The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

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

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

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

31 July, 2017

I Was Once Transgender. Why I Think Trump Made the Right Decision for the Military

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he wouldn’t allow transgender individuals to serve in the military:

I think he made the right decision—and as someone who lived as trans-female for several years, I should know.

When I discovered Congress voted earlier this month to not block funding for transgender-related hormone therapies and sex change surgeries, I wondered if it considered how devastating this will be to the fitness, readiness, and morale of our combat-ready troops.

In July, the House of Representatives voted down Missouri Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which would have banned the military from funding such treatments.

Paying for transition-related surgeries for military service members and their families is beyond comprehensible.

Perhaps they have forgotten that our military was forged to be the world’s strongest fighting force, not a government-funded, politically correct, medical sex change clinic for people with gender dysphoria.

Gender dysphoria, the common diagnosis for one who feels at odds with his or her birth gender, develops from prolonged anxiety and depression. People are not born that way.

The "proof" for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria is having strongly held feelings—but feelings can and often do change over time.

The military is expected to prepare its members in warfare: to kill, destroy, and break our enemies. The most important factors in preparing a strong military are not hormone therapy, surgical sex changes, or politically correct education.

We need psychologically fit, emotionally sound, highly trained troops to protect our nation from its enemies.

While countless homeless vets are currently sleeping under cardboard boxes, or waiting for life-saving care from the Department of Veterans Affairs, we learn that transgender military recruits now qualify for preferential coverage for sex change procedures that are scientifically unproven and extremely costly.

I myself was fully sex-reassigned from male to female, and eventually came to accept my birth gender.

I have over 70 years of firsthand life experience, eight years of living as a woman, 20 years of researching the topic, and 12 years of helping others who, like me, found that transitioning and reassignment surgery failed to be proper treatment and want to restore their lives to their birth gender.

Transitioning can be expensive—up to $130,000 per person for numerous body-mutilating and cosmetic procedures over many months (or years) to fashion the body to appear as the opposite sex.

Yet, no matter how skilled the surgeon, or how much money is spent, it is biologically impossible to change a man into a woman or a woman into a man. The change is only cosmetic.

The medical community continues to recommend this radical "treatment" in the absence of scientific evidence that people are better off in the long run. This population attempts suicide at a rate of 40 percent.

Even after the full surgical change, they attempt to end their lives, or tragically succeed.

Over 60 percent of this diverse population suffer from co-existing mental disorders. Consider Bradley Manning (now Chelsea Manning), a former Army soldier who was so psychologically and emotionally unbalanced that he stole confidential documents from the military and forwarded them to WikiLeaks.

Through my website, sexchangeregret.com, I hear from people who experienced firsthand how damaging and unnecessary reassignment surgeries were. For them, the sex change failed to resolve the emotional and psychological disorders that drove the desire to change gender.

Many write after living the transgender life for years. They write to ask for advice on how to reverse the original surgical change and restore their lives to the original birth gender like I did, a process called detransition.

Some service members will come to regret having undergone the surgery and will want to detransition. Where will the military be then? Will the military pay for the sex change reversal procedure, too?

Failed "sex change surgeries" are not uncommon and will drive up the cost to care for the military transgender population above the projected $3-4 billion 10-year cost.

Beyond the financial cost, there’s the question of the service member’s military readiness during their transition or detransition, as the process often comes with a great deal of anxiety and emotional instability.

I know of many who have struggled to adapt to the new gender role for years after reassignment surgery.

In my view, as a former trans-female who works every day with regretters, allowing the military to pay for sex change surgeries will make a mockery of the U.S. military.

Advocates are relentless in their pursuit of making others, via the government and insurance companies, cover the cost of sex change procedures.

If the military had been forced to pay, the advocates would have used this as leverage to press every other entity—both government and commercial—to pay for sex change surgeries as well.

As a person who lived the transgender life for eight years, I can attest that assisting, affirming, or paying for hormone therapies and genital mutilation surgeries would not have strengthened our military. They would only have brought adverse long-term consequences, both for individuals and for our armed forces as a whole.


Trump wages a broad effort to roll back accomodations for transgenders

The report below is from a Leftist source but includes some interesting facts.  I have deleted most of the contumely

President Trump posted on social media that he intends to ban transgender soldiers from serving "in any capacity,"

Trump’s announcement, in a series of three tweets Wednesday, amounted to a 180-degree shift in military policy and caught the military off guard. The move has been seen by some as an attempt to shore up Trump’s presidency by energizing elements of a GOP base.

"This forces Democrats in Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin to take complete ownership of this issue," an anonymous Trump administration official explained to the Washington news site Axios, after the president tweeted. "How will the blue collar voters in these states respond when senators up for reelection in 2018 like Debbie Stabenow are forced to make their opposition to this a key plank of their campaign?"

The administration’s efforts to roll back protections for the LGBTQ community go beyond the military. Trump’s Department of Justice filed a legal brief Wednesday arguing that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 doesn’t protect workers from "discrimination based on sexual orientation," an action branded as discriminatory by gay rights groups and a switch from Obama’s position. Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said the brief is "consistent" with the department’s longstanding policies.

And the Department of Education, in February, rescinded an Obama-era ruling that barred schools from discriminating against transgender students.

The country is taking notice. Sixteen states are debating laws in 2017 that would restrict access for transgender people to bathrooms or locker rooms, according to the National Council of State Legislatures. That’s after North Carolina passed a bathroom ban bill, and then repealed portions of it after a new Democratic governor took office this year.

And in Texas, where last week the state Senate approved a bathroom ban for transgender students, advocates on both sides say the president’s intention to ban transgender people in the military helps provide fresh momentum for the legislation.

As of Friday additional lawmakers had signed on — or expressed support — to a House bill. "There is concern that the president is providing folks with quote-unquote cover," said Lou Weaver, with Equality Texas, a group fighting the legislation there.

He said he has seen a wholesale change in the climate for transgender people in the past six months. "People are scared," Weaver said. "People are more worried. ‘Am I going to be able to keep my job?’ I think we’ve definitely seen a different climate."

Groups supporting bathroom bills also believe the president’s words will spill into state-level debates.

"The president of the country is the leader of the free world — I think it will invigorate members of state legislatures to lead on these issues," said Mandi Ancalle, the general counsel for government affairs at the Family Research Council. "And not to worry so much about how they might be attacked or cast in the media."

Trump’s campaign pitch to LGBT voters was quite different. At the GOP convention in Cleveland last year, Trump said that he would "do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens." He invited Peter Thiel, an openly gay Republican donor, to speak to the delegates. At one point he even said that Caitlyn Jenner, perhaps the highest-profile transgender person, could use any bathroom she wants in Trump Tower.

Multiple transgender service members who were interviewed said they had no idea the reversal was in the works.

Their surprise stems partially from the idea that the military tends to move slowly on personnel policy. Obama ended the Clinton-era "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy toward gays in the military in 2011.

In July 2015, the Pentagon launched a formal process to consider allowing openly transgender service members. By September 2016, the Defense Department issued a 72-page handbook titled "Transgender Service in the U.S. Military," which outlined the new policy.

The policy did not cover whether the military would begin actively recruiting transgender service members. That was initially supposed to be developed by this month, but Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced that he would delay the process.

Still, most believed that existing policies would be left alone.

"The Pentagon is like an aircraft carrier, right? She doesn’t turn on a dime," said Dremann, who is also the president of SPART*A, an organization that includes roughly 500 transgender active-duty service members.

The military also does not make policy via Twitter, he said. "Our leaders don’t operate that way," Dremann said, seeming to ignore for a moment that the message came from the commander in chief. "No matter what was said, there will be a process in a legal and methodical way."

Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, who is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, issued a memo Thursday saying there will be "no modifications" to the current policy for the time being. "We will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect," he added.

Trump’s order caused some unintended consequences — rallying support for the very population the president is attempting to ostracize.

Daniel Forester, an Army medic, said his parents have not been welcoming about his new status as a man. "My transition didn’t happen overnight," said Forester, who recently returned from a stint in Afghanistan. "I didn’t expect my family to accept my transition."

But as news spread about Trump’s tweets, Forester’s phone began buzzing. It was a cascade of text messages from his mother.

"She was saying, ‘What’s going on? Are you going to be okay?’ " he said. It was one of the few times his mother had even discussed that he is transgender since he started transitioning five years ago.

Then, later in the day, something even more surprising happened. Forester’s father also weighed in with a long post on Facebook — the first time he had ever acknowledged he has a transgender child.

And to Forester’s shock, in the post his father — a Desert Storm veteran — was defending him.

"If you believe in America then you believe in all of it," wrote Sam Forester in the post. "If you don’t agree that is fine. Sign your name on the line. Serve years of your life. Pick up a weapon and make a stand. If not respect the men and women that do and allow them to enjoy the same rights you have."


Why we should tell girls they’re ‘beautiful’ less often

For the past few months, getting my 5-year-old daughter, Emma, dressed in the morning has been a grueling ordeal. She hovers over her open dresser drawers, rapidly pulling shorts and shirts out only to immediately dismiss them.

"I have no good clothes," she’ll announce. I stood by recently as she inspected herself in the mirror. "No! This doesn’t look pretty," she wailed, pulling fiercely at her skirt. "I don’t look beautiful!" I took in her angst, and felt close to tears myself.

It dawned on me that Emma, my almost-kindergartner, is obsessed with her appearance. She hates to wear sneakers because she doesn’t think they complement her attire; she can spend 15 minutes adjusting a headband; she asks constantly about getting pierced ears.

Following her outburst, I felt guilty. I’ve been telling Emma she’s beautiful since the day she was born. And with her blue eyes and wavy brown hair, interspersed with gold strands that middle-aged women pay big bucks for — she is. I love to buy Emma clothes; I draw attention to her dolled up in a new dress, sending her to "show daddy how beautiful she looks." Relatives constantly compliment her appearance.

No wonder she’s already weighed down by the pressure to be pretty.

According to data compiled in 2015 by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that provides education and promotes safe media and technology for kids, body-image concerns start earlier than most of us might think. More than half of girls ages 6 to 8 think their "ideal body" size is thinner than they currently are. (One-third of boys feel the same way.) Preschoolers have already learned that society judges people by how they look.

Furthermore, a 2015 study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders found that 34 percent of 5-year-old girls engage in deliberate dietary restraint at least sometimes. Twenty-eight percent of those girls said they want their bodies to look like the women they see in movies or television.

Renee Engeln, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University and author of "Beauty Sick: How the Cultural Obsession With Appearance Hurts Girls and Women" (HarperCollins 2017), tells me that to put the statistics in context, "Developmental milestones for 5-year-olds include the successful use of a fork and spoon and the ability to count 10 or more objects. . . . These are girls who are just learning how to move their bodies around in the world, yet somehow they are already worried about how their bodies look."

In her book, Engeln writes about what she calls "beauty sickness," which is what happens when girls and women get so caught up worrying about their appearance that they are too distracted to be present in other aspects of their lives.

Countless sources will tell our daughters what beauty is. As parents, we’ll never be able to shield our daughters from all those messages. But Engeln maintains that there are steps adults can take to minimize the pressures on kids. And that starts with being aware of how we talk about our own bodies.

"When daughters are very young, parents can start to build them up and inoculate them to have a firmer foundation to stand on when they get out in the world," says Engeln, who points out that little girls might not understand media references, but they certainly know what they hear their mothers talking about.

"If they hear you complain about not liking your arms or wanting to lose weight," she says, "you can bet that’s going to influence the way they think about themselves."

At home, focus on discussions that reflect your values.

"Don’t talk about how people look. Don’t spend time focusing on who looks so pretty because that sends the message that ‘pretty’ is important," Engeln says. Starting when daughters are babies, "Dress her in things that allow her to play and move rather than outfits that look pretty but may not be very comfortable. Don’t treat your daughters like decorations."

It’s OK to point out fixed attributes like intelligence and beauty, says Tara Wells, an associate professor of psychology at Barnard College, but the key is not to focus on them.

"Ask your daughter what she has learned instead of praising her looks and performance," Wells says. "Marvel at her ability to change and solve problems."

As girls get older and become more inundated with cultural standards of beauty, help them understand that there are multiple variations of beauty, says Judi Cineas, a psychotherapist in Palm Beach.

"The most effective way to nurture confidence is to nurture talents," she says. "Encourage your daughter’s mastery in the things she likes. . . . Praise her efforts as well as her successes. She should know that it is OK not to be the best at everything, and more importantly that there are things she is awesome at."

There’s long been debate about the effect on girls of playing with certain toys — Barbie in particular. But rather than forbidding particular toys, Engeln suggests, ask your daughter why she wants to play with them. Be sure she has access to different kinds of toys, activities, and sports — not just typical girl-centric classes like ballet.

For parents with both sons and daughters, try not to interact with them differently based on their gender. In one case, doing so had a positive effect on Kyrah Altman, now 21, who has two brothers and was raised by a single father in Hudson.

"I didn’t feel my dad treated me differently than my brothers. It wasn’t about being his daughter, it was just about being his kid," says Altman, now a junior in college at George Washington University who also runs a nonprofit organization called L.E.A.D. (Let’s Empower, Advocate, and Do).

"Growing up with brothers, I played baseball and hockey and wrestled with the boys. I was sort of forced to get out of my comfort zone." She also loved art projects and cooking. While people commented on her appearance — including dad, who told her she was beautiful from time to time, she said it was never focused on as the most important thing about her. "My dad was always quick to point out that I was [a] good friend, a good big sister," she says.

Be mindful of what other adults are saying to your daughter, making sure they reinforce the message you want to convey, Cineas says.

"For most people, the easiest compliment is to tell a girl she’s pretty," she says. "But when you hear that, you can interject with another more personal compliment to remind her she is more than her looks."

When I ask Engeln if I should stop telling Emma she’s beautiful, she tells me to say it less.

"Don’t tell her when she’s dressed up, with perfect hair. Because that can lead to girls worrying they are only beautiful when they don’t look like their normal selves. Think of the filters on Instagram, how people are always trying to alter their appearance for social media," she says.

"Tell her when she’s her most happiest and at ease, when she’s entirely herself."

That I can do, I think as I watch Emma running around the backyard attempting cartwheels, playing with her brother. We are just home from the beach and she’s in her bathing suit. She’s laughing and singing along with a song blaring from my phone, her hair a stringy mess from an afternoon of swimming. She is radiant.


Australia: Government makes Aboriginal problems worse, not better

According to Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane, Australia remains a racist country because ethnic minorities are not perfectly statistically represented in the upper ranks of politics, the media, and business.

However, by calling for race-based quotas to end ‘Anglo-Celtic domination’ in these fields and ensure equality of outcomes based on racial-background, Soutphommasane is trivialising the issue of racism.

The real racism we confront in Australia is not how many ‘Asian’ CEOs there are. It is the reverse racism Indigenous children are subjected to in relation to child protection.

Indigenous children who need to be removed from their parents are treated differently to non-Indigenous children in ways that compromise their well-being and prospects in life — a form of racial discrimination about which ‘human rights’ activists like Soutphommasane are silent.

Thanks to our egalitarian values and modern attitudes towards race, we do not have anything that resembles a racial underclass denied equality of opportunity in this country — with one glaring exception.

The exception is the most disadvantaged Indigenous Australians who predominately live in rural and remote ‘Homeland’ communities.

Established in the 1970s under the policy of Aboriginal Self-Determination as implemented by the Whitlam government, the Homelands experiment in separatist development was designed to allow Indigenous people to return to their ‘country’ to live on their traditional lands and practice traditional culture.

In reality, however, these communities have long suffered from a well-known array of social problems — despite the billions spent on Indigenous programs and support services — including major concerns for child welfare due to high levels of child abuse and neglect.

As a result, Indigenous children are removed from their families at 10 times the rate of non-indigenous. Of the 45,000 children living into care across Australia, one-third are indigenous, and total more than 6% of all Indigenous children.

What is less well-known is how Indigenous disadvantage – appalling social outcomes in health, housing, education, and employment concentrated in rural and remote communities – is perpetuated by Indigenous-specific child protection policies.

Under the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle (ACPP) practiced in all states and territories, the preferred option is to place Indigenous children into ‘kinship care’ with relatives or local community members in the name of ensuring children maintain contact with traditional culture.

This is consistent with the separatist principles of self-determination. Yet the complying with the ACCP means that the priority given to ‘culture’ can outweigh child welfare concerns.

In Indigenous communities in which there are more maltreated children needing care than there are functional adults capable of providing suitable homes, children can end up being placed in accordance with the ACPP in unsafe kinship placements that do not meet basic standards, and into which non-Indigenous children would not be placed.

As the last inquiry into child protection in the Northern Territory (the 2010 Bath Report) found, the ACCP had justified "Aboriginal children in care receiving a lesser standard of care than non-Aboriginal children."

These findings have been echoed by the recent evidence given at the Western Australian coroner’s inquiry into high rates of Indigenous youth suicide.

The common threads in 13 cases of Aboriginal children and young people who killed themselves between November 2012 and March 2016 in the Kimberley region include family homes featuring alcohol abuse and domestic violence; long histories of safety concerns ranging from chronic neglect of basic needs to sexual abuse; and "frequent moves between households of various family members and guardians".

This is to say that, due to the ACPP, Indigenous children are taken out of the frying pan of family dysfunction only to be placed back into the fire of broader community dysfunction.

Recognising these problems, and the tragic consequences for many children, the South Australian government recently proposed an amendment to the state’s child welfare laws that would have enabled Indigenous children to escape being caught up in the present system.

The plan was to remove the application of the ACPP if an Indigenous child made an "informed choice" not to identify as Aboriginal in relation to placement decisions. This would, it follows, have allowed Indigenous children to be placed with safe and suitable non-Indigenous foster carers outside their communities.

However, the government dropped this provision from the new child protection act passed this month  in response to protests by offended Aboriginal groups,  who nonsensically argued that allowing children the right to opt-out of the ACPP "reeks of forced assimilation".

The emotive claim that upholding the ACPP will prevent another Stolen Generation may look noble.  But denying the most vulnerable children in the nation the freedom to choose to leave Indigenous communities — such as the notorious APY lands in South Australia — is deeply inequitable, and locks them out of accessing the benefits and opportunities of life in mainstream society that all other Australians take for granted.

Continued compliance with the ACPP is nothing less than a recipe for trapping another lost generation of Indigenous children in dysfunctional communities, and keeping open the gaps of Indigenous social outcomes that remain a blot on our proud national record of delivering a fair go for all.

We should take the issue of racism seriously because racism is inconsistent with the nation’s core values. Eradicating Indigenous disadvantages is the number one social challenge we face. Recognition of Indigenous children’s right to relocate, if they so wish, would protect their human right to equality of opportunity regardless of race.

A Race Discrimination Commissioner serious about eliminating real race-based social disparities should stop fretting about ‘non-Anglo’ CEO numbers, and start focusing instead on fixing Australia’s highly discriminatory child protection regime.



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 July, 2017

Why You’re Being Invited to Fewer Weddings

Another invisible elephant below.  Feminist-inspired divorce laws make marriage a mild form of insanity for men. Around half of all marriages break up and that tends to bring with it financial hardship for both parties -- with men  losing so much of their income to alimony and child support that another permanent relationship is simply unaffordable for them.

And the second elephant is how unpleasant feminist women are.  There are a lot of them and again a man would have to be slightly insane to have anything to do with them.  They want the world while offering in exchange only their own embittered and critical selves. Men looking to them for feminine softness will not find it.

And women generally are often very unrealistic about their prospects.  I was sitting in a cafe once when I overheard a conversation between two of the waitresses.  One said, "I'm waiting for my millionaire".  The woman concerned was short, fat, loud and had acne and peroxide blonde hair.  She would be lucky to get ANYBODY, let alone a millionaire,  And it is again feminists who are largely responsible for that sort of unrealism.  Feminism IS unrealism, with its denial of physical attractiveness and its gospel that all women can have it all

Fewer people are getting married, and they’re inviting fewer guests.

You’re not the only one spending fewer summer weekends watching other people get married—but don’t worry, the weddings you’re still invited to might feel a little more special these days.

Fewer Americans are getting married, and the ones who still are have scaled back their weddings. Their nuptials are becoming smaller, though not necessarily cheaper, affairs.

Many couples are waiting longer and longer to schedule their weddings. In 2015, the median first-time American bride was almost 28 years old and the median groom almost 30, according to the most recent data available from the Census Bureau. (Ten years earlier, the typical bride was 25.5, the typical groom 27.)

The U.S. marriage rate—the number of new marriages per 1,000 people—has been falling for decades. It fell especially fast during the recession, in 2008 and 2009, but there’s little evidence that people started getting married again even as the economy recovered. And research firm IbisWorld predicts the marriage rate will keep falling over the next five years.

From a global perspective, that wouldn’t be a surprise. The U.S. marriage rate would need to fall by about a third to reach the marriage rates in other developed countries. The most recent data show a U.S. marriage rate of 6.9, compared with an average rate of 4.6 for countries in the European Union.

In Europe, and increasingly in the U.S., many couples are postponing marriage indefinitely, as it becomes more socially acceptable for couples to live together and have children together outside the bonds of marriage.

The end result isn’t automatically fewer total weddings; even as the marriage rate falls, the population rises. But the number of U.S. weddings did fall last year, by 0.5 percent, to 2.162 million, according to estimates by the Wedding Report, a market-research firm specializing in the wedding industry.

About 310,000 businesses in the U.S. provide services at weddings, according to IbisWorld, and many of them—from florists to bakers to photographers—are feeling the economic pain. Coming out of the recession, the wedding industry’s revenue grew strongly—by more than 4 percent a year from 2012 to 2014, according to IbisWorld. But growth slowed in 2015, and revenue actually dipped slightly last year. Over the next five years, IbisWorld expects an annual growth rate of just 0.3 percent.

Fewer weddings are just one reason wedding-service businesses are struggling, said IbisWorld analyst Anya Cohen. Another is that, with so many new businesses flooding into the market and advertising cheaply online, it’s easier for engaged couples to bargain-hunt. "There’s absolutely been an increase in competition," she said. Plus, websites such as Pinterest equip couples to go the cheaper, do-it-yourself route for invitations, centerpieces, and other wedding fixtures.

The average wedding cost $26,720 in 2016, according to the Wedding Report, up just 0.3 percent from the previous year—but that average is skewed by a few particularly lavish weddings. The median cost of a wedding was $14,399.

Another way weddings have changed since the recession: They’ve shrunk. Last year’s average wedding had 141 guests, according to an annual survey of couples by the Knot, the wedding website. That’s down from 149 guests in 2009. As a result, many couples end up spending more on each guest; the Knot estimates average spending per guest is up 26 percent since 2009.

One bright spot for the wedding industry is the pent-up demand for same-sex marriages. Since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide two years ago, the Williams Institute estimates about 157,000 same-sex couples have gotten married. About 1.1 million Americans are married to someone of the same sex, the institute said last month, out of an estimated 10.7 million LGBT adults in the U.S.

It’s unclear whether the decline of the American wedding is a permanent trend. American millennials lag previous generations on many metrics of adulthood, from living on their own to buying homes to having kids. Maybe most of them will eventually get around to weddings of their own—but then, it’s possible that many never will, and that they’ll bring the U.S. marriage rate closer to Europe’s.


Trump seeks to ban transgender people from serving in U.S. military 'in any capacity'

Unit cohesion is the holy grail in military readiness and that is at its best amid large similarities between the unit members. So for maximum military readiness and effectiveness Trump's policy is right.  There probably are some keen existing military members who are transgender -- former lesbians, one imagines --  so it would be merciful to group them together in their own unit rather than discharge them
President Donald Trump said he will reverse former President Obama's policy that allowed transgender troops to serve openly in the military.

President Trump said Wednesday that the U.S. military will not accept transgender troops into its ranks or allow them to serve in any capacity, reversing a policy that began under the Obama administration – and triggering intense criticism from lawmakers and civil libertarians.

In a series of morning tweets, Trump said that, after consulting "with my generals and military experts," the U.S. government "will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military."

The U.S. military, he said, "must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."

Trump's decision was made Tuesday, and he informed Defense Secretary Jim Mattis later in the day, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Wednesday. The policy allowing transgender troops to serve was "expensive and disruptive" and affected military readiness, she said.

Democrats disagreed. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, called Trump's announcement "an unwarranted and disgraceful attack on men and women who have been bravely serving their country."


UK: Your bureaucrats will protect you -- NOT

Helpless residents at risk from offender;  Senior manager was also sex criminal;  Regulator kept ‘disturbing’ case secret;  The victim’s mother has despaired of seeking answers

The suspected rape of a helpless autistic man by a high-risk sex offender was kept secret by the official body responsible for his safety, The Times can reveal.

The incident was among a cluster of sex alerts at residential homes owned by a private company that specialised in the care of young adults with learning disabilities.

All were kept hidden from the public by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which regulates England’s 16,000 care homes and claims to be committed to openness and transparency. The case raises serious doubts about its stated mission to protect people from harm and to "hold providers to account".

The Times has seen confidential police documents and agency reports linked to the suspected rape and other incidents at three homes


'They'll become terrorists': Millionaire entrepreneur Dick Smith says high immigration will create an angry underclass of unemployed - and likens population growth to cancer

Millionaire entrepreneur Dick Smith predicts Australia will suffer from a spate of terrorist attacks if it continues taking in 200,000 migrants a year.

The 73-year-old businessman and philanthropist told media commentator Mark Latham that high population growth and robots taking jobs could see 40 per cent of the nation living in poverty in coming decades.

'Those really poor people, especially the ones who can't get jobs, they'll be the ones that become terrorists because you have two or three generations without any satisfying work to do and you get angry,' he told the Mark Latham's Outsiders program.

Mark Latham was Labor leader when John Howard as prime minister increased immigration

Mr Smith, the businessman behind Dick Smith Foods and OzEmite, said Australia's population would quadruple from 24 million now to 100 million people by 2100 at the current annual population growth pace of 1.7 per cent.

This would see 40 million 'really poor people' who could potentially resort to violence.

'When you get such incredible difference between the rich and the poor, the pitchforks come out. We'll end up with people being killed,' he said.

In a separate interview with Daily Mail Australia, Mr Smith likened Australia's high annual net immigration rate to cancer which could upend democracy.

'Only cancer cells grow forever and they mostly end up killing their host,' he said.  'We will destroy Australia as we know it today.'

He accused the Liberal Party of being in the pocket of big business and Labor of bowing to the ethnic lobby groups.

Australia's annual net immigration rate stood at 82,500 in 1996 but crept above 100,000 a year in 2003 when John Howard was prime minister. It reached 190,000 a year in 2013 when Julia Gillard was national leader. 

Mr Smith called for the major parties in government to return to Australia's annual net migration rate to 70,000, the average level of the 20th century.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is calling for a much more drastic zero annual net immigration pace for Australia.



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 July, 2017

This new Trump speech sent the media into their worst meltdown ever

A loving and inspirational speech was picked at by the media over a few small details without any mention of its overall character or its enthusiastic reception.  It was alleged that he broke precedent by mentioning current politics and that he used a couple of marginally unpleasant words.  But Trump makes his own rules and always has. It is his strength that he breaks out in new directions and shakes up convention.

It was a great speech and one that the scouts will remember -- regardless of Leftist nitpicking.  I reproduce the first part of the transcript below so you can judge the matter for yourself. Don't trust my take on it or anybody else's.  It speaks for itself.  But I think you will see what I mean

It was a very thoughtful and effective touch that Trump pointed out how many of his cabinet were former scouts.  And he even brought them with him to introduce to the crowd.  That must have been immensely encouraging to the young scouts present.  The American dream is to succeed and excel and Trump showed that dream to be a reality.  No wonder the Left hated it. They described it as a Hitler Youth rally, which did, I suppose, at least recognize the enthusiasm of the audience

President Trump Monday addressed the Boy Scouts’ National Jamboree in Glen Jean, WV. Trump addressed tens of thousands of Scouts, speaking about character, loyalty and the obstacles he faces from the Fake News media.

And it sent the Fake News media into their worst meltdown ever, with liberals incoherently screeching their pre-programmed cries of "white supremacy," "hate rally" and "Nazi Youth."

Yes, the media are so afflicted by Trump Derangement Syndrome they now think the Boy Scouts are a paramilitary organization planning to kill them.

While the lying media get fitted for a straitjacket, check out this amazing speech.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Thank you very much. (Applause.) I am thrilled to be here. Thrilled. (Applause.) And if you think that was an easy trip, you’re wrong, but I am thrilled — 19th Boy Scout Jamboree — wow — and to address such a tremendous group. Boy, you have a lot of people here. The press will say it’s about 200 people. (Laughter.) It looks like about 45,000 people. You set a record today. (Applause.) You set a record. That’s a great honor, believe me.

Tonight, we put aside all of the policy fights in Washington, D.C. — you’ve been hearing about with the fake news and all of that. (Applause.) We’re going to put that aside. And instead we’re going to talk about success, about how all of you amazing young Scouts can achieve your dreams. What to think of — what I’ve been thinking about — you want to achieve your dreams. I said, who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts? Right? (Applause.)

There are many great honors that come with the job of being President of the United States, but looking out at this incredible gathering of mostly young patriots — mostly young — I’m especially proud to speak to you as the honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America. (Applause.)


THE PRESIDENT: You are the young people of character and integrity who will serve as leaders in our communities, and uphold the sacred values of our nation.

I want to thank Boy Scouts President Randall Stephenson, Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh, Jamboree Chairman Ralph de la Vega, and the thousands of volunteers who have made this a life-changing experience for all of you, and when they asked me to be here I said absolutely, yes. (Applause.)

Finally, and we can’t forget these people, I especially want to salute the moms and the dads and troop leaders who are here tonight. (Applause.) Thank you for making scouting possible. Thank you, mom and dad — troop leaders.

When you volunteer for the Boy Scouts, you are not only shaping young lives, you are shaping the future of America. (Applause.) The United States has no better citizens than its Boy Scouts. (Applause.) No better. The values, traditions, and skills you learn here will serve you throughout your lives, and just as importantly they will serve your families, your cities, and in the future and in the present, will serve your country. (Applause.) The Scouts believe in putting America first. (Applause.)

You know, I go to Washington and I see all these politicians, and I see the swamp. And it’s not a good place. In fact today I said we ought to change it from the word swamp to the word cesspool or, perhaps, to the word sewer. But it’s not good. Not good. (Applause.) And I see what’s going on, and believe me I’d much rather be with you. That I can tell you. (Applause.)

I’ll tell you the reason that I love this and the reason that I really wanted to be here is because as President, I rely on former Boy Scouts every single day, and so do the American people. It’s amazing how many Boy Scouts we have at the highest level of our great government. Many of my top advisors in the White House were Scouts. Ten members of my cabinet were Scouts. Can you believe that? Ten. (Applause.)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is not only a Boy Scout, he’s your former national president. (Applause.)

The Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence — good guy — was a Scout, and it meant so much to him. (Applause.) Some of you here tonight might even have camped out in this yard when Mike was the governor of Indiana, but the scouting was very, very important. And by the way, where are our Indiana Scouts tonight? (Applause.) I wonder if the television cameras will follow you. They don’t like doing that when they see these massive crowds. They don’t like doing that. Hi, folks. (Applause.) A lot of love in this big, beautiful place. A lot of love, and a lot of love for our country. There’s a lot of love for our country.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is here tonight. Come here, Ryan. (Applause.) Ryan is an Eagle Scout from Big Sky Country in Montana. (Applause.) Pretty good. And by the way, he is doing a fantastic job. He makes sure that we leave our national parks and federal lands better than we found them, in the best Scouting tradition. So thank you very much, Ryan. (Applause.)

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, of Texas, an Eagle Scout from the Great State. (Applause.) The first time he came to the national jamboree was in 1964. He was very young then. And Rick told me just a little while ago, it totally changed his life. So, Rick, thank you very much for being here. And we’re doing a lot with energy. (Applause.)

And very soon, Rick, we will be an energy exporter. Isn’t that nice — an energy exporter? (Applause.) In other words we’ll be selling our energy instead of buying it from everybody all over the globe. So that’s good. (Applause.) We will be energy dominant. And I’ll tell you what, the folks in West Virginia who were so nice to me, boy, have we kept our promise. We are going on and on. So we love West Virginia. We want to thank you.

Where’s West Virginia by the way? (Applause.) Thank you.

Secretary Tom Price is also here. Today Dr. Price still lives the Scout Oath, helping to keep millions of Americans strong and healthy as our Secretary of Health and Human Services. And he’s doing a great job. And hopefully, he’s going to get the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this horrible thing known as Obamacare that’s really hurting us, folks. (Applause.)


THE PRESIDENT: By the way, you going to get the votes?

He better get them. He better get them. Oh, he better — otherwise, I’ll say, Tom, you’re fired. I’ll get somebody. (Applause.)

He better get Senator Capito to vote for it. You got to get the other senators to vote for it. It’s time. After seven years of saying repeal and replace Obamacare, we have a chance to now do it. They better do it. Hopefully they’ll do it.

As we can see just by looking at our government, in America, Scouts lead the way. And another thing I’ve noticed — and I’ve noticed it all my life — there is a tremendous spirit with being a Scout, more so than almost anything I can think of. So whatever is going on, keep doing it. It’s incredible to watch. Believe me. (Applause.)

Each of these leaders will tell you that their road to American success — and you have to understand, their American success, and they are a great, great story was paved with the patriotic American values as traditions they learned in the Boy Scouts. And some day, many years from now, when you look back on all of the adventures in your lives, you will be able to say the same: I got my start as a Scout just like these incredibly great people that are doing such a good job for our country. So that’s going to happen. (Applause.)

Boy Scout values are American values, and great Boy Scouts become great, great Americans. As the Scout Law says: "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal" — we could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that.

AUDIENCE: "helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent." (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: That was very impressive. (Laughter.) You’ve heard that before.

But here you learn the rewards of hard work and perseverance. Never ever give up, never quit. Persevere. Never, ever quit.

You learn the satisfaction of building a roaring campfire, reaching a mountain summit, or earning a merit badge after mastering a certain skill. There’s no better feeling than an achievement that you’ve earned with your own sweat, tears, resolve, hard work. There’s nothing like it. Do you agree with that?


THE PRESIDENT: I’m waving to people back there so small I can’t even see them. Man, this is a lot of people. Turn those cameras back there, please. That is so incredible.

By the way, what do you think the chances are that this incredible, massive crowd, record-setting is going to be shown on television tonight? One percent or zero? (Applause.)

The fake media will say: President Trump — and you know what this is — President Trump spoke before a small crowd of Boy Scouts today.

That’s some — that is some crowd. (Applause.)

Fake media. Fake news. Thank you. And I’m honored by that, by the way, all of you people they can’t even see you. So thank you. I hope you can hear.


A feminist who turned out to be a good woman after all

Will my baby granddaughter pay the price of my fight for equality? Sixties feminist JEANNETTE KUPFERMAN sees the emotional emptiness facing women today and despairs

The moment I held Amber Ann in my arms — just minutes after her birth — an unexpected cocktail of emotions nearly floored me; what can best be described as a mixture of unbridled joy mingled with apprehension.

My first grandchild was so perfectly formed, her eyes blinking in the bright hospital lights, her little fingers intertwined with mine. Of course, every baby is an individual miracle — but Amber was something of an actual miracle too, as my daughter-in-law Ewa, who suffered from endometriosis, had never believed she could conceive. Then, suddenly, she’d fallen pregnant, announcing it on my 75th birthday in a West End restaurant. I almost fell off my chair with excitement.

Much as I’d always longed for grandchildren, when I turned 70 I’d almost given up.

Both my son, Elias, a historian, now 52, and daughter, Mina, an editor and photographer, 50, married late in life, and I knew the chances were diminishing. Yet here was Amber Ann, my son’s first child, snuggling into my arms.

But as she did so, the emotions were more complex and bittersweet than the straightforward joy I’d anticipated. Of course, for now we can hold her safe, nurture her talents and encourage her development — but what will her future hold?

Just that morning another headline had caught my eye about schoolgirls feeling pressured to sleep with boys before they are ready. Not to mention the endless stories about the increasing numbers of teenagers experiencing depression, self-harming, eating disorders, atrocious bullying, sexting and gender uncertainty.

It makes me wonder what happened to the Brave New World we’d envisaged for our daughters and granddaughters. A world of unlimited possibilities, choices and equality for girls to become or do anything?

A world I — like many women — fought for in the Sixties.

Has feminism made life worse, not better, for today’s generation of girls?

Certainly, women have never existed in such a bleak emotional landscape.

The porn culture has virtually taken over every area of life, perhaps born from those Sixties cries for sexual liberation that you should have as much sex as you like, with whoever you like.

Today, even the most intimate acts are lived out onscreen. The ITV2 reality horror show Love Island, mercifully now finished, is just the culmination of years of the drip-drip effect of pornography; it’s bubble-wrapped candy floss with poison at its heart. Those involved might as well have been robots as there was precious little ‘love’ on show.

Meanwhile, traditional roles have become ever more ideologically despised — so much so that last week the very act of being a housewife or mother was banned from advertisements for perpetuating ‘outdated’ gender stereotypes.

For all the efforts of feminism, and the enlargement of women’s opportunities, it seems it’s also made that world more painful, complicated and unrewarding.

Burn your bras and wear miniskirts, we cried. Be free!

But aren’t young girls today just as imprisoned by the drive to bear their flesh as the cliched Victorian wife in crinolines? It’s almost as compulsory for a young woman to take a pouting semi-naked selfie today as it was for a teenager in the Fifties to wear bobby socks.

It’s somehow ironic that the one section of society which still dresses modestly — women in ethnic and religious minorities — say they do so to protect their sacred space as females.

Meanwhile, the majority of other young women brutally expose their bodies, catering to every tawdry male fantasy, as a sign of their ‘freedom’.

Who could have predicted such an obsession with thinness or worship of celebrities for the near-Frankensteinian outrages they inflict on their bodies?

The growing sexualisation of children continues with unsuitable tiny ‘bra’ bikinis and make-up and sex education at an unnecessarily early age. TV and the internet expose children to everything from crude language to sexual practices.

The things I worried about as a mother — failing exams, unwanted pregnancy, drinking too much — seem tame. How I fear for Amber Ann, in this age of endless choice and freedom.

The well-meaning battles we embarked on in idealistic youth have somehow robbed young women of the soul of femininity. We’ve lost something precious, distinctive and unique.

My own life — one where loss, hardship and struggle has always played a part — has taught me that simple pleasures matter just as much. And that’s the message I want to now share with my granddaughter’s generation. We’re in danger of losing the essence of womanhood in this brutal landscape.

A war baby, I was born while my mother, Eva, was an evacuee, and only returned to a grim post-war East London after my father, Nat, who eventually became a clothes manufacturer, was demobbed.

Though we had little money, I went to an exceptional primary school where a few inspirational teachers made all the difference, encouraging me to believe it was only education that would make for a better future.

Later, I walked miles alone every day to my grammar school, and had a freedom few young girls today have as they are pressured into extra-curricular activities or hooked on phones: freedom to think, imagine — just be.

Those school years weren’t only about doing well in exams. It was about enabling yourself to reach your full potential regardless of the job you would end up doing.

When boyfriends came along (aged about 14), via the youth club and jiving competitions, there was no compulsion to have sex. We wouldn’t have dreamed of anything more than kissing in the cinema, and sending passionate love letters.

Virginity was still expected until an engagement was announced or some commitment made, and I had the sort of father who would stand waiting for me on the pavement after a date. A boy had to make some effort at courtship even to get that first kiss.

Contrast this with the recent scenes in EastEnders where a teenager agonises over whether to strip off in reply to her new boyfriend’s ‘sexting’ and is given conflicting advice by friends, as if it would be the most normal thing for a young girl to do.

Would I want my granddaughter to think this was normal — even desirable? I feel so sad for young girls who will never receive a beautiful love letter or go on a romantic date with no strings attached.

I didn’t receive any sex education at school, apart from basic biology. I had the rather awkward talk from my mother, but we picked up most of it from our friends and forbidden books.

What we did know was that — whatever the urge — you did not go ‘all the way’ as a pre-Pill unwanted pregnancy was not only a disaster for the girl, but a tragedy for everyone involved.

This attitude appears inhuman now, but I’m not sure it hasn’t gone too far the other way, making for uncaring short-lived relationships with teen girls often the victims.

I suppose the main difference is we had boundaries. We knew what was expected of us, even if we kicked against it. I meet so many young women who don’t and they grow up feeling confused and unhappy. We argued with our parents — often bitterly — but we still listened to them. We threatened to leave home, but mainly didn’t, even if, like myself, you were a rebel.

I annoyed my father with my black eyeliner, long fringe and tendency to associate with ‘unsuitable’ poets and jazz musicians. But throughout, I wanted to please my parents.

There was no ‘diet industry’. Three square meals were put on the table daily, including thick soups, meat, potatoes and two veg, puddings with custard — and jam sandwiches to keep you going in-between.

We ate every bit and, amazingly, kept our tiny waists and figures without gyms or starvation, probably because we walked miles every day, danced a lot and junk food was unknown.

In my childhood, chubby babies were admired and even plump teens were reassured it was ‘only puppy-fat’ (which it usually was).

Back in the era before liposuction, women weren’t made to feel insecure about their figures. Obesity was unknown. How ironic that in our era of juice diets, toxins, and superfoods, women are fatter and unhappier with their bodies than ever.

After studying social anthropology at the London School of Economics, I became a dancer and a model for a while, escaped to New York and briefly worked as a research librarian.Then I made my parents very happy by marrying my late husband, Jacques, a painter, finally returning to London and having two children by the age of 24.

Inspired by my own teacher, the great anthropologist Mary Douglas, with whom I studied at University College London, I could already see that the women banging the drum for equality were going too far.

The spiritual joys and physical pleasures of womanhood had become ‘mechanised’ as I put it then; things that needed rectifying with political schemes to make us more like men, or medical treatment to quell our hormones and control our childbirth pangs.

Even birth has become too dominated by ‘choice’, overly technologised in the extreme.

Once a midwife came to your home to help you through birth. Now, the quest for equality — and medicalisation and male involvement in this once female domain — means many women have lost confidence in their capable bodies.

Although it’s seen as a great advance to involve fathers more in pregnancy and labour, and to have surgical teams on standby to assist in any birth, in some ways this has eroded women’s belief that she can do it alone.

Can it then be any coincidence that a growing number of women are terrified by what was once the natural way of things, and are having induced and difficult labours?

What was once a woman’s space has vanished. I felt so strongly about this that I trained as a National Childbirth Trust teacher and breastfeeding counsellor, teaching at Hammersmith hospital for a time, to try to help women rediscover the joys of this most natural, female act. It was an uphill battle.

I have learned, over the years, that the ‘stereotypical’ roles of femininity can give a sense of identity and security unmatched by anything in the corporate or professional world.

Having babies and showing domestic prowess doesn’t mean you have to be limited or stifled. On the contrary. And not having children — either through choice or circumstance — is no barrier to these nurturing, feminine roles.

After having my children, I got two further degrees, taught briefly and then built up a career as a writer and broadcaster.

Simultaneously, I tried to run a traditional household, cooking, entertaining and finger-painting with my toddlers. I often worked through the night and sometimes succumbed to the strain.

But I was there for my children. The overarching lesson of my life is that the people in it matter, and my ability to be there for them — as a woman, wife and mother, in all the many and varied expressions of both those roles — is vital.

I learned that life turns on a sixpence, and sadly you can lose ones you love. I was widowed young, aged 44, when Jacques died of cancer at 61. As a mother, I did overload my daughter with activities at times, encouraging her to aim high, perhaps placing a bit too much emphasis on work. But that was all part of the ‘Superwoman’ having-it-all ethic, which we now know isn’t true.

I’ve long been happy and secure enough in myself that I will don a pinny, scrub a floor and make jam, not seeing it as a threat to the other professional and public roles I have.

Indeed, I find it relaxing, almost spiritual in a way, to express myself as a woman in these traditional ways.

We’ve forgotten that even everyday tasks can nourish the soul — and you can find contentment in the boring certainties.

I hope my little Amber Ann discovers this, too. Whatever she becomes, she can create a good home-cooked meal, sit quietly in the garden with a book, or enjoy a day at the seaside with her own children.

I hope she has the faculty to be excited by some wonderful music, or transported by a ballet or painting.

I want her to feel euphoria because of the rare richness and uniqueness of life, and because of pride in her own innate womanhood — not be sozzled with booze or worse, ending up destroying body and soul in some demeaning, meaningless sexual encounter.

A rich and rewarding life isn’t one necessarily filled with endless choices. I hope she will have the luxury of more time than most girls today, to have a stillness and peace that will encourage creativity and daydreaming.

I want her not to be imprisoned by all those supposedly ‘equal’ choices out there, but to be loyal to her true self.

As a loving grandmother, my wish for her is not only to be kind, resilient and resourceful, but above all, confident as a woman in every single sense of the word.


Tories promote the right to choose your own sex

Strange British Conservatives

Adults will be able to change their gender legally without a doctor's diagnosis under government plans that will transform British society.

Men will be able to identify themselves as women - and women as men - and have their birth certificates altered to record their new gender.

Ministers plan to tear up the existing rules that mean people have to live for two years as their desired gender before they can officially change sex.

A consultation on the Gender Recognition Bill, to be published in the autumn, will also include proposals to scrap the requirement that people get a formal medical diagnosis of "gender dysphoria" before applying to switch gender.


Atheist's Speech At Christian Church Cancelled Because He Has Condemned Islamic Violence

A progressive radio station in Berkeley, California has cancelled a scheduled appearance by Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist and atheist, because he has previously criticized fundamentalist Islam as oppressive to women and generally violent.

The appearance by Dawkins had been scheduled for Aug. 9 at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley.

The radio station, KPFA, had invited Dawkins to the United Church of Christ-affiliated church to discuss his new latest book, "Science in the Soul: Collected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist."

KPFA had described the 76-year-old British scientist's new book as "excellent," according to Berkeleyside, a local news website.

However, on Thursday, the listener-funded progressive radio station - 94.1 on your FM dial - rescinded its speaking invitation to Dawkins because of some tweets and statements the atheist scientist has issued which have been critical of Muslims he describes as militant and radical.

"We had booked this event based entirely on his excellent new book on science when we didn't know he had offended and hurt - in his tweets and other comments on Islam, so many people," KPFA told ticket buyers in the email.

"KPFA does not endorse hurtful speech," the email also said. "While KPFA emphatically supports serious free speech, we do not support abusive speech. We apologize for not having had broader knowledge of Dawkins views much earlier."

University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne published the email and said KPFA sent it without ever informing Dawkins that was no longer invited to speak.

Coyne called the cancellation "a terrible blow for free speech."

"I'm sure that some of the Perpetually Offended, with perhaps Muslims among them, complained to the radio station, and KPFA caved," Coyne charged.

When Dawkins found out his speech had been canceled, the militant atheist fired back with a statement of his own.

"The idea that I have engaged in abusive speech against Islam is preposterous, which even the most rudimentary fact-checking by KPFA would have made clear," Dawkins said in a statement released on Friday by the Center for Inquiry.

"I have indeed strongly condemned the misogyny, homophobia, and violence of Islamism, of which Muslims - particularly Muslim women - are the prime victims. I make no apologies for denouncing those oppressive cruelties, and I will continue to do so," Dawkins also said.

The Center for Inquiry is an organization that promotes secular education organization. Dawkins is on its board of directors.



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 July, 2017

Western Values Are Superior

By Walter E. Williams

Here's part of President Donald Trump's speech in Poland: "The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?"

After this speech, which was warmly received by Poles, the president encountered predictable criticism. Most of the criticism reflected gross ignorance and dishonesty.

One example of that ignorance was penned in the Atlantic magazine by Peter Beinart, a contributing editor and associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York. Beinart said, "Donald Trump referred 10 times to 'the West' and five times to 'our civilization.' His white nationalist supporters will understand exactly what he means." He added, "The West is a racial and religious term. To be considered Western, a country must be largely Christian (preferably Protestant or Catholic) and largely white."

Intellectual elites argue that different cultures and their values are morally equivalent. That's ludicrous. Western culture and values are superior to all others. I have a few questions for those who'd claim that such a statement is untrue or smacks of racism and Eurocentrism. Is forcible female genital mutilation, as practiced in nearly 30 sub-Saharan African and Middle Eastern countries, a morally equivalent cultural value? Slavery is practiced in Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Sudan; is it morally equivalent? In most of the Middle East, there are numerous limitations placed on women, such as prohibitions on driving, employment and education. Under Islamic law, in some countries, female adulterers face death by stoning. Thieves face the punishment of having their hands severed. Homosexuality is a crime punishable by death in some countries. Are these cultural values morally equivalent, superior or inferior to Western values?

During his speech, Trump asked several vital questions. "Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?" There's no question that the West has the military might to protect itself. The question is whether we have the intelligence to recognize the attack and the will to defend ourselves from annihilation.

Much of the Muslim world is at war with Western civilization. Islamists' use multiculturalism as a foot in the door to attack Western and Christian values from the inside. Much of that attack has its roots on college campuses among the intellectual elite who indoctrinate our youth. Multiculturalism has not yet done the damage in the U.S. that it has in Western European countries - such as England, France and Germany - but it's on its way.

My colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell reveals some of the problem. He says, "Those in the Islamic world have for centuries been taught to regard themselves as far superior to the 'infidels' of the West, while everything they see with their own eyes now tells them otherwise." Sowell adds, "Nowhere have whole peoples seen their situation reversed more visibly or more painfully than the peoples of the Islamic world." Few people, such as Persians and Arabs, once at the top of civilization, accept their reversals of fortune gracefully. Moreover, they don't blame themselves and their culture. They blame the West.

By the way, one need not be a Westerner to hold Western values. One just has to accept the sanctity of the individual above all else.


State Department Lawyers Removing References to ISIS `Genocide' Against Christians, Other Religious Minorities

Obama holdovers

The State Department's top lawyers are systematically removing the word "genocide" to describe the Islamic State's mass slaughter of Christians, Yazidis, and other ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria from speeches before they are delivered and other official documents, according to human rights activists and attorneys familiar with the policies.

Additionally, Democratic senators are delaying confirmation of Mark Green, Trump's pick to head the U.S. Agency for International Development who has broad bipartisan support.

These efforts guarantee that Obama-era policies that worked to exclude Iraq's Christian and other minority religious populations from key U.S. aid programs remain in place, the activists said.

Richard Visek, who was appointed by President Obama as head the State Department's Office of Legal Adviser in October 2016, is behind the decision to remove the word "genocide" from official documents, according to Nina Shea, an international human rights lawyer who directs the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom.

"I don't think for a minute it's a bureaucratic decision-it's ideological," said Shea, who also spent 12 years as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, or CIRF, from 1999 to 2012.

A State Department spokesman on Monday said he would look into the matter and respond.

The latest moves from the State Department's Office of the Legal Adviser appear aimed at rolling back then-Secretary of State John Kerry's March 2016 genocide determination. Kerry's much-anticipated genocide designation came after months of equivocation and detailed documentation by interested parties that the Islamic State is responsible for genocide against Yazidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims.

It was one of the few times in history that the United States designated ongoing mass murders against ethnic or religious minorities as meeting the legal definition of genocide laid out in a 1948 treaty. That agreement requires signatories, including the United States, to take steps to "prevent and punish" genocide.

A bipartisan group of Capitol Hill lawmakers and activists, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Rep. Robert Aderholt (R., Ala.) were hoping the designation would help direct millions of dollars in U.S. relief funds to Christian, Yazidi, and other persecuted religious minority communities.

ISIS murders and kidnappings have decimated the Christian population in Iraq, which numbered between 800,000 and 1.4 million in 2002, reducing it to fewer than 250,000 now. Without action, activists and charities say, Christians could disappear completely from Iraq in the near future.

After meeting with Pope Francis in May, President Trump vowed to do everything in his power to defend and protect the "historic Christian communities of the Middle East."

Activists and Catholic leaders are now calling on Trump to turn the rhetoric into action on the ground and help get U.S. aid to these persecuted communities trying to rebuild their homes and their lives in Iraq.

These advocates want the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the United Nations to allow church groups and other religious-affiliated relief organizations to receive government aid, a practice prohibited during the Obama administration.

In early May, Congress allocated more than $1.3 billion in funds for refugee assistance and included specific language to try to ensure that at least some of the money is used to assist persecuted religious minorities, including Christians, Yazidis, and Shia Muslims-all groups the State Department deemed victims of genocide in 2016.

Nevertheless, only $10 million is specifically earmarked for Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities. The Trump administration has until the end of September, when the stop-gap funding bill runs out, to ensure it distributes the funds in the most effective way.

"There is congressional legislation . that calls for the U.S. government to stop excluding the genocide-targeted minorities in Iraq," Shea said. "This has been a pervasive problem that this aid has not been getting to them."

"Iraq is home to one of the four largest remaining Christian communities in the Middle East that are about to become extinct," she said. "Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama made catastrophic mistakes that left these communities on the brink of extinction, but it's going to be on President Trump's watch as to whether they survive or become extinct-it's going to be his policies that make or break the situation."

Instead of going through Iraqi government agencies or other internationally recognized groups, activists say the best way to get the aid to Christians and other persecuted minorities is through local Iraqi Catholic dioceses and parishes and other religious organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus, which have spent years on the ground working with these communities.

The money would be specifically designated for relief efforts for these persecuted communities and could not be used for other purposes, such as church-building or more general church operations.

Groups say the special allocation is needed because Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities often do not go to Muslim-dominated refugee camps out of fear they will be targeted, killed, or kidnapped.

After the Iraqi army retook Mosul from the Islamic State with the help of U.S. forces, much international attention has focused on helping rebuild the Sunni community so that ISIS cannot regain its influence there through sleeper cells or other supportive Islamic terrorist groups.

Shea said Christians will also play a key role in stabilizing the area in and around Mosul if they have enough aid to rebuild their homes in the area and other parts of Northern Iraq.

They could also combat Iran's colonization of northern Iraq, where pro-Iranian militias are buying up Christian land in the area to try to broaden their influence.

"Christians and Yazidis need to be able to go back to their towns just to hold them-it's a big national security priority for the U.S.," she said.

In late June, Rubio, along with GOP Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, James Lankford of Oklahoma, and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging him to ensure that the 2017 omnibus appropriations are distributed to "vulnerable and persecuted religious minorities, including victims of genocide designated" by former Secretary of State Kerry.

"It would be a deathblow to pluralism and the prospect of religious freedom and diversity in any future Iraq," the senators wrote, if these victims of genocide don't receive the humanitarian aid Congress tried to direct to them.

In responding to the senators' letter on July 10, the State Department avoided the question of whether it would allow Catholic or other charitable organizations to receive the appropriations in order to help the Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities.

Instead, Charles Faulkner of State's Bureau of Legislative Affairs cited a list of U.S. efforts to help the "plight of religious minorities in Iraq" and said the department "shares your grave concern about the situation facing Iraq's religious and ethnic minorities."

The letter also restates the State Department's policy and that of the United Nation's of distributing U.S. relief based on means-tested need, instead of the genocide designation providing some priority for targeted communities on the verge of extinction.

"The U.S. government has also provided more than $1.3 billion in humanitarian assistance since 2014 for vulnerable Iraqis in Iraq and in the region," the letter stated. "This assistance is distributed according to individual need, and many members of minority groups have benefited from it because of their unique vulnerabilities."

Faulkner said the State Department "makes efforts" to ensure that the needs of "minority community members" are "taken into consideration," when there are concerns that these communities don't have access to assistance.

In addition to U.N. stabilization projects in Iraq, he said State's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor is managing 22 grants and "interagency agreements" in Iraq, and "since 2004 has been the lead U.S. government entity programming directly to support inclusion of religious and ethnic minorities and other marginalized populations in Iraq."


The Left's backward-looking racial narrative.

Conflating past and present is politically expedient for liberals, but it doesn't help black Americans

President Barack Obama traveled to Alabama on March 7, 2015, to deliver a speech marking the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," when 600 peaceful protesters seeking the right to vote were beaten and tear-gassed by mounted police as they tried to march across Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge. It was one of the more symbolic moments of a deeply symbolic presidency - an opportunity to remind the country of how much racial progress had been made over the past half century. But Obama was interested in more than just commemorating a turning point in the civil-rights struggles of the mid 20th century. And so a speech rightly honoring "the courage of ordinary Americans willing to endure billy clubs and the chastening rod" and "keep marching towards justice" was laced with Democratic talking points and comparisons between the problems that blacks faced during legal discrimination and the problems they faced five decades later.

To that end, Obama's remarks invoked "unfair sentencing" and "overcrowded prisons" in the criminal-justice system while making no mention of black-white disparities in crime rates. He also suggested that voter-identification laws threaten the black franchise and suppress turnout. Yet in 2012, blacks voted at higher rates than whites, including in states with the most stringent voter-identification mandates. And in 2014, voter turnout among all groups was slightly higher in Texas, which has a strict voter-identification law, than it was in New York, which does not.

    Parallels between America under Jim Crow and America under a twice-elected black president and two black attorneys general may be tortured, but Obama also knew that such rhetoric plays well politically for the Left and distracts from liberalism's poor track record in helping the black underclass. The goal is to keep black voters angry, paranoid, and content to put the onus on others to address racial disparities and negative black outcomes. The identity politics practiced by liberals today treats blacks not as individuals with agency but rather as a group of victims who are both blameless and helpless. "Liberalism in the twenty-first century is, for the most part, a moral manipulation that exaggerates inequity and unfairness in American life in order to justify overreaching public policies and programs," explained the author Shelby Steele. This liberalism is

invested in an overstatement of America's present sinfulness based on the nation's past sins. It conflates the past into the present so that the present is indistinguishable from the ugly past. And so modern liberalism is grounded in a paradox: it tries to be progressive and forward looking by fixing its gaze backward. It insists that America's shameful past is the best explanation of its current social problems.

    This liberal conflation of the past and present is without a doubt politically expedient - note how Democrats regularly dismiss any Republican criticism of liberal social policies as being motivated by racial hostility towards blacks - but it's hard to see how diverting attention from far more credible explanations of racial gaps today helps blacks advance. "Despite frequent assertions to the contrary, many of the seemingly intractable problems encountered by a significant number of black Americans do not result from racial discrimination," wrote economist Walter Williams in Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination? "That is not to say discrimination does not exist. Nor is it to say discrimination has no adverse effects.

For policy purposes, however, the issue is not whether or not racial discrimination exists but the extent to which it explains what we see today." The political Left wins votes by telling black people that racism, in one form or another, explains racial disparities that only government programs can address. And groups like the NAACP raise money and stay relevant by pushing the same narrative - a narrative that also maintains broad and largely unquestioned support in the mainstream media.

    A few days after Obama's Selma address, National Public Radio aired an interview with the city's mayor, George Evans. The interviewer wanted to know how "what happened in Selma 50 years ago fits into the current conversations about race relations in this country." But Evans, the city's second black mayor, didn't see a clear connection between the problems that blacks faced five decades ago and current obstacles.

    "I'm not sure how it fits," Evans responded. "We have a lot more crime going on in 2015 all over the country than we had in 1965. Segregation existed, but we didn't have the crime. So now, even though we've gained so much through voting rights and Bloody Sunday, we've stepped backwards when it comes to crime and drugs in the jail system - things like that."

    Apparently, that wasn't the answer the interviewer was looking for, and so she pressed the mayor. "What's life like for the average black citizen in Selma," where 80 percent of residents are black, she asked. "I mean, your city does have challenges. You've got chronic unemployment rates. What are the biggest problems from your vantage point?" Still, the mayor refused to do what Obama had done in his speech and make facile historical parallels.

    "Well, from the standpoint of jobs, we have a lot of jobs," said Evans. "It's just that there are a lot of people who do not have the skill level to man these jobs. And that's the biggest problem we have. There are industries and businesses here that are searching for people to come to work. But many times they're not able to get the jobs because they're not going back to pick up that trade or that technical skill that's needed in order to take that job"

    The mayor may not have been telling NPR what it wanted to hear, but his views were perfectly sensible. After having declined significantly in the 1950s, violent crime began surging in the late 1960s. Although it has fallen since the early 1990s, the violent-crime rate in 2014 was higher than it was in 1965 and has since returned to 1990s levels in major cities. Evans's observation that a high unemployment rate can result from factors other than a shortage of jobs also jibes with the social-science research.

Moreover, sometimes the problem isn't a lack of jobs or even job skills so much as a lack of interest in filling jobs that are available. The 2015 Baltimore riots that followed the death of a black suspect in police custody were linked by some observers to high unemployment rates in the ghetto. But a black construction worker at a job site that had been looted told a reporter that in his experience the neighborhood youths who were "protesting" seemed to have little interest in finding legitimate employment. "I see about 30 people walking by here every day, and only about two of them will bother to ask whether we're hiring," he said. "You have some brilliant kids, extraordinary talent, but they don't see opportunity."


Having kids is much more fun than parents make out

A MEMO to fellow parents of young children: I'm starting to worry that we're doing a truly terrible PR job.

Our performance hasn't yet reached catastrophic birth-rate-dropping-off-a-cliff levels but if we were actually being employed to market parenthood to the masses? The termination of our collective contract would be imminent.

Last week I was having lunch with a group of friends, most of whom have kids, when one of our number announced that his partner is pregnant. "Wonderful news!" We all chorused, ordering another round of flat whites to celebrate. Before proceeding to warn our mate of the abject horror that lies before him.

Say goodbye to long luxurious brunches and weekends with nothing in particular planned. Prepare to sacrifice half your income on nappies, childcare fees, and overpriced prams. Forget about listening to music you like, The Wiggles and the `womb noises' setting on the baby sleep app are the new soundtrack of your life.

Welcome to tantrums, latching issues, constant whining and a complete lack of privacy. Sex will become a distant memory because on the rare occasion that one of you is in the mood, the other will be too tired. And speaking of tired . have we mentioned yet that you will NEVER SLEEP AGAIN? EVER.

It was a sick, indulgent pleasure to scare him in this way. We relished the opportunity to complain about how tough parenting can be to an uninitiated newbie. Rolling our eyes at one another in solidarity, smug in the knowledge that our unsuspecting childless mate couldn't possibly get it. Well, not yet, anyway.

A few days later I caught up with a colleague from a previous job. We'd worked together before I became a mum. She hugged me tight when I arrived, looked meaningfully into my eyes and said, "You look really, really well".

It was as if I'd recently recovered from a prolonged illness. There was pity and concern in her expression. It took me a moment to realise she was referring to my not-so-recently-acquired status as a parent.

"How is it going?" she asked, after a suitable period of small talk. "It must be incredibly hard. You know, I've always wanted a family but sometimes I'm honestly not sure if I could do it. Or if I even want to do it anymore."

For as long as the world can remember, bitching about parenting - particularly motherhood - has been off limits. Children were to be cherished, pregnant women protected, and the miracle of life was not a burden but a blessing, and all that.

You weren't supposed to confess that raising a family is actually incredibly hard work. You weren't supposed to complain.

So the mothers of times gone by pushed through, stoic in their silence. When women began entering the workforce in large numbers - and realised that paid work was comparatively easier than child rearing - things began to change.

We started becoming more honest about parenting. The internet created new communities where parents could gather together, joke, bitch and laugh at how tough looking after little people can be. Honesty gave way to camaraderie.

It became socially acceptable to admit that entertaining a child all day can be deathly dull. Complaining about lack of sleep and fantasies of running away to the nearest cocktail bar and never looking back became a method of parental bonding. So we did more of it, and more of it and more and more and more until . many of us simply forgot to talk about the good stuff at all.

I don't write this to be preachy. Becoming a mum is unquestionably the most difficult thing I have ever done.

Less than 14 days into my son's time on this planet, I may or may not have sobbed to my husband that I'd ruined my life. Those first few months made it abundantly clear to me why sleep deprivation is a torture device. There are days when the grind of toddler-wrangling utterly grind me down.

I am most definitely guilty of scaring non-parents about what's to come.

And yes, I've enjoyed doing it.

But becoming a parent has also been the single best thing that has ever happened to me. My kid brings joy and delight to the everyday. I am rediscovering the world through his eyes, finding the exceptional in the ordinary and marvelling at it all.

My husband and I laugh more than we ever did before our kid was born. And speaking of my husband, I've fallen in love with him all over again, watching him become a dad.

So, fellow parents of small people, next time you're having a whine, or a bitch, or a vent to someone without kids: Try to remember the good stuff. Don't pull back on your complaining because gosh dammit, toilet training is the very definition of hell on earth. But just try to throw in some of the good stuff as well.

The parents of the future will thank you for it when it's their turn.



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 July, 2017

German free market forces warn against EU militancy on Brexit

At last someone in Europe realizes that the EU bureaucrats are skating on thin ice in their hardball negotiations with Britain. In the event of Britain leaving with no agreement in place, the EU would have a lot to lose. With no agreement, the EU would be obliged to put tariffs on incoming British goods.  Britain would then retaliate and it would be a trade war. And Britain always wins its wars with Europe.  Britain could even put a complete embargo on imports from the continent. And Britain buys far more from Europe than it sells so Europe would be the biggest loser.

German car manufacturers and French farmers in particular would be badly hit.  French agriculture is in a perennial state of crisis so losing the British market would have French farmers marching on Paris -- with predictable results.  Paris always caves in to their farmers.

And in Germany, VW has recently taken some huge knocks due to their own arrogance.  Losing the British market could push them over.  Germany exports 800,000 cars to Britain annually so the whole German motor industry would be in trouble.

Britain, by contrast is itself a big motor vehicle manufacturer -- courtesy of Honda, Toyota and Nissan -- so Brits would have no shortage of excellent cars to buy.  And farm products are in permanent glut worldwide so the range of fresh foods in British supermarkets would be undiminished.

So the EU honchos are very foolish with their present aggressive stance.  Frau Dr. Merkel and M. Macron might soon have to rein them in.  A simple declaration from both of them saying that they would not put trade restrictions on Britain and it would be game over -- with a huge but well-deserved loss of face for the EU bureaucrats.

Germany’s Free Democrats have demanded a special "Brexit cabinet" in Berlin to safeguard the vital interests of the country, citing growing alarm among industrial and manufacturing companies over the disastrous implications of a failed deal with the UK.

The fast-rising party says it will push for an amicable compromise in Brexit talks if it joins the ruling coalition this autumn - as now looks increasingly likely - warning that it would be a fatal error for Europe to humiliate Britain.

"We are hearing an uttering of concerns from German companies and trade unions about what could happen if there is a crash-Brexit and no deal in place. Criticism is growing," said Michael Theurer, MEP, the party’s economics chief.


Why we should oppose the ASA’s gender jihad

The moral crusade against ‘gender stereotypes’ is profoundly illiberal

The most shocking thing about the Advertising Standards Authority’s announcement that it will censor ‘gender-stereotypical’ images in ads is that there has been so little shock in response to it. Censorship once stirred up passion and opposition. People bristled at being told what they could see or hear. Not this time. The ASA, which regulates the content of ads in UK newspapers, on TV and radio and online, bullishly declared yesterday that it will take a ‘tougher line’ on ‘ads that feature stereotypical gender roles’ and ensure they are expunged from public life. And there was barely a flicker of fuss. It is terrifying how normalised censorship has become.

What the ASA is proposing should alarm everyone who believes in the free exchange of ideas and information. It is effectively instituting a vast, sinister programme of social engineering via the control of the images we see. In a report published yesterday, it boasted about its longstanding clampdown on ads that contain sexualised imagery — Mary Whitehouse lives! — and said it will now go further down the road of policing gender imagery.

It will wage a gender jihad against any ad that shows ‘stereotypical gender roles’ that might ‘cause harm’ and ‘reinforce assumptions that adversely limit how people see themselves and how others see them’. For example, if an ad shows a woman having ‘sole responsibility’ for cleaning up a family’s mess or a man ‘trying and failing to undertake simple parental or household tasks’, it will be declared verboten and wiped out. In order to shape society’s ‘assumptions’ — that is, how the masses think about gender —  the ASA has taken it upon itself to exterminate certain images. It will seek to reshape the throng’s mind through dictating what pictures and ideas we can see in ads. As I say, social engineering.

The ASA’s embrace of gender censorship has already led it to make some deeply paternalistic decisions. In March this year it banned an advert for Black Cow, a brand of vodka, because it showed a couple walking through a field, ‘flirtatiously’, and then there was a cut-away to a depression in the grass. And in the ASA’s hysterically prudish words, viewers were ‘likely to understand from the combination of the couple’s body language [and] the depression in the grass… that they had just had sex’. Fetch my smelling salts! When you’re extinguishing an image of a depression in a field of grass then you’ve truly entered the realm of the puritan. You’re seeking to save the nation from any hint — and it really was just a hint — that there is fun in drink and sex.

Last year the ASA banned an ad for the British clothing brand Jack Wills, which featured young adults (18 to 24) partying in their pants. The ASA admitted the underwear in the ad ‘did not accentuate part of the models’ bodies in a sexualised manner’ — imagine having the nun-like job of examining the tumescence of the bulges in ads for pants! — but it said the ad could influence younger teens to think that partying like this is ‘a lifestyle to which they might aspire’. The horror of a 14-year-old thinking he might one day have scantily-clad larks with attractive members of the opposite (or same) sex. This year the ASA banned an ad for Femfresh’s bikini-line shaving products on the basis that it ‘objectified women’. The ad-makers pointed out that the dancing in the ad was choreographed by a woman and the ad was aimed at women. But its plea for clemency from censorship fell on deaf ears: the sex-phobic Stalinists at the ASA forbade the ad.

Somehow, without people even noticing, Britain has developed a severe, Victorian-era system of censorship that controls images of sex, fun and partying in a significant area of public life: advertising. That these bans are justified in the name of clamping down on the ‘objectification’ of women only shows how much modern media feminism has in common with the stiff old Christian censorship of the past. Both fear the ‘harm’ that might be caused to society if people clap eyes on a picture of a woman wearing not very much or a man being flirtatious after a swig of Black Cow vodka.

But, if anything, the ASA’s correction of heretical ad-makers is even worse than the blue-rinse, Bible-influenced censorship that held during much of the 20th century. It’s more thorough, more insidious. Its latest campaign represents an attempt to control not simply sexual images but the entire way in which gender is depicted and discussed. Its war on ‘portrayals which reinforce outdated and stereotypical views on gender roles’ means that virtually anything could be blacklisted. A Persil ad showing a woman picking up the families’ socks; a DIY ad showing the dad doing all the hammering and sawing; an ad showing boys playing football while a girl stares lovingly at one of them from the sidelines… all of these could be judged ‘gender-stereotypical’ and extinguished. This is a profoundly illiberal attempt to dictate how the culture and consumer sector may communicate with the masses, and how the masses should think about gender.

And it’s all done in the name of massaging the masses’ apparently flimsy self-esteem. It’s about making sure we have the right attitudes and the right amount of self-belief. The ASA report says gender stereotypes in ads can ‘contribute to harm for adults and children’. They can ‘limit how people see themselves… and limit the life decisions they take’. This is disturbingly patronising. The notion that a young woman who sees a washing-liquid ad featuring a stressed-out mum will feel morally crushed is more insulting than any ad could ever be. It cuts to the heart of the rot that is censorship. Whether it’s justified as a means of protecting men’s souls from Satan, the public from ‘degenerate’ art or impressionable young men and women from gender stereotypes in ads, censorship is always, but always, fuelled by a sinister indifference to the value of open debate and an authoritarian view of ordinary people as pathetic creatures in need of saving.


Avoiding white bread is just snobbery

I always buy the basic 85c white loaf from my local supermarket

Did you think white bread was toast? If you consider yourself a healthy eater and have been consuming bread at all, it probably has been anything but the soft, white supermarket variety and instead something as far removed from the polythene-packed and bleached sliced loaf as you can find. Our daily bread has become more aspirational in recent years — market analyst Kantar Worldpanel reported that sales of all ready-wrapped loaves were down by 50 million units in the 12 months to May last year.

Even those who refuse to spend $10 or more at an artisan bakery for a slow-proved sourdough loaf fermented with a live starter of wild yeasts have been eschewing the once mighty white. Surveys show white bread sales in Britain have fallen 75 per cent since 1974 while brown and wholemeal have risen by 85 per cent, understandable given how often we have been warned that white bread is the enemy of our waistlines and causes bloating.

Yet in a study published recently in the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers from the Weiz­mann Institute of Science in Israel suggest that white bread may not be as bad for us as we think. For their trial, the researchers examined how quickly blood sugar levels rose when for a week habitual bread eaters ate whole-wheat sourdough, beloved of foodies for purportedly being less of a digestive burden because of the natural culture of beneficial bacteria it contains, or plain white bread.

What the scientists expected to see were uniformly undesirable spikes in blood sugar levels after the more refined and highly processed white bread was eaten. Bizarrely, they witnessed nothing of the sort. While blood sugar levels shot up in some people who ate the white bread, in others it spiked more drastically when they had eaten sourdough. About half of the people had a better blood sugar response to the processed white bread while the other half reacted more favourably to the sourdough.

What’s more, the team found "no significant differences between the two breads" when they examined the effect on gut health and the number of good bacteria in the participant’s microbiome.

Eran Segal, a computational biologist who led the investigation, says: "The initial finding, and this was very much contrary to our expectation, was that there were no clinically significant differences between the effects of these two types of bread on the parameters that we measured. We looked at a number of markers and there was no measurable difference that this type of dietary intervention had."

Far from being an outright enemy to health, white bread was apparently a better all-round choice for some people.

Slowly, it seems, white bread is rising against the tide and some high-profile advocates are adding to its popularity. In his recent book, The Plant Paradox, renowned American heart surgeon and cardiologist Steven Gundry recommends white bread over seemingly healthier varieties because it contains fewer lectins, so-called anti-nutrients that he says can cause headaches, gastrointestinal symptoms and weight gain.

"If you must eat bread, make it white bread over wholegrain, seedy or wheat germ varieties, which are lectin-loaded," Gundry has said.

It’s even beloved of the truly body beautiful. Joe Wicks, the hard-bodied trainer whose catchphrase is "lean in 15", says white bread can be "a great post-workout option as it’s rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream to refuel the body". Athletes swear by it as an easily digestible energy boost before and after training.

Will Usher, the triathlon coach who got Gordon Ramsay into shape for the 2013 Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, says white bread is fine for people who exercise a lot. "Refined carbs are really useful when consumed to best effect for fuel such as before hard exercise," he says.

It’s all a far cry from the mes­sages put forward during the past decade by the anti-white-bread movement, sparked not just by fashionable diets such as the Atkins or glossy, gluten-fearing bloggers but also by studies that suggested it was ingrained in the dietary downfall that has resulted in such high levels of obesity. Three years ago researchers in Spain found that young subjects who ate three slices of white bread a day were 40 per cent likelier to be obese or overweight five years later when compared with people who ate it once a week. They found no such link with weight gain in people who ate wholemeal bread.

And in January this year two studies published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that substituting refined grains with whole grains in the diet — which included switching from white to wholemeal bread — could increase calorie burning by speeding up metabolism.

Little wonder we dumped white bread in our droves, despite the British Dietetic Association maintaining that sliced white bread was often fortified with vitamins and minerals and was a particularly good source of calcium: four slices provide one-third of your daily needs. And while bread remains the largest contributor to salt in the British diet, it is not only white bread that is responsible. According to campaigning group Consensus Action on Salt & Health, manufacturers of sliced white bread have reduced salt levels by 17 per cent in recent years, yet some artisan varieties provide as much salt per slice as you would find in a packet of ready-salted chips.

"It’s not white bread in itself that should be demonised," says Dimple Thakrar, a BDA spokeswoman. "Too high a consumption of any refined and overly processed carbohydrates is not a good thing, but white bread has its virtues and is a perfectly acceptable addition to your meals in moderation. I often eat it myself because it tastes good."

Scientists are beginning to agree. Although the latest study from Israel was small (it involved 20 people), it is not the first to suggest that white bread has redeeming features.

In 2014 Spanish scientists reporting in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that white bread was better at boosting levels of beneficial gut bacteria than citrus fruits including oranges. According to University of Oviedo biologist Sonia Gonzalez, who led that pilot trial, the presence of resistant starch in white bread was one of the factors that increased levels of the good bacteria lactobacillus in the gut. And in 2010, research at Lund University in Sweden revealed that bread baked with white rye flour, made from the inner, white part of the rye kernel, produced better insulin and blood sugar levels compared with whole-wheat bread containing rye bran.

Such is the food snobbery surrounding white bread that it remains a guilty secret for many. Yet, hands up, I keep a loaf of it in my freezer for moments when a freshly baked, multigrain loaf just won’t satisfy my carb cravings. And, of course, children love it. Could we really be facing the unthinkable, that on our shopping lists white bread will be replacing loaves made with spelt, sprouted grains and German rye?

Megan Rossi, a research associate in gastrointestinal health at King’s College London who runs a gut health clinic on Harley Street, says white bread has had a bad rap for too long. "It’s not bad for you," she says. "Broadly speaking, white flour used to make any white bread is less nutritious as it provides 25 per cent less protein and is lower in 15 other key nutrients than wholegrain flour, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy white bread in our diet when we fancy."


Flood of migration continues all over Western Europe despite rising dangers

The European migration experiment is failing miserably. Self-declared "refugees" and migrants from Africa and the Middle East are importing their violence, chaos and regressive norms of behavior into formerly harmonious countries all over Western Europe. As Seth J. Frantzman wrote in the Jerusalem Post last December, "They hate the very society they have often chosen to migrate to. Their new society tolerated their intolerance and taught them that this new country provided such unfettered freedom that it should be destroyed."

For example, while many French people were busy celebrating Bastille Day – a year after the tragic Islamist massacre in Nice - riots and violence reportedly broke out on the nights of July 13 and 14 in suburbs of Paris heavily populated by migrants. A policeman was badly wounded and 897 cars were burned. Hundreds of individuals were placed in custody.

There was also a riot in the streets of Paris a few days ago by a mob of angry Congolese. They were infuriated by a scheduled concert at Paris's Olympia music hall by a Congolese artist thought to be too close to the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo they detest. The concert was cancelled as a result of the clashes and threats of more violence. The Congolese living in Paris brought their tribal hatreds to the land that gave them the opportunity to leave such hatreds behind. They abused the freedoms they were afforded, turning on those freedoms by violently preventing an artistic performance from taking place.

These are far from isolated incidents of migrant violence in Western Europe this year. Indeed, all is not well for the Western traditions of pluralism and individual liberties in the multicultural sewer Europe is fast becoming. The number of vehicular killings, stabbings, shootings, sexual assaults, riots and car burnings has risen exponentially in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and Norway, as the tide of migration has intensified. No-go zones have multiplied. Free speech is becoming a casualty of hecklers' veto and misplaced multicultural sensitivities. Yet Europe continues to admit even more migrants without any adequate vetting.

"When people lose hope, they risk crossing the Sahara and the Mediterranean because it is worse to stay at home, where they run enormous risks," Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, said. "If we don't confront this soon, we will find ourselves with millions of people on our doorstep within five years. Today we are trying to solve a problem of a few thousand people, but we need to have a strategy for millions of people."

A majority of Europeans agree that the waves of immigration into their countries have been getting out of hand. However, for the elitist leaders in Europe, spearheaded by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, an open borders policy remains the Holy Grail. Opposing continued mass migration into Europe is tantamount to hate speech, they believe. Thus, Chancellor Merkel was overheard last fall on a hot mic asking Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg what more he planned to do to stop anti-immigrant posts. Facebook is cooperating with actions to remove comments that it claims "promote xenophobia."

In the Netherlands, the police paid visits to people using social media to express their anti-mass migration views. One Dutch man described his encounter with the police. "They asked me to be careful about my Twitter behavior, because if there are riots, then I'm responsible," the Dutch man said. He had tweeted: "The college of Sliedrecht has a proposal to receive 250 refugees in the coming 2 years. What a bad plan! #letusresist." The police told him to watch his tone because his tweets "may seem seditious."

Free speech is the enemy of both elitist governments, which believe they know what is best for their benighted "subjects," and of extremists, who believe only they possess the truth and that the expression of contrary opinions is heresy. Elitist governments use their instruments of power to suppress free speech. The extremists use violence and play the race card against those they consider to be the so-called "oppressors" and their enablers.

Leftists who reject the pluralistic norms of capitalist, democratic Western societies encourage mass migration of unassimilated individuals from conflicting cultures to destabilize and then radically transform such democratic societies. Thus, we see twitter posts such as "We must #EndWhiteness with mass immigration." And rather than express empathy with victims of immigrant violence, leftists have sided with the migrants in opposition to concerns of local citizens about public safety. This happened, for example, in Sweden a couple of years ago after an Algerian and a Syrian living in the same migrant center were jailed for each raping the same Swedish woman on the same night. 

When they are not rioting themselves, such as in Hamburg earlier this month, left wing activists have also stoked immigrant violence for their own ends. The red-green axis of leftists and Islamists is alive and well.



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

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

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


25 July, 2017

Taking Care of a Friend’s Dog For The Weekend? Better Have a License, NYC Says

Even something as simple as having a friend watch your dog for the weekend isn't immune from the scourge of government permission slips in New York City, it seems. The city's Health Department is threatening users of a popular pet-sitting app with fines of $1,000 for taking care of animals without a license.

Thousands of users of Rover, a mobile app that connects pet-owners with individuals willing to feed, walk, and otherwise take care of their animals across New York City are potentially violating a little-known Health Department rule, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

Though no one has been fined so far, two residents have been hit with violations in November and December for caring for pets without a permit, the paper reports.

The Health Department has also sent a letter to Rover warning about the legal violations. A department spokesman says the permits are needed to protect "public health," according to the Daily News.

"The laws are antiquated," Chad Bacon, who uses Rover to make extra cash by dog-sitting, told the paper. "If you're qualified and able to provide a service, I don't think you should be penalized."

That's a sentiment that could be applied to pretty much any profession where licenses are required, but it's particularly true here.

In-home pet-care is without a doubt the most humane, cost-effective, healthiest option for many pet dogs and cats, Michael Moyer, a Pennsylvania-based veterinarian, tells Reason via email.

"Whether it is the pet's own home or pet sitter's home, there are fewer opportunities for problems than a typical commercial boarding kennel," wrote Moyer. "Any reasonable pet owner could likely judge the appropriateness/safety of the pet-sitter's accommodations with a visual assessment at the time of the pet drop off."

UPDATE: The New York City Health Department, in a statement provided to Reason, says it does not intend to enforce these regulations against individual families, but does require permits for commerical boarding operations: "In order to protect animals from neglect, the Health Department requires animal boarding and kennel facilities to obtain permits and comply with regulations. Commercial boarding of animals in homes is illegal. These regulations do not apply to the average New Yorker who may pet sit for friends, family, and neighbors."

Like other battles between politically connected industries and the sharing economy, upstarts that seek to disrupt them—think hotels versus Airbnb, or taxis versus Uber—the ban on dog-sitting without a license seems to be driven by kennels who don't want competition from apps like Rover.

Kennels have enjoyed a long near-monopoly in the pet care market. Until apps like Rover, you didn't have much of a choice except to pay whatever the nearest kennel charged. In New York, especially, they aren't cheap or convienent—as the New York Daily News points out. Many New Yorkers have to drive their dogs to Connecticut to find a kennel.

Rover has completely changed the landscape. The app has 9,000 sitters in New York City alone and reports having 95,000 pet owners in the city registered to use the service.

Thankfully, City Councilman Corey Johnson tells the Daily News that he plans to introduce legislation legalizing pet-sitting. The Health Department's police, he says, are "crazy," "antiquated," and "not practical."

It's a shame the city government hasn't taken that same approach to roomsharing—using Airbnb is technically illegal in New York, even though many people have ignored the ban—but at least Johnson is nudging the city in the direction of more freedom.

The sharing economy is here to stay, regardless of what rules and regulations special interests fearful of new competition press local governments to impose. Policymakers should use a light touch in regulating mutually-beneficial agreements that let people crash on a couch, hop a ride, or leave their pooch in someone else's care.


Henrico McDonald's takes 'appropriate action' after employee refused to serve uniformed police officer

A black employee? According to a Facebook post by Naff’s wife, they were told the employee had been fired.

An on-duty officer with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries says he was denied service at a McDonald’s restaurant in Henrico County because of his profession, prompting the owner to take what was described as "appropriate action" to resolve the situation.

Scott Naff, a 25-year law enforcement veteran, was apparently not given his food after he paid for it because the employee in the drive-thru allegedly refused to serve police. The event was first broadcast online late Thursday through the officer’s wife, whose Facebook post had received more than 2,000 comments and 3,500 shares by Monday.

The officer said Tuesday that he was not able to talk about the incident, but his wife spoke on his behalf.

Cathy Naff, the officer’s wife, said the post was initially meant to be shared among a group of supportive friends, and she had no idea it would garner such attention.

Freda Thornton, the franchise owner, said in a statement Tuesday that her restaurants are dedicated to serving all customers, "including all authority figures who protect our wildlife and natural resources."

"We regret this situation as it goes against our standards of providing a welcoming experience to everyone, and we have taken the appropriate action to resolve this situation," Thornton said in the statement.

A spokeswoman declined to specify what actions were taken or provide further comment.

Cathy Naff said in her original Facebook post that her husband was on break about 7 p.m. Thursday when he pulled into the McDonald’s drive-thru at 8210 Brook Road. After ordering his food, Cathy Naff said, the employee told him, "I ain’t serving no police," and closed the service window.

Her husband was served several minutes later by another employee, Cathy Naff said, but she said she was "shocked" to learn of the encounter. The couple notified the McDonald’s corporate office and the franchise owner of what transpired, she said.

When asked whether McDonald’s actions were satisfactory, Cathy Naff said there is no satisfaction in seeing someone lose a job. She added that the issue could likely be prevented from recurring through adequate customer training practices.

"This situation is about how a law enforcement officer was treated by an employee of a local establishment who should have been trained by their employer and properly supervised on how to treat their customers," she said. "My husband is one of the great guys and would have never treated this young man disrespectfully."


The Key Facts About Slavery That the Left Conveniently Ignores

Walter E. Williams
Too many people believe that slavery is a "peculiar institution." That's what Kenneth Stampp called slavery in his book, "Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South." But slavery is by no means peculiar, odd or unusual. It was common among ancient peoples such as the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Hittites, Greeks, Persians, Armenians and many others. Large numbers of Christians were enslaved during the Ottoman wars in Europe. White slaves were common in Europe from the Dark Ages to the Middle Ages. It was only after A.D. 1600 that Europeans joined with Arabs and Africans and started the Atlantic slave trade. As David P. Forsythe wrote in his book, "The Globalist," "The fact remained that at the beginning of the nineteenth century an estimated three-quarters of all people alive were trapped in bondage against their will either in some form of slavery or serfdom."

While slavery constitutes one of the grossest encroachments on human liberty, it is by no means unique or restricted to the Western world or United States, as many liberal academics would have us believe. Much of their indoctrination of our young people, at all levels of education, paints our nation's founders as racist adherents to slavery, but the story is not so simple.

At the time of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, slaves were about 40 percent of the population of the southern colonies. Apportionment in the House of Representatives and the number of electoral votes each state would have in presidential elections would be based upon population. Southern delegates to the convention wanted slaves to be counted as one person. Northern delegates to the convention, and those opposed to slavery, wanted only free persons of each state to be counted for the purposes of apportionment in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College. The compromise reached was that each slave would be counted as only three-fifths of a person.

Many criticize this compromise as proof of racism. My question to these grossly uninformed critics is whether they would have found it more preferable for slaves to be counted as whole persons? Slaves counted as whole persons would have given slave-holding southern states much more political power. Or, would the critics of the founders prefer that the northern delegates not compromise and not allow slaves to be counted at all? If they did, it is likely that the Constitution would have not been ratified. Thus, the question that emerges is whether blacks would be better off with northern states having gone their way and southern states having gone theirs, resulting in no U.S. Constitution and no Union? Unlike today's pseudointellectuals, black abolitionist Frederick Douglass understood the compromise, saying that the three-fifths clause was "a downright disability laid upon the slave-holding states" that deprived them of "two-fifths of their natural basis of representation."

Douglass' vision was shared by Patrick Henry and others. Henry said, expressing the reality of the three-fifths compromise, "As much as I deplore slavery, I see that prudence forbids its abolition." With this union, Congress at least had the power to abolish slave trade by 1808. According to delegate James Wilson, many believed the anti-slave-trade clause laid "the foundation for banishing slavery out of this country." Many of the founders abhorred slavery. Their statements can be read on my website, walterewilliams.com.

The most unique aspect of slavery in the Western world was the moral outrage against it, which began to emerge in the 18th century and led to massive elimination efforts. It was Britain's military sea power that put an end to the slave trade. And our country fought a costly war that brought an end to slavery. Unfortunately, these facts about slavery are not in the lessons taught in our schools and colleges. Instead, there is gross misrepresentation and suggestion that slavery was a uniquely American practice.


Well-Known Evangelical Author Evolves – Then Backtracks – on Same-Sex 'Marriage'

By John Stonestreet

Last week, the well-known evangelical author Eugene Peterson appeared to embrace so-called same-sex "marriage," and then, he backtracked. There's a lot to talk about.

Last week Eugene Peterson, the author of "The Message" as well as several other pastoral books, said in an interview with Jonathan Merritt of Religion News Service that he didn't consider homosexuality wrong and would, if asked, officiate a same-sex "marriage." "I know a lot of people who are gay and lesbian," Peterson said, "and they seem to have as good a spiritual life as I do."

The reaction was swift and immediate. After all, Peterson is no minor figure. His work has influenced the faith of millions, and predictably, liberal circles hailed him as the most prominent evangelical figure yet to "evolve" on same-sex relationships.

But then on Thursday, Peterson released a statement retracting his earlier comments, saying, "To clarify, I affirm the biblical view of marriage: one man to one woman. I affirm a biblical view of everything."

I'm glad for this retraction, though his statements are still puzzling. Even more, they're revealing.

First, they reveal the crisis of authority among evangelicals. So much of this conversation, and many others within the evangelical church, is driven by celebrities instead of doctrine. That's not helpful at all.

Second, they reveal the need for clarity on another oft-repeated point: that there's a massive shift among Christians on this issue. As my "BreakPoint This Week" co-host Ed Stetzer wrote last year in "Christianity Today," rumors of the evangelical church caving to gay theology are greatly exaggerated. While some high-profile figures have "evolved," most denominations and groups have staked out clear positions on the orthodox, biblical view of sexuality and marriage.

Third, Peterson's original statement appealed, not to biblical teaching or theological argument, but to people and experiences. He echoed others like David Gushee, Senator Rob Portman, and Reverend Stan Mitchell, all of whom say relationships with gay friends or family changed their views.

Now, it would be one thing if people pointed to a new understanding of the Greek or Hebrew language, or the discovery of a some hidden, robust theological tradition. But it's never that sort of thick argument cited by those who evolve—no, it's always based on subjective experience.

As Tim Keller wrote, if you change your mind about homosexuality because you meet a friendly and intelligent gay person, your views probably weren't based on a biblical theology of marriage to begin with. Feelings are no substitute for an informed Christian worldview.

As Samuel James pointed out at First Things, every single one of our Christian convictions—whether on sexuality, being kind to our enemies, abortion, God, hate, lust, or the meaning of life—will eventually collide with real life after the fall. "There is no safe corner of the Christian story that is completely intuitive or unfailingly neighborly," he writes. Every claim of the Gospel can and will place us in conflict with unbelievers, especially in this cultural moment. The attempt to avoid all offense only leaves us in doctrinal no-man's land.

And finally, this isn't, as some have claimed, a side issue or something Christians can just "agree to disagree" on. From God creating us male and female and ordering marriage toward procreation, to Jesus' reaffirmation of natural marriage in Matthew 19, to Paul's clear language in his epistles, to the marriage supper of the Lamb, not to mention the way the Old Testament dealt with sexuality and sexual sin, the Bible consistently and unambiguously teaches one view of human sexuality. Marriage is so thoroughly woven into the story of redemption, any attempt to alter it distorts the Gospel.

Please join me in praying that Peterson would continue to reaffirm the biblical teaching for the right reasons, and let's continue to pray for and call for renewed determination in the Church to stand on the solid rock of God's word.



UK: Europcar again

This is a notorious firm.  There have been bitter complaints about them in Australia and the USA too.  I always advise people to steer clear of them

One of the world's biggest car hire firms, Europcar, paid staff for cheating customers over "damaged" cars, a whistleblower has claimed.

Europcar agents inspecting hire cars for damage are rewarded with £4 for each car they flag up as damaged, regardless of whether a repair is actually warranted, a manager at the firm told the Daily Telegraph.

The alleged conflict of interest comes amid a large volume of customers reporting they have been charged huge fees for "barely there" or non-existent damages after renting a car.

As this newspaper disclosed last week, Europcar is accused of systematically overbilling well over half a million customers for at least £30m in repairs over many years.



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 July, 2017

Defeating Progressive Ideology

Nothing facilitates forced subservience to the Left's noxious way of thinking more than political correctness

"Since the principles undergirding America's founding are beyond mortal law, they are beyond the reach of the progressives and the administrative state. Hence the war on the founding values, beliefs, and traditions was and is intended to, among other things, stop legitimate inquiry into and teaching of first principles or purposes. They are to be made intellectually and culturally off-limits. Consequently, what is left is only one acceptable and overarching agenda — the progressive agenda." —Mark Levin, from his book, "Rediscovering Americanism: And the Tyranny of Progressivism"

Perhaps nothing is more toxic than a progressive ideology that has become the default position that millions of unwilling people are expected to oblige. And nothing facilitates that forced subservience more than political correctness.

Yet what, precisely, is political correctness? It is totalitarianism — promoted as morality.

Thus one is not merely wrong for challenging the progressive status quo on same-sex marriage, transgenderism, "white privilege," illegal immigration, global warming, "hate speech," or a host of other leftist causes. One is evil, and the "appropriate" label defining what particular evil is applied: homophobic, transphobic, racist, nativist, anti-science, fascist, etc.

Labeling one as evil as opposed to wrong is critical. Wrong leaves room for debate. Evil makes debate unnecessary — and entrenches the progressive default position as a result.

It is an ever-expanding entrenchment. "Words can have a powerful effect on your nervous system," insists Northeastern University psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett. "Certain types of adversity, even those involving no physical contact, can make you sick, alter your brain — even kill neurons — and shorten your life."

What to do? "The scientific findings I described above provide empirical guidance for which kinds of controversial speech should and shouldn't be acceptable on campus and in civil society," Barrett asserts. "In short, the answer depends on whether the speech is abusive or merely offensive."

And who gets to define which is which? "There is a difference between permitting a culture of casual brutality and entertaining an opinion you strongly oppose," she states. "The former is a danger to a civil society (and to our health); the latter is the lifeblood of democracy." Thus, Barrett insists, it's "reasonable" to completely prevent "provocateur and hatemonger" Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking on campus because he's "abusive," while political scientist Charles Murray is acceptable because "you might find his view to be repugnant and misguided, but it's only offensive."

In other words, what Barrett and her fellow progressives define as abusive must be rendered "intellectually and culturally off-limits."

Attacks on the First Amendment are merely the tip of the progressive spear. Reality itself must also be aligned to suit progressive sensibilities. In Wales, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is demanding that higher education teachers undergo gender diversity training, warning that the failure to use proper pronouns to address "non-binary" persons could precipitate legal action.

Jasper Williams, LGBT+ officer for NUS Wales, reveals the unbridled arrogance behind the effort. She singles out a teacher who "couldn't get anything that wasn't male or female," telling BBC News he made comments "making it sound like non-binary genders [are] made up and like a fantasy idea."

Thus by implication, biological and chromosomal realities are now "fantasy ideas" that must be rendered inoperable by force of law. The same force of law the Obama administration unilaterally imposed on schools around the entire nation when it insisted Title IX of the 1964 Civil Rights Act gave transgender students the right to use restrooms and locker rooms matching their gender "identities" — using the threat of withholding federal education funds as a hammer to enforce its "guidelines." The Trump administration rescinded the directive, but there is no doubt progressives will reinstate it if they regain power.

As far as progressives are concerned, the transgender science is "settled."

And they've got the documentation to "prove" it. "The evidence is clear — the American Left succeeded in lobbying the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to eliminate some of the sexual identity disorders from their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)," columnist Mark A. Hewitt explains.

The end game is also clear. "If you get enough votes," he adds, "you can negate, soften, redefine, and ultimately legitimize any of the mental disorders."

Toward what end? To achieve a "radical break from America's heritage," Levin asserts, further explaining progressive ideology is "an elitist-driven counterrevolution to the American Revolution, in which the sovereignty of the individual, natural law, natural rights, and the civil society — built on a foundation of thousands of years of enlightened thinking and human experience — would be drastically altered and even abandoned for an ideological agenda broadly characterized as 'historical progress.'"

As Victor Davis Hanson explains, such "progress" has brought the nation to a "dangerous climax" in which "the consequences of globalization, the growth of the deep state, changing demographics, open borders, the rise of a geographic apartheid between blue and red states, and the institutionalization of a permanent coastal political and culture elite — and the reaction to all that — are tearing apart the country."

And yet again, the progressive default position dominates, irrespective of the consequences. "It does not matter that the ossified European social model does not work and leads to collective decline in the standard of living," Hanson states. "The world knows that from seeing the implosion of Venezuela and Cuba, or the gradual decline of the EU and the wreckage of its Mediterranean members, or the plight of blue states such as Illinois and California."

Despite this plethora of evidence, Hanson believes the "near-religious idea of egalitarianism" progressives cherish "has all but won the war against liberty."

Hanson is somewhat in error. Egalitarianism is a means to an end. The end is suppression of the masses by all-knowing elitists who grant themselves the "near-religious" power of enforcing equality of outcome — and enjoying the unequal bounty engendered by their "noble" tyranny. Elitists who come to a unanimous conclusion regarding a historical record replete with ossified social models, collective declines and societal wreckage:

The wrong people were in charge.

And the war is not over. "Far from progress, the trajectory of progressives toward indolence, malice, violence, and unrestrained sexuality is as old as society," columnist E.M. Cadwaladr asserts. "It is just paganism with cell phones added."

It is paganism that may ultimately be fatal. "Through some process of increasing entropy, failed memory management, or unanticipated side effects, the status quo — the one dominated by the Left — is collapsing," writes PJ Media's Richard Fernandez.

Fernandez attributes that collapse to a higher power. "God killed the Left," he asserts. "Of course one could legitimately use some other term. 'Reality,' 'consequences,' the 'laws of nature,' 'economics,' even 'truth' will do."

So will terms like natural law, natural rights and civil society, all of which will prove far more enduring than progressive ideology.

Why? Because "only God is God," Cadwaladr explains. "Politicians, pundits, and opinion makers are not."

Thus, progressive efforts to create "utopia" are nothing more than monumental hubris. And when that hubris is rejected by a horde of "deplorables," it explains why so many formerly "tolerant" progressives are now full of anger and hate — and why Liberty and first principles will ultimately prevail.


Humanitarian Hoax in the Military: Killing America With Kindness


The Humanitarian Hoax is a deliberate and deceitful tactic of presenting a destructive policy as altruistic. The humanitarian huckster presents himself as a compassionate advocate when in fact he is the disguised enemy.

Obama, the humanitarian huckster-in-chief, weakened the United States military for eight years presenting his crippling policies as altruistic when in fact they were designed for destruction. His legacy, the Leftist Democratic Party with its "resistance" movement, is the party of the Humanitarian Hoax attempting to destroy American democracy and replace it with socialism.

In a stunning reversal of military protocols and procedures Barack Obama perpetrated the Humanitarian Hoax on the military. Scheduled to take effect July 1, 2017 Obama's "Tier Three Transgender Training" materials were presented as compassionate and deeply respectful of the minuscule population of transgender soldiers. In fact these protocols and procedures were designed to weaken the military by making the feelings of a few soldiers more important than combat-readiness, and by placing the needs of individuals over the well-being of their units. Obama's policies were not misguided they were deliberate.

The mission of the military is unequivocally national defense - the protection of America and her people. The military is one of the only appropriate collectives in a democracy. It is a unique culture with unique rules where collective units, not individuals, are prioritized and where the mission supersedes the men/women who serve. Police departments are another form of appropriate collective in a democracy whose similar mission is national defense at a local and state level. Obama and his leftist Democratic Party are deliberately trying to weaken and undermine American police departments as well.

Obama's long-term plan for socialism and its cradle-to-grave government control is a political power grab that steals individual right and replaces them with national government rights. Like any predator the Democratic Party focuses its prey on the short game and disguises its long term objective. Sexual predators do not lure children with vegetables - they offer candy. Political predators do not lure their voters with hard work - they offer them free college, free healthcare, free food, free housing, free everything - and then the windows close, the doors lock, and the prey is captured and exploited.

Socialism is political candy for Americans who have been indoctrinated to believe that it will provide social justice and income equality. There are no individual rights in socialism - all rights belong to the national government. There are no property rights in socialism - all property belongs to the national government. The only social justice or income equality provided by socialism is that everyone is equally poor and equally exploited.

The appropriate place for a collective in a democracy is the military which is only effective when the mission takes priority over the individual. The leftist Democratic Party is attempting to invert American life by democratizing the military and socializing the society. The Leftist Democratic Party presents itself as America's advocate but is in fact America's enemy.

The irony of the entire Leftist Humanitarian Hoax designed to destroy American democracy and replace it with socialism is that the Leftist Democratic Party is too arrogant to understand that they are the useful idiots in the larger and more sinister plan of the globalist elite. Socialism with its complete government control is the prerequisite social structure for the globalist elite to internationalize the socialist countries and impose one-world government.

One-world government is the new world order that the globalist elite intend to rule themselves. It is unapologetically described in chilling detail in Lord Bertrand Russell's 1952 book "The Impact of Science on Society." One-world government is a binary socio-political system of masters and slaves. There is no social justice in one-world government, there is no income equality in one-world government, there are no Leftists or political agitators of any kind in one-world government - only a docile, compliant population of slaves and their rulers.

One-world government is the goal and the underlying motive of the campaign to destroy America from within. American democracy is the single greatest existential threat to one-world government and President Donald Trump is its leader. If the globalist elite are successful in their efforts to weaken the US military, overthrow the US government of President Donald Trump, and transform America into socialism the next step is globalist conquest and the imposition of one-world government.

After 241 years of American freedom the world will be returned to the dystopian existence of masters and slaves because a willfully blind American public were seduced by political candy and followed the Leftists into the awaiting socialist sedan - the windows close, the doors lock, and the prey is captured and enslaved. Game over.   


Anti-Christian Bigotry Is Surging in UK and US

By Bill Donohue

Anti-Christian fascist sign at a gay rights protest at Federal Plaza, Chicago on November 15, 2008. (Wikimedia Commons Photo)
Premier Christian Communications has released the results of a survey of 12,000 Christians in the U.K. assessing prejudice and discrimination against them. The findings are disturbing.

93% say Christianity is being marginalized in society
80% say Christianity is not given equal respect
67% say they are unable to be open about their faith at work
50% say they have experienced prejudice because of their Christian faith
26% say they fear they will be persecuted for being open about their faith

Tim Farron, who resigned as the head of the Liberal Democrats last month, said that "we are kidding ourselves if we think we live in a tolerant liberal society."

What is going on in the U.K. is also going on in the U.S.

The Catholic League website records an extensive example of anti-Catholic incidents, listing offenses stemming from activist organizations, the artistic community, business and the workplace, education, government, and the media. We have noted that the biggest spike in bigotry in recent years has emanated from government; it is also the most problematic venue of anti-Catholicism.

Evangelicals have also noted a surge in bigotry. The Family Research Council recently published "Hostility to Religion: The Growing Threat to Religious Liberty in the United States." It noted a 76% increase in attacks on religious liberty over the past three years.

Earlier this year, First Liberty published "Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America." It found there was a 133 percent increase in attacks on religious liberty over the past five years.

In February, the Public Religion Research Institute did a survey of white evangelicals and found that they believe they face more discrimination than Muslims.

What's going on? Farron is right: There is no tolerance for practicing Christians in the U.K., and the same is true in the U.S. Yet both nations prize their alleged open-mindedness. Much of the animus has to do with Christian sexual ethics: Christianity values restraint and the dominant culture in both nations values the abandonment of it.

But even this explanation is incomplete. Muslims are more in agreement with practicing Christians on sexual issues than they are with militant secularists. Yet in elite circles, the British and American high priests of tolerance are more accepting of Muslims than Christians. How can this be?

For one, Muslims are feared and Christians are not. Two, due to the corrupting influence of multiculturalism, elites in the West are more likely to embrace outsiders than they are their own, and this is especially true of practicing Christians. Three, those on the left welcome everyone who seeks to undermine the basis of Western Civilization, namely the Judeo-Christian ethos. It's a sick admixture of these three factors.

Christians in both nations need to hang tough and work together to combat anti-Christian bigotry. The alliances they forge must not be sidetracked by bigots, or by arrogant and boneheaded leaders in their own ranks who wish to crush such coalitions.


The collapse of the taxi-medallion shakedown

by Jeff Jacoby

IT MADE HEADLINES in 2011 when two New York City taxi medallions changed hands for $1 million apiece. At the time, it was the highest price ever recorded for one of the numbered metal tags that are required to lawfully operate a cab on the city's streets. It was also a vivid demonstration of how a government-created monopoly can send prices rocketing to stratospheric heights — even the price of something with almost no intrinsic value, like a little aluminum medallion issued by the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission.

A million bucks for a taxicab medallion? That may have come as a shock in 2011, but the price kept climbing. By 2014, medallions were going for $1.3 million apiece.

And all anyone got for forking over that astronomical sum was the government's permission to operate a vehicle as a taxi for hire. They didn't get a list of established customers. They didn't get the right to ply a popular route. They didn't even get a car.

The only reason anyone would pay a fortune for something so insubstantial is that the supply was capped by the government. New York allowed just 13,587 taxis on its streets, far below the actual demand for cab ownership. With the quantity of medallions sharply limited, their value soared. Would-be cabbies were forced to go deeply into debt to buy a medallion, or pay staggering rates to lease a cab from somebody who owned one.

No longer.

Since 2014, the cost of a New York City taxi medallion has plunged. As CNBC reported the other day, some medallions sold in 2017 have gone for prices in the $200,000s. Three credit unions that specialize in financing the purchase of medallions are facing bankruptcy; a growing number of medallion owners now owe more on their loans than the medallions are worth.

Thanks to Uber and Lyft, the government's extortion racket — that's what the medallion system amounts to — has been beaten. With the rise of ride-hailing apps, tens of thousands of additional vehicles in New York are now providing millions of rides annually. For every medallion-affixed yellow cab working the city's neighborhoods, there are now four Uber and Lyft cars.

In November 2010, traditional cabs made an average of 464,000 trips each day. By November 2016, that was down to 337,000. It is doubtless even lower today. For a long time, City Hall's formidable barrier to entry — the restricted availability of taxi medallions — stood. But private-sector vendors found a way around it, and the results of innovation and competition have been what they usually are: better service, lower prices, happier consumers.

What happened in New York is happening in every other city that turned its taxi market into an oligopoly. In Boston, where the number of taxis was arbitrarily capped at 1,825, the pre-Uber price of a medallion climbed to more than $700,000. You can buy one today for one-tenth that amount. In Chicago, traditional taxis face so much competition that as of March, 40 percent of the taxi fleet was deemed "inactive" after not having picked up a fare in a month.

The medallion system was always an outrage. There was never a legitimate reason for government to limit the number of taxis. Regulators have no business determining how many cabbies belong on the road; just as they have no business determining how many appetizers should be offered on menus or how many homes real-estate agencies should list. Or, to allude to current headlines, how many benefits a health-insurance policy must cover.

When government tries to manage supply and demand, it inevitably generates shortages, poor service, and corruption. Even with good intentions, regulators cannot yield fairer and more flexible outcomes than a market made up of millions of autonomous buyers and sellers. The collapse of the medallion shakedown was a long time in coming. It should never have been allowed in the first place.



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 July, 2017

My five-year-old daughter was fined £150 ... for selling lemonade

 Andre Spicer

Disgusting British bureaucracy.  When my gorgeous twin stepdaughters were about 8 or 9 we had a very productive lemon tree so experimented  with making lemonade out of some of its produce.  When we had a product, I organized for the girls to set up a stand outside our place and sell glasses of lemonade to passers by for $1 each.  They loved it and it is one of their fondest memories of their childhood.  We were living on a main road so at one stage the local cop -- this was in a small Australian country town -- drove past, came to a screeching halt when he realized what he had just seen and approached the girls. 

Did he create anything like the horrible scene described below?  No way. He was fascinated and talked to the girls in a friendly way.  He bought a drink and went on his way with a pleasant memory of the day.

Why could those animals of British bureaucracy not do that?  Why could they not have turned a blind eye? The more you see of British bureaucrats the more you doubt that they are really human.

There have been incidents in the USA where officials have tried to shut down children's lemonade stands but the outcry has made them backpedal. Will that happen in Britain after this episode?  Don't hold your breath


Like many parents, I'm forever searching for ways to entertain my children – especially at this time of year, when the school holidays loom. I know that visits to our local playground won't be enough to get us through the long summer days. So, I was pretty pleased when I hit on the idea of helping my five-year-old daughter to run a lemonade stand at the end of our street.

I would have thought twice if I knew what was in store for us.

Really, it was my daughter's suggestion. On the way home from school one day, she told me that she wanted to run a stall like they had at the school fete. "What do you want to sell" I asked.

"Food and toys", she replied.

"Do you want to your sell your toys?", I replied, trying to hide my excitement. My daughter took a second to think.

"Maybe just food then".

The next morning, she announced that she wanted to run a lemonade stand. It sounded very American, but it would entertain her and she might even learn a thing of two. I started looking up lemonade recipes.

That weekend, after 30 minutes of labouring over the blender, we had four jugs of lemonade. My daughter drew a sign with some beautiful bright yellow lemons on it. I added the prices: 50p for a small cup; £1 for a large one. After cleaning off an old table, we packed up our things and walked to the end of the street. A music festival was taking place in a nearby park, so dozens of people streamed by every minute. My daughter stood proudly in front of the table. "Who wants lemonade", she called out. Within a minute, she had her first customer.

The lemonade quickly disappeared and her little money tin filled up. A happy scene. And then, after about 30 minutes, four local council enforcement officers stormed up to her little table.

"Excuse me", one office said as he switched on a portable camera attached to his vest. He then read a lengthy legal statement – the gist of which was that because my daughter didn't have a trading permit, she would be fined £150. "But don't worry, it is only £90 if it's paid quickly", the officer added.

My daughter burst into tears, repeating again and again "have I done a bad thing"?

After five minutes, the officers' jobs were done and they went on their way. We packed up and made the short walk home. My daughter sobbed all the way.

When my she had finally calmed down, I started to try to make sense of what had just happened. I'm a professor in a business school, so I probably should have known some kind of permit was required. But this was a five-year-old kid selling lemonade. She wasn't exactly a public safety hazard.

Later, I tried to lay the matter to rest. "We can get a permit and have a stall another day", I said.

"No. It's too scary", she replied.

Holding the notice of the fine in my hand, I'm reminded just how restrictive we have become with our children. When I was growing up, my brother and I were able to wonder miles from home without adult supervision. We were encouraged to sell things to raise money for clubs we were part of. By selling biscuits, we learned about maths, communication and basic business skills. But more importantly, we gained a degree of confidence. I can't ever recall a council officer popping up and fining us.

The world my children are growing up in is radically different. Today, kids are watched by parents around the clock. Most are not allowed beyond the front gate of their house. Everything children do today is carefully regulated by officials, inspectors and their own parents. There are good intentions behind all this obsessive monitoring. But these good intentions can quickly sour.

At the same time as we supervise the joy out of childhood, many of the things which actually help our children thrive are disappearing. Councils have closed youth clubs and young people's services. Teachers spend more time ticking bureaucratic boxes than teaching kids. Parents are more interested in monitoring their social media feed than playing with their kids. Meanwhile, the number of children being prescribed anti-depressants has gone up 50pc in five years.  

Now, after Lemonadegate, as I contemplate the long school holidays which lay ahead, I'm even more confused about how to entertain our children. Setting up a lemonade stand is obviously far too risky. Perhaps I should just rely on that good old fashioned parenting technique – handing my daughter an iPad so she can spend hours watching a creepy guy opening up toys he has just bought.


UPDATE: The power of publicity at work.  The council cancelled the fine and apologized. 

In a statement Friday, the council said it was "very sorry" about what happened and that its enforcement officers are expected to "show common sense, and to use their powers sensibly." "This clearly did not happen," it said.

A multicultural father in Britain

A mother yesterday spoke of her anger that she only learned about her partner's violent past after he beat her five-year-old son to death over a lost trainer.

Marvyn Iheanacho, 39, had a sickening history of violence, including six convictions for domestic abuse after he attacked five partners and a child.

Yet despite his appalling record, the burly thug with a terrifying temper was allowed to look after the boy after he embarked on a new relationship.

He started going out with single mother Lilya Breha, who was never told by police he had just been released from prison for assaulting his fifth girlfriend.

On a trip to the park on November 20 last year, the jobless father-of-three lost his temper when his new partner's son, Alex Malcolm, lost a trainer.

Iheanacho battered the little boy with such savagery that witnesses who overheard eight 'booming' blows initially thought two grown men were fighting. They heard the child begging for mercy, sobbing, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry.'

Instead of taking the dying boy to hospital only a five-minute walk away, Iheanacho carried him through the street before taking a cab to Miss Breha's home in Bromley, South-East London, where he attacked her, throttling her as she tried to call 999.

Iheanacho, who was known to Alex as 'Daddy Mills', admitted beating the boy before in a note

'If I think about all my mistakes, shame takes over and I find myself overwhelmed in anger. 'My anger help me to push forward but fears helps me to fly high. Up up and away. 'Do I really love Alex, five years old small cute lil boy.

'Who want nothing more, than daddy mills to love him protect him but most of all keep him from harm - even though I had to beat him just now for sicking up in the cab - why why why I say - so the answer is yes yes yes I love him and like with all my heart but may not enough- I am real, faithful making money - so why ain't I happy?'

When Miss Breha managed to raise the alarm two hours later, doctors were unable to save the youngster, who had 22 bruises from head to toe. He died two days later following a bleed to the brain.

Iheanacho had denied murder, but was convicted yesterday. A jury at Woolwich Crown Court took six hours to dismiss his story that Alex accidentally fell off his shoulders as he walked back from Mountsfield Park in Catford, South-East London. Iheanacho, of Hounslow, West London, will be sentenced on Tuesday.

Miss Breha only learned of his past during his trial. He had so many convictions it took prosecutors 15 minutes to read them out.

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Police Act 2014 gave police the power to request a criminal behaviour order in cases of domestic violence, forcing offenders to tell officers every time they begin a relationship so police can warn new partners about them.

But Miss Breha, who had a five-month relationship with Iheanacho, was never contacted by police or made aware of his appalling past after they met through a mutual friend as he was being released from prison.

The Ukrainian mother, who occasionally left her son in Iheanacho's care while she worked two jobs as a baby sitter and dog minder, wept as he was convicted.

'It's a joke,' she said. 'I just wish I'd known. I knew he had been in prison, but he said he was innocent. I had no idea about his past and the first time I heard about it I was disgusted. I was so shocked. I just felt sick.

'Alex was so small but he was my strength and my purpose for living. 'The hardest thing I have ever had to hear was that my child died. I remember it like it was yesterday.

' Lying next to him in a hospital and praying that everything would be fine, that he will open his eyes. 'I didn't even get to tell him I love him.

'All I got was to put my hand on his chest and feel every single one of his final heartbeats.'

'I was so naive. He would come over and help Alex with homework. I trusted him. He had his own kids. I never imagined this would happen. Something should have been done with someone like that.'

Miss Breha paid tribute to her son, saying: 'We called him little angel. He was perfect. He was my best friend. He was my strength and my purpose for living. The hardest thing I have ever had to hear, was that my child died.'


Germany's media failed in their duty to cover the migrant crisis responsibly and treated anyone critical of Merkel's open door policy as racist

Germany's media failed in their duty to cover the migrant crisis responsibly and treated anyone critical of Angela Merkel's open door policy as racist, an influential German institute study has claimed.

Researchers at the Otto Brenner Institute said they studied thousands of articles published by daily newspapers during the mass influx of refugees in 2015 and 2016.

Hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers arrived in the country before the German Chancellor closed the border in March last year when Balkan states cut off the migration route.

According to Die Zeit, the study said newspapers appeared to take on the role of 'public educators' during the crisis instead of objective critics of public policy.

The report, to be published next week, said some publications had treated people who criticised government policy as being potentially racist.

It suggests some of the reporting 'massively contributed' to a split in German society and loss of confidence in the media.

Former Die Zeit editor Michael Haller, who led the research, told the newspaper: 'Most journalists failed in their job as someone who is supposed to objectively explain the world to readers.'

Opinions of experts, German citizens and asylum seekers themselves were often ignored, Haller added, according to The Local.

At the height of the refugee influx, thousands were crossing into Germany everyday having made their way up through southern and central Europe.

At the same time, there was a rise in support for far right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party which opposed Merkel's open-door policy.

But its support has recently plummeted as the refugee influx to Germany has slowed, and it is polling at around seven per cent nationwide.

Merkel's CDU party meanwhile has strongly regained ground, with polls showing it mustering close to 40 per cent of support, leaving the second most popular party SPD trailing at around 24 per cent.


Australia's ABC censored church's 'positive story' about domestic violence

And lied about it -- in good Leftist fashion.  For a fuller coverage of how totally dishonest the program was, see here or my final post on AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, of 21st. It was a classic example of Leftist cherrypicking. They ran with one little quote they liked and ignored the other facts that totally contradicted what they were claiming.  There is no truth in them (John 8:44).  They are Satanic

A senior female Anglican leader has expressed "disappointment" that her "positive" story in fighting domestic violence was ignored by the ABC in its controversial TV program claiming Christian men who go to church occasionally are the worst abusers of women.

Sydney diocese Archdeacon for Women Kara Hartley was ­interviewed for more than an hour by ABC journalist Julia Baird for the report on 7:30 that aired on Wednesday night, but none of her comments were aired.

"I probably wanted to promote our views and our responses more than came through — my disappointment is that there is positive work and a positive conversation, and I would have liked that to be highlighted some more," Archdeacon Hartley said yesterday.

Archdeacon Hartley's remarks came as the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, ­revealed he had, on request, provided the ABC with extensive comments for a related online essay by Baird and co-author ­Hayley Gleeson. But not only did Baird and Gleeson not publish any of his remarks, they falsely reported he had not responded.

Only after the diocese made an official complaint to the ABC did it amend the article yesterday.

"The archdiocese of Brisbane tried to tell ABC reporters about the work we do to assist people who are affected by domestic and family violence," Archbishop Coleridge said.

"It's time that the ABC took ­seriously its role to tell the story of the real Australia. It should disengage from the groupthink that has produced an antagonistic, one-sided narrative about the Catholic Church in this country."

An ABC spokesman declined to comment. The 7:30 story by Baird and ­fellow ABC journalist Paige MacKenzie has been widely condemned for its apparent reliance on, and distortion of, a footnote in a 2008 paper by a professor of ­theology at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona, Steven Tracy.

ABC presenter Leigh Sales said: "We talk about women in Islam, but statistically it is evangelical Christian men who attend church sporadically who are the most likely to assault their wives."

But 7:30 did not report that ­Professor Tracy's original paper actually found "there is an inverse relationship between church attendance and domestic violence".

"Conservative Protestant men who attend church regularly are found to be the least likely group to engage in domestic violence, though conservative Protestant men who are irregular church ­attendees are the most likely to batter their wives," his report said.

The 7:30 segment, which acknowledged "there has never been any real research" on the topic in Australia, quoted advocates claiming "the church is not just failing to sufficiently address domestic violence, it is both enabling and concealing it".

In the segment, Baird cited concerns that "as long as women's voices are denied within the church, domestic violence will continue".

But it made no mention of Archdeacon Hartley, who has been in the Anglican ministry for 20 years and is a leading member of the church's domestic violence taskforce.

Archdeacon Hartley said she had emphasised to Baird that "domestic violence in our church is unacceptable … I and the senior leadership are absolutely committed, there is no confusion".

"The first thing we do is we listen and we believe," she said. "We work out with them what is the best way to be safe, to be cared for … is it going to the police, is it getting you out of your home?" "I am really passionate about this work."



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


21 July, 2017

Three cheers for Thom Yorke

Rejecting BDS is the most rock'n'roll thing he's ever done

The fate of the Palestinian people rests on Thom Yorke's slender shoulders. Or at least that's the impression you might have got from the weeks of opprobrium heaped on the Radiohead frontman for refusing to bow to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) crew and cancel the band's upcoming show in Tel Aviv. The backlash, unleashed by pro-BDS artists, myriad luvvies and pro-Palestine protesters, has been positively unhinged.

'Their ill-advised concert in Tel Aviv suggests to me that they only want to hear one side – the one that supports apartheid', wrote film director Ken Loach in the Independent. 'Every international artist who plays in Israel serves as a propaganda tool for the Israeli government', read an open letter signed by Desmond Tutu, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, and others. 'Music helps drown out the cries of the oppressed', wrote former Faithless guitarist Dave Randall, in support of the letter.

They've rounded on Radiohead with the passion of a spurned lover. While other acts continue to play in Israel with less controversy – Justin Bieber played there in May – Radiohead, it seems, are supposed to know better. 'They are perceived to be a progressive political band', said Loach. 'If they go to Tel Aviv, they may never live it down.' Others have pointed to Radiohead's support for Amnesty International and Tibetan freedom as proof of their rank hypocrisy.

For all the turbo-charged rhetoric, Yorke's reasons are eminently reasonable. In a statement on Twitter, in response to Loach, he said: 'We've played in Israel for over 20 years through a succession of governments, some more liberal than others. As we have in America. We don't endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America. Music, art and academia is about crossing borders, not building them, about open minds not closed ones, about shared humanity, dialogue and freedom of expression.'

Yorke has come out swinging. He stuck a middle finger up to protesters at a recent gig in Glasgow. And in an interview with Rolling Stone, he didn't mince words when talking about the effect the controversy has had on Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, who is married to an Arab Jew and has friends 'on both sides' of the conflict. 'Imagine how offensive that is for Jonny… Just to assume that we know nothing about this. Just to throw the word "apartheid" around and think that's enough. It's fucking weird. It's such an extraordinary waste of energy.'

And he's right. The cultural boycott of Israel, which began in 2005, operates under a bizarre and bigoted logic. For no other nation is its people, all bearing diverse views, so casually conflated with their government; a gig in Tel Aviv might as well be a private performance at Bibi's birthday party. The historically illiterate, borderline depraved claim that Israel is an 'apartheid state' is only a desperate attempt to repackage what looks a lot like collective punishment, of a people who just so happen to be predominantly Jewish.

That musicians, whose post-Trump maxim is 'build bridges not walls', have enthusiastically gone along with this cultural blockade is hypocritical and disturbing. Free expression is the lifeblood of culture, and cross-border exchange essential to global pop. And this BDS lark cuts both ways. Not only do Western artists refuse to perform in Israel, but, in recent years, Israeli artists have had Western performances picketed and shut down because they took small amounts of government money, the equivalent of an Arts Council grant.

The intolerance shown not only to Israeli artists but also to artists who dare to defy the boycott is remarkable. The tirades against Yorke openly hint at repercussions. 'They will lose the respect of thousands of music fans across the region and around the world', said Randall. Roger Waters, the Pink Floyd frontman and BDSer who has compared Israel to Nazi Germany, said a few years back that anti-Israel bands daren't speak out for fear of being 'destroyed'. Yet a 'Boycott Radiohead' campaign can hardly be far away.

The rage against Radiohead tells us a lot about the BDS movement. But it also tells us a lot about the musicians who have gone along with it. The pious fury with which they have denounced a band that just wants to perform for its Israeli fans speaks to a prejudice born of blinding self-obsession. The idea that a prohibition of Pink Floyd will bring down the Israeli state, or that Radiohead playing Tel Aviv will 'whitewash' Netanyahu, is hubris in the extreme. And their fanaticism has taken some of them down some dark political alleyways.

Good for Thom Yorke – giving the finger to the BDSers is the most rock'n'roll thing he's done.


From Cactus Theater to the Met, US Government Pours Hundreds of Millions Into Well-Heeled Arts

U.S. taxpayers have paid $90,000 for a theater "performance" in which people commune with a tall cactus for an hour in the middle of an Arizona desert, "to discover what it can teach them."

On a posher scale, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York netted $1.2 million in taxpayer-funded grants from the U.S. government since 2009, nearly half of it last year.

These are just two perhaps unexpected findings in a new report from Open the Books that reveals hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money granted to thousands of nonprofits and other organizations by the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities.

The report says the government foundation distributed $441 million to 3,163 entities in fiscal year 2016, which ended Sept. 30.

Of these, 71 are "asset-rich" nonprofits, the report says, meaning their assets exceed $1 billion. Even so, they received $20.5 million in grants.

The National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities, the subject of the report, is the umbrella organization for three agencies—the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Open the Books says its mission is to "capture and post online all disclosed spending at every level of government." The goal: to show Americans where their taxes are going and let them decide if it adds up to government waste.

Nearly half of the $441 million awarded by the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities—about $210 million—went to recipients in nine states and the District of Columbia. Most are blue states: California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Ballets, operas, orchestras, and symphonies received $5.4 million, despite having $5 billion in assets, the report says. Among them: the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the New York City Ballet.

New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art received $1.2 million in grants from the government foundation between fiscal years 2009 and 2016, including $551,028 in 2016 alone. 

The Met is a public charity with assets of $3.73 billion, according to its 2014 tax forms. The museum's annual celebrity-studded Met Gala recently raised $300 million, the report says.

The government foundation's grants also go to a huge cast of art exhibitions and performances, including a series of shows featuring the saguaro cactus hosted by the Borderlands Theater in Tucson, Arizona.

The theater's "site-responsive performances" celebrate the treelike cactus, which can grow to 70 feet tall. The idea is that guests pay to spend one hour in the Sonoran Desert with the cactus, then share their experience on social media.

The government contributed $10,000 in tax money to the theater in fiscal 2016 and a total of $90,000 over the past eight years.

Search for "saguaro cactus" on Twitter and it doesn't appear folks need much government encouragement to share about it:

Besides the Met, rich and famous institutions receiving federal funds since 2009, Open the Books says, include the Boston Museum of Fine Arts ($2.5 million); Chicago's Adler Planetarium ($1.7 million); the Art Institute of Chicago ($1.4 million); and Hollywood icon Robert Redford's Sundance Institute in Park City, Utah ($3.3 million).

The National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities' $143 million in contributions in fiscal 2016 to charitable organizations included universities with billion-dollar endowment funds such as Harvard, Yale, Northwestern, Notre Dame, and the University of Michigan.

A total of 432 federal employees working for the government foundation earned $41.8 million a year in salaries and bonuses, the report notes. The average salary was $96,500 for fiscal 2016, with benefits increasing the average cost to $126,415 per employee.


Liberal Values Are Causing Welfare Costs to Balloon
Recently, Gallup published the results of its annual Values and Beliefs poll.

The headline of the report speaks for itself: "Americans Hold Record Liberal Views on Most Moral Issues."

Gallup has been doing this poll since 2001, and the change in public opinion on the moral issues surveyed has been in one direction — more liberal.

Of 19 issues surveyed in this latest poll, responses on 10 are the most liberal since the survey started.

Sixty-three percent say gay/lesbian relations are morally acceptable — up 23 points from the first year the question was asked. Sixty-two percent say having a baby outside of marriage is OK — up 17 points. Unmarried sex, 69 percent — up 16 points. Divorce, 73 percent — up 14 points.

More interesting, and of greater consequence, is what people actually do, rather than what they think. And, not surprisingly, the behavior we observe in our society at large reflects these trends in values.

Hence, the institution of traditional marriage is crumbling, Americans are having fewer children, and, compared with years gone by, the likelihood that children are born out of the framework of marriage has dramatically increased.

Undoubtedly, the liberals in academia, in the media, in politics, see this as good news. After all, doesn't removing the "thou shalt not's" that limit life's options liberate us?

Isn't the idea of freedom supposed to be, according to them, that you have a green light to do whatever you want, as long as you're not hurting someone else?

But here's the rub. How do you measure if you are hurting someone else? No one lives in a vacuum. We all live in a country, in communities. We are social beings as well as individuals, no matter what your political philosophy happens to be. Everyone's behavior has consequences for others.

For instance, more and more research shows the correlation between the breakdown of the traditional family and poverty.

In 2009, Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution published his "success sequence." According to Haskins, someone who completes high school, works full time, and doesn't have children until after marriage has only a 2 percent chance of being poor.

A new study from the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Family Studies focuses on Millennials — those born between 1980-1984. And this study reaches conclusions similar to those of Haskins.

According to this study, only 3 percent of Millennials who have a high school diploma, who are working full time, and who are married before having children are poor. On the other hand, 53 percent of Millennials who have not done these three things are poor.

Behavior increasing the likelihood of poverty does have consequences on others. American taxpayers spend almost a trillion dollars a year to help those in poverty, a portion of whom would not be in this situation if they lived their lives differently.

But the same liberals who scream when Republicans look for ways to streamline spending on antipoverty programs like Medicaid scream just as loudly at any attempt to expose young people to biblical values that teach traditional marriage and chastity outside of marriage.

The percent of American adults that are married dropped from 72 percent in 1960 to 52 percent in 2008. The percentage of our babies born to unmarried women increased from 5 percent in 1960 to 41 percent by 2008.

This occurred against a backdrop of court orders removing all vestiges of religion from our public spaces, beginning with banning school prayer in 1962, and then the legalization of abortion in 1973. In 2015, the Supreme Court redefined marriage.

Losing all recognition that personal and social responsibility matters, that the biblical tradition that existed in the cradle of our national founding is still relevant, is bankrupting us morally and fiscally.

We are long overdue for a new, grand awakening.


Leftist lies about Christians from Australia's ABC

On Monday, the ABC ran a long program about historic sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Philadelphia — way off in the United States — as if we really needed to know this here and now.

But the ABC's most ridiculous attack on Christianity came on Tuesday, with a campaign to persuade us that "the men most likely to abuse their wives are evangelical Christians" who occasionally go to church.

ABC presenter Julia Baird and ABC journalist Hayley Gleeson published an essay on the ABC's site which gave just one source for this astonishing claim: "As theology professor Steven Tracy wrote in 2008: 'It is widely accepted by abuse experts (and validated by numerous studies) that evangelical men who sporadically attend church are more likely than men of any other religious group (and more likely than secular men) to assault their wives'."

ABC Radio National presenter Fran Kelly accepted this without a flicker of doubt in interviewing Baird, asking: "Is it a matter of belief system?"

And they agreed the problem was "patriarchal" churches — male-led — which encouraged men to bully their wives by preaching the Biblical passage: "Wives, submit to your own husbands."

Baird, who has since repeated her attack on the ABC's 7.30, suggests this could be a scandal to rival priests abusing children.

"Is it true," she asked, "that there are striking similarities to the Church's failure to protect children from abuse, and that this next generation's reckoning will be about the failure in their ranks to protect women from domestic violence?"

But anyone remotely familiar with Christianity and Australia should have instantly realised there's no way "the men most likely to abuse their wives are evangelical Christians".

First, our worst rates of domestic violence notoriously occur in Aboriginal families, where women are at least 31 times more likely to be hospitalised by violent partners.

Second, it is not the Bible but the Koran that licenses domestic violence. Christ stopped the stoning of a woman accused of adultery, but Mohammed said men could hit disobedient wives: "Admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them."

And, third, Baird, herself, concedes deep in her online article that her American source says "regular church attenders are less likely to commit acts of intimate partner violence". That suggests Christianity actually protects women, exactly the opposite of what the ABC implied.

But check further and it becomes clear Baird missed clear evidence that contradicts her anti-Church theory. Her single source for her big claim is Steven Tracy, a theology professor at a Phoenix seminary, who did indeed in one essay claim "conservative Protestant men who are irregular church attendees are the most likely to batter their wives".

Tracy cites a paper by Professor Christopher G. Ellison which actually finds that other groups experience greater incidences of domestic violence, demonstrating that there are, in fact, competing views on this issue. The paper claims: "African-Americans, in particular, have higher levels of domestic violence".

What's more, Ellison says that men who often go to a Christian church "are 72 per cent less likely to abuse their female partners than men from comparable backgrounds who do not attend services".

The conclusion is clear: "Our findings … suggest that religious involvement, specifically church attendance, protects against domestic violence." Christianity literally saves.

Tracy also quotes in his footnotes a New Zealand study by Emeritus Professor David Fergusson which confirms that Christianity is a civilising influence, counter to what the ABC implied.

As Tracy writes: "... 11.2 per cent of husbands who never attended church assaulted their wives. But only 2.2 per cent of husbands who attended church at least monthly assaulted their wives, while 6.2 per cent of husbands who attended church sporadically assaulted their wives."

This is not what Baird reported and what the ABC yesterday claimed. Why didn't the ABC report the truth: that Christianity actually saves women from abuse? Why did it instead falsely claim — and instantly believe — the falsehood that evangelical Christians are the worst abusers? The ABC is not merely at war with Christianity. This proves something worse: it is attacking the faith that most makes people civil.



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


20 July, 2017

Is Islamic feminism possible?

The woman below, SARAH KHAN, is a lapsed Muslim from Canada and a radical  feminist.  I regard radical feminists as mentally ill so advise taking her words below with a grain of salt.  But she does have an interesting point. I have been told before that Arabic writing is highly ambiguous and difficult to translate so the idea that a valid feminist translation of the Koran is possible and that it could vary greatly from orthodox translations seems entirely possible.

When I finally read the Qur’an for myself for the first time, I was surprised to learn that what I had been told wasn’t at all how I interpreted what I read. Sure there were problematic parts—mainly the fact that daughters were to receive a lesser inheritance than sons—but it wasn’t as suffocating as I had been raised to believe.

I decided to try it out, but by my early twenties, I decided that it was disrespectful of me to only be Muslim when convenient. One of the main tenets of religion is dedication to it and paying lip service seemed so offensive to me. So I lapsed. But, I continued my research.

A few months ago, on a whim, I decided to read the Qur’an again, but this time the version I read was translated by a woman. Laleh Bakhtiar is a Muslim translator, author and clinical psychologist, and her translation, The Sublime Quran, had been sitting on my shelf for years. Bakhtiar’s translation is notable not only because she’s a woman but also because she does a straight word-for-word translation without any footnotes and without any commentary.

She explains in her preface that the Qur’an is not a historic text; therefore, it needn’t any commentary (read: bias). It should be presented to the individual as is. She says that the Quran is meant to be long-lasting and transcend time, so it should be presented word for word and left to the readers’ interpretation. For years I’ve believed that all holy books ought to be left to individual interpretation, but most translations take liberties with the language and allow the translator’s bias to seep through.

In the translation of the Qur’an I read as a teenager, there were references to a man having permission to beat his wife with a strap no thicker than a thumb. This always troubled me and I was at a loss at how a religion that encouraged divorce if it were necessary (regardless of which gender initiated it) could encourage spousal violence as well. In Bakhtiar’s translation, there is not a single mention of anything relating to a man being allowed to beat his wife.

Most versions translate section 4:34 of the chapter titled “The Women” as some variation of the following:

“… and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them …”

The same section in Bakhtiar’s translation reads,

“And those (f) whose resistance you fear, then admonish them (f) and abandon them (f) in their sleeping places and go away from them (f). Then if they (f) obey you, then look not for any way against them (f).”

The “f” in parentheses appear periodically throughout the translation to differentiate between the masculine and feminine “they” and the italicized words are those that are not present in Arabic, but are needed in English for the sentence to be complete and comprehensible. It’s wildly telling to note that the famed passage that all anti-Islamists pull out to prove the religion is a misogynistic one actually means something completely different when translated verbatim from the Arabic. It supports the theory that many practicing Muslims have, which is that Islam itself is one of the furthest things from being misogynistic; Islamic culture, on the other hand, is rife with misogyny and excuses it by claiming to be God’s word.

Most holy books also are happy to report that God made man first and woman was birthed from man via God. Turns out, at least in the Qur’an, this isn’t stated anywhere. Sure Adam is mentioned by name and the first human is referred to as a “he,” but the only part that specifically talks about the creation of man says, “… your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its spouse and from them both disseminated many men and women.” There’s no specification of who came first nor any indication that woman was made from man. It’s almost as if men were so jealous of cisgender women’s ability to give birth that they decided that they’d make it so that it was Adam who “birthed” the sex that would go on to birth the rest of humankind.

While there are still problematic parts in the Qur’an—as there are in any holy book—the idea that the holy book or the religion itself is to be blamed is rife with ignorance. Putting blame on an inanimate object for encouraging people to be assholes to each other is a childish cop-out; it’s the people who interpreted these words to mean awful things and lived their lives oppressing an entire gender and justifying it by saying that they’re just following orders.

Being a feminist and a Muslim is something that is totally possible—you just have to use common sense and empathy.


Border Patrol union boss: Drop in apprehensions 'nothing short of miraculous'

The large drop in apprehensions of people illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border is "nothing short of miraculous," National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said on Monday.

"If you look at the rhetoric that President Trump has given, it has caused a number of illegal border crossings to go down," Judd told C-SPAN. "We have never seen such a drop that we currently have."

Border apprehensions — long seen as the best measure of illegal border crossing attempts — have fallen more than 50 percent this year, compared to 2016.

The Department of Homeland Security has consistently reported plummeting figures of southwest border apprehensions since Trump assumed office in January.
Reported apprehensions remained on a downward trend until June, when border officials registered a slight uptick from May, contrary to seasonal trends that usually show a descent in June.

Yearly overall numbers were so low already that even with the slight rise, there were 53 percent fewer border apprehensions in June 2017 than in the same period last year.

Judd, whose nonpartisan organization endorsed Trump for president in 2016, also said on Monday that he supports the $1.6 billion in funding the administration requested for a wall along the southern border.

He said Trump's signature campaign issue is necessary in many parts of the border, but not all.

Trump had earlier said the wall would have to be uninterrupted and cover all 2,000 miles of border with Mexico, but in an apparent reversal, said last week that only 700 to 900 miles of border wall are needed.


Refugees Are Engaged in the 'Rape Jihad' of Europe 

It’s no secret that Europe has been struggling with the self-inflicted wound of an open-borders policy on mass migration. Conservatives have long warned of the dangers these mass migrant populations pose to the West, specifically the threats of radical Islamic terrorism, which sadly has been borne out. However, another problem that tends to receive less press is the growing crime these European nations are witnessing. Specifically, sexual assault.

In an interesting and eye-opening article from The National Interest, Cheryl Bernard, who has a long history of working with refugees, highlights a specific group of refugees who have proven to be the greatest problem group: Young Afghan men. This group has been responsible for the majority of crimes committed by refugees. The natural question to ask is, why Afghans, when many of the other refugee groups also come from Muslim-majority nations? An Afghan friend of Bernard suggested the following reason:

On the basis of his hundreds of interactions with these young men in his professional capacity over the past several years, he believes to have discovered that they are motivated by a deep and abiding contempt for Western civilization. To them, Europeans are the enemy, and their women are legitimate spoils, as are all the other things one can take from them: housing, money, passports. Their laws don’t matter, their culture is uninteresting and, ultimately, their civilization is going to fall anyway to the horde of which one is the spearhead. No need to assimilate, or work hard, or try to build a decent life here for yourself — these Europeans are too soft to seriously punish you for a transgression, and their days are numbered.

And it’s not just the sex crimes, my friend notes. Those may agitate public sentiment the most, but the deliberate, insidious abuse of the welfare system is just as consequential. Afghan refugees, he says, have a particular proclivity to play the system: to lie about their age, to lie about their circumstances, to pretend to be younger, to be handicapped, to belong to an ethnic minority when even the tired eye of an Austrian judge can distinguish the delicate features of a Hazara from those of a Pashtun.

Essentially, these young Afghan men have launched what Andrew McCarthy of National Review termed in 2015 a “Rape Jihad.” With their wanton and brazen criminal acts they are systematically and actively attacking Western culture and values. This is their jihad. They have no desire to integrate and assimilate into European culture. Rather they are wolves eagerly preying on sheep, and Europe’s justice system lacks the deterrence of real teeth.

And it is the citizens of Europe who are forced to pay for the “compassion” of their leftist leaders.


A debate we’re not allowed to have in Australia

IT’S the debate we were never allowed to have.

Until relatively recently, Australia’s population grew at a stately pace. There was an influx of European immigration in the mid-1940s, and pause from the mid-1970s, but in the 100 years after Federation in 1901, net overseas migration averaged 70,000 people a year.

Then in the early 2000s, Prime Minister John Howard opened the floodgates. Over the last 12 years, Australia’s annual net overseas migration has tripled from its long-term average to 210,000 people per year.

Our cities are bursting at the seams, roads and services are congested, and house prices are skyrocketing — particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, which attract the lion’s share of new Australians.

Over the last 12 years, Sydney has added 20 per cent to its population, or 800,000 people. Melbourne has added one million people over the same period, or 27 per cent.

According to state government projections, Sydney will add another 1.7 million people over the next 20 years, which works out to 87,000 people a year, or 1650 people per week. Melbourne is forecast to add 97,000 people per year, or around 1870 people per week, for the next 35 years.

“It’s clearly unsustainable,” said Leith van Onselen, chief economist with MacroBusiness. “The problem isn’t that immigration is good or bad, it’s just that the level is far too high for Australia to digest.”

According to Mr van Onselen, dubbed the “Unconventional Economist”, Howard “effectively ran a bait-and-switch policy”.

“He scapegoated the very tiny number of people coming by boat, and at the same time opened the floodgates on people coming by plane,” he said.

“Howard never articulated why he was doing that, he just did it, and unfortunately the following governments, Rudd, Gillard, Abbott and now Turnbull, just followed.”

Mr van Onselen, who is one of the few public commentators calling for a national debate about Australia’s annual migration intake, says there is now “tri-partisan support” between the Liberals, Labor and even the Greens to not discuss the issue.

Behind the scenes, the “growth lobby” of retailers, the banking sector, the property industry and “erroneously named think tanks” all push the “growth-ist agenda”. “Unfortunately there’s not really anybody on the other side,” he said.

Late last year, high-profile entrepreneur Dick Smith came out in support of Pauline Hanson, warning that Australia would be “destroyed” if One Nation’s immigration policies weren’t taken seriously.

Mr Smith had previously spoken out about the need for a “small Australia”, with a population of 26 million rather than 50 million. At current migration levels, Australia’s population will hit 40 million by the year 2060, compared with 33 million if the intake returned to its historical average of 70,000.

“Unfortunately you can’t have a sensible debate,” said Mr van Onselen. “The main problem is the perception of racism. The easiest way to shut down debate is to call someone racist. Our politicians and media won’t mention it because they’re afraid they’ll get associated with Pauline.

“It’s nothing to do with race — it’s an economic and living standards debate. It’s purely a numbers game, that’s all that matters. A body is a body. If you’ve got an extra car on the road, an extra person on the train, it doesn’t matter where they’re from.”

The common public argument used to promote mass immigration, particularly by the likes of the United Nations, is the need to replace an “ageing” population. The behind-the-scenes rationale is to artificially boost economic growth numbers.

Both justifications fail to stand up to scrutiny. According to the Productivity Commission, which has debunked the ageing population myth numerous times over the past 15 years, “changes in migration levels ... make little difference to the age structure of the population in the future, with any effect being temporary”.

“The reason is very simple — immigrants grow old,” said Mr van Onselen. “You can bring in a whole bunch of young people now, it will lower the age temporarily, but in 30 years time those young people are old and you have to repeat the same trick all over again. Really it’s just a Ponzi scheme.”

Which ties into the second justification. Japan, with its sluggish headline economic growth and simultaneously ageing and shrinking population, is commonly cited as an example of why mass immigration for population replacement is necessary.

At the same time, Australia’s record run of economic growth, coinciding with record immigration levels, is held up as a positive example. “All other things being equal, if you increase the population by 1.5 per cent a year, you’re going to get 1.5 per cent economic growth,” said Mr van Onselen.

“More inputs in people means more outputs in economic activity. But the problem is, although it makes the overall growth figures look good, it doesn’t actually help you on a per capita basis, which is what drives living standards.”

In fact, despite Australia’s population surging 21.5 per cent since 2003, compared with the OECD average of 8.5 per cent, Australia’s GDP per capita change has just barely outpaced the OECD — 16 per cent versus 15 per cent, despite going through the biggest mining boom in our history.

“We’re effectively spinning our tyres importing all these people, wearing out our infrastructure, making housing more expensive and degrading the environment for absolutely zero gain, in the material sense,” he said.

“The immigration program used to be a supplement to the economy, now it’s seen as a driver. Governments are using it as a lever to stop Australia going into recession. The tail is wagging the dog.”

Japan, meanwhile, has grown its GDP per capita by 11 per cent since 2003. “Japan’s unemployment rate is nearly half of ours,” said Mr van Onselen. “It’s hardly a terrible situation they’re in. They’ve got good growth at a per capita level and basically anyone who wants a job can get a job.”

According to the UN’s Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, “replacement migration” is the “solution to declining and ageing populations”.

“Population decline is inevitable in the absence of replacement migration,” the UN said in a recent press release. “Fertility may rebound in the coming decades, but few believe that it will recover sufficiently in most countries to reach replacement level in the foreseeable future.”

Mr van Onselen described it as “ridiculous”. “The UN pushes a sort of open borders, globalist agenda,” he said. “It is a myth. We just need a national debate. There’s no strategy, it’s all just ad hoc. How big do we want Australia to become? How are we going to accommodate people? Is this what people want?”

Writing in The Australian, economist Judith Sloan pointed out that in 2011, Malcolm Turnbull made the “astonishing claim” that “anyone who thinks that it’s smart to cut immigration is sentencing Australia to poverty”.

“It is important that we have a measured and informed debate about our immigration policies, in terms of both numbers and the integrity of the visa categories,” she wrote.

“Are people really happy that Australia’s population will exceed 40 million in 2060? Are we really testing for skill when we set the visa categories? Has the migration program simply become a way of allowing universities to charge very high fees to international students on the understanding that the graduates can attain permanent residence?

“These are the questions we should not be afraid to pose and politicians should not be afraid to answer.”

Greens immigration spokesman Nick McKim told news.com.au: “The Greens believe in a broad and non-discriminatory immigration policy. In particular, we believe that Australia’s humanitarian intake should be increased to 50,000 people per year.

“Australians are a friendly and welcoming people and we have long and proud history of multiculturalism, which has added so much to the fabric of our country.

“There will always be debates about immigration, and it is disappointing to see so many commentators and politicians resorting to xenophobia and racism.”

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and Labor immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann did not respond to requests for comment.



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


19 July, 2017

What a total and utter f*ckwit! Proof conclusive that Islam rots the brain.  See below

The claim below is both deeply offensive and utterly wrong.  Australia doesn't gas Muslims.  It gives most of them welfare payments.  Only a brain-dead person could compare the two

A leader of a hardline Islamist group has compared the treatment of Muslims to the massacre of millions of Jewish people during the Holocaust.

Muslims have become an 'existential threat' in the world today, Hizb ut-Tahrir media representative Hamzah Qureshi was recently recorded telling fellow group members.

The growing fear of Islam is comparable to Germany's declaration that the Jewish people 'needed to go entirely' almost 70 years ago, Mr Qureshi argued.

'In Europe during the 19th and 20th century the ‘Jewish question’ interrogated the status of Jews and soon morphed from an allegedly neutral inquiry into a question of serious threat,' he began.

'Numerous answers were proposed – resettlement, integration, assimilation, deportation and so on as Jews were labelled an obstacle to the German nation and the insidious enemy within.'

As fears grew, the Holocaust was offered as a 'final solution' to the 'Jewish question,' he said.

'Today though brothers and sisters there is a "Muslim question",' he said. 

'The same answers that were given for the Jewish question are now being suggested for the Muslim version – integration, assimilation, deportation and so on. Muslims have become that existential threat, that enemy within and that persistent danger,' Mr Qureshi said.

'Muslims are told that in order to be accepted they must conform to a certain set of values different to their own.'

'All this begs the confronting question. What will be the final solution to this ‘Muslim Question?’

Mr Qureshi's comments come after fellow Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar was captured on camera saying Muslims who leave the religion should be put to death. 'The ruling for apostates as such in Islam is clear, that apostates attract capital punishment and we don't shy away from that,' Badar said in Sydney in May. An apostate is someone who decides to leave Islam.

His extraordinary admission was exclusively captured on camera by Daily Mail Australia and the matter has now been referred to the Australian Federal Police by Justice Minister Michael Keenan.

Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia removed references to that apostasy policy from its website as Alison Bevege, a freelance journalist, sued the group for making her to sit in a women's-only section at a separate talk in October 2014.

During the group meeting, Ms Bevege held up a printed copy of Hizb ut-Tahrir's draft constitution of the khilafah state published on the UK site, which was on the group's Australian website until 2015.

This outlines their vision for a global Islamic caliphate, which has Muslims and non-Muslims living under sharia law.

Article 7c of the document said: 'Those who are guilty of apostasy (murtadd) from Islam are to be executed according to the rule of apostasy, provided they have by themselves renounced Islam.'

Badar initially responded by saying the policy wasn't on its website before explaining how the group's apostasy policy was compatible with Islam. 'The whole thing covers different aspects of Islamic sharia law,' he said.

'The role of apostasy in Islam is very clear. Again, this is one of the things the West doesn’t like and seeks to change the role of apostasy.'

A spokeswoman for Justice Minister Michael Keenan condemned language that incites or advocates violence.

'Language that incites or advocates violence is not freedom of speech,' the spokeswoman said. 'This matter has been referred to the AFP.'

Badar's remarks came after he delivered the keynote lecture for the forum, which was called 'Sharia and the modern age'.

He said Islam was incompatible with a secular separation of religion and state, democracy, individual rights and even the process of science, which he called 'scientism'.

He compared calls to fit Islam within a secular society to domesticating a wild animal, putting Hizb ut-Tahrir at odds with secular Muslims who reject sharia law.

'The West seeks to domesticate Islam, to control, to bring within, the way you domesticate animals,' he said.

Badar described calls to reform Islam from secular Muslims as 'pernicious', 'insidious' and 'dangerous' and called for radical change. 'Always when you hear these sorts of calls, alarm bells should ring,' he said.

'The Islam people are calling for fits very well within modernity. They’re giving in to the pressure to conform.'

About 100 people were at the publicly-advertised lecture with men making up about two-thirds of the audience.

Women were segregated from the men on the left-hand side of the room, apart from Ms Bevege who stood at the back.

Following the lecture, a group of men followed Daily Mail Australia to a parked car.

One older man bizarrely demanded to know if men and women had equality in Australia.

An ex-Muslim from Bangladesh, Shakil Ahmed, attended the talk and later described his disgust with Hizb ut-Tahrir and Islamists, which orchestrated marches in his home country in 2013.

Islamists staged marches in the capital Dhaka after the murder of gay rights activists and atheist bloggers.

'Their primary demand was the death of apostates and blasphemers,' Mr Ahmed, 20,  told Daily Mail Australia.

He said it was depressing to hear Hizb ut-Tahrir voice their support for the killing of ex-Muslims in Australia. 

'What I felt instinctively is that the reason I left my country was so that I could escape from the exact same people that I found in that room,' he said.

As an ex-Muslim atheist in Bangladesh, he was discreet about his beliefs. 'Apart from a close circle of family and friends, we don't integrate with others as we don't know how they would react to our views,' he said.

Another Bangladeshi student Shubhajit Bhowmik also attended the lecture.

The Hindu blogger was on the same death list as atheist blogger Avajit Roy when he got hacked to death in 2015 in Dhaka for promoting secularism.

Farabi Shafiur Rahman, an extremist blogger and member of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Bangladesh was arrested in connection with Roy's murder.

'Once you escape from death, then you will hardly find things that will scare you,' Mr Bhowmik told Daily Mail Australia about seeing Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia leaders in the flesh. 

Another Islamist group of religious madrassah teachers, Hefazat e Islam, circulated hit lists of Bangladesh and emerged after Hizb ut-Tahrir was banned in 2009.

Like Hizb ut-Tahrir, they have campaigned in Bangladesh to dismantle parliamentary democracy, scrap aspects of the constitution that contradict sharia law and wind back women's rights.

The latest revelation about Hizb ut-Tahrir in Australia comes as Islamists in Pakistan take to social media to demand the killing of atheist blogger Ayaz Nizami.

He and two others were charged with blasphemy this week by a court in Islamabad and face the death penalty.

Hizb ut-Tahrir operates in 40 nations, including Australia and the United Kingdom, but is banned in Bangladesh along with other Muslim and Muslim-majority nations including Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan.


Surprise! Leftist Protesters Mostly Live With Their Parents

There is an old saying that conservatives don’t have huge street protests because they all have jobs to go to.

Well, some new and unsurprising figures from Germany seem to confirm that old saw.

A whopping 92% of leftist protesters arrested for suspicion of politically motivated offenses were men who still lived with their parents.

    The figures, which were published in daily newspaper Bild revealed that 873 suspects were investigated by authorities between 2003 and 2013.

    Of these 84 per cent were men, and 72 per cent were aged between 18 and 29.

    The figures, which were published in daily newspaper Bild revealed that 873 suspects were investigated by authorities between 2003 and 2013.

    More than half of the arrests were made in the Berlin districts of Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg and Mitte, mostly during demonstrations.

    A third of them were unemployed, and 92 per cent still live with their parents.

No wonder these men had the time and the energy to violently protest for more handouts.  It’s not like they had jobs or had to worry about paying rent.


Johns Hopkins Psychiatrist: Transgender is ‘Mental Disorder;' Sex Change ‘Biologically Impossible’

Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, said that transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that merits treatment, that sex change is “biologically impossible,” and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder.

Dr. McHugh, the author of six books and at least 125 peer-reviewed medical articles, made his remarks in a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal, where he explained that transgender surgery is not the solution for people who suffer a “disorder of ‘assumption’” – the notion that their maleness or femaleness is different than what nature assigned to them biologically.

He also reported on a new study showing that the suicide rate among transgendered people who had reassignment surgery is 20 times higher than the suicide rate among non-transgender people. Dr. McHugh further noted studies from Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic of children who had expressed transgender feelings but for whom, over time, 70%-80% “spontaneously lost those feelings.”

While the Obama administration, Hollywood, and major media such as Time magazine promote transgenderism as normal, said Dr. McHugh, these “policy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention.”

“This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken – it does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes.”

The transgendered person’s disorder, said Dr. McHugh, is in the person’s “assumption” that they are different than the physical reality of their body, their maleness or femaleness, as assigned by nature. It is a disorder similar to a “dangerously thin” person suffering anorexia who looks in the mirror and thinks they are “overweight,” said McHugh.

This assumption, that one’s gender is only in the mind regardless of anatomical reality, has led some transgendered people to push for social acceptance and affirmation of their own subjective “personal truth,” said Dr. McHugh. As a result, some states – California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts – have passed laws barring psychiatrists, “even with parental permission, from striving to restore natural gender feelings to a transgender minor,” he said.

The pro-transgender advocates do not want to know, said McHugh, that studies show between 70% and 80% of children who express transgender feelings “spontaneously lose those feelings” over time. Also, for those who had sexual reassignment surgery, most said they were “satisfied” with the operation “but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery.”

“And so at Hopkins we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a ‘satisfied’ but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs,” said Dr. McHugh.

The former Johns Hopkins chief of psychiatry also warned against enabling or encouraging certain subgroups of the transgendered, such as young people “susceptible to suggestion from ‘everything is normal’ sex education,” and the schools’ “diversity counselors” who, like “cult leaders,” may “encourage these young people to distance themselves from their families and offer advice on rebutting arguments against having transgender surgery.”

Dr. McHugh also reported that there are “misguided doctors” who, working with very young children who seem to imitate the opposite sex, will administer “puberty-delaying hormones to render later sex-change surgeries less onerous – even though the drugs stunt the children’s growth and risk causing sterility.”

Such action comes “close to child abuse,” said Dr. McHugh, given that close to 80% of those kids will “abandon their confusion and grow naturally into adult life if untreated ….”

“’Sex change’ is biologically impossible,” said McHugh. “People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder.”


Amazing police over-reaction in Boston leds to needless death

Boston is heavily "Progressive"

HINGHAM — As police cars rolled into his pristine suburban neighborhood last Saturday night, past the sprawling Colonials and manicured lawns, and as dozens of officers from across the region surrounded his home, Russell Reeves begged them again and again to back off.

In a bedroom upstairs his son Austin, 26, was distraught over a breakup. He had told his family he needed time alone. With him was his dog and his 9 mm handgun. If you pressure him, if he feels cornered, Reeves said he told the police, this will end with Austin killing himself.

The police listened and nodded and took notes in their notebooks, according to Reeves. And yet, more officers kept coming. Some wore camouflage and carried rifles. They set up bright lights to shine onto the house and drove a military-style vehicle into the backyard. Eventually, they broke seven upstairs windows so a mounted camera could look inside for Austin.

“Please,” the frightened father says he asked them, “why can’t you just let him go to sleep?”

The standoff in the quiet cul-de-sac went on for hours. By early Sunday morning, it was over, the rows of police vehicles departing all at once like a flock of birds startled into flight.

Left behind, with the muddy tire ruts and broken glass, were countless questions — some of them unanswered, and some unanswerable. Reeling as the sun rose higher in the summer sky, Austin’s parents tried to understand how a simple police check on their son’s well-being had become an all-night siege.

One question, they knew, would haunt them forever: If their pleas had been heard, if police had tempered their response, would Austin still be alive?

‘Don’t back me into a corner’

Austin Reeves gave no sign earlier that evening of any troubles weighing on him.

He worked at a party, as he often did, parking cars to make some extra money. The event, in Hull, was a 75th birthday celebration held outdoors under a tent, and Austin helped to make sure it went smoothly, said the man he worked for. He greeted guests warmly as they arrived, and made sure they had drinks. He even stepped out briefly on the dance floor with one older lady guest who asked him to, after getting a nod of approval from his boss.

“He was totally himself,” said Jon Mongeau, a designer who ran the event, and a friend of the Reeves family, whom Austin had worked for off and on since he was a teenager. “He was charming and funny and outgoing. He could talk to anyone, and everyone always enjoyed him.”

Before he left the party, around 9 p.m., Austin kissed the hostess goodbye and wished her a happy birthday, Mongeau said. He had made plans to go out for drinks with a friend working the event with him, and he headed home to change his clothes.

But sometime before he got there, Austin spoke by phone with his former girlfriend. He became alarmingly upset, according to his parents, and mentioned a gun. Concerned about his state of mind, the woman called police at 9:19 p.m., asking them to check on his welfare.

Minutes later, a Hingham police officer called Russell Reeves at home to ask if Austin had a gun with him. Reeves checked his own guns and found them locked up as always. Before he had a chance to look for the handgun his son owned, Austin walked into the house.

The young man became visibly upset when his father told him the police had called. “You’re not in trouble,” his father recalls saying. “Please sit down and we’ll talk about it.” Austin refused. As he headed upstairs, he angrily issued a warning.

“Don’t back me into a corner,” his father remembers Austin saying. “Because I’ll make it go away in four seconds.”

To Russell Reeves, the meaning was clear — Austin would hurt himself if he wasn’t left in peace. Stunned and afraid, Reeves dialed the Hingham police just after 10 p.m. to ask for help.

In the hall upstairs, Austin’s mother spoke to him through his locked bedroom door. “Whatever’s happening,” Kate Harrison says she called to her son, “I love you, and we can work it out.”

Austin told her he needed to be alone.

By the time she got downstairs, two police officers were outside the house.

A turning point

Harrison felt certain the police would help her son. The great-granddaughter of a small-town police chief in New York, she said she has always felt safe around police. As upsetting as it was to know her son was hurting, there seemed no reason not to think that things would be OK. Austin had no history of mental illness. She thought of him as her cowboy — a young man of very few words, but in his low-key way, endlessly, wickedly funny.

His parents knew his former girlfriend and were fond of her. They knew he had cared about her deeply. When he’d moved out of her house and back home in June, after the breakup, he had wept inconsolably, his mother said. But he never seemed to sink into depression. He was himself, sociable and driven, out the door by 7 each morning to his job with a landscaping and gardening crew.

He had grown up here, in this house in Hingham, a rough-and-tumble, redheaded boy in a cowboy hat. He’d spent time away from home, too, to attend a military prep school in Virginia, and then a year of engineering school in Florida. He had played lacrosse and hockey; MVP awards were stacked in a drawer in his bedroom. He had once wanted to be a Marine, until his mother talked him out of it. He tried a job as a day trader, but found it wasn’t for him. He had learned to fly a plane and dreamed of being a pilot.

A Latin phrase — carpe diem, seize the day — was tattooed in artful letters on his chest. His dog, Faith, a pit bull mix his sister had rescued as a puppy, followed him everywhere he went.

Faith was upstairs with him now, his parents told police, at his side as he holed up in his bedroom.

His mother’s confidence in the police held steady as they interviewed her and her husband, and even as the officers removed them from their home to a neighbor’s nearby yard. Austin’s parents say the police contacted their son’s ex-girlfriend around 11 p.m., and she told them she had spoken with Austin again.

Police told Austin’s father that his son had made a threat in that conversation, according to Reeves: that anyone who comes upstairs to get him would get hurt. That threat seemed enough to change the way police viewed the situation and its potential dangers, and it may have been the turning point in their response. After that, Reeves said, officers mentioned a SWAT team.

“You can’t do that,” he says he told them. “Where is the imminent threat?”

As more officers began arriving, police told Reeves and Harrison they had to leave the street. His mother felt discomfort to her core: Austin was here, and he needed her. The parents asked to stay, but police said no; this was protocol they had to follow. They led the couple — Harrison still in her bathrobe — on a roundabout exit route through surrounding yards. At one point, Reeves says, he started to run back, but an officer physically restrained him.

As they reached the corner, Harrison turned to look back at her home. Distant enough now to see the entire scene, she realized for the first time the full scale of what was happening: the street thick with police vehicles, teeming with armed officers in SWAT gear.

She fell to her knees on her neighbor’s lawn in horror. “Oh my God, oh my God,” she cried. “What are you doing? Is this really necessary?”

A regional response

Austin’s parents said they chose to speak publicly about that night in hopes of changing how police respond to similar distress calls. Hingham Police Chief Glenn Olsson declined to comment on what happened at the Reeves home, citing an ongoing investigation to confirm the cause of death, routine in such cases, by the office of the Plymouth district attorney.

It is impossible to know, without a full accounting by police, exactly what steps they took that night to try and help Austin. What is certain is that Hingham police called for backup from a regional SWAT team, and other related specialty forces, operated by the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council, or Metro LEC, a consortium of 48 law enforcement agencies around Boston that provide mutual support.

Once the regional response was under way, dozens of officers rushed to the Reeves home. The couple reported seeing vehicles from Braintree, Bridgewater, Attleboro, and Randolph, among others.

The regional SWAT team boasts trained negotiators and military-style equipment including a bulletproof BearCat armored truck. The SWAT team responded to 23 calls regionwide in 2016, according to Metro LEC’s annual report, including nine assists with barricaded suspects — three of whom had known mental health concerns. Like other SWAT forces, its use has been scrutinized by critics who say police have become overly reliant on heavy-handed military tactics.

Canton Police Chief Ken Berkowitz, president of the regional law enforcement council, declined to comment on the events in Hingham. But he said the goal of such operations is always to get the barricaded person out alive, a complex task that relies on a team of 10 highly trained crisis negotiators to try and establish dialogue, “to help the person understand that they aren’t out of options.” A separate investigative team supports negotiations by compiling information on the subject that might help build trust and establish a rapport. A mental health clinician serves as a consultant but does not respond with the crisis team on calls.

Other types of personnel do rush to the scene, including paramedics, K9 officers with dogs, and the Metro SWAT team with its heavy gear. Their rifles, helmets, vests, and armored trucks help protect the police and the public in the event that a subject with a gun starts shooting, Berkowitz said, and they also make officers less likely to use force.

“The reason police shoot someone is that they fear getting shot,” Berkowitz said. “If they’re wearing armor, or they’re in an armored truck, they feel more secure, and they’re less likely to shoot.”

Police are often criticized for rushing into crisis situations, forcing confrontations instead of taking time. The responders in Hingham spent 10 hours on the scene. “You rush in and more people get hurt,” Berkowitz said. “Everything shows that the longer it goes on, the more chance there is of resolving it.”

But if contact cannot be established, and a weapon is readily at hand, a suicidal impulse sometimes takes over, he said. It can happen before the extra forces even get there.

Russell Reeves, long an outspoken critic of Hingham town government, believes it was the actions of police, their intimidating show of force, that triggered that self-destructive impulse.

“It was totally preventable,” he said, weeping as he stood outside his house looking up at Austin’s window on Tuesday. “He wasn’t a criminal. He didn’t have a hostage. This was a kid distressed about a girlfriend, and they turned it into a life-and-death situation.”

He wonders, with all of the police around the house, why no one heard the shot that would have told them it was over — and would have gotten paramedics upstairs to try to save his son.

‘The incident . . . has been resolved’

Escorted by police through their neighborhood near midnight, Austin’s parents were corralled in a repurposed ambulance, parked out of sight of their home, where they were held for hours as the standoff continued. At 1:55 a.m., his mother sent Austin a text: “You are not going to jail. We just need to make sure you’re OK.”

Four minutes later, police left a similar message on the family’s home answering machine, suggesting that they too had failed to reach him on his cellphone: “This is John again. It’s important you pick up the phone. You’re not in trouble, we’ve just got to work through a couple of things.”

At some point, his parents tried to rest, awkwardly reclining on the benches in the van. Kate Harrison was cold and too upset to sleep; she huddled under a blanket and waited for morning.

Around 6:30 a.m., police drove the couple to Dunkin’ Donuts and bought Reeves a cup of coffee. At the same time, some nine hours after the episode began, a reverse 911 call from Hingham police reached neighbors’ homes, warning of a situation involving “a distressed person” and asking them to stay indoors.

Police drove Austin’s parents back to the neighborhood soon after, where Harrison spotted Austin’s dog, Faith, on the sidewalk. Her heart leapt with hope: Maybe her son and his dog had fled the house. She and Reeves tried to imagine where Austin had run to, and how soon he might be in touch.

Then the van door opened. The Hingham police chief stepped in. They had found Austin; he had shot himself, he told them. As Austin’s mother screamed, the chief offered to call friends or clergy. The couple asked instead to have their son’s dog, his loyal friend, with them.

No, the chief said, according to the couple — we can’t bring a dog in here; it’s against protocol.

At 7:19 a.m., police released a final reverse 911 message to neighbors. “Thank you for your cooperation,” a woman’s voice said. “The incident on Edgar Walker Court has been resolved.”



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


18 July, 2017

Leftmedia Blasts AG Sessions for Speech to 'Hate Group'

Religious liberty requires a robust defense of the freedom of conscience. And freedom of conscience is expressed in an individual’s right to either accept or reject various beliefs, ideas or behaviors as their own conscience dictates. In other words, an essential and foundational component of freedom of conscience is the right to be discriminating. For a society to espouse a commitment to protect individual freedom, that society must allow for individuals to choose to discriminate against ideals and behaviors they find objectionable, so long as they don’t prevent another individual from also engaging their liberty of conscience.

This week the mainstream media ran stories criticizing Attorney General Jeff Sessions for delivering a speech to a “hate group.” NBC News’ headline read, “Jeff Sessions Tells ‘Hate Group’ DOJ Will Issue Religious Freedom Guidance,” and ABC News’ even more biased headline read, “Jeff Sessions addresses ‘anti-LGBT hate group,’ but DOJ won’t release his remarks.” So what was this dastardly “hate group” Sessions addressed? It was the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a civil liberties organization dedicated to defending Americans’ right to religious freedom. Hardly a “hate group.”

How did the Leftmedia come to libeling a long-respected civil liberty organization? The answer: the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). That once-respected organization has taken a hard-left turn in recent years and has essentially designated every politically conservative organization a “hate group.” The SPLC has become so politically biased that to reference it as a credible and authoritative source is akin to referencing Joseph Goebbels as an authority on the accuracy of Allied news stories.

As for the claim by ABC News that the DOJ refused to release Sessions’ remarks, the full transcript of his speech was published by The Federalist. And it’s a good speech, well worth the read. Once again, this serves as yet another example of gross bias in the Leftmedia, as well as its sad state of journalistic integrity.


Feminism faltering in Ireland

A referendum to rid the constitution of a clause saying that a woman’s place is in the home could fail, according to a new Sunday Times poll.

Just 41% of respondents in the Behaviour & Attitudes survey said they would vote in favour of removing article 41.2.1 from Bunreacht na hEireann, while 39% said they would vote against repealing it. One in five said they did not know how they would vote. More men (42%) would support its removal than women (40%).

Josepha Madigan, a Fine Gael TD who has called for a referendum to remove the clause, said the poll finding was surprising, and it showed an information campaign would be necessary before any poll is held.

“There must be a misconception about what it would actually mean,” said Madigan, a family-law solicitor. “It might be that home-makers, who are mostly women, would be afraid of being forced out to the labour force if they voted for it. Nobody is saying that. If you take it out of the constitution, you do not have to go out to work.”

Article 41.2.1 says: “The state recognises that, by her life within the home, woman gives to the state a support without which the common good cannot be achieved.” It says the state shall “endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home”.

Older voters are more resistant to dropping the constitutional clause, with 46% of those aged over 54 saying they would vote no, compared with 33% of those aged under 35.

Better-off ABC1 voters (42%) were more enthusiastic about abolition than farmers (35%), while voters in Connacht and Ulster were the least enthusiastic, with 44% saying they would vote no.

In Dublin, 54% of voters gave it the thumbs-up. Green Party supporters (62%) registered the highest approval and people who voted for independents the lowest at 35%, just ahead of Fianna Fail at 36%.

Support on the “yes” side is generally much higher before referendums are called. This is regarded as desirable, because support for “yes” often ebbs away during referendum campaigns, when other issues, such as satisfaction with the government, begin to feature in the debate.

In February 2013, 88% of members of the Constitutional Convention voted in favour of amending the article, and recommended the government call a referendum on it.

Only 12% of the convention’s delegates favoured its abolition, however. In a separate vote, 98% preferred altering the article to make it gender-balanced and to acknowledge the importance of other carers in the home.

“I don’t think people would have a difficulty with that, because there are increasingly more men in the home than there used to be,” said Madigan, who chairs the Dail’s budgetary oversight committee.


Do some rights matter more than others?

Court’s announcement that they will take up Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Right Commission indicates that religious liberties will be one of these contentious decisions; while decades of precedent seemed clear, recent decisions have made this issue murky, and now the Supreme Court will provide clarity.

The facts of the case are quite simple; Jack Phillips, a Colorado cake artist, declined to design and create a custom cake honoring a same sex marriage because doing so conflicted with his religious beliefs. For this reason, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled Phillips in violation of discrimination based on sexual orientation under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA).

The American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) has already jumped on this case. LA Times reporter David Savage explains, the ACLU urged the Supreme Court to turn down the appeal in this case because it could open a “gaping hole” in civil rights enforcement if business owners can simply cite their religious beliefs as a reason to deny service to certain customers.

However, Phillips lawyers defend that his denial of services is not an act against the same sex couple, but rather a defense of his religious liberties and ideology.

Phillips lawyers defend in their request for appeal that Phillip will not produce any cakes violating this religious ideology, “This includes cakes with offensive written messages and cakes celebrating events or ideas that violate his beliefs, including cakes celebrating Halloween (a decision that costs him significant revenue), anti-American or anti-family themes, atheism, racism, or indecency. He also will not create cakes with hateful, vulgar, or profane messages, or sell any products containing alcohol.”

This is where the Supreme Court must be careful in their ruling.

The Free Exercise Clause which Phillips is using to defend his ability to deny the gay couple services, has already been ruled on before, but these ruling provide less clarity rather than more.

In the 1990 Supreme Court case Employment Division v. Smith, the courts ruled that a law may burden the practice of religion as long as it did not serve to punish individuals who practice that religion. In the case, an individual working for rehabilitation organization was fired for ingesting peyote, a drug used for sacramental purposes by the Native American Church.

This ruling was a stark change from the 1963 case Sherbert v. Verner, where the court ruled a woman could not be denied unemployment benefits after being fired for refusing to work on the sabbath; as well as the 1981 case Thomas v. Review Bd. Of Indiana Employment Serv. Div. where the Supreme Court ruled a man could also not be denied benefits after leaving his job for religious interests.

Congress desperately tried to change the precedent of Smith in favor of Sherbert in 1993 with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but the Supreme Court ruled against Congress’s authority to do so.

Consistently, the Supreme Court and the federal government have lacked a clear position on religious liberties in the workplace. While they have fiercely defended workers ability to leave positions that do not comply with their religious observance, they have also ruled that the government has some grounds to limit free exercise of religion as long as it does not serve to punish the religion.

But if Phillips does not discriminate against same sex couples at any time besides when it conflicts with his religion, is reprimanding him for his actions not a punishment for his beliefs?

In a similar case to the one the Supreme Court will see in October, a florist refused to create a floral arrangement for a same sex marriage in Washington State. As Kerri Kupec, a lawyer in the case from the Arizona-based group Alliance Defending Freedom explains, “All Americans should be free to peacefully live and operate consistent with their convictions without threat of government punishment… Under this kind of rationale that’s happening in Washington state, a gay singer could be forced by the government to perform at a religious conference that is promoting marriage as a man-woman union.”

The implications here are the same. Nobody would think to force a priest to perform a wedding ceremony outside of a church, so why must a private citizen be forced to work in a way that conflicts with their religious beliefs? Does the First Amendment not apply to all Americans practicing faith not only to clergy?

As Phillips lawyers make clear in their appeal request, “It is undisputed that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission does not apply CADA to ban an African-American cake artist from refusing to create a cake promoting white-supremacism for the Aryan Nation, an Islamic cake artist from refusing to create a cake denigrating the Quran for the Westboro Baptist Church… Neither should CADA ban Jack Phillips’ polite declining to create a cake celebrating same-sex marriage on religious grounds when he is happy to create other items for gay and lesbian clients.”

This will be new Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s first opportunity to rule on the issue of religious liberties, and hopefully, will create a clear precedent that government cannot violate individuals First Amendment rights. While the ACLU and the left paint this as an opportunity for discrimination, the Court must realize this is a much more critical moment for government intervention into American lives.


Rainbow Mafia Politicizes Gender-Reveal Parties

Is it a boy or a girl? It used to be such an innocent question. Now, mothers aren’t just politically incorrect for throwing a gender-reveal baby shower; they’re also considered by the Left to be a danger to their children. Even more troubling, the American medical community is starting to comply with the homosexual agenda.

Like everything else in the twisted ideology of progressivism, words no longer mean what they mean. Gender has been co-opted so that it no longer has anything to do with one’s anatomy. Instead, gender is a malleable political term describing how one feels about oneself, and it’s used to advance a political and cultural agenda.

On the surface it seems innocent. It always does. The notion that we shouldn’t force our children to think of themselves as boys or girls may seem harmless at first, but there’s a broader objective: to completely alter the social structure of our civilization and to undermine our values.

As a society, we used to believe that failing to properly raise children as boys or girls was emotionally and psychologically damaging. Now the Left is successfully turning that thinking on its head.

In an article for Cosmopolitan magazine, Diane Stopyra opines, “My discomfort with the gender-reveal party goes beyond my standard objection to fanfare surrounding gestational markers — which is primarily that, because we don’t celebrate non-pregnancy-related milestones with the same enthusiasm, we’re reinforcing the archaic notion that a woman’s value rests squarely in her ability to grow tiny humans. The issue with gender-reveal parties in particular is: Aren’t they potentially damaging to said tiny humans?”

Nicole Russell responds in the Washington Examiner, “A social construct has attempted to hijack gender into becoming the political statement they want rather than the basic anatomy that it is. The author cites a professor who says these parties just give in to gender stereotypes — boys want to be sheriffs and girls wear pink — which is just a shame. Yet for all their politically correct fanfare, both the author and the professor cited are forgetting: Stereotypes surrounding gender arose for a reason. Boys and girls often gravitate towards certain toys and behaviors because of their gender. That’s been going on for centuries.”

Russell is right. Gender-reveal parties don’t force boys to become firefighters or push girls to become teachers (or, God forbid, mothers). Boys naturally gravitate toward professions that are suited to their gender, but leftists want us to believe that a male construction worker is somehow the victim of child abuse because his parents allowed his gender to go unchecked.

Not that long ago, most Americans would think it laughable to suggest that a baby shower, er, gender-reveal party, is sinister and damaging to the fabric of our society. But this view is becoming more commonplace as the Left continues its total war on our culture.

If we accept this view, then women who value their ability to have children, let alone celebrate it, are not merely victims of an archaic societal structure but are responsible for inflicting psychological harm on their children. Progressives want mothers to look with disdain at their natural ability to give birth and to reject any parental influence as a threat to their child’s development.

And this movement goes far beyond politics. It’s also aided and abetted by the medical community. According to an official American Medical Association statement, “Acknowledging that individuals’ gender and sexual identities do not always fit neatly into binary paradigms, delegates to the 2017 AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago took several actions that support broadening how gender identity is defined within medicine and how transgender patients are treated by society.”

Basically, the AMA is sanctioning transgenderism, even though there is plenty of evidence showing that transgender youth and adults experience emotional and psychological problems. Data reveals, for example, that adults who consider themselves transgender have much higher suicide rates.

That’s right. Billy may not have to suffer through the “oppression” of getting a toy dump truck for his birthday, but down the road he’s likely to face a wide range of complex and problematic thoughts and emotions. But not to worry; at least Billy’s parents can sleep at night knowing they saved him from a life beset by the dangerous idea that he’s a boy.

Years ago Hillary Clinton wrote, “It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us,” and progressives ever since have tried to diminish the roles that parents play in the lives of their children. Indeed, 20 years later it’s even more clear that the progressive plan was to subvert the way we think about children and parenting. Sure, everyone within a village has a role. That’s nothing new.

But the values of the village are often very different from those we want for our children. Indeed, some villagers are seeking to undermine nearly everything about child-rearing that we know to be best.

So go ahead and throw a gender-reveal party while you still can. But don’t let the neighbors find out. If word gets out that you’re celebrating motherhood and the gender of your child, the village idiots won’t be pleased. And don’t think for a second that they’re not watching.



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


17 July, 2017

Census 2016: Australia the world's least racist country?

A small note on the Chinese in Australia.  Salty Bernard below says we have 510,000 Chinese-born residents. That is both true and misleading.  The China-born persons of Han Chinese origin are probably only half of the total Han Chinese immigrants.  Many of the people from Vietnam and Malaysia particularly are Han Chinese by ancestry and know it.  Additionally many have been in Australia for a long time now and have children and grandchildren born here.  So the number of Australian born Han could well be greater than the number born overseas. 

I repeatedly in my daily life come across people of unmistakeably Han ancestry who speak Australian English as well as I do: They have obviously grown up here.  So I estimate that there are around 2 million Australians of Han ancestry, which makes the total population around 5% Han.  We are lucky to have so many bright, hard working and peaceful people among us.

So the Han give demographers a few problems.  The "Overseas" Chinese who have come to Australia from Southest Asia identify strongly as Han so for most purposes should be lumped in with the China-born Han. 

But an upcoming process will create even greater definitional difficulties.  Young Han women in Australia are generally short in stature and seem to be universally determined to marry a tall man.  And if a tall Han man cannot be found a tall Caucasian man will do.  In my observation, that is actually universal.  Young Han women ALWAYS have a tall man with them if they have anyone at all. They know how to get what they want.  Looking at it from the other way, around 50% of tall Caucasian men will have a little Asian lady on their arms if any. That will undoubtedly produce a large crop of Eurasian children in the not too distant future.  How will the demographers classify them?

The phenomenon I have just described also does pretty well as an indication that neither Han nor Caucasian Australians are racist.  In the Bogardus scale of social distance, marriage is the highest level of non-racism -- JR

Australian migrants have to really want to come to this country. We are not like Europe or Africa or the Americas where migrants can trek from one country to another across a land border. And Australia isn’t conveniently positioned between continents teeming with humanity. We’re a bit out of the way … in fact we’re a long way out of the way. Which means that if migrants do decide to make the journey to Australia, then getting back to see family and friends is difficult. I think our isolation, the tyranny of distance, delivers an urgency to the Aussie migrant’s yearning for success.

Come to Australia, mate, work hard, pay your taxes, make a civic contribution, perhaps raise a family and share in the resources of our bountiful continent. Large-scale migration shapes the culture of the host population. Migrants lift the bar; they have something to prove; they measure their success by the success of their children (and often set up by the exceptionally hard work of the migrating parents). Without migration Australia would have remained a white Anglo enclave, a colonial outpost of Britain. Migrant effort, energy, enterprise and muscle have shaped this nation and changed the way we eat (pasta), style our homes (back veranda is now alfresco) and greet each other (cheek kissing) along the way.

All of which leads me to conclude that Australia is the greatest migrant nation on earth. And here is why I believe we can make that claim. According to the latest census figures 28 per cent of the Australian population was born overseas, up two percentage points in the past five years. This proportion in the US, Britain and Spain is barely 13 per cent. Only New Zealand (25 per cent) and Canada (20 per cent) come close to the Australian figures.

If we include residents with at least one parent born overseas then this proportion rises to 49 per cent. Or at least this was the proportion last August; by now we probably have topped the 50 per cent mark. There are more than 6.1 million migrants living in Australia — up 870,000 from the 2011 census — which represents an increase of 174,000 per year.

In Greater Melbourne, Perth and Sydney migrants comprise between 36 per cent and 39 per cent of the population (and even higher proportions in tighter definitions of these cities). This proportion in Greater New York is 37 per cent, in Paris it is 25 per cent, in Berlin it is 13 per cent, in Tokyo it is 2 per cent and in Shanghai it is less than 1 per cent. The Germans get all angsty when Berlin pushes much beyond the 13 per cent mark; Greater Sydney is sitting at 39 per cent and rising. And if we again include local residents with at least one parent born overseas, then 65 per cent of Sydney’s population is a migrant or closely connected to the migrant experience.

I do not see how anyone can credibly make the case that Australians are fundamentally racist — racist incidents perhaps, but not fundamentally racist — when close to 40 per cent of the population in our biggest city consists of migrants. If Australians had a fundamental problem with migrants then the issue would have been brought to a head long before Sydney got to be a more cosmopolitan city than New York.

There is no rioting in our streets. Generally we all get along. There are, of course, serious issues that we are dealing with in regard to refugees. However, I cannot cite another nation with metrics even approaching Australia’s generosity in accepting migrants.

Australia’s largest migrant groups are the British (1.088 million) and New Zealanders (518,000). The Brits arrived en masse after World War II as “ten-pound Poms”, while enterprising New Zealanders have always sought to test their mettle in the bigger market of Australia. However, through the 2020s it is likely that there will be a switch in our largest migrant populations. The Brits are dying off and the recovery of the New Zealand economy has stemmed the flow of Kiwis.

The rising migrant forces in Australia are unmistakably Asian. The latest census counted 510,000 Chinese-born residents, increasing at a rate of 38,000 a year, which means they probably already have surpassed the Kiwis as Australia’s second largest migrant group. Then come the Indians with 455,000, increasing at a rate of 32,000 a year. Then there are the Filipinos with 232,000 and the Vietnamese with 219,000.

The Chinese are our leading source of new migrants; they probably have replaced the Kiwis as our leading source of visitors; they form the largest body of overseas students; and China is our leading export market and source of imports. I think it’s time we made Mandarin a compulsory second language in the school curriculum. Indeed I think it is in the national interest for Australians to understand some Mandarin (and at times in business not to let on that we understand some Mandarin).

There are migrant hotspots in every major city, especially among non-English-speaking settlers. The Chinese make up 9 per cent of the population in Hobart’s Sandy Bay. In Darwin’s Coconut Grove Filipino migrants comprise 10 per cent of the population. In Brisbane the Chinese comprise 23 per cent of the population in Macgregor, Indians cluster in Runcorn (9 per cent) and the Vietnamese congregate in Inala, where they comprise 20 per cent of the population. In Adelaide, for some reason English migrants love McLaren Vale where they account for 15 per cent of the population.

Generally British and New Zealand migrants integrate seamlessly into the Australian social fabric. Contrary to popular opinion New Zealanders do not dominate the Sydney suburb of Bondi, where they form just 3.4 per cent of the population. In fact the newest Kiwi enclave is a long way from hip Bondi; it’s Marsden in suburban Brisbane, where they form 13 per cent of the population. The Brits do congregate, but mostly as retirees in lifestyle locations such as Melbourne’s Mount Martha where they also comprise 13 per cent of the population.

The migrant component to the Australian population swishes and swirls to every nook and cranny on the continent. I say this imbues Australians with a global perspective not found elsewhere. We have developed an absorbent culture that soaks up and showcases migrant influences. Perhaps because we are so removed we see overseas and cosmopolitan influences as a mark of sophistication. Quinoa salad, anyone? ....

Which brings me to a final observation about Australia’s migrants. They make the journey to Australia to secure a better life for themselves and their families.

And in so doing I think they make choices based on work availability and perceived quality of life. Sydney may offer the next generation of migrants work opportunities in financial services, but it is the first generation that wants to buy a home, perhaps as a symbol of their success in the new world. And when you think about it, this aspiration to work and to own a home aligns nicely with fundamental Australian values.


An Unhinged Linda Sarsour Lashes Out at the “Zionist Media”

Those of us following the news were unfortunately subjected to an unhealthy dose of Linda Sarsour this week. The self-promoting, egomaniacal, anti-Semite managed to deliberately stir a hornet’s nest with use of inflammatory rhetoric at a Muslim conference. In an address before the Islamic Society of North America, she called for a “Jihad” in the name of “Allah” against the Trump administration and encouraged her Muslim Brotherhood audience members (ISNA was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land-Hamas terror financing case) “not to assimilate and…not to please any other people and authority.”

Sasour, the crafty manipulator, then used the subsequent firestorm to insert herself into the news and the Washington Post provided her with a platform to spew her venomous propaganda. She penned an article where she claimed to have been “taken out of context,” feigned victimhood (victimizers are good at doing that) and termed those who criticized her, “Islamophobes.”

In Linda Sarsour’s world, those critical of her rancid views and actions – her support for BDS, her embrace of a convicted murderer, her tribalism and outright anti-Semitism and her desire to remove the vaginas of women with whom she finds disagreement – are branded “Islamophobes.” Sarsour then went on to give herself a gold star for being “their worst nightmare.” By “their” she meant “Islamophobes,” and by Islamophobes, she means everyone who disagrees with her, including those in the center-left camp (yes, they still exist).

The late Christopher Hitchens perceptively noted that the term “Islamophobic” is one that “was created by fascists and used by cowards to manipulate morons.” Sarsour’s banal employment of this dangerous and disingenuous term proves Hitchens’ point beyond any shadow of a doubt.

But Sarsour is a fraud. She claims to be a civil rights activist but is an anti-Semite. She preaches non-violence but encourages violence against Israelis. She claims to represent the feminist movement but advocates for Sharia which oppresses women, and bizarrely touts Saudi Arabia – a nation that forbids women drivers and punishes rape victims – as a nation that protects women’s rights. She claims to be an advocate for the LGBTQIA (she’s always careful to insert the “QIA” part) community but has yet to condemn the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Iran, Saudi Arabia or any Muslim country for their abysmal treatment of their respective LGBT communities.

Yet amazingly, Sarsour manages to find the time to relentlessly criticize Israel, the Mideast’s only democracy, and a nation that empowers women and provides statutory protections for its LGBT citizenry.

Sarsour may also be a fraud for other reasons. According to a report by the Algemeiner, in February and March, Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi, founder of the non-profit Islamic education organization Celebrate Mercy, partnered in an online campaign to raise money for vandalized or neglected Jewish cemeteries. How benevolent of Sarsour to collect money for dead Jews but at the same time, advocate violence against living ones.

The duo raised a total of raised $162,468, $50,000 of which was channeled to three cemeteries. $100,000 was pledged to a Jewish cemetery in Lakewood, Colorado that had fallen into severe disrepair but the money has yet to be delivered and the cemetery’s caretaker told the Algemeiner that his repeated calls to El-Messidi have gone unanswered. He does not believe that the promised funds will be forthcoming. That begs the question, where has the remaining $112,468 gone?

In response to the exposé, an unhinged Sarsour lashed out against the Algemeiner calling it “a right wing Zionist media outlet.” She also threatened legal action stating that those who inflicted “trauma” on her with these “propaganda campaigns” will “pay with their pockets.” Sarsour also tried to deflect responsibility and diminish her role by noting that “the money is being administered by [El-Messidi’s] Celebrate Mercy NOT me.” Finally Sarsour claimed that El-Messidi was “awaiting a proposal from the cemetery for potential costs so they can be allocated...” But that response doesn't explain why the caretaker's repeated phone calls to El-Messidi went unanswered. If El-Messidi was indeed awaiting some form of proposal, one would think he would have communicated this requirement to the designated donee.

This isn’t the first time that Sarsour has run afoul of an online crowd-funding campaign. In June, she commenced an online funding campaign for “sister Rahma,” a Somali Muslim woman who sustained injuries during a confused melee in Columbus Ohio. The rabblerousing Sarsour implied that the attack was inspired by racial and ethnic bias and made sure to identify the alleged attacker as white.

Sarsour’s account varied significantly from other witnesses at the scene who said that Rahma was part of a group of individuals who attacked a woman who was trying to intervene on behalf of an abused child. Columbus police said they could not make an arrest “due to the lack of physical evidence and conflicting stories.”

Yet Sarsour and her long-time partner in crime, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, (CAIR was also named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land case) saw an opportunity to create some fake news. They had no problem with creating hoaxes and further fanning the flames of racial discord in an effort to maintain relevancy. It’s good for business.

Linda Sarsour has thrust herself into the spotlight through clever self-promotion and manipulation. But make no mistake; Sarsour is as rancid as she is dangerous. She is the David Duke of the left. But despite her odious views, the American Civil Liberties Union and other left-wing groups of similar ilk absurdly continue to stand by her. Anti-Semitism emanating from the hard-right is rightfully condemned but for some inexplicable reason, anti-Semitism emanating from the hard-left is given a free pass or largely ignored.

In February, American Conservative Union executive director Dan Schneider unequivocally condemned the so-called Alt-Right and its leaders in harsh and unambiguous terms. He accurately characterized its leaders as racist, sexist and anti-Semitic. The time has come for those on the center-left to emulate their colleagues on the center-right. They must discard their craven attitudes and issue a full-throated repudiation of Linda Sarsour and the evil that she embodies.    


Is Silicon Valley really rife with sexism?

Silicon Valley has long been synonymous with innovative technology. The Hollywood image is of a place where geeky coders become glamorous millionaires. However, in recent years, a different image of Silicon Valley has emerged — one of a toxic environment for women.

Cases like that of Susan Fowler, whose complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination at Uber prompted an internal investigation, have received a huge of amount of press coverage. In another case, AJ Vandermeyden, a female engineer at Tesla, was fired after she filed a lawsuit against the company for ‘pervasive harassment’. She reported catcalls on the factory floor and claims less or equally qualified male colleagues were promoted over her. These cases, and others, have triggered allegations from numerous other women over the past couple of months.

The New York Times says more than 24 women have told it they are victims of sexual harassment, citing examples of women being touched by advisers and investors and receiving messages of sexual advances. Last month, Binary Capital co-founder and managing partner Justin Caldbeck announced he was taking an indefinite leave of absence, after allegations of sexual harassment were made against him. And Dave McClure, CEO and co-founder of 500 Startups, who faced similar accusations, penned an apologetic blog post titled: ‘I’m a creep, I’m sorry.’ A few days later he resigned from his post.

Many of the accusations make for uncomfortable reading. Some women claim to have been subjected to unwanted kissing and groping, while others talk about a constant stream of inappropriate and sexist comments. The allegations have also prompted a wider discussion on the situation for women working in tech; about the low numbers of women, especially at management levels, and the possibility of an unconscious bias against women.

In its report, the New York Times said ‘the new accounts underscore how sexual harassment in the tech-startup ecosystem goes beyond one firm and is pervasive and ingrained’. An article in the Guardian was headlined, ‘Sexual harassment in Silicon Valley: have we reached a tipping point?’. But we should be wary of accepting at face value claims that sexism and sexual harassment are endemic in the tech industry.

First, while many allegations have been made, they have not been proved. The cases that have been highlighted name a handful of tech or investor companies in Silicon Valley. There are thousands of companies there and new start-ups are constantly launching. And not all of the allegations that have gone to trial have held up. Ellen Pao took her former employer, venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, to court for allegations of gender discrimination in 2015. She lost. Bizarrely, this lost case has still been lauded for opening the ‘floodgates’ to allegations of gender bias in Silicon Valley. FEM, UCLA’s feminist magazine, published an article titled, ‘Why the Ellen Pao verdict was actually a win for women in tech’.

The Pao case also inspired the widely cited ‘Elephant in the Valley’ survey, which claimed 60 per cent of women in Silicon Valley had experienced sexual harassment, and 88 per cent had experienced unconscious bias. But this survey isn’t all it seems. ‘Unconscious bias’ is, in part, defined as ‘eye contact with male colleagues and not me’. Only 210 women took part in the survey — and it appears far from impartial. The survey was carried out by seven women working in the industry with the stated aim of proving the existence of sexism. ‘What we realised is that while many women shared similar workplace stories [to that of Ellen Pao]’, the women wrote, ‘most men were simply shocked and unaware of the issues facing women in the workplace. In an effort to correct the massive information disparity, we decided to get the data and the stories.’ The women invited to take part in the survey were business contacts of the women who launched the survey.

Other studies claiming gender bias in Silicon Valley have also been criticised. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, disputed claims from a former Facebook engineer that computer code written by female Facebook engineers is rejected 35 per cent more than code written by men. Sandberg said the study used ‘incomplete data’ and ‘the main reason code was sent back had to do with [the] level, not gender [of the engineer]’.

Silicon Valley has also been attacked for its ‘lack of diversity’ — that is, not employing enough women. Certainly the figures show there are far fewer women than men employed by tech startups and venture capitalists. Facebook reports that 17 per cent of its technical staff are women. But this doesn’t necessarily translate into some kind of anti-women agenda in the industry. Research psychologist Denise Cummins has said that the STEM gender gap is overblown. In an article published on PBS, Cummins points out that there is gender equity in almost all STEM subjects in terms of women studying for degrees and in employment. ‘Women are as likely as men to be biological scientists, medical scientists and chemists’, she says. Computer science is just one of two exceptions.

If some women are experiencing sexist treatment or harassment in Silicon Valley, then of course that is an issue that must be addressed. But we should be careful before suggesting this amounts to an industry-wide problem when there isn’t evidence to back it up.

The solutions being proposed to counter the supposed Silicon Valley sexism are also a worry. Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder, suggested venture capitalists (VCs) sign a ‘decency pledge’. In a blog post on LinkedIn he wrote that VCs should see their relationship with entrepreneurs as taking the same ‘moral position’ as ‘a college professor to a student’ – a statement which manages to be both creepy and infantilising to women.

Other women who have alleged sexual harassment have demanded more regulation of workplace relationships. This is a common theme with today’s feminists, who claim men and women cannot be trusted to interact without strict rules in place (an interesting parallel can be seen in the sex-consent classes on university campuses). Yet it is hard to see how regulation that will effectively give women a special status will help gender equality in the workplace.

We live in a climate where, when incidents of inequality arise, especially concerning women, we have a propensity to jump to conclusions that don’t quite add up. Tarring an entire industry with the same brush based on the actions of a few creeps is not helpful. It blurs the reality of the situation, and does nothing to help stamp out inequality where it does exist.


Obama Transgender Military Regs Put on Hold

“All Soldiers should be respectful of the privacy and modesty concerns of others. However, transgender Soldiers are not required or expected to modify or adjust their behavior based on the fact that they do not ‘match’ other Soldiers.” —2017 Army Training Manual on rules regarding personnel awaiting “gender reassignment” surgery.

Yes, this is in the latest U.S. Army regulation. Call it the “PFC Bradley (Chelsea) Manning Traitor Pardon” Rule. Not only did Barack Obama pardon Manning for sharing military secrets with WikiLeaks, doing more damage to our national security than any spy on record, but your tax dollars paid for his “gender reassignment” — while he was in prison awaiting Obama’s midnight pardon. Thanks Obama.

Fortunately, Defense Secretary James Mattis has pushed the reset button on implementing these new guidelines on transgender enlistment — at least for six months in order to allow for greater analysis of the potential impact on the readiness of the military. Mattis said, “Since becoming the secretary of defense, I have emphasized that the Department of Defense must measure each policy decision against one critical standard: Will the decision affect the readiness and lethality of the force?” He continued, “Put another way, how will the decision affect the ability of America’s military to defend the nation? It is against this standard that I provide the following guidance on the way forward in accessing transgender individuals into the military services.”

We think the answer to that is clear. Will Mattis and the military be able to withstand the upcoming withering barrage from the Rainbow Mafia?



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


16 July, 2017

Multicultural seduction

A 19-year-old woman who was held captive in a dog cage in the basement of a Milwaukee home and forced to have sex with multiple men finally managed to escape when her alleged captor left to appear in court on other charges.

Benjamin Hooks, 24, is accused of forcing the teenager to wear a dog collar while she was tied down, blindfolded and raped by multiple men at the home on the city's north side during the fall of 2016.

The victim told police she would only get one to two meals a day and she had to share them with a pit bull that was also locked in the basement with her, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Fox6.

He is currently facing a string of human trafficking charges in a separate case involving a 20-year-old woman and 15-year-old girl.

The woman told investigators that she had gone to live at the home - which features three homes adjacent to each other - to take care of the 69-year-old female property owner. She said people, including Hooks, started showing up and taking over the property shortly after she arrived.

The homeowner told Fox6 that Hooks had made a home there secretly after someone had moved out. 'I didn't have a f***ing thing to do with this. He snuck in. He snuck in and did it,' she said.

He has three open cases that were filed between January and May this year.

In January he was charged with substantial battery, intentional bodily harm, habitual criminality repeater.

In early May he was charged with a string of offenses, including first degree sexual assault, use of a dangerous weapon and false imprisonment. He was charged with human trafficking in late May.


Poll: Majority of Italians Say Government Committing ‘Ethnic Replacement’

The majority of Italians want to see migrant arrivals stopped completely, and believe the ‘ius soli’ law being pushed by Italy’s globalist government is “ethnic replacement”, enacted to boost the proportion of left wing voters in the nation.

The ruling Democratic Party (PD) say that passing the long-awaited ius soli (meaning ‘law of the soil’ in Latin) bill, which would make it much easier for second generation immigrants to gain citizenship, would send an important message that “migrants are an integrated part of society”.

But the law, which experts say would grant citizenship to around 800,000 people overnight and a further 60,000 each year, has the support of only a third of Italians, most of whom are strongly opposed to policies of mass migration.

Political Thermometer last week reported the results of a survey which found that 64 per cent of 2,900 respondents said they disapprove of the bill, which is currently being debated by politicians in Italy, with 33 per cent saying they are in favour.

According to the poll, 58 per cent of Italians believe ius soli is being pushed so as to increase PD’s share of the votes, while 37 per cent said they think politicians in support of the law have other motivations for doing so.

A majority of respondents (51 per cent) said they consider the bill to be part of an ongoing attempt to “ethnically replace” the Italian people, while 42 per cent disagreed, and seven per cent said they do not know.

The survey found strong opposition to mass migration, with more than 70 per cent of people polled disagreeing with the statement: “[Italy] must welcome the Africans who are arriving in boats.”

Thirty-eight per cent said the country has to put a stop to the boats and prevent them from arriving, asserting that Africans should only be helped in their homelands, while 35 per cent said it is right that Italy rescue migrants in danger of drowning at sea but that the nation should immediately expel everyone who is not entitled to asylum.

A poll for Rome newspaper Il Messaggero on Saturday revealed similar results, finding a majority of Italians of all political stripes saying they want to see migrant arrivals stopped, a sentiment which was highest among supporters of the populist Lega Nord party (96 per cent).

Though the least keen to put a stop to migrant boats, a majority of PD supporters (52 per cent) want to block their arrival  — a figure which rises to 62 per cent among undecided voters, 70 per cent among supporters of the left wing populist Five Star Movement, and 79 per cent among voters of the centre-right Forza Italia party.

The survey showed rising fatigue in Italy over the new arrivals, with the figure who said the nation has a duty to welcome, house, and feed Africans arriving in boats down 10 per cent from a year before, having fallen to 33 per cent.


The Terrifying Way Sweden Is Killing Itself

I could be writing every week about Sweden. Every day. Every hour. For reasons that will be analyzed by historians for a long, long time – provided the Western world doesn't become so thoroughly Islamized that the possibility of objective historical scrutiny is utterly obliterated – the Swedes have chosen a path of cultural and societal suicide that puts all other countries in the shade.

For anyone curious about self-destructive psychopathologies, it is a grimly fascinating phenomenon. Why, of all places, Sweden? How can a Swedish woman raped by an illegal Muslim immigrant be so bursting with racial guilt that she hesitates to report the crime to the police for fear that her report might lead to her rapist's punishment or deportation? Or, more generally, because news of the offense might result in an increase in “Islamophobia?"

This is the kind of madness that's going on in Sweden now. More than any other country in Europe, it has a government and a media that are in denial about the truth, a legal system that punishes those who dare to tell the truth, and a people who have been brainwashed for decades with the vile lie that they have a moral obligation to hand their country over to hostile, despotic strangers from far away.

No, Sweden isn't North Korea. The ugly news does get out, one way or another. Some of it, anyway. It's just that, with extremely rare exceptions, the important facts about the nation's disastrous Islamization don't find their way into the country's own mainstream media. On the contrary, Sweden's major TV, radio, and print outlets are notorious for the fidelity with which they parrot the government line and omit or whitewash uncomfortable news developments.

No, if you're looking for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about most of the nasty stuff going on in Sweden these days, you're better off checking out Swedish websites such as Avpixlat and Fria Tider, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, and two Norwegian sites: document.no and rights.no, the latter being the site of the organization Human Rights Service.

I've previously quoted a March 11 Jyllands-Posten editorial that spelled out the Swedish situation quite frankly: what should “most worry Sweden's neighbors,” the Danish editors wrote, is the Swedes' “unwillingness to openly and honestly discuss the government-approved multicultural idyll. ... In the long run, the mendacity that characterizes the Swedish debate cannot be maintained. The discrepancy between the official, idealized version of Sweden, 'the people's home,' and the brutal reality that everyone can see has simply become too great.”

Indeed. This is a country where rapes by Muslim men are systematically ignored by the authorities or responded to with minimal punishment. Routinely, Swedish courts refuse to return these monsters – some of whom have repeatedly subjected small boys and girls to violent sexual abuse – to their home countries for fear that they'll be put in danger. In other words, Swedish judges care more about the safety of foreign rapists than that of Swedish children.

(No wonder U.S. News and World Report has just named Sweden the best country in the world to be an immigrant. Yet another cockeyed ranking. The proper question isn't which country is best for immigrants, but which country has the most sensible immigration policy.)

It's a country where even prominent Swedish feminists – fanatical boosters of multiculturalism – are now moving out of Muslim-heavy neighborhoods not only because of the Muslim rapists but because of the Muslim “morality police,” who are less concerned with monitoring rapists than with controlling women's conduct. (One such feminist organized “coffee shop meetings” with Muslim male community leaders in an attempt to resolve the situation, but gave up.)

It's a country where the government rolls out the red carpet for returning ISIS members, giving them special benefits, in hopes that they'll see the light and put down their weapons.

It's a country where, while Muslim rapists and terrorists are forgiven, critics of immigrant conduct are punished. In May, a 70-year-old woman in Dalarna, Sweden, was arrested for writing on Facebook in 2015 about immigrants who “set cars on fire and urinate and defecate in the streets.” (She faces up to four years in prison.)

No surprise, then, that on July 7, Jyllands-Posten reported that the Swedish government plans to alter the nation's Constitution in such a way as to give itself the power to limit online free speech about precisely these ticklish matters. Among other things, wrote Jyllands-Posten, it will become illegal “for certain websites to publicize information about private persons' ethnicity or conviction of crimes.”

Of course: the best way to address the ever-rising tide of Muslim criminality is to close down every last media outlet that reports honestly about it. The mainstream Swedish media are already playing ball; it's just a few recalcitrant websites that need to be scrubbed clean. Presumably the next step will be to block access in Sweden to Jyllands-Posten and other foreign news sources that tell Swedes the truth about what's going on within their own borders.

Then everything will be just perfect, no? And what are the chances that no matter how much Sweden tightens its already alarming (if currently tacit) limits on freedom of speech, Reporters without Borders will keep Sweden at its ridiculous #2 spot on the World Press Freedom Index?


Australia: voters demand same-sex marriage be decided by a public vote

A new push within Coalition ranks to hold a free vote in parliament on same-sex marriage by the end of the year has been dealt a blow by a special Newspoll showing Australian voters have swung in behind a national plebiscite.

More Australians now support a popular vote on same-sex marriage than holding a free vote in parliament in a surprise reversal of the views expressed just 10 months ago when Bill Shorten and others vowed to block the plebiscite in the Senate.

The Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian, reveals that 46 per cent of voters prefer a plebiscite while 39 per cent want politicians to decide the outcome, with 15 per cent undecided.

The results show a fall in support for a parliamentary vote since the height of the debate last September, when 48 per cent of voters wanted politicians to decide and 39 per cent backed a plebiscite.

Coalition MPs yesterday stood by the government’s election commitment to hold a plebiscite after West Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith confirmed he was drafting a private member’s bill to legalise same-sex marriage, which he wants debated by the partyroom when parliament returns in August. In a danger sign for the Coalition MPs who are trying to ramp up an internal campaign for a free vote in parliament, the Newspoll shows a dramatic shift in support from Coalition voters for a plebiscite rather than a decision made only by politicians.

While 47 per cent of Coalition voters backed a plebiscite and 44 per cent backed a parliamentary vote in the Newspoll survey last September, this changed to 54 per cent and 33 per cent respectively in the poll conducted from Thursday to Sunday. The latest poll comes after Christopher Pyne was recorded telling members of the Liberals’ moderate faction in June that same-sex marriage would happen “sooner than everyone thinks”.

The comments from Mr Pyne — in which he boasted about the moderate faction being in the “winner’s circle” — triggered a bitter round of infighting and a swift conservative retaliation led by Tony Abbott.

Tasmanian Liberal senator Eric Abetz — a staunch defender of traditional marriage — yesterday said there was community support for a people’s vote and attacked Labor and the Greens for opposing the plebiscite in the Senate.

“The partyroom decided that we were in favour of marriage being between a man and a woman but we were cognisant of the fact that there were differing views within the partyroom and the community and therefore a plebiscite would be the best way to resolve it,” he said. “There remains strong support in the community for a plebiscite and, if it were determined by a plebiscite, I think that matter would then have the support of the Australian people.”

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield also played down the push for a new private member’s bill but dodged questions on whether the government would take the policy for a plebiscite to the next election.

“This is something that could have already been done and dusted. We would have already had a plebiscite take place if the Australian Labor Party had not blocked the plebiscite bill,” Senator Fifield told Sky News. “And there’s no reason why the Australian Labor Party should have blocked the plebiscite bill because Bill Shorten himself previously advocated for a plebiscite on this subject.”

The Opposition Leader has blasted the plebiscite as a waste of money, given its estimated $160 million direct cost, and he has called on Malcolm Turnbull to allow Liberal MPs to vote with their conscience in parliament to end the dispute over whether to amend the Marriage Act.

South Australian Labor MP Nick Champion yesterday argued a parliamentary vote was the most appropriate way to resolve the issue. “We have a system of parliamentary democracy and it has held us in very good stead for a very long time,” he told Sky News.

“If you go and ask someone in the pub do they want a say, they say ‘Yep.’ And when you ask should we spend $180m giving you a say, they say no, spend that on a local hospital or local roads.”

Former prime minister Julia Gillard and Labor frontbenchers including Chris Bowen and Tony Burke voted against marriage equality in 2012, alongside Tony Abbott and Mr Turnbull, in a decision that left the issue to be decided by a future parliament.

Labor frontbenchers including Mr Shorten, Tanya Plibersek, Anthony Albanese, Jenny Macklin, Jason Clare and Mark Butler voted in favour of change.

A shift in sentiment in the past five years has fuelled hopes among marriage equality advocates that a conscience vote would succeed in both houses of parliament. Same-sex marriage advocate Rodney Croome said he believed Senator Smith’s push would succeed.

“I’m more confident now that we’ll see marriage equality achieved in the near future than at any other time since the last election,” he told ABC radio. “The moment MPs on all sides are allowed to vote according to their conscience, believe me, this will pass.”

The latest Newspoll shows that Greens voters are the strongest supporters of a conscience vote in parliament, with 62 per cent in favour, but this is down from 71 per cent in the September survey.

One Nation voters are the strongest supporters of a plebiscite, with 55 per cent in favour compared to 24 per cent for a conscience vote.



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


14 July, 2017

TOLERATING THE INTOLERANT: The Tipping Point of Multiculturalism


The good smith below makes some good points but it is pointless to argue for tolerance as such.  People will always find exceptions to such simple rules. In the end you have to argue for particular things to be tolerated or not tolerated.  You have to argue each case on its individual merits, not as an example of a generally applicable rule -- JR

The United States of America was founded upon the democratic principles of freedom, equality, justice, and upward mobility - the opportunity to assert power over oneself and determine one's own destiny. "Only in America" describes the wonder of upward mobility where success is determined by the individual not by the State. Unlike its English predecessor, American democracy guaranteed that in America it was not necessary to be born into wealth or born into the ruling aristocracy to achieve financial success or political power. The United States guarantees religious freedom to its citizens and further guarantees the separation of Church and State.

The United States of America is the greatest experiment in individual freedom ever created anywhere in the world. It has existed as the dream and beacon for freedom of oppressed people everywhere seeking refuge and safety from the tyranny of their own despotic governments. Since its inception the United States has welcomed freedom lovers who assimilate and embrace the United States Constitution, laws, traditions, and cultural norms through the process of legal immigration. We have been enriched by the contributions of legal immigrants in science, art, literature, music, medicine and every other sphere of American life. The combination of upward mobility and individual freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and incentivized by the opportunity for success produced the most powerful nation on Earth.

The history of immigration in America is the story of immigrants seeking refuge through legal immigration into the United States who assimilate and become part of the American dream - until now. America is currently under siege by immigrants with hostile cultural norms hoping to change American life rather than assimilate into it. Islam is on the march and hijrah, immigration jihad, is part of the plan.

Islam was not an issue for America in the time of President Thomas Jefferson. Islam was not an issue for America in the time of President Harry Truman. Islam is an issue for America now in the time of President Donald Trump because former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush rebranded Islam as a religion of peace.lam is not a religion of peace like Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, or Judaism.  Islam is a unified socio-political system with a militarized wing, an educational wing, a religious wing, and enormous oil wealth. Islam is governed exclusively by religious sharia law. There is no separation of Church and State in Islam. The goal of Islam since the 7th century is the transformation of the world into an Islamic caliphate ruled by religious sharia law.  Islam is tyrannical in its demand for conformity to its barbaric sharia laws.  Islam is intolerant and recognizes sharia law exclusively.  Islam is a supremacist socio-political movement seeking world dominion not a religion of peace.  Islam is a threat to American democracy.

Historically the multiple cultures and people of the world were separated by physical and/or national boundaries. Wars were fought and boundaries changed but cultures and people with shared values shared their space. Immigration challenges societies with multiculturalism because immigration imports people with values and cultural norms unlike the host country. As long as the differences in cultural norms and values are secondary like foods, dress, holiday celebrations multiculturalism works. The difficulty arises when cultures with primary conflicting cultural norms and values attempt to occupy the same space in a country.

A society's primary values and cultural norms are reflected in definitions of mental health and mental illness specific to that culture. The definitions identify what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior and those values and norms are codified into laws that govern that society. Muslim societies governed by sharia law revere a father murdering his disobedient daughter as an "honor" killing. In Western society governed by secular Constitutional law a father murdering his disobedient daughter is an intolerable criminal offense punishable by imprisonment or death. Murdering an infidel, an apostate, a homosexual, or a disobedient wife are endorsed and rewarded by Islam. In Western societies all four are intolerable criminal offenses punishable by imprisonment or death.

The left-wing liberal apologists for Islam deny that irreconcilable differences exist among cultures and they are trying to persuade America that Islam, a supremacist socio-political movement is not a threat to democracy. The Leftists, using their politically correct moral relativism to justify tolerating the intolerable in America have reached the tipping point of multiculturalism by redefining treason as mental illness. Rebranding the threat does not make it any less threatening.

When definitions of mental health shift to accommodate political correctness and moral relativity society is pressured to tolerate the intolerable which threatens existing social norms and the laws that reflect them. In this circumstance mental health becomes politicized and can be used to defend the indefensible. When North Carolina psychologist tried to assert that an American jihadi was mentally ill the question becomes, "Mentally ill by whose standards?" The jihadi is considered a hero in Islam and a criminal in America. Western men and women who reject their Western cultural norms and embrace Islam and sharia law cannot be considered mentally ill if they embrace Islam. Their choices have consequences. They may renounce their Western cultural norms but must still be judged by them.

Apologists for Islam have curtailed their indefensible defense of Islam as a religion of peace and have launched a new campaign to present Islamic jihadi recruits as mentally ill. This new strategy was applied recently to defend jihadist Justin Sullivan in North Carolina. Reported by JihadWatch on June 28, 2017:

"Sison, a veteran federal public defender from Asheville, called one witness-a Durham psychologist who testified that Sullivan suffers from psychological problems that could spiral into full-fledged schizophrenia if does not receive adequate prison treatment or is housed with hardened inmates. Under questioning by Savage, Dr. Jim Hilkey said that during his 15 visits with Sullivan, his patient remained ardent in his Islamic beliefs and had not expressed remorse."

Cultural relativity whether accepted as normative or defined as mental illness is problematic because both create social chaos.

Consider a society of cannibals for whom eating human flesh is normative. If an American travels to parts of tropical Africa where cannibalism is the cultural norm or learns of cannibalism on the Internet and decides to cannibalize his neighbor should he be considered mentally ill and absolved of his crime? Should he be free to cannibalize people because he has embraced cannibalism and it is normative in tropical Africa? The problem with cultural relativity is that it only works in subjective reality. In the real world of objective reality cannibals cannot be tolerated in non-cannibal societies because accepting the hostile norms of the cannibals is an existential threat to the non-cannibals.

Perhaps the Leftists will defend cannibalism on the grounds of moral relativity or cultural relativity. Perhaps they will set up cannibal courts and establish a two-tier system of justice one for cannibals and one for non-cannibals.

Cultural and religious freedom guarantees cultural and religious tolerance but when tolerating the intolerable become an existential threat to society the tipping point of multiculturalism has been reached. Cultural relativity that posits all cultures are equal in value is diametrically opposed to civilized society, the rule of law, and the Constitution. Religious freedom does not require American society to import or support those who wish to transform American social norms rather than assimilate into American society.

There must be limits of tolerance in a tolerant society because tolerating the intolerable is the tipping point of multiculturalism. It is cultural suicide to tolerate the intolerable.


After G20 Riots, Germans Focus on Left-Wing Extremists: 'Just Like Neo-Nazis and Islamic Terrorists'

In the aftermath of the street violence that marred the G20 summit in Hamburg, debate has flared here over the left-wing extremist issue in Germany, with calls to shut down leftist cultural centers and establish a E.U.-wide database of left-wing extremists.

Among the tens of thousands of mostly peaceful demonstrators, extreme left-wing protesters looted shops, set cars and barricades on fire and clashed with police officers, resulting in an estimated 500 police officers and 200 protesters being injured.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the rioters were not G20 opponents but “despicable violent extremists, just like neo-Nazis and Islamic terrorists.”

“The brutality with which extremely violent anarchists have proceeded in Hamburg since Thursday is unfathomable and scandalous,” he told reporters, adding that “even more violent outbreaks of violence” may occur in the future.

Police arrested 186 people, and 51 currently face charges for breaching the peace, causing grievous bodily harm, damaging property and resisting police. They include Germans as well as citizens of France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland and Austria.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union blamed a culture of silent tolerance of left-wing extremism.

After a meeting of the CDU presidency in Berlin, party general secretary Peter Tauber said it was “high time that all parties are positioned against the left-wing extremism.”

But Dietmar Bartsch, a leading candidate of The Left party in upcoming general elections, said the rioters “had nothing to do with being left-wing whatsoever.”

“The Left party stands for justice and solidarity,” he told the ARD public broadcaster.

Martin Schulz, leader of the center-left Social Democrat party (SPD), said there was no political legitimacy for the rioters’ actions. Reuters quoted him as saying their actions “had the characteristics of terrorism.”

Hamburg is known for its large left-wing scene. Police estimate that almost 1,100 left-wing extremists live in the city of 1.7 million people, and that more than half of them are potentially violent.

The G20 violence has led to fears that leaving the left-wing groups unchecked could lead to further problems.

“If a democratically fortified country like Germany is no longer able to invite international guests and organize conferences like these, then there is more danger than just a single conference,” German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said during a visit to the city after the summit.

The concerns have stirred debate about long standing “autonomous centers” across Germany – places like the Rote Flora in Hamburg or the Rigaer Straße in Berlin, formerly abandoned buildings taken over by squatters who turn them into “cultural” centers and left-wing political meeting points.

They have been largely tolerated by cities’ municipalities, due to the mostly benign cultural and community activities held there. But the Rote Flora in particular now faces criticism for organizing the “Welcome to Hell” demonstration that kicked off the violence during the G20.

CDU lawmaker Stephan Mayer was quoted as calling for the forcible eviction of the inhabitants of the Rote Flora, while Federal Interior Ministry permanent secretary Günter Krings said Hamburg must “dry out the swamps” in those parts of the city where “lawlessness and contempt for the state prevail.”

Alice Weidel, lead candidate for the far right Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) party, went further, describing the centers as “terror cells.”

“Extreme-left anti-fascist groups, who are involved in the organization of criminal actions like in Hamburg, must be banned,” she said.

The events have also led to calls for a database to track left-wing extremists. SPD lawmaker Eva Högl called for a European-wide extremist database. Currently, only Islamist radicals and right-wing extremists are tracked at the federal level.

Högl’s view, expressed to the Rheinische Post newspaper, was supported by Justice Minister Heiko Maas, also a SPD member, who agreed with the idea of a left-wing extremist database.

He told the Bild newspaper that the violence at the G20 summit made it clear that “we do not have a sufficient database of the extremist scene in Europe.”

Countries should exchange data about those convicted of violent acts, Maas said, as many of the rioters in Hamburg had travelled there from other European countries.

Daniel Koehler from the German Institute on Radicalization and De-radicalization Studies said there were similarities between extremists – regardless of political end of the spectrum.

“They talk a lot about justice. They talk a lot about freedom,” he told NPR. “They want to change the society into a positive direction. They believe that they’re doing something good for humanity.”

However, he said, their actions can turn violent in a desperate, though misguided, step to achieve that goal, particularly when they don’t feel “part of a society.”

In its latest report on the defense of the country's constitution, the Interior Ministry estimated that in 2016, the number of violent left-wing extremists in the country increased by ten percent – to 28,500, of whom 8,500 were considered violent.

Europol’s most recent E.U. terrorism report noted a “sharp increase” in left-wing and anarchist terrorist attacks from 2015 to 2016, although it also determined that the “operational capabilities of the groups remained low.”


The Europe-wide assault on internet freedom

With clampdowns on Islamists and xenophobes, free speech online is under threat.

German police raided the homes of 60 people earlier this month. Had the police uncovered terror plots, or perhaps foiled a drugs gang? No. They raided the homes of people accused of publishing hateful posts on social media. This is fast becoming the norm in Germany, where under the ‘incitement of the people’ law 812 arrests were made between 2013 and 2016. In one case, a 62-year-old shop assistant from Berlin was convicted for sharing an anti-migrant Facebook post. The post consisted of a fictitious conversation, in which the question ‘Do you have anything against immigrants?’ is answered with: ‘Yes, a gun and hand grenades.’ She was fined €1,350.

This is madness. But it is a madness that is spreading across Europe. And don’t be fooled into thinking we are not already in a similar situation in the UK. Over the past five years, 2,500 Londoners have been arrested for sending offensive messages over social media. Following the Finsbury Park Mosque attack, Richard Evans (whose father owns the van-hire company which the alleged attacker used), was arrested for allegedly posting on Facebook, ‘shame they don’t hire out steam rollers or tanks could have done a tidy job then’. Hateful and offensive? Of course. But should we really be imprisoning people for posting something that they would probably say down the pub anyway?

This censorship isn’t limited to Islamophobic or anti-migrant speech. For some reason European authorities have decided to take the fight against Islamist extremism to the internet, too. UK prime minister Theresa May and French president Emmanuel Macron recently announced joint plans for tackling extremist content online. They want to fine companies like Google and Facebook when they do not take steps to remove extremist content.

At a joint press conference, May said the UK was already working with internet companies ‘to stop the spread of extremist material that is warping young minds’, but that those firms must do more, and ‘abide by their social responsibility to step up their efforts to remove harmful content’. The EU is now threatening to introduce similar legislation. And the German Bundestag has already passed legislation that would fine internet companies up to €50million if they fail to remove ‘unlawful content’ within 24 hours.

Thankfully, the dangerous implications of curtailing internet freedom have not gone unnoticed. Max Hill QC, the UK counterterrorism legislation watchdog, has accused May of acting like a Chinese dictator. He told a conference: ‘I struggle to see how it would help if our parliament were to criminalise tech company bosses who “don’t do enough”. How do we measure “enough”? What is the appropriate sanction? We do not live in China, where the internet simply goes dark for millions when government so decides. Our democratic society cannot be treated that way.’

European leaders are deluding themselves if they think censorship will have any impact on terrorism, or any other hateful creed for that matter. Even on a practical level, regulation is pointless. Let’s say Facebook shuts down extremist accounts whenever it is alerted to their existence. It would take just minutes for that account holder to set up a new profile with a new name. Both Facebook and YouTube have more than one billion users, and on YouTube over 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute. You can introduce as many regulations as you like, but staying on top of all that internet content is an impossible task.

More crucially, removing offensive content, whether it be anti-migrant or pro-ISIS, won’t make those views disappear. It simply pushes the problem on to the Dark Web, where bigots can sound off uncontested and would-be terrorists can operate out of view.

In the UK we have suffered blow after blow these past few months, as terrorists have attacked us in Manchester and London. And, in the aftermath of each attack, politicians have blamed the internet and threatened greater online censorship. This seems to be their solution to both Islamist terror and the Islamophobic backlash they always presume will follow each attack. But the internet is just easy target: clamping down on online speech simply allows politicians to look like they are doing something.

That European leaders think the solution to ideas you detest is to censor them is deeply concerning. But this illiberal response is particularly misguided in relation to Islamist terrorism. In Theresa May’s speech after the London Bridge attack, she spoke of defending Western values. And yet, in the next breath, she laid out her plans to ‘regulate cyberspace’. Jihadism is a real threat to our freedom, in the most physical, brutal sense. But these political responses are a threat to our freedom, too. Giving government the power to censor extreme speech puts the liberty of everyone at risk.

If our leaders are serious about protecting Western values, then they should call off this European-wide war on freedom.


'You betrayed us': Conservative Jewish activist demands Yassmin Abdel-Magied apologise to Australia

She was given great privilege and opportunity in Australia but, in the Muslim way, she has shown no gratitude for that.  Instead she slimed Australia's war-dead.  Many individual Australians criticized her for that but there was no official comment about her or action against her. Had she mocked  something seen as holy in a Muslim country she would now be dead

A Jewish conservative wants polarising Muslim youth activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied to apologise to Australia for suggesting the nation has betrayed her.

Avi Yemini is incensed by the 26-year-old former ABC presenter's claims that she has been silenced, despite been given media platforms to air her views.

'We're sick of it. Please, if you're going to open your mouth it had better be for that apology you owe us. You owe the entire Australia,' he told his 79,454 Facebook followers. 'You betrayed us.'

'Didn't you leave, Yassmin? You're not the victim here. You were given more than 99 per cent of Australians and all you do is play the victim card. All you do is complain.

'Every chance you get, you put down our country and then you wonder why Australians are outraged by your comment.'

The conservative activist has even offered to take Ms Abdel-Magied to the airport as she prepares to leave Australia for London.

'In case her problem is transport, I'm officially offering Yassmin Abdel-Magied a ride to the airport,' he said. 'If it ensures you leave sooner.'

Yassmin Abdel-Magied says she feels betrayed by Australia and is 'exhausted' after a series of highly-publicised controversies

Mr Yemini also offered to help Ms Abdel-Magied draft an apology.

'Start like this: 'I'm Yassmin Abdel-Magied. I've got everything in this world. I love my religion, Islam. We're not all perfect',' he said.

"But I am sorry for betraying the Australian people. I am sorry. And I hope one day they find the room in their heart to forgive me for my disgraceful and despicable actions.' Maybe then, we'll be willing to listen to you again.'

Following a series of controversies, Yassmin Abdel-Magied declared Australia had stripped her of her free speech, even though she was the host of ABC program Australia Wide, appeared on Q&A and last year went on an $11,000 taxpayer-funded trip to the Middle East.

'I feel a little bit betrayed by Australia, because it's my country and these are my country people and it's my home,' she told Buzzfeed UK. 'And to sort of fight for your right to exist in your home country, it's exhausting. 'Where do you go that's safe if not your home?'

The polarising figure, who recently labelled herself 'the most publicly hated Muslim' in the country, said she felt Australians were only accepting of those who 'toe the line'.

She spoke of her fiery discussion about Sharia law with Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie on Q&A in February, when she claimed that Islam is the 'most feminist religion'.

'I had toed the line for 10 years in the public eye… and for some reason I decided that at that point that if I didn't say anything, who would?' she said.

'If me as a young brown Muslim woman sitting there next to the politician, wasn't going to say to the politician, "hey, check yourself," who was going to do it on my behalf?'

Ms Abdel-Magied added: 'Freedom of speech doesn't really apply to the truth. For me that was my truth, but I wasn't really allowed to say it and people were very upset, so it's taught me a lot.' 

Meanwhile, the former ABC presenter revealed last week she was 'deeply and personally' affected by the Anzac Day post controversy. She sparked uproar in April with a Facebook message which read: 'Lest. We. Forget. (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine).'

It triggered a social media firestorm, with her comments widely condemned as 'disrespectful' and 'despicable'. 

'Given that I am now the most publicly hated Muslim in Australia, people have been asking me how I am,' Ms Abdel-Magied wrote for The Guardian last week.

'What do I say? That life has been great and I can't wait to start my new adventure in London? ... Or do I tell them that it's been thoroughly rubbish?

'That it is humiliating to have almost 90,000 twisted words written about me in the three months since Anzac Day, words that are largely laced with hate.'

She quickly deleted her Anzac Day post and said: 'It was brought to my attention that my last post was disrespectful, and for that, I apologise unreservedly.'

Ms Abdel-Magied announced on Monday she was leaving Australia and moving to London as part of the 'Aussie rite of passage'.

The announcement divided users on social media, with one man unable to hide his delight at her decision. 'Best news of 2017! Be sure to insult the Queen and the royal family whilst you're there as well,' he said.

But one woman was more supportive: 'Good on you, Yassmin. Go where the work and inspiration takes you,' she said.



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

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

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


13 July, 2017

Do Republicans Really Work Against Their Constituents' Interests?

This is an old chestnut.  For decades in Britain and Australia, Leftists fumed that about a quarter of the working class deserted "their" party and voted conservative. Books were written about it. I did some research on it. And I found that these "strange" people were actually the normal ones.  It was the Left working-class voters who had deviant attitudes. The conservative working-class voters had society-wide values.

A very old conservative claim, much stressed by Benjamin Disraeli in the 19th century, is that conservatives stand for and represent the interests of the nation as a whole.  Donald Trump made great use of a similar claim. Trump's victory therefore shows that such claims have a powerful appeal to all classes, including the workers.  Many of the workers are therefore prepared to put the best interests of the nation before their own immediate self-interest. Disraeli saw that nobility in the workers too, calling them "angels in marble"

The article below makes a similar point: Working class conservatives and their representatives are voting for their long-term good rather than the advantage of the moment.  They are smart enough not to take a simplistic Leftist bribe

Leftists don't see the world the same way, and thus they make wrong assumptions about those interests.

It’s not news — not even fake news — that the political Right and the political Left don’t see things the same way; they are different. The Left frequently sees things as problems that the Right doesn’t regard as problems, and vice versa. And even when the two sides agree that something is a problem, they have vastly different ways of addressing it. The gulf between the two factions is arguably wider today than ever before.

The idea that Republican voters sometimes/often vote against their own interests is a Democrat talking point, and this myth was the subject of a recent New York Times podcast. The podcast host, Times managing editor Michael Barbaro, interviewed domestic-affairs correspondent Sheryl Gay Stolberg, who cited the situation in Kentucky, one of the states that suffered mightily when the war on coal put enough people out of work to run Kentucky’s coal jobs to the lowest level in 118 years.

The out-of-work miners, forced onto Medicaid by the war on coal, benefited greatly from ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, Stolberg said, “yet, its Republican senators are leading the charge for ObamaCare repeal, including for Medicaid reform. How can that be?”

The answer to that question comes from the different ways of looking at the world and at life from opposite sides of the political spectrum.

Which of the following sets of ideas do you most closely observe?

1). The nuclear family is an antiquated idea, traditional ideas of morality and culture are oppressive, sexual autonomy is a virtue, and we just can’t get by without government “help.”

2). We graduate from high school and possibly college, find a job to sustain ourselves, marry, and then have children and raise a family.

If you chose 1, you almost certainly lean toward the political Left; if you chose 2, you likely lean toward the political Right. These different views of how to live our lives define why Republicans vote against what seem to be their “interests.”

“Now, between the two parties, which one has centered its appeal around married parents with kids and which party has doubled down on single moms?” National Review’s David French asks. “Even worse, the Democrats’ far-left base has intentionally attacked the nuclear family as archaic and patriarchal. It has celebrated sexual autonomy as a cardinal virtue. Then, when faced with the fractured families that result, it says, ‘Here, let the government help.’”

How does this relate to Kentucky’s Republican senators? They’re voting on their ideas of what makes America great, and according to French, those interests “depend on the complex interplay between our faith, our families, and our communities.” It’s all about core values.

New York Times columnist David Brooks traces these values back to American frontier towns, where life was “fragile, perilous, lonely and remorseless,” and where a “single slip could produce disaster.” As a result, the frontier folk learned to practice “self-restraint, temperance, self-control and strictness of conscience.”

Those values are at the heart of the American experience of carving a powerful and free republic out of a wilderness, a nation that has as a result led the world for decades. They reflect the Biblical values brought here and cultivated during America’s first turbulent and troubled decades, and which formed the basis of the government created following the “Colexit” of the Colonies from Mother England’s repressive grasp.

Republicans, or at least those who are true conservatives, honor the ideals of Liberty, personal responsibility, self-reliance, and limited government, and to a less-than-perfect degree — but a far greater degree than those who call themselves liberals, progressives, or socialists — try to live by these values.

Kentucky’s Republican senators dislike the government’s solution to the problem that the government itself created when it over-regulated nearly everything, and so they see a vote against maintaining this absurdity as a virtuous one. They prefer a system freeing Americans to make their own decisions about health care and health insurance without the one-size-fits-nobody concept Democrats created that we commonly call ObamaCare.

Their vote seemingly punishes those they should most want to help: their constituents and supporters. But the bigger picture shows instead the desire to free their constituents from the damaging big government policies that put them on the government dole. They want to create an environment where they can find another job that can sustain them above the poverty line, and off of Medicaid.

Republicans want to do away with this Democrat-created problem. Their fundamental goal is to free Americans from this horrible, failed big government mechanism. Democrats’ aim is to ultimately create a single-payer, totally government-controlled health care system that would mirror the British system. You know the one: It recently took control of decisions on seriously ill infant Charlie Gard’s care away from his parents, and effectively ordered Charlie’s death.

That case demonstrates precisely how government-run health care will degenerate into death panels — a system where government makes decisions about who lives and dies based on numbers on a spreadsheet. And that explains why Republicans seem to vote against their constituents’ interests. They’re not voting against them at all, but for their Liberty.


Sometimes reality bites even feminists

Feminists In Sweden Flee 'No Go' Zones Overrun With Islamic Refugees.  Muslims will do whatever you let them do and Sweden allows insane things

As refugees from Islamic countries pour into Sweden, feminists there have had enough and are fleeing suburbs after a slew of rapes and sexual assaults.

Famed feminist Nalin Pekgul, who called attention to the rising insecurity of women in the suburbs, says she now avoids the center of town in Tensta, where she lived for 30 years. And the former Left Party official Zeliha Dagli moved from Husby to the inner city.

Pekgul says she no longer feels safe in her home town, adding that Muslim fundamentalists now have full control of the center. She says "religious fundamentalists gained increasing space in the area and the place of women in the public sphere diminished," according to SVT, a television station in Sweden. Pekgul sought to raise the issue by holding coffee shop meetings, but she's been forced to give those up.

"It is clear that people have been incredibly aggressive towards me when I joined the center. Especially the last year, I ducked to sit at the restaurant that I used to sit on after several people have been on me really angry because I told you about these things," SVT reports.

“I always hope that it will blow over. One should never forget that the vast majority here are cursing the fundamentalists," she said.

Dagli has moved from the "no-go" suburb of Husby (a no-go area is one that even the police refuse to enter). She said the new Islamic refugees are acting as “morality police,” attempting to control women’s behavior in the area, SVT reports.

"There were rumors that we wanted to take away women's veils, we painted black community, that we were not good and decent women and we wanted MAKE SWEDISH all women. People told me that I would not write about Husby and my surroundings began to warn me. They said that I would keep myself, and then I did not feel so safe anymore."

Dagli moved to downtown Stockholm and says the same problems do not exist there.

"I feel calm, at least not controlled. Nobody cares how I dress or what I have people I talk to," she said.


BART Withholding Surveillance Videos Of Crime To Avoid ‘Stereotypes’

Which tells you all you need to know.  BART stands for Bay Area Rapid Transit -- which is a fancy name for an electric train.  Actually, this report is a good way of warning people not to take the train.  Was that the intention?  Could be

SAN FRANCISCO — In the last three months, there have been at least three robberies on BART involving groups of teenagers.

“I think people are genuinely concerned — they are fearful about the stories that have come out about the recent attacks, the assaults, the thefts,” said Debora Allen, who is a member of the BART Board of Directors.

April 22: Forty to sixty kids boarded a train at the Coliseum stop and robbed seven passengers, beating up two;

June 28: A group of four kids assaulted a passenger and made off with a cell phone at Dublin; and

June 30: A woman on a train with about a dozen teenagers had her phone snatched by one them before the group got off at the Coliseum stop. Thankfully, a good Samaritan was on hand to retrieve the phone.

So far, BART has refused to turn over surveillance video for any of these incidents.

Allen told us the agency issued an explanation for why it is being tight-lipped about the thefts.

“To release these videos would create a high level of racially insensitive commentary toward the district,” she was told. “And in addition it would create a racial bias in the riders against minorities on the trains.”

According to a memo distributed to BART Directors, the agency won’t do a press release on the June 30 theft because it was a “petty crime” that would make BART look “crime ridden.” Furthermore, it would “unfairly affect and characterize riders of color, leading to sweeping generalizations in media reports.”

The memo was from BART Assistant General Manager Kerry Hamill.

Allen emailed Hamill, “I don’t understand what role the color of one’s skin plays in this issue [of whether to divulge information]. Can you explain?” Hamill responded, “If we were to regularly feed the news media video of crimes on our system that involve minority suspects, particularly when they are minors, we would certainly face questions as to why we were sensationalizing relatively minor crimes and perpetuating false stereotypes in the process.” And added her opinion of the media: “My view is that the media’s real interest in the videos of youth phone snatching incidents isn’t the desire for transparency but rather the pursuit of ratings. They know that video of these events will drive clicks to their websites and viewers to their programs because people are motivated by fear.”

Allen says scared passengers aren’t being unreasonable — being on a BART train is a vulnerable position.

“This is BART, people are sort of trapped in this train for awhile and they have a right to see what could potentially happen.”

She says all this raises questions, “What is the priority of BART? Is the safety of the passenger — of all passengers — is that a lesser priority than the race bias issue?”

According to BART spokesman Taylor Huckaby, state law protecting “juvenile police records” prevents them from showing the surveillance video, even though at least one of the people arrested for the April 22 attack is 19 years old. (He cited Cal. Gov’t Code 827.9) And, even if the faces of juveniles were blurred, Huckaby says watching the videos would be pointless gawking.


Soccer Player Refuses to Wear Rainbow in Support of LGBT

The pressure on Christians to wave the rainbow flag may be new, but the issue is as old as the church.

Imagine for the moment that you’re a world-class soccer star. You’ve worked for this all your life. Day after day and year after year you get up early, run, work on drills to hone your God-given talent. You’ve sacrificed many other things to rank among the best in the world. And now you may have to choose between your career or your faith. Why? Because you refuse to sell out to the crowd.

This is not make-believe. This is the plight of Jaelene Hinkle, a Christian athlete with the U.S. national soccer team. Jaelene, you see, has suddenly been thrust into a harsh spotlight—not for anything she’s done on the pitch, as they say, but for her decision not to play in games in which her team must wear rainbow jerseys in support of “LGBT Pride” month in June.

Now, Jaelene is not trying to make waves but simply says she’s bowing out for “personal reasons.”

But her views on the matter are pretty clear.  When the Supreme Court legalized what is called “same-sex marriage” in 2015, Jaelene stated on Instagram, “I believe with every fiber in my body that what was written 2,000 years ago in the Bible is undoubtedly true … . This world may change, but Christ and His Word NEVER will.”

After calling on Christians to become more loving, she added, “The rainbow was a [covenant] made between God and all his creation that never again would the world be flooded as it was when He destroyed the world during Noah’s time. It’s a constant reminder that no matter how corrupt this world becomes, He will never leave us or forsake us.”

Good, strong words! The rainbow, in case you haven’t noticed, has been appropriated by the LGBT rights crowd.

The response to Jaelene’s latest stand has been mostly vitriol. One of the few printable reactions in opposition was, “It’s so nice when the trash takes itself out.”

To this point however, Jaelene’s decision hasn’t cost her a spot on the national team. And one fair-minded gay sports blog said, “Hinkle has a right to her personal beliefs and if that means skipping a chance to play, that is also her right.”

It’s been clear for a while now that sport, like many other realms in our culture, is under siege from the forces of political correctness, sexual license, and marriage redefinition. A few years ago, the NFL threatened to take the Super Bowl away from the state of Arizona because of a religious freedom bill that the LGBT activists opposed—so Arizona’s governor vetoed the bill. North Carolina was threatened by the NCAA with economic blackmail over its so-called “bathroom bill”—and changed the law. And now the Seattle WNBA team is donating a portion of ticket sales to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. I wonder what any Christians on the team think of this.

But it isn’t just about sports. The pressure to conform is being ratcheted up everywhere—in business, politics, even religion. On a recent episode of “The Point,” my colleague John Stonestreet bemoaned that the LGBT “rainbows” have even turned up everywhere—even on bags of French fries! And I can sympathize.

Yet all this isn’t really a surprise, is it? Christians have always faced a choice between following God or the world, Christ or Caesar. In the early church, Christians such as Polycarp, who was bishop of the church in Smyrna, also had to choose. Polycarp, who was an old man, simply had to say “Caesar is lord” and offer a pinch of incense before Caesar’s image—or face torture and death. He refused to give in, saying, “Eighty-six years I have served Christ, and He never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?”

The pressure to go along with the world on human sexuality is probably only going to intensify. For the sake of God’s honor, the truth of His Word, and our neighbors’ flourishing, we simply cannot wave the rainbow flag. Thank God, Jaelene Hinkle hasn’t.



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


13 July, 2017

Diversity doesn't make racial differences magically disappear

The point made below is unusually realistic for The Guardian but the author still has no idea why it is so.  He is perfectly right that minority/majority status does little to make one prosperous or not.  Whites are a prosperous majority in the USA and a prosperous minority in Brazil.  How come?  Shouldn't being in a majority always mean dominance in various ways?  Why are some minorities prosperous?

The fact that majority/minority status does not determine your wealth or other advantage, seriously undermines the common Leftist claim that American blacks are poor only because whites keep them down.

The fact is that it is your personal competence at economic tasks that generally dictates your economic status.  In general, whites are better at doing things that other people are willing to pay for -- so will always be richer than the less economically competent.  And why are whites more competent?  If you look at average IQ scores the answer is plain.  Whites are much smarter in general and they get it from their parents

Short of a race war that will not change.  And majorities don't always win wars either, as the Hutus found out

We can’t screw our way beyond racism. Many think mixed-race babies and browner demographics will automatically usher in a post-racial world. They interpret the projections of a “majority-minority” shift in our nation – now set to take place in 2044 – as a sign of guaranteed progress. Changing faces in the US are seen as anti-racist destiny. But don’t overestimate the power of this post-racial cocktail.

Jordan Peele’s brilliant film Get Out reminds me of the importance of questioning overly optimistic narratives of racial progress. Made by someone who has been open about being biracial and married to a white women, this film creatively uses the genre of horror to depict the persistence of racism through a story about an interracial couple. In many ways, it can be seen as a strident critique of a liberal brand of racism that has blossomed in the post-Obama era.

The perspective that multiracial demographics naturally erode bias and inequality tends to lack historical and global perspective. Consider Brazil. There, white people are a minority – but are still dominant. Despite being outnumbered, their incomes are more than double than that of Afro-descendants; white men are also vastly over-represented in Brazil’s new government.

If more mixed people guarantee greater tolerance, then Brazil – and most of Latin America – should be a racial paradise. Although a great degree of ‘mestizaje’ or racial mixing has taken place since the time of conquest, Indigenous and Afro-descendent people in Latin America remain disproportionately poor, discriminated against, and locked out from opportunity.

Sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, in his book Racism without Racists, has speculated whether the racial order in the US might eventually resemble that of Latin American and Caribbean nations. In this case, white supremacy and racial stratification will continue to operate in the US even as it becomes a “majority-minority” nation.

Even the idea of a “majority-minority” shift obscures the fact that the US will be better described as a racial plurality. It’s not as if non-whites constitute one homogenous group.

The legacy of blanqueamiento (“whitening”) in Latin America demonstrates that ideals of multiraciality can run alongside white supremacy. This theory, widely adopted and practiced by Latin American nations at the turn into the 20th century, encouraged racial mixing for the sake of moving entire populations towards whiteness. This is a reminder that desires for a mixed future can be, and have sometimes been, grounded in anti-blackness.

To be sure, all of this does not discredit the importance of diversity and the unique perspectives that people of multi-ethnic/racial backgrounds possess because of their social location. Speaking of the consciousness of the mestiza, Chicana thinker Gloria Anzaldúa writes: “In our very flesh, (r)evolution works out the clash of cultures.”

People with mixed backgrounds can disrupt notions of purity that undergird race and synthesize vast cultural traditions. People with mixed backgrounds can also internalize and carry out racism.

Instead of reducing mixed people to being inevitable harbingers of a post-racial future, there needs to be an acknowledgement of agency in how mixed people choose to relate to the problem of racism and how society, in turn, chooses to receive mixed people.

Merely looking optimistically into the future erases the past that the US has with multiraciality. The figure of the “Tragic Mulatto/a” arose in US literature and film precisely because our racial architecture is based upon a series of denials. Speaking to the West Indian Student Center in London in 1968, James Baldwin captured this incisively:

“What is really happening is that brother has murdered brother knowing it was his brother. White men have lynched Negroes knowing them to be their sons. White women have had Negroes burned knowing them to be their lovers … the American people are unable to face the fact that I’m flesh of their flesh, bone of their bone.”

Baldwin exposes the naïve belief that racial intimacy and mixture are some inevitable bulwark against racism.

Demographics are not destiny. Having a multiracial background may no longer be necessarily tragic but it is not automatically heroic.

What is the racial future of this nation? As a social construct tied to political and economic power, racism has proven itself adept at employing difference to prolong its entrenchment. Notwithstanding Trump’s efforts to engineer a white nationalist future, where we go from here is not determined. It’s up to us. It depends on what we all decide to do.


Indoctrination of Children Knows No Bounds

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America has new guidelines about being more friendly to LGBTQ kids. It's not friendly
If your community has active chapters of the Boys & Girls Clubs, it’s likely you know the organization as one devoted to assist children, offering educational support along with sports and recreational opportunities. The nonprofit established in 1906 also offers character and leadership development programs for children ages six through high school-aged. The group’s website touts the resources for youth to “offer programs and services to help young people succeed in school, develop leadership skills, and maintain healthy lifestyles.”

All sounds good so far, right?

Yet a 100-page, rainbow-colored document with gender symbols of men and women morphed into new-fangled signs to represent additional sexual categories — complete with the Boys and Girls Club of America logo on the cover page — demands questions be asked and answered of the proposal stamped in all capital letters, “LGBTQ Initiative.”

These 4,300 clubs serving more than four million youth are “community-based and led by professional staff.” Are these “professional staff” offering children support to enhance their academic performance and instill the values of achievement or is there an effort to indoctrinate children through activism absent academics?

The introduction to this “toolkit designed to create understanding, introduce inclusive language and highlight recommended practices” declares that its implementation is to take “steps to ensure Clubs and BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers are safe spaces” and “create a shared understanding” of the LGBTQ lifestyle.

That’s a likely refrain. But let’s keep looking at the “toolkit” to understand that it’s more than simply responding to children who may present with gender confusion — it’s proactive.

On page 51, the declarations are made that club staff/administrators/volunteers will “refrain from using heteronormative language and stereotypes or generalizations,” will “not use gender normative language and stereotypes,” and will “educate youth, staff and families on correct LGBTQ terminology, including culturally appropriate terms.”

Question: For the Christian members of the Boys and Girls Clubs, do the professional staff educate on the correct faith-based terminology that avoids cultural appropriation that might offend them?

And, you might wonder, what exactly is included in the approved list of “correct LGBTQ terminology” and “culturally appropriate terms”? That begins on page 53 in the Appendix featuring a “Full List of Terms.” Here are a few approved terms for discussions in the Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s inclusion efforts:

Cisgender — (adj.) Describes a person whose gender identity and biological sex assigned at birth align (e.g., identifies as a man and was assigned the biological sex of male at birth).
Fluidity: …describes an identity that is a fluctuating mix of the options available.

FTM / F2M — Abbreviation for female-to-male transgender or transsexual person.

Lipstick Lesbian — (noun) Refers to a lesbian with a feminine gender expression. Can be used in a positive or a derogatory way. Sometimes used to refer to a lesbian who is assumed to be (or passes for) straight.

Skoliosexual — (adj.) Being attracted to genderqueer and transsexual people and expressions (people who don’t identify as cisgender).

Ze/Hir — (pronoun) Alternate pronouns that are gender neutral and preferred by some trans people. Pronounced/zee/ and/here. They replace “he/she” and “his/hers” respectively. Alternatively, some people who are not comfortable with or do not embrace “he/she” use the plural pronoun “they/their” as a gender neutral singular pronoun.

Nothing says after-school or summer learning for K-12 students like gender neutral pronouns, huh? And, don’t forget to use your initiative posters and flyers for club display to generate discussion! There are even handouts for the young lads and lasses, or, um, human specimens to take home for study. There are even “activities” included in the toolkit to structure lessons for students to “understand the world through the lens of an LGBTQ youth.” One of them, “Coming Out Stars,” involves role-playing the process of revealing your LGBTQ identification to friends and family.

There’s an urgent lesson to be learned and applied.

Most often, gender disorientation pathology is the result of some sort of abuse and is often linked to fatherlessness. The homosexual agenda teaches this type of behavior through deliberate indoctrination of a set of values that are absolutely contrary to the chromosomal and DNA science of biology. They, in effect, become heterophobic gender deniers.

Dr. Michael Brown of the Line of Fire radio program wrote Friday at Townhall, “Yes, Gay Activists Are After Your Children.” The effective plan is being implemented by the political Left, especially indoctrinating our school-aged children. The article cites specific examples of efforts through schools, school teachers and after-school programs and clubs that validate “alternative” sexual choices. This even includes drag queens reading to kids in libraries, as well as mandatory K-12 classes in California covering LGBT history.

Recently, Michelle Cretella, M.D., president of the American College of Pediatricians and a practicing pediatrician with 17 years’ experience, wrote an eye-opening piece in The Daily Signal that was self-explanatory. In her article, “How Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse,” Dr. Cretella exposes how this indoctrination has seeped into medicine with virtually no scientific support.

In a damning statement proving that public opinion is now displacing biological science, Cretella notes, “What doctors once treated as a mental illness, the medical community now largely affirms and even promotes as normal.” She concludes, “Today’s institutions that promote transition affirmation are pushing children to impersonate the opposite sex, sending many of them down the path of puberty blockers, sterilization, the removal of healthy body parts, and untold psychological damage. These harms constitute nothing less than institutionalized child abuse.”

The practicing physician challenges in her final statement, “It is time for our nation’s leaders and the silent majority of health professionals to learn exactly what is happening to our children, and unite to take action.”

Whether in the Boys & Girls Clubs, in our schools, or in our children’s doctors’ offices, it’s time to end this indoctrination of a sexual preference and an individual choice as definitive science and reality. Be aware of what’s being taught to your children through public institutions and professionals who should stick to academics and abandon their activism.


Listen This Time or HUD Will Destroy Your City

America's homeowners should be shaking in their shoes. The federal government has decided that people who have worked, saved and planned so they can buy homes in nice, safe neighborhoods of their own choosing, are racists. They charge that it is a "social injustice." The government now claims that it's unfair unless everyone can have the same, whether they earn it or not. And it doesn't matter whether they can afford such a home. We're told that it's racist to deny someone an equal home, just because they don't have the money for it. White privilege, don't you know.

You may be watching the "Black Lives Matter" protests taking place on city streets around the country. You may be alarmed that such violence can happen in your downtown. And you may wonder what is behind such activity. Well, get ready for the same kind of threats and violence to possibly come directly into your own neighborhood simply because you have a nice house.

Does that sound far fetched? Well you need the details on how the federal Housing and Urban Development agency (HUD) is working to enforce its new rule called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH).

Social Justice is the name of the game under AFFH. That means the rule of law is dismissed in favor of "fairness." Social Justice is enforced on us using pure emotion, basically operating on the level of a twelve year old girl in a pet shop who doesn't like seeing the puppies with their sad eyes looking out from a cage. "Let the poor little doggies out," she cries. Social Justice is purely based on redistribution of wealth. Your wealth. That's money you worked for, saved, invested, and protected for YOUR needs; YOUR dreams; YOUR future.

"SELFISH," cries the social justice mongers. Why should you have so much when others have so little? Never mind that you had to save your money while forced to pay 50% of it in taxes that theoretically went to those less fortunate. The fact is, there is no "justice" in such a policy. Envy, desire, jealousy and theft are much closer to the truth.

Do you think that sounds harsh. Well, Mr. and Mrs. Property Owner, tell me how harsh this sounds! As reported by John Anthony of Sustainable Freedom Lab:

    First HUD is forcing every community which is applying for its grants to complete an "Assessment of Fair Housing" to identify all "contributing factors" to discrimination. These include a complete break down of race, income levels, religion and national origin of every single person living there. They use this information to determine if the neighborhood meets a preset "balance," determined by HUD.

    Second, HUD demands a detailed plan showing how the community intends to eliminate the "contributing factors" to this "imbalance."

    To produce the community's plan for compliance, HUD rules demand that a wide array of "interested parties" participate in its creation, just to assure community input and to keep things fair, of course. These include civil rights groups, affordable housing developers and civic activist organizations. They call this "civil society." All have a specific, left-of center agenda and a definite interest in the outcome.

    Once the plan is prepared, then the community is required to sign an agreement to take no actions that are "materially inconsistent with its obligation to affirmatively further fair housing."

    Once the community provides answers as to how they will implement the grant under these guidelines to HUD's satisfaction, then they will receive the grant.

These are the rules your locally elected representatives are forced to agree to in order to get that "free" grant money. And nearly every city council and county commission in the nation has already taken such grants.

Now ask yourselves, just why HUD would be so insistent in demanding that the community tie itself to the so-called civil rights groups in order to get the grant. The answer to that question is diabolical.

You see, if the community hesitates to comply in any way; perhaps local voters decide to turn down a program, or there aren't enough local funds to fully comply, then HUD has a secret weapon waiting for them. Lack of compliance, in HUD's eyes, results in law suits over civil rights violations.

The civil rights groups them become a useful tool. They start protests and demand "fairness." They get on television. They pressure city hall. And to the rescue comes HUD with its own law suits.

Baltimore, Maryland became one of the first cities to feel such pressure and threats as the NAACP sued Baltimore over alleged housing segregation. The NAACP argument was that Section 8 subsidized housing programs "bunch people together, and that only fuels more crime and other problems."

The solution, says the NAACP is to "integrate the poor among wealthier families." Outrageous as it sounds, such social justice mongers actually accuse those living in affluent neighborhoods of "self segregation for white privilege."

The pressure from these groups, along with the massive force of HUD backing them, has resulted in Baltimore being forced to agree to spending $30 million of tax-payer dollars over the next ten years to build 1,000 low income homes in affluent neighborhoods. The result will be a destruction of property values and the loss of equity for the homeowners. In short, destruction of earned wealth, leading to destruction of the middle class. That's what socialism does. It creates more poor.

On top of that, Baltimore has moved to destroy the property rights of landlords by denying them the ability to not rent to people who can't afford their properties. Of course the government doesn't say it that way, preferring to pretend that denying people who can't pay for your property as "discrimination." And who will pay the landlord when he is stuck with the bill? The only result will be fewer landlords and fewer choices for housing.

In Portland, Oregon, the infamous "poster child" of federal Smart Growth development policies, the city council has now unanimously approved a new tax to raise $12 million per year to pay for "affordable housing." "The lack of affordable housing is the greatest crisis facing our city right now," says Commissioner Dan Saltsman. Perhaps he should take a long look at the twenty year Smart Growth history of Portland in which massive amounts of land were locked away to limit the "sprawl" of the city. This lead to land shortages, which led to bans on single family homes, which led to the need for massive high rise apartment buildings, all of which led to higher costs and shortages of homes. Now, they have a "crisis "of low income housings. Their solution now is another tax on construction, driving up housing costs even more.

Do they ever learn? Government control over every aspect of our lives, as demanded by socialism never works. High costs, shortages and sacrifice are the only result. It has never been different wherever it has been enforced.

Now HUD is rushing to enforce AFFH with a vengeance. HUD has raced to make Westchester County, New York the example for more suits. Right out of the new HUD playbook, a private civil rights group called the Anti-Discrimination Center sued the county under the Federal False Claims Act, claiming Westchester County lied when they filled out the HUD compliance form for their grant. Since there is no official definition of "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing" the definition is whatever HUD declares it to be. There is no way for the local government to win such a suit. The result of the suit against Westchester County was $62.5 million - a sum greater than all of the community development and related funding received by the county from HUD.

More suits are being filed against communities across the nation as HUD steps up its enforcement and local officials are scared, wondering what they can do to fight back, if anything. Some have tried to stand up to HUD, refusing to comply. But once the law suits are filed, and the "community organizers" start their pressure, most have quickly backed down.

Let's make one thing clear. The civil rights legislation of the 1960s made it illegal to bar people from neighborhoods based on their color or ethnic background. It guaranteed them the opportunity. But it said nothing about forcing people into neighborhoods to live beyond their means. No one, no matter their color or ethnic background, has a right to force their way in to a neighborhood they can't afford. Instead, they must do the same thing those who already live there did; work, save, invest and prepare. Then no one can stop them. It has noting to do with race or some perceived special "privilege."

For twenty years we opponents of Agenda 21 and Smart Growth have warned of the dangers of taking these HUD grants. We were ignored and called conspiracy nuts. The result now is that HUD has taken the gloves off. There is no longer a pretense that any kind of local control over spending the grant money exists. HUD now controls your community. Property rights are dead, property values are dying, and the local officials you elected to guide your community have been rendered irrelevant by HUD mobsters who have come back to collect.

So what do local community representatives do? First and foremost STOP TAKING THE GRANTS!!!!! Second, stand up to these thugs who intend to rule our communities. Stand up to the law suits and stand up to the pressure of the special interest groups. In short, represent your community as you were elected to do. And finally, you might try listening to those of us who have studied these policies for decades instead of the slithering snakes of the American Planning Association and their ilk who fill their own pockets with those grants.

Our American liberties are counting on local and state officials to start standing on your own two feet and represent US, instead of cowering in a corner because you sold us down the river.

The American Policy Center is now working with officials who want to understand and fight back to save their communities. Recently we held a conference call for such officials. Here is a link to it so you can hear first hand of the dangers you are facing and some solutions for you to fight back. Perhaps this time you'll listen.


Australia: Leftist racist gets some of his own back

Leftists have the strange idea that you can attack racism by being racist.  For a prominent and well-paid Asian to be anti-white in Australia is obnoxious.  What gives him the right to judge people by the colour of their skin and defend others who do?

Australia's race discrimination commissioner has been told to buy a plane ticket to Laos if he is so concerned about white people being prevalent in politics and the media.

Sky News presenter Rowan Dean has taken exception to Tim Soutphommasane for telling a Senate committee there are too many 'Anglo-Celtics' in parliament.

With Sudanese-born Muslim youth activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied soon moving to London, Dean has suggested the French-born public servant move to Laos, which his parents fled in 1975 as the Pathet Lao communists stormed to power in the small, landlocked South-East Asian nation.

'Tim, if you don't like it, join Yassmin, hop on a plane and go back to Laos where I doubt you will find the taxpayer paying you $300,000 a year to lecture bigotry and racism which is what you are doing by attacking Anglo-Celtics,' he said.

Dr Soutphommasane, a former Labor Party member and political staffer who gets paid $330,000 a year by taxpayers, told a Senate committee parliament and corporations were too 'Anglo-Celtic'.

Dean, who also edits the conservative Spectator magazine, has previously praised Vietnamese refugee and ABC presenter Anh Do as an example of assimilation working.

However, when it came to Dr Soutphommasane he was scathing, saying his parents probably came to Australia from Laos via Paris for its Anglo-Celtic values after their son was born in 1982.

'I'm sure that they didn't mind coming to a country where Anglo-Celtics had died, given their lives to create the peace-loving culture that we have,' Dean said.

Dr Soutphommasane last week blasted the media, at a multicultural forum in Perth, about its treatment of Ms Abdel-Magied, who stirred more controversy last month by saying democracy didn't represent her because most faces in parliament are white.

'People may have disagreed with Abdel-Magied but some of the vitriol directed at her had a clear racial tinge,' Dr Soutphommasane said.

In a submission to a Senate committee looking at 'Strengthening Multiculturalism', the Australian Human Rights Commission, which Dr Soutphommasane is part of, urged the government to create a federal agency to collect data and report on diversity within leadership positions.

The Turnbull Government has not endorsed the idea of ethnic recruitment targets.

'While Australia is highly socially mobile, there is an underrepresentation of cultural diversity in positions of leadership, as well as in the media,' the AHRC said.

'The commission believes that increasing cultural diversity in leadership and in the media would strengthen Australia's multiculturalism.

'A lack of diversity in leadership and in the media could conceivably lead to a perception of what it is to be 'Australian' that does not reflect our multicultural character.'

The AHRC noted: 'The ethnic and cultural default of leadership remains Anglo-Celtic' and warned the nation 'may not be making the most of its cultural diversity.'

Their submission also quoted a study carried out by Screen Australia which found non-Anglo-Celtic groups were being underrepresented on national television dramas.



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


11 July, 2017

Australian feminist argues for suppression of "incorrect" views

Mind the Fascism! Clem Ford puts up a reasonable-seeming argument below to the effect that the facts behind an opinion should weigh on whether that opinion is given exposure.  If only!  As an extreme atheist myself (I  don't believe in Karl Marx, Jesus Christ or global warming. And I also don't believe in the unhealthiness of salt, sugar and fat). I would love some way of filtering out credulity.  But how do you do it?  What to one person seems factually-based will to another seem hogwash. 

Let me give an example from Clemmie's own misapprehension of what is factual.  She dismisses global warming skepticism on the basis of an "ad hominem" argument:  "Experts" believe in global warming so we all should".  Where are the facts in that argument?  "Ad hominem" arguments are not only one of the classic informal fallacies in logic but they have repeatedly been proved wrong.  A hundred years ago, the reality of continental drift was pooh-poohed.  Now it is an accepted fact.  And combustion is explained by the presence of phlogiston, of course.

And, more to the point, what does Clemmie make of the long temperature stasis between 1945 and 1975 when CO2 levels were soaring?  What should have been 30 years of warming was 30 years of no warming. Has she ever looked at a climate chart and noticed how tiny the calibrations are?  Does she know why that should concern her? Has she ever noticed how pro-warming scientists repeatedly flout basic scientific standards by refusing to share their data and by treating as significant differences which are not in fact statistically significant? 

I could go on but I think it is a pretty good argument that the distinction between fact and hokum that she is keen to make leaves her supporting hokum.  Discourse shepherded by Clementine Ford would rapidly stray away from reality

Former US Senator and political advisor Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously once wrote that "everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts". It remains an unwavering truth in a world where opinions are increasingly viewed as equal to facts, even when those opinions have little more than a suspicion or feeling to back them up.

More recently than that, Ruby Hamad wrote that "We may all have the right to an opinion but that does not make our opinion right – or even worthy of a place in a debate." Hamad was responding to a planned televised 'debate' in which eight people would ponder the question, "Is male privilege bullshit?" before a live audience. In her piece, she elegantly outlined how and why the pursuit of 'balance' has been manipulated to the detriment of journalistic inquiry. But more on that televised debate in a minute.

The science behind vaccinations is a good example of this. Vaccines have saved millions of lives over the past century but sceptics continue to spread their dangerous paranoia across the landscape of the internet, revelling in the phenomenal privilege they get to enjoy from living in countries where herd immunity protects their "free-range" tribe.

But press them on their qualifications to counter decades worth of scientific research and you'll hear about how "Big Pharma" is invested in turning us all into robots.

The rhetoric around anti-choice movements is similarly lacking in insight. When the founder of the annual Warped tour (a music festival whose audience members are predominantly teenagers), invited an anti-choice not-for-profit to set up a stall at the 2016 event, he was roundly criticised. But Kevin Lyman stood by his decision, tweeting, "Punk rock was about welcoming all points of view, you can make your own decisions, and opposing platforms and views are important."

Lyman claims to be pro-choice, but you cannot be pro-choice while also providing microphones to people who support the reduction or removal entirely of reproductive healthcare rights – particularly when those people are manipulating some of the people most at-risk of underage and unwanted pregnancies.

Too many people labour under the bizarre assumption now that everything requires "hearing all sides" if there is to be fair and balanced commentary. But fair and balanced commentary around, say, climate change does not mean that we have to counter the weight of an actual scientist and their quantifiable research with the opinions of someone who loftily refers to themselves as a "climate change sceptic". It's an insult to the time and energy spent by people working at the forefront of their fields to suggest their expertise is little more than one side of the story.

And so to the debate on male privilege. I appeared recently on that episode of Hack Live, a televised version of Triple J's popular current affairs program. Hosted by Tom Tilley, the episode brought together eight panellists to debate the existence of male privilege; something that all reason, logic and (most importantly) evidence supports as being very much real.

I was sceptical of the show's purpose in the lead up to its filming. But I believed that it may do some good in terms of reaching an audience of young people who may be forming their views on feminism by watching angry YouTubers.

However, after experiencing the indignity of being pitted against people who literally had no idea what they were talking about, I have to abandon my Pollyanna optimism and agree with Hamad's view that it was pointless from the get-go.

I have amassed hundreds of thousands of words of writing on the topic of gender inequality. I have worked with health experts and survivors and persisted through the sludge of the online space to try to conduct a conversation based on facts, research and cold, hard data.

So it was extremely frustrating to listen to the baffling claims put forward by the panel's token men's rights activist that the oppression of men manifests in far more significant and damaging ways than that of women, starting with the fact that (apparently) young women all over the country are kicking their boyfriends in the balls as a joke.

Most of his evidence was anecdotal in nature, and the bits that weren't were drawn solely from an American propaganda film funded by MRAs and headlined by a man who has, among other despicable declarations, proudly claimed he would vote to acquit in any rape trial on which he served as a juror, even if he knew the rapist was guilty.

Yet here he was not only offering his opinions as if they were in any way, shape or form meaningful to the discussion, but being validated in that belief by way of invitation.

Most recently, we've been presented with the gobsmacking, disgusting treatment of Yassmin Abdel-Magied by not just the nation's lay people but its politicians, media conglomerates and poison-penned journalists. And all because she expressed an opinion on the subject of Anzac Day that was not by-the-book – though nor was it factually wrong.

After Abdel-Magied announced her intentions to move to London this week, Channel Seven posted a poll asking its fans to vote on whether or not she should leave or stay, providing her haters with another avenue through which to bully her.

There's no shortage of irony in the fact that a country whose citizens fight so fiercely to have their rights to an opinion recognised have so gleefully participated in the bullying of a woman who calmly, compassionately and quite correctly expressed her own.

But I guess white privilege has always been good at making some opinions more equal than others.

We are living in very troubling times when it comes to factual analysis and respect for the disciplines of academia. Opinions are not the same as reasonable deductions. They're certainly not the same thing as facts, particularly when based on little more than passionate opposition to what those facts may be.

We have to get over this idea of having to air multiple sides of the same story. As  Hamad wrote in the lead-up to my appearance on Hack Live, on topics like "does male privilege exist'', there is no debate to be had. There's no such thing as balance of opinion when it comes to evidence. There are the facts – and then there are ideas about what we should do about those facts. Anything else is distraction.

And goodness knows we are in too much trouble as a global community to succumb to the dangers of distraction.


Effort to bar child marriage in California runs into opposition

Pandering to a foul medieval religion is more important than  protecting the children

A Bay Area legislator was shocked when he learned from a young constituent that while Californians cannot legally consent to sex until they are 18, they can — with the permission of a parent and a judge’s order — get married at any age, even if their spouse is many years older.

“I thought, that can’t be true in California,” said state Sen. Jerry Hill, a Democrat from San Mateo. “We found that it is true in California and true in many states throughout the country.”

But Hill’s resulting proposal to bar juveniles from getting hitched has been watered down after it prompted strong objections from civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union.

As the emotional fight unfolds in Sacramento, there’s no agreement even about a basic piece of information — how many minors get married each year in California. People who want to limit such marriages say the total is in the thousands, while those who oppose the bill say that’s vastly inflated.

The state doesn’t keep such numbers, and even efforts to change that are running into resistance.

Within the past year, elected officials in several states have pushed to restrict juvenile marriage, with a law passed last month limiting matrimony by minors in Texas to 16- and 17-year-olds who have become legal adults emancipated from their parents, and one in New York holding the line at age 17 — with a judge’s permission.

Hill wanted California to set a strict line at age 18, but the effort encountered swift opposition from fellow legislators, as well as groups that include the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.

While SB273 is still alive and moving through legislative committees, amendments have removed any age restriction. The measure in its current form increases family court oversight to ensure that a minor’s marriage isn’t coerced, including a requirement that judges interview individuals privately.

It’s a compromise, Hill said, but still a positive step. “It’s our responsibility to protect those kids,” he said.

Among those disappointed by the result of the compromise is Sara Tasneem of El Sobrante, who said the amended bill won’t help children and will only make elected officials feel like they did something.

Tasneem was 15 when her father, who belonged to a cult in Southern California, introduced her to a man 13 years her senior. She was forced to marry the 28-year-old in a religious ceremony that evening. Six months later, at 16, she was pregnant and legally married in a civil ceremony in Reno.

“A person who marries a 15-year-old, there’s obviously something wrong,” said Tasneem, now 36. “Putting that label of husband and wife makes something disgusting and not OK seem normal and OK.”

As a teenager, Tasneem dreamed of becoming a lawyer. Instead, she became a mother, with two children by age 19. She would ultimately defy her husband and return to school, and later file for divorce.

“Once you leave your childhood, there’s no going back to it,” said Tasneem, now a business student at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. “All those opportunities and freedom of being a child are gone.”

Activists aiming to stop such marriages say they occur across demographic groups, spurred by religious reasons, cultural norms, pregnancy, financial incentives or, in some cases, to protect someone from statutory-rape accusations because marriage circumvents the age-of-consent requirement.

Nationally, about 5 of every 1,000 children ages 15 to 17 were married as of 2014, according to U.S. census data analyzed by the Pew Research Center — figures that don’t specify where the marriages occurred. Activists for age restrictions estimate that California sees about 3,000 marriages per year that include a minor.

The ACLU and other opponents say that estimate is inflated, noting that just 44 petitions for juvenile marriage were filed in Los Angeles County — which has a population just above 10 million — over the past five years.

The focus of efforts should be on abusive and coerced relationships, regardless of marital status, said Phyllida Burlingame of the ACLU’s Northern California chapter.

Referring to current regulations, including the requirement of a court order allowing a juvenile to marry, she said California had “a strong package of both programs and laws that prevent coerced marriage among youth, and a lack of data showing this is a widespread problem.” Hill’s original proposal, she said, “was a solution that wasn’t necessarily going to have the impact on improving young people's health and relationships that we want.”

Other opponents said marriage is a fundamental right, and that some juveniles not only marry willingly but benefit from the choice.

“Any legislation to eliminate this core right,” said the National Center for Youth Law in a statement opposing Hill’s initial legislation, “must be based on concrete data and information that demonstrates this drastic step is the most effective and appropriate strategy to address the harms being alleged, and that there are not other less extreme options available.”

An early amendment to the bill required the state to collect data on juvenile nuptials, but it was eliminated in committee because of cost concerns. Hill said he is trying to restore that requirement.

Those who backed the initial bill haven’t given up trying to persuade lawmakers to pivot and reconsider an age limit like Texas and New York.

“Initially it was a nice, simple, bright line — either you’re 18 or not. Like a tanning bed or voting, you can’t get a waiver from your parents,” said Sarah Bradshaw of the Feminist Majority, which promotes equality for women. “We’re hoping that people in the Assembly will put teeth back in it.”

The debate has energized people like Nicole, a 29-year-old resident of Stanislaus County who at age 16 married a 24-year-old man with the blessing of a judge.

Nicole, who requested her last name be withheld for safety reasons, said she had been dating the man but was still in high school — and wasn’t ready to settle down. But her grandmother, who was raising her, was extremely religious and pushed the two to get married.

With her guardian sanctioning what became an abusive relationship, Nicole said she felt helpless. “My grandparents were willing to ignore every bruise,” she said. As for her husband, “I think that for him he thought it was a way to protect himself from statutory-rape charges.”

Her husband was killed two years later in a car accident, when she was pregnant with their first child. “I was widowed at 18,” she said. “When most kids were applying for college, I was applying for death benefits.”

Nicole, who now studies computer science at a community college, said a law limiting marriage to 18 and older might have impacted her life profoundly.

“I had no control; I had no say,” she said. “I can't believe how much I’ve missed while I’ve tried to cope with life as a child bride.”


Ms Graduate shouldn’t be so fussy in love

Feminists have sabotaged the personal lives of intelligent women but Libby Purves argues below that they will just have to adapt to it

In an era when more women than men have degrees it’s old-fashioned to insist on marrying someone of equal social status

Hardly an eyebrow is raised at a woman prime minister, Metropolitan Police commissioner, fire chief, general or CEO. But biology cannot so easily be sidestepped, and straight professional women have other pitfalls to negotiate. One is the impulse to produce children, which involves more effort, time and deadline for the female than the male.

A report last week suggested that the old idea that status devolves mainly from blokes is still complicating that situation. Yale University research, presented at an embryology conference in Geneva, claims that the “oversupply” of graduate women in the West means that many can’t find a suitably equal partner, so are freezing their eggs as an insurance measure. Professor Marcia Inhorn suggested that a major problem was that there are “not enough graduates” for them to pair with, the presumption being that a woman with a degree is unwilling to build a family with a man who doesn’t have one.

It is part of the much-discussed phenomenon of “assortative mating”, in which people seek out others as similar to themselves as possible. It may even be, perish the thought, that this intensely narcissistic age makes that even more likely than in the days when it was all about “good family”. But if this anxious egg-freezing educational choosiness is a real trend, it is a sad one.

For one thing, despite the claims of some expensive clinics, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority calculates that each frozen egg has only a 2 per cent chance of resulting in a live baby: even if you freeze a dozen that’s not hopeful. Each thawed frozen-egg IVF cycle gives only a 15 per cent chance. Of course it brings joy to some, who need it for medical reasons, but as lifestyle insurance policies go it’s rubbish. A few American companies fund egg-freezing as an employee perk for bright women: one hopes the said women are bright enough to look at those figures and respectfully suggest spending the money on flexitime, career-breaks and a crèche.

But the really mind-boggling aspect of the Yale report is its unquestioning — and very old-fashioned — acceptance that women must marry educationally upwards, or at least on a level. That idea, sisters, shoots us right back to the pre-Ms age when your status depended chiefly on your man. Yet it is very current.

An American book, Date-onomics, a couple of years back pointed out that as women graduates outnumber men the odds are stacked against finding a bloke with similar education. So it advised moving to Silicon Valley to find available male geeks. Over here, Professor Michèle Belot of Edinburgh University tried to find out whether graduate women really are that choosy, since it could be that “assortative” behaviour is just due to who you meet in the workplace. Her speed-date experiment reportedly found that the preference for similar education endured. And online dating sites report that women tick the “college education” box far more than men do.

Ladies, this is nonsense. In the days before female higher education sensible men just looked for attraction, character, humour and innate intelligence, even if the latter had so far only been given a chance to apply itself to housekeeping and petit point. Likewise, if now a brainy bookish Ms finds herself fancying a manual or craft worker, or a chap who left school at 16 to make his way, she should rejoice. Enjoy encountering a different type of intelligence, a wider experience, the pleasure of sharing your own world with someone not as wearily, professionally immersed in it as you are. That’s not marrying-down, and your children will inherit two diverse strands of intelligence and enterprise. University is not the only route to full, rich, adventurous humanity. It really isn’t.


Australia: Contempt of court action against ministers was conflict best avoided

The Federal ministers escaped being charged after making an apology.  They initially refused to apologize but later backed down.  Reading between the lines, they were put under great pressure to apologize.  A showdown would have provoked a constitutional crisis, which both the court and the government were keen to  avoid.  The article below is a discreet rebuke to CJ Marilyn Warren and her court for bringing on the crisis.  They were undoubtedly unduly sensitive.  They should have just looked the other way.  Judges and their verdicts SHOULD be criticizable by anyone at any time.  Any attempt to punish speech is obnoxious

A legal Pandora’s box was opened recently when three federal ministers were invited to appear ­before the Victorian Court of ­Appeal to ­answer an allegation that they were in contempt of the same court.

Contempt of court is an unlawful interference with the due operation of our system of justice. It is a crime punishable by a fine or ­imprisonment.

The three ministers used ­derogatory language to describe Victorian sentencing decisions and the judges who made them. It was strident political discourse common to the floor of parliament but involving language less common in a legal setting. These comments were reported in The Australian.

If the ministers had been convicted of contempt, they would no longer be eligible under our Constitution to serve in parliament. Given the one-seat majority of our federal government, a conviction of any one of the minsters for contempt could have brought down the government.

One of the reasons for the comparative freedom we enjoy in this country is that we have a ­judiciary that is independent of government. This allows for legal scrutiny of the actions of parliament and the executive by an ­independent umpire.

However, the scrutiny is not all one way. In a common law system, parliament has the ultimate legal power. Judges are appointed by the executive, a legal precedent created by court decisions can be overturned by laws passed by parliament and, in limited circumstances, judges can be removed by parliament.

Federal crimes are tried in state and territory courts. The ­controversy raised by the three ministers concerned whether sentencing under a federal anti-­terrorism law was being applied differently in different states. This was a clear matter of public interest falling directly within the area of the public duty of the ministers.

It raised a range of ­issues for possible further legislation by the parliament, including mandatory minimum sentences, changes to sentencing guidelines or changes to the jurisdiction of courts hearing the offences.

A very wide discretion is given to judges when sentencing criminals, as confirmed by the High Court in the Markarian decision. However, the Victorian Court of Appeal alleged a contempt by the ministers for expressing opinions on matters within the scope of their office. This surprised many people. If the ministers had said the very same words in parliament they would have been protected by parliamentary privilege.

In NSW in the 1990s there was great public criticism reported in the media of the sentences given to the men in several Muslim gangs convicted of the gang rape of several women in Sydney — in some cases it was said the sentences were too low and in other cases too high.

The late editor of London’s The Times, William Rees-Mogg, wrote a famous editorial in 1967 headed “Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?”, which led to the release of Mick Jagger the day after he was given a three-month prison sentence for drug possession. No contempt was suggested even by the conservative judicial standards of 1960s England.

For more than 80 years, Australian courts have recognised since the Breadmaker’s case that “it is well settled that a person cannot be prevented by process of contempt from continuing to discuss publicly a matter which may fairly be regarded as one of public interest, by reason of the fact that the matter in question has ­become the subject of litigation ...”

The High Court has since ­recognised our constitutional right to the freedom of political expression.

It has also been accepted since the 1930s that decisions by judges are incapable of what is called sub judice contempt. That is, there cannot be any tendency for judge-made decisions to be prejudiced by the media. The Victorian matters were appeals and there was no jury or witnesses who could have been influenced by what the ministers said. Indeed, when the Court of Appeal recently called the three ministers to ­answer why they should not be charged with contempt, the Chief Justice of Victoria made it clear the statements by the ministers could not and would not influence the appeal decision concerning the sentencing of two convicted terrorists.

The only other relevant category of contempt is a rare kind of contempt called scandalising the court, but that is difficult to establish, especially now that we have a constitutionally recognised freedom of political speech. The subject of the 1930 High Court case of Bell v Stewart was a media article that said the public was amused at the innocence of a court decision that showed the industrial court to be detached from the real world. According to the High Court, that did not scandalise a court and it has not heard an ­appeal involving an alleged contempt of that kind since.

Freedom exists when we all observe our important mutual civil obligations. MPs should be respectful of our courts and courts should not be too sensitive to legitimate debate about the operation of our taxpayer-funded justice system. An appropriate balance will protect two of the most important features of our free society: the integrity, operation and appearance of a fair and impartial court system, and the freedom to express opinions on important public issues no matter how uncomfortable they may be.

The best possible outcome was that the legal Pandora’s box opened and quickly closed again before any contempt charges were laid. Charges would have led to a protracted conflict ­between two important and independent arms of government: our courts and our parliament.



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


10 July, 2017

'Attention-seeking' fat slob is found guilty of falsely accusing 15 men of rape and sexual assault after claiming she was a lesbian

Particularly in Britain, feminists fume at the low percentage of rape claims that result in a conviction.  They view this as a fault of lazy or biased police and prosecutors.  As a result, police and prosecutors are under pressure to produce "results" and to mount prosecutions even when the prospect of convictions is slight.  That results in a lot of innocent men being traumatized even when they are acquitted. 

False rape accusations are frequent in Britain so it is amazing when men are arrested, tried and even convicted purely on the say-so of a woman.  Feminist criticisms have put police under huge pressure to get convictions so they clearly skip basic precautions in their responses to many accusations

A fantasist who made up bogus rape and sex assault claims against 15 men in three years just for 'attention' today finally faces jail for her 'appalling lies'.

Jemma Beale claimed to be a lesbian with 'no desire' to sleep with men and her bogus complaints to police led to Mahad Cassim serving two years in jail.

She told police Mr Cassim raped her after offering to give her a lift home - but in fact she got out of the car and told him: 'Get your pants down.'

Beale, from Middlesex, was even then awarded £11,000 in compensation while Mr Cassim languished behind bars.

She would even injure herself and use self-inflicted cuts and bruises against the 15 victims she falsely accused of sex attacks - including one who fled the country with his life in tatters.

The 25-year-old insisted she had been raped or attacked but after a five-week trial at Southwark Crown Court a jury of six men and five women took eight hours and 45 minutes to find her guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice.

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith ordered psychiatric reports and referred to Beale's 'attention-seeking, which is what this case is all about'.

He told her: 'You have been convicted of all of these matters. They are very serious indeed, counts one to four most particularly. 'Somebody went to prison for a long time as a result of your perjured evidence. 'I am going to remand you in custody and I will be fully informed of your true psychiatric state when you return in August.'

Jemma Beale's bogus calls to police led to Mahad Cassim serving two years in jail for having sex with her after she claimed to be a lesbian with 'no desire' for men

Beale made her first complaint on the morning of 26 November 2010, when she told police she had been raped by Mr Cassim the previous night.

Jurors heard the 37-year-old Somalian came to the UK in 2002, aged 23, after a short stint living in Sweden where he also served in the military as part of the peace-keeping corps.

Here are the key dates:

November 26 2010 – Told police she had been raped the night before by a man after getting a lift in his car. He was subsequently jailed and later released after an appeal.

July 7 2012 – claimed two separate sexual assaults, one by a man in The Windsor Castle pub in Hounslow, the second by the same man and three other men near the car park of a nearby medical centre. The man in the pub fled the country after being charged. CCTV showed he had not assaulted Beale, she had attacked him. The charges were later dropped.

CCTV from the medical centre suggested the gang attack could not have happened as she claimed and forensic evidence later showed she had self-harmed using wire from a hanging flower basket to fake the sexual assault.

September 2 2013 – reported another sexual assault, five days earlier, outside her home in Addlestone, Surrey. No-one was arrested or charged.

November 17 2013 – reported a gang rape by four of a group of eight men in the street in Feltham. Two men she identified were arrested, but not charged.

Beale and Mr Cassim accepted that he offered her a lift home which she accepted. But he stopped the car and Beale directed him to a discreet alleyway.

'We drove for about ten minutes and while we were in the car we were talking and then she came and gave me a rub on my knuckles, my hand,' Mr Cassim said. 'She was asking me kind of questions, whilst rubbing my knuckles, asking, obviously about sex.'

He added: 'I said 'Are you sure?' and she said yes - I asked three times 'Are you sure?' - and said OK.

Mr Cassim said they got out of the car. 'Then all of a sudden, after about three yards she told me to pull off my underwear.'

Mr Cassim was tried for rape at Isleworth Crown Court in December 2011. A retrial then took place in January 2012 in front of a fresh jury and he was jailed for seven years.

In a victim impact statement Beale described the 'devastating' effect the 'rape' had on her. 'I feel that any sentence he receives will never reflect the life sentence that he gave me,' she said.

Mr Cassim served two years because of the 'grave injustice' before he was released.

Beale then complained to police she was the victim of two sexual assaults in July 2012, one of which involved 'sexual violence of a most serious kind'.

She later complained to police she was groped by a stranger, Noam Shahzad, in a pub in July 2012, before he took part in a gang rape on her.

Beale even injured herself to back up her claims that she had been assaulted with barbed wire.

Mr Shahzad skipped bail and fled the country after being charged with sexual assault.

Beale then fabricated similar allegations against six other men in 2013.

She claimed two strangers sexually assaulted her close to her home in Ashford, Middlesex, before she was put through another gang rape attack by four others two months later.

Two of the men identified by Beale - Luke Williams, 28, and 25-year-old Steven McCormack - were arrested and interviewed but never charged.

She claimed Mr Shahzad groped her at The Windsor Castle pub, in Hounslow, before the same man took part in a sickening gang attack in the car-park of a nearby medical centre using barbed wire.

Crime scene examiners recovered a number of items from a small gap between the east side of the centre and the brick wall perimeter.

Among those was a wire basket containing a small amount of Beale's DNA along with one of her earrings.

Beale claimed the sample was left as she urinated there but prosecutors claimed the basket was used to cause the 'self-inflicted' injuries.

'The group of men did not exist,' said prosecutor John Price, QC.

Beale reported another serious sexual assault, this time by two men, on September 2, 2013 which she claimed it had happened five days earlier outside of her home.

Although neither alleged attacker was ever identified she said one of the pair was also involved the previous attack in July.

Again the entire incident was 'a grotesque invention'.

Beale reported another attack in Feltham, west London, two months later, on 17 November.

'She described a gang rape at night in a street of the most appalling kind,' said Mr Price. 'She alleged that she had been raped one after the other by four of a group of eight men, and she identified two of them as Luke Williams and Steven McCormack.

'Both of those men were arrested by police later that same day.'

Beale had spent the evening with Mr Williams and others at a house party, and that she had left willingly with him to go and get alcohol and cigarettes.

She claimed he took her to a garage where he arranged for a Mr McCormack and others to attack her, and that he was armed with a machete.

In the days before the alleged assault, Mr McCormack said Beale had threatened to get him into trouble with the police.

'Each of those reports made by Jemma Beale to the police is alleged by the prosecution in this case as being entirely false,' said Mr Price. 'She had not been raped.

'Nor had she been sexually assaulted on any of these occasions.'

She was arrested in June 2014 and eventually charged in March of last year.

Beale told the court she had been bullied at school for being fat and she insisted she was a lesbian and said she had been in several relationships with women. 'I'm not going to go to a man I don't know and ask him for sex,' she insisted, adding: 'I ain't bisexual at all.'

She was remanded in custody ahead of sentence at Southwark Crown Court on 24 August.


I’m a Pediatrician. How Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse

Transgender politics have taken Americans by surprise, and caught some lawmakers off guard.

Just a few short years ago, not many could have imagined a high-profile showdown over transgender men and women’s access to single-sex bathrooms in North Carolina.

But transgender ideology is not just infecting our laws. It is intruding into the lives of the most innocent among us—children—and with the apparent growing support of the professional medical community.

As explained in my 2016 peer reviewed article, “Gender Dysphoria in Children and Suppression of Debate,” professionals who dare to question the unscientific party line of supporting gender transition therapy will find themselves maligned and out of a job.

I speak as someone intimately familiar with the pediatric and behavioral health communities and their practices. I am a mother of four who served 17 years as a board certified general pediatrician with a focus in child behavioral health prior to leaving clinical practice in 2012.

For the last 12 years, I have been a board member and researcher for the American College of Pediatricians, and for the last three years I have served as its president.

I also sat on the board of directors for the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity from 2010 to 2015. This organization of physicians and mental health professionals defends the right of patients to receive psychotherapy for sexual identity conflicts that is in line with their deeply held values based upon science and medical ethics.

I have witnessed an upending of the medical consensus on the nature of gender identity. What doctors once treated as a mental illness, the medical community now largely affirms and even promotes as normal.

Here’s a look at some of the changes.

The New Normal

Pediatric “gender clinics” are considered elite centers for affirming children who are distressed by their biological sex. This distressful condition, once dubbed gender identity disorder, was renamed “gender dysphoria” in 2013.

In 2014, there were 24 of these gender clinics, clustered chiefly along the east coast and in California. One year later, there were 40 across the nation.

With 215 pediatric residency programs now training future pediatricians in a transition-affirming protocol and treating gender-dysphoric children accordingly, gender clinics are bound to proliferate further.

Last summer, the federal government stated that it would not require Medicare and Medicaid to cover transition-affirming procedures for children or adults because medical experts at the Department of Health and Human Services found the risks were often too high, and the benefits too unclear.

Undeterred by these findings, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health has pressed ahead, claiming—without any evidence—that these procedures are “safe.”

Two leading pediatric associations—the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Endocrine Society—have followed in lockstep, endorsing the transition affirmation approach even as the latter organization concedes within its own guidelines that the transition-affirming protocol is based on low evidence.

They even admit that the only strong evidence regarding this approach is its potential health risks to children.

The transition-affirming view holds that children who “consistently and persistently insist” that they are not the gender associated with their biological sex are innately transgender.

(The fact that in normal life and in psychiatry, anyone who “consistently and persistently insists” on anything else contrary to physical reality is considered either confused or delusional is conveniently ignored.)

The transition-affirming protocol tells parents to treat their children as the gender they desire, and to place them on puberty blockers around age 11 or 12 if they are gender dysphoric.

If by age 16, the children still insist that they are trapped in the wrong body, they are placed on cross-sex hormones, and biological girls may obtain a double mastectomy.

So-called “bottom surgeries,” or genital reassignment surgeries, are not recommended before age 18, though some surgeons have recently argued against this restriction.

The transition-affirming approach has been embraced by public institutions in media, education, and our legal system, and is now recommended by most national medical organizations.

There are exceptions to this movement, however, in addition to the American College of Pediatricians and the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice. These include the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, the Catholic Medical Association, and the LGBT-affirming Youth Gender Professionals.

The transgender movement has gained legs in the medical community and in our culture by offering a deeply flawed narrative. The scientific research and facts tell a different story.

Here are some of those basic facts.

1. Twin studies prove no one is born “trapped in the body of the wrong sex.”

Some brain studies have suggested that some are born with a transgendered brain. But these studies are seriously flawed and prove no such thing.

Virtually everything about human beings is influenced by our DNA, but very few traits are hardwired from birth. All human behavior is a composite of varying degrees for nature and nurture.

Researchers routinely conduct twin studies to discern which factors (biological or nonbiological) contribute more to the expression of a particular trait. The best designed twin studies are those with the greatest number of subjects.

Identical twins contain 100 percent of the same DNA from conception and are exposed to the same prenatal hormones. So if genes and/or prenatal hormones contributed significantly to transgenderism, we should expect both twins to identify as transgender close to 100 percent of the time.

Skin color, for example, is determined by genes alone. Therefore, identical twins have the same skin color 100 percent of the time.

But in the largest study of twin transgender adults, published by Dr. Milton Diamond in 2013, only 28 percent of the identical twins both identified as transgender. Seventy-two percent of the time, they differed. (Diamond’s study reported 20 percent identifying as transgender, but his actual data demonstrate a 28 percent figure, as I note here in footnote 19.)

That 28 percent of identical twins both identified as transgender suggests a minimal biological predisposition, which means transgenderism will not manifest itself without outside nonbiological factors also impacting the individual during his lifetime.

The fact that the identical twins differed 72 percent of the time is highly significant because it means that at least 72 percent of what contributes to transgenderism in one twin consists of nonshared experiences after birth—that is, factors not rooted in biology.

Studies like this one prove that the belief in “innate gender identity”—the idea that “feminized” or “masculinized” brains can be trapped in the wrong body from before birth—is a myth that has no basis in science.

2. Gender identity is malleable, especially in young children.

Even the American Psychological Association’s Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology admits that prior to the widespread promotion of transition affirmation, 75 to 95 percent of pre-pubertal children who were distressed by their biological sex eventually outgrew that distress. The vast majority came to accept their biological sex by late adolescence after passing naturally through puberty.

But with transition affirmation now increasing in Western society, the number of children claiming distress over their gender—and their persistence over time—has dramatically increased. For example, the Gender Identity Development Service in the United Kingdom alone has seen a 2,000 percent increase in referrals since 2009.

3. Puberty blockers for gender dysphoria have not been proven safe.

Puberty blockers have been studied and found safe for the treatment of a medical disorder in children called precocious puberty (caused by the abnormal and unhealthy early secretion of a child’s pubertal hormones).

However, as a groundbreaking paper in The New Atlantis points out, we cannot infer from these studies whether or not these blockers are safe in physiologically normal children with gender dysphoria.

The authors note that there is some evidence for decreased bone mineralization, meaning an increased risk of bone fractures as young adults, potential increased risk of obesity and testicular cancer in boys, and an unknown impact upon psychological and cognitive development.

With regard to the latter, while we currently don’t have any extensive, long-term studies of children placed on blockers for gender dysphoria, studies conducted on adults from the past decade give cause for concern.

For example, in 2006 and 2007, the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology reported brain abnormalities in the area of memory and executive functioning among adult women who received blockers for gynecologic reasons. Similarly, many studies of men treated for prostate cancer with blockers also suggest the possibility of significant cognitive decline.

4. There are no cases in the scientific literature of gender-dysphoric children discontinuing blockers.

Most, if not all, children on puberty blockers go on to take cross-sex hormones (estrogen for biological boys, testosterone for biological girls). The only study to date to have followed pre-pubertal children who were socially affirmed and placed on blockers at a young age found that 100 percent of them claimed a transgender identity and chose cross-sex hormones.

This suggests that the medical protocol itself may lead children to identify as transgender.

There is an obvious self-fulfilling effect in helping children impersonate the opposite sex both biologically and socially. This is far from benign, since taking puberty blockers at age 12 or younger, followed by cross-sex hormones, sterilizes a child.

5. Cross-sex hormones are associated with dangerous health risks.

From studies of adults we know that the risks of cross-sex hormones include, but are not limited to, cardiac disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, strokes, diabetes, and cancers.

6. Neuroscience shows that adolescents lack the adult capacity needed for risk assessment.

Scientific data show that people under the age of 21 have less capacity to assess risks. There is a serious ethical problem in allowing irreversible, life-changing procedures to be performed on minors who are too young themselves to give valid consent.

7. There is no proof that affirmation prevents suicide in children.

Advocates of the transition-affirming protocol allege that suicide is the direct and inevitable consequence of withholding social affirmation and biological alterations from a gender-dysphoric child. In other words, those who do not endorse the transition-affirming protocol are essentially condemning gender-dysphoric children to suicide.

Yet as noted earlier, prior to the widespread promotion of transition affirmation, 75 to 95 percent of gender-dysphoric youth ended up happy with their biological sex after simply passing through puberty.

In addition, contrary to the claim of activists, there is no evidence that harassment and discrimination, let alone lack of affirmation, are the primary cause of suicide among any minority group. In fact, at least one study from 2008 found perceived discrimination by LGBT-identified individuals not to be causative.

Over 90 percent of people who commit suicide have a diagnosed mental disorder, and there is no evidence that gender-dysphoric children who commit suicide are any different. Many gender dysphoric children simply need therapy to get to the root of their depression, which very well may be the same problem triggering the gender dysphoria.

8. Transition-affirming protocol has not solved the problem of transgender suicide.

Adults who undergo sex reassignment—even in Sweden, which is among the most LGBT-affirming countries—have a suicide rate nearly 20 times greater than that of the general population. Clearly, sex reassignment is not the solution to gender dysphoria.

Bottom Line: Transition-Affirming Protocol Is Child Abuse

The crux of the matter is that while the transition-affirming movement purports to help children, it is inflicting a grave injustice on them and their nondysphoric peers.

These professionals are using the myth that people are born transgender to justify engaging in massive, uncontrolled, and unconsented experimentation on children who have a psychological condition that would otherwise resolve after puberty in the vast majority of cases.

Today’s institutions that promote transition affirmation are pushing children to impersonate the opposite sex, sending many of them down the path of puberty blockers, sterilization, the removal of healthy body parts, and untold psychological damage.

These harms constitute nothing less than institutionalized child abuse. Sound ethics demand an immediate end to the use of pubertal suppression, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgeries in children and adolescents, as well as an end to promoting gender ideology via school curricula and legislative policies.

It is time for our nation’s leaders and the silent majority of health professionals to learn exactly what is happening to our children, and unite to take action.


Want a new passport? Then be prepared to unfasten your trousers:

PETER HITCHENS says he was presumed guilty at his appointment

The terror threat is an excuse for our Government to get above itself. It does so in many ways, but I will cite here my own personal experience of dealing with the British state.

For dull but sensible reasons, I needed to go to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in person, to get a new passport. A charming official had explained to me on the phone what I needed to do, in some detail.

The only hard part was the fee – about what I might expect to pay for a celebratory dinner at a good restaurant, or a tough morning at the dentist.

Both restaurant and dentist would have taken care to treat me nicely – a courteous welcome, somewhere comfortable to sit, a general feeling that they wanted my business.

Not so HMPO. I had imagined, at this price, a quiet visit to a pleasant office, a swift handover of documents and a return a few hours later to collect my passport.

Cautious as ever, I arrived early. That was when I began to get the picture.

I could not even get into the building unless I went through something similar to airport security – that is, a procedure rather like reception at a prison.

A haggard queue of defeated, passive people curled round a bleak ante-room. An official told me I was too early to join it. Come back later.

So I did. Fifteen minutes before my appointment (I had been told I would lose my large fee if I failed to show), I was motionless in that haggard queue.

The minutes ticked by. There was nobody to ask what was going on. Nothing happened.

At last, in a sudden unexplained rush, I was at the scanner.

‘Take off your belt!’ instructed a stern person.

My belt? This is an office block, not an aeroplane.

Trousers slipping, I shuffled into the next room trying to gather together my possessions and documents, and keeping my rage to myself lest I was flung out for having a bad attitude, and deprived of my costly slot.

Then there was some chaos caused by a computer glitch. And finally, trousers fully re-secured, I was at a desk. I no longer had any idea what time it was.

The official glared at my photos, taken three days before by London’s best and longest-established passport photographers.

‘I’m not sure these meet the requirement,’ she snapped, but declined to explain why.

There was a nervous period while she went away to check with higher authority. The same thing happened with a letter of support written to the exact dictation of an HMPO official.

‘The wording on this isn’t right,’ she complained.

In the end, the objections vanished. And four hours later, I collected the passport – not the elegant, understated symbol of a free man’s liberty to travel that it used to be, but an odd, frivolous booklet whose pages are decorated with tourist sights, multicultural stuff, inventions, historical figures and emblems of the clapped-out ‘Cool Britannia’ era.

Perhaps it was the humourlessness that was worst of all, the lack of any kind of recognition that it is absurd to order people to unfasten their trousers to apply for a passport.

During the whole procedure I had been presumed guilty, treated as an object rather than a subject. Maybe the description on my passport should say ‘British Object’.

There was no real justification for any of it, just the general official fear of ‘terror’, which you must never, ever mock or question.

Their claim to protect us from that is about the only source of authority they have left, I suppose.


Australian creationist wins Grand Canyon row

An Australian geologist who believes­ the Bible is the literal word of God has claimed a historic­ legal victory in the US, following the settlement of his lawsuit against the administrat­ors of the Grand Canyon, who had refused to allow him to ­conduct research aimed at proving the story of the Great Flood.

Andrew Snelling, a Christian who has a PhD in geology from the University of Sydney, told The Australian he had been trying since 2013 to get a permit to collect­ rock samples for a peer-­reviewed, scientific research project­ within the Grand Canyon that would challenge the idea that the rock layers are millions of years old.

Dr Snelling lodged his lawsuit against park administrators with the US District Court in Arizona just days after US President ­Donald Trump signed an executive order promising protection of religious freedoms “from undue interference by the federal government”.

“The Grand Canyon is the gold standard for geologists,” Dr Snelling said.

“It’s important because it’s the largest and deepest canyon in the world. It’s accessible, not surround­ed by jungle. The walls are stacked like pancakes: shale, sandstone, limestone, mud. There are more rock layers exposed there than anywhere else.”

While most geologists believe that the Grand Canyon supports the theory that the earth is million­s of years old, Dr Snelling believes that evidence for the Bible story of creation may be found in those stacked layers. In 2013, he applied to collect 40 to 60 samples, each fist-sized, for a research project. “They turned me down because­ they didn’t like the question I was asking,” he said.

In emails obtained under Freedom of Information legislation, park officials criticised his Grand Canyon project as “inappropriate” and “outlandish”. One said it was “dead end creationist”.

Dr Snelling is employed by Answers in Genesis, a US-based Christian think tank established by fellow Australian Ken Ham, who has built a replica ark in ­Kentucky.

“What I’m saying, as a geologist, is that there are folds in those rocks, so were they still soft when they were laid down?” Dr Snelling said. “Because if it looks like it was still soft when it was formed, that implies there was a short period of time between the layering, not millions of years.”

When his application for a research­ permit was dismissed, he put in a Freedom of Information request. “The way they referred to me, and my beliefs, it was defam­atory,” he said. “My methodology was sound, but I was a Christian who had alternative views.”

Dr Snelling said he had withdrawn his lawsuit, after administrators agreed to grant the permit. Under the rules, the data he collects­ must be made available to other scientists.

“That’s fair enough,” he said. “I will provide the data to the park, to the public, and publish the results in scientific journals. Even if I don’t find the evidence I think I will find, it wouldn’t assault my core beliefs. We already have evidence that is consistent with a great flood that swept the world.

“The Australian Aborigines have stories about a great flood. You find similar stories in China. It’s all circumstantial but … I believe the Bible is a record given to us by God and what I read in the Bible really ­occurred.”



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


9 July, 2017

Children in single-mother-by-choice families do just as well as those in two-parent families

As it has not yet been fully published, this study is difficult to critique.  It is however clear that its generalizability is low.  Women who decide to have a child without an involved partner are very atypical so what may be true of their families  may not apply to other family types.

And the lack of details so far available makes it impossible to know what was controlled for.  Without control for sociological variables such as education and income and psychological variables such as IQ and self-confidence, the results just could not be taken seriously.  And knowing how often some of those variables are NOT controlled for, I would be surprised if any firm conclusions could be drawn from this study

A study comparing the well-being of children growing up in single-mother-by-choice and heterosexual two-parent families has found no differences in terms of parent-child relationship or child development. However, the study did find that the single-mothers-by-choice did have a greater social support network.

"Children in both family types are doing well in terms of their well-being," said investigator Mathilde Brewaeys from the Centre of Expertise on Gender Dysphoria of the VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam. "Single-mothers-by-choice and their children benefit from a good social support network, and this should be emphasised in the counselling of women who want to have and raise a child without a partner." Ms Brewaeys will present the results of the study today at the 33rd Annual Meeting of ESHRE in Geneva.

Fertility treatment of single women is now available in most European countries and is an increasingly popular procedure for single women who wish to become pregnant without a partner (ie, single mothers by choice).(1,2)

Some specialists have raised concerns about the well-being and development of these children. "The assumption that growing up in a family without a father is not good for the child is based mainly on research into children whose parents are divorced and who thus have experienced parental conflict," explained Ms Brewaeys, "However, it seems likely that any negative influence on child development depends more on a troubled parent-child relationship and not on the absence of a father. Single-mothers-by-choice knowingly make the decision to raise their child alone, in contrast to unintended single mothers. Little research has been done on the specific features of these single-mothers-by-choice families and whether there are differences between them and heterosexual two-parent families in terms of parent-child relationship, parental social support and well-being of the children."

The study described by Ms Brewaeys was a comparison of 69 single-mothers-by-choice (who had knowingly chosen to raise their child alone) and 59 mothers from heterosexual two-parent families with a child between the ages of 1.5 and 6 years. Parent-child relationships, mothers' social support network and children's well-being were compared between family types according to three validated questionnaires. The analysis drew three main conclusions:

There were no significant differences in emotional involvement or parental stress between family types.

Single-mothers-by-choice showed significantly higher scores on the social support they received, but also on wanting more social support.

There were no significant differences in the children's internal and external problem behaviour (well-being) between both family types.

Based on these results Ms Brewaeys reported that children growing up with single-mothers-by-choice appeared to enjoy a similar parent-child relationship as those in heterosexual two-parent families.

Ms Brewaeys explained that the support systems welcomed by the single mothers were either informal or formal: the former could be parents, other family, friends, neighbours or a nanny, while the latter included teachers, family doctors, paediatricians, television programmes or articles about child rearing.

"A strong social network is of crucial importance," said Ms Brewaeys. "So I would recommend that all women considering single motherhood by choice make sure of a strong social network - brothers, sisters, parents, friends of neighbours. And to never be afraid to ask for help.

Ms Brewaeys pointed to earlier studies investigating the profile of this new group of single mothers. The great majority, she said, would have preferred to have a child a with a partner. But as fertility time was running out, they opted to do so alone. Most women in her study were financially stable, had received a higher education and had meaningful partner relationships in the past.


Is all of Africa headed for Europe?

The number of migrants crossing into Europe from Africa will be in the millions within five years unless urgent action is taken, a senior EU official has warned.

Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, has said the scale and severity of the migrant crisis is being underestimated and must be tackled urgently.

In an interview with Il Messagero newspaper, Mr Tajani said there would be an exodus ‘of biblical proportions that would be impossible to stop if we don’t confront the problem now’.

‘Population growth, climate change, desertification, wars, famine in Somalia and Sudan. These are the factors that are forcing people to leave.

‘When people lose hope, they risk crossing the Sahara and the Mediterranean because it is worse to stay at home, where they run enormous risks. If we don’t confront this soon, we will find ourselves with millions of people on our doorstep within five years.

‘Today we are trying to solve a problem of a few thousand people, but we need to have a strategy for millions of people.’

Former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, the head of the ruling Democratic Party, said yesterday Italy should allow only a ‘fixed number’ of migrants into the country as it grapples with a wave of people arriving by sea from North Africa.

‘There has to be a fixed number of arrivals. We should not feel guilty if we are not able to welcome everyone,’ Mr Renzi said in a video posted on his party’s website.

‘We have to save everyone, but we are not able to welcome everyone into Italy,’ he said.

Italy has been struggling to cope with a large number of migrants, mostly sub-Saharan Africans, crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya, a journey that has so far claimed more than 2,200 lives this year, UN figures show.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the country has accepted around 85,000 of the 100,000 people who have arrived this year.

The massive numbers have also exacerbated tensions with neighbouring Austria, which this week threatened to send troops to its border with Italy to stop migrants entering.

His warning comes after a Paris shanty town containing some 2,500 migrants was pulled to the ground on Friday and its inhabitants 'evacuated' to other parts of France.

Many were from war-torn countries such as Afghanistan and Eritrea who said they were desperate to get to Britain as quickly as possible.

The mass operation, which involved riot police, unfolded soon after dawn as the mainly young men were forced out of the illegal settlement in the Porte de la Chapelle.

It is situated in the north of the city, next to the railway lines where high-speed Eurostar trains travel to London.

'We were woken up first thing and then told to line up before being moved out,' said Adam Jamshid, a 33-year-old originally from the Afghan city of Kandahar. 'There wasn't even time to pick up our belongings, and many people were split up. The police were very tough - like they always are.'

Like many of the migrants, Mr Jamshid said he was taken to a local gym, where he would be able to spend a few nights.

'There is no permanent place for us in France any more,' he said. 'This is one of the main reasons why we want to go to Britain, where we are treated like human beings.'

There is an official refugee camp in Porte de la Chapelle, but those living there can only stay for a fortnight.

Since its opening last year, it has become a magnet for thousands, who end up setting up alternative homes in the streets nearby.

Some 60 coaches were involved in Friday's operation, and according to Francois Ravier, of the local prefecture, 'at least 2500 migrants were involved.'

'Experience shows that there are always more people than estimated, said Mr Ravier.

Numbers in Paris have swelled since the destruction of the so-called 'Jungle' camp in Calais last year, when around 8000 migrants were dispersed.

France's new President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to continue the zero tolerance policy to illegal camps enforced by his predecessors.

Friday's operation marked the 34th of its kind to take place in Paris over the last two years.

Paris council said it was justified because of security and hygiene concerns.

Europe's migrant influx began in 2015, centering on Greece, where hundreds of thousands of people, many of them fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Afghanistan, crossed from Turkey.

The crisis receded in 2016 under an agreement with Turkey to clamp down on illegal border crossings.

However, it revived this year, focussing instead on sea crossings from Libya to Italy, mainly entailing people from sub-Saharan Africa.

On Thursday, EU interior ministers pledged to back a plan to help Italy, which has accepted around 85,000 people since the start of the year and says it is overwhelmed.


Countries that refuse to take back illegals cut in half, 'big' win for Trump

The Trump administration has bolstered its campaign to deport criminal illegal immigrants by getting countries to stop blocking the transfers and take them back, according to key Homeland Security officials.

Led by its success in getting Iraq to shift gears, the administration is looking to cut the number of "recalcitrant nations" even further as it speeds up the arrest of illegal immigrants and visa overstayers who have criminal records.

"It is big news. It shows that some of these countries see that they can't get away with stiff arming us anymore, that there will be consequences," said Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said the Obama and Trump administrations, in a combined effort from the departments of state and homeland security, have cut the number of recalcitrant nations in half.

"Working with our partners at the Department of State, ICE has made significant progress over the past year to improve cooperation on removals – including reducing the number of recalcitrant countries from 23 in May 2016 to 12 in May 2017," an ICE official told Secrets. "The recent agreement with the government of Iraq is one example, and we will continue our efforts to encourage greater cooperation."

While some consider forcing recalcitrant nations to take U.S. deportations low-hanging fruit, the foreign governments can be stubborn. As a result, the Trump administration has decided to play hardball, as in the case of Iraq, which got off the president's travel ban list partly by ending its policies of barring the return of criminals.

But recently, U.S. courts have interfered, raising another hurdle to the administration's plans. Last month, for example, courts blocked the administration from deporting more than 1,000 Iraqis with horrific criminal records, claiming they might face threats back home.

"ICE is currently reviewing the judge's order to determine the appropriate next steps," said ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen.

Still, the administration's efforts have won applause among groups eager to enforce immigration laws.

"The Trump administration has already made significant progress in just 150 days," said Vaughan, director of policy studies at CIS. But, she said, the administration will have to make good on threats to punish countries that balk at taking back criminals, including murderers and drug dealers.

"I am confident that the number of deadbeat countries can be reduced even further – for starters, China and Hong Kong should be the focus of pressure. On the at-risk list, there is no way places like Bermuda should be stiff-arming us. Others, like Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan, have a lot to lose if they don't cooperate more fully. There are plenty of visa programs that could be turned off in a heartbeat if they do not improve very soon," Vaughan suggested.

Dale Wilcox, executive director of the Immigration Reform Law Institute, heralded the change in how the Trump administration has approached the issue compared to the Obama White House.

"ICE, along with the State Department, has the legislative authority to punish these countries. However, it was almost never been used in past administrations. That's now changing," he said.

"President Trump appears to understand that if people think they can come here illegally and stay even after being caught, more will keep coming. By using the authority Congress gave him to incentivize these nations into cooperating, for instance, by threatening to cut-off their visa-privileges, they'll start to understand that we take our right to sovereign independence seriously," Wilcox added.


What Canada just AWARDED this jihadist who murdered a U.S. soldier DISGUSTS me

This story is so unbelievable there's no real way to explain it. As a matter of fact, it took me some ten minutes to find a link to the story - bet it's not being mentioned on any liberal progressive media outlets.

This one is just incomprehensible and will certainly inflame you. And if it doesn't, well, keep it to yourself.

As reported by CBC.ca, "Alberta PC Leader Jason Kenney and some other conservative politicians are lambasting the federal government over its move to apologize to Omar Khadr and pay him a settlement of $10.5 million [Canadian].

     Khadr, who lives in Edmonton, is the Canadian-born man who pleaded guilty to killing a U.S. Army medic during a firefight in Afghanistan in 2002. He was 15 at the time. Now 30, Khadr was captured and went on to spend 10 years in the U.S. military prison Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where some described him as a child soldier. But his case has been troubling to many, especially after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Canadian intelligence officials obtained evidence from Khadr under "oppressive circumstances," such as sleep deprivation. That was during interrogations at Guantanamo Bay in 2003.

    Khadr's statements were then shared with U.S. officials. His lawyers filed a $20-million wrongful imprisonment lawsuit against Ottawa, arguing the government violated international law by not protecting its own citizen. CBC can now confirm there is a deal between Khadr and the government that will see Khadr receive $10.5 million [Canadian]."

Yes, under the tenure of Barack Hussien Obama, this murderer who willingly took the life of an American Soldier was released. And in what has to be the height of disrespect to the family of the Soldier killed by this little terrorist, he will be receiving millions of dollars, $7 million in U.S. equivalent.

 So that's it, this is how we stand up for our troops? The lesson learned here is that keeping a sniveling little jihadist awake for too long results in a lottery-like payday. And who are these "lawyers" who filed a "wrongful imprisonment" lawsuit? Do they not realize this is a war, and this boy committed an adult act taking the life of a lawful combatant, a Soldier in uniform?

This isn't some law enforcement action. Khadr should have stayed in GITMO until the day he died, just rewards for the life he took. And actually, as a non-uniform, non-state belligerent on the battlefield, he has no rights. Furthermore, when are we, in Western civilization, going to make a declaration that any of our citizens who take up arms with Islamic jihadists surrender their rights as a citizen?

What are Americans supposed to think of this action by the Canadian government? Are we just supposed to say, hey, y'all are some swell guys? And understand something, I would be enraged, appalled, if the United States would release any Islamic jihadist who had killed a Canadian Soldier and awarded them with an apology and millions of dollars. Now, the chances of that happening have been significantly reduced since Obama departed office - we hope.

 However, what incenses me even more is the response from one of the "coexist" crowd politicians in Canada.

    "On Twitter late Monday, Kenney described Khadr as "odious" and "a confessed terrorist who assembled and planted the same kind of IEDs [improvised explosive devices] that killed 97 Canadians." He followed up with a couple of other tweets suggesting Khadr should still be in prison.

    An Alberta government MLA responded directly to Kenney on Twitter, posting her disappointment in his comments. Sherwood Park MLA Annie McKitrick said she rarely responds to Kenney's posts but felt compelled to this time.

     "Mr. Kenney never sees the power of redemption, the power of forgiveness, the power of love," McKitrick said, adding the support shown to Khadr by Edmonton's King's University College was inspiring. An English professor from King's visited Khadr while he was in detention in Guantanamo Bay, and he was later offered a place at the school on his release. McKitrick said there was a lot more to Khadr's story that Kenney was missing. "He was a young child, he was 15 and under the influence of his father and he served many, many years in a horrible, horrible jail that has been very well documented, the kind of abuse and torture and lack of medical facilities," she said.

This person is delusional. I've been to GITMO and there's no abuse or torture. I hardly call having mass amounts of food and cable TV channels along with sunshine and soccer fields abusive. And I can attest that the detainees at GITMO receive top-notch medical care, as specialists are flown in to attend to GITMO Islamic jihadist detainees. Doggone, I wish our veterans in America got the same immediate medical attention such as the GITMO killers. And isn't it typical of the progressive socialists to find pity for someone who had a "bad relationship with their daddy? When I was fifteen and under the influence of my dad, he challenged me to be the first military officer in our family...give me a break with this sob story bovine excrement. Khadr is alive and a U.S. Army Soldier is dead, dead from the grenade thrown by Omar Khadr. End of story.

But ladies and gentlemen, this is just another exhibit in the case against the progressive socialist left ever being in power in America, or elsewhere actually. They would hand all of us over to bloodthirsty Islamic jihadists because they're "misunderstood"...kinda like the comments of one RADM John Kirby. This naiveté is just sickening, but worse, deadly. Just leave it up to the liberal progressive leftists to make a freaking victim out of someone who killed one of our Soldiers...and $7 million?

Remember, in the words of Susan Rice, Bowe Bergdahl served with honor and distinction, yes, a doggone coward, deserting traitor is a heroic figure to the left. Bradley Manning releases over 700,000 pieces of classified information, resulting in deaths, and because the fella was confused about his gender, and suffering from gender dysphoria, he was released from incarceration. And from what I've read, Vanity Fair and other leftist media outlets are planning a barrage of stories covering his "plight" and fight to discover himself. Gimme a break.

Yet still sitting in prison in Ft. Leavenworth, is U.S. Army 1LT Clint Lorance, who stood and ordered his troops to fire on the enemy. There sits a young man who even had to endure his own Army withholding exculpatory evidence that was in his favor. And I understand his appeal was just rejected. Clint will not be released. Clint will not have his sentence commuted. Clint Lorance will not be receiving $7 million and no one from the progressive socialist left is pleading his case, certainly not seeing him as a victim.

Here is just another in the long list evidencing why I stand against progressive socialism. They live in a special kind of Bizarro World where true honor is repulsive while abhorrent behavior is embraced and rewarded. It reminds me of the Apostle Paul's words to young Timothy in 2 Timothy 4: 3-5 (NIV), "For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths."

There can be no greater departure from sound doctrine and truth than to believe Omar Khadr, a killer of an American Soldier, is deserving of $7 million I believe even Saint Paul would call that FUBAR.



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


7 July, 2017

Shortage of eligible men has left women taking desperate steps to preserve their fertility, experts say

I could summarize the report below very succinctly but with great political incorrectness by saying that, "Fussy bitches won't reproduce" but there is of course more to it than that.  The basics are revealing:  Globally, there are more males than females born (107 to 100) and the male average IQ is at least as high as the female. And given the leptokurtic distribution of female IQ, high IQ males considerably outnumber high IQ females.  So the ladies should have a smorgasbord of able men before them.  How come they do not?

There are two main causes, both due to feminism:  1). The feminization of education has pushed men of marginal ability out of higher education.  That is no hardship for them, though.  They probably make more money as tradesmen anyway.  But that leads to the second pernicious effect of feminism  2). It has given women unrealistically high expectations.  They want men to be all sorts of unlikely things -- willing to do half the housework, for instance.  That mostly won't happen.  And as for marrying a genial and well-off tradesman, that would be just too humiliating!

So the men are there.  It's just that a lot of women are too snooty for them.  So what do the men do?  Some become queer and a lot marry child-oriented third-world women.  So lots of good male genes are passed on anyway -- in Eurasian babies.  It's only the feminist-indoctrinated women who lose out.  They will never discover the joy of children and their genes will not be passed on. And that may be a good thing. Weeding out folly has to be a good thing. 

The women with strong female hormones will always reproduce -- many at a young age -- and I, for one, think feminine females are a great good thing.  I must do.  I married four times.  But men who know about leptokurtic distributions are probably at something of an advantage in that

Another theme below is that some women do find acceptable  partners but getting the partners to "commit" is the big problem.  Look to another feminist inspiration for the explanation of that: Draconian divorce laws.  Divorce is common and it often ruins a man financially.  A man who consents to marriage is simply ill-advised these days. 

A dearth of marriagable men has left an “oversupply” of educated women taking desperate steps to preserve their fertility, experts say.

The first global study into egg freezing found that shortages of eligible men were the prime reason why women had attempted to take matters into their own hands.

Experts said “terrifying” demographic shifts had created a “deficit” of educated men and a growing problem of “leftover” professional women, with female graduates vastly outnumbering males in in many countries.

The study led by Yale University, involved interviews with 150 women undergoing egg freezing at eight clinics.

Researchers found that in more than 90 per cent of cases, the women were attempting to buy extra time because they could not find a partner to settle down with, amid a “dearth of educated men”.

Experts said the research bust the myth that “selfish career women” were choosing to out their fertility on ice in a bid to put their careers first.

They said sweeping social changes meant that many professional women now struggled to find a partner that felt like an equal match.

In recent decades, the gender balance at British universities has tipped dramatically. In 1985, 45 per cent of UK students were female, but by 2000, 54 per cent were women.

This group, now in their late 30s, is finding it harder to find a man of equal status, fertility experts said. And the trend is set to steepen in future generations, they warned, with nearly six in ten current students female.

The research, presented at the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Geneva, was based on detailed interviews with women in the United States, and Israel. But the lead author said similar trends were likely in the UK, where women are 35 per cent more likely than men to go to university.

Prof Marcia Inhorn, Professor of Anthropology at Yale University, said professional women found themselves losing out in a game of “musical chairs” because there were simply too few men of the same calibre to go around. “There is a major gap - they are literally missing men. There are not enough college graduates for them. In simple terms, this is about an oversupply of educated women,” she said.

The former President of the Society for Medical Anthropology said the women interviewed in the study were highly successful, with 81 per cent having a college degree.

“These are highly educated, very successful women and one after another they were saying they couldn’t find a partner. How could it be that all these amazing, attractive intelligent women were lamenting about their ability to find a partner?” she said.

“The answer comes in the demographics - growing disparities in the education levels of men and women.

The anthropologist suggested some women might need to be prepared to compromise some of their standards in order to find love. But she suggested society should act to increase the number of men going into higher education. “It may be about rethinking the way we approach this,” she said.  “Most women who are educated would like to have an educated partner. Traditionally women have also wanted to ‘marry up’ to go for someone more successful, financially well off.”

“Maybe women need to be prepared to be more open to the idea of a relationship with someone not as educated. But also may be we need to be doing something about our boys and young men, to get them off to a better start.”

Some women were paying a high price for feminism, she suggested.  “As a feminist I think it’s great that women are doing so well but I think there has been a cost that has been paid,” she said, warning that many had been left in “sadness and isolation”.

In some cases, the women taking part in the in-depth interviews said they would be happy to be in a relationship with someone less educated, but they felt they were “intimidating” to the men who were available.

Researchers said that until now, many commentators on egg freezing had assumed that it was being driven by a desire to preserve fertilty, while rising up the career ladder.

“I think this is an issue that has been misinterpreted so much - this idea of a selfish career woman, putting her fertility on hold,” said Prof Inhorn.

Professor Geeta Nargund, medical director of UK clinics Create Fertility, said: “It is something to celebrate that more women are going to university and getting educated but, at the same time, when it comes to starting a family it seems there is now a societal problem with these women finding men at the same level of education.

“Women tell us frequently that they are freezing their eggs because the men they meet feel threatened by their success and so unwilling to commit to starting a family together.”

Prof Adam Balen, President of the British Fertility Society, said: “We are seeing some big societal issues, in particular in some social economic groups, with young men not committing.”

One in five women in the UK is now childless by the end of their fertile life - compared to one in 10 a generation before, he said.

Last year less than 105,000 male 18-year-olds started university, compared with almost 135,000 females, UCAS figures show, with more women than men on two-thirds of courses.

The gender gap for higher education is now as large as that between rich and poor people, which was described as a “worrying inequality” by former UCAS chief executive Mary Curnock-Cook.

British fertility experts said the gulf was "terrifying". Dr Gillian Lockwood, executive director, IVI said: "It exacerbates the problem of men not wanting to 'settle down' and start a family until it's almost too late for the woman to conceive naturally.

And if she insists, he's quite likely to leave for a younger woman whose biological clock isn't ticking quite so loudly."

Her own survey of women doing “social” egg freezing found the overwhelming majority of women having their eggs frozen were doing so because they could not find a partner, or because their own partner would not commit.

Typically, it costs around £10,000 to freeze eggs and keep them in storage for 10 years in the UK.

Professor Simon Fishel, founder of Care Fertility, said: “Anthropologically we are always searching, consciously or unconsciously, for like-minded people so it is not a great leap to understand that women are looking for someone on the same level, who is university-educated or a professional.

“This problem of "missing men" is absolutely the case in many situations in the UK, but there is a wider problem behind the increasing desire for egg freezing, not least about men and women being too unaware of their biological clocks.”

“Almost all of the women in the study who employed egg freezing were heterosexual and wanted to become married mothers,” the research found. “Women lamented the ‘missing men’ in their lives, viewing egg freezing as a way to buy time while on the continuing (online) search for a committed partner.”

The study found that more than 90 per cent of those freezing their eggs were not intentionally “postponing” their fertility because of education or careers.

“Rather they were desperately ‘preserving’ their fertility beyond the natural end of their reproductive lives, because they were single without partners to marry.”

“In most cases, these women were unable to find educated men willing to commit to family life - the reflection of a growing, but little-discussed gender trend, with women increasingly outnumbering male college graduates,” the report found.


Trump, Congress Should Halt Transgender Military Policy That Costs Billions

Last year, without any systematic study of the consequences, the Obama administration reversed longstanding policies that excluded those who identify as transgender, on both psychological and medical grounds, from serving in the U.S. military.

The armed services immediately stopped discharging existing service members who suffer from gender dysphoria (unhappiness with their biological sex at birth). Phase Two of this policy—allowing persons who identify as transgender to join the military—was scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2017.

Family Research Council has now calculated both the direct medical costs and the cost of lost deployable time, and concluded that the transgender policy could cost taxpayers up to $3.7 billion over the next ten years.

The Williams Institute, a pro-LGBT think tank, estimates that there are currently 7,300 biological males and 1,500 biological females with gender dysphoria serving on active duty in the military. FRC used data from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey to calculate how many of those would seek surgery. Under the military’s new policy, all eligible service members will receive 100 percent of their “necessary” care—including gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy—at no cost to the service member.

According to data from the Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery, a comprehensive package of male-to-female surgical procedures would cost $110,450, and female-to-male procedures would cost $89,050. Adding the cost of counseling and hormone therapy—which must continue indefinitely after surgery—would result in a total cost of medical interventions for current active duty service members of nearly $1 billion over the next ten years. These calculations do not include additional possible expenses, such as electrolysis (hair removal) and voice therapy or vocal surgery.

Service members will also be unavailable for deployment for several months after surgery—adding $504.3 million in cost to replace them. Service members who have had reassignment surgery or hormone therapy may actually be permanently non-deployable, because they require specialized medical care which may not be available everywhere in the world. Adding on similar costs for new recruits who identify as transgender yields a total estimated cost for the new transgender policy of nearly $2 billion ($1.88 billion) over ten years. (The additional administrative costs of preparing and overseeing individualized care plans for each service member who identifies as transgender, the costs of training the entire force regarding the new policy, and the loss of time associated with that training, have not been included in these estimates.)

Service members undergoing gender transition will also be permitted to take leave from the military for one full year prior to surgery, for a “real life experience” living as the desired gender. The cost of this lost time would total nearly $1.8 billion, for existing service members and new recruits, over ten years.

If these direct and indirect costs are all included, the total cost rises to $3.7 billion over ten years. Consider some examples of what that money could buy instead:

1 AEGIS Destroyer ($3.5 billion)

22 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Planes ($166.7 million each)

116 Chinook Helicopters ($31.8 million each); or

3,700 Tomahawk missiles ($1 million each).

Family Research Council has concerns about the psychological fitness of persons who identify as transgender to serve (because of high levels of psychopathology within that population), and about the effect of allowing people to present themselves as the opposite of their biological sex on good order and discipline, readiness, recruitment, and retention.

However, the financial costs alone are reason enough to put a halt to this policy. Both the Trump administration and Congress should act to postpone implementation of the July 1 transgender recruitment policy, and ultimately roll back a policy that promotes political correctness at the expense of military readiness.


Welfare Currently Punishes Work and Marriage. This Bill Would End That

Sen. Mike Lee   

There is much to celebrate in America today. Americans are, on average, wealthier, healthier, and better educated than we ever have been. We’ve made huge strides in civil rights and racial equality. And we have access to technology that would have awed past generations.

But fundamentally, our culture and way of life has undergone some changes that are not necessarily positive.

As documented in the recently released report, “What We Do Together: The State of Associational Life in America,” Americans’ day-to-day lives have significantly changed over the last few decades—and not always for the better.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone. Find out more >>

Between 1970 and 2016, the share of children not being raised by two parents rose from 15 to 31 percent. Over that same time, births to single mothers rose from 11 percent to 40 percent.

And more than half of American children now live with a single parent at some point before they turn 16.

This breakdown of the American family has real economic and social consequences for all of us. On average, children from married households live healthier lives, attain higher levels of education, earn more, and enjoy greater wealth as adults than children from single-parent households.

As the American family has been weakening, our attachment to work has been fraying for many as well.

Between 1970 and 2016, labor force participation for prime-working-age men declined from 96 percent to 89 percent. The fall-off has been worse for men with little education, who now put in 14 percent fewer hours at work in 2012 than they did in the mid-1970s.

There is no silver-bullet solution to these problems. The causes are cultural, economic, and policy related. What we do know is that at a bare minimum, government should not be actively making these problems worse.

Unfortunately, some of our current welfare policies are doing just that, which is why I introduced the Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act last month.

Prior to the Obama administration, the size of the federal government’s food stamp program ebbed and flowed with the economy. The number of recipients went up during recessions and fell during recoveries.

But President Barack Obama ended the link between work and food stamp eligibility. As a result, today’s food stamp program foots the bill for 44 million people, compared to just 26 million before the recession.

The Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act would restore that link between work and assistance by creating a 100-hour-per-month work requirement for able-bodied adults without dependents.

Single parents with a child younger than 6 would be exempt from penalties, but they would still be guaranteed access to all vocational opportunities offered by the state.

Finally, to make sure that current food stamp recipients are assisted in their search for work, states would also be given $500 million to help develop vocational programs for those who have trouble finding work.

The era of signing citizens up for assistance and then neglecting the next step must end.

The bill would also allow married parents with children to split the work requirement between them, thus making it easier for married parents to balance work and family.

These are admittedly small steps. Much more can be done to end the many ways federal policies currently punish work and marriage through the tax code, health policy, and housing assistance.

But we can start by removing some of the barriers that make family and work life more difficult. And this bill, the Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act, would start making that happen.


Even Scripture Makes the Case for Defending Religious Freedom: Paul in Acts

Why should we actively and publicly defend religious freedom? We’ll look to the Apostle Paul for an answer.

In late May, Alan Sears, the founder of the Alliance for Defending Freedom, was awarded the Wilberforce Award for his and the Alliance’s efforts on behalf of religious freedom.

At the ceremony, several speakers testified about Sears’ commitment to securing this most basic of rights, and the example he sets for all Christians.

But there’s another example of the importance of knowing and asserting our rights in matters of faith I’d like to tell you about. It’s an example that predates Sears’s efforts by nearly 2000 years.

I’m talking about the Apostle Paul. On several occasions in the book of Acts, Paul asserts his rights as a Roman citizen to further the work of the Gospel.

The first is related in Acts 16. Paul, Silas, and Luke arrive in Philippi in what is now Greece. While they were there, Paul casts out of a slave girl what Luke calls a “Python spirit,” a reference to the serpent that guarded the oracle at Delphi.

The girl’s owners, angry at the loss of revenue from her fortune-telling, drag Paul and Silas before the local magistrates. The magistrates beat them with rods and throw them into jail.

The next day, the magistrates sent lictors, Roman police, to the jail to tell Paul and Silas that they’re free to go. Paul refuses to leave.

He tells them that he is a Roman citizen, and thus, had the right to a trial before being beaten and thrown in jail. He insists that the magistrates come to the jail and personally release them. Alarmed by Paul’s assertion of his rights as a Roman citizen, the magistrates do just that.

As William Kurz of Marquette University writes in his commentary on Acts, Paul’s assertion of his rights was “important for the reputation of the incipient Christian community as well as for the missionaries’ prospects for returning to Philippi.” In other words, he invoked his rights to protect the Philippians’ religious freedom.

Then there’s Acts 22. Following his return to Jerusalem, Paul’s opponents create a disturbance near the Temple. He is taken away by the Roman authorities to “be interrogated under the lash.” Once again, Paul asserts his rights as a Roman citizen.

This not only spares Paul the beating, it also ensures that he will be judged by Roman authorities and not the Jewish leaders who conspired to kill him.

As Kurz tells readers, “Paul’s recourse to the legal rights available to him sets a useful example for contemporary Christians who encounter discrimination, persecution, or even court trials, imprisonment, and martyrdom … [Paul] used the rights of his Roman citizenship to ensure that witness to Jesus would reach as far as Rome, the center of the empire.”

Similarly, Kurz tells us, “Citizens of democratic nations today also need to avail themselves of every political and legal remedy to fight for religious freedom and for the rights of those who cannot defend themselves: the unborn, disabled, sick, and elderly ... As Paul did not hesitate to use Roman law to protect his Christian mission, neither should we be reluctant to use the laws of our country to protect our freedom to spread the gospel and to defend the human rights of all.”

This is why defending our rights, especially our right to religious freedom, is so important. It’s a gift God has given us to ensure that the witness to Jesus continues, both at home and abroad.



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


6 July, 2017

Even blacks don't like living among blacks

Academic journal article below.  The more whites there are in the hood, the more relaxed the blacks are

Association of Changes in Neighborhood-Level Racial Residential Segregation With Changes in Blood Pressure Among Black Adults: The CARDIA Study

Kiarri N. Kershaw et al.


Importance:  Despite cross-sectional evidence linking racial residential segregation to hypertension prevalence among non-Hispanic blacks, it remains unclear how changes in exposure to neighborhood segregation may be associated with changes in blood pressure.

Objective:  To examine the association of changes in neighborhood-level racial residential segregation with changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure over a 25-year period.

Design, Setting, and Participants: This observational study examined longitudinal data of 2280 black participants of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, a prospective investigation of adults aged 18 to 30 years who underwent baseline examinations in field centers in 4 US locations from March 25, 1985, to June 7, 1986, and then were re-examined for the next 25 years. Racial residential segregation was assessed using the Getis-Ord Gi* statistic, a measure of SD between the neighborhood’s racial composition (ie, percentage of black residents) and the surrounding area’s racial composition. Segregation was categorized as high (Gi* >1.96), medium (Gi* 0-1.96), and low (Gi* <0). Fixed-effects linear regression modeling was used to estimate the associations of within-person change in exposure to segregation and within-person change in blood pressure while tightly controlling for time-invariant confounders. Data analyses were performed between August 4, 2016, and February 9, 2017.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  Within-person changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure across 6 examinations over 25 years.

Results:  Of the 2280 participants at baseline, 974 (42.7%) were men and 1306 (57.3%) were women. Of these, 1861 (81.6%) were living in a high-segregation neighborhood; 278 (12.2%), a medium-segregation neighborhood; and 141 (6.2%), a low-segregation neighborhood. Systolic blood pressure increased by a mean of 0.16 (95% CI, 0.06-0.26) mm Hg with each 1-SD increase in segregation score after adjusting for interactions of time with age, sex, and field center. Of the 1861 participants (81.6%) who lived in high-segregation neighborhoods at baseline, reductions in exposure to segregation were associated with reductions in systolic blood pressure. Mean differences in systolic blood pressure were ?1.33 (95% CI, ?2.26 to ?0.40) mm Hg when comparing high-segregation with medium-segregation neighborhoods and ?1.19 (95% CI, ?2.08 to ?0.31) mm Hg when comparing high-segregation with low-segregation neighborhoods after adjustment for time and interactions of time with baseline age, sex, and field center. Changes in segregation were not associated with changes in diastolic blood pressure.

Conclusions and Relevance:  Decreases in exposure to racial residential segregation are associated with reductions in systolic blood pressure. This study adds to the small but growing body of evidence that policies that reduce segregation may have meaningful health benefits.


Bill Gates warns that Germany's open door policy to migrants will overwhelm Europe

Bill Gates has warned that European leaders risk deepening the migrant crisis by being too generous to those arriving on the continent.

The Microsoft founder said countries such as Germany will not be able to handle the 'huge' numbers of migrants waiting to leave Africa and find a better life overseas.

Instead, the 61-year-old suggested spending more on foreign aid to treat the root causes of migration, while making it more difficult for people to reach the continent.

Speaking in an interview with the German Welt am Sonntag newspaper, with a translation published by Breitbart, he said: 'On the one hand you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees. 'But the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this — which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa. 'Germany cannot possibly take in the huge number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.'

Mr Gates praised Chancellor Merkel's commitment to spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on foreign aid as 'phenomenal', and asked other European leaders to follow suit.

But he added: 'Europe must make it more difficult for Africans to reach the continent via the current transit routes.'

His own foundation has spent years and invested hundreds of millions of dollars to fight poverty and disease in Africa.

Mrs Merkel has been heavily criticised for her previous policy of open-door migration which saw 1million people arrive in Germany in a single year.

At the time conservative European politicians warned that providing migrants with an open door into Europe would make the problem worse.

Mr Gates' comments came as Italian interior minister Marco Minniti held emergency talks with his French and German counterparts over the migrant crisis.

Mr Minniti has threatened to close Italian ports to privately-funded vessels helping to rescue migrants from ships in the Mediterranean.

He said that other European nations must agree to shoulder some of the burden, or Italy will cut funding to those refusing to help.

An estimated 82,000 migrants have arrived in Italy so far this year, up 19 per cent on previous year, The Telegraph reports.

A German government report which leaked to the Bild newspaper suggests there could be up to 6.6million people trying to get into Europe, including 2.5million waiting to cross from North Africa.

It is thought that 2,000 people have lost their lives making the crossing since the start of the year.

Mr Gates' comments also came after the G20 Africa Conference which took place in Berlin last month.

The summit aimed to discuss ways to improve economic growth, develop infrastructure, and strengthen private investment across the continent.


Devout Christian, 39, who became a sex worker and slept with 10,000 clients says 'there aren't many good men left' - and WOMEN are to blame

A former escort has claimed that the pool of 'decent men' in Australia is 'reducing significantly' - and that women are to blame.

Gwyneth Montenegro, a former escort who made headlines when she revealed she had slept with 10,000 men, told Daily Mail Australia that five years ago, the most prevalent type of man was 'admiring of women'.

But fast forward to this year, Ms Montenegro, from Melbourne, says the most prevalent type of man has 'a degree of dissatisfaction with their female counterpart'.

Ms Montenegro, 39, used an intimate profiling methodology to survey more than 60,000 women to come up with the results each time.

'In 2012, by far the most common profile types were "The Stroker" and "The Non-Conformist". Both of these profile types have a bias toward continually proving themselves to their partner,' she explained.

'In 2017, the most common profile types revealed were "The Wimpy Kid" and "The Conqueror". Both of these have primary motivations that reveal a degree of displeasure or resentment toward women.'

Ms Montenegro believes that if changes aren't made, these averages will become 'societal norms'.

'If you look into the data from just a handful of years ago it seems that the majority of men saw women as someone to impress. Someone to woo if you like,' she explained.

'Nowadays the data reveals a shift toward motivations more like to "use and exploit" or to be "removed and disconnected".'

'Increased sexual harassment, exploitation and employment inequality will become more commonplace if we don’t arrest the trend.'

Ms Montenegro believes that women have something to do with these results.

'I don’t want to be so arrogant so as to blame feminism, I count myself as a feminist, but I do believe some of the responsibility does lie with us women,' she said.

'We’ve become more militant in our approach against inter-sex grievances. We’ve used female rights to ambush and complain instead of to negotiate and to talk.

'We loudly picket and demand if we don’t get our way. We are quick to storm the streets and proclaim our displeasure.

'All of this is good in a balanced society but in our enthusiasm we are forgetting the unintended consequences. We are fostering a degree of disillusionment among the few good men left.

'They are left scratching their head saying wondering why so much hatred, when all they want to do is to provide for and care for their partner. If we’re are militant and dispassionate toward men, can we not expect them to be militant and dispassionate toward us?'

Ms Montenegro says that while 'feminism has its place' and cannot be 'blamed for everything', communication needs to improve.

'It’s hard being a woman today and God knows we need representation, however I am a firm believer that communication, negotiation and a hand shake can be a more effective tool than never ending whining and foot stomping,' she said.

'In my experience the majority of men don’t hate women, they just want a good one to hold and love. Do we really want to generate disillusionment among them?

'The influence of feminism in the current generation is undeniable. We live in a world in which many men are too scared to open a door for a woman for fear of verbal abuse.'

'We live in a world where it’s common place for women to cry rape in order to get back at a man... These instructions aren’t just coming out of the blue, they are coming from women of influence within female movements.'

'Any good relationship requires communication and in the wider community it’s no difference. If we want to advance the cause of women we need to communicate.'

Ms Montenegro, who says 'feminism is broken and needs to be fixed', is using the platform she gained from being open about her past to spread this message far and wide.

'As is well known nowadays, my not-so-perfect past sparked my curiosity in profiling in the first place. Those days have been both a blessing and a curse,' she explained.

'On the upside, the fascination with me having bedded 10,000 men has provided me with a platform with which to promote my methodologies,' she said

'On the downside, the publicity makes it hard for me to escape the emotional realities and to move forward with my life. Ultimately though, I count it as a blessing. I’ve been able to positively affect so many more people than I could have dreamed of reaching minus my story.'

'Just as people, events and other influences in our life can cause us to change, so too can the same apply to our male counterparts,' she said.

'We’ve had at least some part to play in the process thus far, we can use that same influence in a more positive manner.  There’s few things in this world more influential than a woman in her power. In this case, we can literally change the world.'

Ms Montenegro, who now teaches women how to understand the opposite sex, was first paid for sex at the age of 21.

Three years prior, a horrific gang rape had completely changed the course of her life. Just 18 at the time, Ms Montenegro was out at a club when her drink was drugged. She believes anywhere from six to eight men raped her that night.

The experience turned upside down the world of the Christian teen who had been saving herself for marriage. Ms Montenegro suddenly felt worthless. Her old dreams and aspirations were thrown out the window and she instead joined the table top industry a year later.

Although she felt she had already 'crossed a line' by becoming a stripper, Ms Montenegro still describes the first time she was paid for sex as being 'totally surreal'.

Ms Montenegro stayed in the industry for 12 years, unable to give up the thousands of dollars that kept pouring in and the perks of beautiful clothes and trips.

It was a lifestyle that gave Ms Montenegro a deep insight into what men really want from women as they confided in her about their desires and relationships.

It wasn't until the age of 33 that she finally retired once and for all and instead became trained in neuro-linguistic programming, a type of psychotherapy.

Ms Montenegro then found fame when she wrote the story of her life in the book 10,000 Men and Counting, which was released in 2014.


Australia's leading Leftist antisemite opens up

As a former State Premier, foreign minister and Senator he is an influential figure on the Australian Left. He is however a bit of an oddball.  He was actually a pretty good NSW Premier but has always been very Green. He never learned to drive and is married to an Asian woman

Former Labor foreign minister Bob Carr has spoken out against Israel’s “cruel” and “foul” occupation of Palestinian land, and its “ruinous path” in rejecting the creation of a state of Palestine.

Leading a push for the ALP to give Palestine immediate state recognition, Mr Carr has also backed the Israeli opposition’s condemnation ­of a new law ­allowing further property seizures as amounting to “war crimes” if families are forced off privately owned land.

The comments were delivered by Mr Carr, who served as Julia Gillard’s foreign minister, last week when he appeared as a “special guest” of Labor frontbenchers Anthony Albanese and Tony Burke, joint hosts of a NSW ALP federal electorate council meeting in Sydney. A recording of the event has been ­obtained by The Australian.

Now head of the Australia China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney, Mr Carr has been accused by pro-­Israel opponents in his party of acting behind the scenes to ­orchestrate passage of a resolution at this month’s NSW ALP conference that “urges the next Labor government to recognise Palestine”.

The resolution by the ALP’s largest state branch, which looks set to pass with majority support from right and left factions, would be the precursor to federal Labor supporting recognition of Palestine at next year’s national party conference. Such a move would mark a dramatic break with 40 years of unqualified ALP support for ­Israel, and create unwanted ructions for Bill Shorten in the lead-up to the federal election due in 2019.

Census data released yesterday shows that key NSW Labor seats such as Watson, held by Mr Burke, and McMahon, held by ­opposition Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen, have among the largest populations with Arab ­ancestry. Mr Burke’s Sydney seat has 18 per cent of voters with Arab ancestry while Mr Bowen’s has 13.2 per cent. The seat with the largest proportion of voters with Arab ancestry is Blaxland, held by NSW right figure and Labor frontbencher Jason Clare, at 19.5 per cent.

In contrast, the seat with the largest Jewish population is held by Malcolm Turnbull — Wentworth, in Sydney’s east, at 12.5 per cent of its population. The seat with the second-highest concentration of Jewish people is Melbourne Ports held by Labor’s Michael Danby, who has been a trenchant critic of the push for Palestinian recognition by the NSW ALP.

Mr Carr, who was NSW Labor premier for a decade before his stint in Canberra, acknowledges the attending head of the ­Palestinian delegation in Australia, Izzat Abdulhadi, as “His Excellency, the ambassador of Palestine”.

In the recording he praises Mr Albanese and Mr Burke for accepting, like him, that “now is the time to recognise Palestine” at an ALP state and federal level.

Mr Carr speaks highly of them and other former colleagues — Mr Bowen and now-retired minister Craig Emerson — for standing “one by one” with him against Ms Gillard in 2012 when she tried to pressure her cabinet into accepting a “no vote” by Australia opposing UN observer status for Palestine.

Mr Carr, who said he was aware the recording was being made, castigates his successor, Liberal Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, for failing to criticise Israeli settlements on Palestinian land that are “all illegal” and growing in such numbers they are “planted in areas never contemplated”. Her unquestioning support “just encouraged Israel to be more aggressive and chauvinist’’.

Quoting Israeli critics, and then agreeing with them, Mr Carr says the left-leaning Tel Aviv-based Haaretz newspaper had “correctly” called Israel an occupying power — but the occupation was “getting crueller”.

“The regularisation bill … confirms everything I’ve said about the foulness of this occupation, and about the poisonous effect it is having on Israel, and yes, it confirms ... the suffering of Palestinians which must be first and foremost in our concerns,” he says.

Mr Carr interprets comments by Israel’s Labor opposition leader Isaac Herzog as equating the new legislation with a “war crime”, and notes politician Benny Begin, son of the former Likud Party prime minister, calling it “a looting bill”.

A Palestinian family’s property could be seized by the Israeli state even if it had land title going back to the days of the Ottoman Empire, Mr Carr says.

He says Palestinians had stories to tell that had been “blotted out” until Israeli historian Danny Morris checked defence archives and found Palestinians were expelled when Israel was set up as a Jewish state in 1948. “There were massacres,” Mr Carr says in his speech. “And that feeds into the stories you’re familiar with; of Palestinians having to flee their houses, leave their houses behind, and flee for the borders.”

He says the people of Gaza are refugees with links not to that area but with the homes, real or imagined, inside Israel’s borders of 1948. Mr Carr berates Israel’s continued occupation of territories as a “cruel” and “hateful thing” that forces more suffering on Palestinian people.

He recounts one Haaretz report about “apartheid” coming to an ancient swimming pool used by Palestinian children, who were booted out by authorities for a group of touring Israeli settlers.

Federal Labor’s current policy on the Israel-Palestinian issue was publicly endorsed this week by Mr Shorten’s deputy Tanya Plibersek, serving as acting party leader, despite her own harsh criticism of Israel in the past, and her long factional alignment with Mr Albanese.

The current ALP policy supports a two-state solution — but only commits the party in government to “discussing” joining like-minded nations in recognising a Palestinian state if there is no progress in peace talks.

Jewish leaders in Australia consider the proposed change not only odious but potentially “dangerous” because of the encouragement it could give Palestinians to pursue their cause without concessions, including a pledge to end hostilities.

Mr Shorten, politically close to Mr Danby, is known for his own pro-Israel sympathies and good relations with Melbourne’s Jewish community. Mr Shorten has shown no sign of resisting the ALP policy shift, possibly aware he is in the minority with the party’s pro-Palestinian left faction now dominating national conference numbers, and backed by the NSW right on this issue.

Mr Carr was unequivocal in saying he wants Labor support for a Palestinian state “now” during his speech at the Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club.



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


5 July, 2017

The racist Left again

British social workers are very Leftist

It is early on Friday morning, and if life had turned out slightly differently, there would currently be children scampering across the spotless new carpet in Sandeep and Reena Mander’s beautiful Berkshire home.

Plastic bowls and other toddler breakfast detritus would need to be cleared away in the kitchen. Upstairs, their four spare bedrooms would be cluttered with cots and toys. Instead, we sit sipping tea in the immaculate living room with their lawyer listening in – contemplating a silence they are desperate to fill.

This week, the normally intensely private British-born couple have found themselves propelled into the centre of a national storm, and over something as simple as wanting to adopt and raise a child of their own.

The Manders, both of whose parents came to this country from Punjab as children, have launched legal action against the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and its adoption service Adopt Berkshire after being refused permission to adopt a white child because of their “cultural heritage”.

After failing to conceive naturally and undergoing a brutal six years of fertility treatments, the couple, who are in their early 30s and work in senior professional jobs, approached their local council to be considered for adoption. But they claim they were told that because the council only had white babies on its register they would not even be allowed to apply.  Despite a year of campaigning against the decision and being backed by their local MP, Theresa May, the local authority is refusing to budge, prompting their legal action.

“We’ve always felt British,” says Reena, in their first newspaper interview since the story broke earlier this week. “When they refused us it was probably the first time I have ever felt different. This is my country. This is where I’ve been born and bought up. I can’t really identify with any other country being my home.”

Like many young couples up and down the country, Sandeep and Reena Mander first locked eyes over a sticky dance floor at a student nightclub. It was Reena’s first year of a business information services degree at Leeds Metropolitan University, where Sandeep was studying for a degree in business studies after finishing school in Maidenhead.

All of their parents had come to this country with nothing and worked hard to secure a better life for their children. Reena, whose grandfather fought for the British Army, was raised in Leamington Spa, where her father built up a successful haulage firm from scratch. She and her three siblings all went to university.

At Leeds, Reena embraced university life, playing lacrosse, netball and hockey alongside her studies, as well as taking part in student theatre. She was celebrating the end of her final exams in 2006 when she began to feel a pain in her stomach. At first she presumed it was due to having eaten some poorly-cooked chicken at a barbecue, but when the pain got worse she made several trips to the doctors. Eventually, she collapsed and was rushed to hospital in an ambulance.

“It was a cyst twisting on my ovary to the point where they had to perform emergency surgery,” she says. “If it had popped – which it was on the point of doing - it probably would have killed me. I lost one of my ovaries but thankfully it was after my last exams and didn’t impact me getting my degree.”

She was assured by the doctors that she would still be able to have children. Soon after her recovery, Sandeep booked a private “Cupid’s Capsule” on the London Eye and proposed, with all of London sprawling below them. They married in 2007, with a traditional Indian wedding in front of some 600 guests.

Although neither of them is particularly religious, they held the service at a Sikh temple in Leamington Spa and the reception afterwards at a hotel in Solihull. Sandeep arrived in the traditional Sikh manner on a horse - and then, in a nod to his British upbringing, ensured there was a Bacardi bottle on every table during the evening do.

Reena, 33, who is a senior project manager for the communications company Three, travelled to India to buy her array of outfits for the day. It was only the second time she had ever been to the country. “The first time I was five and I got bitten to death by mosquitos,” she says in her dry Midlands accent. “I’ve still got the scars now.”

Their plan was always to have children young – certainly before they were 30 – and about seven years ago they began trying for a baby. When nothing happened they visited a gynaecologist for advice and eventually were told there was no other option but IVF. Reena was around 26 at the time and excluded from NHS treatments, which at the time were unavailable to couples under 30.

When she finally reached that age, they were told she still could not receive NHS treatment as they had already gone private. This was the first time they enlisted the support of Mrs May. “She was very supportive,” says Sandeep, who is 35 and works as vice president of sales for a payments company. “She wrote a letter in our favour, but the health authority didn’t budge.”

In total, the couple had 16 rounds of IVF back to back using private healthcare both in the UK and Spain, where more donors are available. They estimate that they have spent around £150,000 on treatments.

Then, two years ago, Reena finally became pregnant, only to miscarry at around 10 weeks.

“It was at that point where we had enough and couldn’t go through it again after that,” she says. “It can mean one or two things for a couple because it is such a stressful and emotional process, but thankfully it’s made us stronger.”

Instead, the couple registered their interest with Adopt Berkshire, the council’s adoption service, and in December 2015 attended an introductory workshop. They spent several months deliberating before deciding to officially register in April 2016.

“The way we’ve been bought up, the race of the baby never really entered our mind,” says Reena. “We didn’t even discuss it between ourselves.”

Sandeep says he was rejected outright because of his “cultural heritage” on the first phone call. The couple demanded a home visit by a social worker, but the council reiterated afterwards that they would not be allowed to apply. They claim they were told to adopt a child from India instead, despite having no close ties to the country.

Agencies are allowed to prioritise parents from the same ethnic group, but government guidelines state that a child’s ethnicity should not be a barrier to adoption. The Manders’ lawyer, Georgina Calvert-Lee of the law firm McAllister Olivarius, says not even allowing them to join the register is a simple case of discrimination. Adopt Berkshire has refused to comment.

The Manders say their case - which is supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission - is no longer about them. “The reason we are doing this [legal action] is to help other couples,” Sandeep says.

They have recently been cleared to adopt in the US, where Sandeep’s mother has family, and hope to be able to bring a child home soon. It is another expensive process, costing some $80,000 (£60,000) in fees alone.

The money, however, means nothing compared to the thought that they may soon be able to have a family of their own.

“When we have kids here it will be the happiest day of our lives,” Sandeep says. “I always keep thinking what I would do for them on the first birthday and what sort of party we will have.”

And then he breaks off, contemplating the future they have always longed for. And the agony of love as yet unfulfilled.


Australia: The Left is renewing its hate of the Jews

Leftists hate success in others and Jews tend to be successful in all sorts of ways.  Even Karl Marx hated Jews, despite being one himself.  Read his "Zur Judenfrage" if you doubt it

Labor will formally abandon ­almost 40 years of explicit ideological support for Israel with a resolution expected to be passed at this month’s NSW state conference, a move that would ultim­ately bind Bill Shorten to an unconditional recognition of a Palestinian state should he ­become prime minister.

A dramatic shift in language from the NSW branch is set to force the ALP national conference to adopt the same position next year, effectively ensuring federal Labor goes to the next election with a foreign policy position of unqualified recognition for a state of Palestine.

A significant hardening in the position contained in a motion endorsed by the NSW conference foreign affairs committee, obtaine­d by The Australian, has elevated what was previously conditional support for a Palestinian state based on a negotiated peace settlement and consult­ation with other countries, to a policy of categorical and immed­iate recognition of statehood.

A senior source close to the drafting of the motion claimed it was a “historic” move by Labor to effectively drop decades of ­“instinctive” support for Israel, which was cemented in 1977 with the creation of the Labor Friends of Israel.

“It is inevitable that the same motion will go before the national conference next year and, with the numbers as they are, it would be adopted,” the source said.

But the move risks a bitter split within Labor ranks, with pro-­Israeli Labor MPs meeting last night to resolve to oppose it. The Labor Israel Action Committee said that motions came from individual local branches and did not represent the final NSW conference position, ­despite the foreign affairs committee recommending that it be supported.

NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel deputy chairman and Labor Israel Action Committee patron Walt Secord said LIAC opposed the motions. “We see them as one-sided and do not promote a peaceful resolution to the conflict resulting in a two-state solution,” he told The Australian.

“We support a two-state solution with a Palestinian state, but the proposed motions need to be amended to include a recognition of Israel. I stressed the proposed motion in the official conference book is not final.”

While not regarded as a leadership issue for Mr Shorten — who faced pressure from Labor elders in February for a policy shift ahead of a meeting with ­Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — the move will cause friction with the Jewish lobby, which he has traditionally been close to.

NSW Jewish Board of Deput­ies chief executive Vic Alhadeff said: “Refusing to expressly recog­nise Israel’s right to exist, and ignori­ng the position of two states for two peoples, is a disturbing and backward step which will do absolutely nothing to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

“NSW Labor has long supported a two-state solution and it would be unfortunate in the extreme­ if a fair and constructive resolution is not reached.”

Despite Mr Shorten’s own Victorian faction, Centre Unity, now being the only significant pro-Israel­i bloc left in the ALP, the Labor leader — who in February faced calls by Kevin Rudd and Bob Hawke for Palestinian recognition — is believed not to have lobbied against the NSW motion, recognising that with the numbers backing it within the party membership­ and the caucus, a policy shift at the national level was unavoidable.

The NSW motion, obtained by The Australian, marks a fundamental shift in language from the national platform and the previous NSW position, which called for a Labor government to consult first with other countries on recognition if no progress had been made toward­s a peace settlement.

The motion states conference “notes previous resolutions on Israel­/Palestine carried at the 2015 ALP national conference and the 2016 NSW Labor annual conference and urges the next Labor government to recognise Palestine”.

In 2014, following a motion sponsored by then Labor foreign minister Bob Carr, NSW Labor adopted a position that if there was no progress to “a two-state solution, and Israel continues to build and expand settlements, a future Labor government will consult like­minded nations towards ­recognition of the Palestinian state”. The Tasmanian ALP state conference passed a similar but more strident resolution at the weekend, affirming that the next federal Labor government would ­“immediately recognise the state of Palestine”.

The same words are expected to be adopted by the Queensland state conference, which will be held on the same weekend as the NSW conference, July 29 and 30.

The South Australian Labor government used its majority to pass a motion last week that also recognised a state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel, marking the first formal recognition by a parliament in Australia.

A senior Labor source said it was now impossible for next year’s national conference to not adopt the same policy, with the numbers on the floor of the national­ conference dominated by the left, which on this issue would now be supported by the NSW right.

A source close to Mr Shorten said that the Labor leader, who has been a staunch defender of Israel, now believed Labor’s unequivocal support for Israel could not be maintained, with the issue of settlements­ still unresolved.

“He did not lobby against it,” the source said. “He is smart enough to know it is happening and is allowing it to happen.”

The biggest push has come from within the NSW right, includi­ng some of Mr Shorten’s most committed supporters, who are also facing pressure within their own branches to support a stronger resolution. Mr Shorten expressed Labor’s support for Israe­l at the time of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu but had also raised the contentious issue of settlem­ents in a meeting with the Israeli leader.

“We want to see Israel safe and secure of its borders; we support the rights of the Palestinians people­ to have their own state,” Mr Shorten said at the time.

The outgoing vice-president of the Queensland ALP, Wendy Turner, welcomed the move by NSW and said that momentum was now there for the national conference to adopt the policy. “This issue has really awakened the rank and file,” she said. “Just as we recognised ­Israel’s right to exist, we need to recognise a Palestinian state.”

She confirmed that the Queensland conference would seek to re-affirm its resolution passed last year for a federal Labor government to unconditionally recognise a state of Palestine.


Fatties survive heart attack better -- and are not as shaky

Being obese can increase the rates of surviving a heart attack, a new study claims. Researchers found that mildly obese patients who suffered a major heart attack were 30 percent more likely to survive three years later. They were also more likely to recover faster and spend less time in the hospital.

The cardiologists that conducted the study in Dallas, Texas, said this is called the 'obesity paradox' because being an unhealthy weight increases the risk of heart conditions but can lead people to have better outcomes.

The study was conducted by heart doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

They examined medical records from nearly 20,000 Medicare patients, including those with a normal weight, who had suffered a heart attack.

Researchers found those who were mildly obese, having a BMI of 30 to 35, fared better than those who were of a normal weight, having a BMI between 18.5 to 25.

This group also did better than extremely obese patients, who fared the worst out of all weight categories.

First author Dr Ian Neeland said: 'One theory is that you have more energy reserves to combat the illness. You're able to weather the storm better.'

Other theories included that there has been oversight on factors that would explain the obesity advantage or if people of a normal weight have an diagnosed problem.


Obese people are nearly 20 per cent less likely to develop Parkinson's disease (PD), research reveals.

Having an obese BMI throughout your life lowers your risk of developing the condition by 18 per cent, researchers from University College London found.

This may be be due to the weight disorder sharing genetic variants with factors that protect against the neurological condition, according to researchers.

Yet, the researchers warn the health risks of carrying excessive weight will likely outweigh any reduced susceptibility to PD.

They said: 'Although our results suggest that higher BMI is potentially protective against PD, the negative health impacts of raising BMI are likely to be significant, and should be taken into account.'

Dr Neeland added: 'I think the message from this finding is that if you've had a heart attack and you're overweight or mildly obese, you shouldn't necessarily try to lose weight aggressively in the initial period after the heart attack.'

However, the heart doctor does not recommend patients to try and gain weight after a heart attack.

The expert said it's important to remember that being overweight or obese has a higher chance of developing heart disease and high cholesterol, among other health risks.

Senior author Dr James de Lemos added: 'Although obesity is clearly an important risk factor for the development of diabetes and heart disease, once a person already has heart disease, these relationships are not as clear cut.'

The new study's findings are consistent with a report from the American College of Cardiology in 2009.

The organization stated overweight heart attack victims should stay fat as they are more likely to live longer.

Their data found obese people were likely to outlive their leaner counterparts with the same severity of heart problems.

Experts also thought obese patients' survival rates were higher because excess weight meant patients had more reserves to fight disease than thinner patients.

Another explanation was that obese patients often seek medical advice earlier in the disease process because they are out of shape and suffering other symptoms, which gives doctors the chance to diagnose problems earlier.

Obesity continues to be an epidemic across the globe, with a recent global report revealing nearly a third of the world is obese or overweight.

The World Health Organization said the issue has become a 'disturbing global public health crisis', which is contributing to booming rates of diabetes and heart disease.

Excess weight is already contributing to one in every 14 deaths from any cause, the researchers found, a figure which they said is bound to rise.

The US had a rate of 33 percent obesity, which is around 79.4 million obese people.


Another Leftist conspiracy theory debunked

This essay is a response to the recent book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, by my Duke University colleague, Nancy MacLean, a professor in our distinguished Department of History.

It is, let me say at the outset, a remarkable book.

At first I misunderstood its method. MacLean has argued persuasively throughout her career for the historical method. For example, in Debating the American Conservative Movement: 1945 to the Present (with Donald T. Critchlow), she writes: “We hope this book will help students learn that the strongest, most tenable positions are arrived at through careful sifting of evidence and respectful encounters with opposing points of view” (2009, viii).

So perhaps I can be forgiven for my misunderstanding of her method in this book. Early in Democracy in Chains, in a preface entitled “A Quiet Deal in Dixie,” MacLean recounts an exchange, a conversation really, between two conservatives. One is the president of a major southern university, the other is an academic worker intent on reverse-engineering a repressive sociopolitical order in America, working from the ground up, using shadowy methods and discredited theories.

The academic writes a proposal for a research center where these ideas can be given a pestilential foothold, a source of viral infection hidden in a legitimate academic setting. The goal, as MacLean tells it, was to begin a Fabian war to re-establish a repressive, plutocratic society ruled by oligarchs. MacLean has actually examined the founding documents, the letters in this exchange, and cites the shadowy academic as saying: “I can fight this [democracy] . . . I want to fight this.” (xv, emphasis in original reference).

In his proposal, the professor expands on the theme, which I quote directly from Democracy in Chains (xv, emphasis in original): “Find the resources, he proposed to [the University President], for me to create a new center on the campus of the University . . . and I will use this center to create a new school of political economy and social philosophy.” Wow! That’s pretty big stuff.

Except . . . there’s something odd. The italicized text above is written in the first person and is also italicized in the original setting. But, the italicized passage has no quote marks. It’s not footnoted.

I was curious about that omission, so I tracked down the founding documents themselves: “Working Papers for Internal Discussion Only—General Aims” (1959) and “The Jefferson Center for Studies in Political Economy and Social Philosophy” (1956) (both from Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.). And it turns out that the reason there are no quote marks, and no footnotes, is that this exchange, and in particular the first-person italicized portion, never actually took place. It’s not a quote. No, seriously: It’s not a quote. It’s made up. Fabricated. Fictional.

MacLean, to her credit, never actually claims it is a quote, although a careless reader could be excused for thinking it was, given the first-person voice and the italics. Once I realized that this was the approach, the larger point became clear: Democracy in Chains is a work of speculative historical fiction. There is considerable research underpinning the speculation, and since MacLean is careful about footnoting only things that actually did happen she cannot be charged with fabricating facts. But most of the book, and all of its substantive conclusions, are idiosyncratic interpretations of the facts that she selects from a much larger record, as is common in the speculative-history genre. There is nothing wrong about speculation, of course, but there is nothing persuasive about it either, in terms of drawing reliable conclusions about history.

The reason that Democracy in Chains is remarkable is that it is such a great story. The evil mastermind of the secretive “Public Choice” movement, James M. Buchanan, was the winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. MacLean is able to decode the true meaning of his mostly rather bland, academic-ese writings, after which Buchanan achieves the status of a Bond villain. Buchanan sought nothing less than to bring down the America we all love, and replace it with a plutocracy. The account is rendered plausible by MacLean’s excellence as a writer.

The problem with history, of course, is that many narratives about a few cherry-picked events and documents are “plausible.” The task of the historian is to try to distinguish among plausible accounts “through careful sifting of evidence and respectful encounters with opposing points of view.” There is none of that here. Even a casual familiarity with the basic facts of James Buchanan’s life and scholarship, and of the growth and success of the Public Choice movement, reveal far simpler, and more plausible, explanations.

MacLean violates a fundamental principle of historical and philosophical biography: the principle of charity, which according to the esteemed philosopher Simon Blackburn (2016, 62) requires that the analyst must “maximize the truth or rationality in the subject’s sayings.” There are several versions of this principle, analogous to Occam’s Razor in the sciences. The principle of charity requires that you take the claims, words, and arguments of a subject at face value, unless there is compelling direct evidence to the contrary.

So (quoting now from the actual founding document of the Jefferson Center at the University of Virginia) when Buchanan said he wanted to establish a center “to preserve a social order built on individual liberty, and . . . as an educational undertaking in which students will be encouraged to view the organizational problems of society as a fusion of technical and philosophical issues,” the researcher should not call this “code” and infer a desire for racial segregation. The words might just mean what they say.

But decoding and paraphrasing, rather than charitable quoting, is the organon of MacLean’s book. Not of her other work, however, which as I have said is admirably academic and careful. Just this book. She examined some documents from the Buchanan archives, which by her own account (xvii–xx) were so poorly organized that no systematic review was possible.

MacLean decided a systematic review wasn’t necessary, because she found what she needed. For example, on page 66 of Democracy in Chains, we learn of the attempt by segregationist forces to support vouchers. MacLean says, “The economists made their case in the race-neutral, value-free language of their discipline, offering what they depicted as a strictly economic argument—on ‘matters of fact, not values.’” MacLean quotes nothing that would cleanly support the claim that Buchanan advocated vouchers for the purpose of achieving segregation.

The problem is that this view does not withstand even minor scrutiny as an actual account of Buchanan or Public Choice. Buchanan’s support for vouchers and for school choice arose from a deeply held concern for individual liberty. In fact, since the theme of Democracy in Chains is that Buchanan opposed majority will, the example of desegregation seems an odd choice for MacLean to emphasize. It was after all desegregation that was imposed, at the point of a bayonet, at the command of an anti-majoritarian institution, the Supreme Court. The electoral majority in Arkansas, and in rural Florida where I grew up, and in much of the South, strongly preferred a repressive apartheid society where African-Americans were denied the basic rights guaranteed to all U.S. citizens.

How might MacLean justify occupation by federal troops and for forcible desegregation, against the express will of democratic majorities? It’s easy: forcible desegregation was justified because segregation had itself been achieved by force—the illegitimate force of majorities! Jim Crow was a majority rule policy. The Constitution, or at least the Bill of Rights and Amendments 13-15, exist precisely to suppress the murderous and racist impulses of majorities.

Of course, this leaves us to argue about which impulses of majorities pass constitutional muster, and which must be forcibly suppressed, as in Little Rock, by heavily armed troops. That seems like an important debate. MacLean may disagree with Buchanan’s position, and that would be useful. But MacLean’s core claim throughout the book is that majorities are always right. But it was Brown v. Board of Education, not “majorities,” that sparked school desegregation.

Buchanan’s work certainly did have a perspective. He opposed state monopoly of education, but he was certainly not opposed to state participation in education. In fact, in the very document in MacLean cites (Buchanan and Nutter, 1959, 1) we can find this:

The case for universal education is self-evident: a democracy cannot function without an informed and educated citizenry....If education is to be universal, compulsion must be exercised by government - that is, by the collective organ of society - since some parents might choose to keep their children out of school. For similar reasons, minimum standards of education must be determined by government. Otherwise, the requirement of education is empty and meaningless...

The principle of charity would require at a minimum that a scholar not fabricate a set of evil motives that happen to fit an ideologically motivated narrative, but rather should take the argument as a possibly mistaken, but sincere expression of professed goals. In this case, however, Buchanan clearly says he favors state regulation and financing of education. In fact, he favored something that might surprise many observers: a confiscatory estate tax (Brennan and Munger, 2014, 337). MacLean’s description is more than uncharitable; it is grossly inaccurate.

On the other hand, and to her credit, MacLean has discovered a number of important documents from the history of Public Choice, and other aspects of the history of the 1960s and 1970s in academic economic circles. There is a terrific example on pp. 115–117, where the “glee” of Buchanan and others about their conspiracy, gathered around a roaring fire in the remote mountains of Virginia, is documented. Buchanan said that what the cause needed was to “create, support, and activate an effective counter-intelligentsia” to begin to change “the way people think about government.”

But some nuance is in order. I can imagine Buchanan saying just those things, and everyone present laughing at his sarcastic use of Marxist language and imagery. But notice that there was no swearing to secrecy; there was no claim that the goals of the movement should be hidden. In fact, Buchanan actually said, “If a history of the . . . movement is ever written, it can talk about origins in a log cabin deep in the Virginia mountains.” Friends, MacLean has in fact written that history, using easily available public documents that no one has made any effort to disguise or destroy.

This wasn’t a conspiracy; like anyone trying to establish an academic “school,” Buchanan very much hoped that the movement would sweep the nation, and the world. Another of my Duke colleagues, Fredric Jameson (1982, 75), used similar language:

I happen to think that no real systemic change in this country will be possible without the minimal first step of the achievement of a social democratic movement; and in my opinion even that first step will not be possible without two other preconditions (which are essentially the same thing): namely the creation of a Marxist intelligentsia, and that of a Marxist culture, a Marxist intellectual presence, which is to say, the legitimation of Marxist discourse as that of a “realistic” social and political alternative in a country which (unlike most of the other countries in the world) has never recognized it as such.

If you think that the current system is bad and getting worse, then you hope to start a movement. That movement is likely to be accelerated by (1) the existence of an educated cadre, and (2) the legitimation of that sort of discourse, so that it is academically acceptable to have such discussions. So, while Buchanan and Jameson disagree about almost everything else, they agreed about what was required for changing society in the direction that they honestly thought would be useful for society.

Much more HERE


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


4 July, 2017

Alt-Left Insanity: OMG! Conservatives Have Religious Freedom!

Liberals don’t like the founding documents – especially the Constitution. (It’s sooooo old!!!!) It’s not that they don’t like to read. Toss them a page-turner about intersectionality and they are all over it. Stuff the Founding Fathers did, not so much.

They don’t like free press, though they claim they do. Remember this every time you see liberal idiots whining about Citizens United. That Supreme Court ruling was about a conservative group trying to make a movie criticizing then-candidate Hillary Clinton (Loss No. 1). The left is wildly opposed to conservative press rights, just not their own.

And, of course, they hate the Second Amendment. The idea of guns in the hands of the citizenry serves as a check and balance against scum foreign and domestic. They don’t like that one bit.
(CBSN Screenshot)

But they especially hate freedom of religion. As I write this, a man has been arrested for destroying the Ten Commandments monument, “less than 24 hours after it was installed on Arkansas Capitol grounds,” reported The Hill. Sure, it’s possible he’s right wing, but given the early reporting and the ACLU’s opposition to the monument, I’d bet not.

That’s not what has the alt-left in a state of high dudgeon. They are wigging because they just lost a Supreme Court ruling on religious freedom – 7-2. That’s right. This wasn’t a close ruling by the High Court. That means the swing vote – Justice Kennedy – and two liberals supported the ruling.

But lefty publications are crying like it’s the end of the world. Cosmo (because I always get my political guidance from a sex mag) screamed: “It was at the center of a Supreme Court case that could open the door for religious rights to trump all other civil rights in this country.” Note the sarcastic use of the word “trump.”

This is the part in our program where I remind folks what the First Amendment says about religion: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” That’s a statement in two parts but part two gets left out a lot. Congress can’t prohibit our free exercise of religion.

Even The Washington Post understands that, saying the court ruled: “that efforts at separating church and state go too far when they deny religious institutions access to government grants meant for a secular purpose.”

But the media response has been full freak-out. Vice, the news outlet for millennial idiots, attacked the lawyers in the case. “The Christian Lawyers Quietly Working to Erase LGBTQ Rights,” it wrote, bashing the fantastic Alliance Defending Freedom.

Vice treated ADF as some major villain because it wants religious children treated the same as those who aren’t. Actual quote: “Over the last few years, ADF has been stealthily seizing power in the nation's public school systems, with queer youth squarely in their crosshairs.” Seizing power used to be called winning court cases. In other words, where often liberal judges admit even Christians have rights?

That didn’t stop the author of this piece, gay activist Matt Baume, who blasted ADF, saying it “was founded as the Alliance Defense Fund in 1994 by a rogue's gallery of anti-gay activists.” You know what he means – conservatives.


Poor Western diets may not be to blame for high blood pressure! Members of a remote Indian tribe also suffer with the deadly condition - despite being vegetarian and extremely active

Poor Western diets and skipping the gym may not cause high blood pressure, if new research is to be believed.

An extremely active tribe in a remote region of India with no access to junk food also have the deadly condition.

The bizarre findings question the cause of the lifestyle disease, with many believing it to just affect the Western world due to their sugar and salt obsessions.

Members of the Katkari tribe, from Maharashtra, who consume a low-fat vegetarian diet, were followed over a period of two years.

Their avoidance of meat, strongly linked to the condition in recent years, and their active lifestyle should have protected them. 

What did they find?

But Professor Vijayaprasad Gopichandran, lead researcher, found that 16.8 per cent of them suffered from hypertension.

Despite the findings, the 410-strong tribe were still deemed to be at low risk of developing the condition that plagues millions, Daily Express reports.

Professor Gopichandran, based at a government-run research institute, also found 7.3 per cent had a form of diabetes.

Dr Klaus Witte, a consultant cardiologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, told MailOnline that the findings were 'unsurprising'.

He said: 'What this study confirms is that diabetes and hypertension result as an interaction between genes and lifestyle.


A small commentary on accent in Britian

By Journalist Elizabeth Day

Elizabeth Day was born middle class, but her cut-glass accent has helped her gain access to the aristocracy. Now she’s written a book about upward mobility

I’ve always spoken with a voice that’s posher than my background. I’m not at the upper end of aristo-speak, where the vowels become elongated to the point of absurdity and everyone sounds as if they’re playing a bit part in Brief Encounter. But I’m distinctly well spoken. When I talk, you’ll hear received pronunciation with a light smattering of Downton Abbey.

That means people make assumptions about me, but those assumptions can sometimes work in my favour. It’s given me access to stately homes, polo matches, opera houses and parties where the great and the good of British society gather. I’ve met peers of the realm, royalty, Old Etonians and the filthy rich and I’ve spent a lifetime observing the British “ruling class”.


GOP bill would let churches endorse political candidates

A House Appropriations subcommittee introduced an amendment Thursday to a funding bill that would deny money to the IRS to enforce a law that prohibits political endorsement by nonprofit groups like churches.

Churches should have the right to endorse political candidates and still keep their tax-free status, according to House Republicans trying to block a law that prohibits such outright politicking from the pulpit.

Republicans have failed to scrap the law preventing churches and other nonprofits from backing candidates, so they’re trying to starve it.

With little fanfare, a House Appropriations subcommittee added a provision that would deny money to the IRS to enforce the 63-year-old law to a bill to fund the Treasury Department, Securities and Exchange Commission, and other agencies.

The subcommittee passed the bill Thursday.

Republicans say the law is enforced unevenly, leaving religious leaders uncertain of what they’re allowed to say and do.

‘‘I believe that churches have a right of free speech and an opportunity to talk about positions and issues that are relevant to their faith,’’ said Representative Jim Renacci, Republican of Ohio.

Some Democrats say the measure comes too close to mixing church and state. They say religious leaders already have First Amendment rights, just like anyone else. But if they want to get political, they don’t have a right not to pay taxes.

Some also worry that the measure could upend the system of campaign financing by allowing churches to use their tax-free status to funnel money to political candidates.

Representative Richard Neal, Democrat of Massachusetts who represents Springfield and the western part of the state, recalled a speech that President Kennedy gave to religious leaders when he was running for president.

‘‘He said the pope wouldn’t tell him what to do, and the people in that audience shouldn’t be telling people on Sunday morning who to vote for,’’ Neal said. ‘‘I don’t think churches should be endorsing.’’

Some nonprofit groups want to avoid politics. In April, 4,500 nonprofit groups signed onto a letter to congressional leaders asking them to keep the law.

The law prohibits tax-exempt charitable organizations such as churches from participating directly or indirectly in any political campaign to support or oppose a candidate. If the IRS determines that a group violated the law, it can revoke its tax-exempt status.

The law doesn’t stop religious groups from weighing in on public policy or organizing in ways that may benefit one side in a campaign.

The bill specifically forbids the IRS from spending money to enforce the law against ‘‘a church, or a convention or association of churches,’’ unless the IRS commissioner signs off on it and notifies Congress.

The bill doesn’t mention other types of nonprofit groups, or even synagogues or mosques, said Nick Little of the Center for Inquiry, which promotes secularism.

‘‘All they care about is the Christian groups, and in particular, it will end up as the extreme religious right Christian groups,’’ Little said. ‘‘If this goes through, this would add just another way in which unregulated dark money could be used.’’

Religious leaders have been weighing in on political issues for generations, whether it’s the debate over abortion or advocating for the poor. But the IRS has stepped in when religious leaders explicitly endorse or oppose candidates.



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


3 July, 2017

Terrorist murder of Hadas Malka (Z'L)

On Friday evening, I noticed a helicopter hovering over the Old City.  This surprised me, seeing as there didn't seem to be much violence with the nearly 200,000 Muslims (including hundreds allowed in from the Gaza Strip, even!) who defiled the Temple Mount earlier in the day.  (This is the Islamic month of Ramadan, in which major roads in Jerusalem are reserved for Muslim-only traffic into the Old City.  It takes me about an hour to go visit my mother via another route, in a trip which normally takes me 20 minutes in the usual, direct route.  I bet you don't hear about this in the media.)

It was only Saturday evening, Motza'ei Shabbat, that I could check the news reports and heard that Hadas Malka had been murdered by three Palestinian terrorists.  She was 23 years old at the time of her death; the Pali murderers were 18.  They used knives and a gun in their attack and were shot to death by other officers on the street.  This happened near Sha'ar Shchem, aka Damascus Gate, on the north wall of the Old City.  Police officers and Border Patrol troops have been attacked (and killed) there before.  In fact, 19-year old Hadar Cohen was murdered in the very same spot just a year ago.  Both Hadar and Hadas were young women serving in the Border Patrol, which is actually an arm of the Israel Police force.

My immediate thoughts were on the futility of it all.  Hadas was buried Saturday night.  She will be pretty much forgotten very quickly, as Hadar was last year.  Young lives snuffed out for nothing at all.  This won't "liberate" any imaginary "Palestine".  Ever.  It's just killing for the sake of killing.  The three young Pali terrorists - taught to hate by the mosque across the street from their homes, by their parents, by Palestinian Authority propaganda, by the UNRWA school system that funds the spreading of hate with Dollars and Euros - have ended their lives for no good purpose, either.  (The mother of one of the murderers proclaimed that she wished that they had killed 50 or 60 times as many Yahud [Jews].  The PA will now grant a lavish stipend to the families of the murderers forever, unless someone puts a stop to that madness, too.)

But then it got worse.  When I looked for international media coverage of this attack in Jerusalem by Palestinian terrorists, I found references mostly in places like the Jewish News, and Israeli media.  The rest of the world didn't seem to notice.  The BBC did have something to say: they tweeted: "Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem". Not an Israeli policewoman murdered, but three Palis killed.  This was as misleading a headline for Fake News as the BBC can contrive.


After some severe condemnation, including from Donald Trump Jr., the BBC changed its headline.


Last night, someone drove a van through a crowd of people in the vicinity of a mosque in London.  Within a short time, there were over 1,000 news reports on this at Google News.  Must be a "Man Bites Dog" story, Muslims hurt by a Jihadi-style ramming attack.  Just now, something else happened in Paris, apparently a car ramming attack.  Nearly 100 news items about this appeared at Google News almost immediately.  When a police officer is attacked in London or a sentry on guard is murdered in Ottowa or a police van is hit in Paris, it's global news immediately.  But when an Israeli officer is murdered in Jerusalem by cowardly Palestinian Jihadis, the media doesn't take notice.  Repeatedly.

With years and years of fawning headlines and stories about Palestinian terrorists and their unfounded claims and propagandistic grievances, it is not surprising that so many uninformed people in so many places - including Lefty but ignorant Jews who should know better - are babbling about Israel "stealing land" and the "brutal occupation" in the safest and most free country in the Middle East (for Arabs!) and "illegal settlements" being an "obstacle to peace in the Middle East" and describing Muslim immigrants and foreign invaders as "indigenous Palestinians" and so much other hogwash.  Perhaps that was the intent of the "journalists" in the first place.  No one seems interested in the truth anymore.  History will never be the same.

In memory of Hadas Malka, HY"D.


Iran’s Ayatollah: ‘All Muslims Are Duty-Bound to Campaign and Carry Out Jihad’ Against Israel

Speaking Monday on the occasion of Eid al Fitr, the Muslim feast marking the end of the month of Ramadan, the Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Iran’s so-called “Leader of the Islamic Revolution,” declared that all Muslims “are duty bound” to carry out Jihad against Israel—which he referred to as “the Zionist regime.”

“Unity and avoiding division benefits all Muslim countries and through harmony over the issue of Palestine as the foremost problem of the Muslim world, it must be prevented from being diminished or forgotten,” the ayatollah said, according to a statement about the speech posted on the ayatollah's English-language website.   

“Palestine is the foremost issue of the Muslim world, but some Muslim countries act in such a way that is meant to make the issue of Palestine ignored and forgotten,” he said.

“According to Islamic jurisprudence,” said the ayatollah, “once faced with the domination of the enemy over Islamic territory, all Muslims are duty-bound to campaign and carry out jihad in whatever possible form and, therefore, fighting against the Zionist regime is incumbent upon and mandatory for the entire Islamic world.”


The rise of inflexible progressivism


As a young man coming from a left-wing pedigree, I embraced a liberal agenda which included most notably, a belief in Israel as a bastion of socialism and democracy. In the 1950s, a good progressive was a good Zionist. Oh, how the world has changed. Now a progressive has moved 180 degrees to an anti-Zionist position. As one wag put it, the left is now the congenial home of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

Linda Sarsour, the leader of the Woman's March in Washington and a commencement speaker at the City University of New York, clearly embodies the new spirit on the left. She has praised Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, once anathema to liberals. She has honored Embrased Rasmesh Odeh, a terrorist murderer. She has spoken in favor of Shariah finance. One of the supporters of Ms. Sarsour said, "Nothing is creepier than Zionism."

What is truly remarkable, and to some degree ideologically shattering, is that The New York Times wrote a fawning profile about this woman who challenges all liberal principles. She had the audacity to say that "the vagina of Ayaan Hirsi Ali should be taken away," the same Ayaan who has worked so hard to promote women's rights throughout the Muslim world. Yet the Anti-Defamation League defends Ms. Sarsour. Why do liberals not recognize that the Muslim countries do not give women and people in the LGBT community the same civil rights that Israel does?

For the left, Zionism has promoted Islamophobia - a false critique from the standpoint of Islamists. As a consequence, anti-Semitism is rendered a virtue, as a way to discourage negative sentiment about Islam. Yet even when the evidence of anti-Semitism is incontrovertible, the left contends anti-Semitism is a figment of a hysterical, oversensitive imagination. For the most part, Jews are being systematically written out of the progressive agenda, even though they were responsible for that agenda in the first place. But why quibble?

This new age, already upon us, has sheltered many Jews from the harsh reality of contemporary progressivism. Jews still gravitate to a Democratic Party led by two men (Tom Perez and Keith Ellison) avowedly anti-Zionist. In casual conversation, Jews will say Democrats represent grass-roots movements and people. However, it is important to note the party of the hard left is the government party relying on rules and mandates imposed by Washington D.C. bureaucrats. It no longer represents the blue-collar worker who built the party during the New Deal.

At the Chicago "Dyke March" held recently, Jewish pride flags were banned because Jews "made people feel unsafe" and, after all, the march was pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist. The irony is that the Dyke March preaches inclusion and is billed as "anti-racist, anti-violent, volunteer-led grass-roots mobilization and celebration of dyke, queer, bisexual and transgender resilience." Yes, the march includes every permutation of homosexuality, but it does not include Jews, presumably these are the people found to be "offensive."

In January 2016, a Shabbat service and reception for Jewish participants at a gay conference in Chicago was disrupted by hundreds of protesters who chanted, "Hey hey, ho ho, pinkwashing has got to go." Pinkwashing is a term to describe efforts by Israel to cover up its treatment of Palestinians by touting its strong record on gay rights. What the incident shows is that even on gay rights Israel will not be given the benefit of the doubt because anti-Zionism trumps homosexual acceptance.

That progressives would find common quarter with Islamists is the shocking part of this ideological evolution. Obviously, secularism has played a role for many Jews. But the Anti-Defamation League's support for the Council on American - Islamic Relations is nothing short of jarring, despite the extent of Jewish secularization.

To have been a progressive and to see how the word and movement have gone through the caldron of ideological change demonstrates the influence of Orwellian logic. Orthodoxy is liberalism, dogma is openness; Shariah is expansive. Who would have thought that the modern Jew would imbibe this logic? But as Norman Podhoretz noted in his splendid book, "Why Are Jews Liberals?" Jews are liberal because liberalism is the new religion of Jews


Angela Merkel’s welcome mat: Refugees roil the German public with an election approaching

Only the hard-hearted would slam the door against a refugee. Their stories are heart-breaking and their courage in seeking a better life in a new home is remarkable. Nevertheless, refugees in uncontrolled number are a headache for everyone. Germany, held up as a nation with a big heart, is learning the cost of Angela Merkel’s big heart. More than a million refugees have arrived since 2015.

Nearly 3 of 4 refugees admitted will struggle to take care of themselves, the German Institute for Employment Research finds. A new survey suggests they’ll probably stay for years on the public dole. The institute finds that fewer than half arriving from Syria, the largest source of refugees, arrive with the equivalent of a high school diploma, and barely 1 in 5 have a college degree. Nearly half a million of them stand in the unemployment line, up by more than a hundred thousand from last year.

The good news is that the number of asylum seekers in Germany dropped by 600,000 in 2016. Aydan Ozoguz, commissioner for immigration, refugees and integration, tells London’s Financial Times that only a quarter to a third of the newcomers will enter the labor market over the next five years, “and for many others we will need up to 10 years [to get them settled].”

Syrians, fleeing an interminable civil war, are followed in number by Afghans, Iraqis, Iranians, Eritreans and Albanians. Together they’re a political headache for Chancellor Merkel, whose poll numbers have declined over the past year leading up to the federal elections in late September. She has had a generous hand in welcoming refugees and immigrants, and most of them are Muslims who find it difficult to adapt and adjust to the religious and political freedom and responsibilities in the West. Pollsters say absorbing the million or more migrants is the top concern of German voters.

The unprecedented number of refugees in 2015 created an enormous backlog of applications for residence — more than 430,000 currently are waiting for clearance now. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has cleared more cases than ever before, says Thomas de Maiziere, the German interior minister, considerably more than twice as many in the year before. The number of government clerks has been quadrupled to clear the backlog.

“The [refugee office] is now out of the woods,” he says, “and with wind in its sails. Every month more decisions are made than applications received, so the backlog is being cleared.” More than 50,000 migrants voluntarily returned to their home countries last year, and another 25,000 were deported.

Mrs. Merkel, mindful of Germany’s record in the 20th century, wanted to play Lady Bountiful with her wide-open door, and during the height of the refugee wave, with hundreds drowning in the perilous passage in flimsy boats across the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea, she was widely acclaimed. But the size of the refugee wave surpassed expectations, and public opinion shifted dramatically.

Her open-door policy was blamed for enabling terrorism arriving with the migrants, and when an Islamic migrant from Tunisia drove a truck into a popular Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 and wounding 56 holiday shoppers, the incident galvanized public opinion. It forced a review of national security.



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


2 July, 2017

Eyeless in Gaza: A corrective to a bias long overdue

The truth behind the Gaza situation is often “what you’ve been told”. Rarely do we get an honest account of both sides. A pioneering Australian-lead doco looks to put the question of bias to bed.

Gaza has been a flashpoint between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs for many years, but with recurrent intensity since 2005, when Israel unilaterally withdrew its military and civilians from the territory it had conquered in the Six-Day War. Calculated at once to divest Israel of the headache of ruling a tinderbox and as an earnest of goodwill, the Israeli withdrawal actually proved a fillip for Hamas, the radical Islamic movement committed in its Charter to Israel’s elimination and the murder of Jews.

As a history lesson, it’s important to know that since its founding in 1988, Hamas had proved a challenger to Fatah, a party founded by Yasser Arafat, and the dominant power within the Palestinian Authority that had emerged from the failed Oslo peace accords. Indeed, in 2007, Hamas seized control of Gaza, ejecting Fatah forces and throwing their officials and loyalists from the tops of buildings. Rocket fire into Israel increased exponentially, leading to three major Israeli military incursions into Gaza since that date. The latest, the Gaza War of 2014 and the issues arising from it, are the subject of a documentary produced by Robert Magid.

Eyeless in Gaza investigates how the outside world and mainstream media arrive at the popular perceptions that have prevailed of the Gaza conflict. At its basic core, the prevalent international perception of Gaza is of a dominant Israeli power, unwilling to accord independence to stateless Palestinian Arabs who have taken up arms as a result. As a corollary, there is much sympathy for the residents of Gaza, who have found themselves in the midst of Israeli-Palestinian firefights and anger with Israeli military action that results in dead and shattered Gazan lives. It is the contention of Eyeless in Gaza that this version is the product in large part of profoundly and systemically flawed international reportage and media bias.

Eyeless in Gaza opens with a flourish of footage from protest rallies against Israel during the 2014 war, seeking the origin of the passions it unleashed. It then embarks on a journey through news footage; interviews with journalists, researchers and participants, both local and foreign; examination of the methodology of reportage and telling excerpts of Arabic language interviews with Hamas officials that undermines the prevalent international perception.

There is a good deal of footage that may be familiar, of Hamas terror tunnels unearthed into Israel for mass-casualty attacks, mayhem on Gaza streets during fighting and injured Palestinian youth. But there is also much footage shown that will be new to many Australian viewers, such as the lines of hundreds of trucks daily entering Gaza from Israel with food and medicines. No less interesting is the footage we do not tend to see of Hamas launching missiles from hospitals and schools, thereby endangering all non-combatants around them, or of dead Hamas gunmen or destroyed rocket launchers. Still more uncommon footage shows Israelis scrambling for bomb shelters as Hamas fires rocket barrages into Israeli towns. Equally rare interviews and footage of Israel blanketing Gaza suburbs with leaflets informing residents of impending attacks on Hamas installations ensconced among them show Israel to be taking all manner of measures to minimise civilian casualties.

Interviews with foreign reporters show a good deal of censorship and self-censorship is at work, clearly under Hamas intimidation. The little of what we do see of Hamas rockets launched from civilian neighbourhoods and the like emerge from reports filed only after the foreign journalists had left Gaza and felt safe to share them with the world. Much of the breaking footage we tend to see, while presented by foreign media outlets, is not actually produced by them: it is Palestinian stringers and cameramen who, if not already critical of Israel, must in any case continue to live in the Hamas-controlled enclave, who file copy.

Hamas officials tend to be sufficiently savvy in foreign interviews, reliably reproducing a litany of Israeli sins and avoiding the more blood-curdling statements that emerge at their rallies, although the odd refusal to accept Israel’s existence when pressed emerges from time to time. However, interviews with Arabic language media shown here tell a different story, of unbridled antisemitic hallucinations of world Jewish control. Hamas figures speak of the Holocaust as simply an exaggerated episode in history, the product of a stupendous Jewish conspiracy to frighten Jews into leaving Europe and taking over Palestine, of evil Jews having no raison d’être other than controlling the world through finance and vice.

That this thinking infects Hamas’ overseas supporters becomes evident in the case of Lauren Booth. Booth, sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and a convert to Islam, whom we see stridently supporting “resistance” at a pro-Hamas rally in London at the start of the documentary, insists with calm certitude in an interview that BBC editorial policy on Israel is determined by the Israeli embassy.

It is to the documentary’s credit that it seeks not only to expose that a systemic bias against Israel is at work in the international media but to probe its origins. Here, the results are unnerving. The journalists concerned do not share the relative ignorance of the public they misinform. One is obliged to conclude, as researcher Matt Friedman does when interviewed, that the media is not merely conforming to Hamas’ wishes and directives in Gaza. Rather, it is predisposed to cooperating with it in purveying a false narrative of Jewish moral failure in a conflict that is actually devoid of resolution so long as Palestinians insist on Israel’s removal from the map. The Jews as examples of moral failure is a preoccupation of centuries. The late Irish statesman and scholar, Conor Cruise O’Brien, once wrote that the West tends to perceive Jews through the eyes of Christian antisemitism, which posits that the Jews were once holy people who are now very unholy. Eyeless in Gaza shows that it is this – what Friedman calls a “deep thought pattern” – which often prevails in how Israel is reported to the world.

As a corrective to a bias that poisons as it misinforms, Eyeless in Gaza is overdue and has much to offer to viewers willing to keep an open mind.


How the Guidestar battle was won

The left has a problem.

Americans are doing all the wrong things. They’re voting for Republicans, reading conservative sites and donating to conservative organizations. Something needs to be done about it. Something is being done.

Post a conservative story on Facebook or search for it on Google and out pops Snopes, a partisan site, to warn you of wrongthinking. And, until recently, when you searched for a conservative organization on Guidestar, out popped the Southern Poverty Law Center to accuse you and it of being deplorable bigots.

The Southern Poverty Law Center and Snopes are left-wing partisan groups with no qualifications to do anything except hate conservatives. The SPLC’s list of hate groups includes numerous individuals, including me, also listed until recently as a hate group was a sign outside a Pennsylvania bar.

Morris Dees, a mail order guru and cut rate lawyer for a KKK thug, built the Southern Poverty Law Center into one of the greatest mail order scams on earth. Harper’s Magazine dubbed the SPLC a “fraud” that casually throws around the “hate group” label, “shuts down debate” and “stifles free speech”.

The FBI dumped SPLC’s scam artists, but Guidestar decided to help the left-wing group stifle speech.

Guidestar’s mission is providing information about non-profits. Instead its boss, leftist activist Jacob Harold, pursued a partisan agenda. 46 organizations were accused on Guidestar’s listings of being hate groups. According to Harold, the SPLC "has the most comprehensive information on hate groups".

There’s no question that the SPLC’s listings are comprehensive. They included, at one point, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz’s father, a Republican nominee for Governor of Colorado, a former Republican member of the House from Colorado, a Republican member of the House from Iowa and the African-American former Secretary of State of Ohio. Current SPLC targets include the President of the United States and nearly every member of his cabinet. The SPLC’s definition of extremist is Republican.

The David Horowitz Freedom Center was among the conservative groups targeted by the SPLC/Guidestar collaboration. Having lost the White House and its access to the IRS, the left was looking for a new way to attack the finances of conservative organizations. Jacob Harold first dragged Guidestar into partisan waters with an election post that praised the Clinton Foundation and disparaged Trump.

Now he was looking to go after conservatives. But the Freedom Center didn’t let him get away with it.

The Freedom Center’s legal team warned Guidestar that it would be held accountable for these slanders. Other conservative groups joined the outcry. And before too long, Guidestar backed down.

The Guidestar attack was the latest manifestation of the left poisoning the open informational spaces of the internet with partisan agendas. Harold, a “social change strategist” was a veteran of left-wing organizing. He had participated in at least one anti-Trump rally. Even afterward, Harold had insisted in an editorial that Guidestar’s mission would still include attacks on “hate groups”.

"Hateful words can cultivate a climate of hostility. That hostility can yield tragic consequences: The FBI documents thousands of hate crimes each year, with most directed against vulnerable people in marginalized communities,” Harold wrote.

There is zero evidence linking the conservative groups smeared by Harold and his SPLC allies to violence. The same cannot be said for the SPLC which has been linked to violence against its political targets.

Floyd Lee Corkins’ shooting spree at the Family Research Council began with the SPLC. Corkins confessed to the FBI that he had used the SPLC website to research targets. James Hodgkinson, who opened fire at a Republican charity baseball practice, was a fan of the SPLC. The Middlebury College assault which injured a female professor was driven by the SPLC’s wrongful listing of Charles Murray.

While the SPLC claims to fight bigots, it defended a Hamas supporter who had called for the mass murder of Jews in its attack on David Horowitz, while calling Horowitz “the Godfather of the anti-Muslim movement in America,” which actual hate groups continue to use against him.

If Guidestar wants to list hate groups that harm vulnerable people, it can start with the SPLC. Unless Howard thinks that defending Hamas calls for the murder of Jews is acceptable behavior.

And then there’s one of the SPLC’s “Active Hate Groups”: Bosch Fawstin.

Bosch is only one man. But the SPLC decided to list him as a hate group. It added him to the list after the first ISIS terrorist attack in America. Their target was the Draw Mohammed contest. Had the attack succeeded, Bosch would have been killed. But instead of adding Islamic terrorists to its list, the SPLC’s Heidi Beirich announced that it was adding him instead because it had figured out a location for him.

Tragic consequences indeed.

The Freedom Center’s victory is important. The left had overreached this time. Pressure from a range of conservative activists forced a temporary retreat. But Harold has made it clear that he will try again.

Newly emboldened conservative activists are turning the tide against the left. They are refusing to accept being harassed, abused, threatened, assaulted, marginalized and silenced as business as usual.

Conservatives rallied, stood up and fought back. The targets included the Family Research Council, which had come under fire because of the SPLC hate map, and AFDI, which was targeted in the ISIS attack. Among other groups listed by Guidestar/SPLC was Tea Party Nation and the Center for Security Policy.

The SPLC list is heavily biased, tainted and flawed. It is not based on any meaningful research. And yet it continues to be widely used. Meanwhile the SPLC’s Heidi Beirich is campaigning to further censor internet search results. The message is that the left’s agenda of embedding its worldview into the informational spaces of the internet will be the major battle of the next five years.

And the Freedom Center is eager to fight that battle.

The Freedom Center has fought hard for academic freedom. It believes that the marketplace of ideas should stay open. It is convinced that the internet must also remain free of left-wing censorship.

The first freedom is the right to dissent. The SPLC’s mission is the suppression of dissent. It deliberately jumbles together totalitarian and open organizations, racists and conservatives, Nazis and anti-Islamists as a smear campaign to delegitimize everyone it disagrees with. And that’s everyone to the right.

Guidestar can’t be a trustworthy information source and participate in a partisan campaign; particularly an unprincipled extremist campaign such as the SPLC is conducting. Like Google and Facebook, it must choose. And the Freedom Center will remain vigilant in this fight for freedom.

This time the Freedom Center beat the Southern Poverty Law Center. But the battle goes on.


UK: Christian preachers fined £300 each for shouting 'Mohammed is a liar' and telling shoppers 'being gay is immoral' have their convictions OVERTURNED

Two Christian street preachers who were fined £300 each over a sermon they gave to shoppers have won appeals against their convictions.

Michael Overd, 53, and former US marine Michael Stockwell, 51, were found guilty of religiously-aggravated public order offences in Bristol four months ago.

The men had been filmed in July 2016 shouting 'Mohammed is a liar' and telling shoppers being gay was 'immoral' while preaching at Broadmead shopping centre.

But both men, who are street preachers rather than ordained vicars, insisted they were simply reading from the King James Bible - and denied aiming hostility at other faiths or sexualities.

Yesterday, judges at Bristol Crown Court said Mr Stockwell, from Selden in New York, 'did no more than express his no doubt sincerely held religious beliefs'.

They added that Mr Overd, of Creech St Michael, Somerset, seemed to take some satisfaction in 'working the crowd', but had not committed a public order offence.

In July last year, the men preached to shoppers about Islam, Buddhism, and even Jehovah's Witnesses, as well as sex before marriage and sexuality.

One witness claimed they were there 'to pick a fight' and that that the incident in front of up to 100 people took place on the first day of the Muslim festival of Eid.

Prosecutors claimed there was 'considerable' hostility from the crowd, and the men refused to turn down their amplifier after being asked by a nearby trader.

The crowd then chanted 'go home' at the men before police came and arrested them. Footage from a body camera worn by Mr Overd was shown in court.

During the video, Mr Stockwell said: 'Allah is the greatest deceiver - that's in the Koran.' He added: 'You will die for your sins and be cast into hell.'

Mr Overd told the crowd: 'Mohammed is a liar and a thief, just like you and me. Buddha isn't on the cross - he is a liar, just like you and me.'

He said sex before marriage was immoral and that it used to be a shameful thing to get divorced. 'David Cameron is no more a Christian than my dogs,' he added.

In February, the men were each given a £300 fine, ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and shared prosecution costs of £3,372 – totalling £2,016 each.

But they successfully appealed against their conviction at a two-day hearing at Bristol Crown Court this week in front of Judge Martin Picton.

In July last year, the men preached to shoppers at Broadmead shopping centre in Bristol about Islam, Buddhism, and even Jehovah's Witnesses, as well as sex before marriage and sexuality

The judge and two magistrates said they found the prosecution had not proved the preachers showed hostility to members of another religious group.

The preachers celebrated with supporters after their court victory, with Mr Stockwell telling the Bristol Post: 'I feel elated that it is over.

'My heart is still for the Bristol people, and that they will be able to hear the gospel being preached on the streets unhindered.'

Mr Overd told the BBC: 'This is not an isolated case. How many times must we go to court before there is respect for the law? My heart bleeds for this country.

'But I am a patriot and I will be back on the streets to preach. My life is not my own. I am a Christian soldier and I rejoice in this prosecution.'

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which has been supporting the men, said yesterday's ruling was a 'victory for freedom of speech'.

She added: 'The Bible and its teachings are the foundation of our society and provided many of the freedoms and protections that we still enjoy today.

'At a time where Christians are becoming increasingly fearful about expressing their beliefs in the public space, this is a welcome and needed result.'

In February 2012, Mr Overd was cleared of harassing a gay couple on Taunton High Street in Somerset after telling them homosexuals would 'burn in hell'.

A court heard he approached the pair and called them 'sinners', but Mr Overd claimed he was exercising his right to expression by reading from the Bible.


Playing Offense: Defeating the Assault on Free Speech

We live in times of hypersensitivity. One way in which collectivism acts against individual freedom is by declaring morally reprehensible—and oftentimes prohibiting—what is deemed “offensive.” The expression “political correctness” has come to define this assault on free speech that hides behind the mask of respect for the sensibilities of others.

Any attempt to deviate from this hypocritical abuse of power should be welcome. Which is why we should rejoice at two recent developments.

One is the courage shown by Kara McCullough, Miss USA 2017, a young scientist who works for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in answering two questions during the pageant. She was asked whether affordable health care for all Americans is a right or a privilege. She said that she sees it as a privilege because her own insurance comes from her employment; in order to obtain coverage one should get a job, she added, and we should cultivate an environment in which people can have jobs and therefore health care. When asked about feminism, she stated that she was more for “equalism” and associated the other term with not caring about men. Of course, she was massacred in the social media and part of the mainstream media (which, realizing she was not going to back down, subsequently tried to present her comments on the controversy as a retraction).

The second development is the decision by the Supreme Court to side with the Asian-American rock band The Slants against the Patent and Trademark Office, which has refused to register a trademark for the group on the grounds that the name is offensive to Asians. This is not the first time the Patent and Trademark Office, armed with a provision against offensiveness in the federal trademark law, has made decisions based on political correctness. They canceled the Washington Redskins’ mark in 2014 on the grounds that the name offended Native Americans.

Of course, neither Kara McCullough nor the Slants had any intention of being offensive. In the first case, regardless of one’s views on the matter, all you have to do is watch her making the original comments to see that she was responding quite honestly based on personal experience. In the second case, it’s even more absurd to take offense since the name actually ridicules the stereotype by wearing it as a badge of honor.

John Stuart Mill, who wrote in the nineteenth century, might as well have been living in our times when he attacked, in the second chapter of his book “On Liberty”, the idea that offensiveness should be used as an argument against free speech.

The first problem, Mill noted, is where to draw the line (fixing “where these supposed bounds are to be placed”)—because anyone who finds it hard to counter an argument will accuse their opponent of being offensive (“intemperate”). The second problem is that limiting free speech for the sake of political correctness will be unfair to people of perfectly good faith. People who are informed and competent often misrepresent other people’s views or suppress facts and arguments. Who is to say what is a perfect representation of someone else’s views? The offended party? That would turn people of good faith into “morally culpable” beings all the time! The third problem is that the denunciation of offensive speech, as Mill maintained, usually targets those who defy the “prevailing opinion”.

Free speech is one of the protections we have, as individuals, against the tyranny of the majority (whether it is truly a majority or not). The world needs more people like Miss USA 2017 and more Supreme Court decisions that defy political correctness.



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



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(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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