The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

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 The mirror sites are updated several times a month but are no longer updated daily.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

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

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


31 March, 2014

A Sinophile looks back

When I set out for China [from Australia]  in 1978 I was aware that I may well spend the rest of my life here. The necessity of finding a mate suitable to that prospect was uppermost in my mind. However my fellow students in the Beijing Language Institute made it clear they lacked both traditional Chinese and modern Education due to the Cultural Revolution. As a result I avoided them.

When I moved into the Beijing Hotel in 1980 there was a large number of Hong Kong Chinese living and working  there with both a traditional upbringing and a modern education. Within six months I had made my choice. I now look back on more than thirty years of contented marriage and two wonderful loving sons.

I must say have never regretted it. We have watched China modernize and at the same time grope for what aspects of traditional culture can be quietly restored. It has been a great experience for both of us watching our chosen homeland regain its former status in the world as a great nation, and the people discover their cultural roots while participating in the wider, global culture. I truly believe I could not have gained the insights, the compassion, and commitment to China without a traditionally raised wife.

Traditional Chinese wives have a total dedication to the welfare of their husbands. Each meal contains medicinal herbs designed to overcome the perceived malaise of the day. For Chinese wives their husband is a resource which needs to be sent out each day ready to earn at the maximum level each day.

Via Facebook

World Vision rediscovers the Bible

I abandoned WV years ago when I asked to donate to help a poor Jewish child in Israel.  They refused my money

Poor stupid World Vision. Having offered incense at the shrine of the Spirit of the Age, giving the tick to homosexual “marriage” amongst its employees (while, inexplicably, still rejecting cohabiting heterosexual couples) it now bows to pressure from the Mammon of market forces and reverses its decision.

When the AOG churches and others threaten to withdraw support, WV has a sudden fit of orthodoxy. I was on the verge of cancelling twenty years of support for the great work of WV – my tolerance already pushed to the brink by CEO Tim Costello’s embrace of every leftist fashion from climate salvation to Gonski redemption – but will now reconsider.

We don’t expect parachurch organisations to be sinless, but it is unforgivable where they are spineless.

This was yesterday’s letter from the WV international leaders – and they are genuinely contrite about their stupidity and faithlessness. The second-last paragraph states the obvious, but it is stated well:

Dear Friends,

Today, the World Vision U.S. board publicly reversed its recent decision to change our national employment conduct policy. The board acknowledged they made a mistake and chose to revert to our longstanding conduct policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.

We are writing to you our trusted partners and Christian leaders who have come to us in the spirit of Matthew 18 to express your concern in love and conviction. You share our desire to come together in the Body of Christ around our mission to serve the poorest of the poor. We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness.

In our board’s effort to unite around the church’s shared mission to serve the poor in the name of Christ, we failed to be consistent with World Vision U.S.’s commitment to the traditional understanding of Biblical marriage and our own Statement of Faith, which says, ” We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God. ” And we also failed to seek enough counsel from our own Christian partners. As a result, we made a change to our conduct policy that was not consistent with our Statement of Faith and our commitment to the sanctity of marriage.

We are brokenhearted over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends, who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to Biblical authority. We ask that you understand that this was never the board’s intent. We are asking for your continued support. We commit to you that we will continue to listen to the wise counsel of Christian brothers and sisters, and we will reach out to key partners in the weeks ahead.

While World Vision U.S. stands firmly on the biblical view of marriage, we strongly affirm that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are created by God and are to be loved and treated with dignity and respect.

Please know that World Vision continues to serve all people in our ministry around the world. We pray that you will continue to join with us in our mission to be ” an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice, and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God .”


Free Exercise Clause Does Not Protect Kosher Meat Companies

 U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)—which Congress enacted to guide the Executive Branch and courts in defending that right—would not directly protect kosher or halal meat-processing corporations from a hypothetical federal rule that by generally banning certain meat-processing practices effectively banned kosher and halal meat processing by incorporated businesses.

Verrilli told the court that the customers of a kosher or halal meat-processing company--not the company itself--would have cause to sue in such a situation.

But he did not directly say whether the Obama Administration believed that the customers of a kosher meat-processing corporation should prevail in such a case.

At the end of an exchange that takes up three pages in the transcript of the court’s oral arguments in the case of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, Justice Stephen Breyer pinned Verrilli down on a question first brought up by Justice Sam Alito.

“Take five Jewish or Muslim butchers and what you’re saying to them is if they choose to work under the corporate form, which is viewed universally, you have to give up on that form the Freedom of Exercise Clause that you’d otherwise have,” Breyer said to Verrilli.

“Now, looked at that way, I don’t think it matters whether they call themselves a corporation or whether they call themselves individuals,” said Breyer. “I mean, I think that’s the question you’re being asked, and I need to know what your response is to it.”

Verrilli’s answer to Breyer was to repeat the Obama Administration’s opinion that the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion does not apply when people are doing business through a corporation.

“Well,” said Verrilli, “I think our response is what the Court said in Part 3 of the Lee opinion, which is that once you make a choice to go into the commercial sphere, which you certainly do when you incorporate as a for-profit corporation, you are making a choice to live by the rules that govern you and your competitors in the commercial sphere.”

In Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, the administration is trying to force the Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, to comply with a regulation issued under the Affordable Care Act. This regulation, promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services, says that health-insurance plans must cover, without copay, all Food and Drug Administration-approved methods of contraception.

These methods include two types of IUDs and the Plan B and Ella “emergency contraceptives" which can act as abortifacients, terminating a human life after conception.

The Greens, who are required under the Affordable Care Act to insure their employees or face at least $26 million in annual penalties, argued that by forcing them to provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs the government is forcing them to violate their Christian faith, which tells them to protect, not destroy, innocent life.

The administration has conceded in court that the regulation does force the Greens to act against their Christian faith. However, the administration argues that because the Greens operate their business through a corporation, they have no First Amendment right to practice their Christianity while doing business.

The National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court on the side of the Green family and Hobby Lobby. This brief--written by attorney Nathan Lewin—presented an actual scenario played out in New York State that more closely mirrors the Green family’s situation than the case of an incorporated kosher slaughterhouse.

The situation in New York involved a medical and dental clinic owned and operated by Orthodox Jews. The question: Could the state force this clinic to open on the Sabbath—thus forcing its Jewish owners to directly violate the teachings of their faith?

“An observant Jew may not direct his or her employee—be the employee Jewish or gentile—to labor on the Sabbath,” says the brief for the National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs.

“A federal government directive to a Jewish employer—be he the owner of a business operated for profit or the manager of a non-profit charitable entity—requiring the employer to have employees work on the Sabbath would substantially burden the Jewish employer’s religious exercise,” says the brief.

“Under the Jewish Law the same religious prohibition that bars certain proscribed activity on the Sabbath in a for-profit business applies to a non-profit activity,” says the brief. “The religious sanction for violating the Sabbath is not reduced if the actor has a non-profit motive.

“A graphic illustration of the arbitrary impact on Orthodox Jewish observance that could result from the Government’s construction of RFRA is a complaint filed in 2006 before the New York State Division of Human Rights,” says the brief, citing Trotman v. The Ben Gilman Spring Valley Medical and Dental Clinic. “The complainant alleged that the operators of the clinic, which provided medical and dental help, discriminated unlawfully by closing the clinic’s Spring Valley and Monsey offices on Saturdays because of ‘the extremity of their own religious beliefs.’

“The Orthodox Jewish owners and operators of the clinics filed a verified answer based on rabbinic instruction that the clinics could not open on the Sabbath,” says the brief. “The religious freedom rights of the owner and operators of the clinics resulted in dismissal of the complaint.

“Could such clinics, operated by Sabbath-observing Orthodox Jews, be compelled to stay open on Saturdays if they were for-profit medical centers?” asked the brief. “Such a result is surely a blow to religious freedom but it would be possible under the Government’s interpretation of RFRA."

The National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs’ example of forcing a clinic owned by Orthodox Jews to stay open on the Sabbath—thus forcing the owners to act directly against the teachings of their faith—was not brought up during the oral arguments in the Hobby Lobby case.

Toward the end of the arguments, however, Justice Alito did bring up the example of a Danish law that prohibited kosher and halal meat-processing methods.

“Let me give you this example,” said Alito. “According to the media, Denmark recently prohibited kosher and halal slaughter methods because they believe that they are inhumane. Now, suppose Congress enacted something like that here. What would a corporation that is a kosher or halal slaughterhouse do? They would simply…have no recourse whatsoever. They couldn’t even get a day in court. They couldn’t raise a RFRA claim. They couldn’t raise a First Amendment claim.”

In his initial response to Alito, Verrilli incorrectly assumed the law Alito was suggesting was specifically and narrowly targeted at kosher and halal slaughterhouses.

“Well, I’m not sure they couldn’t raise a First Amendment claim, Justice Alito,” said Verrilli. “I think if you had a targeted law like that, that targeted a specific religious practice, that—I don’t think it is our position that they couldn’t make a free exercise claim in that circumstance and so—.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy interjected: “Well, but you’re getting away from the hypothetical.  Justice Alito’s hypothetical was that the impetus for this was humane treatment of animals. There was no animus to religion at all, which in the Church of Lukumi, there was an animus to the religion. So, we’re taking that out of the hypothetical.”

“Exactly,” said Alito.

“Right,” said Solicitor General Verrilli. “Well, I think if it were targeted only at the practice of the kosher and halal practices, then I think you would have an issue of whether it’s a targeted law or not. But even if it is-- .”

Now Alito interjected: “Well, they say no animal may be slaughtered unless it’s stunned first, unless the animal is rendered unconscious before it is slaughtered.”

“Well, I think in that circumstance,” said Verrilli, “you would have, I think, an ability for the customer to bring suit. I think you might recognize third party standing on behalf of the corporation—on the corporations, on behalf of customers. So a suit like that could be brought.

“But even if you disagree with me at the threshold,” said Verrilli, “even if you disagree with us with respect to the kinds of risks that we think you will be inviting if you hold that for-profit corporations can bring these claims, when you get to the compelling interest analysis, the rights of the third party employees are at center stage here.”

Verrilli then made clear he was thinking about the “rights” of  third-party employees who want their employer to give them  insurance coverage for contraceptives and abortifacients—not the rights of employees who are thankful their employer is protecting them from having to violate their own religious faith by buying coverage for these things.

It was then that Breyer forced Verrilli to clarify if it was indeed the administration’s position that if “five Jewish or Muslim butchers” formed a corporation to do business they would have to “give up on that form the Freedom of Exercise Clause that you’d otherwise have.”

In reaction to Verrilli’s statement to the Court, Nathan Lewin, author of the brief for The National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs, pointed to the Supreme Court’s 1961 cases of Braunfeld v. Brown and Gallagher v. Crown Kosher Super Market. These cases examined whether state laws could force Jewish-owned businesses to close on Sunday, even though they were also closed on Saturdays for the Jewish Sabbath.

None of the justices in those cases, Lewin said, took the position that a for-profit corporation could not make a religious freedom claim on behalf of its owner.

“In response to Justice Alito’s question regarding kosher slaughter the Solicitor General gratifyingly indicated that kosher consumers would be able to challenge restrictions on kosher slaughter under the Constitution and federal law even if corporate merchants could not,” Lewin told CNSNews.com.

“It was discouraging, however, that, when answering Justice Breyer, he said that kosher butchers who have gone ‘into the commercial sphere’ must live by the same rules that govern their ‘competitors,’” said Lewin. “Justices William Brennan and Potter Stewart did not agree with that proposition when, more than 50 years ago, they voted to uphold the constitutional right of Orthodox Jewish store-owners to keep their stores open on Sunday because their faith forced them to be closed on Saturdays.

“And the other Justices in 1961 only denied the Sabbath observers’ claims because if they were open on Sundays the Sabbath observers would have a competitive advantage over stores that complied with Sunday Laws,” said Lewin. “No one took the position that a corporate for-profit business could assert no claim to religious freedom on behalf of its religious owner.”

Rabbi Aryeh Spero, author of Push Back: Reclaiming Our American Judeo-Christian Spirit, was also critical of the argument that the Obama administration made to the court in the Hobby Lobby case.

“If in order to maintain religious freedom, religious people can not incorporate, then religious people are being denied a fundamental economic right,” said Spero. “One cannot safely be in the market place if he is told by the government that he can not incorporate. That is what Obama is basically enacting. He penalizes people for being religious. If they can't incorporate, many are not able to go into business, and it's certainly impossible to really expand your business beyond a mom-and-pop store.

“Obama is saying he and his administration have the right to tell religion how that religion can be practiced,” said Spero.

“Obama and colleagues believe, as they phrase it, only in 'freedom of worship' not freedom of religion,” said Spero. “They confine religious freedom to the four walls of a building for worship. They do not believe that outside these walls, one is free to practice beyond what Obama decides.

“Obamacare is unconstitutional precisely because it removes freedom of religion,” the rabbi said.


CAIR Gets Muslim TV Show Killed Over Ethnic, Religious Stereotyping

The terrorist front organization Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has repeatedly proven that it wields tremendous power in the Obama administration and now the group is flexing its bulging muscles in Hollywood, successfully killing a new show on a major television network over negative stereotypes of Muslims.

This is the same nonprofit that got the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to purge anti-terrorism training material determined to be "offensive" to Muslims. Judicial Watch uncovered that scandal last summer and obtained hundreds of pages of FBI documents revealing that a group of "Subject Matter Experts" determined certain anti-terrorism training curricula contained material that was offensive to Muslims. The excised files included references linking the Muslim Brotherhood to terrorism, tying al Qaeda to the 1993 World Trade Center and Khobar Towers bombings, and suggesting that "young male immigrants of Middle Eastern appearance ... may fit the terrorist profile best."

CAIR also got several police departments in President Obama's home state of Illinois to cancel essential counterterrorism courses over accusations that the instructor was anti-Muslim. The course was called "Islamic Awareness as a Counter-Terrorist Strategy" and departments in Lombard, Elmhurst and Highland Park caved into CAIR's demands. The group responded with a statement commending officials for their "swift action in addressing the Muslim community's concerns."

Founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists (Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad and Rafeeq Jaber) who ran the American propaganda wing of Hamas, CAIR has also wielded power in a number of other cases during the Obama administration. It has impeded an FBI probe involving the radicalization of young Somali men in the U.S., pressured the U.S. government to file discrimination lawsuits against employers who don't accommodate Muslims and forced American taxpayers to fund "Islamically permissible" meals for Muslim prison inmates.

Last fall an Obama-appointed federal judge ruled that a Muslim woman's civil rights were violated by an American clothing retailer that didn't allow her to wear a head scarf as required by her religion. CAIR represented the woman, 19-year-old Umme-Hani Khan, who got fired for wearing a hijab at the store which has a policy against head covers of any kind for its employees. The federal agency that enforces the nation's workplace discrimination law, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), used CAIR's language in its lawsuit, alleging religious discrimination, a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Clearly, the Muslim "civil rights" group is on a major power trip so why not hit the entertainment industry, which undeniably influences public opinion. CAIR got ABC Family to cancel a teen drama called "Alice in Arabia" by playing the race card, according to a Hollywood trade newspaper. The script was written by a former U.S. Army translator named Brooke Eikmeier and the storyline focuses on an American teenaged girl kidnapped by her royal Saudi Arabian family. The series may lead to stereotyping that can result in bullying of Muslim students, according to the director of CAIR's southern California headquarters, Hussam Ayloush.

"As the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, we are concerned about the negative impact this program could have on the lives of ordinary Arab-American and American Muslims," Ayloush writes in a letter to the TV network's president. Ayloush goes on to "urge" the network to meet with representatives of the Muslim and Arab-American communities to "discuss this important issue." In other words, get rid of the show.

Though it may seem inconsequential, it's a telling cultural battle fought and won by CAIR. President Obama is the group's lapdog in the name of political correctness and diplomacy, but a private entertainment conglomerate has no reason to cave into its demands. Here is the explanation offered by ABC: "The current conversation surrounding our pilot was not what we had envisioned and is certainly not conducive to the creative process, so we've decided not to move forward with this project." CAIR pounded its chest after coercing a major TV network to cancel a "program that had the potential to promote ethnic and religious stereotyping."



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

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

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


30 March, 2014

Mr Bean on free speech

Liberal UK signs its own death warrant

So now we know the names of more than 200 ‘leading UK cultural figures’, from luvvies and lords to authors and academics, who have signed Hacked Off’s declaration demanding that the UK press signs up to the politicians’ Royal Charter on press regulation. It makes remarkable and revealing reading.

No, not the Hacked Off statement itself, which is just the latest familiar attempt by the elitist little lobby group fronted by Hugh Grant to tame the popular press. What is revealing is the collection of eminent writers, filmmakers, professors, actors, human-rights campaigners and others from the intelligentsia and creative industries – even including top liberal journalists such as John Pilger and Nick Davies - who have proved willing to put their names to such an illiberal demand.

Looking down the long list of names (reprinted in full below, from Press Gazette) I was immediately reminded of George Orwell’s prescient words from his 1946 essay, The Prevention of Literature. Orwell observed ‘that in England the immediate enemies of truthfulness, and hence of freedom of thought, are the press lords, the film magnates, and the bureaucrats, but that on a long view the weakening of the desire for liberty among the intellectuals themselves is the most serious symptom of all’.

Just such a ‘weakening of the desire for liberty among the intellectuals themselves’ has been the hallmark of the debate about press freedom in Britain ever since the phone-hacking scandal broke. While celebrities and victims of hacking fronted the campaign for tighter regulation of the press, it has been the liberal and left-wing intelligentsia and media that have driven the crusade to curb the popular press. It was they who formed Hacked Off, used the hacking scandal to demand and get the Leveson Inquiry into the entire ‘culture, practice and ethics’ of the UK media, and wrote the report’s demands for statutory-backed regulation.

Now more than 200 prominent members of what are sometimes called the chattering classes have publicly signed up to the demand for the press to bend the knee to the Royal Charter. It would be difficult to overestimate the abandonment of liberty that represents. The Royal Charter deal, stitched up by all the main political parties in an infamous late-night meeting with Hacked Off, seeks to impose a regulator using the ancient anti-democratic instruments of the Crown, the royal prerogative and the Her Majesty’s Privy Council. As I noted on spiked at the time when the Royal Charter was first proposed in February 2013: ‘Anybody with a passing knowledge of the history of the struggle for press freedom in Britain should recoil from the merest suggestion of the Crown and the Privy Council becoming once more involved in press regulation, however formal their role. It evokes grim shadows of the old system of Crown licensing of the press, started by Henry VIII in 1529 and expanded under successive monarchs, under which nothing could be published without official permission.’ Those who defied the Crown licensers could expect to be sent to the Tower or the gallows.

There are no immediate plans to reintroduce such harsh punishments for errant journalists and publishers (much as some might like to). But the Royal Charter is backed by a new law which threatens those who do not sign up to the politicians’ system with the prospect of suffering ‘exemplary damages’ in court. Despite this, most major newspaper and magazine publishers have understandably rejected the politicians’ system and are setting up their own Independent Press Standards Organisation.

Now we are faced with the shameful spectacle of those who claim to be liberal-minded intellectuals openly demanding that the press accept a system of state-backed regulation via the Royal Charter. If these people had even a ‘passing knowledge of the history of the struggle for press freedom’ in Britain, they might know that it was those who wanted freedom of thought and social change that fought for the right to write, publish and read what they chose.

By contrast, the dominant view among today’s illiberal liberals is ‘I believe in press freedom, BUT…’. It is a consensus captured by the author Ian McEwan, who said in support of the Hacked Off declaration for regulation by Royal Charter that ‘The right to freedom of expression is the bedrock of our liberty. Without it, none of our other cherished rights could have been talked or written into existence. But no freedom is absolute and all rights carry responsibilities.’ They want freedom of expression and of the press of course, but only for those considered ‘responsible’ – such as themselves.

The truth is, however, that freedom of speech and of the press are indivisible liberties, and unless we defend them for all we will be able to do so for none at all. Nor should anybody’s right to freedom of expression be deemed dependent on the fulfilment of responsibilities or duties imposed from without. There might be plenty of problems with the UK press. But contrary to the myth at the heart of the debate about regulation today, it is not and never has been ‘too free’.

Some 80 years ago, George Dangerfield wrote his famous history, The Strange Death of Liberal England. Today, it seems we are witnessing the strange suicide of liberal Britain, as those who like to think of themselves as free-thinking radicals and champions of human rights publicly declare their ‘weakening of the desire for liberty’. They have effectively signed a death warrant for liberal Britain by tossing away the most fundamental liberty of all, freedom of expression and of the press.

Remember their names, and the next time any of these illiberal liberals tries to claim that they are radicals, rebels or freedom fighters, let us remind the world that they are fully signed-up supporters of an unfree press by order of the Crown.


Shocker: FBI dumps Southern Poverty Law Center as “hate crime” watchdog partner

Robert Spencer   

This is indeed a shocker, as it goes against the consistent policy line of Obama’s FBI and Justice Department. But it is a most welcome development. The SPLC is one of the Left’s foremost propaganda organs, tarring any group that dissents from its extreme political agenda (such as our American Freedom Defense Initiative, and this website) as a “hate group.” Significantly, although it lists hundreds of groups as “hate groups,” it includes hardly any Islamic jihad groups on this list. And its “hate group” designation against the Family Research Council led one of its followers to storm the FRC offices with a gun, determined to murder the chief of the FRC. This shows that these kinds of charges shouldn’t be thrown around frivolously, as tools to demonize and marginalize those whose politics the SPLC dislikes. But that is exactly what they do. Its hard-Left leanings are well known and well documented. This Weekly Standard article sums up much of what is wrong with the SPLC.

“Shocker: FBI dumps Southern Poverty Law Center as ‘hate crime’ watchdog partner,” by Paul Bedard for the Washington Examiner, March 26:

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has labeled several Washington, D.C.-based family organizations as “hate groups” for favoring traditional marriage, has been dumped as a “resource” on the FBI‘s Hate Crime Web page, a significant rejection of the influential legal group.

The Web page scrubbing, which also included eliminating the Anti-Defamation League, was not announced and came in the last month after 15 family groups pressed Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey to stop endorsing a group — SPLC — that inspired a recent case of domestic terrorism at the Family Research Council.

“We commend the FBI for removing website links to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that not only dispenses erroneous data but has been linked to domestic terrorism in federal court. We hope this means the FBI leadership will avoid any kind of partnership with the SPLC,” Tony Perkins, FRC President, told Secrets.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center’s mission to push anti-Christian propaganda is inconsistent with the mission of both the military and the FBI, which is to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States,” he added.

The FBI had no comment and offered no explanation for its decision to end their website’s relationship with the two groups, leaving just four federal links as hate crime “resources.” Neither eliminated group had an immediate comment.

SPLC has been a leading voice against hate crimes, and has singled out evangelical and traditional family groups as advocates of hate against gays. It has even gone after a local official, Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, who also heads a group that promotes traditional, opposite sex marriage.

In August 2012, a Washington area man guided by the SPLC’s “hate map” that cited FRC, entered the group’s headquarters and shot a security guard. The guard survived and the shooter, a volunteer with a gay group, pleaded guilty to domestic terrorism.

In their letter, the 15 conservative groups argued that the FBI website’s inclusion of SPLC as a resource “played a significant part in bringing about an act of domestic terrorism.” It added, “It is completely inappropriate for the Department of Justice to recommend public reliance on the SPLC hate group lists and data. The links to the SPLC as a FBI ‘Resource’ must be taken down immediately, leaving only official, trustworthy sources listed on the agency’s webpage.”


Explaining the Causes of Poverty Is Racist

Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan has long been the go-to guy for GOP budget strategy. As such, he earns opposition from all sides – including many conservatives for not going far enough. Recently, Ryan waded into a discussion on the endemic nature of poverty and how it relates to government spending, leaving politically correct leftists fit to be tied.

“[W]e have got this tailspin of culture and her inner cities in particular of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value in the culture of work,” Ryan said in a radio interview. “And so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.” He was advocating a broader approach to fighting poverty than just throwing government money at it. “If you're driving from the suburb to the sports arena downtown by these blighted neighborhoods,” he added, “you can't just say: 'I'm paying my taxes, government's going to fix that.' You need to get involved.”

Predictably, Ryan's comments set off leftist accusations of – wait for it – racism. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) angrily lectured, “My colleague Congressman Ryan's comments about inner-city poverty are a thinly veiled racial attack and cannot be tolerated. Let's be clear: When Mr. Ryan says 'inner city'; when he says, 'culture,' these are simply code words for what he really means: 'black.'” The fact is, this is about culture and not color, but the “colorblind” Left makes everything about color.

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson wrote a rejoinder absurdly titled Paul Ryan's culture attack is an excuse to do nothing about poverty. He explained, “My problem is that when you identify something so amorphous as culture as the fundamental issue, you excuse yourself for not proposing concrete solutions.”

Well, our problem is the federal government has been waging its “War on Poverty” for more than half a century with little to show for it beyond exploding debt. Indeed, Ryan has done extensive work reviewing the results of government intervention, and found that the benefits are underwhelming. But if anyone dares to suggest such a thing, or that cultural problems are interwoven with poverty, retribution is swift. Real solutions, on the other hand, are left on the altar of political correctness.

Ryan conceded that his comments were “inarticulate,” but his point stands. And as columnist George Will more eloquently writes, “To say that poverty can be self-perpetuating is not to say, and Ryan did not say, that poverty is caused by irremediable attributes that are finally the fault of the poor. It is, however, to define the challenge, which is to acculturate those unacquainted with the culture of work to the disciplines and satisfactions of this culture.”


The real gay marriage bigots are its intolerant supporters

By Amanda Platell

A wedding day is always a special occasion and especially so, of course, for the first homosexual couples marrying today.

I wish them every happiness for the future. But that does not alter the fact that I still disagree with the concept of gay marriage.

No doubt I’ll receive a barrage of abuse for even admitting as much. For surely the saddest legacy of the whole gay marriage debate is how it has brought about the most appalling bigotry — not against homosexuals, but against those who oppose the new law.

For evidence of that, you only had to watch BBC Question Time on Thursday. One audience member, Marilyn Barmer, was booed and hissed for even having the temerity to ask: ‘Why do we need to change the definition of marriage that has existed for thousands of years, when equality already exists?’

A perfectly reasonable question, you might think. Yet from the outraged response of the audience, it was as if she’d been proposing the execution of every first-born. Others who echoed her views were similarly subjected to jeers, sneers and contempt.

I can’t help wondering if that’s the reaction the BBC — our self-appointed Ministry for Political Correctness — sought to provoke by hosting the show in Brighton, the gay capital of Britain.

But then this was just a microcosm of the way the gay marriage legislation has been forced through by our political masters. Anyone brave enough to voice unease has been branded a bigot whose views were so beneath contempt they didn’t even deserve to be heard.

In modern Britain, the chattering-class thought-police have decreed that their liberal value system is morally superior to the traditional beliefs of millions of ordinary Britons.

A poll that went out at midnight after Question Time said two-thirds of people support gay marriage, but a third still do not. That doesn’t make them homophobes. Indeed, I suspect the vast majority welcomed the introduction of civil partnerships, yet simply feel that gay marriage is a step too far.

Do they not have a right to a voice? The gay community has fought all along for tolerance, and rightly so. But surely it should extend both ways.

Ironically, many of the most vicious attacks have not come from the gay community — many of whom remain ambivalent about gay marriage — but from politicians cynically trying to parade their touchy-feely credentials.

And never mind that this meant trampling over the beliefs of many Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and others opposed to gay marriage.

That’s not social progress, it’s a form of intolerance every bit as ugly as homophobia.



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

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

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


28 March, 2014

Franklin Graham: Some Administration Officials Are ‘Anti-Christ’

Some of the people working in the Obama administration and in the White House are trying to “completely secularize our military” and are “hostile to Christians,” to the point that they “are anti-Christ in what they say and in what they do,” said Christian evangelist Franklin Graham, the son of world-renowned preacher Rev. Billy Graham.

Franklin Graham made his comments during a Mar. 24 interview with Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, which published an updated report on religious persecution in the U.S. armed forces this month.

During the interview on Washington Watch Weekly, Perkins asked Graham, “I would have to believe you’re also tracking, in fact I know you’re tracking because you were a part of it – when you were scheduled to speak at the Pentagon a few years ago they disinvited you – are you concerned about this intense religious hostility that we see manifesting in our nation’s military?”

Graham said, ““No question. And my son just got back from his seventh [military] tour this weekend.  So, I love the military. There has been huge pressure on the chaplains in our military – and our chaplains have been a wonderful thing for the military. But there is a move to get rid of the chaplains in our country, and to completely secularize our military. Actually, they are hostile to Christians.

“A lot of this is coming from this administration and is being pushed by people within the White House,” said Graham.  “And when I say White House, I’m not saying the president, because I’m not sure how much of this he’s aware of.  But it’s people that work for him that have power, that are sitting in offices, and they are hostile to Christ.”

“They are anti-Christ in what they say and in what they do,” said Graham.  “And they are pushing this agenda into the military. It’s scary.”

Earlier in the interview, Perkins had briefly discussed religious liberty in the military and spoke of moral decline in America. He had also asked Graham, “what will it take for America to come back to our moral principles?”

Graham said, “This is a good question. When you look at scripture, when Israel turned their backs on God – and that’s what we as a nation have done and are doing – there was usually some type of calamity. There was a famine, there was a persecution from their neighbors, nations would come in and overrun them and destroy them.”

He continued, “And it’s, kind of, when they were beaten down to the ground, that they would turn their hearts toward God once again. And they would cry unto the Lord, and He would hear them and He would deliver them. And I don’t know what’s going to have to happen in this country, but my prayer is that America will wake up before that [persecution] happens.”

In their updated report, A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military, the Family Research Council says there has been “a growing hostility to religion within the armed services in the last decade. Unfortunately, pressures to impose a secular, anti-religious culture on our nation’s military services have intensified during the Obama administration. This pressure exists across the armed services, bit it has become extremely acute in the United States Air Force. The Air Force has had the great misfortune to be targeted by anti-Christian activists.”


Over 600 People Walk by Two Lost Girls: Can You Blame Them?

In the Daily Mail, there is a story about an experiment where two little girls say they are lost and more than 600 people at a shopping mall walk by them:

Hidden cameras recorded Uma, seven, and Maya, five, who took it in turns to look lost.

Astonishingly, over the whole hour only one person, a grandmother, took a moment to find out if there was a problem. All of the 616 other passers-by completely ignored the girls.

Heartbreakingly for the mother of the sisters – who was watching from a hiding place nearby – passing couples even split apart to walk around either side of the ‘lost’ girls and people wheeling suitcases took evasive action to avoid Maya and Uma, not thinking to check if they needed help.

Who can blame them? The authorities have spent years making it clear that adults, in particular male adults, are suspect –and now they want those same adults to stand up and help kids with no regard for their own welfare:

Experts said the reluctance of the passers-by was partly explained by people being busy, and partly a fear – especially among men – of any help they offer a child being misinterpreted.

But the NSPCC said a child’s welfare was more important than worrying about being labelled a ‘stranger danger’.

A spokesman said: ‘We have got to get a message out to adults that they have a responsibility to protect children and that must supersede any concern you have for other people’s perception of why you are reaching out to help that child.’

Bullshit — responsibility is a two-way street. It’s not just a “perception by people” that men and even women are a danger to kids, it is a reality that men (and some women, but mostly men) are charged with abuse and face real jail time, job loss and separation from their families for sex abuse charges so readily that they have become immune to the cries of kids. Who can blame them? I can’t. Can you?


MI: Federal court halts homosexual marriage in Michigan

A federal appeals court on Tuesday put an indefinite halt to gay marriage in Michigan while it takes a longer look at a judge’s decision overturning a 2004 ban on same-sex nuptials.

The court granted the state’s request to suspend a ruling by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman, who declared the voter-approved ban unconstitutional on Friday. Hundreds of same-sex couples in four counties were married Saturday before the appeals court stepped in with a temporary stay that had been set to expire Wednesday.

The 2-1 decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was a victory for Attorney General Bill Schuette, who had pledged to rush to the U.S. Supreme Court if the court turned him down.

Judges Karen Caldwell and John Rogers said a stay is appropriate, especially because the Supreme Court ordered a similar time-out in January in a gay marriage case in Utah.

‘‘There is no apparent basis to distinguish this case or to balance the equities any differently than the Supreme Court did’’ in Utah, Caldwell and Rogers said. ‘‘Furthermore, several district courts that have struck down laws prohibiting same-sex marriage similar to the Michigan amendment at issue here have also granted requests for stays made by state defendants.’’

Appeals court Judge Helene White disagreed.

It will be months before the next major step by the Cincinnati-based court. It set May and June deadlines for additional filings by the state and attorneys for two Detroit-area nurses who had challenged the gay marriage ban. The court has yet to schedule a day for arguments.

‘‘We will now focus on preparing an appeal in defense of the constitution and the will of the people,’’ Schuette spokeswoman Joy Yearout said.

Friedman, a judge in Detroit, ruled last week in favor of Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, who live with three adopted children. They can’t jointly adopt each other’s kids because joint adoption in Michigan is tied to marriage.

The judge held a two-week trial, listening to experts mostly talk about the impact of same-sex parenting on children. Friedman said conservative social scientists and economists who testified for Michigan were ‘‘unbelievable’’ and ‘‘clearly represent a fringe viewpoint.’’

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia issue licenses for same-sex marriage. Since December, bans on gay marriage have been overturned in Texas, Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia, but appeals have put those cases on hold.

Attorneys for Rowse and DeBoer had urged the appeals court to allow gay marriages in Michigan while the case was under review.

‘‘The public interest in this case lies on the side of ending discrimination, promoting equality and human dignity and providing security for children,’’ they said.

Nearly 60 percent of Michigan voters in 2004 approved adding an amendment to the constitution that says marriage only is between a man and a woman. Friedman, however, said the election result was no defense to discrimination against gays and lesbians.

What remains unclear is the legal status of more than 300 couples who were married Saturday in Washtenaw, Ingham, Oakland and Muskegon counties. Supporters of same-sex marriage are urging the Obama administration to recognize the marriages for purposes of federal benefits as it has done in other states.

Gov. Rick Snyder has not signaled if the state will recognize the marriages.


The Medal of Honor and Race

The other day, I caught some breaking news on Fox. On March 18th, President Obama awarded 24 Medals of Honor to individuals who had been denied the honor due to racism. That’s all I needed to hear. I was enraged. Why? Because, the Left assiduously sustains the mechanisms of racism and hate. They’ve developed it into a smoke stack industry and have constructed assembly lines of malice, churning out classes and victims twenty four hours a day. An endless variety of discontent, racial subversion, and agitation.

Racism is a multi-million dollar business and business is good. Well, it’s good for the plutocrats at the top of the pyramid: the Jessie Jacksons, Al Sharptons, Louis Farrakhans, Reverend Wrights, and Barack Obamas of the world. Their power is generated and sustained by the friction between the classes, particularly between races. The heat feeds the furnace of their avarice and the burning discontent creates the chimera of antagonists by which they inflame the passions of their dupes. And, passionate fury demands change. These Leftists will sacrifice any object to their ritual cauldrons so long as it feeds the infernal machine. Now, dangling above their smelting pots is the gleaming Medal of Honor.

The Medal of Honor was first commissioned by President Lincoln during the Civil War. Since that time there have been 3,487 recipients, including one woman. It is bestowed on those who display gallantry, intrepidity and heroism above and beyond the call of duty. 88 Medals of Honor have been bestowed on African-Americans, the first being awarded to William Carney, July 18, 1863, during the Civil War. 59 have been awarded to Hispanic-Americans, 33 to Asian-Americans, and 32 to Native-Americans.

Obama’s actions are not without precedent. The first President to presumptively attempt to right wrongs was Jimmy Carter, followed by George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Obama's recipients were awarded our nation’s second highest honor, the Distinguished Service Cross. Additionally, several white service men where identified during the review of military records to be deserving of the upgrade. But, in Obama's words, "some of these soldiers fought and died for a country that did not always see them as equal."

Once again, race has been foisted on us and threatens to overshadow the deeds of the heroic, contorting the fabric of reality to fit a bigoted narrative; leading us to perceive a noble nation as fractious and contradictory, instead of a unity bound by the most noble ideals. This is the great evil of the Left. And, the Medal of Honor has become a pretext, a foil for their demented narrative. Have there been instances of racism? Certainly. Any nation, as large and complex as ours, will produce instances of inhumanity and bigotry. However, what society on the face of the earth has not? America, unlike any other nation, has enshrined the ideal of equality under the law and has made it real through the blood of its patriot sons and daughters. Through a civil war and a civil rights struggle we have gained the prize. We are all the inheritors and beneficiaries of these ideals--a classless society. It is what Martin Luther King Jr. meant when he longed for a day when a man would only be judged by the content of his character. But, this does not serve the Left, the agitator, or the useful fool who militates for the destruction of our republic and the institution of a socialist order.

I am indignant at Obama’s submersing the Medal of Honor in the urine of bigotry. This attitude is the hallmark of his administration. If Obama's objective was to honor those who performed olympian deeds, then why taint these magnificent acts with the stink of racism? In a post-racist America, what object does it serve to besmirch a solemn ceremony, except to gain the subversive advantage of perpetuating an exploitable antagonism? Melvin Morris, of Cocoa, Florida was one of the black recipients. He said that it never occurred to him that his race might have prevented him from receiving the Medal of Honor. It never occurred to him until a subtle minion whispered the calumny in his ear.

Obama has presided over one of the most divisive administrations in American history. This reality is in stark distinction to his campaign promises to foster unity. And, it is in stark contrast to the expectations of naive liberals who viewed their vote for Obama as some sort of mea culpa for white guilt. Booker T. Washington explains President Barack Hussein Obama’s race-obsession: "There is another class of colored 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.” —from My Larger Education



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

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

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


27 March, 2014

Great News! NJ Immigration Enthusiast Officials Congratulated By President Of Guatemala!

Recently, NBC 10 News Philadelphia ran the usual “Robbery Gone Wrong” story (Teen Beaten to Death While Walking Home With Groceries, by David Chang, February 17, 2014) about a killing in Trenton NJ. The victim was Julio Cesar Cruz, an “immigrant” from Guatemala.  Two black teenagers allegedly beat him to death. 

The original story included the MSM weasel phrase “Police have not yet released a detailed description of the suspects,” which apparently now means that the police told the reporter that all they know was that it was “two black teens”, but the reporter isn’t going to tell you that, because it’s not news and will just give you bad feelings about black teens.

When the perps were caught and charged, the same station did run a picture—but no description, of course:

 BLACK Teens Charged in Trenton Beating Death, NBC February 28, 2014

This is a common story in Trenton. Guatemalans, who have recently begun flooding into Trenton, are viewed by the Black underclass as easy marks.  They are small of stature and, being mostly illegals and working for cash, carry a lot of money.   There have been literally hundreds of such robberies.

But this one triggered something different:

Cruz’s murder galvanized the community as they rallied and coordinated with law enforcement seeking justice. Days after Cruz’s death, a rally of 350 people seeking justice took place on the steps of City Hall.  And on Tuesday community leaders met with the Trenton Police and the prosecutor’s office to coordinate efforts.

[Guatemalan president joins those reacting to arrests in Cruz's murder, By Carlos Avila, The Trentonian, Posted: 02/28/14, 3:03 PM EST

And thus the two young black American thugs were hunted down by a combined taskforce composed of local, county and state police.

What set all the gears in motion?  The local power structure is as Democrat as it is possible to be.  Hispanics of various types (as we are incessantly told) are the coming demographic.  They fill the many urban service jobs local black Americans “will not do.”  They have many advocates within the power structure in New Jersey (including, notoriously, GOP Governor Chris Christie).

So the Guatemalan “community,” which is overwhelmingly illegal, can feel safe in organizing like citizens and demanding their (non-existent) rights.

Note that The Trentonian, the prosecutor, and the police chief, all use the term “immigrants” although they know for a fact that the people they are helping are themselves criminal trespassers. 

Indeed, the local County Prosecutor Joseph Bocchini went further.  He is quoted in The Trentonian story as claiming:

“The fact of the matter is that those who control these types of events (referring to elected officials) need to do something to make immigrants be able to become documented somehow…Let them get a driver license, let them open savings accounts, let them pay their taxes, and their [sic] willing to.  We as a society need to wake up.”

And no, Bocchini isn’t an immigrant from Central America.  He actually talks like that.

We also learn that the victim’s brother got a call “from the office of the Guatemalan Presidency congratulating the local Guatemalan community for coming together for justice.”

So, in the state capital of New Jersey, we have a complete inversion of the legal process.  The government is taking up the cause of one set of foreign criminals against another set of domestic criminals. 

Of course the illegals are committing a status crime and the resident blacks are committing murder, so there is a question of proportion to be considered.  But, to state the obvious, if the illegals weren’t here in gross violation of our law, they wouldn’t be the targets for our resident savages.

There is another aspect of this story to consider.  The Trentonian reporter, the chief of police and various community leaders quoted, are all Hispanic.  The Mayor of Trenton, who is black, was convicted on federal charges and evicted from his office while all this was going. [New Jersey judge orders convicted Trenton mayor to step down, By Dave Warner, Reuters, February 26, 2014]

There is an inexorable changing of the guard in the New Jersey’s capital.  Guatemalans are moving into whole neighborhoods while Blacks are being displaced out to the margins of the city. 

Trenton just may become the first State Capital in America with an illegal majority population.

It already appears that the President of Guatemala feels himself to be a councilman of sorts.


The Right Not to Be Implicated

“Everything not forbidden is compulsory,” or will be soon enough under our “liberal” regime.

The Left would not have it that way: Homosexual behavior is not to be tolerated, or homosexual unions recognized under law — rather, homosexuality is to constitute a special class of blessedness, and the failure to celebrate it is to be a sin, which in the liberal mind must be identical to a crime. It is not enough for religious conservatives, such as the ones who own Hobby Lobby, to tolerate the legal sale and use of things such as the so-called morning-after pill — rather, they are expected to provide them at their own expense. Abortions are not to be legal, but legal and funded by the general community, with those funds extracted at gunpoint if necessary.

This is not merely, or even mainly, a question of economics. A monthly dose of emergency contraception (which seems like a lot) paid entirely out-of-pocket would run less than the typical cell-phone bill. One does not suspect that Americans would find it very difficult to locate gay-friendly firms in the wedding-planning business. The typical first-trimester abortion costs less than an entry-level iPad — hardly an insurmountable economic barrier for a procedure that is, if we take the pro-choice side at their word, absolutely fundamental to a woman’s health and happiness.

The economics are incidental. The point is not to ensure that we all pay, but that we are all involved.
The Left may be morally illiterate, but it is not blind. The effects of the pathologically delusional tendency that once styled itself “the sexual revolution” are everywhere to be seen. In the 1960s and 1970s, our cultural discourse was dominated by the benefits side of that revolution’s ledger; since then, we’ve had sufficient time to have a good long look at the cost side, too, and the tradeoffs are more severe than our bell-bottomed Aquarian prophets had predicted. It reads like an Old Testament genealogy: Sexual chaos begat family chaos, family chaos begat social chaos, social chaos begat economic chaos, economic chaos begat political chaos. And so the generations unfold. The relevant political reality is that those costs and benefits are not distributed equally: The benefits of license accrue mainly to the well-off and educated, who have the resources to make the most of their enjoyment of them; the costs accrue mainly to the poor, who cannot afford to live, economically or morally, beyond their means. Kate Moss can afford to be a single mother in her $20 million London townhouse. Not everybody can. Our so-called liberals find themselves in the queasy position of having created a moral culture that has destroyed millions of lives and many communities among the very disadvantaged people they claim to care most about, but they are incapable of criticizing a culture of license that none of them can imagine living without, even if they themselves are square as houses in their sexual habits. 

The result of that is, if not guilt, at least a nagging awareness that this all turns out to be a great deal more morally complex than our liberationist-latitudinarian forebears had imagined. The way to assuage the collective liberal conscience is to institutionalize and normalize liberal social preferences: There is nobody to be blamed for social anarchy if that’s just the way things are. And if everybody is involved — as taxpayers or as employers providing health insurance — then everybody is implicated. They are a little like those addicts who are uncomfortable in the social presence of abstainers, taking that abstention as a rebuke, whether it is intended as one or not. In the United Kingdom, the government-run hospitals are burning the corpses of aborted children for heat, and we are all expected to get cozy by the fire.

The Hobby Lobby case is in part about private property and whether we are to have it. If we hold capital only at the sufferance of the politico-sexual whims of those who hold power, then we do not really hold capital at all — we only rent property from our rulers, serfs in the world’s most sophisticated fiefdom. The property right is the fundamental right upon which all other political rights have their foundation. But there is a separate question — the right of conscience, which is, at minimum, the right not to be implicated, to at least stand apart from that which is no longer forbidden but is not yet, as of Tuesday morning, compulsory.


What Kind of Fool Am I?

by Mark Steyn

Daniel J Kornstein's Order of the Crown of Romania. Unlike Michael E Mann's Nobel Prize certificate from Kinko's, this is genuine.

Ever since I ended my joint representation with National Review and fired my lawyers on Boxing Day, the endlessly reprised refrain has been that "Mark Steyn has a fool for a client". As I wrote here:

That's an old English joke, of course. Circa 18th century, I believe, when English life was very lightly lawyered. Whether it applies a quarter-millennium on in a sclerotic dungheap of a system that, as my old boss Conrad Black likes to point out, employs as many lawyers as the rest of the planet combined, who between them invoice ten per cent of GDP, is an interesting question. My own view is that, if the lawyerization of American life needs to snort up its nose the entire GDP of Australia every year, then you're doing it wrong.

I wrote that after a hugely enjoyable and inspiring day in Madam Justice Matheson's courtroom in Toronto watching a performance that would be impossible in the objection-choked procedural swamps of American "justice". I have come to the conclusion that the system here is, in fact, evil - which is perhaps not the most helpful perspective when one is on the receiving end of it.

So I am pleased to be able to announce today that several other fellows also have a fool for a client - see here, here and here.

Daniel J Kornstein and his co-counsel Mark Platt were the driving force behind the most consequential free-speech legislation this century. Dan is an expert libel lawyer and a principled freedom-of-expression fighter whose clients have included Vanessa Redgrave, Bill Clinton, the Monkees, Harvey Keitel, Wilford Brimley, Fatal Vision author and sometime Sarah Palin neighbor Joe McGinnis (who died earlier this month), and King Michael of Romania, who made Dan one of the first inductees into the Order of the Crown of Romania in over 60 years. I've promised Dan that if we win this case I'll get him made a Knight of the Garter or at least a Companion of the Order of Canada. Where I fall on that spectrum of clients, I'm not sure - I'd like to think somewhere between King Michael and Wilford Brimley, but it may be closer to the Monkees, and Peter Tork at that.

Dan also has a touch of the poet about him. He delivered a speech on Balzac and the law at the Palais de Justice in Paris - in French. Which will come in very useful when I flee across the New Hampshire border to Quebec and Dr Mann applies to have me extradited.

Dan and Mark's most important client in the last decade or so was Rachel Ehrenfeld, whose book Funding Evil happened to include rather more details of Khalid bin Mahfouz's bankrolling of al-Qaeda than the Saudi billionaire cared to have revealed to the world. So he sued her in a London court. Dan and Mark got Dr Ehrenfeld to countersue in New York to prevent Mahfouz from ever collecting, and, when the court declined to acknowledge it had personal jurisdiction over Mahfouz, they got the legislature to take up the issue and pass "Rachel's Law". This law prevents New York courts from enforcing libel judgments from other countries with lower standards of freedom-of-speech protection.

It was and is a big issue. A few years ago, Dr Ehrenfeld and I participated in a conference hosted by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and The New Criterion on "Free Speech in an Age of Jihad". The litigious end of the jihad had been skilfully using "libel tourism" to pick and choose the most favorable venues in which to strike at their opponents. It was a particular challenge for authors. I wrote in 2007 about another American book, Alms For Jihad, that attracted Sheikh Mahfouz's attention:

Last week, the Cambridge University Press agreed to recall all unsold copies of "Alms for Jihad" and pulp them. In addition, it has asked hundreds of libraries around the world to remove the volume from their shelves. This highly unusual action was accompanied by a letter to Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, in care of his English lawyers, explaining their reasons:

"Throughout the book there are serious and defamatory allegations about yourself and your family, alleging support for terrorism through your businesses, family and charities, and directly.

"As a result of what we now know, we accept and acknowledge that all of those allegations about you and your family, businesses and charities are entirely and manifestly false."

Yeah, right.

Had this kept up, it would have severely constrained the kinds of things American authors and publishers were permitted to write and publish on Islam and other controversial topics. Instead, "Rachel's Law" made it impossible for the likes of Mahfouz to use "libel tourism" to hollow out the First Amendment. It was replicated by several other state legislatures and eventually in 2010 by the United States Congress, after a unanimous vote by both the House and Senate. As Jerry Gordon wrote, "Americans owe a debt of gratitude to the stubborn perseverance of Dr Ehrenfeld and the unsung hero in this fight her counsel, Daniel Kornstein, a pillar in the First Amendment bar." But it goes beyond that. The first serious reform of English libel law (last year's Defamation Act) was in part the result of "Rachel's Law" and Dan's discrediting of London as the first resort of libel tourists.

Sheikh Mahfouz made the mistake of taking on Dan Kornstein and Mark Platt and lost comprehensively. Obviously, I don't think anyone's going to be passing Marky's Law any time soon, but there are certain similarities between Mahfouz and Mann in respect of "libel tourism". When the Sheikhdown maestro sued in the English courts, he did at least have a pad in London (and, mysteriously, an Irish passport). Michael E Mann doesn't live or work in the District of Columbia, and nor do I. Nevertheless, his Amended Complaint states:

Mr. Steyn's writings are widely read and circulated in the District of Columbia. Accordingly, Mr. Steyn is transacting and doing business within the District of Columbia and is subject to the jurisdiction of this Court pursuant to DC Code §13-423(a).

By that definition, if "I'm A Believer" by Dan's old clients the Monkees is played on a radio station in, say, Tuvalu, the Monkees are "transacting business" in Tuvalu and subject to their jurisdiction. This kind of procedural flimflam is what gives American "justice" its appallingly bad odor.

At any rate, joining Messrs Kornstein and Platt will be Michael J Songer, co-chair of the Litigation Group at Crowell & Moring in Washington, DC. Mike won a big $919.9 million payout for DuPont over a trade-secrets theft case involving Kevlar, which I was planning to wear to court anyway. A critical element of that case, interestingly enough, was the other party's deletion of emails. Mike is also a freespeecher, who teaches a course on the Law of Cyberspace at Georgetown University. He's big on issues of copyright and intellectual property, which Mann has frequently hidden behind in his attempts to avoid disclosing the data and research that produced his "hockey stick". In addition, Mike is a science graduate, so he understands both the technical jargon and, just as importantly, how to distill it for a jury.

So I'm no longer an out-of-control full-bore crazy. Instead, I'm an out-of-control full-bore crazy who's lawyered up to the hilt. This will leave me free to concentrate on my core activities of insulting judges and mocking Mann's self-conferred Nobel Prize, while Dan, Mark and Mike do the boring stuff like looking up precedents and knowing what a tort is. It would not have been possible to put this team together without your patronage of the SteynOnline bookstore. I said that I wanted this to be a jurisprudential landmark - the first legal campaign entirely funded by sales of my Christmas disco record. Sadly, there seems to be a certain resistance to my intoxicating rhythms from some readers, so we're also having to rely on book profits, commemorative mugs and mousepads, attitudinal T-shirts, gift certificates and the full cornucopia of delights at the Steyn store. But we're keeping our heads above water, and for that, as we prepare to mount the first serious forensic investigation of Mann and his work, I'm enormously grateful.

I'm also overwhelmed by the number of lawyers from across America who have offered their services and advice pro bono or at steeply discounted rates. It is heartening to know how many understand the stakes for free speech in America. Dan, Mark and Mike believe in this case, understand its importance, and together we will prevail.


Dianne Trussell and human mating

I knew Dianne Trussell over a quarter of a century ago.  I was her  landlord for a while.  And she was into diving -- with airtanks and other diving stuff prominent among her possessions.  She was happy and optimistic in a fixed-smile, brittle sort of way.

I could see where she was going wrong then but said nothing.  But perhaps now I should say something.

Psychologists have been interested in human relationships for a long time and they have converged on a "trading" view of relationships.  Each partner brings to the relationship something of equal value.  The value will be subjective but is nonetheless real.  The subjective does matter.

And the valued items are very upsetting for those who believe in romance.  Both males and females value physical things highly. Women are particularly fixated on height.  Few women will tolerate their man being shorter than them. This is particularly bad for short men -- making their prospects of offering value to a woman very poor.  So many short men will end up going to  the Republic of the Philippines for brides -- because Filipinas  are usually only 5' or 5"1" tall.

There is one group of women who value the physical above all else  -- Chinese women living in the Western world.  Australia is about 5% Chinese so one sees a lot of Chinese ladies about the place.  And if the lady is attached to a man, he will normally be a Caucasian man  -- a TALL Caucasian man.  If you see one with a Chinese man, he will be a TALL Chinese man.  So lots of unremarkable Australian men get devoted wives that way.  Chinese ladies will put up with a lot in order to get tall fathers for their children.  They know how genetics works and they think ahead.

Men are slightly less rigid.  They look for an hourglass figure in a woman but insecure men will accept a relatively flat-chested woman because they don't like other men looking at her.

But the whole process often grinds to a halt because individuals overestimate the value of what they offer.  There are skinny, gangly, flat-chested  women who think that their own wonderful self is sufficient to interest a man.  So they aim for high value men -- good looking, competent men.  But such men are not interested in them.  Such men can get a much higher value woman -- probably one with a good figure.  So the woman concerned wonders:  "Where are all the men?"  And they keep up that misjudgement into their 30s, by which time most of the good-deal men of their age and circle are married off.

I remember a singles party for people in their 40s and 50s that I once went to.  I was talking to a lady who said:  "Where are all the men?"  I pointed out that there was actually a majority of nen present. She replied: "No, not THOSE men".  She was looking for men much younger than herself.

And I think Dianne Trussell was one woman who valued herself too highly.  She was mixing with divers  -- who would generally be very fit and confident men.  And such men would have a lot to offer and would want a woman with a good figure.  But Diane was flat-chested.  So she would have sparked only fleeting interest from the men she mixed with.  She was fairly tall so could have got herself a short man but her value of herself was too high for that.  Short men will have almost any tall woman who will have them.  They know how genetics works too.

I gather it is the selfsame Dianne who now does alternative things down at Byron Bay.  Alternative things are a way of coping with the fact that you are not getting what you want in life.

I knew she was fishing in the wrong pool all those years ago and it has always bothered me that I said nothing to her about it  -- JR.


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

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

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


26 March, 2014

CA: Political fight is brewing on race-based preferences

Until this month, supporters of racial preferences in California have enjoyed a cozy narrative. They were able to dismiss the 55 percent of voters who passed Proposition 209, which barred race and gender preferences in university admissions, hiring and public contracts in 1996, as over-entitled fear-obsessed white folks with little understanding of and sympathy for the obstacles that daunt minority students.

That ended Monday when state Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina (Los Angeles County), was forced to put a hold on a measure to allow voters in November to restore racial preferences in public education. It was a huge about-face. His Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 had won a supermajority of the Senate vote, all from Democrats. Hence, SCA5 should have sailed through the Assembly, but perhaps that was the problem.

Hernandez blamed "scare tactics and misinformation" for his retreat. Same stuff critics said in 1996. But I doubt Hernandez was enjoying himself, because this time he was responding to pressure from fellow Democrats who also are people of color.

There's an emerging Latino-Asian split in the Democratic caucus. In an ugly case of voter remorse, three state senators - Southern Californians Ted Lieu and Carol Liu and Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, who had voted for SCA5 - asked Hernandez to halt it.

"As lifelong advocates for the Chinese American and other Asian Pacific Islander communities, we would never support a policy that we believed would negatively impact our children," they wrote. They said they had heard no opposition prior to the vote, but having heard from thousands of unhappy Californians, they were getting wobbly. (OK, maybe they didn't use the word wobbly, but you get the idea.)

They didn't hear any opposition? "That's no defense at all," countered S.B. Woo, a former Democratic lieutenant governor of Delaware waging a campaign to rally Asian Americans against SCA5. "In the future, don't ever use that argument. You are supposed to find out," said Woo, now in retirement in Florida.

Although, to be fair, there wasn't much of a fuss before the vote.

I mentioned to Woo that in 1996, most Asian American voter groups opposed Proposition 209. What happened?

Over the years, Woo told me, many Asian parents complained that their children had to surpass white, Latino and black students to get into good schools. Still, his Asian American political action committee did not take a position on college admissions until about two years ago. His community thought, "Maybe we should be more noble." But when post-209 research suggested that racial preferences ill-served African American, Latino and Asian students, Woo said, "We thought there is no sense in being noble."

Gail Heriot, a UC San Diego law professor and Proposition 209 co-chair, argues that racial preferences pushed some underprepared underrepresented minority students into top universities in which they languished toward the bottom half of their class. The results were higher dropout rates for African American and Latino students and more of those students abandoning science and engineering in favor of other majors.

"Some of the liberals believe in theories but don't look at empirical data," Woo concluded.

Roger Clegg of the pro-Proposition 209 Center for Equal Opportunity believes that universities funded by taxpayers cannot sort out people "according to their skin color" or their parents' country of origin. It's as wrong to tell deserving Asian students that their best work might not count as it is to shortchange white students. It turns out black and white representation at UC relative to population has dipped since Proposition 209 passed, while Asian participation is up.

With SCA5 on hold, affirmative-action supporters might begin to suggest that Asian opponents are racist and selfish. Sens. Lieu, Liu and Yee, welcome to my world.

Even without an Assembly vote, an Asian American voter revolt has begun. On his Web site, Woo urged voters to "register as Republican voters today, they'll really get your message. They'll never touch SCA5 again!"

As a Republican, I would love to see Democrats put SCA5 before California voters. Let the Democratic machine feel what it's like to be branded as racists for standing up for their principles. Will the media consensus spin then be that with their old-school grievances, Democrats are chasing away hard-working Asian American and immigrant voters, and the party better change to stay competitive? What do you think?

Mismatch in academia

UC San Diego law professor and Proposition 209 co-chair Gail Heriot argues that racial preferences pushed some minority students into top universities in which they entered and stayed toward the bottom half of their class. The disparity set off a chain reaction that resulted in higher dropout rates for African American and Latino students as well as a flight from science and engineering majors.

In their book, "Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit It," Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor write, "The total number of black and Hispanic students receiving bachelor's degrees were the same for the five classes after Prop 209 as for the five classes before."


Sex taboos

We cannot talk about sex in polite company

Rulers and law makers throughout history, around the world, including here and now, prohibit all sorts of sexual conduct among the non-politically-connected in their typical “Do as we say; not as we do” fashion.

There are special forces in most large police agencies devoted to sex – that is, arresting those whose appetites run counter to the political rules.

Sex outside a theoretical norm is distasteful, prurient, embarrassing, not to mention disastrous if caught by public exposure or police intervention. Yet most of it, no matter how outlandish it seems to any of us individually, is actually quite normal.

But we cannot talk about it, fight the Puritanical legislation against it or explain our way out of any criminal prosecution for it.

Clear-headed, open discussion about sex is taboo.

This all comes to my mind because of the combination of stories in today’s Rational Review Digest – a fine news source that arrives daily in my e-mail box. I encourage you to subscribe to it as well.

Imagining a world where the political / ruling / enforcement classes stayed out of things that were none of their business, including SEX, perhaps none of the stories below would take place over and over around the world… or would at least become quite rare.

3) General avoids jail time in case involving affair with subordinate:

“Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair was fined $20,000 and reprimanded but avoided jail time Thursday after he acknowledged committing adultery and mistreating his former mistress, an Army captain. The former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division originally had faced sexual assault charges involving the junior officer. But the case against him fell apart after the trial judge ruled that the decision to seek trial might have been influenced by political considerations.” (03/20/14)


7) Mozambique: Protesters march against rapist marriage law
Source: Raw Story

“Rights activists in Mozambique Thursday marched through the capital Maputo to protest a colonial era law still included in new legislation that allows rapists to go unpunished if they marry their victims. The ‘marriage effect’ clause sees convicted rapists slapped with a five-year suspended sentence if they marry their victims. It stipulates that the perpetrator should stay married to the victim for at least five years. Though it had fallen into disuse, the clause has been retained in a new legislation replacing the colonial Portuguese penal code of 1886, which is currently before parliament.” (03/20/14)


8) HI: law allows undercover police officers to have sex with prostitutes
Source: Fox News

“Honolulu police officers have urged lawmakers to keep an exemption in state law that allows undercover officers to have sex with prostitutes during investigations, touching off a heated debate. Authorities say they need the legal protection to catch lawbreakers in the act. Critics, including human trafficking experts and other police, say it’s unnecessary and can further victimize sex workers, many of whom have been forced into the trade. Police haven’t said how often — or even if — they use the provision. But when they asked legislators to preserve it, they made assurances that internal policies and procedures are in place to prevent officers from taking advantage of it.” [editor's note: It ain't rocket science -- legalize prostitution for everyone, not just cops. Problem solved! - TLK] (03/21/14)


India: Four convicted for Mumbai gang rape
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“A court in the Indian city of Mumbai has convicted four men of the gang rape of a photojournalist last year. The men have been found guilty of five offenses, including gang rape, unnatural sex and destruction of evidence. Sentencing is set for Friday. The 22-year-old woman was attacked by five men while on assignment in a deserted mill in August. The fifth accused, believed to be under 18 at the time of the incident, is being tried in a juvenile court.” (03/20/14)


An e-mail just arrived with the following list of sex crimes. It fit in too well with this morning’s post for me to ignore it. I have read some of these ridiculous laws, customs and tolerated legislation.

I didn’t research, nor can I vouch for any of them. However, they are all credible to me. Here you go:

In Lebanon, men are legally allowed to have sex with animals,
but…. the animals must be female.
Having sexual relations with a male animal
is punishable by death.

(Like THAT makes any sense.)


In Bahrain, a male doctor
may legally examine a woman’s genitals,

is prohibited from looking directly at them during the examination.
He may only see their reflection in a mirror.

(Do things look different reversed?)


Muslims are banned
from looking at the genitals of a corpse.
This also applies to
undertakers. The sex organs of the deceased
must be covered with a
brick or piece of wood at all times.

(A brick?)


The penalty for masturbation in Indonesia
is decapitation.
(glad I don’t live in Indonesia)

(Here you just ‘go blind!’)


There are men in Guam whose full-time job
it is to travel the countryside and deflower young virgins,
who pay them for the privilege of having sex for the first time.

Reason: under Guam law, it is expressly forbidden for virgins to marry.

(Let’s just think for a minute;

Is there any job anywhere else in the world, that even comes close to this?)


In Hong Kong, a betrayed wife is legally allowed
to kill her adulterous husband,
but may only do so with her bare hands.

The husband’s illicit lover, on the other
hand, may be killed in any manner desired.

(Ah! Sweet Justice!)


Topless saleswomen are legal in Liverpool, England -
but only in tropical fish stores.

(Makes perfect sense, what!)


In Cali, Colombia, a woman may only have
sex with her husband, and the first time this happens,
her mother must be in the room to witness the act.

(Makes one shudder at the thought.)


In Santa Cruz, Bolivia, it is illegal for a man
to have sex with a woman and her daughter, at the same time.

(I presume this was a big enough problem
that they had to pass this law?)


In Maryland, it is illegal
to sell condoms from vending machines
with one exception: Condoms may be dispensed
from a vending machine only in places
where alcoholic beverages are sold
‘for consumption on the premises.’

(Is this a great country or what?)

Well,…. Maybe not as great as Guam



Must not show tears on TV?

A crying boy became the symbol for Kansas University’s loss to Stanford in the NCAA tournament.

University of Kansas fans were shocked by their team’s loss to Stanford in the third round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday. You could see looks of disappointment throughout the stands at Scottrade Center in St. Louis where the No. 10-seeded Cardinal beat the No. 2-seeded Jayhawks 60–57.

One young boy looked more devastated than anyone else. Tears streamed down from his blood-shot eyes and over his flush cheeks as the Cardinal knocked down the Jayhawks.

A CBS camera crew spotted the sullen fan in the last minute of the game when Kansas was down seven. They zoomed in for an extended shot and the boys tearful face appeared on national television. Twitter erupted. Many attacked CBS and accused the TV network of harassing the child.

@cbs that was unnecessary, did anyone think how much that kid’ll get teased?

What in the world was freaking CBS doing, leaving that poor child on camera for like 20 seconds

School is going to be a lot of fun for that crying Kansas boy tomorrow.

At the end of the game, CBS went back in for another close-up. Twitter exploded.

Shot of young KU fan crying again: “That kid going to be the head coach at North Dakota State someday.” – (Perfect timing)

Which crying fan will make it into the One Shining Moment montage at the end of March Madness?

That little kid almost makes me feel bad about #JayhawkTears. Almost.

I give it 15 minutes until someone makes a Crying Kansas Kid parody account.

Twitter fans bring up a good point. Was zooming in on this kid and making him the face of the game appropriate? This certainly isn’t the first time network television has shown a tearful kid to represent the devastation around a team’s loss. But today, with the power of the Internet and social media, a  kids’ face can spread across Twitter and Facebook like wildfire, giving the greater public the opportunity to mock and tease him.

It turns out that the boy happens to to be the son of KU assistant athletic director for communications Chris Theisen, and Theisen told KansasCity.com that he isn’t upset over CBS focusing in on his son and said the boy’s a huge KU fan.


Tories will raise inheritance tax threshold, Cameron pledges

Inheritance tax should only really be paid by the rich, it shouldn't be paid by those people who have worked hard and saved'

The Conservatives will pledge to raise the inheritance tax threshold at the next election to ensure it only hits the rich, David Cameron has suggested.

The Tories pledged to raise the threshold to £1million at the last election but the policy was abandoned after Liberal Democrat opposition.

Mr Cameron was today said that the Conservative are likely to revive plans to raise the threshold after being confronted by a pensioner over the issue.

He said inheritance tax should only be paid by the rich rather than hard-working families who have brought a family home with their savings.

His intervention came after the Office for Budget Responsibility warned last week that the number of families hit by inheritance tax is set to double in the next five years.

The independent financial watchdog said the proportion of estates attracting Inheritance Tax would double from one in 20 today to almost one in 10 by 2018/19

Mr Cameron said: "We put in our manifesto that we wanted to take it to £1million but we did not win an outright majority [and] the pledge did not make it into the Coalition agreement.

"Would I like to go further in future? Yes I would. I believe in people being able to pass things down through the generations and onto our children, it builds a stronger society.

"Inheritance Tax should only really be paid by the rich, it shouldn't be paid by those people who have worked hard and saved and brought a family house.

"The ambition is still there, I would like to go further. It's something we'll have to address in our election manifesto."

In 2007 George Osborne, the then shadow chancellor, energised the Conservative campaign with a dramatic pledge to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1milliion.

The move was credited with halting plans by Gordon Brown, the then Labour Prime Minister, to call for an early election.

The Tories were unable to secure the agreement of the Liberal Democrats to make the pledge Coalition policy.

Mr Cameron said: "George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, made this speech and promise to radically lift it to £1m.

"Straight after that Gordon Brown realising what a brilliant pledge it was changed the rules so you could pass between husband and wife and civil partners.

"The effective threshold went from £325,000 to about £700,000. We put in our manifesto that we wanted to take it to £1m but we did not win an outright majority. That pledge didn't make it into the Coalition agreement."

Mr Cameron also hinted that the Conservatives will make a manifesto pledge to protect pensioner benefits such as the winter fuel allowance and free TV licence at the next election.

He said: "We will set out our policy for the next Parliament at the next election. The only thing I would say is that people who think you save lots of money by not giving these benefits to upper rate taxpayers, you save a tiny amount of money and always introduce another complexity in the system.

"We made our promise in this Parliament [not to scrap pensioner benefits], we kept our policy and I'm very proud of that. I don't think older people in Britain should be asked to suffer for the difficult decisions that we have to make. Making promises and keeping promises is a very important part of politics.

"Woe betide the politician that makes one of these big promises and then says 'oh, sorry I didn't really mean anything by that."

Mr Cameron said he will not commit to minimum alcohol pricing under the present economic conditions.

He said: "I did look at the idea of minimum unit pricing for alcohol, saying that a unit of alcohol however its consumed should cost, say, 40p, and that wouldn't put up the price of a pint in a pub nor a bottle of wine in a supermarket.

"We will wait and see how it goes in Scotland. At a time when families are having to take difficult decisions about budgets and everything else it's a change too many."



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

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

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


25 March, 2014

100,000 crimes recorded as solved by British police even though the perpetrator escaped punishment

Police have marked more than 100,000 crimes as solved in the past three years - despite only handing them over to be 'taken into consideration' by the courts.

The high number of cases marked as 'solved' has sparked fears that police could be using the handover tactic as a way of boosting the number of 'detected' crimes or crimes cleared up by forces.

Asking the courts for something to be 'taken into consideration' means that a person who has been accused or convicted of a crime can admit to other, sometimes non-related offences, in order to wipe their slate clean.

By admitting to the other crimes, the suspect receives credit from the court in sentencing. The defendant also often avoids subsequent prosecution for the crime.

The shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry warned that TICs helped criminals 'wipe the slate clean' and said that the use of TICs needed to be 'carefully monitored'.

Data regarding TICs was released following a freedom of information request sent by The Sunday Times.  The results of the request revealed that 36 individuals had more than 100 TICs to their name.  In 89 instances, the other offences taken into consideration when in the dock related to sexual crimes.

A total of 19 forces in England and Wales replied to the request and revealed their use of TICs between 2011 and 2013.

More than 15 per cent of the TICs had been logged by the Metropolitan Police - the force had filed 15,550 TICs in two years.  The second highest figure was South Yorkshire which had requested 11,735 TICs. The third was Thames Valley with 6,390.

Adam Pemberton, of Victim Support, a charity which helps those who have been affected by crime, told the Sunday newspaper that any 'sudden' leap in TIC figures raised 'doubts' about official crime statistics.

Analysis of the results revealed that some forces had upped their number of TIC requests in recent years.

Some lawyers have raised concerns about prison inmates being offered privileges such as alcohol in return for accepting responsibility for crimes that they had played no role in.

But, after investigating a number of forces over alleged misuse of TICs, the Independent Police Complaints Commission concluded that there was no evidence of 'systematic abuse'.

Norman Baker, minister from crime prevention, said that there are 'strict rules in place before any crime can be resolved by being taken into consideration'.

He added that it was vital that the rules should be complied with.

Offences can be admitted by Judges or magistrates as TICs - as long as the sentence that the TIC crime would carry would not be longer than the penalty that the person would receive for the offence that is on trial.

Although the courts are expected to take TICs into consideration when sentencing, TIC offences generally do not have a significant impact on the sentence given.


Sharia Law to be enshrined in British legal system as lawyers get guidelines on drawing up documents according to Islamic rules

    Top lawyers have written guidelines for British solicitors on drafting 'sharia-compliant' wills which can deny women an equal share of their inheritance and entirely exclude non-believers, it was revealed today.

The Law Society, which represents solicitors in England and Wales, has written a guide on Sharia succession rules that will be used in British courts. It will mean that children born outside of marriage and adopted children could also be denied their fair share.

The guide states: 'No distinction is made between children of different marriages, but illegitimate and adopted children are not Sharia heirs.

'The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir of the same class. Non-Muslims may not inherit at all, and only Muslim marriages are recognised.

'Similarly, a divorced spouse is no longer a Sharia heir, as the entitlement depends on a valid Muslim marriage existing at the date of death.'

The Law Society claims the guide is simply to promote 'good practice' and 'support members so they can help clients from all backgrounds' - but the move has been criticised by equality campaigners.

Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, an organisation that campaigns for strict separation of the state from religious institutions and equality of religion before the law, says the move is a backwards step that undermines British justice.

He said: 'The UK has the most comprehensive equality laws in the world, yet the Law Society seems determined to undermine this by giving approval to a system that relegates women, non-Muslim and children born out of wedlock to second class citizenship.

'Instead of running scared at any mention of sharia, politicians of all parties should face these issues square on and insist on the primacy of democratically-determined human rights-compliant law.

'Laws determined by Parliament should prevail over centuries-old theocratic laws. We should have One Law for All, not allowing any law to operate which disadvantages any sections of the community.'

Nicholas Fluck, president of the Law Society, said in a statement: 'This practice note provides guidance to solicitors dealing with clients where Sharia succession rules may be relevant.

'This is the first time such advice has been published and we hope it will assist solicitors with Sharia probate matters.

'There is a wide variety of spiritual, religious and cultural beliefs within our population, and the Law Society wants to support its members so they can help clients from all backgrounds.

'We hope this guidance will help solicitors assist their clients and go some way to forming an idea of good practice when it comes to applying Sharia succession rules within the legal profession.'

But Baroness Cox, who campaigns against religious discrimination against women, said the guidance was a worrying development.  She told the Sunday Telegraph: 'This violates everything we stand for. It would make the Suffragettes turn in their graves.'

In the past she has spoken out about the growth of 'Islamic courts' resolving disputes. She said: 'No longer do we have a single legal code in our society.  'Instead, alongside our own law, there is now effectively a parallel quasi-legal system operating within some Muslim communities.

'Sharia law, imported from theocracies like Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, first began to be used here in a strictly limited form, dealing mainly with narrow issues like Islamic financial contracts.

'But as the Muslim population has grown and the pervasive creed of multiculturalism has become ever more powerful, so Sharia law has rapidly grown in influence within some communities.

'There are now estimated to be no fewer than 85 Sharia courts across the country — from London and Manchester to Bradford and Nuneaton. They operate mainly from mosques, settling financial and family disputes according to religious principles.'


Appeals court halts gay marriages in Michigan

 Same-sex couples rushed to Michigan county clerk's offices Saturday to get hitched a day after a judge overturned the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage, and several hundred managed to do so before an appeals court reinstituted the ban, at least temporarily.

The order by a federal appeals court in Cincinnati came after Glenna DeJong, 53, and Marsha Caspar, 51, of Lansing, were the first to arrive at the Ingham County Courthouse in the central Michigan city of Mason. DeJong and Caspar, who have been together for 27 years, received their license and were married by Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum.

"I figured in my lifetime it would happen," Caspar said. "But now, when it happens now, it's just overwhelming. I still can't believe it. I don't think it's hit me yet."

Similar nuptials followed one after another, at times en masse, in at least four of Michigan's 83 counties. Those four — Oakland, Muskegon, Ingham and Washtenaw counties — issued more than 300 marriage licenses to same-sex couples Saturday.

DeJong said the threat of a stay was all the encouragement they needed.

"Come Monday, we might not be able to do it, so we knew we had a short window of time," she said.

She was right. Later Saturday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals froze until at least Wednesday a decision by a lower court judge to overturn Michigan's ban. The appeals court said the time-out will "allow a more reasoned consideration" of the state's request to stop same-sex marriages.

The court's order was posted just a few hours after it told the winning side to respond to Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's request for a stay by noon Tuesday.

In his appeal, Schuette noted the U.S. Supreme Court in January suspended a similar decision that struck down Utah's gay-marriage ban.

Voters approved the gay marriage ban in a landslide in 2004. But in Friday's historic decision, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said the ballot box is no defense to a law that tramples the rights of same-sex couples.

Schuette's spokeswoman, Joy Yearout, said Saturday that a stay would preserve a state constitutional ban pending the appeal's outcome. She declined to say whether the state would recognize the new marriages in that scenario.

"The courts will have to sort it out," she said.

Yearout later said her office anticipates that the appeals court "will issue a permanent stay, just as courts have ruled in similar cases across the country."

After the U.S. Supreme Court intervened in Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert ordered state agencies to hold off on moving forward with any new benefits for the hundreds of same-sex couples who married during the three-week window until the courts resolved the issue. Agencies were told not to revoke anything already issued, such as a driver's license with a new name, but were prohibited from approving any new marriages or benefits.

Utah made clear it was not ordering agencies to void the marriages, but that their validity would be decided by the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Anna Kirkland, a University of Michigan professor who submitted an expert report in the Michigan case, said people who have received licenses are "legally married" regardless of what state officials do.

"A ruling from a federal judge on the meaning of the Equal Protection Clause ... is binding on the state government," said Kirkland, a professor of women's studies and political science. "It's the law of the land until or unless the Supreme Court says otherwise."

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia issue licenses for same-sex marriage. Since December, bans on gay marriage also have been overturned in Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Virginia, but appeals have put those cases on hold.

Elizabeth Patten, 52, and her partner of 28 years, Jonnie Terry, 50, of Ann Arbor, were the first couple married in Washtenaw County, where couples began to queue outside the clerk's office at 5:30 a.m. Saturday and 74 licenses were issued.

"It was really surreal. I don't know if this is the wedding we imagined," Patten said after the impromptu ceremony performed by federal Judge Judith Levy in the basement of the county building. "But we are so pleased and honored to be a part of this process and have this opportunity today."

The line grew, snaking around the corner, and dozens of couples and their family members hugged, hooted and hollered until County Clerk Lawrence Kestenbaum opened the doors at 8:50 a.m.

A county sheriff's sergeant walked through the line handing out license applications. Where the form asked for the name of the "male," lesbian couples wrote in an "f'' and an "e'' in front of the word.

Once paper licenses were approved by the clerk and his staff, couples headed downstairs to a room filled with pastors and a judge.

A Unitarian Universalist church in Muskegon in western Michigan had a clerk issuing wedding licenses Saturday morning. They started a couple hours earlier than planned out of concern the court would approve a stay.

"We're trying to beat Bill Schuette to the punch," said Harbor Unitarian Universalist Congregation Pastor Bill Freeman, who officiated dozens of weddings.

That sentiment was echoed in Mason by Joe Bissell and Justin Maynard, both 33-year-old Lansing residents, who were among more than 50 couples to get a license.

"We wouldn't have been here today if it wasn't for that," Bissell said. "We would've invited friends and family and not pissed off our mothers."

Not among those getting married Saturday were the two who started it all.

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, two Detroit-area nurses who are raising three children with special needs, filed a lawsuit in 2012 because they're barred from jointly adopting each other's children. Joint adoption is reserved for married heterosexual couples in Michigan.

Their lawsuit sparked the two-week trial that culminated with Friday's decision.

Their lawyer, Dana Nessel said she was "not shocked," by the appeals courts actions.

"I am disappointed because it would have been great for people ... in all 83 counties to be able to go in and get a marriage license," she said. "Unfortunately only four (clerk's) offices were open because it was a Saturday, and they had to make special provisions."

Regardless, DeBoer and Rowse had said they would wait to wed, even though the appeals process could take years.

"We will be getting married — when we know that our marriage is forever binding," DeBoer said.


Australia: Leftist hypocrisy knows no bounds

FEDERAL Labor is asking way, way too much of the public with its high-minded moralistic posturing over Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos.

Sinodinos, who stood aside as assistant treasurer on Wednesday to give the government clear air in the lead-up to the May Budget, has been called as a witness in the current NSW ICAC hearings into whether former NSW Labor heavyweights Eddie Obeid, Joe Tripodi and Tony Kelly misused their positions to favour Australian Water Holdings.

No allegations of any criminal activity have been made against the NSW Senator, a former chief of staff to former prime minister John Howard, with an enviable reputation for honesty and integrity.

Yet former AWU boss and Labor leader Bill Shorten, who is likely to be called before the royal commission headed by former High Court justice Dyson Heydon into alleged trade union corruption, has occupied almost all Question Time with his attempts to besmirch Sinodinos and by association, Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

As Education Minister firmly told Parliament on Thursday, the Abbott government “will not be judged by the party of Craig Thomson, and the party of Michael Williamson, and the party of the AWU slush fund, and the party of Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald”.

Thomson, the former Health Services Union official and former Labor MP, has been found guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court of misusing union members funds to pay for prostitutes and personal expenses. He will be sentenced next Tuesday.

Williamson, a former national president of the ALP and a former head of the Health Services Union, pleaded guilty last October 15 to four charges of cheating or defrauding as a director, fabricating invoices and recruiting someone to hinder a police investigation.

His bail has been revoked and he in prison awaiting final sentencing this Friday.

The AWU slush fund affair is likely to see former Labor prime minister Julia Gillard called before the Heydon royal commission where she is likely to be asked to explain her role in assisting her then boyfriend Bruce Wilson establish a fund that was kept secret from both Wilson’s union, and Gillard’s employers, the Labor law firm Slater & Gordon.

Both Obeid and Macdonald were found to be corrupt by the NSW ICAC in connection with the issuance of mining licenses.

Little wonder that Pyne pulled Shorten up firmly.

Labor has clung to tainted MPs, even defended them, when the stench of corruption was evident to all (except, perhaps, Labor’s media arm, the ABC).

As Shorten and some unwise souls on the Opposition benches feigned outrage, Pyne walked through them through Labor’s sad record, reminding the smarting Opposition MPs that their party lacked all credibility and left itself shamefully exposed on the topics of ministerial accountability and parliamentary standards.

He said Labor presided over a “sewer” in the past three years with “an endless list of atrocities committed against this parliament”.

He reminded the House that Labor had not only suborned former Liberal MP Peter Slipper by offering him the Speakership (replacing the universally respected Labor MP Harry Jenkins) but had kept Thomson in their party room until April 29, 2012, even though there a cloud had been hanging over the former NSW Central Coast MP as early as January, 2009, well before the 2010 election, when the Fair Work Commission commenced its inquiry into the HSU’s Victorian No. 1 Branch.

So concerned was Labor about the allegations engulfing Thomson that former prime minister Gillard’s chief of staff Ben Hubbard rang the then Industrial Registrar Doug Williams in early 2009 to inquire into whether Thomson was under investigation – before the fraud allegations were made public.

Then, despite the New South Wales police launching Strike Force Carnarvon, in September, 2011, despite the Victorian police fraud squad’s confirmation of its investigation into Thomson in October, 2011, despite Fair Work Australia’s publication of its investigation into the HSU in April 2012, and its release of its investigation into the Victorian HSU No. 1 Branch, Labor continued to protect Thomson and his caucus vote.

No allegations, I repeat, have been made against Sinodinos. He has been called before ICAC as a witness.

Labor has had its share of MPs and ministers called as witnesses before ICAC, not least being former climate change minister Greg Combet who was questioned about a letter he wrote supporting a controversial mining licence sought by union official John Maitland.

The noisy Senator Doug Cameron was called to give evidence about the Obeids.

In neither case did the Liberals demand either be stripped or their responsibilities or disciplined.

The contrast between the behaviour of the two principal parties in Australian politics could not be greater.

Labor is the party of smear, innuendo and hypocrisy.

There is probably no greater example of Labor’s gutter tactics than the ugliness revealed by Gillard herself during the confected frenzy of her extremely personal tirade against Tony Abbott during which she falsely claimed he was a misogynist as she attempted to distract the public from her personal appointment of Slipper, a man who had made the most appalling references to women’s sexual organs, to the highest parliamentary office.

“I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man,” she shrieked. “Not now, not ever.”

Pathetic and baseless charges eagerly seized upon by the mindless twitterati who chose to ignore Gillard’s moral deceit and betrayal of principle in regard to Slipper’s promotion.

“Not now, not ever,” Gillard screeched theatrically.

Well, “not now, not ever”, should anyone from Labor try and lecture anyone about morality, about ethics or parliamentary standards.

Labor over the past six years has demonstrated it lacks all understanding of the terms.



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

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

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


24 March, 2014

Oakland’s Gentrification Wars Expose Democratic Coalition’s Contradictions

Gentrification seems to have halted the transformation of Oakland CA into just another Third World disaster like Detroit MI, Baltimore MD, or Camden NJ. But unfortunately for those trying to return a great metropolis to the civilized world, racially-motivated black radicals are doing their best to ensure Oakland remains a dysfunctional Chocolate City.

Oakland was notorious in the late 1960s as the birthplace of the Black Panther Party. After that thinly-disguised criminal gang collapsed, blacks abandoned the pretense of opposition to the system and achieved political power with the election of Lionel J. Wilson, Oakland's first black mayor and close ally of the Panthers.

But since then, paradoxically, liberal whites empowered by Google, Facebook, and radical environmentalism have retaken the Bay Area in a campaign of ethnic cleansing far more effective than anything dreamed of by the Klan.

And blacks don't like it. They thought Oakland was “theirs” And some of them are throwing a tantrum.

Complicating matters for liberals: the battle over lebensraum in the Bay pits two parts of the Democratic coalition against each other—SWPL liberal urban-dwelling whites, many homosexual, vs. tribalistic blacks defending their turf. (Similarly, California’s Asian Democrats just squelched Hispanic Democrats efforts to reverse 1996’s anti-Affirmative Action Prop. 209).

As an unintentionally hilarious article in the San Jose Mercury News tells it:

"Steve Kopff was one of many San Franciscans who cascaded last year into sunnier, cheaper, hipper Oakland.

He bought and began restoring a historic but rundown mansion. He planted vegetables, raised backyard hens and bees, launched a neighborhood newsletter and peppered his Facebook account with paeans to his new city.

But this year, Kopff became a scorned symbol of the angst over Oakland gentrification. He wrote an online essay describing his diverse, working-class neighborhood east of Lake Merritt as "mostly undiscovered" and a "virtual food desert" in need of an organic supermarket, better restaurants and "a coffee kiosk with patisserie bites."

The entrenched forces of diversity were quick to respond that “patisserie bites” was, in effect, the new code word for white supremacy:

"Online critics swiftly labeled him a pushy colonizer with a "white settler mentality." They denounced him as representing a wave of tone-deaf newcomers trying to remake the city in their own image without consulting their African-American, immigrant and lower-income neighbors who held it together for years.
Kopff’s essay was evidently especially offensive because his home was once the headquarters of the revealingly-named “Center for Third World Organizing,” before being turned into housing for SWPLs."

In what has become a disturbingly common response to outbreaks of free speech by American whites, Kopff’s outlet essentially rescinded its own work:

The website that published Kopff's essay, OaklandLocal, agreed with him to remove it after three days of furious comments. It also published his neighbor Dannette Lambert's counter-perspective, "20 ways to not be a gentrifier in Oakland," that further exposed tensions between new and established Oaklanders.

Dannette Lambert is a local Democrat Party operative and a “Community Services Coordinator”—another nominally black, light skinned “community organizer” like the head of state of our Minority Occupation Government.

As female West Coast variant of Spike Lee, Lambert believes that blacks have the right to take over once-white neighborhoods, but whites should not be allowed to live in areas blacks claim.

Interestingly, her rant had an anti-immigrant implication:

Adopting an analogy commonly used against immigrants—of a presumptuous houseguest rearranging the furniture—Lambert advised newcomers to be more considerate.

"Why do you think you can move into someone's ancestral land and start taking it over, evicting them from their homes and pushing out their businesses?" wrote Lambert, who moved to the city eight years ago.

But, somehow, we can assume Lambert finds such objections illegitimate when expressed by Americans protesting the immigrant invasion of their country.

Nor are we likely to see Lambert make the connection to the displacement suffered by American whites during the mass black migration to California known as the Second Great Migration..

Lambert sustains her argument with predictable rhetoric about how Oakland’s blacks are oppressed by an all-powerful white political and law enforcement structure. For example, she writes that whites who don’t want to be considered gentrifiers should,

5. Really think before you call the police. Ask yourself, is this something that can be fixed by a simple conversation? Did a violent crime just happen? Then, of course you should call the police! But your neighbor playing their music too loud is not a police issue. Remember many communities have experienced, and still experience, real trauma at the hands of the police. While you may think a person has nothing to fear if they didn’t do anything wrong, an African American will always be holding Oscar Grant and Alan Blueford in their mind. A simple interaction with the police can trigger the collective PTSD from which the entire community suffers.

The casual portrayal of an entire community as suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder because of its tribal identification with black thugs would be called racist if it were said by a white person (well, a more white person.)

Yet it would take a heart of stone not to laugh at Lambert’s next piece of guidance:

6. Remember low-income communities and communities of color are suffering from hundreds of years of historic trauma and this trauma is very fresh in the minds of most Oaklanders.
Hundreds of years? All the first colonists in Otown were white, either Spanish or American. There are no local Indian tribesmen left and most black people have been in Otown for only 70 years.

But Lambert—herself a recent “immigrant” from elsewhere in America—shamelessly claims Oakland as black “ancestral land.” Evidently, arriving in Oakland in the 40s and not capturing the mayoralty until 1977 is sufficient to make Oakland, California, a sacred realm to the sons and daughters of the Dark Continent

She continues:

7. Recognize most of the perpetrators of crime in Oakland have also been the victims of a system you have benefitted from disproportionately.

Benefited by having to homestead in a town that was once white and prosperous? Benefiting from having to fix up a house occupied and destroyed by the Center for Third World Organizing? Benefiting from improving the neighborhood by driving up the rent to keep out organized blackness? Benefiting from suffering threats and insults because you had the temerity to suggest the neighborhood could use decent restaurants?

Lambert herself, who is in fact a participant in the very ruling system she claims to oppose, bemoans the “historic trauma” of the Third World denizens of Oakland and America. But the real trauma is that suffered by Americans who built some of the greatest cities in the world, only to see them utterly destroyed by black criminality, corruption, and incompetence.

Rather than developing an interracial partnership with their fellow Democrats to make cities better for everyone, Oakland’s African-Americans find it more amusing to declare jihad against insufficiently diverse organic foods frequented by people of the wrong color. Civic virtue can hardly be found among a resentful, entitled “community” that prefers a scorched earth policy to tolerating fair trade coffee.

Liberal whites are turning the urban tide through gentrification, no doubting feeling guilty about it the entire time. Despite themselves, they are saving Oakland from suffering the fate of the many mini-Mogadishu’s that litter the landscape of the formerly proud country that the historic American nation was once honored to call home.

The Democratic coalition is fragmenting as liberal whites take back the cities—one coffee kiosk at a time.


Biblical Bad-Asses: Elijah

For anyone not completely familiar with the term, "bad-ass" can mean dangerous or it can mean means unusually admirable.  It is used in the latter sense below

Doug Giles

“Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” – 1Kings 17:1

Because of the systematic emasculation of the American Church, and I’ll toss Western Europe into that insult as well, it’s become hard to square the words “biblical” and “bad-ass” without some hipster Christian spitting out his skinny milk, no foam, latte and crying “Foul!” And I mean crying. As in weeping.

The Bible, however, is filled with men and women who were absolutely, in the most holy sense of the word, stonking bad-asses.

Indeed, the Bible is chocked full of bad-asses but because we’ve been told to read the scripture through rose-colored, Hello-Kitty glasses, versus just taking these tales straight, as I do my whiskey, we miss the badassedness of Holy Writ’s heroes.

That’s what I am here for. To help you appreciate what these humans did for God and man that required a testicular fortitude that borders on the brink of extinction within our dandy church culture.

As you probably gathered from the title of my column and the cited scripture above, Elijah’s gonna be this column’s focus.

Lets unpack the first mention of Elijah and see what we can glean from this cat.

The first thing I’d like to point out is that Elijah was a Tishbite. Most Jews and Christians are familiar with Elijah. However, there was a time, thousands of years ago when he confronted wicked rulers, that no one knew squat about him. He was a “nobody” from an obscure tribe. A Tishbite? Who the heck are they? If you Google Tishbite in the Bible you ain’t gonna find much. When Elijah launched out no one knew who he was, they weren’t impressed with him and they did not listen to his rebukes. But you know what? That didn’t stop him from stomping some backside.

Elijah’s a badass in that he didn’t need all the crap most Christians think they need before they start kicking ass for the Lord.

Check it out. Elijah didn’t have a prophetic blog. He didn’t graduate with honors from Schlomo’s School of The Prophets. He didn’t have a Facebook fan page with 3,000 followers cheerleading him on. He wasn’t popular on Twitter. His family wasn’t famous and the tribe he hailed from wasn’t totes magotes. But, that didn’t hold him down because, you see, Elijah wasn’t looking to be accepted and earn a living being a professional prophet. Oh, no. He was looking to kick some ass.

Secondly, Elijah’s calling was to confront corrupt leaders. His work was not to start orphanages. He didn’t feed the poor. He didn’t have a leprosy outreach. He didn’t start an effort to save abused camels. He was not a life coach with a Christian flare. He was not a hip and cool prophet. He didn’t seek to be a positive, motivational speaker trying to subtly blend God’s message into the corrupt culture by getting a hair cut like Ahab, dressing like the backslidden Israelites and going to formal state dinners.

Screw that noise. That was not Elijah. His job: filet corrupt leaders who were leading his country astray.

In summation, my dear wannabe badasses, here’s the walkways from today’s Bible study regarding Elijah.

First off. Don’t bemoan that no one knows you, or you hail from a goofy place that isn’t a wow city. If something needs to be done and you’re the one to do it, then pony up, play the man and get it done. What you have in badassery will make up for what you may lack in credentials to the “experts” who demand such accolades before they show one respect.

Lastly, never compare whether or not what you do is legit based upon what others are doing. Elijah’s call was not to sing kum-ba-yah. His work was to pronounce judgment on Jezebel and her jacked up ilk. If Elijah had done anything else, like dog rescues, or marital counseling, or hospital visitations he would have been in direct disobedience to the call of God. No, Elijah’s a badass because he stayed focused and did something that all the other prophets were scared to do, namely confront wicked rulers. Would to God we had some Elijah’s doing that today both to the Left and the Right. Elijah was different because he had an attitude, and this attitude was a threat to all that was evil. He was a hazard to cultural constructs that would keep him and those he loved dumb and down and beholden to shady leaders. Elijah was not a dutiful and domesticated ecclesiastical cow of the politically and culturally correct constructs. Oh, heck no. Elijah was a bad-ass.

What about you?


Australia:  Stubborn  Muslim gets kid glove treatment

A FATHER who was indefinitely jailed in Queensland three months ago for ignoring an order to return his young daughter from overseas has been released from prison.

Federal Circuit Court Judge Margaret Cassidy said it would be futile to continue the indefinite sentence, although the father had done nothing to bring back the Australian child.

The father took his daughter overseas almost two years ago, without the consent of the mother, later returning on his own to Australia, where he has permanent residency.

He has since obtained an overseas custody order that allows the girl to live in the other country, which is not a party to The Hague Convention.

Judge Cassidy said the Australian-born child now was likely to remain overseas, with the mother and daughter unlikely to have any opportunity for a relationship.

“I do not know where to begin to express the pain I hold in my heart,” the mother said in a victim impact statement.  “There is not a single day or moment in a day that goes by that I do not have a thought for my daughter.”

The court heard the father believed the mother had committed a morally reprehensible act by marrying a younger man and he needed to protect his daughter from the situation.

The father told the court if released he would go back overseas to look after his child and bring her back to Australia. But Judge Cassidy said she did not have any great confidence that he would return.

She told the father that in this country parents had equal shared responsibilities when it came to parenting.  “One parent can’t decide to have a child living in (the overseas country) against the wishes of another parent,” Judge Cassidy said.

The mother’s lawyer, Adam Cooper, asked Judge Cassidy to give the father a fixed prison term of up to 12 months. He said the ­father had expressed no regret for the mother’s suffering.

“In my view, he has no understanding of the impact it may have on the child and the mother if they are not to spend time together,” the judge said.

She ordered the father’s release from jail last Friday, deciding the three months he had spent in jail were sufficient for the breach of court orders.


The Overprotected Kid

A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.

A trio of boys tramps along the length of a wooden fence, back and forth, shouting like carnival barkers. “The Land! It opens in half an hour.” Down a path and across a grassy square, 5-year-old Dylan can hear them through the window of his nana’s front room. He tries to figure out what half an hour is and whether he can wait that long. When the heavy gate finally swings open, Dylan, the boys, and about a dozen other children race directly to their favorite spots, although it’s hard to see how they navigate so expertly amid the chaos.

“Is this a junkyard?” asks my 5-year-old son, Gideon, who has come with me to visit. “Not exactly,” I tell him, although it’s inspired by one. The Land is a playground that takes up nearly an acre at the far end of a quiet housing development in North Wales. It’s only two years old but has no marks of newness and could just as well have been here for decades. The ground is muddy in spots and, at one end, slopes down steeply to a creek where a big, faded plastic boat that most people would have thrown away is wedged into the bank. The center of the playground is dominated by a high pile of tires that is growing ever smaller as a redheaded girl and her friend roll them down the hill and into the creek. “Why are you rolling tires into the water?” my son asks. “Because we are,” the girl replies.

It’s still morning, but someone has already started a fire in the tin drum in the corner, perhaps because it’s late fall and wet-cold, or more likely because the kids here love to start fires. Three boys lounge in the only unbroken chairs around it; they are the oldest ones here, so no one complains. One of them turns on the radio—Shaggy is playing (Honey came in and she caught me red-handed, creeping with the girl next door)—as the others feel in their pockets to make sure the candy bars and soda cans are still there.

Nearby, a couple of boys are doing mad flips on a stack of filthy mattresses, which makes a fine trampoline. At the other end of the playground, a dozen or so of the younger kids dart in and out of large structures made up of wooden pallets stacked on top of one another. Occasionally a group knocks down a few pallets—just for the fun of it, or to build some new kind of slide or fort or unnamed structure. Come tomorrow and the Land might have a whole new topography.

Other than some walls lit up with graffiti, there are no bright colors, or anything else that belongs to the usual playground landscape: no shiny metal slide topped by a red steering wheel or a tic-tac-toe board; no yellow seesaw with a central ballast to make sure no one falls off; no rubber bucket swing for babies.

There is, however, a frayed rope swing that carries you over the creek and deposits you on the other side, if you can make it that far (otherwise it deposits you in the creek). The actual children’s toys (a tiny stuffed elephant, a soiled Winnie the Pooh) are ignored, one facedown in the mud, the other sitting behind a green plastic chair. On this day, the kids seem excited by a walker that was donated by one of the elderly neighbors and is repurposed, at different moments, as a scooter, a jail cell, and a gymnastics bar.

The Land is an “adventure playground,” although that term is maybe a little too reminiscent of theme parks to capture the vibe. In the U.K., such playgrounds arose and became popular in the 1940s, as a result of the efforts of Lady Marjory Allen of Hurtwood, a landscape architect and children’s advocate. Allen was disappointed by what she described in a documentary as “asphalt square” playgrounds with “a few pieces of mechanical equipment.” She wanted to design playgrounds with loose parts that kids could move around and manipulate, to create their own makeshift structures. But more important, she wanted to encourage a “free and permissive atmosphere” with as little adult supervision as possible. The idea was that kids should face what to them seem like “really dangerous risks” and then conquer them alone. That, she said, is what builds self-confidence and courage.

"Back in graduate school, the clinical focus had always been on how the lack of parental attunement affects the child. It never occurred to any of us to ask, what if the parents are too attuned? What happens to those kids?"

The playgrounds were novel, but they were in tune with the cultural expectations of London in the aftermath of World War II. Children who might grow up to fight wars were not shielded from danger; they were expected to meet it with assertiveness and even bravado.

Today, these playgrounds are so out of sync with affluent and middle-class parenting norms that when I showed fellow parents back home a video of kids crouched in the dark lighting fires, the most common sentence I heard from them was “This is insane.” (Working-class parents hold at least some of the same ideals, but are generally less controlling—out of necessity, and maybe greater respect for toughness.) That might explain why there are so few adventure playgrounds left around the world, and why a newly established one, such as the Land, feels like an act of defiance.

If a 10-year-old lit a fire at an American playground, someone would call the police and the kid would be taken for counseling. At the Land, spontaneous fires are a frequent occurrence. The park is staffed by professionally trained “playworkers,” who keep a close eye on the kids but don’t intervene all that much. Claire Griffiths, the manager of the Land, describes her job as “loitering with intent.” Although the playworkers almost never stop the kids from what they’re doing, before the playground had even opened they’d filled binders with “risk benefits assessments” for nearly every activity. (In the two years since it opened, no one has been injured outside of the occasional scraped knee.)

Here’s the list of benefits for fire: “It can be a social experience to sit around with friends, make friends, to sing songs to dance around, to stare at, it can be a co-operative experience where everyone has jobs. It can be something to experiment with, to take risks, to test its properties, its heat, its power, to re-live our evolutionary past.” The risks? “Burns from fire or fire pit” and “children accidentally burning each other with flaming cardboard or wood.” In this case, the benefits win, because a playworker is always nearby, watching for impending accidents but otherwise letting the children figure out lessons about fire on their own.

“I’m gonna put this cardboard box in the fire,” one of the boys says.  “You know that will make a lot of smoke,” says Griffiths.

“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” he answers, and in goes the box. Smoke instantly fills the air and burns our eyes. The other boys sitting around the fire cough, duck their heads, and curse him out. In my playground set, we would call this “natural consequences,” although we rarely have the nerve to let even much tamer scenarios than this one play out. By contrast, the custom at the Land is for parents not to intervene. In fact, it’s for parents not to come at all. The dozens of kids who passed through the playground on the day I visited came and went on their own. In seven hours, aside from Griffiths and the other playworkers, I saw only two adults: Dylan’s nana, who walked him over because he’s only 5, and Steve Hughes, who runs a local fishing-tackle shop and came by to lend some tools.

Griffiths started selling local families on the proposed playground in 2006. She talked about the health and developmental benefits of freer outdoor play, and explained that the playground would look messy but be fenced in. But mostly she made an appeal rooted in nostalgia. She explained some of the things kids might be able to do and then asked the parents to remember their own childhoods. “Ahh, did you never used to do that?” she would ask. This is how she would win them over.

Hughes moved to the neighborhood after the Land was already open, but when he stopped by, I asked how he would have answered that question. “When I was a kid, we didn’t have all the rules about health and safety,” he said. “I used to go swimming in the Dee, which is one of the most dangerous rivers around. If my parents had found out, they would have grounded me for life. But back then we would get up to all sorts of mischief.”

Like most parents my age, I have memories of childhood so different from the way my children are growing up that sometimes I think I might be making them up, or at least exaggerating them. I grew up on a block of nearly identical six-story apartment buildings in Queens, New York. In my elementary-school years, my friends and I spent a lot of afternoons playing cops and robbers in two interconnected apartment garages, after we discovered a door between them that we could pry open. Once, when I was about 9, my friend Kim and I “locked” a bunch of younger kids in an imaginary jail behind a low gate. Then Kim and I got hungry and walked over to Alba’s pizzeria a few blocks away and forgot all about them.

When we got back an hour later, they were still standing in the same spot. They never hopped over the gate, even though they easily could have; their parents never came looking for them, and no one expected them to. A couple of them were pretty upset, but back then, the code between kids ruled. We’d told them they were in jail, so they stayed in jail until we let them out. A parent’s opinion on their term of incarceration would have been irrelevant.

I used to puzzle over a particular statistic that routinely comes up in articles about time use: even though women work vastly more hours now than they did in the 1970s, mothers—and fathers—of all income levels spend much more time with their children than they used to. This seemed impossible to me until recently, when I began to think about my own life. My mother didn’t work all that much when I was younger, but she didn’t spend vast amounts of time with me, either. She didn’t arrange my playdates or drive me to swimming lessons or introduce me to cool music she liked.

On weekdays after school she just expected me to show up for dinner; on weekends I barely saw her at all. I, on the other hand, might easily spend every waking Saturday hour with one if not all three of my children, taking one to a soccer game, the second to a theater program, the third to a friend’s house, or just hanging out with them at home. When my daughter was about 10, my husband suddenly realized that in her whole life, she had probably not spent more than 10 minutes unsupervised by an adult. Not 10 minutes in 10 years.

It’s hard to absorb how much childhood norms have shifted in just one generation. Actions that would have been considered paranoid in the ’70s—walking third-graders to school, forbidding your kid to play ball in the street, going down the slide with your child in your lap—are now routine. In fact, they are the markers of good, responsible parenting.

One very thorough study of “children’s independent mobility,” conducted in urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods in the U.K., shows that in 1971, 80 percent of third-graders walked to school alone. By 1990, that measure had dropped to 9 percent, and now it’s even lower. When you ask parents why they are more protective than their parents were, they might answer that the world is more dangerous than it was when they were growing up. But this isn’t true, or at least not in the way that we think. For example, parents now routinely tell their children never to talk to strangers, even though all available evidence suggests that children have about the same (very slim) chance of being abducted by a stranger as they did a generation ago. Maybe the real question is, how did these fears come to have such a hold over us? And what have our children lost—and gained—as we’ve succumbed to them?

In 1978, a toddler named Frank Nelson made his way to the top of a 12-foot slide in Hamlin Park in Chicago, with his mother, Debra, a few steps behind him. The structure, installed three years earlier, was known as a “tornado slide” because it twisted on the way down, but the boy never made it that far. He fell through the gap between the handrail and the steps and landed on his head on the asphalt. A year later, his parents sued the Chicago Park District and the two companies that had manufactured and installed the slide. Frank had fractured his skull in the fall and suffered permanent brain damage. He was paralyzed on his left side and had speech and vision problems. His attorneys noted that he was forced to wear a helmet all the time to protect his fragile skull.

The Nelsons’ was one of a number of lawsuits of that era that fueled a backlash against potentially dangerous playground equipment. Theodora Briggs Sweeney, a consumer advocate and safety consultant from John Carroll University, near Cleveland, testified at dozens of trials and became a public crusader for playground reform. “The name of the playground game will continue to be Russian roulette, with the child as unsuspecting victim,” Sweeney wrote in a 1979 paper published in Pediatrics. She was concerned about many things—the heights of slides, the space between railings, the danger of loose S-shaped hooks holding parts together—but what she worried about most was asphalt and dirt. In her paper, Sweeney declared that lab simulations showed children could die from a fall of as little as a foot if their head hit asphalt, or three feet if their head hit dirt.

A federal-government report published around that time found that tens of thousands of children were turning up in the emergency room each year because of playground accidents. As a result, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1981 published the first “Handbook for Public Playground Safety,” a short set of general guidelines—the word guidelines was in bold, to distinguish the contents from requirements—that should govern the equipment. For example, no component of any equipment should form angles or openings that could trap any part of a child’s body, especially the head.

To turn up the pressure, Sweeney and a fellow consultant on playground safety, Joe Frost, began cataloguing the horrors that befell children at playgrounds. Between them, they had testified in almost 200 cases and could detail gruesome specifics—several kids who had gotten their heads trapped or crushed by merry-go-rounds; one who was hanged by a jump rope attached to a deck railing; one who was killed by a motorcycle that crashed into an unfenced playground; one who fell while playing football on rocky ground. In a paper they wrote together, Sweeney and Frost called for “immediate inspection” of all equipment that had been installed before 1981, and the removal of anything faulty. They also called for playgrounds nationwide to incorporate rubber flooring in crucial areas.

In January 1985, the Chicago Park District settled the suit with the Nelsons. Frank Nelson was guaranteed a minimum of $9.5 million. Maurice Thominet, the chief engineer for the Park District, told the Chicago Tribune that the city would have to “take a cold, hard look at all of our equipment” and likely remove all the tornado slides and some other structures. At the time, a reader wrote to the paper:

Do accidents happen anymore? …  Can a mother take the risk of taking her young child up to the top of a tornado slide, with every good intention, and have an accident?

Who is responsible for a child in a park, the park district or the parent? … Swings hit 1-year-old children in the head, I’m sure with dire consequences in some instances. Do we eliminate swings?

But these proved to be musings from a dying age. Around the time the Nelson settlement became public, park departments all over the country began removing equipment newly considered dangerous, partly because they could not afford to be sued, especially now that a government handbook could be used by litigants as proof of standards that parks were failing to meet. In anticipation of lawsuits, insurance premiums skyrocketed. As the Tribune reader had intuited, the cultural understanding of acceptable risk began to shift, such that any known risk became nearly synonymous with hazard.

Over the years, the official consumer-product handbook has gone through several revisions; it is now supplemented by a set of technical guidelines for manufacturers. More and more, the standards are set by engineers and technical experts and lawyers, with little meaningful input from “people who know anything about children’s play,” says William Weisz, a design consultant who has sat on several committees overseeing changes to the guidelines. The handbook includes specific prescriptions for the exact heights, slopes, and other angles of nearly every piece of equipment. Rubber flooring or wood chips are virtually required; grass and dirt are “not considered protective surfacing because wear and environmental factors can reduce their shock absorbing effectiveness.”

It is no longer easy to find a playground that has an element of surprise, no matter how far you travel. Kids can find the same slides at the same heights and angles as the ones in their own neighborhood, with many of the same accessories. I live in Washington, D.C., near a section of Rock Creek Park, and during my first year in the neighborhood, a remote corner of the park dead-ended into what our neighbors called the forgotten playground. The slide had wooden steps, and was at such a steep angle that kids had to practice controlling their speed so they wouldn’t land too hard on the dirt. More glorious, a freestanding tree house perched about 12 feet off the ground, where the neighborhood kids would gather and sort themselves into the pack hierarchies

I remember from my childhood—little kids on the ground “cooking” while the bigger kids dominated the high shelter. But in 2003, nearly a year after I moved in, the park service tore down the tree house and replaced all the old equipment with a prefab playground set on rubber flooring. Now the playground can hold only a toddler’s attention, and not for very long. The kids seem to spend most of their time in the sandbox; maybe they like it because the neighbors have turned it into a mini adventure playground, dropping off an odd mixing spoon or colander or broken-down toy car.

In recent years, Joe Frost, Sweeney’s old partner in the safety crusade, has become concerned that maybe we have gone too far. In a 2006 paper, he gives the example of two parents who sued when their child fell over a stump in a small redwood forest that was part of a playground. They had a basis for the lawsuit. After all, the latest safety handbook advises designers to “look out for tripping hazards, like exposed concrete footings, tree stumps, and rocks.” But adults have come to the mistaken view “that children must somehow be sheltered from all risks of injury,” Frost writes. “In the real world, life is filled with risks—financial, physical, emotional, social—and reasonable risks are essential for children’s healthy development.”



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

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

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


23 March, 2014

Determined Multiculturalist in Britain

A recent conviction has provoked scandal when it emerged the armed robber had been previously twice jailed for life, was let out on parole only to rob a betting shop.

The scandal has caused a judge involved in the case to apologise to the staff of the betting shop after they were robbed by the career criminal, who has previously shot two police officers in previous criminal exploits.

Derek Rossi, 58, was caught after he dropped his gun and took his balaclava off to pick it up during his hold-up at the Ladbrokes in Holborn.  Previously Rossi has been jailed for life in 1984, and again in 2001, after going on shooting sprees in both London and Bristol.

Judge Peter Clarke apologised to the two victims of the Ladbrokes robbery, Ann Fairbass and Hanna Bjorkvall-Green, who were working at the time. He said: ‘Mrs Fairbrass and Mrs Bjorkvall-Green will be sitting in the public gallery wondering how it is that Rossi could have entered their betting shop where they worked when he was the subject of not one but two sentences of life imprisonment for attempting to murder police officers and members of the public while committing robberies.  ‘They deserve an explanation.

‘I’m not here to defend the decision of the parole board and it is one they, no doubt, find hard to understand given what has happened to them.  ‘I wish to apologise to them on behalf of the criminal justice system for placing them in that position.

‘The parole board have to consider very carefully when imprisoning a person for the rest of their life.’

Rossi had attempted the robbery of the bookmakers during the 8am rush-hour in November last year, carrying an antique shotgun hidden in an umbrella.

He held-up the staff, forcing them to open the safe, but when they could not do so he fled.  He then fired his gun to scare off any pursuers.

During his escape he dropped the gun in the street, taking his balaclava off to pick it up, then attempting to flee on a bike.   When he took his balaclava off, his face was seen by witnesses throughout the street, and was arrested afterwards.

Prosecutor Robert Hutchinson said both the victims had feared for their life during the raid and have continued to be affected by the attack.

He told the court: ‘Rossi has a propensity to shoot his way out of trouble.  ‘A police unit armed with machine guns was deployed and he was arrested that day in Blackstock Road.  ‘They were worried about a siege or shoot-out and danger to the public.’

Rossi has had a criminal career spanning nearly 40 years, with charges and convictions including burglary, car theft, assault, attempted murder, firearms offences and robberies.

He was first convicted at the age of 13, in 1971.

His first life sentence came from offences starting in 1982, when he committed a series of violent robberies across London and Bristol which ended in his capture.  In 1982 he stole £10,000 from a man delivering wages in another armed robbery.  In January 1983 in Marylebone High Street, he tried to rob a cash delivery man, as described by Mr Hutchinson.

Hutchinson said: 'Rossi and an accomplice tried to grab a bag of money from a delivery van and were involved in a tug of war with their victim.  ‘Rossi shot an officer at point-blank rang with a handgun.

‘The officer managed to turn at the last second and took the blast on his arm rather than his chest where it was aimed.  ‘He came very close to having his arm amputated.’

While trying to escape in a Cortina car Rossi shot a member of the public who tried to apprehend the robbers.  One of the robbers also shot a biker who tried to follow them on his motorcycle. The bullet passed into his helmet which saved his life.

Later that same year he was part of a highly armed bank robbery.

Hutchinson said: ‘On 6 April 1983 two robbers entered a Lloyds bank in Bristol and produced a mini arsenal of weapons including an automatic pistol, revolver and sawn-off shotgun,’ Mr Hutchinson said.  ‘They vaulted over the counter, pistol-whipped the staff, fired a shot behind the counter and stole a considerable haul of £35,000.'

Rossi made his escape in a stolen Ford Escort, a police officer was shot in the mouth by one of the robbers during the raid.

‘Rossi got out the car and shot all guns blazing at the police on the slipway of the motorway.  ‘One officer shot him through the windscreen of his vehicle and Rossi continued to point his gun at the police after he had been shot.

‘On his release from prison he then committed the offence of robbery and two offences of possession of firearms.’

Many years later, in May 2000, he held up two men at gunpoint, in a Post Office in Southampton.

Mr Hutchinson said: ‘Rossi came into the Post Office with a large parcel.  ‘He placed it on the scales and a price was given.

‘When the staff opened the glass panel Rossi showed the man a sawn-off shotgun and dived head-first through the narrow hatch. ‘He grabbed £1,500 from the counter and ordered the staff to open the safe.  ‘When staff opened the safe he put between £15,000 and £19,000 into a holdall bag.’

Rossi was arrested not long after at Paddington railway station on the concourse surrounded by armed police who ordered him to drop to the floor.

He was given his second life sentence in 2001 at Winchester Crown Court.  Rossi was released on 11 July 2012 and committed the Ladbrooks robbery just under 16 months later.


It’s Time to End ‘Rape Culture’ Hysteria

The nation's largest and most influential anti-sexual-violence organization is rejecting the idea that culture — as opposed to the actions of individuals — is responsible for rape.

“Rape is as American as apple pie,” says blogger Jessica Valenti. She and her sisters-in-arms describe our society as a “rape culture” where violence against women is so normal, it’s almost invisible. Films, magazines, fashion, books, music, humor, even Barbie — according to the activists — cooperate in conveying the message that women are there to be used, abused, and exploited.

Recently, rape culture theory has migrated from the lonely corners of the feminist blogosphere into the mainstream. In January, the White House asserted that we need to combat campus rape by “[changing] a culture of passivity and tolerance in this country, which too often allows this type of violence to persist.”

Tolerance for rape? Rape is a horrific crime and rapists are despised. We have strict laws that Americans want to see enforced. Though rape is certainly a serious problem, there’s no evidence that it’s considered a cultural norm. Twenty-first century America does not have a rape culture; what we have is an out-of-control lobby leading the public and our educational and political leaders down the wrong path. Rape culture theory is doing little to help victims, but its power to poison the minds of young women and lead to hostile environments for innocent males is immense.

On college campuses, obsession with eliminating “rape culture” has led to censorship and hysteria. At Boston University, student activists launched a petition demanding the cancellation of a Robin Thicke concert, because the lyrics of his hit song “Blurred Lines” allegedly celebrate “systemic patriarchy and sexual oppression.” (The lyrics may not exactly be pleasant to many women, but song lyrics don’t turn men into rapists. Yet, ludicrously, the song has already been banned at more than 20 British universities.)

Activists at Wellesley recently demanded that administrators remove a statue of a sleepwalking man: The image of a nearly naked male could “trigger” memories of sexual assault for victims.

Meanwhile, a growing number of young men find themselves charged with rape, named publicly, and brought before campus judicial panels informed by rape culture theory. In such courts, due process is practically non-existent: Guilty because accused.

Rape culture theorists dismiss critics who bring up examples of hysteria and false accusations as “rape denialists” and “rape apologists.” To even suggest that false accusations occur, according to activists, is to engage in “victim blaming.” But now, rape culturalists are confronting a formidable critic that even they will find hard to dismiss.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is America’s largest and most influential anti-sexual violence organization. It’s the leading voice for sexual assault victim advocacy. Indeed, rape culture activists routinely cite the authority of RAINN to make their case. But in RAINN’s recent recommendations to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, it repudiates the rhetoric of the anti “rape culture” movement:

In the last few years, there has been an unfortunate trend towards blaming “rape culture” for the extensive problem of sexual violence on campus. While it is helpful to point out the systemic barriers to addressing the problem, it is important not to lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime.

RAINN urges the White House to “remain focused on the true cause of the problem” and suggests a three-pronged approach for combating rape: empowering community members through bystander intervention education, using “risk-reduction messaging” to encourage students to increase their personal safety, and promoting clearer education on “where the ‘consent line’ is.” It also asserts that we should treat rape like the serious crime it is by giving power to trained law enforcement rather than internal campus judicial boards.

RAINN is especially critical of the idea that we need to focus on teaching men not to rape — the hallmark of rape culture activism. Since rape exists because our culture condones and normalizes it, activists say, we can end the epidemic of sexual violence only by teaching boys not to rape.

No one would deny that we should teach boys to respect women. But by and large, this is already happening. By the time men reach college, RAINN explains, “most students have been exposed to 18 years of prevention messages, in one form or another.” The vast majority of men absorbs these messages and views rape as the horrific crime that it is. So efforts to address rape need to focus on the very small portion of the population that “has proven itself immune to years of prevention messages.” They should not vilify the average guy.

By blaming so-called rape culture, we implicate all men in a social atrocity, trivialize the experiences of survivors, and deflect blame from the rapists truly responsible for sexual violence. RAINN explains that the trend of focusing on rape culture “has the paradoxical effect of making it harder to stop sexual violence, since it removes the focus from the individual at fault, and seemingly mitigates personal responsibility for his or her own actions.”

Moral panic over “rape culture” helps no one — least of all, survivors of sexual assault. College leaders, women’s groups, and the White House have a choice. They can side with the thought police of the feminist blogosphere who are declaring war on Robin Thicke, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, male statues, and Barbie. Or, they can listen to the sane counsel of RAINN.


Why the Media Doesn't Cover Jihadist Attacks on Middle East Christians

"To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace"—Hebrews 6:6

The United Nations, Western governments, media, universities, and talking heads everywhere insist that Palestinians are suffering tremendous abuses from the state of Israel. Conversely, the greatest human rights tragedy of our time—radical Muslim persecution of Christians, including in Palestinian controlled areas—is devotedly ignored.

The facts speak for themselves. Reliable estimates indicate that anywhere from 100-200 million Christians are persecuted every year; one Christian is martyred every five minutes. Approximately 85% of this persecution occurs in Muslim majority nations. In 1900, 20% of the Middle East was Christian. Today, less than 2% is.

In one week in Egypt alone, where my Christian family emigrated, the Muslim Brotherhood launched a kristallnacht—attacking, destroying, and/or torching some 82 Christian churches (some of which were built in the 5th century, when Egypt was still a Christian-majority nation before the Islamic conquests). Al-Qaeda's black flag has been raised atop churches. Christians—including priests, women and children—have been attacked, beheaded, and killed.

Nor is such persecution of Christians limited to Egypt. From Morocco in the west to Indonesia in the east and from Central Asia to the north to sub-Saharan Africa to the south; across thousands of miles of lands inhabited by peoples who do not share the same races, languages, cultures, and/or socio-economic conditions, millions of Christians are being persecuted and in the same exact patterns.

Muslim converts to Christianity and Christian evangelists are attacked, imprisoned, and sometimes beheaded; countless churches across the Islamic world are being banned or bombed; Christian women and children are being abducted, enslaved, raped, and/or forced to renounce their faith.

Far from helping these Christian victims, U.S. policies are actually exacerbating their sufferings. Whether in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, or Syria, and under the guise of the U.S.-supported "Arab Spring," things have gotten dramatically worse for Christians. Indeed, during a recent U.S. congressional hearing, it was revealed that thousands of traumatized Syrian Christians—who, like Iraqi Christians before them are undergoing a mass exodus from their homeland—were asking "Why is America at war with us?"

The answer is that very few Americans have any clue concerning what is happening to their coreligionists.

Few mainstream media speak about the horrific persecution millions of people are experiencing simply because they wish to worship Christ in peace.

There, is of course, a very important reason why the mainstream media ignores radical Muslim persecution of Christians: if the full magnitude of this phenomenon was ever know, many cornerstones of the mainstream media—most prominent among them, that Israel is oppressive to Palestinians—would immediately crumble.

Why? Because radical Muslim persecution of Christians throws a wrench in the media's otherwise well-oiled narrative that "radical-Muslim-violence-is-a-product-of-Muslim-grievance"—chief among them Israel.

Consider it this way: because the Jewish state is stronger than its Muslim neighbors, the media can easily portray Islamic terrorists as frustrated "underdogs" doing whatever they can to achieve "justice." No matter how many rockets are shot into Tel Aviv by Hamas and Hezbollah, and no matter how anti-Israeli bloodlust is articulated in radical Islamic terms, the media will present such hostility as ironclad proof that Palestinians under Israel are so oppressed that they have no choice but to resort to terrorism.

However, if radical Muslims get a free pass when their violence is directed against those stronger than them, how does one rationalize away their violence when it is directed against those weaker than them—in this case, millions of indigenous Christians?

The media simply cannot portray radical Muslim persecution of Christians—which in essence and form amount to unprovoked pogroms—as a "land dispute" or a product of "grievance" (if anything, it is the ostracized and persecuted Christian minorities who should have grievances). And because the media cannot articulate radical Islamic attacks on Christians through the "grievance" paradigm that works so well in explaining the Arab-Israeli conflict, their main recourse is not to report on them at all.

In short, Christian persecution is the clearest reflection of radical Islamic supremacism. Vastly outnumbered and politically marginalized Christians simply wish to worship in peace, and yet still are they hounded and attacked, their churches burned and destroyed, their women and children enslaved and raped. These Christians are often identical to their Muslim co-citizens, in race, ethnicity, national identity, culture, and language; there is no political dispute, no land dispute.

The only problem is that they are Christian and so, Islamists believe according to their scriptural exegesis, must be subjugated.

If mainstream media were to report honestly on Christian persecution at the hands of radical Islamists so many bedrocks of the leftist narrative currently dominating political discourse would crumble, first and foremost, the idea that radical Islamic intolerance is a product of "grievances," and that Israel is responsible for all Jihadist terrorism against it.


Obama's DoD v The Constitution

Suppressing 1st Amendment Religious Expression in the Air Force

“God who gave us life gave us Liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.” –Thomas Jefferson (1774)

Yet another case of BO’s D-O-D v G-O-D…

During the rancorous debates that preceded passage of the 2014 Defense budget – the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 – one of the proposed amendments was designed to protect the First Amendment rights of members of the Armed Services.

The NDAA as signed by Barack Hussein Obama in December of 2013 included an amendment based on the protective rights language proposed by Rep. John Calvin Fleming (R-LA). Regarding that amendment, Fleming noted: “The conscience rights of our men and women in uniform and their chaplains must be protected. While existing protections have focused on their beliefs, my amendment will extend that protection to the liberty granted by the U.S. Constitution, namely the freedom to exercise those beliefs in speech and actions.

This amendment is aimed at stopping the unjust threats and reprimands against service members who have been speaking or acting in accord with their deeply held beliefs, while ensuring that military necessity and readiness are not compromised.”

Indeed, Section 532 of the NDAA, the “Enhancement of protection of rights of conscience of members of the Armed Forces and chaplains of such members,” was implemented as a first step toward achieving that goal.

Last week, however, the Air Force Academy, with a little help from perennial atheist agitator Mikey Weinstein, tested the protection of those rights. Recall that Weinstein heads the “Military Religious Freedom Foundation,” or what would be more aptly named the “Military Freedom From Religion Foundation.” (Other Service Academies are not burdened with Weinstein because he has made the AFA his testing ground for atheist challenges.)

One of Weinstein’s resident cadre of campus atheists complained to the Academy’s Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, about a Bible verse posted on a Cadet’s dorm door whiteboard: “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…” (Gal. 2:20) Those erasable whiteboards are on all Cadet doors, and they are used for personal messages and statements. There is no AFA restriction on what can be posted on them, and Cadets have a respectful understanding of what might be offensive to others – which most assuredly should not include a Bible verse.

That notwithstanding, it was promptly “suggested” to the Cadet that he remove the Bible verse, even though such posts are common.

Johnson claimed in an official statement, “The scripture [on the Cadet’s door] could cause subordinates to doubt the leader’s religious impartiality.”


On Tuesday of this week, a Cadet with the same leadership rank and position in his squadron as the Cadet who posted the Bible verse on his dorm door, invited the entire Cadet Wing, both in a public announcement to the Wing assembled and by official AFA email, to the “Ask and Atheist Day” event. The event flyer was advertised all week on Academy bulletin screens.

So, are we to believe then that promoting atheism to the entire Cadet Wing through official channels does not raise doubts about “the leader’s religious impartiality”?

The Cadets who contacted me about the atheist event indicated that they were not objecting to the promotion of that event, but to the hypocrisy of that promotion, versus a fellow Cadet being asked to remove a Bible verse from his door. Obviously, only the Christian expression of faith is the target of AFA discrimination, and it is Johnson’s “religious impartiality” which should be in contention.



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

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

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


21 March, 2014

Some multicultural murder in Britain

A jealous lover who murdered his girlfriend over her affair with a man she met on a dating site for Oxbridge graduates was jailed for life today.

Jonathan Tebbs, 46, stabbed dedicated town hall chief Kate Dixon 29 times with a Swiss Army knife before reading an Oscar Wilde poem about a man who kills his wife.

He stripped her clothes off and calmly carried her into the shower where he washed the blood from her lifeless body at a flat in Streatham, south London.

The killer attempted to scrub the murder scene clean and then searched on the internet for Wilde's The Ballad of Reading Gaol, which includes the verse: 'Yet each man kills the thing he loves?…?The coward does it with a kiss, the brave man with the sword.'

Cambridge-educated council chief Kate Dixon branded her ex-lover a 'Nazi' days before he stabbed her to death with Swiss Army knife

Tebbs became enraged after learning Ms Dixon, 41, was in a relationship with a man she met on Blue Match - an upper crust dating website for Oxbridge graduates.

The controlling killer became increasingly possessive after believing that he and Ms Dixon were meant to be together, Southwark Crown Court heard.

He flew into a rage after confronting the council figurehead about her relationship with Mark Baynes when he caught the pair on Skype together.

Today, a jury of seven women and five men took less than three hours to unanimously find Tebbs guilty of murder.

The killer, wearing a black three-piece suit, lavender shirt and blue tie, bowed his head as the verdict was announced while cries of 'yes' came from the public gallery packed with Kate's close friends and family.

A statement prepared on behalf of the grieving family said: 'Kate's shocking death has deprived Kate of a life she enjoyed and richly deserved.

'It has deprived Kate and Mark Baynes of the life that they were planning together and were looking forward too very much.

'It has deprived the council of a manager who contributed much to services she was involved in and it has deprived her close colleagues and friends of Kate's company.'

Sacha Wass QC, defending, said Tebbs 'lost his temper', adding: 'He clearly loved her, he clearly felt unable to cope without her and because of his personality traits, it was much more difficult for him to intellectualise, which he clearly tried to do but clearly failed to do, because of his actions on that night.'

Ms Dixon, who was joint head of strategy, equality and performance at Islington Council, started a tumultuous 12-year romance with Tebbs after meeting him on a Tube train.

But she became disillusioned and on numerous occasions tried to end the relationship despite being 'fearful' of Tebbs and 'frightened of what he was capable of'.

On the night of the killing, Ms Dixon finally plucked up the courage to end the relationship with Tebbs after he caught her Skyping Mr Baynes.

Tebbs, who taped his conversations with Ms Dixon, made his final ever recording of his girlfriend just shortly before he stabbed her to death.

Jurors were played the chilling two-and-a-half-hour recording which began after Tebbs had snatched Ms Dixon's phone away from her, demanding to know more about her new romance.

Ms Dixon told Tebbs that she wanted to end their relationship but the jealous lover quickly interrupted and went on an hour-long unbroken rant, accusing her of cheating on him because of her difficult relationship with her father.

The court heard that Ms Dixon had undergone psychotherapy after meeting her biological father for the first time.

Tebbs began raising his voice when she refused to tell him exactly where her new boyfriend was from in the Midlands.

He shouted at her that she had 'destroyed their relationship' by seeing Mr Baynes and then demanded to know whether they had sex.

Tebbs barked: 'He comes from Birmingham, has cups of coffee, gives you a kiss, and then says goodbye - is that it?'

The tape cut out shortly before Tebbs stabbed Ms Dixon to death with his Swiss Army knife.

Tebbs, who bowed his head in the dock and stared down at the floor while the tape was played, wiped tears from his eyes once it had finished.

Giving evidence, he denied being a possessive or controlling partner and claimed Ms Dixon had no reason to be scared of him.

'I was very supportive of her, and I think she developed and grew as a person and a woman over the years, and I was proud to see that happen and as a result of that I fell in love with her even more', he said.

The pair planned to move in together in September 2012, but Tebbs' discovery of an online dating flyer on the day of the move led to their fourth break up in 12 years.

Tebbs said of the final row: 'She was leading up to say the relationship wasn't working and I was trying to rationalise it.'

She told me: 'Our relationship is over. I said "Do you really mean this?" She looked me in the eye and said 'Life is unfair.

'I said with incredulity "I can't believe it" - I grabbed the knife off the laptop and by the time she moved back I didn't say anything else, I just stabbed her.'  He added: 'I can't believe I did it, I can't believe it was me.'

Tebbs had told the court how he ultimately dialled 999, but this was only done at 10am the following morning after he had dragged her body to the bathroom to undress and wash her.

In the hours after the murder Tebbs researched Oscar Wilde poetry and how to write a will online, before withdrawing cash and emailing his sister with the line: 'I stabbed her'.

On July 1 he contacted police when he handed them a five-page statement. He was charged with murder the following day.

Tributes flooded in for Ms Dixon, with colleagues describing her as the 'best manager they ever had'.

The council figurehead was responsible for some of the biggest projects focusing on helping vulnerable people in Islington, including underprivileged children.

Tebbs, of Finsbury Park, north London, was convicted of murder.

He had admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Sentencing Tebbs to life imprisonment and ordering he serve at least 19 years, Judge McCreath said: 'Kate Dixon, of whom we have heard much during this trial and of whom we have heard more from the moving statement read to the court this morning, was a good, kind and much loved woman.

'The evidence I have heard makes it plain that even from the time she tried to end her relationship with you, a combination of that kindness, her affection for you and the domination you exercised over her made it impossible for her to do so.

'The evidence also shows that whilst you are, as I recognise, a man of virtues, you are also a man who needs to be in control of those you are close to and you are a man with quick temper.'

The judge said the break-up 'cannot have come to you as a bolt out of the blue'.  'Everything she said to you that night she had already told you or tried to on the previous Monday night. You stabbed her many, many times.

'She tried her best to defend herself against the brutal attack and - on your own account - begged you to stop. I accept that this was not premeditated.

'The fact remains that this was a ferocious attack on a defenceless, vulnerable woman, a woman much smaller than you and in her own home, with a knife.

'Your reaction was not to seek any sort of help but instead you cleared up the scene of this dreadful event and manufactured a false account of what had happened.

'You will remain in prison for a minimum term which I must now set. The sentence on you is imprisonment for life, with a minimum term of 20 years, less the time you have spend in custody on remand.'


Cambridge University college forced to drop 'racist' Gone With The Wind ball theme after complaints

Great cinematic art of yesteryear is the incorrectness of today

A Cambridge University college was forced to drop plans for a 'racist' Gone With The Wind themed ball after complaints from students.

St Edmund's College had planned to theme its annual summer ball around the 1939 Oscar-winning film staring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable.

However, organisers have been forced to abandon their original plans, and instead re-brand the event the Journey Through The Seasons ball after concerns were raised over the racism in the film.

Although Gone With The Wind is most famous for its depiction of the enduring romance between Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler, it has been heavily criticised - both at the time of its release and now 75 years on - for its glamourisation of slavery, and its stereotypical depiction of black characters.

Founded in 1896, St Edmund's prides itself as being one of the most diverse colleges at the University, with students coming from over fifty different countries.

St Edmund's Student Mamusu Kallon, who was born in Sierra Leone, had been angered by the original choice of theme.  'It is a film that glamourises the romantic dreams of a slave owner and a KKK member while rendering the horrors of slavery invisible,' the third-year human, social and political science student told The Independent.

'The black characters fulfil every derogatory racist stereotype of the "slave" and black people continue to be subject to the modern-day versions of these stereotypes. Surely Cambridge University should not be perpetuating this?'

The decision to change the theme of the annual May Ball, which costs as much as £129 per person to attend, was made by organisers last month.

A website advertising the ball states: 'We are pleased to announce the theme for St Edmund's May Ball 2014 is "Journey Through the Seasons".

'Experience all four seasons in one memorable night; our college grounds will evoke fruitful autumn gardens, long midwinter nights, the early hours of spring and the fierce passion of midsummer.

'Expect scorching heat and wild storms throughout this explosive May Ball.'

Last year the event was themed around the 1920s set F. Scott Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatsby.

A St Edmund's College spokesman told MailOnline: 'The committee initially selected the theme of Gone with the Wind, but then changed it to "Journey through the Seasons" after concern  was expressed by some of  our students.

'The college felt that it would have only been necessary for it to intervene formally if the matter had not been resolved satisfactorily.

'The college supports the change of theme and is proud of its record of friendliness and cordiality.'


Bill O’Reilly Is Wrong: Jay-Z Is Worthy of America’s Respect

Count me as a fan of the divergent brands of Fox News, hip-hop and Jay-Z. Growing up in the Bronx, New York in the 1980s and 1990s, a product of the New York City public school system, hip-hop is in my blood. It has changed my life for the better, as the hip-hop lifestyle teaches so many important American values. From the importance of rising up no matter what your circumstances, to constantly working hard and seeking more and more, to personal responsibility, there are so many hip-hop values that all Americans – including political conservatives – must appreciate.

As CEO of a leading New York PR agency, we have represented countless hip-hop artists, including Sean “Diddy” Combs, Ice-Cube, Snoop Dogg and others — and it’s been a great experience.

As readers of FrontPage Magazine know, I am a proud conservative – for many reasons. Foremost among those reasons is the fact that I shouldn’t be penalized tax-wise for my success. No one gave me anything.  As a conservative, it is evident that the media are often liberally-biased and Fox News, the fair and balanced network, has eliminated liberal bias from at least one station.  Yet, too often conservatives are out of touch with youth culture, and a perfect example of that is overlooking the countless ways that hip-hop has made America a better country.

Bill O’Reilly’s perpetual attacks upon the hip-hop industry are wrong and misguided. This week, O’Reilly confronted Valerie Jarret, a senior advisor to President Obama, on-air as they were discussing Obama’s new “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, which seeks to help minorities find role models. O’Reilly said, “You’re gonna have to get people like Jay-Z, alright, Kanye West, all of these gangsta rappers to knock it off. That’s number one.” He continued, saying that young males idolize “these guys with the hats on backwards” and “terrible rap lyrics,” and that these “gangsta rappers” and “tattoo guys” need to speak to kids and tell them that they’ve “got to stop the disruptive behavior or you’re going to wind up in a morgue or in prison.”

O’Reilly continually speaks negatively about hip-hop, and inaccurately claimed that Jay-Z and Kanye West were “gangster rappers.” They aren’t. While Jay-Z made many mistakes growing up – as a drug dealer he undoubtedly hurt many people — none of us are perfect. The man is tremendously influential and has shown so many of us how to overcome adversity and become successful. With sheer determination, Jay-Z has succeeded as a world-class entrepreneur, and demonstrated how self-confidence, passion and a strong work ethic can allow anyone in this great country to get anywhere.

At times, as an entertainer, Jay-Z curses and is inappropriate. “The Terminator” was inappropriate as well, as were other characters played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in countless movies. Indeed, there are PG-13 and R-rated movies and actors. But the real life of Jay-Z today is parental-encouraged, and worthy of being viewed by all. People should watch and learn from Jay-Z.

Neither Jay-Z nor Kanye West are “gangster rappers” and the fact that they may wear their hats backwards, and may have tattoos, doesn’t say anything more about them today than the clothing style of someone wearing a suit says about that person. Marc Zuckerberg, Jan Koum of Whats App and many others have non-traditional viewpoints on corporate rules and how to dress. Whether it’s a hoodie, or someone with a tattoo, people cannot be defined by how they dress or what they look like.

So often, hip-hop represents the greatness of America – opportunity, risk-taking, thinking outside of the box — and Jay-Z is at the forefront of that movement. Hip-hop embraces entrepreneurship and a culture of self-sufficiency. As the American business icon Warren Buffett said:

    “Jay is teaching in a lot bigger classroom than I’ll ever teach in. They’re going to learn from somebody. For a young person growing up he’s the guy to learn from.”

From becoming one of the world’s most recognizable artists, to investing in professional sports teams, cosmetics brands, restaurants and much more, Jay-Z shows first-hand the results and importance of hard-work, responsibility, and risk-taking. Jay-Z’s values today are of a family man who is the face of major American brands – married to one of the most beautiful, charismatic artists of our time. He has taught so many of us to strive for more, to work hard at what we love. Jay-Z is worth $475 million dollars according to Forbes Magazine and is still going. For so many Americans, myself included, Jay-Z is worthy of our immense respect. As a grown man, Jay-Z is a business role model for so many people.  (His political viewpoints, on the other hand, leave a lot to be desired.)

Mr. O’Reilly: Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.  As Jay-Z said, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.” Jay-Z’s business skills show so many Americans that even if we aren’t Ivy League graduates, we can still succeed in a major way.

P.S.: For those who will disagree with this article, I will offer this qualifier: As a marketer and a father, I agree with what NBA legend Charles Barkley said in his famous Nike commercial:

    “I am not a role model. I am not paid to be a role model. Parents should be role models. Just because I can dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.”



Joys of Muslim Women

In the Muslim faith a Muslim man can marry a child as young as 1 year old and have sexual intimacy with this child. Consummating the marriage by 9.

The dowry is given to the family in exchange for the woman (who becomes his slave) and for the purchase of the private parts of the woman, to use her as a toy.

Even though a woman is abused she can not obtain a divorce.

To prove rape, the woman must have (4) male witnesses.

Often after a woman has been raped, she is returned to her family and the family must return the dowry. The family has the right to execute her (an honor killing) to restore the honor of the family. Husbands can beat their wives 'at will' and he does not have to say why he has beaten her.

The husband is permitted to have (4 wives) and a temporary wife for an hour (prostitute) at his discretion.

The Shariah Muslim law controls the private as well as the public life of the woman.

In the Western World ( Canada, Australia, United States and Britain ) Muslim men are starting to demand Shariah Law so the wife can not obtain a divorce and he can have full and complete control of her. It is amazing and alarming how many of our sisters and daughters attending American, Canadian, Universities and British Universities are now marrying Muslim men and submitting themselves and their children unsuspectingly to the Shariah law.

Ripping the West in Two.

Author and lecturer Nonie Darwish says the goal of radical Islamists is to impose Shariah law on the world, ripping Western law and liberty in two.

She recently authored the book, Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law. Darwish was born in Cairo and spent her childhood in Egypt and Gaza before immigrating to America in 1978, when she was eight years old. Her father died while leading covert attacks on Israel . He was a high-ranking Egyptian military officer stationed with his family in Gaza ......

When he died, he was considered a "shahid," a martyr for jihad. His posthumous status earned Nonie and her family an elevated position in Muslim society..

But Darwish developed a skeptical eye at an early age. She questioned her own Muslim culture and upbringing.. She converted to Christianity after hearing a Christian preacher on television.

In her latest book, Darwish warns about creeping shariah law - what it is, what it means, and how it is manifested in Islamic countries.

For the West, she says radical Islamists are working to impose sharia on the world. If that happens, Western civilization will be destroyed. Westerners generally assume all religions encourage a respect for the dignity of each individual.. Islamic law (Sharia) teaches that non-Muslims should be subjugated or killed in this world.

Peace and prosperity for one's children is not as important as assuring that Islamic law rules everywhere in the Middle East and eventually in the world.

While Westerners tend to think that all religions encourage some form of the golden rule, Shariah teaches two systems of ethics - one for Muslims and another for non-Muslims. Building on tribal practices of the seventh century, Shariah encourages the side of humanity that wants to take from and subjugate others..

While Westerners tend to think in terms of religious people developing a personal understanding of and relationship with God, Shariah advocates executing people who ask difficult questions that could be interpreted as criticism

It's hard to imagine, that in this day and age, Islamic scholars agree that those who criticize Islam or choose to stop being Muslim should be executed. Sadly, while talk of an Islamic reformation is common and even assumed by many in the West, such murmurings in the Middle East are silenced through intimidation.

While Westerners are accustomed to an increase in religious tolerance over time, Darwish explains how petro dollars are being used to grow an extremely intolerant form of political Islam in her native Egypt and elsewhere.

It is too bad that so many are disillusioned with life and Christianity that they accept Muslims as peaceful... Some may be peaceful but they have an army that is willing to shed blood in the name of Islam... The peaceful support the warriors with their finances and their own kind of patriotism to their religion. While Canada, Australia, the U.S.A. and Britain are getting rid of Christianity from all public sites and erasing God from the lives of children the Muslims are planning a great jihad on North America, Australia and Britain

By email


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

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

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


20 March, 2014

A black man points out that blacks have always been violent

But he still blames Whitey


Last week, Paul Ryan went on the radio to address the lack of virtue prevalent among men who grew up like me, my father, my brothers, my best friends, and a large number of my people:

We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.
A number of liberals reacted harshly to Ryan. I'm not sure why. What Ryan said here is not very far from what Bill Cosby, Michael Nutter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama said before him. The idea that poor people living in the inner city, and particularly black men, are "not holding up their end of the deal" as Cosby put it, is not terribly original or even, these days, right-wing. From the president on down there is an accepted belief in America—black and white—that African-American people, and African-American men, in particular, are lacking in the virtues in family, hard work, and citizenship:

If Cousin Pookie would vote, if Uncle Jethro would get off the couch and stop watching SportsCenter and go register some folks and go to the polls, we might have a different kind of politics.
Cousin Pookie and Uncle Jethro voted at higher rates than any other ethnic group in the country. They voted for Barack Obama. Our politics have not changed. Neither has Barack Obama's rhetoric. Facts can only get in the way of a good story. It was sort of stunning to see the president give a speech on the fate of young black boys and not mention the word racism once. It was sort of stunning to see the president salute the father of Trayvon Martin and the father of Jordan Davis and then claim, "Nothing keeps a young man out of trouble like a father who takes an active role in his son’s life."

From what I can tell, the major substantive difference between Ryan and Obama is that Obama's actual policy agenda regarding black America is serious, and Ryan's isn't. But Ryan's point—that the a pathological culture has taken root among an alarming portion of black people—is basically accepted by many progressives today. And it's been accepted for a long time.

Peddlers of black pathology tend to date the decline of African-American virtue to the 1960s. But pathology arguments are much older. Between 1900 and 1930, blacks were three times as likely as whites to be killed. Their killers tended to be black—black were 80 percent of Mississippi's murderers and 60 percent of its victims. According to historian David Oshinsky, the actual murder rate among African-Americans was likely higher. "We had the usual number of [Negro] killings during the week just closed," the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported in 1904. "Aside from the dozen or so reported in the press, several homicides occurred which the county correspondents did not deem sufficient for the dispatches."

Oshinsky reports that "many of the murders involved liquor, gambling and personal disputes." Did the ghastly amount of violence afflicting black Mississippians spring from poor blacks "not holding up their end of the bargain?" Or was it the the fact that black Mississippians were living in a kleptocracy that had no regard for their lives? As Khalil Muhammad shows in his book The Condemnation of Blackness, progressives and conservatives alike often argued for the former.

Certainly there are cultural differences as you scale the income ladder. Living in abundance, not fearing for your children's safety, and having decent food around will have its effect. But is the culture of West Baltimore actually less virtuous than the culture of Wall Street? I've seen no such evidence. Yet that is the implicit message accepted by Paul Ryan, and the message is bipartisan.

That is because it is a message that makes all our uncomfortable truths tolerable. Only if black people are somehow undeserving can a just society tolerate a yawning wealth gap, a two-tiered job market, and persistent housing discrimination.


Ukip will not oppose gay marriage, Farage reveals as he calls for French-style system with separate legal and religious services

Ukip is to drop its opposition to gay marriage, party leader Nigel Farage revealed today.

The move risks angering disaffected Tories who switched to Ukip after same sex weddings  were legalised by the coalition, but Mr Farage insisted: ‘We have absolutely no problem with anybody.’

He said that as part of a review of Ukip’s manifesto, which he has dismissed as ‘drivel’, he would not campaign for gay weddings to be banned.

Ukip previously said civil partnerships were a ‘common sense’ way for gay and lesbian couples to register their commitment ‘in a formal way’. But it warned: Gay marriage is an entirely different thing altogether.’

The party has also been embarrassed by candidates and members expressing homophobic views.

In January Ukip councillor David Silvester was suspended from the party after suggesting the winter floods were linked to the government’s decision to legalise gay marriage.

However, Mr Farage has now insisted that he would fight the next election as a supporter of gay marriage.

He made the remarks while taking part in a Q&A with PinkNews. Asked by a reader if UKIP would seek to abolish the marriages of gay and lesbian couples entered into after 29 March 2014 in its 2015 manifesto, Mr Farage simply replied: ‘No.’

He also called for a move to the French marriage system, where the legal act of marriage is separated from religious ceremonies.

Mr Farage suggested that his party would seek to augment civil marriages with civil partnerships.

He said: ‘The entitlement to independent religious views will end up worth a bean in the light of our legal subservience to the European Court of Human Rights. Whether or not you may agree with a position, it does not mean someone is not permitted to hold it.

‘We propose an augmentation of the civil partnership awarding it equal status to marriage and enabling it to be available to all. We would rather the legal and religious endorsements of wedlock are separate.’

Mr Farage said he hoped the party would continue to more lesbian, gay and transgender supporters: ‘We have absolutely no problem with anybody, whatever group or community they come from, unless they have openly and evidently unpalatable views.

‘People who join us do so because they subscribe to our basic position about freedom from the European Union and a less intrusive state.’

He also distanced himself from Mr Silvester’s remarks linking the floods to gay marriage, noting that when he made similar comments as a Tory councillor it did not make headlines.

Mr Farage said: ‘Although his comments were certainly eccentric, and to many unpalatable, they were his opinions, not the party’s and he had long been making them to his local paper throughout his tenure as a town councillor.

‘It was only when he defected to UKIP from the Conservatives, that these regular letters expressing the deep religious beliefs of an actually well-liked and respected elderly man, suddenly made national newspapers as the latest let’s-mock-UKIP-media fodder. It’s hardly balanced is it?’


Muslim woman, 22, who refused to remove niqab in court jailed for six months for terrorising mosque security guard because he allowed non-Muslim women inside

A Muslim convert who refused to remove her niqab in court was jailed for six months today after she terrorised a mosque security guard because he allowed non-Muslim women inside without veils.

Last week Rebekah Dawson, 22, was sentenced to 20 months at the Old Bailey for making three videos glorifying the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby while her husband Royal Barnes, 23, was jailed for five years and four months.

However, today she was sentenced to a further six months after admitting to threatening and intimidating Daudi Yusuf at Finsbury Park Mosque in north London.

Dawson had initially denied a single charge of intimidating a witness but, in a bizarre twist, changed her plea to guilty in January after the jury failed to reach a verdict against her and her brother Matthias Dawson, 32.

She had tried to stop Mr Yusuf from testifying against Barnes, who had assaulted him.

Barnes had angrily confronted Mr Yusuf after they took offence when he let three Portuguese women tourists tour the mosque without wearing headscarves on June 10 last year.

She later returned to Mr Yusuf’s office and confronted him about letting non-Muslims into the mosque asking him 'Why are you inviting naked women in the mosque.'

Dawson then ran off and her husband attacked Mr Yusuf who then reported it to the police.

Two weeks later, on June 23, Dawson returned to the mosque in an attempt to stop Mr Yusuf from giving evidence.

She told the frightened security guard: ‘Now I’ve seen your face you’re finished - you’re not safe’.

Barnes was found guilty of assault and harassment at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in December 2013.

Mr Yusuf said he was left feeling 'worried' about another attack because he did not know what Dawson looked like due to her having her face covered.

A defence statement previously made to the court said: 'She attended on June 23 to ask him why he was lying.  'She did not threaten him or do anything to interfere with him being a witness in other proceedings.'

During her trial Dawson had to remove her veil for a female police officer who then verified that she was the defendant at the start of every court session.

During her trial at Blackfriars Crown Court she refused to remove her niqab - which leaves only the eyes on show.

She claimed her religion prevented her removing the veil in the presence of men but Judge Peter Murphy ruled it was of ‘cardinal importance’ that a jury could see her face while she gave evidence.

In his original ruling Judge Murphy said that Dawson could not expect the court to ‘set aside its established procedure’ to accommodate a ‘particular religious practice’.

Susan Meek, defending, today told the court that Dawson, of Stroud Green, north London, has suffered ‘great intrusion into her life’ due to ‘unprecedented media interest’ for her wearing of the niqab.

She also said that Dawson’s dreams of becoming an English teacher were now in “tatters” and that she wanted to get on with her life being a law abiding citizen.

But Judge Murphy said the court must show that witness intimidation was not acceptable.  He said: 'I have given a great deal of thought to this case. Mr Daudi Yusuf was doing his job. Obviously there was a difference of opinion but it did not justify the offence committed against him.'

The judge jailed Dawson for an extra six months for intimidating Mr Yusuf, to run consecutively to her current term of imprisonment, and also handed her a five-year restraining order banning her from contacting Mr Yusuf, going within 500 meters of Finsbury Park Mosque and from entering the Muslim Welfare Centre..

'Your brother said that your husband Royal Barnes had changed your life considerably for the worse - I’m sure you don’t agree with that', he said.  'I have to say I find his evidence compelling and whether you wish me to or not I’m going to take into account my own belief that this offence was committed by you at least partly under your husband’s influence.'

He added: 'It was not a systematic campaign but took place on one occasion and no violence was used but the threats were obviously very real.'

Dawson, who refused to stand in court, bowed her head as she received her latest prison sentence.

Last week Dawson and her husband were jailed at the Old Bailey after she filmed Barnes - a Muslim extremist with links to one of Lee Rigby's killers Michael Adebowale - as he glorified the Woolwich killing in a series of YouTube videos.

Barnes was filmed by his veiled wife laughing hysterically as he drove past the scene of the attack near Woolwich Barracks last May.

The couple ridiculed the memorial flowers left by friends, family, and members of the public for Drummer Rigby and Barnes described the murder as ‘absolutely brilliant’ on videos uploaded on to YouTube.

In the clip shot as the pair drove close to tributes left to Drummer Rigby, Dawson asked her husband to drive around again as he said: 'These kuffar, they fail to realise that their foreign policy is the reason why this Lee Rigby is no more...he got chopped up in Woolwich..


The Insidious Effect of Political Correctness

Dr. Ben Carson

When I was in high school in Detroit, there was a great deal of emphasis on clothing. As I became increasingly interested in fitting in with the "in crowd," fashion supplanted academic achievement in my hierarchy of importance. My grades plummeted, and I became a person who was less pleasant and more self-absorbed.

My mother was disappointed because she thought I had enough insight and intelligence to avoid the flypaper trap of acting like everyone else.

Fortunately, after wasting a year pursuing acceptance, I realized that my dreams went far beyond silk shirts and sharkskin pants. I decided to forsake the "in crowd" and redoubled my academic efforts in time to rescue my sinking grade-point average and gain admission to an Ivy League university.

To say that the "in crowd" was disgruntled when I abandoned their association would be a gross understatement. It eventually became clear to them that I would not rejoin their ranks under any circumstances, and they left me alone.

Despite the insults hurled at me, at the time of graduation, my classmates voted me "most likely to succeed." This indicated that they knew the prerequisites for success but were unwilling to fulfill them, and they wanted others to remain shackled to their underachieving lifestyle.

Political correctness (PC) operates in much the same fashion. It is in place to ensure conformity to the prescribed expressions and lifestyles dictated by the elites.

There are rewards of acceptance and praise for members of the "in crowd" as they attempt to silence or destroy any who dare think for themselves or express opposing views. Similarly, the purveyors of PC seize upon a word or phrase, which they emphasize in an attempt to divert attention away from the actual issue that doesn't fit their narrative.

I have stated in the past that Obamacare is the worst thing to occur in our country since slavery. Why did I make such a strong statement? Obviously, I recognize the horrors of slavery. My roots have been traced back to Africa, and I am aware of some horrendous deeds inflicted on my ancestors in this country.

The purpose of the statement was not to minimize the most evil institution in American history, but rather to draw attention to a profound shift of power from the people to the government.

I think this shift is beginning to wrench the nation from one centered on the rights of individual citizens to one that accepts the right of the government to control even the most essential parts of our lives. This strikes a serious blow to the concept of freedom that gave birth to this nation.

Some well-known radicals have publicly written and stated that in order for their idea of a utopian, egalitarian society to emerge in the United States, the government must control health care, which ensures the dependency of the populace on government. Historical analysis of many countries that have gone this route demonstrates the obliteration of the middle class and a massive expansion of the poor, dependent class with a relatively small number of elites in control.

This is sobering information, and those who want to fundamentally change America would much rather demonize someone who is exposing this agenda than engage in a conversation that they cannot win. Others join in the fray, happily marching in lockstep with those who are attempting to convert our nation to something we won't recognize, having no idea that they are being used.

Vladimir Lenin is sometimes credited with coining the phrase "useful idiots" to describe such individuals.

It is time in America for the people to open their eyes to what is happening all around them as our nation undergoes radical changes without so much as a conversation out of fear of being called a name, of facing economically adverse actions or of enduring government harassment, characterized by the perpetrators as "phony scandals."

Political correctness is antithetical to our founding principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Its most powerful tool is intimidation.

If it is not vigorously opposed, its proponents win by default, because the victims adopt a "go along to get along" attitude. Major allies in the imposition of PC are members of the media, some of whom thrive on controversy while others are true ideologues.

The true believers would be amusing if it were not so sad to behold them dissecting, distorting and repeating words in an attempt to divert attention from the rise of government control.

The American people must learn to identify and ignore political correctness if we are to escape the bitter ideological grenades that are destroying our unity and strength. Political correctness is impotent if we the people are fearless. Let us emphasize intelligent discussion of issues and leave the smear campaigns to those with no constructive ideas.



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

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

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


19 March, 2014

It ain't half daft for the BBC to ban my show for being racist: Dad's Army creator JIMMY PERRY on the BBC's refusal to show repeats of his other greatest hit

Here’s a funny thing, though it might not make you laugh.  Dad’s Army, the show I created and co-wrote with David Croft, is repeated every Saturday and gets audiences of 2.2?million.

But my favourite sitcom of all, the one that recaptures the most extraordinary era of my life, will never be screened again.

It Ain’t Half Hot Mum has been deemed by the BBC too politically incorrect and even racist to be repeated.

I believe it’s equally as funny as Dad’s Army, and full of characters just as memorable — the blustering sergeant-major, the camp drag artiste and the Indian orderly who was more British than the Brits.

The comedy — about a Royal Artillery concert party stationed in India in the last months of World War II — was ribald and often farcical, but anyone who has served in the Armed Forces knows that is exactly what it’s like.

Like all the shows David Croft and I wrote together — including Hi-de-Hi!, set in a Fifties holiday camp, and the upstairs downstairs comedy You Rang, M’Lord? — this was deeply rooted in reality.  And that’s the problem. Too many executives at the BBC have rather too little idea what reality looks like.

They are Oxbridge graduates trained by other Oxbridge graduates who learnt what they know from still more Oxbridge graduates. The real world doesn’t get a look-in at today’s BBC.

I’m 90 and my generation, by contrast, had about as much reality as anyone could wish for. During World War II, I joined the Home Guard: it was 1941 and I was the 16-year-old original of Private Pike.

Two years later, I was conscripted into the Royal Artillery as a gunner. In 1944, I was sent to Burma, where I spent four months manning a gun battery, before I was sent to Deolali, near Mumbai, and joined the concert party. We didn’t call it Deolali in those days — it was Doolally!

Like the characters in our sitcom, I was a gunner, and the standing joke was that maybe one day we were ‘gunner get home’.

They didn’t tell us until the war was over that there was no chance of that happening any time soon: with millions of troops in India and south-east Asia, and only a small fleet of troopships, getting back to Blighty was a long, slow business.  David and I wrote that into one episode.

When the colonel tells the gang show performers that Japan has surrendered, Gloria — the mincing little star of the show, played by Melvyn Hayes — trots off the parade ground to pack a suitcase.

The sergeant-major is apoplectic. ‘Where do you think you’re going?’ he bellows. A simple line, and it got one of the biggest laughs I’ve ever heard from a studio audience.

David and I didn’t write jokes, we wrote situations, so the comedy required great actors — and we had one in Windsor Davies, with his bulging eyes, needletip moustaches and booming Welsh roar.

The conscripts did think they were going home, and the sergeant-majors knew only too well that, when the men were demobbed, their empires would be over.

Another empire ended at the same time, of course — Britain’s. I was in India during the switch to independence, and for a lad from Barnes in London it was a strange experience. But I soaked all of it up, and any writer will tell you that such powerful impressions are bound to fuel your imagination in later life.

The BBC youngsters can't accept the world was a very different place then. To pretend otherwise would be lying.

India fascinated me. The languages, the smells, the great beauty, the immense poverty — the truth is, I was sad to leave.

We toured for two years, as our signature tune said, ‘From Bangalore to Singapore, from Rangoon to Bombay...and if you really liked our show, we’ll come again another day’.

We even found ourselves on the north-west frontier, which was ruled by bandit tribes. Our bearer was always with us, an educated and marvellously efficient man who went to extraordinary lengths for us.

Before an inspection, he would work furiously to make every bit of leather and brass shine, before picking us up and carrying us on his back to the parade ground. He did it to keep the dust off us: in that heat the earth was as dry as ash.

Once we were in position, he’d give our boots one final rub with his cloth. It’s bizarre to look back on that and realise that it once seemed normal — that’s how the Army worked almost 70 years ago.

And that’s what the BBC youngsters cannot accept. The world was a very different place then. We can’t pretend otherwise. It would be lying.

It might seem outrageous, even decadent, that a bunch of song-and-dance conscripts had to be carried around a parade ground, but that’s because we’re looking back from a 21st-century perspective.

The bearers saw their duties as deeply honourable, and took pride in performing them to the highest standard.

When I finally boarded for home in 1946, my bearer asked me, with a lump in his throat: ‘Can I come home to Blighty with you, sahib?’

His name was Rangi Ram, and we kept that name for the character who narrated It Ain’t Half Hot Mum.

He always talked of ‘We British’ and he had two lovely catchphrases, when he was berating his juniors, which will be familiar to viewers with long memories — ‘Damn natives!’ and ‘Don’t be such a clever dickie!’

When a British officer corrected him, he would scold himself: ‘Sahib righty, Rangi wrongy!’

At the end of every episode, Rangi delivered some piece of spurious wisdom, with the words: ‘There is an old Hindu proverb?.?.?.’

And then he would tell us a bit of nonsense, such as: ‘When you have cholera and Delhi belly, it does not stop your house from catching fire.’

Our lead actor, Michael Bates, was born in India, spoke Urdu and Hindi. He loved India, and so did I.

To play a character who meant so much to me, we needed a special actor. And we found one in the great Michael Bates.

He was born to British parents in India, the son of an Empire civil servant. He spoke Urdu and Hindi fluently, and sometimes he and I would talk in the pidgin Urdu that I had picked up in the Forces.

Like most children of Empire, he’d had an Indian nurse, an ‘ayah’, who taught him the best of her own culture. He never lost the ability to squat on his haunches — a great relaxation trick. He died tragically young of cancer in 1978, aged 57.

Michael loved India, and so did I. That shines through in every episode of It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, and we made nearly 60. But because he is a white man wearing a turban and playing a native Indian, we are accused of racism.

People claim Michael was ‘blacking up’, which is simply not true. He just needed a little make-up to tan his skin, a trick that every newsreader uses these days.

We would have been delighted to use Indian actors, if we could have found any. This was the first BBC sitcom even to be set outside Britain, and we did not live in a multicultural society in the Seventies (the series ran from 1974 to 1981).

It was considered normal for Larry Olivier or Donald Sinden to ‘black up’ when they played Othello — today, that would be wrong, but those were different times.

We did get an excellent Bangladeshi actor to play the ‘char wallah’, the boy who brings the tea urn round. His name was Dino Shafeek, and if I remember correctly he was working in a restaurant as a waiter when he first auditioned.

It frustrates me that television today is run by people who don’t know their history. They don’t want to face the fact that, within my lifetime, Britain ruled a third of the world’s population — so they ignore it.

It’s such a waste: vintage comedy is a wonderful tool to help a new generation understand the past.

Many people in the industry will agree with me but can’t speak up because they might lose their jobs. I have the advantage of being 90, so I can say what I like.

It takes courage to face the past and confront sensitive issues. Sadly, by banning It Ain’t Half Hot Mum from our screens, the BBC is taking the cowardly way out.


Why women secretly love the thought of being ravished, by Martin Amis: Writer accused of 'glorifying sexual violence'

Martin Amis has been accused of ‘glorifying sexual violence’ after he said women secretly love being ‘ravished’ by men.

The writer claimed that English novels from the 18th century catered for ‘female fantasies’  because the heroines only ever had sex if they had been drugged.

He says women friends have told him it was a ‘good fantasy’ to have because ‘if you enjoy it it’s not your fault’.

His comments were immediately seized on by critics, who accused him of perpetuating the myth that women enjoy such encounters.

They also said he was contributing to a culture in which sexual violence was seen as normal.

Amis, 64, who was nominated for the Bad Sex award in 2012 for a section in his novel The Pregnant Widow, made his comments in an interview for  the BBC4 show Martin  Amis’s England.

They appear in this week’s Radio Times before the programme screens this Sunday.

Discussing the development of the English novel since the 18th century, he said: ‘In that formative period of the English novel, the only way that a heroine can have sex is by being drugged and that ties in with fantasies, female fantasies of being ravished.

‘I talked to women about this and they said, it is a good fantasy, especially when you’re young, because if you enjoy it, it’s not your fault.’

Amis said in later novels, women of the lower classes and decadent society ladies are allowed to have sex, but heroines are not.

He said the only exception is Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, adding: ‘It’s perfectly clear that she is far and away the most sexual of Jane Austen’s heroines.’

Last night, clinical psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos said she was ‘horrified’ by the writer’s remarks.  ‘I find these kind of comments soul-destroying, as a woman and as a mother,’ she said. ‘This is the kind of thing you see in porn all the time. Women are depicted as objects at the whim of men’s desires.  ‘Men are brought up not to take no for an answer when it comes to sex.

‘They are encouraged to think that if they push harder, women will enjoy their advances. Martin Amis’s comments just reinforce that view.  'He makes sexual violence seem normal, even desirable. It is sending out an awful message, not least to young men.’

A spokesman for Rape Crisis said last night: ‘If the implication is that women enjoy being raped, that’s of course incredibly unhelpful myth-peddling and potentially not just offensive but distressing to the large numbers of sexual violence survivors who’ll inevitably read the Radio Times interview.’

Several of Amis’s own novels – including The Pregnant Widow and his 1973 book The Rachel Papers – have been criticised for lurid sex scenes, which are mainly written from a male point of view.

In 2012, the author admitted that he thought women were better at writing about sex than men, because men often felt inadequate about their own performance.

At the time, he said: ‘I’d say the reason why women write better about sex – which is almost impossible to write about and no one has done it very well, ever – is that as a novelist you are in a God-like relation to what  you create.

'You are omnipotent and the question of potency is embarrassing for men.’

Amis is married to American heiress and writer Isabel Fonseca, who is his second wife.

He has credited her with finally bringing an end to his womanising ways, and the pair have two teenage children together, Fernanda and Clio.

In June 2011, Amis moved to New York with his family to be closer to her parents as well as his best friend, the writer Christopher Hitchens, who has since died of cancer.

They now live in the Cobble Hill area of Brooklyn.


Now Britain can't even deport a Mafia don to Italy: Their crowded jails 'would breach his human rights'

A Mafia don who has spent 20 years hiding in Britain cannot be deported to Italy because cramped prison conditions would breach his human rights, a judge ruled yesterday.

Domenico Rancadore has been living quietly in a London suburb since 1994 despite being sentenced to seven years in jail in his home country for running a branch of the Mafia involved in extortion, racketeering and drug trafficking.

But yesterday, Senior District Judge Howard Riddle ruled that Rancadore – one of Italy’s most wanted men – cannot be extradited due to a European Court of Human Rights ruling upheld in the High Court last week that chronic overcrowding in Italian jails breaches human rights laws.

Rancadore, who appeared in the dock wearing the same blue shirt and grey cardigan he has worn throughout, showed little emotion as he heard the ruling

At Westminster magistrates’ court, Judge Riddle said he had planned to deport the feared 65-year-old because he was satisfied the fugitive’s extradition was ‘compatible with the defendant’s Convention rights, including prison conditions’.

But his hands were tied by a High Court ruling last week when judges decided a Somalian businessman accused of unauthorised financial activity could not be sent to Italy due to a Strasbourg judgment that Italian prisons violated Article 3 of the Human Rights Act that prevents torture, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Yesterday critics expressed astonishment. Peter Cuthbertson, director of the Centre for Crime Prevention think tank, said: ‘These rulings and our soft justice system only encourage foreign terrorists and criminals to travel to Britain.’

Tory MP Dominic Raab said: ‘It shows what a shambles EU law is in this area. We have innocent British citizens being carted off under the European Arrest Warrant to face flawed justice systems or gruesome jails abroad. But we can’t send foreign gangsters back home.’

He said: ‘Mr Rancadore was one of the heads of an armed criminal organisation known as Cosa Nostra which is said to be one of the most powerful Mafia organisations in Italy, made up of thousands of members spreading terror in Sicily by imposing its rules and controlling the area and systematically murdering anybody who did not comply with the will of the members of the organisation.’

But to the surprise of Italian police who had been hunting for him since 1994, Rancadore was living in a bungalow in Uxbridge with his wife and two children until he was arrested last August by Scotland Yard.

Yesterday Judge Riddle said he was satisfied by assurances from the Italian Ministry of Justice that Rancadore would not be held in an overcrowded cell if he were to be sent back to face justice.

But last week Lord Justice McCombe and Mr Justice Hickinbottom ruled in a separate case that in the face of ‘a systemic failure of a state’s prison system’, assurances given by Italian authorities were insufficient to persuade them that there was no risk prison conditions would breach human rights.

Judge Riddle said: ‘The judgment of the [High] court is binding on me. For these reasons Mr Rancadore is discharged.’ The Italian authorities now have the right to appeal the decision.

After seven months in custody, Rancadore – said to have a serious heart condition – was bailed on a £20,000 surety and told to report to Uxbridge police station daily.

His wife said: ‘He’s happy to be home. This isn’t finished yet. This is just the beginning, isn’t it.’

Rancadore’s solicitor, Karen Todner, said: ‘Mr Rancadore has been very misrepresented in the Press thus far. He made a deliberate decision 20 years ago to walk away from the Mafia and all that is associated with it. He has led a blame-free existence in the United Kingdom.’


Cleric's hate sermons from the village hall: Firebrand can broadcast to Middle East on his satellite channel because Ofcom is powerless to act

A firebrand Muslim cleric is being allowed to broadcast hate sermons to the Middle East from a pretty Home Counties village because the regulator Ofcom is powerless to act.

Sheikh Yasser al-Habib, 34, is accused of stirring up bitter sectarian tensions in the Islamic world via his UK-licensed satellite channel, which is based in a former Christian church hall in a leafy corner of Buckinghamshire.

His station, Fardak TV, is required to comply with Ofcom’s strict rules banning hate speech for any programmes that can be watched by British or European viewers.

But the communications regulator can place no restrictions on what he broadcasts to the rest of the world because this is out of its jurisdiction.

Sheikh al-Habib, who belongs to the minority Shia branch of Islam, has allegedly made remarks on air that are considered deeply offensive to the rival Sunni sect.

He was granted asylum in Britain in 2004 after being jailed in his native Kuwait for insulting some of the most revered figures for Sunnis.

Tensions between the two branches of Islam are at the root of much of the bloodshed that has plagued the Middle East for centuries, right up to the current conflict in Syria.

An MP warned that problems between Sunnis and Shias would also ‘bubble up’ in Britain unless action was taken to stamp out hate speech aired with impunity from the UK.

Last year Sheikh al-Habib led a campaign that raised £2 million to buy a former evangelical Christian retreat in the idyllic village of Fulmer in the Buckinghamshire commuter belt.

The large hall has been turned into a mosque that also houses Fadak TV, which is broadcast across the world by different satellites.

In a recent programme, Sheikh al-Habib was filmed cutting a cake to celebrate the death of one of the most important historical figures in Sunni Islam, the BBC reported.

The radical cleric also allegedly said: ‘Stay away from Shia, or the hand that helps fund those in Syria, we will cut it off, and I know what I mean.’

Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Bar, said Sheikh al-Habib had also claimed on air that two male early Islamic leaders who are revered by Sunnis had a sexual relationship together.

Ofcom is investigating whether any of these remarks were broadcast to British viewers.

A second satellite TV channel, Wesal Farsi, based in north-west London, which is targeted at Iran’s Sunni minority, is accused of transmitting a programme in which a presenter called Shia clerics ‘devils’ and accused them of stealing from God. This station is not licensed by Ofcom.

Mr Mahmood described the material being aired on Fadak TV as ‘ten times worse’ than the sections of Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses that led to the British author facing death threats.

He added: ‘If somebody was being anti-Semitic, we would take action. If somebody was being racist we would take action – even if it was an Asian person having a go at a black person. And it’s quite right to do that.

‘Because this is seen as intra-faith, nobody seems to be bothered. It is already causing problems in the Gulf and the Middle East. It will start to bubble up here as well.’

The MP called on Ofcom to stamp out sectarian hate speech, and said that the regulator should if necessary be given more powers and resources to investigate foreign-language channels broadcast from the UK.  ‘We have got to put a stop to it, and it’s the responsibility of Ofcom to do that. If they can’t deal with it, then the police should step in,’ he said.

Ofcom investigated Fadak TV in 2012 after Sheikh al-Habib broadcast a sermon in which he questioned the sexuality of a Sunni successor to the Prophet Muhammad.

But the regulator concluded that there had been no breach of its broadcasting code and issued the station with ‘formal guidance’.

An Ofcom spokesman said yesterday: ‘Ofcom has strict rules forbidding the broadcast of hate speech on TV and we take this extremely seriously. When channels break these rules, we take robust action and have recently fined broadcasters.  ‘We are examining the allegations made against Fadak TV, and if it is breaking our rules then we will act swiftly.

‘While people in the UK can watch programmes on the internet or on satellite from around the world, Ofcom has jurisdiction to investigate and take action when a channel is licensed to broadcast in the UK.

‘If individuals are preaching hate in the UK, this is a criminal act and should be reported to the police.’

Sheikh al-Habib could not be contacted yesterday, but he declined to comment when approached by the BBC.



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

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

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


18 March, 2014

Racist elephants

We’re going to talk about elephants. Not the GOP kind of elephant, but actual big-eared lumbering wild African elephants (loxodonta Africana) living in Africa, as African elephants are predisposed to do.

The elephants in question are living in close proximity to two different African tribes; the Maasai and the Kamba. The men from these tribes differ in dress, language, and, more importantly, how they treat the elephants. Maasai men sometimes kill the elephants. It seems the Maasai don’t particularly appreciate the elephants attacking Maasai tribesmen and their cows. The Kamba men, on the other hand, are gentle farmers who live among, but do not threaten, the elephants. Perhaps they don’t own cows.

Please understand that the Maasai men do not attack the elephants every time they encounter one, and some Maasai men, perhaps the majority, will never find cause to try to kill an elephant. The elephants know, however, that a greater threat exists from Maasai than from Kamba.

So, how does this affect elephant behavior?

Maasai men like to wear red robes. Kamba men do not. So when the elephants see men in red robes approaching they react defensively. Usually they flee, or they will form defensive perimeters around their young. When the Kamba approach the elephants seem to be completely unconcerned and just go about their business.

The elephants don’t just notice the difference in dress. They’re also tuned into to differences in human dialect. The Maasai and Kamba have distinctive vocal and dialect differences … at least distinctive enough that these elephants can recognize them. The researchers played a recordings of Maasai and Kamba men saying “Look, look over there. A group of elephants is coming.” When the elephants heard the recordings of the Kamba men they took notice but exhibited no untoward fear or anxiety. When they heard the voices of the Maasai men the reaction was different. The elephants fled and once again moved to protect their young.

Karen McComb, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Sussex in England explained the elephant behavior upon hearing the recordings of the Maasai and Kamba. “Cognitively, they know what they’re doing, she said, “and they adjust their reaction to exactly what they’re hearing.”

OK … what’s going on here? We have elephants altering their behavior when encountering different African tribesmen. Sometimes the elephants go into a defensive mode based upon a visual clue, the red robes, or speech patterns. Other visual and aural clues cause them no distress whatsoever.

Has it struck you yet? Come on, folks. This really isn’t that difficult. These elephants are PROFILING! They’re basing their reaction to encountering different groups of men based on past experience. Members of one group are more likely to be dangerous to the elephants than members of the other, and the elephants react accordingly.

I’m afraid that to get through to the irrational mind of a liberal, I have to state the obvious here.

There is no real difference in the elephant’s negative and defensive reaction to the red robes of the Maasai than a person’s reaction to someone wearing a hoodie or gang apparel on the street. There is no real difference between an elephant’s heightened sense of alert upon hearing a particular speech pattern over our reaction to hearing dialects identifiable as coming from inner city gangster culture. Skin color? Not a factor. In case you don’t already know this; the Maasai and the Kamba are both black.

Experience instructs. People -- and elephants -- learn.

When elephants exhibit this behavior in the wild it’s an occasion for marveling at their intelligence. When humans exhibit this behavior in high crime areas, it’s called racism.


Mollycoddled kids 'grow up as narcissists': Psychologist warns growth of play dates supervised by adults is creating generation of children who cannot empathise

Parents who hover around their children while they play with their friends risk turning them into narcissists, a leading psychologist has warned.

Dr Peter Gray said ‘free play’ - where children are left to their own devices, undirected by adults - is the primary means by which children overcome narcissism and build up their capacity for empathy.

He claims that the rise of ‘play dates’ and structured activities where there is always an adult present, and the decline of unsupervised neighbourhood play, is storing up problems for the future.

‘By definition, free play is an activity that any player is free to quit at any time. Children know that. Their very strong drive to play leads them to behave in ways that reduces the chance that the others will quit, and that means paying attention to the others’ needs and wishes,’ he said.

‘To play with other children you must please them as well as yourself, and that means that you have to get into the others’ heads and figure out what they like and don’t like.  ‘That means overcoming your narcissistic tendencies – tendencies we all have to some degree.’ 

Narcissism refers to an inflated sense of the self, and a relative indifference to others.  ‘Those high in the trait readily trample over others and are generally incapable of forming deep, meaningful, lasting relationships with others,’ said Dr Gray, a professor at Boston College in the U.S. and author of the newly published book Free To Learn.

‘Free play is how children practise taking charge of their own lives.  It is how they learn to make their own decisions, solve their own problems, negotiate with others as equals, see from others’ points of view, make friends, and manage risks. 'It is also how they learn to control fear and anger.’

But if a parent is hovering nearby and steps in whenever someone gets upset or angry, they deprive children of the opportunity to learn to control these emotions themselves.  ‘When children are continuously managed and directed by adults, they don’t develop an internal locus of control,’ he said.

He blames the ‘schoolish’ view of child development – the idea that children gain more from doing what adults tell them to do than from their own self-directed activities - as a key reason for the decline of free play.

‘Even out of school children today are far more likely to be in adult-directed activities and less likely to be playing with other kids on their own than was true in the past,’ he said.

‘As a society we have lost touch with the meaning of childhood.  We no longer think of it as a time of play, but increasingly think of it as a time of résumé building.  That is a huge mistake.’

Additionally, fears about safety mean children are often no longer allowed to play in their neighbourhoods without adult supervision.

Dr Gray advises that, where a ‘play date’ situation is unavoidable, adults should make themselves scarce as much as possible.

‘It depends on the age of the children, but for children aged four and older the parents should, to the degree possible, vanish. Even if they are present with no intention to intervene, they may not be able to avoid intervening.

‘When adults are present, children in our culture look to the adults to solve their problems rather than figure out how to solve them themselves.

‘If an adult can’t literally leave, then she or he should be very busy with adult things – too busy to be interrupted, and should not allow interruption.

‘Trust breeds trustworthiness. Children are far more competent – far more able to take responsibility for themselves and one another – than most of us give them credit for, but they need the freedom to practise that responsibility or else it atrophies.’


NYC homosexuals griping because St Pat's day parade is non-political

They want to use it to promote their own cause

There is a whole lot of shamrock green on full display this weekend, as cities around the country hold their annual St. Patrick's Day parades. But several high profile regulars have decided to sit out the events because of a ban on gays marching openly as a group in the parades. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is one of those boycotting his city's events, which will be held tomorrow.

For more, we turn to Peter Quinn. He's a former speechwriter for New York Governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo. He's now a novelist who writes books about Irish America. He joins us from New York. Thanks so much for being with us, Mr. Quinn.

PETER QUINN: Thanks, Rachel, for having me.

MARTIN: So, first off, can you just tell us a little bit about what the New York in Manhattan parade is like and what it means to march in it?

QUINN: It's a pretty astounding event. I think people who come from outside of the city or from Ireland are kind of incredulous of the sheer size of the. It, you know, stretches for blocks. It's 200,000 people march, maybe a million watch it. So it's pretty spectacular event as far as parades go - ethnic parades. And it's, you know, been a traditional assertion of Irish identity and Irish presence in New York, especially for the immigrant community which came here and felt that it was very unwelcome.

And there was a whole nativist movement in America to turn around. So this was, in the beginning, it was like we're not ever leaving, we're here to stay and, you know, we're proud of who we are and we're continuing to go into America. And this parade is symbolic of that. It's as much an immigrant event, I think, is an Irish event.

MARTIN: And what about this particular ban? There are gay rights groups who have been protesting this ban for years. But, as I understand it, it's not specific to gay rights groups. This is a general blanket ban against any kind of politically aligned group of people marching in the parade, right?

QUINN: Yeah, it's a complicated thing. You know, it's not a ban. It's not like if you're gay you can't march in the parade. You know, there's many gay Irish people as there are gay anything. It's about identifying themselves as gays marching - which, I for one, have no problem with especially because of the way they were treated and made to feel outcast.

You know, the parade is about inclusion. I think that was in the beginning, about immigrant communities trying to find its way in. And I think that immigrant community should be inclusive within its own borders. Times have changed.

MARTIN: What is the church's position been on this particular ban?

QUINN: The general attitude of the Catholic Church towards gays in general, which seems to be changing under the present pope - you know, that that's an unacceptable lifestyle, that homosexuality itself isn't a sin. You know, I only get into theological elements of this because I think that's not what this parade is about. It's about an ethnic identity. It's a celebration. And I don't think it's that hard to solve.

Actually, the chaplain of the fire department who died on 9/11, Michael Judge, was a Franciscan priest who had come out of the closet. And he was gay man, a Catholic priest. You could have a gender equality banner under Michael Judge, so they could march in the parade. I wouldn't, you know, I wouldn't think a lot of people would have any problem with that.

MARTIN: You were the grand marshal of an alternative parade that's held in Queens called the St. Pat's For All Parade. And there are several of these alternative parades. Can you describe that particular event? What's that like?

QUINN: Well, that was founded to say if we can't march under our own banner in Manhattan, we'll march in Queens. And the parade seems to get bigger every year. And some people just march in a parade. Other people just march in the one in Manhattan. And other people march in both.

And, you know, this hurling excommunications at each other is, I think, just useless in the end. And my own suspicion is that within 10 years, there'd be one parade again. And 20 years, will people looking back and until say, you know, I don't really know what that was about.


Finally: Mississippi to Start Drug Testing Those Receiving welfare 

It looks like Mississippi is taking the right steps to reducing fraud when it comes to government assistance. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) will now require new applicants to submit a questionnaire that will evaluate the likelihood of substance abuse.

Residents who apply for this temporary assistance from the state will have to submit to drug testing if the state deems they are likely substance abusers from this questionnaire. Testing positive once would require a TANF recipient to undergo treatment for substance abuse. For testing positive a second time, the recipient would be kicked out of the program for 90 days. A third positive result would remove the recipient for up to a year.

Governor Bryant said, “The TANF program is a safety net for families in need, and adding this screening process will aid adults who are trapped in a dependency lifestyle so they can better provide for their children.” The state will be using federal funds earmarked for TANF to administer the questionnaires and testing. They estimate the cost of testing will be only $36,000 each year.

There are currently only 9 other states that have passed legislation requiring TANF applicants to be screened for drugs. And there are at least 24 more that are looking into this type of legislation too.

This seems like a great way for the state to spend a minimal amount in order to save the system a lot of money. What many people will think here is how Republicans hate poor people and how we don’t want to help them, but in all reality we want to help those who really need it and aren’t abusing the system. The governor of Mississippi and his legislature have figured out a way to do this, and I say “kudos” to them!



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

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

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


17 March, 2014

BBC bans Jesus from Radio 2: Pop star Eliza Doolittle and DJ baffled over order to change 'innocent' lyric

She's a squeaky-clean pop star who sings about young love and yearning.  But when Eliza Doolittle wanted to sing about Jesus she joined the ranks of artists such as the Sex Pistols and Frankie Goes To Hollywood by being censored by the BBC.

Eliza was asked to re-word her gentle love song Walking On Water for an appearance on the Chris Evans Show on Radio 2.  It refers to putting on Air Max trainers to run across the water to a yearned-for love.

The 25-year-old singer-songwriter said: ‘I had to change the lyrics from “Sometimes I wish I was Jesus, I’d get my Air Max on and run across the sea for you” to “Sometimes I wish it was easy to get my Air Max on and run across the sea for you”.

‘It was weird because I’m not being blasphemous, I just meant “I wish I could run across water and see you”, but maybe wishing for the power of God was blasphemous enough for them.’

The decision left Evans mystifed, given some of the songs he is allowed to play on his show.  He said last night: ‘Lyrics and the Beeb have always bamboozled me. We often play Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side. Check out the lyrics in that song.’  The 1972 track touches on transexuality, drug use, and mentions a lewd sex act.

The censorship of Eliza’s song angered former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, who said: ‘I am totally appalled. I’m not surprised the BBC is behind this because their attitude tends to be to dumb down the Christian message.

‘I am sorry the lady agreed to this because the sense of the song is lost. Walking on water and Jesus go together.’

The BBC’s decision is the latest in a series of PC judgments affecting artists and even the Corporation’s own broadcasters.

In 2011 there was uproar over reports that Jeremy Paxman had been asked to use obscure terms like ‘Common Era’ and ‘Before Common Era’, rather than AD and BC, so as not to offend non-Christians.

At the time commentators pointed out that in 2,000 years the use of AD and BC had never caused offence.

Last week the BBC was forced to defend a decision by the makers of the BBC Three show Free Speech to postpone a discussion about being gay and Muslim after concerns were expressed by community leaders at the Birmingham mosque the show was being broadcast from.

The Sex Pistols’ single God Save The Queen was banned completely from airplay in 1977 – the Silver Jubilee year – while gay anthem Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood was banned in 1984.

Eliza added: ‘I think people are a bit touchy, but it’s not a big deal. I don’t take that stuff seriously.’

A BBC spokesman refused to shed any light on the incident, saying: ‘We never ask any artist to change the lyrics to their songs.

‘It’s the decision of the record company and the artist. We have clear editorial guidelines in place  to deal with religious or contentious issues and to avoid causing offence to our audiences regardless of their faith.’


When family is forgotten

Sometimes someone else’s column just smacks you up against the head trying to understand what they are thinking. Mitch Albom, the sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press and author of Tuesdays with Morrie among other books, wrote such a column which in many ways defines what is wrong with America today.

Albom’s column centered on the challenges of Texana Hollis, who had lived to be over 100 years old. He starts by telling how she had lived in her home for over 60 years. Then at the age of 101 years old, as Albom states “she was thrown out into the street.” He does state that her son took out a reverse mortgage, and then failed to make payments at some point or to pay the property taxes.

That is the final mention of her family in the column. He tells nothing of what her family did to help her with her problem. This is a woman that one could presume had at least great grandchildren if not great, great grandchildren. There was no one to help her keep her house in these three-plus generations of descendants? The house she lived in was in Detroit. They are giving away houses in Detroit. How much would it have taken to straighten out this situation? But her family just apparently disappeared.

To Mr. Albom’s credit he never mentions who evicted her from her home, but he makes clear that the payments had not been made for her mortgage or her property taxes. Then he states “They say the mark of a society is how they treat its oldest citizens.” It is not clear who “they” are that says that, but we can all agree that it is not nice to throw a 100-year-old widow out on the street. But is it an implied responsibility of the lender that did their job or the government who has not received their tax payments? One might again think where was her family?

Here is where the good happens. Mr. Albom finds out about the plight of this grand old lady and intercedes. Through a foundation he operates he purchased the house back for her. He talks about the struggle of working through the paperwork to regain the title to the house for Ms. Hollis, but the charity did just that.

Then he speaks of how the community pulled together to help repair the house. He states, “Many Detroit volunteers helped clean her rooms, paint them, refurnish them.” Then they all gathered to celebrate her 102nd birthday. She thanked everyone for coming to her rescue.

Then again Albom bemoans, “That’s how it feels getting old in this country. You need someone to come to your rescue. If not, you are left to go broke from doctor bills, or to be tossed from your home, or to die alone, unattended.”

First, no one would want to be in Ms. Hollis’s position. Even if you do the most careful retirement planning, we can guarantee most likely you will outlive your resources if you live to be over 100 years old. Whose responsibility does that become? Mr. Albom never points to her family, but just the possible culprits of why she lost her house. What he does not ever point out is that the families of senior citizens, as they age into their 80’s and 90’s, are responsible for them.

But this is a joyous story and one we should all celebrate. In the face of an irresponsible family, in steps the next level of support that America was built on – a charity. How delightful! And then as the story of her dilemma spread, who stepped in next – members of the community. How wonderful! This is what America is all about. First it is the responsibility of the family, then friends, then charity and then community. This could not have been a better story in that regard. The only small downer here is Ms. Hollis died just short of being 105 years old. But wouldn’t most of us wish to have had this experience of dying in our long-time home that was wonderfully improved by a loving community?

Mr. Albom is so confused about responsibility in this country today. People look to the government or big corporations instead of what they should rely on first and foremost: family, church, charity and community. That is the sad part of this story. Even a smart man like Albom has become so confused about lines of responsibility in America today he cannot celebrate the beauty of the story he was intimately involved in creating.


Most Americans 'Beaten Into Submission' by Political Correctness, Ben Carson Says

The Left's focus on "political correctness" prevents Americans from speaking common sense about political issues, Dr. Ben Carson, former pediatric neurosurgery director at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center who shot to fame last year when he gave a politically incorrect speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, declared In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

"It's time for people to stand up and proclaim what they believe and stop being bullied!" Carson said in his Saturday speech recalling attacks by people intentionally misrepresenting his views. "I'll let you know why I'm not a fan of political correctness, I hate political correctness, I will continue to defy the PC police who have tried in many cases to shut me up," Carson said.

The former doctor attacked left-leaning media for misquoting a statement he made last year at the Values Voter Summit about the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare." "I said that Obamacare was the worst thing since slavery," Carson recalled. The media misreported him as saying Obamacare is the same thing as slavery, he alleged. "Of course they're not the same thing. Slavery is much worse," but he argued that this falsehood reveals the strategy behind political correctness.

Carson referred to Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals," explaining that the author advised political activists to "never have a conversation with your adversary, because that will humanize them and you need to demonize them."

"I still believe marriage is between one man and one woman," Carson declared, mentioning a central issue where people are kept silent by "political correctness." He championed gay rights, but held short on marriage. "Of course gay people should have the same rights as everyone else, but they don't get extra rights," he declared.

The former neurosurgeon recalled that a member of the media warned people against the "poison" of his influence. "Would it be the poison of putting what God says in front of anything man says?" Carson wondered.

Carson attributed his career successes to his mother and his faith. "I had a mother who accepted no excuses and I believed in God," he explained. Referring to former Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's famous flub, he admitted "I used to belong to the 47 percent" who are dependent on government.

"There are a lot of people in that 47 percent who are decent, hard-working Americans who want to realize the American dream and we're going to make sure that they do it!" Carson declared. He argued that Americans want to control their own lives and earn their success, which is the Republican platform.

Carson also attacked Obama for the $17.5 trillion national debt. "If you paid ten million dollars a day, it would take 4,700 years to pay that off," he explained.

The former neurosurgeon announced a new black conservative magazine backed by The Washington Times which will launch next week. "It's going to be about how we use our collective intellect and our resources to move up" the economic ladder, Carson said. He contrasted this to the Democrat message to African Americans. Contrary to their message, he explained, this new magazine will focus "not on how to keep people down and keep a voting bloc, but how to rise up."


Social class in Australia

As a retired sociologist, perhaps I should say something about this.  Barnaby Joyce in correct in saying that  in matters of dress, the different classes in Australia are not readily distinguished.  You get sloppy dressing rich people and similar dressing among the poor.

But different occupations do have quite different levels of prestige  -- as both Athol Congalton and Anne Daniel have shown.

Income is also not closely tied to status or dress.  "Blue collar" workers such as plumbers can be very high income earners.

"Bogans" are similar to "chavs" in Britain  -- young people of low intelligence from generally poor backgrounds

FEDERAL Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has spoken out in support of “bogans”, saying he sees the term as a “consumer choice” and part of Australian culture.

Mr Joyce called in to a talkback program on ABC Radio National about whether Australia had a class system to mount a defence of “bogans”.

Introducing himself as “Barnaby from New South Wales”, he argued there was no class system in Australia and said he was not sure whether “bogan” was “a pejorative or an accolade”.

“If people honestly believed there was a class system (in Australia) then it would be clearly identifiable as you walk down the street,” he said.

“And I think even the discussion today between, these pejorative or an accolade – bogan and what would otherwise be middle class – and I think in many instances that’s just a consumer choice.

“We can have people who are obviously vastly wealthier who are so-called bogans than other people in the middle class.”

One member of the radio talkback panel, academic Christopher Scanlon, suggested there was a visible class system in Australia because tradespeople were easily identified because of there high-vis work gear.

But Mr Joyce hit back: “They probably earn more than you.”

Mr Joyce took a swing at the station, saying it attracted “elitist” listeners and wouldn’t be popular on building sites.

“I would presume that on many worksites at the moment that people with tool-bags are probably unlikely to be listening to this program, even though it’s a great program,” he said.

The background of the former Queensland senator who now holds the NSW seat of New England appeared to go unnoticed by the radio station.

Several minutes after Mr Joyce hung up, presenter Natasha Mitchell said some people on Twitter were suggesting “Barnaby” was actually the Agriculture Minister but she did not think that was true.

Mr Joyce later told The Courier-Mail the fact that he was not recognised when he called in to the program proved Australia was a classless society.

He said politicians should embrace “bogans” as “part of Australian culture”.

“A lot of people in my office call themselves upper-middle bogans,” he said. “I don’t think of it as something pejorative.”

“It’s a term of endearment.”

Bogans became a hot topic last December when leaked emails revealed Palmer United Party boss Alex Douglas disparaging constituents as bogans.



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

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

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


16 March, 2014

Why did the BBC censor a debate about gay Muslims?

I’ve just been shown an amazing clip from a BBC programme called Free Speech.

The programme was conducting a live debate last night in the Birmingham Mosque, in which people are invited to submit video clips on various current affairs issues, which are then debated by an invited panel.

One of the questions was from Asifa Lahore, who self-describes as “Britain's first and only gay Muslim drag queen”. The question Asifa wanted answered was: “When will it be accepted to be Muslim and gay?”

The question was shown, and then just as the panel appeared to be preparing to debate the issue, the BBC presenter Rick Edwards announced, "We were going to debate that question but today after speaking to the mosque they have expressed deep concerns with having this discussion here… so we'll move on to our next question."

What was the presenter thinking of? What was the producer thinking of? What is the BBC thinking of?

If their hosts wanted to censor the content of the programme they had no business broadcasting from that venue in the first place.  But once they were there and broadcasting they should have carried on the debate, or pulled the plug live.

It’s not the BBC’s job to pander to censorship or prejudice. The corporation has some serious explaining to do.


People cannot debate traditional issues because of liberal 'censoriousness', says Lord Neuberger

Traditional attitudes to issues such as sexuality are being shut out of debate by a new form of liberal “censoriousness” which only allows “inoffensive” opinions to be heard in public, Britain’s most senior judge has warned.

Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court, said that Britain could be becoming less diverse rather than more because once common opinions are now deemed “unacceptable”.

He likened the new form of “moral reaction” to the opposite but equally restrictive attitudes of previous generations.

The judge also warned that the children of Britain's elite will have to settle for worse jobs than their parents in coming years.

His comments came in a lecture at the House of Commons in which he spoke about improving representation of minorities including women, ethnic minorities, gay people and those from poorer backgrounds in the law and other professions.

But he said that in the area of sexual attitudes, attempts to improve diversity risked bringing a new restrictiveness of their own.

It follows complaints from traditionalists who opposed gay marriage that they were unfairly being treated as homophobic because of their stance on matrimony.

At the height of the debate over the issue, a housing trust manager from Trafford, Greater Manchester, was demoted from his job and accused of discrimination because he said in a private Facebook posting that he thought same-sex weddings in churches were a step too far.

Lord Neuberger said: “A tendency appears to be growing in some quarters which is antithetical to diversity in a rather indirect and insidious way."

In a reference to the Larkin poem Annus Mirabilis, which jokes that “sexual intercourse began in 1963”, he added: “As Phillip Larkin suggested in his famous poem, 1963 heralded a rather permissive period, partly no doubt in reaction to the very conventional and straight-laced post-World War Two outlook.

“Possibly as a counter-reaction to the permissive society, a combination of political correctness and moral reaction appears to be developing.

“While I have no wish to comment on, let alone criticise, this development, I fear that it may risk spilling over into a censoriousness about what views people can publicly air as to the merits of diversity or other issues which indirectly relate to diversity.  “As has been said on more than one occasion, freedom only to speak inoffensively is a freedom not worth having.

“The more that arguments and views are shut out as unacceptable the less diverse we risk becoming in terms of outlook.  “And the less diverse we become in terms of outlook, the more we risk not valuing diversity and the more we therefore risk losing diversity in practice.”

Lord Neuberger also said increased social mobility and the economic downturn would be "painful" for the "sons and daughters of those at the top".

He said: "Now that we have an economy that is expanding more slowly; consequently, improving diversity in the higher levels through increased social mobility is much more difficult, because the number of available jobs is hardly expanding.

"And increased social mobility is potentially much more painful, because, if the top echelon of jobs remains static, it is logically inevitable that the sons and daughters of those at the top will have to go down the snakes in order to enable those from less privileged backgrounds to go up the ladders."


Everyone has the right to offend – unless they offend a liberal sacred cow

We must be free to offend one another, the head of the Supreme Court has said. Lord Neuberger warned against a "creeping liberal censoriousness" that infects Britain today. He is right. Just try this: mock a gay politician's campness or Muslims' burkhas. Try making a derogatory comment about the abortion lobby, or the transgender minority. The ensuing brouhaha will drown out your voice and in some cases lose you your job. Or, as happened to journalist Suzanne Moore, you'll have a Minister – one Lynne Featherstone, calling for you to be sacked.

On the other hand, say something about paedophile priests and misogynist vicars, and the whole liberal world smiles with you. Establishment Britain is ready to respect certain sensibilities, just not others. Muslims, because so many belong to an ethnic minority – or is it that they don't believe in turning the other cheek when they receive a slight? –  get the velvet glove treatment. In his brilliant blog post yesterday, Dan Hodges revealed how the BBC censored a debate on gay Muslims.

The Beeb refuses to upset the Islamic community – yet this same corporation has happily paid for and indulged countless programmes and debates about Catholic paedophile priests.

Double standards? You bet. Everyone has the right to offend – unless they offend a liberal sacred cow. The rest of us, who are not black or Muslim or transgender, must go to court for the right to upset these minorities. Lawyers are the only people who benefit from this kind of "free" society.


BBC chiefs in new Left-wing bias storm as Newsnight hires TUC man who used to advise Harriet Harman

The BBC ignited a new row over Left-wing bias last night by appointing a former Labour adviser with barely any journalistic experience as economics editor of its flagship TV news programme.

Tories expressed astonishment that Duncan Weldon, a former adviser to Harriet Harman and senior economist at the Trades Union Congress, had secured the plum job on Newsnight.

They said it did little to dispel the impression that there is ‘a revolving door’ between the Left and the BBC.

Other recent controversial appointments include the recruitment of Ian Katz, a former executive on The Guardian, as Newsnight’s editor and of the former Labour Cabinet minister James Purnell as director of strategy and digital on a salary of £295,000 a year.

Former BBC economics correspondent Stephanie Flanders dated both Ed Miliband and Ed Balls.

A Tory source said: ‘Arthur Scargill or Len McCluskey would have been a more objective appointment. This is a grade A BBC stitch-up.’

In his role at the TUC, Mr Weldon has regularly defended the economic record of the previous Labour government and attacked the Coalition. But he appears to have hardly any journalistic experience.

Gillian Tett, of the Financial Times, and Ed Conway, Sky News’s economics editor, had been tipped for the Newsnight job following the departure of Paul Mason.

Mr Weldon himself appeared to acknowledge his lack of credentials for the post with a jokey comment on Twitter in December: ‘Just read the Newsnight economics editor job ad. Does the odd comment piece count me as being an “established economics journalist”?’

He was senior economic adviser to Miss Harman when she was Labour’s acting leader, and predicted that Conservative economic policy ‘would lead to an economic disaster’.

But last night Mr Katz said he was ‘delighted’ that Mr Weldon, one of ‘the most exciting and original economic thinkers around’, was to join the programme.

Mr Katz said Mr Weldon had been ‘the strongest candidate from a very competitive field’, adding: ‘Are you suggesting we should not have hired the strongest candidate?’

Toby Young, a Tory-supporting writer and broadcaster, said: ‘You’ve got to admire Ian Katz’s total disregard for keeping up the appearance of impartiality.’

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen has written to the BBC’s head of news, James Harding, to raise questions about the appointment – saying it even appeared that Mr Weldon had run as a Labour candidate in local elections in 2010.

‘He follows in a long line of economics correspondents who have had clear links either to the Labour Party or Left-wing politics,’ he said.

Mr Bridgen said Mr Weldon had spent much of his career ‘campaigning against the Conservative Party’ and criticised his lack of journalistic experience.  ‘It seems his only qualification to report on economics for the BBC is that he is Left-wing,’ the MP added.

‘This appointment confirms what [Today programme presenter] John Humphrys hinted at earlier this week, that Left-wing bias is endemic at the BBC.’

Tories also raised concerns about the appointment of Mr Purnell last year, though he ended his party membership on taking up the post.

But broadcaster Iain Dale, a former Tory parliamentary candidate, denied that Mr Weldon is ‘a prisoner of the Left’.

The appointment will be seen as particularly provocative with a general election – at which the economy will be the central issue – little more than a year away.

A BBC spokesman said:  ‘Duncan’s economic commentary is widely respected on all sides of the political spectrum as fair and intelligent. BBC journalists do not bring political views to work and Duncan will be no different.’



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

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

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


14 March, 2014

‘Free to Be’ Boys and Girls: 40 Years After the Failed Gender Revolution

Christina Hoff Sommers

This week marks the 40th anniversary of an event close to the hearts of gender activists everywhere. On March 11, 1974, ABC aired Marlo Thomas’ “Free to Be…You and Me” — a musical program celebrating gender-free children. Thomas and her fellow co-neutralists envisioned a world where the sex distinction would melt away. Instead of “males” and “females,” there would be mutually respectful, non-gendered human persons. The project resulted in a platinum LP, a best-selling book, and an Emmy. More than that, the idea of gender liberation entered the national zeitgeist. Parents everywhere began giving their daughters trucks and sons baby dolls. Like so many dream boats floating on the utopian sea, this one crashed and sank when it hit the rocks of reality.

In one “Free to Be” song, two babies discuss their life goals: the female wants to be a fireman; the male, a cocktail waitress. Another tells about a girl who liked to say, “Ladies First” — only to wind up being the first to be eaten by tigers. The songs drive home the idea that we are all androgynous beings unfairly constrained by social stereotypes. “William‘s Doll” is memorable. “A doll, said William, is what I need. To wash and clean and dress and feed.” In the end his kindly grandmother buys him the coveted toy.

A few months ago, I found myself in a place William would adore: the American Girl doll palace in New York City. But nearly all the children there were girls. “They know what girls love,” said a transfixed seven-year-old girl attached to my hand. We were standing in front of a doll salon, where you could make appointments for your doll to have her hair and nails done. The hundreds of little girls in that store showed a purposefulness and sense of well-being I had not witnessed since the summer before, when I visited the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Only in Cooperstown it was little boys who were enthralled. Hundreds of them filled the shops where they carefully examined and evaluated an unfathomable number of little cards with photos and data about baseball heroes. Yes, I realize there are boys who would enjoy the American Girl doll store and girls whose dearest hope is to visit Baseball Town — but those are the exceptions. I am talking about the rule. And as a rule, the young Williams of this world do not want a doll.

“Don’t Dress Your Cat in an Apron,” another jaunty “Free to Be” song, tell us: “A person should do what he likes to. A person’s a person that way.” Well, OK, maybe sometimes. But, after 40 years of gender activism, boys and girls show few signs of liking to do the same things. From the earliest age, boys show a distinct preference for active outdoor play, with a strong predilection for games with body contact, conflict, and clearly defined winners and losers. Girls, too, enjoy raucous outdoor play, but they engage in it less.

Girls, as a rule, are more drawn to imaginative theatrical games — playing house, playing school — as well as exchanging confidences with a best friend. Boys playing kickball together in the schoolyard are not only having a great deal of fun, they are forging friendships with other males in ways that are critical to their healthy socialization. Similarly, little girls who spend hours in deep conversation with other girls or playing theatrical games are happily and actively honing their social skills. What these children are doing is not only fun but developmentally sound.

The year 1974 was a long time ago. It was the Age of Aquarius, and Marlo Thomas and her friends can be forgiven for thinking gender neutrality to be a workable and desirable plan. But in a recent interview, Thomas, now 76, said she found nothing dated about “Free to Be.” Children, she said, “need to hear that … boys and girls are pretty much the same except for something in their underwear.” Except that they are not.

In 2009, David Geary, a University of Missouri psychologist, published the second edition of Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences. This thorough, fair-minded, and comprehensive survey of the literature includes more than 50 pages of footnotes citing studies by neuroscientists, endocrinologists, geneticists, anthropologists, and psychologists showing a strong biological basis for many gender differences. And, as Geary recently told me, “One of the largest and most persistent differences between the sexes is children’s play preferences.”

The female preference for nurturing play and the male propensity for rough-and-tumble hold cross-culturally and even cross-species. Researchers have found, for example, that female vervet monkeys play with dolls much more than their brothers, who prefer balls and toy cars. Nor can human reality be tossed aside. In all known societies, women tend to be the nurturers and men the warriors. Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker points to the absurdity of ascribing these universal differences to socialization: “It would be an amazing coincidence that in every society the coin flip that assigns each sex to one set of roles would land the same way.”

Of course, we can soften and shape these roles, and that has been, in every epoch, the work of civilization. But civilization won’t work against the grain of human nature, and our futile attempts to make it do so can only damage the children that are the subjects of the experiment. Though few would deny that parents and teachers should expose children to a wide range of toys and play activities, almost any parent will attest that most little girls don’t want to play with dump trucks and few boys show an interest in Hello Kitty tea sets.

“Free to Be” purports to be an anthem to freedom; but to “liberate” children from their gender will require unrelenting adult policing, monitoring, correcting, and shaming. Enlightened opinion tells us not to do that with gender non-conforming children; but surely it is just as misguided to do it with kids who conform to the conventions of their sex.

The writer Andrew Sullivan is right when he describes the sex difference as “so obvious no one really doubted it until very recently, when the blank-slate left emerged, merging self-righteousness with empirical delusion.” That delusion was jumpstarted in 1974 with the advent of “Free To Be… You and Me.”

Today, an army of gender scholars and activists is marching in support of the genderless ideal. But these warriors forget that ignoring differences between boys and girls can be just as damaging as creating differences where none exist. “Free to Be” is a cautionary example of how an idealistic social fantasy can turn into a blueprint for repression.


Immigrants cost Britain £3,000 a year each, says report

Immigrants have cost the taxpayer more than £22 million a day since the mid-1990s, totting up a bill of more than £140 billion, according to a new report.

MigrationWatch UK, which campaigns against mass immigration, added that in 2011 the costs were equivalent to £3,000 for each of the eight million foreign-born people living in Britain.

It compiled the figures in response to a study published by University College London (UCL) last year which claimed immigrants made a “substantial” contribution to public finances.

The pressure group’s new report said UCL’s conclusions - which were given prominent coverage by the BBC - were “simply wrong”.

In fact, immigration between 1995 and 2011 cost the taxpayer more than £140 billion, or £22 million a day, after balancing what immigrants pay in tax with what they take out of Britain’s coffers by claiming benefits and tax credits, it said.

In 2011 alone the cost was £23 billion, or £3,000 each for the eight million foreign-born population, the group concluded. The sum was equal to the amount spent by the NHS on GPs and dentists in a year.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: “Our report finally disposes of the immigration lobby’s oft repeated claims that immigration reduces our tax burden.

“The total cost is high and increased dramatically between 1995 and 2011, providing no compensation for the overcrowding of this island which we are experiencing, largely as a result of immigration.”

MigrationWatch accused the authors of the UCL report, Prof Christian Dustmann and Dr Tommaso Frattini of the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, of burying a crucial figure in an annexe of their original report, published in November.

It was claimed the UCL study found the overall impact of immigration had been £95 billion but this “was not even mentioned in the text of the report”, said MigrationWatch.  It added that the omission was “truly astonishing”.

A separate figure by UCL on the cost of immigration since the year 2000 was also wildly inaccurate, MigrationWatch claimed.

While UCL said immigrants made a fiscal contribution of £25 billion since the turn of the century they have, in fact, cost the taxpayer £27 billion, it said.

The new study used the same methodology as the UCL study but adopted what MigrationWatch claimed are more realistic assumptions about immigrants’ earnings and investments.

It also pointed out: “Similarly the claim that recent European Economic Area migrants are only half as likely to claim ’benefits or tax credits’ is highly misleading.

“Recent EEA migrants are much more likely to receive tax credits than the UK-born population, and more likely to receive housing benefit, and these are likely to be paid at higher rates in view of their lower incomes.”

The new report added: “The claim that recent EEA migrants contributed 34 per cent more in revenues than they received in state expenditures is simply wrong.”

Immigration to Britain continued to have a “significant fiscal cost”, it concluded.

Prof Dustmann rebutted MigrationWatch's criticisms of the original report.

"The report is written in a derogatory language seemingly attempting to undermine our reputation with suggestions that we do not adequately describe our methodology or comment on all our results. We are in fact very open about our methodology - which has been acknowledged even by earlier critics of our work," he said.

"Their strongly worded criticism is all the more surprising as the MigrationWatch report is based on a substantial amount of guesswork, does not provide clear indication of how their figures are computed, and is at times sloppy or simply wrong."


Cameron wants to do business with Israel. No one cares what the 'boycott Israel' fanatics think

I doubt if David Cameron had time to scroll through Twitter before he left for Israel this morning. But if he had been on the lookout for Israel-related tweets, he couldn't have failed to notice the hashtag #BDS.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel makes a lot of noise. Twitter is awash with #BDS tweets, implying that the extremists who demand that the West stop buying goods produced by Jews are in the ascendancy.

The reality is rather different.  Bilateral trade between the UK and Israel is booming to an extent never before imagined. Last year it was estimated by the FCO at £5.1 billion. Growth is accelerating every year.

That's the context in which the Prime Minister's visit today should be seen. The media tends to view everything to with Israel through the prism of the peace process. And while it's true that Mr Cameron will also be holding meetings in Ramallah tomorrow, both those and his meetings in Israel today are primarily about business and economic cooperation, not John Kerry's plans.

Look at who's on the plane with him: Trade Minister Lord Livingston; Xavier Rolet, Group CEO of London Stock Exchange; Clive Dorsman, Chief Technology Officer at Talk Talk; Steve Ressitt, CEO Europe of Balfour Beatty; Henrietta Conrad, Chairman of Princess Productions – Shine TV; Patrick Vallance, President of Pharmaceuticals R&D at GSK; Dr Alan Belfield, Arup, Group Board Director and Chairman of Arup's UK & Middle East Division; Dominic Rose, Head of Strategy at ASOS; Ziko Abram, Founder of Kiwi Power;  Maurice Helfgott, Chairman of  MyOptique; Yoni Assia, CEO of eToro; Joanna Shields, Chief Executive of Tech city; Lord Stone of Blackheath, Director of Moon Valley Enterprises; Nicola Cobbold, CEO of Portland Trust; Saul Klein of Index Ventures and UK Business Ambassador for Israel Tech; Antoine Mattar, Co-chair of the Palestinian Britain Business Council; Hugo Bieber, CEO of UK Israel Business; and Liam Maxwell, the UK Government's Chief Technology Officer.

If that's not a business delegation, I don't know what is.

No wonder, because Israel has one of the most technologically advanced economies on earth, with a hi-tech sector that we can only envy. It's 16th on the UN's Human Development Index, classified as "Very Highly Developed". Its medical, scientific and hi-tech equipment inventions are everywhere. And with free trade agreements with the European Union, the United States, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Jordan and Egypt, its trading success is growing, not collapsing as the boycotters would have us believe.

Two and a half years ago, our hyperactive ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, set up the UK Israel Tech Hub, which was designed to bring together British and Israeli tech companies. As the FCO puts it: "The Hub's unique model aims to create partnerships in which British companies help Israeli innovation go global, and Israeli innovation gives British companies a global competitive edge."

I was going to write that today's trip is a public two-fingered gesture by Mr Cameron to the boycott crowd. But in truth it isn't, because although the #BDS ranters have their occasional successes, overall they are so inconsequential and unsuccessful that they don't even merit a public dressing down. Just business as usual.


When Blacks Voted 80 Percent Dem, Malcolm X Called Them 'Chumps'

When blacks gave 80 percent of their vote to the Democratic Party in 1964, black activist Malcolm X called them "political chumps."

White voters, X said, "are so evenly divided that every time they vote, the race is so close they have to go back and count the votes all over again. Which means that any bloc, any minority that has a bloc that sticks together is in a strategic position. Either way you go, that's who gets it."

Yet Democrats, said Malcolm X, failed to deliver on a promised and much anticipated new civil rights bill, knowing the party could still count on their blind support in the next election.

"You put them first," said Malcolm X, "and they put you last. 'Cause you're a chump. A political chump! ... Any time you throw your weight behind a political party that controls two-thirds of the government, and that party can't keep the promise that it made to you during election time, and you are dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify yourself with that party -- you're not only a chump but you're a traitor to your race."

What would Malcolm X say about today's 95 percent black vote? Did the Democratic Party keep its promises to promote family stability, push education and encourage job creation?

The black community, over the last 50 years, has suffered an unparalleled breakdown in family unity. Even during slavery when marriage was illegal, a black child was more likely than today to be raised under a roof with his or her biological mother and father. According to census data, from 1890 to 1940, said economist Walter Williams, a black child was slightly more likely to grow up with married parents than a white child. What happened?

When President Lyndon Johnson launched the War on Poverty in 1965, 24 percent of black babies were born to unmarried mothers. Today that number is 72 percent. Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama said in 2008: "Children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves."

Not only has family breakdown coincided with increased government spending, but the money has not done much to reduce the rate of poverty. From 1965 until now, the government has spent $15-20 trillion to fight poverty. In 1949, the poverty rate stood at 34 percent. By 1965, it was cut in half, to 17 percent -- all before the so-called War on Poverty. But after the war began in 1965, poverty began to flat line. It appears that the generous welfare system allowed women to, in essence, marry the government -- and it allowed men to abandon their financial and moral responsibility, while surrendering the dignity that comes from being a good provider. Psychologists call dependency "learned helplessness."

About the importance of education, Malcolm X once said, "My alma mater was books, a good library. ... I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity." What would he say about the Democratic opposition to school vouchers -- where the money would follow the student rather than the other way around?

Urban schools, where students are disproportionately black and brown, are simply not producing children who can read, write and compute at grade level. The dropout rate can approach 50 percent in some urban districts. Nationwide, 10 percent of parents send their kids to private school. But in cities like Philadelphia and Chicago, 40 percent or more of teachers send their own kids to private schools.

Democrats don't do blacks any favor by supporting "race-based preferences" in admissions to colleges and universities. Turns out, the more a school lowers standards to achieve "diversity," the greater the chance the "diverse" student drops out.

More than that, Democrats have convinced blacks that but for race-based preferences, black growth would suffer. Nonsense. Respected researchers Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom wrote: "The growth of the black middle class long predates the adoption of race-conscious social policies. In some ways, indeed, the black middle class was expanding more rapidly before 1970 than after."

Finally, as to the economy, then-chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., admitted: "With 14 percent (black) unemployment, if we had a white president we'd be marching around the White House. ...The President knows we are going to act in deference to him in a way we wouldn't to someone white."

Democratic policies have contributed to family breakdown, maintained underperforming urban schools -- with no opt out for parents -- and have promoted tax-spend-and-regulate economic policies that have resulted in a level of unemployment described as "unconscionable" by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

So would Malcolm X call today's black voter a political "chump" -- or a political "traitor"?



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

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

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


13 March, 2014

War on Women

John Stossel

You've probably heard that Democratic Party leaders decided that a way to win votes this November is to shout loudly that Republicans wage "war on women." Politico calls this a "proven, persuasive argument."

Give me a break. The idea of a conservative "war on women" is as silly as propaganda I was taught in college: Aside from sex organs, genders are exactly equal, said my leftist professors, and any admission of differences between men and women is oppressive.

I was taught that the only reason boys and girls behave differently is because we're raised differently. If society and parents were to treat genders the same, behavior differences would vanish. I believed it.

Then I had kids, and spent more time with kids, and learned what a fool I'd been.

Back in my ABC News days, I did a TV show about the differences. A typical mom said, "We gave them each trucks. She just wouldn't play with trucks. We wouldn't let him play with guns, so he pretended carrots were guns."

There were exceptions, of course. But it turns out that there's plenty of science documenting that men and women are just programmed differently.

Yet when I reported on that, feminist icon Gloria Steinem told me that gender differences shouldn't even be studied . She sneered, it's "anti-American, crazy thinking to do this kind of research."

At the time, fire departments had dropped strength tests to avoid being accused of sex discrimination. When I told Steinem that one of my interviewees complained that instead of being carried during a fire, now she would be dragged downstairs, with her head hitting each stair, Steinem retorted, "It's better to drag them out ... there's less smoke down there."

Such mindless egalitarianism appeals to politicians, so governments push more of it. President Barack Obama and his supporters brag that Obamacare forces health insurance companies to sell men and women health insurance for the exact same price. On my TV show this week, Democratic activist Jehmu Greene asks indignantly, "Do you want to live in a country where you charge women more than men?"

Well, yes, I do. Insurance should account for costs. Women go to doctors much more often. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say, even if you exclude pregnancy visits, women are 33 percent more likely to visit a doctor. Insurance companies used to reflect that in prices. That isn't bigotry -- it's just math.

Insurance companies still charge men more for car and life insurance. A survey of car insurance companies found that the cheapest policy for a woman cost 39 percent less than for a man. A 60-year-old woman pays 20 percent less than a man for a 10-year life insurance policy. Seventy-year-old women pay half as much as men.

That's just math, too, because most women live longer than men and, despite the "woman-driver" stereotype, we men get into more car accidents.

I don't hear activists complaining about men paying too much. The "victim" propaganda works only when women pay more.

The sexes are simply different. Yet government demands that colleges have gender-equal sports participation. It's fine if dance and art groups are mostly women, but if athletic teams are too male, lawsuits follow.

Obama even cynically repeats the misleading claim that women make 77 cents for every dollar men make, although his own Department of Labor says the difference evaporates once you control for experience and other choices.

Government once even claimed that Hooters discriminates against men because it hires big-breasted female waiters. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission only dropped its complaint after Hooters ran a commercial showing a hairy male server wearing Hooters' skimpy uniform. Good for Hooters for mocking the bureaucrats; most companies just cringe and pay.

Liberal social engineers may dream of a society where genders are exactly equal, but that's nonsense. Men and women are different. We should celebrate that difference instead of claiming that women are victims.


One in 20 prisoners in Britain are gipsies or travellers: More than 4,000 are behind bars say jail inspectors

At least one in every 20 prisoners is from the gipsy, Romany or traveller communities, a report reveals.  With 4,276 prisoners in England and Wales being from these groups, they total 5 per cent of the jail population.

It means there are as many gipsies, Romany and travellers in our jails as there are women.

The figures are higher among youth offenders. Around 12 per cent of all inmates aged 12 to 18 in prisons known as Secure Training Centres are gipsies, Romany or travellers.

The study, by HM Prisons Inspectorate, concluded that people from these backgrounds are ‘significantly over-represented in prison’.

It called for ‘comprehensive monitoring’ of the number of prisoners from the groups to understand why so many are behind bars. ‘The reasons for this over-representation lie outside the prison service and more needs to be done to understand and address this,’ the report said. The HM Prisons Inspectorate added that its prediction of total numbers is likely to be an underestimate.

The report was commissioned to help understand the experiences of particular groups in the prison system.

It finds that many from the three groups have a ‘mistrust’ of the police and the justice system, because they think it is designed to help ‘permanently settled communities’.

They cite evidence that gipsy offenders are more likely to be given a prison sentence and be remanded in custody because they do not have a permanent address and because of fears that they may abscond.

The 2011 census included 58,000 people who identified themselves as gipsy or traveller. However, it did not survey for Romany and the census has struggled to track travellers.

In April 2012, the Mail reported on a gang of gipsy pickpockets, the Rostas family, who stole from at least 185 commuters on late night trains leaving London and used the cash to build five mansions in Romania.

There are around 85,000 inmates in England and Wales. The population of women prisoners is nearly 4,000.

In the report, prisoners were asked to identify themselves as gipsy, Romany or traveller.

The report says the word gipsy refers to Romany groups from Europe who settled in England in medieval times and lived nomadic lives. Romany or Roma speak the Romani language or did so in the past, while traveller refers to communities including Scottish, Welsh and Irish travellers who live nomadically.

The definition includes ‘occupational travellers’ such as ‘showpeople’ and ‘new travellers’.

HMP Woodhill was praised in the report for celebrating ‘Gipsy and Traveller Month’ and giving more telephone credit to gipsy prisoners to help pay for phone calls to their families.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: ‘We are committed to ensuring fair and equal treatment for all prisoners.

‘As part of this, we recently launched a campaign to encourage and support gipsy, traveller and Roma prisoners to declare their heritage and address some of the sensitive issues affecting them and their communities.

‘Since the start of this, we have seen a 50 per cent increase in declarations.’


The parent police are the adult world’s school bullies

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, bleary-eyed and monosyllabic after seven months of looking after baby George, are taking a break. They have flown to the Maldives for a week, and parked George with his grandmother (not the one at Buckingham Palace). A chorus of disapproval greeted the news. “Did they?” swelled into “How dare they?”

The parents’ trip revealed the parent trap: anyone who breaks the rules on how to raise children falls foul of the parental police. This elite crack team of professional high-flying women patrol every aspect of child rearing with gimlet eyes and incorruptible rigidity.

These are not Plebgate Sgt Plods who can’t get their story straight. Their rules are clear. They come into force from the birth, when Daddy must be on hand. Then, it’s breast is best; vacations without baby are verboten; and Mummy go back to work once her maternity leave is over.

Falling short of these expectations condemns Mummy and Daddy to the equivalent of the naughty corner; dinner parties fall silent at their mention of the child-free holiday, baby formula or Mummy’s decision to stay at home.

When even the Royals suffer this treatment, what hope is there for ordinary mortals? I worry for the brave women behind a new blog called The Conservative Woman. Their constituency is the large, but overlooked, group of mothers who stay at home or who only work because they can’t afford not to. Alas, like the Duke and Duchess, these mothers will come under attack from the parental police.

Displaying all the logic of PC Plod, the same childhood cop who regards as suspect a mother who takes a holiday without her seven-month-old child, condemns as criminal the mother who stays home to raise her baby. She is a loser, a traitor and the worst possible example for the new generation. The coppers believe that a week’s jaunt that will give parents a rest and maybe even a bit of romance will traumatise the infant. The holiday in the Maldives will prevent Mummy and baby bonding, stunt baby’s development, and risk his happiness for ever more -- But somehow, a child will only prosper if Mummy goes back to work and misses out on 365 rather than a mere seven days of his progress.

It’s nonsense, and duplicitous nonsense at that. The parental police call themselves feminists and make a lot of noise about supporting other women. They believe in quotas to boost female representation; they fight FGM, and forced marriage. They talk of rights and of “a woman’s choice”. But when that woman chooses not to uphold their values, they mock her.

Kate is experiencing their tongue-lashing now. Only a few weeks ago, the television presenter Nick Knowles’s wife suffered a similar fate when she said she did not want him at the birth of their first child. How ironic that the parental police, whose women officers fought for female independence, should now promote a herd mentality. Everyone must follow their prescription, or else.

Their diktats on child rearing sound as rigid as statist propaganda. That’s appropriate, perhaps, given that many of the childhood cops want the state to take over the raising of children through child-care centres, crèches, SureStart and so on.

Wills and Kate are getting off lightly. Kate, who is not expected to have an office career, will never bear the brunt of the parenting police. Once they’re back from the Maldives, suntanned and rested, everyone will get over the unpleasantness at their departure. But the Conservative Woman’s website had better get ready for a lot of stick. I hope they stand firm, and draw strength from the knowledge that they represent millions of women who refuse to let the parent police run their lives.


Food For Thought

If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally .... Then you might live in a country run by idiots.

If you have to get your parents' permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion ... Then you might live in a country run by idiots.

If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor, or check out a library book, but you don't have to show ID for the right to vote on who runs the government .... Then you might live in a country run by idiots.

If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt .... Then you might live in a country run by idiots.

If, in the largest city of the country, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not a 24-ounce soda because the government says a 24-ounce sugary drink might make you fat .... Then you might live in a country run by idiots.

If an 80-year-old woman can be stripped searched by the TSA but a woman in a hi-jab is only subject to having her neck and head searched because of her religion .... Then you might live in a country run by idiots.

If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more .... Then you might live in a country run by idiots.

If a seven year old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher's "cute," but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable .... Then you might live in a country run by idiots.

If hard work and success is rewarded with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing, and free cell phones .... Then you might live in a country run by idiots.

If the government's plan for getting people back to work is to reward them with 99 weeks of unemployment checks with no requirement to prove they applied for it ..... Then you might live in a country run by idiots.

If being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you more "safe" according to the government .... Then you might live in a country run by idiots.


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

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

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


12 March, 2014

Multicultural con-man in Britain

A pensioner duped out of £300,000 of his life savings by a conman who told him he had won the Spanish Lottery was so convinced by the scam that he continued to pay even after police launched an investigation.

Chris Chidi Dinneya, 40, who told his victims they had to pay money into an overseas account to release their winnings from the lottery, has been jailed for three and a half years.

The trusting 81-year-old, from Cambridge, lost the most money in the worldwide scam.  The pensioner was so taken in by the fraud he continued trying to send more cash after the police investigation began.  Police and Cambridgeshire County Council were forced to apply for a court order to take control of his bank accounts to prevent any further losses.

Dinneya, of New Cross, South East London, was traced to a number of the payments.  He denied a sample charge of fleecing more than £6,100 from the elderly victim.  He also denied his involvement in hoaxing more victims around the world in similar lottery scams totalling £179,725.

He was convicted on money laundering charges following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court and jailed for a total of three-and-a-half years on March 4.

Detective Constable Sharon Garrett said: ‘This is a very sad case involving many people who have effectively been scammed out of their life savings.

‘The Cambridge victim was so convinced that he was set to receive a large payout if he kept sending the money transfers, that we had to take action to protect him.

‘This should serve as a warning to others who are contacted by people claiming they have won prizes in return for money transfers or bank details.  'Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it often is.’


Atheists want the 'miracle cross' from Ground Zero removed from 9/11 museum

A group of atheists have launched a legal challenge against the inclusion of the 'miracle cross' from the Twin Towers in the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

The 17-foot cross that emerged from the rubble at Ground Zero was seen by many rescue workers as a symbol of hope, but now other groups fear that it violates the constitutional divide between church and state.

The group, called American Atheists, says that the cross should not be displayed at all in the museum, and went on to say that if it is included, then there should be a similar panel to represent the atheists who perished at the site.

'We’re arguing for equal treatment in some way, whatever that might be,' the group's lawyer Edwin Kagin said last week.

The specifics have yet to be released, but it was suggested that the group would want a plaque to be posted near the cross which would remind viewers that atheists died as well as people of religious faith.

'This is part of religious history. It’s an act of religious symbolism. It is a shrine now,' New York City Atheists spokesman Ken Bronstein told CBS.

'That miracle cross should be moved back to St. Peter’s where it was for five years.'

Museum organizers have argued that just because it has a religious context does not mean that it makes the entire 10,000-square-foot site a religious one.

'This was a sign of consolation. It’s was never meant to hurt anyone, hurt the atheists or anything like that,' former Ground Zero chaplain Father Brian Jordan said.

'It is an artefact that should be included in the museum because it’s a history museum. This is a part of the memory of 9/11.'

The judge presiding over the case in New York's Supreme Court appeared to agree with museum officials, saying that it would be an over-reach to remove the object, which was found amid the rubble and made from steel beams from the towers.

'There are countless cases of museums including religious artifacts among their exhibits and it’s going to be described in a way that talks about the history of the object, what is the problem here?' Judge Reena Raggi said, according to Fox News.

'An argument has been made that you are trying to censor history.'

The cross, which was kept at a memorial near the Ground Zero site for years before being taken into the protection of museum organizers, is one of the 1,000 objects due to be on display when the museum opens in May.

The ruling is expected in the next few months.


Liberals Love Racism


Racism has been such a successful political and money-making tool for the left that liberals are willing to invent it where it does not exist, conceive new forms of racism when it is in decline, and to sustain it, even become racists themselves.

In regard to race, there are two inhabitants of Liberal Land: (1) the white liberal ethno-masochist , whose self-hatred manifests itself politically by identifying with groups that he or she deems equally hated as a desperate plea for acceptance and love and (2) the race opportunists, whose ethnocentric positions are simply an element of a political campaign or business plan, where there are votes to be had or money to be made by prolonging an imaginary problem.

Liberals practice the politics of pretense, the inventors of facts, whose intellectual dishonesty and pathological guilt hustling about race began in earnest with the vilification of Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1965 Moynihan Report). He was berated as a "racist" for suggesting that liberal policies would weaken the black family and lead to social chaos.

A long misused measure of alleged "institutional" racism is the large black prison incarceration rate relative to whites. In actuality, it is an indictment of the fifty years of liberal race policies, when black crime should be falling to the levels of white crime, but we find the opposite (National prison census data):

Recently, Attorney General Eric Holder reiterated his 2009 claim that Americans are a "nation of cowards" on racial issues.

"Certain subjects are off-limits and that to explore them risks at best embarrassment, and at worst, the questioning of one's character."

Indeed, Mr. Holder, as John T. Bennett describes, the topic of race and crime, for example, is off-limits, unless you want to be called a racist by a liberal.

"The trend of racial "flash mob" violence by black teens against "random" non-black victims has gone relatively unnoticed, when it should be a national scandal.  Several people have died in separate incidents of the "knock-out game," a race-based and unmentioned disgrace.  As for crime rates overall, the picture is stark: the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control lists the homicide rate per 100,000 as 23.1 for blacks, 7.8 for Native Americans, 7.6 for Hispanics, 2.7 for whites, and 2.4 for Asians.  The reality of crime in America is that the white and Asian homicide rate is on par with Finland's.  The American black homicide rate is on par with those of Zambia and Rwanda (22.9 and 26.6 per 100,000, respectively)."

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 93% of black American murders are in fact perpetrated by other blacks.

The problems of Black America are not caused by white racism, but by the soft racism of low expectations perpetrated by liberals. More often than not, it is the wealthy and fortunate that are the prime purveyors of white guilt, but who seldom repent of "white privilege" by giving up their jobs to minorities or "celebrate diversity" in their own lives.

It is the same misplaced racial hypersensitivity, hypocrisy and liberal racism that can, at once, ruin Paula Deen for a thirty-year-old racial slur, but unfailingly label black conservatives as "Uncle Toms".

Contrary to the protestations of liberals, Daniel Patrick Moynihan was right - the weakening of the family structure does lead to social chaos, regardless of race, as a recent French study of two- and one-parent families found:

But evidence is irrelevant in Liberal Land because they think with their glands rather than their brains, mistaking emotionally-satisfying opinions for facts.

And, after all, blame whitey has been a thriving business for them.


Four in five serial burglars let off with soft sentences: British judges ignoring three-strikes law that imposes three-year jail terms
Judges were accused of a ‘failure of duty’ last night after it emerged that four out of five serial burglars are escaping with a soft sentence.

Under supposedly tough laws passed by the last Government, housebreakers should be jailed for a minimum of three years if they have three or more convictions.

But figures unearthed by the Civitas think-tank show the ‘three strikes and you’re out’ punishment is being administered in only 22 per cent of cases.

Judges are either slashing the length of the sentence given in return for a guilty plea, or simply ignoring the guidelines.

Incredibly, one in ten of these burglars were not sent to prison at all. They instead received a suspended sentence or other ‘slap on the wrist’ sanction.

Of the 993 serial burglars who were dealt with by the courts in 2011, only 214 were jailed for three years or more. Dr David Green, director of Civitas, said: ‘Judges are rightly allowed to use discretion in “exceptional circumstances” but this reasonable stipulation has been abused by some judges who are failing in their duty to protect the public.’

The report also highlights how only half of all burglars are given a prison term when sentenced by the courts.

This is despite the fact that, in 2009, then Lord Chief Justice Igor Judge urged judges to recognise the seriousness of burglary.

Lord Judge said: ‘Something precious is violated by burglary of a home and those who perpetrate this crime should be sentenced and punished accordingly.

‘The principle which must be grasped is that when we speak of dwelling house burglary we are considering not only an offence against property, which it is, but also, and often more alarmingly and distressingly, an offence against the person.’

But recently one judge even said that burglary needed ‘a huge amount of courage’.

Judge Peter Bowers made the comment at Teesside Crown Court when he gave Richard Rochford, 26, from Redcar, a 12-month suspended jail sentence for burglary.  He told Rochford: ‘It takes a huge amount of courage as far as I can see for someone to burgle somebody’s house. I wouldn’t have the nerve.’  He added: ‘I think prison very rarely does anybody any good.’

In December 2012 the judge was given an official reprimand.

An investigation led by the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice found the use of the word courage was a ‘serious error of judgment’ and ‘damaged public confidence in the judicial process’.

According to the Civitas study, based on Ministry of Justice figures, only a quarter of convictions for all indictable offences – crimes so serious they can be dealt with by the Crown Court – result in an immediate custodial sentence from the courts.

When police cautions given for indictable offences are included, the figure slumps to only 19 per cent.

Only 37 per cent of violent crime convictions ended in a custodial sentence in the year to June 2013.

Even the most prolific criminals are being let off by the courts. Only 32 per cent of offenders with 11-14 previous convictions or cautions were given immediate custody for an indictable offence.



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

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

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


11 March, 2014

"Progressive" logic

Fascists storm freedom activists’…cocktail party

Robert Spencer   

I am in Australia to speak at the SION/Q Society’s First International Symposium on Liberty and Islam. Pamela Geller, Ashraf Ramelah, Nonie Darwish and I made the trip from the States, and we will be speaking alongside a formidable roster of Australian freedom fighters.

Last night, our gracious hosts held a cocktail reception for the speakers and some friends at a local restaurant here in Melbourne. The happy and low-key crowd was taken aback when a gang of screaming, chanting, frothing-at-the-mouth fascist thugs suddenly appeared at the door, trying to get into the room. Our security detail held them back, but the fascists dropped leaflets declaring that they would be disrupting all of our events throughout the weekend.

This incident vividly illustrated the nature of our struggle: it is truly, as Pamela Geller has so indelibly put it, a struggle of the civilized man vs. the savage. One side was enjoying drinks and polite conversation, having gathered together in service of the cause of freedom and human rights. The other side, while it professes to be the true guardian of those things, came to the restaurant determined to harass, assault, and maybe even kill us. They are, as I have said before, the true children and heirs of the Nazi brownshirts who menaced and assaulted people at rallies and speeches of the Nazis’ opponents in the early 1930s. The struggle we are in is one that will determine whether our societies will remain civil and free, or fall prey to violence, thuggery, and authoritarianism.

Here is Pamela Geller’s account:

"The eagle landed in Oz today. Robert Spencer, Ashraf Ramelah, Nonie Darwish and other luminaries in the fight of freedom converged in Melbourne, Australia for SION/Q Society’s First International Symposium on Liberty and Islam. From the airport I headed to a press conference, where Robert and I were interviewed by SBS News (Australia’s PBS). I will upload that video as soon as possible. The interviewer was a typically hostile Leftist reporter (no surprise there).

Then this evening, the Q Society held a welcoming reception for us at a local restaurant. This event was neither open to the public nor publicly announced. It was a lovely affair with longtime supporters and activists greeting us, welcoming us, and taking pictures with us. We weren’t there ten minutes when suddenly a crazed mob of left-fascists attempted to storm the room, attacking and throwing their bodies against our security team while frenziedly screaming that we were the fascists — the irony was unmistakable. These savages were really out of control. Had they managed to break through our security cordon, it is clear that they would have brutally assaulted as many of the freedom-lovers in the room as they possibly could. It was eerily reminiscent of the Muslim riots that took place in Sydney in 2012…"


Leftist haters again

 About three years ago, I attended an event in London which included some top notch grub and resulted in my being seated at a large table with people I mostly didn’t know.

As you can imagine in such a situation, much of the chit-chat over dinner involved introductions and small talk about occupations and hobbies as we all got to know each other. One of these people was a softly-spoken heavily-pregnant lady to my left, at the time a Conservative Councillor. I remember explaining to her that I ran a transport business and – expecting a negative response – that in my spare time I write a blog about lifestyle restrictions … especially on tobacco. I do like to drop that bombshell into situations occasionally because I find reactions to it very interesting. This lady wasn’t fazed in the slightest, in fact she agreed that tobacco control had gone too far and that the smoking ban was badly-drafted.

I spoke to her at length during the evening as she was a genuinely likeable person and one who didn’t seem to have a bad bone in her body. This was borne out at the end of the meal when I made a dreadful faux pas.

The dessert was an arty affair consisting of a coffee-mug shaped piece of chocolate which contained what I thought in the low lighting was jelly or ganache. Perhaps trying my best to show manners, it didn’t cross my mind to pick the cup up with my fingers, so I cut it with the fork and spoon, resulting in it snapping sideways and sending the contents – thick cherry brandy liqueur – flying through the air and coating the lady’s dress from chest to knee! I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me but while I profusely apologised, she just warmly laughed it off as an understandable accident. A kinder, more friendly and tolerant person it would be difficult to find.

But, apparently, she is now being made out to be a nasty, intolerant and hateful bigot.

A UKIP councillor has said businesses should be able to refuse services to women and gay people, in comments posted on an internet forum.

The Argus reported the remarks made by Lewes councillor Donna Edmunds.  Yes, she is now a UKIP candidate for the EU elections, so Tory HQ is getting stuck in too.

UKIP MEP candidate & Cllr says businesses should be able to turn away women, gay & black people. @UKIP do? Nothing. — CCHQ Press Office (@CCHQPress) March 5, 2014

When you read the original article, though, the story turns out to be different from the slavering over-reaction which has surrounded it.

“I believe that all business owners, Christian, Muslim, gay, straight, should be allowed to withhold their services from whomever that (sic) choose whenever they choose.  “It’s their business. Why should they be forced to serve or sell to anyone?”

When asked by The Argus to clarify her statement the EU election hopeful said it would be ok for a shop owner to refuse to serve her based on no other fact than she was a woman, or if service was refused to a gay person.

She said: “I’m a libertarian so I don’t think the state should have a role on who business owners serve.”

Aye, just like it’s wrong for the state to decide that you cannot serve someone.

“I wouldn’t refuse to serve gay people. I’m not saying their position is a correct one. I’m saying they should be free to make that choice themselves.”

This is hardly controversial, or shouldn’t be, because a central plank of free markets is that both vendors and consumers should have equal rights, as the Freedom Association astutely explained today.

The media have seemingly read this as “businesses should be allowed to refuse service to gay people and women”. However, the point isn’t about discrimination towards any “group” but that it should be the property owner’s right to sell his or her own asset in a way that they wish to. If a business owns a particular product, which they’ve bought from their suppliers or produced themselves, then why not allow them not to sell that product to whomever they want to?

It should also be the consumer’s right not to buy from a business, if they choose not to. This can be done for a whole range of reasons and is up to the individual whether they agree with the business practices of the firm in question.

We should live in a free society in which people can choose which shops they visit and, if for any reason they disagree with a company’s policy on a particular issue (whether it be the selling of certain products or an ethical stance), they can go elsewhere. This is the biggest driver for change in business attitudes: if customers leave one business because of their policy/products, then the business has a choice: change or die.

Quite. This is a pillar of free society which has been widely accepted until political correctness jumped in and declared itself the new God.

Those who piled into the outrage bus about this seem to think that laws against discrimination have somehow eradicated discrimination, and that Edmunds is trying to resurrect it.

This is nonsense, of course. Despite the laws we have, I expect businesses discriminate every day, it’s only the ones who declare their honest reasons who will be found out. What has changed is that – whereas businesses can refuse to serve you because they don’t like the shape of your nose if they feel like it, if they are subsequently accused of discrimination on the basis of sex, race or sexual orientation, the law says that they must now prove a negative or face punishment.

What I find most interesting about this, though, is how a law designed to reduce ‘hate’ has panned out for Donna Edmunds.

For expressing a valid theoretical debating point, she is now being attacked and labelled as a hateful bigot. For employing free speech she is now being told to shut up. Despite not being intolerant or bigoted, she is now being forced to prove a negative herself.

But most depressing of all, the righteous defenders of tolerance – the ones who so despise all forms of hate and want it eradicated via legislation – have responded with intolerance, bigotry and vile ignorant hatred of their own against a genuinely decent person instead of calmly debating an opinion which doesn’t agree with theirs. Don’t they remember why they demanded the laws in the first place?

Very sad.


Actor Chris O'Dowd says religion is 'unacceptable'

Since most people have some religious beliefs  -- if only in global warming --  he is taking on an uphill battle

Actor Chris O'Dowd thinks following a religion will eventually become as offensive and unacceptable as racism.

The Irish star of films such as The Sapphires and Bridesmaids says he grew up respecting people of faith despite his atheist views, but has become "less liberal" as he ages.

Now he says religious doctrine is halting human progress and brands it "a weird cult".

He also thinks US president Barack Obama had to overstate his Christian faith in order to get to the White House.

O'Dowd has told Britain's GQ magazine: "For most of my life, I've been, 'Hey, I'm not into it, but I respect your right to believe whatever you want'. But as time goes on, weirdly, I'm growing less liberal. I'm more like, 'No, religion is ruining the world, you need to stop!'.

"There's going to be a turning point where it's going to be like racism. You know, 'You're not allowed to say that weird s**t! It's mad! And you're making everybody crazy!'

"And you know, now America can't have a president that doesn't say he believes in God. So we're f**ked! Like, they f**ked everything!

"You wanna go and live in your weird cult and talk about a man who lives in a cloud, you do that, but don't. I mean, you really think that Barack Obama believes in God? No way!"


Side-effects of Islam

How does Islam shape the way Muslims live? The religion's formal requirements are the narrow base for a far wider structure of patterns that extend the formal rules of Islam, stretching them in unexpected and unplanned ways. A few examples:

The Koran strictly bans the consumption of pork, leading to the virtual disappearance of domesticated pigs in Muslim-majority areas, then their replacement by sheep and goats. These latter overgrazed the land which led, as the geographer Xavier de Planhol observes, to "a catastrophic deforestation" that in turn "is one of the basic reasons for the sparse landscape particularly evident in the Mediterranean districts of Islamic countries." Note the progression from Koranic dietary injunction to the desertification of vast tracts of land. The scriptural command was not intended to cause ecological damage, but it did.

Islam's unattainably high standards for governmental behavior meant historically that existing leaders, with their many faults, alienated Muslim subjects, who responded by refusing to serve those leaders in administrative and military service, thereby compelling rulers to seek personnel elsewhere. This led to their systematically deploying slaves as soldiers and administrators, thereby creating a key institution that lasted a millennium from the eighth century.

Islamic doctrine ingrains a sense of Muslim superiority, a disdain for the faith and civilization of others, which has had two vast implications in modern times: making Muslims the most rebellious subjects against colonial rule and obstructing Muslims from learning from the West to modernize.

Those scriptures also imbue a hostility toward non-Muslims which in turn generates an assumption about non-Muslims harboring a like hostility toward Muslims. In modern times, this projection has created a susceptibility to conspiracy theories which have had many practical consequences: for example, because only Muslims worry that anti-polio vaccinations secretly render their children infertile, polio has effectively become a Muslim-only scourge in 26 countries.

The annual pilgrimage to Mecca, the Islamic hajj, began in the seventh century as a local custom that then became an international meeting that facilitated the transfer of everything from Islamist ideas and political movements (the Idrisis of Libya) to luxury goods (ivory) plants (rubber to Southeast Asia, rice to Europe), and diseases (meningococci, skin infections, infectious diarrheal and blood-borne diseases, and respiratory tract infections, including perhaps the brand-new MERS-CoV).

Other Islamic injunctions also have unintended, negative health implications. The imperative for modesty has led some Muslim women to wear full head and body coverings (niqabs and burqas) which cause Vitamin D deficiency, discourage exercise, and are implicated in a host of medical problems, including rashes, respiratory disease, rickets, osteomalacia, and multiple sclerosis.

The daytime fast during Ramadan often leads observant Muslims to exercise less and to "tend to overeat upon breaking their fast, and usually the meal involves heavy, fatty foods that are high in calories," notes the head of the Emirates Diabetes Society. One survey in Jidda, Saudi Arabia, found 60 percent of respondents reporting excessive weight gain after Ramadan.

A preference for first-cousin marriages, which harks back to pre-Islamic tribal practices (to keep wealth in the family and to benefit from daughters' fertility) over approximately fifty generations has led to widespread inbreeding with negative consequences, including about twice the incidence rate of such genetic disorders as thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, spinal muscular atrophy, diabetes, deafness, muteness, and autism.

With regard to women, injunctions about mahram protection by male relatives, and a vastly lower social and legal status combined to create such inadvertent patterns as physical seclusion, obsession with virginity, honor killings, female genital mutilation, and (Saudi-style) gender apartheid. Polygamy creates permanent anxiety in wives.

Although orphans enjoy an honored status in Islamic law (kafala), that honor is tied to a tribal structure incompatible with modern society, resulting in Muslim orphans today persistently discriminated against, even by Muslims in the West.

Islam's scriptures have provided the base from which many other patterns evolved, including: the establishment of dynasties through conquest, not by internal overthrow; recurrent problems with dynastic succession; power leading to wealth, not the reverse; the near absence of municipal governments; inadequate regulation of cities; laws arising from ad hoc decisions, not formal legislation, reliance on hawalas for money transfers, and the practice of suicide terrorism.

Inadvertent patterns, sometimes called Islamicate, change over time, with some (slave soldiers) becoming defunct and others (polio) starting only recently. These patterns remain as powerful today as in premodern times and are key to understanding Islam and Muslim 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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


10 March, 2014

Dumb multicultural robber in Britain

An armed robber was caught after he dropped his gun and took off his balaclava to pick it up after attempting to hold up a London betting shop.

It was as if the dozy robber had directly copied the move from Guy Ritchie's comedy 'Snatch' where two robbers remove their masks immediately after a flopped raid at a bookmakers.

Derek Rossi, 58, tried to hold up the Ladbrokes in Holborn with a sawn-off shotgun hidden in an umbrella.  He carried out the attempted burglary at 8am on Monday November 4 last year at the betting shop located in the busy business area.

When staff could not open the safe, Rossi fled the betting shop empty handed and then accidentally fired his antique shotgun. He then dropped the gun in the street during the raid and took off his balaclava to pick it up - before trying to flee on a bike.

The Ladbrokes is located just metres from Holborn underground station and on a busy commercial road next to outlets such as Subway and Boots.

When Rossi removed the balaclava, his face was seen by dozens of witnesses and Rossi, of Finsbury Park, north London, was arrested.

Rossi was charged with attempted robbery and weapons offences, and pleaded guilty at Blackfriars Crown Court last Thursday.  He is due to be sentenced later this month.

Detective Inspector Scott Hartley, who led the investigation, said: 'This was a terrifying attack committed in broad daylight and Rossi gave no thought to his terrified victims and what he put them through.  'They have been left traumatised by the event of having a shotgun pointed at them and they both feared for their lives.

'Rossi showed an utter disregard for the victims and I can only but praise them for coming forward and assisting us with our investigation to ensure that a he is put behind bars.'


Bill de Blasio’s War on Horses and the Progressive Bubble

Bill de Blasio is still committed to banning horse carriages in Central Park, in no small part because his campaign was financed by a real estate tycoon who wants to take over the stables, and he may even ban the circus.

Liam Neeson has repeatedly blasted Bill de Blasio on this issue. He did it again last night on Jon Stewart’s show.

Facing criticism for not visiting stables before banning the horse and carriage industry, Mayor de Blasio Thursday promised to go and see the animals in their home environment – but insisted it wouldn’t change his mind.

“I’ll look at the stables,” de Blasio said at a press conference in Queens. “[But] the bottom line is, we know where we’re going on this.

Bill de Blasio didn’t even visit the stables before deciding on the ban (all he had to do was see the NYCLASS check) and he’s still committed to it. Like a true progressive, there’s no point in bothering him with the facts.

Actor Liam Neeson, who recently penned an open letter to de Blasio blasting him for killing the industry, said de Blasio needs to rethink his opposition.

“Please listen to the people of your city, Mr. Mayor. You represent us. Sixty one percent of New Yorkers want this historic part of our tourist industry kept as is,” said Neeson, referring to a recent Quinnipiac poll.

“I’m a little bit pissed off at our elected new mayor,” Neeson said. “He wants to close this horse and carriage industry in New York. There was a poll last week. Over 60 percent of New Yorkers want to keep the horse carriage industry in Central Park.”

Meanwhile Bedlam Farm, which has been covering some story, has some secondhand thoughts about Planet De Blasio.

The mayor has been widely criticized, even ridiculed, for saying banning the horses was a major priority in his new administration, given all of the other problems in the city. Then he unaccountably went on television and compared the treatment of the horses to “waterboarding”, a form of torture used on terrorists.

Before that, he had pledged in his inaugural address to make the horses vanish quickly, “just watch us do it.”  Most people were surprised and puzzled by his focus on the issue, and his curious certainty.  I just don’t get the sense that this is really his fight, he almost seems to be fighting someone else’s battle.

This morning, I called a former colleague of mine, a political editor in New York, to ask her what was happening.

This is what she said: “You have to understand that the mayor comes from Park Slope, Brooklyn,” he said, “not just a progressive place, but one of the most knee-jerk progressive places in the country. Most people there actually believe that it is cruel for animals to work, their whole idea of animals is rescuing them, nobody has any animals there besides dogs and cats and they think it ought to be a crime to buy a dog from a breeder. They are ideologues, not animal lovers.”

Park Slope, she said, is where deBlasio has lived and formulated his political ideas for most of his life. “It’s a bubble, like Fox News or MSNBC, she said, everybody thinks the same way, the rest of the world is stupid or wrong. The mayor emerged from his campaign indebted to animal rights groups that gave him a huge amount of money and supported his campaign when nobody else did. He owes them big.

He is truly stunned to learn that their idea of animals is a minority view, offensive to a lot of people. He didn’t know that everybody doesn’t think putting horses to work is a crime. As someone who knows nothing about animals, has never owned or lived with any and doesn’t really give a s—- about the issue, it’s not what’s really important to him.

But he is now between a rock and a hard place, these groups gave him  money and he promised to ban the horses.  He really thought he’d be a hero, but he’s catching some real Hell – he has Liam Neeson up his ass. People are growing uncomfortable with the way this issue is being played out, at the power of these groups, their nastiness, the shutting down of a historic and law-abiding business for no reason, costing people their jobs. Publicity works two ways, it is a beast, it can eat both sides.”

The mayor, she added,  is learning that  absolutely nobody outside of Park Slope and the new City Council likes most of these groups much or listens to them or wants them to be making policy.  People are also becoming aware that they might be about to kill a bunch of horses in the name of saving them. So the mayor is trying to put out the fire by going to see the stables, to show he’s an open-minded guy, but he isn’t savvy enough not to say it won’t matter what he sees, thus shooting himself in the foot again. It was looking like a rout, now it’s a  brawl.”

Like Obama, Bill de Blasio is an arrogant creature, a full time government activist, who doesn’t understand the concept of listening to people and occasionally giving way on an issue.

That ugly attitude of William Wilhelm Jr. aka Bill de Blasio is going to mean bad times for New Yorkers on more issues than just carriage horses.


Dr. Ben Carson: "I Will Continue to Defy the PC Police"

He walked on stage to a sea of ‘Carson 2016’ signs. Then he got to business.

“America is a land of dreams,” Carson declared, before insisting this freedom is under attack by the bullies of political correctness.  “People are afraid to speak up for what they believe.”

The conservative doctor knows a thing or two about political correctness, as he himself has been lambasted for defending conservative principles such as traditional marriage and private health care. He refused to let these attacks stop his pursuit of the First Amendment.

“I will continue to defy the PC police. They try to shut me up. I find them pretty amusing. I still believe marriage is between a man and a woman.”

Last year, the media charged Carson with comparing gay marriage to bestiality. He said anyone who believes that is a “dummy” and he corrected their inaccurate assumption.

“Of course gay people deserve the same rights as everyone else, but they don’t get extra rights.”

The media published more unfair headlines when Carson declared Obamacare is “the worst thing since slavery.” In their analysis, the doctor had directly compared the two.

Carson likened these demonizing tactics to those found in community organizer Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. But, the doctor said conservatives need to “stop being intimidated” by these old, familiar strategies.

“It’s time for people to stand up and proclaim what they believe and stop being bullied.”

He offered a few specific solutions, including that of the nation’s health care system:

“Fight to make sure health care stays in their hands and not in the hands of the government.”

Carson didn’t say whether he’s joining the presidential race in 2016, but his passionate and bold speech certainly gave those wearing “Run Ben Run” reasons to smile.


Jane Fonda, Sex Guru for Teenagers?

If a teenager were zipping around Amazon.com looking for "a reliable guide to the turbulent physical and social transitions of adolescence," would that child want to first consult a 76-year-old grandmother who's had three unsuccessful marriages?

This is a question that must never be asked if the unexpected author of the sex-and-relationships guide is Jane Fonda, an icon to liberals everywhere. Even Michelle Obama recently oozed to People magazine that Fonda was her role model for what she wants to be in her 70s, "a beautiful, engaged, politically savvy, sharp woman."

Fonda drew the same worshipful attention when she showed up on TV shows to promote her new book "Being a Teen: Everything Teen Girls & Boys Should Know About Relationships, Sex, Love, Health, Identity & More." She's an adult role model, a wise coach for America's youth. The Hanoi Jane who spit on our soldiers serving in Vietnam and sat behind an anti-aircraft gun that shot at our planes is long gone.

On NBC's "Today" on March 4, co-host Matt Lauer embarrassed himself pandering to the author. "I don't want to make it sound like you're old, because you're not old," said Lauer. "I am old," Fonda admitted, underlining the obsequious treatment she receives. Fonda said she didn't know enough about sex when she was a teen, and didn't know enough to teach her own children when they were teens. Suddenly, she's found all the answers.

Some of her book's message is sensible, even simplistic, but in an age when simple truths are so elusive, it's refreshing. Fonda emphasizes the need to resist a peer-pressured rush into sex. Ah, how nice. But there it ends. If the teen is ready and willing, it's a different life lesson. Now the emphasis turns to the usual libertine message pushing buckets of contraceptives and an end to any moral "hang-ups" about hookups: "Your body is not to be feared, nor should you feel shame or guilt about it, no matter what." She says teens feel shame about their bodies because America is "very puritanical on one level, and yet there's a lot of sexuality in the media."

Should that last part have been a focus of the discussion? Not in a thousand years. It is a given that sexuality in the media will never be part of the discussion on NBC's "Today" if the parent company is responsible for the reproachable product, and never mind that this network is a relentless button-pusher of sexuality, especially when millions of impressionable children are watching. Ought that not to have been a focus of the interview? Fonda wasn't about to bite the hand that pets her and tells her she's not old.

Next, she appeared on ABC's "The View," where Barbara Walters oozed about how difficult her childhood was and the co-hosts competed to see who could proclaim they admired her more. Sherri Shepherd said Fonda was her "she-ro."

In 2012, Fonda boasted that she'd found the best, most fulfilling sex she'd ever had in her life in an unmarried relationship with music producer Richard Perry. Is that the role model for children? But when the ABC hosts asked if she wanted to get married again, she emphatically said "No! Why would I?"

The funniest and yet most challenging moment of that love fest came when guest host and legal analyst Sunny Hostin wondered if the images of sexuality in the book were too graphic. ABC was wise enough to shift the camera lens away from the sexual images Hostin held up — unlike the saucy situations the Disney-owned network exploits in prime time. So a book about teenage sexuality has content too graphic for children, so graphic that even adults are shielded from it — and no one found the irony.

Try to imagine how ABC or NBC would react if Sarah Palin decided to write a book about teenager relationships. If they granted her airtime, she'd be grilled about her own life and her daughter with the teenage pregnancy. Or imagine Michele Bachmann and her therapist husband writing such a book. The set would be electric with hostility. Fonda doesn't have to worry about any of that. She-ros never do.



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

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

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


9 March, 2014

Violent multiculturalist in Britain gets no penalty

More black hostility towards whites

The offender

A mother taking her two young daughters to school was elbowed to the floor by a woman who shouted at her and two other parents for blocking the path.

Kirsty Livingstone, 28, was standing with other mothers and their pushchairs on a street in Southborne, Dorset, when she was knocked down by 34-year-old Telicia Henry.

Miss Livingstone suffered whiplash, a chipped shoulder bone and severe bruising from the fall.

Seconds before, Henry, who had recently emerged from an off-licence, started shouting and swearing at the group before angrily barging past.

After the assault, she continued to school and picked up her children Lillie, five, and Ella, seven, before calling police.

The pain from the injuries gave Miss Livingstone sleepless nights and has made her nervous of going outside, a court heard.

Officers arrested Henry, of no fixed abode, who later appeared at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court where she pleaded guilty to common assault and received a six-week suspended prison sentence.

Mark Price, defending, said: 'When this offence happened she was faced with a crowd of mothers and pushchairs and couldn’t get past.  'So she forced her way through forcefully - it wasn’t a reckless assault.'

In a statement read to the court, Miss Livingstone said the assault left her unable to sleep for three nights because of the pain and she lost her confidence when out walking.

Henry was told: 'This offence was committed in a group of ladies with children around.  'The abusive language you used was totally unacceptable and resulted in the lady being totally and utterly intimidated.'

After the case Miss Livingstone, a part-time shop assistant, said: 'I was with some other mums and we had seen the woman go into an off-licence. 'We had about 20 minutes until we had to pick up the children from school.

'Then the woman came down the road and approached us. She elbowed me so hard that I fell over.  'I was in absolute shock, she could have easily avoided me but she knew what she wanted to do.

'I went to collect my children from school and when I got there I burst out crying and had a cup of tea with one of the teachers who called the police.

'The next day I went to hospital and discovered I had severe whiplash and a chipped bone in my shoulder. My arm was in a sling for two weeks because of it.'


DOJ: Sexual Assault, School Discipline, LGBT 'Rights' Are 'Next Generation' of Civil Rights Challenges

Silly old biddy Jocelyn Samuels

The head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division says the "next generation" of civil rights challenges includes addressing racial disparities in school discipline [i.e.turning a blind eye to black offenders]; defending the rights of LGBT Americans; combating discrimination in housing and in lending; protecting women from sexual assault and harassment; ensuring the fair treatment of [black] youth in the juvenile justice system; and defending the right to vote [i.e. without voter ID] in the 21st Century.

"In recent months, the Civil Rights Division has reached landmark consent decrees involving each of these issues," Jocelyn Samuels, the acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, told a civil rights symposium in Indianapolis on Tuesday.

Not only will those agreements provide remedies for the individuals involved -- they also will "serve as models for institutions across the country that are looking to voluntarily improve their own non-discrimination policies and practices."

Samuels said the country has come "a long way" over the past 50 years, but the "robust caseload" at DOJ's Civil Rights Division "is a stark reminder that too many in our nation continue to face barriers to equal opportunity."

According to Attorney General Eric Holder, the since 2009, the Civil Rights Division has filed more criminal civil rights cases than at any other time in the nation's history.

Many of those cases have resulted in legal settlements known as consent decrees. Other DOJ remedies take the form of "policy memos" or "guidance." 

In some cases, Samuels noted that the Justice Department is "vigorously enforcing the law," but in others, it is looking for ways to get around the law (Samuels used the words "evaluating" and "interpreting").

For example, Samuels noted that the Civil Rights Division defends the rights of LGBT individuals through the "vigorous enforcement" of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act." That law, signed by President Obama in 2009, strengthened the Justice Department’s ability to prosecute crimes motivated by race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

Samuels also said the Civil Rights Division is "enforcing" federal law to prevent sex discrimination at the nation's colleges and universities; it "vigorously enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace"; and "we enforce the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act to ensure employers do not deny employment opportunities to immigrants..."

But when it comes to same-sex marriage, Samuels said the Justice Department, including the Civil Rights Division, is "involved in evaluating and interpreting the Windsor decision’s application to federal programs." That means it is looking for ways to avoid enforcing laws barring homosexual marriage.

Last month, Attorney General Holder issued a "policy memo" saying that in all federal legal matters, the Justice Department "will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages."

And as CNSNews.com has reported, Attorney General Holder recently told a gathering of states attorneys they do not have to defend state laws banning same-sex marriage -- because Holder considers those laws to be discriminatory.


Catholic Church on Homosexual Acts: ‘Under No Circumstances Can They Be Approved’

Although Pope Francis in a March 5 interview seemed to leave open the possibility of approval for same-sex civil unions, the official teaching of the Catholic Church, from the Catechism, says that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered” and “under no circumstances can they be approved.”

In an interview published in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera on March 5, as translated by Catholic News Service,  Pope Francis says that, “Matrimony is between a man and a woman” but moves to “regulate diverse situations of cohabitation [are] driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care.”

When asked how the Church could address the issue, Pope Francis said, “It is necessary to look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety.”  The Pope did not say that civil unions – “diverse situations of cohabitation” – were impermissible, but that the “diverse cases” could be evaluated “in their variety.”

The complete question and answer from the Holy Father were published and translated into English by the independent news agency Zenit, also sometime on March 5.   The question and answer are as follows:

"Many countries have regulated civil unions. Is it a path that the Church can understand? But up to what point?  

Holy Father: 'Marriage is between one man and one woman. The secular States want to justify civil unions to regulate different situations of coexistence, spurred by the need to regulate economic aspects between persons as, for instance, to ensure healthcare. Each case must be looked at and evaluated in its diversity.'"

In addition, the Catholic News Agency translated into English the Pope's response on March 5 as follows:

"Marriage is between a man and a woman. Secular states want to justify civil unions to regulate different aspects of cohabitation, pushed by the demand to regulate economic aspects between persons, such as ensuring health care. It is about pacts of cohabitating of various natures, of which I wouldn't know how to list the different ways. One needs to see the different cases and evaluate them in their variety."

From either translation, the Pope reaffirms Church teaching on marriage between one man and one woman but also states that, when it comes to civil unions, they need to be reviewed and evaluated in their "variety" or "diversity." The Pope does not endorse same-sex civil unions or heterosexual civil unions but apparently is saying the different cases would need to be evaluated.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that “homosexual persons are called to chastity.” (2359)  The Catechism further says,

“Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” (2357)

As for civil unions, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) published a Q & A document in 2007. Question 9 asks, “What is the church’s position on legislation to allow civil unions or domestic partnerships?” 

The USCCB answers, “On two different occasions, in 2003 and 2006, the USCCB Administrative Committee stated: We strongly oppose any legislative and judicial attempts, both at state and federal levels, to grant same-sex unions the equivalent status and rights of marriage – by naming them marriage, civil unions, or by other means.”

The USCCB also answers, “In 2003 a statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated: ‘Every humanly-created law is legitimate insofar as it is consistent with the natural moral law, recognized by right reason, and insofar as it respects the inalienable rights of every person. Laws in favor of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions between persons of the same sex.’”


SCOTUS Could Consider First Amendment photographer case

Last August, a New Mexico photographer lost her case before the state Supreme Court, which ruled that, despite her Christian faith, Elaine Huguenin did not have the right, First Amendment or otherwise, to decline to take pictures at a same-sex commitment ceremony. Vanessa Willock and Misti Collinsworth sued Huguenin and her husband Jonathan, with whom she operates the studio, despite there being other Albuquerque photographers who were happy to take their business. The case is a poster example of the intolerance foisted on us by the homosexual agenda, as the recent kerfuffle in Arizona also illustrated.

Now the Supreme Court will decide in the coming days whether to hear Huguenin's appeal. While she will “gladly serve gays and lesbians,” she doesn't want to photograph a same-sex “marriage” or commitment ceremony. She contends that her photography constitutes speech and she should not be forced to “create expression conveying messages that conflict with [my] religious beliefs.”

Ilya Shapiro of the libertarian Cato Institute, UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, and University of Minnesota law professor Dale Carpenter jointly wrote an amicus brief supporting the Huguenins, arguing, “Photographers, writers, singers, actors, painters and others who create First Amendment-protected speech must have the right to decide which commissions to take and which to reject.”

The state Supreme Court didn't see it that way, however. Justice Richard C. Bosson wrote in concurrence that the case “provokes reflection on what this nation is all about, its promise of fairness, liberty, equality of opportunity, and justice.”

Furthermore, “at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others. A multicultural, pluralistic society, one of our nation's strengths, demands no less.” That “compromise” is increasingly being demanded of only one side in this debate. Now it's up to the U.S. Supreme Court to either let this egregious violation of conscience and speech stand or to set the record straight.



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

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

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


7 March, 2014

Science and Reason vs. Political Correctness

Victor Davis Hanson

President Obama entered office promising to restore the sanctity of science. Instead, a fresh war against science, statistics and reason is being waged on behalf of politically correct politics.

After the Sandy Hook tragedy, the president attempted to convert national outrage into new gun-control legislation. Specifically, he focused on curtailing semi-automatic "assault" rifles. But there is no statistical evidence that such guns -- semi-automatic rifles that have mostly cosmetic changes to appear similar to banned military-style fully automatic assault weapons -- lead to increased gun-related crimes.

The promiscuous availability of illegal handguns does. They're used in the vast majority of all gun-related violent crime -- and in such cases they are often obtained illegally. Yet the day-to-day enforcement of existing handgun statutes is far more difficult than the widely publicized passing of new laws.

Late-term abortions used to be justified in part by an argument dating back to the 1970s that fetuses were not yet "human." But emerging science has allowed premature babies 5 months old or younger to survive outside the womb. Brain waves of fetuses can be monitored at just six weeks after conception. Such facts may be unwelcome to many, given the political controversy over abortion. Yet the idea that even small fetuses are not viable humans until birth is simply unscientific.

The president still talks of "settled science" in the global warming debate. He recently flew to California to attribute the near-record drought there to human-induced global warming.

There is no scientific basis for the president's assertion about the drought. Periodic droughts are characteristic of California's climate, both in the distant past and over a century and a half of modern record-keeping. If the president were empirical rather than deductive and political, he would instead have cited the logical reasons why this drought is far more serious than those of the late 1970s.

California has not built additional major mountain storage reservoirs to capture Sierra Nevada runoff in decades. The population of the state's water consumers has almost doubled since the last severe drought. Several million acre-feet of stored fresh water have been in recent years diverted to the sea -- on the dubious science that the endangered delta smelt suffers mostly from irrigation-related water diversions rather than pollutants, and that year-round river flows for salmon, from the mountains to the sea, existed before the reserve water storage available from the construction of mountain reservoirs.

The administration has delayed construction of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, citing concern about climate change. Yet a recent State Department environmental report found that the proposed pipeline would not increase carbon dioxide emissions enough to affect atmospheric temperatures. There is no scientific basis from which to cancel the Keystone, but a variety of logical reasons to build it -- such as moving toward North American energy independence and protecting ourselves against energy blackmailers and cartels abroad.

Science is rarely "settled." Instead, orthodoxy is constantly challenged. A theory survives not by politics, but only if it can offer the best logical explanations for a set of circumstances backed by hard statistical data.

Global warming that begat "climate change" is no exception. All the good politics in the world of blaming most bad weather on too much carbon dioxide cannot make it true if unquestioned climate data cannot support the notion of recent temperature increases being directly attributable to rising man-caused carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

In recent years, "settled science" with regard to the causes of peptic ulcers, the health benefits of Vitamin D, the need for annual mammograms and the prognostic value of the prostate-specific antigen test have all been turned upside down by dissident scientists offering new theories to interpret fresh data.

Yet for the new anti-empirical left, science becomes an ally only when refuting absurd religious theories that the earth is 5,000 years old. Otherwise, it can prove irrelevant when it does not necessarily support pet causes.


Girl Scouts Hire Lesbian as Chief 'Girl Experience Officer'

As millions of moms consider digging into pocketbooks for Girl Scout cookies this year, they may be interested to know about the hiring of Krista Kokjohn-Poehler in the Girl Scouts executive office in New York City.

Kokjohn-Poehler is an out lesbian married to a woman named Ashley Kokjohn. And, given her sexual preference, it may strike some as odd that her job title is "Girl Experience Officer."

Her hiring five months ago was largely missed by the coterie of Girl Scout critics around the country who make the claim that the Girl Scouts have drifted leftward in the past 20 years.

San Diego Magazine featured Kokjohn-Poehler’s 2007 commitment ceremony: “Like many of the best love stories, this one began with a beautiful friendship. Krista Poehler and Ashley Kokjohn were immediately drawn to each other when they met in college, and spent countless hours discussing family, life goals and much more.”

“The brides were radiant in formal white gowns; their parents wore black, and the bridesmaids wore taupe. The couple exchanged matching diamond eternity bands an dread vows they wrote themselves, then their parents joined the bridal party and surrounded them in a ‘circle of love.’” Ashley called it beautiful, spiritual and perfect.

According to her LinkedIn profile, as "Chief Girl Experience Officer," Kokjohn-Poehler will “serve as the chief of girl innovation and be the expert on and organizational voice for girls. Lead the "Girl Experience" team in efforts to take insights from marketplace data and collaborate internally and externally to drive program innovation.”

The main charge leveled by Girl Scout critics concerns the leftward drift of the Girl Scouts, which was founded along conservative religious principles. The leftward drift began in the early '90s when God was made optional in the Girl Scout promise. This precipitated the founding of American Heritage Girls and the first widespread exit from the Girl Scouts.

In the ensuing years, social liberals insinuated themselves into national leadership of the Girl Scouts so that now it is unremarkable when they feature and promote women who are offensive to the sensibilities of hundreds of thousands of traditional-minded moms, including: Betty Friedan; Gloria Steinem; Hillary Clinton; Kathleen Sibelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and chief promoter of the Obamacare contraceptive mandate; and Wendy Davis, advocate for late term abortions.

The leftward drift likely made them tone-deaf to the inevitable controversy in their hiring of homopunk-rocker Josh Ackley, whose band The Dead Betties and their music video depicting violence against a woman became national news after reporting by Breitbart News last fall.

Penny Nance, former Girl Scout and president of Concerned Women for America, told Breitbart News, “In the last ten years the Girl Scouts have lost about a few hundred thousand members, and part of the reason for that is their tone deafness toward the cultural values of American moms."

Nance tells the story of a run-in her daughter had with Girl Scout hero Gloria Steinem. Nance’s daughter appeared with Steinem on a Nickelodeon panel show talking about women’s issues. Her daughter defended the pro-life position on air. According to Nance, during a break “with no parents present,” Steinem allegedly approached her daughter and bragged about having an abortion and said she was happy about it.  “And these are the types of people celebrated by the Girl Scouts?” asked Nance.

In recent days, top Girl Scout execs, including CEO Anna Marie Chavez, have tried to beat back the ongoing cookie boycott started a month ago that threatens the much needed $700 million annual sales to fund Girl Scout activities.

The largely unreported news of Krista Kokjohn-Poehler’s hiring may be another sales headache for the junior sales force now pounding on doors.


Businesses should be allowed to turn away women, gay and black people, claims Ukip councillor and MEP candidate

Businesses should be allowed to turn women, gay or black people and refuse them service, a Ukip councillor has claimed.  Donna Edmunds, who is also standing for election to the European Parliament, claimed firms should not be ‘forced to serve or sell to anyone’, but today expressed ‘regret’ at her remarks.

It comes just days after Nigel Farage claimed his party’s candidates were of a 'quality and calibre' Ukip could be proud of.

Miss Edmunds, an MEP candidate for the South East and a Lewes district councillor, posted the comments on an internet forum.

She had been asked whether she supported remarks made by Henley-on-Thames Ukip councillor David Silvester who said the floods this winter had been caused by the Government's support for gay marriage.  The mother of one claimed she did not agree with her party colleague but said business owners should be allowed to refuse service to anyone they wanted to for any reason, the paper said.

She said: ‘I believe that all business owners, Christian, Muslim, gay, straight, should be allowed to withhold their services from whomever they choose whenever they choose.  ‘It's their business. Why should they be forced to serve or sell to anyone?’

She later told reporters: ‘Business owners should be free to turn people away for whatever reason they choose - be they gay, black, or a woman.

‘I would not condone their actions, and would not shop in such a place. In fact, many people would probably choose not to shop there.  ‘However, I am a libertarian and do not think the government should legislate against such things.’

James Ledward, editor of GScene Gay Magazine, described her views as ‘horrendous’. He said: ‘I’m flabbergasted. There is no place for views like this in 2014.’

The row comes despite attempts by Ukip to impose tougher tests on candidates to prevent them embarrassing the party with controversial views.

When the 32-year-old was asked to clarify her statement, she told the Brighton Argus newspaper: ‘I'm a libertarian so I don't think the state should have a role on who business owners serve.

‘I wouldn't refuse to serve gay people. I'm not saying their position is a correct one. I'm saying they should be free to make that choice themselves.

‘I regret what I wrote and can see how an essentially libertarian stance could be broadly misinterpreted.

‘I in no way endorse any form of discrimination. I believe in cutting red tape for business and I also strongly believe in an individual's personal and religious freedoms, but I stand against any form of prejudice. ‘I hope this remark has not caused any embarrassment for the party.’

A Ukip spokesman said: ‘It would appear that these comments were deeply misguided and we do not endorse the position intimated, but we believe she has apologised for the remarks.’


These elitist hate-speech laws erode democracy

By James Allan, a Canadian lawyer writing from Australia

Neil Brown, QC, a Liberal minister in the Fraser government, has counselled Tony Abbott not to repeal our section 18C hate speech laws.

He says doing so risks "giving the green light to racists". Instead, he suggests a convoluted compromise that basically leaves in place the "you can't offend me" legislation.

Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but Brown and all the proponents of hate speech laws that legislate against "offending", "insulting", "humiliating" or even "intimidating" are wrong. They're wrong on the facts. They're wrong when they look overseas. And they're wrong about what is needed in a healthy, well-functioning democracy.

Let's start by playing the man, rather than the ball. Our hate speech laws were enacted in 1995. Brown was a cabinet member in a government years before that. If he thought not having these laws amounted to a green light, why didn't the Fraser government enact these sort of illiberal laws?

First a few facts. In the US there are no hate speech laws of any kind. In France there are plenty. Where do you think Jews or Muslims are better integrated into society as equal citizens? I ask that question seriously, and can recast it using Germany and other countries with hate speech laws.

Do you do more for minority groups by encouraging a victim mentality or by asking them to grow a thick skin and, when insulted or offended or humiliated, to respond by saying why the speaker is wrong? The latter approach is recommended by every great liberal philosopher from John Stewart Mill onwards. And it was the basis on which the Fraser government did not legislate against hate speech.

Oh, then there is that bastion of political correctness, my native Canada, where the federal parliament last year repealed similar hate speech laws. Are Canada and the US places all hate speech law supporters will be avoiding because of all the green lights for racists?

Or are those green lights just plain bunk, because Brown doesn't understand that the best response to racists is to speak back and say why they're wrong, rather than turn them into martyrs?

Then there is the old canard - always pulled out of the cupboard when the rest of the argument sucks - of "let's all point to Nazi Germany".

Leave aside the fact it is insulting to Australians today to have any argument implicitly rest on the premise that we are somehow like Weimar Germany, and realise that, for more than a decade before Hitler came to power, the Weimar regime did have hate speech laws and did have prosecutions for anti-Semitic speech. Convictions, too. And that sort of "suppress, suppress, suppress" mindset worked out how, exactly?

You need to ask yourself what you expect hate-speech laws to accomplish if you support them. There are only three possibilities. One is that you want to hide from the victims of such nasty speech how the speakers honestly feel about them. It's a sort of "give them a false sense of security" goal.

Another is you hope to reform the speaker. You know, fine them and lock them up and maybe they'll see the errors of their ways.

But both those supposed good outcomes of hate speech laws are patent nonsense. So that leaves a third possibility, one I believe almost all proponents of these laws implicitly suppose justifies their illiberal position.The goal of hate speech laws is to stop listeners who hear nasty words from being convinced by such speech.

In other words, it is plain distrust of the abilities of one's fellow citizens to see through the rantings of neo-Nazis that requires us to have these laws. It works on a sort of latter-day aristocratic premise, that we may be able to trust the good sense of a sociology professor but God help us if a mere plumber or secretary should be exposed to a Holocaust denier or someone whose tone gets a bit out of hand.

If there was a polite way to express my disdain for that sort of elitist bull, I would use it. But there isn't. So I will just say it is wholly misconceived.

Australians are no more prone to being sucked in by offensive or hateful speech than North Americans or those with multiple degrees. And if you don't believe that, then you can't really be in favour of democracy, it seems to me.

I could go on to show how these sort of laws, always and everywhere, end up expanding to capture speakers not originally intended to be captured by them; or how the bureaucracies that administer them become havens of speech-restricting world views. Instead I simply say Australians need section 18C to be repealed in its entirety. That's what Abbott implicitly promised. So let's have it done 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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


6 March, 2014

One Nazi Wedding Cake to Go, Please

by Jim Goad

Last Wednesday, Arizona’s lizard-skinned Governor Jan Brewer vetoed what had largely been described as an “anti-gay bill,” even though the bill’s text doesn’t mention homos at all.

The luridly self-righteous cultural left, which long ago eclipsed social conservatives in their unhinged sense of shirt-rending, chest-thumping moral hyperbole, had described the law as shameful, disgraceful, horrifying, and hateful. Fanning the faggoty flames of fear, they warned that if the bill passed, it would usher in a new era of “Jim Crow for gays” and possibly even a homosexual Holocaust.

As far as I can tell, the bill only intended to allow business owners to refuse service to anyone if it violated their religious convictions. And as far as I feel, anyone should be able to deny service to anyone for whatever reason pleases them. If you only want to bake cakes for Filipino Satanists, that should be your choice. Some might think it’s a bad business decision, but a possible upside is that you’d corner the coveted Filipino Satanist cake market.

It is thought that the bill was inspired by a recent rash of high-profile cases in other states spurred by gays and lesbians who’d been denied service and decided to take the matter into court rather than to another shop down the block. This included a New Mexico wedding photographer who’d declined to shoot a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony, as well as bakers in Oregon, Colorado, and Iowa who said their religious beliefs prevented them from baking gay-marriage wedding cakes in good conscience.

On the flip side of the equation, why would you want to buy a cake from someone who doesn’t like you? Better yet, why would you eat a cake baked by someone who doesn’t like you? Food tampering is not an urban legend, my friends.

Why be a noodge and go where you’re not wanted? Is there no end to such incivility?

I know someone who works in a sushi restaurant, and she says she dreads black customers because they are routinely rude, loud, and they never tip. Doesn’t forcing her to serve them violate the 13th Amendment’s clause against involuntary servitude?

In my years working as a Philadelphia cabdriver, I received a grand total of $1 in tips from my innumerable black customers. Even the black cabbies would complain about black customers’ stinginess. Why does their “right” to not be discriminated against trump my “right” to make money?

Because, I fear, “rights” are a zero-sum game, and the spoils usually go to whoever is pushiest.

And these days, the gays are pushing harder than a steroidal muscle fag mounting a bony twink from behind.

From the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s up to the ceaseless modern minoritarian onslaughts against the unwilling, the principle of “freedom of association” has been fairly stomped to death. Freedom of association involves the consent of both parties, because forcing someone to schmooze with someone with whom they have zero desire to engage is not freedom—it’s coercion.


Le Pen to defund Muslim groups

PARIS (AP) — Marine Le Pen, whose party is riding a wave of anti-immigration and anti-Muslim voter sentiment around Europe, says it will cut public funds to religious groups in towns where it wins municipal elections this month.

Le Pen told The Associated Press in an interview Monday that secularism will be strictly applied in towns where her far-right National Front prevails on March 23 and 30, and that referendums will be held on major issues.

Le Pen, 45, praised the recent Swiss decision, in a referendum, to cap immigration, saying countries have an "inalienable right" to control their borders.

The National Front reached a high in 2012 when Le Pen scored 18 percent in presidential elections. But the party wants to establish itself in towns around France with the municipal vote.

Le Pen, who wants France to abandon the euro currency and leave the European Union, also hopes to boost her party's strength in European Parliament elections in May.

Her party is negotiating alliances with kindred European far-right parties to form a group in hope of gaining political weight and funding. She contends the EU, along with immigration and global financing, are crushing the values of French civilization.

Le Pen claimed the Swiss decision, passed by a razor-thin 50.3 percent "yes" vote, would have sailed through France with a 65 percent approval rating if such a referendum held here.

The National Front, rejuvenated by Le Pen, is seeing a sort of rebirth.

Le Pen — who took the helm from her father, party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, in 2010 — has worked to remove the stigma that has kept the party out of mainstream politics by giving it a kinder, more politically correct face.

But the National Front has forged ahead with its anti-immigrant stance, especially regarding Muslims. That theme is reflected in other European far-right parties that she hopes will have resonance among voters choosing who runs their daily lives. France's municipal elections will determine who becomes mayor and give a party ownership of a town.

In towns the National Front might win, Le Pen said that local taxes would be lowered and public funds would be denied to any association with a religious character.

Current law forbids funding religious organizations, but they can receive money if their work also addresses the general interest. In reality, that means many associations would risk losing public funds.

A strict application of the principle of secularism could mean removing halal food in school cafeterias, forbidding Muslim women in scarves to accompany children on class trips, and prevent Muslim women from renting public swimming pools after hours.

"I'm absolutely not afraid to be called anti-Muslim because I'm not," Le Pen said.

She refused to predict the outcome of the municipal elections, except to say she is "certain" of a win in the town of Henin-Beaumont, her northern headquarters in an area with high unemployment and many Muslims.

"Our simple presence ... is already a victory," Le Pen said.

People running in this month's municipal elections must declare their candidacy by Thursday, and the National Front hopes to compete in 500 of the 3,000 towns of significance. It currently controls no towns.

Le Pen — who calls herself a "patriot" rather than a member of the extreme right — claims that her party neither deals in nor encourages the rising Islamophobia in France. She blames "political-religious groups" who want to install Muslim Sharia law in France and use "massive immigration" to do so.

"We don't have problems with Islam," she said. But "France has Christian roots. They (the French) want to recognize their own country, recognize their lifestyle, their habits, their traditions."


The most ridiculous police appeal ever? Officers release picture of 'armed robber' with his face completely hidden - then won't call him a 'suspect' because it would breach HIS human rights

With his face covered by a makeshift balaclava and a knife gripped in his right hand during a robbery at a bookmakers, it is probably safe to say this man is up to no good.

CCTV footage also shows him threatening a cashier at Ladbrokes in the east Dorset village of West Moors before making off with cash from the till.

But today the county's over-cautious force refused to call him a suspect in the violent crime, in case it breaches his human rights.

And detectives have appealed for the public to help identify him - even though his face is impossible to see - and even hope he might come forward himself.

A force spokesman maintained today the man in the photos is not necessarily the robber, just 'someone we want to talk to' in connection with the attack.

This is because Dorset Police believe calling him a wanted man could impact on his 'right to a fair trial', and they say they would treat any person potentially involved in a crime in the same way.

Gawain Towler, a spokesman for UKIP, said: 'Actions like this are pointless and make the police laughable.  'It's all part of the retreat from common sense language. Calling a suspect a suspect does not imply guilt.

'In this instance they are being daft and it creates a lack of respect for the police if they can't be straight with us - it's counter productive.'

They have also failed to issue a description of the robber, leaving out key details such as his height, build and accent.

Members of the public who are being asked to help name the offender took to internet message boards to poke fun at the appeal.

One wrote: 'This has to be a wind up. Not sure what's more laughable, the detective asking the man to contact him - errr do you really think that's likely? - or the CCTV image showing a man with his face completely obscured from view?'

Dorset resident Carol Smith posted: 'How stupid is that? Shall we look for a man with a black woolly thing over his head?'

The robbery happened at 6.50pm on February 26.

Detective Constable James Lee, the investigating officer, said: 'I am now able to release CCTV images of the man I wish to speak with.  'I urge the man pictured - and anyone who recognises him - to contact me, in confidence, as soon as possible.  'I also would like to hear from anyone who saw this man enter or leave the premises around the time of the incident.'

When asked about the fact that the suspect's face is hidden, a force spokesman said: 'We are looking for people to identify the man, not just his face.  'We are not suggesting the man in the pictures is the suspect, just someone we want to talk to.'

The spokesman confirmed that no arrests have been made in connection to the raid.


Teach children respect and how to cope under pressure by enrolling them in cadets, says British government minister

Pupils should be encouraged by state schools to join a cadet force to improve their character strengths, Michael Gove said last night.  The Education Secretary wants head teachers to boost children’s so-called soft skills, such as showing respect, being self-motivated and coping under pressure.

Mr Gove said employers demanded these traits, as well as resourcefulness and tenacity.

It was not enough for teachers to simply concentrate on academic progress – they must help create a workforce with ‘attractive personal qualities’, he added, which could be achieved by promoting more school cadet force units.

In a speech today to highlight the need for schools to do more to build children’s character, he was expected to say: ‘Business – quite rightly – points out that it needs workers who possess not just impressive academic qualifications but attractive personal qualities.

‘Employees need to be self-disciplined, capable of subordinating their own instincts and interests to the needs of the team, responsive and respectful towards others, resourceful under pressure, tenacious and self-motivating.

‘Increasingly, they also need to be creative in the face of adversity, quick-thinking when presented with unexpected challenges.

‘A central element of our long-term plan for schools is the cultivation of those virtues – character strengths – through activities such as team sports, cadet forces, debating, dance, music and drama. It’s why we’re expanding the number of cadet forces in state schools.’

Of the 256 school combined cadet force units in England, 196 are based at independent schools, with just 60 in the state sector.  The units can include cadets from the Army, RAF, Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

The Ministry of Defence provides uniforms, training expertise, equipment and access to military training areas, camps and courses. Prime Minister David Cameron, who was a cadet at Eton, has pledged to add 100 state school cadet units by the end of next year.

Mr Gove’s comments come after the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility and the CentreForum think-tank said last month that the development of children’s ‘character and resilience’ was so crucial that teachers should be made to organise after-school clubs. In a report, they called for teenagers to receive a school leaving certificate detailing their extra-curricular activities and employability skills.

The ‘character and resilience manifesto’ report said the certificates could show that pupils had gained skills such as the ability to bounce back from setbacks.

Meanwhile, the Education Secretary will today also call on all firms to offer apprenticeships for young people, saying concerns that it involved too much red tape had been addressed.

Speaking at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey, he is expected to throw down the gauntlet to businesses and say: ‘There is no reason why every company in the country should not be offering apprenticeships.

‘We set ourselves the challenge of simplifying the apprenticeship programme and making it more responsive to employers’ needs, so no employer could have any excuse for standing aloof.’



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

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

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


5 March, 2014

An Upside-Down World

In December of 1865, the several American states ratified the 13th amendment, constitutionally ending involuntary servitude in the United States. In the 21st century, Americans are coming full circle. In a number of states, a black man can again be forced by the government to work involuntarily for a white man.

Not since the nation eliminated Jim Crow laws during the civil rights era have we seen such a bizarre conundrum. But if the black man is a Christian and the white man is gay, a court can forcibly order the black man to serve the white man or drive the black man from business. A number of states have been working to pass laws to prevent this weird conundrum, but in an irony that knows no bounds, gay-rights activists are comparing these religious freedom laws to Jim Crow.

The issue boils down to one question -- should a Christian who believes a wedding can only be between a man and a woman be forced to provide goods and services to a gay wedding? Despite the histrionics of some, no one suggests that anyone be allowed to simply deny service to any class of people, be they black or white or gay or straight. The issue only arises in the context of gay weddings.

Gay rights activists have lately claimed that Jesus would bake the cake for the gay wedding, so Christian bakers should. Jesus, of course, affirmed in the Gospel of Matthew that marriage is between one man and one woman. He also told the various sinners he encountered to "sin no more." So it becomes highly dubious that Christ would bake a cake for a gay wedding, and he most certainly would not preside over the service.

Therein lies the problem. One side is arguing that Christ would not do this so they should not have to do this. The other side is arguing that not only would Christ do this, but the government should be able to force Christians to do it. Gone are the days of turning the other cheek and going to another baker.

In one real world case, a florist had a long-time relationship with a gay couple. She had sold them flowers on multiple occasions. She knew they were gay. She gladly served them. When they asked her to provide flowers for their gay wedding, she declined because of her faith. She assumed they were friends. They sued her business for discrimination.

She did not take the position that she should be allowed to deny gays any good or service. She only objected to participating in a gay wedding. Committed Christians believe in a doctrine of vocation. They believe that their work is a form of ministry. Through their work, they can share the gospel and glorify God. Because committed Christians believe marriage is a relationship created and ordained by God Himself to be between a man and woman, they believe they cannot provide goods and services to a marital union that would run counter to that which God ordains. Christian merchants do not see themselves as passive participants in a transaction, but active in a ministry. Their work cannot be separated from their faith.

The government saw it otherwise and forced the florist to perform the work or be punished.

Similar situations have come up in Colorado, Oregon, New Mexico and other states with florists, photographers, bakers and others. None of them denied all goods and services to gays. They just declined to provide them with goods and services for a gay wedding because of their faith.

A number of states have sought to ensure Christians cannot be compelled by the state to violate their consciences. The laws are being badly mischaracterized as anti-gay. Christians are being compared to Bull Connor for trying to honor their God. The state is picking sides in matters of conscience. Instead of living and letting others live, tolerance has become a one-way street. Those who seek to dissent or opt out are made to care whether they want to or not.


Legal Kidnapping

Taking a child away from loving parents for ideological reasons is simply totalitarian.

Are responsible and loving parents safe from having their children taken away from them by government agents? The Joneses had always thought so, until recent events taught them otherwise.

During his junior year in a public high school in Massachusetts, Tom Jones (pseudonym), suffering from effects of a childhood trauma inflicted by a bully in school, for which he had been receiving counseling for many years, confided to his school guidance counselor that he believed he was gay. Although she knew that Tom was already seeing a therapist, the counselor, without informing his parents, referred him to a gay youth organization, where Tom was told not to trust conventional therapy but to seek counseling from them, and was encouraged to reject his faith and his family. The result was an exacerbation of Tom’s distress and the development of self-destructive behaviors.

One Friday morning, emotionally confused and angry after a romantic breakup, Tom called his guidance counselor, who illegally picked him up at his home — again without his parents’ knowledge — and drove him to school. Mrs. Jones eventually found Tom in the school’s guidance office, where the counselor refused to allow her to take her son home, threatening to place him in the custody of the Department for Children and Families (DCF) unless she allowed him to spend the weekend at a friend’s home and agreed to seek family counseling from DCF — all this despite the fact that school officials had previously acknowledged that the Joneses were exceptionally loving and responsible parents, and that they already had a team of therapists working with Tom.

The following Monday, a social worker from DCF visited the Joneses, and, although they had explained the background issues and emphasized how much they loved their son, the social worker branded them “unaccepting parents” in their son’s presence. She told them that Tom could not go home with them and instead took him back to stay with the friend with whom he had spent the weekend, despite well-founded protests from his parents that the environment was unhealthy.

The social worker also manipulated Mrs. Jones into signing a form requesting counseling from DCF by insinuating that failure to sign would delay the return of her son. On the basis of this form, which was signed under duress and which indicates that counseling was the only service to which his parents agreed, DCF now claims that its intervention was a response to the family’s voluntary request.

When another social worker evaluated the case, she returned Tom to his home, stating that there was absolutely no evidence of abuse or neglect (of which the Joneses had never been formally accused) and that she considered the Joneses to be exceptionally loving parents.

Even worse than what actually happened are the deceitful and evasive responses of school and DCF officials to the Joneses’ complaints, and evidence that the school’s and DCF’s violations of parental rights are not unusual.

After several unanswered e-mails to the school principal asking for information about the school’s practice of referring students to outside organizations, and about the connections between Tom’s guidance counselor and the Massachusetts Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), Mrs. Jones received a response indicating that she should contact the school’s lawyer.

The lawyer denied that the school has a practice of referring students to outside organizations, contradicting an earlier letter in which the principal had indicated to Mrs. Jones that the school had no intention of ending this practice. The lawyer also claimed that Tom’s counselor was not the school’s liaison with GSA, despite the fact that GSA’s website lists her as such. DCF officials also denied that DCF had taken Tom away from his parents without due process, claiming that they had been following the Joneses’ fully voluntary request for services.

There is also reason to believe that what happened to the Joneses was not an isolated incident. At their booth at last year’s Massachusetts Gay Youth Pride Parade, DCF officials told Mrs. Jones that DCF routinely manipulates standard processes to remove children with sexual-identity issues from the homes of conservative and Christian parents.

When the Joneses met with DCF leaders to present their concerns, the officials appeared to be troubled and promised to take steps to remedy the situation. Shortly thereafter, however, DCF moved on from this promise. The new commissioner refuses to respond to the Joneses’ letter or phone calls.

Regardless of one’s beliefs about homosexuality, anyone who cares about parental rights, children’s well-being, and the limitation of state power should be horrified by the Joneses’ story. Exploiting the emotional fragility of adolescents to turn them against their parents and enlist them in a political movement; removing troubled children from the care of loving parents and taking them to live with unvetted families, with a complete absence of due process or evidence of abuse or neglect; denying after the fact that there is any basis for grievances and failing to follow proper grievance procedures: These are the actions of a totalitarian regime, not a liberal democracy.

To stop such abuses before they wreak more havoc on vulnerable children and their families, legislators throughout the country should pass laws — such as House Bill 427 in Massachusetts — forbidding school officials to refer children to outside organizations without their parents’ knowledge. The Massachusetts DCF’s practice of removing children with sexual-identity issues from the homes of loving parents for ideological reasons should be thoroughly investigated, as should the practices of social-service agencies throughout the country, in order to prevent further unconstitutional government intrusions into the family sphere.


UKIP leader says immigration has left Britain 'unrecognisable'

Nigel Farage today claimed he felt 'awkward' about foreign passengers not speaking English on trains, as he claimed immigration had left Britain 'unrecognisable'.

The Ukip leader's extraordinary remarks came as the party unveiled a new slogan, 'Love Britain', which has previously been used by the far right British National Party.

Claiming immigration will be the defining issue of the European elections, Mr Farage told voters ‘don’t get mad, get even’ as he boasted his party would win in May.

Ukip unveiled its new 'Love Britain' slogan at the conference in Torquay but it was used in 2010 by the BNP. Mr Farage claimed Ukip had made discussing immigration 'respectable' and said he was reclaiming 'Love Britain' from extremists.

Speaking during a Q&A session at the party's spring conference in Torquay, Mr Farage voiced concern about no-one speaking English on public transport.

He said: 'I got the train the other night, it was rush hour, from Charing Cross, it was the stopper going out. We stopped at London Bridge, New Cross, Hither Green.

'It wasn't until after we got past Grove Park that I could actually hear English being audibly spoken in the carriage. Does that make me feel slightly awkward? Yes.

'I wonder what's really going on. And I'm sure that's a view that will be reflected by three quarters of the population, perhaps even more.

'That does not mean one is anti-immigration, we're not anti-immigration, we want immigration, but we do absolutely believe we should be able to judge it both on quantity and quality.'
'In scores of our cities and market towns, this country in a short space of time has frankly become unrecognisable'

In his earlier keynote speech, Mr Farage said the scale of immigration was creating a society in which people did not want their children to grow up: 'In scores of our cities and market towns, this country in a short space of time has frankly become unrecognisable.

'Whether it is the impact on local schools and hospitals, whether it is the fact in many parts of England you don't hear English spoken any more.  'This is not the kind of community we want to leave to our children and grandchildren.'

Mr Farage claimed his party poses the biggest threat to the political establishment in modern times.

He predicted Ukip would win the European Parliament elections in May and secure hundreds of new councillors before taking seats in the Commons next year.

But his launch was overshadowed by his new slogan, forcing him to again distance Ukip from far right parties.

A BNP spokesman said: 'They’ve stolen our policies and now they’ve stolen our slogan.'

In an attempt to avoid embarrassment, a Ukip spokeswoman said the party was 'reclaiming' the line by using it.

Mr Farage told the BBC: 'I’m sorry, the National Front used the Union Jack – we haven’t burnt them all, have we?

'We are the party that has made debating Europe respectable; we are the party that’s made debating immigration respectable, and we are now going to make the fact that we can be patriotic and proud of our country not something to bury under the carpet, not something to be sneered at but something we can say openly.

'We are claiming that territory, and d’you know what? To hell with the BNP or anybody else. It’s our slogan now.'

In his speech, Mr Farage said told party members they were on the cusp of a major electoral breakthrough.

He said: ‘We have got 84 days until these European elections. I want us to be the patriotic fightback. I want us to be the people who say we are proud of our country.’

Attacking the political establishment which he says dominates the other parties, he added: ‘Don’t get mad, get even. Vote Ukip on May 22.

‘We carry the hopes now of countless millions on our shoulders. We are in politics because we believe in our country and we believe in our people. Together we can get our country back.’

He said that immigration has now become the ‘number one issue in British politics’ and Britain cannot have its own immigration policy while it is a member of the European Union.

’80 per cent of the British people did not want borders to come down with Romania and Bulgaria, but they did, we have lost control and we want to take it back,’ he said.

He went on: ‘In fact, we've sunk so low as a nation that we now cannot even deport foreign criminals without the say-so of a foreign court.

‘Our ruling classes have lost confidence in this country and its people.  ‘That lack of confidence is reflected in the way our own country is governed too, and no better example of that can be the recent crisis that we've had over the floods.’

Ukip are expected to beat the Tories in May's European Parliament elections, and could push Labour into second.

But the party has been left embarassed by the views of some of its members, including a councillor who suggested flooding had been caused by gay marriage.

Today Mr Farage insisted his candidates could 'say what they like' because they represent a broad base of public opinion.

He said: 'These elections, in many ways, will be an opportunity for us to tell the political class where to go.'

The Ukip leader said that since the 2010 elections, candidates were now of a 'quality and calibre' the party could be proud of.

He said: 'Despite repeated attempts to ridicule us, our people come from the real world, they've got real-life experiences, unlike the political classes.  'And they're people who have already had jobs - how about that.'

He has faced criticism for claiming that women who take time off to have children are 'worth less' to employers.

To counter claims that the party is sexist, Mr Farage highlighted increased numbers of women in the party and the prominent place on candidate lists of many women.  And he predicted that the next party leader to be a woman would be in Ukip.

The Tories were dealt a huge blow yesterday by new figures showing net migration to Britain had rocketed by 60,000 to 212,000 in the year to September 2013.

It was driven entirely by a 40 per cent leap in the number of people taking advantage of EU edicts on free movement.

Mr Farage said Britain has become unrecognisable in recent years and is no longer a community fit for passing to our children and grandchildren.

'We have seen since 2004 a doubling of youth unemployment, we have seen since that time wage compression - people doing jobs now taking home less money than they were 10 years ago.

'All of this has happened because we now have a totally distorted labour market in Britain, because of the massive oversupply that has come to us from eastern Europe.


The children taught at home about murder and bombings

Boris Johnson

It must have been dreadful for the family of Drummer Lee Rigby to listen to the ravings of his killers as they were finally hauled away to the cells and, one hopes, to a lifetime of incarceration. If those relatives have one consolation, it is that they were just about the last words those men will ever pronounce in public; the last time we will have to hear them pervert the religion of Islam – and the most important question now is how we prevent other young men, and women, from succumbing to that awful virus: the contagion of radical Islamic extremism.

Every day in London and other big cities, there are thousands of counter-terrorism officers doing a fantastic job of keeping us safe. They have to work out who are the most vulnerable young people, who are the most susceptible – and they have to stop the infection of radicalisation before it is too late. That will sometimes mean taking a view about what is happening to them in their homes and families – and I worry that their work is being hampered by what I am obliged to call political correctness.

There is built in to the British system a reluctance to be judgmental about someone else’s culture, even if that reluctance places children at risk. Look at the case of Harriet Harman. You may ask yourself how on earth this relatively astute politician could have allowed her organisation to be affiliated to a body that brazenly called itself the “Paedophile Information Exchange”. The answer – which Harman would do well to admit – is that back in the Seventies she got into a complete intellectual fog.

The National Council for Civil Liberties was avowedly in search of minorities to protect, and they came to suppose that paedophiles must be victims of their own urges and that it was therefore not their fault that they were so widely abhorred. They mushily decided that the paedophiles must have some sort of “protected group” status – like other minorities; and the victims, of course, were the children who were groomed and abused by these emboldened perverts.

Or look at the appalling failure of this country to tackle the evil of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This practice is utter savagery. It involves the excision of the female exterior genital organs, including the clitoris, so as to minimise the possibility of sexual pleasure. The mutilation can cause infection, death, or constant pain.

Both Britain and France banned this barbarism in the mid-Eighties; and yet the French have been much more effective in tackling it than we have. They have jailed about 100 people, and started proceedings against a dozen doctors. We have thousands of victims in Britain, thousands of girls being cut every year, and yet we have managed not a single prosecution – let alone a conviction.

Again, there is that fatal squeamishness about intervening in the behaviour of a “protected group” – in this case ethnic minorities, often but by no means always from the Horn of Africa. There are still Left-wing academics protesting that the war on FGM is a form of imperialism, and that we are wrong to impose our Western norms.

I say that is utter rubbish, and a monstrous inversion of what I mean by liberalism. On the contrary: we need to be stronger and clearer in asserting our understanding of British values. That is nowhere more apparent in the daily job of those who protect us all from terror – and who are engaged in tackling the spread of extremist and radical Islam.

We are familiar by now with the threat posed by the preachers of hate, the extremist clerics who can sow the seeds of madness in the minds of impressionable young people. We are watching like hawks to see who comes back from Syria, and the ideas they may have picked up.

We know that the problem of radicalisation is not getting conspicuously worse – but nor is it going away. There are a few thousand people in London – the “low thousands”, they say – who are of interest to the security services; and a huge amount of work goes into monitoring those people, and into making sure that their ranks are not swelled by new victims of radicalisation.

What has been less widely understood is that some young people are now being radicalised at home, by their parents or by their step-parents. It is estimated that there could be hundreds of children – especially those who come within the orbit of the banned extremist group Al-Muhajiroun – who are being taught crazy stuff: the kind of mad yearning for murder and death that we heard from Lee Rigby’s killers.

At present, there is a reluctance by the social services to intervene, even when they and the police have clear evidence of what is going on, because it is not clear that the “safeguarding law” would support such action. A child may be taken into care if he or she is being exposed to pornography, or is being abused – but not if the child is being habituated to this utterly bleak and nihilistic view of the world that could lead them to become murderers. I have been told of at least one case where the younger siblings of a convicted terrorist are well on the road to radicalisation – and it is simply not clear that the law would support intervention.

This is absurd. The law should obviously treat radicalisation as a form of child abuse. It is the strong view of many of those involved in counter-terrorism that there should be a clearer legal position, so that those children who are being turned into potential killers or suicide bombers can be removed into care – for their own safety and for the safety of the public.

That must surely be right. We need to be less phobic of intrusion into the ways of minority groups and less nervous of passing judgment on other cultures. We can have a great, glorious, polychromatic society, but we must be firm to the point of ruthlessness in opposing behaviour that undermines our values. Paedophilia, FGM, Islamic radicalisation – to some extent, at some stage, we have tiptoed round them all for fear of offending this or that minority. It is children who have suffered.



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

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

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


4 March, 2014

UK: Black Brixton bar owner blames late-night  violence that is blighting nightclub industry on black people

A bar in Brixton has blamed rising violence in south London on black youngsters, claiming many clubs in the area have been forced out of business.

In a post on their Facebook page Fridge Bar, which is owned by a black woman, warned that unless young black people 'learn to conduct themselves in a civil manner' they face being barred from venues.

The post claims 13 clubs have closed 'in the past couple of years', because of violence.

The author of the post, who warned it was a 'controversial' message, said: 'The absolute majority of people who have disrupted theses venues are black men and increasingly some black women.

'There, I said it. It is true, I have witnessed it and there is both anecdotal and empirical evidence that what I say is true.  'I know some will say that it is a "minority" doing the damage but I disagree.

'The minority know that they have the support of the majority who fail to call them out when their behaviour becomes awful.'

It adds: 'It seems that the decent black people of whom there are many are losing the fight.  'We need to take back control and start to ostracise the b******s who are giving us all a terrible name.

The 300-capacity bar in Brixton Hill, which regularly hosts House, RnB and Disco nights, hit out at media reports covering the controversial post, in a second message on the social networking site.

The post said: 'A few days we put up a post highlighting the disproportionate incidences of trouble occurring in S London (sic) nightclubs and the fact that many have closed as a result.

'We deliberately and truthfully inserted our opinion backed by both anecdotal and empirical evidence that some black males and increasingly some black women are at the forefront of this.

'The media have quite mischievously and a tad maliciously tried to smear us.  'Clearly the fact that Fridge Bar is owned by a black woman has passed them by.'

The initial post has so far received 155 likes and attracted dozens of comments, many supporting the statement.


Sporting  panel is 'too white' and needs to become more diverse, BBC says

Match Of The Day needs to become more diverse with fewer white men on its panel of pundits, the BBC has said.  Days after announcing its dramas would include more black and gay actors to reflect modern Britain, the corporation turned its sights on sports shows.

Danny Cohen, the BBC’s director of television, singled out BBC1’s Saturday football highlights programme for fresh criticism.

He said: ‘If we have five people on a panel show, it shouldn’t be five white men. I think the same thing of Match Of The Day. It’s a very diverse sport and it shouldn’t be like that.’

Although Mr Cohen stopped short of calling for a diversity quota for Match of the Day hosts, he made it clear he expects to see changes to the make-up of sports panels in the near future.

His comments may cause some anxiety for the programme’s current team of presenters.

The weekly show is normally fronted by former England footballer Gary Lineker, 53, who is paid £1.5million-a-year for his services.

He is often paired with his former teammate Alan Shearer, 43, and retired Scotland player Alan Hansen, 58, and they are frequently joined by a string of other white male pundits, including Robbie Fowler, 38, and Michael Owen, 34.

The corporation does have some prominent black football pundits and has lined up Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand to join its World Cup team in Brazil this summer.

The first female commentator to appear on Match of the Day was Jacqui Oatley in 2007, while Radio Five Live appointed Charlotte Green as the new voice of its classified sports results last year.

Last month, Mr Cohen was embroiled in a row with one of the BBC’s top comics after he said it was ‘not acceptable’ to have all-male comedy panel shows and said every one filmed from now on will have at least one woman.

His remarks were criticised by Mock the Week presenter Dara O’Briain, who said the move would make female guests appear to be ‘token women’.

But Mr Cohen reiterated his determination to change the gender balance of TV this week, saying: ‘There isn’t a problem on some of the panel shows - they try to have a good gender balance all the time. Others, it was like pushing water up a hill and we kept saying it, and it wasn’t happening.

‘We got to the point where we thought, this is not acceptable anymore, this doesn’t reflect the world we live in.

‘In a leadership role, I can either keep pushing and hope it’s going to evolve, or I can set some really clear examples to provide a beacon for what our expectations are.’

Speaking at a separate event, drama controller Ben Stephenson said he wants more black and gay actors on TV in a bid to ‘reflect Britain as it really is’.


Home Office 'gave Paedophile Information Exchange £70,000': Group allegedly given taxpayers' money between 1977 and 1980

A vile paedophile group with links to senior Labour politicians was funded with huge amounts of taxpayers' money, it has emerged.

The Paedophile Information Exchange was allegedly given £70,000 by the Home Office between 1977 and 1980 - the equivalent today of about £400,000.

The astonishing claims made by a whistleblower are now being investigated by the police and the government.

They come after the Mail exposed shocking links between the paedophile group and the National Council for Civil Liberties, a pressure group run at the time by former Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt and Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman.

After months of revelations, Miss Hewitt apologised on Thursday, saying the NCCL was 'naive and wrong' in allowing itself to become affiliated with PIE, which campaigned for the age of consent to be dropped to just four.

'As General Secretary then, I take responsibility for the mistakes we made. I got it wrong on PIE and I apologise for having done so,' she said.

Miss Harman, who was the NCCL's legal officer, has also expressed 'regret' but has refused to apologise, claiming the Mail's stories were a 'politically-motivated smear campaign'.

Yesterday, a former Home Office worker revealed that Jim Callaghan's Labour government and Margaret Thatcher's Conservative administration, which took over in 1979, may have provided funding for PIE.

The whistleblower said senior civil servant Clifford Hindley, who was head of the Home Office's voluntary services unit, signed off a three year grant for £35,000 in 1980.

He has told police he saw the paperwork and the grant was a renewal - suggesting a similar amount had been given to the group in 1977 under the previous Labour government.

Mr Hindley, a classics, philosophy and theology graduate who studied at Oxford and Cambridge, apparently had an obsessive academic interest in gay relationships between men and boys.

He was an assistant secretary at the Home Office, where he oversaw 'co-ordination of government action in relation to voluntary services and funding of certain voluntary organisations'.

The VSU was in the section responsible for 'community programmes'.

Payments were made to the Paedophile Information Exchange during Jim Callaghan's administration, it is claimed

A colleague at the VSU, based at the Home Office's former headquarters at Queen Anne's Gate, was shocked to discover a re-application to the department for funds made by PIE among a list of applications for taxpayer money.

The whistleblower, who did not want to be named, claims he raised concerns with Mr Hindley about why the Home Office should be funding such a vile organisation.

He told Exaro investigative website that Mr Hindley, who was his boss, took the paperwork away from him and told him to drop the matter, saying he would 'deal' with it.

The documents are now thought to have been legally destroyed along with all Home Office files about PIE since 1979.

The whistleblower approached Labour politician Tom Watson last year.  The MP has now raised the claims with home secretary Theresa May, who has ordered an investigation.

PIE members have been accused of abusing children 'on an industrial scale' during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The group was formed in 1974 to campaign for sex with children to be legalised and formed an alliance with the NCCL, officially affiliating with the left wing pressure group.

PIE leader Tom O'Carroll was on the NCCL's gay rights sub-committee and the group was described in glowing terms by then general secretary Miss Hewitt.

The NCCL lobbied parliament for the age of sexual consent to be cut to ten as long as the child 'understood the nature of the act' and apparently consented.

The group also wanted incest to be legalised.

A memo from 1978 showed Miss Hewitt said the NCCL would be prepared to offer legal advice to adults who wanted to have sex with 14-year- olds.

The NCCL also placed a recruitment advert for new members in PIE's magazine and Miss Hewitt shared a conference platform with O'Carroll in 1977.

Miss Hewitt, Miss Harman and her husband Jack Dromey, a Labour frontbencher, all had key roles at the NCCL.

PIE disbanded in 1984 after two former executive committee members were convicted of child-porn offences and the group's leader fled the UK while on bail.

Commenting on the possibility PIE was funded by the Home Office, Mr Watson said: 'It's a remarkable state of affairs and the Home Secretary must make sure a report is presented as soon as possible.

'If the allegations are true, it shows how insidious an organisation PIE was that they could even convince the Home Office to give them taxpayers' money.'

A spokesman for the Home Office said: 'We are aware of the allegations and the Permanent Secretary has commissioned an independent investigation.'


Governor Brewer’s Veto of SB 1062 Is a Vote for Slavery

SB 1062 is not about religious freedom, it’s about forced labor.

For the last few days, I, like many Americans, have been furious about SB 1062 . . . only I have been angry for a different reason than most.

Opponents are angry because they think the bill is “mean” or that it allows discrimination against certain groups of people. Some people are even claiming that it somehow mandates discrimination.

Supporters are angry because they don’t like the idea that a private citizen can be forced to engage in a transaction that violates his or her religious beliefs.

I am angry because I believe most of the discussion on SB 1062 is missing a much more basic point. Yes, it is chilling that a private citizen might be forced to engage in a transaction that violates his or her religious beliefs. But has no one considered that it is also chilling that a private citizen would be forced to engage in any transaction?

A slave is . . .

Forced to labor against his will
Subject to punishment if he refuses to labor
Considered to be the “property” of someone else.

Someone who is required to engage in an involuntary transaction (such as baking a cake for someone for whom he does not want to bake a cake) is . . .

Forced to labor against his will
Subject to punishment if he refuses to labor
As we can see, the involuntary transaction lacks one of the characteristics of slavery: the notion that the one person is “owned” by the other. Needless to say, this is an important distinction.

But how is it that we are okay with the first two? How is it that so few people are even discussing the fact that our society is forcing one human being to labor for another against his will? How is it that so few people are appalled by the fact that he will be punished—subjected to violence and force—if he refuses?

Forget the religious-conscience aspect of the matter for the moment and just tell me—why is that okay? Why is it okay to force people to labor?

One of the most important characteristics of freedom is the concept of voluntary transactions.

I gave Apple my money, they gave me a computer. (They wanted my money more than they wanted the computer. I wanted the computer more than I wanted the money.)

For a special treat, my wife bought me a massage. The massage therapist wanted my money, and I loved the massage. We both walked into the transaction voluntarily, and we both walked away happier.

Human beings do this every day. Our employers buy our labor, and we sell it to them. Our customers ask us for goods and services, and we give them to them in exchange for amounts of money we deem acceptable. No one is forced into any of this. We do it every day because we choose to.

And guess what—we also refuse to transact business every day.

I go to this gas station rather than that one because of a seven-cent difference in the price.

I bought the Cheerios rather than the generic brand because I had a coupon for the Cheerios that brought the price down low enough so that the few extra cents it still cost was worth it for the taste difference. (Okay, so it was actually my wife who did that.)

But it’s not just on the consumer side that we refuse transactions.

A lawyer may refuse to take your case.

“I’m sorry, Dr. So-and-So is not taking new patients right now.”

A contractor may decline to repair your wind-damaged vinyl siding because the job is too small, or because he’s too busy.

Ever see the sign, “No shirt, no shoes, no service”?

In other words, it’s not like the refusal to transact business is without precedent. It also happens millions of times every day.

So why is this situation different? Why do the person’s reasons for refusing to transact business suddenly make it okay to force him to labor for someone else against his will? And if he refuses, he will be subjected to government force and punishment. How is that okay?

It isn’t. In fact, it’s appalling and disturbing.

Even more disturbing is the inability most of the law’s defenders to even speak to this point. Worse still is the cowardice of so many in the face of the political-correctness police. Opponents of the law scream loud and the law’s defenders equivocate or fold completely. And when they fold—as Governor Brewer did yesterday—they not only fail to protect people’s natural right of freedom of conscience, they fail to protect the equally fundamental human right to choose. To choose with whom to associate. To choose with whom to transact business.

It does not matter if the person’s reasons are good or bad. YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO FORCE SOMEONE TO WORK FOR YOU.

You can go elsewhere.

You can start your own business.

You can tell all your friends about it, or you can write an op-ed and tell the nation.

You can protest outside the store and seek to convince others that the establishment is unworthy of their business.

But you do not have a right to force someone to labor for you. Period.

Honestly, I am gobsmacked that anyone could, in good conscience, so blithely walk right past this huge issue. Even if someone’s reasons are awful, that doesn’t give any of us the right to make that person our serf for the day. You have a right not to have someone else assault you, or steal from you, or defraud you, or libel you. You do not have a right to make them give you cake.

One of the reasons we know slavery is wrong is because we believe in self-ownership. Each of us is an individual moral agent. We get to choose what we believe, what we think, how we feel. Each of us has exclusive rights to our person—to our choices, our labor, our physical being. No one gets to own us. No one gets to rape us. No one gets to tell us what we must believe or how we must feel. We own ourselves.

SB 1062 was designed to protect people from having to engage in involuntary transactions. I reasoned above that such transactions have two of the characteristics of slavery, but not the all-important third characteristic in which the slave is considered the property of the master. And yet, when you compel someone’s labor, you are violating a little piece of his or her self-ownership. Owning one’s own labor is an aspect of self-ownership. For a short time, an involuntary transaction takes that away.

Still, if you do not like the slavery analogy, then perhaps we can look to serfdom as the source of a better one. Per Wikipedia . . .

Serfs who occupied a plot of land were required to work for the Lord of the Manor who owned that land, and in return were entitled to protection, justice and the right to exploit certain fields within the manor to maintain their own subsistence.

The government allows you to have your little shop. You may earn a living, but more than half of what you make belongs to the government. If you make too much money, government will increase the percentage it takes. Beyond your own needs, you work for the government, and you work for the people the government tells you to work for, whether you want to or not. Refuse and you will be subjected to punishment, fine, or imprisonment. Resist and you will be subjected to violence.

Sounds like the road to serfdom to me. And Governor Brewer, you just kicked us all a little further down that road.


At the risk of sullying what has been a piece about first principles with a statement about partisan politics, I must conclude with one final point.

Imagine that the baker is Muslim and someone asks for a bacon cake. Can the Muslim refuse to bake it because handling pork violates his religion?

Or how about this? A Christian asks a homosexual baker for a cake with a Bible verse on it—a Bible verse that identifies homosexual sex as being a sin. Can the homosexual baker refuse to serve this particular customer?

Or, let’s compare apples to apples—the customers are a gay couple but the baker is a Muslim rather than a Christian . . . .

Does anyone believe that the nation’s hip, enlightened elites would be leaping to the defense of these customers? Really?

No. Muslims and gays are among the leftist power elite’s protected classes. Christians are an enemy class. Mix up the players and their identifying “groups” and everything changes—the left, the media, and their throngs of rank-and-file followers will suddenly switch from backing the customer to backing the baker. Or, if the scenario doesn’t fit the desired narrative, you’d never hear about it at all.

For them, this isn’t about fixed, timeless principles. It’s about power.



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

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

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


3 March, 2014

Stop the bullying

We can't have discrimination, can we?

Multicultural bank robbery in Britain

An assault-rifle wielding robber's attempts to rob a bank were foiled by eight good Samaritans, and has now been jailed for 9 and a half years.

Police paid tribute to a collective of have-a-go-heroes who helped apprehend armed robber Al-Fodday Fofanah, 30, who tried to rob a branch of Barclays bank in Borough High Street, south London in July last year.

The gang including an off duty police officer, a trainee ambulance driver, two roofers, two security officers, a bank manager and an ice cream vendor.

Al-Fodday Fofanah brandishes the deactivated assault rifle in the Barclays bank branch before leaving and being taken down    +2
Al-Fodday Fofanah brandishes the deactivated assault rifle in the Barclays bank branch before leaving and being taken down

At the Barclays on July 25 last year, Fofanah joined the queue and waited to be served.  He was carrying a large bag and concealed his face with a sheet of paper.

The customer in front of him was an off-duty police officer - commander Adrian Hanstock from the Safer Transport Command.

When it became his turn to be served, Fofanah pulled a stocking over his face and took an assault rifle from the bag and aimed it at the cashier while demanding money.

The cashier dove behind the counter as Fofanah waved the weapon at the other cashiers, again demanding cash.

When Fofanah realised no money was forthcoming, he walked out of the bank with the gun in the bag.

Mr Hanstock, who had already left the bank, was confronted with the fleeing suspect and he tried to call for police assistance.

The commander, along with the bank's assistant manager Dean Smith and Michael Duncan - a trainee ambulance driver - followed the suspect along Borough High Street.

Other men joined in and Fofanah was eventually disarmed and held on the ground until police arrived on the scene to arrest him.

It turned out that the weapon was a deactivated assault rifle, classified as an imitation firearm.

Scotland Yard said a week earlier he had also attempted to rob a branch of Santander Bank.

Inquiries into the incident showed a second attempted robbery on July 18 at Santander Bank in Walworth Road.

Detective chief inspector Paul Johnson, of the Flying Squad, said: 'I welcome the sentence that has been handed down.

'Fofanah will now serve a significant sentence for causing fear and panic to those who worked or had visited the bank.

'A number of people assisted with detaining Fofanah following the attempted armed robbery and without their help there is every possibility that he may have got away.

'I would like to thank the members of the public who demonstrated an enormous amount of bravery in confronting Fofanah.'

He was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of attempted armed robbery and two counts of possession of an imitation firearm.

He committed both attempted robberies while in Ford Open Prison.

He was on day release when he tried to carry out the robbery on July 25, but had absconded from the prison on July 18.

He also pleaded guilty to escape from custody relating to his escape on July 18.

The good Samaritans were all recommended for a Commissioner's Commendation and received their certificates during a ceremony at New Scotland Yard in January.


The incorrectness of free coffee

Labour moved to head off a damaging row about its approach to successful British companies on Saturday evening when the shadow business secretary slapped down a fellow MP who had attacked Waitrose for providing customers with free coffee.

With the issue threatening to turn into an embarrassing row over Labour’s “anti-business” policies, Chuka Umunna said that Waitrose was a “fantastic” operation which should be applauded for its positive approach to employment and business issues.

As part of the John Lewis Partnership, the supermarket operates a widely praised “partnership” model where all staff have a share in company profits.

On Saturday it was revealed that Andy Sawford, Labour MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire, had attacked Waitrose for offering free coffee and newspapers to myWaitrose loyalty card holders. He claimed the offer had a “stark effect” on local coffee shops and newsagents.

Mr Sawford has written to every MP with a Waitrose store in their constituency to put pressure on the supermarket to withdraw the scheme “in the spirit of fair competition”.

His attack was immediately ridiculed. Mark Price, the managing director of Waitrose, said that Mr Sawford, the shadow communities secretary, was “completely misguided”.

It was also revealed that Mr Sawford is funded by the Co-operative movement which runs the Co-op supermarkets, competitors to Waitrose.

“This is all, if you’ll excuse the pun, a bit of froth,” Mr Umunna said. “It doesn’t represent party policy, he is a constituency MP raising a local matter.

“Waitrose employs thousands of people and promotes the type of practices we want to promote. It is a great business.”

Asked if he had any problem with Waitrose providing free coffee, Mr Umunna said: “I don’t have any issue with that.”

The Conservatives leapt on Mr Sawford’s attack, which was widely seen as having backfired. “Labour is yet again showing itself to be anti-business with its absurd anti-Waitrose rhetoric – a risk to the recovery, to jobs and security,” said Matthew Hancock, the enterprise minister.


Mothers incorrect?

Two thirds of young women who are non-parents say that they are expected to work longer hours than colleagues with children, according to the study of 25,000 women aged 28 to 40, which will be published next month.

The resentment is especially true in the private sector, with growing “tension” between the two groups, the research found.

The report will reveal that the majority of women believe that having children could adversely affect their careers. More than three quarters of those surveyed admitted to feeling “nervous” about the impact of having children on their professional success.

Lynne Franks, the founder of women’s networking space B.Hive and speaker at the Women of the World festival taking place on London’s South Bank next weekend, said of the report. “I’m saddened to see this woman against woman trend. I work with a lot of senior women who have families and they work just as hard as those without children but they may work different hours. It’s a case of perception versus reality.”

The Project 28-40 report by Opportunity Now, an organisation that campaigns for gender equality in the workplace, shines a spotlight on the issues that plague the flexible working movement.

Almost half of the women surveyed believe people who work flexibly are resented by colleagues. Some 55pc said flexible workers were also viewed as “less committed” in their organisations. Two thirds cited flexible working as a real barrier to career progression.

“The survey responses show an uneasy tension between women who don’t have children and those who do – two thirds of non-parents feel they are expected to work longer hours than those with children – while at the same time there’s a widespread view that those who work flexibly will progress less quickly than their peers, even if their contribution is similar,” said Helena Morrissey, chairman of Opportunity Now and the chief executive of Newton Investment Managers.

She added: “These findings suggest that flexible working isn’t working. One group feels resentment, the other feels less valued.

“Overcoming this tension is entirely possible – but companies need to measure output, not hours worked and radically reassess working practices.”

The report also looked into unfairness in the workplace. It found that 52pc of women have experienced at least one form of discrimination during the past three years.

More than a quarter (28pc) have experienced unfair treatment, while 27pc have been deliberately undermined by someone overloading them with work or constant criticism.

The same proportion were victims of overbearing supervision or the misuse of power and position.

While 48pc of women have witnessed bullying or unfair treatment of a female colleague, only 28pc had seen their male counterparts suffer the same discrimination.



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

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

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


2 March, 2014

Multicultural murder in Britain

A young man who brutally murdered a 73-year-old by stabbing him 22 times after the pensioner discovered him  breaking into his south London home has been sentenced to life.

Aaron De Silva, 21, will serve a minimum of 32 years for the murder of Joseph Griffiths in his £1.5million home in Fulham, south London.

De Silva had admitted the manslaughter of Joseph Griffiths, but denied murder. However he was found guilty of murdering the 73-year-old on Tuesday following a trial at the Old Bailey.
Aaron de Silva, 71, was found guilty or murder

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the 21-year-old, of Earls Court, south west London, was also sentenced to 12 years to run consecutively after admitting aggravated burglary armed with a lock knife.

De Silva killed Mr Griffiths after he broke into the basement of the grandfather's six-storey house armed with a knife.

The victim of the 'brutal' attack was asleep with his wife at the time and got out of bed to challenge the intruder in the hallway.

He was then discovered in a pool of blood by his wife and a friend, who was visiting for a wedding.

Prosecutor Brendan Finucane QC told the jury when he opened the trial: 'There were no eye witnesses but people were awoken by a completely brutal and overwhelming assault on an elderly man in his own home, where he was knifed 22 times to the body.'

After the attack De Silva was caught on CCTV taking a 'cool, calm and collected walk' back to the Earls Court hostel where he was staying to wash his clothes and get rid of evidence, Mr Finucane said. He was arrested three days later.

The court heard that De Silva had gone into a number of gardens on the street before stealing a pair of bolt croppers from a shed.

Using the tool, he broke a rear window on the basement level of Mr Griffiths’ nearby  terraced home and walked around the lower two levels.

Mr Finucane said: 'Mr Griffiths must have been woken by the defendant coming in, must have challenged him in the hallway, outside his own bedroom door.'

It was at this point, Mr Finucane said, De Silva carried out the 'brutal and overwhelming assault', stabbing him 22 times in his chest and abdomen.

He added: 'This awoke his wife and friends, but by the time they got there he had left.'

Mrs Griffiths found her husband lying on his back in a pool of blood. The front door was still locked, and Mr Hall found the rear basement door had been opened.

Paramedics tried to resuscitate Mr Griffiths, but he died in the house.

Mr Finucane said: 'Given the savagery of the attack on Mr Griffiths and his behaviour before and after, there can be no doubt that he had the intention to kill or cause really serious harm.'

He added: 'Anybody who stabs a person 22 times with a knife like that has at the very least the intention to cause really serious harm, and further you can be sure that he did it with the intention to kill the deceased.'

De Silva looked impassively as the verdict was read out. He is said to have 31 previous convictions from the age of 12 to his arrest for the murder when he was 19, for matters such as robbery, burglary and carrying a knife.

Mr Griffiths’ eldest son, Mark Griffiths, 53, said afterwards: 'There is a great sense of relief for all the family, friends and customers of Joe.'

The victim had a car repair business in which his son still works.

He added: 'We are overwhelmed with all the support we have had from the police, and very impressed with the way they’ve handled it from day one.

'We are very happy that the legal system of this country has proved to be one of the best in the world, as usual, and we have come to the correct verdict.'

In an impact statement written by Mark Griffiths, on behalf of the family, which was read to the court, he said: 'The murder of Joe in such a senseless manner has left a gaping hole not just in our family, but every family who knew him.'

The statement added: 'We as a family are living with the devastating consequences of that act of violence.'

The trial judge, Timothy Pontius, sentenced De Silva’s father Emmanuel de Silva to 24 years’ imprisonment in 2002 for robbery.

Court reports at the time said he was part of a gang that was responsible for a number of well planned and executed robberies in the London area between January 2000 and May 2001.

The reports said that Emmanuel’s nephew, Orson de Silva, was jailed for 24 years for similar offences.

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Simon Pickford, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: 'De Silva is an extremely violent individual who had no hesitation in stabbing the victim repeatedly in a frenzied and brutal attack after he was disturbed having broken into Mr Griffiths’ home.

'I must pay tribute to Mr Griffiths’ family who have been left utterly devastated by what happened. They have conducted themselves with the utmost restraint and dignity throughout this tragic incident and my and my team’s thoughts are with them.'

CCTV showed De Silva back at his hostel around an hour after the murder listening to music, seemingly entirely unaffected by what he had just done.

Mr Griffiths had two grown-up sons and seven grandchildren.


NCCL paedophilia scandal: Leftist icons will have to resign

Press release issued by the National Council for Civil Liberties in 1976

I still can’t quite believe it. But here’s the evidence in black and white. In 1976, the NCCL put out a press release proposing that the age of consent be lowered to 14 “with special provisions for situations where the partners are close in age, or where consent of a child over ten can be proved”. So let me get this straight. If the NCCL had had its way, a paedophile could induce a 10-year-old child to have sex with him and, provided he could "prove" he or she had consented, that child's parents would have no legal redress?

As a father of a 10-year-old girl, that fills me with horror. Even if the NCCL had no links with the Paedophile Information Exchange, that would have been morally repugnant. The very idea that a 10-year-old is in a position to "consent" is absurd – blatantly and transparently absurd. But it's worse, far worse than that, because we now know that the NCCL was taking this line, at least in part, at the behest of a group of notorious paedophiles. In 1975, Patricia Hewitt, the general secretary of the NCCL, wrote to the chairman of PIE to thank him for a letter he had written her arguing that the age of consent should be lowered. "We have found your evidence… most helpful and I think it has certainly been taken into account by the people preparing our evidence," she wrote. Sure enough, the following year, the NCCL began lobbying Parliament to have the age of consent lowered to 10. Not only was Patricia Hewitt the general secretary at that time, but Jack Dromey was on the executive committee and he was at the meeting where it was agreed that the NCCL would take this line.

In a statement issued yesterday, Dromey, who is Labour's shadow policing minister, said he was "a lifelong opponent of evil men who abuse children". If that's true, why did he approve the NCCL's decision to lobby for the age of consent to be lowered to 10? Didn't it occur to him that a change in the law along those lines would leave children more vulnerable to abuse by evil men – men in the group "affiliated" to the NCCL and who had been asking the NCCL to take this line? Incredibly, he still hasn't apologised for helping to run an organisation that was linked to a group of paedophiles and nor has his wife, Harriet Harman, the NCCL's legal officer from 1978 to 1982. Instead, they both continue to attack the Daily Mail.

Harman and Dromey's handling of this scandal has been an object lesson in how not to do it. If Harman had taken the opportunity to apologise when she was interviewed on Newsnight on Monday, this story would have gone away by now. Instead, the nation woke up to this headline on the front page of The Sun this morning:

For the Labour Party, that's an unmitigated disaster. Ed Miliband has to take his share of the blame for this because he decided to back Harman's disastrous decision not to apologise and blame the messenger instead. But it's Labour's deputy leader who is most culpable for this disaster – not merely for the numerous mistakes she made while helping to run the NCCL, some of which I listed in my Spectator column this week – but for compounding those errors by refusing to acknowledge they were mistakes. How could she be so idiotic? As I said in the Spectator, is it because she has a moral blind spot and cannot see the full horror of the group the NCCL was linked with? Maybe some part of her won’t allow her to see it because she knows her conscience wouldn’t be able to cope.

An alternative explanation is that she is simply too arrogant. This 1998 interview with Harman by Lynn Barber in The Observer is instructive in this regard. Here's the most telltale paragraph:

   "She knows she has a problem with interviews. She thinks it is because she is 'prickly' but a better epithet might be snotty. She can't really see why anyone has the right to ask, let alone know, any more than she chooses to tell them."

It's Harriet Harman's snottiness – her refusal to acknowledge that she owes the public an explanation about the NCCL's links with PIE – that has plunged her party into this full-blown PR disaster. No doubt there are more revelations to come, not just in tomorrow's papers but in the Sundays as well. At this point, I don't see what Harman – and Jack Dromey – can do to stop this tide of stories linking the Labour Party to paedophiles other than to resign. Will they be gone by Monday?


007, licensed to be politically correct: MI6 job advert (endorsed by gay rights group) seeks British spies 'committed to diversity and equality'

In the 007 spy films, James Bond’s driving passions are deadly weapons, fast cars and faster women.  But according to a job advert placed by MI6 yesterday, the world of espionage is rather more mundane.

The Secret Intelligence Service says it wants ‘empathetic’ recruits who are ‘able to get on with diverse groups of people’.

The details are included in an advert for intelligence officer posts, published yesterday in the Economist newspaper.

The officers collect, analyse and report secret intelligence material from around the world.

The job advert – presented as a flowchart – has questions including ‘Do you want to protect your country?’, ‘Do you have an instinctive curiosity?’ and ‘Can you be trusted?’. Applicants are also asked about their language skills and whether they want to carry out work overseas.

Hopefuls must say if they are male or female before being told their gender does not matter. The same goes for sexuality and ethnicity – although candidates must have British nationality.

Secrecy is a key issue naturally. Anyone answering yes to the question ‘Would you tell anyone else about your application?’ is told ‘Thank you for your time’.  An identical response is given to anyone believing that MI6 is ‘all guns and fast cars’.

Where Bond routinely defies his bosses and breaks the rules, the MI6 advert warns against the idea that Britain must be protected ‘by any means possible’.

MI6 has signed up to Stonewall’s diversity champions programme, which aims to make workplaces ‘gay friendly’ and ensure employers comply with equalities legislation.

The advert states: ‘The Service strives for diversity in the workplace and is committed to the creation and maintenance of a climate in which all staff are treated fairly on the grounds of merit and ability.’

Last year MI5, the sister agency responsible for protecting Britain against foreign and domestic enemies, came 25th in the list of Stonewall’s top 100 gay-friendly employers.

Both agencies’ attitudes to gay employees have changed markedly in a short period.

Until the mid-1990s, homosexuals were banned from sensitive posts in the diplomatic or security services, on the grounds that they were more vulnerable to blackmail.

Two members of the Cambridge Five, the notorious ring of communist spies who worked for the Soviet Union in the 1940s and 50s, were gay.

Guy Burgess, who worked for the Foreign Office and MI6, lived with a boyfriend even after he defected to Moscow in 1951.  Anthony Blunt, an MI5 officer and leading art historian, also had a secret gay life.

The most recent Bond film, Skyfall, raised eyebrows among critics with a highly charged gay ‘flirtation’ scene. Bond baddie Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem, undoes Bond’s shirt, and strokes his chest and legs while he is tied to a chair, suggestively saying ‘First time for everything?’

Daniel Craig, who stars as Bond, replies: ‘What makes you think this is my first time?’


'There aren't enough gay characters on TV' says BBC drama boss who promises to commission more homosexual storylines

The BBC drama controller has said there are not enough gay characters on TV. Ben Stephenson, who is himself gay, called on writers to come forward with more stories which focus on homosexuality.

The comments were made during the BBC's Reflect and Represent talk at New Broadcasting House on Monday which aims to discuss the Corporation's future vision.

Mr Stephenson said: 'I am diverse, in that sense (gay), and are there many portrayals of gay characters on television? I would say it's probably one of the lowest (represented) areas.  'When the great gay script comes in, I shall definitely be commissioning it.'

Despite Mr Stephenson believing there is diversity in BBC drama he said there is still 'a long way to go'.

Mr Stephenson was appointed controller of BBC drama in 2008.

Last month Eastenders character Johnny Carter (Sam Strike) broke down in tears as he revealed to his father Mick (Danny Dyer) that he is gay.

Johnny's sexuality was first revealed by his sister Nancy (Maddy Hill) during an explosive family argument at the Queen Vic - where Mick is landlord.

Despite Nancy regretting her revelation and attempting to then deny it, Johnny makes the brave decision to come clean and tell his parents the truth.

The episode showed Johnny sobbing into his father's shoulder before Mick is seen apparently reassuring is son that he made the right decision by coming out.

Johnny's coming out comes after the New Year's Day episode of the show saw him kiss Danny Pennant (Gary Lucy), in a scene which prompted several complaints on social media.

One person wrote: 'Danny dyers son............ Is gay? Never cringed so much from eastenders! That's not good. Poor danny.'  And another added: '‘#EastEnders was a disgrace. No wonder it was on after 9. Kids watch this program. Being gay is wrong and it shouldn't be promoted #Dirty.'

However, others applauded the show for introducing more gay characters and diversifying its storylines.

Another writer on the soap, Daran Little, also tweeted: '10 years ago Coronation Street had complaints when I wrote Todd kissing Nick... now complaints about EastEnders gay kiss... no progress.

'I thinks it's encouraging that Hollyoaks gay kisses don't get complaints, cos its viewers are young and accepting,' he wrote.

Amanda Rice, head of diversity, told Broadcast: 'Reflect and Represent is about recognising that more needs to be done, exploring how we can all achieve greater impact celebrating the progress we have made.

'We want to make sure that all staff have the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas.'

Gay author Tom Rob Smith is writing a new drama about a gay spy for the BBC. The story will look at Danny, described as a ‘gregarious, hedonistic, but ill-equipped spy’ who falls for the ‘anti-social and enigmatic’ Alex.

The drama will be going into production later this year and is expected to be lined up to air in 2015



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

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

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


Examining political correctness around the world and its stifling of liberty and sense. Chronicling a slowly developing dictatorship

BIO for John Ray

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take chidren away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

The Supreme Court of the United States is now and always has been a judicial abomination. Its guiding principles have always been political rather than judicial. It is not as political as Stalin's courts but its respect for the constitution is little better. Some recent abuses: The "equal treatment" provision of the 14th amendment was specifically written to outlaw racial discrimination yet the court has allowed various forms of "affirmative action" for decades -- when all such policies should have been completely stuck down immediately. The 2nd. amendment says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed yet gun control laws infringe it in every State in the union. The 1st amedment provides that speech shall be freely exercised yet the court has upheld various restrictions on the financing and display of political advertising. The court has found a right to abortion in the constitution when the word abortion is not even mentioned there. The court invents rights that do not exist and denies rights that do.

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Index page for this site


"Tongue Tied"
"Dissecting Leftism" (Backup here)
"Australian Politics"
"Education Watch International"
"Political Correctness Watch"
"Greenie Watch"
"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International" blog.


"Marx & Engels in their own words"
"A scripture blog"
"Some memoirs"
To be continued ....
Queensland Police -- A barrel with lots of bad apples
Australian Police News
Of Interest


"Leftists as Elitists"
Socialized Medicine
Western Heart
QANTAS -- A dying octopus
BRIAN LEITER (Ladderman)
Obama Watch
Obama Watch (2)
Dissecting Leftism -- Large font site
Michael Darby
The Kogarah Madhouse (St George Bank)
AGL -- A bumbling monster
Telstra/Bigpond follies
Optus bungling
Vodafrauds (vodafone)
Bank of Queensland blues

There are also two blogspot blogs which record what I think are my main recent articles here and here. Similar content can be more conveniently accessed via my subject-indexed list of short articles here or here (I rarely write long articles these days)

Main academic menu
Menu of recent writings
basic home page
Pictorial Home Page (Backup here).
Selected pictures from blogs (Backup here)
Another picture page (Best with broadband. Rarely updated)

Note: If the link to one of my articles is not working, the article concerned can generally be viewed by prefixing to the filename the following: