PC WATCH Mirror by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.)

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

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 This site is updated several times a month but is no longer updated daily.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

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

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


31 March, 2016

Vetoing Religious Liberty

On Monday, religious liberty took another hit when Georgia Republican Governor Nathan Deal vetoed a bill passed by the state legislature earlier this month. We have long warned that the path to same-sex marriage was a slippery slope because the Rainbow Mafia won’t stop their bullying until they get total acceptance of their way. And it’s made worse when proper protections can’t be put in place.

Deal apparently caved to the pressure of big business and chose to side with economic interests over Liberty and common sense. For a governor who has a reasonably conservative track record, this compromise on the principles of Liberty comes as a double blow. But it also demonstrates how the homosexual lobby along with big businesses that support that agenda won’t even tolerate the mildest form of protection for those who cherish religious freedom.

As the Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson notes, “The Georgia religious freedom bill that Deal vetoed would have safeguarded clergy from having to officiate same-sex weddings, prevented faith-based organizations from being forced to hire someone who publicly undermines their mission, and prohibited the state government from discriminating against churches and their affiliated ministries because they believe marriage is between a man and a woman.”

But he also noted the bill was “the result of a series of compromises that significantly watered down the original version.” For example, the bill did not protect bakers, florists and other small business owners who might be involved in wedding ceremonies. Those are the ones who would benefit most from this legislation, but nevertheless several big business executives from Disney, Apple, Time Warner, Intel and Salesforce called governor Deal asking him to veto the legislation. The NFL and NCAA also threatened to yank future sporting events from the state.

Apparently the economic pressure, and threats of boycotts and of canceling football championships were too much for the governor and he sided with uncommon sense over the common good.

Anderson notes that in explaining his veto, Deal argued that the religious liberty bill “doesn’t reflect the character of our state or the character of its people.” He also added that states should not pass any religious freedom laws, for religious freedom “is best left to the broad protections of the First Amendment.”

Ideally, he’s correct, but the governor is missing the point behind the bill that he just vetoed. As Anderson notes, “Americans need both broad protections and specific protections.”

Yes it is true that the First Amendment shields Americans from government encroachment on religious freedom. But it is also true that the Rainbow Mafia is increasingly aggressive in its fascist efforts to enforce “tolerance” — to force individuals and businesses to either violate conscience or be charged with discrimination.

This bill was designed to protect pastors, churches and Christian schools in Georgia from being forced to comply with the demands of homosexual activists. It is not enough for the homosexual activists and big businesses that support them to recognize that there are already some so-called churches and religious organizations that do accept and promote their lifestyle. No, they want everyone to accept and celebrate it.

Where is the tolerance in this? If you believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, yet you can’t operate a business or a church on that belief, then where is the freedom? Obviously, there is no tolerance, only compliance, and if there isn’t compliance then there are and will be penalties.

Deal missed the perfect opportunity to take a stand for the truth. And by not taking a stand on principle, the liberty of the pastors, churches and religious schools in the Peach State is jeopardized, while the Rainbow Mafia is emboldened by a victory.

Our culture has and is changing, and for that reason alone it is essential that state and local governments preserve liberty for those who desire to maintain the traditional view of marriage being between one man and one woman.

There will be numerous legal challenges ahead, regardless of the outcome in Georgia. While this battle for religious liberty was lost, the war for our culture will continue. We must not cave to the pressures from those who seek to strip away one of our most fundamental freedoms.


State Dept. Hesitates to Confirm Terrorists Who Claimed to Target Christians Targeted Christians

State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday that he did not have “the fidelity of information to confirm overtly” that the massive suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan on Sunday was specifically targeting Christians celebrating Easter.

Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, the breakaway Taliban faction claiming responsibility for the attacks, told the Associated Press on Sunday that the suicide bomber “deliberately targeted the Christian community celebrating Easter.” He also said the attack was meant to protest Pakistan's military operation in the tribal regions.

At the State Department today, referencing the condemnatory statement made by the Department but which contained no reference of the targeting of Christians, AP reporter Matt Lee asked, “There’s been some commentary about why you guys didn’t mention either the Easter connection or the Christian connection in your condemnatory statements over the weekend and again today. Do you believe the claim of responsibility that Christians were targeted and are targets?”

“We have no indications that their claims of responsibility are false, though I can’t sit here and confirm it a hundred percent,” Kirby said. “Therefore I have no indications that their, the motivation that they claim was the reason is also false, but this is all going to be investigated by Pakistanis.”

Kirby also said that his failure to mention that the attack was specifically targeted against Christians on Easter Sunday in the State Department’s condemnatory statement “was as much a fact, or as much an indication of the fact that it had just happened and we didn’t know that much about the attack at the outset.”

“Is that your understanding now, though?” said Lee. “Do you believe that it was?”

Kirby replied, “We have no reason to doubt the veracity of their claims that this was aimed at Christians on Easter Sunday. But again I’m not also in a position, I just, we don’t have the fidelity of information to actually, you know, confirm overtly that that was in fact the case.”

“Clearly, that certainly appears to have been the case and we have no reason to doubt their claims,” said Kirby.


Gov. Scott Signs Bill Making Florida 12th State to Defund Planned Parenthood

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Friday that defunds his state’s abortion clinics - including those run by Planned Parenthood (PP) - making Florida the 12th state to block state taxpayer dollars from going to the nation’s largest abortion provider.

The Termination of Pregnancy bill (HB 1411), sponsored by state Rep. Colleen Burton (R-Lakeland), was passed by the Republican-led Florida House (76-40) and state Senate (25-15), and was included in a batch of 67 bills sent to Scott for his signature.

The new law, which goes into effect on July 1, prohibits any state funding to groups that own, operate or are affiliated with licensed abortion facilities. Florida law currently allows state funding for non-abortion services.

Abortion clinics are not allowed to “purchase, sell, donate, or transfer fetal remains obtained from an abortion… excluding costs associated with certain transportation of remains… Advertising, purchase, sale, or transfer of human embryos or fetal remains [are] prohibited” under the new law.

The legislation also “requires that physicians performing or inducing a termination of life procedure have admitting privileges at a hospital within a specified distance of location where the procedure is performed or induced.”

It also requires monthly reports by, and annual state inspections of, all Florida abortion clinics, which must meet the state’s regulatory standards for ambulatory surgical centers, including “emergency resuscitative and life support” equipment.

PP president Cecile Richards called the legislation “a cruel bill…designed to rip health care away from those most at risk.”

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards. (AP photo)
Richards warned that “thousands of people across Florida may no longer be able to access essential reproductive health care, such as cancer screenings, birth control, and well-woman exams.”

But John Stemberger, president and general counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council, applauded the governor’s action.

“This is a historic victory and we are thrilled to have been an active part of this effort,” Stemberger said in a statement.

Stemberger had urged Scott to sign the legislation in a March 23 letter, pointing out that “there are 636 Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) sites and Rural Health Clinics in the state of Florida which are required by federal law to provide either directly or through established arrangements” obstetric, gynecological and preventive health services, among others.

Besides being “morally disqualified” from receiving taxpayer funding, he noted that “no Planned Parenthood facility offers the same level of care as FQHCs are required by law to provide.”

Besides Florida, legislators in nearly a dozen other states, including Texas and Ohio, have also voted to restrict state funding for Planned Parenthood after the Center for Medical Progress released undercover videos showing PP officials allegedly discussing the sale of aborted baby parts.

However, PP still receives hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, the abortion provider received $553.7 million in “government health services grants and reimbursements,” according to its 2014-2014 annual report.

In January, President Obama vetoed a congressional attempt to defund PP. Congress’ attempt to override the veto the following month failed.


Muslim woman in Dearborn, MI drops her Hijab discrimination lawsuit after video shows she made it all up

A local Muslim woman has dropped her 2015 federal lawsuit against members of the Dearborn Police Department, whose officers she claimed violated her civil rights by requiring her to remove her hijab when she was taken into custody on a traffic warrant.

The city of Dearborn, which was also named as a defendant, said in a statement Wednesday that video taken in the police department’s booking room during the arrest “revealed that her claims were false.”

Maha Aldhalimi had claimed in the lawsuit that she had pleaded sever times with officers to allow her to leave her religious head covering on because of her deeply held religious belief. She claimed that if she didn’t remove it, it would be removed against her will.

When presented with the video evidence from the internal investigation, led by Police Captain Issa Shahin, Aldhalimi’s attorney withdrew the lawsuit on March 10, the city said.

“Dearborn police remain committed to respecting the rights of all people within our custody and we follow a stringent policy regarding religious head coverings,” Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said in the statement. “We knew this lawsuit had no merit and are glad that the people we serve can have confidence that our officers acted properly in this case.”



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, 2016

RSPCA killed a cat for having long hair – then buried damning report

The once respectable RSPCA has become a rogue organization heavily influenced by animal rights fanatics.  As such, it is hostile to people

A secret report has revealed the RSPCA 'behaved unlawfully' and covered up evidence when seizing and killing a family's cat.

The unpublished review also said the animal charity 'provoked a hate campaign' against the cat's owners in Hertfordshire after issuing false claims it was too thin.

The elderly cat, called Claude, was taken by the RSPCA in 2013 after a call from a member of the public and taken to a vet who recommended putting him down due to age and underlying health problems.

But according to The Times, an unpublished review carried out by former chief inspector to the Crown Prosecution Service Stephen Wooler shows Claude was taken from owners Richard and Samantha Byrnes without 'lawful authority'.

He was not known to the vet, who had been incorrectly told consent had been given to remove him from the family, and police had consented for the cat to be kept in overnight.

In the report Mr Wooler said: 'A striking feature of the events is the confidence displayed by [the RSPCA] that the police would unquestioningly acquiesce in whatever actions [it] requested. Respect for due process and the rights of individuals was largely absent.'

The review is expected to be debated by MPs as part of an inquiry into the RSPCA's role as the most prolific private prosecutor in the UK.

As previously reported, the RSPCA made a public apology to the family after putting Claude to sleep before they could even say goodbye. The coupe had turned up at the vet's the morning after he was taken ready to bring him home only to be told he was to be put down.

In the report Mrs Byrnes asks them to delay it until after school has finished so her children could say goodbye, only to be told no.

They have two children, Dominic, 17, and Eloise, 15, who were devastated at losing Claude, who was regarded as 'the original member of the family'.

The couple were then individually charged with cruelty and taken to court and the case hung over them for 15 months.

The charges were eventually overruled by the Crown Prosecution Service in August 2014 - but only after the family had been wrongly condemned by the RSPCA for ill-treating their beloved cat.

RSPCA officials had claimed they had no 'undisclosed material' that would assist the defence or undermine its own case, but the report claims this was not true.

Later, when the couple raised their case in the media, the RSPCA wrongly said two vets advised Clause should be put down after examining him, that the family had consented and that the cat was in pain and the 'thinnest he could be'.

In the report, Mr Wooler described these claims as 'a travesty' which led to the family receiving 'distressing' comments from the public via social media, according to The Times.

He also defended the family's decision to go to the press, claiming there was a strong public interest in raising their concerns.

As previously reported, Mr Byrnes called on the Attorney General to look at the RSPCA's ability to pursue private prosecutions

Speaking in late 2014 he said: 'The RSPCA has been shocking from start to finish, treating us like criminals when all we've done is care for our cat.

'I will not forget having to stand in a dock and plead not guilty on my birthday.  'They released statements which were full of lies and I have nothing but contempt for them.

'The Attorney General should look at the RSPCA and see if it is fit to conduct these private prosecutions. From our view they are not fit for purpose.'

In a statement, the RSPCA confirmed it had provided the family with a copy of Mr Wooler's report.

A spokesman said: 'We have provided Mr and Mrs Byrnes with a copy of the RSPCA’s internal report by Mr Wooler into the case involving their elderly cat, Claude.

'We have already accepted mistakes were made in our handling of this case and in November 2014 we apologised publicly to Mr and Mrs Byrnes and their family for the upset and distress caused to them as a result.  'Our goal in commissioning the report was to learn from our mistakes. We have done this.

'Significant improvements and refinements to our processes have been made to help ensure that the RSPCA responds appropriately and proportionately to situations like this which require sensitive handling that takes account of both animal welfare and human issues.

'This includes overhauling the way animals are taken into our care, ensuring we improve the way our front line staff work with members of the public, how we manage end of life cases such as this, and bringing in new systems to handle complaints from the public.

'This will also provide an external element for inspectorate service complaints. We have also reviewed and changed our procedures on how we seek support from the police where it is necessary for their formal powers to be exercised.'

The National Police Chiefs Council has told the Parliamentary inquiry it recommends a single statutory prosecutor for animal welfare cases.


‘Brexit will let us deport terrorists and stop others from coming in’

DAVID CAMERON may be starting to regret having made the EU referendum all about our safety. In a major speech in November, the PM sought to move the debate off what he called "trade and commerce, pounds and pence" and on to "our national security".

Three days later the world was shocked by the horror of the Paris bombings. Then came the organised sexual harassment of women in Cologne and other German cities. Now the abomination in Brussels. And, all the while, a migration crisis.

Safer in? Seriously? How are we safer as part of this collapsing project? How are we more secure giving clumsy Brussels institutions more control over our affairs?

Does it make sense for the EU to create, with Turkey, a visa-free zone that stretches from the Channel to the borders of Syria and Iran?

One by one, defence and security professionals have expressed their concerns.

Major-General Julian Thompson, who commanded our land forces in the Falklands, warns that "membership of the EU weakens our national defence in very dangerous times".

Richard Walton, who until recently led Scotland Yard's Counter-Terrorism unit, notes collaboration against terrorism has nothing to do with Brussels, and that "membership of the EU does not really convey any benefits".

The former head of Interpol, Ronald Noble, says the EU's border policy "is like hanging a sign welcoming terrorists to Europe". Now our former intelligence chief, Sir Richard Dearlove, has written a devastating piece explaining why Britain will be safer outside the EU.

Sir Richard sees two big advantages in Brexit. First, Euro judges will no longer be able to stop us from deporting dangerous or undesirable foreigners.

Only last month, for example, we found out we couldn't expel Abu Hamza's daughter-in-law from the UK after a criminal conviction as it would violate her "fundamental status" as an EU citizen.

The second advantage is that we would have more control over who is allowed to enter Britain.  The Paris and Brussels atrocities tragically showed us that many potential terrorists hold EU passports.

We know, too, that Europe has lost control of its external borders, and that extremists are using the migration crisis to enter EU states.

The rules of the game, in other words, are changing. We opened our borders to the EU. It's now clear that the EU has opened its borders to the world. That was never the deal.

No one is suggesting we stop co-operating with our European friends. Long before the EU got involved with criminal justice, we worked together through the Hague Convention, Interpol, extradition treaties and other international structures.

Nor is anyone suggesting that we leave Nato. And we certainly won't stop sharing security tips.  As Sir Richard points out, we have the best intelligence capacity in the EU. This, he says, gives us a moral duty to pass on information, and he is quite right. But it doesn't follow that we should make the EU's problems our problems.

For years to come the Continent will be dealing with two massive crises: The breakdown of the euro and the breakdown of the border-free Schengen zone.   Because we wisely stayed out of both schemes we have other options.

We can protect ourselves. We can turn our faces back to the wider world. We can focus on the growing markets of Asia, Africa and the Americas, instead of the stagnant eurozone.

For me, the strongest arguments for leaving the EU have always been the economic and democratic ones.

When we leave, we'll have more money to spend on our priorities, more freedom to trade with countries outside Europe and more control over our laws.

But it must now also be clear that leaving the EU will make Britain more secure. We'll be able to stop the wrong people coming in. And, if needed, we'll be able to kick them out.

Leaving the EU won't just make us wealthier and freer. It will make us safer.


Cadbury under fire for 'hiding' the reference to Easter on chocolate egg packaging

A chocolate firm has been accused of 'hiding' the word 'Easter' from the front of their chocolate egg packaging.

Cadbury was inundated with furious comments from customers on Twitter, questioning why the Easter treats simply said 'milk chocolate egg' with no mention of the Christian festival.

One said: 'Some of us want to know why Easter is hidden on the back now? Why change a good thing??' while another commented: 'Disgusting you've dropped the word 'EASTER'.

Cadbury sent endless replies to irate shoppers denying claims that they have a policy to remove the Easter slogan on packaging.

They wrote on their Twitter: 'Easter's on the back of our packaging with the other product details. 'It's not on the front as the seasonal design shows what it is. 'As a seasonal treat the eggs will always be linked with Easter.'

However customers remained unconvinced, accusing the company of 'hiding' any mention of Easter on the back.

One consumer, with the Twiter handle @juliertid seemed to see the funny side however, and wrote: 'We both know how it works next time santa will be awol from the selection boxes..'

The word 'Easter' is not included on the front of the packaging for their Mini Eggs Giant Egg or their Dairy Milk Buttons Egg, but 'Happy Easter' is branded on a special edition of the Dairy Milk chocolate bar.

Nestle's Kit Kat Chunky Egg and Smarties Egg Hunt Pack also do not include the word Easter on the front  - though some Galaxy eggs bear the slogan 'Easter pleasure' on the front.

Some Christian groups have claimed that major brands are 'uncomfortable' with the Christian faith.

David Marshall, who is the founder of the Meaningful Chocolate Company, accused brands of 'censoring' the Easter tradition.  'It's deeply disappointing and shameful that some of the biggest companies are censoring the centuries' old tradition,' he said.  'It shows they're insensitive and uncomfortable with the Christian faith.'

The company, which aims to reintroduce traditional Easter eggs back into the mainstream market, recently commissioned a poll that showed four in five people want to keep the word 'Easter' on their eggs.

Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, said: 'It is interesting that there seems to be a real resistance to removing the word 'Easter' from these gifts. 'Perhaps people understand that the festival is religious and do not want to see it turned completely secular.  'Whatever the reasons, it is important to remember that at Easter we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus.'

A spokeswoman for Cadbury said: 'We do not have a policy to drop Easter from our eggs.' She added that the word Easter was included on the side and back of their packaging. 

A Nestle spokesperson added: 'There has been no deliberate decision to drop the word Easter from our products and the name is still widely used at Nestle.'


What love of the "Countryfile" programme tells us about the real Britain

Our ducks are back, just in time for Easter. My wife gave a little sigh of romance when she saw them bobbing on the brook below our bedroom window.

This pair, we believe, have been coming to us for five years. If all goes according to routine, they will produce several young and we will see those ducklings chase after their mother, their fluffy bottoms waggling in the water.

Their numbers will dwindle (Mr Mink is a hungry fellow) but a few should survive and eventually the ducks will fly off, squawking their adieus over the flood meadow where Farmer Watkins’s cattle have been chewing on turnip.

Up, over the brow the ducks will flap their wings, past where the sheep graze and donkeys frolic, in the direction of Brockhampton and beyond to our kingdom’s northern lights. Those ducks are wild. They are free. That is in part why they delight us — and why we envy them.

Living in the Herefordshire countryside, we do not have much in the way of amenities. There is no pub or petrol station or 24-hour burger joint for miles. We are denied — spared? — the orange glow of street lights, the nee-naw of police cars, the throb and surge of city life.

Some would say our family does not live in ‘the real world’ and it would certainly be hard to call our locality ‘cutting-edge’ or ‘in the mix’ or whatever the phrase is.

In our local town of Ross-on-Wye (six miles downriver), you will not see many women in high heels or skimpy tops. Hardly any lads wear baseball caps back-to-front or walk down the hill with a pimp roll, yo-ing one another in Harlem accents. The Herefordshire burr is rather gentler on the ear. We’re a backwater, agreed.

Mind you, what is real life? We heard a lot this week about ‘one-nation politics’ and our ‘one-nation Government’ — phrases to evoke a united culture, citizens striving in a spirit of shared endeavour.

But are the leaders of our public life, from their metropolitan perches, entitled to talk of ‘one nation’? Do they and their intimates understand or even like the country they seek to govern?

Let me offer two recent snapshots to pull that question into sharper focus.

The first is at Wyndham’s Theatre in London’s West End, a venue of — and for — the elite. It was the interval during a play called People, Places And Things, a collaboration between the state-subsidised Royal National Theatre and a trendy company named Headlong.

The story is about drug and alcohol addiction and a middle-class girl who hates her suburban parents. Its dialogue is polluted by profanities and violent unhappiness.

Not that the language during the interval was much better. These prosperous London theatregoers, well-educated but slovenly in their dress, brayed at each other in mockney voices about this ‘f****** great show’ and how ‘f****** true to life’ it was.

At the end of the play (which I heartily disliked), there was whooping and aggressive applause. It was as if this privileged audience was addicted to the unhappiness we had just endured.

My other snapshot is from the previous evening. High tea had been cleared away, the family dog was snoozing on the rug and Dad was wearing his Sunday pullover.

For the next hour, on TV across the land and watched by millions of viewers, was BBC1’s Countryfile — a serene, informative Nature programme.

There was film of the Sussex wood that gave A. A. Milne the setting for Winnie-The-Pooh, and a sequence about woodpeckers. Am I describing the scene in front of your TV?

There is a good chance I am, for Countryfile is the best-watched show on the BBC. A few Sundays ago it was viewed by almost three million more people than the heavily promoted bodice-ripper War And Peace.

The first lesson of this is that we British love the countryside. Correction, we British electors — the governed populace, the silent majority — love the countryside.  Our ruling elite is less keen and seems set on destroying great swathes of it.

In the coming quarter, according to Natural England, we will make some 855 million visits to the countryside. More than 40 per cent of us make regular visits to the great outdoors and many will go to see a National Trust property or a bird sanctuary.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has a million members and the National Trust has more than four million, quite dwarfing the combined membership of our political parties.

What these figures prove is that the 21st-century Briton feels a deep urge for nature. This is something long reflected by our writers and thinkers. One of Britain’s great contributions to international cultural development has been the landscape garden, an 18th-century notion of the rural idyll.

In France, the ruling class aspired to control Nature, ordering it into geometric, formal gardens. How arrogant they were. In due course — surprise, surprise — they had a revolution.

In Britain a more subtle, naturalistic approach prevailed. The nobility hesitated to impose a rigid view on its surroundings.  Capability Brown and other designers worked with the landscape’s natural features to mould a relaxing vision of Arcadia.

There was room in this idyll for the peasantry and their livestock — and even for the occasional Roman-style temple.

The expression "rus in urbe" (the country in the town) sprang up to describe the happy projection of the countryside in the middle of cities.

In literature, some of our greatest talents were formed by the world around them. Think of Wordsworth, inspired by Grasmere; ‘peasant poet’ John Clare by his childhood home in Northants; or of poor, doomed Rupert Brooke hankering from abroad for his home in Grantchester, Cambridgeshire.

‘Just now the lilac is in bloom, all before my little room; and in my flower-beds, I think, smile the carnation and the pink,’ wrote Brooke more than a century ago.

The country ideal for millions of our fellow citizens today is not of a Manhattan-style loft in trendy East London. It is a wisteria-clad cottage in the shires — just the sort of vision modernist architects loathe.

Not all gardeners would agree with the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, who described weeds as ‘lovely’ — but they would accept the wonders of Nature and the awe they can make us feel at something we might call Creation.

By that we may not mean the Almighty knocking up the world in six short days but we do mean a power beyond comprehension — a force greater than puny mankind. Such thoughts, alas, do not fit the ambitions of today’s secularist elite.

My wife likes Countryfile because ‘nothing bad ever happens on it’. It is just as well she seldom comes with me to the modern theatre, where, in my duties as the Mail’s drama critic, I am exposed weekly to an insistent vision of modern society as urban hell.

Hardly any modern plays show the countryside. My mother likes Countryfile because she knows there will be no effing and blinding, and is interested in the extended weather forecast.

Some viewers enjoy seeing the baby lambs, while others find themselves bewitched by presenter Helen Skelton’s smile, blonde Ellie Harrison or hunky Tom Heap, who last Sunday evening was seen bouncing on a boat off the north Scottish coast.

He was asking if wind turbines kill wild birds. This being Countryfile, we were spared any scenes to distress us. Had this been at Wyndham’s Theatre, there would probably have been slow-motion footage of a puffin being decapitated by one of the turbine rotor blades. They would have wanted to make it ‘real’.

Is it not wonderfully reassuring that Countryfile is so successful?

I bet the BBC’s grungier creatives are sent into a fury that this weekly magazine programme, whose presenters include the resolutely uncool John Craven, pulls in many millions more viewers than those dark film noir Scandinavian police serials, or those anguished documentaries about social deprivation, child abuse and so forth.

Such programmes are left trailing in the ratings by a Sunday evening trundle through the shires! How the Alan Yentobs, Danny Cohens and their fellow TV creatives must seethe.

These types devote their lives to ramming social concerns down our throats, to cramming our screens with politically filtered stuff about inequality and multi-culturalism — but the one thing the British public really enjoys is a programme about marsh warblers and New Forest ponies, and John Craven at a farm fence talking about milk yields.

This Britain, the Britain of ideology-free, innocent rural hankerings, receives surprisingly little attention.

Many politicians shun this world. They make their names by sating the peeved, the dispossessed and, of course, Britain’s millions of ‘victims’ (who are quite often victims of their own failings).

Sadly, officialdom rarely courts the Countryfile vote. Its middle-class viewers — uncomplaining, uncomplicated, stoical, decent — are seldom helped by Arts Council funding, or initiatives by local government departments or quangos.

Their voice is almost never heard on Radio 4’s Today programme. If they try to get on to radio phone-ins, they will probably be dismissed as ‘swivel-eyed loons’ by the likes of Lord Feldman, the Conservative party chairman and tennis partner of the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, our elite cultural outlets, gripped by the dogma of egalitarianism, continue to highlight human misery over normality. That is what was going on at Wyndham’s Theatre. By amplifying grottiness, they normalise it and thereby make everyone else’s life grottier.

They create the impression that modern Britain is a country of drug addicts rather than cheerful, sensible Countryfile-watchers.

Public policymakers either fall for this lie or encourage it for reasons of political dogma. (I suspect the latter).

Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, has described the disconnect between Westminster and the realities of country life.

As an example, he says successive governments have made life more difficult for private motorists, but don’t realise how difficult it is to get about by public transport when you live halfway up a mountain in Wales or need to recharge the battery on an electric car in the middle of Exmoor.

Bonner says: ‘Repeated Westminster decisions mean you are very unlikely to have a bank, doctor’s, shop or Post Office in your village.’

Town-dwellers have 45 per cent more money spent on their councils than do those who live in the countryside. Urban police forces receive disproportionately more.

These things don’t happen by accident. There is a political agenda here, and in my view it is aimed at urbanising the wildness of the rural mind. Typically, officialdom expects farmers to fill in endless pages of bureaucratic forms online — yet fails to help them get an adequate broadband service.

Rural opinions on everything from bureaucratic overload to pest control, milk prices to ramblers’ rights, are ignored by the metropolitan power-set.

On the other hand, childish, sentimentalised views about badgers (which infect cattle with TB) and bats (which destroy buildings) and foxes (which kill chickens) result in policies that cause dairy farmers, country churchgoers and egg producers real difficulties.

Country residents who protest at new housing estates in their villages are dismissed as Nimbys.

I once heard that fool John Prescott sneer that there was plenty of space for millions of new houses in Britain because he had seen the empty fields from the back of his Jaguar. He seemed not to understand that fields are needed for the production of food.

Now, those same fields are under threat from vast solar panels. And the Cameron Government has made it easier for developers (some of whom give millions of pounds to the Tory party) to ignore local views and build houses on virgin land.

The Green Belt, though supported by the quiet majority of voters, is under daily threat. The Council for the Protection of Rural England believes that 226,000 houses have been allowed on it since 2012.

Another problem is the bien-pensant urbanism of the social media.

You do not have to wander far on Twitter, Mumsnet and other online forums to find the same dismissive attitude to anyone who departs from right-on mantras, particularly on immigration and climate change.

This is not just nastily intolerant. It is also bad politics.  I suggest any politician who gave voice to the quiet majority would be the politician who received that majority’s votes.

Of course, politicians must protect oppressed minorities but politics has now reached the bizarre point where, on matters such as immigration, taxes, Europe, gender issues and human rights for terror suspects, it is the majority’s view that is being suppressed. What utter madness!

This Easter, millions will escape our cities. They will do so for a lungful of refreshing country air and to escape, as the 17th-century writer William Diaper put it: ‘Faction, Spleen and Noise.’ Yet they will also be seeking something more elusive: the untrammelled, the untamed, the inexplicable.

When we visit the countryside — as Countryfile so beautifully captures — we throw off the constraints of the modern city with its brutish aesthetics, brusque manners and arrogant assumption that everything must be marshalled by modernity.

There is, happily, no fashion in Nature. The countryside can never be conquered.

Appreciating this brings a strong sense of liberation. We can but dream of being as free as the dear old ducks outside my window.



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

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

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


29 March, 2016

Why women are the enemy of working mothers

It's broader than enmity to new mothers who work.  Women are great at tearing ALL other women down.  The "Sisterhood" is a myth.  Even your friends probably bad-mouth you behind your back.  Consciously or subconciously, most women see themselves as engaged in a never-ending competition for the affections of men, so regard all other women as potential rivals who have to be torn down.  And it's not unreasonable.  When men are inclined to "stray", there is usually a woman willing to stray with them

NEW mothers who return to work beware — women are out to get you.

Only 41 per cent of women would support a friend who chooses to go back to employment after having kids if they are not the primary breadwinner, according to a new survey.

But that figure rose to 89 per cent if the woman earned more than her partner, according to the survey of 2000 women by cosmetics company Heat.

Only about 14 per cent of households with dependent children under 15 are headed by a female breadwinner in Australia, although it is closer to 27 per cent in inner Sydney.

New mum Vilja Roman had little choice but to go back to work fulltime when her son Feliks was less than a year old. Under the terms of her contract, she would have had to pay back her maternity leave if she didn’t.  But Ms Roman, 35, felt judged.

She said: “I remember some of my colleagues were a bit surprised that I was going back fulltime. In my mothers’ group, others went back part-time or stayed at home, I was the only one who went back fulltime.

“The decision to go back fulltime is where I felt most judged. I don’t know how much of that was my personal feelings, as opposed to how much others judged me.”

Heather Gridley, an honorary ­fellow in psychology, said judgment often came when women felt pressured to defend their own choice.

“In doing that, you point to the other person as having made a less valid choice,” she said.

“Often, they are not choices at all. It can be quite painful. When you don’t get validation, self-doubt starts to emerge. I think women are particularly vulnerable to that.”

Anita Vitanova, founder of inner westmums.com.au, said she found mothers felt judged “constantly”.

“Women do judge each other, mainly to justify and validate their own choices,” she said. “Very often it won’t be a direct attack but it will be more of the ‘I would never’ dig.

“It takes a lot of confidence to know who you really are when becoming a mother and it’s not something you can prepare or practise.”

Gillian Franklin, the chief executive of the company that carried out the survey, said women should be ­encouraging their friends.

“We need to release women from the guilt, and help them make choices on their own terms,” she said.


UK: Jeremy Corbyn is betraying the working class people he claims to represent

The problem is not that he is too Left-wing and radical (as some critics argue). No, I believe he has been too timid and cautious.

With the exception of his demand that Britain’s nuclear deterrent, Trident, is scrapped, he has failed to assert himself on the great issues about which he was so very vocal as a backbencher for more than 30 years.

June’s referendum on British membership [of the EU] is by far the biggest issue facing the country for a generation.

But Corbyn’s position has been pathetic — particularly since he voted against Britain remaining in was then known as the Common Market in 1975. At the time, he was a political protégé of Tony Benn, one of the leaders of the No campaign.

Back then, he regarded the EU as a malign attempt to build an anti-democratic empire that damaged workers’ rights.

This brings me to my most serious charge against Corbyn: he has betrayed traditional working- class Labour voters.

The truth is that these people are far more likely to be anti-EU than middle-class voters. This is in part because they are more naturally patriotic — possessing strong local links, they also come from families who, in the past, have taken up arms to fight for King and Country.

As George Orwell observed, this marks them out from those middle-class Labour intellectuals, many of whom despise patriotism, are embarrassed by this country’s proud history and don’t espouse its traditional values.

But there is much more to Corbyn’s betrayal.

It is unarguable that the working class have suffered most from the UK’s membership of the EU.  Mass immigration — the result of the EU’s open borders policy — has been particularly ruinous. The import of cheap foreign labour has driven down wages, and in many cases has cost British working people their jobs.

It has also put massive extra pressure on public services, such as education and the NHS. It makes it far more difficult, too, for young people to get council housing.

Most disgraceful, many communities across the country feel they were never consulted about the policies which have led to their areas’ character and economy having changed beyond recognition as a result of mass immigration over the past 20 or 30 years.

Indeed, as the author Tom Bower recently revealed, Blair presided over a silent conspiracy to change the face of Britain for ever with mass immigration.

By comparison, middle-class Labour voters have been more able to deal with the challenge. They enjoy cheap cleaners and are better able to get their children into the best schools.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that opinion polls show that 80 per cent of middle-class Labour voters want us to remain in the EU, while about 50 per cent of working-class Labour voters want us to leave.

To be fair to Corbyn, it is not just Labour that has turned its back on the British working class. The same is true for the trade unions, many of which are fanatically pro-EU.

Also, the Daily Mirror, the tabloid which for years was a defiant mouthpiece for the traditions of the Labour movement, seems now to share this Blairite disdain.

For example, it has become a cheerleader for the EU — shamefully downplaying the admission by businessman Stuart Rose, a key spokesman for the Remain campaign, that wages would rise in Britain if we quit the EU.

For his part, I fear that Corbyn’s cowardice — combined with the blackmailing tactics of rebellious Blairites — means Labour risks losing touch with its core support.

This is not just a problem for the Labour Party. It is a reflection of a wider malaise and a dishonesty in politics — marked by scaremongering from the Remain camp.

But Labour is especially vulnerable. If Corbyn won’t speak up for working-class voters, others will.

It is worth remembering that Ukip came second to Labour in more than 100 seats in the Midlands and North of England in last year’s General Election. In the future, Labour’s weakness could be exploited by populist politicians much further to the Right than Ukip.

It is not too late for Corbyn to change strategy. If he swung Labour behind the Leave campaign, he could electrify the debate.

Also, crucially, it would give a voice to the working-class voters treated with contempt by the Labour establishment over the past decade. Such a move would be a great day for British democracy.


'I'll sue', says man wrongly charged with stirring up race-hate

A Twitter user mistakenly charged with stirring up race-hate has vowed to sue Scotland Yard over the blunder.

Matthew Doyle, 46, triggered a storm online after writing that he had confronted a Muslim woman on the streets of Croydon about the Brussels terror attacks and she had given him a ‘mealy-mouthed’ response.

He was arrested over his comments on Wednesday by Croydon Police Community Safety Unit, taken into custody, charged with posting material ‘likely to stir up racial hatred’ and was due to appear in court yesterday morning.

But then police were forced into an embarrassing U-turn by the Crown Prosecution Service on Friday night, charges were dropped and PR executive Mr Doyle was released.

The Met was told it did not have the power to make the controversial charging decision and had failed to consult the Attorney-General, the Government’s top law officer, or the CPS.

Last night LSE graduate Mr Doyle told The Mail on Sunday he planned to take legal action over his ordeal.

‘I cannot understand why I was detained, my flat trashed, my passport seized and two PCs, two tablets and my phone taken,’ he said.

‘I was denied a shave, shower, food. I was stripped of any dignity to appear in court without looking like a dishevelled hobo that I am not.’

He accused ‘nameless Twitter trolls’ of ‘fanning the flames’ and making death threats against him, and went on: ‘For the Met to bow to social media rows - it is not only foolish of them but I will be making a complaint against them and damages for trashing my flat, taking all my electronic stuff from my flat and forcing me to leave London.’

Scotland Yard said: ‘Matthew Doyle, 46, of South Croydon was charged by police on Friday, 25 March, with an offence under Section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986.

‘Following discussion with the Crown Prosecution Service, Mr Doyle is no longer charged with the offence and will not be appearing at court.


'Hard to watch': Afghans react to $6m Australian film aimed at asylum seekers

A movie commissioned by Australia’s immigration department to deter Afghan asylum seekers has had its premiere on local TV, seeking to reinforce a widely held view that unauthorised travel to Australia is not worth the risk.

The Journey is a lavish production depicting hopeful asylum seekers who meet tragic fates crossing the Indian Ocean.

Underwritten by $6m in Australian taxpayers’ money and filmed in three countries, it was shown on Friday on two channels in Afghanistan, the world’s second-largest source of refugees and migrants in 2015, after Syria.

“It was hard to watch. It made me very upset,” Ali Reza, an 18-year-old tailor said about the film. “I know they were actors, but these things really happen to Afghans.”

Put It Out There Pictures, which produced the film for $4.34m, says on its website the movie aims to inform audiences “about the futility of investing in people smugglers, the perils of the trip, and the hardline policies that await them if they do reach Australian waters”.

Judging from the responses of scores of young men who spoke to the Guardian, that goal was largely achieved.  “It was a good movie,” said Mostafa Ebadi, 23. “It showed the lies smugglers tell passengers before leaving.”

Mohammad Tawab, 23, said he had been particularly moved by scenes of refugees languishing in an Indonesian prison. For Yama Taheri, who was playing football in a downtown Kabul park, the most disturbing sequence was one in which three brothers drown. “It made me think that if I try to go with friends, this will be our destiny,” he said.

Before the current Syrian conflict forced millions to flee that country, Afghanistan was by far the largest producer of refugees in the world for more than three decades. Neighbouring countries Pakistan and Iran hosted most of the displaced Afghans, but Afghans were also the largest national group who sought to reach Australia by boat.

Almost all Afghans who have reached Australia by boat have been found to be refugees legally requiring protection. Each year since 2009, between 96% and 100% of Afghan asylum seekers have had their claims for refugee status upheld.

But in recent years fewer and fewer Afghans have set their sights on Australia. Harsher asylum policies and warning campaigns have deterred many. The vast majority of Afghan asylum seekers in 2015 went to Europe, with more than 150,000 to Germany alone.

For three years Daud Hossaini, 42, planned to join his brother in Australia. As asylum policies tightened, he hesitated, but retained hope that the forthcoming federal election might bring change. But on Friday, after seeing the movie, he finally buried his hopes of moving to Australia.  “If I die on the way, what’s the point of going?” he said.

Lapis Communications, who promoted and adapted the movie to Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan, denied they were producing government propaganda.  “The backers of the film are credited, that is neither hidden or denied,” said Sarah-Jean Cunningham, director of operations and business development. “More importantly, the ideas and values around the film are grounded in addressing a very serious and tragic issue – with the ultimate objective of saving lives.”

Cunningham denied the fee earned by Lapis – $1.63m – was excessive. “The cost is reflective of the extent of that significant scope of work,” she said.

However, not everyone bought the message. As security worsens and employment becomes scarcer, Afghans will continue to leave. Humayoon, 29, who saw part of the movie before rushing off to a wedding, said he was only staying in Afghanistan as long as he had a job.  “If I can’t feed my family, what am I supposed to 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


28 March, 2016

Human religions

There is a site of the above name maintained by Englishman Vexen Crabtree, who says he is a Satanist.  He has slender academic qualifications but he seems to have read widely.   Curiously enough, however, he seems dismissive of religion generally.  Only the small band of Satanists have the truth, apparently.

As an atheist myself I find his Satanism amusing but I was interested to see what he has up about religion and IQ.  It is commonly asserted that religious people are a bit dim and he accepts that uncritically.  The only actual evidence he quotes, however is as follows:

[Paul Bell in Mensa Magazine, 2002, reviewed all studies taken of religion and IQ. He concluded:]

"Of 43 studies carried out since 1927 on the relationship between religious belief and one's intelligence and/or educational level, all but four found an inverse connection. That is, the higher one's intelligence or education level, the less one is likely to be religious or hold "beliefs" of any kind."

As I have pointed out previously, however, such studies are usually poorly sampled and usually report only slight effects.  Religious people are less frequent among high IQ people but not by much.  And the whole effect could be artifactual:  High IQ people get on better within higher education so almost certainly get more of it.  But universities are places where religion is skeptically viewed so  high IQ people will get more exposure to anti-religious messages.  And greater exposure to anti-religious messages would be very likely to undermine religious belief to some extent.  So it could be that the level of university exposure accounts wholly for the slightly smaller number of religious people in a high IQ population.

That could be tested fairly easily by assessing  religion and IQ BEFORE the people got into university.

In short, I doubt that IQ has any influence on whether you are religious or not.  It is probably a surprise to most of my fellow atheists but religious people think THEY are stupid.  You have to be pretty dim to think creation was a spontaneous, uncaused event, according to religious people.

There is what I think is good evidence for no association between religion and IQ here

The NFL’s Bullying of Believers

Do you think a pastor who’s against same-sex marriage should be forced to perform same-sex weddings? Do you believe that a religious college should be allowed to hire only people who agree with the religious beliefs of the college? Do you think no one should be forced to attend a wedding he doesn’t agree with?

If so, cheers: The National Football League basically thinks you’re a bigot.

A CBS News/Associated Press story Sunday, headlined "NFL warns state of Georgia over ‘religious freedom’ bill," reported that "the NFL acknowledged that the religious exemptions bill … could have an impact on the selection process for the championship game in 2019 and 2020." Atlanta is one of four cities up for the next two Super Bowls.

Yes, because who wants the Super Bowl in a state where some random clergy member may not be forced to perform a gay wedding? That would totally wreck the ambiance of…a sports game.

The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation.  We’ll respect your inbox and keep you informed.

The bill in question, now on the desk of Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, is embarrassingly limited. I’m not exaggerating: The bill’s applications to religious liberty are so minor that it likely wouldn’t even protect Catholic nuns like the Little Sisters of the Poor, who are currently in a legal fight to not be forced by the federal government to offer health care that includes contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.

And according to my Heritage Foundation colleagues Ryan T. Anderson and Roger Severino, the Georgia bill "provides no protection for bakers or florists or other similar wedding professionals who cannot help celebrate a same-sex wedding" because of their religious beliefs.

In other words, Georgia residents like the Kleins (the Oregon bakers fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding), the Giffords (the New York couple fined $13,000 for declining to host a gay wedding at their family farm), and Barronelle Stutzman (the Washington state florist in a legal battle over her refusal to provide flowers for a gay wedding) wouldn’t be protected by the proposed law at all.

In fact, this bill’s protections for believers are so minimal that in theory even top Democrat Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz should be able to support the bill.

Florida’s Wasserman Schultz told The Daily Signal last year that the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage "doesn’t mean that churches and religious institutions have to conduct same-sex marriages and it doesn’t mean that religious institutions aren’t able to practice their own values."

But the NFL is geared up to lecture anyone who thinks religious liberty matters.

"NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard," spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement, adding that the NFL may evaluate "whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies" when looking at Super Bowl contenders.

Yes, because tolerance and inclusiveness require making sure people of faith who don’t support same-sex marriage have no freedom to live in accordance with their beliefs.

Nor is the NFL the only big businesses weighing in against believers.

"We urge Gov. Deal to veto the discriminatory legislation headed to his desk and send a clear message that Georgia’s future is one of inclusion, diversity, and continued prosperity," said Apple in a statement. Hundreds of companies are part of Georgia Prospers, a coalition that told The New York Times that the bill "could harm our ability to create and keep jobs that Georgia families depend upon."

What would they even have left to say if Georgia had actually moved to substantially protect the consciences of believers?

This is unbelievable.

There is no doubt that lesbian and gay Americans have not always been treated with the civility and respect they deserve throughout our history. And that is a shame. But the answer is not now to force those who have deeply held moral beliefs about the nature of marriage to act against their consciences.

And in fact, the Georgia bill could also help protect the consciences of LGBT residents, such as by allowing a college founded by those who believe that same-sex marriage is a moral necessity to decline to hire professors who disagreed.

Like the NFL, I believe in tolerance. But unlike the NFL, I think that means recognizing that in our lawsuit-crazy era, that means sometimes giving legal protections to people who want only to be allowed to live in accordance with their consciences.

Ultimately, if the NFL were serious about limiting the Super Bowl to states and local areas that promote "tolerance," that would mean the NFL should look to hold Super Bowls only in states with religious freedoms. 

Unfortunately, it looks as if football fans can join Apple users and others in realizing that the businesses they once loved are now working vehemently against them—and their beliefs.


British border guards are BANNED from X-raying trucks searching for illegal immigrants - in case the radiation harms the stowaways' health

Yet medical X-rays are OK?

British border guards have been banned from X-raying lorries while searching for illegal immigrants at French ports in case the radiation harms the stowaways' health, it was revealed today.

Lucy Moreton from the Immigration Services Union said that her members are only permitted to use the scanners at ports in France when searching for smuggled or illegal goods.

The revelation comes as it emerged that at least 24 of the migrants who made it to Britain hiding in the back of two lorries earlier this week have already been given their freedom.

Mrs Moreton told The Times: ‘The French will not allow us to use them for looking for illegals. They only allow us to use scanners to search for contraband, not people.’

Speaking to the newspaper’s reporters Richard Ford and Sean O’Neill, the ISU general secretary added that the machines are 'very, very slow to operate, taking about an hour per each vehicle'.

Also yesterday, Mrs Moreton suggested that increased borders checks in the wake of the Brussels attacks are likely to only last for two weeks because the ‘stepped up’ level cannot be maintained.

Mrs Moreton - from the ISU, which represents border agency and immigration staff - said checks had been ‘raised’ at border points but would significantly disrupt freight if they continued long-term.

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: ‘There's quite a lot of immediately available money for very high profile types of interventions.

‘We've stepped up controls at the border, and at all borders, but it is maintaining that at a high level for a long period of time and whether there is the political will, or potentially even the necessity to do so.’

Asked if there was the political will, she replied: ‘Experience from past would suggest that it isn't. The increased checks at the border last about two weeks, or that's how long they lasted after the Paris attacks.’

Meanwhile, an independent report from the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration found plans to remove foreign criminals and illegal immigrants were cancelled in 40 per cent of cases.

And last night it was revealed at least 24 of the migrants who made it to the UK hiding in the back of two lorries in recent days have already been set free.

All 51 stowaways had claimed asylum and the remaining 27 men, women and children who were discovered sneaking into the country were expected to have been let out by last night.

One of the trucks arrived in the UK on Wednesday, hours after Home Secretary Theresa May announced toughened border security following the Brussels suicide bombings in which 31 were killed and 270 wounded.

We've stepped up controls at the border, and at all borders, but it is maintaining that at a high level for a long period of time and whether there is the political will, or potentially even the necessity to do so

It was a damning illustration of how Britain has lost control of its borders – and fuelled fears about the rigour of security checks during the current terror alert.

All 51 migrants are understood to have claimed they were fleeing war, persecution and humanitarian disaster in Iran, Iraq and Syria.

By yesterday most had been processed at the Kent Intake Unit, where they were offered food, drink and medical attention, and underwent security screening.

After this was done, they were officially classed as asylum seekers – then released from the centre to specialist accommodation or to live with family with instructions only to report in intermittently.

The Mail reported in 2008 that UK border guards in Calais had been banned from using X-rays to search for illegal immigrants in lorries, unless they asked for the stowaways' written permission.


Right to Try: A Policy with No Downside

Terminal patients deserve a right to try live-saving medicine.

Imagine you or a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Currently available medicine has no cure, and barring a miracle, you’ll be dead in a matter of months. You’re told about an experimental new drug that has been shown to help people in a similar situation, perhaps even cure them. Wouldn’t you be willing, in the absence of any other hope, to try such a drug? After all, you’ve got nothing to lose, right?

Too bad. Unfortunately for you and others like you, the medicine in question has been caught up in the FDA’s lengthy approval process, and will not be released to the public until it will be too late. The law prohibits you from taking the one chance you might have to beat a deadly illness. Why? For your own protection, of course.

If this reasoning seems perverse to you, you’re not alone. It makes no sense to try to protect dying people from trying to save their own lives. That’s why many states have embraced a policy known as "right to try." Under right to try laws, terminal patients are permitted to try unapproved drugs that might save or prolong their lives. Of course, all this is done with fully informed consent, under consultation with a qualified physician, and no one is being made to accept treatment against their will. We’re not talking about wildly untested or debunked medicines, but rather legitimate drugs that have simply not yet cleared the final hurdles of official approval.

In fact, one of the flaws in the current right to try structure is that the administrative process for obtaining experimental medicines is still too lengthy and restrictive, but any step in the direction of giving patients more control over their treatments is good for freedom, as well as for public health.

So far, right to try legislation has been limited to the state level, with 21 states legalizing the practice, and pending legislation in 19 more. Last year, however, Rep Matt Salmon (R-AZ) introduced a federal bill that would pave the way for right to try nationwide. The bill bans the federal government from interfering with the distribution, prescribing, or possession of potentially life-saving medicine, so long as such medicine is in accordance with state law.

What this means is tat the Food and Drug Administration, as a federal agency, would not be able to restrict the use of experimental drugs to save lives in states that wish to allow them. If legislation like this were to be signed into law, it could save countless lives across the country. It’s difficult to imagine any cogent argument against allowing terminal patients to fight for their own lives, and if Congress has any sense, they should follow the lead set by the states, and work to make national right to try laws a major priority.


The left’s problem with Jews has a long and miserable history

Much of the student left has "some kind of problem with Jews", said the bravely decent Alex Chalmers last week in his resignation statement as co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club following a vote in favour of Israeli Apartheid Week.

Labour’s national student organisation is launching an inquiry but the "the problem with Jews" on the left is not going away. In January a meeting of the Kings College London Israel Society, gathered to hear from Ami Ayalon, a former head of Shin Bet, the Israeli domestic intelligence service, who now champions a two-state solution, was violently interrupted by a chair-hurling, window-smashing crowd.

Last summer the Guardian columnist Owen Jones made a courageous plea for the left to confront this demon head on. Since then, however, criticism of Israeli government policies has mutated into a rejection of Israel’s right to exist; the Fatah position replaced by Hamas and Hizbollah eliminationism. More darkly, support in the diaspora for Israel’s right to survive is seen by the likes of Labour’s Gerald Kaufman, who accused the government of being influenced in its Middle Eastern policy by "Jewish money", as some sort of Jewish conspiracy.

The charge that anti-Zionism is morphing into anti-Semitism is met with the retort that the former is being disingenuously conflated with the latter. But when George Galloway (in August 2014 during the last Gaza war) declared Bradford "an Israel-free zone"; when French Jews are unable to wear a yarmulke in public lest that invite assault, when Holocaust Memorial day posters are defaced, it is evident that what we are dealing with is, in Professor Alan Johnson’s accurate coinage, "anti-semitic anti-Zionism".

The fact is that the terrorists who slaughtered customers at the kosher supermarket in Paris did not ask their victims whether they were Israelis, much less supporters of Israeli government policies. They were murdered as Jews because in the attackers’ poisoned minds all Jews are indivisibly incriminated as persecutors of the Palestinians and thus fair game for murder.

When the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement singles out Israel as the perpetrator of the world’s worst iniquities, notwithstanding its right of self defence, it is legitimate to ask why the left’s wrath does not extend, for example, to Russia which rains down destruction on civilian populations in Syria?
With the retreat of Marxist socialism, militant energies have needed somewhere to go

Why is it somehow proper to boycott Israeli academics and cultural institutions, many of which are critical of government policy, but to remain passive in the face of Saudi Arabia’s brutal punishment of anyone whose exercise of freedom of conscience can be judged sacrilegious? Why is the rage so conspicuously selective? Or, to put it another way, why is it so much easier to hate the Jews?

Growing up in London in the shadow of world war two my pals and I talked about who might be the bad guys, should evil come our way. We agreed the Jew-haters would not wear brown shirts and jackboots but would probably be like people on the bus. It is not the golf club nose-holders we have to worry about now; it is those who, in their indignation at the sufferings visited on the Palestinians, and their indifference to almost-daily stabbings in the streets of Israel, have discovered the excitement of saying the unspeakable, making hay with history, so Israel is the new reich, and a military attack on Gaza indistinguishable from the industrially processed incineration of millions.

Enter the historian. And history says this: anti-Semitism has not been caused by Zionism; it is precisely the other way round. Israel was caused by the centuries-long dehumanisation of the Jews. The blood libel which accused Jews of murdering Christian children in order to drain their blood for the baking of Passover matzo began in medieval England but never went away, reviving in 16th century Italy, 18th century Poland, 19th century Syria and Bohemia, and 20th century Russia.

In 1980s Syria, Mustafa Tlass, Hafez al-Assad’s minister of defence, made his contribution with The Matzo of Zion, and last year the Israeli-Palestinian Islamist Raed Salah, once invited to parliament by Jeremy Corbyn as an "honoured citizen", declared that Jews used blood for the dough of their "bread".

In the 19th century virtual vampirism was added to the antisemitic canon. And the left made its contribution to this refreshment of old poison. Demonstrating that you do not have to be gentile to be an anti-Semite, Karl Marx characterised Judaism as nothing more than the cult of Mammon, and declared that the world needed emancipating from the Jews. Others on the left — the social philosophers Bruno Bauer, Charles Fourier and Pierre Prudhon and the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin — echoed the message: blood sucking, whether the physical or the economic kind, was what Jews did.

For the Jews, the modern world turned out to be a lose-lose proposition. Once reviled for obstinate traditionalism; their insistence on keeping walled off from the rest (notwithstanding that it had been Christians who had done the walling) they were now attacked for integrating too well, speaking, dressing and working no differently but always with the aim of global domination.

What was a Jew to do? The communist Moses Hess, who had been Marx’s editor and friend, became persuaded, all too presciently, that the socialist revolution would do nothing to normalise Jewish existence, not least because so many socialists declared that emancipating the Jews had been a terrible mistake. Hess concluded that only self-determination could protect the Jews from the phobias of right and left alike. He became the first socialist Zionist.

But that was to inflict an entirely colonial and alien enterprise upon a Palestinian population, so the hostile narrative goes, who were penalised for the sins of Europe. That the Palestinians did become tragic casualties of a Judeo-Arab civil war over the country is indisputable, just as the 700,000 Jews who were violently uprooted from their homes in the Islamic world is equally undeniable. But to characterise the country in which the language, the religion and the cultural identity of the Jews was formed as purely a colonial anomaly is the product of the kind of historical innocence which is oblivious of, say, Jewish kabbalistic communities in Galilee in the 16th century or the substantial native Jewish majority in Jerusalem in the late 19th century.

None of this unbroken history of Jews and Judaism in Palestine is likely to do much to cool the heat of the anti-colonial narrative of the alien intruder, especially on the left. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the retreat of Marxist socialism around the world, militant energies have needed somewhere to go.

The battle against inequalities under liberal capitalism has mobilised some of that passion, but postcolonial guilt has fired up the war against its prize whipping boy, Zionism, like no other cause. Every such crusade needs a villain along with its banners and I wonder who that could possibly be?



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, 2016

Multicultural Hit-and-run driver jailed for smashing into a mother-of-two

A hit-and-run driver has been jailed for smashing into a mother-of-two after she tripped from a pavement.

A Ford Focus driven by Tinashe Irvine Chikoto, 22, plowed into Louise Wolstenholme, 52, and dragged her body along for 100 metres, after she had fallen into a Bolton Street and knocked herself unconscious.

The callous driver then fled the scene leaving his car behind with Ms Wilstenholme trapped underneath.

Chikoto was jailed for more than two years after he admitted causing death by careless driving, causing death while uninsured, driving without insurance and perverting the course of justice at Bolton Crown Court.

Sentencing him, Judge Timothy Clayson branded the business management student, from the University of Bolton, 'callous and selfish'.

He said: 'You allege that you thought you had collided with nothing more than a bag of rubbish but it was clear from the force of collision it was more serious than that.

'You caused a delay in the provision of any possible assistance to Louise Wolstenholme, who was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.

'No one can tell whether if you had stopped immediately after this collision, her life may have been saved. 'That's something you will have to live with.'

Chikoto, who was uninsured and did not even have a full valid licence, was jailed for 16 months for the first offence and for a consecutive six months for the third offence with no separate penalty for two other offences.

He was also disqualified from driving for 41 months and will have to sit an extended driving test.

On the night she died Ms Wolstenholme, who ran Louise’s Hair Studio in Bolton, had drunk eight double vodkas and had become separated from her partner following an argument.

The court heard how prior to the collision with Chikoto, three vehicles, including a bus and a taxi, saw Ms Wolstenholme lying in the road, but instead of stopping to help her they simply swerved around and drove on.

After Chikoto hit the mother, he pulled over in a side street, got out of his car and saw the victim's trapped body but did nothing to help.

Instead he abandoned his hatchback and was driven away by a friend in a Toyota Avensis following behind.

Her brother Mark Wolstenholme called the accident 'a living nightmare', adding: 'What a sad loss to her sons and partner and me and much loved friends and family.'

Family friend Ian Johnson said: 'That bus driver could have prevented this! He could have blocked the road with his bus, radioed in for help.'


Apostasy:  Muslims must not speak well of non-Muslim religions

A newsagent was murdered by a fellow Muslim after he wished his Christian friends a peaceful Easter.

Asad Shah, who was stabbed up to 30 times at his shop, had praised both the life of Jesus and ‘his beloved Christian nation’. Left lying in a pool of blood, the 40-year-old died in hospital.

Police, who were questioning a 32-year-old suspect last night, said the killing was religiously motivated.

Mohammad Faisal, a family friend, said a bearded Muslim wearing a long religious robe entered Mr Shah’s shop and spoke to him in his native language before stabbing him in the head with a kitchen knife.

Mr Shah’s brother, who was working next door, rushed out to find the killer laughing while sitting on the Glasgow newsagent’s bleeding chest.

‘The brother dragged Mr Shah away but the guy continued attacking with the blade,’ said Mr Faisal. ‘They struggled up to the bus stop where Asad collapsed.

‘It was just a clear-cut revenge attack. For posting messages about peace, messages about greeting fellow Christians and Jews.

‘That man must not have been too happy about what he was doing, what he was preaching. It was a well-planned attack. He must have been an extremist.

‘He went straight for the head. He got stomped on the head as well. His brother suffered a slash down his shoulder area because he attacked him with a knife as well.’

Before his death, Mr Shah had wished his friends a ‘Good Friday and a very happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nation’.

In his final post, he wrote: ‘Let’s follow the real footstep of beloved holy Jesus Christ and get the real success in both worlds.’

Mr Shah also appeared to use his Facebook page to speak out over the attacks in Brussels.

In a video posted online he said: ‘We are not here to fight with other mankind or cause bloodshed.’

Hundreds of people have gathered for a silent vigil late on Friday night to honour the respected shopkeeper near the site where he died.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joined an estimated crowd of 400 to 500 people for the vigil to show solidarity and remember Mr Shah.

Ms Sturgeon, whose constituency covers the area, tweeted afterwards: 'Moved to be one of hundreds tonight as Shawlands united in grief for Asad Shah and support for his family.'

Thousands from across the country also paid their respects to Mr Shah to comment on his bravery and dedication to cross-faith living, with many using the hashtag #thisisnotwhoweare.

Deeply religious, Mr Shah worked to foster cross-community relations in Glasgow and had been planning to host an online debate last night with Christian friends about the importance of Easter. Friends said he observed both Christian and Muslim holidays, and never failed to send out Easter and Christmas cards. And he used his social media accounts to promote harmony on religious holidays.

In previous online posts, he has spoken out eloquently against violence and hatred and called for ‘unconditional real love for all mankind’.

‘He was proud of his Pakistani heritage but he loved Britain. He loved Scotland too and really wanted to reach out to Christians. This is such a terrible thing to happen.’

An ambulance crew gave Mr Shah treatment at the scene on Thursday night. He was taken to Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital where he later died.

It is believed he belonged to the Ahmadi movement, a Muslim sect which promotes non-violence and tolerance of other faiths.

Ahmadis identify themselves as Muslims and a determined missionary network has helped spread their teachings around the world.

But their sect has won only disdain from mainstream Islamic leaders and it has been heavily persecuted in Pakistan.

As a result the Ahmadi community’s headquarters are now located in Morden, South London. The site, which covers five acres, has space for more than 10,000 worshippers and has been hit by arson.

The spiritual inspiration of the movement was Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who was born in the Punjab in British-ruled India in 1835.

He declared Muslim religion and society were in decline and claimed to have been chosen by Allah to reform Islam. The claim clashes with the Islamic belief that Mohammed was the last prophet and the Koran is the final word of God.

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of Muslim youth organisation, the Ramadhan Foundation, said: ‘Whatever differences we have with the Ahmadi community, the murder of Asad Shah is a despicable crime which everyone should condemn.’


Why Does the Walt Disney Co. Prefer Communists to Christians?

Let’s begin with two news items. First, in June the Walt Disney Co. will open a new, $5.5 billion theme park in Shanghai, China. China is a great place to make money, but it’s also the land of systematic human-rights abuses, forced abortions, state churches, labor camps, and brutal crackdowns. Disney — undeterred, and with its eyes firmly fixed on the financial prize — actually permits the Chinese government to co-own the park.

Meanwhile, back in the United States — the land of political and religious freedom — Disney is threatening to scale back its operations in the state of Georgia, saying it is ready to halt film and television production at its Pinewood Studios outside of Atlanta. What heinous thing has Georgia done? Have Georgia National Guard armored vehicles threatened to roll over dissidents? Is it dragging women, screaming, into operating rooms to abort their children against their will? Is it confiscating political literature and censoring the Internet?

No, it’s legislature passed a bill that protects — in certain, extremely limited contexts — the rights of religious objectors to gay marriage.

Disney made this move even after the Georgia legislature watered down the initial version of its religious-freedom bill, inserting language that denies protection for any act of so-called invidious discrimination.

To a liberal judiciary who sees virtually any act of Christian conscience as little more than malicious bigotry, the legislature created a massive loophole in the law.

And it was a loophole the law didn’t need. The original bill, passed by the Georgia senate 38-14, protected pastors from being forced to officiate at marriages that violated their religious beliefs, protected business owners who wished to remain closed on Saturday or Sunday, protected religious organizations from having to rent their facilities for events that violated their beliefs, and — controversially — prohibited the government from taking any "adverse action against a person or faith-based organization" that "believes, speaks, or acts in accordance with a sincerely-held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the Union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such marriage."

The law did not prohibit gay marriage, gay adoption, or interfere with the civil liberties of a single gay person. It merely protected individuals and faith-based organizations from endorsing or facilitating actions that violated their consciences. It represented the classic "win-win" of religious accommodation, where both sides of a contentious religious and political debate are able to exercise their fundamental rights in the same community at the same time.

Under this statute, Georgia would have respected the religious convictions of many of its Christian and Jewish citizens while not undermining the carnal convictions of its sexual revolutionaries.

Of course all the usual corporate social-justice suspects promptly vented their spleens — led by the monumental hypocrites at SalesForce.com (People’s Republic of China office located at 1 Guang Hua Road in Beijing), Apple (doing business in Saudi Arabia and China and with dictatorships across the globe), and the NFL, which is threatening to reject Atlanta’s bid for a Super Bowl if Georgia decides to respect the rights of conscience of its Christian citizens.

The NFL, which can’t properly discipline players who beat women unconscious in elevators and has systematically undercounted player concussions — misleading players who are seeking to protect their long-term health even as they play a violent sport — is a particularly interesting choice to play-act as social-justice warrior. But, for a league under fire, moral posturing for the elite media is an easy way to build leftist good will. So what if they throw their faithful Christian fans, athletes, and coaches under the bus?

But in modern America, when hypocritical social-justice warriors confront spineless Republicans, the hypocrites tend to win. They’ve already secured a watered-down bill, and now Disney and its friends are moving in for the kill. Georgia governor Nathan Deal has already echoed leftist talking points, condemning any effort to "allow discrimination in our state to protect people of faith," but he hasn’t indicated yet whether he’ll veto the legislation.

The revised bill is better than nothing, and the "compromise" now has its important use — it demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that powerful corporations not only have no interest in protecting religious conscience, they’re doing an American imitation of their Chinese Communist partners’ suppression of faith and free speech. The only "compromise" they seek in Georgia is surrender. Our new hipster commissars have spoken; will Georgia obey?


US Professor Amazed at Wealth in Gaza City; Notes 900 Mosques, Only 2 Libraries

A professor at the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle visited Gaza City for six hours a few weeks ago, and he was astonished that after reading years of propaganda about how poverty stricken Gazans are, they really aren’t.

 I was flooded with impressions as we drove into the old city of Gaza. The first was, unexpectedly, that it looked nothing like India. Given the severe poverty, even humanitarian crisis, that Gaza as a whole is experiencing, I had expected the obvious and wrenching poverty that I had seen in some Indian cities or many other Third World countries, for that matter—collapsing infrastructure, rickety shacks, a surfeit of beggars, children in rags, adults sleeping on the sidewalks. At least in this part of the city and others that I saw later in the day, none of that was visible. Instead, I saw hordes of children going to school, university students walking in and out of the gates of the two universities—both the children and the university students reasonably dressed. I observed morning shoppers buying vegetables and fruits from stands, shopkeepers opening their shops, and people walking purposefully to wherever they were going for the start of the day. There were cranes and construction workers everywhere, with lots of uncompleted buildings being worked on. A garbage truck, with a UN sign on it, was making its rounds.

There was the occasional bombed out building, from the 2014 War. One had the entire top of the building, several stories, simply blown off. But other than those, most buildings were in decent shape, and some apartment buildings were downright nice. There were definitely some junkers on the road, but most of the cars looked like late-model varieties. Some of the side streets were pocked and broken up; the main thoroughfares, though, were in good shape. There were almost no traffic lights, and traffic was a bit chaotic. I must add again that I was in Gaza City (both the old and new parts of the city) only and did not go to some of the outer areas and refugee camps where the bombing in the 2014 war was the heaviest and where, I understand, destruction was massive.

People were certainly not in rags. Men were mostly in chino-type pants and button-down shirts. With very few exceptions, women were covered with the hijab and burka. Perhaps 10-20 percent of them were in black with their faces totally covered. Incidentally, this sort of veiling was not a traditional practice in Palestinian society; it is very much a product of the "new fundamentalism."

The fascinating people I met during the day actually related to Israel in what I considered a very interesting fashion. In conversation after conversation, there was a kind of by-the-way acknowledgment of the destructiveness of Israel’s policies and, for sure, a general hatred for Israel. But what was striking was how everyone quickly went on from those sorts of almost off-handed comments to criticize how the Hamas government or the people themselves are also responsible for the state of affairs. There was no obsessing about Israel, which I found interesting. Indeed, there might even be a general acceptance of Israel in terms of realizing that Israel will long be part of their future.

Even a professor of international studies had no idea that Gaza didn’t look like the most poverty-stricken parts of Third World countries. The power of anti-Israel propaganda and one-sided media coverage is immense.

And Hamas is building….lots of mosques.
 …My final meeting was with a fascinating character, Atef Abu Saif. Atef holds a Ph.D. in political science from the European University Institute in Florence, having worked with a friend of mine, Professor Phillipe Schmitter. Atef is also a novelist. He now teaches political science at Al-Azhar Gaza University and writes frequently, including for the New York Times and Slate. An open member of Fatah (although critical of the Fatah leadership), he has clashed with Hamas on a number of occasions, landing him in jail for short stints.

Atef’s main contention is that there are actually two Gazas. One is the one run by Hamas and includes its supporters. He noted, for example, that there has been a mosque-building binge, leading to a total of 879 mosques in the Strip by 2014, as compared to two public libraries. In his words, "Gaza has become one huge mosque." The second Gaza consists of the Palestinian public in Gaza, engaged in all sorts of cultural and social activities outside Hamas’s orbit. If not quite a civil society, he intimated, there is a lot that goes on beneath the radar.

My guess is that those libraries were built when Israel controlled Gaza.


Keeping Kids at Harms Length

Liberals like to say they’re pushing these gender-neutral bills for the kids, but new research suggests they’re doing it despite the kids. Every day, it seems like another city or school board is pushing a policy that tells children to ignore the anatomy that classrooms should be teaching! The waves of gender-neutral bathroom and athletic proposals keep coming, no matter how devastating it can be for students. Gender isn’t a matter of self-determination, the American College of Pediatricians (ACP) is arguing, and suggesting otherwise can harm kids for life.

This isn’t about helping children "find themselves" or accepting them for who they are, it’s about glamorizing a disorder with life-long consequences. When legislatures or educators indulge and even encourage this confusion, ACP warns, it’s child abuse. In a strong response to the transgender ideology marching across America, U.S. pediatricians are urging a complete and total rejection of these so-called "non-discrimination" bills. "Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse," they write in a statement released [Monday]. In an eight-point dismantling of the trans-movement, they remind Americans that gender confusion is a "mental disorder" — a fact, ACP points out, that has never been disproven.

"When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such," they write. No one, the pediatricians explain, "is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one. People who identify as ‘feeling like the opposite sex’ or ‘somewhere in between’ do not comprise a third sex. They remain biological men or biological women." For the vast majority of students, this kind of sexual expression is just a phase. "According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty."

Yet here we are, as a society, crafting entire policies and putting whole populations at risk for a tiny minority of students who have a fleeting flirtation with another gender. That isn’t just a disservice to these young men and women, but to the other students who are left to cope with the invasion of their privacy, the un-level playing field, or worse — the risk to their personal space and safety.

Instead of helping these children and adults, we’re sentencing them to a miserable life because we refuse to address the underlying issues. Even in places that embrace this alternate gender universe, people still stuffer. "Rates of suicide are twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBQT-affirming countries," the pediatricians note. "What compassionate and reasonable person would condemn young children to this fate knowing that after puberty as many as 88% of girls and 98% of boys will eventually accept reality and achieve a state of mental and physical health?"

It’s time for Americans to wake up from this spell of political correctness and fight for what’s in the best interest of kids — which, as the American College of Pediatricians points out, is not a radical gender ideology. Let’s hope the leaders of North Carolina take this into account [today], when they convene a special session on Charlotte’s extreme bathroom ordinance.

Thanks to House Speaker Tim Moore and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, state leaders are making good on a promise to take legislative action if the city dared to implement a measure that puts children, public safety, and religious liberty at risk. Under the Charlotte measure set to take effect on April 1, not only would grown men be allowed in women’s public restrooms and showers, but businesses would be ordered to cater to same-sex weddings, even if it violates their personal beliefs.

In a joint statement, Moore and Forest were clear: "We aim to repeal this ordinance before it goes into effect to provide for the privacy and protection of the women and children of our state."

Of course, liberals like Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts (D) are criticizing the special session as a "waste of money." But I think most parents would agree — $42,000 is a small price to pay for the safety of even one child. With majorities in the state House and Senate expected to override the controversial ordinance, it will fall to Governor Pat McCrory to live up to his end of the bargain and take steps to protect North Carolina from an agenda that many Americans will live to regret. If you live in the Tar Heel State, contact your leaders today. Urge them to listen to science and repeal Charlotte’s ordinance.

But just because you aren’t in North Carolina doesn’t mean the threat isn’t real where you are. There are a whole host of sexual identity and gender identity bills introduced under the radar in states like Minnesota (H.B. 3215), Louisiana (S.B. 332, H.B. 501), Kentucky (S.B. 176), Michigan (H.B. 4538), Idaho (S.B. 1196), Arizona (H.B. 2414), Missouri (H.B. 1924), and countless local school board and city council measures. Make sure you’re tracking these proposals and calling your elected officials to oppose 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


25 March, 2016

Are you an atheist?  Non-believers 'lack empathy' while religious people are less intelligent, claims study

I have done a great deal of survey research (by doorknocking) in which religious belief was asked and the results reported below seemed wrong to me.  So in my usual pesky way I looked up the underlying academic journal article ("Why Do You Believe in God? Relationships between Religious Belief, Analytic Thinking, Mentalizing and Moral Concern" by I.A. Jack et al).  I was pretty sure what I would find and I did find it:  No attempt at sampling.

The research is just a product of laziness.  They used Mechanical Turk to get their test subjects. It's a great way to avoid getting out of your armchair but it gives you no generalizable data.  The population accessed via MT is unknown but is probably of above average IQ and more introverted.  So the data gained from MT responders enables no generalization to any known population.  A representative sample could give quite different results. 

There is therefore no reason to conclude that the results below accurately reflect the real world. In my experience with surveys, I have had a strong positive correlation among a non-sample turn into a zero correlation with a representative sample.

I note also that most of the correlations between belief and ability  were so low as to be effectively zero for all intents and purposes -- e.g. -0.15 and -0.13.  This comports with previous findings of only trivial (and possibly artifactual) ability differences between believers and unbelievers.  See here and here

If you don't believe in God or a universal spirit, you're more likely to be callous and manipulative, according to a controversial new study.

Atheists exhibit more traits commonly seen among psychopaths than people who consider themselves to be religious.

However, believers aren't spared criticism - the study also found that religious people are less intelligent than their non-believing counterparts.

Religious people were found to be more caring towards their fellow humans and the researchers believe their findings may help explain why women - who tend to be more empathetic - are also likely to be more religious.

Researchers at Cape Western Reserve University in Ohio and Babson College in Massachusetts, argue that the conflict between science and religion may have its origins in the structure of our brains.

Brain scans, and experiments, demonstrate the brain has two 'networks' that are activated when we think - one analytical and critical, the other social and emotional.

To believe in a supernatural god or universal spirit, people appear to suppress the brain network used for analytical thinking and engage the empathetic network, the scientists said.

In a series of eight experiments, each involving between 159 and 527 adults, the researchers examined the relationship between a belief in God or a spirit, with measures of analytic thinking and moral concern.

In all eight, they consistently found the more religious the person, the more moral concern they showed.

Scientists have yet to discover a 'God gene' but said differences at a genetic level appeared to play a big role.

The results were part of a report called 'The Gender Gap in Religion' from Pew, a respected US-based research institute.

They discovered that both spiritual belief and empathetic concern were positively associated with frequency of prayer, meditations and other spiritual or religious practices.

The main finding offers a new explanation for past research showing women tend to hold more religious or spiritual worldviews than men, so this gap may arise because women tend to be more empathetic than men.

In contrast, the researchers said there are some similarities between atheists and psychopaths in that they both lack empathy for others.

The typical psychopath demonstrates 'an absence of emotional response to pain and suffering in others' the authors said, who also found this to be the case among people in a series of personality tests.

The research is based on the hypothesis that the human brain has two opposing domains in constant tension.

In earlier research, Dr Tony Jack, associate professor of philosophy at Cape Western used functional magnetic resonance imaging to show the brain has an analytical network of neurons that enables us to think critically and a social network that enables us to empathise.

When presented with a physics problem or ethical dilemma, a healthy brain fires up the appropriate network while suppressing the other.

'Because of the tension between networks, pushing aside a naturalistic world view enables you to delve deeper into the social or emotional side,' he explained.

'And that may be the key to why beliefs in the supernatural exist throughout the history of cultures. 'It appeals to an essentially non-material way of understanding the world and our place in it.'

He continued: 'When there's a question of faith, from the analytic point of view, it may seem absurd.

'But, from what we understand about the brain, the leap of faith to belief in the supernatural amounts to pushing aside the critical or analytical way of thinking to help us achieve greater social and emotional insight.'

His colleague Professor Richard Boyatzis added: 'A stream of research in cognitive psychology has shown that people who have faith (who are religious or spiritual) are not as smart as others. 'They actually might claim they are less intelligent.'

'Our studies confirmed that statistical relationship, but at the same time showed that people with faith are more prosocial and empathic.'

The new study is published in the online journal PLOS ONE.

The researchers said that while having empathy does not necessarily mean a person has anti-scientific beliefs, it may 'compromise' an individual's ability to cultivate social and moral insight.

However, they point out research that shows between 1901 and 2000, 90 per cent of Nobel Prize winners in science were religious, while the rest were atheists, agnostics or freethinkers. 


Guilt and the Immigrants

Angela Merkel took a shellacking in German regional elections a week ago, but she's not about to get tougher on immigration, which is what provoked her bad results. She's sticking with her open-door policy, even though it isn't working very well. It is a typical feel-good policy that ignores reality: Merkel, and lots of other German leaders, want to prove that they are fine humanitarians, not the descendants of the Fuhrer. And so they "welcome" hundreds of thousands of refugees and are trying to turn them into good Europeans.

Alas, most of the refugees-including the many who would really love to assimilate-can't do that. Not primarily because they are culturally alien, but because they lack the wherewithal to work in modern Germany. They don't speak or write the language; they don't have the technical skills, like mathematics, necessary to get a job; and they don't know how to live in a Western city. So, while the Germans give them apprenticeships to learn work skills, the immigrants drop out to the tune of about fifty percent. The dropouts collect unemployment. Bottom lines: the taxpayers are paying for unqualified refugees, don't like it, and send that message to the chancellor.

I'm old enough to remember the Los Angeles riots of 1992, when street gangs destroyed entire neighborhoods downtown. President George H.W. Bush went out to California to get advice from the locals, and one of the hot ideas of the moment was to empower the gangs, let them run businesses, and put their energy to work for the community. It sounded great, but only briefly. If memory serves me right (always a bit chancy), it was Peter Ueberroth who said "they can't read or write, how in the world can they run a business?" So they went back to fighting, in which the thugs had advanced degrees.

Assimilation is hard and slow and expensive; you can't just wave a wand and transform third-world illiterates into productive Western citizens. Maybe in a generation or two it can be accomplished. My grandparents continued to speak Russian and Yiddish, their children mastered English, and some of them even went to college, but it wasn't until my generation came along, born 40 years after the immigrants cleared Ellis Island, that you had kids who were totally immersed in American culture. And we're the best at it. Germany's numbers are off-puting. In about five years, ethnic Germans will constitute less than half the population (lots of Turks).

Merkel's policy, then, can be expected to fundamentally transform the makeup of her country, and it goes hand in hand with the original motivation for the creation of the eurozone (and hence the EU itself) in the first place. Helmut Kohl, the architect of the euro, accepted the negative stereotype of his people; he believed that, left to their own devices, the Germans would kill again. His great mission was the elimination of Germany from the map, the dissolution of Germany as an identifiable nation or people. The euro was, so to speak, the acid in which Germany-as symbolized by the deutsche mark-was to vanish, becoming just one piece of the new Europe.

Merkel shares this vision. She and her followers are tortured by recent German history.  They do not want to lead Europe, let alone play a primary role in the Western alliance. She fears her own impulses, and those she ascribes to her people. The immigration policy is a piece of that self-hating vision.

I think this helps understand why Obama gets along better with Merkel than with most other traditional European allies. They share a very negative view of their national histories, they don't think their nations are worthy of leading world events, they both have romantic notions about the peoples of failed countries (most certainly including the Middle East), and they prefer to play a secondary role in world affairs (aka "leading from behind).

That is why both have adopted immigration policies that may well fundamentally transform their countries in the immediate future. German and American taxpayers don't like giving money to people who can't make it on their own. The sympathetic intellectuals brand the critics "racists" or "chauvinists" or even "fascists," but actually Merkel and Obama are provoking the citizens' anger, by insisting on policies that fly in the face of reality.

Both are likely to provoke national decisions very much at odds with their own confused visions.


Australia: Campbelltown Council votes against permanently flying the Aboriginal flag

CAMPBELLTOWN councillors have rejected a push to permanently fly the Aboriginal flag outside the council chambers, saying it would increase cultural divide rather than promote unity.

At a meeting last week, councillors narrowly voted against a request from its Reconciliation Advisory Committee to spend $2000 on a new flag pole so the Aboriginal flag could fly alongside the Australian flag.

Cr Max Amber told the meeting that permanently flying the Aboriginal flag would do more harm than good.

"I feel very strongly that the Australian flag, we fought two world wars under and numerous others, is the flag for all Australians," Cr Amber said.

Cr Neville Grigg — with councillors Amber, James Nenke, John Kennedy and Dom Barbaro — was against flying the flag.

"This is separating the Australian into two separate peoples. "We are one Australia, we have one flag, and that’s the way it should stay."

But Cr Marijka Ryan said flying the Aboriginal flag would help indigenous people, especially members of the Stolen Generation, heal and feel more accepted within the community.

"It would promote everything we value as a society, compassion, tolerance, acknowledgment of our history and respect from what is right," Cr Ryan said.

"Flying the Aboriginal flag is not divisive, it’s not meant to offend, it’s meant for the good of those who were displaced in their own land and it’s a symbolic gesture."

Aboriginal Elder Lowitja O’Donoghue was "gobsmacked and surprised" by the decision.

"I didn’t think it was a question anymore, anywhere, because the flag does fly everyday in most council areas."

Campbelltown’s Reconciliation Advisory Committee was set up in 2005 to help develop projects and raise awareness of the significant Kaurna heritage in the area.

Mayor Simon Brewer and councillors Ryan and Jill Whittaker are on the committee, together with five independent members — three of them Aboriginal.

Mr Brewer condemned the council’s choice on his Facebook page and said he would now wear Aboriginal-inspired ties in place of official council ties at functions.

"In my view, in this more enlightened world, it is not flying the flag and recognising the special and unique place of Aboriginal people in Australia that is divisive," Mr Brewer wrote.

"Until (the) council moves into the 21st century on this matter, the council tie is retired from this neck."

The council will continue to fly the Aboriginal flag during NAIDOC Week.

It already flies the Australian flag, the State flag and the Campbelltown flag.


France’s Relentless Hostility to the Jewish State

France today is one of the main enemies of Israel -- maybe its main enemy -- in the Western world. France's disregard of the threats faced by Israel is more than simple willful blindness. It is complicity.

At a time when Mahmoud Abbas constantly encourages terror and hatred against Israel, and when murders of Israeli Jews by Palestinian Arabs occur on a daily basis, France's anti-Israel relentlessness can only be seen as the latest extension of France's centuries-old anti-Semitism.

France's "Arab policy" has gone hand-in-hand with a massive wave of Muslim immigration. France has quickly become the main Muslim country in Europe. More than six million Muslims live in France, and make up approximately 10% of the population. The Muslim vote is now an important factor in French politicians' decisions; the risk of Muslim riots is taken into account.

On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran -- a regime that denies the fact that the Holocaust occurred and does not hide its intention to commit another holocaust -- arrived in Paris for an official visit.

Two days earlier, Rouhani had been in Rome, where the Italian authorities, in a gesture of submission, covered up the nude statues of Rome's Capitoline Museum.

Rouhani thanked Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi for his "hospitality". He did not thank President François Hollande for having hosted him on January 27.

No French journalist or politician mentioned International Holocaust Remembrance Day. French journalists spoke only of Hassan Rouhani's "moderation" and "openness," despite Iran's dire human rights violations. Hollande evoked the rebirth of a "fruitful relationship" between Iran and France.

No French journalist or politician mentioned the Holocaust denial or the genocidal intentions of the Iranian regime; that Iran's leaders regularly chant "Death to Israel" and "Death to America"; the malignant contents of Palestine, a book recently published by Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, or the dangers still inherent in Iran's nuclear program.

Every newspaper article and politician's speech in France was about the contracts French companies could sign with Iran and the return of Iran to a harmonious "concert of nations."

Iran was presented on every side as a "reliable ally" of the West in the fight against the Islamic State.

France's willful blindness concerning the very real threats Israel faces is characteristic of general attitude of France toward Israel for the last fifty years.

In the second half of the 1960s, after the end of the Algerian war, France adopted an "Arab policy." It consisted of the creation of close ties with Arab dictatorships and, more broadly, with the authoritarian regimes of the Muslim world. The aim of the "Arab Policy" was to enable France to retain influence, whatever the price, even if it had damaging effects on the rest of the Western world.

It also consisted of severing strategic and military links between France and Israel.

France provided financial and economic help to the newborn Algerian regime. It abandoned Harkis (Algerian Arabs who sided with France) in exchange for the use of a naval base at Mers el-Kebir and the possibility of conducting nuclear tests in the Sahara Desert.[1]

Historians have not reached a consensus about the estimated number of Harkis murdered. Harkis associations placed the number of killed at approximately 100,000-150,000.

France maintained close ties with Tunisia and Morocco, established close relations with the Arab League and offered itself as a voice to the Arab world in international affairs.

In 1975, France became the main Western ally of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, and provided two nuclear reactors, Tammuz I and II, to Iraq. They were described by Saddam Hussein as the first steps towards an "Arab atomic bomb." France also endorsed a contract between the Institut Mérieux, based in Paris, and the Directorate of Veterinary Services of the Baghdad regime, which led to the creation of a "biological research laboratory." It was the first organization to develop biological weapons in Iraq.[2]

Despite UN sanctions, France illegally transferred weapons to Saddam Hussein's regime until December 2002.

Military cooperation between France and Saddam Hussein lasted until the second Gulf War. Shortly before the U.S. invaded in March 2003, the Iraqi newspaper Babel called France's President Jacques Chirac "the Great Fighter" (Al Mujahid al-Akbar).

From the start of the war, France was the main Western country opposing military operations and regime change in Iraq.

In 1978-1979, France played an important role in the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and helped facilitate the birth of the Islamic Republic of Iran. French authorities accommodated Khomeini when he was expelled from Iraq in 1978, and allowed him to send to Iran tapes calling for revolution and jihad against Israel. Khomeini returned to Tehran aboard an Air France plane chartered by the French government. Cooperation between France and the Islamic Republic of Iran lasted until Saddam Hussein attacked Iran in September 1980.

To please its new Arab friends, France decided to impose an arms embargo on Israel in June 1967, at the beginning of the Six Day War, at the moment when Israel faced mortal danger. The embargo later became permanent.

In 1973, during the Yom Kippur War, France refused landing rights to U.S. military supply planes flying to Israel.

In the early 1970s, France developed close ties with the PLO and became an ardent supporter of the "Palestinian cause." France used its influence, just two years after the massacre of Israeli athletes in Munich, to have Yasser Arafat invited to speak before the United Nations General Assembly in November 1974.[3] President François Mitterrand, in 1988, received Yasser Arafat on an official visit to Paris, and granted him all the honors reserved for a head of state. In 1979, France voiced its disagreement with the Camp David Accords because the PLO had not been involved in the talks. In 1982, France saved Arafat, who was besieged by the Israeli army in Beirut, and allowed him to seek asylum in Tunisia, a client state of France, to continue his incendiary activities.

France continued to support Arafat until his last moments, and treated him in a French military hospital. When Arafat died, President Jacques Chirac held an official ceremony for him before sending the coffin to the Middle East in an official aircraft of the French Republic. French diplomatic circles never condemned terrorist attacks against Israel, but always condemned Israeli responses as "disproportionate." French diplomatic circles never ceased to support the creation of a Palestinian state, in the "1967 borders" (in reality, 1949 armistice lines).

Hamas, designated a terrorist organization, by the United States, was defined several times by French ministers as a "possible interlocutor." A French Cultural Institute exists in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. France intends to create a National Museum of Palestine in Ramallah, and French officials declared that the museum will open when a "free and sovereign Palestine" will be born. For now, the museum is housed in the Arab World Institute in Paris, the largest Arab and Muslim cultural center in a Western country.

Since the end of 2010, France has also contributed to the Islamist wave sweeping the Middle East, and played a major role in the toppling of the Gaddafi regime in Libya.

France had good relations with the Gaddafi regime when Muammar Gaddafi behaved as an enemy of the West. In April 1986, when an anti-American attack occurred in a discotheque in Berlin, the US decided to strike Libya. France refused overflight rights to the US military and pushed Spain and Portugal to make the same decision.[4] Between 1992 and 2003, when the Gaddafi regime was subject to an embargo, France delivered weapons to Gaddafi and became its second arms supplier after Russia. In December 2007, Gaddafi was invited to France for an official visit: he signed contracts with Airbus Industries and Areva Nuclear Power. In 2011, the Emir of Qatar pushed President Nicolas Sarkozy to support an Islamic rebellion in Benghazi, and France also encouraged the United Kingdom, the United States and other NATO members to overthrow Gaddafi: the result was the takeover of the country by jihadists, who then plundered the military arsenals. Five years after that, Libyan territory is now a base for several jihadist groups, with the Islamic State holding a large part of Libyan coast, two hundred miles from Europe.

Qatar, which funds Islamic terrorist groups, has long funded the Islamic State. Qatar has become a close friend of many French politicians; the French government has offered tax exemptions for Qatari investors who bought and are still buying assets and influence.

France's "Arab policy" has gone hand-in-hand with a massive wave of Muslim immigration. France has quickly become the main Muslim country in Europe. More than six million Muslims live in France, and make up approximately 10% of the population.

France's "Arab policy" has also gone hand-in-hand with the establishment, in France, of multiple Islamic organizations. The main one is the French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, known as the UOIF (Union of Islamic Organizations of France). The two primary training centers for imams in France -- in Château Chinon and Saint Denis -- belong to the UOIF, and are funded by the French government. The curriculum is defined by the UOIF.[5] Many imams trained in these centers act and preach in French prisons and in the ever-growing 751 "no-go zones," ("zones urbaines sensibles" / "sensitive urban areas") over which the French government has lost control. Each mosque in France is free to choose its imam.

The Muslim vote is now an important factor in French politicians' decisions; the risk of Muslim riots is taken into account. The last prospect is certainly not lost on many Muslims who doubtless conclude that if threatening to riot works, keep on doing it.

French President Georges Pompidou and his Foreign Minister, Michel Jobert, were the main artisans of the "Euro-Arab dialogue" that took shape after the Yom Kippur War, in 1973. In a declaration to the press, Jobert clearly justified the Syrian-Egyptian attack against Israel, and said that the aggressors had wanted to "set foot" in their "own land again." Dialogue began with the Arab League. It continued with the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC ; now renamed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation) -- and never stopped. In June 2013, the OIC inaugurated a Permanent Mission Office to the EU in Brussels to "increase cooperation" with the EU.

The bitter result of decades of appeasement and opportunism could be described as fear. France's questionable links with questionable regimes, organizations and causes, its acceptance of a largely unchecked Muslim immigration, its growing inability to enforce its own laws on swathes of its territory, have made it a warm, comfortable breeding ground for extremist Islam. The risk of further attacks is very real. France is intervening militarily in Syria most likely because many young French Muslims joined the Islamic state and chose jihad. Some of these French citizens came back to kill on French soil. France cannot destroy the Islamic State. France cannot prevent its own Islamization. France cannot prevent, in the chaos of Libya, the further growth of the Islamic State. France's disregard of the threats faced by Israel is more than simple willful blindness. It is complicity.

For five decades, France was a partner in the crimes of some of the worst enemies of Israel. France today is one of the main enemies of Israel -- maybe its main enemy -- in the Western world. The day after the visit of Hassan Rouhani in Paris, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (who has since resigned) announced that France wanted to organize a major international conference to relaunch the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, based on an old Saudi peace plan, which includes -- as a poison pill -- the "right of return."

Fabius added that if the French initiative failed, France would nevertheless recognize the Palestinian state. He probably knows that the conference will almost certainly not take place, and that even if it did, why should the Palestinians negotiate if a Palestinian State has already been promised to them? Presumably he just wanted to announce France's upcoming official recognition of a Palestinian state.

On December 30, 2014, the French government backed a UN resolution demanding the "end of Israeli occupation" and the creation of a Palestinian state before December 2017. The resolution, however, did not receive enough votes in the UN Security Council. A US veto was not even necessary. France was not successful, but did not give up.

French and Palestinian lawmakers are working on another resolution that will be presented next fall. The resolution will be almost the same as the previous one. If it gets enough votes in the Security Council (nine out of fifteen), only a US veto could prevent it from being adopted. If the U.S. does not use its veto, Israel could be defined as a UN member state occupying another member state -- despite obvious threats to its security on every front.

At a time when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas constantly encourages terror and hatred against Israel, and when murders of Israeli Jews by Palestinian Arabs occur on a daily basis, France's anti-Israel relentlessness can only be seen as the latest extension of France's centuries-old anti-Semitism.

Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Hitler's henchman during World War II, was detained by French soldiers in May 1945. He enjoyed the hospitality of the French government, and was able to leave France for Egypt in 1946. On August 12, 1947, he wrote to the French foreign minister, Georges Bidault, to thank France for its help.[6]

Charles de Gaulle, a few months after deciding to impose an arms embargo on Israel in June 1967, and with ironically little self-awareness, publicly described Jews as an "elite people, sure of themselves and domineering."

In 1967, then French President Charles de Gaulle (left), a few months after imposing an arms embargo on Israel, and with ironically little self-awareness, publicly described Jews as an "elite people, sure of themselves and domineering." At right, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif hugs then Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the close of nuclear talks in Geneva, Nov. 23, 2014.

Maurice Couve de Murville, head of French diplomacy from 1958-1968, was a financial expert who had been responsible for "the reduction of Jewish influence in the French economy," under the Vichy regime led by Marshal Petain from September 1940 to March 1943.[7]

François Mitterrand, President of France from 1981 to 1995, worked for the Vichy regime, from January 1942 to mid-1943. He was so dedicated to his work that he received the Francisque (the highest award granted by the regime) from the hands of Petain in April 1943.[8] Mitterand remained a friend of René Bousquet, ex-secretary general to the Vichy regime police, until the day Bousquet was assassinated in 1993. Bousquet was one of the main organizers of the mass arrest of Jews in France (known as the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup).

In February 2015, after Prime Minister Manuel Valls uttered positive words about Israel, Roland Dumas, French Foreign Minister from 1984 to 1986 and from 1988 to 1993, accused Valls of being under "Jewish influence".

In his 2006 book Betrayal: France, the Arabs, and the Jews, David Pryce-Jones explains in detail how France had obsessively dreamed of being a Muslim power for more than a century, and that French diplomacy has been imbued with a persistent anti-Semitism and hostility toward the Jewish state.[9]

France did not become a Muslim power, but anti-Semitism still permeates diplomacy in France. French hostility toward the Jewish state is more present and malignant than ever.

Just this month, on February 3, a group of French ambassadors published a manifesto to "save the Palestinian State." In the text, they justify the "knife intifada" in Israel, and denounce "fifty years of military and police occupation by Israel," Jewish "colonization" of Palestinian territories, the "shadow of the Holocaust" that "inhibits" Europe, and the supposedly "apartheid policy of Israel," even though it is hard to see how a country that gives the Arab population under its control full freedom and rights, including political parties and seats on Israel's Supreme Court, can be called "apartheid." The French ministers also asked the Europe Union, at the behest of the Palestinian Authority, to stop any scientific and economic cooperation with Israel until the recognition of a Palestinian state. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs even described the text of manifesto as a "useful" contribution to the debate.



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, 2016

Christian Health Care Flourishes

Consumers seek solutions to either unmet needs or alternatives to a substandard product or service. A great example of this maxim is this: Participants in health care cost-sharing ministries have more than doubled in number since ObamaCare’s inception in March 2010.

Before ObamaCare, there were faith-based risk pools such as Samaritan Ministries International, Medi-Share and Christian Healthcare Ministries. A hundred years ago, such mutual-aid societies covered one-third of American men before the welfare state saw to its decline. But while ObamaCare outlaws any new such ventures, membership has exploded for the ones grandfathered in under the law. Samaritan alone grew 33% last year, and is more than double its size in 2013.

With membership in these nonprofit organizations now surpassing 500,000, all credit rests with the so-called "Affordable Care Act." That monstrosity was passed without a single Republican vote and signed into law by Barack Obama on March 23, 2010 — six years ago this week. From their inception in the early nineties, these organizations were growing at a rate of no more than 10% annually, until the Left weaponized the IRS to mandate the purchase of a service (health insurance).

In other words, until Obama decided to play the good liberal Samaritan — helping the sick by forcing them to buy health insurance.

The health care cost-sharing agreements in these ministries work with a monthly premium, sometimes as low as $150 per month. Individuals and families are matched with others to create a risk pool of participants who contract to reimburse medical expenses from an approved list. The patient/consumer bears the financial responsibility to shop for the best pricing and to pay for services rendered. Imagine, market-driven health care that makes the patient the customer.

Because these organizations are faith-based, moral clauses protect participants from paying catastrophic costs for injuries or illnesses sustained from behavior deemed immoral. For example, members are responsible for their own medical costs incurred as a result of drunk driving or substance abuse, or for procedures like abortion — things that are contrary to the ministries' values.

The participants in these ministries, who are Judeo-Christian in their declaratory membership statements, tend to refrain from self-destructive behavior that is often deemed "high-risk" by actuaries and result in greater cause of injury and illness.

Again, with amazement, imagine that those who choose a risky lifestyle must pay for its effects themselves.

ObamaCare was promised to usher in a utopian era of increased access to health care and lower costs, all while "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." We know that web of lies all too well.

So much for empty political rhetoric. The government-controlled health system mandates standardized insurance plans with coverage for all — even if it’s unneeded. Only by the logic of the State would an insurance plan for a group of nuns need to include contraception.

Unlike the cost-sharing ministries where certain behaviors are expected or rejected and risk pools are matched, Democrats want everyone’s premium payment comingled to pay for all charges in an attempt at universal care.

While critics like Sabrina Corlette, project director at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms, are quick to dismiss these Christian co-ops as "junk coverage," these ministry participants are willingly paying premiums and sharing costs while being incentivized to be well and live a healthier lifestyle because they have skin in the game.

Again, contrast this free market approach to the IRS-driven mandates, which have caused premiums and deductibles to skyrocket, and you have a government-run system requiring most to pay out of pocket for their own care to subsidize the high-risk, chronically ill.

Get it? You can voluntarily assume greater risk and responsibility for your health and health care choices in the nonprofit cost-sharing ministries, or pay far more out of your pocket for one-size-fits-all ObamaCare.

Sir Isaac Newton studied the laws of nature, one of which, the third law of motion, is simply summarized as: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." The action of ObamaCare through its redistribution of wealth has produced the equal reaction in disrupting the health care market to reveal innovative alternatives. It’s now up to federal lawmakers to understand that putting patients in charge of their health with financial incentives will meet the necessary goals of increasing access by reducing costs.


Georgia Under Attack for Religious Liberty

Add Georgia to the list of states embroiled in the religious liberty debate that sent intolerant leftists in Indiana and Arkansas into a frenzy last year. Last week state lawmakers passed legislation that would allow religious institutions to refuse participating in same-sex marriage ceremonies. Naturally, the Left is furious and is already planning retaliation in case Gov. Nathan Deal signs the bill. Yet the final iteration of the bill, which was weakened considerably, is not what supporters would call hardline. As Heritage Foundation fellows Ryan T. Anderson and Roger Severino write, "Haste makes waste. This new language significantly waters down a religious freedom bill that had real force even though it was … already lacking in certain respects." Here’s how:

The new version of the bill provides Religious Freedom Restoration Act levels of protection for certain protected persons, but it explicitly says these protections cannot apply in cases of "invidious discrimination." Of course, no one is in favor of invidious discrimination, but the problem is that in the hands of a liberal judge, everything looks like invidious discrimination even when it is not, such as religious universities or adoption agencies that want their policies to reflect their teachings on marriage. This apes the bad "fix" that gutted the Indiana religious freedom bill. …

The new version of the bill adopts a very narrow definition of faith-based organizations, covering only churches, religious schools, and "integrated auxiliaries." Indeed, Georgia’s constrained definition of religious organization mimics the one used by the Obama administration to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to help provide abortion-inducing drugs in their employee health plans because they don’t qualify for an exemption as a religious organization. Faith-based organizations come in all shapes and sizes, and there is no reason for Georgia to adopt such a cramped vision of religious organization.

Finally, the new Georgia bill provides no protection for bakers or florists or other similar wedding professionals who cannot help celebrate a same-sex wedding. While it does provide protections for priests and pastors not to have to perform same-sex weddings and for everyone not to attend them, the U.S. Constitution already provides such protections. So the bill doesn’t protect those who most need it, but it protects those who already have it.

In other words, the bill does little to deter judicial activists from discriminating against most "ordinary" citizens.

Nevertheless, National Football League spokesman Brian McCarthy warned: "NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites." As CBS News notes, Atlanta "has been considered a clear favorite because of its new retractable-roof stadium, set to open next year." It is well within the NFL’s rights to take the Super Bowl elsewhere. But the entire ordeal demonstrates the intolerant Left’s unequivocal agenda — complete capitulation, not tolerance.


UK: Hmm, Where Could All This Hatred Be Coming From?

As with the Labour party students at Oxford, it is hard to argue that party members should have zero-tolerance towards anti-Semites when the party's current leader has spent his whole career happily tolerating them.

As many on the so-called left have earlier shown, their sinister idea of "re-education" for their opponents supposes that their own ideas on "education" are correct.

"Anti-Semitism isn't just tolerated in some sections of the British Muslim community; it's routine and commonplace. Any Muslims reading this article -- if they are honest with themselves -- will know instantly what I am referring to. It's our dirty little secret." — Mehdi Hassan, The New Statesman.

Is it not possible that anti-Muslim feeling, if it exists, might be in part propelled by the discovery that anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice (against women and gay people to name just two other "minorities") are also "routine and commonplace" among British Muslims?

Not a month goes by in Britain without some left-wing proponent of anti-Jewish racism exposing themselves. Last month it was the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) that was found to be harbouring anti-Semites among its members. In recent weeks there have been a number of adult members of the Labour party who have been readmitted to the party or promoted within it while holding extreme anti-Jewish views.

The most recent case revolves around one Vicki Kirby, a Labour parliamentary candidate before the last general election, when she was suspended from the party for tweeting about Jews having "big noses," Adolf Hitler being the "Zionist god" and other ramblings. Naturally, Ms. Kirby's suspension has since been lifted. As with the Labour party students at Oxford, it is very hard to argue that party members should have zero-tolerance towards anti-Semites when the party's current leader has spent his whole career happily tolerating them. Last week it came to public attention that Ms. Kirby had now become the vice-chair of her local party chapter.

The story was broken on right-of-centre websites, which ordinarily means that left-of-centre activists dismiss them as "smears." But these stories are now coming in so thick and fast that an increasing number of people on the left are starting to admit they might have a problem. At least they are choosing to throw the more minor anti-Semites under the bus while preserving those at the top of their ranks. Had the charges aimed at Ms. Kirby been aimed at Mr Corbyn, we would still be being told that these were "rumours," "innuendo" and the like.

Nevertheless, some Corbyn loyalists have decided that Ms. Kirby may indeed be a bit much, and realized that it is probably time to address the problem. Unfortunately, having failed to recognize the virus earlier, the remedies these people are now suggesting for cure are predictably wrong-headed.

Take for example the Guardian-published Corbyn activist, Owen Jones. Last week, ignoring his own history of stirring up lies against the Jewish state, he responded to his party's latest embarrassment by arguing that Labour's rules should be changed so that "anyone found guilty of anti-Semitism -- or any other form of racism -- is expelled from the party." He went on to say that, "Their readmission should only happen when they have demonstrably been shown to have been re-educated." There is the start of the problem. As so often with those on the Corbyn-ite wing of politics, the answer to problems of the heart or mind is "re-education." The only problem -- as the left many have earlier shown in a range of twentieth-century initiatives ranging from Stalin to Mao -- is that their sinister idea of "re-education" for their opponents supposes that their own ideas on "education" are correct. As Jones goes on to show, this is rarely the case.

For his second prevarication for dealing with Labour's anti-Semitism problem, Jones wrote that the party should:

"... set up two commissions: one on antisemitism, the other on anti-Muslim prejudice, respectively headed by a leading Jewish and a Muslim figure. Both forms of bigotry are on the rise in Britain, and both exist within progressive circles and the Labour party. The commissions could issue a series of recommendations, both for dealing with it when it arises within Labour, and also in wider society."

As everyone involved in politics knows, there are two ways truly to ignore a problem: the first is just to ignore it; the second is to "set up a commission."

But there are several perhaps unwittingly interesting things about this flaccid suggestion. The first is the reflexive and unthinking demonstration among many these days that they cannot possibly deal with anti-Semitism unless they also throw Muslims into the mix. To deal with anti-Semitism on its own might throw up too many problems and raise too many communal problems.

But let us say that two such commissions were set up. And let us pretend for a moment that they were indeed headed by people who were not merely "leading" but also honest figures.

The head of the commission to look into anti-Semitic prejudice, might find a number of startling things. He or she might find, for instance, that the dominant strand of anti-Semitism in British life in 2016 comes not from Ms. Kirby's ilk, but from the British Muslim community. The commission head would not have to go far to learn this. One only has to pick up a copy of the British left's in-house magazine, The New Statesman, and read an article from just three years ago by the British-born Al-Jazeera broadcaster, Mehdi Hassan. In an unusually honest piece entitled, "The sorry truth is that the virus of anti-Semitism has infected the British Muslim community," the author explains that:

"Anti-Semitism isn't just tolerated in some sections of the British Muslim community; it's routine and commonplace. Any Muslims reading this article -- if they are honest with themselves -- will know instantly what I am referring to. It's our dirty little secret."

So as Hassan has reminded us, the sorry truth is that if a commission into anti-Semitism were set up, it would have to finger the majority of British Muslims as at least a very large part of the problem.

Meanwhile, let us say that the second commission were set up -- the one that gives cover to the anti-Semitism commission which is looking at "anti-Muslim" feeling. This commission might come to an equally problematic conclusion. This commission might conclude, for instance, that to the extent that any "anti-Muslim" feeling might be said to exist in the UK, it comes from a number of factors quite separate from innate and unalterable prejudice in the hearts of the British people.

It might come, for instance, from a dislike of suicide-bombings, assassinations, beheadings and other varieties of terrorism carried out while discussing the greatness of Allah. Although most British people will remain perfectly capable of understanding the difference between the actions of the extremists and the behaviour of the vast majority of British Muslims, they may be concerned about the amount of deflection and denial that they see even from leaders of very mainstream Muslim organizations.

Indeed, is it not possible that anti-Muslim feeling, if it exists, might not also be in part propelled by the discovery that anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice (against women and gay people to name just two "minorities") are also "routine and commonplace" among British Muslims?

Perhaps after all it would be best if the Corbyn-ite element of the Labour party does not attempt this process of "re-education"? The path to wisdom must include some self-understanding. Yet the Labour party's anti-Semitism problem comes from people who propel the very hatred they profess to despise. As such, they remain in no position to "re-educate" anyone, as they so stubbornly refuse to educate themselves.


South Australia father has smacking (spanking) conviction  overturned

A father found guilty of assault for smacking his 12-year-old son as a form of discipline has had the verdict overturned.

South Australia's Supreme Court has ruled the actions of the Air Force pilot, who smacked his son three times, were not unreasonable for the purpose of correcting behaviour.

Justice David Peek said the smacks, one to the boy's bare thigh and two to his shorts, left some redness but no bruising and did not warrant the guilty verdict.

The incident happened in 2014 after a dispute over a takeaway meal when the father, who was divorced from the boy's mother, moved to discipline his son over what he considered his disrespectful behaviour.

The following day the boy took himself to his mother's home and later went to a police station to lay a complaint.

A magistrate subsequently found the father guilty of criminal assault but did not record a conviction or impose a penalty.

In his judgement on Monday, Justice Peek found that the suffering of some temporary pain and discomfort by the child would not transform a parent attempting to correct a child into a person committing a criminal offence.

"In all of the present circumstances, it was established on the evidence that the actions of appellant were bona fide for the purpose of parental correction and that his conduct was not unreasonable," Justice Peek said.



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

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

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


23 March, 2016

Appalling social worker racism

'Don't let them take me away': Girl, six, is taken away from her foster family of five years because she is '1.5 per cent Native American' and the family is white

Lexi, a six-year-old with one-and-a-half per cent Choctaw blood has been removed from her foster parents of five years
Protesters tried to stop government officials from taking the child from her foster parents by spending the night outside the home

Summer and Rusty Page, Lexi's foster parents, are not Native American

Due to the 'Indian Child Welfare Act', Lexi is supposed to only live with other Native American families

Summer and Rusty, from Santa Claritra, California, have been fighting for two years to adopt the child 

The Choctaw Tribe has decided to place Lexi with a person in Utah who is not Native American and does not live on a reservation

Santa Clarita social workers arrived at the home of Rusty and Summer Page and removed their six-year-old foster daughter on Monday afternoon.

Six-year-old Lexi sobbed, clinging to Rusty as he reluctantly fought through a crowd to hand the child over to the Department of Children and Families.

In a disturbing video from KTLA, Lexi screamed, begging her father 'don't let them take me away', as she was removed from her family.

As Lexi was placed in the back of a black car with government workers, Summer burst from the home screaming 'I love you, Lexi'.  Lexi's foster siblings screamed 'no' over and over, crying hysterically as their sister was taken.

Droves of protesters and reporters stood by helplessly as the family's screams continued to echo out into the street.

The horrifying scene came days after Summer and Rusty were denied an emergency stay to keep the part-Native American child.  Summer and Rusty raised Lexi for the last five years and spent the last two-and-a-half trying to adopt her with no success.

Lexi, who has only ever know the Pages as her parents, is one-and-a-half per cent Choctaw Native American. She was 17 months old when she was removed from the custody of her biological mother.

'Quite frankly, when Lexi is old enough to understand what happened to her, I think that would lead to resentment of her heritage, not embracing of the culture,' Rusty told ABC 7.

Protesters spent the night wrapped up in sleeping bags and in tents outside of Rusty and Summer Page's Santa Clarita home on Sunday.

On Monday morning, a crowd of more than 50 people holding signs and singing hymns still stood in solidarity with the Page family.

The demonstrators were trying to prevent the Department of Children and Family Services from coming overnight to remove six-year-old Lexi from Summer and Rusty's care.

The DCF was set to remove Lexi at 10am on Sunday, but postponed is due to the group of protesters.

Before Lexi was handed over, Rusty addressed the crowd to tell them the news. 'Despite our pleas to the county, we received word the county has every intention of taking Lexi today.  'And we will, with very heavy hearts, comply with the order and we'll be waiting here for them to come take her,' Rusty said.  Overcome with grief her turned from the crowd: 'That's all I can say.'

'The children are not going to understand the separation. This is going to destroy these children,' Tari Kelly, Lexi's foster grandmother, told ABC 7.

On Monday, Rusty choked back tears as he pleaded with Child Welfare Service not to break up his family.

'As a matter of simple human decency, we implore the county not to prematurely take Lexi from her home,' Rusty said between sobs as he read from a statement.

He later told ABC 7, Lexi and his other biological children with Summer - a nine-year-old, another six-year-old and a two-year-old - have not been told what is about to happen.

'They have no idea what's going on. I come outside to cry and go back inside to play in the backyard with them,' he said. The Pages were under specific orders not to tell the children about Lexi's removal.

'Lexi doesn't know another home. She finally knows what mom and dad means and they want to take that away from her. and we can't stand idly by while that happens,' Rusty told Fox 11.

The family took the case to court, but their most recent emergency stay was lifted.

The court decided Lexi will be sent to go live with the extend family in Utah, where her family members have been fighting for her for the last three years, according ABC 7.


Few women show interest in infantry jobs opened to them

Three years after the Pentagon ordered the military services to prepare to open all ground combat jobs to women, few of them have expressed interest in a career in the infantry or other newly opened positions.

As part of an experimental program, 233 women who completed Marine Corps infantry and other ground combat schools are  eligible for those jobs, but none has requested a formal transfer.

The Army  sees similar results. "We’re not expecting a high propensity for infantry or armor," said Lt. Col. Jerry Pionk, an Army spokesman.

The Marine Corps initially expected about 200 women a year to enter jobs previously closed to women, including a small number in the infantry.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said opening the jobs would improve combat effectiveness because the military would draw from a larger pool of applicants for the infantry and other specialties.

"To succeed in our mission of national defense, we cannot afford to cut ourselves off from half the country's talents and skills," Carter said.

Military officials said the interest among women in previously all-male jobs may change over time, citing the gradual progress in expanding earlier opportunities for women in the military. "Incrementally over time, it’s been one success after another," Pionk said.

It remains to be seen whether this time will be different. The infantry, in particular, is a job that requires carrying heavy loads over great distances and living in austere conditions for long periods. The life of an infantryman has changed little over the course of U.S. military history.

The armed services are also opening artillery, tanks and other specialties, which may prove less of an obstacle for women.

Three years ago, then-Defense secretary Leon Panetta ordered the services to open ground combat jobs to women by 2016. Carter approved the services' plans this year, which allowed women to start training and entering the jobs.

It may be an additional year before women show up in infantry units, since recruits who express interest in the jobs will need to undergo training in those occupations.

The Marine Corps, an infantry-centered force that serves long deployments aboard ships,  requested an exception for infantry, citing a study that showed infantry units with women did not perform as well as all-male units.

Carter denied the Marine request this year, saying there would be no exceptions. The Marines pledged to successfully implement the order.

Women have engaged in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan and have flown combat aircraft for years but had been barred from infantry, armor, Special Forces and other jobs that require the most physical strength and endurance.

The Marine Corps and Army, which have the bulk of ground combat jobs, have conducted extensive studies to create "gender neutral" physical tests and have codified the physical requirements of the jobs.

The services say they are taking a number of steps to ensure a smooth transition and are committed to making the transition without hurting readiness. "There’s no doubt we’re leading cultural change,"  Marine Brig. Gen. James Glynne said.

The Marine Corps said it will move women into positions within infantry battalions to help mentor female Marines who may eventually enter the units.

The service  said it is sending training teams to bases around the world to begin an initiative to help with the transition. The initiative will address issues such as "unconscious bias," Marine Col. Anne Weinberg said.

All the services have developed "gender neutral" physical screening tests for applicants and pledged that standards will not change.

Those standards are rigorous. No woman has  completed the Marine Corps’ rigorous Infantry Officer Course, although 29 women have tried. Three women have graduated from the Army’s Ranger School.

The first two women to ever be admitted to the Army Ranger School are scheduled to graduate from the rigorous training program Friday, military sources said. Unlike the men though, the women still are unable to join the infantry or other combat jobs.

Officials acknowledged that they don’t know how many women will be interested in the jobs. "We don’t think there’s going to be a lot," said David Brinkley, an official at the Army's Training and Doctrine Command, which oversees the analysis of job requirements. "But to be honest, there’s not a lot of men who want to do that either,"


Former Lesbian: ‘Five Unelected Judges’ Made Sexual Orientation ‘Our Nation’s Reigning Idol’

 A self-described former lesbian and feminist said on Wednesday that the Supreme Court’s decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case declaring states’ ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, created the "nation’s reigning idol."

"When five unelected Supreme Court judges appended sexual orientation to the 14th Amendment in the 2015 Obergefell decision declaring state bans on gay marriage unconstitutional, sexual orientation metastasized from a description of perceived sexual desires to our nation’s reigning idol," Rosaria Butterfield said in a lecture at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.

"Idols seduce," Butterfield said. "Idols demand allegiance. "Idols steal worship from God, and idols destroy faith in God," Butterfield said.

Butterfield, a former tenured professor at Syracuse University, converted to Christianity in 1999 and has written several books, including "The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert" and "Openness Unhindered, Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Covert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ."

"The Obergefell decision established into law the idea that our sexuality is inseparable from our spirit; that it captures the truth about who we really are and that to deny its expression violates the core of our identity," Butterfield said.

Butterfield said she now believes God created male and female as "image bearers" and homosexual desires are outcroppings of original sin and all of its manifestations of sin suffered by all mankind.

She also said she regrets the role she played in advancing the homosexual agenda.

"Who am I, and how dare I say these things?" Butterfield said. "You see, this is not an easy conversation for me. "You see, we live in the world now that I helped create," Butterfield said. "The blood is on these hands.

"I spent 10 years of my life – between the ages of 26 and 36 – in serial monogamous lesbian relationships and working to advance LGBT rights," Butterfield said.

Butterfield now lives in North Carolina with her husband and their four adopted children. She describes herself today as a "full-time mother and pastor’s wife, part-time author and occasional speaker."


Generational Theft: Jason Stapleton Tackles Entitlement Reform

Recently I got to chat with my friend Jason Stapleton, host of the popular online show the Jason Stapleton Program, and founder and CEO of TradeEmpowered. Jason took the time to answer some important questions and shed light on the crisis regarding entitlement reform, and how the millennial generation is getting scammed out of a prosperous future.

Remso: Back in 2013 alone, the generation that turned 65 received $327 thousand dollars more in lifetime government benefits than they paid in federal taxes. On the other hand, children born in the next ten to twenty years will have a lifetime deficit on this basis of $421 thousand dollars. How are we supposed to be a free people if we are slaves to debt the moment we breathe air?

Jason: That’s a fair question. I think too often we fall victim to the lies politicians tell. That’s what Social Security is. It’s a promise the politicians made that they never intended to keep. The idea of the "lock box" for your benefits never materialized. It became a giant fund government used to draw on. "The debtor is always slave to the lender" so to speak. The more we borrow the deeper in debt and more enslaved we make our children. So to answer your question directly, we cannot be a free people as long as we are slaves to an ever increasing national debt.

Remso: What needs to come first in order to push for serious entitlement reform?

Jason: I think the first thing that needs to happen is we need more liberty-minded people in local office. These days we’re all focused on the national election and each year we hope that by electing the right congressman or president that it’ll put us on a path to recovery. But that’s not where the healing begins. It starts in your local city council. Your school board, your county sheriff or city mayor. The more liberty-minded people we put in positions of power at the state and local level the greater our chances for real entitlement reform.

How incredible would it be for a state to simply say, "We’re done paying these outrageous entitlements for medicare and medicaid? You don’t need the federal government to change, you just need the states to refuse to comply. That only happens if your state representatives feel like they have the support of the cities and towns in their districts. It starts with a foundation built on local leadership. That’s how we change Washington.

Remso: How can young people solve this problem if men like Bernie Sanders are seen as a viable option for governing and Rand Paul is silenced?

Jason: I think Bernie's message will always resonate with people who have nothing. There will always be a group of people looking to benefit for the labor and human capital of their neighbors. It doesn’t help that the youth of today have been coddled and sweet talked their entire lives. That type of upbringing brings with it a sense of entitlement, something Bernie Sanders knows how to capitalize on.

In terms of Rand, I think the reason more young people didn’t move toward Rand had more to do with his messaging than his message. One thing I’ve learned in my years in business is that messaging is everything. Not just to your prospects but to your employees and team as well. Knowing why you’re there and presenting people with a compelling future is what separates good messages from bad ones. I don’t want to be to critical of Rand because I like him but I think his team did a poor job of giving people a vision of the future they could get behind.

Remso: Senators such as presidential candidate Ted Cruz have discussed an opt out for millennials from social security while keeping the promise of the program to those that have paid a lifetime into it. What are your thoughts? Should the program be scrapped entirely?

Jason: It’s a funny thing about contracts. They need to be honored. Those who have paid into Social Security deserve to have their agreements honored. But the worst thing you can do is continue to perpetrate a lie promising young people they’ll have a check waiting for them when they retire. We need to give power back to the individual and that starts with giving him control of his own money. You should have the right to plan for your future as you see fit. The government is not your mommy or your daddy. It’s not government's responsibility to make sure you’re provided for in old age. I am in favor of any plan that allows an individual to keep more of what they justly earned.

Remso: It's easy to say we should raise the age for retirement as a short term solution, but what do you say to the blue collar class that can't take a proposed ten year extension?

Jason: Well, I think it’s wrong to break a contract. If I hire you to do a job and tell you on X day I’m going to pay you X amount of money you expect to be paid. I don’t get to show up on payday and say, "Sorry, I’ve been really irresponsible with my money and I can’t pay you. You’re going to have to work a bit longer." Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with Social Security and I wish our government had never made promises it couldn’t keep, but the solution should not be to punish those who have worked their entire lives under the assumption their contract was good.

Remso: What entitlement program do you think is the most divisive, and which one do you consider the two parties could take on together bipartisanly?

Jason: Oh I don’t know... Progressives cling to every entitlement program they have. In most cases the fight is over how much to expand the program, not whether to cut it. And it’s not like the Republicans are dying to cut entitlements. They know who votes. It’s not the young Bernie Sanders college crowd. It’s the 68 year old retiree who loves his Medicare part D. So in my estimation there isn’t much the current congress can do to reduce entitlement spending. I think the best we can hope for is a slowdown in the rate of growth.

Remso: None of this can be done without comprehensive tax reform at some point. What tax plan (progressive, consumption, flat) do you think would help most Americans?

Jason: Well if not getting taxed is not an option then I would choose a form of oppression that punished everyone equally. So a flat tax or a consumption tax could both be used. I like the idea of people feeling the tax. Taxes on goods and services are taxes you feel. You see the sticker price of $14.95 and when the cashier swipes your item it rings up $16.44. You put a 15 or 20% tax on everything you buy and people are going to realize real quick how much they are actually paying in taxes. One of the best ways to reduce tax burdens it to make people aware of just how much their being fleeced.

Remso: What is your message to millennials?

Jason: My message to millennials is the same message I give to retirees. If you want a better life for yourself your friends, your neighbors and your children you need to support and advocate for principles that have created the most wealth, opportunity and prosperity in history. The principles of limited government, individualism, peace, tolerance and free markets. To millennials specifically, if you want an economy flush with job opportunities and a wealth of employers vying for your skills you must turn away from the socialist/progressive ideas being preached by men like Bernie Sanders. Those ideas, far from leading people to prosperity have always lead to starvation and death. The message is liberty. Always liberty.



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

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

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


22 March, 2016

Some insane gaming

An email from Pierre Savoie Below

I have a tip for you if you like to cover insane Political Correctness.

The EvilHat game company is a small publisher mainly known for the Fate Core tabletop roleplaying game, which has nowhere near the numbers of fans of Dungeons & Dragons.

They published a booklet, a game setting called “Deep Dark Blue” which is set in the near-future and deep under the oceans.  However, they included elements with a Politically Correct agenda:

--they made one use of the pronoun “xe” (pronounced zee) which most spell-checkers don’t recognize (or confuse with the element xenon), but if you look online it is meant to be a “gender indeterminate pronoun” such as for transsexuals.  There is no universally agreed upon system for gender-indeterminate pronouns.

--they offered a set of sample character usable in the setting, including a female crew-member IN A WHEELCHAIR!

See here

When I pointed out on the Fate Core Google+ Community forum that it was implausible that there could be anyone in a wheelchair in the cramped confines of a submarine, the head of the company fired a message back calling me a “privileged Able White Male”.  He also objected to my use of the word “retarded”.  EvilHat believes it has a crusade to change gamer attitudes and control speech.  But “retarded” is used as official government language in countries like India with a billion people, and is more legitimate than “xe”.

However, for trying to use reason, he banned me from the forum for 30 days!  I have screen-captures of the forum messages before the message-thread was deleted from the forum, and his smarmy pinned message as a result, as well as a screen-capture of the incredible artwork of a crewmember in a wheelchair presumably dealing with cramped conditions and getting her wheelchair through circular hatchways and such.

I also remarked that, if his goal had really been “inclusiveness”, why didn’t he portray some firefighters in a wheelchair in the setting called “Fight Fire” (part of a collection called Fate Worlds Volume 1)?  Because that would be insane, that’s why!  Later, it occurred to me that in the future they might give the handicapped powered legs to make them as able as anyone else (this was actually portrayed with actor Ricardo Montalban in the movie SPY KIDS 3: GAME OVER, where we expect him to stay in his wheelchair, but he walks out of it!  But the Politically Correct aren’t interested in solving problems, they want to PERPETUATE problems, and keep people into different groups, divided and requiring expensive accommodation and catering.

I have screen captures of the deleted message-thread if you are interested.

The British were imperialist brutes? No, Britain made India great (says an Indian!)

Before you read this review, it's important that we get a couple of things straight. The first is that Kartar Lalvani is himself Indian. The second is that, as far as I can tell, he is not mad.

The reason both these things are so important is that for more than half a century scarcely anybody - let alone an Indian - has dared suggest that British rule in India was anything other than an utter disaster.

In his preface, Lalvani notes sadly that he's been living in England for more than 50 years and in that time 'I have not encountered a single native Brit who has stated any form of belief that the British benefited India'.

Received wisdom - carefully nurtured by generations of Lefty academics - holds that Britain, the wicked colonial oppressor, sucked the wealth out of India, crushing the poor Indians under their boot heels at the same time.

As the founder of Vitabiotics, 'Britain's most successful vitamin company', Dr Lalvani is presumably a very busy man.

Yet he feels so strongly that British rule in India has been unfairly vilified that he's produced a scrupulously researched examination of its achievements.

One of the main charges against the British is that they looted India of many of its assets.

Nonsense, insists Lalvani. If anyone looted India, it was the Persians - by the time the British arrived, the country's coffers were almost empty.

But surely India has always been dogged by the most appalling poverty? Isn't that also a legacy of British rule? Not according to Lalvani. As he points out, it's now almost 70 years since the British left India and the poverty is almost as bad as it's ever been.

If there is a villain to be fingered here - someone responsible for keeping India bumping along the bottom - it's not a representative of British rule.  Instead, we should be pointing accusingly at none other than Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister who is generally reckoned to be the father of the nation.

It was Nehru who cravenly sucked up to Stalin - a far greater brute than any Brit.  'As a result, India's pace of industrial growth was seriously stunted, depriving the country of precious financial development funds from the U.S. and European nations.'

Lalvani is only limbering up, though. It isn't until he gets into what the British did for India's infrastructure that he really hits his stride.

Not only did the British give India a legal system, an efficient police force, an apolitical army and a smooth running - if astonishingly bureaucratic - civil service, but just look at the concrete benefits they provided.

Let's start with roads. In 1836, work began to construct a highway between Calcutta and Lahore - that's 1,423 miles.  When it was finally completed almost 30 years later 'wheeled carriages could roll across the land' for the first time.

Not only that, trees had been planted every 60 ft along the way 'to provide beautification and much-needed shade to travellers'.

And then, of course, there were the railways. In a section entitled Awe-Inspiring Railways Statistics, Lalvani lists how India's railway network came to cover the map. He's right; the statistics really are awe-inspiring.

In 1853, there were a mere 21 miles of railway in India. Ten years later, there were 2,512. Jump forward 20 years, and that figure has gone up to 10,000 miles, and another 20 years later to 26,378.

The British built more railways in India than America, France, Germany and other European colonialists built in all their colonies. And in order to do so, they had to build bridges - lots and lots of bridges. At this point it's worth recalling Franklin D. Roosevelt's quote: 'There can be little doubt that in many ways the story of bridge building is the story of civilisation.  'By it, we can readily measure a people's progress.'

In fact, the British had been building bridges in India long before the railways came along.  In 1811, the first iron bridge in British India was built across the Gomti River at Lucknow - the design was based on a bridge over the River Wear in Sunderland. When it was shipped to India, it became the largest single structure ever exported from Britain.  It consisting of 2,627 pieces, of which just 19 arrived broken.

To build the Simla railway that led from the plains up to the cooler hill country, the track had to climb almost 500 ft - requiring the construction of 103 tunnels. And this for a railway that was a mere 60 miles long.

In the late 1700s, the British decided to construct a mint in Calcutta. Behind a colonnaded facade inspired by the Temple of Minerva in Athens, steam-driven machines stamped out 200,000 coins every eight hours.

A few years later they built another equally grand mint in Bombay. When an Indian engineer at the Bombay mint came to London in the 1840s, he took one look at the Royal Mint and pronounced it to be 'much inferior'.

Inevitably, a history like this is going to be on the selective side. For instance, there's barely any mention of a thoroughly discreditable episode such as the opium trade, while the Indian Mutiny also passes in a convenient blur. But even so, it's still hard - indeed almost impossible - not to be struck by how much the British sought to improve India.

Of course, their ideas of what constituted improvements were very British ones, yet many of the institutions they introduced are still functioning pretty well today.

And when the time eventually came for the British to leave India in 1947, power was relinquished with 'for the most part good grace and mutual respect' - unlike a lot of other countries one could mention.

After reading a book as bracingly controversial as this, you may find yourself in need of some refreshment - a cup of tea, perhaps.  As you are waiting for the kettle to boil, you could reflect on how it was the British who introduced tea to India, turning the country into the biggest tea producer in the world in little more than a century.

And from there you might go on to chalk up a few other achievements: the introduction of coffee, sugar, fresh drinking water, public toilets...

Doubtless there will be those who dismiss Dr Lalvani as the worst kind of imperialist lackey.  But I defy anyone with a modicum of open-mindedness not to read The Making Of India and concede, however grudgingly, that he just might have a point.


Church of England 'wrong to smear sex abuse bishop'

Group of lawyers, politicians and church leaders say allegation 'cannot be upheld' and question why he was named.  Former Bishop of Chichester George Bell labelled a paedophile last year

A high-powered group of lawyers, politicians and police officers yesterday accused the Church of England of smearing one of its own heroes.

They declared that an allegation that former Bishop of Chichester George Bell was a child abuser ‘cannot be upheld’ and called for an inquiry into how the CofE came to make it.

The protest, by well-placed figures including Anglican Labour MP Frank Field, leading lawyer Desmond Browne QC, and former police chief Lord Geoffrey Dear, threw the Church into a fresh difficulty over its handling of sex abuse allegations.

Last week the Church declared that a number of senior Anglican figures had failed to act on allegations of historic sex abuse of a teenager by a paedophile priest. It declined, however, to publish the report.

The scandal over Bishop Bell broke out last autumn, when the cleric, who died in 1958, was labelled a paedophile who had sexually abused a child.

A statement from the Church said experts had drawn up an independent report which had found there was no reason to doubt the truth of the complaints of a woman who said she was abused by the Bishop in his kitchen in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

The woman, known only as Carol, was paid £15,000 compensation. She has since given a series of broadcast interviews about the alleged abuse.

The report was not published and the experts were not named.

As a result schools and buildings named after Bell had references to him removed and there are moves to take down a memorial plaque in Chichester cathedral.

Bell’s memory is revered because he organised resistance to the Nazis from 1932 onwards, welcomed German refugees to Britain, and during the war made an enemy of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Bell spoke out early against the British area bombing of German cities and met with German pastors opposed to Hitler to try to secure a promise from Britain that peace would be made with Germany if Hitler was assassinated.

His opposition to the government is thought to have cost him the chance of becoming Archbishop of Canterbury.

The George Bell Group statement yesterday said that Bell was a figure with a ‘saintly’ reputation who had no-one to defend him. They demanded the Church publish its investigation into Bell and the allegations with redactions to protect the identity of his accuser.

They said no-one else has made any allegations against Bell since the Church called him a paedophile last October.

The Group said: ‘The public has been consistently assured that the process by which the Church of England reached a view on Bishop Bell was "thorough" and "objective", and that it commissioned "experts" whose "independent reports" found ‘no reason to doubt the veracity of the claims’ of sexual abuse made by the complainant.

‘However, although the nature of this process has never been publicly disclosed, we have discovered enough to establish its severe limitations which render it quite inadequate as a basis for assessing the probability of Bishop Bell’s guilt. The scope of the independent experts’ inquiries was limited to a degree that made a proper analysis of the complainant’s allegations virtually impossible.

The Group called for an investigation of the way the Church came to denigrate Bishop Bell, and added: ‘On moral, pastoral and legal grounds the authorities of the Church of England clearly owe an apology, principally to the living relatives of Bishop Bell, and also to many people across the churches who have honoured his memory. ‘

It also called for Bishop Bell’s name to be restored to buildings and schools from which it has been removed since last autumn.

A Church of England spokesman said: ‘The decision to settle the civil claim relating to the activities of Bishop Bell and make a formal apology was not taken lightly or without consideration of the impact on the reputation of George Bell.

‘However in this case, as in others, the overriding goal was to search out the truth and issues of reputation cannot take priority over that. Any suggestion that the reputation of the Church, or its ministers, should take precedence over the search for the truth is fundamentally misplaced.’ 


Troops at Ft. Gordon Subjected to Unauthorized Lecture on ‘White Privilege’

Troops stationed at Ford Gordon, Georgia were subjected to an unauthorized lecture on “white privilege” during an Equal Opportunity briefing last year, according to a PowerPoint presentation the Army released last month to Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The PowerPoint presentation, which was shown to 400 members of the 67th Signal Battalion on April 2, 2015, defined privilege as “an unearned advantage,” and stated: “Our society attaches privilege to being white and male and heterosexual regardless of your social class.”

“Privilege exists when one group has something of value that is denied to others simply because of the groups they belong to, rather than because of anything they’ve done or failed to do,” the briefing continued.

“Privilege grants the cultural authority to make judgments about others and to have those judgments stick….Privilege means being able to decide who gets taken seriously, receives attention, etc ….

 “Privilege is always at someone else’s expense and always exacts a cost… however passive and unconscious, [it] results in suffering and deprivation for someone.”

Under a slide entitled “The luxury of obliviousness,” troops were told that “race privilege gives whites little reason to pay a lot of attention to African Americans or to how white privilege affects them. ‘To be white in America means not having to think about it.’”

“The trouble we’re in can’t be solved unless the ‘privileged’ make the problem of privilege their problem and do something about it,” the slideshow concluded, urging soldiers to “reclaim” words such as “racist”, “patriarchy”, “oppression and dominance”, and “feminism”… “so that we can use them to name and make sense of the truth of what’s going on.”

“We certainly found it shocking,” Judicial Watch attorney William Marshall told CNSNews.com. “We’re always on the lookout for any indoctrination material provided to our military personnel. In my view, this is a pretty radical way of looking at race relations.”

In response to an inquiry by CNSNews.com, an Army spokeswoman said that “the slides presented were not authorized.  "The information on the slide presentation was not a part of the original training material distributed to all battalion Equal Opportunity Leaders from the brigade's Equal Opportunity Advisor.

“The presentation shown was altered by the instructor and was not then, nor was it ever a presentation that the Army approved,” Capt. Lindsay Roman, public affairs officer of the 35th Signal Brigade, told CNSNews.com in an email.

She added that the brigade “supports the right of every Soldier, civilian employee and family member to file an Equal Opportunity complaint when experiencing or witnessing unfair treatment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation and/or national origin.”

When CNSNews.com asked Roman if the instructor had been disciplined for altering the original training material, she replied: “The brigade leadership determined that re-training was the most appropriate course of action, and the instructor received a 40-hour block of instruction.”

“The United States military is in the midst of the longest period of sustained combat in our nation’s history,” Judicial Watch said in a press release.

“It is beyond belief that our military personnel would be required to sit through a left-wing effort at PC brainwashing as the price for defending our country.”



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, 2016

An open letter to the Virginia Tech community

By Charles Murray

Last week, the president of Virginia Tech, Tim Sands, published an “open letter to the Virginia Tech community” defending lectures delivered by deplorable people like me (I’m speaking on the themes of Coming Apart on March 25). Bravo for President Sands’s defense of intellectual freedom. But I confess that I was not entirely satisfied with his characterization of my work. So I’m writing an open letter of my own.

Dear Virginia Tech community,

Since President Sands has just published an open letter making a serious allegation against me, it seems appropriate to respond. The allegation: “Dr. Murray is well known for his controversial and largely discredited work linking measures of intelligence to heredity, and specifically to race and ethnicity — a flawed socioeconomic theory that has been used by some to justify fascism, racism and eugenics.”

Let me make an allegation of my own. President Sands is unfamiliar either with the actual content of The Bell Curve — the book I wrote with Richard J. Herrnstein to which he alludes — or with the state of knowledge in psychometrics.

The Bell Curve and Charles Murray
I should begin by pointing out that the topic of the The Bell Curve was not race, but, as the book’s subtitle says, “Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life.” Our thesis was that over the last half of the 20th century, American society has become cognitively stratified. At the beginning of the penultimate chapter, Herrnstein and I summarized our message:

Predicting the course of society is chancy, but certain tendencies seem strong enough to worry about:

An increasingly isolated cognitive elite.

A merging of the cognitive elite with the affluent.

A deteriorating quality of life for people at the bottom end of the cognitive distribution.

Unchecked, these trends will lead the U.S. toward something resembling a caste society, with the underclass mired ever more firmly at the bottom and the cognitive elite ever more firmly anchored at the top, restructuring the rules of society so that it becomes harder and harder for them to lose. [p. 509].

It is obvious that these conclusions have not been discredited in the twenty-two years since they were written. They may be more accurately described as prescient.

Now to the substance of President Sands’s allegation.

The heritability of intelligence

Richard Herrnstein and I wrote that cognitive ability as measured by IQ tests is heritable, somewhere in the range of 40% to 80% [pp. 105–110], and that heritability tends to rise as people get older. This was not a scientifically controversial statement when we wrote it; that President Sands thinks it has been discredited as of 2016 is amazing.

You needn’t take my word for it. In the wake of the uproar over The Bell Curve, the American Psychological Association (APA) assembled a Task Force on Intelligence consisting of eleven of the most distinguished psychometricians in the United States. Their report, titled “Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns,” was published in the February 1996 issue of the APA’s peer-reviewed journal, American Psychologist. Regarding the magnitude of heritability (represented by h2), here is the Task Force’s relevant paragraph. For purposes of readability, I have omitted the citations embedded in the original paragraph:

If one simply combines all available correlations in a single analysis, the heritability (h2) works out to about .50 and the between-family variance (c2) to about .25. These overall figures are misleading, however, because most of the relevant studies have been done with children. We now know that the heritability of IQ changes with age: h2 goes up and c2 goes down from infancy to adulthood. In childhood h2 and c2 for IQ are of the order of .45 and .35; by late adolescence h2 is around .75 and c2 is quite low (zero in some studies) [p. 85].

The position we took on heritability was squarely within the consensus state of knowledge. Since The Bell Curve was published, the range of estimates has narrowed somewhat, tending toward modestly higher estimates of heritability.

Intelligence and race

There’s no doubt that discussing intelligence and race was asking for trouble in 1994, as it still is in 2016. But that’s for political reasons, not scientific ones. Once again, the state of knowledge about the basics is not particularly controversial. The mean scores for all kinds of mental tests vary by ethnicity. No one familiar with the data disputes that most elemental statement.

Regarding the most sensitive difference, between Blacks and Whites, Herrnstein and I followed the usual estimate of one standard deviation (15 IQ points), but pointed out that the magnitude varied depending on the test, sample, and where and how it was administered. What did the APA Task Force conclude?

“Although studies using different tests and samples yield a range of results, the Black mean is typically about one standard deviation (about 15 points) below that of Whites. The difference is largest on those tests (verbal or nonverbal) that best represent the general intelligence factor g” [p. 93].

Is the Black/White differential diminishing? In The Bell Curve, we discussed at length the evidence that the Black/White differential has narrowed [pp. 289–295], concluding that “The answer is yes with (as usual) some qualifications.” The Task Force’s treatment of the question paralleled ours, concluding with “[l]arger and more definitive studies are needed before this trend can be regarded as established” [p. 93].

Can the Black/White differential be explained by test bias? In a long discussion [pp. 280–286], Herrnstein and I presented the massive evidence that the predictive validity of mental tests is similar for Blacks and Whites and that cultural bias in the test items or their administration do not explain the Black/White differential. The Task Force’s conclusions regarding predictive validity: “Considered as predictors of future performance, the tests do not seem to be biased against African Americans” [p. 93]. Regarding cultural bias and testing conditions:  “Controlled studies [of these potential sources of bias] have shown, however, that none of them contributes substantially to the Black/White differential under discussion here” [p. 94].

Can the Black/White differential be explained by socioeconomic status? We pointed out that the question has two answers: Statistically controlling for socioeconomic status (SES) narrows the gap. But the gap does not narrow as SES goes up — i.e., measured in standard deviations, the differential between Blacks and Whites with high SES is not narrower than the differential between those with low SES [pp. 286–289]. Here’s the APA Task Force on this topic:

Several considerations suggest that [SES] cannot be the whole explanation. For one thing, the Black/White differential in test scores is not eliminated when groups or individuals are matched for SES. Moreover, the data reviewed in Section 4 suggest that—if we exclude extreme conditions—nutrition and other biological factors that may vary with SES account for relatively little of the variance in such scores [p. 94].

The notion that Herrnstein and I made claims about ethnic differences in IQ that have been scientifically rejected is simply wrong.

And so on. The notion that Herrnstein and I made claims about ethnic differences in IQ that have been scientifically rejected is simply wrong. We deliberately remained well within the mainstream of what was confidently known when we wrote. None of those descriptions have changed much in the subsequent twenty-two years, except to be reinforced as more has been learned. I have no idea what countervailing evidence President Sands could have in mind.

At this point, some readers may be saying to themselves, “But wasn’t The Bell Curve the book that tried to prove blacks were genetically inferior to whites?” I gather that was President Sands’ impression as well. It has no basis in fact. Knowing that people are preoccupied with genes and race (it was always the first topic that came up when we told people we were writing a book about IQ), Herrnstein and I offered a seventeen-page discussion of genes, race, and IQ [pp. 295–311]. The first five pages were devoted to explaining the context of the issue — why, for example, the heritability of IQ among humans does not necessarily mean that differences between groups are also heritable. Four pages were devoted to the technical literature arguing that genes were implicated in the Black/White differential. Eight pages were devoted to arguments that the causes were environmental. Then we wrote:

"If the reader is now convinced that either the genetic or environmental explanation has won out to the exclusion of the other, we have not done a sufficiently good job of presenting one side or the other. It seems highly likely to us that both genes and the environment have something to do with racial differences. What might the mix be? We are resolutely agnostic on that issue; as far as we can determine, the evidence does not yet justify an estimate". [p. 311].

That’s it—the sum total of every wild-eyed claim that The Bell Curve makes about genes and race. There’s nothing else. Herrnstein and I were guilty of refusing to say that the evidence justified a conclusion that the differential had to be entirely environmental. On this issue, I have a minor quibble with the APA Task Force, which wrote “There is not much direct evidence on [a genetic component], but what little there is fails to support the genetic hypothesis” [p. 95]. Actually there was no direct evidence at all as of the mid-1990s, but the Task Force chose not to mention a considerable body of indirect evidence that did in fact support the genetic hypothesis. No matter. The Task Force did not reject the possibility of a genetic component. As of 2016, geneticists are within a few years of knowing the answer for sure, and I am content to wait for their findings.

But I cannot leave the issue of genes without mentioning how strongly Herrnstein and I rejected the importance of whether genes are involved. This passage from The Bell Curve reveals how very, very different the book is from the characterization of it that has become so widespread:

In sum: If tomorrow you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that all the cognitive differences between races were 100 percent genetic in origin, nothing of any significance should change. The knowledge would give you no reason to treat individuals differently than if ethnic differences were 100 percent environmental. By the same token, knowing that the differences are 100 percent environmental in origin would not suggest a single program or policy that is not already being tried. It would justify no optimism about the time it will take to narrow the existing gaps. It would not even justify confidence that genetically based differences will not be upon us within a few generations. The impulse to think that environmental sources of difference are less threatening than genetic ones is natural but illusory.

In any case, you are not going to learn tomorrow that all the cognitive differences between races are 100 percent genetic in origin, because the scientific state of knowledge, unfinished as it is, already gives ample evidence that environment is part of the story. But the evidence eventually may become unequivocal that genes are also part of the story. We are worried that the elite wisdom on this issue, for years almost hysterically in denial about that possibility, will snap too far in the other direction. It is possible to face all the facts on ethnic and race differences on intelligence and not run screaming from the room. That is the essential message [pp. 314-315].

I have been reluctant to spend so much space discussing The Bell Curve’s treatment of race and intelligence because it was such an ancillary topic in the book. Focusing on it in this letter has probably made it sound as if it was as important as President Sands’s open letter implied.

But I had to do it. For two decades, I have had to put up with misrepresentations of The Bell Curve. It is annoying. After so long, when so many of the book’s main arguments have been so dramatically vindicated by events, and when our presentations of the meaning and role of IQ have been so steadily reinforced by subsequent research in the social sciences, not to mention developments in neuroscience and genetics, President Sands’s casual accusation that our work has been “largely discredited” was especially exasperating. The president of a distinguished university should take more care.

It is in that context that I came to the end of President Sands’s indictment, accusing me of promulgating “a flawed socioeconomic theory that has been used by some to justify fascism, racism and eugenics.” At that point, President Sands went beyond the kind of statement that merely reflects his unfamiliarity with The Bell Curve and/or psychometrics. He engaged in intellectual McCarthyism.

See you next week.


American College of Pediatricians: Gender Ideology Harms Children

The American College of Pediatricians issued a position statement last month entitled “Gender Ideology Harms Children,” which will be followed by a peer-reviewed statement on the subject that’s expected to be released by summer, the college told CNSNews.com.

“The American College of Pediatricians urges educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex,” the statement issued on Feb. 2 stated.

The statement – written by Dr. Michelle A. Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, Dr. Quentin Van Meter, vice president of the American College of Pediatricians and a pediatric endocrinologist, and Dr. Paul McHugh, university distinguished service professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital – cites eight reasons why “gender ideology” instead of treatment based on biological facts is harmful to children.

The first point is, “Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: ‘XY’ and ‘XX’ are genetic markers of health – not genetic markers of a disorder,” with the purpose of male and female being “the reproduction and flourishing of our species.” It notes “exceedingly rare exceptions of sexual differentiation,” which are disorders but do not represent a “third sex.”

Secondly, “No one is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one.”

The statement added that self-awareness develops over time and can be “derailed” by the experiences and information a child receives from infancy forward. Further, no matter what sex a person imagines themselves to be, they remain either a biological male or a biological female.

The third point is that, “A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking” or the child could suffer from gender dysphoria -- “an objective psychological problem … that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such.”

Fourth, “Puberty is not a disease and puberty-blocking hormones can be dangerous” by inhibiting growth and fertility, according to the position statement.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the statement says, “as many as 98 percent of gender confused boys and 88 percent of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.”

The sixth point is that “children who use puberty blockers to impersonate the opposite sex will require cross-sex hormones in late adolescence. Cross-sex hormones are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke and cancer."

The seventh point states, “Rates of suicide are 20 times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBQT–affirming countries.” 

The eighth point calls chemical and surgical treatment of children based on “gender ideology” child abuse. “Endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to ‘gender clinics’ where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs. This, in turn, virtually ensures that they will ‘choose’ a lifetime of carcinogenic and otherwise toxic cross-sex hormones, and likely consider unnecessary surgical mutilation of their healthy body parts as young adults.”

The college, a non-profit organization founded in 2002, states as its mission:

“The Mission of the American College of Pediatricians is to enable all children to reach their optimal physical and emotional health and well-being. To this end, we recognize the basic father-mother family unit, within the context of marriage, to be the optimal setting for childhood development, but pledge our support to all children, regardless of their circumstances.”


Men are victims of sexism too

This International Woman’s Day I had a light bulb moment about sexism.

The sexism I speak of is not sexism against women; it is the type of sexism that places expectations on men: The very sexism that allowed me to "conveniently ignore" the replacement of a blown out (and extraordinarily hard to reach) light bulb in my home.

Innocuous, perhaps — but suffice it to say, when a light bulb moment involves an actual light bulb, you know the universe it trying to tell you something.

You see, I expected my partner to change the bulb because... errr... he’s a man.  And men fix stuff.

There was absolutely nothing stopping me from changing this freakishly awkward light bulb myself. Nothing stopping me at all. Except a buy-in to harmful gender stereotypes, and a fear of ladders placed precariously on a set of stairs, that is.

Stereotypes give us conscious, subconscious, and unconscious expectations about how men and women "should" behave; and these stereotypes lie at the root of inequality.  Stereotypes have a lot to answer for indeed.

While both my partner and I do lots of tasks around the home that are gender-bending, my decision to ignore this particular light bulb taught me a lesson: I have to fight subconscious sexism more consciously.

Like everyone — I am still learning what personal responsibility toward the principles of genuine equality requires. If I expect my partner to change a hard to reach light bulb, how is that any different from him expecting me to vacuum the house?

It is not.

And here is the twist: HE doesn’t expect me to vacuum; I expect ME to vacuum — and this is part of the same problem. I have bought into the gender stereotype that it "should" be my job to do so, when it "should" not.

It would be foolhardy of me to suggest the thoughts behind of who "should" change the hard to reach light bulbs or vacuum the house in a male-female domestic partnership can sum up the multitude of challenges we face on the road to equality. This is not the case at all. The systemic and institutionalised issues that surround sexism are deeply, breathtakingly complex.

But it is up to all of us to question the stereotypes that play out right under our noses, and in our homes.

I have since realised that saying "Hey honey, have you noticed the air conditioner is stuffed?" is an uncool thing to say. It implies I expect my partner to fix it, and that I expect him to be able to.

I have also realised that half expecting a medal for fixing it myself makes me no different to the man who proudly declares, "I change nappies!"  In both cases, no more than a whoop-de-doo is in order.

Simply put, there are things to be done, and our sex should not determine who does what. The reluctance to embrace non-traditional gender roles (or the idea that we should be rewarded when we do) hurts everyone.

It can be said that road to equality demands us ALL to admit when our thinking could be better.

It can also be said that she who fixes her own airconditioner is twice cooled.


There’s only one country in the Middle East that could produce a soldier like me

By Major Alaa Wahid, highest ranked Muslim officer in the Israel Defence Forces

In the last few weeks, students across the UK have been involved in Israeli Apartheid Week.  Some have supported it. Others have opposed it. Invited by the Zionist Federation UK, last week I was able to attend campuses up and down the country specifically to address and counter some of the claims involved.

These fall into roughly three categories. First, that Israel is an inherently racist, and therefore unacceptable country, comparable to Apartheid South Africa. Second, that its army defends this racist status with acts of illegal and immoral violence. And third, that the only solution to this problem is through the isolation tactics of boycotts.

Like many I met during my visit, I oppose these views. But perhaps more than most people on either side of the debate, I am better placed to argue against them. Because I am an Israeli, an Arab, and the highest ranked Muslim in the IDF.

Is Israel inherently racist, an apartheid state? Well, do you think that such a country would tolerate a person like myself getting to the position I am today? Forget for a second (BDS supporters would like you to forget permanently!) that 20 percent of Israelis are non-Jewish, have full rights, and are represented throughout society. It’s one thing, after all, to have Arab politicians, Christian voters, and Muslim doctors – although we do have them, and quite a few at that.

But a non-Jewish army Major? Someone who has not only fought alongside Jewish soldiers, but now trains them too? Would a truly racist state allow me to play such an integral role in our nation’s defences?

And while we’re on the subject of those defences, let me tackle accusation two: that the Israel army is a particularly immoral one. I am not particularly religious, but as the Holy Quran says, “if anyone killed a person, it would be as if he killed the whole of mankind; and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole of mankind.”

I do not serve in the army to kill people – I serve in it to save people. When Hamas fires rockets, or Fatah encourages stabbings, we are here to protect the lives of all Israeli citizens, Jewish and non-Jewish.

And so on to the last point – that the best way to resolve violence and conflict is through the kind of tactics advocated by the Boycotts movement. Namely, isolation and intimidation. For me, this is the most important issue, and the one which makes me shake my head with anger and sadness the most.

Like I said, I visited the UK to combat Israeli Apartheid Week, to challenge the lies and mistruths hurled at the country I am proud to call home. But what hurts me the most is not how unbelievable they are. The opposite, in fact. They are all too believable, and I should know – because I once believed them too.

The reality is that the town I grew up in did not recognise the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. While Arabic is an official language, I did not learn Hebrew until I was 17. I was raised to believe the worst things about Jews, and, had I not eventually met and worked alongside them, I might still believe those things today.

In my role as a soldier, I have met all kinds of people both in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Jews, Arabs, Religious, Secular, Left-wing and Right-wing. I have met Israelis who were prejudiced against me. But I have also met Palestinians who appreciate the work that I do to maintain some sort of peace and stability in the most dangerous part of the world.

Forget slogans and shouting. Peace – real peace – will only come when people talk to each other. Not necessarily agree – just agree to listen. But the irony of Israeli Apartheid Week is that it wants individuals to focus on differences, not similarities. Instead of building bridges between communities, it wants to build walls.

During my time in the UK, I spoke alongside a fellow soldier, a medic who has treated both Israeli soldiers and Palestinian terrorists without distinction. We were the Muslim who protects Jewish lives, and the Jew who saves Muslim lives. There’s only one country in the Middle East that could produce a couple like that – and it sure as hell isn’t an apartheid state.



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, 2016

Australia hails 600 days of no asylum-seeker boat arrivals

One for both the EU and the USA to think about.  Illegal immigration CAN be stopped as long as you make a point of sending them all back whenever you find them

Australia on Thursday hailed its controversial regime of turning back asylum-seeker boats as a success after 600 days with no vessels arriving, and almost 700 people being repelled since the policy was launched.

Under the hardline measures, asylum-seekers trying to reach Australia by boat are turned back to their country of departure or sent to remote Pacific island camps, where conditions have been criticised with allegations of rape and other abuse.

They are blocked from resettling in Australia even if they are found to be refugees in a policy the conservative government has defended as stopping deaths at sea.

"Tomorrow (Friday) marks 600 days since the last successful people-smuggling venture to our country and the government's absolutely determined to make sure that it stays that way," Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said in Canberra.

Since the start of "Operation Sovereign Borders" in September 2013 when the government came to power, 25 boats carrying 698 people had been turned back and "safely returned to their country of departure", Dutton added.

Rights groups have criticised camp conditions while doctors and whistleblowers have said the detention of asylum-seekers, particularly children, has left some struggling with mental health problems.

Amnesty has also called for an independent review into allegations that Australian authorities paid crew on a people-smuggling boat US$30,000 to return 65 asylum-seekers to Indonesia.

The policy has stoked tensions with Jakarta, which warned earlier this month after six Bangladeshi migrants were returned to the eastern Indonesian city of Kupang on a fishing boat that such operations were potentially dangerous.

A group of "potentially illegal immigrants" from Sri Lanka were returned to the South Asian nation in February, the operation's commander Major General Andrew Bottrell added at the press conference.

Bottrell said a further 57 people-smuggling activities were disrupted during this period, preventing 1,900 asylum-seekers from trying to head to Australia, but did not provide further details about where they were from.  He said that "people smuggling networks have been severely degraded".

Under the previous Labor government, at least 1,200 people died trying to reach Australia by boat between 2008 and 2013.

Dutton added he was "very proud" the number of children held in detention had fallen to just 29, and he was working to bring it down further. Detention levels are down from a record number of almost 2,000 children in June 2013.

However, allegations of rape and other abuse at the Nauru camp were raised at a parliamentary inquiry last year. A doctor who assessed inmates at the centre told the hearings living conditions were unsafe and put vulnerable women and children at "considerable" risk.


Sheriff Clarke on Chicago Protesters:‘This Is a Totalitarian Movement…to Shut Down Free Speech’

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke strongly condemned the actions of protesters at a recent Donald Trump campaign rally that resulted in violent confrontations with attendees.

“This is a totalitarian movement,” he said. “It's very stealth. I know who these people are. I’ve seen it. This is a conglomeration of misfits.”

“You have cop haters,” he said. “You have anarchists. You have criminals. You have some rowdy juveniles. You have organized labor. And there is a spattering of well-intentioned people who are being exploited in this, and they’re the ones pushed out front, and those are the ones pushed out in front of the camera as they do their dirty work.”

Clarke made his comments in a recent interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. He was referring to an incident on March 12 when a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois at Chicago was cancelled after clashes between protesters and supporters prior to the event.

The day after the cancellation of the rally, a protester tried to storm the stage at a Trump event in Dayton, Ohio. The man was quickly apprehended as Secret Service agents surrounded the candidate.

“This is an attempt to shut down free speech,” Sheriff Clarke continued. “These presidential activities are part of our democratic process. The people who showed up in Chicago had every right under the Constitution to participate in this process and they were denied.”

Clarke also lamented political correctness and the current perception of police as criminals by some people.

“The cops are the bad guys, the crooks are the victims now,” he said. “Everything that’s said when one wants to express themselves has to be put through an approval meter.”

David A. Clarke Jr., a Democrat, was elected to a 4-year term as the sheriff of Milwaukee County in 2002, and was re-elected in 2006, 2010 and 2014. In those elections he won, respectively, with 74%, 78%, 74%, and 79% of the vote.


The incorrectness of sugar

It's the new whipping boy among food solons but threre is no good reason to single it out.  But this is a resultant attack on it

The new sugar tax could increase the amount of sugar consumption in the UK, economic experts have warned as they tore apart George Osborne's flagship Budget announcement.

The new levy on fizzy drinks could also push the trade of cans of Coke onto the black market and lead to sugary drinks being smuggled across borders to cut household bills. 

The Chancellor stunned MPs and health groups yesterday by unveiling plans for a levy on fizzy drinks, which could increase the cost of a can of Coca Cola by 8p.

But in its assessment of the surprise measure, the influential Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank predicted that the sweetest drinks will actually attract less tax per gram of sugar. 

The design of the tax means someone could pay less tax and consume more sugar.

A poll out today also found that Mr Osborne faces firm opposition to the measure from within his own party with four out of five Tory MPs against it.

The budget watchdog has estimated that Mr Osborne's plans will add 18p to fizzy drinks with more than five grams of sugar per litre while 24p will be added to drinks with more than eight grams per litre.

But economists at the IFS said today that the effects of the tax are 'incredibly uncertain' as it is unknown how consumers and the drinks industry will respond to news of the levy.

And they warned that the impact of tax could be offset if people switch to fruit juices or milkshakes, which will be exempt from the new sugar tax.

Economists also said the way the tax is planned will be so complicated that the most sugary drinks might not attract any tax at all.

Drinks companies reacted angrily to news of the sugar tax, with Coca Cola saying the levy will not change habits and claiming it is not the right way to tackle childhood obesity.

IFS director Paul Johnson said that while there was a 'sound' case for the sugar levy, in economic terms it was 'very partial'.

Assessing the plans this afternoon, he said: 'Only around 17 per cent of added sugar consumed comes from soft drinks - though the proportion in households with children is a little higher,' he said.

'Obviously the soft drinks tax won't have any impact on the other 80-plus percent of sugar consumption - indeed it might increase it as people move away from soft drinks to other sugary products.'

Kate Smith, a senior research economist at the IFS, warned: 'The effects of this tax are incredibly uncertain and will depend crucially on how people respond to their tax - both on the consumer and on the food industry side.

'Indeed the effect of the tax on people's sugar consumption might be offset if people switch to fruit juices or other high sugary products.

'And finally, the design of the tax proposed yesterday leaves a lot to be desired. Levying the tax per litre means that sugary drinks will attract a lower tax  per gram of sugar and really a much more sensible schedule would have been to have a constant or an increasing tax per gram of sugar.'

Ms Smith also warned that introducing the sugar tax could lead to 'cross-border shopping and illicit trade'. 

Economists and leading think tanks were scathing of the measure, saying he will be 'picking the pockets of the poor for no benefit' and warned that it was the first step on the way to a 'fat tax'.

Campaigners including Jamie Oliver and the NHS are celebrating the Budget decision, which will raise an estimated £520million a year for the Treasury.

But there was fury when it emerged sweet high street coffees, teas, and milkshakes, which can contain up to 25 teaspoons of sugar, will be exempt because they contain milk. Pure fruit juices will also not be taxed.

Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: 'It is astonishing that the Chancellor has announced a tax on sugary drinks when there is no evidence from anywhere in the world that such taxes have the slightest effect on obesity.


Islam—Facts or Dreams?

Andrew C. McCarthy

In 1993 I was a seasoned federal prosecutor, but I only knew as much about Islam as the average American with a reasonably good education—which is to say, not much. Consequently, when I was assigned to lead the prosecution of a terrorist cell that had bombed the World Trade Center and was plotting an even more devastating strike—simultaneous attacks on the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, the United Nations complex on the East River, and the FBI’s lower Manhattan headquarters—I had no trouble believing what our government was saying: that we should read nothing into the fact that all the men in this terrorist cell were Muslims; that their actions were not representative of any religion or belief system; and that to the extent they were explaining their atrocities by citing Islamic scripture, they were twisting and perverting one of the world’s great religions, a religion that encourages peace.

Unlike commentators and government press secretaries, I had to examine these claims. Prosecutors don’t get to base their cases on assertions. They have to prove things to commonsense Americans who must be satisfied about not only what happened but why it happened before they will convict people of serious crimes. And in examining the claims, I found them false.

One of the first things I learned concerned the leader of the terror cell, Omar Abdel Rahman, infamously known as the Blind Sheikh. Our government was portraying him as a wanton killer who was lying about Islam by preaching that it summoned Muslims to jihad or holy war. Far from a lunatic, however, he turned out to be a globally renowned scholar—a doctor of Islamic jurisprudence who graduated from al-Azhar University in Cairo, the seat of Sunni Islamic learning for over a millennium. His area of academic expertise was sharia—Islamic law.

I immediately began to wonder why American officials from President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno on down, officials who had no background in Muslim doctrine and culture, believed they knew more about Islam than the Blind Sheikh. Then something else dawned on me: the Blind Sheikh was not only blind; he was beset by several other medical handicaps. That seemed relevant. After all, terrorism is hard work. Here was a man incapable of doing anything that would be useful to a terrorist organization—he couldn’t build a bomb, hijack a plane, or carry out an assassination. Yet he was the unquestioned leader of the terror cell. Was this because there was more to his interpretation of Islamic doctrine than our government was conceding?

Defendants do not have to testify at criminal trials, but they have a right to testify if they choose to—so I had to prepare for the possibility. Raised an Irish Catholic in the Bronx, I was not foolish enough to believe I could win an argument over Muslim theology with a doctor of Islamic jurisprudence. But I did think that if what we were saying as a government was true—that he was perverting Islam—then there must be two or three places where I could nail him by saying, “You told your followers X, but the doctrine clearly says Y.” So my colleagues and I pored over the Blind Sheikh’s many writings. And what we found was alarming: whenever he quoted the Koran or other sources of Islamic scripture, he quoted them accurately.

Now, you might be able to argue that he took scripture out of context or gave an incomplete account of it. In my subsequent years of studying Islam, I’ve learned that this is not a particularly persuasive argument. But even if one concedes for the purposes of discussion that it’s a colorable claim, the inconvenient fact remains: Abdel Rahman was not lying about Islam.

When he said the scriptures command that Muslims strike terror into the hearts of Islam’s enemies, the scriptures backed him up.

When he said Allah enjoined all Muslims to wage jihad until Islamic law was established throughout the world, the scriptures backed him up.

When he said Islam directed Muslims not to take Jews and Christians as their friends, the scriptures backed him up.

You could counter that there are other ways of construing the scriptures. You could contend that these exhortations to violence and hatred should be “contextualized”—i.e., that they were only meant for their time and place in the seventh century.  Again, I would caution that there are compelling arguments against this manner of interpreting Islamic scripture. The point, however, is that what you’d be arguing is an interpretation.

The fact that there are multiple ways of construing Islam hardly makes the Blind Sheikh’s literal construction wrong. The blunt fact of the matter is that, in this contest of competing interpretations, it is the jihadists who seem to be making sense because they have the words of scripture on their side—it is the others who seem to be dancing on the head of a pin. For our present purposes, however, the fact is that the Blind Sheikh’s summons to jihad was rooted in a coherent interpretation of Islamic doctrine. He was not perverting Islam—he was, if anything, shining a light on the need to reform it.

Another point, obvious but inconvenient, is that Islam is not a religion of peace. There are ways of interpreting Islam that could make it something other than a call to war. But even these benign constructions do not make it a call to peace. Verses such as “Fight those who believe not in Allah,” and “Fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war,” are not peaceful injunctions, no matter how one contextualizes.

Another disturbing aspect of the trial against the Blind Sheikh and his fellow jihadists was the character witnesses who testified for the defense. Most of these people were moderate, peaceful Muslim Americans who would no more commit terrorist acts than the rest of us. But when questions about Islamic doctrine would come up—“What does jihad mean?” “What is sharia?” “How might sharia apply to a certain situation?”—these moderate, peaceful Muslims explained that they were not competent to say. In other words, for the answers, you’d have to turn to Islamic scholars like the Blind Sheikh.

Now, understand: there was no doubt what the Blind Sheikh was on trial for. And there was no doubt that he was a terrorist—after all, he bragged about it. But that did not disqualify him, in the minds of these moderate, peaceful Muslims, from rendering authoritative opinions on the meaning of the core tenets of their religion. No one was saying that they would follow the Blind Sheikh into terrorism—but no one was discrediting his status either.

Although this came as a revelation to me, it should not have. After all, it is not as if Western civilization had no experience dealing with Islamic supremacism—what today we call “Islamist” ideology, the belief that sharia must govern society. Winston Churchill, for one, had encountered it as a young man serving in the British army, both in the border region between modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan and in the Sudan—places that are still cauldrons of Islamist terror. Ever the perceptive observer, Churchill wrote:

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. . . . Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property—either as a child, a wife, or a concubine—must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men

Habitually, I distinguish between Islam and Muslims. It is objectively important to do so, but I also have a personal reason: when I began working on national security cases, the Muslims I first encountered were not terrorists. To the contrary, they were pro-American patriots who helped us infiltrate terror cells, disrupt mass-murder plots, and gather the evidence needed to convict jihadists. We have an obligation to our national security to understand our enemies; but we also have an obligation to our principles not to convict by association—not to confound our Islamist enemies with our Muslim allies and fellow citizens.

Churchill appreciated this distinction. “Individual Moslems,” he stressed, “may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen.” The problem was not the people, he concluded. It was the doctrine.

What about Islamic law? On this topic, it is useful to turn to Robert Jackson, a giant figure in American law and politics—FDR’s attorney general, justice of the Supreme Court, and chief prosecutor of the war crimes trials at Nuremberg. In 1955, Justice Jackson penned the foreword to a book called Law in the Middle East. Unlike today’s government officials, Justice Jackson thought sharia was a subject worthy of close study.  And here is what he concluded:

In any broad sense, Islamic law offers the American lawyer a study in dramatic contrasts. Even casual acquaintance and superficial knowledge—all that most of us at bench or bar will be able to acquire—reveal that its striking features relative to our law are not likenesses but inconsistencies, not similarities but contrarieties. In its source, its scope and its sanctions, the law of the Middle East is the antithesis of Western law

Contrast this with the constitution that the U.S. government helped write for post-Taliban Afghanistan, which showed no awareness of the opposition of Islamic and Western law. That constitution contains soaring tropes about human rights, yet it makes Islam the state religion and sharia a principal source of law—and under it, Muslim converts to Christianity have been subjected to capital trials for apostasy.

Sharia rejects freedom of speech as much as freedom of religion. It rejects the idea of equal rights between men and women as much as between Muslim and non-Muslim. It brooks no separation between spiritual life and civil society. It is a comprehensive framework for human life, dictating matters of government, economy, and combat, along with personal behavior such as contact between the sexes and personal hygiene. Sharia aims to rule both believers and non-believers, and it affirmatively sanctions jihad in order to do so.

Even if this is not the only construction of Islam, it is absurd to claim—as President Obama did during his recent visit to a mosque in Baltimore—that it is not a mainstream interpretation. In fact, it is the mainstream interpretation in many parts of the world. Last year, Americans were horrified by the beheadings of three Western journalists by ISIS. American and European politicians could not get to microphones fast enough to insist that these decapitations had nothing to do with Islam. Yet within the same time frame, the government of Saudi Arabia beheaded eight people for various violations of sharia—the law that governs Saudi Arabia.

Three weeks before Christmas, a jihadist couple—an American citizen, the son of Pakistani immigrants, and his Pakistani wife who had been welcomed into our country on a fiancée visa—carried out a jihadist attack in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people. Our government, as with the case in Fort Hood—where a jihadist who had infiltrated the Army killed 13 innocents, mostly fellow soldiers—resisted calling the atrocity a “terrorist attack.” Why? Our investigators are good at what they do, and our top officials may be ideological, but they are not stupid. Why is it that they can’t say two plus two equals four when Islam is involved?

The reason is simple: stubbornly unwilling to deal with the reality of Islam, our leaders have constructed an Islam of their very own. This triumph of willful blindness and political correctness over common sense was best illustrated by former British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith when she described terrorism as “anti-Islamic activity.” In other words, the savagery is not merely unrelated to Islam; it becomes, by dint of its being inconsistent with a “religion of peace,” contrary to Islam. This explains our government’s handwringing over “radicalization”: we are supposed to wonder why young Muslims spontaneously become violent radicals—as if there is no belief system involved.

This is political correctness on steroids, and it has dangerous policy implications. Consider the inability of government officials to call a mass-murder attack by Muslims a terrorist attack unless and until the police uncover evidence proving that the mass murderers have some tie to a designated terrorist group, such as ISIS or al Qaeda. It is rare for such evidence to be uncovered early in an investigation—and as a matter of fact, such evidence often does not exist. Terrorist recruits already share the same ideology as these groups: the goal of imposing sharia. All they need in order to execute terrorist attacks is paramilitary training, which is readily available in more places than just Syria.

The dangerous flipside to our government’s insistence on making up its own version of Islam is that anyone who is publicly associated with Islam must be deemed peaceful. This is how we fall into the trap of allowing the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s most influential Islamic supremacist organization, to infiltrate policy-making organs of the U.S. government, not to mention our schools, our prisons, and other institutions. The federal government, particularly under the Obama administration, acknowledges the Brotherhood as an Islamic organization—notwithstanding the ham-handed attempt by the intelligence community a few years back to rebrand it as “largely secular”—thereby giving it a clean bill of health. This despite the fact that Hamas is the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, that the Brotherhood has a long history of terrorist violence, and that major Brotherhood figures have gone on to play leading roles in terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda.

To quote Churchill again:  “Facts are better than dreams.” In the real world, we must deal with the facts of Islamic supremacism, because its jihadist legions have every intention of dealing with us. But we can only defeat them if we resolve to see them for what they are.



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, 2016

Multicultural taxi passenger stripped off because she thought the driver wanted sex then wrecked his cab in a violent rampage

A taxi passenger took her clothes off in the back of a cab because she thought the driver wanted sex, then wrecked his vehicle and attacked him with a bottle.

Shareen Willock, 29, left Arshad Rasool spitting blood after drunkenly attacking him during a taxi journey in London.

A court heard that she was swigging from a bottle when she called a minicab to pick her up from Barnet, North London on January 17 this year.

Willock asked Mr Rasool to take her to East Ham, in East London - but on the way she suddenly undressed, wrongly thinking that the driver wanted to have sex with her.

She then began trashing the inside of his car, breaking an armrest and knocking the satnav off as she climbed into the front seat next to Mr Rasool.

At one point Willock poked the driver in the back of the head, causing him to sustain cuts to his ear, Thames magistrates' court was told.

She demanded the car pull over, then snapped off a windscreen wiper and battered both Mr Rasool and his Toyota with it, costing £1,000 worth of damage.

Willock was given a suspended sentence after she pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage and common assault.

Prosecutor Alexa Morgan highlighted extracts from Mr Raspol's victim impact statement in which he described having 'no idea where I was because my satnav was broken'.

The driver added: 'The female got out of the car and I got out as well. She broke the windscreen wiper and hit the windscreen. 'She swung the wiper at the body of my car which caused several dents. She also hit me twice with the wiper on my arms and threw it away.'

Mr Rasool eventually dropped Willock off at a petrol station where the police were called and she was arrested.

Ms Morgan said: 'The complainant suffered a small cut to the back of his ear and spat blood out when he actually got out of his car.'

Mez Motegheria, defending, said 'She does accept fully that her behaviour was wrong and she is remorseful for her actions.  'She does not recall any of the incident but she pleads guilty today and accepts she was intoxicated.'

Magistrate Stephen Bridges told Willock: 'This is an assault of the highest category - you ruined his car.

'All for the sake of we know not what. This assault is so serious that custody is the only option in the circumstances. Your behaviour beggars belief, frankly.'

Willock, from East Ham, was given a 12-week suspended sentence and 180 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay £650 in compensation.


Misdiagnosing the refugee crisis


I spent part of last summer volunteering in a hostel for underage migrants in the south of Italy. The teenagers there were largely from West Africa, and many of them told me harrowing stories of their journeys across the Sahara and Mediterranean. They were optimistic, resourceful boys and, in their situation, I hope I'd be brave enough to do what they did. But they were not, as we understand the word, refugees.

I have seen refugee columns before, and they tend to be made up disproportionately of women and children. Of the boat-people landed by the coast guard while I was in Italy, more than 80 percent were young men. Young men who, I noticed, took out smartphones when they disembarked and looked for Wi-Fi so as to tell their relatives that they had made it.

Those smartphones are the key to understanding what is going on. A young Gambian with access to the Internet and to credit is able to undertake journeys that his parents, living on subsistence agriculture, could not have contemplated. We are witnessing the beginning of an unprecedented movement of peoples, a Völkerwanderung, made possible by rising wealth and rising aspirations.

Official policy in Europe is based on a misdiagnosis. The migrants are treated as refugees, and there is an implicit assumption that their displacement is somehow our fault. In the weirdly narcissistic tradition of the Left, the West is simultaneously blamed for having intervened in Libya and for not having intervened in Syria. But the lads I was working with in Italy were from countries that we never bombed - except with aid money.

Vast as the numbers are, this is just the start. More than a million settlers - some estimates say a million-and-a-half - entered Germany in 2015. That figure may seem colossal now, but it will look modest in retrospect. More than twice as many people crossed into Greece on each of the 31 days of January 2016 as in the whole of January 2015.

True, some of these people are Syrians who, by any definition, have a claim to sanctuary. But many are not. The European Commission says that 60 percent of those entering the EU illegally are economic migrants rather than refugees; but it has no idea how to return hundreds of thousands of sans-papiers - or where to return them to. Sweden admitted 163,000 entrants last year. Its interior ministry now says that more than half of them are not genuine refugees. How many has it deported? Four thousand.

Imagine that you were living a squalid life in, say, Nigeria. You might not be suffering from persecution, but you are suffering from poverty and misgovernment. You know that, if you can get into Europe, you will almost certainly be allowed to remain, with or without refugee status. Why wouldn't you make the attempt?

Now imagine that you were a criminal or even a terrorist contemplating the journey. Bizarrely, the same calculation applies: You will almost certainly be allowed to stay. An al Qaeda fundraiser who was incarcerated in Britain overturned the deportation order at the end of his sentence by arguing that it would violate his "right to a family life." The daughter-in-law of the jailed Islamist militant Abu Hamza, who may not be named for legal purposes, likewise fought off repatriation following a conviction on grounds that she was the "sole carer" of a child in Britain (the taxpayer, it seems, is the "sole breadwinner").

Britain's situation is nonetheless enviable compared to Europe's. It's true that our judges seem determined, always and everywhere, to overturn deportation orders. But at least we have some control over who comes into our country in the first place. On the Continent, by contrast, the determination to build a united Europe trumped concerns about immigration, anti-terrorism and, for that matter, refugee welfare. Frontiers between EU states - what Brussels calls "internal borders" - were dismantled. In consequence, frontline states began to wave illegal migrants on to the next country, knowing that they would become someone else's responsibility. That policy is the proximate cause of the present crisis.

In desperation, Angela Merkel is now trying to persuade Turkey to take some migrants back from Greece - and holding out the prospect of visa-free travel to the EU for 75 million Turks in exchange. But we're far past the point where such measures will reduce the net inflow of illegal migrants. On 23 June, Britain will have an opportunity to stand aside from the entire EU shambles by voting to leave in a referendum. We won't get another chance.


UK: Corbyn’s accommodation of Jew-hatred is a betrayal of Labour’s morality

Jews have “big noses” and “slaughter the oppressed”, and Hitler was a “Zionist God”, according to Vicki Kirby, former Labour parliamentary candidate and now vice-chairman of the party’s Woking branch. Further, she exhorts Islamists to attack Israel: “Apparently you can ask IS/ISIS/ISIL questions on ask.fm,” she tweeted. “Anyone thought of asking them why they’re not attacking the real oppressors #Israel?”


According to Guido Fawkes (who has been pursuing this matter rather assiduously), she also tweeted: “I will make sure my kids teach their children how evil Israel is!” This belongs on the curriculum of a Daesh madrassa. For Vicki Kirby, Jew-hatred goes hand-in-hand with Israel-loathing. Jews have big noses and oppress people, and so Israel is evil. The response of Jeremy Corbyn to this blatant anti-Semitism has been somewhat muted.

It is ironic, is it not, that as politicians across all parties are hyper-sensitive to the merest whiff of Islamophobia, Her Majesty’s Official Opposition tolerates manifest Jew-hatred. It is an ancient, poisonous syndrome, devoid of morality, reason and compassion, which scapegoats all Jews and demonises Israel. Vicki Kirby’s rhetoric would find no place in the Conservative Party, or even in Ukip. That Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party deems her not merely fit for membership but suitable to hold elected office ought to concern everyone who cares about community cohesion and the national political discourse.

For Jews right across Europe, violence, suffering and persecution are not confined to the Nazi era: they are being driven out of their homes, shot in their schools and bombed in their shops by those who seek to islamise modernity. Vicki Kirby not only condones this; she incites more of it. She not only pitches Islamic-State terrorists against Zionists and political Judaism; she spouts hate against Jews everywhere, for they all are complicit in the Zionist conspiracy by virtue of their big noses.

If a mainstream British political party is prepared to tolerate the sort of jihadi ideology and crusade of hatred espoused by Vicki Kirby, the future for British Jewry will be bleak indeed. If we are to work for a peaceful coexistence, those who foment antagonism against Jews and Jewish civilisation have no place at all in our political culture.

If Vicki Kirby wants to march on the Holy Land, let her seek a warring tribe with whom she can dwell. If she can survive a week without being tortured, raped, sold into slavery or forcibly converted to Islam, good luck to her. Her myopic apprehension of the “Zionist God” Adolf Hitler is the true fault line in the perverted borders of her mind. If the Jews are to have no homeland, and Jeremy Corbyn sees fit to accommodate Vicki Kirby’s intifida, then those in Labour with a grasp of Christian morality have an obligation to rise up and speak out. The future of our civilisation depends on it.

UPDATE: 12.30pm

It is reported that “Vicki Kirby has been suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation.” For all his faults, Ed Miliband moved swiftly to eradicate anti-Semites from his party. Why does Jeremy Corbyn enjoy their fellowship? Why does he grasp the oppression of every minority except Jews?


MSNBC Turns Intolerably White?

As it fires black bobblehead Melissa Harris-Perry

In the liberal lexicon, "backlash" is a word that only describes conservatives getting what's coming to them. But as MSNBC reduces its number of shows and time slots for race-obsessed black hosts, this was bound to happen. The hashtag that appeared as the left began to devour itself was #MSNBCSoWhite.

After MSNBC hired leftist, race-fixated hosts, it was only natural that the news station would be trashed as "going white" when the reality of it's terrible ratings — for shows hosted by academics preaching about how badly America stinks — cost Comcast some serious cash.

They gave the Rev. Al Sharpton a nightly show at 6 p.m. It had absolutely nothing to do with the infamous race-baiter's skills on television; he has none. It was all about stroking the ego of a leftist black activist. His mangling of the words on the teleprompter was so routine that the word malapropism could be re-categorized as "Sharptonism." Early in his "career" at MSNBC, he proclaimed "but resist we much — we must — and we will much — about — that — be committed." That laughable clip was all over conservative talk radio. That was just one of many. When they demoted Sharpton to a show on Sunday morning, he went quietly.

By contrast, professor Melissa Harris-Perry went out in a Black Lives Matter movement bender. When this self-described over-educated scholar felt her four-year-old show was being curtailed for weekend campaign coverage, she sent an outraged email to her co-workers that leaked to The New York Times. "I will not be used as a tool for their purposes," she wrote. "I am not a token, mammy or little brown bobblehead. I am not owned by (NBC News Chairman Andrew) Lack, (MSNBC President Phil) Griffin or MSNBC. I love our show. I want it back." She claimed that her audience — which she calls Nerdland — was hurting.

One was almost waiting for Hurricane Katrina analogies: the NBC brass were drowning minorities with their floods of campaign chatter.

Then a longer memo with more Harris-Perry self-pity leaked out. She was outraged at being left out of political coverage. "I have a Ph.D. in political science and have taught American voting and elections at some of the nation's top universities for nearly two decades, yet I have been deemed less worthy to weigh in than relative novices and certified liars." She burned every bridge with a rhetorical flamethrower.

ABC's "The View" interviewed Harris-Perry on March 14, and she again slammed the race card on the table. "The history of mammy is that mammy is the black woman who cares more about the master's family than about her own. And so, what I'm saying is, I don't care more about MSNBC's reputation than I do about the Nerdland family, about the thing that we built, about our viewing audience and about our team."

What she built, compared to Fox and CNN, would make molehills swell with pride.

She said her show's end absolutely has racial implications because her show's guest list was so diverse. "Taking this show off the air, even if you put me, individually, back on as a host meant that the folks who sat at our table, whether they were transgender women of color, whether they were Latino Republicans, they just weren't going to be there anymore because we were the folks who put them on air each and every week."

The ratings problems at MSNBC would be helped by curtailing the radical leftists. But the brass must know that conservatives and independents still won't trust a network of Obama-tinglers and Hillary Clinton-boosters, from Rachel Maddow to Chris Matthews to Andrea Mitchell. They may have avoided an Al-Jazeera dive, but the leaning forward mess continues.



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, 2016

My favorite Italian is still saying what he thinks

Maria Boschi

An earlier pic of the Boschi

Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has sparked outrage after suggesting a pregnant politician could not be the mayor of Rome.

It came amid a spat between the rival Forza Italia and Northern League parties, who are deciding who to endorse for the upcoming mayoral election.

'It's clear to everybody that a mother can't do that job,' said Berlusconi, in what was seen as a reference to the favourite candidate, Giorgia Meloni, who recently announced she was pregnant.

It prompted an angry reaction from Italy's Constitutional Reform Minister, Maria Boschi, who asked whether a male candidate would be asked to withdraw if he 'needs to be a father', the Local reported.

Berlusconi's Forza Italia party is backing Guido Bertolaso, 56, who currently heads up the country's Civil Protection Unit. He backed the controversial figure's inflammatory comments by saying Meloni should 'focus on being a mum'.

Meloni, who served under Berlusconi as Youth Minister as She now leads the nationalistic Brothers of Italy party.

Berlusconi added: 'The city is in a terrible state... Being mayor of Rome means spending 14 hours a day between travelling around the city and your office.'

He also attacked the Northern League for trying to 'force' her into joining the race to become Rome's next mayor.

The controversial comments have been held up as evidence of sexism in Italy, where female employment is among the lowest in the 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Lower house speaker Laura Boldrini called the remark 'unacceptable misogyny. A former education minister, Maristella Gelmini, recalled an editorial in the Italian bishops' conference newspaper, Avvenire, advising her to spend more time at home after she gave birth while in office.

Meloni, 39, has been tapped by the Northern League leader Matteo Salvini to challenge Bertolaso, Silvio Berlusconi's candidate, as the two conservative leaders tussle for political dominance.

Berlusconi on Tuesday said Meloni shouldn't run, describing the campaign as 'difficult and challenging.'

Bertolaso, the former head of Italy's civil protection agency, said he intended no offense — then dug himself deeper by contending he was speaking to Meloni 'as if she were my wife.'

Meloni said she hoped to reconcile motherhood with work as many women do, but has yet to signal her decision whether to run.


Who Politicized the Courts?

The raging controversy over filling the Supreme Court vacancy of Justice Antonin Scalia, whose tragic death unleashed a political firestorm over whether Barack Obama should nominate his successor, or whether the next president should make the nomination, must be looked at in perspective. It’s a true waste of time giving more than a bemused passing notice to the ranting of Democrats, who accuse the Republican-led Congress of all manner of wrongdoing in opposing a nomination by Obama, all the while hypocritically ignoring their own precedent-setting actions over the last 20-30 years, when they wrote the book on how to oppose Supreme Court nominations. This process is and has long been a political exercise.

And at least one high-ranking judge proclaims that the High Court itself is politicized. Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, explains this in a commentary published by The Washington Post. He wrote, “[T]he significance of the Senate’s action lies in reminding us that the Supreme Court is not an ordinary court but a political court, or more precisely a politicized court, which is to say a court strongly influenced in making its decisions by the political beliefs of the judges.”

We expect Congress to be heavily political, and the president belongs to a political party and is chosen through a political process, so while it would be great if administrative agencies applied regulations and laws in a fair, neutral, non-political manner, bureaucracies are also often used as political tools.

Judges at all levels are expected and presumed to be impartial in applying the law and are sworn to follow the precepts of the U.S. Constitution. They must resist allowing their personal ideals or political leanings to affect the rulings or opinions they produce. The Constitution created three co-equal branches of the government; therefore all branches must employ restraint in order to remain within their constitutional boundaries.

Quaint and outdated idea, we know.

Posner excuses the tendency of judges to fall back on their personal and political beliefs because there is no clear instruction from the Constitution in situations the Framers could not have foreseen more than 200 years ago. Justice Scalia, however, had little trouble following the Constitution’s language when deciding his position on cases before the Court.

Scalia, you see, was a “conservative” judge — an “originalist.” According to the Oxford Dictionaries, “conservative” means: “Holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation.” Applied to the federal judiciary, as viewed by believers in strict constructionism and originalism, the term means adhering to the meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights as they were understood by those who wrote those documents at the time they wrote them.

On the other side of the spectrum, judicial liberals assert that the Constitution must be a “living” document, the exact meaning of which changes with the times or depends upon who is interpreting it. Such a view not only allows for “judicial activism,” it demands it.

“Judicial activism occurs when judges write subjective policy preferences into the law rather than apply the law impartially according to its original meaning,” according to a definition from The Heritage Foundation. “As such, activism does not mean the mere act of striking down a law,” it also means making law from the bench.

But the Constitution clearly and unmistakably gives Congress — and only Congress — the authority and responsibility to make law.

Judges should consider what the Framers of the Constitution intended and whether the parameters they set allowed for the size, power or cost of the federal government, given the abuses that produced the Revolution and the deliberate efforts to restrict all of those features. Or, whether they would have allowed the Supreme Court or the executive branch to misappropriate the law making authority of the Congress.

If you still doubt that the Supreme Court has become an activist court, consider this tidbit from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who told The New York Times that “she was fully engaged in her work as the leader of the liberal opposition on what she called ‘one of the most activist courts in history.’”

Making laws from the bench and judicial expansion are not products of judicial conservatives, whose adherence to original intent maintains a stable legal foundation. That is unpopular among judges who want to expand the authority and power of the courts.

The Supreme Court must not reinterpret the Constitution. If what might prompt the activists to vote in favor of one side or the other in a case before the Court is something that is indeed a good thing for the country, and passes the standard of constitutionalism, then it must be sanctioned by an act of Congress, not the courts.

The increase in the number of activist judges illustrates the dire need for restoring judicial conservatism to the nation’s highest court. Obama is unlikely to nominate anyone other than a liberal activist. Reports say that the list of potential nominees for the Scalia seat on the Court has been reduced to five, and four of them contributed to Obama campaigns. That should tell us all we need to know about not only his choices, but how important it is that we elect a solid conservative in the 2016 election.


The ‘Compassionate’ Bullying of the Left

Around the country, progressive bullies have attacked Christians for daring to put their faith ahead of the pet causes of those who feign compassion while destroying life-giving liberties

Under the guise of compassion and caring, the Left attacks people like Baronelle Stuzman, a helpless grandmother who refused to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding from her flower shop, trying to force her to approve of that which she cannot in good conscience endorse.

All the while, it claims it is acting in the best interest of society, acting on behalf of all those poor same-sex couples who can’t get flowers for their ceremonies—except that they can. They can even get flowers from Barronelle for anything other than a wedding. In spite of the lawsuits that happened after her refusal to sell the flowers, she says she still thinks of her former customer as a friend and would happily sell him flowers if he walked into her shop tomorrow. Meanwhile, both her former customer and the State of Washington are trying to take everything she has for not bowing at the altar of sexual sin.

But these radicals want to look like they care as they force their views on others. It’s what bullies do. That way other people think better of them and they sleep better at night, assuaging any guilt they may feel for giving nightmares to genteel grandmothers. The progres­sives’ compassionate bullying reminds me of the catchy slogan for “Monsters, Inc.,” in the Disney Pixar film of the same name: “We scare because we care.”

For example, the very people who support Planned Parenthood’s butchering and selling of baby body parts also advanced the disaster of Obamacare because they care for children. The same people who insist that “The Vagina Monologues” be permitted on col­lege campuses also set up “safe zones” to restrict free speech because students must be protected from harmful ideas—like marriage being between a man and a woman. They outlaw incandescent light bulbs so we can use only toxic mercury because they care about polar bears and penguins with happy feet.

Around the country, progressive bullies have attacked Christians for daring to put their faith ahead of the pet causes of those who feign compassion while destroying life-giving liberties. What we are seeing is a scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners approach as the wildfire burns across our land. It is not enough that Christians be quiet. Christians must be silenced and punished. Their faith cannot be respected. Legislation that ensures people are free to live and work according to their faith without fear of being punished by government must be stopped and decried as discrimination.

In Denmark, France, San Bernardino, and elsewhere, we have seen Islamic extremists take lives because of the Islamic extremists’ beliefs. They do not want tolerance. They do not want pluralism. They do not want to show respect for the views of others. They will take life as revenge for being offended. There will be no magnanimity. There will be no mercy. In taking life, the Islamic extremists want to create a public spectacle. They want not just revenge for perceived wrongs, but also to make others fear—and to think twice before doing the same. They want to silence others and drive them from the town square. They use death and violence to do it.

Thankfully, unlike the radical jihadists, progressive activists have not turned physically violent for the most part.

Instead, they are intent on compassionately crushing any who disagree with them. Unlike the Islamic jihadists, they will not kill, but they will destroy. They won’t cut your head off, but they will destroy your reputation so that you are afraid to show your face in public. They won’t burn down your home, but they’ll take the homes, businesses, and life savings of any who defy them. They will use the tools of the state and mob action—fear and intimidation—to make it happen. They threaten, scare, and make public examples of those who disagree in order to send a mes­sage that dissent is hazardous to your emotional, mental, and finan­cial health. There will be no magnanimity, and there will be no mercy. There will be no going down the street to another florist, baker, pharmacist, venue operator, or photographer. Any who defy them are labeled bigots and driven to the fringes of society.

The progres­sives’ compassionate bullying reminds me of the catchy slogan for “Monsters, Inc.,” in the Disney Pixar film of the same name: “We scare because we care.”

They will viciously attack those who disagree with them because they tire of the debate, which they never wanted to begin with. They have no interest in explaining or defending their beliefs. They want victory and know the only way to get it is to silence, isolate, and destroy any who get in their way. The progressive activists who yell bigot at those who disagree with them are the jihadists of American culture. But unlike the jihadists—who don’t care if everyone approves of their destructive ways—it’s important to progressives that they appear to be kind as they mercilessly crucify you for your faith.

Crushing legal action and punitive lawsuits are one way the Left punishes those who refuse to recant their faith. Death threats and harassment are other tactics the Left employs to make you care.

That’s what happened to Memories Pizza in Indiana after the state passed its own version of the federal Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA). A reporter in need of a story stuck a camera in the faces of Crystal O’Connor and her father, Kevin, owners of a small-town pizza shop. She asked them a hypothetical question—what would they do if a same-sex couple asked them to cater a wedding ceremony? The O’Connors said they would never deny anyone service on the basis of sexual orientation, but they would decline to sell piz­zas for a same-sex wedding ceremony because of their religious beliefs. Key word: would. No one had asked them to cater a wed­ding. No customer had walked away displeased and claiming, as in other cases, that he or she had been emotionally raped by the ordeal. Nothing. Memories Pizza doesn’t even cater weddings. I. Kid. You. Not.

Yet the URL to the original story at the time of this writing still lists the headline as: “rfra-first-business-to-publicly-deny-same-sex-service.” Truth be damned. The national media ran with the story, and the backlash from progressive bullies began. Death threats, calls to burn the shop to the ground, incessant phone calls with fake orders, and endless harassment of all sorts forced the owners to shut the doors of the business for more than a week. The shop has now reopened, but the message was received loud and clear—state your religious beliefs at your own risk.

When conservatives set up a fund on the website GoFundMe.com to help Memories Pizza cover costs as it stayed closed, progressive bullies harassed GoFundMe. Alix Bryan, an employee of CBS’s Rich­mond, Va., affiliate, filed a complaint with the Internet fund-raising company alleging that the fund-raising campaign for Memories Pizza was fraudulent—“just in case,” as she tweeted. The progressives could not stand others standing with Memories Pizza. “Are you kidding me? Indiana pizzeria raises $17k in an hour by being bigoted?” tweeted Alix Bryan. In fact, the Memories Pizza fund-raiser, spearheaded by conservative radio host Dana Loesch, raised more than $842,000.

There is one key reason that those on the Left must force their beliefs on the rest of us. It’s really very simple. If they didn’t force their craziness on us, we would never embrace it. Deep down, they know that to be true. Progressive thinking doesn’t work in the real world. Its beliefs are inconsistent with all of nature. It requires us to believe things that we know do not fit with the reality we experience everyday. It is completely at odds with what we know to be true about ourselves.

Philosophical liberalism is built on lies about human nature. It is built on this truth that humanity is at root and at heart good, and the problem is that society tramples on otherwise good individuals. And so we ought to correct society by leveling the playing field altogether. That notion of inherent goodness, biblically speaking, is false and wrong. Liberalism is by nature coercive because it is built on a system of anthropological falsehoods. And for false­hoods to be taught and to gain acceptance in pop culture, they have to be mandated. . . . [L]iberalism succeeds by suppressing truth, and you suppress truth by codifying those lies into law.

Most of us are honest enough with ourselves to admit we are sinners, that we fall short of being the person we know we should be. We recognize that human nature is broken. Different religions speak about the flaws in humanity in different ways, but as a Christian I have no problem using the same word God uses to describe us even though He loves us—sinner. The word literally means one who falls short of the mark, of the holy standard defined by the God who cre­ated us. In the political arena, conservatives recognize that we are all defective at some level, and so our system of government must include both accountability through checks and balances and religious virtue that transforms us from within.

There is one key reason that those on the Left must force their beliefs on the rest of us: if they didn’t force their craziness on us, we would never embrace it.

The Left’s bullying tactics are not restricted to the issue of same-sex marriage, though. That is simply the latest front in its assault on freedom. It’s applying the same pressure to those who believe the rather obvious truth that there are only two genders—male and female—and not the more than eighty you can choose on Facebook. We used to view people who were confused about their gender with compassion. We recognized that they needed therapy. Now we must affirm them or be scorned as evil discriminators oppressing Bruce Jenner as he tries to discover his allegedly authentic self.

Progressives use the force of government to take money from those who work to give it to those who refuse to do so. No one would naturally do that and think it a good idea. Because we recognize our fallen nature, we innately know that a handout culture does more harm than good. So the Left must mandate the redistribution of hard-earned wealth to others as an act of compassion. It must use the force of government to fund abortion, because if progressives came to your door selling “I kill babies and sell their spare parts” T-shirts, you probably wouldn’t buy one. The Left must use the force of gov­ernment to withhold water from the farmers of California’s central valley, turning what was once America’s breadbasket into a dust bowl. No one in his or her right mind would ever do such a thing. It must force us to embrace the top-down educational standards of Common Core even though it’s obvious that parents—not bureaucrats in Washington—are best positioned to direct the education of their own children.

If those on the Left did not force us to care, most of us would dismiss them as looney and go on about our lives. So it should come as no surprise that progressives resort to coercive tactics. The use of force is standard operating procedure for philosophies that lack the moral and logical fortitude to stand on their own. If you can’t con­vince someone through persuasive arguments and sound reason, apply pressure. History abounds with examples of oppressive ideologies that were supposed to magically usher us into a new era of enlightened living—if only we did as we were told. None of them ended well for the common person, like Barronelle Stutzman, who is simply trying to live a life grounded on core values of faith, family, and freedom.


The Little Fascist That Could


Tonight, as I watch protesters in the streets of Chicago squash the free speech rights of those they do not agree with I exist ashamed of my hometown. I have understood for years that Chicago had arrived at being the epicenter of Progressive intolerance, even more so than the grounds of UC Berkeley or Columbia University. But listening to one of the "protesters" being interviewed after the announcement that they had succeeded in effecting the cancellation of a political rally featuring Donald Trump (of whom I am not necessarily a huge supporter), I have come to the conclusion that the brown shirt-jackboots of fascist regimes past have been resurrected; inhabiting the liberal bastions and college classrooms of the Windy City.

One giggling female protester said, "We are protesting inequality, we're protesting everything." And a self-anointed community activist (where does one go to get certified as a community activist anyway?), Quo Vadis, said the goal of the protesters - numbering in the high-hundreds, if not thousands - was for, "Donald to take the stage and to completely interrupt him. The plan is to shut Donald Trump all the way down." In other words, the protesters who consider themselves champions of "equality for all" executed a plan to affect the total censorship of a political figure. By any consideration, these "protesters" annihilated Donald Trump's First Amendment right to free speech. Correct me if I am wrong, but censorship is antithetical to equality for all. But maybe these protester's civics instructors haven't covered the Bill of Rights yet.

Fascism, by definition, means:

"...a political movement that employs the principles and methods of Fascism, the philosophy, principles, or methods of a governmental system that forcibly suppresses opposition and criticism, and emphasizing an aggressive Nationalism and often racism."

Censorship is a tool of Fascism, serving to suppress opposition and criticism. This is exactly what we witnessed in the streets of Chicago tonight: censorship at the hand of the "enlightened" Progressive movement. So it is that it is fair to characterize these "enlightened" people - young and old, male and female, Black, White, Latino and otherwise - as modern day fascists; individuals intolerant of opinions that exist in opposition to their own; individuals that exist delusional to who they have become; "useful idiots" denying others the right to political free speech in defiance of the Bill of Rights.

It is a consensus among scholars of history that,

"...Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature, and views political violence, war and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation."

And so we witnessed censorship and politically motivated violence - even if the Chicago Police Department held it to a minimum - at the hand of our new era Progressive fascists both inside and outside of the UIC Pavilion. It is both ironic and interesting that a common chant among the protesters was, "Bernie, Bernie," referring to Bernie Sanders, the socialist candidate vying for the Democrat nomination.

To that end, Ayn Rand considered, where Fascism and Socialism were concerned, that:

"...It is too obvious, too easily demonstrable that Fascism and [Socialism/Communism] are...two rival gangs fighting over the same territory; that both are variants of Statism, based on the collectivist principle that man is the right-less slave of the state; that both are socialistic, in theory, in practice, and in the explicit statements of their leaders; that...Fascism is not the product of the political ‘right,' but of the ‘left'..."

While this type of modern day Fascism takes place across the country, and especially on college campuses; locations that by their very existence should tolerate all political and cultural speech in the pursuit of cultivating critical thinking skills and well-rounded graduates, it is particularly egregious when it happens in Chicago, a city that bears the ugly scars of the 1968 Democrat Convention riots; fascist violence burnt into the soul of that great city. Equally as disturbing is the uneducated, ignorant embrace by our modern day, "useful idiot" fascists of the pseudo-socialism of the Progressive Movement; a movement that is much more fascist than socialist, or even communist.

Tonight, as I watch the fascists of Chicago, young and old, cheer in the streets at their achievement - the successful censorship of political speech, I am embarrassed to call Chicago my hometown. I had always believed that the people of Chicago were vested with a modicum of common sense and at least a splinter of will to quest for knowledge and truth. Sadly, as I watch on, red-faced, I am being proven wrong. Chicago's streets, tonight, are filled with ignorant fascists who are proud of themselves.

The city that "won't let you down," just let me down...and in a magnificent way.



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, 2016

Multiculturalist is jailed for 14 years after raping woman and sexually assaulting others INSIDE the hospitals where he worked

His surname is Indian

A former hospital cleaner was today jailed for 14 years after raping a woman and sexually assaulting others inside health centres.

Sexual predator Mani Kurian, 50, 'targeted women' both in hospitals where he worked and in public before he was arrested by officers.

He was initially charged in July 2015 with four counts of sexual assault through touching and common assault.

Three of the sexual offences took place at Worthing Hospital in West Sussex between April 2013 and April 2015.

He also sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman in Eastbourne, East Sussex, in April 2015.

The common assault took place at Eastbourne District General Hospital in January of the same year.  None of the victims were hospital patients.

Kurian, of Eastbourne, was later charged with the rape of a 21-year-old woman in Eastbourne which dated back to October 2014.

A further charge of sexual assault through touching was also added to the indictment following an incident at Eastbourne District General Hospital between June and September 2014.

A judge jailed him at Hove Crown Court today after being convicted following a trial which started in January.

He denied rape, common assault and five counts of sexual assault through touching.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Inspector Neil Ralph, said: 'Mani Kurian is a sexual predator who targeted women both in the workplace and in public.

'Today's sentence brings a successful resolution to what has been a long ordeal for the victims involved.  'The sentence imposed sends a clear message that offences of this nature will be harshly dealt with if found guilty.

'By not pleading guilty he put his victims through the ordeal of having to give evidence and relive the abuse they suffered by him.  'I would like to pay tribute to them for bravely giving evidence in the case.'


Pat Condell tells it like it is

‘I don’t want welfare, I want a job’: Black Donald Trump supporter

A BLACK Donald Trump supporter who faced down an angry mob of Black Lives Matter protesters has become an internet sensation.

The man was filmed wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat at a Trump rally in St. Louis, Missouri, when a group of Black Lives Matter confronted him.  “I just saw lie, the great lie, that, ‘Oh, we’re so oppressed’,” he says to the group in the video, which has been viewed nearly 400,000 times.

When the Trump supporter says he’s “voting for the future”, the Black Lives Matter protester replies: “What future, the future [is going to] look like f***** X-Men: Apocalypse when that s*** comes out, man, damn.”

Shaking his head, the Trump supporter says he’s “voting for the future of my people”. “I’m voting for Trump because I want jobs, not welfare,” he says.

“I don’t want to be a slave anymore. I want a job. I want to work for my own money. I want to have a house. I want to pay for my own stuff with my money that I made. I don’t want handouts. I want freedom. I want actual freedom.  “I want a job. I want a future that’s mine. I don’t want handouts from the government.”

The protesters yell: “You’ll be a slave to your job!”, while others accuse him of being “part of their schemes to hold down minorities”. “Do you believe black lives matter?” one woman asks.

“Black Lives Matter is a movement that shouldn’t even exist,” he replies.

“You want to talk about Black Lives Matter? Go to Chicago. Tell them that black lives matter. All of you people want to go into the streets and complain, ‘Oh, they got shot by the cops’, but you don’t want to go to Chicago and say we’re killing each other in droves.”

Asked how he can support Trump when he has been endorsed by white supremacist groups, the man says: “So what? I don’t care.

“You know what? Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, both of them [were] endorsed by Robert Byrd. [They] went to his funeral. Robert Byrd was a Grand Cyclops of the KKK. Hillary Clinton spoke at his funeral.”


Iconic Leftist demand for higher minimum wages brings big problems as it is implemented in Britain

Many workers could end up getting less as overtime is slashed

Big firms are slashing overtime, cutting recruitment and axeing staff perks to pay for the new national living wage. Tesco, B&Q and Whitbread are among employers trying to reduce costs ahead of the 50p-an-hour pay rise next month.

Cleaning firms and care homes are also seeking to trim budgets in preparation for the Government’s legal move to raise wages to at least £7.20 an hour for staff aged 25 and over.

George Osborne, who will deliver his latest Budget tomorrow, triumphantly unveiled the national living wage last July, saying it would help two and a half million workers. To cheers in the House of Commons, the Chancellor declared: ‘Britain deserves a pay rise, and Britain is getting a pay rise.’

But Ryan Bourne, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, warned some of the supposed beneficiaries would lose out. ‘It will reduce job opportunities for many low-skilled workers by squeezing businesses in industries such as cleaning, retail and hospitality,’ he said.

Mr Osborne has faced a raft of warnings about the cost of the living wage to business. And now firms have been revealing how they are preparing to pay for it.

Whitbread, which employs 38,000 staff in pubs and cafes including Costa, says it faces a bill of £20million a year. It suggests it will no longer be able to afford to take on the full 3,500 workers it typically recruits each year.

Retailer Next says it plans to charge customers more to cover the estimated £27million cost of giving many of its 29,000 staff a pay rise.

And Tesco, which employs more than half a million workers, has promised to pay all of them at least £7.62 an hour. But this pledge of a 3.1 per cent pay rise came with the announcement that overtime and night working wages would be axed.  The supermarket chain is also reported to have put in place plans to cut its workforce – as many as one in six jobs could go.

B&Q, which is owned by Kingfisher and employs 20,500 workers, is raising its wage level to £7.66 an hour.  But this comes with the scrapping of double pay on Sundays and bank holidays. Drivers of fork lifts and other dangerous machinery have lost their right to additional pay, as have a number of long-serving staff.

A spokesman for the DIY chain said: ‘Our people are very important to us and B&Q is committed to being a good payer and remaining so in future. The majority of our employees will be unaffected or better off.’

Interserve, a contract cleaning and services firm, has estimated it will have to find £15million a year to implement the minimum wage.  Mears Group, which employs care workers, puts its figure at £5million.

The independent Office for Budget Responsibility believes 60,000 retail jobs could go, with company profits falling by 1 per cent.

Buried in budget documents were even bleaker warnings from the OBR. It said the national living wage could force down the number of hours existing employees are offered, cut headcounts and see firms recruit more under-25s because they do not qualify for the hike. Customers could also expect to see higher prices.

The British Retail Consortium has claimed that new technology and the minimum wage could cost almost a million retail jobs over the next decade.

The CBI said last month that firms face a £9billion annual bill from the national living wage, the apprenticeship levy and the Government’s failure to ease business rates.

It warned that the mounting burden – estimated at £29billion over this parliament – could derail the recovery, threatening jobs and investment.

In a survey of more than 2,000 leading employers, recruitment firm ManpowerGroup said companies were already sidestepping the new rules by taking on under-25s.

It said firms were changing their overall pay structures to keep costs under control. Tactics include reducing pay for overtime and bank holidays, and reducing the number of better-paid supervisory roles.

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: ‘Britain deserves a pay rise and our new national living wage will give a direct boost to over a million people.’

The national minimum wage now effectively applies to only the under-25s and at different rates from £3.30 an hour to £6.70 an hour, depending on age.



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

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

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


15 March, 2016

German voters' crushing verdict on open-door migration: Angela Merkel is punished in crucial state elections as far-Right party wins big vote with call to stop flow of refugees

German voters turned to the far right in droves yesterday in a damning verdict on Angela Merkel’s open door border policy.  In regional elections she was humiliated by the anti-immigrant AfD – Alternative for Germany – party.

Formed just three years ago, it has surged in popularity following Mrs Merkel’s decision to roll out the red carpet for more than a million migrants.

Frauke Petry, who leads the Eurosceptic party, has suggested German border guards should open fire on illegal immigrants.

Analysts said the regional poll – in which Mrs Merkel’s ruling Christian Democrats lost two out of three states – was a ‘worst case scenario’ for the embattled chancellor ahead of a general election next year.

The timing made it a virtual referendum on Germany’s refugee policy. It will also be seen as an indictment of the failure of Europe’s ruling classes to acknowledge the public’s fears about migration.

Mrs Merkel’s welcome for arrivals from Syria, other parts of the Middle East and North Africa, has caused chaos across the continent.

Initially, the incomers were greeted by crowds of well-wishers.  But, faced with the sheer numbers, public opinion soured. And there was outrage when gangs of migrant men were involved in organised sex attacks on women in Cologne and other cities on new year’s eve.

One by one, EU states have thrown up border fences to stop the flow of arrivals – leading to the slow collapse of the Schengen passport-free zone.

Austria is one of several countries to limit numbers in defiance of Brussels.

Mrs Merkel, who has failed to win support for a Europe-wide quota system to share out refugees, last week masterminded a deal for Turkey to take back migrants landing in Greece.

In return, Ankara would be handed up to £3.9billion, EU countries would accept quotas of Syrian refugees from Turkey and all 75million Turkish citizens would be allowed visa-free travel around continental Europe.

On Thursday Mrs Merkel insisted that imposing a limit on refugee numbers was a ‘short-term pseudo-solution’ and that only a ‘concerted European approach’ would bring down numbers.

Germany has attempted to return economic migrants to ‘safe’ countries such as Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro but still risks being overwhelmed.

Last night millions of voters showed they have lost faith in the chancellor’s policies.

Early exit polls suggested AfD had won 23 per cent of the vote in the eastern state of Saxony Anhalt, finishing third.

The party fares better in former Eastern Germany where scepticism of liberal refugee policies is stronger.

But its double-digit score in two other states, Rhineland and Baden-Württemberg, was potentially more significant.

This suggests middle-class voters are deserting the Christian Democrats and other establishment parties.

Baden-Württemberg, which is home to Porsche and Daimler, was won by the Green Party. Mrs Merkel’s CDU lost a large slice of its vote in its former stronghold, plunging to a historic low of 27 per cent.

AfD has seats in five regional parliaments and in the European Parliament.

But its huge gains on ‘Super Sunday’ will reinforce fears that Germany is shifting to the right after decades of middle-of-the-road consensus politics following the Nazi period.

The tabloid Bild newspaper ran the headline yesterday ‘AfD shocks Germany!’.

Last night Mrs Petry, who chairs AfD, said: ‘We are seeing above all in these elections that voters are turning away in large numbers from the big established parties and voting for our party.’

She said voters expected AfD to offer ‘the opposition that there hasn’t been in the German parliament and some state parliaments’.

The far right victory came despite attacks by leading establishment politicians.

Mrs Merkel described AfD as a ‘party that does not bring cohesion in society and offers no appropriate solutions to problems, but only stokes prejudices and divisions’.

Sigmar Gabriel, her vice-chancellor, insisted that gains for AfD would not change his government’s stance on immigration.

‘There is a clear position that we stand by: humanity and solidarity,’ he said. ‘We will not change our position now.’

Sigmar Gabriel of the Social Democrats accused AfD of having a ‘linguistic affinity’ with the Nazis.

The Tagesspiegel newspaper said that the party drew in racists and anti-semites and suggested many former members of the neo-Nazi NPD ‘and other right wing parties are attracted to it’.

The publication of an outline of the migrant deal has raised concerns in the UK that it represents a step toward Turkish membership of the EU.


The real epidemic at UCD? Lad-bashing

A bogus ‘revenge porn’ scandal shows how nasty campus feminism has become

The #UCD200 hashtag has become synonymous with victim feminism and lad-bashing in Ireland’s largest university. On 2 February, the College Tribune, one of two student newspapers at University College Dublin (UCD), published an article claiming that 200 male students had been sharing naked photos of their female colleagues and rating their attractiveness in a secret group.

The article was borne out of conjecture and hearsay, relying for evidence on the musings of bored students posting anonymously on popular social network Yik Yak. In the weeks following the article’s publication, numerous national news reports emerged. Outlets such as the Irish Times, the Irish independent and Journal.ie whipped up a frenzy, demonising the male student population of UCD with flimsy journalism and a distinct lack of fact-checking.

The College Tribune alleged that explicit pictures had been shared without the women’s knowledge or consent. Students of UCD’s School of Agriculture and Food Science were singled out as the worst offenders, and the instigators of ‘the most recent example of the continued prevalence of a harmful and derogatory “lad culture”’ on campus.

The alleged incident was used as an opportunity to criticise the current students’ union and its failed efforts to combat lad culture in the university. The president of the union, Marcus O’Halloran, is himself an agricultural-science student who was previously mired in controversy after he was found to be a member of a Facebook group called ‘Girls I’d shift if I was tipsy’. The backlash to the revenge-porn scandal was severe, and another blow was struck to the union’s ‘Not Asking For It’ campaign, launched to promote sexual consent. The union had been confronted prior to the Christmas break with allegations of the existence of the Facebook group, and failed to provide a conclusive answer as to whether it would investigate.

The reaction provoked both within the university and on a national scale was astonishing; Facebook and Twitter became the battlegrounds of choice for a mass of feminists with axes to grind. Prominent feminist author Louise O’Neill featured heavily in the protests against this apparent eruption of abusive lad culture. Yet the accused were completely vindicated when an official UCD report, led by registrar Professor Mark Rogers, showed there was no evidence of the group’s existence. The report made it clear that no victims had come forward and that the evidence provided by the sole witness, known only as Sarah, was from Yik Yak. Without any victims to substantiate the claims, the allegations collapsed. Indeed, it is highly unlikely that a 200-strong Facebook group would remain under wraps.

It was immediately assumed by campaigners that UCD was guilty of a cover-up. The report came as a mere inconvenience for the angry hordes who maintained that the scandal, at least, served as an important point of discussion. Those calling for the expulsion of the group’s members were the first to disregard the findings in a rather mind-boggling display of ignorance to the gravity of the allegations made. The general consensus reached was that the facts of the matter were irrelevant – the universal shaming of the lads required little to no factual basis. The College Tribune has also refused to print a retraction or even a simple apology.

The events surrounding the #UCD200 allegations are rife with injustice: not the laddish perversion and misogyny recorded in blog after blog, but the prevailing attitude that false allegations made against innocent lads should be welcomed as a conversation starter. There has been a distinct lack of empathy for the accused, who have been greeted online by the judgement and condemnation of perfect strangers. Justice, in the eyes of the advocates of consent classes, means that a post on Yik Yak holds more authority than an official report carried out by the UCD administration, and that false allegations are justified if they serve to ‘raise awareness’. It is a shame that the damage done to the reputations of these young men can be shrugged off so nonchalantly.


More bureaucratic madness

Last week, the FDA announced it would investigate the use of manure and other biological matter.

Manure is animal poop. Rich in nutrients, it's been used by farmers as fertilizer for thousands of years. But the agency is skeptical of the safety of the practice.

"The FDA is planning to conduct a risk assessment to determine how much consumer health is put at risk by the use of raw manure as fertilizer in growing crops covered by the final [Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)] Produce Safety rule, and what can be done to help prevent people from getting sick," the agency detailed. "Before starting the assessment, the agency wants the help of stakeholders in the produce industry, the animal agriculture industry, academia and members of the public in developing the model for this work."

The FDA posted a formal notice in the Federal Register that indicates just what this assessment is all about. "The risk assessment is intended to inform policy decisions with regard to produce safety," the notice reads.

That the FDA intends to take action on manure will come out of the blue only to one who has a really short memory.

As I've detailed for years, the FDA's proposed FSMA rules would have forced small farmers "to adopt onerous, expensive, and unnecessary farming practices and procedures" that included "tough new regulations for using organic fertilizer," including compost and manure.

Pushback from small farmers and their supporters around the country forced the FDA to reconsider the worst of the proposed FSMA rules. Reconsider the agency did. And now they're back, beating the same drum.

Of course, the fact something like fertilizing crops with manure has been done a particular way for tens or hundreds or thousands of years doesn't make it safe.

Indeed, there's no doubt that pathogens sometimes found in manure make their way onto and into fruits and vegetables and sicken and kill Americans every year.

But there's also little doubt that the FDA's expertise in this area is (charitably) virtually nonexistent. Besides regulating uncracked eggs, as the agency does (poorly), the FDA has little or no experience regulating farming.

The FSMA produce rules, though, paved the way for FDA to inspect American farms.

The USDA, which regulates organic food, including crops fertilized with manure, has both the expertise and existing rules in place to regulate farms.

More HERE 

Efforts to Stop Forced Marriages in Australia

Although Australia has taken a number of steps to stop forced marriages, there are still several cases that have caught the attention of media where minors are married under these circumstances.

In most cases, brides are under 18-years-old who have to marry strangers who are much older than them. In February 2013, the federal government highlighted forced marriage issues and presented "The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-Like Conditions and People Trafficking) Act 2013," which the Australian parliament passed in the same year. According to the legislation, forced marriages are a serious crime that entails severe penalties for those who commit it.

Anti-slavery Australia and Plan International have recently released a report where the cases of forced marriage across the nation were examined. It was discovered that there was a minimum of 250 cases where girls under 18 have been forced to marry without their consent. According to The Conversation, Australia, as an entity, took several relevant steps to help save the rights of young girls and women.

The country has already offered legal and social protection to the society along with raising awareness about the effects of forced marriage by educating people, but nothing has shown significant results yet. Hence, the nation is expected to make even stricter rules to put a halt to forced marriage issues.

Australian law states that when a person marries under threat or deception, it indicates his/her incapability of "understanding the nature and effect of the marriage ceremony." Campaign spokesperson Dr. Eman Sharobeem was also a victim of this arranged set-up. She was only 14 years old when she had to marry a man who was 12 years older to her. The arranged marriage, unfortunately, resulted to 14 years of physical torture that only ended when her husband died of illness.

"In the past year alone we have dealt with 13 cases amongst our clients … we have been at the front, dealing with it and dealing with the clients and the family directly," Sharobeem said as quoted by Westender Australia."I am not surprised and not shocked by the number of cases I have seen, this is a very big problem."

To make the legislation even more substantial, an amendment was welcomed in late 2015 that stated that a person under 16 will not be eligible to give consent to a marriage.



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, 2016

Medical journal editors make fools of themselves

The major British medical journals are heavily politicized -- both Lancet and BMJ.  Lancet even criticized the Iraq intervention under  George Bush II.  When they stick to their knitting -- medical research -- they do publish some good studies and are prestigious because of that.  But the people running the journals are obviously Left-leaning -- like most academics -- so they can't help misusing the platform they have to hand in order to promote their Leftist views.

That is of course bound to be an amusing exercise.  Leftist claims are so counter-factual that a political study is bound to require all sorts of distortions and evasions to make any case at all.  And the political studies they do publish are so unscholarly that the editors have obviously put their brain into  neutral before publishing them.

The latest such study in Lancet ("Firearm legislation and firearm mortality in the USA: a cross-sectional, state-level study") is a good example of that.  It purports to show that some gun control laws do reduce deaths from guns.  But the methodology behind the  article is so naive that no such study would normally get published in a good academic journal.

What the researchers did was to look at gun deaths in the various States of the USA and compare the death rates with the various gun control laws in the various states.  And they found that States with strict laws (e.g. Massachusetts) had fewer deaths per head than did States with more relaxed laws (e.g. Louisiana). And from that they concluded that certain gun control laws should be implemented nationwide.  And if that were done gun deaths would drop dramatically nationwide.

Can anybody see something wrong with that reasoning? I am inclined to think that anyone with an IQ over 100 could.  The study is an example of a fallacy that is all too common in the medical research literature:  The fallacy that correlation is causation.  If you ever do a course in logic, one of the first things you will be told is that correlation is NOT causation.  To prove causation you need a strictly controlled before-and-after study.

To show how fallacious the reasoning is in the Lancet study, let me cautiously suggest that there are other factors that could lie behind the correlation between gun control and gun deaths.  Let me suggest, for instance, entirely hypothetically, of course, that Massachusetts might have fewer gun deaths, not because of its laws but because they have fewer people there from a certain population segment that is more prone to gun deaths and crime generally.  I am not going to nominate the population segment concerned because that does not affect the argument.  But if the thought "Massachusetts has fewer blacks" pops into your mind, who am I to correct you?  Entirely as a matter of academic interest of course, Mass. is less than 2% black and Louisiana is about a third black.

The study might have been of some interest if it had controlled for other factors. So I read the study carefully looking for that.   But in fact they controlled for unemployment rate only.  Control for race would be politically incorrect, of course.  All men are equal, don't you know?  It would be a compliment to call the study sophomoric. It is a disgrace to the journal.  By normal scientific standards, it should never have been published.

German Nationalist Party Wants To Ban Circumcision

Germany’s surging anti-immigration party Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) wants to restrict some religious practices for Muslims, including a ban on circumcision.

Newspaper Bild will release leaked information from AfD’s 72-page manifesto in its Saturday edition. The draft says circumcision on religious grounds is a “serious violation to fundamental rights” of young boys.

AfD also wants to outlaw minarets and the muezzin’s call to prayer, as it violates the “tolerant coexistence of religions” that Christian churches stand for.

The manifesto is scheduled to be presented at a party convention in April. AfD is expected to be the big winner when three German states hold regional elections Sunday. Party leader Joerg Meuthen proposed a 19-foot high fence to stop refugees from entering the country during a rally Thursday.


Filibusted: Missouri Democrats Fail to Block Religious Liberty Bill Concerning Same-Sex Marriage

A minority of Missouri legislators held a much needed religious liberty proposal hostage in Jefferson City over the last two days. Democrats there filibustered for over 36 hours against SJR 39, a commonsense bill that would let Missouri citizens vote to ban government discrimination against people of faith because of their beliefs about marriage.

This was the most misguided filibuster since Wendy Davis tried (and failed) to block Texas from adopting reasonable limits on late-term abortions and commonsense clinic safety standards.

As we have seen in Indiana, Georgia, and West Virginia, big business and the left have once again teamed up with government actors to form a triumvirate of cultural cronyism aiming to block popular religious freedom protections.

Missouri’s proposal ensures continued religious freedom, a freedom that is acutely threatened in the wake of the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage last summer. Those who remain true to their religious beliefs about marriage need protection from government discrimination like never before, and the Missouri proposal provides just that.

Opponents of the Missouri proposal nevertheless claim that it will lead to widespread LGBT discrimination. This is false.

The Missouri proposal does not take anything away from anyone. It specifically says that it shall not take away anyone’s right to a government marriage license, to receive government benefits (such as health insurance or tax deductions), or to visit a sick spouse in a hospital.

The proposal is an anti–discrimination measure that protects the rights of all Missourians to be free from government punishment and coercion when they live out their beliefs about marriage.

The Missouri proposal would protect this freedom by a constitutional amendment, which means that once the protections are in place, people of faith will be insulated from state judges or politicians that are (or may become) hostile to religious freedom. It means the people of Missouri get a direct say in their own governance. It means that religious freedom is protected for all, both now and in the future.

Although the proposal is not perfect, and language improvements can and should be made before final adoption, the protections in SJR 39 are generally precise, clear, and concrete—so much so that a filibustering senator was asked to point to a provision, any provision, in the proposal that was discriminatory but was unable to.

This is because the Missouri proposal would prevent discriminatory government action, not unleash it. Here are some examples:

The proposal prevents the state government from penalizing pastors and clergy who decline to perform marriage ceremonies contrary to their religious beliefs.

It protects houses of worship and Knights of Columbus halls from being forced to use their facilities to host weddings that run counter to their beliefs.

It prevents government from stripping religious adoption agencies of their licenses or contracts because they operate under the belief that every child deserves both a mother and father.

It ensures that schools, charities, elder care facilities, and crisis pregnancy centers will not lose equal access to government programs or be denied tax exemptions because of sincere beliefs about marriage.

In short, like the federal First Amendment Defense Act on which it is based, the Missouri proposal would guarantee that religious institutions can retain their religious identity in private life, in public life, and in service to the poor and the needy in the community.

The proposal also protects people like Barronelle Stutzman, a 70-year-old florist from Washington state who was happy to serve gays and lesbians but was sued, fined, and harassed because she declined, based on her Christian faith, to make custom floral arrangements to celebrate a same-sex wedding. It would likewise protect the Klein family of Oregon, who were fined $135,000 for declining to make a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding in violation of their faith.

Contrary to the mischaracterizations of opponents, the Missouri proposal protects only “closely held” businesses, only when they provide goods or services “of expressional or artistic creation” and only in the context of wedding celebrations and marriages that they cannot in good conscience endorse. In practice, this means family-owned bakers, florists, and photographers would be protected when providing custom wedding services, but not Hilton hotels.

But even these modest protections are still too much for some. Big Business still wants to crush its small competitors. The cultural left still wants to crush dissent from its new sexual orthodoxy, no matter how small. But perhaps worst of all, a few government actors still want to deny the people of Missouri the ability to even have a voice in determining their own future on these matters.

The people of Missouri should get to decide whether their state will be an inclusive place that protects reasonable and long-standing religious beliefs about marriage now and for the generations to come.

The Missouri legislature wants to give them that chance, if only the obstructionists using extreme tactics get out of the way.


Anti-Islam party Australian Liberty Alliance says members vilified, labelled bigots

The head of a new anti-Islamic Australian political party says members are vilified as bigots and shut down in mainstream channels if they speak out against the religion.

The Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA) had its WA launch on Saturday night at the Perth Convention Centre, calling for an end to "Islamisation of Australia" and guarantees of free speech, finishing one leg of what organisers said was a national tour leading up to the next federal election.

Almost 200 hundred people attended the event, which had Senate candidates from across the state address the crowd on their policies and values.

ALA director and WA Senate candidate Debbie Robinson said members were all passionate about their beliefs and deserved the right to express them.

"If this is not allowed to progress through the normal democratic, political channels, and people are constantly told that they're not understanding Islam, you don't know what you're talking about, one day there will be anarchy," she said.

She said it had been difficult to secure advertising and coverage in the mainstream media was often "biased". "If you do say something that no one agrees with you're labelled a bigot or called a name, and you're shot down in flames," she said.

"These people here ... they're not a bunch of redneck racist bogans, they're very informed intelligent people, they understand completely what Islam is about, and we're being talked to like fools."

In her speech Mrs Robinson said while the party had more than one policy, Islam was the greatest threat facing the world at the moment.

"We have so much to be thankful for here in Australia," she told the crowd. "But we must never take our liberty for granted. Make no mistake - Islam is at war with us."

The party has pledged to "stop the Islamisation of Australia", ban full-face coverings in public spaces and introduce a ten-year moratorium on immigration from Organisation of Islamic Cooperation countries.

Senate candidate for NSW Kirralie Smith said political correctness was the greatest enemy that everyday Australians were facing.

She said while the party supported a multi-ethnic society it was multiculturalism that was the problem.  "It is divisive and it's censored," she said.

"Australia has a good history of debating all the 'isms', of taking part in debate. But now we're facing this problem where we're not allowed to talk about them."

She finished that particular part of her address with the words, 'I am going to criticise Islam', to a round of raucous applause from the audience.

Along with raising concerns over Islam and more specifically the Koran and sharia law, candidates voiced their frustration over the current government, the education system, the media, the Defence Force and made calls to "bring back manners".

The ALA was founded in October 2015 with controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders flown over for the official launch, which also attracted protests.

The address for Saturday night's campaign launch was kept secret, with members and supporters told of the location only a day before.

Mrs Robinson said the party was working on fielding two Senate candidates for each state.

"We've got a long-term strategy," she said. "We've got to build slowly, part of our strength is to take our time and grow gradually.

"I think it's really important that we have a party like this to provide an alternative and swing politics back to where it needs to be."



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, 2016

Multiculturalist who stabbed an aspiring model to death as he tried to steal £1,000 laptop for sale on Gumtree is jailed for 21 years

A robber who stabbed an aspiring model in the heart as he attempted to steal the £1,000 laptop he was selling on Gumtree was jailed for 21 years and six months today.

Michael Adegbite, 28, fought back when the supposed ‘buyers’ tried to swipe his Apple MacBook when they met on a street in Enfield, north London on July 19 last year.

But Christopher Nzeh, 18, pulled out a hunting knife and stabbed the personal trainer, who also worked as a teaching assistant, through the heart, leaving him to bleed to death in the street.

Montel Ajayi, 19, Isaac Owen-Brady, 18 and Nzeh, all admitted to planning to rob the victim - and all three were known to have carried out a series of violent robberies on Gumtree users previously.

Nzeh was convicted of his manslaughter and all three men were cleared of murder.

Jailing the serial Gumtree robbers for a total of 34 years, Old Bailey Judge Paul Worsley QC said: ‘I do find you have all been prepared, in the past, to use violence on those you have set out to rob and you have taken weapons to the scene.

‘Those who go armed with knives to commit robbery, whether or not they are used in the course of a robbery, will inevitably attract high sentences.

‘That is underlined when the victim is targeted and the robbery takes part in his home.’

The judge sentenced Nzeh to a total of 21 and a half years for robbery, possession of a knife and manslaughter, telling him: ‘You produced a knife from your waist, opened it out, then thrust it deep into the chest of Michael, piercing his heart.

‘The jury have concluded that you alone were responsible for the death of Michael.

‘He was only 28 years old. He was a model and a personal trainer. He had his whole life ahead of him. ‘He did not deserve to die alone in the street as he did.’

Ajayi, who the jury found did not know a knife was going to be taken to the scene, was jailed for five years for robbery and Owen-Brady was handed a 12-year sentence for robbery, possession of a knife and a similar robbery on a 16-year-old.

Before targeting Mr Adegbite, Nzeh and Ajayi ambushed a man selling his iPad in May 2014, punching him repeatedly before grabbing the electronic device.

Owen-Brady was also involved in a previous Gumtree robbery, in March 2014, when a victim was stabbed in the back for his XBox games console.


UK: 'We must give tactical military assistance to Isis' says Trotskyist who was readmitted to the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn

A hard-left activist who was readmitted by Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party in November has made a remarkable call to support Isis against air strikes.

Gerry Downing defended a blog post by his Trotskyist revolutionary group Socialist Fight in which it argued for 'critical support and tactical military assistance' to be given to Islamic terrorists fighting 'US-led world imperialism'.

Labour said it had expelled him from the party last night after David Cameron used Prime Minister's Questions to ask Mr Corbyn why he had been re-instated Mr Downing after an appeal.

But speaking on the Daily Politics Show today, Mr Downing said no one from the party had informed him he had been kicked-out and used the TV appearance to repeat his highly controversial views.

He refused to condemn the 9/11 attackers and said we should instead seek to 'understand' their motivations, claiming they carried out the attacks on New York's Twin Towers because they were 'outraged at what had happened to their land'.

Asked about his Trotskyist group's blog calling for Isis to be given military support, Mr Downing said: ‘Tactical support means that we are opposed to the US bombing of them… because first of all US bombing involves the killing of what they call collateral damage – a vast number of civilians.

Pressed on what tactical military assistance would require, he said: 'If you analyse world imperialism as the main enemy you always oppose its actions – that follows logically, you would always be fighting out US imperialism from the Middle East etc.’

Mr Cameron raised the case of Mr Downing's readmission to the Labour party yesterday, quoting his blog post insisting that terrorists involved in the 9/11 attacks 'must never be condemned'.

During prime minister’s question time, Mr Cameron said: ‘I was completely appalled to see yesterday that the Labour Party have readmitted someone to their party who says that the 9/11 suicide bombers, and I quote, “must never be condemned”, and belongs to an organisation that says “we defend the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq”.

‘These are appalling views and I hope that the Leader of the Opposition will throw this person out of the party rather than welcome him in.’

Mr Corbyn did not reply to the question but last night a Labour party spokesman said: 'Following further evidence that has come to light Gerry Downing has now been excluded from the Labour Party by the NEC panel.' 

Mr Downing was kicked out of the party last summer over views expressed on his Twitter feed and blog but was re-instated in November after an appeal.

But the controversial activist said today: 'Everybody tells me I was expelled me last night but nobody has bothered to informed me – there has been no communication whatsoever.'

Defending his refusal to condemn the 9/11 attackers, Mr Downing said: 'What I was doing was to explain the reasons for it and the reasons for the attack are basically what imperialism did in the Middle East.

‘I think you have to say that in those circumstances the first thing you have to do is understand why that happened. It didn’t happen because these are madmen or because they’re lunatics or because they’re bad people. It happened because they were outraged at what had happened to their land.’

He added: ‘I wouldn’t use the phrase condemn because I think that like old Baruch Spinoza said, ‘I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them’ and if you understand what happened and why it happened… I would understand the motivations of the people who did that.’

Yesterday's row over Mr Downing's readmission to Labour erupted amid new reports of a sustained attempt by members of the far left to take over the party.

The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, the pressure group prominent in the 1980s, is pressing for a rule change meaning MPs would not be able to prevent Mr Corbyn from running for re-election if challenged.


Trump Doubles Down on 'Islam Hates Us'; 'I Don't Want to Be So Politically Correct'

"I don't want to be so politically correct," Republican Donald Trump said Thursday night as he repeated his claim that "there is tremendous hate" on the part of Muslims toward America.

The controversy erupted Wednesday night, when Trump told CNN's Anderson Cooper, "I think Islam hates us." At the CNN-hosted debate on Thursday, moderator Jake Tapper asked Trump, "Did you mean all 1.6 billion Muslims?"

"I mean a lot of them! I mean a lot of them," Trump responded."There's something going on that maybe you don't know about, maybe a lot of other people don't know about, but there's tremendous hatred. And I will stick with exactly what I said to Anderson Cooper."

Rubio, invited to weigh in, said, "a lot of people find appeal in the things Donald says, because he says what people wish they could say. The problem is, presidents can't just say anything they want. It has consequences, here and around the world."

Rubio then talked about two Christian missionaries in Muslim-majority Bangladesh who rely on "friendly Muslims" for their safety and security. "And they tell me that today they have a very hostile environment in which to operate in because the news is coming out that in America, leading political figures are saying that America doesn't like Muslims. So this is a real impact."

Rubio agreed that "radical Islam is a danger in the world," but he also reminded the audience that Muslims have fought and died for this country: "Anyone out there that has the uniform of the United States on and is willing to die for this country is someone that loves America -- no matter what their religious background may be."

"Marco talks about consequences," Trump said. "Well, we've had a lot of consequences, including airplanes flying into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and could have been the White House. There have been a lot of problems.

"Now you can say what you want, and you can be politically correct if you want. I don't want to be so politically correct. I like to solve problems. We have a serious, serious problem of hate.

"There is tremendous hate. There is tremendous hate. Where large portions of a group of people, Islam, large portions want to use very, very harsh means. Let me go a step further. Women are treated horribly. You know that. You do know that. Women are treated horribly, and other things are happening that are very, very bad.

"Now I will say this, there is tremendous hatred. The question was asked, what do you think? I said, there is hatred. Now it would be very easy for me to say something differently. And everybody would say, oh, isn't that wonderful. We better solve the problem before it's too late," Trump warned, without explaining how he'd solve it.

Rubio, responding, said, "I'm not interested in being politically correct. I'm not interested in being politically correct. I'm interested in being correct."

The senator agreed that "Islam has a major problem on its hands" with radicalization, but he also said Americans need to work with Muslims who are not radicals. "We are going to have to work with people of the Muslim faith even as Islam itself faces a serious crisis within it of radicalization."

Returning to the topic several minutes later, Trump said, "In large mosques, all over the Middle East, you have people chanting 'death to the USA.' Now, that does not sound like a friendly act to me."


UK: It isn't racist to fear migration, says the Archbishop of Canterbury: Justin Welby believes it is 'outrageous' to dismiss public's genuine concerns

Cantuar talks some sense for once

Britain has a ‘genuine and justified’ fear of mass immigration, the Archbishop of Canterbury declared last night.

The country’s most senior churchman said it was ‘absolutely outrageous’ to dismiss the public’s legitimate concerns as racist.

Archbishop Justin Welby warned: ‘There is a genuine fear. And it is really important that that fear is listened to and addressed. There have to be resources put in place that address those fears.’

He added: ‘What happens about housing? What happens about jobs? What happens about access to health services?’

Campaign groups last night welcomed his powerful intervention as a ‘marvellous breath of fresh air’. It comes after years in which the liberal Left has attacked those expressing concern about the unprecedented levels of immigration into Britain as bigots.

Archbishop Welby also revealed that the Church would not be taking a position in the EU referendum debate.

He was highly critical of Europe’s response to the refugee crisis, but added: ‘You can’t say, “God says you must vote this way or that way”.’

Mass immigration is fast becoming central to the debate, as concerns rise about the millions of migrants flooding into Europe.

Out campaigners have warned that, unless Britain votes to leave the EU, it can never regain control of its borders. Fears have also been raised about the added pressure which would be put on already stretched public services in the UK if more people are allowed to settle here.

In an interview with Parliament’s House magazine, Archbishop Welby said: ‘Fear is a valid emotion at a time of such colossal crisis. This is one of the greatest movements of people in human history. Just enormous. And to be anxious about that is very reasonable.

‘There is a tendency to say “those people are racist”, which is just outrageous, absolutely outrageous.

‘In fragile communities particularly – and I’ve worked in many areas with very fragile communities as a clergyman – there is a genuine fear: what happens about housing? What happens about jobs? What happens about access to health services?

‘There have to be resources put in place that address those fears.

‘But we have demonstrated this enormous capacity to deal with things…It is simply a question of the scale on which we are prepared to act, in a way that spreads the load so it can be managed.’

The comments will be seen by some as a U-turn by the Archbishop himself. Two years ago, he said it was wrong to view immigration as ‘something that is somehow going to overwhelm’ Britain.

At the time, his remarks were seen as a slap down to Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, who had just said that some communities feel ‘swamped’.

In last night’s interview, Mr Welby appeared to condemn the EU’s response to the migrant crisis. He said: ‘The lack of a European solution is deepening the crisis very, very significantly.’

But he repeated his previous demands for Britain to take in more refugees. Mr Cameron has said the UK will take in 20,000 over the current Parliament.

He said: ‘We have to play our part. I was in Germany last weekend doing some work with some churches there. The Germans took 1.1million last year. And it does make 20,000 over several years sound very thin.’

He admitted, however, that we ‘have to be careful’, adding: ‘The Government is rightly concerned about effectively subsidising people smuggling.’

He said the EU debate ‘should be about what we fear’. He added: ‘Fear of what happens if we leave, fear of what happens if we stay…My hope and prayer is that we have a really visionary debate about what our country looks like.’

Last night former diplomat and founder of MigrationWatch Lord Green of Deddington welcomed the remarks on immigration.

He said: ‘What a marvellous breath of fresh air. This is clearly an outstanding leader who listens carefully to his flock and understands their genuine concerns.’



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, 2016

Ten-year-old Aboriginal girl kills herself in far north Western Australia

It's odds-on that she was abused by Aboriginal men in her community.  Child abuse is rife in such communities.  So I fail to see that this is the responsibility of whites.  To do anything real about it, you would have to change the responses of Aboriginal men -- and it would take very tough intervention to do that.  All the social workers in the world would achieve nothing.  Aborigines in the Kimberly are very close to their tribal ways so have little to restrain them from being rough on women and children

A 10-year-old Aboriginal girl has taken her own life in far north Western Australia, the youngest of 19 Indigenous people to kill themselves in remote areas of the state since December.

Guardian Australia understands the girl died on Sunday in the small community of Looma, 3,912km north of Perth.

It is one of the youngest reported suicides of an Aboriginal person in WA and follows the death of an 11-year-old Geraldton boy, Peter Little, on 19 October 2014, which prompted the state government to announce a $26m suicide prevention program.

A suicide researcher, Gerry Georgatos, will travel to Looma to support the community in his role as a coordinator for the Indigenous suicide critical response unit, a $1m federally funded trial program that aims to provide culturally appropriate assistance to curb the flow-on effects of suicide.

“This tragedy has affected not only her community but surrounding communities that she had been moved around within,” Georgatos told Guardian Australia. “Many families and communities need support.”

It’s the 16th such trip he has made since taking up the position. The first was to support a community in the Goldfields, near Kalgoorlie, where three people took their lives within a month. “We buried three kids in five days,” Georgatos told Guardian Australia. “The graves were alongside each other, three in a row.”

The youngest on that occasion was a 15-year-old girl.

WA’s mental health minister, Helen Morton, said it was “devastating that a child of 10 would even consider taking their own life”. She said: “Circumstances are not yet clear but I find it deeply concerning.”

Morton said the girl was not in the care of the department of child protection, but the department had been providing support to her extended family “and will continue to do so during this very difficult time”.

Scullion said the interim advice he had received was that existing suicide response services were often not well-coordinated or delivered in a culturally appropriate way, which led to the funding of the Indigenous suicide critical response unit.

“The minister is deeply saddened by the news of the latest Indigenous child suicide in the Kimberley and it has reinforced his resolve to do everything he can to prevent suicide and the enormous grief it causes families and communities,” a spokesman for Scullion told Guardian Australia.

Wes Morris is coordinator of the Kimberley Aboriginal Language and Culture Centre which runs the Yiriman Project, a culture-based program led by elders from four language groups that aims to reduce suicide by making young people resilient in their culture. He said suicide would be raised as an issue at regional meetings to discuss the state’s remote community reform plans this week.

“What we need to be investing in is culturally appropriate programs of resilience and healing, to show young people where they fit into their culture and possibilities for their future,” Morris said.


Gamers are SMARTER and perform better at school: Study finds a link between playing games and higher intelligence in children

This is another one in the eye for the brown-nosing "Baroness" Greenfield

Playing video games has a positive effect on young children, improving their performance at school and their intelligence levels, according to a new study.

Researchers have found a direct link between the amount of time spent playing video games and the mental health, cognitive, and social skills of young children.

By studying children aged six to 11, the psychologists also discovered that children who spent more time playing video games had no increase in mental health problems.

Each of the children were enrolled in the School Children Mental Health Europe project and the research was carried out by the scientists from Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and Paris Descartes University.

The study found that one in five primary school children spent more than five hours per week playing games.

Those that played the most games had fewer relationship problems with other children.

After adjusting for the age, gender, and family size of the children, they report that the most active gamers were 1.75 times as likely to show 'high intellectual functioning'.

There was a slightly greater effect at school, with high gamers being 1.88 times as likely to demonstrate high overall school performance.

Parents and teachers assessed their child's mental health, and the children themselves were also quizzed through an interactive tool.

Academic success was assessed by teachers.

The study found the keenest gamers were boys, at the older end of the range, and from medium-sized families.

Those with a less educated or single mother spent less time playing video games.

'Playing video games is often a collaborative leisure activity for children,' said Dr Katherine Keyes, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, New York.

'These results indicate that children who frequently play video games may be socially cohesive with peers and integrated into the school community.'

However, Dr Keyes does not recommend letting children play unlimited video games and cautions against over interpretation of these results: 'Setting limits on screen usage remains an important component of parental responsibility,' she added.

The research is published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.


Trump mocks political correctness

Donald Trump dressed down a journalist at a press conference on Tuesday who reportedly asked about the Republican presidential frontrunner's public use of explicit language.

According to Time magazine's Zeke Miller, NBC News reporter Peter Alexander asked Trump to elaborate on how parents should explain to their children the expletives he sometimes uses in his stump speeches.

"Oh, you're so politically correct, you're so beautiful," Trump shot back sarcastically as supporters laughed. "Oh, you've never heard a little bad language."

He continued: "You're so perfect. Aren't you perfect? You're such a perfect young man. Give me a break. You know what? It's stuff like that that people are tired of."

Trump held the press conference Tuesday night to celebrate his primary wins in Michigan and Mississippi. Two other states, Idaho and Hawaii, also voted Tuesday but had not yet been called at the time Trump spoke.

The real-estate developer frequently criticizes reporters who he believes aren't fielding fair questions. Trump has previously brushed off Alexander's questions in past press conferences.


Catholic Bishop: Gay Marriage Is ‘Repulsive’ And Will Seek ‘To Destroy Everything Christian’

Commenting on the damage to society caused by homosexual “marriage,” retired U.S. Catholic Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz said such unions are “repulsive”; to paint them as a “human rights issue” is “preposterous”; and that the entire agenda persecutes Christians, and will seek “to destroy everything Christian” that opposes the gay “degeneration.”

“It is very devastating,” said the former bishop of the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb.  “I think it is surprising the power and strength of the propaganda. I can’t believe that a tiny minority of the human race would perpetuate and try to not just seek tolerance but actually seek acquiescence and support for perversion that is repulsive to the normal human beings that anyone can encounter.”

“And how we would be subjected to manipulation by the media, and by this insidious insinuation into the very fabric of our society of perversion and degredation and degeneration is astonishing,” said the bishop.

The prelate  made his remarks in an interview with LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief John Henry Westen.  Bruskewitz, popular with conservatives, served as the bishop for Lincoln from 1992 to 2012, at which point he retired, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 75.

Continuing his comments in reference to homosexuality, gay marriage, and the persecution of Christians,  Bishop Bruskewitz said, “I think that to say that this [homosexual marriage] somehow resonates with a human rights issue, or with racial justice or some of these other issues, is preposterous. But how it can link in the minds of manipulatable human beings, that’s the case. And if you dare to speak out, you’re a bigot.”

“Now, of course, it’s persecution as has been pointed out,” he said.  “We had bakers refuse to bake cakes for gay marriages, and as a result they’re imprisoned or fined, they have to go out of business.  We’ve seen things such as florists who don’t supply flowers, and so on.”

“I’m convinced that there’s going to be every effort made to destroy everything Christian that would in the least bit oppose this kind of degeneration,” said the bishop.

He continued, “I think there are military chaplains, those who administer the ordinariate of the military in our country, who are fearful about what is going to happen if two lesbians, who claim to be Catholic, for example, come in and insist that they be married by the Catholic chaplain and he refuses.”

“So these persecutions are in the offing,” he continued.  “And I think they're not going to go away. And the minute that one tries to protest, they are denounced as a bigot, and a racist, and God knows what else sort of things are heaped upon you. So that's the danger, the danger of the persecution. So I think it's probably coming.”

“Cardinal George [former archbishop of Chicago] said it and later he sort of repented of it, but he said he was going to die in his bed,” recounted Bishop Bruskewitz.  “He said the next archbishop of Chicago will probably die in prison. And the archbishop after that will probably be put to death for the faith.”

“Whether that’s a prediction or just an ominous warning, I don’t know,” said Bishop Bruskewitz.  “It sounds horrible but, right now, given what we’ve experienced in this cultural upheavel, I don’t see that it’s that far off the mark.”



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, 2016

CA's Knee-Jerk Bill Forbids Travel to Un-PC States

More Homosexual tyranny

Hopefully, this Californian lawmaker puts more thought into the other bills he introduces. This week, Evan Low, a Democrat, introduced a bill that would ban California state employees from traveling to states that passed a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. “No one wants to send employees into an environment where they would be uncomfortable,” Low reportedly said, as if hurt feelings are enough to hamper the state’s ability to cooperate with other members of the union. But here’s the kicker: the lawmaker doesn’t know how many states his little bill would affect. Furthermore, the bill would only apply to government employees.

Governors and lawmakers like him could still jet into places like Indiana on the California taxpayers' dime. This isn’t the first time Low introduced a bill for the gay-rights community. Last May, Low co-authored a resolution with two other California lawmakers responding to the FDA’s blood donor guidelines that forbid sexually active homosexuals from donating blood. After the press conference, Low walked to a blood drive and was rejected for donating blood because he is a homosexual. It would be one thing if the state wanted to enter into a decision about what policy is good, ethical and accommodates a plethora of beliefs, but this bill is simply an emotional response that blindly follows an agenda.


No, breastfeeding is not an economic issue

Fiona McEwen

New studies claiming 'breast is best' have gone way too far.  It's now politically correct

New mothers are used to being bombarded with the message that ‘breast is best’. A long list of supposed benefits are trotted out: breastfeeding will reduce the risk of diarrhoea, ear infections, obesity, diabetes and various other diseases, as well as increasing the child’s intelligence. Mothers are told breastfeeding will reduce their risk of breast and ovarian cancer, as well as helping to lose their baby weight faster.

But two recent papers in the Lancet (here and here) have gone even further. They argue that choosing not to breastfeed is associated with cognitive deficits, resulting in global economic losses of $302 billion every year, equating to 0.49% of the gross world national income. The papers advise that scaling up breastfeeding to be almost universal would prevent 823,000 child deaths. They also argue that breastfeeding is needed for the achievement of many sustainable development goals and is ‘essential … for building a better world for future generations in all counties, rich and poor alike’.

Bold claims. But do they stand up to scrutiny? The authors have used systematic reviews and meta-analyses of epidemiological studies from low-, middle- and high-income countries to look at the short- and long-term effects of breastfeeding on a range of health and cognitive outcomes. They found consistent associations between breastfeeding and some early health outcomes (such as diarrhoea, respiratory infections and ear infections), but these were only found in the first two years of life and mainly in low-income countries. No evidence for breastfeeding’s impact on allergies, eczema, blood pressure or cholesterol was found and evidence for type-2 diabetes and obesity was inconsistent. They also highlighted an effect on child IQ, but do not mention recent studies that challenge this connection.

There are many problems with relying on epidemiological evidence to draw conclusions of this magnitude. Epidemiology – looking for patterns of associations across populations – is a good starting point, but it can rarely conclusively demonstrate cause and effect. Rather, it should trigger questions about how and why two things might be linked and be used to develop hypotheses to test.

For example, breastfeeding might be associated with reduced risk of respiratory infections because breast milk has a protective effect. But babies with respiratory infections are also likely to have more difficulty breastfeeding, making a switch to bottle-feeding more likely (reverse causation). Another factor, like the baby going to nursery, might account for both cessation of breastfeeding and exposure to infections. While researchers attempt to control for confounding factors, this is never exhaustive and is an imperfect approach.

The effect of confounding factors is apparent in many studies. A recent meta-analysis looking at breastfeeding and IQ found that breastfed children had, on average, an IQ 3.4 points higher than other children. However, once the effect of the mother’s IQ was included, this dropped to 2.6 points. In the better quality studies, the difference was 1.7 points. Furthermore, the effect on children over 10 years of age was about half of that on younger children – challenging the idea that there are significant long-term benefits of breastfeeding on cognitive development. Similarly, another study looking at developmental trajectories of cognitive development in a large, nationally representative sample of British twins found very limited evidence of an advantage in breastfed girls (but not boys) at the age of two years, but no evidence of a longer-term effect.

A key flaw with most studies is that they measure differences that occur between families; differences that could account for both patterns of breastfeeding and health and cognitive outcomes. A recent study looked at this by comparing siblings within families, where one was breastfed and the other was not. Associations between breastfeeding and health and cognitive outcomes at age four to 11 years were dramatically reduced and not significant using this method – suggesting that breastfeeding was not playing a direct, causal role in longer-term outcomes.

Given the inconsistent results and variable quality of much of the research on breastfeeding, the calculations underlying the economic projections made in the Lancet papers should come under some scrutiny. The authors start by assuming that breastfeeding causes an increase of 2.6 IQ points. They then take figures that suggest that a 15 point difference in IQ relates to a 12 per cent difference in hourly earnings (or 16 per cent in low- and middle- income countries) and calculate the loss in earnings due to non-breastfed babies having a 2.6 point lower IQ. This relies on the spurious assumption that there is a linear relationship between IQ and earnings. This suggests that the difference in income between someone with an IQ of 100 and someone with an IQ of 97.4 (both around average IQ) is simply a sixth of the difference between a person with an IQ of 100 and someone with an IQ of 85 (IQ in the lowest 15 per cent of the population). But it also assumes that a small change in average IQ across the population would have a causal effect on the job market and general economic landscape. That the authors can boldly describe ‘estimated economic losses from cognitive deficits associated with…infant feeding practices’ (my italics) suggests that the ‘breast is best’ message has taken precedence over any sort of critical evaluation of the evidence.

Furthermore, the potential costs of breastfeeding are not considered (which, for a health economic calculation, is a strange omission). Committing to six months of exclusive breastfeeding is a big undertaking for many women, especially in countries like the US where most mothers work outside the home, have little maternity leave and limited flexibility at work. Extended breastfeeding may involve a decision to change to part-time work, which will have an impact on career progression and lead to a reduced income. The studies also fail to mention that, in reality, this ‘choice’ is not available to many poorer women. A woman might decide that holding and playing with her baby is more beneficial than spending hours every day hooked up to a breastpump to produce enough milk for the child during daycare. She might decide that having enough time with her other children is more important than exclusively breastfeeding the baby, or that it’s more important for dad and other family members to be able to feed and bond with the baby early on. Breast is not best for every family.

But perhaps the most depressing aspect of these papers is the assumption that nudging women towards breastfeeding is the best way to tackle economic inequality and lack of development. Exclusive breastfeeding might prevent deaths due to diarrhoea in low-income countries, but this primarily reflects the fact that many people still do not have access to safe drinking water. Extended breastfeeding might help women space pregnancies, but this is only in the absence of access to contraception. Arguing that failure to improve breastfeeding rates will result in ‘major losses and costs that will be borne by generations to come’ rests on the assumption that large-scale economic development, and improvements in living conditions and access to medical care, is not possible or desirable for other parts of the world. It also seems patronising to argue that low-income countries should increase rates of breastfeeding to solve their problems. In fact, the rate of breastfeeding is already very high (over 90 per cent of infants in low-income countries are still breastfed at 12 months) and may be limited by factors such as avoiding HIV transmission from mother to baby.

The Lancet breastfeeding series puts together a culture of low expectations about development, an evidence base that is inconsistent and of variable quality, and a whole load of assumptions in order to produce impressive-sounding but questionable figures. This is not particularly helpful, either in terms of clarifying the science or providing advice to mothers. There is a fine line between providing information and stigmatising mothers who are making difficult decisions to care for and financially support their children, while also fulfilling their own potential. Telling women that bottle-feeding not only damages their child’s health, but also the world economy, is both spurious and unhelpful.


After the busted witch-hunt, the botched cover-up

Ignore the police spin and remember the lessons of Operation Elveden

At the end of last week, the Metropolitan Police announced the official end of Operation Elveden, the huge police campaign against alleged corruption in public office that led to the arrest and failed prosecution of dozens of tabloid journalists. Yet in a bid to spin the humiliating end of the Elveden debacle, the Met declared that it was ‘certainly not an attack on journalists or free media’ in Britain, insisting instead that it had been a worthy police operation on behalf of victims of crime. Such nonsense might even be funny if the Met had not tried to do such serious damage to press freedom in Britain.

Operation Elveden was the biggest witch-hunt against journalists in a supposedly free society in modern times. Under Elveden, the Met arrested 34 tabloid journalists from the Sun and the defunct News of the World, accused of paying for confidential information, many in floorboard-ripping dawn raids on their family homes. Along with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the police then tried to have these journalists jailed for doing their jobs – that is, revealing information that our secrecy-obsessed authorities want to keep hidden from public view. They wanted to nail tabloid journalists not for telling lies, but for revealing hidden truths.

Through Elveden the Met and state prosecutors effectively tried to make up a new law, specifically framed to fit-up reporters and editors. They dusted off the centuries-old common-law offence of misconduct in public office (originally framed to deal with crown officials such as Thomas Cromwell of Wolf Hall fame, not prison officers and lowly civil servants) in order to prosecute public employees who sold information to the press. More than 30 of them were convicted and many were jailed.

Then the authorities added on the newly minted offence of ‘conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office’ to enable them to prosecute journalists receiving this information, who were not of course public officials at all. Their attempted fit-up failed because the British public, represented by juries, refused to go along with the witch-hunt and repeatedly found the accused ‘guilty’ only of being journalists. Of the 34 tabloid journalists dragged from their homes and through the courts, only two have been convicted. One of them pleaded guilty as part of a sentencing deal, having also admitted to phone-hacking offences. The only reporter actually found guilty by a jury, Anthony France of the Sun, was not sent to prison; he is now appealing his conviction, and in the light of Elveden’s collapse it would be extraordinary if he is not successful.

As we have insisted on spiked all along, we are always being lectured about how journalists are ‘not above the law’; the lesson of the Elveden debacle is that they cannot be treated as ‘beneath the law’, either.

Now the Met has made a final desperate attempt to cover up their Elveden humiliation, with the help of their tabloid-bashing allies in the BBC and elsewhere. First, they claim that they had no choice but to prosecute after ‘having received from News International what appeared to be evidence that crimes had been committed by police officers’.

It is certainly true that as part of the panicked reaction to the phone-hacking scandal, which led to the closure of the News of the World, something called the Management Standards Committee, set up by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, did the wrong thing by handing over thousands of internal emails to police that were subsequently used in Elveden. That does not explain or excuse the extraordinary lengths the authorities went to in their crusade to criminalise tabloid journalists for doing their jobs.

Then the Met claim that actually the failed Elveden witch-hunt has been a success anyway, since it has stood up for ‘400-plus victims’. As top media lawyer Gavin Millar QC (who has often defended the Sun, as well as me and LM magazine in our 2000 libel case) responded, misconduct in public office is ‘essentially a victimless offence that exists for public-policy reasons, so all this talk of “400 victims” is quite unbelievable’.

‘Unfortunately’, Millar went on, ‘we live in a culture where people are always characterised as “victims”. But it totally undermines the concept if you talk about serial killers and child murderers [who were the subjects of some of the leaked stories] being “victims” of a free and open press.’ As Dominic Ponsford, editor of the Press Gazette, adds: ‘In nearly all cases, those stories were in the public interest, or at the very least they did no demonstrable harm. That is why the prosecutions of journalists all collapsed.’

In a last bid to spin Elveden, the Met and the BBC now insist that the prosecutions of journalists actually ended because more senior Appeal Court judges pointed out that the law on the ‘public interest’ had been misapplied. So apparently it all turned out to be a good thing, because it helped to clarify the standing of journalists and the ‘public interest’ in a free society.

Tell that to the reporters and editors whose careers were blighted and lives put on hold while they were left in limbo on police bail for years on end, before facing trial and, in some cases, the prospect of retrial. The reason the Appeal Court made that judgement was because juries had already thrown out so many cases. The standing of a free press was defended by the democratic wisdom of jurors, not the elite insights of the judiciary, who still feel it is their exclusive right to define what might be in the interest of the public to know.

The humiliating collapse of Elveden’s witch-hunt is a victory for a free press, but the fight continues. From the moment senior Met officers asserted at the Leveson Inquiry that there was a ‘culture of criminality’, of making illegal payments, at the Sun – before a single journalist had been tried, never mind convicted – this crusade has demonstrated the true contempt in which the UK state holds the popular media and the populace. Just days before the official end of Elveden, Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe had the gall to tell a committee of MPs he found it ‘odd’ that jurors had failed to convict tabloid journalists as instructed by the police and CPS.

Elveden is over at last, but the lessons should not be forgotten. Anybody who wants to see more state involvement in the regulation of the media should be reminded of what the state has tried to do to press freedom over the past five years. Anybody who wants to take a stand for free speech today, in our universities or elsewhere, should be reminded that it is an indivisible liberty that must be defended for tabloid hacks as seriously as for high-minded academics. And any UK politician who tries to pose as a friend of freedom should be put on the spot about their support for press freedom.

As Millar said, it is one thing to ‘question the ethics of whether a journalist or news organisation were justified in paying for information, or whether it was in the public interest’ (to which my answer is: the strongest moral and public-interest case is always on the side of press freedom). But ‘what makes this different is that the Met took journalists into the criminal-justice system. If you look at the countries with the worst press freedoms in the world – Russia, China – these are the nations where criminal proceedings are taken out against journalists.’

Yet the supposedly freedom-defending UK police spent millions pursuing their campaign to criminalise tabloid journalists and sanitise what one top prosecutor called, in open court and with open contempt, ‘the gutter press’. Some might think that, to coin the Met chief’s phrase, ‘odd’. Others of us might think it far more revealing about police priorities and political aims than all their sugar-coated public statements.


Corbyn is right – prostitution must be decriminalised

Ella Whelan

We shouldn't punish sex work. We shouldn't celebrate it, either

It doesn’t seem to take much for Jeremy Corbyn to fall out of favour with his own party. This time the Labour leader has come under fire for his comments about prostitution. Speaking to students at Goldsmiths University in London at the end of last week, Corbyn said he favoured decriminalising prostitution: ‘I want to be [in] a society where we don’t automatically criminalise people. Let’s do things a bit differently and in a bit more [of a] civilised way.’

Corbyn is right to call for decriminalisation. Under the Sexual Offences Act and the Policing and Crime Act, it is technically legal to sell sex in private in Britain. But soliciting for sex in a public place, kerb-crawling, owning or managing a brothel and pimping are all illegal. Corbyn’s comments follow the release of the ‘Commission on the Sex Buyer Law’, produced by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade. The commission proposes criminalising the buyers of sex (normally men) rather than the sellers of sex (predominantly women). It suggests making it a criminal offence to ‘pay for sex, attempt to pay for sex, pay for sex on someone else’s behalf, and engage in a sexual act with a person knowing or believing they have been paid to participate’.

Though Corbyn made clear that his comments were personal, and not representative of the Labour Party view, many of his fellow MPs have taken him to task. On Twitter, Harriet Harman wrote: ‘Prostitution’s exploitation and abuse not “work/an industry”. Women should be protected and men prosecuted.’ Labour MP and full-time faux-campaigner for women’s rights Jess Phillips tweeted: ‘Man says we should decriminalise a known violence against women. Why did it have to be this man. #shedstear.’

Critics of decriminalisation think of themselves as champions of womankind. Some feminists who want to keep prostitution criminal even call themselves ‘abolitionists’, quite outrageously, and falsely, comparing themselves with those who fought to abolish slavery. In the process, they don’t only engage in fantasies about their own historic role – they also strip women of their moral agency and autonomy through comparing them to slaves: people who had no control over their lives. Sex trafficking is illegal – and should remain so. But making life harder for women who choose to use their body in a way that some people disapprove of, and making out that such women are enslaved, is an attack on women’s freedom, and on the very idea that they have the capacity to make choices.

When feminists say that the largely poor women who engage in prostitution have all been coerced, that such work can never really be consensual, they are demeaning women far more than they are the male buyers of sex. They’re treating them as moral infants, in need of rescue.

Far from being on the side of liberal abolitionists who fought to free people from enslavement, feminist campaigners for criminalisation are on the side of the state having more power over women’s bodies and how men and women may engage in sexual intercourse. They’re diminishing freedom, not expanding it. Supporting decriminalisation doesn’t mean approving of prostitution – it merely means believing and arguing that the state should not have the power to tell consenting, non-trafficked adults what they may do with their bodies.

As campaigners for decriminalisation point out, stripping away the laws around prostitution would allow women to sell sex in a safer way. They wouldn’t have to go underground and they could access healthcare or report criminal behaviour without fear of getting into trouble. And yes, criminalising the male buyers of sex is just as likely to make life less safe for prostitutes as criminalising the women would: women who want to make money from sex would still need to sneak around. But there’s more to this than safety. Arguing for criminal sanctions as a means of making prostitution more difficult and dangerous is an argument against a woman’s freedom over her own body. A woman is prevented, through the enforcement of a law, from engaging in a sexual transaction. That is authoritarian.

However, just because a woman should be free to sell sex legally, that doesn’t mean we must condone prostitution. Any fool could tell you that the vast majority of sex workers do not enjoy the same luxurious lifestyle celebrated by Belle de Jour. Prostitution is a consequence of poverty for many women. Some supporters of decriminalisation argue that sex work is like any other form of waged labour; some even say that selling sex boosts self-confidence and is a preferable form of employment to working in a supermarket. Such claims ignore the reality of prostitution – that the majority of women who end up selling themselves for next to nothing have few other money-making options, and most sex workers cannot charge anywhere near the same rates as the likes of Belle de Jour.

Often, working-class women who are public about selling sex are called ‘survivors of prostitution’, whereas middle-class proponents of sex work are described as ‘empowered’ and ‘confident’. These caricatures of women with complicated backstories ignore the fact that prostitution is often neither life-threatening nor confidence-boosting – it’s just pretty unpleasant. Selling your intimacy, your entire body, is not the same as selling your labour behind a till or even breaking your back sweeping floors. It’s different. We can argue for decriminalisation while recognising that prostitution is not a nice choice for women to make – but it’s one that many make nonetheless, using their free will.

But Corbyn is right – we should decriminalise prostitution. The reluctance to have the hard argument about women’s bodily freedom, and why we should limit state interference in sex, shows how patronising the debate has become. If we truly believe that women should enjoy the same freedoms as men, then we must demand that the state relinquishes its control over women’s bodies – whether in the sphere of prostitution or abortion.



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, 2016

Australia: Woman sues as body revokes certificate of Aboriginality

Being an Aborigine can earn you good gravy from the government.  And many people who are objectively white want in.  And in Australia, white can be black -- the government says so.  It's an invitation for fraud. And you can be hauled into court for saying it is a fraud -- as Andrew Bolt found out when he was convicted by a biased Jewish judge who had no regard for his constitutional free speech rights.  I have a niece whose skin is as white as snow but she is entitled to Aboriginal privileges if she wishes to claim them, though she has not done so.  Crazy politically correct rules

A NSW woman teaching Aboriginal culture to school-aged ­children after being stripped of her certificate of Aboriginality in 2012 is claiming compensation in the Federal Circuit Court, saying she was discriminated against.

The Yamanda Aboriginal Assoc­iation gave Elizabeth Taylor, 40, a certificate of confirmation of Aboriginality on May 23, 2010, after it was provided with a handwritten family tree at a meeting in Bowral.

Yamanda says the initial certificate was issued to avoid embarrassment, due to the large crowd of local community members in ­attendance at the meeting, with a full geneaology or family history required­ by Ms Taylor and her family within three months.

But the genealogy was not ­provided and on July 17, 2012, the group cancelled her certificate after a special extraordinary general meeting was called, at which elders argued Ms Taylor had failed to meet two of three criteria defining an Aboriginal person under the NSW Land Rights Act.

In 2014, Ms Taylor launched legal action against Yamanda and the Moyengully Natural Resource Management Group, seeking more than $150,000 in compensation for lost income, pain and suffering. She argues in her submissions she is of Aboriginal descent and identifies as Aboriginal.

Ms Taylor’s court challenge to Yamanda’s withdrawal of her certificate follows revelations in The Weekend Australian that one of Australia’s largest indigenous land councils has called for a standardised system of identity checks to combat an increasing number of false claims of Aboriginality.

Warren Mundine, the chairman of the Prime Minister’s Indig­enous Advisory Council, has argued that a system to test claims needs to be created to cut rorting and ensure targeted taxpayer money and jobs go to Aborigines.

In June 2012, while they still held a current certificate of Abor­iginality, Ms Taylor and her family applied to register Families Sharing Culture Aboriginal Corporation, a group which describes itself as an educational corporation teaching Aboriginal culture to children in schools in the Southern Highlands area. Ms Taylor is listed as the secretary of the group, whose members include her parents, husband and daughter.

Elizabeth Taylor wants more than $150,000 in compensation for lost income.

Court documents allege that, since her certificate was withdrawn, Ms Taylor won a Smith Family award for her participation as a member of the Aboriginal community, attended NAIDOC celebrations at the local community cultural centre and participated in consult­ations for a NSW state government-funded program.

Yamanda argues that, under the Land Rights Act, an Aboriginal person should be able to provide documentation proving they are a member of the Aboriginal race, that they identify as Aboriginal, and that they are accepted by the Aboriginal community.

Ms Taylor is not accepted as Aboriginal in her community and has insufficient proof of her Aboriginal heritage, despite a search of archives held at the Australian Institut­e of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, they say.

In arguments set out in Federal Circuit Court documents, Ms Taylor argues that the revocation of the certificate of Aboriginality discriminated against her, in breach of the Racial Discrimination Act.

She has argued that the group circulated a letter to indigenous service providers in the Southern Highlands, blocking her from working in Aboriginal-identified positions. Ms Taylor worked in an Aboriginal-identified position at a cultural centre in Moss Vale, 120km southwest of Sydney, from April 2011, after obtaining a 12-month traineeship funded by the NSW government’s Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment Program.

In submissions to the Federal Circuit Court, she said she had “disagreements” with Yamanda’s treasurer Eileen Warren, who had signed both the certificate certifying her Aboriginality and the letter notifying her that the certificate would be withdrawn.


Multiculturalist accused of stabbing his heavily pregnant partner appears in court on charges of attempted murder and trying to 'destroy' the baby daughter who was born after the attack

A company director accused of repeatedly stabbing his heavily pregnant partner in a street attack appeared in court today.  Babur Karamat Raja, 41, is accused of trying to kill Natalie Queiroz, 40, by knifing her 'multiple times' in the middle of a busy town centre.

He was arrested at around 3.15pm on Friday after five have-a-go-heroes stepped in during the incident, outside a Baptist church, in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands.

Ms Queiroz, who was 36-weeks pregnant, suffered multiple wounds to her abdomen.

But the mother of two, who worked as a product development manager for a pharmaceutical company, had a baby girl by caesarean section hours after the alleged attack.

The little girl is said to be doing well at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, and her mother's condition was described as stable.

Today, businessman Raja appeared before Birmingham Magistrates' Court, where he spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth.

He was not required to enter pleas to one charge of attempted child destruction and two charges of attempted murder when he appeared before magistrates in Birmingham.

Magistrates heard that Raja is accused of possessing a knife in a public place and attempting to kill both divorcee Ms Queiroz and passer-by John Mitchell, who suffered a hand injury as he tried to intervene.

Raja has also been charged with assaulting another witness, Anthony Smith, and is alleged to have attempted to 'destroy' the life of the unborn baby girl.

Raja, of Sutton Coldfield, appeared in the dock handcuffed to a guard wearing a grey t-shirt and grey jogging bottoms and kept his head bowed for the duration of the 10 minute hearing.

Shahzad Imam, prosecuting, told the court: 'The complainant, Mrs Queiroz, states her relationship with the defendant lasted 18 months and she was 36 weeks pregnant at the time of the incident.'

He said that Mr Mitchell and Mr Smith were also injured.

'The victim was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition where she was given an induced birth. 'Both parties remain in hospital.'

Raja was remanded in custody and will appear at Birmingham Crown Court on April 6.

Chairman of the bench Geoffrey Shuttleworth said: 'You will appear by video link at the crown court and will be remanded in custody until then

During Friday's attack, brave witnesses, including an off-duty prison officer, rushed to help the Ms Queiroz, who was bleeding heavily while others flagged down a passing police patrol car.

She was airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where her baby girl was delivered by caesarean section.


Why did I resign as a lawyer last week??

Ezra Levant

You might have heard the news: I resigned as a member of the Law Society of Alberta last week. I actually had to apply for permission to quit.

Now, that’s not really news — I haven’t worked at a law firm in 13 years. I’m a journalist and activist. But for some reason, there were more than 100 news stories about my resignation.

I’ll tell you the reason: because it was a matter of freedom of speech.

You see, even though I was a non-practicing lawyer, I was still governed by the Law Society’s code of professional conduct. That’s supposed to discipline lawyers who do things like steal money from their clients — serious, professional malpractice. But there’s also a catch-all provision to discipline lawyers who engage in “unbecoming” conduct.

Well, over the last eight years, left-wing political extremists have abused that provision to file 26 nuisance complaints against me, claiming my journalism and political activism was “unbecoming".

I’d been a lawyer for almost sixteen years. So why did all these nuisance complaints start eight years ago? Because that’s when I launched my campaign against Canada’s corrupt human rights commissions, and their censorship powers.

Not a single one of these complaints against me was ever upheld. I resigned with a perfect record. But each time I’d beat one complaint, leftist activists would simply file a new one. Because it cost them nothing — and it cost me thousands of dollars to fight each complaint.

The process itself became the punishment. So I applied to get out. But not before I gave the Law Society a piece of my mind.

I fought so hard against these leftist bullies for eight years, but finally decided to quit.

Finally, the bleeding from the legal bills is over — at least in this forum. But unfortunately, I’ve still got plenty of nuisance suits being filed against me in other courts, by many of the same activists. In fact, my next court date is coming up in May.

I hate these vexatious suits against me. But I know one thing: people never shoot at a dead duck. The fact that 26 nuisance complaints were filed against me is a grim compliment. These leftists know I’m making a difference, or they wouldn’t be trying so hard to bankrupt me.

Via email

You can donate to Ezra to help him with his brave work by clicking here.  I have just sent him $200.00

Ezra's site is here

What happened to celebrating free speech? Australian homosexuals prevent criticism of Leftist leader

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras organisers have defended their heated approach to refugee advocates who were told they would not be in the parade after protesting at a Labor press conference.

A video posted by organisers of the No Pride in Detention float shows a heated confrontation with Mardi Gras producer Anthony Russell who told them they would not be in the march if they continued to shout slogans at federal opposition leader Bill Shorten.

'If I bring Bill Shorten out here and one of you people say something to him, you are not in the f***ing parade...so have a chat to your people,' Mr Russell can be heard saying.

 'If you don't act like a normal human being all in the parade together, you're out.'

When questioned by refugee advocate Ed McMahon in the video, the producer says 'I don't care, don't harass people,' before stating his role and name as producer Anthony Russell.

A statement released by Mardi Gras CEO Michele Bauer said NSW Police had reported to march producers there had been an 'unacceptable level of harassment and offensive comments from the No Pride in Detention float members being directed towards members of the Rainbow Labor float.

'Police requested parade officials ensure the safety of the Rainbow Labor float participants during the parade.'

Ms Bauer said the No Pride in Detention float had an important message to send and to prevent police from intervening and removing the float from the parade, a last minute decision to reshuffle the run order was made.

She said tensions were 'understandably high' after producer Anthony Russell used strong language toward the No Pride in Detention float participants.

'The level of harassment reported to parade officials, just prior to 12,500 people commencing to march along Oxford Street, meant that tensions were understandably high,' she said.

'Many people had worked for many months on the co-ordination of the 178 floats in the parade, not to mention the work of thousands of parade participants.'

However, No Pride in Detention said in a statement that Bill Shorten's office and Mardi Gras 'pushed to expel the group' for their support for refugees.

Ed McMahon, the refugee advocate who features in the video, said he was abused by a Mardi Gras representative because the float made politicians uncomfortable.

'As a compromise, we were moved back while accompanied by an extra contingent of heavily armed riot police,' he said.

The refugee advocates justified their right to use Mardi Gras to push a political message but said tensions arose not long after Mr Shorten gave a press conference promoting Labor's stance on queer rights.

No Pride in Detention member Evan van Zijl, 29, told the Daily Mail the fallout from the incident highlighted a racist undertone.

‘I think it’s an interesting contradiction that Labor and Mardi Gras are saying it was the decision of the police. There is the video recording of blatant aggression from Mardi Gras,’ Mr van Zijl said.

‘This is not about abuse and harassment of our protesters it’s about a clear reference of whether you are racist or not racist as members of a party.

‘There are many Labor members who sided with us and oppose mandatory detention, unfortunately Shorten’s office isn’t taking that perspective.'

In a statement to the Daily Mail, Bill Shorten's office denied he asked for the No Pride in Detention to be rescheduled to appear several floats behind.

'That's not correct. Given the significance of the occasion, we were keen to ensure everyone was able to march,' the statement read.



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


8 March, 2016

A gutless church

The Church of England is devoid of any principles.  All it has is political correctness.  The Church condemned a deceased bishop on the basis of a single ancient, uncorroborated allegation of sex abuse

The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has lambasted the Church of England for destroying the reputation of a celebrated bishop over unproven child abuse claims.

In a fierce attack on the church he once led, Lord Carey said he was ‘appalled’ at the way it handled the accusations against Bishop George Bell – whom he said had been judged guilty without a fair hearing.

Bishop Bell, who served in Chichester for 30 years until his death in 1958, was renowned during the Second World War as a peacemaker and almost certainly would have been Archbishop of Canterbury but for his denunciation of the Allied bombing of Dresden.

But last year an unnamed woman alleged that he had sexually abused her in the 1940s. The diocese gave credence to the claims, issuing an apology and paying compensation.

Chichester cathedral has now renamed its education centre –previously called Bishop George Bell House – and plans to change its prominent memorial to the bishop.

But in a move that will embarrass his former colleagues, Lord Carey has added his weight to protests that the diocese’s investigation into the claims had been flawed and unjust, saying an individual had been crushed by a ‘powerful organisation’.

He said in a letter to Bishop Bell’s niece Barbara Whitley that he had been ‘frankly appalled by the way the Church authorities have treated his memory.’

He said: ‘Your uncle was a man whose contribution to this country and the Church was outstanding.

'He was without question one of the greatest Church leaders of the 20th Century… The Church has effectively delivered a “guilty” verdict without anything resembling a fair and open trial.

‘His reputation is in tatters and, as you sadly point out, all references to him in the diocese he loved and served have been removed and renamed.’

Lord Carey, who was Archbishop between 1991 and 2002, told The Mail on Sunday he wanted a public inquiry to scrutinise the matter.

But the Church has said that although it could not release full details of the investigation for reasons of confidentiality, it accepted the woman’s account as true.

The Church said allegations ‘must be taken seriously … however high profile the individual may be’, and that the process had been ‘long, complex and carried out with all the sensitivity a case of this nature demands’.


Zuckerberg and the Facebook thought-police

Billionaire, alleged tax-dodger, CEO and all-round PC dullard Mark Zuckerberg has said Facebook is not doing enough to combat hate speech.

At a recent townhall event in Berlin he pledged to work closer with the German authorities, and even offered to fund a section of the German police, in order to help Facebook expand its view of ‘protected groups’ and restrict ‘hate speech against migrants’.

Pardon my German, but what utter scheisse.

What Zuckerberg seems to be missing is that Facebook is supposed to be about enabling the free interaction of people – all this talk of ‘protected groups’ and ‘hate speech’ should be anathema to him. But Zuckerberg subscribes to the typical metropolitan, Silicon-Valley-via-Ivy-League brand of faux-liberalism, which actually has a lot in common with the fascism he claims to despise.

‘Hate speech has no place on Facebook or in our community’, he said. ‘Until recently in Germany I don’t think we were doing a good enough job, and I think we will continue needing to do a better and better job.’

But how exactly is Zuckerberg, or anyone else, going to decide what hate speech is? It’s just as subjective as, say, people’s favourite songs. Just as one person’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ might be another’s ‘Birdie Song’, so one person’s call for controlled migration is another’s idea of a Nuremberg speech.

Maybe you think we should open the borders, or maybe you think we should turn the boats back. The point is, both opinions (and all in between) have exactly the same right to be aired on the streets, on campuses and, yes, even on Facebook.

Believing in free speech means that everyone, whether they are a member of PEGIDA or Unite Against Fascism, should be entitled to express their view. They should also be prepared to be heavily criticised for their opinions. But they should not be silenced because a government, or a tech billionaire, disagrees with them.

In a truly free society there would be no ‘protected groups’ and there would be no bans on ‘hate speech’. Just because you approve of who the iron fist is punching today does not mean you are protected from receiving a ferrous uppercut tomorrow.


Why Islamic "radicalization" in Britain?

Radical Muslims are deeply delusional about the state of modern Britain and deeply idealistic about the worth of their own ideas. They see Britain as a den of depravity and moral corruption and think Islam is the solution for all that sin. In that respect they are identical with activists who see Britain as a capitalist dystopia, an environmental Armageddon or a racist/homophobic hell and who see the cult of equality and environmentalism as the answer to everything. The society both groups are estranged from is largely a figment of their imaginations, The West is indeed in a depressing state intellectually and it is in full cultural decline but it is still quite a civilized place to live. It is a stupid society, with its Greyson Perrys its George Monbiots and its Conchita Wursts, but a decent life is still possible if you learn to ignore the general idiocy.

Radicals are always very much alike. Muslims turn to violence because their numbers and influence are not high enough to exercise power. Radicals like the Greens are peaceful
because they dominate the market of ideas but they would be just as murderous as the Soviets or the French Revolution were in their time, if they thought violence is the only way to power.It is simplistic and all encompassing ideologies that are at fault, they promise paradise and this has the effect of magnifying whatever flaws there are in society. The world would be saved if only my ideology was implemented, Once this statement is believed, PC tyranny or terrorism will ensue.


Australian journalist wins gender discrimination case against Islamic group

An Islamic group has been ordered to stop segregating men and women after a journalist won a gender discrimination case against it.

Journalist Alison Bevege had attended a lecture hosted by Hizb ut-Tahrir on October 10, 2014, but was forced to sit in women's-specific seating at the back of a venue in Lakemba, in Sydney's south west - so she sued the group and five of its members for sexual discrimination.

On Friday, the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal said the action was unlawful sexual discrimination, a decision welcomed by Ms Bevege, who told Daily Mail Australia it was a 'win for everyone - progressive muslims and non-muslims'.

In its finding, the tribunal ordered a member of the group to ensure attendees of further meetings were aware that segregated seating arrangements were not compulsory.

Ushers at such events also must be made aware and not instructed to enforce segregated seating.

Ms Bevege, who was 'really happy' with the outcome, said at the lecture she was made to sit with women, and she did not want to leave and give up the opportunity to ask questions at the end by arguing or leaving. 'I had to sit down the back like a second class citizen'.

She had attended the 'politics and plots of the American led intervention in Iraq and Syria' public lecture with the hopes of asking questions and writing an opinion piece, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

At the tribunal's hearing - which no representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir attended - it received documents which said Ms Bevege had not contested the seating and that she would have been allowed to sit with men if she asked.

The group's spokesperson, Ismail al-Wahwah, said the segregation - a 'fundamental consideration in Islam' - was so noisy children were at the back of the venue and did not distract from the lecture, and also so women and children were closer to exits in the case of an emergency.

Although the tribunal ruled against the Islamic group, it rejected a claim made by Ms Bevege for $100,000 compensation.

She had said the money would go to four charities, as she had not suffered financial loss or damage, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.



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, 2016

Good old Michael Brull:  Making bricks with very little straw

Michael Brull is an Australian Jewish far-Leftist who is anti-Israel and who is a regular contributor to Australian Leftist media.  Below he is desperately scratching around to find something in The Donald's words that he can construe as antisemitic.  And in the typical Leftist way there is no attempt to present a balanced account of the matter.

Trump's typically provocative words when he told a Jewish group that he did not want their money is about the best he can find.  And his forthright declaration that they were not going to support him  was simply an accurate depiction of American Jewish politics:  Jews are heavily Left-leaning. And saying that Jews tend to be good at deals is pure realism, though not, of course, politically correct.  The Donald rejoices in not being correct.

So if Brull's evidence for Trump's antisemitism is feeble, what is the evidence the other way?  What is Brull omitting?  With Leftists, what they DON'T say is usually crucial  to an accurate assessment of their claims.  How about this?

"When Donald opened his club in Palm Beach called Mar-a-Lago, he insisted on accepting Jews and blacks even though other clubs in Palm Beach to this day discriminate against blacks and Jews. The old guard in Palm Beach was outraged that Donald would accept blacks and Jews so that's the real Donald Trump that I know."

Brull is pure slime

Donald Trump's overtly racist comments - about Muslims, Mexicans and so on - have gotten plenty of attention. But what about Trump and the Jews?

Trump's recent reaction to supportive comments by David Duke, formerly Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan will likely have many Jews feeling anxious. As American Jews tend to be liberal and vote Democrat, plenty already had reason to not like Trump's overt bigotry.

Yet Duke's racism isn't just directed at other groups. Duke and the KKK both have long records of vicious anti-Semitism.

That isn't just racism directed at others. Jews are reasonably well assimilated into American cultural and political life. Whilst the "Southern Strategy" and race-baiting towards other minorities may be a familiar form of modern American politics, Jews are traditionally insulated from those types of campaigns. This is partly because of the deep pockets of some Jewish organisations and businessman.

For example, many observers expected Jewish billionaires Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson to have enormous influence over the nomination process and presidential candidates from both the Republicans and the Democrats.

Hillary Clinton made her pitch to Saban and Jewish organisation leaders with a letter promising support for Israel and opposition to BDS, and has continued to promise to bring Israel and America closer.

Donald Trump has made a point of stressing that he doesn't need to take other people's money to run for president, because he's already so rich. So when he appeared before the Republican Jewish Coalition, he said "You're not going to support me because I don't want your money".

According to Zaid Jilani, Trump said that Jeb Bush did what he was told by his donors: "That's why you don't want to give me money, OK, but that's OK, you want to control your own politician. That's fine, good".

To some, this may sound a bit like what Bernie Sanders says all the time: that he is concerned that "a handful of very wealthy people and special interests will determine who gets elected or who does not get elected."

Yet Trump's comments made some Jews uneasy. Claiming that Jews want to "control" politicians echoes ugly stereotypes from earlier eras.

Trump also said to the Jewish crowd: "I'm a negotiator like you folks were negotiators. is there anyone in this room who doesn't negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I've ever spoken."

The Times of Israel headline was: "Trump courts Republican Jews with offensive stereotypes".

It may be the tone, delivery, or the additional stereotypes that made Jews suspicious of Trump. It seems there's a fine line in discussing the influence of wealthy Jews in American politics.

For example, New York Magazine had a lengthy story headlined: "Sheldon Adelson Is Ready to Buy the Presidency".

I am not aware of a backlash against the story. It may sound like an ugly stereotype, but the fact is, the super-rich do have enormous political influence in America.

Not all of the super-rich are Jews, of course, but some are. And those with means and political inclination use their money to influence politics, just like non-Jews do.

The concern about Trump is that he singled out Jews, speaking as though he had an insider knowledge about us, about our nature and about how we think.

It wasn't enough for Trump to get any major denunciations. But it was noticed by some. For example, Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, said that when he sees Trump, "I like what I'm looking at".

Farrakhan explained that Trump "is the only member who has stood in front of [the]Jewish community and said, `I don't want your money. Anytime a man can say to those who control the politics of America, `I don't want your money,' that means you can't control me. And they cannot afford to give up control of the presidents of the United States."

Farrakhan has made his opinions about Jews very clear. His comments about the "Synagogue of Satan" are equal parts hateful and nuts. Yet the way he picked up on Trump's comments about Jews wasn't insane. And while it's hard to know if this kind of appeal was Trump's goal, it is hard not to notice that that is the effect of standing before Jews and telling them that they can't buy you.

Nathan Guttman in the Forward reported that Jewish Republicans are feeling nervous about Trump. Guttman observed that they hadn't united against Trump, despite his "failure to condemn dedicated anti-Semites and racists and his declaration that he would be `neutral' on Israel."

Some still back Trump - and imagine he would be a strong supporter of Israel. Others are worried about making an enemy of Trump, given the possibility of him ending up President.

Another worry might be that denouncing Trump for politically incorrect comments about Jews won't necessarily get them very far. Conservatives have been saying how awful Trump is for a while, and it has zero negative effect on his campaign.

Since Trump has shown the effectiveness of saying the outrageous, Republicans have competed in political incorrectness, relishing the ensuing controversies. Trump's unpredictability means that if he got into a fight with Jewish organisations, who knows what he might say next?

Some may remember Trump's fight with American comedian and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart in 2013. Trump tweeted that he didn't like "Jonathan Leibowitz - I mean Jon Stewart". Trump then continued his criticisms after Jon Stewart called him "Fuckface Von Clownstick".

Trump queried that if Stewart was "so legit", then "why did he change his name from Jonathan Leibowitz?" He explained that Stewart "is a total phony - he should cherish his past - not run away from it".

Trump constantly stressing Stewart's very Jewish and long-discarded birth name seemed to suggest that there was something suspicious about a public figure not being totally upfront about his Jewishness.


Britain cannot deport thousands of failed asylum seekers because there is "nowhere to send them"

Jail them under onerous conditions and they would soon find somewhere to go themselves.  Onerous conditions?  How about limiting their rations to a dieter's diet of 1,000 calories per day -- to consist mostly of ham and pickle sandwiches.  It would be good for their health but would be very unpopular

Britain is powerless to boot out thousands of illegal immigrants, a minister admitted last night.

In a stark indictment of the UK’s porous borders, Richard Harrington said many could not be deported because they had ‘no place to go’.

By refusing to disclose their nationality – often burning their passports – they can exploit human rights laws that bar the expulsion of failed asylum seekers of unknown origin.

Mr Harrington, who is a Home Office minister, spoke out after MPs criticised the Government for failing to send back illegals. ‘Where would they be deported to, most of them?’ he said. ‘This deportation sounds easy, it sounds a common sense thing to do. But the truth is most of these illegal migrants have got no place to be deported to.’

Tory MPs said the UK had become a ‘soft touch’ and efforts to tackle illegal immigration were at an ‘all-time low’.

Home Office data shows the number kicked out had almost halved from 21,425 in 2004 to just 12,056 last year. The Conservative revolt comes amid mounting anger at David Cameron’s failure to seize back control of Britain’s borders in his EU negotiations ahead of June’s referendum.

Christopher Chope, whose private member’s bill would make it a criminal offence to be an illegal immigrant after June, insisted migrants were given a ‘perverse incentive’ to head to the UK. The Tory MP said they were given a ‘slap on the wrist’ by ‘soft touch’ officials.

‘Public anxiety about illegal immigration is at an all-time high and the effectiveness of the Government in tackling it, in my submission, is at an all-time low,’ he added. ‘If we got tough with illegal migrants in our country then the people smugglers would divert them away from the United Kingdom, because the way people smugglers operate is they are always going to try to use the weakest points of entry.’

Mr Harrington also blamed the Dublin Convention, an EU rule under which migrants are supposed to claim asylum in the first member state they set foot in, for the UK’s inability to deport illegal immigrants.

It is often difficult to establish exactly where an individual first arrived in the EU and, in 2014, Britain sent only 49 asylum seekers back to France – despite thousands making their way here via Calais. Migrants are also spared being sent back to homelands judged unsafe.

Challenging Mr Harrington on the convention, Sir Edward Leigh, a Tory Eurosceptic, said: ‘What people can’t understand is where someone has palpably come through perfectly safe countries – Spain, France, Italy – and they’ve arrived here and they’re caught, why can’t they be sent back to France and claim asylum there?’

Figures yesterday showed that a record 1.25million asylum seekers arrived in the EU last year – more than double the figure from 2014.

The figures from Eurostat, the EU’s official statistical agency, showed that 38,400 lodged claims in the UK – a 19 per cent increase on the year before.

Campaigners and MPs warned the figures were the tip of the iceberg because they cover only official claims and do not take account of migrants who have not claimed asylum.

Many do not immediately seek sanctuary when they arrive in Europe – either waiting until they reach wealthy northern Europe or working illegally in the black market. Analysts estimate more than a million foreigners are living unlawfully in the UK.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We have legislated to make it harder for people to lodge spurious appeals and through the Immigration Act 2014 we have made it easier to remove people who should not be in the UK through the introduction of “deport now, appeal later” provisions.

'The Immigration Bill, currently going through Parliament, will extend these provisions to apply to all human rights claims by migrants, except where removal pending appeal would be in breach of their human rights.’


SodaStream boycott goes flat for Palestinians

Peter Kurti

A sustained boycott campaign spearheaded by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement forced SodaStream to close its factory in the West Bank industrial zone of Mishor Adumim last October and move its operations to Israel -- putting some 1300 jobs at risk.

On Monday, after the Israeli government let their work permits lapse because of security concerns, the company had to lay off the last of its 75 Palestinian employees who now have to worry about feeding their families and keeping roofs over their heads.

In the name of 'liberating' the Palestinians, the BDS campaigners demand that Israel return to its pre-1967 borders, unwind its so-called apartheid policies discriminating against Israeli Arabs, and concede the right of return of Palestinian refugees as set out in UN Resolution 194.

Advocates of the BDS movement insist their target is the political regime meting out what they describe as the illegal, coercive and dehumanising treatment of Palestinians. It's all part of a systematic attempt to starve Israel of economic, social and cultural ties with other countries, and to humiliate it in the eyes of other nations.

But the three objectives amount to more than a nuanced critique of Israeli government policy; they are a sustained attack on the very legitimacy of the state of Israel itself.

Many justifiable criticisms can be leveled at Israel for not doing more to promote educational and economic opportunities for its Arab citizens. But while the target of BDS is supposed to be Israel, the real victims of this campaign for justice and liberation are the Palestinians themselves.

The Israeli government didn't force SodaStream to close its doors and sack its workers. Supporters of Palestine did the forcing, and they're okay with it. Mahoud Nawajaa, BDS coordinator in Ramallah said the job losses were simply part of the price to be paid for ending the occupation.

With the declarations of a noble and glorious victory ringing in their ears, those newly unemployed must really wonder, in the quietness of their hearts, whose side the BDS activists are really on.


Hollywood's Obsession With Faux Diversity

In a “tradition” better described as a tiresome regularity, political activism remained an integral part of Sunday’s Academy Awards show. This year’s whine about the Oscars being “so white” reflected the latest manufactured outrage by those who view everything in terms of the racial, ethnic and gender divisions. Host Chris Rock didn’t disappoint those looking to score political points, but it was hardly a one-sided skewering. As commentator Mary Katherine Ham observed, Rock “seemed to grasp that if the problem is a lack of diversity, why not diversify one’s targets?” And so he did.

He was at his best when he put the aforementioned manufactured outrage in the proper historical context:

    “Why are we protesting? The big question: Why this Oscars? … It’s the 88th Academy Awards, which means this whole no black nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times. Okay? You gotta figure that it happened in the 50s, in the 60s. … And black people did not protest. Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time, you know? … We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer. You know, when your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.”

Rock could have gone for the jugular, as in reminding (or is that informing?) a group of almost monolithically Democrat supporters that the racist-based resistance to those protests was overwhelmingly perpetrated by members of that same party, but he didn’t. Instead he likened Hollywood racism to the exclusionary practices of a college sorority. “Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood is racist,” Rock stated. “But it ain’t that racist that you’ve grown accustomed to. Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like, ‘We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.’ That’s how Hollywood is.”

Rock makes a point, but misses the far bigger picture regarding exclusionary tendencies. A sketch where Rock interviewed black American moviegoers in Crenshaw/Baldwin Hills was far more indicative. Other than “Straight Out of Compton,” most of the interviewees had never heard of other movies nominated for an Oscar in any category, with one woman actually accusing Rock of making up movie titles. “These are real movies!” Rock told her. “Like in London?” she asked.

More like in an industry with an over-arching problem best described by the New York Post. While noting the sketch exposes the “vast cultural distance from ‘white Hollywood’ to black working-class folks a few miles away,” the paper explains Rock would have experienced “the same reactions at cineplexes from Des Moines to Bay Ridge,” because “so much of what Hollywood makes — and even more of what it singles out for honors — just doesn’t connect to the lives of most Americans, black or white.”

The paper further notes that while many argue Hollywood could make more money with a more diverse composition of talent, it is just as likely that religion-friendly pictures would be just as remunerative. “The academy’s problem isn’t simply that it’s ‘so white,’” the Post states. “It’s that, like so much of the American elite, it has absolutely no idea how the other half lives — or what it likes.”

Not exactly. Hollywood is well aware of how millions of Americans live, but much like the “Black Lives Matter” activists, they prefer self-aggrandizing narratives versus inconvenient reality. Thus anyone in “flyover country” who isn’t aligned with the entire package of leftist dogma promulgated by both groups is labeled either bigoted, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobe, etc. — or a boob incapable of seeing that those constitute all of America’s ostensible evils.

In that vein Rock gave the glitterati just what they wanted. “Things are going to be a little different at the Oscars,” he said. “This year, in the ‘In Memoriam’ package — it’s just going to be black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies.”

Perhaps a better ‘In Memoriam’ package would have mentioned the black people who were shot and killed by black criminal thugs in cities like Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Atlanta and St. Louis, where surging murder rates are likely attributable to the relentless police-bashing that has made many officers fearful of doing their jobs.

Ironically, Rock was criticized for a lack of diversity in his criticism about a lack of diversity. “Representation is a problem in Hollywood for all minorities, but all night long, the show’s jokes focused almost entirely on the problem as it pertains to black people,” complained Washington Post columnist Jessica Contrera, who also hammered Rock for a “crude” Asian joke that consisted of bringing three Asian children onstage, posing as bankers from PricewaterhouseCoopers. “They sent us their most dedicated, accurate and hard working representatives,” Rock said. “Please welcome Ming Zhu, Bao Ling and David Moskowitz.” In a follow-up jab, he added, “If anybody’s upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was also made by these kids.”

Contrera’s angst also focuses on the dearth of Hispanic actors “who are twice as under-represented as black actors at the Oscars,” pointing readers to another Washington Post piece by Dan Zak. Zak provided plenty of graphs demonstrating the Left’s idea of “diversity” is all about sufficient minority representation relative to each ethnic group’s share of the nation’s population. One is left to wonder if such bean counting must be as rigorously applied to an NBA dominated by black Americans, an LPGA dominated by Asians, or any other enterprise with “disparate” ethnic representations.

In truth, Hollywood’s 800-pound gorilla isn’t the dearth of minority representation, or even the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) investigation of gender discrimination that may lead to a class-action lawsuit. It is their industry-wide contempt for conservatism. “Conservatives should never stop noting that the three primary targets of contemporary race protests — big cities, universities, and Hollywood — are staffed top-to-bottom with leftists and have been for decades,” explains National Review’s David French.

To his credit, Chris Rock pointed out some of that hypocrisy, but who’s kidding whom? The leftist-dominated big cities, universities and Hollywood are America’s epicenters of ideological apartheid.

Perhaps next year Academy voters will feel some pressure to be more inclusionary and diverse. But one shouldn’t expect ideology to be part of the equation.



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, 2016

Why Trump?

Ordinary Americans live in fear of pervasive, stifling and tyrannical political correctness and Trump gives hope of relief from that -- which the rest of the GOP does not offer

The GOP establishment has been asking why Trump? They don’t understand why so many are supporting Trump. Why are a bunch of “childless single men supporting “a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones”?

This article shows why:

    "The two officials described having conversations and asking which candidate a voter supports, whereupon the voter quickly glanced left and right, to see if it was OK to talk, and then said, “Trump.” That happens a lot, they told me"

Normal people in the US are having to look suspiciously around before voicing their public opinion.

The article barely mentions it, but I will repeat it:

Average Americans have to glance over their shoulders and make sure there are no hostile commissars around before they declare support for a mainstream political candidate. This is happening not in the USSR, but in the USA.

This is why we support Trump.

We fear you and we hate you.

Before we can speak candidly we working-to-middle-class white men have to quickly make sure no informants are around to rat us out. We have to be careful, because we know that one wrong word or action at work, in public, online, or even in the privacy of our own homes means losing our jobs and being publicly pilloried. It may even mean being persecuted by kangaroo courts, being bankrupted, or having your home raided by police.

We used to think the conservative machine had our back, that you would protect us from political correctness and left-wing pogroms. We working-to-middle class white men are your base, we thought you’d fight for us us. Maybe you’d let a nazi or two twist in the wind, but you’d at least have our backs. But now we’re the nazis for simply advocating what the people who beat the nazis did.

You don’t have our backs. Instead, you sneer at working-class whites. You call us, your base, illiterate, crazy, and stupid. You attack us, the people you supposedly represent, as racist, the same slur leftists use against us to destroy our lives (and against you to score political points, but your heads are too far up your own asses to see the irony of that). You deride us and sneer at us at every turn.

But you aren’t even content to sneer at us. Instead, you traitorous bastards attack and mock us as cowards for writing anonymously because we don’t want to lose our jobs and be the subject of a national two minute hate. Not once did any of you even wonder why your base, the people you supposedly represent, have to hide behind pseudonyms and proxies simply to talk openly about politics. Instead, you insulted us for not wanting to lose our jobs.

We support Trump because we now know that you’re just like the leftists. You have shown repeatedly you do not have our backs, you hate us just as much as the progressives. You will run us out of jobs, you will engage in the public shaming, and when the time comes, you will happily march us to reeducation camps.

We fear you and we hate you and the media complex you represent and support. And Trump, it appears he’s standing up for us against you. He has the will and the money to speak where we can’t without becoming impovershed and publicly shamed. He can frog-march newsmen (ie: the leftist witch-hunters) out of rooms and insult them to their face, we’re we’d just be burned at the figurative stake. He’s willing to attack leftists, instead of fawning all over them to get invited to swanky DC parties. He’s opening the conversation so that we have slight bit more room to breathe without being purged from society. Through him normal folks have an outlet to speak. He’s standing against those who are trying to destroy us.

We don’t  care about your “conservative principles” of hating Russia (the only major power fighting degeneracy and supporting the church), amnesty for invading illegals, corporate subsidies, homosexual marriage, slightly lower taxes, increased debt, and minor hedges of Obamacare.

We don’t care if Trump hasn’t been ideologically pure; you didn’t when you forced Romney(care) and amnesty McCain on us. We don’t care if he doesn’t fit in the ever-more-left Overton window. We don’t care if his Christian convictions are superficial (it’s been 40 years and you’ve done shit all about Roe, not to mention you’ve done nothing to prevent Christians from having their businesses destroyed by kangaroo courts). We don’t care if he gave money to Democrats a decade ago  (y’all keep importing new voters for them).

We don’t care and why should we when we are living in a country barely above a crowd-sourced communist police state, we are being culturally genocided, our jobs and our future are disappearing, and we are killing ourselves in despair at record numbers?

We don’t care. Trump is fighting for us (or at least acting like he is, but nobody since Ron Paul has even pretended to care about the white middle). We don’t trust your party, we don’t trust your democracy, we don’t trust you, because you have done nothing but betray us.

Trump is rich beyond anything we can comprehend. He could spend the rest of his life drinking champagne from crystal glasses and snorting coke off high-class call-girls’ breasts at his own personal beach-side mansion if he wanted. Instead, he’s spending mounds of his own money and taking the hatred of the entire political-media-bureaucrat class upon himself to fight. Meanwhile, you guys are paid to fight and all you do is fold and compromise.

Trump is absolutely right that he “could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and [not] lose voters.” In fact, it could win him voters. This is how much we hate and we fear you: if he took the media class, lined you all up on your knees along 5th Ave and personally put a 9mm in the back of each of your heads, he’d get cheers. Almost nobody would sympathize with you because we know you’d sit by contentedly watching while the left dragged us into the street, if you didn’t join in yourselves to prove you’re not racists (and fail, again, like always).

You are the ones engaging in witch hunts against us. You are the ones driving us from our jobs. You are the ones selling our country out. You are the reason we have to look over our shoulders before we speak. You are the ones destroying our culture. You are the ones bringing in hordes of foreigners to murder us and replace us.

Maybe he won’t follow through. In fact, I doubt Trump will make a difference. Maybe the wall gets built, maybe it won’t. Maybe Muslim immigration won’t be stopped, maybe he won’t change the stifling political culture, maybe he’ll work with leftists. But with you it is not a maybe, we know that you will cave as soon as the leftists call you names and we know you will betray us. You had the chance to pull the trigger on the government machine and you pussied out like the pathetic mewling quislings you are. Trump may change his mind, he may betray us, but he won’t pussy out.

And if he does change his mind, so be it. Better a chance at success than the surety of failure you represent. At the very least, we will get to see Trump beat you, mock you, and humiliate you. At the very least he will tear apart the corrupt, weak GOP machine and show the “convservative” media machine for the quislings they are. Your tears alone are making supporting him worth it. He probably won’t accomplish anything beyond destroying you, but destroying you is worth it in itself.

The country is disappearing, freedom is dying, and our trust is gone. Trump is our Hail Mary, because we know if nothing is done, we will, at best, be forced to check around for commissars for the rest of our lives.

If you don’t want Trump, then do your jobs. Stand up for us, defend us. If the GOP establishment showed half as much hatred and derision for the leftists attacking us as you do for us, your base, if you spent half as much effort stopping leftists as you are stopping Trump, there would be no Trump. If somebody would actually stand up for us, common people wouldn’t have to flock to the only man who is willing.

The day of reckoning draws near. Repent your betrayal now before its too late, so it can be avoided.

Until then, Viva Trump!


I have modified some fruity language that occurred in the original of the post above.  Why?  Because conservatives have always deplored bad language.  Good ideas don't need it.  And the ideas above ARE good

Trump insisted on including Jews and blacks at Palm Beach golf course in 1990s

“When Donald opened his club in Palm Beach called Mar-a-Lago, he insisted on accepting Jews and blacks even though other clubs in Palm Beach to this day discriminate against blacks and Jews. The old guard in Palm Beach was outraged that Donald would accept blacks and Jews so that’s the real Donald Trump that I know.”

That was author Ronald Kessler in a July 2015 interview with Newsmax, talking about Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s business practices when it came to building a golf course in the Deep South.

In the 1990s, Trump was running into a problem getting his golf course approved by the local town council in Palm Beach, which was imposing restrictions on his bid.

So Trump shot back with maximum effect. As reported by the Washington Post’s Mary Jordan and Rosalind Helderman on Nov. 14, 2015: “Trump undercut his adversaries with a searing attack, claiming that local officials seemed to accept the established private clubs in town that had excluded Jews and blacks while imposing tough rules on his inclusive one.”

The Washington Post report continues, “Trump’s lawyer sent every member of the town council copies of two classic movies about discrimination: ‘A Gentleman’s Agreement,’ about a journalist who pretends to be Jewish to expose anti-Semitism, and ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ about a white couple’s reaction to their daughter bringing home a black fiancé.”

Sometimes, in judging the character of an individual, it pays to see what people actually do when nobody’s really paying attention. When it came to segregation in the South at private, all-white country clubs, it might have been in Trump’s business interests to simply look the other way. Instead, Trump did the right thing and insisted on desegregation at his golf resort.

And he won.

Soon thereafter, the local restrictions were lifted and, today, the golf course is open and remains inclusive.

It remains a point of pride for Trump, who boasted about the golf resort in a 2015 interview, “Whether they love me or not, everyone agrees the greatest and most important place in  I took this ultimate place and made it incredible and opened it, essentially, to the people of Palm Beach. The fact that I owned it made it a lot easier to get along with the Palm Beach establishment.”

At the time in 1997, then-Anti-Defamation League President Abraham Foxman praised Trump for elevating the issue of discrimination at private clubs, telling the Wall Street Journal, “He put the light on Palm Beach. Not on the beauty and the glitter, but on its seamier side of discrimination. It has an impact.” Foxman credited Trump’s move with encouraging other clubs in Palm Beach to do the same as Mar-a-Lago in opening up.

That’s the real Donald Trump. The one who dealt with a real problem to do with discrimination on race and religion in Palm Beach long before he was ever seeking public office by confronting a local planning board over its exclusive policies, determined he would do things differently.

So, when the question of David Duke’s endorsement of Trump came up on Friday, Feb. 26 at the Chris Christie endorsement press conference in Texas — the first time it came up — Trump’s first gut reaction was to emphatically disavow it.

“I didn’t even know he endorsed me. David Duke endorsed me? All right, I disavow, OK,” he said at the press conference. And he immediately moved on.

That might have been the end of the story right there, but Trump stumbled when the question came up again Sunday morning on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper, where he distanced himself from the Duke endorsement.

“I don’t know anything about David Duke,” Trump said, adding, “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. I know nothing about white supremacists… You’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.”

Probably not altogether the best response. But for his statement a day prior, it might have even raised significant questions otherwise. Still, it was a damaging exchange for Trump and melted the Internet for a few days. Other presidential candidates like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have since included it in their attacks on Trump.

A day later Trump recovered on NBC’s “Today Show” when it came up again, specifically on the Tapper interview, Trump said, “I disavowed David Duke a day before at a major press conference, and I’m saying to myself, how many times do I have to continue to disavow people?” Perhaps he just didn’t want to keep talking about it. Who would?

Trump also claimed his ear piece was not working really well: “I’m sitting in a house in Florida with a very bad ear piece that they gave me and you can hardly hear what he was saying.”

Trump added, “I disavowed David Duke. Now, if you look on Facebook right after that, I also disavowed David Duke. When we looked at it — looked at the question, I disavowed David Duke. So, I disavowed David Duke all weekend long on Facebook, on Twitter and, obviously it’s never enough. Ridiculous.”

It’s a fair point. Trump immediately disavowed David Duke, whose endorsement he didn’t even want in the first place.

Did he ever endorse Duke? No. Did he ever endorse the Ku Klux Klan? No. He did the opposite.

By the time the Tapper interview occurred, it is fair to say Trump was ready to move on. Tapper apparently was not.

Still, compare Trump’s statements — and his business record in Palm Beach as a prime example — to what is being said about Trump right now. “Donald Trump stumbles on David Duke, KKK,” reads the CNN headline. “Trump disavows David Duke endorsement after ducking question earlier,” reads another. It’s night and day. You’d think he had donned a white sheet and was burning crosses.

Incidentally, a similar thing famously happened in 1984 to Ronald Reagan when the Ku Klux Klan endorsed him. The difference is Reagan squished it once and for all. Reagan said at the time, “Those of us in public life can only resent the use of our names by those who seek political recognition for the repugnant doctrines of hate they espouse.”

Was Trump as eloquent in his denunciation? Not by a long shot. But, so what? At the time, despite Reagan spurning the endorsement, there was a similar media uproar. And at the end of the day, it meant nothing and had exactly zero impact on the election. Because it was silly. Similarly, Trump went on to have a great Super Tuesday despite the hullabaloo, winning 7 out of 11 contests.

All that happened here was an ugly chapter of American history that includes white supremacy once again reared its head into U.S. politics — and was aimed viciously at Republicans even with the GOP’s clear record against slavery and segregation. The response both from mainstream media outlets and the punditry has become a predictable din and a meme unto itself of typical race card politics that attempts to portray Republicans as racists.

And it is all patently absurd.

So, move on. Based on the Palm Beach experience, Trump, unlike many others who never had to confront segregation, actually has a solid record on this issue. The attacks are unfair. And he didn’t refuse to denounce anybody, in spite of what was reported. He immediately and rightly disavowed the Duke endorsement, but as Trump noted, it’s never enough.


Washington Supreme Court Will Hear Case of 70-Year-Old Florist Sued for Declining Gay Wedding Request

The Washington Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of a florist sued by the state attorney general and ACLU for declining to make flower arrangements for a same-sex wedding. (Photo: Alliance Defending Freedom)

The Washington Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of a 70-year-old florist who declined to make flower arrangements for a gay couple’s wedding. The florist, Barronelle Stutzman, was found guilty by lower courts of violating the state’s anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws.

“Barronelle and many others like her around the country have been willing to serve any and all customers, but they are understandably not willing to promote any and all messages,” Kristen Waggoner, Stutzman’s lawyer, said in a statement. “We hope the Washington Supreme Court will affirm the broad protections that both the U.S. Constitution and the Washington Constitution afford to freedom of speech and conscience.”

Stutzman is the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, a small flower shop in Richland, Wash. She has been in the industry for over 40 years.

In March 2013, Stutzman was asked to make floral arrangements for a gay couple’s wedding. According to Stutzman, she had served the customer, Robert Ingersoll, on many occasions in the past and even considered him a close friend.

Citing her Christian beliefs about marriage, Stutzman told Ingersoll she could not make flower arrangements for his wedding.

“I put my hand on his and said, ‘I’m sorry, Rob, I can’t do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ,’” Stutzman told The Daily Signal in an earlier interview. “We talked a little bit, we talked about his mom [walking him down the aisle] … we hugged and he left.”

Following that conversation, Washington’s attorney general told Stutzman that her decision was in direct conflict with a state law that ensures citizens freedom from discrimination and pursued a lawsuit against her.

The anti-discrimination measure prohibits places of public accommodation—which officials say include Arlene’s Flowers—from refusing service to customers on grounds of race, creed, sexual orientation, and physical disability.

Stutzman faces a fine of up to $2,000 for violating Washington’s anti-discrimination law and a separate fine of $7.91 (which Ingersoll says is the cost of driving to find a new florist). According to her lawyers at Alliance Defending Freedom, Stutzman’s legal fees are estimated to be seven figures.

After the fines and fees, Stutzman told The Daily Signal, “there will be nothing left.”

This is the second case of its kind to reach a state Supreme Court. In Aug. 2013, the Supreme Court of New Mexico heard a similar case about a photographer who declined to take pictures of a same-sex commitment ceremony because of her Christian beliefs. In that case, the court ruled that the First Amendment did not protect the photographer’s right to decline service.

Last week, the owners of a small farm in upstate New York who were ordered to pay $13,000 for refusing to host a same-sex wedding ceremony decided to end their legal battle and not appeal their case to the state’s high court.


Businesswoman records warning to women after having her handbag snatched, her breasts groped and fighting off a carjacker in three attacks by 'non-Austrians' during a trip to Vienna

A woman in Austria has issued an emotional warning to others after having her handbag snatched, her breasts groped and fighting off a carjacker in three attacks by 'non-Austrian' men.

Businesswoman Rosita Kohzina recorded her furious rant just minutes after the final assault in which she said a man tried to force open her car doors at a traffic light on a trip to Vienna.

In the video, which she posted online, she said: 'I am really seething. And I don't want anybody to tell me I'm making this up and that it never happened.'

She said the carjacker pounced after she was forced to fight off a bag-snatcher and a predator who groped her breasts.

'I am really seething': Rosita Kohzina has recorded an emotional warning to other women after having her handbag snatched, her breasts groped and fighting off a carjacker in three attacks by 'non-Austrian' men

She said when the man failed to get in, he rolled on the roof and then attacked another woman who was walking down the street, shoving her over before running off.

After parking further down the street, she decided to vent, saying: 'Listen ladies, I've just recently been forced to make the acquaintance of some of these non-Austrians.

'First of all I've had to defend my handbag and my iPad. Fortunately I managed to defend myself, but I still don't find the whole experience cool.

'And just now, somebody tried to get into my car which fortunately I had locked from the inside.

'He was so annoyed about it that he then trampled on the roof, and it was difficult for me to control myself.

'Fortunately I managed to keep my common sense and stayed seated inside the vehicle.

'He, however, was clearly not content to sit still, and a completely innocent woman who had nothing to do with the incident ended up being flattened.

'That was just because he was angry that he couldn't get into my vehicle. I have to say that was too much – even for me.'

She said she wanted to warn other women about potential attacks, saying: 'Ladies, I would urge everyone to do a self-defence course, there's a lot being offered at the moment'

She said: 'Ladies, I would urge everyone to do a self-defence course, there's a lot being offered at the moment.

'It is not the last-chance saloon anymore, at least not for us women.

'There are now people like this out there that are stealing handbags and groping us and it's not funny at all, and sadly I am not talking about an isolated case.'

She said that she had even noticed that her son and his friends felt forced to accompany their girlfriends when they were travelling at night making sure that they were escorted home safely in order to prevent them getting molested.

She said: 'We are simply not safe anymore. I am sure that many of you don't realise you can help yourself, many of you are sitting at home worried about going out or travelling in the car.

Some of you probably leave your handbags at home. So once again ladies, do a course to defend yourselves.'



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, 2016

European Civilization: R.I.P.

In early September 1999, on a combined business/pleasure trip to Europe, I had my one and only opportunity to cross the English Channel on a hovercraft from Dover to Calais.  However, since the hovercraft Princess Margaret and Princess Anne were temporarily out of service, it became necessary to cross the channel aboard the Seacat Great Britain from Folkstone, south of Dover, to Boulogne on the French seacoast, some 30 miles south of Calais.

Arriving in Calais on a Sunday afternoon, we found the Avis rental car agency at the Calais train station was closed for the day.  However, the manager of Avis's Calais office was kind enough to interrupt his day off long enough for us to obtain our reserved rental car.  It also gave us a few hours to tour the town centre of that beautifully restored city that was all but leveled during World War II.  But life in Calais has changed dramatically in the past fifteen years and it is unlikely, given local conditions, that Avis or Hertz still maintains rental agencies in Calais.   

On January 4, 2016 I published a column questioning whether we are now witnessing the end of European civilization.  In that column, I questioned how people in the U.S. and Europe would respond to the bloodshed that is certain to occur when millions of well-armed muhajirs flood into Europe.  When asked by German journalist Jurgen Todenhofer if ISIS was prepared to kill every Shiite Muslim on Earth, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi scoffed, "One-hundred fifty million or 500 million, we don't care; it's only a technical problem for us.  We are ready to do that."

So if ISIS considers the difference between killing 150 million or 500 million Shia to be a mere "technicality," how will the people of Europe handle a full-scale onslaught by such people?  Will they be prepared to do whatever is necessary to save European civilization, or are they simply too war weary from having two world wars fought on their soil to even defend themselves?  The answer to that question becomes clearer with each passing day, and nowhere do we see a greater example of European spinelessness than in present-day Calais.  To illustrate, I will quote a recent speech by a French housewife named Simone, a lifelong resident of Calais.

She said: "My name is Simone, and I live in Calais.  I am a native Calaisienne.  My parents were also... I have always lived there and Calais used to be a very nice town... We had peace, we had security, and there were always a lot of people about in summer and in winter..."

Then she went on to describe how former Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy had decided to close the nearby Sangatte refugee camp, causing the inhabitants to descend upon Calais.  She said, "Even I, at the beginning, I said they are unhappy people.  They are lost. They have nothing.  Maybe we could help them.  And I cannot tell you how it happened from one day to the next, but we soon found ourselves with thousands.  I say thousands of migrants... actually, at the moment, there are 18,000 in what they call the ‘Jungle.'  Yes, 18,000.

"It's terrible because they really made a city within the city.  They have discotheques, shops, schools, hairdressers.  They even have... er... no, I cannot say it but I think you understand... for the needs of the gentlemen, of course.  They made roads; they gave names to these streets.  They elected a mayor.  Yet, the police cannot enter what they call the ‘Muslim part.'  It is prohibited.

"Until then, we could perhaps have been able to bear it, but one cannot bear the unbearable.  When one sees that, incessantly, every day, every night, there are riots.  They come to the town centre... two, three, four thousand, everywhere.  They bash cars with iron rods, they attack people.  They even attack children.  There are rapes, there is theft, it is unimaginable what we suffer.  They enter private houses when people are at home.  They just enter; they want to eat; they help themselves.  Sometimes they also bash the people, stealing what they can, and afterwards, what they cannot take they destroy.  And when we want to defend ourselves we have the police on our backs.  The police have not accepted any complaints for a long time.

"My own son has been attacked.  He was walking quietly in the city centre.  He was listening to his music.  He had the earphones in his ears when someone tapped him on the shoulder.  He turned around, thinking it was one of his friends.  Instead, he was facing three clandestins (illegals) and he took a big blow to the face with an iron bar.  My son is quite strong, so he managed to defend himself and the three took some blows.  But then he heard some noise.  There were about thirty migrants who came to massacre him.  As he is no kamikaze, he fled.  When I saw my son come home like that, frankly, I told myself they could have killed him...

"They attack children when they return from school, or when they go to school or to the college.  They go so far as to take the school buses, enter the school bus with the children.  On January 23rd they started a big riot in Calais.  It was terrible... They went as far as attacking the statue of General De Gaulle.  They wrote on it, ‘F_ _ _ France,' with the ISIS flag underneath... They demonstrate because of their conditions, but the more one gives them the more they demand...

"I loved very much to go to what I call the ‘grave' of my son... it's at the sea.  I lost my son and we put his ashes into the sea.  It was his wish; I respected his wish.  I said to my husband in the evening, ‘Take me to the grave of my son.  I need it.  I cannot do it any longer because even just to cross the town centre of Calais you put yourself in danger.  In the evening, as soon as it gets  dark, one is in danger.  I cannot go there any longer, where I loved to go.  I cannot any more (sobbing), it's not possible.  I am afraid.  I'm afraid and there are many like us in Calais...

"The government has abandoned us.  They have decided to make of Calais a (wasteland), and if we don't move we will be burdened with all the migrants of France here and we are finished.  We are dead.  And the Calaisians are like sheep.  I don't understand them.  Yesterday I was in that (anti-Islam) demonstration; I was in the middle of it with my husband, my son, and friends.  And there was General (Christian) Piquemal...  And what I saw yesterday I won't hide it from you.  I could not sleep all night because I have reviewed the scene incessantly.  They did not talk about it on the TV, the radio, not even in the newspapers.  We saw him arrested, manhandled like a thief.  He who, after all, is a French icon, an image of France who deserves respect and all the honours due to his rank.  Like a thug, we saw him pushed to the ground.  The policeman put his foot on his neck.  I promise you. We saw it.

"Even the merchants have lost 40-60 percent of their income, whereas before, Calais was a flourishing city; it was lively, animated, gay.  There were always foreigners during the summer holidays and at the end-of-year celebrations.  Today, there is nothing left.  All the shops that had opened in the centre of town have closed down, one after the other.  Calais is a dead town... And when they come into town armed with their iron bars and their Molotov cocktails, watch out.


'Experts' are demanding a ban on tackles in under-18s rugby

But as we reveal, they're a motley scrum of lefties, gender obsessives and gay campaigners with a worryingly insidious agenda

On the face of it, the open letter calling for a ban on tackling in school rugby smacked of authority and expertise.

Sent to Ministers, Chief Medical Officers and Children's Commissioners, it warned that the risks of injuries for those under-18 playing the sport are unacceptably high and the injuries are often serious.

The letter made headlines in every newspaper, and debate over its call for a tackling ban raged yesterday on broadcasting outlets across the country.

But scratch the surface of its signatories — a list of more than 70 professors, doctors and other academics — and their authority appears rather less impressive.

True, there are specialists in sports injuries among them. But an awful lot of these 'experts' have no medical knowledge of sports injuries. Many specialise instead in gender issues and politics.

The list of signatories includes two sociologists whose academic subjects are sexuality and sport.

Another specialises in sport and race, still another studies homophobia, two concentrate on children's rights, and there's an expert in environmental pollution as well as a specialist in masculinity.

As for the letter's two main signatories, neither are experts in broken bones and spinal injuries. First, let us look at Allyson Pollock. Yes, she's a professor of public health research at Queen Mary University, London. But she specialises in attacking the Government's NHS reforms, particularly any suggestion of the private sector intervening in the hallowed NHS.

To be fair to Professor Pollock, her son was injured on the rugby field — a shattered cheekbone — which must be distressing for any parent. But does that really give her the authority to try to emasculate the game for children across the country?

Not according to Dr Ken Quarrie, Senior Scientist (Injury Prevention & Performance) for the New Zealand Rugby Union. Five years ago, when Professor Pollock called for 'high tackles and scrums to be banned in schools', he accused her of wilfully misrepresenting research about schoolboy injuries to prove her case.

In an internet blog criticising Pollock, he highlighted an extensive review of rugby injuries that found 'the risk of catastrophic injury was comparable with that experienced by most people in work-based situations and lower than that experienced by motorcyclists, pedestrians and car occupants'.

Now, let's take the other main signatory, Professor Eric Anderson of the University of Winchester. He is an American sociologist and sexologist, 'specialising in adolescent men's gender and sexualities'.

Until now, he's been most prominent for getting into a row with Alan Titchmarsh, the Chancellor of Winchester University, who wasn't happy with Professor Anderson's views on having sex with young men.

And you can see why. In 2011, Professor Anderson revealed at an Oxford University debate that he had slept with 'easily over a thousand people', and joked he was a sexual 'predator'. He said: 'I like sex with 16, 17, 18-year-old boys particularly, it's getting harder for me to get them, but I'm still finding them.

'I hope between the age of 43 and the time I die I can have sex with another thousand — that would be awesome, even if I have to buy them, of course, not a problem.'

What's the connection between this man's curious CV and his ability to judge the risks of rugby injuries? Nope — I don't see it, either.

And so it goes on with many of the other signatories — a series of Left-wing academics.

There's Professor John Ashton, a lecturer in public health, and another opponent of the Government's NHS reforms. He's keen, too, to reduce stress for workers and on lowering the age of consent to 15, arguing that the current legal limit prevents sexually active younger teennagers from getting support with issues of disease and contraception.

Several of the signatories specialise in gender and sexuality issues in sport. Step forward, Dr Adi Adams, a sociologist at the University of Bath, and author of I Kiss Them Because I Love Them: The Emergence of Heterosexual Men Kissing in British Institutes Of Education.

It's hard to avoid the conclusion that this letter is more about political views than medical science and children's safety. Rugby is a sport often associated with public schools, grammar schools and the middle classes — although try telling that to the rugby players of Wales, where the sport is a national religion.

It's a sport associated, too, with old-fashioned male aggression — and salty jokes in the rugby club bar after too many pints of lager.

All this is anathema to the gender neutral, politically correct views of so many Left-wing lecturers on today's college campuses.

They're intent on the feminisation of sport despite the fact that competitive exercise is an extraordinarily effective way of diverting male testosterone away from violence and thugishness on the High Street.

Many young men from tricky backgrounds, who haven't had the advantage of completing a gender studies degree, are deeply grateful for the escape from criminal violence — and the great pleasure — that sport can bring.

Practically all sport — from tennis to golf — brings the risk of injury. That's what happens when you run about and throw things. But sport is also an integral, natural part of human life. By all means, choose not to play rugby — but how dare these academics with their social agendas try to stop others doing the thing that they love?


The racialism of Rhodes Must Fall

Students at the University of Cape Town are demonising an entire race – white people

At the University of Cape Town (UCT) last week, students associated with the Rhodes Must Fall (RMF) movement attacked UCT property in protest at the lack of student accommodation. They ransacked halls, set fire to paintings of white people, petrol-bombed the vice chancellor’s office, and torched a bus. ‘Whiteness is burning’, they proclaimed. Ironically, one of the paintings burnt was a 1993 oil painting depicting protests at the university. It was painted by Keresemose Richard Baholo, a black anti-Apartheid activist.

Artistic creation has long been a method of protest. Pablo Picasso’s Guernica railed against Spanish fascism; Diego Rivera’s murals reflected the struggles of the Mexican working class; Jean-Michel Basquiat’s abstractions interrogated racism in New York in the 1980s. But now protest has become more about destruction than creation. In the same way that students in the West have sought to censor ideas with which they disagree, RMF-supporting students in South Africa seek to erase anything they see as inconsistent with their ideology.

RMF’s mindless violence and its refusal to engage with the university’s ruling bodies have alienated South Africans formerly sympathetic to its aims. But its actions are not an aberration. Rather, they speak to the underpinning of contemporary identity politics: an obsession with victimhood. This obsession has turned identity politics into a vicious cycle of self-oppression. These students have allowed themselves to be offended – to be victimised – by inanimate objects to the point where they feel they have to destroy them. This is the form that contemporary illiberalism takes: in their unquestioned certainty, these students refuse to tolerate the slightest degree of objectionable symbolism. Removing the statue of Cecil Rhodes was not enough – now no white symbol is safe from their quest for ‘decolonisation’.

RMF has blamed the housing crisis on the supposed institutional racism of UCT, a stance which was implicitly encouraged by the ANC government to distract from its own failure to provide funds for new housing and accommodation. Indeed, in many provinces, the ANC presides over failing state-education systems, many of which are essentially controlled by corrupt teachers’ unions. The legacy of Apartheid has been perpetuated by a broken government. Last year, the World Economic Forum ranked South Africa 138 out of 140 countries in the teaching of maths and science. But instead of shouting about these disgraces, these protesters are fixated on the artwork adorning university walls.

UCT, and South Africa more broadly, is not the only racialised student battleground. The same ideas can be seen at the University of Oxford, where students have argued that the removal of the Rhodes statue at Oriel College will somehow help to tackle the ‘institutional racism’ that has led to a disproportionately low percentage of black students being admitted. This cultish obsession with symbols and statues tragically distracts from real issues of racial inequality.

In this age of identity politics, we are now told not to judge people by the content of their individual character, but by the colour of their skin. We are encouraged to define people by their genetic characteristics, to see them primarily as racial beings. We must assume that every black person is a victim of systematic racism, and that every white person is born with a silver spoon in his or her mouth. Suggesting that racism is rather more complicated than identity-politics advocates suggest, or refusing to judge someone on the colour of their skin, is heresy.

Astonishingly, even Nelson Mandela’s idea of a multiracial ‘Rainbow Nation’ has been labelled ‘oppressive’ by UCT’s student magazine, because it supposedly ignores racial differences. Just to add to the absurdity, and despite agreeing with the magazine’s arguments, RMF members have in turn slammed the student magazine and its white writers for ‘appropriating’ their struggle. RMF activists, you see, insist on the absolute racial purity of their struggle.

The same night as paintings and buses were set alight, the words ‘fuck white people’ were daubed on the plinth where the Rhodes statue had stood. These nasty ideas of collective and historical guilt are irrational and counterproductive. Racism still exists in South Africa and the damage of Apartheid is still very real. But that is not the fault of every white person. In the same way black people should not be asked to speak on behalf of their race, or all Muslims apologise for the actions of Islamist terrorists, so all white people should not be figuratively burnt on the pyre of ‘decolonisation’ on university campuses. It doesn’t matter who it’s being done to – blacks, whites, Muslims or Jews – homogenising and demonising an entire group is always dangerous.

It’s also extremely ugly. In Cape Town, these students study and live in buildings built by European colonists. Let’s hope they don’t burn down their university as well.


Turning libraries into community centres

Libraries are for reading, not knitting

The Carnegie Trust has created four databases to showcase library-run projects that contribute to public wellbeing.

The databases accompany the trust’s leaflet, ‘Speaking Volumes’, which outlines how public libraries impact on four policy areas – the economy, education, culture and society – and how libraries contribute to the wellbeing of individuals and communities. The trust has given examples of the many activities on offer in British libraries and calls on policymakers to recognise the significant contribution that public libraries make to a wide range of social-policy goals.

Since the Public Libraries Act was passed in 1850, libraries have served as citadels of culture and scientific inquiry, positioning themselves as sources of knowledge and recreation. Books, newspapers, periodicals and reference sources, as well as extension and outreach activities in the form of lectures, classes and links with museums and art galleries, were provided to support both serious study and leisure. It was believed that access to libraries and artistic culture in general could enhance the emergent meritocratic and materially efficient society that people wished to see flourish in the 19th century.

When they were founded, public libraries sought to meet the educational needs of an increasingly commercial, politically informed and cultured society. They were established and developed as institutions which enabled individuals to gain independence and self-realisation through reading great literature. This encouraged the idea that individuals should make a positive contribution to society. And it is in this spirit that, at the beginning of the 20th century, the Carnegie Trust focused on building libraries.

Today, the trust believes that public libraries should go even further. Libraries are now encouraged to contribute to government goals of tackling isolation by providing services for older people, people living with dementia, the visually impaired, the disabled and victims of domestic abuse. Several examples are offered by the trust to show the ways in which libraries contribute to wellbeing. Take, for instance, the activities organised for older people by libraries in Northern Ireland. The trust writes that, in the library space, the isolation of older people can be tackled by combining the opportunity to socialise with the chance to relax through knitting and crocheting. It is also asserted that, through these activities, these groups learn new skills – though exactly what these skills are is a mystery.

The trust also highlights ‘Knit and Natter’ groups, which started in one library and now operate weekly in 80 libraries nationwide. As the majority of ‘Knit and Natter’ attendees are female, many branch libraries offer ‘Newspaper and Biscuits’ sessions, to attract men and thus foster inclusion. Some public libraries are also organising intergenerational approaches to encourage higher levels of digital participation. The Scottish Library and Information Council has provided a number of iPads, e-readers and other digital devices so that people in care homes, sheltered housing and other social-care institutions can be introduced to new technologies, with one-to-one sessions delivered by library staff, volunteers and pupils from local schools.

It is clear that the effort to make libraries relevant to the wellbeing of individuals and communities is altering the role of libraries in society. The trust claims that libraries could make a ‘major’ contribution to public wellbeing. But, in order to achieve this, stocks of books must shrink to allow more room for knitting, crocheting and socialising.

Warnings about libraries spreading their resources too thin are partly based on the fact that book funds are in decline. But the real issue here is that society finds it difficult to take the authority of knowledge seriously. It cannot find any justification for quiet spaces and rows of bookshelves. The trust’s emphasis on extracurricular activities undermines the purpose of libraries – that is, to foster independence and self-realisation.

It seems the Carnegie Trust no longer wants us to read books – it would rather we drank tea and ate biscuits instead.



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, 2016

The Hateful Message of Black Lives Matter

The words of the movement “Black Lives Matter” is reminiscent to the rhetoric of 1930s Germany where only “Aryan Lives” mattered. Let’s be clear: This rhetorical comparison is not correlated to the actions of the two movements. Both quotes imply that other lives don’t matter.

 In Pre-WWII Germany the bigoted rhetoric against those who were not Aryan including, but not limited to, Jews and the disabled, created a divide that led to genocide. Though America is not on that course (thankfully), the hateful rhetoric behind “Black Lives Matter” underscores Benjamin Franklin’s prophetic message:  United we stand, divided we fall. This hateful rhetoric exemplifies the latter.

Lives Matter. History has not always been kind to Blacks and other minorities. Jews suffered through exiles, crusades, pogroms, and the Holocaust (included the discriminatory Nuremberg Laws). Blacks suffered through slavery, lynching, and Jim Crow laws, which promoted segregation.

What’s thematic is differentiating between who’s human and who’s not. That theme is nothing but barbaric. I’m alive today because those in my family, especially my grandmother, survived Hitler’s slaughter-fest. My grandmother was in an orphanage when German soldiers approached and were about to take her into custody. However, due to logistical reasons they were unable to do so. The orphanage took action and a Christian family hid her on their farm in France. That Christian family believed this Jewish life mattered. There were people like this family known as Righteous Gentiles. They believed that innocent lives matter regardless of their background.

Last week Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke out in favor of Black Lives Matter. In response to someone erasing the words “black lives matter” and substituting “all lives matter” on the Facebook wall at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, Zuckerberg remarked this action as a “deeply hurtful and tiresome experience for the black community and really the entire Facebook community.”

"'Black lives matter' doesn't mean other lives don't," Zuckerberg said. "It's simply asking that the black community also achieves the justice they deserve."

While understandable, Zuckerberg’s point is misguided and sleazy. In the 2016 presidential campaign, Black Lives Matter activists jeered at former Maryland Governor and Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley when he said, “All lives matter.”

It is no surprise Black Lives Matter reflects frustration among African-Americans and cause disruptions (like at an event featuring Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders). Big government has failed them, especially in inner-cities. During the riots in Baltimore last year regarding the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody, former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen wrote about the failure of inner-city government policies.

Titled “The Baltimore Democrats Built”, Thiessen wrote why inner-city policies have failed everywhere. The title of his piece can be replaced with cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. “The mayor is a Democrat. Every member of the city council is a Democrat. The school system is run by Democrats (and their teachers union overlords),” Thiessen wrote.

Thiessen added, “O’Malley says recent events in Baltimore should serve as ‘a wake-up call for the entire country.’ He’s right about that. After five decades of virtually uninterrupted Democratic rule, Baltimore is an utter disaster. The left’s approach to poverty has failed.”

In an article in the New York Post last December, NYPD detective James Coll wrote:

    "On Aug. 28, the evening before a Black Lives Matter demonstration in St. Paul, Minn., Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth was killed pumping gas at a station in Texas by a man who shot him 15 times in the back. The murder didn’t stop participants from chanting, “Pigs in a blanket! Fry ’em like bacon!” the next day while a family grieved and a community searched for answers that never came.

    A select category of political leaders has been unable to make a connection between the caustic oratory of some in the Black Lives Matter movement and recent violence perpetuated against the police. These same individuals have had much less difficulty, however, equating irresponsible words with the death tolls that have followed in other instances where they gain a political advantage.

    Some call it unfair to blame the entire Black Lives Matter movement for the relative few who clutch their banner while calling for even more cop funerals. They miss the hypocrisy: There are police critics who paint all officers with the same broad brush. And they miss the point that ignoring the demagoguery has made hatred of the police acceptable to many and violence against officers appear necessary to some"

It is time to confront this bigoted, sadistic, and uncivilized movement that conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin labels, “a civil wrongs group… the old Black Panther movement.” History’s themes, such as bigotry, repeat themselves for better or worse.

All lives matter. Thug lives don’t.

British far-Left union accused of 'bullying' young Labour activists into voting for Jeremy Corbyn ally at the centre of anti-Semitism claims

Members of the Unite union have been accused of ‘bullying’ young Labour activists into voting a Jeremy Corbyn ally into a key position in the Labour Party.

MPs called for an inquiry after text messages showed Unite officials ordering Labour members in their teens and early 20s to elect hard-Left candidate James Elliott to the party’s ruling executive - and demanding to inspect their ballot papers.

Despite the activities of Unite and the Corbyn supporters group Momentum to get him elected, he narrowly lost the vote to moderate candidate Jasmin Beckett, a working-class student from Liverpool.

Mr Elliott, a student at Oxford University, is a controversial figure who worked on Mr Corbyn’s leadership bid.

A pro-Palestinian campaigner who has written articles railing against ‘Zionists’, he is active in the University’s Labour Club which is being investigated following anti-Semitism claims.

He is one of two Labour activists being investigated over claims from the group's co-chairman, Alex Chalmers, who quit earlier this month after complaining that many of its members 'have some kind of problem with Jews'. Mr Elliott denies any involvement.

He is a third-year history student at St Edmund Hall at Oxford University who helped to write Mr Corbyn's youth manifesto.

Centrist Labour MPs are relieved that Mr Elliott lost. His election to the 33-member National Executive Committee – containing MPs, trade union representatives and others – could have swung the balance to Mr Corbyn’s supporters, who want to empower party members to decide policy over issues such as Trident renewal.

Birmingham MP Jess Phillips tweeted that she was concerned by ‘reports of nasty bullying’ at the Young Labour conference in Scarborough today and told young activists who contacted her that she would raise the issue with the party on Monday.

Fellow Labour MP Ian Austin added: ‘Things seem to have got out of hand and I’m sure the party will want to look into it.’

Teenage Labour member Zac Harvey posted a text message exchange with Unite official Charlotte Upton in which she said: ‘I need you to send me a picture of your Unite ballot paper with James Elliott selected’ and said it was ‘not acceptable’ for him to refuse.

Other delegates tweeted that he was then forced to leave the conference hotel because he did not show them his ballot paper – and that they had to collect his things from his room as he ‘felt unsafe’.

Another member Jade Botterill tweeted: ‘Now there are people intimidating candidates, following them into toilets, threatening them! Absolutely vile.’ She added: ‘People here are being bullied – this isn’t organising, this is victimising.’

Unite was accused this month of trying to help Mr Elliott by offering their members free travel and hotel rooms.

Mr Elliott wrote in a recent article: ‘Anti-Semitism is a tired old accusation from Zionists, retreating behind mendacious slurs when losing the arguments.’ He has also written slamming the ‘very long history of collusion between Zionists and the Labour party’ which he claims ‘shames the working-class origins and socialist sentiments of the latter’.

The Unite union was at the centre of vote-rigging claims in 2013 when Labour was nominating a new candidate to be MP for Falkirk in Scotland. Local residents claimed to have been signed up without their knowledge to support the union-backed candidate.

A Unite spokesman said: ‘There is not a shred of truth in the claim that a delegate was asked to leave his hotel accommodation, nor that there was any wrong doing by the Unite delegation co-chair who acted with propriety at all times. Claims to the contrary are deliberately misleading and malicious, intended for no other reason than to bring this union into disrepute.

‘The Labour party is due to examine the Young Labour elections including some concerning allegations of a smear campaign organised by one candidate against a rival. Unite urges that a full and independent look at these elections is agreed, and we will happily cooperate fully in this process.’


Sharia courts in the UK 'prepared to ignore marital rape, domestic abuse and child marriage'

Some of the UK's sharia courts are ignoring marital rape and are prepared to ignore domestic abuse and child marriage, a prominent Muslim professor has found.

Laws condoned by some of the courts are in some cases more extreme than in parts of Pakistan, according to a new book written by an expert in human rights and Islamic law.

Elham Manea, herself a Muslim, spent four years examining scores of Islamic 'councils' in the UK that rule on thousands of disputes within Muslim communities.

The professor at Zurich University in Switzerland travelled to London and the Midlands to gather information from clerics.

She also scoured recordings of speeches for her book 'Women and Sharia Law'.

According to the Sunday Times, she found some clerics believed girls of 12 could be married.

She also found that some of them accepted that offenders should have their hands cut off as a means of punishment, Tom Harper reports.

Manea, whose family is from Yemen, gives one example of a British woman who was forced into a marriage with her cousin in Pakistan before being raped on her wedding night.

After returning to the UK she begged sharia court clerics to cancel the wedding, but Manea wrote:  'They did not care that she was forced to marry. They did not care that she is being raped in marriage, they do not see that as rape in marriage.'

In other examples, she quotes a cleric as saying 'a man should not be questioned why he hit his wife because this is something between them.'

The author argues in her book - released later this year- that courts lead to 'segregation, inequality and discrimination'.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said told the Sunday Times councils had 'no enforcement powers and operate only with consent of parties'.

It said it was committed to ensuring councils 'apply rules of natural justice in their proceedings, treat parties with equal respect and fairness, have more women members on the council panels and all panel members are given training on judge craft'.


Australia: Senator Joe Bullock quits citing Labor's support for 'homosexual marriage'

West Australian Senator Joe Bullock has announced he is retiring from politics citing an inability to support the Labor Party's position requiring MPs to vote in favour of same-sex marriage.

Calling it "homosexual marriage," the 61-year-old right-wing Senator told Parliament on Tuesday night that he was "morally obliged" to quit, just two years after entering Parliament because he could not agree with the party's decision to impose a binding vote on MPs.

He said his decision to retire began when he was asked how he could support the Labor Party given his view on same sex marriage.

"This question has dogged me for six months," Senator Bullock said. "How can I in good conscience recommend to the people that they vote for a party which is determined to deny its parliamentarians a conscience vote on the homosexual marriage question?" "The simple answer is that I can't."

Senator Bullock said he would not defect to the crossbench because he was elected on the ALP's ticket.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten immediately issued a gracious statement saying that while he often disagreed with the West Australian, he wished him well.

"A man of deeply held faith and convictions, Joe has always held to his views," Mr Shorten said.

"I don't agree with his views on a number of issues – including marriage equality – but I respect his right to hold those opinions."

"I respect the decision he's made to step down tonight, knowing it's come after a long period of consideration."

But one Labor MP who did not want to be named told Fairfax Media there was no love lost for the outspoken conservative Senator.  "Good riddance to the big fat rat," the MP said.

Senator Bullock is the fourth West Australian to announce their retirement ahead of the 2016 election. Gary Gray, Melissa Parke and Alannah MacTiernan have all recently said they will be quitting politics. Mr Gray attended Senator Bullock's speech in the Senate.



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, 2016

I don't watch the Oscars to get harangued about racism, rape, sex abuse, greedy bankers, global warming and gay rights

I watch to be entertained. If you want to preach at us, darlings, get into politics; Can we keep politics out of the Oscars?

By Piers Morgan

I'm exhausted; physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically drained. Watching the Oscars last night became an assault course of the senses, a barrage on the brain, a veritable crushing of the cerebral mass.

By the time Leonardo DiCaprio walked up on stage to collect his first and long-overdue Best Actor award, I was on my knees praying for him to just smile, thank the Academy, then his mum, and tell us what this moment means to him.

Not, for the love of God, deliver yet another award-winner lecture on global affairs.

The decision by the show's producers to ask nominees to provide names of those they wished to thank so they could be scrolled across the bottom of the TV screen rather than tediously recited on stage, fell prey to a new horror: the worthy statement to the world.

A horror in which the whole point of everyone being there or watching at home – to celebrate great acting and movies - was usurped by a burning desire to pontificate about sex abuse, racism, honour killings, corporate greed, climate change, paedophilia and gay rights.

Host Chris Rock set the tone right from his opening monologue with a relentless onslaught on both the Academy's shocking failure to nominate a single black actor and the massively over-the-top protests by black stars that followed. He was undeniably funny, and he could hardly ignore the issue given all the pre-show controversy. But was it really necessary for Rock to bang on about it all night long

Or to talk of rape, lynching and 'grandmother swinging from a tree', when so many kids are watching at home?

His final plaintive cry of 'Black lives matter!' was surely an unnecessary endorsement of a current African-American activist movement?

By then he'd more than made his point about diversity. Wouldn't a simple, fun, movie-related gag have been a better sign-off for a global audience?

Lady Gaga then put the campaign to music, singing Till it Happens To You, reflecting her own well documented abuse as a victim. To ram home the point, she brought out dozens of survivors of abuse onto the stage with the words 'not your fault' on their forearms

The 'Big Short' director and screenwriter Adam McKay railed against corporate corruption in the political system.

'If you don't want big money to control government, don't vote for candidates that take money from big banks, oil or weirdo billionaires,' he raged.

Seriously, Mr McKay? What and who do you think controls Hollywood, exactly?  I can't go on the morning Starbucks run in LA without clattering into an array of bankers, oil tycoons and weirdo billionaires.

Sex abuse became almost a theme of the night.

The producers of Best Picture winner, Spotlight, a triumphant validation of the declining art of investigative journalism, did a Trump and whacked the Pope.

'This film gave a voice to survivors,' said Michael Sugar, 'and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which will hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican. Pope Francis, it's time to protect the children and restore the faith.'

Sam Smith, who won Best Song for a fairly dreary, unexceptional song – 'Writing's on the Wall' from the Bond movie Spectre – turned his victory speech into a poorly researched self-celebration of his own homosexuality. 'I read an article a few months ago by Sir Ian McKellen and he said that no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar,' he began. Erm, no he didn't

Vice-President Joe Biden promoted the White House campaign It's On Us, which aims to stop sex assaults on US university campuses, urging us to 'take the pledge' that we 'will intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.'

This all seemed so heavy-handed for 'entertainment' at an awards show.

Even Jenny Beavan, the British costume design winner from Mad Max: Fury Road, felt the need to make a plea for us all to be kinder to each other and the planet or we'll all end up in Apocalyptic hell like the movie.

So by the time we got to Leonardo, my caring, sharing, right-on liberal heart was smashed to smithereens.

I had nothing left in the worthy issue tank. My 'serious cause' locker was empty.

I just wanted someone, anyone, to stand there, clutch their award to their beating jubilant chest, and resolutely desist from the desire to lecture me about anything. My prayers went sadly unanswered.

By the time Leonardo DiCaprio walked up on stage to collect his first and long-overdue Best Actor award, I was on my knees praying for him to just smile, thank the Academy, then his mum, and tell us what this moment means to him. Not, for the love of God, deliver yet another award-winner lecture on global affairs

His speech started promisingly.  He thanked the Academy, he thanked his mum and dad, he was humble and heartfelt.

But then, just when I was punching the air with joyful relief, he inexplicably morphed before our very eyes into Al Gore and delivered a polemic on climate change.  'We need to work together and stop procrastinating,' he preached.

If actors truly want to make a difference to the world's ills, then I urge them to follow Ronald Reagan and go into politics where they can make a proper difference.

In the meantime, I urge them to all please stick a cork in it and let the Oscars become again what it should always be: a celebration of cinema, not a puritanical pulpit.



Standing up for freedom isn’t hate

When did standing up for basic human rights become hate speech? The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) can't seem to tell the difference any more. It was once a premier civil rights organization instrumental in taking down the Ku Klux Klan. Now it attacks those who profess unpopular or politically incorrect opinions. The latest target is the Center for Security Policy (CSP) for our work exposing and opposing Islamist groups. For this they are adding us to their annual list of "hate groups".

CSP stands for freedom and liberty against a collection of groups that really do "hate". We believe that all people should be able to live freely, but the radical Islamist groups do not. The premier institute of Islamic thought is al-Azhar University in Egypt and it publicly stated that even ISIS was still part of Islam. We should not be censored for pointing that out and that we differ from the Islamists on numerous other human rights issues as well.

We believe women are equal citizens. They believe women are property whose testimony in court counts less than a man's.
We believe homosexuals have a right to live without fear. They believe homosexuals should be hung or tossed off rooftops.

We believe young girls are humans with full rights. They believe in female genital mutilation, honor killings and child brides.

In what crazy mixed up world are we the bad guys for making this clear? Loving the freedoms all people are endowed with by their creator is an embodiment of American values. The Islamic law, sharia, they look to impose is an embodiment of subjugation. Too many Muslims actually think shariah should be supreme over our Supreme Court and the entire Constitution. CSP vigorously opposes this and we will speak out against it, and we hope others will add their voices.

The Islamist groups have made some unlikely allies on the political Left, like the SPLC. Together they are trying to suppress free speech by calling it Islamophobia. A phobia is an irrational fear, but the horrors perpetrated by the violent Islamists are all too real as are the attempts by their allies to bring customs abhorrent to free people here.

We will continue to speak out strongly in support of the freedoms that make this country great. It is love of those freedoms, not "hate" that leads us to call out those who truly deserve that moniker. The Islamists oppress women, homosexuals, non-believers and they are using violent and civilizational means to impose their will on all of us. CSP believes in the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


Australian Cardinal harassed for trying to aid victims of child abuse


TODAY, Cardinal George Pell is giving evidence via videolink from the Hotel Quirinale in Rome to the child sexual abuse royal commission.

It is the third time he has testified to the commission - the fourth, if you count the Victorian parliamentary inquiry which preceded it. He has hardly been hiding.

And yet the point of much of the unrestrained vitriol spewed at him is that he is a coward who has refused to “come home” to testify.

But Pell, 74, has a heart complaint and has been told by doctors not to fly, a fact accepted by royal commissioner Peter McClellan after some delay, which only served to add to pressure on the star witness of the $500 million exercise.

Watching Pell is a self-invited group of about 120, including 50 journalists and assorted victims, supporters and Pell-haters who have travelled to Rome, largely on the proceeds of an abusive ditty by anti-Catholic crooner Tim Minchin, calling Pell “scum” and “coward”.

The royal commission has sent “support staff” and media people, at unknown cost, to assist this unofficial lynch mob.

It doesn’t matter that he is in frail health and will have delivered 21 hours of testimony after today’s stint.

The worst accusations are that he helped move paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale between parishes in the 1980s, when he was a junior priest in Ballarat under Bishop Mulkearns. However, as Father Eric Bryant has testified to the commission, at a 1982 meeting he attended with Pell, Mulkearns simply said Ridsdale was being moved because he had a “problem with homosexuality”.

Bryant said he didn’t link homosexuality with paedophilia and was offended by the suggestion put to him: “I know a number of clergy who are homosexual and who are the most decent people in the world... who have lived their celibacy to the letter. There’s others who have fallen weak and make mistakes but they don’t abuse children.”

Pell’s accusers must expect that he should have made that terrible link, which is ironic, because the central reason for his unpopularity is that he is a conservative priest who upholds the teaching of the Church and raised the eternal ire of homosexual ­activists by refusing to give them communion.

So he is fair game. But the indifference of much of the media to any semblance of fairness or legal restraint is astonishing.

The ABC has illustrated stories about Pell with images of a red toy truck, a cutout of his face glued into the driver’s side, and festooned with rocks and spiders, a blatant reference to “rock spiders”, slang for paedophiles.

On Channel 10’s the Project, Minchin debuted his vicious song in full, along with an illustration of a hollow cross with Pell inside with two altar boys.

There is no justification for this abuse of Pell in anything before the royal commission.

Pell denies the accusation that he tried to “buy” the silence of Ridsdale’s nephew and victim David Ridsdale, and at the time police were already investigating the paedophile, so there is no logic to the claim.

Anthony and Chrissie Foster, who have received $750,000 compensation from the church, accuse Pell of a “sociopathic lack of empathy” when he met them as the new Archbishop of Melbourne, to discuss the abuse of their two daughters by a priest a decade earlier.

But Pell was the most senior churchman to meet them and the first to respond with a plan to help victims, his Melbourne Response.

This is the profound unfairness of the attacks on Pell. He alone of any church leader in Australia responded to the crisis of child sexual abuse and set up a system in which claims would be investigated, counselling and compensation offered and victims would be directed to police.

He became Archbishop of Melbourne on 16 June 1996. Sick of the dithering inaction of his fellow bishops, within a month he had instructed Corrs lawyers to come up with a plan. By mid-October Peter O’Callaghan QC had been appointed the first Independent Commissioner, who went on to investigate 351 complaints of abuse, of which 97 per cent were upheld.

Pell acted with his usual decisiveness and efficiency, qualities invaluable to the Pope now as the Vatican’s top financial official, bringing integrity and transparency to Church finances.

Yet he has become the whipping boy, and even on the eve of his testimony this week, was betrayed by Victoria police who leaked vague allegations that Pell himself had sexually abused boys in the past.

This was an appalling intervention by police who are in the firing line themselves for failing to investigate complaints of child sexual abuse and for telling untruths about the church to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry.

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton claimed 43 suicides related to child sexual abuse in the Victorian Church, but, after an internal investigation, only one could be confirmed. That’s one too many, of course, but the exaggeration cast doubt on the motives of police. Ashton also claimed police had not “had a single referral of a child sexual abuse allegation by the Catholic Church’’.

Wrong. As O’Callaghan has testified, of 304 complaints, 97 were reported to police, and 76 victims he encouraged to go to police.

So pleased were Victoria police at Pell’s initiative in 1996 that they issued a press release praising the Melbourne response, and NSW police royal commissioner Justice James Wood also lauded the Catholic Church’s response then as a “model” for other institutions to follow.

For its time, Pell’s response to the child sexual abuse plaguing the church was groundbreaking. Not perfect, but it acknowledged a problem, helped victims and referred offenders to police if possible.

There is evidence, however, that Victoria police seemed to drop the ball, whether because prosecutions in those days were too difficult or for some other reason, we don’t know.

Last week, for instance, former priest and psychiatrist Dr Peter Evans told the commission he was contacted by police in 1975 about the paedophile Ridsdale, who Bishop Mulkearns had asked him to assess after an allegation of child sexual abuse had been made against him.

“The police were certainly investigating it and knew about it. The police informed me that they would not be pressing charges. However, the policeman added that they … thought, he was guilty.”

So what you have today is one potential scapegoat accusing another of covering up paedophilia, and leaking untested allegations to bolster their case.

If all the abuse heaped on him would ensure that children never again suffered sexual abuse, perhaps even Pell would say it is a cross worth bearing.

But it does the opposite. By targeting the one man who tried to do the right thing it ensures that no future church leader in their right mind would take decisive action again.

To save his own skin, Pell would have been better to leave it to the hopeless cowards and naive bumblers who had presided over the evil in the Church for so long.


British father reveals his son, 15, was quizzed by anti-extremist police who were called by the deputy headteacher after he caught the pupil looking up Ukip's website at school

UKIP wants to restrict immigration and get Britain out of the EU -- things with which a large number of Brits agree

A teenage boy was left ‘feeling like a terrorist’ after anti-extremism police questioned him for looking at Ukip’s website at school.

Joe Taylor, 15, was reported to officers by teachers who also discovered he had looked at BBC footage of a march by the English Defence League.

Staff at Wildern School in Hedge End, Hampshire, acted on the Government’s counter-terror Prevent scheme that obliges schools to monitor children and report signs of extremism.

But the teenager’s family said the action left them ‘dumbfounded’.  His father Mick, 52, said neither he nor his son had been involved with the EDL and pointed out that Ukip was a mainstream political party.

He added: ‘We are turning into a police state and I am worried that everyone is being snooped on now. Ukip is being flagged as an extremist website, like Islamic State. But have they ever beheaded anyone?’

Under the Prevent scheme, which aims to curb recruitment by Islamic terrorists, teachers are obliged to report any signs of any type of radicalisation to the authorities.

The inquisitive pupil had searched the Ukip website immediately after his class had discussed issues around terrorism.

Teachers reported their ‘safeguarding concerns’ to police and the youngster was referred to a specialist team whose usual brief is preventing vulnerable youngsters from being groomed by IS.

He was questioned by a police officer and his head teacher about looking at the political party’s website, as well as BBC footage of an EDL march in Luton in December.

Mr Taylor, who supports Ukip, said he was called into school and was astonished by suggestions that his son might be linked to the EDL because he had been ‘visiting politically-incorrect websites’.

He said both he and his son were asked about their views on immigration and he was even asked if his son was a political activist.

He added: ‘When they told me the Ukip website had been flagged, I said, “Say that again? I voted for them and I am dumbfounded”.

‘They asked my son, “What are your views?”, and Joe said there are too many people coming in the country and Ukip could do a better job of running it.’

The window cleaner added: ‘My family shed a lot of blood for this country in the war, and I don’t like that it is being thrown away by bureaucrats that don’t care.’

The school claims it took advice from the police after staff noticed the pupil viewing the sites.

Head teacher Marie-Louise Litton said: ‘I wish to make it absolutely clear that the decision to pursue the matter further was not made by the school.’ A spokesman from Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘The school contacted us in good faith and in complete accordance with their safeguarding procedures.

‘We have a duty to respond to these concerns and we spoke to the pupil and his father informally about comments and internet usage at school. No issues were identified and the matter is closed.’

No further action was taken against Joe.

Ukip’s deputy leader Paul Nuttall reacted angrily to the suggestion that the party’s website was flagged up as extremist.

He added: ‘I don’t know how you can be extremists when you have 22 MEPs, a Member of Parliament, three lords and 500 councillors all over the country. We’re certainly not extremists.’



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


1 March, 2016

Multicultural army staff sergeant shoots dead wife and Virginia police officer

An Army staff sergeant assigned to the Pentagon has been charged with shooting dead a rookie police officer on her first day and his wife.

Ronald Hamilton, 32, is being held without bond accused of shooting dead 29-year-old Officer Ashley Guindon after she and two coworkers answered a domestic violence call at his home on Saturday evening.

According to an affidavit, Hamilton's wife Crystal, 29, called police begging for help at 5.30pm.

By the time Guindon arrived with her field officer Jesse Hempen, 31, and ten-year police veteran David McKeown, 33, Crystal was shot dead, the affidavit states.

Hamilton allegedly opened fire as soon as the officers arrived, fatally shooting Guindon and wounding the other two. The Hamiltons' 11-year-old son was in the house at the time but survived unscathed.

On Sunday, police chief Stephen Hudson paid tribute to Guindon's work and gave a poignant account of the passion she showed when she interviewed for the job.

Crystal Hamilton's sister also paid tribute to Guindon as she thanked the police force for their attempts to apprehend the suspect. 'Most importantly, the officer who sacrificed her life for my sister and my nephew,' she told ABC7.

The suspect is an active duty Army staff sergeant assigned to the Joint Staff Support Center at the Pentagon, according to Cindy Your, a Defense Information Systems Agency spokeswoman based at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Officer Brandon Carpenter, at the county's adult detention center, says Hamilton is being held without bond at the jail on charges that include murder of a law enforcement officer, first-degree murder, two counts of malicious assault and two counts of use of a firearm during a felony.

Hamilton is scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning.

Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert told The Associated Press on Sunday morning that the gunman's wife was the victim in the domestic incident. He did not provide her name.

The shooting occurred Saturday evening at Hamilton's home in Woodbridge, where neighbors say he lived with his wife and their son.

Guindon had a degree in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a master's degree from George Washington University in forensic science.

She served in the military from 2007 to 2013 as a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Prince William County, where Woodbridge is located, is a suburb 30 minutes outside Washington, D.C., and has a relatively low crime rate.

Guindon had been a county police officer a few years ago and had left and returned to the force, Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, said in a phone interview with The Associated Press on Saturday night.

The shooting occurred in the Lake Ridge neighborhood, on a curving street with $500,000 suburban houses with brick and siding exteriors, manicured lawns and two-car garages about a five-minute drive from the county office building.


Catholic Archbishop Orders Parishes to ‘Strongly Consider’ Alternatives to unchristian Girl Scouts

Noting that Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) and its parent organization, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), promotes contraception, “abortion rights,” homosexuality, and other issues “incompatible” with Catholic values, the Archbishop of St. Louis, Mo., has ordered all the parishes in his archdiocese to review their Girl Scouts programs and “strongly consider” offering “alternative options for the formation of our girls.”

“Our primary obligation is to help our girls grow as women of God,” said Archbishop Robert J. Carlson in his Feb. 18 letter to priests, Scout leaders, and all Catholics in the archdiocese.

In the letter Archbishop Carlson notes that his archdiocese and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which represents all the Catholic bishops in the country, have investigated and raised concerns about some of the activities carried out by the GSUSA and the WAGGGS.

Some of the concerns include:

-- WAGGGS’ continued promotion of contraception and “abortion rights” on behalf of its girl members, the majority of whom are minors.

-- GSUSA resources and social media highlight and promote role models in conflict with Catholic values, such as Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan.

-- Organizations that GSUSA promotes and partners with are in conflict with Catholic values, such as Amnesty International, Coalition for Adolescent Girls, OxFam and more. This is especially troubling in regards to sex education and advocacy for “reproductive rights” (i.e. abortion and contraceptive access, even for minors).

Further, “recent concerns about GSUSA and their position on and inclusion of transgender and homosexual issues are proving problematic,” said the archbishop. “Our culture is becoming increasingly intolerant of a Catholic worldview regarding these issues.”

In a related document, Scouting and the Catholic Church, on the archdiocese’s website, it notes that the GSUSA rejected a donation of $100,000 because the gift stipulated that the money “wouldn’t support transgender girls.”

In addition, “troops in Utah have recently been formed exclusively to reach out to transgendered youth,” said the archdiocese. Also, “internal policies in Girl Scouts has even suggested that some parents and troop leaders should not be informed if there is a transgender child in their troop.”

“Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri has posted a ‘statement of inclusivity,’ explaining their policy on how to welcome a transgender child into your troop,” reads the document.

In addition, “on Instagram and Twitter, Girl Scouts recently celebrated the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage as one of their top moments of 2015,” states the archdiocesan document.

“While Catholics are called to treat all people with compassion and mercy, we must at the same time be mindful of whom we allow to teach and form our youth and the messages they present,” said Archbishop Carlson. “Girl Scouts is exhibiting a troubling pattern of behavior and it is clear to me that as they move in the ways of the world it is becoming increasingly incompatible with our Catholic  values.”

“Therefore, I am asking each pastor that allows Girl Scout troops to meet on parish property to conduct a meeting with troop leadership to review these concerns and discuss implementing alternative options for the formation of our girls,” said the archbishop.

“Several alternative organizations exist, many of which have a Catholic or Christian background,” he continued.  “For more information on each of these organizations and a more detailed listing of ongoing concerns, please visit http://archstl.org/scouting#options.”

“I ask that you carefully study each organization and strongly consider offering one of these programs in your parish instead of Girl Scouts,” said the archbishop.  He also noted, at the archdiocesan level,  “Effective immediately, I am disbanding the Catholic Committee on Girl Scouts and instead forming a Catholic Committee for Girls Formation that will be charged with ministry to all girls in various organizations.”


When Hunters Leave Africa

Last year, the bleedin' heart liberals lost their collective mind over the fact that dentist Walter Palmer shot and killed a lion named Cecil during a hunting trip to Zimbabwe. Big whoop. Hunters go to Africa. They kill animals, and the licensing fees help the conservation efforts on the continent. But thanks to the outcry, hunters are no longer booking trips to the African Savanna. Now, the place where “Cecil the Lion” was bagged and tagged is facing a bit of a lion problem. The lion population at Bubye Valley Conservancy has ballooned to more than 500 felines. Combined with a dry summer that caused the grassland to grow stunted, the lions are laying waste to the other animal populations. As a result, the conservancy is saying it might have to go out and kill 200 lions.

“The astronomical fees foreign hunters paid to shoot animals in Africa directly supported the continent’s conservation efforts,” wrote The Truth About Guns' Nick Leghorn. “It was a mutually beneficial, self-sustaining system. Now that the hunters are gone, there isn’t enough money to support Hwange National Park’s operation and the ecosystem is out-of-whack. Lions will be killed, anyway, without any of hunting’s enormous economic benefits.”

Furthermore, think of the economic loss to the region. Think of the lost jobs, the money not coming into the area because there are not the hunters willing to pay for lodging, food, transportation and guides. Anti-hunting groups had their field day, but they aren’t going to be concerned about the effects of their rabid protesting.


There is some controversy about this story on Gun Watch

Wedding Service Industry Fights for Religious Liberty

The owners of a farm in Schaghticoke, New York, decided that they wanted to move on with their lives and end their defense against charges of discrimination for refusing to host a same-sex wedding. Cynthia and Robert Gifford declined to host the wedding of Melisa Erwin and Jennifer McCarthy at their family farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, in 2012. The call was recorded, and the Giffords were hauled to court for violating the Empire State’s Human Rights Law.

This week, they decided that they would pay the $13,000 fine and continue to live out their lives. This is just one example of the question facing the wedding service industry. Are the rights of owners of private property, cake bakers, photographers — their rights to express themselves as they see fit — ignored because the state decided it has a new definition of marriage?

While the Giffords have decided to leave the public spotlight, Aaron and Melissa Klein have compiled a new team of lawyers to take their case to the appellate level. The team is made up of First Liberty lawyers, a group that takes up religious liberty cases, and Boyden Gray, a former councilor to George H.W. Bush.

The Oregon cake bakers were fined $135,000 because they refused to bake a cake for a same-sex ceremony. First Liberty Senior Councel Jeremy Dys told the Daily Signal, “They’ve assembled a world-class team of appellate attorneys including Boyden Gray. When you get a man of his caliber who’s joining their legal team, it says a lot about not only the importance of the case, but the likelihood of success.” We hope this case will help clarify the law regarding the rights of small business owners in the face of government’s (im)moral decrees.



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


HOME (Index page)

BIO for John Ray

(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

There really is an actress named Donna Air

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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