The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

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

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

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

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


29 June, 2018

In 1948, Palestinians lost land. But not to Israel

The May 9 The World article “A modest opening for new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem” described what the Palestinians call the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” as the anniversary of the date on which Palestinians “lost their land when the Israeli state was created in 1948.”

That is partially true: In the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, the Palestinians did in fact lose what was offered to them with the loss of the West Bank; the Palestinians did in fact lose what was offered to them with the loss of Gaza.

But the dark little secret that the manipulative sentence left out was that the Palestinians lost the West Bank not to Israel but to their land-grabbing brethren Jordan. And they lost Gaza not to Israel but to their land-grabbing brethren Egypt.

This set of facts is critical to assess what happened to the Palestinians and who is culpable. As most know, but The Post routinely omits, the war was started by the local Arabs and neighboring Arab countries. If the Palestinians had accepted the two-state solution of 1947, there would be no conflict today, and the two-state solution would be going on its 71st year.

The problem stems from the seminal point that the Palestinians have time and again refused the two-state solution and have continued this refusal to this day. Hopes and wishes by the media will not change this fact.

The empty words of peace by Palestinian leaders are in no way consistent with their actions. It’s time this is acknowledged. The truth may not bring peace, but culpability will shape world opinion and perhaps push the Palestinians to realize that their 70-year attempt to defeat Israel is over.


Cowardly European response to Terrorism

They have learned nothing from the failed attempts to appease Hitler. Hitler did not go away. Nor will the Muslims

The European Union lost €180 billion (USD $210 billion) in GDP due to terrorism between 2004 and 2016. The United Kingdom (€43.7 billion) and France (€43 billion) suffered the highest losses, followed by Spain (€40.8 billion) and Germany (€19.2 billion), according to a Rand Corporation study.

"Beyond those who have been directly physically affected by terrorist attacks, the extensive coverage of terrorist attacks through multiple media and social media channels has substantially increased the amount of people and companies that could be psychologically affected. This subsequently affects their economic behaviour".

New statistics have also come from the Britain's anti-terrorism office. 441 people have been arrested in the UK for terrorism in the last year alone, and 4,182 since the attacks of September 11, 2001. The threat of terrorism is exhausting Europe.

According to the Spanish "black book" of terrorism, 658 Europeans have been murdered in terror attacks on European soil, while 1,029 Europeans have been killed by them abroad. Half of the French army has been deployed within the French Republic to protect the civilian targets, such as schools, monuments, and religious sites. Europe's armies are exhausted from patrolling the streets, to the point that NATO planners now fear that, over time, European armies "may get better at guarding railway stations and airports than fighting wars". An officer who recently returned from Afghanistan for guard duty in Belgium said: "We are standing around like flowers pots, just waiting to be smashed". Germany also sent troops into the streets for the first time since the Second World War.

One has to ask: Is Europe really serious about its war on terror? The French magazine Causeur just called it "the Batman Syndrome":

"How can we respect a society that is too cowardly to fight those who threaten its citizens, and that demonstrates its weakness by systematically seeking appeasement at the price of the most unreasonable accommodations? It is the 'Batman syndrome': the hero refuses to kill, he systematically saves his enemy who escapes and kills new victims until the hero catches up with him, and so on."

France is now close to freeing at least 50 terrorists from prison. The UK is also due to free 80 Islamic fundamentalists from prison. According to a new French report, nearly 10% of the 512 prisoners incarcerated for terrorism are likely to be released by the end of 2018. Their release may well pose a major threat. Khamzat Azimov, a terrorist who stabbed a man to death and injured four other people with a knife in central Paris, was known to counter-terrorism forces. Belgium released from prison a terrorist who had gone on a "bloody rampage" in the city of Liege two days before he killed two policewomen and a passerby.

Unless it gets serious about arresting not only the terrorists but also their deadly ideology, Europe will not see the end of the jihadist siege. A few days after the attacks in Liege, France thwarted another jihadist plot "with either explosives or ricin, this very powerful poison". After that, there was another terror attempt to strike the French gay community.

"France is the priority target of the terrorism unleashed in Europe by conquering Islam" wrote Ivan Rioufol in Le Figaro.

"Since 2015, 247 people have been killed in France in attacks by Islamists. The 'knife intifada' is no longer reserved just for Israel. In Magnanville, a couple of policemen, Jean-Baptiste Salvaing and Jessica Schneider, were stabbed in front of their three year-old child. Father Jacques Hamel was slaughtered in his church. In Marseille, Laura and Maurane had their throats slashed. These crimes will continue so long as the Republic leaves the enemy in peace".

The level of threat in France remains alarmingly high. "9,157 people were subjected to at least one surveillance measure by the intelligence services in 2017 in the name of the prevention of terrorism", an official French report recently revealed. In 2017, 20 major terror attacks in France were foiled.

Regarding the West's current "war on terror," American historian Victor Davis Hanson wrote:

"The result is the present age of serial Punic conflict, perhaps intolerable to the psyche, but in amoral terms tolerable as long as casualties are kept to a minimum and defeat is redefined as acceptable strategic wisdom. In the past, such periods of enervating war have gone on for a century and more. Ultimately, they too end — and with consequences."

In the end, there might be still a region called "Europe", but it may no longer enfold European culture.


Anti-Christian bigotry in Massachusetts

by Jeff Jacoby

IF YOU WERE looking for someone to successfully manage a promising company, it would be hard to find a candidate with a better array of credentials and know-how than Andrew Bushell.

He's a natural-born entrepreneur, with wide and varied experience both in and out of the business world. He founded and successfully managed a $2.5 billion investment firm. He worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Co. After 9/11, he took a hiatus from the high-pressure world of finance and venture capital, immersing himself instead in the high-pressure world of war-zone journalism to cover Afghanistan and Pakistan for The Economist. And when, after years abroad, he returned to his New England hometown, he came up with an idea for a unique local business: making and selling gourmet salt from Atlantic seawater. Like Bushell's other endeavors, the Marblehead Salt Company flourished, with annual sales growing at a 25 percent clip and the salt winning raves from foodies.

So when Bushell approached the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency last year with an application for loans to grow yet another Marblehead business venture — a craft brewery and taproom — officials might have been expected to welcome him with open arms. According to MassDevelopment's website, after all, the agency was created to "help foster real estate and business projects that generate economic benefits for local communities and the state." Given Bushell's stellar track record, financing for Marblehead Brewing Co. should have been a no-brainer.

It wasn't.

The brewery applied for two loans. It intended to use the funds from one to improve its property in downtown Marblehead, and the other to purchase additional brewing equipment, in order to increase production from 700 barrels of beer in 2018 to 2,500 barrels by 2023. MassDevelopment said no. It demanded that the brewery enlist private backers who would personally guarantee the repayment of any loans. Bushell and Marblehead Brewing did so, providing the state with guarantees equal to three times the value of the loans applied for. The state demanded that the company's brewing equipment, worth $1.6 million, be put up as collateral. Bushell agreed to that too.

And still the agency says no.

Why? Because Bushell — more accurately, Father Andrew Bushell — is an Orthodox Christian monk. And the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is flummoxed by a loan applicant whose business chops are everything a state development agency dreams of, but whose mission and appearance are not at all what it's used to.

Marblehead Brewing is a for-profit corporation. Like any other commercial brewery, it pays taxes and must keep its federal, state, and municipal licenses current. It won't survive if it can't turn a profit. But turning a profit isn't its highest purpose. Supporting the work of the church is.

Bushell is the 192nd chairman of the St. Paul's Foundation, a monastic Christian charity more than 1,000 years old. Under Bushell, it has focused in recent years on easing the misery of Syrian refugees, providing food for 2 million displaced people, and supplying hundreds of thousands of tents and blankets for the homeless. The foundation also supports the Guitars Project, a charitable endeavor that provides guitars and musical instruction to hundreds of mostly Muslim children in the Middle East who have been displaced by violence. (Profits from Marblehead Salt have been donated to local causes as well, including the Marblehead Festival of the Arts and the anti-addiction work of the Marblehead Health Department.)

Marblehead Brewing is located at the Shrine of St. Nicholas, the first Orthodox Christian church in Marblehead. The church and the brewpub share the same building — the drinking establishment with its tables and tap is in the front room; the church, complete with altar and icon, is in a more private interior space — but they are separate entities, with different tax ID numbers, bank accounts, and legal profiles. The brewery is a secular, for-profit business. The church and the foundation are nonprofit religious entities that are among Marblehead Brewing's shareholders. In launching a commercial brewery to sustain the work of his church, Bushell is following the classic example of Trappist and Benedictine monks who for centuries have supported themselves through brewing and winemaking.

MassDevelopment has no problem with beer companies. It has provided financing for quite a few of them, including Notch Brewing in Salem, Tree House Brewing in Charlton, and Night Shift Brewing in Everett. But a brewing company run by an Orthodox monk who wears a black cassock, lives under a vow of poverty, and has devoted his life — and exceptional business talents — to God appears to give state officials the heebie-jeebies. According to Bushell, agency officials have told him his loan will not be approved "because you're a church" and the state doesn't want to be in the position of suing a church if a loan weren't repaid. Through a spokeswoman, MassDevelopment declined to comment for this column.

Rejecting Bushell's application because of his religious vocation may well be illegal under the First Amendment. It is unquestionably short-sighted.

"Entrepreneurs come in many shapes and sizes, and not all fit the typical business model," says Glenn Hutchins, a tech investment superstar who is a director of the New York Fed and sits on the executive committee of the Boston Celtics. In a phone conversation the other day, Hutchins sang the praises of Bushell's beer, Marblehead Ale No. 2. He was even more enthusiastic about the monk's ability to "take a blank sheet and turn it into something impressive."

To a talented financier like Hutchins, hardheaded business acumen isn't to be discounted because it serves a larger, spiritual devotion. He knows better than to judge an entrepreneur by his cassock. If only Massachusetts bureaucrats were as clear-sighted.


Switzerland Welcomes Radicalization

There are approximately 250 mosques in Switzerland, but the authorities do not know who finances them. By rejecting the proposal compelling mosques to disclose who finances them, the Swiss authorities can now remain willfully blind.

Switzerland has just rejected a proposed law preventing mosques from accepting money from abroad, and compelling them to declare where their financial backing comes from and for what purpose the money will be used. According to the proposal, imams also would have been obliged to preach in one of the Swiss national languages.

While the proposal narrowly passed in the lower house of parliament already in September 2017, the upper house recently rejected it. The proposal was modeled on regulations in Austria, where already in 2015, a law banning foreign funding of religious groups was passed. The Austrian law aims to counter extremism by requiring imams to speak German, prohibiting foreign funding for mosques, imams and Muslim organizations in Austria, and stressing the precedence of Austrian law over Islamic sharia law for Muslims living in the country.

The Federal Council, which constitutes the federal government of Switzerland, was also against the proposal, and claimed that it constituted 'discrimination': "We must not discriminate against Muslim communities and imams and put them under general suspicion," Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said. The Federal Council noted that in Austria, Islam is officially recognized, whereas it is not in Switzerland. According to the Swiss government, therefore, the model applied in Austria does not apply to Switzerland, as "One cannot demand obligations without rights". Instead, the Federal Council evidently believes that the risks posed by extremist Islamist preachers and communities can be combated within existing law.

There are approximately 250 mosques in Switzerland, but the authorities do not know who finances them. The authorities have no jurisdiction to collect data on the financing of Muslim associations and mosques apart from exceptional cases in which internal security is threatened. By rejecting the proposal compelling mosques to disclose who finances them, the Swiss authorities can now remain willfully blind.

Several experts have pointed out the foreign Muslim networks at work in Switzerland. In 2016, Reinhard Schulze, professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Bern, pointed out that donations from the Muslim World League, based in Saudi Arabia, and other funds from Saudi Arabia were flowing to "those mosques and organizations that are open to the Wahhabi tradition". Another expert on Islam in Switzerland, Saïda Keller-Messahli, has spoken and written widely on how "Huge sums of money from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Turkey are flowing to Switzerland", and how the Saudi-based Muslim World League is behind "a whole network of radically-oriented mosques in Switzerland... with the clear intention of spreading Salafist thought here".

In addition to the Salafist influence, there are an estimated 35 Turkish mosques, financed by Turkey's official Religious Affairs Directorate, known as Diyanet. (Previous reports have mentioned 70 Turkish mosques in Switzerland).

According to a report published by Diyanet in 2017, Islam is "superior" to Christianity and Judaism and "Interfaith dialogue is unacceptable". Turkey supports the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist off-shoot Hamas.

In fact, the building of another Turkish mosque was just given the go-ahead in the Swiss town Schaffhausen. The people behind it reportedly claim that the 1.5 million Swiss francs (approx. $1.5 million) will be collected locally, and not from Turkey, but the imams for the mosque will nevertheless be sent from Turkey.

None of these facts, however, appears to bother the Swiss government, which seems to want to continue the flow of foreign funding of mosques and Islamic centers into the country.

Above all, the Swiss government seems not to have considered the rights of Swiss non-Muslim citizens, who are the ones left to live with the consequences of the government's ill-thought-out policies.

One such consequence was recently on display in Swiss courts, as three board members of the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland (ISSC) were on trial for charges of having produced illegal propaganda for al-Qaeda and related organizations. One of them, Naim Cherni, was given a suspended prison sentence of 20 months for publishing an interview he conducted with Saudi cleric Abdullah al-Muhaysini in Syria in 2015, in which al-Muhaysini called on young Muslims in Europe to join the jihad. The two other board members, chairman Nicolas Blancho and Qaasim Illi, were acquitted.

In contrast to Switzerland, Austria recently announced plans to shut down seven mosques and expelling up to 60 imams belonging to the Turkish-Islamic Union for Cultural and Social Cooperation in Austria (ATIB), a Muslim group close to the Turkish government, on the grounds of receiving foreign funding.

The response from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman was that the policy was part of an "Islamophobic, racist and discriminatory wave" in Austria.

The strong message that the Swiss government is sending to those Muslim states and organizations that are fueling radicalization in Switzerland by funding Salafist, Turkish and other radical mosques, is that they are welcome to continue doing so; the Swiss government has no intention of stopping them, let alone asking any unpleasant questions. It might as well put up a sign, saying, "Radicalization Welcome"



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

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

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


28 June, 2018

Supreme Court Tells State’s Highest Court to Reconsider Case of Florist Who Declined Order for Gay Wedding

Barronelle Stutzman faces fines for violating Washington’s anti-discrimination law by declining to provide flower arrangements for a longtime gay customer’s wedding. (Photo: The Daily Signal)
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sent the case of a florist who declined to provide flower arrangements for a same-sex wedding back to the highest court in Washington state.

The Supreme Court asked the Washington Supreme Court to reconsider the case of Barronelle Stutzman, owner of a flower shop in Richland, Washington state, in light of its June 4 ruling in favor of Jack Phillips, a Christian baker in Colorado who declined to create a custom cake to celebrate a gay marriage.

“Today’s decision suggests that [the Phillips case] may provide more robust protections than many commentators initially thought,” Ryan T. Anderson, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation and author of “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom,” told The Daily Signal in an email.

Both Stutzman and Phillips are represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group that specializes in religious liberty. In both cases, the organization has argued that the First Amendment prevents government from forcing Americans to use their creative talents to express messages, such as same-sex marriage, with which they disagree.

Stutzman, a 73-year-old grandmother, faces fines for violating Washington’s anti-discrimination law by declining to provide the flowers for a longtime gay customer’s wedding. Like Phillips, she is a Christian who believes, as the Bible teaches, that marriage is between one man and one woman.

The Supreme Court “reversed Colorado’s decision to punish cake artist Jack Phillips for living and working consistently with his religious beliefs about marriage, just as Stutzman has also been trying to do while under legal attack by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the American Civil Liberties Union,” Alliance Defending Freedom said in a formal statement.

The organization’s senior vice president in charge of its U.S. legal division, Kristen K. Waggoner, acted as lead counsel in Stutzman’s case, Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington, as well as Phillips’ case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Stutzman’s case goes back to March 2013, when customer Rob Ingersoll asked her to provide floral arrangements for his wedding to another man, Curt Freed.

“Barronelle Stutzman served a particular gay couple for almost a decade—happy birthday flowers and get-well-soon flowers—but couldn’t do the floral arrangements for their same-sex wedding,” Anderson told The Daily Signal, adding:

Rather than respect her conscience and religious liberty rights, the state attorney general [Ferguson] went after her. But this disagreement about marriage isn’t discrimination, and the government shouldn’t punish people simply for acting on their belief that marriage unites husband and wife.


Supreme Court rules against California law targeting anti-abortion pregnancy centers

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dealt a major blow to a California law requiring anti-abortion pregnancy centers to inform women about publicly funded abortion and contraception services.

The 5-4 ruling by Justice Clarence Thomas, with the court's conservatives in the majority, said the law "likely" violates the First Amendment as a form of compelled speech.

"Licensed clinics must provide a government-drafted script about the availability of state-sponsored services, as well as contact information for how to obtain them," Thomas said. "One of those services is abortion — the very practice that petitioners are devoted to opposing."

In a concurring opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy said the law is "a paradigmatic example of the serious threat presented when government seeks to impose its own message in the place of individual speech, thought and expression."

The decision was aimed at a liberal state government seeking to notify pregnant women of their rights to an abortion. But it could have unintended consequences. Laws in more conservative states requiring women seeking abortions to view ultrasounds or learn about the growth of their fetus now could be at risk.

Justice Stephen Breyer read a synopsis of the four liberal justices' dissent from the bench. "If a state can lawfully require a doctor to tell a woman seeking an abortion about adoption services ... why should it not be able to require a medical counselor to tell a woman seeking prenatal care about childbirth and abortion services?" he said.

California's law forces licensed pregnancy centers to post notices about free or low-cost state programs that include abortion services. It also requires unlicensed centers to inform clients that they are not medical facilities. Challengers called it a form of compelled speech.

“No one should be forced by the government to express a message that violates their convictions, especially on deeply divisive subjects such as abortion," said Michael Farris, president of Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the pregnancy centers. "In this case, the government used its power to force pro-life pregnancy centers to provide free advertising for abortion.”

The justices were divided over the requirements during oral argument in March. The court's conservatives, including California's Anthony Kennedy, complained that the law targets only clinics that counsel women to complete their pregnancies. But liberal justices compared it to laws, upheld by the high court, that require doctors performing abortions to advise women about alternatives.

The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, which operates or is associated with about 130 California pregnancy centers, argued such "informed consent" laws are warranted on the verge of a medical procedure, but the same is not true for centers counseling women to continue pregnancy.

The state contends that many pregnancy centers deceive and misinform clients by posing as medical clinics and running ads intended to attract women in search of traditional abortion and contraception services. It says more than half of its 700,000 pregnancies each year are unintended, and women need to know their options.

Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, decried the court ruling, which she said gives "fake health centers ... a free speech right to dress up like medical centers and deceive pregnant women."

While the Supreme Court made abortion legal nationwide in 1973 and has struck down state restrictions that block access for women, it has defended free speech rights in a number of recent cases.

Cities such as New York, San Francisco and Baltimore were first to enact laws imposing requirements on pregnancy centers. The facilities fought back in court — successfully in most cases — by arguing that the cities were discriminating based on their viewpoints.

A coalition of municipal groups argued that a ruling against California could put other required postings on shaky legal ground, such as those providing first aid instructions or requiring workers to wash their hands.


UK: Heterosexual pair WIN right to enter a civil partnership rather than get married after landmark Supreme Court ruling

A heterosexual couple have won the right to enter a civil partnership instead of getting married after a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court. Five Supreme Court justices unanimously granted an appeal by Rebecca Steinfeld, 37, and Charles Keidan, 41 this morning.

Speaking outside the court, the overjoyed pair said: 'We did it for Britain's 33million couples!'

Currently heterosexuals are not allowed to have a civil partnership because the Civil Partnership Act 2004 only allows same-sex couples.

But for four years Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan have argued it should be an option as well as marriage for cohabiting pairs. 

The academics, who live in Hammersmith, west London, suffered defeat at the Court of Appeal in February last year, but were given the go-ahead in August for a Supreme Court hearing today.

Speaking outside court this morning, Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan spoke of their 'jubilation' following their landmark court victory after a four-year battle.

Ms Steinfield said: 'This is a resounding victory which would not have been possible without the help of our legal team.

'Today we are one step closer to making civil partnerships available for us all. But to get this far we have had to go toe to toe with the government over four years and they have wasted tax payer's money to defend an unfair system.

'So forgive us if today we also feel a degree of sorrow that is has taken this long to get to this point.'

Her partner Mr Keidan added: 'There are 33million cohabiting couples in the UK, we are the fastest growing family type.

He said: 'Many want legal and financial security but cannot have this because in the eyes of the law they are not married. The law and government needs to catch up with family life in 2018. People are already suffering because of this.

'Today's declaration means the government is legally bound to end the mistreatment of people who are not married; human rights is meant to be progressive.'

The couple then urged Women's Minister Penny Mordant to fast track a private member's bill supporting their cause.

The panel of Supreme Court justices, including the court's president, Lady Hale, heard the couple's case in May and announced their decision this morning.

The judges granted a declaration that the 2004 Act was 'incompatible' with human rights laws on discrimination and right to a private and family life. 

Lord Kerr, announcing the court's decision, said the Government 'does not seek to justify the difference in treatment between same-sex and different sex couples'.

He added: 'To the contrary, it accepts that the difference cannot be justified.'

What the Government sought was 'tolerance of the discrimination while it sorts out how to deal with it'. He concluded: 'That cannot be characterised as a legitimate aim.'

Lord Kerr said it was 'salutary to recall that a declaration of incompatibility does not oblige the Government or Parliament to do anything'.

The couple, who have two daughters aged nine months and two, claimed the Government's position is 'incompatible with equality law'.

During the hearing, their barrister, Karon Monaghan QC, told the court they have 'deep-rooted and genuine ideological objections to marriage' and are 'not alone' in their views.

She said matrimony was 'historically heteronormative and patriarchal' and the couple's objections were 'not frivolous'.

Ms Monaghan added: 'These are important issues, no small matters, and they are serious for my clients because they cannot marry conformable with their conscience and that should weigh very heavily indeed.'

The Court of Appeal agreed that the couple had established a potential violation of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which relates to discrimination, taken with Article 8, which refers to respect for private and family life.


‘You are unbalanced & one-sided’: Hungary’s FM tells BBC reporter in heated migration debate

Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto hit back at a BBC reporter who suggested his government is xenophobic and authoritarian during an intense interview, in which the politician defended his country’s immigration record.

As Hungary’s foreign affairs chief sat down for an interview with BBC Newsnight on Tuesday, the talk quickly turned heated. Reporter Emily Maitlis recalled how the Hungarian parliamentary election, which happened two months ago, was criticized by the nation’s opposition parties.

“There is a sense of erosion of the rule of law. This is no longer a democracy. It is creeping authoritarianism,” she told Szijjarto, whose conservative Fidesz party won over 70 percent of votes in April. The minister rebuffed the allegations.

“You echo lies on this television. And I don’t think it’s fair. You are unbalanced, you are one-sided,” he responded. “You look only at the opinion of those who are frustrated because they lost the election.”

BBC’s Maitlis also suggested that Hungary’s anti-immigration law “flouts human rights” and recalled the fierce rhetoric of country’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, known for branding certain migrants “Muslim invaders” and speaking about the need to protect “Christian Hungary.”

“So, this isn’t actually about immigration, is it? It’s about xenophobia,” the reporter told Szijjarto who said that he considered the accusation a “very serious insult.”

“What we don’t want is a massive illegal influx coming from the south to us. We want to keep Hungary a Hungarian country. And we don’t think multiculturalism is by definition good,” he explained. “I understand that the liberal mainstream doesn’t like our laws. But it is the Hungarian voters whose expectations we have to fulfill.”

Orban’s Hungarian government regularly faces criticism from the European Union and human rights groups for its ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards migration from the Middle East and Africa. Hungary is one of the few countries that refuses to accept mandatory migrant quotas proposed by the EU.

Last week, Hungary adopted a controversial bill punishing NGOs and aid workers suspected of “enabling illegal immigration.” The law, like many of Hungary’s anti-immigration measures, was denounced by various human rights watchdogs.



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

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

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


27 June, 2018

Federal Judge Says Public Prayer by Police Officers Violates Law

How perverse!  I would greatly prefer a cop who prays to one who doesn't

The city council of Ocala, Florida, has decided to fight back after a federal judge ruled that the city and its police chief violated the Constitution by promoting and holding a prayer vigil.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan ruled in May that Police Chief Greg Graham and city leaders broke the Establishment Clause by organizing, promoting and holding a 2014 prayer vigil after a drive-by shooting injured several children.

“The government cannot initiate, organize, sponsor or conduct a community prayer vigil,” Judge Corrigan wrote in his order. “That is what happened here.”

The American Humanist Association represented several local residents who were allegedly triggered and suffered microaggressions as a result of the vigil.

The lawsuit claimed the police chief was “reckless and callously indifferent” because of his involvement in the planning and promotion of the event.

The chief and the city were ordered to pay $3 in damages plus attorney fees, Ocala.com reported.

The city council filed a motion to vacate the judgement.

Mayor Kent Guinn told Fox News about 600 people showed up to pray “for the children that got shot in the drive by shooting.”

Renowned evangelist Franklin Graham said prayer is a basic human right and public employees should be able to petition the Almighty.

“George Washington prayed, Abraham Lincoln prayed, and other presidents have called on God publicly in times of war or crisis,” the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse tweeted.

“Atheists have the right not to believe and not to call on God,” he said. “People of faith have the right to pray, and it should not be taken away.”

But AHA legal director David Niose said prayer rallies should be run by churches, not police departments.

“Police departments shouldn’t be endorsing religion, yet that’s exactly what the Ocala Police Department did here by sponsoring and promoting a prayer vigil,” he said in a statement.

It really takes a perverted kind of reprobate to sue a police department for participating in a prayer vigil.


Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder's name is REMOVED from top children's literature honor over her 'stereotypical attitudes' to blacks and Native Americans

Far-left librarians again. Frustrated old maids? That the award went to a black writer for the fourth straight year tells you about their politics.  Race is all.  Literature can take a back seat

The famed author of the Little House on the Prairie series has been put out to pasture.

In a unanimous vote on Saturday, the board of the Association for Library Service to Children agreed to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from the group's top award honoring children's literature authors over her depiction of blacks and Native Americans in her work.

'This decision was made in consideration of the fact that Wilder’s legacy, as represented by her body of work, includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC’s core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness,' said the group in a statement after the vote.

Rob Lowe mocked the controversy on Monday, tweeting: 'Wait.. Laura Ingalls Wilder was a racist author? How did I miss that?! Say it ain’t so, Halfpint!!!'

At the same time, Wendy McClure, who runs a parody account under Wilder's name, wrote: 'Not to be controversial (though of course I AM) but don't you think an award should be more about honoring the person who WINS IT than the person it's named for? Don't worry about my name and what award it is or isn't on, flutterbudgets. Kindly save your outrage for other things.'

Wilder's name had still not been removed from the organization's website as of Monday morning.

'Administered by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children,' reads the page describing the honor.

Below that is a biography of Wilder, which consists of just two sentences, followed by three paragraphs under the heading: 'Wilder's Legacy, and the Award in Context.'

That section, which is three times longer than the one detailing Wilder's life, states: 'Wilder's body of work continues to be a focus of scholarship and literary analysis, which often brings to light anti-Native and anti-Black sentiments in her work.

'Her books continue to be published, read, and widely used with contemporary children. ALSC recognizes the author’s legacy is complex and Wilder’s work is not universally embraced.'

Later, the group stresses that while it will continue to preserve the works of Wilder, it has opted to not associate her name with a prize honoring a writer's lifetime achievements.

The decision was made as the honor, now awarded annually, went to a black writer for the fourth straight year.

Past honorees include E. B. White (1970), Beverly Cleary (1975), Maurice Sendak (1983) and perhaps the most famous children's writer of all, Theodor S. Geisel (1980).

Geisel, better know as Dr. Seuss, is now under investigation himself by the group's task force, along with British bookseller John Newbery, illustrator Randolph Caldecott, businessman Robert Sibert, Mildred Batchelder, and author May Hill Arbuthnot.

ALSC Blog Manager Mary Voors wrote on the group's website that the vote on Saturday was met with a standing ovation.

In Little House on the Prarie, Wilder writes early in the book that out west 'there were no people. Only Indians lived there.'

That line clearly reveals Wilder's belief that Native Americans were not 'people,' and was changed int he 1950s to read 'no settlers.'

These sentiments did not impact the success of her novels, which are still sold worldwide and were made into a hit television series starring Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert.


U.S. Army training will now focus on actual battlefield skills, not social issues

Actual fighting will now take precedence over dealing with transitioning transgender troops, drug abuse and other issues as the Army seeks to overhaul its training regimen to hone its soldiers’ battlefield skills.

In a series of recent service-wide memoranda approved by Army Secretary Mark Esper and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and obtained by The Washington Times, service leaders are now making optional previously mandatory training on issues like transgender transition and drug abuse. The move, Army leaders argue, is designed to relieve stress on the already overburdened troop training regimen and refocus on soldiers ability to fight in combat.

“The Army’s regulations and policies that deal with training were pretty settled and there were not a lot of detractors to it. … It was all the other [training] requirements that we levied on ourselves, or we had levied from other places” that led to the increasingly cumbersome approach to combat readiness, said Col. John O’Grady, chief of the Army’s collective training division.

Those mandated training requirements “served as barriers to maximizing time … to build readiness and lethality” within combat units, he said in an interview. Aside from ending mandatory training programs on transgender troops and drug abuse, courses on media awareness and anti-human trafficking have also been eliminated from the mandatory curriculum, the service memoranda state.

Army officials are codifying the new marching orders into service-wide training guidelines and doctrine, which will bring the Army more in line with the Pentagon’s new National Defense Strategy, Col. O’Grady said.

The strategy, which was one of Defense Secretary James Mattis’ earliest policy initiatives, shifted away from the George W. Bush and Obama-era strategies dominated by battling extremist groups like al Qaeda, the Taliban and Islamic State, and putting the priority on challenging traditional nation-state rivals such as China and Russia. It also placed a greater emphasis on increasing lethality in conventional combat operations.


The Bad Hate the Good: The SPLC vs. Prager University

Dennis Prager

“Antifa” is to violence what the Southern Poverty Law Center is to words. In short, it is a hate group on the Left.

The SPLC smears individuals and groups it differs with by labeling them as some form of “hater”: “racist,” “white supremacist,” “extremist” and the like. That it is cited and even relied upon by The New York Times, Facebook, Amazon, Google, CNN and others, and that Apple gave the organization a million dollars, is testimony to the moral state of mainstream media and corporate culture in America today.

Were the SPLC not quoted and used as a source, there would be no reason to pay it any attention. All the SPLC does is politicize, and thereby trivialize, the fight against racism and other evils.

Any organization that labels Ayaan Hirsi Ali — the extraordinary Somali-American woman who devotes her life to fighting for oppressed women, especially in the Islamic world — an “extremist,” as the SPLC has done, is not a moral organization. No wonder it just agreed to pay Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz $3.4 million and issued a retraction for smearing him as an “anti-Muslim extremist.”

This kind of behavior should surprise no one. Since Stalin labeled Trotsky, the ideological leader of Soviet communism, a “fascist,” the Left (not liberals, to whom the Left is as opposed as it is conservatives) has libeled its opponents. Without lying about its opponents, there would be no Left.

Now the SPLC has placed an article about PragerU on its “Hatewatch” blog. It never actually accuses PragerU of “hate” because even it can’t substantiate such a charge. In over 300 videos, it could not find a single sentence countenancing hate or bigotry, so it simply describes two articles by outsiders about PragerU, knowing the dirty work will be accomplished via implication.

The article is about two PragerU critics, Kevin M. Kruse, a Princeton history professor who sought to rebut a PragerU video in a Twitter thread, and a self-described sociologist named Francesca Tripodi, who wrote an article examining PragerU’s reach.

Professor Kruse tweeted a series of disagreements with a PragerU video by former Princeton University and Vanderbilt University professor Dr. Carol Swain, a black scholar, on the subject of the Republican Party and the “Southern Strategy.”

Now, professor Kruse may be right, and professor Swain may be wrong. But that has nothing to do with hate. Nor does Kruse imply that it does. So, the SPLC citation of Kruse is just deceitful.

The SPLC article goes on to charge that “more than a few” PragerU videos “function as dog whistles to the extreme right.”

And how does PragerU blow these “dog whistles”?

The article uses Tripodi to make its case. Here is the essence of her argument, as described by the SPLC: “Tripodi says she discovered several elements tied to PragerU’s presenters and its online marketing that paint the brief videos watched more than a billion times in a troublesome light.”

And what are those “several elements?”

“To start with,” the article says, “when one visits the PragerU channel on YouTube, there is a column of ‘Related Channels’ with links to other outlets PragerU’s audience may find interesting: Fox News seems to be a no-brainer, as does The Daily Wire, given its founder Ben Shapiro’s relationship as a presenter for PragerU. But alongside those you also can find the channel of Stefan Molyneux, an extremist who espouses pseudo-scientific ‘race realism’ propaganda.

”‘[PragerU] … is very blatantly algorithmically connected’ to the extreme right content found on YouTube, Tripodi explains.“

Only a very careful reader will discern that PragerU has never had any connection whatsoever to Molyneux or any "extreme right content.” All Tripodi and the SPLC could write is that Google has “algorithmically connected” PragerU to such content.

Needless to say, PragerU has no power over how Google algorithmically connects anything.

Then the SPLC writes, “More troubling, Tripodi discovered, are the connections some PragerU presenters have with white nationalist thinkers.”

Again, only a very careful reader will realize PragerU has no connections whatsoever to white nationalist thinkers. Rather, “some PragerU presenters” do.

And who might they be?

Tripodi and the SPLC give one example: Dave Rubin. Dave Rubin made a video for PragerU titled “Why I Left the Left.” He is a very popular liberal video podcaster, and the fact that he is a gay Jewish liberal who left the Left disturbs the SPLC.

Now, do you know any gay Jewish liberals who support white nationalists? I doubt it.

So, on what grounds is Rubin smeared in this way? Not because of any views he espouses but because he has interviewed the aforementioned Stefan Molyneux.

As it happens, I differ with some of the admittedly little I have seen of Molyneux’s views (for example, I believe the entire race and IQ issue is utterly pointless and, on occasion, racist). But how does the fact that one PragerU presenter interviewed someone he disagrees with in any way impugn him — let alone PragerU?

Of course, it doesn’t. But that doesn’t stop the SPLC hate site from drawing such tenuous “connections” to smear fine people.

Would George Will, Bret Stephens, Charles Krauthammer — all Pulitzer Prize winners — Alan Dershowitz (a lifelong Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter), Arthur Brooks, Jonah Goldberg, Bjorn Lomborg, UCLA psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Marmer, former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and Rabbi Joseph Telushkin (one of the most prolific living writers on Judaism), to name just some of our presenters, participate in a white-supremacist endeavor? The implication is absurd — and libelous.

In addition to videos on current political issues, history and economics, PragerU brings goodness and kindness into millions of people’s lives. It produces videos on forgiveness, refraining from gossip, raising grateful and kind children, remaining attracted to one’s spouse, God and suffering, happiness and the importance of gratitude, along with many other life-enhancing subjects. And these have been viewed by tens of millions of people — most of them under age 35.

On any given day, PragerU increases goodness and kindness on Earth while the Southern Poverty Law Center increases anger and resentment.

That’s why the SPLC hates PragerU. The bad hate the good. It’s a rule of life.



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

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

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


26 June, 2018

What Jordan Peterson Doesn't Understand About Religion and Free Speech

Only a principle of COMPLETE freedom of expression will ensure that YOUR freedom is not taken away. 

There  is also an interesting point about meaning below which aroused my philosophical instincts.  The nature of meaning is a major debate in analytical philosophy. 

With regard to the wedding cake controversy, apparently some Leftists say a cake can have no meaning: "It's just a cake".  Justice Kagan in her SCOTUS ruling concurred, saying the the Christian cake-baker "invests its sale to particular customers with ‘religious significance.’ So the meaning of the cake is entirely in the baker's mind, not in the cake, so therefore doesn't exist.

But that is a non-sequitur.  Meaning can only exist in someone's mind.  An inscription in Chinese will have meaning to Chinese people but will be meaningless to me because I don't speak Chinese. And different meanings may exist in different minds for the same word: What is covered by "freedom", for instance, is often disputed. 

What was at issue in the case was not some non-existent absolute meaning but the baker's feelings and responses.  Baking the cake for him meant disloyalty to the scriptures.  And the First Amendment tells us that he is at liberty to bake or not because of such religious beliefs.

It seems a pity that a Supreme Court justice was too thick to see that what was at issue was a man's beliefs, not some mythical absolute property of a cake.  Kagan was, however, an Obama appointee

Recently, Jordan Peterson was interviewed by Australian comedian Jim Jeffries's show on Comedy Central. The interview did not go particularly well for Peterson, who, among other things, has had a meteoric rise as public intellectual for deftly handling tense interviews regarding his opposition to the cultural left's assault on free speech. There's been some oddly triumphant coverage of what happened. Vice summed up the interview this way, "Watch Comedian Jim Jefferies Finally Shut Up Jordan Peterson."

Here's what happened. Peterson was asked about the issue underlying a recent Supreme Court case: Should bakers be forced to bake wedding cakes for gay weddings if they have religious objections? Peterson says, "I don't think that would be a very good idea." Jeffries then asked if a baker should be able to deny a wedding cake for black people. Peterson says they should probably be allowed to deny service to black customers, "but that doesn't mean it's right." Jeffries then says that the civil rights movement did result in passing laws that required people to serve black people and that made society better and asks Peterson why this is different than now. Peterson says, "Maybe it's not different. ... Maybe I was wrong about that." Obviously, I'm paraphrasing a bit, but you can watch the whole exchange here:

This exchange is useful because it gets at a fundamental problem with religious liberty debates. Peterson's first impulse in favor of free expression in the broadest sense was right, but he got caught flat-footed when presented with a very common and overly simplistic reading of the distinction between where public accommodation laws end and free speech begins. It's a debate that demands some real understanding, as the future of the First Amendment depends on it.

As someone who's covered religious liberty issues for more than a decade, here's the answer I would have given: Business owners should be able to turn down any customer for any reason, period. That's freedom, and I think we're far enough removed from Jim Crow that there would not be widespread discrimination if it were the law of the land tomorrow. Further, businesses who did discriminate would likely be punished in the marketplace. When a bakery in the Portland suburb didn't make a cake for lesbian commitment ceremony, they were run out of business in months. I don't like that this happened to them, but in an area as liberal as Portland, it was very predictable.

However, a funny thing happened. A year and a half after the business was shuttered, the Oregon labor secretary Brad Avakian slapped the bakery owners with a $135,000 fine. When Avakian ran for secretary of state in 2016 the state's major papers didn't endorse him on the grounds that Avakian was too "political," and while bakery wasn't often explicitly discussed the egregious fine was tacitly understood to be part of his problems. The result was Avakian became the first Democrat to lose a statewide election 14 years. Liberal Oregonians thought being punished by the marketplace was both appropriate and enough.

However, since horrifying official racism is still in living memory, commercial freedom is a difficult thing to argue for. So where does that leave us? Note that in the recent Supreme Court decision Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Justice Kennedy's decision very clearly articulated the difference between public accommodation laws and argument for protecting the expression of creative professionals such as bakers (without coming down one way or the other). Still, even defining the difference was a huge victory.

Public accommodation laws to combat Jim Crow were always understood to apply to services that were essentially uniform and interchangeable. A black man wanting a sandwich at a lunch counter, a hotel room, or a train seat wasn't getting service that was any different than the white guy next to him. Beyond that, it legal distinctions about providing more subjective and individualistic services were hazy and deliberately so. Policing the link here involves assuming or determining intent—and it's very easy perceive racist intent where none exists—and this creates a host of problems when it's not an outright a violation of rights. Then there's the intersection of speech and business. Selling racist pamphlets is an overtly discriminatory commercial activity by nature and a lot more harmful than not baking a cake, and yet perfectly legal commercial activity because not tolerating it to some significant degree is not only at odds with the First Amendment but invites the government to make highly subjective judgments about what speech is and is not tolerable.

When the New Mexico wedding photographer case (Elane Photography v. Willock) appeared in 2006, the initial reaction was pretty interesting. I remember going on relevant message boards for wedding photographers and there was a lot of "I'm a liberal who supports gays, but I'm concerned." Wedding photographers retain the copyright to their work, were legally viewed as artists, and very much saw themselves as creatives. It was instinctively understood that the government telling artists what art they had to create was a very bad precedent.

In the related cases that have popped up since, the clearer the occupation is relative to either artistic or lexical expression, the better the odds it will be protected. I think the only one of these cases that has won thus far in a lower court is that of Hands On Originals, a T-shirt printer in Kentucky who declined to print T-shirts for a gay pride event. A significant reason the printer won his case is that the public accommodation argument is belied by the fact he owns a literal printing press that prints words and messages, even if his medium is T-shirts and promotional tchotchkes rather than, say, newspapers.

From there, it's harder to make an argument whether or not bakers or florists count as expressive artists, though it should be obvious enough that a) when it comes to protecting free speech from government interference the prudent thing is to define these matters as broadly as possible b) accepting them on their own terms as artistry should be easy enough since this all centers on custom designs and there are big artistic competitions in both professions. (Bakers are also often asked to put words on cakes in addition to both professions being asked do create things that are overtly symbolic.) Obviously, if I pick up a sheet cake that's pre-made at the grocery store, public accommodation arguments would seem to be applicable. It's also why Jack Philips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, would sell his offended gay customers anything already in his store, but not make them a cake from scratch. His own effort was not intertwined with the wishes of the customer in selling pre-made goods the way it would be in a custom order meant to honor a specific ceremony of religious significance to him. (Notably Phillips doesn't do other things that violate his beliefs, such as make Halloween-themed baked goods.)

Now the media coverage of these issues has not been conducive to dealing with the nuances outlined above. Which has contributed to a situation where, even when liberals start to understand the speech implications, they stumble over their own hypocrisy on public accommodation measures. Having spoken on these issues publicly a number of times I've seen this happen a lot, and prominent defenders of religious freedom tell me it happens to them as well. The conversation you have tends to go something like this:

"What's the big deal? They just want a cake."

"Well, it's not 'just a cake.' What if the customer wants a 48-inch, five-layer cake that when you cut it open has been dyed to look like a rainbow pride flag and has an image of the two grooms respective faces on two fondant sculptures of Michalengelo's David on top and in frosting underneath it says 'Jesus Approves of the Union of Chuck and Buck's Open Marriage' and will take this baker baker three days of his life to make, if it didn't grossly violate his religious beliefs to make it in the first place?"

"That doesn't mean anything. It's just flour and sugar. Why won't this bigot sell him a cake?"

"If I forced you to bake me a cake that said 'Make America Great Again' you'd object, right?"

"Of course I would. Trump is practically Hitler."

"Ok, don't you see how the same principle of compelled speech applies to the first cake?"

"That's totally different. Those gay dudes just want a normal cake."

So long as the cake represents things the person believes in, there's nothing unique about it in their mind and for some reason they cannot be made to see it's in any way symbolic or representative of a viewpoint not everyone agrees with. And when you realize people are incapable of making this distinction, to the point of total moral disassociation that allows for compelling speech from others that they would object to explicitly being done to them personally, you realize there's a viral strain of argument that could be used to justify subjecting people they disagree with to any number of abuses. It also seems the most powerful people in America are infected with this thinking. Liberal Justice Elana Kagan voted as she did on Masterpiece because she understood the baker was subject to overt animus, such as a Colorado civil rights commissioner calling the baker a Nazi, that made his punishment appear to be arrived at predjudically. But then the "just a cake" non-argument rears it's ugly head in the much discussed bizzarroland footnote in her concurrence:

As Justice Gorsuch sees it, the product that Phillips refused to sell here—and would refuse to sell to anyone—was a ‘cake celebrating same-sex marriage.’ But that is wrong. The cake requested was not a special ‘cake celebrating same-sex marriage.’ It was simply a wedding cake—one that (like other standard wedding cakes) is suitable for use at same-sex and opposite-sex weddings alike… And contrary to Justice Gorsuch’s view, a wedding cake does not become something different whenever a vendor like Phillips invests its sale to particular customers with ‘religious significance.’

I suspect Jordan Peterson hasn't thought all this through, and I'm not surprised he hasn't because the public debate has been so bad. But there are abundant reasons to suspect that if it were explained to him, he'd get it. The fact a Supreme Court justice's can't see something so obvious and essential to the First Amendment, after she was specifically tasked with puzzling it out for months, well, that should keep people concerned with preserving free speech up at night.


'About 60 Organizations' Are Considering a Lawsuit Against the SPLC Following $3M Nawaz Settlement

About time!

No fewer than 60 organizations branded "hate groups" or otherwise attacked by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) are considering legal action against the left-wing smear factory, a Christian legal nonprofit leader confirmed to PJ Media on Tuesday. He suggested that the $3 million settlement and apology the SPLC gave to Maajid Nawaz and his Quilliam Foundation on Monday would encourage further legal action.

"We haven't filed anything against the SPLC, but I think a number of organizations have been considering filing lawsuits against the SPLC, because they have been doing to a lot of organizations exactly what they did to Maajid Nawaz," Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told PJ Media on Tuesday.

Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit against the charity navigation organization GuideStar for defamation after GuideStar adopted the SPLC's "hate group" list. That lawsuit is ongoing.

In 2016, the SPLC published its "Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists," listing Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz, a practicing Muslim, as one such extremist. The left-wing group listed various reasons for including him, changing the reasons every so often, and even at one point mentioning that he had gone to a strip club for his bachelor party.

On Monday, SPLC President Richard Cohen extended his group's "sincerest apologies to Mr. Nawaz, Quilliam, and our readers for the error, and we wish Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam all the best." In settling the suit, the SPLC paid Nawaz's organization $3.375 million.

"This is a significant settlement," Staver told PJ Media. "3.375 million dollars, and it did not even go to litigation; it was a result of a demand letter."

Importantly, "the allegations that were at issue here were very similar to the allegations against the other groups," the Liberty Counsel chairman explained. "The SPLC promotes false propaganda, demonizes and labels groups they disagree with, and that labeling has economic as well as physical consequences."

The SPLC started as a group to oppose racist terrorism, and its first legal action targeted the Ku Klux Klan. In recent decades, the organization has begun marking mainstream organizations as "hate groups" on par with the KKK. Last year, 47 nonprofit leaders denounced the SPLC's "hate list" in an open letter to the media. The SPLC has admitted that its "hate group" list is based on "opinion."

Staver insisted that the settlement with Nawaz "will encourage further legal action." He suggested that the settlement "helps our lawsuit against GuideStar" and may encourage organizations that were considering suing the SPLC to actually file the paperwork.

"There are probably about 60 organizations that we're talking to — there's at least 60," Staver told PJ Media. He mentioned the group of 47 nonprofit leaders who denounced the SPLC last year, and said "that group has grown since then."

Furthermore, many of the "hate groups" attacked by the SPLC do not encourage hate or violence, but merely disagree with the left-wing organization's political views. Many — like the Family Research Council (FRC), the Ruth Institute, and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) — merely stand for marriage as between one man and one woman. The SPLC has twisted 30-year-old arguments to smear these groups, and in one egregious case the group actually quoted as hateful the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Other organizations attacked by the SPLC also told PJ Media they are "considering their options" regarding a lawsuit.

"Truthfully, I have not been following the activities of the SPLC too closely," Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, an organization that lost its credit card processor, Vanco Payments, over the SPLC's "hate group" labeling last year, told PJ Media. "Pursuing our mission is more important than attempting to take on the behemoth of the SPLC."

"I must say, though, this apology to Mr. Nawaz has caused us to consider our options," Morse added, cryptically.

"We are reviewing all our legal options," J.P. Duffy, a spokesman for the Family Research Council, told PJ Media on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Prager University, another organization attacked by the SPLC, said that "at this point" the group had "no intention to sue," but they "reserve the right to change their mind as the situation evolves."

Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), echoed this trend, saying his organization is "evaluating all our options," including a potential lawsuit.

"It's appalling and offensive for the Southern Poverty Law Center to compare peaceful organizations which condemn violence and racism with violent and racist groups just because it disagrees with their views," Tedesco told PJ Media. "That's what SPLC did in the case of Quilliam and its founder Maajid Nawaz, and that's what it has done with ADF and numerous other organizations and individuals."

"This situation confirms once again what commentators across the political spectrum have been saying for decades: SPLC has become a far-left organization that brands its political opponents as 'haters' and 'extremists' and has lost all credibility as a civil rights watchdog," the ADF senior counsel added.

Tedesco defended the good name of Alliance Defending Freedom, which SPLC falsely maligns as a "hate group." "With eight wins in the last seven years at the U.S. Supreme Court and hundreds of victories for free speech at America's public universities, ADF is one of the nation's most respected and successful legal advocates, working to preserve our fundamental freedoms of speech, religion, and conscience for people from all walks of life," he said.


Spain: Ground Zero for Europe's Anti-Israel Movement

The proliferating anti-Israel activism, driven by the rise to power of the political far-left, is establishing Spain as the EU member state most hostile towards the Jewish state.

Valencia, the third-largest city in Spain, has approved a motion to boycott Israel and slander it by declaring the city an "Israeli apartheid-free zone." The move comes days after Navarra, one of Spain's 17 autonomous communities, announced a similar measure. In all, more than 50 Spanish cities and regions have passed motions condemning Israel. The proliferating anti-Israel activism, driven by the rise to power of the political far-left, is establishing Spain as the EU member state most hostile towards the Jewish state.

The Valencian measure, introduced by the far-left party València en Comú, was approved during a plenary session of the city council on May 31. The motion, which commits the city to refrain from engaging in business contacts or cultural events with Israeli authorities or companies, aims at establishing Valencia as "a global reference for solidarity with the Palestinians."

The motion, which libelously describes Israel as an "apartheid regime," accuses the Jewish state of "colonialism," "racism," "ethnic cleansing," "tyranny," and "genocide."

The measure, which claims to reflect the "dignity, solidarity and justness" of the Valencian people, was introduced by Neus Fábregas Santana, a city councilor whose Twitter feed reveals an obsession with demonizing and delegitimizing Israel.

Santana works closely with a group called BDS País Valencia, the local branch of a worldwide movement trying to delegitimize Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.

BDS País Valencia is currently promoting a Spanish documentary about the Gaza Strip called "Gas the Arabs," a title that alleges, falsely, that the Jews in Israel are doing to the Arabs today what the Nazis in Germany did to the Jews during the Second World War.

An activist with BDS País Valencia, Mireia Biosca, said the motion in Valencia had three objectives:

"The first is the dismantling of the apartheid wall and the return to the borders of 1967. The second is the end of apartheid both in Palestine and in Israel, and the third is the right of return."

Biosca also said BDS País Valencia would work to prevent the Eurovision song contest from being held in Israel in 2019:

"There is a very clear line: first to ensure that states do not participate in the festival, and obviously a campaign to prevent the festival from being in Jerusalem. For me it is equally boycottable if it is decided that Eurovision will be held in Tel Aviv...."

A Madrid-based organization, Action and Communication on the Middle East (ACOM), which is fighting the anti-Israel BDS movement in Spain, said that Valencia's motion was anti-Semitic and an incitement to hatred. It said it was studying whether to take legal action against the City Council of Valencia for violating the Spanish Constitution and promoting discrimination based on religion, ethnicity or national origin:

"The declaration is full of lies, manipulations and libels, whilst it calls for the city to formally adhere to the BDS movement and declare itself 'free of Israeli apartheid' (a known euphemism in Spain for Judenrein [free of Jews], where any perceived sympathizer of the Jewish State is demanded to publicly denounce the policies of the only democracy in the Middle East in order to be admitted to social, political, economic or civic activities in the municipality) ....

"We informed the local press of the illegality of the BDS campaign, detailing dozens of judicial cases won by ACOM in the Spanish Courts that proved the unconstitutionality of exclusionary measures."

ACOM has filed more than twenty lawsuits against provincial and town councils which have enacted boycotts of Israel.

Much of the BDS activity in Spain is being promoted by Podemos (translated in English as "We Can"), a neo-Communist party founded in March 2014 to protest the economic austerity measures put into place after the European debt crisis. Podemos received more than 20% of the vote in the national election held on December 20, 2015 and is now the third-largest party in Parliament.

Podemos head Pablo Iglesias and his deputy, Íñigo Errejón, served as advisors to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, and have been accused of receiving more than €7 million ($8 million) from Chávez to fund their political activities in Spain. Podemos has also been accused of receiving funding from the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iglesias has a long history of anti-Semitism: he has downplayed the Holocaust, describing it as "a bureaucratic and administrative decision"; compared the Gaza Strip to the Warsaw ghetto; and described Spanish police who apprehend illegal immigrants as being the same as SS guards.

Iglesias hosts a television program, "Fort Apache," which is broadcast on HispanTV, a Spanish-language cable television network owned by the Iranian government. He has been accused of using his show to repeat anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and tropes.

In a June 7 interview on RTVE, a leading state-owned television and radio broadcast network, Iglesias, said that Israel was an "illegal" country: "We need to act more firmly against an illegal state like Israel. Israel's actions are illegal. The apartheid policies of Israel are illegal."

València en Comú, the political party which sponsored the BDS motion in Valencia, is a local offshoot of Podemos. The motion was approved with support from Compromís, a coalition of Communist and left-wing nationalist parties, as well as the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), which recently took over the central government in Madrid.

BDS motions have also been approved in: Abrera, Alcoi, Alhaurín de la Torre, Artés, Badalona, Barberà del Vallès, Barcelona, Benlloch, Campillos, Casares (Malaga), Castrillón, Castro del Río, Catarroja, Concentaina, Córdoba, Corvera, El Prat, Gijón, Gran Canaria, La Roda Llangreu, Los Corrales, Madrid, Mairena del Aljarafe, Molins de Rei, Montoro, Muro, Navalafuente, Navarra, Oleiros, Olesa de Montserrat, Onda, Pamplona, Petrer, Ripollet, Rivas-Vaciamadrid, Sabiñánigo, San Fernando, San Roque, Sant Adrià del Besòs, Sant Cebriá de Vallalta, Sant Celoni, Santa Eulària (Ibiza), Sant Boi de Llobregat, Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Sant Pere de Ruidebitlles, Santiago de Compostela, Sant Quirze del Vallès, Seville, Telde, Terrassa, Trebujena, Velvez-Málaga, Viladamat, Viloria del Henar, Xeraco and Zaragoza, among others.

ACOM President Ángel Más explained the dynamics behind the rise of the BDS movement in Spain:

"The BDS is a global phenomenon that is born from the modern anti-Semites' acceptance of the improbability of defeating Israel through military confrontation or terrorist attacks. The objective is the same: the annihilation of the Jewish homeland, 'from the river to the sea.' But now, BDS tries to push the international community to condemn Israel as a pariah state and ostracize all those that support her: Zionists. Jews.

"The delegitimizers, as old-time bigots, mask their thuggery, presenting themselves as victims and hiding their true intentions. They appeal to public feelings against oppression or abuse and the sympathy for underdogs and suffering minorities.

"The BDS movement in Spain acquired its current virulence with the emergence of Podemos, a 'Chavist' far-left party financed by Venezuela and Iran. Podemos won 25% of the votes in Spain's 2015 local elections. Before those elections, BDS was a marginal confederation of small groups focusing on academic and cultural boycotts of Israel. The core group that formed Podemos had been active in the BDS initiatives for years, and hostility against Israel was a top priority in their political agenda.

"As Podemos gained control of the municipal governments in the main Spanish cities, including Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza and Cadiz, the anti-Israel movement had access to multiple economic, human and organizational resources. When those far-left groups occupied public institutions, they didn't distinguish between their own sectarian agenda and the government's agenda.

"Local administrations (provincial and municipal) formally joined the BDS movement and declared their territories 'free of Israeli apartheid.' In effect, Judenrein. Stickers were distributed to be exhibited in shops and offices, public companies were instructed not to work with Israeli firms or individuals and Spanish citizens suspected of being associated or sympathetic to the Jewish state were demanded to repudiate it publicly in order not to be excluded from social, political, economic and civic life.

"Podemos has driven over 90 such declarations in Spain in jurisdictions covering a population of over eight million people. Its plan was to create an oil spill of hatred reaching the majority of Spain in 18 months. This was an existential threat, and we had to act....

"No local boycott is too small to go unchallenged. BDS groups carefully manipulate the information reaching political decision makers, spend massive resources on media campaigns and are masters at social media intoxication. In general, pro-Israel groups are lagging behind in the application of analysis and action in those fields."


Trinity Western University Loses Religious Freedom Fight

In a 7-2 decision, the Canadian Supreme Court has ruled against Trinity Western University in their fight to open a law school, siding with the Law Society of British Columbia in its belief that LGBTQ+ rights trump religious freedom rights.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Richard Wagner, along with Justices Rosalie Abella, Michael Moldaver, Andromache Karakatsanis, and Clement Gascon stated “The LSBC’s [Law Society of British Columbia] decision not to approve TWU’s [Trinity Western University] proposed law school represents a proportionate balance between the limitation on the religious protections under s. 2 (a) of the Charter and the statutory objectives that the LSBC sought to pursue. The LSBC’s decision was therefore reasonable.”

TWU is an evangelical institute of higher learning that has multiple locations in Canada. The institution was founded by the Evangelical Free Churches of Canada and America in 1962 and was upgraded to university status in 1985.

In June 2012, Trinity Western submitted a proposal for a law school at their main campus in British Columbia. In April of 2014 the LSBC, however, in October of 2014, the LSBC reversed its decision based on a referendum of British Columbia’s lawyers. Trinity Western sued the LSBC for their decision and thus began a years-long legal battle that resulted in the Supreme Court of Canada handing down a decision in favor of the LSBC’s favor on June 15.

At issue in this legal dispute was Trinity Western’s “Community Covenant” which, among other things, prohibited “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

Justice Beverly McLachlin, who retired on Dec. 15, 2017 but was still on the bench in late November and early December of 2017 when Trinity Western’s appeal was heard, agreed with the majority decision, stating, “Where legislatures delegate regulation of the legal profession to a law society, the law society’s interpretation of the public interest is owed deference.”

Justice Malcolm Rowe also agreed with the majority, stating, “With the privilege of self-government granted to the LSBC comes a corresponding duty to self-regulate in the public interest. The LSBC was entitled to interpret its public interest mandate as including consideration of the effect of the Covenant on prospective law students. The fact that the Covenant is a statement of religious rules and principles does not insulate it from such scrutiny.”

Justices Suzanne Cote and Russell Brown disagreed with the decision, however, stating “Under the LSBC’s enabling statute, the only proper purpose of a law faculty approval decision is to ensure that individual graduates are fit to become members of the legal profession because they meet minimum standards of competence and ethical conduct. Given the absence of any concerns relating to the fitness of prospective TWU law graduates, the only defensible exercise of the LSBC’s statutory discretion would have been to approve TWU’s proposed law school.”

The full text of the Canadian Supreme Court’s decision including concurring and dissenting opinions, can be found here.

For its part, TWU mourned the majority’s decision, stating, “Until now, Canada has encouraged the rich mosaic created by the diversity of views, race, gender, and belief systems. Sadly, the Supreme Court has decided that this does not extend to a law school at Trinity Western University.”

Earl Phillips, executive director of what was going to be TWU Law School, said, “We feel this is a lost opportunity for Canadians, many of whom do not have affordable access to justice. There are only three common law schools in Canada that offer a course in charity law. The TWU Law School would have offered a specialty in charity law. Because Canada has the second largest charitable and non-profit sector in the world, this law stands to impact Canadians coast to coast.”
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Phillips further stated, “Without question, the Trinity Western community is disappointed by this ruling. However, all Canadians should be troubled by today’s decision that sets a precedent for how the courts will interpret and apply Charter rights and equality rights going forward.”



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

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

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


25 June, 2018

Pentagon Covering Up Fact That Female Officers Nearly Sank Navy Ship

The "diversity" mongers have blood on their hands

During the early weeks after the USS Fitzgerald was speared by a lumbering Philippine container ship, it was noteworthy that the captain and a couple of admirals were publically named, but not the actual officer in charge, the officer of the deck. (OOD) The other person who should have kept the Fitz out of trouble is the person in charge of the combat information center, the Tactical Action Officer. That individual is supposed to be monitoring the combat radar, which can detect a swimmer at a distance of two miles.

Not until a year later, when the final reports are made public and the guilty parties have been court-martialed, does the truth come out. The OOD was named Sarah, and the Tactical Action Officer was named Natalie, and they weren’t speaking to each other!!! The Tactical Action Officer would normally be in near constant communication with the OOD, but there is no record of any communication between them that entire shift!

Another fun fact: In the Navy that won WWII, the damage control officers were usually some of the biggest and strongest men aboard, able to close hatches, shore up damaged areas with timbers, etc. The Fitz’s damage control officer was also a woman, and she never left the bridge. She handled the aftermath of the accident remotely, without lifting a finger herself!

Look it up: The OOD was Sarah Coppock, Tactical Action Officer was Natalie Combs. . . .

When I noticed last year that they were doing all they could to keep the OOD’s name out of the headlines, I speculated to my son that it was a she. Turns out all the key people (except one officer in the CIC) were female!

Indeed, I did some searching, and Lt. Coppock pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty. Lt. Combs faced a hearing last month:

"In an 11-hour hearing, prosecutors painted a picture of Lt. Irian Woodley, the ship’s surface warfare coordinator, and Lt. Natalie Combs, the tactical action officer, as failing at their jobs, not using the tools at their disposal properly and not communicating adequately. They became complacent with faulty equipment and did not seek to get it fixed, and they failed to communicate with the bridge, the prosecution argued. Had they done those things, the government contended, they would have been able to avert the collision."

That two of the officers — Coppock and Combs — involved in this fatal incident were female suggests that discipline and training standards have been lowered for the sake of “gender integration,” which was a major policy push at the Pentagon during the Obama administration. It could be that senior officers, knowing their promotions may hinge on enthusiastic support for “gender integration,” are reluctant to enforce standards for the women under their command.

This was the story of Kara Hultgreen, the Navy pilot who died in a 1994 F-14 crash. Investigation showed that Hultgreen had been allowed to proceed in her training after errors that would have meant a washout for any male pilot. But the Clinton administration was pushing for female fighter pilots, which resulted in a competition between the Navy and Air Force to put women into these combat roles. It is not necessary to believe that (a) women shouldn’t be fighter pilots, in order to believe (b) lowering standards for the sake of quotas is a bad idea. Of course, you may believe both (a) and (b), but it is (b) that gets people killed.

It seems obvious that the Pentagon (and the liberal media) sought to suppress full knowledge of what happened to the Fitzgerald in the immediate aftermath of the June 2017 incident that killed seven sailors, in the same way the details of Kara Hultgreen’s death were suppressed. It took investigative reporters like Rowan Scarborough of the Washington Times a lot of hard work to find out what actually happened to Hultgreen. Let’s hope other reporters will dig into what’s happening in our military with the “gender intergration” agenda at the Pentagon now.


Eurydice Dixon: ‘Rape culture’ facts just don’t fit

Australia's CLAIRE LEHMANN comprehensively demolishes feminist theory in just one article

It has been little more than a week since a young Melbourne woman, Eurydice Dixon, had her life cut short by young man who allegedly raped and murdered her, leaving her body in an empty oval in the early hours of the morning. The young man has since turned himself in to police. [He was a mental case]

In the aftermath of this brutal crime we have seen calls to action from Malcolm Turnbull to “change the hearts of men”, from Bill Shorten to “change the attitudes of men”, and from Adam Bandt that “we (men) must change the way we act”, as if there were some kind of unspoken bond between the person who committed this crime and the politicians who govern the nation.

Such utterances, while potentially comforting to those who are acutely distressed, are overly broad in their attribution of blame. Whether such broadness is intentional or not, it betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of evil, and betrays the liberal principle that no person should be held accountable for a crime they did not commit.

In my brief time as a graduate student of forensic psychology, I learned about children who had “callous and unemotional” traits. These traits are the childhood version of what we call psychopathy in adults. Children who exhibit these traits are cruel to their pets and siblings in ways the ordinary person would struggle to comprehend. I read about one child who stuck pins into the eyes of the family dog, and another child who poured paint stripper over his disabled sister’s legs. The traumatised parents of these children live out lives of devastation and outrage, and suffer the fate of being blamed for their children’s disturbance (when most often it is not their fault). Fortunately, there are a handful of clinics around the world that try to train such children out of such behaviour. But in the long run many of them do grow up to be antisocial, some become criminals, others do not.

When Victoria Police Superintendent David Clayton said people “should be aware of (their) surroundings” and take precautions to protect their own safety following the discovery of Dixon’s body, he uttered a statement so commonsensical as to be banal. Yet, from the vicious reaction to his words, one might have momentarily thought that he was the murderer. Premier Daniel ­Andrews seemed to implicitly rebuke the senior police officer when he officiously declared: “Women don’t need to change their behaviour. Men do.”

Yet anyone who has had any real-life experience knows what Clayton was referring to: psychopaths exist in our midst, and these predators opportunistically engage in acts of malevolence. These criminals are rare but the damage they can do can be devastating. All the high-minded efforts to get men to “change” aren’t going to rid the world of psychopaths, unless one believes psychopaths don’t exist in the first place.

As a senior police officer, Clayton presumably knows a bit about crime. He is familiar with depravity and recognises its signs. Yet this simple fact of life, that evil exists, seems beyond the realm of the progressive imagination. Limited by an emaciated vocabulary, such crimes are now explained via the newspeak of “oppression”, “power” and “problematic attitudes” that have been “socialised”.

The fashionable explanation today is the idea that crimes against women are a cultural phenomenon. Prominent feminist Clementine Ford writes in The Age: “Sexual violence and homicide might be the extreme end point of it, but the spectrum they sit on stretches right back to ‘harmless’ casual sexism, the rape ‘jokes’ and threats that proliferate online and the attitude expressed towards women on a daily basis by groups of men who’ve been socialised to view themselves as superior. These toxic behaviours don’t manifest one day out of nowhere. They are cultivated.”

White Ribbon ambassador Andrew Swan joined the crime-is-cultural chorus, stating: “It is crucial to consider sexual assault and family violence as part of the same spectrum — a dark rainbow that begins with something as simple as a sexist joke, and our reaction to it.” The solution? “Try not laughing,” he said.

The focus on sexist jokes and “everyday sexism” seems disproportionate when weighed against the evidence. You wouldn’t know it from the amount of times the myth is repeated by media commentators, but there is no evidence that links the telling of jokes to sexual assault or murder. On the contrary, in the psychiatric literature, losing one’s ability to laugh (anhedonia) is a recognised sign of psychopathology, and a general sense of humour is considered healthy.

The fashionable idea that all men are somehow responsible for a culture of rape and violence is not supported by the evidence either. Crimes in general, including crimes against women, are committed overwhelmingly by a minority subset of the general population. In Sweden, for example, a population-based study that looked at more than two million people from 1975 to 2004 found that only 1 per cent of the population were responsible for 63.2 per cent of all crimes recorded — nearly twice as many as the other 99 per cent combined. That’s a tiny percentage of the population responsible for the vast majority of offending.

The same holds true for sexual assault. Offenders who commit sexual assaults are much likelier to be “life-course persistent offenders”; that is, individuals who have the greatest propensity to criminality. Again, a minority is responsible for the majority of offending. Even when it comes to sexual harassment, it is likely that repeat offenders cause most of the trouble. The fact is that recidivist offenders are responsible for the vast bulk of all crimes, and unfortunately these individuals are the least likely to be persuaded by rehabilitation campaigns or public education efforts.

“But what about domestic violence?” one may ask. Isn’t the high rate of intimate-partner ­violence evidence that we live in a culture that belittles and devalues women?

It is true that women experience the most serious forms of domestic violence, which can involve stalking and end in murder. In Australia, about 70 per cent of all intimate-partner homicides are female. And about one in four women (or about 25 per cent to 30 per cent) report having been the victim of intimate-partner ­violence at some time. Yet intimate-partner violence is not a male-only domain. In an Australian study, lesbians were likelier to report having been in an abusive relationship than gay men (41 per cent and 28 per cent respectively). And in the US, the lifetime prevalence of having been the victim of intimate-­partner violence is found to be much higher among lesbians and bisexual women when compared with heterosexual women and gay men. The feminist theory that claims violence is a tool used by men systematically to oppress women as a collective fails to account for such data. It also fails to account for the Nordic paradox.

A study published in 2016 coined the term Nordic paradox to refer to the puzzling finding that in countries with the highest level of gender equality — ­Sweden, Norway and Finland — rates of reported intimate-partner violence are substantially higher than in the rest of the world. (The global prevalence of IPV is estimated to be about 30 per cent but in Sweden it is 38 per cent.) Researchers do not know if this is because there is a backlash effect in which men are responding to shifts towards gender egalitarianism by lashing out, or if it is simply the result of increased awareness and reporting. But whatever the explanation is determined to be, the feminist prediction that violence declines as gender equality increases simply is not supported by the data.

The idea that our culture condones violence against women is farcical. There are no sympathetic portrayals of rapists or wife-­abusers in films, TV shows or in most of the Western canon. On the contrary, films often revolve around a plot of revenge where a morally depraved figure who has harmed a woman receives his just deserts. There are no cultural artefacts that glorify rape and, contrary to the accusations of some feminists, men who abuse or exploit women generally are held in contempt by other men.

Crimes against women are stigmatised and punished harshly. Sexual offenders generally are given lengthy prison sentences and are secluded from other prisoners precisely because the crime is so reviled — even in ­prison.

While ABC journalists ask why violence against women is an “accepted part” of Western civilisation we must remember that a long view of the trends in violent crime all point to violence decreasing substantially across time. In Australia, the homicide rate and sexual assault rate peaked in the 1970s and has been declining steadily since.

As documented by Steven Pinker in The Better Angels of Our Nature, all Western nations have seen dramatic and persistent declines in interpersonal violence dur­ing the past 500 years. While there may be variations from year to year, rates of violent crime are much lower now than at any point in our recorded history.

Yet in public conversations about crime, data is overlooked in favour of appeals to emotion. And to compound the naivety, the political narratives that surround crime today — especially crimes against women — are becoming increasingly toxic and divisive. While “equality” for the left once meant the removal of artificial barriers that impeded people’s ability to partake in social and economic life, today it means something different.

The contemporary left sees the world through the lens of groups warring over scarce resources. This perspective perceives res­ources as static: there is a pie that never grows, and the role of politics is to cut the pie up in a more fair and equitable manner. In this world view, if more men are in positions of power within a society, then this happens at the expense of women. Interactions between groups are zero-sum.

In this world of identity politics, individuality is subsumed into the collective. When one man holds power, he doesn’t do so on behalf of himself, he does so on behalf of the male collective. Likewise, when one man commits a murder, collectivists will portray it as being done in the service of all men. This regressive world view has no qualms about ascribing collective guilt to entire groups of people. But ascribing collective guilt strikes at the very heart of our understanding of justice and liberty.

One reason violence has declined in the West is because at some point along the way we decided that individual sovereignty matters, and that it was unjust to hold people accountable for crimes they did not commit. Let’s not reverse the trend.


SPLC agrees to $3.3 million settlement over its ‘Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists’


The Southern Poverty Law Center has made an apology and agreed to a $3.3 million settlement in a lawsuit over its “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.” When the Field Guide was published in 2016 it included the name of Maajid Nawaz, a British Muslim who runs the Quilliam Foundation. Nawaz sued the SPLC in 2017 and today Quilliam announced the settlement victory:

The Southern Poverty Law Center, Inc. has apologized to Quilliam and its founder Maajid Nawaz for wrongly naming them in its controversial Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists. In a public statement, the SPLC’s president, Richard Cohen, explained that “Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam have made valuable and important contributions to public discourse, including by promoting pluralism and condemning both anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamist extremism.”…

The SPLC also agreed to pay a $3.375 million settlement, which Quilliam and Nawaz intend to use to fund work fighting anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamist extremism. “With the help of everyone who contributed to our litigation fund, we were able to fight back against the Regressive Left and show them that moderate Muslims will not be silenced,” said Nawaz. “We will continue to combat extremists by defying Muslim stereotypes, calling out fundamentalism in our own communities, and speaking out against anti-Muslim hate.”

The SPLC posted a video apology on its own site, which you can view here. The apology says in part, “Since we published the Field Guide, we have taken the time to do more research…” Yes, lawsuits have a funny way of making people do more research.

The SPLC’s tone today is very different now from what it was two years ago. When the Atlantic spoke to the Field Guide’s author, Mark Potok, about the inclusion of Nawaz in its list, Potok was confident no apology was forthcoming:

“Our point is not to make these people targets for violence, Potok said. “The point is to tamp down the really baseless targeting.” While Nawaz demanded a correction, retraction, and apology, Potok said none was coming.

In addition to Nawaz, the same document listed Ayaan Hirsi Ali as an extremist. She wrote about her inclusion on the list in a piece for the NY Times last August:

In that guide, the S.P.L.C. claims that I am a “propagandist far outside the political mainstream” and warns journalists to avoid my “damaging misinformation.” These groundless smears are deeply offensive, as I have dedicated much of my adult life to calling out the true extremists: organizations such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. Yet you will look in vain for the S.P.L.C.’s “Field Guide to Muslim Extremists.” No such list exists.

That’s a shame, because Islamic extremism — a movement that aims to impose a caliphate and Sharia law by violent means — is as toxic as white supremacy. In the past two decades, it has certainly been responsible for many more deaths.

The SPLC deleted the “Field Guide” from its website sometime in April of this year. It’s good to see them forced to backtrack, though the settlement will barely make a dent in their $432 million endowment. Finally, it’s worth noting that Popehat, who doesn’t seem to have much love for the SPLC, says there’s a worrisome aspect to this settlement:

The SPLC has fallen from being a justifiably respected warrior against bigotry and brutality to an unreliable, sophomoric, flailing orthodoxy-cop that struggles to distinguish organized hate groups like the Klan from trolls, idiots, or social conservatives. I would like to see them be more responsible. But I am worried — and you should be too — about the abuse of defamation law…

It’s impossible to overstate the extent of the SPLC’s surrender here — I can’t remember one combining this level of money and apology, especially pre-litigation. So why did they do it? Maybe there are specific false statements of fact in the Field Guide that haven’t come to light. Perhaps discovery would have revealed ugly things about the SPLC’s process of writing such lists. Perhaps the lawsuit would have resulted in sustained terrible publicity for the SPLC, undermining whatever credibility it has left. Maybe they’re actually contrite.

But though I celebrate an apology for wrongdoing, I can’t celebrate a surrender at swordpoint that encourages censorious litigation. Bad opinions are, and ought to be — must be — absolutely protected. If the SPLC surrendered because we’ve got a broken judicial system that makes litigation ruinously expensive and fails to protect free speech, the result is bad, not good.


Spanish authorities rescue 569 sub-Saharan African migrants in flotilla of more than 16 boats including two men in a canoe in the Strait of Gibraltar

Lucky old Spain.  A black wave is rolling across the Mediterranean as Leftist mischief-makers get into the act to facilitate it

Spanish authorities say they have rescued 264 people in 16 boats in the Strait of Gibraltar.

The country's Maritime Rescue Service says those rescued Saturday from the busy shipping lane with treacherous currents included two men were pulled from a canoe.

Twenty-seven others were found in the Mediterranean between Spain and Morocco and 129 more off the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

Fair weather and calm seas in recent days have brought a increase in migrants' attempts to reach the Spanish coast via the Western Mediterranean route.

Spain's new center-left government recently announced a softer stance on migration, extending public health care to foreigners without residence permits.



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

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

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


24 June, 2018

Germany's Migrant Policy: Why Trump was Right

Media slipperiness about the facts again

US President Donald Trump attacked German Chancellor Angela Merkel's migrant policy this week. The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition," he tweeted on June 18. "Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!" he added.

President Trump's comments come at a time when Merkel is facing the biggest crisis of her career. She is struggling to hold her government together, with the Bavarian Catholic party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), threatening to leave the governing coalition over immigration. The CSU wants the police to have the authority to turn away illegal migrants at the border, a move bitterly opposed by Merkel.

While Trump slammed Merkel's handling of the migrant crisis during his presidential campaign, until now, he has refrained from publicly criticizing her over the issue.

Predictably, the mainstream media were quick to criticize President Trump for his remarks.

"Trump falsely claimed that crime in Germany is on the rise," wrote The New York Times.

The Washington Post ran a "fact-checking" story entitled, "Trump says crime in Germany is way up. German statistics show the opposite."

"Statistics contradict Trump's remarks," German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

"Trump's comments are certain to irk German ministers, especially as Europe's largest economy recently reported the lowest crime figures in more than 25 years. The number of crimes fell almost 10 percent in 2017 over the previous year."

CNN, BBC, Vox and even the youth fashion magazine Teen Vogue published similar reports.

With major media outlets on both side of the Atlantic reciting the same talking points in unison, millions of viewers and readers across the globe could come to believe that the Trump had made a false claim while attacking Merkel's open borders policy that let millions of migrants into Europe since the autumn of 2015.

According to the narrative peddled by the mainstream media, after a series of horrendous migrant crimes and string of deadly terrorist attacks perpetrated by newly arrived Muslim migrants, the towns and cities across Germany were reverting to some sort of idyllic harmony.

All the media reports were based on the 2017 police crime statistics that registered a drop of almost 10% in the crime rate over the previous year. Speaking to reporters in May 2018, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer cited the report to assert that "the number of crimes committed in Germany is the lowest since 1992."

Let us examine that report closely.

On April 22, 2018, writing for the German newspaper Die Welt, Ansgar Graw challenged the much-quoted crime report in an article entitled, "The Reality Behind the New Statistics on Crime":

"When all [categories of] crimes are taken into consideration, then the crime has certainly gone down (by 9.6%) over the previous year. In case of violent crimes -- that particularly lead to fear -- the picture is nuanced. There was, however, a slight improvement compared to 2016 (and as well as to 2011 or 2012). But in general terms, violent crimes subjected to high fluctuation are above the levels [recorded] between 2013 and 2015."

Cases of murder. manslaughter, rape and sexual assault have risen measurably. In 2014, for example, a total of 180,955 acts of violence were reported, in previous year they were 188,946.

As Graw concludes, "the crime statistics drop only when compared to 2016, but have risen in comparison to the period before the refugee crisis." Addressing the issue of migrant crime, he wrote that "the proportion of non-German suspects across the board, and particularly when it came to violent crimes, was disproportionately high."

According to the 2017 crime statistics, more than 1,100 foreigners were charged with murder or manslaughter, as opposed to around 1,500 suspects holding German passports. The previous year's statistics showed a similar correlation: 1,137 foreigners were charged with homicide-related crime, compared to 1,638 German suspects. These are staggering numbers given the fact that Germany was home to roughly 10 million foreigners as opposed to 70 million German nationals.

In an article meant as a rebuttal to President Trump's tweets, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung on June 19, 2018 admitted that the police crime report of 2017 showed a rise in homicide and sexual assault across the country. The Süddeutsche Zeitung, while correctly maintaining that the crime report showed an overall drop of 9.6%, disclosed that, "The number of homicides rose by 3.2%" and "the number of sexual assaults had risen as well."

On June 8, 2018, German public broadcaster Südwestrundfunk (SWR) admitted that there was a "correlation between refugee influx and rising crime."

Concerning violent crimes, the 2017 government crime report found that the police charged 69,163 foreigners for such crimes compared to 112,346 Germans. In 2016, the report showed a ratio of 67,869 non-German, compared to 110,494 for German suspects.

There is nothing new about the mainstream media seizing an opportunity to ridicule and discredit the US President. However, the issue of mass migration into Europe is bigger than a fresh round of Trump-bashing or finding delicacies for the next news cycle. By shielding Merkel's migrant policy from legitimate scrutiny and criticism, and hushing up a public debate, the mainstream media have become an accessory to the seriously flawed open-door migrant policy pushed by Merkel and the rest of European political elite.


Michigan woman who lied about campus rape sentenced to 45 days jail

In Britain such liars get yers in jail

A 21-YEAR-OLD woman who plead guilty to lying about being raped in a university campus parking lot has been sentenced to prison.

Mary Zolkowski, a 21-year-old from Michigan in the United States, was sentenced to 45 days in jail and with no credit for time served, along with a two year probation period.

During her probation she will be routinely tested for drugs and alcohol and will attend substance abuse counselling.

She was also ordered to undergo a mental health assessment.

If Zolkowski breaks parole an additional 220 days will be added to her jail term.

The sentence was handed down on June 18 by Bay County Circuit Judge Joseph Sheeran and follows false claims made by Zolkowski that she was raped in a Delta College parking lot.

On February 22, 2017 the Delta College Public Safety Office received a call from Zolkowski’s mum who said her daughter was claiming to have been raped on campus, MLive reported.

In Zolkowski’s initial report to police she said she was walking to her car at about 5.50pm when a man grabbed her from behind and raped her without a condom while holding her face and throat.

She said she was only able to see her attacker’s hands and did not get a look at his face because he jumped in his car and drove of as soon as it was over.

Court records show that her reasoning for not being able to provide a description of the vehicle was because she “kind of blacked out”.

Zolkowski refused to have a physical examination.

When she spoke with the authorities a second time her story had changed and she told them she had been raped in an apartment by an acquaintance but did not want to press charges.

In a third interview she reportedly changed her story again, telling police she wanted to tell the suspect to stop during sex, but it ended before she was able to do so.
She was sentenced for 45 days jail and two years parole for her crime. Picture: Mary Zolkowski/Instagram

She was sentenced for 45 days jail and two years parole for her crime. Picture: Mary Zolkowski/InstagramSource:Instagram

In March, Zolkowski pleaded guilty to falsely reporting a felony, telling the judge that she lied because of a previous assault at a different campus.

“I was assaulted previously, not at Delta’s campus,” Zolkowski said.

“And because I was ashamed of circumstances of that, when my mother called, I vented through Delta, which was very wrong of me. I should have been truthful from the very beginning, and I used Delta.”

Zolkowski’s lawyer, James Piazza, said that his client had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, for which she was receiving treatment.

In the same hearing Judge Joseph Sheeran indicated he would not impose jail time on Zolkowski and would instead sentence her to probation but this week he handed down the 45-day sentence.

She could have faced up to four years and prison and a $2000 for her crime.


Trump and the Invasion of the West

Patrick J. Buchanan

Where many Americans see illegal intruders, Democrats see future voters.

And with 11,000 kids of illegal immigrants in custody and 250 more arriving every day, we could have 30,000 in custody by summer's end.

The existential question, however, thus remains: How does the West, America included, stop the flood tide of migrants before it alters forever the political and demographic character of our nations and our civilization?

The U.S. Hispanic population, already estimated at nearly 60 million, is predicted to exceed 100 million by 2050, just 32 years away.

And Europe's southern border is more imperiled than ours.

A week ago, the new populist regime in Rome refused to allow a boat full of migrants from Libya to land in Sicily. Malta also turned them away. After a voyage of almost a week and 1,000 miles, 630 migrants were landed in Valencia, Spain.

Why did Italy reject them? Under EU law, migrants apply for asylum in the country where they first enter Europe. This burdens Italy and Greece where the asylum-seekers have been arriving for years.

Of the landing in Spain, Italy's interior minister Matteo Salvini, a leader of the populist League party, chortled:

"I thank the Spanish government. I hope they take in the other 66,629 refugees (inside Italy). We will not be offended if the French follow the Spanish, the Portuguese and Maltese, we will be the happiest people on earth."

If the migrants boats of the Med are redirected to Spanish ports, one suspects that the Spanish people will soon become as unwelcoming as many other peoples in Europe.

And Trump is not backing down. Monday he tweeted:

"The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!"

Whatever European leaders may think of him, many Europeans are moving in Trump's direction, toward more restrictions on immigration.

In Germany, a political crisis is percolating. The Bavarian-based CSU, longtime coalition partner of Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU, is now talking divorce if Merkel does not toughen German policy.

Merkel has never fully recovered from the nationalist backlash against the million migrants she allowed in from Syria's civil war. A New Year's Eve rampage in Cologne, featuring wilding attacks on German girls by Arabs and Muslims, cost her dearly.

Among the reasons Bavarians are pulling away from Berlin is that, being in the south of Germany, Bavaria is a primary point of entry.

Virtually every one of the populist parties of Europe, especially of the right, have arisen to contest or to seize power by riding the issue of mass migration from Africa and the Middle East.

Yet the progressives adamantly refuse to act, apparently paralyzed by a belief that restricting the free movement of peoples from foreign lands violates one of the great commandments of liberal democracy.

We are truly dealing here with an ideology of Western suicide.

If Europe does not act, its future is predictable.

The population of Africa, right across the Med, is anticipated to climb to 2.5 billion by midcentury. And by 2100, Africa will be home half of all the people of the planet.

If but a tiny fraction of the African and Middle Eastern population decides to cross the Mediterranean to occupy the emptying towns and villages of an aging and dying continent, who and what will stop them?

Trump may be on the wrong side politically and emotionally of this issue of separating migrant kids from their parents.

But on the mega-issue — the Third World invasion of the West — he is riding the great wave of the future, if the West is to have a future.


Palestinians: How to Achieve a Better Life

"It's become safer to demonstrate against Israel than against Abbas or the Palestinian Authority. Israel is at least a country of law and order and they have human rights organizations and a powerful media and judicial system. We can only continue to dream of having something like what the Jews have." — Palestinian activist.

In the past two weeks, Palestinians received yet another reminder that they are living under undemocratic regimes that have less than no respect for public freedoms.

The regimes of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip never miss an opportunity to remind their people of the dire consequences that await anyone who speaks out against the leaders. The two Palestinian regimes have been forcing it down the throats of their people for many years.

Still, some Palestinians seem surprised each time the PA or Hamas send their police officers to break up (or, more precisely, to break bones in) a demonstration in Ramallah or the Gaza Strip.

The streets of Ramallah and Gaza City showcase, yet again, that the Palestinians' true tragedy over the past five decades has been failed and corrupt leadership -- one that keeps dragging them from one disaster to another; one that never offers them any hope; one that has been radicalizing and brainwashing its people; one that steals large portions of the financial aid provided by the international community, and one that has brought them nothing but dictatorship and repression.

The Palestinian Authority is nearly 25 years old, but it continues to act as a corrupt dictatorship. Like most Arab regimes, the PA and its leaders have zero tolerance for any form of criticism.

Ask Palestinian journalists, bloggers and pundits in the West Bank and they will tell you (in private and anonymously; they would like to save their skins) how the Palestinian Authority cracks down on them and imposes severe restrictions on their work. In the past year alone, at least 11 Palestinian journalists and political activists have either been arrested or summoned for interrogation by Palestinian security forces in the West Bank. The charge: voicing various forms of criticism against the Palestinian Authority or one of its senior officials, including, of course, President Mahmoud Abbas.

Earlier this month, the Palestinian Authority went one step further in demonstrating to its constituents what dictatorship looks like. Hundreds of Palestinians were staging a peaceful demonstration in the center of Ramallah to call on Abbas to lift the sanctions he had imposed on the Gaza Strip a year earlier. The sanctions, which severely aggravated the economic crisis in the Gaza Strip, included firing thousands of PA civil servants and cutting off social assistance to many families. Abbas has also refused to pay for the electricity and medical care that Israel supplies to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas placed the sanctions on the Gaza Strip in the hope that affected Palestinians would revolt against his enemies in Hamas. So far, however, his measures seem to have backfired. Hamas is still in power and there is almost no real challenge to its rule over the Gaza Strip. Also, Abbas does not want to bear any responsibility for his people in the Gaza Strip; he wants the Gaza Strip to be the problem of Israel, Egypt and the rest of the world. Anyone who thinks that Abbas is eager to go back to the Gaza Strip is living in a dream world. (Hamas expelled the Palestinian Authority and Abbas from the Gaza Strip in 2007).

Abbas does not like to be reminded of his responsibility for what many describe as a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, and he does not want any Palestinians to protest the punitive measures he imposed on the Gaza Strip.

First, Abbas issued a directive banning Palestinians from protesting in the major cities in the West Bank.

His directive, however, did not stop hundreds of Palestinian activists from taking to the streets of Ramallah on June 13 to condemn Abbas's sanctions. What was supposed to be a peaceful protest turned out to be one of the most violent clashes between Abbas's security forces and demonstrators, whose only crime was that they were calling on their leader to lift the sanctions he imposed on the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians in the West Bank are also trying to show solidarity with their brothers in the Gaza Strip. They seem to be beginning to realize that Abbas, instead of helping the people in the Gaza Strip, is actually punishing them by cutting off their salaries and denying them medical and humanitarian aid. The Ramallah protest also came amid growing criticism (mainly from the Gaza Strip) that the Palestinians of the West Bank are indifferent to the suffering of their brothers in the Gaza Strip.

On instructions from Abbas, dozens of Palestinian policemen, both in uniform and civilian clothes, attacked the protesters with brute force, using clubs and tear gas. More than 44 protestors were arrested and 20 injured. The brutality, however, did not end there. Palestinian policemen later raided hospitals and medical clinics in Ramallah to arrest injured Palestinians suspected of taking part in the peaceful protest. At least five Palestinian and foreign journalists were wounded during the police assault, while many others had their cameras and other equipment confiscated.

Hundreds of Palestinian protesters took to the streets of Ramallah on June 13 to condemn the sanctions placed on the Gaza Strip by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. On instructions from Abbas, dozens of Palestinian policemen attacked the protesters with brute force, using clubs and tear gas. (Image source: Wattan video screenshot)

"The Palestinian Authority has crossed all red lines," said a Palestinian protester who was beaten up by Palestinian policemen during the demonstration. "They treated us as if we were the biggest enemy of the Palestinians. We have no idea why they used such force against us. This is a real crime and a violation of Palestinian human rights."

The Palestinian Authority has defended its brutal assault on the peaceful protesters by arguing that the demonstrators had failed to obtain a permit for their protest. But since when do Palestinians need a permit from their leaders to demonstrate? Well, in this instance they do need a permit because the protest was directed against the Palestinian Authority and Abbas.

Demonstrating against Israel or the US and burning their flags and posters of Israeli and American leaders do not require a permit from the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah. In fact, the Palestinian leaders in Ramallah have played a major role in initiating anti-Israel and anti-US demonstrations, especially in recent months. It is one thing to shout chants against the US and Israel, but it is a completely different story when a Palestinian shouts chants against his leaders. Such a Palestinian would be lucky indeed if he winds up in hospital with only with a broken limb.

So Abbas, who is already punishing his people in the Gaza Strip under the pretext of fighting Hamas, is now telling his people in the West Bank to keep their opinions to themselves or pay for the impudence with broken heads and broken bones.

Abbas's warning was echoed by one of his senior officials, Akram Rajoub, who serves as "governor" of the West Bank city of Nablus. In a video posted on social media after the violent Ramallah incident, Rajoub is seen and heard threatening any Palestinian who demonstrates against President Abbas:

"We will curse the father of anyone who protests... From now on, we're not afraid and we don't care. We will strike back at anyone who curses us and harms our dignity. Cursed be the fathers of those who say bad things about us!"

Rajoub's threats, which sound more like the language of a street thug than a senior official, came in response to widespread criticism of the Palestinian Authority's brutal violence against the Ramallah protesters. His threat is seen as an attempt to deter other Palestinians from speaking out against Abbas's sanctions on the Gaza Strip.

Rajoub's threats represent a massive mockery of truth on the part of the Palestinian Authority. On the one hand, Abbas and his officials continue to hold Israel responsible for the misery of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and are calling on the international community to condemn Israel for its policies in defending itself against attacks (from the Gaza Strip), while it is, in fact, Abbas himself who is largely responsible for the current crisis. It is because of Abbas, and not Israel, that the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip get only four or five hours of electricity every day. It is because of Abbas, and not Israel, that tens of thousands of Palestinian employees have not been receiving salaries for the past few months. It is because of Abbas, and not Israel, that hospitals in the Gaza Strip lack medicine and medical equipment.

These are only some of the inconvenient truths that Abbas and his cronies in Ramallah do not want the world to know or the Palestinians to talk about. That is why Abbas sent his police officers to Ramallah to beat up the protesters, whose only crime was that they had dared to call on their leader to remove the sanctions on the Gaza Strip.

For now, Abbas appears to have achieved his goal of silencing and intimidating his critics. The violent scenes on the streets of Ramallah on June 13 served as a sufficient deterrent. As one Palestinian activist commented:

"It's become safer to demonstrate against Israel than against Abbas or the Palestinian Authority. Israel is at least a country of law and order and they have human rights organizations and a powerful media and judicial system. We can only continue to dream of having something like what the Jews have."

The fact that Abbas is running a one-man show in the West Bank and is cracking down on public freedoms does not mean that his rivals in Hamas are any better. Sometimes, in fact, it is hard to distinguish between Abbas's regime and that of Hamas. The two often use the same tactics to impose terror and intimidation on their people. Hamas is bad, but who said that the Palestinian Authority is good?

The scenes we witnessed on the streets of Ramallah in mid-June were replicated in Gaza City a few days later, when Hamas used the same tactic to break up a peaceful protest. On June 18, Hamas policemen and militiamen attacked a group of Palestinians who were holding a peaceful protest to call for Palestinian unity. Again, several Palestinians ended up in hospital, while scores of others were arrested by Hamas. Hamas also justified the use of force by arguing that the protesters had failed to obtain a proper permit.

In both Ramallah and Gaza, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas managed to send a message to their people that anyone who speaks out against his or her leader will have his bones or skull smashed. Hamas and the PA despise each other and have been ripping each other to pieces -- figuratively and literally -- for the past decade. At the end of the day, however, Palestinians know that the power struggle between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas is not between good guys and bad guys, but between bad guys and bad guys. These bad guys are no different from other Arab dictatorships that enslave and kill their people.

If the Palestinians ever wish to seek a better life, the first thing they need to do is rid themselves of the "leaders" who have destroyed their lives.



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

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

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


22 June 2018

Church Forced to Remove 'Anger-Provoking' Billboards Declaring 'America Is a Christian Nation'

Billboards promoting a celebration of faith and freedom at the First Baptist Church in Dallas were removed after complaints from Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and the Dallas Morning News.

The patriotic billboard campaign included the title of the sermon Dr. Robert Jeffress planned to deliver on June 24 — “America is a Christian Nation.”

“We were told by the billboard company that the message was divisive,” Jeffress told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show.”

The sermon title was inspired by comments made by Supreme Court Justices John Jay and David Josiah Brewer, both of whom described America as a Christian nation.

“The message will present the historical evidence for the bedrock of faith upon which America was founded,” said Jeffress.

However, the Dallas Morning News and Mayor Rawlings blasted the pastor’s sermon title by suggesting it was hateful and divisive.

“That is not the Christ I follow,” the mayor told the newspaper. “It’s not the Dallas I want to be — to say things that do not unite us but divide us. I never heard those words — that voice come out of Christ. Just the opposite. I was brought up to believe: Be proud of yours, but do not diminish mine.”

Columnist Robert Wilonsky started the controversy with a scathing column on June 7 titled, “First Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress’ gospel of division does not represent my Dallas.”

Wilonsky was apparently triggered by the patriotic billboard while stuck in traffic and suffered a massive microaggression.

“My rabbi warned me there would be days like this,” he wrote. “All I saw Wednesday was someone telling me and everyone else who does not worship Jesus Christ that we do not belong here.”

The following day the church received a message from the billboard company that its signed contract was being canceled and the billboards would be taken down.

“We are getting hammered by the media for the ‘America is a Christian Nation’ tagline on the billboards,” a representative of Outfront Media wrote to a church leader. “Dallas Morning News and other news affiliates are doing stories on how it’s offensive and bigoted. Someone called our corporate office in New York about the ‘offensive’ billboards and following our lawyer’s advice, we have to take them down ASAP.”

The church offered to revise the sermon title to “Is America a Christian Nation?” but that, too, was rejected by the billboard company.

“We were told that the title was ‘anger-provoking’ rather than ‘thought-provoking,’” the pastor told me.

The local representative was apologetic — but it was clear the New York-based company was no match for angry anti-Christian radicals.

“The reason those on the Left do not want people to hear my message is that they know the historical evidence is on my side that America was founded on the principles of the Christian faith,” Jeffress said. “We will not be deterred as we defend the foundational values of our country.”

City Hall spokesman Scott Goldstein defended the mayor on Twitter. “Mayor @Mike_Rawlings speaks for the real Dallas. The guy on the billboard does not,” he wrote.

To be clear, First Baptist Dallas has no beef with Outfront Media. It is a privately owned company and it has a right to decide who it does business with.

“We support the right of businesses to refuse service to customers based on religious conviction,” said Jeffress, who is also one of the top spiritual advisors to President Trump.

The problem, he said, is the Dallas Morning News and Mayor Rawlings. “It should greatly concern people of any faith when those in the press or government proactively seek to defeat, censor or silence any religious message with which they disagree,” Jeffress said.

I reached out to the mayor’s office for a comment. I asked one simple question: Did the city of Dallas directly or indirectly put pressure on the billboard company?

The mayor’s office did not respond to that question.   “We don’t believe Dallas city officials have any right to directly or indirectly be involved in censoring a church’s message,” Jeffress told me. And what about the Dallas Morning News?

“For the Dallas Morning News — who pose as champions of free speech — to try to censor our church’s message is gross hypocrisy,” the pastor said.

The key word is “try.” It turns out another billboard company offered to put up the church’s message on 20 billboards, not two.

In other words, Mr. Wilonsky might want to find another way to work — or else prepare for another traffic-jam microaggression.


Feminist professor asks bluntly in WaPo column, ‘Why can’t we hate men?’

The column was written by Suzanna Danuta Walters, sociology professor and director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Northeastern University. She proposed that men “lean out” by stepping away from positions of power and leaving them for women.

“Lean out so we can actually just stand up without being beaten down,” Walters wrote. “Pledge to vote for feminist women only. Don’t run for office. Don’t be in charge of anything. Step away from the power.”

Glenn’s take:

“I’m not going to get outraged because she’s idiotic,” Glenn dismissed the piece. “The article stands as one of the more divisive, inflammatory pieces of rhetoric coming out of the radical left.”


UK: Tyranny of the minorities: We live in an age of mob rule by minorities in which anybody who disagrees with them is censored and freedom of expression is something only THEY enjoy

ONE of the great lines in 20th century films comes from Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War satire Dr Strangelove. The scene is a nuclear missile control bunker. With World War III imminent, two men scuffle until their boss, played by Peter Sellers, cries: ‘Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here. This is the war room!’

Er, what is a war room for if not fighting?

That gag came to mind this week when our so-called liberal Left went into convulsions of illiberality after author Lionel Shriver mocked the latest diversity madness. Writing in The Spectator, Ms Shriver poked fun at box-ticking, multi-cultural political correctness at publisher Penguin Random House, which is planning to commission authors on the basis of racial, gender and other quotas.

Such sacrilege proved a timebomb. Tick, tock, tick, tock — KABOOM! Bien pensants, when they heard accounts of Ms Shriver’s article, exploded. They were furious.

As Dr Strangelove might put it: ‘We can’t allow diverging views about diversity!’

No we can’t! At our universities, which are meant to be bastions of free thought, guest speakers are barred for fear they might so much as question Left-wing dogma. This happens to even such distinguished liberals as Germaine Greer and Peter Tatchell.

The forces of political correctness impose their unyielding views everywhere.

At Oxford and Cambridge, there are calls for statues of historic benefactors to be torn down because they do not comply with fashionable modern positions on minority rights. At Newcastle University, meanwhile, the students’ union demanded sanitary bins in men’s loos so as not to upset any students ‘with a range of genders’.

Supposedly apolitical charities try to thrust correctness down the gullets of their staff. The National Trust instructs country house guides to wear gay pride badges. The RNLI sacks long-serving lifeboatmen for using tea mugs with risque images of women.

Theatre companies are left in no doubt that they will not be given Arts Council subsidies unless they cast a number of ‘non-traditional’ actors — i.e., women playing Shakespearean kings or Afro-Caribbeans as English Regency fops.

Firms ban employees wearing crosses in case they offend non-Christians or atheists (but it’s fine to wear a burka).

Elsewhere, a popular fun run is told it should no longer ask runners to declare if they are men or women (campaigners insist that ‘non-binary’ athletes might take mortal offence).

The Armed Forces are pressured to spend precious funds on almost totally unnecessary gender-neutral lavatories.

Cake decorators are told they must accept commissions from gay couples, and that fool the Mayor of London removes the male and female symbols from pedestrian signals in order to conform with the latest hare-brained theories about gender.

We live in an age of the minority mob. An odd expression, I know. Mob rule used to be an assertion of power through violence by the great unwashed, be it in the French Revolution or America’s racist deep south, when it lynched individuals.

It has been replaced by the no less illogical (and hardly less chilling) hysteria of a knot of activists who weaponise minority rights — they seem particularly obsessed with lavatories — and wield them as a political threat against the majority. More often than not, these agitators themselves are not part of the minorities that have allegedly been offended. They belong instead to a class of professional busybodies who seize on the minorities game for their own ends.

‘Diversity’ is now a booming employment sector and it offers hefty salaries. More insidiously, others exploit it for political ends and furtherance of their own ambitions.

The Twittersphere is full of these self-appointed stewards of indignation who see it as their job to police the media and shout down anyone who dissents from received opinion.

Their strategy is to expunge divergence of views and crush resistance to their creed of racial and sexual egalitarianism. Freedom of expression is something only they can enjoy.

Lionel Shriver was swiftly condemned this week by people who pretty clearly had not read her article and were interested only in hurting her. They called her a neo-colonialist, a relic of ‘status quo bias’ and a supporter of ‘ingrained, insidious racism’. In short she was convicted of being a very nasty person (#human garbage, as they say online).

A gang of new writers from Penguin was organised into signing a denunciation of her and she was sacked from a literary awards judging panel run by a feminist magazine. Its editor was honest enough to admit that she was not distancing herself from Ms Shriver on account of her actual article. She was sacking her on account of the kerfuffle the article had caused.

The BBC and Left-wing media outlets such as the Guardian promptly piled into the melee, gleefully reporting these barbs against Ms Shriver. Someone was criticising quotas for minorities? Outrageous! Let’s authenticate her critics — and whip up further rage —by organising a phone-in or holding a studio debate on Radio 4’s Today programme!

It is worth looking at Ms Shriver’s article to see what she actually wrote. She began by noting that Penguin Random House had come up with a ‘company-wide goal’ that its authors must ‘reflect UK society by 2025’. Penguin announced: ‘We want our authors and new colleagues to reflect the UK population taking into account ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social mobility and disability.’

Such things would be more important, it said, than the matter of whether or not a prospective employee had been to university.

Ms Shriver proceeded to cite a questionnaire sent to Penguin authors about gender, sexuality and ethnicity. What had this to do with their writing ability? She concluded that Penguin was ‘drunk on virtue’ and no longer regarded its raison d’etre the ‘acquisition and dissemination of good books’.

‘Rather, the organisation aims to mirror the percentages of minorities in the UK population with statistical precision. Thus, literary excellence will be secondary to ticking all those ethnicity, gender, disability and sexual preference boxes.

‘We can safely infer from that email that if an agent submits a manuscript written by a gay transgender Caribbean who dropped out of school at seven and powers round town on a mobility scooter, it will be published, whether or not said manuscipt is an incoherent, tedious, meandering and insensible pile of mixed- paper recycling.’

In any sane country, Lionel Shriver’s article would be acclaimed as common sense. She was putting a meritocratic case — ie, people should be judged on their ability and talents. And who can really argue with meritocracy?

When we board an aeroplane, do we worry what sexuality or ethnicity the pilot has? No. We merely hope she or he knows how to operate the controls.

When we visit a dental practice, do we demand the medical professionals reflect the UK population’s minority profiles? I am more interested in their ability to drill and fill.

For the egalitarian commissars, higher considerations apply. For them, talent and ability come second to quotas of race, gender and sexual inclination.

This is because they want to broadcast that they are morally superior beings who support minorities. The politicians among them hope that, by appealing to those who identify themselves as minorities, they will win votes. This is called identity politics, but really it is the politics of the lunatic asylum.

There is a profoundly worrying problem with this tyranny of the minorities. By insisting every minority has preferential rights, you end up denying the majority their rights.

Imagine that you are applying for a job. You have all the qualifications and the necessary experience. But, as per that memorandum from Penguin Random House, you do not help the company ‘to reflect the UK population’.

Apologies, say your prospective employers, we can’t give you the job as another candidate has a disability/sexual preference/skin colour we haven’t yet ticked off our staff lists. We’d have loved to hire you, we really would, but our diversity policy means we need a one-legged Latino goat-fancier.

Diversity is supposed to stop discrimination. But what is this if it is not discrimination? Diversity is supposed to provide greater opportunities for people no matter their colour, creed, sexuality, gender, ethnicity or inside leg measurement. A reasonable onlooker will say ‘but we should encourage minorities’. Of course we should. But Penguin’s appalling policy will achieve the very opposite, for it will force the company to recruit a mirror image of the population.

The entirely noble idea of diversity thus becomes an inflexible rod. It becomes a menace. This will not make the majority feel more kindly towards minorities. It will ignite resentment. And how exactly does it comply with equality laws which forbid treating people differently according to ethnicity, race, sexuality or disability?

A few months ago, I had an experience like Ms Shriver’s when I criticised the Royal Shakespeare Company for what I felt was some clumsy, minority-quotas casting in a Restoration comedy. I asked if the RSC was being leaned on by the Arts Council (which places inordinate store by its diversity policies). Did it fear that unless it cast black actors in historically white roles it might not be given such big dollops of public cash?

Like Lionel Shriver, I did not suggest that minorities were creatively less gifted than anyone else. Not in the slightest. I merely questioned the wisdom and morality of putting political correctness before raw merit. For this, I was swiftly and repeatedly maligned and misrepresented. Whoomph!

The RSC denounced me as a racist and numerous blowhards in the subsidised theatre world pretty much compared me to Satan. Behind the scenes, senior theatre practitioners told me they completely agreed with me — but feared that if they said so in public, their careers would be damaged.

In medieval Spain, the Inquisition caused terror by chasing down anyone who uttered public heresy (i.e. questioned Roman Catholic dogma). The Inquisition itself was small, but it was brutally effective at snuffing out dissent. With fire and torture, it came down hard on a few prominent free-thinkers and that was enough to create widespread repression.

Spain’s population saw the way so-called heretics had been pulled limb-from-limb and it thought ‘crumbs, we’d better do what we are told’.

In medieval days torture was physical — men were boiled, put on the rack, or subjected to the Pear of Anguish, the Judas Cradle or the Saw, brutal instruments which concentrated pain on the most sensitive areas of the anatomy.

In more recent times, political regimes such as Mao’s China and Hendrik Verwoerd’s South Africa have suppressed dissent. I remember, as a child holidaying in Sixties Spain, being told never to utter out loud the name of the country’s fascist dictator, General Franco. ‘It’s just safer not to say it,’ said my mother.

Maybe someone should have given similar advice to Lionel Shriver. Maybe someone should have said: ‘Don’t mock diversity — it’ll only land you in the most frightful trouble’.

Under this tyranny of the minorities, that may be what you should do for an easy life. But the thing about tyrannies is that they are ruled, ultimately, by bullies. The way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them, as Lionel Shriver has done with such brave clarity.

British public life is not like Dr Strangelove’s war room. It is a place where the lively conflict of views should be welcomed as an essential part of a flourishing democracy. Freedom of expression has been fought for with blood over the centuries and is vital for liberal, civilised behaviour. No minority mob should ever be allowed to destroy that.


The UN Redefines What It Means to Be a 'Human'

In blatant violation of international law, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has unveiled a startling new campaign that claims "you have human rights since birth."

The unsettling image, which depicts a baby's arm with the statement written on a hospital bracelet, makes clear the position of this U.N. body-human rights should not be afforded to human beings until after they are born.

Abortion advocates might applaud this claim, but the position of the body flies in the face of established, and binding, international law on the rights of the unborn.

As the U.N. body in charge of human rights, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is mandated to uphold the international legal framework. Deploying the poster at strategic vantage points at the U.N. in Geneva serves as a provocative, and jarring, assault on the fundamental principle of the right to life enshrined in international law and the countries that continue to defend it.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, the pre-eminent international treaty on children's rights, leaves no room for ambiguity in its preamble. "The child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth," it states.

Other international treaties unequivocally reference the right to life of the unborn, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In this treaty, the death penalty is prohibited for pregnant women to "save the life of an innocent unborn child," as explained in its accompanying interpretative documents (A/C.3/SR.819, paragraphs 17 & 33).

Although shocking, the ease with which the office goes against international law is not without precedent. Led by a high commissioner for human rights who functions largely without check, the office frequently has veered into areas that lack member state approval, running multimillion-dollar campaigns and issuing policy recommendations that overtly contravene international law, not to mention the will of member states.

Countries are subjected to regular policing in which they aggressively are urged to change their laws on matters that fall under domestic jurisdiction and have no bearing on human rights.

It is difficult to navigate the fine line between respect for a state's self-determination and the urgency of U.N. interference when human rights are at stake, but the activities of the human rights office far surpass the work of ensuring fundamental human rights.

The new round of posters, tied to the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, reveals just how far the office is willing to go in its mission to overhaul international law to further a nonconsensual activist agenda that defies the traditional, religious, or ethical values that so many countries and peoples hold sacred.

The declaration, as with the other founding documents of international law, was expertly drafted to protect these values and leave room for crucial national self-determination. It is a great irony that the campaign is tied to the declaration, which is still considered the most important reference point on human rights today.

The mandate of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is to promote and protect human rights and to coordinate the many human rights mechanisms of the United Nations to monitor and improve member states' compliance with the treaties they have signed.

It claims to be an "objective voice" on human rights, but it regularly issues highly coercive recommendations to states under the guise of human rights and uses a complex network of special rapporteurs, independent experts, and working groups to aid with enforcement.

These procedures are purportedly impartial and autonomous, but the human rights office's efforts to force countries to change their national laws on an array of highly sensitive social issues demonstrates a marked disregard for state sovereignty.

Much of the lack of accountability surrounding the office stems from the inherent tension in monitoring human rights. By its very nature, the task of overseeing countries' human rights records requires a fair amount of independence. The office must be free to make unbiased assessments regarding what is going with human rights at the country level.

But the subsequent autonomy that it enjoys has resulted in a flagrant disrespect for the very international legal documents that it was created to uphold. As evidenced by these posters, the time has come for increased accountability for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights-the rights of the unborn all around the world are at stake.


Winning propaganda strategies for Israel

by David Weinberg, Vice President of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies.

I’m just back from a speaking tour in Europe, where I was confronted with the challenge of justifying Israel’s actions on the Gaza border and even the country’s very legitimacy as a nation among nations.

The deep “psychological asymmetry” (as Dr. Irwin Mansdorf calls it) employed by Hamas and Fatah as a strategic weapon against Israel – is working. The Palestinians exploit civilians in order to meet strategic goals, by placing them in danger or condemning them to unending refugee life.

The ensuing misery gnaws away at the conscience of well-meaning and naïve observers around the world, and they find it hard to justify the “imbalance” in suffering between the Palestinians and Israel. The soft bigotry of low expectations (by Europeans of the Palestinians) excuses Mahmoud Abbas and Yihye Sinwar of any responsibility for their people’s predicament.

Then there is the radical progressivism which has captured much of mainstream political discourse in the West. This makes liberal people uncomfortable with the use of force by nation states in almost all cases.

Israel’s “over-dog” position and its frequent recourse to military action to defend itself is then magnified and manipulated by malign and much less naïve actors to skewer the Jewish state.

On this particular trip I also encountered a growing proclivity to take refuge in a false, manufactured dichotomy between “good old Judaism” and “bad new Zionism.”

The ancient Jewish faith is something to be admired and commemorated, you see. Jewish heritage is hip and Jewish history is interesting – all across Europe. (Perhaps this is the European way of awkwardly atoning for centuries of persecution of Jews).

But modern-day Jewish nationalism as expressed in the powerful State of Israel is a sin. Israel is a sinful country committing criminal acts against its neighbors and even against Judaism itself – I was told.

Only Palestinian statehood can redeem Israel’s rotten record, it would seem – even though there is no basis to believe that such a state will be anything other than one more failed, fractured and violent Arab country – perhaps radically Islamist – at war with Israel and its other neighbors.

Without admitting it, people speaking this way are deeply anti-Semitic in effect. The Jew they (claim to) like and (very belatedly) admire is a weak, cerebral Jew; a Diaspora Jew whose Talmudic literature is all-of-a-sudden filled with wisdom, and whose art and poetry is unexpectedly so very 21st century cultural.

But then there is the Jew they love to hate; the mighty and brawny Zionist Jew that wields the most formidable army in the Middle East and whose economy to just too damn overwhelming. That Jew is just too robust and zealous. Too vicious and potent. That Jew needs to be cut down to size.

BEYOND ALL THE USUAL pro-Israel talking points and debate tactics with which I am well familiar, I found on this trip that there were five key strategies that had some impact on my interlocutors.

First, don’t play the victimhood game. People out there don’t care, alas, how many dunams of fine Israeli agriculture have been burned by Palestinian incendiary kites, or how many Israeli women and children have been murdered by Hamas suicide bombers, or how many missiles Iran is giving Hizballah to fire into Israel.

The recounting of Arab atrocities, no matter how egregious, doesn’t wash. European liberals simply don’t see Israel as the underdog.

Second, history matters. The Six Day War was not an act of Israeli aggression, but a defensive war, and the Arab side lost fair and square. There never was a Palestinian state. Settlements are not colonialist outposts but express a Jewish “right of return” to ancestral lands. Israel placed three full-scale peace proposals on the table over the past 15 years involving Palestinian independence and almost-complete West Bank dominion – yet Abbas rejected all offers and preferred to fight on.

Few care much about this history, but it needs to be re-stated because it isn’t known and it goes to the core of Israel’s case.

Third, you have to emphasize, over and over again, that Israel seeks conflict resolution, not jihad; that Israel wants to resolve conflicts through compromise, not end conflicts by annihilation of the enemy. Say that Israel wishes to live at peace and cooperate with its neighbors, not to conquer Arabic and Islamic nations from Tunisia to Indonesia.

No matter how ridiculously self-evident this seems, the repetition of this truth is extraordinarily important. It isn’t obvious to many Europeans.

Fourth, it is simply not enough to explain Israel’s security dilemmas or revisit Israel’s diplomatic generosity towards the Palestinians. What’s needed is a much more basic restatement of Israel’s cause and purpose: Israel as a grand historic reunion of people and land, and as a just and moral actor in the medieval and violent Arab Middle East. Israel wins when you speak about justice and the Jewish nation.

Fifth, and most important of all, don’t be embarrassed by Israel’s strength. Admit to it. Flaunt it.

As counter-intuitive as this may seem, especially in contrast to the “outstretched hand for peace” narrative described in a previous paragraph, never apologize for using “disproportionate” force. Instead, articulate the reasons why and the circumstances under which Israel must use force to defend its homeland, and don’t be shy about it.

Largely, this means sharing Israel’s dilemmas with your audience. It’s okay to agonize a bit over the need to be a ferocious military power; dwelling on this is truly Israeli and it is humanizing. But never ask for forgiveness or suggest that Israel will pull its punches just to win a nice guy award.

I have found that forthright, unashamed talk has salutary impact. Without being nasty or unfeeling regarding our adversaries, one can convey a deep sense of sincerity and believability by verbalizing Israeli red lines and enunciating core Zionist commitments. People are forced to respect that, even if they won’t impute to you awe-inspiring humanity. Better shock-and-awe than shrink-and-whimper.

Grudgingly, even Europeans come to see that you have a point; a perspective that might be tough and gruff, but that also might be reasonable under the circumstances.



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

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

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


21 June, 2018

What America has lost

By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh —— a Romanian who escaped Romania as a young girl in the '70s. What she says about small town America of the past reminds me a lot of my growing up in a small Australian country town -- and I miss it

America is the land of opportunity where immigrants dream to find success through hard work and a lifestyle with a picket fence, a nice home, plenty of food, and a traditional family comprised of mother, father, and children. Nineteen-seventy America was still the land of opportunity where, if one worked hard, one could reach whatever he/she was willing to sacrifice in order to achieve their goals. But Christianity, God, faith, and family were at the center of a successful life.

There were no pedestrians in the southern town where I lived. Americans were trapped inside large metal gas guzzlers that drank gasoline like water. Nobody strolled outdoors except in the square downtown. If anyone saw you walk on the side of the road, since sidewalks did not exist except in large cities, they would stop and offer you a ride. It was done from a sense of pity as well as concern for your safety, walking in 90-degree oven-like heat coupled with unbearable humidity that kept everyone’s face looking young and shiny.

Many foreigners who dared or were allowed to travel to America came by boat as it was still much cheaper than flying. Once here, some took the Greyhound bus across the U.S. and others, like me, flew everywhere or crisscrossed the country by car or truck, seldom taking the train.

In a very small southern town of 3,000, church was the center of life for young and old. I counted over 100 churches stretching as far away as a ten mile radius in the county. Many youth trips, activities, and summer camps were sanctioned or sponsored by the church.

There was a drive-in theater, and one grocery store, locally owned and operated. The closest chain grocery store was over 60 miles away. A tiny mall with boutiques and a Sears store is where people bought their washers and dryers, TVs, lawn mowers, bikes, toys, Christmas gifts, and clothing. Fancier TVs could be purchased in a Curtis Mathis store. There was no Super Walmart, Target, or such retailers.

Some cross-roads had a small convenience store that the local farmers frequented for their daily necessities, milk, bananas, ice cream, and candy bars. Americans of all ages consumed, I thought, way too much sugar then. The owners knew everybody and, if they just came from the field and did not have their wallets, the items purchased were put on an account which the farmer could pay later.

There was a level of trust that I have never seen anywhere else—nobody needed a credit card. People did not dare write bad checks and credit cards were hard to obtain and seldom accepted. My Egyptian friend Lula remarked that we bought everything with checks, not cash. She did not understand the western concept of banking.

People dressed simply, the local seamstress made a good living with Simplicity patterns and fabrics purchased by the yard at Hancock’s Fabrics. She charged $20 to make a dress at a time when minimum wage was $3.10.

The local beauty shop was a wooden building on the side of an empty highway, no sign, every lady in the county knew where it was, just big enough for a couple of chairs, a sink, and the window air conditioner. A southern belle dressed in jeans and a country shirt did her hair on Friday for $10 and then went to the grocery store and bought the week’s $20 supply of food for the family. Americans could buy a lot of food for $20 in the seventies and still only spent about 15 percent of their income to fill their refrigerators.

I was mesmerized how homes in the middle of a pasture had running water and a septic tank. In my Romania at the time, country folks still had smelly and unsanitary out-houses.

Eating out was unheard of unless you counted going to the Rexall Drug counter for a soda float or getting a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar at Vaughn’s country store. The small town had a Sonic drive-in but no McDonalds and no pizza parlor.

Locals bought their blue jeans at Varney’s Department Store on the square and Elegant Ladies, each the size of a master bedroom today, or at the Co-op store where you could pretty much purchase anything you needed to run a farm, including the tough Wrangler jeans for $10.

If you were willing to drive over 60 miles to buy food in a chain grocery store, you could also shop in a real Sears or J.C. Penney store, today’s dinosaurs. Catalogs came in every year but ordering by phone and receiving packages in the mail took time and effort and the shipping and returns were costly. The post office was not conveniently located either. Walking in the heat and the unforgiving sun to retrieve packages or mail from the mailbox on the side of the country road, far away from any farm house, was a sweat-drenching proposition.

Homes were sprawling and comfortable, simply decorated, with A/C units in the windows or the occasional central air heating and cooling. Poorer folks lived in trailers who rocked, rattled, and shook during the frequent Tornado Alley storms that seemed to crack the sky in two with thunder and lightning.  Powerful winds whipped and ripped old and venerable trees from the roots and occasional tornadoes demolished and flattened the forest, ripping anything else apart that stood in its path, and sending cows and humans flying through the air.

People dressed in their best for Wednesday and Sunday church services, followed by picnics and potluck suppers when everyone brought their best dishes to share with the congregation. And during football and baseball season, people attended the high school games and prayed before each game, cheering for the home team.

A stream of friends and acquaintances visited my in-laws to meet the Romanian girl who was lucky enough to escape Ceausescu’s communism while the Romanian was bewildered by all these well-meaning strangers who had no idea what kind of world she had left behind.

Without a myriad of TV channels of today, the drive-in was the only cinema that offered the latest movies. If your car broke down in the middle of the road, kind strangers stopped to help, change a tire, give you a lift home or to the nearest garage.

Cell phones did not exist in our bucolic lives and land lines were expensive. Many country folks had rotary dials with four parties on one phone line. You had to wait your turn to make a call or, in an emergency, ask the other parties to get off so that you can make the call. Everybody knew anybody else’s latest news and gossip as it was easy to listen in on conversations, intentionally or not.

Foreigners like me, an oddity from the communist world Americans despised, were a rarity in the South and Americans opened their homes to them but did not really accept them as part of their social milieu, they kept them at arm’s length and on the fringes because communists were not to be trusted. Yet foreigners like me learned the language and integrated into society, and became naturalized Americans who were contributing to its well-being and paid taxes.

Today’s Americans embrace communism and desire to change their society to that utopian failed state. They take in with open arms the real flotsam and jetsam of the third world who are often anti-Christian and unwilling to ever integrate into society, learn English, and assimilate. They are only interested in the generous welfare.

In the 70s, it was a shame to accept welfare. You had to be really down on your luck and prayed to improve quickly so you could get off welfare. There was shame and dishonor associated with accepting handouts. Today that shame is gone and it has morphed into an entitlement to everything other people own and had worked hard for.

The local high schools would invite foreign speakers who survived and escaped oppressive regimes to educate young Americans about the evils of totalitarianism/communism and how dear leaders like Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro, and Ceausescu have tortured and killed 100 million of their own people, citizens kept prisoners in their own countries and often starved to death.

After decades of telling teachers and students that one cannot mix Christian religion and state, the k-12 Common Core curriculum adopted is indoctrinating students into Islam and into sexual deviance. It is sad to watch today’s public schools, some private schools, and many colleges in the U.S. preach communism, intolerance of everyone who loves America, the pillars of Islam, and anti-Christianity even though many well-informed parents object.

And those who object to this indoctrination are labeled immediately—intolerant, xenophobic, sexist, homophobic, racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic, islamophobic, misogynist, or whatever “hate” label the Left has chosen for the rest of us who fell in love with 1970s America.

With a few areas here and there, small towns that did not have enough money or resources to accommodate the welfare-seeking invasion of illegal immigrants and government-allotted mostly male refugees, 1970s America is unrecognizable today. The rule of law and borders long forgotten, is the country still yours?

Say good-bye to what you grew up with and hello to 2018 America altered not by the normal change that the passage of time creates but a socially-engineered globalist entity spawned by the communist Left over the last five decades.


The EU melting pot is melting down

By Niall Ferguson

One hundred ten years ago the British author Israel Zangwill completed his play “The Melting Pot.” Premiered in Washington in October 1908 — where it was enthusiastically applauded by President Theodore Roosevelt — it celebrates the United States as a giant crucible, fusing together “Celt and Latin, Slav and Teuton, Greek and Syrian — black and yellow — Jew and Gentile” to form a single people.

It is rather hard to imagine a similar play ever being written about the European Union in the early 21st century. Or rather, you could easily imagine a very different one. In it, the influx of migrants from all over the world would have precisely the opposite effect from the one envisioned by Zangwill. Far from leading to fusion, Europe’s immigration crisis is leading to fission. The play might be called “The Meltdown Pot.”

Increasingly, I believe that the issue of migration will be seen by future historians as the fatal solvent of the EU. In their accounts, Brexit will appear as merely an early symptom of the crisis. Their broader argument will be that a massive Völkerwanderung overwhelmed the project for European integration, exposing the weakness of the EU as an institution and driving voters back to national politics for solutions.

Let us begin with the scale of the influx. In 2016 alone there were an estimated 2.4 million migrants to the 28 EU member states from non-EU countries, taking the total foreign-born population of the union up to 36.9 million, more than 7 percent of the total. Germany saw the largest influx as a result of a temporary relaxation of controls, admitting more than a million migrants.

The problem is intractable. Continental Europe’s population is aging and shrinking, but European labor markets have a poor record when it comes to integrating unskilled migrants.

Moreover, a large proportion of Europe’s migrants are Muslims. Liberals insist that is should be possible for Christians and Muslims to coexist peacefully in a secular post-Christian Europe. In practice, the combination of historically rooted suspicions and contemporary divergences in attitudes — notably on the status and role of women — is making assimilation difficult. (Compare the situation of Moroccans in Belgium with that of Mexicans in California if you don’t believe me.)

Finally, there is a practical problem. Europe’s southern border is almost impossible to defend against flotillas of migrants, unless Europe’s leaders are prepared to let many people drown.

Politically, the immigration problem looks fatal to that loose alliance between moderate social democrats and moderate conservatives/Christian democrats on which the past 70 years of European integration have been based.

European centrists are deeply confused about migration. Many, especially on the center-left, want to have both open borders and welfare states. But the evidence suggests that it is hard to be Denmark with a multicultural society. The lack of social solidarity makes high levels of taxation and redistribution unsustainable.

In Italy we see one possible future: The populists of the left (the Five Star Movement) and the populists of the right (the Northern League) have joined forces to form a government. Their coalition is going to focus on two things: entrenching old welfare norms (it plans to undo a recent pension reform) and excluding migrants. Last week, to much popular applause, the interior minister, Matteo Salvini, turned away a boat carrying 629 migrants rescued from the sea off Libya. The Aquarius is now in Spain, whose new minority Socialist government has offered to accept its human cargo.

But the Italian model may not be for export. Imagine, if you can, the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) sitting down with the German leftists (Die Linke) for sausages and beer in Berlin. Impossible. As a result, as Germans found after their last election, there is in fact no alternative but for the old grand coalition of center-right and center-left to limp onwards.

I used to be skeptical of the argument that Brexit was about leaving a sinking ship. I am now reassessing my view. Even as the impossibility of reconciling Tory “remainers” and Brexiteers becomes an existential threat to Theresa May, events in Europe are moving in directions that seemed inconceivable just a few years ago.

In his upcoming book on immigration in America, my friend Reihan Salam — himself the son of Bangladeshi immigrants — makes a bold argument: The United States must either restrict immigration or risk civil war as rising inequality and racial tension combine.

I hope Salam is right that the American melting pot can somehow be salvaged. But I have no such hope for Europe. No one who has spent any time in Germany since Angela Merkel’s great gamble of 2015-16 can honestly believe that a melting pot is in the making there. Anyone who visits Italy today can see that the policies of the past decade — austerity plus open borders — have produced a political meltdown.

Fusion may still be an option for the United States. For Europe, I fear, the future is one of fission — a process potentially so explosive that it may relegate Brexit to the footnotes of future history.


Merkel’s Leadership Threatened by Killings by Immigrants, Wrought by Open Borders

Diana Feldman received an unusual text message from the phone of her 14-year-old daughter, Susanna, late last month. Written in broken German, the message said she would be back home in a few weeks and that her mother should not try to find her.

Yet the message was not from Susanna. She had already been raped and strangled, and her body was dumped next to some railroad tracks in the city of Wiesbaden in western Germany.

Such stories—coming in the wake of the mass sexual assault of more than 1,000 women in Germany on New Year’s Eve of 2015—have a variety of consequences.

One consequence is political. Concern over immigration could lead to the collapse of Merkel’s coalition government. Horst Seehofer, Germany’s interior minister, wants to begin turning away refugees who have passed through another European Union country before getting to Germany. Merkel is refusing, concerned about the effects this would have on forging a coherent EU-wide refugee policy.

The coalition is splintering, and if an agreement cannot be reached, a vote of confidence in Merkel—and new elections—could be imminent.

Another consequence relates to security. One recent study demonstrated that violent crime had increased by more than 10 percent in 2015 and 2016. Ninety percent of that increase was because of violent crimes committed by male refugees.

Similarly, the sharp increase to the Islamist terrorism threat in Germany is not primarily from radicalized Germans, but from recently arrived asylum seekers. While some plots were thwarted, those in Wurzburg, Ansbach, Berlin, and Hamburg were not.

In that environment, many Germans have turned to a radical, outsider party that made a platform out of cracking down on immigration. Alternative for Germany got about 6 million votes (13 percent) in September 2017 and is now the third-biggest party in Germany.

That’s not because Germany has a hitherto concealed population of racists who were unearthed in the election, but because Merkel very clearly made a cataclysmic mistake.

Germany did take in too many people. It did not know who they were then, and so, it has no idea who is living in the country now. It was too trusting in accepting asylum applicants’ backstories—and the German Medical Association is still speaking out against checking claimants’ ages.

Germany is not deporting enough of those who have no right to be in the country, or making decisions on asylum appeals quickly enough.

If this were solely a German problem, then perhaps it would be easier to contain. Yet it also extends to Sweden, which is dealing with a surge in crime in areas with high concentrations of immigrants.

One recent study in Sweden showed that more than 75 percent (at a minimum) of those claiming to be children were actually adults. Austria, Italy, and other countries in Europe face similar challenges.

A responsible approach would be for nations to listen to voters’ concerns and craft policies that address them.

Merkel’s desire for an EU-led solution demonstrates the hopelessness of the current approach. An unresponsiveness to democratic impulses in the EU is a well-established theme.

Meanwhile, the numbers continue to grow. About 10,000 new asylum seekers come to Germany every month. The government hopes they will integrate, but has no real idea how to make that happen, and the crisis rolls on.


False rape accusation again

Prosecutors have dropped sexual battery charges against two college students who were accused of gang raping a drunken woman at a party.

The case against University of Central Florida students David Anthony Kirk, 20, and Jack Ryan Smith, 26, was 'not suitable for prosecution', the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office said in a notice filed on Thursday, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Kirk's attorney said that witnesses debunked the woman's claims, and that she fabricated the story out of embarrassment after she was spotted at the party having sex with two men.

The prosecutor's office did not elaborate on what made the case unsuitable for prosecution. 

Kirk and Smith were arrested in April, several days after the party near the UCF campus in Orlando.

An arrest report says the woman was too drunk to consent to sex when she was assaulted at what was described as a 'party home' for the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

The woman told deputies she drank vodka and flavored water on the way to the party, and then continued to drink green apple-flavored shaved ice with vodka at the party. The arrest report did not say if the woman was a student.

During the party, she said she spent most of her time with Kirk and Smith in the backyard, according to authorities, and then began to slur her words and blacked out.

She said that she then remembered waking up naked in a bedroom on her stomach in a queen-sized bed.

The woman alleged that while Smith was raping her, Kirk was forcing her to perform oral sex on him, according to the arrest report.

The woman told deputies she was numb, in shock, and in tears. She said she heard the two men say ‘my turn, my turn’ before switching positions. 

The woman said that after the alleged rape, she sat on the bathroom floor across the hall and texted her friends for help. She then met them and went home.

Kirk was expelled from the UCF chapter of the fraternity, and is not known if Smith was a member.

It is the second time in less than a year that members of Alpha Tau Omega's UCF chapter have had charges dropped in an alleged gang rape.

In August, two men - Alexander Garces and Antonio Candido, both 22 - were charged with sexual battery and false imprisonment.

A woman accused the two men of raping her at a ‘New Years in July party’ at the on-campus home.

The charges against the two men were dropped a few months later.


Blacks are Blind to their real Problems

Walter E. Williams

For several decades, a few black scholars have been suggesting that the vision held by many black Americans is entirely wrong. Dr. Shelby Steele, a scholar at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, said: "Instead of admitting that racism has declined, we (blacks) argue all the harder that it is still alive and more insidious than ever. We hold race up to shield us from what we do not want to see in ourselves."

Dr. John McWhorter, professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, lamented that "victimology, separatism, and anti-intellectualism underlie the general black community's response to all race-related issues," adding that "these three thought patterns impede black advancement much more than racism; and dysfunctional inner cities, corporate glass ceilings, and black educational underachievement will persist until such thinking disappears."

In the 1990s, Harvard professor Orlando Patterson wrote, "America, while still flawed in its race relations ... is now the least racist white-majority society in the world; has a better record of legal protection of minorities than any other society, white or black; (and) offers more opportunities to a greater number of black persons than any other society, including all those of Africa."

During an interview in December with The Daily Caller, Steele said the anti-Americanism that started during the 1960s and has become mainstream and visible in the black community is "heartbreaking and sad." That anti-Americanism that so dominates the American black identity has been "ruinous to black America, where we are worse off than we were under segregation by almost every socio-economic measure."

Some people might challenge Steele's assertion that in many measures blacks are worse off than during segregation. How about some numbers? As late as 1950, female-headed households were only 18 percent of the black population. Today 70 percent of black children are raised in single-parent households. In the late 1800s, there were only slight differences between the black family structure and those of other ethnic groups. In New York City in 1925, for example, 85 percent of kin-related black households were two-parent households. According to the 1938 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, that year 11 percent of black children were born to unwed mothers. Today about 75 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers. From 1890 to 1940, a slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than white adults. Today about twice as many blacks have never married as whites. The bottom line is that the black family was stronger the first 100 years after slavery than during what will be the second 100 years.

What about the labor market? In every census from 1890 to 1954, blacks were either just as active as or more so than whites in the labor market. During that earlier period, black teen unemployment was roughly equal to or less than white teen unemployment. As early as 1900, the duration of black unemployment was 15 percent shorter than that of whites; today it's about 30 percent longer. Would anyone suggest that there was less racial discrimination during earlier periods?

White liberals and the Democratic Party are the major beneficiaries of keeping black people fearful, angry, victimized and resentful. It's crucial to both their political success and their efforts to change our nation. Racial harmony would be a disaster for leftists, be they politicians, academic liberals or news media people. As for black politicians and civil rights hustlers, Booker T. Washington long ago explained their agenda, writing: "There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs."



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

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

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


20 June, 2018

Palestinians: Victims of Arab Apartheid

Tens of thousands of Palestinians are now living in a Lebanese ghetto called Ain Al-Hilweh, and the world seems to be fine with that

Lebanon is one of several Arab countries where Palestinians are subjected to discriminatory and apartheid laws and measures. The plight of Palestinians in Arab countries, however, is apparently of no interest to the international community, and pro-Palestinian activists and groups around the world.

Recently, the Lebanese authorities placed electronic screening gates at all entrances to Ain Al-Hilweh, the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. The move has sparked a wave of protests in Ain Al-Hilweh and among Palestinians living in other refugee camps in Lebanon, who are describing the installation of the electronic gates as collective punishment.

Until a few years ago, Ain Al-Hilweh had a population of 75,000. However, with the influx of refugees from Syria, which began in 2011, the camp's population is now estimated at more than 160,000.

About two years ago, the Lebanese army began building a security fence around Ain Al-Hilweh as part of an effort to combat jihadi terror groups that were reported to have infiltrated the camp. With the completion of the fence, the Lebanese authorities, in a move that has surprised the Palestinians, decided to install electronic gates to screen all those entering and leaving the camp. The Lebanese authorities say the gates are critical to discovering explosives and other types of weapons.

The installation of the electronic gates came during the holy month of Ramadan -- a move that has further exacerbated tensions inside Ain Al-Hilweh and drawn strong condemnations from the camp residents and other Palestinians.

Leaders of several Palestinian factions in Lebanon who held an emergency meeting earlier this week to discuss the installation of the electronic gates called on the Lebanese government to ease security restrictions on the camp residents. Some of the leaders claimed that the new gates were part of a US-led "conspiracy" targeting Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

"We fear that the recent Lebanese measures are in compliance with US pressure on the Lebanese government to impose punitive measures against the Palestinian camps [in Lebanon]," said a Palestinian official who attended the emergency meeting. He claimed that most of the terrorists wanted by the Lebanese authorities had left Ain Al-Hilweh in spite of the tough security measures surrounding the camp, and as such there was no justification for the electronic gates.

According to residents of Ain Al-Hilweh, the electronic gates have turned their lives into misery, resulting in long lines and delays as Lebanese soldiers conduct thorough searches on Palestinians leaving and entering the camp. They claim that the gates were placed at all the entrances to the camp, although only after the security situation inside the camp had relatively improved and recently been calm. "Such security measures are unjustified and serve to only increase anger and frustration," argued Yasser Ali, an official with a group that represents Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. "Why are they dealing with Ain Al-Hilweh as if it were an island full of diseases?"

In the past few days, residents of the camp have staged a number of protests against the electronic gates, and demanded an end to the Lebanese authorities' harsh measures against Palestinians in Ain Al-Hilweh in particular and Lebanon in general. "We prefer to die than to be humiliated," and "The people in the camp challenge the gates," the protesters chanted.

A Palestinian human rights organization condemned the Lebanese army's decision to place electronic gates at the entrances to the camp. He said the measure turns all the residents of Ain Al-Hilweh into suspected terrorists. "This measure is an insult and humiliation to the camp residents and an assault on their dignity," the organization said in a statement.

"Such electronic gates are used at airports and international borders, and it is hard to understand why they are being used to screen residents of a camp. Clearly, this is collective punishment that affects tens of thousands of people. The security measures, including the electronic gates and the concrete fence have turned the camp into a real prison. The residents have become prisoners who are permitted to enter and leave only with the permission of the military, which is standing at the entrances."

Some Palestinians have called out Lebanon's leaders for their hypocrisy. "In whose interest is it to humiliate the Palestinians in Lebanon?" asked Palestinian political commentator Ahmed Al-Haj Ali. "How can Lebanese officials experience schizophrenia when they talk about liberating Palestine while they are imposing strict measures against the Palestinians?"

On June 13, a delegation representing Palestinian factions met with Bahia Hariri, a Lebanese parliament member who happens to be the aunt of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and appealed to her to intervene to have the gates removed from the entrances to Ain Al-Hilweh. The delegation complained to her that the gates have had a negative impact on the lives of the camp residents and urged her to use her influence with the Lebanese authorities to ease restrictions imposed on Palestinians in Lebanon.

Here it is worth noting that the 450,000 Palestinians in Lebanon have long been suffering from a policy of systematic discrimination and marginalization by the Lebanese authorities in all aspects.

Until 2005, Palestinians were barred from 70 different categories of qualified professions, such as medicine, law and engineering. Although the Lebanese Minister of Labor issued a memorandum in 2005 permitting Palestinians to work legally in manual and clerical jobs, the ban on Palestinians seeking professional employment has remained in place. In 2001, the Lebanese parliament passed a law that prevents Palestinians from owning and inheriting property. In addition, Palestinian refugees have no access to Lebanese government hospitals. As one Palestinian pointed out:

"The Palestinians in Lebanon and other Arab countries are treated as if they are not human beings. The Arabs hold us in ghettoes and deny us basic human rights. In Lebanon, Palestinian refugee camps are like a zoo or a prison. This is shameful that Arabs are capable of treating their fellow Arabs in such a manner. Even more shameful is the silence of the international community and the UN."

As if that were not enough, in 2007 the Lebanese army launched a large military operation against another refugee camp, Nahr Al-Bared, killing hundreds of people and destroying most of the houses there. Most of the 32,000 camp residents were forced to flee their homes. According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), "the effects of this displacement have compounded the already severe socioeconomic conditions facing these refugees and constitute a chronic humanitarian crisis."

The residents of Ain Al-Hilweh now fear that the tough security measures around their camp, including the placement of the electronic gates, mean that they could meet the same fate.

That is why they are planning to step up their protests in the coming days and weeks. However, the Palestinians in Lebanon would be mistaken to pin high hopes on the international community or Palestinian leaders.

The international community pays attention to the Palestinians only when it is possible to blame Israel. The only Palestinians who seem to win the attention of the international community and media are those living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and who are in direct conflict with Israel. Palestinians living in ghettos in the Arab world and who are being killed and displaced by Arab armies do not attract any attention from the international community or mainstream media.

No one cares when an Arab country mistreats and discriminates and kills Palestinians. But when something happens in the West Bank or Gaza Strip, the international media and community suddenly wake up. Why? Because they do not want to miss an opportunity to condemn Israel.

The residents of Ain Al-Hilweh would have been fortunate had Israel placed the electronic gates at the entrances to their camp. Then, dozens of foreign journalists and human rights activists would have converged on the camp to document an Israeli "violation of Palestinian human rights." One can only imagine the uproar in the world were Israel to pass a law denying Arabs jobs or the right to inherit property.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians are now living in a ghetto called Ain Al-Hilweh, and the world seems to be fine with that. In fact, most Palestinians in Lebanon have long been living in ghettos surrounded by the Lebanese army.

There are no protests on the streets of London or Paris. The UN Security Council has not -- and will not -- hold an emergency session to condemn Lebanon. Of course, the mainstream media in the West is not going to report about Arab apartheid and repressive measures against Palestinians. As for the leaders of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, they do not have time to address the problems of the camp residents. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas are too busy fighting each other and the last thing they have on their minds are the interests and well-being of their people.


Great writers are found with an open mind

Racism at Penguin books

Lionel Shriver

I’d been suffering under the misguided illusion that the purpose of mainstream publishers like Penguin Random House was to sell and promote fine writing. A colleague’s forwarded email has set me straight. Sent to a literary agent, presumably this letter was also fired off to the agents of the entire Penguin Random House stable. The email cites the publisher’s ‘new company-wide goal’: for ‘both our new hires and the authors we acquire to reflect UK society by 2025.’ (Gotta love that shouty boldface.) ‘This means we want our authors and new colleagues to reflect the UK population taking into account ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social mobility and disability.’ The email proudly proclaims that the company has removed ‘the need for a university degree from nearly all our jobs’ — which, if my manuscript were being copy-edited and proof-read by folks whose university-educated predecessors already exhibited horrifyingly weak grammar and punctuation, I would find alarming.

The accompanying questionnaire for PRH authors is by turns fascinating, comical and depressing. Gender and ethnicity questions provide the coy ‘prefer not to say’ option, ensuring that being female or Japanese can remain your deep dark secret. As the old chocolate-or-vanilla sexes have multiplied into Baskin Robbins, responders to ‘How would you define your gender?’ may tick, ‘Prefer to use my own term’. In the pull-down menu under ‘How would you define your sexual orientation?’, ‘Bi’ and ‘Bisexual’ are listed as two completely different answers (what do these publishing worthies imagine ‘bi’ means?). Not subsumed by that mere ‘gender’ enquiry, out of only ten questions, ‘Do you identify as trans?’ merits a whole separate query — for 0.1 per cent of the population. (Thus with a staff of about 2,000, PRH will need to hire exactly two). You can self-classify as disabled, and three sequential questions obviously hope to elicit that you’ve been as badly educated as humanly possible.

And check out the ethnicity pull-down. ‘Asian or Asian British’ may specify ‘Indian,’ ‘Bangladeshi, ‘Chinese’, or ‘Pakistan’; the correct adjectival form of the latter nationality seems to be mysteriously unprintable. ‘Black or Black British’ may identify as ‘Caribbean’ or ‘African’. ‘Mixed’ allows for the options ‘White and Black African’, ‘White and Black Caribbean’, and ‘White and Asian’, but any other combo is merely ‘Mixed: Other’. As for us crackers, there’s ‘White: British’, ‘White: Irish’, and ‘White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller’, but the rest can only tick ‘White: Other’.

Let’s unpack that pull-down. If your office is chocka with Italians, Greeks, Spaniards, Germans, Danes, Finns, Bosnians, Hungarians, Czechs, Russians, Americans, Canadians, Australians, Kiwis, Argentines, Guatemalans, Mexicans, Romanians who aren’t travellers and South African Jews — I could go on — together speaking dozens of languages and bringing to their workplace a richly various historical and cultural legacy, the entire workforce could be categorised as ‘White: Other’. Your office is not diverse.

I see two issues here. First: diversity, both the word and the concept, has crimped. It serves a strict, narrow agenda that has little or nothing to do with the productive dynamism of living and working alongside people with widely different upbringings and beliefs. Only particular and, if you will, privileged backgrounds count. Which is why Apple’s African-American diversity tsar, Denise Young Smith, got hammered last October after submitting, ‘There can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blond men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.’ She hadn’t bowed to the newly shackled definition of the word, which has now been effectively removed from the language as a general-purpose noun.

Second: dazzled by this very highest of social goods, many of our institutions have ceased to understand what they are for. Drunk on virtue, Penguin Random House no longer regards the company’s raison d’être as the acquisition and dissemination of good books. Rather, the organisation aims to mirror the percentages of minorities in the UK population with statistical precision. Thus from now until 2025, literary excellence will be secondary to ticking all those ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual preference and crap-education boxes.

We can safely infer from that email that if an agent submits a manuscript written by a gay transgender Caribbean who dropped out of school at seven and powers around town on a mobility scooter, it will be published, whether or not said manuscript is an incoherent, tedious, meandering and insensible pile of mixed-paper recycling. Good luck with that business model. Publishers may eschew standards, but readers will still have some.

In the news last week, we find the ultimate example of this fatal confusion over what is your actual job. Will Norman, London’s ‘walking and cycling commissioner’, bemoaned the fact that too many cyclists in the city are white, male and middle-class. ‘The real challenge for London cycling,’ he declared, ‘is diversity.’ As opposed to building more cycle lanes for everybody, or fixing potholes lethal to everybody’s wheel rims, Norman regards his principal function as increasing black and minority ethnic ridership.

I’ll be fascinated how he accomplishes this noble mission. Will he resort to stereotypes — broadcasting gangsta rap from lampposts alongside cycling superhighways, where pop-up snack stands hand out free chapattis? For a cycling commissioner to define his primary remit as ‘diversity’ is no less ludicrous than for Transport for London to turn a blind eye to the chronic tailbacks along the Embankment, just so long as the requisite number of Koreans is stuck in them.

With rare guts, the softball conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks recently decried the ‘misplaced idolisation of diversity’. Although a laudable penultimate aim, he wrote, ‘diversity is a midpoint, not an endpoint.… [An] organisation has to be diverse so that different perspectives can serve some end. Diversity for its own sake, without a common telos, is infinitely centri-fugal and leads to social fragmentation.’ Just as Brooks sees diversity as no substitute for ‘a common national purpose’ in the US, private and public institutions alike need to keep their eyes on the prize: good books. Safe cycling. For everybody.


Are you easily offended? If so, this column was written especially for you

Transport for London (TfL) has apologised unreservedly — and not before time — after staff cruelly humiliated passengers by chasing them along the platform with sticks, shouting: “Put your big, sweaty bum-cracks away.” Counselling is available to those affected.

Oh. It seems I’ve got that wrong. What actually happened was that a member of staff wrote on a whiteboard for its inspirational quote of the day these words: “During this heatwave please dress for the body you have. Not the body you want!” To which some people promptly burst into Twitter tears, accusing TfL of “body-shaming”.

In a normal, well-adjusted world TfL would have told those people to shut up and get a life, then returned to the business of keeping London moving. But we do not live in such a world. So a familiar snivelling script was followed. It released a statement saying, “We apologise unreservedly to customers who were offended by the insensitive message on the whiteboard at Blackhorse Road station,” then promised an investigation. Into what, exactly? Having a sense of humour? Stating the blindingly obvious truth?

I’m sure you don’t want to sit on a public seat marinated in buttock juice because someone was spilling out of skimpy shorts any more than I do. It’s no fun either staring at someone’s fungally infected toenails because they are wearing sandals for the first time since August 2017. But I suppose to turn away and retch is “toe-shaming”? Fungi have feelings too.

How do you body-shame eight million people simultaneously, by the way? This message never promoted an ideal body size nor mentioned weight. There was no picture. It was a light-hearted plea not to let perspiring bare flesh drench the upholstery, or put people off their Soleros. It was a call for consideration and self-awareness via a regular message-board designed to make people laugh and remember for one fleeting moment in rush hour that they’re not ants, but human beings. (Apologies if that sounds ant-ist or if any ants reading are offended. Ants are, of course, part of a hardworking community and, for the record, I have never seen a fat ant. Not that there would be anything wrong with that. No, no. No thorax-shaming here.) But what about the people who are offended by a builder’s bum-style crack in their face on the Tube? What about them, eh?

These perpetual offence-takers now rule the world, forcing people to make apologies for nothing, fainting if a friendly shopkeeper calls them “love” and claiming that their feelings are hurt by absolutely everything. Last year some students in Dallas actually wanted an annual display of flags commemorating the victims of 9/11 to be moved because it was “triggering”. I loathe the term “snowflake” — which is just as well because last year most young people in a poll said that being called one affected their mental health.

If tonight you watch Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s TV documentary Britain’s Fat Fight, which confronts our national obesity crisis, you will see members of Newcastle city council, which is discussing a city-wide weight loss campaign, tiptoeing in terror around the f-word. “Fat” carries a lot of “blame” and “negativity”, frets one woman. Another man dislikes the word “diet” lest it suggest eliminating food groups. Yes, yes — don’t worry that the UK’s annual expenditure on the treatment of obesity and diabetes is greater than the amount spent on the police, fire service and judicial system combined. Let’s focus on the priority: not making anyone “upset”.

I would guess that the number of people genuinely offended by that TfL whiteboard is about three. Yet there must be a time-wasting “investigation”. The humourless are taking over the asylum.*

*no offence.


African vibrancy in London

UK drill music gang banned from making violent music

THE music videos often feature gangs, weapons, violence and threats of revenge attacks — and now the artists have been banned from even making them.

The unprecedented move against west London “drill” group 1011 comes as the United Kingdom deals with a rising knife crime problem, that has seen almost 50 fatal stabbings in the capital alone this year, and daily attacks.

The rappers — who specialise in a genre of rap music that originated on the south side of Chicago — must now obtain permission from Scotland Yard before making or performing music after a court order banned them from mentioning rival gangs in their music.

The group’s five members — Yonas Girma, 21, Micah Bedeau, 19, Isaac Marshall, 18, Jordan Bedeau, 17, and Rhys Herbert, 17 — were jailed last week after being found guilty of planning a machete attack on a rival gang. They have previously rapped about stabbing the gang.

They have also been banned from encouraging violence and mentioning postcodes in a gang context, a popular way of inflaming tensions. Any future videos will also have to do without gang-related hand gestures, and they are forbidden from wearing bandana in public.

The 1011 members were convicted of conspiracy to commit violent disorder. Police said they were planning a revenge attack on rival gang 12-World, also from west London, who had filmed themselves harassing and threatening the Bedeau brothers’ grandmother.

Drill is a dark and confrontational style of rap that first began in Chicago. Artists have had only minor success, but their videos have been viewed on YouTube millions of times. Police have repeatedly blamed drill for the rise in knife crime and have ordered YouTube to remove dozens of videos.

They were arrested last November while they were on their way to confront 12-World and were found to be armed with machetes, knives and bats.

The order means when they are released they will not be allowed to reference violence in their music.

Detective Superintendent Mike West said the number of videos that “incite violence” have been increasing for three years.

“The gangs try to outrival each other with the filming and content — what looks like a music video can actually contain explicit language with gangs threatening each other,” he told The Independent. “There are gestures of violence, with hand signals suggesting they are firing weapons and graphic descriptions of what they would do to each other.”

The 1011 videos played in court included lyrics like “back out the spinner [gun] and burst [shoot] him. I put bullets in numerous guys like how come the opps [rivals] ain’t learning?”

Others referred to shooting a rival dead “Clock me an opp, wind down the window...”

Another: “OT [out of town] trip trying to get some funds [money]. We get bread and invest in guns. Dem boy run when we tapped **** ching, splash aim for his lungs.”

It continued with a reference to the notorious moped gangs terrorising London: “Four men on two peds [mopeds] jump off with my shank [knife] leave an opp boy splattered.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Southworth, head of the Met Police’s Trident gang unit, said the landmark order was an important case.

“[They] take detailed and firm measures to restrict the actions of a gang who blatantly glorified violence through the music they created. Their lyrics referenced real events that had happened and made threats that further violence would take place. If they break the conditions of the CBOs they will be back before the courts.”

He claimed police were not being killjoys. “We’re not in the business of killing anyone’s fun, we’re not in the business of killing anyone’s artistic expression — we are in the business of stopping people being killed. When in this instance you see a particular genre of music being used specifically to goad, to incite, to provoke, to inflame, that can only lead to acts of very serious violence being committed, that’s when it becomes a matter for the police.”

He said the move wasn’t about regulation or censorship and denied “demonising any one type of music”.

Youth worker Colin James, 48, is helping rehabilitate young gang members at his Gangs Unite charity in South London. He told news.com.au the ban did nothing to address the “underlying issues”.

“It [the music] is an expression but it is not really the issue. They are always going about drill music this, drill music that — it just doesn’t make sense. They have to look at why they are wanting to do that in the first place.”

In many ways, it was a sign of the times, he explained.

“In previous times with punk rock they have [sung] about killing the Queen — but there were no decisions to ban.”

Freedom of expression campaigners also criticised the move. Index on Censorship chief executive Jodie Ginsberg said: “Banning a kind of music is not the way to handle ideas or opinions that are distasteful or disturbing.

“This isn’t going to address the issues that lead to the creation of this kind of music, nor should we be creating a precedent in which certain forms of art which include violent images or ideas are banned. We need to tackle actual violence, not ideas and opinions.”

Mic, a rapper and producer form north London, told the BBC the order “sets an ugly precedent”.

He said: “There is a censorship problem in the country. There are a lot of young musicians in this country whose only outlet for expressing themselves is music.

“It might be violent but what do you expect in the Britain we’re in right 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


19 June, 2018


By Nirmal Dass | Researcher with a PhD in translation theory

Nirmal Dass has written a rather long article that is critical of Peterson.  He says Peterson’s recent book — 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos — is filled with errors and misinformation.  I found that a most amusing claim as I would say that Nirmal's article is "filled with errors and misinformation".  It is certainly a very opinionated article.  He writes with great confidence and zero sign of self-doubt.  His dogmatism is extreme.  He provides no links or references for any of his assertions.  We are apparently supposed to sit at his feet and revere him as an infallible scholar. He appears to be of Indian origin so maybe he has adopted the role of guru.

Another thing that amused me was his prominent claim at the very beginning of his article that he has a PhD in translation theory.  I have written a little on problems in translation myself but I rather wondered why he would make that claim so prominently.  It appears that he may have that doctorate but it was not his first doctorate.  He also has a doctorate in critical theory, which is a neo-Marxist sect, or a series of neo-Marxist sects. So Nirmal seems keen to deflect a search of his qualifications.

So at least when he talks about Marxism, you would think he knows what he is talking about.  He probably does but it doesn't appear in his article.  He makes in fact a quite hilarious claim about Marxism.  He says there is such a thing as "real" Marxism.  Some Marxists are not true Marxists, apparently.

I taught for some years in a university sociology department where most of the rest of the teaching staff were Marxists of one  stripe or another. And a phrase that still rings in my ears from that time was "What Marx was REALLY saying ...". I heard it so many times. There was in other words no agreement about what constituted true Marxism.  In fact, as far as I can tell, there are as many versions of Marxism as there are Marxists.  For a time in Australia there were two Communist parties:  "The Communist Party of Australia" and "The Communist Party of Australia, Marxist Leninist".  The first was pro-Soviet and the second was Maoist. They hated one-another but both of course would have claimed to be the true Marxists

The Communist sect which probably has the best claim to be close to the writings of Marx would be the Trotskyists. They do make strong claims to being the true followers of Marx.  So I suspect that Nirmal is a Trot these days.  Trotsky was a bloodthirsty beast but I like his judgement that the Soviet regime was "Bonapartist".  That's a grievous insult in Marxist circles and equates roughly to being Fascist.

So that little example gives you the flavor of Nirmal's writing.  Whatever he thinks and believes is an absolute.  It alone is the true interpretation of anything.  Nirmal is the true Marxist and others who claim inspiration from Marx are fools or impostors.

We encounter that dogmatism in Nirmal's first paragraph, where he speaks of "true concern of Chinese thought".  There is a single  body of thought in China and it has a "true concern"?  One would have thought that there are many bodies of thought in China and that they all had their own concerns but Nirmal says it is not so.  He has detected a "true concern" and that is the end of the matter.

We next find Peterson accused of incorrect interpretation of Jungian thought.  But again there is no such thing as a correct interpretation of Jung.  Carl Gustav Jung's ideas were highy speculative. He thought he could find deeper meaning in history and much else as well.  And his followers have done likewise.  Jungian thought is a speculative and critical exploration, not an infallible truth. And Jordan follows in those footsteps. Once again, however Nirmal appears to think he has found the "True" Jungianism and everybody else is wrong.

Then we go on to the Bible and we are blandly informed that Peterson "misconstrues the Logos".  How, we are not told.  I wonder however if it might be Nirmal who misconstrued the first verse of the Gospel of John. I find a lot misconstrue it.  How for instance does he interpret  the anarthrous predicate in ?? ???? ?? ? ?????, ??? ? ????? ?? ???? ??? ????, ??? ???? ?? ? ?????. He is an expert on ancient languages but I might still be able to give him a run on that one.

And so it goes.  It is all just dubious assertions.  I could pick apart his whole article as thoroughly as he tries to pick Peterson apart but I have already spent too much time on his puffed-up nonsense

Jordan Peterson’s recent book — 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos — is filled with errors and misinformation. Consider, for example:

1. The yinyang, claims Peterson, is a male-female duality. However, most Chinese philosophy denies such a claim, where only Dong Zhongshu (ca. 179–104 BC), a cranky oddball, says anything vaguely similar. Rather, the swirling pattern describes aesthetic order (the true concern of Chinese thought).

2. Peterson’s Jungian explanations of myths are fabrications, complete with mistranslations from languages he doesn’t know (Akkadian, Sanskrit, Biblical Hebrew, Greek). He calls such misinformation, “ancient wisdom.”

3. Lacking theology and history, Peterson proceeds to “explain” the Bible, by relativizing God and absolutizing opinion. Thus, he misconstrues the Logos, and blasphemes his way through the Old Testament and the Gospels. As for history, just one example suffices: No, Jesus is not a version of the Egyptian god, Osiris. This nonsense comes from Gerald Massey, a 19th-century crackpot who faked evidence to make such claims). Unbeknownst to Peterson, he has one ancient ally, the Pneumatomachi, who said the Bible was all tropes and happily fashioned harebrained interpretations.

4. “Marxism” (Peterson’s catchphrase for postmodernism, Marx, the Frankfurt School and feminism) is the great enemy, supposedly “destroying” the West. Some of Peterson’s talking points come from the fallacious book by Stephen Hicks (Explaining Postmodernism). But the West isn’t being destroyed by Marxism, The West is trying to become rootless via apostasy and acedia, which Peterson promotes. Should the West return to its root (Christianity), it will thrive. That real Marxists hate postmodernists is unknown to Peterson. He also knows nothing about Maximilien Robespierre’s Jacobin progeny (the democides Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot and the Kims).

5. Peterson cannot differentiate philosophy from critical theory and thus can only name-drop (Rousseau, Heidegger, Dostoevsky, Derrida, etc.).

6. Peterson naively believes that the labels, “ancient,” “medieval,” “Renaissance” and “Enlightenment” embody civilizational shifts. Scholars have long abandoned such designations, since the history of ideas shows no such drastic changes. Thus, Peterson’s evolutionary construct of “progress” and “change” via these labels is fiction.

7. Peterson’s “science” is smoke-and-mirrors. His example of lobsters is not true, since serotonin behaves differently in crustaceans and mammals. As an evolutionary psychologist, he’s a mythographer, interested not in truth but in the management of emotions.

8. Peterson has no formal logic and makes category mistakes (too many to list). He confuses one category with another, then draws a false, universalizing conclusion. For example, the lobsters, “ancient wisdom,” “Marxism” and so forth.

He “spreads a spirit of foolishness and of error,” in the words of Jean Racine, because he embodies that which he rails against — for he’s a postmodernist, steeped in conceptual relativism (per Hilary Putnam), where an object has a multitude of interpretations because it cannot have one universal meaning.

Thus he advises that “…each of us…bring forward the truth, as we see it” — because there’s nothing greater than the self: “…you need to place one foot in what you have mastered and understood and the other in what you are currently exploring and mastering…This is where meaning is to be found.”

As for facts, they “cannot speak for themselves…[as there are]…an endless number of interpretations.” Reality, then, is feelings, not ideas, and facts are fluid.

It gets worse. Camille Paglia calls him “the most important and influential Canadian thinker since Marshall McLuhan.” But Peterson disagrees, for he says thinking is overrated: “When existence reveals itself as existentially intolerable, thinking collapses in on itself…it’s noticing, not thinking, that does the trick.”

(It’s best to ignore the problem in logic – how can “existence” be “existentially intolerable?” This is another Petersonian trick – using “philosophicalese” to sound profound, a postmodernist sleight of hand).

So, Peterson wants you to “notice,” and not “think.” Why? Read Rule 6: “Set your house in order before you criticize the world.” This is acedia: Worry about yourself; you have nothing to offer the world. Trust only feelings (noticing) – that is your “truth” which will “justify your miserable existence.”

As a postmodernist, Peterson universalizes his feelings, imagining that his personal Hell includes the entire world. He wants to “enforce the myth of man’s material perfectibility,” in the words of Whittaker Chambers.

Henri de Lubac once observed, “…without God man can only organize the world against man.” This is the reason for all democides, from Robespierre onwards. Peterson too wants to organize the world without God by trying to replace one form of material perfectibility with another (his Jungian self-realization).

Peterson decries “Marxism,” while depending on Marxian logic, methodology and assumptions (materialism) to establish his own “broken truths” (another problem in logic – if truth is broken, then it’s not truth).

The constant theme of his book is the “enemy within…arrogant, static, unchanging existence.” He hopes to overcome this inner Hell by using delusion (errors and misinformation) as an opiate just to get through “miserable existence.” This is why he misteaches and misinforms, for he wants to fabricate a calming narrative to counter meaninglessness (suffering) that materialism always produces. Such is his strategy of worldly success (the 12 Rules).

Materialism has no faith, hope or love. Thus, Peterson has no antidote to chaos, because he himself is chaos. In his strategy of success, there is no God, no meaning, no truth, no history, which is “far preferable to waiting, endlessly, for the magical arrival of Godot.” By “Godot,” he means Christ. There’s only the self, eternally alone, trying to forestall suffering by way of distraction (noticing). As an evolutionary psychologist, he can only try to manage emotions.

The more important question is this: How can Peterson presume to offer “rules,” when he can offer no categories for their obedience? This is Consequentialism (per Elizabeth Anscombe), which dismantles Peterson’s entire book. Man obeying man is tyranny.

“Truth is the radiant manifestation of reality,” observed Simone Weil. Since Peterson does not want thinking, he cannot know truth, and can never know reality – hence his errors and misinformation. On what authority, then, does he presume to teach? Those that choose to follow him should answer this question.


Another Muslim pervert

A pervy gynaecologist who told a patient to bring sex toys to his surgery and wanted to give her porn has been struck off.

Dr Iftekhar Ahmed, 51, even asked the woman if she wanted sex after performing an intimate examination on her.

The married dad-of-two also stared at the patient as she undressed at his surgery in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire - warning her not to tell anyone because he would 'be in trouble'.

Ahmed was found guilty of a string of sexual misconduct offences, including touching the woman intimately without consent and asking if she felt like having sex while examining her.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) heard how the woman, in her 40s, went to the Princess Royal health clinic for advice about sexual health twice in August 2013 and January 2015.

She told how she had been left shaken and embarrassed Ahmed when quizzed her over her sex life, what sex toys she used and if he could look at them.

The woman said: 'He started behaving strangely when I told him I didn't have a boyfriend and he started asking about my sex life and if I was having sex with anyone.

'I said I am having sex with someone because I didn't want him to know I was on my own because I felt uncomfortable and worried.

'He went on to ask many sexual questions like what sexual positions do I do and which I like.'

The woman continued: 'He asked if I like licking and he pulled his tongue out and wiggled it.'

She said: 'I did not answer but I felt dirty.

'He asked me the same question again and I told him again I didn't understand. He then said again did I feel like I wanted to have sex whilst he was doing the exam. I did not answer.'

The woman told how she saw Ahmed 'staring at me when I was putting my clothes back on'.

He would later access her medical records for her telephone number and ask her more inappropriate questions about her private life.

He also asked if he could install pornography on her home computer.

The patient said in her statement: 'He said it was Dr Ahmed, did I remember what we said earlier and was it okay for him to come to my house to put the porn on my laptop.

'I said I wasn't at home and I could feel he was shocked. He paused and he said it was alright, he could come this evening.

'I said I didn't feel that it was alright for him to come round to install porn and I didn't want that.'

Ahmed, originally from Bangladesh, failed to attend the medical tribunal disciplinary hearing and is now thought to be practising in America.

He was banned from the medical register for life.

The MPTS, sitting in Manchester, said in its judgment: 'The Tribunal was concerned that Dr Ahmed abused his position of trust as a genito-urinary doctor: a role in which he would have routinely conducted intimate examinations on walk-in patients, some who may have been vulnerable.

'The tribunal found that his sexual misconduct would seriously undermine public trust in the profession.'


The Importance of Dads in an Increasingly Fatherless America

There is a growing split taking place among American fathers today. On the one hand, more and more children are growing up without a dad in their lives. But on the other hand, fathers who are involved in their kids’ lives have actually become even more active.

The Pew Research Center reports that fathers who live in the same home as their children have become increasingly engaged in the lives of their kids over the past half-century. In 2015, fathers reported spending an average of 7 hours a week interacting with their children, compared with 2.5 hours in 1965.

Today, 57 percent of dads say they see parenting as a central part of their identity.

This encouraging shift in fatherhood involvement could be owing, at least in part, to the greater amounts of research showing the importance of a father’s role in the life of his child. Nonprofits like Focus on the Family have championed the role of fathers and have promoted well-researched materials to back up their claims.

While it’s true more fathers are taking the time to come home from work and throw the football around with their kid, an increasing number of children find themselves without an active paternal presence in their lives.

Pew reports that only 11 percent of American children lived apart from their dads in 1960. Today, that number has grown to 27 percent. One in every three American children are now growing up in a home without their biological father.

There is a “father absence crisis in America,” according to National Fatherhood Initiative, and the results are sobering.

Studies have found that children raised without a father are:

At a higher risk of having behavioral problems.

Four times more likely to live in poverty.

More likely to be incarcerated in their lifetime.

Twice as likely to never graduate high school.

At a seven times higher risk of teen pregnancy.

More vulnerable to abuse and neglect.

More likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.

Twice as likely to be obese.

From education to personal health to career success, children who lack a father find themselves at a disadvantage to their peers raised in a two-parent household.

A 2017 Heritage Foundation article reported that “routine family bonding activities like reading bedtime stories and eating meals together have a profound effect on children’s educational development and psychological well-being.”

Simply put: Dads, we need you.

As I reflect back upon my own childhood and the role my dad played, and is still playing in my life, I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude. My father is far from perfect, but he was present.

School was challenging for me as a kid, so my dad often took time to help me with my homework after he got home from work. I remember sitting on our living room couch struggling to understand my math homework with my dad’s instruction.

To be honest, I’m not sure he was much of a help—but he was there. I have always known that my dad was there for me, not just because he told me he was, but because he showed me. The greatest gift my father has ever given me was his time.

So to the fathers who have sacrificed for their children, who have worked to be involved in each day of their child’s life, thank you. Your children will always remember your involvement in their lives.

And to the fathers who would like to do more, remember the importance of your role. It is not about being perfect, but being present.


PC brigade in a hate speech class of their own

The politically correct class in Australia has always been particularly zealous in its defence of provisions such as section 18C of the federal Racial Discrimination Act and similar provisions in the anti-discrimination laws of the states and territories.

These statutes make it unlawful to publish material that, in many cases, does no more than offend the sensibilities of various groups in the community. What these laws do is place a higher value on hurt feelings than on the rigorous public debate of political, social and economic questions.

It is under one of those laws that the Nine Network and Sonia Kruger face legal proceedings, starting ­tomorrow, alleging racial vilification. In a morning TV show, Kruger attempted to discuss the question of whether there was any correlation between Muslim immigration and terrorist incidents in various countries.

When it comes to its own participation in public debate, however, the politically correct class often has few limits on offensive and insulting statements.

When two members of the Senate proposed the amendment of section 18C in 2016, they were described by the chief political correspondent of The Sydney Morning Herald as “hate-speech apologists”. In addition one was said to be “a boorish, supercilious know-all with the empathy of a Besser block” and the other “an absurdist fringe-dweller”. Both were “self-promoting misanthropes”.

About the same time, in a ­Herald cartoon of Malcolm Turnbull speaking at the UN about refugees, he was shown as wearing three badges inscribed with: “Hate makes the world go around”, “Hate will find a way”, and “All you need is hate”.

One of the most flamboyant examples of this sort of rhetoric occurred last March when Julian Burnside posted on Twitter an image of the federal Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, in a Nazi uniform. This was a particularly striking example because Burnside is not from the fringes of Australian society. He is the product of Melbourne’s most prestigious private school, a Queen’s Counsel at the Victorian Bar and a member of the Order of Australia.

It would have been unthinkable in the fairly recent past that such an establishment figure would be involved in these kinds of guttersnipe exchanges, but the tenor of public debate in Australia has certainly changed in a relatively short space of time.

More recently there were the comments of a history professor at Sydney University who asked whether The Australian’s Greg Sheridan and Chris Kenny “think that Western countries are succumbing to a poisonous cocktail of multiculturalism, Muslim immigration, political correctness and cultural Marxism”, and added: “It seems that, much like Anders Breivik and Steve Bannon, they do.”

Putting aside this categorisation of former Trump staffer Bannon, Breivik was the person who murdered 77 people on one day in Norway in July 2011. This material was published in, of all places, the ABC’s religion and ethics website, but the reference to Breivik was later removed by the ABC. The professor said: “I think some people have overreached themselves with their incendiary rhetoric.” Quite so.

Sydney University staff have no monopoly on inflammatory statements. An edition of the student newspaper in May carried a photo on the cover of a female ­suicide bomber who had killed many Israelis, describing her as a “martyr” in the struggle against “Israeli colonisation”.

When the Australian Union of Jewish Students complained, the student representative council passed a motion condemning them and congratulating those who had worked on the newspaper “for their brave and highly defensible cover depicting a pro-Palestine freedom fighter”.

The domination of universities in Australia by the politically correct class is, of course, not a recent phenomenon. But their influence is just as pervasive in most public institutions and many private ones, including the boards of many public companies, often seemingly more concerned with taking a political stance than making a profit for their shareholders.

What is interesting, however, is the contrast between this group’s view of themselves as the moral guardians of society and their ferocious intolerance for anyone who expresses a view contrary to their own. It is as if those contrary views represent a threat to their role as moral guardians, whereas they occupy most of the commanding heights of Australian ­society and are, unfortunately, not at all threatened.

One thing they have done, however, is to lower the tone of public debate with virulent attacks on their opponents that reflect the deep intensity of their sanctimonious opinions.



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

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

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


18 June, 2018

A Major Mediterranean Diet Study Was Retracted. But Do Docs Still Recommend It?

This is hilarious.  The study in both its original form and in its revised form is a crock.  It actually showed that the diet had NO EFFECT on heart health.  It's all too common for researchers to see in their results what they want to see rather than what is actually there. That's a major cause of the non-replicability of most scientific findings.  See the critique I wrote when the study first came out

A landmark study on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for heart health had serious problems with its methods, the study's authors announced this week.

The problems were so critical that the researchers retracted their original paper — a rigorously designed study first published in 2013 in The New England Journal of Medicine that found that following a Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of heart attacks and strokes. In its place, the authors have published a reanalysis of their data in the same journal on June 13, which they say accounts for the methodology problems and comes to the same conclusion as the original.

But in light of the problems with the original study, do doctors still recommend that people follow a Mediterranean diet to protect their hearts?

Some experts say that despite the study's problems, there's already a lot of other research showing the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and so they'd continue to recommend the diet.

"Although the methodology of this study is somewhat questionable, there still exists a preponderance of data prior to this study which came to the same findings," Dr. Rachel Bond, associate director of the Women's Heart Health Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told Live Science. [7 Tips for Moving Toward a More Plant-Based Diet]

But others say that the reanalysis is not enough to make up for the study's methodology problems, and that now, evidence supporting the Mediterranean diet for heart health is weakened.


Faith-based adoption agencies are too valuable to shut down

For decades, the government has relied on private child-welfare providers, including faith-based agencies (FBAs), to help care for children in foster care. There are about 440,000 children in care right now, about a quarter of whom are waiting for adoption. In places like Illinois, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, some FBAs have been forced to shut their doors because of their faith. Eighty members of Congress penned a letter on May 23 to President Trump urging him to protect faith-based child welfare providers. The future of FBAs in Michigan and Philadelphia are currently under threat.

The letter states:

“Child neglect, abuse, and abandonment are being fueled by the ongoing opioid epidemic, yet as more children are entering the foster care system we have fewer families available to provide safe and loving homes for them. ...

“We cannot allow history to repeat itself and shut out faith-based agencies doing crucial and quality work. Too much is at stake to place politics above the needs of our nation’s most vulnerable children. Members of Congress are working to develop legislative solutions. But this issue is so important that all branches of government must take responsible action.”

On May 18, Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer signed into a law a bill that would allow faith-based child welfare providers to continue serving vulnerable children and families in accordance with their sincerely held religious beliefs. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a similar law on May 11. They join the ranks of seven other states that, over the last few years, have proactively protected FBAs that provide foster care and adoption services.

A lawsuit by the ACLU in Michigan — a state which currently protects FBAs — wants the state to stop allowing FBAs exemption from regulations that conflict with their faith. If the ACLU wins out, organizations like Catholic Charities would likely not be able to continue providing their services to vulnerable children.

My new report out for the Heritage Foundation looks at the important role of faith-based agencies (FBAs) in the child-welfare system. It also lays out what states would lose if many FBAs had to end their foster care and adoption services over regulations that conflicted with their sincerely held beliefs. 

With a population of 325 million people — Hispanics, Christians, Asians, atheists, whites, Muslims, African Americans, Buddhists, Native Americans (and too many other religions, races, and ethnicities to list) — across 3,000 counties and two billion acres of intensely varied geography, the United States represents an incredibly diverse community. This is mirrored in a diverse set of providers that deliver human services to families across the nation, including foster and adoptive services. There are public, private, faith-based, and secular child-welfare agencies. They all abide by regulations and requirements set by their states, to ensure a certain standard of care for the children they serve. They all do important work. With the growing foster care and adoption needs of the country, there is plenty of room for all these agencies to roll up their sleeves and work together.

Forcing agencies out because of their faith leaves other agencies to absorb their caseloads — requiring more caseworkers, more foster families to recruit and train, and more resources to serve these additional children. That is especially tough when many agencies are already staggering under the influx of children into foster care over the last five years.

While nationwide the number of children in foster care has increased by 10 percent from 2012 to 2016, several states saw growth of over 50 percent in that time, like Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi, and New Hampshire. The number of kids in care waiting for adoption increased 15 percent nationwide from 2012 to 2016. One of the primary driving factors in this increase is the opioid crisis — which has only continued to worsen.

This has increased the number of foster homes needed. However, many states have actually seen their foster-home capacity decrease over the last few years — either because their number of foster homes is going down, or because the number of foster homes isn’t increasing fast enough to keep up with the growing numbers of children in foster care. People of faith are more likely to step forward for this role. Research has found that practicing Christians are much more likely to adopt and foster, or even consider fostering, compared to the general population.

There are also many examples of faith-based organizations and networks that excel at recruiting foster parents. The CALL in Arkansas helped recruit almost half the state’s foster families. Focus on the Family helped cut in half the number of children in Colorado waiting to be adopted. These are just two instances. Sometimes FBAs also do a better job at finding forever homes for populations that are traditionally harder to place, such as sibling groups and older youth. For example, 45 percent of all Catholic Charities adoptions were children with special needs in 2016.

FBAs are valuable partners for states and can help prevent children from languishing in care or aging out of the system without a permanent family. In a time of great need when there is a shortage of foster and adoptive families in many places, states that are looking to take full advantage of their local resources should embrace their faith communities. Likewise, faith networks and organizations should increase their efforts and commitment to families in need and help ensure that every child has a loving home.


A woman-hating feminist

"Yes, yes, and yes," a Vanity Fair reporter told MSNBC's Nicole Wallace when asked if "Trump women" are "numb," "dead inside," and "paid off" for tolerating President Donald Trump.

"They do not see President Trump the way that all of us see President Trump," Senior Reporter Emily Jane Fox told Wallace Thursday when asked how "Trump women" could overlook disparaging remarks about the credibility of porn actresses like Stormy Daniels made by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Wallace: "Let me ask you, you know more about the Trump women, the Trump family than anyone. What do they do on a day like today? Are they the most stoic human beings? "Are they numb, are the dead inside, are they paid off? What's their deal?"

Fox: "Yes, yes, and yes.

"But, I think they do not see President Trump the way that all of us see President Trump. They have such a distorted image of who he is. They don't have the kind of reaction that we do. It's almost some sort of trick."

Fox then attacked the Trump's daughter, Ivanka, declaring that she isn't "a rational person" - like the MSNBC's Wallace:

Wallace: "But, they're mothers now. They seem to be raising nice kids. How do they wall it off?"

Fox: "You're looking at this as a rational person. But, I have written this a million times: Ivanka Trump is the most masterful compartmentalizer that America has, maybe, ever seen.

"And, so, her ability to separate something like this out from, then, going and sitting in the West Wing and doing her job, or going and visiting her father in the Oval Office.

"She's able to separate those things in a way that your or I, probably, can't understand."

[More Leftist projectuion.  Threy have got most of reality walled off so they accuse others of "compartmentalization"


Australia: 'Absolutely I've been discriminated against': Man claims Officeworks refused to let him print posters criticising Islam because it's 'the holy month of Ramadan'

An activist who was refused service at Officeworks for attempting to print out anti-Islamic posters has hit out at the chain store, claiming his right to freedom of speech has been violated.

Avi Yemini and Ralf Schumann of the Australian Liberty Alliance are both regular customers at the Officeworks branch in South Melbourne: printing and laminating any materials there that are too large to print in their own office. Like, for example, an armful of flyers for an upcoming rally they've organised in support of free speech and defense of Sonia Kruger.

'We went there this afternoon like we have for 3 or 4 years,' Mr Schumann told Daily Mail Australia. 'The chap on the counter puts the USB stick in like he always does, gets the first screen up like he always does - and calls his young manager over.

'[The manager] then gives me a lecture on their shop policy and tells me that they will not print anything that is offensive to Muslims and especially not in the holy month of Ramadan.'

One of the posters declares that: 'Criticising perverse ideologies is not racial discrimination. Islam does not equal race'.

The second features the face of Sonia Kruger - who is due to face the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal over blasphemy and vilification charges - alongside the text: 'Mass blasphemy! Half of Australia agrees with Sonia #LetsTalkAboutIslam.'

Mr Schumann went on to explain how the store manager told him 'we [Officeworks] can't print these racist things.'

'So I wrote a brief email to the manager to tell him that his store policy does not override federal or state anti-discrimination laws,' said Mr Schumann.

'These laws happen both ways: you can't discriminate on religious grounds OR political grounds.'

Mr Schumann insists that, in this case, he's the one who is the victim of discrimination. 'Absolutely I've been discriminated against,' he declared.

'You go into a shop and they tell you 'I don't serve you because of your political opinion.' Well, we're happy to cry foul over political discrimination.'

Officeworks refused to comment when approached by Daily Mail Australia.

The company has, however, since posted a comment on a Facebook video that Mr Yemini uploaded on Friday. In the video, Mr Yemini trumpets to his 168,000 followers how the chain store has disrespected his right to freedom of speech.

'At Officeworks, we respect our customers' right to free speech,' the company's comment reads. 'However our policy prohibits customers from printing any materials which may be threatening, abusive or incite hatred on any person.

'In relation to your recent visit to our South Melbourne store, our team member has misinterpreted the policy. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.'

Mr Schumann asserts that: 'Nothing on those two placards was in any way inciting violence or being nasty to any person or group of persons.'

Mr Yemini further claims that the office supplies chain's refusal to print the posters is in violation of consumer law.

'If they have a complaint under racial discrimination they can refuse it, but this wasn't racial discrimination,' he said.

'We criticised Islam, and that in [the store clerk's] eyes during the holy month of Ramadan is unacceptable. Unfortunately Officeworks took his side, protecting Islam before Australian values.'



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

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

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


17 June, 2018

Einstein's diaries contain shocking details of his racism (?)

All they show is that he was a normal human being as well as a brilliant theorist.  To Leftists, the most casual mention of race or some ethnic group puts the mentioner into the same category as Adolf Hitler -- which is utter nonsense -- but nonsense that can be used to intimidate.

In fact up until WWII, it was normal to talk as Einstein did in his diaries.  Let me give a striking prewar example of that:  In interwar Britain it was a well-known usage to express gratitude to someone by saying: "That's white of you" -- implying that whites are more noble and kind than others.  From my readings I get the impression that the usage was most common among British members of the armed forces and former members of the armed forces. They in effect praised whiteness

One must remember that at that time Britain had the largest empire the world had ever seen, that most members of that empire were brown and that those brown people were generally poor.  And Britons were very conscious of their empire and their dominance of that empire. 

In one way or another (e.g. as administrators; as troops) many Britons would have had some personal contact with the people of their empire -- contact with India particularly. And dirt-poor people worldwide tend to have a lack of moral restraint when attempting to ensure  their own survival.  In plain words, many  would lie and steal from their colonial overlords at any opportunity. And that did not go un-noted among the British.  To them, brown people really were morally inferior. White people in their experience really were more admirable.

I note that Wikipedia has a similar view of the origins of the expression: "The racial sense of the expression may refer more explicitly to the administrators and soldiers of the 18th, 19th and 20th-century British Empire".

Another version of the expression was: "That's mighty white of you", which was mainly used sarcastically.

So it was perfectly normal human discourse to refer to people by racial categories.  I remember in my own upbringing during the '40s and '50s it was perfectly routine for Southern European migrants (mainly Italians) to be referred to as "Wogs" or "Dagoes".  As with Einstein's diaries, however, such usages were kept private. You used such expressions among yourselves, not in the presence of the people being referred to.  And despite any private reservations they may have had, my fellow Anglo-Australians were perfectly civil with the migrants and co-operated with them perfectly well in the workplace and in business.  It helped that the Italians tended to be hardworking and genial people.

So that is an example of a phenomenon well-known to social psychologists:  Attitudes are a poor guide to behaviour.  It is sometimes referred to formally as "The attitude-behavior discrepancy".  Another striking example of that discrepancy is the composer Richard Wagner. He voiced some very derogatory  opinions of Jews -- so much so that Hitler held him in great esteem. Yet in his personal life he was particularly helpful to Jewish musicians and Jews were among his closest friends. Some of his best friends really were Jews.

What was going on in the speech discussed so far is that making generalizations is a great human skill.  The work of a scientist is to discover true generalizations.  But the degree of precision needed from a generalization varies with the circumstances. Scientists need great precision but in everyday speech much precision is not needed.  People need only to get the general drift of what is being said.  It is understood that you are not making scientifically precise statements.  It is understood that you are talking about generalities rather than "all or nothing" rules.

So people talk about -- say -- "blacks" among friends when in more critical company they would add "in general". Once again, the degree of precision varies with the audience.  Being steeped in scientific caution I sometimes refer to blacks by the anthropological term "sub-Saharan Africans" where others would refer simply to "blacks" or "Africans". If I do use "blacks" by itself I am simply using it as a form of shorthand, something readily expandable as "many Sub-Saharan Africans" if required.  So, as you can see, there is a tradeoff between precision and brevity.  And in casual conversation, the briefer form will usually be the one used.

And that was what Einstein was doing.  He was writing for his own private purposes not for publication so he wrote with maximum brevity, not with maximum precision.

He would have been perfectly capable of expanding "children" to "The children I saw on this trip" if he thought he might be misunderstood as making over-broad generalizations.

And note that he did insert some qualifications to his observations.  In speaking of the Japanese he used "seem to" rather than "are". And instead of calling the Chinese "dreary", he said "for the likes of us" they would be dreary.  So he was clearly thinking in a cautious way rather than uttering literally-meant generalizations.  And in speaking of the Ceylonese he would undoubtedly have said "most of the locals" rather than "the locals" if he had expected his words to be given critical scrutiny.

So was he using stereotypes in his writings?  He may well have been doing so.  As Gordon Allport noted back in the 1930's, stereotypes have a "kernel of truth". And as more recent research has shown, the popular understanding of stereotypes as mentally imprisoning is the reverse of the truth.  Stereotypes change rapidly in response to new information.  They are a first approximation to a valid generalization but only a first approximation. If subsequent observations confirm the stereotype it will remain.  If subsequent information conflicts with the stereotype, it will be modified or abandoned. See here and here for coverage of the academic research on that. 

But if anything he said about the various groups were also current stereotypes of those groups, he clearly saw nothing to contradict the stereotypes. Though he may have done so with the Japanese. His generally positive view of them at the time was  not generally held, I would think.  I think that they would have generally been seen as part of "the yellow peril" rather than anything else.

So is Einstein at fault for categorizing other people? That is a common complaint made about talk of races.  But it is an empty-headed  complaint.  Human beings are categorizing animals.  Every word in our language is a category (except of course syncategorematic words).  We have words such as "dog" when there is a great variety of dogs of all shapes and sizes.  But we often use just that one word to refer to all of them. "Dog" is a category and a useful one. Similarly "Japanese" is an ethnic  category that is often found useful.

So was Einstein a racist?  If we understand that charge to mean that he had overgeneralized and incorrect beliefs about some human groups, there is no evidence of it. All we see in his diaries is shorthand notes, and even there he sometimes inserts qualifications that deny any intention of firm generalizations.

So the takeaway from this episode is that we should not judge casual speech by scholarly standards.  It is not intended as such and does not work as such.  And to pretend that it is meant as a series of precise utterances generates false accusations and is in general a disreputable strategy designed to hurt rather than enlighten

Einstein's diaries contain shocking details of his racism

Albert Einstein's personal diary reveals that he was racist in his early life.

Newly translated into English, Albert Einstein's private travel diaries from the 1920s reveal that he was racist in his early life, especially toward Chinese people.

The journals, published as "The Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein" by Princeton University Press, reveal that Einstein, perhaps the most famous scientist of all time and known for his theory of general relativity and the equation e=mc2, was extraordinarily biased toward certain populations. This is a stark contrast to his stance later in life, when he said that racism was a "disease of white people."

The diaries were written between October 1922 and March 1923. In one entry Einstein wrote that the “Chinese don’t sit on benches while eating but squat like Europeans do when they relieve themselves out in the leafy woods. All this occurs quietly and demurely. Even the children are spiritless and look obtuse.”

Speaking about the “abundance of offspring” and the “fecundity” of the Chinese, he continued: “It would be a pity if these Chinese supplant all other races. For the likes of us the mere thought is unspeakably dreary.”

Einstein also derided the people of Ceylon, which is now known as Sri Lanka. In Ceylon, he wrote, the locals “live in great filth and considerable stench at ground level,” before adding they “do little, and need little. The simple economic cycle of life.”

Einstein also gave his thoughts on Japanese people, whom he viewed in a more positive light, calling them "unostentatious, decent, altogether very appealing.” However, he also wrote the “intellectual needs of this nation seem to be weaker than their artistic ones — natural disposition?”

"Entries ... contain passages that reveal Einstein's stereotyping of members of various nations and raise questions about his attitudes on race," a description of the book reads.

The journals were translated from the German and are described as "the first publication of Albert Einstein’s travel diary to the Far East and Middle East."

Speaking with The Guardian, the book's editor Ze'ev Rosenkranz said that Einstein's views were not intended for public consumption and provide a shock to those who read them.

“I think a lot of comments strike us as pretty unpleasant — what he says about the Chinese in particular," Rosenkranz told The Guardian. “They’re kind of in contrast to the public image of the great humanitarian icon. I think it’s quite a shock to read those and contrast them with his more public statements. They’re more off guard, he didn’t intend them for publication.”

Rosenkranz is also the assistant director of the Einstein Papers Project at the California Institute of Technology and has written several books about the life of Einstein.

The remarks in his journal are markedly different to the public image Einstein projected in his later years.

In 1946, speaking at Lincoln University, the first degree-granting historically black university in the U.S., Einstein said that racism was a "disease of white people" and added “I do not intend to be quiet about it," according to a 2007 article in the Harvard Gazette.

Einstein was a founder of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and left it his literary estate and personal papers. He declined an invitation to serve as Israel's first president.

He died in 1955 at the age of 76.


Why is the Arab world not taking in its own refugees?

In 2014, Amnesty International published a short article, "Facts and Figures: Syria refugee crisis & international resettlement", in which it stated that "The six Gulf countries - Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain - have offered zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees".

This conclusion was echoed Deutsche Welle, the BBC, Time magazine, CNN, the Washington Post , the Huffington Post, the Jerusalem Post and other media. The most detailed report, however, came from the Brookings Institution in a September 2015 article by Luay Al-Khateeb, a prominent Arab expert on the geopolitics and economics of the GCC. Al-Khateeb noted that:

"condemnation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) stance on the region's refugee crisis has reached a crescendo... they have countered criticism by asking the world to do more.

"The GCC, it is pointed out, has nonetheless given more money for refugees than any other [country]."[1]

As early as 2013, this amounted to $40 billion. Despite this generosity, the bulk of GCC aid money goes to other Muslim states, notably Egypt and Morocco, which, as noted in Part Two, have taken almost no refugees.

At this point, things become murkier. In 2015, Alex Nowrasteh, writing for Newsweek, argued that there are more Arabs and Muslims living in Arab and Muslim lands than ever before:

Many more Syrians are living in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States than at the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

The World Bank reports that 1,000,000 Syrians resided in Saudi Arabia in 2013, a whopping 795% increase over 2010. There were 1,375,064 Syrian migrants living in the Gulf States in 2013, a 470% increase over 2010.

Excluding Oman, the 2013 Syrian population in every Gulf State has increased dramatically since right before the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

Others have also taken up cudgels on behalf of the GCC countries. Open Source Investigations, writing in December 2015, argued that the story about GCC failure to receive refugees is "a myth". Just before that, the Guardian opined that Saudi Arabia had said criticism of their refugee response was "false and misleading". The humanitarian organization HumanRefuge(e) published an article entitled "How Many Syrians Let in by the Gulf States?"

The HumanRefuge(e) post even features a map that purports to show high numbers of Syrian refugees who have been settled in Saudi Arabia.[2]

Why is there such a discrepancy between these two accounts: on the one hand, that the Gulf states have taken in no refugees and, on the other, that they have taken large numbers?

The explanation given by HumanRefuge(e), Open Source Investigations, the Saudi government and others hinges (or appears to hinge) on the fact that:

The UNHCR counts refugees using the 1951 Refugee Convention, among other protocols. Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE did not sign any UN protocols on refugees, so most refugees residing in these areas aren't counted by agencies like the UNHCR.

A clearer explanation is given by Chaker Khazaal, commenting on a 2014 report by Amnesty International:

The reason it's difficult to establish just how many refugees are being hosted by countries in the GCC is because they do not officially recognize incoming asylum-seekers as refugees. Since the GCC is not a signatory of the United Nations' 1951 Refugee Convention, they are not bound by law to provide these people with the standard treatment and rights typically afforded those seeking refuge in a new country.

Admittedly, while the Arab states of the GCC might not have officially resettled any of the Syrian refugees, it would be incorrect to say that Arab states have not received any of the millions of Syrians who have been displaced since the civil war began.

The problem is that being an official refugee and being a guest of a GCC work-sponsorship program are not one and the same. The most significant difference is that official refugees in countries that have agreed to the 1951 Refugee Convention are eligible to become citizens after a certain period of time.

There are (or have been) a lot of Syrians in some of the countries in question. But these are migrant workers, not people fleeing from the civil war. Instead of treating these workers as asylum seekers entitled to the rights of resettlement and citizenship, the Gulf states are trying hard to expel them.

Saudi Arabia, for example, has experienced physical and social decline from its migrant population. Dr Khalid Mandeli (PhD from Newcastle University), a lecturer at Jeddah's King AbdulAziz University, has published a number of articles that show concerns about the impact of migrant workers living in slum areas.[3] Their presence goes back to the 1970s, when the country brought in cheap foreign labour after the oil boom and religious awakening of the period.

By 2013, the Saudi government had embarked on a "Saudization" campaign that aims to remove foreign workers in order to put more Saudis to work. The result has been alarming:

Until recently, of the kingdom's 30 million residents, more than nine million were non-Saudis. Since the labour crackdown started in March, one million Bangladeshis, Indians, Filipinos, Nepalis, Pakistanis and Yemenis have left. And the campaign has moved into higher gear after the final deadline expired on 4 November, with dozens of repatriation flights now taking place every day. By next year, two million migrants will have gone.

In 2015, Human Rights Watch published a short report on the issue: "Detained, Beaten, Deported: Saudi Abuses against Migrants during Mass Expulsions". The report noted that:

None of the workers interviewed were allowed to challenge their deportations or apply for asylum. Saudi Arabia has not established an asylum system under which migrants could prevent their forced return to places where their lives or freedom would be threatened.

Is it plausible, however, that a country that sees foreigners as a problem and has no asylum system in place has brought in as many as two million Syrian refugees to add to their woes?

The same problem apparently lies behind the rejection of refugees in the rest of the region. Khazaal notes that:

The mass deportation of workers is considered to be a result of the region's reported attempts to prioritize giving employment opportunities to their local citizens. There is also widespread perception that Syrians wishing to seek refuge in the Gulf states are unlikely to be granted a visa in the first place.

This was confirmed by the BBC:

Although those fleeing the Syrian crisis have for several years been crossing into Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey in huge numbers, entering other Arab states - especially in the Gulf - is far less straightforward.

Officially, Syrians can apply for a tourist visa or work permit in order to enter a Gulf state.

But the process is costly, and there is a widespread perception that many Gulf states have unwritten restrictions in place that make it hard for Syrians to be granted a visa in practice.

In 2017, UNHCR reported on a "landmark agreement" between themselves and Kuwait to aid Syrian refugees. Good news, but it is important to read the small print. The agreement is worth $10 million and is aimed "to improve the living conditions of Syrian refugees in northern Iraq". But, given that Kurdistan is linguistically and culturally different from Syria, those refugees will find it hard, almost impossible, to settle there. Kuwait's money will only ease refugees living in camps.

Bahrain fits the same narrative. In March 2018 Bahrain pledged a mere $2 million "to build schools in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan". That is small help for a country already highly pressurized by the numbers of refugees it has taken. This too is not a solution.

In March 2018, the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain pledged a mere $2 million "to build schools" in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan (pictured above). Photo by Jeff Mitchell/Getty Images.

The UAE boasted in 2016 that is planning to take in 15,000 refugees over the following five years -- three thousand a year. But the long-term prospects of those refugees are not encouraging. Reem Al Hashemi, the UAE's minister of state for international cooperation explained that:

Ultimately, we must offer a source of hope for displaced persons that allows them to maintain dignity, return home, reintegrate themselves into their societies, and rebuild their countries and their lives. [Emphasis in original.]

Whereas refugees arriving under the UNHCR are entitled to be granted asylum and eventually citizenship, the UAE is clear from the start that it wants to send its refugees back home. Back home to what? To a half-ruined country still ruled by one of history's most brutal dictators hand-in-hand with Iran, Russia, and Hizbullah? To Eastern Ghouta? To Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Lattakia, Deir al-Zur, al-Raqqa, Tartus, Daraa, al-Hasakeh, al-Qamishli? In order to "maintain their dignity... reintegrate themselves... and rebuild their countries and their lives"?

This is the response from the sixth richest country in the world (taking the Emirates together)? The second richest in the Arab world (after Saudi Arabia)? Where Abu Dhabi has been described as "the richest city in the world"?

What of Qatar, ranked by Fortune magazine in 2017 as the richest country in the world per capita? Qatar houses a large number of migrant workers, mainly Pakistani and Indian, with three out of four residents male. The migrants make up 94% of the country's workforce and 70% of its total population. In January 2017, Qatar offered to house Salvadorans who may be expelled from the United States. But they would be admitted on a temporary basis only. The treatment of migrant workers by the state, however, has been strongly condemned by the European Parliament and others. A report by the BBC in 2015 gives some details.

As the years pass, as more and more countries struggle with poverty, conflict, religious extremism, terrorism, ethnic divisions, governmental incapacity, corruption, and declining levels of education, huge sections of the world's rapidly growing population will look in vain for safe places in which to live, work, and raise their families. The Western states who support the UNHCR cannot possibly handle this without suffering internal decline.

This decline in many parts of the world will accelerate the growth of refugee and migrant populations, creating a downward spiral that will drag down even the more affluent countries. According to Paul Ehrlich, "Collapse of Civilization is a near certainty within decades". The failure of so many Islamic states and the refusal of some of the richest countries in the world to do much to help, alongside their expenditure of billions of dollars over many years to spread the radicalization of Islam and finance Islamic terrorism, is one of the greatest problems facing the modern world and challenging the democracies.

This situation theoretically calls for major intervention by the United Nations, but the UN is effectively controlled by the very countries that are causing or contributing to the problem. With the Organization of Islamic Cooperation adding to the pressures on the democracies by working in the interest of Muslim states, it is time for a response. But so far, the Western nations have shown no willingness to create one.


'Nature' Says We Need More Diverse Scientists To Improve Science. They Present No Scientific Evidence To Back It Up

Leftist faith in action

Last week, Nature — one of the most prominent and prestigious journals in science — ran an insane editorial calling for “diversity” in science. Why, you might ask, does the skin color or sexual orientation of scientists have anything to do with scientific discovery? It doesn’t. But we know it’s good for scientists to be diverse because SHUT UP, YOU BIGOT.

Their editorial begins with a ringing call for more scientists from more backgrounds:

"Lab groups, departments, universities and national funders should encourage participation in science from as many sectors of the population as possible. It’s the right thing to do — both morally and to help build a sustainable future for research that truly represents society"

All of this is just fine — the more scientists, the merrier! But then the editorial begins to get weird:

"A more representative workforce is more likely to pursue questions and problems that go beyond the narrow slice of humanity that much of science (biomedical science in particular) is currently set up to serve. Widening the focus is essential if publicly funded research is to protect and preserve its mandate to work to improve society. For example, a high proportion of the research that comes out of the Western world uses tissue and blood from white individuals to screen drugs and therapies for a diverse population. Yet it is well known that people from different ethnic groups can have different susceptibility to some diseases"

This is, plainly put, idiotic. How do we know that people from various ethnic groups have different susceptibilities to disease? Thanks to science emanating largely from white, male scientists. Which is fine, because who the hell cares what your doctor looks like when he’s treating you, or what your researcher looks like when he's trying to determine your susceptibility to disease?

It’s also worthwhile noting here that the complaint Nature seems to be making is that we ought to use more diverse tissue to screen drugs and therapies. That’s right — but that has nearly nothing to do with the identities of the scientists themselves. This argument is somewhat like stating that we ought to be using more dogs rather than lab rats to test various drugs, and therefore we need more puppy scientists. But Nature is just getting started:

"What does it take to make an institution more diverse? To boost recruitment and participation in science among some under-represented groups is difficult. Statistics from the US National Science Foundation show that the representation of minority ethnic groups in the sciences would need to more than double to match the groups’ overall share of the US population"

How much of that disparity is due to discrimination, how much of it is due to social background, and how much of it is due to choice? Why, that’s just the sort of question you might expect Nature to ask, given that it is a journal of science! But nope. No such question is asked. Instead, we are to assume that it is merely sociological barriers that create disparities. To do otherwise would be intolerant, you see. So, what does Nature recommend?

"As we highlight in a Careers piece this week, there are steps that groups, departments and institutions can take to try to draw from a broader pool of talent. Some of these demand effort to reach out to under-represented communities, to encourage teenagers who might otherwise not consider science as an option. Even the wording of job advertisements can put people off — candidates from some backgrounds might be less likely to consider themselves "outstanding" or "excellent", and so might not even apply. Yet diversity efforts should not stop when people are through the door. To retain is as important as to recruit — mentoring and support is essential for all young scientists, and especially so for those who have been marginalized by academic culture"

Or, alternatively, we could use objective measures of quality — you know, like a scientist would — in order to recruit the best scientists. We could use actual mathematical models and measuring tools. But that might not result in the sort of identity diversity Nature likes.

According to Nature, we should use a sort of affirmative action recruitment effort because to do so is both “moral and ethical” (notably unscientific terms), and can help business’ bottom line. How so? Well, Nature reports that a McKinsey report champions a

“positive link between a firm’s financial performance and its diversity — which it defines in terms of the proportion of women and the ethnic and cultural composition of the leadership of large companies. Could something similar be true in science?”

There is no evidence whatsoever that racial diversity contributes to scientific investigation and discovery. But that’s okay. Nature says so. After all,

“The lack of diversity in science is everyone’s problem. Everyone has a responsibility to look around them, to see the problem for what it is, and to act — not just to assume it is someone else’s job to fix it.”

Or, alternatively, Nature could be scientific, and investigate the actual causes of ethnic disparity in the sciences. Nature could even make a scientific case why diversity in science matters. But they won’t bother with any of that. Better to print identity politics slogans in a leading science journal than actually bother with science.


From Tolerance to Celebration: How Corporations Impose Sexual Orthodoxy

June is Pride Month for many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, and popular fashion retailer J. Crew has collaborated with the Human Rights Campaign to create a clothing collection to support the “fight for equality.”

The clothing includes adult and children’s socks, T-shirts, and a tote bag, and depicts rainbow-printed slogans such as “Love First” and “Love to All” as well as the yellow equal sign logo of the Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s largest advocates of the LGBT political agenda. The items come in sizes for children as young as 2.

J. Crew says it will donate 50 percent of the purchase price of items in the collection to HRC. In addition, J. Crew stores nationwide reserved June 9 as a day of “LGBTQ pride” celebration on which customers could “share the love” or “get ready for a parade” with free flags and temporary tattoos.

J. Crew is a private company that has the right to partner with any organization. But it is part of a growing trend in corporate America of household brands that promote illiberal legislation to undermine the First Amendment.

The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>

Others include Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Facebook, General Electric, Google, Hershey, Microsoft, Target, Twitter, and Uber.

In the name of promoting “tolerance” for some customers, these corporations erode the freedoms of others.

The Human Rights Campaign, or HRC, spearheads efforts to pass state and federal legislation that would limit the constitutional freedoms of those who believe in marriage between a man and a woman, a belief that has been held by people around the world for millennia.

In Congress, the Human Rights Campaign leads the charge to pass the Equality Act, a bill that would add both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”  to the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury Selection and Services Act, and several other laws regarding employment with the federal government.

If passed, the Equality Act would impact a broad spectrum of private businesses by adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to laws prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations. Although the original purpose of such laws during the civil rights movement was to shield racial minorities from invidious identity-based discrimination, LGBT activists seek to abuse these laws by turning them into swords to punish people whose religious beliefs teach that marriage is between a man and a woman.

This is precisely how the state of Colorado used its law to punish bakery owner Jack Phillips for creating custom cakes only for occasions and messages that align with his traditional Christian beliefs, and not for a same-sex wedding or a divorce celebration.

Tim Gill, who has poured $422 million of his fortune into legislative campaigns to insert sexual orientation and gender identity into antidiscrimination laws, candidly admitted in Rolling Stone magazine that he is doing so to “punish the wicked.” That is, those who disagree with his view of marriage and sexuality.

Gill and the Human Rights Campaign have succeeded in passing such “SOGI” measures in 21 states and the District of Columbia. The HRC also enlisted the support of corporate America to try to limit Phillips’ First Amendment freedoms at the Supreme Court.

J. Crew’s Pride Month collaboration with the Human Rights Campaign will fund national legislation to empower LGBT activists to leverage the power of government to punish millions of Americans for living according to their religious beliefs.

And even after its campaign is over, J. Crew’s support of the Equality Act will continue channeling money from customers into legislation that will reduce their freedoms.

Jim Brett, CEO for J. Crew Group Inc., has said that the brand is committed to doing what it can to help bring about “a more inclusive world.” But by supporting the Human Rights Campaign and, in turn, the Equality Act, J. Crew is furthering the exclusion of its orthodox Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant customers from public life.

HRC President Chad Griffin has boasted of being able to form coalitions of major businesses, including Walmart Inc., to defeat religious freedom protections for citizens in Indiana and Arkansas.

J. Crew’s Pride Month campaign also helps market homosexuality and animus toward orthodox religious believers. For instance, images of same-sex couples, children, and a celebrity are used to market the attire. Each photograph is accompanied by a quote relating to “love” or “pride.”

Actor and producer Evan Jonigkeit responds to the question “What does Love First mean to you?” He says: “It’s about setting aside your preconceived notions about any particular individual and working from a place of empathy.”

Such advertising advances the false notion that anyone opposing the Human Rights Campaign and its mission is not only narrow-minded but cold-hearted and unfeeling. In reality, many moral and legal reasons exist to oppose the HRC’s agenda, none of which involve bigotry or hatred.

It is no coincidence that corporate America prioritizes the LGBT agenda over the freedom to live according to one’s religious beliefs about marriage.

The Human Rights Campaign publishes an annual ranking of corporations according to their public support for “SOGI” legislation, including the Equality Act.

In 2017, J. Crew received a relatively low score of 20 percent. But through its Pride Month collection, the company may be able to boost that score.

Of course, any and all customers may refrain from purchasing the merchandise, or tell J. Crew to focus on its product line rather than on promoting illiberal causes. Customers also may tell the company to stop pressing the new sexual orthodoxy on them and their children.

But, as both children and adults model J. Crew clothing, the Human Rights Campaign’s intolerant message will spread to multiple generations of Americans, no matter how low or high the company’s sales are.

Unfortunately, J. Crew is now only one of many large corporations whose cultural cronyism undermines their customers’ freedoms, and uses their own money to do it.



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

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

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


15 June, 2018

Feminist Bookstore Closes From Lack of Sales, Blames White Men

An “iconic feminist bookstore and community space” is closing in Portland, Oregon.

What could be the cause of this retailer’s failure? People don’t want to buy their books? Perhaps the rise of e-commerce?

Not in the slightest, obviously. The problem lies in white power, patriarchy and white cisgendered feminism.

That’s the takeaway from a statement posted last Monday announcing the closing of In Other Words, a volunteer-run bookstore made famous by the television show “Portlandia.” According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, the store will be closing at the end of this month — and it’s all the fault of you blue-eyed devils.

“The current volunteers and board members stepped into and took over a space that was founded on white, cis feminism (read: white supremacy). It’s really difficult, actually, impossible, for us to disentangle from that foundational ideology,” the statement said.

“Patriarchy, White Supremacy, Capitalism cannot be reformed and ever serve the people. Abolition is the goal.”

Apparently, all of us white people are responsible for making In Other Words an unsafe space.

“This isn’t sustainable, especially emotionally, for the people who come here and work to provide this space as a resource to Portland Feminist communities,” the statement said.

Of course, this has nothing to do with people not wanting In Other Words’ wares. Nor does it have anything to do with the fact the store’s management decided to shirk the fame they garnered through “Portlandia,” severing ties with the show in 2016 because they “struggled with the spotlight of the hit show,” according to OPB.

Nor was it the fact that as the store’s “focus has shifted from indie bookstore to community space, it has welcomed groups as diverse as AA meetings to Rock Camp for Girls to anti-racist activists.” While this is a nice thing to do, it can’t actually be the focus of a business. A bookstore can indeed be an important community space, but its first goal is to sell books.

No, it’s all the perfidy of white folks. Their supremacy is the sole reason this bookstore is closing down.

There seems to be another non-profit which is interested in running the space, however — although its attitude seems to indicate it will run into the same problems the previous group did.

“We’re definitely keeping things open-ended, in the spirit of In Other Words,” said Anna Swanson, a representative of social justice group Critical Resistance.

OPB says she’s “keeping the space free or low cost and open to all-ages, with an eye to anti-capitalist, anti-racist, intersectional work.”

“It’s really important to us,” Swanson said, “if we can to keep the space alive in that sense, but also to take the opportunity to transition it out of the sort of intractable problems the volunteers and board are talking about.”

Given that the store seems to be definitely anti-capitalist (inasmuch as it can’t actually sell enough to stay in business), I think there’s one very intractable problem that Critical Resistance will still run into.

Good luck solving that one.


Sweden's Islamization of itself barrels on

Rinkeby subway station was recently categorized as too dangerous for subway personnel to work there, unless escorted by the police, due to the security risk created by stone-throwing and hostile gangs

Some Muslims in Sweden want to be able to broadcast public calls to prayer throughout the country. They have already succeeded in obtaining permission for this in three cities -- Botkyrka, Karlskrona and Växjö. "We want to have calls to prayer in more places. There are many Muslims who are Swedish citizens, who have the same rights as everyone else" said Avdi Islami, Press Officer of the Växjö Muslim Foundation, after the police recently gave permission for the Växjö mosque to make a roughly 4-minute-long prayer call every Friday around noon.

A March poll of 1,000 Swedes showed that a majority of Swedes -- 60 percent -- are against public Muslim calls to prayer.

"We do not consider the contents of the loudspeaker broadcast, but [only] the potential noise that it makes," said Magnus Rothoff, unit commander of the southern Swedish police region, in explaining the decision-making process of the police.

"Therefore, we chose to refer it to the municipality's environmental management, where there is expertise on the [noise] level that should apply. Then we came to the conclusion that we are not disturbed to the extent that one can make a different decision than to approve."

The municipality also did not consider the content of the call to prayer.

The desire of Swedish authorities that the content of the Muslim call to prayer, also known as the Adhan, can be ignored and that the issue is only of noise levels is symptomatic of the way Swedish authorities in general approach the increasing Islamization of Sweden: that is continually to deny or ignore the scope of the problem.

The content of the Adhan prayer, from a Western point of view, is deeply problematic. Its purpose is not only a neutral call to prayer -- such as church bells, which consist only of musical notes. Here is the translation of the prayer:

"Allah is the greatest (Allahu akbar). I testify that there is no God but Allah (Ashhadu anna la ila ill Allah). I testify that Mohammed is Allah's Prophet (Ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasul Allah). Come to prayer (Hayya alas salah). Come to security/salvation. Allah is the greatest (Allahu akbar). There is no God but Allah (La ilah ill Allah)".

"Allahu akbar" means "Allah is greatest" or "Allah is greater " -- presumably meaning than other deities.

In 1993, when the Catholic Church wanted to build a tower for ringing church bells in Växjö, the municipality advised the church to refrain, as the neighbors had complained that they would be bothered by church bells.

As recent decisions by Swedish authorities in Växjö and Karlskrona have undoubtedly created a legal precedent, however, Avdi Islami's wish to have calls to prayer from mosques all over Sweden is likely to succeed. The Swedish authorities, therefore, are themselves creating the conditions for further Islamization.

Apart from wanting to spread the call to prayer to mosques all over Sweden, new mosques continue to be planned and built. In Rinkeby, a suburb of Stockholm, the construction of the Rinkeby Mosque is about to begin. With 18 domes and at an estimated 5,000 square meters --1500 of which are dedicated to the mosque, and the rest to a restaurant, classrooms and a library -- the mosque will be among Scandinavia's largest, comparable to the Malmö mega mosque, which opened in April 2017. The Rinkeby mosque, designed by the Swedish architect Johan Celsing, will be constructed by NCC, a major construction company in Sweden. The firm estimates that the complex should be ready in 2020 at a cost of around 100 million Swedish kroner ($11.4 million). "It's going to be fun to build a mosque, from a construction point of view," said Fredrik Anheim, Head of Division at NCC Building.

"For eight years, we have been trying to get funding, but now we are as close as you can get," said Ibrahim Bouraleh, Vice President of the Rinkeby Mosque Collection Foundation, who refutes claims that the mosque is being funded by foreign donors. The foundation, however, has only collected 3 million out of the 100 million Swedish kroner needed, so the question arises, who indeed is funding the project?

The organization behind the mosque is the Islamic Association of Järva (Islamiska förbundet i Järva), part of the Islamic Association in Sweden (Islamiska Förbundet i Sverige, IFSI), considered an organizational front for the Muslim Brotherhood. As IFSI clearly states (at the bottom of the linked page and in its statutes), it is a member of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE), which is generally acknowledged as an umbrella organization for local Muslim Brotherhood groups from all over Europe.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in 2005, then-president of FIOE, Ahmet al-Rawi, said, when asked about ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, "We are interlinked with them with a common point of view. We have a good close relationship."

The area of the future mega mosque, Rinkeby, is considered an "especially vulnerable area" -- known as a no-go zone -- defined by the police as an area "characterized by a social problem and criminal presence that leads to a widespread unwillingness to participate in the judicial process and difficulties for the police to fulfill its mission. The situation is considered acute".

Rinkeby subway station was recently categorized as too dangerous for subway personnel to work there, unless escorted by the police, due to the security risk created by stone-throwing and hostile gangs.

In December 2017, Lise Tamm, Head of the National Unit against International and Organized Crime, said, "Rinkeby is almost like a war zone. When the police work there, they work as the military defense would".

Sweden's Islamization of itself barrels on.


Google's New Slogan
The original slogan of Google was “Don’t Be Evil.” When Google changed its corporate name to Alphabet in 2015, it changed the slogan to “Do the right thing.”

If it were to be true to its values, Google should have changed its slogan from “Don’t Be Evil” to “Don’t Fight Evil.”

Here is The New York Times report from this past Friday: “Google, hoping to head off a rebellion by employees upset that the technology they were working on could be used for lethal purposes, will not renew a contract with the Pentagon for artificial intelligence work …

"Google’s work with the Defense Department on the Maven program, which uses artificial intelligence to interpret video images and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes, roiled the internet giant’s work force. Many of the company’s top A.I. researchers, in particular, worried that the contract was the first step toward using the nascent technology in advanced weapons. …

"About 4,000 Google employees signed a petition demanding ‘a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology.’”

CBS News reported that the petition also said, “We believe that Google should not be in the business of war.”

In other words, to the heads of Google and thousands of its elite employees, it is immoral to aid in the defense of their country, and all war is immoral.

Google and these 4,000 employees embody two terrible traits: moral idiocy and ingratitude.

Moral idiocy is the ability to be brilliant in any area of life except the single most important area of life, morality. With regard to morality, such people are fools.

The United States has been the greatest force for liberty and goodness in world history. It has been so by modeling a free society and through the power of the idea of freedom, and even more so by force — brute physical force.

Through force of arms, America and its allies defeated Germany in World War I and World War II.

Through force of arms, America imposed democracy and liberty on West Germany and led to the dissolution of East Germany.

Through force of arms, the Holocaust — the genocide of Europe’s Jews and millions of others in Nazi concentration and death camps — ended. If Google existed then, would its employees have demanded Google “not be in the business of war”?

Through force of arms, America was able to impose democracy and liberty on Japan.

Through force of arms, America liberated Asian countries from the Nazi-like Japanese imperialists.

Through force of arms, America enabled the majority of Koreans to live free rather than under the most totalitarian regime in modern history, North Korea.

Through force of arms, Israel has survived 70 years of Arab, and now Iranian, attempts to annihilate it. Arms ended the Holocaust in Europe, and arms prevent a second Holocaust of Jews in the Middle East.

Only a moral idiot does not understand the moral necessity of weapons of war being in the hands of decent countries.

Which brings us to the second trait of Google and its employees: ingratitude.

Google and its employees live better than almost any human beings in the world. They do so because they live in the freest and most opportunity-giving country in the world, the United States of America.

That Google and its employees refuse to work on the military defense of their country is an expression of ingratitude (not to mention absence of patriotism) that is simply breathtaking.

How did we produce such foolish and ungrateful people?

They are the products of left-wing education and the left-wing media and of living in the left-wing cocoon of northern California and its tech industry.

Google should be true to its convictions and change just one word of its original slogan from “Don’t Be Evil” to “Don’t Fight Evil.”


Australia: Woman begs Christian picketers to leave her alone as they urge her not to enter an abortion clinic

It should be noted that when picketers do succeed in dissuading an abortion, the mothers are usually grateful afterwards that their child was saved

Footage has been posted to Facebook of a woman harassing patients as they enter an abortion clinic. Two videos were posted to advocacy group Young Queenslanders for the Right To Choose last Saturday.

In the first video the protester is seen approaching the doors of Options Clinic in Spring Hill waving a foetus sized doll and exclaiming 'Medical facts say they have a heartbeat from 18 days, please don't terminate your baby.'

The second video shows the religious picketer preaching to a patient. 'God hates the hands that shed his blood,' she tells the woman before she is interrupted.

'Just shut up that is so traumatic. That is so f*cking traumatic.'

The woman tries assuring the patient that she wants to help her, before the patient interjects and tells her she doesn't want her help.

'That baby's got a heartbeat love, please turn away, we can help you,' she says, raising her voice.

The patient goes inside and the woman returns to her place on the sidewalk.

Before the video ends, she turns to the pro-choice volunteers and addresses them. 'That baby's got a heartbeat and what that is is murder, and you guys are standing, you will stand before God as murderers by supporting this horrific act.' 

This incident comes just days after New South Wales passed a legislation to enact safe-access zones around abortion clinics.  This legislation, introduced by Labor MP Penny Sharpe, was passed a week ago and protects patients from harassment and intimidation by protesters with 150 metre zones around the clinics.

The pro-choice young advocacy group Young Queenslanders for the Right To Choose posted the video to Facebook in hopes to spread how traumatic the experience can be

Following New South Wales, Queensland is set to become the next state to legislate safe access zones. Queenland's Law Reform Commission is set to hand down a report into legislation within the next month.

Kate Marchesi, the volunteer who posted the video told Buzzfeed News that she wanted to show how traumatic the protesters could be.

'The protesters outside the clinics regularly say that they are sidewalk counsellors who offer support, help and another option to women accessing abortion clinics, and in my experience attending these clinics as an escort this couldn't be further from 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


14 June, 2018

How two words screwed up a whole generation

IT IS the two-word message that we're all taught as kids. But it has actually stopped a generation of Australians from growing up.

Luke Kinsella

I'M A millennial, and whenever I write about my generation I always find myself thinking about the same thing: helicopter parenting and their "stranger danger" mindset.

It explains almost everything.

I've written a lot about Millennials. I've written about emotional fragility among Millennials.

I've written about social media addiction. I've written about how Millennials crave responsibility in their lives. I've even written about the lack of support for free speech among Millennials.

I was blessed with amazing parents who understood the dangers of helicopter parenting, but without sounding crude, many Millennials weren't.

We're the most helicopter parented generation of all time.

What are helicopter parents, you ask? They're parents who hover around their child, ready to swoop in if they see them challenged or distressed.

They don't let their kids walk to school on their own. They interrogate their kids with the "who, what, where, and when" every time they leave the house.

They pave their kid's road to success for them. They micromanage their kids' schedules. They shower their kids with cash. They do their kids' homework for them.

They don't let kids resolve disputes among themselves.

They resolve fights between their kid and somebody else's kid by calling the other kid's mum. They answer questions that are intended for their kid, on behalf of their kid, when their kid is standing right next to them.

Helicopter parents are obviously kind, loyal and loving people. And if the victims of helicopter parenting are products of their time, the perpetrators of it are too. They're well-intentioned.
The original Safety House logo.

The original Safety House logo.Source:News Corp Australia

But then again, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Rates of mental illness are soaring among my generation. We're the most depressed, anxious and suicidal generation in recent memory, while simultaneously being the most pampered and looked after. How is this possible?

Even with unparalleled financial and emotional support, I often hear my fellow Millennials say that their "life is a mess" and how they need to "get their life together" - the latter of which I hear a lot.

Millennials are struggling with finally being responsible for themselves. They're struggling with juggling basic expectations of adulthood.

Most 20-year-olds are uncomfortable with even being called an "adult". But can we really be shocked that adulthood hasn't come naturally to a generation who've been treated like toddlers their entire lives?


The average millennial enters adulthood in three turbulent stages. Let me paint the picture.

To begin with, they're narcissistic and entitled. This is the first stage. They rush into adulthood overconfident and naive. They've given themselves credit for the success their parents gave them.

So for a short-time, their expectation of getting everything they want spills into their experience of adulthood and they become extremely demanding.

They chalk down initial setbacks to "no one understanding them" and they develop victimhood mentalities: they're perfect and it's always somebody else's fault.

But then, the second stage hits. The setbacks build up. The real world breaks through their narcissistic surface and a traumatic crisis of identity occurs.

They get hit by obstacle after obstacle and eventually, they realise their incompetence and begin to fear the world.

All of sudden, society is a scary place fraught with dangerous hurdles that didn't exist before.

Blame "stranger danger" - history's most well-intentioned, yet misguided lesson. I'm glad to see that the phrase is slowly dying.

Millennials were actually taught that every adult they didn't know was a "danger" to them. It astounds me that anyone thought this was a good idea.

There is a middle ground between teaching kids basic street smarts and teaching them to fear everyone they don't know.

Thanks to helicopter parenting and "stranger danger", Millennials are scared of the real world and can't fend for themselves.

They've been taught to always rely on the help of an adult - but not just any adult. Adults are dangerous! Only trust your parents!

After an 18 year high, Millennials finally crash-land into adulthood after realising how unequipped they are to survive by themselves. Life is no longer the cosy and comfortable place it once was. It's a scary, competitive world where success takes time.

The third stage lands the knockout blow. They start feeling like failures.

In the second stage, Millennials realise they can't get what they want just because they want it. In the third, they realise they don't know how to get what they want regardless.

They've been robbed of the confidence to solve problems by themselves. So what happens when their parents ditch them? They feel scared, alone and most of all, helpless.

Their whole sense of self comes crashing down as they realise their road to success is a lot longer and bumpier than the instant gratification their parents gave them.

They realise the superficiality of their childhood success and how it was built on the foundations of their parents' support, not their own brilliance.

They stop blaming others and begin blaming themselves.

They go from believing they have everything in control to the exact opposite.

Parents nowadays see their kids as blocks of granite from which they can sculpt the perfect human being.
These Millennials look happy, but maybe they're only at stage one at this point.

These Millennials look happy, but maybe they're only at stage one at this point.Source:istock

Millennials see success as an obligation, like paying back a debt.

So when they're thrown into (what they perceive to be) the deep end, they feel guilty for feeling like they can't provide a return on their parents' investment.

They blame themselves for feeling unworthy of their parent's support. And worst of all, they don't have the know-how to repay their parents even if they wanted to.

So parents, what were you thinking? I couldn't think of a worse combination of messages to send to budding adults.

You've simultaneously made them fear the world and feel obligated to achieve success.

And you haven't equipped them with the life skills necessary to achieve that success.

For Millennials, life is like playing Roger Federer in tennis without a racket, and being expected to win.

Can we really be surprised that rates of youth anxiety, depression and suicide are so high?

Make no mistake, this is a crisis. Millennials have been robbed of the very essence of human wellbeing: responsibility.

This is Jordan Peterson's message: that Millennials don't feel in control of their own lives.

This crisis of responsibility has bred a crisis of meaning. After all, meaning in life is derived from one's responsibilities.

But how can Millennials be responsible for something or someone, if they're entirely dependent on other people? Millennials don't feel useful, so they're asking questions like "why am I here?" and "what's the point?"

If you treat kids like helpless pets, they'll end up feeling like purposeless social experiments. They either won't feel in control of their own lives, or will struggle with being in the driver's seat after decades of being a passenger.

Parents exist to make their children not reliant on them. Unfortunately, Baby Boomers greatly

Over-estimated their role in their children's upbringing, and a whole generations of kids have been left miserable, helpless and fragile as a result.

It's about time we left helicopter parenting and stranger danger to die in the scrap-heap of history.


Taking the 'Beauty' Out of Beauty Pageants
The Miss America Organization announced this week that it will no longer judge women on their "outward physical appearance." To that end, the swimsuit competition is gone. "We are no longer a pageant," Gretchen Carlson, the group's head, explained. "Miss America will represent a new generation of female leaders focused on scholarship, social impact, talent and empowerment."

Before I go on, let me confess my shameful secret: I like looking at really beautiful women, including when they wear bikinis.

It feels so good to finally say that out loud for all to hear.

Still, I never liked beauty pageants very much. I find the ones for little girls to be particularly creepy. Childhood is a precious and finite resource. Once you lose it, it's gone forever. Teaching little girls to obsess over hair and makeup and sexualize their appearance leaves me cold.

But that wasn't my complaint about the adult pageants. They always seemed a bit condescending and demeaning to me, but not for the reasons you always hear. It never really bothered me that traditional beauty pageants "objectify" women.

If you hadn't noticed, physical beauty is a huge part of our economy and our culture. And before you go on about this showing how sexist or "lookist" American society is, physical beauty is a huge part of literally every culture on earth and has been for all time. Notions of beauty are fluid, sure, but the interest in beauty - or desirability - itself is an expression of human nature. Can it go too far? Absolutely. Can you get rid of it? Nope.

Moreover, this is not because it's a "man's world." The glossy women's magazines are run by women and read by women. The beauty industry is valued at more than $400 billion, and the average woman spends $15,000 on beauty products over her lifetime.

Now, some feminists might claim this is because the patriarchy imposes norms and standards that women feel compelled to follow to get ahead in business and society. I guess there's some truth to this to the extent that many women want to be attractive to men. But guess what? That's always been true everywhere. It's also true that many men want to be attractive to women. If you have a problem with that, take it up with Darwin.

Moreover, women are more liberated from traditional roles and stereotypes than ever before. It doesn't seem as if interest in beauty, fashion and fitness has declined in the process, does it?

The point I'm getting at is that beauty pageants are competitions over who is the most beautiful of the bunch. The effort to turn beauty pageant contestants into public philosophers or would-be stateswomen always struck me as not only unfair but occasionally cruel. No one asks bodybuilders how they would bring about world peace. Hell, I offer my opinions for a living and I've never been asked that question.

Contestants on "American Idol," "America's Got Talent," "American Ninja Warrior," "Top Chef," "Shark Tank" and "America's Next Top Model," not to mention Olympic athletes, hope to be the best at what they're there for. They aren't graded on how they answer questions about the Mueller investigation or the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, as happened at the Miss America pageant last year.

The expectation that these women must answer such questions always seemed like a kind of insecure overcompensation that often bled into forced virtue-signaling. Even the talent competition implied unease with the whole premise of the pageant. "See, we're not just pretty faces! We can say smart things and do cool stuff like ventriloquist acts and wicked xylophone recitals!"

But at least the talent and Q&A stuff amounted to an effort to battle against the stereotype that beauty queens - and beautiful women generally - are just airheads.

What stereotype is Miss America competing against now?

According to the Miss America Organization, the new mission statement is: "To prepare great women for the world, and to prepare the world for great women."

"We're experiencing a cultural revolution in our country with women finding the courage to stand up and have their voices heard on many issues," Carlson says.

In other words, they want to prove that women - attractive or, presumably, otherwise - can be smart, confident activists and leaders. Did we not know this already?

Why not just call it the Woke Olympics and be done with it? It might make a great radio show.


The Diversity Racket

The Left's efforts to eviscerate meritocracy in favor of "inclusion" is reaching metastatic levels 

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” —Eric Hoffer

In modern-day America, there is no greater racket than diversity. Moreover, the American Left’s ongoing determination to eviscerate meritocracy in favor of “inclusion” is reaching metastatic levels.

We begin in New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio and newly appointed schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announced their intentions to diversify admissions to the city’s eight specialized high schools — by eliminating the admissions exam. “We cannot let this injustice continue,” de Blasio declared. “By giving a wider, more diverse pool of our best students an equal shot at admissions, we will make these schools stronger and our city fairer.”

What “injustice?” Asian dominance, it would seem. Asians comprise 74% of the student population at Stuyvesant, 66% at Bronx Science, 61% at Brooklyn Tech, and 82% at Queens HS for Science at York College, despite comprising only 20% of the total NYC public school population.

How do officials intend to make the pool wider? “To remedy the dearth of black and Hispanic students, the mayor proposes expanding enrollment by 20 percent, with additional students who failed to get qualifying scores, but only from majority black and Hispanic middle schools,” columnist Lisa Schiffren explains. “And he wants to bring in the top 7 percent of each of the 600 middle schools in the city. Consider that many of those middle schools do not report even one student reading or doing math at grade level.”

For a hack like de Blasio, dumbing down NYC’s best high schools is preferable to taking on the all-powerful teachers union and fixing the schools known as “failure factories” they have cultivated — for decades.

In a stark and oh-so-revealing contrast to these contemptible machinations, a homeless black student educated at a NYC charter school aptly known as the Success Academy just received a full ride to MIT. “Moctar Fall, of The Bronx, is one of 16 members of the charter school network’s first graduating high-school class — all of whom nabbed spots at four-year colleges ranging from Barnard and Tufts to Stony Brook and Emory,” the New York Post reports.

Unsurprisingly, the Success Academy and other charter schools that put the lie to leftist education schemes are considered beneath contempt by de Blasio and the teachers’ union.

Chancellor Carranza? “Not so long ago, chancellors were hired to run schools and promote educational excellence for all students,” columnist Micheal Goodwin asserts. “Now they’re hired to engineer outcomes based on race, ethnicity and family income.”

Tragic, life-wrecking outcomes.

Where else is meritocracy on the ropes? An Obama administration “diversity road map” directive released in January 2017 requires Navy commanders to “effectively manage diversity” and “refine approaches to engender a sustainable culture of inclusion.” It will be enforced by layers of bureaucracy, including the total force integration board, the executive diversity advisory council, and the diversity and inclusion council. It is part of an overall initiative spearheaded between 2012 and 2017 by the Department of Defense which asserted that diversity “is a strategic imperative, critical to mission readiness and accomplishment, and a leadership requirement.”

As The Washington Times notes, the directive “has the hallmarks of former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the eight-year officeholder whose legacy is steeped in social change.” The same Ray Mabus who sought to “gender-integrate” Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) job titles by removing the word “man” from them.

Warped priorities seemingly have their consequences. A three-month Navy review reveals that nearly 85% of its junior officers “struggled to react decisively to extricate their ship from danger when there was an immediate risk of collision,” Defense News reported.

This stunning lack of basic seamanship included struggles with “operating radars and the associated tools at hand,” and applying international rules “practically during watch standing, especially in low-visibility situations.” And while most of the first-tour officers of the deck (OODs) demonstrated the ability to remain clear from other ships in a simulator, they nonetheless demonstrated an inability to “take immediate action to avoid collisions” when they found themselves in actual extreme situations.

Vice Adm. Richard Brown attributes this incompetence to “a bell curve distribution.” He explained, “We had 27 who were on top, we had 108 who were in the middle and we had 29 who were kind of at the lower end.”

One is left to wonder whether such bell curve distributions provide any comfort to the families and friends of 17 sailors on the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain killed in what a Navy report called “avoidable” collisions.

Retired Navy admiral James A. Lyons doesn’t buy the elevation of inclusion over talent. “I believe the current problems our ships are experiencing can be traced to these mandates,” he asserts. “With the hundreds of millions of dollars that are expended to build today’s sophisticated warships, we must have the ‘best and brightest’ to man those ships. Now is the time to take the lead by breaking the shackles of political correctness and put the Navy back on an even keel.”

From the Navy, we move to air traffic control — and utter insanity. “The safety of America’s airline passengers is being compromised for the sake of diversity in hiring air traffic controllers, an attorney suing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ host Tucker Carlson on Friday,” Fox News reports. Attorney Michael Pearson stated that an FAA sub-group known as the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees determined the “workforce was too white.”

The story has come to light due to a revived lawsuit filed by Andrew Brigida. In 2013, he graduated with two aviation-related bachelor’s degrees from Arizona State University, one of the FAA’s Collegiate Training Initiative schools. He also aced the Air Traffic Selection and Training exam (AT-SAT). Nonetheless, he hasn’t been hired in five years.

Why? In 2013, the Obama administration determined that diversity was more important than merit. Preference was no longer given to CTI graduates, and a “biographical questionnaire” (BQ) was added to the screening process.

Fox News obtained a copy of it. “Applicants with a lower aptitude in science got preference over applicants who had scored excellent in science,” Carlson reveals. “Applicants who had been unemployed for the previous three years got more points than licensed pilots got. In other words, the FAA actively searched for unqualified air traffic controllers.”

Fox also obtained an internal email written by an executive at the firm that revised the BQ. It admitted the test had nothing to do with finding the most qualified controllers.

Brigida filed a lawsuit against the FAA in 2016. It was was initially dismissed, but U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich overturned that decision. William Perry Pendley of the Mountain States Legal Foundation, a public-interest law firm representing Brigida, stated the blindingly obvious. “We’re not talking about somebody driving a truck,” he said. “We’re talking about somebody guiding an aircraft into snowbound Chicago.”

Is this the final straw for diversity mandates? Or will fear of flying give way to, say, fear of surgery?

Only the diversity racketeers know for certain.


Footy Stadium sign divides Australia

AUSTRALIA was completely split by a sign at a Melbourne footy Stadium in groundbreaking new territory for Aussie sport.

ETIHAD Stadium has introduced gender-fluid toilets for all spectators during the annual Pride Game between St Kilda and Sydney.

Social commentators and footy fans have been divided by the move to designate three toilet blocks throughout the Docklands venue for all-gender use.

Signs posted throughout the stadium and then flashed on the giant screens inside the stadium advertised one toilet block on each level of seating have been converted into bathrooms that allowed spectators to use whichever gender bathroom they identified with.

The stadium signs read: “Gender diversity is welcome here. “Please use the restroom that best fits your gender identity or expression.”

The move follows the AFL’s staging of its annual Pride Game at Etihad Stadium, celebrated by St Kilda and the Swans before and during the round 12 game.

Both clubs have been widely applauded for their public support for inclusion of LGBTI communities in football and everywhere else in Australia.

However, many other commentators believe Etihad Stadium’s decision to scrap traditional mens’ and womens’ gendered toilets was a dangerous development.

Other commentators applauded the symbolism of the toilet re-allocation.

The drama did not entirely overshadow the commitment of both clubs to promote inclusivity on the night.

The Swans wore rainbow coloured socks in support of the cause, while the Saints wore rainbow coloured numbers on the back of their jumpers.

Both clubs also posted messages in support of the LGBTI community on the banners they ran through at the start of the game.

Host broadcaster Channel 7 also pledged its support of the AFL’s Pride Round.

LGBTI activist Paul Kidd tweeted on Saturday night in support of the AFL’s public support of LGBTI inclusion initiatives.



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

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

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


13 June, 2018

Capitalism even works in child-rearing

Forget the naughty corner, a young mother has found an ingenious solution to stop her two-year-old daughter from misbehaving.

The Australian woman purchased a wooden money box from Kmart for $7 - and she added a different chore to each compartment.

The household tasks include 'clean up toys, washing, feed animals, go potty, make bed and wash car'.

Taking to a parenting group on Facebook, the mother shared her parenting hack after the efficient system worked like a treat.

Forget the naughty corner, a young mother has found an ingenious solution to stop her two-year-old daughter from misbehaving    +3
Forget the naughty corner, a young mother has found an ingenious solution to stop her two-year-old daughter from misbehaving

'My $7 money box has been a life saver,' she explained.

'My little two-year-old is going through a stage where nothing works and I have tried nearly everything and she is just being really naughty.

'but someone cleaned up all her toys and fed the cats with basically no arguments tonight.

'And if she started being naughty I told her that her money would have to go in the bin. She didn't like that.'

The mother shared her parenting hack after the efficient system worked like a treat. Her two-year-old daughter started cleaning up her toys and feeding the pet cat (stock image)    +3
The mother shared her parenting hack after the efficient system worked like a treat. Her two-year-old daughter started cleaning up her toys and feeding the pet cat (stock image)

The mother explained when her daughter does misbehave, she make her take the money out of the hard-earned box, and put it into the 'naughty jar'.

'But I'm gonna do up a naughty jar she has to put money in for the really bad times out of her money box so she learns not to be naughty,' she said.

'And no matter what jar once it gets full it will go into her account. But once her money box gets full she has to save half and put in her account and she can choose to save the other half or put it towards her favourite toy etc.

'Least she learns how to save. Hopefully count once she is a little more older as well. Winning.'

She was praised for her clever creation - and wanted to clarify that her daughter is just two years old so her mother does most of the chores.

'P.S she is two. So no she doesn't do all these jobs on her own, mummy does probably 80 per cent at the moment,' she said.

'And everything but toys and potty isn't forced. Trying to toilet train and toys are getting out of control...'


Germany's Migrant Rape Crisis: "Failure of the State"

"Susanna's death is not a blind stroke of fate. Susanna's death is the result of many years of organized irresponsibility and the scandalous failure of our asylum and immigration policies. Susanna is victim of an out-of-control leftwing multicultural ideology that stops at nothing to impose its sense of moral superiority." — Alice Weidel, co-leader AfD party.

"On the day of Susanna's murder, you [Merkel] testified in parliament that you have handled the migrant crisis responsibly. Do you dare to repeat that claim to Susanna's parents?" — Alice Weidel, co-leader AfD party.

The rape and murder of a 14-year-old Jewish girl by a failed Iraqi asylum seeker has cast a renewed spotlight on Germany's migrant rape crisis, which has continued unabated for years amid official complicity and public apathy.

Thousands of women and children have been raped or sexually assaulted in Germany since Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed into the country more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The latest crime, entirely preventable, is uniquely reprehensible in that it highlights in one act the many insidious consequences of Germany's open-door migration policy — including the failure to vet those allowed into the country and the practice of releasing migrant criminals back onto German streets instead of incarcerating or deporting them.

The crime also exposes the gross negligence of Germany's political class, which appears to be more concerned with preserving multiculturalism and the rights of predatory migrants than protecting German women and children from them.

Police say that Ali Bashar, a 20-year-old Iraqi Kurd, raped Susanna Maria Feldman, strangled her and then dumped her body in a wooded area alongside railroad tracks on the outskirts of Wiesbaden. Bashar then fled to Iraq on false identity papers.

Feldman had been missing from her home in Mainz since May 22. Her mother filed a missing person report on May 23. Police, however, did not even begin to search for the girl until more than a week later, when an unnamed 13-year-old boy, a migrant living in the same refugee shelter as Bashar, contacted the police. Feldman's body was finally recovered on June 6.

Bashar arrived in Germany in October 2015, at the height of the migrant influx, along with his parents and five siblings; claiming to be refugees, they turned out to be economic migrants. Bashar's asylum request was rejected in December 2016. He should have been deported, but after he filed an appeal, German authorities allowed him to stay.

During his three years in Germany, Bashar chalked up an extensive criminal record, including physical assault of law enforcement officers, violent robbery at knifepoint and possession of illegal weapons.

Police said that Bashar was also a suspect in the March 2018 rape of an 11-year-old girl living in the same refugee shelter where he and his family were staying.

Bashar was able to flee Germany under a false identity because of bureaucratic incompetence: federal border police failed to check if the name on his plane ticket matched the name on his identity papers.

Bashar was arrested in northern Iraq on June 8 and was extradited to Germany a day later. He is currently being held at a correctional facility in Wiesbaden.

As with the deaths of the other teenagers, Susanna's murder prompted the usual barrage of political posturing and feigned outrages from German politicians and media.

The level of public outrage over Susanna's case, however, suggests that Germany may be reaching a tipping point: the German government is finally being held to account for its role in the migrant rape crisis.

"The government should beg for forgiveness from Susanna's parents," said the mass circulation Bild. "The only thing that is worse than the murder of a child is the murder of a child by a criminal who should not have been in our country."

The leader of the Free Democrats (FDP), Christian Lindner, said that the crime raises many questions: "Why are rejected asylum seekers not deported more consistently? Why could the perpetrator and his family flee under a false identity?"

"This is typical of our German security agencies," FDP politician Alexander Graf Lambsdorff said. "There are simply too many gaps in this system. This has been terribly upsetting for many years."

SPD manager Carsten Schneider said what had to be quickly clarified was "how the suspect was able to escape, and how he can be brought to court in Germany as quickly as possible."

"The Federal Interior Minister must ensure that the existing control mechanisms are also used during entry and exit," said Burkhard Lischka, an SPD spokesman. "With such questionable papers and in view of the destination, the Federal Police could have determined with a simple fingerprint comparison that a criminal is on the run."

"The cruel murder of Susanna fills me with great sadness and anger," said Eckhardt Rehberg of the CDU. "As a politician responsible for the budget, I say...the entire asylum process needs to be fundamentally reshaped. We will provide the money for that."

The Alternative for Germany (AfD), the anti-immigration party, called for the resignation of the entire federal government. In a video posted on Twitter, AfD co-leader Alice Weidel said:

"Susanna is dead. Maria from Freiburg; Mia from Kandel; Mireille from Flensburg; and now Susanna from Mainz....

"Susanna's death is not a blind stroke of fate. Susanna's death is the result of many years of organized irresponsibility and the scandalous failure of our asylum and immigration policies. Susanna is victim of an out-of-control leftwing multicultural ideology that stops at nothing to impose its sense of moral superiority. Susanna is also another victim of Chancellor Angela Merkel's hypocritical and selfish welcome policy.

"Legally, Ali Bashar should never have been allowed into Germany. His asylum request was rejected more than two years ago, and he should have been deported. Bashar was known to police for physical assault, attacking police officers, and possessing illegal weapons. In March 2018, he was suspected of raping an 11-year-old girl at a refugee shelter. According to the law, Bashar should have had to leave Germany a long time ago or be arrested.

"An absurd asylum law and a grotesque asylum policy...it is lenient toward asylum cheaters and criminals but ignores the genuine concerns of German citizens.

"Ali Bashar, his parents and five siblings lived here on the taxpayer's dime, they could not be deported, but after his Ali's crime, they somehow found the money to flee Germany on falsified documents. No problem in a Germany with open borders.

"On the day of Susanna's murder, you [Merkel] testified in parliament that you have handled the migrant crisis responsibly. Do you dare to repeat that claim to Susanna's parents? Well, no. Your hard-heartedness and self-righteousness means you feel you are above offering the victims of your policies a personal word. This is unacceptable to us citizens. Will you finally accept responsibility, Mrs. Merkel? You and your entire cabinet should resign to make possible another asylum policy so that the parents in this country no longer need to fear for the safety of their children."

The newsmagazine Stern concluded:

"The emotional reactions to Susanna's case illustrate how Germany has changed. Already in the summer of the refugee crisis, when hundreds of thousands of people came into the country, there were warnings that the mood in the population could tip....

"The case of Susanna awakens the image of a loss of control, an overstretched state that no longer has a grip on asylum policy — especially in a society that loves law and order. There are now repeated demands for stricter laws. The current scandal over maladministration at the Federal Office of Migration and Refugees [immigration officials accepted cash bribes in exchange for granting asylum to more than 1,200 migrants] seems to emphasize the impression of a failure of the state."


Leftist racism never stops

The University of Melbourne faces calls to cancel a “divisive” dance performance that separates white audience members from people of colour, makes white patrons sign a declaration before entering the theatre, and then stops the dance when they take their seats.

Where We Stand, a performance created by third-year Victorian College of the Arts student Isa­bella Mason, aims to highlight how indigenous people and people of colour have been excluded from society and history.

The performance is the first of four scheduled in the Dance ON 2018 showcase, which is meant to celebrate 40 years of the Victorian College of the Arts dance course, run by the University of Melbourne.

The show has been labelled divisive by some commentators and audience members, while the show’s creator admits it has confronted some ­attendees with the way it segregates them based on the colour of their skin. White audience members miss out completely on a dance routine in the theatre.

“Realistically, there are simply two different shows for two different audiences,” said Mason, 20. “The (white) audience in the foyer are invited to go through a process of accepting/transitioning/cleansing similar to a right of passage.

“I do not consider the ritual in the foyer to be any ‘lesser’ a part of the performance however many audience members feel as though they ‘missed out’ on the ‘real show’ in the theatre.”

People of colour are invited to enter the show first, while white people must wait outside where four dancers, who introduce themselves by their preferred pronouns, talk to them about white privilege.

White patrons are then asked to sign a big brown piece of paper on the wall that states: “I ­acknowledge where I stand.” If they do not, they are not allowed to enter the theatre. Once there are more white audience members in the theatre than people of colour, the show stops and the audience is left to sit and think.

“Of the five shows thus far, we have not had equal representation on any night,” Mason said.

The student of mixed Maori and European heritage said audience members had reacted in different ways to her show and admitted some had walked out.

“I have had a number of people contact me to tell me their own experiences and thank me … Many have cried … Some have been angry, some have walked out,” she said.

Institute of Public Affairs ­director Bella D’Abrera said the University of Melbourne should cancel the performance.

“It’s reverse segregation and if people are paying for tickets, and taxpayers are funding the VCA, then they should be let in … or they should stop the performance,” she said. “I’m not surprised the university hasn’t criticised this, I’d be more surprised if they did. This is more taxpayer-funded identity politics.”

The University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Fine Arts and Music acting dean Jon Cattapan said Mason’s dance piece was “provocative” and “exciting”.

“Exciting, contemporary and, on occasion, challenging student work is something we encourage across all of the art forms taught and developed at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music,” he said.

Mason said staff at the VCA did raise concerns that the performance could be controversial with audiences but said it was her decision and they supported her.

One concerned patron said he and his partner refused to sign the paper, adding that several other patrons were ­distressed by the performance. “We were both fascinated and appalled to be living in our own episode of the Chinese Cultural Revolution experience,” he said.

“Each girl would then take it in turns to declare her racial pedigree … and then her preferred pronouns before declaring her attempts to overcome her white privilege and what these teenagers thought we should be doing to overcome our privilege.”

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said one elderly woman was shaken by the performance and said the university should be held responsible for allowing race-based practices.

“I don’t blame the girls involved in the piece, they are young and self-righteous,” he said. “I do blame the University of Melbourne for allowing racial selection on campus in any shape or form. I am gobsmacked that any university would preside over an event where entry is based on skin colour. I naively thought this was a line that even the regressive left wouldn’t cross.”

Centre of Independent Studies senior research fellow Jeremy Sammut said the segregated performance was the “antithesis of an arts performance”.

“This work divides us … people shouldn’t be lumbered with the guilt of the past,” he said.

“You are supposed to enter a performance with an open mind … not sign up to a particular set of views. This piece also lies to us about the current reality of ­racism today … there is much less racism or prejudice in our society than there has ever been.”


No, Islamophobia is not the new anti-Semitism

It is historically illiterate to compare criticism of Islam with hatred of Jews.

It is the definition of historical illiteracy to compare Islamophobia to anti-Semitism. And yet that is what is happening. People who feel put out by the discussion of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, and possibly even envious of the attention that anti-Jewish prejudice is receiving in comparison with anti-Muslim prejudice, have taken to saying: 'What about the cancer of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party? When are we talking about that?' They fail to realise the fundamental difference between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: the former is one of the world's oldest hatreds and has caused the deaths of millions of people; the latter is a word invented by the Runnymede Trust in 1997 to demonise criticism of Islam.

The speed with which public attention has been dragged from the serious problem of a new anti-Semitism in certain left-wing circles, and focused instead on what a Guardian writer describes as Britain's 'foundational corruption' of Islamophobia, has been extraordinary. And telling. It speaks to a tendency among Muslim community leaders - not ordinary Muslims - to muscle in on Jewish suffering. Self-elected spokespeople for Britain's Muslims have a tendency to bristle at any suggestion that hatred for Jews might be a specific, pronounced problem. So when Holocaust Memorial Day was set up in 2001, it was boycotted by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) on the basis that it wasn't 'inclusive' - that is, it didn't refer to Muslim suffering, such as at Srebrenica. And now the same MCB has responded to the public discussion of left anti-Semitism effectively by saying, 'What about Islamophobia?'.

Any public focus on Jewish pain seems to invite from the MCB and other Muslim leaders the almost Pavlovian response of: 'What about Muslim pain?' It's a creepy competitiveness, almost identitarian jealousy, that has the impact, intentional or not, of downplaying the problem of anti-Semitism. I mean, if you are going to balk even at the idea that the Holocaust was a uniquely horrific crime, the greatest crime of the 20th century, then you have signed up, whether wittingly or unwittingly, for an effort at least to relativise anti-Semitism.

Over the past week, the MCB has been arguing that there are almost daily occurrences of Islamophobia in the Tory Party. It has won the support of Baroness Warsi, who was a member of David Cameron's Cabinet - despite never having been elected to parliament! - and who is now in the House of Lords. She criticises Tories for focusing on anti-Semitism in Labour while being unwilling to 'deal with bigotry when it finds itself in our own backyard'.

Virtually every media comment on the MCB's campaign for the Tory Party to hold an inquiry into its allegedly rampant Islamophobia has mentioned the recent media focus on anti-Semitism in Labour and wondered why we aren't now talking about Islamophobia, too. That this at least lends itself to a diminution of the problem of left anti-Semitism is clear from the glee with which Corbynistas have leapt upon the MCB's claims. 'You're far more racist than us!', they yell at Tories, which roughly translates as: 'Are we done with talking about left anti-Semitism now? Please say we are.'

But it is wrong, and historically infantile, to speak about anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the same breath. This isn't to say that there is no anti-Muslim prejudice. Of course there is. Some people are deeply suspicious of Muslims and even view them as the despoilers of our apparently hitherto pristine European civilisation. And some Tories - very minor Tories - appear to have shared memes or articles that contain such views. That's bad. But anti-Semitism is different.

Anti-Semitism is older. It is far more entrenched in certain European circles. It is far more historically given to mass acts of violence, from pogroms to extermination. And - the really crucial bit - its re-emergence always tells us something important about the destabilisation of society and its descent once again into irrationalism, conspiracism, scapegoating, and fear of modernity. That is why the recent return of anti-Semitism, as a reformulated Socialism of Fools, leading to the casual spread of pseudo-radical conspiracy theories and even to horrific anti-Jewish violence and graffiti in countries like France, Belgium and Sweden, deserves our serious attention. Because this return of the old hatred speaks to an unhinging, a moral disarray, a crisis of reason. And yet if we focus too hard on this, and try to have a reckoning with it, the opinion-forming set will breathe down our necks: 'And Muslims? What about them? You don't care?' It looks increasingly like a tactic of distraction.

Anti-Muslim prejudice unquestionably exists, but Islamophobia is an invention. Don't take my word for it. Take the word of the Runnymede Trust, one of Britain's leading race-equality think-tanks. It openly boasts that it is 'credited with coining the term Islamophobia. in 1997'. And what does this term Islamophobia mean? It doesn't mean racial hatred. Runnymede's definition of Islamophobia, which has been adopted by the Metropolitan Police, includes any suggestion that Islam is 'inferior to the West', and even the belief that Islam is sexist. If you think Islam is 'unresponsive to change', you are Islamophobic. And, get this, if you 'reject out of hand' 'criticisms of the West made by Islam', you're an Islamophobe. So even to ridicule Islam's view of the West is apparently to be infected with the 'cancer' of this so-called racism.

These are criticisms of religion. In a free society they ought to be entirely legitimate views, subject to no punishment whatsoever. And yet the police actually say in their internal documents that the ideas listed above count as 'Islamophobia'. That is chilling. Anti-Muslim prejudice is out there, yes. But 'Islamophobia' is an elite invention, a top-down conceit, designed to chill open discussion about religion and values and to protect one particular religion from blasphemy. The war on Islamophobia is in essence a demand for censorship. To compare this 'racism' invented by the chattering classes 20 years ago to the millennia-long outbursts of violent hatred for the Jewish people is historically illiterate and morally repugnant.



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

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

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


12 June, 2018

Making Lemons Out of a Lemonade Stand

Years ago I had a big crop of lemons at my place so I set up a lemonade stand beside the road outside for my two little stepdaughters -- in a small Australian country town.  When the local cop came past in his car he screeched to a halt.  But all he did was talk to the girls and pay his dollar for a drink.  Now that they are adults the girls look back on their lemonade stand day as one of the best memories from their childhood.  How nasty it is to deprive children of that fun experience with capitalism 

On a hot day in Denver, three young brothers, inspired by a desire to help someone less fortunate than they, decided a good way to raise some support funds was via selling lemonade. The boys' mother explained, "The boys went online and they decided they wanted to help a child in another country less fortunate, and we found a place in Colorado Springs called Charity International, and they picked a five-year-old boy in Indonesia." But sadly, as the old saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. The boys thought they'd found the perfect spot to set up their lemonade only to have the police descend upon them and shut down their operation. The reason: Someone called the cops to complain the boys didn't have a business permit.

What has happened to our society? Parents are less free to parent, as the authorities may be called if parents allow their children to play unattended in the front yard or walk to school by themselves. And police may be called in for children selling lemonade without a permit. None of these supposed infractions are immoral or abusive, and all were common practice in America just a generation ago.

Meanwhile, society is collapsing morally and with hardly anyone blinking an eye. Parents are pulling kids out of schools because of the degradation. But kids selling lemonade? Call the cops! The point is that, culturally, America has lost its sense of contextually understanding right from wrong or innocent intent from willful evil. And while the inmates run the asylum, parents are shoved aside by the nanny state.

Fortunately, there's a bit of a happy ending here. The boys moved their stand just down the road to Colorado Springs. Let's hope there aren't any obnoxious busybodies there to stop them.


Feds Send $1 Million To Hokey "Study" Designed To Push Transgenderism On Children

As part of the campaign to wrench human society from its foundations by abolishing the two sexes, the federal government is trying to fabricate a scientific basis for radical new theories of gender identity and fluidity.

We've written about the $5.7 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) study, designed to justify chemically sterilizing children who suffer from gender confusion or dysphoria. Now the Associated Press reports that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has made a $1 million grant for a longitudinal study of gender-confused children. Unfortunately, the circumstances surrounding the NSF-funded study suggest that it, too, is designed to reach conclusions more political than scientific.

The study is called the TransYouth Project (TYP). Designed by Dr. Kristina Olson, a psychology professor at the University of Washington, the study will follow several hundred transgender children whose parents "affirm" their gender dysphoria-that is, who let the children impersonate members of the opposite sex in appearance, name, pronoun usage, etc. Participants ranged from age 3 to age 12 at the inception of the study in 2013 and will be followed for 20 years.

Early Indications Flag High Levels of Bias

The first red flag concerning TYP is the orientation of the lead researcher, Olson, who is firmly on the side of affirming the child's mistaken gender identity. In an article for the Los Angeles Times, Olson wrote about a child named John who used to have a girl's name because, as Olson puts it, "when John was born his parents and his doctors said he was a girl."

This is another version of the "sex assigned at birth" trope, which denies the biological reality of chromosomes and reproductive organs. "John's" parents and doctor said the baby was a girl because the baby was a girl.

In the same article, Olson wrote disdainfully of clinics that "counsel families to 'guide' children to become satisfied with their biological sex." She clearly disagrees with medical professionals who think it's better for a child to develop satisfaction with reality rather than spend a lifetime at war with his or her own body.

Olson displays this mindset in TYP when she seriously accepts the fantasies of toddlers as evidence of immutable rejection of their biological sex. Three-year-olds think they're many things-dinosaurs, superheroes, whatever-and basing a supposedly serious study on their claims of being a different sex calls into question the scientific foundations of the study.

Even with children who clearly do suffer gender dysphoria, Olson is determined to find some evidence to affirm them in their confusion. She acknowledges prior research showing elevated levels of anxiety and depression in gender-confused children, but suggests those results are invalid because many of the children in the studies didn't have "affirming" parents. She doesn't mention the longitudinal research establishing that the vast majority of dysphoric children will outgrow the condition if allowed to progress normally through puberty.

So through TYP, Olson is focusing only on a particular type of child with a particular type of family. Participant children had to impersonate the opposite sex in all facets of their everyday life, and their parents had to agree and play along with the impersonation. Participants were recruited from transgender clinics, conferences, and support groups, further ensuring that only families that already accept the concepts Olson and her colleagues embrace would be studied.

Likely to Merely Reaffirm Researchers' Biases

Olson's website displays her acceptance of a wide variety of gender concepts in her quest for research subjects. "In addition to transgender children," she says, "we are recruiting intersex children, gender nonconforming children, tomboys, princess boys, pink boys, non-binary children, gender creative kids - you name it!" Parents who recognize these bizarre terms are, by definition, parents who already share Olson's mindset. And the idea that any adult would label a little boy, regardless of whatever psychological issues he has, as a "princess boy" or "pink boy" is deeply troubling.

How will the TYP children and their families be monitored? "For the official TYP cohort," participants are told, "we aim to see families in person every 1-3 years until each child in our study is about 12 years old. Then we rely primarily on surveys." Who completes the surveys? "When possible, 2 parents completed these forms . . . in all other cases, only 1 parent completed the forms."

So the results will be evaluated based primarily on self-reporting of parents. Probably with no training in assessing anxiety and depression, parents will report how well their children are doing in those areas. The likelihood that parents will admit that what they're doing to their children is having an adverse effect is pretty small. Olson even admits that this reporting mechanism may reflect "a desire to have their children appear healthier than they are." But not to worry: "we have no reasons to believe this was an issue."

Perhaps most troubling of all aspects of TYP is that Olson and colleagues have already reported their preliminary results, only two years into a 20-year study. To no one's surprise, the preliminary results show the affirmed children are doing just fine:

Socially transitioned transgender children who are supported in their gender identity have developmentally normative levels of depression and only minimal elevations in anxiety, suggesting that psychopathology is not inevitable within this group. Especially striking is the comparison with reports of children with GID [Gender Identity Disorder]; socially transitioned transgender children have notably lower rates of internalizing psychopathology than previously reported among children with GID living as their natal sex.

It seems reckless at best to be publishing even initial "conclusions" about such radical child-rearing techniques after only two years of observation (by parents, not trained mental-health professionals). Especially is this true when research shows initial satisfaction with affirming treatment, followed, 10 or more years out, by elevated levels of depression, as well as a likelihood of death by suicide 19 times higher than that of control groups.

Using Taxpayer Dollars To Push a Dangerous Social Agenda

Why would a supposedly legitimate researcher be engaging in such unprofessional conduct? The answer, it appears, is that politics is triumphing over science. Pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Quentin Van Meter, who has extensive experience with both the politics and the science of "gender diversity," bluntly describes the situation:

Dr. Olson's study was rushed to publication after two years into the study to give the transgender activists a 'success' story. The results were anything but scientific. The assessment of anxiety and depression was done by the parents. The kids in the study were those whose families were recruited from their transgender clinic[s] and did not include all [types of] patients and their families. . . . Olson's plan is to affirm everyone and see how they look 20 years out. The already published Swedish study has shown what will happen: appearance of happiness until 10 years out, and then a precipitous dive into depression with a 19-fold increase in suicide completion.

In light of these circumstances, Van Meter asks the obvious question: "Why do we even give Dr. Olson the time of day? She clearly doesn't understand the magical thinking of young children. How can she be respected at all by any peers?"

But not only is she respected by at least some in her orbit, our taxpayer money is being funneled to her work, courtesy of the NSF. As we've written here, and in more detail in our book "Deconstructing the Administrative State: The Fight for Liberty," the federal government routinely funds "research" designed to promote bureaucrats' preferred policies. Even in the Trump administration, federal bureaucrats-the administrative state-make policy on their own by directing tax dollars to researchers who can be depended on to reach the desired outcome.

That's what's happening with Olson's study. The predictable results will harm children and their families for years to come. Referring to Olson's premature publication of her "conclusions," NSF proclaims, "Although many of [Olson's] findings have been made relatively recently, pediatricians are already using them to educate families and the public about social and health issues related to gender diversity."

Families are being fed taxpayer-funded misinformation that will have tragic consequences. This is the operation of the administrative state in its most destructive form, and with its most helpless victims.


Australian comedian under fire as ABC management slams his show for being 'too white' and recommends he 'make fun of how racist Australians are'

The executive producer of Tom Ballard's ABC comedy show Tonightly suggested it make fun of how 'racist' Australians are to win over Chinese viewers.

Dan Ilic, a former host of axed ABC comedy show Hungry Beast, sent around internal leaked documents outlining what he believed to be weaknesses of the weeknight program.

Tonightly's 36-year-old executive producer compiled a memo describing how its 'white writers' and 'white performers' were weaknesses of the taxpayer-funded show, documents obtained by The Australian revealed.

Ilic, a former stand-up comedian who grew up in Sydney's affluent northern suburbs, suggested the show could have a 'Chinese play' about how 'we're hugely racist'.



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

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

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


11 June, 2018

You can read the white rage in their MAGA hats

So says black writer Renée Graham. She can read hats in depth. She may be wrong, however.  You may not be wearing a MAGA hat as an expression of rage.  Might you not wear a MAGA hat because you think President Trump is doing a lot of good for the country?

The wearers may be doing what more blacks should do: Treating African-Americans and their history as simply American.  Why should they keep away from an African museum?  Is it some sort of racist shrine or is it for all Americans?

And why does Ms Graham think Trump is an enemy of blacks?  He has just got heaps of blacks into work who were previously jobless. He has done much more of that than any President in recent history. Black Unemployment Plunged to an Historic Low Under the  Trump Economy. Maybe Africans should be wearing MAGA hats in recognition of that.  If Ms Graham were more logical maybe she would be wearing one too.  But I think it is hate rather than logic which moves her

Recently I saw more than a dozen people wearing "Make America Great Again" hats in what I would have thought would be the most unlikely place:

The National Museum of African American History & Culture, in Washington D.C.

As I approached a 1850s slave cabin that once stood on an Edisto Island, S.C., plantation, I saw the gathering over my shoulder - first one, then three, then more. Some wore the familiar red hats, while others opted for white, President Trump's preferred color. Some also sported T-shirts bearing Trump's slogan. All of them were white teenage boys.

Clearly, this was meant as a provocation.

They did nothing disruptive. In fact, the Trump Youth barely seemed to do much of anything at all. They moved together as a group, occasionally casting a bored eye to the right or left. Although I didn't notice an accompanying adult, they could have been part of a class trip.

On second thought, this had nothing to do with class. As the boys walked by, African-American visitors had a variety of reactions. One woman looked them up and down, then shook her head. A man rolled his eyes. Another woman gave them side-eye so sharp it could have pierced metal. Still, people refused to give them the greater acknowledgment they might have sought. We had more important things to do.

Since its opening in September 2016, the museum has become hallowed ground for many African-Americans. It is a sanctified space to learn, reflect, and see the path, with all its pitfalls and triumphs, upon which we still move forward.

Perhaps this incongruous show of Trump allegiance was intended to rile us. Apparently it's not the first time these sartorial politics have been on display. After I posted a photo of one young man holding his MAGA hat, others tweeted that they'd also noticed white teens wearing the caps at the museum.

"When my family visited the museum last year, we saw a white teen with the same hat," wrote Wendi C. Thomas, a journalist. "Felt like trolling."

That's an appropriate assessment for those supporting this racist troll of a presidency.

Since Trump's 2016 election, his name has been used to threaten Jews and people of color. According to a hate crime database compiled by ProPublica, more than 150 school bullying incidents through May 2017 included evocations of Trump's name or his divisive comments. This included white students, after a Florida high school football game, chanting "Donald Trump!" at black students from an opposing school.

In her award-winning book, "White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide," Carol Anderson writes, "White rage doesn't have to wear sheets or burn crosses, or take to the streets."

These days, all it has to do is scream the current president's name.

Whatever the intent of the MAGA cap wearers, I hope the disaffected white teens also recognize this: If they only marvelled at the cruelties one race has inflicted on another for no good reason, then they should have stayed home. If they looked at the Klan videos, the hoods and robes, especially the one in a very familiar shade of red, and wished again for a time when its members marched unmasked in the nation's capital, near where the museum now stands, they should have stayed home.

To denigrate African-American history is to denigrate American history - their own history.

African-Americans survived the Middle Passage, centuries of enslavement, families torn apart, systemic sexual abuse, lynchings, racist Supreme Court decisions, police violence, and Jim Crow. Every effort to dim our light has only made it burn hotter and brighter.

We're still here, unbowed. From the magnificent museum that celebrates our uniquely American story to the communities where we live, we will won't be intimidated by people in MAGA hats - or the noxious president they represent.


German-Jewish girl, 14, found raped and murdered

A Jewish 14-year-old girl in Germany who had been missing since May was found dead.

The girl, identified as by police as Susanna Maria Feldman, was found Wednesday outside Wiesbaden, a city in western Germany. On Thursday, police said two male asylum seekers were detained in connection to her rape and murder. One was later released.

But a 20-year-old Iraqi identified as Ali Bashar is still being sought, Weisbaden police said. He is suspected of killing the girl on May 22, when she went missing. Police said they believe she had been strangled to death.

Some media reported that the 20-year-old suspect was dating the girl, while others said she was romantically involved with his younger brother.  Police said on Thursday that Ali Bashar had left the country with his family under false names, fleeing to Iraq. Both Bashar and the released man reportedly had been living in refugee shelters..

The Central Council of Jews in Germany confirmed that the girl was a member of the Jewish community of Mainz, a city near Wiesbaden.

"A young life has been put in a cruel way. Our deep compassion applies to relatives and friends," the group said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

"A young life has been cruelly cut short. Our deepest sympathy goes to her relatives and friends," the group said in a press statement on Thursday. The Council added that "premature conclusions or speculation [about the case] are out of the question."


Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Condemns Attack on Ahmadiyya Mosque in Sialkot, Pakistan

Ahmadis are the good guys of Islam.  Their prophet rejected Islamic supremacism and told his followers to be friendly and non-violent to all

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad says Ahmadi Muslims will continue to respond to all forms of provocation and injustice with prayers and peace

The World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has strongly condemned an attack targeting a Mosque and a historical house in Sialkot, Pakistan belonging to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, perpetrated by local officials and a local mob comprising hundreds of people.

Speaking about the attack during his weekly Friday Sermon from the Baitul Futuh Mosque in London, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that those who attacked the Mosque claimed to be acting in defence of Islam, yet their actions were entirely opposed to the teachings of Islam and a means of violating the sanctity of a House of Allah. He said that the attack had been planned carefully and there was a risk of further attacks targeting the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

"Now an announcement has been made expressing an intent to demolish more Mosques of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The person who made this announcement has committed the Holy Quran to memory (Hafiz) and is linked to a political party in Pakistan. However, he is a Hafiz merely in name as he is completely bereft of the true spirit of the teachings of the Holy Quran."

His Holiness also praised those people in Pakistan who had condemned the Sialkot Mosque attack. In this regard, His Holiness particularly commended a female member of the Pakistani National Senate who had openly condemned the attack. His Holiness also noted that Pakistan's recent history had shown that those who had the courage to speak out to defend Ahmadi Muslims inevitably endured intimidation and were often forced to recant their support for Ahmadi Muslims or see their careers suffer.

Referring to the peaceful response of Ahmadi Muslims to the latest attack, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

"Certainly, our sentiments have been deeply grieved because an historical site from the time of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) has been harmed, sealed and taken into police control. However, our response has always been and will always be in accordance with the Holy Quran, which states, 'I only complain of my sorrow and my grief to Allah.'"

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

"Though we certainly have an emotional attachment to that site, the bond that we have with the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) is not limited to physical buildings. Rather, it is an unbreakable and eternal bond based upon following the teachings of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) and by firmly attaching ourselves to the system of spiritual Caliphate."

Via email. Media@Ahmadiyya.org.au

Australia: NSW Government passes new laws making it illegal to protest outside of abortion clinics - with 150m exclusion zones to lock out 'pro-life' groups

Free speech ignored

New laws making it illegal to communicate, film or intimidate a woman near a NSW abortion clinic have been passed by the state's parliament.

The legislation, which was supported by premier Gladys Berejiklian, passed the parliament's lower house late on Thursday night after a marathon debate.

The laws, which passed the state's upper house in May, will provide a 150-metre exclusion zone around clinics and make it an offence to film staff and patients without their consent.

Ms Berejiklian was supported by Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro and a host of other government MPs in a debate that transcended partisan politics.

Mr Barilaro told parliament he had visited an abortion clinic with a young woman 27 years ago, and spoke of the fear and anxiety the experience provoked. 'When you actually attend you're scared, the fear is already inside you,' Mr Barilaro said. 'By the time we arrived at the clinic, it was too late to change our mind.'

He said he did not want his daughters to ever have to be accosted by protesters if they needed to go through the same experience.

A notable opponent of the bill was Minister for Women Tanya Davies, who said the laws didn't distinguish between sharing information and harassment.

'I believe that the bill will be counterproductive to the object of women having choice by denying support and informed choice to vulnerable women when they need it the most,' Ms Davies said.

'I believe the penalties imposed by the bill are excessive, disproportionate and out of step with comparative legislation in NSW.'

Minister for Prevention of Domestic Violence Pru Goward, a former sex discrimination commissioner, also voted against the bill. She said it was an attack on freedom of speech.

'My position I know will please no one, but it is the position of my conscience,' Ms Goward told a near-empty lower house chamber on Thursday evening.

Others argued giving women the freedom to access medical clinics without being harassed was not curtailing free speech.

'We are simply setting boundaries around places where women are undergoing some of the most difficult experiences of their lives,' Labor MP Jenny Aitchison told parliament.

Labor MP and architect of the bill Penny Sharpe said the parliament had taken a 'small but important step' to give women in NSW safe access to medical treatment.

'I'm pleased and relieved that MPs across the political divide have supported the bill. A terrific day for women in NSW,' Ms Sharpe told AAP in a statement.

Outside parliament earlier in the day, reproductive rights activists and health professionals joined anti-abortion protesters to voice their opinions.

Marie Stopes Clinic nurse unit manager Kitty Grozdich supports the bill and said she, her staff and patients were often subject to harassment on their way into the clinic.

'There is a woman who is standing about 20 metres from me right now, and last week she told me that I'm going to hell,' Ms Grozdich told reporters.

'She says that she prays for me. I don't need her prayers, I just need her to go away.'



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

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

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



10 June, 2018

London Closes 500 Churches; Opens 423 New Mosques. The creeping Islamization of London is almost complete, with hundreds of official sharia courts operating in the capital, and mosques opening where famous Christian churches have stood for many hundreds of years.

The article below is very well-referenced but is rather alarming so I had a look at what Snopes says about it. They of course branded it as False but, in a way rather typical of Snopes, what they said was mostly quibbles. They said that not all the mosques were recently built and most were small buildings. They also noted that most of the deconsecrated churches had become private homes rather than mosques and that hundreds of new churches had been built. But most of the new churches were black Pentecostal churches so are well outside the mainstream of English life and not therefore very relevant to it. So those quibbles do very little to detract from the overall message of English spirituality being in steep decline amid an influx of Muslims.

Snopes however would appear to know very little about either the history of religion or its present reality.  They  probably think they don't have to.  But that ignorance led  to them missing  the important issue about religion in England: The last upsurge of religiosity in England was at the time of Oliver Cromwell (1599 - 1658) and religious interest has been declining ever since -- though with a couple of minority revivals in the form of the Methodists and the Salvation Army. And the Methodists were mostly in Wales rather than England. So England from quite early on was only formally religious. The Church of England became a mainly social institution. And in the post WWII era the great majority of the English didn't go to church at all.

Australians are mostly of British origin so they too are predominantly irreligious -- though the Irish Catholic influence did keep average church attendance up a bit for a while. In the long gone days of my youth it was common for official forms to include a question about religion and I remember that my father would always put himself down as "C of E". But in all my life I never once saw him set foot in any church, let alone the Church of England. So that is to this day a very telling picture of English religiosity.

So the vast majority of the English are neither Christian nor Muslim. They are simply irreligious. And that is the important thing about religion in England. The sprouting of Mosques here and there in England is simply irrelevant to them.

"London is more Islamic than many Muslim countries put together", according to Maulana Syed Raza Rizvi, one of the Islamic preachers who now lead "Londonistan", as the journalist Melanie Phillips has called the English capital. No, Rizvi is not a right-wing extremist.

Nobel Laureate for Literature,Wole Soyinka,  was less generous. He called the UK "a cesspit for Islamists".

"Terrorists can not stand London multiculturalism", London's mayor Sadiq Khan said after the deadly terror attack at Westminster last year. The opposite is true: British multiculturalists are feeding Islamic fundamentalism

Above all, Londonistan, with its 423 new mosques, is being built on the sad ruins of English Christianity. Many iconic Christian churches in London have been converted into mosques.

Gatestone Institute reports: The Hyatt United Church was bought by the Egyptian community to be converted to a mosque. St Peter's Churchhas been converted into the Madina Mosque. The Brick Lane Mosque was built on a former Methodist church.

Not only buildings are converted, but also people. The number of converts to Islam has doubled; often they embrace radical Islam, as with Khalid Masood, the terrorist who struck Westminster.

The Daily Mail published photographs of a church and a mosque a few meters from each other in the heart of London. At the Church of San Giorgio, designed to accommodate 1,230 worshipers, only 12 people gathered to celebrate Mass. At the Church of Santa Maria, there were 20.

The nearby Brune Street Estate mosque has a different problem: overcrowding. Its small room and can contain only 100. On Friday, the faithful must pour into the street to pray. Given the current trends, Christianity in England is becoming a relic, while Islam will be the religion of the future.

In Birmingham, the second-largest British city, where many jihadists live and orchestrate their attacks, an Islamic minaret dominates the sky. There are petitions to allow British mosques to call the Islamic faithful to prayer on loudspeakers three times a day.

By 2020, estimates are that the number of Muslims attending prayers will reach at least 683,000, while the number of Christians attending weekly Mass will drop to 679,000. "The new cultural landscape of English cities has arrived; the homogenised, Christian landscape of state religion is in retreat", said Ceri Peachof Oxford University. While nearly half of British Muslims are under the age of 25, a quarter of Christians are over 65. "In another 20 years there are going to be more active Muslims than there are churchgoers," said

Since 2001, 500 London churches of all denominations have been turned into private homes. During the same period, British mosques have been proliferating. Between 2012 and 2014, the proportion of Britons who identify themselves as Anglicans fell from 21% to 17%, a decrease of 1.7 million people, while, according to a survey conducted by the respected NatCen Social Research Institute, the number of Muslims has grown by almost a million. Churchgoers are declining at a rate that within a generation, their number will be three times lower than that of Muslims who go regularly to mosque on Friday.

Demographically, Britain has been acquiring an increasingly an Islamic face, in places such as Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets. In 2015, an analysis of the most common name in England showed it was Mohammed, including spelling variations such as Muhammad and Mohammad.

Most important cities have huge Muslim populations: Manchester (15.8%), Birmingham (21.8%) and Bradford (24.7%). In Birmingham, the police just dismantled a terrorist cell; there is also a greater probability that a child will be born into a Muslim family than into a Christian one. In Bradford and Leicester, half the children are Muslim. Muslims do not need to become the majority in the UK; they just need gradually to Islamize the most important cities. The change is already taking place. "Londonistan" is not a Muslim majority nightmare; it is a cultural, demographic and religious hybrid in which Christianity declines and Islam advances.

According to Innes Bowen, writing in The Spectator, only two of the 1,700 mosques in Britain today follow the modernist interpretation of Islam, compared with 56% in the United States. The Wahhabis control six percent of mosques in the UK, while the fundamentalist Deobandi control up to 45%. According to a survey from the Knowledge Center, a third of UK Muslims do not feel "part of British culture."


London is also full of sharia courts. There are officially 100. The advent of this parallel judicial system has been made possible thanks to the British Arbitration Act and the system of Alternative Dispute Resolution. These new courts are based on the rejection of the inviolability of human rights: the values ??of freedom and equality that are the basis of English Common Law.

British personalities keep opening the door to introduce sharia. One of Britain's leading judges, Sir James Munby, said that Christianity no longer influences the courts and these must be multicultural - which means more Islamic. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Chief Justice Lord Phillips also suggested that British law should "incorporate" elements of sharia law. The British cultural establishment is rapidly capitulating to Islamic fundamentalists in accepting their demands.

British universities are also advancing Islamic law. The official guidelines of the university, "External speakers in higher education institutions", published by Universities UK, provide that "orthodox religious groups" may separate men and women during events. At Queen Mary University of London, women had to use a separate entrance and were forced to sit in a room without being able to ask questions or raise their hands - as in Riyadh or Tehran. The Islamic Society at the London School of Economics held a gala, in which women and men were separated by a seven-meter panel.

After the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the head of MI6, Sir John Sawers, recommended self-censorship and "some restraint" in discussing Islam. The British ambassador in Saudi Arabia, Simon Collis, converted to Islam and completed the pilgrimage to Mecca, the hajj. He now calls himself Haji Collis.

What will be next?


Why real Christians MUST support Israel and its holy city

The holiness and Jewishness of Jerusalem is deeply embedded in our Christian culture

British cops took more than two months to let man falsely accused of rape know he’d already been cleared

Gross negligence from the British police again. Rape allegations are usually extremely disruptive to the lives of those accused but the British police have shown repeatedly that they care nothing about that

WHEN Paul broke up with his girlfriend she sent him messages promising revenge. He says what she did next “destroyed” him.

POLICE took more than two months to let an innocent man who had been falsely accused of rape know he had been cleared, it emerged today.

Paul Faulkner, 46, was left suicidal over the stress after his partner made a string of allegations against him when he broke up with her in May 2016.

Despite the police having WhatsApp messages from his accuser where she told him it was for “revenge”, the CPS took nearly two years to clear Mr Faulkner.

Incredibly, police then took a further two months to let him know that he had been cleared of all charges.

Speaking today, he told The Sun Online: “I’d shown them the evidence, I’d shown them the texts and shown how I was innocent.

“But instead they destroy my life, I lose my job and now I realise that they even knew I was innocent but could not be bothered to tell me.”’

The revelation is the latest disturbing example of how the police handle rape cases, after a damning report published yesterday saw nearly 50 collapse over withheld evidence.

Mr Faulkner lost his £100,000-a-year job ($175,000) after being branded a “reputational risk” by bosses when four cops raided his home and arrested him on suspicion of assault, actual bodily harm, sexual assault and coercive control in August 2016.

He remained on bail without charge and Hertfordshire Police officers informed him, after 70 weeks on December 21 2017, that he’d been cleared of rape.

But it was not until February this year — just after we revealed his story — that police informed him he’d been cleared of all charges levelled against him.

After making a request under data protection laws to access information the cops held about him, Mr Faulkner discovered shocking internal memos which showed how he had not been informed for more than 2 months, after the CPS cleared him in November.

He told The Sun Online how he’d been preparing his suicide for New Year’s Day, as the false allegations hanging over him for more than 70 weeks took their toll.

“I also find out in these memos that they are referring to me as an ‘offender’. Like I’m guilty when I’m not,” he added.

“The only way that I feel my case can be described is abuse — I feel abused by Hertfordshire Police.”

Mr Faulkner has also shared phone recordings with The Sun Online in which he can be heard telling an officer the length he’d been on police bail without charge as he sought an update on his case.

The officer can be heard gasping, and says: “Oh God”.

A spokesman for Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “Mr Faulkner has made an official complaint to Hertfordshire Constabulary and while this is being reviewed it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

Yesterday it was revealed that fifty rape cases collapsed in just two months after an urgent review discovered key evidence was kept secret from defence lawyers.

Prosecutors launched the inquiry after a number of high profile trials fell apart because evidence emerged which cleared the names of men accused of rape.

After reviewing every single ongoing rape case, they stopped 47 where the facts hadn’t been disclosed properly.

In each of those cases, the defendants should have been told earlier that police had found evidence which suggested they were not guilty.

Chief prosecutor Alison Saunders yesterday apologised to those affected by the evidence blunders.

She said: “Getting disclosure right is a fundamental part of a fair criminal justice system. Our analysis shows that in the vast majority of cases we are doing that.

“But there are cases where we are falling short, and that is unacceptable.

“I recognise the huge impact on individuals involved, and deeply regret every case where mistakes have been made.”


'This is DEEPLY offensive!' Twitter users voice their horror over Google's new 'inclusive' salad emoji, after designers revealed they removed the egg to make it vegan-friendly

It seems a storm in a teacup to me. I never put eggs in my salad anyway.  Danish Feta cheese and avocado are my trademarks.  And I don't care a fig what others put in their salad

An emoji designer has revealed that Google removed the egg from it's salad symbol in order to be more inclusive towards vegans.

Jennifer Daniel, a Google UX Manager at Expression design team, informed social media about changes to the company's symbols, including the addition of red-headed characters.

But one change has the public in an uproar after Jennifer revealed the new salad emoji would no longer include an egg.

Not woke: Another person pointed out that the salad now excludes everyone who is not vegan

'There's big talk about inclusion and diversity at Google so if you need any evidence of Google is making this priority may I direct your attention to the (salad) emoji— we've removed the egg in Android P beta 2, making this a more inclusive vegan salad,' she wrote on Twitter.

Commenters who responded to the tweet were confused if Jennifer was trying to be funny or if that was the actual reason for removing the egg.

'Serious question: is this in earnest or intentionally ironic parody?' One person asked after the tweet was posted.

But mostly everyone was surprised that this is what one company is focusing on in terms of inclusion.

One person wrote: '1960: "In 2018 we'll have flying cars and travel across space!" 2018: "We removed an egg from an emoji because it hurt someones feelings."'

A consistent point to the change that people made was that by excluding the egg, it also excluded most people who did not participate in veganism.

'Why don't you make a salad for every preference instead of this hateful exclusion of everyone who isn't vegan?' One angry commenter wrote. 


Julian Burnside QC shows the usual Leftist myopia to Australia's refugee problem

I am almost certainly wasting my time in putting up any reply to anything a Leftist says and Burnside's track record makes that particularly so in his instance.  But I have 15 minutes to spare so I will proceed:

Burnside criticizes the way Austreali treats "boat people", people who thought that they could crash their way into Australian residence by exploiting the reluctance of Australians to treat anyone in poor circumstances harshly.  And Labour party governments under Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard did treat boat people considerately. 

But that treatment simply meant more and more rickety boats ending up on Australian shores.  And Australians didn't like that.  Polls showed that a big majority wanted the flow to stop and even  for existing arrivals to be sent back.  Australia accepts vetted refugees and others in huge numbers every year at great stress to our infrastructure so it is hardly unreasonable to reject another big inflow of unvetted arrivals.

And Tony Abbott got a big electoral endorsement to stop the boats coming and proceeded to do so.  But he achieved that in the only way that would work:  By being tough on boat peole.  He was assisted in that by a declaration from Leftist leader Kevin Rudd in the dying days of his regime that no boat people ever would be given Australian residence.

But what to do with the boat people already coming under Australian jurisdiction?  To give them Australian residence or any comfortable life would simply restart the flow.  So a residue of boat people is deliberatey treated restrictively as a warning to others.  It is that harshness which Burnside criticizes.  And Burnside omits that Australia has an open offer to all of them to fly them back to their home country.  Very few have taken that option.  So they are in a limbo of their own making.  They have food and accommodation at the Australian taxpayer's expense so it is not surprising that they do not want to go back

At this point Burnside will righteously explode that they risk their lives if they go back.  They do not.  They all had refuge  the minute they crossed their country's borders -- mostly into  Pakistan.  And many are still in Pakistan. But a minority of rich ones decided that life in Pakistan was too harsh for them so boarded airliners to take them thoudsands of miles to places in Indonesia where they could hop onto the pity boats.  They are simply economic migrants, not refugees.  They could go back to Pakistan if they really wanted to but they prefer the "harsh" treatment that Australia offers. 

So Burnside is just virtue signalling.  He does not address the situation that the Australian government has been forced into.

The irony is that, being affluent citizens of their home countries, many of the boat people could probably have qualified in time to come to Australia as legitimate immigrants.  They were just arrogant and impatient. We are better off without them

The top politicians in this country are guilty of major criminal offences, but they are unlikely ever to be tried for them, says lawyer Julian Burnside.

“I think it’s pretty clear that Australian prime ministers and immigration ministers are guilty of criminal offences against our own law,” says the Melbourne-based QC. “The problem is that no one can bring a prosecution for those offences without the approval of the Attorney General. Take a lucky guess what the Attorney General would say.”

In a new documentary, Australian human rights barrister Julian Burnside examines the harsh treatment of refugees around the world by western democracies.

The offences he has in mind involve the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers – deliberate and unnecessary cruelty that amounts, he argues in the documentary Border Politics, to torture.

Since 2002, Australia has been a signature member of the International Criminal Court, and as a result, he explains, “there is a series of offences [in Australian law] that mirror the offences over which the ICC has jurisdiction.”

It was compulsory for Australia to introduce those laws, and some were well overdue. “Until then, believe it or not, genocide was not an offence under Australian criminal law,” he says. “But it is now.”

In Border Politics, which is getting a limited release nationally, Burnside – who says he does not enjoy travel – roams the world to see how our treatment of asylum seekers stacks up. The short answer: terribly.

“The way we are seen overseas is really worrying,” he says. “It’s vaguely embarrassing to be in another country and disclose that you’re Australian. It’s like, I guess, being in another country and disclosing you’re American, because of Trump.”

He traces the root of this systematic abuse of people we are obliged take in (under a raft of international conventions but most crucially the UN Convention on Human Rights) to 9/11.

Genuine tragedy though it was, it has been ruthlessly exploited ever since by politicians on both sides of the divide to whip up anti-refugee hysteria, and to depict those seeking asylum as somehow inherently criminal.

Under the laws to which Australia is a signatory, they are not. But, arguably, our political leaders are.

But surely the politicians would say they are only reflecting the will of the people they serve?

“That’s right,” he says. “That’s the Jim Hacker approach to leading the country, when he said in Yes, Prime Minister, ‘I’m their leader, I must follow them’. And that is exactly what we’ve seen in recent years in Australia.

“Since the Tampa episode the Coalition has repeatedly called boat people ‘illegal’ even though they don’t commit an offence [in coming here as refugees by boat], and they call the exercise of pushing them away ‘border protection’. So I think the majority of the public think that we are being protected from criminals, which, if it was true, would make sense. But it’s false. The public has been persuaded to go along with dreadful mistreatment of people who are innocent and who are, almost all of them, genuine refugees.

“I think that’s terrible. Deceiving the country into doing very bad things to innocent people is something this country shouldn’t do. And it’s absolutely meaningless to try and find out what the public think about it because the ‘it’ is something about which they have been misled for so long.”

Border Politics debuted at last month's Human Rights and Arts Film Festival, where it preached to the converted. But, Burnside readily admits, the ideal audience as it plays more broadly is something else entirely.

“People who disagree with me,” he says. “I’ll be doing some Q&A sessions after screenings and I reckon people who disagree with me should come along and challenge my views. If they’re so confident that it’s right to mistreat innocent people, let them come along and explain why and challenge me.

“Unless you’re someone who thinks mistreatment of innocent people is OK, I think the case for proper treatment of boat people is overwhelmingly strong,” he adds. “And I’m perfectly happy to be challenged on that.”



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

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

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


8 June, 2018

Moral Relativism Led to Violent Society — How to Turn the Tide

Ideas have consequences, and the morally bankrupt theory of moral relativism has done damage.

Some pose that one of our core societal problems is “gun violence.” Yet violence is not the problem, but rather the consequence of the problem.

The actual problem exists in a false idea called “moral relativism,” which basically means that morals and values vary between individuals. This philosophy posits that each person must find his or her (or zim or zir) “own truth” that may differ from everyone else’s. Unchangeable “truth” becomes irrelevant, replaced instead with ever-changing “feelings.”

Yet when we become the sole arbiters of what is just and good, personal pleasure and success (often gained at the expense of other people) remains as life’s core goal. Living for success and pleasure, however, breeds a society of selfishness and narcissism.

In our culture, this narcissism has been leveraged, in a large way, by social media that rewards “likes” and quantifies a person’s popularity by displaying statistics of how many friends a person has. Thus, we compete with ourselves and others to be the most liked, most successful person in our circle of connections. And because right and wrong are mostly irrelevant, we pursue self-fulfillment in any way that seems “right” to us, regardless of whether it is actually moral. When someone questions what we have concluded to be “right” for us, we become an offended victim.

Unfortunately, moral relativism, in which we make our own rules and become victims if we can’t have our way, has infiltrated every area of society, including our education system, the discipline of psychology and our legal system. No longer is it, “You killed someone. Go to prison.” It is, “You killed someone because you were a victim of bullying.” But should appeals to victimhood absolve a person of capital murder?

The title of Richard Weaver’s 1948 book says it best: Ideas Have Consequences. And the idea of moral relativism has certainly had its consequences. As Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky said, “Without God, all things are permitted.” All things including, of course, violence and murder.

What did post-modernists think would result from teaching children that they were random results of meaningless primordial sludge and that everyone else is as meaningless as they are? Why are we surprised with the violence of our society, which gives the strong power over the weak, when we have modeled that with the legalization of abortion? Or why did we assume that allowing children to watch Hollywood’s glamorized violence, murder and killings would have no effect? Or that videogames that reward players for killing people would somehow produce virtue? Does good fruit ever come from a bad plant?

The Supreme Court first removed prayer (1962) and the Bible (1963) from public schools in order to be “neutral.” In reality, these rulings made morals irrelevant to the education process. But would a world where children are taught, “Do not murder,” “Do not steal” or “Honor your parents” be such a horrible place? Wouldn’t society (regardless of religious affiliation, or non-affiliation) benefit from such educational instruction?

This leads to the chief question, “What is education?” Is education merely the memorization of facts and figures or is education, at its core, the formation of character, of discipline, of honesty and of treating people with kindness and equity?

The Supreme Court decisions from the 1960s not only removed God from the educational process but separated being (who we are) from doing (what we do). As a result, education has become less about the formation of character and more about producing “results.” Yet human beings are comprised of both body and soul, of being and doing. Re-envisioning the education process as a place that teaches virtue and forms character and returning society to a place that affirms rather than derides values stands as the first step to reviving our culture from violence. Keep Faith in America, a growing movement across our country, has begun to take this step toward a virtuous society by communicating that prayer and faith act as the foundation of our country.

Several states are also standing for values. Recently, Arizona’s legislature passed a bill promoting our nation’s motto “In God We Trust” as well as Arizona’s motto, “God Enriches.” The Arizona bill also emphasizes public display of the Constitution and founding documents. Tennessee also passed a similar bill that promotes “In God We Trust” to be displayed in public schools. Alabama followed with a bill that allows “In God We Trust” to be displayed on public buildings. The Alabama legislature also proposed a bill for the public display of the Ten Commandments. Yesterday, the Louisiana governor signed a bill into law requiring public schools to display “In God We Trust.”

These bills and laws are welcome ones, but true, lasting change won’t happen from the top down. The grassroots must lead.

Ideas have consequences, and the morally bankrupt theory of moral relativism has yielded huge problems for our culture and our society. Growing movements among the people and in state legislatures that acknowledge a moral order will help us return to a moral society, a civil society and one in which we can honor one another.


After Collecting $16 Million in Grants From Housing Department in Obama Era, Liberal Group Sues Agency Now

A liberal advocacy group that has received more than $16 million in federal grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development is now suing the agency after HUD Secretary Ben Carson last month scaled back a regulation it supports.

HUD has given the liberal National Fair Housing Alliance $16.1 million in grants since 2009, according to USAspending.gov, which tracks federal grants and contracts. Under the Trump administration, the organization has received just one grant—$300,000 in March.

“NFHA was awarded roughly $16 million in grants from [fiscal 2009 to fiscal 2016],” Jessica Aiwuyor, associate director of communications for the organization, told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement, insisting that none of it is being used to file its legal action. “NFHA has used zero HUD funds to bring this lawsuit. NFHA uses zero federal dollars to conduct lobbying. We do not have a separate arm for advocacy or lobbying.”

She said that 55 percent of Fair Housing Initiatives Program dollars that HUD has given the group “were passed through to other organizations to fight illegal housing discrimination and educate the public about fair housing laws.”

Federal law prohibits using grants from the Fair Housing Initiatives Program for funding lawsuits against the federal government. The program provides federal funding to fair housing groups and other nonprofits that assist people who claim to be victims of housing discrimination.

A senior HUD official said agency grants are awarded on a competitive basis, and political or litigious activities of a group cannot be considered for grants.

The legal clash stems from a HUD announcement in May that it would be doing away with a computer tool that was key to an Obama administration regulation known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.

The Obama-era rule was finalized in July 2015. The centerpiece of the rule was a computerized assessment tool that was touted as making it easier to identify housing discrimination.

The rule would have required local governments to use the tool to determine exactly what type of housing disparities residents face, and report that back to HUD. If the local community didn’t provide a plan to fix the problem with new zoning rules, it stood to lose out on HUD funding.

According to HUD, the Local Government Assessment Tool was “confusing, difficult to use, and frequently produced unacceptable assessments.”

“We believe in furthering fair housing choice in our neighborhoods, but we have to help, not hinder, those who have to put our rules into practice,” Anna Maria Farias, HUD assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity, said in a statement after the announcement. “We must make certain that our tools can facilitate the goals we all share—to build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.”

Any local government that hasn’t yet submitted an assessment of fair housing is still legally obligated to present a plan to HUD, and the department will be offering technical assistance to local jurisdictions.

In the Federal Register, HUD stated it spent more than $3.5 million assisting local governments in working with the tool.

“HUD is withdrawing the Tool to produce a more effective and less burdensome Assessment Tool,” the notice reads. “These improvements to the Tool will make it more effective in assisting program participants with the creation of meaningful assessments with impactful fair-housing goals to help them plan to fulfill their legal obligation to affirmatively further fair housing.”

The HUD rollback of the rule has been in the works since January.

The National Fair Housing Alliance announced the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., days before the formal HUD announcement. Two other nonprofit advocacy groups, Texas Appleseed and the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service, are also plaintiffs in the litigation. They are asking the court to require HUD to enforce the entire rule.

The complaint claims HUD unlawfully suspended the requirement, effectively removing civil rights oversight of as much as $5.5 billion per year through 2024 or later for almost 1,000 local jurisdictions.

“For [30] years, NFHA has promoted the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing requirement of the Fair Housing Act. We have advocated to HUD to release an effective AFFH Rule; educated jurisdictions, fair housing groups, and community-based organizations about the AFFH requirements; and implemented programs designed to further fair housing,” said Lisa Rice, of the National Fair Housing Alliance, in a public statement.

“Each day HUD holds up requiring jurisdictions to fully comply with the law is another day that millions of people are being denied fair housing opportunities. HUD’s action is a clear example of ‘justice delayed, justice denied,’” Rice said.

Judicial Watch, a conservative government-watchdog group, in a post called it “an amusing—and unbelievable—story” that HUD is bankrolling an organization that is suing it. Judicial Watch criticized the Obama-era program.

“[Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing] also requires federal and local governments to spend tens of millions of dollars annually gathering statistics on racial and ethnic concentrations in America’s neighborhoods,” the Judicial Watch post says.

The group said the lawsuit was brought by “a group of leftist organizations.”

The National Fair Housing Alliance is engaged in significant public policy advocacy. It tracks the federal budget advocating increased investigations of housing discrimination complaints, and advocates expanding the Fair Housing Act to protect gay, lesbian, and transgender people.

Currently, the 1968 law outlaws discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, familial status, and disability. It does not address sexual orientation and gender identity.

Judicial Watch also noted that liberal billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations gave the organization $475,000 in 2016.

Deidre Swesnik, a program officer with the Equality Fund of the Open Society Foundations’ U.S. programs, confirmed the $475,000 donation.

“There is ample research showing racial discrimination by ZIP code in this country,” Swesnik told The Daily Signal. “Like the majority of Americans, the Open Society Foundations believe people should be able to live where they want without being barred because of their race.

“HUD has important responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act to make sure that its program and those of the cities, counties, and states that it funds advance fair housing. We support the National Fair Housing Alliance work and the work of other organizations to combat housing discrimination wherever it occurs,” she said.


Another fase rape claim

They don't exist, according to feminists

Rape or sexual assault: what do I do now? “MY friends are waiting for me outside, let me go outside.”

Those are the words of teenager Nikki Yovino when describing what allegedly happened inside a bathroom at an off-campus house party.

Yovino, 19, has been jailed for one year after claiming two university football students raped her, allegedly holding her down and taking turns assaulting her.

She pleaded guilty to the charges and accepted a plea deal after previously denying she had made up the claims.

The claims lead to the boys’ suspension from their football team where they also had their scholarships revoked.

The allegations were later cleared when the former student admitted to making up the claims against the two Connecticut university athletes in a bid to gain sympathy from another man — a prospective boyfriend, according to the New York Post.

“She admitted that she made up the allegation of sexual assault because it was the first thing that came to mind and she didn’t want to lose (another male student) as a friend and potential boyfriend,” the affidavit revealed.

“She stated that she believed when (the other male student) heard the allegation it would make him angry and sympathetic to her.”

Yovino was a student at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield when police say she reported being raped by two Sacred Heart football players at an off-campus party in Bridgeport in October 2016.

Authorities say she later admitted that she had consensual sex with the players and told them her motive. She was charged with evidence tampering, a felony, and falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanour.

The teenager was charged with second-degree falsely reporting an incident and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence on Tuesday.

She was sent to jail after pleading guilty to the charges and will now serve a reduced sentence of one year in prison. She had been facing six but reportedly accepted a plea deal.

Yovino — who had since left the private university — had been defending her rape accusations since February 2017, when she was first charged by Bridgeport Police.

She claimed that the assaults happened inside of a bathroom at an off-campus house party. “I don’t want to be in here, I don’t want to do anything,” Yovino recounted telling the men during police interviews.

She claimed that the bathroom was in the basement, and that the individuals held her down and took turns assaulting her. “My friends are waiting for me outside, let me go outside,” Yovino recalled saying.

Police claimed in the arrest affidavit that Yovino filed rape charges against the two football players in October 2016 — and then recanted her story three months later.

While both men admitted to sleeping with her, they claimed that the sex was completely consensual.

Their lawyer, Frank Riccio II, told the Connecticut Post yesterday that they are now thinking about suing Yovino for all the trouble she put them through. “Her actions have seriously affected them,” he said.

“They’re no longer in school. The loss of their education and the college experience has certainly affected them greatly. And this is all because of a very serious lie.

“While this disposition does not replace that which the boys lost, it does send a powerful message that lying about a serious incident carries serious consequences.”

He told reporters on Monday that Yovino’s actions had “seriously affected” the former athletes.


In what should be a surprise to no one these days, the Mr Men books are now sexist

It is nasty. But not in a good way. It contravenes the value of respect.

So upon contact with Mr Tickle, please find a safe space and immediately dial your nearest Human Rights branch on the emergency line.

Because he is sexist. Can’t you just that sexism oozing? Actually, I can’t either. But someone else can. Madeleine Pownall to be precise.

She goes to the University of Lincoln and has made a living counting the number of words that each of the Mr Men say and comparing them with the syllables uttered by the Little Miss characters.

And that is how we know that the image above is sexist.

Mr Tickle’s likely to have been given eight more words than Little Miss Bossy, which would probably mean that she’s not so bossy after all. But it does mean, apparently, that the bloke who wrote the books hates women.

At this point, I will remind you that the entire anti-discrimination industry is made up of depressing people who don’t like jokes, as I wrote here last week.

Somehow we’ve ‘progressed’ to the point where these sad sacks control pretty much the smallest details of our lives and even who we can boo at the footy.

And now kids, who have been deprived of Biggles and Enid Blyton because someone somewhere is offended, are to be deprived of Mr Nosey because Little Miss Sunshine should not need saving.

The good news is that I am reliably informed that carrying around an image of Mr Tickle will ward off femo-nazis. You never know when they may strike, so keep one on you at all times.



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

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

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


7 June, 2018

Could an overweight woman with a facial deformityr and wearing a boiler suit win the Miss America competition?

Under the new politically correct rules it seems she could.  It won't happen, of course, but the recently proclaimed irrelevance of appearances should make it possible.  The real rules however will be covert and nobody will admit what they are.  The rejection of appearances as important is pure hypocrisy designed to placate feminist madwomen.

The fact of the matter is that both men and women like looking at attractive female bodies and if that is taken away the competition will die from lack of interest and some other competition will arise to replace it.  To the extent that the new rules are enforced the current management have simply destroyed their brand and their livelihood

Report of a TV discussion of the matter below

Karl Stefanovic has defended bikini-clad beauty pageants, after Miss America announced it was scrapping the swimsuit competition.

During a Today show segment on Wednesday, the 43-year-old said it was up to the female contestants whether they want to wear bikinis onstage. 'If a woman chooses to be in a bikini pageant, isn't that her choice?' he said.

Karl's female panellists, including his sister-in-law Sylvia Jeffreys, seemed to take a slightly different approach.

While she agreed it was 'absolutely' a woman's choice, Sylvia claimed that dropping the bikini competition was 'a step in the right direction'. She added: 'But, if they are not being judged on appearance, the entire concept of a beauty pageant should be thrown out altogether.'

Co-host Georgia Gardner also said: 'I find them outdated. However, there are plenty of people who love them and see them as a mark of success.'

Earlier this week, Gretchen Carlson, the new head of Miss America's board of directors, revealed that the competition will no longer judge women based on their physical appearance. 'We are no longer a pageant,' Gretchen told Good Morning America on Tuesday. 'We are a competition.'

The decision came months after internal emails revealed former CEO Sam Haskell and board members frequently demeaned the physical appearance, intellect, and personal lives of former pageant winners, including Gretchen.

Gretchen, 51, was named chairwoman of the Miss America Organization just days after Sam Haskell resigned in January. Now, she hopes to usher in a new era for Miss America, revealing that the bikini and evening gown rounds will be cut from the competition.

Instead, contestants will be asked to wear any attire that makes them feel confident, expresses their personal style, and shows how they will advance the role of Miss America.

'We've heard from a lot of young woman who say, "We'd love to be a part of your program but we don't want to be out there in high heels and a swimsuit"', Gretchen said. 'So guess what, you don't have to do that anymore.

'Who doesn't want to be empowered, learn leadership skills, and pay for college and be able to show the world who you are as a person from inside of your soul? 'That's what we're judging them on now... We want more women to know they are welcome in this organisation.'

The swimsuit competition will be replaced with an interactive session with the judges, in which the women will be asked to demonstrate their 'passion, intelligence, and overall understanding of the job of Miss America'.

'It's going to be what comes out of their mouths we're interested in when they talk about their social impact initiatives,' Gretchen said.


Starbucks Quietly Walks Back "Homeless Shelter" Bathroom Policy

Starbucks has quietly walked back their "all inclusive" bathroom policy, perhaps after realizing that their employees and customers alike weren't responding well to the prospect of vagrants using their stores as a homeless shelter.

As part of their new "Third Place Policy" which the company shuttered 8,000 stores to pound into employees heads on Tuesday, Starbucks says "We want our stores to be the third place, a warm and welcoming environment where customers can gather and connect. Any customer is welcome to use Starbucks spaces, including our restrooms, cafes and patios, regardless of whether they make a purchase."

Ok - so far so good for homeless people looking to catch some free air conditioning this summer or simply drop that massive cabbage dump that's been brewing.

But wait - what's this? Starbucks' new Third Place Policy also reads:

When using a Starbucks space, we respectfully request that customers behave in a manner that maintains a warm and welcoming environment by:

Using spaces as intended

Being considerate of others

Communicating with respect

Acting responsibly

Uh oh, this isn't looking good for those looking to take a sink-bath while breathing in freshly brewed coffee...

On occasion, the circumstances of a customer’s disruptive behavior may make it necessary to prohibit that customer from returning to our stores.

Excuse us?

In these situations, Starbucks partners should follow “Requesting A Customer Restriction” procedure for U.S. company-operated stores.

Starbucks Executive Vice President Rossann Williams gave an example of how an employee should approach a "disruptive" customer using foul language:

“You are in our store every day, and we love that this is your third place, but from one human to another human, the language that you are using is making other customers uncomfortable. So either you have to change your behavior, and stay and be a part of our third place, or I’m going to have to ask you to leave, and you can come back at a later time, when you feel like you can be a part of our third place. And in fact if you want to go have a seat, I’ll bring you over a cup of water, just to make sure that it’s a great rest of your day."

Not so inclusive now, are we Starbucks? Sure, the marginally diverse group of well dressed customers pictured below might be able to enjoy using the facilities at Starbucks, but what about the differently housed? What constitutes a "disruption?"

The new 68-page employee guidebook and over a dozen videos shown during the Tuesday training session included racial bias training, with much of the coffee seller's new ethos focused on teaching employees to be "color brave" - reminding everyone that institutional racism permeates society.

“Here’s my belief: Growing up, there was a term called ‘color blind,’ which described a learning behavior of pretending not to notice race — that doesn’t even make sense,” said CEO Kevin Johnson. “So today we are starting a new journey, talking about race directly — what my friend and Starbucks board member Mellody Hobson calls being ‘color brave.’”

The training also focuses on prejudices in public spaces, complete with a documentary which focuses on the history of prejudice. Employees were given little notebooks to record their "private thoughts," and were instructed to keep a diary about how they feel about such things as "what makes me, me? And you, you?" and "In your life, where do you feel a sense of belonging?"

All this because one manager at a Philadelphia Starbucks called the cops on two black men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, who were waiting for a friend without having ordered anything.


Google Steers Clear of War Tech. Here's Where They're Wrong

The original slogan of Google was “Don’t be evil.” When Google changed its corporate name to Alphabet in 2015, it changed the slogan to “Do the right thing.”

If it were to be true to its values, Google should have changed its slogan from “Don’t be evil” to “Don’t fight evil.”

Here is The New York Times report from this past Friday:

Google, hoping to head off a rebellion by employees upset that the technology they were working on could be used for lethal purposes, will not renew a contract with the Pentagon for artificial intelligence work …

Google’s work with the Defense Department on the Maven program, which uses artificial intelligence to interpret video images and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes, roiled the internet giant’s workforce. Many of the company’s top A.I. researchers, in particular, worried that the contract was the first step toward using the nascent technology in advanced weapons. …

About 4,000 Google employees signed a petition demanding ‘a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology.’

CBS News reported that the petition also said, “We believe that Google should not be in the business of war.”

In other words, to the heads of Google and thousands of its elite employees, it is immoral to aid in the defense of their country, and all war is immoral.

Google and these 4,000 employees embody two terrible traits: moral idiocy and ingratitude.

Moral idiocy is the ability to be brilliant in any area of life except the single most important area of life, morality. With regard to morality, such people are fools.

The United States has been the greatest force for liberty and goodness in world history. It has been so by modeling a free society and through the power of the idea of freedom, and even more so by force—brute physical force.

Through force of arms, America and its allies defeated Germany in World War I and World War II. Through force of arms, America imposed democracy and liberty on West Germany and led to the dissolution of East Germany. Through force of arms, the Holocaust—the genocide of Europe’s Jews and millions of others in Nazi concentration and death camps—ended.

If Google existed then, would its employees have demanded Google “not be in the business of war”?

Through force of arms, America was able to impose democracy and liberty on Japan. Through force of arms, America liberated Asian countries from the Nazi-like Japanese imperialists.

Through force of arms, America enabled the majority of Koreans to live free rather than under the most totalitarian regime in modern history, North Korea.

Through force of arms, Israel has survived 70 years of Arab, and now Iranian, attempts to annihilate it. Arms ended the Holocaust in Europe, and arms prevent a second Holocaust of Jews in the Middle East.

Only a moral idiot does not understand the moral necessity of weapons of war being in the hands of decent countries.

Which brings us to the second trait of Google and its employees: ingratitude.

Google and its employees live better than almost any human beings in the world. They do so because they live in the freest and most opportunity-giving country in the world, the United States of America.

That Google and its employees refuse to work on the military defense of their country is an expression of ingratitude (not to mention absence of patriotism) that is simply breathtaking.

How did we produce such foolish and ungrateful people?

They are the products of left-wing education and the left-wing media, and of living in the left-wing cocoon of Northern California and its tech industry.

Google should be true to its convictions and change just one word of its original slogan from “Don’t be evil” to “Don’t fight evil.”


Pro-Life Organization Alleges That Planned Parenthood Covers Up Child Sex Abuse

Live Action notes in its report that Planned Parenthood receives about $60 million a year from taxpayers and is the country’s largest recipient of federal Title X family planning funds. Title X is a federal grant program for preventive and family planning health services. (Photo: Tracy Barbutes/ZUMA Press/Newscom)
A national pro-life and human rights organization alleges in a newly released report that Planned Parenthood covers up for child sex abuse.

“Despite Planned Parenthood’s public rhetoric as well as laws requiring it to report suspected abuse, its failure to report has been deliberate and widespread,” Lila Rose, president and founder of Live Action, the organization that released the report, said Wednesday in a statement.

Time and again, rather than reporting abuse to authorities, Planned Parenthood has repeatedly looked the other way and performed abortions on victims as young as 12 years old. These girls deserved advocacy but instead Planned Parenthood staff ignored their abuse and returned them to the waiting arms of their abusers.

The report, “Aiding Abusers: Planned Parenthood’s Cover-Up of Child Sexual Abuse” was released Wednesday and alleges that Planned Parenthood has been caught on multiple occasions providing abortions to victims of sexual abuse who are as young as 12 and 13 years old, failing to report suspected sexual abuse to authorities, and sending victims back to their abusers.

The report names multiple minors who were allegedly forced by abusers to get an abortion because they had become pregnant after rape and sexual abuse but says that the abortion giant looked the other way in these cases.

Live Action notes in its report that Planned Parenthood receives about $60 million a year from taxpayers and is the country’s largest recipient of federal Title X family planning funds. Title X is a federal grant program for preventive and family planning health services.

“This report only represents a sampling of the cases that have occurred at Planned Parenthood over the years,” Live Action noted in its report, adding:

Moreover, these are cases that have only come to the attention of authorities because a parent, a friend, or a victim herself came forward. Because many cases of sexual abuse are never reported, no one knows how many victims are actually still suffering at the hands of their abusers.

The Daily Signal requested comment from Planned Parenthood, but the organization did not respond by publication deadline.

Rose said she hopes the report will gain attention from those who have supported the “Time’s Up” and “Me Too” movements, which have sought to call out perpetrators of sexual abuse.

“Live Action is releasing this report as the Time’s Up movement is exposing both sexual abusers and those who help them cover up their crimes—the people who knew about the abuse but stayed silent,” Rose said. “While Planned Parenthood has attached itself to the Time’s Up movement, the movement should be calling out Planned Parenthood for decades of enabling sexual abusers.”



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

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

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


6 June, 2018

Is America's Racial Divide Permanent?

Pat Buchanan, who writes below, has had a very long involvement in American politics so he knows where the bodies are buried. His interest in history makes him a formidable commentator. So his comments below on how wide and how acrimonious race differences have become in America cannot be lightly dismissed. I want to add some commentary on the reality he sets out.

Particularly since the advent of Obama, black/white relationships have become very bad. Seldom have hopes of a president been so badly disappointed as were the hopes that Obama would be a racial healer. Just about everything he did and said that had a bearing on black/white relationships made things worse rather than better. Obama regularly took the side of blacks in disputes with the police when mere caution should have told him that judgments should wait until all the evidence was in. He referred to black thug Trayvon Martin, for instance, by saying that ‘If I Had a Son, He Would Look Like Trayvon’. So the great hope of racial healing in America was lost.

But the big question is: "Why"? Other populations in America that look different, such as the Chinese and the Indians, do brilliantly well for themselves and fit seamlessly into the best strains of American life. They bother nobody and nobody bothers them.

The Left have no answers other than their constant empty-headed and parrot-like cry of "racism". They blame anybody and anything for black failure other than blacks themselves. Buchanan is wise enough not to challenge that directly. To challenge it would invite a wearisome torrent of Leftist hate down on his head. Challenging Leftist pieties makes you an enemy not only of the Leftist establishment but also of Leftist young people as well. The consequences can be serious. Only Mr Trump seems to sail on unruffled by all the Leftist abuse and accusations that are hurled at him.  No wonder they hate him

So Buchanan's comment on the causes of the racial divide consist only of his final sentence: "Is white America really black America's biggest problem?". His answer clearly is that blacks themselves are their own main enemy.

But that does not go far towards answering why. What could be the problem is however as plain as the nose on your face: Blacks just cannot perform well in any problem that white society normally encounters. They just cannot do well most things that normal Western society puts before them. Their educational performance is dismal and their success at just about anything other than a few physical tasks is rare. The only way many of them can make money is through crime. They are just not fit for a good life in a modern society.

And that is true of blacks worldwide. In other countries -- such as Britain -- and in Africa itself, they live at a very low level in just about anything that matters. It is clear that they are genetically disadvantaged. America's Leftist educators have turned themselves inside out trying to find something that will bring average black educational achievement up to general community standards but the gap remains profound. Most blacks just cannot do the tasks set before them in the classsroom so they act disruptively and often drop out entirely.

So what is to be done? -- as Lenin famously asked in 1901. The first thing is to stop telling lies. Stop pretending that blacks can perform in ways that they cannot. Affirmative action is based on a myth of black equality and therefore hinders rather than helps. Blacks CAN be fitted into productive society. Most do have jobs, if generally rather low level jobs. Without equality mythology standing in the way, the black rate of unemployment could fall to the same level as in the community in general. And without the impossible expectations of them that Leftists have generated, they would surely be less hostile to a  community that accepts them as they are.

For Roseanne Barr, star of ABC's hit show "Roseanne," there would be no appeal. When her tweet hit, she was gone.

"Roseanne's Twitter statement, is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show," declaimed Channing Dungey, the black president of ABC Entertainment.

Targeting Valerie Jarrett, a confidante and aide of President Barack Obama, Roseanne had tweeted: If the "muslim brotherhood & the planet of the apes had a baby=vj."

Offensive, juvenile, crude, but was that not pretty much the job description ABC had in mind for the role of Roseanne in the show?

Roseanne also tweeted that George Soros, 87-year-old radical-liberal billionaire, had been a Nazi "who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps and stole their wealth."

The Soros slur seems far more savage than the dumb racial joke about Jarrett, but it was the latter that got Roseanne canned.

Her firing came the same day that 175,000 employees of 8,000 Starbucks's stores were undergoing four hours of instruction to heighten their racial sensitivities.

These training sessions, said The Washington Post, "marked the start of Starbucks' years-long commitment to new diversity and sensitivity programs after two African-Americans were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks on April 12."

The Philly Starbucks manager, a woman, had called the cops when the two black men she took to be loiterers refused to leave.

Rachel Siegel of the Post describes the four-hour session:

"At first the employees are prompted to find differences. They watched a video in which (Starbucks head) Howard Schultz talks about his vision for a more inclusive company and country. They reflected what a place of belonging means to them. And they examine their own biases.

"Each group viewed a documentary underwritten by Starbucks and directed by Stanley Nelson. In the film people of color talk about experiences of being followed in stores. Footage from the civil rights movement quickly progresses to 21st-century cellphone videos capturing people being dragged off a plane, threatened in a New York deli and choked at a North Carolina Waffle House."

On reading this, the terms "Orwellian" and "re-education camp" come to mind.

Earlier in May, the NFL issued a rule saying players who refuse to stand for the national anthem must remain in the locker room. If they take a knee on the field this coming season, they can be punished and the team fined.

Great was the outrage when this ruling came. The First Amendment rights of black players were being brutally trampled upon.

Yet the NFL has always had restrictions on behavior, from evicting players from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct to curtailing end-zone dances.

What is the common thread that runs through these social clashes from just this last month?

It is race. Each episode fits neatly into the great media narrative of an irredeemably racist America of white oppressors and black victims.

Had it been two white guys hanging out in that Philly Starbucks, who were told by the manager to buy a cup of coffee or get out, the spat would never have become a national story.

These incidents, coming as they do 50 years after the historic advances in civil rights, induce a deep pessimism that this country will ever escape from the endlessly boiling cauldron of racial conflict.

Today, because of cellphone videos, social media, 24-hour cable and the subsequent nationalization of even the most trivial incidents, our national conversation is more suffused than ever with matters of race.

For many, race has become a constant preoccupation.

And in each of these incidents and disputes, the country divides along the familiar fault lines, and the accusations and arguments go on and on until a new incident engenders a new argument.

The America of the 1960s, with its civil rights clashes and "long hot summers," was a far more segregated society than today. Yet the toxic charge of "racist" is far more common now.

And how much do these conversations correspond to the real crisis of black America? Here is a sentence culled from another Post story this week: "Three fatal shootings ...over the Memorial Day weekend brought the (Ward 8 total) to 30 homicides so far this year."

Are white cops really the problem in Ward 8, Anacostia, when 30 people in that black community have been shot or stabbed to death in the first five months of 2018?

Washington, D.C., spends more per student than almost any other school district. Yet the test scores of vast numbers of black kids have already fallen below "proficiency" levels by the time they reach fourth and eighth grade, and the high school truancies have reached scandalous levels.

How does ABC's cashiering of "Roseanne," or apologies to the two guys at Starbucks, or restrictions on the rights of millionaire NFL players to kneel during our national anthem address the real crisis?

Is white America really black America's biggest problem?


Obama Admin Changed FAA Hiring Process To Prioritize Diversity Over Airline Safety

Of all the jobs in America, it’s tough to think of one where quality matters more than keeping the country’s crowded airways running safely.

But thanks to rules implemented by the Obama administration, when it comes to air traffic controllers, the skin color of the candidate applying for the job might matter more than the quality of his work.

And that could be putting the flying public in danger.

As Fox News’ Tucker Carlson reported Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration had for decades relied on a rigorous screening process for potential air traffic controllers that was among the most “selective” for federal employment.

Applicants had to have military service or pass an FAA training program before even being eligible to take a “specially designed exam that tested for relevant job skills,” Carlson reported.

“The system was designed to choose the best, and for decades it worked,” Carlson said.

But then the Obama administration decided it wasn’t working the way liberals wanted it to.

“Activist bureaucrats decided that the pool of air traffic wasn’t diverse enough,” Carlson said. “They never explained why diversity ought to matter in air traffic control, or why it was more important than traditional goals like competence and public safety.”

But still things changed.

The FAA now uses a “biographical questionnaire” to screen applicants, which is apparently intended to increase the number of minorities who qualify for the jobs. What the questionaire scoring system rewards and penalizes is, as Carlson put it, “shocking.”

The questionnaire favors applicants who performed poorly in science class in high school and have not held a job for three years before applying to the FAA, Carlson said. (“Apparently, unemployed people make the best air traffic controllers,” he added. “This is demented, by the way, but it’s real.”)

By contrast, he said, the test does not award high points for actual pilots or those with air traffic control experience.

“This is insane,” Carlson said. “And it’s dangerous. It’s also indefensible.”


Italy: "The Party is Over" for Illegal Migrants

An estimated 700,000 migrants have arrived in Italy during the past five years. — International Organization for Migration (IOM).

"There are not enough homes or jobs for Italians, let alone for half the African continent." — Matteo Salvini, Interior Minister, Italy.

Italy's new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has vowed to cut aid money for migrants and to deport those who illegally are in the country.

"Open doors in Italy for the right people and a one-way ticket out for those who come here to make trouble and think that we will provide for them," Salvini said in the Lombardy region, home to a quarter of the total foreign population in Italy. "One of our top priorities will be deportation."

Salvini, leader of the nationalist League (Lega) party, formed a new coalition government with the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) on June 1. The government's program, outlined in a 39-page action plan, promises to crack down on illegal immigration and to deport up to 500,000 undocumented migrants.

"The party is over for illegal immigrants," Salvini said at a June 2 rally in Vicenza. "They will have to pack their bags, in a polite and calm manner, but they will have to go. Refugees escaping from war are welcome, but all others must leave."

On June 3, Salvini visited Sicily, one of the main landing points in Europe for migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa. He said:

"Enough of Sicily being the refugee camp of Europe. I will not stand by and do nothing while there are landings after landings of migrants. We need deportation centres.

"There are not enough homes or jobs for Italians, let alone for half the African continent. We need to use common sense."

Salvini also accused Tunisian authorities of deliberately sending criminals to Italy:

"Tunisia is a free and democratic country that is not exporting gentlemen but often willingly exports convicts. I will speak to my Tunisian counterpart, it does not seem to me that there are wars, pestilence or famine in Tunisia."

Italy is the main European gateway for migrants arriving by sea: 119,369 arrived by sea in 2017 and 181,436 in 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). An estimated 700,000 migrants have arrived in Italy during the past five years.

Italy has been the main point of entry to Europe since the EU-Turkey migrant deal, signed in March 2016, shut off the route from Turkey to Greece, at one time the preferred point of entry to Europe for migrants from Asia and the Middle East.

In February 2017, Italy signed a migrant deal with Libya to intercept boats and return migrants to Libya. The deal, in which Italy committed to equipping and financing the Libyan coast guard, resulted in a 75% decrease in arrivals during the summer of 2017. Since the beginning of 2018, however, more than 13,000 migrants have arrived in Italy from Libya. Those numbers are expected to increase during the summer as the weather improves.

Meanwhile, Italy deported only 6,514 migrants in 2017, and 5,817 in 2016. The new government has pledged to speed up deportations by converting migrant reception centers into deportation centers. Deportations, however, are expensive and complex.

According to Italian law, for example, at least two agents must escort each deportee in an elaborate operation. The newspaper La Repubblica described a recent deportation operation of 29 Tunisians, who were escorted on an aircraft chartered from Bulgaria by 74 government agents, including doctors, nurses, armed police and unarmed plainclothes officers, at a total cost of €115,000 ($135,000), or €3,965 per deportee.

At this rate, the new government's pledge to deport 500,000 migrants would cost Italian taxpayers nearly €2 billion ($2.3 billion).

The previous government allotted around five billion euros to pay for expenses related to the migrant crisis in 2018: 20% is for rescues at sea; 15% for health care, and 65% for migrant reception centres, which currently host around 200,000 people.

The new government has said that it wants to divert some of the funds allotted for the reception centers to pay for deportations. In addition to the financial costs, Italy faces legal hurdles that make mass deportations nearly impossible.

Article 10, Paragraph 2 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights states:

"No one may be removed, expelled or extradited to a State where there is a serious risk that he or she would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

This law effectively prevents Italy and other EU members from deporting migrants to most countries in the Muslim world.

The new government has also pledged to negotiate more bilateral deportation agreements. Italy currently has deportation agreements with only five countries: Egypt, Gambia, Nigeria, Sudan and Tunisia. Migrants cannot be deported without approval from the states of origin.

Salvini has also said that Italy will reject proposed changes to the Dublin Regulation, a law that requires people seeking refuge within the EU to do so in the first European country they reach. The Dublin Regulation will be the focus of a meeting between the interior ministers of the 28 EU members states in Luxembourg on June 4.

Italy's geographic location means that it has borne disproportionate responsibility for illegal immigration from Africa and the Middle East, but Salvini said that other EU member states are resisting changes that would require them to share the burden: "They want to weigh down the Mediterranean countries, such as Italy, Cyprus, Malta and Spain, giving us thousands of more migrants for a period ten years."

EU law currently requires member states to be financially responsible for migrants arriving in their countries for a period of ten years. Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, want that responsibility to be reduced to eight years, but Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Spain want to lessen it to a maximum of two years.

Meanwhile, pro-EU, pro-mass migration and pro-multiculturalism media outlets have gone into attack mode in an effort to undermine the new Italian government.


Row over 'staggering' failure to pick woman for Bank of England MPC

They tried to stack the decks to find a woman for a Bank of England committee job and still ended up appointing a man on merit. Yet still feminists refuse to acknowledge he might be the person for the job.  No facts or rationale offered for why it was important to choose a woman.  It's just sexist bigotry

The appointment of another male economist to the Bank of England's rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee has drawn fire from the female chairs of two House of Commons committees.

The Business Committee's Rachel Reeves called it "truly staggering", while Nicky Morgan, from the Treasury Committee, said she was "disappointed".

Prof Jonathan Haskel's appointment means there is one woman on the MPC.

The Treasury said the role had been awarded on merit.

The department insisted it was "committed to diversity and encouraging the broadest range of candidates". It had "actively contacted" 44 women and 43 men to apply for the role.

Of those, 19 men and eight women applied and four women and one man were shortlisted. It also pointed out that two of the three people on the interview panel were women.

"The final appointment decision was based on merit," it said.

However, Ms Reeves said: "Eight of the nine-strong Monetary Policy Committee are currently men and it is truly staggering that the Treasury has failed to appoint a woman to this role.

"The fact that four women were shortlisted shows that there are plenty of capable and well qualified women, but yet again the top jobs seem to be reserved for men."

Ms Morgan said: "I am disappointed that the gender balance in the Monetary Policy Committee will not be improved through this appointment.

"While I welcome the fact that four women were shortlisted for this role, it is notable that the only shortlisted male candidate has been chosen."

Prof Haskel, who lectures in economics at Imperial College Business School, will replace Ian McCafferty as one of the four externally appointed members of the MPC for three years from 1 September.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said Prof Haskel's "expertise in productivity and innovation will further sharpen the committee's understanding of the British economy".

His appointment was based on recommendations to the chancellor made by an interview panel comprising Clare Lombardelli and Richard Hughes, from the Treasury, and Dame Kate Barker, a former external member of the MPC.

Sarah Smith, professor of economics at Bristol University, said Prof Haskell was "without doubt an excellent appointment, but this leaves only one woman on the committee".

Economics suffered from "serious under-representation of women at all levels", she added.

"The profession is going to have to think seriously about attracting a more diverse range of people - and projecting a broader image - otherwise it is in danger of being seen as a subject that is by men and for men."

Diane Coyle, professor of economics at Cambridge University, called on the Bank of England to do more to encourage women to become economists.

She said it was "hard for any interview panel to do anything other than pick the best candidate, and they've appointed a brilliant person".

However, Prof Coyle added that the "bigger problem" was the wider one of too few women economists: "I'd like to see the Bank take a more prominent leadership role in addressing that in schools and universities."

Last November, the Bank's gender pay gap report revealed that its male staff England were paid almost a quarter more than female employees.

At the time, governor Mark Carney said he was confident men and women were paid equally for doing the same jobs at the Bank.

"However, the greater proportion of men than women in senior roles creates a gender pay gap," he admitted.

"We are working hard to address this imbalance ... addressing the disparity in gender representation at senior levels will take time, but it will help close the current gender pay gap at the Bank."



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

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

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


5 June, 2018

Britain's blind eye to Muslim pedophile rapists

What price has been paid, is being paid, or might be paid at some stage, by all those public officials who tacitly or otherwise allowed these modern-day atrocities to go on, doing nothing to stop them?

Families of some of the abused girls related that they had tried consistently to raise the alarm over what was happening to their daughters, but that every door of the state was closed in their faces.

If Britain is to turn around the disgrace of its culture of 'grooming gangs', it should start by changing the risk-reward ratio between those who identify these monstrous crimes and those who have been shown to have covered them up.

Since the arrest of Tommy Robinson on May 25, the presence generally -- and incorrectly -- referred to as 'Asian grooming gangs' has been back in the news. This has reignited a debate about whether victims are getting justice and whether perpetrators are encountering it.

In all this at least one key element is missing. What price has been paid, is being paid, or might be paid at some stage, by all those public officials who tacitly or otherwise allowed these modern-day atrocities to go on, doing nothing to stop them? The policemen, politicians, council workers and others who were shown to have failed time and again. They have never been sentenced to prison for any of their oversights -- and perhaps criminal charges (not even charges of criminal negligence) could never be brought against them. It is worth asking, however, if any of these people's lives, career paths, or even pension plans were ever remotely affected by their proven failure to confront one of the greatest evils to have gone on in Britain. That is the mass rape of young girls motivated by adults propelled by (among much else) racism, religiosity, misogyny and class contempt.

Perhaps the post grooming-gang career of just one public official might help to answer that question. Her name is Joanna Simons. In 2013 she was the Chief Executive of the Oxfordshire County Council. She had been at the centre of that Council's 'care' programme for nearly a decade: that is, throughout the period in which the mass rape of local girls (subsequently investigated under the name 'Operation Bullfinch') was carried on. The barbarism, which was carried out by local men of what is erroneously described as 'Asian' origin, included branding one of the girls with an 'M' on her body. The abuser's name was 'Mohammed' and the Mohammed in question wanted people to know that this girl 'belonged' to him and as such was his property.

Others among the hundreds of local victims endured equally horrific abuse. A number were in the care of the local authorities. Among the stories that came out in the 2013 court case at the Old Bailey was that one of the girls was drugged and raped by a gang of men. She managed to escape and hail a taxi which drove her to the care home she lived in. Staff at the care home refused to pay the taxi fare, so the taxi driver took the girl straight back to the property from which she had just escaped, where the gang then raped her again. This is not a nightmare set in some far distant land, or even a town in one of the towns in the north of England which the London media rarely get to, but a story set in leafy Oxfordshire. Families of some of the abused girls related that they had tried consistently to raise the alarm over what was happening to their daughters but that every door of the state was closed in their faces.

After details such as the above came out in the criminal trial at the Old Bailey, Simons made a video, which was posted online by the Oxfordshire County Council. Over the last five years fewer than 2,000 people have watched this 48-second apology. But it deserves a wider audience. In it, Ms Simons looks into the camera and gives an apology to the people who the Council has let down, which tells a huge amount about the attitude that prevailed for years in Britain. From start to finish, everything about it is wrong. Its tone and content suggest that Ms Simons is apologising for a delay in local bin collections, or for delays in providing pavement-salt during inclement weather. Nothing about it fits the appallingness -- the sheer, unimaginable horror -- of what had gone on in leafy, lovely, dreaming-spires Oxfordshire on her watch.

When Simons subsequently appeared on the BBC's Newsnight, she faced some excellent questioning from the BBC's Emily Maitlis. Simons responded by saying not only that she was once again very sorry for the breakdown in services but also came with the reassuring message that she and her colleagues from the council in Oxfordshire 'have learnt a lot.' When Maitlis asked if Simons thought she should resign, Simons replied 'I have asked myself some very hard questions' but 'I'm not going to resign because my determination is that we need to do all that we can to take action to stamp this out.' When Maitlis asked Simons if she would resign if the victims or their families thought she should, Simons came up with one of those beautiful political dodges of not remotely answering the question, thus saying (louder than if she had actually said it) that she had no intention of resigning even if every victim and every family called on her to do so.

Perhaps there were other motives for her desire to stay in place. At the time that Operation Bullfinch broke, Ms Simons was receiving an annual salary of over £196,000, before other benefits were included. To put this into some context, the average annual salary in the UK sits at just over £27,000. The annual salary paid to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for running the country stands at just under £150,000 per annum. So for her pains at Oxfordshire County Council, Ms Simons was receiving a salary considerably higher than that of the Prime Minister and more than six times the average national salary.

Although she resisted pressure to resign in 2013, events moved on. A review into the whole case concluded that social workers and police had been aware of the abuse of hundreds of young girls in Oxfordshire since 2005 but that they had failed to investigate or even to record this as a crime.

In 2015, the Oxfordshire County Council chose to abolish Simon's role, apparently to save money. This decision, after some internal squabbling, was then reversed. Simons eventually stood down in 2015, at which stage she received a pay-off from the Council amounting to the sum of £259,000. Which, again to put this into context, is worth more than the price of the average house in the UK. The average UK house price in the year following Simons's pay-off was £220,000. So the investment most British people spend their working lives paying off could have been covered by Simons with a single year's haul.

Many people might assume that such a person would not reappear in public again, or would sit on their winnings and go away. But Oxfordshire did not lose Simons for long. Last July, the organisation which promotes tourism in the area -- 'Experience Oxfordshire' -- announced Joanna Simons as the new head of their board. A press release announcing her appointment quoted her citing her experience at Oxfordshire County Council as the qualification for taking up this role. She also said how much she was looking forward to 'helping to promote the wonderful place that Oxfordshire is to work, visit and live in.' The former chairman of the board, one Graham Upton, declared that Simons brought a 'wealth of experience' to the role.

Ms Simons is just one person -- one of the many people in the UK who for years turned a blind eye to the mass rape of young girls in their area. But of course these people are not in prison. They are rarely if ever vilified or even mentioned in the national press. They have not had their lives turned upside down. They have not been persecuted at every turn. Instead -- if Joanna Simons is anything to go by -- they have been able to keep their heads down briefly, cash in and then fall upwards again. If Britain is to turn around the disgrace of its culture of 'grooming gangs' it should start by changing the risk-reward ratio between those who identify these monstrous crimes and those who have been shown to have covered them up.


UK: Collapse of the nuclear family should be applauded due to the 'new reality' of single and same-sex parents, says top family court judge

The collapse of the nuclear family should be welcomed and applauded, Britain’s most senior family judge said yesterday.

Sir James Munby, who is the President of the Family Division of the High Court, said the modern family was complex and took an ‘infinite variety of forms’.

He said there was a new reality of single-parent households, same-sex marriages and adopted families that the law was ‘maddeningly slow’ to adapt to.

Sir James said that many Britons ‘live in families more or less removed from what, until comparatively recently, would have been recognised as the typical nuclear family’, adding: ‘This, I stress, is not merely the reality; it is, I believe, a reality which we should welcome and applaud.’

In a speech at Liverpool University, Sir James said: ‘People live together as couples, married or not, and with partners who may not always be of the other sex. Children live in households where their parents may be married or unmarried.

‘They may be brought up by a single parent, by two parents or even by three parents. Their parents may or may not be their natural parents.

‘They may be children of parents with very different religious, ethnic or national backgrounds. They may be the children of polygamous marriages.

‘Their siblings may be only half-siblings or step-siblings. Some children are brought up by two parents of the same sex. Some children are conceived by artificial donor insemination.

‘Some are the result of surrogacy arrangements.’ Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics show about 10,000 same-sex couples have dependent children.

Parental orders for surrogacy arrangements have grown from fewer than 50 in 2008 to 300 this year.

It comes after he called for an overhaul of the country’s marriage laws in March, saying it would one day be laughable that men are asked to pay money to support their ex-wives.

Sir James called for equality for divorcees when maintenance payments are settled by the courts, highlighting ‘absurd’ divorce settlements that are unfairly biased against men. He said cohabitees should have the same status as married couples, and fault-free divorces should be introduced.

At the time, Sir James, who due to retire this summer as he turns 70, was accused of meddling in politics and urged to quit by campaigners.

Last year he spoke out about mental health funding and warned the lack of secure units for a particular suicidal patient would result in Britain having blood on their hands if she killed herself. Recalling that moment in his speech yesterday, Sir James said judges needed more power to decide what happens to children in these situations. Courts are not allowed to intervene in the work of local authorities.

He has already persuaded the Government to change surrogacy laws to allow single people to go through surrogacy, not just couples.


First Female to Join British Infantry Quits After 2 Weeks -- Training Too Hard

The first woman to join a British infantry regiment has quit, and after only two weeks of training, according to the Daily Mail. The woman could not keep up with the male soldiers and she herself admitted that she had underestimated the physical rigors of the military training.

The RAF infantry course was 18 weeks long and started in May. The regiment is comprised of 2,000 soldiers and is designed to protect British bases and airfields around the world.

The ban on women in British combat units was lifted in 2016 after then-Prime Minister David Cameron, head of the Conservative Party, said "it was essential that the make-up of the Armed Forces reflected society and he lifted the ban on women serving in combat units," reported the Daily Mail.

The name of the woman who quit the course after two weeks has been withheld by the military. She reportedly was one of three women who applied to join the regiment, and the only one of the three considered physically capable of passing the program.
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The Daily Mail reported one source as saying, "There was a lot of secrecy surrounding her participation. The guys were surprised to see her. There was pressure on her instructors to help her pass the course. I think the RAF wanted good PR out of it."

"Her resignation is a huge blow to officials who are determined to integrate women into fighting units in the Army, Royal Marines, and Royal Air Force," reported the newspaper.


Australia: Chief of Army admits females recruited for infantry before men

It was Senate Estimates. And the topic was Defence. On one side was the Chief of Army, Angus Campbell. He was confident, cocky and condescending.

On the other side was Senator Fraser Anning, the grazier from Queensland. He was coughing and clearing his throat. No doubt, he is more comfortable at home with his cows than in a committee in Canberra.

And surrounding them was the sycophantic crowd praising the naked emperor’s clothing.

It takes courage to walk into that room and ask the questions that no one wants to hear. But Fraser Anning did just that. He looked at the Chief of Army and asked if Defence had ever commissioned a study to determine whether placing females in combat roles would increase Defence capability.

The answer: no.


And then, when the Chief of Army claimed that there were no quotas for women, Anning asked why the Chief of Army had previously informed the Senate that the recruiting targets for females had not been met.

The answer: there are no ‘quotas’ and instead the Army simply won’t recruit males unless no female is found within six weeks of the job opening up.

Boom! Boom!

These answers given to Senate Estimates last night should shock the nation. And they come just days after the Army also informed Senate Estimates that just 24 of the 154 females recruited for an infantry role have passed their basic training courses:

Question 6

Please provide a breakdown of Reserve/Full Time females who were recruited into the Army for a role as a Rifleman:

a. How many commenced via the Army Pre-Conditioning Program?
b. How many completed the Army Pre-Conditioning Program?
c. How many commenced the Recruit Training Course at Kapooka?
d. How many completed the Recruit Training Course at Kapooka?
e. How many commenced Infantry Initial Employment Training?
f. How many completed Infantry Initial Employment Training?


The Army Pre-Conditioning Program is designed to assist women to meet the general entry-level fitness standards and build resilience to successfully complete the Army Recruit Course.

The Army Recruit Course is designed to prepare and train recruits to be soldiers in the Australian Army and commence their respective Initial Employment Training. Initial Employment Training is designed to train soldiers in their Employment Category or trade.

For the last six years, the Army has embarked on a costly and politically-correct crusade to bring females into the infantry.

It has been done on an assumption and without any research. And to make it happen, blokes have been told to go away.

It takes, on average, almost eight months for a male to join the Army. And the Chief of Army has just let them know that they won’t get a look in if a female applies before them and punches out eight push ups at a recruiting centre.

If they can’t manage that, women can still take a position via the Army Pre-Conditioning Program, which will give them 49 days of paid training to help them reach that target. It’s almost one week of training per push up.

True, if no woman can be found, men will be contacted six weeks prior to the position opening up and offered a job. But after waiting for months, for many this will be pointless. They’ll have already found a job doing something else.

The Chief of Army claims that this system is helping Defence secure the best talent possible. The reality is that it is turning talent away. Our military is weaker for it.

Last night the clichés rolled. Angus Campbell told the Senate that half the nation’s talent was in its female population. Following that logic and the Army might as well recruit everyone and grab all the talent on offer.

No one denies that females are talented. But the infantry requires specific talents: strength, endurance and fitness. And Defence’s own statistics show that when it comes to these talents, females can’t compete.

Of the 154 women recruited for infantry since 2016, just 24 have passed basic infantry training. Already 25% of those have been medically downgraded.

And every single female recruited for an infantry role via the Army’s vaunted Pre-Conditioning Program has failed to qualify as an infantry soldier.

When asked if the Army concedes that this program has been a failure for the infantry, the Chief of Army said no.


In terms of success, this program has been an utter disaster. It is a barren wasteland with a 100% failure rate. Yet the Chief of Army claims it is working. He sounds like this guy (and you wouldn’t want him running our military):

Taxpayers are wearing the burden of this costly program.

Millions have been spent on advertising to make it happen. Millions more have been spent on squandered training days.

And the unit which is receiving these women is now in the process of sacking almost as many male soldiers due to  comments they have made about women on Facebook.

In the big picture, every single dollar spent has been wasted with absolutely zero increase to capability, while those who could increase it have been turned away.

That’s bad enough. On the financial figures alone, the program should be scrapped.

Making it worse is the fact that standards have been dropped. And that means capability has actually been diminished.

Comments from recruit instructors or those at the School of Infantry make it clear that assessments are no longer as rigorous as they once were, just to enable females to pass. Consequently, the quality of male soldiers will also decrease.

And worst of all is that this entire program has been based on a politically-correct assumption. No research has been done at all.

There is no data to back the Chief of Army’s claim that female infantry soldiers increase capability, unit cohesion or the ability to win on the battlefield.

And the Chief of Army has no idea whether those women who do get through will not suffer an increased risk of long-term health consequences over their male counterparts.

If any other organisation embarked on such a program without any due diligence it would be rightly described as negligence.

Unfortunately, the Army is not any other organisation. It is not a business that this nation can afford to fail because it embarks on some politically-correct flight of fancy.

Yet it is being eroded before our very eyes, while the crowd bays for the emperor to walk back down the cat walk.



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

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

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


4 June, 2018

Arbitrary arrests of foes of jihad terror herald the end of Britain as a free society

Two recent arrests in Britain could serve as its epitaph

The first, as captured in this video, was that of a middle-aged woman named Amy who was arrested on Wednesday at her home. Amy herself began filming with her phone as police demanded that she let them in. When Amy asked them whether she was going to be arrested and asked them what the charge was, they refused to answer, and simply repeated their demand that she let them in, threatening to break down the door if she didn’t.

Watching the video, one shares Amy’s confusion and fear at being confronted by police at her door at nine o’clock in the morning. Then when she does open the door, she is told she is under arrest. A young male policeman bellows, “Do not resist us!” He and his female partner roughly handcuff Amy and lead her away.

Last month, Amy confronted London police in Hyde Park – as you can see in this video -- where Muslims were placing down their prayer mats on the walkways and conducting public prayer. She pointed out to them that it was against the law to hold public prayers in parks, but police responded only with obfuscation and indifference.

Amy wasn’t arrested, however, for embarrassing the London police. At least not officially. As you can see from yet another video, she was arrested for “homophobia,” not “Islamophobia,” in a highly questionable case. Apparently she said “Have a gay day” to a gay rights activist who confronted her, and is being charged with assault for pushing him away.

The assault charge, however, given that Amy is hardly an imposing physical presence and walks with a cane, is absurd and obviously trumped-up. Amy’s arrest seems to indicate that British police are now arresting people for saying the wrong thing or having unacceptable opinions. It appears as if Britain is now fully a police state, in which people can be arrested and brutalized on nebulous “hate” charges, and have no rights, no recourse.

With Theresa May’s government being as Sharia-compliant as it is, it is entirely possible that Amy was targeted also for reminding police of the law forbidding public prayer in parks, or for “Islamophobia” in general — or if she wasn’t, such arrests are coming, and coming soon, as indicated by the arrest on Friday of activist Tommy Robinson.

Robinson was standing outside the courthouse where a trial of a Muslim rape gang was taking place, discussing Britain’s rape gang crisis. Reporters stand outside courtrooms all the time and make videos; Tommy wasn’t doing anything that they don’t do. But he was suddenly arrested (as shown in this video) for “breaching the peace,” which is apparently British police code for “offending Islam.”

Britain is finished, and its death as a free society is by its own hand. These videos ought to shock the world and lead to an international denunciation of Britain’s slide into totalitarianism, and to calls for it to respect the human rights of all its citizens, not just Muslims. But they won’t, because Amy and Tommy are just “Islamophobes,” and so am I, and such people have no rights that the political and media elites feel bound to respect.

Future generations of free Britons, if there are any, will curse the name of Theresa May as the destroyer of free Britain. These videos chronicle its demise as a free society.



It’s not real science, it’s an infallibility cult.

“Why do you hate science?”

That’s the question leftists have taken to asking non-leftists. Leftists claim to love science, insofar as anyone can love a method for testing a hypothesis, and accuse their enemies of hating it.

How can anyone love or hate an indifferent set of techniques? And how can an ideology that believes technological civilization is destroying the planet really claim to love the science behind it?

But swap out “science” for “god” and the question, “Why do you hate science” makes perfect sense. So do the constant assertions of love for science. These aren’t scientific assertions, but religious ones.

Actual science doesn’t care whether you love or hate it. That’s not how you engage with the theory of relativity. But religion is measured by love and hate. Either you love a deity or you hate it.

No one loves or hates science. But they do love Scienticism.

Scienticism is science without skepticism. It takes the ideas of science and uses them to create an infallible belief system that gives our lives meaning and dictates how we should live those lives.

In other words, a religion.

Contrary to popular disbelief, a religion doesn’t need a god. It does need some things. A creation myth that explains our lives. An enlightened leadership. The conviction that every person’s actions matter. Redemption, salvation and damnation. Miracles. An imminent apocalypse. A prophesized golden age.

Scientism offers all these things and more. Its creation myths inevitably lead to philosophies about our place in the universe. Its miracles are technological. Its heroes have super powers or spaceships. Global warming is on its way to destroy us. And only recycling and green energy can save us from the climate apocalypse. Its truths are infallible because they are prophesized by PhD’s wielding hockey stick graphs.

Its god is Homo Progressivus, born an ape and ascending to singularity synthesis. Its heaven is a social services agency. Its saints died for social progress. And if you want angels, why not try UFOs?

But what about the devil? In the early days of Scientism, superstition was the great antagonist of modernity. Technological progress had made a new sort of civilization possible. And Scientism was born out of that thrilling encounter with the future. We no longer believed in confessing to clergy. Instead we had our minds scientifically psychoanalyzed by Freudians. The imminent apocalypse had nothing to do with heaven, but everything to do with the class conflicts of capitalism. Our legends would no longer be about the past, but the wonders of the future. Our enemy was the past, with its tradition and ignorance.

The past is dead.

Religion is vanishing in Europe and America is catching up. Morals are as outdated as phrenology. No one believes in the golden future anymore. Least of all the worshipers at the chrome altar of Scientism.

Scientism had created a god of endless progress. A collectivist human engine of innovation. Now it turned him into the devil. Like Zoroastrianism, Scientism became a dual religion of two gods.

One good and one evil.

The Ahriman of scientism builds nuclear power plants, drills for oil, drives an SUV, launches spaceships and shops with plastic grocery bags. Its Ahura Mazda rides a bike, saves trash for compost, eats locally farmed food (I recently passed a downtown Manhattan restaurant which promised that its food came exclusively from the local farms for which the island is renowned) and gets his power from the sun.

Scientism both worships and demonizes science. It loves and hates it. Its mission is to save us all from the ravages of science. And if you question this mission, you’re accused of hating science.

The Scientism of 1918 and 2018 are both snapshots of a philosophical schism that tore the left apart.

The 1918 left reviled the capitalist, but admired the collectivist order of his factory. Its vision was to turn all of society into a factory without a capitalist owner. Social problems would be solved by experts. Organizations would impose efficiency. Global governments would end war, hunger, and euthanize people with flawed genes. The priesthood of public service would replace the service of god.

The 2018 left reviles the factory. Its scientism is an ugly half-breed, half hippie and half technocrat. It’s convinced that science makes it superior. And equally convinced that science is a cold, sterile philosophy of dead white men that cuts us off from the true intensity of feeling of the noble savage and pothead. It romanticizes rural living, handicrafts and religions that behead their daughters. And then it retweets Neil DeGrasse Tyson or Bill Nye to tell off those stupid science-hates who don’t believe science is destroying the planet. Don’t they realize that science has scientifically proven that science is evil?

Confused? So are they.

Technocracy, the factory model extended through the latest internet innovations and their philosophical afterbirths, is still at the heart of left. Despite its hippie affinity for local farms in Manhattan, trendy crafts, raw food and farmhouses in Vermont that no farmer can afford, it doesn’t actually want to move to a commune. Its urban and suburban efforts to mesh yuppie and hippie reflect a mixed-up culture.

And so the left wants us all to live in big cities and bike to work. It loves traveling on jet planes to get back to unspoiled nature. It can’t stop lecturing us on how much it loves science between its meditation classes and protest against nuclear power. It wants a government to use the latest technology to control every detail of our lives so that all the oppressed can finally be free.

Scienticism’s schizophrenia is due to the left trying to reconcile the factory and the commune in erratic and hypocritical ways. Its mind is with the factory, but its heart is in the commune. The technocratic system it’s inflicting on everyone uses false appeals to science as proof of its practical infallibility.

And that’s what the left always loved and truly loves about science.

Science gives it an unfounded sense of practical infallibility while its projected empathy gifts it with an even more unfounded moral infallibility. Between the two, the left is convinced that everything it does is bound to succeed and is the absolutely right thing to do. Even though history shows the exact opposite.

Every crackpot leftist theory from Marxism to Global Warming is cloaked in an inevitable something. The revolution of the working class can’t be stopped. The world is bound to run out of food, oil and sanctimony. The rise of the oceans can’t be stopped (except by electing Democrats). Science says so.

But science is the opposite of infallible. Its strength is its fallibility.

Science offers a crab walk forward, because it’s willing to admit and correct errors. But Scientism never admits it’s wrong. Instead it claims that scientific testing has found it absolutely true. Then it hides its data and tries to pass laws banning anyone from questioning its absurdly premature conclusions.

Scientism strips science of its greatest strength and builds a cargo cult around wearing a lab coat.

The left loathes real science because it hates skepticism. But it loves infallibility. And that is all that’s left of its science. What was once the soul of secularism, a belief system bestriding civilization, now exists solely to offer infallibility to whatever loathsome nonsense the left believes at any given moment.

The rest of utopia has melted into a slimy soup of machine politics, identity politics, elitist snobbery and random tantrums by the sort of unstable people that cults tend to attract like flies to roadkill.

The left doesn’t love science. It loves its own power.

Take anything else that the left claims to love or care about, replace it with those words and you’ll have the right answer. The left doesn’t care about black people, it cares about power. It doesn’t care about women, gays, Syria, recycling, offensive t-shirts, education or Gaza. It cares about power.

Scienticism is a cult of power. Its dualism of the god and devil of science battling each other is a philosophical breakdown which reconciles a schism within the left by offering it even more power.

The old Scienticism believed that our only god would be human progress. Then the new gods of the New Frontier and Great Society with their sociology degrees and colored charts stared into the mirror, they went into the counterculture and came back having found that they were not only gods, but devils.


Veganism and the politics of purity

The rise of militant veganism reflects our misanthropic age.

The modern-day cult of veganism has been making its mark again. On Tuesday, it was reported that a family butchers in Kent has been threatened with petrol bombs in a campaign of intimidation by animal-rights activists. Demonstrators have been spraying ‘Stop Killing Animals. Go Vegan’ and daubing the logo of the Animal Liberation Front on the front of Marlow Butchers in Ashford.

The business has received dozens of threats, with one reading: ‘Chopping up the corpses of innocent animals and using their flesh for food is barbaric.’ This is no isolated incident. Attacks by vegan activists on small businesses are on the rise, according to the Countryside Alliance.

Elsewhere we read that ‘influencer’ vegan chefs and social-media stars, such as Ella Woodward and Stella Rae, have been bullied online by fundamentalist vegans who demand ‘perfect veganism’. Woodward’s ‘dirty’ transgression, for instance, has been to offer non-vegan food at her new restaurant, while the activist and chef Jack Monroe has been abused for letting her eight-year-old son cook a sausage casserole. When a photo of a paella dish from one of Monroe’s old cookbooks was posted online, Monroe’s Facebook page was ‘flooded with death threats and harassment within minutes’, according to Monroe.

Despite the fact that these celebrity names introduce and promote veganism as a viable lifestyle, this clearly isn’t enough for perfect vegans. They demand total purity above any long-term effectiveness of these chefs in spreading veganism.

You will recognise this peculiar set of priorities. In putting ideological purity above the goal of transforming society, perfect veganism resembles the Momentum movement. For both, purging the unclean is more important than changing the outside world. In many respects, perfect veganism epitomises the spirit of our times.

Perfect veganism’s demand for unswerving adherence to a belief system is fitting for an age in which the middle, in which the grey areas of doubt, ambiguity and non-committal reflection, are vanishing. Perfect veganism is perfect for an era of religious and political extremism, of polarised judgements, in which everyone is completely spot on or utterly wrong, everything terrible or brilliant. Perfect veganism is perfect for an age of competitive moralising, for people who deem themselves better than vegans, who themselves are better than vegetarians, who are in turn superior to us wishy-washy pescetarians. At the bottom sit omnivores. Scum. Sub-human scum.

Ours is a time of righteous intolerance and indignation, a mood that finds a natural home in perfect veganism, as the opening story about the butchers in Kent tells us. Those vegan ‘influencers’ who have dared to sit in the middle, to be liberal, to have the temerity to allow others to eat meat, have indeed been subject to online vitriol; online hatred will be deemed the defining phenomenon of the 2010s.

Online hatred reflects an age of envy and malice, in which people feel they can spew nastiness towards fellow humans just because they have right on their side. Or even worse: when they have right and compassion on their side. This is why those with the most ostentatiously caring politics are the most spiteful and rancorous when it comes to online discourse. This is how animal-rights campaigners and perfect vegans justify their intemperate behaviour: because they care more than you.

Veganism, perfect or not, epitomises the zeitgeist. It is an ideology based on the self – the self being a representative of a touchy, morally superior herd. Offend my beliefs and you offend me — so goes today’s thinking. You are what you eat, especially for fundamentalist vegans.

Veganism is befitting of an era of vanity and solipsism, of a time of intolerant, malicious, self-important, Not In My Name, #MeToo, 21st-century identity politics taken to the extreme. Because these days everything is taken to the extreme.


WaPo Hates Strong Conservative Women Like Diane Black

The paper featured a mocking hit piece on Black's thoughts about the culture of violence

This week, the Post featured a mocking hit piece on Rep. Diane Black, a friend of The Patriot Post and leading Republican candidate for governor in our native Tennessee. Strong, intelligent conservative women are among WaPo’s favorite targets, and Diane is certainly at the top of that category. She chaired the House Budget Committee, where she led the charge to pass Donald Trump’s signature tax reform bill. That legislation has charged up the economic growth trend nationwide, as have many of Trump’s other achievements.

Speaking to a group of pastors about the “root causes” of violence in our culture, particularly among youth, Black proposed several issues that she believes are undermining social order. “Deterioration of the family” and violence in movies were two of her examples, both of which we’ve highlighted. But the Post targeted its scorn on her assertion that pornography is also to blame.

“Pornography [is] available on the shelf when you walk in the grocery store,” Black noted. And then there’s the Internet, available on ubiquitous handheld devices. She lamented, “All of this is available without parental guidance, and I think that is a big part of the root cause.”

Of course, the takeaway from her comments would be that pornography degrades human worth and value, which everyone in the room understood. It’s evident that such degradation is a plague on our society, and indeed, objectifying and devaluing life paves the way for sociopaths to murder others without remorse. Of course, the Post argues that “the science isn’t settled” on the impact of pornography — except among those with a shred of common sense.

According to WaPo, smart people know guns are the problem: “Studies analyzing mass shootings in the United States and contrasting this country with others demonstrate that the single most important variable is the high number of guns in the United States…” But as I have articulated, violence in America is a culture problem, not a “gun problem.” Clearly, that doesn’t fit with WaPo’s statist efforts to repeal the Second Amendment.

However, what’s really at the core of WaPo’s attack on Black? The future of the Democrat Party depends on its continued ability to dupe female voters, its most dependable constituency. Strong conservative women like Diane Black pose a serious threat to that Demo-dependency.



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

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

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


3 June, 2018

More on the railroading of Tommy Robinson

The charge against Robinson declared by the police at the time of arrest, "breach of peace," was changed to "contempt of court." Apparently, the former offense would not constitute a violation of the terms of Robinson's suspended sentence from last year and thereby justify immediate imprisonment. But by declaring Robinson guilty of "contempt of court," the judge was able to ship him straightaway to prison.

In fact, it is clear to people all over Britain what is really going on here. Their country is being steadily Islamized, and their government is abetting this process. Muslims commit outrageous crimes, and police treat them respectfully -- then turn around and arrest ordinary British citizens for daring to complain.

"Judicial power never been used before to silence a journalist in Britain and then to silence the silencing.... This lie came directly from Theresa May's government.... and it was planned to the last detail. A courtroom and a judge were waiting to immediately sentence him. A prison cell was booked in his name.... This combined is the action of a totalitarian state, in all its brutal horror." — Paul Weston, Pegida UK.

First the good news: on Wednesday, at about noon London time, Tommy Robinson's former lawyer, Helen Gower, reported on Twitter that "Tommy has just rung me and is well." He had been receiving e-mails of support and was humbled by them. "He did inform me of some of the things that happened on Friday," Gower wrote, "but I don't want to put anything out and I will leave that to his Solicitor."

Well, there it stands: the media gag order on the Tommy Robinson case has been lifted, but Robinson himself remains in Hull Prison, having been arrested on the street in Leeds, hauled into a kangaroo court, and then sent off to jail. Incidentally, in a YouTube video, Canadian activist Lauren Southern and a member of Robinson's team have provided a plausible explanation of why the charge against Robinson declared by the police at the time of arrest, "breach of peace," was changed to "contempt of court." Apparently, the former offense would not constitute a violation of the terms of Robinson's suspended sentence from last year and thereby justify immediate imprisonment. But by declaring Robinson guilty of "contempt of court," the judge was able to ship him straightaway to prison.

But this is all a bunch of judicial mumbo-jumbo -- a cagey use of legal technicalities to betray the very spirit of the law. In fact, it is clear to people all over Britain what is really going on here. Their country is being steadily Islamized, and their government is abetting this process. Muslims commit outrageous crimes, and police treat them respectfully -- then turn around and arrest ordinary British citizens for daring to complain. Of all those ordinary citizens, Robinson is the most prominent. More than anyone else in Britain, he has risked his own safety and freedom to awaken the dormant patriotism and sense of responsibility in the hearts of his fellow British subjects -- and to keep the reprehensible reality of mass child rape by Muslim gangs in the public eye. For these transgressions, the British establishment must see him punished.

Videos and commentaries that have been posted online in recent days by ordinary British citizens give the distinct impression that millions of his countrymen deeply respect Robinson for saying and doing things that they themselves dare not say or do. They are greatly upset by his arrest, trial, and imprisonment -- all of which took place within what must be a record-setting time of four hours -- and are genuinely alarmed by the seemingly unprecedented and unjust way in which the whole thing was pulled off. Thanks to Islam, Britain has been becoming more and more unrecognizable to them -- more and more dangerous, undemocratic, unequal, and unjust -- and this episode appears to have brought that process to a crisis point, and brought many Britons' anger to a boil.

One of those Britons is a friend of my British source "L." Concerned about Robinson's imprisonment, she wrote a polite e-mail to her Member of Parliament, a recently elected Labourite who is an ally of Labour honcho Jeremy Corbyn and who, according to Wikipedia, is gay. The MP's hostile reply to his constituent provides a stark insight into the mentality of at least some of the UK's governing elites. It begins:

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, is not a martyr of free speech.

He is a convicted fraudster and former football hooligan....

This is nonsense. Yes, Robinson is a working-class boy from Luton. If part of young Muslim male culture is forming "grooming gangs" and raping children, part of young male culture in working-class English places like Luton is what is known as "laddish behavior" at soccer matches. Sometimes it shades over into violence; usually it is just a matter of being loud and boisterous outside stadiums and at nearby pubs. In any event, Robinson has written candidly about this aspect of his youth in his book Enemy of the State. To some readers, the MP's description of Robinson as a "former football hooligan" may seem to reek of class condescension. There has, in fact, been good reason throughout Robinson's career as a public figure to wonder how much of the British authorities' shabby treatment of him can be ascribed to his working-class status. Would an Islam critic with an Oxbridge background, a job at a respected London think tank, and an upper-class accent ever be treated the way Robinson is?

As for Robinson being a "fraudster," this charge, as "L" puts it, "stems from a time when it did appear as if the police were scrutinising him and his family for everything they could find. They took away loads of documents and scrutinised his wife's tax affairs, for instance." Eventually he was arrested for lending his brother-in-law £20,000 to help him qualify for a housing loan. A year later, the brother-in-law sold the house for £30,000 and repaid Robinson. As "L" says, "it was a completely victimless crime." Robinson "pleaded guilty for what his lawyer (somewhat understandably) thought would be a non-custodial sentence" and, according to Robinson, on the promise by police had "that if he pleaded guilty they would not go after him financially." Instead, they sent him to prison for eighteen months and was made to pay £125,000. "There are thousands and thousands of people who technically commit mortgage fraud all the time -- e.g. parents who lend deposits to their children and then later get the deposit paid back," says "L." The difference is that Robinson was punished severely for it.

Back to the MP's e-mail. Robinson, he charges, broke strict reporting rules which exist in court cases for a very good reason: if they are broken, that can lead to the collapse of trials of those alleged to have committed serious crimes such as rape or murder, meaning alleged rapists would walk free.

He was by his actions allowing rapists to get off and this is unacceptable! More nonsense. Robinson did not break any reporting rules. No rapists got off.

If you believe Tommy Robinson shouldn't be arrested, you are saying the law shouldn't apply to him because you agree with his obsessive anti-Muslim hatred.

On the contrary, Robinson has repeatedly made it clear that he doesn't hate Muslims -- his problem is with Islam. Every brave, halfway intelligent Briton who sees what Islam is doing to his country feels the same way. Note, incidentally, that the MP, in this reply to one of his own constituents -- one of his employers -- is essentially calling her a bigot. This, even though he does not know her at all, and all she did was to express her concern about what, by any measure, was an exceedingly irregular arrest, trial, conviction, and imprisonment.

The MP concludes his reply as follows:

I didn't see [Robinson] trying to break reporting restrictions around the trial of a senior English Defence League member who groomed a 10 year old girl, did you? That's because his agenda is bigotry and hatred, and nothing more.

Once again, ridiculous. A single isolated case of rape by a non-Muslim has nothing whatsoever to do with the almost exclusively Muslim phenomenon of "grooming gangs," which involve sexual abuse by gangs of men of large stables of girls over a period of years. The contempt for infidels and disrespect for females that make these atrocities possible are part and parcel of the perpetrators' culture and religion.

Yes, of course non-Muslims in Britain kill and rape, too -- and if the police find out about it, they arrest the suspect and put him on trial. Robinson's whole point is that for decades Muslim rapists have not been treated in the same way. All too many British police officers and judges will use any excuse to let a Muslim rapist go. In 2014, for example, an imam who had sexually abused an eleven-year-old girl was given a suspended sentence because his six children "were so dependent on him" and because he had "kidney problems." To explain why his presence at home was so urgent, the imam's lawyer said that the imam's wife "doesn't work and speaks very little English." But to criticize any of this, in the eyes of that Labour MP, is to have an "agenda" of "bigotry and hatred."

Notably, the MP's full support for the way in which the police and court handled the Robinson case is not shared by the editors of the Independent -- the British broadsheet that, along with Leeds Live, spearheaded the media campaign against the gag order. In an editorial on Tuesday, the day that order was lifted, the editors accepted the absurd proposition that Robinson was guilty of "contempt of court" and pronounced his thirteen-month sentence "justified and proportionate." That much is predictable enough from a newspaper that is every bit as left-wing as the Guardian. The surprising part is the Independent's acknowledgment that whatever one thinks of Robinson,

It cannot be right, whatever else, that a British citizen can be deprived of their liberty "in the dark," the very fact of their whereabouts made a secret. It feels wrong, and, in spirit at least, partly in breach of the ancient principle of habeas corpus.

The answer to the question "Where's Tommy?" cannot be: "We know but we cannot tell you because a court says so."

Well, that's something, anyway. But millions of Britons reject entirely the Independent's assurances that Robinson has received justice. One of them is Paul Weston of Pegida, who, in a new video, maintains that "judicial power never been used before to silence a journalist in Britain and then to silence the silencing." That police and the Luton court to have taken such an action so quickly, Weston theorized, proves that this was not the work of some rank-and-file cop or some mid-level constabulary paper-pusher. "This lie came directly from Theresa May's government," charged Weston.

"This lie came from the very top down and it was planned to the last detail. A courtroom and a judge were waiting to immediately sentence him. A prison cell was booked in his name.... This combined is the action of a totalitarian state, in all its brutal horror."

Given the swiftness with which Robinson was snatched up off the street, transported to a courtroom, tried without his own counsel present, and then taken to a waiting prison cell -- a brazen series of events that it is hard to imagine anyone below the highest of levels having the power or the nerve to orchestrate -- it is hard to challenge Weston's suggestion that Theresa May herself is behind this travesty of justice. If that is what happened, then it certainly helps to clarify just what Britain, and the Free World, are up against.


BRUSSELS BEATEN: Populist Coalition Takes Office in Italy, Eurosceptic Savona Returns as EU Affairs Minister

The European Union has been dealt a severe blow in Italy, with anti-establishment Five-Star and nationalist Lega forming a government including the eurosceptic Paolo Savona.

Italian president Sergio Matterella, an EU loyalist appointed by fellow politicians rather than elected by the people, used his usually ceremonial position to block the populist parties’ first attempt to form a government, claiming that Savona — their pick for economy minister — was unsuitable due to past criticism of the euro currency.

The elderly head of state then sent for globalist technocrat Carlo Cottarelli, a former International Monetary Fund director, to form a so-called ‘caretaker’ government — but the scheme was scuppered amid a massive public backlash, with Five-Star leader Luigi Di Maio calling for the president’s impeachment and many members of public voicing their support on social media.

It appeared certain that the Mediterranean country would be heading back to the polls, with top eurocrats such as Günther Oettinger — Angela Merkel’s man on the unelected European Commission — saying they hoped “The markets and a ‘darkened’ outlook will teach Italy’s voters not to vote for populist parties in the next election.”

These remarks only served to inflame a feeling that Italian democracy was being usurped, however, with polls showing Five-Star and, in particular, Matteo Salvini’s nationalist Lega, would come back from fresh elections even stronger and leave the EU in an even more difficult situation.

Consequently, President Mattarella said he would allow the two parties more time to form a government, and ultimately signed off on an ‘Italy First’ administration which saw Paolo Savona return not as economy minister but, pointedly, as EU Affairs minister.

This, along with claims by President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker that Italy needs “more work; less corruption; [and] seriousness” rather than less EU almost guarantee that Rome and Brussels will come into conflict sooner rather than later.

One source of conflict may be the coalition’s plans to deport hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who have been ferried into the country in recent years — a move opposed by the EU’s pro-mass migration leadership.


Starbucks CEO Thrice Denies Knowing About Company’s Donations to Planned Parenthood

On Wednesday, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson thrice denied knowledge of his company’s donations to the largest abortion provider in the U.S., Planned Parenthood.

In an interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo, Johnson was asked about the company’s financial support of Planned Parenthood in light of objects raised by Aveda King:

Bartiromo: “I don’t know if you saw Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece op-ed in the Washington Examiner. And she said, ‘If Starbucks wants to end racism it will stop funding Planned Parenthood.’ Are you going to stop funding Planned Parenthood?”

Johnson: “Well I am not aware that we, we do fund Planned Parenthood. So. I haven’t read the op-ed and I can’t comment on that.”

Bartiromo: “OK.”

Johnson: “But, I am not aware that we do that.”

Bartiromo: “Well, Alveda King says ‘Starbucks had racism in its corporate identity long before the April arrest [of two black men who refused to leave a store]. Through its corporate donations, it contributes to one of the most racist organizations in our nation’s history Planned Parenthood, the largest single provider of abortions in the United States.’ And again, this is from Alveda King in the Washington Examiner.”

Johnson: “Well, I am not aware of it.”

But, as NewsBusters reports:

“Starbucks' support of Planned Parenthood is an established fact:

“(It) matches gifts to Planned Parenthood.  “... (It) matches gifts to Susan G. Komen NYC and MN chapters, which fund Planned Parenthood.”

Likewise, The Daily Signal has previously reported on Starbucks’ donations to Planned Parenthood.

In addition to the op-ed, a letter signed by Alveda King, ForAmerica President L. Brent Bozell, Richard Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, and many other pro-life leaders was sent to Starbucks on Monday, noting how Planned Parenthood’s racist, genocidal legacy conflicts with the coffee shop’s claim its “founding values are based on humanity and inclusion”:

“Where is the ‘humanity’ and ‘inclusion’ when your company matches employees’ donations to Planned Parenthood, whose founder Margaret Sanger was an outspoken racist with genocidal intentions?”

If Starbucks actually wants to reject racist business practices, the letter says, it should stop funding an organization that terminates the lives of minorities:

“If Starbucks wants to own the corporate mantle of ending racist business practices, then we challenge you to stop funding Planned Parenthood’s House of Horrors which has taken precious lives away from minority communities; and from society at large.”


Smoking: Australian government nannies lose one

It's a very strong addiction so that outcome is no surprise.  The only reasonable role for the govermnment is to ban smoking in public places -- to protect non-smokers from having the foul habit imposed on them

Australians are smoking just as much today as they were three years ago – even with plain packaging, e-cigarettes and the world's highest priced packets.

Australia's falling behind the rest of the world, according to the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA), despite numerous tax raising and deterrence initiatives.

Data shows that between 2013-2016 Australia's annual smoking decline rate has stalled at 0.2 per cent in comparison to a 3 per cent decline in New Zealand, 4 per cent in Canada, 5 per cent in England and a huge 12 per cent in Iceland.

These nations have one thing in common – the legalisation of smoking alternatives such as vaping and heat-not-burn products.

Smoking nicotine is hard to quit and many people enjoy the motion so often seek alternatives such as vaporisers.

The Australian National Drug Strategy Household Survey indicated around 70 per cent said they wanted to quit but despite repeat attempts, are not able to.

ATHRA director Dr Joe Kosterich told news.com.au: 'If we look at other jurisdictions, they've pretty much done similar things to what we've done; similar increase in taxation, banning smoking in public places, smoking health education.

'All of these things are really important moves but you then reach a point where you're not going any further.'

Only last month the New South Wales Parliament passed the Smoke-free Environment Amendment Bill 2018 to join forces with Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT to ban vaping in the same places that cigarettes are banned such as parks, sports grounds and outdoor dining areas.

The amendment came into motion despite international evidence that e-cigarettes save lives.

Nicotine liquid once heated and vaporised into in an e-cigarette delivers inhalable nicotine vapor whilst failing to produce carbon monoxide, tar and most cancer-causing chemicals found in combustible cigarettes.

This liquid is illegal in Australia and its ban is upheld by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

ATHRA Chairman and professor, Colin Mendelsohn said: 'Most of the harm from combustible tobacco is caused by the 7000 chemicals produced by the burning process and these are mostly absent from vapor,' 'It is unethical and unscientific to ban a much safer product that could help many thousands of smokers to quit a deadly addiction.'

Australian Medical Association (AMA) President Dr Tony Bartone disagrees with the compelling research telling 3AW that there was 'still a lot of work to be done on whether they [e-cigarettes] really do help people getting off smoking,'

'A lot of the evidence coming through now is showing that actually all it does it defer or delay the decision to actually come off cigarettes, and a lot of people go back to cigarettes while coming down to it.'

Professor Mendelsohn said: 'Banning wider access to e-cigarettes on the basis of unproven, potential risks to adolescents would prevent access to life saving quitting aid for millions of smokers,'

'A better solution would be to employ strategies to minimise youth access and make vaping available for adult smokers who are otherwise unable to quit smoking with conventional therapies.'

New Zealand Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner has suggested 'there's a general consensus that vaping is much less harmful than smoking.'



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

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

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


1 June, 2018

Allah kills a Dutch police dog

Dutch police have shot a man who was shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he tried to attack them with an axe. The 26-year-old man was heard screaming the Arabic for 'God is greatest' while waving the weapon and fatally wounded a police dog.

According to Netherlands news site NU, police entered his apartment and were attacked this afternoon.

During the fighting, officers reportedly tried unsuccessfully to taser the man, who stabbed a police dog.

The man has been taken to hospital in critical condition but NOS reports he is now stable.

Pictures from the scene showed his covered body being loaded onto a stretcher as officers sent him to hospital.

Mayor Cor Lamers told NU the man was of a Syrian background and 'was known to different aid agencies'. 

The police dog was pictured shortly after the accident getting into a force vehicle and officers said on social media it was fine. But shortly after they announced it had died as a result of its injuries. 


French police clear out Paris migrant camp

Police have evacuated the largest illegal refugee camp in Paris days after homeless charities warned that the situation was heading for “tragedy” following a stabbing and two drownings.

The evacuation of more than 1,000 migrants, mainly from Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea, came a day after France awarded honorary citizenship to an undocumented Malian for his “heroic” rescue of a small boy dangling from a fourth-floor balcony.

The dawn evacuation took place at the Millénaire camp along a canal at the porte de la Villette, northeastern Paris, which housed around 1,700 migrants in total.

The clearance took place without incident as migrants flanked by riot police boarded buses to temporary housing around the city.

"We don't really know where we are going," said a Libyan who reached Paris seven months ago and gave his name as Issam. "It was hard here," he told AFP, clutching his one piece of baggage.

A state prefect for the Paris region said other smaller camps - one at La Chapelle, northern Paris, which contains around 400 migrants, and another along the trendy canal Saint Martin, containing around 800 - would be dismantled "as soon as possible”.

The migrants were being moved for welfare and security reasons, Gérard Collomb, the French interior minister, said in a statement.

"Police services will be fully committed to preventing such camps being built again," Mr Collomb said. The evacuation was the 34th to take place since June 2015, he added.

French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for a new immigration law, still being debated in parliament, to speed up the asylum process and ramp up the deportation of economic migrants.

The issue of migration in France hit international headlines this week after a Malian migrant, Mamoudou Gassama, who was working illegally in the construction industry, saved a four-year-old boy hanging from a fourth-floor balcony.

The dramatic rescue turned him into an overnight national hero and prompted Mr Macron to grant him honorary citizenship.  He has already started work with the fire brigade after being offered a 10-month contract.

Immigration remains a key issue for French voters, polls suggest, and the far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen won a third of votes in last year's presidential election.

Paris mayor Socialist Anne Hidalgo praised the camp clearance on Wednesday but said that the city had been calling on the national government and interior ministry to take action for four months.

Ms Hidalgo has been embroiled in an angry row with Mr Collomb and the government, with the Socialist mayor calling on the state to find housing for migrants while the interior minister has retorted that it is the mayor’s responsibility to order evictions and to keep the capital’s streets safe and clean.

On Wednesday, Ms Hidalgo called on the government to approve the "reconstruction" of a migrant welcome centre in Paris to deal with the issue, as charities say that an extra 80 migrants are arriving every day in the French capital.

The last such centre at La Chapelle was closed in May to make way for a university building. Ms Hidalgo said that such a centre was "the only way to avoid fresh encampments in the streets".


A great new service for the homeless

STARBUCKS has rolled out its staff racial bias training with a 68-page guidebook and more than a dozen videos focusing on identifying racial prejudices, learning to be “colour brave,” and respecting customers and their spaces, according to the coffee chain.

Meanwhile, the company’s “Third Place Policy” — which would allow anyone to hang out or use the rest rooms in its stores, regardless of whether they purchase anything — has already been leading partners and customers to question how Starbucks can continue to function as a business and refrain from becoming a chain of “homeless drop-in centres”.

“Starbucks may find soon that its customers don’t want to be served coffee in a politically correct corporate homeless shelter,” pondered Jeremy Carl in an opinion piece for Fox News.

As part of Starbucks’ efforts to start “renewing Starbucks as a place where all people feel welcome,” the chain closed down 8000 of its company-operated stores on Tuesday afternoon “for a conversation and learning session on racial bias” with 175,000 of its employees, or “partners,” as Starbucks refers to them.

“Because we want to uplift others, we exist to inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup, and one neighbourhood at a time,” the company wrote of its mission at the start of the Starbucks guidebook provided to partners.

At the start of the session, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson introduced (via video) the topics for the day’s lesson, including a history of discrimination in public spaces as well as a lesson in being “colour brave,” the latter of which is explained as a an alternative to being colourblind, wherein a person’s racial identity is not ignored, but rather seen and respected for what it is.

“Here’s my belief: Growing up, there was a term called ‘colourblind,’ which described a learning behaviour of pretending not to notice race — that doesn’t even make sense,” said Mr Johnson. “So today we are starting a new journey, talking about race directly — what my friend and Starbucks board member Mellody Hobson calls being ‘colour brave.’”


The Robinson case

Britain's decline into Fascism.  Britain's Gestapo awaits critics of Islam

Hundreds of supporters of Tommy Robinson filled the streets of London on Saturday in protest against his arrest in Leeds on Friday, but it was not until shortly after midnight on Monday that the Daily Mail posted a report about the protest on its website. The story, which was unsigned, was updated on early Monday afternoon. How to explain the delay? Did the Daily Mail's lawyers have to check with the British government, which had placed a gag order on reporting about the arrest, to make sure that it was permissible to report on the protest, if not directly on the arrest itself?

The Mail made sure to describe the hundreds of protesters as "far-right." How did the Mail ascertain their politics? Does it not occur to the Mail that even if Robinson were far-right, which he is not, a British subject would not have to be far right to want to take in a protest against his shockingly rapid-fire arrest, trial, conviction, and imprisonment for the sole offense of reporting from outside a courthouse?

The Evening Standard also reported on the protest – and also labeled the participants "far-right." "The incident," wrote the Standard 's Tom Powell, "has triggered a furious reaction from his fans." In fact, it seems fair to say that the incident has shocked, outraged, and scared people around the world who, until now, had thought of the United Kingdom as a free country.

In America, for example, Robert Spencer warned that "the darkness of Sharia-compliant totalitarianism descends upon the UK." Thomas Lifson asked:

"Is Britain lost to the ranks of free nations? The land that bequeathed the world the Magna Carta and the 'mother of parliaments' is indulging in totalitarianism with its handling of Tommy Robinson, a famous political activist agitating about the threat of radical Islam, and attempting to report on the trial of a Muslim 'grooming gang' that allegedly preyed on young English girls, forcing them into prostitution."

In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders declared solidarity with Robinson: "Britain used to be a bastion of free speech. Today its leaders are behaving like North Korea and Saudi Arabia."

At least the Mail and Standard ran stories about the protests. Other major British dailies did not. The Metro website, for its part, posted a story that made the Mail look objective: "The controversial nationalist and far-right commentator, real name Stephen Lennon, was posing as a 'reporter' when police officers approached him," wrote Olivia Waring in a piece headlined "Why Was Tommy Robinson Arrested?"

In fact, Robinson was not "posing" as anything – he is a citizen journalist who at the time of his arrest was being watched live on Facebook by supporters around the world. Waring went on say that Robinson's supporters "abide by slogans like 'White Lives Matter.'" She also mentioned that Robin was a founder of the English Defence League, but omitted to acknowledge that he left the organization after it adopted a racist line of which he could not approve.

Whereas Robinson was arrested for "breaching the peace" – "apparently British police code for 'offending Islam,'" noted Spencer wryly – and was immediately thereafter found guilty of "contempt of court" and hustled off to the hoosegow, the savages whose case he was covering have apparently been on trial for several weeks now. They face multiple charges, including rape, racially aggravated assault, and inciting a child into prostitution. One of the defendants is accused of fifty-one separate counts, including twenty-one counts of rape. During the weeks of their trial they have, of course, had legal representation and have apparently been allowed to go home at night. Meanwhile Robinson's attorneys were apparently unable to contact him in the first hours and days after his arrest.

Finally, on Tuesday, in response to complaints by the British media, the gag order on reporting news about the Robinson case was lifted. Presumably this counts as a modest recovery for freedom of the press in Britain. Meanwhile, Robinson remains in jail for daring to exercise his free speech, and what the mainstream media have won back is the right to resume repeating their lockstep lies about who he is and what he stand for.



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

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

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



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(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

Bible references on homosexuality: Jude 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Leviticus 18:32; Leviticus 20:13

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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