The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

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 This site is updated several times a month but is no longer updated daily.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

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

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

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

30 June, 2017

Multicultural rape in Florida

Two suspects are wanted for violently raping a woman in Florida to 'teach her a lesson about dating black men'. Justin Akeen Fedrick, 27, Keon Dellshai Gordon, 26, are wanted for the incident at Clermont, Florida, on June 22.

Police say they are armed and dangerous and have warrants for their arrests. They are accused of raping the woman while another man, Rodney Cooper, 32, stood guard outside a room in a house where the woman was attacked.

The woman was with friends at a house when Cooper allegedly pushed her into a room. It is not clear whether he was part of the group.

He is then alleged to have stood guard outside while Fedrick and Gordon violently raped her, authorities said.

According to a police report seen by The Orlando Sentinel, they launched their attack to 'teach her a lesson about dating black men' and threatened the 'next time would be 10 times worse'.

The pair raped then sexually battered her, according to police, and left her inside. She escaped and ran across backyards in the neighborhood, worried that they would come after her.

Police eventually found her after being called by her boyfriend who she'd managed to reach on a cell phone. He told authorities she was 'bleeding and limping'.

Cooper was arrested on a kidnapping charge and was held on a $50,000 bond the next day but police have not been able to locate the other men. They are considered dangerous and have violent pasts.


Trump gets results on illegals

A BALTIMORE restaurant has slammed the US government after more than 30 staff quit following a surprise visit from an immigration agent demanding employees’ paperwork.

Gene Singleton, co-owner of the BoatHouse Canton restaurant, posted an open letter to Facebook on Saturday describing the “saddest day for the BoatHouse family” in its three-year history.

“Based on our Government’s current practices of targeting the Hispanic Community, properly documented and potentially less than properly documented are all fearful of being separated from their families, many with small children,” he wrote.

“Many went home to pack up and leave. This was a sad, emotional, tragic event.” But he added that the restaurant’s “policies and records are in compliance”.

Mr Singleton told The Washington Post an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent walked into the restaurant at about 3pm on Thursday and asked for the manager. The agent delivered a letter demanding a list of anyone who had worked at the restaurant in the past two years along with their employment eligibility forms.

“The guy was nice and polite,” he told the paper. “There was no scene.” But he said word quickly spread through the kitchen, and that evening a manager received a call from a chef. “He told him, ‘All our people are really fearful. I’m not sure if they’re going to come back tomorrow’,” Mr Singleton said.

The next day more than 30 staff failed to show up, leaving the remaining 90 or so to run the restaurant, turning away customers without reservations and serving a stripped-down menu. “The other 90+ of our employees and managers rallied and have pulled through like champions and the team and family that they are,” he wrote on Facebook.

He added that the restaurant was creating a “Heart of the House Fund” to “assist our displaced families with their transition”. “A portion of all revenues will be contributed to this fund,” he wrote.

“Everyone is invited to come and enjoy the great experiences that the BoatHouse has become known for and support our Heart of House Fund. As a group, these people are some of the best I have ever come to know.”

Responses on Facebook were mixed, with some praising Mr Singleton as a “class act” and others vowing never to return. “You’ll never see a dime of my money,” wrote Ryan Joseph.

“Honest question here and not intended to be rude but were they legally authorised to work? Did they not have appropriate documentation?” asked Joey Freshwater.

Joseph Di Seta said people should “wake up and stop living in a fantasy where you think every place you step foot in does not have someone working who is an illegal”.

“And there is a good chance some of these workers are here legally but still afraid,” he wrote.

Some were not convinced. “I’m a legal immigrant,” wrote Shane Mummery. “Why would any legal immigrant be afraid? What fantasy world are you in? People who have not broken laws have nothing to fear. Newsflash — there are plenty of restaurants who don’t hire illegals ... you know why? They are law abiding.”

Scott Ogden hit back. “This list of comments is a sad array of racism, anger, xenophobia and vile sentiments,” he wrote. “Much of America, like the Oval Office and West Wing, have become an embarrassing s***show.”

According to the Pew Research Centre, there were 11 million illegal immigrants in the US in 2015, with around eight million in the workforce, accounting for 5 per cent of the total population of those who were employed or unemployed and looking for work.

During the election campaign, Donald Trump campaigned hard against illegal immigration, but vowed to primarily target “bad hombres” with criminal records for deportation. But Trump’s cancellation of Obama-era policies of lenience towards illegal immigrants with clean criminal records has led to a rapid increase in detentions and deportations.


Illegals fleeing from Trump to Canada not faring too well there either

You may recall from earlier this year we learned that Canada was facing a new sort of border challenge. People were actually fleeing from the United States and crossing over illegally into the Great White North. These were primarily illegal immigrants looking to escape The Wrath of Trump according to most accounts, but nobody seemed terribly upset about it at the time.

Any why not? If you’re that worried about being caught, Canada is famous for its incredibly friendly people, generally socialist environment, generous welfare benefits and back bacon. They’re generally good with almost anyone showing up provided you’re not too much of a hoser, eh? And to top it off, the new Prime Minister was no fan of Trump’s either so he pretty much rolled out the welcome mat and said he wasn’t going to be taking any new, extraordinary measures to stop the flow of illegal aliens.

So how’s that working out for them now? Apparently the reality of a flood of illegal immigrants (or should we go ahead and start calling them “undocumented” once they’re somebody else’s problem…) turned out to be a bit more than the system was prepared to handle.


Thousands of people who fled to Canada to escape President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal migrants have become trapped in legal limbo because of an overburdened refugee system, struggling to find work, permanent housing or enroll their children in schools.

Refugee claims are taking longer to be completed than at any time in the past five years, according to previously unpublished Immigration and Refugee Board data provided to Reuters. Those wait times are set to grow longer after the IRB in April allocated “up to half” of its 127 tribunal members to focus on old cases. The number of delayed hearings more than doubled from 2015 to 2016 and is on track to increase again this year.

Hearings are crucial to establishing a claimant’s legal status in Canada. Without that status, they struggle to convince employers to hire them or landlords to rent to them. Claimants cannot access loans or student financial aid, or update academic or professional credentials to meet Canadian standards.

So rather than the normal two month average, it’s taking new arrivals an average of almost six months (and in some cases nearly a year) just to get a hearing. Until then, they’re having a hard time finding a job, getting anyone to rent them an apartment or qualifying for the many other benefits the Canadian social welfare system would generally be passing out.

Remarkably, the Canadians care so little for their border security, however, that even these folks “in limbo” are still able to collect C$600 ($453) a month in government social assistance. That’s not much, but it’s better than having to hunt and fish for all your meals I suppose.

Two things immediately come to mind here. First, as far as these “immigrants” (read: illegal aliens) go, it might be worth remembering that you are still in the country illegally. Personally I’m glad that you’re somebody else’s problem now and wish you the best, but it really can’t come as that much of a shock that people don’t want to hire or rent to you when you haven’t even been vetted to ensure you aren’t a terrorist.

The final question, however, is for Canada as a nation. It’s a pretty small country by population, though they have a tremendous amount of land. Their infrastructure isn’t all that huge. Once word gets out in the illegal alien community down here than anyone can show up without worries and begin collecting a check on day one, the trip may become even more popular. How many people in that category can you afford to absorb before your resources for your own citizens become strained to the breaking point? That’s about the time that people tend to start feeling considerably less “charitable” and begin asking their government what the heck is going on.

You might want to start getting an answer ready now.


This New Law in Canada Could Remove Kids From Parents Who Reject Transgender Ideology

Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, just passed a law that could allow the government to remove kids from their home if their parents oppose the new transgender ideology.

Could there be anything more terrifying for parents than that?

It’s not hard to see why the passage of Bill 89 captured the attention of so many across the globe.

But how did this bill—which is about foster care and adoption—get caught up in politically correct ideologies about “gender identity” and “gender expression” in the first place?

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone. Find out more >>

It didn’t come out of nowhere.

Ontario has passed five gender laws in the past five years, few of which received much media attention or even opposition in the legislature. Bill 89 is the latest in this litany of bad legislation.

It was back in 2012 “gender identity and gender expression” were added to Ontario’s Human Rights Code, making Ontario the first jurisdiction in North America to pass such a law.

With that initial snowball, the avalanche got rolling.

Facilitated by a majority government and a lame-duck opposition, the following bills sailed through to provincial law in Ontario:

Bill 13, also in 2012, compelled public schools to have gay-straight alliances and demanded schools combat “homophobia” and “transphobia.”

Bill 77 in 2015 prohibited particular forms of therapy for minors who struggle with gender dysphoria or other aspects of their sexuality, against the advice of numerous psychiatrists and counsellors.

Bill 28, which passed into law in December 2016, removed the terms “mother” and “father” from Ontario law, and permits “pre-conception agreements” allowing four unrelated and unmarried people to become parents.

All of this led to the Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, which passed into law just over a week ago. It is still commonly called Bill 89.

Bill 89 is a child protection bill that aims to make changes to our foster care and adoption system across Ontario. It regulates the Children’s Aid Societies, which includes over 40 organizations across the province responsible for responding to child protection concerns.

The impetus for Bill 89 was, in part, the murder of a 7-year-old girl while in the care of her Children’s Aid Society-appointed guardians.

The new law makes a number of innocuous changes and even some positive ones to how children who are abused and/or abandoned will be treated.

Yet the controversy stems from the inclusion of language from the Ontario Human Rights Code into the new child welfare act. This takes us right back to 2012 when “gender identity and gender expression,” two nebulous terms, were added into the Human Rights Code.

Prior to Bill 89, social workers considered principles in a child protection case—principles like continuity of care, stable family relationships, and respecting cultural, religious, and regional differences.

After Bill 89, social workers attempting to assess a child’s situation must now consider the specifics of the Ontario Human Rights Code, including “[a] child’s or young person’s race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, family diversity, disability, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.”

Incorporating the Human Rights Code writ large into Bill 89 is problematic.

The Human Rights Code is intended to be applied to commerce, not families—to employment, housing, and other services. But at the same time, the code also has protections for freedom of conscience and religion.

With Bill 89, Human Rights Code language moves into the private domain of the family, but without including specific protections for conscience and religion.

The most serious and immediate risk is not that children will be arbitrarily removed from a home by some kind of gender police, but rather that prospective foster or adoptive parents who disagree with new gender ideologies will be less likely to be chosen.

This decreases the pool of loving families who can foster children, doing those kids a disservice. While statistics are hard to come by, in some communities in Ontario, it’s estimated that half of all foster families are practicing Christians.

Parents need to be ever vigilant. The reality today across North America is that fashionable new trends are being pushed into law at a dizzying rate.

All of us need to be on the alert for seemingly small or inconsequential developments in language, policy, or law. Little words like “gender expression” can represent big ideology, and they are worth combatting wherever they crop up.

Five gender bills in five years makes Ontario’s story a cautionary tale for our friends and neighbors to the south.



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

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

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


29 June, 2017

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Wedding Cake 'Discrimination' Case

The Supreme Court on Monday finally agreed to hear a case involving a small Colorado bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop, that refused in 2012 to provide a custom wedding cake for a homosexual couple.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled that cake baker Jack Phillips engaged in sexual orientation discrimination under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act when he said his sincerely held religious beliefs prevented him from baking a cake for a homosexual couple.

The question before the court is: "Whether applying Colorado's public accommodations law to compel Phillips to create expression that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage violates the Free Speech or Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment."

Phillips filed his petition for review almost a year ago, but the Justices put off making a decision on whether to hear the case until now.

The case will be argued in the fall.

The American Civil Liberties Union represents the couple, Colorado residents David Mullins and Charlie Craig:

“The law is squarely on David and Charlie’s side because when businesses are open to the public, they’re supposed to be open to everyone,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT Project. “While the right to one’s religious beliefs is fundamental, a license to discriminate is not. Same-sex couples like David and Charlie deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else, and we’re ready to take that fight all the way to the Supreme Court.”

Also on Monday, the Justices once again put off a decision on whether to hear a Second Amendment case testing whether law-abiding people have the constitutional right to carry a gun outside the home for self-defense.


Racism: Families of dead blacks win big payouts despite no fault being found with police who killed them

In an effort to put the whole debacle in the past, the City of Ferguson, Missouri, settled a civil suit brought over the death of Michael Brown. The $1.5 million settlement will be paid out by the city’s insurance company and split between Brown’s parents. Recall that the grand jury found no legitimate reason to indict Officer Darren Wilson on any charges, and even Barack Obama’s Justice Department found nothing wrong with Wilson’s actions. But just like that, Brown’s parents won the latest round of the legal lotto. The same thing happened Monday morning in the Minneapolis suburb where Philando Castile was killed by Officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop last summer. Castile’s mother was awarded $3 million.

Like the payouts for the deaths of Freddie Gray and Eric Garner, the settlements in these cases of alleged police brutality have never been about justice.

These are now the third and fourth settlements of lawsuits for a death in which a city caved to the mob, even though no injustice was ever proven. (We’ll grant that Castile’s case is different and easily the most sympathetic, but a jury acquitted Yanez last week.) In each of these incidents law enforcement was found to have acted legally, yet by agreeing to these settlements these cities willingly perpetuate the fabrication that a culture of institutional racism exists within law enforcement. It’s important to note that Ferguson birthed the Black Lives Matter movement, which is allegedly in support of blacks. However, it’s a movement based on a lie, and its proponents have led destructive protests and riots costing millions in property damage around the country, often to the very communities they claim to represent. Baltimore, New York City and now Ferguson and St. Anthony are helping to set a precedent where if violent, rioting mobs drum up enough frenzy, then money will flow soon after to make the issue go away.


Military chiefs seek delay in allowing transgender enlistment

Military chiefs will seek a six-month delay before letting transgender people enlist in their services, officials said Friday.

After meetings this week, the service leaders hammered out an agreement that rejected Army and Air Force requests for a two-year wait and reflected broader concerns that a longer delay would trigger criticism on Capitol Hill, officials familiar with the talks told The Associated Press.

How lifting of military ban impacts transgender service ..
The new request for a delay will go to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for a final decision, said the officials, who weren't authorized to discuss the internal deliberations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Transgender people push for acceptance in military and beyond
Transgender servicemembers have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban, declaring it the right thing to do. Since Oct. 1, transgender troops have been able to receive medical care and start formally changing their gender identifications in the Pentagon's personnel system.

How lifting of military ban impacts transgender service members
But Carter also gave the services until July 1 to develop policies to allow people already identifying as transgender to newly join the military, if they meet physical, medical and other standards, and have been stable in their identified genders for 18 months. The military chiefs had said they needed time to study the issue and its effects on the readiness of the force before taking that step.

Officials said Friday that the chiefs believe the extra half-year would give the four military services time to gauge if currently serving transgender troops are facing problems and what necessary changes the military bases might have to make.

The chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps discussed the matter with Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work on Thursday, officials said.

Stephen Peters, spokesman for Human Rights Campaign, said the group is disappointed with the delay request.

"Each day that passes without implementing the final piece of this important policy harms our military readiness and restricts the Armed Forces' ability to recruit the best and the brightest," said Peters, a Marine veteran. "There are thousands of transgender service members openly and proudly serving our nation today, and as they've proven time and time again, what matters is the ability to get the job done - not their gender identity."

Already, there are as many as 250 servicemembers in the process of transitioning to their preferred genders or who have been approved to formally change gender within the Pentagon's personnel system, according to several defense officials.

According to several officials familiar with the matter, three of the four services wanted more time. In recent weeks, Navy officials suggested they would be ready to begin enlistment in July but asked for a one-year delay, largely to accommodate a request from the Marine Corps for more time, officials said. The Navy secretary also oversees the Marine Corps.

The Army and Air Force wanted a two-year delay to further study the issue, said the officials, who were not authorized to talk about the internal discussion publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Officials said there was a broad recognition that allowing transgender individuals to enlist affects each service differently. They described the biggest challenge as the infantry. They said the discussions aimed at a solution that would give recruits the best chance of succeeding, while ensuring the services maintain the best standards for entry into the military.

Service chiefs will also require that transgender recruits be stable in their preferred genders for at least two years, an increase from Carter's earlier plan to allow 18 months, the officials said. The chiefs also want to review the policy in a year to see how things are working, the officials said.

Key concerns are whether currently enlisted troops have had medical or other issues that cause delays or problems with their ability to deploy or meet physical or other standards for their jobs. Military leaders also want to review how transgender troops are treated, if they're discriminated against or have had disciplinary problems, the officials said.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate committee last week there have been some issues identified with recruiting transgender individuals that "some of the service chiefs believe need to be resolved before we move forward." He said Mattis is reviewing the matter.

The military services have various ways of counting the number of transgender troops currently serving. The Pentagon has refused to release any data. But officials said there are 42 servicemembers across the Army, including the National Guard and Reserve, who have been approved to change their gender identities in the personnel system. At least 40 more are in the process of transitioning, they said.

Officials said there are about 160 sailors in the Navy who are somewhere in the process of gender transition. That could include counseling, hormone treatment or gender reassignment surgery. And about "a handful" of Marines have come forward to seek medical care involving gender transition, and there are possibly others going through the process with their commanders, officials said.

The Air Force refused to release any numbers, and other officials did not know those details.

A RAND study found that there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members in the active duty military, and another 1,500 to 4,000 in the reserves.


"Endowment for Middle East Truth": A David Defending Israel from a Goliath of Lies

"Thank you for taking a machete to the thicket of lies," stated Israel's ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, in praise of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) at its June 14 gala in Washington, DC. Before a Grand Hyatt Hotel ballroom filled with America's pro-Israel leaders, the exceptional speakers addressing EMET's eleventh annual Rays of Light in the Darkness dinner indicated EMET's rising importance as an Israel public advocate.

EMET founder and President Sarah Stern introduced the evening as "our most successful dinner yet," a note of optimism befitting her own personal reflections on Israel's history of triumphing over disaster. She recalled her namesake Aunt Sarah brutally massacred along with her Polish village by the Nazis in 1939. Her loss in the Holocaust manifested that before Israel's existence "Jews were left utterly vulnerable and defenseless. Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people."

Fifty years after the Six Day War, Stern recalled that in 1967 the "fledgling Jewish state was left totally isolated and on her own. Just 22 years after the Holocaust, it seemed that another Holocaust might be inevitable." In her White Plains, New York, childhood home she remembered the "almost palpable tension in the air. We kept our television set on that Shabbat, something totally unheard of in my strictly Orthodox Jewish home." "It is difficult to describe the sheer relief bordering on euphoria" after Israel's miraculous victory, as demonstrated by her brother, who began proudly wearing his yarmulke without a baseball cap for concealment.

Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan and prominent public defender of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), similarly praised EMET. In this "phenomenal organization...they go from strength to strength," he stated, while noting the importance of the acronym EMET's meaning in Hebrew, namely truth. "In the Middle East, lies have become the central pillar of our enemies' efforts against us."

Kemp decried a widespread "weakness of the West," particularly in relation to Palestinian leaders who "want only destruction of the Jewish state." "For decades we have tried reasoning with the Palestinians, making concessions, patronizing them, it hasn't worked and it won't work. They see it as weakness, and weakness provokes them." In contrast, he offered a policy of strength, noting that "Israel cannot withdraw its forces from Judea and Samaria and have a hope of survival" and that therefore "there cannot be a two-state solution."

Dermer's address similarly focused on Israel's struggle with an "alternative universe of real lies with real consequences" where "Jews are the occupiers of Judea, the Western Wall is occupied Palestinian territory." "In this alternative universe, Iran's path to the bomb has been blocked. In the real world, Iran's path to a nuclear bomb has been paved." A "propaganda campaign conducted by a master of fiction manufactured moderation and filled echo chambers with nonsense" in order to achieve President Barack Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran.

EMET honoree Nadiya Al-Noor, a self-professing Muslim Zionist and "queer Muslim woman" with a Jewish father, discussed her own personal journey away from anti-Israel propaganda. "It saddens me that simply being a Muslim who does not hate Israel is considered award-worthy" today, she noted, but "unfortunately, antisemitism is a huge problem in the Muslim community, fueled by anti-Israel propaganda." "College campuses these days are hotbeds of antisemitism under the guise of anti-Zionism" where once she "believed their hateful lies: Israel was an apartheid state; Israel is Nazi Germany 2.0; Zionism was racism."

Yet EMET honoree Ashraf Halabi, a Druze IDF veteran, showed that Israel had non-Jewish allies as boisterous applause greeted his podium appearance in IDF uniform. He recounted always hearing while growing up amidst this Israeli minority Arab community that the "Jews and the Druze are blood brothers." Noting that his family has contributed over 100 years of military service to Israel, he stated that "our loyalty is unconditional. We have no other country."

Republican North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows and Democratic California Congressman Juan Vargas demonstrated strong Christian Zionism irrespective of the few Jewish voters in their districts. "My wife and I have a passion for Israel and the Jewish people," Meadows stated. "In what many would call an evangelical congressional district, I can get a standing applause when I tell them that I will unyielding and unflinching stand with the nation of Israel and the Jewish people."

Concurring with Kemp and Stern, Meadows opposed Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), as the "middle of Israel would be about the size of the Dallas airport; it would be indefensible." He also rejected the common mischaracterization as mere "settlements" of irrevocably established Israeli communities in territories won by Israel in 1967. "The image that we have of the settlement is this little tiny hut with a little lean-to. They are not settlements, they are subdivisions."

Meanwhile Vargas proudly proclaimed how he was the first Democratic legislator to oppose Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran, an action that reflected his religious background. During his five years of seminary study when he once prepared for the priesthood, "I grew up with this love for Israel and Jerusalem in particular because of what I heard and believed in every Sunday" in Old Testament Bible readings. Common calls for Israel to withdraw to the "[19]67 lines" provoke him to joke that Israel "is one of the few countries that existed in the world in 67" A.D.; "when people say we should go back to the 67 lines, I am OK with that."

The master of ceremonies, conservative commentator and "president of the Gentile wing of the international Zionist conspiracy" Cal Thomas, and a video address by Senator Jim Inhofe rounded out yet another EMET truth-telling banquet. Israel's enemies can be modern Goliaths, yet EMET's small staff and their supporters skillfully punch above their weight. Supporters of Israel and its contributions to the free world should take note of this mighty little Zionist David.



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

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

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


28 June, 2017

A Kind Word on Behalf of the Mexicans

Libertarian Robert Higgs makes below some perfectly reasonable points about Mexicans in general and I suspect that everything he says about them is true. But he is very one-sided in his comments. So I think it behooves me to restore some balance to the discussion.

His basic sleight of hand is to imply that illegal immigrant Mexicans are just like Mexicans in general. He does not consider that most Mexicans stay in Mexico and that people who break the law for their own advantage may be substantially unlike their law-abiding relatives -- and may in fact be just the sort of people that most societies would like to exclude.

And criminality among Hispanics in the USA is high. Its incidence runs about half-way between the white and black incidence, with the first-generation children of the illegal immigrants being particularly troublesome. America could certainly do without that.

And the political attitudes they bring with them are also a problem. Ones who share Higgs's libertarian views would be great rarities. Like most Latin Americans, they are instinctive socialists and reliably vote for the Democratic Party. They provide that party with one of its two big "rusted on" votes and have thus allowed that party to drift further Left than at any previous time in its history.

And that drift is a drift into authoritarianism, scarcely what Mr Higgs would wish. Latin American politics are overwhelmingly authoritarian socialist and the large Hispanic vote is bringing that to the USA too. Bipartisanship seems to have totally vanished. Mr Obama compromised on nothing.

"But we need them!" Mr Higgs says. Life in Australia is very similar to life in the USA but we have very few illegal immigrants of any kind. Successive conservative governments have cracked down on it very effectively. So I doubt that the USA needs Mexicans. If it does, however, the need could be easily met by introducing a "Gastarbeiter" (guest worker) system similar to that which applied in Germany from the 1960's on. In such a system LEGAL immigration could be allowed for a certain time and for certain occupations -- such as farm labor.

And America has a substantial population of non-working blacks -- who are the descendants of farm workers. Suitable adjustments to welfare provisions could, one imagines, get at least some of them into the jobs presently being done by Hispanic illegals. How incorrect can I get?

“The immigration problem” or “the border problem” has been a heated topic of debate and politicking in recent years. (This recent spurt is only the most recent in a series that goes back for centuries in U.S. history.) In large part this debate pertains to the entry of Mexicans, especially undocumented Mexicans, into the USA. For those who support a strong “closed borders” or “secure the border” position, the debate often involves claims about Mexicans—what sort of people they are, what one may reasonably expect them to do if they become residents of the USA, what crimes they have committed or will commit in the future, and so forth. Anyone who is familiar with Mexicans is struck repeatedly by the sheer ignorance and the false claims that immigration opponents marshal in support of their position. The president himself has trotted out howlers about Mexican rapists and drug traffickers as important, standing problems of even the existing flow of Mexicans into the USA.

I have a working familiarity with the social science literature on immigration. (In the past I have written articles for economic history and demography journals that dealt with various aspects of immigration in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.) More to the point for present purposes, I have considerable personal experience with Mexicans. I grew up on the rural west side of California’s San Joaquin Valley in the 1950s in a place with a population composed of about two-thirds Mexicans and their native-born children. In October 2015, I emigrated from the USA, and since then I have lived in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. I speak Spanish, though not with the fluency I would like, and in one way or another I deal with Mexicans nearly every day. So when I think or speak about Mexicans I do so with some personal as well as scholarly background.

In this light, I am stunned by how many Americans have a false impression of Mexicans. Of course, any generalization about them will be subject to qualifications. Mexico is a large, diverse country with a large, diverse population. And obviously from individual to individual great variations exist. No population consists of nothing but good people (however defined) or nothing but bad people (however defined).

Overall, I have found Mexicans—both those with whom I grew up in California and those among whom I now reside in Mexico—on average to be fine people in all relevant dimensions. They are devoted to their families and love their children. They are extremely hard workers, often under extraordinarily difficult and unpleasant conditions. They are good-natured and friendly, courteous and generous. They are also in many cases surprisingly resourceful, knowing how to build or repair all sorts of things, often without proper tools or materials. Many of them have an artistic capacity that allows them to create various products that are not only practical but also beautiful. Centuries of oppression and brutality by the ruling classes have not destroyed their hope for a better future, and they are often willing to bear great personal costs in order to make that future better for themselves and their children.

In view of the sorts of people they actually are—not as they are painted by vicious politicians and border bullies—one might well suppose that not only are they not an especially worrisome kind of immigrants to the USA, but instead exactly the kind that native-born American should welcome, the sort that among other things will do thousands of difficult and uninviting tasks—for example, working in poultry or meatpacking plants, putting on roofs, holding down building and highway construction and masonry jobs in rain and summer heat, cleaning hotel rooms, cooking and cleaning in restaurants, harvesting crops such as apples, asparagus, strawberries, and hundreds of others that demand backbreaking manual labor, and so on and on—tasks that native-born workers are not exactly clamoring to perform these days.

Moreover, not all Mexicans who come to the USA are unskilled, low-wage workers. Entrants also include highly educated people such as lawyers, doctors, engineers, and information technology workers. Mexico’s labor force is no longer a mass of unskilled or semi-skilled workers, and in many cases both the migrants and the U.S. economy stand to gain by Americans’ welcoming highly skilled people from Mexico. That such people have relatively less to gain does not imply that they have nothing to gain. In any event, it behooves Americans to recognize the existence of this type of migrants as well as those at the bottom of the wage scale.

It would be a most instructive experiment if somehow all the immigrant workers were to be removed from the U.S. economy overnight. The upshot would be calamitous for many U.S. industries and for large geographic areas of the country. Immigration opponents rarely appreciate the extent to which the U.S. economy depends on Mexican (and other immigrant) labor and the tremendous extent to which the foreign workers produce and distribute goods and services essential to day-to-day life for everyone. The oft-heard claim that the migrants come to the USA simply to sponge off the welfare state is so preposterously out of touch with reality that it staggers the mind. Yes, of course, some immigrants take advantage of the welfare state, but their taxes (not just income taxes but also property, sales, excise, and social security taxes), fees, fines, and other personal payments also prop up that system. They are not simply welfare deadbeats (as obviously many native-born persons are) and not simply consumers or competitors for jobs or housing. They are above all producers.

More important, however, they are in the great majority of cases good and decent people seeking what most people seek—an opportunity to work toward building a better life for themselves and their children. For those of us who know them more intimately than most, it is painful to hear the ignorant and malicious statements that circulate about them, especially perhaps on social media, where people are frequently unrestrained in letting loose the most vitriolic and baseless accusations. Individualists, above all, should know better than to judge a large group of people on grounds such as race, ethnicity, or place or birth—attributes that no one has earned but has merely been born with. Americans in particular ought to meet a higher standard than to embrace such collectivism, especially about people who in many cases are personally unknown to those making the negative appraisal. Among the highest aspirations of the American people historically has been the idea that their country would serve as a beacon of freedom and a refuge for the oppressed of other lands. It is high time that more Americans became cognizant of the desirability of reestablishing this noble aspiration.


Second life for a VERY incorrect politician

Silvio Berlusconi, 80, is set for an astonishing comeback after sweeping election victories for Italy's right-wing, as critics admit the former prime minister is 'politically immortal'

Italy's right celebrated Monday after big victories in local elections, with all eyes on a potential comeback for former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi - just months before the country holds national elections.

The 80-year-old billionaire's Forza Italia (Go Italy) party and the far-right Northern League won 16 of the 22 cities up for grabs Sunday.

Their victory was a shock setback for the governing centre-left Democratic Party.

The loss of the city of Genoa was a particularly big blow. The northern city has traditionally been a bastion of the left, but it passed to the centre-right for the first time.

Former centre-left prime minister Matteo Renzi, dismissed the wins as having little bearing on national voter sentiment.

But the mood on the left was sombre. Editorialist Riccardo Barenghi wrote in the left-leaning Italian newspaper La Stampa that it 'couldn't have gone worse'. He added: 'Not just for Matteo Renzi, not just for the [Democratic Party]. But for the whole of the Italian left.'

'[It was] as if we'd gone back 23 years to when the left was beaten by the Cavaliere ('The Knight', Berlusconi's nickname), who appeared on the scene like a rabbit from a magician's hat, and today reappears like a castigating ghost.'

The next general election must be held by spring 2018, but the coalition supporting Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni is fragile and many experts say the government could call elections for late in the year.

At the national level, the PD and the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) are running neck-and-neck in the polls, each with about 30 percent of voter intentions, while Forza Italia and the Northern League are each hovering at around 14 percent.

Political commentator Stefano Folli called Sunday's results 'a searing and very painful loss for the left.' He wrote in the left-leaning La Republica: 'Berlusconi reveals himself to be politically immortal.

Berlusconi, 80, had been largely absent from politics - though not the gossip pages - following his ousting in 2011 and his party had since struggled with internal divisions and corruption scandals.

Silvio Berlusconi's return might have seemed like an impossibility two years ago when details of his lurid sex parties surfaced. The 'elegant dinners' would take place at the tycoon's mansion in the outskirts of Milan.

An Italian court heard that they'd involve pole dancing, strip teases and erotic games performed for Berlusconi by troupes of young women. The girls all received cash and rewards in return for attending the parties.

Two women invited to a 'bunga bunga' party - Ambra Battilana and Chiara Danese - claimed women at the notorious events would grope the media tycoon's genitals while singing 'Thank Goodness for Silvio'.

They said that at one point Berlusconi brought in a statue of a little man with a huge penis. Berlusconi then 'began passing it around the girls, and he asks them to kiss the penis.'

On Sunday it benefited in part by picking up votes from supporters of Five Star, which performed poorly in the first round and failed to make it into run-offs in any of the largest cities.

But he boasted that he injected energy into his party's efforts. He said: 'I'm back and you can see the results. 'If we remain united we will win the general election. And we will do so with a programme that I'm drawing up and will make public soon.'

Renzi, 42, limited himself to admitting that 'it could have gone better.'

Silvio Berlusconi was previously found guilty today of paying Moroccan Karima-El Mahroug, nicknamed 'Ruby the Heart-Stealer' for sex at a 'bunga bunga' party

The former media tycoon, who was also up until recently the owner of AC Milan, served nine years in three separate terms as Italian Prime Minister - making him the third-longest Italian PM since the country unified.

In 2013 he was sentenced to seven years in jail for sex and corruption offences - including having sex with 'Ruby the Heartstealer', a Moroccan nightclub dancer who was just 17 at the time.

Berlusconi was accused of using his influence to get Ruby, real name Karima-El Mahroug, released from Police custody.

The conviction, however, was later overturned.


Resident group claims women have become ‘endangered species’ in heart of Paris

IT’S supposed to be the place of liberte, egalite and fraternitie, but locals in one Paris suburb claim women have become an “endangered species” in the heart of the city.

Local activist group SOS La Chapelle, made up of residents in the La Chapelle-Pajol suburb, say the area has become a “no go zone” for women who area afraid to walk the streets of central Paris.

Together with members of another resident’s group, Demain La Chapelle, they’ve launched a petition calling for French President Emmanuel Macron, his Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, to increase police numbers and clean up the area they say is dominated by drug dealers and traffickers.

An online petition titled “Women an endangered species in the heart of Paris” has gained nearly 20,000 fans on Facebook in two weeks. It claims women in the area are subject to insults in “all languages such as “b****, dirty wh*re, I’ll kiss you.”

“There are pickpockets street drinking, spitting, rubbish everywhere, The heady smell of urine,” it states. “There are the traffickers that take root: human beings, drugs, cigarettes, or false documents. “The employees of these traffickers mean to us every day that we are undesirable, we and our children.”

News of the petition has made headlines in France and sparked protests in the area as it comes amid a wider debate about immigration and cultural attitudes in the society where the burka is banned and immigration was a galvanising issue in recent Presidential and parliamentary elections.

La Chapelle has become home to a number of migrants in recent months following the closure of the Jungle refugee camp in Calais due to its proximity to Gare du Nord station from which the Eurostar travels direct to Calais and London.

It has quickly become politicised with some blaming immigrants for “hunting” women and creating a “male den” in the city.

The organisers have strenuously denied they were targeting one group or another and say they simply want to make women safe.

“Our petition written by local women does not target any particular public, it makes an inventory of various problems that overlap each other and cause problems of different natures (security, cleanliness, alcoholism, traffic, occupation of the public space ...).” the group posted in a follow-up statement online.

“We absolutely do not endorse articles and reports that make rapid amalgamations aimed at stigmatising a population.”

However those unhappy with the petition, that has led to street protests, claim it is xenophobia dressed up as feminism and has stoked anti-immigrant sentiment.

“It is a complete manipulation of the truth,” a woman known as Alice, told The Local. “The majority of the people in the area behave well”. “I have to come here everyday and if I didn’t feel safe I wouldn’t do it. This is a lie made up by the press and right-wing politicians,” another said.

Demain La Chappelle organiser Loic Guzman said the group is not “targeting migrants”, but their presence has attracted criminal gangs who sell fake immigration papers and drugs which has become the real problem.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has called for new accommodation centres “all over” the country to help address the issue of where to house the migrants moved out of Calais’ Jungle.


Meet overweight and extreme Australian feminist, Clementine Ford

She has admitted to bouts of mental illness. She does however have a baby son -- and boy babies have a way of civilizing feminists -- simply by being themselves

Controversial feminist Clementine Ford has encouraged on a fan to 'kill men' in a handwritten note inside a copy of her latest book.

The Melbourne-based author and Fairfax columnist has regularly spoken about being the target of graphic abuse, trolling and death threats from men on social media.

But a picture shows that when signing one copy of her latest book, 'Fight Like a Girl', Ms Ford wrote to a fan: 'Have you killed any men today? And if not, why not?'

Ms Ford, 35, released her non-fiction 'manifesto' centred around her feminist views and experiences in September 2016.

In it, the mother-of-one urges 'all women and young girls - to take the emptiness and numbness they feel about being a girl in this world and turn it into rage and power'.

Previously, Ms Ford has complained about trolling and 'hate' she receives on social media and through online forums.

In one case in 2015, a man called her a 'sl**' and was sacked by his Sydney-based employer.

Ms Ford has an army of close to 300,000 fans across social media.

It comes after publisher Allen and Unwin announced on Monday it had acquired the rights to her second book.

'Boys Will Be Boys', a book Ms Ford claims will be a 'love letter to her son', is due to be released in 2018.

But within just hours of the announcement, a petition calling for the 'man hating' piece not to be published was set up on Change.org.

The petition has received 300 signatures in less than 24 hours. Ms Ford hit out at its organisers on Twitter saying: 'Oh no, they will probably take my contract away now.'



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

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

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


27 June, 2017

Google Pledges $1 Million To Preserve LGBTQ Stonewall Inn Story

More valorization of homosexuality

Google announced on Sunday that it will be donating $1 million to the LGBT Community Center in New York City to preserve and disseminate the story of the Stonewall Rebellion of 1969 in digital formats.

“With our donation, my hope is we can capture and preserve their stories and, through technology, share them with the world to inspire all those who continue to strive for human rights,” said Eric Schmidt, executive chair of Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, at a press conference on Sunday.

In 1969, the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, was raided by police for serving liquor without a license. The scene turned violent as bar-goers began rioting against the police.

The Stonewall Riot drove the formation of the Gay Liberation Front and other LGBTQ civil rights activist groups.

The announcement about Google’s donation was made by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and West Side Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), at a press conference on June 18, the start of Pride Week in Manhattan.

Schumer posted on his Facebook page on June 18 to celebrate the donation. He said, “the lessons of [Stonewall Riots’] history can reach tens of millions of people across the nation, and across the globe.”

The $1 million grant, according to a written statement from the Center, will allow it to partner with the National Park Foundation (NPF) to create “a digital experience that broadly shares the story of LGBTQ civil rights, firmly establishing LGBTQ history in the fabric of American history.”

“This announcement sends an unmistakable message to Washington: that the America we know celebrates and cherishes its diversity; it doesn’t hide from it or fear it,” Schumer said. “Google’s generous pledge could not come at a more vital time.”

However, the founder of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, Peter LaBarbera, said he sees a more “deviant” aspect of the movement that is being “whitewashed.” He said the event in 1969 was a violent protest against police and that there were “hustlers that would have sex with teenage boys.”

“In my eyes, the whole homosexual activist movement is about normalizing a sexual perversion and turning it into a civil right,” he said. “And to do that, they have to overlook or change or rewrite history because there’s a lot of unsavory aspects to the early gay history, just as there are to the current homosexual movement.”

On June 24, 2016, then-President Barrack Obama issued an executive proclamation to create a national monument in Christopher Park, across the street from the historical landmark.

“Obama already started it. He was trying to make Stonewall as powerful a civil rights event as SELMA, but in SELMA, Americans were all unified against racism,” LaBarbera said. “(Stonewall Inn)’s probably the most pornographic historical landmark in America. It just doesn’t fit what you would normally associate with noble history.”

Schumer said during the press conference that there are “people in Washington who would see our country backslide on equality.” He pointed to more than 100 anti-LGBTQ legislations passed by state and local governments since the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency.

“We’ve only had gay marriage for 2 years in the United States but is that now part of history? If you’re against gay-marriage, you’re just a bigot and a homophobe and a hater?” said LaBarbera.

Schumer’s press office has not responded to CNSNews.com’s request for an interview.

Glennda Testone, the Center’s executive director, called the funding “inspirational” and said it will “lift up LGBTQ history on a global platform, further magnifying the Stonewall Uprising’s place in the overall story of the LGBTQ civil rights movement.”

According to National Park Foundation President Will Shafroth, Google’s donation accounts for half of the amount needed to “effectively launch” the national monument.

“The national parks community is grateful for Google’s support to develop education programs for New York City students — and eventually students worldwide — that focus on the important issues of equality, human rights, civil rights, and more,” Shafroth said.

But LaBarbera believes homosexuality is not a civil rights issue, but a moral issue.

“They want to force it, not just on the rest of the country, but especially on students,” LaBarbera said. “They want to teach LGBT history as real civil rights history to kids so they want to propagandize and indoctrinate kids of this mythical narrative to turn this moral issue into a noble civil rights.”

LaBarbera believes the riot in 1969 accomplished what it set out to do, which, he said, is to radicalize the movement.

“It’s been very bad for our society, though. It’s terrible to have immoral sexual behaviors normalized to a culture and especially to kids,” LaBarbera said.

The idea for Google’s donation, according to the New York Times, originated from William Floyd, Google’s openly gay New York external affairs director.

Others present at the press conference on Sunday include openly gay city council member Corey Johnson, and Public Advocate Letitia James, who did not respond to CNSNews.com’s interview requests.

American Express has also pledged a $100,000 donation to the campaign. The projected completion date is June 2019, the Stonewall Rebellion’s 50th anniversary.


The mainstreaming of the terror prejudice

Islamists and ‘liberals’ are united in their contempt for the demos

There are many disturbing things about the Finsbury Park Mosque attack. The most disturbing, of course, is the thing itself. This was a grotesque assault on our fellow citizens and on freedom of religion. To mow people down as they congregate outside their place of worship is to display a murderous disregard for the liberties that make secular, democratic society possible.

But there’s another disturbing thing and one that deserves far more interrogation: the media response to the attack and its confirmation of a coming-together of the Islamist and so-called liberal outlooks, of a fusing of Islamist and leftist contempt for the demos.

The response to the Finsbury attack has been striking for its double standards. Observers and politicos have done all the things they warn us not to do after Islamist attacks. After Islamist terrorism they instruct us not to get angry, not to hold any community or culture responsible, and not to fall for the apparently foul, racist idea that the Koran or certain imams might have inspired this violence. In fact, they ringfence Islam from criticism and frown on efforts to discover the possible scriptural source of the terror. They wield the insult ‘Islamophobe’ against anyone who suggests there might be a broader cultural problem behind such violence. ‘It’s just an individual with warped ideas’, they insist.

This time, in response to a suspected act of far-right violence, they’ve changed their tune. They’ve ditched their usual pacifying cry of ‘Keep calm and carry on’ in favour of inviting the nation to look in the mirror. This act of violence does have a communal base, they claim. It speaks to an ‘increase in Islamophobia all over the country’, one Labour MP insists. This violence does have an intellectual origin we should all worry about: it is the tabloid media’s ‘addiction to Islamophobia’ that nurtured it, we’re told. This violence does raise questions about certain communities in Britain, especially tabloid-reading ones, described by one columnist as ‘the vulnerable’, easily whipped into ‘crazed hysteria’. We know who they mean: the white working class.

Suddenly, it is okay to see an act of individual violence as a signifier of social and communal problems. It is bad, apparently, to raise any questions about Muslim communities after Islamist attacks. But after Finsbury it is absolutely fine, important in fact, to query the rank, media-fuelled prejudices that apparently lurk in certain communities ‘all over the country’. This amounts, pretty explicitly, to saying, ‘We must never criticise the Muslim community, because we might hurt their feelings, but we should definitely criticise the tabloid-addicted, “vulnerable” sections of society that refuse to respect religious difference’.

There’s a profound paternalism here. This approach both infantilises the Muslim community, treating them as incapable of robust discussion, and criminalises the white working class, who are presumed to be one newspaper editorial away from ‘crazed hysteria’.

But the double standards also point to a deeper problem: the commonalities between the extremist Islamist outlook and what passes for ‘liberal’ commentary today. (It isn’t genuinely liberal, of course, but that’s for another column.) Reading some of the commentary on the Finsbury attack, about the ‘poisonous narrative’ spreading through Britain and creating ‘hateful bigots’ all over the country, it is hard to tell where mainstream thinking ends and Islamist intolerance begins. Because that outlook, that idea that vast numbers of Brits despise Muslims and are on the cusp of bigoted hysteria, is precisely the underpinning of the extreme victim narrative of modern Islamist violence.

From 7/7 to the Manchester Arena bombing, we know that one of the key ideas uniting Britain’s successful or failed Islamist terrorists is that the modern West hates Muslims. There’s a deep strain of censorious self-pity: Western armies hate Muslims, Western citizens hate Muslims, the Western media mocks Muslims, and so perhaps we deserve to be punished.

This easily crosses the line into haughty contempt for the demos, who are presumed to be morally slovenly and, of course, Islamophobic. Recall the arrested terror cell of 2006, who wanted to blow up those ‘slags dancing around’ at London nightclubs. Or the 2007 car bombs left outside the Tiger Tiger club in London. There have also been planned or attempted attacks on airports and football stadiums. And of course a pop concert. It is reported that Salman Abedi, the Manchester concert bomber, was very concerned about Islamophobia: he thought Brits were ‘unfair’ to Muslims.

Every single one of these self-pitying prejudices, these narcissistic beliefs that modern Britain is packed with horrible slags and idiots who are unfair to Muslims, will have been emboldened by the post-Finsbury commentary. The media’s wildly inaccurate depiction of Britain as a hotbed of anti-Muslim hate, which lurks ‘all over the country’, is of a piece with the Islamist prejudice against British citizens.

What unites the extreme Islamist and the modern liberal observer is a profound discomfort with the demos, a deep fear of ordinary people and their emotions and beliefs. In different ways, one via violence, the other via peaceful demands for greater policing of people’s views on Islam, these two groups problematise sections of the public and depict them as ripe for either punishment or re-education.

The communion between Islamist and mainstream media thinking was perfectly captured in the figure of Piers Morgan yesterday. He had Tommy Robinson, founder of the English Defence League, on his ITV show Good Morning Britain. When Robinson criticised the Koran, Morgan blasted him, and was cheered by virtually the entire media for doing so. ‘To mock [Islam] and its holy book is an outrage’, Morgan said. ‘Show some damn respect!’

This is the Islamist outlook, too. In fact this is the thinking behind the Charlie Hebdo massacre: that it is an ‘outrage’ for anyone to criticise Islam. In responding to Finsbury by demonising people ‘all over the country’ as ignorant or hateful towards Islam and insisting the Koran should never be mocked, it is possible these observers have written the script for the next act of extremist, victim-politics Islamist violence.


Human rights: the friend of foreign criminals

How human-rights law demeans democracy and citizenship

Last week, the UK Supreme Court ruled in favour of two foreign criminals seeking to resist deportation to their countries of citizenship. Although the case turned on a narrow issue of whether it was lawful to deport the foreign criminals before they had exercised their appeal rights – the so-called ‘deport first, appeal later’ policy – the case highlights broader issues about the nature of rights. Are rights determined democratically or is the sovereignty of the people curtailed by human rights? And if rights are not determined democratically, then what is their source?

If rights were determined democratically, then the Immigration Act 1971 would have concluded the Supreme Court case in favour of then home secretary Theresa May. This act, passed by the people’s representatives in parliament, empowers the home secretary to deport a foreign criminal if he is a non-British citizen convicted of a serious criminal offence. In the two appeals before the Supreme Court, these conditions were satisfied. The appellants are non-British citizens: Kevin Kiarie is a Kenyan citizen and Courtney Byndloss is a Jamaican citizen. And each had committed serious offences which warranted prison sentences of two and three years respectively. Since the statutory conditions were satisfied, the home secretary should have been entitled to deport them.

If rights were determined democratically then the case would never have gone to court, since the principle that the home secretary relied on had been settled law for over a hundred years: the power to deport a non-British citizen (then referred to as an ‘alien’) was contained in the Aliens Restriction Act of 1914. As a court noted nearly a hundred years ago, when a foreign criminal tried to impugn the home secretary’s decision to deport him, ‘parliament has expressly empowered the secretary of state as an executive officer to make these orders’ (1). That wise court needed to say little more because that judgement was given in an era that recognised the democratic basis of rights.

But in recent years, the democratic nature of rights has been challenged. The Human Rights Act 1998 made the European Convention on Human Rights an integral part of domestic law. This ushered in two competing models of rights determination: one based on democracy and the other based on human rights. The former draws its power from the democratic arms of the constitution (parliament and government, empowered by the people), while the latter draws its power from the legal arm of the constitution (the judiciary, empowered by law). A constitutional conflict for supremacy between democracy and human rights results.

The deportation of foreign criminals illustrates this constitutional conflict. From time to time, human rights assert themselves with the court declaring that a particular deportation would be unlawful on human-rights grounds. Democracy then seeks to assert itself with legislative reforms on substance and procedure. One such recent round in this conflict resulted in the Immigration Act 2014, which enabled the home secretary to certify that certain foreign criminals would be subject to ‘a deport first, appeal later’ procedure. Last week’s decision by the Supreme Court means that this latest skirmish has seen human rights win out over democracy.

Despite Theresa May doing in 2014 what home secretaries had done for decades, the Supreme Court declared her deportation orders to be unlawful. The court proceeded on the basis that democracy is not the ultimate source of rights, as democratically determined rights can be overturned by human rights that stand above the demos. In other words, whatever specific national laws parliament passes to deal with specific problems, these laws can be trumped by human rights that have a greater status.

In these particular appeals it was the right to respect for family life, set out in the European Convention on Human Rights, that caused the Supreme Court to trump the home secretary’s decisions. The Byzantine route by which the court used a vague ‘right to respect for family life’ to trump a specific power, exercised for decades without legal or political objection, arises because human rights are, in law, fundamental. They are rights that have quasi-constitutional status. In short, human rights have a status that enables them to trump decisions authorised by parliament’s laws. By one route or another, no matter how tortuous, a human right will find a way of asserting its quasi-constitutional status. This conflict between democracy and human rights will always be resolved in favour of the latter, until parliament repeals the Human Rights Act and re-establishes the democratic model of rights determination.

But since parliament has no current intention of ending the human-rights model of rights determination, it is worth considering the nature of human rights. A former top judge and fervent supporter of human rights, the late Lord Bingham, observed in 2010 how the most likely beneficiaries of human rights would include ‘immigrants, asylum seekers… prisoners and criminals’ (2). He was right: human rights do befriend foreign criminals.

This is because human-rights advocates have a sense of the values they must challenge. In other words, in the conflict between democracy and human rights, those who champion the latter recognise that the foreign criminal can be used to challenge values that underpin democracy. The central feature of the foreign criminal facing deportation is not that he is a criminal or that he is a foreigner – it is that he is not a British citizen. It is this quality that makes him liable to deportation.

Citizenship is the bedrock of democracy. Citizenship is the quality that means that those who have it are political equals within a nation. Citizens have an innate sense of the value of this quality. For most of the 20th century, the state also recognised the importance of citizenship and hence had no hesitation in deporting those who lacked it in furtherance of ‘the public good’, words defining the home secretary’s power to deport that can be traced back to 1914. But in recent decades, the state has been conflicted between a belief in democracy, and the citizenship on which it is based, and a belief in human rights, which are premised not on citizenship, but on an abstract view of ‘humanity’.

Human rights cannot recognise citizenship. For the human-rights advocate, rights are derived not from a political community of equals, but from ‘a common humanity’. In her postwar critique of totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt referred to this approach as drawing on ‘the abstract nakedness of being human’. She concluded that ‘the world found nothing sacred’ in this abstract nakedness because rights are meaningless in the absence of a political community that is able to define and give effect to rights.

Human rights befriend the foreign criminal because he is a non-British citizen. He has the abstract nakedness of being human and hence is suitable for being smothered in the human-rights protections that seek to deny a meaningful distinction within a nation between citizens and non-citizens. The human-rights discourse cannot recognise that Kiarie and Byndloss are citizens of other nations and hence that it is to Kenya and Jamaica that they should now look for the fulfilment of their rights.

In the ongoing conflict between democracy and human rights, the Supreme Court has resolved the latest skirmish in favour of the latter. It is easy for human-rights law, empowered by the Human Rights Act, to side with foreign criminals by treating citizens and non-British citizens as essentially the same. But citizens cherish their status as full and equal members of a democracy and they do not expect foreign criminals who are non-British citizens to be treated on a par with them. The conflict between democracy and human rights goes on.


The ACLU must fight for liberty, not social justice

The civil-liberties group has become bogged down in ‘progressive’ causes

‘Healthcare access is a civil-rights issue’, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) declared in a 2017 email blast, opposing Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare. ‘Tell your representative to vote NO on repealing the ACA.’ Stressing that the Republican-sponsored repeal would ‘gut’ Medicaid, while ‘24million people would lose coverage’, the ACLU’s call to action was indistinguishable from urgent emails issued by other progressive advocacy groups – which is what made it so remarkable. Once, the ACLU did not engage, much less seek the lead, in social-welfare debates. Once, it was a non-partisan organisation focused on liberty and equality under law. Today the ACLU trumpets an expansive, progressive commitment to social and economic justice.

The social justice warrior’s gain is the civil libertarian’s loss. The ACLU still engages in the fight for civil liberty, especially in opposition to the post-9/11 security state and as part of the anti-Trump ‘resistance’. But the 21st-century ACLU has chosen its battles with a progressive sensibility that devalues free speech and due process for all. Most notably, it has shied away from confronting campus-censorship crusades and the threat of an ideology that equates allegedly hateful speech with discriminatory action, subordinating the right to speak to the imagined rights of particular listeners to suppress what offends them.

This anti-libertarian dogma dates back some 30 years, and in the beginning the ACLU publicly opposed it. But as progressive hostility towards free speech widened and deepened, its influence spread to the ACLU. The First Amendment’s future is at stake. As generations of students schooled in the ‘virtues’ of censorship become policymakers, the US may follow Western Europe in criminalising speech that authorities deem hateful or discriminatory.

When asked, ACLU officials are still apt to critique this approach to speech, and if you look for it, you can find a page on its website opposing campus speech codes. You can find instances of ACLU state affiliates opposing free-speech zones on campus and other acts of censorship. You can hear an ACLU attorney defend the speech rights of right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. But you will also see the ACLU attaching trigger warnings to a blog post, in tacit agreement that speech can be a form of assault. You’ll see it describing allegedly harassing speech as ‘verbal conduct’ – the first rhetorical refuge of the censor. The ACLU, once devoted to free speech, has effectively been a quiet friend more than an active opponent of campus speech-policing. For over a decade, more often than not, the ACLU has exercised its right to remain silent while campus-speech controversies raged.

It’s difficult to discern much less document what an organisation fails to say or do, but ask yourself: how often have you heard the ACLU speak out against progressive censors? How often have you seen ACLU officials quoted defending speech in coverage of censorship news, like the violent protests of Charles Murray’s talk at Middlebury College or demands for the firing of a liberal Evergreen State College professor who questioned the tactics of anti-racism protesters? Did you hear it criticise former University of Missouri professor Melissa Click when she tried to bar a young journalist from covering a campus protest? Did you hear the ACLU condemn the vilification of former Yale instructor Erika Christakis and her husband, Professor Nicholas Christakis, after Erika suggested that students ‘think critically’ about regulating ‘offensive’ Halloween costumes?

Instead, the ACLU responded to the censoriousness of the Yale protesters by sympathising with their concerns and chastising their free-speech critics for a ‘refusal to confront… discrimination and inequality on campus’. And, when the Northern California ACLU affiliate belatedly conceded Ann Coulter’s right to speak at Berkeley, it did so equivocally, taking care to condemn ‘hateful’ speech and asserting with questionable accuracy that the US Constitution does not protect verbal harassment. In fact, the Constitution protects quite a lot of speech labelled harassment on liberal campuses.

National ACLU legal director David Cole subsequently issued a stronger statement about the Coulter controversy criticising the heckler’s veto, which may signal a new willingness to intervene in free-speech battles in explicit opposition to student censors. The need to defend mass anti-Trump protests is re-engaging the ACLU in free-speech battles extending beyond periodic defences of right-wing speech. The ACLU has long defended the rights of the occasional outré political enemy, like Yiannopoulos, or Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, who organised vicious anti-gay protests outside military funerals. Defending the First Amendment rights of wingnuts, while deploring their ideologies, buttresses the ACLU’s credibility as a free-speech advocate, while avoiding the political and financial risks of directly attacking its censorious friends – allies in a fight for social justice.

A commitment to free speech requires political independence and also a certain hard-heartedness when confronting claims of emotional harm. But amid heightened progressive concern about bullying and its effect on equality, the ACLU has anxiously demonstrated compassion for students deemed disadvantaged and vulnerable to verbal offences. It has, for example, endorsed the Obama administration’s anti-bullying initiatives, which defined harassment more expansively than it was defined by the Supreme Court, and could conceivably make schools liable for controversial references to racial, ethnic or sexual stereotypes. Reasonable people will disagree about efforts to balance free expression with the regulation of public-school bullying, but civil-libertarians must err on the side of speech. In recent years, the ACLU has too often erred on the side of social justice.

It has even sided with a progressive vision of justice that includes a crusade against due process in campus controversies over alleged sexual assaults. The ACLU has not simply been silent about the widely documented proliferation of kangaroo courts on campus - it has been quietly complicit in their abuses, offering approval of the Obama administration’s Title IX directives, which are largely responsible for them. (Perhaps not coincidentally, the official who oversaw these directives for the past four years was a former ACLU attorney.) ‘Title IX is pretty awesome because it is expansive’, a remarkably naïve ACLU blogpost declares. ‘By addressing the various needs and challenges faced by survivors, Title IX pushes universities to do a better job of creating a campus environment that discourages and, ideally, prevents sexual violence.’

Once the ACLU defended the presumption of innocence. Now it approves of rules effectively presuming guilt, requiring minimal standards of proof in campus assault cases, and treating accusers of unproven assaults as ‘victims’ or ‘survivors’. It seems poised to oppose any efforts by the Trump administration to reform Title IX rules that favour the demands of accusers over the rights of the accused.

How did the ACLU end up on the wrong side – or no side – of urgent debates about due process and speech? In part, the ACLU’s transformation is a result of generational shifts. The old liberal guard of ACLU leaders is ageing out. The new guard is progressive, shaped partly by campus politics and the left-leaning culture of the late 1980s and 1990s, with its expansive definitions of discrimination and restrictive approaches to speech.

It’s worth noting that generational changes have wrought policy changes before. The ACLU adopted its civil-rights agenda in the 1960s and 1970s in response to an influx of younger leaders shaped by the civil-rights movement. For decades, that agenda focused more discreetly on discrimination. The dual and sometimes duelling commitments to advancing equality and defending free speech created occasional internal conflicts, exemplified by a heated debate in the 1990s over policy governing workplace harassment. But the ACLU managed to balance a civil-liberties agenda with a commitment to civil rights. Periodically, its left wing, concentrated in Southern California, introduced resolutions formally adopting an economic-justice agenda, and periodically the resolutions were defeated. Today, however, the left wing is the organisation’s centre of gravity, and achieving its vision of economic justice is an explicit ACLU mission.

Partisanship is an obvious pitfall for this newly progressive ACLU, as its comprehensive (and enormously profitable) opposition to the Trump administration makes clear. Trump’s picture adorns the the ACLU’s homepage, and ACLU sidewalk canvassers invite passers-by to join it in opposing him. Executive director Anthony D Romero tried to preempt or defuse charges of political partisanship with an unusual statement defending the ACLU’s anti-Trump initiatives, like the creation of a grassroots ‘people power’ project led by a former adviser to Democratic Congressional leaders. ‘We will be moving further into political spaces across the country as we fight to prevent and dismantle the Trump agenda’, Romero acknowledges. But this effort remains non-partisan, he argues circularly, because Trump poses unique and pervasive threats to liberty. It is therefore the ACLU’s non-partisan obligation ‘to fight him at every step – both on traditional civil-liberties fronts and new ones – to prevent the litany of human carnage in the making’. (The echoing of Trump’s inaugural reference to American carnage is probably not coincidental.)

This is not to suggest that the ACLU should refrain from challenging the Trump administration’s policies. From a civil-libertarian perspective, many of the ACLU’s actions opposing Trump are necessary and laudable. Its litigation opposing the travel bans, for example, is a justified defence of due process, as well as religious liberty. But the ACLU’s profound concern for the due-process rights of visitors and immigrants trying to enter the country starkly contrasts with its shameful obliviousness to the due-process rights of citizens fighting charges of campus sexual assault. They can’t rely on the ACLU to defend liberty and justice for all, regardless of politics or ideology, and, as a consequence, neither can you.



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

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

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


26 June, 2017

Bigoted Leftists

Angus Penfold

I was walking down Castlereagh Street in Sydney during my lunch break and I saw a group of people chanting with signs. I continued walking towards them, half looking down at my phone, half looking up towards them.

No big deal. They're performing their democratic rights. Fair enough, I thought.

To paint you a picture, I was wearing a navy blue suit, black dress shoes, a white business shirt, a navy tie, and a Tag Heuer Grand Carrera watch. Regular work attire, but probably looking like someone who does okay for themselves.

Anyway, I got closer to the group and I began to see what was written on their signs. “White privilege needs to stop”, “No more gender pay gap”, and “Patriarchy is wrong”, amongst a series of more offensive remarks. People were screaming and carrying on, until one remark left me speechless.

A woman (I'm assuming. Gasp!), early twenties, short hair, politically motivated shirt, stepped out towards me and said, “YOU are what's wrong with this country!”

Me? Why me? Judging by the signs I knew what she meant.

Firstly, she assumed my gender and my race, which if you know Australian politics, is a big no-no.

Secondly, this person didn't know me. She didn't know my story, my background or my education. She didn't know my political beliefs or my take on society.

She judged me by the colour of my skin, on the basis of gender, and assumed that my appearance confirmed me as a sexist and racist piece of shit.

I'm sorry. But I wasn't the one being sexist and racist. I was going about my day, and I was vilified on the basis of race and gender.

NB: For those of you wondering, it is possible for white men who have money to be vifilied on the basis of gender and race. Don't believe what the Huffington Post tells you. Racism and sexism is never acceptable, no matter the gender or race.


Angus comes from a rich and distinguished family and regards himself as a style guru so he may have given out vibes that the female who accosted him accurately read. That still does not excuse her behaviour, however. I know some immaculately groomed people who are quite poor

The Leftist obsession with group identity

They categorize people relentlessly and mercilesly, apparently because dealing with individuals constructively is too hard for them. Comment from Australia below:

Clementine Ford, a columnist at Fairfax newspapers, proudly reminded a live television audience this week that she had called News Corp columnist Miranda Devine a c.... It was a trademark shock moment from her; all heat, no light.

Her original term actually was “f..king c...” and it was just one of a string of obscenities she has hurled in public debate before being in­vited, again, to join an ABC debate. Ford has slighted Iranian-born commentator Rita Panahi with a racist barb: “No matter how hard she tries, she’ll never be a white man.” None of this seems to disqualify her as yet another spokeswoman for the left.

Our public debate is becoming increasingly coarsened and superficial and, as I argued last week, this is partly because digital splintering of media is shrinking the shared public square. What few are prepared to point out, perhaps for fear of sounding plaintive, is that the poor standards and green-left jaundice of the media/political class are also largely to blame.

Abuse, vulgarity and ad hominem attacks have become standard weapons of the so-called progressives. Such transgressions are not unheard of from the right, of course, especially the hard right, but in mainstream political debate, the aggression comes primarily from the left.

This tendency also leaves many on the left with a blind spot for transgressions against conservatives. ABC radio host Jonathan Green tweeted this week that “there may well be a moment (soon?) when the hate and anger licensed by social media and fanned by politics will play out in physical reality”. Staggeringly, he shared this thought days after conservative commentator Andrew Bolt was attacked by leftist activists on a city footpath. Just a week earlier, near Washington, DC, a gunman who hated Donald Trump asked whether the politicians he was watching train for a charity baseball match were Republicans before he opened fire on them. We can only presume these examples of “hate and anger” that did “play out in a physical reality” escaped Green’s attention because they didn’t fit the narrative he had in mind.

Since Trump’s victory sent the left into a funk we have seen pop star Madonna cheered for proclaiming she thought about blowing up the White House, comedian Kathy Griffin pose Khaled Sharrouf-like with Trump’s decapitated head, theatre­goers in New York treated to Trump being stabbed to death in lieu of Julius Caesar and actor Johnny Depp applauded for joking about assassinating the President. We can only imagine the reaction of the media/political class if such monstrous contributions to public debate had targeted Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

Back on our shores, CFMEU Victoria boss John Setka, told a rally his union would track down government officials charged with enforcing workplace laws and harass them so that they “will not be able to show their faces anywhere” and “their kids will be ashamed” of them. He has attracted less condemnation from the commentariat than Tony Abbott did for not noticing some cranky pensioners with a “ditch the witch” placard a few years ago.

And they wonder about the “shy Tory” factor. This is the tendency of conservative voters not to declare their allegiance or inclination in surveys or public forums, thereby leaving pollsters and pundits exposed when elections show higher than expected conservative votes. We saw the latest example just this week when, in a by-election seen as a referendum on Trump’s presidency, Republican candidate Karen Handel delivered a victory that disrupted the accepted media narrative of Trump’s premature demise.

Anybody who tries to argue publicly for, say, tough border protection or cuts in government spending knows these are not easy rows to hoe, no matter their merits or broad support.

People arguing so-called progressive cases tend to be aggressive and personal. To disagree with them, apparently, is to cede moral authority. Why risk abuse for defending the integrity of our immigration system when you can just nod your head and deal with it in the privacy of the polling booth?

Most people tend to go with the flow, accept the generally left media narrative and take the path of least resistance, at least publicly. Pointing out the futile self-harm of our emissions reduction targets or saying Clinton was the appalling candidate that gave Trump his chance will ruin the dinner party consensus and have people switching to less divisive topics such as State of Origin deciders.

The flip side of this socialised conservative timidity is that it shelters the left from robust debate. Whether they are at a barbecue or on ABC’s Q&A, they are surrounded by affirmation.

Unpractised as they are in civil debate and basking as they do in their moral superiority, they seem to feel entitled to attack the character of anyone who disagrees with them. And surrounded by agreeable peers, they are seldom pulled up for their ad hominem indulgences. Imagine, for instance, if Bolt or Sky News’s Paul Murray denounced a feminist commentator as a c... — they certainly wouldn’t be inundated with requests to appear on the ABC.

It is this double standard, this sheltering from personal responsibility and public accountability that helps to cheapen and degrade public debate. There should not be different rules depending on what side you are on.

When activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied spoke at the Australian National Univer­sity this week, rather than engage in debate about her political posturing over Anzac Day she assumed victim status and blamed media and political organisations. “Those sorts of power, those institutions of power are geared against people like me,” she said, “because they see votes in it and because fear is so much easier to sell.”

It was a lazy effort, as it was when she suggested our parliamentary democracy “doesn’t represent anyone” yet rejected the idea she should give it a go. “You know how to get to office,” Abdel-Magied said. “I have to go to preselection, which works really well, and I have to go through all these other systems which for women and for people of colour are actually biased.” What a cop-out.

Also this week, Australian Press Council chairman David Weisbrot resigned because he couldn’t stomach the controversy over appointing a GetUp! campaigner as a member. Rather than fix the mistake (GetUp! is an activist group that is the antithesis of what journalism aspires to be) Weisbrot exited the stage. Is it real­ly that hard to stand up to self-serving arguments from the left?

Ford’s crassness, Abdel-Magied’s laziness, Green’s myopia and Weisbrot’s cowardice should not cut it in public debate. But when are they corrected or contested except in a column such as this, pricking their bubble from another universe? Too much of the debate is caught up in identity. Ford and Abdel-Magied promote themselves almost entirely on who or what they are rather than on the power of any ideas or arguments they may proffer. Green is one of a breed of middle-aged white men who win plaudits from the green left for their sense of shame or self-loathing. “Our political leaders must surely have some sense of this country’s deep, and growing, incapacity to service its sense of self,” writes Green. We don’t know exactly what he means but we know it is supposed to be bad.

So debate is characterised by echo chambers on the left and right, diminishing quality of conversation in the mainstream clearance houses, moral superiority feeding personal aggression from the left and a resort to profanity over plain speaking. We are in an age where people are retreating from those things that connect us and create a sense of community; fewer join churches or other community groups, increasingly we shun mainstream media, and the memberships of major political parties are in decline.

The growing tendency is to target a foe by virtue of their presumed identity — male or female, gay or straight, black or while, Muslim or Christian, left or right — and give them both barrels. We need to do better.


Religious Americans Are Pro-Trump

On June 20, Pew Research Center released the findings of a new poll on President Trump's job performance. It found that 39 percent of the public approves of his performance in office, while 55 percent disapproves. But among those who attend church weekly or more the respective figures are 48 percent and 45 percent. This suggests that it is secularists who are driving down his approval ratings.

Among white non-Hispanic Evangelical Protestants, Trump wins the approval of 74 percent; 20 percent disapprove. Among white non-Hispanic Catholics, he wins the support of 52 percent; 42 percent disapprove.

Overall, 48 percent of Protestants approve of the president's performance, while 45 percent disapprove. Among Catholics, the figures are 38 percent and 56 percent. The drop-off in support overall is clearly due to the Hispanic input. Here's more proof.

White non-Hispanics, independent of religious affiliation, approve of Trump's handling of the job by a margin of 50 percent to 44 percent. But among Hispanics, the figures are 20 percent and 72 percent, respectively.

Trump's lack of support among Hispanics is well known, but more controversial is his support among the faithful. To take a line from President Bill Clinton, he feels their pain.

Two weeks ago, President Trump told religious Americans that the "bitter voices" of elites are responsible for the "hatred" and "prejudice" toward religion. Saying the faithful are "under siege," he vowed to "put a stop to the attacks on religion," pledging to "end discrimination against people of faith."

This is a welcome change from the Obama years where the executive branch used its powers to challenge the autonomy of churches and religious non-profits. The faithful are taking note, redounding to the favor of President Trump.

With regard to the role of religion, two conclusions seem plain. One, religious Americans like the president. Two, secularists don't like him. A third conclusion, based on other data, is also warranted: militant secular activists are the "bitter voices" of hatred and prejudice against the faithful.

This is one more reason why the culture war is not going away, and why practicing Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Mormons, and Muslims must stand up to the bullies who are leading the attacks against them.


Mike Pence assures evangelicals Trump is their "unwavering ally"

Vice President Mike Pence popped into the 40th anniversary celebration of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family to remind members he’s a devout Christian politician who has his back. And, he says, so is President Donald Trump.

After the group’s president Jim Daly introduced Pence as “one of us,” the vice president spoke for 30 minutes on Friday, on both foreign policy and domestic issues. Unsurprisingly, Pence focused quite a bit on abortion, reiterating the Trump administration’s commitment to what he characterized as the "timeless values” Focus on the Family advocates first.

He repeatedly referred to the president himself as both an “unwavering ally" of Christian evangelicals and a believer himself — calling him “a leader, a believer, a timeless defender of the values that will make America great again.” He described Trump as someone who “advocated in the public square for values our public needs to hear, now more than ever.”

Pence’s comments are hardly surprising: after all, his evangelical faith and religiously-motivated stances on abortion and LGBTQ rights are well-known. But the intensity in expressing them on Friday was striking. Pence announced that he would donate an ultrasound machine in his own name to a faith-based crisis pregnancy center. (These centers, which are marketed like typical abortion clinics, but are set up to persuade women to avoid abortions, make up a major part of Focus on the Family’s efforts).

Yet Pence’s remarks seemed particularly designed to remind his evangelical audience that, policy-wise as well as personally, the president stood in their corner. He repeatedly appealed to the president’s personal convictions — referring to Trump and Trump’s family as yet another family “personally grateful” for the faith-based philosophy of marriage that has traditionally stood as the cornerstone of the organization’s advocacy program. Elsewhere, he referred to Trump as a “good friend.” He highlighted the president’s executive order on religion and churches’ freedom of expression (which a number of critics, including Vox’s Alissa Wilkinson, have pointed out is more symbolic than useful), characterizing it as an example that the president has “been standing for the things that the people in this room and this ministry have stood for.”

He said signing the order showed the president “stood without apology for the God-given right of every American to live out convictions in their faith….whatever the country they call home or the creed they profess.” He said Trump stood for the “vulnerable: the aged, the disabled, and the unborn.” He promised a full de-funding of Planned Parenthood, as well as a new post-repeal approach to health care based on “freedom,” “personal responsibility” and the free market — all to raucous applause.

At other times, however, Pence’s remarks seemed to subtly reassure evangelicals of his influence in the White House to bolster religiously-motivated policy. He told the story of how Trump “personally” sent him to the January anti-abortion March for Life highlighting that Pence first brought up the possibility of attending. The way Pence framed the story highlighted the fact that the president, busy with affairs of state, was having a “hard time figuring out how he could get away” to make the customary phone call to the organizers of the March.

"I said rather sheepishly, ‘Well, you know, they invited me to speak too,’ and the president looked up at me…he just pointed at me and said, ‘You should go.’ And I went because Donald Trump wanted me to go!” This year, Pence became the highest-ranking member of government ever to attend the annual march.

It was a skillful rhetoric move: one that conveyed Trump’s support for the evangelical agenda even as it cemented the role of Pence — a more natural evangelical mouthpiece — in shaping Trump’s decision. The delicate tight rope Pence walked reflects the complexity of the relationship not just between Donald Trump and his evangelical voter base, but also the much broader one between Focus on the Family and Washington.

Ultimately, Pence’s speech signals a return of the compact between the Reagan-era style of evangelicalism and the GOP. He’d give Focus on the Family victories both concrete and symbolic, but he wanted something in return: "The President and I are counting on your support. We need your energy, your enthusiasm, your conviction.”



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

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

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


26 June, 2017

Chicago Theaters Closing Doors on Critic Who Called Out Black-on-Black Violence

It is verboten to suggest that blacks examine their own community

A longtime Chicago theater critic who dared suggest that black-on-black violence might be more of a problem than cop-on-black violence is being denied invitations to review shows around town due to her "hate and ignorance."

The Chicago Tribune reports that on June 13 Hedy Weiss, who is white, reviewed Pass Over by New York playwright Antoinette Nwandu, which "riffs on Waiting for Godot by swapping the usual protagonists for two young black men, who are alternately seduced and terrorized by two white characters," one of whom is a police officer. Commenting on Nwandu's choice of villain, Weiss wrote, "No one can argue with the fact that this city… has a problem with the use of deadly police force against African-Americans. But, for all the many and varied causes we know so well, much of the lion's share of the violence is perpetrated within the community itself."

This blunt reality incensed a group of local artists calling itself the Chicago Theater Accountability Coalition (ChiTAC), which complained about what they called Weiss' lengthy pattern of "racism, homophobia, and body shaming found in her reviews." The group began circulating a petition at Change.org and claims that 70 of the city's 200-odd theaters have agreed not to provide Weiss with complimentary tickets to review a show.

Broken Nose Theatre, for example, posted a link on Facebook to the petition and said it already has a policy of "not inviting any critic who utilizes their reviews to unapologetically espouse and propagate racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise bigoted and malicious views." Representatives for Writers Theatre said "those who do choose to use language that espouses hate or ignorance will not be invited to attend as guests" of the theater.

But ChiTAC didn't stop with a petition. Unnamed sources in the theater community told the Tribune that ChiTAC has made repeated calls and sent emails to local theaters, pressuring them to sign the petition.

Weiss' critics pointed to offensive examples such as a 2013 review of a work about the racial profiling of Muslims in which she wrote, "What practical alternative to racial profiling do you suggest?" How is that offensive? She is also being criticized for "body-shaming" characters in a recent production of Mamma Mia! by referring to the "real women" figures onstage in contrast to "the perfect bodies of the terrific chorus dancers." Again, how is that offensive? Are we no longer allowed to point out the obvious fact that some people have better bodies than others? Or the undeniable fact that the vast majority of black victims of gun violence are victimized by other blacks, not white cops?

Apparently not, because Steppenwolf Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro and Executive Director David Schmitz said in a statement that Weiss' review "once again revealed a deep-seated bigotry and a painful lack of understanding of this country's historic racism."

Tribune theater critic Chris Jones defended Weiss, telling the Tribune,

"The play in question here is a searing and highly potent response to... what it is like to live under the stress of constant gun violence. It also made unstinting allegations against the police, which have some justification, given what history has taught us. This is especially true in Chicago. The play had every right to make those charges. We could all do to discuss them.

"But anyone who writes such an incendiary play — wherein the police are, by symbolic implication, murderers — and any theater that produces it, should not try to silence strong oppositional reactions. It should welcome them. The solution to this problem requires us all to come together.

"I was stunned by the Steppenwolf statement accusing a critic they have welcomed with open arms for 25 years or more of long-standing, deep-seated bigotry."

Playwrights Idris Goodwin, who is black, and Kevin Coval, white, disagreed:

"This is about culturally white theater spaces and the white critics who preserve systemic inequity. Hedy is just a white person aligned with whiteness, no surprise there. But there are larger issues at play, among them the lack of racial equality and accountability in cultural institutions here and across the country. This is also an indictment of the media for its lack of diverse critical voices."

What none of Weiss' critics seems to want to address is the cold, hard truth of her comment about the scourge of black-on-black violence, which has devastated Chicago harder than just about anywhere in the country. Anyone who believes that black lives matter and wants to do something about it should begin by addressing that.


The Leftist obsession with group identity

They categorize people relentlessly and mercilesly, apparently because dealing with individuals constructively is too hard for them. Comment below from Australia:

Clementine Ford, a columnist at Fairfax newspapers, proudly reminded a live television audience this week that she had called News Corp columnist Miranda Devine a c.... It was a trademark shock moment from her; all heat, no light.

Her original term actually was “f..king c...” and it was just one of a string of obscenities she has hurled in public debate before being in­vited, again, to join an ABC debate. Ford has slighted Iranian-born commentator Rita Panahi with a racist barb: “No matter how hard she tries, she’ll never be a white man.” None of this seems to disqualify her as yet another spokeswoman for the left.

Our public debate is becoming increasingly coarsened and superficial and, as I argued last week, this is partly because digital splintering of media is shrinking the shared public square. What few are prepared to point out, perhaps for fear of sounding plaintive, is that the poor standards and green-left jaundice of the media/political class are also largely to blame.

Abuse, vulgarity and ad hominem attacks have become standard weapons of the so-called progressives. Such transgressions are not unheard of from the right, of course, especially the hard right, but in mainstream political debate, the aggression comes primarily from the left.

This tendency also leaves many on the left with a blind spot for transgressions against conservatives. ABC radio host Jonathan Green tweeted this week that “there may well be a moment (soon?) when the hate and anger licensed by social media and fanned by politics will play out in physical reality”. Staggeringly, he shared this thought days after conservative commentator Andrew Bolt was attacked by leftist activists on a city footpath. Just a week earlier, near Washington, DC, a gunman who hated Donald Trump asked whether the politicians he was watching train for a charity baseball match were Republicans before he opened fire on them. We can only presume these examples of “hate and anger” that did “play out in a physical reality” escaped Green’s attention because they didn’t fit the narrative he had in mind.

Since Trump’s victory sent the left into a funk we have seen pop star Madonna cheered for proclaiming she thought about blowing up the White House, comedian Kathy Griffin pose Khaled Sharrouf-like with Trump’s decapitated head, theatre­goers in New York treated to Trump being stabbed to death in lieu of Julius Caesar and actor Johnny Depp applauded for joking about assassinating the President. We can only imagine the reaction of the media/political class if such monstrous contributions to public debate had targeted Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

Back on our shores, CFMEU Victoria boss John Setka, told a rally his union would track down government officials charged with enforcing workplace laws and harass them so that they “will not be able to show their faces anywhere” and “their kids will be ashamed” of them. He has attracted less condemnation from the commentariat than Tony Abbott did for not noticing some cranky pensioners with a “ditch the witch” placard a few years ago.

And they wonder about the “shy Tory” factor. This is the tendency of conservative voters not to declare their allegiance or inclination in surveys or public forums, thereby leaving pollsters and pundits exposed when elections show higher than expected conservative votes. We saw the latest example just this week when, in a by-election seen as a referendum on Trump’s presidency, Republican candidate Karen Handel delivered a victory that disrupted the accepted media narrative of Trump’s premature demise.

Anybody who tries to argue publicly for, say, tough border protection or cuts in government spending knows these are not easy rows to hoe, no matter their merits or broad support.

People arguing so-called progressive cases tend to be aggressive and personal. To disagree with them, apparently, is to cede moral authority. Why risk abuse for defending the integrity of our immigration system when you can just nod your head and deal with it in the privacy of the polling booth?

Most people tend to go with the flow, accept the generally left media narrative and take the path of least resistance, at least publicly. Pointing out the futile self-harm of our emissions reduction targets or saying Clinton was the appalling candidate that gave Trump his chance will ruin the dinner party consensus and have people switching to less divisive topics such as State of Origin deciders.

The flip side of this socialised conservative timidity is that it shelters the left from robust debate. Whether they are at a barbecue or on ABC’s Q&A, they are surrounded by affirmation.

Unpractised as they are in civil debate and basking as they do in their moral superiority, they seem to feel entitled to attack the character of anyone who disagrees with them. And surrounded by agreeable peers, they are seldom pulled up for their ad hominem indulgences. Imagine, for instance, if Bolt or Sky News’s Paul Murray denounced a feminist commentator as a c... — they certainly wouldn’t be inundated with requests to appear on the ABC.

It is this double standard, this sheltering from personal responsibility and public accountability that helps to cheapen and degrade public debate. There should not be different rules depending on what side you are on.

When activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied spoke at the Australian National Univer­sity this week, rather than engage in debate about her political posturing over Anzac Day she assumed victim status and blamed media and political organisations. “Those sorts of power, those institutions of power are geared against people like me,” she said, “because they see votes in it and because fear is so much easier to sell.”

It was a lazy effort, as it was when she suggested our parliamentary democracy “doesn’t represent anyone” yet rejected the idea she should give it a go. “You know how to get to office,” Abdel-Magied said. “I have to go to preselection, which works really well, and I have to go through all these other systems which for women and for people of colour are actually biased.” What a cop-out.

Also this week, Australian Press Council chairman David Weisbrot resigned because he couldn’t stomach the controversy over appointing a GetUp! campaigner as a member. Rather than fix the mistake (GetUp! is an activist group that is the antithesis of what journalism aspires to be) Weisbrot exited the stage. Is it real­ly that hard to stand up to self-serving arguments from the left?

Ford’s crassness, Abdel-Magied’s laziness, Green’s myopia and Weisbrot’s cowardice should not cut it in public debate. But when are they corrected or contested except in a column such as this, pricking their bubble from another universe? Too much of the debate is caught up in identity. Ford and Abdel-Magied promote themselves almost entirely on who or what they are rather than on the power of any ideas or arguments they may proffer. Green is one of a breed of middle-aged white men who win plaudits from the green left for their sense of shame or self-loathing. “Our political leaders must surely have some sense of this country’s deep, and growing, incapacity to service its sense of self,” writes Green. We don’t know exactly what he means but we know it is supposed to be bad.

So debate is characterised by echo chambers on the left and right, diminishing quality of conversation in the mainstream clearance houses, moral superiority feeding personal aggression from the left and a resort to profanity over plain speaking. We are in an age where people are retreating from those things that connect us and create a sense of community; fewer join churches or other community groups, increasingly we shun mainstream media, and the memberships of major political parties are in decline.

The growing tendency is to target a foe by virtue of their presumed identity — male or female, gay or straight, black or while, Muslim or Christian, left or right — and give them both barrels. We need to do better.


The 'Real Boy' of Fake PBS

The gender deconstructionists on the Left are now using PBS to push only their viewpoint. On June 19, the documentary-film series “Independent Lens” aired a one-hour film called “Real Boy.” The star, naturally, was a girl named Rachael who wants to be a boy named Bennett, and her goal in this film was “top surgery,” known in less euphemistic terms as “breast amputation.”

The “balance” in this film was Rachael’s mother Suzy, who the gay activists at the “NBC Out” website described as “frustratingly apprehensive.” Inside the LGBT media bubble, acceptance is mandatory. They routinely employ emotional blackmail: resistance is worse than futile, it encourages self-loathing and even suicide.

Inevitably, as a PBS documentary would, it shows how Suzy comes around to support the amputation, as a fellow mother of a “trans boy” tells her “We have to love them and support them....Love them through it, that’s all you can do.’” They cannot be told they’re mistaken.

Gushy music plays in the background, as Suzy continues to be pushed: “There’s so many other people in this world who would love to bring them down. We just have to make sure we’re not any of those people.”

“Those people” means people who accept that allegedly oppressive “binary” view of gender.

Rachael’s father and sister do not support the amputation, and so they’re off camera. They “bring people down.” In one scene, Rachael tells her father over the phone “I’m not interested in arguing with you.” Then she hangs up and yells “My f—ing family!”

Rachael is a musician and early on in the film, they illustrate her singing her song, with lyrics that include “If the skin your soul embodies, doesn’t fit quite right, and you hate what their god gave you, fear not my love.”

God is not a favorite at PBS. This is certainly part of what Pope Benedict meant when he denounced a “dictatorship of relativism.” A religious view, or even a common-sense non-religious view of how the human race was created, male and female, is cast aside as hateful and discriminatory....and not worth air time on a TV network funded by the taxpayers. Relativism will allow no rebuttal.

The film was funded through the “Independent Television Service,” a PBS offshoot that subsidizes documentaries, overwhelmingly on the Left. They claim they “help inform civil discourse essential to American society.” Translation: they create essential change.

Shaleece Haas, the maker of “Real Boy,” is upset that there aren’t a glut of pro-transgender propaganda films, and claims the media part of the cultural revolution isn’t sufficient. “It does not solve the problem of homophobia and transphobia, of all the various forms of hatred.... alongside storytelling, we really need to be working to create safe, inclusive spaces, in our schools, communities, in our institutions.”

The cultural revolution will be televised ... and then it will be imposed. Dissenters will pay for the privilege of being denounced. Then the Left complains that the conservatives hate democracy.


Berlin Considers Banning Ads That Show Beautiful but Dumb Women

According to The Local, a publication that reports Germany’s news in English, Berlin voted to ban “sexist” billboards in 2016, and officials are now debating what exactly that ban should cover. The Left party, The Local reports, wants to ban any billboard showing a woman who is attractive but also “weak, hysterical, dumb, insane, naÏve, or completely controlled by their emotions,” as well as any ad in which “a woman is barely dressed and smiling without reason, while a man is completely and comfortably clothed.” (The article does not specify whether or not a barely dressed woman who is frowning next to a clothed man would be okay, even though that kind of image seems as if it would be much more disturbing.) Ultimately, it would be up to a team of judges to decide which ads were guilty of violating the restrictions.

I have so many questions. For one: If the rule bans women who are “beautiful” but “insane,” does that mean that an ad with an “insane,” “ugly” woman would be okay? I’m not sure if it would be, because I haven’t seen the entire proposal, but if so, I just have to ask: Who determines who is “beautiful” and who is “not beautiful”? Wouldn’t that be forcing those judges to make rulings based on stereotypical beauty standards? Aren’t liberals supposed to be against that?

Speaking of things that liberals are supposed to be against, isn’t judging women for being sexual and/or naked (Free the Nipple!) also one of them? I mean, how misogynistic to suggest that a woman in an ad is “barely dressed and smiling without reason” — maybe she has her own reason, huh? Does she need to give you a “reason”? It is her body! Shouldn’t women be allowed to decide to be half-naked and smiley if they feel like being half-naked and smiley — without having to give a “reason”?

According to The Local, the Green party and the Social Democrats support the Left party’s proposal, while the Christian Democrats (conservative) and the Free Democrats (liberal) oppose it on free-market and free-speech grounds, respectively.

I, of course, agree with those objections. Giving the government the power to ban billboards based on some absurd and subjective set of rules is a terrible idea — it should allow the people to determine what is and is not acceptable by voicing their displeasure if they see something that they dislike.

The Local attributes its information to the German publication Tagesspiegel.



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

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

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


25 June, 2017

Court Dismisses Bogus Charges Against David Daleiden for Exposing Planned Parenthood

In a huge victory, a California court today dismissed almost all of the criminal charges abortion activists filed against the pro-life advocates who recorded undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood selling the body parts from aborted babies.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed 15 felony charges against both David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt. Becerra is a longtime abortion advocate with financial connections to the Planned Parenthood abortion company that the two pro-life Advocates exposed in the videos for selling body parts such as fetal brains and livers.

At the time, pro-life advocates said Becerra’s 15 felony charges were bogus charges meant to belittle the expose’ campaign and to cast aspersions on Daleiden and the organization behind the videos. They said the attempt was about drawing attention away from Planned Parenthood’s sales of aborted baby parts.

The San Francisco Superior Court on Wednesday dismissed 14 of 15 criminal counts but the pair are still charged with one count of conspiracy to invade privacy. However the court dismissed the charges with leave to amend — meaning Becerra could re-file the charges with additional supposed evidence against the pair.

The court ruled that counts 1-14 were legally insufficient. The state has the opportunity to amend if it can plead a more legally sufficient and specific complaint. The California’s Attorney General filed 15 criminal counts against Merritt, with counts 1-14 for each of the alleged interviews and count 15 for an alleged conspiracy. San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite gave the state attorney general’s office until mid-July to file a revised complaint.

In a statement to LifeNews, pro-life attorney Mat Svaer of LibertyCounsel, representing Merritt, said, “This is a huge victory to have 14 criminal counts dismissed.”

“We will now turn our attention to dismissing the final count. Sandra Merritt did nothing wrong. The complaint by the California Attorney General is unprecedented and frankly will threaten every journalist who provides valuable information to the public. This final count will also fall,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel argued that the criminal complaint for illegally recording supposedly “private” conversations (in restaurants, hotel lobbies and other public places) – the first ever filed against undercover journalists – was legally deficient for numerous reasons, not the least of which was the Attorney General’s decision to prosecute Merritt in secret proceedings, without identifying even the names of her accusers or purported “victims.” The complaint did not provide Merritt with the minimum notice required by the Constitution and California law as to what she supposedly did wrong, so that she can mount a proper and vigorous defense. The complaint was also vague and full of inconsistencies.

“Today we asked the San Francisco Superior Court to dismiss these outrageous and baseless charges against Sandra Merritt, and the court agreed to dismiss 14 of the 15 counts” said Horatio Mihet, Liberty Counsel’s Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel, who appeared with Sandra in court today. “Sandra did not break any law and the criminal complaint against her is legally deficient, vague and full of inconsistencies. No other citizen journalist or organization has ever been charged with a crime for undercover recordings,” said Mihet.

These charges where the second set of charges filed against Daleiden and Merritt as the first were filed by pro-abortion prosecutors in Houston. Those charges were also eventually dropped and we’re condemned as bogus political charges.

Today’s decision by the San Francisco Superior Court seems to lend additional credence to the fact that abortion advocates and their pro-abortion friends in politics are filing the charges for political rather than substantive reasons.


James T. Hodgkinson: Just Another Well-Intentioned Progressive

R. Emmett Tyrrell

Have you followed the drift of the mainstream media as to what provoked James T. Hodgkinson to attempt the massacre of the Republican House baseball team as it practiced in Alexandria, Virginia, last week? Not the Democratic team, not the Washington Nationals but the Republican team. Well, it was not necessarily Hodgkinson’s politics, we are told. After all, they were pretty much mainstream progressive. According to the MSM, Hodgkinson had a “Volatile Home Life in Illinois.” That is the way The New York Times put it on the front page on Sunday.

There was an allusion to strong drink. Anger and violence were also mentioned as features in his rural Illinois home. Moreover, Hodgkinson was described as abusive toward the foster children that he and his wife of 30 years had under their care. One of the children committed suicide by lighting herself afire. Another died of a drug overdose. And he reportedly dragged his grandniece around by her hair. Hodgkinson was also charged with property damage and a couple of misdemeanor counts in recent years. It makes one wonder what the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services — which the Times mentioned in blasé fashion — is good for.

Yet, as I say, the MSM is soft-pedaling this lunatic’s politics, and I can see why. There was nothing particularly unusual about them. He could have been one of Bernie Sanders’ nondescript supporters at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia last summer. In the world of the American Left, there is nothing extreme about carrying placards denouncing the rich or the giant corporations. There is nothing too extreme one might say about the environment, or the plight of the poor, or the fate of the LGBT community.

And why not bring the whole family down to Central Park in New York for a little Shakespeare in the Park? This month is “Julius Caesar,” and featured in place of Caesar is the president of the United States, who dies of multiple knife wounds onstage. Why didn’t someone, say, The John Birch Society, think of such a skit back in President John F. Kennedy’s day? On the other hand, the whole family can curl up in front of the TV and watch the comic geniuses Stephen Colbert or Bill Maher test the limits of the First Amendment.

The fact is that Hodgkinson was, in many ways, just another progressive — note that they do not call themselves liberals anymore. I wonder why. Is the word “liberal” too tainted by defeat or too moderate? Or is it that the Left pretty much agreed with me when I titled my obituary for liberalism “The Death of Liberalism” in 2011?

Actually, that Hodgkinson is pretty much a standard-issue progressive ought to give everyone the creeps. His politics are no different than those of a local librarian, a schoolteacher or a union guy back in 2014, when it was so fashionable to be a member of the angry Left. In 2011, there was the Occupy movement, and now, in 2017, there is the Black Lives Matter movement. What separates Hodgkinson from Bill Ayers, the bomber of the Pentagon, except that Ayers tried to kill more people? The Left has been on a steady evolution toward homicide, and there are a lot more Hodgkinsons out there than we care to contemplate.

Truth be known, the American Left, and that includes most of the MSM, has become quite morbid in its fascinations. The whole way it talks about poverty, the environment, immigration, race — practically any social problem — is morbid. I look at The New York Times and The Washington Post every morning. They sit there on my breakfast table. Rarely does their front page not feature what the political philosopher Kenneth Minogue called a “suffering situation”: several starving Africans; a corpse or two from some hellhole; an impoverished Appalachian family with at least one child, his head shaved because of cancer or some other horrible malady; a gay couple that has suffered a setback. I could go on, but you get my point. The MSM is obsessed with misery, social strife and — dare I say it — political correctness.

As long as these values dominate and there is no mitigating alternative, the public had best be armed.


WHERE ARE THE MEDIA? Innocent Muslim girl killed by illegal alien draws silence from networks

A young Muslim girl was tragically beaten to death and dumped in pond Sunday, a horrific crime that would normally draw 24-hour coverage from mainstream news networks.

But not this time.

Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, is an El Salvadoran in the United States illegally.

17-year-old Nabra Hassanen was eating at a Northern Virginia McDonald’s with friends at 3:00 a.m. Sunday before heading to a nearby mosque for an all-night Ramadan sleepover.

As the group walked and rode bikes to the mosque, they noticed a car speeding toward them. It jumped the curb, parked in a nearby lot, and Torres leaped out.

Wielding a baseball bat, he savagely beat the innocent girl to death, then fled with her body into Loudoun County, which was on the other side of the road.

Hassanen was later found, dead, in a Loudoun County pond about two and half miles away.

“Please pray for me, please pray for me,” her mother Sawsan Gazzar told The Washington Post. “Pray for me that I can handle this . . . I lost my daughter, my first reason for happiness.”

“Why did you kill my daughter? For what? She didn’t do anything to anybody. I raised my kids to love everybody,” her heartbroken father Mahmoud Hassanen told a local TV station.

Dozens of her classmates at South Lakes High School have been visiting the family’s apartment to offer their support.

“I just can’t think of a worse instance to occur with the loss of a 17-year-old on Father’s Day. As a father of a 17-year-old myself, I can’t think of anything worse than confronting that on this particular day,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman.

Hassanen’s funeral was held Tuesday at the mosque at which she hoped to worship on the morning she was killed.

Torres was quickly arrested and has been charged by Fairfax County authorities with murder.

He has not been charged with a so-called “hate crime,” which is drawing public skepticism. Torres claims it was an act of “road rage” and he was angry about traffic. The attack occurred at 3:40 a.m.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement now has a detainer on Torres, whom they claim they have not encountered since he entered the U.S.

Despite the unspeakable, horrific tragedy of the crime the mainstream media are virtually silent.

When narratives collide, the victims suffer.


Circuit Court Win for Religious Freedom on Gay Marriage

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously on Thursday that a Mississippi law that protects religious liberty and the rights of conscience in light of the redefinition of marriage may go into effect.

In the decision, the circuit court overruled a previous judgment from a district court judge who had declared the Mississippi law unconstitutional for violating the Establishment Clause and the Equal Protection Clause.

But as the circuit court pointed out, the challengers to Mississippi’s law lack standing because they “have not clearly shown injury-in-fact.” In other words, they did not show how the Mississippi law protecting liberty for people who hold to the pre-Obergefell v. Hodges definition of marriage harmed them.

The court explained that the “failure” of the “plaintiffs to assert anything more than a general stigmatic injury dooms their claim.”

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone. Find out more >>

While the ruling focused on the lack of standing of the plaintiffs, there are plenty of reasons to rule in favor of the constitutionality of laws like Mississippi’s on the merits.

As Sherif Girgis and I explain in our new book, “Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination,” there is nothing scandalous about protections for particular views that are at odds with those on which the government acts.

When the government takes Americans to war, exceptions cover pacifists. When the government guarantees abortion, exceptions cover pro-lifers. These exemptions don’t amount to establishments of any religion, and neither do laws protecting dissenters after Obergefell.

Indeed, as law professor Richard Epstein explains, the Establishment Clause—meant to “knock down state coercion for religion”—can’t be used to invalidate “a statute whose whole purpose was to insulate private parties from any form of coercion.”

So, what does the Mississippi law do? As previously explained at The Daily Signal:

Religious organizations, like churches, cannot be forced to use their facilities to celebrate or solemnize weddings that violate their beliefs.

Religious convents, universities, and social service organizations can continue to maintain personnel and housing policies that reflect their beliefs.

Religious adoption agencies can continue to operate by their conviction that every child they serve deserves to be placed with a married mom and dad.

Bakers, photographers, florists, and similar wedding-specific vendors cannot be forced to use their talents to celebrate same-sex weddings if they cannot do so in good conscience.

State employees cannot be fired for expressing their beliefs about marriage outside the office, and individual state clerks can opt out of issuing marriage licenses so long as no valid marriage license is delayed or impeded.

Counselors and surgeons cannot be required to participate in gender identity transitioning or sex-reassignment surgeries against their faith and convictions, while guaranteeing that no one is denied emergency care or visitation rights.

Private businesses and schools, not bureaucrats, get to set their own bathroom, shower, and locker room policies.

This is a reasonable bill. It protects the consciences of people who hold to the historic definition of marriage in the aftermath of the Supreme Court redefining marriage, and it does so while avoiding the awful outcomes that critics fear. The bill provides that the government cannot punish, fine, or coerce specific people and organizations, in specific contexts. It doesn’t harm anyone.

Other states should follow Mississippi’s lead in protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience after the redefinition of marriage. So, too, should Congress pass protections at the federal level.

Longstanding Precedent on Abortion

There is great precedent for such protections on the abortion issue, as Girgis and I explain in “Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination.”

In 1973, just months after Roe v. Wade was handed down, Congress passed the Church Amendment, named for Sen. Frank Church, a Democrat from Idaho.

While Roe shielded the choice to have an abortion, the Church Amendment protected doctors’ and nurses’ choices not to perform one. It provided that health care organizations receiving federal funds could not force their doctors or nurses to perform or assist abortions.

Some 20 years later, Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed the Coats–Snowe Amendment. It prohibits the government from discriminating against medical students who refuse to perform abortions and medical residency programs that leave out abortion training.

And in 2004, Congress passed the Hyde-Weldon Amendment, which keeps the government from discriminating against health care institutions that don’t offer abortions.

Since 1973, then, U.S. policy has protected a right to choose an abortion right alongside an individual and institutional right to choose against facilitating one.

Our law should now do the same on marriage. It needn’t and shouldn’t penalize private associations for their beliefs on this issue. Doing so would make no appreciable difference to the ability of same-sex couples to receive the goods and services they seek, but it would undermine conscience rights for some.

So lawmakers can and should grant a categorical accommodation.

Current Legislation

A proposed federal law would do that. Much like the Church, Coats-Snowe, and Hyde-Weldon amendments, the First Amendment Defense Act would protect the freedoms of citizens and organizations who hold a belief at odds with one enshrined by courts.

Protecting pro-life consciences did not violate the Constitution—by establishing a religion or engaging in viewpoint discrimination or otherwise. Nor do laws protecting pacifists. Their only aim is peaceful coexistence in the face of disagreement.

The same goes for the First Amendment Defense Act. It would enact a bright-line rule to keep government from penalizing someone just for acting on her belief that marriage is the union of husband and wife. It would protect people who hold that belief for religious or secular reasons, and it would shield organizations from losing nonprofit tax status, licensing, or accreditation for operating by these beliefs.

But even the First Amendment Defense Act’s categorical protections reflect a careful balance. They protect individuals, nonprofit charities, and privately held businesses, but not publicly traded corporations, or federal employees or contractors in the course of their work.

The First Amendment Defense Act makes clear that it does not relieve the federal government of its duty to provide services, medical care, or benefits to all who qualify. It must simply respect conscience in the course of doing so.

Mississippi has shown the way forward on this issue at the state level. And on Thursday, the 5th Circuit allowed that law to go into effect.

Other states should offer similar protections at the state level, and Congress should do the same at the federal level.

Protecting a New Minority

America is in a time of transition. The Supreme Court has redefined marriage, and beliefs about human sexuality are changing.

During this time, it is critical to protect the right to dissent and the civil liberties of those who speak and act in accord with what Americans had always previously believed about marriage—that it is the union of husband and wife.

Good public policy is needed at the local, state, and federal levels to protect cherished American values. Good policy would help achieve civil peace amid disagreement and protect pluralism and the rights of all Americans, regardless of what faith they may practice.



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

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

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


23 June, 2017


There is one privilege the white liberal does not want to check . . . the privilege to say any offensive thing that would destroy a conservative’s career and just keep on keeping on. See below:

Poland Shuts Border to Islamic Migrants to Keep Potential Terrorists Out

Despite the threat of sanctions from the European Union (EU), the Polish government has decided to not allow any more Muslim migrants into its country to help reduce the risk of radical Islamic terrorism.

“We, Poland, are learning from the mistakes of others … and we will not open our doors to Islamic migrants,” said Ryszard Czarnecki, the Polish European Parliament deputy, in early June after the terrorist attack in Manchester, England on May 22.

Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic have refused to take in their designated share of some 160,000 migrants, who apparently are overloading Italy and Greece. The EU could take the three states to the European Court of Justice, which could impose heavy financial fines on them.

“Other countries have led to a situation in which those trained on Islamic State territory in Syria, Iraq – young people with French, Belgian, Dutch, British, German citizenship – return to Europe … and somehow [the authorities] were incapable of monitoring them,” Czarnecki said after the attack in Manchester, according to Radio Poland.

The Manchester attack at an Ariana Grande concert killed 23 adults and children and injured 119 people.

“We, Poland, are learning from the mistakes of others … and we will not open our doors to Islamic migrants,” said Czarnecki.

According to Breitbart, Czarnecki also stated:

“When it comes to reducing the chances of Poland being hit by [Islamist] terror attacks, the only proven method is to not allow in Muslim migrants.

“With regards to Britain, we have already told them on several occasions they need to deport, not tolerate, radical migrants.

“If a radical Muslim cleric in a mosque calls on his brothers in the faith … to fight the infidels, well, I think that there are grounds to expel such an imam.”

BBC News stated that, in 2015, the EU voted to redistribute a total of 160,000 refugees from countries with the largest percentages of immigrants, especially Greece and Italy.

Although Poland initially agreed to the quota, the current administration has rejected it. Poland has not accepted any of their allotted share of immigrants, according to BBC.

The Czech Republic and Hungary are also resisting the flood of immigrants, reported the Express. Express quoted a letter from Polish leaders defending Poland’s refusal:

“In 2016 Poland took in over a million migrants and refugees from Ukraine and the East, thus easing the migrant pressure on other EU countries.

“We would also like to emphasise that no EU member state has so far fulfilled its commitments stemming from the 2015 relocation decisions.

“We reiterate our position that migration policy falls within the competence of nation states.”

According to Breitbart, Polish Interior Minister Mariusz B?aszczak said that receiving immigrants would be “much worse” than the EU sanctions.

"Each decision to relocate groups of migrants encourages thousands or millions more at the borders of Europe, to come to Europe, to get on boats and pontoons and risk their lives to reach the European continent," said Polish government spokesman Rafal Bochenek, according to BBC News.

“Fortunately, Poland does not make these mistakes that other countries have made when it comes to our immigration policy, and so we don’t have these headaches,” said Czarnecki.


The Double Murder of Otto Warmbier

Michelle Malkin knows Leftist hate:

We may never know what brutal torture and malign neglect American student Otto Warmbier suffered at the hands of North Korea's dictatorship before losing his life this week at the age of 22.

But it wasn't the first time the free-spirited Ohio native died.

More than a year before succumbing to the unknown illness or injury that left him in a coma thousands of miles away from home, Otto Warmbier's own countrymen murdered his reputation. His character. His humanity.

Click-hungry media ghouls knew nothing about Warmbier's small-town upbringing, his family life, politics, personality, disappointments or dreams. But they gleefully savaged a young man who made a mistake on a doomed trip to a totalitarian hell.

Warmbier's thoughtless taunters instantly transformed him into a bigger, badder villain than the barbaric DPRK goons who beat, starve, rape and kill enemies of the state for such offenses as listening to foreign radio broadcasts, possessing Bibles and disrespecting Dear Leader — in Warmbier's case, by attempting to steal a propaganda sign that read "Let's arm ourselves strongly with Kim Jong-il's patriotism!" as a souvenir.

The Huffington Post published an acid rant by "Blogging While Black" writer La Sha titled "North Korea Proves Your White Male Privilege Is Not Universal." She rejoiced at Warmbier's sentence because, she gloated, it taught him that "the shield his cis white male identity provides here in America is not teflon abroad."

Instead of faulting a repressive socialist regime, La Sha blamed Warmbier for "being socialized first as a white boy, and then as a white man in this country." The HuffPo's megalomaniac millennial had the gall to compare her daily plight of living and breathing freely in America to Warmbier's captivity:

"The hopeless fear Warmbier is now experiencing is my daily reality living in a country where white men like him are willfully oblivious to my suffering even as they are complicit in maintaining the power structures which ensure their supremacy at my expense."

But it wasn't just babbling diversity bloggers who exploited Warmbier's imprisonment.

For a few cheap yuks, liberal black comedian Larry Wilmore plowed ahead with smug disregard to how Warmbier's parents, family and friends must have suffered as photos and videos of their son and loved one were plastered all over media. To canned laughter, Wilmore mocked Warmbier on his Comedy Central show with a graphic labeling him an "ASS," which spelled out a fake frat name, "Alpha Sigma Sigma."

"It's just tough for me to have much sympathy for this guy and his crocodile tears," Wilmore snarked as he roasted the "Frat Boy."

Left-wing website Salon added another layer to the white male-bashing echo chamber:

"This might be America's biggest idiot frat boy: Meet the UVa student who thought he could pull a prank in North Korea."

Not to be outdone, Affinity Magazine (a "social justice" online magazine for teens) stomped on Warmbier's grave after his death was announced:

"Watch whiteness work," the publication tweeted. "He wasn't a 'kid' or 'innocent' you can't go to another country and try to steal from them. Respect their laws."

This from a rag that had deified Black Lives Matter icons Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin as downtrodden youth whose extensive rap sheets must remain unmentioned at all costs.

Otto's saboteurs engaged in the very same bigotry and stereotyping they recklessly accuse everyone else of at every turn. The far left learned nothing from leaping to conclusions about the Duke lacrosse players or the wrongfully accused members of Phi Kappa Psi at University of Virginia — where Warmbier was a junior double-majoring in commerce and economics.

By all accounts, Warmbier was a charismatic and caring human being whom one high-school classmate called "Everyone's friend." He was a lover of cultures and intellectually open-minded — "a warm, engaging, brilliant young man whose curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds," according to his family.

Utterly consumed by malignant identity politics, the left-wing intelligentsia have become the intolerantsia. They are bent on dehumanizing individuals, fomenting racial, ethnic and class division in the name of "progressivism," and never taking responsibility for the damage done.

Contrast the no-regrets policy of these "Frat Boy"-bashers, with a former North Korean prison guard, Lim Hye-jin, who escaped recently and recounted the horrors of life in the camps.

"We were manipulated not to feel any sympathy for prisoners," she said. The guards of the totalitarian state "do not see them as human beings, just as animals." After realizing she had been brainwashed by ideological monsters, she spoke out. "Now I know they were normal people, so I feel very guilty."

Will the short, slandered life and double death of Otto Warmbier prompt the American left's cruel character assassins to admit the same?

Soul-searching, alas, requires a soul


Steve Scalise, Nancy Pelosi and a Return to Civility

By the optimistic Lawrence Kudlow

Sometimes terrible tragedies can bring us together, and I'm hopeful that somehow a lasting good will come out of the ballfield shooting in Alexandria, Virginia. And maybe even a rebirth of civility, which has virtually disappeared from politics, and perhaps our culture as well.

Rep. Steve Scalise, who's currently fighting it out in a hospital in Washington, D.C., is an old friend of mine. I watched as he rose through the House ranks to become the majority whip. Like everyone else, I'm praying for his full recovery. He's a wonderful man.

And, like most everyone else, I was happy to hear President Donald Trump talking about unity in the wake of the shooting. He said, "We are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good."

I can say the same for House Speaker Paul Ryan, who, true to form, spoke beautifully and passionately from the House floor, saying, "An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. ... I ask each of you to join me to resolve to come together."

But I want to put a spotlight on one person who really surprised me with unexpected remarks. She got me thinking — praying — that maybe, just maybe, some lasting good will come out of this tragedy.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also spoke on the House floor in the hours after the shooting. She said her prayers were with Scalise, the Capitol Police and the others hit on that ballfield.

And she said much more. "You may not know this, my colleagues, but every time I pray, which is very frequently, and certainly every Sunday, I pray for all of you. All of you, together," she said. "In the earlier years, I used to pray for your happiness, for the fact that we would work together, heed the words of President Kennedy in the closing of his inaugural address, when he said ... 'God's work must truly be our own.'"

That's a central theme in my book "JFK and the Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity," which I wrote with Brian Domitrovic. Presidents Reagan and Kennedy were civil in public, as they sought to persuade their opponents, not smear them. And they both reached across the aisle to achieve their policy goals.

It's something we need to return to — desperately. And Pelosi spoke in that spirit.

"How do we view what God's will is for us?" she asked. "How do we come together to give confidence to the American people? As our founders intended, we would have our disagreements and we would debate them, and we would have confidence in our beliefs and humility to listen to others."

To listen to others.

For a long time, I have been talking about the need for a rebirth of civility. We cannot continue the meanness, the personal slurs and the polarizing attacks, all of which are doing great harm to America.

And now, sparked by tragedy, Pelosi seems to have said: Let us come together. Let us have civility in our discussions. Let us have a sense of humanity, and maybe even a sense of caring. Let us pray for ourselves and the rest of the country. Let's do this together.

She did add: "And I pray for Donald Trump, that his presidency will be successful, and that his family will be safe. Because it is about family."

When did you ever think you would hear her say that? It was a welcome surprise.

No, I'm not here to defend her politics. I'm a conservative. She's a liberal. I have my beliefs. She has her beliefs. The battle of ideas must go on.

But our tone, our style, our civility, our ability to listen — it seems to me that those have been missing for so many years.

The blame is on all sides. It's in the executive branch, the Senate, the House. Let's add the media and academia, as well. No one in this game is clean.

The political divide is large — across taxes, health care and a whole raft of tough agenda items. I get that.

I'm just saying, if Nancy Pelosi, who has been in Washington a good long while, is coming out and speaking of unity, civility and humility, it's worth giving it a listen.

Many of my friends disagree with this Pelosi kudos. Some believe I am hopelessly naive. They may be right.

But right now, today, I choose to believe that she means for all of us to be calm, to be humble, to be civil and to work together.

I'm praying for that because, if that's the case, we will get important things done to help this country and one another.

Let's hope and pray that something is changing here.


Australia: The REAL cost of dole bludgers: How the long-term unemployed are costing taxpayers a staggering $222,000 EACH

The average taxpayer would need to work for 14 years to pay the $220,00 welfare bill racked up by a single long-term dole bludger.

Over 100,000 welfare recipients are taking hardworking Australians for a ride, failing to turn up to job interviews and reaping the benefits of generous dole schemes.

The latest figures were released by Social Services Minister Christian Porter ahead of introducing a suite of changes to the welfare system to parliament on Thursday.

The widespread changes to the welfare system will include a two-year program to drug test 5000 new recipients of Newstart or Youth allowances in three locations.

'If you are part of that group of 100,00 people who persistently don't turn up to job interviews, you stay on welfare for much longer,' Mr Porter told The Daily Telegraph.

'An average person on an average wage is going to work for a great number of years to support someone in the welfare system who isn't doing the right thing.'

The new legislation will target 'non-compliant' welfare recipients - people who consistently fail to show up for job interviews or welfare appointments.

'Too many people are not meeting the requirements attached to their welfare, such as attending appointments, and most suffer no penalty,' Mr Porter said.

'This not only puts a burden on taxpayers who face a higher long-term cost to meet these people's welfare bill, but does nothing to help them achieve self-reliance by securing work.'

The Turnbull government insists its proposed trial to drug test people on welfare is not about stripping payments off vulnerable Australians.

'This trial is not about penalising job seekers with drug abuse issues, it is about finding new and better ways of identifying these job seekers and ensuring they are referred to the support and treatment they need,' Mr Porter told parliament on Thursday.

It was part of a range of measures announced in the May budget.

The reforms would make the system simpler, more sustainable and focused on supporting people to move from welfare into work, Mr Porter said.

Central to that is a new single JobSeeker payment, to be introduced in 2020, replacing or consolidating seven different payments.

'The bill demonstrates that the government is completely committed to improving the integrity of the welfare system and ensuring that recipients receive the necessary support incentives to address barriers to employment, to look for work and take a suitable job when it's available,' he sai



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

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

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


22 June, 2017

The scripture that the mainstream churches can't find

Here it is:

"Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

Their theologians can find it though. It's in 1 Corinthians 6:9. So what do liberal theologians say about it? How do they wriggle around it?

They say that the word "Arsenokoitai" (meaning homosexual) in Paul's original Greek is of uncertain meaning. And it is true that Paul's use of it in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 is the only mention of the word in the NT. And my Liddell & Scott Lexicon of ancient Greek notes it as being found only in the NT. So let us look at the complete passage in the original Greek:

Tricky, Huh? The word we are interested in is the last one on the third line.

Not really tricky. Liddell & Scott give the word as a pair: "Arseno-koitees". And "arseno is the normal Greek word for a male. And "koitees" means to sleep. So the word clearly means "male-sleeper'. Paul just jammed two common words into one -- with perfect confidence that his meaning would be obvious. Only a liberal theologian could doubt what he meant.

Curiously, when academics talk about sexual intercourse, they often refer to it as "coitus". They actually use an Anglicized spelling of the same Greek word that Paul used in referring to sex with men. The Left really are pathetic in their flight from reality.

There is a very extensive coverage of the whole issue here. They are more polite than I am but come to the same conclusion.

And if there were any doubt about the NT condemnation of homosexuality, Paul makes it REALLY clear whom he is talking about in Romans 1:27. They are among those who have been abandoned by God.

A small footnote: In 1 Corinthians 6:9 Paul does not in fact refer to homosexuals generally. He specifically refers to MALE homosexuals, people whom Britons and Australians still sometimes call "poofs" or "poofters". I won't repeat the American slang term as it is rather more excoriating than the British one. Lesbians don't get off entirely, however. See Romans 1:26.

UPDATE: While we have a large body of writings on which to base our understanding of classical Attic Greek, we have nothing like that for the "koine" Greek of Christ's day. The NT is just about all we have of it. So it could obviously have been common for "Arsenokoitai" to be widely used at that time without our having any surviving evidence of that. And I get the feeling from Paul's casual use of the term that it was in fact common. I think that it was most likely to have been the contemptuous term of its day. "Male-sleeper" is not as contemptuous as "f***ot" or "poof" But I think it probably served a similar function.

And, if I can build speculation on speculation, we can perhaps see an explanation for why Paul was so explicit in his description of homosexuality in Romans 1:26,27. Why did he not simply use "Arsenokoitai", as he did elsewhere? Possibly because it was Greek slang that would not be well understood in Rome. Greek was perfectly well understood in grand Roman society but Paul was probably addressing poor Romans whose native language was Latin. Was the epistle to the Romans in fact originally written in Latin? For an educated man like Paul to understand Latin would not be surprising. And we know that he did once say something important in Latin: "Appello Caesarem".

A multicultural father

A Brooklyn man who allegedly punched his 16-month-old daughter into a coma said he told the baby's mother to get an abortion when she was pregnant.

'Feel mad disrespected,' Shaquan Taylor, 19, wrote in a Facebook post in February 2016 around the time his daughter Nylah Lewis was born. 'Told that lil b***h to get abortion (and) she tells me she is but still keep it. Exactly why I hate that lil b***h.'

The child's injuries are so extreme that prosecutors said in court early Tuesday they don't expect her to live another 24 hours according to the New York Daily News.

Little Nylah was rushed to Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn on Sunday.

Police arrested Taylor for allegedly cracking Nylah's skull and blackening her eye during a horrific attack on the baby.

Little Nylaha suffered a bleeding in the brain and two skull fractures and bruising on her legs face and other parts of her body at the hands of her father, police say.

Taylor often ranted about the girl's mother, Tammy Lewis, 17, on Facebook. 'I didn't even want to have a baby by her (and) it's sad to say, but f*** it, s*** happens,' he wrote in February 2016. 'Please don't ask who Nylah's moms is nor do I still f*** with her cause NO,' he wrote. 'Just f***ed (that) hotty a**, that's it.'

Sometime Sunday afternoon, Taylor sent a Facebook message to Lewis telling her there was a problem and that she needed to pick up Nylah, police sources said.

When Lewis arrived, her daughter was face up on the couch and struggling to breathe.

Taylor, 18, allegedly injured the poor child on Sunday after her mom, Tammy Lewis - who was formerly in a relationship with Taylor - dropped her off at his home, so they could spend some time together.

Lewis left the pair alone and came back to find her daughter covered in bruises and gasping for air, police say.

'He said that about a year ago he was going to hit the baby if she brought [her] around,' Christine Munford, Nylaha's aunt, told the New York Daily News.

And [Sunday] he threatened her and said he was going to punch her in the face when she got there. And then obviously that happened.'

The alleged incident unfolded in the afternoon at Taylor's apartment in Coney Island. Taylor messaged Lewis on Facebook to tell her she needed to come to the apartment to take their daughter.

Lewis immediately picked up her daughter and run out of the apartment upon seeing the state of her.

But Taylor run after her, and allegedly punched her to the ground, leaving the defenseless mum in the apartment lobby unconscious.

The disgraced father then picked the baby and gave it to a friend who then called the ambulance.

When authorities questioned Taylor, he claimed the baby was injured because she had fallen off the bed but doctors confirmed that Nylaha's bruises did not come from a fall.

He was charged on Monday with felony assault for beating both Lewis and her child.

Taylor was charged with sexual misconduct in 2015 because he was in a relationship with Lewis, who was only 14 at the time. A year later, he was arrested again for harassing her, the Daily News reported.


What Feminist Camille Paglia Says About Transgenderism

Feminist and Bernie Sanders supporter Camille Paglia isn’t toeing the liberal party line when it comes to transgenderism.

“The cold biological truth is that sex changes are impossible. Every single cell of the human body remains coded with one’s birth gender for life,” she told The Weekly Standard in an interview published June 15.

The author of “Sexual Personae”, Paglia identifies herself as “a registered Democrat who voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary and for Jill Stein in the general election.”

“It is certainly ironic how liberals who posture as defenders of science when it comes to global warming (a sentimental myth unsupported by evidence) flee all reference to biology when it comes to gender,” said Paglia.

Ryan Anderson, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, agrees about the importance of biology to the discussion.

“The best biology, psychology, and philosophy all support an understanding of sex as a bodily reality, and of gender as a social manifestation of bodily sex. Biology isn’t bigotry, and we need a sober and honest assessment of the human costs of getting human nature wrong,” said Anderson, author of the forthcoming book on transgenderism, “When Harry Became Sally.”

Paglia also condemned calls for “special rights, protections, or privileges” for transgender men and women:

In a democracy, everyone, no matter how nonconformist or eccentric, should be free from harassment and abuse. But at the same time, no one deserves special rights, protections, or privileges on the basis of their eccentricity. The categories ‘trans-man’ and ‘trans-woman’ are highly accurate and deserving of respect. But like Germaine Greer and Sheila Jeffreys, I reject state-sponsored coercion to call someone a ’woman’ or a ‘man’ simply on the basis of his or her subjective feeling about it. We may well take the path of good will and defer to courtesy on such occasions, but it is our choice alone.

Paglia, the daughter of Italian immigrants, is a professor at The University of Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has authored several cultural critique books such as “Sexual Personae” and “Free Men, Free Women”.

She holds an undergraduate degree from Binghamton University and a graduate degree from Yale University where she claims she was the only openly gay student. An enduring figure in academia, she has not shied away from criticizing Democrats, including comparing Bill Clinton to Bill Cosby.


Australians should show 'sensitivity' to migrants whose cultures 'don't value women's and child's rights' claims new domestic violence study

A taxpayer funded study has made the audacious claim that Australians need to show 'cultural sensitivity' towards migrant men who physically abuse their wife and children.

The study conducted over a three year period was funded by the Australian Research Council and points out that some human rights affect migrants' integration and 'successful settlement in Australia', specifically those in relation to women and children.

The study refers to some refugees claiming that these rights 'contravene the cultural values, norms and mores' of their ethnic groups, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Yet the study has faced strong resistance in the shape of federal Minister for Women Michaelia Cash who has stated Australia is categorically against family violence. 'Violence against women is unacceptable in any circumstances,' Ms Cash told The Saturday Telegraph.

The study has however called for 'cultural sensitivity and understanding of the impact on male refugees' who suffer a sense of separation and an overwhelming feeling of disappointment when their views are repulsed by society.

The report did point out refugees' appreciation for the factors of Australian life such as healthcare and education that were not available to them in their home nations, yet a 'major point of contention' was the differing views on women's and children's rights.

What was most upsetting for many refugees was the strong stance Australians had when it came to domestic violence.

It will be this Australian ethos that will repel the study's findings with many in union with Prevention of Domestic Violence Minister Pru Goward who insists wife beaters must 'change their ways.'

A recent example of the nation's position on the matter was its reaction towards Sydney primary school teacher Reem Allouche telling the women's arm of hardline political group Hizb ut-Tahrir that men are permitted to hit women with sticks.

The practice was widely condemned across Australia with Ms Cash again denouncing the violence.

The research has come at a time of migrant change, where Malcolm Turnbull's government has tightened immigration by implementing an 'Australian values' test for hopefuls in search of citizenship.

The government has been accused of 'racial profiling' after grilling prospective citizens on domestic violence and forced marriage, with The Settlement Council of Australia raising concern.

The study which was orchestrated by UNSW that the issue of domestic violence could be worsened if male refugees are ignored.

It also argues that women and children who do make attempts to adopt an Australian way of life and its values will be 'cruelly punished'.

Many migrant victims of the abuse are oblivious to the support they can receive or avenues they can take to rectify their problems such as divorce according to Shakti migrant women's support group national co-ordinator Tamana Mirzada. 'Often they don't have the capacity­ to leave,' Ms Mirzada revealed.

She also pointed out seeking help indicates weakness in a marriage, something which is strongly frowned upon within their community.

Ms Cash did reiterate the constant efforts to provide ongoing support for migrant women who need it.



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

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

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


21 June, 2017

Britain needs hard money, hard Brexit

On June 8, Theresa May’s Conservatives came close to losing an election they should have won easily. The commentariat, all of whom like the Brussels bureaucrats and love the Brussels restaurants, claimed she had lost because of her firmness on Brexit and the Tories’ excessive devotion to fiscal austerity. Actually the Tories, not notably devoted to fiscal austerity, lost because they have tolerated the Bank of England’s appalling monetary sloppiness, with its devastating effect on the economy and on house prices. A hard Brexit and hard money are now needed to right the ship.

May is not a good campaigner, though she has other virtues, and she did not run a good campaign. However, the election result if looked at appraisingly was not a disaster; the Conservatives lost only a net 13 seats, and picked up twelve glorious new seats in Scotland, cementing the Union for at least the next decade or so. Almost all the parts of Scotland one would conceivably like to visit are now Conservative, ending a troubling period when some of the most beautiful places in the world were represented by either socialists or Scottish Nationalists (also in practice socialist.) Aesthetically, one really doesn’t care how Glasgow votes.

If May had lost another six seats, the result would have been a true disaster as the Conservatives would have been unable to form a government, but she didn’t; with ten staunch Democratic Unionists from Ulster she has a solid majority. Given that seven Sinn Fein MPs will not take their seat and the Speaker does not vote, and assuming the Independent Unionist Sylvia, Lady Hermon votes with the opposition, as do the LibDems, Greens and Nationalists, the vote in a full House vote of confidence would be 327 votes to 315. All May has to do is avoid losing too many by-elections.

The reason for the Conservatives’ unexpectedly poor result can be clearly seen when we examine individual constituencies which swung strongly to Labour or unexpectedly to the Conservatives, in an election in which swings differed markedly from region to region and even from seat to seat. One factor alone explains the poor Tory performance and, contrary to media commentary, it is not Brexit, which tended to push voters towards the Conservatives. It is house prices.

Since the middle 1990s, and especially since 2008, the Bank of England has followed an exceptionally loose monetary policy, with interest rates close to zero for almost a decade. This has tracked monetary policy in other countries, notably the United States under Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, but also Japan and more recently the Eurozone.

The policy, reinforced by Mark Carney since he took over as Bank of England Governor in 2013, has had two unfortunate economic effects everywhere it has been tried. It has caused a massive misallocation of capital, which has pushed productivity growth far below historic levels all over the rich world (less than 0.2% per annum since 2008 in Britain.) Second, and most especially in Britain, it has caused an explosion in house prices to levels completely unaffordable by anybody under 40, or who did not buy their house a quarter-century ago.

Apart from Kensington and Chelsea, surely a special case with average house prices around £2 million, you can look at another London Conservative loss, Croydon Central. Here the average house price was a relatively affordable £380,000 in 2016 – but this was up a full 26% in the preceding two years. The result was a 5.2% swing to Labour and another lost Conservative seat. Again, the problem wasn’t London’s Remain vote; there was a 3% swing to Labour in 2015; it was the excessively high level of house prices compared to incomes, even in scruffy Croydon.

In 2016 London was a special case in the Brexit referendum, but in 2017 it wasn’t a special case on house prices and electoral swings to Labour. Canterbury, Labour’s most famous seat gain, saw a house price rise of 21% between 2014 and 2016 and a 10% swing to Labour. Brighton Kemptown, another big Labour gain with a 10,000 majority and an 11% swing, saw house prices up 20% between 2014 and 2016. Bath, a surprise Conservative loss to the Liberal Democrats on a 10% swing, saw house prices rise 23% between 2014 and 2016. In all these constituencies, as a result of the Bank of England’s lunatic monetary policies, house prices had risen by more than 20% in two years, dashing the hopes of younger people for home ownership. No wonder these places saw a massive increase in youth turnout against the Tories.

Turn it around, and look at the constituencies where the Tories won from Labour, against the national trend (ignore Scotland, where special factors were at work.) In Mansfield, home of an unexpected Conservative victory with a 7% swing, house prices rose only 10% in 2014-16 – and only averaged an affordable £145,000 in 2016, less than half Bath or Brighton. Stoke on Trent South, with average prices up 12% in 2014-16 to a level 10% below Mansfield, saw another Conservative gain with a 4% swing. Walsall North, slightly more expensive but with only a 6% house price rise in 2014-16, was a Conservative gain with a 6% swing.

In summary, the Conservatives won marginal seats where house prices were modest and price rises equally so; they lost badly to Labour in places where house prices were exorbitant and rapidly getting more so. Exorbitant house prices are almost entirely the result of a decade of near-zero interest rates; to modify a famous Sun headline: “It was Carney wot lost it.”

If May wants the Conservatives to win the next election, she must fire Carney forthwith, and find a Bank of England Governor who will push interest rates up rapidly to their natural level of around 5% (since UK inflation is currently running at 3%.) That will crash house prices, probably by as much as 75% in London, making housing once more affordable for the under-40s. This will cause a massive pro-Tory swing among younger voters, who will thank the government for their huge improvement in real living standards. It will also restore British productivity growth to its historic level of 1.5% annually, pushing up output and wages for everybody. May or a Conservative successor will need to hang on five years to outlast the inevitable economic downturn and the house price crash, but by 2022 things should be looking good.

I have previously written how the main criterion for Brexit should be that Britain regains the ability to write its own trade treaties, liberating it from the protectionist EU bureaucracy. When the referendum passed, I thought the best British negotiator would be the smooth and pleasant David Cameron, who if negotiating with the equally pleasant Donald Tusk, should be able to reach a deal satisfactory to both sides. That option is no longer on offer, partly because EU negotiating policy is being set by Michel Barnier, an abrasive Frenchman and Jean-Claude Juncker, whose antipathy to all things Anglo-American is well known. In addition, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, the leaders of Europe’s two most important political and economic powers, appear determined to make Brexit as unpleasant for Britain as possible. Therefore May, in her “bloody difficult woman” mode is ideal as Britain’s negotiator, along with the no-nonsense David Davis.

A “soft” Brexit is neither desirable nor attainable. Juncker in particular is determined to make Britain pay an “exit tax” of some 100 billion euros. Were Britain to agree to this, the government that agreed it would rightly be booted out by the electorate, to be replaced by Jeremy Corbyn, who would crash Britain’s economy. Overall therefore, an ideal outcome from the Juncker viewpoint. Hence there is probably no negotiated settlement that could be reached, short of electoral suicide. In those circumstances, no deal is indeed better than a bad deal; Britain should exit the EU in March 2019, and seek to negotiate trade agreements with the EU afterwards, when there is no question of an exit tax.

That’s not to say that there may not be some small part of the 100 billion euros that is legitimate; British lawyers of a suitably euro-skeptic frame of mind should examine the small print of the various treaties, and tell May what if any bill it is reasonable to pay.

The worst possible outcome, which I still fear, would be a British wimp-out, in which its negotiators decide that the cost of exit is simply too high, and so crawl back to Juncker and his minions asking to be let back in again. That would almost certainly be the outcome if May is replaced by the odious, untrustworthy and inept Euro-madman Kenneth Clarke, for example. Armed rebellion should be the response if this is attempted.

We must remember that the EU is not the free trading association Britain thought it had joined in 1973, but has morphed into a centralized unitary state that in authoritarianism and economic counter-productiveness increasingly resembles the late unlamented Warsaw Pact. Fortunately, this should become all too clear within the next few weeks, when Juncker’s mob sues Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to force them to take some of the Middle Eastern refugees, terrorists, and riff-raff that Merkel has so unwisely welcomed into Europe. Should that occur, I think it likely that Britain will not be alone in seeking to escape the Euro-Leviathan; it should do all it can to help its Eastern European friends join it in freedom.

The British public appears to have voted on June 8 in search of a soft option, a very common electoral failing in that country. No soft option is available in either economic or Brexit policy that will not impoverish and enslave Britain’s voters. Accordingly, May’s new government must remember Enoch Powell’s famous question to her great predecessor “the Lady herself will learn of what metal she is made” and seek to make both its monetary and Brexit policies follow his post-Falklands description: “ferrous matter of the highest quality, of exceptional tensile strength.” Only with such policies, monetary and Brexit, can success for the British people and May’s Conservatives be achieved.


Coach Kennedy, Who Lost His Job After Praying, Makes His Case to 9th Circuit Court

Coach Joe Kennedy took his fight to be allowed to pray with his high school football players back to court this week, appealing to a bench with a liberal reputation.

“My hope is that, at the end of the day, the court will let me get back to the sidelines and back with my team,” Kennedy said in a statement after his appearance in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In late October 2015, Kennedy lost his job with the Bremerton High School football program in Bremerton, Washington, after administrators repeatedly told the Marine veteran to stop praying on the 50-yard line.

Kennedy’s lawyers argued Monday before a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit in Tacoma, Washington, asking the judges to overturn a U.S. District Court ruling against him, also in Tacoma.

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His lawyers want the appeals court to order the Bremerton School District to stop discriminating against Kennedy based on his “brief, private religious expression” and reinstate him, the Kitsap Sun reported.

The superintendent of the Bremerton School District first told Kennedy in September 2015 that he must stop praying because the public display of religion by a public school employee could be misconstrued as the district’s endorsement of religion.

The school district said it based its decision on the Supreme Court’s 2000 ruling in Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe.

Kennedy, 48, is not seeking monetary damages, saying he wants to be back on the sidelines, coaching his players, while maintaining his First Amendment rights.

In response to questions from the three judges on where the line is between private and public prayer, one of Kennedy’s lawyers, Rebekah Ricketts, said the coach never coerced students to participate in his 15- to 30-second prayer on or off the field.

The school district’s attorney, Michael Tierney, argued that teachers and coaches do have influence over students, whether subtle or not. So, Tierney said, teachers and coaches must refrain from religious expression that could be perceived as coercive, or risk violating the Establishment Clause, the Kitsap Sun reported.

The judges questioned why the school district didn’t take action earlier, since this had been Kennedy’s ongoing practice since 2008, shortly after he was hired.

Tierney said district officials had thought Kennedy was making an inspirational speech to the crowd gathered around him on the field.

The 9th Circuit has a disputed reputation as one of the most liberal courts in the nation.

If the appeals court allows the lower court’s ruling to stand it essentially will be “affirming the school district’s discrimination” and affecting “millions of Americans, especially teachers,” Jeremy Dys, senior counsel at First Liberty Institute, which represents Kennedy, said after the oral arguments.

In a telephone interview with The Daily Signal, Dys said the lower court ruling also would mean that “the Muslim teacher cannot wear her hijab, the Jewish teacher cannot wear his yarmulke, the Catholic teacher cannot wear her crucifix to work.”

“This is an overwhelming burden on the free exercise of religion by a free people in the United States that ought to be rejected,” he said.

“I just want the ability to go back out there and help these young men, and also have my constitutional rights that I fought for in the Marine Corps for 20 years,” Kennedy said in a telephone interview last year with The Daily Signal. “That’s it—it’s pretty simple.”

Prior to losing his job, Kennedy served as head coach for the junior varsity football team and assistant coach for the varsity football team for seven years.

In a video created by First Liberty Institute, Kennedy hints at his own rough childhood, and says he believes that “all the hard times I had in my life were really setting the stage for exactly this battle that I’m at right now.”

He adds: “And that’s why I really love coaching, it’s because I understand what those kids are going through.”

Kennedy says he chose to fight the legal battle because “we need to fight for our freedoms, we need to fight for the things that are right in society, and for America.”

Ryan T. Anderson, a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation who studies religious liberty, told The Daily Signal in an email:

Americans do not give up their right to the free exercise of religion simply because they work for the government. Religious Americans need not become secularists anymore than secularists need to become religious in order to lend their services to our government.

Upon taking his position at Bremerton High, Kennedy previously told The Daily Signal, he made a promise to God to pray after each game for his players, for the opportunity to play, win or lose, and for his ability to coach. He did just that until 2015.

That October, First Liberty Institute sent what is called a demand letter to the school district, seeking a religious accommodation for Kennedy. When the district refused, the group filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which issued a “right to sue” letter in December 2015.

Following the District Court ruling against Kennedy, two professional football stars filed a friend-of-the-court brief on his behalf to be included in the arguments before the 9th Circuit.

One was Steve Largent, a former congressman from the state of Oklahoma and Pro Football Hall of Fame member who played for the Seattle Seahawks, the other Chad Hennings, a former Air Force pilot and defensive tackle for the Dallas Cowboys.


The Medical Evolution of Gender

A doctor who incorrectly diagnoses patients just to keep them happy deserves not praise but rebuke.

Well-known blogger Matt Walsh recently recounted a difficult conversation with his son after he caught the lad attempting to climb over the second-floor balcony railing. It seems little Walsh Jr. thought he could be Spider-Man. Walsh writes, “I knew it was time to explain that he doesn’t really have super powers. He seemed pretty devastated by the news, but for his own health it was necessary to put an end to this particular fantasy. ‘But I want to be Spider-Man,’ he protested. ‘I know, buddy,’ I said. ‘I wish I could be Spider-Man, too, but Spider-Man is just pretend. If you try to jump over the railing like Spider-Man, you’ll get very hurt.’”

This seems a logical parenting approach: Stop the kid from jumping off a balcony and address the incorrect belief that made him think a leap was a good idea in the first place. Hardly revolutionary. But apparently, it’s radical when kids imagine themselves not a super-hero but a gender not their own.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has this week adopted policies endorsing transgenderism — despite enormous evidence of the physical, emotional and psychological harm experienced by those who fantasize themselves the opposite sex.

The Washington Free Beacon reports the AMA’s policymaking group has embraced the belief that gender is “incompletely understood as a binary selection.”

According to the official AMA statement, “Acknowledging that individuals’ gender and sexual identities do not always fit neatly into binary paradigms, delegates to the 2017 AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago took several actions that support broadening how gender identity is defined within medicine and how transgender patients are treated by society.” The group went on to state that “gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and genotypic and phenotypic sex are not always aligned.”

As Walsh pointed out, saving someone from harm often means telling them when their beliefs and feelings don’t align with truth.

But the AMA would rather gain political points than save lives.

Indeed, the group also came out against so-called bathroom bills, claiming, “Laws and policies that restrict the use of public facilities based on biological gender can have immediate and lingering physical consequences, as well as severe mental health repercussions.” Of course, they conveniently ignore the mental health repercussions of transgenderism. Transgender and gender non-conforming adults have a suicide attempt rate of more than 40%, compared with 4.6% for the overall U.S. population.

But please, let’s talk instead about how transgender individuals can now battle suicidal thoughts in any bathroom they choose.

Sadly, this latest descent into madness shouldn’t be too surprising. As Mark Alexander has recounted in detail, the spiral from recognition to acceptance and now endorsement of self-destructive sexually deviant behaviors by the medical community has been at play for decades.

In the 1950s, the first edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) recognized homosexuality as a sociopath personality disturbance. And the 1968 DSM II was updated to classify homosexuality as a sexual deviancy.

This is significant because only by acknowledging that homosexuality and gender dysphoria are concerning and have negative consequences can people in the throes of sexual addictions and confusions be best helped. When we validate harmful behaviors, we close the door on help and hope and instead confine individuals to the statistics of higher suicide attempt rates as well as higher instances of sexually transmitted diseases, not to mention the psychological trauma of those who pursue sex changes and live to regret it.

And that’s to say nothing on the trauma suffered by family and friends of transgendered people.

Yet, amid the sexual revolution, the AMA abandoned any pretense of caring for people and instead caved to political pressure and removed homosexuality as a mental disorder in DSM III in 1973. Now, they’ve gone a step further and rejected the reality of gender entirely by basically saying it’s whatever someone fantasizes it to be.

A doctor who incorrectly diagnoses patients just to keep them happy deserves not praise but rebuke. The AMA may be congratulating itself on its progressivist acceptance of transgenderism. But the result will be thousands of people who desperately need help and instead are prodded to jump off the second-story balcony, where the fantasies they embrace will not save them.


Let’s stop treating the young as political sages

We should be challenging the naive, unaffordable views of many under-25s, not kowtowing to them

Clare Foges

‘Respect your youngers,” tweeted the pop star Lily Allen after the shock election result driven by a high youth turnout. But have we come to respect the youngers and their opinions too much?

Recent years have involved increasing youth worship in politics. Come election time, TV producers fall over themselves to put together panels of young people to offer up vacuities about “choosing hope over fear” and other quotes they may have spotted on Instagram. Grey-beard presenters nod deferentially at every complaint offered up by youthful contributors, however inane or ill-informed (the passion of youth requires no substantiation). Millennial mouthpieces on social media rouse the tribe with talk of reclaiming their future and how dreadfully they have been let down by older generations.

Then there are the politicians engaging in something akin to dad dancing; loosening the tie to get down with the kids. Ed Miliband making a midnight visit to be interviewed by Russell Brand, Corbyn shooting the breeze with a grime artist, Theresa May grimacing her way through a Snapchat interview. You’ve got to engage with the young, see, however unstatesmanlike the process.

And since Thursday people have been falling over themselves to congratulate the younger among us for doing their democratic duty; a five-minute detour to the polling station given the same weight as going over the top at Ypres. Young people posted selfies taken after the event and wore stickers saying “I voted!” Should they get lollipops too?

Yes, an increase in turnout at any age is to be welcomed. Only 43 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds voted in 2015. Although we are yet to see the hard data, the “youthquake” this time was doubtless real. And, of course, many people born post-1990 are spectacularly well-informed, public-spirited, energetic and the rest. Yet what is galling is the veneration of youthful opinion regardless of the sense it makes; this growing idea that being under 25 confers some special sagacity that the rest of us might benefit from. A generation reared to revere the words “empowerment” and “respect” is demanding that they are empowered and their views respected.

The argument goes that because they have more decades ahead, they are the best judges of how that future might be shaped (hence the rather distasteful suggestion that oldies should have refrained from voting in the EU referendum because they’ll be dead soon). In recent days we have heard that The Youth Has Spoken, with the implication that we should jolly well sit up and listen. But should we?

Last week’s election revealed the judgment of many young voters to be as we might expect of those with relatively limited experience: hopelessly naive. They turned out in their droves for a man who became a kind of millennials’ prophet; promising to lead them out of the badlands of austerity and towards a future where everything is nicer, cheaper, or indeed free. They voted for a man who would have endangered our economy, the whisper of whose name can send the pound on a swan-dive.

There is no wisdom here, no great lesson to be learnt; just the insight that many young people rather like being offered free stuff and ask few questions about how, ultimately, that stuff is funded. It has been suggested that the great turnout of the youth vote is an argument for lowering the voting age to 16. Given who they voted for en masse, I would say it’s an argument for raising it to at least 21.

This is not to suggest that the young have no cause to desire real change. It’s true that many have it hard: qualifications that don’t get you anywhere, work that is tenuous, homes that are impossible to afford. Serious action on these fronts would be welcome, within the constraints of our debt-laden public purse.

Yet the passionate sense of grievance among many young people — that theirs is a generation uniquely betrayed by the generations above — should not simply be “listened to” as though it were true; it must be robustly challenged. The phrase “intergenerational unfairness” has a lot to answer for, conjuring up a picture of the baby boomers and Generation Xers scrabbling up the ladder of opportunity and booting those below in the face. It hasn’t happened like that. Those older generations simply took whatever chances were on offer, from £50,000 family homes to university grants, and this does not make them the deniers of opportunity for young people today.

What should be challenged too is the youthful expectation of a free lunch. For instance, many 18 to 24-year-olds — reared on the language of rights — believe it their right to receive a free university education, as Corbyn exploited so successfully. What must be communicated to young people is not congratulations for backing wish-list politics but the reality that public resources are finite.

Wishing for a better world is nothing to be derided, and there is always something appealing about youthful enthusiasm. As Churchill reputedly said; “If you are not a liberal at 25 you have no heart.” But when it comes to the way we run our country, we have a duty not to kowtow to youthful dreaming but to confront some of the myths that underpin it. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Socialism is a proven disaster. These might not make for inspiring Facebook posts but they have the virtue of being the truth.



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

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

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


20 June, 2017

Happy couple

Husband with Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman in the movies. Incorrect?

The Left were the guardians and champions of segregation -- and they still are

Separate but Equal: How Regressives Are Reviving the Racist Segregation Movement

"Cultural appropriation" is the new bugaboo, and it's resulting in greater segregation along racial lines.

In August 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke these immortal words: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of the creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.’” Under recent academic meddling, however, this dream has little likelihood of coming true. Not because we didn’t have Brown v. Board of Education (1954-school integration) or Loving v. Virginia (1967-interracial marriage), but because there exists an entire political movement that judges people not by “the content of their character,” but “by the color of their skin.”

Bent upon regressing toward a separated, stratified society, this group continues to fan the flames of suspicion and division across racial lines, all under the guise of “sensitivity,” “openness” and “diversity.” Calling themselves “Progressives,” in actuality, they progress toward nothing, but only regress backwards to a racist, suspicious and violent time in our nation’s history. Using the terms “cultural appropriation” and “unity among the African Diaspora,” the Regressives seek to separate our nation into piles, as with dirty laundry. For in doing so, they break the collective power of the people to bind together and to positively effect change. They have found a way to disenfranchise the citizen’s voice in order to grant themselves the awe-inspiring task of ideological control.

Experts define cultural appropriation as adopting parts of a culture or ethnic group without the permission of the originating culture, thereby “violating” their collective intellectual property rights. It has now become a popular way for a person to claim “rights” to fashion, customs, food and culture. Yet, claiming “rights” to customs, transforms us into tribalistic groups that refuse to acknowledge the reality of our blended world: that for all time, we have shared and borrowed ideas, thoughts and traditions to which no one owns the patent or trademark.

Recently, Kooks Burritos, a Mexican food truck in Portland, Oregon, was forced to close because opponents claimed that the two white woman owners “appropriated” the recipes from Puerto Nuevo, Mexico. The two women traveled to Mexico on vacation, asking the cooks how they made their burritos and watched them through the windows. They used these recipes to make their burritos for their food truck. However, under the pressure of the community, they stopped their business.

In the case of Kooks Burritos, the cultural appropriation police did not clearly define their terms. Would this have been different if the owners were Mexican or Mexican heritage? What if they had received the recipes from their friend’s grandmother? Perhaps in order to sell ethnic food, you need to be of that ethnicity.

By this standard, Julia Child, the American chef whose monumental work, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” which brought hidden French recipes to the American market, would be counted among the worst cultural appropriators in modern times. Her autobiography, “My Life in France,” tells of how she made friends with French people, went to their cooking school and learned their methods — only to turn around and (gasp!) write a cookbook and start a cooking show. Yet everyone applauds Child’s cookbook not as cultural “stealing” but rather cultural sharing that benefits everyone.

Another recent example took place at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. In March of this year, the wall of free speech, where students can write whatever they want, read, “White girl, take off your hoops!!!” This statement referenced hoop earrings, which, according to the artist of the statement, belonged exclusively to non-white people. She stated in an email thread sent to the entire student body that “white people have exploited the culture and made it fashion.” She fails, however to note that hoop earrings have historically been worn by Roman women in the first century, as well as Russian and Swiss women in the 18th century.

In addition to the emphasis on cultural appropriation, the Regressives have revived segregation (yes, really). Recently, the New York chapter of Black Lives Matter hosted a “black only” Memorial Day party. Harvard hosted a black graduate school graduation initiated by black members of the class of 2017, to celebrate the achievements of black students and those from the “African Diaspora.” Several universities across the country including California State University, Los Angeles; University of Connecticut; University of California, Davis; University of California, Berkeley; and University of Colorado, Boulder now offer segregated black dorms as “safe” and “protected” spaces.

The Regressives do not have to separate people based on race, but rather have cleverly convinced people to separate themselves. In that separation and isolation, there exists no unity on basis of family, faith or patriotic values but rather a unity in the hatred of those who disagree — unified in the hatred of dissidents, all in a disingenuous effort to be “sensitive.” In reality, we are now seeing the true colors of the diversity movement that assumes ethnicity determines ideology while denying people the freedom to think on their own, to unite with others and to be citizens for a positive future.


The Left Was Wrong: Trump Did Not Produce Anti-Semitic Hysteria

Dennis Prager

As I document in my book, “Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph,” which is an explanation of Americanism, leftism, and Islamism, hysteria is a major tactic of the left.

If you think about it, there is never an extended period of time—one year, let’s say—during which society is not engulfed by a hysteria induced by the left.

The mother of them all is global warming, or “climate change,” as the left has come to call it (because the warming was not quite enough to induce widespread panic).

Hysterics like billionaires Al Gore and Tom Steyer, along with virtually all the Western news media, warn us that the existence of life on Earth is threatened by carbon emissions.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone. Find out more >>

But in its longevity, global warming is almost unique among left-wing hysterias. In general, left-wing hysterias last for much less time, from a few months to a year or two.

And when they end—because the hysteria is widely recognized as fraudulent—they’re immediately dropped and completely forgotten. The left never pays a price for its hysteria.

Take, for example, the hysteria the left created by charging President Donald Trump’s election with the unleashing of unprecedented amounts of anti-Semitism and racism in America.

Being attuned to the left’s use of hysteria, I knew it was hysteria at the time. In the March 7 issue of the Jewish Journal, I wrote a column titled “There Is No Wave of Trump-Induced Anti-Semitism or Racism.”

It was all a lie. That’s why you hardly hear anything now about an alleged wave of racism or anti-Semitism in the country.

What rankles those who have a passion for justice is that the mendacious fomenters of the hysteria have gotten away with it.

So, as a Jew who understands how much damage left-wing Jews have done to the real fight against anti-Semitism, some of these people are worth mentioning.

Perhaps the individual who most spread the lie of Trump-induced anti-Semitism was a previously unknown man named Steven Goldstein, executive director of the previously unknown Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect in New York.

They became famous for a few months when the media had to trot out a Jew with an official title—and no Jewish title is as sacrosanct as one with the name Anne Frank on it.

Goldstein has publicly commented on “the cancer of anti-Semitism that has infected his own administration.” He said: “Make no mistake: The anti-Semitism coming out of this administration is the worst we have ever seen from any administration.”

And he said to Trump, “The most vicious anti-Semites in America are looking at you and your administration as a nationalistic movement granting them permission to attack Jews, Jewish institutions, and sacred Jewish sites.”

Almost as hysterical about anti-Semitism in America was Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of a considerably more significant Jewish institution, the Anti-Defamation League, or ADL.

As reported by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in December:

Anti-Semitic rhetoric in the United States has reached levels unprecedented since 1930s Germany, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt warned a gathering of Israeli lawmakers in Jerusalem on Monday.

“Anti-Semitism has wound its way into mainstream conversations in a manner that many Jews who lived through Nazi Germany find terrifying,” he said at the Knesset meeting, which was convened to discuss the plight of American Jewry under the incoming Trump administration.

(Note Haaretz’s inflammatory description, “the plight of American Jewry under the incoming Trump administration,” made six weeks before there was a Trump administration.)

Aside from fomenting hysteria about an almost nonexistent outbreak of anti-Semitism, all Greenblatt’s allusion to Nazi Germany did was diminish the evil of Nazism and the Holocaust.

In December, Greenblatt told NPR, “We found it so deeply problematic when some of the images and some of the rhetoric seemed to evoke longstanding anti-Semitic conspiracies.”

And Greenblatt repeated this charge in February in an op-ed he wrote for The Washington Post. He said:

Trump could have said he condemns anti-Semitism and takes incidents, such as the dozens of threats made to Jewish Community Centers, seriously. But instead, he lashed out against those asking the question. …

Last year, we watched as the Trump campaign repeatedly tweeted and shared anti-Semitic imagery and language, allowing this poison to move from the margins into the mainstream of the public conversation.

Well, guess what. It turned out that Trump was entirely right: There was no eruption of anti-Semitism in America, let alone one emanating from the White House. Furthermore, “those asking the question” did indeed deserve to be “lashed out” against.

And why aren’t we hearing any more about Trump-induced anti-Semitism in America?

Because law enforcement officials reported that a disturbed Israeli-American Jewish teenager in Israel was the source of nearly all the threats against Jewish community centers—and that a handful of other threats to them came from an angry, obsessive black radical trying to frame an ex-girlfriend.

Will any of those who spread the lie and hysteria about Trump-induced anti-Semitism now apologize?

I wrote the answer to that question about 35 years ago: “Being on the left means never have to say, ‘I’m sorry.'”

But the greatest lesson is this: Next time the left gets hysterical, just assume the hysteria is fraudulent. There has been no exception to this rule in my lifetime.

And that includes the hysteria about Trump campaign “collusion” with Russia.


2 Cases Threaten to Shut Down Public Prayer. Why the Supreme Court May Need to Act

Two federal appeals courts are considering whether elected leaders throughout the Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions must abandon the 200-year-old practice of opening local meetings with an invocation. Both cases could end up before the Supreme Court by Christmas time.

In one case, a self-described pagan sued the board of commissioners of Jackson County, Michigan, arguing that its tradition of beginning monthly board meetings with an invocation violates the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, the First Amendment provision disallowing government from establishing an official religion.

In 1983, the Supreme Court in Marsh v. Chambers examined Nebraska’s practice of employing a salaried Christian chaplain who offered the Legislature’s invocations for 16 years, and held that “legislative prayers” at policymaking-body meetings are constitutional.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone. Find out more >>

The court noted that the first Congress wrote the Establishment Clause in the same week it passed laws to create a House chaplain and Senate chaplain, whose public duties included offering invocations every day that Congress is in session.

Over the next three decades, some lower courts and academics speculated that Marsh might be a one-off exception to normal Establishment Clause rules. Some argued that invocations must be generic, and therefore mentioning Jesus Christ or making other sectarian references would be unconstitutional.

In 2014, the Supreme Court addressed this confusion by taking another case concerning a New York town where the invocations are offered by local volunteer clergy—all of whom were Christian.

In Town of Greece v. Galloway, the court held that these invocations, too, are constitutional, even if all the prayer-givers happen to be Christian and include sectarian content from a single faith.

But litigation persisted, now focusing on the identity of the prayer-givers.

Plaintiffs argued that invocations given by government officials are unconstitutionally coercive because they might imply that lawmakers will use their official powers against those who refuse to participate in the invocations.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit rejected that argument when a three-judge panel ruled 2-1 for the government in Lund v. Rowan County, North Carolina.

However, the Richmond-based appeals court reheard the case in March in a rare en banc proceeding in which all 15 judges participated. It is very possible the en banc court will invalidate Rowan County’s invocations in the next few weeks.

The opposite situation is currently unfolding in Michigan in the case of Bormuth v. County of Jackson.

There, a Clinton-appointed district judge upheld the county’s practice of allowing each of its nine commissioners to rotate having an opportunity to deliver an invocation, each according to his or her personal faith.

Because all nine commissioners are Christian, the plaintiff argues that the resulting Christian invocations violate the Establishment Clause.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit reversed the lower court’s ruling in a divided 2-1 decision, ruling that such practices are unconstitutional.

But on June 14, attorneys with First Liberty Institute will present arguments as all 15 judges of the Cincinnati-based appeals court rehear that case en banc.

It is very possible that by late this year, a “circuit split” situation could occur between en banc appeals courts.

If that happens, one or both of these cases will become prime candidates for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear in 2018 as a major religious liberty case.

Legislator-led invocations fall within a broad historical tradition going back to the founding of the republic. The Town of Greece decision made clear that the Establishment Clause must be interpreted consistently with what the framers of the Constitution understood to be establishing religion.

Because these invocations do not establish an official religion, as “establishment” has been historically understood, and because the invocations do not require or coerce anyone to participate, they are perfectly constitutional.

If the Supreme Court means to enforce its decision in Town of Greece that centuries-old prayer traditions do not violate the Establishment Clause, then these cases may be at the forefront of a fundamental restoration of religious liberty in America.


Think ... don't just groupthink

Inconsistent, irrational, illogical, downright silly -- and often with disastrous consequences. That just about sums up almost every idea being slavishly adopted by today's youth. When did we forget that maybe we should try 'think' rather than flow with populist rhetoric?

Multiculturalism is just one example of another cult-like idea championed by almost all young people across Western schools and universities around the world. Yet how many of those youth know what multiculturalism truly is in reality? Those who have seen the true results will know --Yugoslavia, Lebanon and Sri Lanka are perfect examples.

Yet its advocates maintain that diversity and equality of cultures is the quintessential nature of multiculturalism. But when was modern Western culture -- which is so often the focus of hate from its own youth -- not diverse?

Like most other cultures, we have borrowed aspects from others because that culture is more effective and efficient at performing a certain task. Take paper (Chinese), numbers (Arabic) or the thousands of foreign-sourced words in the English language (myriad countries).

That is why cultures evolved and developed throughout the centuries: because they interacted and learnt from each other. Western civilisation is not so strictly white and discriminatory as many multiculturalists claim -- it is made of influences from at least 100 cultures.

Of course there is never a case for discrimination. But there is no logical case to give other cultures priority over our own Western culture. If there were, we may as well revive Roman culture, Ottoman culture ... even Canaan culture.

There is always a clear distinction between what sounds good and what actually does good. Sadly this is ignored by the fad followers, who -- with their feeling of moral superiority as they 'save' the masses -- disregard reason and logic.



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

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

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


19 June, 2017

UK: Please stop exploiting the dead of Grenfell Tower

Some Labourites are using the Grenfell disaster to score political points

We don’t even know how many souls perished in the Grenfell Tower inferno, and yet already they are being marshalled to party-political ends. Already Labour-leaning commentators and campaigners are using them, using the freshly dead and the unspeakable horrors they experienced, to make milage for their party, to brand the Tories evil and Jeremy Corbyn saintly.

In the 20 years I’ve been writing about politics, I can’t remember a national tragedy being exploited for party-political gain so quickly. The time between a calamity occurring and the use of it to harm one’s political enemies and fortify one’s political allies is shrinking all the time. It’s now mere hours, minutes even, courtesy of social media. What has happened to us?

In the 24 hours since fire engulfed that tower in west London, the blame game has been intensifying. There’s a feverish hunt for the one person or the one thing – or the one attitude, primarily uncaring Toryism – that we might pin this horror on. The landlords didn’t care enough. Theresa May’s new chief-of-staff ‘sat on’ a report about tower-block safety. Tories, including rich Tories with double-barrelled surnames (awful creatures), voted against a proposed new system of fines for landlords who let down tenants. Boris Johnson, when he was mayor, made cuts to fire services. Even worse, during a debate about the cuts in the London Assembly he told a Labour rival to ‘get stuffed’. That detail is appearing everywhere, because the true aim here is not to work out what went wrong at Grenfell but to say: ‘Tory scum.’

Social media is awash with Tory-bashing. This party, May herself, is to blame. How? Why? Did they light the flames? Fan the flames? No, it’s because they do not care. They are wicked and they emit this wickedness. They ‘love money more than life’, tweeters say; they have unleashed the ‘horror of austerity’; they are still the ‘nasty party’ and their nastiness kills.

The speed and ease with which legitimate questions about what the managers of Grenfell allegedly failed to do have crossed the line into the blackening of certain Tories’ names, and the indictment of the entire culture of Toryism, suggests this is driven less by an instinct for thorough investigation than by an urge for retribution. There’s an old-world feel to it: something dreadful has happened and so we need someone, some thing, to punish for it, to project our grief on to, to transform into the human embodiment of this sin so that he or she might be cast out and our society cleansed.

This compulsion to blame is a central feature of 21st-century life. Every accident or awful thing that happens is followed by now almost instant demands for heads to roll. We seem incapable of accepting that sometimes horrendous experiences cannot easily be blamed on an individual or a group or a party. Like medieval communities who burnt witches when their crops failed – someone just had to be held morally responsible for the awful consequences of crop failure – today we point a collective or at least media finger at ‘uncaring’ individuals and institutions every time a tragedy occurs.

This is not to say there isn’t a discussion to be had about Grenfell. Of course there is, and a very serious one indeed. Specific issues, about the building’s cladding and its weak fire-alarm system, must be addressed. And far broader questions about the failures of house-building and the corresponding warping of the housing market, and how these things impact on house prices and on the moral value we accord to social-housing residents, must be asked too.

James Heartfield raises these broader questions on spiked today, and spiked will publish more on this next week. But the blame game, today’s sometimes hysterical retributive instinct, doesn’t address these issues or questions. In fact it can distract from them. Its preference for condemnation, for the collective chiding of evil individuals, for finding the person or thing we can all round on and get a kick from destroying, elevates the narcissistic moral needs of the media mob over serious analysis of Britain’s broad and complicated economic and social problems.

‘But the Grenfell disaster is political’, the people exploiting it cry, somewhat defensively. And they’re right. It is. Social housing and gentrification and the eco-approved application of cladding to tower blocks are political issues, or at least public issues, and we should talk about them. But these people aren’t treating Grenfell as political; they’re treating it as party political.

They’re using it to demean Toryism as evil, and big up Corbyn as the leader Britain needs right now. He cares, you see, unlike them. He is Good, they are Bad. This isn’t politics – this is a culture war, where the horrors experienced by the working classes of North Kensington are used to underpin the binary moralism of a Corbynista worldview of the right as wicked and the left as decent. They are building their political movement on the corpses of the poor, and no amount of radical-sounding lingo can cover up just how cynical, opportunistic and depraved that is.


Sharia UK: Two Arrested for Burning Qur’ans

Yes, 29 people were killed in recent jihad attacks, but…burnt Qur’ans!

The UK’s Mailonline reported the horrifying news Thursday: “Police have arrested two people on suspicion of racial hatred after a video appeared online showing a man burning a copy of the Koran.”

Well, that’s a relief. The British police are to be congratulated, and we all owe them a debt of gratitude, for getting riffraff like this off the streets and into jail where they belong, before more innocent Qur’ans are harmed. After all, twenty-two people were recently murdered in Manchester and seven in London by Islamic jihadis who were incited to violence by the Qur’an, but look! The “far-right” is just as much of a threat as the jihadis, as Britain’s “counter-extremism” Quilliam Foundation claims! Two Qur’ans were burned!

That’s what these arrests of Qur’an-burners are all about: shoring up that sagging narrative, and buttressing the claim that the racist, xenophobic “far-right” constitutes just as much of a threat to Britons as Islamic jihadis. A couple of charred copies of a book of which literally billions of copies exist next to twenty-nine dead is a sad exercise in moral equivalence, but it’s all the British authorities have to work with, and so they’re running with it.

Meanwhile, Sky News reported that in a raid of a safe house that the London jihad attackers used, “investigators found an English-language copy of the Koran opened at a page describing martyrdom.”

One might almost get the idea that the Qur’an had something to do with inciting the London jihad mass murderers to commit their great jihad, if we didn’t have learned imams such as British Prime Minister Theresa May to explain to us that jihad terror is a “perversion of Islam.”

In May’s view, which is, of course, the view of the entire British establishment, jihad terror has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam, and Muslims constitute a race different from that of non-Muslim Britons, such as to insult them – by, say, noticing that Islamic jihadis justify violence against Infidels by referring to clear texts of their holy book -- is to commit an act of “racial hatred.”

That’s what these Qur’an-burners were arrested for: “suspicion of racial hatred.” Is it “racial hatred” to burn a Bible in the UK? Why, of course not. Christians are not a special protected class in the UK; only Muslims are. Theresa May and her cohorts know that Christians will not leave their Bibles open to pages praising martyrdom and go off to kill as many of their countrymen as possible. May also knows that if someone burns a Bible, no Christians are likely even to care, much less to riot in the streets.

And that’s why May and the British political establishment have started their nation down the path of Sharia compliance, by arresting people for violating Sharia blasphemy law regarding the disposal of the Qur’an.

In reality, as opposed to the British legal system, is it “racial hatred” to burn a Qur’an? No. The Qur’an is not a race, and neither is Islam; there are Muslims of all races. This arrest is just another example of the British government’s exaggerated solicitude for Muslims, which stems from the false assumption that jihad violence is the result of the “marginalization” of Muslim communities.

The May government has staked the future of Britain on the idea that being nice to Muslims, and moving swiftly and strongly against violations of Sharia blasphemy laws such as the burning of Qur’ans, will end the jihad against Britain.

May’s government takes no notice at all of what the burned Qur’ans really signify: the frustration and anger of an increasing number of Britons at the political establishment’s supine response to the jihad threat. I am not in favor of burning books myself, and would prefer people read and understand what is in the Qur’an rather than burn it, but no one can miss the source of the burners’ frustration. And with these arrests, that frustration is only going to get worse.

This attempt to appease Muslims so as to prevent them from waging jihad will, of course, fail, as will May’s drastically weakened new government, and the entire British political class. The Sharia supremacism they have not only tolerated but encouraged will turn its full force upon its benefactors, and Britain will, before too very much longer, be awash in blood.


ESPN Host Says NFL Injects Politics ‘By Playing The National Anthem’

ESPN “First Take” co-host Max Kellerman said during Thursday morning’s show that the NFL injects politics “by playing the national anthem and putting pressure on you to stand for it.”

Kellerman made the statement during a segment that compared NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to world renowned boxer Muhammad Ali during a discussion with Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett.

Kellerman said that neither Ali nor Kaepernick went looking for a protest. The protest came looking for them.

“He was asked to stand for the national anthem,” Kellerman said. “You do not have to stand for the national anthem, and even if it was a rule that you did, is that Colin Kaepernick injecting politics into the NFL? No, that’s the NFL injecting politics.”

“I’m very patriotic. I stand for the national anthem proudly,” Kellerman added. “The reason I am patriotic is because you do not have to stand for the national anthem.”

Fellow “First Take” co-host Stephen A. Smith responded by discussing the public setting of the protest.

“Let’s be real about something here. There is such a thing as consequences … so you got to know what you’re sacrificing,” Smith said. “Muhammad Ali knew exactly what was going to happen to him. It appears that Colin Kaepernick did not know that.”

“If you’re Colin Kaepernick, what we have to point out is even though his intent may have been honorable because he wanted to bring attention to racial injustices and beyond taking place in this country the fact of the matter is it appears as if he had no plan,” Smith added. “And when you have no plan, there’s nothing to execute.”

Ali refused to fight in the Vietnam War because of his Muslim beliefs despite being drafted. He was arrested for committing a felony and stripped of his world title and boxing license, making him unable to box in his prime for several years. The Supreme Court eventually overturned the conviction.

Kaepernick did not stand during the national anthem for all of last season when he was a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said.

He is currently without a team.


Petition Calls For An End To ‘White Conservative Hiring Spree’ At MSNBC

A petition on CREDO Action is calling on NBC executives to stop their initiative to make the news outlet more “centrist.”

“Tell NBC executives: Stop the white conservative hiring spree at MSNBC,” the petition demands.

The only executive specified in the petition is Andrew Lack, the chairman of NBC and MSNBC. It claims that Lack “has a history of replacing Black on-air personalities wherever he goes,” citing a Huffington Post article that strongly insinuates that Lack has a racist streak.

The HuffPo article captions a photo with Lack, Brian Williams and Matt Lauer: “Not pictured: non-white people.” The story discusses Lack’s relationship with the MSNBC staff because of the “perception that Lack has eviscerated nonwhite talent.”

“This past spring, Lack reportedly asked a black senior producer if she could connect him with the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates,” the article reads.

“It was like Trump asking April Ryan to hook him up with the [Congressional Black Caucus],” one employee told HuffPost.

As for the petition, it identifies Nicole Wallace, George Will, Hugh Hewitt, Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren as “hard-line extreme conservatives,” and notes that Melissa Harris Perry, Alex Wagner, Touré Neblett, Dorian Warren, Michael Eric Dyson, Adam Howard, Jamil Smith, Jose Diaz-Balart and Tamron Hall have left the network.

It claims that “with Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, and Lawrence O’Donnell in the lead, MSNBC is beating FOX News in the ratings for the first time.”

Now for what ratings, the petition doesn’t specify. TV Newser provides a daily update on where outlets like Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and HLN rank on various different things, and the statistics change from day to day.

The scoreboard released on Tuesday show that Fox News had the most viewers for the entire day. As for the entire week of June 5, Fox News still had the most prime time viewership with 2,384,00. MSNBC fell behind with 1,862,000 viewers.

“Fox News was the most-watched basic cable network in total day for the 23rd consecutive week, and the most-watched basic cable network in prime time for the 3rd consecutive week, per Nielsen.”

But MSNBC has shown significant improvements in viewership, according to data collected from the first quarter of 2017, and it has topped cable news in the news demographic at various times recently.

“Fox News finished far and above its competition in the ratings for the first quarter of 2017, with the network putting up the highest-rated quarter ever in cable news history in the total day viewership measure… [and] despite finishing third, MSNBC definitely has reason to celebrate. The network grew its viewership by 55 percent in total day viewers and 40 percent in the key demo compared to quarter one of 2016.”

So the petition claim that MSNBC is beating Fox News in the ratings isn’t necessarily accurate.

The petition concludes “But the clear evidence of powerhouse ratings for progressives combined with sharp public pressure could make Lack reconsider his conservative approach, so we must speak out.”

It has received 178,047 of the requested 200,000 signatures, in addition to advertising assistance from actor Mark Ruffalo.


Some satire

How do feminists say the word "blueberry"?

Jerry Wang

The word blueberry is a very sensitive topic for feminists, just like most other things in the world.

Let’s split the question into two parts. Blue and berry.

The word blue has many negative connotations, especially regarding said fruit. Blue is usually seen as a colour for the male gender, however we cannot assume the gender of said object and it would be insulting if we called him a boy instead of Apache Helicopter, which it might identify as. Feminists strongly believe that the berry can identify as whatever it wants to, and by calling it a blueberry you might insult it if it identifies as green.

Likewise, they must be very careful with misgendering other berries as a strawberry can easily identify as a blueberry and strawberries deserve the utmost respect from society, according to feminists. They are very careful to ask the strawberry about its gender before consuming it.

Berry also forces the food into a specific genre of food while they can identify as another one. If the fruit was created as a berry but wanted to be a vegetable, then we must call it a bluevegetable. It it was a fruit, then it becomes a bluefruit. By using the word berry, we are inherently assuming the type of food of the blueberry without asking what it identifies as.

Therefore, since the word blueberry makes many assumptions about the fruit and generalizes all members into one species, feminists do not use this word.

Instead, they use the word rainbowfood to talk about blueberries because it neither assumes its colour or its genre of food.

Please, stop using blueberry. It is plainly just disrespectful to assume the characteristics of a blueberry without asking for its identifications.



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

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

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


18 June, 2017

Is feminism incompatible with romance?

I think it is and I think that is a great loss. I see feminism in very black hues. At it extremes it lapses into insanity. The definition of insanity (psychosis) is loss of reality contact and I know of few feminist beliefs that are in good contact with reality.

That can sometimes be shown by the conflict between their own beliefs -- conflicts which normally seem quite invisible to them. For instance they believe in equal pay for equal work and yet when they note that women overall earn less than men they regard that as unjust -- even though it is perfectly plain that -- for perfectly good reasons -- men and women do not do equal work. Their call for equal pay for equal work justifies the inequality in pay that they deplore.

And one could go on.

But I think that by far the saddest thing they promote is their inherent hostility to romance. It may seem strange for a sober old social scientist like me to be talking about romance but I note in possible mitigation that I have been married 4 times. There has to be either insanity or romance behind that but I will leave it to readers to decide which.

Mostly here I want to draw attention to romance in popular music and I think my purpose is well served by drawing attention to an evergreen pop song called "I will follow him". Its sentiments are everything that feminists anathematize. It is about as "patriarchal" as you can get. Its lyrics follow:


I love him, I love him, I love him
And where he goes I'll follow, I'll follow, I'll follow

I will follow him, follow him wherever he may go
There isn't an ocean too deep
A mountain so high it can keep me away

I must follow him (follow him), ever since he touched my hand I knew
That near him I always must be
And nothing can keep him from me
He is my destiny (destiny)

I love him, I love him, I love him
And where he goes I'll follow, I'll follow, I'll follow
He'll always be my true love, my true love, my true love
From now until forever, forever, forever

I will follow him (follow him), follow him wherever he may go
There isn't an ocean too deep
A mountain so high it can keep, keep me away
Away from my love (I love him, I love him, I love him)

I love…


Andre Rieu does a splendid version as follows:

Follow the whole thing through and watch the faces on both the singers and the audience. Have you ever seen so much happiness in one place? It is a song of ecstasy. Feminism is antagonistic to what is best in being human. To them the song is just propaganda but has any of their propaganda ever evoked any ecstasy at all? Not as far as I can tell. An ecstasy of hate maybe.

Now let me draw attention to one of the most popular bands in the history of pop music: Abba:

I have always rather wondered why I have never heard criticism of ABBA from feminists. Both "Mamma Mia" and "Waterloo" recount how a woman is captivated by a man that she cannot give up -- surely the reverse of the feminist gospel. And in "Money, Money", the female singer aspires to marry a rich man! And "Dancing Queen" is a simple little ballad about a teenager who loves dancing. Again not quite a feminist priority. So at least the best known ABBA songs seem quite conservative to me.

Something to remind you below. Don't ogle the beautiful blonde Agnetha too much.

If by some magic all the embittered feminists of the world could suddenly transform into normal women, the world would be a much happier place -- JR

UPDATE: It is always amusing when people half know things. It has been put to me that "I will follow him" is not a romance at all. It appeared in a 1992 movie about nuns called "Sister Act" and is in fact a devotional song.

That is true but it was ORIGINALLY a hit in 1963, sung by Little Peggy March and is a straight love song with no religious references. I actually remember when it was first a hit. I teased feminists with it then

Church of England chief backs 're-christenings' after sex changes: Officials risk furious backlash by introducing 'services of welcome'

The Church of England yesterday suggested it will offer transgender Christians ‘re-christenings’ with their new names.

Vicars cannot re-baptise those who have changed sex but could use existing ‘services of welcome’ to announce a new name before God, the most senior official said.

The advice is likely to be endorsed next month by the Church’s parliament, the General Synod.

It will ease pressure on Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby from liberals who want to see the church’s conservative rules on sex and marriage swept away. But it is likely to provoke a furious backlash among some traditionalists.

The CofE’s most senior official, Synod Secretary General William Nye, said in a paper sent to Synod members: ‘It is a fundamental belief of the Church that baptism can only be received once.

‘There is therefore no possibility of the Synod approving a form of service for the re-baptism of transgendered persons in their new gender who have already been baptised.’ But he said the CofE can have no objection if they want to have an ‘Affirmation of Baptismal Faith’ service in a new name.

He said: ‘This service refers to the fact that the individual has already been baptised, asks them to repeat their baptismal vows and re-affirm their faith. The focal point of this service is on the individual’s faith in Jesus Christ, rather than on the individual’s name or gender – regardless of whether or not it was different from when they were baptised.’

He added: ‘There is no legal or doctrinal difficulty about a baptised transgendered person re-affirming their baptismal vows using a name different from the Christian name given at baptism. A member of the Church of England may be known by, and use, different names from those given at baptism or confirmation provided that they do not do so for fraudulent or other similar purposes.’

Mr Nye said that the Synod meeting in York next month may ‘conclude that existing liturgical materials provided sufficient flexibility to meet this pastoral need’.

The affirmations would benefit senior bishops because the decision to carry out the service would be left in the hands of local priests. Bishops would not need to permit the service or take part.

The Synod is to debate a proposal from the Blackburn diocese which calls for liturgical material to mark a person’s gender transition. Diocesan priest the Rev Chris Newlands said the call came after a transsexual called George had been ‘wrestling with the spiritual dimension of what was happening to him’ as he was changing sex and ‘felt the need to reintroduce himself to God, with his new name and gender identity’.

The move follows humiliation for Archbishop Welby in February when his attempt to secure a compromise in the Church’s 30-year struggle over gay rights collapsed. Liberals did not accept a refusal to allow same-sex marriage while traditionalists rejected the idea that churches might say prayers to celebrate gay relationships.

Last year a parliamentary committee said all rules that might hinder people changing sex should be abolished.


Multiculturalism in Texas

A 23-year-old man who is awaiting trial for the rape and murder of two Texas women earlier this year is facing new charges of sexual assault in the rape of a third woman.

Reginald Kimbro was indicted on Wednesday in connection to a 2014 sexual assault at the Isla Grand Beach Resort on South Padre Island.

The unnamed victim says that she met Kimbro at the resort on March 21 of that year, and that at one point they started kissing.

According to a police report, Kimbro took the woman into a women's restroom and tried to have sex with her but she refused. So he choked her and raped her. She immediately called police, and Kimbro was arrested at the scene. A rape kit also found his semen inside of her.

However, prosecutors later dropped the charges when Kimbro claimed the sex was consensual.

Prosecutors changed course after his recent arrests, sending the case in front of a grand jury which ruled to press sexual assault charges.

Kimbro has been in Tarrant County Jail since April 24, when he was arrested for the sexual assault and murder of his ex-girlfriend Molly Matheson, 22, who was found dead in the shower of her home on April 10.

A month later, prosecutors accused him of murder in the death of another woman, 36-year-old Megan Leigh Getrum.

Kimbro admitted to police that he'd visited his ex-girlfriend on the evening of April 9, claiming that the two began to kiss, but said that she declined to have sex and he left the apartment around 1.30am on April 10, according to an arrest warrant affidavit reported by the Star-Telegram.

Police questioned Kimbro in the murder on April 14, and hours later, Getrum was murdered while hiking in the Arbor Hills Preserve in Plano. Her body was found on April 19 in Lake Ray Hubbard, about 30 miles away.

Prosecutors alleged that Kimbro raped and murdered Getrum by 'compressing her neck and dumping her in a lake, which resulted in lethal blunt force trauma and indications of drowning'.

DNA connects Kimbro to both sex assaults and murders.


The SPLC: Race-baiting hucksters or terrorist sponsors?

The Southern Poverty Law Center rakes in millions of dollars each year claiming to be a “watchdog” that “monitors” so-called “right-wing hate groups.” In reality, they’ve been sued for racially abusing what few black employees they ever hired, and their hate-filled rhetoric has been tied to two assassination attempts. In 2012 a SLPC supporter shot his way into the headquarters of the Family Research Council, after seeing an SPLC attack piece labeling the FRC a “hate group.” In reality, the FRC is largely nice little church ladies.

Now, the mass shooter who attempted to assassinate Republican Members of Congress has been linked to the nasty, racist, organization. Is it time for the FBI to infiltrate the SPLC like they did the KKK? – Editor

The Granny Warriors are a dangerous hate group. Just ask Mark Potok and his crack staff of investigators at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Just one problem. Try finding the Granny Warriors. There is a website with that name; a fashion blog of sorts that has not been updated since 2015. There is another one-page website that shows pictures of an RV with the name Granny Warriors on the side. When the Granny Warriors first appeared on Mark Potok’s list, CNN was able to find the woman who founded the group who at the time was 74, making a quilt and suffering from congestive heart failure.

The richest poverty group in history

What is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)? They fashion themselves as the protector of America from hate. They issue reports on “hate groups”, and occasionally sue one of them, usually those so poor they can’t muster a defense. And they have gotten fabulously wealthy doing it. Charlotte Allen, writing in the Weekly Standard, called it “the richest poverty organization in the history of the world.” The group is sitting on cash reserves of $350 million and raises upwards of $50 million every year, mostly from direct mail, making northern liberals believe we still live in a world where black men are lynched with impunity and KKK riders-in-the-night burn crosses and even houses.

There is obviously a large dollop of hucketerism in what SPLC does. Morris Dees, who founded SPLC in 1971, got rich long ago on direct mail selling “everything from doormats to cookbooks,” says Allen. Dees is even in the Direct Mail Hall of Fame. Like any good carnival barker, he must scare the rubes into the tent and shake the shekels out of their pockets. He does this by making them think the dark night of fascism is upon us at every moment. Hence, even Granny Warriors are a threat.

Skeptics to the right of them, skeptics to the left of them

There are many SPLC skeptics, certainly on the right, but many on the left as well. Leftist Alexander Cockburn went after Dees et al at Counterpunch saying they were taking advantage of Barack Obama’s election to frighten “trembling liberals” into thinking “millions of extremists [were] primed to march down Main Street draped in Klan robes, a copy of Mein Kampf tucked under one arm and a Bible under the other.” Left-leaning Harper’s ran a 2000 piece called The Church of Morris Dees” charging that most of those on the SPLC list were fringe groups that perpetrated no violence and that most of the examples of violence cited by SPLC were lone wolves associated with no groups whatsoever.

When SPLC’s new list came out in 2013, the one with Granny Warriors, no less than Foreign Policy Magazine asked, “is American really being overrun by right-wing militias.” That year, SPLC claimed to have identified an all-time high 1360 hate groups, up from 1007 the year before. Foreign Policy questioned SPLC’s motivations and their methodology. SPLC is not an “objective purveyor of data,” they reported. “They’re anti-hate activists….their research needs to be weighed more carefully by media outlets that cover their pronouncements.”

Foreign Policy charged SPLC with using tricks to drive up the numbers. They do this by not making a distinction between national groups and local chapters. American Third Position Party, for instance, something you have certainly never heard of, is listed 17 times in SPLC’s 2012 report. The American Nazi Party is listed six times and the Council of Conservative Citizens is listed 37 times. Foreign Policy says when you eliminate multiple listings, the 1007 groups in 2012 becomes 358.

And among the remaining 358 are a blog called Crocker Post, a website/podcast called The Political Cesspool, and an anti-Islam cite called Silver Bullet Bun Oil. Foreign Policy scoffs at the notion that these are “groups” at all.

‘Hate’ labeling is not harmless

The charges made by Mark Potok and his colleagues are far from harmless even if some of their targets are. Charles Murray was targeted as a hater by SPLC and this caused the now famous riot of students who attacked him and a Middlebury College professor who hosted him.

To this day, you can visit the downtown Washington DC offices of the Family Research Center and see the bullet holes left by Floyd Corkins who invaded the office 4 years ago with the intent of mass murder. He testified under oath that he decided to attack FRC based on Potok’s listing of FRC as a hate group. The attack came only months after the release of SPLC’s 2013 report.

Potok himself has said the intention of his group is not to simply monitor hate groups but to “destroy them.” Given the propensity of the left to resort to violence these days, this is of increasing concern to the other Christian groups who are in the crosshairs of Mark Potok and his chief “investigator” Heidi Beirich. It is reported the shooter of Congressman Steven Scalise on a ballfield in Northern Virginia had “liked” SPLC on Facebook.

SPLC’s campaign against the Center for Family and Human Rights

Of the many problems when considering SPLC’s hate list is how any group lands on the list. What is the criteria and methodology? How did the Granny Warriors land on Potok’s list? Frankly, it’s hard to tell.

The Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam), the group I run, landed on the list a few years ago. In the report issued at the time, SPLC accused us of having “lauded” Scott Lively. You would be forgiven for not knowing Lively’s name. Hardly anyone does. He runs a tiny organization with a miniscule budget. He’s an Evangelical pastor who has worked with Christian groups in Uganda against what Pope Francis has called “ideological colonialism.” The left says Lively is responsible for the Ugandan “kill the gays bill”, a charge that is laughable on its face. Nonetheless, how did we “laud” him? In a news story about a federal lawsuit brought against him by a group of Ugandan homosexuals, we described his ministry in Massachusetts of giving out coffee and bibles to homeless men. That makes us a hate group, according to SPLC.

The SPLC report also cited our legal work in Belize when there was a national debate about their sodomy laws. We were asked for our expert legal opinion on Belize’s obligations under international law regarding sodomy and informed them they were free to decide the issue on their own, that international law did not require them to change their laws. My group did not take a position for or against sodomy. We never have. Giving legal advice on international law makes you a hate group, according to SPLC.

The goal: ‘destroy them’ – with the help of the media

SPLC likes to portray itself as a neutral referee, merely involved in calling balls and strikes when it comes to “hate.” But in a 2008 speech, Mark Potok let slip the mask when he said, “Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate crimes and so on…I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, to completely destroy them.”

The problem here is that the media gives SPLC a free ride. Whenever my group is covered in the press, or FRC, or Alliance Defending Freedom, or American Family Association, or any of the many other conservative Christian groups, the report inevitably tags us “designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.” No reporter that I know of has ever done his own research to determine if this label fits or is fair. Consider also the word “designated”, as if SPLC is a governmental entity with the authority to determine such things.

The media is not the only group utilizing SPLC’s hate-labeling. So does Wikipedia. Every article in Wikipedia about a Christian group on the SPLC list also mentions their “designation” as a hate group. Keep in mind that Wikipedia is among the very first places anyone goes to research a group they are interested in.

Amazon is in on it, too. It does not allow “hate groups” to participate in its affinity “Smile” program whereby a piece of every purchase can be earmarked for a designated charity.

Within the past few weeks the non-profit monitor/reporter Guidestar has incorporated SPLC’s “designation” into its listing of charities. Guidestar is often the first stop for donors when considering a gift because it has complete tax information for every non-profit in the United States. So now, when you turn to the Guidestar page for Family Research Council, blazoned across the top is SPLC’s logo and the warning that FRC is a hate group. Stay away donors.

Suing the defenceless

Besides their hate list, one of SPLC’s specialties is suing small groups or individuals who barely have the wherewithal to defend themselves so when SPLC inevitably wins, they get to claim once more to have beaten back fascism. Even though they sit on a mountain of cash, they also get to ask their donors to fund the suit, which they almost certainly do.

Two years ago, SPLC sued Arthur Goldberg who then ran a New Jersey-based psychological referral service for those wishing to leave the homosexual life. SPLC sued under the New Jersey consumer fraud law accusing Goldberg of duping his clients with the bogus theory that they could stop acting out sexually with men. Goldberg was well-represented with pro-bono attorneys from California. At any one time, however, SPLC had 15 attorneys working on the case. To give you an idea of what Goldberg was up against, the judge wouldn’t even allow expert testimony on change therapy since he said it was a crackpot theory. Goldberg lost and now owes millions. SPLC now goes around with Goldberg’s scalp and extracts beaucoup bucks from grateful gays.

It is a neat trick to be able to label your political opponents “hate groups” and get the media and major corporations to go along, and to get rich doing it. The purpose, of course, is to silence free speech, to end debate, and in the words of SPLC’s Mark Potok “to completely destroy them.” Many are asking how this has any place in our modern political discourse.



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

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

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


16 June, 2015

An excellent result in Scotland

The real loser in the recent British general election was Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish National Party. They were routed. They lost 21 of their 56 seats at Westminster. The Scottish Conservatives won 12 of those seats.

Nicola Sturgeon is short of stature, married but childless. She is well to the Left of British politics. She is a former member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. The Scottish Tories are led by Ruth Davidson, a lesbian. British conservatives are supportive of homosexuality. Homosexual experience was traditionally common in British private schools.

It has been much noted that the Northern Irish handed government to the Conservatives, as the English Conservatives fell a little short of winning an overall majority. But it is equally true that the Scottish Conservatives handed overall control of the UK to the Conservatives by their votes.

Which is a considerable irony. Nicola Sturgeon is a hateful little bizzem, fanatically driven by her loathing for the English -- a common ailment in Scotland. But it was her poor campaign that delivered those 12 new Scottish seats to the Tories. She campaigned on a second independence referendum for Scotland whereas economic issues were the big drivers among the Scottish voters.

So her obsessive hatred of the English delivered up government to the hated English Conservatives. Most just. She will be widely reviled in Scotland as the woman who delivered government to the Conservatives -- JR

Secular Humanist Converted to Christianity by Atheist: Do Humans Matter or Not?

Find out how a famous atheist started a secular humanist on the road to faith in Jesus Christ.

Sarah Irving-Stonebraker was on the fast track to academic stardom. A native of Australia, Sarah had won the University Medal and a Commonwealth Scholarship to undertake her Ph.D. in History at King’s College, Cambridge.

Sarah’s secular humanist perspective fit right in at King’s, and her views of Christians—that they were anti-intellectual and self-righteous—seemingly were confirmed.

Yet, as she details in an eye-opening testimony from the Veritas Forum, a strange thing happened to Sarah inside her secular bubble. Somehow, the truth got in. After Cambridge, Sarah said she attended some lectures at Oxford by the atheist public intellectual and Princeton ethics professor Peter Singer.

Singer, as you probably know, has stirred worldwide controversy by advancing the notion that some forms of animal life have more worth than some human life. Singer doesn’t believe in God, and therefore he sees no basis for any intrinsic human dignity.

During the Oxford lectures, Singer asserted that nature provides no grounds for human equality, pointing to children who have lost their ability to reason through disability or illness. Sarah Irving-Stonebraker’s comfortable secularism was suddenly rocked.

“I remember leaving Singer’s lectures with a strange intellectual vertigo,” Sarah writes. “I began to realise that the implications of my atheism were incompatible with almost every value I held dear.”

A few months later, at a dinner for the International Society for the Study of Science and Religion, Andrew Briggs, a Professor of Nanomaterials and a Christian, asked Sarah a perfectly reasonable question: Do you believe in God? Again, Sarah was flummoxed, fumbling something about agnosticism. Briggs replied, “Do you really want to sit on the fence forever?”

“That question,” she now says, “made me realise that if issues about human value and ethics mattered to me, the response that perhaps there was a God, or perhaps there wasn’t, was unsatisfactory.”

Fast forward to Florida, where Sarah was conducting research. She began attending church as a seeker: And she was overwhelmed by Christians living out their faith: “feeding the homeless every week, running community centres, and housing and advocating for migrant farm laborers.”

And when she started reading the likes of Paul Tillich and Reinhold Niebuhr, she saw the intellectual depth and profundity of their Christian faith. Then this: “A friend gave me C.S. Lewis’s ‘Mere Christianity,’ and one night,” she wrote, “I knelt in my closet in my apartment and asked Jesus to save me, and to become the Lord of my life.”

Sarah’s journey from doubt to faith—which you can read in full by coming to our website and clicking on this commentary—reminds me a little of another formerly atheist denizen of Cambridge and Oxford—C.S. Lewis. Lewis saw the bleak implications of his worldview, stating, “Nearly all I loved I believed to be imaginary; nearly all that I believed to be real, I thought grim and meaningless.” And just like Sarah, Lewis had good, well-informed Christian friends and colleagues such as J.R.R. Tolkien to point a disillusioned atheist gently to Christ.

As Chuck Colson would say, while there are many good ways to share the good news with people, even scholars, one is to help them follow their worldview assumptions to their logical conclusion. The fact is, the grim, atheistic worldview simply can’t carry the weight of human significance on its bony shoulders.

Created in the awesome image of God, men and women know that life has a meaning beyond “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” People everywhere see the True, the Beautiful, and the Good and long to know their source. And, thank God, He has revealed Himself!


“My Hometown is Gone” – How an upstate NY town was given over to refugees

This article is heart breaking. I’m sure that many social justice warriors would disagree, on the grounds I’m being racist or anti-multi-cultural or whatever BS they can come up with to stoke the fires of their perpetual indignation but this story really made me think. When did the original residents get consulted before importing so many people from alien cultures?

Self-reliance is about more than prepping for a storm, it’s about prepping for whatever life can through at you. And we need to be ready for everything, including the occupation of of homes.

In this article, “My Hometown is Gone,” Loretta Brady, who describes herself as a Christian, American, Gen-X, Stayhome Mom, Attorney was raised in Utica, NY. She left for a while and returned. Her childhood was spent in the American Dream, a large Catholic family playing across yards with other families. Her family went “way back” and had been stalwarts of the community.

Fast forward to her return. Utica had always been “the city that loves refugees” but under Obama things accelerated. Muslim immigrants were suddenly in local bureaucratic positions where they had power over you. This, in what is probably one of the most corrupt states in the union, where the power of the state is everything. The Methodist Church had become a mosque (photo).

In a personal example Loretta describes the day she made a mistake that got her arrested. She had popped into a drugstore leaving her kids in the car. Utica is near the Canadian border so not very hot, and certainly it was something her parents had done with her and she’d never stopped to think about. She was reported and arrested. The process was conducted by local officials. Her words:

So let me just summarize: the social worker at the school is Muslim, the administrator who ok’s homeschooling is Muslim, the CPS worker is Muslim, the nurse practitioner at the ER is Muslim, the doctor at the ER is Muslim. These are positions of authority that wield a lot of power.
Go here and read her whole story. See how she couldn’t get food stamps but the refugees could, see how housing went first to refugees, see how these groups would not integrate with the community. And read how Loretta wept when she moved to North Carolina and went to a Walmart full of — Americans.

This story of how a faded town is being sold out in order to fulfill the Liberal ambition of destroying Western civilization, and change America for ever will really make you think.

Please leave a Comment if you have personal experience of a town like this.


Muslim values at work

Two brothers who kept their mother and sister as slaves and forced them to wash in a small bucket of water have been put behind bars for more than two years.

Faisal Hussein, 25, and Arbaaz Ahmed, 19, told their family members they were not allowed to turn on the taps at the property in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

During the 'appalling and disgraceful' 18-month period of abuse, the two women were given £1 a month to spend on essential sanitary products.

A judge at Bradford Crown Court said the violent assault on their 30-year-old sister was 'almost unimaginable to any decent human being.'

The brothers used the buckle of a belt, a wooden spoon and a shoe during the sustained and repeated assault on their sister.

The judge added that to treat another human in that way was unforgivable, more so because it was their sister and mother.

He said the mother and the sister 'were essentially your slaves' and the assault on their sister involved 'absolutely appalling violence'.

Hussein and Ahmed, both of Bradford, admitted assaulting their sister Ruhee Hussein on May 16 this year.

The pair also admitted using controlling and coercive behaviour on her and their mother, Nasara Hussein, 53, between January 1, 2016 and May 16, 2017.

Judge Jonathan Rose said: 'It culminated in a violent assault upon your own sister which is almost unimaginable to any decent human being.'

On the day of the assault, Ruhee felt unwell but was made to clean the bathroom and was not allowed any breakfast, the court heard. She was then ordered into the living room, where both brothers slapped her head, face and ear.

Ahmed armed himself with a metal-buckled belt, wrapped it round his hand and struck his sister with the buckle. He hit her so hard with a wooden spoon that it broke. Hussein struck her with her own shoe.

Ahmed kicked his sister to the floor, where they continued to punch and slap her. She suffered excruciating pain and felt as if she was going to die. She was thrown out of the house and was seen in a distressed state by a member of the public who contacted police.

Ahmed's barrister, Nick Worsley, said the teenager had witnessed similar contact between his father and female members of the family, which may have made it appear acceptable to behave in such a way.

He would do anything to make up for his mistakes and promised to do nothing like it again.

Andrea Parnham, representing Hussein, said he was utterly ashamed and sorry for what he had done.

Hussein was jailed for 32 months and Ahmed was sentenced to the same time in youth custody.

Both were made subject of a five-year restraining order prohibiting them from contacting the complainants.



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

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

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


15 June, 2017

The DUP is not an anomaly in Ireland

The DUP is a conservative Protestant party in N. Ireland founded by the Rev. Ian Paisley. Many American Christian conservatives would relate to it. Now that they have become a vital support for the Conservative British government, much incredulity has been expressed about their social policies. But their conservative views on marriage, abortion, homosexuality, etc are not unique to them in Ireland

In the interests of fairness, and for those who are new to Northern Irish politics, it is important to note that the DUP do not represent the views of all Unionists and certainly not the views of all the of people of Northern Ireland. I know many reasonable, compassionate, open-minded Unionists doing great work to better cross-community relations, attempting to drag Northern Ireland out of the dark ages in terms of LGBTQ rights and women’s rights, and who are passionate supporters of protections for minority indigenous languages including Irish aka Gaeilge as well as Ulster Scots. I am proud to have worked with them on various projects and to call them friends.

On the other side of the coin, the closer one looks at the DUP, the more obvious it becomes that they cannot be seen simply as a Unionist counterpart to the Nationalist/Republican parties. Although opposite the DUP with regard to the constitutional question, they are not necessarily always so in terms of being socially progressive. For example, while the main Nationalist/Republican parties do favour marriage equality, the SDLP for example, hold exactly the same highly restrictive views on abortion as the DUP. Sinn Féin’s policy on a woman’s right to choose is marginally better allowing for abortion but only in the often difficult, if not downright impossible, to prove cases of sexual crime, life of the mother including suicide risk, and more recently, in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities. They have also criticised criminal prosecution based on abortion and have suggested that such prosecution should not be brought against individuals procuring or facilitating abortions. Bottom line, politics in Northern Ireland is not black and white, nor is it simply orange and green, and cannot be easily understood based solely on a given party’s stance on the constitutional question; you must dig deeper in order to fully understand.


Rewriting American History

Walter E. Williams

George Orwell said, "The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history." In the former USSR, censorship, rewriting of history and eliminating undesirable people became part of Soviets' effort to ensure that the correct ideological and political spin was put on their history. Deviation from official propaganda was punished by confinement in labor camps and execution.

Today there are efforts to rewrite history in the U.S., albeit the punishment is not so draconian as that in the Soviet Union. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu had a Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee monument removed last month. Former Memphis Mayor A C Wharton wanted the statue of Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, as well as the graves of Forrest and his wife, removed from the city park. In Richmond, Virginia, there have been calls for the removal of the Monument Avenue statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Gens. Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart. It's not only Confederate statues that have come under attack. Just by having the name of a Confederate, such as J.E.B. Stuart High School in Falls Church, Virginia, brings up calls for a name change. These history rewriters have enjoyed nearly total success in getting the Confederate flag removed from state capitol grounds and other public places.

Slavery is an undeniable fact of our history. The costly war fought to end it is also a part of the nation's history. Neither will go away through cultural cleansing. Removing statues of Confederates and renaming buildings are just a small part of the true agenda of America's leftists. Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, and there's a monument that bears his name — the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. George Washington also owned slaves, and there's a monument to him, as well — the Washington Monument in Washington. Will the people who call for removal of statues in New Orleans and Richmond also call for the removal of the Washington, D.C., monuments honoring slaveholders Jefferson and Washington? Will the people demanding a change in the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School also demand that the name of the nation's capital be changed?

These leftists might demand that the name of my place of work — George Mason University — be changed. Even though Mason was the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which became a part of our Constitution's Bill of Rights, he owned slaves. Not too far from my university is James Madison University. Will its name be changed? Even though Madison is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution," he did own slaves.

Rewriting American history is going to be challenging. Just imagine the task of purifying the nation's currency. Slave owner George Washington's picture graces the $1 bill. Slave owner Thomas Jefferson's picture is on the $2 bill. Slave-owning Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's picture is on our $50 bill. Benjamin Franklin's picture is on the $100 bill.

The challenges of rewriting American history are endless, going beyond relatively trivial challenges such as finding new pictures for our currency. At least half of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were slave owners. Also consider that roughly half of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia were slave owners. Do those facts invalidate the U.S. Constitution, and would the history rewriters want us to convene a new convention to purge and purify our Constitution?

The job of tyrants and busybodies is never done. When they accomplish one goal, they move their agenda to something else. If we Americans give them an inch, they'll take a yard. So I say, don't give them an inch in the first place. The hate-America types use every tool at their disposal to achieve their agenda of discrediting and demeaning our history. Our history of slavery is simply a convenient tool to further their cause.


Media BLACKOUT: The one thing NO ONE is reporting about the anti-Islam protests this weekend

It's a question we've posed on these pages often: can the progressive socialist left be trusted to safeguard America, and its system of governance? Our own Matt Palumbo has written an exceptional exegesis called "A Paradoxical Alliance," An Anglo-American Analysis of the Left's Love Affair with Islam" and his literary endeavor could not be any more appropriate for our times; necessary reading. This past Saturday the progressive socialist left was out in full force demonstrating why they find comfort in aligning with the Islamo-fascists.

As reported by Fox News, "Demonstrators around the country rallied to protest Islamic law, saying it is incompatible with Western democracy. But many of the rallies drew even more raucous counter-protests by people who called such fears unfounded.

The demonstrations were held in more than two dozen U.S. cities, including Seattle, New York and Chicago. Hundreds of counter-protesters marched through downtown Seattle behind a large sign saying "Seattle stands with our Muslim neighbors." They marched to City Hall, where dozens of anti-Sharia protesters rallied. Police used tear gas to disperse rowdy demonstrators and arrested three people. In front of the Trump building in downtown Chicago, about 30 people demonstrated against Islamic law and in favor of President Donald Trump, shouting slogans and holding signs that read "Ban Sharia" and "Sharia abuses women."

About twice as many counter-protesters marshaled across the street. A similar scene played out in a park near a New York courthouse, where counter-protesters sounded air-horns and banged pots and pans in an effort to silence an anti-Sharia rally. In St. Paul, Minnesota, state troopers arrested about a half-dozen people when scuffles broke out at the close of competing demonstrations at the state Capitol. "The theme of today is drowning out racism," said New York counter-protester Tony Murphy, standing next to demonstrators with colorful earplugs. "The more racists get a platform, the more people get attacked."

First of all, I am just shaking my head over the ignorant statement by Tony Murphy - he earns chucklehead status. How can it be racist to protest against a code that discriminates against women and gays? I guess this is what truly disturbs me about the progressive socialist left - they're so horribly uninformed yet they masquerade about as being knowledgeable.

I personally know Ms. Brigitte Gabriel and have read her books. My wife Angela and I are supporters of her organization, ACT for America. And if these leftists were to read Ms. Gabriel's story, perhaps they'd have a different perspective on her - then again probably not. Brigitte has seen the effects of Islamic jihadism up close and personal, having her home destroyed and living in an underground bunker for years as Hezbollah and other Islamic terror groups laid waste to her homeland of Lebanon. She is a Christian, and is very familiar with what Sharia Law means for Christians, which that can hardly be debated based on what we've seen throughout history. How perplexing that the progressive socialist left has embraced one Linda Sarsour, organizer of the post-inaugural Women's March, who spoke about inflicting genital mutilation against Brigitte Gabriel. Yep, that's certainly something we want to embrace, huh?

One can only deduce that the western progressive socialist left, for whatever reason, finds unity, a special bond, with Islamo-fascism. The left fails to possess the intellectual capability to discern what has masqueraded as a religion yet is actually a theocratic-political totalitarian ideology, advanced using the code of Islamic Sharia law. How does the left explain the Sharia zones in Western Europe and the resulting drastic and grave consequences?

And if the left were intellectually honest - which is a far stretch - they cannot argue that Sharia law is compatible with the principles and values of our Constitutional Republic. Just imagine, this is "Pride Month" and over the weekend there was a Pride March in Washington DC. Ever heard of a Gay Pride parade in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan...I think you get my point. Yet, in California yesterday there was a grand Gay Pride "Resist Trump" march...Planned Parenthood also participated.

Funny, we have a group in America whose raison d'être is killing babies. Mark Steyn wrote in his book "America Alone" of the demographic shift in Europe due to the decreased birth rate of Europeans as opposed to Muslim immigrants. The latter, as we know, are not assimilating but demanding Sharia law and courts...and the stuck on stupid leftists in Europe have granted such...of course climate change is a greater threat. In the UK, far left socialist Jeremy Corbin has made lovely kind overtures towards groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. And there can be no doubt that UK Prime Minister Theresa May suffered an electoral setback due to her Islamist leaning policies when she was Home Secretary, allowing the infiltration of Sharia supporting jihadists, to the tune of 23,000 now.

It appears that the progressive socialist left finds more comfort standing with Islamo-fascists, because after all they share the same political adversaries. Liberal progressives on the left would rather align with anyone aiding them in defeating constitutional conservatives; they choose islamo-fascists such as those with the Council for American Islamic Relations. The left leans towards radical secular humanism that denigrates, demeans, and disparages the Christian faith and seeks to relegate it to a non public existence. Well, we know how Islamists who advocate for Sharia law feel about Christians.

The progressive socialist left is where we find the most anti-Israel sentiment, especially with this recent BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions) movement. The left is aligned with the Palestinian movement, which focuses on undermining Israel's existence, and Hamas flatly calls for Jewish death and destruction. The left and Islamists both rant about "tolerance" but we all know it only means a tolerance of that which they approve. The progressive socialist left does not embrace an ideal of individual freedom and liberty, they prefer collectivism. And the Islamo-fascist jihadists who prefer Sharia law follow suit as the Ummah has no regard for individualism, as they separate the world into Dar-al-Harb and Dar-al-Islam. Am I the only one who is confused by the progressive socialist left that decries women's rights...but this past weekend they were out marching in support of a totalitarian ideology, a code of law, that denies women basic rights?

I wonder how many of the counter anti-Sharia protesters, such as ol' Tony Murphy, have ever read the Muslim Brotherhood's Explanatory Memorandum? In that document, the Muslim Brotherhood, who advocates for Sharia law, outlines how they will conduct a "civilizational jihad" in America. And how peculiar that the poster child for the progressive socialist left, Barack Obama, requested members of the Muslim Brotherhood to be seated front and center when he spoke at Cairo University back in April 2009.

I began this missive asking a question, if the progressive socialist left can be entrusted to safeguard our nation? It was a rhetorical question but the answer is an obvious no. The left is maniacal right now because they demand power and subjugation. Islamo-fascists demand conversion, subjugation, or death - those options emanate from the letter Mohammed wrote to Byzantine Emperor Heraclius. And we know that Mohammed represents the "perfect man," but his actions and traditions are not perfect for a western liberal democracy, certainly not consistent with our Constitution.

Yet, the progressive socialist left thinks it [Sharia law] is ok, and any contrary perspective or discussion will only bring their angst, and yes, their violence, as there were some counter-protesters arrested this weekend. Funny, the progressive socialist left and Islamo-fascists seem to believe that confrontation, coercion, intimidation and violence are the only ways to advance their beliefs. This is why they find themselves in alliance. This is why we have little progressive socialists running around in black with faces covered, resembling Islamic jihadists, burning cars and damaging vehicles, threatening peaceful supporters they see as the enemy.

This is why, perhaps, along with Sharia law, there is no place in America for progressive socialism.


Melbourne Member of Parliament accuses judges of 'standing in the corner of terrorists'

This is a lively issue at the moment with overheated claims by some that the politician should be prosecuted for what he said. So the Law Council has emailed out a comment on the matter which begins as follows:

The Law Council, speaking on behalf of the Australian legal profession, is calling for an end to political attacks on the judiciary, especially in cases where they might be perceived to interfere with matters currently before the courts.

Law Council of Australia President, Fiona McLeod SC, said recent comments from Government MPs referring to "ideological experiments" supposedly being carried out by the judicial system were gravely concerning.

“It is inappropriate to suggest that judges decide their cases on anything other than the law and the facts presented to them by the parties,” Ms McLeod said.

“Attacking the independence of the judiciary does not make Australia safer, in fact it erodes public confidence in the courts and undermines the rule of law.

“It is Australia's robust adherence to the rule of law that has underpinned this nation's status as one of the most peaceful, harmonious, and secure places in the world.”

Ms McLeod said the Law Council has particular concerns about comments made in the media today by Government MPs about a terror-related case currently before the courts in Victoria.

Fiona McLeod

Fiona might do well to look at the CAUSES of disrespect for the judiciary. Almost the whole of Australia would find leniency for terrorists obnoxious so it is about time that the judiciary responded to that. They have plenty of leeway in their sentencing options to enable that. And the right to criticize judges is democracy at work too.

If Fiona wants to end "political attacks" on judges, let her urge the judges concerned to come down from their ivory towers. Let her urge them to have discussions with the family members of those who have been killed at random by Jihadis

I am afraid that to me Fiona just sounds like another mentally isolated Leftist twit. She would probably have done better to keep her mouth shut. She herself is provoking disrespect for the judiciary

A federal Liberal MP has launched an extraordinary attack on Victoria's Chief Justice and her judges, accusing them of 'standing in the corner of terrorists'.

The state's top judge Marilyn Warren is under fire following a controversial sentence for a teenager who had plotted to behead a police officer on Anzac Day.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is appealing the Victorian Supreme Court's seven-and-a-half year non-parole jail term imposed last year on Sevet Ramadan Besim.

The 19-year-old criminal had plotted to cut off a police officer's head in 2015.

Melbourne-based Liberal MP Michael Sukkar, who is also Assistant Treasurer, said judges needed to be called out for soft sentences when it came to terrorists.

'As far as I’m concerned, we need to be asserting as much pressure as we can on lawmakers and calling out judges who seemingly are standing in the corner of the terrorists and not in the corner of our society and the victims,' he told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Tuesday.

The conservative Liberal PARTY MP, who studied law, clarified his comments to say judges cared more about the welfare of terrorists than the public. 'Seemingly, more interested in their rehabilitation than in the safety and security of our society,' Mr Sukkar said.

'There are multiple numbers of cases where you’ve got people who are planning the most heinous acts and the only reason they’re stopped is because we’ve got amazing law enforcement agencies that stop them from happening.'

He added that as the chairman of the parliamentary Intelligence and Security committee, he believed 'the prospects of rehabilitation, particularly for Islamic terrorists is extraordinarily low'.

Last year, Besim pleaded guilty to an act in preparation of planning a terrorist attack, which would involve running down and beheading a police officer, an offence that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.



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

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

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


14 June, 2017

Australia: Rough old feminist broad wants more imperial honours for women

Rather amusing to see a radical feminist arguing for the relevance of imperial honours. Few Australian Leftists would. Though it is rare for anyone to refuse a gong.

But her basic argument is the same as Hitler's. Hitler was in fact more reserved. He only thought that Jews were unfairly privileged whereas Jenna Price thinks that men in general are unfairly privileged.

What Hitler overlooked is that Jews had earned their eminence in Germany by hard work and superior brains. What Ms Price overlooks is that it is difficult to achieve eminence in any field while you are at home minding babies. I am all in favour of women staying at home minding babies and I think they should be honoured for it. They once were until feminists began deriding them and calling them "breeders".

But however you cut it, women are just not in large numbers in occupations that are likely to generate especial honour. Some are but they are simply not there are often as men are. And the imperial awards reflect that. The demand from Ms Price that women be at least equally represented in the awards is then procrustean. It seeks to impose an un-natural equality or a pretence at equality that is just not there in the real world. Procrustes would gladly have taken her as his wife.

But her demand is of course just another iteration of the manic and incessant Leftist demand for equality in all things -- an equality that has never existed, does not exist and never will exist.

I have written at greater length about Ms Price here

Once again the honours list has failed Australian women.

This cannot continue. It's a complete dishonour to the thousands of women across Australia who deserve to be recognised at the highest level.

The awards announced on Monday will show that the percentage going to women has sunk even lower than the five-year average, already an embarrassingly low 31 per cent. In the general division of the Order of Australia, it's 467 males and 206 females. Just 30 per cent women.

That said, there's no choice but to entirely recast the Council for the Order of Australia. If the organisation that oversees the awarding of honours to Australians can't get anything close to a semblance of Australia in those who receive these awards, the entire leadership needs to go. It must be replaced by people who are agents of change.

It needs to meet the government targets for 50 per cent of women on government boards. Of the 18 councillors, four are women. Of the four women, one, Elizabeth Kelly, comes from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Two others are state reps. And community rep and former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, who must be losing her mind at the slow rate of change.

So why is this organisation failing? Here are some answers.

Chairman? Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston. Secretary? Mark Fraser. Official secretary to the Governor-General. Ex-officio representatives? Senator George Brandis. Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin.

All decent people but from worlds dominated by men. The military. The Liberal Party. None famous for equality. How is it possible to reshape this reflection of Australian spirit if all you see reflected is the people with whom you grew up, with whom you went to school; and now work alongside?


Queer Choirmaster Case a Major Test of Religious Liberty

Colin Collette led worship at the Holy Family Catholic Community for 17 years, but his personal life wasn’t exactly in harmony with the church’s teachings. Three years ago, when Collette announced his same-sex engagement, leaders at Holy Family had no choice but to let the music director go.

It was a difficult decision, especially for someone who’d been a part of the parish for so long. Still, Cardinal Francis George said in a statement, Colin was participating “in a form of union that cannot be recognized as a sacrament by the Church.” Hurt and angry, Collette sued the Archdiocese of Chicago for his job back, arguing that he deserved equal rights in the workplace. But this is, as the Supreme Court has pointed out, no ordinary workplace. It’s a church, where members — and more importantly, ministers — are guided by specific moral beliefs.

The reality is, Collette was treated the same way as a heterosexual would have been for entering a “non-sacramental marriage.” In the end, the conflict between Collette’s personal and professional life doesn’t just hurt Colin, it hurts the church’s witness. As the Catholic Church’s synod of bishops has said, “We need to acknowledge the great variety of family situations that can offer a certain stability, but de facto or same-sex unions, for example, may not simply be equated with marriage. No union that is temporary or closed to the transmission of life can ensure the future of society.”

When the case went to court in April, Judge Charles Kocoras didn’t have to deliberate long. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Hosanna-Tabor made it clear that it’s the “right of religious organizations to control their internal affairs.” In fact, as Chief Justice Roberts wrote, meddling in the church’s business “intrudes upon more than a mere employment decision. Such action interferes with the internal governance of the church, depriving the church of control over the selection of those who will personify its beliefs.”

Here, Kocoras wrote, “the evidence is overwhelming that Collette’s positions at the Parish were critical to the spiritual and pastoral mission of the church Defendants argue that Collette’s position as Director of Music made him a key ministerial employee of the Parish. We agree. As the Seventh Circuit noted in Tomic v. Catholic Diocese of Peoria, ‘Music is a vital means of expressing and celebrating those beliefs which a religious community holds most sacred.’ By playing music at church services, Collette served an integral role in the celebration of mass. Collette’s musical performances furthered the mission of the church and helped convey its message to the congregants. Therefore, Collette’s duties as Musical Director fall within the ministerial exception.”

For religious liberty, it may be one of the most important cases the media isn’t talking about. Above all, it reminds the government that that the First Amendment wasn’t meant to protect the government from religion, but to protect religion from government.

FRC’s Travis Weber cheered the ruling, which follows on the heels of SCOTUS’s church-affiliated hospital decision earlier this month. Travis thinks Kocoras’s opinion is just as significant. “The principle that government should not interfere in religious organizations’ internal decision making has long existed in our law — for good reason. When a religious organization decides how its faith impacts its practice, it’s exercising this long-held freedom of autonomy, which is the oxygen of our free society. This freedom is something we must guard very carefully, as it is necessary for our country to continue to thrive.”


LGBT Pride Parade Turns Away Gay Trump Supporters

Giving clear evidence of its ideological underpinnings

Gay pride parades are generally celebratory affairs, but they've also almost always had a political side too. "I'm here and want to have fun!" had an inherent political edge to it when the right to be openly gay or transgender was still being litigated in courts of both law and public opinion.

The right to be gay is all but settled as a legal matter these days, and transgender acceptance has been dramatically increasing. One might expect, then, that the pride parades of summer might start to grow less political and more like other cultural celebrations.

Apparently not. LGBT leaders' opposition to President Donald Trump has made the parades more political. In at least one case, parade organizers have rejected a float. Even though Brian Talbert is gay, the organizers of Charlotte, North Carolina's pride event have told him he can't participate with a float touting his support for Trump.

Talbert's story is picking up national attention. From The Washington Post:

Reached by email, Charlotte Pride released a statement saying the organization "reserves the right to decline participation" at events to groups that do not reflect the mission and values of the organization.

The statement said that policy is acknowledged in its parade rules and regulations, and noted that in the past, organizers have made "similar decisions" to decline participation from "other organizations espousing anti-LGBTQ religious or public policy stances."

"Charlotte Pride envisions a world in which LGBTQ people are affirmed, respected, and included in the full social and civic life of their local communities, free from fear of any discrimination, rejection, and prejudice," the statement added.

But Trump has notably not espoused antigay policy stances and has, in fact, resisted efforts to do so within his administration. So far, Trump is probably the most LGBT-friendly Republican president we've had.

That doesn't mean that Trump supports the same policies that progressive LGBT leaders would like. That's really the crux of the problem: Trump's administration doesn't want to use the federal government to advance anti-discrimination policies that cover LGBT people. His Department of Justice has withdrawn federal guidance ordering public schools to accommodate transgender students' gender choices for bathrooms and other facilities.

Put in historical context, that's a relatively mild decision, though it must feel awful for transgender students who are affected (and ultimately it may be decided by the courts, not Trump's administration, anyway). Despite LGBT activists' fears, the administration is not scaling back executive orders forbidding government contractors from engaging in LGBT discrimination. Life is still improving for LGBT people.

The Los Angeles pride parade and festival is this weekend, but apparently it's no longer the same pride parade people are used to. It's been transformed into an anti-Trump "resistance" march, under the odd and incorrect assumption that being part of the LGBT community inherently requires you to embrace of a host of political positions. New York, Austin, Seattle, and D.C. are joining them. L.A. Weekly quotes one of the march organizers:

"#ResistMarch was built around the concept of standing in solidarity for all human rights," explains Brian Pendleton, a CSW board member. "The march is meant to be a celebration of humanity that is all part and parcel of the LGBTQ community. We are immigrants, we are women, we are seniors, we are communities of color, and on and on. Very few communities encompass so many different types of Americans."

That's true. But it also means the community encompasses Trump voters and other types of conservatives. Even here in the extremely liberal city of Los Angeles, I know at least one gay Trump supporter. What Pendleton is promoting isn't a celebration of humanity. It's a policing of political values. It's remarkable that parades that have revolved around an insistence that LGBT people should be allowed to participate in society and be public about who they are wants to excluding participant for their political affiliations.

This isn't ultimately about Trump himself; it's about the inability or unwillingness of people with highly different political interests to engage with each other. It's easier to cast gay Trump voters out of the movement than to engage with them over the fundamental philosophical differences that divide them. (My Trump-supporting gay acquaintance moved to L.A. from a Rust Belt state, and that no doubt influenced his vote.) There's nothing about being gay or transgender that requires support of unrelated policy positions on everything from immigration to abortion, and I say this as somebody who identifies more frequently with the left on those two issues. Making the parades into anti-Trump rallies tells tens of thousands of LGBT people that this festival that's supposed to be about them is actually deliberately excluding and opposing them.

Talbert has said he's going to sue Charlotte Pride for discrimination, which is also a terrible response. Charlotte Pride should be allowed to include or exclude any participants it wants. It's their parade. And there's already a Supreme Court decision that affirms that parade organizers have the right to exclude participants with messages they do not support.

But Charlotte Pride's organizers should remember something. That Supreme Court case was about a very long fight by LGBT groups to be included in St. Patrick's Day parades. And they're only just now, in this decade, convincing the Catholic organizers of those events to allow them in. To turn around and treat another group of gay people the same way is pretty terrible. Let them into the parade. Let the audience boo them, support them, or ignore them, and then move on. It shouldn't be a big deal.


UK attacks have UN planning global control of Internet

After London’s most recent terror attacks, British Prime Minister Theresa May called on countries to collaborate on internet regulation to prevent terrorism planning online. May criticized online spaces that allow such ideas to breed, and the companies that host them.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has said it is time to say ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to tackling terrorism.

May did not identify any companies by name, but she could have been referring to the likes of Google, Twitter and Facebook. In the past, British lawmakers have said these companies offer terrorism a platform. She also might have been referring to smaller companies, like the developers of apps like Telegram, Signal and Wickr, which are favored by terrorist groups. These apps offer encrypted messaging services that allow users to hide communications.

May is not alone in being concerned about attacks on citizens. After her comments on Sunday, U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to work with allies and do whatever it takes to stop the spread of terrorism. He did not, however, specifically mention internet regulation.

Internet companies and other commentators, however, have pushed back against the suggestion that more government regulation is needed, saying weakening everyone’s encryption poses different public dangers. Many have also questioned whether some regulation, like banning encryption, is possible at all.

Because the internet is geographically borderless, nearly any message can have a global audience. Questions about online regulation have persisted for years, especially regarding harmful information. As a law professor who studies the impact of the internet on society, I believe the goal of international collaboration is incredibly complicated, given global history.
Some control is possible

While no one country has control over the internet, it is a common misconception that the internet cannot be regulated. In fact, individual countries can and do exert significant control over the internet within their own borders.

In 2012, for example, the Bashar al-Assad regime shut down the internet for all of Syria. According to Akamai Technologies, an internet monitoring company, the country went entirely offline on Nov. 29, 2012. The internet blackout lasted roughly three days.

China aggressively blocks access to more than 18,000 websites, including Facebook, Google, The New York Times and YouTube. While there are some limited workarounds, the Chinese government regularly targets and eliminates them.

French courts have prohibited the display and sale of Nazi materials online in France by Yahoo’s online auction service. After losing a legal case, Yahoo banned the sale of Nazi memorabilia from its website worldwide, though it denied that the move was in direct response to the court ruling.

Even in the United States, local governments have shut down mobile data and cellphone service during protests. In addition, the United States reportedly either is developing or has developed its own internet “kill switch” for times of national crisis.

International collaboration

These types of regulation efforts aren’t limited to individual governments. Groups of countries have successfully collaborated to pursue common goals online.

The Global Privacy Enforcement Network, for example, is a network of representatives from nearly 50 countries including the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany. The GPEN works to develop shared enforcement practices related to internet privacy and has reviewed many companies’ online privacy policies. When the GPEN discovers websites or apps that violate a country’s privacy laws, it informs the administrators or developers and encourages them to follow those laws. The group can recommend countries take enforcement action against websites or apps that do not comply.

The European Union, made up of 28 countries, has also worked to regulate harmful messages on the internet. In 2016, the European Commission announced a joint agreement with internet companies Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube. Among other things, the companies agreed to create clear and rapid processes for reviewing potentially objectionable information and removing it if need be.

At the UN

In addition, the United Nations has been pursuing general global regulation of the internet. The U.N.‘s first Working Group on Internet Governance was created in 2004 to propose models for global internet regulation.

Unfortunately, the working group has not been able to agree on how to create new transnational bodies with rule-setting or regulatory power over the internet. Each country has different views on the global political issues raised by the internet’s vast reach. While some countries can find common ground, it may be nearly impossible to create a worldwide model that harmonizes all of these perspectives.

The farthest the U.N. has gotten so far has been creating the Internet Governance Forum, which brings together governments, private companies and individuals to address questions about internet regulation. The group has discussed and reported on internet access, human rights and free speech issues. These discussions are an opportunity to exchange experiences and views, but there are no negotiated outcomes, rules or laws that come from the IGF.

The ConversationFinding widespread common ground on internet-based issues will likely only become more difficult as the U.K. exits from the EU and the U.S. takes increasingly nationalist positions. Even so, the experiences of smaller groups of countries may inform a broader effort as global policies on terrorism shift, and the world’s approach to internet regulation changes with it.



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

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

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


13 June, 2017

Jimmah has left the Baptists

I have always doubted that Jimmy Carter was a believing Baptist. His miserable Leftism seems at variance with the joy of heartfelt Christianity. So I am not surprised that he has now left his church -- though it took him a heck of a long time to do so.

He has timed his exit to get maximum kudos from it. Women's issues are big these days. But his theology is shallow. He speaks of "a few carefully selected Bible verses" as if that proves something. They are Bible verses or they are not and if you believe that the Bible is God's word -- as real Christians do -- the teaching is clear: "Women should keep silent in the congregation" (1 Corinthians 14:33-35). That is a very unpopular teaching these days and few churches observe it.

But some do and the Southern Baptists apparently do. And one of the world's most Bible-observant groups is the Sydney diocese of the Anglican Church in Australia. And their theological seminary -- Moore College -- overflows with students, including a big representation of young women. It will no doubt be a big surprise to many but the old teachings often have strong appeal. They have not been rendered nugatory by modern secular wisdom.

But Jimmah ignores all that in his seeking after secular righteousness.

He justifies his move by referring to the atrocities that Muslims inflict on women, in an amazing example of guilt by association. What do Christians have in common with Muslim abominations? Even male circumcision is not required of Christians, as the apostle Paul ruled (e.g. 1 Corinthians 7:18; Colossians 3:11). Carter's reasoning is apparently that religions are all the same, which must be about a four-year-old's level of reasoning.

Jimmah also claims that there were female "deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets" in the early church. But there were no such ranks in the early church. There were overseers ("episkopos") and servants ("diakonos") principally. There were also prophets but what exactly they did is unclear. From Acts 21: 9 the impression is that their role was not part of congregational activities

Sadly, Jimmah gives no references for his assertions but the only women mentioned as prominent in the NT that I can recall were Dorcas, who was known for her needlework and Phoebe, who was a servant ("diakonos") of the congregation at Cenchrae. In the King James Bible, episkopos was translated as "Bishop" and diakonos was translated as "deacon" but that goes well beyond the original meaning. Diakonos, for instance, literally means "through the dust" portraying a humble visitor circulating among members of the congregation.

There is no doubt that women were great supporters of their congregations in the early days -- and Paul greets several of them affectionately in his epistles -- but there is no doubt that there were well-accepted sex roles at the time too. And the subordinate role of women in the congregation is repeatedly stressed. See also Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Timothy 2:11,12; 1 Peter 3:11.

Jimmy's religion is Leftism, not Christianity.

Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women's equal rights across the world for centuries.

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices - as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy - and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: "The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable."

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world's major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place - and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence - than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn't until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.


There is too much phoney tolerance

A perversion of the t-word is being used to excuse restricting free speech

Tory prime minister Theresa May said after the London Bridge terror attack that ‘There is – to be frank – too much tolerance of extremism in our country’, and that ‘we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out’. Too much tolerance? Well, yes and no, Mrs May. It all depends on what you mean by the t-word.

There is too much phoney tolerance. That’s the perversion of tolerance which turns its meaning on its head, and uses ‘tolerance’ as an excuse for censoring views which are deemed offensive, whether about Islam or the trans lobby. It is captured in such statements as ‘We will not tolerate intolerance’. There is certainly far too much of such censorious phoney tolerance in our society, emanating from the government downwards.

The flipside of this is that there is far too little genuine tolerance in public life. Free speech is not the right to a free ride. Real tolerance does not mean allowing anybody to rant away, insult and offend without challenge because ‘everybody’s entitled to their opinion’. True tolerance means allowing anybody to express their views, however disagreeable – and then being free to tell them what you think of them. It is about bringing everything out into the open, tolerating the expression of views you don’t want to hear, in order to challenge or expose them. For advocates of true tolerance, the potential solution is never censorship, but ideological combat.

Phoney tolerance has been much in evidence in the UK General Election campaign, where it has apparently become intolerable for a politician such as UKIP leader Paul Nuttall even to utter the words ‘Islamist extremism’. The same phoney tolerance was on display in the BBC’s response to the terror attack in London last weekend, when presenters and reporters tried not to use the ‘i-word’ at all. When Mrs May had the nerve to name and attack the ‘evil ideology of Islamist extremism’ in her Downing Street statement, the BBC could not bring itself to repeat the evil words, but instead kept warning viewers that the prime minister had used ‘strong language’, as if May had said ‘Muslim bastards’ or something.

This phoney tolerance is not really about being ‘soft’ on terrorism or extremism. It is more about being too soft in defence of our own liberties, feeling that it is too hard to stand up for unfettered free speech, robust debate and the right to be offensive. The fashion is for those who cannot or will not defend Enlightenment values to turn this perverse form of tolerance into an end in itself, a ‘value’ to be protected by censorship and self-censorship. But genuine tolerance and open debate should be a means to the bigger end of deciding what society believes to be the truth.

May said that defeating terrorism would require not just a policing and security response, but persuading people that what she calls ‘pluralistic, British values are superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hate’. No doubt she is right that this ‘will require some difficult and often embarrassing conversations’ about what we believe.

Yet in the same statement, the prime minister made clear that her idea of a solution is not really conversation or debate, but censorship and control. She called for ‘international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremism and terrorist planning. And we need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online.’

This is a call for more phoney tolerance, imposing bans and restrictions on offensive ideas and opinions in the name of avoiding divisions and promoting unity. But calls for society to ‘unite’ are empty if we’re not really prepared to have out the arguments about what we should be uniting behind.

To paraphrase May, when it comes to phoney tolerance enough is more than enough. Instead we need to instil an attitude of genuine tolerance and free speech.

In the first place, that will have to mean distinguishing between offensive words and violent deeds. Contrary to the prime minister’s suggestion, ‘extremist ideology’ and ‘terrorist planning’ are not the same thing, online or in the real world. Words can be powerful weapons in a debate or even a slanging match. But however sharp or pointed they are, words are not knives. However inflammatory they are, words are not explosives. And an argument or opinion, however aggressive or offensive it might seem, is not a physical assault. Yet all too often today we see words treated as if they were physical weapons.

The difference is more than semantic. The right response to violent assault is to end it, as forcibly as necessary – hopefully in even less than eight minutes – and possibly to lock up the perpetrator. The answer to being assaulted by bad words is not to end speech or lock up the speaker. It is more speech – to resist or simply to rubbish the words objected to.

True tolerance means allowing, in the words of a famous justice of the US Supreme Court, ‘freedom for the thought that we hate’. And then using our freedom of speech to launch a ruthless war of words against it. There should be no ideological holds barred, no special-case protections against offensive ideas for Islam or any other outlook. This is not just about the right of extremists to spout Islamist or racist rubbish. Far more importantly, it is about the right of the rest of us to hear and judge for ourselves.

But the champions of phoney tolerance do not believe we are fit to make such moral judgements. They have such a lowlife view of the public that they think any Muslim youth catching sight of an Islamist video will be automatically converted to terrorism, and any white working-class youth hearing ‘dog-whistle’ racist rhetoric will sign up for a rabid Islamophobic pogrom. Their imposed idea of ‘tolerance’ barely disguises the contempt for people who are not like them.

Are our values really so weak that we need to run scared of a few Islamist clerics or cranks? What we need instead is surely a strong-minded defence of a free and democratic world that can give our society the sense of purpose needed to stand up to its enemies and defend those values, just as those brave punters stood up to the terrorists at London Bridge.

In this, I am always with that old Tory champion of true tolerance, Dr Samuel Johnson, who declared that ‘Every man has the right to utter what he thinks truth – and every other man has the right to knock him down for it’. Figuratively speaking, at the very least.

Instead, in what should be the heated debate of a General Election campaign, we have an arms race to see who can be the most intolerant of offensive words or ‘hate speech’. In the wake of the London attack, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been denounced for having suggested about ISIS supporters that ‘Expressing a political point of view is not in itself an offence. Expressing a point of view, even an unpalatable one, is sometimes quite important in a democracy.’ Corbyn’s basic point was perfectly sensible and reasonable. Yet he made it in 2014, as an anonymous backbench Labour MP, when nobody much cared what he said. Now, as leader of the Labour Party vying to be prime minister on the eve of an election, in the midst of a row over regulating free speech online, he is saying nothing of the sort.

May says that there has been ‘too much tolerance of extremism’. Yet in the age of phoney tolerance, we have reached the point where those of us who champion unfettered free speech as a fundamental value of our civilisation can be accused of ‘extremism’. If there is one thing we should not tolerate in silence, it is the perversion of tolerance into an excuse for more self-defeating censorship.


'We CAN'T have it all': Former Vogue editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman on why she thinks women are setting themselves 'impossible standards'

At the helm of fashion's most iconic magazine for 25 years former editor-in-chief of Vogue, Alexandra Shulman is an obvious champion for women with ambition. And raising her son as a single working mother for 19 years of that time puts Shulman at the forefront of women who juggle a career and motherhood.

However, despite her credentials the editor says that she doesn't believe that women can 'have it all'.

Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph the mother-of-one says she believes that women are over compensating for their historical limitations.

Shulman, who lives in Queen's Park, London, said: 'Men can't have it all either - but maybe they're not trying to. I don't know why women have created such impossible standards for themselves.

'Maybe it's over compensating: If you've come from being judged basically on your marriage ability and emerged from that through a lot of fighting maybe you think you can do everything. Well I'm a full believer that you can't.'

Shulman announced that she would be relieving herself of her duties at Vogue UK in January this year after 25 years at the magazine.

In her statement, Alexandra, 59, admitted it was 'hard to find a rational reason to leave' but she 'wanted to experience a different life.'

The tenure of Shulman - who lives in London with her son Sam, 21, and her partner, writer David Jenkins - at British Vogue has been marked with various iconic issues of the magazine.

Nicholas Coleridge, managing director of Condé Nast, the magazine's publisher today said: 'Alex has been the longest-serving and most successful editor of Vogue in its 100 year history.'

One of her most famous coups was having the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, pose for the June 2016 cover - after revealing that Kate had initially turned down the request to be a Vogue cover star.

'Probably every magazine in the world had asked her if she would be on the cover, I should think,' Alexandra said.

Her December 1999 Millennium Issue, possessing a simplistic page layout and a reflective, mirror-like cover – giving the illusion that its reader was on the front cover – became the highest selling issue of the magazine, with circulation of 241,001.

More recently, her January 2017 issue was one of the first to feature a plus-size model on the cover - with curvy Ashley Graham describing gracing her first Vogue cover as 'an absolute honour'.


A real woman

Mummy blogger Mel Watts has shared candid photographs of her post-baby body just days after giving birth to her fourth child.

The mother-of-four, from Central Coast in NSW, welcomed her baby boy Sonny George Watts - to the world via a caesarean section on June 5.

And just four days after the birth of her son, the brave mother, known as The Modern Mumma, proudly shared a raw image of her stretch marks and scars.

Comparing two different photos of herself at 30 weeks pregnant and her post C-section, Ms Watts was stunned to see how her body changed within weeks.

'Wow. Honestly it's no castle or bloody piece of art. Sure it's filled with stretch marks and dimples. But this body, this one I own gave me another life,' Ms Watts wrote.

'Another small human to love and to hold. It held onto him for nine months and sheltered him, protected him and prepared him for the day he was born.'

Ms Watts revealed at times, she felt self conscious about her body image - but the birth of her son was everything she dreamt about. 'So many times I've doubted my body, so many times I've pinched and pulled at sections that I didn't like,' she said.

'In reality this body has done everything I'd ever want it to do. Sure it's not magazine or swimsuit worthy to some. 'But to me and my husband, it's the place that grew our babies. It's the place that everything we love most started. And that's all that counts right?!

'We feel as though we need to follow society's stigma on what we should look like when in fact we should just do what we feel works for us. 'No body has the same body. And every body has their own body. Enjoy it.'

Despite her powerful post, Ms Watts took to social media on Saturday to defend her post-baby photo after she received some criticism.

'The photo was unflattering, with a dressing intact. If you zoomed you may of seen some regrow then and the little dignity I had left,' she wrote.

'As the shares reached new people the comments grew wider and further. Some referring to it as a real post baby body, some referring to it as revolting. Which is totally okay.

'Over time I've watched women be put down and slammed mostly by other women for how someone looks. Either being too fit, too fat, too sluggish and too pretty. 'We're all women who have birthed little humans and we're all just trying to do the best we can.

'There is so much bad in this world at the moment that as soon as we stop thinking it's acceptable behaviour to bring other women down it's never going to get better.'



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

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

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


12 June, 2017

Trump accused of racism by body of UN racists

President Donald Trump is the target of a new report by the United Nations’ Human Rights Council accusing him of “hateful and xenophobic rhetoric.”

The report comes after UNHRC observers visited the US to monitor the 2016 election. Their conclusion, made without providing any evidence, was that the US was a deeply racist and hateful nation.

“Racism and the exclusion, persecution and marginalization that come with it, affect the environment for exercising association and assembly rights,” the report states, claiming Trump-led racism poisoned the election results.

The report provides no evidence for its assertions.

The report is also written by some of the world’s most racist nations. Of the 47 seats on the UNHRC, many are held by the world’s worst dictatorship. Communist China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba are all dictatorships with seats on the UNHCR.

Despite the claims of American racism in the report, blacks are routinely discriminated against and mistreated by report member Cuba.

“On an island that is around two-thirds black and mixed race, according to a 2007 study by the Cuban economist Esteban Morales Domínguez, the civil and public leadership is about 70 percent white. He also found that most scientists, technicians and university professors, up to 80 percent in some fields, were white,” The New York Times reported in 2016.

“There is definitely still racism here,” baker Alberto González, told the Times. “I see it often, in how people look at me and treat me.”

Fellow UNHRC member Qatar also maintains official racist policies, Georgetown University’s Ben Johnson notes:

(I)t is almost impossible for foreigners to become Qatari citizens: after living here for decades, even white collar workers will never be legally or culturally accepted as Qataris. Qatar has also embarked on a program it calls “Qatarization,” which is designed to increase the percentage of Qatari nationals in the workplace by giving citizens priority over foreigners for job openings (interestingly, the program even has an official website—in both English and Arabic).

At the social level, cultural insecurities often manifest themselves in discrimination against the largest group of foreigners in Qatar—South Asians. Although this discrimination begins with the unskilled laborers, in practice highly skilled Asian workers experience discrimination as well, regardless of their professional or socioeconomic status.

In the UNHCR members want to find racism, they don’t even need to leave their desks.


Trump’s Paid Parental Leave Entitlement: Bad for the Economy, Bad for Women

In a recent interview on the new Trump budget, I hit on some of my usual topics such as growth, real-world fiscal numbers, tax reform, fake budget cuts, entitlement reform, and my Golden Rule.

But I want to call attention to the part of the discussion that started a bit before the one-minute mark. This is the point where I expressed concern about Donald Trump’s proposed parental leave entitlement.

I’ve written about Trump’s childcare scheme, but that’s a different intervention than what we’re talking about today.

Government-mandated paid parental leave is just as misguided childcare subsidies. It may even be worse. Let’s look at some details.

The Wall Street Journal is unimpressed by Trump’s plan to expand the welfare state.

Mr. Trump’s budget would require states to provide six weeks of paid family leave for new mothers and fathers, as well as adoptive parents. States would have “broad latitude to design and finance” the benefit, which would be delivered through unemployment insurance. States would be forced to work out how much to pay parents, whether to ban a beneficiary from working during the leave, and dozens of other details. The budget says the program will cost the feds $25 billion. The cost is offset in theory by reducing waste and abuse in unemployment insurance. The left is naturally panning the plan as stingy. …Once an entitlement is codified it expands.

Proponents note that underwriting the benefit requires only a tiny increase in taxes, or some other levy on businesses. But wait until Democrats double or triple the duration of the leave, which they will do as soon as they are in power. The idea that Republicans can propose a cost-effective entitlement is delusional… The left chants that every industrialized country in the world offers some form of paid family leave—even Oman!—but one reason European countries have inflexible labor markets and higher unemployment is because they make hiring more expensive.

The final sentence is the key.

Why on earth should the United States mimic the policies of nations that have less growth, more unemployment, and lower per-capita economic output?

And James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute agrees that if Republicans start the program, Democrats will expand it. But his citation of some academic research is the best part of his article.

…how could the left not be secretly thrilled? Even if Trump’s bare-bones plan doesn’t become law, it sets a sort of precedent for Republicans supporting paid leave. And should the plan pass Congress and get signed by Trump, it establishes a program that future Democratic presidents and lawmakers can expand. …A 2017 study, by UC Santa Barbara economist Jenna Stearns, of maternity leave policy in Great Britain found that…there’s a tradeoff: Expanding job protected leave benefits led to “fewer women holding management positions and other jobs with the potential for promotion.”

Likewise, a 2013 study by Cornell University’s Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn found family-friendly policies…also “leave women less likely to be considered for high-level positions. One’s evaluation of such policies must take both of these effects into account.” …In a classic 1983 paper on mandated benefits like paid leave, former Obama economist Lawrence Summers explained businesses would offset higher benefits with lower pay or hiring workers with lower potential benefit costs. You know, tradeoffs.


And this is why even a columnist for the New York Times has pointed out that self-styled feminist policies actually are bad for women.

The best policies for women are the same as the best policies for men (not to mention all the other genders that now exist). Simply stated, allow free markets and small government.

P.S. Government-mandated paid parental leave is a bad idea even when the idea is pushed by people at right-wing think tanks.


After London: let’s start talking about Islam

Protecting Islam from ridicule has had disastrous consequences.

Another month, another terror attack. Britain’s third in three months. This time the targets were Saturday-night revellers in London Bridge and Borough. Mown and stabbed for the crime of having fun, of being free. And already we are seeing the same craven, baleful response that follows every act of Islamist terror. ‘Watch out for an Islamophobic backlash’, aloof observers say, their minds always more agitated by the thought of stupid white people saying something rude about Islam than by acts of Islamist mass murder. ‘Don’t say anything bad about this wonderful religion or its adherents’, they tell us. This is a really bad response, because it is becoming increasingly clear that one of the major problems we face today is not that our society is too mean about Islam, but that it flatters Islam too much.

Islam now enjoys the same kind of moral protection from blasphemy and ridicule that Christianity once (wrongly) enjoyed. All last week, for example, I received furious emails and messages in response to two articles I wrote about the Manchester attack, telling me I was wrong to defend the use of the phrase ‘Islamist extremism’. That term has an Islamophobic bent to it, we’re told. It demeans Islam and its adherents by suggesting they have something to do with terrorism. You should just say ‘extremism’, not ‘Islamist extremism’. Don’t ever name the extremism, don’t label it, because you might hurt people’s feelings.

This is why our political leaders so rarely use the terms Islamism, radical Islam and Islamic terrorism: because they want to avoid offending Islam and also because they don’t want to stir up what they view as the public’s bovine, hateful prejudices. This censorious privilege is not extended to any other religion. We do not avoid saying ‘Catholic paedophiles’ about the priests who molested children for fear of tarring all Catholics with the same brush. We happily say ‘Christian fundamentalist’ about people who are Christian and fundamentalist. We use ‘Buddhist extremists’ to describe violent Buddhist groups in Myanmar. And yet Islam is ringfenced from tough discussion; phrases which at some level include the word ‘Islam’ are tightly policed; criticism of Islam is deemed a mental illness: Islamophobia.

This is incredibly dangerous. This censorious flattery of Islam is, in my view, a key contributor to the violence we have seen in recent years. Because when you constantly tell people that any mockery of their religion is tantamount to a crime, is vile and racist and unacceptable, you actively invite them, encourage them in fact, to become intolerant. You license their intolerance. You inflame their violent contempt for anyone who questions their dogmas. You provide a moral justification for their desire to punish those who insult their religion.

From the 7/7 bombers to the Charlie Hebdo murderers to Salman Abedi in Manchester, all these terrorists — these Islamist terrorists — expressed an extreme victim mentality and openly said they were punishing us for our disrespect of Islam, mistreatment of Muslims, ridiculing of Muhammad, and so on. The Islamophobia industry and politicians who constantly say ‘Islam is great, leave Islam alone!’ green-light this violence; they furnish it with a moral case and moral zeal.

There are no quick fixes to the terror problem, but here is a good start: oppose all censorship and all clampdowns on offence and blasphemy and so-called ‘Islamophobia’. Every single one of them, whether they’re legal, in the form of hate-speech laws, or informal, in the guise of Twittermobs against those who criticise Islam or self-censoring politicians being literally struck dumb on TV because they cannot muster up the word ‘Is… is… is… Islamist’. This will at least start the process of unravelling the Islamist victimhood narrative and its bizarre, violent and officially sanctioned sensitivity to criticism. And if anyone says this is ‘punching down’ — another intellectual weapon in the armoury of Islam-protecting censorship, designed to demonise awkward questions about certain religious and ideological beliefs — tell them that it is in fact punching up: up against a political class and legal system that has foolishly and outrageously sought to police criticism of a religion.

What this means is that the supposedly correct response to terror attacks — ‘Don’t criticise Islam’ — is absolutely the worst response. It pours petrol on fire. It inflames the violent religious narcissism and self-pity that motors many of these attacks. Making criticism of Islam as commonplace and acceptable as criticism of any other religion or ideology is the first step to denuding Islamist terrorism of its warped moral programme, and it will also demonstrate that our society prizes freedom of speech over everything else — including your religion, your God, your prophets, your holy book and your feelings.


Australian conservative politcian slams Islamic Council's push for taxpayer-funded 'safe spaces' for young Muslims to make 'frank' comments

Pauline Hanson has rubbished suggestions from the Islamic Council of Victoria that Muslim youths should be provided with taxpayer-funded 'safe spaces' to make 'inflammatory' and 'frank' comments out of the public eye.

The One Nation leader said she was 'totally against' the proposal, which is an effort by Muslim leaders to tackle the growing problem of radicalised youth in Australia.

'What a load of rubbish! How much more money have we got to put in to this to make them feel good about themselves?,' she told Samantha Armytage on Sunrise.

Ms Hanson went on to say the federal government needed to ban Muslims from 'certain extremist countries' coming into Australia.

'The ones who are coming back from overseas fighting shouldn't be allowed back in the country. I don't want these people in this country,' she said. 'They are spreading their hate and their evil towards others that are possibly turning to radicalisation.'

In a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into freedom of religion, Islamic leaders have demanded government funding for anti-terrorism and anti-extremism should be used to create the religious sanctuaries.

'To create safe spaces urgently needed by Muslim youth to meet and talk about a range of issues in emotional terms, where they can be frank and even use words, which in a public space would sound inflammatory,' the submission reads.

'That they cannot express irony, humour, anger or joy in words and facial expressions that would make them a target for 'surveillance' is a cause for despondency leading to mental health issues among many.'

The Council also points out the inability for Muslim adherents to safely practice their religion without feeling subject to surveillance is a 'human rights issue'.

'There are human rights issues which restrict Muslim's in Victoria and nationally to enjoy the same human right to freedom of religion or belief that other Australians currently enjoy,' it said.

The submission calls on the government to advocate higher research and programs to address the rise of other non-Muslim extremism in Australia such as far-right groups.

Ms Hanson rejected claims from the Islamic Council that Melbourne siege gunman Yacqub Khayres could have been influenced by drugs and mental health problems rather than extremist Muslim ideologies.

'Let's deal with the whole facts. A lot of people in our society have mental issues and are on drugs,' she said. 'In towns like this, I am travelling out to the bush again, they have a big problem with ice and drugs and depression throughout our country. People do not talk to violence and murder other people.

Following Melbourne's deadly siege on Monday which killed one innocent man, Victoria's state government will discuss radical new anti-terrorism measures, the Herald Sun reports.

The ice-addicted gunman was shot dead along with innocent receptionist Kai Hao, 36, in a bloody siege for which the militant group claimed responsibility.

Despite police labelling it a suspected terror attack, the state's peak Muslim body warned against inflaming tensions and branded the gunman 'confused.' The council said while there are debates over the gunman's motive, it was clear had a long criminal record and a trail of violence.

'We understand that the police are investigating this as a potential terrorist attack but note that the perpetrator himself appeared to be confused as to who he was acting on behalf, claiming allegiance to both ISIS and AlQaeda, known enemies.'

'Whether this act was inspired by an evil warped ideology or was in fact the actions of a deranged violent individual, this does not change the reality that a horrendous crime was committed in which an innocent person was killed, a woman was held hostage, and police officers' lives were put at risk.'

They warned against provoking tensions with the Muslim and Somali communities, which could promote further attacks.

'What we must avoid is sensationalising or somehow attributing unwarranted significance to these criminals because it exacerbates prevailing fears and tensions and potentially encourages copycat behaviour.'

'We would also like to express our support to the Somali community who will be unfairly vilified because of the actions of this one man. They have made, and continue to make, an invaluable contribution to Victorian society.'

A review into Khayre's prison and parole management has been ordered as the government revealed up to 22 Victorians a year are undergoing anti-radicalisation programs.

The state's Corrections Minister Gayle Tierney repeatedly refused to answer questions in parliament about Khayre because she has ordered the review.

But she did reveal the Islamic Council of Victoria is currently working with up to 22 people undertaking anti-radicalisation programs.

'In the last state budget there was an allocation of $6.385 million over four years for anti-radicalisation programs, ' Ms Tierney told the Legislative Council on Tuesday.

'The Islamic Council of Victoria is contracted to deliver the program and is currently working with up to 22 prisoners and people in the community each year.'



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

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

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


11 June, 2017

An interesting election

The most interesting sentence is the last one below. The Ulster DUP has kept the Conservatives in power. The DUP is the old party of Protestant firebrand, the Rev. Ian Paisley -- and they want no truck with liberal morality. Their views are similar to those of American Christian conservatives. So there will certainly be no loosening up on that front and minor rollbacks may be possible. Certainly, there will now be no homosexual marriage in Northern Ireland. They will be able to secure support for that policy from the Union government

CONSERVATIVE Party chiefs will oust lame duck British Prime Minister Theresa May within the year.

May’s gamble of calling an early election has backfired disastrously for the party and the 60-year-old woman cannot survive, The Sun reported.

Her axing will be delayed to allow crucial Brexit negotiations to begin but her sacking will come after Christmas.

Humiliated party sources believe that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Amber Rudd (who only held her seat by 300 votes) and Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis are the most suitable replacements and are being sounded out, Telegraph UK reported.

Conservative MP Heidi Allen, who held her seat, said publicly that she believes May will be gone in six months, stating that the prime minister’s post may now be in a “period of transition”.

“If this was any other election in any other time in our history you could say yes the Prime Minister needs to stand down but this is different of course because we are about to start negotiating Brexit so that puts an entirely different complexion on that,” she told LBC Radio.

May’s position is terminal as the decision to call an early election — with the Conservatives already having a majority to rule — was hers alone and she ran the election campaign in her name.

May has told the Queen she has the numbers to form government, and will provide Brexit and anti-terror ‘certainty’.

Speaking to media outside Number 10, Ms May spoke as certainly as though her Conservative party had won an absolute majority - which it hasn’t.

“I have just been to see Her Majesty the Queen and I will now form a Government,” she said. “A government that can provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time for our country.

“This Government will guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks that begin in just 10 days and deliver on the will of the British people by taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union.

Ms May stated her government was the only viable outcome of the poll, would crack down on Islamic extremism and strengthen police powers, and would introduce policies of fairness and opportunity .

“Having secured the largest number of votes and the greatest number of seats in the General Election it is clear that only the Conservative and Unionist party has the legitimacy and ability to provide that certainty by commanding a majority in the House of Commons.

“We will continue to work with our friends and allies, in particular the DUP. Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years and this gives me the confidence to believe that we will be able to work together in the interests of the whole United Kingdom.

“This will allow us to come together as a country and channel our energies towards a successful Brexit deal that works for everyone in this country, securing a new partnership with the EU which guarantees our long-term prosperity.

The leader of the Northern Ireland party that has handed Britain’s Conservative government power has said it will be ‘difficult’ for Prime Minister May to keep her job.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland has carried her Conservative Party over the line by throwing its 10 votes into the tally - without the need for a signing off on a formal coalition deal first.

DUP leader Arlene Foster told British media that contacts will be made over the weekend, but “I think it is too soon to talk about what we’re going to do.” However, she believed it would be “difficult for (May) to survive.”

The DUP opposes same-sex marriage and abortion.


All We Need Is Love … and Deportations


After the latest terrorist attack in Britain — at least as of this writing — Prime Minister Theresa May bravely announced, “Enough is enough!”

What is the point of these macho proclamations after every terrorist attack? Nothing will be done to stop the next attack. Political correctness prohibits us from doing anything that might stop it.

Poland doesn’t admit Muslims: It has no terrorism. Japan doesn’t admit Muslims: It has no terrorism. The United Kingdom and the United States used to have very few Muslims: They used to have almost no terrorism. (One notable exception was chosen as the National Freedom Hero in this year’s Puerto Rican parade in New York!)

Notwithstanding the lovely Muslim shopkeeper who wouldn’t hurt a fly, everyone knows that with every tranche of peace-loving Muslims we bring in, we’re also getting some number of stone-cold killers.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair dumped millions of Third World Muslims on Britain to force “multiculturalism” on the country. Now Britons are living with the result. Since the 9/11 attack, every U.S. president has done the same. President Bush admitted Muslim immigrants at a faster pace after 9/11 than we had been doing before 9/11.

Whatever the 9/11 attackers intended to accomplish, I bet they didn’t expect that.

Now we can’t get rid of them. Under the rules of political correctness, Western countries are prohibited from even pausing our breakneck importation of Muslims, much less sending the recent arrivals home.

In defense of the poor saps responding to every terrorist attack with flowers, candles and hashtags, these are people who have no ability to do anything else. Western leaders are in full possession of the tools to end Islamic terrorism in their own countries, just as their forebears once ended Nazi Stormtroopers.

Unable to summon the backbone to defeat the current enemy, the West is stuck constantly reliving that glorious time when they whipped the Nazis. In almost every Western country — except the one with an increasingly beleaguered First Amendment — it’s against the law to deny the Holocaust.

Are we really worried about a resurgence of Nazism? Isn’t Islamic terrorism a little higher on our “immediate problems” list? How about making it illegal to make statements in support of ISIS, al-Qaida, female genital mutilation, Sharia law or any act of terrorism?

The country with a First Amendment can’t do that — the most that amendment allows us to do is ban conservative speakers from every college campus in the nation.

But if our elected representatives really cared about stopping the next terrorist attack, instead of merely “watching” those on the “watch” list, they’d deport them.

To this day, we have a whole office at the Department of Justice dedicated to finding and deporting Nazis even without proof they personally committed crimes against Jews. But we can’t manage to deport hearty young Muslims who post love notes to ISIS on their Facebook pages.

If the Clinton administration had merely enforced laws on the books against an Afghani immigrant, Mir Seddique Mateen, and excluded him based on his arm-length list of terrorist affiliations, his son Omar wouldn’t have been around to slaughter 49 people at an Orlando nightclub last year.

If Secretary of State John Kerry, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson or anyone else in our vaunted immigration vetting system had done his job, Pakistani Tashfeen Malik never would have been admitted to this country to commit mass murder in San Bernardino a year after she arrived. Before being warmly welcomed by the U.S., Malik’s social media posts were bristling with hatred of America and enthusiasm for jihad.

We’re already paying a battery of FBI agents to follow every Muslim refugee around the country. When they find out that one of them lists his hobby as “jihad,” we need them to stop watching and start deporting.

Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, the rest of the useless GOP — and obviously every Democrat — have the blood of the next terrorist attack on their hands if they don’t make crystal clear that admiring remarks about Islamic terrorism is a deportable act.

But they won’t do it. That’s “not who we are,” as Ryan famously said.

True, most Muslims are peaceful. Guess what? Most Nazis were peaceful! We didn’t knock ourselves out to admit as many of them as we could, screening out only the Nazis convicted of mass murder.

Before we were even formally involved in World War II, the FBI was all over the German American Bund. No one worried about upsetting our German neighbors. (Perhaps because they knew these were Germans and wouldn’t start bombing things and shooting people.)

But today, our official position is: Let’s choose love so as not to scare our Muslim neighbors. Isn’t that precisely what we want to do? Facing an immobile government, two British men — by which I mean British men — were sentenced to PRISON for putting bacon on a mosque in Bristol last year. One died in prison just after Christmas, an ancient religious holiday recently replaced by Ramadan.

If we can’t look askance at Muslims without committing a hate crime, can’t we at least stop admitting ever more “refugees,” some percentage of whom are going to be terrorists and 100 percent of whom will consume massive amounts of government resources?

No, that’s “not who we are.”

Until any Western leader is willing to reduce the number of Muslims in our midst, could they spare us the big talk? “We surrender” would at least have the virtue of honesty.


From the front lines with Ezra Levant

Bad news in the battle for freedom of speech: today, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear my appeal of the defamation judgment against me, brought some eight years ago by Khurrum Awan.

Awan is the former youth president of the Canadian Islamic Congress. As you know, one of the reasons I lost was that the judge ruled that calling Awan an anti-Semite was defamatory.

But Awan used to be the youth president of an anti-Semitic group — the Canadian Islamic Congress. They even called for the legalization of terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

But the judge ruled it was defamatory for me to call their former youth president anti-Semitic. Because Awan denied he was, and said he never knew about his organization's infamous misconduct. The judge ruled I did not prove it was factually true. Even though Awan himself testified at trial that he agreed it's reasonable for people to call certain statements by the Canadian Islamic Congress anti-Semitic.

I appealed that trial judgment, and I lost. And today the Supreme Court said they won’t hear a further appeal.

And so now I have to pay $80,000 dollars to Awan, plus his legal costs. That’s obviously a blow to me financially.

But what worries me more is that a legal precedent has now been set: if you call a leader of an anti-Semitic group, “anti-Semitic”, you can be sued for defamation.

Every newspaper columnist, every political activist, every Jewish or Christian student in university must now be extremely careful. There is outrageous anti-Semitism on campuses these days. That’s not illegal. But calling members of those groups anti-Semitic can be illegal, if you don’t say it in just the right way.

This isn’t the first time that Awan has used the courts as a weapon to fight enemies of Islam. You’ll recall that Awan took the great Mark Steyn to three different Canadian human rights commissions for writing about Muslim extremism in Maclean’s magazine. It was my critical coverage of Awan’s lawfare against Steyn that caused Awan to target me with a lawsuit too.

Nearly eleven years has passed since Steyn first wrote that essay in October 2006. Awan sued me in 2009. That’s a long time. And that battle is over.

But what is Khurrum Awan up to now? He left Toronto, got married, settled down, started a family. He’s working for a law firm in Regina.

But he’s not done with using our western courts to promote his Islamic agenda.

Just six weeks ago, Awan filed a stunning lawsuit against his neighbour in Regina. Now, most of it is just a legal squabble that neighbours sometimes have. Awan and his wife, Ayesha Ahmed, claim that there are “approximately three trees the branches of which overhang the Plaintiff’s backyard”. And some of the branches snapped and fell.

The lady who owns the neighbouring house, by the way, is in her 70s. So maybe she is not doing all the gardening she should. I don’t care. There’s no news here.

But Awan is a lawyer, with lawyer friends. So he got another lawyer named Ahmed Malik to sue the neighbour, demanding $60,000 dollars.

But here’s the shocking part: Awan is suing his 77-year-old neighbour for having “a large Christian cross” on her backyard.

Oh, yes. Awan says it’s a “violation of human rights” that a Catholic granny has a cross on her property, and that it’s "an attempt to intimidate and discriminate against the Plaintiffs, who are visible minorities and visible Muslims.”

He’s not just asking for $60,000 from his neighbour. He’s asking the court for “an injunction ordering the Defendants to permanently remove the cross.”

He’s a bully. Bullying a 77-year-old Catholic granny. Suing her for having a cross in her back yard.

The same bully who went after Mark Steyn.

The same bully who just won $80,000 dollars from me in court.

See, the Supreme Court taught Khurrum Awan a lesson today: that the best way to wage a jihad against the west isn’t through violence like terrorism. The best way to wage a jihad against the west is peacefully, by using our own laws against us. A human rights kangaroo court against Steyn; defamation laws against me; and just plain old suing a 77-year-old neighbour for having a cross on her deck.

Look. I’ve got to pay Awan his $80,000. I have no other choice. And I’m going to pay that from my own funds — I don’t think I could ask anyone else to help with that. If you want to help me with my legal fees though, I’d be grateful for your help there — I still have to pay my lawyer. You can do that at StandWithEzra.ca.

And once I raise enough to cover my own costs, I’m going to do this: I’m going to send a cheque to that 77-year-old granny to help her cover her legal fees. Not for the squabble about branches and trees. But because no-one in should be sued for having a cross on her property — this is Canada, not Pakistan.

If you can help, go to StandWithEzra.ca

Via email

Bernie Sanders Doesn’t Think Christians Are Fit For Public Office

While the nation’s capital was twittering with excitement on Wednesday about former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, something far more outrageous was underway in another Senate hearing: Sen. Bernie Sanders, in a blatant violation of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, was applying a religious test for an office of public trust.

Specifically, Sanders doesn’t think Christians are fit to serve in government because they’re bigots. Basic Christian theology, in Sanders’s view, “is indefensible, it is hateful, it is Islamophobic, and it is an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world.”

Here’s what happened. During a confirmation hearing for Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, Sanders expressed his indignation at an article Vought had written in January 2016 about a controversy that erupted at Vought’s alma mater, Wheaton College. A political science professor, Larycia Hawkins, had published a Facebook post announcing her intention to wear a hijab in solidarity with Muslims and suggesting that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

Vought, a Christian, took issue with Hawkins’s post and defended Wheaton in an article for The Resurgent. During the hearing Wednesday, Sanders repeatedly quoted one particular passage he described as “Islamophobic” and “hateful.” Vought wrote: “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”

As a matter of theology, there is of course nothing objectionable, much less Islamophobic, about that. It is simply a statement of fact: core Christian doctrine, plainly stated in the Bible, says that eternal life comes only through faith in Jesus Christ. Not that exclusivity is unique to Christianity. By their very nature, most religions are exclusive, especially when it comes to salvation.

As for having a “deficient theology,” one could substitute any other religious group for Muslims: Christians also believe that Jews have a deficient theology, along with Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, and the tens of thousands of Britons who claim membership in the Temple of the Jedi Order. And of course, members of all these religions likely believe Christians have a deficient theology.

To Sanders, Christian Theology Amounts to Bigotry

But to Sanders, a sincerely held religious belief—like believing there is only one path to salvation—amounts to bigotry and should disqualify anyone, or at least Christians, from public service. Reporting for The Atlantic, Emma Green noted that at one point, the exchange between Sanders and Vought became tense, with Sanders “raising his voice and interrupting Vought as he tried to answer questions.”

Sanders: I don’t know how many Muslims there are in America, I really don’t know, probably a couple million. Are you suggesting that all of those people stand condemned? What about Jews? Do they stand condemned too?

Vought: Senator, I am a Christian—

Sanders: I understand that you are a Christian. But this country is made up of people who are not just—I understand that Christianity is the majority religion. But there are other people who have different religions in this country and around the world. In your judgment, do you think that people who are not Christians are going to be condemned?
In other words, Sanders understands Vought’s a Christian, he just didn’t think Vought was that kind of Christian. Neither did Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, who defended Sanders, saying, “I don’t think anybody was questioning anybody’s faith here.” Van Hollen then questioned Vought’s faith and claimed his theology is all wrong: “I’m a Christian, but part of being a Christian, in my view, is recognizing that there are lots of ways that people can pursue their God.”

It should go without saying that this is the sort of thing that should never come up in a Senate confirmation hearing. But it helped illuminate what progressives like Sanders and Van Hollen really think about religion, and especially Christianity. It’s okay to say you’re a Christian if, like Van Hollen, you don’t really think Christianity is the one true path to salvation. But if your version of Christianity lays claim to exclusivity—as orthodox Christianity does—then you’re a bigot who, as Sanders said of Vought, “is really not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about.”

Agree With My Religious Views Or You Can’t Hold Office
Let’s take a step back. Article VI of the Constitution states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Yet it seems that Sanders and his ilk not only want to exclude sincere Christians from public office, but to impose a kind of secular test of their own. To serve in government, in their view, one must affirm the ever-changing tenets of progressivism.

One recent example of this cropped up in Illinois, where the state’s child welfare agency declared that staff must “affirm” gender ideology and “facilitate” LGBT identities for foster kids, or be fired. Same goes for foster parents. If children or adolescents under the state’s care “explore/express a sexual orientation other than heterosexual and/or a gender identity that is different from the child/youth’s sex assigned at birth,” agency staff and foster parents must “support and respect” the child’s exploration “without any effort to direct or guide them to any specific outcome for their exploration.” If not, then in the state’s eyes you’re not fit to be a staffer or foster parent.

The state of Illinois has thus claimed that adherence to traditional Christian teaching on sexuality, which makes the bold claim that God created only two sexes, male and female, makes one unfit to be around children.

Progressives Have No Use For Christians
That’s more or less what Sanders did by conflating Vought’s thoroughly commonplace understanding of Christian theology with racism and bigotry. A spokesman for Sanders said in a statement issued Thursday: “In a democratic society, founded on the principle of religious freedom, we can all disagree over issues, but racism and bigotry—condemning an entire group of people because of their faith—cannot be part of any public policy.” The nomination of Vought, “who has expressed such strong Islamaphobic language,” the statement said, “is simply unacceptable.”

At the hearing on Wednesday, Sanders said he would vote against confirming Vought for deputy director of the OMB. Afterwards, Muslim groups including the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Muslim Advocates, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, condemned Vought’s comments, saying without a hint of irony that his views threaten the principle of religious freedom.

It’s important to understand what’s going on here. The Left, itself a kind of secular religion, does not really think it’s okay to be religious—to hold strong convictions about eternal salvation or the divinity of Jesus Christ. Progressives believe this is disturbing and un-American. The irony is that the opposite is true, as John Adams put it: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Understand, too, that the progressives who now run the Democratic Party will turn a blind eye to the exclusivity claims of Muslims and other religious groups they think they need in their political coalition. But they will not suffer Christians. There’s a simple reason for that: Democrats know they have lost orthodox Christians as a constituency, and now they have no use for them.



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

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

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


9 June, 2017

'We've had enough of being nice, it's not working': Australian politician slams the 'delusional' wisdom of being civil to Muslims

A man who almost became Australia's prime minister has slammed the conventional wisdom of being nice to Muslims in the hope they will tip police off about a potential terrorist attack.

Former Labor leader Mark Latham says the public is sick of having to 'be nice' in the wake of terrorist attacks this week in London and Melbourne.

'The public opinion now is at a real tipping point, a real tipping point where we've had enough of being nice. It's not working,' he told his Mark Latham's Outsiders program on Wednesday night.

'The evidence suggests the 'be nice' faction is in a state of delusion and they're not facing up to the realistic issues. 'We need to form a realistic faction. Be realistic about the problem of radical Islamic terrorism and confront it head on.'

Mr Latham said the idea that terrorists weren't real Muslims needed to be challenged, after Somali-born refugee Yacqub Khayre killed a man at a serviced apartment in Melbourne during a Monday night siege which ISIS claimed responsibility for.

'The 'be nice' do gooders in the debate basically say that terrorism of this kind, they're not really Muslim, this is not really a reflection of Islam and you don't want to antagonise these communities because it will make them more dangerous, more radical and the security agencies worry about losing informants inside Islamic communities to tip them off about potential dangerous events,' he said.

Mr Latham, who has recently joined the libertarian Liberal Democrats, said the London Muslim Mayor Sadiq Khan's declaration that London was the world's safest global cities was an example of the 'be nice' approach failing.

It came after three knife-wielding Islamist terrorists killed eight people in London on Saturday night.

'How can you talk about London as a safe city after people have been run down by these terrorists on London Bridge after the same terrorists have rushed into restaurants in Borough Markets with knives trying to murder people?,' Mr Latham asked.

'There's nothing safe about London in those circumstances. This bloke is an absolute imbecile and I don't blame Donald Trump for a moment for getting stuck right into him.'

He also added Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation director-general Duncan Lewis to the 'be nice faction' list for telling a Senate committee there was no link between refugees and terrorism.

'How delusional can you be?,' Mr Latham asked. 'The 'be nice' faction is completely out of touch with reality. 'We need to have a hard-edged, vigorous response to Islamic terrorism.'


Christian Population of England Dropped from 71.7% to 59.4% in 10 Years

The percentage of people in England who said they were Christian dropped from 71.7 percent to 59.4 percent between the United Kingdom’s 2001 and 2011 censuses, according to the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics.

At the same time, the percentage of people who said they were Muslim increased from 3.1 percent to 5.0 percent.

In Greater Manchester, the Christian population held relatively steady, going from 74.1 percent in 2001 to 73.1 percent in 2011. At the same time, however, the Muslim population of Manchester grew from 5.0 percent in 2001 to 8.7 percent in 2011.

In 2001, there 49,138,831 people in England (which does not include Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland). Of those 49,138,831 people, 35,251,244 (or 71.7 percent) were Christian; 1,524,887 (or 3.1 percent) were Muslim. 7,709,267 (or 14.6 percent) said they had no religion; and 3,776,515 (or 7.7 percent) did not volunteer to state their religion.

By 2011, according to the Office of National Statistics, there were 53,012,456 people in England. Of these 31,479,876 (or 59.4 percent) were Christian; 2,660,116 (or 5.0 percent) were Muslim. 13,114,232 (or 24.7 percent) said they had no religion; and 3,804,104 (or 7.2 percent) did not state their religion.

Between 2001 and 2011, the number of Christians in England declined by 3,771,368 (from 35,251,244 to 31,479,876). The number of Muslims increased by 1,135,229 (from 1,524,887 to 2,660,116).

Between 2001 and 2011, in Greater Manchester, the Muslim population increased by 107,508 (from 125,219 to 232,787).


Southern Baptists Have a Sense of Humor

NASHVILLE, TN—After a long, drawn-out internal battle, the Southern Baptist Convention narrowly voted to affirm the inerrancy of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution at a special meeting called to settle the matter once and for all, sources confirmed Tuesday.

“The heart and soul of biblical Christianity is contained in the doctrine of the inerrancy and inspiration of the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” SBC President Steve Gaines said. “By choosing to affirm the verbal plenary inspiration of our right to bear arms as spelled out in the Constitution, Southern Baptists have ensured the spiritual vitality and endurance of its member churches.”

Gaines also said that churches that consider the Second Amendment as fallible are “chaff” destined to fade away as they continued to compromise core biblical beliefs like the necessity of owning a large and varied arsenal of weaponry, “and so they will fall into irrelevance.”


BOOK LAUNCH of The Tyranny of Tolerance, by Peter Kurti

From the Centre for Independent Studies, Greg Lindsay writes:

It gives me great pleasure, on behalf of Connor Court Publishing, to invite you to the release of The Tyranny of Tolerance by Peter Kurti. I am delighted to announce that we are holding launch events in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne over the coming weeks.

Kurti exposes a grand deception: the tolerance and diversity brigade cannot tolerate diversity of thought. — Nick Cater

It was a confident expectation for more than a century that religion — its beliefs, doctrines and institutions — would atrophy in the face of growing secularisation. But not only has traditional Christianity survived in liberal western societies; other faiths, most conspicuously Islam, have increasingly become a perceptible presence. This evolution gives rise to many questions about the place of religion in liberal democratic society.

Register Free; Sydney, 22 June with remarks by The Hon. J Dyson Heydon AC

Register Free; Brisbane, 28 June with remarks by Professor James Allan

Register Soon; Melbourne, July with remarks by Dr Jennifer Oriel

Please register via cis.org.au/events or via email to office@cis.org.au or by calling Sydney 9438 4377.

The Reverend Peter Kurti is a Research Fellow co-ordinating the Religion and Civil Society program at The Centre for Independent Studies. The program examines the implications of a liberal approach to religion in civil society and investigates the capacity of that society to maintain freedom for expression of religious values.


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

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

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


8 June, 2017

Yes, I'm a Feminist. Yes, I Enjoyed "Wonder Woman."

Eileen L. Wittig destroys liberal "Wonder Woman" whiners

I’ll be honest: I went to see Wonder Woman with zero expectations. I was aware that some extreme feminists were already angry about it because she doesn’t have hairy armpits or something, but all I wanted was a couple hours of entertainment. I hadn’t done much research on the movie or even seen many trailers. Actually, leading up to the movie, most of my attention was on the pre-movie dinner.

I did, however, hope that this first modern woman-centric superhero movie wasn’t going to mess it up. I’m not boycotting Marvel for all their man-centric movies, but I do wish they’d make one about Black Widow. Besides finally being about a woman, that movie would be awesome. You know it would.

I don’t get mad when a more qualified man beats a woman to some position or role or what have you. Roles should be filled with the best possible candidate, regardless of sex. I do wish more qualified woman would be recognized, though. And Wonder Woman is definitely qualified for a movie. I was also excited to see the movie was directed and written by women, at a time when women only make up about 17 percent of the Hollywood workforce in elite roles like these.

But that was as far as my feminism took it. I wasn’t at the movie to critique her look, I was there to critique her character.

So I don’t care that Wonder Woman/Diana’s hair was always perfectly curled, even though she should’ve had hat hair. And there’s no way those trenches weren’t humid. But she’s literally a god – maybe they have god-like hair at all times. Steve Trevor’s hair wasn’t very trench-like either.

I don’t care that Diana had eyeliner. Maybe gods are born with eyeliner.

I don’t care that her facial skin was too perfect to be makeup free. Again, she’s literally a god. Gods don’t get acne.

I don’t care that her thighs were probably photoshopped to look thinner – if we wanted the film to be physically accurate, she wouldn’t be able to flip tanks even if she did have thicker thighs. Plus there’s that whole god thing.

I don’t care that she wore heels the entire time. They looked very supportive, and are probably better weapons for spin kicks than sneakers. And maybe she just likes wearing heels. Maybe they make her feel powerful. They have that effect on me.

Beyond Her Looks

I do care about how Diana managed to walk that thin, thin line between literally being a weapon, and having empathy.

I care that she saw an unknown life and saved it, because she could, and because she cared.

I care that she was moved to tears when she heard about the suffering of millions of people she’d never even met, and then took that sorrow and turned it into motivation to save the rest.

I care that she was willing to sacrifice her own future life of peace among her family to save strangers.

I care that she threw savage shade at the old men trying to tell her how to live her life while they stayed behind desks, deciding the fates of others, and greasing their mustaches. They probably spent more time on their hair than she did.

I care that she had a clear, devoted sense of duty but wasn’t blind to things outside that duty, and that she knew that being on a mission meant helping those along the way as well.

I care that she could literally be walking to fight on the front lines of the worst war the world had ever seen, in a world she’d never been in, yet stop to see a baby.

There’s an idea in our culture that you have to sacrifice strength for empathy, but the opposite is true. Empathy makes you stronger.

So yes, you can be a strong, powerful woman while wearing heels and an evening gown.

Yes, you can be moved to tears by the suffering of others without giving up any strength.

And yes, you can stop to smile at an adorable baby on the street even while you are heading out on your mission to save the people you love. Even if you’re just going to the office and not a literal war.

Free to Save the World As You

I left the movie feeling pretty pumped up. Turns out that was a good thing, because a sketchy thing happened as I got home. Thanks to my movie-inspired energy, I was more alert than usual, and saw it developing before I was in any danger.

The world isn’t a terribly great place. Steve Trevor was right when he said there’s good and bad in everyone, that we can’t just find one person to blame for all the bad things. Even though that would be very, very convenient and very, very flattering to the rest of us. Sketchy things – and outright evil things – will continue to happen until the end of time. But that doesn’t mean it has to stay as bad as it is.

When we’re free to do what we truly think is good, right, and just, and are held back neither by groups nor individuals, with or without curling mustaches, then we can make the world a better place than it is.

When we feel free to pursue the good, right, and just as we are – whether that’s a mustache-curling old man behind a desk, a young man in the thick of the issue, an older woman overseeing operations from behind a desk, a young woman in heels with a mission, or whatever you are – then we can uniquely improve the world.

We all have our own way of making the world better, and our own ways shape the ends, and we can’t do it with restrictions on our freedom or on who we are.

So the next time I stop to gush over a puppy, while wearing heels, while on my way to work as one of the few women in the economic nonprofit world, do not accuse me of faking femininity, giving into patriarchal society, or giving up my liberated woman strength. I will call Wonder Woman down upon your head, eyeliner and all. This is who I am, and I am trying to use it all for the good. Just like you.


YouTube Banned Me, but Not the Hate

Michelle Malkin

One of the many maddening takeaways from the London Bridge jihad attack is this: If you post videos on YouTube radicalizing Muslim viewers to kill innocent people, YouTube will leave you alone. But if you post a video on YouTube honoring innocent people murdered by barbaric jihadists, your video will get banned.

I know. It happened to me in 2006. Eleven years later, the selective censors at Google-YouTube still can’t competently distinguish terrorist hate speech from political free speech. Islamic hate preachers such as Ahmad Musa Jibril, whose bloodthirsty rants against non-Muslims reportedly inspired the London Bridge ringleader, have flourished.

Meanwhile, other anti-jihad and conservative content creators have been throttled, flagged, demonetized and kicked off the site since the PC hammer first came down on me.

My two-minute clip, which I titled “First, They Came,” spotlighted authors, editors, politicians, and other targets of Islamic intolerance and violence. Among those featured in the video on radical Islam’s war on Western free speech: Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker murdered by jihadist Mohammed Bouyeri for his outspoken criticism of Muslim misogyny; Salman Rushdie, whom the Ayatollah Khomeini cast a fatwa upon after he published the “blasphemous” The Satanic Verses; Oriana Fallaci, the fiery journalist put on trial in Italy for “defaming Islam;” and the editors of the Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper, who faced death threats for publishing cartoons of Mohammed, which prompted violent riots and terror plots around the world.

I contrasted the plight of those killed with the hordes of Muslim protesters in London’s safe spaces fearlessly waving their signs demanding that the faithful “Behead all those who insult Islam” and “Exterminate those who slander Islam.”

Several months later, YouTube yanked the innocuous, harmless, nonviolent, nonprofane, nonhateful, and nonthreatening mini-film. The company informed me that the video contained “inappropriate content.” I complained across social media — posting additional YouTube videos calling attention to the ban. But “First, They Came” stayed deep-sixed on my YouTube channel. Other bloggers and video consumers tried to subvert the censors by posting the clip on their sites; it became a game of whack-a-mole as the YouTube police hunted it down.

Counterjihad activists nicknamed YouTube “JihadTube” or “Dhimmitube” to mock the censors’ acquiescence to Islamist restrictions on acceptable speech by infidels — as Islamic radicalization videos festered on the site.

Three pieces in the New York Times covered my skirmish over the little video. Reporter Tom Zeller Jr. reported that YouTube had emailed him a statement suggesting that my video “violated the company’s terms of service.” YouTube also told the newspaper, “Our customer support team reviews all flagged videos before removing them.”

The statement “specifically referred to the part of the YouTube user agreement that forbids users from submitting material that is ‘unlawful, obscene, defamatory, libelous, threatening, pornographic, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive, or encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, violate any law, or is otherwise inappropriate.’”

George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen wrote in a New York Times magazine article on “Google’s Gatekeepers” that he “watched the ‘First, They Came’ video, which struck me as powerful political commentary that contains neither hate speech nor graphic violence, and I asked why it was taken down. According to a YouTube spokesman, the takedown was a routine one that hadn’t been reviewed by higher-ups.”

Rancid rants encouraging jihad by the sword and murder of non-Muslims have racked up millions of views over the past five years.

Only after receiving fair exposure in the New York Times (my, how times and the Times have changed) did the video magically reappear on my channel.

Now, contrast Google/YouTube’s ridiculous stifling of “First, They Came” with its hands-off treatment of murder-inciting videos of hate imams Ahmad Musa Jibril and Abu Haleema.

Their rancid rants encouraging jihad by the sword and murder of non-Muslims have racked up millions of views over the past five years. Millions. Counterterrorism officials in multiple countries have tied their social media poison to jihad plots. The company told Conservative Review’s Jordan Schachtel that it had reviewed the hate imams’ channels and “found that they do not violate YouTube’s guidelines on extremist or hateful content.”

The enlightened peace-and-love progressives of Silicon Valley don’t just have egg on their faces. They have blood on their hands.


UN Agency Uses Misleading Photo in Solicitation for Palestinian Refugees

The U.N.’s agency for Palestinian refugees has amended a Ramadan donation appeal after critics pointed out that it featured a child in a bombed-out area near Damascus and not – as the agency claimed – a Palestinian girl in Gaza supposedly victimized by the Israelis.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said in a statement Saturday that as soon as the matter was drawn to its attention it investigated and found that it “had mistakenly posted an image from our archive of a child in Syria and had said that the child was in Gaza.”

“The image has been replaced,” it said, then added that, whether in Gaza or Syria, the Palestinian refugee children it served were in urgent need of help.

The issue, however, may have gone beyond the use of the wrong photo to illustrate the Ramadan appeal. UNRWA originally claimed that the child in the photo was a girl in Gaza named “Aya” for whom it provided a brief biography:

“The blockade of Gaza began when she was a baby, the occupation in the West Bank before her parents were born. Now she is eleven, and the blockade goes on,” it said. “Aya’s childhood memories are of conflict and hardship, walls she cannot escape, and the fear that the only home she knows, however tiny, could be gone when she returns from school.”

The photo and blurb about “Aya” originally appeared prominently on UNRWA’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

When the “mistakenly” used photo was removed, it was not replaced by a photo of the real Aya (if she exists), but simply with the words, “Stand With Palestine Refugees” against a black background, along with a link to a donation page.

The wording was also edited: All references to “Aya” were removed, and the blurb spoke instead about “children in Gaza.”

“The blockade of Gaza began when they were babies, the occupation of the West Bank before their parents were born. And the blockade goes on,” it said. “Their childhood memories are of conflict and hardship, walls they cannot escape, and the fear that the only home they know could be gone when they return from school.”

An UNRWA official said Monday there was “nothing to add to the statement we put out which makes clear that this was a mistake.”

The agency had been asked whether “Aya” exists or was concocted for the fundraising appeal. It was also asked whether any action been taken against the person or persons responsible for the alleged deception.

The U.S. is UNRWA’s number one donor ($380.59 million in 2015); American taxpayers have provided more than $4 billion to the agency since 1950.


Australia: Political violence against conservative broadcaster backfires when "protesters" get some of their own back

CONTROVERSIAL columnist and TV personality Andrew Bolt has “clobbered” a group of masked protesters who set upon him in Melbourne yesterday.

On his TV program last night, Bolt explained how he was about to launch a book on US President Donald Trump at a restaurant in Carlton, in the city’s inner north, when a woman asked to take a selfie with him.

Before they could take the photo, two masked protesters set upon Bolt, spraying his face and suit with what he described as “sticky liquid with glitter and dye”.

The protesters may have got more than they bargained for because Bolt quickly retaliated, punching one of the attackers repeatedly.

“Bad luck for them, of course; I don’t do running and hiding,” he told his viewers on his Sky News program The Bolt Report on Tuesday night.

The conservative columnist screened security camera footage of the altercation on his show, freezing on the faces of each of his attackers as well as a third man who filmed the ambush.

“Police are now looking for this young man, who will have a big bruise on the left side of his face and another bruise between his legs, for which I apologise, I guess, but I don’t really fight nice if I’m pushed too far.”

On his popular blog, Bolt described the protesters as members of the “fascist Left”.

“Watch the fascist Left attack me and get clobbered. Luckily the cameras do not capture me kicking one between the legs. I cannot have my children see me acting like a thug,” he wrote.

Bolt was at Il Gambero restaurant in Lygon St to launch the book The Art of the Impossible: A Blog History of the Election of Donald J Trump by economics academic Steve Kates.

Bolt encouraged anyone who recognised the attackers to phone North Melbourne police on 03 8379 0800.



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

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

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


7 June, 2017

Facebook REMOVES video linking Islam and terror

Facebook has removed a video posted by a prominent Jewish community member after he claimed there is a clear connection between terrorism and Islam.

Outspoken Israeli army veteran Avi Yemini posted a live video after the London terror attacks which received almost four thousand likes.

In the video he claimed there is an obvious link between terrorism, and those who cannot see it are 'stupid'.

Mr Yemini told Daily Mail Australia the post was removed by Facebook for violating community standards.

He has since posted a response to Facebook in which he says 'lefties' pulled down the live video, and claims Muslims can say what they want.

'The funny thing is if I was an Islamist, there would be no problem with anything I say,' he says in the video posted on Monday. 'In fact I could say I'm gonna behead someone now ... It's a bloody disgrace.

'I actually didn't say anything too controversial.'

Mr Yemini also reveals in the video a number of his separate accounts have also been shutdown by Facebook.

'Something seems a little bit off here ... I'm very careful about choosing my words in a way that it doesn't go against their terms and conditions,' he says.

He then implores people to follow his Facebook page to send a powerful message about censorship to the 'leftist' social media giant.

'I want to get a few thousand followers tonight just to show these lefties that when you try to silence us, when you try to shut us up, we only get louder,' he says.


Web giant won't remove vile Muslim rants inciting terror

Google has refused to remove vile YouTube rants by the hate preachers who inspired the London Bridge killers.

The Mail yesterday found a series of tirades by Ahmad Musa Jibril and Abu Haleema that were easily accessible on the video sharing site.

They used the Google-owned video platform to spread the warped messages which helped turn 27-year-old Khuram Butt into a fanatic bent on mass slaughter.

In the videos found by the Mail, they told followers to make ‘enemies’ out of all kuffar [non-believers], and instructed Islamists not to grieve for terror victims.

They also branded moderate Muslims as ‘malignant tumours’ in the Islamic community, and denounced the London Mayor Sadiq Khan – a Muslim – as kuffar.

According to a friend of Butt, he was obsessed with Jibril, and became radicalised after watching YouTube videos of the preacher.

He was also an associate of Haleema, appearing alongside him in last year’s Channel 4 documentary, the Jihadis Next Door.

The hate preacher’s videos have been watched more than a million times, and won warped comments of approval from viewers, one of whom wrote: ‘Kuffar must [and] will be eliminated’.

But Google has refused to remove them, insisting they did not break its own rules. Last night, politicians and terror experts accused the US technology giant of ‘colluding’ with hate preachers.

Yvette Cooper, the Labour candidate for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford and former shadow home secretary, said: ‘It is sickening that extremist, terrorist material which intends to radicalise people so that they carry out heinous attacks like the one we saw on London Bridge is still easily available on YouTube.

‘Google are aiding and abetting terrorists by leaving this vile stuff online. This platform is being used to feed warped ideologies that support deathly attacks.’

Professor Anthony Glees, director of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham, said there was ‘no question at all’ that the material should be removed.

‘[The technology companies] bear clear moral responsibility for the harm that is done. They collude in the Islamist incitement.

‘GCHQ could disrupt these channels of communication. Let the US companies sue the UK Government; there’s no English jury that would find for the Americans.’

Last night, a YouTube spokesman said that it wanted to work with the Government.

‘We take our role in combatting the spread of extremist material very seriously,’ the spokesman said. ‘YouTube has clear policies prohibiting terrorist recruitment and content intending to incite violence, and we act quickly to remove videos violating these. We also terminate accounts run by terrorist organisations or those that repeatedly violate our policies.’

However, its words will fall flat in light of the grotesque videos by Jibril and Haleema still circulating on YouTube. Jibril, a Palestinian-American cleric, denounced religious tolerance and condemned Muslims who feel sympathy for victims of terror attacks.

In one video, watched more than 41,000 times, Jibril tells his followers: ‘[There are] malignant tumours within this umma [Muslim community] crying for the causes of others. The least worst Muslim dying anywhere in the world is more worthy of mourning and attention than the best kaffir.’

Haleema said in a video posted on the day of the 2016 Brussels attack: ‘Don’t try and be like the kuffar [non-believer]. Do not grieve over them.’

He also taunted non-Muslims in a video posted in January 2016, and watched more than 5,000 times. ‘We’re not going to stop calling for the domination of Islam.’

Heleema and Jibril’s messages are also spreading on Facebook and Twitter. Yesterday, the Mail also found many links promoting them on the social networks. One Twitter account set up to spread Jibril’s message offers followers a free DVD. He also has a Facebook page with links to his sermons.

Facebook and Twitter accounts under Haleema’s name were also last night active, though it is not clear whether they are genuine. Twitter declined to comment on ‘privacy’ grounds.

Most of Haleema’s YouTube videos were posted before he appeared in the Channel 4 documentary in January 2016. In 2015, he was accused of radicalising a schoolboy who was convicted over a plot to behead police during an Anzac Day parade in Australia.

He was arrested on suspicion of encouraging terrorism in 2015. He does not appear to have posted to YouTube since June 2016. His whereabouts are unknown.

The security services face difficult questions because 27-year-old Muslim ringleader, Khuram Butt, known to friends as 'Abz', appeared in a Channel 4 documentary last year about British jihadists Killer who was filmed in Regent's Park with an ISIS flag...


'Stop slapping him and belittling him': Brutal post details the harmful ways in which teenage girls abuse boyfriends, insisiting they get away with the awful behavior because they are female

A social media post is raising the alarm about the harmful ways in which girls and women can abuse their boyfriends.

The message, titled 'Dear teen girls', received renewed attention on Monday and has circulated on Tumblr. It lists more than 15 abusive behaviors, such as 'threatening to break up with him if he doesn’t do what you want' and 'yelling at him in front of his friends', and urges female partners to stop resorting to them.

Social media users have reblogged the post and shared their own stories of abuse. One of them recounted the heartbreaking tale of a man who was being hit by his ex-girlfriend, but struggled to get help from authorities after cops laughed at him.

'Stop abusing your boyfriends,' the message urges, 'and yes what you are doing is abuse.'

Among the listed abusive behaviors, some refer to the physical kind of abuse, such as 'hitting or slapping him when he does or says something you don’t like' and 'physically attacking him whenever you are mad'.

Another refers to sexual violence, and warns against 'forcing him to have sex despite that fact that he said he didn’t want to'.

Others describe psychological abuse and humiliation, and asks female partners to refrain from 'yelling at him in front of his friends', 'telling him he doesn’t have a choice when it comes to decisions that involve both of you', and 'threatening to break up with him if he doesn’t do what you want'.

The post also urges girls to stop 'belittling him and pointing out all his flaws' and 'invading his privacy by going through his phone'.

Along with the list, the author of the original message pointed out how important it is to raise awareness about male victims of abuse. One in four men in the US have experienced physical violence, rape or stalking at the hand of their partners in their lifetime according to the CDC.

'Boys: If your girlfriend does anything on this list leave her. It is abuse and you deserve better,' the author wrote. 'Girls: if you find yourself doing anything on this list to your boyfriend you need to knock it off because you are being abusive.'

The post resonated with thousands of other social media users, who in turned shared the list.

One of them pointed out that domestic abuse isn't found only in heterosexual relationships. 'Can I just add that I've seen young queer girls do this to their girlfriends,' the person wrote. 'Girls can be abusers and you are right to leave.'

Someone added their own list of abusive behaviors, such as 'sending his number to strangers to see if he's loyal or not' and being rude or mean to him in front of others'.

Another person recounted knowing a young man who got both of his legs broken because he 'annoyed' his girlfriend.

'Another young lady started to hit her ex-boyfriend because he wouldn’t take her back because of the abuse,' the poster added. 'He called the cops on her and they literally started laughing at him because she was very petite in comparison to him. Anyone can be abusive and I wish more people understood that.'


Santa Fe's rejection of soda tax a win for public health

Record numbers of voters turned out on May 2 to say no to a soda tax in Santa Fe, New Mexico. By proposing a two-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary soft drinks, policymakers meant to encourage healthier consumption choices. What soda tax advocates don't realize, however, is that a soda tax might actually encourage worse eating and drinking habits.

Santa Fe's decisive defeat of the soda tax (11,533 no votes versus 8,382 votes in favor) is a win for public health even if it seems like a loss at first glance. It’s also true, though, that governments around the world could do more to improve their citizens’ health.

The tax seems brilliant in its straightforward logic. People buy less of a good when its price goes up, and so higher after-tax soda prices should lead individuals to consume less sugary soft drinks, thereby avoiding the scourges of obesity, Type II diabetes and tooth decay, or at least that is what the supporters claim. But simple thinking isn't enough. Individuals react in more ways than politicians can anticipate and are ingenious when it comes to finding ways around obstacles between them and their favorite vices.

Philadelphia's experience with a 1.5-cent-per-ounce soda tax demonstrates how easy it is to find ways around a tax confined to one city. It took retailers located outside Philadelphia only a few days before they advertised their locations to pull in soft drink shoppers. Guides to soda sellers just outside the bounds of the taxing jurisdiction quickly emerged on social media.

Even when soda taxes increase prices, as Econ 101 teaches, it doesn't mean that healthier options will be chosen instead. Research shows that people substitute salty and fatty foods when faced with a half-cent-per-ounce soda tax. Moreover, the effect of the tax on obesity is vanishingly small: the same researchers concluded that the tax likely would cause less than a two-pound weight loss in low-income individuals over the next decade.

Less than a two-pound weight loss over ten years is a far cry from the health benefits promised by the soda tax's advocates, but the tax's effects don't stop there. People naturally choose healthier options and are more likely to exercise as their incomes rise. So a regressive soda tax is a bad way to promote health because it reduces the disposable incomes of those it is meant to help. In fact, economic research shows that “sin taxes” like those proposed for soda may even exacerbate income inequality.

If soda taxes boosted economic growth, then maybe their defenders could claim they will help individuals make healthier choices. But the number of reasons to think soda taxes hurt the economies of cities that enacted them is growing. Take the case of Philadelphia again. Only two months after implementation of Philadelphia's 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax, Philly’s supermarkets and soda distributors reported 30 to 50 percent drops in beverage sales and announced layoffs — likely because of cross-border shopping. We can only hope that the Philadelphians who lost their jobs found new employment in nearby towns.

Soda sales dropped by ten percent in Berkeley, Calif., in the months following the enactment of a one-cent-per-ounce tax there, but they rose by seven percent just beyond the city limits.

The lost jobs and the sugary, fatty and carbohydrate-laden foods individuals consume when soda prices rise supposedly are “unintended consequences” of the seemingly simple soda tax. The evidence is accumulating, however, that such consequences are foreseeable and likely create negative health effects of the same magnitudes as the ones policymakers are attempting to prevent.

The failure of soda taxes to promote healthy choices doesn't mean that governments are incapable of helping people live healthier lives — it's just that the right path to that goal isn't through social engineering.

Instead of bludgeoning the already poor with regressive taxes, policymakers should try to get out of their way and allow them to improve their own lives. Easing occupational licensing restrictions and clearing out the tangled web of regulations that impede small-business startups and innovation are great places to start.



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

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

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


6 June, 2017

Some satire

Bruce Bawer

Yet again it has returned, the sublime and hallowed month of Ramadan – a beautiful and particularly sacred period that was an original part of the magnificent revelation handed down by Allah to the Prophet himself (peace be upon him) in the Holy Quran. Indeed, it has been widely postulated by many of our holiest of men that the precious text of that sacred volume was revealed to the Prophet himself (even more peace be upon him) during the very first Ramadan.

Needless to say, this is an exceedingly special and sanctified period of the year, a period of grace and majesty as well as of prayer and charity – a time during which the eternally beloved people of Allah are encouraged to demonstrate the depth and strength of their faith by engaging in sawm, or fasting, from dawn until sunset, as well as by strictly avoiding the intake of food and beverages, the use of tobacco, and any kind of carnal activity, although the standard acts of incestuous intercourse with minors and, naturally, the brutal sexual violation of the wives and offspring of infidels can be safely pursued per usual. Furthermore, it is to be hoped that the faithful will manifest the great extent of their self-restraint during this period by scheduling such activities as female genital mutilation, wife-beating, and the theologically obligatory honor killing of wives, sisters, and daughters for the hours following sundown – that is to say, after the iftar, the solemn supper taken in the wake of the sinking of the sun below the horizon, and before the suhur, the consecrated common meal that is directed to take place just prior to the rising of the sun.

It is particularly vital that the people of God make a special effort during the holy month of Ramadan not to engage in any act of unkindness, injustice, or insensitivity directed at their fellow believers – although, of course, the tossing of homosexuals from the roofs of buildings, the remorseless stoning to death of rape victims, and the violent execution of apostates may proceed as usual, preferably during the hours of darkness. It it crucial, moreover, to underscore that Ramadan is a time during which the followers of the Prophet are enjoined to take part in even a more extensive and profound degree of spiritual reflection than is their usual practice during the remainder of the year: they are, for instance, called upon to recite the special Ramadan prayers, known as the Tarawih, during the nights of this dearest of months, and even, if they are capable of such an accomplishment, to read prayerfully through the entire Holy Quran from start to finish. All of this contemplative and devout activity, to be sure, should not be permitted to distract the children of Allah from such equally urgent and virtuous tasks as mowing down infidels with cars, trucks, and other vehicles, shooting deadly rockets into the heart of urban areas where civilian non-believers are wont to gather, and committing sundry acts of mass annihilation and bloodshed involving such handy implements as machetes and Kalashnikovs.

Most important of all, the consummate lessons of self-control that the people of the Holy Quran are expected to take to heart during Ramadan should not be misconstrued in such a way as to prevent them from setting off bombs at major sporting events, high-profile musical performances, and other large public events at which there is a good chance of reducing large numbers of infidels, especially the small and helpless children of the infidels, to random splatters of blood and to charred, unidentifiable bits and pieces of flesh and bone. On the contrary, the followers of Allah and disciples of the Prophet (peace, yet again, be upon him) should never lose sight of the fact that it is during Ramadan, above all times, that acts of righteous slaughter and virtuous extirpartion – those blessed sanguinary proofs of Islamic piety and allegiance – bring even more joy to Allah in His Heaven than they do during the remainder of the year.

Via email

Health Cops Now Calling for Regulation of Caffeine

Will your cup of coffee be next?

The health police are turning their sights to energy, calling for tobacco style regulations on caffeine and bans on energy drinks for young Americans.

Nutrition experts are calling on the federal government to heavily regulate the levels of caffeine permitted in energy drinks out of fear that the beverages are harming public health, particularly the youth.

Advocates are concerned there are no rules restricting energy drink manufacturers from marketing to those who face potentially fatal consequences from consuming the beverages, according to an op-ed in The Washington Post.

Pat Crawford and Wendi Gosliner, researchers with the University of California’s Nutrition Policy Institute, want the Food and Drug Administration to crack down on energy drinks with restrictions similar to those placed on alcohol. They argue that the FDA must “ban the marketing of energy drinks to young people of all ages,” and launched a public education effort on the dangers of caffeine.

“Caffeine is a strong and potentially dangerous stimulant, particularly for children and adolescents,” Crawford and Gosliner said in the editorial. “Making matters worse, consumers do not know the risks of the high levels of caffeine in an energy drink.

Unlike coffee, energy drinks are widely marketed to adolescents, putting them at risk of extreme caffeine overload with potentially devastating cardiovascular and neurological consequences.”

The outcry to regulate the content and sale of energy drinks comes in the wake of the tragic death of Davis Cripe, a South Carolina teen who collapsed and later died April 26 after overdosing on caffeine. The teen had consumed a large Mountain Dew, a cafe latte from McDonald’s, and, according to classmates, chugged a 16-ounce energy drink over a span of two hours.

The influx of so much caffeine into his system over such a small period of time sparked a fatal cardiac event. His death brought caffeine back into the forefront of the public health debate, particularly the levels used by popular brands like Red Bull and Monster.

Crawford and Gosliner say that requiring companies to put labels showing caffeine content would be a good start, but say ultimately, stronger legal measures are needed. They note the American Academy of Pediatrics released a 2011 report saying that children and adolescents should never consume such products.

Emergency room visits linked to energy drinks climbed from 1,494 to 20,738 between 2005 and 2011.


March for Life Wants Justice Department to Investigate Planned Parenthood

The March for Life, along with over a dozen other organizations, signed a letterreleased Tuesday asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI acting Director Andrew McCabe to investigate Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the selling of fetal tissue.

“We, the undersigned representing millions of Americans, strongly support an investigation into paid fetal tissue transfers involving Planned Parenthood,” the signers write.

The letter is prompted by the work of David Daleiden, an investigative journalist who founded the Center for Medical Progress, a nonprofit organization of “citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances.”

As part of his work, “Daleiden recorded doctors, executives, and staff-level employees discussing various aspects of the fetal tissue procurement industry,” the signers write.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can’t be done alone. Find out more >>

Daleiden and a contractor hired by Center for Medical Progress, Sandra Merritt, are currently facing criminal charges in California over their undercover video work. Daleiden called the charges “bogus.”

Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, told The Daily Signal in an interview Thursday that pro-life organizations want justice to be served.

“Essentially, we’re asking the administration to take it up in its proper format, so it should have been looked at through the Justice Department in the Obama administration,” Mancini said. “Of course, that never happened, so we’re asking the Trump administration to rightly take up this in the Department of Justice.”

The letter comes days after the May 24 release of a video from the Center for Medical Progress that shows footage from the conventions of the National Abortion Federation in 2014 and 2015.

“An eyeball just fell down into my lap, and that is gross,” Dr. Uta Landy, Planned Parenthood Federation of America Consortium of Abortion Providers founder, said during a panel discussion at a National Abortion Federation convention.

Deb VanDerhei, national director for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America America Consortium of Abortion Providers, directly addressed revenues.

“But the truth is, that some might want to do it for, to increase their revenues,” VanDerhei said. “And we can’t stop them.”

The Center for Medical Progress has released multiple videos taken by undercover journalists showing Planned Parenthood employees discussing the selling of fetal tissue.

A video released in April by the Center for Medical Progress shows Dr. Mary Gatter, Planned Parenthood Foundation of America’s Medical Directors’ Council president, speaking about the price of fetal tissue.

“Yeah, $50’s on the low end, $50 [per specimen] was like 12 years ago,” Gatter said.

The last Congress, the letter said, investigated Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the selling of fetal tissue.

“The 114th Congress responded to the videos by holding hearings and initiating investigations that culminated in the House of Representatives creating the Select Panel on Infant Lives to further investigate the matter,” the letter reads.

The letter states that the panel “found evidence of violations of laws protecting human research subjects and patient privacy; laws regulating anatomical gifts for transplantation, therapy, research, and education; laws protecting late-term and born-alive infants; and laws pertaining to public funding for fetal tissue research and abortion providers.”

The panel, according to the letter, “made 15 criminal and regulatory referrals of tissue procurement companies and abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood affiliates, and investigations are underway around the nation.”


Immigrants win one third of U.S. Nobel prizes in key fields

Japan, the UK and S. Africa were well represented. Only one Muslim, a Turk. Judging by the names, a lot of the winners were ethnic Ashkenazim

More than one-third of U.S. Nobel prize winners in chemistry, medicine and physics are immigrants, a new report shows.

The report, released Thursday by the National Foundation for American Policy, a conservative research group, shows that since 2000, two dozen immigrants won Nobels in those fields, out of 68 U.S. prizewinners in chemistry, medicine and physics.

The NFAP hopes the research shows the contributions of immigrants in important fields will bolster the chances for the passage of immigration reform, which has been mired in Congress this term.

While the U.S. Senate passed an immigration bill last year, the measure has stalled in the House of Representatives where Republicans remain deeply split over what to do about the more than 11 million undocumented U.S. residents. Many Republicans want to await the outcome of November's elections before revisiting the issue.

Opponents of the reform say immigration is holding down pay, stealing jobs from Americans, and in the case of undocumented workers, potentially rewarding those who didn't immigrate through legal channels.

Legislation dating from 1965 that lifted quotas on national origin, a key driver of Asian immigration to the United States, coupled with 1995 legislation that increased employment-based immigration, have helped build the surge of U.S. Nobel prize winners, the report said.

Before 1960, just one immigrant to the United States won the Nobel Prize in chemistry, nine in medicine, and 15 in physics. Since 1960, 23 immigrants have won the Nobel Prize in chemistry, 28 in medicine, and 21 in physics, the report said.

The United States should increase the numbers of both native born and immigrant students in key fields through initiatives such as focusing on higher-quality education, said Joe Green, the head of Facebook-backed advocacy group Fwd.Us, on a phone call with reporters about the report.



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

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

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


5 June, 2017

This Farmer Won’t Host Same-Sex Weddings at His Orchard. Now a City Has Banned Him From Its Farmers Market

A farmers market and Facebook posts have opened a new front in courtroom battles over religious freedom.

It started when Steve Tennes, who owns a 120-acre farm in Charlotte, Michigan, expressed his traditional view about marriage on the farm’s Facebook page.

This drew a warning from an official more than 20 miles away in East Lansing, Michigan, that if Tennes tried to sell his fruit at the city’s farmers market, it could incite protests.

No one showed up to protest that August day last summer, though, and Tennes continued selling organic apples, peaches, cherries, and pumpkins at the seasonal market until October, as he had done the six previous years.

Nevertheless, East Lansing moved earlier this year to ban Tennes’ farm, the Country Mill, from participating in the farmers market when it resumes June 4. The city cited its human relations ordinance, an anti-discrimination law that includes sexual orientation.

So Tennes and his wife sued the city for religious discrimination.

As a Marine veteran who is married to an Army veteran, Tennes told The Daily Signal, this was consistent with his philosophy of defending freedom:

My wife Bridget and I volunteered to serve our country in the military to protect freedom, and that is why we feel we have to fight for freedom now, whether it’s Muslims’, Jews’, or Christians’ right to believe and live out those beliefs.

The government shouldn’t be treating some people worse than others because they have different thoughts and ideas.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal aid organization, is representing the Tenneses.

Neither East Lansing’s public information office nor the city manager’s office responded Wednesday to phone calls about the case from The Daily Signal.

East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows told the Lansing State Journal that the city’s decision to exclude Country Mill—also known as Country Mill Orchard—from the farmers market had nothing to do with religious beliefs, but with the farm’s “business decision” not to host same-sex weddings.

“This is about them operating a business that discriminates against LGBT individuals, and that’s a whole different issue,” Meadows said, referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, says of Steve and Bridget Tennes’ perspective, in part:

Plaintiffs support the rights of citizens and other businesses to express their views about marriage. Plaintiffs simply seek to enjoy the same freedom.

Yet, East Lansing’s policy strips plaintiffs of their constitutional freedoms, including free speech and the free exercise of religion, by punishing plaintiffs’ viewpoint on marriage, going so far as to prohibit Country Mill from continuing its long history of participating in the farmers market because plaintiffs publicly stated their sincerely held religious view that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.

The suit also says the farm “has employed people from a wide variety of racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds, including members of the LGBT community.

Country Mill hosts a corn maze, birthday parties, weddings, and other events. In 2014, two lesbians sought to be married in a wedding ceremony at Country Mill, but Tennes turned them down.

This occurred before the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage across the country.

According to his legal complaint, Tennes had a “civil” discussion with the women, and said his venue didn’t host same-sex weddings because of his religious beliefs. But he referred the women to an orchard that held same-sex weddings.

In 2015, the two women were married at another orchard. On Aug. 22, 2016, one of them wrote a Facebook post discouraging consumers from doing business with Country Mill.

In response, Tennes initially said the farm would cease holding any weddings.

After this post, the East Lansing official asked Tennes not to sell produce at the market, saying he feared protests. Tennes did anyway, and no protest occurred, according to the lawsuit.

In December, Tennes announced on Facebook that Country Mill would resume holding weddings:

This past fall our family farm stopped booking future wedding ceremonies at our orchard until we could devote the appropriate time to review our policies and how we respectfully communicate and express our beliefs. The Country Mill engages in expressing its purpose and beliefs through the operation of its business and it intentionally communicates messages that promote its owners’ beliefs and declines to communicate messages that violate those beliefs.

The Country Mill family and its staff have and will continue to participate in hosting the ceremonies held at our orchard. It remains our deeply held religious belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and Country Mill has the First Amendment right to express and act upon its beliefs. For this reason, Country Mill reserves the right to deny a request for services that would require it to communicate, engage in, or host expression that violates the owners’ sincerely held religious beliefs and conscience.

Furthermore, it remains our religious belief that all people should be treated with respect and dignity regardless of their beliefs or background. We appreciate the tolerance offered to us specifically regarding our participation in hosting wedding ceremonies at our family farm.

East Lansing city officials determined that these public statements violated the city’s 1972 human relations ordinance prohibiting discrimination. That law was the first in the state to recognize sexual orientation as a protected class from discrimination.

But this brought up a jurisdictional issue on top of First Amendment concerns, the farmer’s lawsuit says.

East Lansing, the complaint says, “has no authority to enforce its ordinance based on Tennes’ religious beliefs and their impact on how he operates Country Mill.” The farm, it says, is 22 miles outside the city.

The lawsuit also notes that the city has not taken action against a vendor that promoted same-sex marriage.

In March, East Lansing sent Tennes a letter denying Country Mill’s application to be a vendor at the 2017 farmers market:

It was brought to our attention that the Country Mill’s general business practices do not comply with East Lansing’s civil rights ordinances and public policy against discrimination as set forth in Chapter 22 of the City Code and outlined in the 2017 market vendor guidelines. “As such,” the letter reads, “Country Mill’s presence as a vendor is prohibited.”


Trump Administration Considering Rule That Would Help Little Sisters of the Poor

For employers that don’t want to provide birth control and abortifacient coverage in health insurance plans, relief may be on the way.

President Donald Trump’s administration “is poised to make changes to Obamacare’s birth control coverage mandate by granting broad exemptions to employers that object on religious or moral grounds,” The Hill reported.

The proposed move is being cheered by some conservatives.

“Better late than never,” Mark Rienzi, senior counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a nonprofit legal organization, said in a statement.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone. Find out more >>

“At long last the United States government acknowledges that people can get contraceptives without forcing nuns to provide them,” Rienzi added. “That is sensible, fair, and in keeping with the Supreme Court’s order and the president’s promise to the Little Sisters and other religious groups serving the poor.”

The Becket Fund represents the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns who fought the Obamacare contraception and abortifacient mandate all the way to the Supreme Court.

Last year, the Supreme Court “‘vacated,’ meaning erased, all of the lower court cases and required them to reconsider the claims brought by the Little Sisters of the Poor and others that the regulations promulgated pursuant to Obamacare violate their religious exercise in light of the government’s admission that it could indeed provide contraceptive coverage without the Little Sisters’ collaboration,” wrote The Heritage Foundation’s Elizabeth Slattery and Roger Severino, a former Heritage employee, at the time.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, an organization that promotes pro-life and family values, said the proposed rule change is good progress.

“While this apparent leaked document is a draft, it is a very positive sign to see the federal government work to cease its hostility toward Christians and those who object to the Obama-era health care mandates,” Perkins said in a statement. “This draft regulation shows that [Health and Human Services] Secretary Tom Price and President Trump intend to make good on their pledge to vigorously protect and promote [America’s] First Freedom.”

Birth control advocates, such as Keep Birth Control Copay Free, an organization that promotes birth control access, are not supportive of the potential rule change.

“President Trump has been clear that religious liberty is important and that religious orders, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, are deserving of that freedom as well,” a White House spokesperson told The Daily Signal in an email.

The leaked rule “would leave in place the religious ‘accommodation’ created by the Obama administration, making that route available to groups that choose to continue using it,” according to the Becket Fund.

The Becket Fund also noted in its press release that many Americans remain on health insurance plans that do not have to provide abortifacients or birth control:

One hundred million Americans—nearly one in three—don’t have insurance plans that must comply with this mandate. The government was already exempting large corporations like Exxon and Visa, and even its own government-run plans for the disabled and military families.

Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel at Becket, told The Daily Signal in an email that the proposed rule could be published in the next week or in the next several weeks.


How Some State Politicians Are Using Government to Threaten Free Speech

When it comes to threatening the free speech rights of American citizens, progressives have largely been the culprits at the federal level. Yet increasingly, Republican state legislators have taken up this crusade.

Last month, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez rightly vetoed a Republican-supported bill that would have forced nonprofits to disclose their supporters’ personal information, saying it would “likely discourage charities and other groups that are primarily non-political from advocating for their cause.”

Now, New Mexico’s Democratic secretary of state might impose the same disclosure requirements through campaign finance rules she plans to unveil later this year.

Nonprofits also came under attack this January in South Carolina. There, Republican state Sen. Hugh Leatherman introduced a bill that sought to limit the type of speech nonprofit groups could engage in when participating in public policy debates.

Things aren’t much better in South Dakota. Last year, voters in that state narrowly passed a ballot initiative that would have drastically changed state campaign finance laws.

That measure, which was overturned by the Legislature in January, sought to subsidize political campaigns with taxpayer dollars and require additional disclosures of private information that could have opened citizens up to harassment.

Then came a political tiff in Missouri that spilled over into a threat to free speech.

After state Sen. Rob Schaaf found himself at odds with Republican Gov. Eric Greitens throughout the legislative session, a nonprofit group that supported the governor repeatedly criticized the senator.

In return, Schaaf doubled down by proposing legislation he had previously introduced, which would force nonprofits to report the names and personal information of their private supporters.

Proponents of these kinds of disclosure bills claim transparency is their goal. But we require transparency from government, not the other way around.

As the U.S. Supreme Court noted in 1958’s landmark NAACP v. Alabama opinion, there is a “vital relationship between freedom to associate and privacy in one’s association,” and the revelation of the identity of the NAACP’s “rank-and-file members has exposed these members to … loss of employment, threat of physical coercion, and … public hostility,” among other forms of intimidation.

Threats of intimidation for holding certain beliefs still persist. And with modern technology, disclosed membership lists could be accessed by internet trolls, social media mobs, and protest organizers in mere seconds.

A few strokes of the keyboard and suddenly, a reputation is destroyed, a business boycotted into ruin, or a home vandalized because an individual donated to the “wrong” nonprofit.

In addition to compelling private organizations to disclose their supporters, some measures, like those in South Dakota and Missouri, also give tremendous power to state ethics commissions.

While seemingly benign, charging these bodies with regulating and enforcing disclosures poses a significant threat to private citizens’ right to support causes in which they believe.

Deborah Jordahl, a political consultant in Wisconsin, can speak to this firsthand.

In 2013, armed law enforcement officers executed a predawn raid of her home. They confiscated records, computers, and smartphones; prevented her from calling her lawyer; and told her that she wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about what happened.

Jordahl was not alone in this. Several other private citizens in Wisconsin had their homes ransacked and lives upended in what came to be known as the John Doe investigation, carried out at the behest of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board and a special prosecutor.

Another private citizen targeted in the investigation, Cindy Archer, said, “It destroyed my career, it destroyed my life, it changed who I am.”

What were their crimes?

They didn’t commit any. They engaged in lawful policy advocacy as private citizens. Powerful officials just happened to disagree with them.

Lawmakers who support disclosure laws appear oblivious to the potential for such abuse. One South Dakota legislator asked, “Why are you afraid to associate your name with something you support?”

The answer is retaliation, as Schaaf can attest. Recently, he said he and his colleagues have “to be able to have a free and fair discussion,” and not be “afraid of doing the right thing” simply because someone might run ads ridiculing them.

If Schaaf and other elected officials, who have chosen to be public figures, could be silenced by fear of ridicule, then certainly he should understand why private citizens might be hushed by his disclosure law.

Anonymous speech has been part of the American political tradition since our founding. In “Common Sense,” “the Federalist Papers,” and other works, anonymity allowed ideas to be spoken without threat of intimidation and heard without bias.

Politicians who advance disclosure laws are showing they would rather attack the speaker than debate issues and ideas on their merits. This is corrosive to our democratic process. Anonymous speech is not.


Poll: Conservatives, Weekly Church Goers Say No New LGBT Laws Needed

Although a Gallup poll shows that Americans are split over whether new laws are needed to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, the same survey shows that strong majorities of male adults, weekly church goers, conservatives, and Republicans believe no new laws are needed.

On the flip side, strong majorites of women, young people, Democrats, and liberals believe more laws are needed.

In the poll, Gallup asked, "Do you think new civil rights laws are needed to reduce discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people, or not?"

Seventy-six percent of liberals said, "yes, new laws needed," and 67% of Democrats said the same.

However, 68% of conservatives and 70% of Republicans said, "no, not needed."

Further, for American adults who attend church weekly, 59% said no new LGBT laws are needed, and 58% of male adults said the same. In addition, 52% of adults age 50 to 64 said new LGBT laws are unnecessary, and 49% of those over age 65 said the same.

Fifty-five percent of adults who "attend church less often" and "nearly weekly/monthly" support enacting new laws for LGBT people. Sixty percent of women think that way, as do Americans age 18 to 29.

The numbers were similar on a related question. Gallup asked, "In terms of policies governing public restrooms, do you think these policies should require transgender individuals to use the restroom that corresponds with their birth gender (or should those policies) allow transgender individuals to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity?"

Birth gender refers to the biological, anatomical sex of a person at birth, male or female. Gender identity refers to the gender a person chooses to follow regardless of biology and genetics. A transgender is a person who believes they are the opposite sex of their biology, e.g., Bruce "Caitlyn" Jenner, a biological male who thinks he is a woman and has had breast implants, hormone treatments, and had his genitalia surgically altered to look like a vagina.

In the survey responses, strong majorities of Republicans (71%), conservatives (69%), weekly church attendees (63%), and men (57%) believe that transgender persons should use the bathroom that matches their birth gender.

On the flip side, strong majorities of people who "attend church less often" (56%), as well as Democrats (63%) and liberals (72%) think transgenders should be allowed to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

The poll was conducted by telephone, May 3-7, and 1,011 adults, 18 and older, were interviewed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia



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

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

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


4 July, 2017

Secretary of Defense James Mattis has until July 1 to either delay or revoke his predecessor's change in policy on transgender individuals serving in the military

Secretary of Defense James Mattis has an important decision to make soon, which may have significant readiness implications for the armed forces

On June 30, 2016, then-Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced a change in policy to allow transgender individuals to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces, effective at the latest by July 1, 2017.

Previous policy deemed those with “gender dysphoria” ineligible for service, and provided that they be automatically discharged if they had already joined in the military.

The American Psychiatric Association defines gender dysphoria as “a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify.” It is the traditional clinical term for describing what many today understand to be transgenderism.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone. Find out more >>

Carter’s unilateral decision came after years of pressure from transgender groups to change the policy. Although Carter reportedly discussed the change with the leaders of the military services before going public with the announcement, he admitted the decision was “his.”

Carter left the Pentagon on Jan. 20 with the departure of the Obama administration.

At his confirmation hearing in January to become the next secretary of defense, Mattis pledged his first priority would be to “strengthen military readiness,” adding “the primitive and often primalistic aspects of the battlefield test the physical strength, the mental ability of everyone.”

While Mattis stated he would carefully consider the decisions of his predecessors, he also indicated he would not feel bound by them.

Mattis has been extremely busy in his first four months in the Pentagon, overseeing two budget requests and numerous overseas visits to assure allies of our support and our adversaries of our resolve.

The Pentagon has been leading multiple strategy reviews of U.S. policy toward Afghanistan, the Islamic State, and North Korea.

Even accounting for his legendary work ethic, it is altogether likely Mattis has not had a chance to consider carefully the implications of a new transgender entrance policy on the short- and long-term readiness of the military.

Certainly, he does not have a new team to advise him on the subject, with only five presidentially nominated, Senate-confirmed civilian leaders in position today (including himself).

Moreover, it is not clear that Carter considered all necessary dimensions before he made his far-reaching decision last year. The news conference he conducted to announce the change focused more on transgender individuals and their desire to serve, rather than the primary and more important issue of military readiness.

Some who supported Carter’s decision pointed to the military’s looming personnel shortfall as a reason to expand eligibility. And to be sure, the military is facing such a shortfall.

With every passing year, a smaller percentage of Americans are eligible to serve. This owes to rising rates of obesity, lack of high school degrees, disqualifying medical conditions, drug use, and crime records.

These reasons for disqualification are understandable. Because the stakes are so high in war, the military is careful to ensure that those who volunteer to join the military can withstand the rigors of tough training and brutal combat.

For example, even a mention of asthma on someone’s medical records is often enough to disqualify them, since there is no guarantee that the appropriate medical treatment will be available on the battlefield.

Today, less than 29 percent of Americans between 17 and 24 years old are qualified to serve in the armed forces, and the number continues to drop. This is cause for concern, and the nation’s leadership should be working to reverse the trend.

Nevertheless, before the admission standards are changed with regard to transgender individuals, the Pentagon leadership must be certain that a change to policy would advance readiness and maintain maximal mental and physical resiliency among military personnel.

The media have already started to focus on the July 1 deadline set by Carter. Nevertheless, Mattis should take the necessary time to assess all the implications of this radical policy change.

Mattis is not bound by that deadline, nor should he enact the change unless he is absolutely convinced it will advance his highest priority—to increase, or at least not harm, military readiness.

Military leaders make a distinction between a calculated risk and a gamble. We’re advised to avoid gambles, especially with important decisions.

With the current level of understanding and facts available concerning Carter’s decision, allowing transgender individuals to join the military resembles more of a gamble.

There is plenty of time to conduct a full review, then make a fact-based decision on the issue. The stakes are too high to do otherwise.


How do we encourage terrorism? Let us count the ways

by Jeff Jacoby

AT LEAST 80 victims were murdered in Kabul on Wednesday morning when a suspected car bomb blew up in a diplomatic area of the Afghan capital. As many as 400 people were wounded, most of them civilians.

In Baghdad late Monday night, 27 people were killed when ISIS detonated two car bombs in busy commercial districts. One of the bombs exploded outside a popular ice cream shop, engulfing the building in a massive fireball and leaving the scene strewn with blood and severed limbs.

In Egypt last Friday, a bus filled with Coptic Christians on their way to pray at a nearby monastery was stopped by Islamic State gunmen. They forced the passengers off, then ordered them to recite the Shahada, the Muslim profession of faith. When the Christians refused, the gunmen opened fire, murdering 28 men, women, and children.

In the southern Philippines one day earlier, Islamist killers rampaged through Marawi, beheading the police chief, torching buildings, and abducting a Catholic priest and 10 worshippers from the local cathedral.

It's been only a week and a half since the savagery at Manchester Arena, and already that atrocity is old news. The global terror wave continues unabated. So far this year, more than 510 terror episodes have been reported worldwide.

Plainly, the perpetrators of terrorism have not been deterred. And why would they be, given all the things we do to encourage them?

We encourage terrorism when we funnel money to regimes that pay for the recruitment and arming of extremists. That is what the United States and its allies did when they agreed, as part of the nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration, to unfreeze tens of billions of dollars' worth of Iranian assets. Iran is the world's foremost state sponsor of terror. Besides its own lethal Quds Force, it funds the Hezbollah terror network and Shiite death squads in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Last year the United States secretly airlifted $400 million in cash to Tehran just as four American hostages were released — a payment that emitted more than a whiff of ransom. No wonder Iran brashly asserts that funding for its homicidal proxies will continue.

We encourage terrorism when we lavish foreign aid on the Palestinian Authority, which uses the money to pay handsome bounties to terrorists convicted of deadly attacks on Israelis. In 2016, those payments constituted more than 7 percent of the Palestinian Authority budget. Yet that budget continues to be heavily underwritten by foreign aid from the United States and other Western nations.

We encourage terrorism in other ways, too.

The forces of terror are reinforced when terrorists are lionized in the media and treated as legitimate public-policy interlocutors. For years, terrorists have been hailed as celebrities, fawned over by journalists, and deferentially received in the halls of power.

Examples could fill a dozen columns. The United Nations invited Yasser Arafat, gun on hip, to address the General Assembly. The New York Times published — on Sept. 11, 2001, no less — a flattering profile of former Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers. The Metropolitan Opera staged "The Death of Klinghoffer," an opera rationalizing the hijacking of a cruise ship by Palestinian terrorists and the murder of an elderly, wheelchair-bound Jew.

At the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York on June 11, the guest of honor will be Oscar Lopez Rivera, an unrepentant member of the FALN terrorist group who spent 35 years in federal prison for plotting to overthrow the government.

When convicted terrorists are treated to parades on Fifth Avenue, it encourages more terrorism everywhere.

And this, too, encourages terrorism: the rush after each atrocity by those eager to condemn the victims. In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, former London mayor Ken Livingstone went on Iranian TV to explain the bloodshed as an understandable reaction to "the torture at Guantanamo Bay." In an article for Foreign Policy Journal, Richard Falk — a UN official and Princeton professor — attributed the horror wrought by the Tsarnaevs to America's "fantasy of global domination."

When the global jihad will end, none of us can say. But this much, at least, is certain: The more we encourage the killers, the longer the killing will go on.


When Blacks Push Racial Superiority -- Not Equality

America's long fight for racial equality, marked by both highs and lows, is taking a disturbing trend.

While the 2008 election of our first president of color was a high from which other highs should have evolved, we have since experienced several lows. Today, the fight has transitioned into one promoting new racial divisiveness.

The international standard for true racial equality evolved due to one of humanity's greatest mass murders - World War II's Holocaust. In 1948 all United Nations member states (except Saudi Arabia) approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which recognizes all human life equally. Despite the diversity of global legal and cultural backgrounds, signers realized the Holocaust's horrors demanded recognizing human life's sanctity.

While the UDHR set the standard, implementation proved more difficult - as America's 1960s/'70s racial tensions attest. Comedians such as the late Flip Wilson - the first successful black host of a television variety show - endeavored to put a humorous face on the issue.

Wilson told the story of a hard-charging Marine general who informed his men, in his Corps, there were no white Marines nor black Marines - all wore the same uniform and, therefore, were "green" Marines. After so admonishing them, the general then ordered, "Now, some of you dark green Marines come pick up this trash!"

By generating laughter, Wilson was able to plant the seed of truth about existing racial prejudice.

Later, another accomplished black comedian, Chris Rock, similarly used humor, subtly conveying the inequality message. He told jokes about why he would not want to be an astronaut, for if something went missing on the spacecraft, the black guy undoubtedly would be blamed. Additionally, he proferred, was reluctance to respond to Houston with, "Yes NASA; no NASA."

While racial equality is by no means a laughing matter, these comedians effectively got their audiences to think about the unfortunate stereotypes reflected in their jokes.

A major high for racial equality also occurring in 1948 was President Harry Truman's issuance of an executive order (EO) mandating desegregation of the military services. Segregated black units during World War II had demonstrated unquestionable competence. Air units, such as the Tuskegee Airmen, proved even better in protecting bomber aircraft flying over enemy territory.

The military does a good job, more so than other sectors in society, of promoting a unified team concept among members. Nowhere is this more evident than in combat, where achieving the team's mission and ensuring every members' survival is most important. Today, for those who don't survive, true integration is found in military cemeteries, where warriors' headstones memorialize wars fought on our behalf, not ethnicity.

One of the early beneficiaries of Truman's EO was Ensign Jesse Brown - the Navy's first black aviator. The story of his loss in 1950 underscores the strong equality-of-life bond that quickly evolved between warriors of differing races.

While supporting vastly outnumbered U.S. Marine forces on the ground in the famous Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War, Brown came under intense fire, causing him to crash on a remote snow-covered mountaintop behind enemy lines. Wounded but still alive, he was trapped inside his burning aircraft.

Aware of Brown's predicament, fellow pilot Lt. j.g. Thomas Hudner took enemy forces, attempting to capture Brown, under fire. As flames on Brown's aircraft intensified, Hudner intentionally crash-landed his own plane near Brown's in an effort to rescue him. Unable to free him, Hudner collected snow to put atop the flames to retard their advance. He then radioed for helicopter rescue to bring an ax to cut Brown out.

Ultimately, a helicopter rescue was effected, but Brown died of his wounds. For his courageous actions, Hudner was awarded the Medal of Honor.

While racial equality in the military has had its highs and lows, 20th century lows have, for the most part, been exceeded by 21st century highs. The latter include, for the Navy, advancement of the first African-American female admiral - Michelle Howard.

Men like Jesse Brown - born in the South to impoverished parents, who overcame prejudice and graduated as high school salutatorian - were trailblazers in the fight to make the UDHR more than just words on a piece of paper. His success in completing pilot training and sacrificing his life in Korea to help those Marines - both black and white - fighting to survive on the ground, as well as Hudner's efforts to save Brown, evidenced the combat warrior's equality-of-life bond.

However, a disturbing trend by race activists more recently is not to seek equality, demonstrating mutual respect for all life, which allegedly is being racist, but demanding superior valuation. That is a central theme for Black (only) Lives Matter - one creating division in the fight for humanity's equality.

Such thinking recently fueled division at Washington State's Evergreen State College campus.

Recognizing black community contributions, the school previously, and reasonably, established a "Day of Absence" - calling for students and faculty of color to meet off campus, leaving others to recognize their value by their absence. This was followed by a "Day of Presence" during which the entire campus community participated in equality-focused activities.

However, activists took the Day of Absence a step further this year, asking whites to leave campus - as blacks reportedly no longer felt safe doing so following the 2016 presidential election.

A white professor very respectfully objected. He rationally argued, while it is one thing for a group to decide "to voluntarily absent themselves from a shared space," it is quite another to tell "another group to go away ... (as it) is a show of force and an act of oppression in and of itself." Sadly, the professor's comments and refusal to leave incited a student mob response. Now, the professor's safety on campus is at risk.

We can only hope the racial colorblindness combat warriors come to appreciate will one day be society's norm. But this demands no member - either of the minority or majority - play the superiority card. It only creates a speed bump to getting there.

A good place to start teaching this is Evergreen State College.


The Social Justice Warrior’s Latest Tactic: Reshaping America by Targeting Its History

Social justice warriors seem to have hit a wall in American politics.

Perhaps sensing that their attempts to fundamentally transform America through top-down control have reached their limit, they are doubling down on reshaping America from the ground up.

Their new favorite target is American history, and they are starting with low-hanging fruit: Confederate monuments.

Activists are stridently taking their crusades from the college campus to a town near you, systematically pushing cities to change street names, tear down statues, and even dig up bodies to cleanse America of its Confederate vestiges.

Last Friday, the mayor of Baltimore announced that the city will follow in the footsteps of New Orleans, and consider the removal of numerous Confederate monuments throughout the city.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said of the removal of his city’s monuments:

To literally put the Confederacy on a pedestal in our more prominent places—in honor—is an inaccurate recitation of our full past, is an affront to our present and it is a bad prescription for our future.

It may perhaps be enough to denounce the bulldozing of statues as an absurd erasure of history, but this is not the primary problem with this drive to wipe out uncomfortable elements of our past from the public sphere.

The more critical issue at stake is the loss of a common purpose and the binding heritage that Americans of previous generations forged and shared.

Dehumanizing the Past, Robbing the Present

While many on the political right have been fine, and in some cases glad, that Confederate heroes are being wiped from public places, they are deeply mistaken if they think this crusade will stop with secessionists.

Most recently, “Antifa” protestors in Texas have demanded the removal of a 100-year-old statue and “any other landmark that bears the name of Sam Houston,” according to Conservative Review.

Houston, one of the founders of Texas, was a staunch Unionist and denounced the creation of the Confederacy.

But Houston owned slaves, so he’s been added to the purge list, which now includes: Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even one of the fathers of progressivism, Woodrow Wilson, among many others.

This crusade makes little distinction between Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Jefferson Davis.

The problem was made palpable when anger poured on this Heritage Foundation tweet about a simple, and one would think, noncontroversial statement about Jefferson’s and America’s creedal foundation.

"This nation was founded not on blood or ethnicity, but on an idea: that of natural human equality"

Those with even a cursory understanding of the Civil War should understand why Jefferson’s concept of a new nation “founded not on blood or ethnicity, but on an idea: that of natural human equality” is fundamentally at odds with the philosophical cornerstone of the Confederacy.

But the savage attacks on Jefferson show how little distinction is made between various politically incorrect historical targets out of step with the milieu of the time.

In this debate, nuances are irrelevant. America’s sins must be purged. And to the left, which increasingly doesn’t recognize American exceptionalism or the greatness of the American founding documents, all of American history is in need of redemption.

Gone are the days of Jefferson’s inaugural address in which he announced, “We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.”

While the election that brought Jefferson to the presidency was one of the most acrimonious in our history, he went out of his way to say that the majority of his fellow Americans were still committed to the cause of the republic despite the way they voted.

And to anyone not so committed, he said, “Let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.”

However, in this modern battle for the soul of America there are increasingly two modes: resist or crush.

The urge to crush is what many Americans heard when presidential candidate Hillary Clinton labeled opponents a “basket of deplorables.” Many Americans simply heard: “I want you to disappear.” This is ultimately the same impulse behind the widespread drive to tear down statues.

Rebuilding E Pluribus Unum

There are perhaps few satisfactory ways to sum up the impact of the Civil War, which defined, or perhaps redefined, the American people.

Nevertheless, we were quite fortunate that during this time we had leaders like Abraham Lincoln, backed by the power of the Union Army, who smashed the Confederacy and eliminated the great evil of slavery forever.

Yet, numerous men and women of both sides laid the groundwork for reconciliation to reforge a united nation from the ashes of the fiery civil feud.

In the years following the war, there were undoubtedly some Americans militantly committed to “Lost Cause” myths about Southern victimhood and Northern aggressors wanting to keep the South down.

Yet many other Americans to whom we owe a debt of gratitude conducted the difficult task of rebuilding the United States.

Lincoln, of course, famously referred to this in his second inaugural address, saying that in the wake of the war Americans must embrace the concept of “malice toward none and charity for all.”

He demonstrated this by having the Southern tune “Dixie” played when news of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was announced.

And Lincoln wasn’t alone. Lee, who had led the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia despite his opposition to secession, also tried to patch up the wounds of a deeply divided nation.

He once wrote to a Confederate veteran, “I believe it to be the duty of everyone to unite in the restoration of the country and the reestablishment of peace and harmony.”

The old Confederate general stuck to his words. He refused to gin up animosity toward Reconstruction and worked to restore harmony between Americans.

Many in the North recognized Lee’s contribution to reconciliation and went out of their way to make him a symbol of a nation on the mend.

Charles Francis Adams Jr. of Massachusetts, great-grandson of Founding Father John Adams, even dedicated a speech advocating that a statue to Lee be built in Washington, D.C.

While Adams, who had served in the Union Army, never conceded the justice of the cause of the free states, he noted how Lee demonstrated that good men could fight for bad causes. He said that men like Lee were still, ultimately, our “countrymen.”

No Past, and No Future

It is a discredit to modern Americans that we are now undoing the almost miraculous process of restoration achieved by men who had far more reason to hate.

This country may indeed have been blessed by divine providence, but it was also molded by the dirty hands of man. Americans may not be a perfect people, but they represent a great cause.

This is what is lost in the blind efforts to remove statues and American history.

In our iconoclastic efforts to erase the past, we rob ourselves of knowing the men who forged our national identity, and the events that made us who we are. This nation, of almost incomprehensible wealth, power, and prosperity, was created by the decisions of men like Lincoln—and Lee, too.

The zealous march to obliterate America’s past, even parts we dislike, will leave us a diminished civilization.

The divisions and differences between us will become sharpened and less tolerable—and the lessons learned from the bloodiest war in our history will have to be relearned by a people who have failed to even come to grips with the wisdom of those who have come before us.

Severing our roots to this country’s history—warts and all—will turn the United States into little more than a listless, economic behemoth, with no past and no future.



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

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

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


2 July, 2017

Surprise: Portland Killings Blamed on Trump Rhetoric Actually Perpetrated by Bernie Supporter

Before we get to the grim punchline mentioned in the headline, here's the backstory: A deranged person murdered two men and critically injured another in Portland, Oregon on Friday night after they intervened to stop his ugly harassment of two young Muslim women on a train.

The heinous killings were immediately condemned, and the Good Samaritans' courage rightly hailed as an example of American greatness. Elements of the Left then quickly got to work linking the bloodshed to Donald Trump and political rhetoric they oppose, a classic and insidious End of Discussion tactic designed to toxify and stifle speech.

The city's mayor made this intention explicit, invoking the deadly incident while urging the federal government to shut down a pro-Trump free speech event scheduled for next week:

(1) It's the hard Left that has been entirely responsible for derailing appearances by controversial speakers, not "violent protests between" the groups. The far-right has on occasion fought back against the Left's intimidation army of thugs and goons, but this is a fight that the Left has picked, over and over again. Culpability is not equally shared here.

(2) Even if the Portland killer had been wearing a 'Make America Great Again' hat as he railed against Muslims and stabbed two men to death, his despicable crimes would not be a legitimate reason to infringe on other people's rights. This man alone is responsible for his violence, not the words of others -- even if those words could reasonably be categorized as "hate speech" (direct incitement, a much higher bar, is where speech can cross into unprotected territory).

How would liberals respond if a Republican politician tried to shut down a Black Lives Matter rally because someone tangentially tied to that movement had recently murdered a police officer? "Shut up for safety" is rarely a compelling argument.

(3) Despite many on the Left rushing to implicitly and explicitly attribute the stabbings to Trump and the "atmosphere" he's created, it turned out that the arrested suspect supported Bernie Sanders for president, having praised the even farther-left Jill Stein in social media posts that point to his environmentalism. He stated publicly that he could not bring himself to vote for Trump, and has also gone on wild rants against Christians and Jews.

In short, he's one of "theirs," if we're playing by these demagogic score-keeping rules. Should some upcoming Bernie Sanders speeches be censored or postponed in order to keep his backers from killing people? After all, promoting the Vermont Senator's opinions might be "inappropriate or dangerous," under Mayor Wheeler's standards. Right?

(4) Time and again, instances of "right-wing violence" cited as a pretext for partisan bullying end up not being right-wing at all. Click through for a partial list of this phenomenon. One memorable lowlight was liberals trying to pin the 2011 shooting of Arizona Rep. Giffords on conservative rhetoric and Sarah Palin, when in fact that massacre was carried out by an apolitical (or arguably left-wing) schizophrenic.

Another example featured a cretin who shot three young Muslims to death in North Carolina in 2015, brutal killings that were quickly hung around the necks of conservatives -- until, that is, the gunman turned out to be an avowed atheist and devotee of Rachel Maddow and the Southern Poverty Law Center. That capital-N Narrative dried up very quickly.

And now we have this Portland misfire. Is the plan to just spray these slanders in hopes that one or two will eventually fit the pre-determined storyline?

It's horrible and cheap to draw tendentious ties between your political opponents' words, and the actions of unstable criminals. The point of this "climate of hate" guilt-by-association is to delegitimize the other 'team's' views and players without bothering with actual arguments.

It's much easier and lazier to say, see? These people are dangerous! This sort of reflexive demonization is repugnant, especially when it's overly employed to justify curbing fundamental rights. It looks even worse when you prematurely tar the other side for an atrocity actually committed by one of your own.


Paris mayor calls for black feminist festival which 'prohibits white men from participating' to be banned

The Mayor of Paris has called for a black feminist festival to be banned because she claims it is prohibited to white people.

Anne Hidalgo on Sunday called for the Nyansapo Festival in the French capital to be postponed, which is due to run from July 28 to 30 at a cultural centre.

It bills itself as 'an event rooted in black feminism, activism, and on a European scale', and 80 per cent of the festival area will be set aside as a 'non-mixed' space 'for black women,' according to its website in French.

Another space will be a 'non-mixed' area 'for black people' regardless of gender and another space would be 'open to all'.

The English version of the site does not use the word 'non-mixed,' but 'reserved.'

Hidalgo, a socialist, said on Twitter that she firmly condemned the organisation 'of this event, 'prohibited to white people'.'

'I am asking for this festival to be banned,' Hidalgo said, adding she also reserved the right 'to prosecute the organisers for discrimination'.

Police prefect Michel Delpuech said in a statement that police had not been advised about the event by Sunday evening.

But, Delpuech added, the police 'would ensure the rigorous compliance of the laws, values, and principles of the republic'.

French antiracist and antisemitism organisations strongly condemned the festival. SOS Racisme described the event as 'a mistake, even an abomination, because it wallows in ethnic separation, whereas anti-racism is a movement which seeks to go beyond race.'

LICRA - the International League against Racism and Antisemitism - said 'Rosa Parks would be turning in her grave,' a reference to the American civil rights icon.

Wallerand de Saint-Just, the regional head of Marine Le Pen's National Front party, had challenged Hidalgo on Friday to explain how the city was putting on an event 'promoting a concept that is blatantly racist and anti-republican.'

The cultural centre La Generale, where the event was to be hosted, and the collective Mwasi, which organised the event, said Sunday they were the 'target of a disinformation campaign and of 'fake news' orchestrated by the foulest far right.'

'We are saddened to see certain antiracist associations letting themselves be manipulaed like this,' according to a statement posted on the Generale website.

A 'decolonisation summer camp' in the northeastern French city of Reims elicited similar outrage last year, as it billed itself as a 'training seminar on antiracism' reserved for victims of 'institutional racism' or 'racialised' minorities - excluding by default white people.


Female CEOs Earn More Than Male Chiefs

Americans are used to headline after headline about the gender pay gap when it shows men earn more, on average, than women. Feminists have even created a holiday for it—Equal Pay Day—to supposedly mark how far women must work into the next year to make up for the difference in what men earned in the previous year.

But what happens when it is reversed?

Comparing median compensation packages of S&P 500 leaders who held the job for a year, 21 female CEOs received a median of $13.8 million compared to the $11.6 million median earned by the 382 male CEOs last year. This isn’t new—women CEOs have made more than men in six of the past seven years. And three of the 10 highest paid executives are women.

The Wall Street Journal headline is, “Female CEOs Earn More Than Male Chief Executives.”

But just like the wage gap statistic, there is more to the story than the headline suggests. When it comes to female CEO salaries, it is a small pool so doesn’t tell us much more than that some women have been able to earn a lot. Similarly, it is a median comparison and there are many factors that go into CEO pay—for example, performance and whether the CEOs are trying to transform their companies.

The data behind Equal Pay Day’s wage gap statistic is equally important.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just measures median earnings of women and men in full-time wage and salary jobs to calculate the statistic used for the wage gap narrative, not two people in the same job. It does not take into account many of the choices that women and men make—including education, years of experience and hours worked—that influence earnings.

And, in fact, the prominence of the wage gap narrative might be benefiting women CEOs. The Wall Street Journal quotes Robin Ferracone, the head of a company that advises board compensation committees, “Boards don’t want to shortchange their female CEO in today’s environment, when pay equality is such an issue.” They “err on the side of being generous.”

It’s great to see women CEOs doing well and they deserve to be compensated for their contributions. Women should applaud the success of working women at all levels of our economy. Yet we shouldn’t fixate too much on statistics like this one that make good headlines, but don’t tell us much of the story.


Black Crows TV stars receive death threats from Islamic State members

STARS of a new Middle Eastern TV drama depicting the lives of women forced to live under the Islamic State have received death threats from the terror group.

Kuwaiti actress Mona Shaddad said her and other stars of Black Crows have been targeted for portraying women who have joined the extremist organisation.

The 30-part TV show made by Middle East Broadcasting Corp is playing across the Arab world during Ramadan — a month of fasting between dawn and dusk when families typically gather at home late into the night.

It focuses on telling the stories of women forced to live under the Islamic State from all perspectives with hard-hitting scenes depicting sexual assault, suicide bombers and Yazidi slavery.

Shaddad plays a woman who joins IS as a jihadi bride after failing to find a husband and said her main aim was to “change the narrative” regarding Islamic State. “The role I play is very important because it touches upon the topic of how easily brainwashed some people can be and led to believe that they are joining an extremist group for good reasons when in reality, they are not,” she told Al Arabiya.

Saudi Arabian actress Aseel Omran said she had also been threatened for her role but said she was not worried about it — yet. “If you asked me a few years ago whether threats from ISIS scared me, I’d say yes. But let’s be honest, we live in Dubai, one of the safest cities in the world. For now, I’m not feeling it but let’s wait for the halfway mark of Ramadan and see how the threats look like, God forbid they do though,” she told the company.

The hard-hitting drama, which has been likened to The Sopranos in the US, comes as Islamic State still holds the city of Mosul and large chunks of land in Syria, forcing millions of refugees to flee their homes or suffer enslavement under their rule.

Middle East Broadcasting Corp Director Ali Jaber said the company has been forced to upgrade security across the region but was undeterred from their goal of showcasing the reality across the region.

“We’ve heard a lot from ISIS about this series in terms of threats that we are receiving every day. I am personally receiving a lot of threats,” he told NPR.

“We need to be relevant, and this is the prevailing conversation in the Arab world. This is a series — a drama series about the women under ISIS, whether a woman participating with ISIS or a woman suffering from ISIS. And it’s set Raqqa in Syria, and it basically exposes the life there, what they preach and what they practice in reality.”

One episode of the show features a girl and her grandmother selling plates decorated with animals to survive under IS, before the grandmother is shot in the head by a female police unit. Another shows children being trained with machine guns and told “bullets are faster than people” as they try to run away.

The $10 million series was filmed in Lebanon and presented filming challenges as it sought to depict suicide bombings and IS headquarters.

Executive producer Amer Sabbah told AFP security was the “most difficult challenge” during filming. “When you transform an area in Lebanon into what resembles an IS headquarters, you have to consider security and safety of your crew,” he said.



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

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

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


1 June 2017

Professors Claim Marine Corps Suffers from 'Toxic Masculinity,' 'Fraternity' Culture

What are these Leftist wimps doing teaching at a Marine college? Must have been Obama appointees. Armed forces everywhere are a fraternity. It's needed for unit cohesion. And since when was masculinity toxic?

Marines are so masculine it’s "toxic," a Marine college professor declared in an interview with Vox.com.

"Women are more unwelcome in the Marines than in any other branch of military service," Vox writes:

“The Obama administration opened the door for women to serve in combat roles. The unhappiest service about that order? The Marine Corps.”

Prof. James Joyner of Marine Command and Staff College blames the problems arising from the introduction of females into the Marines on the Corps’ ‘toxic masculinity culture.”

Another professor faults Marines for acting like frat boys:

“The corps acts like a fraternity, according to Emerald Archer, an expert on women’s advancement at Mount St. Mary’s University in California. Many Marines, she said, believe that integrating women would ruin that brotherhood.”

Even advertising for female recruits has reinforced the fraternity mindset, Vox claims:

“The ad, titled ‘Battle Up,’ was meant to let women know they’re welcome in the Marine Corps. But it also inadvertently refocused attention on the service’s well-earned reputation for being a fraternity that often marginalizes or mistreats female troops.”

The struggle to integrate women into the Marine Corps in nothing less than a battle for the institution’s very “soul,” Vox concludes:

“So as the service tries to win battles around the world, the most important fight may be the one closest to home: the battle for the soul of the Marine Corps.”


Thousands Drop off Food Stamp Rolls in Georgia After State Implements Work Requirements

Thousands of people have dropped off the food stamp rolls in Georgia as a result of the state implementing work requirements for food stamp recipients.

More than half of the 11,779 people enrolled for food stamps in 21 counties, an estimated 7,251 people, have dropped out of the food stamp program—a drop of 62 percent, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Georgia first rolled out its work requirements for the food stamp program in three counties in January 2016. Since then, the state has expanded work requirements in an additional 21 counties, giving people in those 21 counties until April 1, 2017 to find a job or lose food stamp benefits.

Those who receive benefits must work at least 20 hours a week, be enrolled in state-approved job training, or volunteer for a state-approved non-profit or charity.

State officials say the plan is to extend the work requirements to all 159 counties in Georgia by 2019 and implement work requirements in 60 more counties, starting in 2018.

“The greater good is people being employed, being productive and contributing to the state,” said Bobby Cagle, director of Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services.

Views on the work mandate are mixed in the state, with some seeing the requirement as a way to get more people into the workforce and less dependent on government handouts, while others say it is an unfair measure that targets the disabled who cannot hold down a job due to their impairments.

Brandon Hanick, who represents the progressive advocacy group Better Georgia, says people with mental health problems, limited education, and the physically disabled would have trouble trying to provide proof of their inability to meet the work requirements. “It’s cruel,” Hanick said. “We’re talking about one of the most basic needs — the need for food.”

State Rep. Greg Morris (R-Vidalia), on the other hand, says that the decrease in food stamp recipients means that the work requirements are helping people become less dependent on government handouts.

“This is about protecting taxpayer dollars from abuse, and taking people off the cycle of dependency,” Morris said. The big drop in numbers, he added, “shows how tax dollars are abused when it comes to entitlements.”

Over the past year, the number of able-bodied food stamp recipients without children in Georgia decreased from 111,000 to 89,500, a 19 percent decrease, the AJC reported.

According to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics for FY 2017, 42,906,253 Americans are enrolled in the food stamp program—a 2.9 percent decrease from FY 2016, when 44,219,363 Americans received food stamps.


UK: Islamic Terrorists and Their Progressive Enablers

Radical Islam is a death cult, and progressive ideology is a suicide cult. Blending the two is obviously deadly

“The message that I would want to get over — and this is how the vast majority of people feel — this man was a terrorist, not a Muslim.” —Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham addressing the Manchester terror attack that killed 22 and wounded 119

“We understand that feelings are very raw right now and people are bound to be looking for answers. However, now, more than ever, it is vital that our diverse communities in Greater Manchester stand together and do not tolerate hate.” —Ian Hopkins, chief constable of the Greater Manchester Police, May 23, 2017

“Salman Abedi, 22, was known to the security services before he walked into Manchester Arena on Monday night and detonated a bomb packed with nails, nuts and bolts…” —Daily Mail, May 24, 2017

“MI5 is currently managing 500 active investigations, involving 3,000 subjects of interest at any one time.” —Telegraph UK, May 25, 2017

“Government sources have confessed that there are at least 23,000 jihadists in Britain — more than seven times higher than previously revealed.” —Breitbart, May 27, 2017

“Security sources have told Sky News more than 400 former fighters are now believed to be back in Britain. The authorities believe there is a growing risk the UK could suffer the kind of mass gun and bomb attacks seen in France and Belgium recently…” —Sky News, March 27, 2017

“Numerous laws have been enacted aimed at dealing with people deemed disloyal to the UK and the Crown, but since 2002, one crucial rule has stopped people being stripped of their British citizenship: statelessness. Two key conventions ban it; one from the UN and one from the EU.” —UK Express, May 13, 2016

“Richard Barrett, a former counter-terrorism chief at MI5 and MI6, said repentant fighters needed "to know that there is a place for them back at home.” —The Guardian, Sept. 7, 2014

“Europe is getting used to attacks like this, Mika. They have to, because we are never going to be able to totally wipe this out.” —BBC Anchor Katty Kay, May 23, 2017

“Now we have Manchester and its 22 dead, many of them children. Somehow, we always end up back at 9/11, leaving flowers and candles again.” —Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2017

“…#ManchesterStrong” means a limp passivity of flowers and candlelight vigils and teddy bears for a couple of days before we all forget it until the next ‘strong’ ‘united’ community gets blown apart.“ —columnist Mark Steyn, May 24, 2017

"There’s a competing narrative of fear and xenophobia and nationalism and intolerance and anti-democratic trends. We have to push back against those trends that would violate human rights or suppress democracy or that would restrict individual freedoms of conscience and religion. In this new world we live in, we can’t isolate ourselves. We can’t hide behind a wall.” —Barack Obama, May 25, 2017

“Enough of changing your Facebook photo to the flag of the abattoir du jour, enough of the candlelight vigils, and enough of the #_____Strong hashtags. No more pleas for unity and pretending not to understand. We’re not unified, and we all understand, even if we refuse to admit it because of some bizarre suicide pact Western culture decided to join when no one was looking. Grieving doesn’t work. Hugging doesn’t work. Cowardice masquerading as enlightened passivity in the face of our enemies doesn’t work. Just ask the little girls blown apart in Manchester.” —columnist Kurt Schlichter, May 25, 2017

For progressives, especially the global elites and their media allies desperately attempting shape the narrative once again, “the little girls blown apart in Manchester” are nothing more than tangential parts of a conversation in which ideological priorities are far more important than brutal, gut-wrenching reality.

Better to warn the less enlightened about Islamophobia than the radical Islam that puts their children in the hospital and the morgue. Better to monitor thousands of potential terrorists than cut off the immigration spigot, or forcefully combat domestic indoctrination. Better to grant “repentant” fighters unfettered access to the streets than do away with mindless laws about “statelessness,” or hit them with treason charges they so richly deserve.

“Everything barely worth saying will be said endlessly,” warned columnist Douglas Murray wrote — more than year ago. “And the only things that are worth saying won’t be said. What are those things? Among other things the fact that we are living with the consequences of an immigration and ‘integration’ fantasy which should have been abandoned years ago. Instead our governments have kept pretending that the weakening of Europe’s external borders and the erosion of its internal borders happening at the same time as one of the largest population replacement exercises in history could have no tangible effects on our continent’s future.”

Tangible effects for the “little people.” Globalist elites, who actually believe sloganeering about “solidarity” sufficiently placates the masses, remain well-protected from the consequences of their ideological bankruptcy.

Thus, a feckless Barack Obama will lecture us about no walls (other than the one built around his mansion in Washington, DC) while an equally feckless Angela Merkel smiles in agreement — amidst the police helicopters and rooftop snipers ensuring their safety.

Safety from what? For Merkel, perhaps it’s one or more of the one million Middle Eastern “refugees” for whom she rolled out the red carpet. For Obama, maybe it’s protection from the MS-13 gangbangers he knowingly allowed to enter America during the border surge.

For their “subjects?” IEDs at pop concerts, no-go zones, mass sex attacks and rape gangs covered up by media and the police.

And then there are the lectures. Lectures about Western imperialism and Trump’s rhetoric fueling Islamic extremism and recruitment. Lectures citing nonsensical statistical comparisons to deaths caused by brain-eating parasites, alcoholism, obesity, etc., aimed at putting Islamist terror “in perspective.” Contemptible lectures insisting those who question the unrestricted immigration favored by global elites are comparable to Nazis.

Radical Islam is a death cult. Its adherents will infiltrate the West with people from war-torn, totalitarian hellholes dominated by a 7th century mentality, radicalize disaffected natives, and kill with bloodthirsty impunity whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Progressive ideology is a suicide cult. It followers will welcome millions of potential jihadists into their midst to assuage a collective post-colonial guilt, allow radicalization to thrive lest they be thought of as Islamophobic, and tolerate dead and mutilated children as the price that must be paid for preserving their commitment to tolerance, diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism.

A game-changing cataclysm, one that will vaporize the bromides, the orchestrated guilt and the cultural self-castration, is virtually inevitable. And it is virtually inevitable because far too many decent people would rather endure a frog-march toward catastrophe than the wrath of utterly corrupt progressive elites more comfortable with mourning the dead than preventing their deaths in the first place.

Yet when the next attack occurs, finding a “wall” to protect oneself will be the last refuge — for innocents and scoundrels alike.

Not just over there. “The FBI says it’s actively investigating more than 1,000 ISIS-related cases in all 50 states, plus more than 300 terrorism cases tied to refugees from Muslim countries.” —New York Post, May 28, 2017


Furious Leftist protests about Texas ban on sanctuary cities

Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas’s tough new anti-sanctuary cities law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting state troopers to be called in.

Tension over the hard-line immigration policies boiled over, prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence.

Activists wearing red T-shirts reading "Lucha" or "Fight" quietly filled hundreds of gallery seats as the proceedings began. After about 40 minutes, they began to cheer, drowning out the lawmakers. Protesters also blew whistles and chanted: "Here to stay!" and "Hey, hey, ho, ho, SB4 has got to go," referring to the bill that Governor Greg Abbott signed into law this month.

Some unfurled banners reading: "See you in court!" and "See you at the polls!"

House leadership stopped the session and asked troopers to clear the gallery. The demonstration continued for about 20 minutes as officers led people out of the chamber peacefully in small groups. There were no reports of arrests.

The new Texas law is reminiscent of a 2010 Arizona "show your papers" measure that allowed police to inquire about a person’s immigration status during routine interactions, such as traffic stops. It was eventually struck down in court.

A legislative session that began in January concluded Monday, and the day was supposed to be reserved for goofy group photos and goodbyes. Lawmakers are constitutionally barred from approving most legislation on the last day.

But even after the protest ended, tensions remained high. Representative Ramon Romero, a Democrat, said he was standing with fellow Democrat Cesar Blanco when Republican colleague Matt Rinaldi came over and said: "This is BS. That’s why I called ICE."

Rinaldi and Blanco then began shouting at each other. A scuffle nearly ensued before other lawmakers separated the two.

Later, a group of Democratic lawmakers held a press conference to accuse Rinaldi of threatening to "put a bullet in the head" of someone on the House floor during a second near scuffle. They said the comment was made in the direction of Democratic Representative Poncho Nevarez.

In a Facebook statement, Rinaldi admitted saying he’d called federal authorities and threatened to shoot Nevarez — but said his life was in danger.

"Nevarez threatened my life on the House floor after I called ICE on several illegal immigrants who held signs in the gallery which said ‘I am illegal and here to stay,’ " Rinaldi wrote.

He said Democrats were encouraging protesters to ignore police instructions and "When I told the Democrats I called ICE, Representative Ramon Romero physically assaulted me, and other Democrats were held back by colleagues."

Rinaldi said Nevarez later "told me that he would ‘get me on the way to my car.’ " Rinaldi said he responded by making it clear "I would shoot him in self-defense," adding that he is currently under Texas Department of Public Safety protection.

The Texas law requires police chiefs and sheriffs — under the threat of jail and removal from office — to comply with federal requests to hold criminal suspects for possible deportation.

Police also can ask the immigration status of anyone they stop. The bill was viewed as a crackdown on Austin and other "sanctuary cities," a term that has no legal meaning but describes parts of the country where police are not tasked with helping to enforce federal immigration law.

Monday’s protest was organized by activists who canvassed over Memorial Day weekend in Austin. They informed anxious immigrants about the rights they retain despite the law and urged grass-roots resistance against it.



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

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

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



HOME (Index page)

BIO for John Ray

(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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To be continued ....
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My alternative Wikipedia


"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International".
"Leftists as Elitists"
Socialized Medicine
QANTAS -- A dying octopus
BRIAN LEITER (Ladderman)
Obama Watch
Obama Watch (2)
Dissecting Leftism -- Large font site
Michael Darby
Paralipomena (2)
AGL -- A bumbling monster
Telstra/Bigpond follies
Optus bungling
Bank of Queensland blues


Mirror for this blog
Mirror for "Dissecting Leftism"
Longer Academic Papers
Johnray links
Academic home page
Academic Backup Page
General Backup
General Backup 2
Pictorial Home Page
Selected pictures from blogs (Backup here)
Another picture page (Rarely updated)

Selected reading



Rightism defined
Leftist Churches
Leftist Racism
Fascism is Leftist
Hitler a socialist
What are Leftists
Psychology of Left
Status Quo?
Leftism is authoritarian
James on Leftism
Irbe on Leftism
Beltt on Leftism

Van Hiel
Pyszczynski et al.

Main academic menu
Menu of recent writings
basic home page
Pictorial Home Page
Selected pictures from blogs (Backup here)
Another picture page (Best with broadband. Rarely updated)

Note: If the link to one of my articles is not working, the article concerned can generally be viewed by prefixing to the filename the following:

OR: (After 2015)