list that the federal government wants and will use to deport people is just complete political hyperbole,” Castorina told The Daily Signal, adding:

This is just politicizing the unfortunate situation of undocumented people, and it’s being done at their expense by instilling fear in their hearts and minds. And it’s also creating the prospect of a major security risk.


Australia: Victims of Crime Commissioner Greg Davies is calling for a mandatory life sentence for anyone convicted of killing an infant

Having taken a whole life away, the killers should have their life taken away too.  Hang them

MANDATORY life sentences for child killers have been urged by the state’s top victims’ advocate.

The deaths of nine children in 2016 have prompted Victims of Crime Commissioner Greg Davies to call for the life terms for anyone convicted of killing an infant.

"They’ve lost 90 years of their lives, what will these offenders lose? Twenty-odd years of their liberty? That to me doesn’t say we value human life," Mr Davies said.

"If someone murders an infant, no one cares about their circumstances, no one cares about their prospects of rehabilitation and that they’re unlikely to do it again, they’ve surely lost their right to a second chance. These mongrels deserve life."

Executive chair and the founder Bravehearts, Hetty Johnston, said she supported Mr Davies’ views on mandatory sentencing for child killers. "He’s not going to get any argument from me," she said.

"The judiciary will baulk at it, saying every case has its own merits, but I support it.

"Anyone that would kill a child, whether they are criminally liable or mentally incap­acitated, has no place in a society where there’s children. It’s just too dangerous."

Shadow attorney-general John Pesutto said the Opposition had also been reviewing Victoria’s sentencing.

"The Liberal-Nationals have been calling for urgent changes that will deliver stronger sentences for serious crimes like murder, but (Premier) Daniel Andrews has refused to do anything about it," he said.

"Child murder is horrific and the Victims of Crime Commissioner is to be congratulated for proposing solutions while the government has completely failed to put victims first."

Life sentencing for child killers has long been urged by those families left behind.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


5 January, 2017

Why Have People “Had Enough of Experts”?

One of the defining moments of the EU referendum campaign was Michael Gove’s remark – directed at all the professional economists predicting a Brexit vote would produce economic disaster – that “people in this country have had enough of experts”. This is now seen to have initiated a terrible era of “post-truth” politics. For the experts themselves – many of them, my fellow academics – this is deeply disturbing, signalling the inexorable rise of irrational, fact-free political debate. But what people have had enough of is not experts or expertise, per se; rather, it is the automatic, assumed authority that experts wield over non-experts.

The rise of “experts” to positions of authority in public life is intimately connected with the decline in popular political participation over the last few decades. Society has always needed technical experts to provide advice and implement policies, but increasingly “experts” have taken a central place in decision-making itself. A burgeoning array of issues have been removed from the domain of democratic contestation and handed over to unelected technical experts to decide. In many jurisdictions, legal changes have locked in this turn to “evidence-based policymaking”.

The obvious example is the rise of independent central banks. Populated by professional economists, these now control monetary policy – once a matter of intense political contestation between forces favouring inflation control (typically, capital) and those favouring full employment at the expense of some inflation (typically, organised labour).

More generally, the rise of quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations (“quangos”), judicialised bodies, and various commissions and inquiries since the 1980s marks the depoliticisation of many areas of public policy, and the growing authority of technocrats – people whose power derives not from their popular support but their technical expertise. These technocrats have also started coordinating their work across borders, forming transnational governance networks even more remote from popular democratic control. The European Union is only the most obvious example.

There has always been a strong class basis to this shift. Relocating decision-making from representative bodies to technocratic agencies reduces popular control over policymaking while endowing skilled professionals with unprecedented authority. As David Runciman recently argued, increasing evidence of political division between highly- and poorly-educated citizens reflects this divide, with the authority-wielding professions increasingly confined to an ever-narrowing social elite. The shared social background and values of technocrats and those they often seek to regulate – and the increasingly obvious “revolving door” between them – also helps bias governance outcomes in favour of the already wealthy and powerful, rather than serving the public interest.

In short, there is nothing neutral about the political rise of experts, despite its frequent presentation as such. Part of the backlash against the attack on “experts” is this class seeking to defend its own power and authority. It also reflects a Remainer fantasy that if only the public were more educated, Remain would have won – as if more mind-numbing courses on the institutional structures on the European Union could somehow magically erase all of society’s social, political and economic contradictions and conflicts.

However, this reaction is overblown: it is not the case that ordinary people have lost all faith in experts, nor have they irrationally embraced “post-truth” politics. What they are revolting against is the automatic, assumed authority of experts. Due to the long decline of political contestation, many experts have become far too accustomed to being listened to with extreme deference; they expect their expertise to translate automatically into authority. It is this assumed authority that rankles with the non-expert: the presumption that, simply because someone has a PhD in a given area, no one else is permitted to voice an opinion. The expert does not even have to explain themselves: the mere invocation of their qualifications should apparently suffice to quell all dissent.

Examples of this abound, but one recent case is the widely-reported Twitter spat between UKIP funder Aaron Banks and historian Mary Beard over whether the Roman Empire was “destroyed by immigration”. Beard slapped him down: “you all need to do a bit more reading… Facts guys! … you guys don’t know Roman history… this might be a subject on which to listen to experts!” Banks defended his view, and was quickly vilified for trying to “mansplain” Rome to the noted female classicist. But his most notable comment was: “Where’s all your counter arguments & facts then?” Notably, Beard supplied none – she just dismissed him as ignorant and asserted her expertise. As the Huffington Post aptly summarised, his crime was failure to “defer to a respected historian’s perspective”.

But why should anyone defer to experts? There are many reasons to think they should not. Most obviously, experts are very often wrong – sometimes disastrously so.

Winston Churchill’s “personal technocrat”, Dr Frederick Lindemann, advised the British government that the 1943 Bengal famine was due to overpopulation, counselling against sending relief. Six to seven million Bengalis starved to death.

In the 1960s and 1970s, educational psychologist Sir Cyril Burt told the government that black children were genetically less intelligent than whites, holding back the shift to non-selective schooling.

In the 1990s, government scientist Dr Robert Lacey warned that, by 1997, a third of the British population would have contracted Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease from eating beef contaminated with “mad cow disease”.

The much-touted rise of “evidence-based policymaking” in the 1990s – reflecting the growing depoliticisation of public life – produced swathes of “quack policy”, justifying burgeoning state interference in private decision-making in the name of “public health” or “happiness”. Policies on passive smoking, alcohol pricing, sugar taxation and so on have all been adopted following scientist-backed campaigning – despite the fact that the evidence base is often extremely weak and the policies have often failed. As an IEA review comments,  “evidence-based policymaking” has often been less about scientific rigour than a “mechanism for academic elites to impose their own values on society as a whole, showing contempt for the wishes of the public.”

This clearly extends to research around the EU referendum, where expert authorities have projected their value judgements as truth. The International Monetary Fund, the Treasury, and virtually every professional economist, made bleak predictions about the immediate economic impact of a Brexit vote, which have already been proven badly mistaken.

Likewise, a study by Imran Awan of Birmingham City University and Irene Zempi of Nottingham Trent University, released by the charity Hope Not Hate, was found to have vastly exaggerated the positive reaction to the shooting of Labour MP Jo Cox during the referendum campaign.

TCM has exposed similar exaggerations or distortions around Brexit by the Electoral Reform Society and #PostRefRacism, both of which had academic input. Other “research” is just openly spiteful, like the UEA academic who discovered a correlation between Leave voting and obesity (not-very-sub-text: Leave voters are stupid and fat).

Unsurprisingly, then, experts are not immune from value judgements that can powerfully shape their pronouncements. Moreover, even when they strive for objectivity, their knowledge is only ever partial. Especially in the humanities and social sciences, everything but the most basic facts is contested, because there are always many ways to interpret data. All real “experts” know this; indeed, many academics (especially those influenced by post-structuralism) have been preaching for decades that there is no such thing as objective truth – only a set of competing “truth-claims”. But many nonetheless splutter with outrage when a non-expert dares to challenge their particular truth-claim.

This is arguably the nub of the issue: the growing political inequality between the “experts” and the masses. Some clearly believe that experts do not even need to justify or explain their perspective to the less-educated; the gap between their credentials should short-circuit the need for any discussion.

But in a democracy, citizens are equal. Credentials do not entitle one to a greater say or, as some now openly fantasise about, more heavily weighted votes; and nor should they. Ironically, many “experts” involved in educating students would agree that a good citizen needs to think critically, to not accept received wisdom unquestioningly, and to exercise discriminating judgement. A citizen who fails to do this is evading their responsibility, simply casting their vote on the say-so of authorities, rather than on the basis of their own reason. An expert who denies a fellow citizen the possibility of discussion and debate, and thus proper understanding of issues, therefore corrodes democracy itself.

What non-experts are rightly reasserting, then, after a long period of tightening technocracy, is their equality as political subjects. Experts still have a political role to play – but as citizens informing and participating in debate, not as automatic authorities to whom mere mortals should automatically defer.


Artwork Depicting Cops as Pigs in the US Capitol

How about some artwork depicting Muslims as pigs?  Would that be OK too?

There currently hangs in the United States Capitol building a painting that depicts police officers as anthropomorphic pigs.

Yes, you read that correctly. The painting actually depicts police officers as gun-wielding pigs. And yes, it is hanging in the halls of the U.S. Capitol.

The Capitol building contains, among the obvious two houses of Congress, multiple historically significant works of art, statues of our nation’s greatest heroes, innovators, and civic leaders, and is capped by a rotunda graced by Constantino Brumidi’s famed fresco “The Apotheosis of Washington.”

And alongside all of this beauty now hangs a divisive and insulting painting ostensibly meant to highlight social injustice. How could such a humiliating work of “art” make its way into such a prestigious place?

No, Colin Kaepernick did not sneak into the Capitol and hang the painting while no one was looking. Its placement in the Capitol can actually be credited to Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo.

Clay selected the artwork, named “Untitled #1,” as his district’s winner in the 32nd Annual Congressional Art Competition. As such, “Untitled #1” now proudly hangs in the Capitol alongside other winners of the competition.

Its unseemly content has not gone unnoticed. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., a former police officer, told the Independent Journal Review, “Unfortunately, many people of influence have taken part in promoting offensive and inaccurate caricatures of the very people who do the most to protect our families.”

He added, “While I understand in some neighborhoods trust between police and communities has all but deteriorated, we must work on rebuilding these relationships and focus on our shared goals of peace and civility.”

Clay, however, seems to have no qualms about the divisive nature of “Untitled #1.” He described the work as “the most creative expression that I’ve witnessed over the last 16 years” and added that it “portrays a colorful landscape of symbolic characters representing social injustice.”

Apparently, depicting police officers as pigs—an image long understood to be derogatory and insulting to the entire law enforcement profession—is justifiable since they are merely “symbolic characters representing social injustice.”

It’s a shame that Clay, like so many others, seemingly has no issue with broadly disparaging an entire profession of men and women, from all backgrounds and walks of life, who literally risk their lives on a daily basis to provide safe and secure communities.

Although they would never say so—surely out of pride and the honor with which they uphold their profession—but the men and women of the United States Capitol Police, working merely yards from this piece of art, must be disheartened at how some in society, and apparently at least one member of Congress, holds them in such disregard.

The young artist who created “Untitled #1” no doubt meant for his work to be provocative and thought-provoking. In that regard, he was certainly successful, but for the wrong reasons.

Rather than elicit a thoughtful response on community strife and social injustice, “Untitled #1” divides and separates observers. If your desire is to help a community heal and overcome division, then purposely and unnecessarily playing to people’s prejudices is not the way to go.

Artwork in any form is certainly subjective, but “Untitled #1” is objectively insulting and has no place hanging within the halls of the United States Capitol. Lawmakers should demonstrate their respect for law enforcement by having this image promptly removed.


The last hurrah for Castro worship

The retrospectives on Fidel Castro continue, even as the entombment of the Cuban dictator has passed. New photographic essays, retrospectives and interviews appear on our computer screens. So symbolic has this figure proved that I expect to see apologias and indictments into the New Year, if only because the former necessitate the latter.

Ponder the inability in some quarters to name unpleasant facts. President Obama never quite could bring himself to say “radical Islam” or to tell us what the “extremists” of which he spoke instead were extreme about. Here, he went a step further, silent on the ideology that animated Castro as well as the crimes to which they gave rise.

Indeed, the language deployed by some world leaders has been no more honest or creditable than that heaped upon Castro by veteran KGB stooges and communist fellow-travelers. Note the common resort to the purposely evasive, syrupy valedictory language normally reserved for the passing of a pioneering CEO or a charismatic motivational speaker — “powerful emotions” for someone who “altered the course of individual lives” (President Obama), “deep sorrow” for “a larger than life figure” (Canada’s Justin Trudeau), a “beacon of light,” an “absolute giant of the 20th century” (Marxist former London mayor Ken Livingstone), “a really great man” who “controlled things very firmly” (KGB agent of influence historian Richard Gott).

Note, too, the substitution of real or imagined successes to the exclusion of the dread, deadly deeds dispositive of the lives hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Nothing here of the show trials, the mass executions, the forced labor camps or the decades-long confinement of dissidents to windowless cells. Nothing of the 5,300 people killed resisting Castro’s forces; the one-fifth of Cubans who voted with their feet to escape totalitarian oppression; the lives of the still less fortunate 78,000 Cubans, lost in shark-infested waters fleeing in horror the only home they had known; the 14,000 Cubans killed in Castro’s wars abroad; the 6,800 politically motivated assassinations; the gulag of labor camps, known by their Spanish acronym UMAPs, holding tens of thousands for infractions as arbitrary as being gay, a Jehovah’s Witness or a Seven Day Adventist.

Indeed, the destruction of the lives of opponents was raised to a new virtue and the very concept of law explicitly subordinated to the enforcement of control through brute force. As Castro’s executioner, Che Guevara, put it, “To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution. And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate.” These were not the aberrant words of a maverick henchman. Castro himself put it no less forcefully: “revolutionary justice is not based on legal precepts, but on moral conviction.”

Few more eloquent testimonies exist to the avoidable misery and wastage to which Castro subjected Cuba than the fact that, by the mid-1900s, the 2 million-strong Cuban-American émigré community Castro’s tyranny had created were generating eleven times the gross domestic product of the island they had fled.

In short, Castro’s human rights record amounted to the diametric opposite of the middle class-backed restoration of constitutionality, free elections, free enterprise, anti-nationalization, and anti-communism which Castro rode into power. Yet, the man who vehemently denied communist tendencies and who famously told the New York Times’ Herbert Matthews, that “power does not interest me. After victory I want to go back to my village and just be a lawyer again,” turned Cuba into a Moscow satellite and never held an election. As Mona Charen notes wryly, “Castro promised free elections within 18 months. That was 708 months ago.” Biology, not constitutionality, determined his reign as Máximo Líder. As constitutional lawyer Augusto Zimmerman mordantly observes, “‘Freedom with bread and without Terror’ was the original slogan of the Cuban Revolution. ‘Terror without freedom and with insufficient bread’ was the final solution arrived at by Castro’s brutal dictatorship.”

Thus, prattle about “significant improvements to the education and healthcare” (Trudeau) “advances in the fields of education literacy and health” (UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon) are made to function as alibis for a brutal tyranny that is at most barely insinuated. (The customary anti-American voices were saying the same things about Saddam Hussein, who presided over a country rightly described by post-Saddam president Jalal Talabani as a “concentration camp above ground, and a mass grave beneath”).

The tortured rationalizations of Castro’s regime are also redolent of the old (largely false) exculpation of Mussolini that held him in honor because he had made the trains run on time. What are piles of corpses and overflowing prisons when weighed in the balance against the achievements of the Ferrovie dello Stato? In short, a propaganda fiction devised by his regime, much like Cuban agitprop retailed by Castro admirers about his alleged achievements in the realms of health care, education and social justice for blacks at home and abroad.

In point of fact, as National Review’s Jay Nordlinger once vividly elaborated, the much-vaunted Cuban health care in reality is a caste system that confines its excellence to the ruling elite and hard cash-paying foreigners. Ordinary Cubans are consigned to the vagaries of dilapidated, unsanitary hospitals and medical supplies so scarce that doctors have been known to reuse latex gloves. Even the still-respectable infant mortality rate, which was one of the world’s lowest when Castro seized power in 1959, is kept in check by such expedients as state-mandated abortions in the event of the smallest complications, producing in turn a black market of prenatal care struggling to conform to customary humanitarian standards.

The re-emergence over the years of tuberculosis, leprosy, and typhoid fever ought to be sufficient commentary on the state of health care in Cuba. So, too, should be a 2014 report from the Institute for War and Peace Reporting which found that in Cuban hospitals “the floors are stained and surgeries and wards are not disinfected. Doors do not have locks and their frames are coming off. Some bathrooms have no toilets or sinks, and the water supply is erratic. Bat droppings, cockroaches, mosquitoes and mice are all in evidence.”

The oft-heard claim that such abysmal conditions are due to America’s now-lifted embargo crumble with the recollection that Castro had no problem providing abundant medical resources to foreigners and “revolutionary” states that were charged lavishly for the privilege. Doctors who protest this state of affairs end up, like Oscar Élias Biscet, in prison, or like Hilda Molina Morejón, the country’s former chief neurosurgeon, subjected to mob violence and prohibited from practicing medicine. Little wonder that Castro’s health minister, José Ramón Balaguer, applauded Michael Moore’s audacious whitewash in his 2007 agitprop film, Sicko.

Yes, Cuban education, thanks to vast expropriations and munificent Soviet subsidies, ensured major advances, though these have proved unsustainable since the end of the Cold War and withdrawal of Moscow’s backing. In any case, the paradox of churning out credentialed young people into an economy utterly incapable for the most part of providing jobs remotely commensurate with their skills was bound to produce a reckoning, and so it has: a 30 percent university drop-out rate and an epidemic of teacher and student absenteeism. Like many a Western country in the age of cash-strapped downsizing, only with more urgency, Cuba’s universities now lavish their attention on foreign, full-fee paying students.

Was this any more than could have been guaranteed in a remotely democratic state? Or is it sound reason to recall the timeless reaction of Armando Valledaras, an early Castro supporter and later Cuban bureaucrat, jailed for 22 years by Castro (his troubles began when he refused to have a “I’m with Fidel’ slogan placed at his desk), to assertions of Castro’s achievements in a Q&A at Harvard: “It’s all untrue — a pack of lies. But even if it were true: Can’t a country have those things without dictatorship, without tyranny, without gulags, without torture — with freedom?”

And what of apartheid? Were the tens of thousands of deaths in Castro’s war in Angola worth the candle to pressure a racist system? Or did South Africa’s white minority government become amenable to change due to Western sanctions, especially in the realm of oil and energy? However, let it be conceded that even the armies of brutal dictators sometimes do some good. Julius Nyrere’s Tanzanian forces ousted Uganda’s psychopathic Idi Amin. Stalin’s Red Army drove out the Nazis from eastern Europe. But few have been bold enough to praise Stalinism. Apparently, however, Castroism can be widely excused on the Left on account of Cuban troops dispatched to Angola. This is tantamount to saying that causing abuses and misery in some places is excusable because it relieved it in other places. Indeed, even one of Castro’s admirers, who is still busy recycling the false claim that Castro instituted excellent health coverage for all Cubans, correctly noted that the “South Africans who hero-worship Castro [possess] anti-Western instincts [that] are stronger than their pro-democratic instincts.”

But it will be asserted, in the face of all these considerations, that it is unfair to hold Western leaders, never mind others, at the moment of Castro’s passing, to a standard of truth-telling unknown to diplomacy. This was, they will insist, the time for a diplomatic message of condolence, however reluctantly offered, to a nation with which these states had diplomatic relations. Putting aside the obvious lack of reluctance on display for example from Mr. Trudeau, the answer must be: Yes — and that is precisely what did not happen here. To have expressed condolences and noted Castro’s importance could have been done without unsavory euphemisms about his “larger than life” impact and the individual lives “altered.” President Ronald Reagan did as much (and no more) on the death of Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev, leader of a hostile superpower.

The conclusion is inescapable: the language used disguised the reluctance of these leaders to recognize evil. Doubtless, political proclivities account for these in many a case, and a better insight into how they felt is provided by the communist fellow travelers who felt free to lavish their praise openly, fully aware of Castro’s crimes. Of such people, of their reluctance to name crimes, of their choice to identify with perpetrator rather than victim, let alone their refusal to welcome the passing of an evil man, one must conclude that justice cannot be their concern, however much the word featured in their apologias.

Dennis Prager put it well when observing the similar reluctance of some to note with satisfaction the death of Osama Bin Laden: “It seems to me that if one does not celebrate the death of a truly evil person, one is not celebrating the triumph of good over evil. I do not see how one can honestly say, ‘I celebrate that bin Laden can no longer murder men, women, and children, but I do not celebrate his death.’” Such people are guilty, as British historian Andrew Roberts noted on the same occasion, of a refusal “to obey the natural instincts of the free-born to celebrate the death of a tyrant.”

A large number of Christian and Jewish clergymen, of a leftist stripe, can be found eager to cite Proverbs 24:17 (“When your enemy falls, do not rejoice, and when he stumbles, let your heart not exult”), conveniently forgetting Proverbs 11:10 (“When the wicked perish, there is joyful song”), as also the fact that one’s personal enemy is not necessarily in the category of the wicked, making 24:17 inapplicable. But moral confusion is not a new condition and those who failed to take satisfaction in Castro’s death have told us more about themselves than anything else.


Those man-child migrants? Some were as old as 29

A 29-year-old is among the hundreds of adult asylum-seekers in Britain who lied to officials and posed as children, according to newly released official figures.

Official age assessments carried out by social workers across the country revealed that a staggering number of those claiming to be lone refugee children were far older than they pretended to be.

In some cases they were close to 30 and could have posed a risk to school pupils or foster families had they not been checked.

The revelation comes after concerns were raised that some of the refugees allowed into Britain from the Jungle camp in Calais were no longer teenagers.

Figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday from 50 local authorities across England show that social workers carried out 2,028 age tests between 2013-14 and 2015-16. Over these three years, almost one in four of the claimants – 465 – were found to be over 18.

Detailed figures provided under the Freedom of Information Act to this newspaper show that the eldest was found to be almost twice as old as he had claimed.

The man, assessed by Hampshire County Council in 2014-15, claimed to be 17 but was ‘assessed as 29’. In Portsmouth last year, a man claimed to be 17 but was assessed as being 26. And in Manchester in 2013-14, a woman said she was 17 but was also found to be 26.

In Hillingdon, West London, a man who said he was just 15 was assessed as being 25 – a full decade older. Another man was found to be 25, in Newcastle, although he claimed he was just 17. Astonishingly, in some areas almost every claimant considered turned out to be aged over 18.

Last night Tory backbench MP David Davies, who led calls for young asylum-seekers to undergo dental X-rays to determine their real age, said: ‘This backs up everything I’ve been saying and I make no apology for saying we need to have medical checks for people who appear to be over 18.

‘The alternative is that men in their late 20s end up being put in foster homes with vulnerable children and in classrooms, with all the risks that entails to children’s welfare.’

Overall, the number of people arriving in Britain and claiming to be lone refugee children has almost tripled in recent years, Home Office figures reveal, from 1,125 in 2012 to 3,253 in 2016.

The Home Office said it had transferred more than 750 lone children from France to the UK since October 2016 and all of them were age-assessed.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


4 January, 2017

Australia: Iraq war veteran fought off EIGHT Muslim men after they attacked his wife

Muslim values at work:  Disregard for "Kuffar" law and contempt for women

A retired Iraq war veteran who fought off eight Muslim men after they attacked his wife has tried to put the record straight on what exactly happened that day.

Kyle Tyrrell, 48, had an altercation with fishermen on Victoria's Surf Coast a year ago while standing up for his wife Liana.

Mr Tyrrell claimed that Liana was punched in the face at the Cosy Corner beach, in Torquay, after one of the men put a crab pot in the water and she told him the area was a marine sanctuary and fishing was banned.

In the fight that took place on Sunday, January 24, 2016, Mr Tyrrell suffered minor injuries, while at least one of the fishermen was taken to hospital. No charges were laid.

The retired lieutenant-colonel claimed that the attack was racially and culturally motivated after his wife was called a white slut and a white whore by the men.

However criticism that he has received about the incident on Facebook persuaded him to set the record straight on the incident. He confirmed that the men were Muslim and said he would 'do it again in a heartbeat'.

Mr Tyrrell claimed the Muslim man took offence to being told what to do by a woman and unleashed a tirade of abuse at her, but the fact that she ignored him only enraged him even more.

'His mates got close to me and then he made a run for my wife, that's when I ran at him, he threw a punch which I ducked and the fight started. At no time could either my wife, daughter or I safely walk away,' Mr Tyrrell wrote.

'At that point five more joined the fight, one punching my wife as she attempted to get our daughter up the beach.'

At one stage one of the men said to Mrs Terrell: 'Your husband needs to teach you a lesson.'

'I would do the same thing again in a heartbeat, in fact I would do the same thing for any woman I saw in that situation not just my wife,' he concluded the Facebook post.


British police accused of preventing mother from taking sick baby to hospital after 20 minute row over seat in taxi

Under 13 years of Labour Party rule the once-respected British police degenerated badly. A lot of them are just goons now.  What were four of them doing accosting a lone woman with a sick child?

A taxi passenger mum trying to get a breathless, sick baby to hospital claims police obstructed her in a stand-off about child seats.

Lucy Flynn, 25, ordered a taxi after her 15-month-old son Alex turned red and began wheezing.

Desperate Lucy says she was urgently trying to get the tot to hospital when patrol police officers pulled over the private hire car and insisted that the infant should use a child seat.

During the 20-minute stand-off which ensued, Lucy says she showed officers a government webpage on her phone which showed it was, in fact, legal for a child to be transported in a taxi where the driver doesn’t provide the correct seat.

But the officers are said to have kept mum and her distressed child at the roadside for 20 minutes and even suggested they walk to hospital before finally allowing the driver to complete the journey.

GMP now say they are investigating the mum’s complaint.

Advice from the government’s gov.uk site states: “A child can travel without a child car seat in some circumstances. Taxis and minicabs: If the driver doesn’t provide the correct car seat, children can travel without one - but only if they travel on a rear seat and wear an adult seat belt if they’re 3 or older.”

Little Alex spent seven hours being treated for a viral infection and conjunctivitis at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. He has since recovered at home.

But mother-of-two Lucy, from Clayton, has lodged an official complaint and is demanding an apology from Greater Manchester Police.

Lucy, who works in HR, told the M.E.N: “They pulled us over and said ‘you should have a car seat in a taxi - it’s dangerous’. Alex was crying in the taxi. His cheeks were bright red. He was wheezing and breathing really fast.

“I told the police three or four times he was really ill. He was visibly poorly and I told them I wanted to get him to A&E and we didn’t need a car seat because we were in a taxi. It was freezing and I had a little baby in my hands. One of them told me if it was an emergency we should have called an ambulance. I didn’t need an ambulance. I just needed to get to the hospital as best I could. I looked the law up on my phone and showed them it was legal. The officer just said ‘I don’t think that’s the main concern - the main concern at the moment is the child’.

“But they just kept me there and I hadn’t even broken the law. I was panicking. There were four police officers there and surely one of them would know it’s not against the law. The way I was treated was so rude. I feel disgusted and let down. The police are supposed to protect us.”

The law says a child can travel in a taxi without a child seat if the driver has not provided one and if the child is on a rear seat.

A spokesman for GMP said: “We have received a complaint in relation to an incident that took place on Upper Brook Street, Manchester, on Monday 26 December 2016. We are currently investigating this complaint and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”


British PM to revive Tory pledge on cutting benefits for migrants

Theresa May is preparing to use Brexit to fulfil David Cameron’s manifesto promise to stop EU migrants from claiming benefits.

Senior government figures are studying whether to stop newly arrived migrants from the continent from claiming tax credits and other in-work benefits. This was pledged in the Tory manifesto but Mr Cameron was able to negotiate only a temporary compromise with the rest of the EU last year. The deal was nullified when Britain voted to leave the union in June.

Now Mrs May is looking at resurrecting the idea and bringing EU migrants into line with those from outside the continent. A government source said that implementing the plan would be seen to make a difference. The change could relieve pressure on the exchequer by reducing the tax credit bill and ministers hope that it may deter some EU citizens from seeking work in post-Brexit Britain. Downing Street said no decisions had been made and sources emphasised that there was no “magic bullet” for migration.

According to the Migration Observatory in Oxford, 316,000 of the 2.28 million EU citizens in the UK receive in-work benefits, although Revenue & Customs suggests that the figure could be closer to half a million.

Mrs May is preparing to make a series of decisions about the post-Brexit immigration system, which could determine the course of trade negotiations with the rest of the EU.

She must decide whether to give EU citizens preferential treatment over those from the rest of the world, whether businesses are given hard limits on the numbers of EU migrants they can employ, and whether to allow some low-skill migration to continue for areas such as agriculture.

New entry criteria will have to be drawn up to determine who is allowed in. They could be based on the demands of specific sectors or on a simple salary threshold.

David Davis, the secretary of state for exiting the EU, recently hinted that he did not want to see business put at a disadvantage by curbs on low-skilled migrants. Philip Hammond, the chancellor, is also likely to be in favour of a flexible, business-friendly solution.

Business groups fear, however, that the prime minister is the most hostile of all around the cabinet table to low-skilled EU migrants, and the least sympathetic to business pleas.

Signalling her determination in her speech to the Tory conference in October to bring down migration, Mrs May said: “If you’re one of those people who lost their job, who stayed in work but on reduced hours, took a pay cut as household bills rocketed, or — and I know a lot of people don’t like to admit this — someone who finds themselves out of work or on lower wages because of low-skilled immigration, life simply doesn’t seem fair. It feels like your dreams have been sacrificed in the service of others. So change has got to come.”

Early drafts by Amber Rudd, the home secretary, of the proposed immigration changes brought her into conflict with Mr Hammond in private. The two are understood to be working much more closely and she has made clear that she wants to support the chancellor. Treasury officials from the productivity unit are carrying out work on economic migration in parallel to the Home Office team.

Ms Rudd has also angered Leave supporters by adopting a harder line in the Brexit cabinet committee, suggesting that security co-operation with the EU must not be used as a bargaining chip in the forthcoming negotiations. One leading Brexiteer called Ms Rudd’s stance “unambitious”.


A feminist censorship attempt in Australia

A small family business has fallen victim to a blatant attack against free speech, with so-called feminist keyboard warriors swamping it with negative customer reviews over a decision to screen a controversial men’s rights documentary.

Ultima Function Centre in northwestern Melbourne, run by the Georgiades family for 13 years, has been forced to defend its decision to hire space for a private screening of the film The Red Pill, after being ­accused of “supporting misogynist propaganda”.

While [unattractive] Melbourne woman Lizzie Johnsen, a self-proclaimed “feminist killjoy ... social justice warrior”, is one of several people who hit out at the film, many of the one-star reviews of the company subsequently posted to its Facebook page came from Britain, The Netherlands and Canada.

The latest bid to censor the film — a feature-length documentary exploring the men’s rights movement by award-winning US filmmaker Cassie Jaye — comes as the organisers of an upcoming screening in Brisbane have been forced to keep the location secret, having ­attracted threats of violence.

The Australian’s film critic David Stratton yesterday expressed dismay. “Any attempt at censoring the arts, including film, is to be condemned, especially when the would-be censors use false information — in other words, lies — to intimidate those with different ideas,” Stratton said.

In October last year, the owner of Melbourne’s Kino Cinema cancelled the Australian premiere of the film after receiving a 2000-­signature online petition. The premiere eventually went ahead at another secret location; a Sydney screening the following month was similarly scrapped.

Ultima Function Centre manager Nick Georgiades said he became concerned about the reputational damage to his Keilor business when negative comments started to appear on his Facebook page last month in ­response to publicity over the ­Boxing Day screening.

The barrage can be traced to a Facebook post under Ms Johnsen’s name, alerting followers to the venue’s plan to screen the film.

“I’m sure they’d appreciate you letting them know about the film and how it goes against Australian values, and gives a platform to rape apologists and people who hate women,” she wrote.

Attempts to contact Ms Johnsen yesterday were unsuccessful.

After her post came a stream of one-star reviews for the business, many accompanied by a pro-forma statement railing against white supremacy, patriarchy, bigotry and misogyny, ­followed by variations on the claim: “I am compelled to give a poor rating for this establishment.”

Mr Georgiades, who watched the film and spoke to the producer before deciding to accept the booking, attempted to reason with the protesters, pointing out that by trying to silence the movie they were “proving the very point the director is trying to make”. He noted many conceded they had not watched the film, which has yet to secure a commercial release.

“It didn’t seem to be promoting any violence against women, as has been claimed,” he told The Australian yesterday.

“Whether you agree with the documentary or not, it’s not really the point.

“It would have been quite easy for me to say, ‘it isn’t worth the trouble’, and tell them to go screen it somewhere else. But that isn’t really fair; we should be able to do anything we like, as long as it’s not illegal and no one is getting hurt.”

Instead, Mr Georgiades hired extra security for the event, which was attended by about 70 people.

While the reviews of the film worldwide have been mixed, such is the backlash that attempts to screen it are going underground.

Men’s Rights Brisbane will host a hometown screening on January 14 but will not disclose the location until hours beforehand to avoid a repeat of Melbourne and Sydney.

The group has already received abuse via Twitter, with the account of one individual suspended after tweeting: “I really hope someone shoots up that event — dead MRA’s (Men’s Rights Activists) — cool!”.


Italy plans mass deportations as half a million migrants arrive

Italy plans to adopt a tough approach to illegal migrants after a year that saw a record influx of refugees and the killing of the Berlin Christmas market attacker by the police in Milan.

It marks the first major policy change by Paolo Gentiloni, the prime minister who assumed office last month, and is a break with the more laid-back approach of Matteo Renzi, his predecessor and party colleague.

On Friday Franco Gabrielli, the chief of police, sent a two-page directive to stations across the country ordering them to increase efforts to identify and deport economic migrants who are not entitled to asylum.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


3 January, 2017

Cologne police round up hundreds of men of apparently African descent in attempt to prevent repeat of last year's mass sexual assault as TWO women are attacked

Police in Cologne have detained hundreds of men 'seemingly of African descent' as part of operations to prevent a repeat of attacks in the German city a year ago.

Force chiefs said the men were detained at two main railway stations so officers could question them and check their identities.

Authorities deployed more than 1,500 officers across Cologne for new year celebrations in response to criticism that they failed to stop hundreds of robberies and sexual assaults last year, blamed largely on men of North African origin.

Some revellers this year complained on Twitter that police appeared to be detaining people based on their appearance.

By early Sunday police had received reports of two women being sexually assaulted in the city. One man was arrested and three remain on the run.

The number of police on duty last night, backed by up by hundreds of volunteers and public order officials, was ten times the number last year. 

Fireworks were banned in and around the station and the cathedral outside, security zones checked the bags of revellers who came to watch a light show by a Berlin artist and anyone drunk or threatening was turned away.

There were locals who said the light-hearted spirit of New Year's Eve had evaporated due to the overwhelming security presence, but in the wake of the events of 2015 - and the truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin on December 19 - most were grateful for the police operation.

A police spokesman said: 'Overall the situation dissolved quickly and quietly because many parties left the city by train.' 

Cologne Police President Jürgen Mathies said: 'On the whole, the security plan worked'.

In total six people were arrested in the course of the evening.

Police had installed new video surveillance cameras to monitor the station square after women were attacked nearby last year.

The attacks in the western German city fuelled criticism of Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to accept almost 900,000 migrants last year.

A leaked police document revealed the bulk of the crimes were committed in Cologne and Hamburg where 600 and 400 sexual assaults on women were reported respectively.

Authorities increased police presence at hotspots in the major cities, including Cologne.


Knife-wielding Afghan migrant 'stabs Christian woman, 50, because she was reading the Bible at the Austrian refugee centre where he lives'

An Afghan migrant attacked a Christian woman at an asylum centre because he could hear her reading the Bible. The 50-year-old was attacked in accommodation in Timelkam, Voecklamarkt in North Western Austria. 

Her alleged attacker was a 22-year-old man from Afghanistan who had taken offence to the fact that the woman had been invited by Christian residents of the property to discuss the Bible.

When he found out what she was doing, he stormed into the kitchen where the woman was standing and tried to plunge the knife into her upper body.

Luckily her thick winter coat protected her from serious injury, but she did injure her ear when she fell backwards from the force of the man's violent blows.

When questioned by police, the man accepted he had overreacted but claimed he was suffering from 'personal problems'.

He was ordered remanded in custody and taken to Wels Prison in Upper Austria.  It is unclear if he has been charged yet.


Campaign to attract women into Britain's elite commando unit manages to recruit just ONE - and she then failed the gruelling course

An 18-month campaign to attract women into Britain’s crack Commando unit attracted just one volunteer – and even she is believed to have failed the gruelling course.

Winning the right to have combat roles in the elite unit was celebrated as a triumph for equality.

Top brass offered volunteers a personalised training programme to ensure they were fully equipped to cope with the famous Green Beret endurance tests they would have to pass to take up arms alongside men in the Royal Marines.

But only one woman sailor took up the offer, and Marine sources told The Mail on Sunday that she had struggled with the physical challenges.

The Ministry of Defence refused to confirm or deny this, but the bandswoman wrote about her experiences in the latest issue of the Marines’ magazine, The Globe And Laurel.


Former Australian Prime Minister calls for Palestinian aid cut and embassy relocation to Jerusalem

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has called for Australia's $40 million in aid to Palestine to be cut, citing concerns over the Palestinian Authority's support for "terrorists and their families", and suggested the Australian embassy in Israel be moved to Jerusalem.

Mr Abbott's strongly pro-Israel declarations follow the United Nations Security Council's damning resolution on the country's construction of settlements in occupied Palestinian territory.

The United Nations Security Council votes to endorse the ceasefire in Syria's civil war brokered by Russia and Turkey.

Permitted by the outgoing Obama administration, the resolution labelling the settlements illegal has drawn ire from conservatives around the world - including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who called it "one-sided" and "deeply unsettling" and President-elect Donald Trump, who described it as "extremely unfair".

Writing for The Spectator Australia after a recent trip to the region for the Australia-Israel-UK Leadership Dialogue, Mr Abbott said an Australian demonstration of "unswerving support for Israel, as the Middle East's only liberal, pluralist democracy, might be to join any move by the Trump administration to move its embassy to Jerusalem".

While Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, countries with diplomatic ties to the country maintain embassies in its largest city Tel Aviv, not recognising East Jerusalem's annexation by the Israelis in 1967.

As recently as December, a spokeswoman for Mr Trump said relocating the US embassy was a "very big priority". The President-elect's pick to be ambassador, David Friedman, is a staunch right-wing supporter of Israel and its activities in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Palestinians also lay claim to Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. The US embassy's relocation - a cause célèbre for Israel's fiercest American backers - would likely trigger outrage across the Muslim would.

As a significant ancient site for Christianity, Judaism and Islam, the city has long been at the centre of religious and political tensions in the Middle East and further division over its possession would represent an obstacle to peace and Palestinian statehood.

In 1995, US Congress voted to move the embassy but successive presidents have delayed the relocation every six months using a waiver provision.

"Australia should cut our $40 million a year in aid to the Palestinian Authority while it keeps paying pensions to terrorists and their families," Mr Abbott wrote, referring to support payments made to Arab detainees in Israeli prisons and their relatives.

He also said "there should be a permanent settlement for a Palestinian state where Jews have the same rights as Palestinians have in Israel", labelling the alternative a "kind of apartheid that's at odds with Israel's own values".

Mr Abbott expressed scepticism that the Palestinian Authority accepted Israel's right to exist, given the virulent and anti-Semitic rhetoric of some Palestinians.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop defended the aid program, saying there was "robust risk management and due diligence assessment processes" and a "zero tolerance policy" for fraud and corruption.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton also backed it, telling Sydney radio station 2GB "it's not an ideal world but we provide aid in a way that is measured and controlled and if people are acting outside those parameters, then we wouldn't provide aid".

In August, the government suspended funding for World Vision after Israeli accusations that one of the charity's Palestinian employees was redirecting millions of dollars to terrorist group Hamas. World Vision has denied the allegations.

Acting Labor leader Chris Bowen said development assistance to the Palestinian territories should be "transparent and accountable" and that it is "vital to the work of countering extremism and promoting peace".

Mr Abbott is not the first Australian politician to call for the embassy move. Last year, Liberal senator James Paterson argued that "Jerusalem is Israel's capital and we should respect that by putting our embassy where they choose to have their capital."

Following the former prime minister's comments, Ms Bishop knocked the idea on the head, saying the government "does not have any plans to move the Australian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem".



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


2 January, 2017

Rare realism on black crime

Angela Merkel says Islamist terrorism is Germany's biggest threat

It takes Muslims to educate you about Islam

Islamist terrorism is the biggest challenge facing Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday in a New Year's address to the nation, and vowed to introduce laws that improve security after a deadly attack before Christmas in Berlin.

Referring to the deadly truck attack in Berlin by a Tunisian asylum seeker, she said it was "sickening" when acts of terror were carried out by people who had sought protection, the BBC reported.

Twelve people are dead and at least 50 injured when a truck ploughed into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin, which the White House has called an 'apparent terrorist attack'.
She described 2016 as a year of "severe tests" but said she was confident Germany could overcome them.

"As we go about our lives and our work, we are saying to the terrorists: 'You are hate-filled murderers, but you do not determine how we live and want to live. We are free, considerate and open'," Mrs Merkel said.

Merkel, seeking a fourth term as chancellor in 2017, urged Germans to shun populism and said Germany should take a leading role in addressing the many challenges facing the European Union.

"Many attach to 2016 the feeling that the world had turned upside down or that what for long had been held as an achievement is now being questioned. The European Union for example," Merkel said.

"Or equally parliamentary democracy, which allegedly is not caring for the interests of the citizens but is only serving the interests of a few. What a distortion," she said in a veiled reference to claims by the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) that is stealing votes from her conservatives.

Ahead of the 2017 election, polls put her conservative bloc well ahead of rivals but a fractured electoral landscape risks complicating the coalition arithmetic.

"Election year 2017: For Merkel, nothing is certain any more", ran a headline in Saturday's edition of mass-selling daily Bild.   The paper wrote that for an increasing number of voters the chancellor, 62, no longer appeared unassailable.

Liberals across the Atlantic have hailed Merkel as an anchor of stability and reason in a year that saw Donald Trump elected as US president, Britain vote to leave the EU and US-Russia relations deteriorate to Cold War levels.

In her address, Merkel compared Brexit to a "deep incision" and said that even though the EU was "slow and arduous", its member states should focus on common interests that transcend national benefits.  "And, yes, Europe should focus on what can really be better than the national state," Merkel said. "But we Germans should never be led to believe that each could have a better future by going it alone."

She was alluding again to the populist AfD, which wants Germany to leave the EU and shut its borders to asylum seekers, more than one million of whom arrived in the country this year and last.

The record number of migrants has hurt Merkel's popularity and fuelled support for the AfD, which says Islam is incompatible with the German constitution. But her conservatives are still expected to win the general election in nine months.

Merkel has made security the main election platform for her Christian Democrats (CDU).

In her speech, she said the government would introduce measures to improve security after a failed Tunisian asylum seeker drove a truck into a Christmas market in the capital on December 19, killing 12 people in the name of Islamic State.

He was shot dead by Italian police in Milan on Dec. 23 and investigators are trying to determine whether he had accomplices.


Africans bring some multicultural vibrancy to Bondi beach in Australia

Police arrested nine people at Sydney's Bondi Beach early on New Year's Day after the group allegedly threatened beachgoers with broken bottles.

One victim was allegedly punched in the face, and had his passport and backpack stolen in the incident, which happened around 5.30am at the southern end of the beach, according to police and media reports.

Five suspects were in custody and four others were released pending further inquiry, police said.

A number of items that were reported stolen, including mobile phones and portable speakers, were located at the beach, an NSW police spokesperson said.

Police took statements from 'a number of people' who alleged they were assaulted and robbed, the spokesperson said. 

The suspects allegedly wielded a broken bottle in the robbery, according to The Daily Telegraph.


Ban 'mansplain' from the feminist vocabulary

I suspect that Denby Weller below has been hit -- as have so many -- by the 53% of white women who voted for The Donald.  That 53% sure wounded the "sisterhood" myth.  It is an utter  myth, anyway.  If you want to tear down some woman, get another woman onto the job.  The word "bitchy" reflects that.  Ms Weller writes from Australia

I had a giggle like everyone the first time I heard it. Mansplain. The perfect epithet for the boardroom bullies, the down-talking politicians, the Twits and shock jocks who embody the 16 per cent gender pay-gap, the underrepresentation of women in just about everything important. The unfairness that we're still beating our heads against the glass ceiling so many decades after The Female Eunuch.

Like thousands of women, I threw it around like the glorious little explosion of wit that it is. And most of my male friends laughed along, if a little uncomfortably.

Why 'mansplaining' should be banned

It's one of 2016's hottest buzzwords. But is calling someone a "mansplainer" fair game?

But then I started getting this sinking feeling, the kind you got when your nine-year-old self (the one with short hair and a Sarah Connor figurine) won an argument with your brother about who got to sit in the front seat of the car, but you did it by kicking him in the shins and yelling "shotgun!" while he howled in pain. Somehow, the rosy glow of that hallowed front seat was tarnished by the knowledge that you went real low to get there.

When I called someone a mansplainer, I'd hit below the belt.

Feminists, this is our hour. These are the dark days. The world needs us, and it needs us to be smart, effective and bold.

What it doesn't need is for us to be allured by our cleverness into abandoning the rules of good argument. And this is why I'm calling for a moratorium on the word "mansplain" and its cousins, "manterrupt" and "bropropriate".

It's not just because we're tarring half the population with the same brush when we slap the word "man" in front of any verb and say it with a derisive tone. Nor is it because we risk offence. It's because this adversarial form of communication ain't working, and we need to try a different tactic. And I don't mean to sound hysterical, but the future of the world kinda depends on it.

This year hasn't been a good one for progressive, liberally minded types like us and, while the reasons are too complex to tackle in a single article, there is one I can home in on without trying very hard at all.

We're not winning enough friends or influencing enough people. It's not because our arguments don't hold water, or our position is doomed to fail, it's because people can't get past the note of intellectually superior nastiness that's oozing from our pores when we utter words like "mansplain".

If feminism is, as the T-shirt says, the "radical notion that women are people", then maybe it's time we adopted the radical notion that people are people too. Even man people. Who knows, if we use our linguistic power to sever the bullies and braggarts from the general male population, we might find the rest of mankind more receptive to our plight. Or maybe not. But at least then we'd be able to dance around the moral high ground in our pantsuits and whatever the hell undies we choose to wear, or not to wear.

We love reading about how everyone hates Hillary because she's a woman, and chortle when Tanya Plibersek calls Turnbull a mansplainer, but consider that at least some of Hillary's haters were made the day she called them a basket of deplorables. And that referring to a rare conservative politician who's happy to call himself a feminist as a mansplainer is a good way to wither the last tiny vestiges of goodwill between our kind and the people with whom we most need to engage.

By all means, challenge the men who talk down to you. Go get 'em, sister. But make your primary weapon logic, not scorn. Put that superior intellect to work on the vocab that precisely describes what's wrong with their behaviour, not the generalist sexism of a gendered slur. In case you forgot, gendered slurs are the kinds of things we feminists are supposed to hate.

Do your challenging without humiliating the other blokes in the room, who might even agree with you, if you could only couch your complaint in terms that don't demean them, too.

The thing about feminism is, it ain't over yet. We don't get to walk the low road just because we're not making progress as fast as we'd like. If you want people to change, you have to speak a language they can bear to listen to before you have any hope at all of them hearing a single word you say.

Let's banish mansplaining and start talking about the real battle for feminists.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


1 January, 2017

Feminism has no chance in Britain

I know a rather "modern" mother who has a little daughter who declares that she is a "princess".  She didn't get it from her mother so wherefrom did she get it?  Mainly from books and movies, most probably.

But feminists would love to banish all such influences.  The very idea of "princess" is anathema to them:  archaic, deluded, patriarchal etc. But they will never succeed in Britain while Britain is Britain. Why?  Because real life there leaves all fantasies for dead.  Great Royal occasions in Britain are magnificent and inspiring.  Just hark back to the coronation of the present Queen.  Watch for a while the video below:

Around the 11 minute mark, we see a young princess being escorted to her coronation in a real gold coach drawn by eight  magnificently caparisoned horses and accompanied by a long line of men from the world's most colourful military establishment -- and all amid the great love of her people.  What little girl would NOT want to be the princess in that coach?  Feminists eat your heart out!

And it's not much different in other parts of the British Commonwealth.  Elizabeth is Australia's Queen too -- and Canada's.  Those great royal occasions are our occasions too -- JR. 

Meet the Le Pens, France’s version of Donald Trump

OVER the past couple of years, a number of far-right leaders have cropped up across Europe.

From the Alternative for Germany Party to the Danish People’s Party, the “Donald Trump effect” has been gaining prominence across the continent in response to acts of terrorism and the refugee crisis.

But no western country has been hit harder by large-scale terrorist attacks than France in recent times, and National Front party leader Marine Le Pen believes she’s the answer.

Ms Le Pen is staunchly anti-immigration, anti-Muslim and pro-“Frexit” — France exiting the European Union a la the UK.

Just this month, Ms Le Pen sparked fresh controversy after proposing that the children of illegal immigrants should be refused public school places as part of tough proposals to restrict state services.

“I’ve got nothing against foreigners but I say to them: If you come to our country, don’t expect that you will be taken care of, treated [by the health system] and that your children will be educated for free,” Le Pen said. “That’s finished now, it’s the end of playtime.”

Her popularity is not to be understated, with polls in the lead-up to the French election consistently showing the far-right leader will make it to the final round against Francois Fillon.
Marine Le Pen is hailed for her far-right conservative stance on immigration — but she’s nothing compared to her niece.

But if you thought Ms Le Pen was conservative, you haven’t met her niece, Marion.


Marion Marechal-Le Pen is a polarising figure, and certainly not your average millennial.

Also a member of the National Front party, the 27-year-old’s views are even more conservative than her aunt’s — so much so that she’s been dubbed Europe’s “poster child for the far right”.

At just 22 years old, Marion was elected MP for Vaucluse’s 3rd constituency in 2012, in the country’s south, making her the youngest MP in France’s modern political history.

Like her aunt, the younger Le Pen is heavily opposed to Muslim immigration.

During the Nice terror attacks in July this year, before there was any known link between the tragedy and extremist groups, she immediately gathered her followers and blamed “Islamism”.

“You are with us and against Islamism, or you are against us and for Islamism,” she said. “Those who choose the status quo become complicit with our enemies.”

In a separate instance, she organised a protest against plans to bring 30 teenage asylum seekers from Afghanistan to the nearby town of Grambois.

“It is not the hate of others, it is love for Provence, love for France,” she shouted at a rally of hundreds of demonstrators and counter-protesters, according to the New York Times.

She said asylum seekers come to France to receive generous welfare cheques at the expense of French natives struggling to find employment.

In an interview after the rally, she said she is “against this completely crazy plan to redistribute migrants”.

The European project “is a failure”, she said. “We need to build another Europe.”

The Le Pens are no longer just a right-wing fringe group. In a country where 230 people have been killed in terror attacks over the past 18 months, the party’s popularity has swelled immensely.

It doesn’t hurt that Marion is brutally outspoken. She once stood up in the French Parliament and accused then-Prime Minister Manuel Valls of behaving like a “moron”.

He was so visibly furious by her words that his hand began shaking uncontrollably as he responded to her remarks, in a video that went viral.

While her aunt refused to play a major role in the campaign against marriage equality in 2013, Marion has expressed her disdain for it, saying it will “open the door to polygamy”.

“Once you break away from the natural framework of a man and a woman, you could have other minorities who want their form of love recognised by the state,” she told the Telegraph earlier this year. “If you endorse homosexuality [in marriage], why not polygamy?”

But Marion is possibly best known for her controversial views on abortion, because it’s an issue on which she’s repeatedly clashed with her aunt.

Earlier this month, she sparked outrage after saying “France should end the full and unlimited reimbursement of abortion”.

In an interview with far-right Catholic magazine Present, Marion said: “Instead of putting in place targets, abortion quotas in health establishments, financial support should be given to centres that accompany isolated or hesitant women.  “Full and unlimited abortion should be reversed, because women are responsible and should be treated as such.”

Her aunt’s right-hand man Florian Philippot issued an icy response on behalf of the party, saying the girl was “alone” and “isolated” in holding such a view.  “What counts is what the presidential candidate says, what the movement says, what our presidential project says, namely no questioning of abortion, full reimbursement of abortion,” he told BFM TV.


Marine Le Pen has redefined what it means to be a member of the “far-right”.

She’s deliberately distanced her party from skinheads and Neo-Nazis, instead embracing left-wing causes like gay rights and women’s equality to further her central party line on stopping immigration.

As The Guardian noted in a feature last month, this is an effective strategy in that her party then depicts Muslim immigrants as the primary threat to such minority groups.

“As fear of Islam has spread, with their encouragement, they have presented themselves as the only true defenders of western identity and western liberties — the last bulwark protecting a besieged Judaeo-Christian civilisation from the barbarians at the gates,” the article read.

But this puts Marine at odds with her fiery niece. The younger, more socially conservative Marion routinely speaks at odds with the so-called “new right”, although she’s certainly won the far-right Catholic vote.

Their conflicting stances have sparked media reports of a “family feud”, with speculation the party is at risk of a major split before next year’s election.

But despite this, the National Party, often criticised as being fueled by fear and xenophobia, has the most support among French millennials according to polling.

An Odoxa report released this month found roughly one in five French people aged 18-34 back the party.

While it’s forecast to finish second in the polls, the Le Pens are hoping for new momentum after Mr Trump’s victory in the United States.

This means huge changes could be coming up for France — if the party can actually get itself together.


Note:  I  absolutely adore Marion in that video. I didn't understand a word she said but I agree with her.  Valls is a quite moderate Leftist.  He is not very friendly to immigrants or Muslims --JR.

Extreme Leftist abuse gets pushback abuse for once

About time.  It turns out she was gutless anyway. Just an empty-headed blowhard

For as long as she has taught, Cox, a professor at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, has prided herself on speaking freely. Then a clip of her calling Donald Trump's election win "an act of terrorism" went viral earlier this month, unleashing a wave of violent threats that forced her to end her semester early and flee her home in suburban Orange County.

Now she's back home, but her life hasn't returned to normal. "Now, at 66, I'm paranoid," Cox said. "It doesn't feel good at all to be looking over my shoulder and wondering when an unfamiliar car pulls up across the street whether they're going to take a picture of me or something worse - but that's my life now.

"I feel like I've been attacked by a mob of people all across the country," she added. "If they're telling me over and over again that they want to shoot me in the face, how am I supposed to know if they're going to do it or not?"

The mob Cox refers to don't wield pitchforks and torches but hate-filled tweets, violent emails and threatening Facebook messages and phone calls. They are a virtual force with limited numbers but a seemingly unlimited supply of hate that has proved just as frightening for the longtime academic.

The video that sparked the hate shows Cox standing in front of her students calling the President-elect a "white supremacist" and arguing that the country has "been assaulted".

Cox, a psychology professor who teaches a class on human sexuality, referred to Vice President-elect Mike Pence as "one of the most anti-gay humans in the country". She also told her students that the nation is as divided now as it was "in Civil War times".

Cox's comments were recorded by a conservative student in her class who found her statements offensive and decided to share the video with the Orange Coast College Republicans, according to Joshua Recalde-Martinez, a political science major and president of the campus Republican group.

The video went viral, and within days, the professor - who is largely unknown beyond the campus where she has taught for more than two decades - was under fierce attack. Her inbox and voicemail were filled with hundreds of threatening messages that referred to her as "libtard", "Marxist", "nutcase", "vile leftist filth" and a "satanic cult member".

"Keep your anti-white, man-hating, traditional-values-bashing, islamophile radical views to yourself!" an emailer named Xavier Israel Matamoros wrote. "You are an intolerant Marxist terrorist who causes division by bringing up your one-sided radical viewpoints and intimidating and shaming your non-conforming students. You are a sick, demented, evil b----!"

"You professors teach that Whites are immoral and contemptible if they don't support White Genocide," a woman named Jennifer wrote. "Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White."

"Go out in the middle of the football field, pull out a handgun, put it to your temple and shoot yourself," Jim Ernst wrote. "Or better yet, douse yourself in gasoline and set yourself on fire."

As the threats worsened, she realised she was terrified of being left completely alone, consumed by the idea that around the next corner an unhinged person with a gun or a knife was waiting for her. Campus security began dropping by her classroom, and students started escorting Cox to class and sitting with her during office hours, a period when she would normally be by herself.

"Every time I walked towards my office I was afraid it might have been broken into," Cox said. "I feared that my home would be vandalised coming home from work each day. No matter what your rational side tells you, it's still really frightening."

The harassment crested when Cox received an email from a man named Tim White that showed her home address, phone number and salary and threatened to spread the information "everywhere".

The email referred to Cox as a "libtard, Marxist, hatemonger, nutcase". It was then, Cox said, that she could no longer stand to be in her home and decided to flee.

The professor turned her final week of class this semester over to a substitute, but Cox said her ordeal continued after the controversial video appeared on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor. The host referred to her statements as "gibberish" and "slander" and labelled the professor part of "the totalitarian Left". "That woman needs a psychologist," he said.

Cox said she has appealed to Costa Mesa Police and the FBI seeking help, but was told by both agencies that until her property is vandalised or she is physically attacked, there's nothing law enforcement can do to help.

In a statement sent to The Washington Post, Costa Mesa police wrote that they "take the type of threats that Ms Cox received seriously and we are currently investigating this case."

An FBI spokesman wrote to the Post that the agency does not comment on information from individuals who claim to be victims of crime. "Any member of the public who feels they are being threatened may report it to the FBI, where we will attempt to determine veracity and whether an allegation falls within our purview," the statement said. "If they feel their life is in immediate danger, they need to call 911."

The Orange Coast College Republicans have filed a formal complaint with the school and hired an attorney, said Shawn Steel, a former chairman of the California Republican Party. Steel told the Orange County Register that Cox is using her power as a grade-determining instructor to "basically scare and shame students".

"It's alarming," he said. "It's scaremongering. It's irrational. It's a rant. And it doesn't belong in the classroom."

Recalde-Martinez, the president of the campus Republican group, said OCC president Dennis Harkins never responded to the complaint, which demands that OCC "immediately take steps to correct Ms Cox's behaviour and to ensure such incidents are avoided in the future".

Recalde-Martinez said he has also received threats in the wake of the video's release and that his group "doesn't endorse bullying".  "I don't feel personally responsible for her situation," he said. "I do condemn the individual who emailed photos of her house and published those. I think that's unacceptable, and it's not something I endorse at all.

"We don't see those individuals as representative of what we're trying to achieve, but we still would like accountability from the college."

On the Orange Coast College campus, Cox's class on human sexuality has a reputation for being a uniquely open forum, one that functioned, at times, like a communal therapy session for hundreds of students at a time.

Cox said she spends the first 20 minutes of each class answering questions submitted anonymously by students. The questions usually involve sexuality and relationships, but in the days after Trump's election, students began submitting political questions.

Cox said many of her students - especially those who were Muslim, gay or had undocumented relatives - had begun telling her they were scared. Cox, who is gay, told her students she felt the same way.  "I had an international Muslim student who told me he was afraid to leave his apartment," she said. "I cried with him and I felt so bad because he was so alone and so scared."

When Cox stood in front of class to answer questions that day, she said her rhetoric was not meant to inflame, but to help reassure her students "that OCC was safe".

"I read a message from the school president and put together a handout for coping with pain," she said. "As a therapist, these are things I share with people who are depressed. I basically said, 'Deal with your feelings and do something positive,' and I was helping them cope with their fears - that was the intent."

Cox said that if she could go back, she wouldn't change her language. She said she believes the controversy surrounding her statements has more to do with her being intentionally targeted than the substance of her words.

Her name has been added to a controversial website called "Professor Watchlist" which lists the names of about 200 academics across the country accused by a conservative group of advancing "leftist propaganda" and discriminating "against conservative students".

"This is a very carefully planned plot to attack college professors that they don't like and disagree with," she said. "This is being done all around the country. It's not my fault, and I didn't do anything wrong."

Rob Schneiderman, president of the local teachers' union branch that represents Cox, agrees that the problem is not what Cox said, but the fact that she was recorded, a violation of the student code of conduct that was expressly stated in the professor's syllabus. Schneiderman said the short, edited clip fails to provide viewers with any context for Cox's statements and could warrant punishment.

"She's known as an open teacher," he said. "There's a petition going around on campus to nominate her for teacher of the year. She's very well respected on campus, and this was an absolute violation." [How was it a violation if she was an open teacher?]

Schneiderman said the union plans to work with school officials to strengthen its free speech policies to keep students and professors safe from "Gestapo tactics". Many professors on campus, he said, have vowed to resist any attempts by the campus Republicans to dictate classroom discourse.

"Students talk about sexual assault in Olga's class," he said. "There are students who have come out in the class. The thought of that going public is really scary."

He added that OCC has a large international student body, with students from countries where it may not be culturally acceptable to be seen in a human sexuality class. Publicising the wrong student, he said, could have "serious consequences".

As much as leaving her home frightens her, Cox said she plans to return to teaching at the end of January. Before then, she plans to marry her longtime partner and continue her healing process one day at a time.

She remains in the throes of a difficult struggle, she said, but that doesn't mean she'll quit her job. To quit, she said, would be a victory for the harassers. To find strength, the professor thinks about the beginning of her family's American story.

"My parents left Cuba so we would not have this kind of harassment and so we would have access to free education," she said. "They made sacrifices to bring us here, and I'm proud to be an American."

"It's just hard to believe that this is happening to me," she added, "and if this is what America is turning into, we all need to be afraid."


Anthony Bourdain eviscerates ‘privileged Eastern liberals' for ‘utter contempt’ of working-class Americans

Anthony Bourdain says East Coast liberals like himself are the reason why Donald Trump got elected.  In a new interview with Reason, the famous chef, author and host of CNN's Parts Unknown eviscerated the left for their condescension of working-class America.

'The utter contempt with which privileged Eastern liberals such as myself discuss red-state, gun-country, working-class America as ridiculous and morons and rubes is largely responsible for the up swell of rage and contempt and desire to pull down the temple that we're seeing now,' Bourdain said.

Having spent a lot of time in flyover country, Bourdain said blue-collar Americans aren't all that different from Democrats concentrated in major cities.

Instead of picking apart issues we disagree on, Bourdain said we should be looking for common ground.

'I've spent a lot of time in gun-country, God-fearing America. There are a hell of a lot of nice people out there, who are doing what everyone else in this world is trying to do: the best they can to get by, and take care of themselves and the people they love.

'When we deny them their basic humanity and legitimacy of their views, however different they may be than ours, when we mock them at every turn, and treat them with contempt, we do no one any good.

'Nothing nauseates me more than preaching to the converted. The self-congratulatory tone of the privileged left - just repeating and repeating and repeating the outrages of the opposition  - this does not win hearts and minds. It doesn't change anyone's opinions. It only solidifies them, and makes things worse for all of us.

Bourdain also said that these issues aren't specific to the U.S. He says Trump's election is part of a 'global trend' towards nationalism 'that should be of concern to everyone'.

'If you look around the world (in the Philippines, in England), the rise of nationalism, the fear of the Other. When people are afraid and feel that their government has failed them they do things that seem completely mad and unreasonable to those of who are perhaps under less pressure.

'As unhappy and surprised as I am with the outcome, I'm empathetic to the forces that push people towards what I see as an ultimately self-destructive act. Berlusconi, Putin, Duterte, the world is filled with bad choices, made in pressured times,' Bourdain said.

On this past season of Parts Unknown, Bourdain hosted President Obama on his show for a visit to a noodle shop in Hanoi, Vietnam.   Parts Unknown is a show in which Bourdain travels the world to explore lesser-known places and cuisines.



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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here



HOME (Index page)

BIO for John Ray

(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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