The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

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Postmodernism is fundamentally frivolous. Postmodernists routinely condemn racism and intolerance as wrong but then say that there is no such thing as right and wrong. They are clearly not being serious. Either they do not really believe in moral nihilism or they believe that racism cannot be condemned!

Postmodernism is in fact just a tantrum. Post-Soviet reality in particular suits Leftists so badly that their response is to deny that reality exists. That they can be so dishonest, however, simply shows how psychopathic they are.

The picture below is worth more than a 1,000 words ...... Better than long speeches. It shows some Middle-Eastern people walking to reach their final objective,to live in a European country, or migrate to America. In the photo, there are 7 men and 1 woman.up to this point – nothing special. But in observing a bit closer, you will notice that the woman has bare feet,accompanied by 3 children, and of the 3, she is carrying 2.There is the problem,none of the men are helping her,because in their culture the woman represents nothing.She is only good to be a slave to the men. Do you really believe that these particular individuals could integrate into our societies and countries and respect our customs and traditions ????

31 January, 2018

The Man The Delusional Left Calls A #NAZI

* Recognized Jerusalem As The Capital Of #Israel

* Cut Funds To The #PA For REFUSING To Recognize The Right Of #Israel To Exist

* Honors Millions Of Murdered #Jews On #HolocaustMemorialDay

And the award for most sexist, misogynist bunch of vile hypocrites goes to… the Grammys!

There was no doubting the highlight of last night’s Grammys.

It came when Kesha gave an emotional performance of her single “Praying”, about the alleged sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her former producer ‘Dr Luke’ Gottwald.

She was introduced by Janelle Monae who delivered a powerful speech to the star-studded audience. ‘We say time’s up for pay inequality, discrimination or harassment of any kind,’ Monae declared, ‘and the abuse of power.’

Then Kesha appeared on stage with a host of other female stars including Cindy Lauper and Camila Cabello.

They all wore white, the theme colour for the night, along with the wearing of white roses, to show support and solidarity for the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

When Kesha finished singing, she burst into tears, as did many of the audience.

But Kesha didn’t actually win an award. In the category for which she was nominated, Best Pop Solo Performance, Ed Sheeran won, for a song – as enraged Twitter swiftly pointed out - about getting a woman drunk and taking her home to have sex with her.

This was the perfect embodiment of the gigantic problem the Grammys has in proudly joining the charge for better treatment of women.

Because let’s be perfectly frank: it’s the single most sexist, misogynist and abusive awards show of them all, celebrating many of the most sexist, misogynist and abusive people in an amoral industry of spectacular proportions.

If you thought Hollywood’s bad, it’s got nothing on the record business, particularly in the worlds of hip-hop and rap.

Take Big Sean, a rapper whose lyrics are littered with misogynistic and homophobic material. In the video for his single ‘I Don’t F*ck With You’, the Detroit rapper talks about ‘stupid ass b*tches.’

He collaborated last year on a song with Eminem which included lyrics about ‘urinating on Fergie’ and raping Conservative talk show host Ann Coulter ‘with a Klan poster, a lamp post, a door handle and a damn bolt cutter.’

He doesn’t just write about treating women badly, he acts on it too.

In 2011, Big Sean was arrested in New York for sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching of a 17-year-old girl after a concert. Some charges were dropped after he accepted a guilty plea for unlawful imprisonment of the girl, a fan.

This would have led to him being banned from continuing to work in almost any other job. But not the music industry. This year, Big Sean was nominated for a Grammy.

Hip-hop and rap stars like him have made millions from writing music and making videos that depict women as prostitutes, sexual objects and ‘b*tches’.

One of the biggest winners last night night was Kendrick Lamar, whose most recent album is riddled with graphic sexually-charged lyrics and repeated references to ‘hoes’ and ‘b*tches’.

One song, Loyalty, has the line: ‘Girl, you look so good, it’s to die for, Ooh that p*ssy good, it’s to die for.’ In another, Humble, he says: ‘Girl, I can buy yo’ ass the world with my paystub, Ooh that p*ssy good, won’t you sit it on my taste bloods?’

It continues: ‘I’m so f***ing sick and tired of the Photoshop.. show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretch marks. Still will take you down right on your mama’s couch in Polo socks.’

In Lust, he says: ‘Pop you a pill, call up your b*tches, have ‘em waitin’ on you, go to the club, have some fun, make that ass bounce.’

If Lamar worked in the media or film industry right now, he’d be hung, drawn and quartered for speaking that way in public. But because he’s a rapper, he was rewarded with an array of Grammys.

As for any pretense at gender equality, only 17 of the 86 Grammy awards last night went to women or female-fronted bands.

Towards the end of the show, Hillary Clinton, the High Priestess of Hypocrisy, popped up to read Trump-mocking extracts from Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury. She received wild applause.

It seemed perfectly fitting that the liberal music world’s heroine on a night of tearful endorsements about abuse of power and sexual harassment, should be someone who it emerged this week had protected a campaign advisor’s job during the 2008 presidential race after he was accused of…. sexual harassment.


Feminists hate attractive women

In Britain, it is a tradition that attractive women accompany players to the playing position

SUPER-sensitive snowflakes have been taking aim at everything we love, from James Bond to Are You Being Served. And moaning millennials have now scored a bullseye after darts chiefs opted to ditch walk-on girls in case they offend women.

“Nothing is safe from this army of the easily offended. These snowflakes think everything that offends them is fair game for their fury. “They want to crush any idea, image or pastime that doesn’t slavishly conform to their worldview.

“It’s time we told them to do one.

“Barely a day passes without reports of someone or something being “called out” by these jumped-up Joe Stalins.

“In recent days, they have turned their authoritarian attention to the beautiful women who walk on at the darts.

“Under pressure from broadcasters desperate to be PC, the Professional Darts Corporation says it will no longer employ these gorgeous women. “Apparently, getting women to do such things is “inappropriate” in the 21st century. It has all of a sudden been deemed 'inappropriate'

“This is such a sad story. “Darts is a wonderful sport, but God knows it needs glamour and is made much more attractive by these women.

“But they’re gone now, erased from public life by people who have decreed that glammed-up women are “offensive”.

“This means the young working-class women who made an easy buck at the darts will no longer be able to do so. It is a weird feminism that chortles as women lose their jobs.


ANGER as multiple properties in London are only offered to Muslim occupants for rent

London’s secret Muslim only accommodation has been exposed thanks to Rebel Media and the Daily Star. Hundreds of property adverts on websites such as GumTree were only available for those who are Muslim or of Asian descent.

It’s unbelievable that in this day and age, ‘white people’ or anyone who is not Muslim is discriminated against getting living accommodation. The Star reported:

“Our reporters discovered hundreds more across the UK, including signs for “Asian only” and “Polish only” tenants.

The ads echo those of the 1950s and ’60s when landlords hung “Whites only” signs in windows. There are fears the discrimination scandal is fuelling a ghetto culture in our towns and cities which could be exploited by far-right groups.

In Woolwich, south-east London, tensions have been running high since Army drummer Lee, 26, was murdered by extremists last year.

At nearby Jash News, one small ad read: “Room to let for £400 in Plumstead… ONLY FOR ASIAN FAMILY.

Similar notices were discovered in ethnically diverse areas of east London such as Mile End and Whitechapel.

On a short walk along a busy high street five adverts were spotted in three newsagents windows saying “Muslim only” tenants and “Bangladeshi only”.

We also uncovered around 200 property adverts on websites such as Gumtree, specifying Muslims.”

According to experts, landlords who discriminate are breaking the law.

Could you imagine the massive uproar if ‘white Christian’ refused to let Muslims or Asians live in their property…it would be all over the news!

A Facebook user has posted an image showing four separate housing classified adverts in London and the West Midlands that appear to only be accepting Muslim tenants.

The post from a user on the Brexit HQ group, if genuine, proves that such advertisements are effectively ‘slipping through the net’ when it comes to ensuring that equality rules are not broken.

There will naturally be people out there who feel that these landlords and homeowners aren’t doing anything wrong on Gumtree, but at the same time there is one very important question that needs to be asked.

What would happen if the word ‘Muslim’ was changed for another faith group?

We’re not saying this to be Islamophobic in any way – far from it – we are just using this as an example to highlight what we feel is an example of the powers that be picking and choosing what they allow to be posted.



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

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

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


30 January, 2018

Jordan Peterson interview fallout: It’s little wonder men don’t know where they stand

Peterson is a professor of psychology, previously at Harvard, now at the University of Toronto. He is 54, he has a gentle manner and — I hope it’s still OK to say this — he is easy on the eye.

Peterson’s latest book, his second, is called 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, but books aren’t why he’s getting attention. Peterson is famous for what he says on his YouTube channel, particularly about the role of men in modern society. He says men in the West are suffering a crisis of masculinity because they are encouraged from birth by an apologetic culture to believe that traditionally masculine qualities — strength, aggression, self-reliance — are negative and destructive, while feminine qualities — willingness to co-operate, for example — are the way forward for the human race.

This, he says, is so stupid “it’s hard to know where to begin”. Forcing men to become more agreeable, less competitive, will be the death of them, and all of us.

That’s not all he says. Peterson touches every button: he thinks social justice warriors are mostly faking it, and he can’t abide virtue-signallers. He thinks intellectuals are mainly arrogant.

He is not fond of humanities courses. He blames left-wing academics for the mumbo-jumbo that infects public life. He can’t see the point of women’s studies, and he believes that universities are obsessed not with “intelligent conversation … instead, we are having an ideological conversation”.

He’s also Christian. He takes seriously the idea that God made the rules and that human beings are programmed to feel wretched when they break them.

There is hunger for his message. Peterson’s YouTube channel has 600,000 subscribers. As of last week, he had 10 of the top 10 higher education podcasts on iTunes. He makes $40,000 a month from the crowdsourcing website Patreon and reckons his audience is 90 per cent male.

The left is naturally furious with him, which brings us to the interview he did last week, as part of his book tour, with Cathy Newman on Britain’s Channel 4.

She did a really poor interview, which is a shame because it meant people didn’t get to hear what Peterson says in his book...

I can help with that. It’s aimed at young men. He encourages them to free themselves, as quickly as possible, of the burdens of their childhood, to accept the failings of their parents, who probably did their best, and take control of their lives, because when you’re carrying a burden or living a lie, you’re suppressing who you really are, and so much of what you could be will never be forced to come forward.

Everyone’s favourite line has to do with how life is going to kill you, so you might as well go do the most magnificent thing you can think of.

Why any of this should be controversial is beyond me, but Peterson has faced the usual revolt: campaigns to stop him speaking publicly; campaigns to stop him getting university funding, and so on. And here’s something truly bizarre: the same week that his book came out to howls of outrage, pretty much every English-language newspaper in the world published at least a summary of a cruel account by an anonymous woman of a private sexual encounter she didn’t enjoy with US comedian Aziz Ansari.

In case you missed it, she met Aziz at a party and made a beeline for him. He took her number. She had a text message from him before she even made it home. They flirted on the phone for a week. He asked her out for dinner and paid for the meal. He asked her back to his apartment. She agreed to go upstairs, where so-called “bad sex” happened.

He popped her up on the kitchen bench and took her knickers off. He gave her oral sex, and she reciprocated. They moved around a bit — to the couch, then over to the big mirror — and played around a bit more, but she wasn’t up for sex. He put on an episode of Seinfeld, poured some wine, eventually called a car to take her home. He texted her the next day to say how much he enjoyed her company and she replied angrily, saying she’d felt pressured. He apologised.

It’s hard to know for certain, but from her vicious description it seems like she didn’t want to be his one-night stand, she wanted to be his girlfriend; and she seems to believe that her hurt feelings justify his public shaming. They don’t. What she has done is revenge porn — in words, not pictures. It is an unforgivable breach of trust to share private, intimate moments, especially under circumstances in which she gets to stay anonymous, and which for him must be excruciating.

She’s OK to do that, but our visiting professor is not OK to say that men could do with a little manning up? No wonder so many are hankering for his world and not hers.


The deceptive language of the Left

Cultural Marxist academics, their sycophant students, and the main stream media are at war with America—a war of violent Marxist ideology and a war of cleverly chosen words and euphemisms that appear time and time again in many college courses, high school classes, in propaganda literature, newspapers, conferences, and in the manufactured news. Cultural Marxists are regular guests on all the alphabet soup networks masquerading as real news, spewing their hatred, their disdain and disrespect for our President, and their calls to renewed violence in the streets through their masked Black Shirts.

As David Horrowitz said, “Worse yet, this is the dominant culture in our universities, in our media, in our judiciary, in government, in unions, and in the shadow political universe of non-profits, with billions of tax-free dollars at their disposal.”

Language is a powerful tool of discourse, mass political indoctrination and agitation. Marxist Democrats are quite adept at using inflammatory language and deceptive euphemisms to suit their nefarious political ends.

In any kind of ideological and political war, the first victim is truth, replaced with lies, dressed cleverly by rhetoric, obfuscation, and intentional debasement of language.

George Orwell wrote an essay in 1946, “Politics and the English Language,” focusing on language which “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” Such language, often vague and meaningless, concealed the oppressive ideology.

Taking private property from farmers and other owners is thus called “transfer of population” or “rectification of frontiers.” The process of sending people to gulags to die becomes “elimination of unreliable elements.” “Pacification” attempted to defend the indefensible acts of bombing and driving out locals from their ancestral lands and giving the land to a population protected by the intentions of the elites.

Orwell pointed out that “the great enemy of clear language is insincerity.” The less sincere the speaker or writer is, particularly politicians and journalists, the more they “disguise their intentions behind euphemisms and convoluted phrasing.”

Academic writing is resplendent with “pretentious diction” and “meaningless words.” According to Orwell, “In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning.”

The Prevention of Literature

Concurrent with “Politics and the English Language,” Orwell published “The Prevention of Literature.” The two essays reflect his alarm over the victimization of truth in the distorted use of language. Orwell pointed out the “deliberate use of misleading double-talk language among those he identified as pro-Soviet.” He predicted the type of literature under a future totalitarian society—“formulaic and low grade sensationalism.”

Analyzing some of the euphemisms conceived by today’s progressives, and I only scratched the surface, we realize that Orwell’s words from sixty years ago are still true.

“Undocumented worker” is an obvious mischaracterization of illegal aliens who are invading our country with the approval of corporatist elites in both Democrat and Republican parties. These individuals do have documents from their countries of origin and have broken the law by crossing our borders illegally. Not only are they not repatriated, they are given equal rights with Americans so that corrupt politicians can stay in power in Democrat states like California. These people become illegal voters even though they do not speak the language, do not understand our laws, our Constitution, and do not care that they are helping transform our country into the hell hole they’ve fled. So long as they get undeserved welfare and Social Security benefits, they will vote Democrat in perpetuity.

“Our core values” is Democrat double-speak for demographic and cultural suicide. We allow every unvetted flotsam and jetsam from around the world into our country, disregarding the interests of the American public, their safety, health, and well-being under the guise of “that is not who we are as a nation.” The Democrat Party and the leftist agenda are now making the decision of who we are as a nation and as people, without bothering to consult the rest of America.

If we want to uphold law and order, our borders, language, and culture, we are “bigoted.” The meaning of “bigoted” has been stretched and bastardized to now mean pretty much anything the left wants it to mean. Yet it seems that leftists are truly intolerant toward those holding different opinions. They often turn their intolerance into violence, silencing the opposition and their right to free speech especially in the bastions of liberal academia around the country.

Additionally, if you disagree with any goals of the leftist agenda, you are “racist.” The real meaning of “racism” as described in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities, and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race,” has been lost in the leftist double-talk.

If you want legal immigration and national borders, safe from criminals, gangs, disease, and jihadi intrusions, you are a “xenophobe.” All foreign-born individuals who are now proud American citizens and prefer that immigrants follow the rule of law just like they did, are accused of xenophobia, “undue fear of what is foreign and especially of people of foreign origin.”

If you condemn militant jihad, hijra, and Islamic violence, you are an “Islamophobe.” That word silences the opposition so that the liberal goal of unrestricted Islamic invasion continues.

Liberals call themselves “progressives” even though their goals have nothing to do with progress but with regression to a totalitarian and oppressive communist society which has failed everywhere it has been tried. Liberals are repackaging the Bolshevik effort t by saying that communism was not implemented the right way.

“Liberalism” does not really represent the meaning of the Latin word, “liber” (free). Liberalism is disguised incremental socialism that will eventually lead to global communism. “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But under the name of “liberalism” they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

People accept the word “global citizen” without ever asking themselves what it entails. A “global citizen” is an individual who lives in a country that is no longer a state; it has no borders, no sovereignty, no national identity, no passport, and no national history. Yet most schools and colleges advertise that their students have been brainwashed and prepared for global citizenship.

On campuses around the country, “snowflakes” are cowering and hiding in their “safe spaces” in fear of reality that contradicts what they’ve been told and taught since they were born and led across a stage and given participation trophies.

The word “inhumane” (without compassion for misery or suffering; cruel) has been trivialized to excuse any breaking of the law without punishment and repercussions. In the mentally disordered liberal brain, suffering the consequences of bad choices, decisions, and subsequent criminality has become cruel and “inhumane.”

The word “diversity” is no longer used as being diverse and different; it is now a liberal code word for perversity which must be acknowledged by the other side, encoded into law, and enforced by the courts.

Homosexuality hides behind the word “gay” which previously meant “happy.” Different types of deviance are disguised behind the words “cross-dressers.” “Gender fluidity” can be interpreted as any sexual anomaly and psychological confusion—anything flows.

“Multiculturalism” is the code word for the Cultural Marxism agenda and the transformation of your country into a tower of Babel of illegal immigrants who have no intention of assimilating or accepting the invaded culture, its laws, its history, and its language. It is considered “inhumane” to force such illegal aliens to assimilate and contribute to society in a meaningful way.

Liberals force their ideas, plans, and global agenda on the rest of us in the name of “civil society.” This represents the globalist elites backed by power, influence, and money to socially engineer our lives any way they wish because they know best what is good for billions of people around the globe and the faux science backing them “has been settled.”

The laws and cries of “equal opportunity” coming from various special interest groups are not really asking for “equality,” they are asking for preferential treatment. And “social justice” is not asking for justice, it is asking for government sanctioned stealing, taking private property and money from those who worked for it and earned it, and giving it to those who did not earn it and are not entitled to it.

Social Security is not an “entitlement,” it is money that people have earned and contributed into a fund for decades in order to provide them with income in retirement. It is theft when Social Security money is given to illegal aliens as soon as they set foot on our soil.

Liberals created special and protected categories for some races and ethnic groups such as calling Hispanic women “Latinas.” To my knowledge, Latium was a region in the former Roman Empire, thus those people could be called Latinas and Latini. Black people are now “African Americans” even though most of them have never set foot in Africa nor were they born there. Caucasians don’t call themselves European Americans. There are Africans who are American citizens and have every right to call themselves African Americans, including Caucasians from South Africa. These special categories are not necessary; they are divisive and counterproductive, treating the special group as a group that cannot survive without the force of government.

It seems that liberalism is not really freedom; it thrives on divisiveness, separation, and inequality. They use deceptive language, euphemisms, and lies to implement their goals and policies in the name of “democracy” even though we are not a democracy, we are a constitutional republic. But liberals count on their blind followers to be ignorant of history and civics.


The Sex-Change Revolution Is Based on Ideology, Not Science

Twenty-eight years ago, the release of “When Harry Met Sally” highlighted one big debate: whether men and women could really be just friends.

That question may still be up in the air, but now we are being forced to confront a more fundamental debate: whether men can really become women.

America is in the midst of what has been called a “transgender moment.” In the space of a year, transgender issues went from something that most Americans had never heard of to a cause claiming the mantle of civil rights.

But can a boy truly be “trapped” in a girl’s body? Can modern medicine really “reassign” sex? Is sex something “assigned” in the first place? What’s the loving response to a friend or child experiencing a gender identity conflict? What should our law say on these issues?

These shouldn’t be difficult questions.

Just a few years before “When Harry Met Sally” hit theaters, Dr. Paul McHugh thought he had convinced the vast majority of medical professionals not to go along with bold claims about sex and gender being proffered by some of his colleagues. And as chair of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, McHugh put a stop to sex-reassignment surgery at Hopkins.

Once the elite Johns Hopkins did this, many medical centers across the nation followed suit.

But in recent years we have seen a resurgence of these drastic procedures—not in light of new scientific evidence, mind you, but as a result of a growing ideological movement. Such is our transgender moment.

The people increasingly in the spotlight of this moment are children.

In the past 10 years, dozens of pediatric gender clinics have sprung up throughout the United States. In 2007, Boston Children’s Hospital “became the first major program in the United States to focus on transgender children and adolescents,” as its own website brags.

A decade later, over 45 gender clinics opened their doors to our nation’s children—telling parents that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones may be the only way to prevent teen suicides.

Never mind that according to the best studies—the ones that even transgender activists themselves cite—80 to 95 percent of children with gender dysphoria will come to identify with and embrace their bodily sex.

Never mind that 41 percent of people who identify as transgender will attempt suicide at some point in their lives, compared to 4.6 percent of the general population. Never mind that people who have had transition surgery are 19 times more likely than average to die by suicide.

These statistics should stop us in our tracks. Clearly, we must work to find ways to effectively prevent these suicides and address the underlying causes. We certainly shouldn’t be encouraging children to “transition.”

Many psychologists and psychiatrists think of gender dysphoria as similar to other dysphorias, or forms of discomfort with one’s body, such as anorexia. The feelings of discomfort can lead to mistaken beliefs about oneself or about reality, and then to actions in accordance with those false beliefs.

The most helpful therapies focus not on achieving the impossible—changing bodies to conform to thoughts and feelings—but on helping people accept and even embrace the truth about their bodies and reality.

Operating in the background is a sound understanding of physical and mental health—proper function of one’s body and mind—and a sound understanding of medicine as a practice aimed at restoring health, not simply satisfying the desires of patients.

For human beings to flourish, they need to feel comfortable in their own bodies, readily identify with their sex, and believe that they are who they actually are.

In my new book, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” I argue that McHugh got it right. The best biology, psychology, and philosophy all support an understanding of sex as a bodily reality, and of gender as a social manifestation of bodily sex. Biology isn’t bigotry.

In my book I offer a balanced approach to the policy issues, a nuanced vision of human embodiment, and a sober and honest survey of the human costs of getting human nature wrong.

Despite activists’ best efforts to put up a unified front, Harry cannot become Sally. Activists’ desperate insistence to the contrary suggests that the transgender moment is fleeting.


Limits on Australian political donations

Crackdown on donations would destroy activist groups, GetUp says. The article below is from the Left so is unlikely to be the whole story but if it is right, it would seem that the government is on the right track.  Political agitators often support destructive policies and spoil the scene for people with real grievances and problems.

And the idea that an attack on them is an attack on "democracy" is another example of Leftist Newspeak (in Orwell's terms).  The whole point of these groups, particularly when they take to the streets, is to rule from the streets, not the ballot box.  The recent homosexual marriage "debate" in Australia showed how coercive and thuggish  these groups can be

And it is clearly the Left who abuse the opportunity to demonstrate.  The "Occupy Wall St" demonstrations of 2011 in NYC were very aggressive and trashed the location whereas the conservative "Tea Party" demonstrations were polite, civil and picked up their rubbish after them.

In my home State of Queensland under the Bjelke-Peterson administration of the '60s, Leftist demonstrations were heavily limited by the police, resulting in quite civil Leftist behaviour, when a demonstration was allowed.  I know.  I was there.  I think that should be the general pattern.  Leftist hate-fests should be carefully monitored and cancelled when they become aggressive

Leftists are rarely content with free speech. They want freedom to coerce and intimidate as well.  Non-coercive, non-obstructive, non-abusive demonstrations should of course always be allowed but a Leftist demonstration rarely even starts out that way, let alone ending that way

The activist group GetUp has criticised the Turnbull government’s proposed crackdown on foreign political donations, saying its legislation will destroy the revenue streams of grassroots groups and minor parties.

In a submission to the joint standing committee on electoral matters, which is holding an inquiry into election funding and disclosure, GetUp says the government’s bill contains an extraordinary requirement for not-for-profit organisations to obtain a statutory declaration from donors who give just $4.80 a week to political campaign organisations such as GetUp.
Fear 'rushed' foreign influence bill will harm freedom of speech
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It says according to Sections 302L and 302P of the bill’s explanatory memorandum, buried on pages 43 and 45, the government makes it clear that if individuals want to donate $250 or more annually to an organisation they will have to declare they are an “allowable donor” and have a justice of the peace or a police officer witness their declaration.

GetUp says that would require organisations to monitor cumulative small donations in real time and, once the annual $250 ceiling is met, to refuse further donations until a statutory declaration is obtained.

Failure to comply with the law would result in 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine of $210,000.

“This hidden clause reveals the federal government’s true intention is to shut down anyone it doesn’t agree with,” Paul Oosting, GetUp national director, told Guardian Australia. “This will destroy grassroots groups’ and minor parties’ revenue streams.

“If brought into law, this would starve GetUp of more than half of our people-powered funding, essentially halting our ability to call on the government to save the Great Barrier Reef, demand corporations contribute a fair share to our local schools and hospitals and treat people seeking asylum in Australia humanely.

“You can get a passport or buy a house without a stat dec but now if you want to stand up for a cause you believe in you’ve got to line up at a police station and get a formal document signed and witnessed. It’s absurd.

“This bill serves the interests of the Turnbull government and no one else. It doesn’t stop the likes of Gina Rinehart or the Adani Corporation from cutting huge cheques to their favourite politicians but it forces everyday people to jump through absurd hoops just to have their say in our democracy.”

GetUp’s submission says the government’s bill is ostensibly a response to a series of scandals surrounding foreign funding of politicians and political parties, and the potential for undue foreign influence, but those scandals would not have played out any differently if the bill were enacted into law.

“The ‘foreign donors; namechecked in the media – Chau Chak Wing and Huang Xiang Mo – both hold or held Australian citizenship or residency at the time the donations were made and therefore would be allowable donors under the provisions of the bill,” GetUp’s submission says.

“Meanwhile, the bill not only prohibits many not-for-profits from receiving international philanthropy entirely, but imposes a large administrative burden for them to confirm the identity of all donors – as opposed to, for example, simply determining whether the donation came from a foreign bank account.

“This represents a near-impossible feat for community organisations that depend on the small donations of thousands of everyday people.

“There is also a reasonable concern that banning donations by reference to a person’s identity in the way currently drafted is unconstitutional. It is clear the Bill is not serving the interests of the Australian public, concerned about the recent slew of foreign donations scandals – which raises the question, what or whose interests does it serve?

“One clue is in what the bill omits. It misses by far the biggest risk for ‘foreign influence’ in Australia’s democracy: large multinational corporations.”

The Minerals Council of Australia, one of Australia’s biggest corporate lobby groups, has conceded that it makes political donations and pays to attend fundraisers to gain access to members of parliament.

In a submission to a separate Senate inquiry, the MCA said it made donations amounting to $33,250 in 2015-16 and $57,345 in 2016-17, which were declared to the Australian Electoral Commission. The majority in both years went to the Liberal or National parties and associated entities.

The frank admission – which reflects a commonly held belief about the role of money in politics – stuck out because major corporations and lobby groups by and large say they make donations to support democracy.



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

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

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


29 January, 2018

The lethal folly of calling Trump Hitler

We mustn’t forget, or forgive, the anti-Trump lobby’s Nazi comparisons

America is doing okay, isn’t it, considering it is run by a Nazi. Considering that for the past year it has been governed by a man who more closely resembles Hitler than any other living Western politician. Considering it is now borderline a fascist state in which, in the words of one British diplomat, there are ‘shades of 1933 Germany’. Twelve months into Donald Trump’s fascist experiment, one year on from his warping of the American republic with ‘fascist rhetoric’, America seems to be functioning well. The president’s political opponents haven’t been imprisoned, political debate remains free and open, no concentration camps have been opened, and the Constitution is intact. Maybe this Nazism thing isn’t so bad after all?

This is the lethal consequence of the Hitler-comparing hysteria that gripped the Western commentariat over the past year: it has demeaned the memory of the Nazi experience. It has made Nazism seem ‘not that bad’. It robs the horrors of mid-20th-century Europe of their uniqueness, their historical specificity, and makes them seem like things that happen all the time, which are always in the air, even in the free, open, peaceful air of 21st-century America. They normalise, and thus downgrade, the suffering under the Nazi tyranny. In calling Trump ‘Hitler’, these Hillary-supporting throwers of the loudest political hissy fit of modern times imagine they are landing a serious blow on Trump, but they are doing something else, too, something really bad: they are letting Hitler off the hook by misremembering him simply as a bad man, as a Trump-style blowhard, rather than as the great criminal of the 20th century whose like is found nowhere — nowhere — in America or Europe today.

It is important to remember, and to continue to criticise, the anti-Trump lobby’s reckless use of Nazi imagery and Holocaust comparisons. This cannot be allowed to pass smoothly into a history, chalked up simply as an angry outburst after their candidate lost to Trump. There’s too much at stake: historical memory, truth, reason itself. So we must look back at what happened a year ago, when Trump was inaugurated and when it became okay to throw around the f-word, even the N-word. ‘Donald Trump is a fascist’, declared a writer for the Washington Post in black and white. Even Barack Obama, in the words of one report, ‘made reference to the rise of Nazi Germany in the 1930s’ when he said a Trump presidency would damage American democracy. Peter Westmacott, who was British ambassador to the US until 2016, said the rise of Trump had ‘shades of 1933’.

Historians cast sense and decorum to the wind in their rush to be part of the panic about the return of Nazism. Republicans, said Timothy Snyder, are like ‘1930s German conservatives’ who were overcome by the ‘radical right’ — that is, by Hitler’s Nazi movement. Ron Rosenbaum, author of Explaining Hitler, said Trump was working from ‘the playbook [of] Mein Kampf’. Politicians got in on the Nazi-talk. British Labour MP Dennis Skinner spoke of Trump in the same breath as ‘fascist dictators Mussolini and Hitler’. Labour’s Yvette Cooper drew a link between Trump’s ban on migration from certain Muslim-majority countries and the events of the Holocaust. As did the Guardian. It said Trump’s presidency was a ‘slap in the face’ to those who promised to learn from the Holocaust. Trump is a ‘fascist authoritarian’, said Salon. He combines the ‘bullying and threats’ that also defined the Hitler era, said another observer, as if Nazism was merely politicians being mean.

The use and abuse of the Holocaust era, the exploitation of the Nazi experience to dent Trump’s legitimacy, was widespread. It could be seen on demos against Trump, too, on which placards depicted him in a Hitler moustache or warned us against ‘a repeat of the 1930s’. On a London march, one group of people held placards showing Trump dressed like Hitler alongside the words: ‘We’re history teachers — we know how this ends.’

Let’s hope these people aren’t teaching your kids. For it is hard to think of anything more historically illiterate, and more dangerously cynical, than the casual branding of Trump as Hitler and the widespread hints over the past year — the predictions, even — that his rule would end the same way Hitler’s did: with death camps, presumably, and millions dead, and global war, and the absolute destruction of liberty, political freedom and the rule of law. None of that has happened, of course. The Hitler talk was so much steam, with observers rummaging around in history for the strongest political terms with which Trump might be branded and condemned. This has made it more difficult to see what is new and different and, yes, problematic about Trump’s administration. The unhinged Nazi talk discourages reasoned analysis in favour of chasing the cheap thrill of yelling ‘fascist!’ at someone you don’t like. It is profoundly anti-intellectual.

But it does something worse than muddy the present and harm rational debate about politics today; it also ravages the past; it relativises the Nazi experience and, unwittingly no doubt, dilutes the savagery of the Holocaust through comparing that immense crime with what is simply an elected American administration many people don’t like. This might not be Holocaust denial, but it is certainly Holocaust dilution. It is Holocaust relativism. And as some historians have been pointing out since the 1970s, Holocaust relativism, the treatment of the Nazi era as just a wicked brand of politics that crops up every now and then, including now, is the foundation stone of the vile prejudices that underpin actual Holocaust denial. It ‘minimises Nazi atrocities’, as one guide to the Holocaust put it, which in turns fuels the conviction of many Jew-haters: that the Holocaust and the events that nurtured it were not that a big deal. Calm down, Jews.

This is why we cannot forget or forgive what they said about Trump — not because we need to protect Trump from insult, but because we need to protect historical memory from destruction. This is the terrible irony of the worst outbursts of anti-Trump hysteria over the past year: it presented itself as a challenge to an ascendant neo-Nazism, yet its casual, thoughtless use of the Nazi spectre promoted a history-rewriting view of the Nazi era that benefits no one except neo-Nazis.


Sex addiction IS an illness, doctors insist... but furious critics say that they're just making excuses for predators

Calls to classify sex addicts as ‘mentally ill’ have triggered a row among doctors and campaigners helping victims of predators like Harvey Weinstein.

Eleven senior specialists, in a letter to the World Psychiatric Association, are pressing for compulsive sexual behaviour to be recognised as a mental disorder in its own right.

But the proposal was last night condemned by those who fear it will allow sexual misconduct to be blamed on a medical condition. Rachel Krys, from the charity End Violence Against Women, said: ‘We absolutely object to anything that condones harmful sexual behaviour to others, mainly women.’

And Dr Harriet Garrod, a consultant psychologist from Bexhill in East Sussex, said: ‘This could allow those in question to evade full responsibility for their actions by saying they were “ill” at the time.’

There has been a fierce debate within the psychiatric community over whether compulsive sexual behaviour should be recognised as an illness.

The condition is defined as being unable to control intense sexual impulses or urges and engaging in repetitive sexual behaviour for six months or more that ‘causes marked distress or impairment’ to sufferers and those around them.

Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey and golfer Tiger Woods – who had a string of extra-marital affairs – have sought treatment for so-called sex addiction at a £25,000-a-month rehab centre. But the American Psychiatric Association has refused to recognise it as an illness.

The letter to the World Psychiatric Association was signed by nearly a dozen leading lights in the profession, including Dr Valerie Voon, a neuropsychiatrist at Cambridge University.

It demands that sex addiction be included in the next edition of the International Classification Of Diseases, a ‘bible’ of recognised conditions that is used by doctors all over the world.

The letter states: ‘Growing evidence suggests compulsive sexual behaviour disorder is an important clinical problem with potentially serious consequences if left untreated.’


For once Mr Baggy Eyes has a point

Billionaire investor George Soros launched a scathing attack on tech giants at the Davos summit on Thursday, calling them monopolies that could be manipulated by authoritarians to subvert democracy.

During an annual dinner he hosts at the World Economic Forum, held this week in the Swiss alpine resort, Soros turned his sights on a host of subjects including US President Donald Trump and the speculation frenzy surrounding the bitcoin cryptocurrency.

But much of the Hungarian-born financier's ire was reserved for the tech giants of Silicon Valley who, he argued, needed to be more strictly regulated.

'Facebook and Google effectively control over half of all internet advertising revenue,' the 87-year-old told diners during a speech.

'They claim that they are merely distributors of information. The fact that they are near-monopoly distributors makes them public utilities and should subject them to more stringent regulations, aimed at preserving competition, innovation, and fair and open universal access.'

'The exceptional profitability of these companies is largely a function of their avoiding responsibility for — and avoiding paying for — the content on their platforms,' Soros said.

He predicted that tech giants would 'compromise themselves' to access key markets like China, creating an 'alliance between authoritarian states and these large, data rich IT monopolies.'

'This may well result in a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined,' he warned.

Predicting governments would start to more heavily regulate the sector he said: 'The owners of the platform giants consider themselves the masters of the universe, but in fact they are slaves to preserving their dominant position. Davos is a good place to announce that their days are numbered. Regulation and taxation will be their undoing.'

Soros warned that at its current rate, Facebook will run out of new users to join its platform despite it currently growing in size.

'The distinguishing feature of internet platform companies is that they are networks and they enjoy rising marginal returns; that accounts for their phenomenal growth. The network effect is truly unprecedented and transformative, but it is also unsustainable. It took Facebook eight and a half years to reach a billion users and half that time to reach the second billion. At this rate, Facebook will run out of people to convert in less than three years.'

Known for his legendarily successful currency trading, Soros dismissed bitcoin as a 'typical bubble'. But he said the cryptocurrency would likely avoid a full crash because authoritarians would still use it to make secret investments abroad.

He described Russia's Vladimir Putin as presiding over a 'mafia state' and called Trump a 'danger to the world'.

But he predicted that the US president's appeal would not last. 'I regard it as a purely temporary phenomenon that will disappear in 2020 or even sooner.'

But the investor's traditional Davos predictions do not always pan out.

Last year in Switzerland he warned that the stock market rally would end after Trump's election and that China's growth rate was unsustainable.

China's growth has continued while US stocks are regularly hitting record highs.


Why men are being wrongly accused of rape

The definition of rape has become very broad

Oliver Mears (pictured) spent two years on police bail having been charged with rape. Last week, the 19-year-old Oxford student had the case against him dropped following a review of evidence. A couple of days earlier, Samson Makele’s trial was halted after his defence team found more than a dozen images of him and his accuser cuddling in bed. In December, Liam Allan, aged 22 and a law student, had his rape conviction thrown out of court when new evidence came to light. A text message from the complainant to a friend stated she had had sex with Liam, but ‘it wasn’t against my will or anything’. Scotland Yard currently has 30 rape cases under review.

Various explanations have been put forward for the spate of wrongful arrests. Most prominent is the claim that the police lack the resources needed to sift through considerable evidence. In addition, as Luke Gittos has written on spiked, the systemic failure ‘is a symptom of a police force that has been told over many years that its job is to facilitate successful prosecutions, rather than investigate objectively’.

But before a victim can be believed, before an arrest can be made, a woman must allege that she was raped. False accusations are neither new nor unique to rape cases. But the severity of the potential punishment and the damage to the accused’s reputation mean false rape accusations deserve to be taken seriously. We need to ask why these cases were brought to the police in the first place.

An easy answer is that women maliciously make false rape accusations, perhaps to cover for a consensual sexual encounter or to exact revenge against a man. But research suggests that only four per cent of cases of sexual violence reported to the UK police are found or suspected to be false, and in the majority of these cases no specific perpetrator is named. False allegations are mainly identified early and often through an admission from the complainant.

The process of going to trial and giving evidence in a rape case is not an easy option. Yes, a ‘believe the victim’ culture means women are shielded by anonymity and are dealt with sensitively in court. They can give their evidence from behind a screen, be addressed by their first name, and ask for judges to remove their wigs. But if revenge is being sought, there are surely far easier and less time-consuming ways to extract it.

A false allegation is an accusation that the complainant knows never actually occurred. But, as Professor Phil Rumney details, there may be false allegations that fall outside this definition, such as ‘non-malicious allegations from people with particular medical conditions who genuinely believe they are victims of rape or other sexual offences, but who are mistaken’. For some women, then, a false accusation may be founded upon a genuine belief that they were raped. Additionally, as Rumney points out, a person may allege rape without understanding what the legal definition of rape entails.

We are unlikely to know what drove the women making false accusations against Allan, Mears and Makele. But the #MeToo movement has brought to light a great deal of confusion around the meaning of rape. An Everyday Feminism article titled ‘How do I know if I’ve been raped?’ begins by stating: ‘There are a lot of lies out there that can make it hard to know if you were raped.’ But the difficulty of knowing whether or not you are a victim of a crime suggests the crime itself is now vaguely and subjectively defined.

Sex and relationships classes at school, university consent classes, and now the #MeToo coverage teach young women that sex without consent is rape and that consent must be preferably verbal and enthusiastic and definitely freely given and ongoing. Sex that is not accompanied by explicitly sought and given consent is rape. Unwanted sex is rape. This means that after a sexual encounter, perhaps weeks later in conversation with friends, a woman can reach the conclusion that she did not give enthusiastic and ongoing consent and was therefore raped. By this logic, neither text messages declaring enjoyment nor photos of post-coital cuddles rule out the possibility of rape.

What’s missing from the definition of rape as unwanted sex is the perpetrator’s knowledge of the absence of consent. Women – and men – might have sex when they don’t want to for all kinds of reasons: to please a partner, to sustain a relationship, or because it’s easier than saying no. But they have only been raped if they make clear to their partner that they don’t want to have sex and their partner continues regardless.

It’s possible that some false rape accusations may not be malicious but may occur when a woman is convinced she has been raped. When, subsequently, the police knock on the door of the accused, he may quite genuinely have no inkling of having done anything wrong. A man who has committed a rape would hardly be likely to have his photo taken with his victim or continue to phone and text.

Wrongful rape convictions are terrible for men who face the very real threat of imprisonment. They are also bad for women, convinced they are victims and unable to move on with their lives. To stop this, police need the resources to investigate crimes fully and we need to challenge the ‘believe the victim’ culture. But we also need to tell women that drunk sex, regretted sex and unwanted sex are not rape. For a rapist to be convicted he must know that his victim did not consent or was unable to consent to sex. Consent classes and the #MeToo movement risk presenting women as passive, fragile creatures lacking all capacity to tell men to remove wayward hands or that they do not want to have sex with them. This can only lead to more rape trials and more lives ruined in the future.



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

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

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


28 January, 2018

Presidents Club: 'The easy moral outrage of the online mob'

I agree with Brendan O'Neill, below, that there has been a recent explosion of intolerance for a type of sexual behaviour that has long been seen as fairly normal.  So he sees the much publicized activities at the President's Club dinner as undeserving of the condemnation they have received. 

He seems to have missed an important point nonetheless.  The waitresses hired for the occasion were ordered to wear fairly titillating garb -- short skirts, black high heels and corset-like belts etc.  So the men can hardly be blamed for taking that as a cue.  Nonetheless the behaviour was ungentlemanly and discourteous in some instances so I deplore that

Another week, another explosion of moral outrage.

Another moralistic hissy fit online, as the Twitterati, commentariat and other new-fangled guardians of decency once again fume against people for behaving badly or thinking differently.

This time the target of their long fingers and seemingly inexhaustible fury has been the Presidents Club.

For those Brits who live under a rock — lucky you — the Presidents Club is an annual get-together of rich and well-meaning men to raise money for charity.

It is in its 33rd year. It takes place in plush, posh venues like the Dorchester in Park Lane. And as befits a coming together of the filthy rich and exclusively blokeish it is not, shall we say, PC.

Yes, surprise, surprise, these moneyed men full of expensive plonk get a little debauched.

Worst of all, at least in the prudish eyes of the media class, young women are employed at these events to serve drinks and flatter the men's fat egos.

The Financial Times, taking a break from blaming Brexit for literally everything that has gone wrong in Britain over the past 18 months, sent some undercover reporters to the Presidents Club.

They fed back that the men sometimes say untoward things to the young women and even proposition them. Perhaps next week these reporters will stake out a forest in Canada and confirm to the world that, yes, bears really do defecate in woods.

The fallout from the FT's pearl-clutching exposure of the utterly unsurprising and completely legal behaviour at this charity-friendly event has been bonkers.

Twitter went into meltdown. Labour MP Jess Phillips talked about the Presidents Club as if it were a 21st-century form of slavery. Great Ormond Street Hospital gave back the money it got from the event.

And now, the Presidents Club has announced that it is folding.

The morally outraged, the weirdly prim and angry mob that lives online and loves nothing better than to rage against people or institutions that don't share it values, will be delighted.

Yet as a result of their rage, less money will be raised for charity. Well done, guys. What does money for kids' medical equipment matter in comparison with your sense of self-satisfaction at having toppled another thing that displeases you?

What comes next? Surely all the men who ever attended this event — yes, including you, David Walliams — must now be paraded through the streets so that we can hurl rotten tomatoes, or at least angry tweets, in their repulsive direction.

This destruction of a charity event by gangs of the easily offended tells us a depressing story about modern Britain.

It confirms how empowered online mobs are. Through pooling their individual anger into a mass conformist cry of 'NOT OK' — the 21st-century equivalent of crying 'blasphemy!' 500 years ago — they can extract apologies from politicians, shame celebs out of public life, and bring charity do's crashing down.

These often time-rich, well-connected people are chilling public life, making it clear to everyone that if we say or do anything they find offensive, they will hunt us down.

It also confirms the ascendancy of a stiff, middle-class moralism on sexual matters.

First we had well-to-do female journalists making a national scandal of the fact that some male politician once put his hand on their knee.

Now we have the well-educated ladies of the FT expressing horror that young, largely working-class women sometimes use their looks to make money.

But why should the cushioned, increasingly sex-fearing smart set get to define what is acceptable in public life? Believe it or not, there are people out there — many people — who don’t think come-ons are harassment or that hands on knees are on a spectrum with sexual assault.

Finally, and perhaps worst of all, the Presidents Club scandal shows that modern feminism is very often anti-women.

The way the media are talking about the working women who served booze and massaged egos at these events is nothing short of disgraceful.

These women have been infantilised, treated as poor, pathetic, brainwashed creatures in need of rescue by their more switched-on sisters.

Even as some of the women who worked at the Presidents Club say they didn't feel abused, still the saviour feminists insist they were.

In other words, these working women don't really know what’s in their best interests. They are overgrown children, to be chastised or improved by FT reporters, Guardian columnists, and Labour politicians.


Dear Feminists: If You Want a Real Man, Act Like a Woman

We are witnessing the emergence of a new conversation about sex. The devolution of the #MeToo movement and, more recently, the Babe article about “Grace” and Aziz Ansari, have highlighted a fatal flaw in the logic of feminism.

The original intent of the #MeToo movement — that rape, workplace harassment, sexual assault, etc. ought to be unacceptable in our country — has been superseded by the idea that any type of sexually-charged encounter that makes a woman feel bad is the same as rape. And, while many modern-day feminists (I have no idea what “wave” we’re on and I don’t actually care) vehemently defend this notion, others have begun to call foul, pointing out that this kind of thinking promotes the very type of victim mentality that feminism was intended to protect against.

Recently, I pointed out that this new victim mentality stems from the feminist lie that men and women are supposed to have the same attitude towards sex. So, even though what women really want from men is love, connection, intimacy, and protection, they have to act like they’re okay with having meaningless sex on the first date. Which is how women like “Grace” end up, of their own free will, naked in a man’s apartment and feeling terrible about it.

A recent article on Scary Mommy by popular blogger Samara (apparently she has only a first name) illustrates this idea perfectly (if unintentionally). The article is called “Sometimes I Want to Be Held By A Man, Naked, Without Having Sex – Is That Okay?” and it simultaneously makes the point that women need intimacy in their lives (which is true) and that they should be able to expect it from the random guys that they go out with one time (which is not).

See, intimacy is something that comes with time. It happens when two people get to know one another, feel comfortable with each other, and allow themselves to be vulnerable with one another. You can “get intimate” with someone you met an hour ago, but you can’t “have intimacy” with him.

“I dread the idea of having to make constant compromises. Relationships are hard, and if introducing a partner into my life is going to create drama and pain, I’d rather be alone,” Samara writes. Instead, she longs to find “intimacy” with the random people she dates. “I’m a highly sexual person,” she continues, “and I like kinky sex as much as the next wanton woman. Sometimes, though, I just want to lie next to someone who will hold me. This never happens.”

Of course it doesn’t. Samara’s weird sexual preferences aside, she — and many other women including, perhaps, “Grace” — have been duped by a nonsensical philosophy into believing that engaging in hook-up culture (as if they were men) will get them the intimacy they crave (because they are women).

“Until I have a boyfriend or a husband,” writes Samara, “I will not be entitled to lay next to a man, skin on skin, and simply be held.” Well . . . duh. Samara wants us to believe that this is a bad thing. That she ought to be able to expect a man she just met and took off her clothes with to assume that she doesn’t want sex. But the man is a man. Which is why Samara needs to keep her clothes on until she knows the man well enough to be intimate with him (in every sense of the word). Not because all men are rapists, but because — unless she changes her mind and says no — the only thing you can really get from being naked with a total stranger is meaningless sex. Intimacy comes with time — and effort.

If women want intimacy (and love, and respect, and protection) from men, they have to act like women. Don’t go up to his apartment and take off your clothes on a first date. Not because men are animals who can’t control their urges, but because, by guarding your virtue, you’re telling him that you want more than sex. Don’t have sex on a first date just because you worry he won’t stay interested in you if you don’t. If he doesn’t stay interested in you, he’s not the kind of guy you’ll be able to build intimacy with.

Look, if you want to have meaningless, no-strings-attached sex with some random guy (and that’s really all you want) go for it. But if, like Samara and “Grace,” you’re looking for intimacy and connection, you’re going to need to do things a little differently. In many cases, men have stopped being chivalrous because women have stopped being feminine. Want a real man? Act like a woman.


Where Swedish "tolerance" has led

The latest news from multicultural and oh-so tolerant Sweden are grim, as the country’s Prime Minister has said the government is ready to take desperate measures, including deploying the military on the streets to mitigate the gang-related crime wave that’s spreading like wildfire.

Following a massive influx of so-called refugees, mostly from North Africa and the Middle East (Muslim majority countries incidentally), parts of Sweden have become true no-go zones, where grenade attacks are nothing to write home about and migrant teens can be seen roaming the streets armed with AK-47 rifles.

And that’s not a joke either.  Last week, Sweden started distributing 4.7 million leaflets, warning the population about the probability of a war with…well, Russia, a manual of defense of sorts, covering threats such as “climate change”, cyberattacks and terrorism. But it definitely looks like the real threat is domestic.

This is a serious admission that something is very wrong in Sweden.

At the time, Sweden’s Prime Minister  Stefan Lofven said that the army may be deployed on the streets to end gang violence, as police is overwhelmed and powerless, thanks to the migrant crisis brought upon Sweden by its left-wing/globalist/no borders government. Lofven was quoted as saying:

“It’s not my first action to put in a military, but I’m prepared to do what it takes to ensure that the seriously organized crime goes away. But it is also obvious that there are social problems. Last year 300 shootings occurred, 40 people were killed. The new year has begun with new launches. We see criminals with total lack of respect for human life, it’s a terrible development I’m determined to turn around”

The Swedish government just talked about the possibility of putting the army on the streets to deal with the no-go zone criminal gangs. We might be heading for some kind of "civil war" in Sweden.

The leaders for all 3 biggest political parties in Sweden have today talked about war in parliament.  Specifically about a war with the criminal gangs from the no go zones.

These comments arrive in the aftermath of a wave of gang related murders, including the shooting from last week in Malmo, when a 21 year old male was shot in the head; also last week, a 16 year old was found shot near a bus stop and died in the hospital. On January 3rd another 22 year old male was shot in a district of Malmo, a city plagued by gangs composed of so-called refugees/asylum seekers, whom the Sweden’s politically correct mainstream media always describe as Swedish nationals.

“In Malmö, where a fifth of the 340,000 inhabitants are under 18, children as young as 14 roam the streets with Kalashnikov assault rifles and bulletproof vests. The average age of gang members is 22, the vast majority of them hailing from migrant families.

The crime wave affecting Sweden is so severe, the police gave up investigating rape cases, due to the huge backlog of gang-related crime/murders. Basically, the cops are forced to choose between the 2 evils. Last Wednesday, a police station in Rosengard (a district of Malmo) was attacked with a hand-grenade and police was put on high-alert, yet no arrests were made:

There have been 34 grenade attacks in Sweden in 2016 and “only” 10 in 20017.

Back in April 2017, three female cops were beaten and humiliated while trying to take into custody a violent “refugee”:

During the 2013 riots, many police stations in Stockholm were targeted by violent Muslim refugees who attacked cops and burned down a police station:

The peaceful “migrants” even attacked a “60 Minutes” crew that was filming a segment on…well, migrants. This happened in 2016:

According to a police report from last year, powerful weaponry (read anti-tank missiles) was found in a 36 year old man’s basement, who is suspected of smuggling guns (automatic weapons, grenades) to Sweden’s no-go areas.

Seems like handgrenades is not enough for them anymore. These people are literally storing heavy duty military weaponry in their homes in Sweden.  Are they preparing for war?

It looks like Sweden’s feminist/ultra-liberal/pro open borders government was doing a magnificent job by allowing unvetted immigration from third world countries. Sweden saw 306 shootings last year, which resulted in 41 deaths. Meanwhile, Swedish officials and their lapdog mainstream media are blaming Islamic terrorism on their own citizens, i.e. white power is the problem.


Can You Trust American Red Cross with Donations?

Because of their history of antisemitism, I never give to the Red Cross

The past year, with major hurricanes in Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas, has once again cast light on the activities of the American Red Cross. As in the past, there are questions one needs to know about the Red Cross that are hard to answer. Is the organization doing a good job? How could the Red Cross do a better job? Should donors feel confident that their gifts are being used effectively?

This year, the Red Cross has been subject to a barrage of criticism. But that criticism ultimately springs from one source: a series of articles that ProPublica has been writing on the Red Cross’s effectiveness, sometimes in collaboration with National Public Radio. I wrote about these articles at Philanthropy Daily three years ago. But ProPublica has continued their work and it is long past time for an update.

For what it’s worth, I should note that ProPublica is a left-wing outfit. In fact, Justin Elliott, who is the lead reporter on Red Cross stories does other things: his most recent piece, about getting the logs for people who met with Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney, manages to mention two groups the left can’t stand—Opus Dei and the Koch brothers—in the same headline.

But I don’t know what the difference is between the “left-wing” or the “right-wing” position on the Red Cross. Surely everyone who gives to that organization, regardless of their politics, wants their donations to be used effectively and that their money to help victims, not pay high salaries for bureaucrats in Red Cross headquarters or expensive public relations campaigns.

In addition, the American Red Cross is not a completely private organization. It is quasi-governmental. I think the term of art is that the group is “a congressionally chartered instrumentality of the United States.” I’m willing to accept that the nonprofit is 85-90 percent private. But because it is quasi-governmental, and the only nonprofit that has a place at the table in national disaster planning, it deserves as much scrutiny as any other government agency.

ProPublica has done many stories on the Red Cross since 2014. Their longest one, by Justin Elliott and NPR reporter Laura Sullivan, was a 2015 piece about the Red Cross’s efforts rebuilding Haiti after a 2010 earthquake.

They found that the Red Cross had collected hundreds of millions for the earthquake—and used the money to build six homes.

Parachuting into Haiti, the American Red Cross had many problems. They didn’t have enough workers fluent in French or Creole. Haiti has an archaic system of land registration that makes it hard to know who owns a particular piece of property.

But the Red Cross claimed that it helped 4.5 million people—in a nation that has a population of ten million. Jean-Max Belleville, prime minister at the time of the earthquake, said that it was “not possible” that the Red Cross had helped so many Haitians.

Many Red Cross projects backfired.

One home-building effort in the town of Campeche resulted in no homes built and many complaints from Haitians about the high salaries paid expatriates. Another $30 million home-building project, in collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development, failed, in part because the groups couldn’t buy land.

Finally, the Red Cross said it would take nine percent for overhead and spend 91 percent of every donor dollar on Haiti. But much of the money went to other nonprofits, such as the International Federation of the Red Cross, and these nonprofits took their own overhead bite. Elliott and Sullivan calculate that only 60 percent of donor dollars actually went to Haitian projects.

Most recently, Elliott, Jessica Huseman, and Decca Muldowney say that emergency management officials in some Texas counties have complained about the Red Cross’s sluggish response to Hurricane Harvey. In DeWitt County, Emergency Management Coordinator Cyndi Smith emailed a Red Cross official on September 9, saying “Red Cross was not there as they were suppose(d) to be with the shelter.”

Officials in other small counties said that the Red Cross’s response was late and sluggish. A contractor who was supposed to direct people to the nearest available shelter didn’t do a good job because of technical glitches. Finally, a Red Cross program where they were supposed to give $400 to every disaster victim via a website was delayed for some time because of various problems, while another website to accept donations functioned flawlessly.

Houston City Councilman Dave Martin told ProPublica that he ran into American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern in a parking lot several days after the hurricane and said he had gotten many complaints about the Red Cross’s performance. He said that McGovern told him, “Do you know how much we raised with Katrina? $2 billion. We won’t even raise hundreds of millions here.”

Martin responded, “Really, Gail? That’s your response to me?”

The Red Cross issued a lengthy response that said it had 2,100 Red Cross employees on the ground in the Houston area, and had distributed 3.7 million meals. It said that it “had authorized” distribution of $148 million via the $400 payments, but did not say that the funds had been distributed. It said the fluctuating opening and closing of shelters made it hard for its contractor to steer people to the nearest shelter.

Finally, the Red Cross said it understood Councilman Martin’s frustration, but they did not dispute what Gail McGovern said.

In the Weekly Standard, Grant Wishard offers a defense of the Red Cross. He notes that the organization is the only one mandated to “prepare for and respond to disasters everywhere” and that it is frequently the framework by which smaller, nimbler organizations can give relief. He quotes Indiana University philanthropy professor Leslie Lenkowsky, who headed the Corporation for National and Community Service during the George W. Bush Administration, as saying “the Red Cross will create the framework which those other groups of first responders are working in.” Lenkowsky adds that “if we didn’t have an organization like the Red Cross we’d have to invent it.”

Of course, the American Red Cross will always be the largest and most important charity dealing with disasters. But it shouldn’t be the only one. A staff-written piece ProPublica produced in 2015 about how to give to groups that help in disasters offers sensible suggestions: do your research. Give locally. If you are so inclined, give cash to groups like GiveDirectly.

The Red Cross can do better. One way it can improve is if there was more of a competition for donor dollars for disaster relief.



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

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

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


26 January, 2018

Are We Free to Discuss America's Real Problems?
By Amy Wax, University of Pennsylvania Law School

There is a lot of abstract talk these days on American college campuses about free speech and the values of free inquiry, with plenty of lip service being paid to expansive notions of free expression and the marketplace of ideas. What I’ve learned through my recent experience of writing a controversial op-ed is that most of this talk is not worth much. It is only when people are confronted with speech they don’t like that we see whether these abstractions are real to them.

The op-ed, which I co-authored with Larry Alexander of the University of San Diego Law School, appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on August 9 under the title, “Paying the Price for the Breakdown of the Country’s Bourgeois Culture.” It began by listing some of the ills afflicting American society:

Too few Americans are qualified for the jobs available. Male working-age labor-force participation is at Depression-era lows. Opioid abuse is widespread. Homicidal violence plagues inner cities. Almost half of all children are born out of wedlock, and even more are raised by single mothers. Many college students lack basic skills, and high school students rank below those from two dozen other countries.

We then discussed the “cultural script” — a list of behavioral norms — that was almost universally endorsed between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s:

Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.

These norms defined a concept of adult responsibility that was, we wrote, “a major contributor to the productivity, educational gains, and social coherence of that period.” The fact that the “bourgeois culture” these norms embodied has broken down since the 1960s, we argued, largely explains today’s social pathologies — and re-embracing that culture would go a long way toward addressing those pathologies.

In what became perhaps the most controversial passage, we pointed out that cultures are not equal in terms of preparing people to be productive citizens in a modern technological society, and we gave some examples of cultures less suited to achieve this:

The culture of the Plains Indians was designed for nomadic hunters, but is not suited to a First World, 21st-century environment. Nor are the single-parent, antisocial habits prevalent among some working-class whites; the anti-‘acting white’ rap culture of inner-city blacks; the anti-assimilation ideas gaining ground among some Hispanic immigrants.

The reactions to this piece raise the question of how unorthodox opinions should be dealt with in academia — and in American society at large.

It is well documented that American universities today, more than ever before, are dominated by academics on the left end of the political spectrum. How should these academics handle opinions that depart, even quite sharply, from their “politically correct” views? The proper response would be to engage in reasoned debate — to attempt to explain, using logic, evidence, facts, and substantive arguments, why those opinions are wrong. This kind of civil discourse is obviously important at law schools like mine, because law schools are dedicated to teaching students how to think about and argue all sides of a question. But academic institutions in general should also be places where people are free to think and reason about important questions that affect our society and our way of life — something not possible in today’s atmosphere of enforced orthodoxy.

What those of us in academia should certainly not do is engage in unreasoned speech: hurling slurs and epithets, name-calling, vilification, and mindless labeling. Likewise we should not reject the views of others without providing reasoned arguments. Yet these once common standards of practice have been violated repeatedly at my own and at other academic institutions in recent years — and we increasingly see this trend in society as well.

One might respond, of course, that unreasoned slurs and outright condemnations are also speech and must be defended. My recent experience has caused me to rethink this position. In debating others, we should have higher standards. Of course one has the right to hurl labels like “racist,” “sexist,” and “xenophobic” without good reason — but that doesn’t make it the right thing to do. Hurling such labels doesn’t enlighten, inform, edify, or educate. Indeed, it undermines these goals by discouraging or stifling dissent.

So what happened after our op-ed was published last August? A raft of letters, statements, and petitions from students and professors at my university and elsewhere condemned the piece as racist, white supremacist, hate speech, heteropatriarchial, xenophobic, etc. There were demands that I be removed from the classroom and from academic committees. None of these demands even purported to address our arguments in any serious or systematic way.

A response published in the Daily Pennsylvanian, our school newspaper, and signed by five of my Penn Law School colleagues, charged us with the sin of praising the 1950s — a decade when racial discrimination was openly practiced and opportunities for women were limited. I do not agree with the contention that because a past era is marked by benighted attitudes and practices — attitudes and practices we had acknowledged in our op-ed! — it has nothing to teach us. But at least this response attempted to make an argument.

Not so an open letter published in the Daily Pennsylvanian and signed by 33 of my colleagues. This letter quoted random passages from the op-ed and from a subsequent interview I gave to the school newspaper, condemned both, and categorically rejected all of my views. It then invited students, in effect, to monitor me and to report any “stereotyping and bias” they might experience or perceive. This letter contained no argument, no substance, no reasoning, no explanation whatsoever as to how our op-ed was in error.

We hear a lot of talk about role models — people to be emulated, who set a positive example for students and others. In my view, the 33 professors who signed this letter are anti-role models. To students and citizens alike I say: don’t emulate them in condemning people for their views without providing a reasoned argument. Reject their example. Not only are they failing to teach you the practice of civil discourse — the sine qua non of liberal education and of democracy — they are sending the message that civil discourse is unnecessary. As Jonathan Haidt of NYU wrote on September 2 on his website Heterodox Academy: “Every open letter you sign to condemn a colleague for his or her words brings us closer to a world in which academic disagreements are resolved by social force and political power, not by argumentation and persuasion.”

It is gratifying to note that the reader comments on the open letter were overwhelmingly critical. The letter has “no counterevidence,” one reader wrote, “no rebuttal to [Wax’s] arguments, just an assertion that she’s wrong… . This is embarrassing.” Another wrote: “This letter is an exercise in self-righteous virtue-signaling that utterly fails to deal with the argument so cogently presented by Wax and Alexander… . Note to parents, if you want your daughter or son to learn to address an argument, do not send them to Penn Law.”

Shortly after the op-ed appeared, I ran into a colleague I hadn’t seen for a while and asked how his summer was going. He said he’d had a terrible summer, and in saying it he looked so serious I thought someone had died. He then explained that the reason his summer had been ruined was my op-ed, and he accused me of attacking and causing damage to the university, the students, and the faculty. One of my left-leaning friends at Yale Law School found this story funny — who would have guessed an op-ed could ruin someone’s summer? But beyond the absurdity, note the choice of words: “attack” and “damage” are words one uses with one’s enemies, not colleagues or fellow citizens. At the very least, they are not words that encourage the expression of unpopular ideas. They reflect a spirit hostile to such ideas — indeed, a spirit that might seek to punish the expression of such ideas.

I had a similar conversation with a deputy dean. She had been unable to sign the open letter because of her official position, but she defended it as having been necessary. It needed to be written to get my attention, she told me, so that I would rethink what I had written and understand the hurt I had inflicted and the damage I had done, so that I wouldn’t do it again. The message was clear: cease the heresy.

Only half of my colleagues in the law school signed the open letter. One who didn’t sent me a thoughtful and lawyerly email explaining how and why she disagreed with particular points in the op-ed. We had an amicable email exchange, from which I learned a lot — some of her points stick with me — and we remain cordial colleagues. That is how things should work.

Of the 33 who signed the letter, only one came to talk to me about it — and I am grateful for that. About three minutes into our conversation, he admitted that he didn’t categorically reject everything in the op-ed. Bourgeois values aren’t really so bad, he conceded, nor are all cultures equally worthy. Given that those were the main points of the op-ed, I asked him why he had signed the letter. His answer was that he didn’t like my saying, in my interview with the Daily Pennsylvanian, that the tendency of global migrants to flock to white European countries indicates the superiority of some cultures. This struck him as “code,” he said, for Nazism.

Well, let me state for the record that I don’t endorse Nazism!

Furthermore, the charge that a statement is “code” for something else, or a “dog whistle” of some kind — we frequently hear this charge leveled, even against people who are stating demonstrable facts — is unanswerable. It is like accusing a speaker of causing emotional injury or feelings of marginalization. Using this kind of language, which students have learned to do all too well, is intended to bring discussion and debate to a stop — to silence speech deemed unacceptable.

As Humpty Dumpty said to Alice, we can make words mean whatever we want them to mean. And who decides what is code for something else or what qualifies as a dog whistle? Those in power, of course — which in academia means the Left.

My 33 colleagues might have believed they were protecting students from being injured by harmful opinions, but they were doing those students no favors. Students need the opposite of protection from diverse arguments and points of view. They need exposure to them. This exposure will teach them how to think. As John Stuart Mill said, “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.”

I have received more than 1,000 emails from around the country in the months since the op-ed was published — mostly supportive, some critical, and for the most part thoughtful and respectful. Many expressed the thought, “You said what we are thinking but are afraid to say” — a sad commentary on the state of civil discourse in our society. Many urged me not to back down, cower, or apologize. And I agree with them that dissenters apologize far too often.

Democracy thrives on talk and debate, and it is not for the faint of heart. I read things every day in the media and hear things every day at my job that I find exasperating and insulting, including falsehoods and half-truths about people who are my friends. Offense and upset go with the territory; they are part and parcel of an open society. We should be teaching our young people to get used to these things, but instead we are teaching them the opposite.

Disliking, avoiding, and shunning people who don’t share our politics is not good for our country. We live together, and we need to solve our problems together. It is also always possible that people we disagree with have something to offer, something to contribute, something to teach us. We ignore this at our peril. As Heather Mac Donald wrote in National Review on August 29: “What if the progressive analysis of inequality is wrong … and a cultural analysis is closest to the truth? If confronting the need to change behavior is punishable ‘hate speech,’ then it is hard to see how the country can resolve its social problems.” In other words, we are at risk of being led astray by received opinion.

The American way is to conduct free and open debate in a civil manner. We should return to doing that on our college campuses and in our society at large.


Feminism’s clay feet exposed on British television

By Bettina Arndt

British journalist Douglas Murray said he'd never seen a television interview more catastrophic for the interviewer. Others are naming TV journalist Cathy Newman's grilling of Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson as a pivotal moment exposing modern feminism's clay feet. Within three days of the 30 minute Channel 4 interview being posted on YouTube it had attracted over 2 million viewers and Newman's performance was greeted by widespread hilarity on the twittersphere.

Channel 4 now seems to have woke up to the self-inflicted damage the interview is doing to one of the station's stars and is in damage control with Newman playing the victim role claiming she's receiving "vicious misogynistic abuse." Station management is employing extra security to deal with what they claim are threats to Newman's safety. Whilst there is no evidence the flood of online criticism of Newman constitutes any threat, Peterson has responded by telling his supporters to constrain their comments.

Ironically the major gotcha moment in the interview was all about freedom of speech. Newman decided to grill Peterson about the reason the Canadian psychology professor had first attracted international attention – namely his refusal to use manufactured gender pronouns now mandated under law in his country. After a series of ill-informed, aggressive attacks failed spectacularly to disconcert her calm, reasoned guest, Newman asked Peterson, "why should your right to freedom of speech trump a trans person's right not to be offended?"

The good professor responded: "Because in order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive. I mean, look at the conversation we're having right now. You're certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth. Why should you have the right to do that?" he said, acknowledging her attacks had made him rather uncomfortable but that was fine. "You're doing what you should do, which is digging a bit to see what the hell is going on…But you're exercising your freedom of speech to certainly risk offending me, and that's fine. More power to you, as far as I'm concerned."

His answer left Newman totally floundering. The good-natured Peterson smiled sweetly and said: "Ha, gotcha!"

But it was on the classic feminist issues that Newman was exposed as a vapid ideologue incapable of defending her cherished beliefs. Peterson's rational, fact-based responses to questions about women's achievements in the workplace went totally over her head. Newman responded to evidence with anecdotes, claimed he'd made statements he hadn't. Their discussion on the gender wag gap started like this:

Peterson: Multivariate analysis of the pay gap indicate that it doesn't exist

Newman: But that's just not true, is it. That nine per cent pay gap, that's a gap between median hourly earnings between men and women. That exists.

P: Yeah but there's multiple reasons for that. One of them is gender but it's not the only reason. If you're a social scientist worth your salt you never do a uni-variant analysis. You say, well, women in aggregate are paid less than men, then we break it down by age, occupation, interest, personality.

N: But you're saying basically it doesn't matter if women aren't getting to the top, because that's skewing that gender pay gap, isn't it. You're saying that's just a fact of life.

P: No, I'm not saying it doesn't matter. I'm saying there are multiple reasons for it that aren't being taken into account.

N: But why should women put up with those reasons? Why should women be content not to get to the top?

P: I'm not saying that they should put up with it, I'm saying that the claim that the wage gap between men and women is only due to sex is wrong, and it is wrong, there's no doubt about that. The multi-variant analyses have been done." And so went on, with Newman incessantly straw-manning, niggling, attacking and wilfully refusing to listen to Peterson's responses.

Many, like British sociologist Nicholas A Christakis, found themselves in awe of Peterson's cheerful, reasoned responses. "This man Jordan Peterson is preternaturally calm and composed in the face of a hostile interviewer who also had simply not thought adequately about her ideas and approach. Facts and reason are powerful allies," he tweeted.

But unfamiliar territory for feminists who are rarely confronted with this type of evidence, particularly in public. UK conservative politician Paul Weston points out that what's so extraordinary about the Peterson interview is that it managed to refute the ideological claptrap which holds sway throughout much of the mainstream media. As he says in a YouTube video posted this week, the anointed liberal elite which controls the media knows it doesn't represent popular opinion but "works tirelessly to make damn sure no one's allowed anywhere near the media bubble to propose a learned valid legitimate opinion."

Yet Peterson slipped through and Newton and her team were shown up for not doing their homework to discover why it is that this formidable man attracts literally millions of followers online. Journalist Tim Lott, writing last year in the Spectator UK, said that after listening to hours of Peterson's videos, he concludes the man is "one of the most important thinkers to emerge on the world stage for many years." As Newman discovered to her peril.


Progressive Critics of Trump’s HHS Are Sliming Christians for Enforcing the Law

Efforts to undo the Obama administration’s unconstitutional subversion of Congress are welcome and long overdue.

This morning, Politico made me laugh, opening an article about the Trump administration’s department of Health and Human Services with this incredibly misleading paragraph:

"A small cadre of politically prominent evangelicals inside the Department of Health and Human Services have spent months quietly planning how to weaken federal protections for abortion and transgender care — a strategy that’s taking shape in a series of policy moves that took even their own staff by surprise"

The reality is that the Trump HHS has issued a notice of a proposed rule (essentially, a draft regulation for public review and comment) that will empower the agency to robustly enforce multiple statutes passed by Congress and signed by presidents from both parties — statutes that the Obama administration had unlawfully and unilaterally revised or undermined.

In other words, the Trump administration intends to enforce the law as written, creating a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the civil-rights office of HHS.

The only scandal here is the enduring (mainly progressive) idea that the executive branch can or should possess the authority to ignore or change laws passed by Congress.

The religion of the Trump officials is irrelevant. Only their actions matter.

The background is simple. For many, many years Congress has included within various statutes a series of conscience protections for health-care providers who work at federally funded health-care facilities. These conscience protections mainly prohibit doctors and nurses from being forced to participate in abortions, sterilizations, and assisted suicides. They’re found in the so-called Church Amendments, the Coates–Snow Amendment, the Weldon Amendment, the Affordable Care Act, and multiple other pieces of the United States Code. They have been passed by Democrat- and Republican-controlled Congresses, and signed by Democratic and Republican presidents.

It would be difficult for the American people to speak more clearly through their elected representatives. In a nation that still functioned according to its constitutional design, the executive branch would be obligated to robustly enforce these laws. Instead, ideological bureaucrats have all too often taken the view that enforcement is optional. Sometimes these same bureaucrats will take it upon themselves to functionally rewrite the statutes.

The Obama HHS, for example, both dragged its feet on enforcement and passed regulations that actually undermined the intent of the law as written by Congress. In fact, it issued a rule that quite literally changed a statute. Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of “race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability” in federally funded health programs, HHS health programs, and “Health Insurance Marketplaces.”

In its regulations, however, Obama’s HHS unilaterally expanded the nondiscrimination categories to include “gender identity” and “termination of pregnancy.” Thus, the Obama administration on its own created a rule that would require, for example, surgeons to amputate healthy organs as part of a gender “transition.”

It undermined statutory conscience protections for Christian doctors under the guise of preventing “discrimination” against women seeking an abortion. It created a minefield of potential conflicts between its regulation and multiple federal statutes.

On December 31, 2016, a federal judge enjoined enforcement of the Obama administration’s rule on the basis that it “contradict[ed] existing law” and “likely violate[d] the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

As of today this injunction is still in force. If anyone actually “weakened” Obama-era “protections for abortion and transgender care,” it was a federal judge interpreting federal statutes, not the “prominent evangelicals” at Trump’s HHS.

Oddly enough, you can read the entire Politico article and not find a single reference to this court opinion. Nor do you find any serious discussion of HHS’s statutory obligation to protect rights of conscience regarding abortion, sterilization, and assisted suicide. Instead, you’ll find a lengthy discussion of the religious beliefs and backgrounds of various Trump administration HHS officials. You’ll find critics’ claims that HHS is “blurring the lines between church and state.”

The Obama administration perfected this art, justifying a series of unilateral actions with the claim that it was “forced to act” because Congress was “broken.” Examples are legion. Congress didn’t pass the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, so the Obama administration re-interpreted existing federal nondiscrimination statutes to include prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Congress didn’t rewrite the nation’s drug laws, so the Obama administration issued a series of memoranda that dramatically slowed down enforcement of statutes prohibiting the cultivation, sale, and use of marijuana.

Congress didn’t alter the due-process rights of college students, so the Obama administration issued a “letter” that transformed the legal landscape on campuses from coast to coast.

Congress didn’t reform the nation’s immigration laws, so the Obama administration implemented DAPA and DACA, two programs that together potentially impacted millions of illegal immigrants. In fact, this weekend’s government shutdown was a result of Obama’s unlawful DACA program.

The Trump administration rightly terminated the program, which didn’t even pretend to go through Congress or any sort of rulemaking process. If Trump let such a flagrant violation of the Constitution stand, there would be no shutdown. It’s that simple.

According to the modern progressive political project, any branch of government can make law. Yes, Congress can pass statutes, but Congress is controlled by Republicans, so it’s “broken.”

If Congress doesn’t pass a statute, then the president can simply re-interpret existing laws or exercise “prosecutorial discretion” to create entirely new legal protections or government programs.

If a later GOP president attempts to restore actual statutory standards, then he’s — to borrow Politico’s phrase — “weakening federal protections” for favored identity groups. Then, of course, the courts exist as a backstop, even to the point of telling President Trump that one president’s memorandum binds the presidencies that follow — if, that is, the judge in his infinite wisdom believes that the next president is “arbitrary” or “capricious.”

The subversion of the fundamental constitutional structure of our government is an extraordinarily consequential matter — far more consequential than the fact that there are now a bunch of icky Christians in HHS who are — gasp — enforcing a series of federal statutes passed by both parties.

Read the rule proposed by Trump’s HHS. It is fundamentally and essentially a recitation of the department’s clear statutory mandate to protect rights of conscience.

Progressives who have a problem with these protections need to take their case to Congress, not slime Christians for enforcing the law.


California dreaming again

But not in a good way.  In CA everything is bad for you -- including both potatoes and coffee

A California state judge is poised to declare coffee cancerous in the coming months.

A law passed in the state in 1986 requires business and public places to post warning signs if anything on the premises is found to be potentially harmful.

Research findings on coffee range from fully in favor of its preventative effects to utterly opposed to it.

The lawsuit over the beverage has similarly split Californians, some of whom say the warning is part of the state’s health-conscious transparency, while others say the signs and labels are so ubiquitous that they have lost their meaning.

California passed proposition 65, the Safe Drinking water and Toxic Enforcement Act, in 1986 after forceful campaigning by citizens, including Jane Fonda.

Under the measure, the state has to publish and update (at least once a year) a list of chemicals that have been found to cause cancer, birth defects or to harm reproductive health.

In the last 30 years, that list has grown to a whopping 900 chemicals, including acrylamide.

Acrylamide is a byproduct of some foods when they are cooked by methods that require very high temperatures, such as frying, roasting or baking, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

Research has found particularly high levels of acrylamide in fried potato products, including French fries and potato chips.

The chemical also forms when coffee beans are roasted, leading the American Cancer Society to advise people to reduce their intakes of coffee, as well as grains and potato products.

Acrylamide contributed to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) classification of coffee as a carcinogen more than 25 years ago.

In 2016, however, the international agency eased up its warnings against the drink, instead advising that all ‘very hot’ drinks are carcinogenic.

Now, a court rather than a health organization is set to determine coffee's risks.

'The fact that a court is trying to establish causality between coffee and a disease is a tough thing to do,' says Dr Robert Shmerling, who has reviewed literature about coffee in his writing for Harvard University.

He says that some studies that have found cancer risks to coffee are later discredited.

'If you look at enough possibilities, you might find one even if there's not truth to it because of the way that statistics are set up...to find an 95 percent chance that something won't happen by chance,' Dr Shmerling says. 

In some studies on cancer and coffee 'this is that five percent,' chance of coincidence, he says

But that hasn’t stopped the Council for Education and Research on Toxins (CERT) from bringing its case against dozens of coffee companies, including Starbucks and Keurig, neither of which replied to requests for comment.

The group is represented by Long Beach attorney Raphael Metzger and gained national attention in 2011 for suing McDonald’s and Burger King over claims that their French fries have dangerous levels of the same chemical, acrylamide.

Acylamide turns into a compound that can damage and cause mutations in DNA, raising risks for cancers in animal studies, according to the National Cancer Institute.

However, ‘a large number of epidemiological studies…in humans have found no consistent evidence that dietary acrylamide exposure is associated with any type of cancer,’ the institute’s site says.

That hasn’t stopped warnings to become nearly ubiquitous in California, to the chagrin of some residents, like Twitter user Jake NotTapper, who said ‘everything is known to the State of CA to cause cancer: mattresses, coffee, chemo and other cancer drugs (yes, really).’

New standards for Proposition 65 warnings will come into effect in August and will require companies to attach labels specific to their particular products and whatever substance in them is linked to  cancer.

Coffee may be included, depending on the outcome of the current lawsuit, but everything from parking garages to raw wood will now have to come with explanation of their carcinogens.

It is unclear how effective these warnings are at communicating risks, let alone changing behavior.

In 2014, scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard University conducted a broad review of research on the effectiveness of disclosures on psychology, and concluded flatly that 'disclosure requirements appear to have been less effective in changing recipient behavior than their proponents seem to assume.'



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

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

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


25 January, 2018

The curious star appeal of Jordan Peterson

Why are young Brits flocking to hear a psychology professor talk about morality?

Last Sunday night a capacity crowd of mainly young people packed into the Emmanuel Centre in London. Those who couldn’t find a seat stood at the back of the hall. When the speaker entered, the entire hall rose to its feet. It was his second lecture that day, the fourth across three days of sold-out London events. For an hour and a half the audience listened to a rambling, quirky, but fascinating tour of evolutionary biology, myth, religion, psychology, dictators and Dostoyevsky. Occasionally a line would get its own burst of applause. One of the loudest came after the speaker’s appeal for the sanctity of marriage and child-rearing.

Yet this was not a Christian revivalist meeting. At least not explicitly or intendedly so. It was a lecture by a 55-year-old, grey-haired, dark-browed Canadian academic who until 18 months ago was little known outside his professional field of psychology. Today, for at least one generation, Professor Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto has become a mixture of philosopher, life-coach, educator and guru. He has the kind of passionate, youthful, pedagogical draw that the organised churches can only dream of. Anybody interested in our current culture wars, not to mention the ongoing place of religion, should head to YouTube, where his classes have been viewed by millions.

YouTube arguably made Peterson. That and an uncommon reluctance to genuflect before the hastily assembled dogmas of our time. In 2016 he made a stand against the Canadian government’s introduction of a law that aimed to make it a crime not to address people by their preferred gender pronouns (regardless of chromosomes). The issue of ‘gender pronouns’ may sound a strange springboard to international attention. But Peterson did something a decreasing number of people in our societies are willing to do: he stuck his head above the parapet. He politely but firmly objected to officials telling him or anyone else what words to use or to define for him what the meanings of words should be. There was an outcry. His classes were disrupted by often riotous protests. There were serious efforts to force him out of his university position. For a moment, it looked as though the social justice mounties might get their man. But for once it didn’t work. In fact it badly backfired. Not only did a lot more people discover a counter-cultural (or counter-counter-cultural) hero who was willing to say what almost everybody else thought. They also discovered someone with not only humanity and humour, but serious depth and substance.

Peterson was in London to promote his new book (his second) 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. This does what it says and then some, providing a practical life lesson in every chapter, each one explored through Peterson’s deep learning and insight. Chapters circle around rules such as ‘Stand up straight with your shoulders back’, ‘Make friends with people who want the best for you’ and ‘Be precise in your speech’.

Others are slightly more leftfield (‘Do not bother children when they are skateboarding’). But all get to truths which anyone with an eye to tradition will recognise: ‘Tell the truth — or, at least, don’t lie’; ‘Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)’. Although he roams across traditions and cultures, on subjects like this last one the foundations are clear.

And Peterson does not shy away from making them so. He sees the vacuum left not just by the withdrawal of the Christian tradition, but by the moral relativism and self-abnegation that have flooded across the West in its wake. Furthermore he recognises — from his experience as a practising psychologist and as a teacher — that people crave principles and certainties. He sees a generation being urged to waste their lives waving placards about imaginary problem, or problems far beyond their (or anyone’s control) and urges them instead to cut through the lies, recognise the tragic and uncomfortable position we are in as humans and consider afresh what we might actually achieve with our lives.

On Sunday he repeatedly referred back to biblical sources. Apologising that he had already given one structured talk that morning, he announced that he wanted to be more freewheeling. Criss-crossing the stage, holding his brow and engaging the audience like his own students, he asked why dragons appear as mythological beings in cultures across the planet and what the evolutionary reasons for that might be.

Going back to the time when we lived in trees and feared fire and snakes, he explored the psychological and mythical reasons why the snakiest of all snakes might have lodged itself in each culture as the representation of evil. And from there we went to Eden and the Gulag via the Judeo-Christian tradition’s discovery that even if we chase down every snake in the land we cannot fully destroy the one inside ourselves. Motes, beams and eyes were discussed in relation to his advice to a generation hooked on public displays of morality: ‘Set your house in perfect order before you criticise the world.’

The following night, in a talk that was live-streamed, he went back to a more structured — but still freewheeling — talk with frequent dashes of humour. He answered a young woman who complained that her friends didn’t listen when she spoke. He referred to the wisdom of the verse about ‘pearls before swine’. This was not in jest. It was a sincere recommendation that she should find friends who would value both her and her thoughts. Towards the end, this self-declared but far from didactic Christian mentioned in passing that ‘the central figure of western culture is Christ’. And in closing (after being asked which of his own rules he falls short of observing), he described how ‘until the entire world is redeemed, we all fall short’. Certainly, Peterson has found a huge audience by telling uncomfortable truths. But he also tells them what should be comfortable truths too.

Of course, on their own, such statements might be a turn-off to young people. But Peterson’s other qualities prevent that happening. The first is he is unafraid to investigate the highest realms of learning (including the latest discoveries in science and psychology) and to turn them to practical use. In doing so he recognises that people — particularly young people, and young men most of all — are badly in need of help.

From his teaching, speeches, writing and interviews, it is clear that Peterson has made one of the most unpopular but vital realisations of our time: that we are creating a generation of men who (especially if they don’t belong to any ‘minority’ group) are without hope, foundation or purpose. Everything in the culture insists that they are terrible: proto–rapists when they are not rapists; proto-racists when they are not racists; condemned for their ‘privilege’ even when they are failures and their every success dismissed as undeserved.

This is destined to produce societal resentment and disengagement on a generational scale. Female politicians, among others, scoff, and most men run scared or duck. Peterson is one of the very few to take this problem seriously and to help young people to navigate towards lives of meaning and purpose. On Sunday night, one young woman asked what advice Peterson would give to a student like her. He told her to ignore those professors who aimed to wither the souls of their students. Instead he urged her to use her student years to cultivate the greatest possible friendships. Many of these friendships would be with people who — as Peterson put it — were dead; people whose feet the deconstructionists and resentment-cultivators of modern academia were not worthy of touching.

This is another part of Peterson’s appeal. While he grounds his deep learning un-abashedly within the western tradition, he also shows vast respect towards (and frequently cites ideas from) innumerable other traditions. He has a truly cosmopolitan and omnivorous intellect, but one that recognises that things need grounding in a home if they are ever going to be meaningfully grasped.

Finally, as well as being funny, there is a burning sincerity to the man which only the most withered cynic could suspect. At several points on Sunday evening his voice wavered. At one point, overwhelmed by the response of the audience and its ecstatic reaction to him and his wife (who was in the audience) he broke into tears. It is an education in itself to see a grown man show such unaffected emotion in public. Certainly, he demonstrated to a young audience trying to order their own lives that an emotional person need not be a wreck and that a man with a heart can also have a spine.

‘What was that?’ asked an old friend I bumped into on the way out. Hundreds of young people were still queueing to get books signed. Others stood around buzzing with the thrill of what we had heard. I still don’t have an answer. But it was wonderful.


Politically correct comics fail to sell

Retailers have been complaining to Marvel all year long about awful sell-throughs for the sociopolitically-charged (and basically full-Left leaning) comic books that have done little more than turn fans away from their favorite hobby. Well, reports have surfaced indicating that some of Marvel’s most notorious SJW comic books are getting canceled heading into the new year.

The website i09 is speculating that among the cancelled SJW comic books is America Chavez, a comic book about a strong, independent, inter-dimensional, lesbian Latina who doesn’t need a man.

The comic book has been derided all across comic book fandom by actual comic book readers, but Chavez has been put front and center in the comic book and social marketing space by Marvel’s comic book heads.

The speculation from i09 derives from a March solicitation posting for Marvel’s upcoming 2018 slate that was published on December 19th, 2017 by Bleeding Cool. Several Social Justice Warrior-themed comic books were missing from the line-up, including America Chavez.

What has been confirmed is that Gwenpool is one of the comic books coming to an end, with editor Heather Antos confirming the news via a tweet.

This spawned some anger and resentment toward Marvel from some of the handful of people who bought the comic.

Gwenpool wasn’t alone, however. The re-imagined homosexual version of the Iceman comic book is also getting the axe.

The report includes a tweet from writer Sina Grace, who also confirmed that Marvel has put the gay rendition of Iceman’s comic book run under the guillotine. You can read the note from Grace toward the fans about the cancellation below.

If you’re unable to view the tweet, it states…  “Yup. Iceman is coming to a close. I am supremely bummed out, but was given plenty of notice (& even a Hail Mary or two). Everyone [at] Marvel has been super supportive, but at the end of the day, solo x-titles are a hard sell for retailers…

    “There’s part of me that wants to suggest fans do a change.org campaign, or rally by hella ordering the 1st collected edition, but I’ve had the ride of my life, and the ending planned feels so good (I’ve known it since issue one). This isn’t my end [at] Marvel, so maybe we accept, and learn to fight passionately about the things we love? I just don’t want you to feel cynical – apathy will ruin everything.

    “All my love to folks who read the book. You dudes, dudettes & all in between are so, so, so, so, so, so rad. I gave the book everything, and I don’t regret anything.”

According to ComicChron, Iceman sold 15,743 copies in July. It sold 14,056 copies in August. It sold 13,267 copies in September. It sold a surprising 34,200 in October. But then it dropped all the way down to 12,677 in November.

The sales were dwindling quite quickly even over a short four month period.

According to The Comic Kid, he believes that the new Marvel editor-in-chief, CB Cebulski, is purging the poor-selling SJW comic books out of Marvel’s line-up heading into the new year.

Now it hasn’t been confirmed yet that America Chavez is completely finished, but comic book fans are cheering and weeping in happiness about the news, hoping that Marvel will go back to making compelling and well-written stories that don’t read like Tumblr fan-fiction.

Marvel, however, has not given up on Chavez.  Despite the lack of confirmation regarding the comic book run coming to a close, the company did recently tweet out that the lesbian-Latina will be making her debut in Marvel Puzzle Quest, possibly as a means of compensation for the comic book series potentially coming to an end.

Once again, fans of the game (and comics) were not pleased with Chavez making an appearance in Marvel Puzzle Quest.

The comics starring Chavez have actually sold even worse than the homosexual run of Iceman, with her latest solo outing only moving 8,360 units in November, which had dropped by nearly a thousand readers from back in September.

Essentially, it’s quite obvious that the executives at Marvel’s comic arm are finally pulling the long overdue trigger on executing the runs on some of the poor-selling SJW comic books. However, there’s still the issue of their animation department dedicated to embracing their SJW-oriented characters with Marvel Rising, which is due out in 2018.

[Update 12-27-2017:] It’s been confirmed that She-Hulk has also been cancelled, joining Luke Cage, Ice-Man, Gwenpool and various others. The news was confirmed by writer Mariko Tamaki, who penned a letter to fans via Twitter acknowledging the cancellation, which ends with issue #163, according to NewsRama.


Invoking Scripture, Pence Wins Israeli Hearts With ‘Consummately Zionist Speech’ in Jerusalem

Israeli leaders hailed Vice President Mike Pence’s address in Jerusalem Monday as historic – in the words on one cabinet minister, the most important and most pro-Zionist speech ever delivered to Israel’s Knesset by a foreign leader.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat fumed, describing Pence’s words as a “messianic discourse” which underlined once again that the United States is “part of the problem rather than the solution” to the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians.

In a sometimes emotional speech Pence, an evangelical Christian, frequently cited biblical passages – including key prophecies pointing to Israel’s modern-day restoration – as he spoke about the Jewish people’s ancient and God-given heritage in the land of Israel.

The approach was in stark contrast to recent remarks by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who declared during a PLO central council meeting this month that “Israel is a colonial project that has nothing to do with the Jews.”

The Palestinians and their Arab allies have repeatedly promoted resolutions at the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO disputing or downplaying Jewish historic links to Israel, especially in Hebron and Jerusalem.

Addressing the Knesset, Pence quoted Old Testament prophecy referenced by biblical Zionists who believe God restored the scattered Jews back to their ancient land with the declaration of the state of Israel 70 years ago.

“The Jewish people held fast to a promise through all the ages, written so long ago, that ‘even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens,’ from there He would gather and bring you back to the land which your fathers possessed,” he said (Deut. 30:4).

“Through a 2,000-year exile, the longest of any people, anywhere, through conquests and expulsions, inquisitions and pogroms, the Jewish people held on to this promise, and they held on to it through the longest and darkest of nights.”

Alluding to Isaiah 66:8, Pence told the lawmakers, “this April, we will mark the day when the Jewish people answered that ancient question — can a country be born in a day, can a nation be born in a moment? — as the State of Israel celebrates the 70th anniversary of its birth.”

“How unlikely was Israel’s birth; how more unlikely has been her survival. And how confounding, and against the odds, has been her thriving,” Pence said.

“You have turned the desert into a garden (Isaiah 51:3), scarcity into plenty, sickness into health, and you turned hope into a future,” he continued.

“Israel is like a tree that has grown deep roots in the soil of your forefathers, yet as it grows, it reaches ever closer to the heavens. And today and every day, the Jewish State of Israel, and all the Jewish people, bear witness to God’s faithfulness, as well as your own.”

“And so we will ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem,’ that ‘those who love you be secure,’ that ‘there be peace within your walls, and security in your citadels,’” Pence told the lawmakers, citing Psalm 122: 6-7.

“And we will work and strive for that brighter future where everyone who calls this ancient land their home shall sit ‘under their vine and fig tree, and none shall make them afraid’” (Micah 4:4).

Pence used the speech to reaffirm that President Trump will move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem by the end of next year, and to underline Trump’s determination to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, noting his pledge to withdraw from the nuclear deal unless it is “fixed” by the U.S. Congress and European allies.

Israeli politicians effusively praised the address, with Science Minister Ofir Akunis in a video statement linked to his Facebook page calling it “the greatest and most important Zionist speech ever delivered by a foreign leader at the Knesset plenum.”

Akunis also said the speech marked “the zenith of U.S.-Israeli relations since 1948.” (Similarly, Pence told the Knesset that Trump “has done more to bring our two great countries closer together than any president in the past 70 years.”)

In a Twitter post, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked described Pence’s speech as “one-of-a-kind” and “historic,” and thanked the vice-president for what she called “a consummately Zionist speech, a moral speech of the first order."

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely called the speech “inspirational.”  “Israel values the everlasting friendship with the U.S. and your commitment to our shared values of freedom and democracy,” she tweeted.

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said on Twitter Pence’s address showed that he “loves us with all of his heart – not as a politician, but from a deep faith and understanding of the role and mission of the Jewish state.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, hosting Pence at a dinner later Monday, called the speech “magnificent.”

“You saw people standing up again and again, applauding you, applauding the principles that guide your policy, applauding the genuine friendship that emanates from your heart,” he told the vice-president.

“It was a powerful expression of the enduring bond between our two countries and of your personal commitment to Israel, the commitment of President Trump and your entire delegation.”


4 in 5 Americans Want Less Immigration

Almost as many back skills-based over family-based immigration system

Eighty-one percent of Americans want one million or fewer legal immigrants to the United States per year, according to new polling data released Monday by the Harvard-Harris poll, a number lower than the 1.38 million who came to the United States in 2015.

The plurality of respondents, 35 percent, think that there should be between 1 and 250,000 legal immigrants arriving to the United States per year. A net 12 percent want to see immigration increased to 1.5 million people per year or more, while nine percent of Americans think that there should be no new legal immigrants.

Plurality preference for between 1 and 250,000 new immigrants a year persists across white, Hispanic, and black Americans, as well as moderates and self-identified Democrats. Such a rate of immigration would be lower even than the rate expected from the RAISE Act, a bill backed by the administration and expected to cut immigration in half in ten years.

These results are part of a broader pattern among a public that, according to the poll, is critical of President Donald Trump's performance on immigration policy but broadly sympathetic to the White House's agenda in that domain.

Forty-four percent of respondents approve of the job President Trump is doing on immigration, as compared to 56 percent disapproving. The largest group within that set were strong disapprovers, at 42 percent. Disapproval was especially concentrated among millennials, African-Americans, and self-identified Democrats.

But while those numbers are less than ideal for the president, the public seems to generally be on board with a more restrictive, merit-based immigration system. Americans prefer a system of prioritizing would-be legal immigrants based on their ability to contribute, based on their education and skills, over one based on immigrants having relatives in the United States, 79 to 21 percent. That includes a majority of white (79 percent), Hispanic (72 percent), and black (85 percent) citizens, as well as majorities of Democrats (72 percent), liberals (65 percent),  and Clinton voters (72 percent).

Additionally, Americans support doing away with the so-called diversity visa lottery 68 to 32 percent. The lottery, with its 50,000 visas allocated to nations otherwise underrepresented in the mix of immigrants arriving in the United States, has been a frequent target of criticism by Trump and congressional Republicans.

Respondents also backed tougher border security: 61 percent say that current security is inadequate, and 54 percent support a "combination of physical and electronic barriers" along the southern border.

Americans generally are sympathetic to the plight of recipients of DACA, the Obama-era program which protected illegal immigrants who arrived to the United States as children from deportation and which drove the federal government to a halt over the weekend. Seventy-eight percent of respondents believe that children brought in illegally, even those now in their 20s and 30s, should be given work permits; a similar number believe those individuals should be given a path to citizenship.

Respondents did not, however, believe that parents and relatives of DACA recipients should be given preference for immigrating, opposing that measure 60 percent to 40. They also opposed Democrats shutting down the government over DACA, with 58 percent opposing and 42 percent supporting.

All of this adds up to an immigration deal about which the poll explicitly asked if respondents would back "a congressional deal that gives undocumented immigrants brought here by their parents work permits and a path to citizenship in exchange for increasing merit preference over preference for relatives, eliminating the diversity visa lottery, and funding barrier security on the U.S.-Mexico border." Sixty-five percent to 35 percent, respondents said they would, including 68 percent of Hispanics, 64 percent of Democrats, and 63 percent of liberals.

After the three-day shutdown, the Senate voted on Monday afternoon to move forward on three weeks of funding for the government, with general agreement that any long-term budget solution would include addressing the fate of DACA recipients and the administration's immigration priorities. It is unclear what any final deal will look like, or how—if at all—it will reflect Americans' opinions on the topic.

This entry was posted in Issues and tagged Immigration, Immigration Reform. Bookmark the permalink.



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

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

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


24 January, 2018

Ireland: Catholic counsellors must accept gay couples

I think the church should welcome this opportunity with open arms.  The counselling they offer would of course be Catholic counselling, telling homosexuals that homosexuality is an abomination to God and unless they sincerely repent and cease the sinful behavior they will be judged by God in the hour of their death and be consigned to everlasting hellfire.

And whatever problems they have would be solved by prayer and by marrying a good Catholic woman with a wonderful Irish name like Concepta Finnigan and then having at least 8 children in the traditional Irish Catholic manner.  And your present problems will feel like nothing compared to the problems you will find then.

And the session could be ended by telling the sinner that he should say the rosary every day at lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, vespers and compline.  That would be very powerful counselling indeed and would certainly give the homosexual a way ahead.

Catholic marriage counselling agencies could face closure unless they agree to stop “discriminating” against LGBT couples, The Times can reveal.

The government is threatening to withdraw millions of euros of public funding unless the counselling services agree to change their longstanding policy of excluding same-sex couples from their services on religious grounds. It means that groups such as Accord could be facing closure having already had their funding cut by more than 40 per cent three years ago.

At the moment, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs is paying at least €1.6 million to religious counselling groups that have policies of refusing homosexual couples for marriage or relationship counselling


Stop Feministsplaining Sex to Men

Ben Shapiro
There’s a word that has become popular in feminist circles these days: “mansplaining.” The word is a mashup of “man” and “explaining” and refers to men who condescendingly explain the facts of life to women. So, for example, if a man believes a woman doesn’t understand directions and slowly repeats those directions to a woman, he’s mansplaining and, therefore, guilty of cruelty and stupidity.

Well, feminists, it’s time to stop “feministsplaining” sex to men.

The #MeToo movement has been good for America. It’s good that women who have been sexually assaulted and abused are coming forward; it’s good that we’re finally having conversations about the nature of consent and the problems with a casual hookup culture that obfuscates sexual responsibility. But the #MeToo movement hasn’t stopped there. Men are now being pilloried for the sin of taking women too literally — of not reading women’s minds.

Take, for example, “Grace,” an anonymous woman who went on a rotten date with comedian Aziz Ansari. According to Grace, Ansari treated her abominably: He took her to dinner, gave her white wine instead of red, pushed her to come to his apartment and then engaged in a vigorous round of sexual activities to which she apparently consented. She eventually said no — and when she did, he stopped. Later, she suggested that Ansari hadn’t obeyed her “non-verbal cues” — nonverbal cues that reportedly included undressing and then voluntarily servicing Ansari.

In the aftermath, Grace felt used. So she texted Ansari, explaining to him that she felt terrible about the date. “I want to make sure you’re aware so maybe the next girl doesn’t have to cry on the ride home,” she said.

This is feministsplaining sex. Here’s the problem: The condescension isn’t earned. From Grace’s story, it seems she was less than clear in her nonverbal communications but she wanted Ansari to read her mind — and that when he didn’t, she therefore had leeway to lecture him about his sins and, more broadly, those of all men.

It’s not just Grace. Rachel Thompson of Mashable explained: “The responses to the woman’s story are peppered with the word ‘should.’ She should have said no … For many women, uttering an explicit ‘no’ is not as easy or straightforward as you might think.” Well, as it turns out, reading minds is not quite as easy or straightforward as feminists might think. It was feminists who boiled down sexual relations to the issue of consent. Traditionalists always argued that physical intimacy and emotional intimacy ought to be linked. But they were accused of removing female agency with such linkage and condemned for “mansplaining.”

How about this: no feministsplaining and no mansplaining when it comes to sex? How about we instead focus on communication between men and women? How about sexual partners demand more from one another than physical release so they aren’t disappointed that they’re being treated as sex objects? A system prizing love and commitment doesn’t require nearly the amount of explanation as a system that dispenses with both.


Facebook admits social media can HARM democracy

Execs say the site was 'far too slow' in spotting 'abuse' since the US election as fake news and foreign interference 'corrode' the democratic process

Facebook has finally admitted that the social media platform may be detrimental to democracy.

In a series of blog posts today, Facebook execs said the site was ‘far too slow’ in identifying negative influences that rose with the 2016 US election, citing Russian interference, 'toxic discourse,' and the ‘dangerous consequences’ of fake news.

Now, Facebook says it is ‘making up for lost time’ in fighting forces that threaten to 'corrode' democracy. 

The firm is set to roll out major changes to the News Feed, with plans to prioritize content from friends and family, and make posts from business, brands, and media less prominent – and, ensure the 'news people see, while less overall, is high quality.'

In three blog posts, Facebook warned today that it could offer no assurance that social media was on balance good for democracy.

While social media previously ‘seemed like a positive,’ Facebook’s Global Politics and Government Outreach Director Katie Harbath says ‘the last US presidential campaign changed that.’ 

'Facebook should have been quicker to identify to the rise of “fake news” and echo chambers,' Harbath wrote, acknowledging the influence of foreign interference.

According to the company, Russian agents created 80,000 posts during the 2016 US election, which reached around 126 million people over two years.

The firm said it was trying what it could to stop alleged meddling in elections by Russia or anyone else.

But, according to Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook Product Manager, Civic Engagement, 'we at Facebook were far too slow to recognize how bad actors were abusing our platform.'

The acknowledgement takes the company another step further from CEO Mark Zuckerberg's comments in 2016 that it was 'crazy' to say Facebook influenced the US election.

Up until now, Facebook has prioritized material that its algorithms think people will engage with through comments, 'likes' or other ways of showing interest.

But 33-year-old founder Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to change the focus to help users have 'more meaningful social interactions.'

The move follows his resolution in 2018 to 'fix' the site. It is also in response to criticism that Facebook and its social media competitors reinforce users' views on social and political issues. Critics also say sites like Facebook lead to addictive viewing habits.

Zuckerberg cited research that suggests reading 'passively' on social media was damaging for people's mental health, while interacting proactively with friends was positive.

According to Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s New Feed boss, in practice the change mean

    Posts from friends and family will get more prominence that video, news, and other content from formal Facebook pages, such as companies and celebrities

    The number of comments on a post will count more than the number of Likes 

    Posts where people have spend the time to write lengthy comments will be prioritized over those with only short comments

    While, news and video will still appear in News Feed, the number of friends sharing it will matter more than its overall popularity

The shift could mean that the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement would go down in the short term.

However, Zuckerberg said it would be better for users and for the business over the long term.

The sharing of false or misleading headlines on social media has become a global issue, after accusations that Russia tried to influence votes in the United States, Britain and France. Moscow denies the allegations. 

But, Facebook's problem goes even beyond Russia, the execs say.

'Without transparency, it can be hard to hold politicians accountable for their own words,' Chakrabarti wrote.

'Micro-targeting can enable dishonest campaigns to spread toxic discourse without much consequence. Democracy then suffers because we don’t get the full picture of what our leaders are promising us.

'This is an even more pernicious problem than foreign interference. But we hope that by setting a new bar for transparency, we can tackle both of these challenges simultaneously.'

Facebook says ads that ran on the company's social media platform and have been linked to a Russian internet agency were seen by an estimated 10 million people before and after the 2016 US presidential election.

The company turned 3,000 ads over to three congressional committees in October 2017 as part of their investigations into Russian influence in the 2016 election.

In a company blog post, Facebook's Elliot Schrage said the ads appeared to focus on divisive social and political messages, including LGBT issues, immigration and gun rights.

In many cases, the ads encouraged people to follow pages on those issues.

Facebook said last month that the ads appear to have come from accounts associated with a Russian entity called the Internet Research Agency.

Fewer than half of the ads - which ran between 2015 and 2017 - were seen before the election, with 56 percent of them seen after the election.

Facebook, the largest social network with more than 2 billion users, addressed social media's role in democracy in blog posts from a Harvard University professor, Cass Sunstein, and from an employee working on the subject.  

'If there’s one fundamental truth about social media’s impact on democracy it’s that it amplifies human intent — both good and bad,' Chakrabarti wrote in his post.

'At its best, it allows us to express ourselves and take action. At its worst, it allows people to spread misinformation and corrode democracy.

'I wish I could guarantee that the positives are destined to outweigh the negatives, but I can’t.'

Facebook, he added, has a 'moral duty to understand how these technologies are being used and what can be done to make communities like Facebook as representative, civil and trustworthy as possible.'

Contrite Facebook executives were already fanning out across Europe this week to address the company's slow response to abuses on its platform, such as hate speech and foreign influence campaigns.

US lawmakers have held hearings on the role of social media in elections, and this month Facebook widened an investigation into the run-up to Britain's 2016 referendum on EU membership.

Chakrabarti expressed Facebook's regrets about the 2016 US elections, when according to the company Russian agents created 80,000 posts that reached around 126 million people over two years.

The company should have done better, he wrote, and he said Facebook was making up for lost time by disabling suspect accounts, making election ads visible beyond the targeted audience and requiring those running election ads to confirm their identities.

Twitter and Alphabet's Google and YouTube have announced similar attempts at self-regulation.

Chakrabarti said Facebook had helped democracy in ways, such as getting more Americans to register to vote.

Sunstein, a law professor and Facebook consultant who also worked in the administration of former US President Barack Obama, said in a blog post that social media was a work in progress and that companies would need to experiment with changes to improve.

Another test of social media's role in elections lies ahead in March, when Italy votes in a national election already marked by claims of fake news spreading on Facebook.


Australia’s inequality crisis: Oxfam paper

Who said it is a crisis?  The world's most favoured nations where living standards are at their highest all have substantial inequality.  You ALWAYS have inequality.  Even the old Soviet Union had its nomenklatura.  You lift people up by working to increase economic efficiency, not by red-eyed envy of others. 

What we read below is just one big paroxysm of hate for those who have done well.  In the usual Leftist way, it is totally one sided, with no mention of the vast amount of tax that rich people pay or their many philanthropic activities.  Mentioning that would undermine the hate. 

Nor is there any mention of how people got rich -- usually by providing a new service or an improvement to existing services.  The fact that very rich people keep emerging in Australia simply shows that Australia is a land of opportunity with few barriers to improved economic activity for those who have realistic business ideas and the energy to implement them

Oxfam seems to put out "reports" such as the one below annually.  There was a very similar one at the beginning of last year.

The head of Oxfam in Australia is Helen Szoke, whose surname seems to have been taken from her Czechoslovakian adoptive parents. She had a rather distressed childhood, which probably had some role in making her a lifelong far-Leftist. You will, for instance, not see her telling anybody that 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.  Leftists don't want to know about all that. They feed on grievance

She is a former head of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. Her determinations there always seemed perverse, although carefully put. 

A record number of Australian billionaires amassed an astonishing $38 billion increase in their wealth last financial year – enough money to pay for more than half of Federal public health spending, an Oxfam Australia briefing paper has revealed.

The briefing paper, Growing Gulf Between Work and Wealth, shows the number of Australian billionaires increased by eight to 33 last year – and has more than doubled over the past 10 years – while workers’ wages have stagnated.

Released as the world’s political and business leaders gather this week in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum, the Oxfam analysis shows inequality in Australia is higher than at any time over the past two decades. The share of wealth held by the richest one per cent continues to rise, while wage growth for ordinary workers has slowed to record lows – barely keeping up with the cost of living.

“Oxfam is committed to tackling poverty and inequality – but a broken economic system that is concentrating more wealth in the hands of the rich and powerful, while ordinary people struggle to scrape by, is fuelling an inequality crisis,” Dr Szoke said.

“Over the decade since the Global Financial Crisis, the wealth of Australian billionaires has increased by almost 140 per cent to a total of $115.4 billion last year. Yet over the same time, the average wages of ordinary Australians have increased by just 36 per cent and average household wealth grew by 12 per cent.

“The richest one per cent of Australians continue to own more wealth than the bottom 70 per cent of Australians combined. While everyday Australians are struggling more and more to get by, the wealthiest groups have grown richer and richer.”

The Oxfam paper also highlights that the system is broken for workers in Australian global supply chains – trapping people in poverty, no matter how hard they work.

“This economic injustice is nowhere more apparent than in the clothing industry, where the people – mainly women – making clothes for household Australian brands are often paid poverty wages,” Dr Szoke said.

“A handful of the highest paid chief executives in the Australian clothing retail sector earn, on average, about $6 million a year. At the same time, many women working in Bangladesh to make the clothes sold by these brands take home a minimum wage of AUD $974 a year.

“Garment workers earning this minimum wage in Bangladesh – which falls far short of a living wage to cover the basics – would have to work more than 10,000 years to make the same amount that one of the highest paid Australian fashion retail CEOs made in 2017.”

Dr Szoke said to tackle the top end of this inequality crisis, the Federal Government must end cuts to corporate taxes and introduce tougher tax transparency laws that require companies to publicly report on income, profits and taxes for every country in which they operate.

To address the other extreme of the economic divide, Dr Szoke said Australian companies should commit to ensuring at least a living wage to workers in their supply chains – and to publishing a step-by-step strategy outlining how this would be achieved.

“Hard work is no longer a guarantee for a better life – the system is clearly not working for a majority of people,” Dr Szoke said. “The Federal Government and Australian companies cannot ignore this inequality crisis and must act to curtail the widening gulf between the super-rich and ordinary workers.”

Media release received via email


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

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

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


23 January, 2018

Nicola loses it on immigration

A very strange Nationalist leader -- advocating the opposite of what most Scots want

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced the government is working to change the narrative around migration to persuade Scots that the nation needs huge numbers of people from abroad.

Speaking at the launch of a Scottish government paper which argues for continuing open borders with Europe after Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU), the SNP leader claimed a population that is ever-expanding as a result of mass migration is “essential to our economic prosperity”.

The “stark reality” of an “ageing society”, Sturgeon argued, means she has “a duty to make the case for free movement no matter how difficult that is sometimes perceived to be”.

The First Minister’s plea for Scotland to remain in the Single Market and to have more liberal immigration controls than its southern neighbour, England, comes only a short time after research showed the majority of Scots would reject bespoke border controls after Brexit.

A detailed study published by the National Centre for Social Research last week found the majority of Scots surveyed are keen to leave the Single Market and have tighter restrictions on migrants post-Brexit, with two-thirds asserting the desire for Scotland to have the same immigration controls as the wider UK.

“Growing our population, and particularly our working age population, is perhaps the greatest national challenge that we face,” she announced.

“Over the past 15 years, EU migration has helped to turn around the long term decline in Scotland’s population and mitigate the impact of an ageing society. Over the next 25 years, our own projected birth rate will not be sufficient to grow our population.”

But analysis of previous suggestions that Scotland’s population must increase its economy to prosper has shown such claims to be false, with Migration Watch UK last year noting that “immigration as a solution to a pensions problem has been dismissed by all serious studies”, pointing out among other factors that “immigrants too will grow old and draw pensions”.

The migration policy watchdog said: “An ageing population is inevitable in Western societies where birth rates are low and health care is extending lives. However, this also means that it is possible to work for longer. Raising the retirement age is one of the most effective means of decreasing the dependency ratio.”

While Sturgeon warned Scots that their public services are at stake should the population not rise, migration-driven GDP growth has been described as a “Ponzi scheme” which lines bosses’ pockets at the expense of the environment and taxpayers’ quality of life.

The “underlying strategy” behind the pursuance of such policies is “to privatise the profits and socialise the costs incurred from increased population growth,” wrote Dr. Joseph Chamie, director of research at the Centre for Migration Studies.

Pointing out that while mass immigration results in increasing demand, consumption, borrowing, and profits, the former UN Population Division director said it leaves the general public left to pick up the tab for mounting costs for education, healthcare, housing, and crime.


German city BANS any more refugees as violence by asylum seekers and right-wing extremists escalates

New refugees are being turned away from a city in Germany, amid fears over rising violence between migrants and right-wing extremists.

Officials in Cottbus, which lies 120km southeast of Berlin, issued the temporary ban after two male Syrian teenagers were arrested on suspicion of injuring a German teenager in the face with a knife.

Just days earlier, a 15-year-old Syrian asylum seeker and his father were ordered to leave the city, after he was allegedly involved in an assault, alongside two other Syrian youths aged 14 and 17.

A 51-year-old man and his wife were said to have been attacked outside a shopping centre.

Meanwhile, Cottbus, which has hosted around 3,000 migrants since 2015, is home to 145 right-wing extremists.

Last weekend, around 100 masked neo-Nazis took part in an illegal demonstration through the city centre. 

According to Brandenburg’s state interior minister Karl-Heinz Schroeter, the ban on new refugees would be in effect 'for the next few months'.

Other measures in effect include increased CCTV surveillance and increased numbers of police officers.

The ban comes just weeks after a study in Germany revealed the recent influx of mostly young, male migrants had led to an increase in violent crime.

The study, by criminologist Christian Pfeiffer and funded by the German government, uses figures from the northern state of Lower Saxony to examine the impact of refugee arrivals on crime in 2015 and 2016.

It attributes a 10.4 percent rise in violent crimes in the state during those two years almost exclusively to refugees.

But it also found that migrants are most likely to be the victims of crime committed by migrants. In 90 per cent of homicide cases where a migrant was the suspect, the victim was also a foreigner.

His team found that living conditions in detention centres, where dozens of young men of different ethnicities and religions are held together in cramped conditions, contributed to the problem.

Cottbus is not however the first city to impose a migrant ban.  It follows Salzgitter, Delmenhorst and Wilhelmshaven in the northern state of Lower Saxony, which last year cited a lack of resources to properly handle the numbers arriving.


Alt-Left Insanity: U.S. Soldiers Are ‘Storm-Troopers Of An Evil Empire’

America is an evil empire. It’s troops are “fascists in uniform,” with every one of them a “war criminal.” That bit of anti-American propaganda comes via the Antifa site ItsGoingDown – the alt-left folks who can’t afford an apostrophe.

I had thought the Antifa scum had calmed down after news reports that government was treating them like domestic terrorists. Or, if nothing else, I figured they had gone to ground or under it. This is the first truly demented piece I’ve seen on IGD in some time.

Headlined: “On Yellow Ribbons and Counter-Insurgency: From a Veteran,” it purports to tell a veteran’s view of why America is evil. Certainly, we’ve seen anti-American veterans before. Remember when John Kerry claimed to have tossed his medals?

But this is different, and far-more disturbing. It paints a dark and hateful picture of our military “as we enter the 242nd year of American empire.” (Yeah, I’m sure those colonists were really empire building.) “Other than the constant turmoil, destruction, and evil that has accompanied American conquest, another constant has remained. That constant is the American soldier,” the article continues. (The image here is from American heroes in Afghanistan and a popular video called: “US Marines Real Combat in Afghanistan.”)

The author slams our military. “You are simply the tools of capitalism. The destroyers of lives. The storm-troopers of an evil empire.” Yes, “storm-troopers” drawn from either Nazi Germany or the Star Wars’ empire.

He then continued to attack not just the military but the rest of us. “We wave flags, host BBQs, and come just shy of licking the combat boots used to snuff the life out of poor brown folks around the world. I am a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. A former noncommissioned officer of the US military, and I am as much a war criminal as any imperialist foot soldier in history.”

Up to this, it’s his opinion and he is entitled to it under our system, though he thinks our military, “the embodiment of capitalist greed.”

Then he gets to the last, and it’s a call for “open rebellion.” “To combat this in any form we must resist. Go AWOL. Don’t show up to formation. Quit going to drill. Spit in Trump’s eye. Throw your medals back, burn your flags, and you bury your commendations. We must resist, and in this resistance, we must recognize our role. It’s not to save. It’s not to lead. It should be to lift up. It should be to impart knowledge, to whistle-blow and teach skills to those targeted by counter-insurgency. Join those fighting in the streets in open rebellion. Lend your knowledge to those confronting fascists in uniform or fascists in khakis. We have million dollar skills, and we must give them up. Not to Tiger Swan, not to Blackwater, or the local PD, but to those struggling for liberation across the board.”

You probably noticed this was a call to “resist” Trump. This is the alt-left, not just a bunch of dirt-bag college students interrupting a speaker. They want violence and are pretty open about it.


Morality Based on Consent Isn't Morality at All

The #MeToo story about Aziz Ansari sheds light on the real roots of America's sexual crisis.

What defines morality? Are there objective standards, or is it merely subjective whim and the passion of the moment? The answers to these basic questions form the root of modern thinking about sex, and they also reveal why morality based solely on consent isn’t morality at all.

The #MeToo movement of women (and a few men) telling stories of how they’ve been sexually mistreated — in all its various iterations — has gripped the nation over the last several months. Perhaps something good will come of it. Yet there are two major problems with the movement, too. First, innocent men can be ruined by false accusations. This has happened in colleges around the country, as we’ve documented before, and now it’s happening to other men in all sorts of stations. Second, and far more important, #MeToo is revealing the pathetic limitations of our culture’s low bar for morality.

Americans of a certain age fell in love with a sitcom called “Friends,” in which a bunch of foolish but affable 20-somethings made 10 seasons of episodes derived almost entirely from jokes about sex. It’s but one example of countless shows and movies produced by the very same Hollywood that is now dealing with the proverbial sexual skeletons in its own closet. Hollywood endeavored to validate the idea of “free love” first born in the 1960s but instead revealed how bankrupt American morality had become.

Fast forward 25 years and #MeToo is, at least in part, the direct result of a culture that taught young men that sexual trysts were normal and their due.

That brings us to Aziz Ansari, an actor/comedian who just won a Golden Globe earlier this month for best actor in his Netflix series, “Master Of None.” At those Golden Globes, he happily participated in the self-righteous ritual of Hollywood celebrities announcing “Time’s Up” on sexual assault. And yet his time was up just days later.

A woman going by the pseudonym “Grace” recounted her story of alleged assault at Ansari’s hands last fall. We’ll avoid the lurid details, which you can read at your own risk. Aside from the obvious fact that his behavior (and that of any man who behaves likewise) is absolutely wrong, one can also see why a morality based on consent would leave him thinking he did nothing wrong, and why Grace’s tale is in some ways merely one of an unpleasant date. At a minimum, the woman sent mixed signals — participating in some sexual activity with him before withdrawing and then participating again — only to later claim she wrestled with her own emotions the entire time. He did eventually stop when it became clear she wanted him to. So part of Ansari’s crime was his inability to read minds.

“It was fun meeting you last night,” he texted the next day. Not for her it wasn’t, which she then let him know in no uncertain terms in a reply text.

The result of her publicly telling her story? Lectures to men to tune in to women’s signals, and a rehearsal of the meaning of consent. And admonishment to women to more fully take charge of such situations and emphatically say no instead of giving what Grace said were partially “non-verbal cues” of her discomfort.

Such lessons are woefully inadequate. Much like being drunk — and this and many of these sorts of encounters already involve ample amounts of alcohol — the euphoria experienced by the human body during sexual encounters is really tough to rein in, especially for men.

That’s why objective morality is critical, so we can avoid lamentable encounters altogether. One is hardly equipped to give consent that won’t later be regretted or revoked when one is passionately caught up in inebriated physical intimacy with no moral compass for guidance.

Moreover, sex isn’t only physical. As David French correctly argues, “As much as some sexual revolutionaries try to drain the spiritual and emotional meaning from sex, it is still the most intimate form of human contact, and it leaves marks on a person’s very soul.” That’s why the “casual sex” Hollywood portrays is a horrible lie, and why Aziz and Grace failed so miserably to communicate.

Erick Erickson adds a simple truth, writing, “The Christian sexual ethic is much ridiculed and maligned in this day and age, but it perhaps speaks more loudly and clearly than ever before. Date, get to know each other, learn to read each other’s emotions and thinking, get married, then have sex. At the very least, stop with the hookups and the one night stands.”

French observes, “But to ask some people to refrain from seeking sex whenever they want it is like asking ancient pagans to melt their golden idols. The pursuit of sex is a central focus of their lives, and the liberation from sexual morality is for them a central achievement of modern ethics. Even as the collateral damage mounts, they insist that just this or that tiny tweak to their fundamentally libertine hedonism will protect people from shame, guilt, and rage while still preserving absolute sexual freedom. It won’t work. It can’t work. Human beings were not created to live like that. Morality based on consent alone has always been doomed to fail.”

As long as consent is the only rule for acceptable behavior, and as long as people cling to their idol of sex liberated from traditional Judeo-Christian morality, #MeToo isn’t going to change a single thing. And millions more broken people will continue to suffer.



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

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

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


22 January, 2018

A bishop, a Cardinal and now a Pope:  Unproven accusations

Leftists are unconcerned about justice.  That is what constantly seems to emerge when accusations of sexual misbehaviour arise. The accuser is automatically believed.  We see it in the flood of allegations that followed the Weinstein affair and we see it in the false rape allegations that have risen to prominence in both Britain and the USA.  The totally made-up allegations that have just cost "Rolling Stone" magazine millions and the false allegations against the Duke LaCrosse team must be in the mind of anyone interested in the state of justice in the USA.  And a string of rape prosecutions recently withdrawn by British police when they looked closely at the evidence show the same rot in Britian.  In all cases the media as a whole reported the accusations enthusiastically and uncritically.

And the tendency to believe false stories particularly afflicts the churches. Because a small minority of priests have been unfaithful to their vows, there seems to be a belief that all clergy are predators -- even though many are godly men who have lived lives of great service to their community.

I think particularly of an Anglican Bishop of Brisbane, Peter Hollingworth, whom I knew as a genuine man of God devoted to community service.  He was dismissed from his job because he was "insensitive" to a claim of sexual abuse against one of his priests.  But, knowing the man, I followed the case closely.  And the thing that really got the storm against him going was his simple demand for natural justice.  He wanted evidence of what was alleged.  His "insensitivity" was his demand for evidence.  You are not supposed to require evidence, apparently.  An accuser must always be believed. Given the near miscarriages of justice that I have mentioned above, that is thoroughly evil.  Nobody should be condemned for anything just by virtue of an accusation.  False accusations do happen and lies in connection with sexual matters are common.

Then there is the case of his Eminence, George Pell, the conservative Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney.  It seems clear that one of his priests was a foul abuser and it was therefore held by hysterical Leftists that Pell MUST have known about it.  That evildoers are often zealous to cover up their evil deeds was given no credence.  So just on suspicion an official enquiry was launched to find out what his Eminence knew and when he knew it. That enquiry is still officially afoot but a key accuser in the matter has just died so the enquiry is highly likely to be wound up with no result.

Now we come to Pope Francis, a man of undoubted personal holiness even if his politics are whacko.  There is a long screed below from a Leftist newspaper giving judgment of His Holiness because he too asked for evidence.  Francis was entirely justified in believing his bishop and finding accusations against him to be unsubstantiated. 

Surely this has now gone too far. NOBODY should be judged guilty until he has been found guilty in a court of law, and  that includes the clergy.  Leftists hate Christianity so they will always make and support evil accusations against men of God but their own record from the French revolution on reveals them to be the real children of evil.

It's possible that my defence above of three men of God will be held against me as motivated by some church allegiance so maybe I should point out that I am a thoroughgoing atheist with no current church connections.


Let the record show that the promise of Pope Francis died in Santiago, Chile, on Jan. 18, in the year of our Lord 2018.

When Pope Francis slandered victims of sexual abuse, ironically by accusing those very victims of slandering a Chilean bishop who was complicit in that abuse, he confirmed what some critics have said all along, what I have always resisted embracing: Pope Francis is a company man, no better than his predecessors when it comes to siding with the institutional Roman Catholic Church against any who would criticize it or those, even children, who have been victimized by it.

I offer my hearty congratulations to His Holiness, His Eminence, or whatever self-regarding, officious title that his legion of coat holders, admirers, apologists, and enablers insist we, the great unwashed, call him. Because he has revealed himself like no one else could.

By saying he needs to see proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up the abuse perpetrated by the Rev. Fernando Karadima, Francis has shown himself to be the Vatican’s newest Doubting Thomas. And it’s not a good look.

The pope’s outrageous slander of Karadima’s victims is all the more stunning and disgraceful because the Vatican itself had in 2011 accepted the truth of what those victims said and sentenced Karadima to what it called a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for abusing young people. Sounds like how a previous pope “punished” Cardinal Bernard Law for his dutiful coverup of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston by putting him in charge of one of the great basilicas of Rome and giving him digs in a palatial apartment where he was waited on hand and foot by servile nuns. Some punishment. Where do I sign up?

The pope’s remarks drew shock from Chileans and immediate rebuke from victims and their advocates.

And just what exactly would constitute the proof that Pope Francis is now seeking, years after the Vatican accepted the claims of Karadima’s victims, who said Bishop Barros facilitated the abuse by refusing to take action against Karadima even though he knew Karadima was a predator?

Juan Carlos Cruz, one of Karadima’s victims and one of Bishop Barros’s most outspoken critics, put it this way: “As if I could have taken a selfie or a photo while Karadima abused me and others and Juan Barros stood by watching it all.”

Like others who have been physically assaulted by priests and mentally tortured by the craven complicity and inaction of bishops who are supposed to protect their flock from predators in Roman collars, Cruz has ruefully concluded that Pope Francis is no better than the others.

“These people are truly crazy,” Cruz said, “and the pontiff talks about atonement to the victims. Nothing has changed, and his plea for forgiveness is empty.”

Empty. Good word. Describes what an increasing number of Catholic churches in Chile and in many other countries are becoming.

Oh, well, lucky for the Vatican, there are still many places where people are horribly poor, sadly uneducated, and not served by a robust, free press, where deference to the clergy and the majesty of the Vatican is still as thick as the fine robes that some of the worst enablers of sexual abuse hide behind.

It should be noted that, for all the talk of Pope Francis cutting a new path for the Catholic Church, he was elected by a conclave of cardinals that included some of those cynical and criminal enablers of abuse, like the disgraced and disgraceful former archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony.


Multiculturalism at its finest

A suspected serial killer is in custody in Phoenix after a spree of shootings took nine lives in three weeks.

Police on Thursday named Cleophus Emmanuel Cooksey Jr, 35, as the suspect in nine fatal shootings in the Phoenix metro area between November 27 and December 17, saying ballistic evidence linked the murders.

The victims were of multiple races and both genders, ranging in age from 21 to 56.

Cooksey, an aspiring rapper who is the grandson of a civil rights leader, has been in custody since December 17, when police found him at the scene of his mother and stepfather's murders.

Using forensic evidence and witness statements, cops say they quickly linked him to seven other recent murders in Phoenix as well as in nearby Avondale and Glendale, and are now appealing to the public for further information in the shocking case.

Investigators say that the murder spree began on November 27 at 10.45pm, when Andrew Remillard, 27, and Parker Smith, 21, were found dead together inside a car near 1500 E. Indian School Road in Phoenix. Police have yet to identify a motive and are unsure whether Cooksey knew the victims.

On December 2, Salim Richards, 35, was killed around at 7.44pm near 4030 N 44th Avenue in Phoenix. The victim was walking in the area when he was shot and killed. Some witnesses said Cooksey and Richards knew each other, police said. Property was stolen from Richards, including a handgun

On December 11, Jesus Bonifacio Real, 25, was killed around 3.30pm near 500 E Harrison Drive in Avondale. Officers responded to a shooting call for service and found the victim dead on arrival in an apartment complex, with the suspect having fled. The victim's sister was Cooksey's ex-girlfriend, police said.

On December 13, Latorrie Beckford, 29, was killed on around 6.53pm near 5038 N 55th Avenue in Glendale. Patrol officers were called to respond to a gunshot wound. The male victim was treated on scene and died. Police had information that Cooksey was in the apartment complex at the time, but don't yet know a motive in the murder.

On December 15, Kristopher Cameron, 21, was killed around 7.22pm near 5045 N 58th Avenue in Glendale. The victim was transported for care and died shortly after. Cameron came to that area to make a drug transaction with Cooksey, and forensic evidence links him to the murder, police say.

Hours later on the same day, December 15, Maria Villanueva, 43, was kidnapped near 58th Avenue and Camelback in Phoenix around 8.52pm. She arrived to an apartment complex and got into a car with Cooksey under unknown circumstances. Her body was found with evidence of a sexual assault the next day.

Finally, on December 17 around 7.50pm, officers are called to a disturbance near 1300 E Highland in Phoenix. The responding officer saw Cooksey with blood on him, and noted he appeared to be concealing something. Rene Cooksey, 56, the suspect’s mother, and his stepfather, Edward Nunn, 54, were found dead inside the residence.

Cooksey confronted the responding officer and shouted 'I'm the strongest man alive' and 'I'll cut your throat' as he was taken into custody, police said.

Cleophus Cooksey was then arrested and charged with murder. A task force including the Phoenix, Avondale, and Glendale police department, as well as FBI profilers and ballistics experts from the ATF, worked to connect him to the other murders.

Police said that evidence from shell casings tied at least some of the murders together, and that advances in forensic technology allowed investigators to get results from those tests within hours instead of weeks.

'At the end of the day what this came down to was a patrol officer answering a call for service and doing the right things - taking a person into custody and noticing there were abnormalities to his behavior,' said Glendale Police Chief Rick St. John at a press conference on Thursday.

Despite stereotypes of patient killers who wait months or years between victims, the shocking apparent burst of murders in just three weeks is an increasingly familiar pattern for serial killers, Enzo Yaksic, the co-founder of Northeastern University's Atypical Homicide Research Group, told DailyMail.com.

'Cooksey represents the next crop of serial homicide offender, one not beholden to rule structures or averse to risk and empowered by their self-assumed sense of importance,' said Yaksic.

The expert believes that advances in law enforcement have put pressure on serial offenders, making them more likely to compress their crimes into bursts of activity in a race against the clock before they are captured.

'While the hurried nature of these crimes can sometimes make it difficult for law enforcement to catch up, it is also ironically often the cause of their demise given that little time is dedicated to properly planning their homicides and preparing to evade the fallout,' said Yaksic.

Cooksley is the grandson of civil rights leader Roy Cooksley, who was prominent in the Tucson area from the 1960s until his death in 2009, according to an obituary in the Arizona Daily Star.

Police said that Cleophus Cooksley was an aspiring musician, and homemade hip hop videos have emerged that show him showcasing his lyrical skills under the name 'King Playbola'.

Cooksley was previously imprisoned in Arizona for 16 years for manslaughter and armed robbery convictions. Those convictions were in connection with the death of an armed robbery partner, police said.

State records show that he was released in July 2017 after being found guilty of 22 different disciplinary infractions while in prison, including assault of prison staff, disobeying orders, fighting, disorderly conduct, possession of drugs and more.

Cooksey faces two counts of premeditated first-degree murder and one count of weapon possession by a prohibited person in the December 17 murders. He was ordered held pending $1million cass bail in that case and faces seven additional murder charges.

Anyone with information about the murders or additional connected crimes is urged to contact Silent Witness at 1-4


A Muslim Lifestyle Unfit For Man Or Beast

Historians often have difficulty determining with certainty when past empires actually began declining. Usually, several factors interact at different times causing once-great empires and civilizations eventually to fall by the wayside.

For those unaware of it, Western civilization's decline is in progress. While several factors contribute to this progression, an outrageous lifestyle recently gaining acceptance in Germany illustrates just how low into a moral abyss Western values have sunk.

This lifestyle's acceptance will be cited by future historians as evidence of our inability to grasp a demise occurring right before our eyes.

It comes as a direct result of an open-door Muslim immigration policy. As other Western host nations, including the U.S., similarly have opened their doors to Muslim immigrants, they must view the German experience as a bellwether of what awaits them. As Muslim populations grow, some of their cultural demands, found repugnant to many in the West, will be imposed upon host countries.

Brothels abound in a Germany, where prostitution is legal. But what has shockingly evolved as a result of an increasing Muslim population are "bestiality brothels." Yes, in a country where all aspects of the sex industry are permissible, so too are licensed bestiality brothels - also known as "erotic zoos." Progressives wielding power in Germany find bestiality acceptable as a "lifestyle choice."

Some perverts harboring a loin-full lust of the farm animal variety apparently are unwilling even to wait in lines at such brothels. A farmer in southwest Germany, noting his sheeps' unusual timidity around humans, set up CCTV cameras in his barn. He was shocked to observe Muslims not only violating his property boundaries but the boundaries of human decency by violating his sheep as well. These transgressors adopted a "wham, bam, thank you, lamb" approach to satisfying their sexual proclivities.

Even animals at public parks are victimized by such actors. A young girl visiting Berlin's Gorlitzer Park was traumatized by a Muslim male mounting a pony - in a sexual way. Photographing the offender, she reported him to authorities. The 23-year-old Syrian man was arrested and charged - not with bestiality but with "causing public nuisance via sexual activities."

Inherent dangers exist for animal rapists "having their way" with four-legged sex partners. In August, 15 children and young adults in a Moroccan village apparently were attracted to the same ass - i.e., a donkey. Only later did they discover this beast of burden left them with a burden of their own - rabies. All 15 spent a week hospitalized, receiving painful shots. A call was put out for anyone who had "approached" or "admired" the donkey to seek treatment.

Lest progressives suffering from acute political correctness dismiss this animalistic sexual activity as a passing fad, they need understand it is not. Clerics have often been asked about Islam's acceptance of the practice. In Afghanistan, video of a Taliban soldier's love embrace of a donkey was captured. Any animal "refugees" seeking to cross the border into Pakistan to avoid the Taliban's sexual exploitation will fair no better as lustful eyes await them there as well. Pakistan apparently ranks first globally for the greatest number of bestiality internet searches.

Even Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini purportedly joined in the animal sex discussion, sanctioning the practice with an odd qualifier:

"A man can have sex with animals such as sheep, cows, camels and so on. However, he should kill the animal after he has his orgasm. He should not sell the meat to the people in his own village; however, selling the meat to the next door village should be fine."

Disgustingly condoning bestiality, Khomeini voiced a reservation about selling erotically tainted animal meat for consumption to Muslims in one's own village but not to villagers next door. Muslims may wish to give "halal" meat (prepared in accordance with Islamic law) a new warning label of "caveat emptor" (buyer beware).

Meanwhile, in the U.K., government officials in Birmingham ignored a "tsunami" of child abuse cases, involving Muslim rape gangs tasing female victims, for fear of being labeled as racist and Islamapobic. To prevent public criticism of its increasing Muslim population, the government passed laws banning criticism - even if truthful.

And in Sweden - a country deemed the rape capital of the West due to Muslim gangs - police suggest women either not venture out unescorted or, ridiculously, wear wristbands bearing the words, "Don't Touch Me," to deter would-be rapists.

Clearly, a new low for Western values has been established as farm animals are now added to a list already including women and children as fair game for a despicable Muslim lifestyle.

In the Netherlands, where 64,000 Syrian refugees now live, tolerance of intolerance has been added into the mix. Combat jihadist Saleh Ali falsely claimed refugee status. On Dec. 28, while yelling "Allahu Akbar," he smashed windows at a Jewish restaurant. Police allowed him to act out his rage before arresting him. Appearing in court dressed in camouflage, he told the judge he had other violent plans in mind. He was released.

Tragically, we are helping facilitate our own demise. It is doubtful any other civilization in the history of man has undertaken so little effort to defeat an ideology so committed to destroying it.


Germans Are Increasingly Leery of Open Door Policy

A 15-year-old girl is murdered by her migrant ex-boyfriend. How much more violence will Germans take?

Beyond fear, the killing has stirred other resentments. “German retirees who have worked hard for 45 years get less than the refugees,” said Knoll Pede, 64, a town maintenance worker. He is no fan of President Trump, he said, “but I wouldn’t mind our politicians to do a bit of ‘Germany First.’”

Believe it or not, that paragraph appears in a New York Times piece under the title, “A Girl’s Killing Puts Germany’s Migration Policy on Trial.” The article, to our great surprise, delves into an overlooked imbroglio that appears to be alienating many Germans. There, refugee violence is prodding swells of residents to question more and more the wisdom of accepting foreigners through a system considerably devoid of security protocols.

The killing to which the Times refers transpired just two days after Christmas in Kandel, Germany, a tiny town in the nation’s southwest. The incident involved an allegedly 15-year-old Afghani migrant (his actual age is being debated) who had been reported to the police less than two weeks earlier. Nevertheless, on Dec. 27, he brandished a knife and murdered his ex-girlfriend, a German national of the same age, inside of a drugstore.

According to the Times, “From the moment Germany opened its doors to more than a million migrants two years ago, prominent episodes like the Berlin Christmas market attack and the New Year’s molestation and rapes in Cologne have stoked German insecurities.” But what’s adding more urgency to the situation in Germans’ minds is the fact that Kandel barely registers on a map. Its population is just 10,000. This suggests the refugee violence issue is more widespread than most lawmakers will dare to admit.

Understandably, residents are yearning for change, and that could at least partially come in the form of a pending coalition agreement being negotiated between Angela Merkel and the Social Democrats. But it’s safe to assume that whatever they ultimately agree on won’t be enough to substantially quell the German people’s fears. As the Times explains, “Something has shifted in Germany. Not so long ago, the logistical challenge and cost of integrating new migrants still dominated the public debate. These days, the growing unease with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migration policy has reached a new and febrile stage.”

When you hear Germans say stuff like, “I wouldn’t mind our politicians to do a bit of ‘Germany First,’” you know things have run afoul in a nation that’s under the influence of leftist ideology. It also proves that behind much of Donald Trump’s rhetoric is a great deal of substance. Or as John Adams said: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” No matter what some leftist lawmakers say — whether here or in Germany — there are many people who inwardly if not outwardly contain a healthy fear. It’s directed not at immigrants, per say, but the violence-is-acceptable culture some bring with them. Sadly, more innocent lives will be lost because of those who lack discernment.



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

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

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


21 January, 2018

#MeToo isn’t enough. Now women need to get ugly (?)

Barbara Kingsolver, who writes at great length below, is a far-Leftist novelist who is in a rage at unwelcome approaches to women by men.  I sympathize with her even though my own politics are very different.  Women are generally smaller than men and must constantly feel vulnerable to some form of attack as they walk down the street.   Usually, they are visibly alert to their surroundings in the street for that reason.  I often feel glad that I am  not a woman for that reason.  I just slouch down the street in no fear of anything.  Being a tall, blue-eyed Caucasian male helps

So what is the solution to the fear in which women must often walk?

Before I look at that, I want to mention a large distinction she glides over.  The one example she gives of unwelcome advances is as follows:

Years ago, as a college student, I spent a semester abroad in a beautiful, historic city where the two sentences I heard most in English, usually conjoined, were “You want to go for coffee?” and “You want to have sex with me, baby?” I lived near a huge public garden where I wished I could walk or study, but couldn’t, without being followed, threatened and subjected to jarring revelations of some creep’s penis among the foliages. My experiment in worldliness had me trapped, fuming, in a tiny apartment.

So where did that occur?  She doesn't say.  Why?  From my reading of her biographical data, it was almost certainly in Africa or among Africans.  And it is no secret that Africans often "won't take no for an answer" from women.  They seem to show no shame in their approaches.  She writes as if all men are like that, when they are not.  I rather resent being lumped in with people who behave in such a stupid and disrespectful way. So she needs to give more attention to context in her writings rather than lumping all men into one basket.

But on to solutions:

There is of course the solution that feminists have thrown back in the faces of men: Traditional courtesy and gentlemanliness.  Women could once feel that they would be respected when they walked down the street and any "cad" would be brought up short by bystanders.  But radical feminists have destroyed that and taught that women should be expected to look after themselves.  Barbara is no doubt glad of that.  She values her independence and wants to be treated as an equal.  She just does not want to pay the price of that.  A small, weak person needs protection but she spurns that.

And there is the Muslim solution:  Wrap your women up in dark clothing so that almost nothing of them can be seen.  It would be amusing to see Barbara in such a wrap.  She would throw it off with fury.

And there is the Japanese solution, where everyone in the whole society acts considerately of one another.  Those little surgical masks you sometimes see Japanese wearing are not for their own benefit but to protect others from getting their infection.  And Japanese schoolgirls can walk down the street of Tokyo at night without fear.  But a large part of that comes from Japan being a very homogeneous society where everyone has a strong sense of belonging to a single national whole -- a sense of belonging to one-another.  Western wisdom, by contrast, preaches diversity.  So no Japanese solution for us.

Then there is Barbara's solution:  Instant aggressive shoutback at any untoward approaches.  It probably does help but Barbara herself admits it is a strain.  Women don't naturally behave like that.  But feminists have left that as the only remaining solution.  I pity them -- but folly will always have its reward.  It is angry Leftist women like Barbara who have put women into their present stressed situation.  And blaming men will change nothing

In each of my daughters’ lives came the day in fifth grade when we had to sit on her bed and practise. I pretended to be the boy in class who was making her sick with dread. She had to look right at me and repeat the words until they felt possible, if not easy: “Don’t say that to me. Don’t do that to me. I hate it.” As much as I wanted to knock heads around, I knew the only real solution was to arm a daughter for self-defence. But why was it so hard to put teeth into that defence? Why does it come more naturally to smile through clenched teeth and say “Oh, stop,” in the mollifying tone so regularly, infuriatingly mistaken for flirtation?

Women my age could answer that we were raised that way. We’ve done better with our daughters but still find ourselves right here, where male puberty opens a lifelong season of sexual aggression, and girls struggle for the voice to call it off. The Mad Men cliche of the boss cornering his besotted secretary is the modern cliche of the pop icon with his adulating, naked-ish harem in a story that never changes: attracting male attention is a woman’s success. Rejecting it feels rude, like refusing an award. It feels ugly.

Now, all at once, women are refusing to accept sexual aggression as any kind of award, and men are getting fired from their jobs. It feels like an earthquake. Men and women alike find ourselves disoriented, wondering what the rules are. Women know perfectly well that we hate unsolicited sexual attention, but navigate a minefield of male thinking on what “solicit” might mean. We’ve spent so much life-force on looking good but not too good, being professional but not unapproachable, while the guys just got on with life. And what of the massive costs of permanent vigilance, the tense smiles, declined work assignments and lost chances that are our daily job of trying to avoid assault? Can we get some backpay?

I think we’re trying to do that now, as the opening volleys of #MeToo smack us with backlash against backlash. Patriarchy persists because power does not willingly cede its clout; and also, frankly, because women are widely complicit in the assumption that we’re separate and not quite equal. If we’re woke, we inspect ourselves and others for implicit racial bias, while mostly failing to recognise explicit gender bias, which still runs rampant. Religious faiths that subordinate women flourish on every continent. Nearly every American educational institution pours the lion’s share of its athletics budget into the one sport that still excludes women – American football.

Most progressives wouldn’t hesitate to attend a football game, or to praise the enlightened new pope – the one who says he’s sorry, but women still can’t lead his church, or control our reproduction. In heterosexual weddings, religious or secular, the patriarch routinely “gives” his daughter to the groom, after which she’s presented to the audience as “Mrs New Patriarch,” to joyous applause. We have other options, of course: I kept my name in marriage and gave it to my daughters. But most modern brides still embrace the ritual erasure of their identities, taking the legal name of a new male head of household, as enslaved people used to do when they came to a new plantation owner.

I can already hear the outcry against conflating traditional marriage with slavery. Yes, I know, the marital bargain has changed: women are no longer chattels. Tell me this giving-away and name-changing are just vestiges of a cherished tradition. I’ll reply that some of my neighbours here in the south still fly the Confederate flag – not with hate, they insist, but to honour a proud tradition. In either case, a tradition in which people legally control other people doesn’t strike me as worth celebrating, even symbolically.

If any contract between men required the non-white one to adopt the legal identity of his Caucasian companion, would we pop the champagne? If any sport wholly excluded people of colour, would it fill stadiums throughout the land? Would we attend a church whose sacred texts consign Latinos to inferior roles? What about galas where black and Asian participants must wear painful shoes and clothes that reveal lots of titillating, well-toned flesh while white people turn up comfortably covered?

No wonder there is confusion about this volcano of outrage against men who objectify and harass. Marriage is not slavery, but a willingness to subvert our very names in our primary partnership might confound everyone’s thinking about where women stand in our other relationships with men. And if our sex lives aren’t solely ours to control, but also the purview of men of the cloth, why not employers too?We may ache for gender equality but we’re rarely framing or fighting for it in the same ways we fight for racial equality. The #MeToo movement can’t bring justice to a culture so habituated to misogyny that we can’t even fathom parity, and women still dread losing the power we’ve been taught to use best: our charm.

Years ago, as a college student, I spent a semester abroad in a beautiful, historic city where the two sentences I heard most in English, usually conjoined, were “You want to go for coffee?” and “You want to have sex with me, baby?” I lived near a huge public garden where I wished I could walk or study, but couldn’t, without being followed, threatened and subjected to jarring revelations of some creep’s penis among the foliages. My experiment in worldliness had me trapped, fuming, in a tiny apartment.

One day in a fit of weird defiance I tied a sofa cushion to my belly under a loose dress and discovered this was the magic charm: I could walk anywhere, unmolested. I carried my after-class false pregnancy to the end of the term, happily ignored by predators. As a lissom 20-year-old I resented my waddly disguise, but came around to a riveting truth: being attractive was less useful to me than being free.

Modern women’s magazines promise we don’t have to choose, we can be sovereign powers and seductresses both at once. But study the pictures and see an attractiveness imbued with submission and myriad forms of punitive self-alteration. Actually, we have to choose: not one or the other utterly, but some functional point between these poles. It starts with a sober reckoning of how much we really need to be liked by the universe of men. Not all men confuse “liking” with conquest, of course – just the handful of jerks who poison the well, and the larger number who think they are funny. Plus the majority of the US male electorate, who put a boastful assaulter in charge of us all.

This is the point. The universe of men does not merit women’s indiscriminate grace. If the #MeToo revolution has proved anything, it’s that women live under threat. Not sometimes, but all the time.

We don’t have unlimited options about working for male approval, since here in this world that is known as “approval.” We also want to be loved, probably we want it too much. But loved. Bear with us while we sort this out, and begin to codify it in the bluntest terms. Enduring some guy’s copped feel or a gander at his plumbing is so very much not a Valentine. It is a letter bomb. It can blow up a day, an interview, a job, a home, the very notion of safety inside our bodies.

It shouldn’t be this hard to demand safety while we do our work, wear whatever, walk where we need to go. And yet, for countless women enduring harassment on the job, it is this hard, and escape routes are few. The path to freedom is paved with many special words for “hideously demanding person” that only apply to females.

Chaining the links of our experiences behind a hashtag can help supply the courage to be unlovely while we blast an ugly reality into the open. The chain doesn’t negate women’s individuality or our capacity to trust men individually, nor does it suggest every assault is the same. Raped is not groped is not catcalled on the street: all these are vile and have to stop, but the damages are different. Women who wish to be more than bodies can use our brains to discern context and the need for cultural education. In lieu of beguiling we can be rational, which means giving the accused a fair hearing and a sentence that fits the crime. (Let it also be said, losing executive power is not the death penalty, even if some people are carrying on as if it were.) Polarisation is as obstructive in gender politics as in any other forum. Sympathetic men are valuable allies.

Let’s be clear: no woman asks to live in a rape culture: we all want it over, yesterday. Mixed signals about female autonomy won’t help bring it down, and neither will asking nicely. Nothing changes until truly powerful offenders start to fall. Feminine instincts for sweetness and apology have no skin in this game. It’s really not possible to overreact to uncountable, consecutive days of being humiliated by men who say our experience isn’t real, or that we like it actually, or are cute when we’re mad. Anger has to go somewhere – if not out then inward, in a psychic thermodynamics that can turn a nation of women into pressure cookers. Watching the election of a predator-in-chief seems to have popped the lid off the can. We’ve found a voice, and now is a good time to use it, in a tone that will not be mistaken for flirtation. Don’t say that to me. Don’t do that to me. I hate it.


AGAIN: Two-year rape case against British student dropped days before trial

Feminist pressure to get rape convictions has caused British police to abandon proper procedure, which is weak and contemptible of them

A rape case against an Oxford University student has been dropped in the latest scandal over failures by police and prosecutors to find and disclose crucial evidence.

Oliver Mears, 19, suspended his chemistry studies at St Hugh's College while awaiting trial for allegedly raping and assaulting a woman at a party in July 2015.

But days before it was due to start, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced it would not be presenting any evidence against him after receiving new material from Surrey Police.

The force has announced a review of all rape cases, becoming the second British force to take the unprecedented move following the Metropolitan Police.

A judge hit out at the “unnecessary delay” in the police investigation and demanded to know how the case had reached such a late stage.

Appearing at Guildford Crown Court to explain prosecutors’ actions, barrister Sarah Lindop said they had been awaiting information from the complainant’s diary, sensitive information relating to her and evidence from seized electronic devices.

“In light of the new information the prosecution no longer had a realistic prospect of success,” she added. “The decision was made at a number of levels for the case to continue no more.”

Ms Lindop described the case against Mr Mears as “finely balanced” from the start, saying prosecutors had to make a specific application to obtain certain materials from the police and had been requesting to see the complainant’s diary since October.

“We were also awaiting confirmation from the police in terms of the digital devices seized and their investigation into those,” she added. “This is not a disclosure case per se. “There was a diary produced. Part of that was disclosed, we asked for the full copy of it...the  police have been trying to secure that.

“I have been made aware of it coming into the possession of the Crown last week. That contains material that was not of assistance to the prosecution.”

Mr Mears was just 17 when he was arrested on suspicion of the alleged assault at a party in Horley, with other teenagers who were present due to be called as witnesses in the trial.

He was not present to hear the judge formally clear him of all charges on Friday but his mother told reporters she was “genuinely delighted” while leaving the court.

A string of rape cases have fallen through in little over a month after police seized phones and other devices but failed to examine them properly, meaning crucial evidence was not passed to prosecutors.

Messages and photos uncovered by defence lawyers at a later stage, sometimes even during trials, have then resulted in cases being thrown out of court.

But in Mr Mears’ case, the prosecution suggested police had not obtained the necessary material at all, raising questions over why the student was charged.

Recording not guilty verdicts for rape and sexual assault by penetration – which the teenager had always denied – Judge Jonathan Black ordered the CPS to provide a full explanation of what happened within 28 days.


Former lord chief justice warns blunders by CPS and police will help attackers walk free

Lord Judge, the former lord chief justice, said failings by prosecutors could have an impact on juries

Rapists will get away with their crimes because police and prosecution failings have undermined public confidence in the justice system, the former head of the judiciary has warned.

Juries could be deterred from convicting in future sexual assault trials because they would not have faith in evidence placed before the court, Lord Judge said. The former lord chief justice spoke out after The Times exposed how four rape trials had collapsed after crucial evidence was disclosed only at the last minute. He described the disclosure failings in all four cases as alarming and deeply troublesome.

Oliver Mears, 19, an Oxford student, was cleared of rape yesterday after spending two years on bail.


It's Time to Bring the Southern Poverty Law Center to Justice

There are many powerful forces operating today across the nation to divide the American people and silence opposing views. One of the most active of these efforts is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

There are two very serious reasons why the SPLC is in many ways more dangerous than other organizations that are fueling the flames of the far left radicals who use violence and lies to stop honest political debate.

First, the SPLC has contracts with the federal government, specifically the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), serving as advisors to help define what a domestic terrorist or hate group is, even helping to write official policy for this agency of our government. Here are just a few examples:

In 2009, the Department of Homeland Security issued a report entitled "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment." It targeted conservative groups that supported local rule over federal control. And it singled out groups that opposed abortion or illegal immigration.

Two weeks later, DHS issued a Domestic Extremism Lexicon to define Right wing extremists = those who are concerned over the economy, had antagonism toward the Obama Administration or oppose the UN.

According to these reports and many more, the list of potential terrorists, according to these reports and many more, included anyone who voted for Ron Paul for president, for example.

These reports were basically written by the Southern Poverty Law Center! And they were sent to law enforcement agencies across the nation. Soon after the issuing of these reports police department nationwide could be observed providing bulletins to their officers to be on the watch for dangerous right wing activity.

In 2010 DHS organized a "Countering Violent Extremist Working Group." Its purpose is to teach local law enforcement how to counter terrorism. It was basically the root of militarizing local police forces.

Serving on this "advisory group" was Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society if North America, who has been accused of funding terrorist organizations. Also serving as an advisor to this group was Richard Cohen, President of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The conclusion of this report is that conservative organizations and spokesmen are possibly bigger domestic terror threats than ISIS!

The SPLC also runs the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center which issues official certification to police groups all over the country for fighting "hate" groups, i.e. Right wing groups. And it is funded by the Department of Homeland Security!

In 2013, Brietbart.com released a report by Judicial Watch confirming a direct connection between the DOJ and SPLC. The report states, "Judicial Watch, a Washington, D.C. based non-partisan educational foundation, released some two dozen pages of emails it obtained  revealing connections between the Department of Justice Civil Rights and Tax divisions and the Southern Poverty Law Center."

The second reason the SPLC is a dangerous threat to American freedom is its so-called "Hate List." Each year, the SPLC updates its list of "extremist" groups and individuals it declares to be dangerous. Does the list include Black Lives Matter, ICIS, ANTIFA, or any of the forces that have taken credit for opening fire on crowds attending public events? Nope. SPLC's list of hate groups are those who oppose Obamacare and  NAFTA, are concerned about the economy, and perhaps stockpile food to prepare for possible bad economic times. These are "Right Wing Extremists." The list goes on to include people like Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers and Senator Rand Paul. A few years ago it included Dr. Ben Carson, now HUD Secretary. The list also includes nearly any conservative and Christian organizations that advocate limited government or Christian teachings or government adherence to the Constitution.

There is now a new trend moving across the nation that makes inclusion on this list dangerous to the very existence of those listed on it. Since President Trump's election, the SPLC has ramped up its attacks on the Right with the clear purpose of destroying conservatives' ability to speak out and counter SPLC's assault on free speech and freedom of choice.

Joining SPLC in these attacks on the Right are major corporations and social media giants like Facebook and Goggle. These corporations are, in fact, using the SPLC hate list to deny services to some organizations and individuals who are listed. Here are some examples:

Discover Card, one of the nation's leading credit card companies, denied a conservative group the use of their card to accept donations.

Quick Books cancelled a subscription of its product to a Christian organization because it opposed same sex marriage.
PayPal has refused to let a conservative group use its service for fund raising.

There have been several reports of social media giant Facebook censuring and banning conservative posts and pages.

Google has taken steps to deny Internet searches of conservative websites.

Clearly, there is a drive to deny conservative and Christian organizations the ability to exist in the market place or in social media. How far off is the day when conservative leaders are denied access to public transportation, the rental of halls for meetings, or bank accounts are seized, all under the guise of protecting the public from hate and racism? Well, the answer is already in front of us.

First, there was the outrageous and planned violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in which two opposing sides supposedly clashed over removal of Robert E. Lee's statue. The obvious fact is that the event was staged to make the Right look like the perpetrator. More importantly, the Ku Klux Klan was used as the villain. I'm going to go out on a limb to say there is hardly any real KKK activity taking place in the nation, especially any strong enough to create such violence as the Charlottesville incident. The fact is, the KKK basically exists only in the demented minds of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which loves to place it on the hate list next to groups like the NRA as a broad brush visual tactic. The reality that such groups have nothing to do with the KKK isn't important to the SPLC.

However, the desired affect of the clash worked. Immediately after the Charlottesville incident, Congress, without any public debates, rushed to approve Public Law 115-58, which "urges the President and his administration to speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, and xenophobia."

How is the President to choose what are actual "hate" groups? Of course the plan is for him to use the official list - the Southern Poverty Law Center's hate list, of course. Again, who is on that list? The NRA, the Family Research Council and the American Policy Center, to name a very few.

It's interesting to note that the very group that is now looked on by our government as the official definer of hate in our nation, has actually committed one of the most outrageous and dangerous acts of terrorism against certain American citizens.

In 2015, the SPLC issued a "Hit List of U.S. Women Against Sharia Law." The list targeted 12 leading conservative women who have specifically spoken out against radical Muslims and their authoritarian doctrine that inspires Islamists and their jihadism. The hit list not only named the women, but listed the cities where they reside. Anyone who has studied radical Islam clearly understands that this SPLC hit list put these women in grave danger of reprisal from Muslim extremists.

The SPLC is a dangerous organization, guilty of the hate it claims to fight. Yet it works closely with our own government in its quest to destroy any Americans who hold opposing views, even to the point of denying them a place in society.

The fact is the SPLC would just be another run of the mill leftist outfit if it didn't have such close ties with our government. Those ties need to be thoroughly investigated by the Congressional Homeland Security Committee and then severed immediately.

To demand those hearings, the American Policy Center (APC) has issued a petition to Representative Michael McCaul, (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. The petition calls for hearings and an immediate investigation into the government connections with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The only way to end the SPLC's reign of terror is to pull its teeth - its powerful connections with our government that make it a threat. Concerned Americans can sign the APC petition at our website.

The Southern Poverty Law Center labels any American who advocates that the U.S. Constitution is the law of the land as a potential domestic terrorist, dangerous to the nation. The question that must be answered is why the Department of Homeland Security and major corporations are working with them to make those attacks legitimate. If enough Americans will sign the APC petition, perhaps we will finally get some answers and perhaps even a little bit of justice.


Trump to HHS: Proceed With Conscience

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Thursday a new office to protect doctors and nurses who object to providing abortion services and other medical care on moral and religious grounds

You’d have to look long and hard to find a more universally despised idea than Obama’s HHS mandate. In one of the most clarifying moments of his presidency, the order went out: everyone, regardless of their beliefs, would become unwilling partners in the president’s culture of death. If your employer performs abortion, you’ll participate. If your business sells contraception or pregnancy-ending drugs, you will too. And if you’re an employer, church, monastery, or school, you’ll cover both — even if you morally oppose it.

The outcry was swift. If women have a “choice,” then nurses, nuns, companies, pharmacists, and colleges should too. Unfortunately for them, the 44th president didn’t see it that way. And in 2011, he started defending the rule that would be freedom’s undoing.

Through it all, the simple fact remained: Regardless of what Americans think of abortion, only the true extremists argued that people should be forced to participate in them. Seven years ago, those extremists were in charge of the government. And they tried to make sure that a pesky little thing like the First Amendment wouldn’t get in the way.

They failed. Even in activist courts, the HHS mandate was a political loser. A wave of lawsuits poured in, overwhelming the Obama administration and setting it on the path of defeat in what would be one of the most personally damaging decisions of the Obama years. In near unanimity, judges on all levels dealt blow after blow to the mandate. Despite losing 90 percent of their cases — including two embarrassing rebukes from the Supreme Court — the president wouldn’t relent. Pushing what was probably the most unconstitutional, unsuccessful, and unpopular agendas of his two terms, Barack Obama was determined to see this payoff to his abortion friends through.

Now, more than 100 cases later, Donald Trump is closing the chapter on one of the worst assaults on religious liberty in a generation. “President Trump promised the American people that his administration would vigorously uphold the rights of conscience and religious freedom. That promise is being kept today,” announced acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan. On the eve of the March for Life, the administration took steps to end the war on conscience rights. Thursday morning, the agency announced a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in HHS’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR). There, the government will work to protect Americans’ beliefs, not punish them.

Under my administration, President Trump has said, “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied, or silenced.” Unfortunately, OCR Chief Roger Severino told reporters, “these protections have been under-enforced in the past.” Today, “we are back in business.” Until President Obama, the freedom to believe was never a controversial idea. It was such a consensus issue, in fact, that after the Supreme Court invented legalized abortion in 1973, Congress responded by passing a law to protect health care workers from the very discrimination they’re facing today. Even Sen. Ted Kennedy defended the bill’s “full protection to the religious freedom of physicians and others.” Only two members objected.

We used to be a nation of consensus on conscience. Now, the same Left that demanded compromise and coexistence has dropped its sham of tolerance in favor of full-blown coercion. We watched the same bait-and-switch with marriage. “Give us what we want, and it won’t affect you.” Today, “affected” doesn’t begin to describe what happens to conservatives who think differently than the radical elites driving the Left. Fired, fined, sued, harassed, or jailed does.

Planned Parenthood complained that an office like this would “impose a broad religious refusal policy that will allow individuals and institutions to deny basic care for women and transgender people. We know from experience that denial of care compromises care.” Killing a child isn’t care. And while Cecile Richards’s group might be quite comfortable in its moral vacuum, most Americans are not. The freedom to believe is for everyone — or it isn’t freedom at all.

President Trump understands that — and he’s spent the last 12 months proving it. This White House knows as well as we do: Religious liberty isn’t found in political proclamations but in the policies they inspire. Yesterday was yet another example of this president keeping his promises. And not just any promise, but his sworn oath to the American people. Our deepest thanks to an administration who is not wavering in its determination to protect our most sacred property, conscience



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

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

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


19 January, 2018

WH Press Secretary: ‘No One Here Is Going to Pretend That the President Is Always Politically Correct'

The White House on Tuesday said President Donald Trump used “tough language” in his bipartisan immigration meeting last Thursday, but he isn’t politically correct, which is one of the reasons why people love him.

When asked to explain what “tough language” the president used in the meeting as was acknowledged by members of the administration, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “I wasn’t in that room, so I can go only off of the individuals who were. They said that term wasn’t used, but that tough language was.”

Sanders was referring to reports that the president used the term “shithole” when referring to Haiti.

“Look, no one here is going to pretend that the president is always politically correct. He isn’t. I think that’s one of the reasons the American people love him. One of the reasons that he won and is sitting in the Oval Office today is because he isn’t a scripted robot. He’s somebody who tells things like they are sometimes, and sometimes he does use tough language,” Sanders said.

“The point that he’s trying to make, the point that entire conversation frankly should be focused on: We’ve wasted five days fighting over one word when we should be fighting over the people that are involved in the DACA program,” she said.

“If Democrats really want to protect these individuals, that’s who they should be fighting for, and that’s what they should be fighting about is figuring out a permanent solution to DACA - not a quick fix - figuring out how to secure our border and increase border security, figuring out how to end chain migration, figuring out how to end the visa lottery system,” the press secretary said.

“They’re wasting time yet complaining about the fact that this president isn’t doing enough when he’s the only one that’s engaging in this process, and hopefully, they’ll get on board, get out of the way and start doing their job,” she added.


Selling Hate
Who will warn Americans about hate groups? The media know: the Southern Poverty Law Center. SPLC, based in Alabama, calls itself “the premier” group monitoring hate. Give us money, they say, and they will “fight the hate that thrives in our country.”

I once believed in the center’s mission. Well-meaning people still do. Apple just gave them a million dollars. So did actor George Clooney.

They shouldn’t.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali grew up in Somalia, where she suffered female genital mutilation. So now she speaks out against radical Islam. For that, SPLC put her on its list of dangerous “extremists.”

Maajid Nawaz was once an Islamic extremist. Then he started criticizing the radicals. SPLC labels him an “anti-Muslim extremist,” too.

While launching hateful smears like these, SPLC invites you to donate to them to “join the fight against hatred and bigotry.”

SPLC once fought useful fights. They took on the Ku Klux Klan. But now they go after people on the right with whom they disagree.

They call the Family Research Council a hate group because it says gay men are more likely to sexually abuse children.

That’s their belief. There is some evidence that supports it. Do they belong on a “hate map,” like the Ku Klux Klan, because they believe that evidence and worry about it?

I often disagree with the council, but calling them a hate group is unfair. In my YouTube video this week, the group’s vice president, Jerry Boykin, tells me, “I don’t hate gay people. And I know gay people, and I have worked with gay people.”

But once you’re labeled a hate group, you are a target.

One man went to the Family Research Council headquarters to kill people, shooting a security guard in the arm before he was stopped. The shooter told investigators that he attacked the FRC because he found them on SPLC’s hate list. Calling the council a “hate group” made its employees the target of real hate.

SPLC also smears the Ruth Institute, a Christian group that believes gays should not have an equal right to adopt children. The institute’s president, Jennifer Roback Morse, says they’re not haters.

“I like gay people. I have no problem with gay people. That’s not the issue. The issue is, what are we doing with kids and the definition of who counts as a parent.”

The institute doesn’t argue that gays should never adopt. “There could be cases where the best person for a particular child would be their Uncle Harry and his boyfriend,” Morse told me. But the institute wants preference given to “a married mother and father.”

For that, SPLC put the Ruth Institute on its hate map. That led the institute’s credit card processor to stop working with them. In a letter to the institute, the processor company said that it had learned that the “Ruth Institute … promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse.”

“We went and checked our website,” Morse told me, “and we were already down.”

I suspect SPLC labels lots of groups “haters” because crying “hate” brings in money.

Years ago, Harper’s Magazine reported that SPLC was “the wealthiest civil rights group in America, one that now spend most of its time – and money – on a fund-raising campaign.” People in Montgomery, Alabama, where SPLC is based, call its elegant new headquarters “the Poverty Palace.”

“Morris Dees’ salary is more than my entire annual budget,” says Morse. “Whatever they’re doing, it pays.”

Dees, SPLC’s co-founder, promised to stop fundraising once his endowment hit $55 million. But when he reached $55 million, he upped the bar to $100 million, saying that would allow them “to cease costly fundraising.”

But again, when they reached $100 million, they didn’t stop. Now they have $320 million – a large chunk of which is kept in offshore accounts. Really. It’s on their tax forms.

In return for those donations to SPLC, the world gets a group that now lists people like Ben Carson and Fox commentators Laura Ingraham, Judge Andrew Napolitano and Jeanine Pirro as extremists – but doesn’t list the leftist militant hate groups known as antifa.

SPLC is now a hate group itself. It’s a money-grabbing slander machine.


If you are a Democrat, you can disrespect women all you like

Yesterday, Cory Booker (D-NJ) detonated on Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. He didn’t just mansplain, he mansplained at maximum volume. He threw a deeply flawed security study in her face as if she didn’t understand the terror threats facing the United States, and unloaded on her for claiming that she couldn’t recall the president’s exact words in the now infamous “sh**hole” meeting:

Booker’s face is twisted in fury. He pounds on the table. He insults her character. It’s nothing short of a temper tantrum. If he were a Republican, this exchange would be taken as proof-positive that he doesn’t respect women. It would be video evidence, shared far and wide, of his sexism. It would be compared to Donald Trump’s physical approaches to Hillary Clinton during a presidential debate and used as evidence that Republicans aren’t just misogynistic, they’re menacing. Instead, Booker proudly tweeted out his rant, quoting himself like he’d just had “a moment.”

It’s incidents like this that convince so many Americans that identity politics are disingenuous and that lamentations about “norms,” “values,” and “civility” are grotesquely insincere.

Talk to any conservative woman and she’ll tell you that all too often the Left’s “respect for women” stops the instant a female pundit, politician, or activist slides just to the right of moderate.

The human capacity for rationalization and self-justification is nearly infinite, and it was on display yesterday. It was right for Booker to tear into Nielsen, his apologists said. After all, everyone who doesn’t condemn Trump’s infamous “sh**hole” comment is “complicit” in racism. Nielsen was lying to Congress. That wasn’t misogyny, you see, it was righteous anger. Are you, Mr. Conservative, telling me that Nielsen isn’t tough enough to handle a tongue-lashing? Are you telling me that she needs to be protected, to be coddled by Senator Booker?

Oh, and don’t talk to me about “values,” Mr. Conservative. Not when that man is in the White House.

We’re now entering the Iran–Iraq War phase of our conflicts over civility. The only norm left is hypocrisy. Many of the same Democrats who simply can’t believe the words that come out of Trump’s mouth once cheered Joe Biden’s claim to a Virginia crowd that Mitt Romney would “put y’all back in chains.” They spread far and wide claims that Romney had callously let people die just to make a buck.

And now, even as they lament the decline in discourse under Trump, they claim that conventional conservative policies are going to kill Americans by the thousands.

There is only one way to restore a measure of civility and dignity and a sense of proportion to public debate, and that’s to actually treat people with respect.

If the Democrats aim to argue that they can do better than Trump, they’d be wise to offer the country something other than Trumpism dressed up in blue.


Australia: Now political correctness is making its way into drivers' licences

The Queensland Government has scrapped a requirement for gender to be shown on all driver's licences, after complaints from the LGBTI community.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) confirmed that height was also removed as a requirement, after concerns the collection of personal information was potentially discriminatory.

However, the Department said the move towards gender-less licences was due to the need to make driver's and marine licences compliant with new anti-discrimination laws, according to the Courier Mail.

Another reason for change was due to improvements in technology, a spokesman for Roads Minister Mark Bailey said.

'TMR has received complaints and suggestions from members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community about displaying gender/sex (M or F) on TMR cards,' a department document said.

Other information, such as eye and hair colour, is also being removed from records attached to licences.

'TMR has received feedback that the collection of personal information (eye and hair colour, complexion, height) may be perceived as discriminatory by some members of the community.'

Police will still have access to information on gender through databases, and drivers will still be asked to nominate their gender when applying for a licence.

The TMR stopped recording people's gender and height for all new and renewed licences in October 2016.



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

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

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


18 January, 2018

Celebrating Religious Freedom Day With a Court Victory on Traditional Marriage

Religious liberty and freedom of conscience won big at the Supreme Court last week, just in time for Religious Freedom Day on Jan. 16.

The justices declined last week to hear a legal challenge against a Mississippi law that protects citizens, small businesses, government employees, and charities from official discrimination by government if they believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.

The Mississippi law benefits people on both sides of the marriage debate because when a government can punish one group of citizens for dissenting from cultural orthodoxy, it can punish any group for any belief.

In declining to hear a case against Mississippi’s Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act (HB 1523), the Supreme Court let stand the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in the face of challenges by the ACLU and Lambda Legal.

Now a year after HB 1523 was passed, Mississippians know they are free to live according to their religious beliefs about marriage without fear of losing their livelihoods.

It’s a victory in a battle that never should have happened in the first place. HB 1523 was a direct response to the threat of anti-religious discrimination after the Supreme Court redefined marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges.

During oral arguments for Obergefell, Obama administration Solicitor General Donald Verrilli was asked whether religious institutions could lose their tax-exempt status owing to their beliefs about marriage.

“[I]t’s certainly going to be an issue,” he told the court. “I don’t deny that.”

Although Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion in Obergefell that those who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman do so based on “decent and honorable premises” and that “neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here,” Verrilli’s comments told a different story.

Verrilli’s remarks signaled that the government could use its powers to tax and spend to force its views of marriage upon citizens.

In the two and a half years since Obergefell, activists, local and state governments, and federal authorities have treated the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman with contempt.

Billionaire LGBT activist Tim Gill pledged to “punish the wicked.” Delivering upon his threat, government authorities have denied citizens across the country the right to live in accordance with their beliefs about marriage.

Members of numerous professions, including entertainment, counseling, emergency services, technology, farming, and the military, have been demoted or terminated from their jobs because of their beliefs about marriage.

The government also has targeted religious nonprofit organizations. Illinois, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia stopped contracting with faith-based adoption agencies because they would place children only with married moms and dads.

When the president of Gordon College privately wrote President Barack Obama to request a religious exemption from an effort to force government contractors to accept new views about marriage and sexuality, the school nearly lost its accreditation. Meanwhile, a local school district refused to employ students of Gordon College, and the city of Salem suspended its long-term contract that allowed the college to use the Town Hall.

Legislators in Mississippi responded to this wave of anti-religious discrimination by passing HB 1523. The bill protects individual citizens, public servants, businesses, and religious institutions from being penalized by the government for belief in traditional marriage.

But the ACLU and Lambda Legal sued on behalf of clients who claimed to be harmed by the law. Last June, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the plaintiffs had no standing because they failed to demonstrate that the law would violate their rights in any way.

The Supreme Court was right to leave the lower court’s decision intact.

These protections should not be controversial. Kennedy recently reiterated his call for tolerance of disagreement on marriage during oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case of a Colorado cake artist whose belief in traditional marriage drew intense ire from state officials.

Admonishing Colorado’s state solicitor general, he stated that “tolerance is essential in a free society. And tolerance is most meaningful when it’s mutual.”

It seems to me that the state in its position here has been neither tolerant, nor respectful of [Jack] Phillips’ religious beliefs.

If federal, state, and local authorities would heed Kennedy’s call for tolerance and respect in Obergefell and Masterpiece, laws like HB 1523 would not be needed.

But as more and more Americans are forced to choose between their job and their conscience, both state legislatures and the Congress should promptly protect citizens from the new wave of government discrimination.

State laws such as HB 1523 and federal legislation such as the First Amendment Defense Act would ensure that the government cannot put anyone out of work for their beliefs about marriage.

Furthermore, what’s at stake here extends far beyond the marriage debate.

If the government can wield its power to silence opinions it disfavors, then everyone is at risk of being punished for holding the “wrong” opinions.

When Thomas Jefferson drafted the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom that we commemorate today, he observed that Almighty God created the mind free and that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishment or burdens would beget only hypocrisy and meanness. This admonition bears remembering in our modern debate over the redefinition of marriage.

The residents of Mississippi are fortunate that their legislators got it right with HB 1523. Now, Americans in all 50 states need courageous leaders to stand up for their rights, too.


UK: The misogyny of #MeToo

The rage against Katie Roiphe exposes feminism’s hatred of women

If you want to see misogyny – real, visceral, woman-shaming misogyny, the kind that views women as incapable of thinking for themselves, or as possessors of such foul thoughts that they shouldn’t think for themselves – look no further than #MeToo.

Forget those tragic internet threads inhabited by men whose fury with women is one part concern about feminism and nine parts because they’ve never had sex; look, instead, at the thoroughly mainstream, celebrity-endorsed #MeToo movement whose fear of men is easily matched – outdone now, in fact – by its seething contempt for women who think for themselves.

Consider what has happened to Katie Roiphe over the past 48 hours. Roiphe is one of America’s most interesting essayists and authors, having come to public prominence with her precocious 1994 book "The Morning After: Sex, Fear and Feminism" and going on to write everything from cultural criticism to a book on famous writers’ dying hours. She is currently the target of a most extraordinary Twitterstorm – a furious, censorious rage not over something she has said, but over something people think she is going to say in a future issue of Harper’s. We’ve had precrime; this is precensorship, the violent-minded punishment of an author for what she might at some point utter.

The Twitterati heard whispers that Roiphe, in a March feature for Harper’s, will name the woman responsible for the Shitty Media Men list, a kind of informal blacklist of journalists and editors who allegedly behave badly towards women, and they went berserk. They said this would endanger the creator of the Shitty Media Men list.

Let’s leave to one side that it is entirely legitimate and in the public interest to reveal who created this frankly chilling list, to which anyone can anonymously add the name of a media man who they claim, or think, has engaged in sexual misconduct. For the supporters of a naming-and-shaming, rumour-riddled list of names of the like a Witchfinder General might have drawn up in the past to rage against someone who dared to name the creator of that list is of course hilarious, and speaks brilliantly to the double standards, deep sense of entitlement and ugly disregard for due process of #MeToo’s chief public shamers.

The more pertinent thing is that Roiphe has been so publicly shamed, and ideally silenced, by women who claim they want women’s voices to be heard. But not Roiphe’s voice, it seems; not that bitch; shut her down. The outpouring of hatred for Roiphe has been astonishing, even by the low standards of Twitter debate and 21st-century virtual intolerance.

Guardian feminist Jessica Valenti swiftly did to Roiphe what she accuses men of doing to female journalists: tried to silence her. She described Roiphe’s rumoured piece as ‘profoundly shitty’ and ‘incredibly dangerous’ and tweeted out the Harper’s phone number so that people could harass the magazine into not publishing this witch’s work. Sady Doyle, a writer for Elle, branded Roiphe ‘pro-rape’, which really just means evil, witch-like. A writer for feminist mag Bustle wondered if ‘Katie Roiphe’ is a ‘pseudonym shared by a group of 65-year-old men’, because any woman who disagrees with us correct feminists must be a man really, right? Just as any black person who votes Republican or Conservative is a ‘coconut’.

Elsewhere Roiphe was branded an ‘Uncle Tom’ of gender, ‘trash’, a ‘bitch’ of course, a ‘demon’, and a ‘danger’ to good feminists who simply want to keep criminalising men without the benefit of such archaic things as due process or legal investigation. And all of this came from women, from women who pose as pro-women. Writer Nicole Cliff even encouraged writers to pull their pieces from Harper’s and offered to pay them to do so – an explicit attempt to heap editorial pressure on Harper’s to pull Roiphe’s piece / silence the evil witch. Five writers pulled pieces from Harper’s. Self-censorship to the end of censoring a woman who disagrees with mainstream feminists – what a degraded spectacle.

After all this, following all the kangaroo-trying of Roiphe, it was revealed that her piece won’t actually name the creator of the Shitty Media Men list! The rage against her, the entire witch-hunt, was built on a rumour, on fear, revealing the febrile, positively pre-modern nature of so many of today’s outbursts of fury against holders of outré opinions. Thank God it isn’t the 1500s – Roiphe would be dead already, before we discovered that she hadn’t actually uttered the sinful words the mob believed she had.

But even uglier than the fact-lite nature of the anti-Roiphe fanaticism has been its misogyny, its weirdly feminist-cum-anti-women outlook. Roiphe, you see – like any other woman who criticises the new victim feminism – suffers from ‘internalised misogyny’. This deeply patronising idea holds that women do not really know their own minds and are easy prey to the allegedly misogynistic culture that surrounds them. It is feared that their dainty brains will be made self-hating through too much exposure to ‘the culture’, just as Victorian men worried that Victorian women would faint or die upon reading an outrageous letter or hearing a labourer say ‘fuck’. The same was said of women who voted for Trump, whom one feminist columnist likened to ‘slaves fluffing the pillows of their master’s rocking chair’. That is one of the most misogynistic things I’ve read in the mainstream press in years.

Any woman who criticises #MeToo can expect to be metaphorically attached to the stake. This week the wonderful Catherine Deneuve and other French cultural figures slammed #MeToo for being anti-men and demeaning to women’s agency. Deneuve was raged against, with Asia Argento, the actress who started the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, saying she has clearly been ‘lobotomised’ by ‘interiorised misogyny’. Shorter: the old witch has been morally corrupted. Women like Ann Leslie and Anne Robinson have also been demonised, by other women, for raising criticisms. This week the B-movie actress Blanca Blanco got in trouble for daring to wear a red dress to the all-black fashion and virtue-signalling shitshow that was the Golden Globes. How dare women wear what they want? Or express their opinions? Seriously, can these feminists who are raging against ‘bad women’, outspoken women, difficult women, hear themselves?

We are now starting to see that #MeToo is not a pro-woman movement at all. It is a highly politicised campaign driven by, and benefiting, well-connected women in culture and the media, who must maintain their alleged victim status at all costs because it is leverage for them in terms both of their career and their moral authority in public discussion. This is why they respond with such unforgiving, misogynistic fury to any woman who questions them – because these women, these upstarts, these difficult creatures, threaten to unravel the victim politics that is so beneficial to a narrow but influential strata of society today. And so these women must be silenced, cast out, written off as ‘damaged’ and not worth listening to; let’s just be grateful that the asylums such free-thinking women would once have been dumped in no longer exist.


American Cardinal: Homosexuality is 'Abnormal,' No Need to Apologize 'For Teaching the Truth'

Catholic Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis who now serves on the Vatican's highest court, said the "homosexual condition" is an "abnormal condition," and that there is no reason for the Catholic Church to "ask forgiveness for teaching the truth about sex and sexuality."

In a Dec. 21 interview with the Macau diocesan newspaper O Clarim, the editors asked Cardinal Burke, "In an in-flight interview, after the umpteenth question about homosexuals, the Holy Father [Pope Francis] said that we obviously must not discriminate and we have to ask forgiveness from these people for the way they are treated."

Cardinal Burke said, "I haven’t read the Pope’s text. What I can say is that this year I turned 69, and I have spent my whole life in the Catholic Church. I have never encountered discrimination against people who suffer from the homosexual condition."

"We know that we are dealing with an abnormal condition: God has not created us to have sexual relations with people of the same sex," said Burke.  "This is not a discrimination against persons. It is to affirm the truth of Christ, the truth of our faith."

He continued, "I must say sincerely, even though I haven’t read the words of the Pope, that I don’t see why the Church ought to ask forgiveness for teaching the truth about sex and sexuality."

"Rather, during my priesthood of more than 42 years, I have always found priests very compassionate in meetings with people who have had this difficulty and have suffered from this condition," said the cardinal.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, "Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

"The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided....(2358)

"Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. (2359)"


New Zealand Census To List Only Two Genders

Gender bending madness has now become pervasive throughout western countries. We were told first that there weren’t only male and female which most people throughout human history believed there to be. There were in fact 76 genders, now that list has now grown infinitely. Most disturbingly it has evolved from just being the latest fad from social justice warriors to being enshrined in various laws. Most famously was Bill C-16 in Canada which made it criminal offense not to call someone by their preferred gender pronoun.

While Australia has not taken it to this extreme various arms of government have began to engage in the deconstruction of gender. With the passing of same sex marriage you can now choose gender X on the marriage form. On the 2016 census long before the legalization of same sex marriage you could choose gender ‘other’ on the census form. The Australian Bureau of Statistics stated this was done “in recognition of that fact that sex and indeed gender are no longer seen as purely binary options for response”.

But over in New Zealand they have decided to buck this trend with their 2018 census listing only two gender options male and female. Statistics New Zealand claim they made this decision after a series of tests on a third gender option and found that erroneous or deliberately inaccurate answers made the data unreliable. It is great to see some statisticians still with some common sense who recognize running a census based of feelings rather than biological science would not prove very useful.

Statistics New Zealand also does not ask any questions about sexual orientation. Both of these determinations have upset local LGBT activists in New Zealand with the head of RainbowYOUTH claiming “We need to know the size and location of our community” the reasoning behind this was so they could lobby for more government funds “Rainbow organisations are quite underfunded and the statistics would help us highlight to those in control of funding that there is huge need in our community”.

The decision of Statistics New Zealand is despite the fact that the new statistics Minister is Green Party Leader James Shaw who of course fully embraces the gender agenda. Shaw hoped that a new standard would be implemented before the 2023 census (let’s hope hes’s long gone before then) and also stated he could not override this decision “The Government Statistician is independent of the Government, and this is important to ensure we have high-quality statistics”. In New Zealand politics government ministers rarely override the decisions of the bureaucracy.

New Zealanders can now look forward to census next that will provide accurate and science based data for which decisions about government policy can be made for the next five years. The gender bending agenda can be resisted all it takes is returning to simple scientific reality.



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

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

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


17 January, 2018

Coming Out As A Republican To My Democrat Family Went Worse Than Coming Out Gay

I am not a sex offender. But a number of my friends no longer have time to see me. Lifelong acquaintances now regard me with fear and distrust. I have been unfriended en masse on social media and excoriated by friends who deign to remain. And I have been singly excluded from social gatherings when the rest of my family was invited.

No, I am not a sex offender. I am something even worse than that. I am a Donald Trump supporter.

I was raised in a liberal Jewish family in Washington DC, where my dad served as a Democratic congressman for Los Angeles. Accordingly, I was indoctrinated with all of the correct values and views.

When I was seven, my dad took me on a celebrity-packed camping trip to Death Valley as part of a campaign to protect California’s deserts. Israel took center stage in family discussions. I attended a Quaker elementary school, where I learned the black national anthem before I knew the “Star Spangled Banner.” In high school art class, I even chose to focus on man’s destruction of the environment. I came out to my family as gay at the ripe age of 20, and they were duly overjoyed.

It was always a given that Republicans are bad people, representative of that shameful sliver of our flawed society that values money above the planet and think the world would be better off if everyone were a straight, white male. At a minimum they are racist, misogynistic and homophobic. Left to their own devices, they would exclude ethnic minorities from everything, kick sinful gay offspring onto the streets, and pave our parks over with oil derricks.

Of course, there are the less malicious Republicans, the ones who have fallen victim to their gun-toting, Bible-thumping families and sadly do not know any better than what they have been told. This type is not entirely to blame for their ignorance; they just deserve our pity. These truths are held by my family and our extended social and political networks to be self-evident.

These Ideas Didn’t Work Out Long-Term

When, in my adulthood, the liberal policy agenda became problematic for me, I found myself at a loss. I began to raise questions with my family and friends, and met resistance. It was not because my concerns were particularly inappropriate; I was just not supposed to be questioning at all.

One could disagree with nuances, but not the judgment of the (then) president, or the party. Period. The irony of this apparent intolerance for diversity of thought by the party claiming to champion the rights of groups underserved by the status quo was not lost on me.

For the first time in my progressive life, standing up for the values that I most strongly espouse—truth, morality, self-reliance, boundaries, tolerance, and a healthy dose of Jewish skepticism—was damaging my reputation and character. When I publicly opposed my dad’s support of the Iran deal, I was admonished. I had few friends with whom I could have a civil political conversation: one stopped all communication with me for two weeks because Trump won the presidency.

If Republicans are bad, Trump is nothing less than Satan embodied. Post-election family gatherings devolved into group Trump-bashing, which intensified as more rumors of my dubious views wafted across town. I did not even bother going to gay pride because it was fused with a Resist march. If you do not want to impeach our president, you have no place in gay life.

I was labeled a white supremacist by a friend I’ve known my entire life, and completely dropped with no explanation by another dear friend and self-anointed giant of the gay civil rights movement to whom my father had introduced me 15 years ago.

Your Platitudes Don’t Work Out In Real Life

Yes, I was in despair, but I was also outraged at not being understood for views that felt so plainly obvious to me logically and experientially. These were not pie-in-the-sky views I was advocating in order to provoke. The Affordable Care Act has made medical treatment of my bipolar disorder more expensive than ever. Under the nuclear agreement, Iran flagrantly continues to enrich uranium and fund terrorist activities.

As a small business owner, I am regularly assaulted with financially crushing, nonsensical red tape and bureaucracy, much implemented as lip service to environmental protection. With few exceptions, every one of my good friends feels more economically hopeless after the “recovery” than before, and abject homelessness on the streets of my beloved city has swelled to egregious levels.

In desperation, like a closeted teenager sneaking into a porn theater, I surreptitiously began to explore the forbidden territories of Fox News and other conservative outlets. Incredibly, I found myself agreeing more often than not.

Fine, I thought, but that is where I had to draw the line. A couple of conservative encounters does not a conservative make, right? Until more liberals began to recognize the disingenuousness and destructiveness of my party’s stances, I just resolved to stick it out. I did everything in my power to avoid that one last unspeakable, fatal option: turning Republican.

Harvey Weinstein Was the Last Straw

Then Harvey Weinstein provided me the impetus I lacked: the media outlets that had enabled and covered up his indiscretions for years were the same major public voices for the Democratic Party, the self-proclaimed party of worker’s and women’s rights. The game was up; two and two could no longer be five. I reached my threshold where no amount of hypothetical Republican bigotry or greed could approach the magnitude of hypocrisy, corruption, or criminality I saw rotting the Democrats to the core. I jumped ship.

I found out almost immediately that the Republican Party is not only not evil, but populated with nice, intelligent, humble people. Days after I added myself to the Log Cabin Republican mailing list, I saw an invite to attend a gathering with Chadwick Moore, an independent journalist and one of two lapsed gay Democrats I had heard of.

When Chadwick spoke, I was stunned: every sentence, every nuance and anecdote of his beautifully articulate, moving talk resonated almost identically with my own experience. From Chadwick and the dozens of other Log Cabin attendees that night, I learned I am not the only gay person to question Democrats or to be ostracized for doing so—by a longshot. The political climate has made it prohibitive for most of us to have a voice and find each other.

Seeing virtue (or perhaps just a lack of evil) in my compatriots finally allowed me to see it in myself. I am now certain that I can be a gay, Jewish Republican and still be a good person and a useful citizen.


'Sex is a blood sport both sides can get hurt': Pioneering feminist GERMAINE GREER has kept silent on the Hollywood sex scandal — until now

A rather senile ramble below but she doesn't seem much bothered about the present situation

What does 'Me too' mean after all? Apparently it means 'I too have been propositioned' or 'Advances have been made to me, too'.

The understanding is that the female speaker preserved her virtue in spite of all the odds and the male predator was sent away with his tail between his legs.

My father's generation called the men in such cases 'wolves'; others called them 'mashers'. Played in the movies by Leslie Phillips or Terry-Thomas or Sid James, they were figures of fun, leering, slavering fools who never ever succeeded in their attempts to corrupt women who were younger, smarter and sexier than they.

The behaviour of such lecherous characters has always been pathetic and/or ludicrous, as much of Harvey Weinstein's seems to be. Anybody who exposes his or her genitalia, the flasher on the escalator, say, may imagine that he or she is displaying sexual power, but the fact is the opposite. Weinstein is not a Don Juan but a sexual incompetent, and, but for his power in la-la land, profoundly resistible.

Accusations of rape are a different matter, of course, but the difficulty is that the issue is one of consent. The case used to be that if a man sincerely believed sex to be consensual he could not be found guilty of rape, but with convictions difficult to come by, this criterion has been loosening.

In my view (not commonly held) the law of rape is medieval and profoundly misogynistic. It is due for a radical overhaul, but in the cacophony of prosecutions and lawsuits that is coming our way, it is unlikely to get it.

What we can expect now is that the people accused of sexual misconduct — so far all of them men — will use every resource available to them to fight the accusations. The principal, and in many cases the only, testimony against them is the narratives of the victims.

All the accused will be expertly defended; while the complainants may believe that they are parties to the litigation they are actually — unless what has been brought is a civil suit — simply exhibits in the case. The duty of the defending team will be to discredit them. Eight women have already accepted payments from Weinstein for their silence; they may well find breaking that silence will have devalued their evidence.

It is worth bearing in mind that though almost 60 women came forward with allegations against Bill Cosby, allegations that included rape, drug-facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery and child sexual abuse, the one criminal case finally brought against him has resulted in a mistrial.

In the military, and other organisations founded on similar principles, there has always been a rule that fraternisation between the ranks is not on. A person, male or female, with power over subordinates cannot be permitted to make a pass at any of them because he or she could be using a position of power to secure sexual favours by threat or coercion.

Teachers may not seduce their students while they are students, though quite a few will marry a student after graduation. If a teaching assistant only a year or two ahead of you puts a hand on your knee during a tutorial, you'd be a fool to spend the weekend weeping. One word of complaint could lose him or her the job, in which case weeping would be appropriate, for him or her, not for you.

Sex has always been a bloodsport and players on both sides can get hurt. The aggressor takes a risk and the victim, especially if he or she is the only other person in the aggressor's hotel room, runs a risk.

In the Thirties, during the Depression, one of the few ways young women could earn a living was by carrying out secretarial duties for travelling businessmen — in their hotel rooms. In 1932, when Joan Crawford played Flaemmchen in Grand Hotel, the 'little stenographess' herself was on the make, with a collection of glamour photos she could show to a likely contender.

She was also sharp, tough and aware that she couldn't give away what had to serve as her meal-ticket. Not nice, not Doris Day certainly, but more dignified than all this weeping and wailing about unwelcome advances.

Meryl Streep, doyenne of women in film, accepting Best Actress at the National Board of Review awards gala, confused her audience by singing the praises of men: 'I love men', she carolled. 'Oh my God! Yeah, I know it's the year of the woman and everything, but oh my God! The men! All my mentors have been men.'

Which is not surprising seeing as nearly all the people in a position to mentor her were men.

'I have experienced things, mostly when I was young and pretty. Nobody comes on to me [now],' she told The New York Times. 'But back in the day, when everybody was doing cocaine, there was a lot of behaviour that was inexcusable. But now that people are older, and more sober, there has to be forgiveness, and that's the way I feel about it. I was really beaten up, but I don't want to ruin somebody's mature life. I just don't.'

This extraordinary statement doesn't bear thinking about. The cocaine was illegal, but the sex wasn't. What 'beaten up' means in the context is unimaginable.

Perhaps Streep will be subpoenaed one day and made to explain herself, but I wouldn't hold my breath. No one has accused Weinstein of doing cocaine and as Streep has said he was 'a champion of really great work'.

The original Me Too movement was set up nearly ten years ago by black activist Tarana Burke to address the problem of sexual abuse among black female blue collar workers. As such, it was massively ignored by white feminist activists until, in October last year, actress Alyssa Milano sent out a tweet inviting women protesting against sexual harassment to post #metoo as a status update.

When Time Magazine put Me Too on the cover as person of the year, Tarana Burke was not included on that cover.

Bestselling author Shirley Conran, 85, advised working women in her book Superwoman, that 'life is too short to stuff a mushroom'. Divorced from Sir Terence Conran, she has two sons, Jasper and Sebastian.

During the Sixties, sexual harassment, and indeed sexual molestation, were everyday risks. Yes, people got fired — but it was the women, not the men.

What I remember about the men back then is that they were always vicious in their punishment if they were turned down. And they had long memories. They would see that you didn't get promoted, or were even demoted. A man in a rank above you found it easy to punish you for not giving in to him. And if you complained? No one ever took you seriously and nothing at all would happen except you may find yourself suddenly given a worse job to do.

In the late Sixties and early Seventies, I led a group of women journalists in protests, sit-ins and demos for gender equality. We were fighting for equal pay and equal opportunities, and there was even a torch-lit march on Downing Street. Yet I haven't felt the need to add my voice to the MeToo movement today. I don't think the women behind it especially need my generation's help — they're getting on just fine by themselves.

As for the French women who wrote that long-winded whine of a letter, well, they're in a very lucky position: they are powerful and are perfectly able to make it clear to a man that they don't want his attention. But that's not the case for all women. It's easier to see off unwanted advances when you're rich and famous.

Having said that, I'd be astonished if Catherine Deneuve hadn't been sexually harassed or molested in all her years in the film industry — if she hadn't had her knees touched, if we could put it as daintily as that. Every single woman I know has, at some point in her life, been sexually harassed. I suffered severely from it.

Is touching a woman on the knee a crime? I think touching anywhere needs to be forbidden as then it's clear: a person must not touch someone else's breasts, bum, big toe . . . anything.

If a man wants to make a sexual advance to a woman, he has eyes to signal and a mouth to tell her she's beautiful or ask whether she would like a drink, to which she can respond as she pleases. He doesn't need to touch to make his meaning clear. Touching may give an unattractive man a sexual frisson but annoy a woman who feels that if she objects, the man will say: 'Oh, it was accidental'.

Fundamentally we should all have our own space and no one should invade it. And if a man engages in frottage on the Tube, then of course that's wrong and women should jab back with their elbows, or better still, an umbrella. It's actually very simple. If you try to touch a goldfish in a bowl, it will dart away to the other side. In my view, we should all be untouchable in our own space, just like the goldfish.

In any case, feminists have other battles on their hands right now. I think we should set our sights very firmly on the BBC and on big private corporations, where women are still not being paid as much as men for doing the same work.

It's illegal, and I don't know why people aren't in prison for it. I find it hard to believe — and extremely depressing — that almost 50 years after our marches and protests, almost 50 years after the Equal Pay Act, our public broadcaster still doesn't have parity of pay.


Illegal Immigration And Crime

The stunning numbers the Left cannot refute.

On December 21, 2017 the Department of Justice issued a press release, "Departments of Justice and Homeland Security Release Data on Incarcerated Aliens-94 Percent of All Confirmed Aliens in DOJ Custody Are Unlawfully Present."   The initial statistic cited in the title of that DOJ press release shows that there is a truly significant distinction to be drawn between aliens who are lawfully present in the United States and aliens who are illegally present in the United States, either because they have entered the United States illegally or they have violated the terms of admission after entering the United States via the inspections procedure at ports of entry.   The press release begins with the following statement: 

President Trump's Executive Order on Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to collect relevant data and provide quarterly reports on data collection efforts. On Dec. 18, 2017, DOJ and DHS released the FY 2017 4th Quarter Alien Incarceration Report, complying with this order.  The report found that more than one-in-five of all persons in Bureau of Prisons custody were foreign born, and that 94 percent of confirmed aliens in custody were unlawfully present.

Although immigration anarchists have consistently manipulated language, engaged in tactics of bullying and intimidation and, when all else failed, flat-out lied about every aspect of immigration, the Trump administration is providing the truth.

 The DOJ press release, upon which my commentary today is based, lays out the cold, hard and unequivocal facts. It is significant to note that the title of the press release included the phrase, "confirmed aliens in DOJ custody" because all too frequently aliens who face deportation make false claims to United States citizenship to avoid being deported.  Therefore there may even be more deportable aliens in federal custody, while the actual number of such aliens in local and state custody are unknown and unknowable particularly in Sanctuary Cities and Sanctuary States.   Here is an excerpt from the press release that provides some quick statistics and a paragraph that addresses the lack of information about aliens in city and state facilities. 

A total of 58,766 known or suspected aliens were in DOJ custody at the end of FY 2017, including 39,455 persons in BOP custody and 19,311 in USMS custody. Of this total, 37,557 people had been confirmed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be aliens (i.e., non-citizens and non-nationals), while 21,209 foreign-born people were still under investigation by ICE to determine alienage and/or removability.   Among the 37,557 confirmed aliens, 35,334 people (94 percent) were unlawfully present. These numbers include a 92 percent unlawful rate among 24,476 confirmed aliens in BOP custody and a 97 percent unlawful rate among 13,081 confirmed aliens in USMS custody   This report does not include data on the foreign-born or alien populations in state prisons and local jails because state and local facilities do not routinely provide DHS or DOJ with comprehensive information about their inmates and detainees-which account for approximately 90 percent of the total U.S. incarcerated population.

For decades, the truth has been carefully kept from Americans by globalist politicians from both political parties.  They have been far more concerned about doing the bidding of the globalist special interest groups that fund their campaigns, than they have been about the threats that open borders and immigration anarchy pose to public safety and national security.   On April 19, 2016, towards the end of the Obama administration, the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security conducted a hearing on the topic, "The Real Victims of a Reckless and Lawless Immigration Policy: Families and Survivors Speak Out on the Real Cost of This Administration's Policies."

I wrote about that hearing in an article which also included links to statements made by Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Chairman of the subcommittee, who opened the hearing with his statement that set the tone for what would follow. Breitbart.com used one of Rep. Gowdy's statements as the title for their article, "Trey Gowdy: More Illegal Immigrants Convicted of Crimes At Large in the U.S. Than The Population of Pittsburgh."

At that same hearing Congressman Lamar Smith noted that although it has been estimated that illegal aliens account for about 3% of the U.S. population, they account for 30% of all murders -- making illegal aliens 10 times more likely to commit murder than anyone else. Adding that huge number of at-large criminal aliens to the huge number of criminal aliens who are incarcerated in prisons provides a measure of the true scope of the immigration crisis that can only be solved by ramping up efforts and resources to secure our nation's borders and enforce our nation's immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.   The blunt honesty of Chairman Gowdy and Representative Smith contrasts directly with the propaganda spewed by globalists such as Jimmy Carter, the originator of the Orwellian  term "undocumented immigrant."

Beginning with Carter's administration, the globalist immigration anarchists have embarked on a campaign of deceit.  Their goal was to erase America's borders and flood America with a virtually unlimited supply of cheap and exploitable workers, an unlimited supply of foreign tourists and foreign students and ultimately new voters who would be indebted to the politicians who made their presence in the United States possible.   To further obfuscate the truth, Carter demanded that all INS employees substitute the term "immigrant" for the term "alien" even though the term alien is an integral part of the immigration laws of the United States and is defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act simply as "Any person, not a citizen or national of the United States.  Under his campaign of deceit, illegal aliens were be referred to as  "undocumented immigrants" as though all that these illegal aliens lacked was a piece of paper. The truth is that aliens who run our borders are not undocumented, they are un-inspected. 

Here is a bit of clarity: the difference between an illegal alien and an immigrant is compared to the difference between a burglar and a houseguest.   Today so-called sanctuary cities betray America, Americans and immigrants and pose a clear and immediate danger to public safety and national security as their leaders resort to similar Orwellian propaganda to justify their dangerous illegal policies. Those cities should be referred to as "magnet cities" because they attract transnational criminals, fugitives and terrorists and flood the labor market with illegal aliens who displace American and lawful immigrant workers and undermine wages and working conditions.

This past year Congress conducted hearings about America's gang crisis, particularly MS-13, once again disclosing the deadly impact of failures of immigration law enforcement.

Today immigration anarchists continue to tell lies. They say that if local police were to work in coordination with immigration law enforcement authorities that illegal alien victims of crime would be fearful of coming forward to report crimes committed against them.   

In reality, visas are available for illegal alien crime victims that would enable them to remain in the U.S. if they cooperate with police in identifying the criminals.  Other visas are also available for illegal aliens who, although not the victims of crimes, nevertheless provide actionable intelligence to law enforcement to combat criminals and terrorists and the organizations to which they may belong.

Throughout my career with the INS one of my key areas of responsibility was to use my authority as an INS agent to cultivate informants and cooperating witnesses within ethnic immigrant communities to assist in criminal investigations on the local, state and federal levels.   This was particularly true when I was assigned as the first INS representative to the Unified Intelligence Division of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and subsequently promoted and assigned, as a Senior Special Agent, to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Indeed, this was one of the critical elements of my annual evaluation.   If advocates for Sanctuary Cities were truly concerned about "immigrants" why in the world aren't they providing information about the visas that are available to illegal aliens who cooperate with law enforcement authorities?  The answer is self-evident- they don't care about the immigrants, only about promoting their false narrative.

Another deceitful claim is that through implementation of "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" our authorities would be able to get all of the illegal aliens "out of the shadows" so we would finally know who is here.

In reality, terrorists might avail themselves of the opportunity to acquire new identities if their biometrics were not on file while those alien criminals fugitives and terrorist aliens who know that their biometrics are likely on file, would simply remain in the shadows. 

CBP (Customs and Border Protection) has more than 60,000 employees, including inspectors at ports of entry and Border Patrol agents.  If, as immigration anarchists claim, it does not matter how aliens enter the United States, why do we need to continue to fund CBP?   The answer, of course, is self-evident. 

President Trump understands the truth and is acting appropriately.  All rational Americans should be appreciative and supportive of his efforts to protect America and Americans. 


‘Creeping Stalinism’: secrecy law could imprison Australian whistleblowers and journalists

The article below is lengthy but is from the Leftist "Guardian" so, as usual tells only half the story. The laws discussed are regrettable but the whole reason for a crackdown is that Leftist public servants ignore their duty to be politicaly impartial and so will do anything to embarrass a conservative government.  They are an Australian version of the anti-democratic "deep state" that is doing its best to hobble America's duly elected President Trump

Government whistleblowers and journalists who report on leaked information could face 20 years’ imprisonment if changes to Australia’s official secrecy laws pass parliament.

The overhauled offence provisions, introduced to the House of Representatives in December just hours after marriage equality became law, form part of the Coalition government’s broader crackdown on treason, espionage and foreign interference. If passed, the reform will increase tenfold the maximum penalties for anyone communicating information potentially harmful to the national interest, where that information is obtained via a government official without authorisation.

“This is ‘creeping Stalinism,’” said Ethicos Group specialist Howard Whitton, who has advised governments and the United Nations ethics office on whistleblower policy. “The absolute protection of principled disclosure of wrongdoing – unfettered by government – must be preserved, or Australia will become a laughing stock internationally.”

Australia’s existing official secrecy laws date back to 1914, when sections 70 and 79 of the federal Crimes Act were hurriedly introduced following the outbreak of the first world war. Describing prior prohibitions as “shamefully lax”, the attorney general (and future prime minister) Billy Hughes imposed a penalty of two years’ imprisonment on public servants who disclosed any government information without authorisation. No defences were made available.

Despite the draconian nature of such wartime provisions, that legislation has remained law in Australia over the following century with only minimal amendment. In 2008, the Rudd government asked the Australian Law Reform Commission to hold an inquiry, which resulted in modest reform proposals in its report Secrecy Laws and Open Government in Australia.

“Reform of Australia’s secrecy laws is long overdue,” said Hugh de Kretser, executive director of the Human Rights Law Centre. “After a careful and comprehensive review, the ALRC concluded that our secrecy laws were excessive and needed to be better targeted to protect legitimate government interests. Instead of acting on the ALRC’s recommendations, the Abbott government intensified our secrecy laws with the introduction of the Australian Border Force secrecy provisions and expansive Asio secrecy laws.”

The reality is public interest defences to alleged criminal acts are few and far between

That trend looks set to continue. The proposed legislation criminalises communicating or otherwise dealing with information where that information was obtained by a public servant and is “inherently harmful” or likely to harm “Australia’s interests”. The former is defined as including any information produced by a security agency, while the latter includes prejudicing Australia’s international relations “in any way” or damaging relations between the federal government and a state.

“These broad definitions, coupled with penalties of up to 20 years in prison, raise serious risks of stifling the free flow of information and leaving Australian people ignorant of important matters in the public interest,” de Kretser said. “Open government is a foundational principle of democracy. Australians have a right to know what their government does in their name. Of course, some information must remain secret to protect our security and national interests. But these proposed laws have not got the balance right.”

The new provisions are primarily directed at commonwealth officers, defined to include current and former public servants, contractors, defence force personnel and employees of businesses who provide services to the federal government. But the expansive wording of the offences means any person who comes into contact with information obtained by a commonwealth officer could fall within the legislation’s scope.

The prescribed penalty ranges from five to 15 years’ imprisonment for standard offences, stretching to 20 years for aggravated offences. Aggravating circumstances include where the relevant information was classified secret or above, the person committing the offence held a government security clearance, or the offence involved five or more records each with a security classification.

These aggravation provisions appear intentionally designed to target Edward Snowden-type leakers. The bill’s explanatory memorandum even provides an example strikingly similar to the Snowden case, a contractor who leaked extensive American intelligence information to the Guardian and other publications. “Person A is employed as an IT systems administrator at a commonwealth government intelligence agency,” the explanatory memorandum hypothesised. “Throughout his employment Person A copied 1,000 electronic files from the agency’s internal holdings to a personal hard drive … Person A publishes all 1,000 documents on the internet.”

This impetus for the new offences mirrors that of stalled attempts to reform official secrecy laws in the UK, which were described last year by Open Rights Group chief executive Jim Killock as “a full-front attack … squarely aimed at the Guardian and Edward Snowden.”

“The suggested changes take the wrong lessons from the Snowden and other revelations, and ignore the reality of the connected, global information environment in which we now live,” said Gill Phillips, director of editorial legal services at Guardian News and Media. “If public interest journalism is made harder or even criminalised, there is a real risk that whistleblowers will bypass responsible journalists altogether, and simply anonymously self-publish data leaks online, without any accountability.”

While journalists are partially protected by a defence established in the new laws, this safeguard has been derided as insufficient. Journalists prosecuted under the offence would be required to satisfy a court that their reporting met vaguely defined criteria, said the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) chief executive Paul Murphy.

“The explanatory memorandum states that journalist protections are lost if they are not engaged in what is deemed to be ‘fair and accurate reporting’ and in circumstances where it is alleged their reporting is ‘distorted,’” he said. “The protection is entirely unavailable if the subject matter is said to not be in the public interest. This is a very broad term.

“A further issue is the definition of ‘journalist’ used in the bill. The MEAA acknowledges that this definition covers journalists not regularly employed in a professional capacity and may include a person who self-publishes news or news analysis, but anchoring the definition of journalists to the dictionary meaning could well prove a mistake down the track and lead to legitimate coverage being excluded from the bill’s modest protections.”

The proposed legislation additionally provides that the public interest test will not be met where the information concerns the identify of intelligence officers, or if the journalist’s conduct could endanger public health or safety. The draft statute is also ambiguous about the legal test to be applied: whether the reporting must objectively be in the public interest or whether it is sufficient for the journalist to reasonably believe it to be so.

“It is always hard to know how this type of defence will work until you see how a judge interprets it,” said Phillips. “On the face of it, it is a good thing that thought is being given to the inclusion of a public interest defence, especially as there is not one presently available. However, the reality is that public interest defences to alleged criminal acts are few and far between. What we do know from our experience in other areas of the law is that it can be hard for journalists where the evidential burden, as I understand is being proposed here, rests on them.”

Public servant whistleblowers will not enjoy the benefit of a public interest defence. While the offences are not applicable where the information is disclosed through appropriate channels via the Public Interest Disclosure Act, the federal whistleblower protection scheme, that law has often been criticised as ineffective and is awaiting reform.

The approach taken in the proposed reform, according to Murphy, “ignores the inherent weaknesses of these laws to protect complainants and preserve their rights. These changes represent a substantial threat to whistleblowers and journalists who seek to publish critical public information. Whistleblowers in Australia get punished; it is as simple as that. Laws like these create further disincentives for people who witness wrongdoing and corruption to air their concerns.”

“This is a corruption issue, not a free speech issue,” added Whitton. “Australia is at serious risk of state capture if whistleblowers are not protected.”

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s second reading speech to the House of Representatives gave little attention to this element of the amendment bill, with the term “secrecy” appearing just once.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Department said: “The government is committed to striking the right balance between openness and transparency in government and the legitimate need to protect some commonwealth information.

“Protecting Australia from espionage and foreign interference relies heavily on having strong protections for our information, especially where disclosure causes harm to an essential public interest. The unauthorised disclosure or use of certain information can prejudice national security and defence, or our relationships with other countries, and as such criminal offences are necessary to deter such disclosures and punish them if they do occur.”

The Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office said: “Given that unauthorised disclosures do not receive protection for disclosers, the ombudsman encourages public officials to make their disclosures in accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act.”



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

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

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


16 January, 2018

Authoritarian Britain

Research by Oxford University academics suggests Britain needs to cut back on its drinking as well as fast food

The traditional January detox when Britons stop drinking and start dieting could last all year under new government health guidelines.

Public Health England (PHE) has told fast-food chains and supermarket ready-meal makers to “calorie cap” their foods, cutting down lunches and dinners to 600 calories and breakfast to 400.

The plan, to put the whole of the UK on a diet, is due out in March.

To add to the agony, it coincides with research showing that the UK’s alcohol rules are too lax, with even drinking one pint or glass of wine a day poisoning the brain and raising the risk of dementia.

Alison Tedstone, PHE’s chief nutritionist, told food bosses that 27% of UK adults are obese, 36% more were overweight

What a lot of excreta! 1600 calories is a weight-loss diet so this is all hot air. There is unlikely to be any serious enforcement of this or the government will be out on its ear -- JR

The myth of toxic masculinity

Stop pathologising men – they’re doing just fine

In these strange political times, it’s very fashionable to trash men. ‘Toxic masculinity’ has become the prefabricated phrase of choice bolted on to every problem involving men. Such lazy use of language would have George Orwell turning in his grave.

The toxic masculinity argument demands that men need to be fixed, re-educated and reprogrammed. This baseless assumption, founded on nonsense psychologism, is deeply insulting. What would happen if another identity group were told that they were flawed and lacking, and must be re-educated? We’re in danger of returning to the days when pathologising certain groups was regarded as normal – when homosexuality was treated and accepted as a mental illness, of women were labelled hysterics.

The discussion of toxic masculinity doesn’t really have much interest in helping men, either. It was interesting that last year’s International Men’s Day came and went without much fuss, considering it was sandwiched by two male suicides. The first was Carl Sargeant, a Labour Party MP who killed himself after being accused of non-criminal sexual harassment (Sargeant died not knowing his accuser or the allegations against him). The second suicide was a paid Labour Party employee. No doubt the relative silence about these two suicides is an attempt to downplay the Kafkaesque witch-hunt of men following the #MeToo campaign. Many mental-health charities concerned with male suicide also failed to mention these tragic events.

This narrative of toxic or flawed men does not represent what I encounter in the context of the psychoanalytic clinic. Prefabricated phrases like ‘men are emotionally illiterate’, ‘men cannot cry’ and ‘men have to own their vulnerability’ are not something I recognise in my psychoanalytic work. Many women can find great difficulty in opening up, as can men. More importantly, many find that being stoic in confrontation with mental distress can be vital for coping with the vicissitudes of life.

Peoples’ struggles and subjectivities are ultimately heterogeneous – so very heterogeneous that one cannot predict how a man or a woman coming to psychoanalysis will be, and how they will react to ‘opening up’. It takes time and patience to get to know somebody and understand the (very singular) symptoms they struggle with. The kneejerk application and totalisation of a person with a homogenous theory like toxic masculinity removes the possibility of a unique and individual process of subjectification.

This simplification and stereotyping is a key factor of identity politics, especially within the more authoritarian left, which has a propensity to diagnose how other groups act as oppressors. (The classic example being that white males are supposedly racist and exude damaging toxic masculinity.) This becomes problematic when people who are supposedly being protected from such oppression don’t agree with the ideology. For example, not all women, trans or gay people want to be dictated to or spoken for. This reluctance to accept the popular idea of toxic masculinity is often met with accusations of being in denial or suffering from internalised misogyny. Rather than celebrating difference, the psychologism of toxic masculinity alienates the individual from their own subjectivity, negating his or her own ability to write their own narrative.

As Michel Foucault and Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi outlined, in highly controlling societies the perfect prison is one in which individuals police themselves. Toxic masculinity, and the reification of masculinity, has created a panoptic psychological regime to guard against what is considered to be Orwellian wrongthink. The norm is supporting Safe Spaces, PC culture and identity politics, and any criticism is immediately condemned as being caused by toxic masculinity. The psychoanalyst Roland Gori argues that people crave this ‘security’ of the norm, as it relieves them from the dizzying ‘groundlessness’ of heterogeneousness which resides outside the norm. In order to maintain our freedom and liberty, we have to reject the idea that security is found in conformity.

Let’s be honest. Pretty much the only identity group that it is considered acceptable to pathologise is men. Like the witch-hunts of old, men must admit to the sin of toxic masculinity, and be purged, or else face persecution. It is time to call out the narrative of toxic masculinity for what it really is – a toxic idea.


The British army’s latest ads spell the end of the warrior ethos

The British Army’s new advertising campaign unwittingly highlights the crisis of this institution. Its ads seem keen to present the army as a Safe Space, where people’s feelings and identities will always be affirmed and they will not be subjected to the kind of pressures normally associated with a military outfit. The message seems to be: ‘We’re no longer really an army, so sign up and have a nice, easy life.’

In line with today’s celebration of emotionalism, the recruitment campaign tells would-be soldiers it’s ‘okay to cry’; it’s cool to emote in public. Unlike older recruitment campaigns, this one downplays the physical and mental attributes that are usually associated with soldiering. Instead of emphasising excitement and adventure, it focuses on psychological validation and empathy. It all suggests that the army thinks emotional vulnerability will be the default characteristic of new recruits. So one of the feelgood ads shows a tearful soldier in a jungle opening a letter from a loved one; his mate affirms his emotions and offers him a cup of tea.

The flipside of this focus on the emotional is a self-conscious downplaying of the importance of physical fitness in those who join the army. One advert asks the question, ‘Do I have to be a superhero?’, and then implicitly answers with a firm ‘No’. It features a lad who confesses that he is physically unfit but who later manages to gain some strength, with the help of his mates. The campaign’s subliminal message – that it is okay to be soft – makes it look like an appeal to join the Brownies or the Cubs.

As it happens, no army ever expected new recruits to be ‘superheroes’. So why this keenness to reassure would-be soldiers that it’s fine for them to be regular lads and lasses? Because this is about distancing the army from its traditional association with the values of heroism, courage and valour. The emphasis of this strange public-relations exercise is on the ordinary and banal, not the extraordinary or brave.

The army has justified its campaign as a necessary response to its current recruitment crisis. It says its traditional recruitment pool of white men has diminished over the past 10 to 15 years, so it needs to reach out to wider sections of society. The army is portrayed as an all-inclusive institution where people can openly discuss their sexuality and practice their religion. One ad, titled ‘Keeping my Faith’, shows a Muslim soldier kneeling in prayer while his comrades turn down a crackling radio so that he can carry out his religious duties undisturbed.

Some have criticised the campaign for its one-dimensional focus on reassuring Muslim, gay or physically unfit recruits, claiming this panders to the fashionable ethos of diversity. But this overlooks the real issue at stake. The army should be open to people from all kinds of backgrounds. The real problem with this campaign is that it presents military life as a Safe Space where everyone can feel comfortable. And in doing so, it unwittingly lowers expectations of what it means to be a professional soldier. Instead of appealing to young people’s quest for adventure and their sense of idealism, courage and duty, the army is trying to replenish its numbers by appealing to those who might be put off by such a hardcore militaristic outlook or image.

The recruitment drive, which its creators refer to as the ‘Belonging Campaign’, makes no attempt to explain the actual purpose of an army. It avoids spelling out just what kind of people might be suitable for a life of professional soldiering. Anyone watching these ads could be forgiven for not knowing that being a soldier involves fighting against, and sometimes killing, the enemies of one’s country.

In one sense, the Belonging Campaign represents an important departure from previous public-relations initiatives by the army. Its implicit promotion of the Safe Space ethos and mawkish celebration of emotional vulnerability suggests the army has more or less given up on the values associated with the warrior ethos – at least publicly. But in another sense, the campaign can be seen as only the latest version of an effort to sell military life as little more than a sensible career choice for people looking to improve their skills and prospects. Over the past decade, recruitment material for the army has boasted that army life can equip people with skills and qualifications that can be easily transferred into civilian life. Such material always focuses on what recruits will get out of the army rather than on what is expected of the soldier him or herself.

For some time now, the army has tried to gain recruits by presenting itself as just another skills-and-training institution. It has downplayed military values and objectives. But now it has gone a step further. Now it explicitly distances itself from the values of a fighting force. It seems the only thing that distinguishes it from normal civilian institutions is that it expects its employees to wear a uniform and maintain a modicum of discipline.

This trend for turning the army into a borderline civilian institution speaks to a serious identity crisis. There is now very little cultural validation for the risky and sometimes dangerous actions soldiers often have to take. In recent decades the military has bought into the culture of risk-aversion that afflicts society more broadly. The ethos of safety has been institutionalised within the military. Army commanders have to draw up risk assessments for every aspect of soldiers’ training. Some have stopped testing soldiers to their limits lest they inadvertently contravene health-and-safety rules. General Sir Michael Rose, former head of the SAS, has spoken out about the destructive impact of risk-aversion on the morale of the military. He has denounced the ‘moral cowardice’ that has brought about what he calls a ‘most catastrophic collapse’ in the military ethos.

What the Belonging Campaign has failed to grasp is that people do not simply want to belong – they want to be part of something that is meaningful. People will join the army if they feel this institution has some purpose, and if its values inspire and move them. People are prepared to expose themselves to the risk of battle if they feel that something important is at stake, and that their contribution will actually mean something. Unless the army can provide recruits with values that inspire them, and a way of life that has real meaning, then the recruitment crisis will drag on.

The Belonging Campaign is looking in the wrong places with these ads. Young people who want to settle into a Safe Space and never be challenged or confronted are unlikely to join an institution known for placing people in combat zones. The only beneficiary of the Belonging Campaign is the public-relations outfit that was commissioned to produce it.


No government need take notice of Guardian readers and Twitter-provoked petitions

Online petitions don't represent the majority of the population

Rod Liddle

I once asked Michael Gove, when he had just been appointed Education Secretary, if he would mind awfully appointing me as chairman of Ofsted: I had one or two vigorous ideas, such as reversing the grades awarded to schools for ‘cultural diversity’ so that they more closely represented what the overwhelming majority of parents actually think. Michael smiled politely and walked away, which I took as a definite indication of assent. Frankly, I will never forgive the treachery. Gove handed out the job to someone who went native almost immediately, became subsumed by the Blob. Serves him right. I assume Gove, in a cowardly manner, was worried by the possible howl-round of appointing a chap who had once asked readers if they had ever, after a few pints, considered giving one to Harriet Harman. I had been trying to be nice, but there we are.

Michael was clearly terrified of the Twit-ter-storm, the maniacs on social media sites, the relentless fury of a couple of hundred thousand people, almost all of whom we pay for out of our taxes to carry out their fatuous jobs, if they have any, and who care for freedom of speech and freedom of conscience with the same fervour with which a Tower Hamlets imam cares about the rights of his local LGBTQI folk.

Toby Young got a little further than I did, as part of The Spectator’s drive to capture all the major offices of government — Taki in charge of immigration, Charles Moore personally strangling foxes at the Min of Ag and Jeremy Clarke running the MoD — but tendered his resignation when it became evident that it would be shortly tendered for him. The mob works. The mob thinks it is an expression of democracy — and in a sense it is, so long as nobody of importance pays any heed to its eternal, moronic fugue and its bedwetting tantrums.

The problem is that people who should know better, i.e., the government, do take it seriously. Perhaps it is because they are right-wingers: they see that 200,000 people have signed a petition against something and assume that they are just normal people, a bit like them. But they are not. They are the same 200,000 liberal-left wank-puffins who sign every fatuous petition got up by Change.org or 38 Degrees: they are magnificently arrogant in their presumption that because 0.3 per cent of the population have summoned up the ability to click a button, they must have their way.

The first thing, then, is for the government to reappraise the numbers issue. Maybe start taking a mild interest in petitions when they reach about the four million mark — about 6 per cent of the population, instead of promising House of Commons debates as soon as they reach the pitiful figure of 100,000, as is the case now. So, four million, minimum, otherwise ignore them totally. The government is out of date on the numbers, on what constitutes a genuine public feeling.

With Toby Young there was no popular feeling at all — it was just them again. The usual suspects. Take no notice of them, they count for nothing. Because otherwise nobody who is right of centre will ever be able to be appointed to anything. Every time they do, the puffins will begin their work. The fundamentalist wankpuffins will tap ‘Toby Young Twitter tits’ or ‘Rod Liddle Facebook give Harriet one’ into Google and rip everything out of context, stripped of nuance and regardless of whether it was uttered 25 years ago — and then the foot-soldier wankpuffins will swallow it whole and tap their little buttons on their laptops for Change.org. That’s how it works — a few judicious Googles and almost every-one in the country can be found bang to rights, can be shrieked at and told to resign.

The political right, in general, does not behave like this. It does not become beside itself with fury when someone who has views counter to their own is appointed to a post, which is all that happened in the case of Young. For the left, it is all that matters: if he disagrees with me, he must be vile and thus unsuitable.

Toby Young was appointed to a minor role on an obscure education quango because of his exceptional work with free schools. In the education sector there are almost no right-wingers appointed to anything. No visiting professors, or honorary professors. By contrast, the genuinely idiotic journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has been a visiting professor at three universities, despite having said that she wishes white men to be expunged from the face of the earth and that the white working class is ‘scum’, and having referred to people who voted Leave by the brilliant term ‘Brex-shitters’. But the right do not get inflamed in quite the same way.

Your history will always come back to haunt you, but only if you are on the right. If you are on the left, it won’t matter at all. Just hypothetically speaking, I think it is entirely possible that one could be appointed to a senior position within a left-wing party despite having demanded honours for IRA murderers, supported genocidal terrorist organisations such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and proclaimed an affection for a totalitarian communist dictatorship in, say, Cuba which imprisons trade union leaders and persecutes homosexuals That’s just hypothetically speaking, mind; I can’t know for sure.

The problem is not the mob, no matter how fascistic and undemocratic its mindset might be. The puffins have every right to tap their little buttons, to scream and stamp their feet, to howl with anguish. The problem is solely the respect given to it. A Guardian editorial column is read by about 100,000 people, 0.1 per cent of the population. It does not matter. And nor does double that number signing a petition. It is time the right wised up to this and acquired from somewhere the semblance of a spine.


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

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

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


15 January, 2018

The Uncensored President

If you haven't figured this out yet, Donald Trump tends to be unfiltered and uncensored. While we in our humble shop do not condone his coarse language or style, and see it as unbecoming the office he holds, the fact is Trump resonates with the majority of "blue-collar" Americans. As Mark Alexander noted in his profile on Trump Wednesday, "He is a New Yorker, and he's always acted like an archetypal New Yorker — brash, boastful, profane and unpredictable."

In regard to Trump's now infamous "s—thole countries" remark, Alexander observed, "Trump should be credited with exercising restraint in his description of those countries."

For the record, most of your Patriot editorial team members have traveled to some of the countries Trump was referencing (among others), and some of us have lived in them. We can corroborate first hand that Trump's alleged remarks regarding Haiti, El Salvador and some countries in Africa are accurate — because they have been governed by corrupt tyrants for generations. That does not, however, mean that citizens from those nations coming here to make a better life have no value, as Trump crudely implied.

Joe Concha, media analyst for The Hill, noted: "This is how he speaks. He's inelegant, yes. He's unfiltered, yes. But what people like about him so much is that he's authentic. ... I don't think one Trump supporter jumps to the other side because of this comment." Actually, Trump's remark will bring more working blue-collar Democrats, those who have been ignored by the Democrat Party for 30 years, onto the Trump train.

Predictably, Demos and their mainstream media outlets are feigning outrage that such a word was used in the White House. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who confirmed reports of Trump's comments, wailed from the fainting couch, "I cannot believe that in the history of the White House and that Oval Office any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak." What planet has he been on? Bill and Hillary Clinton's undisputed tirades, as described by their Secret Service agents, make Trump's remarks sound like playground banter.

Of course, all the hyperbolic rhetoric on the Left is an effort to paint Trump as a racist.

Their strategy is to undermine Trump's plans for immigration reform and border security. Democrats know that their political future depends on growing the immigrant population — a population they label as a victim class, which they can then exploit for votes. As Democrats have veered farther left, their working-class base has diminished. Rather than pivot back to the political center, they have only doubled down on immigration, further rejecting the American worker in favor of the non-American.

On a final note regarding Haiti, it was Bill and Hillary Clinton who exploited the Haitian people for their own financial gain...


An authoritarian homosexual

Sean Gabb thinks that the increasingly open authoritarianism of the Left is evidence that they are losing

I have some respect for Peter Tatchell. He campaigned against the anti-homosexual laws before this was a safe thing to do. He has shown courage on other issues. This being said, I am troubled by his latest set of recommendations. Writing on the 8th January 2018 for The Friends of Europe blog, he declares that “equal rights are not enough.” It is not enough for people to be treated equally before the law. It is also necessary for children to be brainwashed into agreeing with him. He says:

To combat intolerance and bullying, education against all prejudice – including racism, misogyny, disablism, xenophobia, ageism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia – should be a stand-alone compulsory subject in every school. Equality and diversity lessons should start from the first year of primary level onwards, with no opt-outs for private or faith schools and no right for parents to withdraw their children.....

These lessons should be subject to annual examination, ensuring that both pupils and teachers take these lessons seriously; otherwise they won’t. A pupil’s equality grades should be recorded and declared when applying for higher education and jobs, as it is in the interests of everyone to have universities and workplaces without prejudice.

To see what Peter means, let us take a number of issues:

Whether the various races are of equal intellectual or moral capacity;

Whether the sexes are of equal intellectual or moral capacity;

Whether sex outside an exclusive relationship with a person of the opposite sex is right or advisable;

Whether changing sex, with present levels of technology, is advisable;

Whether mass-immigration is good for a host community.

I could mention other issues, but these will do. No side in any of them is self-evidently true. The truth of each side must therefore be a matter of argument. In all cases, argument either way rests on assumptions that are themselves matters of argument. For the authorities to classify one side in any of these issues as “hate” is as much an abuse of power as criminalising particular views about the Nature of Christ or the sources of religious knowledge. Let attacks on life and property be punished according to law. But let any opinion stand or fall by the appropriate evidence.

Peter is demanding that all education should be made into a scheme of propaganda for what he presently believes. He seems to be demanding that anyone who refuses to preach this should be banned from teaching. He is also demanding that any child who, for whatever reason and perhaps for however long, dissents from what is taught in class should be denied entry to university and marked for life as a dissident.

Except the issues are different, this sounds like the practice of the Soviet police states. It seems calculated to produce in schools an environment of hysterical conformity and of spying and of malicious informing – an environment that will be carried into the adult world. Since elsewhere in his article, he calls for what looks like a comprehensive censorship of the media, Peter may think he has a scheme to make everyone agree with him for ever and ever. I doubt this. In any society that retains the smallest trace of freedom, conformity will be at most superficial and temporary. Even in the Soviet police states, generations of propaganda and labour camps failed to keep the system from eventually collapsing, after which every banned opinion flourished again like weeds in an untended garden.

I could end here. There was a time when I would have ended here. Or I might have suggested that powers taken to impose one set of views could one day be used to impose the opposite. I might then have expected Peter to slap his forehead, and confess how, in an excess of zeal, he had called for a total state. But that was thirty years ago, and I have too much respect for Peter’s intelligence to believe he fails to understand what he is saying.

On the one hand, as said, I am troubled by his recommendations. There is some chance that our Fake Conservative government will take them up. In some degree, they have been taken up. Several years ago, I sat in a meeting where a teacher explained how the father of one his pupils was a UKIP activist, and how the boy’s outspoken Euroscepticism in class might be a matter for intervention by the “safeguarding team.” No new law would be needed to impose what Peter is recommending. I can easily see how the Ministers would take this up as another attempt at signalling virtue to the Cultural Marxists – or “the Puritans” – they have done nothing since 2010 to dislodge.

On the other hand, I find the recommendations reassuring. They suggest a perception of weakness. These people have had something like total control of the mainstream media and of education at least since 1997. They have silenced dissent wherever they control. They have still not established ideological hegemony. They are growing old. One at a time, the true believers are giving way to a new and mediocre generation of apparatchiks. Now is the time when you must expect to see them turn desperate for what they have built to be set in concrete. When they were young, they built their total state behind a façade of semi-liberal platitudes. Now they are old, and now they feel that they have been building on sand, the gloves are coming off.

I do not think they will win. A year on, and the Referendum result in England and the Trump victory in America have disappointed those who worked for them. The fact remains that, despite a wall of propaganda and Establishment money, majorities voted to leave the European Union and for the promises that Mr Trump made and appeared to believe in keeping. There will come a time when the present order of things falls with a sudden crash. 2016 was not that time. But the slow and silent undermining that precedes a crash is undeniable. Peter Tatchell and his Puritan friends know this. They have nothing to lose from calling for an openly total state. In the long term, even so, it will avail them naught.


The decline of manners

Manners are a form of consideration for others

Rebecca Hagelin
As my hubby and I pulled up to the front door of the fancy five-star steakhouse that a friend had given us a gift certificate for, we were shocked by the sign that awaited us.

Given that this restaurant is known for its romantic ambiance, elegant interior and tables draped in crisp white tablecloths, I was looking forward to an elegant date night.

So, the sign really threw me for a loop: “Kindly remove your hat when entering the restaurant. Thank you for not wearing gym wear, sweat pants, tank tops, clothing with offensive graphics or language, or exposed undergarments.”

Seriously? Have moms and dads so neglected teaching basic civility and manners that a restaurant manager has to tell people how not to dress?

Maybe it’s time for a manners revolution.

If you’re a regular reader of my column, then you know I frequently write about public policy. Not so today. Teaching manners and civility is a matter of family policy. Your family policy.

It was my mom who taught me how to dress for the situation, and I pretty much knew the rules by age five. While I understand and even appreciate today’s very casual style, apparently there are a lot of adults who don’t know that it’s downright rude to wear sweatpants in some places.

Dressing appropriately is more a matter of practicing basic civility and respect toward others than it is about fashion.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the older couple at a table near us, dressed to the nines for their big night out at a special place, and how disrespectful it would be for a woman to plop down next to them with her undies on display. Or for a man to show up wearing gym clothes and a baseball cap.

Children don’t learn good graces and how to be thoughtful unless their parents take the time to teach them. You have to start young and reinforce, reinforce, reinforce every day of your child’s life to build respect and kindness.

Why? Because American society and institutions used to come alongside parents and reinforce respectful behavior; but for three or more decades now, the culture has taught us to be self-centered, technologically oriented to the point of tuning out real relationships, and just plain rude.

And, as recent news reports testify, our culture has also taught us to tolerate highly disrespectful and immoral behavior like sexual harassment.

Apathy toward indecent, uncivil, and immoral behavior has been the undoing of many a society throughout history. Nations filled with individuals who are apathetic about how they treat others ultimately become nations marred by selfishness and greed.

History shows us that no enemy was able to defeat ancient Rome; Rome fell from within when it became morally bankrupt. A country composed of selfish, greedy, immoral individuals cannot stand.

Common decency, civility and morality are intertwined, and the future of our children as individuals and our society as a whole utterly depend on them.

Consider the words of professor Alexander Tyler, an 18th-century historian and economist who wrote the following in his central work, The Cycle of Democracy, in 1778:

“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty,from liberty to abundance, from abundance to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back into bondage.”

Ours is an apathetic society, to say the least. If our children are to have a future of freedom, it’s going to be up to us to start restoring the very basis of a civil society: our civility.

To truly influence the culture, we must teach our children to be respectful, helpful, courteous, and generous, and we must teach them to continue exhibiting these traits even if they never receive a smile or thanks in return. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do.

Remember, it’s about way more than the the sweatpants.


Taiwan isn't China, and Taiwanese aren't Chinese

by Jeff Jacoby

Lights come on as the sun sets in Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan. In the foreground is the Taipei 101 skyscraper, one of the tallest buildings on earth.

THERE IS a moment in "1776," the acclaimed musical about the American founding, in which Benjamin Franklin explains to the Second Continental Congress why he can no longer think of himself as an Englishman. He is aggrieved that the colonists are being denied the full rights of English citizens, but that isn't the whole of it.

"We've spawned a new race here — rougher, simpler, more violent, more enterprising, less refined," Franklin says. "We're a new nationality. We require a new nation."

I thought of that scene as I was having dinner recently with three students in Taipei.

The three — Celia Chung, Tony Chang, and Polly Cheng — attend National Chengchi University, one of Taiwan's oldest institutions of higher education. I met them during a visit to Taiwan sponsored by the Association of Foreign Relations, a Taiwan-based NGO that promotes international awareness of the island's affairs. After several days of meeting middle-aged diplomats and civil servants, I had sought out a chance to talk with young people not constrained by party line or government platitudes. In particular, I wanted to know what it meant to them to be Taiwanese.

On the rare occasions when Taiwan attracts media attention in the United States — for example, when then-president-elect Donald Trump made a point of taking a congratulatory phone call from Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's president — there is always much talk of the "One-China" policy, the old dogma that Taiwan and the mainland are inextricable elements of a single country.

The Communist regime in Beijing clings fiercely to that claim, in effect maintaining that Taiwan is a renegade Chinese province and not a unique country. During the decades when Taiwan was an authoritarian state under Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Party, Taipei's government echoed the "One-China" fiction, claiming that it was the sole rightful ruler of all China.

Taiwan abandoned that delusion when it became a democracy in the 1980s. But relations with China still cast a giant shadow over Taiwanese politics and society. Beijing goes to great lengths to blackball Taiwan in international forums, reacting menacingly to any suggestion that Taiwan be treated as sovereign. At times China has resorted to naked intimidation: In 1995 and 1996, as Taiwan prepared to hold its first freely contested presidential election, China launched missiles at Taiwan's shores — a warning to voters not to support the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party.

At the same time, China and Taiwan are economically intertwined. China is Taiwan's biggest trade partner, absorbing 40 percent of the island's exports. Some 2 million Taiwanese live and work in China, and Taiwan's foreign direct investment in China has surpassed $10 billion a year. Moreover, millions of tourists from the mainland visit Taiwan each year.

But neither China's military threats nor its economic pull — nor the fact that 95 percent of Taiwan's population is ethnically Han Chinese — induces my dinner companions to describe themselves as anything but Taiwanese. None feels any emotional affinity for China. None wishes to see China and Taiwan reunited. All three reject the "One China" posture. The rest of the world should, too.

The students I met certainly don't agree on everything, especially the question of how assertive Taiwan's foreign policy should be.

Tony and Polly are offended by the diplomatic status quo — the exclusion of Taiwan from membership in most international organizations, for instance, or the refusal to let Taiwanese athletes compete under their country's name and flag. They would like to see more pressure on China to stop demeaning Taiwan. Celia, who comes from a region of Taiwan heavily dependent on tourism, favors maintaining the status quo and not imperiling the gains Taiwan has already made. "I think China is a horrible country with a bad human rights record," she says. But it is also a powerful enemy, and provoking it could be suicidal.

Most Taiwanese share Celia's caution, according to opinion polls, and it is the dominant attitude in risk-averse diplomatic circles. When I ask Kwei-Bo Huang, the Association of Foreign Relations' secretary-general, whether the frequent snubbing of Taiwan in international settings makes him angry, he replies serenely that Taiwan must accept what it cannot change. "We need to strike a balance between saving face and making gains."

As a small island threatened by a totalitarian superpower, Taiwan's freedom of action may indeed be limited. Yet, as with the American colonists in Franklin's era, the more intense the threats and pressure from the mother country grow, the more distinct the sense of national separateness becomes. Taiwanese democracy has galvanized a Taiwanese national identity — one more deeply-rooted in Celia, Tony, and Polly than it was when their parents were their age.

For 25 years, the Election Study Center in Taipei has been asking Taiwan residents whether they consider themselves Taiwanese, Chinese, or both. In 1992, only 17 percent of respondents identified themselves as exclusively Taiwanese, while 25 percent said they were Chinese. Today, with a generation having grown up under democracy, those numbers are dramatically different: More than 58 percent of respondents now identify as solely Taiwanese, while a mere 3 percent of Taiwan's people see themselves as Chinese. And among the young, Taiwanese identity has become almost universal. In a 2013 poll, more than 90 percent of people under 34 identified themselves as exclusively Taiwanese.

Thanks in part to England's harsh perversity, American colonists metamorphosed from loyal English citizens who loved their king — in 1767, Franklin still admired George III as the best king in the world — into a new nationality, requiring a new nation. Thanks in part to China's brutal stubbornness, something similar has happened in Taiwan. "One China" is dead, and Beijing helped kill 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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


14 January, 2018

Lawsuit Challenging Alabama's Voter ID Law Is Dismissed

A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit challenging Alabama's voter ID law that requires people to show government-issued photo identification at the polls.

The Alabama lawsuit was one of the latest battles in the U.S. between voting rights advocates, who say the measures are aimed at suppressing voter turnout, and conservative states that argue the protections are needed to ensure honest elections.

U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler on Wednesday ruled in favor of the state, saying the provision does not discriminate against minorities and is not an undue infringement on the right to vote since the state makes free IDs available for voting purposes.

Since 2014, Alabama has required voters to show government-issued photo identification when they vote. The Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, Greater Birmingham Ministries and minority voters had sued over the law in 2015, calling it discriminatory and an infringement on voting rights. They contended Alabama politicians knew when they enacted it that black and Latino voters "disproportionately lack the required photo ID."

Coogler ruled in favor of the state, noting that the state makes free IDs available to people who lack them.

"In Alabama, the law has no discriminatory impact because it does not prevent anyone from voting, not when free IDs are issued in every county, or at home, under conditions that any registered voter can meet," Coogler wrote.

Sherrilyn Ifill is president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Funds, which represented plaintiffs in the case. She said the organization is considering its next steps.

"We are deeply disappointed by the judge's ruling dismissing our case before trial. Over the course of two years, we have developed a sound case demonstrating that Alabama's voter ID law is racially discriminatory," Ifill said in a statement.

State lawmakers approved the photo ID law in 2011 not long after the GOP took control of the legislature. They argued the measure was needed to combat potential voter fraud.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall praised the decision, saying the state's voter ID law was one of the "broadest in the nation" because of the mechanisms for obtaining a free ID.

"Today's decision to dismiss the lawsuit is without a doubt the right decision," Marshall said in a statement.

Coogler said the state has issued 13,442 free voter photo IDs, including some through a mobile unit that travels to different locations. He noted the case of Elizabeth Ware, a 60-year-old African-American woman in Mobile County, whose state ID was stolen in 2014. She tried to get a free voter ID but was turned away by workers saying she was not eligible to obtain one since she previously had a state ID. After her deposition in the lawsuit, Secretary of State John Merrill sent a mobile unit to her home in south Alabama to make the photo ID.

Texas officials last month asked a federal appellate court to let a re-worked version of that state's voter ID law proceed, after years of court fights, because it allows people without acceptable photo ID to vote by signing an affidavit stating they cannot reasonably obtain one.


Steven Pinker: Here’s how political correctness winds up creating its own antagonists

Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker makes the case that political correctness actually winds up creating its own antagonists as curious students discover certain unspeakable truths have been hidden from them.

SEE ALSO: Today’s hot topics: Pork-barrel revival, Wal-Mart tax-cut dividends, and In Search of Liberty!

Pinker doesn’t offer any precise definitions of political correctness here but it’s clear what he means, i.e. left-wing efforts to silence opponents and censor discussion of certain uncomfortable topics. He offers a number of examples of what he means.

“So here is a fact that is going to sound reasonably controversial but it is not and that is that capitalist societies are better than communist ones,” Pinker states before an audience of Harvard students.

He continues, “If you doubt it well then just ask yourself the question ‘Would I rather live in South Korea or North Korea?’, ‘Would I rather live in West Germany in the 1970s or East Germany…I submit that this is actually not a controversial statement but on university campuses, it is considered flamingly radical.”

Pinker goes on to offer several more statements: That men and women differ in their tastes and interest. That different ethnic groups commit violent crime at different rates. Finally, that the majority of suicide-terror acts worldwide are committed by Muslim extremists. And this brings Pinker to his central point.

“Now if you’ve never heard these facts before and you stumble across them or someone mentions them, it is possible to come to some extreme conclusions,” he says, adding, “That women are inferior, that African-Americans are naturally violent, that we all ought to be anarcho-capitalists and do away with all regulation and social safety nets.”

Pinker’s point is that there are arguments against each of these conclusions, for instance: All modern capitalist systems have significant social safety nets, including (he says) some with the highest levels of economic freedom.

There are plenty of details one could argue with here. For instance, it’s not necessary to go all the way to fringe anarcho-capitalism in order to argue that a particular piece of regulation poses an unnecessary burden on private interests. It’s also not necessary to take from the high rate of black violent crime that violence is in some way innate or natural to certain races (as opposed to culturally influenced).

Still, it’s an interesting argument that efforts to make certain topics verboten wind up creating a kind of intellectual black market where the potential for reaching more extreme conclusions is heightened unnecessarily. Instead, Pinker suggests it would be better to be able to acknowledge these facts and then discuss them openly. I think he’s on to something there but I doubt he’s going to convince those on the far left who have embraced “no-platforming” their opponents. Shouting people down is more emotionally satisfying than having a discussion in which neither side can claim a clear win.


Trump administration to delay Obama rule combating housing segregation

The Trump administration is delaying an Obama-era rule that bolstered enforcement of the Fair Housing Act, a decades-old law intended to combat segregation in neighborhoods across the country. While the delay doesn’t eliminate the rule entirely, housing advocates say it indicates, at the very least, an attempt by federal officials to weaken hard-fought housing protections.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is planning to push back the deadline for cities to analyze and address issues of segregation and improve conditions for people of color by several years, to October 2020, according to a HUD memo obtained by ThinkProgress and set for release on Friday.

“At a minimum this is a precursor to significantly watering down the assessment tool which is a template that jurisdictions use to complete their assessment of fair housing,” said Thomas Silverstein, counsel in the Fair Housing & Community Development Project at the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Laws. “This is such a significant delay.”

Some communities seeking HUD grant funding have been required to complete comprehensive neighborhood segregation analyses required in the Obama-era rules since October 2016. Deadlines for cities and towns to complete those analyses have been rolling out since on a staggered basis, depending on the date of the grant they were seeking.

With a number of assessments due starting this April, cities and towns will not have to abide by the Obama-era rule when completing their analyses until 2020.

The agency’s current disdain for neighborhood desegregation policies reflects comments HUD Secretary Ben Carson has made in the past. Carson characterized the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and other government-led attempts to integrate neighborhoods, including the Obama-era rule that was introduced in 2015, as a failed “social experiment.”

“These government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse,” Carson wrote in a Washington Times op-ed in 2015. “There are reasonable ways to use housing policy to enhance the opportunities available to lower-income citizens, but based on the history of failed socialist experiments in this country, entrusting the government to get it right can prove downright dangerous.”

The Fair Housing Act was created with the intent of unraveling decades of racial segregation in neighborhoods across the country and banning housing discrimination. It eventually led to the passage of the Housing and Community Development Act in 1974, which increased federal funding for the revitalization of cities, subsidized housing for the poor, and improved housing options available to black Americans.

Following the passage of the Fair Housing Act, HUD required communities seeking federal funds to promise the agency they were actively working to desegregate housing. But that was only enforced for a couple of years in a handful of places, before President Richard Nixon stepped in and replaced the department’s secretary who was leading the enforcement.

Such standards became law in 1974. Still, despite the fact that the American housing market remains segregated, HUD seldomly enforced it, according Silverstein.

Under the Fair Housing Act, communities are required to send HUD an analysis that describes the hurdles residents of color face and what actions local officials are taking to combat segregation. But local leaders often sent in largely inaccurate data, while HUD neglected to verify whether the information was correct.

The Obama administration gave HUD officials more power in 2015 by allowing the agency to withhold money from communities not abiding by the Fair Housing Act and working to break down segregated neighborhoods by creating the so-called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Act.

The rule created more structure, clarity, and guidance for grant-seeking cities and towns undertaking their analyses, complete with more data and robust community engagement, according to Silverstein. The analysis requires communities to identify racially- or ethnically-concentrated areas of poverty and disparities in access to opportunity and housing. It also requires communities to show the factors contributing to the segregation and create a plan to address those problems, he said.

A number of cities have already gone through the analysis process and implemented policy changes as a result, including New Orleans — which passed new inclusionary housing standards, and the Philadelphia Housing Authority— which adopted small area fair market rents for the housing choice voucher program, previously known as Section 8.

Silverstein fears the Trump administration’s delay will impact HUD’s monitoring of the analyses, which improved after the implementation of the rule, prompting cities to once again, do a less thorough job obtaining accurate segregation data. It could also disincentivize key community stakeholders from sparking robust conversations and gathering accurate information for the analysis  since the delay shows the Obama rule may be on its last leg, he said.


Thug British social welfare workers again

Authoritarian British officials don't listen.  They just KNOW what is right

For any devoted mother with a baby who suffers from colic, it’s a familiar ritual. After every feed, Gina Hodgkins would sit her newborn son Teddy on her lap to rub his back and release any trapped wind causing him discomfort.

She supported his floppy head by gripping him under his chin, with her finger and thumb resting on his cheeks.

So far, so normal. But what happened to Gina, Teddy, his dad and big sister as a result of this entirely innocent routine will strike horror into the hearts of parents everywhere.

Gina’s sturdy grip left marks on Teddy’s cheeks which were exacerbated by an underlying genetic condition few people have heard of. It resulted in two small bruises on his cheeks, which had Gina, and Teddy’s dad Joshua, labelled as abusive parents.

After they were reported by a health visitor, seven police officers arrived at the door to forcibly remove the sleeping baby from his mother’s frantic grasp. Both Teddy and his sister Amelia, then six, were taken into emergency foster care. It took another five months for their innocence to be proved.

And, as we will hear, Gina’s story is unlikely to be an isolated case. Every year, scores of parents have their babies taken away from them after being accused of shaking them so violently that they are left with bruising, broken bones and bleeding on the brain.

Some are convicted of the crimes and jailed. But evidence is emerging that some of these children are not mistreated.

They might, like Teddy, have been born with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), a gene mutation that affects the body’s connective tissue, making it fragile and stretchy. One of the symptoms is that the skin bruises more easily. It is known as an ‘invisible disability’ and affects up to one in 5,000 babies.

Campaigners increasingly believe that EDS may account for some of the estimated 250 court cases involving shaken baby syndrome every year in Britain, according to doctors who specialise in child abuse.

It’s a difficult line to tread. If the police and health and social work professionals don’t investigate bruising and injuries in children, it could end in tragedy. Few can forget the terrible case of toddler Peter Connelly, known as Baby P, who died in 2007 at the hands of his mother, her abusive boyfriend and his brother.

Yet the other side of the story could be the unimaginable horror of innocent children being unjustly removed from their families.

Gina, 25, and her partner Joshua Sparkes, 22, an online retail worker, fear they will never recover from those ‘lost’ five months. Gina says: ‘My son and daughter were taken away from me when I did nothing wrong. I lost five months’ bonding during a formative time in their lives. I can never get that back.’

The couple met and fell in love more than two years ago and moved to Leatherhead, Surrey, with Gina’s daughter Amelia from a previous relationship. They were both excited when Gina discovered she was pregnant with a baby boy. ‘We painted Amelia’s room yellow and decorated one side with his name, Teddy, just for him,’ says Gina.

The birth at Epsom General Hospital, on July 9, 2016, with both Joshua and her mother Pauline in attendance, was quick and easy, and Teddy arrived a healthy 7 lb 8 oz.

Nevertheless, Gina suspected something wasn’t quite right: ‘When my mum took him for a cuddle, she said he looked a bit bruised. There were marks on his arms as well.

‘The nurse reassured me it was normal, and was a result of him getting a bit squashed during delivery. But it hadn’t been a forceps birth, so I was surprised.’

Back home, over the next few weeks, most of the marks faded. But there were two that never went — bruises on the lower part of both his cheeks. ‘I was taking him to be weighed at six weeks old and the health visitor asked if I had any concerns. I showed her the bruises and she said: “Yes, I was about to ask you what they were.” ’

And so the nightmare began. The health visitor went to make some calls, then said she’d contacted social services and the police. Gina was told to go home and wait. Frightened — but knowing she’d done nothing wrong — Gina did as she was told. Joshua came from work and met her at home.

An hour later, two social workers and seven plain-clothed police officers were at the door. ‘When they arrived, I was on the sofa with Teddy on me, asleep. The female officer asked me to turn him round, so she could see him. As soon as she saw his face, she told me she was arresting me on suspicion of ABH.

‘Joshua got upset and tried to intervene. I was hugging Teddy to my chest as they were coming closer. I didn’t want to let go of him, but when they told me they had arrested me and I had to come with them, I agreed to strap him into his car seat. They said if I came nicely, they wouldn’t handcuff me.

Teddy was handed to a social worker and taken to Epsom General Hospital for further examination. Bruises on his legs and wrists were taken as possible ‘evidence’ of ‘abuse’. Joshua, who’d accompanied his son to the hospital, tried to explain how the baby had always seemed to bruise easily. He said: ‘I told them Teddy was born with red marks covering his limbs and that he had a bleed on the eye when he was born — another symptom of easy bruising — but they didn’t listen.’

An hour later, Joshua was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his baby. ‘They put me in handcuffs in the hospital and walked me out through A&E. It was horrible. People were staring at me. In the police car back to the station, I was shaking with anger and shock.’

Joshua and Gina were released at 3am, by which time Teddy and Amelia were in foster care, seven miles away in Reigate. Joshua says: ‘We just started crying and hugging. We hoped we’d wake up in the morning and be told it was a mistake.’

Strict bail conditions meant that, for the first fortnight, Gina and Joshua were banned not only from seeing Teddy and Amelia, but also being near any child under 16, including their nephews and nieces.

After that, they were allowed to see the children once a week for an hour, under strict supervision.

‘It was awful,’ says Gina. ‘We didn’t want to cry in front of the children, but when they left, we blubbed our eyes out. I was always worried Teddy wouldn’t recognise me the next time he saw me, and Amelia would kick and scream when it was time to go.’

Teddy was then placed in the care of a relative, Gina’s sister, Alex, who lived a mile from their house, after lawyers made representations for an interim supervision order. At this point, Amelia was allowed home, having spent five weeks in care. But the loss of her children, and the fear she would lose them for ever if they were found guilty, took its toll.

Every night when Gina went to sleep, she looked at Teddy’s empty cot and wondered if he’d ever come home. Joshua had no choice but to return to work, but worried about leaving Gina alone: ‘There were a couple of times I had to ask her mum to come round and calm her down because she had become hysterical.

‘She would say: “I can’t do this any more. I can’t live without my children.” She’d recently given birth and now her baby had been wrenched away from her.

‘Trying to explain to Amelia why she couldn’t come home was very hard. We just said the authorities had to find out where Teddy’s bruises came from and when they found out, she’d be able to come home.’

Yet Gina might never have got her children back if it were not for her mother, Pauline, reminding them there was a family history of bruising, which had led to other family members being diagnosed with EDS. Pauline remembered how Gina and her three siblings also bruised easily — so much so that they had blood tests and were found to have the condition.

Symptoms can vary and, in their cases, it manifested more as joints that easily dislocated, weak teeth and poor blood clotting.

However, because it was genetic, she reminded them that Teddy could also carry it. The family passed the information on to their lawyers.

Yet, frustratingly, they had to wait for the first court hearing three weeks later in September 2016 to persuade the judge to let them present the new piece of information and get genetic tests done on their son.

Joshua observed that no one in the hearing seemed to have heard of EDS — and says he saw some of the professionals in the case Googling it.

Finally, on Christmas Eve, four months after Teddy had been taken into care, the genetic report came through. A Harley Street doctor confirmed that both Teddy and Gina were likely to carry the EDS gene.

All the couple could think of was getting their baby back. It would take another four weeks for Surrey County Council social services to drop the case against them.

Finally, Dr Kathryn Ward, a consultant paediatrician at Airedale General Hospital, concluded that ‘the most plausible explanation’ for Teddy’s bruising was that Gina had gripped his face during winding. His EDS gave him ‘an increased predisposition to bruising’, she wrote.

In the final hearing on January 25, social services dropped the case. Finally, five months after they were taken away, Gina and Joshua got their family back.

Yet the question still remains how many other parents have had their baby wrongly taken away from them for similar reasons.

EDS affects around one in 5,000 people worldwide, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Research published earlier this year found that in 93 per cent of cases where abuse was alleged after infants broke bones, there was EDS in the family. Most accused parents were not aware they had it, according to the study in the Journal of Dermato-Endocrinology.

William Bache, a lawyer who specialises in defending parents accused of physical abuse, but who did not represent Joshua and Gina, believes the couple’s case may be the tip of the iceberg.

Mr Bache thinks EDS could offer another explanation for what is known as ‘the triad’ of symptoms that many experts believe all but proves an infant has been forcibly shaken for a prolonged period: brain bleeds, retinal bleeding and brain swelling.

‘Yet the medical profession leads the charge of the ignorant on this because, as soon as they see what they consider to be evidence of the triad, they condemn everybody and stop looking,’ he says.

When she finally got Teddy home, Gina said the only apology she received was from the judge.

Teddy is now 18 months old and thriving, although for his parents, the memories are still very raw.



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

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

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


12 January, 2018

Feminism is leading to democide

Democide is when a nation or other group wipes itself out.  People of European descent are busily doing that right now.  Most European countries and their derivative populations in the USA, Australia etc. are not having nearly enough babies to replace those who are dying.  There can be only one end to that.  Will people one day see the last European baby?

So why?  Why the baby drought? Feminism is a large part of it.  They keep telling women that for some unfathomable reason, they need to have a "career" and that relationships with men are "sleeping with the enemy".  They even refer contemptuously to women with children as "breeders".

Once that would not have mattered. Nature ensured that the babies came anyway, ready or not.  But the contraceptive pill has subverted that.  So America and Europe are keeping their populations up by importing third world immigrants at a great rate.  Recent American statistics say that International Migration Accounted for 48% of the Population Growth. 

So America will in the long run become another poor Spanish speaking country.  The small brown men who cross into the USA from South are America's future.  They have IQs averaging at about 85 so will not be able to support a high level of civilization.  You can see the sort of countries they create anywhere South of the Rio Grande.

So feminism is far and away the most successful form of Leftism.  Leftism aims at destroying the society around it.  Feminism is doing that daily. Normal families are the bedrock of society so minimizing them is the ultimate tool of destruction.  Karl Marx saw that clearly.  He was very hostile to families.  So we have had plenty of warning.

Is there a way out?  There is an authoritarian way out.  Russia has a severe problem with population decline so I would not be surprised to see Vladimir Vladimirovich taking strong measures, replacing feminist propaganda with pro-natalist propaganda and denying welfare support in old age to those who have not had children, for instance.  I think all countries should do the latter.  Why should people who have not had children be supported by other people's children?

There is a sort of last-ditch hope.  There are some Western women who do have three or more children, largely because they want to.  They are maternal women.  And being maternal is highly likely to be hereditary.  So their daughters will have multiple children too.  So as the others die out there should remain a core group of women who keep European civilization alive.  They will exist amid a swamp of less intelligent people so their sons will have to be heroes to avoid oppression -- but Northern Europeans in particular are a warrior race so that may come to the fore.

Catherine Deneuve and Other Prominent Frenchwomen Denounce the #MeToo Movement

Just one day after Hollywood offered a show of support for the #MeToo movement on the Golden Globes red carpet and stage, a famous actress on the other side of the Atlantic lent her name to a public letter denouncing the movement, as well as its French counterpart, #Balancetonporc, or “Expose Your Pig.”

Catherine Deneuve joined more than 100 other Frenchwomen in entertainment, publishing and academic fields Tuesday in the pages of the newspaper Le Monde and on its website in arguing that the two movements, in which women and men have used social media as a forum to describe sexual misconduct, have gone too far by publicly prosecuting private experiences and have created a totalitarian climate.

“Rape is a crime. But insistent or clumsy flirting is not a crime, nor is gallantry a chauvinist aggression,” the letter, dated Monday, begins. “As a result of the Weinstein affair, there has been a legitimate realization of the sexual violence women experience, particularly in the workplace, where some men abuse their power. It was necessary. But now this liberation of speech has been turned on its head.”

They contend that the #MeToo movement has led to a campaign of public accusations that have placed undeserving people in the same category as sex offenders without giving them a chance to defend themselves. “This expedited justice already has its victims, men prevented from practicing their profession as punishment, forced to resign, etc., while the only thing they did wrong was touching a knee, trying to steal a kiss, or speaking about ‘intimate’ things at a work dinner, or sending messages with sexual connotations to a woman whose feelings were not mutual,” they write. The letter, written in French was translated here by The New York Times.

The passage appears to refer to the some of the names on a growing list of men who have been suspended, fired or forced to resign after having been accused of sexual misconduct in the last several months.

One of the arguments the writers make is that instead of empowering women, the #MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc movements instead serve the interests of “the enemies of sexual freedom, of religious extremists, of the worst reactionaries,” and of those who believe that women are “‘separate’ beings, children with the appearance of adults, demanding to be protected.” They write that “a woman can, in the same day, lead a professional team and enjoy being the sexual object of a man, without being a ‘promiscuous woman,’ nor a vile accomplice of patriarchy.”

They believe that the scope of the two movements represses sexual expression and freedom. After describing requests from publishers to make male characters “less sexist” and a Swedish bill that will require people to give explicit consent before engaging in sexual activity, the women write, “One more effort and two adults who will want to sleep together will first check, through an app on their phone, a document in which the practices they accept and those they refuse will be duly listed.”

They continue, “The philosopher Ruwen Ogien defended the freedom to offend as essential to artistic creation. In the same way, we defend a freedom to bother, indispensable to sexual freedom.” Though the writers do not draw clear lines between what constitutes sexual misconduct and what does not, they say that they are “sufficiently farseeing not to confuse a clumsy come-on and sexual assault.”


Disgusting Hollywood

And they pretend to instruct us in what is good and right

It’s been only a few months since we found out that Hollywood megaproducer Harvey Weinstein allegedly raped multiple women, sexually abused other women and sexually harassed still more women. Each day, more and more prominent men are caught up in the net of #MeToo, the national movement to listen to the stories of abused women: Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey, Charlie Rose, Russell Simmons, Jeffrey Tambor, Andrew Kreisberg, Louis C.K., Ed Westwick, Brett Ratner, Dustin Hoffman, Jeremy Piven, Danny Masterson and James Toback.

Yet on Sunday, Hollywood held itself a festival of virtue-signaling at the Golden Globes. All the women dressed in black in homage to the victims of a sexual harassment epidemic that has plagued Hollywood since the inception of the casting couch. The men wore “Time’s Up” buttons to show solidarity.

Oprah Winfrey, who was once quite close with Weinstein, gave an emotional speech in which she likened modern-day victims of sexual abuse to a black woman raped by six white men in 1944 Alabama. The cameras cut away to Meryl Streep, who once praised Weinstein as a “god” and gave a standing ovation to accused child rapist Roman Polanski. The entire crowd cheered its goodwill approximately six years after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gave a lifetime achievement award to Woody Allen, who was credibly accused of molesting his own stepdaughter when she was 7 years old.

All of this was supposed to make us feel that Hollywood is somehow leading the charge against sexual aggression. But that’s simply not true. Hollywood isn’t doing anything to materially change its culture; it’s simply operating out of fear of public scrutiny. When the spotlight moves on, people in Hollywood will go right back to doing what they’ve been doing for years: exploiting people less powerful than them.

Winfrey had nothing to say about sexual misconduct in Hollywood for 30 years, even though she was the Queen of All Media; treating her as some sort of beacon of light now is simply ridiculous.

America knows posturing when it sees it. And what we’re seeing now isn’t bravery.


Minorities can do no wrong

Comment from Australia

Masquerading as minority oppression, victimhood is a thriving industry. Whether well-meaning or a sinister exercise to divide society according to ethnicity, colour, gender, religion, sexual orientation and social status, self-identifying minorities are demanding, and receiving, preferential treatment.

While ordinary Aussies have yet to be told to sit at the back of the bus, they watch in bewilderment and with rising anger as they see their national identity ­replaced by a patchwork of incoherent foreign values. Should they complain, new government agencies and statutes are there to keep them in their place and to ensure they keep their whiteness and cultural and ­religious values to themselves, lest they ­offend others.

Rather than oppress ­minorities, we pander to them. Complaining about a discriminatory “indigenous only” computer room can, at great personal cost, land you in court, as Queensland University of Technology students found.

Some minorities shamelessly exploit this obsequious regime. Centrelink refuses to collect data on polygamous marriages under Islamic law, despite the fact when claiming welfare, some families involve a domestic relationship with more than one wife. We indulge the tiny transgender, ­intersex “community” with gender-neutral toilets paid for by taxpayers and businesses.

To placate minorities, Victoria Police has regularly baulked at calling Middle Eastern crime by name and played down the dangers posed by violent Sudanese criminals, notwithstanding they are 44 times more likely to bash, rob and invade homes. When Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews ­referred to “out-of-control South Sudanese youth”, The Age ­accused him of making “unpleasant and inflammatory” comments to provoke “a predictably base ­reaction from those sensitive to immigration on racial grounds”.

Perhaps this is why Victoria Police told media before interrogating Saeed Noori, the accused driver who allegedly mowed down Christmas shoppers in Melbourne’s Flinders Street, that the attack was not terror-related. Noori later spoke of Allah and the mistreatment of Muslims. Police had similarly played down an Islamist angle after the siege in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton last June, despite the offender’s links to known terrorists.

Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore was quick to dismiss Man Haron Monis, the gunman who laid siege to the Lindt Cafe, in which two innocents died, as a terrorist, despite him displaying an Islamic State-like flag in the cafe window and having affiliated himself with the terrorist group.

When it comes to sentencing, the courts take The Age’s sensitive approach. Ibrahim Kamara, from Sierra Leone, received a suspended sentence of just over one year, with an 18-month good ­behaviour order, after admitting to five counts, including grooming and having sex with a minor. The ACT Supreme Court judge said “(Kamara) has tried to make a good start on his life in Australia”.

Sevdet Ramadan Besim planned to drive his car into a police ­officer performing duties on Anzac Day and then behead him to promote “violent jihad”. He ­received a minimum sentence of just 7½ years.

In NSW, an Islamic sect leader was the first person in Australia to be imprisoned over the genital mutilation of two sisters aged six and seven. Notwithstanding a 21 years maximum, the leader ­received 11 months’ jail, while his two accessories will serve a minimum of 11 months’ home detention. This sets a derisory bench­mark for future sentencing.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt refreshingly observes that “state courts should not be places for ideological experiments”. Yet they are. Judges have become politicians in robes and, like the police and other unelected authorities, selectively administer the law according to their prejudices.

Then there’s South Australia’s initiative to commit $4.4 million to commence indigenous “treaty” ­negotiations. It joins Victoria, which began similar Aboriginal engagement in 2016. An indigenous Referendum Council is pushing for a constitutionally elected indigenous body in federal parliament, a mechanism for treaty-making and a healing com­mission. There is talk of inserting a racial non-­discrimination clause in the Constitution and amending pro­visions allowing the common­wealth to make special laws for indigenous people on the basis of race, the very antithesis of American civil rights ideals.

Aboriginal broadcaster Stan Grant writes: “We don’t have to reckon with the treatment of ­Aboriginal people because they are invisible. Indigenous people become a postscript to Australian history.” When Australian taxpayers pay the equivalent of $43,000 a year for every First Australian, that’s some postscript.

In his Christmas message, Malcolm Turnbull told Australians we have much to be grateful for, not least that so many people of “so many different backgrounds, races and religions live together here in a harmony founded on mutual respect”. His sentiments are well intended and worthy but the multicultural policies he and Labor support have left us, in American commentator Pat Buchanan’s words, “irretrievably divided on separate shores”.

Australia no longer pursues the rapid assimilation of minorities. Rather, diversity is institutionalised. It would be foolish to believe profound and unpredictable consequences won’t follow as the silent majority reflects on its own segregation. Yet the louder it protests, the more it will be controlled. Civil liberties be damned.

It’s time to admit the safe ­waters around us are receding and we’re sinking like a stone.



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

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

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


11 January, 2018

Seinfeld loves Israel

The pro-Israel positions recently taken by Nick Cave and Ringo Starr are fantastic, don’t get me wrong. But Jerry Seinfeld just raised everything to a whole new level.

Last month Seinfeld performed in Tel Aviv – for the second time – ending his show with a rousing pro-civilisation call: “Thank you, we love Israel, we stand with you!”

Even better, he also took his family to an Israeli counterterrorism and security training academy, besides others

    "Jerry Seinfeld’s recent visit to Israel included making Israelis laugh (a certain crime in the eyes of the Israel haters and BDS-holes), as well as visits to Ramon airbase, and the old city of Jerusalem – all while looking happy to see us"

As you’d expect, the reaction from Israel haters was extreme:

"Jerry Seinfeld and his family play fascists in the West Bank. Indoctrinating his young children to murder Palestinians and steal land. There is nothing funny about apartheid, occupation, settlement expansion, and executing occupied Palestinians."

Zionism is great.


No, Catholicism Is Not Inclusive

When the pastor of a rural Minnesota Catholic church learned that three male musicians each claimed to be married to a man, he dismissed them. When officials at a suburban Maryland Catholic school learned that a substitute teacher and field hockey coach was associated with a white supremacist group, they dismissed him.

Both decisions were merited.

The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage and racism. While neither the gay men nor the white supremacist were openly flouting their convictions, once their status became publicly known, Catholic officials had little choice but to dismiss them. Not to do so would be to give sanction to behaviors that are in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Church.

That should be the end of the story. However, the three gay men have garnered some community support, and one of them is refusing to leave the church. There has been no positive reaction to the teacher who has ties to racists, and he is not contesting the decision to fire him.

Similarly, gay activists have taken up the cause of the gay musicians, maintaining that the Catholic Church should be inclusive. But that is precisely the argument that white racists could make regarding the Maryland teacher: The Church should welcome everyone.

The word catholic means universal, but it is a profound misreading of Catholicism to suggest that it is an inclusive organization. It is not. Nor for that matter is any institution: from the smallest cell in society, namely the family, to global organizations such as the United Nations, all are founded on exclusivity: they have lines of authority, based on either kinship or institutional strictures, that exclude those who do not qualify for membership.

Diversity, si. Inclusiveness, no. That is what Catholicism represents.


Food Deserts and Obesity: Obama-Era Initiative Seeks Answers in Wrong Places

Nutrition and obesity have become a larger focus of health research in recent years. Multiple studies have identified areas, termed food deserts, that have a paucity of grocery stores or supermarkets. Some people mistakenly hypothesize that the limited supply of healthy foods in these deserts, many of them in low-income neighborhoods, is a factor in unhealthy eating patterns, and in the rise in obesity and related health problems.

The intuitively appealing theory has driven costly policy actions. The Obama Administration established the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, intended to address the problem of food deserts by “bring[ing] grocery stores and other healthy food retailers to underserved urban and rural communities.”  Since 2011 the Healthy Food Financing Initiative has awarded $220 million in subsidies and technical assistance.

The Affordable Care Act’s Community Transformation Grants have spent tens of millions of dollars to efforts to address the problem of food deserts. State and local governments have enacted their own initiatives, and each year policymakers in Congress introduce another bill that would direct the Department of Agriculture to provide grants to states. However, the connection proponents of these initiatives draw between supply-side issues such as food deserts and nutritional choices or obesity is tenuous.

In a new working paper, Hunt Alcott of New York University, Rebecca Diamond of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and Jean-Pierre Dubé of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business analyze the relationship between food deserts and food choices. By analyzing two different types of events, the entry of new supermarkets and households moving to healthier neighborhoods, the authors “reject that neighborhood environments have economically meaningful effects on healthy eating.” If low-income households faced the same food and price choices available to high-income households, they estimate that nutritional inequality would only decline by nine percent.

Instead of a supply-side explanation, such as the lack of accessible grocery stores, the authors find that 91 percent of nutritional inequality is driven by differences in demand that are explained by factors such as education, nutrition knowledge, or regional preferences. Taken with earlier studies that also failed to find a link between grocery store prevalence and dietary habits, these new findings should further increase the amount of skepticism and scrutiny brought to claims that a new initiative to combat food deserts will have an effect on obesity or nutrition. The vast majority of nutritional differences are not attributable to choice or price of the grocery options available, making it an ineffectual policy lever.

Obesity and nutrition are not the only metrics that might be of interest to people living far from grocery stores. Making it easier for busy people to obtain groceries to feed their families could save them significant amounts of time and effort. However, public policy that directs money towards building grocery stores in areas identified by the USDA as food deserts should not be justified on the grounds of alleviating obesity or related health issues.

Policymakers should avoid erecting barriers that could potentially make it easier for these people buy groceries, even if they are located relatively far away. The diffusion of affordable bike share in cities might make it more feasible to travel to existing stores. As a recent article for E21 discussed, in Washington D.C. people can pay as little as 50 cents for short trips, and have the option of getting a membership that could lead to even lower average trip prices.

Making delivery options more widespread and affordable for customers could also reduce the time and expense associated with buying groceries. While still in the early stages of pilot programs, delivery robots could enable grocery stores to offer delivery without having to hire a fleet of delivery employees, keeping costs down for customers. In a few years, delivery could become much more commonplace, and busy people who do not live near a grocery store could schedule a delivery instead.

Policies that increase the cost of labor for supermarkets or grocery stores would decrease the availability and prevalence of grocery stores or supermarkets in accessible areas. Concerns about an increasing minimum wage played a role in Walmart abandoning plans to open up two stores in low-income D.C. areas. In 2018, the minimum wage increased in 18 states and 19 cities. These increases and their effect on labor costs could limit expansion plans or put additional pressure on existing stores, limiting grocery options for residents.

The new working paper is the latest, most rigorous study finding little connection between food deserts, nutritional choices, and obesity. The experience with food deserts is an example of the risks associated with allowing a simplistic explanation to guide public policy. The evidence does not support initiatives and subsidies, and the proposed solutions will not be effective. However, city officials can address the related issue of the ease of purchasing groceries by encouraging potential private sector solutions.


Census Bureau: International Migration to U.S. Dropped in 2017; Still Accounted for 48% of Population Growth

Net international migration to the United States declined during the year that ended on July 1, 2017, but still accounted for 48 percent of the nation’s population growth for that year, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Net international migration decreased 1.8 percent between 2016 and 2017, making it the first drop since 2012-2013,” the bureau says. “However, net international migration continues to be a significant factor in the population growth of the United States, adding just over 1.1 million people in the last year.”

In the year that ended on July 1, 2016, net international migration into the United States was 1,132,096, according to the Census Bureau. In the year that ended on July 1, 2017, it dropped to 1,111,283.

Back in 2013, the Census Bureau published projections estimating that net international migration would surpass natural increase (the net of births and deaths) as the leading contributor to U.S. population growth sometime between 2027 and 2038.

“This scenario would mark the first time that natural increase was not the leading cause of population increase since at least 1850, when the census began collecting information about residents' country of birth,” the Census Bureau said when it released its 2013 estimates. “The shift in what drives U.S. population growth is projected to occur between 2027 and 2038, depending on the future level of international migration.”

"Our nation has had higher immigration rates in the past, particularly during the great waves of the late 19th and early 20th centuries," Census Bureau Senior Advisor Thomas Mesenbourg said in a May 15, 2013 press release. "This projected milestone reflects the mix of our nation's declining fertility rates, the aging of the baby boomer population and continued immigration."

The Census Bureau each year looks at four factors that yield the net growth of the nation’s total resident population during the 12-month period that begins on July 1 of one year and ends on July 1 of the next. These factors include births and deaths, which yield the net “natural increase” in the population; and migration into and out of the country, which yield the net increase caused by “international migration.” 

The Census Bureau, on December 20, released the data for the latest year, which ended on July 1, 2017.

In that year, the total resident population of the United States increased by 2,313,243, rising from 323,405,935 to 325,719,178.

Natural increase accounted for 1,201,960 (or 51.96 percent) of this growth. (There were 3,946,000 birth during the year and 2,744,040 deaths.)

Net international migration accounted for 1,111,283 (or 48.04 percent) of the growth.

As the Census Bureau noted, that was a drop from the year that ended on July 1, 2016.

In that year, the total resident population increased by 2,366,096, rising from 321,039,839 to 323,405,935.

That 2,366,096 population increase in the year ending on July 2016 consisted of a natural increase of 1,234,000 (or 52.15 percent) and a net international migration of 1,132,096 (or 47.85 percent). The natural increase of 1,234,000 was the net of 3,962,714 births and 2,728,714 deaths.

As the Census Bureau noted in its release on the 2017 data, the population increase due to net international migration declined from 2016 to 2017—dropping 20,813 (or 1.84 percent) from 1,132,096 to 1,111,283.

In the full-year data that the Census Bureau has published for the seven years starting with the year that runs from July 1, 2010 to July 1 2011 and running through the year that runs from July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017, the percentage of population growth attributable to net international migration has increased every year.

In the year ending July 1, 2011, it was 36.64%--accounting for 844,816 out of a total population growth of 2,305,859. In the year ending July 1, 2017, the was 48.04 percent—accounting for 1,111,283 out of a total population growth of 2,313,243.

The Census Bureau calculates the effect that net international migration has on the resident population of the United States by estimating not only the number of foreign-born persons moving into and out of the United States, but also by estimating the movement of native-born American into and out of the United States, the number moving in and out of Puerto Rico and the number of U.S. military forces moving in and out of the United States.



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

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

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


10 January, 2018

2018 Will Be the Year Feminists Target Little Boys

Little boys have a way of training their mothers -- mainly by being joyously boyish -- but pity any kid who fell into the hands of the hard-hearted bitch quoted below. I tell my son that real women like real men -- but he has parents who love him so has always been allowed to be himself -- a normal male.

Our permissiveness even extended to allowing him to spend vast amounts of his childhood playing computer games.  Many wiseheads would criticize that.  But now that he is an adult he has a first class honours degree in mathematics, a pretty girlfriend who adores him and a highly paid job as an IT consultant.  A very successful outcome, I think.  He even talks to his old father almost daily

According to Time, all men are inevitably “angry.” The only way to stem this drastic tide of “angry” men is to raise them as follows: "At a young age, this should be done explicitly, in organized forums for discussions at school," Faith Salie writes. "It must be done relentlessly and organically, in our family homes. Parents must invite their sons to be sad, afraid, hurt, silly and affectionate, and must embrace them as often as they snuggle their daughters. Sweet boys learn early on that they can defend themselves against loneliness by reaching out and asking for support rather than turning into people who, literally, grab for power. Sweet boys evolve into open-hearted men who aren’t confused about consent and sexual boundaries, because they experience women as equals."

This, of course, implies that parents of boys naturally tend to push them away and train them to act more like Spartans preparing for perpetual warfare than, well, the children they are. Girls, on the other hand, can be as “fierce” as they like. And if “fierce” requires Spartan parenting skills, I guess that means girls should be, what? Hugged less? Shown Beyonce videos on a repeating track beginning at birth?

Salie exhibits the kind of feminism that held women back in 2017. This was the year in which what was once a powerful cultural movement against gross gender-based inequalities fully pandered to the outrage of its rulers, a minority class of rich, white women with no real problems and plenty of time to kill. Although 2017 is ending with the image of an Iranian woman boldly removing her hijab in a public square, it will forever be defined by the image of American WASPs marching on D.C. in pussyhats. Such is the legacy of a movement defined by women too rich to do any real work and too sheltered to ever experience true suffering.

Hence, the biggest battle in the mind of the American feminist is the one being waged against “angry men.” Forget the fact that for every Harvey Weinstein there is a Chip Gaines or a Linda Sarsour for that matter. In the mind of the American feminist the true battle is being waged, as Salie suggests, in kids’ clothing stores across America:

Walk into any baby store, and you’re greeted immediately in the boys’ department by brown and neon green layettes festooned with sharks, trucks, and footballs. Onesies for newborns declare, “TOUGH LIKE DADDY.” The boy taught from infancy to be tough is emotionally doomed... The clothes marketed to my daughter feature  unicorns, rainbows, rockets, dinosaurs, and sequins in every color imaginable. They are whimsical and sparkly.

Permit me to get truly feminist for a moment and suggest that even the mythical powers of the unicorn are phallic, as is the fencing foil Salie’s daughter crafts out of a kite. But, if a girl is in charge of the pointed object in question it’s perfectly okay. Salie isn’t arguing in favor of gender equality; she’s arguing in favor of stripping all men of their sense of an autonomous self. According to Salie, it isn’t the man himself, but the man who holds a position – any position -- of authority that is truly evil.

Don’t let Salie’s thinly veiled call for (male) empathy fool you. There is no room in her movement for empathy for girls who are forced to defend themselves against the persecution of Islamic clerics, forced genital mutilation, or sex slavery. American feminists don’t talk about having empathy for those women. They simply hashtag them and move on to fight the real battles taking place in select Carter’s and Children’s Place stores all over the country: the battle over whose logo t-shirt is truly the toughest.

2017 isn’t just the year feminism failed women. It is the year feminism failed men. Even more sadly, it is the year feminism encouraged mothers to fail their boys. Raising a child should never involve stripping him of his independence, let alone holding him up to a standard rooted in stereotypes. But, I suppose that’s what happens when you bind yourself to a movement so limited in scope and function that your pussyhat blinds you from looking past the end of your silver spoon—or Target receipt.


Fired ‘Google Memo’ author files lawsuit accusing search giant of discriminating against white males

JAMES Damore, the former Google engineer who was sacked after penning an internal memo criticising the tech giant’s “politically correct” culture and affirmative action hiring policies, has filed a class-action lawsuit against his former employer.

In the 161-page suit, filed in the Santa Clara Superior Court in Northern California on Monday, Mr Damore and another former engineer named David Gudeman accuse Google of discriminating against conservative, white males.

Mr Damore’s 10-page memo, originally posted to an internal Google discussion board, went viral last year after being leaked to tech websites Motherboard and Gizmodo, which “selectively quoted from the memo and misinterpreted it”, the lawsuit says.

The memo’s most controversial claim was to suggest that underrepresentation of women in the tech industry was due to biological differences in behaviour and personality affecting occupational interests at a “population level”, rather than the result of bias or discrimination.

The engineer was quickly sacked for “perpetuating gender stereotypes”, while Google chief executive Sundar Pichai described the memo as “harmful”. “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK,” he wrote in an internal email at the time.

Republican lawyer Harmeet Dhillon, known for taking on high-profile and controversial cases, has brought the case on behalf of Mr Damore, Mr Gudeman and all Google employees “discriminated against due to their perceived conservative political views”, “due to their male gender” or “due to their caucasian race”.

“Google employees who expressed views deviating from the majority view at Google on political subjects raised in the workplace and relevant to Google’s employment policies and its business, such as ‘diversity’ hiring policies, ‘bias sensitivity’, or ‘social justice’, were/are singled out, mistreated and systematically punished and terminated from Google, in violation of their legal rights,” the lawsuit reads.

“Google’s open hostility for conservative thought is paired with invidious discrimination on the basis of race and gender, barred by law.

“Google’s management goes to extreme — and illegal — lengths to encourage hiring managers to take protected categories such as race and/or gender into consideration as determinative hiring factors, to the detriment of Caucasian and male employees and potential employees at Google.”

The suit also accuses Google of discriminating against Asians — the company defined “diverse” individuals, to be funnelled into high-priority hiring queues, as women or “individuals who were not Caucasian or Asian”, it says.

The suit goes on to allege that Mr Damore, Mr Gudeman and others were “ostracised, belittled, and punished for their heterodox political views, and for the added sin of their birth circumstances of being Caucasians and/or males”.

“This is the essence of discrimination — Google formed opinions about and then treated Plaintiffs not based on their individual merits, but rather on their membership in groups with assumed characteristics.”

It says that Mr Damore and others were “openly threatened and subjected to harassment and retaliation from Google” when they challenged Google’s “illegal employment practices”, with Google employees and managers “strongly [preferring] to hear the same orthodox opinions regurgitated repeatedly, producing an ideological echo chamber, a protected, distorted bubble of groupthink”.

According to the lawsuit, after the memo went viral Mr Damore received a late-night email from Alex Hidalgo, a site reliability engineer at Google, which read, “You’re a misogynist and a terrible person. I will keep hounding you until one of us is fired. F*** you.”

The lawsuit accuses Google of creating “an environment of protecting employees who harassed individuals who spoke out against Google’s view or the ‘Googley way’, as it is sometimes known internally”.

After Mr Damore was sacked, Google employees were awarded bonuses for arguing against his political views. The Google Recognition team allows employees to give one another “Peer Bonuses”, typically for “outstanding work performance or for going above and beyond an employee’s job duties”.

In one case, and employee gave a Peer Bonus to a colleague for “speaking up for googley values and promoting [diversity and inclusion] in the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is [Damore’s Memo]”.

“The Google Recognition Team reviewed this justification, considered it appropriate, and allowed the bonus to proceed,” the lawsuit says.

Google is also accused of employing “illegal hiring quotas to fill its desired percentages of women and favoured minority candidates”, while “openly [shaming] managers of business units who fail to meet their quotas — in the process, openly denigrating male and Caucasian employees as less favoured than others”.

“Not only was the numerical presence of women celebrated at Google solely due to their gender, but the presence of Caucasians and males was mocked with ‘boos’ during company-wide weekly meetings,” the lawsuit says.

Other allegations include that Google maintains internal “blacklists” of employees or potential employees who hold or express conservative political views, and even that it maintains “secret blacklists” of conservative authors.

In August 2016, the lawsuit says, conservative blogger Curtis Yarvin, who has reportedly advised Steve Bannon, Peter Thiel and members of the Trump administration, visited the Google office to have lunch with an employee.

“This triggered a silent alarm, alerting security personnel to escort him off the premises,” the lawsuit says. When a Google employee asked HR if writers could be removed from the blacklist, HR “refused to help with the request, and instead, reconfigured the internal system so that it was no longer possible to see who was on the blacklist”.


Judge Rules in Favor of Fired Christian Fire Chief: Gov’t Can’t Put Out Fire of Faith

For more than three decades, Kelvin Cochran built a record of service and expertise that made him one of the most respected Fire Chiefs in the country. He was the first African-American Fire Chief in Shreveport, Louisiana. He was among the responders to Hurricane Katrina. President Obama appointed him as the U.S. Fire Administrator, whose job is to improve both fire prevention and response across the country.

And until a few years ago, he was the Chief of the Atlanta Fire Department, a job he would probably still hold if city officials had any respect for Cochran’s rights to freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

Cochran got into trouble over a book he wrote on his own time for a small group that he led in his church. The book entitled “Who Told You That You Were Naked?,” was directed at Christian men seeking to fulfill their biblical roles as “husbands, fathers, community and business leaders.”

Six of the book’s 162 pages—yes, that’s 3.7 percent—addressed a biblical perspective on sexuality. As David French summed up, Cochran took “the completely conventional, orthodox Christian position that sex outside of male–female marriage is contrary to God’s will,” which “is the position of the Catholic Church and every orthodox Protestant denomination in the United States.”

Unfortunately, “orthodoxy” is defined very differently at Atlanta’s City Hall. When the contents of Cochran’s book came to the attention of Mayor Kasim Reed, Reed ultimately fired Cochran, but not before saying “when you’re a city employee, and [your] thoughts, beliefs, and opinions are different from the city’s, you have to check them at the door.”

That makes it sound like Cochran was fired for his beliefs; but the city denied that. Instead it claimed that he was let go because he didn’t obtain permission before publishing the book.

The problem is that, constitutionally-speaking, the city cannot require employees to get permission before expressing their religious views.

Late last month, a federal court agreed. It concluded that the Atlanta pre-clearance policy “does not pass constitutional muster” because it does not “set out objective standards for the supervisor to employ.”

As a result, the opinion continues, it “would prevent an employee from writing and selling a book on golf or badminton on his own time and, without prior approval, would subject him to firing. It’s unclear to the Court how such an outside employment would ever affect the City’s ability to function, and the City provides no evidence to justify it … The potential for stifled speech far outweighs an unsupported assertion of harm.”

Unfortunately for Cochran, that glass is only half-full. The court rejected Cochran’s claim that his rights to free speech and freedom of religion were violated by his firing.

Still, as Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kevin Theriot emphasizes, the court ruled that Cochran’s firing was unconstitutional. According to Theriot, who represented Cochran, the ruling “sets a precedent that says that government employers have to be very careful about how they restrict the speech of their employees when they’re talking about non-work related stuff.”

This is a real concern. Rules like Atlanta’s have had a chilling effect on the free speech of people on platforms such as social media. People have legitimately feared the consequences of speaking up for traditional Christian beliefs even on their own time. This ruling is an important step in the direction of eliminating that chill.

Where does that leave Cochran himself? Despite media reports to the contrary, he’s in a position to recover his lost wages and benefits. There’s even a remote possibility he could get his job back.

In a just and sane world Kelvin Cochran would not have had to endure what he has endured. But I’m grateful for his courage and I pray that he’ll receive some compensation for the wrong done to him.


Fox News’ Tucker Carlson called out Democrat Congressman Keith Ellison for his long history of hate

Ellison is a black Muslim

Ellison “has a long history of saying repugnant things and backing extremist causes,” The Daily Caller co-founder stated. “Back in 1989, Ellison wrote that the Constitution existed only for white people. He referred to it as ‘their’ Constitution, calling it ‘the best evidence of a white racist conspiracy to subjugate other peoples.’ That’s the Constitution of the United States.”

“Ellison has spoken favorably, meanwhile, of cop killer Assata Shakur. He said he was ‘praying’ that Fidel Castro’s communist regime in Cuba would not be forced to extradite her back to the United States,” Carlson continued. “As a law student at the University of Minnesota, Ellison wrote a column calling for the creation of a separate black ethnostate. This is the man that is now second in command of the entire Democratic party. Now that ought to bother Republicans and Independents.”

“It should terrify Democrats. Most voters don’t support cop killing, racial separatism, political violence, abolishing freedom of speech, and they tend to flee from politicians and parties that do support those things,” he added. (RELATED: Keith Ellison Poses With Antifa Handbook)



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

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

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


9 January, 2018

Iceland’s Equal Pay Regime Will Hurt, Not Help, Women. We Don’t Need It

Iceland this week took its equal pay law to a new level, as a law took effect requiring employers to prove they don’t discriminate against women in monetary compensation.

Contrary to ecstatic exclamations from the likes of Hollywood actress Patricia Arquette, tennis great Billie Jean King, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., both Iceland and the United States—like most developed countries—already require equal pay for equal work. These equal pay laws are enforced by employee complaints and litigation.

And Sanders, who ran for president in 2016, enthused on Facebook: “We must follow the example of our brothers and sisters in Iceland and demand equal pay for equal work now.”

Wrong. Again, U.S. law already requires equal pay for equal work regardless of sex, ethnicity, or nationality.

What Iceland actually did is ring in 2018 with mandatory, government-enforced certification that employers pay men and women equally. Noncompliance results in fines.

“It’s a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally,” Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, one of the leaders of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, told Al Jazeera.

But is it?

Icelandic employers with 25 or more workers are required to obtain a “pay equality certification” from a government-approved certifier every three years.

The small Nordic nation adopted the law in June 2017 in an effort to root out even the small, unexplained pay gap that remains after reasonable factors are taken into account to explain the so-called raw wage gap.

That’s a knee-jerk policy response to a rather complicated problem, with far-reaching implications for Iceland’s economy.

The raw wage gap is simply the median difference in pay for full-time, year-round workers by gender. For U.S. workers, this wage gap meant women made 80.5 cents to every dollar men made in 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

After accounting for factors such as occupation, hours worked, education, tenure, and so on, the wage gap shrinks substantially. What remains is the “unexplained” wage gap.

In the U.S. context, about 5 to 7 percent of the wage gap is unexplained. In Iceland, the gap was similar, at 5.7 percent.

The fact of an unexplained gap does not necessarily imply discrimination. It simply means that researchers have not been able to quantify certain explanatory factors.

We know from polling that women exhibit a preference for compensation other than cash wages in the form of more flexibility or more time off.

But the value of benefits such as flexible and alternative work schedules and on-site child care are difficult—if not nearly impossible—to measure because their value varies significantly among individuals. A childless male, for example, would value on-site child care at zero while a female with young children would value it highly.

Other known data limitations include quantifying the importance of experience and job tenure by occupation and industry.

The right response to such limitations is not to make broad-stroke, unwarranted judgment calls. Instead, governments should allow workers to choose the jobs—including the pay and total compensation packages—they desire without imposing unwarranted conditions that could backfire against the very same people they intend to help.

After all, most developed nations already have strong laws in place to ensure equal pay for equal work.

Unfortunately, the European Social Policy Network, a group that  advises the European Commission on social issues, hasn’t considered that the remaining gender pay gap actually may be the result of women’s choices.

Author Stefán Ólafsson writes: “This 5.7% unexplained pay gap [in Iceland] is thus the gender difference in pay that can be attributed to discrimination against women.”

That’s shoddy social science at best and intentionally misleading analysis at worst.

The result is a law based on a faulty premise that imposes rigid pay structures across the Icelandic economy.

According to the “Equal Pay Standard,” the basis of certification by Iceland’s government, companies are required to go through a pay assessment process that classifies jobs according to value created for the company and determines associated pay based on the position held in the company.

More flexible pay structures assess the value an individual brings to an organization and base pay on experience, tenure, education, and other factors related to performance.

The goal of Iceland’s Equal Pay Standard appears to be to pay all individuals performing similar roles the same, regardless of any distinguishing features or what that these individuals are able to negotiate for themselves. This will result in rigid pay structures, similar to the General Schedule classification and pay system used by the U.S. federal government.

By distorting the labor market, rigid pay structures will result in inflexible job requirements and work schedules that disproportionately hurt those who value workplace flexibility the most: women.

Rigid pay structures also will prevent businesses from attracting and retaining qualified employees. They will reduce economic growth as well as job and wage prospects for many workers.

The Trump administration recently reversed an Obama administration rule requiring employers to report detailed salary information by gender and other factors. The Labor Department intended to use this information to police employers who raised red flags in the agency’s data files for an unequal distribution in employment and pay scales.

The Obama administration rule would have reduced the availability of flexible work arrangements, which are especially important to working parents. It also would have led to less performance-based pay, such as bonuses, to encourage and reward excellence.

But what Iceland actually has done is go far beyond reporting requirements. Its government instead will approve or disapprove of employers’ payroll decisions, starting this year.

The resulting rigid pay structures for Icelanders likely will lead to more temporary and independent contractor-type work arrangements, since the law applies only to companies with 25 or more full-time, year-round workers.

In America, reasonable men and women should agree this is a bad idea to import here.


FEMA Corrects Course on Church Aid

The agency changes its policy and will now allow houses of worship to apply for disaster relief funds.

On Tuesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reversed course on churches and disaster money. It had previously excluded churches from applying for disaster relief aid but will now allow them to do so, retroactive to August 23, 2017. This decision comes after lawsuits were brought by three Texas churches against the agency as well as pressure from President Donald Trump, who had tweeted that churches should receive FEMA aid for helping the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

Prior to the policy change, FEMA had allowed “community centers” and other nonprofits to apply for and receive federal emergency funds, but the agency had specifically excluded houses of worship due to the fact that they were used for “religious activities, such as worship, proselytizing or religious instruction.” Lawyers for the Texas churches argued that such a policy was discriminatory and unconstitutional, violating the First Amendment’s protection of the free exercise of religion.

Pastor Charles Stoker of the Hi-Way Tabernacle, one of the churches suing FEMA, said that his church sheltered 80 to 90 evacuees, many of whom were not members of the church or even religious. Stoker said, “We’re not trying to cram religion down someone’s throat, we’re trying to help them recover, to show them love.” Stoker’s church was severely damaged by flooding and his lawyer noted that many churches serve as “hubs for the community” and that FEMA’s “denying help to them, to these churches, denies help to the community.”

FEMA’s new policy states that “private nonprofit houses of worship are now eligible for disaster assistance as community centers, without regard to their secular or religious nature.” This is indeed welcome news and the correct decision even from a purely practical point of view. As we noted last September, churches and faith-based groups spearheaded the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and outperformed FEMA. Quite simply, it behooves the agency to support local churches who are often better prepared to deal with natural disasters because they know and are already heavily invested in their communities.


Violent Criminal Illegals Now a ‘Protected Class’ in California

Illegal aliens – including violent criminals – have become a protected class in California, Fox News host Tucker Carlson declared Tuesday, reacting to the state’s new sanctuary policy:

“It doesn’t matter even if they have a history of crime, even violent crime. In California, illegal aliens are now a protected class. And even more significant, the state itself is now in direct opposition to this country’s most basic laws.”

Carlson listed several ways California’s laws give special treatment to illegal aliens:

“All police statewide in California are banned from asking about a suspect’s immigration status or cooperating with federal immigration officials. Landlords are banned from reporting the legal status of their tenants.  Colleges can’t monitor the immigration status of the kids they enroll.

“These new measures augment the state’s many existing laws - all designed to enable illegal immigration.

“Illegals in California already are entitled to receive a driver’s licenses, in-state college tuition, free healthcare for their children and more. They don’t need to have a job; they don’t have to know English.”

By its “open defiance of the federal government,” California has taken one more step toward secession, Carlson said, comparing it to the time Alabama’s governor rejected federal desegregation laws:

"This country’s largest state has taken another dramatic step towards disunion. An open defiance of the federal government. As of yesterday, California is now a sanctuary state. It’s the nation’s first....

“Fifty-five years ago this month, Governor George Wallace took his oath of office and pledged resistance to federal authority - effectively declaring Alabama its own country. You know the history.

“Well, Governor Jerry Brown of California has done something similar this week.”


Ingraham: Self-Righteous Hollywood Hypocrites Hyper-Sexualizing Women, Kids

Laura Ingraham called out Hollywood's hypocrites, including women, for claiming to be the nation's "moral conscience" - while making millions by hyper-sexualizing women.

Tuesday, on her Fox News Channel program, Ingraham took aim at Hollywood's seedy double-standard:

"Many of these women are the same women who made millions of dollars flaunting their bodies for anyone to watch.

"In the awards shows, there are talented people there, some beautiful folks, women and men. But, at times, the dresses to be defying the laws of physics – the double-sided tape. How do they keep that up?

"For a while, it was almost as if Hollywood was creating a new category: ‘And, accepting for the Deepest Neckline is…'” ...

“You can wear whatever you want, but then don’t be shocked when people - including men - stare. It’s going to happen.

"Now, these same people - producer, writers, directors, agents and actors who have objectified women, and in some cases themselves, they’re suddenly the moral conscience of the entire country? Not just the entertainment industry; they’re going to safeguard the entire country?"

If they were sincere about cleaning up their industry, they'd "stop hyper-sexualizing women and young people," she said:

"So, the Hollywood crowd, they’re great at stomping their feet and fund-raising for liberal causes. But, if they really cared about their industry, they’d stop hyper-sexualizing women and young people.

"And, until they do, their audience will continue to flee and seek safe harbor elsewhere. In other words, Hollywood, time’s up."

Ingraham also chided Hollywood women for attacking President Donald Trump because, she says, he's "going to do more to help women than anyone else" in 2018:

"You know who’s going to do more to help women than anyone else this year, by the way? They won’t admit it, but I’ll tell you who:  Donald Trump.

"An improving economy is good for all Americans – including women. Women entrepreneurs. Women are half the work force, if not more, in certain parts of the country. They need a growing economy. Wages going up, optimism and confidence."



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

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

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


8 January, 2018

Disney princes in 'Snow White,' 'Sleeping Beauty' are sex offenders, nutty professor says

A kiss is sexual assault? It may be unwelcome and it could be an assault but is it a sexual assault?

Disney’s fairytale princes are sexual predators, according to a Japanese gender studies and sociology professor.

Kazue Muta, an Osaka University professor and author of “Sir, That Love is Sexual Harassment!” a book on workplace sexual harassment, argued in December that princes from “Snow White” and “Sleeping Beauty” portray “quasi-compulsive obscene sexual acts on an unconscious partner.”

In other words, the feminist academic activist argues such fairytales allow sexual violence.

In a Dec. 11 tweet, Muta accused the princes of sexual assault with a link to a news story of a real case where a man was arrested for kissing a sleeping woman on a train en route to Osaka.

The translation reads: “When you think rationally about 'Snow White' and 'Sleeping Beauty,' that tell of a ‘princess being woken up by the kiss of a prince,’ they are describing sexual assault on an unconscious person. You might think I’m ruining the fantasy of it all, but these stories are promoting sexual violence and I would like everyone to be aware of it.”

Muta’s comment brought a firestorm of reaction – support and criticism.

In the Disney versions of “Sleeping Beauty” the prince is led to kiss Princess Aurora by the fairies with the belief that he can cure her of her napping curse, “not motivated by his own pervy will,” SoraNews24 pointed out in Japan Today.

While the “Snow White” version features a prince kissing an unconscious Snow White, SoraNews24 argues, Disney tries to “soften the act by establishing a prior relationship between them in which she and the prince fall in love at first sight.” (Also, Snow White had eaten a cursed apple and the prince's kiss wakes her from a "sleeping death.")

After the criticism was picked up by Yahoo! Japan, Muta responded with an article for the Women’s Action Network.

Muta argues that if someone doesn’t look at the fairytales critically, they are essentially saying sexual harassment is permissible.

“There were many critical replies that state ‘Because the princess and prince lived happily ever after in the end, there is a presumptive consent regarding the kiss, so there’s no problem,’” Muta wrote. “However, this understanding of it is actually dangerous. This kind of thinking fabricates the mindset of ‘the ends justify the means,’ and to what extent does this allow sexual violence to occur?”

She expounded on the tweet, arguing that beyond the Disney versions, and within Japanese fairytales, the male figures kiss “without confirming consent,” so they’re actually committing sexual crimes.

Muta adds that many violent sexual crimes seem as if they “mimicked” the actions of male protagonists in fairytales and connected her argument to the #MeToo hashtag, highlighting sexual harassment which has been found to be especially rampant in Hollywood.

“Under such circumstances, changing society's recognition of sexual violence is not an easy thing to do," Muta said. "However, we must say these things loudly and boldly."


Farmers' markets are racist, more nutcase professors say

Two California professors are criticizing farmers’ markets for causing “environmental gentrification” in which “habits of white people are normalized.”

San Diego State University geography professors Pascale Joassart-Marcelli and Fernando J. Bosco contend that farmers’ markets are “white spaces” oppressing minorities in a chapter for "Just Green Enough," an environmental anthology focused on urban development.

Environmental gentrification is defined as a process where “environmental improvements lead to … the displacement of long-term residents,” according to the anthology.

The professors, as reported by Campus Reform, say farmers’ markets are “exclusionary” because locals cannot “afford the food and/or feel excluded from these new spaces.”

The SDSU professors, who teach classes like “Geography of Food” and “Food Justice,” argue that “farmers’ markets are often white spaces where the food consumption habits of white people are normalized.”

While such markets are typically set up to help combat “food deserts” in low-income and minority communities, the academics argue that they instead “attract households from higher socio-economic backgrounds, raising property values and displacing low-income residents and people of color.”

“The most insidious part of this gentrification process is that alternative food initiatives work against the community activists and residents who first mobilized to fight environmental injustices and provide these amenities but have significantly less political and economic clout than developers and real estate professionals,” the professors argue.

They claim that, while “curbing gentrification is a vexing task,” the negative externalities of “white habitus” formed at farmers’ markets can be managed through “slow and inclusive steps that balance new initiatives and neighborhood stability to make cities ‘just green enough.’”


Another media double standard -- on sexual misconduct

Bill Donahue

On December 8th, the Boston Globe published an article citing some past and recent examples of sexual misconduct among its employees. There were two curious things about the piece: the timing and the content.

The article was posted online after work on a Friday, around 6:00 p.m. This was no mistake: bleeding out bad news late on a Friday is done purposely so few readers will notice it. The next day the article appeared in the newspaper; Saturday is known for having the lowest circulation of the week.

The content was just as cute: Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory refused to name names—he protected the "privacy" of the sexual predators, thus adopting a "confidentiality policy" for the Globe that his newspaper found unconscionable when invoked by the Boston archdiocese.

On December 12th, I wrote a news release blasting McGrory for his duplicity; we provided our subscribers with email contact information at the Globe. On December 18, I struck again, detailing many examples of Globe editorials savaging the Catholic Church for following the same policy it had adopted all along as its own. We sent my statement to over 100 editors and reporters at the newspaper.

That same day, I discussed this matter with Laura Ingraham on her Fox News Show, "The Ingraham Angle." That was a Monday.

Late on the following Thursday, McGrory apologized online for not saying who the most recent sexual abuser was. He identified the man and then tried to walk away from the issue. He never fingered all of the other predators known to him, nor did he identify the guilty who worked at the Globe before his time. Surely the Globe keeps personnel records—it demanded the Boston archdiocese turn over its files. So why not the Globe's?

Why were none of these abusers reported to the authorities? Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal in Massachusetts, and that includes verbal, as well as physical, offenses. Oh, yes, McGrory's apology to readers of the newspaper's edition appeared on Friday, December 22, the last workday—many were off—before Christmas.

The Catholic Church has long been trashed for the way it handled the problem of sexual misconduct, but the media have said virtually nothing about the Boston Globe's duplicity. Is that because its competitors do not want to open up a can of worms?

We normally call it a cover up when those who work in a company fail to come clean about wrongdoing. What do we call it when almost an entire profession covers for its own? Journalism?


PBS Broadcasts Crusade Myths for the Holiday Season

That the crusades were a RESPONSE to the invasion of ancient Christian lands by Muslims no Leftist or Muslim seems able to admit

"The advertising for the new film" The Sultan and the Saint "suggests it presents revisionist history in line with the modernist ecumenical agenda," wrote in 2016 Dr. Benjamin J. Vail (OFS), an American Secular Franciscan.

The finished film, shown to this author and others last April, thoroughly vindicated Vail, and is now offering hackneyed Crusade myths to the public via PBS, which broadcast the film December 26 and now offers it for online viewing.

Focusing on the 1219 encounter between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Al-Malik al-Kamil during the Fifth Crusade, the film reflects popular falsehoods about the Crusades accepted even by President Barack Obama.

Ignoring reality, the PBS film website declares that the "film sheds light on the crusades origins of dehumanizing rhetoric towards non-Europeans and non-Christians" that "resulted in four generations of escalating conflict." Falsely suggesting that current global hostilities involving Muslims result from insufficient dialogue, the website declares that the film "inspires solutions for the negative atmosphere we find ourselves in today."

PBS' online portrayal of Fifth Crusade historical figures is equally fallacious, such as in the statement that St. Francis wanted "to oppose the bloodshed of the Fifth Crusade." Meanwhile, crusader commander John of Brienne has base motives in PBS' description: "Like many who were motivated to join the Crusades, John might have thought he could improve his lot and gain land, nobility and fame in the Holy Land." At the website of the film's pro-Islam producer, Unity Productions Foundation (UPF), Cardiff University professor and film expert Helen Nicholson cynically states that "for these people, the Crusade is a gift from God."

Nicholson appears in the film alongside journalist Paul Moses, author of The Saint and the Sultan:  The Crusades, Islam, and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace, and his prior statements clearly show his influence upon the film. In various 2013 book presentations, he presented Francis as a pacifist, as someone who "quietly opposed the Crusade," and as someone who "never spoke in a disparaging way about Islam or Muslims." By contrast, Francis' era was a "time when the church had become corrupt and violent" and knew how to "cherry pick through scripture" in order to find "supposed Biblical grounds" for the Crusades.

While Francis appears in Moses' book presentations as out of character for a crusading Christendom, supposedly al-Kamil's "actions show him to be a good Muslim." The sultan "reflected Islamic traditions, including respect for Christian holiness, and also his constant pursuit of alternatives to war." Referencing Saladin, the famed Muslim leader during the Third Crusade, Moses argued in a December 20 interview that the sultan's benign behavior "came straight out of Islamic teachings, which the sultan, a nephew of Saladin, knew well."

The film confirms the 2016 suspicions of Vail, who noted that the "film's advertising implies that the crusades were evil both in intent and in practice," a "common misconception used as a slur against the Church." Leading Crusades historian Thomas F. Madden, for example, has contradicted Nicholson.  The "crusading knights were generally wealthy men with plenty of their own land in Europe," and the "Crusades were notoriously bad for plunder."

As Madden elaborates, the Crusades were not the brainchild of an ambitious pope or rapacious knights but a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world.  At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam.

The Crusades were a Christian reaction to centuries of Islamic jihadist aggression that directly targeted the Catholic Church and Francis' followers. Frank M. Rega, a Secular Franciscan and author of Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims, has noted that an army of 11,000 Muslims sacked Rome itself in 846 and desecrated the tombs of saints Peter and Paul. Rega's fellow Secular Franciscan Vail noted that Muslims later in 1240 attacked the Franciscan Poor Clare monastery in Assisi, which the order's founder herself, St. Clare, successfully defended.

Contrary to Moses' claims, Rega has observed that "unreserved support of the crusade had become normative in the Order" of St. Francis. Rega's book noted Francis' praise for "holy martyrs died fighting for the Faith of Christ." Vail also observed that "one leader of later crusades was St. Louis IX, the king of France, a Franciscan tertiary who is now patron saint of the Secular Franciscan Order."

Francis personally reflected such sentiments when he crossed the front between the Christians and Muslims fighting around Damietta, Egypt, on a personal evangelization mission to the sultan. Rega noted Francis' words to the sultan: "It is just that Christians invade the land you inhabit, for you blaspheme the name of Christ and alienate everyone you can from His worship."

Francis' frank words reflect that he "was fully prepared for martyrdom" and initially experienced rough treatment in Muslim hands, as the film portrays. As Rega's book has noted, al-Kamil had vowed that "anyone who brought him the head of a Christian should be awarded with a Byzantine gold piece."

Contrary to Moses' assertions, Francis' behavior exemplified the common practice of his order in which friars often sought martyrdom by direct rhetorical challenges to Islam. Reflecting the negative judgment of Catholic saints upon Islam throughout history, Francis in Rega's book tells the sultan that "if you die while holding to your law [sharia], you will be lost; God will not accept your soul."

As Notre Dame University Professor Lawrence Cunningham has observed, Francis "saw himself and his friars as Knights of the Round Table fighting a spiritual crusade."

Meanwhile the film juxtaposes Crusader atrocities like the 1099 sack of Jerusalem with al-Kamil's often tolerant behavior in yet another cinematic distortion of the past. Following Moses' lead, the film presents such tolerance as the logical result of Islamic doctrine, but the biography of Moses' hero Saladin tells a different story. As Crusades historian Andrew Holt has noted, "[o]ften Saladin could be just as brutal as the less noble minded military rulers of his era, but those actions are typically not highlighted in modern accounts."

Saladin's atrocities include the 1169 slaughter of 50,000 disarmed Sudanese soldiers in Cairo, Egypt, in breach of a surrender agreement after he had suppressed their rebellion. Following his 1187 decisive defeat of Crusaders in the Holy Land at the Battle of Hattin, Saladin had executed with religious ritual some 230 captured Knights Templar and Knights of St. John Hospitallers. After Hattin, Saladin considered sacking Jerusalem like the Crusaders before him, but its desperate defenders warned him that without a pardon guarantee they would fight to the bitter end and destroy the city's Muslim holy sites. He therefore relented and ransomed the city's population, but an estimated 8,000 could not pay and became slaves, among whom the women suffered mass rape, a practice common among armies of the era.

The film simply offers no context for its portrayal of a brutal era in which warfare rules held that besieged cities that did not surrender like Jerusalem in 1099 were subject to massacre and pillage. Muslims later repaid the Crusaders in kind during the 1291 sack of Acre, and the era's Muslim armies often committed atrocities against surrendered city populations in violation of pledged mercy. By contrast, some evidence suggests to Holt that crusaders during the First Crusade that captured Jerusalem refrained from the common medieval practice of raping captive women.

In the midst of such violence, al-Kamil presents an appealing figure in the film, yet he might not have been an ordinary Muslim. Concurring with Moses, Cunningham has noted that when Francis went to al-Kamil, ultimately the "caliph did receive him kindly; he may have been a Sufi - a Muslim mystic - who want to identify mystically with the love of Allah." Al-Kamil "may have had an instinctual sympathy for Francis, whom he probably saw as a holy man." Al-Kamil also had a history of tolerance toward his Coptic Christian subjects in Egypt, although even this leniency had its limits under repressive Islamic dhimmi norms for non-Muslims.

The attention given by Catholics like Moses to Sufis like al-Kamil has a tradition, the Catholic writer and former academic William Kilpatrick has observed: "To the extent that they are interested in Islam, Catholic thinkers tend to be focused on its mystical, Sufi manifestations rather than on its mainstream, legalistic, and supremacist side." Many Catholics like Francis' namesake, the current Pope Francis, want "to put a Christian face on Islam."

Yet Catholic writer John Zmirak has analyzed respectively the doctrines of Islam and Christianity's founders to demonstrate that "ISIS Are to Muhammad What Franciscans Are to Jesus." No celluloid interfaith, multicultural agitprop from PBS can change these facts by repackaging shopworn canards about Christianity for the Christmas season. The question remains for a forthcoming article, what is the nature of the people at UPF and its associates who helped produce the delusion of The Sultan and the Saint?



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

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

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


7 January, 2018

Wonderful Japan

Kristoff Kalau

I had been in Japan for about two months.

It was about 10 p.m. on Friday, and I was walking back to my apartment from a bar. The sidewalk was not well lit and there was nobody else around.

That’s when I saw a lone girl walking towards me.

She couldn’t have been more than 10 years old, her face was buried in her phone, and she was still in a school uniform.

In America, I rarely see groups of kids playing in the streets during the day like I used to. I’ve never seen a child walking alone in American cities at night.

The girl didn’t acknowledge my presence. She didn’t glance, change her path, quicken her pace, nor put her phone down. I was nothing to her.

This event, and the dozens of similar ones that happened after it, have always made me feel incredibly happy. It’s refreshing that somewhere in this world families feel safe enough that they don’t keep their children shuttered indoors.


Swedish Church Declares Both God and Jesus Christ are Now ‘Gender Neutral’

That God is neither male nor female is theologically orthodox and unproblematical -- but verbally awkward.  Use of male pronouns is convenient in some languages, including English.  Saying Jesus was not male is however unscriptural and shows disrespect for the Bible. But there are probably few real Christians in the Swedish church anyway

It was only a matter of time before cultural marxists would eventually target Christianity, as part of their long march through each and every western institution.

Back in November, the radical progressive activists finally managed to change clergy instructions for a Swedish Church, which will now advise officials to avoid terms like ‘Lord’ and ‘He’ when mentioning God or Jesus during church services.

Since then, a new politically correct religious guide has been issued on ‘how to conduct church services.’

Church official and feminist Susann Senter claims that making Jesus gender neutral is OK because some historical art depictions of “Jesus are quite feminine.”

Not surprisingly, the church’s political dictates have triggered a backlash in the country, as parishioners claim that the politicized change actually undermines the core Christian concept of the Holy Trinity – the basis of the religion.

Dangerous.com reports…

Sweden is at the forefront of the social justice movement, and not even Christianity is exempt from the progressive push for inclusivity of genders other than male and female and a full embrace of the ‘gender spectrum.’

Ahead of Christmas this year, the Swedish Church in Västerås released an advertisement in the Swedish newspaper, Västerås Tidning, inviting Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God. Residents of the city were invited to celebrate his birth at the church, which offered mass, and a Christmas crib.

However, the ad referred to Jesus using the Swedish gender-neutral pronoun of “hen,” which is an alternative to “hon” (she), and “han” (he), according to Expressen.

The church’s female vicar, Susann Senter, said that the decision to refer to Jesus using a gender-neutral pronoun was to respect the progressive view that gender is not determined at birth.

“We did not want to decide on the sex of the child right away,” said Senter, who explained that the decision is partly due to the Church’s gender equality program.

“Welcome Jesus! On Christmas Day, December 25, Jesus was born, a long-awaited child. Hen was born when the happy parents Mary and Joseph were traveling,” read the newspaper ad.

It received mixed reactions. The move prompted outrage from local Swedes on social media who said “it feels stupid,” while others supported the progressive message.

Senter told the newspaper that the whole Swedish church in Västerås has an extensive gender equality program, which was recently implemented for its employees, who are provided with two working days per week to discuss equal treatment.

She explained that how we treat each other based on gender has been a conversation topic at the church.

Senter told Expressen that while Jesus Christ is historically a man, her theological interpretation of the figure makes him “beyond man or woman.”

“If I’m a little provocative, most 19th and 20th century depictions of Jesus are quite feminine. He is gentle, has curly hair and is not very masculine in physique,” she said.


ISIS declares war on Hamas with sickening execution video as it vows to overthrow them from the Gaza Strip for failing to stop Trump's Jerusalem move

Excellent news.  Muslims are great killers of Muslims.  They should do more of it

The Egyptian branch of ISIS has declared war on Palestinian terrorist group Hamas for failing to stop Donald Trump declaring Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

In a brutal propaganda video - purporting to show the execution of a Hamas affiliate - the jihadi group declared war on the Palestinian terror group, which controls much of the Gaza Strip.

Tensions between the rival terrorist organisations have spiralled since 2015, when ISIS released a video saying it would overthrow Gaza's 'tyrants' for their apparent lack of religious fundamentalism.

ISIS's most recent video released on Wednesday shows the man, accused of selling weapons to Hamas, on his knees in an orange jumpsuit.

In the footage the group says it had also declared war on Hamas for its crackdown on small ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim Salafi groups in Gaza.

According to Site, a US monitoring agency that keeps track of jihadi platforms, the 22-minute video shows a man, identified as Abu Kazem al-Maqdisi, urging Islamic followers in Gaza to mount attacks on Hamas.

Maqdisi, who is originally from Gaza but now preaches hate in Sinai, says in the footage: '[Hamas] uses its smuggled weapons to empower that which was not revealed by God.

'It also fights supporters of the Islamic State in Gaza and the Sinai and prevents the migration of these supporters from Gaza to the Sinai'

Towards the end of the recording, the narrator identifies the Hamas collaborator as Musa Abu Zamat. Zamat is then shot in the back of his head at point-blank range by an Islamist holding a pistol, reports the International Business Times.

One militant steps forward, saying: 'Never surrender to them. Use explosives, silenced pistols and sticky bombs.

'Bomb their courts and their security locations, for these are the pillars of tyranny that prop up its throne.'

The propaganda video cuts to images of Khaled Meshaal, the former Hamas leader who stepped down in April this year, alongside Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran has publicly backed the Palestinian group in recent years, providing it with missiles and funding its extensive tunnel network it uses to enter Israeli territory, reports Newsweek.

Hamas has fought three wars with Israel, the last of which was in 2014.

While some thought Donald Trump's December decision to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would ignite a fourth war Hamas' response has been muted.

Jerusalem is contested ground and hosts holy shrines valuable to both Islam and Judaism   

Both the US and the European Union have designated Hamas as an extremist organisation.

Israel's far-right often compares the group to ISIS for its radical interpretation of Islam. However, the group stops short of calling for Sharia law. But like ISIS, the group has carried out public execution on the streets of Gaza. It claims it only does to punish those who collaborate with its nemesis Israel.


Migrant hardliner Viktor Orban puts Angela Merkel coalition talks in jeopardy

Angela Merkel’s attempts to form a coalition government face a new challenge today from her conservative allies who will push demands for tougher action on immigration with the help of Hungary’s hardline prime minister.

Viktor Orban is regarded as the German chancellor’s nemesis for his rejection of her welcome to more than a million asylum seekers. He is to give his views on defending Europe’s borders at the winter gathering of Bavaria’s conservative party, the Christian Social Union (CSU).

His invitation was regarded as a blunt message to Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) that the Bavarians will not compromise in the three-party coalition talks on their demands for tougher measures to deter migrants.



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

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

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


5 January, 2018

Iliza Shlesinger Sued for Banning Men From Comedy Show

An attorney who files discrimination suits against bars that offer “ladies’ nights” has sued comedian Iliza Shlesinger, contending that her “Girls Night In” show violated California law by barring men.

According to the suit, George St. George bought a $30 ticket to Shlesinger’s Nov. 13 show at the Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles, which was advertised as “No Boys Allowed.” St. George and a male friend attempted to enter the show anyway. Initially they were told they could sit in the back row, but later they were denied entry and offered a refund, the suit contends.

St. George has been the plaintiff in several such suits challenging “ladies nights” at bars and other public establishments. His attorney, Alfred Rava, has also made a reputation for filing such suits, once telling CNN that he had filed 150 complaints accusing California businesses of violating the Unruh Civil Rights Act of 1959.

“At no time should an entertainer or an entertainment venue require female patrons or male patrons sit in the back of the theater based solely on their sex,” Rava said via email.

The California Supreme Court ruled in Koire v. Metro Car Wash (1985) that “ladies night” discounts violate the Unruh Act, which provides for “full and equal accommodations” to all business establishments regardless of race, sex, religion and disability.

Violations are punishable by a $4,000 fine, plus attorneys’ fees. Businesses that are sued under the act typically reach an out-of-court settlement rather than face the expense of litigation.

Rava is a former secretary of the National Coalition for Men, a San Diego-based non-profit whose website highlights false rape accusations, fathers’ rights issues, violence against men, and the “myth” that men do not do their fair share of housework. The site has also taken issue with “the current sexual abuse hysteria.”


New Research Associates Increased Crime in Germany With Migrant Surge

While German authorities are struggling to deal with the large number of migrants residing in the country, a recent study has revealed the negative consequences of the migration crisis on national security.

New research suggests there is direct connection between the growing number of reported violent crimes in the German federal state of Lower Saxony and the heavy inflow of migrants to the region, according to Deutsche Welle.

The study carried out by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences with the financial support of Germany's Ministry of Family Affairs, said that the police had registered a 10.4 percent surge in reported violent crimes in 2015 and 2016; 92.1 percent of these crimes were apparently committed by migrants.

The researchers argued that the tendency may be partly explained by the fact that violent crimes committed by asylum seekers were twice as likely to be reported to law-enforcement services in contrast to those committed by German nationals.

The study also came to the conclusion that men aged between 14 and 30 are more likely to commit violent crimes than those of other age groups.

In addition, the authors drew a distinction between the migrants' countries of origin, arguing that men from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan were much less likely to be involved in violent crimes than those arriving from North Africa.

The findings confirm previous reports that the number of violent crimes had surged during the migration crisis. At the same time, other studies have said there is no correlation between growing crime rates and migrants.

Germany has been struggling to manage a massive refugee crisis, which escalated in 2015 with hundreds of thousands of migrants seeking asylum in EU member states.

The influx of migrants to Germany was a result of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's open door policy towards migrants fleeing devastating wars and military conflicts in their home countries.


'They don't belong in Australian society': Peter Dutton says violent African criminals who refuse to integrate should be deported from the country

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton wants African youth to be deported if they are convicted of violent crime following a spate of thuggery in Melbourne.

The senior cabinet minister, who will soon head a new super Home Affairs department, was asked about Liberal backbencher Jason Wood's call to deport youth gang members convicted of serious assault, home invasion and carjackings.

'Frankly, they don't belong in Australian society,' Mr Dutton told Sydney radio station 2GB on Wednesday.

'If people haven't integrated, if they're not abiding by our laws, if they're not adhering to our culture, then they're not welcome here.'

Mr Dutton, who hails from the right of the Liberal Party, also criticised Victoria's Labor Police Minister Lisa Neville who last week denied the strong link between gangs and African youths.

'The reality is, people are scared to go out to restaurants of a night-time because they're followed home by these gangs,' he said.

'We just need to call it for what it is. Of course it's African gang violence.

'We need to weed out the people who have done the wrong thing, deport them where we can but where they're Australian citizens, need to deal with them according to the law.'

Last week, Menace to Society gang members trashed the Ecoville Community Park at Tarneit, in Melbourne's west, by destroying furniture, windows and walls and leaving bongs.

Only days before Christmas, 'MTS' graffiti was also scrawled on an AirBnB party house at Werribee, also in Melbourne's west.

Rocks were also pelted at police forcing them to retreat from the house, when more than 100 youths of primarily South Sudanese appearance turned on them.

On Boxing Day, a police officer was kicked in the face when he tried to arrest a 16-year boy at the Highpoint Shopping Centre at Maribyrnong.

In June, a man was struck in the head with a tomahawk when a gang of 15 men burst into a barber shop at nearby Footscray and started brawling.  


Australian wages stall, as immigration soars

This is exactly what classical economics would lead you to expect.  Australia's extraordinary rate of immigration intake has greatly increassed the supply of labour and increasing the supply must tend to reduce its price (wages)

The Treasurer has a new favourite mantra — "1,000 jobs a day".It's a new take on the familiar "jobs and growth" three-word slogan the Prime Minister took to the last election.

Scott Morrison is correct as there were 371,000 new jobs created over the past year, which averages to more than 1,000 per day.

But it's a much less impressive statistic when compared to the breakneck growth in Australia's population.

Australia's population swelled by 388,000 in the year until June — which is more than 1,000 people being added to our population every day. When you have a population growing that fast, you need to create a lot of jobs just to keep up.

For a Treasurer and Prime Minister who are interested in trumpeting headline figures like GDP, high population growth helps to inflate the numbers.

Simply by letting more people in, you bump up the overall size of the economy.

However, it doesn't necessarily make life any better for the people who live in the country and arguably, makes it a lot worse.

ABC business reporter Michael Janda explains how the jobs data are calculated and what to look for in the figures. This is more people competing for jobs and housing, pushing down wages and pushing up property prices.

Australia's population growth is extraordinarily high when compared to our global peers, at 1.6 per cent per year. This is more than double the rate of the US, nearly three times the rate of the UK, and four times the rate of France.

On current projections, Australia will hit 38 million people by 2050.

This high rate of population growth is driven mostly by high immigration. Net migration was 245,400 people over the past 12 months — which was a 27.1 per cent increase over the year before. That's more than the total population of Hobart in new migrants coming to the country in a single year.

This is also a huge additional supply of workers (although a proportion would be children or the elderly).

The simple economic rule of supply and demand means these new workers effectively lower the price of labour, which means lower wages.

At the height of the mining investment boom, attracting talent from overseas made sense in many occupations to allow projects to be built.

Although be careful when talking about 'skill shortages'. Often it isn't a case of there not being enough people with those skills.

Instead, it's a case of businesses not being willing to pay enough money to attract people and thus choosing to sponsor foreigners who will work for worse pay and conditions.

Australia is not currently anywhere near full employment.

At 5.4 per cent unemployment, Australia is well above the US which is sitting at 4.1 per cent and the UK at 4.2 per cent.

There are currently 707,000 unemployed Australians. These are people currently looking for work. But that's only part of the story as there are currently about 1.1 million Australians who are 'underemployed'. These are people who are currently working (perhaps as little as one hour a week) but want to work more hours.

So the number of Australians currently looking for more work is 1.8 million.

There is still a huge amount of 'slack' in the labour market which is keeping people from getting a decent pay rise. Companies are much less likely to offer big pay rises to workers if they know there's a big supply of other workers who are desperate for a job or more hours.



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

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

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


4 January, 2018

Black Baltimore breaks city record for killings per capita in 2017

The AP writer below pretends it is a mystery why Baltimore is so violent.  But he knows why.  He even mentions it.  The city's black officials immediately blamed the police when a black man died in police custody.  The officers were rapidly charged with only minimal prior enquiry.  This enraged blacks who took the charges as proof of guilt.  So they immediately escalated their hostility to the police -- so that many black areas became "no go" areas for the police. 

So the police have largely sat on their hands since.  They are not willing to risk their lives only to risk being charged as wrongdoers.  And with no police to inhibit it, crime thrives and black Baltimore residents are paying a high price for their community's antagonism to the police.  And the fact that all the police initially charged were eventually exonerated has just fed the hostility.  Police must be supported to be effective but that now has to be a distant vision for Baltimore.  The impetuous  actions of Baltimore's black leadership have poisoned Baltimore for a long time

Baltimore has set a new per-capita homicide record as gunmen killed for drugs, cash, payback - or no apparent reason at all.

A surge of homicides in the starkly divided city resulted in 343 killings in 2017, bringing the annual homicide rate to its highest ever - roughly 56 killings per 100,000 people. Baltimore, which has shrunk over decades, currently has about 615,000 inhabitants.

"Not only is it disheartening, it's painful," Mayor Catherine Pugh told The Associated Press during the final days of 2017, her first year in office.

The main reasons are the subject of endless interpretation. Some attribute the increase to more illegal guns, the fallout of the opioid epidemic, or systemic failures like unequal justice and a scarcity of decent opportunities for many citizens. The tourism-focused Inner Harbor and prosperous neighborhoods such as Canton and Mount Vernon are a world away from large sections of the city hobbled by generational poverty.

Others blame police, accusing them of taking a hands-off approach to fighting crime since six officers were charged in connection with the 2015 death of Freddie Gray, a black man whose fatal spinal cord injury in police custody triggered massive protests that year and the city's worst riots in decades.

"The conventional wisdom, or widely agreed upon speculation, suggests that?the great increase in murders is happening partly because the police have withdrawn from aggressively addressing crime in the city's many poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods," said Donald Norris, professor emeritus of public policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Even as arrests have declined to their lowest level in years, police say their officers are working hard in a tough environment. They note the overwhelming majority of Baltimore's crime has long been linked to gangs, drugs and illegal guns.

"The vast majority of our kids and residents of this city aren't into criminal activity like this. It's that same revolving group of bad guys that are wreaking havoc for people's families," said T.J. Smith, the chief police spokesman whose own younger brother was the city's 173rd homicide victim in 2017.

Baltimore's homicide rate started to surge after Gray's death in 2015, a year when the city saw over 340 slayings. There's been a depressingly steady march of killings since.

Violent crime rates in Baltimore have been notoriously high for decades and some locals sardonically refer to their city as "Bodymore" due to the annual body count. But prior to 2015, Baltimore's killings had generally been on the decline. Before rates in recent years eclipsed it, Baltimore's homicide rate had peaked with 353 killings in 1993, or some 49 killings per 100,000 people. Baltimore had over 700,000 inhabitants back then, making the per-capita rate lower than in 2017.

Patrick Sharkey, a sociologist at New York University, described Baltimore as a place "where there is an urgent need to make sure that neighborhoods do not continue to fall apart and the population doesn't give up on the city."

Pugh, who took office?as mayor in December 2016, said her year-old administration is focused on reducing crime, boosting police recruits, and improving long-neglected neighborhoods. She told attendees at a candlelight vigil she hosted for victims of violence that "this will become the safest city in America."

Attending the vigil were Norman and Yvonne Armstrong, who struggled for words to describe their heartache since losing their son, Shawn, to gun violence. The working family man, a 31-year-old father of three, was fatally shot at a Baltimore carwash in September. His murder is unsolved.

"The kids out there with guns don't care about anything," said Norman Armstrong, the pain of grief etched on his face.

Among the names behind the 2017 numbers is Jonathan Tobash, a 19-year-old college student who embodied the best hopes of his Baltimore community. Police say the sophomore at Morgan State University was shot to death Dec. 18 after stumbling onto a robbery in progress outside a convenience store near his family's home.

Ericka Alston-Buck, who founded the Kids Safe Zone community center in the rough Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood, said concentrated poverty must be addressed and a measure of healing has to take place in order to truly tackle high rates of violence in Baltimore.

"Hurt people hurt people. No one's doing anything to close those holes in their souls," she said. "As long as no one does that, nothing is going to change."


Why Canada’s Eroding Religious Liberty Should Matter to Americans

Outside of watching the occasional hockey game or purchase of maple syrup, most Americans pay little attention to Canada.

We may know of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s colorful socks, but little of how unpopular he is among his constituency. We may discuss the single-payer health care system, but are unfamiliar with the government’s disrespect for religious liberty of our neighbors to the north.

Faithful patriots in this country who are concerned by the attacks on free exercise of religion in America should also be concerned by the similar attacks on liberty echoing within Canada, a country with strong protections for religious liberty in its Charter for Rights and Freedom.

In light of the immense trade between our two countries, we must determine if religious intolerance is an intangible export that has escaped our notice.

Last month, Alberta’s Child and Family Services barred a Christian couple from adopting a child because their religious views about sexuality—views shared by orthodox Jews and Muslims—were incompatible with “the official position of the Alberta government.”

The Ministry of Children’s Services stated that the couple’s belief that sexuality should not be experienced or explored until a person is married, would not create a “safe, healthy, loving, and inclusive home.”

And in June, Ontario passed a law that gave state agencies the power to prevent families from adopting or fostering children if the parents would not affirm the child transitioning their “gender identity” from male to female or vice-versa, calling such a denial “child abuse.”

Similarly, the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state of Michigan over legislation that allows faith-based adoption agencies to only place children into homes with mothers and fathers while under government contract.

And much like Ontario, Illinois is requiring foster parents to affirm the gender identity of any child in their care and aid in any medical procedures the child wishes to undergo.

The Canadian government has unilaterally taken positions on sexuality without the consent of its citizenry, much like the Obama administration’s unilateral decision to reinterpret the definition of “sex” to include sexual orientation and gender identity in Title IX.

But if Americans and Canadians can’t adopt or foster children because they don’t affirm a child undergoing potentially harmful hormone therapies and sex-reassignment surgeries or sexual activity outside of marriage, will the government also begin using this criteria for “good parenting” of biological children?

Will they treat the parenting practices of Orthodox Christians, Jews, and Muslims as suspect if they simply refuse to adopt the latest sexual trends?

Also in Canada, the Supreme Court will soon determine if attorneys who hold orthodox religious beliefs on sexuality are eligible to practice law.

Before Trinity Western University could even open its law school, the accrediting legal societies within Nova Scotia, Ontario, and British Columbia voted not to accredit graduates from the university’s school of law, because the Christian university has Orthodox Christian beliefs about marriage and sexuality.

Trinity Western University is the only Canadian university to have received an A+ grade in quality of education over the past seven years, yet in 2014, the Law Society of Upper Canada labeled the students’ views as “abhorrent” and “not welcome in the public marketplace.”

Without a degree from an accredited law school, students cannot practice law in the province.

Similarly, in 2015, the mayor of Salem, Massachusetts, lambasted Gordon College, a Christian university, for its beliefs about marriage after the university president wrote to President Barack Obama asking for a religious exemption from a forthcoming executive order on hiring practices related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

The mayor decided to prohibit Gordon College and its students from using a local meeting hall they had used for years. Lynn Public Schools then banned Gordon College students who were majoring in education from training as student teachers at local public schools.

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges even held a special meeting to consider revoking Gordon’s accreditation.

In both the United States and Canada, governments and accreditors are threatening the ability of graduates of Christian universities to work in the professions for which they have been trained.

Canadian members of parliament also denied member Rachael Harder the chance to chair the Status of Women Committee led by the Liberal Party solely because of her pro-life views. Despite the chair position being procedural, not political in nature, the Trudeau government refused to allow Harder’s “outrageous” views into any kind of position of authority.

Much like a scene from “Mean Girls,” politicians staged a walkout to protest Harder’s appointment because of her viewpoint on abortion. Ultimately, they gave the position to a member of parliament who did not want it.

In the United States, senators, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; and Al Franken, D-Minn., and leftist organizations like the American Bar Association have smeared judicial nominees like Judges Amy Barrett and Steve Grasz and public officials like Kelvin Cochran and Russell Vought as “unqualified” and “hateful,” simply because of their Christian beliefs.

Their ability to serve as judges, work in government, or lead a fire department is being questioned solely because of their religious views.

In both the United States and Canada, the ability to work in government and pursue your dreams is becoming increasingly dependent on one’s beliefs about sexuality, biology, and the beginning of human life.

These developments should concern all those who believe in the right to not only hold religious beliefs in private, but to exercise them in public.

Canada was founded on the idea of religious pluralism, allowing Catholics living in Quebec to freely practice their faith. The United States was founded as a refuge for religious dissenters, as the Puritans fled persecution from the Church of England.

It is this commitment to religious liberty for all that has led America to defend religious minorities around the world, including Jews, Muslims, Baha’is, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians.

The U.S. and Canada were the only two countries that had ambassadors for international religious freedom. But Trudeau opted to dissolve Canada’s office of ambassador of religious freedom.

If America and Canada, who are traditionally the foremost defenders of religious freedom around the world, are now forsaking that value, what will happen to the Rohingya Muslims in Burma, the Christians and Yazidis facing genocide by ISIS, and the Jews who are facing renewed anti-Semitism in Europe, all of whom the U.S. has fervently advocated for?

Right now, Canadians and Americans of faith have the opportunity to form strategic alliances, especially as they relate to marriage, family, and the free exercise of religion. But the growing threats to religious liberty and freedom of conscience make it especially urgent that these partnerships develop quickly.

Many of the world’s most dire and violent religious conflicts are rooted in lack of respect for religious freedom and religious diversity. There is no time to waste.


Shaky Leftist reality contact gets even shakier

"We're On The Verge Of Stoning Gays Here, You Know"

The View is really getting into the entertainment business with this segment. They were commenting on the recent protests in Iran. Scores of people have recently taken to the streets, voicing their frustration over the economic state of the country, specifically the inflation, and the current hardline regime.

 Somehow, this show’s panel, save for Meghan McCain and Ana Navarro, went off on a tangent where they argued that the U.S., like Iran, is one step away from stoning gay people in the streets. Co-host Joy Behar took her usual jabs at the president, saying he couldn’t stay off Twitter to comment on the situation, which Navarro said that’s something the president should have done.

Trump said that the U.S. is watching these protests. Navarro hoped that the Iranians could free themselves of the Islamic Republic that has strangled civil rights in the country since the Carter administration, which Behar used again to slip in a swipe at Trump, saying he’s leading the country down the path of authoritarianism.

McCain pushed back on this nonsense and rightfully so, but the insanity persisted.

Behar tried to walk back her comparison. “We're not comparing it--” she began before McCain cut her off.

“You just said we need to rise up against Trump in the same way like Ayatollah Khomeini is somehow morally relative to President Trump. I think that's crazy,” McCain stated.

"It's not apples and apples. It’s not equal. But we're on a very slippery slope in this country towards throwing democracy out of the window every single day,” Behar gushed.

Navarro chimed in with agreement that Trump’s relationship with the press was a threat to democracy, a favorite talking point by the media. “We have to defend the press and civil rights here,” Navarro began.

“We do, but we don't stone people in the street for being gay,” McCain stated the obvious.

“Not yet,” Whoopi chimed in. “Not yet,” she repeated as McCain scoffed.


Trump: Why Are We Still Offering Aid to Palestinians Who Don't Want Peace?

Good question

The peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians are going nowhere, President Trump reiterated on Twitter Tuesday night. Clearly, he believes one side deserves more blame than the other. If the Palestinians don't show some interest in coming to a truce, Trump is ready to cut their aid.

Last month, Trump announced the U.S. would be moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Over 100 United Nations members voted to condemn the move - a vote that U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said they wouldn't soon forget.

Before Trump's Tuesday night tweets, Haley announced that the U.S. could cut off funding to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which provides aid to Palestinian refugees, unless they "return to the negotiating table" with Israel. The U.S. currently gives $300 million in funding to the agency.

"We are trying to promote the peace process, but if that will not happen, the president will not continue to fund it," she said.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tweeted his support for Trump's latest warning to the Palestinians, hoping the president's message will give his relevant bill some renewed hope.



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

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

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


3 January, 2018

How many transgender kids grow up to stay trans?

Pushing batshit crazy transgender ideology is nothing more or less than child abuse

The National Post recently covered the CBC’s cancellation of a BBC documentary about transgender children (Why CBC cancelled a BBC documentary that activists claimed was ‘transphobic’).  In that coverage, the Post shared claims made by some activists criticizing some scientific studies, but did not apparently fact-check those claims, so I thought I would outline the studies here. 

For reference, in a previous post, I listed the results of every study that ever followed up transgender kids to see how they felt in adulthood (Do trans- kids stay trans- when they grow up?).  There are 12 such studies in all, and they all came to the very same conclusion: The majority of kids cease to feel transgender when they get older.

The Post conveyed criticisms alleged about two of those:  “One study of Dutch children, in particular, assumed that subjects had ‘desisted’ purely because they stopped showing up to a gender identity clinic.”  Although unnamed, the claim appears to be referring to Steensma et al. (2013), which followed up on 127 transgender kids.  Of them: 47 said they were still transgender; 56 said they were no longer transgender (46 said so directly, 6 said so via their parents, and 4 more said so despite not participating in other aspects of the study); and 24 did not respond to the invitation to participate in the study or could not be located.  Because all the medical services for transition are free in the Netherlands and because there is only one clinic providing those services, the researchers were able to check that none of the 24 had actually transitioned despite having the opportunity to do so.  Steensma therefore reported that (80/127 =) 63% of the cases desisted. 

The alleged criticism is that one should not assume that the 24 who did not respond or could not be found were desisters.  Regardless of whether one agrees with that, the irrelevance of claim is clearly seen simply by taking it to its own conclusion: When one excludes these 24, one simply finds a desistance rate of (56/103 =) 54% instead of 63%.  That is, although numerically lower, it nonetheless supports the very same conclusion as before. The majority of kids cease to feel transgender when they get older.

The other alleged criticism was that a study “cast too wide a net on which children were legitimately displaying gender dysphoria.”  Although also unnamed, this seems to refer to Drummond et al. (2008), which followed up 25 kids assessed in childhood for gender issues: 15 of the 25 received official diagnoses for their gender dysphoria, and 10 were judged to be experiencing the feelings, but to be “subthreshold” for an official diagnosis.  That is, the alleged criticism is that including “subthreshold” cases would water down the results from cases who are formally diagnosed. 

The irrelevance of that claim is again easily seen by looking at it directly: Of the 15 kids who received a diagnosis, two continued to be transgender in adulthood (13/15 = 87% desistance), and of the 10 without a diagnosis, one continued to be transgender (9/10 = 90% desistance).  Drummond thus reported their combination, that (22/25 =) 88% desisted.  That is, both the “too wide” net and the narrow net each support the very same conclusion: The majority of kids cease to feel transgender when they get older.

I am personally of the opinion that the studies’ authors were correct in their original methods, but the numbers indicate that it simply does not matter.  Even if the criticisms were valid, the studies conclusions would remain the same.

The state of the science is made clear simply by listing the results of the studies on the topic.  Despite coming from a variety of countries and from a variety of labs, using a variety of methods, all spanning four decades, every single study without exception has come to the identical conclusion.  This is not a matter of scientists disagreeing with one another over relative strengths and weaknesses across a set of conflicting reports.  The disagreement is not even some people advocating for one set of studies with other people advocating for different set of studies:  Rather, activists are rejecting the unanimous conclusion of every single study ever conducted on the question in favour of a conclusion supported by not one.

Importantly, these results should not be exaggerated in the other direction either: The correct answer is neither 0% nor 100%.  Although the majority of transgender kids desist, it is not a large majority.  A very substantial proportion do indeed want to transition as they get older, and we need to ensure they receive the support they will need.  Despite loud, confident protestations of extremists, the science shows very clearly and very consistently that we cannot take either outcome for granted.


Drummond, K. D., Bradley, S. J., Badali-Peterson, M., & Zucker, K. J. (2008). A follow-up study of girls with gender identity disorder. Developmental Psychology, 44, 34–45.

Steensma, T. D., McGuire, J. K., Kreukels, B. P. C., Beekman, A. J., & Cohen-Kettenis, P. T. (2013). Factors associated with desistence and persistence of childhood gender dysphoria: A quantitative follow-up study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 52, 582–590.


Another man sent to prison for rape after very slack work by British police

They are desperate to get convictions to appease feminists

A MAN who was wrongly jailed for rape has spoken out of the years of hell that only ended when his family managed to find deleted Facebook messages that proved his innocence.

Danny Kay, of Derby, UK, spent more than two years behind bars after police relied on an “edited and misleading” conversation between himself and his accuser — with cops now reviewing just how they got it so wrong.

Mr Kay told The Mail On Sunday he had trusted the system would find the truth after he was arrested on suspicion of rape in 2012 but was instead brought to trial and eventually convicted.

The now 26-year-old said: “Even now, with the conviction quashed, I still can’t believe that it took years of pain and stress for this nightmare to end.

“And the terrifying thought is that if the police and justice system could fail me like this, it could happen to anyone.”

It wasn’t until his sister-in-law Sarah Maddison checked his Facebook account and was able to find the full archived conversation — which supported Mr Kay’s version of events — that his appeal could be set in motion.
Danny Kay was released from jail after his sister-in-law Sarah Maddison found archived Facebook messages that cleared him

Danny Kay was released from jail after his sister-in-law Sarah Maddison found archived Facebook messages that cleared himSource:The Sun

It comes after three high-profile rape cases collapsed in the same week, including two where bungling cops did not disclose crucial texts sent by the alleged victims.

Ms Maddison said it had taken her mere minutes to find the archived conversation, despite not being a social media expert, with surprised cops asking her: “How did you know how to find the messages and we didn’t?”

Mr Kay, who had trained as a welder, said: “This isn’t some small matter — this is my life and for the police not to do those basic checks is horrendous.”

During the 2013 trial, the jury had been given the impression that a message from Mr Kay saying “sorry” was over the alleged rape — but the deleted messages instead showed it had been referring to the woman asking why he had been ignoring her.

Other messages proved that Mr Kay had not lied about his age, as had been presented in court.
Derby Crown Court where Danny Kay went to trial in 2013

Derby Crown Court where Danny Kay went to trial in 2013Source:The Sun

Mr Kay had engaged in a fling with his accuser in March 2012, with the accusations brought against him six months later.

Appeal judge Mr Justice Goss said: “We have come to the conclusion that, in a case of one word against another, the full Facebook message exchange provides very cogent evidence both in relation to the truthfulness and reliability of (the woman) ... and the reliability of (Mr Kay’s) account and his truthfulness.”

Derbyshire Police said: “We will be reviewing our investigation to find out whether lessons can be learnt.”

This article was originally published in The Sun and is reproduced here with permission.


Moderate drinking is good for the heart. Why won’t public health admit it?

A new study in the British Medical Journal has found that moderate drinkers have a lower risk of heart attack, angina and heart failure when compared to teetotallers. It found that lifelong non-drinkers have a 24 per cent higher mortality rate than moderate drinkers and that the death rate among former drinkers is even higher.

The authors, from Cambridge University and University College London, describe their research as ‘the most comprehensive study to date’ in this crowded field and with some justification. It involved nearly two million people, 62 per cent of whom claimed to drink within the old UK guidelines of 21 units for men and 14 units for women. The reduction in risk for heart disease was both clinically and statistically significant, and this is only the latest in a long line of studies stretching over five decades that have come to the same conclusion.

If moderate drinking was a pharmaceutical with the same weight of evidence behind it, doctors would be prescribing it. If it was a fruit, wellness gurus would be getting rich off it. But you will never hear anyone from the ‘public health’ lobby telling teetotallers to start drinking. You will seldom even hear them acknowledge the fact that teetotallers die younger. More likely, you will see them resorting to long-debunked arguments to cast doubt on the scientific evidence. They will do almost anything to avoid advising people to drink alcohol.

On the face of it, this is remarkable. We live in an age in which weak epidemiological associations are used to justify all manner of interventions in people’s lifestyles and yet here is a strong, proven link between the consumption of a product and substantially lower risks of both heart disease and overall mortality, and yet it is treated as a trivial factoid.

There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the ‘public health’ lobby fears that non-drinkers will become alcoholics if they are advised to have a glass of wine. Put simply, they don’t trust us. They don’t think we are responsible enough to drink moderately and they would sooner see a few thousand of us die of angina than give us accurate information. Second, a large number of ‘public health’ campaigners think that alcohol is the new smoking and want to co-opt the ‘no safe level’ slogan that has worked so well in the war on tobacco. There is a blueprint and they are going to follow it.

The new BMJ study is too strong to dismiss with the usual excuses about ‘sick quitters’ and so the strategy today has turned to presenting exercise and healthy eating as superior substitutes for moderate drinking. The subliminal message is that drinking probably isn’t much good for the heart and you should take up jogging instead.

For example, here’s how James Nicholls of Alcohol Research UK responded to the study:

‘There are better ways to strengthen the heart such as exercise and good diet. All things being equal — and given the increased risk of suffering other health conditions linked to any amount of alcohol consumption — if you drink within the existing guidelines it is unlikely that alcohol will either lengthen or shorten your life.’

And here’s how Rosanna O’Connor of Public Health England reacted:

‘Those who don’t drink should not consider taking up drinking to improve their heart health, but are better off stopping smoking, getting regular physical activity and eating a healthy diet.’

Healthy eating and physical activity are to be encouraged, but this line of argument is a false dichotomy. You should not be told to choose exercise or moderate drinking. They are complementary. The evidence shows that even if you exercise regularly, eat healthily and don’t smoke, moderate alcohol consumption offers additional benefits that teetotal health fanatics do not enjoy. This study from 2006, for example, concluded that: ‘Even in men already at low risk on the basis of body mass index, physical activity, smoking, and diet, moderate alcohol intake is associated with lower risk for MI.’ MI is myocardial infarction, otherwise known as a heart attack.

It could be argued that people who like alcohol do not drink for the health benefits. Likewise, people who hate the taste of alcohol are unlikely to start drinking even if it means they are more likely to have a heart attack. So what does it matter if ‘public health’ authorities downplay the benefits of drinking while exaggerating the risks?

It matters because we are being treated like children who cannot handle nuanced information. It is deeply patronising to assume that we will drink ourselves to death if Public Health England gives us permission to have a couple of bottles of wine every week. It is an insult to our intelligence for the scolds of ‘public health’ to speak to us as if the only message we can comprehend is ‘abstinence good, drinking bad’.

The benefits of drinking matter because the neo-temperance lobby thinks they matter. Drinkers do not need moderate alcohol consumption to be good for their health to justify their lifestyles, but the anti-drinkers desperately need to debunk the health benefits to justify their crusade.

These are people who see a world of black and white in which activities are healthy or unhealthy, good or bad, banned or compulsory. It is a world of zero-tolerance and ‘no safe levels’ — a world in which the most important thing is to ‘send a clear message’. When Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer, declared last year that there is ‘no safe level’ of alcohol and derided the benefits of moderate drinking as ‘an old wives’ tale’ she was dragging us into this cartoon parallel universe.

These are the slogans of a campaigner, not a scientist. The real world is more complex. In the real world, there are trade-offs to be made and the dose makes the poison. Science reflects the real world. Everything else is manipulation.


Kwakkers law professor pontificates on economics

Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality by James Kwak (Pantheon Books, 2017; 237 pages)

There is a nasty genre of writing: books and articles that seek to build the case for socialism and interventionist government policies by smearing those of us who oppose them. That approach appeals greatly to Progressives who think that they are virtuous and their enemies must therefore be driven by base motives.

Such a book is Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality, by University of Connecticut law professor James Kwak. He is extremely bothered by the fact that free-market arguments often succeed in derailing the kinds of socialistic policies he believes we need to combat inequality. And they succeed with what Kwak deems “simplistic” concepts.

Many years ago, I taught introductory college economics courses. Perhaps today one of my former students, if asked whether or not he supports increasing the minimum wage would reply, “No, because what I learned about economics makes me think that doing so will lead to more unemployment among workers with low-skill levels.”

That sensible response, according to Kwak, would exemplify the harmful phenomenon he calls “economism.” When people make decisions on what he deems complex policy questions on the basis of their having absorbed some of the “simple” concepts from Econ 101, that’s a bad thing. In his view, the United States is being held back from addressing the crucial issue of rising inequality because economism has indoctrinated so much of the population. If, for example, that former student opposes the minimum wage because he remembers that price increases mean decreases in demand, that shows the malign force of “economism” at work.

The “elegant model” of supply and demand, Kwak writes, “requires that all suppliers offer the same product — there are no differences in features, quality or anything else — and each competitor is so small that its behavior has no effect on overall supply.” Because the model of a perfectly competitive market is unrealistic, Kwak argues, it follows that the basic teachings derived from it are not reliable policy guides. We really can’t be sure about the impact of a mandated wage increase, for instance, and it’s therefore wrong to instruct impressionable students that there are any necessary implications from it or other interventionist policies. This artificial model, however, does not describe free-market economics and plays no role in comprehending human action.

Down with economics!

In short, learning the basic principles taught in Econ 101 is an instance of the old adage that a little learning is a dangerous thing. If it weren’t for the simplistic notions implanted in people’s minds about those principles, we would have adopted a host of regulatory and tax policies to relieve suffering and make America a more equal nation.

If that seems like an attack on economic theory, that’s exactly what Kwak is doing. He derides writers such as Henry Hazlitt for arguing that the world obeys economic laws. Theory, Kwak maintains, has been overthrown by data. We can discover the impact of different policies only by looking at studies after implementing them, and if any study finds an apparently beneficial result, that’s adequate justification for it. Naturally, he points to outlier academic studies finding little or no harm from minimum-wage increases and little or no benefit from tax cuts to make his case that the world is too complicated for mere theory.

Where does economism have its roots? They’re found in the ideas of economists who have argued that free markets lead to the most efficient use of resources to satisfy the desires of consumers and, equally important, that coercive interference with markets will have predictable and generally harmful consequences. Kwak displays a superficial familiarity with those economists. Throughout the book, he mentions Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and others. All of them opposed the sorts of interventionist policies that he thinks are now necessary to restore fairness: trade restrictions, minimum-wage laws, strong labor unions, high taxes on the wealthy, and so on.

But Kwak never ventures a direct assault against their ideas. Rather, his contention is that their theoretical notions, while not necessarily wrong, have been pulled out of their books and impressed into the service of rich Americans who were unhappy that the New Deal had slightly reduced their share of national wealth, and wanted some means of fighting back. If, for example, Charles Koch cites Milton Friedman on the benefits of deregulation in an op-ed, that’s bad old economism at work — using simple, merely theoretical ideas to tear down our regulatory apparatus so his companies can gain.

In Kwak’s version of history, America had settled into a comfortable and relatively fair equilibrium under the enlightened policies of Franklin Roosevelt, which sensible Republicans continued under Dwight Eisenhower. But then a few people on the far Right decided that the New Deal’s big administrative state was an obstacle to their wealth maximization, so they created a movement to counter it, a movement centered around the anti-interventionist arguments of Smith, Mises, et al. Thus was economism born. It takes “simplistic” economic concepts and repackages them into op-eds and videos and radio commentaries designed to get Americans to believe that free markets are always good and government interference with them is always bad.

In making his argument, Kwak is relentlessly uncharitable toward his opponents. They’re depicted as mean-spirited people, all about money for themselves, never about principled economic and philosophical arguments against government coercion. William Graham Sumner is tarred with the false claim that he was indifferent to the poor, who just “deserved it.” Leonard Read, founder of the Foundation for Economic Education, was just a business executive looking for ways to put business back on top, not a man with a deep philosophic commitment to liberty. Americans who oppose the minimum wage merely want to keep down labor costs for business and those who argue for tax cuts do so only because their deep pockets could hold a few more dollars.

Kwak can’t even resist a dig at two Nobel laureates who provide ammunition for the practitioners of economism. Writing about Hayek and Friedman, he says, “Both were well versed in the complexities of various markets, even if their political sensibilities constantly colored their economic assessments.” I don’t think I have ever before seen the intellectual sincerity of Hayek or Friedman called into question, but Kwak feels the need to suggest that they were part of the right-wing cabal against the Golden Age of Progressivism.

To make his attack on the purveyors of “economism” as people who are all about greed and couldn’t care less about the poor hold up, Kwak has to ignore some inconvenient facts. Who opposes harmful labor-market restrictions such as occupational licensing that drive up prices for the poor, while at the same time preventing many from finding good work? They are almost always people who are imbued with “economism.” Who opposes crony capitalism that lines the pockets of the politically connected rich and who opposes the government schooling monopoly that so harms the chances for success of children from poor families? Again, those of us who have absorbed the basics of Econ 101. But Kwak is so adamant to portray economism as a wholly malign force that he can’t admit that it works for the poor and against the (unjustly) rich.

While Kwak claims that he isn’t trying to say who is right and who is wrong in policy debates and only wants deeper and more-enlightened debate, that’s hard to take seriously. He never indicts any of the equally simple arguments that come from Progressives. For every instance of economism — let’s say a Wall Street Journal editorial saying that raising the minimum wage will cause increased unemployment —it’s easy to find one of simple egalitarianism — say a New York Times op-ed declaring that raising taxes on the “1 percent” is a matter of basic fairness. Only the former appears to bother our author; simplistic appeals that help advance the policies he likes occasion no complaint from him.

Whatever impact the book has will be to encourage true-believing Progressives to say “Well, that’s just economism for you” any time they encounter an argument that’s premised on supply and demand, incentives, efficiency, or other concepts of basic economics. Instead of promoting deeper debate, the book encourages leftists to believe that free-market arguments are just a mask for greed.


Besides the book’s tactic of impugning the motives of those who argue for free markets and noninterventionist government, Kwak’s work is open to two obvious objections.

First, is it true that basic supply-and-demand analysis is so drummed into American students that they reflexively oppose government interventionism? Demonstrating that would seem to be crucial to Kwak’s case, but he never even bothers to try. Only a small percentage of Americans ever take an economics course (they are required at very few colleges) and as Daniel Klein has shown, many economics professors are not free-market enthusiasts. Among the minority of students who do take an Econ 101 course, many are taught in a way that gives more attention to alleged market failures and the need for intervention than to the adverse consequences of tampering with prices. In the rest of the college curriculum, students are far more likely to be imbued with egalitarian and statist ideas than to hear anything that reinforces supply-and-demand theory from Econ 101. If “economism” affects American thinking, its impact is far, far smaller than Kwak would have us believe.

The second obvious problem is that despite the supposedly gigantic barrier of economism, the United States has kept right on increasing the power of the state to interfere in markets. Economism did not prevent the Affordable Care Act from passing; it didn’t keep Congress from raising the minimum wage in 2007 or keep Seattle from raising it to $13 per hour last year; it didn’t prevent ethanol subsidies or steel tariffs; it didn’t keep states from enacting laws against price gouging. Nor has the government repealed any of the laws that people infected with economism have long railed against. The Davis-Bacon Act? Still on the books. The Department of Education? Ronald Reagan promised to abolish it, but it’s still here.

In short, Kwak vastly overstates the power of economism to dictate policy. He declares that it prevents Americans from even considering a single-payer national health policy, but many politicians and policy advocates have put forth that idea. It has been widely debated. Most Americans seem to have concluded that single-payer would be a big mistake. That isn’t because economism is so dominant; it’s because the case for a federal health-care monopoly is so poor.

What this book boils down to is the author’s complaint that the world of policy debate doesn’t operate to his satisfaction. “With economism,” he writes, “there are only implicit assumptions and asserted conclusions. When commentators and politicians say that a higher minimum wage will increase unemployment … they often do not realize that they are making contested claims about how the economy should be organized and how its output should be distributed.”

So what? Writers who rely on economism are just as apt to know they’re making “contested claims” as Progressive writers are to know that they’re doing the same thing when they advocate interventionist, redistributionist policies. People on any side who seek to shape public opinion couldn’t possibly include and respond to every objection that has been lodged against the positions they advocate. The realm of policy debate is (thankfully) still an even field of battle and Kwak’s lament that economism gives greedy right-wingers an unfair advantage is risible.

In the end, what does Kwak want? He wants his philosophical allies to develop “a new, compelling narrative about how the world works.” And what would that entail? To break the grip of economism, Kwak wants to fight the idea that “the overriding objective should be to have more and more stuff.” He praises Amartya Sen for saying that we should care about “the richness of human life” and not just “the richness of the economy.”

Fine. Let Kwak and anyone else make that case any way they can —even if those advocates don’t bother to acknowledge when they’re making “contested claims” and ignore the counterarguments about the trade-offs their preferences would require. They need not be fair and can make their arguments with simplistic notions. When they advocate coercion (as they almost inevitably will) we libertarians will oppose them as we think best.

In fact, writers have been trying to sell people around the world on a “less is more” philosophy for thousands of years. They haven’t gotten very far. Perhaps Kwak’s next book will argue that Americans should change to a sharing ethic, since we already have enough stuff. That would be a far greater challenge than writing a misguided hit piece like Economism.



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

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

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


2 January, 2018

'I'm Not Ready to Get Married'

Dennis Prager

In every age, people say and believe things that aren't true but somehow become accepted as "conventional wisdom."

The statement "I'm not ready to get married" is a current example. Said by more and more Americans between the ages of 21 and 40 (and some who are older than that), it usually qualifies as both meaningless and untrue. And it is one reason a smaller percentage of Americans are marrying than ever before.

So, here's a truth that young Americans need to hear:

 Most people become "ready to get married" when they get married. Throughout history most people got married at a much younger age than people today. They were hardly "ready." They got married because society and/or their religion expected them to. And then, once married, people tended to rise to the occasion.

The same holds true for becoming a parent. Very few people are "ready" to become a parent. They become ready ... once they become a parent. In fact, the same holds true for any difficult job. What new lawyer was "ready" to take on his or her first clients? What new teacher, policeman, firefighter is "ready?"

You get ready to do something by doing it.

In addition, at least two bad things happen the longer you wait to get "ready" to be married.

One is that, if you are a woman, the number of quality single men declines. Among deniers of unpleasant realities -- people known as progressives, leftists, and feminists -- this truth is denied and labelled "sexist." But, as Susan Patton, a Princeton graduate, wrote in an article titled "Advice for the young women of Princeton," published in Princeton's student newspaper: "Find a husband on campus before you graduate. ... From a sheer numbers perspective, the odds will never be as good to be surrounded by all of these extraordinary men."

The other bad thing that happens when people wait until they are "ready" to get married is that they often end up waiting longer and longer. After a certain point, being single becomes the norm and the thought of marrying becomes less, not more, appealing. So over time you can actually become less "ready" to get married.

And one more thing: If you're 25 and not ready to commit to another person, in most cases -- even if you are a kind person, and a responsible worker or serious student -- "I'm not ready to get married" means "I'm not ready to stop being preoccupied with myself," or to put it as directly as possible, "I'm not ready to grow up." (No job on earth makes you grow up like getting married does.)

People didn't marry in the past only because they fell in love. And people can fall in love and not marry -- as happens frequently today. People married because it was a primary societal value. People understood that it was better for society and for the vast majority of its members that as many individuals as possible commit to someone and take care of that person. Among other things, when people stop taking care of one another, the state usually ends up doing so. Just compare the percentage of single people receiving welfare versus the percentage of married people.

Nor is the argument that the older people are when they marry, the less likely they are to divorce. This only applies in any significant way to those who marry as teenagers versus those who marry later. Moreover, the latest data are that those who marry in their early 30s are more likely to divorce than those who marry on their late 20s.

And then there is the economic argument. Many single men, for example, say they are not ready to get married because they don't have the income they would like to have prior to getting married. As responsible as this may sound, however, this is not a particularly rational argument. Why is marrying while at a low income a bad idea? In fact, marriage may be the best way to increase one's income. Men's income rises after marriage. They have less time to waste, and someone to help support -- two spurs to hard work and ambition, not to mention that most employers prefer men who are married. And can't two people live on less money than each would need if they lived on their own, paying for two apartments?

In addition to economic benefits, the vast majority of human beings do better when they have someone to come home to, someone to care for, and someone to care for them. And, no matter how much feminists and other progressives deny it, children do best when raised by a married couple. There are, most certainly, superb single parents. But every superb single parent I have ever spoken to wishes they had had a spouse with whom to raise their children.

Throughout history, and in every society, people married not when they were "ready" to marry, but when they reached marriageable age and were expected to assume adult responsibilities.

Finally, this statement reflects another negative trend in society -- that of people being guided by feelings rather than by standards or obligations. We live in an Age of Feelings. Aside from the rational and moral problems that derive from being guided by feelings rather than by reason and values, there is one other problem. In life, behavior shapes feelings. Act happy, you'll feel happy. Act single, you'll feel single. Act married, you'll feel married.

Do it, in other words. Then you'll be "ready."


German police union chief slams New Year’s Eve ‘safe zone’ for women

TWO years after hundreds of German women were sexually assaulted by migrants on New Year’s Eve, police have slammed a “devastating” new proposal.

THE head of a German police union is criticising the creation of a special safe zone for women at the annual New Year’s Eve party in front of Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate.

Rainer Wendt of the DpolG union says establishing such an area sends a “devastating message” that women aren’t safe from assault outside of it.

In an interview with the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung daily, Wendt was quoted Saturday as saying the move appeared to ignore the “political dimension” in Germany, two years after hundreds of women reported being sexually assaulted or robbed during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cologne.

Organisers of the free, open-air event said the “Women’s Safety Area” was requested by Berlin police. Other security measures include concrete blocks to prevent vehicle attacks and bag searches at entrances.


Rise of the Zeta Males
There's a possibility our species will, in the not-too-distant future, be wiped out. Not by a meteor, but by simply no longer reproducing. Sterility won't be the culprit, it will be the rise of the zeta males.

You doubtlessly have heard of alpha and beta males - alphas being dominant and aggressive, and betas being pajama wearing, vegans with man-buns. While it may seem like those two options represent the bookends of the scale, there is a new, disturbing option emerging that may, and maybe should, mean the end of all human reproduction: the zeta male.

The zeta male is so far down the scale from the beta male so as to make them look like the bastard child of a steroid-fueled spawning session between Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, man-bun and all.

So, what is a zeta male? They aren't just "woke" feminists, thought they are certainly that. They are biological men for whom a urinal holds no meaning, they always sit. They get tattoos of Hillary Clinton and attend Brony conventions.

More than that, they are exemplified by a recent op-ed in the Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper of America's most over-priced college.

The piece, entitled, "The Harvard Community is Responsible for Sexual Assault," is a progressive diary entry on the fall of western civilization.

The headline is typical leftist pap - blaming everyone for the actions of a few so as to alleviate personal guilt. But the source of the personal guilt in this case is the issue and the evidence.

The author (who I won't name because he's a young kid and had to have been made this way by liberals in his life as a child) is haunted by something he did with two friends over a year ago; haunted to the point that he felt compelled to confess his sin not to a priest, but to everyone on campus.

So what was this horrible offense; this sexist, sexual assault enabling action he took? He acted like a normal guy, quite possibly for the first and only time in his life.

How? I'll let him explain:

"During Orientation Week in August of 2016, I was out late drinking in Harvard Square with two classmates. The topic switched to the women in our class. Over the drunken hum of the bar's collective conversation, one guy proposed the `hottest' girls in our class. The other did the same. They both then asked me to rank the girls in our cohort in the order I wanted to get with. My alarmed heart bolted blood to my cheeks. I crossed my arms, unable to speak. `Are we making you uncomfortable?' one asked me. I cannot remember my exact response. But it was not: `Yes. Objectifying women, even though it seems harmless to you, demeans them and creates an environment that makes sexual assault more likely.' Instead, I uncrossed my arms, I shook my head, and yes, I discussed which girls were hot."

We no longer have a need for The Onion, real life has become a parody of itself.

All they were basically doing is talking about the women they find attractive, something every normal, healthy, heterosexual man since communication was invented has been doing, but now it's just one step down from Harvey Weinstein. Maybe only a half-step.

This is as insane as it is hilarious, a eunuch's love letter to a lonely future.

The zeta continued, "At the time, it was easy for me to discard my act of cowardice as inconsequential. The desire to be included made the risk of speaking up too great. During many similar `inconsequential' comments at the pub and locker rooms throughout my life, I know I've taken the easy way out."

I didn't realize competitive knitting had locker rooms.

The confession of this student (a graduate student, no less) is a prime example of what happens when you accept as moral arbiters people who insist gender is a social construct and a person can switch from one to the other at will.

Men finding women attractive, and vice versa, is why we're all here. Talking about it, and everything else, with friends, even in crude terms, is perfectly normal human behavior. But now it's pre-rape and needs to be confessed.

We're not going to survive as a species if the zeta male mentality metastasizes beyond college campuses and a political fringe.and maybe we wouldn't deserve to.


Slavery and Segregation Were Federal Programs

Americans are afflicted with a “collective amnesia” that surrounds the subject of segregation, complacently assured that it was, if anything, a “minor factor” in the striking wealth gap that today divides white from black Americans. In his book The Color of Law, the Economic Policy Institute’s Richard Rothstein argues that not only have Americans forgotten the true legacy of segregation, they have also forgotten its principal cause. Rothstein contends that the polite, embarrassedly euphemistic story we find in the mainstream’s politics of respectability has ignored or underplayed important facts. “Most segregation,” he states in the book’s introduction, “does fall into the category of open and explicit government-sponsored segregation.”

To undergird his claims, Rothstein adduces an impressive body of evidence, surveying a range of government policies and court decisions that he says show the government’s official “imposition of racial segregation,” both forceful and purposeful. His thesis, then, runs quite contrary to the comfortable notion that segregation in the United States is by and large the result of private (that is, nongovernmental) actors’ private decisions and is, therefore, not the kind of action against which the Constitution and federal civil-rights law protect.

Rothstein sets out to provide concrete facts supportive of the claim that federal government policies are implicated in segregation at every stage, stamping the “badge of slavery” on official actions of the government. This systematic segregation and (as Rothstein admirably does not hesitate to call it) ghettoization was neither an accident nor the spontaneous development of private prejudices, even if those played a role. “It was,” Rothstein argues, “a nationwide project of the federal government in the twentieth century, designed and implemented by its most liberal leaders.” If Rothstein is right and that is true, then it follows that the government ought to provide appropriate remedies.

For libertarian readers, Rothstein’s book immediately falls into a much broader, older conversation about the inability of the defective left-right political paradigm to make sense of the uniquely odious history that surrounds race in America. That paradigm unthinkingly places the small and anti-government positions of libertarians on its far right wing, grouped with racists and segregationists of all stripes. The whole of the conversation about the relationship between race and politics in the United States rests on a historical mistake — that government power has tended overwhelmingly to ameliorate the lot of black Americans.

In this version of history, the federal government is rendered coextensive with the exalted, if largely mythological, legacy of Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator — and thus reimagined as a source not of abusive centralized power but of freedom and justice. That story, false though it may be, is deeply ingrained in the discourse, popular and scholarly, about race in America, reaffirmed constantly, and held above inquiry. To question the notion that the federal government is the source of racial justice, to suggest that political centralization is in fact the cause of serious social and economic problems, is to brand yourself a reactionary or worse, a racist.

Somehow, the government’s role in creating, perpetuating, and protecting slavery, America’s ultimate disgrace, is simply forgotten, as if slavery were an example of free-market fundamentalism from which benevolent federal power rescued the nation. Similarly, conventional wisdom has it that in the time since slavery was officially abolished, aggrandizement of federal power to the detriment of the states has generally benefitted black Americans. Once considered, it is perplexing that the Left should want to pursue this line of hypothecating, should want to absolve government power of its crimes against black Americans. But the federal government as enemy — which is to say, the truth — doesn’t fit the narrative of the present moment, which casts Washington, D.C., as the savior of black people throughout American history, from the Civil War to the civil-rights era.


The Color of Law vindicates libertarians, though of course it doesn’t set out to. It bolsters a position libertarians have maintained for generations, one so simple and obviously true that it shouldn’t need to be defended at all: the United States’s shameful history of racial injustice, including Jim Crow laws and segregation, has absolutely nothing to do with the libertarian philosophy of nonaggression and respect for individual rights. That is an extremely unfashionable view. Progressives and socialists have made blaming libertarians for America’s brutal history of racial injustice a favorite pastime.

In a representative article in Aeon, Blake Smith claims that “the original laissez-faire economists loved slavery” and argues, “the birth of modern capitalism depended not only on the labour of enslaved people and the profits of the slave trade, but also on the example of slavery as a deregulated global enterprise.” Hundreds of books and articles prosecute this most absurd case — that because actually existing American capitalism was built on the backs of slaves, today’s free-market libertarians are apologists for an essentially racist political and economic program. Our calls for economic freedom and political decentralism are just coded language.

Smith (and the many others who accept the same ideologically shaped narrative) conveniently omits any mention of the fact that exponents of liberal political economy were among the earliest, most active and outspoken enemies of the slave trade and slavery in general. That fact simply doesn’t fit Smith’s stylized version of history, which of course is not history at all but merely an unsophisticated anti–free-market polemic.

Today’s political Left will go to any lengths to pin America’s disgraceful history of racial injustice on the champions of limited government and economic freedom. Such tortured attacks on the free market seem like so many propitiations to the gods of good taste; their connections to historical reality aren’t as important as their propaganda value. The relationship between the philosophical questions surrounding slavery and the 18th- and 19th-century free-trade tradition as we actually find it in history undoubtedly remains contested historical ground. But it is lazy and inaccurate both to conflate libertarianism’s strictly hypothetical vision of free markets with the deeply interventionist historical American economy (at any point hitherto), and to attempt to excise the dauntless anti-slavery efforts of classical liberal free-traders from the historical record. Historian Marc-William Palen, for example, underscores “the strong transatlantic connections between Victorian free-trade ideology and abolitionism,” centered on the group surrounding noted radical free-trade campaigner Richard Cobden. “Cobdenites,” Palen observes, “numbered among the leading transatlantic abolitionists.”

Libertarians argue that, in general, mechanical or institutional constraints on government power function more effectively than do words on paper. We see federalism not as an end in itself, not even as an indispensable component of libertarian theory in itself, but as an instrument with which we can serve the more important, underlying goal of individual liberty. And as legal scholar Ilya Somin points out, such decentralist and federalist reasoning implies the ability to move about freely, to vote with one’s feet by exiting the territory of the abusive government in question. Somin notes that “state efforts to constrain the mobility of their citizens” undermine the entire theoretical structure, which requires real competition between the states. “Slavery, of course, was the paradigmatic example of a state policy intended to curb mobility.” Yet libertarians are somehow blamed for slavery and its inhuman restrictions on movement — that is, for the most serious and obvious affronts to basic libertarian principles.

Easily avoided errors

The arguments in The Color of Law play out against this backdrop; one cannot fully understand Rothstein’s arguments without understanding the historical debate sketched above. An accurate picture of the historical record is especially important here insofar as Rothstein’s chief claim is that the Supreme Court “got [its] facts wrong” in believing “that residential segregation was mostly created by private choices.” Readers who believe with Rothstein that such “segregation was created by state action” will find themselves puzzled at the author’s proposed solutions, all of which call for more state action. At times, Rothstein too readily indulges his impulse to blame concrete, coercive government action, even to this libertarian reader. For example, in his chapter “Private Agreements, Government Enforcement,” Rothstein argues, as the title of the chapter implies, that even genuinely private contractual obligations are a form of government-backed discrimination. Most libertarians would disagree, however abhorrent is the notion of something like a whites-only clause to our philosophy.

In including such arguments, Rothstein seems to want to have it both ways: the whole book is premised on the claim that private prejudice, encapsulated in things such as “racial clauses in deeds and mutual agreements,” was, as a matter of actual, historical fact, insufficient to bring us to the point at which we find ourselves today. That claim, strong enough on its own merits, is seriously undermined by Rothstein’s confusing of private contracts with government action — exactly what he promises not to do at the outset.

Libertarians will be familiar with this easily avoided mistake. It’s what happens when one has studied discrete public-policy problems without considering the deeper questions that precede them, that is, questions of political theory. Had Rothstein a more solid understanding of the theory — the political philosophy — that is necessary to a worthy task such as his book’s, he would be able to see the difference between mere enforcement of a private contract and, for instance, active Federal Housing Administration sponsorship of discrimination. After all, one cannot undertake to sort justice from injustice without a sophisticated theory about what rights individuals possess, what they are allowed to do as long as they leave others in peace, equally free to exercise their rights.

In his good-hearted, if naive, desire for appropriate remedial action, Rothstein accepts the fallacy that we are the government or are in some way responsible for its actions, even those hundreds of years in the past. “It was our government,” he says, “that segregated American neighbors, whether we or our ancestors bore witness to it, and it is our government that now must craft remedies.” That is among the worst and most dangerous of all fallacies, the kind of reflex collectivism that can only aggravate existing problems. This poisonous thinking naturally drives the policy prescriptions that The Color of Law recommends “to provide an adequate environment for [the government’s] integration efforts,” among them, failed socialist ideas such as “a full employment policy, minimum wages that return to their historic level and keep up with inflation, and a transportation infrastructure that makes it possible for low-income workers to get to jobs that are available.”

We must assume that Rothstein is simply unaware of minimum-wage laws’ own racist history, their goal of full unemployment for black Americans and other undesirables. How often we see Progressives’ policy proposals undermining their stated goals. If the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence has been, as Rothstein contends, based on a misreading of the facts, then so are his hastily drawn remedies, which ignore the empirical record of state intervention.

It is regrettable that Rothstein ultimately fails to recognize the broader implications of his own argument. Human beings, possessed of the power to rule others, behave much worse, not better, corrupted by that power rather than elevated by it. We have so enskied political power that we no longer see its true corrupting nature. Progressives such as Rothstein fall again and again into the trap of believing that unchallenged political authority can be a tool used for good. It is astonishing to see The Color of Law call for a laundry list of destructive government actions even as the book’s own words argue that federal programs are “reinforcing racial isolation” even today. As a corrective to the country’s “comfortable delusions” surrounding race, The Color of Law is a welcome addition to the literature. But, as is so often the case, as a formula for solving the problem as described, it shoots wide of the mark.



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

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

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


1 January, 2018

Leftists Declare War on Thomas the Train

A conservative cynic from birth, I foolishly thought I had seen it all when it came to leftist madness. But then I saw, posted on CNN’s website, “Why kids love 'fascist' cartoons like 'Paw Patrol' and 'Thomas'.” The article referenced several other articles that described Thomas as “a premodern corporate-totalitarian dystopia,” “imperialist racist and sinister,” and “classist, sexist, and anti-environmentalist.”

This caught my attention because my six-year-old boy -- like children all over the world -- loves stories of Thomas the Train. I recently took my children to Thomasland in Massachusetts and now my boy wants to visit the Thomasland in Japan. The Thomas cartoon is so popular that 1 billion dollars of merchandise related to the show is sold every year.

Reverend Wilbert Audrey, creator of Thomas the Train, has recounted how, when his 3-year-old son was ill with the measles, he told him stories about trains. Audrey says that in his own childhood he had to read boring books about perfect children so that he would learn from their moral example. He decided to write interesting books about engines with human characteristics in a fictional island he called Sodor. The trains would push the envelope until they got in trouble, be punished, and after making amends would be “bought back into the family so to speak.” Morality in the world of Thomas was making oneself useful to society, being a good friend, and keeping the railroad functioning smoothly. The human aspect of his trains is part of their appeal to children and the moral aspect of his stories was part of their appeal to the adults who read the stories to their children.

Now left-wing critics label the Thomas the Train show “racist” because the diesel villain is black. They call it totalitarian because trains are supposed to do what the manager of the rails, Sir Topham Hat, tells them to do. They call it sexist because there are more male trains than female trains. (In 2013 the British Labour shadow Transportation Secretary actually called out Thomas for its lack of females.) When Thomas is awarded two female passenger cars to pull because of good behavior, the feminists call this sexist too.

The leftists are particularly offended by the stories of Henry in the Tunnel and Toad Stands By. Henry the Train decides that rather than contribute to society he’d prefer to stay in a tunnel. Despite the best efforts of Sir Topham Hat to get Henry out of the tunnel Henry refuses to budge and Sir Topham Hat teaches him a lesson by locking him into the tunnel with a brick wall. The New Yorker quotes a commenter as saying “What moral lesson are kids supposed to learn from this? Do as you’re told or you will be entombed forever in the darkness to die?” In the next episode Henry, miserable in the tunnel, becomes willing to help again and is released. The New Yorker critic doesn’t mention that. In Toad Stands By bullying trains, otherwise known as the troublesome trucks, are taught a lesson by Oscar the locomotive, whom they had picked on. Oscar pulls the bullying trains behind him when they decide to cause trouble and not move. Oscar fights back by pulling very hard and the leader of the bullies, Scruffey, who is behind him bursts in half. The New Yorker quotes a commenter as writing: “I guess the lesson is that if someone is bullying you, kill them?” In the next story Scruffey is repaired and the troublesome trucks learn never to cause trouble for Oscar again. You are not told that by the author of The New Yorker article.

In yet another episode a nasty double-decker bus named Bulgy comes to the station and talks about revolution -- “Free the roads from railway tyranny!” he cries. The New Yorker writes “He is quickly labelled a “scarlet deceiver,” trapped under a bridge, and turned into a henhouse.” Actually Bulgy deceives passengers into riding on his bus and gets stuck under a bridge. Too damaged to move, Bulgy becomes a home for hens. Once Bulgy is willing to make amends and be useful to society he is forgiven and repaired.

Why do leftists distort and demonize Thomas stories? Leftists do not like the idea that punishment and discipline are a good thing because it implies that the fault lies with those who misbehave instead of with society. That is one of the reasons that the anti-discipline policies of leftist Mayor DeBlasio and former president Obama have increased the discipline problems in New York City schools.

In the leftist worldview society is the guilty party and therefore revolutionaries are heroes. Reverend Audrey’s portrayal of a revolutionary as a nasty bus whose revolution gets him stuck under a bridge and keeps his passengers from getting to their destination is not a message they like. Even worse he becomes a home for hens instead of great revolutionary. He even stops being a revolutionary and starts to contribute to society. It is no wonder that a critic of Thomas ends his article in Slate by writing “Cast off your shackles and rise up, little engines! Down with Topham Hatt! Sodor revolution now!”

The leftist reaction to Thomas is a demonstration of the sick tendency of the left to demonize those they don’t like and to distort what they say. I told my 6-year-old son that I was writing this article to answer those who attack his favorite show he said “Tell them that whatever is wrong with Thomas is just little mistakes and that Thomas is very nice and teaches children a lot about trains.”


Compulsory union membership case to go before SCOTUS

As thoughts turn to celebrating the incoming year, a Supreme Court case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, could give government workers a reason to be merry in 2018, by freeing them from union captivity and delivering a big win for personal liberty.

More than 40 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled on a similar case, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, in which the court determined teachers lacked the right to fully opt out of union membership while employed in a public school system where teachers are unionized.

Objecting public servants may “opt out” of paying the portion of their involuntary membership fee, but because money is fungible, union bosses still use individuals’ money to speak for what the union boss wants.

In 2016, Mark Janus, an Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services child support specialist, sued the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, arguing the union was infringing upon his rights by extracting membership dues from his paycheck without his consent.

Because he was being forced to contribute his hard-earned money to the union as a condition of his employment, Janus says he is being deprived of his rights to free speech and association, and he’s right. For a government employee wanting to leave the union entirely — and not just do the forced-unionism Hokey Pokey, which only allows workers to pull their left or right foot out — quitting an otherwise enjoyable and rewarding job is the only option.

All union activity is effectively political, and the current forced-unionism status quo violates workers’ rights by forcing them to engage in political activity against their will.

Even routine union contract negotiations have a direct effect on government actions, becoming a form of political activity. For example, when a union lobbies lawmakers to approve more public pension benefits or higher or more frequent pay raises, the government’s labor costs go up, using resources that could be put to better use on other budget items. Thus, when more money goes toward public-sector unions, less money is available for other government services, such as road repair or public libraries.

Similarly, when a union endorses a political candidate or fights a bill being proposed by a state’s legislature, it claims to speak on behalf of everyone in the union, including those who don’t agree but are forced to remain members. Government employees are being compelled to pay money out of their own paychecks against their will so that other people can speak on their behalf without their permission.

There may be valid reasons some workers would want to join a union, but there are also reasons to avoid joining. Many public servants are being denied their right to self-determination, figuratively locking them in a room and forcing words into their mouth.

The justices’ decision to consider Janus’ case is an opportunity to open that door, freeing public servants to have the right to choose not to join a union and to make decisions based on what’s best for them and not merely what’s best for the union bosses.


Islamist extremism: dance with an enemy we dare not name

Comment from Australia

The Islamist extremists are winning. Victory is unlikely and, in any event, a long way off but their immediate aims are being ach­ieved, if not in the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, then at least in the democracies of Europe and the Western world.

The signs are ominous in Australia, where 15 years after the Bali bombings this is the enemy whose name we are too often too timid to mention. The extremists have us second-guessing the cultural superiority of our Western liberal democratic model and have conjured a collective and misplaced guilt among us about the treatment of Muslims.

From the fundamentalist preachers to the bloodthirsty terrorists, the ultimate goal of Islamist extremists is simple: global Islamic dominance. To achieve it they need to weaken and harm the West, fuel Muslim grievances and assert their cultural power through demographic changes and political influence.

They loathe our tolerance, freedom of expression and plurality, yet skilfully use these Western strengths against us as they subvert our ways by convincing many of us that we are to blame for their atrocities. We can see the Islamist success in shaping this narrative all around us.

The Palestinian cause is used as a constant irritant. Just this month, popular singer Lorde was bullied into cancelling a concert in Israel while no one seems to care that she will sing in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Likewise, we saw the UN General Assembly vote by an overwhelming majority to condemn the US for recognising the obvious reality that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. And after I argued last week that Melbourne’s Flinders Street horror was an Islamist terror attack — because that was the motivation cited by the Afghan-Australian attacker — Anglican priest Rod Bower described my comments as “poison” that could “drive fragile psyches over the edge”. See what he did there — it is always our fault.

The success of Islamist propaganda can be seen in the fact after a Muslim man allegedly mowed down 19 people on a Melbourne city street and referred to “mistreatment of Muslims” to explain his actions Victorian police denied there was any evidence of a connection to terrorism. Given this is the season for resolutions, is it too much to ask that we start being forthright about the grave threat of Islamist extremism?

The paradoxes generated by the politically correct virtue-signallers who have taken over our politics, bureaucracies and, it seems, even the upper echelons of our law enforcement agencies are deeply worrying. After the Martin Place siege in Sydney and the Flinders Street attack, police and media downplayed terrorism but talked up mental health issues.

Even ASIO once denied links between terrorism and refugees despite the truth that each contemporary, fatal, Islamist terrorist incident in this country has involved refugees. Unpalatable as they are, we must start with the facts. We are told not to stigmatise mental health issues yet we see it used as an explanation for mass casualty attacks. As bollards go up in our cities are we to believe this is to protect us from the mentally ill or the drug-addicted? Why has this suddenly become a problem?

Law enforcement and intelligence agencies need to maintain strong links with Muslim communities to foster co-operation. They also want to maintain social cohesion and avoid the divisions between Muslim and non-Muslim people that the extremists seek to accentuate. And we should take care not to overstate the extent of the problem. We are talking about individuals of concern in this country who number only in the hundreds and a pool of people susceptible to radicalisation that may number in the thousands. Still, the dangers are obvious.

Yet obfuscation in public information about terror attacks and police actions can only undermine confidence in law enforcement and create concern about government responses to the extremist threat, therefore creating the conditions for the mistrust the authorities want to avoid.

Besides, it is insulting to Muslim and non-Muslim Australians to deny the realities they can observe. It suggests people cannot deal with facts as they fall. We are intelligent enough to understand the threat of Islamist terrorism and sensible enough not to blame all Muslims for any attacks. Time and again we see that despite self-conscious warnings so-called Islamophobic backlashes never materialise.

Politicians and police are servants of the public and should have a clear bias towards sharing information in a forthright fashion rather than keeping secrets, unless confidentiality is important for operational reasons. Initially ruling out terrorism should not be difficult; if the offender is a non-Muslim and not espousing any religious or political cause then police may be able to announce early on that they do not suspect terrorism.

But if the attack is perpetrated by a Muslim immigrant who specifically cites Muslim griev­ances, the public ought to be told immediately that there are indications of a terrorist motive. Additional qualifiers about other factors and ongoing investigations would be understood but the public deserves to hear as many of the relevant facts as possible. Melbourne’s new loudspeakers will be a waste of time unless someone is prepared to speak into them.

At Martin Place, NSW police delayed action and hoped to wear down Man Haron Monis as they would in a domestic siege situation, rather than treating it as an Islamist terror attack where loss of life was inevitable. Yet while this was unfolding they launched an operation to protect Muslims in public places from a Martin Place-inspired backlash. (Of course the backlash never came; even the “I’ll ride with you” hashtag campaign was based on a fabricated episode.)

When Curtis Cheng was assassinated in an Islamist killing at Parramatta the police hierarchy told the public hours later that there was nothing to suggest terrorism. Yet we soon learned the attacker, dressed in black garb, had yelled “Allahu akbar” at the scene before he was shot dead.

There is a disturbing pattern here of police and politicians bending over backwards to discount terrorism even when there are obvious indications Islamist extremism is the motivation.

Experts have long pointed to the overlap between disaffected, mentally disturbed and even drug-addicted people and the Islamist cause. It is a dangerous cocktail that can self-generate lone-wolf terrorists or be exploited by extremist manipulators.

In the wake of Martin Place, Clive Kessler, emeritus professor at the University of NSW’s school of social sci­ences, wrote how the interception of any future “psychotic loner” attacks could be a matter for mental health and security agencies. “But most such incidents are the work of psychotic, sociopathic, disturbed or even ostensibly normal individuals who fall in with, and whose ideas and perverse impulses mesh them into, small like-minded groups, sometimes even broad social movements,” he said.

Kessler wrote of the importance of serious debate within and about our Muslim communities covering the triumphalist and resentful elements of the faith that are shared by the mainstream but taken to violent ends by the extremists. This is the core of the debate. Unless we intelligently confront reforms needed to undermine the Islamist extremist ideology, all the bollards in the world cannot save us.

Psychiatrist and author Tanveer Ahmed, who comes from a Bangladeshi Muslim background, also has written about the overlap between disaffected individuals — particularly refugees — and Islamist extremism. He points out that attacks do not need to be well organised or sanctioned by groups such as Islamic State or al-Qa’ida to be categorised as terrorism. It is about motivation.

Ahmed has written about how paranoid individuals may project their personal resentments through Islamist ideology. Those who are mentally ill or have criminal backgrounds have a higher risk of adopting extremist and violent practices. “None of these factors make the contribution of Islam and particular interpretations that encourage attacks upon non-Muslims irrelevant,” he explains.

Yet it is the essence of the motivation — the Islamist ideology — that politicians and authorities seem most keen to avoid. They prefer to talk about hardware and firepower — and mental health.

Will the loudspeakers installed in Melbourne’s CBD warn of mental health outbreaks? Are the military weapons of the NSW police to be trained on people who are disturbed and ill?

Or do we need to accept that the Islamist aim of disrupting our society by targeting infidels and innocents cannot be truly defeated until the ideology itself is exposed, confronted and eradicated?


Hitler's Titanic: A disaster swept under the rug

The Nazi luxury cruise liner with no 1st or 2nd class - because 'the master race was equal' -that became the world's WORST maritime disaster... but is barely mentioned in the history books

It is the naval disaster that dwarfs the Titanic but is rarely mentioned despite being the largest maritime catastrophe in history.

In 1945 almost 10,000 men, women and children were killed on board cruise liner the MV Wilhelm Gustloff as they fled the advancing Russian Army.

The ship set sail from Gdynia, then Gotenhafen, in occupied Poland and was bound for Kiel in northern Germany, but was attacked by a Russian submarine in the Baltic Sea in January 1945.

It sank in less than 40 minutes, causing the deaths of 9,343 people including about 5,000 children.

The fate of the vessel was a far cry from its intended use as a luxury liner for the 'master' German race and had no class division system so 'ordinary' people could enjoy holidays just like the rich.

The official capacity was 1,500 and thousands enjoyed cruise holidays between 1937 and 1939 before it was requisitioned by the military for use as a hospital ship

Despite the death toll being six times greater than the loss of life on the Titanic, the sinking of the former German cruise liner is hardly known of.

By January 1945 the area of Prussia was threatened by the rapid Russian advance from the east, leading to Operation Hannibal - a massive naval evacuation of German troops and civilians there.

Although the 685ft long ship was carrying about 1,000 army soldiers and members of the Gestapo, there were also around 9,000 civilians.

As it headed west it was spotted by a Russian submarine. The German ship was armed with anti-aircraft guns but they had frozen and were useless.

The Russian submarine fired three torpedoes at the 25,000 tonne ship which all hit and delivered massive damage.

Some of the 9,343 victims died in the explosions and others were crushed to death in a stampede by panicked passengers but the majority either drowned or succumbed to exposure in the freezing conditions.

The Gustloff was the flagship of the civilian fleet for two years and participated in many trips until spring 1939, when she was requisitioned by the German Navy to bring back troops aiding Franco in the Spanish Civil War.

After the outbreak of World War Two she served as a hospital ship but by 1941 she was moved to Gdynia to serve as a floating barracks for U-boat recruits. She remained in port for four years until the launching of Operation Hannibal.

Although the official manifest states there was only 6,500 passengers on board, it does not include civilians who boarded without being recorded.

Just as the Titanic is infamous for a lack of lifeboats, the Gustloff shares a similar cautionary tale around its lifejackets.

Despite being ordered to keep their jackets on at all times, the sheer number of people on board led to cramped conditions and many took them off to be more comfortable, contributing to the massive loss of life when it sank.

The German Navy had also repainted her since her days as a hospital ship and did not record her as such, so she was not subject to international protections given to medical vessels.

She left port accompanied by another passenger liner, the Hansa, and two torpedo boats for protection, only for the Hansa and one of the escorts to suffer mechanical problems, greatly affecting her safety as she moved on.

Another factor in the disaster was a lack of direction from the four captains she was carrying – one who governed the Gustloff, two from the merchant navy and another from the U-boat division.

They all disagreed on how best to guard against submarine attacks and eventually the Gustloff’s captain – Friedrich Petersen, ignored military advice and sailed into deep water that was known to be clear of mines.

Petersen then activated the ship’s red and green navigation lights after receiving a radio message claiming a minesweeper convoy was approaching as a means to avoid collision, although it also made the ship an easy target to spot at night.

The sheer cold also played its part, freezing the submarine sensor aboard the escort boat meaning the Russian vessel could attack without warning.

It followed the Gustloff for two hours before surfacing to fire - with the third torpedo doing the most damage when it hit the engine room, leaving the ship powerless and without communications.

Freezing temperatures also meant only nine lifeboats could be lowered into the waters as the others had to be broken free from their restraints.

Twenty minutes after impact the ship started tilting to its port side, sending lifeboats on the starboard side crashing into the sea, destroying many.

German forces rushed to the scene of the attack and were able to rescue more than 900 people, including a baby.

An inquiry was subsequently launched into the conduct of survivor Wilhelm Zahn, the senior military officer on board who had advised Petersen not to go into deep water, but nothing ever came of it after the fall of the Nazi government at the end of the war.



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

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

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



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(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

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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