The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

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

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

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


31 January, 2020  

Left Claims Women Are Essential To Business But Optional To Families

In 2020, Washington state insists the female perspective is critical to corporations. But in 2018, it insisted the female perspective was optional for children.

Washington state Democrats continue to run the table with their majority. They opened the new year with several egregious legislative initiatives, from decriminalizing underage prostitution to pushing the comprehensive sexual education program soundly rejected by a majority of Washington state parents late last year. Also up on the overreaching docket is SB 6037, which would require every public company to have a “gender-diverse board of directors.”

It would appear the Senate Democrats believe representation of both sexes is of great importance. Unfortunately, their concern regarding sex differences is limited only to the world of business because they spent 2018 scrubbing the words “mother” and “father” from the world of family. The passage of the Uniform Parentage Act in 2018, coincidentally also numbered SB 6037, supported by every Senate Democrat, made one’s sex in parenthood officially optional.

Democratic Sen. Jamie Pedersen, sponsor of both the 2018 and 2020 versions of SB 6037, stated in a 2018 Senate hearing that referencing mothers and fathers in parenthood laws was “unconstitutional.” The SB 6037 circa 2018 not only rendered parenthood sex-neutral, it legalized commercial surrogacy and endorsed the dangerous precedent of parenthood based on “intent” — a.k.a., awarding children to whichever adults have the money to acquire them.

The justification for such a radical makeover? The national legalization of gay marriage, proving once again that redefining marriage redefines parenthood. When you make husbands and wives optional in marriage, mothers and fathers become optional in parenthood. Bye-bye sexual equality in the family.

Pedersen’s SB 6037 circa 2020 penalizes businesses that don’t have a “gender diverse” board. He thinks there should be at least 25 percent female representation at the head of each company. Ironically, no females are represented at the head of Pedersen’s own home. He and his husband purposefully excluded women from the upbringing of their children after poaching a woman’s useful parts to acquire children, that is, purchasing eggs and renting wombs.

To juxtapose these incongruent ideas more succinctly: SB 6037 of 2020 insists the female perspective is critical to corporations. SB 6037 of 2018 insists the female perspective is optional for children.

Kids Need Moms and Dads

As the founder of a nonprofit created to defend a child’s right to be known and loved by both his mother and father, I can tell you the research on sex-specific parental involvement is conclusive: Neither mother nor father are optional. That’s because men and women are different and thus interact with children in wonderfully sex-specific ways. In fact, men’s and women’s parenting styles are so sex-specific, researchers have concluded that “parenting” is a misnomer; there is only “mothering” and “fathering.”

Here are just a few examples of the distinct and complementary ways men and women parent:

Connecting: Dads and moms connect to, interact with, and relate to children differently. Moms tend to be more gentle and quiet. Dads are more physical; they do more tickling, wrestling, and general adventuring. Moms tend to be more involved with what sociologists call “mundane caregiving” — keeping the child fed, clothed, clean, and generally alive.

Dads tend to be more active, unpredictable, and imaginative than moms. When directing their children’s behaviors, dads tend to be more rule-based, whereas moms tend to err on the side of grace and empathy. One encourages independence; the other encourages security.

Talking: Generally, moms are more in tune with their children’s specific emotional needs. Thus, more often mom is on the scene with affirming words. Dads tend to be more direct. In conversation with their children, moms tend to simplify their language so they can connect on their child’s level: “Do you have an owie?”

Dads talk to their babies like they talk to everyone else, with more complex and adult words: “Dude, that’s a gnarly rug burn!” One approach reaches kids right at their comprehension level, while the other pushes them to the next comprehension level.

Playing: Generally, mothers care for children, and fathers play with children. When mothers do play, it’s different from how dads play. Fathers predominantly play in the arena of large motor skill development, such as running, jumping, and throwing. Mothers’ play lands on the finer side of motor skill development, such as coloring, cutting, and crafting.

Moms tend to focus on fairness in play. Dads’ play encourages boundary-pushing, competition, and appropriate risk-taking. Dads encourage competition, while moms encourage equity.

Proof for these glorious and complementary differences can be verified by searching “dad with baby video.” The results are filled with fathers doing creative, limit-pushing activities with their kids, from strapping their Bumbo to the top of the Roomba, to toddlers dancing to “Beat It” in their BabyBjorn, to dads putting kids in a laundry basket so they can pretend they’re on a roller coaster.

Now search “mom with baby video.” The search results are filled with sweet and adorable, cuddly mom-and-baby moments. It’s a glorious display of human nature — moms providing security and dads providing adventure. Kids need wild fun. They also need the security of being strapped to their mother while she cooks dinner.

Kids Want Moms and Dads

You know what else? Kids want a mother and father. As my nonprofit’s growing story bank can testify, kids who grow up well-loved by single parents or double moms or dads crave the sex-specific love they missed. Ted, raised by two moms, shared:

"From an early age I found myself being drawn to my friends’ fathers, or at least the ones who seemed like good, responsible, loving dads. I think my parents knew somewhere in the back of their minds that this was necessary for me and didn’t discourage this. My best friend’s dad also probably recognized the role he was fulfilling in my life and did so willingly and that’s something I’m forever grateful for".

One daughter of a single mother wrote:

"I’ve only wanted one thing in this life that I have been missing: paternal love. The bond between a father and his daughter that shows her the way a man should treat her; It shows her how a man should love her. The type of love that pushes her on the swings. The type of love that picks her 50lb body up after she falls and says to her, “I love you.” I’m jealous of that paternal type of love that the girls share with their fathers."

Samantha, raised by her father and his partner, shared how she longed for a mother:

"My 5-year-old brain could not understand why I didn’t have the mom that I desperately wanted. As I grew, I tried to fill that hole with aunts, and dads’ lesbian friends, and teachers. I remember asking my first grade teacher if I could call her mom. I asked that question to any woman that showed me any amount of love and affection. I craved a mother’s love even though I was well-loved by my two gay dads."

It’s beneficial for children to have equal sex representation at the head of their home. This sex parity provides children what they need for optimal development, satisfies their primal longings, and fulfills their natural rights. Unfortunately for the children in my state, their need for sex diversity in the living room pales in comparison to the need for sex diversity in the boardroom.

Gender Matters Everywhere, Including in the Home

The left is constantly fawning over female members of the Supreme Court, ostensibly from the belief that these women offer a distinct and necessary perspective from the highest bench in the land. Many early childhood educators lament the disproportionate female-to-male teacher ratio, about nine-to-one, in elementary schools, arguing that children, especially those reared by single mothers, would greatly benefit from male teachers as role models.

According to the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, “[H]alf of the countries of the world today use some type of electoral quota for their parliament.” And hell will be paid if there are no female nominees for Best Director at the Oscars. So it seems sex matters to the left in the institutions of justice, education, business, government, and entertainment. Yet we are somehow supposed to pretend sex is irrelevant in the institution of the family? Only the worship of adult sexual desires could put us under such a dubious spell.

If the Democrats here in Washington state have any interest in righting their hypocrisy before their unscientific, foundationless worldview collapses on them, I suggest they propose a bill mandating sex quotas in the home. The bill could recognize the important sex diversity they claim to value, and do so for the sake of the most vulnerable demographic in their state: children.

Such a bill would capitalize on the natural order that already exists, that both a man and a woman are required for baby-making. It could even encourage, through benefits such as tax breaks, that men and women cooperate in child-rearing. A bill like that would forward societal expectations that both parents remain committed to their child for life, thus allowing children to enjoy the sex-diverse gifts that men and women bring to the boardroom of the family.

We could call that legislative initiative “marriage.” After all, natural marriage is the only institution that has always gotten sex quotas exactly right.


Trans MMA Fighter Who Broke Woman’s Skull Celebrated as ‘Bravest Athlete in History’

A male-to-female transgender mixed martial arts fighter, who twice broke a woman’s opponent’s skull in a fight, has been named the “bravest athlete in history.”

Fallon Fox, who rose to prominence in 2013-14, is an infamous transgender MMA fighter who demolished her opponent Erika Newsome in a Coral Gables, FL, MMA fight.

Fox, according to The Verge, “secured a grip on Newsome’s head… With her hands gripping the back of Newsome’s skull, she delivered a massive knee, bringing her leg up while pulling her opponent’s head down. The blow landed on Newsome’s chin and dropped her, unconscious, face-first on the mat.”

Fox also defeated Tamikka Brents, giving her a concussion and breaking 7 orbital bones, reported Sott.

In spite of an innate biological advantage over her opponent, Out Sports–a sports subdivision of Out magazine–claimed that “Fallon Fox is still the bravest athlete in history,” in a recent headline on the controversial athlete.

Out Sports explains, “Fox stood strong and continued to push for, and earn, her right to compete.”

Except for one fateful match, she also won every time she stepped into the professional ring.

Fox has remained hidden from the fighting scene and public eye for a while due to injuries.

Fox said, “I would have kept going but the injuries were the biggest reason,” before going onto explain, “Some people suspected it was the UFC not letting me in, but that wasn’t the ultimate goal. Some people would ask if I wanted to fight in the UFC, and yeah, I would have taken that opportunity. But even without that I would have just kept fighting.”

The author of the piece slams naysayers, such as Joe Rogan, as being “vicious for the sake of being vicious.”

The author later explains that sensational headlines emphasizing how a trans athlete broke her competitor’s skull were overblown as “Broken bones and concussions are not uncommon in MMA.”

Fox said, “This happens all the time,” adding, “I’m not the first female MMA fighter who’s broken another fighter’s bones or caused a large amount of stitches or a concussion or any combination of those.

“And people will of course, because I’m trans, hold it up as this devastating thing that couldn’t possibly happen if I weren’t trans. But there are many different examples of similar things happening.”

Fox’s ability to compete against women has been subject of much controversy.


The New Face of Prejudice

Patrick Hampton (who is black) says conservatives are the new n*ggers

In a society where racism is deemed evil for all, there can be no justification for the prejudices we conservatives experience today.

A week ago, (on the MLK holiday weekend, coincidentally) I boarded a charter bus with a band of conservatives (of all colors, if that matters to anyone) en route to the BLEXIT rally in Charlotte. Also in attendance were my two oldest sons, who begged me to go. North Carolina bound, we all discussed issues, laughed together, and forged new friendships, bonding with one another over shared values and a hope for a stronger, more unified America.

But when we arrived, we weren't met with this camaraderie.

Upon entering the hotel, some folks didn't take too kindly to our presence. Many of us were wearing what we believed in — American flags, pro-God apparel, and also the infamous red MAGA caps. This attracted glares of disapproval and commentary. Some onlookers muttered under their breaths, while others had no problem stepping up to us directly; one went as far as to call us "trifling." So much for a hospitable welcome.

After a five-hour commute, hunger set in. We decided on a bite to eat at a nearby soul food restaurant.

Our entrance disrupted dinner for some of the black patrons who decided to pack up and leave. Others made statements suggesting that we weren't welcome, although the employees were kind and had no problem serving our group. Sadly, the best soul food I've had in years was peppered with the prejudice of passersby who refused to sit in the same room with us.

It was as if we walked into a time rift, returning to the civil-rights era. But instead of everything being labeled "whites or coloreds only," our world was divided by whether we were liberal or conservative. Everything that's old would become new again. I'll leave you to decide which group isn't welcome today.

It wasn't until one group member started to cry that I realized something. I hadn't factored in the reality that many of the people in our entourage had never seen what black conservatives experience on a daily basis. I had learned to grow tough skin in dealing with my own community, having been blackballed after my run for school board in 2014. I was told to never come back to the black inner city. I found myself unable to find work except for mopping floors in a medical facility to pay for my son's private-school tuition. But like many faithful black conservatives, I did the only thing I knew to do — pray for God to create an opportunity for me.

But at that restaurant, hope was also served. Not every patron projected their disapproval on us. One woman asked questions about why some of us support President Donald Trump. After I explained my stance, she had more questions. Her curiosity had been piqued. In terms of thinking differently about politics, the seeds of freedom of thought were sown.

Our weekend continued to be filled with question and query, as people stopped to debate, discuss, or simply ask "why." And while I know we will never convince every single individual of our views, having the conversation at all would be defined as a success in my book.

On a positive note, some minds were changed. Other people were prompted to think more deeply about their stances on topics such as school and educational choice, free enterprise, and abortion. So long as black people are thinking instead of feeling, God's work is being done.

Overall, I found it interesting how our group of conservatives approached the aforementioned scenarios. Instead of attempting to "cancel" others with Facebook posts, marches, media coverage, and negative reviews, we compassionately shared a bit of ourselves with people we didn't know from Adam.

During the midnight trip home, I quietly held my head down, reflecting on how much I learned from this experience. There's much to realize about the state of our society and how racism has been allowed to proliferate among progressives for far too long. And while the road to ideological freedom is long, we're growing closer and more black and brown people are coming along for the ride. Unlike today's progressives and liberals, we conservatives have saved a seat for anyone who wants to come. The only admission is an open mind.


Row over Bettina Arndt’s honour

Social commentator and men’s rights advocate Bettina Arndt has hit back after Victoria’s attorney-general called for her to be stripped of her Australia Day honour.

Over the weekend, Ms Arndt was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) — Australia’s third-highest civic honour — for striving to achieve “gender equity through advocacy for men”.

The journalist and sex therapist was criticised in 2018 when she interviewed convicted sex offender Nicolaas Bester and has been outspoken against what she believes is a “fake rape crisis” at Australian universities.

In response, Labor’s Jill Hennessy, who is also state minister for workplace safety, has written to Governor-General David Hurley after the Australia Day Honours list was published on Sunday saying she was alarmed at the appointment.

Ms Arndt has blasted the letter as “gobsmacking” and “absolutely hilarious”.

Ms Hennessy’s letter, dated January 28 and posted on her Facebook page, recognises the honours are decided with the recommendation of an independent council but asks why Ms Ardnt was included.

“Taking into account Ms Arndt’s well-documented opinions, public commentary and media appearances — which include sympathising with a convicted paedophile and blaming and shaming victims — this award is an insult to victims of sexual abuse and to those of us who work hard every day to prevent it,” she wrote.

Ms Hennessy also pointed to the issue of family violence.

“I would ask that the Council of the Order of Australia consider cancellation of Ms Arndt’s award given that her public commentary brings the Order into disrepute and in particular that it attaches the Order’s tacit support to her views,” she wrote.

Ms Ardnt said Ms Hennessy should be ashamed.

“Shame on Victoria’s first law officer, Jill Hennessy, the Victorian Attorney-General for responding to muckraking from ideologues rather than seeking proper evidence,” she posted on Twitter.

She posted this morning: “She shows my main crime was defending men and telling the truth about women’s role in family violence.”

This all comes as the New Matilda questioned Ms Arndt’s credentials — writing that she was not a doctor, had never obtained a PhD and nor was she a psychologist or clinical psychologist.

The publication claimed she “has actively participated in the promotion of material which portrays her falsely as a psychologist, clinical psychologist and doctor”.

On Facebook overnight, Ms Arndt hit back at the story, calling it a “hit job”.

“I am not currently a practising psychologist. However, that was certainly my professional training when I started my career in the 1970s. I have postgraduate qualifications in clinical psychology,” she wrote.

“It’s common practice for well-known people to use labels that include their professional background. According to the authorities regulating professional practice for psychologists, I am not doing anything wrong.”

Former Australian of the Year and family violence survivor Rosie Batty, whose young son was murdered by her mentally ill ex-husband, earlier this week questioned the legitimacy of the appointment.

“I cannot help but be appalled that someone who minimised violence towards women who is part of the inevitable push-back and backlash that we all experience as we pioneer a way forward, would be awarded,” Ms Batty told news.com.au.

Upon receiving her honour, Ms Arndt told news.com.au she had been writing about men’s issues for 30 years.

She said she started off as a feminist and campaigning for women’s rights, but became “increasingly alarmed” by the movement.

“I felt in many areas, women had achieved equality,” she said. “We had a lot to celebrate. But there are many who wanted to extend women’s rights well beyond any notion of equality.

“It’s now all about male bashing, trying to advantage women over men in so many areas. I had enough of that.

“I don’t think it’s fair that a small, noisy minority group in our society closes down discussion on issues that affect half the population.”



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, 2020  

Happy Anniversary to Citizens United

Ten years ago, the Supreme Court overturned portions of a federal law that empowered government to dictate how Americans who were not connected to any candidates and political parties could practice their inherent right of free expression. It was one of the greatest free speech decisions in American history.

The case of Citizens United revolved around state efforts to ban a conservative nonprofit group from showing a critical documentary it produced of then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton right before the 2008 Democratic primary elections. At the time, the McCain-Feingold Act made it illegal for corporations and labor unions to engage in "electioneering communication" one month before a primary or two months before the general election.

Or, in other words, the law, written by politicians who function without restrictions on speech -- and applauded by much of a mass media that functions without restrictions on speech -- prohibited Americans from pooling their resources and engaging in the most vital form of expression at the most important time, in the days leading up to an election.

"By taking the right to speak from some and giving it to others," Justice Anthony Kennedy would write for the majority, "the Government deprives the disadvantaged person or class of the right to use speech to strive to establish worth, standing, and respect for the speaker's voice."

Right after the decision, President Barack Obama famously rebuked the Justices during his State of the Union for upholding the First Amendment, arguing that the Supreme Court had "reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests -- including foreign corporations -- to spend without limit in our elections."

First of all, the court hadn't overturned a century of law (though the age of the law bears absolutely no relevance to its constitutionality). Citizens United reversed portions of a law, less than a decade old, that forbade Americans from contributing as much as they wanted directly to the funding of speech. Corporations would still be banned from donating directly to candidates, as they had been since 1907.

Moreover, those corporations, typically unwilling to pick partisan sides for reasons of self-preservation, are still responsible for only a fraction of all political spending, averaging around 1% or less since 2010. Top 200 corporations spend almost nothing on campaigns.

Conversely, since 2010, there's been an explosion in grassroots political activism on both right and left. As Bradley A. Smith points out in The Wall Street Journal today, small-dollar donors are more in demand than ever. Bernie Sanders lives on them, and Donald Trump raised more money from donors who gave less than $200 than any candidate in history.

Nothing in Citizens United, of course, made it legal for foreigners to participate in American elections. It is still illegal for anyone running for office to solicit, accept or receive help from foreign nationals.

Obama, like many progressives, would ratchet up the scaremongering over anonymous political speech. Over the past couple of decades, our political class has convinced large swaths of the electorate that private citizens have a civic responsibility to publicly attach their names to every political donation. They do not. As the often-cited 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission says: "Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority."

It is true, though, that since the Citizens United decision, streaming services have been able to produce and play documentaries about political candidates like Trump without answering to a government entity. Publishing companies, especially smaller ones, can now print books about political figures without being policed by the state. And you can contribute as much money you want to any independent group that shares your values. As it should be. The very notion that anyone should be restricted from airing his or her views is fundamentally un-American.

Then again, even if the floodgates had opened for "special interests" -- a euphemism for causes that Democrats dislike -- and even if there had been a massive spike in corporate spending on speech, and even if secretive corporate entities started producing documentaries that disparaged favored political candidates and released them days before an election, it still wouldn't matter.

The principle of free expression isn't contingent on correct outcomes, it is a free-standing, inherent right protected by Constitution. That principle holds whether people of free will are too lazy or too gullible to resist alleged misinformation. The proper way to push back against rhetoric you don't like is to rebut it.

Or not. It should be up to you.


Are Christians living in fear?

Daniel Park arrived at Michigan Law School expecting serious, multifaceted debate on a range of issues.

And plenty of cold weather. It turns out he was only right about the weather.

“I couldn’t believe the culture of shame and intimidation against Christian voices on topics such as abortion or marriage,” Daniel says.

While law schools tout mission statements embracing ideological diversity, the reality is that neither the faculty nor the students at many law schools engage seriously with the Judeo-Christian values that are the foundation of American law and society.

Combine that with a growing tendency for Christians to stay silent out of fear, and it’s clear there’s a huge problem.

“When I wanted to bring a pro-life speaker to the law school, even student groups that are pro-life in conviction said it was ‘too controversial’ or that ‘we would lose credibility with the community,’ shares Daniel. “Seeing how afraid others were, I decided to keep my head down for the remainder of my first year.”

Then Blackstone happened. “That’s when it hit me—I’m not alone. And I cannot stay silent.”

The Blackstone Legal Fellowship brings together exceptional Christian law students and prepares them for careers marked by integrity and excellence.

Since Blackstone was launched 20 years ago, it has grown exponentially. Today, nearly 2,300 law students have benefitted from the generosity of people like you, John.

Many students who attend the training program describe their pre-Blackstone education experience as similar to Daniel’s. They feel alone, outnumbered, and overwhelmed.

But time after time, these students graduate Blackstone feeling reenergized in their passions and fully equipped to carry on the mission to which God called them.

“I learned from lawyers, academics, judges, and faith leaders on how to advocate for truth winsomely,” reveals Daniel. “I met colleagues at law schools around the country fighting the good fight.”

“That’s when it hit me,” he says. “I am not alone. And I cannot stay silent.”

This past fall, Daniel returned to law school ready for action. “A still, small voice in my heart was urging me to start a pro-life group at my law school. I and three other Michigan law students in my Blackstone class decided to go for it,” says Daniel.

It took some time and a lot of work, but ultimately, Daniel and his friends were successful. Protect Life at Michigan Law is now an official student group, promoting the inherent dignity of every human life from conception to natural death.

“Without Blackstone, I would not have had the boldness, support, or resources to step out in faith and start this pro-life group,” Daniel reveals.

And without Blackstone, Daniel and nearly 2,300 other Blackstone graduates wouldn’t have the skills and knowledge they need to stand boldly for religious freedom, life, and marriage and family.

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

‘I don’t have any pain anymore’: Justina Pelletier takes stand in Boston Children’s Hospital lawsuit

For years, Justina Pelletier endured intense pain, mysterious symptoms that left her family in anguish, and led to a bitter standoff with her doctors over her care.

On Monday, seven years after the Connecticut teenager was placed in a locked psychiatric unit at Boston Children’s Hospital, she took the stand in her family’s malpractice suit against her doctors and caregivers.

In a small, wavering voice, she chronicled the nine months she spent in lockdown at age 14 against her parent’s wishes after doctors accused the couple of interfering with her treatment. She recalled the pain of being taken from her parents, leaving her with a separation anxiety so intense that she still sleeps with her mother. Her nightmares are frequent.

The terror always revolves around being removed from her parents, she said. “I would get taken away,” she said, describing her fear.

Now 21, Pelletier said that since having her colon removed in February 2018, her hospital visits have subsided. “I don’t have any pain anymore,” Pelletier said.

Pelletier’s testimony came one week into the civil trial in Suffolk Superior Court against the renowned pediatric hospital and four of Pelletier’s doctors and caregivers.

Linda and Lou Pelletier were locked in constant dispute with doctors and other caregivers at the hospital over their daughter’s diagnosis and treatment. Relations at the hospital grew so acrimonious that the Pelletiers lost custody of their daughter after doctors and state child welfare officials concluded that they were acting against her best interests and interfering in her treatment.

It was excruciating stomach pain from severe constipation that prompted her and her mother in January 2013 to travel from their West Hartford, Conn., home to Children’s Hospital, in an ambulance, in the snow, to seek treatment.

Less than a month into her stay there, on Valentine’s Day 2013, her parents were whisked away from the hospital by men clothed in black, she told the jury. “I didn’t get to see them anymore,” she said.

Pelletier had never spent a night away from home without her mother. “All of a sudden I just didn’t get to see her," she said.

The hospital’s only explanation: “They said that I’d get better faster, but they really didn’t say why,” she said.

Medical notes, records, and e-mails between caregivers describe Pelletier’s parents as difficult, disruptive, belligerent, and accusatory, according to court records.

The Pelletier case has driven headlines, ramped up an unlikely coalition of advocates and stands, to some, as a symbol of doctors’ powers to override parental rights.

After Pelletier’s parents were banned from the hospital, it would be a week before she would see them again. From then on, they were allowed once a week supervised visits on Fridays. Phone calls were limited to 20 minutes per week, always with someone listening in.

Doctors and caregivers at the hospital suspected that some or part of Pelletier’s symptoms might be psychologically driven, or a type of somatoform disorder.

Patients with such disorders tend to manifest real physical symptoms, such as pain or fatigue, but without any underlying explanation supported by physical, biological or medical reasoning.

Doctors at Children’s Hospital believed Pelletier would benefit from intensive psychological treatment and therapy.

But Pelletier’s parents were resistant to psychotherapy, doctors said, and insisted that their daughter instead suffered from mitochondrial disease, a chronic, very rare and incurable condition characterized by mutated cells.

The diseased cells become unable to completely burn food and oxygen to generate enough energy for a body to live. The condition is often inherited.

During Pelletier’s hospitalization, she and her parents were forbidden from speaking about health issues, physical ailments or anything medical related. Even dandruff and ingrown toenails were off limits. If they ventured there in conversation, the call would end abruptly, Pelletier said.

Pelletier said her constipation worsened while she was hospitalized. Staff would make her sit on the toilet for extended lengths of time, she said. They also wanted her to push herself in her wheelchair, but she felt so weak that she could not. She would be left to sit, unmoved, sometimes for entire days, she said,.

Pelletier said she did not feel encouraged by the staff. “They were just being mean about it,” she said.

She was scared all the time, missed her family desperately and felt like no one at the hospital believed her.  “I just wanted to go home,” Pelletier said. “It was really hard being away from my family.”

These days, she has discovered horseback-riding therapy. She thrives in the saddle and now rides competitively, and it’s not unusual for her to take winning ribbons home, usually blue and red. “I love it,” she said during one of the few times her face lit up on the stand.

When Pelletier’s testimony came to an end, her father helped her down from the witness stand.

With his arms hooked under her armpits, Lou Pelletier supported his daughter’s weight as she half-shuffled, half limped across the courtroom back to her empty wheelchair beside her mom.


Australia: When a government says a white man is black, dissenters have to be fired

I put up the post below yesterday on my Tongue Tied blog.  It now has a sequel, which I reproduce below it.  The disgrace has got worse.  The truthteller HAS now been fired. Does anybody believe that the pink-skinned guy below is an Aborigine?

WHAT a scandal. Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt now threatens to sack a whistleblower who called out "Aboriginal historian" Bruce Pascoe as a white.

The whistleblower in Wyatt's sights is Josephine Cashman, an Aboriginal businesswoman on his advisory council. That's because Cashman claimed Pascoe, author of the bestseller "Dark Emu" and star of an upcoming MSC series, is a fake Aborigine, and she says she has plenty of evidence.

Genealogical records on dark-emu-exposed.org suggest all of Pascoe's ancestors are of English descent, and Pascoe refuses to say which is actually Aboriginal.

Indeed, his story keeps changing. Once he identified as white, until a reviewer of his first novel said it would have been better had Pascoe been black.

Once he claimed that one of his mother's grandmothers was Aboriginal, before admitting she was English. Now he claims he's descended from several tribes, including the Boonwurrung of Victoria, Tasmanian Aborigines and the Yuin of NSW.

But his claims have been rejected by the Boonwunrung Land & Sea Council, the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania and members of the Yuin, and now even the Yolngu of Arnhem Land.

Elder Terry Yumbulul says his fellow Yolngu want Wyatt to investigate Pascoe's "claim to Aboriginal ancestry" and what he's gained from an identity "he has been unable to verify".

Yumbulul, like the Boonwurrung and the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania, also rejects Pascoe's claims — based on false citations and exaggerations — that Aborigines weren't hunter-gathers but farmers in "towns" of "1000 people".

"There is no evidence of it in our art, languages or songlines," says Yumbulul, who accuses Pascoe of causing "concerns about our ancient cultures, our ancient traditions, our precious stories".

So what's Wyatt's reaction? It's to defend white Pascoe and
seemingly threaten Aboriginal Cashman with the sack. Wyatt told the Guardian Australia that Pascoe's Aboriginality was "being played out publicly" when "we should deal with (it) within communities".

He said he could ask one of his advisers to quit "I have to think of the greater good of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people."

Really? Is truth to be sacrificed for the "greater good"? And where's this "greater good" when Aborigines are being stripped of their past and even their right to say who is of their tribe?

No Liberal MP should tolerate what Wyatt seems to have in mind. If Cashman goes, so should he.

From the Brisbane "Courier Mail" of 27 January, 2020

Ken Wyatt dumps Josephine Cashman in wake of Dark Emu scandal

Indigenous Australians minister Ken Wyatt has sacked his one-time friend and ally Josephine Cashman amid a furious debate over Aboriginal identity.

Ms Cashman on Tuesday lost her position on the senior advisory group overseeing the design of an indigenous voice to government, seven weeks after she asked Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton for an investigation into acclaimed author Bruce Pascoe for “dishonesty offences”.

Mr Wyatt was said to have been blindsided by Ms Cashman’s email to Mr Dutton on December 11, 2019, in which she alleged Professor Pascoe gained a financial benefit by wrongly claiming to be Aboriginal. Mr Wyatt learned about her complaint in The Weekend Australian on January 11, after Mr Dutton had referred it to the Australian Federal Police.

Since then, The Australian has learned, members of the senior advisory group became increasingly concerned that Ms Cashman’s public criticism of Professor Pascoe was divisive and detracting from their work. Ms Cashman’s push for a national register of indigenous Australians as a way of confirming identity also drew criticism.

“Following recent discussions with the Senior Advisory Group Co-Chairs, Professor Dr Marcia Langton AM and Professor Tom Calma AO, and after careful consideration, I have decided that Ms Cashman’s membership of the Group is no longer tenable,” Mr Wyatt said in an email to reporters on Tuesday.

“Ms Cashman’s actions are not conducive to the constructive and collaborative approach required to progress the important co-design process for an Indigenous voice.”

The Australian has been told Ms Cashman’s future on the senior advisory group was considered untenable last Thursday after the AFP confirmed it had completed its assessment of her complaint against Professor Pascoe and identified no Commonwealth offence. Having identified no financial benefit on the material Ms Cashman provided, the AFP did not probe Professor Pascoe’s ancestry.

The Australian has been told Ms Cashman’s sacking was imminent when a debate erupted on Monday night over the authenticity of a contentious letter that Ms Cashman gave to Sky commentator Andrew Bolt, which he published on his blog. Said to have been from Northern Territory elder Terry Yumbulul, it was critical of the thesis of Professor Pascoe’s bestseller Dark Emu, which draws on the historical accounts of early settlers to call for a rethink of the hunter gatherer label for pre-colonial Aboriginal people. “It would have been impossible for my people to have built wells, silos, houses and yards to pen animals, as Pascoe promotes,” the letter states.

Mr Yumbulul later told NITV: “I did not say anything of the sort to write the letter on behalf of me”.

However Ms Cashman said on Sky on Tuesday that Mr Yumbulul approved a final draft of the letter. Bolt said Mr Yumbulul and his wife Clely were cc’d on several drafts and he published emails which he said showed they had replied with corrections.

Professor Pascoe is described on the back cover of his latest book, Salt, as a Bunurong man. He is accepted as Aboriginal by Mr Wyatt and other prominent indigenous Australians including Professor Langton, the co-chair of the senior advisory group.

On Bolt’s program on Sky on Tuesday night, Ms Cashman claimed: “There is a group of Aboriginal elites that decide who is Aboriginal and who is not and people on the ground have had a gutful of it.”

Professor Pascoe writes about claims he is “not really Aboriginal” in Salt. “What they say has cool logic. Clinical analysis of genes says I’m more Cornish than Koori.” he writes.



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, 2020  

Louisiana store to stop selling KKK, Nazi apparel after public outcry

The owner of an antiques shop in New Orleans’ famous French Quarter has announced that they will no longer sell Nazi or Ku Klux Klan memorabilia after a complaint by the Anti-Defamation League sparked a public outcry.

According to NOLA.com, ADL South Central Region director Aaron Ahlquist publicly demanded the store stop selling items including a Nazi flag, a figurine of a Klansman and racist caricatures of African-Americans, asserting that they did not present “the image that New Orleans wants to convey to the millions of visitors each year, nor to our own citizens.”

“It is deeply troubling that items so clearly associated with hateful ideologies are so prominently displayed for sale in the French Quarter,” Ahlquist said. “We cannot allow for hate to become normalized, and that certainly includes profiting from the symbols of hate.”

When first asked by reporters about her merchandise, store owner Sue Saucier replied that the offending products were “historical items” and that while they did “not represent my sentiments,” she would not stop selling them. Customers could burn them after purchase for all she cared, she asserted.

“You can’t please everyone in this world,” she was quoted as saying, blaming political correctness for people’s anger.

However, NOLA.com reported, Saucier subsequently changed her mind, stating that after speaking with her attorney, she had “done some reflection on the issue, and we are going to remove the items from the store.”


In New Research, Psychologists Explore The Upside Of Political Incorrectness

“I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct.” This was a statement made by Donald Trump in a 2015 presidential debate.

Clearly, the statement resonated with the American public. What also resonated was Trump’s unabashed use of politically incorrect language throughout his campaign and even into his presidency. He has said things like “Torture works, okay folks” and “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military - only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together?”

But what is it about Trump’s singular style of communication that draws people to his message? New research appearing in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology may hold the answer.

Specifically, a team of psychologists led by Michael Rosenblum of the University of California, Berkeley examined the inferences and character judgments people made in response to others’ use of politically incorrect language. They found that, while not without its downsides, the use of politically incorrect language led people to believe that communicators were more “authentic” than they may have otherwise felt.

To arrive at this conclusion, the researchers recruited 415 U.S. adults to participate in a short online survey. In the survey, the researchers asked participants to read one of four statements. They were asked to imagine these statements had been made by a senator in a public speech. The statements, listed below, had to do with politically sensitive topics (either transgender issues or immigration) and were written in a politically correct, or incorrect, manner.

Transgender, politically correct statement. “The way to help ‘LGBTQ’ persons is not to change how we identify citizen’s sex. Of course I believe that ‘LGBTQ’ persons are among the most vulnerable members of our society and we must do everything in our power to protect them. It may be politically correct to say, but it’s true and important for our country.”

Transgender, politically incorrect statement. “These people who call themselves ‘LGBTQ’ are often profoundly disturbed and confused about their gender identity. But they WERE born of a certain sex. We must make them identify as the sex they were born, not as the sex they might want to be on a whim. It may be politically incorrect to say, but it’s true and important for our country.”

Immigration, politically correct statement. “Immigrants are hard workers and they add diversity to the American fabric, which makes us better as a nation. It may be politically correct to say, but it’s true and important for our country.”
Immigration, politically incorrect statement. “We must make sure that these foreigners from third world countries aren’t taking jobs from real Americans. It may be politically incorrect to say, but it’s true and important for our country.”

The researchers then asked participants to rate the speaker on a variety of personality dimensions, including authenticity, interpersonal warmth (e.g., caring, tolerance, likeability, etc.), and perceived competence. They found that authenticity ratings were higher when people evaluated politically incorrect statements and interpersonal warmth ratings were higher when people evaluated politically correct statements. Interestingly, no differences were found for the personality dimension of competence.

The scientists went on to replicate their key finding – that political incorrectness increases perceptions of authenticity – in various experimental contexts, including in a live interaction where people were encouraged to make either politically correct or incorrect statements regarding the proposed federal funding of an historically Black church.

The authors conclude, “Political correctness is increasingly discussed as a standard of language in America, but little is known about how it influences attributions of communicators. Across nine experiments, even when a person expressed the same position, using politically incorrect language made the communicator seem more authentic—but also colder—than using politically correct language.”


Men's advocate, Bettina Arndt, given Australia Day honour

The Left cannot stand an anti-feminist female

[Some] Australians have reacted with fury to controversial commentator and men’s rights activist Bettina Arndt being recognised in this year’s Australia Day awards.

Ms Arndt was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) — Australia’s third-highest civic honour — for striving to achieve “gender equity through advocacy for men”.

The journalist and sex therapist was criticised in 2018 when she interviewed convicted sex offender Nicolaas Bester and has been outspoken against what she believes is a “fake rape crisis” at Australian universities.

“This is vile,” writer Van Badham tweeted. “Bettina Arndt platformed a paedophile, creating space for a convicted criminal who groomed & raped a child to brag about his crimes, while she herself blamed children for ‘sexual provocation’. If she is what’s ‘honoured’ as an Australian, it is no honour AT ALL.”

“Giving Bettina Arndt this award is like giving Pauline Hanson one for promoting racial equity & George Pell one for child safety,” journalist Sherele Moody wrote.

“Arndt’s work is not about gender equity. It’s misogyny-driven hate designed to keep women barefoot, pregnant and tied to the kitchen sink.”

Ms Arndt, 70, who says she’s been writing about men’s issues for 30 years, told news.com.au she was “delighted” to have her career recognised in this way and predicted it would “cause a stir”.

The Sydneysider said she’s also “very happy” about the wording used in the citation for her honour.

It states that she has been appointed an AM “for significant service to the community as a social commentator, and to gender equity through advocacy for men.”

“It absolutely captures what I’m doing,” she said. “But I would imagine that would be controversial because the feminists claim that they’re the only ones promoting gender equity through endlessly tilting laws, rules and regulation to favour women at the expense of men.

“I hope this award will encourage others to join me in campaigning for true gender equity – fair treatment for men and women.”

Ms Arndt said she is currently campaigning to draw attention to the “illegal kangaroo courts” she claims universities are using to adjudicate rape, as well as male suicide and “gender-neutral” suicide prevention policy.

Domestic violence is another issue she has campaigned on.

“Malcolm Turnbull boasted of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on domestic violence programs which (were) all about demonising men,” she said. “They ignore the true complexity of domestic violence which include problems with mental illness and drug and alcohol abuse.”

Meanwhile, she claims male victims of domestic violence receive “absolutely no funding”.

Ms Arndt says she’s been writing about men’s issues for 30 years.

She said she started off as a feminist and campaigning for women’s rights, but became “increasingly alarmed” by the movement.

“I felt in many areas, women had achieved equality,” she said. “We had a lot to celebrate. But there are many who wanted to extend women’s rights well beyond any notion of equality.

“It’s now all about male bashing, trying to advantage women over men in so many areas. I had enough of that.”

Throughout her career, Ms Arndt has courted controversy with her views and campaigns.


'Get rid of your chip off your shoulder': Pauline Hanson's Australia Day message to Aboriginal protestors campaigning for a change of date for the national day

This campaign about the date will immediately change to a demand to abolish the day absolutely if it ever succeeds.

It is entirely a creation of the political Left, to whom any national consciousness is anathema. 

Both in the USA and Australia, the Left do their best to promote racial division and antagonism.  It is the Left who are the dangerous racists.  Without them, different races would have a much better chance of living together in harmony.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has claimed Aboriginal people who want Australia Day moved away from January 26 need to 'get the chip off their shoulder'.

The outspoken federal senator was involved with a heated argument with Melbourne radio broadcaster Neil Mitchell on the Today Show, a day after Australia Day protests across the country.

Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island flags filled streets across the nation on Sunday, as thousands of protesters called for the date of Australia Day to be moved because of growing tensions over what it celebrates.

January 26 - which marks the raising of the British flag on Australian soil in 1788 after the First Fleet arrived in Sydney Harbour - is regarded as 'invasion day' by many First Nations people.

During a passionate discussion with Mr Mitchell and host Karl Stefanovic, Ms Hanson said she does not believe the date should be changed - claiming there are far bigger issues for Aboriginal communities.

'They're not talking about this in Aboriginal communities and I was there two weeks ago,' Ms Hanson, 65, said.

'You know the big issues there? Kids are on the streets, they're starving, they've got the biggest rate of syphilis in their townships.

'You move the date from January 26th, whatever date you pick they're going to whinge about that as well.

'Get rid of the chip off your bloody shoulder. We are here, I was born here, this is my country... this is Australia Day where people join together.'

Mr Mitchell, the long-time 3AW talkback host, initially agreed that the date on which Australia Day is celebrated is not 'a huge issue for most Aboriginal people'.

But he took exception to Ms Hanson's comments that 'invasion day' protesters have a chip on their shoulder, claiming it was remarks like this that caused division.

'Get the chip off your shoulder? That'll really help. We need to be inclusive. I don't think it's a chip on your shoulder to be worried about history,' Mr Mitchell, 68, said.

Ms Hanson defended her stance, replying: 'Neil this has been going on for over 200 years do you think they have been affected by this?'

'They're using this as an excuse. It's either a political stance or they're pushing their own agenda.'

Today Show host Karl Stefanovic had the final say on the matter, claiming that such a debate highlighted how emotional the issue is.

'This is part of the problem, it is such a divisive thing and a divisive argument, and I want unification on this day,' he said.



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

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

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


28 January, 2020  

7 States Move to Ban Males From Female Sports as Dems Work Overtime to Force Trans Agenda

In the early days of the 2020 legislative session, seven states have introduced bills to keep male students from entering and competing in female sports. New Hampshire, Arizona, Idaho, Washington, Georgia, Tennessee, and Missouri have taken steps to end the unfair practice of allowing males to compete against females in school sports. Several high-profile cases have highlighted the unfair advantage that males have against females, creating a firestorm surrounding this issue nationwide.

Eighteen states already prohibit males competing in female sports and if passed, the new legislation would bring that number to twenty-five. The American Conservative reported the controversy:

In high school sports, for example, there is no conclusive, federal policy for transgender inclusion, so each state—and even [county] and local jurisdiction—is making its own determinations. According to the pro-LGBT advocate group GLSEN, there are 18 states that have policies that prohibit transgender students to participate in high school athletics.

According to Transathlete.com, eight states including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Texas, say that a student’s sex, as recorded on their birth certificate, determines whether they play on women’s or men’s teams. This has of course been called discriminatory by trans advocates.

As usual, Democrat strategy when the states exercise their rightful authority to stop insane leftist ideas is to turn to the feds and lawsuits to force their will down our throats in the form of the Equality Act — passed by the House in 2019 but not voted on by the Senate. There is a case in front of the Supreme Court now that will have wide-reaching consequences based on the outcome of the question, "does the 1964 Civil Rights Act that prevents sex discrimination also include gender identity?" The justices seem to understand that their decision could lead to major societal upheaval.

Lawyers are laying out their arguments, as reported by the New York Times.

Justice Alito asked whether a transgender woman could play on a women’s college sports team. That issue, Mr. Cole said, was also not before the court.

Justice Gorsuch asked whether a ruling in favor of Mr. Cole’s client would do away with sex-specific dress codes. Mr. Cole said no.

“Recognizing that transgender people have a right to exist in the workplace and not be turned away because of who they are,” he said, “does not end dress codes or restrooms.”

“There are transgender male lawyers in this courtroom following the male dress code and going to the men’s room,” Mr. Cole said, “and the court’s dress code and sex-segregated restrooms have not fallen.”

But John J. Bursch, a lawyer for the funeral home that fired Ms. Stephens, said a ruling in her favor would have vast consequences.

It would mean, he said, “that a women’s overnight shelter must hire a man who identifies as a woman to serve as a counselor to women who have been raped, trafficked and abused, and also share restroom, shower and locker room facilities with them.”

The idea that a ruling from the Supreme Court that employers cannot discriminate based on gender identity would not have an effect on sports, bathrooms, and locker rooms is absurd. Of course, it would. And we have already seen the encroaching of males in female spaces in states where school boards are determined to enact policies friendly to transgender goals and hostile to women and girls. Illinois and New York high schools have already adopted policies to allow males into female locker rooms, bathrooms, and sports without any corresponding laws that require it. A ruling equating gender identity with sex would destroy all-female segregated spaces and sports forever.

The states putting forward legislation to stop this are on the cutting edge of what needs to be done immediately to stop activists from destroying girls' sports and privacy. Democrats are working furiously to pass "equality" bills that include gender identity, like the Equality Act. This bill would destroy women's spaces and sports and persecute churches that refuse to give males access to female spaces like bathrooms or shelters. Democrats are not going to give up on it. This issue is going to be the most important one going into 2020 for the safety of women in America. Vote accordingly.


ICE Threatens Jail for Sanctuary City Officials Under Subpoena Who Fail to Comply

Are sanctuary city politicians and officials ready to go to jail to protect illegal alien criminals?

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are threatening to send sanctuary city officials to jail if they fail to comply with subpoenas naming criminal illegals who have been released rather than turned over to ICE.

"They can show up to court with a toothbrush because they might not be going home that night. Because they could be jailed for failure to comply with a lawful order from a judge. That’s the route we’re going.”

ICE is enormously frustrated and why shouldn't it be? Politicians and bureaucrats from sanctuary cities regularly thumb their noses at ICE agents, releasing murderers, rapists, and pedophiles back into the population after they had been charged.

Perhaps a few nights in the hoosegow will make them see the light.

Washington Examiner:

Albence said the subpoenas were a “last resort” to force “sanctuary cities” to help federal officers find people at their homes and jobs if local jails will not turn them over while in secure settings. ICE focuses most of its effort going after people illegally in the country charged or convicted of criminal offenses.

“Hopefully, when some of these other jurisdictions that don’t want to cooperate see that we’re taking this seriously, maybe they’ll come around and try to help us help their own communities,” said Albence, who was tapped to lead the 20,000-person agency six months ago. He did not answer if Denver or New York would face retaliation from the federal government if they do not honor the subpoenas.

Last week, for the first time in its history, ICE issued subpoenas to force local cooperation in New York and Denver.

The subpoenas ask for the phone number, home address, type of vehicle, employer, and more information that can help ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations officers go into the person’s community and try to make an arrest. Albence said that sanctuary cities force ICE to squander resources running around trying to find people and that localities are forced to waste manpower rearresting criminals who could have been deported.

“How much time could NYPD have dedicated to doing other functions instead of continually arresting people that are here illegally, have no lawful right to be here, and are committing further crimes?” he asked. “Our goal is to find them before they commit further crimes, right? We’re actually able to prevent crimes if we can get these people off the street.”

As emotionally satisfying as it would be to see New York or Denver law enforcement doing the perp walk following a contempt citation, it's probably not going to happen. The court cases that arise from a contempt citation would last for years. Time and again the Supreme Court has ruled that local immigration authorities do not have to do ICE's job for them.

Sanctuary cities are probably here to stay, to the detriment of the safety of residents who live there.


'Hate Group' Lawsuit Clears Hurdle, Judeo-Christian Group Warns SPLC 'Day of Reckoning' Is Coming

While America was distracted with impeachment and the 2020 Democrats last week, a monumental lawsuit against Orwellian government surveillance cleared a major hurdle in a Michigan district court. The case, American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) v. Nessel, involves the defense of free speech against government surveillance based on the far-left smear factory the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and its allegedly defamatory "hate group" accusations.

"This is George Orwell, 1984, the thought police, watching over us," AFLC co-founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise told PJ Media on Tuesday. Michigan Attorney General "Dana Nessel keeping a watchful eye on all these SPLC-designated 'hate groups' has a chilling effect on speech and expressive association."

Last Wednesday, federal district judge Paul Maloney agreed that the AFLC has a powerful case against Nessel and former Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) Executive Director Agustin Arbulu. He denied Nessel's and Arbulu's motions to dismiss the lawsuit, allowing the case to proceed to discovery. This means AFLC will be able to request all documents showing communication involving Nessel, Arbulu, and the SPLC.

"The SPLC can't violate our constitutional rights — unless they're working with the government as a joint actor," Muise argued. He described Nessel as "a hard-core left-wing progressive. I wouldn't be surprised to find some connections" between her and the left-wing smear factory. "We intend, through discovery, to disclose any connections that the Michigan attorney general and the SPLC had. If there's enough joint action so that the SPLC could be considered a state actor, then we will consider adding them to the lawsuit."

In a statement following Maloney's order, Muise insisted that this ruling should terrify the SPLC.

"The judge’s powerful and exceedingly favorable decision should send a strong message to the Michigan attorney general that she will not be allowed to weaponize her office to target political opponents. It should also send a strong message to government officials who side with the George Soros-funded and radically partisan SPLC that their day of reckoning is coming. Know this: We will not allow you to trample on our constitutional rights," he said.

The lawsuit revolves around a "hate-crimes unit" that Nessel and Arbulu launched last February. In the press release for the new unit, both officials effectively endorsed the SPLC's "hate group" accusation. Arbulu went so far as to name a geographic region of the state — a region that includes AFLC's headquarters. "Particularly of concern, over one half [sic] of the identified groups are located east of US-23 between Flint and Ann Arbor," the MDCR director said.

"According to the SPLC report relied upon by Defendants, Plaintiff is identified as a 'hate' group because it is allegedly 'anti-Muslim,' and according to SPLC’s 'Hate Map,' Plaintiff is located in the Ann Arbor area," the lawsuit claims. "Consequently, Plaintiff is one of the very groups that Defendants referred to in their public announcement as an 'extremist and hate organization in Michigan.'"

In his ruling, Maloney laid out AFLC's three claims against Michigan's attorney general: that the officials violated the group's free speech as protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments; that they violated AFLC's right to expressive association, which is also protected by those amendments; and that "by targeting AFLC for disfavored treatment based on its political viewpoints, Defendants have deprived AFLC of the equal protection of the law, which is protected by Fourteenth Amendment."

Maloney also cited AFLC co-founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi, who explained how the SPLC's "hate group" accusation damaged his organization. "AFLC has to expend resources to combat the label and bolster its reputation. The government’s endorsement of the label makes that job more difficult. Although AFLC was not specifically mentioned in the Press Release, it received media inquiries following the Press Release. The government designation thus injures AFLC both reputationally and financially," the judge wrote.

While Nessel and Arbulu "cannot control who SPLC labels a hate group," their action of "referencing SPLC’s reports as the justification for the Policy Directive" places the government's imprimatur on the SPLC's "hate group" accusations inside the state of Michigan. "Notably, AFLC contends it does not engage in any criminal activity and further contends it has been placed on SPLC’s list of hate groups because of its constitutionally-protected activities."

"AFLC has established both a harm to its reputation and a credible fear that it will be targeted by the State of Michigan under the Policy Directive," Maloney noted. "As pled, AFLC reasonably fears that it will be a target for investigation and surveillance."

AFLC claims the SPLC accuses them of being a "hate group" due to the organization's conservative political positions. The far-left group gained credibility by suing the Ku Klux Klan into bankruptcy, but in recent decades it has expanded the monitoring of "hate groups" to include ever more mainstream conservative and Christian organizations.

As documented in my book Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a devastating racial discrimination and sexual harassment scandal last March led the SPLC to "clean house at the top," firing its co-founder and seeing the resignation of many other leading figures. After this scandal, employees came clean about being "part of the con," exaggerating hate by padding the "hate group" list and "bilking northern liberals" into cutting big checks. The SPLC has millions in offshore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands.

The "hate group" accusations are also politically motivated. The list includes mainstream conservative groups like ACT for America, the Center for Security Policy, the Family Research Council, and Alliance Defending Freedom. Former SPLC spokesman Mark Potok declared that the SPLC's "aim in life is to destroy these groups, completely destroy them."

AFLC v. Nessel is not the only lawsuit centered on the SPLC's "hate group" accusations. The Christian ministry D. James Kennedy Ministries filed a lawsuit against Amazon and the SPLC after it was booted from the AmazonSmile program. A judge granted the SPLC's motion to dismiss, but DJKM filed an appeal last October.

The far-left group accused Maajid Nawaz, an anti-terror Muslim reformer, of being an "anti-Muslim extremist." Nawaz sued and the SPLC settled, offering a very public apology and paying $3.375 million to his nonprofit. In addition to DJKM and Nawaz, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, Baltimore lawyer Glen Keith Allen, and former heroin addict Craig Nelsen have sued the SPLC for defamation and various other claims. The CIS lawsuit was struck down because it attempted to shoehorn a defamation claim into racketeering, but it will likely be re-filed. Peter Brimelow, the editor of VDare, sued The New York Times for branding him a "white nationalist" while citing the SPLC.

In the Nelsen case, a judge allowed the plaintiff to enter the discovery process, giving the former heroin addict access to the organization's documents. The SPLC had falsely claimed that Nelsen "wasn't convincing anyone" that his drug recovery program was open to men of all races.

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a Christian nonprofit branded a "hate group" by the SPLC, told PJ Media that more than 60 organizations are considering their own lawsuits against the SPLC.

AFLC may have the strongest argument because their case involves a state government endorsing the far-left smears, enforcing them with threats of government surveillance. It is indeed Orwellian.


Sexual correctness is a distraction from more worthy concerns

A view from the far-Left

In the West, there is a new wave of political correctness at work: it is all about one’s sexual orientation; who has sex with whom, and how. Suddenly, the mass media in London, Paris and New York is greatly concerned about who has the right to change his or her sex and who does not want to belong to any ‘traditional’ gender bracket.

Thinking about ‘it’, writing about it, doing it, is considered “progressive”; cutting edge. Entire novels are being commissioned and then subsidized as far away as in the Asia Pacific.  Western organizations and NGOs (so-called “non-government organizations” but financed by Western régimes), are thriving on the matter.

These days it is not just LGBT that are in the spotlight, glorified and propagandized; there are all sorts of new types of combinations that many people never even heard about or imagined could exist.

Even some Western airlines do not call their passengers “ladies, gentlemen and children” anymore  in order “not to offend” those who do not want to be any of the above.

Accept any sexual habit, repeat loudly many times that you have done it; then preferably write about it, and you will be lauded as progressive, tolerant, and even “left-wing”.

Hype is, these days, all about the interaction of penises, of vaginas, or about the lack of such interactions. It is about one’s “identity” and about the right to change one’s gender. What you do with your private parts is much more important than billions of people who are forced to live in filthy slums. Surgery that is aimed at changing one’s gender is more newsworthy than the “regime changes” and consequent destruction of millions of human lives.

Such focus is totally fragmenting Western societies. It leads to extreme individualism and dark nihilism. What should stay behind closed doors is being brought out to the center of attention.

Then, define all those who disagree with these sorts of lifestyles as ‘intolerant’, ‘backward’, and even ‘oppressive’.

Why is all this happening? Why are Western countries so obsessed with “sexual identities”?

The answer is simple: because those who are obsessed with their own bodies, desires, identities and endless “rights”, have hardly any time left to think about the rest of the world.

And vice versa: those who are passionately fighting for a better world, building people-oriented societies, sacrificing their own comfort and personal benefits; those individuals often have no time, or very little time, to think about the nuances of their sexuality. For them, sexuality is simply part of their life; often powerful and important, but it is definitely not their center of gravity, not their very essence.

I am all for people to have their right to choose how they want to express themselves sexually. As long as it is done discreetly, and without forcing anyone into anything.

But I am strongly against the so-called sexual identity monopolizing political narrative of entire nations.

There are much more important issues that Western societies should be concerned with and obviously are not.



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

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

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


27 January, 2020

Massachusetts seeks to rein in largely unregulated urgent care industry

These clinics arose primarily as as way to escape the health bureaucracy and thus provide cheaper care.  But the bureaucrats resent them

For years, the urgent care industry has grown rapidly, with walk-in clinics popping up across Massachusetts to treat patients with colds, infections, cuts, sprains, and other common ailments.

Yet the industry remains largely unregulated. Urgent care has become a common term in health care — but it has no state definition in Massachusetts, making these centers difficult if not impossible to monitor, according to state officials.

Now policy makers appear poised to impose new requirements on urgent care centers, but they’re facing resistance from industry executives.

The lack of standards means any provider can market itself as “urgent care,” and patients don’t know what to expect when they walk in the doors, said Marylou Sudders, the state’s secretary of health and human services.

“There is no standardized definition or structure that exists for urgent care,” Sudders said. “In terms of consumer protection, we should define them and regulate them.”

Urgent care was a focus of sweeping health care legislation that Governor Charlie Baker proposed last fall. The Baker administration wants these centers to be licensed as clinics, to provide care to low-income patients who use MassHealth, and to offer some mental health services.

State lawmakers have filed more than a dozen bills pertaining to urgent care centers this session, and both House and Senate are working on additional legislation that is likely to include regulations for the industry.

Operators of urgent care clinics say such regulation could slow growth — or even kill an industry that provides convenient, affordable care. They have been frequent visitors on Beacon Hill, lobbying to try to prevent the passage of legislation that could disrupt their business model.

“Any regulation that increases cost and complexity could be damaging to the industry,” said Shaun Ginter, chief executive of CareWell Urgent Care and a board member of the national Urgent Care Association.

Because there is no definition of urgent care in Massachusetts, some centers are licensed as hospital facilities, some as clinics. But many operate as physician practices, which don’t require a license.

Individual health care providers, such as doctors and nurses, must be licensed to treat patients no matter where they work.

“We should be treated no differently than any other medical office,” Ginter said. “We feel very singled out and pulled out to the side when we shouldn’t be.”

Urgent care executives said it costs from hundreds of thousands to well over $1 million to open a clinic. Licensing requirements would increase those expenses, they said, especially if the state mandates that clinics be built to certain specifications — and such requirements could be devastating for the clinics that are already up and running.

“From a business perspective, nobody would open new centers,” said Lynne Rosen, chief executive of PhysicianOne Urgent Care, which operates four clinics in Massachusetts.

Rosen said the company plans to develop several additional sites, but she’s waiting to see what happens at the State House.

“I can’t sign that lease until I understand [the legislation],” she said. “We’re going to monitor what goes on in the first 90 days of the year. Certainly, it influences our decision-making.”

Urgent care companies are also objecting to the Baker administration’s insistence that they provide certain mental health services. Their centers usually are staffed by providers with backgrounds in primary or emergency care — not mental health care.

“That would require a change in staffing model, potentially,” Rosen said.

Jim Brennan, who owns six American Family Care clinics in Massachusetts, agreed, saying, “There is a need for behavioral health providers, but I’m not certain the urgent care platform is equipped to do that.”

Rather than implement new regulations, industry executives said, the state should lift burdensome requirements that make it difficult for MassHealth patients to seek care at urgent care clinics. Currently, MassHealth requires a referral from a primary care physician before covering urgent-care visits.

Administration officials say they can’t lift these restrictions unless the state first adopts standards for urgent care.

While they don’t have an official state definition, urgent care centers are typically open on nights and weekends when most doctors offices are closed. They generally promise to treat a variety of medical issues — except for life- and limb-threatening emergencies — at a fraction of the cost of hospital emergency rooms.

They offer walk-in service, accept health insurance, and are staffed by physicians, physician assistants, or nurse practitioners.

About 180 urgent care centers have opened in Massachusetts, most of them in the past decade, according to industry and state figures. Much of the growth has come from relatively new for-profit companies, though some traditional health care providers, including nonprofit hospitals, also have centers.

These facilities are distinct from retail clinics such as CVS MinuteClinics, which offer more limited services and are already regulated by the state.

But not everyone has equal access to urgent care centers. They tend to be located in middle-class and affluent communities — not in low-income neighborhoods.

Policy makers have begun to pay more attention to urgent care centers in recent years. In 2018, the Massachusetts House approved legislation to put hefty assessments on the centers. Urgent care companies lashed out at the proposal, which died when House and Senate lawmakers couldn’t agree on compromise legislation.

House majority leader Ronald Mariano, lead author of the 2018 House bill, said he has backed off the assessments but remains concerned that the centers are unregulated. He’s also worried they are “taking money out of” community hospitals, which he wants to protect.

“We should set some standards so we know what these people are doing and who they are servicing,” Mariano said.

The House is likely to take up urgent care this spring as part of a larger health care bill, Mariano said. The Senate is also considering new rules.

“Our goal is to provide high-quality, affordable, and accessible health care to everyone in the Commonwealth,” Senator Cindy F. Friedman, cochair of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, said in a statement. “Urgent care centers provide this kind of health care to our residents — so yes, they too should be subject to regulations and oversight.”

Lawmakers have until the July 31 end of the legislative session to compromise, while urgent care companies try to influence the debate.

At least one company, ConvenientMD Urgent Care, has accepted that regulations are probably coming.

ConvenientMD has opened eight centers across Massachusetts in the past 13 months. They are already licensed as clinics, said chief executive Max Puyanic.

“It is very costly to go through the licensing process,” he said. “[But] we assumed it was better to do it up front, assuming it might be required in the future.”


Banning Conversion Therapy to Placate the Rainbow Mafia: Utah becomes the 19th state to ban what used to be a widely accepted practice

The state of Utah this week became the 19th state to ban conversion therapy for children who struggle with gender-disorientation pathology. In short, that means therapists are legally prohibited from working with young people to help them recalibrate their sexual desire or identity.

Here’s the Associated Press definition and explanation of conversion therapy:

Conversion therapy is a practice used to try to change sexual orientation or gender identity. Many people who have been through it say it deepened feelings of depression and increased thoughts of suicide. The new rule bans licensed Utah therapists from subjecting LGBTQ minors to the practice that the American Psychological Association has said is not based in science and is harmful to mental health. The Utah Psychological Association also spoke in favor of the rule.

The hypocrisy is so appalling it’s worth recasting that paragraph with a couple of links to prove the assertions:

Gender “reassignment” surgery is a practice used to try to “change” a person’s biological sex, despite the clear science that there are only two sexes. Many people who have been through it say it deepened feelings of depression and increased thoughts of suicide. In fact, an astounding 41% of “transgendered” individuals have attempted suicide, compared to just 4.6% of the overall population. Nevertheless, judges and doctors have subjected minors to the hormone therapy and more — sometimes over the objections of their parents — even though the American Psychological Association used to say this was not based in science and is harmful to mental health.

The American Medical Association also used to classify various gender pathologies as mental illness, even recommending conversion therapy until 1994, when the AMA reversed course and started recommending psychotherapy to help homosexuals “become more comfortable with their sexual orientation.”

Now, we’re not defending any particular brand of conversion therapy, as that would greatly depend on the therapist and vary widely depending on the patient. But it’s clear that over the last 30 years, the Rainbow Mafia has put the screws to doctors, psychologists, and scientists, who have done a total about-face from prior established practice in order to comply with a political agenda. When this sort of pseudoscience is done to teenagers or even elementary-age children, it is nothing less than child abuse.

And yet The Patriot Post has encountered censorship from Facebook on two specific occasions for talking about the science of two sexes and for opposing child abuse. Yet it’s not just memes on social media; it’s laws affecting parents, children, businesses, doctors, and others. Utah has joined 18 other states in criminalizing opposition to the accepted political point of view, and that’s what’s so dangerous.


Diversity Isn’t Always the Answer

Walter E. Williams

It’s nearly impossible to have even a short conversation with a college administrator, politician, or chief executive without the words diversity and inclusion dropping from their lips.

Diversity and inclusion appear to be the end-all and be-all of their existence. So, I thought I’d begin this discussion by first looking up the definition of diversity.

Here’s my question to those who are wedded to diversity and inclusion: Are people better off the less they have in common with one another?

For example, women are less likely to be able to march 12.4 miles in five hours with an 83-pound assault load. They are also less likely to be able to crawl, sprint, negotiate obstacles, and move a wounded comrade weighing 165 pounds while carrying that load.

Would anyone argue that a military outfit would benefit from diversity by including soldiers who can and those who cannot march 12 miles in five hours while carrying an 83-pound load?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, diversity is “the practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc.”

The definition gratuitously adds, “equality and diversity should be supported for their own sake.”

The standard definition given for inclusion is involvement and empowerment where the inherent worth and dignity of all people are recognized.

You say, “Williams, the military is an exception!”

What about language?

The International Civil Aviation Organization has decreed that all air traffic controllers and flight crew members engaged in or in contact with international flights must be proficient in the English language as a general spoken medium.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, there are about 7,000 languages in the world. The International Civil Aviation Organization could promote language inclusiveness by requiring language rotation.

Some years, Cebuano (of the Malayo-Polynesian language family) and in other years Kinyarwanda (of the Niger-Congo language family) could be the language of pilots and air traffic controllers.

Keep in mind that it is claimed that the great benefit of diversity and inclusiveness is that it promotes and fosters a sense of belonging. It values and practices respect for the differences in the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living of its members.

Another issue is what should be done when people who should know better praise non-diversity and non-inclusiveness?

Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse L. Jackson said, “I applaud commissioner Adam Silver’s commitment to diversity and inclusion within the NBA.”

During the 2018-2019 season, more than 33% of NBA teams had head coaches of color. The number of assistant head coaches of color was over 42%. The number of black NBA players was 82%.

In the face of these statistics, Oris Stuart, the NBA’s chief diversity and inclusion officer said, “Diversity, inclusion, and equality are central to every aspect of our game and our business.”

I would like for Jackson and others who claim that there’s racial diversity and inclusiveness in professional basketball to make their case. The same question can be asked about professional football where 70% of NFL players are black, and 9% of team head coaches are black.

The thornier question and challenge is what can be done to make professional basketball and football look more like the American population?

Most of the diversity and inclusiveness insanity has its roots in academia.

An example is a paper titled “Equilibrium Grade Inflation with Implications for Female Interest in STEM Majors,” written by Naval Postgraduate School professor Thomas Ahn, Duke University economics professor Peter Arcidiacono, Duke University researcher Amy Hopson, and James R. Thomas of the Federal Trade Commission.

The authors argue that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs at colleges and universities lacking female enrollment can be attributed largely to harsh grading policies in these fields.

Their solution to increase the number of women’s involvement in STEM is to standardize grading curves, in order to grade less “harshly.” The insanity of this approach is to not only weaken standards for women but to weaken standards across the board.

This is more evidence that George Orwell was absolutely right when he said, “There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.”


Why I’m looking forward to celebrating Australia Day

Some Australians are tired of the constant protests that surround Australia Day. Some just want to celebrate their country and not be shamed for it.

Corrine Barraclough

When I first arrived in Australia 10 years ago, I’d never heard of Australia Day.

There was a lot of chatter in the office about what everyone was up to, talk of family gatherings, BBQs, fireworks, parties, yummy food and a real sense of pride in country.

We don’t have an “England Day”. There is no day when everyone comes together, waves flags and feels proud (that’s not connected to the royals).

Quite simply, Australia Day is the official national day of Australia. I loved the simplicity of that.

Australia Day is for all Australians; no matter where we’re originally from and it felt overwhelmingly inclusive.

I find it incredibly sad that now, years down the track, debate around our special, national day only seems to grow increasingly negative as time ticks by.

Anyone who calls it “Invasion Day” is looking to promote disunity. Anyone who calls it “Survival Day” is missing out on the warmth this day offers. There’s even talk about “paying rent” for stolen land.

There doesn’t need to be any controversy, angry hash tags or vitriol spat on social media. It’s meant to be a day of solidarity, peace, celebration and pride.

Australia Day is, of course, each year on 26 January and celebrates the arrival of the First Fleet of British on Australian soil.

Australia was not invaded – it was settled. There was no warfare, no organised military resistance or conflict. The First Fleet came here with convicts in chains; it was not an invasion force. Certainly, starting a new chapter doesn’t mean everything that’s gone before is forgotten.

There are records of celebrating Australia Day dating back to 1808.

Now, it’s a public holiday across all states and territories.

Doesn’t everyone love a public holiday? Doesn’t everyone look forward to an extra day off work?

And yet, here we are in 2020, and furious protesters are waiting in the wings, ready to preach their religion of division.

If you’re looking to find evidence of “oppression”, you will always be able to find it.

If you’re looking for opportunities to divide rather than bring people together, you will always find them.

If you’re seeking to shout about “shame”, you should take off your blinkers.

Australia is a wonderful country filled with caring, thoughtful, compassionate people. Just look at the incredible response to the bushfire crisis for proof of that.

This is not a racist country – and no one should feel “shame” for looking forward to celebrating this weekend.

This year, more than ever, we should be coming together.

Much as activists like to screech otherwise, the vast majority of people want to keep Australia Day on January 26 – and they want to celebrate freely.

A new poll from the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) found that 75 per cent of Australians support Australia Day on January 26.

This is a huge number, especially considering the constant, monotonous and vocal efforts of the political left and pockets of mainstream media to oppose our national day.

The “woke” bullies with an agenda of bitterness have failed to divide us; that makes me even more proud. Perhaps I shall wave two flags.

“Mainstream Australians are fundamentally optimistic and positive about Australia and its values,” said IPA Foundations of Western Civilisation Program director Dr Bella d’Abrera.

The survey found 88 per cent of people were “proud to be an Australian”, with only 3 per cent disagreeing.

Only 10 per cent of Australians think the date should be changed. They will, no doubt, be the ones covered in glue this weekend.

On Sunday there are protests planned for “Invasion Day 2020” across the country, including Parliament House in Melbourne.

Perhaps we may see some familiar faces from other protests this year and some of the same loudmouths gluing themselves to the road in protest.

Its just noise, whether they’re screaming about “climate justice” or “invasion justice”.

People are sick of these disrupters.

The police should not be battling to maintain law and order against feral left-wing agitators. Their aim is to “burn down Australia”.

We’re in the middle of a bushfire crisis for god’s sake; no wonder most people aren’t on-board with the madness.

No, it doesn’t make me “selfish” for celebrating.

Nor does it make me “insecure”.

No, I’m not “ashamed”.

No, I don’t want to talk about “enslavement”.

And no, caring about Australia Day does not mean that I don’t care about the future of Aboriginal communities. Far from it.

I repeat: The majority of mainstream Australians are proud, they’ll be celebrating and if you’re not part of that, you’re simply a tiny, resentful fringe minority.



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, 2020

Greek islands stage general strike against migrant camps, saying 'we want our islands back'

Thousands of residents on Greek islands hosting large migrant camps on Wednesday kicked off a day of protests, demanding the immediate removal of asylum-seekers.

The islands of Lesbos, Samos and Chios staged a general strike, shutting down shops and public services and rallying in central squares, many protesters waving Greek flags.

"We want our islands back, we want our lives back," was the main slogan.

Asylum-seekers "should be shared out across Greece," 72-year-old Lesbos pensioner Efstratios Peppas told AFP.

"And Europe must assume its responsibilities. It too must take migrants," he said.

The largest camp of Moria on Lesbos island, with a capacity for 2,840 people, hosts more than 19,000 asylum seekers.

"You can't walk alone outside after dark, people get stabbed," Mr Peppas said.

The overcrowding is equally severe on other islands, and rights groups and medical charities have repeatedly criticised the living conditions at the camps.

The government announced plans in November to build larger camps on Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros, which currently host a total of nearly 42,000 migrants and refugees and where outbreaks of violence are frequent.

Two young asylum seekers have been fatally stabbed in brawls at the Moria camp this month. An 18-year-old Afghan girl was also seriously injured in a knife attack this week and remains in hospital.

Three asylum seekers in Greek custody have committed suicide in recent weeks.

"We demand the immediate shutdown of Moria," read a banner carried in the Lesbos demonstration.

But the new camp plans have been strongly opposed by local officials, who want smaller facilities after hosting thousands of asylum seekers for the past five years.

Greece last year again became the main entry into Europe for migrants and refugees, many fleeing war or poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Syria.

The UN refugee agency in 2019 recorded more than 59,000 arrivals by sea and more than 14,000 via the land border with Turkey.

Already more than 3,000 have arrived so far this year.

Only a fraction are allowed passage to the Greek mainland while the rest spend months in the camps, waiting for their asylum applications to be processed.

On Tuesday, 17 human rights organisations warned of a rising "climate of discrimination and xenophobia" towards asylum-seekers, who also faced "serious consequences to their well-being and public health".


All the president’s sheriffs: How one law enforcement group became ardent Trump supporters

WASHINGTON — President Trump was in the early throes of the Ukraine scandal that would lead to his impeachment last year when he sought to counter the controversy by surrounding himself with loyal supporters who embody law and order: sheriffs from around the country.

Assembled for a photo outside the White House on a humid September afternoon, they greeted him with boisterous cheers, some hollering “We’ve got your back, Mr. President.”

Trump then delivered a barrage against Democrats, accusing them of wanting open borders, drugs, and crime. Applauding his words and handing him a plaque in appreciation of his commitment to public safety was one of his most avid backers — a Massachusetts sheriff who within weeks would be announced as honorary chairman of Trump’s reelection campaign in the state.

“I know when I speak for these sheriffs and America’s sheriffs across the country that you’ve done more in two years than the past administrations could accomplish in 20 years,” said Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson before the crowd broke out in chants of “U-S-A.”

No president in recent memory has elicited the enthusiasm of the nation’s sheriffs quite like Trump, who brought many of them into his 2016 presidential campaign and has made them central players in his hardline policies on immigration. Many of them in turn have stood unwaveringly behind the president, even as he has sparred with other uniformed officials, including federal law enforcement officers and military generals.

It’s been a mutually beneficial relationship. Trump has been able to cloak himself in the support of officials who represent his tough-on-crime image while the sheriffs — a group that is mostly white and often are politically powerful in their rural, conservative communities — have gained an ally in the White House.

“We had been marginalized by the previous administration,” Hodgson said in an interview. “He has given us our footing back.”’

Over the past three years, Trump has invited sheriffs to more than a dozen televised roundtables and meetings at the White House and visited their counties at least half a dozen more times for news conferences and other appearances with them. The meetings have provided sheriffs a platform to air their concerns on opioids abuse and the need for mental health resources in jails and other law enforcement topics.

Those events also have helped Trump and sheriffs on the far right of the ideological spectrum to drive the narrative on illegal immigration — an issue the president often turns to when facing political blowback. For their part, the sheriffs have been among his fiercest defenders and proselytizers, taking to the media to amplify his vitriolic anti-immigrant rants.

For Trump, the sheriffs’ provide a powerful symbolic appeal to his Republican base, political analysts said. The word “sheriff” evokes images of five-pointed gold star badges and tough-on-crime lawmen. But their support also is important because they are elected officials who directly influence policy in their counties. Through the local jails they administer, sheriffs can control what access federal immigration officers have to the information and citizenship status of hundreds of thousands of people booked into such facilities.

“Sheriffs have a lot of discretion and power, particularly in areas like immigration where the federal government has devolved a lot of authority to the local level,” said Mirya Holman, an associate professor of political science at Tulane University.

Sheriffs departments also extend the reach of federal immigration officials. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement “is a very small agency, and it has very little capacity to conduct its job, but hand in hand with the sheriffs, they can do much more,” said Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, an associate professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

In Bristol County, which includes Taunton and New Bedford, Hodgson has unsuccessfully tried to send inmates from his jail to build the wall Trump is seeking along the Mexican border, and he regularly lambastes immigrants who have crossed into the country illegally.

“The people here illegally are not going to be our eyes and ears,” said Hodgson, who often corresponds with Trump’s immigration adviser, Stephen Miller. “We are not going to create a special class of people for people who didn’t want to respect the law.”

Relations between sheriffs and the White House weren’t always so cozy.

Reform efforts in recent years have given rise to a wave of progressive prosecutors and urban police chiefs across the country.

Yet, many sheriffs have been holdouts to change. They tend to represent more rural and conservative areas, where they are the only law enforcement authorities for miles. Out of more than 3,000 members of sheriffs nationwide, more than 93 percent were white and roughly 99 percent were men as of 2018, according to a study by Holman and Emily Farris, an associate professor of political science at Texas Christian University.

Launching his campaign in 2016, Trump, a leader in the birther movement against Obama, quickly captured the support of many sheriffs by touting himself as a “law and order” candidate, calling for a border wall and endorsing hardline immigration policies.

Arpaio, convicted of criminal contempt over “a tent city” for immigrants he brazenly described as “a concentration camp,” boasts he was with Trump from the beginning.

“We see eye to eye, and I stick with him every day no matter what happens, and that is the way it is,” he said in an interview, rejecting allegations he had racially profiled Latinos. In 2017, Trump pardoned Arpaio, whose facility was criticized as overcrowded and inhumane.

Soon after taking office, Trump sought to increase collaboration between sheriffs and federal immigration officials and waged legal battles against “sanctuary” laws enacted by states and cities to shield people from deportation. His administration moved to reverse Obama-era policies that attempted to limit the assets local law enforcement departments seize in criminal cases and the surplus gear they receive from the military — equipment that included weapons and armored vehicles but also goggles, life vests, and other items that sheriffs from smaller agencies said were crucial for responding to weather disasters and emergencies.

But mostly, sheriffs say, they feel like Trump hears them. “He has opened the door to law enforcement, to sheriffs, letting us speak to him whenever there are issues in our given areas,” said Marc Dannels, sheriff of Cochise County in Arizona, pointing to his own appointment to the Homeland Security Advisory Council in 2018.

For Trump, he’s eager to tout the support from the sheriffs. “I’m a big fan of the people alongside of me,” he said, after receiving the plaque from Hodgson at the White House in September. “I’m a big fan.”



Three current articles below

The grim reality of gender-neutral toilets: Women are forced to use filthy bathrooms soaked in urine and covered in pubic hair at one of Australia's busiest train stations

Comment from an experienced male social worker:

I have worked in several establishments when the toilets were being converted to unisex, or what now gets termed "gender neutral". In each case, it was feminist women who were pushing for unisex or gender neutral toilets.

None of the men wanted them. After the toilets were made unisex, most men would walk to the basement or the carpark to use the last remaining male toilet. Some men would drive home at lunchtime to use their own toilet.

Most men don't feel comfortable (what a woman would call safe) using toilets with women in them. Men feel vulnerable because we don't want to be accused of molesting a woman.

Also, we men like to stand to pee. And making toilets unisex means the urinals are removed and men are forced to pee in the toilet bowls, and then the same feminists who wanted the unisex toilets start demanding men should sit sown to pee so they don't pee on the seat or floor. They also reprimand any man who does not shut the cubicle door behind him when he pees.

One day, during a shift at the hospital where I worked, the only day that I went in the toilet after it was made unisex, I went in and a female nurse screamed at me to "Get out of here!".

I ran out in a hurry indeed, into the corridor to see people looking at me with horror. It was a most uncomfortable feeling that did not want to experience again.

But I did experience something similar again, recently at a different hospital where I am now stationed. When coming out of the unisex toilet a female nurse stopped me and sternly told me not to use that toilet again. The toilet door had both male and female silhouette signs on it, but I did not argue with the nurse.

As a man who has worked in many female dominated workplaces, I know better than to argue with a feminist without reliable witnesses present. In my observations, with few exceptions, they will accuse the men they conflict with of anger, threatening, intimidation, violence or sexual harassment.

So I simply ignored her and walked on. I have not used that toilet since, though. It did not shake me up as the first time did, but it was still unpleasant.

Good men do not want unisex or gender neutral toilets. And good women do not want them either. Only feminists want them. And feminists do not want them out of any sense of charity or helpfulness towards others, but only for the sense of power over men that public and workplace unisex toilets give to feminists.

Women in Sydney are being forced to use urine-soaked toilets after Wynyard train station introduced unisex cubicles.

Despite being cleaned every hour, the public toilets are often left in a filthy state by commuters, with toilet paper littering the floor. Pictures show the bathrooms covered in urine, toilet roll and even body hair after being used by thousands of commuters every day.

Not accessible unless the person taps their Opal card or train ticket, the two rows of toilets are through the ticket barriers on the concourse in Sydney's CBD.

And there is no choice but to use a single-sex cubicle, as all the toilets are unisex.

One commuter told Daily Mail Australia the toilets often 'stank'.  'They're not great, but how good are any train station toilets?' she said. 'Though they might be a bit cleaner if there were some just for women.' Another said it was 'a bit gross'.

Unisex toilets have become a hot topic of debate across Australia, as gender diversity activists campaign for them to become commonplace.

According to a survey carried out by Sydney officials for its Public Toilet Strategy report, 75 per cent of people - the majority women - preferred to have single-sex facilities.

Of those who preferred single sex toilets, 32 per cent said it was for privacy and 29 per cent stated hygiene. A further 19 per cent they felt safer in a single sex bathroom. 

Despite this, the 2014 policy said all public toilets 'where modification is not possible' should be replaced with compliant unisex automated public toilets. 

It comes after the University of Technology Sydney introduced 'all-gender' bathrooms. The university, based in Ultimo, introduced the gender diversity policy to 'make students feel safe and welcome on campus'. 

One of the students who campaigned for the new bathrooms said they had experienced harassment and intimidation in single sex toilets.  'What motivated me to be involved in this campaign is that I’m a non-binary student who has been harassed in bathrooms in the past, and I experience social dysphoria as well as other types,' the student told news.com.au. 'Gender neutral bathrooms are something that have helped with reducing my dysphoria and anxiety about being verbally abused in a bathroom setting.'

In 2018, a NSW council is replaced its unisex toilet signs because they were deemed offensive.

Hawkesbury City Council, in Sydney's north-west, changed four signs after meeting two campaign groups. The 'unisex' signs were replaced with ones saying they were toilets for 'all genders'. 

This is because not all people identify is either male or female, meaning that 'unisex' wouldn't apply to them, as they are not either gender.


Inner-city council to spends $20,000 of ratepayers' money on one-hour 'mourning ceremony' on Australia Day

The Left love to racialize everything

Inner-city ratepayers will spend as much as $20,000 on an Australia Day 'mourning' ceremony to recognise how colonisation has negatively affected indigenous people.

The ceremony at Alfred Square in Melbourne's St Kilda will run for an hour from 6am on Sunday and will be held in collaboration with the Boonwurrung Land and Sea Council.

City of Port Phillip council will then at 11am hold a citizenship ceremony, which officials said is 'presented in harmony' with the mourning event.

The idea for the early morning reflection ceremony was promoted in October as a 'morning of mourning' by the council's mayor Dick Gross. 'There is no doubt that elements of Australia Day are controversial,' he said. 'The First Nations paid an undeniable price from European 'settlement'and we need to acknowledge this.'

The council will spend $20,000 on proceedings, and Australia Day Council funds have also been committed towards the event.

Funds from the Australia Day Council will be used for 'cultural delivery aspects', the Herald Sun reported.

Whittlesea Council, in Melbourne's north, will also hold a minute's silence and an official 'mourning ceremony' to pay respect to the Stolen Generations on Australia Day.

Guest speakers will be required to acknowledge 'past injustices in our nation's history'.

It comes after Darebin and Yarra councils in Melbourne were both stripped of their right to hold citizenship ceremonies in 2017 after announcing they were scrapping Australia Day celebrations.

A survey from The Institute of Public Affairs earlier this week revealed Australia Day celebrations on January 26 are wanted by more than 70 per cent of Australians.


The left media’s different treatment of two very different prime ministers

It is a rare occasion when comments made by two former Australian prime ministers make news on the same day, especially when both are former Liberal Party leaders. The circumstance provides a case study on how the media reports politics.

On Thursday Imogen Crump, editor of the University of Melbourne’s Pursuit research news publication, was the guest commentator on influential ABC television program News Breakfast. She led the discussion on what was making news in newspapers and online. Co-presenters were Madeleine Morris and Paul Kennedy.

It was a busy media morning. News had recently broken about Malcolm Turnbull’s interview on BBC Two’s Newsnight on Tuesday (London time). And The Australian was running an opinion piece by Tony Abbott titled “Lives Matter, Not Political Points”.

Turnbull used the occasion to criticise his successor, Scott Morrison, along with Abbott and US President Donald Trump. Turnbull accused Morrison of downplaying the influence of global warming on bushfires which he declared “is just nonsense from a scientific point of view”. Turnbull also took a swipe at Morrison’s leadership abilities.

Neither Crump nor the co-presenters made any criticism of Turnbull’s intervention in the public debate, although Crump did concede that “harsh words” were spoken. However, Morris did declare that Turnbull’s (alleged) comment, as reported by Crump, that Morrison “is probably the most prominent climate denier in Australian politics” was “quite a big call”. It certainly was. In fact, Turnbull’s put-down was directed at Abbott.

Then Crump moved her attention to Abbott’s article stating that, despite the headline, the former prime minister “does go on to make political points”. In fact, Abbott did not refer to the term “political points” in his article and the heading was not written by him. The piece was essentially a report from the bushfire front, narrating the author’s experiences as a volunteer in the Davidson Rural Fire Brigade in NSW.

According to Crump, Abbott made a political point when discussing his role as a volunteer firefighter. She also declared that it was a political point to state that Australia was meeting its Paris Agreement emission targets.

The same comment was made about Abbott’s decision to quote from a recent speech by Andy Pitman, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes at the University of NSW, to the effect that there was no link between climate change and drought.

Crump described Abbott’s straightforward statements as “quite extreme language from a former prime minister” — a significant exaggeration.

Kennedy and Morris concurred that Abbott had made political points. Yet no such criticism was made of Turnbull’s at times explosive BBC interview.

In fact, Turnbull has changed his position on the causal link between climate change and bushfires. At a media conference in Bega on March 19, 2018, the then prime minister said it was wrong “to attribute any particular event, whether it’s a flood or fire or drought or a storm, to climate change”. This statement was made in the aftermath of devastating bushfires that had destroyed parts of the seaside town of Tathra on the NSW south coast. Now Turnbull is accusing Morrison of downplaying the influence of climate change on bushfires.

It came as no surprise that the likes of Crump, Morris and Kennedy seemed to welcome Turnbull’s contribution to the climate debate. That’s invariably going to happen when two ABC presenters interview the editor of a university publication about climate, bushfires and all that.

The ABC is a conservative-free zone, without a conservative presenter, producer or editor for any of its prominent TV, radio or online outlets. And universities are no longer (if they ever were) the repository of open discussion with respect to many contemporary matters. Public broadcasters and tertiary institutions are bastions of left-of-centre thought, and when their personnel get together they tend to agree with one another.

Lara Logan, a former US CBS 60 Minutes correspondent, put it well when talking to Fox News Media Buzz presenter Howard Kurtz on Sunday (New York time). She grew up in a left-liberal (in the American sense of the term) environment “believing that we were all right … we all agreed with each other”.

According to Logan, many journalists are “not aware of our own bias because I never worked in a newsroom where people were not liberal and where people were not Democratic (Party supporters).” She agreed with Kurtz that a certain groupthink was at work and added: “Most journalists are liberal. That doesn’t mean you’re not capable of being objective, it just means you might not be aware of the extent of your own bias.”

Logan’s comments came after MSNBC presenter Lawrence O’Donnell declared recently that he did not interview Trump supporters because anyone who supported the President was a liar and “we don’t bring on liars”. Lawrence is a former Democratic Party staff member.

In view of the fact Australia produces 1.3 percent of global carbon emissions and cannot do anything to reduce global warming on its own, it should be possible to have a considered discussion about how best to mitigate bushfire risk. But this is not the case. Just as it was not possible for News Breakfast to objectively assess the recent comments of both Turnbull and Abbott.

It was much the same on Thursday when Nine Entertainment newspapers’ Latika Bourke reported from London that “Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest has repeated his unsubstantiated claim that the bushfires are primarily caused by fuel loads and arson”. What’s wrong with the sentence is the insertion of the word unsubstantiated. This is journalistic opinion.

Forrest told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour he had a PhD in marine ecology. He said carbon was “partially responsible for the slowly warming planet which has an impact on fires”. But he believes more scientific research needs to be done on the issue. This is a reasonable proposition by a successful business figure who understands the importance of mining and the tragedy of bushfires. But Bourke felt incapable of reporting his position without stating her view that Forrest’s position was “unsubstantiated”. Just as Crump and her presenters felt the need to distance themselves from Abbott.



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

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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, 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, 2020  

It is time to call out the intolerant woke's racist double standards

From Megxit to Manchester grooming gangs, politically correct discourse has become prejudiced and toxic

We need to talk about racism. With news items like Megxit and Manchester’s failure to crack down on grooming gangs not so much sparking debate as detonating ever-deeper dividing lines, that much is clear. It is true that a virulent strain of prejudice is itching undetected beneath the British social fabric. But not in the way that the virtue-signallers who have so energetically lectured the public this week on their “subconscious” racism would have us believe.

A normalised bigotry is indeed hiding in plain sight. It conceals genuine injustices. Diagnosing it is tricky because it involves confronting human shortcomings. Like any self-respecting epidemic, it also has a chillingly sterile name: identity politics.

Dictating that the most important thing about you is your race or gender, its most obvious manifestation is an infuriating “us versus them” narrative: all white people are racists and all ethnic minorities are victims.

“It is not the job of black people and ethnic minorities to educate white people on racism that is perpetrated by white people,” activist Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu quipped on This Morning, in a Meghan Markle debate that has gone viral. She then went on to “educate” her audience at length, ironically railing against the “whitewashing” of unconscious racism and critiquing those who see the world “through the lens of white privilege” (as opposed to eyes, presumably owing to their bogeyman status).

She also refused to give any concrete examples of racism against Meghan. In an attempt to cast a pseudo-light on white ignorance and bigotry, she breathtakingly exposed her own ignorance and bigotry about a country that is largely not racist.

Which hits on the outrageous truth about identity politics: the retrograde movement does not help us address racism, because it renounces both dialogue and empiricism. Who needs to provide evidence when one is clearly right? Who needs to have a debate when the answer is decided? Instead of the End of History, we’ve reached the End of Reason.

Far from being committed to understanding others, identity politics is obsessed with the self. Reflecting the cosmopolitan consumer’s spiritually desolate search for intellectually approved personal branding, it is little more than self-aggrandisement posing as self-awareness. But, perhaps most disturbing of all, it deems casual prejudice against “white society” as not only acceptable but positively necessary to fighting injustice.

Hence Sheffield University’s unblinking decision this week to employ “race equality champions” who will tackle “microaggressions” on campus – like asking people where they are really from and striking up conversations with black students about holidaying in Africa.

The tragedy is that the dominance of the woke politics peddled by the likes of Dr Mos-Shogbamimu and Sheffield University prevents us from having sensible conversations about real, everyday racism. Take the myth that black people are more predisposed to crime. Debunking this claim – as unscientific as it is unsavoury – would require anti-racists to acknowledge that black people are disproportionately involved in some crimes, and this fact cannot be batted off with “structural” discourses about victimhood. It would require them to explore how everything from nihilistic gangland culture to one-parent families and bad school discipline have played a part.

Sadly, militant reductionists have no time for nuance.

The scourge of identity politics also means that examples of racism against white people are overlooked. Take the child abuse scandal in Manchester. This week, a detective claimed that a grooming gang, predominantly men from Asian backgrounds, was free to roam the city and abuse young girls because police officers were told to “find other ethnicities” to investigate. This is disturbingly reminiscent of cases from Rotherham to Telford, where the abuse of white girls by ethnic minority males was ignored, as shrugging sexism collided with crushing political correctness.

How did it come to this? Things looked promising when the baby-boomer generation, who grew up more accustomed to non-white faces than their parents, came of age. But then something interesting happened. Communism collapsed and the Left’s struggle shifted, for the sake of its own survival, from the collective to the individual. “What has to be done?” morphed into “Who am I?” The result is Manichaean navel-gazing.

One particularly toxic subplot is the “medicalisation” of victimhood. It was, after all, a professor of counselling psychology at Columbia University, Derald Wing Sue, who invented the term “microaggression”. That he was partly inspired by RD Laing will surprise few familiar with the baleful maverick who famously asked whether mental illness is “a sick response to a healthy situation, or a healthy response to a sick situation”.

And so here we are, stuck on a brain-tranquilising loop. It is like the Brexit debacle at its most febrile, but with even less sign of a solution.


A feminist b*tch

The nitpicking of a woman by other women is what has given rise to the term "b*tchiness".  It is always deplorable, even when practiced by a feminist

Pam Keith, a verified Democrat on Twitter, who ran for Congress in Florida and lost, decided it was a good idea to post a photo of herself next to Kellyanne Conway, on Conway's birthday, no less, comparing their faces, mocking the older woman for not being as young-looking as herself. It did not go as planned.

This inspired her oh-so-feminist followers (who only care about uplifting women) to post photos of themselves, saying things like "You're doing something wrong, Kellyanne," and "I guess not selling one's soul to the devil is actually good for the skin." Several catty hags piled on to insult and mock the looks of the 53-year-old mom—because orange man bad—calling Conway a "hot mess," among other things. Amanda Prestigiacomo at the Daily Wire compiled a few.

But the cackling didn't last long when normal people started pointing out the meanness and hypocrisy on display. And, by the way, Pam, we see your eyeliner. Blaire White, transgender conservative YouTuber commented, "We can literally SEE your makeup, full eyeliner and likely foundation. Trying to come for her looks is low."

Other's pointed out that if you back up a bit, the comparisons could change rather quickly.

The plea for attention and compliments by grown women was really the grossest part. "That whole thread turned into every teenager's nightmare: their 50+ parents posting selfies and asking for compliments." It was painful.

Feminism: supporting other women as long as they vote the way you do

That whole thread turned into every teenagers nightmare: their 50+ parents posting selfies and asking for compliments.

And look who liked the mean-girl tweet. None other than smug Alyssa Milano, who pretends to care about women.

The true face of feminism is what's ugly and that was on full display yesterday until Keith figured out she'd made a mistake by ripping the mask off a movement that is not for women at all, but deeply partisan and only pro-Democrat.

Keith removed the tweet sometime during the night, but it was too late to stop it from spreading. Screenshots are forever.


Actor Laurence Fox slams Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes over 'incongruous' Sikh soldier in blockbuster movie 1917 as he says 'forcing diversity on people' is 'institutionally racist'

Laurence Fox has risked sparking further controversy by criticising Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes for including a Sikh soldier in his World War I drama 1917.

The epic war movie has been nominated for ten Oscars — including Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture.

But despite these plaudits, Fox, 41, has questioned the credibility of the film's storyline and what he describes as the 'incongruous' inclusion of a Sikh soldier, Sepoy Jondalar, played by Nabhaan Rizwan, in the ranks of British forces.

This, says Fox, causes 'a very heightened awareness of the colour of someone's skin' because of 'the oddness of the casting'.

Speaking on writer James Delingpole's podcast, Fox, until recently best known as the star of ITV drama Lewis, adds: 'It's like, 'There were Sikhs fighting in this war' . . . OK, you're now diverting me away from what the story is. There is something institutionally racist about forcing diversity on people in that way.'

Fox emphasises that his observations are no reflection on the quality of Rizwan's performance.

'He's great in it,' he says, before arguing that having a Sikh appear in the British Army 'did sort of flick me out of what is essentially a one-shot film [because] it's just incongruous with the story'.

Sikhs fought with outstanding bravery in their own regiments, rather than in British ones, in many of World War I's most horrific battles, including Ypres and the Somme.

Sir Sam Mendes's representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

Asked if he would be offered 'more, better roles' if he espoused 'different views', Fox agrees that is the case, but adds: 'What's the point? You don't want to go into a work environment and have someone thought-police you.'

Fox hit headlines last week when, as a guest panellist on the BBC's Question Time, he clashed with an audience member after she branded him a 'white, privileged male'.


Tens of thousands of gun rights supporters converge on Virginia State Capitol, peace ensues

The liberal media and their favorite racist, Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA), must be bitterly disappointed. (For those who don’t follow Virginia politics, the governor admitted to wearing blackface but claims to have no idea why he had the nickname “Coonman” in college; unfortunately, this information was successfully hidden from voters until well after the 2017 election.) They portrayed a Second Amendment event in Richmond, Virginia’s capital, as being a gathering of potentially violent radicals. But the Left’s narrative was wrong once again: the rally was attended by law-abiding citizens, and it was peaceful.

Since Democrats seized control of the state legislature, they have passed several anti-gun bills, including a “red flag” bill, a bill to limit handgun purchases, a bill to expand background checks, a ban on guns at the Capitol, and a bill allowing localities to further infringe upon gun owners’ rights. Two other anti-gun bills were also proposed: a bill banning “assault” weapons, silencers, and high-capacity magazines and a spiteful bill designed to close the National Rifle Association’s gun range at its headquarters in Northern Virginia. The Democrats’ anti-gun agenda has sparked quite a backlash across the Commonwealth and scores of localities have recently declared themselves to be Second Amendment sanctuaries.

To advance his narrative and anger gun rights advocates, the governor pulled out all the stops to gin up fear over the rally – declaring a temporary state of emergency, putting up a fence all around the State Capitol to limit admittance, temporarily banning guns on Capitol grounds, bringing in State Troopers and a SWAT vehicle to augment the Capitol Police, having a police helicopter hover overhead for hours, and blocking streets with dump trucks. Also spotted near the Capitol were ambulances from a nearby county as well as two mass casualty buses: one from a neighboring county and another from a city 60 miles away. In the end, all of the attempts to provoke rallygoers into violence failed.

This successful event was organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Every year, the gun rights organization puts together a Lobby Day on Martin Luther Day when many people have the day off. (The regular sessions of Virginia’s legislature only last 45-60 days a year so time is short between when bills are introduced and when they are voted upon.) Were Democrats not bent on assaulting Virginians’ Constitutional rights, this year’s Lobby Day would likely have been yet another low-profile event.

In spite of the cold weather, the rally drew tens of thousands of attendees. Of course, Virginians from all across the Commonwealth – including some who live far from the capital and got on the road in the wee hours of the morning – attended. The event also drew Second Amendment supporters from states hundreds of miles away. Fortunately, the Left’s lie that the event was a white nationalist rally did not prevent minorities who support the Second Amendment from attending. Rallygoers flew American flags, Colonial Era flags, Trump flags, and even a Hong Kong flag.

The rally took place nearly without a hitch. There was no violence, and out of the many attendees, only one was arrested – after two warnings – for wearing a bandanna in violation of the state’s anti-mask law (which was put in place to fight the Ku Klux Klan). As is typical with conservative events, the rally area was not trashed. In fact, volunteers were walking around and picking up trash as the event wound down.

Once again, the liberal media and the racist governor have beclowned themselves with their attempts to smear the Right. Gun owners showed up in Richmond in large numbers and demonstrated that an armed society is a polite society. There was no need for the governor to waste taxpayers’ money on his show of force. With their hopes of violence at the rally dashed, the Left will now have to try to find another excuse for their gun-grabbing agenda.



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, 2020  

Severe diets wont help you to live longer -- but some less restrictive diets will

Association of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets With Mortality Among US Adults

Zhilei Shan et al.

Key Points

Question  What are the associations of types of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets with mortality among US adults?

Findings  In this cohort study of 37 233 US adults 20 years or older, overall low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets were not associated with total mortality, but a healthy low-carbohydrate diet (lower amounts of low-quality carbohydrates and higher amounts of plant protein and unsaturated fat) and a healthy low-fat diet (lower amounts of saturated fat and higher amounts of high-quality carbohydrates and plant protein) were associated with lower total mortality.

Meaning  The associations of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets with mortality may depend on the quality and food sources of macronutrients.


Importance  It is crucial to incorporate quality and types of carbohydrate and fat when investigating the associations of low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets with mortality.

Objective  To investigate the associations of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets with total and cause-specific mortality among US adults.

Design, Setting, and Participants  This prospective cohort study used data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2014 from 37 233 adults 20 years or older with 24-hour dietary recall data. Data were analyzed from July 5 to August 27, 2019.

Exposures  Overall, unhealthy, and healthy low-carbohydrate-diet and low-fat-diet scores based on the percentage of energy as total and subtypes of carbohydrate, fat, and protein.

Main Outcomes and Measures  All-cause mortality from baseline until December 31, 2015, linked to National Death Index mortality data.

Results  A total of 37 233 US adults (mean [SD] age, 49.7 [18.3] years; 19 598 [52.6%] female) were included in the present analysis. During 297 768 person-years of follow-up, 4866 total deaths occurred. Overall low-carbohydrate-diet and low-fat-diet scores were not associated with total mortality. The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for total mortality per 20-percentile increase in dietary scores were 1.07 (95% CI, 1.02-1.11; P?=?.01 for trend) for unhealthy low-carbohydrate-diet score, 0.91 (95% CI, 0.87-0.95; P?<?.001 for trend) for healthy low-carbohydrate-diet score, 1.06 (95% CI, 1.01-1.12; P?=?.04 for trend) for unhealthy low-fat-diet score, and 0.89 (95% CI, 0.85-0.93; P?<?.001 for trend) for healthy low-fat-diet score. The associations remained similar in the stratification and sensitivity analyses.

Conclusions and Relevance  In this study, overall low-carbohydrate-diet and low-fat-diet scores were not associated with total mortality. Unhealthy low-carbohydrate-diet and low-fat-diet scores were associated with higher total mortality, whereas healthy low-carbohydrate-diet and low-fat-diet scores were associated with lower total mortality. These findings suggest that the associations of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets with mortality may depend on the quality and food sources of macronutrients.


Gender, sex and using non-binary pronouns

When I was in middle school, my history teacher told our class that no one was fully male or female, that we were all comprised of masculine and feminine traits. It was hard for us to fully comprehend, and I recall a few uneasy chuckles, but it marked the beginning of my grasping that gender identity exists along a spectrum. This made acceptance of transgender identity a non-issue for me when “gender” pronouns recently turned into a controversial topic.

Still, I have come to reject the use of non-binary pronouns, believing you should be referred to by whatever sex you happen to be. The reason I do so — even at the risk of being fined $250,000 in New York or running afoul of administrators at Stanford — is that when interacting with someone, my intuitive reference point is one’s biological sex, not his or her sexual identity (gender).

That is, I look past the expression of self which I accept and even celebrate as their right, to try and discern what sex they are. The process is swift and automatic, perhaps even evolutionary, a way of ordering the world and even determining who anatomically is a prospective mate. In other words, we may call them gender pronouns but they’ve always operated for me, and I suspect for the majority of Americans, Pew Research found, who see the addition of “gender” pronouns as illogical, as sex pronouns.

As it turns out, much of what we claim relates to gender actually concerns our physical, biological selves.

In being asked to tick off a “gender” box at the doctor’s office, you’re really being asked about your sex; your gender can’t, for example, tell the doctor whether to check you for prostate cancer. Public restrooms are designed with your sex in mind. So are bras and blue jeans, and, for better or worse, crash test dummies and science equipment. In police reports, substituting your preferred gender for sex make it harder to corroborate a victim’s rape claim.

This is not to take issue with where you relieve yourself or what you wear. It is to point out that the pronoun police and the rest of us are applying pronouns to people through fundamentally different lenses, one emphasizing who a person feels like (culturally), the other who the person is (anatomically).

Neither usage, though, indicates the user’s attitude toward trans people. (I for one am committed to calling trans people whichever sex they turn into after reassignment surgery, and in the meantime fully accept their gender nonconformity.) Thus, the claim in places like New York that those who refuse to comply with a pronoun of one’s choosing are discriminatory is baseless — and itself runs the risk of being discriminatory against a whole range of people, from the anatomically and grammatically correct to people of faith. A Virginia teacher is suing after being fired for not using a student’s preferred pronoun on religious grounds.

Further, forcing others to expand their gender vocabulary often hinders greater acceptance and integration. A friend who recently participated in a video game design competition balked at congratulating the winning team because the seeming contradiction between its members’ gendered and biological selves left him fearful he might address them by the “wrong” pronoun. Unfortunately, another friend who is transitioning to becoming a man refused to accept our differing views on when it’s acceptable to be called by a new pronoun and we haven’t spoken since.

Demanding special pronouns can also come across as narcissistic and leave people feeling bullied, which they naturally resent, threatening tolerance and good will.

It’s mostly white liberals (or perhaps more accurately, woke white “liberals”) who favor preferred pronouns. Nearly half of Democrats don’t see the point, and clear majorities among Latinos, blacks and whites don’t either, according to a recent poll. Even readers of The New York Times are dissenting, with readers responding to an op-ed bashing “those traditional, uselessly gendered pronouns” by saying that adding pronouns “is a power play,” “pretty silly as well as confusing,” “imposing your will on others,” “a gift to the queer-haters out there,” “an example of painfully theatric political correctness” that is “absurd” in its “attitude that we must all conform to make everyone else feel special and perfect all the time” (culled from the six most popular reader responses).

Commendably, new “gender” pronouns seek to bridge the disconnect between what transgender people are and what they feel like, but this simplifies rather than expands on their identity. If, for example, someone claims to be a “himer,” all that tells me in the vaguest of terms is that the person is not comfortable being called a man or a woman. (If it really matters that I acknowledge your gender dysphoria, you’re better off saying, I’m a man or a woman but I feel like … fill in the blank. That’s more transparent and contextual, and I’m more likely to empathize.)

So, rather than try, and politically charging our interactions in the process, we would be better off renaming “gender” pronouns themselves — to say “anatomical” or “sex” pronouns (and a third available to intersex individuals). This would be more in line with how they typically function, and limit false expectations of what non-binary pronouns can achieve. It will also free us to be more substantively inclusive.


World's Tiniest Surviving Preemie Shows Abortion Isn't in Line With Science or Common Sense

Last summer the nation’s imagination was captivated by a beautiful newborn baby girl called Saybie, who left the hospital weighing 5 pounds, 6 ounces. Doctors said she was born in December only 23 weeks into her mother’s pregnancy and was just about the size of an apple, weighing less than 9 ounces.

Her parents were told that Saybie — a name used by her care team — couldn’t survive. But Saybie’s parents didn’t give up hope. Modern medical science saved this tiny baby’s precious life and she is now thriving.

The San Diego hospital where she was born said Saybie is believed to be the world’s smallest surviving newborn, according to the Tiniest Babies Registry kept by the University of Iowa.

I and other pro-life Americans noted on Twitter and other platforms that Saybie is living proof that science is on the side of the pro-life cause. Her very survival must raise questions for our nation regarding current law on abortion.

The late Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun famously said regarding the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court that legalized abortion nationwide: “If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment.”

And, of course, we are there now. Sonograms — 3D, 4D, and HD — have settled the question of when life begins. At conception, a child has his or her own DNA separate and apart from the mother. We can see the baby’s beating heart as early as 18 days. At 30 days the developing little boy or girl has a nervous system.

At 12 weeks the child has fingernails. At 20 weeks the baby has all the major organs we have, along with toenails and eyebrows. The child can sleep, can hear, can respond to the mother’s voice, and can feel pain.

Clearly, sweet Saybie was not just a clump of cells, nor was she ever “a part of the mother’s body.” Saybie was and is a distinct and precious human being with intrinsic value. And now she has the opportunity to grow up and hopefully live a full life for many decades to come.

Reports say that doctors performed an emergency cesarean section because Saybie’s mother’s life was in danger; yet, precious Saybie and her mother survived.

Sadly, 31 states currently allow an abortionist to take the life of other babies at the same stage in development as Saybie. Why do the lives of their children not matter?

According to abortion advocates, life depends upon the state of mind of the mother — whether the child is “wanted.” That’s a nonsensical argument refuted by science.

Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry make billions of dollars each year from scared mothers and dead babies. We are at a tipping point in our nation in which the facts can no longer be denied. Roe v. Wade is no longer in line with either science or public opinion.

People of conscience refuse to ignore the human right of a living human being to not be dismembered and discarded by a utilitarian society that finds the baby inconvenient.

More and more Americans agree and are overwhelmingly rejecting the radical abortion extremism we have seen in states like Virginia and New York.

Recent pro-life legislation in states like Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana is partly a response to the left’s rejection of truth. Americans are now in the process of setting new boundaries, given these undeniable scientific facts of human life like Saybie.

Roe v. Wade must go because it is no longer supported by science or common sense. States will fight out their own boundaries, but one thing is certain: Saybie is living proof that science is pro-life.


Australia: Dozens of vegans storm a steakhouse and ruin people's dinners in protest against eating meat - but run away scared when the police are called

Vegan activists have stormed a Queensland restaurant as part of a protest against the meat industry.

Protesters held up signs and repeated the chant 'it's not food, it's violence' in the middle of the Black Hide Steakhouse in Brisbane at the weekend.

The protest was part of a global movement by activist group Direct Action Everywhere.

The group live-streamed the protest to Facebook, urging animal rights supporters to share the video and spread their message. 

'We're at a steakhouse to disrupt normalised violence,' the woman filming the video said. 'We have around 25 dedicated animal rights activists standing in solidarity for animals that are needlessly slaughtered for food.

'We have the choice to end violence with our dollar and in 2020 there is no longer an excuse to pay for someone else's suffering.'

The diners appeared uncomfortable as the group stood in the middle of the restaurant chanting and holding their signs.

Others stood out the front of the steakhouse confronting those who entered the restaurant with their message against meat.

The group are well known for their activities in Western Australia, where they have held several marches and protested outside abattoirs and butchers shops near Perth.

Direct Action Everywhere spokesman Arcadiusz Swiebodinksi said the group planned more protests in Queensland.

'We came here to Brisbane because its a very heavy animal agriculture state here in Queensland and animals need to be spoken for everywhere, he told 7 News. 'This is just the beginning.'

One diner said he was unhappy about having his dinner interrupted. 'Don't interrupt other people's life everyone has got a right to make a choice - they can make there's.  Let the people here who like eating steak make theirs,' he said.

Others offered their support to the steakhouse on social media.  'Hi, sorry you had to put up with those vegan d**k heads last night. We love eating your steak,' one person wrote.

The protest lasted less than 20 minutes, and by the time police arrived the activists had already left.



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, 2020  

New Study Claims ‘Trans’ Kids Know Their Real Gender Identity. Here’s Why It’s Flawed

Young children can know that they are transgender. At least, that’s what some researchers are now claiming.

A December report released in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claims to show that transgender children sense their true “gender identity” and even align with clothing and toy preferences of that gender at a young age.

The study addresses the age-old “nature vs. nurture” debate that has long fascinated psychologists and parents alike.

This is one of the first studies to be released that examines gender identity in relation to children and their development. The authors claim it “provides the largest report to date of the experiences of these early-transitioning children’s gender development.”

The study analyzes transgender-identifying children alongside “cisgender” children to see if they are innately drawn to gender-stereotyped toys and clothes, and if so, by what pattern.

For the study, researchers interviewed 317 allegedly transgender children, ages 3 to 12, along with 189 of their cisgender siblings and 316 cisgender kids who were not related.

The study’s conclusion, on its face, seems to confirm progressive thought on the subject.

“Trans kids are showing strong identities and preferences that are different from their assigned sex,” the study’s lead author, Selin Gulgoz, said in a press statement. “There is almost no difference between these trans and cisgender kids of the same gender identity—both in how, and the extent to which, they identify with their gender or express that gender.”

But a deeper look reveals the facts aren’t so neat. The study appears to contradict itself, other similar studies, and on certain points, even the typical progressive mantra that dispenses with gender stereotypes.

The Findings

The report revealed a number of “findings.”

First, it found that children who are just “cisgender” and children who have transitioned to the opposite gender identity prefer toys and clothing that align with the stereotypes matching their “current” gender. So, a boy born male living as a male still prefers boots and trucks, and a boy born male who has socially transitioned to female prefers dresses and dolls.

Second, it found that transgender children’s preferences were consistent with their gender identity just as the cisgender siblings or other cisgender kids continued to prefer things that matched their biological sex of birth.

At first glance, these findings might seem groundbreaking in providing a science-based affirmation of the trans phenomenon. But a closer look shows they are neither groundbreaking nor affirming.

Let’s take the first finding: The study says some 300 transgender kids—that is, kids who already identify as the gender opposite their birth sex—identify as transgender and prefer toys and clothes that match their gender identity, not their birth sex.

Well, of course. The kids surveyed were already either identifying as transgender or living as cisgender, so it’s impossible to tell from the study whether their toy and clothing preferences were innate. The results were baked into the cake.

Now, clinics, educational resources, and “news” articles about transgender kids implore parents to affirm their child’s dysphoria and help them socially or medically transition. They have been living as the opposite sex, so one would expect them to prefer toys and clothing that affirm that identity.

But those preferences don’t prove that their gender identity is innate or present at birth. They could also have been cultivated by outside factors, like parents or counselors. And if so, that would comport with the high affirmation rate previously mentioned.

This presents a fundamentally flawed scenario: The study’s main finding employs circular logic at best and an obvious bias at worst.

The Big Contradiction

Only one finding in the survey made any logical sense, though since most of it seems like garbage, I’m tempted to disregard this point as well.

The summary of the survey gave reason to be skeptical about trans children’s supposed gender identity: “Our findings suggest that early sex assignment and parental rearing based on that sex assignment do not always define how a child identifies or expresses gender later.”

The study goes on to note how gender feelings can change: “Gender expression or identity for some of them might shift in the future, or their level of support and affirmation might change.”

The authors seem to admit that if children can choose to change from one gender to another, they can choose to change back.

But this finding contradicts the first two findings of the study: If transgender children are so confident in their supposed gender identity, how did the researchers discover that these same children may “identify” as something different later on?

To say it another way: How can this study affirm that gender identity is real and valid, while also suggesting that children can later revert back to their sex at birth? Doesn’t the latter finding suggest that gender is actually binary, that it doesn’t exist on a spectrum, and that both sex and gender are innate from birth?

Biology Still a Key Factor

Few studies have been conducted so far on the topic of transgender kids, toy preferences, and development. However, there was an interesting 2017 study done on how children express gender through their toy preferences. That study may reframe this debate somewhat.

The study, published in the Infant and Child Development Journal, found that gender has its basis in a “biological origin.” Though it makes no mention of transgender children, it contradicts the often-cited progressive concept that gender is a social construct.

The authors of the study observed children, their toys, and methods of play. Through a meta-analysis of past research—they reviewed 16 different studies on the topic of sex differences of 1,600 children in total—the authors found that innate biology seems to influence boys and girls’ toy choices.

“Despite methodological variation in the choice and number of toys offered, context of testing, and age of child, the consistency in finding sex differences in children’s preferences for toys typed to their own gender indicates the strength of this phenomenon and the likelihood that has a biological origin,” the study says.

This study shows how problematic the recently released transgender report is when examined thoroughly. Whether children are born biological males or females, or whether they have simply chosen to identify with the other sex as transgender, they’ll prefer toys that align with that gender stereotype.

It also demonstrates why, if they choose to revert back to their birth sex, they change their toy preferences too.

While most of this study seemed biased, based on circular reasoning, and essentially hackery based on ideological commitments, it is true that more research is needed on children with gender dysphoria. We do not yet know why gender dysphoria appears in some children and why some grow out of it altogether.

What is essential, however, is that academic research begin with a logical premise, include a larger swath of children, and stay clear of circular reasoning or any hints of ideological propaganda. If studies fail on these points, they will be biased from the get-go and unhelpful.


Boris Johnson on collision course with big business groups as aides plan to ditch two-year hiatus before new immigration rules

Boris Johnson is preparing to impose new restrictions on low-skilled migrants moving to Britain on the first day after the Brexit transition period ends in December, the Telegraph can disclose.

Under radical new plans being drawn up by the Prime Minister's aides, the Government would effectively bring forward its post-Brexit immigration shake-up by two years - removing a temporary extension of the current rules until 2023, that had been demanded by business groups and promised by Theresa May.

The proposals are expected to be presented to the Cabinet this week by Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, as part of a paper on the UK's future immigration system.

A No 10 source confirmed: "We need to deliver change and businesses need to be prepared for uncontrolled migration of low skilled workers to end this year.”

The move will put Mr Johnson and Ms Patel on a collision course with business groups such as the Confederation of British Industry, which has insisted that firms will need "at least two years to adapt to any new immigration system.”

The disclosure comes after Sajid Javid, the Chancellor, issued a separate warning to businesses to drop their demands for the UK to stay closely tied to the EU after Brexit, saying that firms had had three years to prepare for Brexit.

Mr Johnson is planning to introduce an Australia-style points-based immigration system.

During the election campaign he revealed that the scheme would include preventing lower-skilled workers moving to the UK unless there is a "specific shortage" of staff in their sector, such as construction.

Those who arrive will only be able to stay in the UK temporarily.

Mrs May's immigration white paper, published in 2018 while Mr Javid was Home Secretary, acknowledged the "challenges faced by ... employers ... who would find it difficult immediately to adapt" to new immigration rules.

It proposed a "time-limited route for temporary short-term workers" to come to the UK, amounting to two years in total.

However Mr Johnson's aides are understood to have concluded that the public will expect to see significant changes to the country's border policy once the Brexit transition period ends in December.

A key pledge of the official Leave campaign was to "take back control".

Mr Johnson will make a final decision following a review being carried out by the Migration Advisory Committee on how a points-based system would work.

One option that is understood to have found favour with No 10 is replacing the current entry rights for low-skilled workers with quotas for specific sectors, such as the construction industry.

A No 10 source said: “As we leave the EU in just over ten days time, we have an unprecedented opportunity to change the way our immigration system works.

"There is a clear drive for talented and skilled workers from around the world to come to the UK, but we also need to see a reduction in the number of unskilled workers and those without a job entering the UK and that’s why this will be coming to an end when the transition period ends in December." 


Couple suing DCF over alleged assault of their daughter by foster child with abusive history

A former foster family can move ahead with a lawsuit against the Department of Children and Families claiming the agency placed a foster child with a history of being a “perpetrator of sexual abuse” in its home without sharing his background, only to then have the boy allegedly sexually assault the parents’ daughter, a court ruled Thursday.

The Massachusetts Appeals Court decision could have wide ramifications for the department, advocates and attorneys said, by possibly pushing it to disclose more about the children they are placing with foster families, and in how it’s able to defend itself in potential future litigation.

The family said Thursday they’re still digesting the ruling. The former foster mother, who is referred to by a pseudonym in the appellate court decision, told the Globe she felt deceived by DCF. Her daughter, now 11, disclosed the alleged sexual assault to her father in 2013 on the day of her fifth birthday party, according to court records.

“You put your kids to bed at night, you lock your doors, you turn on the alarm. And your 4-year-old wakes up from a nightmare, and says there’s a monster in their room,” said the mother, who the Globe is not identifying, at her request, to protect her daughter’s identity. “You do the flashlight check and you put them back to bed. Then, to find out the monster was real and put in your home by the very agency that is supposed to protect children, it’s pretty emotionally destroying.”

The foster family sued DCF in July 2016 in Middlesex County Superior Court, arguing that DCF was negligent and that if the parents had known the then-12-year-old boy’s history, they would not have agreed to take him in.

A superior court judge dismissed the case on grounds the agency was protected by “sovereign immunity,” which means a private party can’t take a state agency to court outside certain exceptions.

But the appellate court overturned the decision, ruling that the contract DCF signed with the parents gave “explicit and specific assurance that the department would provide the parents with sufficient information” before they decided to foster the child.

“That assurance, made to the parents, is unambiguous,” the court wrote. “If the plaintiffs’ allegations are proven, the department violated its contractual commitment by failing to provide the parents with information known to it.”

The appellate decision sends the case back to superior court. A DCF spokeswoman, citing the pending litigation, declined to comment on whether it would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Judicial Court.

“The decision can open up floodgates,” said Kevin Patrick Seaver, a Boston attorney who specializes in legal matters involving DCF but is not involved in the case. “It could require DCF to give a lot more information about foster children who are being adopted or placed in a foster home. It’s a fine line that DCF has to walk.”

Gregory A. Hession, who is representing the foster parents and their daughter, said he’s open to discussing a possible settlement with DCF, but that he’s prepared to bring the case to trial.

“I think it raises the bar and could likely change their policies,” Hession said of DCF. He said the parents, who the court noted had fostered hundreds of children, is still dealing with the fallout of the situation.

“This was their worst nightmare,” he said, “and it’s continuing to be a nightmare.”

According to court records, DCF had asked the mother in May 2013 if she could foster the boy, then 12, for a few days, but a caseworker provided little information beyond that his grandmother had passed away and that his aunt did not have legal custody.

DCF, however, was aware the boy had a history of sexual abuse, according to the complaint. Medical records obtained by the parents disclosed he was both a victim, at the a hands of a step grandfather, and a perpetrator, having tried to climb into bed with a relative and “touch and kiss her,” according to the appellate decision.

The parents had twice requested that DCF remove the boy from their home for “behavioral problems,” according to court records. But not only was he not removed, a DCF caseworker enrolled him in the public school in the parents’ town without telling them, the parents alleged.

That September, as the family was waiting for guests to arrive for the daughter’s birthday party, she told her father the boy had assaulted her.

“I never did foster care for any other reason other than to help the kids,” the mother told the Globe. “You trust the agency that they’ll give [the information] you need.”

Susan Elsen, a child welfare advocate at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, said the decision could have “significant implications” on how DCF communicates with the thousands of foster families it deals with, and it also can have legal ramifications.

“I think it makes clear that sovereign immunity is not absolute,” she said.

The state’s foster care system has been battered by a litany of problems and headlines over the last year. Children are bouncing between homes within the foster care system at a rate nearly double the national standard, a new department report revealed. And teens in foster care are graduating high school at a rate far below DCF’s own goals.

The Baker administration in May announced a raft of changes to the system, including efforts to more aggressively recruit and retain foster families. It came after a series of Globe stories revealed an overwhelmed and understaffed system in which children are being shifted from home to home. And frustrated foster parents are dropping out at a time when the state needs more of them.

DCF said this month that since January 2017, it has seen a net gain of more than 300 new foster families, leaving it with 2,297 foster homes, plus 2,036 other so-called kinship homes, where a foster child stays with a relative. But that has come as 2,350 foster families have stopped accepting placements between then and Nov. 1.


Housing costs are a problem in Boston and beyond, but rent control isn’t the answer

The recent elections for the Boston City Council focused on the high price of housing in the city. The median price of a single-family home has risen more than 75 percent over a decade and now stands at $615,000. This is nearly triple the nationwide median price of $225,000. Median rents in Boston have also soared, going up 60 percent in 10 years. This has led to renewed focus on rent control as a solution to the housing crisis. A move to rent control in Boston would follow in the footsteps of recent rent control initiatives in California, Oregon, and New York City.

While housing costs in Boston are a problem, rent control is not the answer. Economics research shows that rent control will benefit some renters already in place, but will lead to a reduced supply of housing that will ultimately make housing less available for Bostonians — and less fairly distributed.

Perhaps the best example of the problems with rent control come from the experience of San Francisco. In 1994, the city expanded its rent control program to include a set of buildings that had been excluded based on size of the building and year of construction — but left other similar nearby buildings to be priced under the free market. This law had the intended effect of reducing the exit of existing tenants from the newly rent-controlled properties.

But the unintended consequences were costly. Landlords of the newly rent-controlled properties responded by removing them in large numbers from the rental market through condo conversation and other redevelopment. Over time, the result was a dramatic 15 percent reduction in the rental supply of small multi-family housing — which led to higher rents over the entire city. Moreover, since many of the rental properties were converted to higher-end owner-occupied condos, the housing stock became more elitist — further creating barriers to a thriving middle class in the city. Taken together, rent control increased, rather than decreased, the gentrification of San Francisco.

Looking at the Bay Area today, it’s clear rent control does little to help low- or middle-income families. The residents of these rent-controlled units had 8 percent higher income than those in noncontrolled housing. They were also 60 percent less likely to be a minority.

So if rent control doesn’t solve the problem, what does? The answer, unfortunately, is the one that economists have pointed to repeatedly for decades: reduce regulatory barriers to increasing the supply of housing and lowering prices. For example, a common restriction used in the Greater Boston area is minimum lot sizes — sometimes of an acre or more. One recent study found that imposing a minimum lot size of an acre per housing unit lowered new construction by 50 percent and increased housing prices by 12 percent. This is the effect of just a single type of regulation, of which there are many. Research collecting and aggregating all these complex policies into a single index to compare across cities shows that Greater Boston is the second most land-use regulated housing market in the country. Easing these restrictions to allow more new housing supply is the key solution to the housing affordability problem.

If the solution is that simple, why hasn’t it happened already? One possible answer is also quite simple: Existing residents of neighborhoods are usually opposed. A concern we often hear is that more supply will raise the prices that residents pay for housing through gentrification. Of course, this is not consistent with economic theory or evidence. Indeed, most of the evidence shows that adding new developments lowers surrounding housing prices — and certainly lowers the total cost of housing in the city.

But these concerns persist, and they place repeated barriers to new development. So we suggest not just relying on economic evidence but putting in place an explicit mechanism to protect existing renters from the risk of a “gentrification premium”: rental insurance. Under such a plan, neighbors around a new development would receive a monthly check from the government that compensates them partially for the rise in rents in their neighborhood above expectation. This check would be targeted to low- and middle-income families to ensure that housing policy changes aren’t just furthering gentrification.

Families could use this check to offset the higher neighborhood rents or could use it to compensate them for moving elsewhere. Either way, families are protected from the potentially higher costs of living in their neighborhood — without creating incentives for individuals to stay in place and for landlords to remove property from the rental pool.

To solve the problem of high housing prices in Boston, we need more supply. But this means creative solutions that can help smooth the way to removing barriers to supply. Rental insurance could be part of the solution.



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, 2020  

Unexpectedly! Bail 'Reform' Turns Into a Bonanza for Repeat Offenders

The gameshow in my mind goes like this today:

Contestant: "Alex, I'll take 'Least Unexpected Things to Happen in Democrat-Run Places' for $400, please."

Alex Trebek: "And the answer is: 'Catch and release and catch and release and catch and release.'"

Contestant: "What happens when you eliminate bail for most suspected criminals?"

Trebek: "Correct, and that's another $400 to your total."

The latest story of the Big Fail known as bail reform comes from New York. There, 21-year-old MS-13 gang member Eusebio Jax-Mejia was arrested on January 1, then released two days ago -- only to be arrested the very same day for the very same crime.

My friend Ashe Schow reports that Jax-Mejia was arrested the first time "after stealing a vehicle from Dutchess County and then giving Walton police a fake name." The charges were pretty serious according to WBNG, including "criminal possession of stolen property in the 3rd degree, a class D felony and false impersonation, a class B misdemeanor."

It sure seems like somebody knew how to ring in the new year in a big way, but Jax-Mejia wasn't quite done. Mere hours after his bail-free release, Jax-Mejia was in police custody once more for stealing yet another car, this time from right outside the Delaware County Public Safety building. The new charge, filed it seems while the old charges were still warm, was for class-D felony "grand larceny in the 3rd degree."

The Democrat-dominated New York State Assembly passed the reform last year as part of the state's annual budget, and it was signed into law by reform proponent Governor Andrew Cuomo. The new law eliminated "cash bail and pretrial detention for most low-level offenses." What that means is, many accused criminals are now free to hit the streets before their arraignment or trial based on nothing more substantial than their signature.

When a law-abiding citizen attaches their signature to something, be it a check to the utility company, a mortgage, or a business loan, it's supposed to mean something. But what does a signature mean to someone who steals cars (or worse) for a living?

Not much, which comes as zero surprise to anyone but progressive lawmakers.

On Saturday, the New York Post ran a crime story headlined: "Controversial bail reform springs serial robbery suspect — who then pulls off fifth heist." Gerod Woodberry was under arrest for his suspected involvement in no fewer than four bank robberies. Released under the new law, Woodberry -- you guessed it! -- (allegedly) robbed another bank the day after his release. He's still wanted by police, who will only have to release him again should they catch him again. According to a Fox News report by Talia Kaplan, Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr. said that "one of the most concerning things" is that law enforcement wastes resources rearresting people on the catch-and-release system.

Or maybe police will just shrug their shoulders and ask "Why bother?" about catching known crooks who will be right back out on the street in a day or two?

Also in New York this week, Jonathan Flores-Maldonado was killed by a repeat drunk driver, Jordan Randolph (allegedly). Randolph had been released without bail following his arrest for tampering with a court-mandated ignition interlock device. The device was supposed to prevent him from driving drunk, for which he'd already been convicted three times. Keeping his ass in jail would have prevented him from driving at all.

Here's yet another report from WLNY:

Eugene Webb, a 26-year-old homeless man, wasn’t smiling when cops arrested him for two separate unprovoked attacks on women within hours of each other, including a 23-year-old too terrified to show her face. The attack was so violent it knocked out a tooth.
“I got pushed from the side and then attacked again and I was punched in the head,” she said.

Webb might have been smiling today because under the new criminal justice reform laws, he was released without bail despite the fact that there was a warrant for his arrest for not showing up in court to face charges from a similar attack in September.

The situation has gotten so bad, so quickly, that Governor Cuomo is already backing away from the law he once supported, but hasn't yet committed to anything in particular.

In Democrat-dominated California, they didn't just eliminate most bail, under last year's Prop 47 they reclassified stealing anything under $960 and other nonviolent offenses as misdemeanors rather than felonies.

Can you guess what happened next? Of course you can.

Luis Miguel reported for The New American:

Voters made Prop 47 a reality by a large margin. Its proponents told the public that it would free up resources so police officers and prosecutors could focus on violent offenders.
But in places such as San Francisco, the policy has resulted in the creation of well-organized crime rings that sell shoplifted goods on the black market.

In fact, among the nation’s 20 largest cities, San Francisco now has the highest rate of property crime, which encompasses theft, shoplifting, and vandalism.

And it isn't just smalltime thieves taking advantage of lax laws. Miguel also spoke with Del Seymor from the non-profit group Code Tenderloin, who told him that "many of the criminal fences are internationally based, with fencers coming in from Mexico or Guatemala and smuggling stolen goods across the border." And that "many of these retail heists take place in the light of day and in full view of City Hall."

I used to live in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood way back when, and sure the streets had more than their fair share of homeless and hookers and pushers. But the little locally-owned stores and restaurants weren't the constant victims of international shoplifting rings, either.

In San Diego, NBC-7's Jackie Crea reported on a similar crime wave last November. Crea quoted a local 7-11 franchise owner complaining that shoplifting has become "unbearable. It’s out of control. You will have the same guy coming in five times a day, picking things out." The owner, Jassi Dhillon, described it as "a lifestyle" because "we can’t do anything much except take the loss." El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells told NBC-7 that on the off chance that a police officer actually does ticket a shoplifter, the ticket "usually ends up in the trashcan" because criminals know that they can't be treated as criminals under Prop 47.

Rob, rinse, repeat.

Just another case of Blue State voters getting what they asked for, good and hard.


Nigel Farage: I'm not sure I can face another uphill battle against our corrupt Establishment

With just 20 days to go until the UK leaves the European Union, some might say Nigel Farage ought to be in high spirits. The bill allowing the UK to leave the EU passed its third reading in the House of Commons this week, with a 99 majority. Instead, for the Brexit Party MEP, it feels like an aptly bumpy end to a turbulent chapter. As a British MEP of more than 20 years’ standing, his Brussels contract will officially expire in February. And his mainstream political career will end as it began in the 1990s – with him as a defiant and undecorated outsider.

Guffawing in his Westminster office at the Government’s decision not to bestow him with a New Year Honour for his vital role in getting Brexit done, Farage insists that he couldn’t “give a damn about peerages”. He means it. There is Burlesque Nigel Farage the marionnette-smiled political performer. And there is Unvarnished Nigel Farage, who tells you how it is while looking at you jabbingly in the pupils. Today, I am definitely talking more to the latter. As he lists all of the rotten aspects of the peerage system and the many times ministers tried to buy him off with one, his voice is clipped with canny self-reflection rather than contrived defiance.

With the Brexit saga entering a new phase, Farage now seems to be in the business of writing his exit scene as one of modern history’s biggest rebels against Westminster – “unless the Government drop the ball again”. Farage has certainly had time to mull things over of late; in recent days, he has been in recovery from a fairly invasive operation. “It was nothing life-threatening,” he chirps, poking his stomach. “Just a bit of carving about. I got very badly hurt in a plane crash in 2010.

There are big things to do after a thing like that, and there are little things. The fact that I am now dealing with little things hopefully means I’ve reached a moment in my life that a line is being drawn.” Eleven days on from his operation, Farage has lost none of his fire. That his office reeks cheerfully of tobacco somehow doesn’t come as a surprise. “Fitness is back on the agenda,” he insists, however. “Drinking less and exercising more.” And smoking? “A bit less,” he mutters, ferreting in his satchel for a piece of paper beneath a cigarette packet.

One thing Farage certainly isn’t cutting down on is polemical attacks on his rivals. Today, he is particularly withering of the “late middle-aged stuck-up Tory toffs” of the European Research Group (ERG). He believes some of its members have been telling Tory MPs they should not attend the £100k “Brexit Celebration Party” that Farage is organising for January 31 – a ticketed knees-up in Parliament Square where revellers will be able to raise a glass as Big Ben strikes 11pm, signalling that we have officially left the European Union.

(Within hours of an official site going live this week, more than 10,000 people had registered.) “What sad little lives they must live,” he booms, adding that, ever since Maastrich, they have been consistently useless as Eurosceptics in defeating the government of the day: “Would I want to stand next to any of them in a muddy field in France under fire? Forget it!”

On Ursula von der Leyen, the new president of the European Commission, who replaced Jean-Claude Juncker last month, he is no less forgiving: she is “living in an Alice-in-Wonderland PC world”. The EU is now “run by nobodies” and even more “disconnected from European voters” than it was when Farage was elected to it some 20 years ago. He insists he won’t miss Brussels “in the slightest”, and that Boris Johnson’s divorce deal is “dreadful”.

But, still, between the punchlines, I detect that Farage is not so much tired, as resigned. He knows that his days as the EU’s most thunderous opponent are numbered, and decisively predicts that “Brexit will go from front-page news to City page news by the summer”. It seems a shrewd assessment: the Brexit withdrawal bill passed in Parliament this week with little fanfare. “Do I personally want to take on the Establishment again, to which opposition to me is 90 per cent? Do I want to spend the next 15 years fighting an uphill battle? I don’t really know the answer to that,” he says, adding that he sees himself moving away from day-to-day politics to doing more commentary and writing books.

Top of his list is a controversial tome on political corruption, tackling allegations of voter fraud within ethnic communities in key constituencies, to the “rotten” peerage system. To this end, Farage intends to rebrand his Brexit Party as “the Reform Party” – to campaign for electoral reform, to expose postal-vote fraud and to take on the “retrograde” House of Lords.

Rather than tearing down the Establishment, he wants to chip away at its crooked foundations. “I’ve thrown up some ideas. I think that voting intimidation, and the whole system of patronage, particularly with respect to the House Lords, needs tackling.” Farage thinks some kind of radical, reforming movement on the Right will be needed to hold the “fuddy-duddy” Government’s feet to the fire.

He is sceptical about the authenticity of Dominic Cummings’ war on Whitehall: “Is this the same fight that says that the next ambassador to the USA must be a current civil servant?” he snickers. This week, Whitehall announced it was looking for a new man in Washington. Given his warm relationship with Donald Trump, Farage had long been been touted as an ideal person for the job, someone who could lead cordial post-Brexit trade deal negotiations with the United States.

From Farage, I detect a sliver of bitterness, adeptly slicked over with acid bewilderment. But, as usual, his criticism of the Government is pertinent: “The decision guarantees that nobody in the White House will even speak to whoever gets the job. How can you have Trump and his movers and shakers meeting a career diplomat? They won’t even speak the same language.” 

So does Farage think this is an early warning sign that Boris Johnson is not as quite as committed to forging a glorious new relationship with the United States as many Leavers hope? “Right now, Trump will be astonished that Boris has this week been on the phone to the Iranian president, backing the Iran nuclear deal,” he says, adding that he hopes the Prime Minister’s “timidity doesn’t get in the way”.

Even if Farage is ambivalent about Johnson’s authenticity, musing that, in Britain, “the Left has more moral courage than the Right”, he still thinks that populism has a powerful global future. He is adamant that Trump will win a second term, even though places such as Pennsylvania may not fall to the Republicans as easily as they did in 2016. Farage’s chemistry with the president is clearly a source of personal pride. A framed picture of that photograph with the pair in a glittering gold apartment lift sits on his windowsill.

But he is not planning on ditching Britain for the States any time soon, despite the constant swirl of rumours. Instead, he wants to spend time with his family, who have “been neglected massively over the years”. Fame has been “inhibiting” factor when it comes to family day trips, he admits, adding that: “It is difficult to do a lot of normal things.” Farage also has a heap of books on his shelves that he is determined to get through, starting with Sir David Starkey’s history of the Magna Carta, “one of the first flashes of British populism”, when the general public rose up against an unpopular king and revolting barons.

The crisp winter blue skies might even tempt him back onto the golf course, although pre-existing injuries have affected his swing. But perhaps the hardest thing that he has to do is face that his front-line political career is nearing its end. “Nobody in this country has come closer than me to smashing the system,” he says. “I succeeded in one way, and failed in another. It’s not everything I want – but victory never is.”


Religiously driven, anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers are replacing Planned Parenthood

The Obria clinic in Whittier, California:  For most of its existence, this clinic has been known as the Whittier Pregnancy Care Clinic, a religious ministry that offers free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds in the hopes of dissuading women facing an unplanned pregnancy from having an abortion. The clinic provides lots of things: free diapers and baby supplies, and post-abortion Bible-based counseling. What the clinic has never provided is birth control.

When the Whittier clinic was strictly saving babies for the Lord, its refusal to dispense even a single condom was a private religious matter in the eyes of its funders. But today, the clinic is part of Obria, a Southern California–based chain of Christian pregnancy centers that in March won a $5.1 million Title X grant to provide contraception and family planning services to low-income women over three years. Created in 1970, Title X is the only federal program solely devoted to providing family planning services across the country. Congress created the program to fulfill President Richard Nixon’s promise that “no American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition.” It serves 4 million low-income people nationwide annually on a budget of about $286 million and is estimated to prevent more than 800,000 unintended pregnancies every year.

Historically, federal regulations required that any organization receiving Title X funding “provide a broad range of acceptable and effective medically approved family planning methods.” But as I discovered during my visit to Whittier and other Obria clinics last summer, the organization’s clinics refuse to provide contraception. Nor do they refer patients to other providers for birth control.

Obria’s founder is opposed to all fda-approved forms of birth control and has privately reassured anti-abortion donors that Obria will never dispense contraception, even as she has aggressively sought federal funding that requires exactly those services. “We’re an abstinence-only organization. It always works,” Kathleen Eaton Bravo told the Catholic World Report in 2011. “And for those single women who have had sex before marriage, we encourage them to embrace a second virginity.”

Mara Gandal-Powers, director of birth control access at the nonprofit National Women’s Law Center, does not think Bravo’s stance “is in line with the intent of the Title X family planning program, but obviously they see it differently.”

Should the Trump administration survive another four years, Obria may represent the future of the Title X program. In 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services instituted a gag rule that banned clinics getting Title X money from providing patients with referrals for abortions. (Federal law prohibits the program from funding abortions.) Seven state governments and Planned Parenthood, which served 40 percent of Title X patients, decided to drop out of the program rather than comply.

But even before Planned Parenthood was squeezed out, the White House had been pushing to redirect Title X and other federal funds to anti-abortion organizations like the Whittier clinic, which juggles its mandates of health care and family planning with pushing abstinence-only sex education, dissuading women from having abortions, and intro­ducing them “to the love of Christ,” as its website says. In July, hhs awarded Obria nearly $500,000 from its teen pregnancy prevention program to provide “sexual risk avoidance” classes.

While Americans’ opinions on abortion are mixed, only 4 percent think contraception is immoral, and 99 percent of women who have had sex have used it. Which raises a big question: Now that Obria has won millions in taxpayer dollars to provide anti-abortion family planning services, will anyone use what they are offering?

OBRIA IS THE brainchild of Kathleen Eaton Bravo, a devout Catholic who set out to build a pro-life alternative to Planned Parenthood. “I wanted to create a comprehensive medical clinic model that could compete nose-to-nose with the large abortion providers,” she wrote on the Obria Group website. Bravo may seek to emulate Planned Parenthood’s organizational model, but she holds a dim view of it otherwise. In a 2015 interview with Catholic World Report, she claimed Planned Parenthood promoted a “‘hook-up,’ contraceptive mentality among our young people. They teach children as young as 12 that they can have sex without consequences.” She went on: “Today, Planned Parenthood promotes oral sex, anal sex, and S&M sex.”

Bravo did not respond to repeated requests for an interview. But she has said elsewhere that her involvement with the anti-­abortion movement began after having an abortion in California in 1980 amid the collapse of a first marriage. Afterward, she remarried, moved to Oklahoma, rediscovered her Catholic faith, and started volunteering at a pregnancy center that tried to convince women to carry unplanned pregnancies to term. Bravo has described driving to Kansas to pray in front of the clinic of Dr. George Tiller, who would be murdered in 2009 by an anti-abortion extremist.

In Bravo’s public statements, there are echoes of the “great replacement” theory of abortion. Abortion, she told Catholic World Report, “threatens our culture’s survival. Take the example of Europe. When its nations accepted contraception and abortion, they stopped replacing their population. Christianity began to die out. And, with Europeans having no children, immigrant Muslims came in to replace them, and now the culture of Europe is changing. The US faces a similar future.”

In 2015, the company hired a Massachusetts-based ad firm to set up virtual “fences” around family planning clinics to target “abortion-minded women,” according to the Massachusetts attorney general. When women entered the clinics, their smartphones would trip the fence, triggering a barrage of online Realoptions ads that said things like “Pregnant? It’s your choice. You have time...Be informed.” The ads, which steered women to the pregnancy center’s site, would continue to appear on their devices for a month after their clinic visit. The Massachusetts attorney general secured a settlement with the ad firm to end the practice in 2017 after alleging that it violated consumer protection laws.

Bravo’s vision for an anti-abortion rival to Planned Parenthood is deeply rooted in the crisis pregnancy center world. Bravo has said she wants to transform cpcs from “Pampers and a prayer” ministries into a network of “life-affirming” clinics that provide many of the services Planned Parenthood does— sti testing, ultrasounds, and cervical cancer screenings, but without the birth control, abortion, or abortion referrals. “I would close my doors before I do that,” she told the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal in 2015.

By the middle of 2006, Bravo had expanded Birth Choice to include four cpcs. She got the centers licensed and accredited as community clinics and installed ultrasound machines to increase their “conversion rate” by convincing abortion-minded women to stay pregnant. Grants from the evangelical Christian advocacy group Focus on the Family and the Catholic Knights of Columbus paid for the machines. In 2014, she rebranded the nonprofit chain as Obria (a vaguely medicalized name made up by a marketing firm, ostensibly based on the Spanish word obra, meaning “work”) and announced an aggressive expansion plan. Bravo became the ceo of a new nonprofit umbrella organization called the Obria Group and essentially turned the operation into a franchise.

The Obria Group doesn’t provide any medical services or even start new clinics. Rather, it’s a marketing arm that recruits existing cpcs to join the Obria network. Affiliated clinics pay a licensing fee to use the Obria name, but they remain separate legal entities with their own nonprofit status. (Bravo’s Birth Choice clinics are now a separate nonprofit called Obria Medical Clinics of Southern California, and she is no longer employed there or on its board.)

Bravo is politically well connected. On the Obria website, she brags that she “has built a network of high-powered supporters over the decades to include former U.S. presidents, Washington lawmakers, senators, prominent mega-churches, spiritual leaders and thousands of behind-the-scene players who move mountains to get things done.” Catholic World Report ran a prominent photo of her with President George W. Bush in 2010, when a Catholic business group presented them each with a Cardinal John J. O’Connor pro-life award. Obria’s advisory board was a who’s who of the pro-life movement, including Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family; Kristan Hawkins, a former official in Bush’s Department of Health and Human Services who worked on Trump’s pro-life advisory council during the 2016 campaign; and David Daleiden, ceo of the Center for Medical Progress, who was criminally charged in San Francisco for making undercover videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood selling tissue from aborted fetuses.

The Catholic Church and wealthy Catholic donors have provided much of Obria’s funding, including a $2.5 million grant from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for Obria’s expansion plans. But Bravo has also secured public funding. In 2005, Birth Choice nabbed a $148,800 congressional earmark to fund three pregnancy centers. Between 2009 and 2016, the Orange County Board of Supervisors gave the Obria Medical Clinics of Southern California more than $700,000 for abstinence-only sex-ed programming, money that had previously gone to Planned Parenthood. Obria has even scored help from Google, which in 2015 gave Obria $120,000 worth of free ads through its nonprofit grant program.


California Now Pushing Free Health Care for Illegal Immigrant Seniors

California is at it again with a proposal to extend free health care to illegal immigrant senior citizens.

Last July, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law that would extend Medicaid coverage to low-income illegal immigrants 25 years old and younger.

President Donald Trump, who made the border wall and stopping illegal immigration a central plank of his 2016 presidential campaign, took a jab at this policy.

“If you look at what they’re doing in California, how they’re treating people, they don’t treat their people as well as they treat illegal immigrants,” Trump said in a speech at the time. “So at what point does it stop? It’s crazy what they’re doing. It’s crazy. And it’s mean, and it’s very unfair to our citizens.”

Trump is right. California has waged a war on the concept of citizenship by essentially sidestepping the will of the American people and intentionally undermining immigration laws.

Worse, by extending social welfare to those illegal immigrants, the state is signaling that the concept of citizenship itself is meaningless.

It’s clear that California’s craziness doesn’t stop, as Newsom and the state’s Democrats have doubled down to extend free health care coverage to even greater numbers of illegal immigrants.

Newsom’s latest proposed budget now aims to extend free health care coverage to illegal immigrants 65 years old and older as a part of the state’s Medi-Cal program. This would add $80.5 million to the budget this year and $350 million annually once fully implemented, according to Politico.

Newsom has made a push to extend health care coverage to everyone in the state, including those who aren’t legal citizens.

“We believe universal health care lowers the cost for everybody,” Newsom said. “We believe the evidence bears that out. We believe it’s the right thing to do morally and ethically. We also believe it is the financially responsible thing to do.”

Is this the responsible thing to do? Beyond the issue of ignoring federal law, there is obviously a price to pay for covering the cost of health care for what could be millions of illegal immigrants.

Right now, California is flush with cash, in part because the American economy is booming and the tech sector is bringing in a huge amount of capital to the state. But what happens when there is a downturn with this explosion of future financial liabilities?

Remember, less than a decade ago, California’s politicians sought a bailout from the federal government to deal with a massive budget hole.

And a lot of the wealth the state needs to fund its massive tax-and-spend ways may simply dry up.

Many businesses in the state already have pulled up stakes rather than deal with onerous taxes and regulations.

Middle-class Californians are leaving the state in droves or say that they want to leave. The pressure to do so will be even greater if jobs dry up.

On top of that, the state has been hit with a massive homelessness crisis, a jarring sign of dysfunction when contrasted with notable pockets of opulence.

To that point, although California is doing its best to encourage illegal immigration and add newcomers to the dole, it’s also finding ways to kill jobs for people looking to make ends meet.

Recently enacted legislation has made freelance work nearly impossible, and represents the kind of lunacy that has gripped the political and intellectual powers that be in the Golden State.

For those wealthy enough to enjoy the fruits of California’s many notable benefits—wonderful climate, beautiful landscape, and interesting cities—things are going fine.

But for those not so fortunate, the state is becoming increasingly inhospitable, the result of a toxic stew of bad laws, failed promises, and misplaced blame.



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

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

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


20 January, 2020  

Eating your veggies does not stop cancer

My heading above is a bit overgeneralized in that there are some differences between prostate and other cancers but the study is nonetheless a big blow for the veggie evangelists.  It was precisely the veggies most recommended for prostates that failed to have any effect in this study.  So if you have prostate cancer (as I have) order a juicy steak with all the trimmings tonight

Effect of a Behavioral Intervention to Increase Vegetable Consumption on Cancer Progression Among Men With Early-Stage Prostate Cancer

J. Kellogg Parsons with Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all

Findings:  In this randomized clinical trial that included 478 patients, there was no significant difference in prostate cancer progression over 2 years among men who participated in a counseling program that encouraged consumption of leafy green, carotenoid, and cruciferous vegetables compared with controls (hazard ratio, 0.96).


Importance:  Guidelines endorsing vegetable-enriched diets to improve outcomes for prostate cancer survivors are based on expert opinion, preclinical studies, and observational data.

Objective:  To determine the effect of a behavioral intervention that increased vegetable intake on cancer progression in men with early-stage prostate cancer.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  The Men’s Eating and Living (MEAL) Study (CALGB 70807 [Alliance]) was a randomized clinical trial conducted at 91 US urology and medical oncology clinics that enrolled 478 men aged 50 to 80 years with biopsy-proven prostate adenocarcinoma (International Society of Urological Pathology grade group?=?1 in those <70 10="" 2011="" 2013="" 2015="" 2017.="" 24-month="" and="" antigen="" august="" br="" ct2a="" enrollment="" follow-up="" from="" in="" january="" less="" level="" ml.="" ng="" occurred="" or="" prostate-specific="" serum="" stage="" than="" those="" to="" years="">
Interventions:  Patients were randomized to a counseling behavioral intervention by telephone promoting consumption of 7 or more daily vegetable servings (MEAL intervention; n?=?237) or a control group, which received written information about diet and prostate cancer (n?=?241).

Main Outcomes and Measures:  The primary outcome was time to progression; progression was defined as PSA level of 10 ng/mL or greater, PSA doubling time of less than 3 years, or upgrading (defined as increase in tumor volume or grade) on follow-up prostate biopsy.

Results:  Among 478 patients randomized (mean [SD] age, 64 [7] years; mean [SD] PSA level, 4.9 [2.1] ng/mL), 443 eligible patients (93%) were included in the primary analysis. There were 245 progression events (intervention: 124; control: 121). There were no significant differences in time to progression (unadjusted hazards ratio, 0.96 [95% CI, 0.75 to 1.24]; adjusted hazard ratio, 0.97 [95% CI, 0.76 to 1.25]). The 24-month Kaplan-Meier progression-free percentages were 43.5% [95% CI, 36.5% to 50.6%] and 41.4% [95% CI, 34.3% to 48.7%] for the intervention and control groups, respectively (difference, 2.1% [95% CI, ?8.1% to 12.2%]).

Conclusions and Relevance:  Among men with early-stage prostate cancer managed with active surveillance, a behavioral intervention that increased vegetable consumption did not significantly reduce the risk of prostate cancer progression. The findings do not support use of this intervention to decrease prostate cancer progression in this population, although the study may have been underpowered to identify a clinically important difference.

JAMA. 2020;323(2):140-148. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.20207

Islam teaches hate

During a New Year’s Eve Islamic terror attack that took place in Russia minutes before the clock struck midnight, two Muslim men—Akhmed Imagozhev, 22 and Mikail Miziyev, 18—drove their car into and stabbed to death two police officers, one a married father of four.  Other officers subsequently shot one of the jihadis dead, while hospitalizing the other.

An image of the two Muslim men posing with knives was later found on social media.  Beneath it appeared the words, “love and hatred based on Tawhid!”  This is hardly the first time this ostensibly oxymoronic phrase appears in connection with Islamic acts of terror.  After launching a successful terror attack that killed two policemen in the Kashmir Valley, the militant commander of Kashmir’s Hizb al-Mujahidin—“the Party of Jihadis”—justified the murders by saying,  “We love and hate for the sake of Allah.”

Interestingly, in this otherwise cryptic motto lie the roots of Islam’s conflict with the rest of the world.  “Loving and hating” is one of several translations of the Islamic doctrine of al-wala’ wa’l-bara’ (which since 2006 I have generally translated as “Loyalty and Enmity”).

The wala’ portion—“love,” “loyalty,” etc.—requires Muslims always to aid and support fellow Muslims (including jihadis, for example through funds or zakat).  As one medieval Muslim authority explained, the believer “is obligated to befriend a believer—even if he is oppressive and violent toward you — while he must be hostile to the infidel—even if he is liberal and kind to you” (The Al Qaeda Reader, p. 64 ).   This is a clear reflection of Koran 48:29: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves.”

But it is the bara’—the “hate,” the “enmity”—that manifests itself so regularly that even those in the West who are not necessarily acquainted with the particulars of Muslim doctrine sense it.  For instance, in November 2015, after a series of deadly Islamic terror strikes in the West, then presidential candidate Donald Trump said, “I think Islam hates us.  There’s something there that — there’s a tremendous hatred there. There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There’s an unbelievable hatred of us.”

This “tremendous” and “unbelievable hatred” is not a product of grievances, political factors, or even an “extremist” interpretation of Islam; rather, it is a direct byproduct of mainstream Islamic teaching.  Koran 60:4 is the cornerstone verse of this doctrine and speaks for itself.  As Osama bin Laden once wrote:

As to the relationship between Muslims and infidels, this is summarized by the Most High’s Word: “We renounce you. Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us—till you believe in Allah alone” [Koran 60:4]. So there is an enmity, evidenced by fierce hostility from the heart. And this fierce hostility—that is, battle—ceases only if the infidel submits to the authority of Islam, or if his blood is forbidden from being shed [i.e., a dhimmi], or if Muslims are at that point in time weak and incapable. But if the hate at any time extinguishes from the heart, this is great apostasy!… Such, then, is the basis and foundation of the relationship between the infidel and the Muslim. Battle, animosity, and hatred—directed from the Muslim to the infidel—is the foundation of our religion.  (The Al Qaeda Reader, p. 43).

Similarly, the Islamic State confessed to the West in the context of Koran 60: 4 that “We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers.”  As for any and all political “grievances,” these are “secondary” reasons for the jihad, ISIS said:

The fact is, even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam. Even if you were to pay jizyah and live under the authority of Islam in humiliation, we would continue to hate you.

Koran 58:22 goes as far as to praise Muslims who kill their own non-Muslim family members: “You shall find none who believe in Allah and the Last Day on friendly terms with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger—even if they be their fathers, their sons, their brothers, or their nearest kindred.”

According to Ibn Kathir’s mainstream commentary on the Koran, this verse refers to a number of Muslims who slaughtered their own non-Muslim kin (one slew his non-Muslim father, another his non-Muslim brother, a third—Abu Bakr, the first revered caliph of Islamic history—tried to slay his non-Muslim son, and Omar, the second righteous caliph, slaughtered his relatives).   Ibn Kathir adds that Allah was immensely pleased by their unwavering zeal for his cause and rewarded them with paradise. (The Al Qaeda Reader, 75-76).

In fact, verses that support the divisive doctrine of al-wala’ wa’l-bara’ permeate the Koran (see also 4:89, 4:144, 5:51, 5:54, 6:40, 9:23, and 60:1).  There is one caveat, captured by Koran 3:28: when Muslims are in a position of weakness, they may pretend to befriend non-Muslims, as long as the hate carries on in their hearts (such is taqiyya; see here, here, and here for examples; for other Islamic sanctioned forms of deception, read about tawriya, and taysir).

Little wonder, then, that America’s supposed best Muslim friends and allies—such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar—are on record calling on all Muslims to hate.  According to a Saudi governmental run website,  Muslims must “oppose and hate whomever Allah commands us to oppose and hate, including the Jews, the Christians, and other mushrikin [non-Muslims], until they believe in Allah alone and abide by his laws, which he sent down to his Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him.”

Indeed, because enmity for non-Muslims is so ironclad in the Koran, mainstream Islamic teaching holds that Muslim men must even hate—and show that they hate—their non-Muslim wives, for no other reason than that they are “infidels.”

If Muslims must hate those closest to them—including fathers, sons, brothers, and wives—simply because they are non-Muslims, is there any surprise that so many Muslims hate foreign “infidels” who live oceans away—such as Americans, who are further portrayed throughout the Islamic world as trying to undermine Islam?

In short, jihad—or terrorism, war on non-Muslims for no less a reason than that they are non-Muslims—is simply the physical realization of an overlooked concept that precedes it: Islam’s unequivocal command for Muslims to hate non-Muslims.


America is always wrong -- to the Left

After Iran shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, Iranian protesters filled the streets condemning their own government’s war crime while the Democrats and their media blamed Trump.

"This is yet another example of collateral damage from the actions that have been taken in a provocative way by the president of the United States," Rep. Jackie Speier told CNN.

“This is one of these consequences of this escalation and this state of war that we are in. Having foresight and being able to look at what the consequences are of going to war with Iran, I think, is a serious thing and a responsibility of the present commander-in-chief,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard insisted.

In the worldview of lefties like Speier and Gabbard, Iran isn’t really responsible for anything. The Islamic terrorist state doesn’t initiate anything, it reacts to our provocative actions. When Iran shoots down a Ukrainian plane, that means that America must have done something wrong to cause the attack.

The Left spent the last 40 years insisting that Iran can’t be blamed for any of its crimes because they all originated from America’s support for the Shah. This isn’t just hyperbole. It’s government policy.

Obama told Iran Deal negotiators that, “part of the psychology of Iran is rooted in the sense that their country was undermined, that the United States or the West meddled in first their democracy and then in supporting the Shah.” He urged them to be sensitive to the “defensive Iran that feels vulnerable”.

According to Obama, Iran was developing nukes, not to destroy Israel or create a Shiite empire in the region, but because it was emotionally scarred by the policies of the Carter administration.

Third world foreign policy applied the moral condescension of liberals toward minorities on a global scale. The same social justice mindset that freed underclass criminals from responsibility for their crimes, blaming them on an oppressive society, liberated entire nations of moral accountability.

Iran’s theocracts, like the street corner mugger, are victims of oppression, instead of their agents.

The same simplistic mathematics of social justice divides the world into the oppressors and the oppressed. The oppressors are the strongest and the most capable, the capitalist pigs and the flag wavers of western nations, while the oppressed are anyone who opposes them by any means.

Only the oppressors have moral agency, while the oppressed are reacting to their oppression.

When the Iranian regime shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, it was responding to President Trump’s oppression, and the entire history of American oppression of Iran going back to the seventies.

Iran didn’t shoot the plane down. 40 years of American oppression did. Just as the homeless guy punching an elderly woman in the face didn’t do it. Gentrification and our class system did.

The Iranian regime didn’t do anything on its own initiative. Just as the guy breaking into your car didn’t do anything. He’s a victim of society. So was General Soleimani. And the guy firing those missiles. Oppressed people don’t have any moral agency. Their only moral activity is resistance. And if the resistance kills a whole bunch of Iranian students in the sky and on the streets, that’s understandable.

As a certain Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter once said of Communist mass murders, “To put it brutally – you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs.” Just think of all those folks flying to Canada as more eggs and the IRGC and Soleimani’s old gang as the makers of the omelets of utopia.

The Left responds to an MS-13 beheading in a D.C. suburb or Iran’s missile attacks on a Ukrainian passenger plane with the traditional retort of moral idiots, “What do you expect of oppressed people?”

Oppressed people have no moral agency. They can’t be expected not to hijack planes, murder millions of Cambodian peasants, rape a girl coming home from work in Queens, or knock over a Korean grocery.

They’re oppressed.

Traditional religion believed that we all, barons and serfs, the rich and the poor, the high and the low, have a moral relationship with G-d. The church of social justice rejected this divine relationship, and instead defined morality by our fixed power relationships with one another. And these relationships were defined by group identities, first along the lines of class, then race, gender, religion, sexuality, and an incoming mass of new identities mediated by the evolving system of intersectional victimhood.

The members of the powerful groups were the oppressive sinners and the oppressed were the saints.

The only law was to challenge oppression. Every crime existed within this struggle, the class struggle, the race war, and all the other manifold conflicts against sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia, and all the new isms and phobias, their obvious contradictions irrelevant within the greater context.

It doesn’t matter that Iran kills gay people because the real homophobes are white American Christians. Nor does it matter that a black nationalist attacked a synagogue with a machete because the real anti-Semites are white American Christians. It doesn’t matter that Iran shot down a passenger jet filled with its own people because the real ‘jet-shooter-downers’ are President Trump and his supporters.

The bad behavior of oppressed people is a reaction to our oppression. They internalized our homophobia, racism, mass murder of brown people, and when we’re destroyed, they will be purified.

If you understand, as every true lefty does, that America is the source of the world’s evil, then you understand, as House Speaker Pelosi does, that what Iran did to the jet or its protesters, doesn’t matter.

It also didn’t matter how many millions of people Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and the rest were killing.

The Left defended the architects of a Communist genocide in Cambodia that killed millions because they were only reacting to the crisis of American imperialism. Communist atrocities in China had likewise been a response to United States foreign policy. Stalin’s crimes, including his alliance with Hitler, were excused on the same grounds, as reactions to American and European policies toward the USSR.

Even Hitler was initially defended as reacting to the unfair burdens imposed by the end of WW1.

That is how we get to the notion that Iran can shoot down a passenger plane and it’s our fault.

The Democrats, the media, academia, and the rest of the train of moral defectives and perpetual resistance members building utopia a million regulations and corpses at a time, consider anyone who opposes America, especially President Trump, to be an ally of their righteous resistance.

In this backward calculus, Iran and China are members of the anti-Trump resistance, the vanguard of the oppressed peoples of the world, while the opponents of these totalitarian regimes, who risk their lives to condemn Xi and Khamenei, are running dogs of the capitalist order, and deserve to be shot.

The oppressors are the oppressed. And the oppressed are the oppressors. Freedom is slavery and slavery is freedom. It’s so simple that you don’t need a PhD level course in Orientalism to understand it.

Just spend a few weeks watching MSNBC until your brain melts.

A century of crimes was excused by progressives who saw a struggle between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’. The ‘Them’ were flag-waving bourgeois capitalist scum dedicated to maintaining the existing order. The ‘Us’ was a motley crew that included everyone from western academics and reporters, to mass murdering Communists and, in the latter era, Islamic terrorists who toss gay people off buildings for Allah.

What united the ‘Us’ faction was its opposition to the oppressive order of the United States. The members of this ‘resistance’ might express that opposition by murdering millions of Cambodians, starving Russian peasants, shooting Jews, and shooting down Ukrainian passenger planes, but these are reactions to the oppression of the United States. Or, as Rep. Speier describes them, “collateral damage”.

The worldview that allows for the murder of Cambodians who wore glasses or Iranian students heading to Canada assumes that the only true moral end is a world revolution against the primal evil of capitalism, globalism, neo-liberalism or whatever the current term in vogue for the existing order is.

This new world order will be utopian. It will no longer need to massacre protesters in the streets, starve peasants, and lubricate the gears of revolution, socialist, Islamic, or otherwise, with human blood.

But, until that blessed day arrives, no one who works to overthrow the existing order and usher in the new order can be held accountable for their crimes no matter how many millions of people they kill.

The means of the new world order justify any and all of the murderous ends.

The media feels obligated to protect Iran as a member of the coalition of the resistance to America. And to America’s current reactionary incarnation in the form of President Trump, MAGA hats, and flag pins.

It colludes in mass murder by brutal tyrannies in the name of a better world.

This better world, we are told, will end racism. Yet robbing people of moral agency because they are different has always been the real racism. There is no worse crime than taking away a man’s morality.

When the Left decided to treat foreign countries the way that it related to domestic minorities, it signed off on mass murder, and became unable to offer a single intelligent opinion about the rest of the world. Adopting social justice as its foreign policy lens convinced it that other nations hate us not because they have their own motives and agendas rooted in over a thousand years of history, most of which predates our existence, but that they are reacting to us and that their lives revolve entirely around our actions.

Speier, Gabbard, and Pelosi have no notion of the history of Islam, or the historic impulses that drive the ambitions of a Khamenei, Erdogan, or Baghdadi. Instead, the idea that they are always reacting to the last thing we did becomes the explanation for everything. That is why every critique of Israel’s actions in Gaza ignores the Muslim Brotherhood’s legacy going back almost a century to focus on the blockade.

If you are going to build up America, Israel, or even Europe, into the villains of the world, it’s best not to have a sense of history, or any idea of what the world was like before the existence of the United States of America, the reborn nation of Israel, or, England and France, but to believe that there was a primeval world filled with wise Islamic astrologers, feminist Greek warriors, Native American shamans, and African dryads, who would have lived in peace, but for the coming of the Industrial Revolution.

This idiotic romanticism cultivated by dilettantes into good art and then bad politics and worse science has killed hundreds of millions of people in the faint hope of returning to a mystical feudalism where life expectancy peaked at forty and the average person couldn’t read or survive an infection. It’s bad enough to condemn the developed world to this madness, but attempts to implement these collective agricultural utopias left miles of bodies strewn across the Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia.

The twisted road to the idyllic utopia also requires believing that the civilized are the oppressors and that the savages destroying civilization have no moral agency, but that their violence has a moral end.

And anyone who accepts that premise believes that terrorists can do no wrong.


Women Win in Trump's Economy
“Women are winning in the Trump economy.” That’s a headline that should be emblazoned on the front pages of every major newspaper in America today and dominating TV newscasts from Boston to Seattle. Yet, isn’t, thanks to the impeachment circus Democrats are using to distract the nation’s attention.

Don’t let them. Employment records are being shattered in real time — elevating our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and neighbors with life-changing economic empowerment.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that for the first time in almost 10 years women, have overtaken men in the workforce.

“Women held more U.S. jobs than men in December for the first time in nearly a decade, a development that likely reflects the future of the American workforce,” Amara Omeokwe reported Jan. 10. “The share of women on payrolls, excluding farmworkers and the self-employed, exceeded the share of men in December for the first time since mid-2010, Labor Department data released Friday showed.‘ Adding, "Women held 50.04% of the jobs last month, surpassing men on payrolls by 109,000.”

Thanks to President Donald Trump’s leadership and smart moves with the economy — cutting taxes and job-killing regulations — in addition to other capitalist, free market principles long supported by the Republican party, millions of women across American have now been lifted out of poverty and are no longer reliant on government assistance.

Instead, these women are experiencing hope and the opportunity for brighter futures, a renaissance of the American dream.

Not surprisingly, this is one of the driving forces behind the Democrats hate-filled “resistance” and never-ending persecution of the president, saddling him and his administration with one partisan-fueled investigation after another including the latest impeachment charade. It’s because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her comrades at the Democratic National Committee know that without the powerful female electorate in their corner come November, Trump will be reelected.

Hence the radio silence on the campaign trail from Democratic presidential contenders, including candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and their allies in media. You won’t hear any of them touting the record-breaking unemployment numbers for all Americans, especially the historic low of 3.2% for women.

Nor will they mention the 7 million jobs the Trump administration has created since his inauguration — including 500,000 manufacturing jobs –benefitting labor workers.

To the contrary, liberal lawmakers refuse to acknowledge the roaring economy benefitting their constituents or the significant trade deals the president and his administration are putting into place. This includes the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement the U.S. Senate voted 89-10 in favor of on Thursday and the Phase 1 trade deal with China the president succeeded in negotiating this week, benefitting the American worker.

The left’s playbook is to distract voters’ attention from Trump’s many achievements, both domestic and abroad, and flood the news cycle with impeachment talk and other manufactured crises in hopes that we don’t notice our fatter paychecks, blossoming pensions and 401(k)s.

Ludicrous, I know.

All the while, Democrats continue to pay lip service, saying they’re the party for “equal pay,” “child care” and “female empowerment” while the Trump administration is actually moving the needle on all these things.

Reminding us of Benjamin Franklin’s wise words, “Well done is better than well said.”



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

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

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


19 January, 2020

Communism just beneath the surface in Sanders campaign

An undercover operative for Project Veritas has filmed a rabid Bernie Sanders field organizer who claims that "cities will burn" if President Trump is reelected this year, and that Trump supporters will need to be reeducated in literal gulags, similar to what Germany did to 'Nazified' Germans after World War II.

"Do you even think, that some of these, like, MAGA people could be "re-educated?" asks the Veritas journalist in a preview of Tuesday's exposé

"We gotta try, so like, in Nazi Germany after the fall of the Nazi party, there was a shit-ton of the populace that was fucking Nazi-fied," said field organizer Kyle Jurek.

"Germany had to spend billions of dollars re-educating their fucking people to not be nazis. Like, we're probably going to have to do the same thing here," he added. "That's kind of what all Bernie's whole fucking like "Hey, free education for everybody - because we're going to have to teach you not to be a fucking Nazi""

Jurek went on to explain "there's a reason Joseph Stalin had gulags," adding "And actually, gulags were a lot better than what the CIA has told us that they were. Like, people were actually paid a living wage in gulags, they had conjugal visits in gulags, gulags were actually meant for like re-education."

The Sanders organizer also predicts violence if Bernie doesn't get the Democratic nomination, and that "Milwaukee will burn."


Impeachment: do Republicans have more fun?

Ann Coulter

Impeachments aren’t what they used to be. Today, young people are supposed to be excited that the president withheld taxpayer money from Ukraine –- a half-billion-dollar foreign aid package that ticks off most Americans under any circumstances, going to a country notable for not being our country, and for a purpose other than the wall.

Now, Bill Clinton –- that was an impeachment!

First, there was the corpus delicti of the case -- a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, earning her “presidential kneepads” by sexually servicing the president.

The telephonic evidence wasn’t about “Burisma Holdings Limited” or a Ukrainian prosecutor whose name no one can remember. It was tapes of Monica blathering on and on about servicing the president, including such fascinating items as:

-- Clinton couldn’t remember Monica’s name after their first two sexual encounters;

-- Monica’s suggestion to Clinton that she be named “assistant to the president for b--- jobs";

-- Her description of the presidential member (“think of a thumb”).

On Jan. 17, 1998, The Drudge Report broke the intern story. The following week, Clinton gave an impassioned, finger-wagging, squint-eyed address to the nation, saying:

“I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman -- Miss Lewinsky.”

Clinton spent the next seven months dragging the country through his lies, followed by the unraveling of his lies, then more lies, followed by more unraveling.

By late summer, it turned out Monica had, in fact, kept the long-rumored “blue dress” with Clinton’s semen on it. The president was ordered to produce a sample of his DNA. It was one of many presidential “firsts" under Clinton.

A few weeks after producing his DNA, Clinton addressed the nation: "Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate."

Contrary to the bilge put out by the legacy media ever since their baby boomer, draft-dodging, pot-smoking, Fleetwood Mac-listening president was caught committing numerous, serious felonies, Clinton was not impeached for having a sexual affair (as hilarious as that was).

He was impeached for his repeated perjuries and subornation of perjury in a citizen’s private civil rights suit against him.

In May 1994, Paula Jones had brought a lawsuit against Clinton under the 1964 Civil Rights Act -- once considered more sacred than any other legislation passed in the 20th century. That law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment.

Jones alleged that, when Clinton was the governor of Arkansas –- a phrase that still has a rather disreputable ring to it -- he had summoned her, a lowly state employee, to his hotel room, dropped his pants and said, “Kiss it.”

To prove her case, Jones had a right to collect evidence to show that he had made similar sexual advances toward other female underlings. This had been expressly confirmed by the Supreme Court’s May 27, 1997, unanimous ruling that her lawsuit could proceed without delay. (The court’s 9-0 ruling surprised every TV lawyer, but one.)

So Clinton lied. He lied to the country, to his Cabinet and, most important, to the court -- under oath in a deposition presided over by federal judge Susan Webber Wright. (I’d add “to his wife,” but no one thinks she was fooled.)

During his deposition on Jan. 17, 1998, for example, Clinton gave these answers to Jones’ lawyers:

Q: At any time were you and Monica Lewinsky alone together in the Oval Office?

A: I don’t recall.

Q: At any time have you and Monica Lewinsky ever been alone together in any room in the White House?

A: I have no specific recollection.

The president had had Monica perform oral sex on him in the White House a half-dozen times, including while he was taking calls from members of Congress. On Easter Sunday, he'd sodomized her with a cigar. He’d just spent months orchestrating a massive campaign to ensure Monica would submit a perjurious affidavit to Jones’ attorneys, such as asking Vernon Jordan to arrange a job for her at Revlon in New York City.

To say that he “had no specific recollection” of being alone with Monica is blinding, inarguable perjury.

Liberals sneer that Clinton merely “lied about sex.” If it’s OK to “lie about sex,” then we can’t have laws about sex. No laws against sexual harassment, rape, child molestation, human trafficking, prostitution. (Oh sorry -- I think I just listed the entire Democratic platform.)

Those are all “just about sex”!

That’s why Clinton heatedly insisted that his testimony was “legally accurate,” saying, “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” Perjury is a very serious crime.

The Supreme Court sure thought so! (This is in contrast to the entire Democratic Party: Not a single Democrat voted against Clinton in the Senate impeachment trial, despite his screamingly obvious perjuries.)

Clinton’s first State of the Union address following his Senate trial happened to be the last one of his presidency. The entire Supreme Court boycotted the event. Even the two justices he’d appointed! The court’s gigantic message to the felon was conveyed to the sergeant-at-arms in a terse, two-sentence note expressing regrets.

We can’t have a legal system if people feel free to lie under oath.

Idiots keep announcing on TV that all impeachments are “political,” which they understand to mean “partisan.” No –- that’s not what it means.

As Alexander Hamilton explained in Federalist 65, impeachable offenses are “political” in the sense that they are attacks on the body politic -- “injuries done immediately to the society itself.”

It doesn’t get much more injurious to a “nation of laws, not men” than to have the president of the United States perjuring himself over and over and over again in a citizen’s Supreme Court-approved lawsuit against him.

You see, kids? That was an impeachment!


'Anti-woke bad boy' or 'contemptuous' and privileged white male?

Laurence Fox's Question Time slanging match with an ethnicity lecturer over Meghan Markle has sent Twitter into a melt down.

The 41-year-old accused Rachel Boyle, an academic at Edge Hill University on Merseyside, of 'being racist' after she called him 'a white privileged male' for denying the Duchess of Sussex was hounded from Britain for being mixed-race.

The star of ITV drama Lewis and former husband of actress Billie Piper has divided Twitter with some hailing him as a 'hero' and 'bang on the money' with others slamming him as 'contemptuous'.

John Hooper wrote: 'I don’t know much about Laurence Fox, but he’s fast turning into a hero of mine' while Edd Lees added: 'Laurence Fox is the hero we never knew we needed.'

David Gould added: 'Thank god for people like Laurence Fox and Piers Morgan, talking common sense in an increasingly mad world.'

Others condemned Fox's views. Maggie Rankin said: 'I’m no regular watcher of #bbcqt but it’s rare I’d rather listen to the Tory representative than the non-politician/journalist.  'Laurence Fox came across as really contemptuous. If you don’t want your views scrutinised, don’t go on this programme.'

A Twitter user who goes by the name Barhamm said: 'Oh dear. A white and privileged actor sings about being white and a victim of oppression?! You couldn't make it up. Fox has.'

Fox today quoted Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech following his appearance on the programme and goaded critics about loving their 'leftist tears' and 'giggling at their expense'.

He shared an excerpt of Dr King's 1963 speech about living in a nation where children 'will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character'. 

He said: 'This is the position I took last night and I live by in life. If you can improve on it, I’m all ears. Or you can keep screeching “Racist!” at me and I can carry on having a jolly good giggle at your expense. The tide is turning'.

His opponent Ms Boyle said today she's 'not a**sed' about the row and tweeted: 'Fell out with @LozzaFox (not a***d), upset a (majority white) audience (not a***d) but called the treatment of Meghan Markle what it is "racism". Thank you to @bbcquestiontime for having me'.

Laurence couldn't cope with what he was hearing and looked like he was banging his head on a desk    +12
Laurence couldn't cope with what he was hearing and looked like he was banging his head on a desk

Ms Boyle has appeared on BBC Breakfast as a newspaper reviewer and describes herself on social media as a university lecturer researching race and ethnicity.

Rachel Boyle: 'The problem we've got with this is that Meghan has agreed to be Harry's wife and then the Press have torn her to pieces. Let's be really clear about what this is – let's call it by its name, it's racism, she's a black woman and she has been torn to pieces.'

She was jeered as she called Mr Fox, a QT panellist in Liverpool last night, 'a white privileged male' when he denied her claims and said Britain is 'the most tolerant, lovely country in Europe.'

He shot back at her: ''Oh my God. I can't help what I am, I was born like this, it's an immutable characteristic: to call me a white privileged male is to be racist - you're being racist'.

Mr Fox was visibly exasperated by their exchange last night, first looking to the sky in despair and then appearing to bang his head on the desk.

He also blasted climate change hypocrisy by 'lecturing' stars and the Labour leadership contest, where he made the audience giggle when he nicknamed Jeremy Corbyn 'magic grandpa'.

And after being asked about if he had sympathy for the Sussexes he added: 'Surely Harry should have had a chat with Meghan at some point and said: 'By the way this is going to be misery and you don't have to marry me if you don't want to'.

'And then they hop out and I think, can we have the cottage back and your HRHs? I do sympathise with them but there is a little bit of having your cake and eating it, which I don't enjoy'.

Their angry exchange began when Ms Boyle said criticism of Meghan in the media had been motivated by 'racism', adding: 'She's a black woman and she has been torn to pieces.'

But Fox hit back, saying: 'it's not racism' and continued: We're the most tolerant, lovely country in Europe… it's so easy to throw the charge of racism at everybody and it's really starting to get boring'.

However, Ms Boyle angered him and much of the audience by replying: 'What worries me about your comment is you are a white privileged male who has no experience in this.'

Fox responded: 'I can't help what I am, I was born like this, it's an immutable characteristic, so to call me a white privileged male is to be racist - you're being racist'.


Status anxiety and the tyranny of opinion

By John Carroll, commenting from Australia

Proclaiming your own shallow virtue from the pulpit of social media has become the new religion.

As the year of identity politics, 2019, is now at an end, we should ask what has been going on.

The return of medieval heresy trials, draconian inquisition and pseudo-religious cults preaching apocalypse demands some inter­pretation. The new wars are over opinion. Belief has been separated from fact. In parallel, status has shifted from property and achievement to attitudes. Even a summer of catastrophic bushfire often has been co-opted by doomsday politics rather than met, as it should be, by sober gravity, sympathy and reflection on the nature and history of this harsh continent.

One obvious manifestation of insecure identity is status anxiety. Throughout the modern period, people have compensated for doubts about their worth by showing off their wealth, displayed in large houses, luxury cars, designer clothes and expensive holidays; living in prestigious suburbs; and sending their children to elite schools and universities.

They have indulged in what American economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen dubbed “conspicuous consumption”.

Rise of the new snobs

The new snobbery, however, is not over bad taste, crude accents, cheap belongings and the wrong schools; it is over attitudes.

Some boast on Instagram that they personally carbon offset when flying #climatechange, and attract a stream of likes. Others tweet they support gay marriage #loveislove, and are deluged in hearts of approval. Thousands swarm against a Michael Leunig cartoon. This shift in the signals of status must be, in part, a feature of affluence — the markers of economic success matter less these days — combined with the fact the noise is coming almost exclusively from the ranks of the better off. In the upper middle class, comfort may be taken for granted.

The root of identity politics is revealed in its designation: in identity and its discontents. Mind, there is nothing new in anxiety about self. Seventeenth-century French moralist Francois de La Rochefoucauld argued that self-esteem was the strongest of human motivating forces. Vanity, egoism and fear of embarrassment and failure drive most human behaviour. In the pre-modern world, this was less universally true, for more than 90 per cent of the population had little time or energy left over from the daily grind of basic survival. Concern about identity was a leisure-time luxury they could ill afford.

The key to secure identity is an inner confidence underpinned by belief and belonging. Belief is primary. German sociologist Max Weber coined the term disenchantment to describe the central threat confronting the modern West. In a secular time that no longer believed in God, or indeed in any transcendental ordering principle, the risk was that the world would lose its magic and be come a dull and prosaic absurdity. Humans were left to pursue pleasure and avoid pain, and little else.

Samuel Beckett highlighted this condition in Waiting for Godot, arguably the most important play of the 20th century. For Beckett’s two tramps, life has become so pointless that they talk of suicide but can’t be bothered carrying it out. Meaning has become the modern problem.

In fact, faith in God has been replaced, in the shadows, by an alternative potential commanding attachment: that there are deep and enduring truths that underpin the human condition; and, further, that the good life depends on gaining some understanding of them and managing to live in harmony with them. These truths are elusive, and difficult to formulate and enshrine; Shakespeare’s entire work may be read as a wrestling to uncover their complex texture.

Things were much easier in the time of church religion, with priests, teaching orders, theology and doctrine, an absolute moral calculus, and a vast background of tradition, monumental buildings, music and art — all dedicated to proclaiming the faith.

As the West progressively moved into a post-Christian era, high culture and the universities became of vital social importance. Their guiding mission was to help ordinary people better understand their lives, and in particular bear the hardships and tragedies that beset them. They did this through telling stories about life in its manifold variety — in literature, art, music and more recently film — and then interpreting them. Across the past 1½ centuries, this mission, in the main, has been progressively abandoned. As a result, loss of faith has left a vacuum and the anti-belief, if pressed, that there is nothing.

Weariness rules

The need for faith, or some secular equivalent, seems to be universal. Without it, there is the uprootedness of Beckett’s demoralised tramps, who have no mental chart to guide them through the day, the month and the year.

Human identity without firm and distinct shape is condemned to leading a haphazard existence, motivated by profane pleasure and the pursuit of power. Pleasures diminish and power is capricious. A vacancy of belief drives some to seek tranquillisers and intoxicants; others to seek militant secular faiths. Those pseudo-religions, in turn, are given to a paranoid polarising of the world into good and evil. The psychology is familiar, from earlier times, when churches, out of their own insecurity, persecuted heretics, witches or those they deemed nonconformist.

Shaky medieval religion also triggered apocalyptic sects, which we see re-emerging today in an uncanny regression to our most superstitious past.

Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg provides a case study. Her demean­our and mode of declam­ation mimics that of a fundamentalist Christian preacher ranting about the end of the world. The intense eyes, the raging warnings of apocalypse and the incantatory chant of “How dare you!” pitched against the satanic adult world are reminiscent of some cult spawned in Waco, Texas.

There was a Children’s Crusade in the early Middle Ages: something like 20,000 children, led by two of their number, set out from France to free Jerusalem from unbelievers. The crusade foundered well before its destination, in starvation and disaffection.

There is also the other recent eruption of Extinction Rebellion, a movement of self-styled soldiers of virtue parading as if cast from the Book of Revelation. From London to Melbourne, they came hooded and garbed in bright crimson robes, faces painted white, with thin red lips, a cross between a medieval dance-of-death procession and spooky Hare Krishnas. These martyrs glue themselves to buildings and seek arrest — that is, look for self-vindicating persecution by evil authority.

Whatever the truth about ­climate change, the Extinction ­Rebellion apocalypse is based on a radical inflation of long-term global warming forecasts, in themselves as unreliable as economic forecasts, if not more so. Eminent Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith quipped that economic forecasting was invented to give astrology a good name.

Identity politics obeys the catchcry: I emote virtuously, there­fore I am

End of the world is nigh

Greta is not in herself of interest. What is alarming is that she has been taken seriously by the worldwide media, listened to devoutly by broad sections of the upper middle class and its cultural elites, given a platform at the UN and celebrated as Time person of the year.

Professional orders that are otherwise sober, serious, hardworking and methodical in their practical lives are turning, in their leisure, to quasi-religious venting, dark paranoid fantasy and wide-eyed righteous indignation.

This crusading opinion is being generated from within a tiny social bubble. Sociologist Peter Murphy has calculated from Twitter statistics that a mere 2 per cent of the American adult population deal in political opinion. The rest who use Twitter gossip about celebrities and lifestyle — but that too may come with a malevolent thrust, as experienced by Meghan Markle and the barrage of hate opinion she has attracted on social media, some of which has an overlapping political cast.

In last year’s federal election, climate change was proved to be a minority worry, playing a negligible role among mainstream voters, who remained uninterested.

The take-up of social media has meant angry opinion, which used to be limited to berating this or that political figure at the pub or the golf club, may be broadcast instantly and worldwide. It provides the mouthpiece for a global cacophony of hatred, malicious gossip, derision and persecution of those who are different, and coercive opinion containing the implicit threat: agree with me or else.

Foundation stones of the modern West crack: the liberal value of freedom of individual conscience, the Enlightenment values of reasoned argument and freedom of speech, and the civilised values of moderation and courtesy.

The ease of fingertip communication has aggravated the tendency for anyone, when hot under the collar, to speak impulsively and thoughtlessly, and to judge without mounting a clearly reasoned case. As people spend more of their leisure time on smartphones and less reading books, they develop habits in themselves ill-suited to measured reflection.

Addiction to social media brings with it a feverish restlessness of concentration and, it seems, a dependency on approval.

This is a trait that has taken centre stage, with posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter receiving hearts and thumbs-up to indicate likes, even though the likes often come from strangers giving the post a few passing seconds of their time.

That recognition for a post comes in the form of a love heart is suggestive of an underlying depressive strain in the culture.

No depth or sense of self

At the pathological extreme, this kind of brittle self-esteem links with an inability to handle criticism, as with the 20-year old apprentice plumber whose work is corrected by his boss, sending him into a two-day sulk. Or univer­sities offering counselling for students whose sensitivities may have been damaged by opinions they disagree with. Or The Australian’s cartoonist Bill Leak being investigated by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Identity politics obeys the catchcry: I emote virtuously, there­fore I am. The specific content is often unimportant, as illustrated by a low inclination to mar­shal arguments to back up opinion.

The in-vogue markers of identity today — sexual orientation, race, hostility to Western civilisation, and the environment — are more free-floating excuses for enthusiasm than real personal traits, for few of the crusaders are cross-gender, native peoples, Gandhi-like ascetics or Greenpeace sailors.

The enthusiasm is then expressed as high-voltage opinion on social media, during political demonstrations and in graffiti.

The logic of this type of depressive narcissism finds its main reward in the tick of approval. The thumbs-up or love heart is inflated in the imagination as recognition for the lonely self as a whole, the sum total of its identity, which is more than the specifics of its opinions. At the same time, self-esteem has become so fragile, the ego so lacking in confidence, that the mere whisper of a dissident view pricks the emoting bubble.

Even major institutions have taken to emoting virtuously. In part this has been to cover up the fact they have excluded while they have embraced. The mission statements of corporations, universities and sporting bodies proudly boast of inclusiveness, tolerance and diversity. But the more they do so, the more they have practised discrimination, intolerance and politically correct conformism.

Sigmund Freud termed this pathological syndrome negation, as in the aggressive smile — “to smile and smile and be a villain”. Negation was illustrated politically by the former East Germany, one of the nastiest dictatorships of the modern era, which called itself the German Democratic Republic.

It is not surprising, then, that belief has become separated from act. Others are judged by what they believe, not by what they do. Footballer Israel Folau and tennis great Margaret Court have been chosen as the local scapegoats.

Last year Rugby Australia, it seems, preferred to signal its own virtue than concern itself with the wellbeing of its sport, in on-field performance or its own balance sheet. Mimicking medieval relig­ious fanaticism, it persecuted its best player for his unmodish beliefs, likely picking on him because he was its best player — the more brilliant his rugby, the more evil his character.

Many professional footballers, if grilled on their attitudes, would not pass the heresy test. What separated Folau from the others is, first, rugby super-stardom; and, second, the unusual fact today that he strongly believes in something. His faith confronts and irritates. For the minority who are themselves fanatical believers, such as devotees of Extinction Rebellion and Greta, Folau is a true heretic worshipping the wrong god.

Likewise with Court. The fact she was the nation’s best female tennis player, and arguably the world’s best tennis player, makes her a beacon of sporting excellence. She has to be burnt at the stake because she lends authority to heresy, even though that heresy is the traditional view of marriage held by most of the Western world until very recently, and still held by a sizeable minority of Australians.

The Folau and Court cases tell us something more. The moral views at issue are not particularly shocking, for the public heat has gone out of both domains. Folau’s attitude to homosexuals is, to most minds, ludicrous, even laughable, as is his belief in Hell; and the same-sex marriage controversy is over, and decided, so who should care what Court thinks?

But crusading religion needs its devils, even if they are rather quaint and feeble devils. The sniff of evil provides blood energy.

Virtual shallowness

Communal belonging traditionally has proved the most successful way to compensate for the insecure identity that derives from the lack of much to believe in.

What sociologists call anomie results when community ties break down — anomie is the sense the world lacks cohesive norms and values. Strong community binds people together with shared purposes and common beliefs, providing a collective glue that helps its members feel at home in their world, with confidence about what they should do and how they should live their lives.

Today, the nuclear family provides the most common and successful example, with a lesser, supporting role played by schools, clubs and other associations.

The virtual community enabled by social media is not an entirely satisfactory substitute. It is, in general, less stable and enduring than the family, less tightly bound, and it mobilises a fickle, less cohesive legitimacy. More, it encourages aggregates of shared opinion rather than shared doing or face-to-face gathering together.

The disenchantment that follows from lack of belief in any fundamental truths anchoring the human condition has led to some malign compensations. It has unhinged the all-too-human search for security of individual identity.

Hell has gone, but not the belief in satanic forces and their incarnations. Christ the saviour has gone but not the belief in redemptive politics. The more atheist ranks have grown, the more we have seen, with religion, a Freudian return of the repressed. The best of secular values — freedom of conscience and opinion, underwritten by a liberal-democratic order — are suffering under an onslaught from the worst excesses of religion: the tyranny of right­eous opinion, fanatical preach­­ing and the persecution of heresy.



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, 2020


The recent death of Roger Scruton has brought forth a number of reviews of his ideas and praise for his determined defence of them.

As the article below points out, his ideas coincide well with Trump's campaigns.  Patriotism is once more respectable and Scruton could well be described as the prophet of patriotism.  He is certainly a British patriot and I think he defends that well.

He is spot-on here:

"The Left is united by hatred, but we are united by love: love of our country, love of institutions, love of the law, love of family, and so on... what makes us conservatives is the desire to protect those things, and we're up against people who want to destroy them."

But I think he is dead wrong here:

"Left-wing people find it very hard to get on with right-wing people because they believe that they are evil. Whereas I have no problem getting on with left-wing people because I simply believe that they are mistaken."

That may show what a nice guy Scruton was but it reverses reality.  Leftist beliefs are not mistaken.  They are beliefs tenaciously clung on to because of their destructive potential.  Leftists really are evil and we have a big struggle to defend ourselves and our way of life from their dictatorial impulses

I also think that there is much in Scruton's view of conservatism that is rather idiosyncratic.  To me he is more a reactionary, not a conservative. He summarizes his view here.  There is much that he says about conservative psychology which is correct and insightful (such as: "British conservatism has always been suspicious of ideas" and "conservatism is less a philosophy than a temperament") but he claims to say what conservatism is without once mentioning the major policy preference which springs from that psychology -- the desire for individual liberty.  

And is there ANY American -- conservative or not -- who would agree that "the future is the past"?  That is  Scruton's summary of  a core conservative outlook.  By that criterion there are no (or very few) conservatives in America, I would think.  I prefer an infinitely more influential conservative's view of what is important in conservatism,   Ronald Reagan's :  "If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism....  The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom"

There is a good article here by Janet Albrechtsen which contrasts Scruton's thought with Leftist thought.  Scroll down to the heading "Hate is all that the Left have"

I have written more extensively on Scruton here

Sir Roger Scruton Is Dead, but His Ideas Live On

“Conservatism,” wrote Sir Roger Scruton, “is not a matter of defending global capitalism at all costs, or securing the privileges of the few against the many… Its underlying motive is not greed or the lust for power but simply attachment to a way of life.”

The great English philosopher, taken by cancer at the age of 75, was certainly no Chamber of Commerce conservative. For him, conservatism was not defined by the clash of competing economic systems, but by far simpler and more important matters; the preservation of truth, beauty, tradition, heritage, place, and identity.

His definition of patriotism, too, involved concepts you’re unlikely to hear at a Koch-funded lecture:

“When we wish to summon the ‘we’ of identity we refer to our country. We refer simply to this spot of earth, which belongs to us because we belong to it, have loved it, lived in it, defended it and established peace and prosperity within its borders.”

Scruton’s ideas, marginalized for many decades, have bubbled back to the top of the mainstream conservative movement. Under the leadership of nationalist and populist firebrands like President Donald Trump, Matteo Salvini of Italy, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, and Viktor Orban of Hungary (which recently awarded Scruton the Order of Merit), all manner of Scrutonite ideas have returned to the frontline of politics.

Take the concept of Oikophobes and Oikophiles, which Scruton often talked about. Oikophobia — from the Greek word “Oikos”, meaning “home” — refers to an aversion to one’s home; to its people, its traditions, and its culture.

As Scruton described it in a 2006 speech in Brussels, the Oikophobe opposes and ultimately seeks to supplant his own nation with rootless, bureaucratic political entities:

The oikophobe repudiates national loyalties and defines his goals and ideals against the nation, promoting transnational institutions over national governments, accepting and endorsing laws that are imposed from on high by the EU or the UN, and defining his political vision in terms of cosmopolitan values that have been purified of all reference to the particular attachments of a real historical community.

Is there any doubt that the division between Oikophobes and Oikophiles — or, one might say, globalists and nationalists —  is now the primary political divide in the west? Has it not sidelined the old, 20th-century battle between capitalism and socialism, which defined the left-right divide in that era? To be sure, the Kochs and the Chamber of Commerce and the D.C. think tanks are still deeply entrenched in the conservative establishment, but the momentum of the movement is no longer behind them.

This is not to say that Scruton was in any way soft on socialism. Far from it: in the 1980s, he played a leading role in the underground academic networks behind the Iron Curtain that helped bring about the collapse of Soviet communism. Socialism and communism, after all, are Oikophobe ideologies — throughout the 20th century they laid waste to national loyalties, to traditional architecture, to Christianity and other religions. Their fanatical adherents sought to supplant the authority of the masses with the authority of politburos whose loyalty lay not with their nation or people, but with a transnational ideology.

What set Scruton apart from mass-produced “conservative intellectuals” of the think-tank circuit, however, was his recognition that western neoliberalism was perfectly capable of producing its own kind of Oikophobia.

Even as eastern and Central European nationalism flowered amid the ruins of communism, western politicians — including so-called “conservatives” — pushed for mass immigration and deeper ties to artificial constructs like the E.U., which Scruton firmly opposed. Domestically, opponents of the agenda were demonized as cranks, conspiracy theorists, or racists. (Scruton himself recently fell prey to this well-oiled witchhunt machine). Overseas, western powers sought to import their rationalist, liberal values into cultures to which they were alien, with predictably disastrous results.

The rise of leaders like Trump, Bolsonaro, and Salvini has undermined that post-Soviet order, but Scruton wasn’t uncritical of populism either. He took issue with its American variant’s opposition to free trade, and thought Trump, “a creation of social media,” lacked intellect.

Despite this, Scruton recognized the conservative instinct behind two central ideas of the Trump movement, opposition to mass immigration and a revival of national identity.

As he wrote in 2018:

National identity is the origin of the trust on which political order depends. Such trust does not exist in Libya or Syria. But it exists in America, and the country has no more precious asset than the mutual loyalty that enables the words “we, the people” to resonate with every American, regardless of whether it is a liberal or a conservative who utters them.

Those first words of the United States Constitution do not refer to all people everywhere. They refer to the people who reside here, in this place and under this rule of law, and who are the guardians and beneficiaries of a shared political inheritance. Grasping that point is the first principle of conservatism.

Our political inheritance is not the property of humanity in general but of our country in particular. Unlike liberalism, with its philosophy of abstract human rights, conservatism is based not in a universal doctrine but in a particular tradition, and this point at least the president has grasped.

Happily, Scruton lived to see the twilight years of globalism, the Oikophobe ideology that despises national identity. In the early 2010s, if you said you were a “nationalist”, or that place, culture, and people matter, you would receive funny looks at best or be denounced as a racist at worst. Some people still think that way. And yet, everywhere you look, nationalists are now openly campaigning and winning elections.

Roger Scruton may be dead, but his ideas, grounded in a deep understanding of how people actually are, not how 20th-century ideologies wished them to be, have a destiny that stretches far into the future.


Church of England has 'swallowed political correctness wholesale', Queen's former chaplain says, as he converts to Catholicism

Dr Gavin Ashenden, who served the Queen from 2008 to 2017, said that the Church is increasingly bowing to the “non-negotiable demands of secular culture” and has remained “astonishingly silent” when it comes to defending Christian values.

Dr Ashenden stepped down from his role in the Church after objecting to the Quran being read during an Anglican service.

He has now chosen to convert to Catholicism because he believes it has the “courage, integrity and conviction to hold the Christian ground”.

“Freedom of speech is slowly being eroded; those who refuse to be ‘politically correct’ risk accusations of thought crime and Christians are being unfairly persecuted,” he wrote in the Mail on Sunday. “And where is the Church of England in this crucial culture war? Is it on the front line? Not that I can see. If anything, it has switched sides. “This isn’t just a shame, it’s a calamity.

“Too often, called upon to defend Christian values, it has remained astonishingly silent. Nowhere is this starker today than in the highly-charged debate over transgender rights, particularly regarding children and teenagers.”

Dr Ashenden criticised the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby for endorsing guidelines to primary schools in November 2017 that encouraged the use of gender neutral uniforms, which said that children "should be at liberty to explore the possibilities of who they might be without judgement or derision".

“Rather than resist such political correctness, and offer a Christian critique, the Church of England has swallowed it wholesale,” he said.

“In each generation, Christianity has a choice: convert its surroundings or be converted by it. Regrettably, I have come to believe that the Church of England has given up on the essentials of the faith at points where it really matters,” he added.


We have to talk about these Pakistani gangs

The Manchester abuse scandal shows what a horrendous impact political correctness can have.

This week, we have seen the true toll of political correctness. PC isn’t just irritating or stupid. It isn’t just woke students banning sombreros or schools getting iffy about ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’. PC destroys lives.

A report into police and council failings in Manchester has found that gangs of predominantly Pakistani men were free to abuse up to 57 girls after chief cops and local officials turned a blind eye to this foul, cruel behaviour. Why did they turn away? Partly out of fear of stoking racial tensions. Partly because they were worried that drawing attention to the grooming and exploitation of mostly white working-class girls by Asian men might ‘incite racial hatred’ and damage multicultural relations.

Let’s put it plainly: they sacrificed girls to political correctness; they thought that preserving the ideology of multiculturalism was more important than protecting girls from harm.

The independent review into grooming and abuse in Manchester in the mid-2000s, published yesterday, makes for grim reading. It says there were up to 57 victims, mostly white girls aged between 12 and 16, and 97 potential perpetrators, mostly men of ‘Asian heritage’. The review makes clear, from some of the evidence it acquired, that some of the abuse networks were made up of ‘predominantly Pakistani men’. That is, similar to Rotherham, Telford and other parts of the UK, this was a case involving what is sometimes referred to as a Muslim grooming gang.

The girls were groomed, sexually abused, plied with drugs and raped. They suffered, in the review’s words, ‘the most profound abuse and exploitation’. But little was done to help them. Their abusers were not brought to justice. And this catastrophic failing was in part fuelled by what the review refers to as Greater Manchester Police’s concerns about ‘sensitive community issues’. As one news report summarises it, the police were ‘keen not to be seen targeting [a] minority group’. As a result of this PC cowardice, of this mad multicultural sensitivity, the abuse continued.

The review focuses on the tragic case of Victoria Agoglia, a 15-year-old girl in the care of Manchester social services who died from a heroin overdose in 2003. Social services were aware that Victoria was being exploited. She was being injected with heroin by the gangs who used and abused her. She reported being raped. Scandalously, little was done to assist her. Following her death, the coroner said she was known ‘to provide sexual favours’ – a repulsive way of describing the sexual abuse of an underage girl by older men. As the independent review says, such a view of Victoria and her tragic fate ‘significantly underplays the coercion and control’ and ‘harrowing experience’ she was subjected to.

Think about this: we live in a time in which a middle-class woman’s complaint about overhearing a sexist joke or having a hand briefly placed on her knee becomes a huge scandal and can even dominate news coverage, and yet a vulnerable working-class girl can experience horrendous genuine abuse and a coroner, influenced by the view of social services, will refer to it as ‘sexual favours’.

Greater Manchester Police launched Operation Augusta following Victoria’s death. They identified 57 victims and 97 potential perpetrators. Yet hardly any of these people were brought to justice and their ‘activities [were not] disrupted’, as the review says. That is, they carried on abusing. Operation Augusta was wrapped up early and resources were devoted to other, less ‘sensitive’ crimes. As the review says, ‘The authorities knew that many were being subjected to the most profound abuse and exploitation but did not protect them from the perpetrators’.

This is a scandal of epic proportions. The very organisations that are charged with looking after young people who are at risk of abuse failed to do their duty. And they failed to do their duty because they did not want to ruffle community feathers; because they believed, as so much of the establishment does, that ordinary Britons are a vile racist throng and if we hear about an Asian grooming gang we will go crazy. They let their ideology – their commitment to political correctness and to multicultural censorship – distract them from the task of protecting girls from ‘the most profound abuse and exploitation’.

The silence around grooming gangs, in which largely Muslim men abuse largely white working-class girls, has gone on long enough. We need a serious debate about this.

And yet even discussing it is difficult. People are branded racist if they bring it up. You’re an Islamophobe if you talk about the background of most of these men. Sarah Champion was thrown out of the shadow cabinet for daring to write about gangs of Pakistani men abusing girls in her constituency of Rotherham. Corbynistas and Muslim groups accused her of racism.

This unwillingness to talk about, never mind take seriously, the abuse of hundreds of white working-class girls across the country can also be seen in the response to the Manchester scandal. As some people are pointing out, many of today’s newspapers have not led with this story in the way we should expect them to, given it is a huge social and political scandal. What’s more, feminists, so-called progressives and the allegedly pro-working-class left are silent about the whole thing.

There are no hashtags. There is no #MeToo solidarity for these abused girls. There are no expressions of concern from the left. Just shameful, cowardly silence. ‘Make it go away’, is the attitude of these people. Indeed, this week we have had the truly grotesque spectacle of lefties expressing more concern for a duchess, Meghan Markle, than for 57 working-class girls who suffered ‘profound abuse’. They’ve shed more tears over a few rude headlines about the painfully privileged Duchess of Sussex than they have over the revelation that working-class girls were degraded in the most awful way because the authorities couldn’t be bothered to help them.

All day yesterday the chattering classes were droning on about ‘white privilege’ while ignoring the reports about white, mostly poor girls in Manchester being abused. The cognitive dissonance is complete: ‘All white people have privilege’, they cry, as a review reveals the abuse and rape of white girls by mostly Pakistani gangs.

We have to talk about this. We have to talk about how officialdom’s shameful reluctance to investigate these kinds of cases allowed the abuse to continue. We have to talk about how the cultural elite’s silence on these crimes further denigrates the victims, treating them as if they are unworthy of public sympathy. We have to talk about how the new elite’s denigration of white working-class communities as backward and stupid and trashy could well inflame some people’s view of these communities as unimportant, as worthy of abuse. And we have to talk about how the ideology of multiculturalism, the PC unwillingness to look community tensions and divisions in the face, is harming the country.

If we don’t talk about this, far-right elements will continue to make mileage from this issue, girls will continue being abused, and society’s divisions will never be tackled. Only honesty and firmness can stop these things from happening again.


Wilson Gavin: Online pile-on mob is medieval in its malice

Go now to Twitter — yes, I know, why would anyone? — and you will find messages like that popping up pretty much everywhere after prominent Aust­ralians hurried to delete their mean tweets about Wilson Gavin, who killed himself on Monday.

Gavin, who was gay and ­conservative and just 21, threw himself in front of a train. He is lost now — to his family, and his wide group of friends.

The train driver will never recover­. Also the passengers. And those who watched in horror.

“Don’t care. He started it.” That’s just one of the tweets that appeared online after his death was announced. Can you believe that we live in this world? Because we do. And pity young people. They always have, and likely always will.

Some background: Gavin was the president of the University of Queensland Liberal National Club. He was part of the group that turned up to shout at drag queens reading to children at a Brisbane City Council library event on ­Sunday.

The protest was filmed, and the video got posted on Twitter, and Gavin was seen shouting: “Drag queens are not for kids.”

He soon found himself subjected to what’s known as a pile-on: a mass social media attack. He’s fat! He’s ugly! He’s a miserable beast. A vile homophobe!

But Gavin was himself gay. “I’m not a homophobe. I love gay men,” he said in an interview on Sky during the same-sex ­marriage debate.

But he was a conservative, so people are now saying: “Ah, yes, but he was filled with self-loathing. He hadn’t come to terms with his sexuality. He was living a life of misery.”

It’s a sad and ugly spectacle, but of course we’ve been here before.

Charlotte Dawson was a Sydney model, gorgeous inside and out. Loud and outrageous. She was bullied online, and she blamed trolls for driving her towards ­suicide, before killing herself in her luxury apartment in 2014.

There was also a girl called Dolly, star of the Akubra ads, who was bullied to death in 2018.

Some of those who piled on Gavin — many of whom were middle-aged women with promin­ent media careers — are now mourning his death.

Then you have people saying: but you contributed. You piled on. Have you no shame?

It’s such a complicated story. Gavin is not a sweet little girl in an Akubra being bullied at school. He went to that library. He ­con­fronted the drag queens, said they were “not for kids”. His Facebook page was filled with hateful posts.

Much of the criticism of him was mild. Liberal National Party MP Trevor Evans called the UQ kids “ratbags”. Party leader Deb Frecklington just distanced herself.

But some was vile. Pile-ons ­almost always are intensely ­personal. They go for individuals. It’s not about your argument. It’s about how disgusting you are. How ugly. How slovenly, how ­sluttish. How you should really kill yourself. And yes, people do ­actually say that.

Roman Quaedvlieg, the former Australian Border Force chief, describ­ed it this way: “Shout out to those Twitterati opening the app with gloves on, mouthguard in.”

Because that’s what it’s like: being pummelled. Or else you’re the one throwing the virtual punches, from behind the safety of your screen.

But it’s not just you. It’s millions of people all saying the same thing: gross pig, go and die! Mobs form online, just as they used to do in town squares, and they are just as unpredictable as they ever were. They can swerve in ways you can’t predict.

Pile-ons also aren’t concerned with political argument or nuance. It’s personal abuse. It’s broken. It’s unedited, unfiltered, it’s garbage. It’s doing untold harm to children, and young people, but also to anyone­ in the firing line.

Everyone claims to be in the group copping it most:

Conservatives get the most hate!

No, it’s liberals!

No, it’s those who work for Murdoch!

No, it’s those who work for the ABC!

Public shaming is the subject of the book You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, by British journalist Jon Ronson; and an episode of Black Mirror, Hated in the Nation. It was the subject of Monica Lewinsky’s most recent tour. It’s not new: in the olden days, they’d cast you out beyond the city walls, in sackcloth and ashes, or they’d make you carry a billboard, or throw fruit at you, or sew letters on your clothes.

Now you get the pile-on, and it may make you want to kill yourself. But even that won’t stop them. “Absolutely no sympathy!” said one man after Gavin’s death.

No sympathy for a 21-year-old man who threw himself in front of a train? Nope. Because there’s a Twitter war to fight.

Question is: who’s winning?



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, 2020  

Democratic debate so white? So what?

by Jeff Jacoby

NEXT WEEK, Americans will pause to honor the civil rights giant whose famous dream was of a society in which no one would be judged by the color of their skin. This week, however, some Americans who claim to care deeply about civil rights are judging the Democratic candidates who will debate Tuesday night by the color of their skin.

Six candidates have qualified for the Des Moines event: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren. That sextet comprises Democrats who are male and female, straight and gay, old and young, superrrich and middle class, career politicians and political newcomers, ardent East Coast socialists and pragmatic Midwest liberals.

For a bunch of Democrats, that's pretty diverse.

Unless, that is, your idea of diversity is the kind that's only skin-deep.

Under an ominous headline — "Only white candidates have qualified for the Democrats' January debate" — the Washington Post reports that "the specter of an all-white debate" is prompting concern among party activists and "threatens to undercut the party's rhetoric of inclusivity." Indeed, the story notes, "the whiteness of the debate stage — and the top candidates — has been an issue for weeks."

An issue for whom? For social justice warriors and the political journalists they court? Maybe. For most Democratic voters? There's no reason to think so.

It's true that none of the six candidates in this week's debate are black or Asian. That isn't because minority candidates have been excluded from the Democratic debate process. It's because none of the candidates of color still in the race met the threshold for participating in the debate (contributions from 225,000 donors and 5 percent support in at least four polls). Neither did several white candidates.

The shrinking debate stage doesn't reflect a failure of "inclusivity" on the part of the Democratic Party, whose voters, officeholders, and priorities make it the most racially inclusive party in American history. Reasonable minds can dispute whether the party's criteria for joining the debates are sound, but even to hint that those criteria were adopted to keep nonwhite candidates from the spotlight is absurd. Party leaders would be thrilled if Deval Patrick, Andrew Yang, and Tulsi Gabbard had made the cutoff. (Another nonwhite candidate, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, ended his campaign Monday.)

Unlike party leaders, however, rank-and-file Democrats haven't shown much interest in the nonwhite candidates. Rank-and-file black Democrats haven't shown much interest in the nonwhite candidates. It is frequently said that black voters yearn for candidates who "look like" them, but there is no evidence of it in the Democratic presidential race. Quite the opposite.

A new Washington Post-Ipsos poll of black Americans demonstrates that African-American voters yearn above all for a nominee who can defeat President Trump. A solid majority, 57 percent, say that beating Trump is their most important consideration, far above the 33 percent whose top priority is a nominee with positions close to their own. When asked which candidate they think can win, a whopping 53 percent choose Biden. Sanders runs a distant second, with 18 percent seeing him as likeliest to defeat the incumbent.

Black voters are now the backbone of the Democratic Party. They know what most sensible voters know: The "rhetoric of inclusivity" is well and good, but the point of parties is to win elections. By a robust margin, older black voters think Biden can win, while younger black voters are counting on Sanders. That's why Biden and Sanders top the Democratic field. They are the candidates black voters support.

Obviously black voters aren't averse to supporting a viable black candidate. Their enthusiasm for Barack Obama was off the charts. But they aren't about to back a candidate just because his or her skin isn't white — nor reject a candidate just because it is.

Like nearly all candidates who run for president, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Julian Castro didn't make the cut. Their color had little to do with their lack of success: Most white candidates fail too.

In fact, the Post-Ipsos poll found, most black Americans don't care whether the Democratic vice presidential nominee is black.

If a white candidate wins the nomination, respondents were asked, "how important, if at all, would it be to you personally that the nominee choose a vice-presidential running mate who is black?" An overwhelming 72 percent said it was either "not so" important or "not at all" important.

Many candidates run for president. Nearly all of them fail. For black Democrats focused on November, the goal isn't to elect a president who isn't white, it's to elect a president who isn't Trump. The candidates they favor may not look like them, but they'll be front and center in the debate.


Why things are about to get a lot worse for Jussie Smollett

If Jussie Smollett had last year pleaded guilty to some minor charge, done 90 days of community service and paid a substantial fine to reimburse the $130,000 worth of overtime costs rolled up by Chicago police detectives investigating his ludicrous assault claims, he might today be in full rebound mode. Picture it: The tearful, dramatic mea culpa with Robin Roberts. A bold admission — “This is on me” — followed by a deflection of blame to drugs or alcohol or the dark demons of hate we all know are lurking out there, waiting for third-tier television stars to emerge from sandwich shops. A charity concert. A blessing from Al Sharpton. Some lighthearted banter with Stephen Colbert. Then, gradual forgiveness and maybe another TV deal.

What Smollett did instead looks increasingly stupid. He admitted nothing and even doubled down on his fantasy tale of a late-night attack by men supposedly roaming the streets with a noose and a bottle of bleach. He was handed the opportunity by the office of State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, which dropped charges without demanding a guilty plea because he had supposedly already been punished enough, by secretly serving a few hours’ community service and forfeiting a bond of which he paid a mere $10,000. But if he was the victim of a crime, why should he forfeit one dollar or agree to one hour of community service? Worse: The real criminals are still out there!

Led by the then-mayor and the then-CPD superintendent, outrage about Smollett’s lies caused the appointment of a special prosecutor, Dan Webb. So the story lives on. Smollett has not been nailed, and Chicago wants him nailed. He will get nailed. The postman always rings twice.

Webb has won the right to comb through Smollett’s e-mails, the Chicago Tribune reported last week. Smollett is not exactly a meticulous master criminal. The day the story broke, Jan. 29, he was already telling different versions of his tall tale to the press and the police (who, if I know anything about police, therefore grokked that he was lying on the very first day).

A Chicago judge approved the special prosecutor’s request for search warrants to obtain from both Smollett and his manager “not just e-mails but also drafted and deleted messages; any files in their Google Drive cloud storage services; any Google Voice texts, calls and contacts; search and Web browsing history; and location data.” Ouch. There is no chance that all of this information will back up Smollett’s made-for-TV claims about men roaming around looking for gay television actors to beat up while chanting MAGA slogans.

The search warrant was granted way back on Dec. 6, and since the judge ordered Google and its “representatives, agents and employees” not to disclose his order to turn over the records because it might “jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation,” Smollett presumably had no idea his records were even being seized until the Tribune report ran on Jan. 8. So lots of things Smollett said privately before and after the most notorious fake attack by nonexistent evildoers since “The War of the Worlds” radio show are about to become public. Smollett’s career appears to be on pause. His income must be minimal after Fox fired him from “Empire.” His legal bills are piling up. Oh, and Dave Chappelle openly mocked him and rechristened him “Juicy Smollée.” Will the humiliation never end?

Smollett is not the only one on the hook. Foxx, Smollett’s apparent ally who let him skate, seems to be feeling the heat and has retained outside legal counsel. Foxx hired a lawyer to represent her personal interests and also brought in a former chief judge to respond to Webb’s inquiries about the state’s attorney’s office. This latter problem is costing taxpayers a significant amount: The lawyer is being paid (at a rate of $250 to $375 an hour) with public funds. Foxx is running for re-election but faces three Democratic opponents in a March primary. Seems like it won’t be long before Special Prosecutor Webb uncovers what really happened with the case. The good news for Smollett, who in November 2018 posed on Instagram in a shirt emblazoned with the word “TRUTH” in gigantic letters, is that he will at last be freed from his lies. After being forced to confess, he can get to work on rebuilding. Let the fake-apology tour begin!


Omar Blasts Iran Sanctions, Defends BDS

This radical leftist appears to view the U.S. (and Israel) as the villain and Iran as the victim.

Blasting President Donald Trump for raising new sanctions on Iran over its missile attack against U.S. military personnel in Iraq, Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN) ridiculously asserted, “This makes no sense. Sanctions are economic warfare. They have already caused medical shortages and countless deaths in Iran. You cannot claim to want deescalation and then announce new sanctions with no clear goal. This in not a measured response!”

Well, the president’s goal is to defend Americans and to stop Iran from terrorizing its neighbors in the region. Trump merely responded with more sanctions when he would have been fully justified to respond to Iran’s provocative missile barrage with more deadly force. That seems the epitome of a measured response.

However, Omar, claiming to be suffering a PTSD moment, failed to see the irony in her own defense of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement — a movement that calls for sanctions against Israel simply because it is a Jewish state. “The BDS movement is a movement that is driven by the people,” she lamely pontificated. “The sanctions on Iran are sanctions that are being placed to create maximum pressure by a government. That’s very different.” It is very different — sanctioning the terrorist-sponsoring regime of Iran is entirely justified.

Omar’s response brought a quick rebuke from Congressional Leadership Fund Rapid Response Director Matthew Foldi, who observed: “By ‘very different,’ [Omar] is referring to the fact that BDS is a bunch of racist anti-Semites whereas government sanctions have nothing to do with bigotry.”

Omar seems to view America and American values as the problem and an enemy to be condemned an attacked, not her homeland that should be loved and defended. It’s as if Omar is living in a fantasy world where the U.S. is the villain and Iran is the innocent victim.

And with anti-Americans like Omar and “The Squad” leading the way, is it any wonder so many young Americans don’t find much to love about our country?


Why Two-Parent Homes Are Still Better

No, the benefits of in-tact families are not "a myth," as argued by some on the Left

A family built around two parents has many advantages. Two-parent families are statistically less likely to be poor. They are also less likely to suffer addictions or engage in criminal behavior. Children who grow up in homes where both mom and dad live under one roof have a greater chance to live successful, well-adjusted lives and create stable familial relationships for themselves.

This is not to say that children who grow up in one-parent homes are doomed to miserable lives, but it’s hard to deny that the opportunity for a better life takes a lot more work. One-parent households are predominantly lower income, less educated, and more susceptible to crime and drug problems.

Sociologists, economists, and politicians have struggled for years to find ways to alleviate the inequities dealt to one-parent households. Potential solutions abound, but those suggested by Dr. Christina Cross, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, ignore the core issue and risk making matters worse.

In a shockingly obtuse New York Times op-ed last month, Cross claimed that for black Americans the problem is not a lack of two parents under one roof, but, rather, it’s a lack of access to resources compared to white one-parent families. In other words, more taxpayer money will fix it.

Cross points out that black one-parent households have a tougher time than white one-parent households when it comes to getting and maintaining jobs, obtaining a good education, owning property, and so forth. She then makes the cognitive leap that access to resources alone is the problem for one-parent black families because one-parent white families perform statistically better in these areas. The power of a two-parent household among blacks is “a myth” according to Cross. Rather than stepping back and looking at the larger issues that face all one-parent families, Cross chooses to make a racial divide and drive home the tired leftist narrative about a racist system that has it in for black families.

Perhaps one-parent white families do perform statistically better than one-parent black families across all of Cross’s data points, but what difference does that make? White or black, they are still more likely to be poor, less educated, and more susceptible to a tougher life.

Ian Rowe, senior visiting fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, takes Cross to task for her misguided analysis. Rowe points to data from the National Center for Education Statistics that shows the proportion of black children living in poverty decreases from 45% for mother-only households and 36% for father-only households to 12% for two-parent households.

Rowe also questions how Cross narrowly cites evidence to play down the importance of two-parent households for blacks while ignoring the broader issue of family structure for children of all races. Why does the problem have to be confined to one race? Non-marital births among white women under 24 numbered 238,000 in 2018, far higher than any other racial cohort.

Cross is right to be concerned about the issue of single-parent families, but by choosing to make a racial argument, she makes it that much more difficult to implement the real solution: A more stable family structure benefitting all children, no matter their skin color.



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, 2020

Democrat Debate Stage Will Be All White

Blame the voters. While no votes have yet been cast in the Democrat primary, that’s essentially the message from DNC Chairman Tom Perez when asked why no Democrats “of color” will be on stage at Tuesday’s presidential debate in Des Moines. Who made the cut? Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, and Elizabeth “Not a Cherokee” Warren. They’re so white that, put together, they don’t even make half a Native American.

“If you want to make sure that a candidate of color makes the debate stage, when a pollster calls you, make sure you make that preference felt,” Perez said. “Because that is how you move the polling needle and, again, the voters are the ones who are making these decisions.”

He’s got half a point. While the polls clearly don’t reflect a swell of support for candidates like Andrew Yang — or former candidates like Cory Booker (who dropped out this morning) and Kamala Harris — those candidates might enjoy more support if they weren’t terrible. Now, you might be saying, “But the leading candidates are terrible, too.” And you’d be right. Nonetheless, they’re the nationally recognized terrible candidates who have a respectable shot at defeating “President Hitler,” known to normal people as Donald Trump. Biden continues to enjoy the most support among blacks.

The bigger story is how Democrats have so blatantly taken black voters for granted. Trump enjoys more support from minorities than virtually any other Republican in the last 50 years, which is a sign that more minorities see what Democrats are doing … and what Trump has done for them. That isn’t to say the Democrat won’t still win roughly 90% of the black vote, but there are cracks in the armor.


Resolution 2020: Femininity, Not Feminism

Leftist feminists have thoroughly distorted what it really means to be a woman. 

In my previous article, I delved into the sad reality that is the dwindling masculinity among American men. Things just wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t offer the same food for thought to women today.

Some ladies on the Left subscribe to sexiness and seduction for self-confidence. Today, it means nothing that a woman is intelligent, God-fearing, obedient, wise, and lady-like. Instead, she must be overbearing, controlling, and powerful, filled with anger and masculine energy, but also hyper-sexualized, anti-man, and pro-abortion. Most importantly, she must forever be a victim. The world is her oyster, and she exists only to be served.

A woman today is pressured to check all of the aforementioned boxes to be seen as worthy among her peers, or else she is ostracized and excommunicated, deemed a relic of an era of “misogyny.” To leftist ladies, a woman who loves her husband, prioritizes home and family, and practices true femininity is “oppressed.” This couldn’t be further from the truth.

When I first laid eyes on the woman who is now my wife, my initial attraction was not her stunning beauty, but her modest presentation that was so different from the other girls in room.

Twenty-five years later, I remember exactly what she had on. It was a green plaid skirt that was just over the knee and a white long-sleeved blouse. Her modesty prompted me to believe that she was different. She was not projecting sexiness like most women today. Instead, she was projecting bigger ideas, confidence, self-respect, and inner beauty.

Most women today project sexiness that is dependent upon accentuating curves and selecting the right color nails and lipstick. Men will only respond to her based on external factors that he can see with his eyes. But true beauty is different and can only be defined by how a woman makes a man feel in her presence, not what a man sees with the naked eye.

This year, ladies of the feminist ilk are in desperate need of a good face wash and to start over with the following inner-beauty tips from a happily married man.

A woman’s strength is not in oppressing others. No one owes you anything… not society and especially not men. Victimhood is ugly and can be seen from miles away. A truly strong woman sees value in her God-given ability to nurture and care for others.

Sex should be sacred and secret. Outward expressions of sexuality are uncomfortable for everyone, not just people of the opposite sex. Just because you are comfortable with sex doesn’t mean everyone else should be. Consider this as you network, make friends and date.

Equality with men is a myth. Women who compete with men do not value themselves or the men they are competing with. A woman’s gifts are just as valuable as a man’s, even though they are biologically different. This is what makes the opposing sexes special. Never should a woman forsake what makes her stand out. Instead of envying what a man has, the wise woman is grateful for what qualities she does possess and also appreciates the challenges that are unique to men.

Women are our life givers. To be pro-abortion is to be anti-life and thus anti-woman.

As women conflate pride with egotism and promiscuity, men… no, society yearns for the ladies of yesteryear… the modest, demure ones who had more to offer the world than physical beauty. All the world’s weaves, lashes, and rainbow hair dye won’t make up for the valuable homemaking skills, nurture and intuition that is lost on the Jezebels of this era. Feminism exists to fill up women (and some men) with hot air, eventually leaving them lonely, angry, sad, and deflated once reality’s sharp needle makes eventual contact.

Sadly, I meet ladies who are looking around in their 30s and 40s and wondering why life isn’t the way they want it to be. Many of these women are single mothers, unable to find a partner, feeling isolated and depressed. But instead of looking in the vanity mirror, many still believe men and misogyny are the cause. My hope is that they come to terms with this single truth: nothing beautiful comes from a woman who believes in feminism. To cast this away is to find true beauty within.


Vatican tamps down clamor over Benedict’s new celibacy book

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican on Monday sought to downplay the decision by retired Pope Benedict XVI to reaffirm the “necessity” of a celibate priesthood at the same time that Pope Francis is considering ordaining married men.

The book, “From the Depths of Our Hearts: Priesthood, Celibacy and the Crisis of the Catholic Church,’’ is coauthored with conservative Cardinal Robert Sarah.

Benedict’s intervention was extraordinary because he had promised to remain “hidden from the world” when he retired in 2013, and pledged his obedience to the new pope.

The implications for such an intervention are grave, given that many Catholics nostalgic for Benedict’s orthodoxy are already deeply opposed to Francis, with some even considering Benedict’s resignation illegitimate.

The book is likely to fuel renewed anxiety about the wisdom of Benedict’s decision to call himself “emeritus pope,’’ rather than merely a retired bishop. In that light, it is significant that the English edition of the book lists the author as “Benedict XVI,’’ with no mention of his emeritus papal status on the cover.

“The priesthood of Jesus Christ causes us to enter into a life that consists of becoming one with him and renouncing all that belongs only to us,’’ he writes. “For priests, this is the foundation of the necessity of celibacy.”

Marriage, he writes, requires man to give himself totally to his family. “Since serving the Lord likewise requires the total gift of a man, it does not seem possible to carry on the two vocations simultaneously.”

Catholic social media was abuzz Monday after Benedict’s bombshell, with Francis’ supporters saying it showed the problems of having an “emeritus pope’’ seemingly undermining the current one, and suggesting that Benedict — at age 92 and increasingly feeble — was being manipulated by his conservative entourage.

Mark Brumley, the president of Ignatius Press, however, denounced such conspiracies and said Benedict isn’t being used.

“Why some folks choose to interpret the new book by Pope Emeritus Benedict and Cardinal Sarah in anti-Pope Francis ways speaks volumes,’’ he tweeted. “Let’s pray for healing for the critics that they can rejoice in a new work from two great churchmen of our time, including a major theologian.’’


The decline of religion in American family life

Most Americans today continue to be raised in a religious denomination or tradition. Only 12 percent of Americans report being raised outside a formal religious tradition. Half (50 percent) report being raised Protestant, close to three in 10 (29 percent) say they were raised Catholic, and significantly fewer Americans were brought up Mormon (2 percent), Jewish (2 percent), Muslim (1 percent), Orthodox (1 percent), or something else (1 percent).

However, there are significant differences in the religious upbringing of Americans across generations. Young adults (age 18 to 29) are far more likely to have been raised without religion than are seniors (age 65 or older). Roughly one in five (22 percent) young adults report that they were not raised in any particular religion, compared to only 3 percent of seniors. Notably, the proportion of young adults who have always been religiously unaffiliated is nearly as large as those who have left religion to become unaffiliated.

Younger Americans have had less robust religious experiences during their childhood than previous generations have. Fewer than one in three (29 percent) young adults say they attended religious services with their family at least weekly when they were growing up. More than half (52 percent) of seniors say the same. About one-third (32 percent) of young adults say they never attended religious services during their formative years. Young adults also report lower rates of attending Sunday school or other religious education programs as children. Only 27 percent of young adults say they attended Sunday school at least weekly. Among seniors, more than half (55 percent) say they attended Sunday school or a similar type of religious program during their childhood.

A similar pattern is evident in religious activities in the home. About one in three (32 percent) young adults report that they said grace or prayed with their family at meals at least once a week during their childhood. Nearly half (46 percent) of seniors say the same. Young adults are about twice as likely as seniors to say they never said grace or prayed at mealtime (38 percent vs. 21 percent). Young adults are about as likely as seniors to say they read scripture or prayed with their family at least once a week growing up (26 percent vs. 30 percent), but young adults are significantly more likely to say they never did (44 percent vs. 32 percent). Young adults are also more likely than seniors to say that they never participated in religious holidays in their home growing up. Nearly one in four (24 percent) young adults report never celebrating religious holidays, compared to 11 percent of seniors.

Generational differences in religious upbringing come down to parenting decisions and priorities. However, structural changes in family life may play a role as well. Americans raised by divorced or separated parents report less robust religious experiences during their childhood. Close to half (47 percent) of Americans raised by parents who were married during their formative years say they attended worship services at least once a week with their family growing up. In contrast, only 28 percent of Americans raised in households with divorced or separated parents report this frequency of religious attendance. There is a similar-sized gap in Sunday school attendance. About half (47 percent) of Americans growing up in households with married parents report attending Sunday school or a religious education program weekly or more often, compared to 27 percent of those raised by divorced or separated parents. Finally, Americans whose parents were married are more likely to have regularly said grace or prayed with their family during mealtimes than those whose parents were divorced or separated (44 percent vs. 32 percent).

This effect is evident across generations. The difference between younger adults (age 18 to 34) raised by divorced or separated parents and those raised by married parents mirrors the national gap. For example, younger adults with married parents are about twice as likely to say they attended services at least weekly during their childhood as are those whose parents were divorced or separated (41 percent vs. 20 percent).

Another way changes in family life may affect formative religious experiences is the rise of interfaith families. Recent research suggests that one in five Americans are raised with mixed religious backgrounds and that this trend is accelerating.[1] Americans raised by parents with different religious beliefs or identities are less religiously active during childhood. A majority (56 percent) of Americans whose parents have similar religious backgrounds say they attended services with their family at least weekly. In contrast, fewer than half (43 percent) of those with parents who have different religious backgrounds report attending religious services weekly during their childhood. Americans raised by parents with similar religious backgrounds are also more likely to say they prayed or said grace with their families at meals at least once a week (57 percent vs. 41 percent).

The Decline of Religious Marriages

The shifting religious landscape is also affecting the role religion plays in important life moments. For older married Americans, a religious wedding—officiated by a religious leader and held in a religious venue such as a church—was the most common type of ceremony. Six in 10 (60 percent) married Americans age 65 or older report that they were married by a religious leader in a church or religious setting. Another 13 percent say they were married by a religious official in a nonreligious setting. Roughly one-quarter (27 percent) say their wedding celebration was officiated by a justice of the peace, friend, or family member in a nonreligious location. Younger married Americans (age 18 to 34) are increasingly opting for secular venues and ceremonies. Only 36 percent of younger married Americans say their ceremony was officiated by a religious figure and held in a religious location such as a church or worship center. Sixteen percent say they were married by a religious leader in a nonreligious setting, while nearly half (48 percent) report being married by a different type of officiant in a secular venue.

There is evidence that this trend will continue. Among Americans who have never been married, only 30 percent say they would prefer to be married in a church or other house of worship by a religious leader. Fourteen percent say they would like to be married by a religious leader in a nonreligious setting, while the majority (56 percent) say they would prefer to have their wedding officiated by a justice of the peace, friend, or family member in a nonreligious location.

Married Americans who had no religious affiliation growing up are far more likely to have had a secular wedding service. More than seven in 10 (71 percent) married Americans who were raised in a nonreligious household, compared to only 36 percent of those who were raised in a religion, report that they were married by a justice of the peace, family member, or friend in a secular setting.

The most important reason couples decide to have a secular wedding service is also the most obvious: They are not religious. Sixty-nine percent of unaffiliated Americans with an unaffiliated spouse report that they had a secular service. Fewer unaffiliated people with a religious spouse (51 percent) say their ceremony was conducted by a justice of peace, friend, or family member in a nonreligious location.

The Rise of Secular Couples

Today, two-thirds (66 percent) of unaffiliated Americans who are married or living with a partner report that their spouse or partner is also unaffiliated, but this was not always the case. According to the General Social Survey, in the 1970s only about one-third (34 percent) of married Americans who were religiously unaffiliated reported that their spouse was also unaffiliated.[2] The majority of unaffiliated Americans of that era had a spouse who was religious.[3]

Notably, younger unaffiliated Americans are more likely to have spouses or partners with similar beliefs than are those who are older. Nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) younger unaffiliated Americans (age 18 to 34) say their spouse or partner is also unaffiliated. Among unaffiliated Americans age 50 or older, slightly more than half (55 percent) report that their spouse shares the same religious identity.

Religious Disaffiliation: Who Leaves and When

Approximately one in five (19 percent) Americans raised in a religious tradition no longer identify with any religion as an adult. But patterns of religious disaffiliation are not constant across demographic and political identities.

Younger Americans report much greater rates of disaffiliation than do older Americans. Three in 10 (30 percent) young adults raised in a religious tradition growing up say they no longer affiliate with one as an adult. Among seniors, only 11 percent of those raised in a religion are currently unaffiliated.

There are sharp political differences in patterns of religious disaffiliation as well. Democrats brought up in religious households are roughly three times more likely than Republicans to have left religion. Nearly one in four (23 percent) Democrats brought up in a religion no longer identify with a religious tradition, while only 8 percent of Republicans say the same.

Childhood religious activity also is strongly related to current patterns of religious affiliation. Americans raised in homes with more robust religious experiences are less likely to disaffiliate from religion entirely. More than one-third (35 percent) of Americans who were raised in a religious tradition but report very low levels of childhood engagement growing up now identify as religiously unaffiliated.[4] In contrast, only 7 percent of Americans raised in a religious tradition who report very high levels of religious activity during their formative years have disaffiliated.

Age of Disaffiliation

Although higher education has frequently been offered as an explanation for the lower rates of religious adherence among young adults, most Americans who have become religiously unaffiliated report that they disaffiliated before they turned 18. Fifty-seven percent of Americans who disaffiliated say they did so before reaching adulthood, about one-third (35 percent) report that they disaffiliated between the age of 18 and 29, and only 9 percent say they left after the age of 30.

Young people are particularly likely to leave during their formative years. Seventy percent of young adults who have left their childhood religion to become unaffiliated report that they stopped identifying with their childhood religion when they were younger than 18 years old. Among seniors who have disaffiliated, 49 percent left religion during adolescence, while 51 percent left after they turned 18.

Looking for Religion?

Few Americans who are currently religiously unaffiliated report that they are looking for a religion. Only 5 percent of unaffiliated Americans say they are now looking for a religion that would be right for them. Ninety-five percent say they are not doing this.

Are Parents Still Raising Children in Religion?

Most Americans say that raising children in a religion is important for providing moral guidance and instilling proper values. Roughly two-thirds (65 percent) of the public agree that raising children in a religion is important so they can learn good values. Only about one-third (35 percent) disagree. However, there are considerable differences of opinion by age. Fewer than half (48 percent) of young adults agree that raising children in a religious community is important to provide a moral foundation. A majority (53 percent) of young adults say this is not the case. In contrast, more than three-quarters (76 percent) of seniors say bringing children up in religion is crucial to instill good values.

Generational differences in views about the importance of religious education are largely driven by varying rates of religious affiliation across age cohorts. A majority (69 percent) of young adults who belong to a religious tradition agree that bringing up children in religion is important to teach them good values. This view is held by only 19 percent of young adults who are unaffiliated. However, even among religiously affiliated adults, views about the importance of religious upbringing differ by age. Religious young adults are less likely to agree that raising children in a religion is important than are religious seniors, 85 percent of whom agree.

Religious Activities in the Household

Close to half (44 percent) of parents with children under the age of 18 say they pray or read scripture with their children. More than four in 10 (42 percent) say they take them to religious services regularly, while a similar number (38 percent) report that they send their children to Sunday school or some other religious education program.

The level of religious engagement is noticeably higher among religious parents. Parents who are religiously affiliated are much more likely than those who are unaffiliated to report that they pray or read scripture with their children (55 percent vs. 14 percent), take them to religious services (53 percent vs. 11 percent), or send them to Sunday school (47 percent vs. 12 percent).

The pattern of religious involvement among young parents (age 18 to 34) with children under the age of 18 does not differ appreciably from parents overall with children in this age range. Nearly half (46 percent) of young parents say they pray or read scripture with their children. More than four in 10 (44 percent) say they attend religious services with them regularly, but only 36 percent say they send them to Sunday school or another religious education program.

However, older parents with grown children report being much more religiously engaged with their children during their formative years.[5] Among parents age 65 or older who have grown children, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) say they sent them to Sunday school or some other religious education program, and more than six in 10 (61 percent) say they regularly took them to religious services. Notably, older parents are not more likely to have prayed or read scripture with their children when they were young. Fewer than half (47 percent) of older parents say they read scripture or prayed with their children growing up.

Given that younger parents are much more likely to have young children, it is worth considering whether lower levels of religious activity in these households are affected by the age of the child or children. Compared to parents with young children (age 0 to 6), parents with school-age children (age 7 to 12) are more likely to report higher levels of religious engagement in their household. Parents with school-age children are more likely to participate in regular religious attendance with their children (49 percent vs. 37 percent), pray or read scripture with their children (57 percent vs. 42 percent), and send their children to Sunday school (45 percent vs. 27 percent).[6] However, parents with teenage children report lower levels of religious involvement. Among parents with children living at home who are between the age of 13 and 17, only 36 percent report praying or reading scripture with them, 40 percent report sending them to Sunday school, and 46 percent report taking them to religious services regularly.

Interfaith Families, Formative Religious Experiences, and Children’s Religious Engagement

A recent study found that about only six in 10 new marriages included people who belonged to the same religious tradition.[7] The rise of interfaith families matters because parental religious homophily is closely tied to children’s religious participation. When parents share the same religious identity, they are much more likely to involve their children in religious activities both inside and outside the home.[8] A majority of parents who share the same religious identity as their spouses or partners say they pray or read scripture with their children (64 percent), take their children to religious services regularly (62 percent), or send them to Sunday school or another religious education program (52 percent).

In contrast, parents who have spouses or partners with different religious backgrounds report lower levels of religious engagement with their children.[9] About three in 10 among couples with differing religious beliefs pray or read scripture with their children (31 percent), attend religious services with them (36 percent), or send them to a religious education program (32 percent). Finally, unaffiliated couples with children under age 18 report even lower levels of religious activity in their household.[10] Less than one in 10 unaffiliated parents with unaffiliated spouses or partners pray or read scripture with their children (7 percent), attend religious services with them (8 percent), or send their children to a religious education program (9 percent).[11]

The importance of formative religious experiences is also evident. Among Americans who report very low levels of religious activity during their childhood, only 11 percent pray or read with their children now, only 7 percent take them to religious services regularly, and only 7 percent send them to Sunday school. Those with robust religious exposure when they were growing up report being very religiously active with their children. Americans with very high levels of religious involvement during their childhood are about 10 times more likely to pray or read with their children (87 percent), attend worship services with them (84 percent), or send them to Sunday school (80 percent).

Young People Express Greater Uncertainty About God

Although the overwhelming majority of Americans believe in God, previous research has found that religious uncertainty is common among both believers and nonbelievers.[12] Consistent with this work, we find that religious doubting is fairly common among the public. More than half (51 percent) of Americans say they believe in God without any doubt. Twenty-eight percent say they believe in God but sometimes have doubts. About one in five Americans do not believe in God, including 9 percent who express some uncertainty about their lack of belief and 12 percent who say they never have doubts.

There are yawning generational divisions in views about God. Only 30 percent of young adults (age 18 to 29) say they believe in God without ever questioning their belief. About one-third (32 percent) say they believe in God but have doubts. One in five (20 percent) say they do not believe in God and never question their view, while 19 percent say they do not believe but have doubts occasionally. In contrast, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of seniors say they believe in God without ever having doubts. Twenty-two percent say they believe in God but express some uncertainty about it. Only 13 percent say they do not believe in God, and only 8 percent say they have no doubts about this belief.

The higher rate of uncertainty in belief about God among young adults is not solely due to the disproportionate share of young people who are unaffiliated. Religiously affiliated young adults report higher rates of religious doubting than do older affiliated adults. About half (45 percent) of young adults who are religiously affiliated report that they never doubt their belief in the existence of God, compared to 74 percent of religiously affiliated seniors who say the same.

Americans are divided over whether being moral is contingent on a belief in God. Close to half (48 percent) of Americans say it is necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values while about as many (52 percent) disagree.

Views about the relationship between belief in God and morality differs significantly across generational lines. Only about one-third (35 percent) of young adults say that a belief in God is requisite to be moral, while more than half (52 percent) of seniors say it is.

Young People Express More Ambivalence About Religion

The public is divided over the degree to which religious people are tolerant of others. Close to half (47 percent) of Americans say religious people are generally less tolerant of others, while a majority (53 percent) disagree with this statement.

Young adults express much more skepticism about religious people than do older adults. Nearly six in 10 (59 percent) young people say religious people are generally less tolerant, while only 34 percent of seniors agree. Two-thirds (66 percent) of seniors disagree with this statement.

There are yawning partisan differences in views about religious people. More than six in 10 (61 percent) Democrats, compared to only 30 percent of Republicans, believe that religious people are generally less tolerant of others.

Most Americans reject the idea that religion causes more problems in society than it solves. A majority (56 percent) of the public say they disagree with the notion that religion brings more problems than solutions, although 45 percent agree.

Views about the societal benefits of religion differ markedly across generations. A majority (55 percent) of young adults agree that religion causes more problems for society than it solves, a view held by only 32 percent of seniors. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of seniors disagree, including 47 percent who completely disagree.



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, 2020  

The Hatred Whose Name We Dare Not Speak

Why the self-censorship when anti-Semitic violence is perpetrated by blacks?

Week after week come new headlines of attacks upon Jews walking the streets of ordinary, traditionally Jewish New York neighborhoods.

Since the beginning of December, there have been eight attacks upon Jews, starting with the shooting assault on a Jersey City Jewish supermarket which left three innocents dead.

Quite simply, even a mere year or two ago, this was not a problem one would have expected to see in the post-Second World War United States. A new menace to Jewish life, a reawakened anti-Semitism, reminiscent of the 1930s, with its Nazi and fascist infection, when Jews were last victimized in American streets, is now with us and a high proportion of this anti-Semitic violence is being perpetrated by African-Americans.

The problem is also large when viewed in the total context of hate crimes in the US: in the third quarter of 2019, anti-Jewish incidents comprised roughly half of all hate crimes recorded by New York City police.

After the Jersey City attacks, some local blacks despicably blamed Jews for living in the neighborhood and thus supposedly causing the attack.

Astonishingly, a local black official, Jersey City School Board member Joan Terrell-Paige, asked “Where was all this faith and hope when Black homeowners were threatened, intimidated, and harassed by I WANT TO BUY YOUR HOUSE brutes of the jewish [sic] community?” whom she accused of having “waved bags of money”  in front of black homeowners.

In one of the five assaults in New York City during Chanukah, a Jewish man, walking in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, was confronted by a gang of black youths screaming anti-Semitic obscenities at him, one of whom threw his drink at him.

In another assault, also in Crown Heights, a Jewish man was accosted by a group of eight black teenagers and knocked to the ground.

More serious still, this past weekend, a machete-wielding African-American man, Grafton Thomas, attempted to murder several Jews after entering a rabbi’s home in the orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Monsey in upstate New York. Thomas stabbed five people, one of whom was seriously injured.

More than a century ago, Lord Alfred Douglas, the lover of Irish playwright and wit, Oscar Wilde, devised a euphemism for the-then illegal activity of homosexual sex, ‘The love that dare not speak its name.’ Today, as though it were illegal or grossly offensive to identify anti-Semitic acts committed by anyone other than whites, officialdom substitutes the vocabulary of the mealy-mouthed. It would appear that attacks on Jews are viewed as serious and deserving of scrutiny and action only when committed by credentialed haters like white supremacists.

Thus, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio claimed in the midst of December’s anti-Jewish attacks that “‘most’ of the ‘violent and anti-Semitic attacks around this country’ are ‘fermented systematically and in an organized fashion by right-wing forces’” and that President Trump was also largely responsible for this.

Similarly, Representative Rashida Tlaib (D–MI) asserted that the Jersey City attack was a case of “white supremacy.” Still others opt for silence.

Where are the African-American community leaders, local and national, decrying this anti-Jewish violence perpetrated by members of their community? Where are the New York City Democratic representatives? Senator Charles Schumer has condemned the attacks as “pure evil” and called for a federal investigation into the attack, but why have we heard nothing, for example, from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

Only last October, Representative Ocasio-Cortez could be found absurdly accusing President Donald Trump of anti-Semitism. Now, when confronted by actual anti-Semitic assaults in the streets of her own city, not a word was to be heard from her.

Mayor de Blasio, it is true, was not silent, observing that “It’s not enough to condemn anti-Semitism — we have to confront it … The NYPD … will bring the perpetrators to justice.”

However, as the Orthodox Jewish newspaper, Vos Iz Neias, notes, “Mayor De Blasio’s policy has proved to be consistent: send out a tweet (only sometimes). Arrest the perpetrators. Release them a few hours later back onto the streets … The mayor cannot claim to be serious about eliminating anti-Semitic attacks in the city, while at the same time refusing to keep the perpetrators of these very crimes off the streets.”

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has been forthright and active, describing the Monsey attack as a case of “domestic terrorism” and issuing instructions to state police to increase patrols in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods across the state, but the silence from many other Democrats and African-African-American leaders remains alarming and symptomatic of the problerm.

The systematic ignoring and misidentification of black anti-Semitic assaults is an unsustainable and unserious approach to a profoundly serious problem. Regrettably, at this moment, we have no reason to expect progress because the reluctance to confront black anti-Semitism is not mysterious: it stems from a general reluctance to condemn anti-Semitism committed by anyone other than white racists because doing so would call attention to the widespread nature of the problem and beg the question of its durability and resurgence.

Any searching examination would soon reveal that anti-Semitism is not simply another bigotry, but rather an intellectual and spiritual disease which invests Jews with virtually supernatural capacity to harm humankind as the essential first step in mobilizing the masses to persecute and even murder them.

Those who wish to rid the world of the Judeo-Christian moral and intellectual legacy can do no better than targeting its Jewish progenitors. This is why anti-Semitism has been rife across time and place, operates without the normal stimulants of ethnic animosity or competition for territory or resources, and even appears in societies devoid of Jews.

The African-American community must confront the problem of anti-Semitic sentiment and violence within and this can only start with the African-American leadership recognizing the problem, taking the lead, forthrightly condemning the assaults, and visibly engaging in acts of solidarity with Jews.

Progress also cannot occur when leaders like Mayor De Blasio and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders embrace radical Muslim activists like Linda Sarsour.

In short, positive words without positive action, or worse, coupled with negative action, has not and will not suffice.

This is a moment of truth for Democrats and for African-Americans, to be counted in substantive opposition to the haters within their ranks with a view to marginalizing them, or to quietly acquiesce in this alarming state of affairs, to the detriment of American Jews and society in general in the years to come. Their decision will shape the country the United States will become.


Why today’s young men are terrified of sex

Mason, a former college football player from suburban Milwaukee, was almost 20 years old when he lost his virginity.

It’s a story you don’t hear too often. Boys, we’re told, are having sex younger and more irresponsibly than ever. But as author Peggy Orenstein learned while doing research on her new book, “Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity” (Harper), out now, the reality can be very different.

For Mason, the simple act of kissing was something he largely avoided in high school, afraid that without enough experience he would do it wrong. “He thought he was just supposed to know,” writes Orenstein. Even holding hands felt like it came with the risk of humiliation.

When he went to college he met a girl, Jeannie, who invited him back to her dorm room to fool around. He wasn’t able to perform, and blamed it on the weed he’d been smoking all night. She texted him the next day, inviting him over to try again.

“But the more he thought about it,” Orenstein writes, “the more anxious he became.” Once again, his attempts at intimacy fizzled.

For Orenstein, who’s spent two decades writing about the sexuality of girls — with bestsellers like “Girls & Sex” and “Don’t Call Me Princess” — Mason’s predicament was difficult to take seriously at first.

Like many of us, she bought into the cultural stereotypes “that all guys are sexually insatiable,” she writes. “Ever ready, incapable of refusal, regret, or injury” — an idea that just reinforced “the most retrograde idea of masculinity.”

Over the span of two years, Orenstein spoke to hundreds of boys across the United States, ranging in age from their early teens to mid-20s and spanning all races, socioeconomic backgrounds, religious beliefs and even sexual orientations. She learned that a surprising number of them don’t live up to gender cliches — meaning they aren’t hormone-driven Frankenstein’s monsters, obsessed with sex and unconcerned with the consequences. In fact, they’re pushing back against cultural expectations, and many are going so far as to avoid sex altogether.

According to the latest data by the General Social Survey, men between the ages of 18 and 29 are having less sex than ever; the number of abstinent men has nearly tripled in the last decade, from 10 percent in 2008 to 28 percent last year.

But as Orenstein discovered, it’s a movement that exists largely in secret. Rather than declare their abstinence, they come up with excuses for their lack of sexual interest — like the college sophomore Orenstein interviewed who frequently faked “whiskey d–k” to avoid hookups, or Mitchell in Los Angeles, who avoided sex with his high-school girlfriend for years because he was terrified that his sexual ability “would just be … sufficient.”

While girls struggle to find the magic middle ground between “prude” and “slut,” boys are “pushed to be as sexually active as possible,” Orenstein writes, “to knock out their firsts regardless of the circumstances or how they felt about their partners.”

Nate, a high-school junior from the San Francisco area, is terrified of sex because he’s certain the girls in his peer group already have more experience than him. “She’s going to know how to do things and you won’t,” he told Orenstein. “That’s a problem if she tells people you’ve got floppy lips or don’t know how to get her bra off.”

He wants to have a girlfriend someday, but for now, Nate says, “I’m afraid of intimacy.”

While the boys who spoke to Orenstein admit that porn “is about as authentic as pro-wrestling,” a 2016 study from London-based Middlesex University found that 53 percent of teen boys believe that the sex acts featured in porn are mostly realistic.

“Everyone watches porn and then gets super nervous about their [penis] size,” a college sophomore from Chicago told Orenstein. “I mean, it’s brutal. Like if you’re in the locker room, you’re going to turn around and try to hide yourself, or you’re not going to change in front of other guys.”

But it’s not always porn doing the most damage. Porn may offer the most ridiculous representations of sex, but mainstream media can spread just as much misinformation, and it’s more difficult for younger audiences to separate fact from fiction.

Mason had recently been watching the David Duchovny TV comedy “Californication,” about a womanizing novelist in Los Angeles. The sexual exploits are “just slightly unrealistic,” Mason says. “Like, the main character has sex with everyone wherever he goes. They made it seem so convincing. Whereas if you were to watch a porn video where a dude comes in with his [sexual organ] in a pizza box, it’s like, ‘All right, obviously that isn’t going to happen in real life.’ ”

Dylan, 17, is a high-school junior in Northern California. He’s handsome, athletic, a straight-A student, and captain of the soccer team. He was also, until recently, a virgin.

He had drank too much at a friend’s party and passed out on a couch. That’s where his friend Julia, who was sober, found him. She dragged Dylan, stumbling, to the bathroom and had sex with him on the floor.

The next morning, Dylan was horrified and asked Julia why she forced herself on him. “I didn’t want to do that,” he told her, insisting that he wanted his first time to be special.

“Oh, please,” she shot back. “Don’t give me that. All guys want it.”

It was a bias that even Orenstein admits to having. She was shocked by how often the boys shared stories of being on the receiving end of unwanted sex, “in which girls didn’t hear or didn’t respect ‘no,’?” Orenstein writes.

Was it rape? The boys she interviewed weren’t sure. She recalls a college sophomore who told her of losing his virginity at 14 to a 17-year-old girl at his first high-school party. He didn’t want to do it, he says, but was too drunk and too worried about rumors she might spread to leave. “Like, if it’s the guy who didn’t consent,” he asked Orenstein, “what do you call that?”

According to a 2017 study at Columbia University, 80 percent of victims of sexual assault were women, but men were also being increasingly targeted, with one in eight male students reporting being coerced into non-consensual sex.

And in a 2017 study at New York University, sociologist Jessie Ford interviewed 40 straight male and female college students about their sexual experiences. Most men admitted that they would have sex even if they didn’t want to, because guys should always be “down to f–k.” Rejecting an invitation to sex was considered unmanly or “gay.”

When young men have sex forced upon them, it sends mixed signals — and makes it harder for them to understand the concept of consent altogether. “If they can’t say no,” Orenstein writes, “how are they supposed to hear it?”

The solution for all this isn’t what most parents want to hear: They need to have a straightforward talk with their sons about sex. “I know it’s awkward, I know it’s excruciating. I know it’s unclear where to begin,” Orenstein writes. “But this is your chance to do better.”

Mason agrees, and he can remember the exact moment where some parental intervention would’ve made a difference. He was a teenager, sitting on the basement couch of his family’s home and browsing porn on his school-supplied iPad. His father walked in and saw what he was doing. “You shouldn’t be watching that,” his dad scolded him. “It’s bad for you.”

Mason was well aware that his father had a trove of bookmarked porn on his own computer, so he snapped back, “Don’t be a hypocrite. I’ve seen all the stuff you watch.”

His father didn’t say another word. He just turned on the TV, watched it silently with his son, and then went to bed.

“I feel he sort of failed me,” Mason told Orenstein. If he had used the opportunity to start a conversation, to tell his son, “This will skew the way you view women . . . it’s only going to keep you from interacting with girls in a healthy manner,” Mason thinks it could’ve made all the difference for him. “But my parents were too fearful to actually deal with any of it,” he says.

Real conversations about what’s actually involved in a healthy sexual relationship can make all the difference. For Mason, it finally happened with his girlfriend Jeannie, who repeatedly tried (and failed) to seduce him.

After their third date together, in which Mason declined to have sex with her yet again, she asked him pointed questions about his anxiety, and why sex felt so scary to him.

“It felt like a storybook moment,” Mason recalled. Her openness to his insecurity and lack of sexual confidence allowed him to let his guard down. “Whatever nerves had affected me the previous times disappeared. And I realized: If I can’t be fully vulnerable, mentally and emotionally, it stops me from being able to be vulnerable physically.

“Because the naked body,” he adds, like an epiphany that’s taken his entire childhood to realize, “that’s a very vulnerable thing, you know?”


Former Obama Campaign Manager Warns Democrat Voters About Bernie Sanders

Not that anyone who helped Barack Obama get elected to the presidency has any business warning anyone about picking someone too radical for the country, but it is nevertheless worth noting that Barack Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina is sounding the alarm about Bernie Sanders, whose recent surge in Iowa has party insiders on edge.

In an interview with Politico, Messina argued that Trump would easily take advantage of Bernie's unrepentant socialism in key battleground states.

“If I were a campaign manager for Donald Trump and I look at the field, I would very much want to run against Bernie Sanders,” Messina told Politico. “I think the contrast is the best. He can say, ‘I’m a business guy, the economy’s good and this guy’s a socialist.’ I think that contrast for Trump is likely one that he’d be excited about in a way that he wouldn’t be as excited about Biden or potentially Mayor Pete or some of the more Midwestern moderate candidates.”

Messina has not officially endorsed any 2020 Democrat yet, but he's recently attended a Biden fundraiser, and his wife supports Biden.

“From a general election perspective, socialism is not going to be what Democrats are going to want to defend,” Messina argued. “If you’re the Democratic nominee for the Montana Senate race, you don’t want to spend the election talking about socialism.”

Of course, what Messina fails to acknowledge is that other 2020 Democrats have also embraced radical socialist policies in order to appeal to the increasingly radical Democratic Party base. The main difference between Bernie Sanders and his rivals is that Bernie wears his socialism on his sleeve, while the others deny being socialists at heart.

Messina is not the only Obama campaign alum sounding the alarm on Sanders. “My concern about Sanders would be just how low his ceiling may be,” said a senior campaign adviser who wished to remain anonymous.  “The argument Sanders would make is he can turn out tough-to-turn-out voters. While many are very progressive like the Sanders base, most aren’t, most aren’t connected to politics, they tend to be more moderate.”

Well, I'm not so sure about that, but we'll see if the party heeds the warning or not soon.

Sanders has a razor-thin edge in polling in Iowa.


Australia: Bureaucracy short-circuited

THE [Qld.] State Government has backed off sacking firefighters without Blue Cards this summer after entire brigades threatened to quit in protest. Barely a third of Queensland's rural firies met the January 1 deadline to get a working-with-children check, forcing Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to grant a three-month amnesty.

But volunteers will be turfed out of rural fire brigades and fined up to $6500 unless they apply for a Blue Card by March 31. And Queensland Fire and Emergency Services will refuse to give new uniforms to volunteers until they have applied.

"QFES personnel who refuse to apply for, or are unable to hold a current Blue Card, will not be eligible under law to continue their work, volunteer or undertake a practical placement within regulated roles at QFES," a spokesman said.

Queensland is the only state forcing firies to have Blue Cards
based on legal advice that they provide a "health service". The QFES spokesman yesterday said 21,378 volunteers require a Blue Card, yet only 8039 had met the original January 1 deadline to apply.

Twenty-six volunteers had applications rejected due to criminal records for "serious offences", which can include murder, rape, kidnapping, burglary and supplying drugs. Army reservists and interstate volunteers will be granted week-long waivers to fight fires in Queensland, a spokesman for Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said.

Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland boss Justin Choveaux warned communities could be left undefended as entire brigades quit in protest against the requirement. "Whole brigades will close down," he said. "No one thought this through.

The plan is to grow volunteers — sacking half of them is not part of that plan. "The more volunteers there are, the safer communities will be. Reducing the number of volunteers to fight fires and carry out hazard-reduction burning is going to leave the community more exposed."

In Mareeba, in far-north Queensland, four senior members of the Paddy's Green rural fire brigade have quit in protest "These members have nothing to hide; evidenced by having to pass a criminal check at the first instance to become a member of a RFB," brigade secretary Kay Eccleshare wrote to the Cairns area director.

Dr Eccleshare said Blue Cards were required for people providing services to children, but the role of firefighters was to pro-tect communities from fire.

The Western Australian Bushfire Volunteers' Association blasted Queensland's Blue Card rule yesterday. "To suggest that the aver-age fire volunteer needs a Blue Card is the equivalent of arguing that the same requirement should apply to every retail assistant in every local convenience store because they both occasionally interact with children," executive officer Darren Brown said.

From the Brisbane "Courier Mail of 9 January, 2020


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

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

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


13 January, 2020

'Reparations' Caused The Great Recession
Some of the Democratic candidates for president support studying reparations to blacks to compensate for slavery. But in many ways, America has made reparations to blacks. What are race-based preferences if not a form of compensation for historical wrongs? Many cities have “set-aside” programs that award government contracts to minority contractors. President Lyndon Johnson pushed his Great Society programs to “end poverty and racial injustice.”

But few think of the federal government’s housing policy, particularly the Community Reinvestment Act, or the CRA, as a form of reparations. But that is exactly what it was and still is. In many ways, the so-called Great Recession of the late 2000s was a product of affirmative action and a form of reparations gone bad. Really bad.

In 1999, almost a decade before the Great Recession, the libertarian Cato Institute issued a warning about the CRA, which President Jimmy Carter signed in 1977. The CRA was based on the assumption that racist lenders denied mortgages to credit-worthy would-be borrowers, particularly minority applicants. The act initially merely sought data on banking practices to encourage lenders to practice fairness in granting mortgages.

But President Bill Clinton, in 1995, added teeth to the CRA. Economists Stephen Moore and Lawrence Kudlow explained: “Under Clinton’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary, Andrew Cuomo, Community Reinvestment Act regulators gave banks higher ratings for home loans made in ‘credit-deprived’ areas. Banks were effectively rewarded for throwing out sound underwriting standards and writing loans to those who were at high risk of defaulting. If banks didn’t comply with these rules, regulators reined in their ability to expand lending and deposits.

"These new HUD rules lowered down payments from the traditional 20 percent to 3 percent by 1995 and zero down-payments by 2000. What’s more, in the Clinton push to issue home loans to lower income borrowers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made a common practice to virtually end credit documentation, low credit scores were disregarded, and income and job history was also thrown aside. The phrase ‘subprime’ became commonplace. What an understatement.”

But is it true that banks were discriminating against minority borrowers?

CATO, in 1999, said despite widespread accusations and lawsuits alleging discriminatory lending, the facts show otherwise. CATO said: “Researchers using the best available data find very little discernible home-mortgage lending discrimination based on area, race, sex or ethnic origin. …

"Other well-structured studies also found no evidence of redlining or unwarranted geographic discrimination. Thus, the claim that lenders redlined or were biased in making loans for the purchase of homes in central cities is not supported. Nor did the studies find that financial institutions discriminated against actual or potential borrowers on the basis of the racial or ethnic composition of neighborhoods.”

What caused this narrative that racist banks refused would-be minority borrowers?

Enter lawyers like then private citizen and attorney Barack Obama. In 1995, Obama, representing 186 blacks, filed a class action mortgage discrimination lawsuit against Citibank. The case was settled, and his clients got mortgages. But, according to the Daily Caller in 2012, just 19 of Obamas 186 clients still had their homes. About half had gone bankrupt and/or had their homes in foreclosure.

Incredibly, at least two of his former clients now believe banks should be prevented from lending to people who otherwise cannot afford their homes. One client said: “If you see some people don’t make enough money to afford the mortgage, why should you give them a loan? There should be some type of regulation against giving people loans they can’t afford.”

Lending standards became so lax that virtually anyone who could fog up a mirror got a home. Then along came the recession, and a lot of people lost homes that they would not have bought in the first place but for lax lending standards. The result? According to the Federal Reserve, from 2010 to 2013, white household median net worth — a household’s assets minus its liabilities — increased 2.4%. But black net worth fell from $16,600 to $11,000, a four-year drop of 34%. As another of Obama’s former clients put it, “(Banks) were too eager to lend money to many who didn’t qualify.”

In 1999, the Cato policy paper on the CRA made the following recommendation: “The Clinton administration wants an even stricter CRA. But more than two decades of its operation suggest that repealing rather than tightening the act would be the economically and socially responsible thing to do.”

Too bad nobody listened.


NY Law Automatically Registers Illegal Aliens to Vote

Democrats in New York didn't wait very long before executing the third and final step in their scheme to register illegal alien voters. New York Senate Democrats just passed a bill on Thursday that automatically registers people to vote who submit applications to the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Department of Health. New York's Green Light Law was passed by the state legislature back in December and gives illegal aliens the ability to obtain driver's licenses. 

When New York passed the Green Light Law, Cortney interviewed Republican Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola, who told Townhall that he suspected the bill giving driver's licenses to illegal aliens was really part of a larger effort by New York Democrats to hand the vote over to illegal aliens.

"I never thought it was about driving,” Merola said at the time. “I think it’s more about voting than it is about driving.”

"There’s no right to driving," Merola continued. "It’s all a privilege. To give the privilege to someone who’s already breaking the law doesn’t make any sense."

But it begins to make perfect sense when you consider the totality of the Democrats' efforts. First, attract illegal aliens to the state with sanctuary policies and generous taxpayer-funded benefits, give them government IDs, and then register them to vote. In New York, once an individual is registered to vote, they do not need to show an ID before casting a ballot.

The first day New York's Green Light Law took effect, illegal aliens lined up around the block at DMV offices across the state.

When illegal aliens line up around the voting booths this November, Democrats like Stacey Abrams will say it's because of voter suppression efforts from Republicans and demand we do away with voter registration altogether. Democrats like to pretend that Russian bots are the ones somehow undermining our elections when it's really illegal aliens the Democrats plan on using to steal future elections -- elections that should be decided only by U.S. citizens.


Hungary Takes On the Feminist Goliath—and Wins

Feminism is a social and political movement. It is not an academic discipline on par with, say, mathematics, economics, business administration, engineering or physics. Gender studies, feminism’s academic wing, does not constitute an appropriate subject for an academic degree. At best it is a subset of a complex of ideas, issues, and events properly canvassed by the History Department, along with a myriad other themes and developments in the study of Western civilization.

Moreover, such programs have no business infesting legitimate areas of study to the extent that an astronomer must sign an affidavit attesting to his involvement in social justice projects or an engineer proclaim his fealty to the feminist manifesto if he is to be considered for promotion. The same proviso applies to any applicant for a university position. It should be obvious that gender programs and initiatives have nothing to do with mapping the universe, finding a cure for cancer, investigating quantum entanglement or stochastic electrodynamics, studying the economic effects of the Protestant Reformation, assessing the impact of political theories from Plato and Aristotle to the present, resolving truss and anchorage problems in suspension bridge engineering, tracing the history of epic poetry from Homer to Michael Lind’s The Alamo, or any canonical field of authentic endeavor. The fact that a bogus discipline, which has no reason for existing sui generis, can spread outward to influence and dilute genuine subjects is beyond comprehension.

Enter Hungary. In an effort to restore curricular and administrative sanity to university education, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz Party have passed legislation to abolish Gender Studies as an area of official study. Hungary’s Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen has stated that such programs “ha[ve] no business in universities” as they represent “an ideology, not a science,” with a market profile “close to zero.” Similarly, Orban’s Chief of staff Gergely Gulyas said, “The Hungarian government is of the clear view that people are born either men or women. They lead their lives the way they think best [and] the Hungarian state does not wish to spend public funds on education in this area.”

According to reports, Fidesz spokesman Istvan Hollik, echoing Semjen, brought in the economic argument, pointing to the obvious fact that “You don’t have to be an expert to see there’s not much demand in the labour market for gender studies.” But the core of the issue goes deeper. “It is also no secret that our goal is to make Hungary a truly Christian-democratic country, which defends its normality and life and values…And now there’s this situation with gender studies, which is not a science but an ideology and one which is closely linked to liberal ideology, and I don’t think it fits in here.”

Of course, such efforts to abolish clearly non-academic programs from the university will be considered an authoritarian and anti-democratic putsch by such bastions of liberal/left propaganda as the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender. The policy is naturally opposed by the Hungary-based Soros-funded CEU (Central European University), which sees the move as an “attempt at censoring academic curricula.” The University, after all, is sacred ground. By these lights the German universities of the 1930s were well within their mandate to espouse and promote the doctrines of Nazi ideology, adopted in the name of progress, justice, and freedom from oppression.

Orban’s surgical strike against the CEU is better understood as a reasonable effort to limit Soros’ totalitarian meddling in the education and conduct of an independent democratic nation. Orban realizes that what he calls the “Soros Plan” entails “transforming Europe and moving it towards a post-Christian and post-national era.” The CEU has now relocated its Budapest campus to Vienna where it can persist unmolested in its aim to undermine Western civilization.

Criticism continues to pour in from all the predictable quarters. “Every undemocratic government wants to control the knowledge production and sexuality, which explains why gender studies become the target in the first place,” said Andrea Peto, a professor of gender studies at Central European University. But Peto’s critique is clearly applicable to liberal/democratic governments across the West, which allow for no counter-proposals and are busy suppressing legitimate resistance or debate. Some democracy! As Ryszard Legutko points out in his brilliant The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies, “there is some interplay between liberal democracy and communism…a stifling atmosphere typical of a political monopoly…imposing uniformity of views, behavior and language.” His lengthy exegesis of our current “liberal-democratic system,” as distinguished from traditional liberal democracy, seems irrefutable.

Writing in the progressivist journal Inside Higher Ed, Premilla Nadasen, a history professor at Barnard College, sees the attack on women and gender studies scholars as part of a rightwing push to “return to a heteronormative patriarchal society.” More of the usual gibberish beloved by gender academics. In the same venue, Middlebury College professor Kevin Moss notes, with the vacuity of the pedestrian mind, “Gender studies and gender equality and equality for LGBT people are threatening for authoritarian regimes because authoritarian regimes require for somebody to have more power than somebody else.” In the inimitable expression of Homer Simpson, “D’oh!”

A reading of the Norwegian feminist journal Kilden tells us all we need to know. Filled with the pietistic conviction that they are cutting-edge “scholars” and “researchers,” as they like to call themselves, these self-proclaimed experts in the field of gender studies rely on flawed surveys and pseudo-statistical “studies” masking as science in order to bolster what is nothing less than ideological ravings. Such disciplinary malfeasance has been abundantly demonstrated in many different places, for example, Christina Hoff Sommers’ Who Stole Feminism?, A House Built of Sand edited by Noretta Koertge, and Janice Fiamengo’s ongoing video series The Fiamengo File.

Feminist ideologues protest that they are the target of “unfounded criticism” while apprehensive about their career prospects—a primary concern, obviously, for those who may inwardly suspect they are entirely dispensable. Thus, the clamor of remonstrations. The ladies doth protest too much, methinks. Their critics are routinely dismissed as belonging to “the extreme right-wing” and as using something called “right-wing logic,” a most convenient calumny that also makes no sense. “Patriarchal knowledge” is at fault, claims Polish feminist Agnieszka Graff, “where men know everything and women aren’t allowed to get a word in.” Seriously? Any unbiased examination of YouTube and University panel discussions on the subject will give the lie to her deposition. Men are generally silenced, rendered apologetic or cowed into submission—unless you’re Jordan Peterson.

Kilden director Linda Marie Rustad is correct in acknowledging “that the attacks on gender are part of a bigger picture”—namely, the upsurge of “right-wing populism.” But what she does not and cannot recognize is that the real problem is not right-wing populism but left-wing progressivism. Two things should be briefly mentioned here. National populism is the result of, the reaction to, hegemonic progressivism and, as such, a necessary corrective to a political culture gone awry. And what is derisively called “populism” or “right-wing” designates a movement that seeks to restore the traditional values of the West: individual autonomy, property rights, equality before the law, the integrity of the nation, the sanctity of the institution of marriage and, in many nations, the Christian communion. The term “right-wing” is actually an honorific.

Left-wing—or liberal—progressivism strives instead to dismantle the nation state, to denounce the history of the West as a colonial monstrosity, to accumulate debt in order to finance various ideological projects du jour, to dumb-down education, to emasculate individual initiative and regulate entrepreneurship to death, and to redefine marriage as a fluid institution and thus destabilize the family. It is sad to note that liberalism is now synonymous with socialist orthodoxy, that is, state control, censorship, political correctness, distributive economics, funded abortion and non-binary gender relations. In Orban’s words, “The situation in the West is that there is liberalism, but there is no democracy.

Orban has understood the nature of the threat and has taken a strong stand against the debilitating sickness represented by the left. In a July 29, 2018 major address delivered at an Open University summer camp, he said: “An era is a special and characteristic cultural reality…a spiritual order, a kind of prevailing mood, perhaps even taste—a form of attitude… determined by cultural trends, collective beliefs and social customs. This is now the task we are faced with…[to] embed a political system in a cultural era,” that is, an evolving cultural era. The task is to defend Christian culture, to reject multiculturalism and monitor immigration, to protect the nation’s economy and garrison its borders, and to preserve the traditional gender and family model.

Orban has a welcome ally in Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, who has introduced a bill “aiming at the principle of the integral protection of children,” to prohibit the inclusion of gender issues in elementary schools. The bill is intended to respect the beliefs of parents and students, “privileging family values in their school education related to moral, sexual and religious education.” The Brazilian Studies Association is up in arms, duly evoking a terror scenario in which “educators will be dismissed and bullied as a form of persecution” and “marginalized communities” will suffer something like epistemic oppression. Professor Marlene de Faveri of the State University of Santa Catarina claims that “the introduction of such a concept…is…meant to propagate hatred towards feminists [and to] minimize the scientific character of gender studies.” This is typical feminist nonsense. The bill is intended to reduce the malign influence of hard-core feminists instilling hatred and false knowledge in their charges and to expose the blatantly non-scientific character of gender studies.

Obama’s Social Experiments Are Wreaking Havoc on America Today
Orban has an even more powerful ally in Donald Trump, who is drafting legislation that defines sex as “a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth.” But it remains for the Justice Department to decide on the legality of the new legislation, which would seriously modify Title IX statutes and reverse the gender loosening rules of the previous administration. While events hang fire, little Hungary is leading the charge.

Liberal despots pickled in the brine of their progressivist ideology, feminist academics raking in lavish salaries for steeping their students in the euphoria of manufactured fury and lying about professional under-representation, and revolutionary zealots sheltering behind the walls of non-productive quasi-professions cannot tolerate conservative proponents of moral decency, civil order, common sense, and historical truth. Feminists and gender mavens believe that feminist politics and its academic vanguard of gender studies form the linchpin that holds the internal campaign against Western culture together. If it is weakened or expunged, the entire structure will begin to totter and the hated patriarchal forces they oppose will reassert themselves.

Hence the self-righteous indignation of the gender fanatics cloaking themselves in the rhetoric of academic freedom, scientific cogency, moral innocence, welfare economics, identity politics, and gender fluidity. And hence the fear and loathing of sensible and courageous leaders like Viktor Orban who insist that “there is a life beyond globalism,” that a constitutional order is essential to the survival and prosperity of the nation, that there are two sexes, not seventy-three and counting, that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman, and that “every child has a right to a mother and father.”

A caveat should be introduced here. Abolishing gender studies as an academic discipline will not by itself repair the damage inflicted by feminism on what John Milton memorably called “beholding the bright countenance of truth in the quiet and still air of delightful studies.” This is only a first step toward restoring integrity to the university. For, as noted, the feminist bacillus has now permeated almost every office and faculty in the modern university, from hiring protocols to admissions policy to proctorial oversight of sexual conduct to student organizations to practically all licit departments and curricula. How to go about fumigating the parietal environment is a highly problematic enterprise, but the issue needs to be addressed.

Meanwhile, feminists may be livid and progressivists may virulently denounce populist figures like Orban—and his allies Bolsonaro and Trump—as political tyrants and cultural troglodytes. In the words of John Dale Dunn, this is what we can expect in “the current environment of academic and media shills for the left who specialize in vilification and character assassination of anyone who proposes a conservative answer for a serious political question.” Orban’s conservative answer is simple and honest. Our duty, he concludes, is to “defend human dignity, the family and the nation.”

Makes sense to me.


Academic had gruelling sex swap surgery and then changed his mind at the last minute - and is now accusing the 'transition' industry of pushing vulnerable people like him into irreversible operations they'll regret

The air-conditioned hospital room was as still as the grave. Somewhere beyond the window, the sun climbed above the hottest city on Earth. But lying here, I couldn’t stop my teeth chattering. I gave my companion Jenny a sideways glance. Her smile had given way to puckered lines that seemed to have frozen on her cheeks.

Then came the knock. ‘Your surgeon is scrubbed.’

The doors swung open and two porters pushed a steel slab of a trolley alongside my bed. ‘Lie flat and keep your arms tucked in. We will put you to sleep. Wake up again in nine hours.’

‘Wait,’ I felt the muscles tighten in my jaw. ‘Give us a few moments. Please…’ The porter looked anxiously at the nurse. She nodded and the doors soon closed behind them.

I clasped Jenny’s hand until I felt her bones crunch. ‘I’m scared. Am I crazy?’

She took a deep breath then let it out, infinitely slowly. ‘You told me you’d kill yourself if you didn’t go through with this.’

Then another knock, this time louder, more insistent. Matron stood at the threshold, hands on hips: ‘Dr Sutin is waiting for you in the operating theatre, Miss Rachel.’

It was late in 2016 and I’d flown out to Bangkok for the first in a series of operations to change sex from male to female.

It had taken months of desperation, hormone treatment, counselling and living in ‘role’ as a woman. Now I was about to embark upon physical surgery – the decisive, irreversible step.

At the time it was what I wanted most profoundly, and as I was wheeled towards the operating theatre, this seemed like the bravest moment of my life. Yet I was deeply mistaken.

I was not suffering from gender confusion at all. I had no need to transition. My reasons for wanting a new identity, I would eventually learn, were complex and nothing to do with being male or female.

But I’d undergone an extensive series of extremely serious operations before I finally called a halt, pulling back from the brink in the nick of time.

Today I am still a man and the relief is huge. Yet I have been left with a battered body and a series of disturbing questions about how I could have reached such a state of mind, and about the transitioning industry that helped rush me headlong to the operating theatre.

In fact, I have come to believe that for many of the growing numbers of men, women and, most alarmingly, children wishing to change sex, gender reassignment is nothing more than escapism.

It certainly was in my case. The least we can do is start to tell the truth.

For many years, I had been living an apparently contented life. I’m a successful author and criminologist known for my expertise in faith-based crimes, including ritual murders. I’ve done a great deal of work advising the police and some might know me from my 2012 bestseller The Boy In The River about the case of Adam, a victim of modern day witchcraft found floating in the Thames.

But October 2009 brought a cataclysm which blew my world apart. My 19-year-old son David climbed 65ft up an electricity pylon in Weston-super-Mare and reached for a 33,000-volt cable. Witnesses reported a blue thunderbolt and hearing a buzzing noise.

It should have killed him outright. But it didn’t. From his hospital bed a few days later he whispered: ‘It hurt me so much, Daddy.’

David seemed to have everything: good looks and a razor-sharp mind. Everyone adored him. But he was also troubled, especially at night when he would be struck by uncontrollable terrors. Crossing the threshold into adulthood, he was lost to the mental health system and in desperation he’d decided to try to end his own life.

Each time I stepped into David’s hospital room, his chest would swell. ‘Cuddle me,’ he pleaded. ‘Cuddle me.’ And so I did. I cuddled my little boy every day for 42 days. We held each other until our tears drenched his dressings, and then we held each other some more. The sight and smell of my son’s scorched flesh, then of rancid infection, are now part of me for ever.

I said goodbye to him the day before he died on December 4, 2009. I left the decision to switch off his life to his mother, Sue. I simply could not do it.

With hindsight, it’s not surprising that I chose to leave Richard behind and instead become Rachel. Largely raised by women, I’d had a lifelong admiration for the fairer sex. I loved womenswear and to this day my closest friends acknowledge in me a sensitive side.

But by 2009 I was in my second marriage and dressing up in women’s clothes was not a subject of conversation I wanted to have any time soon with my wife, especially as she mistakenly considered me an Indiana Jones type: an academic lecturer and adventurer.

This marriage ended following David’s death and I found myself increasingly alone with my own thoughts. In the months and years that followed, I turned to my feminine side.

It was nothing to do with sex – I’ve never been attracted to men, just to be clear – but it was something that I wanted quite powerfully all the same. What might it be like to put on make-up? To wear those clothes outside? To step into the ladies’ loos? I drove down to the local Tesco superstore and filled up a trolley with everything from ladies’ briefs to frilly tops, skin-tight jeans to mascara. It felt both scary and thrilling.

I trawled YouTube for make-up tutorials, and after a couple of months became quite proficient.

I learned how to apply subtle tones, how to hide lines and disguise the stubble that increasingly bothered me. But I soon realised that if I really wanted to change my gender then I had to go a whole lot deeper than just dressing up in women’s clothes and applying Touche Eclat. In autumn 2014, I surfed the dark web – the bit of the internet where you go to find stuff not thrown up by conventional search engines. I was in search of feminising hormones – a dangerous step to take, yet one that proved disturbingly easy.

I found what I wanted when I stumbled upon a site registered with the South Sea island of Vanuatu. I filled in all the details and steadied my hand enough to hit the pay button. A month passed. Then, early one afternoon, when I had resigned myself to having thrown away £400 on a scam, my postman Malcolm pressed the doorbell. If he was surprised to find me in female clothes, he masked it well.

A few minutes later the meds tumbled out of the padded bag. They all seemed bona fide and a few even carried expiry dates.

How could I tell that they hadn’t been cobbled together from God-knows-what ingredients on a Guangzhou backstreet? The truth is I couldn’t.

The effects were certainly profound, and almost immediately my breasts began to grow.

Within weeks I was regretting it, however. Feeling desperately ill, I staggered to my doctor’s surgery and confessed.

And it was from that point onwards that I found myself enmeshed in the National Health Service gender identity machine.

I was informed that, conventionally, someone wishing to change sex should wait two years before being prescribed life-changing hormones – an entirely sensible rule.

Normally I would be required to ‘live in role’ first. As I soon discovered, however, the system bends over backwards for anyone who wants to transition. I was not so much fast-tracked as catapulted through the system.

Within six weeks I had been interviewed by all the required consultants, a process normally lasting more than two years. I’m sure I was fairly convincing, but then anyone can give convincing answers with the help of Google.

Then, in February 2015, I was sent to Nottingham for the final consultation that would place me on the NHS process to full gender reassignment surgery and recognition as Rachel by the state.

Feeling inspired, I clutched my handbag and walked confidently into the ladies’ loos for the first time at London’s St Pancras station. What was it like inside there? Could I apply my make-up surrounded by other women? Would I be rumbled?

In truth, none of the ladies in there gave me a second look, and all the time I lived as a woman that remained the case.

I came to think of the ladies’ as my safest space on Earth. In there, no one could hurt me. If I’d stopped and listened to that voice I might have realised it was a vital clue to something else going on.

Over the next 18 months, I continued to take the NHS-prescribed medications. These were testosterone blockers and oestrogen. The state also paid for me to undergo 80 hours of extremely painful electrolysis on my face. My stubble was systematically plucked out.

But it wasn’t sufficient. To be convincing I needed to go under the surgeon’s scalpel.

I knew the NHS would never provide facial surgery so, with the blessing of Health Service professionals, I went in search of private treatment. I found that the world leaders in the field are Thai doctors and, having scrabbled around for every ounce of funding possible, I flew out to Bangkok.

My close friend Jenny, who had followed my path into transition with a mixture of compassion and increasing anxiety, insisted on flying out soon after so that she could nurse me.

The surgery took nine hours and was a process of quite astonishing brutality. At the last minute, I’d decided to include forehead reconstruction around my orbital rims, to make them more almond shaped. So Dr Sutin ground down my eye sockets, particularly around the outer and upper rims, after peeling my face away from my skull.

He performed neck and cheek liposuction, a full neck and facelift and separate eye-lifts. He reduced my facial skin in size before stitching it back on to my skull.

My new, lower hairline now extended from the top of my head around and behind my ears.

When the swelling disappeared, my face would be smaller than before, my forehead a couple of inches shorter and flatter, and my ears apparently smaller. The aftermath of the operation was a blur of semi-conscious nausea and pain.

I was dimly aware of a nurse trying to wake me by shouting my name, Rachel, and scratching my palm.

I threw up every time I awoke. And my temples felt as if someone had put them in a vice, then tightened it another 50 turns.

As my £15,000 covered only a one-night stay, I was discharged and had to stagger into a taxi still carrying my drip and the drainage catheters. Back in our hotel room, Jenny propped up my pillows and I peered at the apparition staring back at me from a mirror at the end of the bed.

My face was scarlet and had swollen to the size of a basketball. Midnight-blue lips were draped across my mouth.

But it was my eyes, or what was left of them, that really made me want to weep. Aqua-clear irises were now angry blotches. Lava lines flowed outwards from them, as if my whole head had become a volcanic eruption.

What the hell had I done? And it was at that moment that the doubts finally bubbled to the surface.

When a NHS referral letter to Brighton’s Nuffield Hospital landed on my doormat three months later, in March 2017, for me to undergo full vaginoplasty – the transformation of all my male parts into a female vagina – I was finally pushed into thinking for myself.

So instead of following the NHS cavalcade, I took myself on a private consultation to gender psychotherapist Michelle Bridgman and Professor Gordon Turnbull, of the Nightingale Clinic, London.

They diagnosed me as suffering from complex PTSD: multiple severe traumas.

I didn’t have gender dysphoria – or gender confusion – as I had thought. I was trying to escape real, visceral and gut-wrenching pain. I had chosen profoundly the wrong way to fix it and the NHS had been all too ready to help me on the way.

What shocks me with hindsight is that no one looked more deeply into my life story.

At no point did anyone in the gender clinics talk me through what had happened with my son David and about the 42 days I spent by his bedside watching him die from his burns.

Nor did they bother to find out about the earlier traumas I had suffered.

My childhood had been ripped apart by a teacher who got a ten-year sentence for sexual abuse. Working in the Congo as a young man, I’d had to bury my first children, twins, who became sick and died. Then there were the hundreds of gruesome police cases I had advised on.

There was no shortage of clues for anyone who had bothered to look – and if it was true in my case, how many others are similarly misdiagnosed?

How many adolescents desperately wishing to change sex are really trying to escape some other form of pain? How many of the children, often girls, who drag their distraught mothers along to the Tavistock gender reassignment clinic in London are really suffering from poor body image in the Instagram era?

The numbers are huge. Tavistock specialists saw 2,000 children in the past year alone and report a six-fold increase in those aged three to 18 being referred in the last five years. Yes, three-year-olds. Although there are a few emerging voices like mine, the cavalry charge towards gender transition is in full gallop.

From April 2017 until the end of last year, I underwent intensive trauma counselling. It wasn’t easy. But I’ve learned that it’s possible to overcome the past and to start living once again in the present.

In October I went to David’s grave for only the second time in ten years. On one of the last warm days of the autumn, I sat on a bench and ate my lunch as the birds sang around me. I had the most profound sense that David wasn’t there. That he wanted me to move on. To be released.

Coming back to my true self as Richard was one of the greatest things I ever did. From time to time I felt a tug to escape into Rachel, but that has now passed.

I do regret what I’ve done to my body. There are some changes that are irreversible. I have to take daily corrective male hormones. I will probably need breast reduction surgery. I carry physical scars. My sinuses have never been the same and I still have no feeling across large parts of my head.

But I am also lucky and grateful to still be alive.

What propels someone to slice their face off their skull and rearrange it? To alter the body they were born into so fundamentally?

People told me that I was a survivor. I guess they saw me as living proof that whatever the fates might bombard you with, you can still make it through. But no one really got the torment of even the most mundane, everyday things. Driving anywhere near a pylon. Switching on a kettle. Lighting a fire. Running through autumn leaves. Watching Holby City, for God’s sake. And it didn’t really matter if there were no triggers. The pain was always there.

For a decade, I ran and ran. I tried to escape my life, my very identity. I changed my gender to leave Richard and his life behind.

Inspired by youthful images of smiling women, I grabbed the chance for a different life.

I know I’m unusual and that few others have experienced the multiple traumas to have befallen me.

I accept, too, there are some people who feel they have no choice but to change gender and I have sympathy, although I suspect the true numbers are small. For the few who genuinely feel they have no choice, perhaps a third gender would be a way forward: neither male nor female.

For as I know all too well, it is nigh impossible for surgeons to replicate female body parts in full, nor can they alter the XY chromosomes with which most men are born.

There is, after all, an added issue here about respect for women born as women. Looking back, I sometimes think that I was insensitive, that in my rush to change identity I trampled through places which rightly afford women their own dignity and space. What really gave me the right to use ladies’ loos, for example?

Most of all, we need to recognise that gender transition can, in truth, be a misguided attempt to escape the person you were born to be – and demand a halt to this dangerous headlong charge.



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, 2020

NY Times Slapped With $5M Lawsuit For Citing SPLC, Branding Immigration Hawk a 'White Nationalist'

On Thursday, controversial immigration hawk Peter Brimelow, who runs the anti-immigration website VDARE, filed a $5 million defamation lawsuit against The New York Times, claiming America's newspaper of record maliciously attacked his character by branding him a "white nationalist" and citing the disreputable far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to bolster the charge.

On January 15, 2019, the Times branded Brimelow an "open white nationalist" in an article published online and in print. In opposition to its stated journalistic standards, the paper did not reach out to him for comment first. When his lawyer sent a letter demanding it retract the claim, the Times made a "stealth edit," removing the word "open" from the online article and — again in violation of its own stated journalistic standards — not appending a correction to the article.

The online version of the words "white nationalist" link to an SPLC article accusing Brimelow of "hate" and "extremism."

According to the lawsuit, Brimelow's legal team reached out to the Times on February 15, 2019, September 27, 2019, and October 16, 2019, claiming that the "stealth edit" did not reverse the defamatory act. Brimelow also sent the Times multiple "letters to the editor" rebutting the "white nationalist" accusation. The paper did not respond to these messages.

"The Defendant imputed to the Plaintiff race hatred and traits inconsistent with his profession," the lawsuit charges. "Plaintiff has been injured in his good name, fame, credit, profession, and reputation as a man, and in his various public and private positions, callings, and lines of endeavor, and has been held up to public ridicule before his acquaintances and the public, and to suffer the loss of prestige and standing in his community and elsewhere."

Brimelow estimated the defamation cost him $700,000, and demanded the court order the paper to fork over "an amount no less than Five Million Dollars, together with punitive damages, and the costs and disbursements of this action."

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "white nationalist" as "one of a group of militant whites who espouse white supremacy and advocate enforced racial segregation." Brimelow may have repugnant views about race and intelligence and he may advocate for a kind of white identity politics, but according to Merriam-Webster, that does not make him a white nationalist.

According to the lawsuit, the SPLC branded Brimelow a "white nationalist" in an attempt to stifle debate on immigration and because it wished to vilify his views that race may be biologically connected to intelligence. Yet The New York Times has itself "bravely pushed the boundaries of the taboos on race," the lawsuit states, citing articles published between July 2001 and March 2003 which covered scientific developments supposedly linking race to genetics.

Nicholas Wade wrote those articles, and the lawsuit recounts that the SPLC attacked him "for writing about the science of race differences" in May 2014.

"Nevertheless, Defendant knows that it itself is not a purveyor of hate or white nationalism because it has published articles on the science of racial differences," Brimelow argues.

The lawsuit quoted a letter the VDARE editor sent to the paper two day after it published the article attacking him.

"Mr. Brimelow is not a ‘white nationalist’ and, specifically, does not refer to himself as such," the letter stated. "To the contrary, he has repeatedly said that he is a ‘civic nationalist.’ For example, in a February 23, 2018 interview with Slate’s Osita Nwanevu, Mr. Brimelow stated as follows: ‘Personally, I would regard myself as a civic nationalist.’"

“The fact that VDARE has published some critiques of America’s immigration policies from those who aim to defend the interests of whites does not mean that Mr. Brimelow is an ‘open white nationalist,’ any more than the New York Times’s decision to publish op-eds by avowed socialists makes it ‘openly socialist,'" his lawyer argued.

The lawsuit also quotes The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, which states, "Fairness and impartiality... should be the hallmark of all news articles and news analyses that appear in the Times. It is of paramount importance that people or organizations accused, criticized or otherwise cast in a bad light have an opportunity to speak in their own defense... Thus it is imperative that the reporter make every effort to reach the accused ... If it is not possible to do so, the article should say that the effort was made and explain why it did not succeed."

The paper also claims a high standard for corrections: "Because its voice is loud and far-reaching, The Times recognizes an ethical responsibility to correct all its factual errors, large and small (even misspellings of names), promptly and in a prominent reserved space in the paper... Whether an error occurs in a print article, a digital graphic, a video, a tweet or a news alert, readers should expect us to correct it. There is no five-second rule. It does not matter if it was online for seconds or minutes or hours."

Not only did the paper violate these standards in Brimelow's case, but it also linked to the SPLC, which the lawsuit condemned as "a disreputable organization ... partisan and unreliable" and "a fundraising scam." It further alleges that The New York Times knows the SPLC is "highly questionable as a source of information."

The lawsuit cites the 1994 Montgomery Advertiser series of articles exposing the SPLC as "a fundraising scam which deliberately falsifies and inflates the threat of subjectively defined 'hate' in order to bilk gullible donors and thereby bring in enough money to fund high salaries for its executive officers." Among other things, the Advertiser exposed claims of racial discrimination at the SPLC, claims that resurfaced again in March 2019 when the organization fired its co-founder, Morris Dees.

It also quotes Mark Potok, who admitted that the SPLC's "criteria for a hate group, first of all, have nothing to do with criminality, or violence, or any kind of guess we're making about 'this group could be dangerous.' It's strictly ideological." This means the SPLC "spies on men for holding unorthodox opinions," according to the lawsuit.

Potok also said the SPLC sees the struggle against "hate groups" as political. "I mean, we're not trying to change anybody's mind. We're trying to wreck the groups, and we are very clear in our head, this is [sic]... we are trying to destroy them. Not to send them to prison unfairly or not take their free speech rights away... but as a political matter, to destroy them."

The lawsuit also quotes former SPLC employee Bob Moser, who came clean about his complicity in the "con" in an article for The New Yorker after Dees' firing. Moser acknowledged the organization's practice of exaggerating hate and recalled "the hyperbolic fund-raising appeals, and the fact that, though the center claimed to be effective in fighting extremism, ‘hate’ always continued to be on the rise, more dangerous than ever, with each year's report on hate groups. 'The S.P.L.C.—making hate pay,' we'd say."

By linking to the SPLC in branding Brimelow a "white nationalist," the Times "was thus endorsing and vouching for the accuracy of the SPLC smear in a news article and asserting as a fact that its readers could rely on the SPLC definition of 'hate' as a fact, despite knowing that the SPLC is itself a partisan and unreliable source, which utilizes subjective definitions of hate” 'with the aim of suppressing free speech and confining debate."

The lawsuit is right to call out the SPLC for its scandals and its partisan smears. Shamefully, media outlets like CBS News, The New York Times, the Miami Herald, and the Palm Beach Post have buried the SPLC's scandals even while reporting on SPLC pressure campaigns in recent months.


Atlanta PD Will No Longer Chase Criminals if They Flee From Cops

Imagine the following scenario: You are asleep late at night in your bedroom when you are awakened by the sound of breaking glass. Soon you hear footsteps down the hall and come to the chilling realization that intruders have entered your home. You hide in a closet and dial 911 on your phone, then in a whisper plead for the police to come to your aid before the burglars happen upon you. Officers are on the way, you are assured, and moments later you listen as the intruders, alarmed by the approaching siren, flee to a waiting car. You go outside to see them bearing the items they’ve stolen from your home, then drive off as the police car approaches. “There they go,” you shout to the officers, “you can still catch them!”

To your astonishment, the officers casually park their car and get out. “I’m afraid not,” one of them says. “Against the rules.”

“Which rules are those?” you ask incredulously.

“It’s like this,” says the officer. “The miscreants have fled in an automobile, and we have been instructed not to pursue them in our own automobile lest they crash and injure themselves or some innocent party, thus exposing our municipality to liability. And even if we were to chase and catch them, there’s a fair chance we would have to use force to get them into custody, which may, again, risk liability to our employer and which in any event these days no one wants to see.”

“Incredible,” you say.

“That’s police work in modern America,” says the officer. “No more chases, no nightsticks, no guns, no more rough stuff of any kind. But we still take reports, lots and lots of them, so let’s step inside and out of the cold night air and assemble a list of what’s been taken.”

Farfetched, you say? Not if you live in Atlanta and a growing number of other cities.

Last Friday, Atlanta police chief Erika Shields announced that her officers would not engage in vehicle pursuits while the department evaluates its policies. “Please know that I realize this will not be a popular decision,” she said, understating the case considerably. “And more disconcerting to me personally, is that this decision may drive crime up.”

I suggest “may” is not the proper auxiliary verb here. The decision will drive crime up. How could it not? When it becomes known among Atlanta’s criminal classes that all one need do to escape punishment for his misdeeds is to use a stolen car, or perhaps alter or remove the license plates on one’s own, and you’ll have a crime wave in no time.

As much as I abhor the lack of resolve reflected in Chief Shields’s decision, I cannot but acknowledge the logic of it. She called the judicial system in Atlanta “broken,” saying criminals are too often released from jail only to re-offend. “I don’t want to see us cost someone their life in pursuit of an auto theft person or burglar, when the courts aren’t even going to hold them accountable,” she said. “How can we justify that?”

How indeed?

In enacting her no-pursuit policy, Chief Shields is merely following the latest fashion trend in law enforcement, or perhaps more aptly, non-law enforcement. It is all the rage among those social justice warriors who have wormed their way into the criminal justice woodwork to tolerate or excuse theft, drug use, and all manner of other antisocial behavior. In California, criminal justice reforms like Proposition 47, passed in 2014, have reduced the state’s prison population at the cost of rising crime on the streets. Shoplifters are aware they face little risk of consequences if they keep the value of their stolen loot below $950. (Scenes like this one, in which shoplifters don’t even bother with a pretense of secrecy in their thievery, have become common across the state.)

In New York, new criminal justice reforms took effect on Jan. 1, among which is one that eliminates bail for many defendants. Those arrested on misdemeanors and non-violent felonies must now be released on their own recognizance rather than being held in jail or having to post bail. And the list of crimes deemed non-violent is perplexing; included are some categories of assault, robbery, and even manslaughter. Laughably, someone charged with escaping from jail is now considered worthy of an O.R. release.

Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Boston have elected district attorneys who can be labeled as social justice reformers, all of whom seem bent on emptying the jails. In Los Angeles, George Gascon, former D.A. of San Francisco and an author of Proposition 47, is challenging incumbent D.A. Jackie Lacey in next year’s election. If some in L.A. lament the state of their city, large swaths of which have been taken over by the “homeless,” they may find small comfort in the knowledge that things are even worse in San Francisco. Gascon hopes to change that.

One advantage of growing older is the ability to observe the swings of the pendulum with some perspective. I worked on the streets of Los Angeles through the 1980s and '90s and saw the horrific increase in crime that was eventually stemmed through the combination of tougher laws and innovative, aggressive law enforcement. Today those gains in public safety are being eroded in the name of “social justice,” which in reality is merely the expectation that the law-abiding yield to the lawless. The pendulum will swing back someday, but how much damage will have been done before it does?


Women Overtake Men as Majority of U.S. Workforce

Women held more U.S. jobs than men in December for the first time in nearly a decade, a development that likely reflects the future of the American workforce.

The share of women on payrolls, excluding farmworkers and the self-employed, exceeded the share of men in December for the first time since mid-2010, Labor Department data released Friday showed. Women held 50.04% of jobs last month, surpassing men on payrolls by 109,000.

“The [jobs] report strongly suggests that the labor market dynamics are tilting in the direction of women,” Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM US, said in a note to clients. “We all often look for tangible evidence of change. It is now here in the data and can be used as a benchmark to measure equality and inequality in the labor force and the economy.”

The gap between men and women on payrolls had been narrowing over recent years, reflecting growth in services industries that employ higher numbers of women, such as health care.

“The sectors that are growing, like education and health care, are predominantly women’s employment,” said Ariane Hegewisch, program director of employment and earnings at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “Looking at the 21st century, it is really amazing how profound some of the [sex] segregation is in the labor market.”

In December, the education and health-services sector added 36,000 jobs compared with the prior month. Both of those industries are predominantly female. Meanwhile, the mining and manufacturing industries, dominated by men, lost a combined 21,000 jobs.

The last time women outnumbered men on nonfarm payrolls was during a stretch between June 2009 and April 2010. But different circumstances drove the trend at that time because the construction and manufacturing sectors were disproportionately shedding jobs, according to Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

“You had two large sectors of the economy that were very badly hit by the recession, whereas right now we would think of it as being a pretty normal economy,” Mr. Baker said.

Friday’s data showed women surpassed men in the number of payroll jobs held in December. A different Labor Department survey shows men still account for a larger share of the U.S. labor force—comprised of people who are employed or looking for work. Beyond methodological differences between the two surveys, men are more likely to hold jobs not counted on payrolls, including the self-employed and farm laborers. And women are more likely to hold more than one job. A single person can be counted twice in the payroll data, but only once in population surveys.

A gap in the labor-force participation rate persists between men and women. The labor-force participation rate in December was 57.7% for women aged 16 and up, compared with 69.2% for men aged 16 and up.


Keir Starmer: enemy of liberty

As Director of Public Prosecutions, he bulldozed the rights of defendants.

Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, is currently favourite to become the next leader of the Labour Party.

In his campaign for the leadership so far, Starmer has been keen to emphasise the work he did as a barrister before he became a Labour MP. His campaign launch video references many of his old cases, including his role in the dispute between the National Union of Mineworkers and the then Conservative government, as well as the ‘McLibel’ trial.

The video implies that Starmer’s history is one of defending individual and workers’ rights. But this is misleading. It ignores the fact that, as a jobbing barrister [trial lawyer], Starmer would have been selected for each case based on his relevant expertise. The cases he worked on say nothing of his politics or character, as he would not necessarily have chosen them himself.

Starmer’s more recent tenure as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) does, however, tell us a great deal about the would-be Labour leader. Between 2008 and 2013, as DPP, Starmer was responsible for policymaking within the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which brings all prosecutions for criminal offences in England and Wales.

The campaign video claims that Starmer ‘stood up to the powerful’ as DPP. But his disastrous reign was more accurately characterised by his willingness to ride roughshod over the rights of defendants under the guise of ‘victim-centred justice’. In particular, he railed against the ‘adversarial system’ of criminal trials, and advocated a move towards an ‘inquisitorial system’.

The adversarial system defends against the inherent unfairness of being prosecuted by a state body, which is able to marshal far greater resources than the average defendant. It does so by imposing a high burden of proof and providing ample opportunities for the defence to robustly challenge the prosecution’s case. It thereby attempts to create ‘equality of arms’ between the state and the individual.

The inquisitorial system, on the other hand, pretends that the defendant is in the same position as the state, and this creates the potential for real unfairness.

Starmer’s video also features images of Rebekah Brooks, in a nod to his involvement in her prosecution for phone hacking at the News of the World. The inclusion of Brooks is pretty brazen given that she, her assistant Cheryl Carter, and her husband Charlie, were eventually cleared of all charges. Brooks is an innocent woman. The entire episode was a blemish on Starmer’s record, but he presents it as a victory.

Starmer also paved the way for the many catastrophic failings of the CPS that followed his departure. In 2013, he proposed altering the tests that were used to assess the credibility of complainants in sexual-violence cases. He justified this by saying, ‘We cannot afford another Savile moment’.

His reforms culminated in guidance published in October 2013 that instructed CPS lawyers to focus on the credibility of complaints, rather than the credibility of complainants. In practice, this meant overlooking common-sense questions.

This change was later reflected in police guidance. In December 2014, senior officers at the Metropolitan Police relied on this guidance when they announced that claims of a paedophile ring operating out of Westminster were ‘credible and true’. They had been made by Carl Beech. Last year, Beech was convicted of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Beech approached the Metropolitan Police in 2012, while Starmer was still in charge at the CPS. It was Starmer’s reign that encouraged police to believe complainants rather than robustly investigate the evidence. It was this environment that enabled Beech’s lies to cause incredible harm to those he accused.

Starmer may wish to portray his history as one of standing up to the powerful, but his attempts to bulldoze the longstanding rights of defendants lay the groundwork for one of the greatest failings of our justice system in recent decades.

His attitude towards historic allegations was equally troubling. In 1970, Liberal MP Cyril Smith was investigated in connection with allegations of sexual abuse. No action was taken at the time. In November 2012, two years after Smith’s death, Starmer publicly declared that had the evidence against Smith been reviewed by the CPS under his tenure, then it would have prosecuted him.

This was an unprecedented and entirely unfair announcement to make. The decision to prosecute should be taken objectively, in the knowledge that the defendant has a right to defend himself against any charges. Announcing that accused people ‘would have been prosecuted’ when they are no longer around is tantamount to declaring them guilty in their absence. This was an outrage against the principles of our justice system.

Starmer may be a slick operator. He may be the most ‘prime ministerial’ candidate out of a truly dreadful crop. But he must not be allowed to whitewash his own record.


Australian Federal cops eye case of author Bruce Pascoe’s indigenous identity

He's no more Aboriginal than I am.  He is just a fantasist

The Australian Federal Police is assessing an allegation that celeb­rated author and historian Bruce Pascoe has benefited ­financially from wrongly claiming to be indigenous.

One of Professor Pascoe’s most vocal critics, Aboriginal entrepreneur Josephine Cashman, asked Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton for an investigation of Professor Pascoe for ­alleged “dishonesty offences” on December 11. Mr Dutton has since referred the matter to the AFP for an assessment, which was underway on Friday.

Professor Pascoe was joint winner of the $30,000 inaugural Indigenous Writers’ Prize in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards in 2016 for Dark Emu, which argues for a rethink of the hunter-gatherer label for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. The award, which Professor Pascoe shared with Ellen van Neerven for her book Heat and Light, was established to acknowledge the contribution to Australian literary culture by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers.

Dark Emu became a bestseller. An adaptation called Young Dark Emu has been published for children and ABC ­announced it would turn it into a two-part series to be screened this year.

Ms Cashman’s email to Mr Dutton disputed Professor Pascoe’s past statements that he was of Bunurong and Yuin descent.

Ms Cashman, whose son is Yuin, alleged a genealogy search did not show Professor Pascoe had Aboriginal forebears. She said Professor Pascoe had benefited financially from his claims ­including from his appointment “as an Aboriginal professor at the University of Technology Sydney”.

In recent years Professor Pascoe worked as a UTS professor at the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research. The Weekend Australian does not suggest the allegation against Professor Pascoe is true, only that the AFP is ­assessing it.

Ms Cashman is a Warrimay woman from NSW. She was a member of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Indigenous Advisory Council who spoke out about “the epidemic of violence in indigenous communities” in a joint presentation to the National Press Club in 2016.

In October last year, Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt appointed Ms Cashman and 19 other indigenous and non-indigenous Australians to the Voice Co-Design Senior Advisory Group.

In her email to Mr Dutton, Ms Cashman also raised the broader issue of indigenous identity. “I also seek your support on the question of government ­reforms concerning Aboriginal identity. ‘Do you identify as an ATSI person?’ is failing Aboriginal communities,” she wrote.

“I invite you to assist me in collaboration with the Attorney-General and the Prime Minister to develop a national strategy for establishing a register for Aboriginal people. I suggest a panel composed of traditional owners, on-the-ground elders, government experts and others to examine the most efficient manner to achieve identifying Aboriginal people.

“Once the procedure has been designed and agreed upon, it should be easy to register an ­Aboriginal birth because it could be linked to existing Australian birth registration and native title genealogical records. It is doable.”

Professor Pascoe’s current publisher, [Leftist] Morry Schwartz of Schwartz Publishing, declined to give his opinion on the validity of claims that Professor Pascoe was not Aboriginal. He told The Weekend Australian Professor Pascoe’s background was “completely irrelevant to his work”.

In Professor Pascoe’s latest book Salt, a collection of his writing dating back years, he ­addressed questions about his Aboriginality in an essay title “An enemy of the people”, saying “many people think I’m a traitor”.

“You’re not like the rest of us, they tell me, you’re not really Aboriginal,” Professor Pascoe wrote.

“What they say has cool logic. Clinical analysis of genes says I’m more Cornish than Koori. I hardly ever suffered racist remarks, and experienced no disadvantage, due to my heritage.”

In The Weekend Australian Magazine last May, writer Richard Guilliatt quoted Professor Pascoe addressing questions about his ancestry.

Guilliatt wrote that Professor Pascoe told him: “When people ask me whether I’m ‘really’ Aboriginal, because I’m so pale, I say ‘Yeah’. And when they ask me whether I can explain it, I say: ‘Have you got three hours?’”

Mr Schwartz alleged that Ms Cashman was “allowing herself to be used by the professional right-wing cultural warriors”.

“I am indeed saddened, for I have been involved with Josephine on several projects over the past couple of years, and I know she genuinely worked very hard towards the wellbeing of indigenous Australians,” Mr Schwartz said. “Bruce Pascoe’s background is completely irrelevant to his work.”

When told of Mr Schwartz’s comments, Ms Cashman responded by saying that facts mattered. She said it was offensive for a non-Aboriginal person to say they were Aboriginal.

A spokesperson for the AFP told The Weekend Australian on Friday that work had begun to ­assess the complaint about Professor Pascoe. “The Australian Federal Police can confirm it ­received correspondence in relation to this matter on December 24,” the spokesperson wrote in an email. “The matter is being ­assessed in accordance with standard AFP protocols. As such, it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”



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

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

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


10 January, 2020

EU can look to 1783 for a way through Brexit

Viscount Ridley finds wisdom in British and American history

Britain’s strategy after losing the War of Independence was generous and helped trade thrive

Frans Timmermans, the vice-president of the European Commission, is singing a more friendly tune to Britain than his fellow commissioners: “We’re not going away and you will always be welcome to come back”. In a similar vein, “You’ll be back,” sings King George III’s character in the musical Hamilton, in a love song to his rebellious colonies, but adds: “And when push comes to shove/I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love”. Though they have stopped short of sending battalions, too often the rulers of the European empire have seemed to be adopting a counterproductive hostility to their departing British colony.

When William Petty, Earl of Shelburne, became prime minister in July 1782 he faced roughly the same problem as the EU faces today: how generous an empire should be to a departing nation, in that case the 13 American colonies. As sore losers of the recent war, British ministers’ initial stance towards the Americans at the Paris treaty negotiations that began that year was condescending and tough: call them “colonials”, threaten to deny them access to British and Caribbean ports and refuse their demands for land beyond the Appalachians.

Shelburne realised this was a mistake, if only because Britain might need the Americans as allies in future conflicts with the French. But also, being a leading champion of free trade and an avid follower of Adam Smith, he refused to see the negotiation as a zero-sum game.

Being generous to the Americans would benefit both sides in the long run, Shelburne argued. So he changed tack and instructed Richard Oswald, the British delegate, to offer the astonished American delegates — Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and John Jay — a uniquely generous deal instead. The deal was agreed in 1783. It meant that the United States, as they would come to be known, would get access to British ports and would have open-ended ownership of the vast trans-Appalachian lands, including the extensive territory known as Illinois County, an area that had previously been deemed still British.

Although the Americans bit Oswald’s hand off, and peace treaties with the French, Dutch and Spanish soon followed, it made the sometimes devious and unreliable Shelburne unpopular with most of his fellow cabinet ministers and the British public. Charles James Fox criticised Shelburne for having made “concessions in every part of the globe without the least pretence of equivalent”. That is the eternal zero-sum cry of the mercantilist who does not think that gains from trade can be mutual. Shelburne lost office in March 1783 and never served as prime minister again.

Yet he was proved right. America’s subsequent prosperity helped Britain hugely by providing it with both a market in which to sell its manufactured goods and a hinterland to source the raw materials it needed. It was not all smooth sailing, of course, and there was the small matter in 1814 of British troops burning the White House in retaliation for the destruction of property in Canada during a brief sideshow of the Napoleonic wars. But in the long run the special Anglo-American relationship emerged and endured to immense mutual benefit.

So far the EU has taken a tough line on Brexit, hoping to make it so unpleasant that we change our minds. But this has not worked. Dismissing David Cameron’s request for comprehensive reform in 2015, weaponising Northern Ireland to defeat Theresa May’s soft Brexit in 2018 and taking advice from the likes of Tony Blair and Dominic Grieve on how to negotiate in order to get a second referendum have led the EU into a dead end and resulted in a “harder” Borisite Brexit than would otherwise have occurred.

Now that we are definitely leaving this month, will the EU continue to try an intransigent strategy as it seeks a new relationship with Britain? Given the failure of the British to change their minds thus far, the extinction of the possibility of a second referendum and the fact that the British economy has not stumbled since 2016, that might be unwise.

Thomas Kielinger, a veteran German journalist, argued recently that “the Europeans need to get their act together. They must create a relationship with Boris. They are not going to be able to be stubborn or refuse compromises.” The more difficult they make a free-trade deal, the more they will encourage British firms to look to America and Asia for business deals instead.

True, feelings are running high in Brussels where the demagoguery of the Brexit Party MEPs in the European Parliament no doubt causes some resentment, but feelings have been running high here too. For three years we have been subjected to the curl of Jean-Claude Juncker’s lip, the hiss of Donald Tusk’s lisp, the shrug of Michel Barnier’s shoulders and the snarl of Guy Verhofstadt’s tweets, not to mention the BBC’s Katya Adler perpetually explaining to us how much better Brussels’ negotiators are than ours. These have not endeared Britons to the project they are now leaving.

Mr Barnier seems tempted to repeat his tough stance, to show us what fools we have been to step outside the tent. But the governments of member states, and Mr Timmermans, are edging towards a more emollient line, mindful of the opportunity we will both have to be markets for each other’s goods and services.

Lord Shelburne did the right thing and got the sack. The lucky thing for President Ursula von der Leyen, as she contemplates whether to follow in his footsteps, is that, being unelected, she does not have to worry about losing office.


UK: Judges are appointed to dispense justice – not radical social policies

Great minds have argued for centuries about what constitutes a religion or a philosophy. Nowadays these matters can be decided by an employment tribunal in Norwich. Last week there, a judge, Robin Postle, ruled that ethical vegans (as opposed to people who are vegan just to lose weight) have the rights of a philosophical belief, which is a “protected characteristic” under the Equality Act 2010.

Just before Christmas, another employment tribunal – this time in London – found against Maya Forstater, a consultant for the Centre for Global Development think-tank. She had tweeted against government plans to allow people to self-identify as being of a different gender from their sex at birth. For this, she was dismissed.

She complained that her dismissal infringed her rights to philosophical beliefs. No, said the judge, James Tayler: her view of sex and gender was of an “absolutist nature” and “incompatible with human dignity and the fundamental rights of others”.

I see much more work for lawyers in this. After all, the idea that your sex is biologically determined is common to many religions and many non-religious belief systems everywhere. Is that idea now actually illegal? If so, how are religious and philosophical rights protected under the Equality Act?

It is important to understand that such rights do not merely uphold – as they should – the freedom to hold beliefs such as veganism. They affect a myriad of everyday things which are troublesome for the rest of us. Will it now be a duty in all workplaces to provide vegan food and to make sure that vegan employees do not have to handle anything made from animals?

Once upon a time, a forgotten concept known as common sense would have ensured that vegans did not seek jobs in butchers’ shops. But now that they have acquired rights under law, how long before they get hired for the meat counter in Sainsbury’s and then protest that the management infringes their rights when it tells them to slice bacon?

How do employment judges know the answers to these vexed questions? Judge Tayler referred repeatedly to something called the Equal Treatment Bench Book, a sort of semi-official guidance. This book, I notice, goes well beyond the law. It embraces, for instance, the concept of Islamophobia, although it currently has no legal definition. Judge Tayler is also a “Diversity and Community Relations Judge”. Did you know there are scores of them?

The more one looks, the more one finds that a judicial career can now be a vehicle for those pursuing radical social and political causes. The idea of most citizens that it is simply about dispensing justice fairly is beginning to look woefully 20th-century.


Big government earns distrust

WHEN DWIGHT EISENHOWER and John Kennedy were in the White House, about 75 percent of Americans trusted the federal government to do the right thing most of the time. That number began to plummet during Lyndon Johnson's administration and by Election Day 1968 had fallen to the low 60s. It continued to fall under Richard Nixon, and by the time Jimmy Carter's term as president had ended, public trust in the federal government was down to just 30 percent. It briefly spiked above 50 percent after 9/11, then sank even lower. Barack Obama's presidency saw public trust fall to the teens, which is where it remains under Donald Trump.

Why did Americans stop trusting their government? There is no single answer, of course. But perhaps part of the reason is that the size and scope of the federal establishment metastasized far beyond the level at which it could maintain a reputation for fairness and reliability. Since the 1960s and 1970s, Washington has insisted on doing more, regulating more, intervening more, spending more, and micromanaging more than ever before. As the view increasingly took hold that the government is obliged to solve every problem, its inevitable failure to do so became impossible to ignore. The bigger government grew and the more it intruded in citizens' lives, the sourer the taste it left in many mouths.

Americans embark on this presidential election year with their trust in Washington's abilities at or near an all-time low. Yet most of the Democratic politicians running for president want the government to be given even greater powers. As vast as the federal behemoth has grown, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and the others want it to grow vaster. In countless areas of life — medical costs, energy, college loans, gun control, labor unions, child care, and so many others — they call for more regulation, greater spending, new entitlements. They propose sweeping economic transformations and radical social shifts. And never do they voice even a qualm about the wisdom of conferring more authority and dominance on a bloated government that most Americans say they don't trust.

The same politicians and political activists who mistrust so many people in the private sector feel no such wariness about the public sector. Everywhere they look, these politicians see citizens who cannot be trusted to make decisions for themselves: employers, gun owners, Big Tech executives, oil producers, health insurers, Wall Street investors, even Christian bakers and florists. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, however, they never seem to lose their faith — their almost religious faith — in the fundamental wisdom and benevolence of government regulators.

Atheists sometimes scorn religious believers as irrational for having faith in an omniscient God. But while God's existence can be neither proved nor disproved, every day's news brings fresh evidence of incompetence, fraud, waste, and dishonesty in government: Presidential impeachments. Police brutality. City Hall shakedowns. Campaign-finance chicanery. Men and women who work for the state may not be more prone to venality, bias, or screwing up than other people. But surely they are no less so.

Politicians and public officials are only human. They aren't endowed with superhuman powers or godlike insights. They cannot foretell the future or avoid error. Their moral judgments are no better, on average, than those of the taxpayers who support them. And their schemes and projects are about as likely to succeed as most endeavors are.

An estimated 95 percent of product launches fizzle. Half of all new hires don't work out. Twenty percent of small businesses go bust within a year. If the odds against success are so high even in such limited undertakings, how likely is it that the massive plans touted by candidates like Warren, who has issued more than 60 blueprints, many quite radical, for reconstructing American society, would work out as planned? Even if you find her (or any other candidate's) ideas appealing in the abstract, isn't it overwhelmingly likely that they would fail in the real world? And when that happened, wouldn't the result be even more cynicism toward the federal government?

This month marks the 190th anniversary of an essay every candidate for office ought to read. In January 1830, the British historian and statesman Thomas Babington Macaulay wrote a review of a book on politics and history by Robert Southey, England's poet laureate. Macaulay, a classical liberal, scathingly rejected Southey's statist worldview:

"He conceives that the business of the magistrate is, not merely to see that the persons and property of the people are secure from attack, but that he ought to be a jack-of-all-trades, architect, engineer, schoolmaster, merchant, theologian ... His principle is ... that no man can do anything so well for himself as his rulers ... can do it for him, and that a government approaches nearer and nearer to perfection, in proportion as it interferes more and more with the habits and notions of individuals."

It may be appealing, wrote Macaulay, to imagine that a wise government should guide the people. "But is there any reason for believing that a government is more likely to lead the people in the right way than the people to fall into the right way of themselves?"

Macaulay's plea for prudence and modesty in government is even more relevant in our time than it was in his — and even more likely to go unheeded. Never has America's political class been so sure that it knows exactly how to engineer society. And never have Americans trusted their government less.


Cities move to ban dollar stores, blaming them for residents’ poor diets

About 20 years ago, academic researchers began describing poor urban neighborhoods without supermarkets as “food deserts.” The term captured the attention of elected officials, activists, and the media. They mapped these nutritional wastelands, blamed them on the rise of suburban shopping centers and the decline of mass transit, linked them to chronic health problems suffered by the poor, and encouraged government subsidies to lure food stores to these communities. Despite these efforts, which led to hundreds of new stores opening around the country, community health outcomes haven’t changed significantly, and activists think that they know why. The culprits, they say, are the dollar-discount stores in poor neighborhoods that—or so they claim—drive out supermarkets and sell junk food. Never mind that compelling research suggests a lack of supermarkets isn’t the problem—let alone the popularity of discount stores.

This latest front in the food wars has emerged over the last few years. Communities like Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Fort Worth, Birmingham, and Georgia’s DeKalb County have passed restrictions on dollar stores, prompting numerous other communities to consider similar curbs. New laws and zoning regulations limit how many of these stores can open, and some require those already in place to sell fresh food. Behind the sudden disdain for these retailers—typically discount variety stores smaller than 10,000 square feet—are claims by advocacy groups that they saturate poor neighborhoods with cheap, over-processed food, undercutting other retailers and lowering the quality of offerings in poorer communities. An analyst for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, for instance, argues that, “When you have so many dollar stores in one neighborhood, there’s no incentive for a full-service grocery store to come in.” Other critics, like the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, go further, contending that dollar stores, led by the giant Dollar Tree and Dollar General chains, sustain poverty by making neighborhoods seem run-down. “It’s a recipe for locking in poverty rather than reducing it,” an institute representative told the Washington Post early this year.

 Such claims are like salty potato chips for reporters starved for a good angle on how big businesses exploit the poor. A Washington Post headline described how these stores “storm” into cities. A banner in Fast Company declared, “Why dollar stores are bad business for the neighborhoods they open in.” An Atlanta Journal-Constitution article on the stores highlighted a quote from a local official: “We don’t need them on every corner.”

The idea that dollar stores are invaders ignores the fact that these retailers are expanding in neighborhoods that want them. And the notion that the stores lower the quality of retailers in an area overlooks how they’ve become popular in prosperous neighborhoods, too. “What’s driving the growth [of dollar stores] is affluent households,” an expert with consumer-research outfit Nielsen Company told the New York Times Magazine, in a story entitled “The Dollar Store Economy,” published before these stores became the latest bête noire of activists.

Recent research undermines the argument that a lack of fresh, healthy food is to blame for unhealthy diets. In a paper published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, three economists chart grocery purchases in 10,000 households located in former food deserts, where new supermarkets have since opened. They found that people didn’t buy healthier food when they started shopping at a new local supermarket. “We can statistically conclude that the effect on healthy eating from opening new supermarkets was negligible at best,” they wrote. In other words, the food-desert narrative—which suggests that better food choices motivate people to eat better—is fundamentally incorrect. “In the modern economy, stores have become amazingly good at selling us exactly the kinds of things we want to buy,” the researchers write. In other words, “lower demand for healthy food is what causes the lack of supply.”

Combatting the ill effects of a bad diet involves educating people to change their eating habits. That’s a more complicated project than banning dollar stores. Subsidizing the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables through the federal food-stamp program and working harder to encourage kids to eat better—as Michelle Obama tried to do with her Let’s Move! campaign—are among the economists’ suggestions for improving the nation’s diet. That’s not the kind of thing that generates sensational headlines. But it makes a lot more sense than banning dollar stores.



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, 2020  

At the Golden Globes, Ricky Gervais Exposed Hollywood’s ‘Woke’ Culture

At the annual Golden Globes, an awards show for both movies and television, on Sunday night, host comedian Ricky Gervais was actually funny, lampooning Hollywood in general and its “woke” culture in particular.

“Let’s have a laugh at your expense,” Gervais said in opening his monologue at the Globes’ 77th awards ceremony, presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. “Remember, we’re all going to die soon. And there’s no sequel.”

It was quite a performance, though it’s clear that while some celebrities laughed along with the jokes, many others were not amused, or had uncomfortable reactions.

During the course of his monologue, Gervais joked that this would undoubtedly be his last awards show, so he didn’t care if he offended people.

His speech ended up being a phenomenal takedown of an overly political and absurdly left-wing Hollywood that’s become obsessed with self-righteous crusades, such as the #MeToo movement, or with bemoaning the supposed lack of racial and gender diversity in movies.

Gervais said that he couldn’t begin the show with a rundown of the celebrity deaths in 2019 because “when I saw the list of people who died, it wasn’t diverse enough.”

He then mocked the entertainment industry for being shamelessly transactional—despite its moralistic pretenses.

Apple roared into the TV game with “The Morning Show,” a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing—made by a company that runs sweatshops in China.

So, you say you’re “woke,” but the companies you work for, Apple, Amazon, Disney … If ISIS had a streaming service, you would be calling your agents.

Gervais also poked fun at the smug—yet clueless—way Hollywood talks down to everyone else.

“You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything,” he said. “You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.”

Gervais concluded his monologue by making an appeal for award recipients to drop the political lectures.

“Don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You are in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world,” he said.

What was particularly great about the Gervais monologue is that Hollywood was exposed on its own turf.

Of course, not everyone was pleased. Some in the media—the less-glamorous handmaiden of the Hollywood set—groused that it was inappropriate to mock celebrities, who are clearly having such a tough time right now.

“At the Beverly Hilton, where the three-hour-plus ceremony took place, the mood was already somber, thanks to an impeachment, the threat of war with Iran, and devastating bush fires in Australia,” wrote Lorraine Ali, the Los Angeles Times’ television critic. “The last thing anyone needed was for the smirking master of ceremonies to reprimand them for having hope, or taunt the room for trying to use their influence to change things for the better.”

Maybe the speech wasn’t for them. Maybe it was simply a comedic reminder to the entertainment industry that their talents are best put to use by sticking to entertaining, and that the country really is sick of their tedious and often mockable political sermons.

At the very least, it exposed a vapid Hollywood for what it is, while deflating the superficial virtue-signaling of hypocrites who use their platforms to lecture America and the world about their sins.

Perhaps, through mockery, this really is the beginning of the end of Hollywood’s “Great Awokening.”


Transgender Clinics Are Ruining Young Lives

Gender clinics blithely guide 18-year-olds through the radical steps of gender transition, but abandon them later when they regret it.

After exploiting these troubled and vulnerable youths, the clinicians often want nothing more to do with them, and even deny the existence of regret among patients they assisted in transitioning.

These clinics need to be held accountable for ruining young lives. But don’t expect the liberal mainstream media, which practically celebrate transgenderism, to do so.

Three teens who transitioned at age 18 or 19 and who regretted it soon after contacted me for help in going back. They are living proof of that cavalier attitude prevalent among gender clinics.

Their stories illuminate the ease with which doctors and clinics facilitate gender change on vulnerable youths, but turn their back on these young adults when they want to undo a tragic mistake.

The Callousness of Trans Clinics

Take the case of Abel Garcia, a 22-year-old born male from Southern California. (Able is a pseudonym to protect his identity.)

Abel first wrote me in June about the conflicting feelings he’s had about continuing along the path of transition to female. He allowed me to share his story here to warn others.

“Hello, Walter, I am a transgender woman who’s been struggling with myself in regard to continuing or to detransition for the last year,” he wrote. “[I’ve] been watching videos about you and interviews you’ve been in. And since then, I have been questioning myself more and more every day.”

Abel began his journey from male to female with cross-sex hormones in November 2016 at age 19. He changed his legal identity six months later, and in May 2018 had breast augmentation, aka “top surgery.”

His attitude toward transitioning is a bit different from most. He decided to take it slowly so he wouldn’t regret his decision. After he recovered from top surgery is when the questioning began.

In the year and a half since his breast augmentation, Abel has had a job that helped him mature, which has made a big difference in his decision.

“I am much more mature [at 22], compared to myself when I was 18,” he said. “I had a feeling that there was a small chance I would regret my decision, and I would want to detransition.”

Abel felt unappreciated as a young boy and subconsciously thought transitioning would make him the focus of attention.

“Growing up, I was a very shy, quiet boy compared to other boys my age, and I also didn’t see my father growing up, because he worked almost every day as a truck driver, which left me and my two brothers being left alone to be raised by my mother and not having much of a male role figure in my life growing up.”

I knew I would never be a real woman. I would just be a man with a mutilated body to present as a woman.
Abel has concluded he wants to go back to identifying as a man.

“Ultimately, I knew even if I transitioned 100% completely, I knew I would never be a real woman,” he said. “I would just be a man with a mutilated body to present as a woman.”

The gender clinic doctors could have prevented Abel from a needless gender transition through psychotherapy, but they preferred the reckless use of hormones and surgeries. It’s criminal what’s happening to young people.

Then there’s Sydney Wright, a young woman from the South, who wrote to me last spring.

“Hey, Walt! I myself was searching for positive detransitioning articles when I found your website,” she wrote. “I transitioned from female to male as soon as I turned 19 … it has been the biggest regret of my life.”

Sydney shared her story with The Daily Signal, “I Spent a Year as A Trans Man. Doctors Failed Me at Every Turn,” in which she wrote:

It’s insane to me that our society is letting this happen to young people. At age 18, I wasn’t even legal to buy alcohol, but I was old enough to go to a therapist and get hormones to change my gender.

Sydney related how she had no trouble finding a therapist willing to write her an approval letter for cross-gender hormones and a physician who gave her a prescription for testosterone and told her to watch YouTube videos to figure out how to inject herself.

Neither so-called “professional” questioned her motives or recommended counseling.

Nor did clinicians counsel or caution Nathaniel, a young man from the Northeast, who started on hormones at age 15 with his parents’ approval and underwent the full surgical reassignment from male to female at age 18.

After he regretted having the surgery, the clinic washed its hands of him.

Less than a year later, he wrote me about his regret and wanting his male body parts back. With Nathaniel’s permission, I shared his story, “1 Year After Sex Change, This Teen Regrets His ‘Frankenstein Hack Job,’” in November.

Nathaniel, like so many others, received no effective counseling before surgery—which would have prevented this horrible mistake. Instead, the gender clinic and surgeons affirmed his false thinking and enticed him down the primrose path.

After he regretted having the surgery, the clinic washed its hands of him.

Hold the Clinics Accountable

People who regret their gender change contact me for help because their gender doctors and clinics abandon them when they want their life back.

None of us will ever be counted among the regretters or detransitioners in any studies or statistics. In fact, the doctors and clinics routinely refuse to acknowledge the existence of even one patient who regrets transitioning or detransitions.

As I reported in my book “Paper Genders,” 90% of transgender research subjects are lost to follow-up, so no one knows how many go back to identifying as their birth gender.

We who detransition do exist, and we deserve to be heard.

The gender doctors and clinics need to be held accountable for destroying people’s lives, especially for the vulnerable youths they exploit.


Did Dennis Prager ridicule Anne Frank?

Dennis Prager

If decent people working in mainstream American media want to know why many Americans do not trust them and are willing to use the term "fake news" to describe the mainstream media, I offer one of the most glaring examples of a lie in my lifetime.

Last week, Newsweek headlined the following: "Conservative Radio Host Ridicules Anne Frank: 'I Don't Get My Wisdom From Teenagers.'"

Now, imagine how that must have struck any reader not familiar with the "conservative radio host" or with what he actually said. "Ridicule Anne Frank" – what kind of terrible human being would do that?

Well, it turns out the "conservative radio host" was me. Yes, me – a religious Jew who has devoted much of his life to the welfare of the Jewish people, served on the board of the U.S. Holocaust Museum, made the most widely viewed pro-Israel video in the world, written a book on anti-Semitism that is in its third printing, and founded a synagogue and a Jewish day school.

To understand how terrible a lie this is, you need to know what happened: Every week I do a video podcast for PragerU called "The Fireside Chat." In it, I offer thoughts on life and then take questions from around the world (we have received questions from 52 countries).

A few weeks ago, I received the following question from Sam in Meridian, Idaho: "On your most recent Fireside Chat, you said that people are not basically good. We've heard you discuss this topic before. Anne Frank is quoted as saying, 'Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.' How do you respond to her quote?"

Here is my response (this is a word-for-word transcription, except for the words in parentheses added for clarity):

"She wrote that in her diary, the most famous Holocaust document. (She was) a teenage girl, a Dutch Jewish girl, who hid with her family until they were betrayed by someone to the Nazis, who then shipped them to death camps. And she died, murdered by the Nazis in the death camps. She was about 16 years old, maybe 15. Her diary is very famous. It gives a face to the horror of the Holocaust.

"I know she wrote that, and my answer is it doesn't matter that she wrote it. I don't get my wisdom from teenagers. That she was a wonderful young woman and wrote an unbelievably powerful document that will last forever is beside the point. I don't expect 16-year-olds, unless they grew up in a religious Jewish or Christian home (where it is taught as basic religious doctrine that people are not born basically good).

She was a secular Jew. Most kids believe that (people are basically good). But it is not true. So, it has never been an issue for me – 'Well, you disagree with Anne Frank.' So what?

"And, by the way, to be very serious for a moment, I would be very curious – I've thought about this a lot – if I were to be able to visit Anne Frank while in a concentration camp, would she have still believed that? We don't know."

Only someone who deliberately seeks to smear someone would claim that what I said ridicules Anne Frank.

The person who wrote this is Benjamin Fearnow, a deputy editor at Newsweek, who previously worked for the left-wing site Mediaite.

When I looked up Fearnow, I came across this December 2018 tweet from talk-show host Mark Levin: "Newsweek's Benjamin Fearnow is a very, very sick person."

And Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, one of the most revered Jewish scholars in America – author of such Jewish classics as "Jewish Literacy" and "Biblical Literacy" – called me to say that Fearnow's article saying I ridiculed Anne Frank is "the most despicable lie I recall reading in a mainstream news source."

Yesterday, Newsweek published Fearnow's column headlined, "Top Iranian Presidential Adviser Says Tehran's 'Sole Problem Is Trump,' Not Average American People."

Apparently, Fearnow has chosen to serve as a useful idiot for the Iranian regime, which hates America, not only Trump. (Does Fearnow believe that the Iranian chant "death to Israel" only means "death to Netanyahu"?)

The Iranian regime has gathered millions of Iranians to chant "death to America" since long before it ever heard of Donald Trump. It has been wishing death on us and killing Americans (not to mention Iranians) since it came into power in 1979. But Fearnow cites the Iranian dictator, Ayatollah Khamenei, as having said last February that "'Death to America' means death to Trump, (National Security Adviser) John Bolton, and (Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo," as if it were credible.

Meanwhile, multiple left-wing sites have picked up Fearnow's and Newsweek's lie that I ridiculed Anne Frank.

If Newsweek has any honor, it will remove Fearnow's article and apologize to me.

But neither is likely. As I wrote 30 years ago, "Being on the left means never having to say you're sorry."

Next time someone challenges you for using the term "fake news" to describe mainstream media, just cite Newsweek and Fearnow.


The maddest nanny-state ideas of 2019

From inedible eco-diets to bans on snacking, public-health campaigners outdid themselves this year.

The nanny state has had a bit of a quiet year in the UK. With all the shenanigans over Brexit, it seems our parliamentarians haven’t really had the time to devote to making serious new dents in our personal freedoms. Given that, in recent years, we’ve seen the introduction of all sorts of bans, regulations and tax hikes on tobacco, minimum prices for booze north of the border, and sugary drinks taxes, maybe it was time to take a breather.

But that hasn’t stopped the public-health wonks, campaigners and academics from floating ever-more stupid and illiberal ideas about how our lives can be micromanaged. And if our behaviour can’t be changed, the authorities will simply apply pressure to the companies who make the products we consume.

Christmas time is always one for the old favourites, and one of the classics is food reformulation. This is the idea that if manufacturers would only tweak the recipes for our favourite foods, it would do wonders for the fight against obesity. Some things are (relatively) easy to tweak, like cutting the amount of salt in biscuits or crisps – up to a point. But other changes are easy to notice. You can’t easily replace sugar with artificial sweetener without anyone noticing. The likes of aspartame simply taste different and have nothing like the bulk of sugar. Diet drinks taste different to full-sugar drinks and you either tolerate that difference in flavour or you don’t. As long as you have the option, it really is a matter of taste.

But as AG Barr, maker of Scottish soft-drink favourite Irn-Bru, has found out, denying your customers that choice altogether in an effort to avoid the sugary drinks tax can seriously hurt your bottom line. The reduced-sugar version of Irn-Bru has been a flop. No wonder the firm suddenly discovered an old, very sugary recipe to flog as a ‘limited edition’ over Christmas and New Year.

Getting Whitehall involved in how our food is made is, er, a recipe for disaster (pun intended), as Josie Appleton found out while writing the report, Cooking For Bureaucrats. She notes that calorie-reduction targets have been proposed for a bizarre range of foods, including ‘olive ciabatta, boxed salads, sushi, bao buns, vegetable crisps, protein balls, yoghurt-covered raisins, croutons, braised cabbage, mushy peas, pesto, hollandaise sauce, quinoa (with additions), spelt and barley (with additions), guacamole, pease pudding, and prepared salads’. Hardly the most obviously unhealthy foods.

The real upshot of food reformulation is food that tastes worse – or comes in smaller portions because changing the recipe is just impractical. So, well done all concerned at making our lives just that little bit worse for practically zero impact on calorie intakes or obesity.

Another public-health crowdpleaser is the advertising ban. Earlier this year, London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, promised to ban adverts for ‘junk’ food on Transport for London (TfL). But within weeks, we had news of collateral damage. Farmdrop, an organic-food home-delivery firm, were told by TfL bosses to cut out parts of an ad containing such treats as bacon, butter and jam. It even had to confirm that other foods featured, including shortbread, juice, biscuits, yoghurt and elderflower, were in compliance with the new rules. Advertising bans may be stupid, irrational and a restraint on free expression – but at least TfL’s rules have the merit of bone-headed consistency.

In 2019, we had the chance to examine the merits of nanny-state policies introduced in the previous year. For example, the stats on Scotland’s policy of minimum pricing for alcohol, introduced in May 2018, are now available and show alcohol sales are down. However, that seems little different to the long-term trend in Scotland. Initial estimates of mortality seems to show a decline – but there was also a decline in England.

Clearly, the policy has had either zero effect, or the effect is so marginal as to be indistinguishable from long-term trends. Minimum pricing has been bad news for anyone who likes a cheap drink and good news for booze shops just across the border in England. But it’s doing nothing (or at least, vanishingly little) to prevent booze-related deaths.

But if minimum pricing is pointless, that’s nothing next to the maddest of madcap public-health ideas: the diet proposed in January by the EAT-Lancet Commission, bringing together the biggest moonbats from the worlds of public health and climate-change activism – what I called at the time the ‘Avengers Assembled of food bollocks’. Our flatulent, eco-friendly food future should be built, we were told, on grains, fruit and vegetables. These could be supplemented by a small amount of milk and cheese, but that’s about it. The diets suggests just seven grams of pork or beef per day (a quarter of an ounce in old money). Luckily, there is the option of a whole ounce (28 grams) of chicken per day and a wondrous 1.5 eggs per week each. The potato ration would be just 50 grams per day.

Of course, this is the most echoing of echo chambers, a committee of the great and good cooking up dietary drivel between themselves. No normal person would even attempt to eat such a diet. The danger is that having set the mark for utter dietary nonsense, politicians might be persuaded to accept a diet with slightly fewer restrictions as somehow rational.

Finally, a word for those we have lost this year. No, not an obituary, but a fond farewell to the retired chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, aka the ‘Nanny-in-Chief’. As Christopher Snowdon has pointed out, Davies was appointed in 2010 and was, for a few years, relatively sensible. But after half a decade of pickling in the asylum-like world of public health, she started coming out with statements about how she worried about breast cancer every time she had a glass of wine. Her parting shot on retiring was to call for a ban on pretty much all eating and drinking on public transport. It was for the benefit of everyone that she was put out to pasture.

While Christmas at Chez Davies may be more paltry than poultry, to everyone else – a merry Christmas and a happy, indulgent New Year!



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, 2020  

United Methodist Church is expected to split over homosexual marriage

It really is amazing that a church should insist on following Leftist values rather than Biblical values.  According to what used to be their own teachings, they are going to fry in hell for it.  But they probably don't believe in hell either. 

How do they know what is right and wrong if the  Bible is wrong?  They are effective atheists -- a mere shell of a Christian church but eminently qualified as disciples of the Devil

The United Methodist Church is expected to split into more than one denomination in an attempt to bring to a close a years-long and contentious fight over gay marriage.

The historic schism would divide the third-largest religious denomination in the United States.

Leaders of the church announced Friday they had agreed to spin off a ‘‘traditionalist Methodist’’ denomination, which would continue to oppose gay marriage and to refuse ordination to LGBT clergy, while allowing the remaining portion of the United Methodist Church to permit same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy for the first time in its history.

The plan would need to be approved in May at the denomination’s worldwide conference.

The writers of the plan called the division ‘‘the best means to resolve our differences, allowing each part of the Church to remain true to its theological understanding, while recognizing the dignity, equality, integrity, and respect of every person.’’

The United Methodist Church is the United States’ largest mainline Protestant denomination and among the only remaining such churches that still does not perform gay marriages. The church has fought bitterly about LGBT inclusion for years, and leaders often feared the fight would lead to a schism.

Friday’s announcement came as new sanctions were set to go into effect in the church, which would have made punishments for United Methodist Church pastors who perform same-sex weddings much more severe: one year’s suspension without pay for the first wedding and removal from the clergy for any wedding after that.

Instead, leaders from both liberal and conservative wings of the church signed an agreement saying they will postpone those sanctions, and instead, vote to split at the worldwide church’s May 2020 general conference.

They said the agreement was brokered by Kenneth Feinberg, the mediation expert who handled the compensation fund for Sept. 11 victims, among other major negotiations.

The agreement pledges $25 million to the new ‘‘traditionalist’’ denomination, which will break away from the United Methodist Church, a group that would likely include most of the church’s congregations in Africa as well as some in the United States. In exchange, Friday’s announcement said, the new denomination would drop any claim to United Methodist assets, such as church buildings.

Any local church that wants to join the new conservative denomination would have to conduct a vote within a specified time frame, the announcement said. A church would not need to vote in order to remain United Methodist.

Churches that vote to leave could take certain assets with them.

An additional $2 million would go to any other new denomination that wishes to split from the church.

The plan also calls for $39 million ‘‘to ensure there is no disruption in supporting ministries for communities historically marginalized by racism.’’

After the separation, the agreement said, the remaining United Methodist Church would hold another conference with the purpose of removing the church’s bans on gay marriage and LGBT clergy.

The 16 members of the negotiating team that reached the plan included bishops from New York, Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, the Philippines, and Sierra Leone. The team also included leaders from the most pro-LGBT Methodist factions, including Reconciling Ministries Network, and the most conservative, including the Wesleyan Covenant Association and Good News.

American Protestants are generally divided into three theological and cultural camps — evangelical churches, which almost unanimously oppose gay marriage and view homosexual conduct as sinful based on their reading of the Bible; historically African-American denominations, which are more divided on the issue; and mainline Protestant churches, which tend to be both theologically and politically more liberal.

Although mainline churches have deep history in America — most of the Founding Fathers and most presidents since have been mainline Protestants — Pew Research Center’s 2014 count found that just under 15 percent of Americans now identify with mainline churches, while 25 percent are evangelical and 20 percent are Catholic.

Many mainline denominations, including the Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Church of Christ, and others, already perform gay marriages and appoint gay clergy. But the United Methodist Church, the nation’s largest mainline denomination and the third-largest denomination of any faith in America, has fought bitterly over the issue.

In part, that reflects political division in the United States: American Methodists are more conservative than other mainline Protestants. Pew Research Center found in 2014 that 54 percent lean Republican and 35 percent lean Democrat, a significantly more Republican tilt than other mainline denominations. Fifteen percent of Methodists describe themselves as ‘‘liberal,’’ compared with 22 percent of mainline Presbyterians, 24 percent of mainline Lutherans, and 29 percent of Episcopalians.

But the larger divide is between American Methodists and foreign members of the United Methodist Church, especially churches in Africa. In a church that conducts all of its major decisions in church-wide votes, the much more conservative-leaning voters from Africa competed with American delegates who often fervently pushed for a change on gay marriage.



Faithless America?

Churches reflecting and echoing cultural norms more than Biblical reality are losing members.

When the younger generation is looking for hope, where do they turn? Why are some younger adults rejecting hope and community that comes from the assembling of hearts seeking strength in faith?

According to a December 2019 analysis by the American Enterprise Institute’s Daniel Cox, four in 10 Millennials (individuals 23 to 38 years of age) cite that they are religiously unaffiliated.

Writing around Pew Research data that point to the fact that this age group is a product of parents who raised their children without the influence or connection to religion or faith, Cox declares, “Millennials are leaving religion and not coming back.”

AEI’s own data show that 17% of Millennials surveyed acknowledged the absence of a faith-based belief system in their upbringing. Contrast that to only 5% of Baby Boomers — aged 55 to 75 years old — who reported a lack of a religious influence in their nurtured years. Further, just one in three Millennials noted attendance in a weekly religious service during their childhood compared to half of Baby Boomers.

Over the last 10 years, according to Pew, there has been a 12% decline in adults who identify as Christians with individuals who label themselves as having no particular beliefs at 26% and the aggregate of Christians down to 65%.

That Law of the Harvest is more than theory — seeds sown do bring forth a crop. Parents erroneously believing their hands-off manner permitted their offspring to find their own way and even pursue some “enlightened” value system honoring the Secular Trinity of Me, Myself, and I were instead sewing seeds that today demand an intellectual approach to faith rather than, well, simple faith to a simple Gospel of grace and the forgiveness of sin.

Inarguably, every single person has a belief system based on exposure to information or through experience. We all believe in something and adhere to some set of mores. It’s just a matter of the object of that belief system whether it’s the monotheistic God of the Judeo-Christian faith, or some other framework that drives a personal definition of morality.

And, that personal definition of morality is growing more relevant in not only the generational divide of faith but is literally dividing the flocks of the faithful and churches.

Look no further than the separation just announced in the Methodist denomination. The split is based on whether Holy Scripture is to be honored in sanctioning marriage as holy matrimony between one man and one woman — treated as a covenant modeled after Christ and His Bride the Church — or whether same-sex marriage is permitted. It’s a manifestation of cultural approvals transcending Biblical Truth. Some personally view same-sex marriage as without consequence and others say what God says, which is that sexual sin — of all sorts — is still sin, but still covered by grace when confessed.

The current split in the religion that was originally founded to reform the Church of England from within by John Wesley is, ironically, taking the similar path faced during the original days of Reformers in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Wesley’s teachings based on the “methodical” devotion and study applied to one’s life that all should have access to God’s salvation through love fell within the Protestant Reformation that declared that the Bible be the standard of teaching and worship.

Today, many Methodists have sacrificed the standard of Truth on the altar of personal whim.

So, in addition to parents without a commitment to faith raising children of the same philosophy, the cultural influences on the definition of right versus wrong have eclipsed the Gospel. But churches themselves have some responsibility in the loss of membership.

If teachings in the church say, “You’re ok, I’m ok, we’re all ok” and “We’ve got grace, so let’s just live as we so desire,” it is no different than the opinions shared at the neighborhood bar, nonprofit, or secular organization. Why would young adults need a community of faith when they’ll hear the same advice and opinions and get the same acceptance at their favorite watering hole among friends who will commiserate and honor the time-tested truth that misery loves company?

In a series on the decline of religion in America, The Washington Times wrote of doctoral candidate Rev. Stephen Koeth at Columbia University teaching one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s sermons, which included references to the road to Jericho and the Good Samaritan. Not only did the class have no knowledge of the dangerous setting of the famous parable of ministry, but they didn’t have any understanding of the basis of the parable itself — the Good Samaritan — whose actions transcended cultural and economic constructs.

Do you think this same group could articulate details about climate change or the need for “safe spaces” from harmful speech?

Again, those churches reflecting and echoing cultural norms and teaching a social-justice agenda rather than Truth from the Bible are not remarkable, inspirational, or courageous. But churches that do boldly teach the hope of Christ in each of us through the forgiveness of sin are indeed the beacons of light daring to say the same thing that God Himself says about our past, our present, and our future.

So where will Americans of all ages find their hope? The brilliant and fearless Paul sums it all up in Galatians 6:8, “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”


UK: Nurse launches legal test case with claim children cannot consent to transgender treatment

Children cannot consent to transgender treatment, a nurse bringing a landmark legal case has said, claiming that many are autistic, homosexual or just confused.

Susan Evans, 62, a former psychiatric nurse at the Tavistock and Portman NHS foundation trust, said that “experimental” and “invasive medical treatment” should be prevented in order to protect children.

She is working with a woman known as ‘Mrs A’ the mother of an autistic 15-year-old girl who is on the Gids waiting list

Later this week, the pair will lodge legal papers at the High Court in order to commence proceedings in a judicial review against the trust and NHS England. Their legal team will argue that the provision of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones at the Tavistock for those under 18 is illegal because children cannot give valid consent to the treatment.

However transgender children’s charities have criticised the case, saying that children should not be denied the right to make decisions about their own bodies, simply because they are trans.

Ms Evans told The Telegraph that “some children are referred despite having autism, being homosexual or suffering some form of trauma or sexual abuse”.

She added that sometimes such children are referred for treatment “after only an hour or two”, and that most do not have access to therapy unless they are “very lucky”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today show, the psychiatric nurse also said that children as young as nine or ten are being asked to give informed consent “to a completely experimental treatment for which the long term consequences are not known”.

“No matter how clever or mature they seem, I don't think a child can possibly comprehend what their future adult life will be like and what they’re consenting to potentially give up or risk to their medical health.”

“These children are not coming forward with a straightforward symptom like a skin rash or something of that nature, they’re coming as people, as individuals, who are confused or distressed and very often have other comorbid aspects.

“For example, 30 per cent plus are autistic, many of them have suffered some form of trauma in their earlier lives. Some of them are just very confused, anxious, or socially anxious children, but I think this sort of rapid affirmation and fast tracking after maybe three, four or five appointments I think is just terrible.

“I really feel it's got to be questioned in the courts now because we've tried to talk to the tavistock as have other staff at the tavistock and it doesn't work.”

Lawyers acting for Susan Evans, a former, which runs the UK’s only NHS gender identity development service (Gids), and “Mrs A”, will file papers to commence proceedings in a judicial review brought against the trust and NHS England. The papers are expected to be lodged on Wednesday.

According to her crowdfunding page on the CrowdJustice website, Evans raised concerns about the treatment approach of the Tavistock with its clinical management team.

On the CrowdJustice website, Mrs A, the mother of the autistic teenager, said she worried that “no one (let alone my daughter) understands the risks and therefore cannot ensure informed consent is obtained”.

However Lui Asquith, Legal and Policy Manager for the transgender children's charity, Mermaids said: "The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which this country has ratified, states that every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously.

"Our 25 years of experience shows that ignoring gender diverse children causes serious irreparable harm.

“We see some truly heartbreaking outcomes when parents refuse to accept that their child is transgender and it's deeply concerning that anyone should seek to empower those who want to deny young people the right to make decisions about their own bodies, simply because they're trans.

“If we lose the voices of children in this conversation around gender identity then we risk losing the children altogether."

Cara English, Public Engagement Lead at Gendered Intelligence, a charity which aims to increase the understandings of gender diversity, added: "Either a young person can consent to their medical treatment when presented with all known information about that treatment, or they cannot.

"These are highly individualised conversations which cannot be reduced to simple talking points or a reductive rolling back of enshrined rights through the courts. If we were, as a society, to allow for children to be stripped of their agency when choosing what’s right for them, we set off a dangerous domino effects of others deciding what is and isn’t right for all of us.

"If this case is successful in removing Mrs A’s child’s right to consent to medical treatment, the line in the sand is removed: A loss to trans youth is a loss to all."

A spokesperson for the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust said: “It is not appropriate for us to comment in detail in advance of any proposed legal proceedings.

“The GIDS is one of the longest-established services of its type in the world with an international reputation for being cautious and considered. Our clinical interventions are laid out in nationally-set service specifications. NHS England, monitor our service very closely.

“The service has a high level of reported satisfaction and was rated good by the Care Quality Commission.”


The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community celebrates Australia Day across all its Mosques in Australia

Ahmadis are the good guys.  They express APPRECIATION of the nations that host them.  They differ from other Muslims in believing that their founder was the Messiah

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Australia invites you to their annual Australia Day celebrations where people can come together, united in allegiance to Australia.

In all its Mosques across Australia, a formal ceremonial event will also take place where the Community will come together to pay respect to and hoist the Australian flag followed by national anthem. Short thanksgiving speeches by community members and invited dignitaries will take please as they share their thoughts on what it means to be an Australian.

The National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Australia, Imam. I.H. Kauser said:

“We, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, always pray for the progress and development of our homeland, Australia. As per our traditions we will celebrate Australia Day in all Mosques across Australia. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our nation, government and people because our religion teaches us that love of country of residence is part of faith.”

This day holds special significance for the Community; the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosques across the country will begin the day offering prayers for the prosperity of Australia and for those who lost their lives in recent bushfires. Members of the community will also participate in community celebrations and parades throughout the day.

The Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Caliph, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad guides Community members in this regard:

“True loyalty requires a relationship built on sincerity and integrity… it is essential for a citizen of any country to establish a relationship of genuine loyalty and faithfulness to his nation. It does not matter whether he is a born citizen, or whether he gains citizenship later in life..."

About the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community:

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a very peaceful, law abiding, nonviolent and loving community. Founded in 1889, the Community spans more than 200 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the leading Islamic organisation to categorically reject terrorism in any form. Similarly, the Ahmadiyya Community is the only Islamic organisation to endorse a separation of mosque and state. Today, it continues to be an advocate for universal human rights and protection for religious and other minorities. It champions the empowerment and education of women. Its members are among the most law-abiding, educated, and engaged Muslims in the world. For the official website of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Australia, please visit: www.Ahmadiyya.org.au

Email from Media@Ahmadiyya.org.au


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

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

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


7 January, 2020  

Former Monty Python star Terry Gilliam slams #MeToo as a witch hunt, complains he's 'tired of white men being blamed for everything’ and calls Harvey Weinstein's victims 'adults who made choices'

Terry Gilliam once again lashed out at political correctness in Hollywood, saying he’s ‘tired, as a while male, of being blamed for everything’ and that Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims were ‘adults who made choices.’

The Monty Python star and film director also repeated criticisms of the #MeToo movement, calling it a ‘witch hunt’ that has victimized ‘a lot of people, decent people.’

‘Yeah, I said #MeToo is a witch hunt,’ the 12 Monkeys director told The Independent.

‘I really feel there were a lot of people, decent people, or mildly irritating people, who were getting hammered. That’s wrong. ‘I don’t like mob mentality. These [women who came forward with claims] were ambitious adults.’

Weinstein is the powerful film mogul who in October 2017 was first accused of sexual misconduct by actress Ashley Judd.

Judd was quoted by The New York Times, which investigated numerous other claims against Weinstein stretching back decades.

The groundbreaking report opened the floodgates as dozens more women came forward with allegations of a litany of crimes committed by Weinstein, including harassment, assault, and rape.

Alyssa Milano, the actress from the hit show Charmed, invited other women who were either harassed or assaulted to share their stories on Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo - igniting the viral phenomenon.

The Weinstein revelations inspired other women to come forward with claims against powerful men in several industries, including Hollywood, the media, music, sports, politics, and academia.

Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges brought by New York prosecutors who say he sexually assaulted two women - one in 2006 and another in 2013. He has denied all allegations against him.

Gilliam, however, thinks Weinstein’s alleged victims share some responsibility for what happened to them.

‘There are many victims in Harvey’s life and I feel sympathy for them, but then, Hollywood is full of very ambitious people who are adults and they make choices,’ Gilliam said.

‘We all make choices, and I could tell you who did make the choice and who didn’t.’

Gilliam recalled that he had a negative experience working with Weinstein. ‘I hate Harvey. I had to work with him and I know the abuse, but I don’t want people saying that all men [are abusive].’

Gilliam said that when he directed the 1991 hit film The Fisher King, ‘two producers were women. ‘One was a really good producer, and the other was a neurotic b***h.  ‘It wasn’t about their sex. It was about the position of power and how people use it.’

Gilliam then says he spoke to a famous actor recently. The topic of conversation was #MeToo.

‘She has got her story of being in the room and talking her way out,’ he said. ‘She says, “I can tell you all the girls who didn’t, and I know who they are and I know the bumps in their careers.”  ‘The point is, you make choices.’

Gilliam continued: ‘I can tell you about a very well-known actress coming up to me and saying, “What do I have to do to get in your film, Terry?”

‘I don’t understand why people behave as if this hasn’t been going on as long as there’ve been powerful people. ‘I understand that men have had more power longer, but I’m tired, as a white male, of being blamed for everything that is wrong with the world.’

Gilliam then reported held up his hands and exclaimed: ‘I didn’t do it!’

The Independent writer pushed back and said that while not all white men are to blame, they are automatically given privileges that others aren’t.

Gilliam responded: ‘It’s been so simplified is what I don’t like. ‘When I announce that I’m a black lesbian in transition, people take offense at that. Why?’

Gilliam then says: ‘I don’t like the term black or white. I’m now referring to myself as a melanin-light male.

‘I can’t stand the simplistic, tribalistic behavior that we’re going through at the moment.’

Gilliam then tries to clarify, saying: ‘I’m talking about being a man accused of all the wrong in the world because I’m white-skinned. So I better not be a man. ‘I better not be white. OK, since I don’t find men sexually attractive, I’ve got to be a lesbian. ‘What else can I be? I like girls. These are just logical steps.’

Gilliam is on a promotional tour touting his new film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which opens in theaters in the United Kingdom at the end of January.

His comments sparked backlash on social media, where Twitter users took turns slamming the film director.

Alexandra Pollard, the Independent reporter who wrote the story, tweeted: ‘I can't say it was a pleasure to interview Terry Gilliam.’

Sonny Bunch tweeted: ‘Could’ve headlined this story “Terry Gilliam generates a ton of PR for his movie that would otherwise have trouble generating attention outside of Film Twitter by pushing all the right buttons”.’

Another Twitter user, Scott Weinberg, mocked Gilliam’s suggestion that he was in favor of diversity in films.

‘"I’m into diversity more than anybody," says Terry Gilliam, a man who has never hired a person of color for a substantial film role,’ Weinberg tweeted. 


The 'madness' of King George III is redefined in new exhibition that will examine his life and mental health

He is the monarch best known for losing both the American colonies and his mind - perhaps the most famous mental breakdown in British history.

But a new royal exhibition hopes to alter the long-held public perception of the “madness” of King George III, moving away from what is deemed an outdated term in order to better understand his life and mental health issues.

Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) will use the 200th anniversary of King George’s death to open up a broader conversation about male mental health.

The exhibition, George III: The Mind Behind The Myth, will not define him by his “madness” -  a term popularised by the long-running Alan Bennett play, The Madness of George III and later adapted for the Oscar-winning film The Madness Of King George starring Nigel Hawthorne.

Instead, it will instead seek to redefine what is known about the monarch, who reigned for 60 years from 1760 until his death in 1820.

Rachel Mackay, manager of Kew Palace, said: “We want to move away from viewing George III as the ‘mad’ King, by exploring his life, interests and personality, alongside different perspectives on his mental health.

“By looking at the King and his health through a 21st century lens, we can gain a greater understanding of his life, as well as examine how our attitudes to mental health have evolved over the last 200 years.”

Among the exhibits on display at Kew, near Richmond in south west London, will be doctors notes and instructions for the King’s care written by his daughter, Princess Mary.

A poignant note written by the 28-year-old princess in June 1804, advises doctors to suggest things “in such a way that the King imagines the first thought was his own”, to let him voice his grievances both “real and imaginary” and to “keep everything in order without ever having a squabble”.

The exhibition includes portraits of the doctors tasked with “curing” the monarch as well as various medical records from the archive of the Royal College of Physicians.

One of three letters sent by the King’s senior physician, dated December 4, 1788, says: “His Majesty has had very little sleep, having had the strait waistcoat during the whole night. His Majesty is less unquiet this morning; but incoherent.”

Clothes and other possessions belonging to the monarch will also be on show.

Several men’s mental health charities will provide a different perspective to items on display with a second label relatable to the modern observer.

Members of the public have also been asked to contribute items that relate to their own mental health.

Critics claim that George III failed to protect Britain's interests by supporting policies that resulted in the American War of Independence.

Diagnosed with insanity in 1788, it was later claimed he suffered from porphyria, an iron deficiency that can cause epileptic fits.

However, experts have since dismissed the theory, confident that he did suffer from extremely manic episodes at various points in his life, possibly triggered by trauma such as the deaths of three of his children aged four, one and seven respectively.

An HRP spokesman said: “Kew was where King George retreated at times of both physical and mental ill health.

“The anniversary of his death gives us an opportunity to talk about him in a new way, to explore how attitudes towards mental health have shifted over that time.”

He added: “The idea at the time was that if the King was sick then the nation was sick so there was a real politicisation of his health. This will explore the human side of his breakdown.”

“He’s remembered for losing his reason and losing the colonies but it’s nebulous to boil it down to just two things.

“He was given the best education, he was fascinated with architecture and very interested in music and art. It was during his reign that Buckingham Palace became Buckingham Palace, when he acquired it as a private family residence for his wife, Queen Charlotte, and their children, and his was one of the founding collections of the British Library.”

The Prince of Wales has revealed that King George III is the monarch he most respects, describing him as a good man who was misunderstood.

In 2004, he said: "George III led Britain through 60 years of enormous social upheaval, industrial revolution and terrible hardships inflicted by war with Napoleon. Yet history remembers him above all as the 'mad king' or the 'king who lost America'. This is a travesty."


Private security firm mounts UK's first private prosecutions for theft as police refuse to take offenders to court

Aprivate police service is mounting the UK’s first private prosecutions for theft and other “minor” crimes because it claims the police have “given up” taking them to court.

The private firm, which provides neighbourhood policing to residents, firms and shops, says it has set up a new prosecution unit after its teams have apprehended shoplifters, pickpockets and drug dealers only to be told by officers called to the scene to release them.

The former senior Metropolitan police officers who run the My Local Bobby service blame cuts in police numbers which meant officers were reluctant to spend time and valuable resource investigating and prosecuting minor offences.

It comes as an analysis of police data by The Daily Telegraph shows that in some parts of Britain as few as one in 500 personal thefts - such as pickpocketing and shoplifting - are being solved with the criminal charged.

The proportion charged is down to 0.2 per cent in Suffolk, 0.3 per cent in Gloucestershire and City of London, 0.6 per cent in Warwickshire, 0.7 per cent in Greater Manchester, 0.8 per cent in Kent, and 0.9 per cent in the Metropolitan Police Service and North Yorkshire for 2018/19.

Overall, for all forces in England and Wales, the charging rate has halved in four years from 2.6 per cent in 2015/16 to 1.3 per cent for the first quarter of 2019/20.

David McKelvey, a former Detective Chief Inspector with the Met who set up the service with Tony Nash, a former Met borough commander, said the criminal justice system was in crisis with tens of thousands fewer prosecutions and lenient sentences as “old fashioned” policing had been abandoned.

Their company, TM Eye,  started by specialising in investigating and prosecuting counterfeit and fake goods rackets where it says it has brought more than 500 successful prosecutions working with police forces internationally, the FBI and Federal Drugs Administration (FDA).

It launched My Local Bobby just over two years ago to provide residents, local firms and shops with neighbourhood policing more reminiscent, it says, of “Dixon of Dock Green.”

However Mr McKelvey said its teams had become increasingly frustrated in the past year by the refusal of police to prosecute the shoplifters, pickpockets, drug dealers they have been apprehending on almost a daily basis. In the past they had handed them over to police who would investigate and prosecute them.

“Now police take ages to turn up and when they do turn up, despite overwhelming evidence, they will simply take the handcuffs off and release them. We have looked at ways to do it, trying to liaise with police and senior managers in the police,” he said.

“But what we have done now is to employ a new prosecution team on shoplifting, pickpockets, low level assaults and drug dealing and we will prosecute these offences ourselves.

“Anyone can arrest and prosecute someone. What you have to do is to meet the public interest threshold and have sufficient evidence to bring a case.”

They have already mounted a test case prosecution of a shoplifter which is currently before the courts.

Mr McKelvey claims it could be a “win-win” situation for the police as it would enable them to “allocate resources to crimes that require more police time while at the same time, the shops and residents get an outcome that people want.”

He said frontline police officers were constrained by targets and resources which meant an officer would be reluctant to “spend eight hours in custody with a shoplifter for £30” even though “that shoplifter is going to go on and shoplift the next day and the day after.”

He said reasons given by officers when his teams were told to release suspects included that they did not have space in custody suites to interview them, were too busy or ruled community resolution orders were a better way of resolving the crime.

“One of the lessons that could be learned from police is that we don’t ‘arrest’ people, we gather evidence and we summons them,” said Mr McKelvey. “We don’t have hours and hours in custody where you have to interview them, which is often a waste of time because they just say: ‘No comment.’”

The company initially plans to fund the prosecution unit out of its own resources, effectively at a loss, until it can establish if it will be successful.

Its 30 “bobbies”, who are uniformed with red vests and caps, provide cover 24/7 for up to 250 houses on each beat and the firm promises to have a response at the scene within five minutes, all for a fee of £100 to £200 a month per household.

Its ‘bobbies’ are largely drawn from the ranks of former police officers and military and are accredited with the Security Industry Authority (SIA) with most also close protection trained. TM Eye’s senior investigator is Steve Hobbs, a former Met Detective Superintendent who was lead investigator on more than 200 murders.

 So far it has beats operating in central and North London, with 30 more requests for contracts outstanding. “When we set up My Local Bobby just over two years ago, we wanted to replace something that was missing which is that you don’t see police officers walking the streets. You don’t see any neighbourhood officers,” said Mr McKelvey.

“We walked around Mayfair and Belgravia and you couldn’t find an officer. My Local Bobby is about having that principle front end presence like Dixon of Dock Green. Residents know who the bobbies are, and the bobbies know all the residents, they know when something is out of place.”

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said that forces had faced a 20,000 reduction in the number of officers since 2010 as demand from the public had increased but welcomed plans by the Government to recruit 20,000 extra police.

“Fewer officers and staff...has meant a fall in the number of cases referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and a lower number of people being charged,” said a spokesman.

 “An increase in officer numbers in the coming years will help us to provide a better service to victims, and ease the pressure on our people.”

The spokesman added: “Policing is well used to working with private security companies on a daily basis. These firms should not replace or supplement policing and it is for properly trained officers to intervene when a crime has been committed. Where communities wish to engage these companies, they should ensure that they are properly trained and accredited. We will work with these personnel in the most appropriate way and reports of crime and evidence provided to police by a third party will be assessed and dealt with.


Australian government rules out visa-free travel between Australia, UK

 The Morrison government has baulked at expanding a new post-Brexit trade pact to include visa-free work and travel between Australia and the United Kingdom, arguing any special deal that circumvented existing immigration caps could be deeply unpopular in both countries.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that some changes to work rights would be proposed and accepted by both sides but said he “can't imagine full and unfettered free movement” will be on the table during negotiations.

“We're not into full negotiating mode and we will have to see what the UK aspires to, but noting that work rights and movement of people in the UK has been a big part of the European Union debate, I would be surprised if complete liberalisation around migration and labour rights was on their agenda,” Senator Birmingham said during an interview in London.

Australia already has a free movement deal with New Zealand but Senator Birmingham said the Morrison government would not use the Brexit trade talks to propose a similar scheme allowing British citizens to work and live in Australia visa-free, and vice-versa.

UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss floated possible talks on free movement during a visit to Australia in September, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson also advocated for the creation of a special visa-free zone when he was mayor of London.

Mr Johnson once said opening the borders would end “absurd discrimination” facing expats in the UK and aid the Australian economy because the “unspoken reality is that Australians are actually quite keen to encourage more immigration from Britain”.

A largely foreign concept in Australia, free movement could unleash significant economic and social consequences, including a possible exodus of highly trained workers to the UK and influx of unskilled Brits to Sydney and Melbourne.

While Australians can visit the UK for less than six months without a visa, British tourists need one to enter Australia. Some 636,000 UK nationals were granted tourist, business or temporary work visas last financial year.

Unrestricted European migration was a major factor behind the push for Brexit. The Coalition has also moved to ease fears over congestion and employment in Australia by cutting the permanent migration cap from 190,000 to 160,000 a year.

Senator Birmingham said he expected possible tweaks to existing immigration rules to allow “more flexibility”, but stressed his priority was sealing a free trade deal focused on giving Australian exporters easier access to the lucrative British market.

He pledged to canvass public opinion on any changes to “kinks” in the existing migration regime.

“How you draw the line around rights to access work visas and other visas is a different question, that has an entire spectrum of grey, between the black and white of no movement and unfettered movement,” he said.

The UK’s departure from the European Union means it must seal new free trade terms with major economies, including the United States and Australia.

The UK is Australia’s eighth-largest trading partner, with two-way trade valued at $26.9 billion in 2018. Britain is also the second-largest source of total foreign investment in Australia.

Britain will formally leave the EU on January 31 but the existing economic, customs and migration relationship will remain in place for one more year while the two parties thrash out a new trading and security pact.

Senator Birmingham met his UK counterpart over Christmas and hopes a deal can be struck and ratified by the December 2020 deadline that Britain has set itself to finalise a new post-Brexit relationship with Europe.

Mr Johnson’s legislation makes it illegal to extend the one-year transition window, making a “hard” Brexit a possibility in December 2020 if the negotiations collapse or take too long to complete and ratify, as some experts have predicted.

Senator Birmingham said the UK and EU were in “uncharted waters” but expressed confidence a deal can be struck in such a short timeframe. He predicted this would give Australian businesses and investors final confidence and certainty.

“Those uncharted waters also mean unprecedented outcomes can probably be achieved,” he said.

“The incentive to get a deal done has got to be significant given how much is at stake, so I expect given how much clarity and certainty the UK election provided, that goodwill exists on both sides of the Channel to nut out out a deal.”



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

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

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


6 January, 2020  

IQ and achievement

A useful summary below from the Daily Mail. He is both right and wrong below.  It is true that many high IQ people don't make a great mark on the world but it is also true that those who do make their mark in anything requiring  brainpower do have very high IQs. High IQ is almost always very helpful and in some occupations is essential

With the example he gives, the writer below does tell us why many SEEM to be low achievers:  They have their own definition of achievement and the good life.  And they work to that.

Many may not even be detected as intelligent at all.  I know a woman who was a duffer at school but somehow got into a very highly-paid job while still young.  She made some very good financial decisions while in that job and was able to retire at about age 30 to a country area where she spends a lot of time in the garden growing her own fruit and veg.  She also has a very bright and supportive husband and an attractive young daughter.  She is one of the most successful people I know by the only criterion that matters:  She has got exactly what she wanted. 

Her IQ has never been assessed as far as I know but her repeated good decisions tell me it is very high

And in my own case I made enough money in business to retire at age 39.  And retire I did.  I did not go on to make more and more.  I had enough not to need a job and that was all I wanted

People who are intelligent tend to be healthier, wealthier and live longer.

But beyond a certain point, being clever can be more a hindrance than a help – and certainly doesn’t guarantee happiness or success.

The cleverest man I’ve ever met is a 67-year-old American called Chris Langan. He has an IQ well over 190 – higher than Albert Einstein, whose score was about 160.

Chris was once known as ‘the smartest man in America’, but he’s not a Silicon Valley supergeek or a multi-millionaire tycoon.

When I met him a few years ago he was a horse rancher working in the Midwest.

He had dropped out of college and spent most of his life doing manual labour, including as a construction worker and a bouncer.

He told me that he enjoyed being a bouncer because it gave him plenty of time to think about quantum mechanics.

He never pursued his obvious gifts – though he did on one occasion enter an American game show where he won the equivalent of about £200,000.

He told me he had enough money, so felt no need to repeat that trick. He was perfectly happy looking after horses.

The first person to properly explore the link between high intelligence and life outcomes was a psychologist called Lewis Terman.

In 1926, he visited Californian schools searching for the most gifted children.

He selected 1,500 with IQs of 140 or more. They became known as The Termites and have been studied now for over 90 years.

While some did achieve wealth and fame, others, Terman noted, became ‘policemen, typists and filing clerks’.

The link between intellect and achievement was far from clear.

So why doesn’t having a very high IQ make you better off? I think it is partly because if people are told when they are young that they are much smarter than others, they often feel burdened by expectations.

After that, they feel whatever they do is not quite good enough.

Another factor is that a lot of really smart people I know also spend way too much time agonising over things, seeing the different side to so many problems they find it hard to make a decision.


A Five-Step Plan to Fight the International Criminal Court
And to defeat it on its own political terms

Last year, then Knesset member Tzipi Livni convened senior officials from the Justice Ministry and Military Advocate General’s international affairs departments at the Knesset for a conference. The purpose of the conclave was to provide the officials with the opportunity to justify their interference with security decisions that by law are the exclusive purview of the Israel Defense Force’s field commanders and Israel’s elected leaders.

As is their wont, the officials used the opportunity to proclaim that “the legal system is the IDF’s ‘legal Iron Dome’ against accusations of war crimes in foreign and international forums.”

Following International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s decision over the weekend to prosecute Israel—including its armed forces and elected leaders—on phony war crimes allegations, we see that their conceit was a lie. The idea that Israel’s legal fraternity is Israel’s protection against the likes of Bensouda and the lawfare gang she runs with was first concocted in the 1990s by then Chief Justice Aharon Barak. The purpose of this fantasy was and remains to justify interference by the various components of the legal fraternity—the High Court, the Justice Ministry, the Attorney General and the Military Advocate General and others—in the decisions of IDF commanders and elected officials.

As professor Avi Bell of Bar Ilan University Law School explained in Israel Hayom earlier this week, Bensouda’s decision exposed the colossal failure of the legal fraternity’s strategy for protecting the country from the lawfare gang. Bensouda’s decision is a horrible, strategic blow for Israel. It endangers the very lives of IDF soldiers, commanders and elected officials.

Members of the legal fraternity asserted their competence to direct Israel’s responses by presenting the ICC as a legal body. But as the Rome Statute of 1998, which founded the ICC, made clear, the institution’s political nature was evident from the outset, as was its inherent hostility to Israel. Now that Bensouda’s biased ruling has exposed this state of affairs, Israel must replace the lawyers’ failed legal strategy with a political one.

A political strategy for fighting the political ICC has five components:

The first component of the political strategy is institutional. Responsibility for handling the ICC has to be transferred from the lawyers who facilitated Bensouda’s hostile decision to the people who have to clean up the mess they made—the prime minister and the foreign minister.

To this end, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs to order all legal officials—from Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to the Justice Ministry’s International Affairs Office to the Foreign Ministry’s legal adviser to the Military Advocate General’s International Law Department—to cease and desist from all actions on the matter. These legal officials should be barred from making any statements to anyone about the ICC and prohibited from all communications with the ICC or regarding the ICC.

These government officials are charged with dealing with international legal matters. And Bensouda’s decision to prosecute Israel for imaginary war crimes proves beyond all doubt that the ICC is not engaged in anything resembling international law.

The second step is legislative. Whereas Israelis—the ICC’s No. 1 target—deluded themselves into believing that the ICC was a legal challenge best dealt with by lawyers, the Americans —its No. 2 target—were under no such delusion. To deal with this threat, in 2002 Congress passed the American Service Members’ Protection Act. The goal of the ASPA, popularly dubbed “the Hague Invasion Act” is “to protect United States military personnel and other elected and appointed officials of the United States government against criminal prosecution by an international criminal court to which the United States is not party.”

The law authorizes the president to use “all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any US or allied personnel being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court.”

The ASPA bars all U.S. government bodies from assisting the ICC in any way and prohibits the transfer of U.S. military assistance to countries that are party to the court.

The Knesset needs to follow Congress’s example. The Knesset should convene from recess in emergency session to pass an identical law. Indeed, it is outrageous that no such law has passed to date.

The third part of the political strategy for fighting the ICC is diplomatic. Here too, it involves following the U.S. example. Led by then Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton, between 2002 and 2005 the United States negotiated agreements with dozens of countries to prohibit them from turning Americans over to the ICC.

The Foreign Ministry must engage every country Israel has diplomatic relations with, and particularly those that receive aid from Israel, including African states, and ask them to sign similar agreements. Israel should strongly consider conditioning the provision of further aid on the conclusion of such agreements.

Step four of the political strategy for fighting political war against the political ICC pertains to public relations. For the duration of the ICC’s existence, every Israeli representative everywhere in the world should be directed to attack the ICC at every opportunity. The purpose of the attacks is to delegitimize the ICC’s very existence and work towards its enfeeblement, delegitimization and dismantlement.

It ought to go without saying that Israel needs to cut off all official and unofficial contact with the ICC. All of its officials—indeed anyone even remotely associated with the ICC—must be banned from entering Israel. And any ICC officials presently on territory under Israeli control must be immediately expelled.

The final step Israel must take to beat back the ICC relates to its policies regarding Judea and Samaria. For the past several years, Mandelblit and his comrades have used the ICC inquiry to prevent the government from implementing its policies in these areas.

For instance, according to multiple government sources, the reason Netanyahu has failed to evacuate Khan al-Ahmar, despite a Supreme Court ruling requiring the illegal Bedouin encampment, that threatens the access road to Kfar Adumim, to be dismantled, is that Mandelblit and his fellow lawyers argued that implementing those policies would increase the likelihood that Bensouda would prosecute Israel. Netanyahu reportedly set aside his plan to apply Israeli law to the Jordan Valley and Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria for the same reason.

If this is what happened, then it is now clear that Mandelblit and his associates misled Netanyahu; Bensouda didn’t need an excuse to prosecute Israel for nothing. So Israel should ignore her and act in its own interests. Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett need to order Khan al-Ahmar’s immediate evacuation. And within a week the government should pass a decision to apply Israeli law to all Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley.

Israel’s legal system is responsible for defending Israel in foreign courts and international legal bodies. It is incompetent to defend the country from political onslaughts by hostile political bodies. The ICC’s anti-Semitic decision, which seeks to criminalize Zionism and the State of Israel, demonstrates that it is a hostile political institution.

Israel’s political leaders made a grave mistake in heeding the counsel of our power-hungry jurists. Now that we know the truth, they must clear the decks and let political warriors fight the political war the ICC is waging against the country and its citizens.


I don't regret breaking the unwritten rule British clergy should not intervene in party politics

by Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romaine

Rabbi Jonathan Romain reflects on the backlash against his decision to publicly urge congregants to vote against Labour

rabbi-dr-jonathan-romain Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain wrote to 823 families in his shul (Photo: Getty Images)
On October 30, just after the election was announced, I broke ranks with the longstanding, unwritten rule that clergy in Britain do not intervene in party politics.

It is common for bishops, rabbis and imams to speak out on specific issues about which they feel strongly — from homelessness to climate change — but never to back or berate one particular party.

It would compromise their status as neutrals able to minister to the entirety of their flock, and was not considered the British way of doing things — unlike in Israel or America, where politics and religion often form an unholy mix and are not admired over here.

However, I felt that the situation Britain now faced was so dire with Jeremy Corbyn as a possible Prime Minister that it was no time for political correctness.

Until Mr Corbyn, antisemitism had been largely limited to the extreme right and street graffiti. It was astonishing, therefore, to see a mainstream political party being tainted with the same brush.

It was not just the threat to Jewish life, but a negation of British values. I could see concepts such as tolerance, communal harmony and mutual respect beginning to be an endangered species. Other parties were also at fault, but none so wilfully as Corbyn-led Labour.

So I wrote an email to all members of Maidenhead Synagogue — which covers several different constituencies throughout Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, including Labour ones — suggesting they vote for whichever party was most likely to defeat Labour in their particular area.

There was an enormous response, far beyond anything that I have ever experienced when dealing with other controversial issues, from mixed-faith marriages to faith schools to assisted dying.

What was even more astonishing was the total disconnect between reactions by my community and those of fellow rabbis.

For the former, and Jews throughout the UK who got in touch after reading about the email in the JC, there was almost overwhelming support.

No one was suggesting that Mr Corbyn was a Nazi or was about to introduce anti-Jewish legislation, but when you have lost one in three of your family in living memory, you get nervous at the slightest whiff of antisemitism.

It was no wonder that some Jews had thought of packing their bags and leaving England if Mr Corbyn had come to power. If you have been nearly annihilated, you do not hang around for more.

I articulated the deep sense of unease they felt. Whatever their political views (and many were long-standing Labour supporters), never before had antisemitism been on the agenda as a political issue, and they felt it needed calling out.

By contrast, virtually all rabbis (the one public exception being Yuval Keren), reckoned I had made a major error: either because they did not think Corbyn was a danger, or because they agreed with my analysis, but thought I had crossed a red line in criticising him.

I was also accused of stoking fears in the community instead of trying to calm them down. It begged the question of whether rabbis should always seek a middle path or sometimes take the high road?

In addition, it meant that rabbis of all denominations now felt pressurised by my action to take a stand themselves. Their own congregants began asking “What do you advise?”

I do not know if that applied to the Chief Rabbi, but I am sure it made his subsequent intervention easier to contemplate.

Did “coming out” make a difference to the national vote? Yes it did. Mr Corbyn’s failure to tackle antisemitism did not just worry Jewish voters, but alerted many others to the fact that something was wrong within Labour.

Much had been made of him being a man of integrity — a person in the political wilderness who had stuck to his principles throughout his time on the backbenches. Now people began to realise why he had been in the wilderness for so long.

The carefully constructed halo around him began to be dented and rot away. As one person told me: “If he can have a blind spot about antisemitism, what other blind spots does he have?”

Among the many messages of the election is that antisemitism — or any other prejudice — has no place in this green and pleasant land.

On a personal note, I have no regrets at going public but, respecting the traditional position, I shall now return to observing non-partisan politics. I hope that no rabbi will have to cross that red line again.


My church

Peter Smith must be an Episcoplian:

I have had to put up this year with a lady praying that God would intervene to change the minds of climate deniers; with regular prayers extolling us to take better care of the environment and in support of refugees and asylum seekers.

Now, I believe in taking care of the environment and being compassionate towards those in trouble in the world, but I can’t help but feel that I am being preached at in an ABC kind of way. Incidentally, our rector stands above the fray and sermonises on scriptural matters. He is an anchor of belief, sanity and reason.

One parishioner of English origin that I spoke with the other evening does not sympathise with Folau, favoured Remain in the Brexit argument and dislikes Donald Trump. I thought it was wise to stop there. I have no doubt that except for me, and perhaps one to two others, everyone else is a convinced believer in man-made climate change. I doubt anyone but me harbours any doubts at all about the truth of the so-called “stolen generations.” Why would you if you get your information and news from the ABC and “mainstream” newspapers like the SMH and The Age.

We are caught in a pincer, I think. On the one hand we have militant atheists, the godless Left, who because they have no scriptural guidelines are free to make up stuff. And, as I will come to, we have Christian wets who are ready to compromise scripture to be nice or to serve their political beliefs.

For atheists, there are no externally-set standards. Standards can be adjusted at will to cater for every “woke” cause. From there, live and let live goes beyond a civilised tolerance of differences from norms to an aggressive insistence that there are no norms and, onwards from there, to “cancelling” those who say that there are.

You are now at risk if you say that men can’t have babies. And evidently, to boot, you would be wrong. It was widely reported, via Medicare, that twenty-two men gave birth in 2018/19; fewer miracles than in the previous two years. In a twist of history, such miracles are now clearly embraced by atheists.

It is true that there are many conservatives who are atheists. So, atheism itself does not necessarily lead to a reckless disregard for societal norms built over centuries. Nevertheless, those fighting the conservative cause are hamstrung if they have no religious faith – by which, to be clear, I mean Christian or Jewish faith. For example, same sex marriage should be opposed because it was brought in, in the blink of an eye, against the strictures of millenniums of tradition and convention. But it is also clearly against God’s law, as set out in the Bible. That is a powerful adjunct to the secular argument.

This brings me to Christians who identify themselves with leftist politics. The two simply don’t mix. They don’t mix because Christians should not be willingly complicit in producing misery. And there is ample evidence showing that leftist policy prescriptions do just that.

Take a recent piece (19 December) by editor-in-chief Mark Galli of Christianity Today; a prominent evangelical magazine founded by Billy Graham. Billy will be turning in his grave. Or he would be if he were not Heaven bound at the end of days. Galli calls for Trump’s removal from office and is apparently unconcerned about the plight of the disadvantaged if the radical Democrats were to win power. His job is safe. Here he is:

"[T]he facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral … That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments…To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency."

Leave aside the unctuous moral preening and the invocation of God. The facts are not unambiguous. I have followed the case closely and there is no evidence that Trump attempted to coerce a foreign leader in the cause of discrediting a political opponent. That same foreign leader has denied that there was ever coercion as has Trump. You can’t go around as a Christian leader making things up. It is immoral.

Mind you, Trump has a lot to answer for.

He has helped the unemployed find jobs and reduced poverty. Black and Hispanic unemployment is at the lowest level ever recorded. He is supporting school choice for black children living in inner cities. He is establishing “Opportunity Zones” to attract investments into low-income areas. He has appointed judges less likely to take a cavalier approach to killing the unborn.

He has moved the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognised Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. He has rebuilt the US military to keep us all safer. He has defeated ISIS in Syria. He has persuaded NATO countries to spend more on their own defence. He has renegotiated trade deals to help American workers and farmers. He is trying manfully to better secure America’s borders. And there is so much more that he has done or is doing.

Christians better start getting on the right side of things before green new deals and anti-Christian socially dysfunctional movements – militant atheism, post-modernism, libertinism, socialism, transgenderism, radical feminism, Islamism, anti-Semitism, tendentious historical revisionism — tear the fabric of our society apart.

Trump is an all-American heroic president. He was absolutely necessary to hold back the destructive leftist tide which could yet still drown us all. Did God have a hand in his elevation? I reckon He might. God doesn’t necessarily pick the most righteous. Trumps transgressions, such as they are, are not nearly in the same ballpark as were King David’s. But apparently Trump must go. Why? Galli thinks he is immoral.

We are all immoral. “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye.” In this case, no matter how moral or immoral Trump happens to be in the various facets of his life, he is doing great good for a great many. That is a morality to which Christians and conservatives should subscribe.



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 December, 2019

Century-old TB vaccine may work better if given in a new way

A genuine medical breakthrough.  I didn't realize BCG had lost so much of its effectiveness

Scientists think they’ve figured out how to make a century-old tuberculosis vaccine far more protective: Simply give the shot a different way.

In a study with monkeys, injecting the vaccine straight into the bloodstream dramatically improved its effectiveness over today’s skin-deep shot, researchers reported Wednesday.

“This offers hope,” although more safety studies are required before testing the approach in people, said Dr. Robert Seder of the National Institutes of Health, a senior author of the study.

Tuberculosis kills about 1.7 million people a year, mostly in poor countries. The only vaccine, called the BCG vaccine, is used mainly in high-risk areas to protect babies from one form of the disease. But it’s far less effective at protecting teens and adults from the main threat, TB in the lungs.

Most vaccines are shots jabbed in the muscle or skin. Seder came up with the idea of IV immunization a few years ago, with experiments showing a malaria vaccine candidate worked better when injected into a vein. He wondered if the TB vaccine would react the same way.

Researchers at NIH teamed with the University of Pittsburgh to study certain monkeys, rhesus macaques, that react to TB infection much like people do. They tested a variety of ways to give the TB vaccine, including a mist that the monkeys inhaled through a mask.

Six months after the vaccinations, the researchers delivered TB bacteria straight into the animals’ lungs and watched for infection. Monkeys given today’s standard skin shot, even with a higher dose, were only slightly more protected than unvaccinated animals, and the mist wasn’t too effective, either.

But in 9 of 10 monkeys, a higher-than-usual vaccine dose injected into a vein worked much better, the researchers reported in the journal Nature. The team found no trace of infection in six of the animals and counted very low levels of TB bacteria in the lungs of three.

Why? The hypothesis is that key immune cells called T cells have to swarm the lungs to kill off TB bacteria and can do so more quickly when the vaccine is carried rapidly around the body via the bloodstream. Sure enough, tests showed more active T cells lingering in the lungs of monkeys vaccinated the new way.

The findings are striking, showing that how a vaccine is given “clearly affects immunity,” University of Massachusetts TB specialists Samuel Behar and Chris Sassetti, who weren’t involved in the study, wrote in an accompanying editorial. Still, giving a vaccine intravenously isn’t nearly as easy as other kinds of shots, they cautioned.

Seder said additional safety research is underway in animals, with hopes of beginning a first-step study in people in about 18 months.


New Offutt Air Force Base Commander Clamps Down on Private Guns

Has the U.S. military learned nothing in the years since the Fort Hood shooter killed 14 and injured 32 unarmed soldiers in that 2009 terrorist (or "workplace violence," per Barack Obama) attack?

Apparently not.

While it might seem paradoxical, U.S. military bases have been essentially gun-free zones. The military's own weapons are stored in guarded armories, and one doesn't hesitate to add "of course." But even the carrying of personal weapons for self-defense, concealed or otherwise, has long been banned. That's why so many were killed and injured at Fort Hood in 2009, helplessly waiting for the local police to arrive.

Things have been loosening up however.

A 2016 Pentagon rule "allows base commanders to permit troops to apply to concealed carry personal weapons on base." Although that's a far cry from some states' constitutional carry or other states' must-issue permit laws, it seems to me to be at least a step in the right direction.

Offutt Air Force Base is moving in the other direction -- and airmen aren't happy about it. According to an official announcement on Facebook, "the 55th Wing commander has directed that the transportation of privately owned firearms (POF) on Offutt Air Force Base, with few exceptions, will be prohibited." The release explains that the base commander’s "intent for this change is that firearms will be effectively controlled and safely handled on Offutt AFB and is reflective of the full confidence in the 55th Security Forces Squadron’s ability to defend the installation and its personnel." Under the prior commander's policy, "registered Department of Defense ID card holders with a Nebraska Concealed Handgun License (CHL) and holders of reciprocating state concealed carry license (CCL), to transport and secure privately-owned handguns in privately-owned vehicles within the base." But that's all been overturned.

Colonel Gavin P. Marks became the 55th's Wing Commander last June, and his new policy goes into effect today.
How dumb can you get?  An affirmative action appointee?

Offutt is no small deal, either. The Air Force's 55th Wing is one of the nation's premier intelligence-gathering units... among other things. It's the largest unit in the Air Combat Command, providing "worldwide reconnaissance, real-time intelligence, command and control, information warfare and combat support" around the world, but especially to our Central Command operating in the Middle East. Offutt is also home to the joint United States Strategic Command, which is in charge of the country's nuclear deterrent. If I were a terrorist like the Fort Hood shooter, Offutt would look to me like the perfect place to kill some infidels and humiliate the Great Satan.

Because when seconds count, the 55th Security Forces Squadron is only minutes away.

As Cam Edwards noted at Bearing Arms, "there are hundreds of comments on Offutt’s Facebook post announcing the decision, and while I haven’t read them all, I’ve yet to run across any comment in support of the move."

Commenters are saying things like this instead:

 *  This is totally asinine. CCL holders were finally giving permission to bring firearm on base and keep in housing. Now this? Stupid stupid decision. This does NOT keep the airmen safer, it does the opposite. We are targets, let us protect ourselves if we choose.

 *  This is craziness. Are you going to pat down and car search every person who comes on base? Cuz the wrong person can bring a gun anyway and now a smaller portion of the good guys can defend themselves. Thanks a lot!

 *  Insanity. You only have to look yesterday to Texas to see why this is a terrible decision. You can have the greatest first responders in the world, they will still be minutes away. This is a wrong decision based in politics, not data.

 *  Translation: The new commander has no confidence in the state's background checks and training classes for concealed carry licenses. He also has no combat experience and doesn't research facts before disarming the most trustworthy people under his command.

 *  My airmen chose to fight to defend our country and protect the citizens, however using your position allows you to impose your personal democratic political opinion and publicly state these Airmen are not armed which places them in harms way. I hope you are prepared to shoulder this burden should tragedy occur outside the gates since ALL now know self protection is no longer allowed.

If you have a Facebook account, you can read the long list of responses to the official announcement here, and I'd just like to congratulate everyone for keeping it far cleaner than I'd have managed to if I were an airman assigned to Offutt.


The First Battle of 2020: de Blasio vs. Domino's Pizza

Welcome to 2020! Now that we're finally out of the 2010s -- the decade that our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters have described as "bad" and "terrible" and "make the hurting stop, Mommy" -- we've all been given a chance at a fresh start. As we stride purposefully into the new decade, older but wiser, battle-worn but hopeful, each day is another chance to get it right. This is a perfect opportunity to leave the past in the past. It's time to start working toward becoming our best selves.

But it ain't gonna happen overnight. Some of us are still stuck on stupid, like the mayor of the second-greatest city in the world. Bill de Blasio just decided to kick off the Twenties by going to war with... Domino's Pizza?!?

It's not that de Blasio has never heard of the law of supply and demand. He just dismisses it because he's a pinko idiot. How dare a private business charge customers as dictated by the market, when all that money could be going into his pocket by force of government?

You know what I do when a business is charging more than I want to pay? I don't pay! I find a cheaper alternative, or I do without. I make the choice that works best for me. If somebody else wants to pay more, they're free to do so. That's how it works in America. Nobody's human rights are being violated. If you don't want to pay $30 for a pizza... don't. Shrug emoji.

And what about the people who make and deliver all those pizzas on New Year's Eve? It's one of their busiest nights of the year. Are they supposed to do all that work for free? Don't they deserve to be compensated for their labor? Doesn't de Blasio care about the workers?

I wouldn't eat a Domino's pizza if it cost 30 cents, but I'm glad to see an American company standing up against this commie doofus. Evie Fordham, Fox Business:

Domino's pulled no punches in responding to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's criticism of the chain's prices in the Times Square area on New Year's Eve.

A delivery man for a Manhattan Domino's was spotted running $30 pies to revelers, and De Blasio claimed the chain was "exploiting" consumers and suggested they visit "local" joints.

"Every store in [New York City] is owned by a local resident," a Domino's spokesperson told FOX Business on Thursday. "Every employee is a local New York resident. Those stores provide jobs to thousands of his fellow citizens. With his comments, the mayor is suggesting that New Yorkers who own or work at a franchise are 'lesser than' those who don't.


We live in a society where you can order a pizza online on your phone and have it brought to you wherever you are, whenever you want, and this red-diaper baby is quibbling over the price. If de Blasio had his way, New Yorkers wouldn't be packed into Times Square to watch the ball drop. They'd be standing in line all day for a "free" loaf of bread.

It still amuses me that de Blasio thought it was a good idea to run for president. Somehow he thought America would hate him less than New York City does. I was bummed that he dropped out, because he's so much fun to mock. But now he's back to making New Yorkers miserable full-time, which seems like a suitable punishment for electing him. He's all yours, ya dopes!


Professor: Sweden’s Society May Be ‘Dissolving’ Due To Mass Migration

Swedish political science professor Tommy Möller has warned that the unprecedented mass migration into Sweden in the last decade could unravel the country’s “democratic welfare society.”

Professor Möller, who teaches at Stockholm University, has claimed that political stability in Sweden has been greatly affected by mass migration, stating that it could be relegated to a museum in an op-ed published by Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri.

“No matter what happens, no one can deny that our society has undergone significant changes as a result of the extensive immigration, and these demographic changes will permeate Swedish politics for the foreseeable future,” Moller said and highlighted the rise of the anti-mass migration Sweden Democrats (SD) who have topped recent opinion polls.

“Problems in health care and school, the municipalities’ increased costs for supply support, housing shortages and, not least, the accelerating gang crime – all of these are problems and some of them have been linked by SD with immigration,” he said.

Mass migration has been linked to several of those issues such as in the southern city of Malmo where the vast majority of shooting suspects in a Swedish media report released earlier this year were from migrant backgrounds.

Municipalities who took in large shares of asylum seekers and migrants since the height of the 2015 migrant crisis have also seen financial difficulties, such as the municipality of Bengtsfors which claimed it risked bankruptcy earlier this year.

The Swedish municipality of Bengtsfors has petitioned the government for aid after taking in more migrants than the municipality could afford.

The professor went on to add that polarization and cultural conflicts were on the rise, warning, “Unless the integration of the newly arrived succeeds better, in the long run, the social putty that makes a democratic welfare society of our kind possible risks being torn apart.”

“Unfortunately, the interpersonal trust that is a prerequisite for a large-scale society to function has decreased in Sweden in recent years,” Moller said and added, “Gaps between people, whether economic or cultural, create a distance in terms of experience and values.”



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, 2020  

Millennials Stuck in Their Lifestyle-Choices Rut
If there's any truth to their "left behind" struggles, it's largely the result of their own choices.

Their Leftist education would be partly to blame for that.  Many would have heard only ridicule for traditional values

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal paints a very bleak picture for the long-term future of Millennials. Entitled “Millennials Near Middle Age in Crisis,” the article claims the Millennial generation is “in worse financial shape than every living generation ahead of them, lagging behind baby boomers and Generation X despite a decade of economic growth and falling unemployment.”

To prove this thesis, the article outlines a litany of demographic data, showing this generation has less accumulated wealth and property, lower marriage rates, and fewer children than previous generations, despite being the most educated (some may say indoctrinated) generation in American history. This is especially frightening as the social safety-net programs hurtle toward insolvency.

So why the disconnect?

According to Federal Reserve economist Christopher Kurz, Millennials had an average net worth of $92,000 in 2016, which, adjusted for inflation, is about 40% less at the same point in their adulthood than Gen X-ers, and 20% less than Baby Boomers. Millennial men who are heads of households also have wage rates 18% lower than Generation X, and 27% less than Baby Boomers.

Part of this discrepancy, according to the article, is that Millennials were entering the workforce during the 2007-2009 recession, and historically, workers entering the workforce during economic downtimes have lower lifetime earnings.

Other factors included high student-loan balances, impacting their ability to purchase homes, contribute to retirement savings, etc. At a time when the stock market continues to perform at historic highs, and the housing market is booming, this is devastating.

Yet even this does not tell the whole story.

Tugging at our heart-strings to underline the desperate situation of Millennials, the WSJ tells the story of Joseph Cochran, a real-estate manager, and Tasha Brown (age 36), a consumer-finance attorney, who decided to delay marriage because their combined salaries as a married couple would drive up the payments on the eye-popping $377,000 they owe in student loans. Instead, though not legally married, they are living together, wear wedding rings, and she has changed her last name to Cochran.

We then learn the Cochrans, having struggled to get pregnant, chose to move from Philadelphia to Maryland, because Maryland’s state health insurance mandates include coverage for in vitro fertilization. As a result, they now have a three-year-old son.

In this case, the Cochrans moved to another state specifically so they could get someone else to pay for the cost of their fertility treatments. The story also notes that Tasha has a 17-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, implying that she had the child out of wedlock as a teenager herself. And though there are many community and state colleges that provide more affordable education, the $377,000 in student-loan debt seems to indicate that the Cochrans chose to attend elite schools that carry an elite price tag, and now they are struggling to repay the debt. Each of these decisions came with a price.

A Gallup poll last year found that Millennials are the only generation favoring socialism over capitalism, an economic model that ignores the truism of French economist Frederic Bastiat, who warned, “Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

And therein lies the real story.

The problem for Millennials is not that their circumstances are more dire than previous generations. Indeed, one would be hard pressed to convince the generation that endured the Great Depression only to be catapulted into World War II that they struggled less than a generation that can call up an Uber on their iPhone to take them to the local Starbucks, where they sip on a $7 latte while tweeting their call for a socialist revolution to end their “oppression.”

No, more than anything, Millennials are suffering from the consequences of their own decisions.

The predicament Millennials find themselves in is the cumulative result of a series of questionable decisions. They have racked up enormous student-loan balances to pay for degrees that don’t produce salaries to justify the cost. They have shunned previous generations’ accumulation of “things” (i.e., property, wealth, hard assets) in favor of financing “experiences.” They rent high-priced apartments in upscale cities, rather than buying a home in the suburbs.

Though studies show that a married couple’s wealth is four times higher than a single person’s of the same age, Millennials significantly delay marriage far beyond previous generations, or do not marry at all. Millennials are also delaying, or foregoing, having children, and birth rates have fallen to the lowest point in 32 years, meaning fewer workers in coming decades to contribute to Social Security and other safety-net programs.

At the end of the day, Millennials are perfectly free to make these choices, but the choices come with a cost. It is disingenuous to spend years indulging your desires and seeking immediate gratification only to then lament the lost opportunities that smarter decisions, delayed gratification, and sacrifices would have brought.

With Baby Boomers retiring just as Millennials are entering their prime working years, there will be greater demand for their skills and services, driving up earnings. There are enormous opportunities to be had, but Millennials will have to shift their priorities and mindset if they are to take long-term advantage and secure their futures.


A civil partnership for the couple who bridled at marriage

There was an exchange of vows, a kiss on the town hall steps and, sprinkled on the ground about the happy couple, some confetti. But that was left over from an earlier ceremony — for whatever happened inside Room 7 of Kensington and Chelsea Register Office, it was not a wedding, it was history.

The occasion marked the culmination of a five-year battle for Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, who fought the government all the way to the Supreme Court for the same rights as same-sex couples and became one of the first heterosexual couples to enter into a civil partnership.

It was a symbolically important place for them to formalise their relationship, marking a return to the same venue where, five years ago, they tried to book a civil partnership in defiance of the law which said that such unions were available only to gay couples.

“Today is a unique, special and personal moment for us,” said Ms Steinfeld, 38, as they emerged from the Chelsea Old Town Hall with their children Eden, four, and Ariel, two. “As one decade ends and another dawns, we have become civil partners in law.”

They were among scores of couples in England and Wales who registered their partnerships on the first day it became a legal alternative to marriage for heterosexuals.

Ms Steinfeld, a campaigner and researcher and Mr Keidan, 43, a magazine editor from Hammersmith, west London, fought a succession of court battles, finally achieving victory in 2018 when the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Civil Partnership Act 2004 — which applies only to same-sex couples — was incompatible with the European convention on human rights.

Mr Keidan said it had been a “hard- fought battle” that had taken a toll on their mental health, forcing him to have five weeks off work. “I think I was burnt out physically and mentally,” he said.

While the phalanx of media outside outnumbered family and friends at the registration, the event itself was a small, intimate occasion, held in a tiny register office that normally has only enough seating for the couple and two witnesses. Staff had to bring in extra chairs for the couple’s children and their parents.

It was, Ms Steinfeld said, “a very simple, stripped-back registration”. But they did have statements for each other — vows, even — which they shared in the privacy of the room. “Our commitments were about the equality, about the importance of an equal division of household labour and childcare responsibilities, and sharing the mental load, and the importance of mutual respect, as well as loving each other,” she said. “I like to think it was original.”

Outside they both had statements for the waiting cameras. Mr Keidan spoke about how they had succeeded “against all odds”, while Ms Steinfeld said thousands of other people would now be forming civil partnerships.

Despite their celebrations they have not won every battle. They have been told that under the 1976 Legitimacy Act they must re-register the births of their children, who have been given the surname Keidstein, a blend of their parents’ names, or any future offspring could have greater legal rights of inheritance. “We will not be reregistering their births,” Ms Steinfeld said. “We think that that is an archaic law.”

Other battles remain. Stephen Lord, the superintendent registrar, said there was pressure to do away with the requirement for couples having a civil partnership to state their gender. “More and more customers are not identifying as male or female,” he said.


First Trans Person to Obtain Legal 'Non-Binary' Sex Status Changes Back to Birth Sex in Blow to LGBT Movement

This month, the first person to obtain a legal "non-binary" sex designation has successfully petitioned the court originally responsible for his "non-binary" status to order that the sex on his birth certificate be restored to "male." In documents exclusively provided to PJ Media, James Shupe's petition described his "non-binary" designation as a "psychologically harmful legal fiction." He told PJ Media he hopes this decision will prevent a woman currently seeking "non-binary" recognition from following the same lies.

"The charade of not being male, the legal fiction, it's over," James Shupe told PJ Media on Tuesday. "The lies behind my fictitious sex changes, something I shamefully participated in, first to female, and then to non-binary, have been forever exposed. A truthful accounting of events has replaced the deceit that allowed me to become America's first legally non-binary person."

"The legal record has now been corrected and LGBT advocates are no longer able to use my historic non-binary court order to advance their toxic agenda," he added. "I am and have always been male. That is my biological truth, the only thing capable of grounding me to reality."

While he became a hero for the transgender movement, Shupe now aims to dispel the lies of gender identity and reverse the harm caused by the precedent of his "non-binary" legal designation.

He referenced the case of Jones David Hollister, a woman who identifies as non-binary and is currently fighting to change her legal designation to non-binary. Hollister's brief to the Oregon Court of Appeals cites Shupe's case.

"I hope that Hollister and all the others are denied the right to change their sex to non-binary because it's fraud and legal fiction based on pseudoscience," Shupe said. "I was indoctrinated to believe that I had this thing called a gender identity and that suppressing it was causing my mental health problems. It was all a lie."

He said he had embraced the lie of transgender identity as a crutch while struggling with deep psychological issues that would have been better addressed by therapy.

"I ended up in the psych ward three times because of hormones. I had blood clots in my eyes because my estrogen levels were 2,585 instead of 200, low bone density, problems controlling my bladder, and emotional instability," Shupe said. "Blood tests indicated I was dropping into kidney disease territory (EFGR below 60) for about 18 months, I had chronic dermatology issues and skin reactions to estrogen patches, I passed out on the kitchen floor from Spironolactone."

High-strength marijuana prescribed to him as he was passing through Colorado gave him hallucinations.

A Transgender Hero Breaks Ranks
"The gender transitions were supposed to fix my mental health problems, but I kept getting worse instead. The high-powered marijuana made me psychotic. I started hearing booming noises and having visions of being some Indian woman," he recalled. "I started believing I was some kind of chosen one who was picked to restore the third gender to North America, that's what I thought the visions were telling me."

Shupe went public about his detransition in an interview with PJ Media's Bruce Bawer earlier this year after he asked for his official Florida documents to restore his legal sex to male.

Born in 1963 in Washington, D.C., Shupe spent eighteen years (1982-2000) in the U.S. Army. He has been married to his wife, Sandy, for three decades, and had a daughter with her. In 2013 he began identifying as a transgender woman, claiming that he had struggled for years and that he had been harassed in the military because he was perceived as gay. He lived in Pittsburgh for a year, took experimental hormones, and changed his name — but he stopped short of a surgical sex change. In November 2014, he moved to Portland, Oregon, which he found more hospitable for a transgender woman. He lived there until September 2017.

The New York Times published a profile on him in 2015, but only a year later, he rejected his female identity for a new one. In June 2016, Multnomah County Judge Amy Holmes Hehn issued a court order to change his sex from female to non-binary.

He wanted his Washington, D.C., birth certificate to reflect this gender identity, and that required a court order. With the stroke of a pen, Shupe became the first person in the U.S. to be legally recognized as "non-binary." The sex on his birth certificate was changed to "X," meaning indeterminate. This made him a hero in the LGBT community.

USA Today reported that Shupe's "three years of living like a woman were nearly as painful as those spent as a man." Presenting himself as a transgender woman, he had felt pressured "to maintain a hyper-feminine appearance 24-7," or he would find himself "getting called sir."

Shupe began to struggle with the concept of gender identity as something other than biological sex. Explaining the non-binary identity, he told Oregon Live, "I was assigned male at birth due to biology. I'm stuck with that for life. My gender identity is definitely feminine. My gender identity has never been male, but I feel like I have to own up to my male biology. Being non-binary allows me to do that. I'm a mixture of both. I consider myself as a third sex."

Real-Life Victims of the Transgender 'Cult'
Yet he began to question the damage the transgender movement has caused in society. In July 2017, he worried about "the future of transgender children," arguing that they need "societal change," not "surgical procedures," "cross-sex hormones," or sterilization. He supported a bathroom-privacy ballot initiative, and Lambda Legal dropped him as a client.

In just a manner of months, Shupe went from supporting transgender military service to defending Trump's requirement that servicemembers live according to their biological sex.

Suddenly, the media was no longer interested in his opinions. "Not a single Oregon media outlet has been willing to talk to me, let alone report that I've reclaimed my birth sex and have denounced gender ideology," he told PJ Media on Monday. "They dropped me after I supported Trump's ban on gender dysphoria in the military. That got me canceled."

This year, he took the final step. "In January 2019, I walked into the DMV and confronted a clerk with my U.S. passport, telling her 'look, I'm a male, I'm reclaiming my male birth sex, and I want a driver's license with 'male' instead of 'female,'' " he recalled.

This change would only work in Florida, where Shupe still has an ongoing case to change his name back to "James Clifford Shupe," rather than "Jamie Shupe." After this change, Lambda Legal dropped all mentions of Shupe from their briefs in the case Zzyym v. Pompeo, which involves an intersex client who was denied a U.S. passport.

In the spring of 2019, he asked the Social Security Administration to restore his male birth sex. "Social Security refused to accept a doctor's letter stating I was biologically male. They forced me to use their template, claiming I had undergone a gender transition to male," he recalled.

While Florida granted his request to return to "male" on his driver's license, this change "wouldn't override the Oregon court order that made my sex non-binary and was getting used by the LGBT advocates to advance other cases, so we had to go back to Oregon."

On December 11, Shupe petitioned the Multnomah County Court for the order to restore his male designation.

"The purpose of my request is to restore the original male sex designation that I was correctly observed to be at birth and to restore the precious name given to me at birth by my parents. I was not born in Oregon, and I have a Florida case pending to restore my name to JAMES CLIFFORD SHUPE," he wrote in the petition. "I am no longer pursuing surgical, hormonal or other treatment to affirm a non-binary identity, and I wish to reclaim my male birth sex."

"Despite six years of hormonal treatments, my sex was immutable, and I remained the same biological male I was at the time of my birth. In hindsight, my sex change to non-binary was a psychologically harmful legal fiction, and I desire to reclaim my male birth sex," he added. "Despite my documented history of severe mental illness, my birth certificate has been changed twice previously. ... Since receiving the 2016 non-binary court judgment in this case, I have been correctly diagnosed with a 'sexual paraphilia' by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the root cause of previous confusion about my sexual identity."

Even getting that diagnosis proved to be a battle for Shupe.

"I then began confronting the VA about rubber-stamping me with gender dysphoria when in fact I had sexual paraphilias, a transvestic disorder with autogynephilia and masochism. The psychologist at the VA who had diagnosed me with gender dysphoria then dumped me as a patient when I asked for the diagnosis to be changed. The VA finally gave me the paraphilia diagnosis in April 2019, the endocrinologist did it," he recalled. "The VA then outsourced me to the civilian sector to a therapist unqualified to treat me, the only one willing to take me as a patient."

VA doctors were all too happy to diagnose gender dysphoria, but they mostly refused to consider sexual paraphilias, which Ph.D. psychologist Ray Blanchard says is the real cause.

Shupe told PJ Media he later realized the judge who granted his "non-binary" court order had harmed him.

"The Oregon judge physically and mentally harmed me by silently rubber-stamping the non-binary court order to advance a transgender agenda, to which she has ties," he said. Before the proceeding, Shupe’s lawyer told him not to worry because the judge herself had a transgender kid.

Although Shupe brought doctors' letters testifying to his identity, the judge did not even ask to look at them. "She was negligent in her duties as a judge to not explore my mental health and motivations as to why I was seeking the sex change. If she had of done so, she would have uncovered my severe mental health issues, the sexual paraphilias, and the fact that the doctors' letters were written after a discussion with the two of them that my sex change to female was a failure and becoming non-binary was bailing all of us out," he recalled.

The judge even got scared afterward, according to Shupe.

He also claimed the doctors who approved his change from female to non-binary abused him. "Why didn't they force me to go to mental health for an evaluation about why I felt the sex change was a failure instead of giving me yet another one?" he asked. One doctor even gave him psychotropic drugs. "I stayed doped up to cope with my life as a fake woman."

It has taken tremendous courage for Shupe to come forward with his story. His non-binary status made him a hero in the LGBT community, and he could have remained quiet about his detransition.

"It's an incredibly painful thing to walk back a landmark court decision that made you internationally famous and admit the whole thing was based on lies and deceit," he told PJ Media. Yet he felt compelled to speak out and warn against these destructive lies.


Black antisemitism again

Disturbing footage has emerged of an Orthodox Jewish man being assaulted by a group of seven teenagers as he walked down a street in Brooklyn – in what has become the 14th documented incident of anti-Semitic violence in New York in less than four weeks.

The incident occurred in Crown Heights on December 24, just four days before an assailant - believed to be 37-year-old Grafton Thomas - stabbed five people with a machete inside a rabbi’s home as they celebrated the seventh night of Hanukkah in Monsley, New York, late Saturday.

In the newly uncovered footage a Jewish man, who has not been identified, can be seen walking down Lincoln Place near Albany Avenue when he encounters a large group of black teenagers.

The man is seen attempting to avoid their path, but tries to walk around the group one of the teens throws a folding camping chair at his head and knocks him off balance.

Startled, the man attempts to walk away from the group at speed but is chased by two of the teenagers, who run toward him and then take it in turns to punch him.

The man can be seen attempting to avoid their path, but as he begins to walk past them one of the teens throws a folding camping chair at his head, knocking him off balance

Meanwhile, a third member of the group can be seen picking up the folding chair from the ground and running back toward the victim, jumping up into the air and throwing the chair at him once again.

The group of teens then sprint away into in the opposite direction, venturing deeper into the Crown Heights area.

Jewish Future Alliance founder Yaakov Behrman posted surveillance video of the shocking incident to Twitter, but said that the victim never reported the attack to police as he was fearful the attackers would find out his identity and harm him again.

‘This incident demonstrates that there are many unreported incidents in New York,’ Behrman wrote.

‘The attack occurred last Tuesday and was never reported to NYPD or media. I first learned of it Sunday evening and spoke to victim Monday and obtained footage.’

The same group of teenagers were also recorded of surveillance camera carrying out a second brutal attack on a 56-year-old Jewish man on Union Street moments later

On this occasion, the victim was punched in the back of the head by one member of the group and then thrown to the ground.


Dec. 28 - A suspect, believe to be Grafton Thomas, 37, enters a rabbi's home during a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey and attacks five with a machete

Dec. 27, 7am - Man in hoodie threatens to shoot up Lubavitch headquarters in Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Dec. 27, 12:40am - Tiffany Harris, 30, is arrested for allegedly slapping three other women in the face and head on a Crown Heights corner

Dec. 26, 3:20pm - Homeless woman, 42, yells anti-Semitic slur and then strikes a Jewish woman in the head with her bag in front of her three-year-old son

Dec. 25, 1am - A Jewish man wearing a skullcap while walking in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn was punched in an unprovoked attack

Dec. 24 - A 25-year-old Jewish man had a drink thrown at him by a group shouting anti-Semitic slurs

Dec. 24, 6pm - A Jewish man, 56, was punched in the head by one person as the same group filmed the incident and laughed

Dec. 24, 5:30pm - A Jewish man is attacked by a group of teens with a camping chair and is punched several times 

Dec. 23 - A Miami man was arrested for making an anti-Semitic remark and attacking a man in midtown Manhattan

Others group members were seen taking out their cell phones and recording the incident. Surveillance video also showed the teenagers laughing and cheering as the attack took place.

As the teens began fleeing down Union Street towards Albany Avenue, volunteers from the Crown Heights Shomrim gave chase to the group as they made their way down Albany to President Street.

A 911 call was made, but in the few minutes it took for the police to arrive, the group made their way across Eastern Parkway and then split up into the Albany Avenue projects.

A police report was filed over the incident, and the case has been referred to the Hate Crimes Task Force.

Shomrim also obtained video footage of the assault and was able to provide it to the NYPD.

Police are searching for the attackers, however no arrests have yet been made.

The NYPD has not yet responded to a DailyMail.com request for comment as to whether the first incident is currently being investigated or being treated as a hate crime.

Emergence of the first incident on December 24 comes as the 14th reported incident of anti-Semitic violence in New York since December 8.

Following a machete attack at a Hasidic rabbi's home in Monsey  late on Saturday that injured five, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo attributed the alarming rise in anti-Semitic violence in the city to the hate that is spreading ‘like cancer’ across America currently.

‘This is an intolerant time in this country. We see anger, we see hatred exploding,’ Cuomo said. 'It is an American cancer that is spreading in the body politic.'

The attack, said to be orchestrated by Grafton Thomas, came as the latest in a string of similar assaults targeting Jews in the region, including a massacre at a kosher grocery store in New Jersey earlier this month and seven other anti-Semitic incidents over the first seven nights of Hanukkah, which began on December 23.

In response to the recent spate of anti-Semitic attacks, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to increase police presence in affected communities.

Besides making officers more visible in Borough Park, Crown Heights and Williamsburg, police will boost visits to houses of worship and some other places, de Blasio tweeted.

'Anti-Semitism is an attack on the values of our city - and we will confront it head-on,' de Blasio, the Democrat, wrote.



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, 2020

Biblical Textual criticism

In my spare moments over the Christmas season, I have been doing something that is quite appropriate to the time.  I have been reading a lot of textual criticism of the Bible, particularly the OT.

 Textual criticism arises because we do not have any of the original books of the Bible.  They have all been lost over the centuries and only copies remain.  And the copies do not all agree with one another.  So what to do?  Deciding what to do has generated the vast body of textual criticism

I should add the the various disagreements between the copies do not not affect the overall message.  The differences are mainly of detail.  But in a book as important as the Bible, even minor details are of interest.

As a general rule, the oldest MSS (copies) should be closest to the original.  Copying errors do creep in so they should accumulate over time.  So we are fortunate that some MSS that we have are quite old, dating to around 200BC.  I have taken a passing interest in textual criticism for many years so I knew that.  What I did not know was that the earliest copies of the Hebrew Bible (Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus) were in GREEK.  How come?

The Greek versions of the OT arose because there was a substantial number of Jews in Biblical times who did NOT live in Israel.  They lived in Alexandria in Egypt.  Alexandria was a great commercial centre so there were Jews in business even then.  And many were born in Egypt so spoke only the language of Alexandria at the time:  Commercial Greek.  They had "forgotten" Hebrew.  But they were still religious so wanted to hear the words of their scriptures. 

So they had their scriptures translated into a language they could understand:  Greek.  The Greek version of the OT that they produced is generally referred to as the Septuagint, abbreviated as LXX.  And it is that version that gives us the oldest form of the Bible texts.  The oldest Hebrew texts of the OT are many centuries later. When Jesus and the apostles quoted the OT, it was the LXX that they quoted

It is said that all translations are interpretations and that was certainly true of the LXX.  The first translation was rather unskilful in some ways so subsequent copyists tried to "tidy it up" as they copied.  Result:  There are no two copies of the LXX that are identical.  Additionally, some ancient copies of the LXX contain passages that are not in all of them and not in the Hebrew text (e.g.  Ezekiel 28:11-19)

So a great scholarly endeavour has arisen which aims to capture the "Old Greek", the Septuagint as it was originally written -- in the view that the Old Greek would be closest to the Hebrew text that the scribes were originally translating.

And a serious question is what do we do when the Hebrew text and the Greek text diverge.  Since the LXX is much more ancient than any surviving copy of the Hebrew OT, it is reasonable to say that the LXX is closest to the original and it is the LXX readings that should appear in our English versions of the Bible.  That has mostly not occurred. 

And the reason why is the Masoretes.  The Masoretes were Jews of around 1000AD who produced a text of the Hebrew Bible that they proclaimed as correct.  They claimed that as Jewish scribes copied and recopied the OT over the centuries, they had exercized extreme care not to change anything.  That was sufficiently impressive for Christian Protestants to adopt the Masoretic text as the basis of their translations into English.  The OT in the King James Bible is a translation of the Masoretic text

It was however something of an assertion and could be disbelieved.  Then an amazing thing happened.  The Dead Sea scrolls were discovered and dated to just before the time of Christ.  So at last we had some ancient Hebrew texts.  The texts were far from a complete copy of the OT but there were some fairly substantial bits of it.  And one scroll was of the Book of Isaiah.  So how close was the DSIA (Dead Sea scroll of Isaiah) to the Masoretic text?  It was virtually identical!  Those careful Jewish scribes had indeed copied the text of their Bible unaltered for over a thousand years!

It is clear however that there were variant versions of the Hebrew text available in ancient times -- as some of the Dead Sea scrolls were NOT identical to the Masoretic text.  The text we now know as Masoretic was probably in the mainstream but it was not the only Hebrew text in ancient times.  But we can't go back beyond the Dead Sea scrolls so we still have no real way of knowing whether a variant reading is right or wrong. 

Which is where the LXX comes in.  Some LXX copies are much more ancient than the Dead Sea scrolls and appear to be translated from much earlier Hebrew texts.  Even though it is a translation, the LXX may get us closer to the original Hebrew text.

And that is what textual criticism is all about.  Via big debates stretching over the last 200 years, scholars have come to tentative agreement over what is the original text of the OT.  There is still of course no perfect agreement but the various "recensions" produced by different scholars are in something like 99.0% agreement.  So we can be certain that modern scholarly translations into English are firmly founded in what was originally written.  What is amazing at the end of the day is how accurately the Bible has been transmitted to us over the centuries.

Blacks are killing Jews and the Left are ignoring it

The attack on a Rabbi in Monsey north of New York City on Saturday evening has left the Jewish community shaken. It follows at least eight other attacks in New York since the shooting attack on a kosher supermarket in early December. There have been near daily attacks in New York City this year, a kind of slow-moving pogrom against Jews, particularly targeting ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The murder of three people at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City was mostly ignored in the United States. No rallies or marches against the antisemitism that led to it. No major political upheavals or even much recognition. The usual anger over gun violence after mass shootings was nowhere to be found. The victims and the perpetrators are inconvenient. America as a whole can’t mourn Orthodox Jews and it can’t confront perpetrators when the perpetrators come from a minority community. This is inconvenient antisemitism and it is a kind of antisemitism privilege.

Despite widespread anti-racism programs in the US, there are still those in America for whom being antisemitic is a birthright and not something to be ashamed of. The number of people raised with violent antisemitic beliefs is growing.
The Jersey City murders are the culmination of years of incitement against Jews. But the perpetrators in that case were themselves minorities from the African American community. The perpetrators have been identified as coming from an extremist religious group called Black Hebrew Israelites, making them a minority of a minority. The perpetrators are seen as a “militant” fringe within that minority.

The authorities are now looking at the case as domestic terrorism fueled by antisemitism. However major media have endeavored to dismiss the murders as unimportant and unique. The New York Times described the Black Hebrew Israelites as being “known for their inflammatory sidewalk ministers who employ provocation as a form of gospel.” It’s a bit more than that. In fact, the group and the milieu around it tend to view religion through a racial lens, such that Jews are described as “white” and “fake” and the “real Jews” are portrayed as black, along with all the prophets and religious figures. The ADL pointed out that this group views itself as the real “chosen people” and that it sees people of color as the real descendants of the 12 tribes. The group was in the media earlier in the year in Washington DC when they shouted insults at Catholic high school students.

Mainstream society wants to view this as “provocation,” because if they viewed it as a burgeoning racist violent movement targeting Jews then they would have to confront it and ask tough questions of why it is tolerated in a community. Expert J.J. McNab told the Associated Press that in fact this group takes pride in “confronting Jewish people everywhere and explaining that they are evil.”

In American society there is generally only place for one kind of racism. There are far-right white supremacists and everyone else. This Manichean worldview of antisemitism and racism means we are only comfortable with one type of perpetrator. An angry white man. Those are the racists. Dylann Roof, the racist who murdered black people in a church in 2015 is the most normal kind of America racist. The El Paso shooter or the Tree of Life Synagogue attacker are also the kind of killers that fit into an easy narrative. But when the perpetrators stray from that we have a problem dealing with it. In New York City, according to a post by journalist Laura Adkins, data shows that of 69 anti-Jewish crimes in 2018, forty of the perpetrators were labelled “white” and 25 were labelled “black,” the others were categorized as Hispanic or Asian.

To keep the focus on the white supremacists, headlines need to explain to us that “right wing terrorists” have killed more than Jihadists, as Slate.com said earlier this year. Other types of terrorism are watered down a bit. During the Obama administration Islamist-inspired terror was even rebranded as “violent extremism” so as not to mention the religion of the perpetrators. For some reason even though Islamist terror is also a far-right ideology, it is portrayed as something else. For instance, when Jews were targeted at a kosher supermarket in France they were called “random folk in a deli.” They weren’t random, they were targeted, like the Jews in Jersey City, but they needed to be random or we’d have to ask about the antisemitism that permeates Islamist terror.

In the wake of all the attacks in New York against Jews, culminating in the shooting attack at the kosher market, it became difficult to ignore the rising tide. But there is discomfort in looking at the depth of the perpetrators. The comfort society has with expecting perpetrators to be “far-right” and “white” even led Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib to blame “white supremacy” for the Jersey City attack. Her tweet was deleted. When it wasn’t white supremacy and there was no one to condemn, it didn’t fit the narrative and was less important.

The suspects in Jersey City were called  “drifters,” anything to make them seem unique, as if their views came from the moon. But the hatred of Jews and almost daily attacks in New York City and surrounding areas doesn’t come from thin air. It is motivated by a very clear ideology that has been appeased and tolerated in the name of tolerance of hatred. Almost every day in Brooklyn Jews are attacked. When this happened in the Pale of Settlement in the Russian Empire it was called a pogrom. If someone said that every day in Kiev Jews were being beaten and attacked on subways and in the streets, we would correctly identify it as a pogrom-like series of attacks. But not in New York.

In one spate of November incidents a brick was thrown at a school for Jewish girls, three men were punched, and Jews had eggs thrown at them. Jews are also more likely to be victims of hate crimes in the area than any other group. Through September 1 there were 152 antisemitic hate crimes. It’s basically one a day and they are becoming more violent and now deadly.

Hatred of Jews spans the white supremacist far right and the black supremacist far right and milieus in between. The difference is that society condemns and confronts comments by the white supremacists. Even with white supremacists, after the Poway and Pittsburgh attacks, we did not delve deeply into the wider community of hate online. “We got our man,” in finding the perpetrator, and that was enough. When dealing with the wider world of antisemitism in the US, that crosses racial lines, it is more difficult to confront. In the US, since it is difficult to accept that minorities might also be racist, the elephant in the room of black antisemitism is not mentioned. Too often, African American officials make openly antisemitic statements without fear of reaction. A school board member attacked “brutes of the Jewish community” after the Jersey City attack.

In Washington DC an African American member of the city council claimed the Rothschilds control the weather. Instead of fully condemning him, he was invited to the Holocaust Museum and to experience Jewish holidays with the community. Why is the answer to antisemitism often the invitation to a nice embrace at a Jewish holiday? Does the KKK get invited to a black church as a reward for their racism? How about condemning first, apologies and introspection, and then a reward for reform would be an invitation. Unlike with white supremacy, other forms of antisemitism, such as black supremacist antisemitism, is seen as not the fault of the individual, but rather some ignorant ideas that a nice Passover dinner can correct. We need to do “outreach,” is the message.

The attack on Jews as “fake” and “white” is rising. In November in London a black man took out a Bible and began harassing a Jewish Orthodox family until a Muslim woman intervened. The perpetrator was detained for a hate crime. In Miami a man also threatened Jews with a knife, calling them “fake.” In 2018 an Orthodox Jewish man was attacked in Crown Heights, called a “fake Jew.”

This is inconvenient because it appears that there is a deep antisemitic milieu not dissimilar to the way white supremacist antisemitism spreads online and among communities, fueling hatred of Jews among other American minority groups, specifically some black Americans. This antisemitism has been around for decades, gaining strength in the 1990s as Jews began to be blamed for the slave trade.

This trend in black antisemitism isn’t entirely unknown. It is discussed here and there, usually with excuses. For instance The Forward ran an article claiming that while “White antisemites are motivated by a hatred of Jews and a desire  for power, black anti-Semites are motivated by anger over gentrification, police brutality and slavery.” The article claimed that Jews “like all white people, part of the racist system that keeps black people under the foot of society.” This is the way a Jewish newspaper explained hatred of Jews. It defined Jews as “white” and gave credence to the idea that antisemitism is motivated by “police brutality and slavery.”

This is a window into a very real worldview that openly says Jews are behind police brutality and slavery and gentrification.  In New York the police have stepped up their presence after attacks, but even that has been condemned as sending too many police to a neighborhood of “people of color.” Now Jews will be blamed for the police presence too instead of someone struggling against the violent antisemitism and inter-racial marches of solidarity against it.

How did we get here? The motivation behind the Jersey City attack is clear from social media posts one of the perpetrators made, according to a research by the ADL. This included claims that Jews are “Khazars,” and that “Brooklyn is full of Nazis-Ashkenazis,” and that the “police are in their [the Jews] hand now.” The worldview matches with the larger milieu in which Jews are portrayed as not merely “white Jews” but in fact as controlling the slave trade and police violence. In this new antisemitism Jews are reframed as both being “fake,” as in not really Jews from the Middle East, and also being “white” and running white supremacism. This replaces German Nazis with Jewish Nazis; it replaces white supremacists with a hidden hand of Jews controlling both the American far-right and also the police. Instead of pushing back against this there are attempts to excuse it or just remain quiet about it and hope this antisemitism goes away.

Despite the way this this antisemitism has combined traditional antisemitism with a twist, turning Jews into “whites” as opposed to hating them for being wandering Middle Easterners, there is very little recognition that it is dangerous.  This is despite hundreds of violent attacks over the years, primarily targeting Orthodox Jews. Now, this has resulted in murder. But many voices want to downplay it and explain it away. For instance, The New Yorker asked whether an “influx of Hasidic residents in the Greenville [Jersey City] neighborhood spur two assailants to embark on a shooting spree that left six people dead.” Jews, simply for moving somewhere, may cause a shooting spree, in this explanation. Jews are the only US minority group who, when they move somewhere, are accused of being an “influx.” Others have argued that we can’t even label the recent attacks “right wing” or “left wing” because it’s totally different to “white nationalists whose beliefs are based on antisemitism.”

A review of the discussion about the New York City attacks reveals an America that has trouble adjusting to and describing antisemitism when it comes from unexpected perpetrators. This is partly because the general view of racism in the US is that racism is not just about racism but about power. That is why in the US people look for racism in “white privilege” and the way racist views can be perpetuated even through code words and social settings and institutions. Confronted with the idea that minority groups are also racist, such as Hispanics using the n-word, there is a struggle to come to grips with how to define and confront. With the Jewish community there has been an agenda to argue over its relative “whiteness” and insofar as Jews are then removed from the intersectional agenda of minority groups fighting white privilege, Jews become either a separate category or part of the oppressive majority. This is odd but it is part of a wider agenda to assert that Zionism is racism and Jews are somehow linked to far-right groups through Israel and Israel is a modern apartheid colonialist structure. These ideas didn’t inform the Jersey City killings, but they are part of the milieu that informs those who might excuse the attacks.

Another element at play is the fact people are being inured to antisemitism. There was so much violent antisemitism in 2019 that people are less shocked. Also, those most prone to be shocked, other members of the Jewish community, sometimes see haredi Jews through a vaguely discriminatory lens, which others them. There is little solidarity with Orthodox Jews as a minority group, whereas if they were another group, there would be a larger outpouring of sympathy.

The result is a multi-layered cake of excuses and fear at confronting a wider range of perpetrators of antisemitism in New York. If violent antisemitism that sees Jews controlling the police and being responsible for slavery and white supremacy, is growing in the African American community in America then confronting it requires asking a minority community that is also a victim to be self-critical. In the US there tends to be pass for minority groups who are homophobic or racist. Society can only confront one kind of racism. This is largely because those driving the agenda of confronting racism either have blinders on regarding all forms of racism and antisemitism or are unaware of it because they don’t conduct surveys and polls regarding the prevalence of antisemitism in places like Brooklyn. When the perpetrators and victims do not fit a convenient model, it is easier to just excuse the attacks or see them as random.

Unfortunately, in the US these attacks are not random, and there is rising violent antisemitism coming from a broad spectrum of communities, including white supremacists and from African Americans. Confronting it requires the same broad spectrum to step up the struggle.


Schools too afraid to help white boys and the Lakes deemed not ethnic enough

Equality of opportunity is a core principle of our democratic society. Yet all too often the achievement of this noble goal is undermined by institutional virtue signalling, self- righteous guilt-tripping and ideological posturing.

As a result, instead of meeting genuine needs, many policy-makers — be they politicians, civil servants, media bosses or education chiefs — indulge in the worst kind of stereotyping, where all ethnic minorities are treated as perennial victims in need of support and white people are regarded as potential oppressors who deserve to be either hectored or neglected.

Two very different examples of this kind of behaviour emerged this week — both telling about our neurosis over race, and the damage it does.

The first is the incendiary row over the decision by two leading public schools — Dulwich and Winchester — to reject large philanthropic donations, worth more than £1 million, to fund scholarships for talented white boys from poor backgrounds.

The donations were offered by distinguished academic Sir Bryan Thwaites, former long-serving principal of Westfield College, part of the University of London, who is rightly concerned about Britain's 'severe problem of the underperforming white cohort in schools'.

The second was when Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority, stated that the region should be made more accessible to the disabled and ethnic minorities. This follows a decision by his park authority to run a four-mile tarmac path through woodland at Keswick to improve access.

In each case, the people behind these decisions will have thought of themselves as progressive. But their approach is far from enlightened.

To take the schools story, which appeared in Standpoint magazine, I came to know Sir Bryan well in the Seventies when I was president of the student union at the University of London. I can testify that he is a man of integrity and compassion, motivated by a real determination to raise standards for all. He is also correct in his analysis about the need to help deprived white boys. All recent studies show that they do worse at school than almost all other ethnic groups and are significantly less likely to go to university.

Their social exclusion can perhaps be seen at its most graphic in high achieving fee-paying schools — in London, fewer than 45 per cent of pupils at such places are white. That's partly because Chinese and Russian and African billionaires can afford the fees; but it is also because poor immigrant parents are prepared to work double and triple shifts to give their kids the education they themselves could never have dreamed of enjoying.

Sir Bryan's wish to promote social mobility through a number of scholarships is wholly justified. Nor is there anything unorthodox about wanting to provide financial backing to pupils from certain ethnic groups which face disadvantages in the system. After all, the rap star Stormzy has established a number of scholarships exclusively for black students at Cambridge University. Other charities have done the same.

Sir Bryan's proposal was certainly not illegal under current equality legislation. As one of the authors of the 2010 Equality Act in my then role as head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, I can state categorically that in circumstances where a racial group suffering disadvantage is white, then there is no bar on doing for them exactly what we would do for black and ethnic minority groups.

Contrary to what some 'progressives' seem to believe, the Equality Act is not the judicial preserve of people of colour. It is not a kind of 'be nice to blacks' charter but a measure that aims to bring fairness for all.

Yet that reality is being ignored by organisations such as Dulwich and Winchester. The two schools were too terrified of accusations of bigotry to accept Sir Bryan's generosity.

In their anxious minds, the very use of the term 'white' probably conjured up images of the far-Right and aggressive English nationalism. Bristling with indignation, Dulwich boasted that its 'community is profoundly diverse'. In the same tone, Winchester proclaimed that 'the school does not see how discrimination on grounds of a boy's colour could ever be compatible with its values'.

One state school has proved less squeamish and has happily accepted Sir Bryan's offer of funding. Ironically, but not surprisingly, the school's head teacher is black.

But the loudly vaunted scruples of the liberal elitists illustrate a worrying set of double standards. Despite their fixation with ethnic-minority victimhood, they show little understanding of the lives of the British working class.

The term 'white privilege' is so casually bandied about among Left-wing intellectuals. Yet most low-paid workers are white. And they find it hard to make sense of the idea that their skin colour imbues them with any kind of privilege.

But neurosis about race means that guilt and condescension can be found everywhere in our public life — as the Lake District story shows.

'We are deficient in terms of black and minority ethnic communities,' declared Richard Leafe, a view that chimes with a recent report which described the Lake District as 'an exclusive, mainly white, mainly middle-class club'.

Yet, once again, the anxious rhetoric feeds into the theme of ethnic-minority victimhood, with the implication that, like children, we people of colour have to be guided by the benevolent hand of the state.

I myself adore the Lake District and have tried to pass that on to others. When I was head of the Commission for Racial Equality I organised summer camps to Cumbria to give kids the chance to mix with others of different backgrounds and to see an England they would never discover otherwise. Many said it changed their lives.

I will never forget the time I was in a tea shop in Kendal 20 years ago and another customer — an elderly lady — said to me, in a friendly tone, 'We haven't seen many coloured people like you up here since the Americans during the war.'

When I told this story to a black activist friend, he upbraided me for not reprimanding her over her outdated language. But I knew there was no hostility about her, only warmth — in the true, welcoming spirit of the Lake District. And the answer is to encourage people of whatever race to go there and experience that. People respond to that warmth, not tarmac.

The deep anxiety in our political and media classes isn't reflected among most British people, who — generally speaking — want to get on with their neighbours, whatever their race.

Yet this squeamishness about race can have disastrous consequences, as terrible crimes are overlooked — such as the long-running refusal by the authorities to face up to the reality of Asian predatory sex gangs on the streets of towns such as Rotherham and Telford.

The same shameful silence can be found in the dishonesty and self-delusion about the soaring incidence of knife crime. Ethnicity plays a critical role here, for the overwhelming majority of both perpetrators and victims are young black men.

In the corner of North London where I grew up, the rate for murder and violence last year was ten times the average for England, while just 16 per cent of the local population is white British.

Yet the race aspect is constantly, almost feverishly down-played by liberals, who would rather grumble about poverty, or lack of youth clubs. But none of this mayhem is taking place in the left-behind seaside towns of Kent or the devastated industrial wastelands of South Wales or the North-East.

The hand-wringing over these assassinations does nothing to tackle the terrifying surge in violence. We need hard-headed realism about our racial differences — and the people who most want to see that realism are people of colour.


World reacts to new Margaret Court controversy

Australian tennis legend Margaret Court’s discussion of transgender issues in a recent sermon has made global headlines and drawn a mixed reaction.

Margaret Court’s latest public controversy made headlines everywhere from India to Turkey to South Africa — and has divided commentators.

In a sermon at her Perth church last Sunday, the tennis legend again ventured where Tennis Australia would prefer her to avoid by tackling the transgender issue.

Just weeks before the Australian Open will celebrate the 50th anniversary of her grand slam, the 77-year-old discussed her concern for transgender youth and the future of women’s sport.

“Children are making the decision at seven or eight years of age to change their sex … no, just read the first two chapters of Genesis, that’s all I say. Male and female,” Court said.

“It’s so wrong at that age because a lot of things are planted in this thought realm at that age, and they start to question ‘what am I?’.

“And you know with that LGBT, they’ll wish they never put the T on the end of it because, particularly in women’s sports, they’re going to have so many problems.”

The 24-time grand slam winner’s comments did receive some support. American author Eric Metaxas tweeted a link to news.com.au’s coverage with the comment: “She is probably the greatest women’s tennis player of all time, and she’s used her platform heroically. Thank you, Margaret Court.”

Australian political activist Lyle Shelton said Court’s views were “not controversial but mainstream”.

“Millions share her concern for women’s sport. Parents are worried about radical gender fluid indoctrination of their children. Yet the left viciously attacks Margaret for speaking the truth,” he tweeted.

“The battle for truth and freedom of speech should not be borne by this courageous woman alone. Where are our political, religious and other civil society leaders? Have we surrendered to rainbow lies about biology and the human condition? Is courage dead in Australia?”

But others were furious. Australian radio personality Gus Worland was particularly animated in his condemnation of Court’s views, calling for Tennis Australia to end its association with her, including removing her name from Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne.

“Tennis Australia want us to say there’s the person and there’s the actual player but you can’t (separate them),” Worland told Today. “The simple fact is she’s awful — and what she’s saying is awful. It’s spreading hatred.

“So at the end of the day I’d put a line through her completely. I’d take her name off the arena down there in Melbourne and say ‘you’re done and dusted’ …

“When she comes out with that sort of vile, that sort of hatred, that’s where you put a line through someone …

“The timing is terrible. She knows exactly what she’s doing. We’re about to have the Australian Open. We’re all going to get focused on the tennis down there in Melbourne — and we know her opponent. She’s just restating it again … and she’s (thumbing her nose) at all the tennis authorities and all the lovers and supporters of the game.”

Sydney Morning Herald senior writer Jessica Irvine agreed. “Hopefully in the next decade we’ll have left these views behind,” Irving told Today. “It’s just so disappointing.

“Australians want to celebrate our sporting heroes and she’s amazing. But can we separate the views she has that I believe are unacceptable to the Australian people and celebrate her sporting wins? I don’t think you can separate the two.”

In the same sermon, Court highlighted the difficulty of openly discussing her religious views. “People think because you don’t agree with them, you hate them. No, I don’t. I don’t hate anybody,” Court said.

Tennis Australia openly condemned Court’s views in November, and made it clear in an open letter they are not welcome in the sport.



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

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

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


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(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

Bible references on homosexuality: Jude 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Leviticus 18:32; Leviticus 20:13

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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