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.


30 June, 2014

More on sperm-donated children

I put up yesterday (below) a report that chilren conceived from donor sperm had a high rate of dysfunction.  The article concerned was from a leftist source so gave the impression that just being such a child was upsetting.  The impression was that environmental causes were behind the poor adjustment.  I thought at the time that genetic issues in the matter had been slighted but was in too much of a rush to note that.  Some women turning to donors would be doing so because of husband infertility but many others would be women who were too poorly adjusted to form a relationship with a normal man.  And that probably indicated  serious inadequacies in the mother and such inadequacies could well be passed on to the children.

A senior medical reader with experience in the matter has confirmed my reservations -- and in fact tells me that it is even worse than I thought.  I quote:

"Yes, agreed that children’s search for real parents can be unnerving, but a well adjusted teenager would not become unglued by such or commit crimes or suicide; the maladjustment comes, more likely, from their parents (natural and adopted). I can tell you this from personal experience.

From 1982 – 1987 I worked at [name given]. One of the early pioneers in IVF worked there; we had a string of patients that, in my not so humble opinion, were among the world’s worst adjusted misfits; unlikely they would be fit parents.

Most were well educated, had some money (cash only), and many traveled great distances to come to [that hospital]. Many had tried multiple times elsewhere. Most were amazingly self absorbed (“it’s all about me”) - they radiated self loathing about not conceiving naturally.

I would favor the parents more than “search for origins” for creating abnormal children.

A personal relative was mentally ill; she harassed her adopted daughter by telling her “you are adopted” every day, reinforcing the girl’s feelings of inadequacy; needless to say, no one was surprised when this young lady became screwed up.

I would not at all be surprised if some of the same results (in  IVF offspring) occurred in children adopted or surrogated from gay couples; these professionally victimized gays are among the most self indulgent (“it’s all about me”)  people alive; this MUST be transferred to the children."

The Importance of the Family

There’s a reason that progressives have historically been so hostile to it

By Jonah Goldberg

While I was in London, I had some really interesting conversations with some British conservatives. It was a disparate bunch, but there was a consistency to a lot of what they had to say. Nearly all the Brits I talked to think their country has lost its cultural confidence. They also think that the U.S. is in the process of doing likewise. That’s a worthy topic for discussion, and I think both contentions are largely true. But I want to talk about something else. When talking about politics, many of the same Brits would cavalierly mention that they don’t care about “social issues” or that social issues aren’t relevant in British politics. As an analytical matter, that seems right. But I couldn’t help but wonder if there’s a connection there.

Now of course, it depends what you mean by social issues. But it seems to me that as a broad generalization, social issues revolve around the role and authority of the family. Arguments about abortion, gay marriage, obscenity, sex ed, etc. all connect to the family directly or indirectly. Even gun rights have a lot to do with the family, and not just because “gun culture” is primarily learned in the home. Guns fit neatly into the conception of the autonomous family and the role of parents as primary protectors of their children.

But the key word is culture. No institution transmits culture more effectively than the family. We learn language, dialect, and accents in the home (we learn grammar at school). We get most of our religion and morality at home. We learn from our parents how citizens behave in a society and what they should expect from society and government. It’s important to keep in mind that while parents teach their kids by telling them things, the real learning comes from watching what parents do — or don’t do. Kids are wired to emulate their parents. They see how we divide our time. The habits of the heart are formed in the home.

And this is why progressives of all labels have had their eye on the family. It is the state’s greatest competition. As I’ve written a bunch of times around here, if you listen to Barack Obama’s vision of America, it’s one where there’s the state and the individual and pretty much nothing in between. Civil society, mediating institutions, and other “islands of separateness” are problems in Obama’s eyes. Well, the family is the truest island of separateness. In the Life of Julia, the state is her family.

I’m reminded of a passage from Liberal Fascism where I am discussing “children’s rights” — a concept developed precisely to get the state into the home as quickly as possible:

Since Plato’s Republic, politicians, intellectuals, and priests have been fascinated with the idea of “capturing” children for social-engineering purposes. This is why Robespierre advocated that children be raised by the state. Hitler — who understood as well as any the importance of winning the hearts and minds of youth — once remarked,

“When an opponent says ‘I will not come over to your side,’ I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already . . . You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing but this new community.’”

Woodrow Wilson candidly observed that the primary mission of the educator was to make children as unlike their parents as possible.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman stated it more starkly. “There is no more brilliant hope on earth to-day,” the feminist icon proclaimed, “than this new thought about the child . . . the recognition of ‘the child,’ children as a class, children as citizens with rights to be guaranteed only by the state; instead of our previous attitude toward them of absolute personal [that is, parental] ownership — the unchecked tyranny . . . of the private home.”

James Pethokoukis cites a fascinating passage from George Weigel’s biography of Pope John Paul II:

"Perhaps the hardest-fought battle between Church and [Poland's] regime involved family life, for the Communists understood that men and women secure in the love of their families were a danger. Housing, work schedules, and school hours were all organized by the state to separate parents from their children as frequently as possible. Apartments were constructed to accommodate only small families, so that children would be regarded as a problem. Work was organized in four shifts and families were rarely together. The workday began at 6 or 7 a.m., so children had to be consigned to state-run child-care centers before school. The schools themselves were consolidated, and children were moved out of their local communities for schooling."

Now I don’t think today’s progressives (at least not most of them) are consciously at war with the traditional family. But they are certainly not its biggest fans, either. Perhaps the most depressing thing about the Democratic party is that its electoral success hinges on the continuing unraveling of the traditional family. The more Julias, the better. Democrats have a huge advantage among single women. Married women recognize that the government can never be a family.

Getting married was once a celebrated life goal. It still is for millions of people, of course, but it’s less and less celebrated as a cultural priority — at least not for heterosexuals. One of my biggest peeves is that 99 percent of the time you hear a liberal saying anything positive about marriage, it’s about gay marriage. And now that we’re getting gay marriage, some activists don’t feel the need to saying anything nice about it at all.
Think about how often you hear politicians, economists, educators, and journalists talk about the importance of going to college. Now consider that getting married is about as beneficial to your lifetime economic prospects as going to college. And let’s be clear: It is far better for children to grow up with married parents (even if they didn’t go to college!) than it is for them to grow up with a single parent with a degree in gender studies from Princeton.

Charles Murray exposed the ugly secret of the American elite in his book Coming Apart: The rich and successful are closeted traditionalists when it comes to how they raise their own children. They’re just horrible hypocrites when it comes to everyone else’s children. “It is the privileged Americans who are marrying, and marrying helps them stay privileged,” Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University, told the New York Times.

As Charles puts it, the biggest problem with today’s elite is that they refuse to preach what they practice.

Anyway, I guess my point is that when I hear people say they don’t care about social issues but they worry about a loss of “civilizational confidence,” creeping socialism, and the rest, I just wonder if they’re not part of the problem. I’m not saying that there’s a direct link between, say, being pro-life and supporting laissez-faire capitalism. But I do think that much of what passes for laissez-faire capitalism is an artifact of our cultural heritage, and that cultural heritage is formed and transmitted by cultural institutions. Change those institutions, subvert them to the state by making them dependent on the state, and the culture goes with them.

Opponents of child tax credits and the like are shouting “social engineering!” I like and respect some of these critics, but I think that this is an asinine criticism.

Think of it this way. I love artificial reefs. They provide new habitat for all kinds of wildlife. Over time a pile of concrete or a sunken oilrig can turn into a whole vibrant ecosystem. But it is absolutely true that building artificial reefs is a kind of meddling with the natural order. I have no problem with meddling with the natural order if the meddling helps the natural order heal from other negative meddling we do all of the time. The oceans are overfished and too polluted. Why not help counteract that?

As Brad Wilcox, Ramesh Ponnuru, Robert Stein, and other champions of a conservative family policy will tell you, their proposals are aimed at counterbalancing the burdens liberal social policy has put on families. It’s a bit like Bill Buckley’s famous line about moral equivalence. If one man pushes old ladies in front of oncoming buses and another man pushes old ladies out of the way of oncoming buses, you simply cannot describe both men as the sort who push old ladies around.

If one political party wants to engineer family formation and another political party is invested in engineering the destruction of families, you simply can’t denounce both approaches as “social engineering.” Or I guess you can, but doing so is dumb.


Now BBC dumbs down WW1 with foul-mouthed rap: Factually inaccurate video tells history of Great War in the form of a hip-hop style battle

One hundred years ago today, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated... setting off a chain of events that led to the First World War.

But did you know that the Austrian aristocrat didn’t see the pistol of his assassin because he was ‘too busy guzzling his tenth Wiener schnitzel’?

And that gunman Gavrilo Princip, a member of Serbian terror group the Black Hand, had ‘popped a cap in his a** for my Black Hand brothers’?

Well, that’s according to the BBC – which commissioned a five-minute video in which the key figures behind the outbreak of the Great War play out the complex tangle of events in the form of a ‘rap battle’ – complete with hip-hop style swearing, sexual innuendo and national stereotyping.

Yesterday experts branded the clip – made as part of the corporation’s efforts to mark the war’s centenary – as a factually inaccurate, juvenile and desperate attempt to court popularity with a streetwise audience.

The video – made by production company Ballista – has actors play the roles of characters including King George V, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.

They make jokes about sex, Queen Victoria, refer to anachronistic characters like Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson and describe the French as having a ‘snail-sucking, frog-cooking, garlic stench’.

Rap lyrics by the main characters include:

Emperor Franz Josef (Franz Ferdinand’s uncle): Russians, Mongols, Turks, my b******, best watch out ‘cos my trigger finger itches. You’re tiresome, you’re irksome, like a Slavic Jeremy Clarkson.

Kaiser Wilhelm II (Germany): Empire braggarts, you hate the French and their snail-sucking, frog-cooking, garlic stench. (Camera pans over to General Joffre standing in the corner). As for your dreadnoughts, wave them goodbye I’ll make your navy into gravy for my sauerkraut pie.

Kaiser Wilhelm II: Look into my eyes, you see compromise? Your collective demise will see our rise. I can’t back down now, I’ll look a clown now. Ain’t **** that can stop this countdown now. I’m going for a lie down now.

Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: ‘It’s a desperate, frantic and hopeless attempt to engage children, they have given up on every sensible method so they resort to rap music.

'It’s just another example of the complete dumbing down of what history should be about. They would argue they are making it accessible to young people but it’s actually very patronising in that sense because it fails to challenge them.

‘It’s a desperate attempt to appeal to the street, to children they have already lost, basically this is an indication they have given up on any proper teaching.’

The video, which has been watched more than 21,000 times since it was uploaded on YouTube on Tuesday, was written by comedian Lee Henman.

He has admitted that when he was commissioned for the project he knew ‘b***** all about World War I, except what I’d gleaned from Blackadder Goes Forth’.

Oxford historian Professor Sir Hew Strachan said: ‘I do not think this is a sensible way to engage people and it runs the risk of further distorting history in the process. Gavrilo Princip also seems to be a Serbian rather than a Bosnian.’

Jonathan Isaby, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said licence fee payers would be angry at the use of cash for ‘lazy national stereotypes and off-colour gags’.

Ballista did not respond to requests for a comment.

A spokesman for the BBC said: ‘Clear warnings are given about the content at the start of this video which introduces younger audiences - in a humorous and accessible way - to the complicated political alliances that led to the outbreak of WW1.

‘We are marking the WW1 centenary with our most ambitious pan-BBC season of programming to date and this WW1 Uncut film sits alongside over 2,500 hours of landmark documentary series, commemoration, drama, debate, music, arts, UK-wide events and online activity.’


NHS worker who 'bullied’ Muslim by praying for her

A Christian health worker has begun a legal challenge after being disciplined by the NHS for praying with a Muslim colleague.

Victoria Wasteney, a senior occupational therapist in one of the country’s most racially diverse areas, was also accused of bullying the colleague after giving her a book about a Muslim woman who converts to Christianity.

In addition, senior managers told Miss Wasteney that it was inappropriate to invite the woman to a community sports day organised by her church.

The complaints led to Miss Wasteney being suspended on full pay for nine months.

Three charges were upheld against the 37-year-old Christian at an internal disciplinary hearing in February and five charges were found to be unsubstantiated. She had to accept a final written warning at work which will remain on her records for 12 months, as well as accept a range of other requirements designed to stop her discussing her faith and beliefs with colleagues.

Miss Wasteney said she was challenging her employers in court because political correctness in the NHS was stifling ordinary conversations about faith.

“I believe in tolerance for everyone and that is why I am challenging what has happened to me,” she added.

The young Muslim woman was appointed as a newly qualified occupational therapist in a team of 30 managed by Miss Wasteney at East London NHS Foundation Trust.

“One of the earliest conversations I can recall was one in which she said she had just moved to London. She felt that God had a real plan and a purpose for her,” said Miss Wasteney, from Essex. Miss Wasteney told her colleague that she went to church, but was “very cautious because our environment is such that these things can be misconstrued and, with her being from a different faith background, I was mindful of being respectful of that”.

Miss Wasteney said the woman was interested in the anti-human trafficking community work being done by her church.

Over a period of time, Miss Wasteney said she invited her colleague to several church-organised events and thought no more about it. Later, when the woman was due to go off work for hospital treatment, Miss Wasteney gave her a book to read during her recuperation.

“A friend had recommended it to me, a book called I Dared to Call Him Father. I hadn’t read it. I still haven’t. But it is a story about a Muslim woman who converts to Christianity.

“Because we had had these conversations it did not seem abnormal. It certainly was not an attempt to convert her to Christianity, as it was put to me later.”

On another occasion the woman came to Miss Wasteney’s office in tears, upset about her health and problems at home.

“I said to her that she had strong faith and she should draw on that faith,” said Miss Wasteney. “I said 'Pray!’ She told me she could not pray, so I replied 'Maybe I can pray for you?’ And she said 'OK’.

“I asked if I could put my hand on her knee, and she said yes. I don’t know if I said 'Lord’ or 'God’ but I said what I thought was the most neutral. Then I said 'I trust that You will bring peace and You will bring healing’.”

In June last year, Miss Wasteney was told that complaints had been made about bullying and harassment.

A disciplinary hearing at her work in February found her guilty of three charges of misconduct – praying with the colleague, giving her the book and inviting her to church events.

Miss Wasteney’s case is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre, which has instructed Paul Diamond, a leading human rights barrister.

Andrea Williams, the chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said the case demonstrated that “the NHS is increasingly dominated by a suffocating liberal agenda that chooses to bend over backwards to accommodate certain beliefs but punishes the Christian”.

A spokesman for East London NHS Foundation Trust said it did not comment on individual cases.



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

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

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


29 June, 2014

The Sperm-Donor Kids Are Not Really All Right

A new study shows they suffer.

The Kids Are All Right, due out in July, is being praised for its honest portrayal of a lesbian couple, played by Julianne Moore and Annette Bening. But what seems most revelatory about the movie is its portrayal of their two teenage children who track down their sperm donor biological father and insist on forging a connection with him. Finally, we have an exploration of how children born from such procedures feel, because in fact it turns out that their feelings about their origins are a lot more complicated than people think.

Each year an estimated 30,000-60,000 children are born in this country via artificial insemination, but the number is only an educated guess. Neither the fertility industry nor any other entity is required to report on these statistics. The practice is not regulated, and the children's health and well-being are not tracked.

In adoption, prospective parents go through a painstaking, systematic review, including home visits and detailed questions about their relationship, finances, and even their sex life. Any red flags, and a couple might not get the child. With donor conception, the state requires absolutely none of that.

Individual clinics and doctors can decide what kinds of questions they want to ask clients who show up at their door. They don't conduct home studies. No contacts are interviewed. If clients can pay their medical bills, most clinics could care less about their finances. The effects of such a system on the people conceived this way have been largely unknown.

We set out to change that. We teamed up with professor Norval Glenn of the University of Texas at Austin to design and field a survey with a sample drawn from more than 1 million American households. One of us (Karen Clark) found out at age 18 that she had been conceived through anonymous sperm donation in 1966. The other (Elizabeth Marquardt) has completed studies on topics such as the inner lives of children of divorce and has been profoundly absorbed by the stories of adult donor offspring since she first began hearing them in comments to posts she wrote on the FamilyScholars blog in 2005.

Our study, released by the Commission on Parenthood's Future last week, focused on how young-adult donor offspring—and comparison samples of young adults who were raised by adoptive or biological parents—make sense of their identities and family experiences, how they approach reproductive technologies more generally, and how they are faring on key outcomes. The study of 18- to 45-year-olds includes 485 who were conceived via sperm donation, 562 adopted as infants, and 563 raised by their biological parents.

The results are surprising. While adoption is often the center of controversy, it turns out that sperm donation raises a host of different but equally complex—and sometimes troubling—issues. Two-thirds of adult donor offspring agree with the statement "My sperm donor is half of who I am." Nearly half are disturbed that money was involved in their conception. More than half say that when they see someone who resembles them, they wonder if they are related. About two-thirds affirm the right of donor offspring to know the truth about their origins.

Regardless of socioeconomic status, donor offspring are twice as likely as those raised by biological parents to report problems with the law before age 25. They are more than twice as likely to report having struggled with substance abuse. And they are about 1.5 times as likely to report depression or other mental health problems.

As a group, the donor offspring in our study are suffering more than those who were adopted: hurting more, feeling more confused, and feeling more isolated from their families. (And our study found that the adoptees on average are struggling more than those raised by their biological parents.) The donor offspring are more likely than the adopted to have struggled with addiction and delinquency and, similar to the adopted, a significant number have confronted depression or other mental illness. Nearly half of donor offspring, and more than half of adoptees, agree, "It is better to adopt than to use donated sperm or eggs to have a child."

The stories that donor offspring tell about their confusion help to illustrate why they might be, as a group, faring so much worse. Christine Whipp, a British author conceived by anonymous sperm donation more than four decades ago, gives voice to the feelings some donor offspring have of being a "freak of nature" or a "lab experiment":

"My existence owed almost nothing to the serendipitous nature of normal human reproduction, where babies are the natural progression of mutually fulfilling adult relationships, but rather represented a verbal contract, a financial transaction and a cold, clinical harnessing of medical technology."

Lynne Spencer, a nurse and donor-conceived adult, speaks eloquently of losing trust when her parents did not tell her the truth about her origins, and she suspected the secret:

"When you grow up and your instincts are telling you one thing and your parents—the people you are supposed to be able to trust the most in your life—are telling you something else, your whole sense of what is true and not true is all confused."

Others speak of the searching for their biological father in crowds, wondering if a man who resembles them could be "the one." One donor-conceived adult responded to an open-ended question on our survey by writing: "Sometimes I wonder if my father is standing right in front of me." Still others speak of complicated emotional journeys and lost or damaged relationships with their families when they grow up. One wrote at the end of our survey: "I still have issues with this problem and am seeking professional help. It has helped me to become a stronger person but has scarred me emotionally." Another said, "[I am] currently not on seeing or speaking terms with family because of this."

Listening to the stories of donor-conceived adults, you begin to realize there's really no such thing as a "donor." Every child has a biological father. To claim otherwise is simply to compound the pain, first as these young people struggle with the original, deliberate loss of their biological father, and second as they do so within a culture that insists some guy who went into a room with a dirty magazine isn't a father. At most the children are told he's a "seed provider" or "the nice guy who gave me what I needed to have you" or the "Y Guy" or any number of other cute euphemisms that signal powerfully to children that this man should be of little, if any, importance to them.

What to do? For starters, the United States should follow the lead of Britain, Norway, Sweden, and other nations and end the anonymous trade of sperm. Doing so would powerfully affirm that as a nation we no longer tolerate the creation of two classes of children, one actively denied by the state knowledge of their biological fathers, and the rest who the state believes should have the care and protection of legal fathers, such that the state will even track these men down and dock child support payments from their paychecks.

Getting rid of the secrecy would go a long way toward helping relieve the pain offspring feel. But respondents to our study told us something else too: About half of them have concerns about or serious objections to donor conception itself, even if parents tell their children the truth. Our findings suggest that openness alone does not resolve the complex risks to which children are exposed when they are deliberately conceived not to know and be known by their biological fathers.

At the very least, these young people need acknowledgement of reality as they experience it. Donor offspring may have legal and social parents who take a variety of forms—single, coupled, gay, straight. But they also have, like everyone else, a biological father and mother, two people whose very beings are found in the child's own body and seen in his or her own image reflected in the mirror.


Sperm banks and IQ

Leftist ladies want their sperm donor to be a Bronx gangbanger -- NOT

There's a wonderful article in yesterday's NY Times about sperm banks. I learned that only 1 to 2% of men who offer to donate to sperm banks are accepted as donors, and of those that are accepted, some donors are much popular among the donees than others.

Women who use sperm banks are looking to make a perfect baby:   Handsome and brilliant. Talented and charming. Loving and kind. A match one might only dream of finding in the flesh.

“Many women see this as another way to give their child a head start in life,” says Lori Andrews, a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law who has studied the sperm bank industry, of the high stakes of sperm selection.

And increasingly, say the banks, women want proof of perfection before buying a dream donor’s sperm.

They ask for SAT scores and personality test results.

I think this is highly ironic, because somehow one suspects that the women who use the services of sperm banks voted for John Kerry in the last election. Under normal circumstances, they'd agree with the following statement: "The Bell Curve is racist pseudo-science proven wrong by experts." But these same women become True Believers in The Bell Curve and eugenics when it comes to selecting genes for their own children.


Insane feminism:  Must not say "It's a boy"!

Leftist pandering to the abnormal again

Obstetricians, doctors, and midwives commit this procedure on infants every single day, in every single country. In reality, this treatment is performed almost universally without even asking for the parents' consent, making this practice all the more insidious. It's called infant gender assignment: When the doctor holds your child up to the harsh light of the delivery room, looks between its legs, and declares his opinion: It's a boy or a girl, based on nothing more than a cursory assessment of your offspring's genitals.

We tell our children, “You can be anything you want to be.” We say, “A girl can be a doctor, a boy can be a nurse,” but why in the first place must this person be a boy and that person be a girl? Your infant is an infant. Your baby knows nothing of dresses and ties, of makeup and aftershave, of the contemporary social implications of pink and blue. As a newborn, your child's potential is limitless. The world is full of possibilities that every person deserves to be able to explore freely, receiving equal respect and human dignity while maximizing happiness through individual expression.

With infant gender assignment, in a single moment your baby's life is instantly and brutally reduced from such infinite potentials down to one concrete set of expectations and stereotypes, and any behavioral deviation from that will be severely punished—both intentionally through bigotry, and unintentionally through ignorance. That doctor (and the power structure behind him) plays a pivotal role in imposing those limits on helpless infants, without their consent, and without your informed consent as a parent. This issue deserves serious consideration by every parent, because no matter what gender identity your child ultimately adopts, infant gender assignment has effects that will last through their whole life.

We see more and more and more high-profile stories about transgender people in the news. The shame and the mysticism surrounding them is fading at an exponential rate, as public consciousness matures from the depths of exploiting puerile stereotypes and bigoted joke depictions of the trans experience into a more complex awareness of, and sensitivity to, the humanity and emotions of non-cis people. Every parent today knows there is a chance their child might be transgender. A small chance, perhaps, but a chance higher than zero.

If a child of any minority status (be it sexual, racial, ability, religious, etc.) is subjected to slurs or physical harassment at school, we do not view the emotional and physical injuries as the unfortunate but inevitable result of that child's minority status. Rather, we correctly lay the blame where it belongs, on the wrong actions of hateful bullies whose wilful decisions were responsible for causing the pain.

Only a cruel parent would punish their son by making him wear a dress in public, or punish their daughter by shaving her head. That's psychological abuse. But for gender nonconforming kids, that's the everyday reality of their lives. We know transgender people are far more likely to be depressed, with a heartbreaking 41 percent rate of suicide attempts, nearly nine times the social average. That's not evidence of mental illness, it's evidence of trauma and distress. They're not miserable because they're transgender, they're miserable as the result of being assigned the wrong gender at birth.

Infant gender assignment is a wilful decision, and as a maturing society we need to judge whether it might be a wrong action. Why must we force this on kids at birth? What is achieved, besides reinforcing tradition? What could be the harm in letting a child wait to declare for themself who they are, once they're old enough (which is generally believed to happen around age 2 or 3)? Clearly, most children will still turn out like we'd expect, but it's unlikely the extra freedom would harm them. On the other hand, we do know the massive harm caused to some children by the removal of that freedom.


China Slows the Spread of Islamic Terrorism by Shooting Muslims

Chinese security forces shot dead five ethnic minority Muslim Uyghurs in the third consecutive week of fatal shootings in a restive county in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, an exile Uyghur group said Monday, accusing the authorities of a “cover-up”.

The latest killing in Yingwusitang township in Yarkand (in Chinese, Shache) county, which is administered by the Silk Road city of Kashgar, occurred on Friday when police surrounded a house and gunned down five occupants who had not been suspects of any crime, according to the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress.

Dilxat Raxit, the Sweden-based spokesman for the group, accused the authorities of using excessive force in the incident, saying it was unfortunate that the killings came ahead of the Eid al-Adha, the Muslim festival of Sacrifice, to be observed on Tuesday.

“Ahead of the festival, Chinese armed personnel surrounded a Uyghur house in Yarkand. They opened fire and caused the death of five Uyghurs. They used excessive force,” he told RFA’s Cantonese Service.

“The authorities have tried to cover up the news. They thought some suspects were inside [the house],” he said, suggesting that the five had done nothing wrong.

A staff of the police station at Yingwusitang, when contacted, said he did not know about the shooting incident.

A local motel staff said the shooting occurred after “some disruptive people escaped and they [the police] could not arrest them.”



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

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

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


27 June, 2014

Dried out old prune says she supports gay marriage

Republican Sen. Susan Collins on Wednesday announced her support for gay marriage for the first time after getting an endorsement from the nation's largest LGBT advocacy organization in her bid for re-election.

"A number of states, including my home state of Maine, have now legalized same-sex marriage, and I agree with that decision," the Maine Republican said in a statement issued after several news organizations made inquiries.

Collins joins three other GOP senators who have said they support gay marriage: Illinois' Mark Kirk, Alaska's Lisa Murkowski and Ohio's Rob Portman.

She had been criticized for keeping her view to herself until Wednesday. Campaign spokesman Lance Dutson says she's consistently said the decision rests at the state or local level. She has twice voted against proposed constitutional amendments to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

It's the third time Collins won the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign, which supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

"Senator Susan Collins has played a pivotal role in advancing support for LGBT equality — from her dogged support for the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' to her critical vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act last year," said Chad Griffin, the group's president. "HRC is proud to stand with Senator Collins, and with allies on both sides of the aisle like her, because she firmly believes that every American should be evaluated based on their abilities, and not who they love."

Collins, who's seeking a fourth term, is being challenged by Democrat Shenna Bellows, who attacked Collins for being reticent to address the issue, even after state voters approved a referendum in 2012 that legalized same-sex marriage.

Bellows, former executive director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union, campaigned publicly in support of the referendum.

"Remaining silent on some of the biggest civil rights issues of our generation, even after the voters have spoken, isn't leadership, and it isn't how Maine became one of the most inclusive states in the country for LGBT rights," she said.


British social workers in action again

'Gruff and unfriendly' social worker ruled suicidal teenager did not pose a danger to herself the day before she was found hanged

A social worker assessed a suicidal teenager as not posing an imminent risk to herself the day before the 15-year-old was found hanged in woods.

Anna Wlodarczak, a practitioner at the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service in Barrow, Cumbria, saw Helena Farrell on January 3 last year.

An inquest into the death of Helena heard yesterday that she had been referred to the service by the South Lakeland school nursing team after taking an overdose on December 3, 2012, and disclosing an eating disorder stemming from a sexual assault while on a school exchange trip to Germany the previous year.

Ms Wlodarczak, who was on duty at CAMHS, a service found to be in disarray in a subsequent investigation, was described as 'gruff' and 'unfriendly' by Enda Farrell, Helena’s father who accompanied her on the assessment visit on January 3.

He told the inquest: 'Afterwards, Helena said "Dad, she was terrible. Cold.. I don’t ever want to come back here again."

'For Helena, that was the end and I knew I wasn’t going to get the proper service from them,' he added.

Ms Wlodarczak told the hearing she had discussed issues such as bulimia, low mood, suicidal thoughts and her friendship group with Helena during the assessment.

She confirmed she had highlighted in paperwork that the teenager had been a very high risk during the overdose incident and had been scored three out of four for intent to take her own life when talking about the attempt.

But Ms Wlodarczak said: 'There were issues there of concern but nothing in the way Helena presented at that time indicated any more risk.'

Mr Ian Smith, coroner for south and east Cumbria, heard Barrow’s CAMHS team had been dogged by staff sickness and low morale at the time of Helena’s death.

A damning internal report into the referral of Helena to CAMHS found five key areas of operation required immediate improvement, the hearing was told.

The inquest at Kendal County Hall in Cumbria heard she was a ‘bright, intelligent, adventurous and fun- loving’ girl who was a gifted cellist and singer

Failure to recognise the level of risk posed to the vulnerable teenager, failure by clinicians to understand their responsibility towards safe guarding and the reporting of a sexual assault by the
teenager and inadequate information sharing were all weaknesses highlighted in the urgent review of the service, by Lynette Moore, clinical manager for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The inquest also heard from part-time school nurse Donna Moore who met Helena three times in the month before her death.

Mrs Moore, who had no mental health training, explained that due to sickness and vacant posts she had been responsible for five secondary schools and more than 20 primary schools - up to 5,000 pupils - across South Lakeland at the time.

Speaking through tears, she said: 'I asked her if she had thoughts about ending her life. She said "no, not really, I just feel up and down". At the time I didn’t see the risk then.'

PC Paul Kelly told the coroner he had found Helena hanging in woodlands behind the Castle Green Hotel on January 4, 2013, surrounded by notes, clothing, shells and the Coldplay song The Scientist playing on a loop.

The inquest has previously heard Helena had been left heartbroken when she was dumped by her boyfriend.  Her body was found at the same spot where they went on their first date.

The inquest at Kendal County Hall in Cumbria heard she was a ‘bright, intelligent, adventurous and fun- loving’ girl who was a gifted cellist and singer.

But the teenager had been forced to move schools after being bullied for having red hair and a ‘posh accent’.

Her father Enda Farrell, 56, said: 'She was unhappy because people were teasing her about the colour of her hair and about her accent.’

She transferred to an independent school, and at the age of 14 went on an exchange trip to Europe – where she claimed she was sexually assaulted in an attack which triggered an 18-month bout of bulimia.

After she left the private school she moved to her local comprehensive, Kirkbie Kendal School.

The inquest heard that in autumn 2012 she started dating Billy Williams, a boy who was one year above her.  On their first date the pair went for a walk in the woods near her home in Kendal.

However Mr Williams ended the relationship shortly after the half-term holidays in October.

After the break-up, she wrote on Facebook that he had ‘broken her heart’ and went on to take an overdose of paracetamol.

Her father, a former councillor, and her mother Maria, a GP, told the inquest they had desperately tried to help their daughter overcome her ‘dark thoughts’.

Helena had written letters saying goodbye to her family and friends in the weeks leading up to her death, but they were confiscated by a teacher.


How Liberals Make It Harder For Blacks To Succeed

Dr. Jason Riley discussed his new book, Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder For Blacks To Succeed, on Monday at the Heritage Foundation. Riley is an editorial board member of the Wall Street Journal.

In his book, Riley discusses where the Civil Rights Movement has gone wrong. He emphasizes that liberals only encourage blacks to blame their problems on whites and to make themselves out to be victims.

Even after the Civil Rights Movement, black unemployment rates were twice that of whites for the last five decades. In 1966, the poverty rate in America was lower among all groups than it was in 2012.

"The Civil Rights Movement has become an industry that does little more than monetize white guilt," Riley said in his talk. "Liberal solutions to the black problems were just as wrongheaded today as they have ever been."

Riley began his speech with an anecdote about his niece, who once accused him of "talking white" and trying to "sound so smart." Riley used this example to illustrate the fact that black culture often rejects academic success from a very early age, which makes children far less likely to be motivated in school.

"The only thing the government can do is forge equal opportunity," Riley said. "It should not be tinkering with social structure."

He also emphasized that focusing on strengthening black family life is important, citing the statistic that black boys without a father in the home are 68 percent more likely to be incarcerated.

"A black man in the home is much more important than a black man in the White House."

Riley also debunked the minimum wage fallacy. He said that the typical minimum wage earner is not a single mother trying to raise four children; rather, the typical earner is generally a teenager at an after-school job, a housewife making some extra money while her kids are at school, or older citizens keeping busy after retirement.

Riley stressed that blaming racism is a poor excuse for any lack of success among blacks. He compared blacks to Asians, discussing Asians' higher levels of academic achievement throughout the country.

"Blacks must ultimately help themselves," Riley said.


Katie Pavlich Exposes Liberal Feminism At Annual NeW Conference

The Network of Enlightened Women (NeW) held its annual conference from June 19-21 last week, starting with a reception on Thursday night, followed by Friday panels and a keynote and a seminar for college students on Saturday. The organization hosted young college women and recent graduates, as well as numerous visitors.

NeW is dedicated to promoting conservative women on college campuses and providing them an outlet to express and to promote their views in light of their overwhelming liberal counterparts. NeW works with chapters on campuses all over the nation, and chapter leaders and other student representatives were in attendance at the conference.

"One of the things NeW prides itself on is encouraging intellectual diversity on campus," Karin Agness, founder and president of NeW, said. "We resonate with what a lot of women think on college campuses."

The conference's keynote speaker was Townhall's own Katie Pavlich, who spoke about the left's war on women in light of her upcoming book, Assault and Flattery: The Truth About The Left And Their War On Women.

"As a young female, I am sick and tired of being defined by the pills I take," Pavlich said in her keynote speech.

Pavlich described a conference she attended with the National Organization for Women (NOW) to see radical feminists' work in practice. She was astounded to find that the group was selling blatant communist and socialist materials at its gathering.

"The left is dependent on ignorance and to push their own goals and promote their agenda," she said.

Pavlich also discussed how common female role models touted by the left aren't as pro-women as they seem. For example, Hillary Clinton's defense of a child rapist and her comments that the victim was possibly "romanticizing a sexual experience" do not exactly portray her with women's best interests at heart.

Friday's panels featured accomplished women including Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America, Sabrina Schaeffer, the executive director of the Independent Women's Forum, and April Ponnuru, the policy director of the YG Network. The various panelists tackled issues such as the truth behind the so-called wage gap, balancing career and family life, and positive communication tactics for articulating conservative feminist ideas with liberals.

Conservative feminists are a growing force on college campuses, and NeW is certainly doing its part to provide a haven for young women who feel smothered or alone at their higher institutions which mainly espouse radical feminism and a victim mentality. It's refreshing to see so many young women brave enough to proudly promote their NeW chapter on their campuses and to actively articulate their beliefs. Young women need to remember that they are not victims- any hardworking woman has the ability in our time to achieve the same goals as men. NeW does a great job of encouraging women to make smart choices for their families, their careers, and themselves.

Editor's note: This post has been updated with the correct title of Katie Pavlich's upcoming book, Assault and Flattery: The Truth About The Left And Their War On Women.



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

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

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


26 June, 2014

Some very strange international rankings

I can see no sense in most of them at all.  See for yourself.  USA not mentioned?

Ireland is the ‘goodest’ country in the world, according to a new survey which measures what 125 nations contribute to the planet and humanity.

The UK made it to the seventh place in the overall index but was crowned as the best country in the world for its contribution in terms of technology and science.

The Good Country Index, conceived by policy adviser Simon Anholt, analyses 35 different types of data from the UN, the World Bank and other international organisations and NGOs.

This includes information such as freedom of the press, the number of refugees hosted, the amount of weapons exported and the number of Nobel Prize winners. This it the first time the Index is published.

Countries are then ranked according to their contribution to science and technology, culture, international peace and security, world order, the planet and climate, prosperity and equality, and the health and well-being of humanity.

Mr Anholt said the survey was not meant to name and shame nations or to give moral judgements, but to engage in a discourse about what is the role of countries in a global context.

He said: ‘The idea of the Good Country Index is pretty simple; to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away.’

The Nordic Region, as might be expected, makes a collective contribution to humanity and the planet which is well in advance of any other region, while the US ranked 21st due to a poor record in terms of International Peace and Security.

Mr Anholt said he hopes the Index will transform the way countries do business by encouraging them to think about the global impact of their actions. He hopes it will spark debate about what the purpose of a country is.


Are The Religious More Tolerant Than Social Scientists?

A new book by science writer Nicholas Wade seeks to explore the possible connection between evolution and race but in a recent op ed the author points out that in some ways religious people have become more tolerant than those social scientists who think of themselves as being warriors against racism and ignorance.

The book, A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History, is being attacked by those Ivory Tower profs in the social sciences. But with this attack they have proven themselves to have essentially become anti-intellectual and anti-science as the genome project expands humanity’s knowledge about the building blocks of our biology.

In a June 22 Wall Street Journal op ed, Mr. Wade seeks to expose the ignoramuses in the so-called social sciences.

The problem, as Wade sees it, is that the social sciences have become so hardbound with their claim that “race” is only a “social construct” that they are purposefully ignoring the scientific evidence that is being discovered by geneticists that race truly does have a genetic component.

Despite the truth that is emerging from genetic research, though, the social sciences cannot get past their now obviously incorrect assumption that race is only in our imagination.

The big problem, according to the author, is that with their societal pressure and campaigns of political correctness in our nation’s oppressive universities, professors of the social sciences are preventing real scientists from learning just what part race plays in our makeup. He then notes that genetic scientists are discovering that there are some differences between the genes of the peoples living in our major areas of population, and these facts seem to make the lie to the long held, nearly religious beliefs of the PC social scientists.

I should note that I am the one saying “real scientists,” not Wade. This is because “social science” isn’t science at all. Genetics is, sure, but social science is only so much voodoo and guesswork.

Regardless, Wade closed his WSJ piece with a very interesting point, the one that gave me my headline above.

"In the confrontation between religion and evolution in the 19th century, believers eventually perceived that they could not cast Darwin out with a pitchfork and didn’t need to. Faith, as long as it didn’t overreach, could coexist with science, and all but fundamentalists have accepted that arrangement. Social scientists too could safely agree to live with Darwin, once they accept that evolutionary differences between human groups can today be explored without the return of racism."

So, religious people have been proven to be more open minded, tolerant, and accepting of science than those “social scientists” who have proclaimed themselves the most tolerant humans in history!

That is quite a truth, isn’t it?


If Calling Obama ‘Arrogant’ is Racist Code for ‘Uppity,’ Liberals Need to Stop Being Bigots

Ian Moss, a writer for the Huffington Post‘s Black Voices section, calls the word “arrogant” a code word for “uppity.” Therefore, the term is actually a racist slur of President Obama. No, seriously.
Here’s what Moss has to say:

"Use of the term “uppity” has experienced a revival since Barack Obama’s election as the nation’s first Black President. More than a few of Mr. Obama’s detractors have taken to calling him “arrogant” and at times, they have dispensed with the veneer of political correctness by even calling him “uppity.” This seems especially to have been the case after some of Mr. Obama’s opponents have found themselves outmaneuvered politically. Such indictments seem to be a rhetorical refuge of sorts, for bruised egos mystified by his successes. [...]

Recognizing the political incorrectness and well-deserved criticisms which accompany the use of “uppity,” a more palatable, less provocative adjective was needed. Enter, Arrogant."

But if liberal publications like the Huffington Post truly believe the word “arrogant” is a racist code word for “uppity,” then they’ve been calling folks left and right “uppity” for a long time.

The Huffington Post published at least four articles calling Mitt Romney uppity “arrogant” during the 2012 Presidential election. Contributor Linda Durnell even offered Romney advice on to how to “overcome uppitness arrogance“.

A Salon article last month called Rep. Paul Ryan an “uppity arrogant psychopath,” among other things.

Writer Michael Rosenkratz called Bill O’Reilly and Fox News reporter Jesse Watters uppity “arrogant” last year for their ambush reporting at the UN.

Even American patriotism itself has been called uppity “arrogant” by HuffPo contributor Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge.

HuffPo featured comments by Roland Martin that called black conservative and former Democrat Rep. Artur Davis uppity “arrogant” for not appearing on black media when he ran for Alabama governor in 2010.

So we need a consensus here: Is “arrogant” a racist code word for “uppity” as Moss implies it to be? If so, HuffPo and other left-leaning publications need to start watching their language, because their racial slurs are getting out-of-control.


Rep. Wolf Rips His Church for Being Hard on Israel, Sensitive to Muslims' Concerns

Rep. Frank Wolf took his Presbyterian denomination to task Tuesday for a decision to divest from three U.S. companies doing business with Israel in the disputed West Bank, even as it chose not to support a recent pledge of solidarity with Christian minorities in Islamic lands lest it be perceived as “anti-Muslim.”

Speaking on the floor of the U.S. House, the Virginia Republican also decried a Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) decision to amend its constitution to recognize that marriage can be between “two people,” not only between “a man and a woman.”

The stances adopted by PCUSA’s General Assembly in Detroit on Friday left him feeling “increasingly alienated” from his church, Wolf said, adding that “giants of this tradition … would find it difficult to recognize the PCUSA church today.”

The assembly voted to divest holdings – worth a total of some $21 million – in Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola, on the basis their products are used by Israel against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Wolf called the decision “deeply misguided” and said it came against “a backdrop of rising anti-Semitism in Europe, and even here in the United States.”

“The denomination’s action on Israel stands in stark contrast to its inaction on the persecuted church in the region,” he said, charging that the PCUSA had expressly declined to sign a “Pledge of Solidarity and Call to Action” in support of Christians and other religious minorities in Egypt, Iraq and Syria.

Wolf said that document, “carefully crafted with input from faith leaders” in the U.S. and the Middle East, had been signed by more than 200 religious leaders from across the nation, who “came together across ecumenical lines to pledge to do more to help beleaguered minority faith communities.”

But the PCUSA, he said, “privately expressed concerns that this action would be perceived as an ‘anti-Muslim’ statement.”

“With the PCUSA’s decision not to associate itself with this urgent call to action, I find myself once again out of step with my denomination in profound ways.”

The divestment decision adopted Friday by a vote of 310-303 incorporated several amendments including one saying the action should not be construed as “an alignment with the overall strategy of the global BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions) movement.”

Still, the Palestinian BDS National Committee welcomed the PCUSA decision, calling it “inspiring and morally courageous” and urging other church denominations to follow its example.


Wolf was not alone in condemning the decision to divest from the three companies and comparing Israel’s record to other countries in the region.

“Even Christians who doubt that the modern nation of Israel represents a specific fulfillment of biblical prophecy can appreciate that Israel is the only major nation in the region that champions democracy and promotes the freedom of worship,” Nathan Finn, associate professor of historical theology and Baptist studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary said in a statement to the Baptist Press.

“Rather than simplistically criticizing Israel, no matter how politically correct that action may be at this moment in our own nation’s history, when Christian denominations gather, it would be a more biblically faithful stance to ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem’ (Psalm 122:6),” Finn said.

The First Presbyterian Church of Fort Myers, Florida, a PCUSA member, distanced itself from the decision.

“We cannot and will not support Presbyterian Church USA in its misguided decision to divest itself of stock in companies whose products Israel uses in the occupied territories,” the local News-Press daily quoted senior pastor Paul deJong as saying after a church session Monday night unanimously opposed the vote. “We stand in full support of Israel’s right to protect its citizens and of all American companies to engage in honest free enterprise.”

The New York Post said in an editorial that Israel was “the only place in the Middle East where Christian minorities can practice their faith freely.”

“The hypocrisy of the vote, which declared that the Presbyterian church ‘cannot profit from the destruction of homes and lives,’ is underscored by the group’s silence on the slaughter in Syria and Iraq, not to mention the persecution of its fellow Christians elsewhere in the region – including by the Palestinian Authority.”

Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had some advice for Presbyterians supportive of the resolution.

“I suggest to them to take a plane, come here and then if we can manage it, let’s arrange a bus tour for them in the region,” he told a Jewish media summit in Jerusalem on Sunday. “Let them go to Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq. And my only suggestion for them is that – well, I have two suggestions for them: One, that it be an armor-plated bus; and two, that they shouldn’t announce that they’re Christian.”



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

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

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


25 June, 2014

Marriage and the 'wrong side of history'

by Jeff Jacoby

Thousands of Americans will rally in Washington, D.C., at a March for Marriage on Thursday in support of "the simple and beautiful message," to quote Brian Brown, that "marriage between one man and one woman is unique and critical for our society." Brown is president of the National Organization for Marriage, the event's lead sponsor.

Don't he and his supporters know that they're on the Wrong Side of History?

These days, of course, anyone who publicly opposes same-sex marriage can expect to be scorned in many quarters as a bigot or reviled as an ignoramus. No Democrat with serious political ambitions would dare to agree with Brown's traditional point of view. In some places the same is increasingly true of Republicans.

Yet until about 10 minutes ago, in historical terms, the traditional understanding of marriage as the complementary union of male and female was anything but controversial. Brown's "simple and beautiful message," now seen as so threatened that it needs to be defended at Washington rallies, was about as mainstream a position as there was in American life.

"Marriage has got historic, religious, and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time," said Hillary Clinton in 2000, "and I think a marriage is, as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman." Even after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that legal objections to same-sex marriage were irrational, many liberals stood pat. Leading Democratic presidential candidates in 2004 — John Kerry, John Edwards, Joseph Lieberman, Dick Gephardt — ran as gay-marriage opponents. So did Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008.

Has there ever been an issue so elemental on which the tide turned so swiftly?

Same-sex marriage is now lawful in more than one-third of the states, and the US Supreme Court ruled last year that such marriages must be recognized by the federal government. In recent months a flurry of lower-court rulings have struck down state bans on same-sex marriage. And there are predictions of a Supreme Court ruling next year that will knock over the remaining dominoes, legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states.

Overnight, same-sex marriage has gone from all-but-unthinkable to all-but-unstoppable. So what do those marchers in Washington think they're going to accomplish? Don't they have better things to do with their lives than fight for a cause that, if not yet entirely lost, is surely down for the count?

Why don't they wake up and smell the historical inevitability?

It would certainly be easier to make peace with the new order, especially considering the aggressiveness and hostility that many "marriage equality" activists deploy against those who oppose gay marriage.

Then again, much the same could have been said a century ago to those who insisted — in the depths of Jim Crow — that the cause of civil rights and racial fairness was worth fighting for. They too must have heard with regularity that they were on the "wrong side of history." The promise of Reconstruction was long gone. In much of the country, black enfranchisement was a dead letter. The Supreme Court had ruled 7-1 in Plessy v. Ferguson that racial segregation — "separate but equal" — was constitutional. The president of the United States was a white supremacist on whose watch black employees were fired from government positions, and public facilities in Washington were segregated.

Honorable voices argued that blacks had no realistic option but to make the best of bad situation. But there were others who insisted that the lost spirit of abolitionism could be revived, that Jim Crow could be fought and eventually overturned, that "separate but equal" was based on a falsehood and would ultimately prove untenable. They founded the NAACP in 1909, launching a movement that would eventually transform America.

Gay activists see their crusade for same-sex marriage as another civil-rights battle. It's a false analogy. Jim Crow deprived black Americans of rights they were already entitled to — rights enshrined in the 14th and 15th Amendments, then stolen away after Reconstruction. But gay marriage does not restore lost rights; it redefines "marriage" to mean something wholly unprecedented in human society.

History is littered with causes and beliefs that were thought at one point to be historically unstoppable, from the divine right of kings to worldwide Marxist revolution. In the relative blink of an eye, same-sex marriage has made extraordinary political and psychological gains. It is on a roll, winning hearts and minds as well as court cases. No wonder it seems to so many that history's verdict is in, and same-sex marriage is here to stay.

Maybe it is.

Or maybe a great national debate about the meaning of marriage is not winding down, but just gearing up. And maybe those marchers in Washington, with their "simple and beautiful message," will prove to be not bitter-enders who didn't know when to quit, but defenders of a principle that history, eventually, will vindicate.


Feminism and Its Discontents: ‘Rape culture’ at Harvard


The hook-up culture denounced by conservatives is the very same rape culture denounced by feminists. Who wants it? Most college women do not; they ignore hookups and lament the loss of dating. Many men will not turn down the offer of an available woman, but what they really want is a girlfriend. The predatory males are a small minority among men who are the main beneficiaries of the feminist norm. It’s not the fault of men that women want to join them in excess rather than calm them down, for men too are victims of the rape culture. Nor is it the fault of women. Women are so far from wanting hook-ups that they must drink themselves into drunken consent—in order to overcome their natural modesty, one might suggest. Not having a sociable drink but getting blind drunk is today’s preliminary to sex. Beautifully romantic, isn’t it? The anonymous Harvard woman by getting drunk was unfortunately helping to pressure herself into consenting to a very bad experience. But she is right that the pressure comes with the encouragement of the culture. And the culture comes from the dogmas of feminism that made this mess for women and men too.

One more feature of the mess should not be omitted, the worsening of it by our federal government. Colleges today are under pressure not only from feminist students but also from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Education. A recent letter from that office, one of a series, was sent to 55 colleges, addressed to “Dear Colleague” and containing what it called “significant guidance.” Anyone who thinks that the idea of a “nanny state” is an exaggeration should read this letter. The official author, who is the assistant secretary for the OCR, purports to be the colleague of the leaders of America’s universities but treats them as if they were children being instructed with a catechism. The form of the letter is Q-and-A, the questions innocent and submissive, the answers authoritative—usually you “must,” occasionally you “may.” 

The purpose behind the letter is to create an area between the law’s commands and the law’s permissions that is “significantly guided” by the government, in which the government commands but leaves the responsibility of enforcement to the universities commanded. The universities have been required to set up (and of course pay for) a “Title IX coordinator” with the duty of preventing a “hostile environment” caused by sexual assault, which may or may not be a crime prosecuted by state and local authorities. The latter police the crime, and the universities are responsible, and open to penalties, for preventing the culture of crime. Harvard responded last year by appointing as its coordinator a woman lawyer formerly employed at the OCR. It has now answered last month’s letter by hastening to hire more staff for her office. Without the slightest sign of pushback, the university volunteers to aid in the ridiculous accusation against itself. The OCR’s ridiculous accusation (and this summary does not do justice to its many absurdities) is for having failed to establish a culture of sexual adventure that never results in misadventure.

In its vocabulary, the OCR fully adopts the feminist notion of gender neutrality so that the sex of the “complainant” or the “perpetrator” is never identified. Thus the obvious difference between the sexes in regard to sexual assault is never stated, the problem never described. Are most men really potential rapists as the term “rape culture” suggests, or are some of them merely taking what is offered? Are women so colossally imprudent as to desire to get into bed with such creatures? Does a gender-neutral environment exist that will please both sexes equally? Are both sexes not independent in different ways as well as dependent on each other? Will there be an end to feminist nonsense aided by government intrusion and university compliance?

These are easy questions, but they call for the independence of mind necessary to answer the hard question that comes next: How can we recover some sense of feminine modesty and male restraint?


Plot to oust Nigel Evans from seat over his gay marriage hope: Tory MP accuses grassroots activists of 'homophobia' over bid to deselect him

A lot of older people would never vote for a homosexual so his party would be merely realistic to disendorse him

The former Commons Deputy Speaker who was cleared of rape and sexual assault faces a plot by his local party to deselect him after he revealed he would like a gay marriage.

After his trial earlier this year, Nigel Evans was welcomed back to Parliament by fellow MPs.

However, his local party has been engulfed in a row over whether he is fit to remain as candidate, while the chairman of the Tory association has quit.

Michael Ranson, 72, has supported Mr Evans since he came out as gay three years ago, and was also his election agent. But it is claimed the chairman’s ‘final straw’ came when the MP told an interviewer he would like to one day marry a man.

Opponents are also unhappy about disclosures during the court case, including Mr Evans’s admission that he slept with a 22-year-old man who was on work experience.

The executive committee of the  Ribble Valley association in Lancashire will now vote on whether Mr Evans, who has a majority of more than 14,000, should be re-adopted as their candidate in the coming weeks. If they decide not to, Mr Evans can demand a ballot of all local Tory members.

Mr Evans, who claims he has the support of senior Tories including the Prime Minister, last night said that he was ‘confident’ that he would win the ballot, but admitted that he had heard local whisperings.

He said: ‘I’m convinced that I will get through the process with flying colours. The vast majority of people are supporting me.

‘Clearly you do get to hear some comments via other people that there are some sort of mutterings and concerns but the reality is I was acquitted by a court of all charges.

‘There’s only going to be a small element of homophobia but it’s incredibly rare to hear any of it. The vast majority were delighted when I came out in 2010, that I’m able to get on with my life, and wish me well for the future.’

Mr Ranson, who is mayor of Ribble Valley, is said to have fallen out with Mr Evans following his acquittal after he told his local newspaper, ‘I would love to have a serious, committed and special relationship with another man. I would like to have a gay marriage.’

Last night Mr Ranson declined to comment on the reselection row and declined to discuss the reasons for his resignation from the association last week. He said: ‘I would prefer not to comment at the moment, as this is an association matter.’

Asked specifically about the claim he became unhappy with Mr Evans’s comments about gay marriage, he said: ‘I do not comment on such nonsense.’

Other senior figures in the constituency spoke privately of a mood of increasing conflict within the association.

One said: ‘It’s split down the middle?...?It’s nothing to do with homophobia – that’s a complete red herring introduced by Nigel.

‘Those against him simply feel that for all that he was innocent at his trial, his behaviour left a lot to be desired.

‘They’re asking whether it was right for him to surround himself with young men in and around Westminster. They see his conduct as unbecoming for an MP.’

Another said: ‘People in the Ribble Valley are generally pretty straightforward. They just want a hard-working MP to fight for them. What they’ve found in Nigel is a man who gives the impression of just going to London to have a ball.’

Meanwhile Conservative voters have written to the local paper calling for Mr Evans to step aside.

In April, Mr Evans was cleared by a jury at Preston Crown Court of raping a man and sexually assaulting six others.

When he returned to work, he was toasted with a drinks party in Westminster and was last week elected to the executive of the 1922 Committee, the powerful body of backbench Tories.


He was just being a boy

I spent rather a lot of time in mud when I was a kid -- JR

This little boy gets a firm ticking off from his mother - after getting buried up to his shoulders in mud on a Somerset beach yesterday.

The youngster got an earful after apparently straying onto mudflats which are exposed at low tide in Weston-super-Mare. He is seen bursting into tears as the furious woman wags her finger in front of his face.

The incident happened a few miles from the spot where Lelaina Hall, five, died after getting trapped in the mud at nearby Berrow beach in 2002.

And the ever-present danger was underlined during the day as emergency crews were called out several times to reports of people stuck in the mud.

Three call-outs were for missing children, who were all located safely. A seven-year-old boy had to be checked over by an ambulance crew.

Last year, fire crews had to send a hovercraft to rescue five people after they became stuck in mud on the same beach. The shallow incline of the beach means the tide comes in faster than a human can run

Mark Newman, Chairman of BARB Search and Rescue - a charity that operates hovercrafts in the area - said the mud flats present a constant danger.

'We had a very busy weekend attending incidents of people who had got stuck in the mud or had gone missing from families,' he said. 'It's a very dangerous stretch of coastline, that goes on for some way, and has strong currents and deep mud in places.  'People should always take care when going out to sea and be wary of the mud.'

Retired Roger Fry, 66, of Weston-super-Mare, took the photos as he attended the Weston Air Day on Sunday.

He said: 'I was on the beach watching the planes when I heard this great ruckus. I looked round and saw this mother screaming a a kid. "I told you not to go down there, you're filthy" and so on.

'Everyone stopped and looked around before the mother stormed off with some other children towards the car park. The muddy kid just followed on a little later.

'There is so many people that get stuck out on the mud every year that the mother must have been aware of the danger. There are plenty of warning signs around.'



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

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

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


24 June, 2014

Professor Coins Awesome New Term: ‘Liberal Privilege’

Check this out: a professor not only speaks out against white privilege – saying people should be judged by the content of their character - he goes on to explain the real problem - liberal privilege.

Melvyn Fein, a sociology professor at Kennesaw State University, writes for the Marietta Daily Journal:

Far more pervasive is “liberal privilege.” The very people who accuse others of not being sufficiently grateful for their status are guilty of taking their own advantages for granted. Liberals do not seem to recognize the special treatment they receive. They actually believe they are nicer and smarter than others as a result of having been allowed to get away with this conceit.

Liberals, because they are liberal, assume they are more compassionate than anyone who disagrees with them. From elementary school on, they are praised for their concerns about the welfare of others — even though this kindness is only manifested in verbal declarations.

Likewise, from the earliest grades, their teachers applaud their superior intelligence. Since they agree with the principles they are being taught and regurgitate them on cue, they are regarded as unusually perceptive. Critical thinking, although orally encouraged, is, in practice, punished.

And so liberals grow up in a bubble of self-deception. Their self-esteem is grounded in conforming to beliefs that do not accord with reality, but which nevertheless earn them gold stars and certificates of achievement.

Then they enter the real world. Yet for them, it is not altogether real. The books they read and the television shows they watch confirm their special status. Liberal newsreaders and authors assure them they are better than their conservative peers. Clearly, they are more generous and insightful than these relics.

Professor Fein – why aren’t there more of you out there? Liberal Privilege – that has a nice ring to it.

We’ll try a few:

#LiberalPrivilege – Is OK with discrimination, as long as it’s against Christians

#LiberalPrivilege – They are for free speech – unless it’s something they disagree with

#LiberalPrivilege – They are against racism – but support affirmative action quotas based on skin color


How to win friends and influence people

A black man tells patriotic Brits that they are stupid.  One guess that he just lost his party a lot of votes

Ukip voters feel disconnected from mainstream politics because they don’t know how to send emails or browse the internet, Labour’s shadow business secretary has suggested.

Chuka Umunna, said that “a lot of those voting for Ukip” in the local and general elections were not computer literate and “can’t do things like” sending and receiving emails or browsing the internet.

The UK Independence Party stormed to victory at the European elections, the first time since 1906 that a party other than the Conservatives or Labour had won a national election.

Nigel Farage's party also picked up more than 100 seats from Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems in council elections nationally

At the time Suzanne Evans, Ukip's Communities spokesman blamed London’s "more media-savvy and educated" population was an explanation for the party’s lack of support in the capital.

Mr Umunna said it was time for Labour to “empower” the “mass of people” who's inability to perform basic functions on the internet had left them alienated from the wider economy.

He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show: “The BBC has carried out some very interesting research on this - 1 in 5 people in our economy cannot do the full basics online of sending and receiving an email, browsing the internet, filling in an online form.

“There has been a lot of talk of communities that have been disconnected from our global economy, and those of course were a lot of those voting for Ukip in the local and European elections, and of that mass of people who can’t do the things that all of us take for granted, a very large number of them are from those communities.

He added: “So the next Labour Government, we are going to be absolutely focused on connecting people into the global economy so they can realise their dreams and aspirations.”

As part of this drive Maggie Philbin, the former presenter of Tomorrow’s World, is leading a Labour review into how the digital skills of young people can be improved.

A recent study by the Labour-affiliated Fabian Society found that a gradual drop in support among blue-collar workers since 2005 has been exacerbated by the rise of Nigel Farage’s Ukip, putting Labour’s general election strategy in jeopardy.

Ed Miliband has said some people who voted for Ukip are traditional Labour voters “in tough jobs” where life is “a real struggle”.

"They are people who love our country but they are people who are saying the country is not working for me,” he said at a speech last month.

“They feel left behind by what has happened to Britain – some people, who in years gone by, would have been Labour till they die, some people whose parents have always been Labour, whose grandparents have always been Labour."


Don’t Lick Your Lips at Me. That’s Harassment!

One of my favorite parts of giving harassment training is explaining the types of behaviors that can create a hostile work environment. If you haven’t already, be sure to add lip licking to the list. (And, to be clear, we’re talking about an alleged harasser licking his own lips.)

A recent case out of Connecticut, Lewis v. City of Norwalk, 122 FEP Cases 703 (2d Cir. 2014), reminds us that a plaintiff can base a sexually hostile work environment claim on lip licking. There, the plaintiff complained of lick lipping and leering. The court concluded, however, that the licking and leering weren’t sufficiently severe to create a hostile work environment.

What can employers do to protect themselves? Provide free lip moisturizer?

As long as employees interact, there’s the potential for one to take offense – sometimes justifiably. And once a claim gets made, in a very real sense, the employer has already lost. Even a victory in court can be an expensive and disruptive proposition.

Still, employers can take steps to demonstrate that they oppose harassment. These can include:

* circulating the anti-harassment policy,

* making sure the appropriate posters are up,

* raising the topic in meetings (with managers or subordinates or both),

* especially in California, providing the state-mandated harassment training (2 hours of management training every 2 years, and within 6 months of hire or transfer to California, for employers with 50 or more employees anywhere); and

* fairly, promptly, and thoroughly investigating complaints.
If you’re an employer, you want every employee to know where to find the company’s policy against harassment and whom to complain to if there’s an issue. You also want them to know that, if they bring an issue forward, they’ll be treated fairly.

Inevitably, harassment litigation focuses more on what the company did (or didn’t do) than what the alleged harasser did. So take steps now to show that your company actively opposes this behavior.


Animal lover put ducks before people

 A Canadian woman who parked her car on a highway to help a group of ducklings on the side of the road has been found guilty of causing the deaths of a motorcyclist and his passenger daughter who slammed into her car.

Emma Czornobaj was convicted by a jury on Friday on two counts of criminal negligence causing death, a charge that carries a maximum life sentence, and two counts of dangerous driving causing death, which comes with a maximum of 14 years in jail.

The 25 year-old was charged in the deaths of Andre Roy, 50, and his daughter Jessie, 16.

She wiped away tears when the verdict was delivered to a packed courtroom in Montreal. Quebec Superior Court Justice Eliane Perreault said the 12-member jury voted unanimously.

Czornobaj was released until her pre-sentence hearing on August 8. 

 Roy’s motorcycle slammed into Czornobaj’s car, which was stopped in the left lane of a provincial highway south of Montreal in 2010.

Czornobaj, a self-professed animal lover, told the court that she did not see the ducklings’ mother anywhere and planned to capture them and take them home.

Pauline Volikakis, whose husband and daughter were killed in the collision, briefly fought back tears when she left the courtroom.  “I don’t wish misfortune on anyone,” Volikakis said. “It’s time that we go on. This will not bring [back] my loved ones.”

Prosecutor Annie-Claude Chasse had a message for motorists. “What we hope is that a clear message is sent to society that we do not stop on the highway for animals. It’s not worth it.”



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

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

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


23 June, 2014

Why I will never check my privilege

The idea of “white privilege” has been a hot topic for the left-wing media. The phrase “check your privilege” is commonly used by leftist activists as a way of telling a person who is making a political point that they should remember they are speaking from a privileged position, because they are white, male, heterosexual, or wealthy.

After watching the footage captured by Progressives Today at the 2014 White Privilege Conference, I became highly suspicious of what these activists are asking for when they demand someone to check their privilege.

One of the presenters was Kim Radersma, a former high school English teacher in California and Colorado. Radersma is currently working toward her Ph. D. in critical whiteness studies at Brock University in Ontario, Canada. After hearing Radersma’s speech, I find it hard to believe this wasn’t actually a conference for white supremacists.

“Being a white person who does anti-racist work is like being an alcoholic. I will never be recovered by my alcoholism, to use the metaphor,” Radersma said. “I have to everyday wake up and acknowledge that I am so deeply imbedded with racist thoughts and notions and actions in my body that I have to choose everyday to do anti-racist work and think in an anti-racist way.”

Another topic of discussion was how altruistic actions performed by white people, like donating to charity, are inherently racist. A white attendee of the conference told a story about how her family donated school supplies to one of her classmates when she was in elementary school because the family could not afford them. According to the attendee, the family had just moved from India. While she was happy to be helping when it happened years ago, she is now questioning her family’s motives.

“It was like ‘well why don’t you swoop in and save the day and give her all this stuff because we can afford to do that for them’ kind of mentality,” she said in the session. Radersma agreed and said the receiving family likely felt discriminated against.

“It’s that savior mentality, like ‘save them, because they are not like us,’ and that normalization of whiteness. Whiteness is best and those poor others aren’t as good as us,” she said. “So, we need to think of them and give them our sympathy and our charity and our generosity, which is so demeaning to the people on the receiving end. It’s so demoralizing and disempowering to be receiving it.”

I am absolutely appalled by the blatant racism these WPC attendees and speakers displayed. I don’t feel the need to check my white privilege because, unlike Radersma, I don’t see skin color – I see people. It truly breaks my heart to see these supposedly “anti-racism activists” undermining everything people of color have fought for and accomplished.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” I thought we had finally reached that point and I’m not alone.  In a brilliantly written article “White Privilege explained” Kevin Jackson claims, “As a black man, I long to experience white privilege. Until the National White Privilege Conference came along, I thought I was getting as much privilege as any white man. Apparently not.”

Speakers and attendees of the White Privilege Convention have made the content of their character very clear and it’s not pretty. They should be more honest in 2015 and declare their bigoted and hateful speeches a “White Supremacy Convention.”


Jews face rising anti-Semitism in France

In a country where Jewish leaders are decrying the worst climate of anti-Semitism in decades, Dieudonné, a long time comedian and erstwhile politician whose attacks on Jews have grown progressively worse, is a sign of the times. French authorities issued an effective ban on his latest show in January for inciting hate. So he reworked the material to get back on stage, cutting, for instance, one joke lamenting the lack of modern day gas chambers.

But the Afro-French comedian, whose stage name is simply Dieudonné, managed to salvage other bits, including his signature “quenelle” salute. Across Europe, the downward arm gesture that looks like an inverted Nazi salute has now gone so viral that it has popped up on army bases, in parliaments, at weddings, and professional soccer matches. Neo-Nazis have used it in front of synagogues and Holocaust memorials. Earlier this year, bands of Dieudonné supporters flashed it during a street protest in Paris while shouting, “Jews, out of France!”

In Western Europe, no nation has seen the climate for Jews deteriorate more than France.

Anti-Semitism has ebbed and flowed both here and throughout the region since the end of World War II, with outbreaks of violence and international terror -- particularly in the 1980s and early 2000s -- often linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But Jewish leaders here are now warning of a recent and fundamental shift tied to a spurt of homegrown anti-Semitism.

Earlier this month, authorities arrested Mehdi Nemmouche, a 29-year old French national, for the May killings of 4 people inside a Jewish museum in Brussels. The attack was the deadliest act of anti-Semitism since a gunmen killed seven people, including three children at a Jewish day school, in Toulouse in 2012. Memmouche allegedly launched his attack after a tour of duty with rebels in Syria, prompting a wave of fear of additional violence to come here as more of the hundreds of French nationals fighting there make their way home.

In a country that harbors the largest Jewish community in Europe, the first three months of the year saw reported acts of anti-Semitic violence in France skyrocket to 140 incidents, a 40 percent increase compared to the same period last year. This month, two young Jewish men were jumped and severely beaten on their way to synagogue in an eastern suburb of Paris.

Near the city’s Montmartre district, home to the Moulin Rouge and the Church of the Sacre-Coeur, a white woman verbally accosted a Jewish mother before rattling the carriage of her six-month old child and shouting “dirty Jewess…you Jews have too many children,” according to a report filed by France’s National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism. Meanwhile, not far from the rolling vineyards of Bordeaux, Stars of David were recently spray painted on the homes of Jews.

A recent global survey by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League suggested that France now has the highest percentage in Western Europe – 37 percent -- of people openly harboring anti-Semitic views. That compares to 8 percent in Britain, 20 percent in Italy and 27 percent in Germany. Jewish leaders chalk that up in part to growing radicalization of youths in France’s Muslim population – the largest in Europe – as well as outrage in the general public and French media over Israeli policy toward the Palestinians.

But it is also far more complex.

Anti-Semitism, Jewish activists fear, is becoming more socially acceptable. In May, for instance, the far-right National Front -- a party long rooted in anti-Semitism but that sought to portray itself as a reformed --- came in first in elections here for the European Parliament, winning a whopping 25 percent of the national vote. Yet last week, its patriarch, Jean-Marie Le Pen, suggested just how unreformed a segment of the party remains. In a video posted on the party’s website, he suggested a Jewish folk singer should be thrown “in an oven”

Le Pen’s daughter and current party leader, Marine Le Pen , offered a rare rebuke of her father’s words, and ordered footage of the comments off the party’s website. But the elder Le Pen’s musings were nevertheless seen as unsurprising within a party whose older members have long harken back to the days of Vichy France, the Nazi collaborators who allowed tens of thousands of French Jews to go to their deaths.

“I walked into my kosher sandwich shop the other day and the owner asked me, ‘is it time to leave? Are we Nazi Germany yet?” said Shimon Samuels, the Paris-based International Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “We’ve got the National Front in first place. We’ve got Dieudonné, spreading his hate. So I told him, ‘well, do you really want to be the last to go?’”

Indeed, French migration to Israel in 2013 jumped to 3,200, up 64 percent from 2012. A huge uptick in departures already this year has Jewish leaders here predicting at least 5,000 French Jews will leave in 2014.

“We’ve been thinking about moving for a long time, but the climate was not as dangerous as it is now,” said Alain, a 30 year old Persian medical equipment specialist who is moving to Israel in July with his wife and three children. He declined to give his last name out of fear for his family’s security.

Sitting at his modest dining room table in eastern Paris, a set of moving boxes in the next room, he added “it bothers me because this is not normal, this is not how I remember France when I was growing up.”

Two weeks ago, Alain said, he woke up to find his 13-year old daughter, Michele, crying. After a recent attack against two Jewish boys not far from her school, she said she was too afraid to join her regular carpool. Instead, she demanded that he personally take her to school, and pick her up, standing guard as she entered and exited each day. He has moved his work schedule around to accommodate her request.

Asked what she was scared of, Michele, an elegant French teenager in a fashionable black skirt and white T-shirt, looked down, and said: “I’m afraid that what happened in Toulouse will happen at my school too…I hear what people say about Jews. And I am scared.”


Cincinnati Station Says ‘No’ to PC Reporting on Racially Motivated Crime

A remarkable thing happened in Cincinnati on Thursday. WKRC-TV, which has taken to calling itself “Local 12,” did a story on the growing problem of black-on-white teen mob violence — and called it black-on-white teen mob violence.

The event where the violence occurred took place two weeks earlier during Memorial Day weekend at the city’s Taste of Cincinnati event downtown.

Maybe it was the fact that the county prosecutor’s son was among those assaulted. Or perhaps it was the perceived threat to the city’s most beloved fall event. Whatever the cause, Local 12 followed through on Dixon’s original outrage. The station didn’t sweep the larger story under the rug. It even introduced a word — “black” — into its June 12 video and print story which wasn’t in its or the Enquirer’s original reports.

Among the refreshing truths told — refreshing because, despite their ugliness, they represent the truth:

11 victims filed reports saying they were kicked, punched or stomped by a group of black teenagers or young adults, boys and girls. Ten of the victims were white, one was Asian. Two reported racial slurs. Noelle Findlay was so certain the assault (on her and her husband while they were in their car) was racially motivated; the police report says “hate crime” … because she believes there was no other motive.

(on the general problem of black teen violence targeting non-blacks)

… Dr. John Wright, a criminal justice professor at UC (University of Cincinnati), said, “I think it is racist behavior, racist behavior when you target a group based on their race, sexual orientation, it’s the very nature of a hate crime.”

… “We are unwilling to speak about race when it comes to crime because it is a sensitive matter,” said Wright. “Allegations of racism ruins careers, ruin lives. The media remains silent or targets the people who bring up the issue.”

… Pastor Peterson Mingo of Evanston (a Cincinnati neighborhood) said, “Not too many ways to explain that behavior, have to condemn it, can’t be tolerated.”

Sociologists weighing in suggest high unemployment and resentment fueled by segregation are possible causes.

Mingo says there is something else, “There is a thing about loyalty. You with me or you ain’t. If you with me I’m getting ready to knock dude up side head lets go. It’s not where you can say I’m not going to. You’re either with me or you’re not.”

The station also has additional video of its interview with Dr. Wright, who minced no words:

Partial transcript:

If groups of white students, white kids, were running around, violating blacks, beating up black fathers, beating up 13-year-old black girls, there would be the hue and cry sounded. We would take it as seriously as we take anything else. Time magazine, the New York Times, everybody would cover this. Everybody.

… But if it’s turned the other way around, everybody is so afraid to speak about race and crime that they are silent. That silence is killing people. That silence allows this to continue.

But there can be no acceptable excuse for mob violence. None.

… The attorney general said that we’re “a nation of cowards” when it comes to speaking about race. At one level he’s right, but there’s a reason why people are uncomfortable talking about race and are uncomfortable talking about the dynamics of black behavior. Not all black behavior. Let’s be very clear about this. The vast majority of African-Americans are law-abiding people. … They deserve our support and encouragement. They deserve our protection.

… It’s better to be honest, even if the honesty is dirty, than to live a lie that is clean.

Author Colin Flaherty has been looking at black teen crimes targeting whites for some time. He has compiled a list of incidents “in more than a dozen cities around the country. Some fatal” — just this past Memorial Day weekend. His latest book ”documents more than 500 cases of black mob violence in more than 100 cities around the country.” The vast majority have barely made a media ripple — and when they do, the obvious racial element is deliberately ignored.

Local 12?s and Flaherty’s efforts at shining the light of truth are praiseworthy and important, but still far from complete. Two larger questions loom.

The first: What can be done to reverse the shocking growth in race-based hatred among blacks?

The second: Why have the nation’s first black president and his “nation of cowards” attorney general made virtually no attempt to attack this problem head-on?


I may have been wrong to condemn Christian B&B owners for banning gay couple because those with religious beliefs have rights too, says top judge

A judge who condemned a Christian couple for turning away gay guests from their hotel  yesterday said her decision may have been wrong.

Supreme Court deputy president Baroness Hale called for a rethink on religious and gay rights six months after she rejected the B&B owners’ arguments in a key test case.

Lady Hale said in a speech that the law has done too little to protect the beliefs of Christians. And she cast doubts over her own judgment in the landmark case in which a gay couple sued Christian hoteliers Peter and Hazelmary Bull.

Mr Bull, 74, and his 70-year-old wife refused a double room at their Cornish hotel to Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall in 2008 because they were not a married heterosexual couple.

The incident led to a string of court cases, which culminated in defeat for the Bulls at the Supreme Court – where Lady Hale, leading four other judges, ruled that the rights of the gay couple outweighed the conscience of the Christian couple. Lady Hale declared in her Supreme Court ruling that we should be ‘slow to accept’ the right of Christians to discriminate against gay people.

But in March she acknowledged that the laws which ignore Christian consciences might not be ‘sustainable’. Last week, in a highly unusual move, Lady Hale and her fellow judges ordered that the Bulls will not be liable for legal costs – a decision which spares them a huge bill which would pay for the lawyers who represented Mr Preddy and Mr Hall.

And in a speech to Irish lawyers yesterday she gave an indication that her judgment against the Bulls may have been too harsh, asking whether courts would be better off taking a ‘more nuanced approach’.

Lady Hale suggested that the law should develop a ‘conscience clause’ for Christians like the Bulls.

She said: ‘I am not sure our law has found a reasonable accommodation of all these different strands’, adding: ‘An example of treatment which Christians may feel to be unfair is the recent case of Bull v Hall. Should we be developing an explicit requirement upon providers of employment, goods and services to make reasonable accommodation for the manifestation of religious beliefs?’

Last year the Bulls were on the point of selling their hotel, Chymorvah House in Marazion. However they said they have managed to stay in business thanks to help from supporters. Mrs Bull said: ‘The pendulum has swung too far one way.

‘Why can’t two lifestyles live together? It is too late for us, but we are glad the issue hasn’t gone away. It is being debated so there may be an opportunity for more balance to be brought into this.’

And Colin Hart, from the Christian Institute, said: ‘The penny is beginning to drop among judges that the law is unfair. I hope the Supreme Court will find more room to protect Christian consciences.’



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

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

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


22 June, 2014

Multicultural murderer now dead

You can see the empathy in his eyes, can't you? Can't you?

An escaped murderer who had been jailed for life for killing a British couple on their Caribbean honeymoon has died after being shot by police.

Avie Howell, 24, who shot Welsh newlyweds Ben and Catherine Mullany in 2008, was caught in a rural parish just south of the capital, St John's, before a 'confrontation' broke out.

He was shot in the knees and died in hospital three hours after climbing over a 30ft-wall at the holiday island's prison.

He had been on the run since yesterday after he and his cellmate, who was on fraud charges, had cut through a wire fence and scaled the perimeter.

Howell and accomplice Kaniel Martin, 27, were convicted of killing the couple in 2011, who had only been married for two weeks.

They had burst into Mr and Mrs Mullany's chalet at the Cocos Hotel in a dawn raid in July 2008.

The newlyweds, who lived in Rhos, near Pontardawe, were both shot in the head while their killers made off with their mobile phones, a cheap digital camera and a handful of cash.

Corporal Thomas said: 'This morning, the police acting on a tip-off on information they had received regarding his his whereabouts went to that area where a confrontation took place between him and the police which resulted in him being shot.

'He was rushed to hospital and roughly at about midday, he was pronounced dead.'

The couple, who were both 31, had only been married a little over a fortnight when they were shot.

Mrs Mullany, a hospital doctor, died instantly, while her trainee physiotherapist husband, was flown home to Swansea in a coma. Despite the best efforts of his wife's medical colleagues he died a week after the shooting.

It meant that just five weeks after happily celebrating their wedding at St John The Evangelist Church in Cilybebyll, their grief-stricken parents were attending the couple's funeral.

Then three years to the day after the deaths, Howell and Martin were found guilty of murdering the honeymoon couple as well as shooting 43-year-old local shopkeeper Woneta Anderson.

The pair had yet to stand trial for the 2008 alleged murders of Rafique Harris and Tony Louisa. Those two killings happened just a few weeks after Mr and Mrs Mullany were shot.

In the wake of the murders, the couple's family set up the Mullany Fund - which saw Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson and Antiguan cricket legend Sir Vivian Richards become patrons.

The charity aims to carry on the good work started by the couple by giving grants to medical students.

Three years to the day after the deaths, Howell and Martin were found guilty of murdering the honeymoon couple as well as shooting 43-year-old local shopkeeper Woneta Anderson.

The killers were both jailed for life.

The couple's family were said to be 'extremely shocked' at the news that one of the killers had been able to escape.  They were also concerned that Howell might flee the island.  A source said: 'You would have thought they would have kept him under lock and key.'

Following the verdicts, which came three years after the killings, Mr Mullany’s parents, Cynlais and Marilyn, and his wife’s mother and father, Rachel and David Bowen, broke down in tears.

In a joint statement, they said at the time: ‘There is no joy at today’s verdict, just a sense of relief that after three years of waiting there is justice for our children.

‘These two individuals can never again inflict the same anguish and devastation to any other family as they have to ours.

'We will never be able to comprehend the senseless nature of their deaths, the total disregard shown for human life and that no remorse has ever been shown.

'Ben and Cath will live in our hearts forever. They made our lives happy beyond measure and enriched every day that they were with us.'

The Honeymoon Killings, as they became known, shocked the tiny nation of Antigua, which had touted itself as a safe tropical honeymoon destination.

The Mullanys’ stay at the five-star Cocos resort had been a wedding present from friends and family.

Guests described hearing screams from their cottage on July 27, 2008, before gunshots.

Martin and Howell, who had been enjoying Antigua’s carnival celebrations hours before, seemingly targeted their cabin at random.

The gunmen, who refused to face questioning in court, protested their innocence throughout the trial. Their silence means the motive remaines unclear.

They were snared after SIM cards registered to them were activated in Mr Mullany’s stolen phone within hours of the shootings.


More feminist hatred

Meeting the newly crowned Miss England — brilliant 24-year-old Cambridge University medical student Carina Tyrell — is a rather baffling experience.

The first trainee doctor to win in the beauty pageant’s long history — and qualify for a tilt at the Miss World title — she certainly has all the right vital statistics: a bikini-perfect size eight figure, long dark hair, coltish legs and  dazzling smile.

She sounds perfect, too, talking about her Miss England responsibilities as a ‘role model’ and ‘ambassador’ — thankfully just stopping short of any mention of promoting world peace. One minute she’s excitedly talking evening gowns and high heels and the next soberly discussing, in cool clinical detail, how to manage a patient with kidney stones.

But why on earth would someone of her remarkable intelligence even think of swapping the wards of Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for Torquay’s Riviera International Conference Centre to shed tears of joy over a diamante tiara last Monday night?

Why would such a gifted young woman set aside years of hard academic work to pursue the prize of a luxury holiday, free fake tan and tooth- whitening, and all the shoes and handbags a girl could wish for?

Certainly not one who calls herself a feminist, surely? But that’s exactly what Carina says she is.

One thing is for certain, she may need a tin hat rather than a crown to deal with the controversy she has sparked since she was made Miss England, mainly from women who have accused her of betraying her sex.

Leading the charge is feminist campaigner and former Cambridge doctorate student Germaine Greer, who not only dismissed Carina as ‘far too thin’ and mocked her looks as being in the ‘Barbie doll mould’, but witheringly added: ‘I could be very knee jerk about it and say I think it’s a pretty tacky way to try to make your way if you have got a chance of getting a Nobel prize.’

Carina, sipping on peppermint tea, gives a very good impression of not being remotely stung by the  sisterhood’s slings and arrows or remotely concerned that this might look like a regrettable blip on her otherwise stellar CV.

‘I don’t think I am letting intelligent women down by doing this and I don’t think I am feeding some  sexist agenda,’ she retorts.

‘I may be a trainee doctor, but I like to think I am human, too. People need to realise that doctors do need to have something outside medicine to be a well-rounded person.’

As for Greer’s (decidedly unfeminist) sneers about her looks, she is splendidly dismissive.  ‘I am naturally slim, all my family are, and I’ve never dieted in my life. It’s just fortunate that I was brought up enjoying a naturally healthy,  balanced diet.

‘Looks have never been an issue for me. I didn’t even wear make-up until three years ago and it’s not as if I spend all day staring at myself in a mirror. I’m too busy doing ward rounds and taking bloods.’

Carina is the daughter of retired Norwich-born physicist Mark Tyrell, 73, who helped build the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN nuclear research centre, in  Switzerland, which probes the mysteries of the universe.

Born and educated in Geneva, Carina arrived at Cambridge University’s all-women Murray Edwards College in 2009, with seven A-starred and three grade A GCSEs and a top-scoring International Baccalaureate.

She has been awarded a First for the non-clinical part of her six-year medical degree and is tipped to qualify as a doctor with yet another.

Her ambition is to become a  consultant by the age of 32 and work on the public health front-line in the world’s poorest countries or in disaster zones with the international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres.

All she has wanted to do is work as a doctor ever since, at the age of five, she made a mosquito net as part of a school project on malaria and realised there were children far less fortunate than she.

But here she is, telling me winning Miss England was one of the proudest moments of her life. Almost on a par with winning a distinction in her oral exam in pathology, which she took the morning before the Miss England finals. Really?

‘I wasn’t expecting to win a distinction, which was wonderful, nor was I was expecting to win Miss England, which was fantastic,’ she insists. ‘I can’t quite believe I have done both, but I put as much work into Miss England as I did into my medical studies.

‘I have the crown in a shoe box in the boot of my car and I keep  getting it out to have a look and try it on. I get to keep it for the whole year. It’s very pretty.’

Which is all very delightful. But many will be astonished by her decision to suspend her final-year  studies for 12 months so she can fulfil her Miss England duties and prepare for the Miss World Final in  London this December.

Even Carina’s fellow students have been scratching their heads at her decision to turn her back on years of serious academic study to take part in a contest that was ditched from the TV schedules — along with Benny Hill — years ago for being outdated, sexist and demeaning to women.

But for all her qualifications, Carina can’t see any conflict at all and says if people would only challenge their own misconceptions about the  competition, they’d come round to her way of thinking.

‘It’s not about just looking pretty in a bikini. It’s about being a role model, somebody who is striving to make a difference, taking on a leadership role,’ she says.

‘Many female doctors these days like to show they are feminine by wearing nice hair clips or dresses and heels — appropriate for hospital, of course. The modern woman is now allowed  to show who she is. We don’t have to dull ourselves or bring ourselves  down to meet certain expectations.

‘Although Cambridge University has had students taking time out to represent their country at sport, I don’t think they’ve had a medical student enter Miss England before.

‘Yes, there were a few raised eyebrows, but what they see is a young lady who wants to do something different and positive in her life, and they are supporting me as an individual.’

How very puzzling. Most women with half Carina’s brains and  prospects wouldn’t dream of entering such a competition which purports to be all about celebrating inner beauty while requiring contestants to pose in skimpy swimwear on a yacht.

Carina does admit that the night before the Miss England finals, she was having second thoughts and worried she’d made the biggest mistake of her life by entering.

Exam time is never a good moment to be fretting about bikini lines or — the biggest conundrum of all — how to make the hackneyed desire to ‘help less fortunate people’ sound original.

While she was poring over medical texts and answering exam questions such as how to manage a salmonella outbreak, she was also tackling a rather different intellectual challenge: fashioning a hat out of an old lampshade and two coat hangers.

Along with the other finalists, Carina had to show her ingenuity by creating an ‘Eco Outfit’ made from recyclable or second-hand materials — which, if anything, sounds almost as degrading as the swimsuit round.

Carina decided to recreate Audrey Hepburn’s ‘Day at the Races’ outfit from the film My Fair Lady by customising a wedding dress she found in an Oxfam shop and the lampshade hat. At the same time she was squeezing in some running so she’d be fighting fit for the military boot camp round.

Had she completely lost her senses?

‘It was very stressful,’ admits Carina. ‘There were many times when I thought “Am I doing the right thing?” I worried I’d jeopardised my studies by taking part in this competition?.?.?.?and also that my studies might jeopardise my ability to compete in Miss England.

‘All my life, since school, I’ve worked very hard to fulfil my childhood dream of becoming a doctor. Nothing comes naturally to me, I’ve had to put in the effort. So it was very difficult combining revision with the Miss England competition.’

Quite apart from her academic achievements, Carina is bilingual, a qualified ski instructor, a talented artist and has won awards for tap dancing, gymnastics and trampolining. The world is already her oyster, lined with pearls, so quite what Miss England could offer her is anyone’s guess. ‘I’m a feminist in that I strongly believe in women’s rights,’ she says. ‘For me, the competition is about encouraging young women to be well-rounded, to think about others, to be charitable, to be healthy and sporty.’

She adds: ‘Being a Miss England involves public speaking and interacting with people and all of those things that empower women, and I don’t see why that would be anti-feminist.

‘I’m not the prettiest girl in Cambridge, let alone England, but I’ve been told I am an attractive person and I have valuable skills to offer.

‘I can help people as Miss England in a way that would not have been possible as a doctor. I’m hoping to use my influence on a new scale. As a student doctor I can only do so much, but now that I have a public image I can really make a difference.’ Her first engagement as Miss England is today at Bristol’s Big Green Week celebrating eco ideas, art and entertainment.

But what do Carina’s parents make of this sudden change of direction for their daughter? Her father, and mother Sue, who is in her late 50s and a retired executive with the World Health Organisation, are apparently thrilled — despite initial reservations.

Carina says: ‘My parents and an aunt flew from Geneva to watch me in the finals and they couldn’t have been more delighted for me when I won. My dad said: “I never imagined that one day my daughter would be a medical student at Cambridge and Miss England.”

‘They’re the most wonderful parents. They would support me whatever I chose to do, as long as I was happy.’

But yes, Mr Tyrell would like to see his daughter resume her medical career. After all the glitz, glamour, charity receptions, public appearances and potential modelling contracts winging her way — which could earn her up to £40,000 — will she be happy returning to her old life of student digs, strict budgets and long hours until she qualifies?

‘Even if I were offered a billion pounds I could never give up medicine. That’s where my heart is. My desire to help people is so strong, I would feel I’d let myself down if I lost sight of that,’ says Carina.

‘I’ve worked so hard at school and at university to get where I am. It’s been really stressful and difficult and perhaps this is just a little bit of escapism for me, something to tell my children about in the future.

The skills of this brilliant trainee doctor may be lost to us for now — but let us hope it’s not for ever.


The death throes of a noble British charity that fought for freedom of expression

For more than 40 years, a wonderful British charity called Index on Censorship has been the champion of free expression, opposing tyrants and ideologies that silenced, imprisoned or even killed writers and journalists who did not toe their line.

Founded at the height of the Cold War to support dissidents behind the Iron Curtain, the politically neutral, London-based body has since compiled a long and noble record of campaigning for free expression around the world.

Who, aside from the most authoritarian regimes, would oppose its aims? Yet today the organisation’s finances and core beliefs are under threat from a body that supports Government intervention in the regulation of the Press.

In which country? Russia? Cuba? Actually, it’s in Britain.

Yesterday, the Mail reported that two distinguished figures from the world of investigative journalism had resigned as Index patrons.

Ian Hislop, the editor of satirical magazine Private Eye, and the journalist Francis Wheen — a biographer of Karl Marx — stepped down because Index’s new leadership had invited the comedian and Hollywood actor Steve Coogan to join the charity as a patron.

Multi-millionaire Coogan, whose one-time predilection for cocaine and lap-dancers had been exposed by the red-top Press, is the ubiquitous spokesman for the Hacked Off pressure group.

He has led its campaign for a Government-implemented, Royal Charter system of Press regulation, which critics argue would allow politicians ultimately to control a Press that has been free of State intervention for more than 300 years.

Index, unsurprisingly given its remit, had strongly opposed such intervention, which is why there was astonishment in media circles when Coogan’s appointment as a patron was announced last week.

But what is even more disturbing is that indirect financial pressure had already been exerted on Index, by another body with links to the Hacked Off lobby.

For we can reveal that last year, the multi-million-pound Esmée Fairbairn Foundation — which gives money to what it regards as worthy causes — withdrew its financial support when it rejected an application for £40,000 to fund an Index project promoting free expression.

Index was told that its stance on Press regulation in the UK had been discussed at the Foundation’s board meeting when its bid was thrown out. Significantly, at previous meetings, the Index bid had been supported.

The rejection came little more than a year after a one-time SDP activist called Sir David Bell — whose contempt for Britain’s popular Press is well known — and who was the founder of the Media Standards Trust which spawned Hacked Off, was appointed to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation board of trustees.

The Foundation — named after the wife of Ian Fairbairn, a City figure who founded it in 1961 — boasts a portfolio of investments which at the end of last year was worth a staggering £827?million.

Index finance manager David Sewell told me: ‘Esmée Fairbairn had funded us before, but our stance on Press regulation definitely had an impact on our last bid.

‘We got through stage one of the process. Stage two was the final decision by the Esmée Fairbairn board, and that’s when we were turned down.’

He explained: ‘Our friends at Esmée later told us that the Leveson Inquiry had definitely been discussed, even though it had nothing to do with our bid.

‘Certain members of the board were not happy with our position [on Press regulation].’

He said he had been upset by the decision, and the apparent reasons behind it.

Another senior figure at Index said: ‘We were told confidentially that the Esmée board had deviated from a discussion of a bid to do with arts and free expression, to a major discussion of Press regulation and our position on it. You have to ask whether that is right.’

The source said that Index had come under pressure for its stand on Press regulation. ‘Some of Index’s traditional supporters are more of the Left,’ said the source, ‘and they asked why we were apparently getting into bed with [the popular or Conservative Press] over this. But it was a matter of principle.’

The Left-leaning journalist and Index chairman David Aaronovitch wrote recently: ‘Index, almost alone among similar organisations, took the position after Leveson that we should campaign against State involvement in the regulation of  the Press. This almost certainly cost us donors?.?.?.’

Index has been acting on principle since 1972, when it was founded as a magazine by, among others, the  poet Stephen Spender and  David Astor, then editor of the Observer newspaper.

Index went on to support and publish the works of banned writers across the world. The Czech playwright and future president Vaclav Havel and author Salman Rushdie, after the Satanic Verses fatwah was issued, were both backed by Index.

It is still run from ramshackle offices near London Bridge, but in recent years the charity ‘overreached’ itself, according to one insider, and has run into financial difficulties which saw it make a number of important staff redundant.

Those money difficulties have not been helped by its recent stand on Press freedom, which brought it into direct conflict with the powerful Hacked Off group and  its supporters.

A pivotal founder of Hacked Off, which continues to campaign to end the self-regulation of the Press, was Sir David Bell.

A  Lib Dem donor, Sir David was the chairman of the Pearson-owned Financial Times and a trustee and sometime chairman of a body called Common Purpose.  The latter is a controversial, elite leadership training charity, once described as ‘the Left’s equivalent of the old boys’ network’.

Millions of pounds of public money has been spent on its courses, but it has been accused by critics of being a secretive, quasi-Masonic movement, and was criticised by the Information Commissioner’s Office over disseminating to local authorities the names and contact details of members of the public who had asked Freedom of Information questions about its activities.

In 2005, Sir David and Common Purpose founder Julia Middleton — an author and leadership expert — established what became the Media Standards Trust, ‘an independent registered charity that fosters high standards in news on behalf of the public’, which was based at the Common Purpose offices. Sir David was the MST’s first chairman.

That year the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation gave the fledgling organisation £70,000. Among the MST trustees was Albert Scardino, husband of Sir David’s boss at Pearson, Marjorie Scardino.  She is now a favourite to become the next Chair of the BBC Trust.

The Scardinos were very supportive of the Media Standards Trust. In 2007, it received a $350,000 (£205,000) grant from a U.S.-based trust called the MacArthur Foundation, on whose board Mrs Scardino sat.

In 2008, it also received £150,000 from the Pearson Foundation charity, and £5,000 from the Scardinos’ own pockets.

The relationship with the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation was equally cosy. In 2009, it gave the MST £150,000. In January 2011, Sir David Bell joined the Esmée Fairbairn board of trustees after ‘a competitive recruitment process’.

Meanwhile, Sir David’s media charity had launched a series of attacks on the popular Press. But it remained a relatively minor player until the phone-hacking scandal exploded in July 2011.

It was now that Hacked Off  was founded by MST director Martin Moore.  It was run from the MST offices, and the Trust controlled its finances. Along with Hugh Grant and Max Mosley, Steve Coogan was and remains its most public face.

When the Leveson Inquiry was announced, Sir David stepped down as MST chairman so that he could take up his highly controversial appointment as one of six ‘independent’ assessors at the hearings, none of whom had experience of mass-selling newspapers.

Leveson published his report in November 2012. By then, the battle lines between Index on Censorship and Hacked Off had been drawn.

In its submission to the Inquiry that January, Index had said: ‘The Press will never be perfect. But we must ask: do we want a Press that is tamed into deference and compliance, or a Press that probes and questions and will, on occasion, get things wrong?

‘Freedom of expression is a bigger prize than a free Press. It is about the public’s right to know.

‘There is already a plethora of laws and codes that could and should be enforced to improve the practices of journalists, editors, managers and directors.

‘To the Inquiry, our message is simple: be careful what you  wish for.’

Similarly, Index patron Ian Hislop told the Inquiry: ‘If the State regulates the Press, then the Press no longer regulates the State.’

He added: ‘I believe in a free Press and I don’t think it should be regulated, but it should abide by law.’

The current trial of News International journalists for  alleged phone hacking and suggests that the law is being enforced, and with a vengeance.

Even as the Leveson Inquiry moved slowly to its conclusion, in 2012 Esmée Fairbairn gave the Media Standards Trust a further £220,000. Sir David has said he had no part in the decision.

In May of that year, Index’s more modest bid for an arts project linked to freedom of expression was given an initial green light by the Foundation.  But when the Esmée trustees met the following February, it was rejected.

It’s not as if the Foundation is short of money. Current accounts show that so far in 2014, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation has donated almost £7?million to more than  60 organisations.

The individual gifts ranged in size from £9,750 to £300,000. Index of Censorship is not among the recipients, of course.

Last week I sent questions to the nine public figures who were Esmée Fairbairn trustees at the time of the Index rejection. Had they been in attendance at the meeting, and, if so, what position had they taken on the continued funding of Index on Censorship?

Only three replied. Banker and philanthropist Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett simply said that he ‘couldn’t help’. Poet William Sieghart and a spokeswoman for education entrepreneur Joe Docherty both directed me to speak to Esmée Fairbairn’s ‘media advisers’.

This is a PR company called Champollion. It was founded  and is still run by Simon Buckby, who was the advertising director for New Labour’s 1997 General Election campaign.

He was also a special adviser to future Hacked Off supporter John Prescott, and campaign director for a pressure group campaigning for Britain to join the eurozone.

Along the way, he worked for Sir David Bell’s Financial Times, while Champollion is listed on the Common Purpose website as a company which uses its training courses.

Yesterday, Champollion issued a statement on behalf of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.  It said: ‘Esmée Fairbairn Foundation makes approximately 300 grants a year, with a total value of £30-35?million.  ‘Our mission is to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK, and we do this by funding the charitable work of organisations with the ideas and ability to achieve positive change. We do not comment on individual grant applications.’

Questions about Steve Coogan’s appointment as Index patron are also still to be satisfactorily answered.

Why was he given the role when his only apparent activism in the area of freedom of expression has been clarion calls for government intervention?  Had he given money to the financially ailing charity?

The new Index on Censorship chief executive, Jodie Ginsberg, who took up the post only last month, argued that Coogan is a combative public figure with whom they can agree to disagree on this one issue.

Others who have worked at Index feel it is a ‘big misjudgment’, which is meant to placate the Hacked Off lobby, some of whom had previously donated to the cause.

Index’s accounts show that income fell by almost a quarter between 2011-2013, as the Press regulation debate raged.

The news of the split within Index because of the Coogan appointment has been greeted with dismay by those who had benefited from its support in times of great danger.

Leading Soviet-era dissident and current human rights campaigner Lyudmila Alexeyeva, 86, said: ‘Index on Censorship is a well-known organisation, and a very important one.  ‘There were just a few organisations in the Western world which supported us in Soviet times — and we appreciated it a lot. It is such a pity to hear what is going on with it now.’

She added: ‘Honestly, maybe I have been too idealistic about the situation with freedom of speech in Great Britain. I always convinced that this was something immovable — and now we see that this is not so.

‘How did it happen that he (Coogan) is about to be put in a senior position at Index? It is very sad to hear that others are leaving the organisation because of him.

‘How could it happen that at the top of such an organisation there is a man whose creed is against its main concept?

‘If we do not have any freedom of speech here in Russia, we do want to see it solidly existing somewhere else in the world. And Britain has always been a citadel of media freedom.’


Men facing rape claims should have the right to anonymity, says Oxford Union president after he was cleared of allegations

The president of the Oxford Union cleared of rape allegations has called for the right of anonymity for those accused of similar claims.

Ben Sullivan, a third year university student, was on bail for six weeks after he was arrested over claims he raped one fellow student and attacked another.

But on Wednesday, police informed the 21-year-old that no further action would be taken against him following an investigation.

Last night, he said those accused of rape should have the right to anonymity until initial investigations had been carried out by police.

Mr Sullivan also revealed he had struggled to deal with the fallout from the ‘poisonous allegations’.

Speaking about his ‘harrowing’ experience on Newsnight, he said: ‘I’m not of the extremist [sort] who don’t think you should have your identity revealed until you’ve been convicted, or even necessarily after being charged.

‘What I don’t agree with though is that everyone’s identity is automatically revealed the minute they are arrested.

‘I think there should be some sort of happy medium whereby your identity is protected initially, until at least the conclusion of a preliminary investigation.’

Asked whether alleged rapists should be given anonymity but not those accused of other offences, he said: ‘That is completely true and why I would never say that everyone’s identity in the circumstances should be kept secret.

‘I’m completely aware that it can be extremely useful to police investigations for people’s identities to be revealed for people to come forward.

‘However, these are obviously incredibly poisonous allegations, they are incredibly difficult to deal with.’

Mr Sullivan’s arrest rocked the prestigious 200-year-old debating society, where many political leaders have cut their teeth.

His arrest sparked a period of turmoil for the society as a boycott campaign from fellow students saw a host of high-profile speakers cancel their appearances.

Speaking of the ordeal, he said: ‘It’s been very difficult, very harrowing. It puts things in perspective, changes your priorities to say the very least. I’m very thankful to everyone who has given me support - my friends, my family, and people at the union.’

A letter written by student politicians to around 30 speakers who had been booked to attend, asked them to boycott the Union, and Mr Sullivan to resign in what they called a ‘push for equality’.

Nobel Peace prize winner Tawakkol Karman, a human rights activist, Interpol secretary-general Robert Noble, the US entrepreneur Julie Meyer and David Mepham, the UK director of Human Rights Watch, were all said to have pulled out of debates at the Oxford Union, citing concerns about Mr Sullivan’s arrest.

But the banker’s son, who attended £22,000-a-year St Paul’s school in London, repeatedly defied calls to stand down as president while the police investigation was carried out.

Student union official Sarah Pine who was the leader of the campaign to boycott the union also appeared on Newsnight and said she stood by the campaign.

Mr Sullivan said: ‘I don’t doubt the organisers of the boycott have very good intentions and I do agree that sexual violence is a very serious problem at Oxford and other universities.’



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

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

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


20 June, 2014

Vicious British feminist campaign against an innocent man

He was not even charged, let alone tried and  exonerated.  Feminists dragged the whole union through the dirt in pursuing their hate of him.  People due to speak at the union were intimidated into withdrawing because of the hysterical claims. A record of the vicious campaign is here.  Many prominent people complied with the feminists' boycott demands, to their eternal discredit

False rape claims are common in Britain even though Britain  sends some of the lying women concerned to jail.  Brits are very embarrassment-prone and the claims are often made out of "morning after" embarrassment.  So to prejudge the rape complaints behind this matter was wilfully hostile. 

I personally loathe feminists as much as they loathe men.  I am a people-ist.  I think people should be judged as human beings not by way of their sex or race.  And, to a people-ist, equal pay for equal work is an obvious value.  The rest of the feminists gospel however is counterfactual and destructive trash.  I am particularly sorry for the women who have been misled into thinking that "Careers" are more important than motherhood.  By the time that they realized it was a lie, it has often been too late -- JR

A renowned expert in cyber stalking has labelled the campaign to boycott the Oxford Union while its president was under police investigation for rape as “absolute folly", following the announcement that he will not be charged.

The police said on Wednesday that no further action will be taken against Ben Sullivan, 21, who was arrested on May 7 on suspicion of rape and attempted rape of two undergraduates.

Jennifer Perry, CEO of the Digital Trust and author of the UK guidelines on digital risks, has said that Oxford University officials should have stepped in when an "ill conceived" boycott campaign as a result of the accusations spiralled out of control.

Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble, who heeded calls by Sarah Pine, Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) vice president for women, to boycott the Union, said he stood by his decision.  He acknowledged that the president, Ben Sullivan, “should have been considered innocent until proven guilty”.

The Secretary General added: “As President of the Oxford Union who was under investigation for rape, my advice was and remains that he should have resigned or taken a leave of absence until the criminal investigation was completed.”

After his arrest Mr Sullivan declined to resign from his position and survived a vote of no confidence.

Ms Perry said: "Creating an atmosphere of intimidation and gossip and accusation doesn't help get to the truth or resolve the situation.  "Muddying the waters as much as they did made the whole process much more difficult. I found the whole thing incredibly distasteful which is why I refused to cave into their intimidation.”

Ms Perry added that it would have been “advantageous” for Oxford University’s authorities to have stepped in.  “I think that the university has a hands-off approach on student groups and I would support that,” she said. “But where, on rare occasions, it has escalated to this level they should consider calling a meeting.”

Answering his bail, Mr Sullivan was told by police that “no further action” will be taken against him.

A Union spokesman said: "The Union can confirm that the President, Ben Sullivan, was informed by his lawyers at 15.50 today that Thames Valley Police would not be pursuing any further action against him.

"As far as the Society is concerned, this is the end of the matter. We would like to thank Mr. Sullivan for his work as President under the most difficult of circumstances and wish him well for the future."

The CPS released a statement which said: "Following an investigation by Thames Valley Police, we have decided that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute a 21-year-old man from Oxford who was arrested following a complaint of rape and a complaint of attempted rape made by two women.

"We will be writing to the complainants to explain our decision in more detail."


Criticism of a Gender Theory, and a Scientist Under Siege

J. Michael Bailey’s book about gender enraged some transgender women

Earlier this month, members of the International Academy of Sex Research, gathering for their annual meeting in Vancouver, informally discussed one of the most contentious and personal social science controversies in recent memory.

The central figure, J. Michael Bailey, a psychologist at Northwestern University, has promoted a theory that his critics think is inaccurate, insulting and potentially damaging to transgender women. In the past few years, several prominent academics who are transgender have made a series of accusations against the psychologist, including that he committed ethics violations. A transgender woman he wrote about has accused him of a sexual impropriety, and Dr. Bailey has become a reviled figure for some in the gay and transgender communities.

To many of Dr. Bailey’s peers, his story is a morality play about the corrosive effects of political correctness on academic freedom. Some scientists say that it has become increasingly treacherous to discuss politically sensitive issues. They point to several recent cases, like that of Helmuth Nyborg, a Danish researcher who was fired in 2006 after he caused a furor in the press by reporting a slight difference in average I.Q. test scores between the sexes.

“What happened to Bailey is important, because the harassment was so extraordinarily bad and because it could happen to any researcher in the field,” said Alice Dreger, an ethics scholar and patients’ rights advocate at Northwestern who, after conducting a lengthy investigation of Dr. Bailey’s actions, has concluded that he is essentially blameless. “If we’re going to have research at all, then we’re going to have people saying unpopular things, and if this is what happens to them, then we’ve got problems not only for science but free expression itself.”

To Dr. Bailey’s critics, his story is a different kind of morality tale.

“Nothing we have done, I believe, and certainly nothing I have done, overstepped any boundaries of fair comment on a book and an author who stepped into the public arena with enthusiasm to deliver a false and unscientific and politically damaging opinion,” Deirdre McCloskey, a professor of economics, history, English, and communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and one of Dr. Bailey’s principal critics, said in an e-mail message.

The hostilities began in the spring of 2003, when Dr. Bailey published a book, “The Man Who Would Be Queen,” intended to explain the biology of sexual orientation and gender to a general audience.

“The next two years,” Dr. Bailey said in an interview, “were the hardest of my life.”

Many sex researchers who have worked with Dr. Bailey say that he is a solid scientist and collaborator, who by his own admission enjoys violating intellectual taboos.

In his book, he argued that some people born male who want to cross genders are driven primarily by an erotic fascination with themselves as women. This idea runs counter to the belief, held by many men who decide to live as women, that they are the victims of a biological mistake — in essence, women trapped in men’s bodies. Dr. Bailey described the alternate theory, which is based on Canadian studies done in the 1980s and 1990s, in part by telling the stories of several transgender women he met through a mutual acquaintance. In the book, he gave them pseudonyms, like “Alma” and “Juanita.”

Other scientists praised the book as a compelling explanation of the science. The Lambda Literary Foundation, an organization that promotes gay, bisexual and transgender literature, nominated the book for an award.

But days after the book appeared, Lynn Conway, a prominent computer scientist at the University of Michigan, sent out an e-mail message comparing Dr. Bailey’s views to Nazi propaganda. She and other transgender women found the tone of the book abusive, and the theory of motivation it presented to be a recipe for further discrimination.

Dr. Conway did not respond to requests for an interview.

Dr. Ben Barres, a neurobiologist at Stanford, said in reference to Dr. Bailey’s thesis in the book, “Bailey seems to make a living by claiming that the things people hold most deeply true are not true.”

At a public meeting of sex researchers shortly after the book’s publication, Dr. John Bancroft, then director of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, said to Dr. Bailey, “Michael, I have read your book, and I do not think it is science,” according to accounts of the meeting. Dr. Bancroft confirmed the comment.

The backlash soon turned from the book to its author.

After consulting with Dr. Conway, four of the transgender women who spoke to Dr. Bailey during his reporting for the book wrote letters to Northwestern, complaining that they had been used as research subjects without having given, or been asked to sign, written consent.

One wrote a letter making another accusation against Dr. Bailey: she claimed he had had sex with her.

Dr. Conway and Dr. McCloskey also wrote letters to Northwestern, accusing Dr. Bailey of grossly violating scientific standards “by conducting intimate research observations on human subjects without telling them that they were objects of the study.”

They also wrote to the Illinois state regulators, requesting that they investigate Dr. Bailey for practicing psychology without a license. Dr. Bailey, who was not licensed to practice clinical psychology in Illinois, had provided some of those who helped him with the book with brief case evaluation letters, suggesting that they were good candidates for sex-reassignment surgery. A spokesman for the state said that regulators took no action on the complaints.

In an interview, Dr. Bailey said that nothing he did was wrong or unethical. “I interviewed people for a book,” he said. “This is a free society, and that should be allowed.”

But by the end of 2003, the controversy had a life of its own on the Internet. Dr. Conway, the computer scientist, kept a running chronicle of the accusations against Dr. Bailey on her Web site. Any Google search of Dr. Bailey’s name brought up Dr. Conway’s site near the top of the list.

The site also included a link to the Web page of another critic of Dr. Bailey’s book, Andrea James, a Los Angeles-based transgender advocate and consultant. Ms. James downloaded images from Dr. Bailey’s Web site of his children, taken when they were in middle and elementary school, and posted them on her own site, with sexually explicit captions that she provided. (Dr. Bailey is a divorced father of two.) Ms. James said in an e-mail message that Dr. Bailey’s work exploited vulnerable people, especially children, and that her response echoed his disrespect.

Dr. Dreger is the latest to arrive at the battlefront. She is a longtime advocate for people born with ambiguous sexuality and has been strongly critical of sex researchers in the past. She said she had presumed that Dr. Bailey was guilty and, after meeting him through a mutual friend, had decided to investigate for herself.

But in her just-completed account, due to be published next year in The Archives of Sexual Behavior, the field’s premier journal, she concluded that the accusations against the psychologist were essentially groundless.

For example, Dr. Dreger found that two of the four women who complained to Northwestern of research violations were not portrayed in the book at all. The two others did know their stories would be used, as they themselves said in their letters to Northwestern.

The accusation of sexual misconduct came five years after the fact, and was not possible to refute or confirm, Dr. Dreger said. It specified a date in 1998 when Dr. Bailey was at his ex-wife’s house, looking after their children, according to dated e-mail messages between the psychologist and his ex-wife, Dr. Dreger found.

The transgender woman who made the complaint said through a friend that she stood by the accusation but did not want to talk about it.


British Liberals attack holiday homes

Beautiful parts of the county are being 'gutted' by second home owners pricing young families out of the area, Nick Clegg claimed today.

Mr Clegg said parts of the Lake District and the South West were being 'filleted' by wealthy families who were driving up house prices by snapping up second homes in the countryside.

The Deputy Prime Minister said he was looking at measures to cap the number of holiday homes that are blamed for destroying picturesque towns and villages.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg this morning said holiday home owners had 'gutted' beautiful areas of the country like Cornwall and the Lake District

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg this morning said holiday home owners had 'gutted' beautiful areas of the country like Cornwall and the Lake District

Lib Dem MPs have led calls to limit the number of second homes in an area or force families to get planning permission to turn a permanent home into a holiday getaway.

There have also been calls to hike council tax on second homes. The Coalition has so far only given councils the power to remove the council tax discount on second homes, which ranged from 10 per cent to 50 per cent.

At a press conference this morning - called to unveil a manifesto promise to ring-fence education funding 'from cradle to college' - Mr Clegg was asked whether there would be an election pledge on tackle the blight of holiday homes.

The Deputy Prime Minister said: 'It’s a huge problem in parts of the South West and the Lake District.

'And we’ll constantly look at we can make sure, yes, people who want to come and invest in the community and create a holiday home are not barred from doing so, but that we don’t have this problem of the whole community being filleted. Gutted.

'With no prospect of youngsters finding a home they can call their own. One of the ways out of this, difficult though it is in beautiful parts of the country, is to build more homes on the scale we need.'
The Quay and The Granary, Wells next the Sea, Norfolk. Quay to success: Attractive Wells-next-the-Sea is luring second-home buyers

Villages like Wells next the Sea in Norfolk are luring second-home buyers looking to escape the city. But this can drive up property prices, forcing local families out


Nick Clegg spends at least one holiday a year in his wife's family home in the tiny Spanish village of Olmedo, near Valladolid.

He also has a share in his family's 20 room ski chalet in Switzerland's Klosters ski resort - the Alpine playground of the Royals.

The traditionally-designed lakeside villa – built by Mr Clegg’s Dutch grandfather - is worth an estimated £7million.

The Deputy PM also has use of a grace and favour country house, which is usually reserved for the Foreign Secretary, near Sevenoaks in Kent.

Chevening was built in the 17th Century and has 115 rooms to entertain guests at the taxpayers expense.

On top of these options Mr Clegg owns a £1.5million townhouse in South West London - just a stone's throw from the Thames - and rents a two-bedroom flat in Sheffield.


The Pope's attack on capitalism shows he knows nothing about how the world really works

There can be no doubt that Pope Francis is a devoted and selfless man who has dedicated his life to serving others. A phenomenal theologian, he abhors war and poverty and is an inspiration to hundreds of millions of believers; he has gained widespread respect even among those who disagree with the Roman Catholic church’s teachings.

So it is with great sadness that I must take exception to the Pope’s views on economics and business. His hostility to capitalism, shared by the Church of England, is tragically misplaced. He has repeatedly savaged free markets, most recently at a Vatican conference this week, and aligned himself with the views of Thomas Piketty, the far-Left intellectual who obsesses about inequality and advocates crippling taxes on income and wealth.

In one key intervention, the Pope claimed that the “absolute autonomy of markets” was a “new tyranny”. It was a strangely inaccurate vignette of the modern economic system, which is characterised by not-so-free markets that are routinely bailed out, subsidised, taxed, capped, fettered, regulated and distorted by activist governments and their monetary and fiscal policies. North Korea is a genuine tyranny; free trade and genuine free markets are anything but.

It gets worse, unfortunately. At the height of Pikettymania, and before many leading economists punched holes in the French economist’s thesis, the Pope took to his Twitter account to state, without any caveats or context, that “inequality is the root of social evil”. He was clearly referring to differences in financial outcomes and wealth – and crucially, not to poverty or to inequalities of opportunity, both very different concepts.

In any free society characterised by private property rights and folks endowed with differing tastes, ambitions, talents and aspirations, there will inevitably be a divergence in earnings and wealth. Francis’ wholesale condemnation of inequality is thus tantamount to a complete rejection of contemporary economic systems. It is not a call for reform, or for moderation, but a radical denunciation.

The logical conclusion of the Pope’s tweets is that it is “evil” for the likes of Sir Richard Branson to have been allowed to keep the money he earned by providing the public with goods and services, and that we need immediate equalisation through punitive taxes. Such an extreme view would have catastrophic consequences, annihilate incentives to work, save and invest and halt the progress of human civilisation.

The Pope’s latest critique this week was equally unfounded, blaming speculators for high food prices. “The few derive immense wealth from financial speculation while the many are deeply burdened by the consequences,” he said, claiming that “speculation on food prices is a scandal which seriously compromises access to food on the part of the poorest members of our human family”.

Francis’ predecessor, Benedict XVI, made similar comments, as have many pressure groups; ironically, food prices have actually been falling recently. But the truth is this: speculators are not to blame for high (or low) prices over any meaningful period of time, there is no genuine, robust statistical evidence to back up the Pope’s claims and any profits traders make do not come at the expense of the poor.

Those who buy and sell and seek to predict the future perform a crucial and legitimate social function; without them, the economy would lurch from over-supply to under-supply. Markets would be horrendously opaque and illiquid, with some consumers paying far more than others for identical products. When the price of food goes up, it means experts collectively feel demand will rise or supply will fall; thanks to such speculation, market prices are the best possible early warning signal. They allow farmers to plant more of the right kinds of crops, and futures markets allow them to insure themselves against price changes. Speculators who keep getting it wrong go bust.

Food is relatively expensive because it is relatively scarce. Many countries are becoming richer and thus consuming more of it – which is wonderful – and more agricultural land is being used to produce biofuels and ethanol. Yet we have coped: technological progress, fuelled by entrepreneurial innovation, has made agriculture immensely more productive; and improved policies have meant that more countries now operate productive agricultural sectors.

Over time, it is these trends which determine the cost of our lunch and dinner, not traders; it is a shame that so many people find it easier to shoot the messenger than try to understand the underlying causes of scarcity and plenty.

Of course, the system can break down. Bubbles can appear: quantitative easing and ultra-low interest rates have pushed up a variety of asset prices over the past few years; too much money is chasing too few commodities. Markets can be manipulated, as we saw with Libor; fortunately such illegal activity doesn’t tend to have much of an actual long-run impact on prices but it should nevertheless be penalised severely. Cracking down on such abuse is one thing; seeking to stop speculation is another entirely.

The Pope also recently criticised “trickle-down” economics – in fact a caricature of free-market arguments – in scathing but equally incorrect terms. “There was the promise that once the glass had become full it would overflow and the poor would benefit. But what happens is that when it’s full to the brim, the glass magically grows, and thus nothing ever comes out for the poor,” he said. It is hard to reconcile such a baffling statement with recent economic history. Even the poorest among us today have access to medical technologies which the richest of the rich couldn’t even have dreamed of a century ago. The number of people living in extreme poverty in emerging markets has collapsed from half the population in 1981 to 21pc in 2010. A giant new global middle class has emerged in China, India, Africa and Latin America.

Yet no real free-marketeer believes that growth alone is enough to solve all problems. In the West, wages are under pressure and youth unemployment elevated, among a myriad other urgent issues. The solutions are complex; they include boosting entrepreneurship, improving education and more flexible labour markets. They certainly do not involve wholesale, ill-informed attacks on the market economy.

Religious groups have a central role to play in improving society: they can promote self-control, civility, respect and ethical behaviour, and help to reduce fraud, manipulation and other illegal activity in all spheres of human action. They can remind their followers that there is more to life than merely accumulating goods, and that reading, learning and thinking are wonderful things.

They can convince the rich to finance poverty-alleviation programmes, medical research, and educational scholarships. They ought to emphasise the oneness of humanity, and thus help remove protectionist barriers which prevent people from poor countries from selling their wares to richer countries. The task is immense.

But unthinkingly to fight capitalism – the greatest alleviator of poverty and liberator of people ever discovered – makes no sense. The sooner the world’s great religions learn to love the wealth-creating properties of the market economy, the sooner they will be able to harness them to make the world a better 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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


18 June, 2014

CANADA: Muslims claim parking illegally in front of their mosque is a “human right”

Two Muslims from a well-known Muslim Brotherhood front group, ISNA, say a parking restriction in the city of Mississauga that’s in effect during Friday prayer services discriminates against Muslims and they’re asking the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario to back their claim.

National Post  Salman Khalid, 32, is an emergency physician at a hospital about half an hour from the ISNA Canada Centre, a mosque he and his family have always attended in Mississauga, west of Toronto. In May 2012, he was given a ticket for parking on nearby Finfar Court rather than the mosque’s parking lot, while attending Friday prayer services.

The bylaw states that parking is prohibited on the side street, approximately one block from the mosque, between 12-3 p.m. on Fridays. But this coincides with the mosque’s hours of prayer service on Islam’s holiest day of the week, according to Salman’s father, Muhammad. Mr. Khalid and his son allege the parking bylaw is discriminatory and violates the Ontario Human Rights Code.


I'm Embarrassed to be White

Mike Adams

The other day a skinny white boy came to me complaining about his teacher’s “anti-white racist remarks.” These remarks were made while the teacher was lecturing in a course here at UNC-White (Oops! I mean, UNC-Wilmington). After listing a bunch of bad things white people have done to black people, the professor stated in front of a racially-mixed audience: “You know … I’m actually embarrassed to be white.”

The student thought this made his teacher look like an “anti-white racist.” But looks can be deceiving. In reality, like most white “liberals,” the teacher is really a white supremacist.

In order to demonstrate the true nature of this professor’s racism, I suggested the student spend a few days emulating his professor’s conduct. He could start in the very class where he heard the “I’m actually embarrassed to be white” remark. Here are some specific suggestions I gave to the skinny white boy:

When a white person comes into class late, tell him “You make me embarrassed to be white.”

When a white person’s cell phone goes off in class, tell him “You make me embarrassed to be white.”

When a white person says something dumb in class, tell him “You make me embarrassed to be white.”

And, finally, when his white professor says “You know … I’m actually embarrassed to be white” say “You know … I’m actually embarrassed you’re white, too. For once, we agree on something.”

Try this yourself and see how long it takes for the nearest black person to realize that you have higher expectations for white people simply because of the color of their skin. Since this places you at risk of being labeled a white supremacist, or getting your skinny white ass kicked, I will do the following (so I cannot be accused of personal cowardice):

When I see the Director of Diversity at UNCW, I will say that Dog Chapman “Sure makes me embarrassed to be white. I wish he was black. Then I wouldn’t be embarrassed because whites and blacks are not members of the same race.”

When I see our token black political scientist at UNCW, I will say that “Senator Joe from Delaware makes me embarrassed to be white. He’s pretty inarticulate for a white guy.”

When I see the Chancellor of UNCW, I will tell her that her decision to put herself in an ad in the otherwise all-black “Black Pages” - a version of the “White Pages” meant to advertise black owned businesses - “makes me embarrassed to be white.” She’ll understand what I mean because she’s already trying desperately to be black.

Finally, I’ll go to the next all black faculty meeting and introduce myself to black faculty saying “I thank God that none of you are white. This segregation thing has been a terrible embarrassment to my great race. But you people go right ahead.”

Then, after I’m done apologizing for all the dumb things white people do, I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon at the tanning bed.

But, of course, this business of trying to walk out on the white race is surely not the white thing to do (Oops! I mean the right thing to do). Instead of having enlightened “liberals” - like the skinny white boy’s professor - leave the white race we could declare certain whites to be “in-authentically white.” Let me explain.

For years on our campuses, blacks who do not agree with affirmative action – or any other mainstream “liberal” policies – have been labeled “in-authentically black.” By dubbing blacks “in-authentic” for other reasons - being too educated, too grammatically correct, or too family-oriented – “liberals” have half-succeeded in fulfilling their dream of white supremacy in the name of “diversity” and “tolerance.”

Now, by purging the white race of all of those who do not live up to the “liberal” ideals of white moral superiority, we can create a truly enlightened master race. Sound confusing and ridiculous? Welcome to UNCW (The University of Non-Caucasian Wannabes).

People at the Office of Campus Diversity tell me I need to learn to be more tolerant – especially of white “liberals” with a superior vision of the way things ought to be. But I just can’t tolerate white supremacy. I could tolerate a black supremacist. But I expect so much more from white people.


UK Doc Advises Practicing Catholic OB-GYNs in Britain to 'Emigrate'

 Practicing obstetrics and gynecology as a faithful Catholic in Britain “would be the equivalent of trying to be a Catholic brothel owner,” says Dr. Charles O’Donnell, a consultant in emergency and intensive care medicine at Whipps Cross Hospital in London,

“I have yet to meet  a person who has successfully navigated the training program in obstetrics and gynecology and stayed true to the Magisterium [of the Catholic Church],” O’Donnell told CNSNews.com.

Speaking at a May 17 Catholic Medical Association (UK) conference on “Conscience and the NHS,” he reportedly told attendees during his speech on "Dealing with conscience, how is it done?" that emigration is the only option for a Catholic OB-GYN in Britain who wants to adhere to the tenets of his or her faith while practicing medicine.

The problem, O’Donnell told CNSNews.com, is neither inadequate conscience protection nor religious discrimination.

Britain’s Abortion Act of 1967 states that “no person shall be under any duty, whether by contract or by any statutory or other legal requirement” to perform an abortion, though this does not “affect any duty to participate in treatment which is necessary to save the life or to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of a pregnant woman.”

However, according to an article in the Catholic Medical Quarterly, “life may be made difficult for [conscientious objectors] by means of embarrassment, intimidation, threats of bad references, discrimination at appointment and the occasional dismissal.”

“It’s to do with service commitment,” O’Donnell told CNSNews.com.

"Once you've reached beyond the very junior points of training in the United Kingdom... one is left in a position where one cannot provide the service, because so much of the service involves issues that would actually conflict with the predominant secular view, so therefore would be the equivalent of you know, trying to be a Catholic brothel owner, let's say.

"You could certainly provide, you know, ensure the women were kept nice and warm and healthy, that they had food and health care, but you couldn't provide the principle service, and the principle service is of course something that would conflict with our moral views," he said.

"This is nothing about about discrimination against Catholics," he continued. "This has to do with fundamentally the difference between discrimination and legitimate distinction."

According to the Family Planning Association, 76 percent of British women between the ages of 18 and 49 were using some form of contraception in 2006-07. According to the UK Department of Health, abortions more than doubled in the UK between 1970 and 2012.

“The vast majority of people... sincerely believe this is in their best interests and consequently....no employer can actually employ you and give you a salary for not providing the service that most people think is in their interest,” O’Donnell said.

But where should a Catholic physician go? O’Donnell suggests “the private hospitals in the United States that are Catholic and stay true to the teachings of the Magisterium [or] the private hospitals in Spain - particularly in Navarre.”

However, Dr. Lester Ruppersberger, vice president of the Catholic Medical Association (US), told CNSNews.com that the United States faces “similar problems,” and that Catholic practioners “have an uphill battle in facing and dealing with their patients.”

He pointed to the “recent ACA [Affordable Care Act] from the government... the mandates for contraception, and... ethical guidelines that have been released by the American College of OB-GYNs to take away conscience rights of Catholic physicians.”

He also noted the problem that “85 percent of Catholics contracept,” leaving a Catholic practitioner with “maybe 15 percent of the population” as potential  patients.

However, Dr. Ruppersberger does not believe that these problems necessitate emigration. “I think that you need to stay where you are and be whatever light that you can be in the culture of darkness, to bring what is authentic women’s healthcare and make it available to women,” he said.

The Faculty of Reproductive and Sexual Healthcare (FRSH) in the UK, a branch of the Royal College of Gynecologists (RCOG), stated in February that “clinicians who hold moral or religious reservations about any contraceptive methods will be unable to fulfill the syllabus... this will render them ineligible for the award of the examination or completion of training certificates.” Furthermore, “failure to complete the syllabus renders candidates ineligible for the reward of a FRSH diploma.”

The Catholic Medical Association (UK) expressed “grave concern” about this decision, stating that it “discriminates against doctors” and calling upon the RCOG “to be more inclusive in its curricula and to accept the variety of beliefs around the ethics” of contraception.

For O’Donnell, the problem is ultimately rooted in people’s secular beliefs. “It’s a matter of changing the culture,” he told CNSNews.com. “At this point in history, that’s the situation.”

But he is optimistic that this can be accomplished. “As Catholics...we’re on the winning side,” he said. “Christ will triumph.”


Historic churches are turning into giant 'bat barns' forcing vicars to 'shake faeces out of their hair at the altar', claims Tory peer

Britain's churches are at risk of turning into giant 'bat barns', a Tory peer has warned.  Lord Cormack said the flying animals were a 'terrible problem' for parishes - with the smell and mess of bat droppings proving an 'intolerable burden' for vicars.

The former Tory MP said he had been told of one occasion when a vicar had to 'shake bat faeces out of her hair while celebrating holy communion at the altar'.

He said bats were a 'menace' to churches and it was time for a fightback against nature lovers.

Tory peer Lord Ahmad, speaking for the Government, said there was a 'bat helpline' to give free advice on helping churches deal with the problem.

But Lord Cormack said: 'The impression is that bats matter much more than the worshipping community and this is exacerbated by the fact Natural England abrogated responsibility to the Bat Conservation Trust, who are quite legitimately a pressure group.'

He added: 'This is a subject that is not sufficiently aired but it really is a very true danger.

'If this debate achieved only one thing - a better balance between the demands of English Nature and the needs of English Heritage - I would be well content.'

The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, said there had been a lot of meetings with Natural England and the Government on the problem of bats and there had been some positive developments.

But he added: 'It is always odd to me that our parish churches seem to be treated much more as barns than as houses.

'They are places where people gather and to eat - not just the sacrament of holy communion but more socially as well - and I doubt any other eating place would be allowed to be so unhygienic.'

Musical impresario Lord Lloyd-Webber urged the Government to set up a national heritage memorial fund to protect and promote works of art in parish churches.

The Conservative peer said: 'We have to fight passionately for the future of our parish churches.'

He warned that protecting works of art like stained glass windows was beyond the means of some churches and suggested a fund should be created to do the job.

Lord Lloyd-Webber said anything that people could do to further the use of churches as the centre of communities had to be good.

'We should have Wi-Fi in churches,' he added.  'If we have Wi-Fi you could have an app and that app could say look this is what this building is about.'

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, replying to the debate for the Government, said: 'Most medieval churches will have bats and it seems that Norfolk churches seem to have particular problems in this respect.

'Historical buildings, especially churches, play an important role in helping to protect the conservation and status of native bats.

'In a changing landscape churches can represent one of the few remaining constant resources for bats, thus giving them a disproportionate significance for the maintenance of bat populations.'



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

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

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


17 June, 2014

British police not interested in catching black monster

Lack of empathy is common among Africans

Lying on the ground in agony after a motorbike accident, former RAF pilot Craig Stevens was understandably relieved when a Good Samaritan stopped by his side.

But to his horror, instead of attending to the blood pouring from his leg, the man began to search through his pockets.

Vulnerable, terrified and in excruciating pain, Mr Stevens pleaded with the stranger to stop – but to no avail.

‘I cannot believe that someone could do that to me, when I was so helpless and in need,’ the 51-year-old said from his hospital bed.

‘I could feel his hands going through all of my pockets, I couldn’t move. I was trapped, in pain and heavily bleeding. I was pleading with him to stop, to help me instead of stealing from me but he carried on. I feel angry. I feel violated.’

Mr Stevens, who served in the Gulf War, was injured as he went to fill his motorbike with petrol ready for a charity ride with the Royal British Legion.

His arm was broken and his leg cut down to the bone – a critical injury due to the blood-thinning medication he takes for leukaemia, which he was diagnosed with three years ago.

Following the accident in Hayes, West London, last week, the former RAF corporal has undergone two major operations and a skin graft on his leg, and remains in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.

However Mr Stevens, from Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex, said he also feels betrayed by the police, who he says told him they would not investigate the theft.

‘The man who did this is still out there,’ he said. ‘The police said they would only investigate the accident and not the robbery – that is not their choice to make. I am a victim of crime, he might have only taken the £40 I had in cash, but that is not the point. I want the police to do something.’

After his ordeal, an off-duty nurse came to his aid and dialled 999.

Mr Stevens, left, served with the RAF for nine years and is pictured in a glider in 1989. Now he is in hospital recovering from two major operations and a skin graft on his leg

His girlfriend Nita Maisuria, 35, has stayed by his side in hospital. She said: ‘This is the last thing you expect to happen in England.

‘I am appalled that people like this exist and that when Craig needed help, someone acted in such a disgusting way.’

Mr Stevens – who has a 17-year-old daughter from a previous marriage – served with the RAF for nine years before joining Air Canada as an engineer.

Since his cancer diagnosis he has become an active member of the Royal British Legion and now helps to organise fundraising motorcycle rides, which he joins on his beloved Triumph Bonneville.

The accident happened on Uxbridge Road in Hayes at 2:30pm on Saturday, June 7. Mr Stevens describes his attacker as black, around 5ft 6in tall, in his 40s and wearing a trilby hat.

After being contacted by the Daily Mail, police officers visited Mr Stevens in hospital to take a statement regarding the robbery.


Be careful what you wish for: bans and censorship tend to bite the hand that voted for them

Comment from Australia

Freedom is a bit like one of those pesky irregular verbs. I ­deserve liberty; you deserve a balance of rights and responsibilities; that bloke ought to be locked up. I am a rational autonomous adult; you are subject to external influence; that bloke doesn’t know what’s good for him.

When we seek to ban things, this problem arises acutely. I know when I’ve had enough to drink; you should probably slow down; that bloke can’t be served a neat spirit after midnight, drink from glass, have full strength beer at the footy or buy a round for his mates.

When bans are proposed, be they on pornography, swearing, drug use or the characterisation of certain kinds of people based on race, it’s easy to kid ourselves that any rules we make are for that third group of people. These are not people we usually know by name, they are the abstract theoretical people whom we imagine ­really do need to be told how to ­behave. Bans tend to bite the hand that voted for them.

In 1955 the NSW, South Australian and Victorian governments took action to ban comic books, generally blamed for corrupting the morals of the young. Publications were deemed ­obscene if they “unduly emphasised matters of sex, crimes of violence, gross cruelty or horror”.

Edward Massey, a director of the Institute of Political Science, wrote at the time that these conditions would exclude half the works of Shakespeare.

He further noted there was, “as far as I am aware, no evidence that the reading of books has ever led anyone into a life of crime”.

Few books are censored now and the censoring of literature is properly regarded as philistine. But culture more broadly is still censored and there is still a worthy fight to be had defending artists from the gag.

Earlier this year, ArtsHub reported that a line from Jonathan Biggins’ new play had been cut following complaints on opening night. Reports don’t specify the ­offensive content but indicate it was a joke whose punch line was “Campbell Newman”.

Whatever one thinks of Newman, the restriction of Biggins’ imaginary citizen’s freedom to say what he pleased about the Queensland Premier should have been anathema to any political ­descendant of Mill, Locke or Milton.

In the visual arts, leading artists Paul Yore and Bill Henson have been subjected to charges for works depicting children in ways deemed pornographic by police. In both cases, while you might argue for an eternity about the worth of the art, this stretched credulity and in neither case were any children exploited.

The impact of the Henson case was such that in 2011, a work by ­Archibald Prize winner Del Katherine Barton which depicted a shirtless boy was subject to a similar complaint that saw a $200,000 charity auction cancelled.

In the world of television, comedian Dan Ilic’s commercial for Dick Smith, featuring the cheekily laboured innuendo “I like Dick” was refused broadcast. “Apparently” said Smith, “you can’t have lovely old ladies saying ‘dick’. I’m angry. I don’t like this being censored when it’s just good fun.”

Good fun also leads to trouble on radio where the biggest category of complaints is bad language, which has made airplay especially difficult for hip hop, an important cultural outlet for young people. And heaven help the kids who sing along with a rude pop tune: Australian laws against offensive conduct generally stipulate that a person who, “sings an obscene song or ballad” near a school, “shall be guilty of an offence”.

Which also means that kids sharing the songs I learned in the schoolyard about sailors going to see, see, see and that limerick-loving man from Newcastle would all be in breach of the law. A defence can be made that the swearer had a reasonable excuse. Sadly for most school kids, the excuses don’t ­include making your mates laugh.

While a well-placed swear can add sizzle to a pop song, it’s half the steak for many comedians.

Black humour, bad language, and irreverence are stock in trade. Consequently offence is never far away, but if comedians worried too much about it they wouldn’t be very funny. As Ben Pjobe wrote in Meanjin last year: “Everyone has a perfect right to take offence at anything, and I’ll defend that right, but nobody has a God-given right to go through life without being offended.”

I don’t need and certainly don’t demand the freedom to be a racist. But I do want freedom of ­expression for a lot of people who are often deemed offensive. I struggle to see how one kind of free speech isn’t materially affected by the progress or regress of another.


Gov. Perry: ‘I Look at the Homosexual Issue the Same Way’ as the ‘Alcoholic’ Issue

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he views homosexual behavior the same way he views alcoholic behavior, in that a person may be inclined to behave a certain way because of their genetic makeup but they also “have the ability not to do that.”

It is a view he also expressed in his 2008 book on the Boy Scouts, On My Honor,  defending them against the attacks of gay and liberal activists.

“Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that," Perry said on Wednesday at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco.

"I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic," he said, "but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way."

Perry expressed a similar view in his 2008 book, On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For, which examined how liberal groups and gay activists had attacked the Boy Scouts since 1976 to change its policies on membership.

In the book, Perry says, “Though I am no expert on the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate, I can sympathize with those who believe sexual preference is genetic. It may be so, but it remains unproved. Even if it were, this does not mean we are ultimately not responsible for the active choices we make.”

“Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink,” said Perry. “And, even if someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, he or she still makes a choice to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same gender.”

Perry went on to explain that this does not mean people should condemn those who engage in homosexual behavior, for their lives are just as valuable in the eyes of God as anyone else’s life. But freedom to engage in homosexual behavior does not mean that millions of Americans have to accept, or “normalize” that behavior in society.

“A loving, tolerant view toward those who have a different sexual preference is the ideal position – for both the heterosexual and the homosexual,” said Perry.  “I do not believe in condemning homosexuals that I know personally. I believe in valuing their lives like any others, as our God in Heaven does.”

“Tolerance, however, should not only be asked of the proponents of traditional values,” the governor said. “The radical homosexual movement seeks societal normalization of their sexual activity. I respect their right to engage in the individual behavior of their choosing, but they must respect the rights of millions in society to refuse to normalize their behavior.”

Rick Perry is the 47th governor of Texas. He is a Republican but prior to 1989 he was a Democrat. Perry, as a young man, earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, and the BSA honored him with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.


Can we "coexist" with Muslims?

Only when we keep the upper hand

When symbols on the “coexist” bumpersticker come to represent people who would rather you not exist, then it’s time to rethink koexistieren, coesistere, and coexistir. The word, in any tongue, implies live and let live — not live and let murder me.

One can forgive Europeans for growing a bit squeamish about the influx of Muslims. The near hacking off of a soldier’s head with a meat cleaver last year, and the periodic bombings of train-station commuters, tend to shake even the most zealous secularist of a blind faith in tolerance.

The questioning of that rote tolerance, rather than the arrival of intolerant newcomers, shakes Olivier Roy. “The European right is advocating a Christian identity for Europe not because it wants to promote Christianity but because it wants to push back against Islam and the integration of Muslims — or what the National Front calls ‘the Islamization of Europe,’” the political scientist writes at the New York Times. One might reverse the thought to say that the European Left embracing Islam isn’t because it particularly cares for the religion but because it wants to score political points against the Right — and score a new constituency.

The Right’s push back, according to Roy, is an act of bad faith. “Even as the right moves away from the basic values of the Catholic Church and many Protestant denominations,” he writes, “it clamors that Europe is fundamentally Christian.”

Surely travelers to Poland or Ireland might think it still; England or the Czech Republic — not so much. While one faith lags, another explodes through immigration and, in some cases, conversion. Muslims now constitute one in ten Frenchmen. Muhammad, in its various spellings, reigns as the most popular name for boys born in Britain.

Immigrating to an Islamic Republic without ever moving, say, from your East London neighborhood has naturally jarred some locals, albeit not in the extreme way that the sight of a cross or a Bible jars denizens of various Middle Eastern nations. Qatar, a “moderate” Arab state readying for an influx of European tourists in the next decade because of the 2022 World Cup, recently made headlines in its “Reflect Your Respect” placards informing visitors of the illicit status of tank tops, shorts, leggings, and knee-high skirts (the sign is silent on assless chaps).

Is the French entreaty for Muslim women to unmask really as pushy as this? 

“Christendom” once worked as a synonym for Europe. The Queen of England calls herself the “Defender of the Faith.” The flags of Europe, almost to a country, betray symbols of the trinity or Christ. The Scandinavian countries, for instance, all bear a cross on their national standards. The British, not to be outdone, boast two Christian symbols, St. George’s cross and St. Andrew’s cross, on their Union Jack.

Rudyard Kipling, whose imperialist faith unintentionally made a colony of London, famously asked: “What should they know of England who only England know?” Now that Englishmen know Pakistanis, Ghanaians, Turks, and much of the world as fellow countrymen, they know enough not to call themselves Englishmen — the more inclusive “Brits” overwhelms in usage. If it’s okay for Qatar to compel visitors to adopt their folkways, why is it racist for Europeans to expect permanent residents to respect the local traditions?

“Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pupils might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Muhammad,” Gibbon imagined had Charles Martel lost at Tours. “From such calamities was Christendom delivered by the genius and fortune of one man.”

Europe knew what it was defending in 732. Nearly thirteen centuries later, Europe’s defenders find themselves deemed offensive by the likes of Olivier Roy. At the very least, the current challenge has Europeans thinking what it means to be a European.



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

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

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


16 June, 2014

Be more British PM tells UK Muslims: PM issues powerful new pledge to combat extremism

Muslim clerics in the UK who inflame terrorism by denouncing free speech, equality and democracy will be opposed in a ‘muscular’ new defence of ‘British values’, David Cameron has pledged.

In a powerful intervention clearly aimed mainly at ‘preachers of hate’, the Prime Minister says the failure to stand up to such firebrands has ‘allowed extremism – both the violent and non-violent kind – to flourish’.

He plans to use the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta – 12 months from today – to reassert British values in a ‘Magna Carta for Modern Britain.’

It is time to stop being ‘squeamish about Britishness’ and tell everyone who lives here that refusing to accept British laws and the British way of life is ‘not an option’, Mr Cameron argues.

The Prime Minister will emphasise the commitment by insisting that Magna Carta becomes part of the school curriculum.

Downing Street stressed the Prime Minister’s comments, which come in an article in today’s Mail on Sunday, are aimed at all sections of the community, not just Muslims. However, they appear to signal a key change in the stance of successive recent governments, Tory  and Labour, on this sensitive issue.

They have faced claims that some unrepresentative ethnic minority leaders have been given free rein to promote extremist views – and trample on UK laws and rights  on democracy, women’s equality, religious freedom and tolerance.

Mr Cameron’s initiative is a direct response to the ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal of Islamist extremists who infiltrated state schools.

School inspectors said that at some Muslim-dominated schools in Birmingham, pupils were taught that white women were ‘prostitutes’, boys and girls were segregated, Christmas events were scrapped, tombolas were banned as ‘non-Islamic’ and children in biology lessons were told that  evolution was untrue.

The dispute convinced Mr Cameron that it was time to lead a fightback on behalf of British values.

In addition, there are growing fears that radical preachers are encouraging young British Muslims to join terrorists fighting to bring down the democratically elected government of Iraq. 

And it is alleged radical clerics have tried to establish ‘Sharia  Law Zones’ in some British cities with bans on gambling, music and alcohol.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has announced plans to teach British values in schools, but Mr Cameron wants to go further.

‘It isn’t enough simply to respect these values in schools,’ he says. ‘They’re not optional; they’re the core of what it is to live in Britain.

‘In recent years we have been in danger of sending out a worrying message: that if you don’t want to believe in democracy, that’s fine; that if equality isn’t your bag, don’t worry about it; that if you’re completely intolerant of others, we will still tolerate you,’ he writes.

‘This has not just led to division, it has also allowed extremism – of both the violent and non-violent kind – to flourish. We need to be  far more muscular in promoting British values and the institutions that uphold them.

‘A genuinely liberal country believes in certain values, actively promotes them and says to its citizens: this is what defines us as a society.’

Mr Cameron says Britain’s ‘belief in freedom, tolerance of others, accepting personal and social responsibility, respecting and upholding the rule of law’ are vital and ‘as British as the Union Flag, football and fish and chips.’

Such freedoms did not ‘come from thin air’ – and will not be surrendered, he declares.

‘Our values and respect for the history that helped deliver them and the institutions that uphold them form the bedrock of Britishness.

We should not be squeamish about our achievements, or bashful about our Britishness.

‘We should be proud of what Britain has done to defend freedom and develop these institutions – Parliamentary democracy, a free press, the rule of law – that are  so essential all over the world.’

He added that it was essential for economic and social reasons, and that the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta was an ideal time to restate British freedoms – and make it clear everyone had to respect them.

Mr Cameron will also be holding a ‘one year to go’ Magna Carta reception at Downing Street tomorrow.


Revealed suspects in secret terrorism trial: Victory for free Press as court rejects plan to keep British public in the dark

Two terror suspects can now be named for the first time after the Court of Appeal rejected chilling plans to hold Britain’s first secret trial.

Top judges said they were ‘gravely concerned’ that prosecutors wanted to try the men anonymously and behind closed doors.

They went on to say that it was ‘difficult to conceive of a situation’ where the departures from the principle of open  justice could ever be justified, although the ‘core’ of the Old Bailey trial will still be held temporarily in secret to protect national security.

The decision represents a victory for open justice and comes after the Daily Mail and other media groups fought to have the draconian restrictions lifted.

The two defendants can now be named as Erol Incedal, a British national of Turkish origin, and Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, a  British national of Algerian origin.

The pair, both 26, were arrested by Metropolitan Police firearms officers in October. They are due to go on trial as soon as next week accused of serious terrorist offences.

Incedal, who has links to London and was born overseas, is accused of ‘engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts’, which  carries a potential life sentence.

He and Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, of London, are accused of possessing terrorist documents, including a file named ‘bomb making’ hidden on their mobile phones.

Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, who has described himself as a ‘fun-loving’ person online, faces a fourth charge under immigration laws of improperly obtaining a British passport.

The former ‘team leader’ for a charity housing association worked with vulnerable adults after graduating with a second-class degree in economics, and is listed as a joint director of a firm which appears to sell mobile phone software.

Last week the Daily Mail and other media groups argued that to hold a trial in secret would be a ‘totally unprecedented departure from the principles of open justice’.

The Mail has long campaigned to expose the risk to democracy and openness from secret courts and there has been controversy around closed family courts, super-injunctions and civil cases involving national security.

After a week of deliberation, Lord Justice Gross rowed back on the original decision of the trial judge and underlined the importance of open courts. Giving his ruling at the Court of Appeal, he said open justice is a ‘hallmark and a safeguard’ of the rule of law.

He added that only the ‘minimum departure’ from the principle should be considered, even in the most serious cases.
A spokesman for the Attorney General Dominic Grieve said holding the trial behind closed doors was necessary to protect national security

A spokesman for the Attorney General Dominic Grieve said holding the trial behind closed doors was necessary to protect national security

But he said holding the ‘core’ of the terror trial temporarily in secret is justified in the ‘exceptional’ case for unknown national security reasons because the desire for all hearings to be open must give way to the ‘yet more fundamental principle’ that courts must ‘do justice’.

Sitting with two other judges, Lord Justice Gross went on to say: ‘We express grave concern as to the cumulative effects of holding a criminal trial in camera [behind closed doors]and anonymising the defendants.We find it difficult to conceive of a situation where both departures from open justice will be justified.’

Parts of the trial, including the swearing-in of the jury, charges, part of the prosecution opening, verdicts and – if appropriate – sentence will now be held in public.

In an unusual move, journalists will also be allowed to listen to most of the proceedings, but will not be allowed to report them until a later date. The reporters will sign confidentiality agreements and must leave their notes in the courtroom every day. They face ‘severe sanctions’ if information leaks out.

The judges made it clear that full details of the trial could possibly be published in the future, a decision that they will have to review at the end of proceedings.

Sadiq Khan, Labour’s justice spokesman, said the ruling has shown that a complete ‘cloak of secrecy’ is not acceptable.

But last night Tory MP Dominic Raab said MPs should still debate the bid to hold the majority of the terror trial in secret. He said the State could ‘hand-pick’ who covers the trial and make sure that existing powers were used to protect sensitive information.

Liberty spokesman Isabella  Sankey said: ‘The judges are clear that open justice is a priceless foundation of our system and faced with a blacked-out trial we now have a few vital chinks of light.

‘But their wholesale deference to these vague and secret ministerial “national security” claims is  worrying. Shutting the door on the core of a criminal trial is a dangerous departure from our democratic tradition.’


How a Dad’s Involvement Can Change His Children’s Future

Children with involved fathers are more likely to graduate from college—particularly among middle- and upper-income families but also among those from lower-income backgrounds, a recent study found.

According to this new research by Brad Wilcox at the University of Virginia, the family structure that best promotes this involvement is a married, intact family. This is the case for youth from lower-educated homes as well as those from more highly educated homes.

Wilcox also found fathers are more involved with their children today than they have been in the past. The amount of time fathers spend with their children each week has increased from 4.2 hours on average in 1995 to 7.3 hours on average in 2011. The down side is that fewer teens live in intact families, particularly teens from working-class and lower-income homes.

On the other hand, their peers from college-educated homes are “triply advantaged,” according to Wilcox: “They typically enjoy more economic resources, an intact family, and an involved father.”

The question then is, how to keep youth connected with their fathers, or, as Wilcox puts it, how to “bridge the fatherhood divide between children from college-educated and less-educated families.”

Increasing the odds that more children are raised in homes with their married mother and father is a crucial factor in the equation.

Today, more than  40 percent of children are born to unwed mothers. Among lower- and moderately educated (high school diploma or less) households, the number is much higher. Taking this factor into account along with the high rate of divorce, 55 percent of children are expected to spend some time outside of an intact-parent family before they reach their 18th birthday.

Despite the trends, accepting the decline of marriage is not the answer. Marriage is critical to helping children succeed, as Wilcox’s research and a multitude of other studies attest. Marriage is the foundation of a strong society, helping men, women and children thrive.

Some communities are taking action. In his recent book, Brigham Young University professor Alan Hawkins describes a plan for helping individuals and couples build and maintain lasting, healthy marriages. As I wrote last month in Public Discourse, Hawkins makes the case that preparing for and maintaining a healthy marriage is a lifelong endeavor. His strategy includes relationship and marriage education throughout different stages of life: from helping youth in high school learn how to build healthy relationships that will prepare them for marriage down the road, to helping couples in crisis salvage their marriage if possible.

Hawkins points to examples of schools, communities and states that have taken important steps to providing opportunities to build and strengthen marriages.

For example, he points to high schools in Alabama that have taught “relationship literacy education” classes. Students who participated in these classes had more realistic attitudes about marriage and better conflict-management skills a year after participating, compared to their peers who didn’t participate. More than half of the students came from low-income households.

Additionally, First Things First in Chattanooga, Tenn., runs a “community healthy marriage initiative.” First Things First provides marriage education courses, operates public advertising campaigns about the importance of marriage and sponsors events for couples and families. They report that their efforts have reduced divorce rates in their community by nearly 30 percent (although a more rigorous evaluation is needed).

Finally, Utah and Oklahoma have taken the lead on marriage initiatives by providing marriage and relationship education to couples.

There are promising examples, yet far more is needed. As Hawkins points out, the United States must renew a culture of marriage if real change is to take place. Leaders at every level need to promote the culture of marriage.

A restoration of marriage in the United States will ensure more children have the opportunity to thrive, not only academically but when it comes to their physical and emotional health, as well as their own relationship success. Ultimately, it will mean providing a culture that gives Americans the greatest likelihood to succeed in achieving their dreams.


OIC Demands Czech President Apologize for Condemning Islamic Anti-Semitism, but He has the Perfect Comeback

Czech President Milos Zeman gave an amazing speech condemning Islamic anti-Semitism:

“I am not reassured by the claims that this is the work of only a small fringe group. Quite the contrary. I believe that xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism stems from the essential ideology that these fanatical groups are based on.

“And let me provide a proof of this assertion in a quote from one of its sacred texts. ‘The Jews will hide behind stones and trees. Then the tree will call out, ‘A Jew hides behind me, come and kill him.’ The stone will call out, ‘A Jew hides behind me, come and kill him.’"

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation was none too happy with the Czech president:

"The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Iyad Ameen Madani, stated that the Czech President’s recent statements on Islam are in line with the previous statements the President made in the past, where he linked “believers in the Quran with anti-Semitic and racist Nazis”; and that “the enemy is anti civilization spreading from North Africa to Indonesia, where two billion people live”.

Despite over a thousand years of Muslim ethnic cleansing and persecution of Jews, Madani claimed that anti-Semitism was a European phenomenon.  Apparently the Europeans wrote the Koran and the Hadiths.

Madani called the Czech president “Islamophobic” and said that “Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance” -- as the current events in Iraq remind us.

Mr. Madani urged the international community to take strong and collective measures to promote peace, harmony and tolerant co-habitation among peoples of diverse religious faiths, beliefs, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Madani comes from Saudi Arabia where no churches or synagogues may be built. Where non-Muslims are forbidden from entering Mecca.

“It is only appropriate that President Mil?s Zeman apologizes to the millions of Muslims worldwide for his deeply offensive and hateful anti Islam statements,” the OIC press release said.

Zeman however declined the offer.  To quote his spokesperson Ji?í Ov?á?ek:

“President Zeman definitely does not intend to apologise. For the president would consider it blasphemy to apologise for the quotation of a sacred Islamic text.”



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

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

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


15 June, 2014

Angry villagers warn of riots unless police act on Gypsies: Residents say they will take law into their own hands if authorities do not take action over anti-social behaviour

Angry villagers yesterday said riots could break out if police do not deal with hundreds of Roma immigrants who they claim have ruined their community.  Residents of Hexthorpe, South Yorkshire, said people would take the law into their own hands unless the authorities step in to combat anti-social behaviour.

At a public meeting yesterday, emotions ran high as 120 locals confronted police and council officials.

Hexthorpe has a population of 3,300 and 500 Roma residents, most of whom are said to have arrived since January when entry rules to the UK were relaxed.

Villagers claim Roma groups are fly-tipping and leaving litter in the streets. They say they make so much noise at night that elderly residents have to sleep with ear plugs, while others are scared to go outside.

Paul Adams, 44, who works in advertising, said: ‘They don’t care about the village or our community. All they are here for is the benefits.

‘They are here to play the system. They are loud, aggressive and intimidating. They gather in groups in the park and on the streets. They’ve attacked people, threatened people. People are intimidated just leaving the house.

‘They throw rubbish everywhere, literally out of their windows into their garden, in the knowledge someone from the council will have to clear it up. It is degrading for the street cleaners to have to be treated that way. What these people need is educating in how to be part of the community.’

He said the problems had hit local house prices too warning: ‘It will come to a point where blood will be spilt if things don’t improve.’ 

Grandmother Elizabeth Boardman, a widow and former lollipop lady, said she had lived in the village for 30 years and was shocked by the sudden change.

She said: ‘Now I wouldn’t walk down the road on my own because there are groups of them everywhere. I’m scared to pass them, they make me feel intimidated and shaken.  'I try to ignore them but you get scared they are going to hit out at you. 

Her daughter, mother-of-four, Michele Boardman, 44, who is a full time carer to a disabled son said: ‘A Roma man threatened to kill my daughters and was holding a knife as they walked home one night.  'The police haven’t taken statements yet and the incident happened in April. They don’t care.

‘We just want to be able to provide a happy and safe environment to pass onto our children and the future generations. The kids can’t understand why they can’t go and play in the park any more. It’s just not safe for them.

‘The police need to be firmer with them and act now or there will be riots here like there were eight years ago when Iraqi, Kosovans and English clashed. These people need to learn to respect the area they live in and the people they are living with.’

One angry resident told the police officers at the meeting: ‘We feel as though you are scared of them and it’s to hell with the British. We’ve lost faith in you. This is our village, it’s time you got off your backsides and start doing something.’

Another resident said she had been warned to take down England flags she had put up outside her house for the World Cup bid, for fear of reprisals from the Roma community.

A specialist community police team has been drafted in to prevent clashes between hundreds of Roma Slovak migrants and local residents upset at their ‘anti-social behaviour’ in the Page Hall area of Sheffield.

A package of measures has been introduced in a bid to calm tension and the police team is being taught their language to engage with the migrants directly rather than work through interpreters.

They are patrolling the streets seven days a week and have a permanent base in the area. The South Yorkshire Police team has been tasked with helping agencies resolve issues and problems.

Inspector Chris Lewis, who is in charge of the team, said: ‘Everything is about raising standards - improving housing, cleaning up the streets, creating more open space, providing more recreational opportunities - helping people to take pride in the area.’

Last year local Labour MP David Blunkett warned that tensions between residents and Roma migrants could escalate into violence if the problem wasn’t tackled effectively.


The 'Transgender Tipping Point' to Censorship

Now that our cultural elites feel they have sufficiently educated the public on the virtues of gays and lesbians, it's time to drill down to the next level. Here comes transgenderism.

Time magazine placed "Orange Is the New Black" star Laverne Cox (born Charles Cox) on the cover as the face of "The Transgender Tipping Point: America's Next Civil Rights Frontier."

Cox wrote on Facebook that the Time cover was a wonderful present on her birthday, and "I realize this is way bigger than me and about a tipping point in our nation's history where it is no longer acceptable for trans lives to be stigmatized, ridiculed, criminalized and disregarded."

Beware of the words "tipping point." That means Americans will no longer be allowed to express dissent, moral or otherwise, about the choice to discard the oppressive "gender binary" and be whichever blend of genders you choose. Disagree, and you "stigmatize" and "dehumanize" people. You deny them "civil rights." You "criminalize" the innocent.

Washington Post culture blogger Alyssa Rosenberg celebrated this just like Time's helpful 1997 "Yep, I'm Gay" cover for Ellen DeGeneres. "Cox is helping viewers connect a set of issues that might have been abstract to them with the lived experience of someone they admire."

Or as NPR reporter Neda Ulaby instructed in a glowing profile of Cox, her women's-prison drama "'Orange Is the New Black' has won a Peabody for illuminating people too-often dehumanized by their incarceration or their perceived gender difference."

Once again, the show laughably calling itself "All Things Considered" kept its LGBT propaganda unfettered by any consideration of a socially conservative critique.

In response to Time magazine, National Review's Kevin Williamson wrote a column with the apparently inflammatory title "Laverne Cox Is Not a Woman."

Not only did Williamson strike a blow for reality, he dared to write, "The mass delusion that we are inculcating on the question of transgendered people ... would impose on society at large an obligation — possibly a legal obligation under civil-rights law, one that already is emerging — to treat delusion as fact, or at the very least to agree to make subjective impressions superordinate to biological fact in matters both public and private."

The Chicago Sun-Times reprinted this, and then the censorship group with the Orwellian name GLAAD cranked up its outrage. The intolerants forced the Sun-Times to banish the article from its website and confess obsequiously, "Upon further consideration, we concluded the essay did not include some key facts and its overall tone was not consistent with what we seek to publish."

GLAAD's chief whip-cracker Sarah Kate Ellis insisted that stating Cox was not a woman was "ugly and insulting propaganda," and "dangerous to readers' understanding of who transgender people are." Biologically sound dissent is not to be allowed. "These harmful messages about the validity of transgender identity have no place in a credible mainstream publication."

For the full nuttiness of today's gender-bending left, consider GLAAD's conclusion: "Kevin D. Williamson is not the arbiter of who is a woman, nor is the Chicago Sun-Times. It is beneath any reputable national journalistic outlet to reprint such dangerous and false rhetoric."

Don't look at your genitals. Truth is falsehood, and falsehood truth.

GLAAD also forced the firing of a Rochester, New York, radio-show duo who mocked that city's decision to use tax dollars to fund "gender reassignment surgery" for its transgender bureaucrats. The station owners at Entercom Communications apologized profusely: "Their hateful comments against the transgender community do not represent our station or our company."

GLAAD is rising, and freedom of speech in America is dying. Everyone must promote only the glorious fluidity of gender narrative.


The Neuer Affair

In the past few weeks, Hillel Neuer, the executive director of the watchdog organization UNWatch, has become the persona non grata at the recently overhauled UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. At the Council’s fourth session in late March, Neuer delivered a speech that so infuriated Council President Luis Alfonso de Alba that it was stricken from the official UN record. What could Neuer have said to provoke such censure?

Beginning his speech by invoking the legacy of the Human Rights Commission’s founders, a group of five that included Eleanor Roosevelt and Réné Cassin, Neuer asked what had become of “their noble dream.” Three minutes later he delivered the verdict: “With terrible lies and moral inversion, it is being turned into a nightmare.”

In an all-but-extinct display of candor on the banks of Lake Geneva, Neuer outlined how and why the Council has gone so wrong. Under the disingenuous guise of protecting Palestinian rights, he argued, the representatives have avoided confronting their countries’ own sins. The result? Millions of human rights violators in 191 countries have been granted almost total impunity. “The racist murderers and rapists of Darfur women tell us they care about the rights of Palestinian women; the occupiers of Tibet care about the occupied; and the butchers of Muslims in Chechnya care about Muslims,” said Neuer. “But do these self-proclaimed defenders truly care about Palestinian rights?”

In the last several months, Neuer explained, more than 130 Palestinians civilians were killed in skirmishes between Hamas and Fatah, three times the combined total that lead to special sessions of the Human Rights Council in July and November. “Meanwhile, the champions of Palestinian rights — Ahmadinejad, Assad, Khaddafi, John Dugard — said nothing.” When 3- year-old boy Salam Balousha and his two brothers were murdered by Hamas gunmen, the Council “chose silence,” said Neuer. Why? Because, Neuer asserted, despite their never-ending rhetoric about defending Palestinian rights, the members of the Council do not really care about human rights: they care about vilifying Israel.

Watching this speech via YouTube (it has been viewed at least 200,000 times), one can see the rage building within Mexican Council President Luis Alfonso de Alba. For the first time, de Alba, his arms tightly crossed, did not express the token thanks for a representative’s remarks. “I am sorry that I’m not in a position to thank you for your statement. I should mention that I will not tolerate any similar statements in the Council. The way in which members of this Council were referred to…is inadmissible.” De Alba added that any future statements made “in similar tones” would be prohibited.

For de Alba, the word “inadmissible” was not empty rhetoric. The Council keeps a de facto record— Ohchr.org—which offers full-text versions of all speeches delivered to the Council. Neuer’s speech was never posted on the site.

If the Council regularly censured speeches it considered undiplomatic, this incident might not be worthy of attention. But even the briefest glance at recent statements confirms de Alba’s pointed selectivity. At the Council’s sessions in the fall and winter of 2006, it approved a number of egregious remarks.

Cuban Ambassador Juan Antonio Fernadez Palacious, who upon receiving a report documenting human rights abuses in Cuba, said, “This libelous report does not deserve any respect or credibility. We will send it to the same place that we have sent all previous reports: the paper-recycling bin.” This earned the Council’s “thanks.”

Iranian ambassador Alireza Moayer, who penned a letter that called the Holocaust a “historical claim” and suggested that there are “serious opposing ideas over the issue” was given the Council’s tacit approval when it decided to circulate it.

Nigerian Ambassador Joseph Ayalogu’s speech on stoning as an appropriate punishment for homosexuality, rather than a human rights violation, also earned the Council’s “thanks.”

In each of these outrageous cases,the Council president formally, reliably, extended his gratitude. Why the difference in Neuer’s case? Unlike the comments above, which attack human rights (the one thing the Council is designed to defend), Neuer’s comments attacked the Council itself— unthinkable. They attacked the hypocrisy that has turned the Council into a farce.

That the UN Human Rights Council struck Neuer’s speech from the record but admitted, even thanked, speakers who brazenly called for the resignation of council representatives, spouted justifications for the killing of gays, and denied the Holocaust seems a newsworthy event in its own right.

For some, it was. The Wall Street Journal, in an editorial titled “Your UN at Work,” that compared the Council’s disregard of actual human rights violations to a squid discharging its ink. The New York Sun lauded the speech as well, calling it a “diplomatic moment to remember.” “Newspapermen have to have strong stomachs,” the Sun said, “but it’s nothing compared to what he needs to sit through these sessions.”

But it’s no surprise that Neuer’s speech drew cheers from conservative sources—they are the usual suspects. What’s distressing is the deafening silence on the part of those on the left who still claim to give a damn. It seems that issues of building a strong international community, free expression, human rights—causes that the American left has historically championed—are being ignored by left-wingers out of fear that they might be considered handmaidens of a “neoconservative” agenda. God forbid.

To be sure, the fear of being politically branded or, worse, tarnished, can be paralyzing. But such partisan fears are a lame excuse for ignoring Neuer’s censure, and more broadly, for withholding criticism about the Human Rights Council’s obsession with attacking Israel. Those on the left seem worried about the implication of criticizing the UN’s disproportionate focus on Israel. But this is a false fear. Criticism of the Council’s fixation on Israel is not equivalent to supporting Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. Indeed, such criticism should not be seen as doing the bidding of Israel, but as advocating action on far graver human rights violations that are currently ignored or underplayed on account of too much energy spent attacking Israel. It is for this reason that the left must speak up.

There is a lot about which the left can speak up. Between 2003 and 2007, the UN at large took 501 actions (resolutions, decisions, reports, cases, letters, and visits) on Israel and 220 on Sudan. This year alone, Israel has received 135 actions, while Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo have received 69 and 40, respectively. Last year, at the Human Rights Council, Israel was top on the list with 39 actions, the US pulled in at second with 29, while Cote D’Ivoire had 9. This year, 15 actions have been taken on Israel, while Sudan, whose government has condoned (or at least failed to stem) the murder of at least 200,000 in an ongoing genocide, has received only 9 actions.

Yet some among the left’s ranks don’t see this dramatically disproportionate focus on Israel as a problem. Because Israel is a democracy, some argue, it is rightfully held to higher standards. This argument is premised on the assumption that Israel’s status as a democracy would lead it to answer to criticism that closed societies would simply ignore. But this argument ends up mandating avoiding the worst human rights violations: should the Council ignore genocide simply because it occurs in an undemocratic state?

“The UN charter claims that it gives equal treatment to all nations large and small,” Neuer said. Its specific mission is to be impartial and objective and so “singling out Israel” constitutes, by mere definition, “an egregious breach.”

Another argument that could conceivably explain the left’s silence is a case of mistaken idealism. Perhaps those who still hold out hope that the Council will act as an effective institution hesitate to lend credence to voices refuting that hope. And yet, at its core, the silence from the left represents cynicism rather than idealism. Stories like the Neuer speech are ignored because they no longer seem interesting or new to readers. As Neuer quips: “UN condemns Israel—yawn.”

He’s right. Indeed, searches through the archives of the New York Times, The Nation, NPR, and The American Prospect about Neuer’s censure produced zero hits. Pointing out bias against Israel is passé, especially when it comes from a guy named Hillel. Presumably the left still abides by the basic calculus that genocide is worse that occupation. If so, ignoring the substance of Neuer’s message is a luxury that victims in the Congo and Cote D’Ivoire can no longer afford.


Study Finds Women Don't Belong in Combat

A new book sums up 13 years of research on female participation in IDF combat units and declares the feminist experiment in the Israeli military a failure. “Lochamot Betzahal” by Col. (res.) Raza Sagi, a former infantry regiment commander, points to high rates of serious injury among women serving in combat units, and to involvement of radical political groups behind the scenes of the campaign for combat service by women.

The book's name is a Hebrew play on words that means both "female combat soldiers in the IDF” and “women fighting the IDF.”

"The study found that a particularly high percentage of women who served in combat roles suffered physical harm during their service and will suffer for the rest of their lives from ruptured discs, stress fractures in the pelvis, uterine prolapse and more,” Sagi told Maariv/NRG.

While men also suffer injuries during their military service, he said, studies prove that the female rate of injury is much higher and that the seriousness of the average injury is greater, with entire platoons sometimes unable to function because of the physical state of the female soldiers. The injuries referred to are incurred in training and routine deployment – not actual combat.

"The idea that there is no difference between men and women in the army is a ridiculous one that has been disproved in all of the world's militaries,” Sagi insisted. “One cannot defeat evolution. In days in which a meaningful reduction of the defense budget is required – there is no doubt that the matter of placing women in combat roles requires reassessment.”

"People will read the book and discover that they have been misled in everything pertaining to women's service in the military,” he predicted. “The integration of women in the army has not succeeded, but everyone keeps shouting at us, that we must open before women the remaining units that have not yet been opened to them. I do not know what will help people understand that this is a serious mistake.”

Sagi added that the elements that peddle the agenda of women combat operate “like cancerous cells” and ascribe to radical political agendas. “It is difficult to explain how, of all women, it is specifically those with an agenda opposed to IDF combat soldiers, are the ones guiding the Chief of Staff's Advisor on Women's Issues, and why anyone ever listened to them.”

The book describes ludicrous measures by which women's lesser suitabilty for combat roles is masked. These include lowering the bar of requirements for women wishing to enter combat units, placing benches next to walls that trainees jump over (only for the women to use), running laps in circles (instead of straight-line runs from point A to point B) to make it less obvious that the women are lagging behind the men, and more.

The IDF told Maariv/NRG that Sagi's claims are “completely baseless” and that women's integration into combat units has been a success. “Female combat soldiers are dealt with in a supervised manner, which takes into account their medical, physiological and social needs,” the army 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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


13 June, 2014

Oxfam's film poster is a disgrace, say Tories: MPs lodge complaint with charities watchdog over advert attacking austerity

They are now as much a Leftist propaganda outfit as a charity. Conservatives should not donate to them

Conservative MPs have stepped up a row with Britain’s leading aid charity over its ‘misleading’ assault on the Government’s austerity programme.

Ministers are understood to share anger at Oxfam’s campaign accusing the Government of creating a ‘perfect storm’, including ‘benefit cuts’ and ‘unemployment’, which it suggested was fuelling hardship in Britain.

Oxfam insisted it had a ‘duty’ to highlight hardship in the UK, but Tories branded its attack a ‘disgrace’ as official figures showed another record increase in the number of people in work.

They have lodged a complaint to the charities watchdog claiming the campaign breaches laws barring charities from political campaigning.

Oxfam’s campaign involves a mock film poster showing a raging sea and black skies, carrying the slogan: ‘The perfect storm... starring zero hours contracts, high prices, benefits cuts, unemployment, childcare costs.’

Conservative MP Priti Patel, a member of the Number Ten policy advisory board, said: ‘Oxfam are behaving disgracefully by misleading the public about Government policies and their political campaigning may be in breach of their charitable remit.

‘They have shown their true colours and are now nothing more than a mouthpiece for left wing propaganda.’

Conservative MP Dominic Raab said: ‘It is sad, when a charity doing such great work abroad to alleviate poverty, becomes embroiled in politically partisan attacks in an attempt to compete with all the other head-in-the-sand left-wing groups and grab a few headlines”

Political commentator Tim Montgomerie, former chief of staff to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, said: ‘I won’t be giving to Oxfam again. I want to help the poorest people of the world, not finance left-wing politics.’

Charlie Elphicke, a Conservative MP, accused Oxfam of engaging in an overtly ‘political’ that was not borne out by the facts.

‘My concern is that charities should walk the walk - helping make a difference to people at the front line - not talk the talk - engage in advertising or political campaigning. They should make a difference to people in their daily life,’ he said.

‘I think we can all see the messaging here and what Oxfam is intending to say. My bigger concern in many ways is that a lot of it is not accurate; we have got a government that is reforming zero-hours contracts, we have seen unemployment fall by 400,000, we have seen inequality - the gap between the rich and the poor - falling, we have seen relative poverty falling, and we have seen food poverty falling according to OECD figures.’

Tories also pointed to Oxfam’s links to the Labour Party, notably through its honorary treasurer David Pitt-Watson, who was appointed general secretary of the Labour Party in 2008, but did not take up the post.

Mr Pitt-Watson was Labour’s finance director from 1997 to 1999. Jo Cox, a former head of policy at Oxfam, has been selected as a Labour candidate at the next election and is chair of the Labour women’s network.

Ben Phillips, Oxfam’s campaigns and policy director, defended the advert, arguing the campaign was not political and that the charity has a duty to draw attention to the hardship ‘suffered by poor people we work with in the UK.’

‘Fighting poverty should not be a party political issue,’ he added.

The Charity Commission said it was considering a complaint about the campaign to determine whether a full-scale inquiry should be launched.


Vintage Chemistry Sets Show We Used to Be Way More Chill About Chemicals

In their mid-20th century heyday, chemistry sets inspired kids to grow up to be scientists. Intel founder Gordon Moore, for example, credits a chemistry set with sparking his lifelong interest in science (not to mention some pretty neat explosions along the way).

Chemistry sets seem to have fallen out of favor in recent years, but there’s a movement to bring them back—or at least recapture some of the unstructured experimentation the old sets encouraged. In this gallery, we take a look at some vintage sets from the collection of the Chemical Heritage Foundation Museum in Philadelphia. They provide an interesting perspective on how public attitudes towards science shifted over the course of the 20th century, says Kristen Frederick-Frost, the museum’s curator of artifacts and collections manager.

In the early to mid 1900s, there was growing optimism that science could solve many of the important problems facing the world, Frederick-Frost says. Chemistry kits reflected this enthusiasm, featuring what was new and exciting at the time: Plastics! Atomic Energy! Outer Space! It was common for the box of a kit to feature both an image of a young boy playing with the kit and an image of a scientist in his lab—the man the boy would grow up to be. “It’s about much more than chemistry, it’s about creating the ideal citizen through play,” she said.

“The typical historical narrative goes that after the war and after Sputnik there’s this huge push to get more scientists in the field,” Frederick-Frost said. There are some wrinkles in that story, though. “If it was purely about mobilizing as many scientists as possible, the sets would have been made to be attractive to far more flavors of people than just white boys,” she said. “More so, the ‘science’ promoted wasn’t completely open ended; it’s especially the stuff with defensive or industrial utility.”

At the same time, there was often an entertainment aspect to the sets. A 1940s Chemcraft set, for example, included a pamphlet on how to put on a chemistry-themed magic show. “It covers everything from how to make thunder sound effects and crackling flames to how to arrange a curtain between you and your audience and how to affect the air of an alchemist,” Frederick-Frost said.

Attitudes started to shift in the 60s and 70s, however. This was the era of Silent Spring, Thalidomide babies, and Three Mile Island, all of which, among other influences, made the public more wary of chemistry and the industries built on it. “We have a much more mixed view of science now,” Frederick-Frost said. “Yes, it’s good, but it’s also scary.”

Add to that 21st century fears of litigation, home-grown terrorism, and Walter White, and it’s little wonder modern chemistry kits seem so tame. In one 1996 kit from the museum’s collection, the tiny vials of chemicals are just big enough to accommodate prominent warning labels. Another kit, not shown here, boasts on the box that it includes no chemicals. One reviewer mocked it as an “astounding oxymoron of a product” (to be fair, it does use chemicals, just ones you acquire for yourself in the form of household materials like vinegar and baking powder).

Some people want more. A recent Kickstarter campaign raised almost $150,000 to build “heirloom chemistry sets” modeled on a kit originally sold in the 1920s through 1940s. And in April, a competition sponsored in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation awarded $50,000 to a Stanford bioengineer who invented a a hand-crank chemistry kit that can be customized for an endless variety of chemistry experiments.

The Chemical Heritage Foundation has taken a different tack. They recently released a free iPad app called ChemCrafter that lets you build your own chemistry lab and mix stuff together. Sure, it’s safe for all ages—no safety goggles required. But the website promises it won’t be boring: “You’ll create surprising color changes, encounter fire and smoke, release various gases, and shatter equipment.” Is it as educational and inspiring as blowing stuff up for real? That’s up to you to decide.


British electricity engineer abandons attempt to install meter because he wasn't trained in using STEP LADDERS

What a wuss!

An engineer refused to install an electricity meter at a couple's home - after telling them he was not trained to climb step ladders.

The worker, from Utility Warehouse, said he was not allowed to use ladders while he was carrying out work at John Stearn's house in Saltburn, Teeside.

Instead, the engineer downed tools and left saying specialist colleagues would have to finish the job.

The company says their employee was unable to carry out the work for 'health and safety reasons'.

Mr Stearn added: 'You don't need a training course to be able to use a pair of ladders. 'You have to laugh at what seems another silly health and safety rule.'

He had asked his supplier to change both his gas and electricity meters to a pre-payment scheme.

The gas meter was changed without any delay because it was at ground level but the electricity meter was placed on the wall above head height.

With the pair facing financial difficulties, he had hoped the work could have been done quickly to help manage his bills. 'We agreed to have pre-payment meters installed thinking it would be a simple thing to do, but we had this delay over the ladders,' he added.

Mr Stearn said that he had been one of the company's customers for 'a number of years'.

Jon Goddard, head of distributor marketing at the Utility Warehouse, admitted there had been a health and safety issue over the job at Mr Stearn's home.

He said: 'We were able to install a gas pre-payment meter, but the installation of the electricity pre-payment meter has been delayed because the engineer we sent to do this work was unable to climb a ladder to exchange the meter due to health and safety reasons.

The highly specialised work was later completed after being referred to a specialist metering team at the company.


The racial tensions behind Sweden’s idyllic facade

Immigrants out of sight, out of mind. Stockholm’s outskirts reveal a segregated, racially unequal and Islamophobic society

Last month, I went to Stockholm on a reporting trip. The city seemed idyllic: bicycles aplenty standing unlocked outside at night, Volvos with their doors open and engines running, and not a cigarette butt in sight. In trendy Hornstull, bearded bros high-fived each other over Brooklyn craft beers. But everyone, it seemed, was white.

I got chatting with some of these happy hipsters and asked where I might find some of the million Somalis, Kurds, Iraqis, Chileans and Syrians who began arriving in the ’70s seeking asylum in what many perceived to be a Scandinavian “paradise.” Ever since, Sweden’s immigrant population has largely reflected wherever there has been conflict or unrest in the world. “They live in the suburbs, at the end of the blue metro line,” Karl informed me, adjusting his sunglasses in the dimly lit bar. “Don’t go there now, though, it's pretty dangerous. They’re pretty angry, and it's nighttime; black people get pretty angry when there’s no sun.”

“Don’t you think that’s pretty racist?” I asked. Karl hesitated for a moment, shooting a look at his drinking companion before removing his Ray-Bans and turning back to me. “I’m not racist,” he said. “I’m Swedish.”

My time in Sweden suggested that Karl’s articulation of the apparent exclusivity of these two concepts was not an anomaly confined to late-night drinking. Sweden proclaims itself to be an inclusive and tolerant society despite its segregated cities, racial inequality and Islamophobia. But that’s false. One only has to look at the main entrance to the Central Mosque in the middle of Stockholm to see the remains of the swastikas painted on the doors. The rise of the far right, and the entrance of the Sweden Democrats into Sweden’s parliament, have created a space to further isolate those who don’t look “Swedish.” Twice in central Stockholm, when accompanied by two Swedish-born Somalis, I was told to go back to my own country. Recent statistics show a large increase in hate crimes against Muslims, Jews, African-born residents and the Roma community.

Hate crimes and inequality

Sweden’s rising inequality plays a role in these social tensions, but racism is not a new phenomenon in this society. Regularly overlooked in Sweden’s history is its role in the slave trade and colonialism. Under King Gustav III, Sweden held colonies such as Saint Barthe?lemy in the Caribbean and profited directly from the slaves who were imported onto the island and then sold to French colonies and elsewhere in the Caribbean. Sweden actively participated and embraced the agreements in the dividing up of the African continent in the Berlin conference of 1884–85. More recently, in 1922, the country was the first to establish a National Institute of Racial Biology at Uppsala University to measure the racial makeup of the population and the size of people's heads in a vain attempt to learn about hereditary illnesses. This institute was associated with a eugenics movement network that “may have been relatively small but it was nevertheless historically significant,” writes Maria Bjo?rkman of Linko?ping University, “because of its intimate ties with that part of the German eugenics movement that would shape Nazi biopolitics.” It has not been until the last few years that this dark history has begun to be fully examined.

Today, politicians are helping to solidify outmoded notions of “difference” in Swedish society. In 2012 the prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, buying into the rhetoric of the increasingly popular far-right political party the Sweden Democrats, made headlines by speaking about “ethnic Swedes.” The same year, the minister of culture displayed outrageous ignorance by cutting into a cake depicting a racist caricature in an attempt to highlight female genital mutilation. Is it any wonder the “they” whom the Hornstull hipster described are angry?

The portion of Sweden’s population whom certain politicians see as ‘other’ is close to 28 percent.
Such incidents are happening in a country with a foreign-born population of over 1.5 million — about 15 percent of the total population. This level is comparable to rates of foreign-born citizens in countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom and Norway. However, Sweden stands out for its disproportionate number of European Union asylum applications. In 2012 the country received 13 percent of the EU’s total applications. There are an additional 695,775 citizens who have one foreign-born and one native Swedish parent; there are also those 467,697 Swedes born to two foreign-born parents. In fact, the portion of Sweden’s population whom those politicians see as “other” is closer to 28 percent.

Much to the surprise of the world’s media, these “others” rioted last year in suburban Husby. Police brutality certainly played a part, but the incidents indicated much bigger problems in Swedish society as a whole. For one, Swedish cities are segregated by design. The well-meaning “Million Program” of the 1960s and ’70s, which set out to build affordable housing developments across the country, was ambitious and well intentioned. However, it concentrated low-income rental properties in faraway and inconvenient suburbs, which began the fragmentation of Swedish society.

Those arriving from abroad in the ’70s could afford only to move into these distinctive Million Program rentals, while the white middle and upper classes moved into cooperative housing or bought houses outright in the “Swedish-looking” accommodation mainly situated in the centers. This resulted in what Irene Molina, professor of social and economic geography at Uppsala University, has called “the racialization of the city.”

Another Sweden

Take Tensta, a suburb that was part of the Million Program: It lies on the northern edge of Stockholm’s metro map, buried deep underground. In order to get there from the central station, one has to walk down three escalators, to the deepest section of the city’s main metro station where the blue line runs north. Here we see another, more complete Sweden of different colors and communities.

In Tensta and other suburbs, children go to schools whose student body is composed of 90 percent first- or second-generation immigrants. I visited a local school called Tensta Gymnasium, which prides itself on its immigrant-heavy student body. I asked if attracting blond-haired and blue-eyed Swedish schoolchildren to Tensta Gymnasium might aid integration, to which principal Sofie Abrahamsson replied, “Why should we put money into attracting those from elsewhere, when we know they won’t come?”

Abrahamsson’s resigned attitude makes sense. Outside the archipelago of immigrant islands such as Tensta, Rinkeby, Alby and Husby, racism and Islamophobia are commonplace. Social media have provided a small ray of hope, with Instagram accounts such as Svartkvinna (Black woman) and Muslimskvinna (Muslim woman) offering a platform for those “others” to articulate their stories. Johanna Lihagen, a Swedish woman who converted to Islam, created Muslimskvinna and told me that, as a Muslim, “you must always be prepared for questions — when you're at the dentist, at your local grocery store, at work, when you are meeting a doctor. You can never believe the things doctors ask a Muslim woman.”

Beacon of hope

Externally, Sweden projects itself as an egalitarian beacon of hope in an intolerant world. Swedes love to hold seminars, create associations and broadcast panel discussions about their “integration problems.” But seminars and short-term policies won’t help. Sweden needs a radical reorganization of the way its cities are planned, its educational systems are structured and its minorities are represented across all levels of society to prevent repeats of the Husby riots.

Toward the end of my stay in Sweden, I sat on a bench in Tensta’s main square. People talked to each other outside the bustling Iraqi-run market. A Syrian asylum seeker tried to sell me a pack of dodgy cigarettes before asking about my family. There was a sense of community in the suburbs that I didn’t experience in the center of the city.

A young Somali woman came and sat next to me. “I’m three times screwed in Swedish society: I’m black, Muslim and Somali,” she said. She paused to acknowledge her friends as they headed to school, before summing up what so many Swedish suburbanites told me: “Swedes are so image-conscious that they forget to look at what’s really happening in our country. We, the foreigners, are so many, but we are hidden on the outskirts of society and on the fringes of the city. They put us here so we can’t be seen.”



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

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

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


12 June, 2014

Multicultural molester of young girls

The chief executive of a Muslim women’s association has been jailed for sexually abusing three young girls in south London in the 1970s and 80s.

Zafar Iqbal, 67, molested and groped the girls, all under the age of 14, on several occasions, but the abuse only came to light in 2010.

The attacks saw the charity chief take the young girls to addresses in Peckham where he would force his tongue into their mouths as he molested and groped them, a court heard.

Iqbal, who set up the council-funded Southwark Muslim Women’s Association in 1979, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in jail after being found guilty of 25 counts of sexual abuse earlier this year.

The charity aims to support women, children and the elderly in a range of activities, including learning English, and still lists Iqbal as the main contact on the Charity Commission website.

His work included running a creche and educational and recreational programmes and it is believed his wife Abida also worked for the charity.

As part of his work Iqbal was introduced to The Queen and rubbed shoulders with Deputy Prime Minister Harriet Harman.

The sex attacks took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s and only ended when Iqbal got married and moved away.

However the council only informed police in 2012 when the abuse allegations surfaced.

Iqbal was arrested and interviewed by detectives from the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command (SOECA) before being charged with 45 counts of indecent assault in August 2013.

After a trial he was found guilty of twenty five charges of sexual abuse against his victims who were all under 14.

He was jailed for seven and a half years and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for his whole life after being sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court yesterday.

Detective Constable Martin Sharp, of the SOECA, said: ‘I would like to take this opportunity to praise the three young women that Iqbal abused and highlight their courage in coming forwarding and reporting to the police Iqbal’s crimes.

‘The support they gave the investigating officers during this investigation was instrumental bringing Iqbal to justice today.

‘Zafar Iqbal no doubt thought the passage of time meant that he had escaped justice for the appalling offences he committed against three small children. I hope that his conviction and sentence gives other victims of sexual abuse confidence to come forward.’

A Southwark Council spokesperson said: ‘He worked for the charity for a number of years. It helps Muslims with a range of things, including learning English.

‘We are appalled by this man’s actions and we are undertaking an urgent review of Southwark Muslim Women’s Association and its association with the council.’

The council informed police after allegations of Iqbal’s abuse surfaced in 2010, it added.

The spokesman added: ‘Southwark Muslim Women’s Association is an independent organisation funded from many sources, including the council. The convictions are not related to activities on the premises of the organisation.’

The Met said it began investigations in late 2012 after one of Iqbal’s victims came forward. Previous allegations were anonymous and so the force was unable to pursue them.

In the financial year ending March 2013, the Southwark Muslim Women’s Association (SMWA) had an income of just under £386,000. Iqbal had been on sick leave from the charity during that year.

In the annual report he wrote: ‘It has been a frustrating year for me personally. The SMWA has been part of my life for more than 30 years so to be away from work due to ill health has been very difficult.’

Just five years ago, Iqbal was feted for his ‘excellence in education’ at The Muslim News Awards for Excellence.

He was introduced to the Queen in 2010 as part of The City Bridge Trust’s 800th anniversary celebration.

In 2009, Ms Harman, then Deputy Prime Minister, invited Iqbal and other members of the Association to the House of Commons where they were photographed together.

Earlier this year Ms Harman was forced to express ‘regret’ over links between a paedophile group and the National Council of Civil Liberties when she was its legal officer in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Paedophile Information Exchange was an affiliate of the NCCL while she, her husband, trade unionist Jack Dromey, and fellow Labour politician Patricia Hewitt held office there.


Is Libertarianism Un-Catholic?

By Thomas E. Woods Jr.

The new regime in the Vatican has made much about the need to be open, to be welcoming, and to encourage the faithful to discuss their views—even when they contradict Church teaching.

As usual in situations like this, such encouragement extends to the left only. If you disagree with the Church’s teaching on sexual morality, you can concelebrate Mass with the highest authority in the Church. If you want to babble and writhe on the floor in a liturgical setting, you will be greeted with open arms, once you stand up. But if you are concerned about bishops’ conferences and statements about the economy that seem cribbed from the 1976 Democratic platform, none of the happy talk about openness applies to you.

I present to you, as Exhibit A, a recent conference on libertarianism and Catholicism, sponsored by the Catholic University of America. The conclusion of the conference was decided in its very title: “Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism.”

In addition to a slate of speakers you’ve never heard of, attendees got a chance to hear Mark Shields, the Democratic mouthpiece and commentator from CNN’s old program Capital Gang. Then there were some labor union representatives, who no doubt oppose Pope Leo XIII’s teaching that workmen’s associations are fine as long as no violence is used or threatened and people are free to accept any job they wish.

Now who, in this new atmosphere of openness, was permitted to defend the libertarian view? I trust you get the picture clearly enough by now to know the answer. The conference was straight out of Stalin’s Russia. We must smash the deviationists! None of the “pastoral concern” shown for anyone and everyone else in the world was in evidence here.

What is this dangerous doctrine, against which Church leftists must combine? Libertarianism teaches that individuals should avoid violence when interacting with each other, and should resort to force only in self-defense.

That is all it is. Libertarianism is not strictly about “individualism,” “atomism,” or any of the typical caricatures. It is concerned solely with the use of violence in society. It says that you should not steal, and you should not hurt anyone. It says all of us—whether or not we wear an official-looking uniform—should be bound by these elementary moral rules.

When stated that way, libertarianism doesn’t sound so scary, which is why its opponents never do state it that way. Libertarianism doesn’t mean selfishness, it doesn’t mean not helping anyone, it doesn’t mean not working together with other people on projects that benefit the community. It doesn’t mean “autonomy,” “erroneous” or otherwise. It simply says that civilized people don’t stick a gun in their neighbors’ ribs to get them to cooperate. That’s how thugs behave.

(There are objections to the libertarian view, to be sure. I’ve answered some of them in “The Libertarian Speech I Would Deliver to the Whole Country” and “Applying Economics to American History.” “‘Monopolies’ will devour us” is a common one; I’ve answered that here. As a matter of fact, a professor at a pontifical university contacted me several months ago to say that that article changed his mind on the subject.)

Libertarianism can be understood as an extension of the Church’s just-war tradition, which deals with violence among states, to questions involving violence among individuals. This is altogether proper, since states are, after all, simply aggregates of individuals.

As the just-war tradition has developed over the centuries, a principle especially relevant to our discussion began to emerge: war—that is, organized violence—is to be undertaken only as a last resort. This is not so remote from the libertarian message, which confines the legitimate use of violence to defensive actions only, never to aggression.

The keynote address at this conference was delivered by Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Madariaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa and a close confidante of Pope Francis. Just about everything the Cardinal is quoted as saying at the event, however, is wrong. Inequality is not more extreme today than it was 100 years ago (although other than envy or spite, what reason could we have for spending a solitary moment caring about this, especially when the welfare of all of mankind has increased dramatically?).

It is not true that the rich and not the poor benefit from globalization; the twentieth century saw the greatest progress against world poverty in the history of mankind. And if the rich enjoy luxuries today, they are luxuries that allow them to do what they could already have done 75 years ago, except today perhaps faster or more stylishly. The rich could already fly where they wanted, drive where they wanted, study where they wanted, etc. Today, more people than ever before in history can do all these things. If the poor 500 years ago had to travel on foot while the rich traveled in horse-drawn carriages, while today the poor ride in run-down cars while the rich ride in fancy cars, inequality has obviously decreased in the only sense that matters.

The Cardinal called “trickle-down economics” a “deception.” I know of no one in the world who describes his system of economics as “trickle down,” so the Cardinal is simply being uncharitable in referring to a point of view he opposes. The central point, that an increase in the standard of living across the board can occur only by means of an increase in the amount of capital per worker, is not even debatable, so I fail to see how it can be a “deception.”

I have explained the process numerous times: in this video for the Mises Institute, for example, and in this article, among many others. This is how the free market, of its very nature, leads to rising living standards for everyone.

Is “inequality” just grounds for interpersonal violence? If so, why would it not likewise be grounds for international conflict? If it is unacceptable for me to be much wealthier than my neighbors, why—especially for someone like Cardinal Maradiaga, who is fascinated by large aggregates—would it not be just as unacceptable for my country to be much wealthier than its neighbors? This is a recipe for endless violence.

The 80/20 Pareto rule that seems to apply to all areas of life—20 percent of the workers do 80 percent of the work; 20 percent of Italians in 1906 owned 80 percent of the land (this is where Pareto first noticed the principle); 20 percent of your clients amount to 80 percent of your business, etc.—has held true for wealth distribution consistently and across time and space. It may be quixotic to wage war on a phenomenon so universal.

It is a phenomenon, moreover, that hurts no one and helps everyone. Someone who earns $50 million a year did not earn it by stealing it from me. I would have to have it in the first place for that to be true. And I would be spiritually sick if I spent my time dwelling enviously on his annual earnings. A spiritual leader should be scolding me, not egging me on, if I’m sitting around demanding my fair share of wealth I did absolutely nothing to create. In a free market, which the Cardinal should support, the man in question acquires that wealth by satisfying consumers and improving other people’s standard of living. I should be celebrating that, not ignorantly resenting it.

(Oh, but CEO salaries are too high, say people who simultaneously favor laws making corporate takeovers more difficult, thereby shielding CEOs who receive excessive pay.)

The Cardinal then says individual acts of charity are not enough. We need the state. We need violence.

“Maradiaga,” writes Religion News Service, “also argued that personal charity was insufficient to solve global problems.” “Solidarity is more than a few sporadic acts of generosity,” the Cardinal said.

Now it’s true: we can defend the Cardinal against the claim that he’s calling for violence when calling upon the state’s intervention, if we pretend that violence isn’t really violence when it’s threatened or carried out by the state. We can pretend coercion and voluntary action are the same thing. We can do all these things if we want to redefine the normal meanings of words. But unless transforming the world into a giant Orwell novel appeals to us, this is an unpromising route.

I trust I shall not be accused of “private interpretation” of the New Testament when I note my failure to locate either of the following statements or even remote insinuations in the words of Christ:

(1) Concern for the poor is the same thing as favoring a welfare state.

(2) If moral suasion fails, employ violence to carry out your egalitarian program.

The constant talk about inequality, as if a burger-flipper’s low wage has to do with the fact that a rich person has millions of dollars, instead of the fact that unskilled labor is easily replaceable, only feeds into the juvenile mentality that will keep these low-wage earners exactly where they are. Think the way ahead in the world is to get into the street and scream that other people owe you more stuff? Then you will never get anywhere. If you want to get ahead, work at it. Don’t wait for people to give things to you. Don’t go out with a sign and scream for them to give you more, when apparently no one else on earth considers you worth more, else some other employer would already have hired you.


Liberal Activist Raped By A Black Man, Turns And Blames White Men For It

Amanda Kijera was on a humanitarian trip to Haiti, when she was violently raped by a black man. The act was both coincidental and devastating, as Kijera was actually in Haiti to dispel the “myths” that violence against women on the island was overstated by women’s rights organizations.

The intention of Kijera’s trip was to push back on the portrayal of black men as “savages” in the media. Her hope was that she would eliminate misconceptions and push back against common views imposed by “the man.”

However, Kijera’s trip took a turn for the worse when one of the men she had worked to protect cornered her on the rooftop, and raped her numerous times.

“The experience was almost more than I could bear,” Kijera wrote about the incident, “I pleaded with him to honor my commitment to Haiti, to him as a brother in the mutual struggle for an end to our common oppression, but to no avail. He didn’t care.”

According to Kijera, she eventually stopped fighting him, claiming that there was nothing she could do to stop him from raping her repeatedly. After the tragic experience, she placed the blame on a very unexpected course.

“Women are not the source of their oppression; oppressive policies and the as-yet unaddressed white patriarchy which still dominates the global stage are,” she explained. She also went on to argue that it is up to the United Nations to support people who are forced to bear the brunt of black male aggression.

Kijera makes the outrageous claim that dependency on white people causes them to act out against them. She alludes that this was the reason for her attack.

While the circumstances Kijera were forced to endure were unacceptable, her commits make the unspoken conclusion that the incident would not have happened if it weren’t for white men.


The loving grandparents forced to fight tooth and nail to stop social services giving away their grandchild

Katrina Parker made herself a promise the first time she held her beautiful, newborn granddaughter. Whatever it took, Katrina would protect this baby.

‘It was a lightning-bolt moment,’ she says. ‘I loved India with the same intensity you feel for your own child. Until then, I hadn’t realised you could care so deeply for a little one you’d had no hand in making.’

It was that profound connection that kept Katrina and her husband Lee going, even when it seemed India might be lost to them for ever — swallowed up by a stubborn care system that at times seemed more worried about defending itself than about the little girl’s welfare.

For when it became clear that Katrina’s 21-year-old daughter, Sarah, was too mentally unstable to care for her own child, Essex social services made decisions about baby India’s welfare that rode roughshod over Lee and Katrina’s wishes.

Far from being consulted — as they should have been — the couple found themselves excluded.

In fact, they came within two heart-stopping days of losing India for ever after Essex began proceedings that would have resulted in her adoption by strangers.

‘Being made to give up on her would have been like a bereavement,’ says Katrina.

‘The shocking thing is how close we came to that point. Essex were so hell-bent on keeping us out that they seemed to forget what was best for India.’

It was only after an exhausting 18-month fight that Lee and Katrina were finally made India’s official guardians, in a ruling enforced last August.

Their story shines a disturbing light on how easily relatives, particularly grandparents, can be frozen out of the adoption process, and the way social workers can collude to hide vital decisions about vulnerable children.

Often families have no idea why they are being shut out of a child’s life.

For their part, the Parkers may never know the case against them. Shielded by the notoriously secretive family courts system, Essex Council has yet to explain why the couple faced so many hurdles in their attempts to adopt India.

Indeed, Lee and Katrina can reveal some of the facts now only because the judge who upheld their appeal against Essex Council’s decision to have India adopted has released a copy of the judgment he made 16 months ago.

While Lee and Katrina may be unable to tell the full story, what they can say about their experience of social services is damning enough.

Today, India is an enchanting two-year-old with big blue eyes, blonde hair and a wide smile. The bond she has with her grandparents is abundantly clear. She runs to Katrina for a cuddle before clambering up beside Lee — whom she calls ‘Pappy’ — so that he can read her a story.

Watching them interact, it’s obvious that they are capable and loving parents.

Lee, 41, a former retail manager, and Katrina, a stay-at-home mum, live in a semi-detached house in Colchester. Married for 13 years, they have five children: Holly, 13, Autumn, 11, Stanley, nine, and twins Honey and Bluebelle, five.

Katrina, 39, also has two children from an earlier marriage, Bradley, 19, and Sarah, 21, who were raised by Lee as his own. After completing an apprenticeship with a music studio, Bradley is now studying a business course. Sarah is, of course, India’s mother.

Judge Newton, who granted the Parkers the right to appeal against Essex Social Services, described them as a family of ‘high achievers’.

Holly and Autumn are on the gifted and talented registers of their school, and all the children are impressively polite and well-spoken. They attend drama classes and, between them, have built up a growing list of stage and screen appearances.

But although her younger siblings have flourished, Sarah has a history of mental health issues dating back to her mid-teens.

She moved out of the family home at 17, against Lee and Katrina’s wishes, and came under the care of local social services. Despite her parents’ best efforts to stay in touch, her contact with them was sporadic.

However, when India was born in November 2011, Lee and Katrina were both there. ‘Believe me, the instant connection with India was nothing to do with feeling broody,’ says Katrina. ‘Neither Lee nor I were remotely interested in having another baby. As far as we were concerned, our family was complete.’

For her first few months, India was living with Sarah at a nearby mother and baby unit and Lee and Katrina saw them nearly every day. (India’s father is not allowed contact with his daughter.)

Initially Sarah coped well, breastfeeding India and looking after her attentively. She never harmed India but she became unstable, and the following January they were placed in a specialised mental health unit in Chelmsford. That was when Sarah again cut contact with her parents.

‘We could see the warning signs that our relationship with Sarah was breaking down,’ says Katrina. ‘We were worried enough to see a solicitor and investigate how to make an agreement with Essex Social Services to ensure our permanent right to contact with India.

‘But before we had a chance to go further down that road, circumstances changed.’

At the end of February 2012, without Katrina or Lee’s knowledge, India was taken from Sarah and placed with a foster family under an interim care order. This was despite Government recommendations that in such situations, members of the immediate family should be consulted.

The Parkers believe that Essex Social Services’ agenda was always to have India adopted.

‘There are, unfortunately, certain assumptions made about you when you’ve got a big family: that you’re irresponsible or chaotic, that you’re out for what you can get from the system,’ says Katrina.

None of those applies to us, but those prejudices have a lot of power, and I think from the start that social services were biased against us. They thought they could find someone more suitable.’

Katrina is articulate about the countless meetings, assessments, interviews and court hearings that followed while she and Lee battled to get India back.

Her composure slips, however, when she talks about how powerless she felt to help Sarah or to protect her other children.

Through tears, she says: ‘The children became very, very close to India because she spent a lot of time with us in the months after her birth. There was a huge amount of love for her.

‘One of the most difficult aspects of the whole case was trying to explain to them why she had suddenly vanished from their lives.’

As soon as the Parkers discovered through their solicitor that India had been placed in care, they applied for guardianship, triggering a series of assessments by social services.

The Parkers describe the process that followed as riddled with incompetence, distortion and dishonesty from social workers who knew that the privacy rules and reporting restrictions then applied in family courts meant their decisions were unlikely to be held to account.

‘They gave us smaller and smaller hoops to jump through,’ says Katrina. ‘We were supposed to trip up.’

They were accused of missing meetings they’d never been told about — and invited to meetings that never happened. On one occasion, having struggled to find childcare, they arrived at a morning hearing scheduled in Basildon, 35 miles from where they live in Colchester, but were barred from the court room because Sarah and social services decided on the day that they should not be party to proceedings.

In the spring of 2012, a social worker dropped in on the Parkers at home without warning one day.

Katrina had been away with 11-year-old Autumn while she filmed a small part in the Disney movie, Maleficent, which stars Angelina Jolie.

Katrina recalls: ‘We found the social services sitting on the doorstep when we got back from the children’s ballet class.

‘This was a completely untypical day. Our car had broken down, so we got back very late, and Bradley had made the sort of mess of the house that teenage boys do when their mums aren’t nagging them.’

The social worker put in a report saying that their four-bedroom house was ‘hectic’ and too small.

‘That was what they chose to focus on,’ says Katrina, ‘although two previous visits by different social workers had said that we had enough space for India and mentioned nothing about a mess — nor did subsequent inspections.’

To make matters far worse, in August of the same year, a legal blunder meant that the Parkers’ application for India’s guardianship was withdrawn.

The blunder led to a cascade of problems, and the couple became ineligible to attend the final hearing in October 2012 to decide India’s future.

Lee and Katrina’s own barrister told them in October 2012 ‘to go home and tell your family it’s over’; that they had no hope of stopping India’s adoption.

The only reason that the Parkers were able to halt the process is because a sympathetic professional — whom they cannot name in order to protect her identity — told them about a limited two-week right of appeal that had almost lapsed. If it had not been for their panicked last-minute challenge, India would have disappeared for ever into the adoption system.

Judge Newton, who later quashed the previous ruling that India should be adopted, wrote in his report that it was ‘manifestly unfair’ that ‘interested and committed grandparents’ had been prevented from putting their case at the full hearing.

There followed five further gruelling court appearances and an intensified period of social services assessment that included everything from medical reports to CRB checks before they learned that India was, finally, theirs.

Delighted and relieved though the Parkers are to have eventually won, many questions about the case remain unanswered. Why did social workers seem to reject their case from the start? Why were they shut out of hearings? Why exactly did Essex Social Services have a dramatic change of heart and award them guardianship?

The council issued a statement claiming: ‘The case involved very complex and finely balanced decisions ?…? As the case progressed, the council was able to change its position to support the grandparents.’ The Parkers dispute this harmonious version of events. They say that social services were pushing right up to the final judgment to have India adopted.

We were refused the right to see documents such as emails between social workers, which means we can’t prove anything,’ says Katrina.

‘However, we strongly suspect they were under pressure to meet targets on adoption, and India was perfect because she was a beautiful little girl who would be easy to place. ‘Essex must have been furious when we threw a spanner into the works by winning our appeal. Up until then, things were going completely their way.’

The Government is trying hard to speed up the adoption process, allocating an extra £50?million this year with the aim that cases should take no more than 21 months to resolve.

While this might be excellent news for families desperate to adopt, it could mean that relatives such as Lee and Katrina have even fewer opportunities to challenge rulings.

Does Katrina have any sympathy for beleaguered social services? ‘Of course,’ she says. ‘I’ve got no problem with social workers raising legitimate concerns. A lot of them are very good at their jobs.

‘But you should be entitled to defend yourself and have full sight of the evidence against you. Until there’s more transparency in the system, how can you know it’s fair?’

Katrina admits to being badly bruised by the past two years.

‘You become less trusting,’ she says. ‘Social services are supposed to protect vulnerable people, but this experience would make me very apprehensive about approaching them on my behalf or anyone else’s.

‘At the back of my mind is the scary thought that twisted and inaccurate pronouncements about our family are sitting there on file as matters of record. Once written down, they become “facts” that we can’t remove.

‘What if one of the children bangs their head and the hospital isn’t satisfied with our explanation when we take them to A&E? There we are, in black and white, classified as a problem. The whole nightmare could open up again.’

Lee and Katrina lodged a complaint in February against the conduct of Essex Social Services, which was passed on to the social services ombudsman. Their case is being examined by an independent investigator.

As for Sarah, she is entitled to see India once a month, although she has not always taken the opportunity to do so.

India’s happiness and security is balm to the wounds inflicted by the Parkers’ battle with social services. They call her a ‘blessing’.

‘All the way through, we took the attitude that we would doggedly fight anyone and everyone for her,’ says Katrina. ‘It was never a difficult decision for us. Every second of the stress and effort was worth it when we look at her now, smiling and settled.

‘We were very, very lucky. I just wonder how many people you never get to hear about who were not.’



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

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

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


11 June, 2014

Aggressive Multiculturalist murders little kid who annoyed him

THE accused Brooklyn Ripper, charged with butchering two young children in an elevator, is now terrifying hardened staffers on the psych ward where he is being held.

Daniel St Hubert has been threatening to beat up police and hospital workers since being taken in for evaluation last week, sources told The New York Post .

“Any hospital staff that have to deal with him are very nervous around him,” said a Bellevue source. “They are on high alert.

“He is extremely hostile and accepts no responsibility for anything,” the source said, adding that his colleagues describe the alleged killer as a “menacing brute” with “a bad look in his eyes.”

A law enforcement source said of St Hubert: “He’s eating a lot of meatballs and spaghetti and chicken cutlets — and threatening to kick officer’s asses.”

St. Hubert — arrested in the June 1 rampage that killed Prince Joshua “PJ” Avitto, 6, and badly wounded Mikayla Capers, 7, days after being paroled for trying to kill his own mother — has shown no remorse, the sources said.

The hospital worker said that when St Hubert isn’t lashing out at the staff, he’s lounging around the ward, eating and sleeping “like he doesn’t have a care in the world”.

“All he wants to do is sleep, like it will all go away if he isn’t awake for it,” the source said. “He is like a big baby in a man’s body.”

St Hubert will likely remain at Bellevue (the facility he is being held) for some time because correction officials are nervous about moving him to Rikers Island, where there are already multiple threats against him, sources said.

PJ, who was laid to rest Friday, and Mikayla, who continues a long road to recovery at New York ­Presbyterian Hospital, were on their way out when St. Hubert entered the elevator with them and allegedly hacked them with a knife for refusing to quiet down.


Secret British court jails gran who hugged her granddaughter: Pensioner sentenced to three months after disobeying order she should not see the teenager

A grandmother has been sentenced to three months in prison after she was filmed giving her granddaughter a hug.

Kathleen Danby, 72, was jailed by the secretive Court of Protection, which decided she had disobeyed its order that she should not see the teenager.

Under a draconian judgment kept secret from the public, Mrs Danby had been banned from making contact with the girl, who is 18 but has learning difficulties.

She was told she could only speak to her on the phone once a month at a set time, with social workers listening in. Mrs Danby was ordered back to court when social workers heard that she had met the girl at a model railway exhibition. Police also presented CCTV footage of her hugging her granddaughter outside a pub.

Mrs Danby was not at the hearing in Birmingham in April to give her version of events but Judge Martin Cardinal said the CCTV showed she was in contempt. He ordered that she be jailed for three months and issued a warrant for her arrest.

However Mrs Danby, who lives in Orkney, said yesterday that no police officers had arrived to execute the warrant. ‘I haven’t been jailed simply because I refused to go down there to court,’ she said, adding that she would refuse to go to prison simply for making contact with her granddaughter.

‘She is 18 and can decide for herself what she wants to do, she is being denied her human rights,’ Mrs Danby said. ‘She has the educational standards of somebody half her age, and behaves like a much younger child, but she is completely lucid in what she wants.’

Mrs Danby said the girl was moved into care in Derbyshire in 2007, when she was 11, a year after being removed from her father in Orkney. He was banned from seeing her after he was convicted for ill-treatment for restraining her from running into a busy road while she was having a temper tantrum, Mrs Danby said.

She said it was a ‘spurious excuse’, adding: ‘Social services completely cut off contact which was of course cruel to her in the extreme.’ The girl’s father has been jailed twice for trying to contact her – once for waving at her taxi as she travelled to school – she said.

The teenager was in the care home against her will and had run away 175 times, Mrs Danby said.

Judge Cardinal is the judge who sent Wanda Maddocks to jail in secret for trying to free her 80-year-old father from a care home where she feared his life was at risk.

Judge Cardinal jailed Miss Maddocks without publishing her name or making any details of her contempt public. She served six weeks in jail. The case came to light more than six months later and led to new rules so that no one may ever again be imprisoned without their name being published.

In Mrs Danby’s case, Judge Cardinal said that the teenager, named only as B, finds it hard to control her anger, has self-harmed and frequently runs away. Social workers believe her distress increases when she is contacted by her father or grandmother, he said.

Derbyshire County Council said Mrs Danby broke the injunction banning contact by meeting her granddaughter at 5.27pm on February 28 outside the pub next to the care home.

Four days earlier, the teenager escaped from her minder and took a circuitous route to the town of Chapel-en-le-Frith. Judge Cardinal said the girl knew that for the last three years her grandmother has attended a model railway show there in February. She told a care worker that her grandmother had come from Scotland to see her.

‘I am sure this grandmother needs restraint,’ he said.

Last night lawyers were debating whether, by failing to give any information about why Mrs Danby is banned from seeing her granddaughter, Judge Cardinal had met the full requirements brought in after the Maddocks case.


No End to a Self-Inflicted Tragedy

Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah/Palestinian Authority has just cemented a reconciliation agreement with Hamas, the terrorist movement that seized Gaza from Fatah in 2007 and whose charter calls for the murder of Jews. U.S.-brokered Israeli/Palestinian negotiations have foundered in a predictable round of recriminations. But events commemorated in recent weeks provide the clue to understanding why such talks invariably lead to an impasse. On May 15, Palestinians marked what they call the naqba (Arabic for "catastrophe") – the day Israel came into existence upon the expiry of British rule under a League of Nations mandate.

That juxtaposition of Israeli independence and naqba is not accidental. We are meant to understand that Israel’s creation caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs.

But the truth is different. A British document from early 1948, declassified last year, tells the story: “the Arabs have suffered ... overwhelming defeats[.] ... Jewish victories … have reduced Arab morale to zero and, following the cowardly example of their inept leaders, they are fleeing from the mixed areas in their thousands.”

In other words, Jew and Arabs, including irregular foreign militias from neighboring states, were already at war, and Arabs fleeing, even before Israel came into sovereign existence on 15 May 1948.

Thus, what is now called the naqba consisted not of Israeli forcible displacement of Arabs, but of neighboring Arab armies and internal Palestinian militias responding to Israel’s declaration of independence and Britain’s departure with full-scale hostilities. Tel Aviv was bombed from the air, and the head of Israel’s provisional government, David Ben Gurion, delivered his first radio address to the nation from an air-raid shelter.

Israel successfully resisted invasion and dismemberment – the universally affirmed objective of the Arab belligerents – and Palestinians came off worst of all from the whole venture. At war’s end, over 600,000 Palestinians were living as refugees under neighboring Arab regimes. As Abdulateef Al-Mulhim, writing in Arab News, put it the other week, “[i]t was a defeat but the Arabs chose to call it a catastrophe.”

Accordingly, the term naqba is misleading. Indeed, it smacks of falsehood, inasmuch as it implies a tragedy inflicted by others. The tragedy, of course, was self-inflicted.

As Israel’s U.N. ambassador Abba Eban was to put it some years later, “[o]nce you determine the responsibility for that war, you have determined the responsibility for the refugee problem. Nothing in the history of our generation is clearer or less controversial than the initiative of Arab governments for the conflict out of which the refugee tragedy emerged.”

However, the Palestinians do not mourn today the ill-conceived choice of going to war to abort Israel. They mourn only that they failed.

This is contrary to historical experience of disastrous defeat. The Germans today mourn their losses in the Second World War – but not by lauding their invasion of Poland and justifying their attempt to subjugate Europe. They do not glorify Nazi aggression.

The Japanese today mourn their losses in the Second World War – but not by lauding their assault on Pearl Harbor and their attempt to subjugate southeast Asia. They do not glorify Japanese imperialism.

The very existence of naqba commemorations is therefore instructive in a way few realize. It informs us that Palestinians have not admitted or assimilated the fact – as Germans and Japanese have done – that they became victims as a direct result of their efforts to be perpetrators.

It informs us that Palestinians would still like to succeed today at what they miserably failed to achieve then.

And it informs us that they take no responsibility for their own predicament, which is uniquely maintained to this day at their own insistence.

If readers doubt this, consider the following vignette: in January 2001, John Manley, then-foreign minister in Jean Chretien’s Canadian government, offered to welcome Palestinian refugees and their descendants to Canada. The Palestinian response? Mr. Manley was burned in effigy by Palestinian rioters in Nablus, and Palestinian legislator Hussam Khader of Fatah – not Hamas or another of the Islamist groups –declared, “If Canada is serious about resettlement, you could expect military attacks in Ottawa or Montreal.” A similar offer by then-Australian Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock also received a threatening Palestinian rejoinder.

Why this astounding response by a government official to an offer of refugee relief? Because establishing a Palestinian state and resettling the refugees and their descendants inside it or abroad would remove any internationally accepted grounds for conflict. That’s why helping to solve the Palestinian refugee problem is regarded as a hostile act – by Palestinians.

Naqba commemorations disclose that the conflict is about Israel’s existence – not about territory, borders, holy places, refugees or any other bill of particulars.

When Palestinians accept that Israel is here to stay, the possibility of the conflict’s end will come into view. In the meantime, responsible governments can discourage and repudiate naqba commemorations – rather than treat them as benign expressions of national loss or grief – as a small but important step toward bringing that day closer.


Pope pisses into the wind: Tells Muslims that People Have 'Freedom to Choose Religion One Judges to be True'

During his first official visit to the Middle East, Pope Francis repeatedly told Muslim audiences that religious freedom is “a fundamental human right” and that governments must allow people to choose their own faith.

“Religious freedom is in fact a fundamental human right and I cannot fail to express my hope that it will be upheld throughout the Middle East and the entire world,” the pope said in a May 24th address to King Abdullah II, ruler of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and Queen Rania at the Al Husseini Royal Palace in Amman.

The Hashemites are direct descendants of the Prophet Muhammad.

Quoting from his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic exhortation, Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, which called religious freedom “the pinnacle of other freedoms,” Pope Francis continued: “The right to religious freedom ‘includes on the individual and collective levels the freedom to follow one’s conscience in religious matters and, at the same time, freedom of worship….[it also includes] the freedom to choose the religion which one judges to be true and to manifest one’s beliefs in public.’”

Pope Francis repeated the same message the next day in his meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian officials in Bethlehem.

While expressing his “profound hope” that “peace will be pursued with tireless determination and tenacity,” the pontiff once again stressed the need for religious freedom.

“Respect for this fundamental human right is, in fact, one of the essential conditions for peace, fraternity and harmony,” he said.

On May 26, the final day of his three-day pilgrimage, Pope Francis met with Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, and the president of the Islamic Supreme Council at the Dome of the Rock to mark the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s historic visit to the Holy Land.

The Temple Mount site is holy to both Muslims, who believe it is where the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven, and Jews, who believe it is where God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and where their First and Second Temples were built.

“Dear brothers, dear friends, from this holy place I make a heartfelt plea to all people and to all communities who look to Abraham: may we respect and love one another as brothers and sisters! May we learn to understand the sufferings of others!” the pope said.

“May no one abuse the name of God through violence!” Pope Francis told the Muslim religious leaders.



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

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

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


10 June, 2014

Multiculturalist asleep at the wheel kills and injures limo riders

A Walmart truck driver who is thought to have fallen asleep at the wheel causing a fatal six-car crash that critically injured Tracy Morgan turned himself in, police confirmed on Sunday.

Kevin Roper, 35, was released on $50,000 bail said Sgt. Gregory WIlliams of New Jersey State Police after the pile-up that caused the death of Morgan's best friend, James McNair, 63.

This comes as it was revealed that Morgan, 45, pleaded for help in the chaotic aftermath of the deadly crash that killed his friend on the New Jersey Turnpike on Saturday.

The 30-Rock star was left with serious injuries after the limousine bus he was riding in was hit from behind and came off the road.

'I climbed around and heard Tracy screaming for help,' said his driver, Tyrone Gale. 'I climbed up on the body of the limo bus...but I couldn't reach them.'

New Jersey State police have said that they believe the Walmart truck driver was dozing and failed to see traffic slowing in front of him before it was too late - rear-ending the Mercedes limo-bus that was carryi Morgan and his entourage.

As friends and family flock to the bed side of Morgan, 45, the Walmart CEO said that if it is proven one of his company's trucks was involved in the fatal smash then they will accept the consequences.

'That facts are continuing to unfold,' said CEO Bill Simon to The New Jersey Star Ledger. 'If it's determined that our truck caused the accident, Walmart will take full responsibility.'

Simon said he was 'profoundly sorry' that a Walmart truck was involved in the accident, and the company said it is cooperating fully with law enforcement. It is not clear whether Roper was driving the Walmart truck.

Simon pledged the company would 'do what’s right for the family of the victim and the survivors in the days and weeks ahead.'

This comes as it was revealed the truck driver who allegedly fell asleep at the wheel has been charged in the horrific crash which left comedian Tracy Morgan in a critical condition and his closest confidante James McNair dead.

30 Rock star Morgan and his entourage were being chauffeured from a show in Delaware back to New York City about 1am Saturday, when the truck driver rear-ended their limousine bus and caused a fatal six-car pile up on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Morgan's 'traumatized' ex-wife has revealed 'he's not in good shape' after being pulled from the wreckage with a broken leg among other injuries. He is reportedly in a critical but stable condition.

Morgan's assistant Jeffrey Millea, 36, and comedian Ardie Fuqua are also in a critical condition, while 62-year-old McNair, who performed as Jimmy Mack and was one of Morgan's closest friends, died at the scene. Comic Harris Stanton was treated and released from hospital. Two others in the limo were unhurt, including the driver.

Truck driver Kevin Roper, 35, has been charged with death by auto and also faces four counts of assault by auto. Bail was set at $50,000 and he is expected to surrender.

Morgan and Millea, from Shelton in Connecticut, were flown to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick with critical injuries.

Morgan's publicist, Lewis Kay, said in a statement: 'His family is now with him (in hospital) and he is receiving excellent care. We don’t anticipate much of a change in his condition today.'

The New Jersey Turnpike was closed for more than five hours after the crash.

Just hours before the fatal crash, Fuqua had posted a picture on Instagram of Morgan performing at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware.

Morgan had been booked for the casino's entertainment, with a show called Tracy Morgan - Turn It Funny!, with tickets costing between $35 to $65.

Morgan had been due to perform the same show in North Carolina tonight, but that leg of the tour has been canceled.

Morgan has three grown sons with his ex-wife, and a daughter, Maven Sonae, born last July to his fiancee, Megan Wollover.


Conference for men will have to hire police protection, organizer says

Organizers of a controversial conference scheduled to be held in Detroit later this month said they must pay police to provide security during the event, because of threats.

The International Conference on Men’s Issues is scheduled to take place at the DoubleTree Fort Shelby in downtown Detroit on June 26-28, but thousands of people signed a petition calling for it to be canceled.

Dean Esmay is helping to organize the conference put on by A Voice for Men and said the group’s mission is to fight for specific issues confronting men and boys, such as homelessness, suicide prevention and incarceration.

But the group has been critical of feminism, and Esmay said the presumption that one is “guilty until proven innocent” is a problem men have in sexual assault cases and domestic violence cases. The group’s positions have drawn harsh critics locally and even internationally.

“The threats have escalated to include death threats, physical violence against our staff and other guests as well as damage to the property,” said a letter provided to the Free Press by a group official, who said it was sent by hotel staff.

The letter, dated May 29, said that a minimum of seven officers will be needed in the hotel at all times during the conference but that could increase and the group hosting the event will be responsible for the cost.

Messages were left for management of the DoubleTree, but they could not be reached for comment Monday.

A spokesman with the Detroit Police Department said he could not find any police reports of death threats and said it’s “very unusual” that police wouldn’t be contacted for a death threat.

“We’re definitely going to look into it,” said Officer Adam Madera.

He said officials with the DoubleTree contacted its the department’s secondary employment unit — which allows for businesses and other organizations to request police officers at events — but they did not specify why.

Meanwhile, more than 2,300 signatures appeared on an online petition Monday on change.org expressing opposition to the conference and calling for it to be canceled.

“The petition to cancel the conference has worldwide support, and we're getting the word out almost exclusively through social media,” said Kelly Jackson. She started the petition last week.

A Voice for Men regularly posts messages on its Facebook page. One shows a picture of a man and says, “Presumed guilty until proven innocent ... because women would never lie about rape.”

Another shows a picture of a skeleton and says, “Feminism is going to help men, too. We just need to be patient.”

Esmay said more than 200 people are expected to come to Detroit for the conference that will feature 14 speakers. He estimated the cost for police will be about $20,000.

Based on some of what they’ve seen on social media and petitions, Esmay thinks there’s a good chance people will protest.

“We would welcome them if they’re peaceful protesters,” he said. “We protest ourselves. ... It’s the American way.”


Racial quotas for local zoning decisions?

In October, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is set to finalize a rulemaking to condition eligibility for community development block grants on redrawing zoning maps to achieve racial and income integration.

In 2012, HUD dispersed about $3.8 billion of these grants to almost 1,200 municipalities. These range from the rather small — Nashua, N.H. received $583,000 that year. To the rather large — New York City received $210.9 million of the grants.

Now, under the new rule, HUD will empower itself to nationalize local zoning decisions in every single one of these localities in an attempt to create evenly distributed neighborhoods based on racial composition and income.

“This is a utopian pipe dream, and social engineering at its worst,” Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens said.

“Neighborhoods are constituted not based on racial quotas, but on economics,” he added.

Mehrens called on the House of Representatives to defund implementation of the rule via a rider to the Transportation and HUD appropriations bill coming up next week.

A trial run for the rule has already occurred in Westchester County, N.Y., where the department has attempted for years to rezone the area as a condition for receiving millions in grants.

County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, told HUD to go pound sand, and simply rejected the receipt of $5 million of grants from 2012.

Westchester lost out on some $7 million of grants from 2011 for the same reason.

“It is unfortunate that HUD, which claims to champion the needy, once again is threatening to withhold funds for affordable housing,” said Astorino spokesman Ned McCormack in April. “But the county is not going to turn over control of the local zoning of its six cities, 19 towns and 20 villages to bureaucrats in Washington for $5 million in grants.”

HUD was demanding that the county build 750 units of affordable housing in 31 more affluent communities.

Now, Astorino, running for governor this year against Andrew Cuomo, is challenging in federal court the legal basis under which HUD can even condition the grants in exchange for changes to zoning.

Now, call me a cynic, but this probably has nothing at all to do with integrating communities on the basis of race or income. More likely, this is a pretext to tilt the political scales on the national and local political scenes for the next generation to favor Democrats.

It is no secret that Republicans with their low tax message tend to do better among the middle and upper middle classes, while Democrats with their social welfare regime tend to do better among the poor.

The solution for Democrats? Via regulation, force communities dependent on federal funding to build more homes and apartments where Democrats are likely to live.

If for no other reason, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives should defund the new rulemaking, which represents an existential threat to its continued viability as a national political party.

But, leaving that aside, it’s also completely insane from a policy standpoint. Forcing wealthier communities to build so-called affordable housing units could depress property values, increase local taxes, and place a greater strain on public services.

It also violates the constitutional balance of powers between the federal, state, and local governments. The federal government has zero role, constitutionally, in local zoning decisions. That is a matter for county and municipal boards.

Besides, it will not do a thing to alleviate actual housing discrimination, ALG’s Mehrens noted, “Housing discrimination based on race has been illegal for decades. There is no discrimination in people choosing for themselves where they want to live, and yet that is exactly what HUD is seeking to regulate.”


Charity Guy Drives Cancer Patients for Free, NYC Taxi Commission Tries to Seize His Car

On Monday, TLC officers impounded the car of 25-year-old Yeshaya Liebowitz and issued him a $2,000 citation, the Daily News reports. His crime: offering free rides to cancer patients as part of his work with the Jewish charity Chesed.

"I tried to explain to him we're not a car service," Yeshaya Liebowitz, 25, said of the Monday misadventure in Borough Park, Brooklyn.

The TLC officer wasn't interested and instead made off with the car, leaving the two sick, elderly passengers stranded on the side of the road and Liebowitz holding the hefty citation.

The New York Daily News has been reporting on a recent push by the Taxi & Limousine Commission to crackdown on gypsy cabs—unlicensed drivers who pick up passenger or help out neighbors, friends, or relatives when they need a lift in exchange for some cash.

Gypsy cabs, of course, are the original ridesharing technology. Lyft without the pink mustache, Uber without the app. Ridesharing makes taxi commissions awfully nervous. And when powerful monopolists get nervous, they tend to get mean.

This incident has a "happy" ending. A local politician intervened and the summons was dismissed. But those charity workers had better be careful. Challenging urban taxi commissions can be a dangerous move, just ask Reason's own Jim Epstein who was arrested for trying to film a meeting of the D.C. Taxi Commission.



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

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

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


June 9, 2014

Scotland's sinister 'Named Person' system abolishes parental rights

Please watch this brief interview with James and Rhianwen McIntosh. They are demonstrably intelligent, eloquent, loving parents who know what's best for their four children. Notwithstanding their experience as parents and their intuitive capacity to nurture and love, they have been informed that their children have all been assigned a 'Named Person' to oversee their welfare, supervise their upbringing and intervene where they deem it to be appropriate, even when this conflicts with the will of the praents.

This sinister 'Big Brother' scheme is not due to come into effect until 2016. But in a letter from the Scottish NHS, Mr and Mrs McIntosh were shocked to discover that all future letters and medical reports would be shared with their children's 'Named Person' - without their consent. Holyrood has effectively passed a bill which nullifies parental rights and endows the state with higher baby-sitting authority: Scotland has become the progenitor and guardian of all her children - not ultimately or in extremis, but right from the beginning.

It has also been reported in the Express that parents will be reported to the state for trivial family incidents, such as forgetting a child’s doctor's or hospital appointment. Although the scheme is not set to be fully implemented until August 2016, the Scottish Government guidance is now being used by the NHS to justify sharing data on children with head teachers. Some parents received a letter from a paediatrician in NHS Forth Valley that said, “we are now required to inform the Named Person for your child if your child fails to attend an appointment”.

“In addition, we may also send them copies of future relevant reports,” it continued.

The bizarre thing is that a child's 'Named Person; is not available for consultation or discussion: they may be a health worker or teacher tasked by the state to monitor the child until they reach the age of majority. As Aidan O’Neill QC observes, this is “predicated on the idea that the proper primary relationship that children will have for their well-being and development, nurturing and education is with the State rather than within their families and with their parents”.

Director of The Christian Institute Colin Hart said: “This is the kind of situation we have been warning about since MSPs decided to meddle with the rights of families to have a private life. The state seems intent on usurping the role of parents and reducing them to helpless spectators in the lives of their children. Mums and dads should be very afraid of this kind of Big Brother invasion into their lives and their homes.”

One must hope and pray that the Coalition policy outlined in the Queen's Speech - to criminalise causing psychological or emotional harm to children - is not a step on the way to a UK-wide 'Named Peron'. We must all be rightly appalled when children suffer neglect and harm, but a state policy which potentially criminalises the likes of James and Rhianwen McIntosh is manifestly one which impinges upon liberty and will surely target the innocent.


International free movement of labour bad for Britain's youth

More than a quarter of British people who voted in the recent elections to the European Parliament voted for the UK Independence Party (UKIP). I was one of them.

UKIP wants Britain to leave the EU. It also supports immigration controls in place of the free movement of labour required by EU membership.

A left-wing friend challenged me on this. Wasn’t I being inconsistent, arguing in favour of free markets yet voting for a party that wants to shut down Europe’s free market in labour?

My answer was that free movement of labour worked well when EU countries were at roughly comparable levels of prosperity (which was the case when the European Economic Community was first set up). But today, the EU encompasses poor countries as well as rich ones. Romania’s average wage levels are about one-fifth those in Britain.

A free EU labour market is great for bright, enterprising Romanian workers, who can go to Britain and earn more money. It’s also good for UK employers, who get good workers at a low price, and UK consumers, who can buy cheaper goods and services as a result.

But it is bad for hundreds of thousands of young, relatively low intelligence, poorly-educated, and often lazy Brits with no social skills. They won't and can't compete for the low-level jobs in McDonald’s which Poles and Bulgarians are now doing, so they end up on welfare instead.

If Britain didn’t have a welfare state, free movement of cheap labour from poor countries might work, for Britain’s poorly-motivated youth would have no choice but to compete for whatever low-level jobs are on offer. But with a welfare state, unrestricted immigration cements them into long-term, large-scale welfare dependency instead.

A few years ago I wrote two CIS papers (available here and here) addressing the problem of finding low-skill jobs for low-ability youngsters to do. I argued that if we want to push poorly-motivated youngsters of limited ability off welfare and into work, we have to ensure there are enough routine, low-responsibility, low-skill jobs for them to do.

Countries like Australia and Britain have seen millions of these jobs disappear in recent decades due to global competition (the Chinese are doing them) and new technology (machines are doing them). The minimum wage doesn’t help, either, with wages often set above the value of the work that might potentially be offered.

These problems are made even worse if the low-skill jobs that remain in the country all get taken by keen, young immigrants. It’s great having bright, polite Poles serve me my Macchiato in Costa Coffee, but it means idle British-born kids are rotting their lives away on benefits.

So unless Britain is prepared to scrap its welfare state (unlikely), it needs an immigration policy like Australia's, where you can come in only if you can offer skills the economy needs.

The crunch problem, however, is that Britain is not allowed to introduce an Australian-style strategy of selective immigration based on skills. Australia can do this, because it is a sovereign country. But as an EU member, the UK no longer has the freedom to make such decisions.


Modern Language Association’s (MLA) anti-Israel Resolution fails to pass

At the January meeting of the Modern Language Association (MLA) in Chicago this year, a resolution was proposed that would censure Israel for applying visa restrictions to academics whom it regarded as a security threat, promoted by some radical MLA members who claimed to be motivated by their passionate support for the free exchange of ideas.

The anti-Israel measure barely passed the MLA’s Delegate Assembly at that time, and Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) has previously criticized both the process by which the MLA’s Resolution 2014-1 was introduced and debated, and the intent of the resolution itself.

On June 4th, the entire MLA membership voted on the resolution and it failed to pass,with only 6% of members voting for it.

SPME congratulates those MLA members who chose not to approve this resolution. As academics, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East strongly supports the principle of unencumbered scholarly travel. Unfortunately, the MLA’s Resolution 2014-1 engaged this topic in a lopsided way, focusing exclusively on Israel. Critiquing only Israel among all the nations on earth—many countries where academics are denied even the ability to study, attend classes, or travel—is both counter-productive and disingenuous, since Israel guarantees individual and human rights of its own citizens and visitors.

Over the past months, the resolution has been considered by the MLA’s 28,000 members, who began voting with on-line balloting set to this week. In order to provide an opportunity for its members to debate the resolution, the MLA set up a members-only listserv on which opinions for and against the resolution could be posted and argued.

The postings on that listserv have now been made public, and SPME is extremely concerned about some of the statements made there, specifically those which seem to expose values and opinions which are contrary to academic debate, conspiratorial, and even some which seem on their face to be virulently anti-Israel and some which echo anti-Semitic tropes.

One commenter alluded to “Zionist attack dogs” who apply pressure “on universities by Zionist funders and lobby groups to quell any dissent,” presumably suggesting that these MLA members do not wish to have their anti-Israel ideology, and this resolution, even questioned or debated by anyone having contrary opinions.

A similar conspiratorial comment on the listserv was laced with the traditional anti-Semitic trope that Jews control media, government, and academia, and then use that influence to suppress criticism of Israel. The individual who posted pointed to the “humongous influence that Jewish scholars have in the decision-making process of Academia in general,” presumably suggesting that those academics—both within the MLA and elsewhere in academia—who have spoken out against the MLA’s resolution did so, not because there was another side to this debate, but because they wanted to use their enormous influence to suppress the ideas and speech of others with different views.

It never apparently occurred to these radical individuals within the MLA that it may be the weakness of their argument that is the issue, not the tactics of their ideological opponents. And by accusing those who opposed the resolution of being motivated by sinister, rather than sincere, values, some MLA commenters on the listserv revealed a characteristic anti-Semitic libel.

As Professor Cary Nelson, an MLA member and former president of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), suggested in opposing Resolution 2014-1, the revelation of some of these comments, and their tone, reveal “. . . what has been the most troubling aspect of the MLA’s effort to delegitimate the Israeli state—its clear component of anti-Semitism. All the countries that restrict faculty travel need to be pressed to improve access for research and teaching, but a rag tag group of English and foreign language professors is ill-equipped to judge how any country’s security needs shape its visa policies. What is clear from the anti-Semitic comments scattered through the MLA debate is that some of those promoting the MLA resolution singling out Israel are doing so for reprehensible motives. All who support the resolution are now tarnished as a result.”

Gabriel Brahm, another MLA members and an SPME Fellow, said that the “minority-inspired anti-Israel resolution reveal three things that should make voting for it off-limits to fair-minded individuals who care about the MLA as an institution. (1), there manifestly is anti-Semitism in evidence; (2), the underlying aims of the backers of resolution 2014-1 further than explicitly stated; (3), the hardcore realpolitikers behind the proposal all this, and untroubled by it.”

All and all, the results of the vote prove that there are enough academics who are willing to speak out against radical fringe voices.

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East commends it colleagues within the MLA, and the membership at large, for standing up for true exchange of ideas and legitimate public discourse, hopes that these voices will continue to prevail, and is pleased that there are positive trends in both the MLA and academia where scholars are willing to stand up for academic integrity and true academic discourse.

Email from Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

Birth control heroine was a monster

Marie Stopes was one of the most influential women of the 20th century: a distinguished fossil expert, brilliant academic and pioneer of birth control.

Also a feminist visionary, she opened the first birth control clinic in Britain and her book, Married Love — which argued marriage should be an equal relationship between husband and wife — was an international bestseller.

And yet, in her private life, she was a staggeringly selfish monster.

She was anti-Semitic and believed fervently in eugenics — or “improving” the human population through selective breeding. Though she made her name as a marital expert she publicly humiliated her two husbands.

The greatest irony of all though, was that the woman who wrote another bestseller, Wise Parenthood was an atrocious mother.

She treated her only son as a social experiment, dressing him up in girl’s clothes, choosing, and then discarding, adoptive brothers for him, and later cruelly victimising his wife.

When Marie Stopes died in 1958, at the age of 77, her son found she had cut him out of much of her will, she had remained so angry at his marriage.

That son, Dr Harry Stopes-Roe has just died aged 90. Remarkably, not only did he survive his mother’s wicked treatment, but he flourished as a philosopher and remained happily married to his own wife for nearly 70 years. He even defended his mother against riticism and censure.

His willingness to forgive his horrific parent is all the more extraordinary when you consider the misery of his childhood.

Marie Stopes didn’t allow him to read books when younger, because she thought they stopped children thinking for themselves. Until the age of 11, he was forced to wear skirts as his mother took against trousers, which she considered ‘ugly and heating-in-the-wrong-places garments’. Bicycles — thought equally wicked by her — were also banned.

When Harry Stopes-Roe was born in 1924, his mother was 43 and world famous. Her father was a prosperous brewer, her mother a Shakespearean scholar, and she was brought up in an intellectual hothouse.

The first female academic at the University of Manchester, she became an expert on fossils before turning her mind to birth control. Her 1918 book, Married Love, sold 750,000 copies and made her a household name. She edited newsletter Birth Control News.

Her Mothers’ Clinic in Holloway, North London, opened in 1921 and was the first in the country to offer birth control advice. Over the next 22 years, more opened nationwide. During her lifetime, none offered terminations. An anti-abortionist, Stopes argued that preventing pregnancy through birth control was the way forward.

But, as her professional career flourished, her private life was torn apart by her raging megalomania and a belief she was some sort of divine messiah.

When she addressed a conference of Anglican bishops, she greeted them with: ‘My Lords, I speak to you in the name of God. You are his priests. I am his prophet. I speak to you of the mysteries of man and woman.’

Her first marriage to Reginald Ruggles Gates, a Canadian geneticist, was a disaster. After marrying in 1911, Stopes filed for divorce just two years later on the grounds that the marriage was never consummated. Gates’ sexual failure became widely-known — a shameful humiliation for the distinguished scientist.

Her second marriage in 1918 to Humphrey Roe, a rich philanthropist and World War I flying ace, wasn’t much more successful. Though they had a son together she soon grew bored by Roe as a lover and companion. She forced him to write a letter — which she dictated — freeing her from their marriage vows.

Though they did not divorce, she banished Roe to the attic of their 18th-century mansion, only letting him enter family rooms if he had first completed chores.

The separation from his son caused Roe anguish. ‘I hope you will allow me to see Harry sometimes,’ was his heartbreaking plea to his wife.

She became obsessed with her only child and set out to control him to a horrifying degree.

Too old to have any more children and worried Harry would be lonely and anti-social without a sibling, Marie Stopes advertised for an adopted brother, who had to be ‘absolutely healthy, intelligent and not circumcised’.

The first candidate, Robin, was a three-year-old orphan, reluctantly handed over by loving, but poor, aunts. Two years later, they took him back, horrified, when Marie Stopes said their nephew would be improved by ‘a few whippings’.

Then came Dick, who was sent back to the National Children’s Adoption Society because he would ‘never bloom so as to be a credit to us’.

The third adopted brother, John, was rejected because he lacked ‘academic ability and literary and artistic sensibility’.

Barry, the fourth, was renamed Roy by Stopes because she didn’t like his original name. When he wet himself — one can imagine through sheer terror and distress — she declared he was ‘unfit to live in a decent household’.

In this desperate, lonely childhood, one of Harry’s few consolations was his family’s friendship with Ernest Shepard, the illustrator of Winnie The Pooh.

Shepard once sent a deeply poignant letter to the little boy, with a sketch of Pooh crying at the prospect of not making his birthday party.

Shepard wrote, ‘Dear Buffkins [Harry’s nickname]. I am very sory that I cant come to yr party but I am going away to the igsle of wite on Saturday 24nd and I am verry verry sory. Pooh.’

In spite of everything, Harry flourished. After Charterhouse school, he read physics at Imperial College London, then gained a PhD in philosophy at St John’s College, Cambridge, and embarked on an academic career. But it proved impossible to escape his mother’s bullying.

She was determined to decide who her son would marry, someone who would be ‘his peer in looks, inheritance and health’.

When Harry fell for childhood friend Mary Eyre Wallis, daughter of Sir Barnes Wallis, inventor of the bouncing bomb, his mother reacted with fury.

Mary was short-sighted — a sign of terrible genetic weakness, according to Stopes’s unpalatable eugenicist views.

She wrote: ‘Mary and Harry are quite callous about both the wrong to their children, the wrong to my family, and the eugenic crime.’

Stopes was a fellow of the Eugenics Society and, in 1921, founded the Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress.

Its aim was to promote eugenic birth control. She backed ‘the sterilisation of those totally unfit for parenthood [including] the inferior, the depraved, and the feeble-minded’. She believed, too, in the idea of ‘racial degeneration’, caused by sexually-transmitted diseases and ‘overcrowding’.

She refused to have a Jewish refugee child to lunch during World War??II, saying it would offend guests. In 1942, she wrote a poem which said: ‘Catholics, Prussians?/?The Jews and the Russians?/?All are a curse?/?Or something worse.’

She even sent a copy of a collection of her poems, Love Songs For Young Lovers, to Hitler, whom she greatly admired.

She wrote: ‘Dear Herr Hitler, Love is the greatest thing in the world: so will you accept from me these [poems] that you may allow the young people of your nation to have them?

‘The young must learn love from the particular till they are wise enough for the universal. I hope too that you yourself may find something to enjoy in the book.’

So incensed was she by her daughter-in-law’s supposed genetic weakness, that she refused to attend the wedding. And, when Stopes died of breast cancer a decade later, she cut Harry out of her will almost entirely because she believed ‘he had betrayed her by this marriage’.

She bequeathed Harry 13 volumes of the Greater Oxford English Dictionary and a Cornish cottage, while her large fortune went to the Eugenics Society and Royal Society of Literature.

And yet throughout his life he continued to defend his mother and the contribution she made to sex education and the welfare of the poor. He even said he was now ‘prepared to laugh’ at the way he had been brought up.

Meanwhile, his own career prospered. After Cambridge, he became a lecturer at Birmingham University and later rose to become vice-president of the British Humanist Association.

His marriage to Mary, a fellow academic, was a deeply happy one. Together they had four children and when their two boys and two girls were young they would all holiday together in Cornwall.

He set out to create his own ideal of ‘Married Love’ and endeavoured to right with his own children all the appalling wrongs of his own wickedly selfish mother.



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

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

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


June 8, 2014

What religion should you be?

Larger version here

Just for fun

Politics in science fiction

Some years back, I was a frequent reader of science fiction -- so am aware that both the readers and the writers of it can take it rather seriously. And it seems that the politically correct brigade do so too. And they seem to have become very influential in a guild that awards prizes for the "best" science fiction every year. Some conservative authors (one of whom is Vox Day) have of course protested at that takeover. There is however a gloating article by a Mr Damien Walter in "The Guardian" which mocks those conservative authors. One of the conservative authors replies to Mr Walter below. His reply is very prolix so I excerpt only the central part of it:

John C Wright

Frankly, I am not too clear on what Mr. Walter is in favor of that Mr. Day is against. Divergence? Dilettantism? Inculcation? Energy Independence? Bioethics? Toleration of multirainbow something? Anti-Mexicanism? Finn-bashing? Bimetallism? The Caledonian War?

Just what is it that Vox Day is allegedly against that Damien Walter is allegedly for?

Let me peruse his poorly-written screed for a moment, and unlimber my Newspeak-to-English translation mechanism. Ah! Here it is!

"2014 has proved to be a pivotal year in liberating science fiction from its own innate political biases. For decades, science fiction’s major awards were given, year after year, to white male authors.… It is fair to say that SF is coming to terms with its historic gender [sic] and racial biases."

(By ‘gender’ Mr Walter means ‘sex’. Literate people know that gender refers to word endings in declined languages.)

My Newspeak-to-English translator reports that Mr Walter is in favor of judging science fiction stories by the melanin content of the skin of the writer who writes them, rather than the merit of the story.

In other words, Mr Walter is in favor of judging all things, including what how many readers or awards adventure novels about Space Princesses and Space Pirates should have, on the basis of his race of the writer and his race alone.

And — wait a sec — Walter is promoting open, naked racism, and he is accusing Day of racism?

(Why is the race of the writer significant? Why not the editor or publisher or cover artist? If a Pennsylvania Dutch writer with a Jewish wife, a Chinese daughter, a Portuguese Godmother, and a Black roommate who follows an Argentine Pope and worships a Jewish Carpenter has a Quarter-Mexican Editor and a Finnish Publisher, how does avoiding his books help Diversification or Diversion or Desertification or whatever it is called?)

Be all that as it may, an examination of my public statements will show I have not said anything on the topic one way or the other.

All I have said is that gossips are worse than racists, and that the accusations of racism are meaningless due to overuse and abuse.

I have said and will say again that I hate the Thought Police with a bitter, ice-cold, and unwavering hatred. Thought Police are un-American, Anti-Christian, inhuman, and disgusting. I have said that I will not, by dues or name, aid an organization, like SFWA, which officially supports policing the thoughts of its members for their political correctness and ideological purity. I am against unprofessional behavior from a professional organization.

At this point, when it comes to cries of racism, not only do I not react to the boy crying wolf, nor bestir myself by a hair’s breath to seek the source of the cry, I know by sad experience it is always dishonest, and so I hope the wolf eats the slander-mouthed boy, to silence his incessant and annoying lies forever.

However, such slanderous, false, and importune tactics that Mr Walter and his ilk use so annoy me that I will happily hereby this day declare my total and absolute support for anything, anything whatsoever, that annoys the Left or anyone claiming to speak for the Left.

I declare my total, reckless, and absolute support for Vox Day, but not the real Vox Day (which is not even his real name, only the name of his public persona, one part gadfly, one part Don Rickles, one part Harlan Elison) only the spooky bugbear invented by the Leftwing nincompoops in their hallucinations.

Oh! I am guilty of Being Skeptical, Waiting to See Proof, and Not Joining the Mob Pelting a Witch Accused by a Lunatic Witchhunter. Yes, that is it. Already I feel the evilness of my evil rising up my spine.


Morris dancing troupe forced to end 900-year-old traditional procession after red tape and costs soar

A group of Morris dancers have been forced to end a 900-year-old procession as they struggle to cope with the magnitude of paperwork involved.

The Dolphin Morris Men revived the 12th century event, dating back to 1109, in 1981 and have carried it out every year since.

But this Saturday will be the last time they dance 20 miles from Nottingham to Southwell as organisers 'can no longer keep up with the 21st century'.

To hold the procession, which snakes through pubs and village greens along the route, the committee have to apply for road closures and buy signs. Added to the remaining costs, they have finally decided it is untenable.

Co-ordinator Chris Gigg said: 'What started as a simple procession has become very complicated. The cost associated with this year’s event has been about £500.

'Because of the procession, we have to close off some of the roads, which obviously takes a lot of planning.

'If you’re having road closures, you also have to hire road signs and things like that. The administration and costs involved in organising the event is out of all proportion.

'We’re really disappointed as it has been a fantastic tradition, with people coming together from all over the region. 'Unfortunately the 21st century has caught up with us.'

The Dolphin Morris Men’s Bagman Martin Morley, 60, said: 'I’ve really enjoyed being part of this ancient tradition, especially as people from all over come along to take part.

'Unfortunately, increased regulation with road closures and costs has made it very difficult, so we’ve decided to stop doing it this year. 'It’s a shame, but it has just become a bit too much for us.'

The Gate to Southwell tradition celebrated the 12th century procession of parishioners to Southwell Minster in order to pay for the upkeep of the cathedral.

As the Dolphin Morris Men’s website explains: 'It all started in 1109 when it was decided to build a 'Mother Church' at Southwell - what is now known as Southwell Minster.

'Churches don’t come cheap, so they hit on a ruse to invite people from all over the Diocese to walk to Southwell and bring money with them. The walking made it a nice day out, and the transport costs thus saved could be given to the church. The perfect plan!

'The amount given by each parish varied, according to the wealth and generosity of the parishioners. Nottingham, for example, gave 13 shillings and four pence (about 66p), whereas lowly Stanton gave only 5d (about 2p). The whole lot came to 15 pounds, 18 shillings, seven pence and one farthing.

'In today’s money, just under £16 - the cost of a CD - but in those days, enough to buy a whole steeple, or a good sized nave.'

History books show that Morris dancers have been involved in the event from as far back as 1530.

On Saturday, more than 160 dancers will process between Nottingham and Southwell. The ceremony begins at 8.30am when Nottingham’s Lord Mayor hands over a purse containing 13 shillings and four pence.

Some dancers walking the entire 20 miles and others using cars or minibuses to get between the various meeting points.

It ends with a rendezvous at Southwell Minster where the purse containing the ‘Southwell Pence’ is handed over to the clerk.

Dolphin Morris Men member Bob Hine, 70, was responsible for re-starting the event 33 years ago and has been part of the procession ever since. He said: 'I’m trying to think of it in a more positive way.'It’s amazing we’ve kept this going as long as we have.'It started off as a one-off event so to have carried it on for more than 30 years is fantastic.'

Peter Goode, Nottinghamshire County Council's traffic manager, said: 'It will be disappointing to see the loss of a 900 year-old tradition, but there is also a need to recognise the complexity of managing old events safely on today's roads which carry high volumes of fast-moving traffic.

'The County Council has supported this event by waiving charges for making legal orders and approving traffic management, but we do have to ensure that event organisers make their own proper arrangements to ensure the safety of participants and the general public and to minimise disruption.

'The standards for the management of traffic are set by the Department for Transport and apply across all local authority areas and to all similar events nationwide.

'We are happy to work with the event organisers and propose other routes which may reduce their costs by being less dependent on road closures, diversions and traffic restrictions.'


Damaging false rape claims never stop coming in Britain

A lying law graduate who falsely accused her boyfriend of rape so she would have an excuse for failing her legal exams is facing jail after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Rhiannon Brooker, 30, claimed Paul Fensome, 46, forced her to have sex with him on 11 occasions and faked injuries to suggest he beat her.

The Birmingham law graduate even alleged Mr Fensome caused her to have a miscarriage by punching her in the stomach.

During the eight-week trial at Bristol Crown Court, jurors were told Brooker falsified the allegations because her party lifestyle led her to fail her bar assessments.

She is said to have told an exam committee that her performance suffered from 'extenuating circumstances'.

Mr Fensome, a 6ft 8in tall heavy metal fan, was arrested, charged and held in custody for 36 days before police realised there was no evidence against him.

Brooker, from Frampton Cotterell, South Gloucestershire, denied 20 charges of doing an act tending and intended to pervert the course of justice between May 2011 and January 2012.

The charges related to 11 made-up claims of rape, eight assaults and one of false imprisonment.

After nearly 21 hours of deliberations, the jury of 10 men and two women found Brooker guilty of 12 charges - related to five false rape claims, six assaults and one of false imprisonment.

Jurors failed to reach verdicts on the other eight charges and were discharged by Judge Julian Lambert.

The prosecution is not seeking a re-trial and Brooker, who was released on bail, will be sentenced on June 26.

Prosecutor David Bartlett told the court: 'One of the reasons for her false allegations was that she was living an active social life in Bristol and not doing the work required to pass the assessments. 'So she falsified the allegations in order to give substance to her extenuating circumstances forms.

'Her knowledge of criminal law and procedure derived from her law degree course in Birmingham and was likely to be greater than that of most rape complainants.

'The prosecution alleges that she knew that the course of justice was being perverted and intended to pervert the course of justice throughout that period. 'When discrepancies were revealed and put to Brooker, she continued to maintain her account in the face of evidence to the contrary.

'In addition, prior to her initial reports, Brooker was responsible for infliction of injuries upon herself which indicates the considered nature of these false complaints.

'After Mr Fensome had been charged, Brooker deleted text messages from her phone which would have pointed to his innocence.'

Mr Bartlett told the court that 'confident and outspoken' Brooker took a law degree at Birmingham City University before moving to Bristol in September 2010.

She attended the University of the West of England to become a barrister by taking Bar vocational course qualifications.

The court heard that shortly before Brooker moved to Bristol, she told colleagues at a store where she worked in Birmingham that Mr Fensome raped her.

She then turned up to lectures in Bristol with facial injuries and bruising, telling students he attacked her because she wanted to break up with him.

In May 2011, she told police he had attacked her, embellishing the story with claims of physical assault and false imprisonment.

She told a friend she was pregnant but six weeks later told them she had lost the baby because her boyfriend punched her in the ribs.

Mr Fensome, a Birmingham railway signalman and self-confessed 'mosher' at heavy metal gigs, denied the assaults, describing them as a 'load of rubbish', and had 'cast-iron alibis' for the dates.

Brooker did not wish to see him and when he gave his evidence she sat behind a screen in the dock.

Mr Bartlett told the court: 'Eventually the Crown dropped the numerous charges against Paul Fensome. 'Taken as a whole, the evidence showed that there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction.

'Expert opinion was obtained which suggested that those injuries of Brooker that were photographed were self-inflicted.

'Brooker seemed oblivious to the impact of the false allegations on Mr Fensome’s family, causing distress, disruption and expense.

'In addition, Brooker deceived other students and her tutors who committed time and emotional support to her cause.

'We suggest that the defendant has an inherent tendency to fabricate allegations and needs always to be the centre of attention. 'She has never lost that tendency or need, with disastrous consequences for herself and those around her.'

The court heard Brooker sat the first four of her 12 assessments for the bar course and persuaded the extenuating circumstance committee to let her sit them all at a later date.

She eventually withdrew the rape allegations, confirming they were false and admitted injuries seen by witnesses were self-inflicted.

Railway signalman Mr Fensome, 46, had a brief romance with Brooker before they went own separate ways and he later met and married someone else.

He told a press conference yesterday: 'When I first heard about the accusations I was shocked. 'It was unbelievable. I was completely gobsmacked when they came to arrest me.

'They took me to our local police station and I was being questioned until midnight and I was then sent to Bristol for questioning. 'The impact has been absolutely massive on my family.

'My niece in particular took it rather hard because she was the one who introduced Rhiannon to our family.

'Everyone at work, my family members, friends that I haven't spoken to in a long time, all stuck behind me the whole time.

'I would like to thank the legal team that have worked with me - there has been a lot of travelling up to Birmingham for them so they have had to be away from their family.'

Brooker told police: 'The allegations were not true and I am sorry I made them. I find it very difficult to understand why I said these things.

'I believe that in some funny way I have hit out against Paul as he was close to me - the nearest target of those unresolved feelings of anger - and I regret the hurt that I’ve caused him as a result.

'I am trying to work hard with these feelings and I understand that they have to be resolved and put behind me.'

When detectives told her of the decision to drop the charges against Mr Fensome, she became tearful, the court heard.

The following day she was found slumped against a tree by a river with a bottle of vodka and a strip of anti-depressants.

Judge Lambert ordered the eight counts to which the jury were unable to reach verdicts to lie on file.

Chief Superintendent Sarah Crew, Avon and Somerset Police's lead for rape and sexual offences, said: 'Rhiannon Brooker has proved herself to be a very calculating and manipulative woman whose allegations resulted in an innocent man being charged with serious offences and remanded in custody awaiting trial.

'Mr Fensome has been through a difficult and traumatic ordeal over the past three years and I would like to thank him for supporting these court proceedings.

'We will continue to offer him all the help and support he needs.'


Kate Millett: An insane feminist

And how she enabled Elliot Rodger

In the 1970's I was alarmed to hear that my big sister, Kate Millett, who had serious mental health issues which had agonized my family and her friends for many years, was organizing a group called The Mental Patients' Project in order to claim that the psychiatric community and society were "oppressing" people and "stigmatizing them with labels such as psychotic, bi-polar, schizophrenic, borderline personalities," etc and unconstitutionally imprisoning them in hospitals thereby violating their civil rights. We, as a family, had struggled for years with Kate's issues, many times attempting to hospitalize her so she could obtain the serious help she so obviously needed. She was a brutal sadist, a violent bully at whose hands everyone about her suffered. Throughout my childhood I was menaced and immeasurably traumatized, as I'm sure was Elliot Rodger’s younger sibling whom he, in fact, intended to murder.

At one point, in 1973, I found myself alone with her in an apartment in Berkeley, California where she did not allow me to sleep for five days as she raged at the world and menaced me physically. I had come to Berkeley at her entreaty to appear in the UCB Auditorium as she screened a film we'd produced together in the summer of 1970 (another horror story too long to recount here) and which was, in part, a biography of my life along with two other women. This movie (Three Lives) was the very first ever produced with not one iota of male presence. Even the people who delivered food to the set had to be female and Kate was touting it as the first all-woman film production in history.

Having had my youth overshadowed by Kate's irrationality I warily traveled West and the moment I spotted her in the airport knew I "was in for it". As she barreled across the airport's expanse it was clear that she was in the throes of her illness and my heart throbbed with the desire to turn and run.

During the speech after the screening she fell apart onstage before a packed assembly of fawning admirers. It was a standing room only audience. In fact, they had had to schedule a second screening at the last minute, as the response had been huge. As I sat next to her lectern during her incoherent ravings I witnessed the pained looks of confusion as they swept across those faces like a small gale whipping up across the top of a sea; at first tiny ripples gliding across the surface. They were polite until the realization took shape that she was making no sense whatsoever.

People began glancing at each other, whispering a little then turning to one another with more energy, politeness gone, as some began to get up and leave. Soon many were slipping out and that was followed by a mad dash for the exits. She was babbling and shouting incoherently whilst I nodded and pretended every word made perfect sense. I could not bear to betray her in public. I sat there feeling my heart melting through my chest and draining into my belly with an indescribable sick empathy. Her humiliation was unbearable as the gale whipped up to a force ten and with one last enormous surge we were left in an empty room. The second screening was cancelled.

We returned to her apartment in relative silence. I was trapped with her in an unfamiliar place. I knew not one person in Berkeley. I was afraid to sleep for fear of awakening in a deadly pool of blood with a knife in my back. She stayed awake for five days babbling, ranting and wouldn't allow me to sleep. She was seeing "little green men" and her eyes were literally rolling around in their sockets. Never have I been more alone and terrified. However, love and concern for her and any others she might harm prevented me from leaving. Unable to abandon her, I stayed and whenever possible reached out by phone to other family members/friends in far flung places such as NYC, Minnesota, Nebraska pleading for advice and help. One such conversation was with Yoko Ono, a good friend of hers, who called to check on Kate and from whom I tearfully begged advice.

Kate, herself, has written several books on this part of her life (Flying, The Loony-Bin Trip) chronicling the "oppressive" actions of our family, vilifying us for our deeply worried attempts to aid in her obvious sufferings. So I am telling no "tales out of school" as she herself has documented her own struggles with sanity although she consistently claimed, "mental illness is a myth". "Many healthy people", she said, "are driven to mental illness by society's disapproval of unconventional behavior and by the authoritarian institution of psychiatry."

Really? Tell that to the families of those who suffered and died that Friday in Santa Barbara.....never mind, it's all just an illusion, a myth. Let’s examine and “have conversations” about the violation of the civil rights of these innocent families. She has called me and our other sister, Sally, plus family members, cousins, etc. vicious names, demonized us, and written reams of counterfeit versions of "the truth" concerning these matters. These are published works, which rest in the Library of Congress for all time and which slander our names as people who were petty and malicious and because we "hated her politics" were trying to shut her up and lock her away. By the way, many in our family agree for the most part with her politics and so this accusation is absolutely absurd on it's face. However, she is a famous writer and thus a recipient of the immunity fame seems to bestow.

And, speaking of the affected innocent victims: later, she wrote a book about her lesbian lover at that time. Sita was the title. This woman committed suicide in response to Kate’s “homage.”

Our elder sister, Sally, eventually came from Nebraska to the rescue, as it was imperative I return to NY to join a European theatrical tour for which I was contracted. She managed to get some temporary care for Kate, which sufficed for the moment. Within time, our mother and a lawyer nephew managed to take Kate to court in Minnesota in order to secure her "commitment." Anyone who knows Kate Millett knows the depth of her shrewdness which she used to bring in a NY lawyer and, in her unglued state, she stood up for herself as only she can and to our great horror prevailed in that courtroom walking out, unrestrained, to spend many more years, lurching about the world to continue her damaging and irrational antics; her genius for chaos.

Subsequently, she boarded a plane for Shannon, Ireland and upon arrival locked herself in the Ladies Room preventing anyone from relieving herself for twenty-four hours until the Shannon police broke down the door and committed her to an Irish psychiatric institution. She got word out to some of her Irish feminist loyalists who smuggled her out through a window and she escaped to be on the run making her way back to NYC. Many of her friends in the US were now involved and other interventions were arranged which she also managed to elude, quoting The Constitution to police and ambulance drivers. These efforts were as fruitless as Elliot Rodger’s encounter with Santa Barbara police. The police are no good at this. If only they had gone into his room; looked at his weapons and his homemade videos! Who would doubt the word of desperate, caring parents about the condition of their own child?

So when it came to my attention that as a result of these adventures she and a few cohorts had concocted a new "civil rights movement" for mental patients and in her characteristic ruthlessness was determined to "liberate" NY's mental patients I was beyond appalled. God help anyone who gets in the way of Kate and her "righteous indignation" which had already spearheaded the militant Women's Liberation Movement. This was to be called, “The Psychiatric Survivors Movement.”

Thus, as a result of Kate's and her pals’ agitation back in the seventies psychiatric and mental health institutions were forever changed. This culminated in the depositing on the streets of NYC thousands of confused, terrified and seriously disturbed persons left to fend for themselves in the mean streets of The City. Most people were shocked but the hapless denizens of New York simply shrugged their shoulders and left these poor souls thus deposited to the whims and cruelty of teens, gangs and other bullies. We've all read the accounts of sick and helpless people being kicked about, murdered, robbed and even set on fire. Yet, due to my sister's genius for chaos creation, no one, not even the Police Department can lift a finger of mercy to help these persons because it's a "violation of their civil rights" to do so.

As they say, "As New York City goes, so goes the country." And so it was as most of America followed suit and dissembled their mental health institutions and systems.

When I hear the multiple reports of this catastrophe in Santa Barbara my heart swells with sorrow over the people whose lives have been irrevocably altered by the actions of this very sick young man and when I witness (and how I do identify with) the agony of his family who tried so very hard to obtain help for him; the vivid story of Elliot's mother going to the police passionately begging for help.

DO NOT start the usual vilifying of the NRA and the constant claptrap about guns. Half of the people Elliot Rodger killed last weekend were felled by the knife. What? You want to confiscate all knives? Or make people get permits to own a knife? Most of the people injured were hurt by his car. Shall we outlaw cars? Let's start thinking straight: Do you seriously want to blame the instrument for the actions of the user? We may as well blame the keyboard for the poison pen letter or the telephone for the obscene phone call or death threat!!! Make no mistake about it. It's not guns, not male chauvinism, not white male privilege or male rage. It was the deconstruction of the mental health system in our country achieved in the seventies and eighties by a mad little gang of meddlers led in their mischief by Kate Millett.

Stop saying the warning signs were missed. They were not missed. The Rodger family was begging, pleading for help from therapists, the police; just as did my own family, my mother, my sister, Sally, my cousins, nephews and I intervened our guts out to absolutely no avail. There is no system left in this country to deal with these traumas. This is a mental health issue and no more. We are surrounded by phony bleeding hearts who can coolly step over the sacred bodies of the wretchedly ill lying about our streets and sashay into a shop to eat a sandwich. Shame on all of you and may an huge share of the blame fall upon the shoulders of the perpetrators of this mercilessness, my sister, Kate Millett, and her fawning, ghoulish band of "liberating" acolytes. These people are the ones responsible for this chaos in our world.

Let the blame for these types of crimes lie precisely on the shoulders of persons who commit evil not upon the instruments used to do these atrocities. One properly armed citizen could have stopped Elliot Rodger in his tracks and saved several of those lost lives and limbs.

My purpose in writing this account is to beseech, to beg, to plead with the reader to put your thinking straight about these matters. Stop the hogwash about the instruments used whether they be guns, baseball bats, knives, or blunt instruments. Think straight: Behind each of these outrages is a sick, homicidal person hell-bent on destruction by any means possible. We need to be able to restrain such people. We need an effective commitment process in order to help the mentally sick and to serve those whom they will inevitably kill, harm or maim. God bless these nineteen families and may we all learn what we should have known all along: Something sane must be done with our mental health system!!

Last autumn, Kate Millett was inducted, along with Nancy Pelosi, into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.



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

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

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


June 6, 2014

Retired teacher, 63, was held captive in bedsit for five months by abusive multiculturalist

Mohammed Ballal

A retired teacher was held captive in a bedsit for five months by an abusive man who subjected him to ‘brutal and degrading’ attacks which included being punished for using the bathroom.

Mohammed Ballal, 42, also bullied 63-year-old Gerald Kennedy into buying a £22,000 sports car and demanded he transfer ownership of his home during the wave of abuse.

He terrorised Mr Kennedy at the ‘pokey’ bedsit in Nelson, Lancashire for months and throttled, punched and kicked him in the stomach and between the legs while holding him captive.

Preston Crown Court heard how the ‘distressed’ victim eventually managed to escape after months of horrific abuse and reported his captor to police.

Ballal today pleaded guilty to fraud, false imprisonment and two counts of assault and was sentenced to four years and two months in prison.

Prosecutor Paul McDonald said Ballal got to know his victim when a friend started drinking at the man’s house.

The court heard how Mr Kennedy was told by Ballal that he could avoid paying money on his mortgage by transferring his home to someone else.

Following the conversation, he was given five minutes to pack his bags and taken to a ‘pokey’ bedsit where he was told he would only have to stay there 10 days at the most.

But he ended up being held a prisoner there for five months by Ballal who forced his victim into acting as a ‘chauffeur and household lackey’.

During his time at the bedsit, Ballal regularly assaulted Mr Kennedy over domestic issues, such as using the bathroom when he shouldn’t, and on one occasion shoved him to the ground and held a large piece of concrete over his head.

In November last year, Ballal also kicked him twice in the chest and swung a punch at him after accusing him of lying.

Mr McDonald said: ‘His life changed somewhat dramatically.

‘His freedom of movement was severely restricted by the defendant who used bullying and violence towards him to enforce his will.

‘He was hit at least once a day, usually for a minor ‘fault’ or trivial ‘complaint’. He became conditioned to accept it as a way of life. ‘The defendant seemed to enjoy administering such punishment.

‘He (Mr Kennedy) speaks of being throttled, punched in the stomach and neck, poked in the eye, punched in the face and kicked in the shins and between his legs.’

Mr Kennedy eventually escaped from the bedsit and rushed to the home of a longstanding friend in a ‘distressed state’.

Michael Blakey, defending, said Ballal showed remorse through his guilty pleas, sparing the victim the difficult ordeal of having to give evidence.

He also told the court that Ballal was not the man who told Mr Kennedy to pack his bags and said others drove him away to the bedsit.

Judge Ian Leeming, QC, described Ballal’s behaviour as ‘disgraceful and brutal’.

He said: ‘There was almost daily insults, degradations and frequent assaults. He had to do everything you demanded of him by way of service.’

Ballal was also made the subject of a lifetime restraining order banning him from contacting his victim.


Immigrants should not expect special treatment in hospital because of their culture, says London Mayor Boris Johnson

The Hindu Boris

Immigrants being treated on the NHS should not expect special treatment because of their religion, Boris Johnson said this morning.

The London Mayor said nurses should not be forced to undergo 'culture training' to learn how to deal with Muslim patients. He said: 'We live in England. We live in London. I think people should speak English. When in Rome do as the Romans do.'

The inflammatory comments came after he was challenged by a Muslim nurse who said she did not think it was right for NHS workers to change their ways.

It came after a leading heart surgeon said NHS staff needed special training to help patients from specific religious and cultural beliefs.

Aiman Alzetani, a consultant surgeon at Southampton General Hospital, said there were issues like washing before and after meals, shaking hands with members of the opposite sex and male relatives seeing female Islamic patients that nurses needed to understand.

Mr Alzetani wants a pocket or ward guide on all religions and cultures for use across the NHS. He also wants to see 'culture champions' in hospitals offering advice and support.

He said: 'It can be a source of frustration for clinical staff when patients do not seem to be cooperating, but in the case of Muslim patients, for example, it could be something as simple as someone trying to pass them food in their left hand, which they wash with, instead of their right.

'Muslim patients are also required to hand-wash before and after eating and, if bed-bound, may need a portable handwash facility which, again, can seem odd or unnecessary to those who are not familiar with such processes.

'It is not widely known that Muslims are not allowed to shake hands with a member of the opposite sex, that intoxicating drugs are not permissible or that not all male family members are allowed to visit a female relative without her hijab on.

'These are all situations that could cause issues between staff and patients, but they could be easily avoided with some basic training or information to help guide staff.'

But Mr Johnson said patients should accept traditional British standards of care - as long as Nurses and other health staff were being 'polite'. He said: 'I believe in being polite. If you can be polite to people then you should be polite. 'But we live in England, or rather more accurately we live in London, and I think people should speak English.

'I don't think anyone should take offence if people do things which they have been accustomed to do all their lives. And when in Rome, do as the Romans do. That's where we are. Well, we're not in Rome, we're in London.'

His view was backed by a caller to the phone in who said she was a Muslim convert but did not believe nurses should have to cater for different cultures.

She said: 'I'm a Muslim. I'm a convert. But as far as I am concerned it doesn't affect my religion or my beliefs if someone gives me a packet of crisps with their left hand. It's not offensive.'


Queen's Speech: Tax avoiders told to pay up front in new guilty-before-trial law

Taxpayers will be treated as “guilty until proven innocent” as HM Revenue & Customs gets the power to force them to pay up front if officials suspect them of tax avoidance.

Under plans announced in the Queen’s Speech, people using tax avoidance schemes will be made to make “accelerated payments” as part of plans to raise around £2 billion.

Treasury figures suggest that 65,000 people could be affected by the new powers. HMRC could raise a more than £2bn in all.

The most controversial aspect of the new plans is for the new rules to apply to a “legacy stock” of pre-existing cases, where people invested money in contentious schemes several years ago.

George Osborne earlier this year announced a major Government crackdown on tax avoiders following a series of high-profile cases involving celebrities including Gary Barlow, the Take That singer.

Mr Barlow, two of his Take That band mates and their manager face repaying tens of millions of pounds to HMRC after investing in schemes that a judge ruled amounted to tax avoidance.

As part of the plans, people accused of using avoidance schemes will be made to pay their tax up front while HMRC and the courts decide whether or not the arrangements are legal.

Experts have warned that it will lead to tens of thousands of potentially innocent British citizens being forced to pay their taxes before they are even due.

The all-party Treasury Select Committee last month expressed concerns about the plans for up-front payments to HMRC.

Neal Todd, corporate tax partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner, warned that the HMRC are acting as “judge and jury”.

He said: “We continue to have serious reservations about this. It’s causing a great deal of concern amongst clients, to be quite frank. The reason is that it gives the Revenue the power to come along to a taxpayer and ask for the money straight away.

“That worries people. In a sense the Revenue can think of a number – obviously they have to act reasonably – but they can decide what they think the right number is. That’s very different from going to a court and them saying, ‘On balance we have decided that you owe a certain amount of money’.

“For many people, the prospect that the Revenue can be judge and jury without going to tribunal…is very worrying and contrary to the normal rules of law and procedure.”

Tina Riches, national tax partner at accountancy and investment management group Smith & Williamson, added: “In some ways it flies in the face of the British justice system in that normally if there’s an issue you can take it court and an independent judge can decide.

“But if you’ve got to pay the tax up front before you can get anywhere near the court you could image that people could end up just deciding to pay the tax and not pursue what is actually a legitimate case.”

Mr Osborne earlier this year said: “If people feel they have been wronged, the can of course go to court. If they win, they get their money back with interest.”


Secret terror trial is 'assault’ on British justice

A major terrorism trial is to be heard entirely in secret in a “totally unprecedented departure” from centuries of open justice, it can be disclosed.

For the first time in British legal history, two men charged with serious terrorism offences will be kept anonymous and the press and public will be excluded from their trial, the Court of Appeal heard.

MPs and civil rights campaigners said it was an “outrageous assault” on the principles of open justice and set a “very dangerous precedent”.

Prosecutors have successfully applied for the case to be heard in private on grounds of national security but media organisations are trying to overturn the decision.

Journalists have up until now even been banned from reporting the fact that a trial was to be heard in secret.

The move has fuelled concerns over the growth of secret justice in British courts, which has already spread to civil cases and celebrity privacy challenges.

But a major criminal case being heard entirely behind closed doors risks ripping up the very tradition of open justice in the UK, which dates back to the Magna Carta of 1215.

Mr Justice Nicol, a senior Old Bailey judge, ruled last month that the trial of the two men, who are only known as AB and CD, should be heard in camera and that the defendants remain anonymous.

Media organisations, including The Telegraph, have appealed against the orders, including a ban on reporting the legal proceedings.

In the Court of Appeal on Wednesday, Anthony Hudson, for the media groups, said the case was a “totally unprecedented departure from the principle of open justice” and required the judges’ “most anxious scrutiny”.

“We submit that the orders made mark such a significant departure from the principle of open justice that they are inconsistent with the rule of law and democratic accountability,” he said.

“As far as we are aware no order has ever been made that requires the entire criminal trial to be held in private, with the media excluded and defendants anonymous.”

He told the judges: “This appeal raises important issues relating to not only the constitutional principle of open justice but also the equally important principle of fairness and natural justice.

“This case is a test of the court’s commitment to that constitutional principle in the admittedly difficult and sensitive cases where the state seeks to have trials involving terrorism heard in secret and relies in support of that on grounds of national security.”

He added: “National security cannot be pursued without regard of the values of society that it is trying to protect.”

Speaking after the hearing, Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, said: “For a parliamentary democracy with our reputation for a fair legal system, this sets a very dangerous precedent.

“For an entire trial to be heard in camera, this is unprecedented, very serious and worrying.”

David Blunkett, the former home secretary, said he was “mystified” by the decision and said it amounted to a “removal of open justice”.

“In some cases, there can be justification in terms of the kind of evidence which requires presenting in secret, but it would appear that there is no clarification as to whether this is the case here,” he said.

Clare Algar, executive director of Reprieve, said: “To hold trials entirely in secret is an outrageous assault on the fundamental principles of British justice. This Government’s dangerous obsession with secret courts seems to know no bounds.”

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: “This case is a worrying high water mark for secrecy in our courts.”

AB and CD were arrested in “high-profile circumstances”, the court heard. AB is charged with preparing terrorist acts and is jointly charged with CD on possessing bomb-making instructions. CD is also charged with possessing an illegal UK passport.

However, the CPS has not disclosed details in public on what the national security case is for requesting their anonymity.

Mr Hudson told the court that the CPS had raised the prospect that holding the case in public would have “disastrous consequences” and could result in the charges being dropped. He said that was an argument that had not been successfully made by them.

Richard Whittam QC, prosecuting, said he agreed with principle of open justice but these were “exceptional circumstances”. “There is a justification for the defendants to remain anonymous and there is a justification for the court to sit in private,” he said. He insisted that the prosecution application had never relied solely on national security grounds.

New laws passed last year also allow for parts of civil cases to be heard in secret if they involve matters of national security, such as compensation claims from terror suspects.

In the latest case, Lord Justice Gross, Mr Justice Simon and Mr Justice Burnett allowed reporting of the open proceedings before them in the Court of Appeal and said they would give their decision on the main appeal, against trial being held in secret, within a few days.



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

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

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


June 5, 2014

Multicultural husband killed estranged wife by dousing her with petrol and setting her alight

Iranian Muslim Yazdanparast

A husband set his estranged wife alight after dousing her with petrol because she wanted a divorce.

The mother-of-three died after suffering 95 per cent burns in the horrific in October last year.

The two-week trial at the High Court in Edinburgh heard that 61-year-old Mr Yazdanparast attacked the mother because she was divorcing him.

He was found guilty of murder - and will be sentenced at a later date.

Detective Inspector Bryan Burns, from Police Scotland, said: 'The horrific nature and consequences of this crime has had an immeasurable impact on Ahdeih’s family and I would like to praise their strength, courage and support during the investigation.

'I would also like to thank those members of the community in Stirling who helped at the scene of this tragic incident and those who came forward after our appeal for witnesses.

'The many people who responded so promptly and positively did much to assist the investigation.

'Our thoughts remain with Ahdeih’s family during this difficult time.'

Ms Khayatzadeh was found alive by a fire crew responding to the Maxwell Place blaze on Saturday October 12, but died later in hospital.

Paramedic Steven Morgan told the murder trial that he asked Ms Khayatzadeh who was responsible and she said it was her ex-husband. Asked why, the witness said she told him 'because she had divorced him'.

A court document published in April last year said Mr Khayatzadeh 'does not want to be divorced' and there was 'considerable tension' between the former couple, who separated in August 2010 and had a number of joint property interests.

Following her death, Ms Khayatzadeh’s family said a 'huge void' had been left in their lives.

They described her as a 'wonderful woman who was devoted to her family and spent every spare minute she could with them.'


Conservative Presbyterian Church unwavering in view of homosexuality as a sin

At its annual General Assembly, the Presbyterian Church in America is considering 52 overtures or calls to action, including one “concerning same-sex marriage.”

The same-sex marriage overture, which will be considered at PCA’s 42nd General Assembly (June 17-20), was summarized in the denomination’s quarterly magazine “By Faith.”

“In response to an increasingly aggressive homosexual agenda, Westminster Presbytery has proposed an overture that reaffirms the PCA’s position on homosexuality,” the article stated. “The overture also issues a call to church leaders to petition the government to place restrictions on those who advance the agenda.

“A reaffirmation of the PCA’s position affirms that homosexuality is sin, requires churches to call a practicing homosexual person to repentance, and denies church office and membership to those who practice homosexuality,” the article stated.

“The overture also charges church leaders to petition local government leaders to deny those who ‘practice, advocate, or condone’ homosexuality the right to become schoolteachers, and to petition local, state, and federal government leaders to ‘cease and desist’ from any legislation that legalizes gay marriage,” the article stated.

The article then quoted Daniel Foreman as a spokesman for the Westminster Presbytery, which sought the same-sex marriage overture. Westminster Presbytery is the regional presbytery for PCA located in Upper East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia and represents 23 churches.

“Because of the rise in seeking to advance the homosexual agenda, our chaplains are under renewed pressure to perform wedding services for same-sex couples, our military chapels are being desecrated with such services being performed, and businesses are being persecuted for not providing consumer services for such activities, etc.” Foreman said.

“Therefore we feel we need as a denomination to reaffirm our position, and to add the emphasis of our opposition … to the concept of same-sex marriages, to give our chaplains and Christian business leaders added support to stand against this behavior for conscience’ sake,” Foreman said.


'Drug-dealer' injured in crash to get millions in compensation from Government

A drug dealer caught with a huge block of cannabis when he was in a serious car crash is in line for a multi-million pound payout.

The Department of Transport had been trying to stop Sean Delaney profiting from the injuries he suffered in the smash.

But yesterday a judge ruled this would have breached EU directives and the 40-year-old father of five should receive compensation despite the ‘public revulsion’.

Delaney was a passenger in a speeding £80,000 Mercedes roadster driven by a fellow drug dealer who overtook on a bend and ploughed into a car carrying a family.

Peter and Lisa Houston and their three children all suffered serious injuries as well but were awarded only £20,000 between them.

In the judgment at the High Court in London, Mr Justice Jay said: ‘Many readers may be wondering how it comes about that a drug dealer is entitled to compensation against Her Majesty’s Government in circumstances where he was injured during the course of a criminal joint enterprise.

‘The understandable reaction might be: There must be some rule of public policy, reflecting public revulsion, which bars such a claim. The short answer is that there is not.’

Delaney, from Bedworth, Warwickshire, suffered fractures, ruptured organs, amnesia and ‘intellectual blunting’ in the November 2006 crash near Nuneaton.

When he and the driver, Shane Pickett, were cut free from the wreckage, a small package of cannabis was found hidden in Pickett’s sock and a block the size of a football in Delaney’s bomber jacket.

Pickett was jailed for ten months for dangerous driving and possessing cannabis. No action was taken against Delaney, probably because of the severity of his injuries.

He demanded compensation from Pickett’s insurers but they invoked an exclusion clause in that Pickett was under the influence of cannabis and driving dangerously.

Delaney’s lawyers sued the Secretary of State for Transport, claiming the exclusion under a clause of the UK Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement was incompatible with the 2009 European Motor Insurance Directive which, in the interests of standardisation, allows no exclusions. The 1999 agreement helps innocent victims of uninsured drivers obtain compensation.

In 2011 the Court of Appeal found against Delaney saying he would, or should, have known the Mercedes was being used for ‘the furtherance of crime’.

But yesterday Mr Justice Jay ruled in his favour, saying the Department’s failure to ensure uniformity between UK law and the EU directives was ‘so serious that ... it must pay compensation to Mr Delaney’.

The court found the illegality involved in the journey itself was merely ‘scene setting’ and not the cause of the accident.

But Delaney’s Tory MP Dan Byles said: ‘I’m sure I speak for the majority of my constituents who would be horrified that a drug dealer is getting extremely large amounts of taxpayers’ money for what is essentially a self-inflicted injury. It seems highly unfair.’

Dominic Raab, the eurosceptic Tory MP for Esher and Walton, said it was absurd ‘criminals can sue the government at huge taxpayers’ expense for harm suffered in the course of committing their crimes’.

He said it added ‘insult to injury that this nonsense is being forced on us by Brussels contrary to all notions of basic democratic accountability’.

The amount of compensation the Department must now pay Delaney will be assessed at a later date, but millions are routinely awarded in cases of such serious injury.

The Houston family, from Exhall, near Bedworth, were hospitalised after the crash with broken bones, collapsed lungs and bruised kidneys. Yesterday Mr Houston said he was surprised by the judgment.

‘If Delaney is getting multi millions then it is quite disappointing when we didn’t get anything near that,’ said the salesman.

‘It seems stupid that the loophole is allowed to exist and the EU law allows him to get that money.’

The family received a new car on top of their compensation, which came from a pot built up by the Motor Insurers Bureau under the uninsured drivers agreement.

When approached at his semi-detached home, Delaney claimed he had not heard about his court victory.

‘All I can say is I’m in shock,’ he said. ‘I haven’t been able to work for eight years because apparently I’ve got a brain injury. I don’t feel like there’s anything wrong but apparently there is.’

A Department for Transport spokesman said: ‘We thought that the directive was drafted in a wide-enough way to allow governments some autonomy. We are considering an appeal.’


C of E vicars face sack for joining the BNP or National Front because far-right parties are 'incompatible' with Christian teaching, say bishops

But being a Communist is just fine, of course. See here

Clergy who support or join the British National Party or National Front will face disciplinary proceedings under a new resolution passed by the Church of England.

Church of England bishops have backed a declaration stating that the policies, activities and objectives of the two far-right parties are 'incompatible' with Christian teaching on racial equality.

The move means that a complaint of misconduct can be brought under the Clergy Discipline Measure against any cleric who is a member of, promotes or expresses support for the two parties.

The General Synod, or national assembly of the Church of England, will have an opportunity to debate and give formal approval to the declaration when it meets in York next month. If there is no debate, the declaration will automatically come into force at the start of the meeting.

The effective proscribing by the bishops of the two political parties comes after the General Synod gave final approval in 2012 to legislation making it 'unbecoming' or 'inappropriate' conduct for clergy to be members of a political party with policies and activities declared “incompatible” with Church teaching on race equality.

The Church of England bishops were given the power to make a declaration on parties or organisations deemed incompatible with Christian teaching.

Where a political party is deemed to have changed its views, the ban could be lifted by a simple majority vote by the bishops.

The move was first proposed by Vasantha Gnanadoss, a Metropolitan Police civilian worker and General Synod member. She had the backing of the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair.

The British National Party, speaking at the time the move was given final approval by the General Synod, accused the Church of England of being 'stuck in the 1970s'.

'We are a modern, forward-thinking and progressive nationalist party,' a spokesman said. 'We are non-discriminatory and we have a constitution to match.'

He added: 'It is high time that was put out there. The Church of England has to keep up to date - they are stuck in the 1970s.'

A BNP spokesman said today: 'This is indicative of the way that the Church of England is being politicised. What is written in the Bible and scripture is clearly of secondary importance to the politically-correct option that these people adhere to.

'Where is it going to end? Are BNP members going to be allowed to be buried any more in churches? Is that where it is going to end? It makes you wonder. It is very sad to see the Church go along with this.'



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

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

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


June 4, 2014

Multiculturalist murdered his mother-in-law in horrific sex attack

A porn addict who murdered his mother-in-law in a horrific sex attack that shocked an Old Bailey judge is facing life in jail.

Mohammud Yusuf, 32, inflicted 'the most agonising death imaginable' on Amoe Stevens, 64, while his two young sons sat in the next room listening to their grandmother's cries.

Yusuf - who had an obsession with violent pornography - carried out the sex attack on Mrs Stevens before leaving her to bleed to death at her home in Neasden, north west London.

It was only when a carer found Mrs Stevens slumped in her chair that she was rushed to hospital, where she later died.

Yusuf, also from Neasden, denied murdering Mrs Stevens but was was unanimously convicted of the charge after a trial at the Old Bailey.

When the verdict was announced, Margaret Stevens, Yusuf's wife, wept so hard that she had to be comforted by the Old Bailey matron.

The case also visibly shocked the judge, Nicholas Browne QC, who told the jury: ‘This lady suffered the most agonising death imaginable. ‘I have never come across such a factual background of a case like this.'

During the trial, the court heard police were called by the carer found Mrs Stevens at around 8pm in October last year.

Examination of Yusuf’s phone later revealed searches for pornographic videos showing violent rape, gang rape and incest.

Prosecutor David Jeremy QC told the jury that there was a link between this interest and the injuries suffered by Mrs Stevens.

He said: ‘Why this defendant or anyone would have inflicted injuries like these on their defenceless mother-in-law is not a question to which the prosecution can provide you with a complete or satisfactory answer. ‘But clues may be found in the contents of his phone and computers.

‘When you put alongside each other what must be a clearly deviant interest this defendant had in pain and degradation of women and what happened to Mrs Stevens, there is a relationship between them. ‘The effect of that is that it makes it more likely that it was this defendant who would have carried out that assault.’

Both Yusuf’s sons gave evidence to the jury. The court heard both are suffering emotional problems as a result of the case and one has resorted to self-harm.

Mrs Stevens said in a victim impact statement that the case had devastated the family.

Summarising the statement, Mr Jeremy said: ‘She describes her mother as a soft-spoken, hard-workingm loving person who was the peacemaker in any disputes. ‘She describes herself as being overwhelmed having lost her mother and her children having lost their father.

‘They are struck most of all by the complete lack of remorse that the defendant has show towards her mother, herself, her family and his two sons by defending himself.

‘He has made the experience even more agonising by refusing to face up to what he did.’

Yusuf will be sentenced on Friday. The judge warned he could face life imprisonment for the crime


Britain may soon have Muslim public holidays: Parliament petition urges MPs to consider having a day off during Hindu and Islam festivals

An online petition urging politicians to create a bank [public] holiday for Hindu festival Diwali and Muslim celebration Eid has attracted more than 119,000 signatures and could be debated in the House of Commons.

If applied, it would be the first non-Christian religious holidays in Britain and could lead to calls from other faiths for their events to also be recognised.

As the e-petition has reached 100,000 signatures it has to be considered in parliament under rules set up in 2011.

Nationalists have complained that St George’s Day and St David’s Day are not holidays but an e-petition calling for these days to be marked has only 34 signatures.

Diwali is described as the 'Festival of Lights' and is celebrated by Hindus in the Autumn while Eid is held at the end of Ramadan when Muslims break their fast.

Details of the petition are said to have been passed to the Backbench Business Committee, which will ­consider its suitability for debate.

Set up by Jon Timmis, it states: 'I believe that, given the number of Muslims and Hindus in this country it is only fair we allow them to have the most important days in their faiths recognised in law.'

The e-petition has sparked widespread debate on internet forums and social media, especially those aimed at British ­Muslims and Hindus. While religious and community leaders have ­distanced themselves from the idea, popular opinion is evenly split.

Vinod Popat, chairman of The ­British Hindu Voice, told the Sunday Express: 'I don’t think it is a very good idea. How many festivals are there for other religions. Should they all be marked with a ­public holiday?'

He also pointed out that Diwali is set on a lunar calender, so would fall on a different day every year.

David Jones said on Twitter: 'Now Parliament want to introduce public bank holidays for muslims and hindu's- this is the UK don't like it leave.'

Critics have also suggested there are enough problems with Easter, which can take place any time over a four-week period as its timing depends on the full moon and spring equinox.

However, Suleman Nagdi, of the Federation of Muslim Organisations in Leicester, told the paper: 'Any move to recognise other faiths is a good thing but I do not think there should be a public holiday.'

Graham Smith, who launched the St George Unofficial Bank Holiday campaign, has accused recent Labour and Conservative governments of anti-English bias. He said: 'They just don’t seem to want to grasp English nationalism, they are afraid of it for some reason.'

Britain has eight days of bank holidays every year, the second lowest in the world behind Mexico


International Islam is in Australia too

Australia now has 374 mosques and in each immediate area housing values have plummeted to as low as half their former value.
Europe is graced by 6,663 mosques. In the UK alone there are 1,568, the US has 2,189 (up 74 per cent since 2000) and New Zealand has 13.

A so called mega-mosque in the south London suburb of Merton holds 10,000 bums in the air and the Muslim population within wailing earshot is now 80 percent.

Where house values have fallen, banks have reassessed their loan exposures and forced the original home owners to either pay the difference in equity or the property is sold at a mortgagee auction.

And guess who is waiting in the wings to pick up a house for half its value? Yep, a Muslim.

The right to freedom of religion is embedded deep in our Constitution but it’s starting to erode our hard-won way of life.

A Melbourne single mother of two recently sold her home at a loss (it was adjacent to a newly-built mosque) and down-sized to a unit in Bendigo only to find she was 200 metres from yet another approval, this time for a $3 million mosque.

Those opposing the new mosque had their accounts closed by Bendigo Bank which is hoping to finance the new mosque.

I hope this poor mother of two doesn’t decide to sell up again and move down the road to Ballarat because approval for yet another mosque has just passed council there.

And guess what, Queensland’s Campbell Newman this week has rejected a Bill that would prevent Muslims hiding their identity under a burqa. The LNP has decided police have no right to know the identity of an alleged law breaker.

A courier cannot enter a bank wearing a helmet yet any bugger, man or woman, can enter a bank wearing a burqa hiding God knows what!

Hmmmm. If bikies opt to wear burqas Campbell Newman will have a serious problem.

But an even more sinister PC problem has emerged. Customs officials have been told they cannot body scan or inspect the luggage of a disproportionate number of Middle Easterners.

Our Discrimination Act requires that little old grey-haired ladies must be equally suspected of having a bomb in their undies as does a likely looking terrorist... and Section 18C requires that we don’t discuss this apparent madness for fear of racially offending a suspected terrorist.

So, a sallow complexioned hairy bloke wearing a white crocheted cap, a flowing bed sheet and muttering “Allahu Akbar” cannot be suspected of being an Al Queda operative any more than can your Grandma? Crumbs!

Are we spending millions upgrading luggage and body scanners and security cameras only to wave suspicious Middle Easterners through customs because officials have run out of Grandmas to search?

Islamic immigration is fast reaching a tipping point where our sovereign law will be lost to Sharia law.

The barbaric cult of Islam is openly running a protection racket called “Halal Certification” within our food supply chain.

Clerics are openly preaching our destruction in Friday prayers.
Islamists openly rort our welfare system to the disadvantage of our own needy. They use multiple wives to out populate us... they want us either gone or dead!

Our legislators refuse to stem the Islamic tide for fear we become an international target while the Left and far-Left Greens continue to actively support the invasion.

There is not a peaceful place on Earth where Islam abides. Islam is at war with all non Islamists and demands subjugation or death by beheading of all non conformists.

Europe, the US, Africa, Russia and now even China are suffering their cowardly bombings. Only Japan had the foresight to insulate itself from this primitive scourge.

Utter domination is the Islamic promise of “the final solution”.
But hang on, are we hard of hearing, isn’t that exactly what they themselves foretell?


Anti-democratic E.U. Commission Shuts Down “Largest Petition in European History”

Just days after euroskeptic parties won large gains in European elections, the E.U.’s executive commission on Wednesday vetoed a citizens’ initiative – dubbed “the largest petition in European history” – which sought an end to E.U. funding for any practice that terminates human life before birth, including abortion and research that destroys human embryos.

The decision came on the final day of the outgoing commission, headed by President Jose Manuel Barroso, who has been in office since 2004.

Its ruling said, in effect, that the current rules should remain since the European Parliament (E.P.) had recently agreed upon them, and they were therefore “appropriate.” As a result, the commission would not “submit a legislative proposal” on the matter.

Critics slammed the move both because the decision retains the current situation, but also because in their view it made a mockery of a process purportedly designed to improve participatory democracy in the 28-member union by giving ordinary citizens a say in lawmaking.

The tool known as the European citizens’ initiative (ECI), introduced in 2012, was touted as a major reform innovation. It set rigorous requirements: Organizers had a limited amount of time to garner at least one million signatures, including a prescribed minimum number from each of at least seven member-states.

The pro-life ECI, called “One of Us,” met the requisite national targets and in the end obtained more than 1.8 million signatures within the time allowed. It counted Pope Francis among its supporters.

Under ECI rules, the commission has that meets the requirements and decide on whether to submit a legislative proposal on the relevant issue to Euro-lawmakers.

The committee which organized the “One of Us” campaign slammed Wednesday’s announcement, describing the commission as “deaf” and saying it had made “a travesty” of what was intended to be “a real instrument of participative democracy.”

“Such veto power is illegitimate and anti-democratic since politically, it is the European legislature that may give a verdict on the content of the initiative, and not the commission, otherwise, the ECI mechanism would be meaningless,” it said in a statement.

Well, what do you know… someone is complaining about the illegitimate and anti-democratic commission. The “ECI mechanism is meaningless”. Seriously?

Hey, there’s a whole heap of meaninglessness in Brussels; this is just a tiny piece of the grease machine’s effluvia. But who’da thunk anyone was going to notice, much less give a fig? “Settled consensus” issues like abortion, euthanasia, climate poo, etc., will just have to wait for the Mid-Century Weed-Out, coming to a polity near you:

It’s Not the End of the World, It’s Just the End of You: The Great Extinction of the Nations

Meanwhile, here’s the the risible attempt of those extremist haters who would interfere with issues that well-mannered people don’t discuss. Or rather, they won’t be discussing it for another generation or so. Then we’ll see.



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

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

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


June 3, 2014

Fury as animal rights activist and RSPCA trustee candidate compares treatment of animals on British farms to the HOLOCAUST

A candidate standing to be on the ruling council of the RSPCA has been criticised after likening the treatment of farm animals to the holocaust. Peta Watson Smith made the comments as candidates standing in the election are in the final push for votes, which have to be cast by Tuesday.

But the Jewish Vegetarian Society says even though they too oppose 'factory farming', using the word holocaust will only offend and alienate people from their cause.

Mrs Watson Smith said some animals are being treated abysmally on farms and said people weren't always aware of the 'holocaust' happening to animals.

She is one of six candidates standing to be on the charity's council, with five seats available on the 25 member body.

According to the RSPCA website, the council is an integral part of the charity and elected members are responsible for providing leadership and direction as well as making sure their resources are being used to benefit animal welfare.

But speaking to the Times, Mrs Watson Smith said: 'I don't think people always appreciate what is the holocaust going on behind closed doors.

'You talk about the Jews. This probably sounds like animal rights, but if you recognise animals as sentient beings, why are we treating them so abysmally on farms?'

But Lara Smallman director of the Jewish Vegetarian Society said that her comments will not help the vegetarian and animal cause.

She added: 'We are passionate about using positive messaging to spread awareness. Our focus, therefore, is very much on highlighting the many benefits of adopting a vegetarian diet.

'Whilst we share Peta Watson Smith's opposition to factory farming, we do not believe anything positive can come from making comparisons with the holocaust.

'Using the word 'holocaust' is not going to advance the vegetarian cause, rather, it will only serve to offend, divide, and quite possibly, alienate people.

'The emphasis should always be on engaging and educating the public in a responsible and meaningful way.

'The Farmers' Union of Wales also said her comments were disrespectful to the Jewish community.

The results of the RSPCA council election will be announced at the charity's annual general meeting later this month.

It is thought that the election could prove to be a turning point for the charity who hope to appoint a new chief executive by early next year.

In February, Gavin Grant announced he would be stepping down with immediate effect after a controversial two years in the post.

Mr Grant, 59, attracted heavy criticism for the decision to spend £326,000 prosecuting the Heythrop Hunt in Oxfordshire for illegal foxhunting, the hunt David Cameron used to ride in before the ban.

Critics said the ‘staggering’ expense of bringing the case at the end of 2012, which was successful, was nonetheless a waste of the money donated by members of the public.

He was also under fire last year for suggesting farmers who participated in the badger cull - permitted by the government to try and control tuberculosis in cattle - should be ‘named and shamed’.

His unexpected departure as chief executive was due to ‘medical concerns about his health’, the animal charity said in a statement at the time

Mrs Watson Smith's comments come after earlier this year the singer Morrissey claimed 'If you believe in the abattoir then you would support Auschwitz'.

The Smiths frontman made the remark in a Q&A session on his fan site - True To You.

The controversial singer has long been known as an animal rights activist.


White Police Lieutenant Awarded $1.35 Million In Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

A Long Island police lieutenant has been awarded $1.35 million in his racial discrimination lawsuit against the village of Freeport. Lt. Christopher Barrella, who is white, had accused the village of awarding the police chief’s job to a Hispanic officer with few qualifications and a lower test score.

Following the federal jury’s decision Wednesday, Barrella described the process as trying but said he always had faith in the jury system.

“It’s really a good feeling to be validated, and I am incredibly appreciative that the jury saw it my way,” Barrella told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.

The former mayor, Andrew Hardwick, was a defendant in the case but could not be reached for comment. He was the village’s first black mayor.

Barrella had charged that Hardwick terminated and demoted qualified, experienced non-Hispanic whites. Barrella charged that Hardwick illegaly chose Miguel Bermudez for the job of police chief.

The current Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy, who is white, said the jury got it wrong. “I have the utmost confidence in Chief Bermudez, who’s probably one of the finest chiefs of Freeport village that we’ve ever had,” Kennedy told Rivera.

The jury award includes $200,000 in punitive damages.

“I think that this is a wake up call for all employers, everybody is protected under the U.S.’s anti-discrimination law,” Barrella’s attorney Amanda Fugazy told WCBS 880?s Sophia Hall.

The spokesperson for the village said there is no supporting evidence that the village discriminated against Barrella and they plan to appeal, Hall reported.


BBC faces review of 'everything': UK govt

ALL aspects of how the BBC is run and paid for will be reviewed when its charter comes up for renewal, Britain's culture secretary says.

Sajid Javid said "everything" would be looked at, including licence fees and governance structures, when negotiations get under way.

Senior Tories have previously called the compulsory annual charge paid by British viewers out of date and warned it faces the axe but BBC executives insist a subscription system could end up costing more money.

Javid said plans for the process of renewing the charter, which expires in December 2016, were being worked on.

He told Total Politics: "We will announce plans in due course. That will be a time to look at all aspects of the BBC: governance arrangements, licence fees and so forth. That's where we plan to look at everything."

The renewal negotiations will take place on the back of a torrid few years in which the British broadcaster was lambasted for its handling of the Jimmy Savile scandal, massive executive pay-offs and a Newsnight investigation that led to the late Lord McAlpine being wrongly accused of child abuse.

Conservative MP John Whittingdale, chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, reportedly told senior BBC executives earlier this month that he did not believe the licence fee would survive.

Tory Party chairman Grant Shapps warned the corporation last year it could lose its exclusive right to the STG3.6 billion ($A6.57 billion) raised by the licence fee if it failed to tackle what he believes is a culture of secrecy, waste and unbalanced reporting in the organisation.

The government has frozen the annual licence fee, which is paid by every British household with a TV, at STG145.50 ($A265.58) for the rest of the charter period.


Discrimination Saves And Enslaves

The sense's ability to discriminate differences serves us daily; it saves lives. When approaching an intersection, the color of the traffic light lets you know whether to stop or continue. Whether you admit it or not, your ability to discriminate differences between people you encounter can also serve you well. In its extreme, discrimination of difference has also resulted in bigotry and the holocaust that killed millions.

That's why Mark Cuban's candid comments on racial discrimination in an Inc magazine interview are both courageous and important in this time of division and rampant political correctness. In measured tones, he observed: "In this day and age, this country has really come a long way putting any type of bigotry behind us, regardless of who it's toward. We've come a long way, and with that progress comes a price. We're a lot more vigilant, and we're a lot less tolerant of different views... We're all prejudiced in one way or another. If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it's late at night, I'm walking to the other side of the street. And if on that side of the street, there's a guy that has tattoos all over his face -- white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere -- I'm walking back to the other side of the street. And the list goes on of stereotypes that we all live up to and are fearful of."

Even Jesse Jackson said a few years ago, “There is nothing more painful to me … than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”

Red light or green light? Go toward or move away? With strangers in unfamiliar areas, what they wear and how they act contributes to a first impression and our initial reaction. That's why we tell youths to dress appropriately and put on their best behavior when they want to impress. That's why we tell teens that you're known by the people you're with. First impressions matter, but not all can accept that when race is involved.

When the black, ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith took a stand in support of Mark Cuban's comments, many attacked him. People wrote: "Stephen A. Smith ain't black" and "You ain't one of us." Smith fired back, "I do understand that to some degree there is a little of racism we all have to overcome. I get all of that. But it doesn't mean that every single issue is race related. Sometimes it is about how you represent yourself."

When two people initially come together who are obviously different, the differences are likely to dominate whether they acknowledge it or not. Once they come to know each other, those same differences become the background and the similarities take the foreground. There are some people of a different race or ethnicity that you no longer even notice the differences because you know them. As Mark Cuban acknowledged, familiarity helps us get beyond our differences.

But there are some in every race who hurt others. The news and movies frequently reinforce negative stereotypes for ratings--if it bleeds, it leads! So if a group of blacks in an unfamiliar neighborhood are approaching me at night, I'd join Mark Cuban. It's a safety issue; better safe than sorry. But if a group of young blacks approached singing "Amazing Grace," I might cross the street to join in. Discrimination can create distance or attraction.

If I hear a shot ringing out down the hall and someone yelling Allahu Akbar, I'm thinking Islamic extremist. If a woman wearing an open-faced Al-Almira scarf helped me at a retail store, I'd gladly thank her for her service. As the holocaust survivor Victor Frankl once observed, “There are two races of men in this world but only these two: the race of the decent man and the race of the indecent man."

The point Mark Cuban attempted to make during his videotaped interview was the importance of helping people get beyond their prejudices and bigotries:

"I'll try to give them a chance to improve themselves, because I think that helping people improve their lives, helping people engage with people they may fear or may not understand, and helping people realize that while we all may have our prejudices and bigotries we have to learn that it's an issue that we have to control, that it's part of my responsibility as an entrepreneur to try to solve it, not just to kick the problem down the road. Because it does my company no good, it does my customers no good, it does society no good."

That's not just Mark Cuban's job. That's all our jobs. Discrimination can save or enslave. Let's keep working to get beyond first impressions and establish more mutual respect.



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

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

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


June 2, 2014

Northern Ireland First Minister forced to apologise after backing pastor who said Islam was a satanic religion

Theologically reasonable, it seems to me

Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson was backed by Muslim leaders after making a grovelling private apology over controversial remarks about Islam.

The DUP leader publicly backed a fundamentalist preacher who attacked Islam as a 'doctrine spawned in hell' and said he did not trust them.

Mr Robinson said he would not trust Muslims to give him religious advice - but insisted he would be okay with them 'going down the shops' for him.

Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson sparked fury after backing a pastor who said he did not trust Muslims in Britain

He said: 'I wouldn't trust Muslims who are following Sharia Law to the letter and neither would he.

'However, as I have said in many of the normal daily activities of life, I would have no difficulty in trusting Muslims to go down to the shop for me.'

The remarks sparked fury in Northern Ireland - but Mr Robinson insisted his words had been 'misinterpreted' and said he would never wish to insult or upset Muslims.

Despite refusing to apologise in public, Muslim leaders in Northern Ireland said Mr Robinson did say sorry to them in private. A spokesman for the Belfast Islamic Centre, Dr Raied Al-Wazzan said: 'We accepted the apology in private and for us that was a sincere apology and we accepted it.'

A further statement issued by the DUP after the meeting said Mr Robinson was willing to apologise to anyone who had been hurt or distressed by his comments.

A party spokesman said the meeting had been 'valuable, friendly and relaxed'. 'Mr Robinson outlined his views and made it clear that there was never any intention on his part to offend or cause distress to anyone.

'He said that if anyone interpreted his remarks in that way that he would apologise to them and that he would welcome the opportunity to continue conversations at the Belfast Islamic Centre.

'The First Minister recalled his previous help and support for the Islamic community and indicated that his support was ongoing.

'Mr Robinson reiterated the important role that the Islamic community has played in Northern Ireland, particularly in businesses, education and medicine.'

Dr Al-Wazzan described the meeting as 'thoughtful, very honest and open'. 'We have told him what we felt,' he said.

Mr Robinson sparked a storm of criticism after publicly backing anti-Islamic evangelical preacher Pastor James McConnell.

Mr McConnell, who is a fundamentalist Protestant preacher at the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle Church in north Belfast, branded Islam a heathen doctrine during a fiery address to his congregation. 'People say there are good Muslims in Britain - that may be so - but I don’t trust them,' said the pastor. 'Islam is heathen, Islam is satanic, Islam is a doctrine spawned in hell.'

Police are currently investigating the contentious sermon made by Mr McConnell to see if its contents constituted a hate crime.

Mr Robinson’s subsequent comments in a newspaper interview that he himself would not trust Muslims for spiritual guidance but would trust them to 'go down the shops' sparked fury.

The DUP leader, who has attended Pastor McConnell’s church in the past, told the Irish News that claiming not to trust one section of society was not a hate crime, adding: 'If it is then I’m going straight away to the police to ask them to take action against all those who say they don’t trust politicians.'

He again defended Pastor McConnell’s right to free speech, but stressed: 'I would never seek to cause any insult to any section of our community.

'For the avoidance of any doubt, I make it clear that I welcome the contribution made by all communities in Northern Ireland and, in the particular circumstances, the Muslim community.'


Have-a-go heroes who ignore elf ’n’ safety to be protected by 'Good Samaritan' law

Have-a-go-heroes are to be given special protection from prosecution or legal action under a radical ‘Good Samaritan law’ being drawn up by ministers.

David Cameron wants to protect emergency workers and the public from legal consequences if they intervene in good faith to help someone in difficulty, the Daily Mail has learned.

Similar legislation operates in Australia where it has reduced the potential for negligence claims against doctors, police and firefighters, as well as ordinary members of the public.

A form of the Good Samaritan law is expected to be a centrepiece of next week’s Queen’s Speech, which will set out the Coalition’s plans for the last year before the General Election.

The purpose of the law is to prevent people from being reluctant to help a stranger in need for fear of legal repercussions should they make some mistake in a rescue attempt or treatment.

‘It’s about protecting people who act in a heroic fashion. That could include emergency workers, but really it is about anyone who is trying to do the right thing,’ said a well-placed source.

The Prime Minister has said the fear of transgressing UK and EU rules sometimes means people ‘stand aside when others need help’.

Ministers point to the case of ten-year-old Jordon Lyon in September 2007, who drowned in a pond in Wigan having rescued his young sister after community support officers were told not to intervene as they had not undertaken water rescue health and safety training.

And in the inquests into the July 7 bombings in London, evidence emerged that a number of victims remained alive long after three bombs were detonated on the London Underground in 2005.

Though it was concluded none could have been saved, the inquest heard some were left to die in pain because of health and safety protocols which left firemen unable to rush in to rescue them.

Paramedics were also alleged to have been prevented from helping victims of Cumbria gunman Derrick Bird’s shooting spree in 2010 because health and safety policies meant police held back ambulance crews and rescue helicopters until every shooting scene was cleared.

Lord Young, who was Margaret Thatcher’s trade secretary, drew up a report for the Government recommending health and safety law is reined in and Good Samaritans given reassurance in law.

‘If a fireman or a policeman commits an act of heroism in the course of his duty, he can be prosecuted for endangering himself,’ Lord Young told the Mail when his recommendations were published.

‘We all know stories of policemen standing by when people have got into trouble, and have been backed up by their superiors for not putting themselves in danger. It’s a corrosive thing. People believe they mustn’t do something they want to do.’

Ordinary citizens who are trying to help others in Good Samaritan situations must also be reassured that they cannot be sued, he said.

‘We have to make it completely clear to people, if you clear the snow in front of your house, if you stop to do anything to help somebody, you are not liable,’ Lord Young said.

While most people are not so ungrateful to sue someone who tried to help them and administered first aid, increasing numbers of court cases have been brought against Good Samaritans.

Specialist insurance is available to healthcare workers to guard against civil claims brought against what is argued to be medical malpractice – incorrectly administering a procedure, or negligence – in situations where they were doing their best to help.

As well as Australia, many other countries protect emergency workers and members of the public from being pursued in the courts when they have tried to assist someone in good faith.

In France, there is a specific obligation on citizens to help others in distress, and they risk prosecution if they do not.

While in Canada, any rescuer who has voluntarily helped a victim in distress is legally protected from being successfully sued for ‘wrongdoing’.


'We must close our borders to migrants who burden Britain'

Senior Tory adds fuel to incendiary debate over immigration from EU that is dividing the Cabinet

The Cabinet has been at loggerheads this week over immigration from the EU, with Home Secretary Theresa May leading calls for an end to the influx of workers from poorer European countries – and Foreign Secretary William Hague arguing that it couldn’t be done.

Here, leading Right-wing flag-bearer Liam Fox calls on David Cameron to seize the ‘historic opportunity’ to control our borders.

In last week’s European elections, voters across Europe sent a signal to the bloated, hideously expensive and out-of-touch Brussels bureaucracy.

From Denmark to Greece and from Finland to France, the people of Europe made it clear that they increasingly reject the idea of open borders and mass migration.

Some see it as an economic threat, others as a challenge to their perception of national identity.

Whatever their reasons, political leaders in Europe must take note. I have lost count of the number of people who told me: ‘I wouldn’t dream of voting Ukip in a General Election but I wanted to send a message.’ Usually, this was about immigration.

It is not a new issue. Between 1964 and 1980, there were more people leaving the UK than arriving and, even in the 1960s, when warnings of the cultural challenges associated with mass migration were first voiced, we were dealing with significantly fewer than half the arrivals we are seeing today.

The UK has been, and still is, one of the most open and generous countries in Europe, if not the world. Yet, in recent times, the tolerance of the British people has been stretched more than ever.

The control of our borders will be the most defining of all the negotiations David Cameron will have with the European Union after the next Election.

It is increasingly clear that voters across Europe equate it with the concept of sovereignty. But the reaction of many European leaders and the Brussels bureaucracy has been predictable and depressing. Many still seem unable to grasp the sea of change across the continent, talking merely about slowing down the speed of integration rather than considering a different direction.

Someone should point out that only dead fish go with the flow, and I believe it is imperative that Britain swims, salmon-like, against this insidious current. Reforming our relationship with Europe, including our ability to control our borders and immigration, is central to this.

There are two separate elements to our immigration problem. The first is the huge number of immigrants who have come to the UK in recent decades from outside the EU. In this case, we have the ability to institute proper controls if we have the political will to do so. The second is our inability to limit migration from the poorer parts of Europe.

In this case, it is because of our treaty obligations. It was Labour which shamefully mismanaged our borders, not out of incompetence, but deliberately, making immigration a social policy designed to push the New Labour multiculturalism agenda. It indulged in social engineering for the sake of electoral ambition and slammed those who disagreed as ill-educated.

Labour cannot be allowed back to power to continue its catastrophic approach to this most important issue. The coalition Government has made a good start at reversing the direction of travel with a new target set for tens, not hundreds, of thousands.

Yet, there are problems. The measure of net migration misses the point. If 10,000 immigrants arrive in Lincolnshire, residents there won’t be rejoicing that 5,000 elderly couples from Surrey have gone to live in Malaga, making the net migration zero. The actual incoming numbers matter as they put a strain on housing, school places, employment and medical services.

Immigration works best when two conditions are fulfilled. The first is that the host population must be willing to integrate those coming into the country and the second is that those who are coming in must want to integrate. When numbers are too great, these conditions are difficult to fulfil. We simply must see the level of immigration into Britain reduce.

But it is not only about how many people are coming, but who they are. Even if we get a drop in immigration, we still need to pay more attention to the individuals themselves and what they can bring to our economy.

There is a world of difference between a European banker coming to work here and an unskilled agricultural worker who ends up a burden on the welfare state. We need to think more about what those coming can contribute, not just how many of them there are.

The Prime Minister talks about the global race we’re in and he is right to do so. Our companies are not just competing globally for contracts or investment; they are also competing for the best people.

The immigration policy we design for the UK must not only protect the opportunities of those already here, but must also make sure we can attract those who have the skills to contribute to innovation and wealth creation in our country.

We are a country whose demographics mean we must continue to see immigration to maintain the ratio of those in work to those on pensions.

While that situation is now unavoidable, it does not mean we cannot control our own destiny. There are many examples of countries exercising a pragmatic approach to who crosses their borders.

Australia seeks engineers and those with experience in the mining industry, as it foresees huge expansion in those areas. Canada wants to build human capital within an ageing workforce by making provisions that attract young people who have work experience, higher education and language skills.

The United States has long operated a Green Card system with quotas that advantage immigrants with a profession or experience in business, the arts, sport or academia that benefits American society. We would do well to follow with a points system.

Let’s be frank, if we are going to ensure those with the necessary skills for the high end of our economy are more able to come to the UK, then the corollary will be that the numbers of those who come here, as part of our social or cultural migration, will need to be curtailed.

What I am proposing is an open and shut policy: more open to those who have the skills we need to maintain our prosperity and place in the world and more closed to those who, for whatever reason, would end up placing a burden on our welfare system and infrastructure.

That is the sort of fair approach the British people will accept.

The Prime Minister’s willingness to veto the appointment as European commission leader of Jean-Claude Juncker, the epitome of the increasingly despised Eurocracy, was a breath of fresh air.

He is right that we need to fundamentally reform Europe for the sake of all its citizens, rather than simply focus on a new relationship for Britain. It is much easier to argue that we have created a better club than that we have simply got a better membership deal for a bad one.

Britain is lucky. We have a mainstream Eurosceptic party able to form a Government and offer a referendum. Only the Conservative party can do this. It is a tremendous responsibility and a phenomenal challenge. David Cameron will reap rewards if he seizes this historic opportunity.


Too old, too middle class and too tidy: How loving couple refused to be cowed by social services and kept moving home until they were allowed to adopt child they yearned for

Bill and Hollie Speed are the proudest of parents. They beam with delight as they praise their pretty, 19-year-old daughter’s ambitions to start her own business and the careful way she saved her wages to buy her own car.

Yet only 12 years ago they were warned that Lucy’s achievements would be minimal.

She knew barely three letters of the alphabet, couldn’t count and her undiagnosed eye problems meant that she was unable to make out the blackboard during school lessons.

Lucy arrived in Bill and Hollie’s lives at the end of a long and exhausting battle to adopt a child. It was a battle so painful and protracted it would have broken a less tenacious couple.

The Speeds were told at different times, by different local authorities, that they were too old (when just in their 40s), too middle class, lived too near a river and were even too tidy to make good adoptive parents.

Fortunately, they refused to be deterred by social workers. The Speeds moved house again and again, hoping to find a more receptive local authority who would help them. To date they’ve moved a grand total of five times in a quest to find their perfect family home.

In the time between their initial application to adopt in 1991, and the moment they were told in 2002 that a shy little girl with bright blue eyes was waiting to join their family they never stopped believing they would be parents.

Today, Lucy has been transformed by their devoted attention.

‘It would be impossible for me to love her more if I’d given birth to her myself,’ says Hollie, gentle and softly spoken. ‘Whether or not she was adopted is irrelevant. She is our daughter and she’s a wonderful girl. She’s made us very happy and I hope we’ve done exactly the same for her.’

Love may seem a fundamental ingredient in any successful adoption, but the Speeds were advised early on to forget such sentimental notions.

Perhaps the most shocking indication of what they were up against came from an apparent expert. One of the first social workers sent to vet them asked how they would help a vulnerable, newly-adopted child.

‘Show them as much love as possible,’ Bill replied. To which they were briskly told, ‘love doesn’t work with these children.’

‘I thought it was nonsense then and I think it’s nonsense now,’ says retired businessman Bill. ‘Love is something that children who come from chaotic or abusive backgrounds have probably never experienced and it’s what they desperately need. If you’re not building them a future based on love, what are you? You’re just another “service provider”.’

Bill and Hollie, now a fit and active 72 and 68 respectively, live in north Norfolk in a large modern bungalow surrounded by beautifully tended gardens where they grow their own organic vegetables.

Bill has written a heartfelt book about their experience of adoption, charting a process that veers from the bizarre — for example, the charity worker who leapt out of his skin when he met the Speeds’ small dogs — to the joyous.

It is, above all, a plea for a more compassionate and flexible approach to finding so-called ‘forever’ families for desperately vulnerable children.

Lucy’s placement with this thoroughly decent couple has been an obvious success. Charming and friendly, she works at a care home and enjoys an active social life. She can play the piano and is an inventive cook.

However, she represents a fortunate minority who find permanent homes with new families each year. There are almost 93,000 children in Britain who fall under the protection of the care system, but in 2013 only 4,665 of them were successfully adopted.

‘I can hardly describe the frustration of knowing that so many children like Lucy, who would benefit from the security and love of a new family, are still being left to languish in truly awful care homes, or being moved from pillar to post in the fostering system,’ says Bill.

‘We got the chance to meet really good people on the adoption training courses we took. But the majority of them were rejected for reasons you just can’t fathom.

‘Yes, the system should examine your motives and ability extremely closely — I accept that — but what happened to us is that they assessed us, and then they assessed us again.

‘They asked endless questions: attitudes to gender, discipline, money, previous relationships, religion, race, expectations, pets .?.?. They dissect you, then dissect you again, then pick you apart until you feel you’ve been cut into tiny pieces. At the end of it, you wonder what has actually been achieved.’

Hollie suffered a traumatic series of miscarriages early in their 48-year marriage. Their only baby, a boy called Stephen, died when he was three days old. Unable to have more children, they had known from their 20s that the only way for them to have a family would be through adoption.

Together since they were teenage sweethearts in the Norfolk town where they both grew up, they never considered parting. ‘The tragedy made us stronger as a couple. It was devastating for us at the time but we moved on because we had no choice,’ says Bill.

Lucy says now that the first time she saw Bill and Hollie, when they were only prospective adopters, she knew immediately that she wanted them as her new parents. ‘They were nice, kind,’ she remembers. ‘I liked them straight away.’

Her early years, however, were pitiful. When she was taken from her violent natural parents at the age of two, she was filthy, neglected and wrongly assumed to be deaf and dumb because her severe glue ear prevented her from hearing.

Placed with foster carers, she was eventually given speech therapy, but it seems that a subtler form of neglect persisted.

‘The last lady she was with did her best, but it wasn’t enough,’ says Bill. ‘She was a chain smoker, which meant that Lucy was constantly breathing in smoke. She put Lucy in front of the television for most of the day and didn’t even notice that the poor little thing could hardly see.

‘We were the ones who got Lucy’s sight tested and discovered that she had a lazy eye that should have been corrected at a much younger age.

‘Lucy’s teeth were in a disgraceful state because she wasn’t taken to the dentist. Her speech was still very difficult to understand at that point and you just felt she was longing for someone who could help her to blossom.

‘It took hours and hours of patience to coax her to read and to improve her speech. She had rarely even been taken outside, but we taught her the names of birds and plants. Now she’s a keen gardener.

‘Lucy needed time to trust us, but watching her settle was the most rewarding experience of our lives.’

If Bill and Hollie had not adopted Lucy, what do they think would have happened to her?

Hollie almost winces at the thought. ‘She was classified as having special needs. I don’t know what her chances would have been. The thought of her ending up in a care home actually makes me feel ill.’ And yet, Lucy so nearly did not make it to the Speeds’ caring home.

After the loss of their son, they spent their 30s and early 40s building up their holiday lettings business, in a bid to ensure that they were well able to provide for any future family. They also made their first move.

Enamoured by the peace and tranquility of the Scottish countryside while taking a holiday there, the Speeds decided to leave their Norfolk home for what they thought would be the perfect place to raise a child. They dedicated themselves to making their spacious new home comfortable, and made their first application to adopt.

But it was in Scotland that the list of seemingly arbitrary or trivial objections to their quest for a child began. They met the social worker who thought ‘love’ a superfluous quality in 1991, who also stated bluntly at the outset of their attempt to adopt that Bill, then 47, and Hollie, 43, were too old.

With what was to become characteristic persistence, they ignored her.

The same social worker said that the Speeds would probably be unable to take a child who had grown up on a council estate because of their comfortable lifestyle. ‘It was tantamount to saying that a child from that background shouldn’t be given more opportunities. It seemed narrow-minded and limiting,’ says Bill.

They were also quizzed about the death of their baby son. ‘They just couldn’t leave the subject of Stephen alone. How did he die? How did we feel? Why weren’t we crying about him more? It became intrusive and upsetting, even obsessive,’ says Bill.

After 18 months of adoption assessment meetings, they were told that more examinations were necessary. Feeling that they were only revisiting old ground, worried that they were becoming yet older with no sign of success, they decided to move to a different and perhaps more receptive local authority.

And so, they made their second move, selling up for an idyllic farm in Wales. A perfect place to raise a family, you might think. A shallow river, easy to cross in ordinary Wellington boots, ran about 500m from their house. They rented their land to a neighbouring farmer and concentrated on making the house as welcoming as possible.

Another home meant another social worker. The way the Speeds tell it, their new contact from social services walked straight into their conservatory, squinted out at the view and cross-examined them on the proximity of the river.

She then announced that rivers — even such a shallow one that Bill offered to fence — were unacceptably dangerous places for children, and so were farms.

After she left, they were unable to gain any further response at all from her office. It was as if they had been wiped from the books.

Always ready to take decisive action, the Speeds made their third move, despite having been in their current property for only two years. But if the river was a problem, they would find another house without one.

They moved another 12 miles to a new property in the countryside. Again, they renovated the property to make it as attractive as possible before approaching social services. They did not care about the race or gender of the child: they simply wanted to adopt.

When they saw an advertisement in their local paper from Barnardo’s, stating that the charity was desperately seeking adoptive parents from all walks of life for older children with complex needs, they felt that, finally, they might be successful. It was not to be the case.

‘A pair of project workers arrived, a manager and his assistant, and the first thing he did was jump out of his chair when he saw our three small poodles. It was absurd,’ remembers Bill.

‘The assistant spent most of the time staring up at the ceiling. I had no idea why until he said, quite accusingly, “It’s a bit clean and tidy, isn’t it?” The whole visit lasted 30 minutes.’ The Speeds were duly informed that they were unsuitable.

They were back in the hands of the local authorities, but they discovered they had been mistakenly removed from the records because they failed to respond to a letter they never received.

The letter had invited them to an introductory training course for foster carers — despite the fact they had no intention of fostering in the first place. Soon, another social worker arrived and announced as an opening salvo: ‘It is not every woman’s God-given right to have a child.’

Despairing at the fact that it was now more than a decade after they started trying to adopt, they wrote to a senior social worker in their area, cataloguing the list of errors and discouragement they had faced to date.

To their astonishment, he responded and they were put in contact with an independent social worker for a Welsh adoption agency. Their luck was about to change.

After undergoing a much shorter version of the detailed assessment process they had undergone in Scotland, they were told in 2002 that they were being approved, subject to the usual checks, for adoption.

‘It was better than winning the Lottery and the football pools. It was relief and elation and the feeling that every frustration and setback had been worth it,’ says Bill. ‘We could hardly believe that things seemed to be going our way for once.’

They first met seven-year-old Lucy in 2002, when she began the tentative process of getting to know them during short visits that gradually lengthened into longer stays.

A year later, the final adoption hearing that made her officially their daughter was marked with a brief court appearance, during which the judge invited Lucy’s contribution by asking her to name her favourite vegetables.

But the couple’s battle to provide their much-longed for daughter with a perfect home wasn’t over yet. Move four came when the Speeds felt that Lucy, not a native Welsh speaker, was struggling too hard to master the language at school. Feeling she would do better with lessons taught solely in English, they returned to Scotland in 2003.

Finally came the fifth move, when they settled back in Norfolk eight years ago to escape radiation from a mobile phone mast that was erected only a few metres from their Scottish house. At last, their journey was over.

‘It’s all been for her,’ says Bill. ‘We will do whatever it takes to guarantee her welfare — and it’s been wonderful. Not roses all the way, but wonderful. We could not possibly have found a lovelier daughter.’



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

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

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


June 1, 2014

The Community Organizer Commander


Soldiers and veterans interest me because I've never been one, and because many are regular readers of this column. When they allow it, I like to pick their brains. They've had experiences I've never had and never will have. I almost joined up after high school, but didn't, and I've often regretted that. Even if they haven't been in combat, soldiers have worked and lived closely with others who have, and it changed them in some fundamental way. My sense is that for most the change has been a net positive -especially for Marines and soldiers with elite training such as Special Forces and Seals. I'm curious how they feel about changes taking place in the government of the country they've offered their lives to defend. They are, or have been, instruments of that government, yet many I've talked to lately express profound dissatisfaction with it even before the VA scandal broke.

Washington has deep misgivings about veterans too. In 2012 the Department of Homeland Security under Janet Napolitano profiled what sort of people are potential terrorists and the list included Iraq veterans. Also mentioned were "extreme right-wing" organizations, people who "believe that one's personal and/or national ‘way of life' is under attack," or people who are "suspicious of centralized federal authority" and "reverent of individual liberty." People of Janet Napolitano's ilk consider the Tea Party an "extreme right-wing organization," consequently this writer and many readers fit the profile.

So do virtually all conservative Republicans and Libertarians. Surviving veterans, many of whom offered their lives in service to these individual liberties, are indeed suspicious of an increasingly centralized federal authority so disdainful of them as to consider them potential terrorists. The irony here is that 95% of terrorists worldwide are Muslims, and over the last thirteen years thousands of American soldiers have died and more than a hundred thousand others have been wounded while fighting them. Yet, while the Obama Administration forbids profiling Muslim terrorists as terrorists, it has no problem profiling American veterans of the Iraq War as potential terrorists.Now consider that the VA gives "top notch medical treatment" to Muslim terrorists imprisoned at Gitmo - far better than it provides to our veterans. According to information a Pentagon insider provided to Judicial Watch:

There are approximately 150 terrorists at Gitmo yet the VA has 100 doctors, nurses and healthcare personnel assigned to them, [retired Navy Commander J. D.] Gordon says. ‘Doctors and medical personnel are at their beck and call,' he confirms, adding that they are readily available for things as minor as a cold, fever, toothache or chest and back pain. The jihadists who murdered thousands of Americans never have to wait, Gordon says, because the Gitmo patient to healthcare provider ratio is 1.5 to 1. ‘No problem, come right on in,' Gordon writes in his piece. If you risked your life serving your country, however, the ratio is 35 to 1.
As Michelle Malkin points out that America's illegal aliens get much better health care than our veterans too:

In New York, doctors report that nearly 40 percent of their patients receiving kidney dialysis are illegal aliens. A survey of nephrologists in 44 states revealed that 65 percent of them treat illegal aliens with kidney disease. In Memphis, a VA whistle-blower reported that his hospital was using contaminated kidney-dialysis machines to treat America's warriors. The same hospital previously had been investigated for chronic overcrowding at its emergency room, leading to six-hour waits or longer... In Arizona, illegal aliens incurred health-care costs totaling an estimated $700 million in 2009. [Meanwhile'] in Phoenix, at least 40 veterans died waiting for VA hospitals and clinics to treat them, while government officials created secret waiting lists to cook the books and deceive the public about deadly treatment delays.

We're hearing lots of excuses from Washington about the VA scandal. In spite of the fact that Obama made at least seven speeches in the last seven years promising he would not rest until he had fixed the waiting times at VA, and emphasizing how absolutely outraged he was about it, White House advisor Dan Ffeiffer had the gall to say last week that the president only recently heard about the problem on the news.

This is our commander-in-chief, the man in whom our soldiers must have confidence when he sends them into battle. As the House Select Committee on Benghazi unravels what really happened on September 11, 2012, Americans will learn what President Obama was doing as his aids watched Muslim terrorists attack the compound there. What exactly was the commander-in-chief's response when brave American soldiers, vastly outnumbered and outgunned, fought desperately for so many hours and ultimately died as they awaited reinforcements that never came?


Colorado baker told to make gay wedding cake

A US Civil Rights Commission has ordered a baker to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, finding his religious objections did not outweigh the state's anti-discrimination statutes.

The unanimous ruling from the seven-member commission in Colorado upheld a judge's finding in December that Jack Phillips violated civil rights law when he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012.

The couple sued.

Phillips said the decision violates his First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of his religion.

"I will stand by my convictions until somebody shuts me down," he told reporters.

Gary marriage remains illegal in Colorado, but the state law prohibits businesses from refusing to serve customers based on their sexual orientation.

The couple who sued Phillips, Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig, were married in Massachusetts and wanted a wedding cake for a reception to celebrate their union back home.

The panel ordered Phillips to stop discriminating against gay people and to report quarterly for two years on staff anti-discrimination training and any customers he refuses to serve.

Phillips' lawyer said she was considering appealing the ruling.


Do not walk your dog here! Muslims do not like dogs': Fury after poster discovered near popular London park warns dog-walkers to stay out of 'Islamic areas'

An MP has complained after seeing a sign posted near a popular park warning dog-walkers to stay out of 'Islamic areas'.

Labour Member of Parliament Jim Fitzpatrick alerted police and the local mayor about the sign after it was flagged up by one of the residents in his east London constituency.

The sign, which was spotted on the railings of Bartlett Park, reads: 'Do not walk your dog here! Muslims do not like dogs. This is an Islamic area now.'

Police say an investigation is now underway to find out who put it up.

Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman, the MP for Poplar and Limehouse said: 'I have no idea whether this was posted by the EDL, Islamists or another organisation. Regardless, this is a highly divisive sign. 'I am writing to request an investigation.

'I would also like to know what the council is currently doing to prevent signs like this from appearing.'

A spokesperson for the MP added: 'We want people who put those signs up to be caught. 'It could be anybody - antagonists from either side.'

Tower Hamlets police said: 'The material has been taken down and a crime report completed for further investigation.'

A Tower Hamlets Council spokesperson said: 'We have been alerted to a fly-poster stuck on a sign post near Bartlett Park, E14. We have removed it and are liaising with the police to investigate this alarming and divisive poster.

'The council actively promotes the No Place for Hate campaign whereby people of different faiths, cultures, lifestyles and backgrounds live in harmony. This means we support community cohesion and would not want the actions of any individual or small group to impact on this.'


BDS update

BDS is a campaign attacking investment in Israel. SJP is a pro-Palestinian organization

May saw the deployment of new campus BDS techniques, which were temporarily thwarted by rapid responses by community and university leaders. These pushed BDS closer toward lawfare –legal and administrative means to attack Israel and its supporters. They also indicate an ever-closer relationship of BDS to “anti-racism” while other examples point to a contradictory attraction to far-right themes and groups.


BDS campaigns on university campuses intensified greatly in May, prior to the end of the academic semester. The most dramatic events took place at UCLA where a BDS resolution was defeated earlier this year. Local BDS groups including Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the Armenian Students’ Association then drafted a “Joint Statement on Undergraduate Students Association Council Ethics” that demanded candidates for student government “refrain from taking free or sponsored trips with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League or Hasbara Fellowships.” The statement accused the sponsoring organizations of “Islamophobia” and “political agendas that marginalize multiple communities on campus.”

Most candidates for student government signed the statement but several, including two who had participated in trips, did not. Students for Justice in Palestine had earlier lodged an ethics complaint against two student government members alleging that their participation in sponsored educational trips to Israel was a conflict of interest that unfairly influenced the 2014 BDS resolution vote. A similar “ethics” charge had been lodged against one of the individuals in late 2013. Curiously, the current president of the UCLA student government, who is pro-BDS and who attacked his opponent for taking a sponsored trip to Israel, had participated in a sponsored trip himself.

The “ethics hearing” was lengthy and contentious. An SJP member contended that “It is the appearance (of a conflict of interest that) is sufficient to undermine the integrity of government because it is impossible to prove what a councilmember subjectively intended with their (ties to outside organizations.)” Social media comments by SJP members made it clear, however, that the goal was not to preserve the integrity of student government but to make it impossible for students to take trips sponsored by pro-Israel organizations, and to create a chilling effect for pro-Israel activity on campus.

The SJP’s activities arguably constituted harassment under the terms of the University of California’s “Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students.” With this evidently in mind, the chancellor of UCLA, Gene Block, criticized the SJP-led efforts regarding sponsored trips and suppression and harassment of student government candidates. Block’s criticism was echoed in a statement by University of California president Janet Napolitano. The student government soon released its own statement rejecting criticism and attacking Block personally.

The undergraduate judicial board then ruled that sponsored trips to Israel were not an ethics violation. This appears to have put the question to rest for the semester. The involvement of many pro-Israel organizations was critical to defeating the “ethics” charge and the proposed loyalty oath but reports suggest that a BDS resolution will reappear at UCLA in the fall.

Another BDS controversy emerged at Vassar. Earlier in the year faculty and students who had participated in a study trip to Israel were harassed by BDS activists. In the recent event the local Students for Justice in Palestine group was shown to have posted materials from a white supremacist web site on its social media sites. In another example, an antisemitic Nazi cartoon was posted on the SJP Twitter feed.

When confronted about the racist materials the SJP the organization decried the “manufactured misrepresentation” but went on to state that “providing an article link from a white nationalist publication does not mean we support white nationalist ideology; rather, we found this particular article’s description of those behind zionist propaganda campaigns and how they operate to be a helpful articulation of problems many organizations like us face.”

The affair drew condemnation by the university president, who called for a review of the SJP’s probationary status as a student organization, as well as harsh media criticism. The SJP later issued a later apology that claimed “Up until this point, the social media platforms (tumblr and twitter) associated with SJP Vassar’s name have been managed by one person and the SJP general body was not involved in decisions made about what was being posted. We condemn any and all hate speech including any form of anti-Semitism and we are deeply sorry several offensive posts were made in SJP Vassar’s name.”

Immediately following the president’s condemnation, a “Wall of Truth” erected by pro-Israel students at Vassar was vandalized and then quickly removed by the university. The Vassar situation also prompted an op-ed from a recent graduate who described the institution as “a reactionary, illiberal place full of unlettered bigots.”

In other campus news a BDS campaign in the University of Washington student government failed. One notable feature was a BDS proponent, caught on video, falsely claiming that some 75% of BDS proposals succeed. The true number is less than 25%. A divestment resolution also failed at the University of California at Davis. The Graduate and Professional Student Association at the University of New Mexico passed a BDS resolution that was then rescinded.

A BDS proposal passed at DePaul University. The resolution called on the university to divest from companies doing business with the Israeli military and in the West Bank and Gaza. A pro-BDS opinion piece by an adjunct faculty member characterized the vote as being about “racism and Islamophobia.” On-line voting in which only 10% of students participated saw the proposal pass by a margin of 1575 to 1333. A statement by DePaul President Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider called the resolution “problematic in a number of ways.” Interviews with DePaul students noted the borderline antisemitic nature of the BDS campaign and the atmosphere of intimidation, but at least one faculty member disagreed.

A SJP sponsored BDS petition at the University of South Florida is alleged to have garnered 10,000 student signatures. Finally, in Great Britain, the National Union of Student’s Black Students conference endorsed BDS. The organization is dominated by Muslim students.

May’s BDS activities on campus are indications that the movement is changing rapidly. BDS rhetoric (and organizations) are being realigned to attack Israel and American Jewish supporters with the uniquely American concepts of “Islamophobia” and “white privilege.” This latter mindset of politically correct “racial” self-criticism and explicit shaming expands BDS beyond its traditional North American focus on anti-imperialism/anti-colonialism, and “human rights” towards the “anti-racism” paradigms that have been dominant in Great Britain and Europe for many years.

Anti-Zionism has long been a cause of the European left, precisely on “anti-racist” grounds. Paradoxically, this is one area of profound agreement and convergence between the far-left and the far-right. While direct BDS cooperation on American campuses with, say, white power or neo-Nazi forces, remains unlikely their mutual hatred of Israel leverages that message. The Vassar SJP example also suggests that the “helpful articulation” of anti-Israel hatred and antisemitism by the far-right could develop into tactical and ideological alliances long seen in Europe.

While the eagerness of BDS supporters to dominate and politicize student government around a single issue has been apparent for some time, the use of campus judicial mechanisms to vilify supporters of Israel and shape the composition of student government is a radically new development. If it spreads, it threatens to impose anti-Israel loyalty tests and will likely bring student governments into open confrontation with university administrations eager to avoid the BDS issue.

It is difficult to predict whether such confrontations will empower BDS forces. The tenacity and single-mindedness of BDS activists is impossible to understate, but their radicalism – that is, overt hatred of Israel that is often ill-disguised antisemitism – has tended to work against their cause.

In this respect, the larger atmosphere on American campuses by radical factions is notable. This has included the forced withdrawal of Condoleeza Rice as commencement speaker at Rutgers and the disinvitation of Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Brandeis. The fast-moving debate over “trigger warnings,” in effect disclaimers or content advisories alerting students to potentially disturbing course materials, is another aspect. Repeated capitulation on the part of university administrations has now generated criticism and mockery damaging to specific institutions and the higher education industry as a whole. It is difficult to predict how leaders of the industry will react to future BDS provocations.

BDS forces have likely taken heart at the isolated success of the fossil fuel divestment movement at Stanford University. More characteristic is the experience at Harvard, where the issue has brought the faculty, which appears to favor fossil fuel divestment, into conflict with the university president and the corporation that manages the investments. The comparison between BDS against Israel and the fossil fuel movement, though not wholly analogous, is informative. The latter is carried by the intense moral panic over “global warming” generated over many years by academics and celebrities, facilitated by poorly understood umbrella groups, and underpinned by long, patient local organizing. Intimidation and ostracization over this issue are now commonplace on campuses.

To date the anti-Israel movement has failed to generate a moral panic over Israel, and its excesses of rhetoric and intimidation have worked against it. The minority status of BDS on campus has also been demonstrated by the evident willingness of BDS activists to take over campus facilities and organizations, to disregard procedures, to lie about its lack of success and to relish its putative victimhood at the hands of student government, administrations, and Jewish organizations.

Examples of BDS supporters’ victim mentality were revealed in the run up to a vote by members of the Modern Language Association that urges the“United States Department of State to contest Israel’s denials of entry to the West Bank by United States academics who have been invited to teach, confer, or do research at Palestinian universities.” It was revealed that MLA members had used a variety of antisemitic terms, including “Zionist attack dogs” in emailed exchanges on a private MLA listserv. Another stated that the MLA “resolution rightly targets only Israel given the humongous influence that Jewish scholars have in the decision making process of Academia in general.” The deadline for voting on the resolution is 1 June.

In other BDS news, the Presbyterian Church (USA) is preparing for its 221st General Assembly in mid-June and to vote on a BDS resolution. Observers have noted the church’s new study guide Zionism Unsettled is deeply mendacious and hostile toward Israel. In a development that echoes the loyalty test proposed at UCLA, the minister who was anticipated to become the church’s “Official Moderator on Middle East Issues” was forced to resign when it became know that he had gone on study trips to Israel sponsored by the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, Virginia.

Finally, in cultural news, the Rolling Stones will perform in Israel next week. In a message directed to Israeli fans they have publicized a smart phone app that will permit audience members to select songs to be played during the performance. The performance comes after harsh criticism from pro-BDS supporters and will mark the beginning of a long series of performances by international artists in Israel.

SOURCE (See the original for links)


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

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

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


Examining political correctness around the world and its stifling of liberty and sense. Chronicling a slowly developing dictatorship

BIO for John Ray

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 chidren 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

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.

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."

The Supreme Court of the United States is now and always has been a judicial abomination. Its guiding principles have always been political rather than judicial. It is not as political as Stalin's courts but its respect for the constitution is little better. Some recent abuses: The "equal treatment" provision of the 14th amendment was specifically written to outlaw racial discrimination yet the court has allowed various forms of "affirmative action" for decades -- when all such policies should have been completely stuck down immediately. The 2nd. amendment says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed yet gun control laws infringe it in every State in the union. The 1st amedment provides that speech shall be freely exercised yet the court has upheld various restrictions on the financing and display of political advertising. The court has found a right to abortion in the constitution when the word abortion is not even mentioned there. The court invents rights that do not exist and denies rights that do.

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.

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

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

Index page for this site


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"Marx & Engels in their own words"
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To be continued ....
Queensland Police -- A barrel with lots of bad apples
Australian Police News
Of Interest


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