The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

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 This site is updated several times a month but is no longer updated daily.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

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

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

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

31 May, 2017

Son, Don’t Marry a Feminist


If I had a dollar for every email or comment I've received from you about what has happened between the sexes over the past 40 years and how it has affected your life, I could retire.

Okay, that's a bit of a stretch. But it is not a stretch to say that since I began writing about America's gender war, the number of men I've heard from has far exceeded the number of women. You have a lot to say on the subject, and very few outlets to do so. When you do try to share your thoughts on sex and gender, you’re branded a misogynist.

As a woman, I want you to know I hear you. I get it. And it’s wrong.

Because of your stories that now crowd my computer, I feel I have great insight as to what's going on inside the mind of the modern man. I also have a 14-year-old son who I worry will face the same struggles you have. Out of deference to you and the stories you’ve shared, and because I too have been on the receiving end of feminist vitriol, I wanted you to know what I plan to tell my son.  I’m going to say: Don't marry a feminist.

Don’t marry a feminist, son, because she has an ax to grind, and someday you’ll become her target.

Don't marry a feminist because she’s unable to give for the sake of giving. Feminists always tally up a score.

Don't marry a feminist because family will not come first. Her career will.

Don't marry a feminist because equality, not marriage, is her ultimate goal. And for marriage to work, the focus and commitment has to be marriage.

Don't marry a feminist because if you get divorced, which you likely will since competitive relationships don’t last, she'll blame you -- and then use your kids as a weapon.

Don’t marry a feminist because you’ll never be happy. Feminists are perpetually angry and dissatisfied and have no sense of humor. Here’s a great 30-second video to explain what I mean.

The bottom line, son, is that a feminist will not love you the way a real woman will. What’s a real woman?

A real woman is a nice, soft, feminine creature who respects everyone, including men. She has character and a strong moral fiber. For her, marriage and family come first. Work is important, too; but it’s not the be-all-end-all.

A real woman will want and appreciate a real man like you. A real man is a kind, strong, masculine creature who respects everyone, including women. He has character and a strong moral fiber, like your father. For him, marriage and family come first. Work is just a means to an end.

I know you’ll have to wade through a lot of feminists to find a real woman today, but you will find her.

Don’t settle.


There's nothing 'sexist' about a handful of women-only Wonder Woman screenings

The woman below tries to square the circle by denying that a women-only event is sexist

A popular Austin, Texas-based movie theatre chain known for its strict no talking and no texting policy has caused quite a stir with its latest event announcement: The Alamo Drafthouse will host at least a handful of women-only screenings of the upcoming superhero movie Wonder Woman.

I wish I could say I was surprised that the announcement was like a siren call for sexists, but, well, I've used the internet. We've seen these sorts of things play out before.

Not long after the first screening was announced, social media was abuzz. Many cried sexism. Some suggested suing Alamo Drafthouse for discrimination. Others asked for men-only screenings of upcoming movies like Thor: Ragnarok, which stars a male lead. Many are calling it a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Some people took the approach of arguing that they were men who wanted to see Wonder Woman with their wives, daughters, sisters or other women. One man asked, "So if I arrive with my wife and our four sons, will you turn 5 of us away because of our gender?" (The answer, of course, is yes. That's kind of the point.)

It's a bad argument to make because these few women-only screenings of the movie are not the only screenings in existence. Not by a longshot. They're not even the only screenings at the Drafthouse. If you're a man who wants to see Wonder Woman there, nobody is stopping you. Just don't go to that particular screening at that particular time.

Of course, another thing happened shortly after the screening was announced: It sold out. The Drafthouse is adding more showings, and the event is expanding beyond Austin into Dallas, and New York too. Proceeds from the Dallas screenings will go to the Genesis Women's Shelter.

It's not like screening gimmicks are unusual. This weekend the Alamo Drafthouse has a showing of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales for which attendees are required to be dressed as a pirate. They have family-focused screenings of movies with all-you-can-eat cereal. They host singalongs. They've hosted screenings exclusively for veterans and active military. A women-only screening of Wonder Woman makes perfect sense for them.

Admittedly, "No boys allowed" feels like a dated policy on paper. When we're trying to break down unnecessary gender barriers, I understand the sentiment that a women-only movie screening just puts another barrier up. Why, indeed, should we separate ourselves when the goal is to come together and be more inclusive?

Some critics of the event have pointed out that "white people only" screening could cause serious issues and would probably be a bad idea. But the issues aren't one-to-one.

The problem is that men complaining about this event haven't had to live a life as a female comic book fan.

You don't have to look very hard to find stories of women in geek culture being harassed or bullied for no reason other than their gender. Sometimes that comes in the form of sexual harassment. Other times it's the need to answer to constant accusations of being a "fake geek girl" who just wants attention and doesn't actually care about the material.

This is a problem I've never had to deal with as a male walking the floor of a comic book convention, yet I've watched it happen to women who are more knowledgeable about comics than I am.

On May 24, a woman tweeted a picture of herself in a Wonder Woman outfit asking if she should go to the movie dressed up as the heroine, "even if I do end up getting teased." The tweet went viral and spawned many tweets of encouragement from people who were total strangers to her. But her anxiety is a real issue, and is it really so bad if Alamo Drafthouse wants to offer just a handful of movie screenings at which she might feel more comfortable?

Even in the social media comments about these screenings, these sexist ideas are far too common.

"I really do not see why you'd have a 'Woman's Only' for Wonder Woman," said Ray Wallman on Facebook. "50 Shades of Grey. Yes. Magic Mike. Yes. A Twilight movie marathon. ABSOLUTELY!"

"I don't know any women who read comic books. They know nothing about wonder woman. You ignored a huge fan following," @jay-babyboi said on Twitter, again implying that the Drafthouse would only be showing the movie to women.

Of course, those were the tame comments. The ones we can print here.

For their part, the Drafthouse social media employees are handling the controversy especially well. One of the more humorous responses they've given to complaints on their Facebook page says, "We've never done showings where you had to be a man to get in, but we did show the 'Entourage' movie a few years ago."

In an ideal world, sure, there would be no need for a women-only screening of Wonder Woman, because we all live in perfect harmony and sexism wouldn't exist. But this is not the hill to die on, fellow men.

If you want to see Wonder Woman, you have plenty of chances to do exactly that, wherever you may live. If you want to act like a sexist, please do it somewhere else. Far away from here.


Let them run wild! New research reveals getting children outdoors and away from their tablets is the best way to ensure good health into adulthood

Whether it’s a camping holiday in the countryside or a weekend bike ride, the experts are in agreement: the healthiest thing you can do as a family this summer is to simply step outdoors – and get moving.

To maintain a basic level of health, children aged five to 18 should get at least one hour of physical activity every day, according to the NHS. However, new figures show that only 22 per cent of children in England achieve this. In children under five, less than one in ten meet the guidelines for their age.

Children are paying a huge cost for sedentary lifestyles encouraged by the huge time they spend on social media, in front of computer screens, televisions and devices, putting them at increased risk of conditions in later life such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Effects can be emotional too: numerous studies have found that British children are some of the unhappiest in the world. A recent international study put the UK 38th out of 48 countries for overall happiness of 15-year-olds.

The good news is that meeting the daily exercise and screen-time requirements can make a huge difference.

Last week, a US study found that children who follow government advice on physical activity, screen time and sleep have an 89 per cent lower risk of being obese. Here, our experts reveal why it’s time to get your children and grandchildren to put down their iPhones, tablets and game controllers and get busy outside…

Build emotional resilience

Sue Palmer is a former primary school headteacher and author of the groundbreaking book Toxic Childhood. She also campaigns for the introduction of a kindergarten stage for three- to seven-year-olds. She says:

Children are trapped between cool – iPads and other devices – and school from the age of four or five.

Playing outdoors, doing things for yourself, like building dens or making perfume from petals, is incredibly important in developing emotional resilience. If a task doesn’t work the first time, the child tries it again a different way until they succeed. Studies have shown that the satisfaction a child gets from achieving self-made play goals outdoors has enormous repercussions for mental health.

Playing outside with other children increases adaptability and social skills. It teaches them how to collaborate to get things done. That’s why I’m campaigning for a Nordic-style kindergarten system until the age of seven which allows children to play in an unstructured way for those crucial early years.

Camping with children is a great way to do this. Or just go to the local park after school.

Leading neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield is a broadcaster and writer of numerous books including Mind Change, which looks at the effects of technology use on young minds. She says:

Studies have shown that physical activity can boost cognitive skills. We know that exercise enhances neurogenesis – the growth of brain cells. A raft of different studies has shown that executive function – the mental skills that get things done – is enhanced really significantly with exercise.

Recent data suggests that physically active children have more active brains. Researchers found that after 20 minutes of activity, children scored better in reading, spelling and maths, while just one active lesson at school resulted in a 21 per cent reduction in the time teachers spent managing behaviour.

Technology engages only two senses – hearing and vision. Being outside stimulates all five. By interacting with nature you learn that, unlike in a computer game, actions have consequences.

For instance, if you’re climbing a tree you modify your behaviour to achieve that goal.

Psychologist and acclaimed parenting guru Steve Biddulph has written bestselling books including Raising Boys, Raising Girls and his latest, 10 Things Girls Need Most. He says:

I work with many parents around the world, and I sometimes ask: ‘What is your best memory of your teenage years?’ And so often, they say it was being on holiday somewhere wild and natural, a wild beach or mountains, with their dad and mum. Our eyes, ears, hands, limbs, feet and our brains need the complex and richly sensory world that only nature can provide. Rough ground makes our feet and limbs grow stronger, our brains more agile.

The message isn’t just it’s healthy to get outdoors. It’s that in the complexity and richness of the natural environment, a child’s senses begin to work at a significantly more refined and detailed level. Added together, these experiences might immunise your children – even just a little – against the stupidities of social media, from being cruel to friends, or from needing to take drugs to feel good.


Ex-Navy SEAL Tells Katy Perry: 'Hold One of Your Concerts in Syria and See How It Goes'

Former Navy Seal Carl Higbie dared pop singer Katy Perry to hold a concert in Syria, if she believes Americans can just “hug it out” with Muslim terrorists.

Appearing on Fox News, Higbie responded to Perry’s public claim that “open borders” and “love” will protect Americans from terrorism. Celebrities who excuse terrorists intentionally misunderstand the situation he said:

“We don’t have people who respect the culture of the United States of America. You have people like Katy Perry, for instance. I mean, this woman has said ‘oh we need to give them hugs, hug it out. Go to hell Katy Perry. “Hold one of your concerts in Syria and see how it goes.”

“These people fundamentally don’t understand what’s going on here.

“They don’t understand any of this - and they don’t want to understand, too. And that’s why I’m so strong against these celebrities who speak out, saying ‘Oh, we can fight this through love, it’s not really violent, they don’t really mean it.’”
This type of political correctness endangers the lives of American citizens, Higbie warned:

“We’re putting the political correctness of the Islamic culture over the lives of our citizens - and we need to stop that immediately”



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

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

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


30 May, 2017

Eurocrats resent the spread of the English language?

Never before has the world had a common language. English is not the first imperial lingua franca: Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Persian, Arabic, Spanish, French, Dutch and Russian were all spread by conquest and settlement. But none of them continued to expand beyond their old borders after the colonists had departed.

English is different. An Inuit in Indonesia or a Chechen in Chad will use it to communicate. It has been adopted by almost every international association, from APEC to OPEC. It is the official language even of most global bodies that contain no English-speaking countries, such as the European Free Trade Association.

To get a sense of how Anglobalization is spreading, consider the Eurovision Song Contest. If you haven't lived in Europe, you might be lucky enough to have escaped this kitschy monstrosity. Since 1956, European TV companies have run a joint music competition that is broadcast simultaneously to participating nations, whose viewers then vote by phone for the winner. Countries tend to vote at least as much on the basis of national prejudice as of content – Greece and Cyprus always give each other full marks, for example – which is bad news for Britain.

But if the U.K. loses electorally, it wins linguistically. This year's contest, which has just taken place in Kiev, featured 42 songs of which 35 were sung wholly in English, the highest proportion in the contest's history. In 1956, not a single piece was entered in Shakespeare's language, and there was something of a stir in 1965 when the Swedish entrant became the first to discard his native tongue. By 2014, 75 percent of the entries were in English. This year it was 83 percent – or 90 percent if you count songs that were partly in English and partly in another language.

That spread has been commercial, not political. The reason contestants are singing in our tongue is not as some sort of tribute to Churchill and Eisenhower; it's to maximize their chances of being understood.

You can see why the phenomenon annoys Eurocrats. Earlier this month, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, began a speech by saying "English is gradually losing its importance in the EU, so I will speak in French." I suppose it's to Juncker's credit that he has that facility. Like all Luxembourgers, he was educated partly in French (the official language in the Grand Duchy) and partly in German (the language of business and of most newspapers). Counting his native idiom, Luxembourgish, that makes English his fourth language.

Still, what a bizarre thing to say. English, as the Eurovision Song Contest underlined a few days later, is not losing ground in Europe. Au contraire, regardless of Brexit, it is becoming universal. Indeed, it has become so widespread as a medium between nonnative speakers that a new kind of creole, a Euro-English, has evolved in EU institutions.

Euro-English is a meager dialect – functional, short of adverbs and largely present-tense. It has its own peculiar vocabulary and syntax, generally lifted from other European tongues. For example, the Euro-English for "current" or "contemporary" is "actual," borrowed from, among others, the Dutch "actueel" and the French "actuel." Similarly, when a speaker of Euro-English says "foresee," he doesn't mean "predict," he means "plan for" or "anticipate" (again, based on the French "prévoir," the German "vorsehen" and others).

I have heard native English speakers, once they have been in Brussels long enough, dropping into the dialect. Where they might say, in standard English, "Shall we have a coffee?" they will, when speaking Euro-English, say, "We take a coffee, no?"

Brexit will, of course, mean that there are fewer native speakers in the EU institutions. Ireland and Malta are Anglophone, but have small populations. Linguists will no doubt enjoy watching the sparse vernacular draw further away from the language in which you are reading these words.

Still, I can't help feeling that Juncker's petulant outburst was a symbol of something else – a perfect demonstration of what is wrong with Eurocrats' thinking. Juncker's linguistic protectionism, his determination to stand in the way of what people want, is the authentic expression of the Euro-federalist doctrine: illiberal, anti-British, anti-American, backward-looking and ultimately doomed.

It was that ideology, mes amis, that Britain voted to break away from last year. We love Europe, and we love Europeans, but we have had enough of being dictated to by unelected officials whose worldview – whose Weltanschauung, we might say, in the spirit of European linguistic harmony – is stuck in the 1950s.


Time to get angry about Islamist terror

First Islamic terrorists chose to kill Jews in their homeland and beyond. Then they murdered Americans working in New York’s tall buildings. They murdered people travelling on London trains and buses, too, then French journalists and cartoonists.

Islamic terrorists struck Paris again, slaughtering people at a rock concert and in nearby restaurants. Islamic terrorists blew up people at an airport and a train station in Brussels and drove into people strolling along Nice’s promenade, people walking along London’s Westminster Bridge. A Copenhagen street, the Boston Marathon, a Sydney cafe, Berlin’s Christmas markets, a pedestrian mall in Stockholm, Christians, Yazidis and Muslims across the Middle East. Thousands slaughtered by Islamic terrorists with no borders, physical or moral.

On Monday, Islamic terrorists murdered children in Manchester. One image sticks. A little girl with a headband, the kind little girls like. Her leather jacket makes her look older than her tender years. Her eyes are glazed, wide with shock. She’s hand-in-hand with a woman, hopefully her mum.

One voice sticks, too. The raw agony of another mum ringing CNN pleading to hear from her 15-year-old daughter, Olivia, who went to the Ariana Grande concert but hasn’t been seen since. Olivia, along with 21 other children, teenagers, young people and parents, has been murdered by a 22-year-old Islamic terrorist.

Where does this end? How? When? It being Britain, many are saying “keep calm and carry on”. Politicians reach for a formula of pacifying words every time Islamic terrorism strikes. We are united. Terrorists will be defeated. Love conquers hate. Freedom stands up for itself.

Keep calm and carry on? Not this time. Keeping calm has promoted a comatose citizenry. Light a candle or tweet a hashtag, talk of unity, love and strength. Gather at a vigil, then go home. Don’t ask hard questions about why Islamic terrorists are able to keep murdering us. Love did not save the lives of eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos or 18-year-old Georgina Callander. Unity did not save the lives of the two mothers waiting in the foyer of the concert hall for their daughters or teenage sweethearts, Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry.

And unity around what ex­actly? Too many in the West refuse to unite behind the most basic moral clarity about Islamic terrorism. This week, of all weeks, our public broadcaster made light of Islamic terrorism, invited on to its television shows commentators who mocked terrorism and who told us not to jump to conclusions about terrorism. The ABC’s own journalists struggle to mention the Islam element. Our politicians talk about terrorists as marginalised and vulnerable, as if we are to blame for the murders of young children in Manchester. Keep calm about these useful idiots? Not a chance.

In Riyadh this week, US President Donald Trump reminded more than 50 Arab Muslim leaders that “the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them … A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists.”

“Drive. Them. Out,” he said. “Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth.”

Trump offered up the kind of moral clarity that drove the West to defeat Nazis and Soviet communists. What has happened to us in the interim? Paralysed by political correctness, we walk on eggshells so as not to offend. Ask hard questions about immigration? You’re a racist. Talk about Islam and terrorism? You’re an Islamophobe. Keep calm and stay quiet? Not any more. It’s time to get angry.

Examining the causes of terrorism without reference to Islam, the Prophet and the Koran is as intellectually vacuous as looking at the causes of World War II without reference to Nazism, Hitler and Mein Kampf. It’s no coincidence that those who are angry are making the most penetrating observations. Morrissey, the former lead singer of the Smiths, was angry when he posted this: “Sadiq Khan (London’s mayor) says ‘London is united with Manchester’, but he does not condemn Islamic State — who have claimed responsibility for the bomb … Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an ‘extremist’. An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?”

Brendan O’Neill from Spiked is angry, too: “The terrorist seeks to weaken our resolve, the powers-that-be want to sedate our emotions, retire our anger, reduce us to wet-eyed performers in their post-terror play. It’s a dual assault on the individual and society.”

British commentator Piers Morgan funnelled his anger into more questions that demand answers. The bomber, Salman Abedi, was someone’s son, friend, brother and neigh­bour. His behaviour changed in recent times. He grew a beard, wore Islamic garb, dropped out of university and retreated from his youthful drinking days. Mohammed Saeed El-Saeiti, a local Manchester imam recalls seeing “the face of hate” on Abedi after a sermon against Islamic State. Abedi’s cousin said Abedi’s parents were concerned their son was turning to violence. “We knew he was going to cause trouble. You could see that something was going to happen, sooner or later,” said the cousin. A family friend told The Times that Abedi had been “radicalised by mosques in south Manchester; there are many people who are suspicious about him”.

Who raised an alarm? Rather than staying calm and carrying on as usual, it’s time to ask Muslim communities to step up some more.

At the Albert Square vigil after Monday’s atrocity, Tony Walsh recited his poem: “This is the place that has helped shape the world, And this is the place where a Manchester girl named Emmeline Pankhurst from the streets of Moss Side led a suffragette city with sisterhood pride.” That’s nice. But the Manchester suburb is better known as the home of Islamic bombers, Islamic State recruiters and jihadists than the home of a suffragette. Another 16 convicted or dead terrorists lived within 4km of Pankhurst’s birthplace.

Keeping calm and carrying on encourages more sweet-nothings. Where and when will the next terrorist attack happen?

Keep calm and carry on? No. Not again. Evil triumphs when good men and women do nothing more than offer up platitudes, light candles, post hashtags and recite poems.


Why the Free Market Is Diversity’s Best Friend

Walter E. Williams

Millions of people love Apple computers and wouldn’t be caught using a PC. By contrast, there are many millions of PC users who feel the same way about Apple computers.

Many men like double-breasted suits, but I wouldn’t be caught dead in one. Some people swear by Cadillac cars, but my favorite is Mercedes-Benz.

Despite these strongly held preferences, there’s no conflict. We never see Apple computer lovers picketing firms that serve PC lovers. Mercedes-Benz lovers don’t battle Cadillac lovers.

In free markets, people with strong differences in preferences get along and often are good friends. The reason is simple. If you like double-breasted suits and I like single-breasted suits, we get what we want.

Contrast the harmony that emerges when there’s market allocation with the discord when there’s government allocation.

For example, some parents want their children to say a morning prayer in school. Other parents are offended by that idea. Both parents have a right to their tastes, but these parental differences have given rise to conflict.

Why is there conflict? The answer is simple. Schools are run by government. Thus, there are going to be either prayers in school or no prayers in school.

That means parents who want their children to say prayers in school will have to enter into conflict with parents who do not want prayers in school. The stakes are high. If one parent wins, it comes at the expense of another parent.

The losing parents have their preferences ignored. Or they must send their children to a private school that has morning prayers and pay that school’s tuition plus property taxes to support a public school for which they have little use.

The liberty-oriented solution to the school prayer issue is simple. We should acknowledge the fact that though there is public financing of primary and secondary education, it doesn’t follow that there should be public production of education.

Just as there is public financing of M1 Abrams main battle tanks and F/A-18 fighter jets, it in no way follows that there should be government production of those weapons. They are produced privately. There’s no government tank and fighter jet factory.

The same principle should apply to education. If state and local authorities annually spend $15,000 per student, they could simply give each parent a voucher of that amount that could only be used for education. That way, the parent would be free to choose.

If you wanted to send your children to a school that does not have morning prayers, you would be free to do so. And I could send my children to a school that does.

As a result, you and I would not have to fight. We could be friends, play tennis, and have a beer or two together.

Free market allocation is conflict-reducing, whereas government allocation enhances the potential for conflict.

But I’m all too afraid that most Americans want to be able to impose their preferences on others. Their vision doesn’t differ from one that says, “I don’t want my children to say morning prayers, and I’m going to force you to live by my preferences.”

The issue of prayers in school is just a minor example of people’s taste for tyranny.

Think of the conflict that would arise if the government decreed that factories will produce either double-breasted or single-breasted suits or that there will be either Cadillacs or Mercedes-Benzes built or that there will be either Apple computers or PCs built.

Can you imagine how otherwise-peaceable people would be forced into conflict with one another?

Government allocation is mostly a zero-sum game, in which one person’s win necessarily means another person’s loss.

The great ignored and overlooked feature of market allocation is that it is what game theorists call a positive-sum game. In positive-sum games, you get what you want, say an Apple computer, and I get what I want—a PC, in this case.

My win does not come at your expense, and your win doesn’t come at my expense. And just as importantly, we can be friends.


SCOTTISH NASTY PARTY ‘Foodbank’ nurse who exposed Nicola Sturgeon’s shocking record on NHS attacked by nationalist trolls

A nurse who was 'smeared' by the SNP after daring to challenge Nicola Sturgeon over under-funding the NHS has hit out at the trolls who abused her.

Claire Austin tore into the Scottish First Minister for spending her time relentlessly pursuing independence while hospitals are struggling and nurses like her have to survive on foodbank hand-outs.

But she faced a barrage of criticism online and was smeared by SNP frontbencher Joanna Cherry who falsely accusing her of being married to a Scottish Tory councillor.

And some questioned if she really was so hard up as pictures emerged of her sipping champagne and enjoying a holiday in New York.

Miss Austin hit out at the 'abuse' her critics had thrown at her in a post on Facebook.

She wrote: 'I am truly saddened by what has been said about me tonight. 'When I spoke tonight I spoke on behalf of all NHS staff, not just myself but all NHS staff.'

She revealed that she is not married and the man the SNP claimed was her husband was just another audience member on an episode of Question Time.

She said: 'I am sad, although in this climate not surprised, at the verbal attack and abuse I have suffered from other nurses tonight, in my view are they are disgrace to our profession, and we wonder why so many want to leave.'

But some Twitter users questioned whether she really was struggling financially after photographs surfaced of her enjoying dinners in flash restaurants.

Miss Austin insisted these treats were paid for by friends and family.

The A&E nurse from Edinburgh, has a Twitter profile which includes the message: 'They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like, moderately rich just moody?'

Ms Cherry, the SNP candidate for Edinburgh South West and the party justice and home affairs spokesman, was forced to apologise after briefing that Miss Austin was a Tory plant.

She wrote on Twitter: 'Sorry I was wrong about Twitter rumours. Entirely right that your voice is heard.'

She was accused of using 'dirty tricks', but today Miss Sturgeon defended her.

The SNP leader told BBC Scotland: 'She made a mistake, an honest mistake, and she apologised for that.

'In terms of the wider social media reaction, I don't think it's acceptable to make judgements about somebody's background.

'The nurse on the debate last night was absolutely entitled to raise the issue that she did.

'She raised an issue that is one of the biggest issues in this campaign - the level and value of real wages not just in the public sector but in the private sector.'

Scotland's First Minister was left squirming in her seat during the confrontation on a televised Scottish leaders debate last night.  

Confronting the SNP leader, Miss Austin said: 'Do you think your perceived obsession with independence might cost you your seat in this election?

'And the NHS, you say that you have ploughed millions into it, I'm a nurse and I can't manage on the salary I have. 'I have to go to food banks, I am struggling to pay bills. I want you to explain to me, do you know one area where that has gone?  'You tell me, because I can absolutely assure you nurses are seeing none of it on the ground floor.'

The nurse described how hospitals are unable to recruit because wages are so low. She said: 'There's thousands and thousands of nurse positions unfilled and the reason for that is it's such low pay. It's just not a sustainable income, we can't live on it.'

She added: 'You have no idea how demoralising it is to work within the NHS.'

She made a direct plea to the First Minister, saying: 'Don't come on your announced visits, come in in the middle of any day to any ward, to any A&E department and see what we're up against.'



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

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

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


29 May, 2017

Top scientist says all you've been told about salt is WRONG: It won't give you a heart attack - while having too little will make you fat and ruin your sex life

For more than 40 years, we’ve been told eating too much salt is killing us. Doctors say it’s as bad for our health as smoking or not exercising, and government guidelines limit us to just under a teaspoon a day.

We’re told not to cook with it and not to sprinkle it on our meals. The white stuff is not just addictive, goes the message — it’s deadly. Too much of it causes high blood pressure, which in turn damages our hearts. We must learn to live — joylessly, flavourlessly but healthily — without it.

Well, I’m here to tell you that all of that is wrong. As a leading cardiovascular research scientist — based at Saint Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institute, Missouri — I’ve contributed extensively to health policy and medical literature.

I am associate editor of the British Medical Journal’s Open Heart, published in partnership with the British Cardiovascular Society, and I sit on the editorial advisory board of several other medical journals.

In my work, I’ve examined data from more than 500 medical papers and studies about salt. And this is what I’ve learned: there was never any sound scientific evidence to support this low salt idea. What’s more, as I explain in my new book, eating too little of it can cause insulin resistance, increased fat storage and may even increase the risk of diabetes — not to mention decreasing our sex drive.

Current daily guidelines limit you to 2.4g of sodium, which translates to 6g of salt (or sodium chloride) or slightly less than a teaspoonful.

If you have high blood pressure, or belong to a group considered to be at greater risk of developing it — such as being over 60 or Afro-Caribbean — doctors even advise you to cut your intake to two-thirds of a teaspoon of salt per day.

Yet salt is an essential nutrient that our bodies depend on to live. And those limits go against all our natural instincts. When people are allowed as much salt as they fancy, they tend to settle at about a teaspoon-and-a-half a day. This is true all over the world, across all cultures, climates and social backgrounds.

If you’ve been struggling to cut your intake, it may come as a relief to learn your salt cravings are normal, a biological need akin to our thirst for water.

We are essentially salty people. We cry salt, we sweat salt and the cells in our bodies are bathed in salty fluids. Without salt we’d not be able to live. And it’s not only our bodies that work this way.

A yen for salt drives the elephants of Kenya to walk into the pitch-black caves of Mount Elgon to lick sodium sulphate salt crystals off the walls. Gorillas have been known to follow elephants to eat the salt-rich droppings, while monkeys that groom one another don’t do so to eat fleas, but to enjoy their salty skin secretions.

Salt is so fundamental to life that a deficiency of it acts as a natural contraceptive in all sorts of animals, including us.

A diet low in salt reduces the sex-drive, inhibits the chances of getting pregnant and affects the birth weight of infants. Clinical studies show that low-salt diets can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction, fatigue and the age at which females become fertile.

Salt helps the body withstand accidents and other traumas. Besides excessive bleeding, we experience a loss of other fluids in states of shock — for example, from burns. As the injured areas soak up fluids to speed healing, the body needs its salt reserves to keep the blood circulating and fend off vascular collapse.

So why do almost all doctors tell us that salt is bad for us?

The orthodox medical view on salt is based on a straightforward hypothesis, which says eating higher levels of salt leads to higher levels of blood pressure — end of story.

Although this makes sense in theory, there’s a problem: the facts don’t back it up.

Evidence in medical literature suggests approximately 80 per cent of people with normal blood pressure (that is, a reading of below 120 over 80) do not suffer any signs of raised blood pressure — none at all — when they increase their salt intake.

Among those with prehypertension, or higher blood pressure, three quarters are not sensitive to salt. And even among those with full-blown high blood pressure, more than half — about 55 per cent — are totally immune to salt’s effects.


Trump in Israel: An education in Islamic terror

Daniel Greenfield 

Nice smiles!

When President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu met on the tarmac, they and their spouses chatted easily. The two conservative leaders have much in common. They are political insurgents who draw their support from a rougher working class overlooked and despised by leftist elites.

The polls said that Netanyahu and Trump would lose their respective elections. Instead they won big. They prevailed despite accusations of bigotry, attacks by celebrities and a torrent of fake media scandals. The media decided that the big story of Trump’s arrival in Israel would be their claim that Melania Trump had swatted her husband’s hand away. A few months ago, Netanyahu was in court testifying against a lefty journalist for spreading fake news that his wife had kicked him out of the car.

Like so much of the fake media news aimed at Trump, it was sourced from an anonymous source through another anonymous source who knew someone’s dog.

And, sure enough, Sara Netanyahu and Melania Trump bonded on the tarmac over the media’s hatred.

Trump and Netanyahu are political pragmatists with a strong economic focus who run to the right. Trump is a developer. Netanyahu has a degree in architecture. Trump has a Queens accent and Netanyahu still has his Philly accent.  And they prevail despite the opposition of leftist elites.

Subtract the geography and this news story from Netanyahu’s victory would sound familiar to Trump. “Leftist, secular Tel Aviv went to sleep last night cautiously optimistic only to wake up this morning in a state of utter and absolute devastation.”

But there is one difference between the two men.

An hour before President Trump landed in Israel, a car struck people in Tel Aviv. Usually when a car hits people, it’s an accident. But in Israeli and in European cities, car ramming has become a terrorist tactic.

And so the incident was one of the first things that Trump heard about when he landed.

Police decided that it was an accident, but as the presidential visit got underway, there was the usual litany of violence; stonings, a fatality and a stabbing. And the question that so many of us now ponder across the civilized world rose unspoken each time blood was shed. Was it Islamic terrorism?

The efforts of conservative Israeli prime ministers to contain the fallout of a disastrous peace process with terrorists set into motion by leftist prime ministers have reduced the violence so that it no longer touches the lives of most Israelis on a regular basis. But it is always there. And it never truly goes away.

That is what must be understood when we talk about “peace”.

No amount of outreach to Muslim terrorists ends the violence. Not in Europe or America. And not in Israel; the country that has become the test case for whether Muslims and non-Muslims can coexist.

President Trump’s itinerary of Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome is a gamble that “the three Abrahamic Faiths” will join in a coalition to take on Iran and ISIS. It’s a better plan than Bush’s push for regional democracy or Obama’s violently destructive backing for Islamist political takeovers in the Arab Spring. A common enemy is more likely to get different groups behind the same cause. But having a common enemy should not be confused with having peace. At best it means a very temporary truce.

Netanyahu understands this because he has far more experience with Islamic terrorism. When it comes to Islamic terrorism, there are few countries that have faced it as consistently and constantly as Israel.

Muslim terrorists have struck America before. But only in the last decade were the Islamic colonies in the United States large enough and young enough to mount a constant drumbeat of attack plots.

Thousands of terrorism investigations are still new to America. They’re a way of life in Israel.

Terrorism is a bloody education. Trump knows far more about Islamic terrorism than Bush did. And Bush knew far more than his father. Most Americans still can’t conceive of the idea that peace is impossible. It’s too grim and hopeless. We’ve come a long way since the Obama years. But we aren’t there yet.

In the spring of his first year, Obama traveled to the Middle East to seek a “new beginning” with the Muslim world. He stopped off first in Saudi Arabia, but saved his speech calling for political change until his arrival in Egypt. Trump delivered his key speech in Saudi Arabia disavowing calls for political change. Instead America’s relationship with the Muslim world would be defined by its national security needs.

Obama blamed colonialism for the poor relations between the West and the Muslim world. His solution was to dismantle Western power. Trump defined Islamic terrorism as the problem and unity against it as the solution. Obama had bypassed Israel and traveled on to Germany making a heavily publicized visit to the Buchenwald concentration camp. Trump continued on to Israel instead.

The difference was profound.

Obama was more comfortable engaging with Jews as victims and, in a typically egotistical manner, envisioning what the victims of the Holocaust might have made of his visit. “They could not have known that one day an American President would visit this place and speak of them.” His Cairo speech reduced Israel to a byproduct of the Holocaust. If so, Israel’s capital might as well be in Buchenwald.

Trump however is ready to interact with the living Jewish present in Israel. His trip to the Western Wall, the first by a sitting president, and a cancelled visit to Masada, sought to engage with Israel’s national and religious identity. They signify a recognition that Obama never offered to Israel.

In Saudi Arabia, President Trump rolled out a vision of relationships based on national interest. And no such relationship can be built without recognizing national identity. Trump’s recognition of Israel’s national identity adds a note of respect. But Israel is one of the few nations in the region.

Nations can make peace. They can put aside their bloody past and at least learn to ignore each other. And in the West, religion has come to act as a moral operating system within the infrastructure of nations. Religion provides guidelines that transcend the law. The legal system can only tell us what we must do or may not do to each other. Religion tells us what we ought to do or not do to each other. It is a personal conscience and a relationship to a higher authority than mere government.

Saudi Arabia isn’t a nation. Neither is “Palestine”. They’re powerful extended families whose form of worship is terrorism. Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam.

Islam provides the morale and motive for the conquest. And once the conquest is complete, it provides the framework for the kingdom. Islam’s message is the inferiority of Muslims to non-Muslims. War affirms the message. Oppression internalizes it. Islam is meaningful only when it is killing and oppressing infidels. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

President Trump deserves credit for refusing to let the Saudis pretend that some Islamic terror groups are more legitimate than others by classing together ISIS with Hamas. But the only Islamic terrorism that the Saudis will reject is that which does not serve their interests. And even if they wanted to, they could no more end popular support for Islamic terrorism than Iraq could become a multicultural utopia through the magic of democracy.

Nor can Israel make peace with Islamic terrorists no matter how many more concessions Prime Minister Netanyahu offers them. President Trump calls it a tough deal. But you can only make a deal with someone who follows some of the same rules you do. You can’t make a deal with Islamic terrorists whose only rules are that the Koran lets them say anything they want to you.

President Trump called Islamic terrorism evil. And it is. But it’s not just evil. Its codes and ethics are utterly incompatible with our own. The only way to negotiate is through threats. And even threats only go so far with fanatics who believe that if they die, they will earn 72 virgins in paradise.

Islamic entities will tell any lie and commit any crime to accelerate their objective of conquering us. Whether they tell a lie or commit a crime depends on whether they’re moderates or extremists.

Yesterday, I heard Geert Wilders speak. And I recognized a leader who understands this grim reality. Few of his fellow Europeans do. Even fewer American politicians share that understanding. Europe is facing a deeper threat than America. And Israel has been confronting a bigger threat than Europe.

Every act of Islamic terror educates us. It is a difficult and bloody education. We graduate when we realize who our enemies are and how impossible it is to achieve any peace with them.

President Trump's walk to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre required thousands of police officers, closed stores and houses filled with snipers while their residents were evacuated.

That is life under the shadow of terrorism.

It’s not only presidents who have to live this way. It’s all of us in Jerusalem and Paris, in Manchester and in Rome where there are soldiers in the street and cries of “Allah Akbar” in the air. And then a car speeds up, a knife slashes, a plane crashes or a bomb goes off.

And the education continues.


Media protecting Muslim terrorism again
Ann Coulter

The latest Muslim terrorist attack ripped apart little girls at a concert in Manchester, England, on Monday, killing 22. The death and body-part count is still rising.

This is not a game. When young British girls are the targets of a suicide bombing, can we take a short break from the posturing, political correctness and Russia conspiracy theorizing? Won’t the hatred of Trump keep for a few weeks?

Channel-surfing on Monday night was like watching broadcasts from different countries. While Fox News and CNN covered the terrorist attack, MSNBC concentrated on the real news of the night — TRUMP’S COLLUSION WITH RUSSIA — as children screamed in the background in footage from Manchester.

It was a big enough step for MSNBC to stop claiming that the “explosion” was just popping balloons. The hosts reasoned, We know that Islam is a religion of peace, so what else could it be?

CBS and NBC News finally produced the name of the suicide bomber — the next day. (After any terrorist attack, the media like to keep us in suspense for as long as possible about whether it was a Muslim or a Christian.)

Even then, the answer was difficult to find on either network’s Twitter feeds, which were bristling with minute-by-minute updates on former CIA Director John Brennan’s congressional testimony about Russia and Trump: Yes, collusion was investigated. No, Brennan is not aware of any evidence to support the theory. BREAKING NEWS!

The media didn’t gaudily broadcast the bomber’s name, religion or ethnicity in their headlines, but at least they finally coughed up the information. He was Salman Abedi, son of Libyan “refugees.”

Apparently, the media think you can’t be trusted with that information. You might notice that the West is deliberately importing people who enjoy killing kids.

According to ABC News, the bomber’s father, Ramadan Abedi (not to be confused with Huma Abedin), was a member of an al-Qaida-linked Islamic group in Libya. For this, he was accepted as a “refugee” by the British government.

Liberals' main reaction to the attack was not to demand the toppling of the terrorist-friendly British government, but to worry about an upsurge in Islamophobia. They say there’s nothing we can do about terrorism and we probably shouldn’t do anything anyway, because we deserve it.

These were teen and preteen girls! Is there any fuel left in the gas tank of humanity, or are we just running on fumes now?

While liberals are impatient to get back to their murderous immigration policies, conservatives are pining for war. And really, who wouldn’t want to send ground troops to Syria after our tremendous successes in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Why do we need to fight ISIS in Syria again? I forget. How about we NOT send U.S. troops to some godforsaken nation of primitives?

My reasoning is: It will cost us trillions of dollars; we will sacrifice the lives of an untold number of our best young men in combat (and little girls — thanks, liberals!); and we will accomplish absolutely nothing, apart from creating a new stream of “refugees” and making the primitives even angrier with us, if that’s possible.

Historically, starting wars in the Third World has not proved salutary.

Trump was elected for one reason: Because he promised to put Americans' interests first. If only he’d stuck to his campaign promises, he’d be a hero right now.

The one promise Trump has kept is the so-called “Muslim ban” — and he’s looking prophetic on that. The Ninth Circuit was probably just about to release its opinion affirming a Hawaii judge’s revocation of Trump’s travel ban, but after Manchester, they’ll have to sit on it for a few weeks.

Wouldn’t you rather be defending Trump for imposing a travel ban, building a wall and deporting “Dreamers,” than for idiotic leaks about nothing? If Trump started removing undesirable foreigners, liberals would rush back to the airports, en masse, and forget all about Russia.

The most humane response to terrorist attacks in the West is to kill a bunch of them for revenge, and then concentrate on our own problems. Instead of sending ground troops to Syria, we should be sending them to San Diego.

Our policy following every Islamic terrorist attack anyplace in the West should be the following:

1) We drop a nuke on some majority-Muslim city involved in terrorism.

2) We add six months to the immigration moratorium (which Trump promised us in his Aug. 16, 2015, immigration policy paper, the greatest political document since the Magna Carta).

3) We deport one Ninth Circuit judge.

Since Trump, politics has become a game to liberals. The media is a game. Hollywood is a game. Islamic terrorists are killing little girls in England. This isn’t a game.


More Multiculturalism

A man is charged in the death of a mother of two and actress after surveillance video of him pawning pieces of her jewelry two hours after her murder surfaced.

Dominic Sanders, 30, of University Park, faces first-degree murder, home invasion and armed robbery charges in connection with the death of Andrea Urban, 51, according to CBS Chicago.

Urban was found by her son Sasha, 17, on the floor of her kitchen in her home on the 700 block of Town Place in the Hinsdale neighborhood of Chicago on May 4.

She'd had her neck and throat cut with a knife, according to police.

'This was a violent, horrific attack on a completely innocent victim who had every right to feel safe in her own home,' said DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin.

Authorities say Sanders allegedly entered her home around 10am that morning and a struggle ensued and he stabbed her to death.

Sanders was seen on security cameras walking towards Urban's home with a reflective vest on and walking away around 11am. Urban had texted a friend about 10:00am but then failed to show up at a friend's house hours later, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Her body was found about 3:30pm by her teenage son. Her daughter, Daria, who also lived with her in the house, is in fifth grade. Both are reportedly being cared for by relatives.

About two hours after her death, Sanders was seen at a Melrose Park pawn shop selling rings that had inscriptions on them that Urban's family were able to identify.

At first, cops say Sanders told them he was not at the pawn shop, but later said he had stolen the rings by reaching into Urban's home through a front door and taking them from a shelf.

Police do not know if the pair knew each other somehow but have not yet been able to make a connection between them, reported the outlet.

Sanders reportedly had no fixed address and lived with various friends and relatives.

In the days following the murder, Sanders was active on Facebook, posting pictures of a car he called his 'baby' and making plans with friends and family.

Urban is described as an actress, leukemia survivor and medical marijuana advocate. She had lived in both New York and Russia before returning to her hometown of Hinsdale.



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

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

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


28 May, 2017

There really is such a thing as 'daddy's girl': Fathers are MORE attentive to their daughters than they are to their sons

Fathers are more responsive to their daughters than to their sons, researchers found. As well as being more attentive, they are also more likely to sing to their daughters and use words associated with their body such as 'belly,' 'cheek,' 'face,' 'fat' and 'feet.'

Fathers of sons engage in more rough-and-tumble play with their child and use language related to power and achievement - words such as 'best,' 'win,' 'super' and 'top.'

The research shows how unconscious ideas about gender influence the way we treat people - even when they're very young children.

Fathers of daughters were more likely to sing to their daughters and use words associated with their body such as 'belly,' 'cheek,' 'face,' 'fat' and 'feet.' They also used more words associated with sad emotions such as 'cry', 'tears' and 'lonely'.

But with sons, they used more analytical language - words such as 'all,' 'below' and 'much' - which has been linked to future academic success.

Fathers of daughters had stronger responses to their daughters' happy expressions in areas of the brain important for processing emotions, reward and value.

In contrast, the brains of fathers of sons responded more robustly to their child's neutral facial expressions.

The study focused on fathers because there is less research about their roles in rearing young children than mothers.

The findings are consistent with other studies indicating that parents - both fathers and mothers - use more emotion language with girls and engage in more rough-and-tumble play with boys.

The discovery comes from brain scans and recordings of parents' daily interactions.

'When a child cried out or asked for Dad, fathers of daughters responded to that more than did fathers of sons,' said Jennifer Mascaro, who led the research from from the Woodruff Health Sciences Centre in Atlanta.

'We should be aware of how unconscious notions of gender can play into the way we treat even very young children', she said.

'It's important to note that gender-biased paternal behaviour need not imply ill intentions on the part of fathers', said James Rilling, senior author of the study.

'These biases may be unconscious, or may actually reflect deliberate and altruistically motivated efforts to shape children's behaviour in line with social expectations of adult gender roles that fathers feel may benefit their children', he said.

The study collected behavioural data in a real-world setting through an electronic activated recorder (EAR), which clipped onto participants' belts.

The participants included 52 fathers of toddlers (30 girls and 22 boys) in the Atlanta area who agreed to wear the EAR for one weekday and one weekend day.

The device randomly turned on for 50 seconds every nine minutes to record any ambient sound during the 48-hour period. 

In addition, fathers underwent functional MRI brain scans while viewing photos of an unknown adult, an unknown child and their own child with happy, sad or neutral facial expressions.

It is unclear whether these differences are due to biological and evolutionary underpinnings, cultural understandings of the way one should act, or some combination of the two.

The use of more emotional language with girls by fathers, for example, may help girls develop more empathy than boys.

'The fact that fathers may actually be less attentive to the emotional needs of boys, perhaps despite their best intentions, is important to recognise,' Dr Mascaro said.

'Validating emotions is good for everyone - not just daughters.'

Restricted emotions in adult men is linked to depression, decreased social intimacy, marital dissatisfaction and a lower likelihood of seeking mental health treatment.

Research also shows that many adolescent girls have negative body images.

'We found that fathers are using more language about the body with girls than with boys, and the differences appear with children who are just one-to-three years old,' Dr Mascaro said.

And while they use more words about the body with girls, fathers engage in more physical rough-and-tumble play with boys, an activity that research has shown is important to help young children develop social acuity and emotional regulation.

'Most parents really are trying to do the best they can for their children,' Dr Mascaro said.

'We need to do more research to try to understand if these subtle differences may have important effects in the long term', she said.


Migrants lose their 'strong work ethic' after just two years in Britain

The corrupting influence of the welfare staste

Complaints that British workers are lazy compared to Eastern Europeans are ‘misconceived’, a ground-breaking study has found.

Academics discovered that the ‘strong work ethic’ identified among migrants by bosses actually disappeared after just two years. By then, foreign workers are taking as many sick days as their UK counterparts.

It means native workers could be missing out on jobs because their nationality is wrongly not associated with hard work, say researchers from the University of Bath.

The paper comes as ministers are urged to put in place policies to wean businesses off cheap foreign labour after Brexit.

Employers have warned that some sectors of the economy, such as construction, agriculture and horticulture, rely heavily on EU workers and could struggle if the labour supply dries up.

But campaign groups have argued what the latest study shows - that, beyond the short-term, UK workers are as diligent as Eastern Europeans.

Research carried out for the first time found that workers from Poland and seven other eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004 were initially more than three times less likely to be absent from work than native UK workers.

Economists equate work attendance – one of the most valued attributes for employers – with work ethic.

The report suggests that the extra effort put in by migrant workers is intended to ‘signal their worth’ to employers – compensating for limited English language skills and to reflect higher pay relative to their homeland.

But after a little as two years, the number of sick days taken by them has increased to levels recorded by those from the UK.

Dr Chris Dawson, senior lecturer in business economics at the University of Bath, said: ‘This is the first study with concrete evidence on the existence of the migrant work ethic.

‘It backs up managers’ perceptions that Polish and other Central and Eastern European migrants are harder working than UK employees, but importantly only for around two years from their arrival in the UK.

‘The study shows that the common view that UK workers are lazy compared to migrant workers is misconceived: In fact migrants are temporarily working extra hard to offset the challenges they face when they first enter the UK job market.

‘We clearly see in the research that migrants new to the UK put in a couple of years of hard work, before a better understanding of our culture and job market means they adopt the same work ethic as native workers.’

The research studied 113,804 people, of which 1,396 were workers from the so-called A8 ex-Eastern Bloc countries – Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The study, published in the Journal Work, Employment and Society, used data from the Office for National Statics UK Labour Force Survey from 2005 to 2012.

Alp Mehmet, vice-chairman of think-tank Migrationwatch which campaigns for balanced immigration, said: ‘It is a fallacy that UK workers are any less keen, diligent or hard-working than any other nationality. If anything, they are harder workers.

‘But companies often use this as an excuse to have access to cheap labour, who are also more likely to be pushed around.’

Recent figures showed that manufacturing in Britain employs some 332,000 EU nationals while the wholesale and retail trade has 508,000.

In March, Pret A Manger bosses told a House of Lords committee that only one in 50 applicants for jobs at the chain was British.


Nobody knows how best to tackle obesity

Even optimists admit that some things are undoubtedly getting worse: things like traffic jams, apostrophe use — and obesity. The fattening of the human race, even in middle-income countries, is undeniable. “Despite sustained efforts to tackle childhood obesity, one in three adolescents is still estimated to be overweight or obese in Europe,” said a report last week to the World Health Organisation. That means more diabetes and possibly a reversal of the recent slow fall in age-adjusted cancer and heart disease death rates.

Perhaps we should remind ourselves first that it is a good problem to have, a symptom of abundance. In Britain a century ago and in much of Africa today, the poorest people were or are the thinnest people. For hundreds of thousands of years it was very difficult to get fat, and very easy to starve or be stunted by hunger and malnutrition. Let’s be thankful that, despite quadrupling the global population in less than a century, we now have a problem of obesity, because of a global cornucopia of fine food unimaginable to past generations.

In western countries, obesity is worst among the poor, so it cannot be a matter of affluence alone. Urban areas of England with the highest levels of income deprivation are also the places with the highest obesity rates among young children. By contrast, among the most affluent people, anorexia is a more lethal disorder, and is increasing fast.

At the weekend Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum claimed implausibly that obesity now costs the state £24 billion a year. The Institute of Economic Affairs puts the cost at less than £2.5 billion, and argues that “while claims of a crippling cost are a good way to get media attention . . . they irresponsibly incite resentment of a vulnerable group”. Also, if you die younger, you cost the state less, so the financial perspective is the wrong way to look at it.

Recognising that something is a problem is not the same as knowing what to do about it. Obesity is one of those cases where “demands for urgent action” go unheeded, not because of the callousness of our leaders but because there’s no agreement on what action to take. The range of suggestions for dealing with obesity — sugar taxes, bans on junk food on public transport, bans on junk food advertising before 9pm, health warnings on fast food, mock-up pictures of what kids will look like as fat adults, gastric balloons — only serves to remind us that nobody knows how best to reverse the obesity trend. Jamie Oliver, the TV chef, argues that the proposed Conservative policy of means-testing free hot school lunches for infants would worsen obesity.

Advising, hectoring and bribing people to eat less and exercise more appears to be ineffective. We have just about tested that idea to destruction. It isn’t working, and it probably will only work if it becomes fully totalitarian, with police raids on home kitchens to seek out and destroy secret stashes of biscuits.

The one thing we do know is that the simple equation so beloved of the medical profession is not the answer. It is not as simple as an in-out calorie balance sheet: eat less than you burn and lose weight. This fails to take into account a thing called appetite, and the way some people lay down fat while eating not very much, while others burn it easily while eating quite a lot.

As Gary Taubes, the heretical science writer who has made a career out of this issue, put it in the British Medical Journal a few years ago, “efforts to cure the problem by inducing under-eating or a negative energy balance, either by counselling patients to eat less or exercise more, are remarkably ineffective”. Even The Handbook of Obesity, the doctors’ textbook, admits that the result of such dietary therapy is “poor and not long-lasting”.

We all know friends who have shed the pounds through superhuman efforts of self-denial, and then gradually put them back on again afterwards. The public health lobby hardly helps by censoriously attacking all “fat and sugar”, or all “processed food”, and often “red meat” too. Which leaves a diet as depressing as it is unrealistic: steamed cod and boiled kale. The public health lobby must make up its mind whether it thinks carbs are bad or fat is bad: attacking both is silly.

Having spent decades urging people to adopt low-fat diets and watched obesity explode, the nannies cannot bring themselves to admit that this was terrible advice which almost certainly made the problem worse. Why? Because fat is satiating in a way that carbohydrates are not, and the body generally synthesises fat from dietary carbs, not from dietary fat. In the Stone Age, eating fat probably signalled a time of plenty, when laying down stores around the midriff was not urgent.

Logically, the heredity of obesity is almost certainly rising. In a world of food shortages, the only way to get fat was to be rich, so obesity was mainly an environmentally determined trait. In a world where so many can afford lots of cheap food, the ones to get fat will often be the ones who inherit some tendency to eat more or lay down more of their food as fat. Given ad-lib food, a greyhound will stay slim while a labrador balloons — it’s in their genes. Not all the variation in obesity between individuals will be explained by genetics but, statistically speaking, there will be greyhound tendencies and labrador tendencies.

Frankly, we just do not know why some people lay down fat more easily than others. Is it because they burn fewer calories even when not exercising? Is their digestion more efficient? Is their appetite greater, so they do eat more? Do they seek out carbs? Is the difference genetic, with some people having variants of genes that encourage fat deposition? Is it because fat people’s gut bacteria are different — a real possibility supported by increasingly persuasive experiments and transplants? All of these theories have something going for them. But not enough to justify the moralising tone and adamantine certainty that so often accompanies medical professionals’ pronouncements on the topic of obesity. We do not know enough.

What should a government do when there’s great uncertainty about both causes and the right course of action? Experiment, of course. Come up with five policies, ask for volunteers in five different parts of the country, and carefully measure the waistlines of people affected.


After the Confederates, Who's Next?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

On Sept. 1, 1864, Union forces under Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, victorious at Jonesborough, burned Atlanta and began the March to the Sea where Sherman's troops looted and pillaged farms and towns all along the 300-mile road to Savannah.

Captured in the Confederate defeat at Jonesborough was William Martin Buchanan of Okolona, Mississippi, who was transferred by rail to the Union POW stockade at Camp Douglas, Illinois.

By the standards of modernity, my great-grandfather, fighting to prevent the torching of Georgia's capital, was engaged in a criminal and immoral cause. And "Uncle Billy" Sherman was a liberator.

Under President Grant, Sherman took command of the Union army and ordered Gen. Philip Sheridan, who had burned the Shenandoah Valley to starve Virginia into submission, to corral the Plains Indians on reservations.

It is in dispute as to whether Sheridan said, "The only good Indian is a dead Indian." There is no dispute as to the contempt Sheridan had for the Indians, killing their buffalo to deprive them of food.

Today, great statues stand in the nation's capital, along with a Sherman and a Sheridan circle, to honor these most ruthless of generals in that bloodiest of wars that cost 620,000 American lives.

Yet, across the South and even in border states like Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri, one may find statues of Confederate soldiers in town squares to honor the valor and sacrifices of the Southern men and boys who fought and fell in the Lost Cause.

When the Spanish-American War broke out, President McKinley, who as a teenage soldier had fought against "Stonewall" Jackson in the Shenandoah and been at Antietam, bloodiest single-day battle of the Civil War, removed his hat and stood for the singing of "Dixie," as Southern volunteers and former Confederate soldiers paraded through Atlanta to fight for their united country. My grandfather was in that army.

For a century, Americans lived comfortably with the honoring, North and South, of the men who fought on both sides. But today's America is not the magnanimous country we grew up in.

Since the '60s, there has arisen an ideology that holds that the Confederacy was the moral equivalent of Nazi Germany and those who fought under its battle flag should be regarded as traitors or worse.

Thus, in New Orleans, statues of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, and General Robert E. Lee were just pulled down. And a drive is underway to take down the statue of Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans and president of the United States, which stands in Jackson Square.

Why? Old Hickory was a slave owner and Indian fighter who used his presidential power to transfer the Indians of Georgia out to the Oklahoma Territory in a tragedy known as the Trail of Tears.

But if Jackson, and James K. Polk, who added the Southwest and California to the United States after the Mexican-American War, were slave owners, so, too, were four of our first five presidents.

The list includes the father of our country, George Washington, the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, and the author of our Constitution, James Madison.

Not only are the likenesses of Washington and Jefferson carved on Mount Rushmore, the two Virginians are honored with two of the most magnificent monuments and memorials in Washington, D.C.

Behind this remorseless drive to blast the greatest names from America's past off public buildings, and to tear down their statues and monuments, is an egalitarian extremism rooted in envy and hate.

Among its core convictions is that spreading Christianity was a cover story for rapacious Europeans who, after discovering America, came in masses to dispossess and exterminate native peoples. "The white race," wrote Susan Sontag, "is the cancer of human history."

Today, the men we were taught to revere as the great captains, explorers, missionaries and nation-builders are seen by many as part of a racist, imperialist, genocidal enterprise, wicked men who betrayed and eradicated the peace-loving natives who had welcomed them.

What they blindly refuse to see is that while its sins are scarlet, as are those of all civilizations, it is the achievements of the West that are unrivaled. The West ended slavery. Christianity and the West gave birth to the idea of inalienable human rights.

As scholar Charles Murray has written, 97 percent of the world's most significant figures and 97 percent of the world's greatest achievements in the arts, architecture, literature, astronomy, biology, earth sciences, physics, medicine, mathematics and technology came from the West.

What is disheartening is not that there are haters of our civilization out there, but that there seem to be fewer defenders.

Of these icon-smashers it may be said: Like ISIS and Boko Haram, they can tear down statues, but these people could never build a country.

What happens, one wonders, when these Philistines discover that the seated figure in the statue, right in front of D.C.'s Union Station, is the High Admiral of the Ocean Sea, Christopher Columbus?


Australian spy boss sparks row over refugees

ASIO director-general Duncan Lewis has declined to elaborate on his claim that there is “absolutely no evidence” of a link between Australia’s refugee intake and ­terrorism, despite multiple Islamic terrorist acts in the past three years involving individuals on ­humanitarian visas, or their children.

One Nation seized on Mr Lewis’s comments, with Queensland senator Malcolm Roberts tweeting: “If ASIO can’t see a link between refugees and terrorism we are in far greater danger than I thought.”

Labor MP Anne Aly, an Islamic radicalisation expert, supported Mr Lewis, while Philip Ruddock, a former Liberal immigration minister and attorney-general, said while one could not ignore the issue, “simply to blame all refugees is over-simplistic”.

On Thursday, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson grilled Mr Lewis, a former special forces commander, in a Senate estimates hearing about Islam, radicalisation, refugees and terrorism.

She first asked Mr Lewis if he could confirm that the four terrorist attacks and the 12 foiled on Australian soil were “committed by Muslims”.

Mr Lewis replied: “Certainly of the 12 thwarted attacks, one of those indeed involved a right-wing extremist, so, the answer is ‘no’, they have not always been carried out by Muslims.”

During the exchanges, the ASIO chief said: “We’re not interested in religion. We are interested in whether an individual is exhibiting or practising violence.”

Senator Hanson then asked: “Do you believe that the threat is being brought in possibly from Middle Eastern refugees that are coming out to Australia?”

Mr Lewis replied: “I have abso­lutely no evidence to suggest there is a connection between refugees and terrorism.”

Islamic State-inspired gunman Man Haron Monis, who took hostages and killed one of them during the Lindt cafe siege in 2014, came to Australia on a business visa before successfully applying for asylum.

Abdul Numan Haider, the Melbourne 18-year-old killed after attacking police with a knife three months earlier, was an Afghan-born Australian citizen whose family arrived as refugees.

Farhad Jabar, the 15-year-old jihadist who killed NSW police civilian accountant Curtis Cheng in Sydney in 2015 was an Iranian-born Australian citizen of Kurdish-Iraqi background whose family came as refugees.

At least a dozen other first or second-generation Muslim ­mi­grants have been convicted of terror-related charges.

Senator Roberts last night told The Weekend Australian: “We see a lot of terrorism around the world from refugees who have come in particularly from Islamic countries. Most people so far have hidden the obvious correlation between Islam and terrorism and refused to discuss it.

“We’re stunned that ASIO doesn’t do that, and that the Australian Federal Police doesn’t.”

Mr Lewis declined to answer questions requesting he expand on his statements in Senate estimates. He has previously sparked controversy for what some conservative Coalition MPs saw as an effort to play down the threat of ­Islamic radicalisation.

In 2015, The Australian revealed Mr Lewis had telephoned MPs publicly critical of attitudes within the Australian Muslim community, asking them to use the “soothing language favoured by Malcolm Turnbull in their public discussion of Islam”.

Speaking from Liberia last night, Mr Ruddock said it would be unrealistic to say immigration and refugee questions “play no role in relation to trying to resolve difficult issues”, but he said “integrity in selection is always of the ­utmost importance. Some of the people you cite were never refugees and deceived us in relation in to their entitlements.

“Monis was never a refugee. He clearly had difficult psychological problems.”

Mr Ruddock noted many of those who had committed ­Islamic-inspired terrorism here had been born in Australia, and said the question was “why have we failed to pass on our values”, particularly respecting the law.

Dr Aly said: “I think Duncan Lewis knows more than Pauline Hanson, and if Duncan Lewis is saying that, we should be paying attention to him.”

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton declined to comment.



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

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

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


26 May, 2017

End the propaganda myth that Jerusalem is holy to Muslims

It's not even mentioned in the Koran

Upon the 50th anniversary of the Jewish state of Israel’s reunification of Jerusalem, there is no better time to end the propaganda myth that Jerusalem is a holy city to Muslims.

The Muslim fixation and clamor on Jerusalem is actually a very recent historical development—a product of political conflict, not historical truth.

Jerusalem rates not a single mention in the Quran, and Muslims face Mecca in prayer. In the 7th century A.D., the Damascus-based Umayyad rulers built up Jerusalem as a counterweight to Mecca. This is when the important Muslim shrines, the Dome of the Rock (691) and the Al-Aqsa mosque (705), were intentionally built on the site of the destroyed biblical Jewish temples—a time-honored practice to physically signal the predominance of Islam.

Yet references in the Quran and hadith to Muhammad’s night journey to heaven on his steed Buraq from the “farthest mosque” couldn’t mean Jerusalem, because the Quran refers to the land of Israel as the “nearest” place. It couldn’t have been a reference to the Al-Aqsa mosque, for the simple reason that Al-Aqsa didn’t exist in Muhammad’s day.

With the demise of the Umayyad dynasty and the shift of the caliphate to Baghdad, Jerusalem fell into a long decline, scarcely interrupted by occasional bursts of Muslim interest in the city during the Crusader period and the Ottoman conquest. Mark Twain, visiting in 1867, described it as a “pauper village.”

Jerusalem did, however, become a Jewish-majority city during the 19th century. The 1907 Baedekers Travel Guide lists Jerusalem with a population of 40,000 Jews, 13,000 Muslims and 7,000 Christians. Jerusalem meant so little to the Ottomans that, during World War I, they let it fall into British hands without a fight and even contemplated entirely destroying the city before pulling out.

When did Jerusalem become a passionate Islamic issue? Only with the Arab confrontation with Zionism in the 20th century. It was Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, a vociferous anti-Semite and later Nazi collaborator, who expended enormous energy to focus Islamic attention on the city.

Seeking to foment a Muslim war on British Palestine’s Jews, he fabricated a tradition that the wall to which Muhammad was believed to have tethered his steed Buraq was not the southern or eastern walls, as Muslims had asserted for centuries, but the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest prayer site. (The Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian status quo agreement forbids Jewish prayer at the religion’s holiest site, the Temple Mount.) This turned the Western Wall into a flashpoint.

The massive Arab assault on Jews across British Palestine in 1929, in which 133 Jews were murdered and hundreds more maimed, was triggered by false rumors that Jews had attacked, or were intending to attack, the mosques atop the Temple Mount.

Strangely, even under the mufti, the Temple Mount was still recognized by Muslims as the site of the biblical Jewish temples. Thus, the Jerusalem Muslim Supreme Council’s publication, “A Brief Guide to the Haram Al-Sharif,” states regarding Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, “Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute.” (After 1954, all such references to the biblical temples were excised from this publication.)

During Jordan’s illegal occupation and annexation of eastern Jerusalem from 1948-1967, Amman remained the Jordanian capital, not Jerusalem. No Arab rulers, other than Jordan’s kings, ever visited.

Neither the PLO’s National Charter nor the Fatah Constitution (the latter drafted during Jordanian rule) even mention Jerusalem, let alone call for its establishment as a Palestinian capital.

But today, Palestinian Authority (PA) officials deny Judaism’s connection to Jerusalem. PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein sneers at Jews’ “alleged Temple” and insists “Palestinians have an exclusive right…which they share with no one” to the Temple Mount. Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi, former chief justice of the PA’s religious court, insists he does not “know of any Jewish holy sites” in Jerusalem.

Today, the PA uses Jerusalem as a propaganda instrument to incite violence. In 1996, Yasser Arafat used Israel’s opening of an archaeological tunnel near the Temple Mount to incite riots on the basis of the lie that the tunnel threatened the stability of the Al-Aqsa mosque. Twenty-five Israeli soldiers and 100 Palestinian rioters were killed in the ensuing violence.

In 2015, PA President Mahmoud Abbas urged violence over Jews visiting the Temple Mount, borrowing from Haj Amin al-Husseini’s playbook the fabricated claims of Jewish assaults on the mosques. More than 30 Israelis were murdered and more than 200 Palestinians, the vast majority terrorists or rioters, were killed in subsequent attacks and clashes.

When a senior White House official told Bloomberg News this month that President Donald Trump—reneging on his pre-election promise—would not move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem “at this time” because “we’re not looking to provoke anyone when everyone’s playing really nice,” it gave the Palestinians their latest reason to believe violence over Jerusalem reaps rewards. Far from aiding the cause of peace, the fabrication of Jerusalem’s importance to Islam enables the instigation of bloodshed. If the propaganda myth persists, expect no change.


Strange memory failures

For now, everyone knows the sonorous name and cherubic face of 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos.

She's the littlest known victim of Monday night's jihad attack in Manchester, England. Her doe-eyed image spread as rapidly across social media as the #PrayForManchester hashtags and Twitter condolences from celebrities.

But I guarantee you that beautiful Saffie Rose will evaporate from the memories of those most loudly proclaiming "Never forget" faster than a dewdrop in the desert.

Look no further for proof of the West's incurable terror attack amnesia than the reaction to the Manchester massacre. Reporters, politicians and pundits expressed shock at the brutality of Muslim murderers targeting children and young people.

Labour Party leader Yvette Cooper posited on BBC Live that it was a "first."

"The architects of terror have hit a new low," a Liverpool newspaper editorialized.

U.K. columnist Rosie Millard described the bloody bombing as an "attack unique in its premeditated targeting of the young."

What planet have these people been living on for the past 16 years? How quickly the blind, deaf and dumb virtue signalers forget.

Last year, the Orlando, Florida, nightclub jihadist purposely targeted young people simply having a good time. Among the youngest victims cut down in their prime: Jason B. Josaphat, 19, and vacationing high school honors student Akyra Monet Murray, 18.

Somali jihadist Abdul Razak Ali Artan plowed his car into Ohio State University students last fall before stabbing several of them. The attack was swept under the rug as the usual, terror-coddling suspects worried more about a nonexistent "backlash" against Muslims than they did about the steady infiltration of refugee jihadis and Islamic extremists at colleges and universities across the country.

In 2004, Islamic baby-killers attacked a school in Beslan, Russia, during a three-day siege that took the lives of 186 young children.

At Fort Hood in 2009, soldier Francheska Velez and her unborn child were murdered by jihadist Nidal Hasan with 13 other victims. Her last words: "My baby! My baby!"

Eight children were murdered on airliners that jihadists hijacked and crashed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Christine Hanson, 3, was on United Airlines Flight 175 with her parents. She was on her first trip to Disneyland. Juliana McCourt, 4, was traveling with her mom — also on her way to Disneyland. David Brandhorst, 3, was traveling with his adoptive dad and his companion.

Sisters Zoe Falkenberg, 8, and Dana, 3, were headed to Australia with their parents on American Airlines Flight 77.

Bernard Brown Jr., 11; Rodney Dickens, 11; and Asia Cottom, 11, all from Washington, D.C., were also on the Falkenbergs' flight. They were public schoolchildren traveling with their teachers on an educational trip.

An additional 10 pregnant women and their unborn babies died as the Twin Towers toppled. Eight years before, during the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, one pregnant woman and her unborn child also perished.

The Boston Marathon bombing of 2013 injured 263 and claimed three lives, including 8-year-old Martin Richard. Authorities recounted at trial that Martin suffered "visceral pain" in nearly every part of his body as shrapnel — metal, wood, nails and pellets — from the jihadists' pressure cooker bomb ripped into him.

Yes, the same type of sadistic torture bombs suspected of maiming and killing kids and teens in Manchester this week.

Newsflash: There is nothing new or unique about the barbaric soldiers of Allah executing premeditated attacks on our young. History teaches us there is no appeasing the unappeasable. They will not be bought by welfare subsidies, sensitivity programs, college educations or diversity-is-our-strength platitudes. The slaughter of the innocents will continue unabated as long as the West's useless last responders to jihad violence — addled by short-term memories and child-like comprehension of the Islamic imperialism imperative — prevail.


The ‘Trump Effect’ Is Becoming Evident In the States

Human rights legislation is quickening in the states: protections for the unborn are gaining across the nation. Similarly, there is a determined effort to secure religious liberty.

Progress against child abuse in the womb is so strong in Kentucky that it may become the first state not to have a single abortion clinic. Planned Parenthood efforts to house new abortion clinics have been stopped, and it is now illegal to kill children after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Requiring doctors to inform pregnant women of ultrasound details is also law.

On May 12, Tennessee made it illegal to end the life of an unborn baby beyond viability. The law is different from the more than 20 other states that ban abortion beyond viability: it actually requires doctors to assess viability beginning at 20 weeks.

Indiana has tightened its parental consent law by allowing a judge to inform an underage girl's parents that she wants to abort her child. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are up in arms over this expansion of parental rights.

Lawmakers in Iowa passed a bill denying reimbursement to abortion clinics that rely on Medicaid; starting July 1, they can no longer expect to be refunded for such expenses. True health services—unrelated to killing—will still be refunded.

Catholics have sued St. Louis for disrespecting the religious liberty rights of employers and landlords opposed to abortion. The law mandates that all employers—including Catholic institutions—must respect the "reproductive health decisions" of its employees. In practice, this means that pro-abortion teachers could sue if denied a teaching job at a Catholic school.

The Texas legislature has passed a bill that respects the autonomy of foster care and adoption agencies that receive public monies. Radical homosexuals, as well as men and women who have undergone surgery to adopt the genitals of the opposite sex, are unhappy with this religious liberty legislation.

A lot of good things are happening. Is this the "Trump Effect"? If so, the pope should have been very pleased when they met.


The Leftist race obsession

MORE THAN half a century after Martin Luther King Jr. exhorted Americans to judge each other by the content of their character, obsessive racialists continue to insist that people must be judged by the color of their skin.

These days, the racialists aren't usually motivated by notions of group supremacy; they are more likely instead to march behind banners emblazoned "Diversity" or "Inclusion." Nonetheless, the race fetish — the regard for skin color or ethnicity as a supremely meaningful factor in human behavior — is as pernicious as ever. Few superstitions could be more illiberal. After all, the noblest teaching of 20th-century liberalism was that human beings must be treated by society without regard to the shade of their skin or the shape of their eye. A preoccupation with racial and ethnic categories is nearly always irrational and primitive.

And yet, from sea to shining sea, the pressure to discriminate on the basis of race never seems to let up. Some recent examples:

In Minnesota, every state agency has an affirmative-action plan for increasing the percentage of racial and ethnic minorities it employs; the state's official goal is for 1 of every 5 employees to be nonwhite.

In Washington, school districts are required by law to draft a blueprint for hiring more racial minorities; a government body, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, is in charge of determining the "ideal" number of minorities each district should have.

In Massachusetts, developers bidding to construct a hotel on state-owned land must meet a "diversity" threshold by including racial minorities among their investors and reserving significant chunks of the work for black- and Asian-owned subcontractors.

The leitmotif that links these stories, and so many like them, is that racial identity is more important than character, personality, or merit. They are premised on the belief that individuals matter less than the demographic group they belong to. They deny the great truth that beat at the heart of the Civil Rights movement — that "classifications and distinctions based on race or color," as Thurgood Marshall expressed it in a 1948 brief for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, "have no moral or legal validity in our society."



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

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

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


25 May, 2017

The Manchester Muslim attack

Current American journalism is nearly as fake as Nazi journalism
If conscientious observers were to take seriously news headlines about President Trump, many would have to conclude that Americans had elected a Charlie Chan mustachioed despot sporting a Kookie hairdo (from 77 Sunset Strip), and a temperament hissing with Darth Vader-like venom or Larry-Moe-Curly buffoonery, depending on the situation. Clarion calls for impeachment from furrow-browed swamp creatures likely are motivated by President Vader’s pledge to drain their native habitat.

One response on their part, of course, is to launch another round of reductio ad Hitlerum diatribes about America’s politically incorrect chief executive. Analysts with cabooses of academic degrees and accomplishments trailing their names have shoveled heaps of verbiage into the public domain comparing Trump to Hitler. However, there is one sense in which linking the Trump era to the Third Reich doesn’t fail the smell test, though not in a way that puts President Trump’s detractors in a positive light. That is, while Trump brings Hitler to mind for a lot of journalists, for me many current news reports spark memories of Nazi newspaper accounts covering events during the war.

An explanation of this point is in order. Although I missed collecting memories from the Second World War (though not by much), my parents and grandparents lived through it, some fought in it, and my mother, bless her heart, saved many newspapers from those years. Reading English translations of German newspaper stories when I was a youngster left me in a state of bewilderment. How could they say such things? How could people hold such beliefs? How could Germans view the world in ways so unimaginably at odds with reality? In short, what was wrong with those people?

The newspapers I pored over are now too yellowed and fragile to use as a source, so I consulted online accounts that triggered the most intense recollections, especially reports of the German invasion of Poland in September 1939. One headline blared Hitler’s threat to “Meet Bomb with Bomb,” with the story beneath describing in vivid detail Polish aggressions against the Third Reich. In Hitler’s proclamation: “Germans in Poland are persecuted with a bloody terror and are driven from their homes. The series of border violations, which are unbearable to a great power, prove that the Poles no longer are willing to respect the German frontier. In order to put an end to this frantic activity no other means is left to me now than to meet force with force.” In short, according to Nazi accounts, Poland was ready to invade Germany.

Years later, William L. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich appeared, and although academicians decried his journalistic approach, Shirer’s tome was invaluable in depicting the political atmosphere in Germany at that time. “How completely isolated a world the German people live in, I noted in my diary on August 10, 1939,” Shirer reported. He purchased some newspapers that thrust him into “"the cockeyed world of Nazism,” where one headline after another screeched with rage: “WARSAW THREATENS BOMBARDMENT OF DANZIG—UNBELIEVABLE AGITATION OF THE POLISH ARCHMADNESS!”; “COMPLETE CHAOS IN POLAND—GERMAN FAMILIES FLEE—POLISH SOLDIERS PUSH TO EDGE OF GERMAN BORDER!”; “THIS PLAYING WITH FIRE GOING TOO FAR—THREE GERMAN PASSENGER PLANES SHOT AT BY POLES—IN CORRIDOR MANY GERMAN FARMHOUSES IN FLAMES!” And so it went, at a fevered pitch throughout the Reich.

Does this comparison mean that American reporters today are as corrupted as their counterparts in Nazi Germany? The answer to this question is no, but many are headed in that direction. Indeed, in his review of a Harvard University study, Howard Kurtz stated, “You may have gotten the impression that the coverage of President Trump is kinda sorta pretty negative. That’s not quite right: It’s overwhelmingly negative. Stunningly negative. Head-shakingly negative.” More than that, many stories are based on sources so hateful, so partisan, so questionable, that their writers might as well have made them up. Which would put them in the same league as those who labored in Nazi media during World War Two: journalism was their name, fabrication, their game. Welcome to the “cockeyed world” of contemporary American political reporting.

Still, journalists who are offended by this unsavory allusion could proclaim that Germany was a totalitarian state, while America today is a democratic republic and at least has Fox News, talk radio, and a smattering of conservative think tanks here and there. But while this is true, one only need be reminded by the fact that everything Propaganda Minister Goebbels did during the 1930s was foreshadowed by the Nazi publication Völkischer Beobachter, and it was simply a matter of time for the regime to destroy freedom of the press when Hitler came to power. Similarly, anyone familiar with the academy’s totalitarian impulses to banish free speech — by force, if necessary — can project its eventual elimination once college snowflakes achieve critical mass and rule the entire country, and not just their protected enclaves within it. Should that horrible scenario unfold, Americans will then be faced with a regime of controlled speech like those enforced at any one of our worst universities. Or, a regime of oppression found in the country once dominated by Hitler.

Certainly, Trump’s detractors have made good points about his policies and temperament, but too many journalists destroyed their credibility during the “long, slobbering love affair” they had with President Obama. Conservative critics rightly point out that President Trump has little or no serious intellectual foundation to feed his mind, nourish his thoughts, or control his adolescent rhetorical impulses. Many on both sides of the ideological divide wish he wouldn’t talk (or tweet) so much, which recalls the comment a British observer made about Kaiser Wilhelm: “The other sovereigns are so much quieter.”

This is good advice for the president today, as well as for many of his critics. At least until all parties learn that you must not fabricate stories just to make political points. After all, we’re not invading Poland.


Trump Signals a Reset Between Israel and US

It’s time to patch up America’s second “special relationship” after eight years of frayed feelings between the United States and Israel.

That’s the message President Donald Trump is sending in his early-presidency trip to Israel and unprecedented visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Trump said of his Monday visit to the Western Wall, a first for sitting American presidents, that the visit was potentially a path to a “deeper” friendship with Israel.

Conflicts over policy and philosophy strained the relations between former President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and led to distrust between the two countries.

By going out of his way to entreat with Israel, Trump is at least signaling that a reset is in store.

Israel plays an essential role in American foreign policy—and not only in the Middle East. The war against radical Islamists has global implications in which the two countries have overlapping interests.

America’s Other ‘Special Relationship’

It is almost taken for granted today that Israel has been such a reliable foreign policy partner. This was only due to the careful diplomacy and alignment of key national and cultural interests between the two countries.

The nature of this partnership in many ways mirrors the so-called “special relationship” between Great Britain and the United States.

However, it is important to remember that before World War II, the U.S. and U.K. spent a century as mortal enemies and had deep reasons to distrust one another.

World War I pushed the U.S. and U.K. closer together after a century of suspicion and hostility. The fires of World War II and the Herculean efforts of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill sealed a the long-term collaboration between the countries—an example of the importance of wise statesmanship from American and British leaders.

It is important for American leaders to recognize and cultivate just such a relationship with Israel.

While the United States has always been supportive of Israel’s nationhood since 1948, the two countries were not always so intertwined. The complex nature of the Cold War in the Middle East occasionally put the U.S. and Israel at odds.

U.S.-Israel ties grew closer after Israel defeated a coalition of Arab states backed by the Soviet Union in the Yom Kippur War and the country proved itself to be a valuable Cold War ally.

The wisdom of this cooperation is even more apparent after the rise of radical Islamist sentiment that became a cornerstone aspect of American foreign policy after the terrorist attack on 9/11.

Israel was in a prime position to help combat this pernicious ideology, which has strong ties in the Middle East.

Countering Iran and Syria

Trump addressed a few major issues of immediate concern to the U.S. during his visit to Israel.

Of course, the thorn of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and other radical, subnational Islamist groups in the region remain high on the U.S. agenda, and Israel is a key partner in destroying these factions.

But the national threats of Syria and Iran, which have acted recalcitrantly toward the West and are well-known funders of terrorist groups, are of particular concern and also require close cooperation with Israel.

Trump has already shown that he is willing to make limited strikes in Syria to enforce the red line on chemical weapons. This action was strongly supported by Israel, and was seen as a rebuke to both Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria and also Iran.

On Monday, Trump sent a strong message to Iran that its terror funding and nuclear ambitions would not be tolerated.

As Middle East expert Jim Phillips argued in a recent Heritage Foundation report, “Iran remains the chief long-term regional threat to the U.S. and Israel.”

Trump has not yet followed through on his promise to tear up the Obama administration’s 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, pending a formal policy review of whether the nuclear deal advances vital American national interests.

Nevertheless, Trump said in a speech that Iran was guilty of “deadly funding, training, and equipping of terrorists and militias,” and that it acted inappropriately after the deal took place.

As Phillips noted, it is vitally important to either change the terms of this treaty or step away from it entirely to stem Iran’s “continued support for terrorism, expanding ballistic missile program, and deepening military intervention in Syria.”

Israel is among the most important counterweights to this hostile regime in the Middle East, especially in upholding economic sanctions and controlling arms flowing to and from Iran.

The ‘Ultimate Deal’

Trump made numerous commitments regarding Israel during the campaign.

Currently, his promise to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move an American embassy there has failed to materialize. This remains a thorny issue for the Palestinians in particular. It would also create a challenge for Trump’s desire to broker the “ultimate deal” between Israel and the Palestinians.

Trump has expressed a desire to create some kind of lasting solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an issue that has become a white whale for American presidents from Jimmy Carter to Obama.

All of these attempts have failed to achieve any kind of lasting peace, and some have exacerbated the conflict.

A more realistic approach would be to seek an interim agreement to make incremental progress on addressing Israeli security concerns and facilitating Palestinian economic development, which would help restore mutual trust and create a more supportive environment for later addressing touchy final status issues.

Sticking points like the “right of return” for Palestinians, the status of Jerusalem, the future of Israeli settlements, and the redrawing of borders are unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, given the glaring lack of trust and wide gaps in the negotiating positions of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.


Trump on Visiting Israel’s Western Wall: ‘It Will Leave An Impression On Me Forever’

Images of President Trump touching the ancient stones of the Western Wall in Jerusalem will send a strong signal to the Palestinians and their Muslim allies who have used U.N. forums to contest Jewish claims and heritage at the location of the biblical Temples.

Trump on Monday became the first sitting president to visit the wall, where he stood, placing his hands on the hewn stone, and slipped a note into a crack in line with Jewish custom.

“I was deeply moved by my visit today to the Western Wall,” Trump said afterwards. “Words fail to capture the experience. It will leave an impression on me forever.”

He was accompanied during the visit by the chief rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinowitz. Not present, despite a reported Israeli request, was Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a reflection of the great sensitivity surrounding the site.

The Temple Mount is the most revered site in Judaism, but although the area has been under Israeli sovereignty since 1967 the nearest point where observant Jews are able to pray openly is the Western Wall, a remnant of a retaining wall on the western flank of the hilltop platform.

The hilltop itself is home to the al-Aqsa mosque, built after the 7th century Islamic invasion and regarded by Muslims as their third-holiest site, after the Ka’aba in Mecca and the Mohammed mosque in Medina.

The international community, including the United States, does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the area, or Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as its “indivisible and eternal” capital.

Later Monday, Netanyahu – as he often does with visiting foreign leaders – emphatically welcomed the president and first lady to his residence “in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people, the united capital of the Jewish state.”

The Palestinians want at least eastern Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state, and Islamic theology calls for the Temple Mount – which Muslims call al-Haram al-Sharif (“Noble Sanctuary”) – to be in Muslim hands, exclusively and always.

Palestinian political and religious leaders have long challenged Jewish historical and religious claims to holy sites in Jerusalem and elsewhere.

These include the site of the temple first built by King Solomon some 3,000 years ago, as recounted in the Bible (2 Chronicles 3), and the rebuilt one – the one in which Jesus taught – which was finally razed by the Romans in 70 AD.

The Palestinians also contest Jewish rights to the traditional burial places of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs in Hebron and Bethlehem.

In 2011, the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization became the first U.N. agency to admit the “state of Palestine,” and in recent years Arab states have introduced resolutions at UNESCO rejecting any Jewish connection to Judaism’s most important sites.

Some of the texts have referred to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall only by their Islamic names, and all have attacked Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.

The Trump administration has navigated the tricky waters warily.

According to Israeli media accounts, U.S. diplomats involved in preparing for Trump’s visit turned down a request for Netanyahu to accompany the president to the wall, citing the sovereignty issue.

Asked the administration’s view on whether the Western Wall fell inside Israel, national security advisor H.R. McMaster last Tuesday demurred, calling it a “policy decision.”

On the same day, however, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley sided with Israel on the matter.

“I don’t know what the policy of the administration is,” she told CBN television, “but I believe the Western Wall is part of Israel and I think that that is how, you know, we’ve always seen it and that’s how we should pursue it.”

While campaigning for the presidency, Trump undertook – as have some of his predecessors – to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a step that would lend enormous weight to Israel’s claims to its capital.

Such a move could, however, alienate the very Arab and Islamic leaders Trump wants to rally in a concerted effort against what in his speech in Riyadh Sunday he called “Islamic terror.”

Many Israelis hoped Trump would announce the embassy move during his current visit, but U.S. officials ahead of the trip indicated that would not happen.

Relocating the embassy is a requirement of U.S. law, enacted in 1995, which called for the move by May 1999 at the latest, but also contained “national security” waiver provisions that have been invoked by presidents at six-monthly intervals ever since.

The current waiver expires on June 1, so Trump has a little over one week to renew it – or set the embassy move in motion.



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

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

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


24 May, 2017

The incorrectness of Soylent

Soylent is a liquid meal replacement born in California a few years ago. For people too busy to eat or too busy to prepare meals, it offers great convenience.  You can live on Soylent.

It is a cleverly-made product that embodies answers to most criticisms that might be made of it.  It is for instance made from grains and other vegetable products so is acceptable to vegans. Yet there has been great opposition to it. Before I look at why, I should perhaps declare that I have an interest of sorts. 

In 1967 when I was in the 4th year of my psychology degree, our professor of physiology mentioned to the class that skim milk has a very similar nutritional profile to the liquid diet that American astronauts at the time were being fed.  Just add a few vitamins and you should be able to live permanently on nothing but skim milk.  Being both busy and having little money at that time, the idea appealed to me.  So for six months I lived on skim milk plus some supplements.  I was fine.  The diet worked.  No problems. I gave it up only because of boredom.  So I have the experience to find the Soylent story reasonable.

So what have people got against Soylent?  Just Google 'Soylent' and you will come across a whole lot of grouchy comments on it. I have read a lot of those comments.  The most scathing seem to come from people who have their own barrow to push -- from GMO opponents to sugar-opponents.  Soylent obviously does not bow down sufficiently to their particular obsession. From my reading of the medical journals, I consider opposition to GMOs and opposition to sugar as ill-informed so I regard all that they say in their attacks on Soylent as unreliable and not worth pursuing.

The majority of the negative comments however just seem to come from the break with normal human food practice:  It's unnatural; it deprives us of pleasures; and disrupts social interaction. And some of course didn't like the taste, texture etc.  Though the critics who actually made an attempt to live on Soylent for a little while were generally rather surprised by its palatability.

And like all new products it had teething problems, with early formulations triggering food insensitivities in some people.  Those problems were met with slight reformulations of the product and it should not now give those problems.

So, basically, it seems to me, the opposition to Soylent is mainly a combination of snobbery and a fear of the new.  As an alternative to a normal diet it would seem to have few problems. Living on it would probably reduce your social interactions and it will never taste as good as a well-cooked T-bone but nobody claims otherwise.

The only real scientific objection to it that I can see concerns the bioavailabilty of its ingredients.  Its micronutrient profile fits well with official guidelines but there are various ways of meeting those guidelines and some ingredients may have greater bioavailability than others.  Some further research on that may be worthwhile.  The product would however seem in general to do well what it purports to do -- JR.

Now here's some REAL Multiculturalism

A woman accused of shooting two of her three children dead is expected to appear in court later today to face charges in connection with their deaths.

Claudena Helton of Lori Sue Avenue, Dayton, Ohio was accused of shooting her two children Khmorra, 8 and Kaiden, 6, at their home on May 18. The children died over the weekend despite emergency surgery.

Police chief Richard Biehl said Helton shot the two children inside the home and moved them to the front yard to wait for police and emergency services.

He said there are suggestions Helton may have been suffering from a mental illness. 

The children's 11-year-old sister was unharmed.

According to court records, Helton was initially charged with two counts of felonious assault, but they are expected to be upgraded following the children's deaths. 

According to the Dayton Daily News, prosecutors are considering increasing the severity of the charges.

Neighbor John Sanders Snr said: 'From what I’ve seen and noticed, she and the kids got along fine. They were always out in the yard barbecuing, cleaning the car, going back and forth to school. I could see no problem whatsoever. I was very shocked to hear, and disturbed, as to what happened over there.

'I’ve always thought and felt if, whenever the authorities know of cruelty ... they shouldn’t wait for an incident such as this to take place in order to take action.'

Helton is expected to appear in court later today. 


Australian national anthem reworked to be more inclusive of  Aboriginal people

"Young" and "Free" are bad words?  And if everybody has to be recognized, where is the Vietnamese version, the Maori version, The Fijian version, the Sikh version etc?  And don't forget the Ulster Scots.  I am  descended from one of those.  And what about the convicts?

A version of Australia's anthem that recognizes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can be sung as a patriotic song at certain events, the government agreed this week.

The Australian government granted permission on Tuesday for the altered version of 'Advance Australia Fair' to be used, but not as an official anthem, according to 7News.

The more inclusive version introduces a third verse with references to Aboriginal culture, Uluru and 'respecting the country.'

It also alters the line 'For we are young and free' from the first verse to read 'In peace and harmony.'

Recognition in Anthem Project have pushed for the new patriotic song, written by Victorian Supreme Court Judge Peter Vickery, according to 7News.

The national anthem fails to recognize all Australians and many Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders find some of the lyrics upsetting, Judge Vickery said.

'Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people find the words 'For we are young and free' hurtful and offensive, and find it difficult, if not impossible, to stand or sing the Anthem with these words,' the Recognition in Anthem Project website read.

'A simple solution is presented for consideration. The strength of our proposal is that it retains all of the proclaimed words and music (with one change to Verse 1), while adding a new Verse 3 which acknowledges our First Peoples and their occupation of Australia for more than 50,000 years. Otherwise the words and music of the National Anthem stay the same.'

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told 7News the new version will be played at certain events but it has not been revealed which ones.


Who’s really afraid of the British working classes?

Margaret Thatcher isn’t to blame for modern-day chav-baiting and anti-working class sentiment. It was fashionable anti-Thatcherites who made a mockery of the lower orders.

There is a great book to be written about modern-day elite disdain for the working classes. Unfortunately, this isn’t it. Owen Jones does a fairly good job of scooping together all the bile that has been spat at Britain’s working-class communities by posh politicians and cheap hacks over the past 15 years. But his own political prejudices, and his embarrassingly paternalistic concern for ‘the vulnerable’ and ‘the poor’ who inhabit ‘conquered’ communities, prevents him from making sense of what motivates these top-down tirades against the lower orders. In keeping with the ‘chav’ theme, his book is a bit like a KFC: momentarily tasty, even fun, but ultimately unsatisfying. And if you look at its innards for too long, you might even feel a bit nauseous.

First, the good bits. Jones catalogues quite well, if unevenly, various cultural assaults that have been launched against so-called chavs, who are increasingly looked upon by elite movers and shakers as fat, dumb, racist and lazy. Some of his accounts will be familiar to readers of spiked, where we have written extensively about the new liberal bigotry against the great unwashed: the trendy London gym that offered people ‘chav-fighting classes’; the tourism firm that promised the middle classes ‘chav-free holidays’; the media attacks on reality TV star Jade Goody after she made allegedly racist comments to a Bollywood actress and was held up as an escapee from ‘ugly, thick white Britain’. Jones is on to something when he says ‘working-class people are the one group in society that you can say practically anything about’.

Yet it becomes clear very early in the book that this is going to be at best a partial account of ‘chav-bashing’. Jones, a former researcher for a Labour MP, focuses most of his fury on tired old right-wing arguments about single mums and the feckless poor, as if these caricatures have any purchase outside of the Home Counties these days. This means he misses what is new and distinctive about modern-day prole-mauling. He gets himself into such a tizz about anti-chav columns penned by James Delingpole and Simon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph, and by what he calls the ‘Thatcherite experiment’, and by the out-of-touchness of the Bullingdon-braised New Tories led by David Cameron, that he not only overlooks some glaring instances of liberal snobbery – he also misunderstands the very modern, decidedly post-Thatcherite political outlook that now motors chav-bashing.

Jones’s pro-Labour blinkers, his quaint attachment to a party that really ought to be given a one-way ticket to Dignitas in Switzerland, means he gives an historically patchy account of anti-working class sentiment. More than that, he holds Cameron – that doofus who has never once had an original political idea – responsible for things that Labour actually came up with. So, he frequently comments on the fact that in 2009, after two young boys in South Yorkshire seriously tortured and abused two other young boys, Cameron, then leader of the Opposition, put forward a ‘semi-apocalyptic vision of a Broken Britain’. Cameron exploited this rare crime to talk about a ‘social recession’, complains Jones, in the process demonising working-class communities. Yet it was Tony Blair in 1993, then leader of the Labour Opposition, who first used the term ‘Broken Britain’. Following the murder of Liverpudlian toddler James Bulger by two 10-year-old boys, Blair talked about the ‘moral vacuum’ in ‘lost communities’, exclaiming: ‘Look at the wreckage of our broken society.’ In milking an exceptional crime to paint a picture of morally unanchored communities ‘out there’, Cameron, not for the first time, was only aping Blair.

There are numerous instances when Jones throws his hands up in horror at Tory comments or policies that actually were nicked from Labour. ‘At the centre of Cameron’s political philosophy is the idea that a person’s life chances are determined by behavioural factors’, says Jones, accusing the New Tories of being obsessed with ‘personal behaviour’. Sound familiar? Maybe that’s because in the early 2000s, Labour’s Frank Field talked openly, and sans shame, about ‘the politics of behaviour’, a ‘new politics’ that is about ‘moderating behaviour and re-establishing the social virtues of self-discipline’ and which ‘reinforces what is good and acceptable behaviour’. Jones criticises Cameron for saying that ‘social problems are often the consequence of the choices people make’, and says that the New Tories’ focus on ‘individual responsibility’ for health problems and crime is a way of deflecting attention away from society’s own defects. Yet in the 1990s and 2000s, Labour leaders lamented the fact that many social problems are now seen as ‘entirely structural… we have eliminated individual responsibility from the account’.

At one point, Jones gets upset by a proposal put forward by the Tory Iain Duncan Smith, who suggested that social housing tenants ‘should be rewarded for decent behaviour by giving them a stake in their property’. ‘Rewarded for decent behaviour’, says Jones (his italics). ‘It’s the sort of language used when dealing with prison inmates, children or pets.’ In fact it’s the sort of language used by Labour. Throughout its Opposition years in the 1990s and its authoritarian rule in the 2000s, Labour continually pushed the idea of ‘welfare conditionality’, which was summed up by one writer as: ‘The principle that an individual’s entitlement to benefits and services should depend upon his or her willingness to meet specified conditions regarding behaviour and activities.’ 

Indeed, the use of welfare to manipulate the behaviour of the hordes has long been an issue close to Labour’s heart. Beatrice Webb, the early twentieth-century Labourite, said of welfare: ‘The unconditionality of all payments under insurance schemes constitutes a grave defect. The state gets nothing for its money in the way of conduct.’ The aloof grandes dames of the old Labour machine were just as keen as Mr Duncan Smith to remould the mob through the allocation or withholding of welfare. They were just a bit more PC about it.

Jones spends chapter after chapter attacking the Tories and only a few pages on Labour’s snobbery. Even then he writes about the ‘private contempt’ felt by New Labour individuals for the lower orders, largely overlooking the vast institutional assaults made by Labour over the past 15 years on the working classes’ lifestyles, parenting habits, political outlooks, socialising mores, morality and receipt of welfare. Perhaps the best example of how his pro-Labour tendencies warp his ability to get a handle on modern-day chav-bashing is his claim that Cameron’s Tories, through their PR response to the South Yorkshire child-torture case and other rare events, have promoted a view of working-class kids as out-of-control, as ‘feckless, delinquent, violent no-hopers’, a ‘feral underclass’.

Yet the impact of Cameron’s opportunistic statements in response to occasional crimes pales into insignificance when compared with the sweeping overhaul of the legal system enacted by Labour in response to the murder of Bulger. Then in Opposition, Labour promised after the killing of Bulger by two children that it would abolish doli incapax, the presumption in British law that children under the age of 14 are ‘incapable of crime’. It abolished it in 1998. This reckless act of legal sabotage, driven by a PR compunction to be seen as tough on crime, did far more to institutionalise the idea that those people’s kids are capable of great evil than any half-hour press conference by Cameron has done.

One of Jones’s key arguments is that when Labour unfortunately forayed into chav-bashing territory in the 1990s and 2000s, it was mistakenly trying to curry favour with the middle classes and the right-wing press by carrying on some of the Thatcher regime’s dirty deeds. In short, Labour foolishly copied the Tories. This seems to me to get things the wrong way round. It is true, of course, that some Thatcherite social policy, most notably intervention into the family and the promotion of health panics, was carried on by New Labour. But the most striking thing about modern-day Britain is the extent to which the New Tories, the current rulers of Britain, have been shaped by New Labour – by its politics of behaviour, its nannying/nudging, its belief that it has the right and the power to remould the lower orders’ lifestyles, its focus on the link between ‘bad parenting’ and future crime, its penchant for ‘early intervention’ into poor people’s lives, and so on.

All of these Labour projects, all of which contributed enormously to the febrile climate of elite suspicion of chavs over the past 15 years, have been enthusiastically embraced by Cameron and Co. Jones presents Cameron’s Tories as the rehabilitators of the old Victorian view of the working classes as a ‘rabble’, but in truth they are the instantaneous heirs of the more PC, health-focused, pseudoscience-fuelled authoritarianism of Labour.

If Jones’s harshness on the Tories and relative softness on Labour only meant that he gave a skewed account of recent events, that would be bad enough. But I think it’s worse than that. He misses something fundamentally important. Which is that contemporary chav-bashing is underpinned, not by the outlook of Thatcherism, as he claims, but rather by the politics of anti-Thatcherism, by the now mainstream liberal narrative which says that the problem with Thatcherism is that it made people too materialistic and self-obsessed and not sufficiently ‘communal’. It is this which nurtured the eruption of anti-working class sentiment in the 1990s through to today.

At times, Jones’s argument that the ‘Thatcherite experiment’ gave rise to modern-day chav-bashing sounds positively conspiratorial. He says that ‘few men can claim to have had as much influence over modern Britain as Keith Joseph’. Who?, says everyone under the age of 35. Joseph was a leading figure in the Tory right in the 1970s. He was a ‘supporter of free-market guru Milton Friedman’, says Jones (and of course Friedman is responsible for every ill in modern society) and he inspired Thatcher. She went on to demolish working-class institutions in the 1980s, with her war on trade unions, and to champion and institutionalise the Josephite, Friedmanite, unfettered free-market machine. Thus did Joseph, ‘the Iron Lady’s Mad Monk’, rewrite the script of British politics and society, weakening the working classes, strengthening the capitalist class, and unleashing an orgy of bile against the lower orders (which, for some unexplained reason, did not reach fruition until the early 2000s, when chav-bashing really took off).

This is not good sociology. Of course it is true that the 1980s were a very important moment in the history of British class. Thatcher did indeed lead a war against the trade unions, an ideological war against the politicised working classes, which contributed to the historic defeat of that class as a powerful force in public and political life. Yet the 1980s was not, as Jones claims, a decade of free-market triumphalism, in which the right was swaggeringly cocky, ‘the wealthy were adulated’, there was the rise of ‘dog-eat-dog individualism’, and ‘aspiration [came to mean] yearning for a bigger car or a bigger house’.

For alongside what are referred to as ‘Thatcherite’ trends, there was also another, very powerful cultural dynamic – one which mocked the ‘Loadsamoneys’ of the working classes who wanted only material goods; one which frequently laid into ‘Essex Man’ and ‘Basildon Man’ and other members of the working classes who wanted cushie jobs and nice cars; one which ridiculed ‘Yuppies’ (wide boys with cash) and which lamented the alleged impact that Thatcher’s rule was having on the self-esteem and mental health of the working classes. (All of this nonsense was later outlined in early Nineties liberal tomes such as Thatcher’s Children and Unhealthy Societies: The Afflictions of Inequality.) Even in the Eighties – now presented to us as a decade of rampant and demented greed – there were powerful cultural forces mocking the desire for stuff and the temerity of material aspiration.

And it is this dynamic, this cultural narrative, which survived the Eighties and which gave rise to the politics of chav-bashing. That is, it was not Thatcher, whose grip on public consciousness was weakening even as early as the mid-1980s, but rather the fashionable anti-Thatcherites, the thinkers, academics, Labour officials and journalists who detested what they saw as the vulgar materialism of the Thatcher years, whose arguments have motored modern-day disdain for the grubby, fat, stuff-obsessed lower orders.

For example, you can see the explicit refashioning of the cultural elite’s war of words on Yuppies in the contemporary assault on the ‘bling’ and ‘big trainers’ of inner-city kids. You can glimpse the anti-Thatcher elite’s demonisation of so-called Basildon Man in the continued braying at anyone from Essex who has a mock Tudor house or a fake tan. The powerful Thatcher-bashers’ concern for the loss of tradition and the rise of ill-health amongst the lower orders is visible in the contemporary jihad against junk food and the promotion of allotments and organic fare.

One of the key complaints made by the frustrated anti-Thatcherites in the 1980s was that the working classes had been bought off by Thatcher with the promise of material comfort. And likewise, one of the key reasons that chavs are attacked today is for their alleged slavishness to stuff, their apparently selfish desire to own and scoff and throw away as much as possible. Influential books such as Oliver James’s The Selfish Capitalist: Origins of Affluenza and Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson’s The Spirit Level argue that the desire for affluence has made people unwell, even mentally ill; James says that Thatcherism turned Britons into ‘credit-fuelled, consumer-binging junkies’. It is that sentiment, not the outdated, discredited Thatcherite penchant for Victorian values against the feckless poor, which is at the heart of contemporary chav-hatred.

In short, things are vastly more complicated than Jones would have us believe. Thatcher’s assault on the trade unions may have represented the culmination of a long, drawn-out war on working-class independence and power, leaving that section of society exposed to moral assault. But it was the anti-Thatcherites, the liberal elite that came to the fore in the post-Thatcher era, who launched the moral assault, laying into the working classes for their lack of community spirit, their individual greed and their gluttony.

Ironically, these very prejudices are reproduced in Jones’s book. He favourably cites Labour MP Jon Cruddas’s claim that we now have too many people who ‘aspire to own more material things’ and he calls for a ‘total redefinition of aspiration’. His disingenuous contrasting of ‘rugged individualism’ (bad) with ‘the old collective form of aspiration’ (good) leads him to argue that the working classes should be less obsessed with ‘climbing the social ladder’ and more proud of what he embarrassingly calls their ‘working-classness’. He agrees with Hazel Blears, who says: ‘I’ve never understood the term “social mobility” because that implies you want to get out of somewhere… And I think that there is a great deal to be said for making who you are something to be proud of.’ That sounds very much like an updated, more PC version of the old idea that the poor should be happy with their lot: never mind ‘escaping’, just be proud of your roots! When Jones says that ‘rugged individualism’ is at odds with ‘social solidarity’, he misses the point that strong-minded and strong-willed individuals – yes, even self-interested ones – are the backbone of any social movement worth its name. Today, a defence of ‘rugged individualism’ and autonomy against the intervention of a pitying liberal class that wants the lower orders to enjoy and communally celebrate their existing living conditions would be a good start for any radical; Jones does the opposite of this.

Jones accuses old right-wingers of fearing the working classes. And it’s true, many of them do. But if there is one thing worse than fear of the workers, it is pity for them. This book has way too much of that. These are the ‘victims of social problems’, ‘the poor’, ‘vulnerable working-class groups’; sadly there is ‘no sympathy for them’ and there aren’t even any ‘likeable working-class characters’ on TV anymore. In one particularly embarrassing bit, Jones invites his largely middle-class readers to ‘imagine being a poor working-class youth in Britain today… lacking many of the things others take for granted: toys, days out, holidays, good food’. Oh dear. At least the right has a point when it fears the working classes: history shows that they can indeed be a fearsome class. But there is never an excuse to pity them.



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

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

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


23 May, 2017

The war on fat - a big, fat waste of time

Until recently, the advice that we should avoid fat - particularly saturated fat - was regarded as simple common sense. Heart attacks were caused by fatty deposits in our arteries, right? It was obvious that these must have in turn been caused by the heavy, saturated fat in our diets. Obesity is excess storage of fat, so it must obviously be caused by eating fat. So all the fatty treats we once loved were replaced by boring, low-fat alternatives. Bacon and eggs were replaced by Shredded Wheat and All Bran; fatty steaks were replaced by dull, dry low-fat chicken breasts. Butter was replaced by odd-tasting, low-fat vegetable-oil spread. The pleasure of full-fat milk was skimmed away, to be replaced by a thin, insipid white liquid. But if the joy of eating was diminished, at least we could rest assured that we would all be slimmer and healthier in the long run.

But in recent years, the advice to eat a low-fat diet has increasingly been called into question. Despite cutting down on fatty foods, the populations of many Western countries have become fatter. If heart-disease mortality has maintained a steady decline, cases of type-2 diabetes have shot up in recent years. Maybe these changes were in spite of the advice to avoid fat. Maybe they were caused by that advice.

The most notable figure in providing the intellectual ammunition to challenge existing health advice has been the US science writer, Gary Taubes. His 2007 book, Good Calories, Bad Calories, became a bestseller, despite containing long discussions on some fairly complex issues to do with biochemistry, nutrition and medicine. The book’s success triggered a heated debate about what really makes us fat and causes chronic disease.

Into this controversy comes The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz, which examines both the history and the merits of the advice to avoid fat – saturated fat, in particular. Teicholz, a food journalist, was originally intending to write a book on a much narrower subject: trans fats. As Teicholz says, in the early twentieth century, it became possible to mass-produce vegetable oils. These are generally made up of polyunsaturated fats (1). These vegetable oils were cheaper than animal fats, like lard, which had been used before, but they had serious disadvantages in terms of texture and shelf life. Polyunsaturated fats are liquid rather than solid and much more reactive than saturated fats and so spoil more quickly. In order to tackle that problem, a process called hydrogenation was used to make these vegetable oils more saturated, causing them to solidify. By adding different amounts of hydrogen, different qualities could be created in the resulting oil, which is then described as ‘partially hydrogenated’.

The trouble is that these partially hydrogenated oils contain trans fats - chains with chemical bonds that are the ‘wrong’ way round. These trans fats have been linked to a variety of health problems and are now largely being phased out. But how they got into our food is an interesting story in itself. As Teicholz tells me over Skype from New York, it soon became clear that there was a bigger story, way beyond trans fats, to be told. ‘I spent over a year investigating that book, talking to dozens and dozens of insiders in the food industry. I became extremely well-networked among oil chemists just trying to understand the trans fats story and understanding that industry, which is extremely closed. It’s a tiny club of all-male oil chemists… It was really interesting how hoodwinked these scientists were in the Fifties that they thought that these just-invented foods could restore people to their previous state of health. And there are lots of interesting angles to that whole story. The embrace of polyunsaturated vegetable oils to begin with, how trans fats were ramped up to become the backbone of the food industry, and how the food industry had to back out of trans fats in the last eight years and went back to using those oils.’ Teicholz argues that the fashion for polyunsaturated fats has been misplaced. Indeed, when heated up for frying, polyunsaturated fats could be downright dangerous.

The most talked-about aspect of Teicholz’s book is her discussion of the evidence against saturated fat. In the Fifties, a well-known American researcher, Ancel Keys, came to the conclusion that cholesterol was responsible for heart disease and, in turn, that the consumption of saturated fat, mostly from animals, was to blame for boosting cholesterol levels. Yet the evidence for these claims was shaky from the word go. So how did Keys manage to make his views the official ones?

Teicholz tells me that the answer lies in Keys’ unshakable moral certainty, which found fertile ground in a medical and scientific establishment spooked by the rapid rise of heart disease: ‘Before Keys got on the nutrition committee of the American Heart Association, it was very hesitant about jumping to any kind of conclusions while at the same time acknowledging the enormous pressure to do so, given that the entire nation was focused on heart disease. It was a terrifying epidemic. President Eisenhower was out of the Oval Office for 10 days [following a heart attack in 1955]. This was an all-consuming panic for all the people that ran the country. All the people in science, it was their colleagues who over the previous 30 years had started dropping like flies. There was tremendous public pressure to find some kind of solution. It was into that vulnerable setting that Ancel Keys stepped. It was just this perfect storm of his oversized, highly aggressive personality meeting this vulnerable time in America.’

Teicholz never met Keys, but she has met one of his leading supporters and apostles, Jeremiah Stamler: ‘You could see why people would just fold in their presence. It’s like being in the presence of a gale-force wind, the power that comes at you. In Jerry Stamler’s case, he’s also profane and there’s this supreme self-confidence that he brings…There was a very aggressive tenor to the whole nutrition conversation back then. It was almost like internet manners, pre-internet!’

Once the politically astute Keys had packed the nutrition committee of the AHA and got its backing for the advice to avoid saturated fat, the war on meat and dairy could begin. But a major turning point came in 1977 when the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition, led by Democratic senator George McGovern, held hearings on the issue. The result was a set of guidelines, Dietary Goals for the United States, which promoted the consumption of ‘complex’ carbohydrates, and reductions in the consumption of fat in general and saturated fat in particular.

By 1980, this report had been worked up into government-backed guidelines – around the same time that obesity appears to have taken off in the US. The McGovern Report inspired all the familiar diet advice around the world that we’ve had ever since, and led to major changes in what food manufacturers offered. Out went fat, though unsaturated fat and hydrogenated oils were deemed less bad than saturated fat, so vegetable oils and margarines became more popular. In came more carbohydrate and more sugar, to give those cardboard-like low-fat ‘treats’ some modicum of flavour.

Yet two recent reviews of the evidence around saturated fat - one led by Ronald Krauss, the other by Rajiv Chowdhury - suggest that saturated fat is not the villain it has been painted as. (The latter paper, in particular, sparked outrage.) As for fat in general, Teicholz tells me: ‘There was no effort until very late in the game to provide evidence for the low-fat diet. It was just assumed that that was reasonable because of the caloric benefit you would see from restricting fat.’ Yet a diet low in saturated fat is still the standard prescription. For example, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) (the UK equivalent of the AHA) still suggests consuming unsaturated fat rather than saturated fat - though at least the BHF is now suggesting that more research should be done.

This mad, mad story of the battle over fat is not actually that new, though Teicholz adds new details to it. But there is much more to Teicholz’s book than that. Three things stand out.

First, there is her discussion of the Mediterranean Diet. Although mentioned in a cookbook by Keys in the early Seventies, the idea was first actively researched by two researchers in the Eighties - one Greek, one Italian. But it was when the idea got the backing of Harvard University medical researchers that it really took off. Now, it seems like a no-brainer that the kind of food served on a balmy Italian or Greek terrace, with lashings of olive oil, plenty of fresh vegetables and a substantial side order of wine, is the healthiest way to eat. At the very least, it was a relief: olive oil was the healthy fat that you were allowed to enjoy. But in truth, the ‘Mediterranean Diet’ doesn’t bear much relation to what many Mediterraneans actually eat. Diets vary substantially across the Mediterranean countries - and even within those countries. In reality, the Mediterranean Diet is a construct, a rose-tinted version of reality tailored to the anti-meat prejudices of American researchers.

The second thing that sets The Big Fat Surprise apart is its tale of how the other major backer of the Mediterranean Diet was the olive-oil industry. Conferences, funded by the industry and organised by an American organisation called the Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust, would be staged in Mediterranean countries, with idyllic climates and lots of lovely, olive-oil-heavy food. Swooning researchers were literally wined and dined into going along with promoting the benefits of olive oil. But it is questionable just how traditional the consumption of olive oil really is. It certainly only became a major part of British and American diets over the past 20 years or so. Even in Greece, it seems olive oil had functions that were more ceremonial than dietary until perhaps 200 years ago. One French historian, quoted by Teicholz, says: ‘Less than 100 years ago, ordinary people in many parts of Greece ate far less oil than today.’ In any event, the notion that this is a battle between the longstanding food culture of peasant societies and an unnatural diet forced on us by big bad corporations in the West is far too black and white.

Which leads us to an important third point made by Teicholz: that the blame for our current dietary problems cannot solely, or even mainly, be placed at the door of big food corporations. Teicholz writes about how she discovered that ‘the mistakes of nutrition science could not be primarily pinned on the nefarious interests of Big Food. The source of our misguided dietary advice was in some ways more disturbing, since it seems to have been driven by experts at some of our most trusted institutions working towards what they believed to be the public good.’ Once public-health bureaucracies enshrined the dogma that fat is bad for us, ‘the normally self-correcting mechanism of science, which involves constantly challenging one’s own beliefs, was disabled’.

The war on dietary fat is a terrifying example of what happens when politics and bureaucracy mixes with science: provisional conclusions become laws of nature; resources are piled into the official position, creating material as well as intellectual reasons to continue to support it; and any criticism is suppressed or dismissed. As the war on sugar gets into full swing, a reading of The Big Fat Surprise might provide some much-needed humility.


Texas revives transgender ‘bathroom bill’ for public schools

A transgender “bathroom bill” reminiscent of one in North Carolina that caused a national uproar now appears to be on a fast-track to becoming law in Texas — though it may only apply to public schools.

A broader proposal mandating that virtually all transgender people in the country’s second-largest state use public restrooms according to the gender on their birth certificates sailed through the Texas Senate months ago. A similar measure had stalled in the House, but supporters late Sunday night used an amendment to tack bathroom limits onto a separate and otherwise unrelated bill covering school emergency operation plans for things like natural disasters.

Republican Rep. Chris Paddie authored the hotly-debated language, saying it had “absolutely no intent” to discriminate. Under it, transgender students at public and charter schools would not be permitted to use the bathroom of their choice but could be directed to separate, single-occupancy restrooms.

“It’s absolutely about child safety,” said Paddie, from the East Texas town of Marshall. “This is about accommodating all kids.”

His change passed 91-50. Final House approval should come Monday, sending the modified bill to the Senate, which should easily support it. Texas’ legislative session ends May 29, but that’s plenty of time — even if the bathroom bill is scaled-back enough to only affect the state’s roughly 5.3 million public school students, and not the general public.

“This amendment is the bathroom bill and the bathroom bill is an attack on transgender people,” said Rep. Joe Moody, an El Paso Democrat. “Some people don’t want to admit that because they are ashamed, and this is shameful.”

A small group of Democratic women legislators went into the men’s restroom just off the House floor before debate began in protest. With Republicans enjoying solid majorities in both of Texas’ legislative chambers, though, such opposition was purely symbolic.

Houston Democratic Rep. Senfronia Thompson, one of the House’s longest-serving and most-respected members, likened the new language to when restrooms nationwide were segregated by race.

“Bathrooms divided us then and bathrooms divide us now. Separate but equal is not equal at all,” Thompson said, drawing floor applause.

While Barack Obama was still president, the U.S. Department of Education tried to implement requirements that school districts nationwide allow transgender students to choose campus bathrooms or locker rooms they wished to use. Texas led a lawsuit challenging that directive and a federal judge in Texas ordered it suspended. President Donald Trump then rescinded the order in February.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has said he wants to sign a bathroom bill into law. House Speaker Joe Straus, a Republican from San Antonio, has been even more vocal opposing one — saying it could hurt a Texas economy that has been among the country’s strongest in recent years.

Top firms, chambers of commerce and lobbyists also have decried the bathroom bill in all forms as bad for business. Many Hollywood actors and music stars have suggested state boycotts, and the NFL and NBA have expressed concerns about it passing — even though Houston successfully hosted this year’s Super Bowl.

Since 2004, Texas has hosted more combined Super Bowls, NBA All-Star Games (three) and NCAA men’s Final Fours (five) than any other state. San Antonio is scheduled to host another Final Four in 2018, and Dallas is hosting the 2018 women’s NCAA Final Four.

Supporters described limiting the scope to schools as “middle ground” and hinted that it could soften the kinds of costly boycotts that hit North Carolina after it approved its bathroom bill last year. The NCAA pulled sporting events and the state faced losing billions of dollars in related economic fallout, though some opposition has quieted since North Carolina lawmakers voted in March for a partial repeal.

Straus said in a statement that the House amendment “will allow us to avoid the severely negative impact” of the original Senate bill, which was closer to what North Carolina’s original looked like.

But opponents still vowed to fight Sunday’s Texas amendment with lawsuits.

If the Legislature succeeds “in forcing discrimination into Texas law, you can bet that Lambda Legal will be on the case before the next school bell rings,” Jennifer C. Pizer, senior counsel and director of law and policy at the national gay rights group Lambda Legal, said in a statement.


‘Penises Cause Climate Change’; Progressives Fooled by Peer-Reviewed Hoax Study

Gender studies is a fake academic industry populated by charlatans, deranged activists and gullible idiots.
Now, a pair of enterprising hoaxers has proved it scientifically by persuading an academic journal to peer-review and publish their paper claiming that the penis is not really a male genital organ but a social construct.

The paper, published by Cogent Social Sciences – “a multidisciplinary open access journal offering high quality peer review across the social sciences” – also claims that penises are responsible for causing climate change.

The two hoaxers are Peter Boghossian, a full-time faculty member in the Philosophy department at Portland State University, and James Lindsay, who has a doctorate in math and a background in physics.

They were hoping to emulate probably the most famous academic hoax in recent years: the Sokal Hoax – named after NYU and UCL physics professor Alan Sokal – who in 1996 persuaded an academic journal called Social Text to accept a paper titled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”.

Sokal’s paper – comprising pages of impressive-sounding but meaningless pseudo-academic jargon – was written in part to demonstrate that humanities journals will publish pretty much anything so long as it sounds like “proper leftist thought;” and partly in order to send up the absurdity of so much post-modernist social science.

So, for this new spoof, Boghossian and Lindsay were careful to throw in lots of signifier phrases to indicate fashionable anti-male bias:

We intended to test the hypothesis that flattery of the academic Left’s moral architecture in general, and of the moral orthodoxy in gender studies in particular, is the overwhelming determiner of publication in an academic journal in the field. That is, we sought to demonstrate that a desire for a certain moral view of the world to be validated could overcome the critical assessment required for legitimate scholarship. Particularly, we suspected that gender studies is crippled academically by an overriding almost-religious belief that maleness is the root of all evil. On the evidence, our suspicion was justified.

They also took care to make it completely incomprehensible.

We didn’t try to make the paper coherent; instead, we stuffed it full of jargon (like “discursive” and “isomorphism”), nonsense (like arguing that hypermasculine men are both inside and outside of certain discourses at the same time), red-flag phrases (like “pre-post-patriarchal society”), lewd references to slang terms for the penis, insulting phrasing regarding men (including referring to some men who choose not to have children as being “unable to coerce a mate”), and allusions to rape (we stated that “manspreading,” a complaint levied against men for sitting with their legs spread wide, is “akin to raping the empty space around him”). After completing the paper, we read it carefully to ensure it didn’t say anything meaningful, and as neither one of us could determine what it is actually about, we deemed it a success.

Some of it was written with the help of the Postmodern Generator – “a website coded in the 1990s by Andrew Bulhak featuring an algorithm, based on NYU physicist Alan Sokal’s method of hoaxing a cultural studies journal called Social Text, that returns a different fake postmodern ‘paper’ every time the page is reloaded.”

This paragraph, for example, looks impressive but is literally meaningless:

Inasmuch as masculinity is essentially performative, so too is the conceptual penis. The penis, in the words of Judith Butler, “can only be understood through reference to what is barred from the signifier within the domain of corporeal legibility” (Butler, 1993). The penis should not be understood as an honest expression of the performer’s intent should it be presented in a performance of masculinity or hypermasculinity. Thus, the isomorphism between the conceptual penis and what’s referred to throughout discursive feminist literature as “toxic hypermasculinity,” is one defined upon a vector of male cultural machismo braggadocio, with the conceptual penis playing the roles of subject, object, and verb of action. The result of this trichotomy of roles is to place hypermasculine men both within and outside of competing discourses whose dynamics, as seen via post-structuralist discourse analysis, enact a systematic interplay of power in which hypermasculine men use the conceptual penis to move themselves from powerless subject positions to powerful ones (confer: Foucault, 1972).

None of it should have survived more than a moment’s scrutiny by serious academics. But it was peer-reviewed by two experts in the field who, after suggesting only a few changes, passed it for publication:

Cogent Social Sciences eventually accepted “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct.” The reviewers were amazingly encouraging, giving us very high marks in nearly every category. For example, one reviewer graded our thesis statement “sound” and praised it thusly, “It capturs [sic] the issue of hypermasculinity through a multi-dimensional and nonlinear process” (which we take to mean that it wanders aimlessly through many layers of jargon and nonsense). The other reviewer marked the thesis, along with the entire paper, “outstanding” in every applicable category.

They didn’t accept the paper outright, however. Cogent Social Sciences’ Reviewer #2 offered us a few relatively easy fixes to make our paper “better.” We effortlessly completed them in about two hours, putting in a little more nonsense about “manspreading” (which we alleged to be a cause of climate change) and “dick-measuring contests.”

No claim made in the paper was considered too ludicrous by the peer-reviewers: not even the one claiming that the penis is “the universal performative source of rape, and is the conceptual driver behind much of climate change.”

You read that right. We argued that climate change is “conceptually” caused by penises. How do we defend that assertion? Like this:

Destructive, unsustainable hegemonically male approaches to pressing environmental policy and action are the predictable results of a raping of nature by a male-dominated mindset. This mindset is best captured by recognizing the role of [sic] the conceptual penis holds over masculine psychology. When it is applied to our natural environment, especially virgin environments that can be cheaply despoiled for their material resources and left dilapidated and diminished when our patriarchal approaches to economic gain have stolen their inherent worth, the extrapolation of the rape culture inherent in the conceptual penis becomes clear.

The fact that such complete drivel was published in a social science journal, the hoaxers argue, raises serious questions about the value of fields like gender studies and the state of academic publishing generally:

“The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct” should not have been published on its merits because it was actively written to avoid having any merits whatsoever. The paper is academically worthless nonsense.

But they do not hold out much hope for it having any more effect on the bullshit in the social sciences industry than Sokal’s hoax did – because leftist stupidity in academe is so heavily entrenched.

As a matter of deeper concern, there is unfortunately some reason to believe that our hoax will not break the relevant spell. First, Alan Sokal’s hoax, now more than 20 years old, did not prevent the continuation of bizarre postmodernist “scholarship.” In particular, it did not lead to a general tightening of standards that would have blocked our own hoax. Second, people rarely give up on their moral attachments and ideological commitments just because they’re shown to be out of alignment with reality.


Australia: Victorian government gender agenda and mythmaking

By now, I’m sure you would’ve heard the news that the Victorian Andrews government is backing a brand new “feminist collective” strategy under the assumed guise of tackling domestic violence through a $21 million tax-payer funded school program called Respectful Relationships. Whether you like it or not, your kids will be made to feel bad about themselves for being white and male and lectured on how “white, male privilege” and “hegemonic masculinity” are the roots of domestic violence. It’s bad enough that us adults are already exposed to a constant drumbeat of feministic, anti-male hysteria on a daily basis, but our kids? This is beyond outrageous.

Fightback, the “feminist guide” has the approval of the state government and is part of this “domestic violence awareness program” that is already implemented in 120 schools across the state, and is designed to counter “everyday sexism” by brainwashing secondary school children about “negative attitudes towards gender equality that contribute to high rates of sexism and discrimination and ultimately … violence against women”.

The disturbing material also asks teachers to lecture kids on the concept of “privilege” – an idea that some groups have advantages over others just because of their birth identity (chiefly due to their parents’ hard work and moral choices).

The controversial program has long been a subject of criticism for foolishly simplifying the issue of family violence, putting the blame mostly on men and their apparent “privilege”.

“Being born white in Australia, you have advantages,” the guide claims. “By being born male, you have advantages … that you may not approve of or think you are entitled to, but that you gain anyway because of your status as male.”

And just so you know, I am not a white male. However, on more than one occasion on the Twitterverse, I have wrongly been called “entitled” and a “privileged white male.” (Hey feminists did you just assume my race and skin colour? I thought that’s racist!)

But when you think about it, the concept of “white privilege” is an elaborate invention of the “progressive” liberal collective – especially third wave feminists – to silence freedom of speech by discrediting white males for simply being what they were created to be. Instead of teaching respect for men and women equally, regressive programs like Respectful Relationships would prefer that the concept of “toxic while masculinity” is drummed into young minds.

It might surprise you to know that the theory of white privilege (if you can call it a legitimate theory, that is) started out being solely about men and their perceived privilege. It had nothing to do with the struggles of non-whites due to their lack of privilege. Peggy McIntosh, a feminist who is touted as the inventor of the white-skin privilege concept in the late 1980s, came up with the term “unacknowledged male privilege,” or the seemingly unearned advantages men have in society by virtue of being born male. She believed there was also a “white privilege” analogous to male privilege, and so the terminology of white privilege was born. McIntosh manufactured a crisis about males to prove they garnered favour over females but then expanded the concept to include white males and later evolved the concept to include all whites as the root of all apparently unearned privilege.

It is commonly (and wrongly) believed that women are the typical victims/ survivors of domestic violence and that most perpetrators are men. But the fact of the matter is both men and women are victims of violence and abuse. This is an issue that affects both genders, young and old. It is also a fact, according to the Royal Commission, that 25 per cent of domestic violence victims are men. Men also die earlier than women and young men have greater rates of youth suicide and self-harm. I guess somehow that’s white male privilege. No?

What about the apparent gender pay gap? Well, to put it plainly, it’s a complete hoax. Industries statistically dominated by men tend to attract better pay than those traditionally dominated by women. And then there is the choice women make, willingly, to trade career heights for job flexibility, shorter hours, maternity leave and more time to raise children, which a lot of mothers would agree is a priceless privilege. Raising healthy, secure children is tremendously productive to our society.

Christina Hoff-Sommers, “the factual feminist” has a good question: “If, for the same work, women only make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, why don’t businesses hire only women?”

That number is calculated in a way that doesn’t take into account several factors that contribute to wage. In fact, a feminist organisation’s own research found that the wage gap is 6.6 cents when factoring in these choices that men and women make. These are choices such as college major, specialities, hours worked, and location. The keyword here is choice (I thought you progressives love that word?).

And when it comes to education, women are the privileged sex. Girls outperform and outstay boys in school and, as a result, they go on to university in ever-greater numbers. According to 2013 statistics from the federal Education Department, the number of female students in higher education jumped by 33.5 per cent between 2002 and 2012, compared with a 22 per cent rise for males. In 2002, of the 151,550 Australian students who graduated from university, 56 per cent were women. By 2012, graduation numbers had increased to nearly 195,000, of whom 60 per cent were female, a ratio likely to be higher again this year.

Thus, the concept of “white male privilege” is nothing less than a complete myth. It is thanks to this regressive kind of thinking that in today’s brave new world, boys can no longer be boys and are instead forced to break traditional stereotypes by putting on makeup and playing with Barbie dolls. It is no wonder why problems such as effeminisation (the stripping away of all facets of manhood), homosexuality, acquired gender dysphoria and transgender-ism are rife among our youth.

The million dollar question is why are Victorian schools teaching our children this type of hogwash? The answer? The cultural Marxists backing these regressive programs such as “Respectful Relationships” have an agenda to create a genderless society and end any celebration of the unique qualities of each gender. Their ignorance of science, biology and, therefore, the truth will only create more depression in our youth, not less.



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

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

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


22 May, 2017

After Decades Of Involvement Mormon Church Cuts Ties With The Boy Scouts

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints announced last Thursday that it will be cutting most of its ties to the Boy Scouts of America, allowing younger boys aged 8-13 to remain in scouting while pulling the 185,000 older boys aged 14-18 from all scouting activities.

The Mormon Church has maintained that the move does not follow the Boy Scouts’ recent decision to allow gay troop leaders, a topic the church still rebukes, but instead wants a new program run by the church worldwide and more closely tailored for Mormon teenagers, ABC News reports.

For decades the Mormon Church has been allied with the Boy Scouts, being that the two organization’s values have been closely aligned. However, in the cultural shifts the country has seen, the Boy Scouts have diverged from Mormon principles.

In Thursday’s announcement, the church stated that the scouts have been discussing allowing girls into their ranks but remained fervent that the decision was separate of such talks.

“The church is wedded very much to traditional gender roles and they see the Boy Scouts of America increasingly move away from that,” Matthew Bowman, a Mormon scholar and history professor at Henderson State University said. “That means that they have come to see it as less of a hospitable place.”

For as long as most can remember, the Boy Scouts of America has been synonymous with Mormon culture. It is almost a requirement for the young boys to become apart of the organization. The withdrawal will deal a heavy blow to the Boy Scouts, whose numbers have decreased in recent years.


Labour: the party of the non-working class

The Tories are winning over those abandoned by Labour

Theresa May’s Tories have certainly been making eyes at ‘proud and patriotic working-class people in towns and cities across Britain’, as May herself put it last week. This week, the flirtation has continued, with May’s announcement of the ‘biggest extension of workers’ rights’ under a Tory government. And it appears to be an effective strategy. Polls suggest the Tories’ support among skilled and unskilled workers, and even the unemployed, now dwarfs that of Labour.

The Tories’ posture as the party of ‘ordinary working-class people’, as May characterised it last autumn, might not be entirely sincere, not least because some of the policies announced alongside statutory rights to unpaid leave for carers and bereaved parents look more likely to divide workers, rather than help them. In particular, Tory plans to force companies to publish data on racial pay gaps threatens to racialise the workforce, pitting workers against each other according to skin pigment. Still, while the Tories’ posture may not be convincing, it is revealing. Just not about the Tories.

No, it says far more about the transformation of the party that for much of the 20th century dominated and represented the working class: Labour. That’s the story here. Not that Theresa May has won the support of vast swathes of still-working-class Britain, but that the Labour Party has lost them, abandoned them, ignored them. That’s why the Tories are in a position to speak for working-class voters – because Labour is not.

Remember this is the Conservative Party we’re talking about here. Yes, it’s channelled the hopes and aspirations of many working-class people before, especially during the 1980s, when the promise of self-betterment understandably resonated. But that was a long time ago. More recently the Tory party has appeared to be little more than a post-Oxbridge venue for Old Etonians to trot out New Labour hits. What it has not been is an electoral destination for ‘ordinary working-class people’. And yet, just a few weeks before the General Election that is what the Tories have become: if not a working men’s club, then at least a Wetherspoons.

It makes perfect sense when you look at it, though. While May is donning the proverbial donkey jacket and talking about workers’ rights, what is Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn doing to ‘woo working-class voters’, as the Guardian inaccurately described his latest policy announcement? He’s promising to save the NHS, of course, with a promised £37 billion cash injection over the course of the next parliament. The recourse to a ‘save our NHS’ gesture is predictable, but it’s revealing, too. It captures a party that knows not how to speak for its one-time social base, only to speak to it, as an agglomeration of the poor and needy, people in want of treatment. Because that’s what the working class is for Labour now: patients in waiting, objects of public-health prohibitions, and sermons about fizzy drinks and fags. That’s why the NHS has become the sacred cow to whose udders Corbyn et al are determinedly attached. Because in Labour’s eyes, it’s what people need: beds and no circuses.

Not that Labour’s estrangement from the working class can be laid solely or even mainly at the sandals of Corbyn. Its social base has been atrophying for years – at least since the collapse of the postwar consensus in the late 1970s. As one study reveals, in 1966, 69 per cent of manual workers voted Labour; by 1987, only 45 per cent did. That’s a third of its working-class support haemorrhaged in a couple of decades. And this wasn’t, as the standard leftish narrative maintains, down to the evil influence of The Murdoch Press or an epidemic of home-owning selfishness; rather, it was a result of Labour’s having become a party of the state and, with it, the public sector, an increasingly careerist enclave that spoke for the interests not of the working class, but of the subsidised and the middle class.

Admittedly, under Tony Blair, whom Labourites now universally despise, demon eyes and all, Labour did increase its share of the working-class vote once more – but then, such was New Labour’s late 1990s appeal, burnished by the decrepitude of the Tories, that it picked up support from all sections of society. What is more telling, as one former Labour pollster pointed out earlier this year, is that while it was in government New Labour largely hung on to its middle-class base and lost the working class. ‘Between 1997 and 2010’, he writes, ‘for every voter Labour lost from the professional classes it lost three unskilled or unemployed workers’.

And so it continues. While May turns the Tories into the Party of the People, Corbyn, breathing sweet NHS-things into his supporters’ ears, almost unwittingly pushes on with Labour’s long metamorphosis into the party of the non-working class: the students, the vulnerable, the ill, and other ‘victims’ Labour now longs to look after.


In Limited Praise of Charlie Elphicke

British Libertarian Sean Gabb is voting Conservative

Last Sunday, my daughter assisting, I delivered about three hundred leaflets in North Deal for Charlie Elphicke, my Conservative candidate in the General Election. This was the first time in thirty years I had lifted a finger for the Conservative Party. I explained the electoral system to my daughter. I canvassed a dog who tried to eat one of the leaflets. I got into a kerbside debate that may have brought over a few Labour households. It brought back memories of my youth.

When I mentioned this on Facebook, one of my friends responded that Mr Elphicke had not been a Conservative Member of Parliament of the kind I would once have let myself support. I will not quote this response. It seems to be both accurate and damning. For his lack of commitment on the European issue, Mr Elphicke would, at the beginning of the present century, have been one of the easier targets of my Candidlist project. Now, I am willing to vote and even to campaign for him. I defend my choice with these observations:

First, Mr Elphicke has been a decent constituency MP. In 2010, I approached the British Council in Slovakia, to ask for its assistance in promoting my books. I was told that the officials there were too busy lobbying for action on “global warming” to find time for the promotion of English literature. I wrote to Mr Elphicke, who wrote sharply and at once to the relevant funding agency. Ever since then, the British Council has helped me pay my gas bills from the Slovak translations of my novels. I know other people with similar tales.

Second, and following from the above, he has been willing to put up with me for seven years. He gets an e-mail of denunciation from me on average once a fortnight. He usually answers these at length, and sometimes with confidential admissions that make it impossible for me to publish the correspondence. Indeed, after the Referendum, in which he had campaigned on the wrong side, I wrote him a nasty open letter of denunciation. He joined in the Facebook debate over this, and entered into another confidential e-mail exchange. He has not since then visibly avoided my company. The last time we met, he spoke to me in Greek.

These two are important observations, particularly the second. There are countries – I think of America – where parliamentary representatives are hardly ever accessible to their electors. I am lucky to live in a country where I can see my Member of Parliament walking about the streets without armed guards. I once bumped into Mr Elphicke while he was at my daughter’s school. One of my students once made fun of him in the local Tesco. Everyone knows where he lives.

You can, of course, say this about most Members of Parliament. England is a country with a limited record of political murder, and even Cabinet Ministers are expected to show themselves in public. Mr Elphicke, though, steps somewhat beyond the minimal custom. You can ask him for help. You can make a nuisance of yourself, and have some chance of being tolerated. The Labour man he replaced in 2010 answered about one in three of my letters, and always with an unsigned postcard.

Most Members of Parliament are less than ideal guardians of the public interest. So far as I can tell, about half of them are nasty pieces of work. There is nothing to be done in the short term about this first. When you find yourself represented by a reasonable human being, you are under some obligation to re-elect him.

But I come to my third observation. Let us agree that Mr Elphicke is a man without any principled view of the European Union. When the Conservative leadership was in favour of staying in, so was he. Now the leadership is of a different view, so is he. I do not blame him for this. It does not in itself make him a bad man. It does not hold me from voting for him with a clean conscience.

The European issue appears to be settled in all but its details. Theresa May – herself a woman of no fixed principle – has committed herself to leaving. Her present peace of mind and her place in the history books both depend on how well she extricates us from the European Union. She seems clever enough to know this. She looks the sort who can bully or blackmail her way to an advantageous deal. Whatever else she has said or done, whatever else she may stand for, is not presently important. All that matters is that she should get the biggest possible mandate next month, and that the men we elect to sit behind her should be reliable. Mr Elphicke strikes me as completely reliable, and he therefore gets my support.

All this being said, I move of one of the more absurd wisdoms of British politics, which is that Conservatives are sentimental loyalists, and Labour is a party of hard-faced ideologues. The truth is exactly the opposite. Labour stopped being recognisably the party of ordinary working people at the end of the 1970s. After a fifteen year struggle, during which it split, the party was taken over by a charismatic liar fronting a generation of apparatchiks who proceeded to do well for themselves and for nobody else. During these thirty five years, Labour hung on to its core voters. It did badly in 1983 because of the Falklands War. It did badly in 1987 mainly because of the electoral system. It is only now that ordinary working people are responding to Mrs May’s revised brand of One Nation Conservatism.

The Conservatives core cote, on the other hand, has been far more volatile. We abstained in large numbers in 1997, because of Europe. If all of us who abstained or voted UKIP in 2001 and 2005 had voted Conservative, Labour would have at least lost its majority. The Conservatives could have got an overall majority in 2010, and could have won a big majority in 2015. The main reason Mrs May seems headed now for a crushing majority is because almost none of us will vote UKIP. Large numbers of conservatives take a purely instrumental view of the Conservative Party. There is little brand loyalty. When it seems likely to do something conservative, it gets support. When it seems a lost cause, it is dumped.

About twenty years ago, I listened to Peter Tatchell’s explanation of why he could no longer support the Labour Party. I forget what had upset him, but I do recall that he was almost in tears at the thought of no longer being a member of the Labour Party. It was a reaction I found hard to understand. Conservatives abstain, or vote UKIP, or come back to the Conservative Party, without a twinge of guilt; and returners are generally welcomed without recrimination.

In 2010, I voted Conservative for the first time this century because I feared Labour more than I despised the Conservatives. It was the same in 2015 – and because, in spite of all else to be said against him at the time, I rather liked Charlie Elphicke. Because the present election is effectively a rerun of the Referendum, I will vote for him again. However, a big win for the Conservatives this time may leave the political landscape so altered that other options will emerge.

Until then, Mr Elphicke, and through him Mrs May, will have my support. I may even accept his invitation, come polling day, to sit as a Conservative teller….


Inflating Muslim Claims To Jerusalem

Last Tuesday, coinciding with Israel’s 69th Independence Day, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a resolution entitled ‘Occupied Palestine.’ The resolution denies Israel any sovereign claim to its own capital city, Jerusalem, and falsely describes Israel as the city’s “occupying power” and speaks of the “cultural heritage of Palestine and the distinctive character of East Jerusalem.”

Clearly, the intention of the UNESCO resolution is to achieve internationally the direct repudiation of Israel’s Jewish history and sovereignty in favor of Arab claims.

Lying behind this Arab diplomatic offensive is an Arab street and Muslim world, neither of which have reconciled themselves to Israel’s existence nor even the peoplehood of the Jews and thus the Jewish immemorial association and claim to Jerusalem.

However, this clamor and fixation on Jerusalem, quite recent in Muslim history, has led many to conclude that Jerusalem is holy to Islam and central to Palestinian Arab consciousness. This is, however, a propaganda fiction.

Though possessing important Muslim shrines, such as the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa mosques, Jerusalem holds no great significance for Islam, as history shows.

Jerusalem rates not a single mention in the Quran, nor is it the direction in which Muslims turn to pray. References in the Quran and hadith to the ‘farthest mosque,’ in allusion to which the Al Aqsa Mosque is named, and which has sometimes been invoked to connect Islam to Jerusalem since its earliest days, clearly doesn’t refer to a mosque which didn’t exist in Muhammad’s day.

Indeed, the site of the biblical temples is called Temple Mount, not the Mosque Mount and –– in contrast to innumerable Palestinian Authority statements today –– was acknowledged as such for decades by Jerusalem’s Muslims.

Throughout the British Mandate period, the Jerusalem Muslim Supreme Council’s publication, ‘A Brief Guide to the Haram Al-Sharif’, stated of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on p. 4 that “Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute.” (After 1954, all such references to the biblical temples were excised from this publication).

During the illegal annexation and rule of the historic eastern half of Jerusalem by Jordan (1948-67), Amman remained Jordan’s country’s capital, not Jerusalem, even as Jews were driven out and their property and sanctuaries laid waste: the Old City’s 58 synagogues destroyed and Jewish gravestones used to pave roads and latrines. Jewish access to the Western Wall was also forbidden, in contravention of Article 8 of the 1949 Israeli/Jordanian armistice.

Historically, Jerusalem under Muslim control was no more a capital city than Mecca or Medina in Saudi Arabia or Qom in Iran. Jordanian-controlled Jerusalem enjoyed neither the attention nor affection of the Arab world or its rulers.

Quite the contrary: the eastern half of the city became a backwater, infrastructure like water and sewerage were scanty or non-existent, and its Christian population, denied the right to purchase church property, also declined. No Arab ruler, other than Jordan’s King Hussein, ever visited. As Israeli elder statesman Abba Eban put it, “the secular delights of Beirut held more attraction.”

Significantly, neither the PLO’s National Charter nor the Fatah Constitution, the latter drafted during Jordanian rule, even mention Jerusalem, let alone call for its establishment as a Palestinian capital.

This would never be obvious from the tenor and content of Palestinian, Arab and Muslim pronouncements on the city today, which are as emphatic as to the Arab, Muslim and Palestinian primacy of the city as they are in denying its Jewish provenance.

Conversely, Jerusalem, the capital of the biblical Jewish kingdoms, is the site of three millennia of Jewish habitation — hence the ‘Jerusalem 3000’ celebrations initiated in by the government of Yitzhak Rabin.

The holiest of Judaism’s four holy cities, Jerusalem is mentioned 669 times in the Hebrew Bible and alluded to in countless prayers. Major Jewish rituals, including the conclusion of the Passover Seder and Yom Kippur service, end with the age-old affirmation, ‘Next year in Jerusalem.’

Jerusalem is the only city in the world in which Jews have formed a majority since the 1880s. Today, Jerusalem, in addition to being home to Judaism’s greatest sanctuaries, is the seat of Israel’s government, the Knesset, the Supreme Court, the National Library and the Hebrew University. Its population is two-thirds Jewish.

It is only under unified Israeli rule since 1967 that the city as a whole has been revitalized, enjoyed stunning growth and also, at last, full freedom of religion for its mosaic of faiths ––precisely what would be threatened by its redivision, as is already obvious in the Christian exodus from Palestinian-controlled Gaza and Bethlehem.

Whatever form a final peace settlement might one day take, there is no morally just or legally sound reason inflate or fabricate Muslim claims while denying Jerusalem’s Jewish primacy and history.

The Trump Administration rightly condemned the UNESCO resolution. It should now defund UN bodies that practice this form of delegitimizing political warfare, starting with UNESCO.



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

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

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


21 May, 2017

College student reveals how her white privilege allowed her to freely run around campus with a 'giant SWORD' - while a black student holding a glue gun triggered a four-hour lockdown

Attributing this to white privilege is obtuse.  The plain fact is that blacks with guns kill people; young white girls with a katana (Samurai sword) do not.  What happened was a cautious and realistic response to that reality

A college sophomore has been praised online after candidly revealing how her white privilege enabled her to run around a campus with a dangerous weapon - while a black student was accused of being a dangerous gunman after carrying a glue gun around the same college.

Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, was in the news earlier this month after going into lockdown for four hours over reports of a gunman on campus.

However, investigators soon found that the panic all came from witnesses mistaking a glue gun for a real firearm - a glue gun that happened to be in the hand of a black student. 

Now, the community at the university is questioning whether or not the young man was racially profiled, and one former student has spoken out to candidly illustrate that point with a powerful post about her own white privilege.

Colgate student Jenny Lundt shared a picture of herself the day after the lockdown, posing with one leg up on a chair and a sword held aloft.

In the caption, she wrote: 'THIS is what white privilege looks like.'

She explained that the photo had been taken one year earlier on the university campus. In fact, she claimed that she had spent the day 'running around the academic quad with a f****** sharp metal sword.'

'People laughed - oh look at that harmless, silly white girl with a giant sword!!" she said.

She then compared that reaction to the one that was elicited by a black student walking around campus with a glue gun.

Jenny also mentioned that the vague information released about the alleged shooter 'put all black men on this campus in danger.'

'That is the reality of the institutionalized racism in the United States,' she said. 'If you think for even a second this wasn't profiling, ask yourself why this sword is still in my room and has not ONCE made anyone uncomfortable. No one has EVER called the police on me.' 

She pleaded with her readers to look into the 'larger forces at play' and recognize the institutionalized racism among them.

The post has since gone viral, with more than 16,000 shares and over 26,000 reactions. Many came out to praise Jenny for her words.

'I am a 54 year old grandfather of two little girls. Because of young people like you, I have hopes that the world they grow up in will be a better place. Keep fighting the good fight!' wrote one user. 'You are my new hero.'

Another added: 'Thank you for your words; your use of the privilege you are afforded to speak up is appreciated.'

As the post spread, Jenny added multiple edits to the original caption, at one point addressing other white readers and asking them to 'use this as an opportunity and wake up call to confront the privilege in your own life.'

She also apologized to people of color for her viral post 'taking up space' that should be filled by their voices about privilege.


How to Get Our Immigration Courts Back to Enforcing Federal Law
With the backlog of immigration cases hitting a record high of 585,930 cases in April according to Syracuse University, the initiative announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month in Nogales, AZ, to hire more immigration judges is a vital step in bringing our immigration courts back to enforcing federal law. This includes the long overdue hiring of an additional 50 immigration judges this year and another 75 next year under a “streamlined” hiring process.

Now that Sessions has “already surged 25 immigration judges to detention centers along the border” and the Trump administration ended the Obama era “catch and release” policy, we may once again see U.S. immigration courts fulfilling their mission: trying the cases of those who have entered or remained here illegally.

Why are these moves important? Because the huge backlog of untried cases and the prior “catch and release” policy allowed many illegal aliens to disappear, never to be seen again. Their numbers are stark evidence of a breakdown in the immigration court system that only accelerated during the Obama years.

Ending the “catch and release” policy — a policy Border Patrol agents rightly refer to as the “catch and run” policy — was a critical first step.

“Catch and release” is the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) policy of arresting illegal aliens, giving them court dates, and then releasing them. Unsurprisingly, many of those released never showed for court.

The numbers tell the story. In 2016, 39 percent of aliens who were free pending trial failed to show up for their hearings. In 2015, 43 percent did the same. Over the past 21 years, 37 percent of all aliens the U.S. permitted to remain free before trial — some 952,000 people — were ordered removed for dodging court.

Courts are three times more likely to issue removal orders for evading court than removal orders from cases that were actually tried. Predictably, American immigration courts have the highest “failure-to-appear” rate of any court system in the country, averaging more than 45,000 per year.

This is why “surging” more judges to immigration detention facilities along our border is critically important.

Deploying judges who can swiftly conduct hearings to grant relief to the deserving and direct removal of offenders not only assures due process to all claimants, but it also serves to warn others away from illegal entry. In short, alert and empowered courts harden our borders.

Restoring the authority of immigration judges is just as important. At the end of 2008 — right before Barack Obama became president — federal immigration courts reported a backlog of 186,108 cases.

By the end of 2016, backlogged cases had increased 300 percent to 542,411, and now we have reached almost 586,000 cases. Much of this backlog resulted from procedural changes directed by Justice Department political appointees that radically slowed down court cases. In 2006, 233 immigration judges completed 407,487 cases. Yet in 2016, more than 270 judges completed only 273,390 cases.

At the same time that these Justice Department appointees nearly halted adjudication, DHS political appointees refused to enforce removal orders issued by the immigration courts. Today unexecuted removal orders stand at 953,506 — a 58 percent increase since 2002 — and the great majority of these orders were issued to those who evaded court.

One final note of concern that few mention: From 2003 through 2015, 62,409 asylum applicants from the 36 “Specially Designated Countries” — countries that DHS designates as aiding and abetting terrorism — entered the U.S.

Forty percent of this group (24,975) received asylum. From the remaining asylum seekers, 3,095 never showed for their court hearings and were ordered removed. Within this group of absconders were 338 people from Iran, Sudan and Syria, countries the U.S. identifies as “State Sponsors of Terrorism.”

Never has there been an accounting to Congress or the public about what became of these people from terrorist safe-havens who claimed asylum before disappearing into the United States.

On top of that, almost no one noticed another alarming fact that came out of former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 3. Comey said that out of over 2,000 “violent extremist investigations” about “300 of them are people who came to the United States as refugees.”

The bottom line is that America has a well-organized immigration court system that can help secure our borders and remove violators while also redeeming the persecuted. But it works only if it has enough judges to handle its cases and if illegal aliens are detained, so they actually show up for court.

Eight years of intentional neglect can’t be reversed overnight. But Jeff Sessions seems intent on making sure that all of this finally happens by empowering judges, prosecutors, and enforcement officers to do their jobs.

He is restoring common sense and effectiveness to an immigration court system that, until recently, had neither.


The Problem Is Not the Islamic State but Islamic Hate

A lie conceals the truth.  And ugly but hidden truths never have a chance of being acknowledged, addressed, and ameliorated.  Because of this simple truism, one of the greatest lies of our age-that violence committed in the name of Islam has nothing to do with Islam-has made an intrinsically weak Islam the scourge of the modern world, with no signs of relief on the horizon.

It is, therefore, useful to expose the main strategy used by liars in government, media, and academia: 1) to ignore the generic but chronic everyday reports of Muslim violence against non-Muslims around the world; 2) to address only spectacular Muslim violence, which, because it is almost always committed by professional jihadi groups can be portrayed as a finite, temporal, localized problem: defeat that particular "terrorist group" and the problem vanishes.

By way of example, consider the Islamic targeting of Christian churches.  Last month, after two Egyptian churches were bombed, leaving 51 worshippers dead, everyone was quick to point out that something called "ISIS"-which of course "has nothing to do with Islam"-was responsible.

On Easter Sunday, 2016, more than 3,000 miles away from Egypt, in Pakistan, approximately 70 Christians were killed in a bomb attack, also specifically targeting Easter celebrations.  Then we were told that something called "Taliban"-also "nothing to do with Islam"-was responsible.

Meanwhile, some 3,000 miles west of Egypt, in Nigeria, Christians are also under attack.  There, 11,500 Christians have been killed and 13,000 churches destroyed.  According to the official narrative, something called "Boko Haram" is responsible.  This is another group that habitually bombs churches during Christmas and Easter; another group that, we are told, "has nothing to do with Islam," but rather is a finite, temporal, localized problem: defeat it, and the problem vanishes.

About 5,000 miles west of Nigeria, in the U.S., Americans were told that something called "al-Qaeda" attacked and killed 3,000 of their countrymen on 9/11; defeating that finite group would cease the terror.  Its leader, Osama bin Laden, was reportedly killed, and victory loudly proclaimed-until, that is, an even more savage manifestation called the "Islamic State" came on the scene and went further than al-Qaeda could've ever dreamed.

The problem is not merely that the liars in media, government, and academia refuse to connect the dots and insist on treating each of the aforementioned groups as disparate, finite groups with different "political" or "territorial" motivations-none of which has anything to do with Islam.  The greater issue is that regular Muslims who are not called "ISIS," "Taliban," "Boko Haram," or "al-Qaeda," commit similar acts-and much more frequently-though this is rarely mentioned by big media lest people begin to connect the dots.

Thus, although ISIS claimed the Egyptian church bombing before Easter, it is everyday Egyptian imams who "preach hatred and violence against Christians to the public over loudspeakers";  it is everyday Muslims who persecute Christians "every two or three days";  every day Muslims who riot and kill whenever a rumor surfaces that a church is going to be built, or that a Coptic kid "blasphemed" against Muhammad, or that a Christian man is dating a Muslim woman.  In short, it is every day Muslims-not "ISIS"-who cause Egypt to be the 21st worst nation in the world in which to be Christian.

Similarly, though the Taliban claimed 2016's Easter bombing, it is everyday Muslims who discriminate against, persecute, enslave, rape and murder Christians almost every day in Pakistan, making it the fourth worst nation in the world in which to be Christian.  And, though Boko Haram is always blamed for the more spectacular attacks on Christians and their churches, it is everyday Muslims, including the Muslim Fulani herdsmen, who make Nigeria the 12th worst nation in which to be Christian.

This is the real issue.  While the media may name the terrorist groups responsible for especially spectacular attacks, few dare acknowledge that Muslims in general engage in similar acts of violence and intolerance against non-Muslims all around the world.  Indeed, Muslims-of all races, nationalities, languages, and socio-political and economic circumstances, hardly just "terror groups"-are responsible for persecuting Christians in 40 of the world's 50 worst nations in which to be Christian.  Accordingly, what "extremist" "terrorist" and "militant" groups are doing is only the notable tip of the iceberg of what Muslims are doing all around the world.  (See "Muslim Persecution of Christians," reports which I've been compiling every month since July 2011 and witness the nonstop discrimination, persecution, and carnage committed by "everyday" Muslims against Christians.  Each monthly report contains dozens of atrocities, most of which if committed by Christians against Muslims would receive 24/7 blanket coverage.)

It bears repeating: Media aren't just covering up for Islam by pretending that the spectacular attacks committed by Islamic groups on non-Muslims are finite, localized, and most importantly, "have nothing to do with Islam." They are covering up for Islam by failing to report the everyday persecution non-Muslims experience at the hands of everyday Muslims-Muslim individuals, Muslim mobs, Muslim police, and Muslim governments (including America's closest "friends and allies")-and hardly just Muslim "terrorists."  They dare not connect the dots and offer a holistic picture which doesn't merely implicate this or that group but Islam in general.

Accordingly, the world must continue to suffer from Islamic aggression.  Not only have these lies allowed countless innocents to be persecuted into oblivion in the Muslim world, but they have allowed the same persecution to enter America and Europe, most recently via mass immigration.

The fact remains: an ugly truth must first be acknowledged before it can be remedied.   It may be hard to acknowledge an ugly truth-that Islam, not "radical Islam," promotes hate for and violence against non-Muslims-but anything less will just continue to feed the lie, that is, continue to feed the jihad and terror.

In short, the problem is not so much the "Islamic State"; it is Islamic hate.  The former is but one of many temporal and historical manifestations of the latter, which, as an integral part of Islam, transcends time and space


Former Australian Labor party leader slams Sydney council for putting screens around a public pool for Muslim women to swim in private

Media personality Mark Latham says putting up curtains at a Sydney public swimming pool to cater for Muslim women is a step towards putting drapes around section of Bondi Beach - as an Islamic sheikh likened it to imposing sharia law in Australia's suburbs.

The council-run Auburn Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre in the city's west has installed a retractable curtain around one of its three pools so women can swim privately during two set time slots on Wednesdays, infuriating many residents who said it was like 'segregation'.

The organiser of the swim group, Yusra Metwally, said the idea behind the sessions was to 'accommodate people who wouldn't otherwise swim at a beach, or swim in a swimming pool because they don't feel comfortable'.

However Mr Latham, a former federal Labor leader, said it set an awful precedent and undermined Australia's egalitarian values about people from all different backgrounds mixing together.

'Where does it end? What's the next step? Down at Bondi Beach, we're going to have some curtained-off area, or something, it's just ridiculous,' he told Daily Mail Australia on Wednesday.

While Mr Latham supported the right of Muslim women to swim in a burkini, he said councils were bowing to left-wing demands to protect minority groups instead of encouraging individuals to come to terms with their modesty issues.

'It's not going to be very helpful for Islamic integration into the broader Australian community,' he said. 'Enclaves are a disaster for Australian multiculturalism. It becomes monocultural.'

There are even critics within the Muslim community, with Adelaide Shia imam Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi likening the swimming pool policy to sharia law.

'It is part of sharia law that a strange man must not see the body of another woman, therefore they are installing the curtains,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

Sheikh Tawhidi said religious Muslims should build 'Muslim-only swimming pools for themselves' rather than have their laws imposed on non-Muslims.

'Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre is not an Islamic swimming pool, therefore they should not be accepting of such an idea in the first place,' he said. 'The Muslim community can afford a private swimming pool for themselves that observes their sharia laws.'

Some locals have slammed the idea as 'segregation,' saying the women are receiving 'special treatment'.

'These communities should be encouraged to integrate and uphold the values of equality and respect not division and segregation paid for by taxes and council rates,' one woman wrote.

Anthony McIntosh, manager of the centre's operator Belgravia Leisure, said the covering for the swimming pool's glass walls was intended to make Muslim women more comfortable with aquatic activities.

Behind the curtain, Muslim women who wear a hijab would be able to swim in whatever attire they feel comfortable instead of a modesty suit or burkini.

Ms Metwally said other swimmers would not be affected as the other pools would be open to everyone during the session times.

'We had a record number of people drown at the end of last year which matches up with the road fatalities,' she said.

'So if we can have more women who are water-safe, that's surely a good thing.'

Cumberland Council general manager Malcolm Ryan told Daily Mail Australia female lifeguards are present during the women's only swim sessions. 'Council has a responsibility to cater for the needs of its community,' he said.

'The curtains, which are retractable and can be used or not used at any time, ensure we have provided a space that is accessible to and inclusive for all'.

The pool is also used for children's swimming classes and use by the elderly, people with a disability and patients having hydrotherapy or physiotherapy, who may prefer additional privacy during their use of the pool.

It is not only used by Muslim women and can be used by any women.
Cumberland Council General Manager, Malcolm Ryan, told Daily Mail

Cumberland Council General Manager, Malcolm Ryan, told Daily Mail Australia female lifeguards are present during the Women's Only swim sessions

Ms Metwally said although she is an avid swimmer, she 'didn't like swimming in a burkini and for a long time.' 'I remember when I was younger I was told by a lifeguard that my clothes weren't appropriate for the pool — you feel like you are being policed and that you stand out.

'Some women are worried that what they wear in the pool can expose them to questions, comments or stares.'



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

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

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


19 May, 2017

Austrian parliament bans full facial veils in public

Austria has banned wearing a full facial veil in public places, the latest move by a European country to restrict expressions of Muslim identity viewed as contrary to Western secular values. The decision immediately drew criticism from rights advocates and from representatives of Austria's Muslim community.

Under the new legislation, approved by parliament on Tuesday, women who wear clothing that covers their faces, such as burqas or niqabs, in places like universities, public transportation or courthouses will face fines of €150, or about $225. The measure will take effect in October.

German liberal chancellor Angela Merkel announced she wants a ban on burkas in Germany, ahead of her bid for re-election to a fourth term next year.

The ban is part of legislation aimed at improving the integration of immigrants, according to Muna Duzdar, a state secretary in the office of Chancellor Christian Kern.

Other elements of the legislation include mandatory integration courses, German-language lessons and requirements that asylum seekers do unpaid work while awaiting the processing of their claims. Under the new law, migrants who do not meet the requirements could see their welfare benefits slashed.

Analysts said the new law appeared to be at least partially calculated to try and defuse the growing influence of the far-right anti-immigrant Freedom Party. (On Tuesday, it criticised the legislation, saying it did not go far enough.)

Sevgi Kircil, a member of Austria's Muslim community, said the new restrictions were an infringement on individual privacy and a reckless "intervention in religious freedom and the freedom of expression."

Earlier this year, thousands of Muslim women took to the streets of Vienna to protest the proposed law.

The Austrian Bar Board, which represents the legal profession, said the ban breached the values of constitutional democracy, along with "the fundamental rights of the freedom of conscience and the freedom of private life."

The current coalition government -- which includes the conservative People's Party and the centre-left Social Democratic Party -- is on the brink of collapse, and early elections are expected in October. That could create an opportunity for the far-right Freedom Party to enter government for the second time since it was formed by former Nazis in the 1950s.

The Freedom Party's nominee for president of Austria lost to a moderate in May and December of last year. (The election was ordered repeated because of procedural irregularities in the vote counting the first time.)

The new restrictions come as countries across Europe, buffeted by the rise of far right anti-immigrant parties, have been grappling with how to integrate a large influx of migrants, many of whom come from predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East.

Amid a simmering anti-immigrant backlash, religious clothing has become a proxy for fears that European identity and values are being subsumed by Islamic immigration. That alarm has been magnified by recent terrorist attacks in France, Belgium, Sweden and elsewhere, and by fears that extremists are entering Europe by posing as refugees.

Austria is hardly alone in imposing restrictions on religious garb. Many critics of religious attire say it oppresses women, is physically restrictive and isolates them from mainstream society; many defenders say it is a religious obligation or, in some cases, a matter of individual identity and an expression of one's heritage.

In 2010, the French parliament voted to ban the wearing of face-concealing veils in public places, the first country to do so. Violators face a fine of €150. A woman with a full facial veil was spotted in the audience at Opera Bastille in Paris in 2014 and some of the performers refused to sing. After she was asked to uncover her face or leave, she and her husband left.

A similar ban in Belgium went into effect in 2011.

Germany's parliament this year approved a draft banning women working in the judiciary, civil service or military from wearing face-covering veils, and will come into effect soon.

In December, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced her support for the ban, arguing that full facial veils were "not acceptable in Germany." She called for them to be prohibited "wherever it is legally possible."

The European Union's highest court entered into the politically explosive debate in March, ruling that private employers can prohibit female workers from wearing head scarves on the job as long as it applies to religious garb from all faiths.


British Labour Party leader relies on Communist

The Left never learn

Labour's new election chief blamed "Western imperialism" for the rise of Isil and accused Israel of "digging its own grave" in a series of controversial articles.

Andrew Murray, Len McCluskey’s right hand man and a longstanding communist party member who joined Labour in December, was bought in to run the party's campaign last week.

He has spoken on his support for Stalin and of North Korea and voiced his opposition to western intervention in Iraq and Syria.

Yet Jeremy Corbyn praised his "enormous abilities" today and claimed Mr Murray is "a democratic socialist and member of the Labour party like me".

Writing in the Morning Star newspaper in 2015 Mr Murray said: "Imperial interventionists in both major parties have been smarting ever since. The rise of Islamic State (Isis) to control much of Syria’s territory — a consequence of the civil war fostered by the Western powers, among others — seemed to offer another excuse for intervention."

And in a 2012 Stop the War Coalition speech, an organisation he chaired, he expressed "solidarity with the heroic Palestinian people in Gaza” and added: “Palestine stands today undefeated and unbowed despite the bloody aggression by one of the greatest military powers on earth."

He added: "We have a message for the Israeli embassy, the Israeli government… every time you kill a Palestinian child, you are digging your own graves."

Asked about his appointment by The Guardian newspaper Mr Corbyn said: "Andrew Murray is a member of the Labour party, and he is an official at Unite and he is temporarily helping us with the campaign.

"He is a person of enormous abilities and professionalism and is the head of staff of Unite the union. To manage a very large union and a large number of staff tales special skills and Andrew has them.

"I don't believe that Andrew is anything other than a democratic socialist and member of the Labour party like me."

Mr Murray started at the party’s campaign headquarters on Friday, prompting a row between existing staff and the leadership team about why he has been appointed.

It followed the embarrassing leak of the party's election manifesto which prompted critics to warn Jeremy Corbyn is seeking to take the country back to the 1970s by nationalising energy infrastructure, the railways and the post office.

A Labour source said the move to employ Mr Murray had caused widespread disquiet in the party’s headquarters where staff are increasingly worried that the campaign has been taken over by the hard-left.

There are fears that Mr Corbyn is seeking to shore up the party’s structures with his supporters to stave off a leadership challenge after the vote in June, which he is expected to lose.

Karie Murphy, the executive director of the leader’s office, had been in charge of the campaign but is said to be furious at the decision to sideline her in favour of Mr Murray.

The source added she was “conspicuously absent” from the party’s offices on Friday, Mr Murray’s first day.

Another source added: “Murray hasn’t even been a member for a year, he is ineligible to be a councillor, by-election candidate or general election candidate but is somehow running Labour’s election campaign.


Bravo to the Offensive Truth: Let’s Reclaim Reality of Male and Female Sexual Difference

The problem with basing a diagnosis and irreversible treatment on people’s feelings, no matter how deeply felt, is that feelings can change.

A recent New York Post article tells the story of a Detroit mom named Erica who changed into a transgender dad named Eric. If that is not enough, his son had already changed genders: born a boy, he transitioned to living as a girl. Thus, mom became dad and son became daughter. Similarly, back in 2015, a fifty-two-year-old Canadian man made the news when he traded in his wife and seven kids to fulfill his “true identity” as a six-year-old transgender girl.

Stories like these remind us that transgender identity is a product of LGBTQ social ideology, not of each human person’s innate identity as male or female. Transgender identity is not authentic gender but man’s attempt to socially engineer the family, sex, and gender identity.

What Makes a Person Trans?

The accepted LGBTQ standard for being a “real” trans woman or trans man is simply that a person desires to self-identify as the opposite of his or her biological sex and to be socially accepted as such. If a person feels distressed about his or her birth gender, then the politically correct action is for everyone to affirm the new and “authentic” gender identity—the one that exists only in the trans person's feelings.

In a recent interview on Fox News, transgender lawyer Jillian Weiss, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, was asked repeatedly by host Tucker Carlson, “What are the legal standards to be transgender?” Finally, the legal specialist admitted, “There are no legal standards.”

That’s right—no legal standards or legal definitions of transgender exist. Yet, as Carlson pointed out, $11 billion of federal money is spent on sex-specific programs, such as the Small Business Administration investing in businesses owned by women. Without a legal definition, these funds become easy prey for, as Carlson puts it, “charlatans” who will claim to be women simply to get the money.

When people feel that their biological sex doesn’t match their internal sense of gender, they are typically diagnosed with gender dysphoria. This is defined as “discomfort or distress that is caused by a discrepancy between a person’s gender identity and that person’s sex assigned at birth.” In other words, the medical diagnostician simply listens to and affirms the patient’s own verbal self-identification and self-diagnosis.

No objective tests can prove that the transgender condition exists. No physical examination, blood test, bone marrow test, chromosome test, or brain test will show that a person has gender dysphoria. It is a condition revealed solely by the patient’s feelings. Yet the recommended treatment is extreme—cross-gender hormones and sex-reassigning surgery.

Don’t be duped when trans activists conflate the unrelated condition of intersexuality with transgenderism to gain sympathy for a trans agenda. People with intersex conditions are not the same as self-identified transgender people. Being intersex is verifiable in the physical body; being transgender is not. People who identify as transgender usually have typical male or female anatomies.

How to Become Transgender

The wikiHow article entitled “How to Transition from Male to Female (Transgender)” outlines a simple five-part system for men who want to become women. Here is a small sample:

Seek a qualified therapist. … Ask your friends in the trans community to recommend a therapist. Browse the internet in search of a therapist experienced working with members of the trans community… .

Receive a diagnosis. Over the course of a series of sessions, your therapist will evaluate your individual situation issuing a diagnosis. After determining that you have consistently experienced symptoms such as disgust with your genitals, a desire to remove signs of your biological sex, and or a certainty that your biological sex does not align with your true gender, your therapist will likely diagnose you with Gender Dysphoria.

These instructions are typical of the advice offered to those who believe they may be transgender. I myself followed a similar series of steps. Yet, in hindsight, after transitioning from male to female and back again, I see that many important topics are ignored by such advice, placing vulnerable people at risk. Four crucial omissions are most obvious and problematic.

First, these instructions fail to caution the reader about therapist bias. Asking friends in the trans community to recommend a therapist guarantees that the therapist will be biased toward recommending the radical step of transitioning.

Second, no mention is made or warning given about sexual fetishes. If a person has been sexually, emotionally, or physically abused or is addicted to masturbation, cross-dressing, or pornography, he could be suffering from a sexual fetish disorder. As such, he is probably not going to be helped by gender dysphoria treatment protocols.

Third, the high incidence of comorbid mental conditions is not mentioned. Those who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, oppositional defiance behaviors, narcissism, autism, or other such disorders need to proceed cautiously when considering transitioning, because these disorders can cause symptoms of gender dysphoria. When the comorbid disorder is effectively treated, the gender discomfort may relent as well.

Fourth, regret after transition is real, and the attempted suicide rate is high. Unhappiness, depression, and inability to socially adapt have been linked to high rates of attempted suicide both before and after gender transition and sexual reassignment surgery. My website gathers academic research on this topic and reports the personal experiences of people who regret transitioning.

Standards of Care?

In theory, the medical community follows certain standards of care for transgender health, now in the seventh revision, which were developed by The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). The standards provide guidelines for treating people who report having discomfort with their gender identity.

People think that because standards exist, people will be properly screened before undergoing the radical gender transition. Unfortunately, the overwhelming theme of these standards is affirmation. Again, clinical practitioners do not diagnose gender dysphoria. Their job is to approve and affirm the client’s self-diagnosis of gender dysphoria and help the patient fulfill the desire for transition. The standards also advise that each patient’s case is different, so the medical practitioners may (and should) adapt the protocols to the individual.

The patient controls the diagnosis of gender dysphoria. If a gender specialist or the patient wants to skip the screening protocols and move forward with hormone treatment and surgical procedures, they are free to do so. The standards of care do not come with any requirement that they be followed.

For example, the standards do, in fact, recommend that patients be pre-screened for other mental health conditions. But I routinely hear from family members who say that obvious comorbid conditions, such as autism or a history of abuse, are ignored. The physician or the counselor simply concludes that the psychological history is unimportant and allows the patient to proceed with hormone treatment.

When Real Looks Fake

As simple as it is to become a “real” transgender person, it’s even easier to turn into a fake one. “Fake” transgender people like me start out as real, but when they eventually see through the delusion of gender change and stop living the transgender life, transgender activists give them the disparaging label of “fake.”

If someone comes to the difficult and honest conclusion that transitioning didn’t result in a change of sex, then he or she is perceived as a threat to the transgender movement and must be discredited. Name-calling and bullying ensues. To be considered real, the transgender person must continue in the delusion that his or her gender changed. The problem with basing a diagnosis and irreversible treatment on people’s feelings, no matter how sincerely held, is that feelings can change.

My message attempts to help others avoid regret, yet the warning is not welcome to the advocates whose voice for transgender rights rings strong and loud. Some will find my words offensive, but then the truth can be offensive. Personally, I cannot think of anything more offensive than men diminishing the wonder and uniqueness of biological women by suggesting women are nothing more than men who have been pumped with hormones and may or may not have undergone cosmetic surgery.

Cheers and bravo to the offensive truth. Let’s reclaim the beautiful reality of male and female sexual difference and reject transgender ideology.


Feminist absurdities
The number of foolish statements made by men and women who consider themselves feminists is essentially equal to the number of people who strongly identify as feminists.

I write “strongly identify” because if asked, “Are you a feminist?” most women will say yes.

They will do so for two reasons. One is that there is no social price paid for saying that one is a feminist, while there can be a huge price paid — on a college campus, for example — for saying that one is not a feminist. The other is that a great number of women define feminism as “belief in women’s equality.” And by that definition, who isn’t a feminist? I certainly am.

Intelligence varies among these women and men as much as it does among members of any group of people; there are both brilliant individuals and dummies who say they are feminists. But the women today — I am not talking about suffragettes in the early 20th century — whose identities are wrapped up in being a feminist are nearly all dummies. That doesn’t mean they all lack brainpower. There are many people with a fine brain who are fools. Indeed, such individuals dominate our universities.

This realization occurred to me again when reading a CNN column written last week by Jill Filipovic, one of CNN’s feminist writers. (Does CNN employ a non-feminist female writer?)

The column was about Australian Sen. Larissa Waters, who breast-fed her child in the parliamentary chamber while Parliament was in session. The CNN writer, as would be expected, lauded the parliamentarian: What could be more beautiful or natural than breast-feeding in Parliament?

Among the writer’s arguments defending Sen. Waters was one in which she said, “Yes, for many people, breasts are sexually alluring or arousing — but so too are lips and hands, and having those out in Parliament doesn’t bring on sexual chaos.”

This was similar to the argument advanced by the highest court in the state of New York in a 1992 ruling that said women could go topless in public because men can, and there is no difference between a man’s chest and a woman’s. In the court’s words, the law that prevented them from doing so “discriminates against women by prohibiting them from removing their tops and exposing their bare chests in public as men are routinely permitted to do.”

Now back to our feminist at CNN who compared the sexually alluring and arousing nature of visible lips and hands with visible breasts.

It is difficult to overstate the foolishness of that comment. For one thing, the only inference to be drawn is that women in parliament and all other public spaces should uncover their breasts just as they do their lips and hands. But what is truly absurd is the equation of seeing women’s breasts with seeing their lips and hands. Is the author unaware of the fact that men pay to enter “topless” bars in order to look at women’s breasts wherever on Earth it is permitted?

Now, why is that?

Some will say it’s only because women’s hands and lips are visible, while their breasts are covered. If all women were to wear gloves in public, the argument goes, men would pay to see women’s bare hands.

I trust that most readers find such an argument risible.

Men from Saudi Arabia, where women’s lips are regularly covered, go to the West and pay to see women’s breasts, not their lips.


Because in virtually every society, heterosexual men have found the female breast a particularly sexually alluring part of a woman’s body.

Evolutionary psychologist Carol Jahme, a science columnist for the left-wing pro-feminist publication the Guardian, summarized a whole host of academic studies. She wrote: “The full, plump bosom seen in the human ape is an anomaly. No other primate has a permanent breast. … The sex appeal of rounded female buttocks and plump breasts is both universal and unique to the human primate.”

So, then, the sole purpose of women’s breasts is not for nursing babies. It is also to attract and arouse men.

Yet, whoever argues that women’s breasts are there to arouse men, not just to provide a baby with milk, is dismissed by feminists as a sexist heterosexist patriarchal pig, a product of a sexist culture that renders women and their baby-feeding mammary glands sexual objects.

But it turns out that science, not just common sense, rejects the feminist argument.

So, how does a CNN columnist, along with myriad other feminists, not know this? Why did my grandmother, who never went to high school, know this, while a vast number of graduates of our universities do not?

The answer is that today’s universities — especially women’s studies and gender studies departments — generally make people stupid.

The only remaining question is: Did anyone at CNN find this column absurd? I suspect not.

And that’s more than absurd. That’s frightening.



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

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

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


18 May, 2017

Trump: 'In America We Don't Worship Government, We Worship God'

In his commencement speech at Liberty University on Saturday, President Donald Trump urged the graduates to take "the road less traveled" -- a reference to the Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken -- and stressed that America was founded by "true believers," people of faith, and added that "in America we don't worship government, we worship God."

“Remember this, nothing worth doing ever, ever, ever came easy," said Trump.  "Following your convictions means you must be willing to face criticism from those who lack the same courage to do what is right — and they know what is right, but they don't have the courage or the guts or the stamina to take it and to do it. It's called the road less traveled."

Further on in the speech, he said, "America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers."

"When the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, they prayed," said Trump.  "When the founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, they invoked our Creator four times, because in America we don't worship government, we worship God."

Trump continued, “That is why our elected officials put their hands on the Bible and say, 'So help me God,' as they take the oath of office. It is why our currency proudly declares, 'In God we trust.' And it's why we proudly proclaim that we are one nation under God every time we say the pledge of allegiance."


Stephen Fry and the new blasphemy laws

The UK and Irish authorities are now required to indulge people’s hurt feelings

I love a good blasphemy trial. Unfortunately they’re about as common these days as red squirrels or UKIP councillors. Imagine my delight, therefore, when police in Ireland decided to launch an investigation into Stephen Fry for remarks he made about the almighty deity during an televised interview for RTÉ in early 2015. During the course of the programme Fry expressed the view that if God exists he must be ‘utterly, utterly evil’, ‘totally selfish’, and ‘quite clearly a maniac’. ‘Why’, Fry asked, ‘should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?’.

That the Christian God is ‘capricious’ and ‘mean-minded’ has some Biblical justification. In the Second Book of Samuel, we are told that God killed the Israelite Uzzah for accidentally touching the Ark of the Covenant after a pesky ox stumbled and knocked him aside. In the Second Book of Kings, we see God unleashing two wild bears to mutilate fatally 42 children for the crime of mocking a bald man. Given this track record, I’m surprised that Fry wasn’t struck down then and there on national television. If nothing else, this does at least prove that God has developed a greater degree of restraint.

Many prominent humanists and atheists have been quick to vent their indignation on social media, but the likelihood of a case like this making it to court is infinitesimal. The Irish authorities have now made clear they won’t be pursuing Fry, and it’s easy to see why. The case would be over in five minutes. All Fry’s defence would have to establish is that we no longer live in a society which should be subject to medieval canon law. A copy of this year’s calendar ought to do the trick.

Even so, a trial would be a wonderful thing. Not solely because of its inherent entertainment value – imagine the Gardaí having to prove in court that a) God exists, and b) that he’s mightily pissed off – but also because it would be a means by which Section 36 of the 2009 Defamation Act could be contested and, with any luck, repealed. The act was introduced by justice minister Dermot Ahern, and includes an amendment concerning ‘publication or utterance of blasphemous matter’, which stipulates that anyone found guilty will be ‘liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €25,000’.

As Roy Greenslade has pointed out, Ireland is the only developed Western nation to have created new blasphemy laws since the beginning of the 21st century. In the UK, blasphemy was technically illegal until 2008, although prosecutions were scarce in the preceding decades. With a few notable exceptions – such as Mary Whitehouse’s private prosecution against Denis Lemon, editor of Gay News, for publishing a poem which eroticised the body of the crucified Jesus – accusations of blasphemy have rarely led to convictions.

Yet there are many who would be in favour of the reintroduction of such laws in this country. When the Olympic gymnast Louis Smith was filmed making jokes about Islam, he was subjected to a barrage of criticism in the media and was banned for two months by British Gymnastics. Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadan Foundation, called for Smith to apologise unreservedly. ‘Our faith is not to be mocked’, said Shafiq, momentarily forgetting that he lives in a secular society which values freedom of expression. Perhaps worst of all, Smith was interrogated about his behaviour by Janet Street-Porter on ITV’s Loose Women, an ordeal that no sentient being should ever be compelled to endure.

Had Smith made his anti-Islamic jokes in Ireland, he could now be facing the prospect of a criminal probe. That said, few believe that the Irish authorities would ever be foolish enough to enact this bizarrely archaic law. I have a suspicion that the anonymous individual who reported Fry to the police only did so in order to demonstrate the preposterousness of having such a law on the statute books in the first place. The complainant made assurances that he was not personally offended, that he ‘believed that the comments made by Fry on RTÉ were criminal blasphemy’ and that he was merely doing his ‘civic duty’. The man is clearly either bored, mad, or trying to make a point.

The complaint itself should not worry us. Of far greater significance is the fact that the police feel compelled to take complaints like this seriously. One would expect them to point out that a citizen’s private sensibilities are no concern for the state, and that even unpleasant people may exercise their right to say unpleasant things. In any case, the police surely have more pressing matters to attend to. They’re called crimes.

It is telling that the police specifically asked the complainant whether or not he felt ‘offended’ by Fry’s views. This has been a sinister development in recent years, with police in both Ireland and the UK deeming personal offence to be the chief criterion when it comes to determining what constitutes criminal speech. A fortnight ago, Katie Hopkins was yet again reported for committing a ‘hate crime’ for one of her obnoxious comments. The police are obliged to take action because of their own official guidelines, in which it is made explicit that subjective feeling is the determining factor. Hate crime is defined by ‘the perception of the victim’, and this perception should under no circumstances be challenged. According to the guidelines, ‘evidence of hostility is not required for an incident or crime to be recorded as a hate crime or hate incident’. After all, why should an impartial investigative body be concerning itself with empirical facts?

These guidelines illustrate the inherent danger of concept creep, through which a rash tweet by a provocateur like Hopkins can be casually conflated with instances of violent physical assault. It is precisely this culture of offence that informed the call to investigate Stephen Fry’s remarks. The Irish Defamation Act makes it clear that a blasphemous offence is defined by whether or not it has caused ‘outrage’. When legal standards become so nebulous and subjective, it is hardly surprising that some will regard Fry’s opinions as criminal.

It is a staggering form of entitlement to suppose that one can prance through life without ever having one’s most deeply held beliefs challenged or mocked. Yet it is now official protocol for police services in both the UK and Ireland to indulge anyone who claims to be offended. That this has become the accepted norm should trouble us far more than anything Stephen Fry has ever said. When the state seeks to curtail its citizens’ freedom to speak their minds we should all be vigilant. God can look after himself. 


The rise and fall of the AfD

Sabine Beppler-Spahl

The success of the Alternative für Deutschland will fade’, said German chancellor Angela Merkel in March 2016. A year later, her prediction appears prescient. On Sunday, Germany’s anti-immigrant party won just 5.9 per cent of the vote in a regional election in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein. A few weeks earlier, it barely made the five per cent threshold in Saarland, another federal state. This is bad news for the AfD, which sent shockwaves through the country at regional elections last year, winning over 20 per cent in one region. These more recent results have been seen as a barometer of public opinion four months ahead of the national elections. They follow recent opinion polls that have also suggested the party is slumping in popularity. But is the far right in Germany finished, as some have tentatively claimed?

This is the wrong question to ask. The truth is that the German far right has not been surging in support in recent years. The AfD drew its support mainly from disgruntled former CDU, SPD or Die Linke voters (the conservative, labour and left parties respectively). Only a part of the AfD’s base came from a far right background: its shortlived success was a result of the failure of the more established parties to address the concerns of many people.

Now, the AfD leadership has certainly pandered to the far right. In January, for example, Björn Höcke, the speaker of the party in the state of Thuringia, caused outrage with his comments about the Holocaust memorial in Berlin. He said Germany was the only country in the world to build a monument of shame in the heart of its capital city, and that Germany should finally stop atoning for its past. But this led the AfD’s poll ratings to fall. While the party appealed to voters on issues such as immigration and the Euro, voters don’t want to be associated with this revisionist rhetoric.

Former AfD leader Frauke Petry, who has also pandered to the far right at times, recently tried to expel Höcke. She argued, from a tactical point of view, that the AfD’s image was being compromised by the provocations of a few of its members. Petry failed and stepped down as leader, becoming the latest person to lose the power struggle within the party, which has always tried to balance the interests of its right-wing faction with the need to appear open and respectable.

This struggle led the AfD to elect, at its congress in Cologne, two joint leaders to replace Petry: one is Alexander Gauland, a 76-year-old right-wing hack and supporter of Höcke; the other is Alice Weidel, a 38-year-old lesbian and former Goldman Sachs investment banker. While Gauland is there to appease the right-wing camp, Weidel’s role is to signal virtue.

Whether this two-fold strategy will work and bring the party back to its former heights is far from clear. The election programme, adopted at the Cologne congress, shows that the AfD is still far from a forward-looking force. It talks about encouraging Germans (but not immigrants) to have more children. It demands a compulsory abortion registry with punishments for anyone who fails to register. It also wants to ban headscarves in public institutions and calls for ‘negative immigration’ (based on a rising number of deportations). All this sounds chillingly authoritarian.

The immigration issue is losing its urgency in Germany, and the tide of refugees coming over has ebbed. The only thing the AfD remains potent on is the Euro. It wants to take Germany out of the Eurozone, while all other parties support ongoing membership. But it is unclear whether this will be enough to shore up its support among voters.

But even if the AfD is on the wane, the political class is doing nothing to address the problems which led to its rise in the first place. The main reason the AfD rose to prominence is because it was the only party willing to speak to concerns about immigration and the Euro. And when the AfD began attracting voters, all the mainstream parties could do was talk about defeating the far right. Rather than having a real debate about the issues the party raises, there have been a string of anti-AfD protests.

Thus, thousands of police in riot gear were required to protect the AfD’s party congress. Debates at universities involving AfD speakers have been disrupted and called off. In some cases, the protests got so out of hand that AfD speakers required police escorts. In Schleswig-Holstein, where the latest elections took place, an alliance of trade unionists, SPD politicians and members of the Green Party got together to prevent the AfD from holding its election rally.

There is a lot to dislike about the AfD, but at least it talks about politics. Many of its critics would rather stifle debate. At one of the anti-AfD rallies, Hannelore Kraft, the SPD minister president of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, gave a speech, saying: ‘Here are thousands of upright democrats who are making a clear statement: we want our country to stay as it is – colourful, open and tolerant.’ But what’s so tolerant about preventing an opposition party from holding a congress? And does the SPD not have anything more to say to the country than it should ‘stay as it is’?

Rather than taking on the AfD politically, the other parties are engaging in their own illiberal tactics. It’s a shallow spectacle presented as a valiant fight against fascism. In Schleswig-Holstein, only 65 per cent of voters took part in the recent local elections. This makes non-voters the strongest group in the region. That’s a much bigger worry than the theatrics of a fringe right-wing party.


The dedicated NHS doctor they tried to gag then destroy

Vicious defenders of socialized medicine.  They don't want people to know how bad it is

Chris Day had an unblemished record as a junior doctor. Respected by his senior colleagues, he was used to working hard in often difficult circumstances, regularly putting in long night shifts in the intensive care unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, South East London. It took him away from his wife Melissa, a nurse, and their two young children.

But such was his commitment that Chris, 32, believed it was a small price to pay to follow his dream of becoming a consultant in A&E medicine.

So when, during yet another night shift, Chris made a telephone call to report to the duty manager that he believed overnight staffing levels were unsafe, and that patients with life-threatening conditions may be left ‘dangerously’ at risk, he simply believed he had discharged his duty as a responsible doctor.

During his time on the unit, two ICU patients had died at night, in circumstances formally recorded by Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust as serious untoward incidents – meaning the deaths were unexpected or preventable.

Yet unbelievably, that polite phone call left his career in tatters and sparked a two-year legal battle which is estimated to have cost the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds in public funds.

Rather than support his claim, NHS agencies accused him of having ‘personal and professional conduct issues’, removed his right to continue training and used the full weight of the law against him – destroying his promising career.

But in a landmark legal victory last week, the Court of Appeal ruled that Chris is finally allowed to bring his case to an employment tribunal. Not only that, the decision granted all of the country’s 54,000 junior doctors reassurance that they too are protected by whistleblowing laws and should not be victimised for exposing NHS failings.

Yet the win has come at a huge personal cost. ‘This has robbed us, as a family,’ says Chris, speaking for the first time since the ruling. ‘In the time it has taken to change British law for everyone else, in a case which will hopefully improve patient safety by allowing junior doctors to come forward with concerns, my family has paid the price.

‘This has never been about my conduct and my competence – it’s about an understaffed ICU,’ he explains. ‘Yet I’ve stood here for nearly three years arguing the basic point that a junior doctor should be able to openly raise concerns about safety. I think most patients would agree with that principle. Yes, let’s celebrate that victory. But what really scares me is that I won’t be able to clear my name.’

Chris should be well on his way to a full-time consultant post by now. Instead, he has found himself working locum shifts at under-staffed A&E departments after failing to secure more permanent work.

He is also banned from appearing at a junior BMA conference taking place this weekend which focuses, ironically, on safeguarding the future of the NHS. ‘I’m losing my skills,’ he admits. ‘I could never work in an ICU now. I’ve gone backwards in my career. It feels as if the NHS doesn’t want people like me. Junior doctors have been let down by some very powerful people.’

Chris brought his concerns before an employment tribunal in February 2015. However, the case was thrown out when HEE successfully argued that whistleblowing laws did not apply to them.

But in fighting the treatment he received Chris had inadvertently exposed an even greater scandal: that no junior doctor was protected by whistleblowing laws. Perhaps even more troubling, the Government was effectively content for that to be the case. It was an outcome which raised concerns over the safety of all NHS patients.

Then in August 2015 an appeal was granted after a judge determined there was a ‘lacuna’ – a gap – in the whistleblowing laws for junior doctors.

At one point, four law firms for NHS agencies – including solicitors for Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt – were involved.

Chris says: ‘It became like a pathetic family feud. Ironically, this came weeks after Sir Robert Francis published his report on whistleblowing in the NHS, which found staff were deterred from speaking up and faced serious consequences for doing so.

‘Instead of defending themselves on the facts of my case, they used taxpayer money to essentially argue me and every other junior doctor out of statutory whistleblowing protection. How is that an effective use of public money if it makes the NHS less safe?’

So what began with a bid to resurrect his career turned into a mammoth legal battle. With a young family to support, Chris turned to crowdfunding, raising more than £140,000 from thousands of donors – including junior doctors – to fund a legal challenge, first in the Employment Appeals Tribunal, which failed, and then in the Court of Appeal. The case was also supported by the charity Public Concern At Work.

In February 2016, two days before one hearing, Chris claims HEE threatened his team with a costs application order for £24,084.50.

‘Imagine the effect that would have had on a young family’s financial security. They did it to try to get us to back down.’

But it was not a deterrent. On May 5, judges ruled the HEE’s arguments against junior doctors having whistleblowing protection were ‘legally flawed’ and concluded HEE could be considered an employer. It means his case in the employment tribunal can finally be heard in the next few weeks.

Chris’s lawyer, Tim Johnson, from Tim Johnson Law, said: ‘The impact on Chris and his family shouldn’t be underestimated. He has had to work incredibly hard to achieve this result. What I hear from junior doctors is that many of them see Chris as fighting the management of the health service on their behalf – better than other institutions such as the BMA.’

Today he still wants to work for the NHS but he is not optimistic about the future. His cynicism seems well-grounded. No doctor sacked after exposing NHS failings has ever been given their job back at the same level, and many find themselves ‘blacklisted’ even after being cleared by tribunals.

Thanks to Chris, the Trust has now increased the number of doctors on ICU to national standards. It has also accepted he did, in fact, make a ‘protected disclosure’ – in other words, he blew the whistle in a way that was protected by law. In a further statement, it said it ‘could not comment further while legal proceedings are ongoing’.



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

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

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


17 May, 2017

Another one of Britain's "vibrant" multiculturalists

A violent criminal who raped and murdered a nurse, tried to strangle her mother with a vacuum hose and then set fire to their flat was released from prison for a similar crime only weeks earlier.

Leroy Campbell, 55, planned the attack three days days beforehand when he stole a set of step ladders and hid them in a public access-way behind the nurse's home last November.

Campbell had been released from prison only four months earlier after he was previously jailed for 17 years for a similar crime -  burglary and indecent assault.

The sex offender had recently moved to Moseley, Birmingham from a hostel.

No motive for the attack in Bilston, West Midlands, has ever been established and it appears to have been completely random. 

It is believed that Ms Skidmore, who was described as an 'angel' by those who knew her, may have disturbed Campbell after he broke into her house.

CCTV captured a dark figure carrying the ladders and then using them on the morning of the attack to climb up to the first floor bedroom window.

Some two hours later, Lisa's mother called to check on her daughter, who was off work sick at the time, and, as she entered the kitchen, Campbell grabbed her around her neck and punched her.

He then wrapped a cord around her neck and she passed out before he set light to the property. He fled the scene but he was arrested two days later.

He was sentenced to a full life term in prison at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday after he pleaded guilty to strangling and sexually assaulting the 37-year-old nurse at her home.

Campbell also admitted to attempting to murder her mother and to arson with intent to endanger life.

Shortly after the body was discovered, police said: 'This horrendous crime has had a devastating impact on those who knew Lisa, her family, friends and work colleagues and the people who lived near her.'

Her family issued a statement soon afterwards in which they said she was a 'true Angel in the community.'

They continued: 'She was the most caring, kind, compassionate, thoughtful, dedicated, professional nurse, who would go to the end of the world to meet any requirements of her patients, and her mum and family.

'Her death has left a void in the family that can never be filled again. Her presence will always be with us and her memory will never die. The tears in our eyes we can wipe away, the ache in our hearts will always stay.'

The nurse was discovered by paramedics after neighbours alerted emergency services to a fire but was pronounced dead at the scene on November 24 last year.

A post mortem concluded that she died as a result of strangulation.

Campbell also tried to strangle her 80-year-old mother with a vacuum cleaner hose after she called at the property, the court heard.

She was found on the ground floor and taken to hospital where she was treated for severe injuries to her face and arms.

Miss Skidmore had worked at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust for nearly 20 years and colleagues paid tribute to 'a valued member of the nursing team' where she worked as a senior staff nurse.

She received a bachelor of science with honours degree in professional nursing studies in 2007 and began working in the community, based in Bilston, in 2013.

The fire service were quickly on the scene, and after taking Lisa's 80-year-old mother to safety, couldn't revive Lisa.

Campbell has convictions for similar attacks on three different women – including another nurse who awoke as he began choking her in bed after he broke in through her bedroom window with the aid of ladders.

He was given a life sentence after his previous offence in 2000 and served 16 years before his release last July – four months before killing Miss Skidmore.

Birmingham Crown Court heard he had told his probation officer six weeks before the latest attack that he was having feelings similar to those he had experienced at the time of a previous rape.

Campbell was jailed in 1983 for seven years after being convicted of attempting to choke a nurse with intent to commit rape. In 1992 he was convicted of rape after again entering a woman’s property through a window as she slept. He was given a ten-year sentence.

In May 2000, Campbell was back in court, convicted of indecent assault and false imprisonment.

Rachael Brand, defending Campbell, said he was a paranoid schizophrenic who had shown remorse.

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Harry Harrison, from Force CID, said: 'Campbell had sought to cover his tracks by setting fire to the property and even tried to confuse the investigation by leaving a lager can and cigarette butts in the sink bearing a third party's DNA, but he did not remove all trace of his own DNA from the property and he handed himself in at a police station three days later.'

Lisa's mother continues to recover from her ordeal and is being cared for by family members, who were in court.

Following the sentencing they said: 'The tragic death of Lisa has not only devastated the whole family but also her friends and work colleagues.

'Lisa was one of those rare people who made a difference in the community, first by being a nurse and even more so when she became a district nurse.

'For 19 years Lisa devoted her life to caring for other people, tending to their needs in their last hours, but no one was there for Lisa in her last hours.

'We couldn't tell you how many people Lisa nursed, helped and cared for during her time as a nurse or lives that she saved, but all were treated with dignity and respect.

'Lisa was one of the most caring, kind and honest person you could meet who also had a sensitive side and would not have hurt anyone. 'To be taken in such a cruel way is lasting pain that the family will have to endure. 'Lisa will always be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by all.'

Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Payne added: 'This horrendous crime has had a devastating impact on the many people who knew Lisa, her family, friends and work colleagues and those who lived near her.

'Campbell has refused to give an account of what happened that morning and they may never know, so I hope they can get some comfort from the fact that Campbell will never be set free again.'

Jailing him on Friday, Judge Mark Wall QC described Campbell’s offending as ‘grotesque’, adding: ‘Miss Skidmore had to suffer the pain and terror of being raped by someone in her own home before she died.’


Kentucky Ct. Upholds Constitutionally Protected Freedoms for All: Will Others Follow Suit?

Blaine Adamson is the managing owner of Hands On Originals, a promotional printing company in Kentucky. And last week, the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled that Blaine is free to decline to print messages that conflict with his religious beliefs.

This should be an unremarkable decision.

And in some contexts, such a ruling really would be as unremarkable as it should be. Consider the designers who publicly stated their unwillingness to design clothes for the first lady or Ivanka Trump, believing it would express a message of approval regarding the president’s politics. Consider the cake artist who refused to create a cake with the words, “We do not support gay marriage,” because she disagreed with the message. Or consider the photographer who refused to take Christmas photos for Alliance Defending Freedom founder Alan Sears, because, in her words, “I oppose the goals and objectives of your organization and have no interest in working on its behalf.”

In all these instances, the principled exercise of conscience drew either applause or the equivalent of a not-quite-interested yawn.

The individuals mentioned above may not have been motivated by religious beliefs like Blaine was. Yet they all—like Blaine—declined to create something not because of any trait of the customer, but because of their reluctance to endorse or express a particular message. And they all—like Blaine—made these decisions because they were unwilling to violate their conscience.

In almost all respects, the facts in Blaine’s case are comparable to those situations above. Blaine declined to print expressive shirts promoting the Lexington Pride Festival hosted by the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization. But even though Blaine couldn’t print the shirt, he offered to connect the customer to another printer that would have produced the shirts for the same price Blaine would have charged (a thoughtful gesture the designers, cake artist, and photographer mentioned above did not make).

His decision to decline the order was not motivated by the customer’s sexual orientation. Indeed, Blaine has long done business with and employed people who identify as part of the LGBT community. Blaine simply did not want to print the message on the shirts, a message that conflicts with his faith. The court, in an opinion written by Chief Judge Joy A. Kramer, recognized this simple fact, holding that the requested shirts “clearly imparted a message.”

Moreover, Judge Kramer explained, there was no evidence that Hands On Originals “refused any individual the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations it offered to everyone else because the individual in question had a specific sexual orientation or gender identity.”

With all those similarities, it should be no wonder that Blaine prevailed. But why are so many other courts failing to reach the same conclusion in similar cases?

With the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruling in Blaine’s case, the Bluegrass State has shined light on a reality that several other courts have been unable (or unwilling) to see: that freedom of conscience must be protected regardless of the popularity of the message that the business owner is unwilling to express.

As Hamlet once quipped, “There’s the rub.” That’s the difference between Blaine and the other individuals above. And that’s the rub that Blaine and others like him have faced. People like Barronelle Stutzman, the floral artist who declined to create artistic expression celebrating a same-sex wedding. Or Elaine Huguenin, the photographer who—instead of declining to photograph the head of a religious nonprofit group—declined to create images telling the story of a same-sex commitment ceremony. (Elaine and her husband were later told by a New Mexico Supreme Court justice that “compromis[ing] the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives” was “the price of citizenship.”)

When business owners exercise their freedom of conscience by taking a popular stand, they are applauded, and society at large celebrates the triumph of free expression and the principled exercise of conscience. But when—like Blaine—business owners seek to exercise their freedom of conscience in a way that is not in line with approved government orthodoxy, they are frequently cast as bigots in need of forced “re-education” or punishment. They are told that they must sacrifice either their livelihood or their conscience.

The freedom to determine what messages you will—and will not—express is a freedom that belongs to every citizen. Championing the freedoms of expression and conscience for those who share your views, while demanding that others violate their convictions, is not tolerant, and it is not principled. It is hypocrisy. Proponents of true tolerance recognize that it’s a two-way street. Making principled decisions isn’t always popular, but we illuminate the best of our diverse society when we make room for diversity in conscience and expression.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals got it right—it treated Blaine no differently than creative professionals who hold contrary views. It recognized that expressive freedom is no less for the conservative than the progressive, for the person of faith than the atheist. Time will tell whether other courts are able (or willing) to prioritize principle and faithfully uphold cherished constitutionally protected freedoms for all.


Texas Takes Steps to Protect Religious Convictions of Adoption, Foster Care Providers

Texas lawmakers are debating a bill that shows how states can protect faith-based adoption and foster care providers from religious discrimination, proponents of the legislation say.

The Texas House of Representatives voted 93-49 Wednesday to pass a bill that would make room in a changing society for adoption and foster care providers associated with a religious tradition, whether Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, or Islam. 

The bill now moves to the Texas Senate, where a vote is expected before the legislative session ends May 29.

His legislation “doesn’t give you the ability to proactively do something because of your religious belief, it just gives you the right to decline something because of your religious belief,” state Rep. James Frank, a Republican, told The Daily Signal in an interview.

The intent of the legislation, Frank said, is to prevent faith-based organizations from being forced to violate their beliefs, such as by arranging for same-sex couples to adopt or provide foster care.

The bill allows such providers to decline service and refer a couple to another organization, said Frank, whose 69th District includes Archer, Baylor, Clay, Foard, Knox, and Wichita counties.

Marty Rouse, national field director for the Human Rights Campaign, a major advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, said his group continues to fight the Texas bill.

The bill “is yet another example of Texas legislators’ coordinated efforts to pursue discrimination against LGBTQ people instead of focusing on the best interest of all Texans,” Rouse said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal.

“If signed into law,” Rouse said, “this bill would most harm the children in Texas’ child welfare system—kids who need a loving, stable home.”

To the contrary, the legislation “seeks to build and sustain a diverse network of high-quality child welfare providers to serve Texas children,” according to a statement from Frank’s office, which adds:

It accomplishes this task by protecting faith-based child welfare service providers from discrimination or adverse actions for exercising their deeply held religious beliefs, while ensuring that child welfare services are available to everyone.

Republicans control both the Texas state Senate and House. Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has not commented publicly on the bill. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s office did not reply to The Daily Signal’s request for comment.

The legislation, called the Freedom to Serve Children Act, also seeks to protect faith-based organizations that decline to serve same-sex couples or other parties from litigation and the threat of closure for acting on their beliefs.

In a Facebook post, Frank said the bill “requires the Department of Family and Protective Services to ensure alternative providers are present to offer any service denied for reasons of sincerely held religious beliefs.”

But Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, an activist group dedicated to promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, decried the legislation in a statement to TeenVogue.

“It’s horrific that the Texas House would allow state-funded or private adoption agencies to use religious exemptions as a weapon to ban qualified LGBTQ families from adopting a child,” Ellis said, adding:

As a mother, it’s infuriating to see anti-LGBTQ politicians do literally anything, including harming a child’s future, to drive their discriminatory anti-LGBTQ political agendas forward.

Rebecca L. Robertson, legal and policy director of the ACLU of Texas, agrees.

“Discrimination in the name of religion has no place in our laws or in our state, and it certainly should not be used to harm children,” Robertson said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal.

Frank, however, said his legislation would not remove opportunities for children seeking a home. 

“Not one foster parent [or] family who wants to provide a home for our kids will be denied from doing so,” Frank said.

Ryan T. Anderson, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation who writes about religious freedom and whose new book is “Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination,” told The Daily Signal in an email that the legislation would not harm any party’s rights.

“The Texas law takes nothing away from anyone,” Anderson said, adding:

It doesn’t prevent same-sex couples from adopting, it simply prevents any given agency from being penalized for not doing a same-sex adoption, if doing so would violate its beliefs. The law simply protects pluralism and diversity, inclusion for child welfare providers. It’s unclear why anyone would be against that.

On the national level, Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., have introduced similar legislation.

The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2017, referred to the House Ways and Means Committee, would ensure that adoption and foster care providers aren’t barred from “offering these services based on their religious beliefs,” according to a statement from Kelly’s office.

Justin Butterfield, senior counsel at First Liberty Institute, which calls itself “the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to protecting religious freedom for all Americans,” argues that the Texas legislation opens up more opportunities for children in need of homes.

“This bill promotes inclusivity and diversity among adoption and foster care agencies, which increases the number of paths for children to be connected with adoptive families,” Butterfield said.


V.P. Pence Says Christians Are The Most Victimized Religion, Leftists Go Nuts. He's Right

Vice President Mike Pence claimed on Thursday that Christianity is the world's most victimized religious faith, which naturally caused the Left to flip out. But Pence is correct.

At the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians in Washington, D.C., Pence stated that according to the Bible, Christians will face persecution.

"Most of you here today are emblematic of billions across the world," Pence said. "You've persevered through the crucible of persecution. You refuse to be conformed to this world. You have chosen instead to be counted with those outside the city gate for your faith."

He later added, "The reality is across the wider world the Christian faith is under siege. Throughout the world, no people of faith today face greater hostility or hatred than followers of Christ."

Naturally, news outlets like The Huffington Post and Bustle acknowledged that while Pence had a point about persecution Christians face in the Middle East, it's Muslims and Jews who face the greater threats of violence in Western Countries. And then, of course, they repeated the leftist tropes about the Trump administration supposedly being anti-Semitic and Islamophobic.

But what neither piece mentions is that Christians were deemed the world's most persecuted group in 2016, according to a study by the Center for Studies on New Religions, which concluded that 90,000 Christians across the globe were killed for their faith and up to 600 million Christians were barred from engaging in their religious practices. This study was actually linked to in the Bustle piece but failed to mention that it concluded that Christians were the world's most persecuted group in 2016, which is intellectually dishonest.

Additionally, Open Doors USA, an advocacy group that aims to help persecuted Christians, reported in February that persecution toward Christians had worsened in 2016 to the point where it was "hitting nearly every continent in the world." The World Help's Vernon Brewer pointed out in a Washington Times column, "Christians are now killed in more countries than ever before and are persecuted in more countries than any other religious group."

As The Economist points out, Christians are fleeing from the Middle East in droves as authoritarian regimes fail to protect them from violence perpetuated against them by Islamists.

It's also worth mentioning that countries like the U.S., Christians may not necessarily be targeted for violence but there are instances of Christians being targeted by the law for their faith, such as Christian bakers being forced to bake cakes for gay weddings or facing massive fines that will drain them of their finances. And the secular Left is attempting to drive out the term "Merry Christmas" from the public lexicon.

It is certainly true anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents are on the rise in Western countries – and that should not be ignored – but Pence's statement clearly stated that Christians were the most persecuted faith worldwide. Research supports his conclusion.



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

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

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


16 May, 2017

Again:  Rape is OK if an illegal immigrant does it

Murder is a frequent concomitant of rape.  So murder is OK too?

On this side of the globe, the biggest controversy in scouting is whether or not a Girl Scout is biologically female. The Girl Scouts in the Czech Republic, however, have much bigger fish to fry. This past May Day, much ado was made about one Czech Scout, Lucie Myslikova, who dared to confront a Neo-Nazi demonstrator while wearing her scouting uniform. Google the event and you’ll get a slew of headlines about the teenager who “Stood Up to the Far-Right” and the photo of the “girl standing up to a skinhead” that went viral.

Get past the headlines, however, and you’ll find the story is a lot more complex than English-speaking media would lead you to believe.

Much of the coverage follows the line of the AP’s follow-up interview with Myslikova. The girl is passionate about politics and believes teenagers should have a voice in the public sphere. This wasn’t her first political rally; it was simply the first time she wore her Scout uniform to a demonstration. Her comments emphasized non-violence and non-judgement of the opposition. Of course, the World Organization of the Scout Movement jumped on the free publicity bandwagon, echoing the call for “diversity, peace and understanding.”

What, exactly, was she discussing with the skinhead? “The nation,” “borders,” and “migration.” The details of the discussion were quickly brushed aside by Western media anxious to highlight the image of a young woman confronting an adult male—something Fortune was so impressed with that they spun it into a montage of photographs of women staring down men at political rallies across Europe.

According to CNN’s coverage, Myslikova “made some profound comments.” If you want to know what she actually said, you’d have to translate an article that appeared in the French language publication the Paris Match. There, buried in the last paragraph, is a quote from the exchange between the Scout and the Neo-Nazi regarding immigration. When the Neo-Nazi asserted the teen would be “violated by those she defends,” Myslikova replied, “Even if something happened to me, the physical wounds always end up healing.”

Would the Girl Scouts care to comment on that remark? Or the English-speaking media, perhaps?

A girl wearing a Scout uniform willingly acknowledged that she could be raped by an immigrant, something that is happening to women across Europe in record numbers. Then, she essentially reasoned, I’ll get over it, and the Western world lifts her up as a hero. She justified rape in the name of political discourse. A Girl Scout opened herself up to sexual assault for the sake of her political beliefs.

What Myslikova said was profound. Profoundly scary. What, exactly, is the Girl Scout movement teaching young women today? That they must sacrifice themselves on the altar of “diversity, peace and understanding”? If they’re expecting Myslikova and her Scout sisters to live up to the Girl Scout law of being “responsible for what I say and do,” that’s pretty damned horrifying.


Conservative New Miss USA Rejects Feminism, Says Healthcare Is Not a Right

A new Miss USA was crowned on Sunday night on FOX, but it wasn’t without some political controversy.

Miss District of Columbia Kara McCullough won the title, much to the chagrin of liberals who didn’t like her conservative answers in the question rounds. Her thought crimes? Saying health care is a privilege, not a right, and rejecting man-hating feminism in favor of equal opportunity.

The Miss USA pageant was hosted by Julianne Hough and Terrence J, and Julianne served up the question about affordable health care to Miss DC, who is a scientist at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

Julianne: District of Columbia, you're up. Do you think affordable health care for all U.S. citizens is a right or a privilege and why?

Miss DC: I'm definitely going to say it's a privilege. As a government employee, I am granted health care, and I see firsthand that for one to have health care, you need to have a job. Therefore, we need to continue to cultivate this environment that we're given the opportunities to have health care as well as jobs to all the American citizens worldwide.

Rejecting the liberal mantra that health care is a human right and wanting to cultivate an economic environment that gives job opportunities to all Americans? The horror!

The last question given to each of the three finalists was about the meaning of feminism and Miss DC became even more of a heretic for rejecting “die hard” feminism that doesn’t care about men, aka today’s radical left-wing feminism. And she must have given feminazis conniptions when she said that women and men were equal in the workplace. As for the other two, Miss Minnesota gave a weird answer about feminism being about any gender and Miss New Jersey gave an answer that liberals loved, ranting about the “fight for equality” and creating an “equal world.”

Terrence: What do you consider feminism to be, and do you consider yourself a feminist?

Julianne: Yes, you do. Absolutely you get a microphone. Here you go.

Miss DC: As a woman scientist in the government, I would like to lately transpose the word feminism to equalism. I don't really want to consider myself -- try not to consider myself like this die hard, you know, like, oh, I don't really care about men, but one thing I want to say, though, women, we are just as equal as men when it comes to opportunity in the workplace.

And I say firsthand I have witnessed the impact that women have in leadership in the medical sciences as well as in the office environment, so as Miss USA, I would hope to promote that kind of leadership responsibility globally to so many women worldwide.

 Terrence: Thank you, District of Columbia.

Needless to say, liberals were very upset that a smart, beautiful African-American woman took home the crown, because she espoused conservative views.

Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Here's hoping the new Miss USA sticks to her guns and doesn't come out with a statement tomorrow "clarifying" her answers and reading liberal talking points after all the leftist outrage.


Six Refugees Allegedly Rape UK Woman. British Authorities Let Them Go Free

On September 26, 2016, The Daily Mail reported that a young mother from Sunderland had allegedly been kidnapped and violently gang-raped by six men. The sexual assault reportedly only ceased when she managed to escape.

Law enforcement arrested the six men. All were refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Bahrain. However, they were never even tried in court. Instead, they were released; the authorities are no longer pursuing an investigation.

Chelsey Wright is that mother of three. She was out for a night with her friends and after taking a drink, she blacked out, only to awaken in a room naked except for her underwear. There was a strange man in the room who laughed at her, she said. She stated that she tried to flee and only managed to escape the room when another man opened the door.

According to her account, several men then chased Chelsey, trying to drag her back into the house by her hair; at one point, they threw her down a flight of stairs. Once outside, the men tried to tackle her in broad daylight. She managed to run away to a relative’s house where she called the Sunderland authorities.

Wright was examined and it was determined she had been raped by at least six men. The police raided the house and arrested all of the suspects.

She described the ordeal on social media, “...the next thing I remember is waking up in a strange house with no memory of how she got there. Waking up in only her knickers to next to a man she did not know. My head was pinned against the door."

Multiple witnesses came forward testifying that they heard Chelsey’s screams as the men tried to keep her trapped in the house. Many saw her flee, almost naked, down the streets of Sunderland.

As supporters called for a trial, the men were released on bail. When it was announced there would be no charges, the British authorities moved the Middle Eastern men to a safe house and later released them.

This led to a massive demonstration in Sunderland. Wright shared her story with onlookers. The demonstration turned violent as protesters threw trash cans at the house where Wright alleges she had been taken.

Despite the outcry, the police are no longer actively pursuing the case and have dropped it indefinitely. The mainstream media in England are calling Wright’s supporters members of the far right, implying they are racist and xenophobic. This has only led to a swelling of support for Wright, who has decided to be brave and not hide under the veil of anonymity.

Wright and her supporters are furious at the apathy of the British authorities. They are putting pressure on the Independent Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird DBE to begin a full investigation into her ordeal. Her supporters created a petition to address the officials in Sunderland and are planning another public demonstration for May 13.


Feminists Protest Bill That Would Let Transgenders In ‘Female-Born’ Spaces

Canadian feminists are fighting a transgender bill that would potentially allow transgenders to enter spaces reserved for women.

Two feminist activists believe Bill C-16 will negatively affect women’s spaces, like rape centers. Under Bill C-16, which would update the Canadian Human Rights Act, it would be illegal to discriminate against people on the basis of “gender identity” or “gender expression.”

“We are worried that this well-intentioned legislation will be used to undermine the rights of women and the crucial work of women’s groups,” Hilla Kerner,a Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter member, said to a committee.

Another feminist activist said the bill’s language makes it seem that a person can just choose their own gender at will.

“This language is a big problem because it treats gender as a personal choice. It treats gender as though it’s the clothes that I wear or my makeup or my behaviour or the way we sit,” Meghan Murphy, founder of the website Feminist Current, said to senators.

Kerner added that her rape center only allows “female-born” people because women usually want to be surrounded by women who can relate to their experiences.

“Female-born women and people who were born male and self-identify as women have different life experiences. I don’t know what it means to ‘feel like a woman’ — I know what it is to be a girl and to be a woman, and the experiences and the feelings I have because I am a woman,” Kerner explained.

A Christian group and a feminist group recently joined up to fight a transgender bill in the United States. The Family Policy Alliance and the Women’s Liberation Front both fought an Obama administration mandate that allowed transgenders into the bathroom of their choice. (RELATED:Christians And Feminists Band Together To Fight Obama’s Transgender Policy)

“How wrong does something need to be for a Christian family group, and a radical feminist group, to take their argument together to the Supreme Court?” Autumn Leva, the leader of the Women’s Liberation Front, said.



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

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

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


15 May, 2017

Rape is OK if an illegal does it

Ann Coulter

The same media that slavishly ignored the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl by two illegal immigrants in Rockville, Maryland, spent last week crowing about the prosecutor’s refusal to bring charges.

It turns out that illegal aliens gang-raping a 14-year-old girl in a bathroom stall is not a statutory rape because … the girl had previously sent one of her assailants prurient text messages.

Somebody better tell the college campuses.

Columbia University’s Mattress Girl, Emma Sulkowicz, became an international cause celebre after alleging rape against a fellow student to whom she’d sent dozens of desperate and salacious messages — including, most memorably, “f–k me in the butt,” and “I wuv you so much.”

She’d also had consensual sex with him several times, only one of which she deemed “rape.”

Sulkowicz’s “f–k me in the butt” texts were no impediment to her becoming the face of silenced rape victims on campus. She was sympathetically profiled everywhere; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand invited her to Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address; and she dragged a mattress around campus with her as her senior thesis project …

“… a succinct and powerful performance piece …” — The New York Times

“… like ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ only more subtle …” — Ann Coulter

In its lavish coverage of our brave mattress-toting heroine, the Times reminded readers: “False reports of rape are rare, many experts say.” In fact, according to the FBI, there are more false rape claims than false reports of any other crime.

That’s why normal people like to look at the facts. For example, how long did it take the alleged victim to report the rape? How sophisticated is she? Is the story plausible? Did the accuser have any other motive to cry rape? And is there any record of her begging the suspect to sodomize her?

Mattress Girl waited seven months to report her rape — even then, only to college administrators, not the police. In the intervening months, she strenuously, albeit unsuccessfully, pursued a relationship with her alleged rapist.

Rolling Stone’s “Jackie” never reported her apocryphal rape, explaining to The Washington Post that after allegedly being violently gang-raped, she was “unaware of the resources available to her.” (Heard of 911?)

By contrast, the 14-year-old girl in Maryland emerged from the bathroom stall and immediately reported her rape to the police.

According to the police report, she had run into her friend, 17-year-old Jose Montano, and his friend, 18-year-old Henry Sanchez-Milian, in a school hallway. (The 17- and 18-year-olds are both in the 9th grade. We really are getting the best illegal immigrants!) She knew Montano, but not Sanchez-Milian. Montano hugged her, slapped her buttocks and asked her to have sex with both men.

She says she said no — something generally missing from the corpus of cases making up the “campus rape epidemic.”

Montano and Sanchez-Milian then forced her into a boys’ bathroom, according to the report, where she grabbed the bathroom sink to stop them from dragging her into a stall, repeatedly saying “no.” In the stall, the illegals took turns holding her down, as they penetrated her orally, vaginally and anally. As she was screaming, they yelled at one another in Spanish.

Although there was no hard evidence, like the victim dragging a mattress around for a year, police investigators did find blood and semen in the bathroom stall.

If even one story on the left’s via dolorosa of campus rape had allegations like these, the accuser would be on a postage stamp, have laws named after her, and she’d be the one giving the State of the Union address. She’d be having lunch with Lena Dunham, Emma Watson would play her in the movie, and Lady Gaga would write a song about her.

Instead, because the accused rapists (“Dreamers,” as I call them) are illegal aliens, the media want to submit their names for sainthood. The prosecutor, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy, wants to know how short the 14-year-old’s skirt was.

McCarthy dropped rape charges against both suspects, reportedly on the grounds that the girl had previously sent nude photos of herself to Montano. This, the prosecutor interpreted as consent to have multi-orifice sex in a bathroom stall with him, as well as any of his friends.

Can we get the pre-consent-by-text rule written into college guidelines on sexual assault?

However risque her texts were, can’t a girl change her mind? Evidently, she thought it was rape when she emerged from the bathroom, inasmuch as she promptly notified authorities. Isn’t it possible she also thought it was rape as it was happening, an hour or so earlier?

Mattress Girl was old enough to attend college, vote and buy a mattress, but it was rude to mention her text requests for anal sex and previous romps with the alleged rapist. Only when the accused is an illegal do the victim’s X-rated texts become binding consent to all forms of sex with the illegal — plus his friends.

There’s also the fact that she’s 14 years old! Her alleged rapists are 17 and 18. Under about 700 years of Anglo-Saxon law, that’s statutory rape. (Statute of Westminster of 1275.) Apparently, diversity — in addition to being a “strength” — requires us to jettison our statutory rape laws.

This is the case the media are howling with glee about — demanding that President Trump apologize for even mentioning it.

The New York Times and Washington Post both editorialized about Trump’s “reflexive immigrant-bashing” -– after first telling their readers about the alleged rape that neither paper had bothered reporting when it happened.

CNN — which also didn’t mention the Rockville case until charges were dropped — is in a state of high dudgeon at Trump for citing the rape.

Erin Burnett announced: “Tonight, the White House not backing down, refusing to retract its comments on an alleged rape case used — that they used as an example of why the United States should crack down on illegal immigration.”

Correspondent Ryan Nobles raged that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer referred to what happened to the 14-year-old girl as “tragedies like this.”

“Tragedies!” This milquetoast, boring American girl got to experience diversity, up close — vaginally, anally and orally — AND THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY CALLS THAT A “TRAGEDY”?

In multicultural America, sexually active college coeds are treated like naive 14-year-old girls, while naive 14-year-old girls are treated like hardened hussies — depending on who the accused rapist is. A “frat boy,” an athlete (black or white) or a white male: Always guilty, no due process allowed. Illegal aliens: She was asking for it.


Must not laugh at Leftist pieties

The modern-day equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition will get you if you do

Hypatia was a female mathematician and philosopher in 4th-century Egypt who was murdered by a Christian mob after being accused of stirring up conflict between the governor and bishop in Alexandria. Her death ‘effectively marked the downfall of Alexandrian intellectual life’, wrote Stephen Greenblatt in The Swerve.

Today, a female professor in Memphis, Tennessee, writing in the feminist philosophy journal Hypatia, has also been attacked by zealots, this time a mob of pro-trans women academics. Rebecca Tuvel has not suffered Hypatia’s fate (only perhaps the death of her career), but the controversy over her article certainly marks a new low in our intellectual life.

Tuvel had the temerity to consider whether there are similarities between the ‘transracialism’ of Rachel Dolezal (the white woman who identifies as black) and the transgenderism of Caitlyn Jenner. As we know, Jenner is celebrated, while Dolezal is dismissed as a kook. Tuvel’s question is actually one that many people have wondered about lately: if a man can ‘identify as’ a woman, then why can’t a white person ‘identify as’ black? Tuvel concludes: ‘Since we should accept transgender individuals’ decision to change sexes, we should also accept transracial individuals’ decision to change races.’

For simply asking and answering such questions, Tuvel was greeted with what Jesse Singal, writing in New York magazine, calls ‘a massive internet witch-hunt’. Over 800 academics and others signed an ‘open letter to Hypatia’, calling for the article to be retracted, on the grounds that it causes ‘harm’ to marginalised people and reflects ‘white and cisgender privilege’. More piled on. Nora Berenstain, a philosophy professor at the University of Tennessee, complained that the article expressed ‘egregious levels of liberal white ignorance and discursive transmisogynistic violence’.

Tuvel says she has received hate mail, and much pressure to withdraw her essay. Rather than defend her, the associate editors of Hypatia quickly caved, extending a ‘profound apology’ for the ‘harms’ the article caused. ‘Clearly, the article should not have been published’, they wrote, sounding like the confessions extracted from prisoners in a Maoist re-education camp.

The Tuvel affair provides a window into the state of academic and intellectual life today, and it’s not a pretty sight. There are many worrying implications one can draw from this debacle, but I would highlight four points.

First, the response to Tuvel’s article makes clear that many feminist and pro-trans academics prefer to call out and censor rather than engage with arguments, like Tuvel’s, that might challenge their orthodoxies. Listen to Berenstain’s list of complaints: ‘Tuvel enacts violence and perpetuates harm in numerous ways throughout her essay. She deadnames a trans woman. She uses the term “transgenderism”. She talks about “biological sex” and uses phrases like “male genitalia”.’

Berenstain is not debating the substance of Tuvel’s ideas – she is simply declaring that certain words are taboo, and is mad that Tuvel crossed her line by using them. Her criticisms are full of jargon (‘deadnames’, ‘discursive transmisogynistic violence’), deployed to establish her authority as part of the in-group, the self-appointed high priestesses that get to determine what is acceptable. And, like many do today, she equates words with violence, in order to exaggerate the extent of harm caused.

Such criticisms have the aim of defining dogma, not engaging in intellectual debate. Tuvel says she hoped her questions would encourage discussion, but ‘calls for intellectual engagement are also being shut down because they “dignify” the article’. What this really shows is that the feminist/pro-trans types are defensive about their arguments – rather than trying to persuade, all they can do is try to shut down dissenting voices.

Second, the outrage expressed over Tuvel is consistent with other recent statements from professors in the US that seek to justify censorship. Certain faculty members at Middlebury College opposed Charles Murray’s recent appearance (including Michael Sheridan, the chair of the anthropology and sociology department, who admitted he had not read Murray’s book Coming Apart, but circulated ‘a devastating review in Salon’ of Murray’s earlier work to his colleagues). A group of professors at Wellesley sent an email to students recommending that controversial speakers like Laura Kipnis, who is critical of much feminist orthodoxy, no longer be invited to campus, because they enable ‘the bullying of disempowered groups’.

There is much consternation over student protesters who seek to shut down speakers (even as some surveys find a majority of students are in favour of free speech). But the pitchforks-and-torches response to Tuvel, and other calls for censorship on campus, are a useful reminder to focus on where the students get their ideas from – their professors.

Third, it should be recognised that the dispute over Tuvel’s article is very much an internal fight among today’s so-called progressives, a case of them directing fire on one of their own. On her Rhodes College faculty page, Tuvel describes her work as follows: ‘My research lies at the intersection of critical race, feminist and animal ethics. Throughout my research, I have considered several ways in which animals, women and racially subordinated groups are oppressed, how this oppression often overlaps, and how it serves to maintain erroneous and harmful conceptions of humanity.’ Obviously, such credentials were not good enough to ward off attacks; even believers must adhere to strict orthodoxy.

Both Tuvel and her critics are devotees of the concept of ‘intersectionality’, which examines social identities, like race, gender and sexual orientation, and how they intersect or overlap with one other. But this notion is inherently divisive. We see such divisions in practice, as different identities claim greater victimhood relative to others, a type of Oppression Olympics. Increasingly, trans concerns are trumping traditional feminism. For example, trans activists were critical of the recent March on Washington, saying the ‘pussyhats’ that protesters wore excluded women without vaginas.

It is important to note that the attacks on Tuvel are not simply academics acting boorishly and unprofessionally. Such tribal warfare is the logical outcome of the divisive ideas being put forward.

Fourth, and finally, it is the liberal-left that fuels the radical feminists and pro-trans types. For too long, the left has acted cowardly, too afraid of speaking out against the irrationalities and showtrials of the intersectionalists. They fear being called out as not supportive of certain groups, of hurting the feelings of some. They fear appearing as if they are on the same side as the right. Kelly Oliver, a philosophy professor at Vanderbilt University, writes that some colleagues were two-faced about Tuvel. In private messages she received, ‘people apologised for what [Tuvel] must be going through, while in public they fanned the flames of hatred and bile on social media’.

Writer Freddie deBoer finds his fellow lefties too wary to speak in public, and that means the problem is deeper than isolated cases like Tuvel’s. ‘For every one of these controversies that goes public, there are vastly more situations where someone self-censors, or is quietly bullied into acquiescing. For every odd example that goes viral, there is no doubt dozens more that occur behind closed doors.’

When the liberal-left do challenge restrictions on speech, it is too often to defend the ability of one of their own to speak, not freedom of speech for all. Viewing the Tuvel case, Suzanna Danuta Walters laments ‘academe’s poisonous call-out culture’. But what Walters really minds is that the outrage was targeted at a ‘feminist academic whose body of work is clearly on the side of progressive social justice’. Tuvel ‘is not [Ann] Coulter or [Charles] Murray or even the predictably contrarian Camille Paglia’. What she suggests is that it is fine to adopt censorship tactics towards the likes of Coulter, Murray and Paglia: ‘Let’s focus our animus on the real enemies of feminist, queer, marginalised lives.’

In the words of Nat Hentoff, this is free speech for me, but not for thee. As it happens, once you ditch the principle of free speech, you have no real defence when it becomes your turn to be censored.

The witch-hunting of Rebecca Tuvel is the real outrage, not her article. The mass pile-on and shutting down of her views is a shocking indication of the decline of our academic and intellectual culture. If we are to stop this creeping illiberalism, we need to challenge the ideas that give rise to it and justify it, and restore rational debate, which is where true philosophy can flourish.


British Police Break a Tradition To “Accommodate” Transgenders

Traditional helmets out

A British police force is replacing its traditional helmets with US-style baseball caps, which it says are cheaper, more comfortable and not ‘gender-based’.

Northamptonshire Police says it is ditching the world-famous custodian helmet in a bid to encourage more transgender officers to join the force.

The so-called ‘bump caps’ will be issued to both men and women officers, completely replacing the old headgear by next month.

A spokesman for the force said: ‘Not only will the new bump caps offer a better level of protection, the new headgear means that no longer will male and female officers be issued different headgear with varying safety ratings simply on the basis of gender.


Controversial bid to have gender-neutral bathrooms added to all Australian Federal Government buildings

Government branches will be introducing gender-neutral bathrooms following a push for equality from the Public Service Commission.

The liberal notion to include gender-neutral bathrooms is making a push in the nation's capital in Canberra, but some conservative MP's want to flush the idea, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Conservative MP's have labelled the move as potentially 'uncomfortable' for workers but it hasn't stopped The Department of Environment and Energy implementing the move in Canberra.

The bathrooms have been slammed by some MP's claiming the extra money needed to install the 'inclusive' bathrooms could go to better use.

'This is just the latest example of the public service going into political correctness overdrive at taxpayers' expense,' Conservative Liberal senator Eric Abetz told the publication.

'Most Australians would expect the Treasury of all departments to focus on bringing down the debt, not finding creative ways of increasing expenditure within its own department.

In a further move to show the commitment to the controversial move the Treasury building will have the inclusive bathrooms installed.

The introduction of gender-neutral bathrooms won't be forced onto government departments, however they will be encouraged.

'Toilets that are specifically reserved as gender-neutral are not part of the scope of work for the Treasury building refit that is currently underway,' a spokesperson for the Australian Public Service Commission told the publication.



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

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

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


14 May, 2017

Shocking new DNA study reveals that human beings are divided into two genders!

There’s some additional bad news out there for the “party of science” (as the Democrats have taken to calling themselves) and particularly for transgender advocates. But even if you have no interest in such social justice topics, a new study published by geneticists in Israel is still pretty fascinating. The Liberty Council has a report this week on new research material coming from Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, where scientists have undertaken an exhaustive study of genetic differences between the two genders which go far beyond just what’s found in their 23rd chromosomal pair or what sorts of genitalia they display externally. And some of this research could have far reaching implications in terms of fighting diseases and solving other medical mysteries on top of sorting out this “gender vs sex” question which liberals keep trying to push.

A recent study released from Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science refutes propaganda from LGBT activists who detach gender completely from sex and promote that men can become so-called “women” by merely “identifying” as female, and vice-versa.

Professor Shmuel Pietrokovski and Dr. Moran Gershoni, both researchers from the Weizmann Institute’s Molecular Genetics Department, “looked closely at around 20,000 protein-coding genes, sorting them by sex and searching for differences in expression in each tissue. They eventually identified around 6,500 genes with activity that was biased toward one sex or the other in at least one tissue, adding to the already major biological differences between men and women.”

You can access the study here in .pdf form and browse through it.

They discovered all manner of fascinating things, some of which seem obvious in retrospect while others are quite surprising. They identified specific genes which are directly associated with hair growth in skin cells. These genes are far more widespread in men than women, showing up in different places. (The result of that should be obvious.) One of the more surprising developments (at least to me) came in the area of mammary glands. Both males and females have all of the “equipment” to support lactation, but it’s almost never seen in men. The study identified specific genes in men which apparently turn off that process since it’s not needed. Some others would be easier to predict, such as higher levels of muscle building genes in men as opposed to higher levels of genes which are related to fat storage in women. The list goes on.

But mostly, this is just one more brick in the wall for the folks who seem to insist on “listening to the scientists” except when it’s inconvenient to do so. Whenever this debate comes up, someone inevitably tries to point to a single study done years ago hinting that the brain waves of transgender people match those of people of the opposite sex. But further research showed that those results couldn’t be reliably repeated under laboratory conditions. To boot, experts in the field have already admitted that they can’t tell a male brain from a female brain in those scans to begin with. By comparison, any deep dive into readily measurable and repeatable genetic studies shows the true nature of our species, as well as the striking and generally wonderful difference between our two genders which are established basically at the moment of conception.


The Handmaid's Tall Tale

Leftists might be on to something if they replaced Christian red dresses with Islamic black burkas. But they ignore the obvious.   

“The Handmaid’s Tale” is a new TV series based on the 1985 novel of the same name. Don’t bother watching or reading either, though both are in the news. In summary, the theme is anti-men, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-American, anti-conservative and perverts any other aspect of American culture that is currently being destroyed by the Left.

There. Hopefully, that just prevented you from wasting your time.

“Progressives” are already equating the Margaret Atwood novel-turned-series to the faith community and those with any degree of a moral compass whose values inform their votes, their entertainment, educational choices, etc. In other words, the Left has found another tool by which to inflict cultural criticism on those who refuse to consent to the unhinged Left’s demand for consensus of their Rainbow Mafia agenda and their destruction of the First Amendment to silence all critics.

The novel rightly exposes the dangers of extremes of thought and indoctrination. That is its singular value. Otherwise, the parallels drawn are clearly meant to frame America as a nation on the verge of collapse to fundamentalist Christian theocrats.

The story goes that a mythical country governed by a totalitarian theocracy, formerly the United States of America, the Republic of Gilead is formed. America has been overthrown through the mass assassinations of the president and most members of Congress. The villains are, you guessed it, in a Christian fundamentalist movement organized under the banner, “Sons of Jacob.” In other words, let’s not only attack through creative writing the faith of those who believe in Jesus Christ, but include Judaism by evoking Jacob, the son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham, the Jewish patriarch.

The novel brought to the screen also notes that the post-American nation is structured into a “hierarchical regime of Old Testament-inspired social and religious fanaticism.” Uh, remember the entire Old Testament is about Israel and the Jewish people and the New Testament is about Jesus Christ, a Jew, whose teachings of liberty, grace and righteous living fulfill and/or replace the law.

This fairy-tale “Christian” coup results in a nation where women are kept for reproductive and sexual purposes, with essentially no other function. Women are not permitted education, to work or to have access to money. A national population, portrayed as shrinking due to environmental toxicity resulting from war, has few fertile woman. Hence, “Handmaids” are designated for sex at the homes of the elite to perpetuate their lineage. The first episode released on April 26 featured “disobedient” women shocked with cattle prods and having one eye removed, with the third episode featuring the bank accounts of females being frozen following the new government’s decree that women cannot own property.

Of all the religions currently practiced in 2017, there is one which embraces the open abuse of women, honor killings and the subjugation of women as property, preventing them any rights of property — and it’s neither Judaism nor Christianity. It is, of course, Islam of the sharia variety. But you won’t hear Hollywood address that 800lb gorilla.

Don’t miss the fact that when Atwood, a Canadian, wrote her clearly anti-Semitic, anti-Christian book in 1985, she was living in West Berlin within close proximity to the dividing wall that separated the despotism of Eastern Germany from the freedoms of West Germany. So, during the Reagan-Thatcher years, this malcontent living on the free side of the German wall composed this writing that, today, is being used by the same angry Left to malign anything that resembles an institution or individual with a belief system that notes good versus evil or decency versus indecency.

Describing in the first-person her methods of construction of the story, Atwood, featured in the New York Times on March 10, 2017, couldn’t contain her dripping disdain for the founding of America. “The Republic of Gilead is built on a foundation of the 17th-century Puritan roots that have always lain beneath the modern-day America we thought we knew.”

There are many things responsible for today’s messed up culture. The Puritans and Pilgrims who fled European religious persecution are not one of them.

One little piece of information that proves this resurrected fantasy is intended to deride the political and cultural Right is the title of the NYT’s piece: “Margaret Atwood on What the Handmaid’s Tale Means in the Age of Trump.” And, Ladies and Gentlemen, there you have the entire reason this 32-year-old novel is relevant to anyone.

Let’s take the only valuable point of the book and make a more intellectually honest argument. Remember, there is agreement that there is danger in the extremes of thought and indoctrination for the purpose of power. So, answer the following by indicating if the statements best describe the political and cultural Left or Right.

In Berkeley, conservative speakers have been met with leftist rioters dressed in all black with masks and hoods, waving flags that resemble the flag of the 1933 Communist Party of Germany. They’re setting fires, breaking windows and threatening violence. Who was eliminating speech, Left or Right?

The day after the inauguration of the 45th president, a mass of females gathered on the Washington Mall wearing hats fashioned to represent the reproductive organs of those who are biologically female and angry. Cheered remarks featured at this gathering included a female singer claiming she’d entertained the thought of blowing up the White House and a poem that claimed the American president had incestuous thoughts toward his daughter. Which group, Left or Right, objectified women as only being “true women” if they’re uniform in this angry ideology?

Which group, while focusing on the “rights” of women, ends the lives of millions of their own gender in the womb as some statement of empowerment called choice?

Ironically, Atwood, in her NYT piece, noted that “the control of women and babies has been a feature of every repressive regime on the planet” as evidenced by genocide, rape and infanticide.

The emotional incontinence on the Left is always — always — a device to hide the absolute failings of their arguments and fallacies of belief. “The Handmaid’s Tale” is no different. What the Left claims to fear most are the exact same tools and tactics they use to impose their agenda and indoctrination on the rest of America. Indeed, they bear more resemblance to the Tale’s villains than they’d ever care to admit.


A most dangerous form of Western Liberalism

The outcry against UK Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron’s delay in stating whether or not he personally believes homosexuality to be a sin — despite he and his party supporting LGBTI rights including marriage — has pointed to an emerging threat to the coherence of western liberal societies. It hinders the integration of people with strong religious convictions.

A sound and integrated liberal society is one in which all its members are committed to its liberal and tolerant ideals, at least as far as the civil rights of others are concerned. But outcries like that against Farron send the message that you must not only give such support to the full civil rights of your fellow citizens but you must morally agree with their behaviour — and believe that God does too. (After all, discussions of ‘what is sin’ do, as Farron tried vainly to point out, involve theological questions.)

The thing about those with deep religious convictions is that, whether rightly or wrongly, they believe that they have an overriding obligation to obey God in such matters. This is true of the devout Muslim, and for that matter Christian, Jewish or any other serious religious adherent. Therefore insisting they must personably agree with behaviour which they, again rightly or wrongly, believe God has declared to be sin simply becomes a price too high to pay for inclusion in liberal society. So they are left outside.

The problem is that not only is such an insistence in itself illiberal — after all one of the marks of a liberal society is that its members tolerate and give freedom to views and behaviour they may not agree with — but that by setting a barrier to the inclusion of the devout creates a recipe for a dangerously divided nation. It is a most dangerous form of Western liberalism.


Australia: Anti-Islam candidate claims discrimination

The founder of a controversial anti-Islam party wants the operators and venue manager of a Queensland pub to undergo "anti-discrimination training" after barring her from the site, tribunal documents reveal.

Love Australia Or Leave Party founder Kim Vuga, a grandmother who rose to prominence after starring on SBS program Go Back To Where You Came From, made headlines when she and her members were blocked from meeting at the Beach House Hotel in Hervey Bay in April 2016.

The stoush has now made its way to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, with Ms Vuga claiming she was discriminated against because of her political beliefs and seeking orders including a public apology in writing, as well as "anti-discrimination training" for the pub's operators and venue manager.



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

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

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


12 May, 2017

Australia: A really poisonous example of political correctness

An Egyptian con-artist achieved enormous acceptance because everyone WANTED to believe in a female Egyptian of probably Muslim origin. "Affirmative action" towards her meant believing everything she said and checking nothing

It's the redemption story that everyone wanted to believe: a teenager forced into an arranged marriage to her first cousin, widowed at 29 with two young sons, having endured years in a violent marriage.

She emigrates from Egypt, gaining not one but two PhDs, rising to become chief executive of government funded health services that care for new migrants and earns a long list of community honours – including as a finalist for an honour from her adopted country on its national day.

Dr Eman Sharobeem migrated to Australia more than 30 years ago. Since then she has earned two PhDs and campaigned against issues such as forced marriage and family violence.

But with an announcement this week that ICAC will hold public hearings into former Australian of the Year finalist Eman Sharobeem, following an investigation by Fairfax Media that revealed an asset freeze by the powerful NSW Crime Commission, the charade has come crashing down – allegations of misuse of credit cards, false invoices, spending on personal items, using public money to renovate a property she owned.

On top of the alleged fraud ICAC is investigating is the outright deceit, also revealed by Fairfax Media, that Sharobeem paraded fake academic and professional qualifications.

Now a string of high-profile organisations and governments have egg on their faces – state and federal, Liberal and Labor, that appointed her to trophy boards; organisations such as SBS that gave her a high-profile job; and the Australian of the Year Foundation that not only waved her through to the final round of its awards but appointed her to their advisory council.

What's more, they all called her "Dr Sharobeem" – despite there being no proof of the degrees and evidence revealed by Fairfax Media that she was not a psychologist.

The high point of the charade came in late 2014, when then NSW Premier, Mike Baird, stood beside an Australian of the Year finalist, handing her a commendation from her adopted country, smiling for the cameras.

It begs the question – who did due diligence on Eman Sharobeem? Who checked anything about her?

As her star rose around 2012-14 it doesn't appear to have been the media who focused on the story of her forced marriage as a child and escape from a violent marriage and her claims of academic achievement in Australia.

Fairfax Media understands workers at the Non-English Speaking Housing organisation (also run by Sharobeem) raised concerns about financial mismanagement around 2015. And it was the auditor of the Immigrant Women's Health Service accounts Nathan Boyd who rang alarm bells when he qualified his opinion on the organisation's 2015 accounts, saying the CEO owed at least $100,000 in wrongly claimed reimbursements, as revealed by Fairfax Media.

So how did Sharobeem seemingly hoodwink everyone?

Sharobeem ran the IWHS based in Fairfield for 11 years until 2015. Government funding was cut at the end of that year with a governance investigation acknowledged by the health department as the centre was about to close in June 2016.

It was around this time broadcaster SBS hired Sharobeem to be its community engagement manager. It's understood SBS went through a regular recruitment process to hire her. A press release hailing her appointment in April 2016 used the honorific Dr in the opening sentence. Almost every achievement SBS heralded is now under question: "Eman is a Member of the Settlement Services Advisory Council, Justice Multicultural Advisory Council, State Library CALD Advisory Board and an Advisory Board Member of Multicultural NSW. In 2014, Eman was honoured as an Australia Day Ambassador and became a finalist for The Australian of The Year Award. In 2013, she was a finalist in the Premier's Woman of the Year Award and was selected as one of 100 Most Influential Women in 2015 by The Australian Financial Review."

Perhaps the most revealing tale surrounding background checks can be gleaned from Social Services Minister Christian Porter appointing her to the Settlement Services Advisory Council. When Fairfax Media inquired last month about the circumstances surrounding her appointment, a department spokeswoman said the department performed "due diligence", including on a "resume from Dr Eman Sharobeem identifying her educational background, including the attainment of a PhD in psychology, family and community and a PhD in management in organisational leadership".

But having confirmed details from the CV she submitted claiming to have two PhDs, the spokeswoman suddenly claimed it would be a breach of privacy to disclose further information from the same CV when asked which institutions she claimed to have attended.

Fairfax Media was able to challenge her claim to be a psychologist in one phone call – to the Australian Health Professional Regulatory Agency. A search of their database revealed nobody named Eman Sharobeem was currently registered or had been removed as a psychologist. It's illegal to practise as a psychologist if unqualified.

Our politicians also wanted to believe. In 2014, the Upper House of the NSW Parliament moved a motion of congratulations to Sharobeem, listing in full glory what it understood to be her achievements. It makes for tough reading.

She is lauded for her professional roles and the subsequent awards she achieved.

The parliamentary motion mentions "Dr" Sharobeem's "greatest contributions in Australia" being her involvement in the Immigrant Women's Health Service.

Our elected officials praised her for working with volunteer and part time workers at the health service – the same one she is now alleged to have defrauded, claiming bogus expenses and spending government money on a house she owned.

Parliament members moved to wish "Dr Eman Sharobeem all the very best in her future endeavours".

In truth, ICAC wants to know if she robbed us blind.

The story that we all wanted to be true was, in fact, something else: it was too good to be true.

SOURCE.  Latest report on the ICAC enquiry here

The Feminization of Everything Fails Our Boys

 by David French

Let me share with you two troubling — and, I believe, closely linked — news reports. The first, from this weekend, comes courtesy of the American Enterprise Institute’s Mark Perry. In one chart, he highlights the dramatic and growing gender gap in higher education. In short, women are dominating:

    The second comes from The Atlantic’s Emma Green. Detailing the findings of a survey conducted by her magazine and the Public Religion Research Institute, she notes that 61 percent of white working-class men view college as a “risky gamble ..." . Green’s report contained this explanation:

“The enduring narrative of the American dream is that if you study and get a college education and work hard, you can get ahead,” said Robert P. Jones, the CEO of PRRI. “The survey shows that many white working-class Amer­icans, especially men, no longer see that path available to them. . . . It is this sense of economic fatalism, more than just economic hardship, that was the decisive factor in support for Trump among white working-class voters.”

    Make no mistake, if these numbers showed an equivalent (and increasing) educational gender gap running in the opposite direction, the feminist Left would declare a cultural emergency. Indeed, it has declared a cultural emergency in spite of the dominant educational performance of women. As Perry notes, our colleges are full of “women’s centers” and “gender equity” initiatives that are dedicated exclusively to female success (or almost exclusively; some non-gender-binary folks get gender-equity aid as well). When will there stop being a crisis for women on campus? When they reach two-thirds of the higher-education population? When three out of every four college grads are women?

    Our society is unlearning masculinity, it’s feminizing every stage of male life, and boys are paying a steep price. Consider the feminization of the home — occurring on two fronts simultaneously. First, and most important, the dissolution of the family brings increased fatherlessness, and for all of our culture’s single-mom worship (and moms’ sometimes — but not always — heroic efforts to fill the gap), boys need dads. It’s that simple. Men and women in general have different roles to play in their kids’ lives, and a boy sees in a good dad the fruits of properly channeled and properly lived masculinity. He has a model, often a hero, who lives in the closest possible proximity.

    But beyond fatherlessness is the increasing feminization of even the intact, two-parent household. Models of domestic life intentionally crafted to break old stereotypes and cultural norms increasingly treat parents not as “mom and dad” but as “Parent 1 and Parent 2.” Kids aren’t brother and sister, but “Child 1 and Child 2.” There are no longer different paths for boys and girls but instead unique paths for special snowflakes. Who’s to say what’s masculine? Who’s to say what’s feminine? The one thing we do know, however, is that stereotypically male characteristics of aggression, risk-taking, and high-energy work and play are “toxic” and need to be medicated or educated right out of the home.

    Adding to the feminized home is the feminized school, complete with its zero tolerance, mortal fear of anything remotely martial, and its relentless emphasis on compassion and nurturing rather than exploration and adventure (unless the adventurer is a woman). We love the Earth. We don’t conquer it. Elementary school is a place of hugs, not conflict, and play is to be peaceful above all else. No more re-enacting the Battle of the Bulge. No more toy guns. No more drawings of tanks mowing through stick-figure Nazi hordes. And when nature asserts itself against the ideologue’s wishes? Medication and education take their toll.

    Finally, one graduates to the increasingly feminized workplace. Part of this is a function of political correctness, and part of it is simply a function of the changing economy. We don’t need as many strong backs and strong arms to make America great. There are more cubicles, more people typing, and more people talking. It’s great to be glib. Strength is strictly optional. Oh, and when cubicle-working men do try to carve out their own spaces for hobbies, sports, and other pursuits, they’re often mocked. Why does an accountant need a Ford F-150? Look at that lawyer buying a chainsaw. Doesn’t he know how ridiculous he looks?

    In place of teaching men to channel their aggression and adventurous spirits in productive ways, we ask them to stifle their truest natures. In place of teaching them to protect others, we lie and declare all violence to be bad. Instead of telling the truth that men and women are different, we try to transform men into women. We privilege the stories of those who found traditional gender norms oppressive (like gay men and their metrosexual cousins) and celebrate the demise of traditional masculinity that better served the vast majority of men and boys. Is it not possible to preserve masculinity while demonstrating compassion for those who don’t conform? Must we burn it all down?

    There are few sights more profoundly meaningful than watching a son grow up with a good father, to see him take on his dad’s best characteristics, while at the same time forging his own path. It is important to see and know that throughout that young man’s life, his dad wasn’t just nurturing him, he was also challenging him — pushing him to be stronger mentally, physically, and emotionally. To that end, it’s time to remember that strength is a virtue, rightly channeled aggression creates and preserves civilization itself, and there is nothing at all inherently toxic about masculinity. The feminization of everything doesn’t just fail our boys; over the long run it will fail our nation.


Racism Is Only Racism if It Comes From Groups the Left Hates

Ben Shapiro

This week, an odd tweet appeared in my mentions from verified Twitter users — users prominent enough to be granted a blue check mark by Twitter itself. This one came courtesy of a rapper named Talib Kweli Greene. I’ll admit I’d never heard of Greene until he suddenly appeared in my mentions calling me a “racist ass.” It turns out Greene is a rapper with well over one million Twitter followers and a long history of “social activism.”

A quick search of Greene’s Twitter feed showed a wide variety of instances of the rapper calling people “white boy” and “coon.” He says that this does not make him racist, of course — only the term “black boy” would be racist, since Greene maintains that white people cannot truly be victimized by racism. When I pointed out that seeming incongruity, Greene replied: “What’s the problem white boy? You think ‘white boy’ is racist? Wow. You’re dumber than I thought.” He then dared me to call him “black boy,” which, of course, I would never do, since that would be racist.

What’s Greene’s actual argument? It seems to be that since the derogatory slur “black boy” was thrown around by lynch mobs, any other derogatory slur can no longer be derogatory. This is the rhetorical equivalent of the argument your mother used to make back in grade school: You’re not truly hungry, since there are children in China who are starving to death. The argument fails for the same reason: Yes, it turns out there are gradations of racism, just as there are gradations of hunger. But you were hungry when you were a kid, even if your bowels weren’t distended, and you’re a racist if you call someone “white boy” in a derogatory fashion, even if you’re not attempting to lynch him.

Thanks to the theory of intersectionality, however, such logic goes by the wayside. Intersectional theory has now taken over the college campuses, leaving the broken corpses of decency and reason in its wake. Intersectionality classifies social categories of race, class, gender and sexual orientation into a hierarchy of victimhood that decides how you should be treated. If you are a black lesbian, for example, you outrank a black straight man and your view must be treated with more care and weight than that of the black straight man. More importantly, since society somehow classifies you as “lesser” than the black straight man, you are incapable of ever doing anything to victimize that black straight man — social powerlessness means that your individual victim status never changes.

This is why Greene and others on the Left believe it’s just fine to use “white boy” as a slur: Black people have historically seen discrimination in America that whites have not; whites benefit from a more powerful status in society at large; and therefore, black people cannot possibly be racist against white people. As Morehouse College Professor Dr. Marc Lamont-Hill said last year, “black people don’t have the institutional power to be racist or to deploy racism.”

There’s only one problem with this notion: It’s racist.

Racism bolstered by power is obviously more dangerous than racism without it. But racism can be used to achieve power, too — generally through the polarization of racial groups against one another. Tribalism is a powerful force, and resorting to a victimhood mentality to explain tribalism away doesn’t make it any less toxic. The faster Americans learn that, the faster racism can actually be curbed rather than exacerbated.


Why Islamists and Fascists Persecute Christians

A study from the Europe-based Center for Studies on New Religions recently confirmed that "Christians continue to be the most persecuted believers in the world, with over 90,000 followers of Christ being killed in the last year [2016]," which computes to one death every six minutes.  The study also found that as many as 600 million Christians around the world were prevented from practicing their faith.

Which group is most prone to persecute Christians around the world?  The answer to this was made clear by another recent study; it found that, of the ten nations around the world where Christians suffer the worst forms of persecution, nine are Islamic, though the absolute worst-North Korea-is not.

What is it about Christians that brings the worst out of some people, Muslims in the majority?  Three main reasons come to mind, though there are more:

    Christianity is the largest religion in the world. There are Christians practically everywhere around the globe, including in much of the Muslim world.  Moreover, because much of the territory that Islam conquered throughout the centuries was originally Christian-including all of the Middle East, Turkey, and North Africa-Muslims are still confronted with vestiges of Christianity.  In Egypt alone, which was the intellectual center of early Christendom before the Islamic invasions, at least 10 million Christians remain.  In short, because of their sheer numbers alone, Christians in the Muslim world are much more likely to suffer under Islam than other "infidels."

    Christianity is devoted to "proclaiming the Gospel" (literally, "the good news). No other major religion-not Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism-has this missionary aspect. These faiths tend to be coextensive with certain ethnicities and homegrown to certain locales. The only other religion that has what can be described as a missionary element is Islam itself.

Thus, because Christianity is the only religion that actively challenges Muslims with the truths of its own message, so too is it the primary religion to be accused of proselytizing, which is banned under Islamic law. And by publicly uttering teachings that contradict Muhammad's-including Christianity's core message-Christians fall afoul of Islam's blasphemy law as well.  Hence why most Muslims who apostatize to other religions-and get punished for it, sometimes with death-apostatize to Christianity.

    Christianity is the quintessential religion of martyrdom. From its inception-beginning with Jesus, and followed by his disciples and countless others in the early church-many Christians have been willing to accept death rather than to stop spreading the Gospel-or, worse, renounce the faith; this was evident in ancient times at the hands of the pagan Roman Empire and in medieval (and modern) times at the hands of Muslims and other persecutors. 

Practically no other religion encourages its adherents to embrace death rather than abjure the faith.  Thus, whereas Christ says "But whoever denies me before men, I will deny him before my Father in heaven" (Matthew 10:33; see also Luke 14:33), Islam teaches Muslims to conceal and even publicly renounce Muhammad, rather than die.  Moreover, other religions and sects approve of dissimulation to preserve their adherents' lives.  A nineteenth-century missionary observed that in Iran "Bahaism enjoys taqiyya (concealment of faith) as a duty, but Christianity demands public profession; and hence in Persia it is far easier to become a Bahai than to become a Christian."[i]

Of course, Islam's oppressive laws target people of all or no religions.  Many outspoken Muslim apostates in the West who never converted to Christianity must fear execution should they ever fall into the hands of their former coreligionists.  However, they are here now, alive and well in the West and warning us, precisely because they were not challenging the spiritual truths of Islam then, when they were living under its shadow-and why should they have been?  If life is limited to the now, as it is in the secular worldview, why risk it, especially when merely not rocking the boat, as many "moderate Muslims" do, will save it?

It is in fact Christianity's penchant to refuse to toe the line that, from its beginnings till now, has caused fascists[ii] and supremacists of all stripes-from the ancient Roman Empire (whence the word fascist is derived) to modern day North Korea-to persecute Christians.  The latter have a long history of refusing to be silent and paying the sort of lip service that everyone else is willing to offer to get by.

Just as Jesus irked Pilate by refusing to utter some words to save his life-"Don't you realize I have the power either to set you free or crucify you?" asked the bewildered procurator (John 19:10)-his disciples and countless other ancient Christians defied the Roman Empire, prompting several emperors to launch what, at least until now, were deemed history's worst persecutions of Christians; and today, countless modern day Christians continue grieving and thus being punished by their totalitarian and supremacist overlords-from North Korea to every corner of the Muslim world-for the very same reasons.



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

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

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


11 May, 2017

Trump's doomed errand to the Middle East
President Trump is about to score a religious trifecta, visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome, the “home” of three monotheistic religions. The president has said he wants to make the ultimate deal and achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

While the goal is similar to a high school kid attempting to hit a curve ball from an all-star pitcher, the scenario cannot end well for Israel. How do I know this? One has only to look at history. There has never — never — been a time when an American president has sought to lessen tensions in the region that Israel has not been smeared as the main impediment and required to “do more” to make peace happen. Israel is not an impediment to peace. Her enemies are.

Here’s the danger for President Trump. The Koran allows Muslims to lie to “nonbelievers” in pursuit of Islam’s goal of an earthly kingdom ruled by their religion. An example occurred last week when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met at the White House with President Trump. Abbas said, “Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children and grandchildren, in a culture of peace.”

That is a flat-out lie, as even a cursory Google search or visit to the Palestinian Media Watch website proves. President Trump correctly saw the problem in a campaign speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee: “In Palestinian textbooks and mosques, you’ve got a culture of hatred that has been fomenting there for years. And if we want to achieve peace, they’ve got to go out and they’ve got to start this educational process. They have to end education of hatred.”

Which country promotes the most extreme form of Islam in children’s textbooks, mosques and their media? It is Saudi Arabia. If a person, or nation, believes they have a mandate from their “god” to lie to achieve their goals, how likely is it that even a president is not regarded as an “infidel” whose desire for peace can be used to damage Israel’s best interests?

As Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick correctly noted last week: “Israel is the most immediate casualty of Trump’s decision to embrace Abbas and the PLO, because the PLO is Israel’s enemy. Abbas is an anti-Semite. His doctoral dissertation, which he later published as a book, is a Holocaust denying screed.

"Abbas engages in anti-Semitic incitement on a daily basis, both directly and indirectly. It was Abbas who called for his people to kill Jews claiming that we pollute Judaism’s most sacred site, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, with our ‘filthy feet.’ The Palestinian media and school system which he controls with an iron fist both regularly portray Jews as evil monsters, deserving of physical annihilation.”

This is not the attitude of one with whom a president or prime minister of Israel can make peace. A virus of hatred toward Israel and Jews is epidemic throughout the region. One is as likely to change the minds of such people as persuade a serious Christian to deny the resurrection of Jesus, or an Orthodox Jew to accept Him as Messiah. The difference is that Christians and Jews do not have world domination as their goal and violence as their method.

President Trump should re-read his AIPAC speech, because he was right to say what he said then. Abbas lied to the president during his visit. Mr. Trump can expect more lies on his trip to Saudi Arabia, whose leaders may promise all sorts of things and tell the president what he wants to hear, but won’t mean it. The proof is in their interpretation of their religion. As always, the West must pay less attention to what the enemies of Israel say and more attention to what they do.


Oregon Man Fined $500 for Challenging Timing on Red-Light Cameras

Mats Jarlstrom’s trouble all began with a red-light camera. In April 2013, Jarlstrom’s wife, Laurie, received a ticket after driving her Volkswagen through an intersection in Beaverton, Oregon, that was equipped with a traffic camera.

His wife paid the fine, but the timing of the traffic lights at the intersection piqued Jarlstrom’s interest, so he decided to look into a formula created in 1959 to calculate the length of yellow lights.

Jarlstrom says he realized the original formula failed to take into account the extra time it takes for a car to slow before making a right-hand turn safely.

“Currently, people are getting tickets for running red lights because they’re slowing down when they’re making turns,” he tells The Daily Signal “It’s a safety issue because any time we run a red light, we’re in the intersection for the wrong reason, and there is cross traffic, and especially pedestrians are in danger.”

Jarlstrom, an electronics engineer from Sweden, revised the formula to take the deceleration into account, and decided to take his findings public.

But doing so, he quickly learned, came with a risk, and a costly one at that.

Jarlstrom shared his findings with local media, policymakers, the sheriff, and Alexei Maradudin, who helped craft the original mathematical formula in 1959. He also emailed his theory to the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying, in hopes it would take a look at his research.

The Oregon panel said it didn’t have any jurisdiction over traffic lights. But it did have jurisdiction over the state’s engineering laws. And it decided to open an investigation into Jarlstrom because of “his use of the title ‘electronics engineer’ and the statement ‘I’m an engineer,’” according to an order from the board.

After investigating Jarlstrom for two years, the board fined him $500. The reason?

Jarlstrom, according to the board, practiced engineering without a license each time he “critiqued” the traffic-light system and identified himself as an engineer in correspondence with the panel.

“You don’t need to be an engineer to understand this,” Jarlstrom says in an interview with The Daily Signal, adding:

I read something that was already public and understood it, and I wanted to share that information with the public talking about it. I felt completely shocked when I contacted them that they weren’t interested in listening to the problems that I presented to the board. They accused me of being illegal by saying I was a Swedish electronics engineer.

Jarlstrom paid the $500 fine, and the board closed its investigation. But now, the public-interest law firm Institute for Justice is fighting alongside the Oregon man in federal court to challenge the state’s engineering laws.

“The issues are classic First Amendment issues,” Sam Gedge, an Institute for Justice lawyer who is representing Jarlstrom, tells The Daily Signal. “The government can’t punish people for expressing their concerns. The government can’t take words and redefine them and then punish people for using them in a way the government doesn’t like.”

Jarlstrom does have education and experience in engineering.

He has a degree in electronics engineering from Sweden, which is the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in engineering in the United States. Jarlstrom, 56, also worked for Luxor Electronics before immigrating to the United States in 1992.

But in Oregon, anyone who engages in “creative work requiring engineering education, training, and experience” under the state Professional Engineer Registration Act is required to be licensed as a professional engineer.

Nearly every state requires professional engineers to have a license. However, those licenses typically are reserved for engineers who build skyscrapers or design electrical plans for buildings.

The Institute for Justice is challenging the vague definition of what constitutes a professional engineer in Oregon, which in effect allows the board to regulate the exchange of ideas and of the word “engineer,” Gedge says: "What makes Oregon so unusual is they’ve taken the licensing regime for professional engineers and are applying it to people like Mats, who are talking about issues that concern them. That’s unusual."

There are two issues for Jarlstrom, Gedge says: He used the word “engineer” to describe himself, and he talked about technical topics.

“There have been a number of instances about the board going after people simply because they used the word engineer to describe themselves,” the lawyer says. “There are also examples of the board going after people who have never used the word engineer to describe themselves, but are nonetheless going out in public and speaking about technical topics.”

“That word isn’t off-limits to people,” he says. “The laws can’t be used to stop people from sending an email to his sheriff for safety.”

Other Incidents

Indeed, Jarlstrom’s experiences with Oregon’s Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying aren’t exclusive to him.

Last year, the board opened an investigation into Allen Alley, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, who stated in campaign ads: “I’m an engineer and a problem solver.”

Alley received a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Purdue University and worked as an engineer for Ford and Boeing. But he isn’t a licensed professional engineer in Oregon.

The board’s investigation into Alley is ongoing.

In another instance, the panel investigated a woman profiled in Portland Monthly’s “Oregon Woman 2015” edition.

Included in the magazine was an article about Marcela Alcantar and a headline about “the incredible story of the engineer behind Portland’s newest bridge.”

The board opened a “law enforcement case” against Alcantar based on the line, since she wasn’t a registered professional engineer.

Ultimately, the case was closed after the board’s staff spoke with the journalist who wrote the article. The board determined “engineer” was a designation given not by Alcantar, but by the article’s editors.

“The definition of the practice of engineering is so broad according to the board, and the board has shown itself to be so aggressive,” Gedge says. “Expressing your concerns on technical topics certainly leaves you at the risk of being investigated.”


Although Jarlstrom ultimately paid the fine, he says he believes the board’s decision violated his freedom of expression.

And while he does have engineering experience, Jarlstrom contends the skills he used to craft his revised formula relied on 6th- and 7th-grade math:

It’s interesting that just because students here in Beaverton or elsewhere are using math and looking at some traffic-flow issues in school, they would be considered practicing engineering according to the board. We can’t have laws having that kind of power or overreach.

Jarlstrom says he considers himself a whistleblower and is surprised something like this could happen in the United States. But he vows to continue working to “improve our civil rights and freedom of speech so individuals like myself can share ideas, whether they’re good or bad.”

“We still need to be able to express them,” he says. “If we can’t, there won’t be any ideas to choose from.”


Gospels Not Gospel Anymore?

It was worse than I thought. The Roman Catholic Church was being undermined by Marxists further back than I ever imagined. I knew there were Jesuits and other priests holding official positions in the Marxist Sandinista government of Nicaragua during the 1970s, but I thought they were anomalous. Now I'm learning that a majority of Jesuits believe Marxism and Christianity have more commonalities than differences.

For decades, Marxist Catholic priests and bishops stayed in the closet, just as Marxist Democrats in the US government did, but Marxists in Catholic Church came out first - during the 1970s near as I can tell. They were led by Jesuits who had for centuries been the most conservative of priestly orders. By the seventies they'd become the furthest left. Marxists in the Democrat Party are mostly closeted, though Bernie Sanders opened the door by declaring himself socialist. The support he received last year indicates like-minded Democrats are in the majority.

Sanders came close to the presidency in 2016. Had he won, he'd have replaced the deeply-closeted Barack Obama. He lost the nomination, however, to Hillary Clinton, who chose as her running mate Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. He was nearly elected vice-president - a heartbeat away from the presidency. Kaine was educated by Jesuits. He's also a true-believer in Marxist "Liberation Theology" under which Jesuits justify making revolution alongside Marxist guerrillas in the jungles of Central America and elsewhere.

One Jesuit, James Francis Carney, SJ was born and raised in Chicago and killed while fighting with Marxist revolutionaries in Honduras. "We Christian-Marxists have to fight side-by-side in Central America with the Marxists who do not believe in God," Carney wrote, "in order to form a new socialist society . . . To be a Christian is to be a revolutionary." If you google Carney's name, you'll find nothing but adulatory posts about him from other Jesuits and Catholics in general. Tim Kaine sought out and spent an evening with Father James Carney in Central America before he was killed.   

I'm nearly done with a book called The Jesuits, by the late Malachi Martin, a former Jesuit. It was published in 1986, and I wish I'd gotten my hands on it sooner. Martin makes a strong case that Jesuits moved away from the traditional Christian view that the individual human soul is where the battle between good and evil is fought. Now, he says, there exists within the order a "tendency to disassociate the concept of evil from the individual man and woman and to place it instead within a societal framework." 

Evil in that "societal framework" is capitalism - as practiced in Central America and elsewhere under the leadership of the United States. That's what Jesuits fight now. On page 57 of The Jesuits, Martin describes the nexus of Liberation Theology and Marxist-Leninism, in part, thusly: "Hell became the capitalist system. The American president, leader of the greatest capitalist country, became the Great Satan." In 2013, the conservative Pope Benedict XVI resigned and was replaced by Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope.

Martin sometimes called Jesuits the pope's "rapid deployment force." That's apt, as he explained when describing former soldier St. Ignatius of Loyola's purpose in founding the Society of Jesus, as the Jesuits are called officially, back in the 1500s. They were like soldiers, only they were fighting intellectually and morally, not physically. Each member had to undergo a rigorous educational training regimen so as to be ready to match up with the sharpest theologians, scientists, philosophers, politicians and government officials the world over. For centuries they engaged in intellectual combat with anti-Christian leaders in Enlightenment Europe and more than held their own.   

For more than four hundred years, Jesuits took the usual vows other priests did as well as an additional vow of total obedience to the pope himself, whoever he might be and whatever he might order. Under conservative Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Jesuits chafed against their orders. What will happen under Pope Francis - one of their own?   

Jesuit Superior-General, are making big waves. He claims we cannot know what Jesus actually said because there were no tape recorders two thousand years ago. He claims the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John cannot be taken literally, and that: "Doctrine is a word that I don't like very much. It brings with it the image of the hardness of stone," he said. "Instead, the human reality is much more nuanced. It is never black or white. It is in continual development."
What he said about the gospels is much like what Democrats claim about our Constitution: There are no absolutes. They can mean whatever you want them to mean.   


Another foul British response to a false rape allegation

False rape accusations happen regularly in Britain but, under feminist influence, the police and prosecutors still lean heavily towards believing the woman, without proper skepticism

The moment Elgan Varney discovered he would not have to stand trial for rape should have been one of profound relief.

After all, just three days before the trial was due last month, he was cleared of all charges after the Crown Prosecution Service decided it could offer no evidence against him.

Yet this outcome has done little to alleviate the sense of anger and betrayal at being subjected to a prosecution he says should never have happened in the first place and which has left the mature student’s life in pieces.

Where most young men in his position would dread the prospect of a court appearance, Elgan, 33, saw it as the only chance to clear his name. He had hoped to expose serious flaws not just in his own case but in the wider legal system – failings that let down both Elgan and the vulnerable young woman who accused him.

He has been left baffled as to why his life was wrecked despite a mountain of evidence in his favour – including thousands of social media messages suggesting there was no assault, information indicating his accuser had serious mental health issues, and even evidence from her computer suggesting the allegations had not only been false but that she had considered withdrawing them. ‘Two years of my life have been ruined, my career prospects have been ruined, family and friends have suffered and public money has been wasted,’ he told The Mail on Sunday.

‘I should never have been in court in the first place. The case collapsed because I am innocent.

‘When my solicitor told me there would be no trial, she was happy. But I was incredibly frustrated. I thought, finally, all the facts would come out in court and I could begin what is left of my life. But I wasn’t allowed that opportunity.’

This is by no means the first time unsupported claims have been taken seriously by the authorities, but in this case there were terrible aggravating factors – which is why, in the absence of a trial, Elgan is anxious the full truth is known.

There was the behaviour of the police, who are accused of coaxing the accusation from her, apparently determined to believe the victim. There were the actions of a friend who herself had mental health problems and whose intervention helped ensure the prosecution was brought.

But most distressingly, there was the tragic death of Hannah Stubbs, the student who claimed Elgan raped her after a brief relationship. She took her own life two years ago at the age of 22. In the words of Elgan’s barrister, his prosecution was ‘perhaps an unrivalled case study in how a false allegation can come about’.

Elgan had met Hannah in October 2014 when both were starting physiotherapy degrees at Keele University. They became part of a tight-knit group who shared a passion for rock climbing. The two quickly became friends and briefly entered into a physical relationship, though he says they were not boyfriend and girlfriend.

Elgan recalls his first impressions, describing her as ‘bubbly, talkative and a bit cheeky. She was outgoing and could be pretty forthright’.

Elgan, a keen sportsman, threw himself into university life. He played tennis, joined the running club and captained a football team. ‘Hannah wanted to join everything I wanted to,’ he says. ‘I didn’t mind.’ The pair attended lectures, socialised together and spent a lot of time at the university’s climbing wall. Most days they met with their two friends, fellow mature physiotherapy students Steven and Hazel (not their real names).

Elgan and Hannah also shared a history of anxiety and depression that had led both to drop out of earlier university courses. When she started at Keele she was taking anti-depressants and on his advice she started seeing a university counsellor.

At the end of the first term Hannah went to spend Christmas with her family. Elgan and Hannah exchanged 750 electronic messages in the days before and after.

‘Not got my grizzly bear to cuddle up to though unfortunately,’ Hannah messaged on the 27th. ‘I like falling asleep with you,’ adding a minute later: ‘I like waking up with you too though.’

It was after Elgan made it clear he did not want a relationship in February 2015 that the complaints were made. And here the story becomes complicated.

First there was a strange episode at the college climbing wall three days after the break-up, when Hannah claimed to have injured her back while play-wrestling on gym mats with fellow students.

Elgan recalls his puzzlement. ‘Everyone was making a fuss over Hannah. It seemed a complete over-reaction,’ he says. ‘The trainee medics were quite hysterical.’ An ambulance was called and Hannah was taken to hospital. Elgan went with her and took pictures she later posted on Facebook of her smiling, strapped on a spinal support board.

Other students joined them at the hospital and one, James (not his real name), drove everyone home after Hannah was given the all-clear at 3am. It was in the course of that evening that Hannah made an allegation of assault, telling James that Elgan had touched her inappropriately. James messaged his friend Michelle (not her real name), who had written in a blog about being raped the previous year.

A few days later Michelle spoke to Hannah. The day after that, Elgan received a disturbing Facebook message. ‘Elgan, due to what happened last week when I came over to yours I have decided that I don’t want any contact with you,’ wrote Hannah.

‘I don’t feel like you respected me or how I feel. I had been clear with you on the phone that I didn’t want things to happen again, and yet you still went ahead.’

Had Hannah written this entirely by herself? Not according to their friend Steven, who had been present when the message was sent, as was Michelle.

Indeed, in his witness statement, he talks about the message being ‘formulated by Michelle’, saying ‘it seemed that Hannah had little input into this’.

Elsewhere in the statement he says: ‘I was shocked by this. I recall that Michelle soon became heavily involved with Hannah and seemed to have a lot of influence over her. I fully believe that [Hannah] was not raped or sexually abused by Elgan,’ he concludes.

He was not the only one to think that way. Numerous students were prepared to go to court to speak on Elgan’s behalf.

The role of Michelle was significant. She had been with Hannah when she contacted the university authorities with her allegations and it was Michelle who rang the police on Hannah’s behalf.

Hannah eventually accused Elgan of raping her on unspecified dates, once in the autumn of 2014 and again in February 2015. There was no forensic evidence of rape.

The only evidence against Elgan was in a statement made by Hannah to the police six months before her death, and even this was contradictory and bore no relationship to the allegations she originally confided to university friends.

It is also undermined by more than 10,000 Facebook and WhatsApp messages between them that have now been transcribed and analysed. Seen by The Mail on Sunday, they showed the pair continued to have an amicable relationship after the alleged rapes.

‘Not one message supports the prosecution case or Hannah’s account,’ says Elgan’s solicitor Mark Newby. ‘It is striking all their exchanges are entirely good-natured on both sides. They reveal nothing at all untoward about Elgan’s conduct.’

As well as the two counts of rape, Elgan was also charged with an assault on February 27, 2015 – the day after he told Hannah he did not want to be in a relationship.

The following evening the pair exchanged a stream of messages, with no mention of a mild disagreement let alone sexual assault. Hannah implored Elgan to come over, clearly struggling with his decision to end their relationship.

His replies were polite and the exchange ended on good terms. ‘Have a good match tomorrow [smiley face],’ she said.

‘If the police had looked at the correspondence they could have arrived at no other conclusion than Hannah wasn’t telling the truth,’ says Mr Newby. Hannah was interviewed by the police and three weeks later Elgan was asked to attend an interview voluntarily.

He spent much of it trying to persuade officers to read the messages, but to his bemusement he was simply told ‘the tech team would be in touch’.

Hannah had previously given a statement to police in which she was clearly reluctant to make any concrete allegations and repeatedly referred to her lack of faith in her own memory.

She also mentioned Michelle’s role. ‘People have said to me, like my friend Michelle... if you’ve said to them you don’t want them to, then they shouldn’t.’

She was also questioned about previous allegations of rape she had made against another man.

Then came quite disastrous news. Hannah, who had spent several weeks in a mental health unit after making the accusations, hanged herself at her parents’ home in Staffordshire on August 29, 2015.

Her family has spoken of their devastating loss and she is remembered fondly by friends. The inquest into her death found she had been suffering post-traumatic stress at the time, but it was not linked to her alleged rape.

Elgan says: ‘The news of Hannah’s death made me physically sick. I cared about her. It was shocking and difficult to process. I was confused, sad and angry all at the same time.’

He was disturbed, too, by what would subsequently emerge. According to notes provided by the university to the inquest, Hannah had told her personal tutor that she had been ‘burnt out’ by her experience at a previous university and the experience had resulted in ‘a long period of mental illness during which she had suicidal thoughts’.

Also disclosed by the prosecution in the case files for the inquest was her internet search history. This included multiple searches in August 2015 on false allegations and on how to withdraw prosecutions – as well as research into the kind of personality disorders that drive such allegations.

Two weeks before her death, Hannah twice downloaded Crown Prosecution Service guidance on perverting the course of justice.

Then there is the question of how the police conducted their interview of Hannah, something which shocked Anna O’Mara, Elgan’s former solicitor, when the evidence later emerged.

‘Hanna initially was reluctant to commit herself to making an allegation against Elgan,’ she says.

‘This eventually led to the officer pointing out to her what the police would need to prove a case. It was only after Hannah had received prompts from the officer that she hesitantly developed a disjointed allegation against Elgan.’

After Hannah’s death, Elgan didn’t hear from the police for six months. He was eventually charged on March 11, 2016. Anna O’Mara said: ‘I had never before seen a person charged with an offence when there existed such strong evidence pointing to his innocence.’

She repeatedly asked the CPS to reconsider the case. The judge at a preliminary hearing also urged the them to carefully consider the likelihood of a successful prosecution.

Elgan’s barrister Matt Stanbury said the failed prosecution was ‘perhaps an unrivalled case study in how a false allegation can come about’, adding that Hannah’s ‘reluctance to complain was mistaken for a misplaced loyalty; her vulnerability mistaken for victimhood.’

Elgan remains angry at the police and the CPS for pursuing its case despite the weight of evidence pointing to his innocence.

He says: ‘But no matter what the evidence shows, the sad thing is Hannah took her life. As someone who only ever cared about her I would like to send my sincere condolences to her family. ‘I always treated Hannah in a respectful way. I know that I was not responsible for her death.

‘Except in the most exceptional circumstances, there needs to be anonymity for anyone accused of rape. I want to get on with my life. But you can’t move forward when the fact that you have been accused is one click away on Google. Being cleared is not enough.’

A spokesman for the CPS said: "The function of the CPS is not to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for a jury to consider.

‘Following the receipt of new information, prosecutors were no longer satisfied that there was a realistic prospect of conviction.’

A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: ‘Each and every case is different and in this instance, information and the evidence gathered was submitted to the CPS who authorised charges to be brought.



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

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

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


10 May, 2017

Police-Bashing's Contemptible Consequences

Leftists love any social disruption and they have achieved it in spades with police now reluctant to go into black communities.  Blacks are dying  because of that.  Clearly, black lives don't matter to Leftists

An unclassified FBI report reveals the consequences of the American Left’s penchant for police-bashing.

According to “Assailant Study — Mindsets and Behaviors,” which examined “multiple high-profile police incidents across the country,” the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the ensuing mayhem it engendered “initiated a movement that some perceived made it socially acceptable to challenge and discredit the actions of law enforcement,” the report states. “This attitude was fueled by the narrative of police misconduct and excessive force perpetuated through politicians and the media.”

“Hands Up Don’t Shoot” has been the most enduring narrative promoted by the Leftmedia and their political allies, despite being ultimately labeled one of 2014’s “biggest lies of the year” by Washington Post “fact-checker” Glen Kessler. The lefty Kessler also reminded us that four Democrat members of the Congressional Black Caucus “raised their hands during their speeches in solidarity” with the anti-cop gesture it spawned, despite the reality the “grand jury had questioned this characterization by then.”

For a racially polarized Obama administration, the grand jury that ultimately exonerated Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson was considered insufficient. The Justice Department, led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, conducted its own investigation — and much to the dismay of a race-baiting left, Wilson remained un-indicted.

But what about the plethora of witnesses who claimed Michael Brown’s hands were in the air when Wilson shot him? “All of these purported witnesses, upon being interviewed by law enforcement, acknowledged that they did not actually witness the shooting, but rather repeated what others told them in the immediate aftermath of the shooting,” the DOJ report reveals.

Moreover, forensic evidence backed Wilson’s version of the events.

None of it mattered. “Hands up don’t shoot” is now a business. Amazon sells t-shirts with the phrase, and merchandise like stationery, bags and home decor is flacked at Redbubble. And as the http://handsupdontshoot.com/ website insists, “‘Hands Up Don’t Shoot’ DID happen.”

No, it didn’t. But that hasn’t stopped leftists from exploiting the lie. A CNN article insists hands up don’t shoot “has transcended the specifics of Ferguson to make a longstanding grievance a national issue.” An NPR article titled “Whether History Or Hype, ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Endures” speaks to Holder throwing “cold water on the hands-up scenario,” but quotes Holder insisting it “remains not only valid but essential to question how such a strong alternative version of events was able to take hold so swiftly and to be accepted so readily.”

How about “the lie told often enough it becomes the truth?”

Unfortunately, that lie spearheaded the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, a despicable collection of anti-police activists with ties “to Cuba, Northern Ireland, Europe and the Middle East,” according to a report compiled by noted criminologist and law enforcement expert Ron Martinelli.

Martinelli also reveals a substantial portion of BLM’s funding comes from “George Soros through his Open Society Institute.”

BLM’s mission? “The Black Lives Matter organization is relatively transparent in its intent to create a new Marxist style policing and criminal justice paradigm,” he writes. “However, their less than transparent and ultimate goals to achieve this objective are to disenfranchise and diminish law enforcement officers in the eyes of the low-informed and disengaged general public and media.”

The FBI report reveals they are making serious inroads. An examination of 50 of the 53 incidents where officers were killed in the line of duty in 2016, (the three cases involving minors or unknown perpetrators were excluded) reveals most assailants using deadly force did so to avoid capture. But the report states 28% “expressed a desire to kill law enforcement prior to carrying out their attacks,” because they had a “hatred of law enforcement.” Furthermore, “assailants in this category posted their beliefs on social media and/or informed their friends and family of their intentions prior to ambushing or initiating violence against law enforcement.”

BLM? “Specifically in the Dallas, TX and Baton Rouge, LA attacks, assailants said they were influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement and their belief that law enforcement was targeting black males.”

Who’s targeting whom? Five police officers were murdered and seven injured in Dallas. Three officers were slain and three others injured in Baton Rouge.

The BLM movement hardly stands alone. “Due to the coverage of the high-profile police incidents,” the FBI report states, “it appears that immediately following the incidents, assailants were constantly exposed to a singular narrative by news organizations and social media of police misconduct and wrongdoing.”

It also states the decriminalization of drugs has fueled a “turnstile justice system” that in turn fuels the “increase in violent attacks on law enforcement,” courtesy of those who believe “consequences no longer exist for criminal acts,” or those in drug-induced psychoses “more willing to shoot an officer to stay out of jail.”

And what does this toxic mix engender? “Ask any police department recruiter across the country about efforts to attract new officers and you will likely get a similar answer — fewer people are willing to wear the uniform, fewer see a future in policing, fewer want to risk their futures on a profession where you face public disdain, media attacks, and the increased potential for financial wreckage from unwarranted charges,” former assistant FBI director Ron Hosko explains.

Officers still on the job? “Departments — and individual officers — have increasingly made the conscious decision to stop engaging in proactive policing,” the report warns. “The intense scrutiny and law enforcement officers have received in the wake of several high-profile incidents has caused several officers to (1) ‘become scared and demoralized’ and (2) avoid interacting with the community.”

The oh-so predictable results? In 2016, one year after the nationwide murder rate rose at its fastest pace since 1990, it ticked up another 8%, according to a report by Matthew Friedman, Ames C. Grawert and James Cullen of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

One city under virtual siege is Baltimore, now enduring its highest murder rate per capita ever. It’s also operating with the smallest number of police officers in approximately a decade. Neither fact is surprising in a city where politically motivated prosecutor Marilyn Mosby attempted and failed to punish police officers for the death of Freddie Gray, and city officials ordered police to stand down while those using Gray’s death as an excuse to riot were given “space” to destroy the city.

“All the data studied over the past two and a half years proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the Ferguson Effect is real,” explains Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald. “But what we often forget is that beyond these abstract numbers are the faces of real people, our innocent fellow Americans, who might still be alive today had the police been allowed to do their jobs.”

Innocent victims are largely irrelevant to leftist activists who believe identity politics and racial grievance-mongering remain vital components of their ability to maintain political power. Better to rule in a tribalist nation than serve in a united one.

Cop-bashing? A contemptible means to an anarchistic end. Nothing more, nothing less.


Nationalism Is Here to Stay  

Not mentioned below is that Macron is also critical of the EU and has pledged to reform it.  He would seem to have little power to do that, however

On Sunday night, French citizens selected En Marche leader Emmanuel Macron as their nation’s newest president. Macron defeated supposed “far-right” candidate Marine Le Pen 65% to 35%. While this may appear to be a united vote of confidence for Macron and his pro-EU, centrist policies, it should be noted that about 11.5% of ballots were damaged or left blank while 25% of the registered voters abstained from voting altogether. Macron’s new challenge is to bring a country of disparate opinions together, in spite of differences. This challenge seems simple enough, yet he has to contend with the deeps issues which Marine Le Pen addressed in her “French First” campaign — namely immigration, terrorism and globalism.

Le Pen’s campaign ran on the discontent of French citizens who feel forgotten and left behind in the wake of refugee and immigration policies. During a recent interview with French citizens, Angelique Chrisafis, a reporter for the Guardian, discovered a growing number of French nationals who echo this sentiment. One French local stated: “Foreigners — they arrive and are given a flat, new clothes, food and free petrol. We give them everything and the French have nothing.” They watch refugees and immigrants being given free housing, food and petrol while many rural French citizens are struggling with unemployment and poverty. “The third world isn’t the suburbs at all” a woman stated in the interview, “it’s in the countryside. Nobody cares. Nobody talks about it. Ever.” Marine Le Pen calls these people “Forgotten France.” That should ring familiar to a few supporters of Donald Trump.

The globalist EU policies have made it difficult for the French nation to make unilateral decisions in the best for their country, rather than in the best interest for the entire Euro-zone. Centralized governing powers, like the European Union, require countries to relinquish sovereignty and control of their own countries in exchange for rule by another, larger governing body. The interests of one country are then shared with all of the countries in the group. This really means that the interests of an individual country are diluted by the interests of many other countries. In other words, all countries who submit to the European Union lose much of their voice while their “representatives” make decisions for them in another capital hundreds of miles away.

The globalist organizations of Europe are not unlike the monarchies of the past in which a disconnected central figure made unilateral decisions for a people. In history, this dynamic has often led to a people throwing off the disinterested centralized government in favor of self-rule. Some notable historic examples, of course, include the French Revolution (1789-1799), the American Revolution (1776-1783) and, in last century, the Tunisian victory for independence from the French (1952-56), and India’s victory for independence from British rule (1947). Of those, the American Revolution is unique for its achievement of real and lasting Liberty.

We applaud the efforts of such countries to independently rule themselves. Yet most people today cannot recognize that the same impulse which drove India to free herself from England or Tunisia to throw off French rule is the same which drove Britain to vote for Brexit and Le Pen and her supporters to seek a Frexit. National Review’s Andrew Stuttaford notes, “The French may not love the EU, but that’s not the same as saying that they want to leave it. They don’t.”

The struggle for independence served as the drive behind Le Pen’s campaign. This struggle for independence has often been called “nationalism.” In its best form, nationalism encompasses a love for one’s own country, which propels citizens with a desire to build their own country’s economy, the ability to make local decisions based on local needs and the ability to secure their country from their enemies.

The globalist institutions that rob sovereignty from nations in exchange for centralized, monolithic decisions, simply do not comport with the intrinsic human instinct for self-rule. These institutions, in fact, compromise that democratic impulse.

While Emmanuel Macron has won the presidency in France, the cause for nationalism and independence from the EU will continue to be an issue for the people of France. The policies which exclude local voices for local needs will continue to exist, and so will the opposition.


Dr. Mark Green Withdraws From Army Secretary Nomination

This is a sad day for Army Patriots serving our nation and for our national defense.

The Rainbow Mafia, with the help of its Senate Republican “friends,” Lindsay Graham, Jeff Flake and the now-senile John McCain, refused to let Donald Trump’s extraordinary nomination of Mark Green for secretary of the Army move forward. The reason: His views on homosexuals and Islamists did not pass the PC litmus test.

I wrote about Dr. Green’s nomination and exceptional qualifications last week, noting that this would be a litmus test for Republicans — a choice between military readiness or political correctness: Time to Restore Courage, Character and Integrity to this Office.

The Rainbow Mafia will now endeavor to derail his campaign for governor in Tennessee (if he reactivates that campaign) by mounting a defense threatening boycotts, as it did in neighboring North Carolina to overturn that state’s legislation to keep men out of little girls' restrooms.

Falling on his sword so as not to become a distraction to Trump’s health care revisions in the Senate, Dr. Green issued this statement: “It is with deep regret today I am withdrawing my nomination to be the Secretary of the Army. I am honored that President Trump nominated me for this position. I appreciate his support and confidence in me, as well as that of Secretary Mattis and many others, and their desire to Make America Great Again by preparing our military to face the many challenges in the world for the safety and security of our nation. But to meet these challenges, there should be no distractions. And unfortunately due to false and misleading attacks against me, this nomination has become a distraction. Tragically, my life of public service and my Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized and attacked by a few on the other side of the aisle for political gain. While these attacks have no bearing on the needs of the Army or my qualifications to serve, I believe it is critical to give the President the ability to move forward with his vision to restore our military to its rightful place in the world. Camie and I look forward to finding other opportunities to use our gifts to serve others and help Make America Great Again.”

Thank you, Mark, for your willingness to be subjected to this disgraceful rejection.


Kansas City Archdiocese Breaks Ties With Girl Scouts, Cites Planned Parenthood, Radical Feminists

Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann announced on May 1 that the Catholic churches in his archdiocese would be transitioning away from the secularist Girl Scouts to the Christian-based American Heritage Girls, citing in part the national Girl Scouts' support for the international Girl Scouts, which is tied to Planned Parenthood, which promotes contraception and abortion.

Archbishop Naumann also noted the Girl Scouts' promotion as role models the eugenicist Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood, as well as the radical feminists Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem.

"Our greatest responsibility as a church is to the children and young people in our care," said the archbishop in a May 1 statement. "We have a limited time and number of opportunities to impact the formation of our young people. It is essential that all youth programs at our parishes affirm virtues and values consistent with our Catholic faith."

"With the promotion by Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) of programs and materials reflective of many of the troubling trends in our secular culture, they are no longer a compatible partner in helping us form young women with the virtues and values of the Gospel," said Archbishop Naumann.

"The national organization, for example, contributes more than a million dollars each year to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS), an organization tied to International Planned Parenthood and its advocacy for legislation that includes both contraception and abortion as preventive health care for women," he said.

"Margaret Sanger, Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem are frequently held up in materials as role models for young Scouts," said the archbishop.  "These as well as many other 'role models' in the GSUSA’s new manuals and web content not only do not reflect our Catholic worldview but stand in stark opposition to what we believe."

Consequently, the archbishop has directed his priests and lay workers to start transitioning from the Girl Scouts.  Different parishes, churches, and schools may abruptly end all work with the Girl Scouts or slowly transition out as young women graduate from the program.

About 205,000 Catholics live in the archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas. There are 120 parishes in the archdiocese and seven high schools.

The alternative formation group being offered in the archdiocese is the American Heritage Girls, which is described as "the premier national character development organization for girls 5-18 that embraces Christian values and encourages family involvement."   (See video.)  Their mission reads, "Building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country."

In his concluding remarks, Archbishop Naumann said,  "While I am grateful that offensive and completely age-inappropriate material was recently removed by GSUSA from portions of their Journey series of manuals in response to concerns raised by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and others, it is disturbing such an intervention on our part was necessary."

"We prefer to partner with youth organizations that share our values and vision for youth ministry," he said, "not ones that we have to monitor constantly to protect our children from being misled and misinformed."

"On a final note, I want to express my appreciation for the many extraordinary Girl Scout leaders of the archdiocese who have served so many so well," said the archbishop. "We look forward to having as many of them as are willing join us in leadership roles as we take this new step into the formation of our girls. I will always be grateful for their exceptional service."



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

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

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


9 May, 2017

Study finds link between being easily grossed out, shunning immigrants

This is all based on a lie.  The GSR does not indicate being "grossed out".  It is just an alerting response triggered by all sorts of stimuli.  The most it could tell you about conservatives is that they are more alert to danger -- which could be highly adaptive.  And caution is the essence of conservatism any way

If you have trouble understanding people you disagree with about immigration, perhaps you can blame it on a weak stomach.

In a study that adds to a growing body of research about the influence that unconscious emotions exert on political thought, researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark found a link between heightened sensitivity to disgust and an aversion to interacting with immigrants.

The study highlights the challenges faced by political opponents in using facts and reason to find a common ground on social issues. The scientists show how a primeval fear of infection, forged long ago in humanity's evolutionary past, can give rise to a modern-day aversion to interacting with immigrants. This is by no means true for everybody, but that fear can make it more difficult, but by no means impossible, for some people to willingly interact with immigrants.

"Individuals with high disgust sensitivity are especially motivated to avoid contact with immigrants," says lead author Lene Aarøe, a professor of political science at Aarhus University in Denmark. "This is important because avoiding contact potentially prevents the kind experiences that typically stimulate tolerance."

Professor Aarøe and her colleagues showed participants images related to infection and disease and measured their the flight-or-flight responses via skin conductance, as reported in a paper published Monday in the American Political Science Review.

The researchers found that subjects with the strongest response to the images were also those most likely to say that they would disapprove if someone in their immediate family were to marry an immigrant or if immigrant families moved into their neighborhoods. Overall, they were less willing to eat food prepared by immigrants or to share public spaces with immigrants.

Surprisingly, the heightened disgust response was far more likely to predict such aversion to interacting with immigrants than did income, education, or even political ideology.

"When we saw these data patterns we knew that we were onto something," says Aarhus University political scientist Michael Bang Petersen, who co-authored the paper. And not just something that was academically interesting but something with real-world consequences for the integration of immigrants into society."

Researchers have found similar correlations between heightened disgust responses to conservative political views, including opposition to same-sex marriage and prejudicial attitudes toward gays and lesbians.

In some cases, these variations can translate into drastic policy prescriptions, particularly when it comes to people from foreign places. "People with sensitive behavioral immune systems shun any situation that brings them closer to immigrants and favor situations that limits contact, such as the creation of ghettos," Dr. Petersen says. "In fact, it seems like people with sensitive behavioral immune systems prefer something that could be construed as apartheid-like arrangements."

Politicians and pundits are adept at leveraging disgust responsiveness to sway people to support their policies. Donald Trump – who describes himself as a "germaphobe" and has called the practice of shaking hands "barbaric" – said in 2015 that "tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border" from Mexico to the United States, a claim that the fact-checking website Politifact, after checking with health experts, deemed "unlikely."

His words echoed those of television personality Lou Dobbs, who in 2007 drew criticism for falsely claiming that undocumented immigrants were importing an epidemic of leprosy.

"Immigrants are not a source of infection," says Aarøe. "It is on the subconscious level that the immune system misinterprets differences as a potential sign of infection."

The tendency for disgust and associated emotions to operate outside of our conscious awareness can make our political positions, particularly on social issues, more resistant to facts.

"Politics is at least as much about emotionality as it is about rationality," says Kevin Smith, a political scientist at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. "It clearly seems to be that people literally – not metaphorically, literally – experience the world differently because they have these variations in these systems that gather and translate information about the environment they're in."

Knowing that different people are born with different emotional systems might even foster patience for political differences. "There is a divide between conservatives and liberals," says Patrick Stewart, a political scientist at the University of Arkansas who has also tested disgust responses and their relationship with political ideology. "It's not because one or the other is bad. It just might be that they're adapted to deal with different environments."

The researchers hope that their work can help free us of the influence that unexamined emotions can exert on our political attitudes. "One way to enable people to correct for their psychological biases is to inform them about them," says Aarøe.

And while different people may have different levels of disgust sensitivity, scientists agree that we are always capable of changing our own minds.

"If you actually put a little bit of mental work and examine why you don't like immigration policy, and you weigh the pros and cons rationally you can certainly think your way to a different position," says Smith. "We're not talking about predestination, we're really talking about predisposition."


Freedom of speech, even in therapy

by Jeff Jacoby

IN CALIFORNIA and five other states, it is illegal for psychologists and mental-health counselors to engage in "conversion therapy" meant to change the sexual orientation of minors. The Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a challenge to the California ban, leaving in place a lower-court ruling that upheld the law last year. A few days earlier, US Senator Patty Murray of Washington introduced legislation that would make conversion therapy illegal nationwide. Murray's bill, which was cosponsored by half of the Senate's Democrats, would ban anyone from offering such treatment or counseling to anyone, including adults. A companion bill was introduced in the House by California Democrat Ted Lieu and 68 cosponsors.

There is little reason to think that sexual orientation can be changed through therapeutic counseling. Most professional medical and mental health organizations oppose such efforts. The American Psychological Association sharply discourages conversion therapy; it concluded in 2009 that "there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation."

The idea that gays and lesbians can be "converted" into heterosexuals — or vice versa — seems hopelessly misguided, if not downright delusional. But when did it become the business of lawmakers, in a nation governed by the First Amendment, to criminalize misguided and delusional ideas?

Murray and Lieu, who call their bill the "Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act," maintain that they are targeting not the expression of an idea but the cheating of consumers by means of deceptive advertising and sham services. "It is fraud if you treat someone for a condition that doesn't exist," Lieu told The Washington Post. "There's no medical condition known as being gay. LGBTQ people were born perfect; there is nothing to treat them for. And by calling this what it should be, which is fraud, it would effectively shut down most of the organizations."

But the "fraud" here is just — speech. What Murray and Lieu want Congress to ban is not a dangerous drug or a risky surgical technique; this isn't about protecting unwitting victims from being strapped down and lobotomized, or browbeaten into undergoing chemical castration. There is nothing in their bill about coercion or trickery. The law is written to prevent discussion between therapist and patient, no matter how sincere and well-intentioned.

Legislators and activists may regard the very notion of sexual-orientation conversion as pernicious, archaic, and unhealthy. Millions of Americans, gay and straight alike, would deem it offensive and insulting, even hateful.

But the First Amendment would be worth little if it only shielded only non-offensive ideas. Congress and the states cannot censor private discussions about topics they consider odious. Nor can they circumvent the Constitution by labeling speech "therapeutic fraud."

Conversion therapy may not be good psychology, but that isn't what underlies the campaign to outlaw it. As Lieu's words ("LGBTQ people were born perfect") suggest, the conversion-therapy ban has more to do with gay-rights politics and polemics than with regulating mental-health services. After all, the list of dubious therapeutic techniques is a long one, and virtually none of those techniques has ever been banned by law. Legislators have not been moved to prohibit primal scream therapy as a form of fraud. Nor have they proscribed orgone therapy, chromotherapy, or past-life regression therapy. And if sexual-orientation conversion therapy is fraudulent, then surely astrology and palm-reading — for which plenty of people pay good money — should have been stifled long ago.

It cannot be repeated often enough: You don't have to respect an idea to respect the right of others to espouse it. In a free society, the temptation to censor an unpopular belief or practice should always be resisted — not just because liberty of conscience is valuable in itself, but because tables turn. It wasn't so long ago that legislators in some states were trying to pass "don't say gay" laws — measures forbidding educators from discussing "non-heterosexual" relationships with students or requiring schools to notify the parents of any students identifying themselves as gay or lesbian.

Those who trespass on the First Amendment to ban speech they disapprove of set an example they may come to regret. If therapy to "cure" same-sex attraction is subject to legislative whim, why not therapy to "cure" atheism? If states can order doctors not to talk with their patients about changing sexual orientation, can they order them not to talk about race or politics? Florida's legislature in 2011 passed a law barring doctors from discussing firearms and gun safety with their patients; violators were threatened with losing their license. Happily, the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit struck down the law last February. But that such a law could be enacted in the first place is a reminder that the lure of censorship is ever-present — and it comes in every shade of opinion.

It is no business of lawmakers whether people seek therapy to help them come out as lesbian or gay — or to help them overcome same-sex attraction. Few personal issues are more fraught and sensitive than sexuality; and an individual suffering from anxiety or distress has every right to seek therapeutic counseling without being second-guessed by Congress or the state legislature.

"Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech," commands the Constitution. That applies to speech that isn't fashionable or politically correct, to speech that powerful interests vehemently condemn, to speech that we find rude and unenlightened. It applies to speech between therapists and patients, too. Even if what they're talking about makes you want to scream.


Internet outrage after Canadian primary school cancels Mother's Day

PARENTS of primary school students at one Canadian school will go without this Mother's and Father's Day.

An image circulating on social media has outraged people across the world after it claimed the school would not facilitate time for students to make gifts for their parents on Mother's Day or Father's Day.

"In an effort to celebrate diversity, inclusivity and also nurture our students who are part of non-traditional families, we have decided to encourage those celebrations to take place at home," the letter reads.

"Due to this, the children will not be making gifts at school."

The letter has enraged people across the globe after being shared by Canadian Roy Glebe.

Many comments agree with Mr Glebe, with one woman saying "there are ways to compromise without eliminating completely."


Germany reviews asylum cases

The German government body responsible for asylum seekers is reviewing some 2,000 cases after revelations that a suspected right-wing extremist army officer posing as a refugee had been granted asylum in the country.

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees is reviewing the cases to find out whether there are systemic problems such as inadequate background checks and screening, the Interior Ministry said.

The decision to grant asylum to Franco A - a lieutenant stationed in France who successfully registered as a refugee in Germany despite speaking no Arabic - was a "flagrant error that is not allowed to happen," spokesman Johannes Dimroth told the FAZ newspaper.

The asylum cases that are being reviewed include 1,000 Afghans and 1,000 Syrians who were granted permission to stay in Germany between January 1 and April 27, 2016, the ministry said.

The controversy started a week ago with the arrest of Franco A, a 28-year-old army lieutenant who created a fake identity as Syrian refugee named "David Benjamin," allegedly in order to plan terrorist attacks.

Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has come under fire after it emerged that information about far-right sentiment in the Bundeswehr's ranks had not reached her ministry.



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

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

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


8 May, 2017

It isn’t only Trump who’s demeaning the Civil War

It's only because history is written by the victors that the civil war gets any respect.  600,000 young Americans died for what?  Lincoln could have BOUGHT out all the slaves for less than what the war cost. And in his letter to Horace Greeley, Lincoln admits that slavery was not his real motivation.  Lincoln was an evil blowhard.  No other country needed a war to free their slaves

President Donald Trump is in hot water again, this time for comments he made about the American Civil War. In an interview with the Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito, Trump suggested that nobody knows the real cause of the Civil War. ‘People don’t realise, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why. People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?’

As many have pointed out, the cause of the Civil War is the most contested question in American historiography. Historians have long battled over what caused America to be plunged into conflict. It’s also a contested topic outside of academia. In the South, public displays of Confederate symbols are a constant source of controversy. There has recently been tension over the flying of the Confederate flag in South Carolina and the removal of Confederate-related statues in Louisiana. Underlying the arguments over these symbols is a contested memory of the Civil War, and disagreement over who was morally right in the conflict.

It should go without saying that the war was about slavery, and therefore that the anti-slavery Union was the good, right, moral force in the conflict. By questioning the cause of the war, Trump has, perhaps unintentionally, challenged this idea. If no one is really sure what caused the conflict, as Trump seems to think, then surely we can’t be sure that the Union was morally superior to the Confederacy?

Many media commentators and Twitter personalities have taken great pleasure in educating Trump on the cause of the war. Which is fine – most people, save a few neo-Confederate wingnuts, agree that it was a desire to end slavery that gave rise to war between the North and South. But it isn’t only Trump who is contesting history. There appears to be a revival of Civil War scepticism on the left, too, particularly around the question of whether the Union really was morally opposed to slavery.

For instance, many on the left praised the Oscar-nominated documentary The Thirteenth, which argues that the Civil War ended without the abolition of slavery. It claims the piece of legislation that officially ended slavery in America — the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution — actually allowed slavery to continue, through a clause permitting penal labour.

The amendment that ended slavery — which was made possible by the Civil War and the victory of the Union — is said to have sustained slavery through the backdoor. In the words of columnist Shaun King, a fan of the documentary, with ‘a wink and a nod’, it allowed slavery ‘to continue’. In short, the Civil War wasn’t really about ending slavery; the North was not ‘good’.

This interpretation implies that lawmakers in the North were indifferent to the abolition of slavery. In truth, the wording of the Thirteenth Amendment was plucked from the Northwest Ordinance, which, even before the Civil War, had successfully prevented slavery in the mid-Western states. That is, the amendment was unquestionably intended to end slavery and realise the ideals of those who fought for the Union.

The supposedly radical claim that slavery was fundamentally a non-issue for the Union — made by the kind of people who oppose Trump — mutes the deeply moral purpose behind the Civil War. It also demeans the historic role of Abraham Lincoln. According to Lincoln, the Union could only be saved and maintained by the removal of the deeply immoral institution of slavery.

Drawing on the Declaration of Independence, Lincoln argued that all men are created equal – this is what makes a republican government both possible and right, he said. Slavery, in Lincoln’s view, was an institution that violated this notion of human equality, and as such, it threatened the existence of republican government.

In a speech in 1854, Lincoln said: ‘Near 80 years ago, we began by declaring that all men are created equal.’ But the existence of slavery means ‘our republican robe is soiled, and trailed in the dust’. ‘Let us re-purify it’, he said. Ending slavery would ‘not only save the Union’ — it would ‘make, and to keep it, forever worthy of the saving’.

We can, and should, mock Trump for his ignorance of history. But he isn’t the only one weakening the moral force behind the cause of the Union. A declining faith in the founding principles of America, and in the ‘white men’ of American history, means too many now casually write off some of America’s great historical leaps forward.


CNN’s Islamist Offers Christophobia, Judeophobia and Hinduphobia

CNN is ready to offend every non-Muslim religion on earth

Reza Aslan has built a career complaining about Islamophobia. Throw a dart at a map of colleges and the odds were good that Aslan would be speaking at one of them about the rising threat of Islamophobia.

Earlier this year, Aslan, an Iranian Muslim, announced that he was going to change people’s minds about Islam and make them more tolerant, "through pop culture, through film and television."

"Stories have the power to break through the walls that separate us into different ethnicities," Aslan rhapsodized, "different cultures, different nationalities, different races, different religions."

CNN gave Aslan a forum. Nearly every episode of "The Believer" that aired has made some religion that isn’t Islam look freaky, unpleasant and threatening. Instead of breaking through the walls, it has surveyed different non-Islamic religions only to sneer at them as strange and weird.

Instead of Islamophobia, it offers Non-Islam-ophobia.

"The Believer" kicked off with an episode featuring a sect of cannibals whom the show associated with Hinduism. Its last episode spread fear over the threat posed by Orthodox Jews. CNN’s "Believer" clips offer Reza Aslan explaining why he’s a Muslim sandwiched between a doomsday cult leader who calls himself "Jezus", voodoo, scientology and a Mexican death cult.

Not even Al Jazeera would have been this blatant about its Islamic agenda.

Reza Aslan, CNN and "Believer" have already offended a whole range of religious groups. Hindus angrily denounced the misrepresentation of their religion.  But the left has much less interest in Hinduphobia than it does in Islamophobia. Hindu protests outside CNN offices in five cities garnered almost no coverage from the same media that covers every single Islamic protest against Islamophobia.

The media doesn’t believe that all forms of religious bigotry are created equal.

Orthodox Jews condemned Aslan for his fearmongering aimed at Judaism. But the left is uninterested in criticizing anti-Semitism from Islamists. Especially those on its payroll.

"The Believer" has tried to smear Christians, Hindus and Jews. It has yet to profile Muslims. Despite Aslan’s interest in teaching Americans not to be Islamophobes, he seems to prefer pushing Christophobia, Judeophobia and Hinduphobia. But bigots can’t be expected to fight bigotry.

"The Believer" treats non-Islamic religions as a freakshow. The gimmick attracts viewers. See Reza Aslan eat brains, talk to a doomsday cult leader or act afraid of Jews in fedoras. Look at all those freaks!

But don’t expect to see Shiite Muslims cutting their children in the street for Ashura on "The Believer".

Beneath the hipster approach to religion is malice. Hindus are associated with cannibalism. Orthodox Jews in Israel are swapped in for Islamists. Reza Aslan pretends that Israeli cities are no-go zones as he insists, "If we get out of the car in these neighborhoods, we will be immediately attacked."

Of course no one attacks him. But Reza Aslan gets to pretend to be afraid of the Jews.

In a CNN article, Aslan warned that Orthodox Jews are "taking on greater political power until, one day, you wake up and find this group has more or less taken over the state."

If someone were to say such a thing about Muslims, Aslan would be leading a lecture tour to denounce Islamophobia.  Last year, Aslan was peddling "Fear Inc.: The Industrializing of Islamophobia." Now Reza Aslan is, coincidentally, spreading fear of a religion that Muslims view as their leading enemy. 

And CNN is serving as Fear Inc. and industrializing Aslan’s Non-Islam-ophobia.

In his CNN hit piece, Reza Aslan cunningly transposes concerns about Islamic birth rates, theocracy, no-go zones and religious police to Jews. It’s inconceivable that CNN would run a documentary worrying about Islamic birth rates leading to theocracy in Europe or America. But all those worries about Islamophobia don’t apply to Islamists fearmongering about other religions.

Israel, Reza Aslan warns, is on the verge of turning into a "Jewish version of Iran".

That’s certainly a convenient message to peddle if you’re an Islamist opponent of Israel. In the past, Reza Aslan has been utterly unsubtle in his hatred of the Jewish State.  Highlights included comparing Israelis to Nazis and insisting that Iran wants nukes because it feels threatened by Israel.

But, as critics know, Reza Aslan has two faces. One is a ranting bigot. The other feigns spirituality. The real Aslan is a bigot. The fake Aslan mouths inanities about the universality of religion even as he attacks every religion that isn’t Islam. You can find the real Aslan on social media and the fake Aslan on CNN.

"The Believer" is the perfect platform for Reza Aslan. Its smirking subtitle "Spiritually curious" and Aslan’s inanities convey the image of a hipster looking for religious meaning everywhere. It’s no doubt how the show was sold to CNN. And CNN execs saw Aslan’s approach of showcasing religious freakiness while disguising it with nostrums about the universality of the search for meaning as a safe bet.

But Aslan isn’t spiritually curious. He’s spiritually hostile. He’s learned to disguise that hostility by sounding like a liberal. On CNN, his attacks on various religions are interspersed with disclaimers. But the disclaimers, like the inanities, are meant to get lost in the overall impression that Hindus eat brains and Jews are Islamic terrorists who want to take over everything. That is what viewers will remember.

Reza Aslan postures as a scholar, but he’s callously ignorant of other religions and he isn’t actually interested in learning about them except to undermine them. His curiosity is only a media pose.

"The Believer" continues the trend that defined Aslan’s career. He writes a book defending Islam and then another that attacks Christianity. Then he responds to the criticism by crying Islamophobia.

The only one who should be allowed to stir up fear and loathing of other religions is Reza Aslan.

Christians, Hindus and Jews have taken apart Reza Aslan’s claims about their religions. But despite Aslan’s posturing, he isn’t a scholar. A scholar wouldn’t be boasting about eating brains or pretending to be afraid of Jews in Israel. "The Believer" isn’t a scholar’s work. It’s a malignant attack on non-Islamic religions disguised in one part universalism and four parts sensationalism.

Reza Aslan’s openness is a sham. As is his enthusiasm. He isn’t a scholar of religion but a promoter of Islam. He appears to embrace other religions, boasting, "I feel Jewish" during one episode and writing a book about Jesus, only to undermine them. He thrives by pitting members of enemy religions against each other whether it’s liberal and conservative Christians or secular and religious Jews.

Nothing better could or should be expected from Reza Aslan. "The Believer" is xenophobia masquerading as tolerance and sectarianism dressed up as universalism. Aslan’s episode on Jews in Israel is exactly what you ought to expect from a slick Hamas apologist. Hindus are likewise in the way of Islamic expansionism. As are Christians. Depicting non-Muslims as bizarre normalizes Islamic violence.

Something more ought to be expected from CNN.

The media has long thrived on mocking conservative Christians. It’s fairly casual about taking swipes at Orthodox Jews. But "The Believer" expanded its hit list to Hindus. How many others will there be?

Islam is involved in conflicts with every major religion on earth. How many religions is CNN ready to allow Aslan to smear? How long before "The Believer" heads to Myanmar to settle scores with the Buddhist monks who are defending themselves against Muslim violence? Or to Sudan to go after the Animists facing Muslim persecution? Islamists have no shortage of enemies. Neither will CNN.

CNN won’t report the truth about Islamic terror. Yet it is ready to offend every other religion on earth


Judge Roy Moore on SPLC: 'They Hate God and They Hate Anything About God and Christianity'

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is now running for U.S. Senate, said the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which protrays itself as an educational and legal advocacy group that fights "hate and bigotry," is "probably the biggest hate group" in America and it particularly hates "God and Christianity."

Moore made his remarks during a May 1 interview on American Family Radio, hosted by Sandy Rios.

During the interview, Moore talked about how the SPLC had filed ethics complaints against him in 2003 because he had installed a monument of the Ten Commandments in the state courthouse, and in 2015 had complained about Moore's opposition to the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage and ordering state officials to ignore the ruling.

Host Sandy Rios cited other examples of the SPLC attacking conservatives, usually over Christian opposition to homosexual behavior, and said to Moore, "They are all about destroying you and they’ve made that clear in their remarks."

Judge Moore said, "If you speak about hate groups, they’re [SPLC] probably the biggest hate group in our country because they hate God and they hate anything about God and Christianity, and they’re going to continue their deception by hiding behind that word ‘hate.’"

"Christians don’t hate people," said Moore. "They hate sin. And if you don’t hate sin, then, you know, you must participate in it. Christians shouldn’t do that."

On its website, the SPLC posts a "hate map" of organizations in the United States that it describes as "hate groups." 

Although some of the groups listed seem appropriate, such as the Ku Klux Klan, there are other groups listed apparently solely because they oppose the gay agenda based upon their Christian religious beliefs. The SPLC describes them as "ANTI-LGBT."


More snobbery from a Leftist

By CAROLINE OVERINGTON, writing from Australia

Senator Sam Dastyari has put a little video up on Facebook, and it’s a little bit offensive.

The topic is everyone’s favourite — housing affordability — and Sam starts reasonably enough by saying Sydney house prices are expensive.

But does he have to mock people’s homes to make his point?

In the first scene, Sam is shown standing in front of a house he clearly regards as a bit of a dump. "This is what a million dollars in Sydney will buy you," he says, with scorn.

"This is what’s called a classic house … (It’s) on one of the busiest roads, and you know if it’s got security shutters, you’re onto a good thing."

Call me old-fashioned, but I think it’s rude to mock other people’s houses. That house was somebody’s home. A place where a family may well have raised their kids, and very proudly, too.

The house had those roll-down shutters that are commonplace on busy roads. I know heaps of Mums who have asked their hubbies to put them in, to help keep the noise and the dust down. I don’t think those people are losers.

Sam soon moves on to a different house that isn’t up to his standards, saying: "This is what a million dollars will buy you in Northmead, but’s it okay, because it’s described as having a functional kitchen!"

But again, that was somebody’s home. Maybe their first home, that they slaved to buy, where they raised their kids. It looked like plenty of the homes in Melton, where I grew up. Not a palace, sure, but one man’s dump is somebody else’s proud castle.

It’s okay for Sam. He’s on a big income.

He is also shown mocking a vacant block of land because it was on a train line. So what if you live on a main road or God forbid a train line?

I grew up on a train line. In an old house. Maybe Sam would think it was a dump but that’s his business. It was our home.

In the next scene, Sam reminds young people they’ll need to be frugal if they ever want to own a house, and he starts salvaging furniture off the street like that’s something only a loser would do.

Most people start with a bit of old furniture pinched off the street or rescued from grandma’s garage.

There’s no shame in that. Not everybody has everything brand new.

Finally, there’s a scene where he mocks the fridge that’s been dumped with no door.

Any truly working class person could tell Senator Sam why the thoughtful owners removed the door before placing the fridge on the kerb.

Anyway, I said on Twitter: "This is offensive. Running around disrespecting people’s homes. And who hasn’t salvaged furniture from the street? @samdastyari is a snob.



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

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

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


7 May, 2017

Demi Moore sued after man drowned in her pool: Personal responsibility anyone?

I understand there is good sense in holding people liable for causing harm to others and for gross negligence.... But I find this sort of thing sad. Yes the lost of their son’s life is awful for the family, but death is part of life, as are all sorts of unpleasantries, and people should accept that and not always look for someone to blame and sue.

The man who could not swim and fell in the pool and drowned was 21, an adult, not an infant. If he could not swim he should have watched where he was walking, like all of us should do all the time. If we step into a pool, off a river bank or a cliff, fall down a stairwell, walk into a wall or into traffic, it is our self who does it.

Surely the parents taught the man when he was a little boy to watch where he is putting his feet. Or maybe they didn’t teach him that?

Judging by the parents attitude in suing the pool owner they probably didn’t teach their son that he is responsible for himself, no one else. They didn’t teach him how to swim and yet now when as an adult he falls in a pool and drowns they sue the owners of the pool.

TWO years after a 21-year-old man drowned in Demi Moore’s swimming pool, his family is going after her.

In July 2015, Edenilson Steven Valle was found at the bottom of Moore’s pool after a party hosted at her Los Angeles home. Moore, 54, was out of town at the time, and when Valle’s body was discovered, she told press she was "in absolute shock" over the "unthinkable tragedy."

Valle’s parents, Jorge and Maria, initially filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Tree House Trust, which owns the property, and Moore’s assistant and another person, who both threw the party.

Moore has now been added as a defendant in the case because there were no depth markers near the pool and had rocks by its edges, which the deceased man’s parents claim was a tripping hazard, TMZ reported Friday.

The Valles also claim that the temperature in the swimming pool was 101 degrees at the time of the drowning, which they say can compromise brain function.

Law enforcement sources told the site that Edenilson told fellow guests and hosts that he didn’t know how to swim and that he allegedly fell in the pool after fellow guests left the property.
A rep for Moore didn’t immediately return a request for comment.


The EU must reform or face a Frexit, says Emmanuel Macron

The European Union must reform or face Frexit, Emmanuel Macron, the frontrunner in France's presidential election, has warned.

The 39-year old centrist made the comments as he and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen entered the last week of campaigning ahead of the May 7 runoff, with Ms Le Pen calling her rival "the people's adversary".

Ms Le Pen has promised a referendum on France's membership of the EU and said this weekend that the "euro is dead", although she has toned down calls to swiftly leave the single currency.

Her pledge to reclaim sovereignty from the EU, help French workers and protect French borders has won support in rural and former industrial areas.

Mr Macron, pro-business leader of the recently created En Marche! movement, said: "I'm a pro-European, I defended constantly during this election the European idea and European policies because I believe it's extremely important for French people and for the place of our country in globalisation."

"But at the same time we have to face the situation, to listen to our people, and to listen to the fact that they are extremely angry today, impatient and the dysfunction of the EU is no more sustainable," he told the BBC. "So I do consider that my mandate, the day after, will be at the same time to reform in depth the European Union and our European project."

The French would take a "business as usual attitude" as a "betrayal" he warned. "And I don't want to do so, because the day after, we will have a Frexit or we will have (Ms Le Pen's) Front  National(FN) again."

Both Mr Macron - who is leading in the polls by 20 percentage points - and Ms Le Pen are holding major campaign rallies in the Paris area.

Mr Macron will seek to consolidate his lead with a future-oriented message of optimism to an electorate wracked by unemployment and fears of globalisation in a meeting near La Villette science complex in north-east Paris.

Ms Le Pen is taking her case as "the people's candidate" to the working-class suburb of Villepinte.

Taking to the stage in Villepinte, Ms Le Pen declared: "Emmanuel Macron is François Hollande who wants to remain (in power). We are going to throw out this outgoing candidate."

She laid into Mr Macron, an ex-investment banker and economy minister, reminding the French of Mr Hollande's campaign speech in which he accused "the world of finance" of being the main enemy of the French people.

"Today," she told a crowd of several thousand, "the adversary of of the French people is still the world of finance, but this time it has a name, it has a face, it has a party, it is fielding its candidate who could be elected. He is called Emmanuel Macron".

While a string of high-profile figures have come out in support of Mr Macron in recent days - from Zinedine Zidane, the footballer, to Thomas Enders, head of Airbus - the far-Right candidate received a boost over the weekend when Eurosceptic 'sovereignist' Nicolas Dupont-Aignan threw his weight behind her.

Mr Dupont-Aignan scored just under five per cent in the first round, when he received the backing of ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

Opening the Villepinte rally, he accused the "immature and agitated" Mr Macron of wishing to "definitively shut the French inside the prison of the EU".

The rallies come as unions stage a series of marches across the French capital for workers' rights.

However, splits emerged within the major unions over what stance to adopt regarding the presidential candidates. Some factions are going against their leadership to call for members to vote "neither (for Ms Le Pen) nor (for Mr Macron)" - seen by many leftists as an enemy of the worker. A banner of one dissenting faction of the CGT union reportedly read: "Neither plague nor cholera."

Philippe Martinez, CGT leader, said he was in "deep disagreement" with this stance, saying the official union line is "not a single vote for Marine Le Pen."

Meanwhile FN founder Jean-Marie Le Pen led a march from the statue of Joan of Arc, a long-time FN icon.


Germany Grapples with Integration Debate: ‘We Don’t Do The Burqa’

As Germany continues to grapple with questions of migrant integration and national identity, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere stoked a row this week when he presented a ten-point concept of what he argues constitute German cultural values.

The announcement prompted renewed debate, and criticism from some quarters, over the notion that immigrants must assimilate to a set of shared "dominant" cultural values.

Germany has taken in more migrants and asylum seekers – around 1.2 million since 2015 – than any other European Union member-state.

Complaining that countries like Germany are "shouldering the greatest burden of the consequences of flight and migration in Europe," German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier during a visit to Rome this week called for a greater sharing of the load among E.U. partners.

In an earlier op-ed in the Bild newspaper, de Maizière put forward ten points representing his personal view of a "leading culture" (Leitkultur) – characterizing Germany as a multicultural, accepting nation but one that also retains its sense of identity.

"We shake hands, show our faces, and tell people what our names are," he wrote. "We don’t ‘do’ the burqa," he added, in reference to apparel designed to conceal a woman’s head and body, favored by many Muslims.

"Germany is part of the West, culturally, spiritually and politically speaking," de Maizière argued. While "synagogues and mosques" are part of German society, the country, he said, has been "shaped by Christianity."

The comments came as political parties prepare for a general election in September, in which the issue of integration will likely be a key topic.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is running for her fourth term. The latest Emnid poll shows her Christian Democrat (CDU) party in the lead, at 36 percent, with her current coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD), at 29 percent. The far-right, anti-immigration Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) sits at nine percent, down from a 16 percent high last year.

De Maizière is a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the CDU’s sister party.

While not commenting directly on the interior minister’s comments, Merkel was quoted by the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland newspaper as calling for discussion over "how we humans should live as early as our own way, our basic law, our values."

CDU deputy leader Thomas Strobl voiced support for de Maizière’s points, as did CSU general-secretary Andreas Scheuer, who said a debate over Leitkultur was overdue.

"Integration does not mean that the local population and the immigrants meet halfway, and a new culture emerges," the Passauer Neuen Presse quoted him as saying.

Political groups such as the SPD and the Greens, meanwhile, outright opposed de Maizière’s concept of a German "leading culture," with SPD deputy leader Ralf Stegner calling it "a cheap attempt" to get votes.

Greens co-chairman Simone Peter said Germany doesn’t need Leitkultur, but instead "a new domestic policy that promotes integration, inspects right-wing networks and keeps a tight surveillance on people considered potential Islamic terrorists."

"A society is always changing – and one of the reasons for that is migration," Deutsche Welle quoted Greens spokesperson Jamila Schaefer as saying. "I don't think finding a way to live together peacefully is about preserving one culture."

The anti-immigration AfD appeared to favor de Maizière’s comments, saying on Twitter he was playing the role of "the big defender of culture."

Leitkultur is a highly controversial concept that has been part of social and political debate in Germany in recent years.

The term was coined around the turn of the millennium, when CDU politician Friedrich Merz said that immigrants should conform to the "liberal German leading culture."

Last year, the state of Bavaria passed a new integration law, requiring all migrants in the state to respect the "dominant culture."

The issue is a sensitive one due to Germany’s Nazi past, and some feel Leitkultur moves the nation backwards, towards nationalism and oppression.

Integration has been an issue in particular for the country’s large Turkish population. Resentment over a perceived lack of respect from German society and politicians was seen as a key factor when more than 63 percent of the Turkish population in Germany voted last month in support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s proposals for sweeping new powers as president.

In a poll last February, about two-thirds of respondents felt that being German has nothing to do with being born in the country. Only 11 percent of respondents felt that being Christian was important.


Greek Orthodox Bishop Calls on Turkey's Erdogan to Convert or Face 'Unending Hell' With Muhammed

I like this guy.  He's definitely got the best hat

The Greek Orthodox bishop, Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus, sent a lengthy letter to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which he detailed some of the differences between Christianity and Islam and called on Erdogan to convert to Orthodoxy or face "eternal and unending" suffering in Hell, along with Muhammed and his followers.

In the letter, Metropolitan Seraphim criticizes Islam and says Muhammed was a "false prophet" and that the Quran is not a "holy" or "sacred" book. He presents examples of where the Quran uses material from the Bible and other religious texts, and he also discusses some of the more controversial aspects of Muhammed's life, including that one of his wives, Aisha, was only nine-years-old when she married the prophet.

Near the end of the letter, Metropolitan Seraphim pleads with President Erdogan and his family to convert to Christianity. He calls on them to "renounce all errors, heresies, and innovations of Islam" and "repent, to weep bitterly, be humble, and believe in Christ, the God-Man, Savior and Redeemer of the world."

Metropolitan Seraphim further advises Erdogan to be instructed and then baptized in the Orthodox church and to ask his ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, to be his godfather.

As translated by the European Union Times, Metropolitan Seraphim says to Erdogan,  "If you want to save yourself and your family you should convert to the Greek Orthodox Church, the only real faith."

"We propose and we advise you to come to the arms of the Greek Orthodox Church before the end of your life on Earth," he writes. "Otherwise, you will unfortunately find yourself, your family and your people in the same place where Allah, Muhammad and his followers are, i.e.,  in the place of suffering, eternal and unending Hell."

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 63, is a Sunni Muslim. He is married and has four children. He became president of Turkey in August 2014. His parents followed Islam and reportedly were devout, practicing Muslims.


Australian Christians feel under siege for expressing opposition to same-sex marriage

A Melbourne IT specialist engaged to work on the Safe Schools program was sacked after privately expressing concerns about the contentious initiative during a staff meeting, with his employer later accusing him of "creating an unsafe work environment".

Lee Jones, a Christian who was general manager of a business at the time, had told his boss he would work on the project despite his views but was dismissed regardless, according to a submission to a federal inquiry into the status of religious freedom.

His predicament is just one of several cases of discrimination ­alleged by Christians or opponents of same-sex marriage that have come to light as part of the inquiry, which, in the wake of the Coopers Brewery fiasco, has heightened concerns about free speech and a growing intolerance towards traditional views.

Other cases include a Victoria-based commonwealth pub­lic servant who was given a warning for complaining about being pressured to take part in a gay pride march.

The man, who was also a Christian, later asked to be taken off the email list of the department’s LGBTI network as he found emails "offensive by reason of his religious background".

According to the submission of the Wilberforce Foundation, which is a coalition of lawyers committed to common law ­values, rights and freedoms, the public servant was issued a notice to show cause why he should not be disciplined.  That was challenged and there was a finding that there had been no breach of the APS Code of Conduct.

The foundation also cites Alice Springs teacher Ian Shepherd, who was threatened with disciplinary action last year for expressing opposition to same-sex marriage on a Facebook forum.  Despite the comments being made outside school hours, he was issued a notice to show cause. The Northern Territory Education Department has since dropped the action.

Meanwhile, an Adelaide ­university student was suspended last year after offering to pray for a student who was stressed over her workload and later voicing his opinion about homosexuality.

The student had said that he would treat a gay person kindly "but (didn’t) agree with their choice".  He was ordered to undergo "re-education" but sought legal advice and the university withdrew the allegations.

Human Rights Law Alliance managing director Martyn Iles, who was involved with some of the cases, said they were evidence of the "purging of certain ideas in public discourse".

Mr Iles said people with traditional views on same-sex marriage and the Safe Schools program were not being permitted to express them publicly.

In Mr Jones’s case, he was in a staff meeting when asked his opinion about Safe Schools, which had been generating significant media due to its promotion of contested ideas around gender fluidity and sexuality.

His response was that he would not want his own children to be taught some of the more controversial elements of the program. No representatives from Safe Schools were at the meeting.

Mr Jones did not want to discuss details of his situation.  However, he said his sacking — "a brutal over-reaction" — had opened his eyes to attempts to censor those opposed to "rewriting the law and morality".



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

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

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


5 May, 2017

Can the acquired characteristics of fathers be passed on to offspring?

Epigenetics tells us that they can.  The article below reviews the now-extensive evidence to that effect.  So were Lamarck and Lysenko right?  Not quite.  The genes do not change but they can apparently be switched on or off. Knowledge of the effect is still in its infancy so there is not a lot we can say about it at this stage.  What we can say is that some things traceable to the father's lifestyle can apparently influence how the child will turn out.  Lifestyle leaves markers in the DNA that can be inherited.

Perhaps most interesting of all, however, is that a change in lifestyle seems able to change the epigenetics as well.  So if you reform yourself of unhealthy behaviours, the children will not inherit bad effects from them. As an hypothetical example:  Say you are a heavy drinker experiencing a lot of alcoholic depression:  You are in the grip of that when your son was conceived.  Your son may be born prone to depression.  But if you gave up the booze six months before your son was conceived he would probably not inherit a tendency to depression.

As lot to think about there and no certainty in any of it but we clearly have a new era in our understanding of genetic inheritance

For decades, prenatal advice has mainly focused on mothers. Leading up to and during pregnancy, women are told to take folic acid supplements, stop drinking and smoking, avoid high-mercury fish, and maintain healthful weight gain, among other wisdom. That advice is prescribed by physicians and public health experts to promote healthy pregnancies, normal fetal development, and long-term offspring health. A father’s behavior can also influence the health of a pregnancy, by exposing his partner to secondhand smoke or domestic violence, for example. But there’s a growing belief among scientists that a man’s behaviors and environmental exposures may also shape his descendants’ development and future health before sperm meets egg.

Researchers now understand that sperm contains a memory of a male’s life experiences, ranging from his nutritional status to his exposure to toxic chemicals, said Michael Skinner, PhD, a professor in the school of biological sciences at Washington State University. This information is captured in alterations to the epigenome, the suite of molecular on-off switches that regulate gene expression.

Moreover, it’s now been well-established through animal studies that some "epimutations" are heritable. Skinner and others, for example, have provided evidence in rodents that male exposure to endocrine disruptors and other environmental toxicants can induce epigenetic changes in sperm, which in descendants can cause infertility and other diseases.

Epigenetic information can be embedded in sperm in the form of changes in DNA methylation—the addition of chemical "tags" that switch genes "on" or "off"—or histone modifications—chemical tags on histone proteins, which regulate how DNA is condensed. In addition to these epigenetic marks, researchers also have become increasingly interested in changes in noncoding RNAs, such as microRNAs (miRNAs), which are involved in gene silencing and can be present in sperm.

Last year, a review of human and animal research suggested that epigenetic changes may be the underlying mechanism by which paternal factors such as age, diet, weight, stress, and alcohol consumption contribute to a range of health outcomes in offspring including birth defects, behavioral problems, developmental disorders, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

The senior author of the review, Joanna B. Kitlinska, PhD, an associate professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular and cellular biology at Georgetown University, cautioned, however, that all of the associations between paternal epimutations and offspring health in humans are still just that—associations. "There really is no direct proof at the moment," she said.

Providing direct evidence that heritable environmentally induced epigenetic changes in human sperm (or eggs) increase susceptibility to disease in later generations remains challenging. But the epidemiological hints and laboratory evidence are starting to coalesce into a relatively simple public health message: When it comes to preconception health, fathers matter too.

From Men to Mice

A series of studies of historic cohorts from Överkalix in northern Sweden published last decade suggested that information about life experiences could be passed down several generations through the male line and could influence descendants’ health. In 2001 Lars Olov Bygren and coinvestigators from Umeå University in Sweden demonstrated that men born in 1905 who experienced food scarcity before puberty—when primordial sperm cells are developing into mature sperm—had paternal grandchildren with a lower relative risk of early death. The reverse was true for men who had plenty to eat: Their sons’ children were more likely to die young.

The researchers teamed up with a group in the United Kingdom to publish a larger study in 2006 that additionally included Överkalix cohorts born in 1890 and 1920 and looked at sex-specific effects. This study revealed that the food supply of paternal grandfathers was only linked to their grandsons’ mortality rate, while the food supply of paternal grandmothers was only linked to their granddaughters’ mortality.

Marcus E. Pembrey, MD, coauthor of the 2006 article and an emeritus professor of pediatric genetics at University College London, explained in an email, "The sex-specific effects were difficult to put down to ‘cultural’ inheritance," adding that "the Överkalix data demonstrate some molecular ‘memory’ of the ancestral exposure."

When the collaboration began, Pembrey was director of genetics on the landmark Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) at the University of Bristol. In the 2006 article, he and his coauthors also presented data from a cohort of fathers in the ALSPAC study. In this group, men who took up smoking before puberty had 9-year-old sons with higher BMIs than men who first lit up later in life, suggesting that the timing of the ancestral exposure matters. A follow-up study published in 2014 found that the sons of early smokers—who themselves were not necessarily overweight—had an average of 5 to 10 kg more body fat in their teens than their peers.

Several other epidemiological associations between a father’s health prior to conceiving and the health of his children have emerged. For example, there are also some indications that a father’s drinking may contribute to fetal alcohol syndrome–like symptoms, specifically low birth weight, congenital heart defects, and mild cognitive impairments.

Experiments in animals suggest that epigenetic changes in sperm may explain some of these associations. Male rats administered alcohol for 9 weeks prior to breeding, for example, have epimutations in their sperm, which may account for the significant decrease in fetal weight of their offspring. Many other studies have found a range of physiological and behavioral abnormalities in offspring, including altered organ weights, decreased grooming, and increased anxiety-like and impulsivity-like behaviors, in rodents whose fathers—but not mothers—were given alcohol, with sperm epimutations being the presumed underlying mechanism.

Early this decade, a spate of animal studies demonstrated that, in addition to toxins and alcohol, paternal weight and eating patterns—such as high-fat or low-protein diets—also appear to alter the sperm epigenome and offspring health. In one mouse study, a paternal diet low in folate was associated with an increase in birth defects in offspring compared with a paternal diet sufficient in folate. The fathers who consumed less folate had abnormal methylation of genes implicated in development and chronic disease such as diabetes and cancer.

And just last year, German researchers found that male or female mice with diet-induced obesity produced daughters (but not sons) who were more likely to be obese than those whose parents were both lean. Critically, the offspring were created through in vitro fertilization and gestated by lean surrogate females, eliminating potential confounding by gestational environment and pointing the finger squarely at epigenetic alterations.

Studies published last year also suggest a link between paternal dietary patterns or diet-induced weight gain and increased birth weight and breast cancer risk in female offspring. One of these studies identified shared epigenetic changes present in both the sperm of overweight male mice and the breast tissue of their female offspring. These alterations included reduced expression of miRNAs that regulate insulin receptor signaling, among several other well-characterized signaling pathways known to play a role in tumorigenesis. Alterations in miRNA expression may therefore underlie the metabolic reprogramming that, in turn, increases breast cancer risk.

"We see that the daughters of overweight fathers have increased breast cancer risks the same way as daughters of mothers who are overweight in pregnancy also have increased breast cancer risks," said Sonia de Assis, PhD, the study’s senior author and an assistant professor of oncology at Georgetown University Medical Center. "I think we’ve been looking at only the half of the problem."

Humans: The Next Frontier

Researchers are just beginning to tease out these underlying epigenetic mechanisms in humans. Investigators on the Newborn Epigenetics Study (NEST) at Duke University provided the first molecular evidence in 2013 and 2015 that a man’s lifestyle may be imprinted on his child’s epigenome.

The researchers, including Adelheid Soubry, PhD, head of the epidemiology research center in the department of public health and primary care at the Catholic University Leuven in Belgium, discovered altered epigenetic marks on genes associated with embryonic growth, as well as metabolic disorders and cancer in later life, in the cord blood of newborn infants whose fathers were obese. These marks were independent of maternal obesity and different in infants of nonobese fathers.

Human sperm itself also tells a similar tale. Last year, Soubry found epimutations on a number of growth-regulating genes in the sperm of obese and overweight men. Moreover, some of the epimutations in sperm were similar to those previously identified in the cord blood of infants of obese fathers, suggesting they may be passed on from father to offspring. Research in larger study populations will be needed to confirm this, Soubry said.

And it’s not just a father’s weight that can change his sperm epigenome. In February, Skinner published findings showing that men who underwent chemotherapy for bone cancer in their teens shared a signature of epimutations in their sperm about a decade later. Although his sample size was small—18 cases and the same number of controls—Skinner said the persistence of changes suggests that toxicants may permanently alter epigenetic marks in sperm stem cells, resulting in a lifetime of epigenetically altered sperm.

Skinner wants to see more studies on human paternal exposures and impacts on offspring and subsequent generations. He emphasized that studies should probe molecular-level changes in the epigenome that may explain the associations. He and a coinvestigator plan to study health outcomes in the offspring of human and rodent chemotherapy recipients. "When you do the exposure and you change the epigenetics of the germ line, you can’t predict what’s going to happen," he said. "You just sort of have to look and see."

It’s not fully understood how epigenetic changes may persist through generations. Two rounds of near-complete epigenetic erasure and reprogramming occur between fertilization and implantation and during gonadal sex determination. How some epimutations appear to survive these waves of reprogramming to promote epigenetic transgenerational inheritance will be an important question for future research.

Malleable Marks

There are early indications that some paternal lifestyle-associated effects on sperm and offspring can be reversed, with exercise and dietary changes or surgery-induced weight loss, for example. Although several windows of susceptibility may exist for paternal exposures and some changes in sperm may be permanent, the few months leading up to conception may not be too late to make lifestyle changes, Soubry said. de Assis agreed: "If they can’t do it for their entire life, then at least in that period before conception."

Soubry suggested that physicians can encourage male patients who plan on conceiving to eat a nutritious diet, quit smoking (even temporarily), drink moderately, and manage stress—all of which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already recommends for fathers-to-be. "That advice cannot harm, and I think it can even help to reduce the risks later on for the child," Soubry said. Of course, behavior matters during pregnancy, too. Fathers—along with mothers and domestic partners—can have a profound effect on the health of pregnancies.

Kitlinska stressed that future studies should look at the combined effects of maternal and paternal factors, including epimutations. "Usually when we design experiments, we look at the effect of paternal exposures or maternal exposures, but really I think it’s an interplay of both."


Trump to Sign Executive Order on Religious Freedom

President Donald Trump will reportedly be celebrating the National Day of Prayer by signing an executive order to boost America’s first freedom.

Trump is meeting with religious leaders for a dinner at the White House Wednesday night and is expected to sign the executive order Thursday morning in a Rose Garden event marking the National Day of Prayer.

A draft for an executive order was leaked in February to The Nation, a liberal magazine. The leaked order would, among other things, allow the purchase of pro-life health insurance on Obamacare exchanges, and would broadly protect religious expression in all forms, not just the act of worship. Liberal groups immediately attacked the order, claiming it would discriminate against LGBT people and religious minorities.

An executive order to reverse previous trends would be welcome news, said Ryan T. Anderson, a senior research fellow with The Heritage Foundation.

"President Trump should make good on his campaign promise to protect religious liberty for all Americans," Anderson told The Daily Signal. "The executive order is a good first step to make sure this administration doesn’t violate religious liberty."

The Daily Signal reported last week that a religious liberty measure would be a priority for Trump going into his next 100 days. White House media affairs director Helen Aguirre Ferré said Trump wants a measure with "profound impact on religious liberty."

"Keep your eyes open for religious liberty," Ferré told The Daily Signal last Friday. "It’s going to be an issue. The president made a commitment about the Johnson [Amendment] and I think he’s going to keep that commitment."

Asked if the order would go beyond the Johnson Amendment, which restricts what churches can say about politics, Ferré said, "Stay tuned." The amendment was named after Democratic Sen. Lyndon Johnson, before he was president.

According to an Anderson commentary in The Daily Signal, if the executive order Thursday follows the leaked version from February, it would:

Require all federal departments and agencies to respect statutes and Supreme Court decisions that make clear the free exercise of religion applies to all people, of all faiths, in all places, and at all times—and that it is not merely the freedom to worship.

That religious organizations include all organizations operated by religious principles, not just houses of worship or charities.

Instructs agencies, "to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law," to reasonably accommodate the religion of federal employees, as required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Instructs the secretaries of health and human services, labor, and treasury to finally grant relief to the Little Sisters of the Poor and others not exempted from Obamacare mandates on contraception and abortion-inducing drugs.

Ensure that consumers buying health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges have the option to buy plans that don’t cover abortion or subsidize plans that do.

Prohibits the federal government from discriminating against child welfare providers, such as foster care and adoption services, based on the organization’s religious beliefs.

Adopts the Russell Amendment, instructing agencies to allow religious organizations to hire in accordance with their faith principles.

Effectively rolls back the Johnson Amendment by instructing the Treasury Department to ensure that it doesn’t revoke nonprofit tax status because a religious group speaks on politics.

Instructs agencies to refuse to recognize any decision by a federally recognized accrediting body that revokes or denies accreditation to an organization because of religious beliefs.

Instructs agencies not to take adverse action against federal employees, contractors, or grantees who express their belief on marriage outside of their employment, contract or grant; and that agencies should reasonably accommodate such beliefs inside of employment, contract, or grant.

The order Trump is signing Thursday will reportedly be scaled back, but it’s unclear how much.

The order will send a message that Trump is willing to use the bully pulpit of his office to promote religious freedom, said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a religious liberty legal group.

"Candidate Trump promised to be a champion of religious freedom, and this executive order has been long anticipated," Staver told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

Staver said he doesn’t anticipate the action will be limited to the Johnson Amendment.

Liberal groups Wednesday strongly criticized the plans for an executive order, before seeing it, though referring to the contents of the leaked order from February.

A White House spokesperson declined to comment Wednesday, saying, "we don’t get ahead of executive orders until they are announced."

On its website, Americans United for Separation of Church and State said:

The harm [the executive order] could cause to real people is hard to overstate. It reads like a wish list put together by Vice President Mike Pence and his allies, who are among the forces leading the charge to discriminate against LGBTQ people and women under the guise of religious freedom. We’ve got to act so that Trump doesn’t grant their wishes.

The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT advocacy group, also opposes the action.

"There is no religious freedom crisis in America today, but there is a crisis of hate and discrimination," said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, in a public statement. "At a time when two-thirds of all LGBTQ people report having experienced discrimination, Donald Trump is making the problem worse by giving legal cover to perpetrators."

President Barack Obama’s two terms in office were filled with religious freedom controversies, often stemming from rules in the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. The health law required businesses to pay for the cost of contraception and abortion-inducing drugs that might violate an employer’s religious beliefs.

Two prominent Supreme Court cases, the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case and Zubik v. Burwell, better known as the Little Sisters of the Poor case, gained the most attention after going to the Supreme Court. The Obama administration also opposed state religious freedom laws.


Do Palestinian Arabs Want a Peaceful State Alongside Israel?

What consistent polling of Palestinians tells us.

Discussion of the Arab/Israeli situation is often unilluminating because so much of it is based on groundless assumptions and stubborn fictions. Perhaps the most pervasive one today afflicting the international political class is the notion that Palestinian Arabs primarily desire a state of their own, living peacefully alongside Israel.

Some recent examples:

December 2016, then-Secretary of State John Kerry: "polls of Israelis and Palestinians show there is still strong support for the two-state solution."

July 2016, the Middle East Quartet (US, EU, UN and Russia): "the majority of people on both sides . . . express their support for the goal of two states living side by side in peace and security."

December 2014, then-Vice-President Joe Biden: "a two-state solution … the vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians, they think that it is the right way to go."

May 2014, then-envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Martin Indyk: "Consistently over the last decade, polling on both sides reveals majority support for the two-state solution."

Go back a decade, and one can easily produce essentially identical quotations from President George W. Bush, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and so on.

However, the idea that Palestinians prioritize peace, statehood and prosperity flies in the face of reality. Consistent polling of Palestinians tells a diametrically opposite story.

For example, a June 2016 joint poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) found that 58% of West Bank Palestinians oppose a Palestinian state involving mutual recognition between Israel and the envisaged Palestinian state and an end of claims.

For another, the June 2015 Palestine Center for Public Opinion poll found that, for the near term (the next five years), 49% of Palestinians support "reclaiming all of historic Palestine from the river to the sea," while only 22% favored "a two-state solution" as the "main Palestinian national goal."

Indeed, Daniel Polisar of Jerusalem’s Shalem College, in a recent examination of literally hundreds of Palestinian surveys, established that majorities of Palestinians reject Palestinian statehood alongside Israel by an average of more than 3 to 1.

It takes only a moment’s checking of the Palestinian scene to see that the idea of peaceful statehood and acceptance of Israel that would be its prerequisite has yet to emerge.

In the past month, official Palestinian Authority (PA) TV joined the family of a jailed Palestinian terrorist, As’ad Zo’rob, who murdered an Israeli who had given him a ride, lauding him as a "heroic prisoner" and a source of "pride for …. all of Palestine."

Also, Fatah Central Committee member and Commissioner of Treasury and Economy, Muhammad Shtayyeh, publicly reaffirmed that Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas’ party, which controls the PA, "does not recognize Israel. The topic of recognition of Israel has not been raised in any of Fatah’s conferences."

The PA, after all, is a regime that names schools, streets, sports teams and youth camps in honor of suicide bombers, pay stipends to jailed terrorists and pensions to the families of dead ones. It also routinely denies that Jews have any connection with Jerusalem or the land. When, in February, UN Secretary-General António Guterres correctly stated that the Jewish biblical temples stood on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, PA officials and publicists publicly upbraided him.

How, then, does the myth of Palestinian desire for peaceful statehood and acceptance of Israel persist?

George Orwell, as so often, put his finger on the problem, as long ago as 1940, when he wrote, "Mr. Hitler has grasped the falsity of the hedonistic attitude to life. Nearly all western thought since the last war, certainly all ‘progressive’ thought, has assumed tacitly that human beings desire nothing beyond ease, security and avoidance of pain. Hitler knows… that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice [emphasis added]."

In contrast to Orwell’s acute analysis, just think of George W. Bush contending that "an independent, viable, democratic, and peaceful Palestinian state is … the dream of the Palestinians";

or of British Green Party pro-Palestinian activist Peter Tatchell, claiming that Palestinians "in their hearts, want exactly the same things as Israelis. They want peace, security, equality, jobs, housing, healthcare";

or President Obama’s CIA head, John O. Brennan, claiming "there are certain aspirations that we all share –– to get an education, to provide for our families, to practice our faith freely, to live in peace and security" and one senses the incomprehension and heedlessness, genuine or deliberate, that afflicts analysis of this problem at all levels.

Until the facts are faced, don’t expect edifying public discussion of the subject. President Trump broke new ground when he publicly pointed to the "tremendous hate" inculcated into Palestinian youth and non-acceptance of Israel that would have to change before peace becomes possible. In this he is correct. The "ultimate deal" that brings peace will have to await a change of heart and direction in Palestinian society.


Let’s reflect on Muslim nations’ Christian genocide

Comment from Australia

Our nation’s newest refugees recently celebrated their first Easter in Australia. It is a momentous ­occasion for those who survived Islamic State’s genocide of Christians and have been given a new life in our country.

Yet many Western nations ­refuse to recognise asylum for Christians fleeing genocide and persecution.

Typically, politicians cite the principle of non-discriminatory immigration to justify policies that result in discrimination against Christian victims of genocide. It is morally reprehensible.

Last year, the US Congress declared that the Islamic State persecution of Christians and other minorities constituted genocide. The term was coined by Raphael Lemkin who recognised the slaughter of Armenians in 1915 as the first genocide of the 20th century. He wrote: "It [genocide] happened to the Armenians and after the Armenians, Hitler took action."

It is estimated that the Ottomans massacred between 800,000 and 1.5 million Armenians in the genocide, most of whom were Christians. To commemorate its centenary, Pope Francis said: "The first genocide of the 20th century struck your own ­Armenian people, the first Christian nation."

Turkey’s Islamist government continues to deny the genocide took place.

Western nations bear a special responsibility to shelter Christians fleeing genocide because they ­suffer systemic oppression in many Islamic states.

According to not-for-profit group Open Doors, last year was the worst on record for the persecution of Christians since it began reporting 25 years ago. Each month, an estimated 322 Christians are killed for their faith and 772 suffer serious violence. In ­addition, 214 Christian churches and properties are destroyed.

Of the 10 countries ranked worst for Christian persecution, nine are Muslim majority nations. The other is communist state North Korea.

Islamist persecution of Christians is intensifying in African and Southeast Asian countries. Last year, Boko Haram changed its general strategy from attacking anyone classified as an infidel to targeting Christians. Its new leader, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, aligned the group with Islamic State and vowed to "blow up every Church" and "kill every Christian".

The Islamist tactics used to ­annihilate Christians extend ­beyond bombs and guns. Muslim organisations in Nigeria that run camps for people displaced by ­Islamic State are reserving aid for Muslims only. Christian Bishop William Naga reported to Open Doors UK that: "They will give food to the refugees, but if you are a Christian they will not give you food. They will openly tell you that the relief is not for Christians."

Christians are also under threat in Southeast Asia where militant Islamism is on the rise. The trial of Jakarta’s Christian governor Basuki Ahok for blasphemy (that is, "insulting" the Koran) is a case in point. On Friday, about 15,000 Muslims marched to demand Ahok be jailed. Associated Press recorded a protester who said: "There’s no room for kaffir to lead in this nation."

The Hungarian government recognises the persistence of global Christian persecution and the West’s responsibility to become assertive in redressing it. The conservative government led by Viktor Orban reports that four out of five people killed for their faith are Christians. It has responded by establishing the world’s first state department dedicated to addressing Christian persecution.

In Australia, Labor and Greens politicians responded negatively to news that the Liberal Coalition has provided asylum to several thousand Christians fleeing Islamic State genocide in its dedicated program for Syrian refugees. Greens senator Nick McKim created a distinction between selecting on "genuine need" and religion in relation to the Syrian intake, and described the latter as "disgusting". He might need a briefing on the reality of jihadist genocide.

Labor legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus reportedly "expressed concern about the prospect of persecuted Syrian refugees being selected for resettlement in Australia on the basis of religion". He stated that more Muslims have been killed in the Middle Eastern conflict than members of any other religion.

Some leftists seem wilfully ignorant about Islamic State’s deliberate genocide of Christians and the systemic persecution of Christian people in Muslim majority nations. Thanks to ignorance, rank immorality, Christophobia or some combination thereof, the Western left has denied fair asylum to Christian victims of jihadist genocide for more than a decade.

Majed El Shafie, the Founder of One Free World International, highlighted the problem with "political correctness" in Canada’s humanitarian programs. He stated that among those accepted as refugees from Iraq and Syria: "Most if not all are Muslim Sunnis."

Fox News reported that the Obama administration’s Syrian refugee program produced a questionable result. Of the 10,801 refugees accepted from Syria in 2016, almost all — 10,722 — were Muslims. Only 56 were Christians.

NGOs have reported that Christians suffering persecution across the globe face "double discrimination". They are persecuted for their faith and subsequently experience discrimination in United Nations refugee camps and facilities. The Barnabas Fund charity rescues Christians from Syria and reports they are at risk of violence in "Muslim-majority shelters".

Catholic Archbishop Jacques Hindo stated that Christians were denied aid in Syria. He told the Vatican’s news service: "We have a hundred Assyrian families who have taken refuge, but they have received no assistance either from the Red Crescent or Syrian government aid workers, perhaps because they are Christians. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees is nowhere to be seen."

In a column for Fox News, Nina Shea, the director of the Hudson Institute Centre for Religious Freedom, relayed that Christians in Lebanon are too afraid to enter UNHCR refugee camps in the ­region. There are many emerging reports of Muslim attacks on Christian asylum seekers in transit to Europe and in refugee camps across the continent.

The refugees who escaped the Islamist genocide of Christians to find safe haven in Australia should be welcomed. The coming Easter ritual focuses on the persecution and crucifixion of the world’s first Christian, Jesus Christ. But it culminates in a celebration of new life on Easter Sunday.

All peoples have experienced the relief of finding the light at the end of the tunnel after a long struggle. But in our time, none have struggled more than those who suffered genocide under ­Islamic State. Make them feel ­welcome this Easter.



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

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

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


4 May, 2017

A black contribution to British politics

How on earth did this dim bulb rise to a senior position in the British Labour party?  It's got to be one of the most contemptible examples of affirmative action at work

At last Labour’s critics have been silenced. Time and again the Tories have warned voters that, under Jeremy Corbyn, public spending would be out of control. This morning, though, all such scaremongering was put comprehensively to bed.

Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, was being interviewed on LBC radio about Labour’s pledge to recruit 10,000 new police officers. How much, asked presenter Nick Ferrari, would this cost?

"Well," said Ms Abbott confidently. "If we recruit the 10,000 policemen and women over a four-year period, we believe it would be about £300,000."

Mr Ferrari paused. "Three hundred thousand pounds?" he repeated. "For 10,000 police officers? How much are you paying them?"

The answer, according to Ms Abbott’s figures, would be £30 a year.

"Sorry," replied Ms Abbott. "Ha ha. No. I mean… sorry." She pondered. "They will cost…" she said. "They will, it will cost… Um… About…"...


Envy still thriving in Scotland

Scots are tremendous enviers, which is why Scots who want to get on have to leave Scotland, even if it is only for London.  And that envy translates to entrenched socialism

Nicola Sturgeon is set to resurrect her call to make top earners pay more income tax.

The SNP is expected to fight next month’s general election on a commitment to reintroduce a 50p top rate of tax — a policy the first minister backed before the last Westminster vote but abandoned for last year’s Scottish parliament poll.

The move reignited a row over tax policy, with Labour accusing Ms Sturgeon of performing a second U-turn over her stance in as many years. The Scottish Conservatives said Ms Sturgeon was "once again striving to tax Scots more" and claimed that raising taxes would harm the economy. The rate at present is 45p on any earnings over £150,000.


Belgian finance minister warns EU: change or die

Brexit has "shattered" the principle of ever closer union in the EU, according to the Belgian finance minister, who warned that the bloc had to transform itself to survive.

Johan Van Overtveldt said there was "clearly a problem" with the European Union, as he called for a quick, comprehensive trade deal with the UK and warned that punishing Britain would be counterproductive.

Mr Van Overtveldt said a "different" and "better" EU, that focused on key areas such as security, migration, jobs and trade instead of policing trivial policies would help to boost prosperity in the bloc and remove the discontent sweeping across the Continent.

"Sixty years after signing the Treaty of Rome, and 25 years after the Maastricht Treaty, the European Union is in trouble and is certainly in need of new inspiration and new directions. The EU cannot continue operating the way it does today," he said at an event organised by the European Economics and Financial Centre in London.

He urged policymakers to take a different approach to integration and said the idea of an EU forged in crisis put forward by Jean Monnet - dubbed the father of Europe - was "dead".

"This principle has now been shattered by the Brexit vote, and the fact that one of the largest and most prominent member states will be leaving the union means the so-called Monnet doctrine of continuous steps towards further European integration, most of the time through crisis, seems dead.

"One should not underestimate the psychological effect that the Brexit vote has had, not just in Britain but also in other European capitals," he said.

Everything in my way of thinking argues to get a good deal for the British and not have as an ultimate objective to punish them
Johan Van Overtveldt
"Long time achievments of European integration such as free movement of people are being fundamentally called into question."

He also called on the rest of the EU to be pragmatic about Brexit, adding that smaller states such as Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands had much to lose from a so-called hard Brexit where the UK was forced to trade under World Trade Organisation rules.

"Everything in my way of thinking argues to get a good deal for the British and not have as an ultimate objective to punish them. This is democracy. We should respect that. We should strike a good deal and be reasonable people - on both sides - and then go on."

Mr Van Overtveldt said securing a quick deal was also crucial.

"The sooner the better because the real danger of the Brexit process is that it will go on, and on, and on, and there will come a moment where that will start impacting expectations whether it be investments, producers or consumers which is of course bad for the economy overall."

Asked to comment on reports that Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, believed Theresa May was "deluded" over Brexit talks, Mr Van Overtveldt suggested it was part of political game playing.

"It’s very common in Belgian politics to say you only have an agreement when you have an agreement on everything, so in that sense Theresa May sounded very much like a Belgian politician" he said.

He said it would be "sad" if the only way the EU could remain attractive to its members was "by showing them you are able to punish the UK".

He said making the EU single market work required better policing of "social security tourism" and enforcing a harder EU border. He said Brussels had to move away from meddling in all aspects of law while politicians had to stop blaming the EU for their domestic woes.

"If Europe focuses on how the pots in which olives are sold should be sized, then I think Europe is very wrong," he said.

"If Europe starts to work in a clever way on migration and protecting the border I think that would be appreciated by the population."

He said the eurozone would need further integration if the single currency was to survive, as he urged policymakers to complete the monetary and banking union.

"The macroeconomic policies of the eurozone countries will need to be further integrated if we want the euro to survive successfully," he said.

"We need to focus on the things where Europe can give you an advantage and not lose ourselves in all kinds of details where quite often people know themselves what is best for them."


Liberal Thought Police Getting Scarier

The totalitarian left is emboldened by its selective suppression of speech. Just as scary is the deluded thought process that inspires its Stalinism.

Recognizing its inability to compete in the marketplace of ideas, the left has been chipping away for years at the concept of free speech. You have to give leftists points for cleverness, not to mention persistence, because they don't openly advocate censoring conservative speech as such. They pretend to be protecting some greater good or preventing imminent harm to certain groups.

When they failed in talk radio, they resurrected the Fairness Doctrine, which is euphemistically disguised as a policy to ensure the presentation of all viewpoints but is actually a sinister ploy to dilute the power of conservative talk. They always have some excuse — and plausible deniability.

They protest conservative speakers or those easily demonized as conservatives on college campuses, arguing that conservative "hate speech" can lead to violence against certain groups. No one wants violence, so we must muzzle conservative political speech, right?

But it's patently absurd to contend that everyday conservative speech is "hate speech" and that it leads to violence. It is pernicious nonsense. What's worse is that these speech cops don't acknowledge their own hypocrisy in committing violence — the very harm they claim to be preventing — to prevent speech that allegedly could lead to violence. Let's just burn some buildings down and smash some skulls in to show just how adamant we are about preventing violence. I wish I were exaggerating.

But the thought control zealots are now coming up with even more bizarre rationalizations to curb competitive speech. In a recent New York Times op-ed, New York University provost Ulrich Baer argues: "The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks. It means balancing the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community. Free-speech protections — not only but especially in universities, which aim to educate students in how to belong to various communities — should not mean that someone's humanity, or their right to participate in political speech as political agents, can be freely attacked, demeaned or questioned."

You may consider that to be psychobabble. What would you expect from an academic who describes himself in the same piece as "a scholar of literature, history and politics"? But I digress.

Let's try to decipher what he's saying. To do so, we must understand that like so many leftists, Baer cannot avoid viewing these matters through the grid of identity politics; everything must be evaluated in terms of how it affects minorities or historically oppressed groups.

Even though one could define unfettered freedom of expression as "guaranteeing the robust debate from which the truth emerges," we shouldn't support it, Baer also says in the piece. Specifically, we shouldn't protect speech that insults whole groups in an effort to discredit and delegitimize them "as less worthy of participation in the public exchange of ideas." He seems to be saying that if you discredit groups of people with your speech, then you unlevel the playing field to the point that any speech these groups express will be less valuable and effective.

We must weigh the "inherent value" of ideas against the dangerous possibility that these ideas could discredit other groups and thereby effectively silence them, he says. Thus, a "pure model of free speech" presents a "clear and present" danger to our democracy.

So the republic is better-served if we allow certain ivory tower elites, with their worldly wisdom, to weigh the "inherent value" of speech to determine whether it should be protected. If it arguably demeans a certain group — and there are newly defined groups all the time in the left's world — it is not worthy of protection.

Thus, the liberal thought police can decree that because anything conservative firebrand Ann Coulter would say at Berkeley on immigration or other topics would diminish other groups, it should not be protected. She's a conservative, and conservative ideas don't have much inherent value to liberals and, in their distorted world, also discredit certain groups. Voila! Shut her down. The sophistry is astounding.

I urge you not to miss the most stunning aspect of Baer's specious analysis. The thrust of the left's message against conservatives across the board is that because of our toxic ideas, we should be discredited and delegitimized "as less worthy of participation in the public exchange of ideas."

Just as leftists support the commission of violence in the name of preventing speech that could arguably lead to it, they would muzzle us because through our speech, we would discredit and then effectively muzzle them. Insanity.

We don't want to muzzle liberals; we want to defeat them in the marketplace of ideas. We don't want to commit violence against them, but they often want to do so against us. Boy, how they project.

Let me ask you: In their world, who would decide whether certain speech has inherent value? The federal government, no doubt, provided Democrats are in control at the time. The true acid test of Baer's preposterous arguments would be to ask how liberals would feel if Republicans were allowed to make such decisions while in control of the federal government. How would they feel if a conservative had written this silly, scary op-ed?

It is precisely because we can't have certain self-appointed groups deciding what speech is worthy that we must vigorously protect "robust" political speech in this country. The Founding Fathers knew this, and everyone with common sense understands it. But the crazy modern left wants us to unlearn it — and leftists call us conservatives a danger to democracy.

Whatever you do, don't casually dismiss Baer's ideas as fringe. This is the way leftists think today — and they are the people teaching our university students, producing Hollywood movies and largely controlling the mainstream media. Wake up and be vigilant! And fight back!



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

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

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


3 May, 2017

The Man Who Invented Identity Politics for the New Right

After Mitt Romney’s 2012 loss to Barack Obama, the Republican establishment undertook a rigorous postmortem and, looking at demographic trends in the United States, determined that appealing to Hispanics was now a nuclear-level priority. And yet their successful candidate in the next election won by doing precisely the opposite.

The Trump strategy looked an awful lot like the Sailer Strategy: the divisive but influential idea that the GOP could run up the electoral score by winning over working-class whites on issues like immigration, first proposed by the conservative writer Steve Sailer in 2000, and summarily rejected by establishment Republicans at the time. Now, 17 years and four presidential cycles later, Sailer, once made a pariah by mainstream conservatives, has quietly become one of the most influential thinkers on the American right.

Sailer, a California native and the son of a Lockheed engineer, became a journalist in his mid-30s, starting his career contributing to National Review in the 1990s. His specialty was a plain-spoken form of science journalism, numerate and clued-in to developments in genetics and evolutionary theory, but also infamous for applying, often in a blunt and inflammatory manner, such methods to alleged racial differences in intelligence and behavior. Indeed, Sailer popularized the term "human biodiversity" (HBD) — now a mainstay on the alt-right — to describe his field of interest, which, despite winning a few lonely adherents in the academy, has been dismissed by critics as pseudoscience at best and eugenics at worst.

Sailer’s brief career at National Review ended in 1997, when William F. Buckley, Jr. eased out the magazine’s then-editor, the immigration hawk John O’Sullivan, in favor of Rich Lowry — part of a larger shift in the conservative world away from paleoconservatives and immigration skeptics near the turn of the millennium. Since then, he has largely been confined to smaller and less mainstream conservative outlets. But after Trump won last November by getting blue-collar, Midwestern whites to vote like a minority bloc, as Sailer had so memorably recommended in 2000, a number of Sailer’s establishment critics, such as Michael Barone, were forced to acknowledge that Sailer had been vindicated.

On foreign policy, too, Sailer has been a pervasive if subtle presence on the right. During the mid-2000s, he popularized the phrase "Invade the World, Invite the World" to parody the apparent bipartisan foreign policy consensus of the last two decades around large-scale military intervention abroad and large-scale immigration at home. It took some time, but by the summer of 2016, the mood of the country had caught up with Sailer. Breitbart began using "Invade the World, Invite the World" to describe the ideology of John McCain and Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump’s stated hostility to elites’ perceived "globalist" overreach proved to be a major asset in his campaign.

As Michael Brendan Dougherty of The Week has observed, Sailer has exerted "a kind of subliminal influence across much of the right … even in the places where his controversial writing on race was decidedly unwelcome." Sometimes that influence has not even been subliminal — David Brooks has cited Sailer in The New York Times on the correlation between white fertility rates and voting patterns, Times columnist Ross Douthat has referenced Sailer’s analogy between Breitbart-style conservatism and punk rock, and the economist Tyler Cowen has described him as "the most significant neo-reaction thinker today."

Meanwhile, Sailer’s ideas and catchphrases — including "the coalition of the fringes," to describe the Obama coalition, and "elect a new people," a paraphrase of Bertolt Brecht describing an alleged liberal plot to re-engineer the country’s demographics — have spread across the right-wing Internet like wildfire.

Perhaps the Sailerist idea most closely echoed by the Trump movement is "citizenism," which he describes as the philosophy that a nation should give overwhelming preference to the interests of its current citizens over foreigners, in the same way as a corporation prioritizes the interests of its current shareholders over everyone else. Effectuating this philosophy — putting "Americans First," as he put it in 2006—would, according to Sailer, require a draconian reduction in immigration levels.

Most liberals would take issue with citizenism as reactionary, and perhaps see it as a closeted form of the white nationalism openly championed by many bloggers on the alt-right. Yet Sailer describes citizenism as the best possible bulwark against ethnonationalist impulses. In Sailer’s view, people are naturally inclined to pursue "ethnic nepotism" — that is, to help those like themselves at the expense of those who are not. The goal of citizenism, therefore, is to redirect these energies by providing a more expansive definition of "us" than the race or tribe.

Of course, saying that citizenism is not white nationalism is not to exonerate Sailer. His record contains ample reasons to question the rather innocent description of his politics. In his most infamous and widely condemned blog post, written during the unrest following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Sailer wrote that African Americans "possess poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups. Thus, they need stricter moral guidance from society."

And he regularly plays up a sort of white grievance politics — grousing about "black privilege" or complaining about Jordan Peele’s Get Out as "a remarkably racist kill-the-white-people horror movie." Sailer usually dances around blatantly bigoted remarks in his writing, but if his ideal of citizenism is formally egalitarian, his view of people more generally is not.

In other words, Sailer’s body of work points to a politics very much like the Trumpism of the campaign trail — nationalistic, contemptuous of limitations on acceptable discourse, and laden with occasionally sinister racial undertones without directly challenging the principle of equality under the law. Sailer sees himself as having presented an intellectual justification for commonsense politics, which Donald Trump, by being ignorant of the (as Sailer put it in an email to us) "Davos Man conventional wisdom," arrived at out of instinct.

And he’s not entirely wrong. Sailer’s influence is impossible to understand without recognizing how far what he refers to as the conventional wisdom has drifted from the common sense of a large part of the country, creating a demand for people who are indifferent to the castigation that normally deters the airing of sometimes wrong, sometimes merely inconvenient ideas.

"In 2017, I’m the voice of reason and moderation," Sailer told us, in reference to the open ethnonationalists to his right and cosmopolitan liberals to his left. That isn’t true — Sailer is a perceptive thinker, but his views on race, for which he will inevitably be best-known, still represent the more resentful end of white opinion. Yet if current trends toward partisan and racial polarization continue unabated, Sailerism may indeed come to represent a kind of uneasy center, flanked by identitarian leftism on one side and raw white nationalism on the other. This is a future we should try to avoid.


Does the leftist love affair with multiculturalism have its limits? Even what's happening in Detroit may not be enough

In Detroit, a grand jury has indicted doctors Jumana Nagarwala and Fakhruddin Attar, and Attar’s wife, Farida, for female genital mutilation (FGM) and conspiracy. In addition, the doctors have been charged with making false statements to prosecutors. The charges arise from FGM surgery allegedly performed by Nagarwala on two seven-year-old girls from Minnesota at the Burhani Medical clinic in Livonia, Michigan. The surgery was performed after hours last February. The clinic is owned by Dr. Attar.

Through her lawyer, Nagarwala denied the allegations, insisting she performed a religious practice for families who belonged to a Muslim sect. She further insisted the practice did not involve any cutting, but rather scraping membrane from the two girls' genitalia, wrapping it in gauze, and giving it to the parents, who buried it in keeping with religious custom.

A doctor’s conclusion obtained by the Detroit Free Press completely contradicts that claim. "A juvenile protection petition filed on behalf of the victims in Minnesota, along with federal court documents, cite scarring, a small tear, healing lacerations and what appears to be surgical removal of a portion of her genitalia," the paper reports.

The girls were brought to the clinic by their mothers after allegedly being told they participating in a "special girls trip," one that became a visit to Nargarwala "to get the germs out," according to one of the victims. And in a damning indication she knew she was doing something illegal, Nagarwala didn’t bill the family for the procedure, or document it for her medical records.

Sadly, prosecutors believe there are several more victims. The seven count indictment indicates all three perpetrators have been involved in this conspiracy for more than 11 years beginning in 2005. Nonetheless, Nagawala told federal agents "she has never been present" for FGM surgery on "any minor children," and that she has "no knowledge" of it ever being performed, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors, who got their indictment based on a tip and trail of electronic evidence, paint a far more disturbing picture. Attar allegedly allowed Nagarwala to use his clinic, and helped coordinate the children’s trip to Michigan. His wife, charged with the same crimes, was also indicted for her presence at the procedure, during which she allegedly held each child’s hand, as well as instructing at least one member of her Indian-Muslim community to lie if they were questioned.

The Indian-Muslim community to which all three belong is known as the Dawoodi Bohra. It is a small, Gujarati-speaking sect of Shia Muslims with approximately 1.5 million members worldwide. Its current leader, Muffaddal Saifuddin, has recently said FGM "must be done, and must be done discreetly," and the sect’s supporters claim the secretive ritual performed on girls between the ages of 6 and 8 is both safe and an integral part of their religious and cultural practice. The group has a mosque in a suburb of Detroit.

This is not the first time this sect has been involved with the law. It was part of an FGM prosecution in Australia in 2015 that resulted in three people being sent to prison. The case against the three defendants in Michigan represents the first FGM investigation in U.S. history, despite estimates by government agencies that as many as 500,000 women and girls in the United States are at risk of being subjected to it — and despite the reality the Illegal immigrant Reform and Responsibility Act of 1996 made the procedure illegal in the United States.

Moreover in 2013, Congress amended the statute, criminalizing the knowing transportation of a girl under 18 years old from the United States abroad for the procedure — often referred to as "vacation cutting."

Yet the fact that this is the first domestic prosecution of FGM in 21 years prompts a troubling question: Are we to believe, despite the outlawing of the procedure, government officials at every level were completely unaware it was taking place — or did political correctness induce a case of willful blindness on the part of those same officials?

It is useful to remember that Kermit Gosnell, convicted of murdering live babies at his filthy abortion clinic in Philadelphia, was a known quantity to many people who could have put an end to his butchery. Yet leftists' pro-abortion bias resulted in many referring to Gosnell as a "pillar of the community" and an "advocate for women’s ‘reproductive health." Moreover, their media allies virtually ignored the trial at which he was convicted.

Is the same political correctness in play here too? Political correctness that defines any questioning of Muslim practices, no matter how barbaric, as "Islamophobia?"

A statement issued by an organization that oversees the community insists the Dawoodi Bohras are law-abiding, and FGM "does not reflect the everyday lives of the Dawoodi Bohras in America. … We take our religion seriously but our culture is modern and forward-looking."

Tellingly, the parents of the girls have not been charged. Minnesota authorities initially removed both girls from their respective homes, but one was returned. The fate of the other remains under protective seal.

The attorneys for the defendants remain defiant. Nagawala’s lawyer denied the mutilation charges and insisted she was performing a religious custom. The Attar’s attorney, Mary Chartier, claims Fakhruddin Attar "was not aware of any crimes that occurred in his clinic," and that the couple are "being persecuted for their religious beliefs."

One bright note: Henry Ford Hospital, where Nagawala worked as an emergency room doctor, has fired her.

Dr. Qanta Ahmed, Associate Professor of Medicine at the State University of New York Stony Brook, reveals what FGM is really all about. "These girls can never be made whole again," she writes. "At age 7, years away from their own sexual knowledge, denied an intact clitoris, they will never experience sexual gratification as consenting women. Yes, they may be able to have babies, but their pregnancies, labor, and deliveries will be high-risk because of the profound anatomic destruction to the birth canal. And this is not even accounting for the incredible psychological injury they will come to experience."

Ahmed explains there are four categories of the procedure, ranging from a clitirodectomy alone, to an operation where the vagina is completely sealed shut and all "menstruation, sexual penetration, and childbirth becomes painful and rife with major complications."

All for what? "FGM is the symptom of harmful cultural beliefs that girls and women must be sexually pure, modest and that their bodies exist to breed," writes FGM victim Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who adds the practice is one "venerated in the identity politics pantheon."

American feminists? Would that they condemned culturally inspired child abuse with the same fervor they demonstrate in support of abortion on demand.

"Female genital mutilation constitutes a particularly brutal form of violence against women and girls. It is also a serious federal felony in the United States," stated Acting United States Attorney Daniel Lemisch. "The practice has no place in modern society and those who perform FGM on minors will be held accountable under federal law."

One can only hope. Twenty-one years of ignoring the problem engenders a great deal of skepticism.


The Left's War on Free Speech
By Kimberley Strassel

I like to introduce the topic of free speech with an anecdote about my children. I have three kids, ages twelve, nine, and five. They are your average, normal kids — which means they live to annoy the heck out of each other.

Last fall, sitting around the dinner table, the 12-year-old was doing a particularly good job at this with his youngest sister. She finally grew so frustrated that she said, "Oliver, you need to stop talking — forever." This inspired a volley of protests about free speech rights, and ended with them yelling "shut up" at each other. Desperate to stop the fighting and restore order, I asked each of them in turn to tell me what they thought "free speech" meant.

The 12-year-old went first. A serious and academic child, he gave a textbook definition that included "Congress shall make no law," an evocation of James Madison, a tutorial on the Bill of Rights, and warnings about "certain exceptions for public safety and libel." I was happy to know the private-school fees were yielding something.

The nine-year-old went next. A rebel convinced that everyone ignores her, she said that she had no idea what "public safety" or "libel" were, but that "it doesn’t matter, because free speech means there should never be any restrictions on anything that anybody says, anytime or anywhere." She added that we could all start by listening more to what she says.

Then it was the five-year-old’s turn. You could tell she’d been thinking hard about her answer. She fixed both her brother and sister with a ferocious stare and said: "Free speech is that you can say what you want — as long as I like it."

It was at this moment that I had one of those sudden insights as a parent. I realized that my oldest was a constitutional conservative, my middle child a libertarian, and my youngest a socialist with totalitarian tendencies.

With that introduction, my main point today is that we’ve experienced over the past eight years a profound shift in our political culture, a shift that has resulted in a significant portion of our body politic holding a five-year-old’s view of free speech. What makes this shift notable is that unlike most changes in politics, you can trace it back to one day: January 21, 2010, the day the Supreme Court issued its Citizens United ruling and restored free speech rights to millions of Americans.

For nearly 100 years up to that point, both sides of the political aisle had used campaign finance laws — I call them speech laws — to muzzle their political opponents. The Right used them to push unions out of elections. The Left used them to push corporations out of elections. These speech laws kept building and building until we got the mack daddy of them all — McCain-Feingold. It was at this point the Supreme Court said, "Enough." A five-judge majority ruled that Congress had gone way too far in violating the Constitution’s free speech protections.

The Citizens United ruling was viewed as a blow for freedom by most on the Right, which had in recent years gotten some free speech religion, but as an unmitigated disaster by the Left. Over the decades, the Left had found it harder and harder to win policy arguments, and had come to rely more and more on these laws to muzzle political opponents. And here was the Supreme Court knocking back those laws, reopening the floodgates for non-profits and corporations to speak freely again in the public arena.

In the Left’s view, the ruling couldn’t have come at a worse time. Remember the political environment in 2010. Democrats were experiencing an enormous backlash against the policies and agenda of the Obama administration. There were revolts over auto bailouts, stimulus spending, and Obamacare. The Tea Party movement was in full swing and vowing to use the midterm elections to effect dramatic change. Democrats feared an electoral tidal wave would sweep them out of Congress.

In the weeks following the Citizens United ruling, the Left settled on a new strategy. If it could no longer use speech laws against its opponents,  it would do the next best thing — it would threaten, harass, and intimidate its opponents out of participation. It would send a message: conservatives choosing to exercise their constitutional rights will pay a political and personal price.

We’ve seen this strategy unfold, in a coordinated fashion and using a variety of tactics, since 2010.

One tactic is the unleashing of federal and state bureaucracies on political opponents. The best example of this is the IRS targeting of conservative non-profits. To this day, Obama acolytes and Senate Democrats characterize that targeting as a mistake by a few minor IRS employees in Cincinnati who didn’t understand the law. That is a lie.

Congress held several investigations of this targeting, and the truth is clear. In the months following the Citizens United ruling, President Obama delivered speech after speech on behalf of Democratic midterm candidates, repeating the same grave warning at each stop — thanks to Citizens United, he would say, shadowy and scary organizations are flooding into our elections. He suggested these organizations might be operating illegally and might be funded by foreign players. He noted that somebody should do something about it.

These speeches acted as a dog whistle to an IRS bureaucracy that was already primed to act. Former IRS official Lois Lerner was well aware of Democratic demands that the agency go after conservative Tea Party and non-profit groups. Senate Democrats and left-wing interest groups had been sending letters to the agency for months, demanding it go after the very groups it ultimately went after. And Ms. Lerner had her own biases — we know this from her recoverable emails — that put her politically and substantively in the anti-free speech camp. The result is that the IRS deliberately put some 400 conservative organizations, representing tens of thousands of Americans, on political ice for the 2010 and 2012 elections.

It is hard not to believe that this was designed to help Democrats in those elections. We know that senior members of the Treasury Department were aware of the targeting abuse in early 2012, and took steps to try to slow it. Yet those officials did not inform Congress this was happening, and chose not to divulge the abuse until well after that year’s election.

Another intimidation tactic is for prosecutors to abuse their awesome powers in order to hound and frighten political opponents. The most terrifying example of this was the John Doe probe in Wisconsin. Democratic prosecutors in Milwaukee launched a bogus criminal campaign finance investigation into some 30 conservative groups that supported the public-sector union reforms championed by Governor Scott Walker. Wisconsin’s John Doe law gave these prosecutors the right to conduct this investigation in secret and to subject their individual targets to gag orders. Prosecutors secretly looked through these individuals' financial records, bank accounts, and emails.

Prosecutors also conducted pre-dawn raids on some of their targets' homes. In one horrifying instance, the target of such a raid was on an out-of-town trip with his wife, and their teenage son was home alone. Law enforcement came into the house and sequestered the boy, refusing to allow him to call a lawyer or even his grandparents, who lived down the road. They hauled items out of the house, and as they left they told the boy that he too was subject to the gag order — that if he told anyone what had happened to him, he could go to jail.

We only learned of this because one brave target of the probe, Eric O'Keefe, told The Wall Street Journal what was going on. We broke that story, and it became national headline news. But it ultimately took a lawsuit and the Wisconsin Supreme Court to shut down the probe. In its ruling, the Court made clear its view that the probe’s purpose had been intimidation. The prosecutors had been sending the message: if you dare to speak, we will turn your lives into a living hell and potentially put you in prison.

More recently we have seen this tactic in the joint action of 17 state attorneys general, who launched a probe into Exxon and some 100 different groups that have worked with Exxon over the years. The implicit prosecutorial threat: get on board with our climate change agenda or we might bring racketeering charges against you.

A third intimidation tactic is for activist groups to use blackmail against corporations and non-profits in order to silence them. One subject of such attacks was the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that works to promote free-market policies at the state level. As a non-profit, it is largely funded by corporate donations. Because it is so successful, it has long been despised by left-wing activist groups.

These groups focused their efforts on ALEC in 2012, in the wake of the tragic shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida. ALEC had played a tangential role in crafting the popular stand-your-ground laws that the Left attacked after the shooting. On that basis, left-wing activists branded ALEC a racist organization and threatened to run ad campaigns against its corporate donors, branding them as racists too — unless they stopped funding ALEC. In a coordinated action, Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin sent letters to a thousand organizations across the country, demanding to know if they supported ALEC and suggesting they’d get hauled in front of Congress if they did. ALEC lost nearly half of its donors in the space of a few months.

We’ve also seen this tactic employed against private individuals. One such person was Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot, who Barack Obama’s reelection campaign singled out in 2012, following a VanderSloot donation to Mitt Romney. The campaign publicly branded him a disreputable person, painting a target on his back. Not long after that, VanderSloot was audited by the IRS and visited by other federal agencies.

Out in California, left-wing activists targeted donors to the state’s Prop 8 ballot initiative, which supported traditional marriage. They combed through campaign finance records, and put the names and addresses of Prop 8’s donors on a searchable map. Citizens on this list had their cars keyed, their windows broken, their small businesses flash-mobbed, and their voicemails and emails flooded with threats and insults. Some of them even lost their jobs — most notably Brendan Eich, the founder and CEO of Mozilla. In later depositions, many of these targets told lawyers that they wouldn’t donate to future ballot initiatives. So the attacks were successful in silencing them.

Note the use of disclosure in these attacks. We have come to associate transparency and disclosure with good government. But unfortunately, our system of disclosure has been turned on its head. Disclosure was supposed to enable citizens to keep track of politicians; but if you followed Hillary Clinton’s server scandal, you know that politicians have now become expert at hiding their business. Instead, disclosure is increasingly becoming a tool by which government and political thugs identify people and organizations who oppose them.

Sadly, our federal judiciary has refused to honor important precedents that protect anonymity in politics — most notably the famous 1958 case, NAACP v. Alabama. In that case, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled against the Alabama attorney general, who had demanded a list of the state’s NAACP members. The civil rights group knew this was tantamount to making targets of its members in a state that was riven at the time with race-related violence. The Court held that some level of anonymity is sometimes required to protect the rights of free speech and free assembly. The Court expanded on this precedent until the Watergate scandal, when it too got caught up in the disclosure fad. Political privacy rights have been eroding ever since.

What is to be done? For starters, we need to be aware that this is happening, and that it is not random. The intimidation game is very real. It is the work of left-wing groups and politicians, it is coordinated, and it is well-honed. Many of the targets of intimidation who I interviewed for my recent book weren’t aware of what was happening to them, and that allowed the intimidation to go on for too long. Awareness is key.

We need to think hard about ways to limit the powers of the administrative state, to stop rogue agents at the IRS and other agencies from trampling on free speech rights. We can make great progress simply by cutting the size of federal and state bureaucracies. But beyond that, we need to conduct systematic reviews of agency powers and strip from unaccountable bureaucracies any discretion over the political activities of Americans. The IRS should be doing what it was created to do — making sure taxpayers fill out their forms correctly. Period.

We need to push corporations to grow backbones and to defend more aggressively their free speech interests — rather than leaving that defense to others.

We need to overhaul our disclosure laws, and once again put the onus of disclosure on government rather than citizens. At the moment, every American who donates $200 or more to a federal politician goes into a database. Without meaning to sound cynical, no politician in Washington is capable of being bought off for a mere $200. We need to raise that donation threshold. And we need to think hard about whether there is good reason to force disclosure of any donations to ballot initiatives or to the production and broadcast of issue ads — ads designed to educate the public rather than to promote or oppose candidates.

Most important, we need to call out intimidation in any form and manner we see it — and do so instantly. Bullies don’t like to be exposed. They’d rather practice their ugliness in the dark. And one lesson that emerged from all my interviews on this topic is that speaking out works. Those who rolled over merely set themselves up for future attacks. Those who called out the intimidators maintained their rights and won the day.

Finally, conservatives need to tamp down any impulse to practice such intimidation themselves. Our country is best when it is engaging in vigorous debate. The Framers of the Constitution envisioned a multiplicity of interests that would argue their way to a common good. We succeed with more voices, not fewer, and we should have enough confidence in our arguments to hear out our opponents.


UK Gov’t Considers Raising Shooting Club Fees by More Than 1,000 Percent

In a move to rein in what it calls a taxpayer subsidy for gun owners, the British government is considering raising license fees on shooting clubs by more than 1,000 percent.

Local police forces in Britain are responsible for granting firearms licenses. In recent years, law enforcement bodies such as the Association of Chief Police Officers have complained that low fees charged to applicants have forced the agencies to spend millions of pounds out of their own budgets to complete them.

In 2015, fees for individual gun owners were raised for the first time since 2001. An initial firearms certificate now costs $114 (£88) for five years, as opposed to $65 (£50) before.

Earlier this year the Home Office announced it was now considering raising fees on shooting clubs and museums that displayed guns, and asked for public response on a new set of fees it proposed.

Currently, the government estimates that the British taxpayer subsidizes each gun club application – which involves background checks on members, police interviews, and inspections of the club premises – by 93 percent.

Under the proposals, clubs would pay a fee of $1,355 (£1,050) for a new six-year license, a jump of more than tenfold.

"Charging in this way ensures the real economic cost of safeguarding high risk activities is understood by license holders," the Home Office said at its initial briefing.

In response, the British chapter of the National Rifle Association called the proposals "grossly unreasonable" and said that the increases would be "simply unaffordable for the vast majority" of its clubs.

The Countryside Alliance, an organization which promotes rural life in Britain, said that the Home Office had failed to show how it would spend the enormous additional costs it is asking for.

"The lack of clarity surrounding the administration costs being used to justify this price hike leaves the shooting community thinking that they are once again being unfairly treated," the organization’s head of shooting, Liam Stokes, said earlier.

Garry Doolan, a spokesman for the British Association for Shooting and Conservation said in an interview that helping members with the various issues around licensing and applying for a license was what took up the majority of his group’s time.

Many of his group’s members depended on their licenses for their livelihoods – whether they used their guns as part of sporting pastimes or for pest control – and it all was "very vexing," he said.

A study by the BASC released in February revealed that applying for a license turned out to be a "postcode lottery" for many applicants. In some areas of Britain, it would take eight days to renew a firearms certificate but in others, it would take 225 days.

The BASC believes that in the long term, the increased fees will make target shooting less accessible to newcomers and damage the firearms heritage of Britain.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron, who resigned last year, is known to be a deer and pheasant hunter. There was speculation in some parts of the British media that he favored holding back on increasing fees.

Doolan, however, said that change at a governmental level takes place slowly, and he did not see the new proposed costs resulting from the changeover from Cameron to his successor and fellow Conservative, Theresa May.

"It’s not something that changes with a swipe of a pen," he said.

Public consultation over the fee hike closed in March but a spokesman for the Home Office said any decision would be deferred until after the next general election on June 8.

In 2014, police in the county of Surrey came under criticism for returning a shotgun to a local farm owner, who then used it to murder his common-law wife and her daughter.

Last week, the Independent Police Complaints Commission found that firearms licensing unit at the Surrey Police lacked the necessary training and was staffed by individuals who "were failing to undertake their duties with rigor."

The IPCC also made a number of recommendations to strengthen firearms licensing both in Surrey and nationally.

"We hope forces across the country will use this as a catalyst for ensuring their licensing teams are working as effectively as necessary," said associate IPCC Commissioner Tom Milsorn.



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

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

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


2 May, 2017

Are ‘Antifascists’ Employing a Crude Form of Terrorism?

Days before its April 29 parade, Organizers of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade in Portland received an anonymous message. Via the Oregonian:

"You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely," the anonymous email said, telling organizers they could cancel the Republican group’s registration or else face action from protesters. "This is non-negotiable."
The letter, the paper reports, was precipitated by the presence of the Multnomah County Republican Party in the parade, which "drew ire from some of the city’s left-leaning protest groups"—despite the fact that the group participated in previous years.

How did parade organizers respond? They canceled the event, lest a riot ensue.

These tactics are familiar to anyone who’s been paying attention to U.S. campuses. As NYU psychologist Jonathan Haidt explained in an April 26 article for The Chronicle of Higher Education, intimidation is the new normal on college campuses.

"Any campus speaker who arouses a protest is at risk of a beating," said Haidt. "Can this really be the future of American colleges?"

The answer appears to be yes.

Haidt explains that these agitators–who sometimes call themselves "antifascists"– justify their actions by presenting themselves as victims:

"A common feature of recent campus shout-downs is the argument that the speaker ‘dehumanizes’ members of marginalized groups or ‘denies their right to exist.’ No quotations or citations are given for such strong assertions; these are rhetorical moves made to strengthen the case against the speaker."

Thus far, universities have mostly indulged the escapades of these bad-behaving students. Why? Perhaps it’s because there is a deep-rooted tradition of protesting in America’s history. Perhaps it’s because college officials are sympathetic to the students’ ends (keeping dissenting voices off campus).

Whatever the case, by indulging the student agitators who employ threats, intimidation, and violence, college leaders are tacitly affirming their tactics. This is dangerous.

Haidt, for one, believes our university system may be at a crossroads.

"This year may become a turning point in the annals of higher education. It may be remembered as the year that political violence and police escorts became ordinary parts of campus life. Or it may be remembered as the year when professors, students, and administrators finally found the moral courage to stand up against intimidation, even when it is aimed at people whose ideas they dislike."

It’s troubling that universities have not taken a stronger stance against these tactics. More troubling is that—as the cancelation of the parade in Portland demonstrates—we could soon see these methods proliferate beyond the campus since they have proven so effective.

That would be bad. What has largely been overlooked is that these tactics are a crude form of terrorism.

If you Google "terrorism" this is the definition you will find: Ter·ror·ism (noun) the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

People have a right to peaceably assemble and protest. But when people use threats, intimidation, and violence against civilians to achieve political aims, they are employing tactics that go beyond civil disobedience.

Take the recent episode in Portland. A clear threat (disruption and potential violence) was issued designed to achieve a specific political result (ostracization of a political group). It worked.

?We tend to not recognize the actual nature of these acts because they are done so openly and brazenly. It’s a brilliant and age-old ruse. In G.K. Chesterton’s wonderful novel The Man Who Was Thursday, the president of the Central Anarchist Council shrewdly observed the safest place for a terrorist to hide. "You want a safe disguise, do you? . . . A dress in which no one would ever look for a bomb? Why, then, dress up as an anarchist, you fool!"

This is not to imply that all protesters are terrorists or that the FBI should send agents to Berkeley. But we need to be honest about the brutish tactics being employed and recognize that they are designed to achieve political goals. It’s a dangerous path, as anyone familiar with Germany’s Spartacist Uprising knows.

The most frustrating part is that colleges have no problem flexing their muscles and cracking down on offending students… when it’s a couple of kids handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution. But when mobs of students wearing masks organize to infringe on the rights of others, college leaders inexplicably go into a shell.

It doesn’t have to be this way. College administrators could send a strong message by promptly expelling a few ringleaders caught engaging in intimidating or violent behavior. It doesn’t belong on campus and should not be tolerated.

They have the ability. Do they have the will?


Negligent African doctor injures African-American babies

He got his medical degree from a historically black American university but his name suggests that he is of Tanazanian origin

It was not a high-risk pregnancy. But over the next 90 minutes, the doctor made a series of missteps that led to a tragic outcome for Dixon and her baby - and a $33.8 million (AU$45.18 million) malpractice judgment, according to a federal lawsuit.

The doctor ordered nurses to restart a drug to strengthen contractions, failed to perform a Cesarean section - and walked away from Dixon's room for long periods, once for an eight-minute phone call from his stockbroker, the verdict said.

By the time the baby was delivered on Dec. 2, 2013, he was blue in the face and his limbs were limp, according to the verdict handed down by U.S. District Judge Robert Scola. It took a medical team to revive the infant, named Earl, Jr., and by then he had severe brain damage from lack of oxygen, according to the lawsuit filed by Dixon and the boy's father, Earl Reese-Thornton, Sr.

The doctor, Dixon said later, blamed her for not pushing hard enough. He also tried to cover his tracks by falsifying the 19-year-old mother's medical record with a note that made it appear she had refused a C-section, according to the testimony of the nurse in charge of delivery.

For Dixon, the court's judgment will help pay for a lifetime of round-the-clock care for her son, but it does not go far enough.

"Not one time did he apologize," Dixon said of the doctor, whose name is Ata Atogho. "He didn't care. He kept going on with his lies. He blamed me."

Medical lawsuits

Atogho did not respond to repeated phone calls and emails because he's on vacation, according to an assistant at Metro-Miami Obstetrics and Gynecology in North Miami Beach, where he works.

Lawyers for the U.S. Attorney's Office, which represented Atogho in the Dixon case because he worked for the federally funded Jessie Trice Community Health Center at the time, refused to comment.

But as Dixon would later find out, she was not the first parent to sue Atogho for seriously injuring a newborn he delivered in 2013.

Atogho delivered two babies that year who were permanently brain damaged, and a third who was disabled for life, according to lawsuits filed by the injured infants' mothers - all of whom were teen-aged moms receiving care at Jessie Trice, which serves many of Miami's low-income and uninsured residents.

In one case, a patient accused Atogho of rushing to deliver her baby and using a vacuum device that disfigured her daughter, born in September 2013 with permanent damage to nerves in her shoulder and neck. The baby's mother, who was 17 at the time and delivering her first child, agreed to settle for $92,200 in January, according to court records.

Another case, which has not yet gone to trial, involves a baby whom Atogho delivered in May of 2013, according to the legal complaint. The mother, 19, accused Atogho of ignoring signs that her baby was in distress and waiting too long to perform an emergency C-section, causing permanent brain damage to her daughter.

In all of the cases, the mothers received their prenatal care from nurses and midwives at Jessie Trice clinics and delivered their babies at North Shore Medical Center, where Atogho was their on-call obstetrician. Dixon said she met Atogho just once before he arrived at her bedside while she was in labor.

Richard 'Bo' Sharp, a Miami attorney who represented Dixon, said Dixon's case was helped by a nurse who testified that Atogho lied when he wrote a note that read "refused c/s" on her patient record, a reference to a C-section.

Up until then, Sharp said, "It was [Dixon's] word against the doctor's."

No record

Despite the verdict in Dixon's case, Atogho has not received a reprimand and no other disciplinary action has been taken against his Florida medical license for the incident. He's not personally liable for the $33.8 million judgment, either.

The U.S. government is on the hook for the money. Dixon and Reese-Thornton were able to sue the federal government because Atogho worked for a federally funded health clinic.


Christian Judge Vance Day in the Crosshairs of a Liberal Vendetta in Oregon

In Oregon, a judge is fighting for his very freedom along with his livelihood, while defending his First Amendment right to practice his religion. Judge Vance Day is an evangelical Christian, former chairman of the state GOP, and a presiding judge in the 3rd Circuit Court in Salem. He has been unanimously recommended for dismissal as a judge by the state Judicial Fitness Commission and was charged with two felonies by the Marion County district attorney and many are saying this is all the result of his refusal to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. The legal challenges appear to be driven by a political agenda to silence those who would refuse to fall in line and actively participate in same-sex marriage.

Judge Day has so far spent almost $700,000 on his legal defense, between the Judicial Fitness hearings and the felony charges. The case originally began when Day instructed his staff to refer any applicants for his services as a wedding officiant to a different judge if the couple was of the same sex. Day's faith informs him that homosexuality is a sin. The report by the Judicial Fitness Commission includes eight counts, only one of which is related to the same-sex marriage issue. The 48-page report contains a lot of information, including a spurious charge that the married Day was somehow thought to be using FarmersOnly.com, an online dating service. Further investigation revealed that to be a false charge.

Day is being represented in his Judicial Fitness case by attorney Jim Bopp, Jr., who successfully tried the Citizens United case at the United States Supreme Court on constitutional grounds. Bopp strongly believes that Day has a constitutional case in his defense based on his First Amendment protections to freely practice his religion.

In an interview, Bopp described the constitutional challenges he is making to the Judicial Fitness charges:

There's quite a few counts that relate to constitutional defenses, and I'm helping him with all of them. The main one is the religious freedom issue. We're defending some of the charges based on the fact that the effort by the state amounts to disciplining him for not doing something that is his religious faith prohibits him from doing. They're trying to punish him for following his religious faith. It's a First Amendment issue.
When asked if the charges are being pushed because of a political agenda, Bopp was adamant:

I don't think there's any doubt about that. It came to their attention because he declined to perform same sex marriages, even though he's never been asked to do one. As a general matter of principle, he would not perform them. As a result of that, they seem to have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at him. Many of the things are very trivial, so it seems like they're trying to hit him with as many things as they can.
According to Bopp, Day had a spotless record as a judge prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Oregon and his subsequent refusal to perform the ceremonies:

Before this matter began with the same sex marriage issue, there was no issue at all. There were no problems of any kind. It's not like he was involved in a series of issues. His record was unblemished. What brought him to their attention was the same sex marriage issue, not anything else. I don't see how you could come to the conclusion that he was causing trouble or that he had it coming when there were no prior issues.
Perhaps the most important issue of all, according to Bopp, is that judges are not required to perform marriages at all in Oregon and can refuse to do so for any reason:

Judges in Oregon are not required to do marriages. This is purely optional. Some don't do marriages at all. Most judges who do marriages restrict them in some way. Maybe they'll marry people only from their own church, or their own county, or only on a Saturday but not a Sunday. It's a purely optional activity. There are plenty of judges who will perform marriages, including same sex marriages. There was nobody harmed by Judge Day's decision. He did very few marriages in the past anyway. He decided to forego them completely once it became clear that the government was going to force him to do same sex marriages unless he stopped doing marriages completely.

The bottom line, says Bopp, is conformity instead of diversity:

They're not satisfied with tolerance, and they're certainly not satisfied with diversity. What they want is conformity, and for everyone actually to participate in activities that their religious faith informs them is inappropriate. This is the opposite of tolerance or respect for diversity. This is government coerced conformity to a particular agenda.

The felony charges -- two charges of facilitating use of a gun by a felon -- were the result of information gathered in the Judicial Fitness Commission report. The Marion County district attorney referred the case to the Oregon attorney general's office for review. The attorney general's office then applied for and was granted a grand jury trial. The indictment was handed down by the grand jury the day before the statute of limitations was set to run out. Day denies the charges, saying that, without his knowledge, his son handled firearms with a veteran charged with a felony in Day's court.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D-Portland) is a strong supporter of gay rights -- and vice versa. Public records show that she has received more than $10,000 in campaign contributions from various LGBT organizations, and much more from LGBT individuals. In turn, she has donated almost $6,000 to various LGBT causes since 2011. Some observers in Oregon believe the felony criminal charges against Day are a gift to the LGBT community from the (activist Democrat) AG's office. Rosenblum is no stranger to questionable political arrangements, being married to Mark Zusman, the publisher of the far-left weekly newspaper Willamette Week. Rosenblum originally ran for attorney general on a platform of stopping sexual trafficking of minors in Oregon while Willamette Week continued to publish classified ads from Backpage, a website that allows digital ads from escorts.


Alabama Legislature Protects Faith-Based Adoptions; Opponents Charge LGBT Discrimination

Alabama Rep. Patricia Todd (D) told GOP Rep. Rich Wingo that she was tired of "being in a country where I’m not welcome" during the state House debate over the Republican’s legislation to protect faith-based adoption agencies.

The Associated Press reported Todd said she was also tired of dealing "with institutions that know nothing about me but make a judgment that I’m a bad person because I am gay."

Wingo said House Bill 24, the Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act, was all about protecting the religious liberties of faith-based adoption agencies and had nothing to do with LGBT discrimination or Rep. Todd.

"Child placing agencies, both individuals and organizations, have the inherent, fundamental, and inalienable right to free exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution," reads the legislation. "The right to free exercise of religion for child placing agencies includes the freedom to refrain from conduct that conflicts with their sincerely held religious beliefs."

"The intent is definitely not to hurt you," Wingo told Todd.

Wingo said it hadn’t happened yet in Alabama, but there were faith-based agencies in other states that had to shut down rather than place children in homes that went against their faith. His legislation intends to make sure that never happens in Alabama.

"A law is desperately needed to protect faith-based adoption agencies. Religious freedom is the first freedom in the Bill of Rights," Mathew Staver, the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told PJM.

Wingo also said his legislation wouldn’t impact that many adoption agencies in Alabama. He estimated only 30 percent of them have a religious affiliation. But he said it is important that those with a religious mission are protected.

Over Rep. Todd’s objections — she was the only Democrat to vote against HB 24 in the Alabama House — the legislature approved HB 24.

Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not said whether she intends to sign the bill into law. Her staff said she was studying it.

The Human Rights Campaign has called on Ivey to veto the bill and "denounced" the Alabama Senate for passing HB 24.

"Plain and simple -- H.B. 24 is discrimination dressed up as a ‘solution’ to a fake problem," said Eva Kendrick, HRC Alabama director. "It creates an unnecessary hardship for potential LGBTQ adoptive or foster parents in Alabama and primarily harms the children looking for a loving home."

Similar legislation in South Dakota faces a court challenge that Rep. Wingo hopes to avoid in Alabama by applying this religious liberty protection law only to adoption agencies that do not receive state or federal funding.

But Wendy Crew, an attorney who represented a gay couple hoping to adopt in Alabama, told WBRC that wasn’t good enough.

"In some ways, all agencies receive state and federal funding. I don't see how it can pass constitutional muster. It's ripe for litigation," said Crew. "It appears the bill is actually institutionalizing prejudice in the state of Alabama."

Wingo denied the discrimination charge.

"It talks about not discriminating against the faith-based agencies. It's not about discriminating other than just making sure the faith-based child placement agencies aren't discriminated against due to their beliefs," said Wingo.

April Aaron-Brush and her wife have a 10-year-old adopted daughter. They would like to adopt another child. But because Aaron-Brush and her wife are now legally married, she told NPR that faith-based adoption agencies are ignoring them.

Aaron-Brush said she and her partner might get a lawyer and file suit against faith-based institutions that have not responded to their adoption requests.

Eric Johnston, an attorney who represents faith-based adoption agencies in Alabama, said that is precisely why Gov. Ivey should sign the Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act.

"They anticipated there could be problems and wanted to — in advance — think it through and do something that would be reasonable and to the benefit of everyone concerned on both sides of the issue," Johnston told NPR.

Wingo said because most adoption agencies in Alabama have no religious affiliation gay couples have plenty of alternatives. There is no reason they have to try to adopt from a faith-based agency.

"Protecting the religious freedom of faith-based adoption agencies is of the highest importance," Staver told PJM. "These great ministries should not have to choose between serving children or shutting down."

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R) told AL.com that she agreed with Wingo because the Alabama Department of Human Resources handles most of the state’s adoptions.

"What we're trying to do is say is, 'OK, you also can't discriminate against religious organizations who want the ability to place these kids where they think they'd be best suited for them,’" Marsh said.

As for how he feels about gay couples adopting, Wingo said his opinion doesn’t matter.

"If you are a follower of Christ, then what matters is what does the word of God say?" Wingo said. "What does God say about it?"



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

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

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


1 May, 2017

A politically correct appointment to the London police

Cressida Dick was appointed Metropolitan Police commissioner last week. She had previously held senior roles in the Met’s anti-terror division and had headed up Operation Trident, established to investigate ‘black-on-black gun crime’. Her new role is the most senior position in London’s police force, and was previously held by Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, who retired earlier this year after being in the job since 2011.

Commentary on Dick’s appointment has focused either on her gender or her sexuality – or both. Dick is the first woman to head the ‘macho’ Scotland Yard, the Daily Mail says. The Telegraph celebrated her for the same reason. Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn described her appointment as a ‘historic day for London’. One media profile discussed her same-sex relationship with an officer called Helen, arguing that ‘diversity [is] at the heart of her role’ as Met commissioner.

A great day for London? Please. Dick’s history in the force leaves much to be desired. In a clear case of protesting too much, one Metropolitan Police source told the Telegraph that Dick had ‘not been appointed because she was a woman but because she was the best candidate’. This claim rings hollow, given Dick’ s record has been far from distinguished.

Most obviously, Dick narrowly avoided blame for the botched anti-terror operation that led to the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station in 2005, in the heated anti-terror climate after the 7/7 attacks. Dick held overall responsibility for the officers who mistook the 27-year-old Brazilian electrician for a suicide bomber. Apparently, one of the officers under Dick’s command nipped away for a toilet break when he was supposed to be videotaping Menezes. It was this pressing toilet engagement that apparently led to Menezes being misidentified.

The inquest into Menezes’ killing found that senior officers in the investigation had received wrong information about his identity, which meant they avoided personal culpability. The jury at the inquest recorded an open verdict, leading Menezes’ family to complain about a whitewash that had benefited Dick. In November 2007, in perhaps the most euphemistic prosecution in history, the Met was convicted of criminal ‘violation of health-and-safety regulations’ for shooting Menezes to death, with Dick again absolved of personal responsibility.

Menezes’ family did not consider Dick to be blameless, however. In a letter published following her appointment last week, they said: ‘We cannot be expected to accept that the most senior police officer in the country, a post that is expected to uphold the highest standards of professionalism, to command public confidence and ultimately be responsible for ensuring that no police officer acts with impunity, be filled by someone that is clearly tainted by her failure to live up to any of those requirements.’

Of course, Menezes’ family are still angry, and with good reason. But the question for the British establishment is why the death of an innocent man on Dick’s watch had so little impact on her career prospects. It appears that being a woman is enough to win the Met’s forgiveness. Dick’s gender overrides her less-than-brilliant oversight of certain operations.

Dick hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons again in 2009, just four years after the Menezes killing. This time she came in for criticism over the arrest of Tory MP Damian Green. Green was arrested and held for nine hours over alleged leaks from the Home Office. She apparently played a ‘vital role’ in his arrest and defended it to then Tory leader David Cameron. A subsequent report found that the arrest was ‘disproportionate and ill-advised’.

Dick then headed up investigations into the MPs’ expenses scandal. There had been claims about widespread fraud, but in fact the investigation ended with only four MPs serving short prison sentences for false accounting. And it was largely dependent on evidence supplied by the Telegraph. It was a damp squib.

So why should we welcome the ‘first woman’ to take charge of the Met? Why should we care about having a diverse police force? I would rather our police officers were competent. Competent enough not to oversee operations that lead to the killing of innocent people or the arrest of politicians on overblown claims. Dick has done little to warrant the top job. It was not a great day for London.


Liberal Groups Attack Civil Rights Official for Enforcing Civil Rights Act

They are in effect demanding Apartheid

It’s odd to defend clear-cut violations of the law and then complain that the law isn’t being enforced harshly enough. But that’s what the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and a gaggle of other left-wing groups recently did.

They fault the acting head of the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Candice Jackson, for having objected in the past to clear-cut violations of the civil rights laws that she is now charged with enforcing, such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

They cite a recent Pro Publica article, noting that Jackson once objected to universities’ limiting class sections to members of particular races—a practice they euphemistically refer to as "equal opportunity/affirmative action policies":

"In past writings, Ms. Jackson appeared to be ignorant of the history and continued presence of race and sex discrimination, as evidenced by her claims that equal opportunity/affirmative action policies discriminate against White students."

These letters defend practices that the courts have ruled illegal, and every current U.S. Supreme Court justice would find illegal. It is illegal to have race-based classes, which no court ruling has ever suggested is valid under an affirmative-action or diversity rationale. Civil rights laws do not contain exceptions for particular races, much less countenance segregation. Title VI says that "No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

Title VI, which OCR is charged with enforcing, has been construed by courts as banning race-based scholarships reserved for a particular race. (Podberesky v. Kirwan, 38 F.3d 147 (4th Cir. 1994) (striking down race-specific scholarship for blacks under the Constitution and Title VI)).

In 1976, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that whites are protected by the civil-rights laws against racial discrimination. (McDonald v. Santa Fe Trail Transp. Co., 427 U.S. 273 (1976) (interpreting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to forbid race-based firings of whites)).

The Supreme Court has struck down other race-specific programs by lopsided margins.  (See, e.g., Rice v. Cayetano, 528 U.S. 495 (2000) (7-to-2 Supreme Court ruling invalidating race-based election reserved for Native Hawaiians)). While the Supreme Court has allowed race to be used as a "plus factor" in college admissions to promote integration or diversity, it has never allowed racial segregation, blanket exclusion, or race-specific classes or sections.

Ironically, after attacking Jackson for complaining about discrimination, these groups lecture Education Secretary DeVos about her need to "demonstrate a commitment to core American values of equal opportunity, nondiscrimination, and … the rule of law," including enforcement of "schools’ responsibilities under Title IX."

As we noted earlier, their vision of Title IX enforcement is a very strange one, that demands censorship and micromanagement of college discipline at the expense of due process and free speech.

For example, an October 20, 2015 letter urged the Education Department to pressure colleges to ban anonymous social media applications such as Yik Yak, after some students used them to say things that were sexist, racist, or intimidating. This letter was signed by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and many of the other groups that also signed the April 24th letters to Secretary DeVos and to Sens. Alexander and Murray. Their 2015 letter urged the blocking or "geo-fencing of anonymous social media applications that are used to" make bigoted or otherwise "harassing" remarks, and "barring the use of campus wi-fi to view or post to these applications."

Such demands for nanny-state bans under Title IX and Title VI were foolish and counterproductive, and had no statutory basis, as even liberal writers noted. As Amanda Hess of Slate pointed out, it was ironic that:

"Feminists and civil rights groups are trying to get universities to block the very app that gives marginalized students a voice on campus. … The app [Yik Yak] is massively and broadly popular among American college students, including female students, LGBTQ students, and students of color. … Yik Yak is an essential outlet for many college students who are adjusting to a new community and exploring their own identities ... Students routinely use Yik Yak to discuss experiences with mental illness or same-sex attraction or other intimate subjects they don’t feel comfortable announcing on the quad."

These censorship demands were, as I noted in the Chronicle of Higher Education (quoting Justice Felix Frankfurter) like "burning the house to roast the pig." I also cited UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh’s related commentary in the Washington Post that  "correctly described [the anti-Yik Yak groups] as a ‘national coalition in favor of campus censorship.’" Contrary to what these demands suggested, "There is no racism or sexism exception to the First Amendment on campus, as court rulings like Dambrot v. Central Michigan University (1995) make clear."

These same groups have also defended Education Department rules imposed under the Obama administration without notice and comment, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, that micromanage college discipline and ignore Supreme Court rulings limiting Title IX liability.


Muddy Maxine Waters: A corrupt black

Are you freaking kidding me? Thirteen-term Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Beltway barnacle permanently affixed to USS Government, is now the fresh-faced "rock star" of the Democratic Party.

"Auntie Maxine" is stoking the resistance, inspiring millenials, combating hate, crusading against corruption and invoking the counterinsurgent cry to "stay woke!"

I do not have enough guffaws to give.

This new spokesmodel for civility and clean government has stoked division and exploited taxpayers for decades.

Change agent? She has served on the Democratic National Committee since 1980 — when the Atari 2600 was cutting-edge, Kim Kardashian was a newborn, and Al Franken was hamming it up on "Saturday Night Live."

Waters has spent 37 years in office — many of those years as head of the Congressional Black Caucus — promising to make life better for constituents in economically ravaged South Central Los Angeles.

What do the denizens of her district have to show for it? Staggering levels of persistent unemployment, poverty and gang violence as the 25th anniversary of the L.A. riots looms this coming weekend.

What does Rep. Waters have to show for it?

She's earned a lifetime of left-wing adoration for whitewashing the deadly riots as a "rebellion," excusing the week-long shooting, looting and arson orgy as "a spontaneous reaction to a lot of injustice and a lot of alienation and frustration," and coddling Crips and Bloods gang members — with whom she performed the Electric Slide as part of her "fearless support and understanding of young people and their efforts at self-expression."

I covered Waters in the early 1990s as an editorial writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Her federally funded Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center was a gang-infested boondoggle.

She embraced Damian Williams, the infamous thug who hurled a chunk of concrete at white truck driver Reginald Denny and performed a victory dance over the bloodied innocent bystander.

And she and her family personally profited from her rise to racially demagogic power.

She owns a tony mansion in predominantly white Hancock Park, several miles outside her congressional district.

She secured an ambassadorship to the Bahamas for her husband, a former pro football player and car salesman whose main qualification was having traveled to the island for a vacation.

Her daughter, Karen, has scooped up nearly $650,000 in payments from Mama Waters' slate mailer operation for her federal campaign committee since 2006, the Washington Free Beacon reported this week. And Mama Waters owes her well-heeled daughter an additional $108,000.

Waters also mau-maued the House Veterans Committee into hiring two black staffers.

And she walked away with a slap on the wrist from the toothless House Ethics Committee in 2012 after being charged with multiple ethics violations related to her meddling in minority-owned OneUnited Bank.

Reminder for all the new fangirls and fanboys suffering from Maxi-mnesia: Her husband, Sidney, was an investor in one of the banks that merged into OneUnited. As stockholders, they profited handsomely from their relationship with the bank.

It was a mutually beneficial relationship. After Waters' office personally intervened and lobbied the Treasury Department in 2008, OneUnited received $12 million in federal TARP bailout money — despite another government agency concluding that the bank operated "without effective underwriting standards" and engaged "in speculative investment practices." After the federal bailout of Fannie/Freddie, OneUnited's stock in the government-sponsored enterprises plunged to a value estimated at less than $5 million. Only through Waters' intervention was OneUnited able to secure an emergency meeting with the Treasury and then-Secretary Henry Paulson.

Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president, reported that Waters' friend and fellow California Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren helped delay her scheduled 2010 House ethics trial on the matter by stalling subpoenas and improperly firing two attorneys working on the investigation. Six of 10 House Ethics panel members quit the case in 2012 over questions about their partiality. An outside investigator absolved Waters of any wrongdoing.

The newfound Maxine Waters Fan Club might want to know that Waters' government cronyism and self-dealing earned her a "Most Corrupt member of Congress" designation from the left-wing Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington five times — in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2017.

Now, Muddy Maxine is leading the charge to drain the swamp that sustains her. What a riot.


Which genius gave this Islam idiot a soapbox?

Piers Akerman writes from Australia

AS idiots come, they don’t get much bigger than the silly Muslim woman Yassmin Abdel-Magied, but as stupid as she so obviously is, those who have fallen over themselves to promote multiculturalism across the private and public sector are of far greater ­concern.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who hosted Abdel-Magied and the hate-preacher Sheik Shady Al-Suleiman, along with media hog Waleed Aly and his wife Susan ­Carland, last year at Kirribili last year must take note.

Abdel-Magied had already distinguished herself earlier this year when her principal backers at the ABC put her on a Q&A panel enabling her to proclaim to great hilarity that Islam was "the most feminist religion".

She was always bound to utter greater inanities and she didn’t fail with her ­ridiculous (and extremely ­offensive) Facebook remarks about Anzac Day last Tuesday.

She’s so deficient in judgment that she didn’t even ­realise her remarks might have been disgustingly offensive until someone else explained the matter to her.

"It was brought to my attention that my last post was ­disrespectful, and for that I ­unreservedly apologise," she later wrote.

The ABC displayed similarly absurd thinking when its media manager Sally Jackson released a statement standing by its part-time presenter and noting that Abdel-Magied’s post was "subsequently retracted, apologised for and ­deleted".

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield is responsible for spending taxpayers’ money on the ABC and should do more than be merely critical of the fool but whether or not she is dismissed from her part-time job as an ABC presenter is ­ultimately up to the new CEO, Michelle Guthrie, and the new chairman of the ABC board, Justin Milne. It is they who now wear the asses’ ears and it is their gross lack of judgment that Australians should be ­protesting about.

The young hijab-wearing Sudanese-Egyptian-Australian Muslim is a non-entity ­despite her relentless self-promotion and would not have come to notice had it not been for the oafs within the Australian government who are ­determined to push the failed concept of multiculturalism despite the overwhelming weight of empirical evidence which shows that all cultures are not equal and that the ­fanatical adherents of Islam, some of whom Abdel-Magied has sought advice from, do not support Australia or Australian values.

Yet it was the geniuses within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who plucked this halfwit from obscurity and paid for her to visit Islamic nations across the Middle East and in North Africa to ­promote her book on her experiences as a Muslim hijab-wearing woman in Australia.

Throughout the three-week jaunt, Australian taxpayers were picking up her cheque as she was duchessed and waited upon by DFAT officers.

The Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is now said to be pondering whether Abdel-Magied has a future on the Council for Australian-Arab Relations, one of the little perks run by DFAT. But the real question is why was she ever chosen to do anything by anyone of any ­intelligence in government (OK, the oxymoron trigger warning should have come ­before that last thought).

Of course, she is, as Senator Eric Abetz noted, "unfit and (she) lacked the judgment" for the DFAT role but that means the judgment and fitness of the individuals who initially selected her is what must be questioned and dealt with.

It is just over a year since the Australian navy’s hijab-wearing Muslim adviser ­Captain Mona Shindy exposed her ineptitude through a ­Twitter account described as the ­"Official Royal Australian Navy Islamic Advisor Twitter account", to publish political views in tweets critical of Tony Abbott during and after his prime ministership.

Again, who were the numbskulls responsible for creating the position Shindy held and the account she operated?

Were they the same senior naval officers responsible for the two Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ships HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide which can be seen lashed to the wharves in ­Woolloomooloo this past month and more, unable to go to sea because of "propulsion problems"?

The most land lubberly of observers might well have thought that the prime function of the navy was to ensure that its ships, even those worth some $3 billion, could go to sea and that "propulsion" might be key to that ability but apparently not so.

Neither the naval brains trust nor the Defence Minister Marise Payne can tell the taxpayers what their mechanical problems are but they can tell us how inclusive and multicultural the immovable fleet is.

Given that the navy embarrassingly bought two rust buckets from the US navy in the early ’90s — commissioned them as HMAS Manoora and HMAS Kanimbla — and sold them for scrap in 2013 after getting about 10 real years of service out of them, the lesson is that the Defence Department is hopeless at negotiating a deal and more concerned with politically ­correct appearances than ­operating efficiently.

Too much weight has been given to the ridiculous identity politics of political correctness at the expense of real policies delivering real gains for the ­nation, whether it’s at the ABC, within the navy, or across ­private sector boards.

Don’t deny nonentities their right to freedom of speech but at least deprive them of having a hand in the public pocket while they’re on their silly soap boxes.



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

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

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



HOME (Index page)

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(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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Rightism defined
Leftist Churches
Leftist Racism
Fascism is Leftist
Hitler a socialist
What are Leftists
Psychology of Left
Status Quo?
Leftism is authoritarian
James on Leftism
Irbe on Leftism
Beltt on Leftism

Van Hiel
Pyszczynski et al.

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Pictorial Home Page
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OR: (After 2015)