The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

This document is part of an archive of postings on Political Correctness Watch, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here. Archives do accompany my original postings but, given the animus towards conservative writing on Google and other internet institutions, their permanence is uncertain. These alternative archives help ensure a more permanent record of what I have written. My Home Page. My Recipes. My alternative Wikipedia. My Blogroll. Email me (John Ray) here. NOTE: The short comments that I have in the side column of the primary site for this blog are now given at the foot of this document.

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, 2019

Monty Python star John Cleese sparks outrage by saying London is 'not really an English city any more'

Anybody who has been to London lately will tell you that around half the faces in the street are brown, so Cleese is simply telling the truth -- not that truth matters to the Left

John Cleese has sparked an online row by suggesting that London is 'not really an English city'.

The star of Fawlty Towers and Monty Python - who revealed last year he was moving to Nevis in the Caribbean - wrote to his 5.6 million Twitter followers that 'London was not really an English city anymore.'

His comments echo those he made in 2011, when the veteran actor told Australian television that London 'doesn't feel English.'

Cleese - who is no stranger to controversy on social media - has caused a heated debate online with this latest comment, with some people mocking the 79-year-old, while others supported his views.

The Twitter controversies of Monty Python's John Cleese
Today wasn't the first time John Cleese sparked a storm by tweeting something controversial.

In 2016, he said: 'Why do we let half-educated tenement Scots run our English press ? Because their craving for social status makes them obedient retainers?'

In November 2018, as the California wildfires raged, he wrote: 'Invited tonight to a Sacramento restaurant called Lucca, by the owner Erin. 'She said that last night several people came in to eat who were from Paradise, the place that just burned to the ground. She told me that they wanted everything they ordered flambeed. Magnificent...'

In June 2018, he listed the best audiences then followed it up by saying: 'Worst: Lazy, fat, beer-sodden, pseudo-French Belgian b******s in Hasselt.

Latest official statistics reveal the make-up of London’s population

London has the highest percentage of non-UK born residents in the country. It is also made up of the highest proportion of non-white groups in the country. 

In 2018, 36 per cent of people in London were non-UK born residents, while non-British residents were at 22 per cent.

In the local authority of Brent, 52 per cent of people were born outside of the UK, while both Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster, have 49 per cent of their population born elsewhere.

The 2011 census recorded that 2,998,264 people are foreign-born, including 24.5 per cent born in a non-European country, making London the city with the second largest immigrant population, behind New York City, in terms of absolute numbers

According to the Census, 44.9 per cent of Londoners are White British, the lowest proportion in the country. In comparison, the North East of England is 93.6 per cent White British.

Other White people make up 14.9 per cent of London's population.

7.1 per cent of Londoners are African, while 6.6 per cent are Indian. 5 per cent are of Mixed race and 4.2 per cent are Caribbean.  A further 2.7 per cent are Pakistani, 2.7 per cent are Bangladeshi and 1.5 per cent are Chinese. 4.9 per cent are Other Asian, 2.1 per cent are Other Black and 3.4 per cent are from a different Ethnic Group.  

When it comes to language, 77.9 per cent of Londoners speak English as their main language, while 0.6 per cent cannot speak it at all.

48.2 per cent of Londoners are Christian, according to the 2011 Census.

Sherlock star Amanda Abbington tweeted: 'What's happened to John Cleese...?'

TV presenter Rick Edwards wrote: 'Just when you think you can't love John Cleese any more!! It turns out you can't.

But not everyone disagreed with the veteran entertainer.

The official Leave.EU account praised Cleese, writing: 'Bravo to British comedy legend and Brexiteer @JohnCleese for speaking up about the state of London The liberal luvvies on Twitter are in meltdown over his refusal to apologise for telling the truth!'.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has responded to John Cleese after the actor made comments about London

In a statement Mr Khan referred to Cleese's comedy series Fawlty Towers, saying: 'These comments make John Cleese sound like he's in character as Basil Fawlty.

'Londoners know that our diversity is our greatest strength. We are proudly the English capital, a European city and a global hub.'

Since the tweet Mr Cleese has responded to critics online who have questioned his claims about London.

He posted in response to one user on Twitter: 'I suspect I should apologise for my affection for the Englishness of my upbringing, but in some ways I found it calmer, more polite, more humorous, less tabloid, and less money-oriented than the one that is replacing it.'

According to the 2011 Census, 44.9 per cent of London is White British, the lowest figure for a single region in the country.

North East England has the highest percentage of White British people in England, with 93.6 per cent.

The highest percentage in the UK is Northern Ireland, which has 96 per cent.

Non-white groups made up 40 per cent of London’s population, while it varies from 4.5 per cent to 17 per cent in other English regions.

It is not the first time Mr Cleese has courted controversy online.

In November 2018, the British actor took to Twitter to share a joke he'd heard while dining out at a restaurant in Sacremento, California.

He wrote: 'Invited tonight to a Sacramento restaurant called Lucca, by the owner Erin.

'She said that last night several people came in to eat who were from Paradise, the place that just burned to the ground.

'She told me that they wanted everything they ordered flambeed. Magnificent...'

At the time he posted the joke California was besieged by wild fires, with the death toll currently at 50, with hundreds of animals also thought to have perished and thousands left homeless.

In another remark on Twitter made by the actor in June 2018, he listed the best audiences then followed it up by saying: 'Worst: Lazy, fat, beer-sodden, pseudo-French Belgian b******s in Hasselt.

But after an online backlash he added: 'An apology to the citizens of Hasselt. It was quite wrong of me to describe them as pseudo-French. They are, of course, pseudo-Dutch.'

How did London vote in the 2016 EU referendum?

Comedian Cleese said London voted 'strongly' to remain in the EU.

But how does the vote break down?

Across all the 33 London boroughs 59.9 per cent (2.26 million) voted to Remain in the EU and while 40.1 per cent voted to stay (1.5 million).

In some areas, such as Lambeth, proportion of the vote for Remain was higher than 70 per cent.

His latest comments echo his comments made on Australian television on 2011 that London 'is not longer an English city.'

He said at the time:  'I'm not sure what's going on in Britain. Let me say this, I don't know what's going on in London because London is no longer an English city and that's how they got the Olympics. 'They said 'we're the most cosmopolitan city on Earth' but it doesn't feel English.

'I had a Californian friend come over two months ago, walk down the King's Road and say to me 'well, where are all the English people?'.

'I love having different cultures around but when the parent culture kind of dissipates you're left thinking 'well, what's going on?''


We must have the right to blaspheme against Islam

The Saatchi Gallery’s covering up of two ‘Islamophobic’ paintings is an outrage.

Thou shalt not insult Islam. Bizarrely, terrifyingly, this has become the creed of 21st-century Britain. Consider the Saatchi Gallery’s decision to cover up two paintings after Muslim visitors complained they were offensive.

In a blow to the ideal of artistic freedom, the supposedly edgy gallery in west London draped grey sheets over two new paintings that infuse verses from the shahada, one of the five pillars of Islam, with images of naked women and the US flag. The Saatchi is behaving like Saudi Arabia, hiding from public view artworks that blaspheme against Islam. Perhaps the artist responsible will now get 50 lashes for effrontery to the religion of peace.

The works are by the pseudonymous artist SKU. The aim of the paintings was to explore how individuals become subjected to ‘wider cultural, economic, moral and political forces’. But visitors were denied the ability to judge how successfully the paintings did this because they were covered up by Islam-respecting modesty sheets in response to complaints that they were ‘blasphemous’. The Saatchi Gallery said it respected ‘the sincerity of the complaints made against these works’. SKU proposed a ‘compromise’, in the words of the Guardian, with the visitors who called for the paintings to be taken down – SKU said they shouldn’t be taken down but they should be covered with sheets. Way to defend artistic freedom! This is the ‘respectful solution’, said SKU.

This wasn’t a compromise. It was a capitulation. It was a caving-in to the censorious cries of people who clearly think that public space, even artistic spaces, should be cleansed of any images that offend their religious convictions. There is no significant difference between the intolerant desire of certain visitors to have the paintings taken off the walls and the spineless decision of the artist and the gallery to cover them up instead: in both cases, actual artworks would be hidden from public view, defaced with censorious cloth, on the basis that they offend religious sensibilities. It is positively pre-modern.

It is also ironic. And riddled with double standards too. For the Saatchi art crowd has long presented itself as dangerous and sensational and willing to offend against orthodoxies. Charles Saatchi himself – the wealthy co-founder of the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi who set up the Saatchi Gallery to display his immense art collection – has made a name for himself as a shower of supposedly offensive art. He famously sponsored the Young British Artists of the 1990s, who were rarely out of the headlines for their shocking works. At Sensation, the 1997 exhibition of his collection at the Royal Academy of Art in London, a painting of Myra Hindley by Marcus Harvey caused a huge storm. Some members of the Royal Academy resigned in protest at its inclusion and the painting was vandalised by visitors twice. Yet the Saatchi crew didn’t cover it up.

Even more strikingly, the Saatchi collection then included ‘The Holy Virgin Mary’ by Chris Ofili, which is an Africanised painting of the mother of Christ that rests on two big slabs of elephant dung. It caused a storm in London in 1997 and even more so when it was displayed at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1999. Rudy Giuliani, then New York mayor, threatened to shut down the museum over the ‘offensive’ Ofili work. Christian organisations said the painting should be removed because it is ‘offensive to religious viewers’. The museum refused to remove it. Saatchi’s people didn’t suggest covering it up. Nor did they talk up ‘the sincerity of the complaints’. Which raises a big and awkward question: why is it okay for the edgy art world to ‘insult’ a Christian icon but not to ‘blaspheme’ against Islam?

This is where we get to the heart of the problem: Islam, uniquely among religions, is being forcefieled from criticism, ridicule and even artistic depiction in 21st-century Britain. The Saudi-style covering-up of SKU’s two paintings follows the shushing or shelving of other works of art or entertainment deemed to be offensive to Islam. Various theatres, including the Barbican and the Royal Court Theatre, have rewritten or cancelled works that might offend Muslims. Or witness the fire-and-brimstone condemnation that rains down on anyone who criticises or jokes about certain Islamic practices, whether it’s the wearing of the niqab (Boris Johnson) or the 72 virgins thing (Louis Smith).

Student unions agitate for the banning of speakers who criticise Islam too harshly (whom they of course brand ‘Islamophobic’). Charlie Hebdo continues to be shamed by British leftists as a publication that ‘punches down’ because it dares to publish cartoons that mock Muhammad or take the piss out of Islamic beliefs. Even the Metropolitan Police recently decreed that it is ‘Islamophobic’ to describe Islam in any of the following ways: as a ‘static’ belief system, as ‘other’, as ‘irrational’, ‘sexist’ or ‘aggressive’, or as a ‘political ideology’. Apparently anyone who holds these entirely legitimate views of Islam is guilty of an act of ‘phobia’ – which in essence means blasphemy.

Everyone from the police to the commentariat to the political class now treats criticism of Islam as tantamount to a speechcrime. Consider the All Party Parliamentary Group’s recent embrace of a definition of Islamophobia as any prejudice against ‘expressions of Muslimness’, which could include dislike of basically any Islamic practice. It is little wonder people feel they have the right to walk into a gallery and say ‘Take down this blasphemous work’. After all, they live in a country in which the powers-that-be have reintroduced blasphemy laws by the backdoor in order to protect one religion in particular – Islam – from harsh criticism.

This is really worrying stuff. It is bad for artistic freedom, bad for public discussion, and bad for freedom of thought. The right to blaspheme is a hard-won liberty. We should have the freedom to mock all gods, prophets, beliefs and ideas. The right of the individual to blaspheme against religion should always override religious people’s sensitivities. The worst thing is this: censorship inflames intolerance. When we say Islam must never be insulted, we play directly into the hands of Islamists who believe that anybody who does insult their religion deserves to be punished. We license their bigotry. We strengthen their belief that criticism of Islam is immoral and thus deserving of some kind of blowback. Hiding those two paintings behind sheets was an incredibly bad, illiberal and destructive thing to do.


The British Left has turned against the working class

Trade unionist and vocal Brexit supporter Paul Embery has been asked to cease using social media by his union, the Fire Brigades Union, after making comments which described Britain’s pro-Remain middle classes as ‘rootless’ and ‘cosmopolitan’. He was accused of referencing an anti-Semitic trope by prominent figures on the left, including Labour MPs Clive Lewis, Paul Sweeney and Alex Sobel. Embery was also attacked for speaking in favour of Brexit at the recent March to Leave in Parliament Square. Around the same time, many on the left were viciously denouncing RMT trade unionist Eddie Dempsey for his Brexit stance.

These rows seem to encapsulate a sharp divide within the Labour Party: between working-class, pro-Leave trade unionists and many of the party’s liberal, metropolitan, pro-Remain activists. spiked caught up with an unrepentant Paul Embery to talk about his remarks, the trade-union movement, and the future of Labour.

spiked: What were you trying to get across with your comments about a ‘rootless’ and ‘cosmopolitan’ middle class?

Paul Embery: It all started with a tweet from Gary Lineker. He said that he found it ‘baffling’ that people could see any benefit in ending freedom of movement post-Brexit. I then responded by asking, does he share his house keys with everyone on the street, or does he only ever enter other people’s homes when invited? That then stimulated a bit of online discussion. Mike Harding, the folk singer, who I remember watching on TV when I was a kid, came back and said ‘a nation is not a home’. This struck me as something that he and others might believe, but millions of ordinary people don’t.

This really captures the divide in our society, as I tweeted, between ‘a rootless, cosmopolitan, bohemian middle class’ and a ‘rooted, communitarian, patriotic working class’. In my view, it was very clear that this was aimed at a particular set of middle-class liberals and how they view the idea of a nation, in comparison with working-class people, who do see their nation as a home. I thought this was a pretty straightforward point to make, even if people disagreed with it.

Some of my opponents then pointed out that Stalin had once referred to Jewish intellectuals as ‘rootless cosmopolitans’ back in the 1940s. You would have to be something of an expert on communist history to know that. I didn’t know that. Lots of politically active and knowledgeable people have got in contact with me to say they didn’t know it. I’ve even had Jewish people contact me to say they didn’t know it. Whatever Stalin might have said, the discussion itself had nothing to do with Jews or Jewishness, and so it was clearly not an attack on Jewish people in any way, shape or form.

It was Twitter at its pitchfork-wielding worst – a classic example of people going out of their way to be offended by something that wasn’t offensive. The people attacking me were looking to take a free kick over things they disagree with me over anyway, whether it’s Brexit, my Blue Labour politics or my stance on free movement. And I have no desire to apologise. First, because I’ve done nothing wrong. Second, because an apology is never enough for these self-appointed censors. They will always demand more. You should only apologise if you are at fault for something, not because someone has decided to take offence at an innocent use of words. These scarlet-faced witch-finders are a threat to free speech, and they need to be faced down remorselessly.

spiked: You were also attacked for speaking at the March to Leave. Why was that?

Embery: The March to Leave was a cross-party rally, with speakers from left and right, that attracted thousands of people, many of them ordinary working-class people, even some trade unionists. It was a pro-democracy rally. My view is that the principle of democracy is under threat. If you look at the way the establishment has tried to obstruct the biggest democratic mandate in our history, then you cannot but come to the conclusion that democracy itself is under pressure in a way we haven’t seen before.

I don’t by any stretch agree with all of the people speaking at the rally. But I wanted to take the opportunity, as someone from the left and the trade-union movement, to speak to thousands of ordinary working-class voters, many of whom had never been on a demo before, to talk about defending democracy and Brexit from a left perspective. If that meant breathing the same air as people I disagree with on some issues, then that was something I was willing to do.

Interestingly, the People’s Vote campaign had a rally earlier this week and people from the Labour movement shared the stage with right-wing Tories. With Vince Cable… a collaborator with the Tory government who helped to push through austerity. It was telling that the same people who attacked me for speaking at the March to Leave were silent about this.

The working-class people at the pro-democracy March to Leave should be the target audience for the trade-union movement. Sadly, the left and the trade-union movement are siding with the establishment against the majority, when those people used their Leave vote to hit back at the establishment. The left has to start asking itself some serious questions as to why so many working-class people feel alienated from them. But it’s not hard to work out the answer.

spiked: How has this distance come about?

Embery: There is a chasm between the leadership of the trade-union movement and working-class people. The trade unions have effectively retreated to their public-sector comfort zone. They have very little influence in the private sector. Once upon a time, the unions were very strong in the car industry, manufacturing and heavy industry; they are almost absent now.

Of course, that’s partly down to de-industrialisation. But there has also been a political shift within the leadership of the unions. It’s more London-centric. It’s much more a part of that liberal, middle-class club that is obsessed with identity politics but less interested in the bread-and-butter issues, like pay, that affect millions of union members up and down the country.

We live in a time when unions are needed more than ever. We have zero-hours contracts, the gig economy, transient employment, sweatshop warehouses with the kind of abuses you would get in the Victorian days. But the trade unions are just not there. I think the leadership of the trade-union movement – as exemplified in the Brexit debate – is in a completely different place to ordinary working-class people.

spiked: Have there been similar trends in the Labour Party?

Embery: The Labour Party now is increasingly a bourgeois, metropolitan, liberal party. It is obsessed with students and youth. It’s very London-centric – removed almost completely from parts of this country, such as the northern industrial heartlands, where the Labour Party was once a strong presence.

Over the past 30 years, Labour has shed the pretence of being an avowedly working-class party and has become this middle-class liberal party. It thought that because working-class people wouldn’t have anywhere else to go, that they would always keep those voters on board. But I think recently – and Brexit has contributed to this – those voters no longer feel the tribal loyalty to Labour that they once did.

In the 2017 election, we saw a swing from Labour to the Tories in some of those old, working-class heartlands. We lost seats like Mansfield, Walsall North, Stoke-on-Trent South and Derbyshire North East – an old mining constituency. The polling since the election has shown that the Tories won more support among C2DEs, the occupational working class. These are really scary statistics for a party that claims to be on the side of the working class. But Labour is not asking itself why so many people feel no sense of belonging within the party. Some people feel that Labour doesn’t even want their vote anymore. Whether it is Gillian Duffy or the white-van man in Rochester with the England flag, who Emily Thornberry thought was some sort of museum piece, unless we start making those people welcome in the party or treat them as people we are proud to represent rather than as embarrassing elderly relatives, then we’re not going to win them back.


Seeing sexism everywhere

The Council of Europe’s new definition of sexism is deeply concerning.

The Council of Europe has decided to redefine the word ‘sexism’. The CoE has a decade-old definition, but the council decided to update it in response ‘to the #MeToo and other recent movements that have heightened awareness of persistent sexism in society’. Worryingly, the new definition looks set to impact on freedom of speech, with its promise to police both public and private attitudes in search of the problem of sexism.

The original meaning of ‘sexism’ as defined by the CoE was as follows: ‘Sexism is linked to power in that those with power are typically treated with favour and those without power are typically discriminated against. Sexism is also related to stereotypes since discriminatory actions or attitudes are frequently based on false beliefs or generalisations about gender, and on considering gender as relevant where it is not.’

The new definition shifts the parameters in a striking way. It points to the possibility of total surveillance as part of the crusade against sexism. It describes sexism as: ‘Any act, gesture, visual representation, spoken or written words, practice or behaviour based upon the idea that a person or a group of persons is inferior because of their sex, which occurs in the public or private sphere.’

The most concerning aspect of the new definition is the hint at some kind of monitoring of what is said and done not only in the public sphere, but in the private sphere too. The reason given for this new wide-ranging approach is that ‘online sexism is rampant throughout Europe, with women disproportionately affected – especially young women and girls, women journalists, politicians, public figures and women’s human-rights defenders’.

This is a problematic development. The threat of sexism and its impact is being ramped up. Worse, the council suggests some kind of punishment for those who fail to adhere to its preferred way of speaking about or engaging with women. It proposes institutionalising ‘legal and policy frameworks, measures and best practices that address sexism, sexist behaviour, gender stereotyping and sexist hate speech, in particular in public spaces, the internet and media, the workplace, the public sector, the justice, education, sport and cultural sectors, and in the private sphere, including tools for reporting sexist behaviour, as well as disciplinary processes and sanctions.’

One of the main problems with feminism in 2019 is its moving of the goalposts in relation to the issue of sexism. So much behaviour and speech is now collapsed under the title of ‘sexism’. For example, last month German adverts for cycle helmets were condemned as sexist by politicians because they featured a glimpse of naked female bodies. This was despite the fact that the same adverts featured men in an even more extreme state of undress.

And we have the creep of sexism charges into the private sphere. In 2017, it was revealed that ex Brexit secretary David Davis, in a private conversation, expressed disdain at the idea of kissing Labour’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbot. He was branded sexist by several MPs and made to apologise.

When more and more public images, forms of speech and private comments are redefined as ‘sexist’, and when the Council of Europe proposes some kind of sanctions against those who do or say any of these things, the possibility of a new kind of authoritarianism becomes very real.

One theme that runs through the council’s recommendations, and through feminism more broadly today, is a view of women as being constantly under threat. It does seem ironic that in the efforts, ostensibly at least, to bring about equality between the sexes, officials effectively argue that one sex, the female one, needs to have the world sanitised on its behalf just in case its members ever encounter a questionable idea or statement. The eager search for sexism everywhere looks like an attempt to keep feminism relevant. And it is proof of today’s insatiable desire to produce victims and villains.



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

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

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


30 May, 2019

A new study shows that religious involvement leads to stronger families. Who knew?  

We’ve been conditioned for decades to believe the key to a happy and enduring marriage is one based on “progressive” values and a rejection of the traditional religious views of the relationship between husband and wife. But new studies reveal otherwise.

That’s right: Married men and women are happier when religion is part of their lives.

Of a new report on marriage, faith, and families by the Institute for Family Studies and the Wheatley Institution, authors W. Bradford Wilcox, Jason S. Carroll, and Laurie DeRose write in The New York Times Sunday Review, “The happiest of all wives in America are religious conservatives, followed by their religious progressive counterparts. Fully 73 percent of wives who hold conservative gender values and attend religious services regularly with their husbands have high-quality marriages.”

But even left-leaning couples are typically happier and enjoy stronger marriages when religious sentiment is part of their lives.

Wilcox, Carroll, and DeRose add that secular women “compared with religiously conservative women” do not “enjoy the social, emotional and practical support for family life provided by a church, mosque or synagogue.”

This seems to fly in the face of a feminist philosophy that religion prevents women from realizing true happiness, and that quality of life is attained only by rejecting religious principles — the patriarchy! — in favor of “progressive” values and a secular worldview.

But a society without religion can leave some people searching in the wrong places for happiness. This includes Millennials who have spurned marriage and family in favor of individual happiness, careers, and wealth. There’s certainly nothing wrong with these goals — except that marriage is actually one of the best ways to achieve them.

As Suzanne Venker suggests in the Washington Examiner, “By turning away from marriage, as understandable as it might have been at the time, millennials set themselves up to fail. Married people are significantly better off (financially, emotionally, even on the happiness scale) than any other group of Americans. The data are indisputable. To be sure, a culture of divorce scares people away from marriage. But what we’ve learned the hard way is that without marriage, a nation crumbles. Just because your parents failed at love doesn’t mean you will. Rejecting marriage outright was the real mistake.”

Of course, many factors have contributed to our nation’s high divorce rate, but there’s no doubt that secular progressivism has been one of them. (Frankly, we’d argue that failed marriages among Christian conservatives are a result of not living up to the biblical ideals they espouse.) When young people believe that everything in the universe is random and that abandoning religious values is the pathway to a happy life, it’s no wonder they reject marriage and family in pursuit of the false promises of secularism.

And while non-religious liberal women tend to celebrate marriages in which male spouses are engaged in family life, this isn’t a new concept in conservative religious homes, where husbands have always endeavored to embrace their role as fathers. At the same time, many feminist women who consider themselves progressives are less likely to have children in the first place.

There are many benefits to a religious life. “Faith is a force for good in contemporary family life in the Americas, Europe, and Oceania,” say the report’s authors. “Men and women who share an active religious life, for instance, enjoy higher levels of relationship quality and sexual satisfaction compared to their peers in secular or less/mixed religious relationships. They also have more children and are more likely to marry.” They add, “This report suggests the family-friendly norms and networks associated with religious communities reinforce the ties that bind.”

Makes sense. And it’s no wonder that more Americans admit they’re suffering from depression, anxiety, isolation, and other afflictions at a time when we’re abandoning the very religious values that held our society together for so long.

Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center conducted a study with similar findings. According to Pew’s analysis, “In the U.S. and many other countries around the world, regular participation in a religious community clearly is linked with higher levels of happiness and civic engagement (specifically, voting in elections and joining community groups or other voluntary organizations). This may suggest that societies with declining levels of religious engagement, like the U.S., could be at risk for declines in personal and societal well-being.”

After so many years of social and moral chaos, it’s interesting that we’ve come full circle and finally realized that maybe we had it right all along. After having been told that a rejection of religion would strengthen our society, we’re now realizing the powerful and beneficial affect that religion has on our marriages and communities.

Let’s hope it’s not too late to convince millions of young people that they’re looking for happiness in all the wrong places.


FAA Investigating 2 Airports For Religious Discrimination After Booting Chick-Fil-A

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reportedly investigating two airports for religious discrimination after they booted Chick-fil-A from their food courts.

The airports — San Antonio International and Buffalo Niagara International — are under investigation by the Department of Transportation after the department received multiple complaints, Fox News reported.

"The Department of Transportation has received complaints alleging discrimination by two airport operators against a private company due to the expression of the owner’s religious beliefs," the agency said in a statement to Fox News."The FAA notes that federal requirements prohibit airport operators from excluding persons on the basis of religious creed from participating in airport activities that receive or benefit from FAA grant funding."

The San Antonio Express-News reported: "Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton launched a separate state inquiry a week after the City Council vote, intended to determine whether the city violated Texas laws. At the time, he encouraged the U.S. Department of Transportation, which oversees the FAA, to look into the matter as well."

Chick-fil-A has long been a target of the political Left and Democrat politicians who despise the wildly popular restaurant.

The Chick-fil-A restaurant in Buffalo Niagara International Airport was booted after leftist Democrat Assemblyman Sean Ryan urged hospitality company Delaware North and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to deny the restaurant a place in the terminal.

In a statement to Fox News, Chick-fil-A wrote:

"Recent coverage about Chick-fil-A continues to drive an inaccurate narrative about our brand. We do not have a political or social agenda or discriminate against any group. More than 145,000 people from different backgrounds and beliefs represent the Chick-fil-A brand. We embrace all people, regardless of religion, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity."

FOX 8 noted that as the FAA's investigation takes place, "the 'Save Chick-fil-A bill,' as it has been deemed, is headed to the Texas governor’s desk for expected signature. The proposed law would reportedly prevent discrimination based on a person’s religious beliefs and conscience, including biblically based views of marriage."

Aside from its delicious food and pro-family values, Chick-fil-A has a reputation for going the extra mile when it comes to providing excellent customer service and serving local communities.

Just this week, a Chick-fil-A employee changed a customer's flat tire in the drive-thru line, according to FOX 8. The customer wrote about the experience on his Facebook page:

"Bunch of saints over at the chickfila in east ridge! My tire somehow went flat in the drive through so they rushed out to replace it for me with their hydraulic Jack. They brought my food out to me then after it was done replaced my food with new fresh food so it wouldn't be cold and put two cookies in there for free! Those people are truly doing the lord's work over there!"

During Hurricane Harvey, an elderly couple called a local Chick-fil-A and asked for help as they were trapped in their flooded home. USA Today reported:

"The restaurant manager, Jeffrey Urban, recognized Spencer’s number, and answered the phone at the store. He was the only one able to reach to store because of flooding, according to the company. He passed on Spencer’s cry for help to a coworker, Cindy Smith. She called her husband, who got his fishing boat and hit the water. The crew arrived at the Spencers’ home, with two men on jet skis in tow."

After the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, Chick-fil-A opened the following day, which was a Sunday when the restaurant was normally closed, to serve law enforcement and people who were donating blood to the victims.


Why European Populism Is on the Rise

Leftist supremacism is being rejected as the arrogance it is    

Over the weekend, the countries making up the European Union held elections for representatives to the EU parliament. As the results came in, it became clear that Europe is becoming increasingly divided. Nationalist parties gained significant ground, though pro-EU groups still maintained a sizable majority. In Britain, the months-old Brexit Party was the big winner, garnering 32% of the vote, clearly sending the message that Britons are not happy with the soon-to-be-departing Prime Minister Theresa May’s failure to secure a Brexit deal. May’s Conservatives and the left-wing Labour Party were routed.

In Italy, Matteo Salvini, leader of the conservative League Party, celebrated a big election victory by declaring, “There is a wind of positive energy. It has brought in fresh air.” Salvini’s populist party campaigned heavily against the EU’s pro-migrant policies. After years of nearly uncheck mass migration from mainly Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa, many Europeans have tired of being relegated to the status of second-class citizen by their elitist, globalist-minded leaders. They’re turning to new populist/nationalist parties to fix it.

Writing for The New York Times, Bret Stephens observes why these parties are gaining ground around the world, as well as why he believes President Donald Trump will win a second term: “The common thread here isn’t just right-wing populism. It’s contempt for the ideology of them before us: of the immigrant before the native-born; of the global or transnational interest before the national or local one; of racial or ethnic or sexual minorities before the majority; of the transgressive before the normal. It’s a revolt against the people who say: Pay an immediate and visible price for a long-term and invisible good. It’s hatred of those who think they can define that good, while expecting someone else to pay for it.”

It certainly would seem that rejection of left-wing elitism is becoming a worldwide phenomenon.


Joe Hildebrand explains violence against women

As Joe points out below, people are just flapping their lips about this and achieving nothing by doing so.  The only thing I can think of that might reduce such crime is horrific pubishment for the perpetrators -- burning at the stake, for instance

This week on Studio 10 I was asked what I thought about Victoria Police’s comments that men should reflect upon themselves in the wake of yet another brutal murder of a woman in Melbourne.

“Violence against women is absolutely about men’s behaviour,” Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said.

I gave what I thought was a fairly unremarkable and commonsense answer: “I thought it was a really nonsensical thing to say.

“I don’t see how me reflecting on myself is going to stop women being bashed or murdered.”

And, as usual when I think I have said something fairly unremarkable and commonsense, all hell broke loose.

And, as usual when all hell breaks loose, I have been asked to write a piece about it. So here it is.


There is no doubt that men are more violent than women. There is no doubt that they commit more homicides and more assaults. The vast majority of murderers are men, as are the vast majority of prison inmates.

However, that does not mean that all or even most men are violent or potentially deadly, nor that murder or violence is inherently caused by masculinity.

Firstly, homicide in Australia is incredibly rare and at a record low. The latest comprehensive report from the Australian Institute of Criminology states that the rate in 2014 was one per 100,000 people, the lowest since data collection began in 1989.

The report, published in 2017, tallied 487 homicides over the two years to July 2014. At the time Australia’s population was a bit over 23 million, so around 11.5 million males.

To project the absolute worst case scenario, if every single murderer was male and every single victim was female and applying over two years, that would make around one in 23,000 males a killer, or 0.0042 per cent of the male population.

In fact around twice as many homicide victims are male rather than female, homicides are usually calculated on a yearly basis and some killers are women. And so you could divide that figure by a third, then half and then take some more off to get the true annual rate of men killing women.

But let’s not — let’s use that absolute maximum figure of one in 23,000. Obviously it is still one too many but is that evidence of chronic violence among men towards women and, more importantly, is a mass reflection of this going to stop that one man from killing?

Frankly — and sadly — I doubt it. There are already pretty powerful disincentives against murdering people — namely jail — and yet people still commit murder. It is difficult to conceive of how asking would-be murderers to reflect upon their attitudes to women would be a greater deterrent.

Indeed, it would seem self-evident that criminals of all persuasions don’t pay much attention to what the police tell them to do, least of all the very worst and most violent among them.

And that is the problem with the public posturing on men needing to respect women. No reasonable man disagrees that women deserve respect — on the contrary it is obvious to any decent man that they do, which is why the vast majority of men do it.

The difficulty is that those who abuse women to the point that they kill them are hardly likely to be swayed by a police press conference or a government ad campaign.

Even so, the supposition appears to be that these murders are merely the final blow in an escalating trajectory of disrespect to abuse to death. That is most certainly the case in many violent relationships but the spate of brutal murders in Victoria springs from far more varied sources, including an abject failure of the Victorian criminal justice system.

In the notorious and unbearably awful case of the murder of Jill Meagher, it emerged that her killer was a serial sexual offender of the most horrendous and violent kind and yet he was allowed to walk free on parole during which time he abducted her and ended her young life. He had never met her before.

Likewise, the young Eurydice Dixon was stalked and killed by a total stranger, as was La Trobe student Aiia Maasarwe. Maasarwe’s alleged murderer was reportedly known to police.

He was also homeless, as was the latest tragic victim Courtney Herron. Her alleged killer Henry Hammond too was reportedly living out of a van and described as having major mental health problems — he apparently told people he was both Jesus and Odin.

Which of these men do police imagine would have taken heed of their message of “reflection”? Which of them do police imagine would have abandoned their murderous plans if another man had told them they should show more respect to women?

This is the only issue I have with such well-meaning platitudes — I’m not offended by them or threatened by them and I don’t even disagree with them. I just think they’re absurd, especially in this case. Good men don’t need to be told and bad men won’t listen.

And you don’t have to stretch your mind too far to realise how absurd they are.

There was the horrendous case in Sydney last week of a mother killing her toddler in a murder suicide. According to another report by the AIC released earlier this year, the number of mothers murdering their children is on the rise while fathers doing it is declining. Was there a suggestion after that last unthinkable crime that all mothers ought to reflect on their respect for their children? Of course not.

Likewise, there has been a spate of so-called “African” gang crime in Victoria. Did police suggest that young African-born males ought to reflect upon their or their peers’ propensity for violence? Of course not — in fact they denied such a problem even existed.

And in the wake of every terrorist attack police are at pains to stress that this is a tiny minority of Muslims and in no way reflective of the Muslim community as a whole. And they are right.

Why then is there such an unthinking reflex to say in the wake of exceptionally extreme murders that all men ought to reflect upon their attitudes? It is bizarre to say the least.

As for violence against women generally, every statistic indicates that it is not so much maleness that is the problem but chronic disadvantage. As with virtually all other indicators of crime, it is concentrated in areas of poverty and all the other problems that both cause and flow from it.

Reclaim Princes Park vigil for murdered comedian Eurydice Dixon. Picture: Mark Stewart
Reclaim Princes Park vigil for murdered comedian Eurydice Dixon. Picture: Mark StewartSource:News Corp Australia

Yes, violence and domestic violence occurs everywhere and yes, it is overwhelmingly men who perpetrate it but the rates are comparatively low in wealthy areas and skyrocket in areas where people are doing it tough. This is no surprise to any serious student of crime.

For example, official NSW Bureau of Crime and Research statistics show the lowest rates to be on Sydney’s north shore and northern beaches and the highest rates to be around Blacktown in western Sydney, and the rural west and north west of the state.

This is a variable that ranges from 115 per 100,000 to 1290 per 100,000. In other words you are up to 10 times more likely to be a victim of domestic violence in the poorest parts of the state than in the wealthiest.

And as many brave Aboriginal women have sought to highlight, there is an even greater spike in remote and regional indigenous communities — up to 30 times the non-Indigenous rate. Do police call upon all Aboriginal men to reflect upon their attitudes to women? Of course not.

And that’s because it makes no sense. If you really want to fix a problem there is no point tarring whole populations with the same brush or just telling everybody to try harder or be nicer. You need to drill down into what is really causing it.

Who are the men committing these awful crimes? What is their background? What are their surroundings? How can we make women safer? How can we liberate them and whole communities from disadvantage and dysfunction? Where is the problem the worst and why?

These are often diabolical problems that are difficult to solve but the nature of the problem is clear and the solution requires housing, health services, education, employment and time. In the meantime, we need a justice system that keeps known perpetrators behind bars and known victims safe — something that Victoria’s justice system has clearly failed to do.

Or you could just go on TV or Twitter and say that it’s men who are the problem and they should stop harming women.

We all know how well that’s worked out so far.



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

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

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


29 May, 2019

European Parliament shaken up after election results

Europe has been stunned by unexpected election results, with emerging parties surging to victory in Britain, France, Italy and Poland.

Far-right parties topped the votes in Italy, France, Britain and Poland in the highest voter turnout in 20 years, as leaders rode a wave of anger at EU officials over immigration and economic policies.

The European Parliament represents more than 500 million people in 28 countries.

Italy’s Interior Minister and leader of the far-right League party, Matteo Salvini, scored one third of the national vote and hailed the results by saying “a new Europe is born”.

“Not only is the League the first party in Italy, but also Marine Le Pen is the first party in France, Nigel Farage is the first party in the UK,” he told reporters. “The results confirm our expectations, the celebration won’t be long, it’s time for responsibility.”

Poland’s eurosceptic Law and Justice party won 45 per cent of the national vote, while Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration National Rally beat President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche party by a one point margin, with both scoring 23 seats in the European Parliament.

Ms Le Pen said the result “confirms the new nationalist-globalist division” in France and called for Macron to “dissolve the National Assembly”.

In Germany, far-right party Alternative for Germany emerged as the strongest party in the country’s east, with the Greens winning large support among urban voters.

Overall, the centre-right Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union received the largest share of votes in Germany.

In Britain, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, which was launched just six weeks ago, scored 36 per cent of the vote with a hardline message to take Britain out of the EU on October 31.

The Liberal Democrats and Greens also gained as projected, while the results were a disaster for the governing Conservative Party that scored less than 10 per cent of the vote.

Mr Farage said it showed a “massive message” for politicians and said his party was ready to stand for a UK general election.  “We want to be part of the negotiating team. We want to take responsibility for what is happening and we’re ready to do so. I hope the Government is listening.

“We’re not just here to leave the European Union but to try and fundamentally change the shape of British politics, bring it into the 21st century and get a parliament that better reflects the country.”

Conservative leadership hopeful Boris Johnson described the result as a “crushing rebuke” for the Government. “If we go on like this, we will be fired: dismissed from the job of running the country,” he wrote in The Telegraph.

The results have been met with disbelief across Europe. The Sun in England led with the front page headline “Panic at Farage rout: Brexs*it hits fan”.

When the Brexit Party leader — whose party decisively beat both major parties in the UK vote — turned up for an interview on Good Morning Britain, he was asked to look at the results more carefully.

Host Charlotte Hawkins did some hasty maths on the results and used it to claim that parties advocating to remain in the EU actually won the majority — not Mr Farage’s party.

“If you add up all the pro-remain parties they did get a bigger percentage - 35.8 per cent versus the Brexit party 31.6 per cent,” she said. “So the pro-remain parties altogether did get a bigger percentage.”

However, the question clearly annoyed Mr Farage who blew up immediately — saying “I’m sorry this is absolute tosh,” he said. “It is not a fact. [It all depends on how you categorize the parties]


Nigel Farage Could Be Prime Minister Of The UK With The BREXIT Party

Nigel Farage has warned the Brexit Party will ‘stun everybody’ in a general election if Britain fails to leave the European Union on October 31. The former Ukip leader has called his European elections 2019 results ‘one hell of an achievement’ after the Brexit Party secured a plurality with 31.7 per cent of the votes in the UK.

But could Nigel Farage become prime minister? He told Good Morning Britain during his glory rounds this morning: ‘When people woke up on March 30 this year, and realised we hadn’t left the European Union, that’s when in large numbers they became ready to vote for a different party. ‘The Brexit Party is only six weeks old, think about it that context, this one hell of an achievement. ‘I would say this looking ahead, the next date we are supposed to leave on is October 31, and that date will become a bigger and bigger factor in people’s minds as these next five months go by.

‘If we don’t leave on October 31, then the Brexit Party will go on to a general election and stun everybody there too.’ After the 2016 referendum, Farage retired as leader of Ukip with intentions to stand down as a member of the European Parliament.

However, when he realised the UK would be forced to take part in the European Elections he founded the Brexit Party. Farage shocked, then prime minister, David Cameron into calling for a referendum after winning four millions of the votes and securing 24 MEPs for Ukip in the 2014 European elections. This year, with the Brexit Party, he took it one step further and secured 28 seats in Brussels. So yes, if the European elections results are anything to go by, Farage could win a majority if a general election is called later this year and land in the leading seat.

But if this is his plan, Farage still has a long way to go. The current plan is to have fresh Tory leadership by the end of July, where the candidate will automatically become Britain’s next prime minister. Conservatives secured just 9 per cent of the votes and lost 15 seats. Labour has threatened to call for a vote of no-confidence in the next PM, which could result in a general election. Farage’s ‘primary goal’ is for the UK to leave EU, and has warned the ‘ball is in their [the Government’s] court’, to deliver Brexit or face humiliation by his party.

However, he admitted he had ‘absolutely no idea’ what will happen over the next months, but said they were ‘getting ready’ for a general election.


German Jews warned not to wear kippas after rise in anti-Semitism

Skullcaps - or kippas - are traditionally worn by Jewish men

The German government's anti-Semitism commissioner has urged Jews to avoid wearing skullcaps in public.

Felix Klein warned Jews against donning the kippa in parts of the country following a rise in anti-Semitism.

He said his opinion on the matter had "changed compared with what it used to be".

Israel's President Reuven Rivlin said the recommendation amounted to "an admittance that, again, Jews are not safe on German soil".

A sharp increase in the number of anti-Semitic offences was recorded by the German government last year.

Official figures showed 1,646 hate crimes against Jews were committed in 2018 - an increase of 10% on the previous year.

Physical attacks against Jews in Germany also rose in the same period, with 62 violent incidents recorded, up from 37 in 2017.

Speaking to the Handelsblatt newspaper, Justice Minister Katarina Barley said the increase in anti-Semitic crimes was "shameful for our country".


It’s the word police who threaten harm

Comment from Australia

Bill Shorten offered a comprehensive social vision and was rejected. This is consistent with a renewed commitment by Australians to freedom of expression and relig­ion. Three-quarters of us strongly support legal protections for freedom of thought, conscience and belief, according to a YouGov/ Galaxy­ opinion poll of 1033 people on behalf of the Institute for Civil Society before the federal­ election. At that time the Israel Folau controversy was runnin­g hot.

Yet if free speech advocates are to prevail, they must answer the most serious case in favour of speech restrictions: that speech can harm. The argument against Folau’s words is that they are detrimental to others’ mental health. In our therapeutic culture this means that words, as well as sticks and stones, can be judged harmful.

John Stuart Mill’s doctrine that government can restrict our actions only “to prevent harm to others” was intended to protect us from ­coercive moralism. Nowadays, the principle is invoked for precisely the opposite reason: to restrict freedom — freedom of speech and religion in particular.

Citing Folau’s social media post, gay former rugby league player Ian Roberts said: “These types of remarks can and do push people over the edge … There are literally kids in the suburbs killing themselves.”

Similarly, Greens leader Richard Di Natale­ condemned the 2017 postal survey on same-sex marriage because­ it could lead “young people (to) take their lives on the back of a hateful and divisive debate in the community”.

But it is not merely with LGBTQ issues that indirect-harm arguments are used to condemn or silence speech. Progressive leftists seized on the Christchurch massacre of 51 Muslims to launch an all-out attack on conservative critics of Islamic immigration and multiculturalism. TV presenter Waleed Aly said he wasn’t surprised by the March 15 massacre, given the anti-Islamic sentiments of the media and politicians. Former president of the Australian Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs called for a new “hate speech” law in response to former senator Fraser Anning’s comments blaming Muslims themselves for the mass shooting.

Di Natale went further and called for new “laws that regulate our media”. Speaking of “people like” Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones, and Chris Kenny, Di Natale said “if they want to use hate speech to divide the community then they’re going to be held to account for that hate speech”.

To be blunt, suicide, social division­ and terrorism are being weaponised to silence conservative speech. There are three serious problems with the justifi­ca­tions offered for the restrictive speech laws so beloved by many progressives.

First, the causes of social traged­ies such as gay suicide and anti-Muslim terrorism are com­plex­ and diffuse, making it impossible to determine the exten­t to which speech is responsible. Surely drug addiction, relationship break­down, isolation and mental health issues play significant roles.

Second, banning speech that allegedly feeds into a dangerous atmosphere seriously under­estim­ates how much speech would be silenced. As well as the Kennys and Bolts, shouldn’t we ban leftist critics of Israel and US foreign policy, whose ideas resonate with the justifica­tions of many anti-Israel terror attacks? Why stop there — what about climate change? Greens MP Adam Bandt has declared we need to announce a state of climate emergency in Australia. If anything justifies the banning of speech, it’s the possibility that the world could end if we listen to climate change deniers. What about sexism that feeds into systemic inequality and even domestic violence? Let’s ban everything that perpetuates sexist stereotypes: Disney cartoons, Barbie­ dolls, the Koran, the Bible, sexist jokes and hip-hop music.

Third, criticism of Islamic immigr­ation or policies on gender and sexuality is political speech, and what speech is more valuable to a democracy? No doubt such debate sometimes degenerates into abuse, but even then regulation must be relucta­nt lest it morphs into the wholesale suppression of controversial speech.

The attitude of Di Natale and Triggs, among others, shows how real this danger is. Folau’s criticism of homosex­ual­ity is religious expression, and freedom of religion is foundational to any liberal democracy. Get rid of it and you are left with a kind of progressive atheocracy.

Conservatives and liberals need to learn how to respond to “harm arguments” against basic freedoms because these are rhetor­ically powerful and will become only more frequent. It is necessary to point out that such arguments render valuable speech open to censorship.

A potential, indirect link betwee­n contentious speech and actual harm is not enough to justify incursions into freedom of expression. The public policy emph­as­is must be on a realistic approach to social problems, focusin­g on evidence of the many contributing factors, while keeping in mind the importance of our liberal democratic freedoms.

Of course there is no such thing as absolute freedom of speech any more than there is absolute freedom of association (I cannot join the mafia) or freedom of movement (I cannot just move into my neighbour’s house). Yet all too often calls to regulate speech look like opportunistic attacks on conservatism and religion, or exasperated attempts to create the appear­ance of control over intract­able social problems.

Enemies of free speech and religiou­s freedom have been maddene­d by the Coalition’s May 18 victory. But they have not been beaten. Defenders of fundamental freedoms need to arm themselves with good arguments for, as progressives have just learned, empty slogans are never enough.



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

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

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


28 May, 2019

The rise of the blue-collar patriots

What the Brexit, Trump and Australian revolts share in common.

The political rise of Donald Trump to the office of the US presidency sent shockwaves throughout the Western world, as did the UK’s decision to leave the EU in June 2016. These were political earthquakes in their own right. And the National-Liberal coalition’s surprise victory in the Australian federal election this week has quite rightly been labelled by the country’s prime minister Scott Morrison as ‘a miracle’.

For the opposition Australian Labor Party, this was an ‘unlosable’ election. They were consistently ahead in the polls and were widely expected to end their six years in opposition.

There are striking parallels to be drawn between these seismic political events.

All three events, completely unexpected by the swathe of metropolitan sophisticates in the spheres of politics, media and research, have what I call ‘blue-collar patriots’ at their core.

In Western liberal democracies such as the UK, US and Australia, blue-collar patriots have traditionally pledged their support to established parties of the left. These are patriotic people who have a deep love for nation and family, as well as a strong sense of community. And they are traditional working-class folk who live in industrial and rural regions, which have not fared so well under the rampant market forces of globalisation. Socially conservative, they are disconnected from the generally relaxed attitudes of the metropolitan political classes towards immigration and their celebration of ‘multiculturalism’.

The response of metropolitan ‘progressives’ to these shock results speaks volumes, and highlights a broader crisis of social democracy. The revolts in Britain, America and Australia should have prompted mature calls for a period of serious introspection. Instead, blue-collar patriots who voted for Brexit, Trump and Morrison have been crudely labelled ‘racist’, ‘thick’, ‘xenophobic’ and ‘bigoted’ – depicted as frustrated simpletons who were acting on nothing more than their irrational jingoistic impulses.

In the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election, Democratic Party candidate Hilary Clinton – the epitome of an establishment metropolitan sophisticate – slated supporters of The Donald as a ‘basket of deplorables’. In an act of sheer arrogance and complacency, Clinton was the first Democratic nominee not to visit Wisconsin since 1972 – and became the first one to lose the Midwestern state to the Republicans since Ronald Reagan’s electoral mauling of Walter Mondale in 1984. With his ‘America First’ message of trade protectionism and job creation, Trump breached the Democratic Party’s supposedly impenetrable ‘Midwest firewall’ in spectacular fashion – carrying the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa and Ohio (as well as Wisconsin) in the process.

The policy agenda of the Australian Labor Party under Bill Shorten’s leadership was ultimately defined by its ‘climate-emergency radicalism’. The Liberal National Party (LNP) of Queensland (where the coalition partners are consolidated into one party), capitalised on Labor’s confused stance on a proposed Adani coal-mining project in Queensland. Feeding into a broader sentiment that Labor was not prioritising the interests of its working-class base, the party suffered disastrous results in the ‘Sunshine State’. This included a huge swing away from Labor in the industrial and agricultural hub of Rockhampton, and the loss of thousands of votes in Mackay in the eastern coastal part of the state. Affectionately known as the ‘sugar capital’ of Australia, Mackay was a longstanding Labor stronghold.

It is also important to note that the nationalist-populist One Nation Party, founded and led by Pauline Hanson, polled 17 per cent in Rockhampton’s electoral division of Capricornia, as well as winning 13 per cent of the popular vote in Mackay’s electoral division of Dawson – with traditional Labor voters shifting to One Nation in large numbers.

Then we have the British Labour Party. After winning back a shedload of working-class voters from UKIP in the 2017 General Election, it is running the risk of being humiliated in its Leave-voting heartlands tomorrow when the UK votes in the European Parliament elections. Labour’s embarrassing fudging of Brexit, along with its putting up of Remainiac MEP candidates like Lord Adonis, reflects a fundamental disregard for many of its own traditional working-class Leave voters across northern England and the provincial Midlands.

Blue-collar patriots are held in contempt by the political establishment and even seen by many within their natural parties as an inconvenience. And so they have no choice but to adopt a more ‘flexible’ approach to elections. Tribal loyalties, which saw traditional working-class voters repeatedly pledge their support to established parties of the left, are fraying. Their tolerance for not only being unheard, but also ridiculed by ‘representatives’ of parties they traditionally supported, is understandably wearing thin.

The British Labour Party can never win a functioning parliamentary majority without the support of its industrial heartlands in northern England and the provincial Midlands. The Democrats cannot regain control of the White House without the industrial Midwest. And to end its spell in opposition, Labor must reconnect with regional Australia and rebuild working-class support in its former Queensland heartlands.

Whether it is the UK, US or Oz, the picture is clear: without cultivating strong support among blue-collar patriots, parties of the left will struggle at the ballot box – an uncomfortable truth for the chattering-class cosmopolitan elites of Islington, Manhattan and Canberra.

Critiquing the inequalities reproduced by market capitalism, and promising a fairer economic model, is not going to be a magic bullet when it comes to restoring strong ties between blue-collar patriots and parties of the left. Their socially conservative nature – patriotic, family-oriented, community-spirited – must be better appreciated, and certainly not subject to the level of abuse and ridicule that has been displayed in recent times.

Post-materialist over-indulgence and an unhealthy obsession with identity politics is costing the political left dear across the West. Blue-collar patriots, who have demonstrated astonishing party loyalty over the generations, have had enough.


In praise of the ‘Skateboard Hero’

Ignacio Echeverría gave his life in the fight against extremism – why aren’t we celebrating him?

This week, we heard the moving story of a man who died fighting neo-fascists on the streets of London, just two years ago. A man who did not run away from murderous intolerant extremists, but who ran towards them to attack them with a makeshift weapon. A man who gave his own life in a short but brave struggle with fanatics. Why isn’t his name more widely known? Why isn’t he being celebrated? Why hasn’t his story gone viral? It’s because the extremism that he bravely confronted is the kind of extremism people just don’t want to talk about – Islamic extremism.

The man’s name was Ignacio Echeverría. He was a Spanish national working in London with HSBC. He had moved to London to be closer to his sister and his nephew. On the evening of 3 June 2017, he was walking along Borough High Street with his friends after a day of skateboarding on the South Bank when he saw the London Bridge terror attack unfolding. There were three bearded men wearing explosive belts (which turned out to be fake) and using knives to stab wildly at passers-by. So even to those, like Echeverría, who happened upon this barbaric scene quite suddenly, it will have been clear what was going on. Echeverría saw one of the terrorists stab a woman repeatedly. He ran over to this bloodbath and used his skateboard to beat the terrorist. This week an eye-witness told the inquiry into the London Bridge attack that you could ‘hear the sound of the skateboard hitting [the terrorist’s head]’. The terrorist stopped stabbing the woman and started stabbing Echeverría. The woman survived. Echeverría died.

This is just one of the stories of heroism and suffering to come out of the London Bridge inquiry this week. Survivors of the attack and the family and friends of the eight people who were killed have been giving evidence about that terrible Saturday night in June 2017, when three radical Islamists drove a van into pedestrians, then leapt out and stabbed people to death.

We’ve heard of Saturday-night revellers throwing chairs at the attackers. We’ve heard of the man, who was out for a drink with friends, who threw pint glasses at the terrorists and yelled at them: ‘You cowards, you cunts, come and get me.’ And we’ve heard horror stories too. Like the woman who pleaded with the terrorists not to stab her. ‘This is for Allah’, one of them said. And then he stabbed her.

And, of course, we’ve heard about the ‘Skateboard Hero’, as Echeverría has come to be known, who used the only thing he had to hand to defend someone he didn’t know in a city that was not his own home. It’s the definition of heroism – a man armed only with a skateboard standing up to Islamic fanatics armed with knives and a murderous contempt for life, liberty and democracy.

But where are the accolades? Why aren’t progressives and anti-fascists wearing t-shirts with Echeverría’s face on them? Will a street be named after him? In two weeks’ time, on the second anniversary of the London Bridge attack and of Echeverría’s brief but valiant struggle with a breed of religious neo-fascism, will antifa hold a vigil for him? It seems unlikely.

There have absolutely, and rightly, been tributes to Echeverría. He was awarded the George Cross, the second highest award in the British honours system, which is given for ‘acts of the greatest heroism’. His parents travelled from Spain to London to accept the award from the queen last year. And in Madrid there has been a skateboard vigil for him: people gathered to hold their skateboards in the air in memory of the Skateboard Hero. But more broadly, online, in political circles and activist circles, among those sections of the political and media classes that spend a great deal of time warning of the rise of extremism and the return of fascism, no serious tribute has been paid to Echeverría – a man who did more in 10 seconds to confront violent extremism than many of these people will do in a lifetime.

The silence of anti-extremists towards this man who gave his life fighting extremists is sadly not surprising. It speaks to an almost pathological reluctance among the chattering classes to discuss, far less confront, the worst, most intolerant and most murderous extremism in the UK right now – Islamic extremism. Today is the sixth anniversary of the butchering of solider Lee Rigby in Woolwich by two Islamist fanatics. It is also the second anniversary of the Manchester Arena bombing, in which 22 people at a pop concert were slaughtered by an ISIS-inspired terrorist. In a fortnight it will be the second anniversary of the London Bridge attack that killed eight. That attack took place shortly after the Westminster Bridge attack, which killed five people right outside the Commons – a clear assault not only on life but on our democracy.

Scores of people have been murdered by hateful, intolerant extremists in the space of a few years. And yet here’s the perverse thing: when members of the political and cultural elite wring their hands over rising hatred and extremism in the UK, they aren’t talking about these acts of fanatical, hard-right, religious violence. They are talking about citizens who voted for Brexit. They are talking about MPs receiving mean tweets. They are talking about handfuls of blokes shouting ‘Nazi’ at Anna Soubry outside parliament. This is the extraordinary situation we face in Britain today: observers see extremism absolutely everywhere, in every citizen they disagree with and every opinion they dislike. But they look away when it comes to genuine, bloody extremism, of the kind that massacres people for the ‘crime’ of living in a relatively free, open society in which people enjoy pop concerts and Saturday nights out and democratic rights.

Indeed, if you talk too much about that extremism – that is, about actual extremism – you can expect to be branded ‘Islamophobic’. Not only is the most clear form of violent extremism in 21st-century Britain not openly talked about – discussion of it is actively demonised and silenced, pushed beyond the pale with accusations of racism and ‘phobia’. Apparently, it is the people who are worried about this extremism who are the real extremists. Extraordinary.

Brexit Britain is a hateful place, we’re often told. There has indeed been a rise in hatred, even violent hatred, over the past three years. But it hasn’t come from Brexiteers and ordinary voters – it’s come from nihilistic extremists of an Islamist persuasion, who despise our freedoms and our society. And the people who have stood up to this extremism deserve our thanks and our praise. How about it – a monument to Ignacio Echeverría on Borough High Street, as a thank you for the sacrifice he made in the fight against a neo-fascistic worldview.


'My vegan diet brought on early menopause': She’s a poster girl for the meat-free revolution. But in a shocking confession, cookery author and social media guru VIRPI MIKKONEN admits it ruined her health

Early last year, Virpi Mikkonen was alarmed by the appearance of a rash on her face.

There were other problems: a bout of flu that was hard to shift; crumbling nails; feeling low; and, most worrying, her periods stopped. A blood test revealed her follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels had sky-rocketed to the level at which women hit the menopause. Virpi was 37 and having hot flushes.

‘I thought, what’s wrong with me? I am healthy, I exercise,’ Virpi says. ‘I was really scared.’

At the time, Virpi believed herself to be eating the healthiest of all diets: gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, meat-free, refined sugar-free. And what’s more, she’d built a career inspiring others to eat it, too.

As ‘Vanelja’, Virpi is an award-winning blogger and entrepreneur championing plant-based eating. She has written four cookbooks, which include vegan alternatives for ice cream, pizza and cakes, and has 164,500 followers on Instagram.

Though based in Finland, she writes her blog and best-selling books in English, and this, together with pretty photos of her recipes on Instagram, has earned her a sizeable following among British foodies. Vogue called her ‘social media gold’.

Think of her as the Finnish equivalent of Deliciously Ella, the British food writer and creator of the coconut-and-oat energy ball which costs £1.79 a piece. Virpi’s version: Dreamy Blueberry Thyme cake, a ‘raw cheesecake’ made from dairy-free oat milk.

Yet the ‘clean’ vegan diet that she was promoting as a route to health was making her sick. She sought help from a specialist in Chinese medicine, who diagnosed a ‘yin deficiency’ (health depends on a balance of yin and yang, according to traditional Chinese medicine). She said Virpi should stop eating so much raw food — yet salad, juices and smoothies were the backbone of her diet.

Breakfast, for instance, consisted of a cold-pressed juice of celery, cucumber, fennel and parsley. Lunch was a salad of spinach leaves, watercress, cucumber, fennel and chickpeas with a sprinkle of sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds.

‘She said everything had to be cooked, warming and earthy,’ Virpi recalls. Even more radical, the specialist said Virpi had to start eating animal products — daily. Virpi hadn’t eaten meat for 15 years, apart from when pregnant with her daughter Alva, now seven.

She admits she was ‘shocked’. But now she’s given up veganism, she feels much better.

‘I felt I had run out of fuel, totally,’ she says. ‘I was empty.’ She is now particularly fond of bone broth, a bone stock she has as a hot drink or adds to stews and soups. She’s also eating eggs, which is a major departure because she used to refer to them as ‘miscarriages of chickens’.

The effects have been dramatic. ‘It’s amazing. I feel energetic, motivated. I’m sleeping better, the hot flushes and aching in my body have stopped.’ Best of all, her periods have returned. She was so relieved she danced round her flat. ‘I thought, OK, now I am back on track.’


One in seven young Australians think men can force sex if a woman changes her mind

One in seven young Australians think a man can force a woman to have sex if she initiated the interaction but then changed her mind, a survey has revealed.

According to the National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS) Youth Report, released today, high numbers of Australians aged 16-24 hold disturbing beliefs about sexual consent and abusive relationships.

When asked if a man was "justified" in continuing to have sex with a woman who had taken him into a bedroom and started kissing him before pushing him away, 14 per cent of respondents said yes, with men and women equally likely to hold this view.

The results also showed one in three young men believed "many" women who say they have been raped actually had consensual sex and later had regrets. In reality, false rape accusations are believed to be incredibly uncommon (often cited as two per cent of total allegations, although a 2013 AIFS report found the variety of contexts in which an allegation can be declared "false" means care should be taken when trying to quantify the occurrence).

Lead researcher Dr Anastasia Powell, lecturer in legal studies at RMIT, said the knowledge gaps were "concerning".
"Australian law emphasises active and communicative consent, and consent is something that should be occurring throughout an encounter," she said.

The report is the latest data set to come from NCAS, a national telephone survey conducted by Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS) and VicHealth in 2017 commissioned by the federal government.

While young people's understanding of physical domestic violence had improved since a previous community attitudes survey was undertaken in 2013, large numbers did not recognise emotional abuse and controlling behaviour as forms of domestic violence.

A quarter of the young men surveyed blamed women who had experienced image-based abuse (colloquially known as "revenge porn") for sending the pictures in the first place, while one in five did not think using technology to track their partners' movements, or reading text messages without their knowledge, amounted to domestic violence (over double the number of women who held this view).

Forty-three per cent of young people agreed it was "natural for a man to want to appear in control of his partner in front of his male friends", with men and women equally likely to believe this.
"That's a substantial number of young people who have normalised the idea of male control at a time when they are learning and practicing what a normal relationship should look like," Dr Powell said.

Nicole Juniper, 22, was in a year-long emotionally abusive relationship in her late teens. While she was originally shocked by the survey results, after reflecting on her own experience, she said she was less surprised.

"[It was] my first serious relationship, I couldn't see red flags," she said.

The Moonee Ponds student took months to recognise her ex-partner's behaviour, which included reading her emails without her knowledge and not letting her see male friends, as abusive, and stayed in the relationship once she did.

"I thought he would be in danger without me; he said he would end his life multiple times."

Ms Juniper said there needs to be better education about emotional abuse in schools, to empower young people to speak up when they think their friends could be in an unhealthy situation.
"There's not a lot of understanding around abuse when it isn't physical," she said.

Renee Imbesi, principal program officer for mental wellbeing at VicHealth, said, although failure to recognise emotional abuse as domestic violence occurs in all demographics, it can be a particular problem for young people without much experience in intimate relationships, who might confuse controlling behaviour with care.

"There's the attitude that, 'Oh, they want to know where you are because they love you.'"

Sixty per cent of young people surveyed indicated that they don't know where to go for help in a domestic violence situation.
"[Services] need to start talking about 'control', because a lot of young people aren't calling it domestic violence or abuse," Ms Imbesi said.

From a health policy perspective, Ms Imbesi said the benefits of achieving gender equality in the home are "significant".
"Intimate partner violence is still the leading contributor to women's ill health and disease in women aged 18 to 44, and the majority of that burden of disease is mental health related: anxiety, depression, and also suicide," she said, noting gender norms can also take a toll on men's mental health.
"When you're promoting equal relationships between men and women, you're promoting mental wellbeing."



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

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

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


27 May, 2019

Patrick Buchanan: Has the Day of the Nationalists Come?

Soon, Europeans may be able to gauge how high the tide of populism and nationalism has risen within their countries and on their continent.

For all the returns will be in from three days of elections in the 28 nations represented in the European Parliament.

Expectation: Nationalists and populists will turn in their strongest performance since the EU was established, and their parliamentary group — Europe of Nations and Freedom — could sweep a fourth of the seats in Strasbourg.

Nigel Farage's new Brexit Party is predicted to run first in the British elections, winning two to three times the votes of the ruling Tory Party of Prime Minister Theresa May.

In France, Marine Le Pen's National Rally is running even with the party of President Emmanuel Macron, who pleads for "more Europe."

Matteo Salvini, interior minister and leader of the League, predicts his party will finish first in Italy and first in Europe.

At Salvini's invitation, a dozen nationalist parties gathered in Milan this weekend. A week from now, they could be the third-largest bloc in the European Parliament. If so, their gains will come at the expense of the center-left and center-right parties that have dominated European politics since World War II.

Speaking before tens of thousands in front of Duomo Cathedral in Milan, Salvini threw back in the faces of his enemies the taunt that these new parties are rooted in the old ugly politics of the 1930s.

"In this piazza, there are no extremists. There are no racists. There are no fascists. ... In Italy and in Europe, the difference is between ... those who speak of the future instead of making trials of the past."

Tomorrow versus yesterday, says Salvini.

While the European establishment draws parallels between the populist parties of the present and what happened in the 1930s, it fails to recognize its own indispensable role in generating the mass defections to the populist right that now imperil its political hegemony.

The populist-nationalist parties are energized and united by both what they detest and what the EU has produced.

And what is that?

They resent the inequities of the new economy, where the wages of the working and middle class, the core of the nation, have fallen far behind the managerial class and the corporate and financial elites.

People who work with their hands, tools and machines have seen their wages arrested and jobs disappear, as salaries have surged for those who move numbers on computers.

The disparities have grown too great, as has the distance between national capitals and national heartlands.

Then there is immigration. Native-born Europeans do not welcome the new ethnic groups that have come uninvited in considerable numbers in recent decades, failed to assimilate and created enclaves that replicate the Third World places whence they came.

If one could identify a cry common to populists, it might be: "We want our country back!"

Whatever may be said of populists and nationalists, they are people of the heart. They love their countries. They cherish the cultures in which they grew up. They want to retain their own unique national identities.

What is wrong with that?

Patriotism is central to nationalist and populist movements. Globalism is alien to them. They believe in De Gaulle's Europe of nation-states "from the Atlantic to the Urals," not in the abstract Europe of Jean Monnet, and surely not in the Brussels bureaucracy of today.

The nation, the patria, is the largest entity to which one can give loyalty and love. Who would march into no man's land for the EU?

Europe's nationalists are not all the same. The ruling Polish Law and Justice Party disagrees on Putin's Russia with the ruling Fidesz Party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Hungary.

While the EU Parliament does not possess great power, these elections are not without great meaning.

Consider Farage. Should his Brexit Party run first in Britain, how can the Tory Party not carry through on the 2016 vote to withdraw from the EU, without betraying its most loyal constituency on its most critical issue?

Nationalism in Europe is spreading, even deepening rifts between the premier powers in the NATO alliance.

Germany will not be reaching the promised 2 percent of GDP for defense President Donald Trump has demanded. And Berlin is going ahead with a second natural gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany from Russia, Nord Stream 2.

Turkey is taking possession of a Russian-built S-400 air defense system this summer, despite a U.S. warning that our sale of 100 F-35s will not go through if the Turks go forward with the Russian system.

Have the nationalists of Europe caught the wave of the future?

Or will the future see the revival of the idea of One Europe, a political and economic union that inspired the dreamers of yesteryear?

From here it looks like Matteo, not Macron.


U.S. Cardinal Burke: To Oppose ‘Large-Scale Muslim Immigration’ is Patriotic

In contrast to the largely open border views of Pope Francis and other liberals at the Vatican, U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke said that resisting large-scale Muslim immigration "is the responsible exercise of one's patriotism," and added that you do not have to be a "rocket scientist" to know that many Muslims immigrate because they are "opportunists." After all, said Cardinal Burke, Islam "by its definition believes itself to be destined to rule the world."

Cardinal Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis and former chief judge at the Vatican's highest court, made his remarks at the Roman Life Forum, held in Rome, Italy, May 16-17.

At the forum, an audience member submitted the question, "Should a politician who opposes large-scale Muslim immigration be refused a papal blessing?"

Card. Burke replied, "I think the fundamental question here is [whether] someone who resists large-scale Muslim immigration [is] committing an immoral act and therefore should be, let's say, denied Holy Communion or in some way recognized as a public sinner?"

"To resist large-scale Muslim immigration, in my judgment," said the cardinal, "is to be responsible in the sense of making sure that those who are immigrating to the country -- remember that the definition of the Church's teaching is that the individuals are not able to find a way of living in their own country and this is not true of immigrants who come who are opportunists, and in particular in the case of Islam, which by its definition believes itself to be destined to rule the world --  coming in large numbers to countries."

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see what's happened," he said.

"For instance, in Europe, in countries like France and Germany and also here in Italy and it's also happening in the United States," said the cardinal.  "There's a very interesting book written called No-Go Zones and which records places in the United States where, in fact, Muslim immigrants have set up their own legal order -- in other words, they resist the authority, the legitimate authority of the state."

He continued, "And so, to be opposed to wholesale, or large-scale Muslim immigration is, in fact, as far as I'm concerned, the responsible exercise of one's patriotism in the sense that we -- yes, people are true refugees who can't live in their own country we must receive them and help them in every way. But this is not the case when you have simply a large-scale immigration."


Newt Gingrich: HUD Chief Ben Carson protects poor Americans and enforces the law – Why is that a problem?

In a bold move, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is both helping poor Americans and enforcing the law.

Some in Congress may consider enforcing the law and prioritizing help for poor Americans (including people who immigrated to the U.S. legally) over help for people in the country illegally controversial or unacceptable. The solution for their position is for Congress to change the law. Until then, it is pretty hard to complain that a cabinet officer is enforcing the law which Congress wrote.

Helping poor American families is a core mission of the HUD. One lifeline HUD extends to vulnerable families is housing assistance.

Yet, 75 percent of Americans eligible for housing assistance – many of whom are children, seniors, or persons living with a disability – are prevented from receiving the financial aid to which they are legally entitled.

In fact, millions of qualified American families are stuck on waiting lists that have unending queues – the average of which stretch on for years.

In Los Angeles, Calif., the waiting list is more than four years long. In Miami-Dade County, Fla., thousands have been waitlisted since July 2008 – more than a decade. In other localities, such as Orange County, Calif., and Orlando, Fla., Since 2015, public housing authorities have decided to simply close their waiting list and abandon new applications altogether.

Despite these waiting lists for American citizens, there are an estimated 32,000 households occupied by people in the country illegally, who have no right to be getting taxpayer assistance. This is 32,000 households that could be occupied by American citizens who qualify for the assistance but cannot get it.

In effect, thousands of Americans are being discriminated against in favor of people who are here illegally – or are unlawfully receiving taxpayer aid they do not deserve and should not be getting.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson has investigated this injustice and discovered that HUD has long been prohibited from granting federal funds to people in the country illegally. That prohibition – which Congress enacted, and Congress has the power to change – includes a mandate to end assistance whenever a leaseholder knowingly allows a person in the country illegally to reside in HUD-supported housing.

These rules constitute more than a mere functional necessity for law and order; they are a moral necessity for any nation that takes care of its own vulnerable citizens. After all, public assistance is paid for and subsidized by taxpayer dollars.

But these crucial rules are easily skirted by a loophole that lets people in the country illegally who are living with qualified residents declare themselves “ineligible.” This means they do not have their immigration status checked, and they continue to live in taxpayer-funded housing.

If members of Congress do not like how the law is being enforced, then they should change the law. Until that happens, federal agencies, like HUD, should continue to do its own constitutional duty and enforce the laws as written by Congress.

Today, to assist agencies in the enforcement of existing – and binding – law, legal status can be easily verified through a fast, secure, and efficient screening, using the SAVE system of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This screening process is already used by one-third of public housing agencies and needs only to be expanded to end the “illegible” loophole.

To this end, last week, HUD unveiled a proposal that would require all residents living in HUD-supported housing who are under the age of 62 to be screened through the SAVE system. It is a simple, egalitarian amendment that promises to restore proper enforcement and accountability to supplement the spirit of existing law.

As a result, the new measure HUD has championed is a meaningful step toward protecting our nation’s forgotten men and women and promoting the rule of law. There is no legitimate reason – or any excuse – to keep hundreds of thousands of American families waiting in line, when a lifeline could be extended instead.


Ralph Northam: Proof That Liberals Excuse Racism If You’re One of Them

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam came under a firestorm of scrutiny last February when a photograph surfaced from his college yearbook page depicting two men dressed in racist costumes. One man wore a KKK robe, the other man wore blackface.

Northam immediately apologized, saying, “I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in the photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now.”

Yet less than 24 hours later, Northam retracted his apology and said he was not either man in the photo. So we are to believe that his admission of guilt the day before was just him misremembering being part of an extremely racist photo.

In the months since, private law firm McGuireWoods conducted an investigation into whether Northam was in fact in the photo. It determined there was no conclusive way to confirm or deny whether Northam was one of the two men. The firm interviewed more than 52 people. Now, Northam is sticking to his ridiculous story of misremembering.

So, is this investigation the last word for residents of the Commonwealth? Is it time to move on and let the governor serve out the rest of his term in office with no more talk of blackface photos? 

If Northam were a Republican, we know without question what the answer would be. The mainstream media would not stop until Northam packed his bags and left the governor’s mansion. He would be gone.

It doesn’t take a four-month investigation to see through Northam’s deception. One does not admit to a wrong so deplorable as dressing up in blackface or a KKK outfit, only to realize he misremembered. Such behavior is extremely damaging to any politician, and Northam had no earthly reason to admit any wrongdoing unless he was actually guilty.

Ida B. Wells-Barnette, an African-American investigative journalist who uncovered the injustice of lynchings in the early 20th century, said, “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” So it is in this case.

As Bible-believing Christians, we believe in forgiveness. But forgiveness does not mean letting a man keep his public office if he denies the wrongdoing that he clearly committed. The fact that Northam refused to take responsibility for his actions is reason enough to ask for him to leave.

When the photo was taken, Northam was a 25-year-old medical student. Does he really expect us to believe he cannot remember dressing up in a KKK outfit, or blackface? He really can’t remember if he or a buddy stood smiling in a picture with shoe polish all over his face to demean African-Americans?

Does he remember that his nickname was “Coonman”? Were these actions so run-of-the-mill for Northam that behaving in such a manner was not significant enough to remember?

When Northam finally is able to own up to his actions from 30 years ago, he should also own his actions during the 2017 governor’s race. He had the audacity to label his opponent, Ed Gillespie, a racist, with far thinner evidence than being caught in a photo dressed as a clansman. Northam routinely cast Gillespie a racist because of his opposition to sanctuary cities.

Modern-day “woke” liberals weaponize race when it suits their interests, and ignore actual racism when it cuts against their narrative. The same liberals who would call Dr. Ben Carson, Condoleezza Rice, and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., sellouts are now mum over blackface and KKK photos.

The left is sending a clear message: Be one of us, and we’ll overlook the worst of your sins.



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

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

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


26 May, 2019

The great city

From time to time in the history of the world, one city emerges which is the intellectual and cultural centre of its world.  New Yorkers tend to think NYC is but that is disputable. Going back in time, one thinks of Babylon at the height of Mesopotamian civilization,  Athens, Ancient Rome and then Byzantium. Byzantium  kept learning alive throughout most of the "dark" ages.  It lasted 1,000 years. But what comes next?

For another thousand years (c. 800 AD to 1800 AD) the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation was at the centre of European affairs.  As wits say, however, it was neither Holy nor Roman nor German. 

Its emperors were however for a long time crowned by the Pope; it did include a lot of Germans and had considerable but varying political power. For most of the time however it was a loose confederation rather than a unitary state.

For most of that empire's existence, Vienna (Wien in German) was influential and that influence not only continued but grew after the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire by the Emperor of Austria. 

As Wikipedia says: "Austria played a central role in European History from the late 18th to the early 20th century." And Vienna was the capital of Austria. And the Austrian empire, later the Austro/Hungarian empire, was one of the major states of Europe.

And Austria was where the fate of post-Napoleonic Europe was decided.  In Congress of Vienna of 1814 the potentates of Europe arrived in Vienna and decided what to do about Napoleon's conquests after he had finally been defeated.  France lost everything except the Hexagon and the great powers of the day sliced up everything else between them.  Austria gained ownership of Venice and much of northern Italy. That the congress took place in Vienna showed how central to Europe Vienna had become by that time

For my purposes I will primarily be discussing the period from 1814 to 1914

Throughout the 19th century and earlier, people of talent began to move to Vienna, with Beethoven being perhaps the greatest of those. He moved to Vienna at the very beginning of that period, in 1791. And even before Beethoven arrived Vienna was probably already the headquarters of music, with court composer F.J. Haydn being well-known, among many others. And the prolific Franz Schubert and many others in Vienna followed on after him.

Rome was not built in a day nor was Vienna but gradually, Vienna emerged from a long history as the great city, with its influence extending far and wide in most fields of human endeavour.  Eventually, at its very height of eminence it started a world war (WWI), which ended most of its influence. 

During the 19th century and early 20th century, however, Viennese lived at the heart of an enormously rich civilization.  Vienna before WWI was not only a great and rich imperial capital with many nations under its rule but it was also at the cutting edge culturally and intellectually. It was advanced in most things and first in some.

It was, for instance, the time and place of the immensely influential Sigmund Freud, by far the leading psychologist of the time, who still has many followers today. He moved to Vienna as a young man in the 1870s. He was a great observer and I  quote him occasionally still. And Freud inspired rivals such as Carl Jung in Switzerland and Alfred Adler in Vienna who are also still influential. Vienna was a ferment of psychological thought.

And in economics the luminaries of the prewar Austrian school (Carl Menger; Eugen Böhm Ritter von Bawerk etc.) are honoured to this day -- though not among Leftists.  Eugen Böhm even had charge of the economics portfolio of the Austrian government for a time, during which Austria flourished.

And Vienna saw the birth of much in modern analytic philosophy. The immensely influential Vienna Circle was mainly a  phenomenon of the 1920s and '30s but meetings on philosophy of science and epistemology began in Vienna as early as 1907, promoted by Frank, Hahn and Neurath, who later arranged to bring Moritz Schlick to Vienna, around whom the Vienna Circle formed

In architecture and the decorative arts there was the Jugendstil movement, a German term for the well-known "Art Nouveau".

In literature there was the prolific Johann Nestroy, sometimes called the Austrian Shakespeare.  He wrote in a lighthearted tone that clearly set the scene for the emergence of operetta late in the 19th century.

And, musically, Vienna started out on top -- with the enormous heritage of the great Austrian composers -- Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert etc -- so any new compositions had a lot to live up to.  And the wonder is that some late 19th century composers stood out even in that environment -- with Strauss II being merely the best known of many.  The great Viennese waltzes come from that period

And there were vast numbers (some say 1,000) of innovative Viennese artists too, largely led by Klimt in particular.  There is a long list of them here.  Klee and Schiele are also well-known.

So the Viennese had it all. And what you want when you have it all is entertainment.  And to be entertaining to such an indulged and sophisticated audience you had to be pretty good.  And what emerged on the music scene at that time was operetta. So I see the lightness and frivolity of operetta not as trivial but as a major cultural achievement.

And operetta was one cultural element that even survived WWI for a time. His songs were so popular in Germany generally that Adolf Hitler offered to make Kalman, a prominent operetta composer, an Honorary Aryan.  Kalman was Jewish.  He wisely emigrated to America instead.

So let's look for a moment at a famous operetta that is all about Vienna -- Wiener Blut.  Its theme song tells us what the Viennese spirit at that time was all about. "Voller Kraft, Voller Glut! ... Was die Stadt Schönes hat, In dir ruht! Wiener Blut, Heisse Flut. (Roughly: "unique, full of fire, full of power, hot and flowing").  The idea is that the great city is embodied in its people. It basically means "high-spirited" -- bright and lively -- perhaps "gay" in the old meaning of that term

It was a very rich and sophisticated society so it was a great privilege to be there at that time. It has no obvious successors.

My interest above is in the human environment of prewar Vienna so I have so far said nothing about the politics of the period.  For the most part, Austria was very badly governed.  Hitler used to sit in the public gallery of the Reichsrat of the parliament and wonder at the chaos that prevailed there. In spite of interminable and loud debate nothing seemed to get done. It was the foundation of his belief in the Fuehrerprinzip -- that democracy was no good and a strong leader was needed to get things done

My libertarian view is that it is a great advantage to a society if the politicians are so disunited that they cannot put any of their schemes into action. Vienna certainly flourished in such an environment. And there are more recent examples of advantageous government immobility.  See here

Current American Congressional politics also seem to be stalemated at the moment, which leaves Mr Trump as the sole mover and shaker, which he is very good at -- JR

We Don't Have a Problem with White Supremacy. We Have a Problem with Leftist Supremacy

The left is obsessed with white supremacists the way that children are obsessed with Santa Claus, and for more or less the same reasons.

You see, if they manage to convince people that the alternative to their own crazy, race-obsessed, power-centralizing, socialist policies is white supremacy, then they get everything they ever wanted, plus a pony.

In an America as mixed as we are, the idea that white supremacists are the only ones who will do well is scary to most people. Beyond that, it is the most antithetical thing to American beliefs you can imagine. The nation that banned nobility of birth, and which fought a war to free slaves would never codify a regime where your genetics at birth determines what kind of happiness you can even think of pursuing.  In America, equality under the law has always been the goal, even when honored in the breach.

Fortunately, we don't have any need to worry about real white supremacy. Just like you don't have to worry that Santa Claus is watching you, or has put a spy bug in your bedroom.

This is the problem the left has.  And their response to it is to launch a brainwashing/gaslighting campaign to find white supremacy where there is none.

Also, unfortunately, as with all these things the left engages in, it causes more harm than... well, than even I can imagine, and I write some pretty dystopian stuff.

So, just like their attempt to define "patriarchy" has led them to make it impossible for business women to have closed-door meetings with male bosses or mentors, their definition of white supremacy is making it impossible for any minorities or, for that matter, under-privileged white people to improve themselves or create a better future for their descendants.

For instance, according to the New York Post, this is what passes for fighting white supremacy in NYC schools: Richard Carranza held ‘white-supremacy culture’ training for school admins.

We'll pass over the point that defensiveness is supposed to be a matter of white supremacy, okay?  Apparently, when you're being accused of horrible stuff, you're not supposed to be defensive. Yeah. That's interesting.

Instead, let's consider that individualism is now supposed to be white supremacy, and if you like working on your own, or dislike group work (remember group work from school? Almost anyone competent hated it) you're supposedly a white supremacist.

Let's consider instead stuff like perfectionism -- you know, trying to make things as perfect as possible and calling out people on their f*ck ups. Or a sense of urgency -- or as we call it around here, having your work done on time. Or what they call "worship of the written word," which apparently is the ability to express yourself in writing. Or objectivity, which they define as BELIEVING THERE'S AN ULTIMATE TRUTH.

Supposedly all of these things -- things that are absolutely required for any kind of workplace to get any kind of, you know, work done -- are toxic whiteness and signs of white supremacy.

So, the left, in teaching people to avoid white supremacy, assumes that minorities cannot express themselves in writing, can't get things done on time, and won't try to make the work as good as possible.

In other words, the left are in fact the white supremacists who believe any virtue that contributes to civilization must be white. The fact that they then want to suppress it -- in everyone but themselves -- is probably part of their plan to concentrate power.

Also, it's the reason why every institution taken over by leftists falls apart and dies.

And they have not the slightest bit of care for the people -- minorities and non-minorities -- this nonsense hurts.  Because in their minds, the more other people are hampered, the more power they get in their grubby little hands.

We don't have a problem with white supremacy. We have a problem with Leftist Supremacy.


The Left's Battle Against 'Inequality' Leaves Out One Critical Factor

By Larry Elder, who is black

In his book Discrimination and Disparities, economist Thomas Sowell notes that a disproportionate percentage of first-born siblings become National Merit scholars compared to siblings born later, presumably because the first-born starts life with no sibling competition for parental attention. This, says Sowell, illustrates the absurdities of expecting equal results when equal results do not even occur within the same family among siblings raised under the same roof with the same parents.

When I was growing up in South Central Los Angeles, one of my closest friends was "Paul." We met in the second grade and attended the same elementary school, middle school and high school. Not only did we take many of the same courses with the same teachers, our houses were identical.

When I first invited Paul to my home, about a half-mile from his, he was astonished. "Whoever built your house," he said, "built mine, too." He was right. When I visited his house, I found that the only difference was that my house had one tiny additional window that his did not. Same schools. Same teachers. Same neighborhood. Same house design.

Paul was a gifted athlete. Name the sport, he excelled. He was a starting pitcher for the baseball team, the starting shooting guard for the basketball team and the starting quarterback for the football team. He picked up a tennis racquet, hit balls against a backboard for a few weeks and then made the tennis team.

His parents were divorced, making Paul was one of the few kids in the neighborhood at that time to come from what my parents called a "broken home." Paul saw his dad infrequently. He rarely spoke about him. When he did, it was not positive.

Paul had a problem with anger. For the smallest offense, he could tell someone off, friend or foe, sometimes even his basketball coach. One time, after Paul came late to practice again, his basketball coach threatened to bench him the following game. Paul barked back, "Either I play or we lose." He played. They won.

When the coaches from major colleges came to see Paul play basketball, his best sport, they were impressed. But then they asked the high school coach about Paul's character, whether he was "coachable." Paul's coach, concerned about maintaining his reputation with college coaches, told the truth. Paul, he said, was a "coach killer." Bye-bye, Notre Dame. Bye-bye, Duke. Bye-bye, UCLA.

Paul ended up going to a small local college, not known for basketball. Did he double down, get better in hopes of transferring to a powerhouse basketball school? Hardly. Paul sulked, blamed racism and spent his first year of college playing basketball halfheartedly -- that is, when he wasn't smoking dope and opining on "the oppression of the black man in America."

I went off to college in the East. When I returned during the summer, I visited Paul, who by then had changed his name to "Jamal" to distance himself from the "slave" religion of Christianity. When I informed him that Arab slavers took more blacks out of Africa and transported them to the Middle East and to South America than Europeans slavers took out of Africa and transported to North America, he told me to stop reading "the white man's history." He insisted "racism" had wrecked his basketball career, a career he argued that, but for the racism he encountered, was destined for the NBA. "Paul," I said, "you and I lived in the same neighborhood, in houses designed by the same builder, went to the same schools, took the same classes, had the same teachers. Why didn't 'racism' stop me?"

When I was in law school in Michigan, I visited my aunt who lived in a suburb of Detroit. During one visit, a friend of hers stopped by. He was a black man, about 40 years old. He sat near my aunt and me as we discussed my law school classes. Suddenly, the man began to cry. I could not imagine what I'd said that could've caused such a reaction. "Sorry," I said, "did I say something to offend you?" He gathered himself. "No," he said. "I wanted to go to law school and become a lawyer. But I got sidetracked with 'jackassery,' hung around with a bunch of knuckleheads and just wasted my time."

It doesn't have to be like this. My father always told my brothers and me the following: "Hard work wins." "You get out of life what you put into it." "You cannot control the outcome, but you are 100% in control of the effort." And "before you complain about what somebody did to you, go to the nearest mirror and say to yourself, 'What could I have done to change the outcome?'"

And finally, my dad said: "No matter how good you are, bad things will happen. How you respond to those bad things will tell your mother and me whether or not we raised a man."


Australia: Worker wins unfair dismissal case after refusing to hand over biometric data

Privacy rights cited

Most of us don’t think twice about using our fingerprints — but Jeremy Lee isn’t most people.

The Queensland sawmill worker was so passionate about protecting his biometric data he refused to accept a new security process which used employee’s fingerprints to sign on and off at his company, Superior Wood.

He was sacked for his stance last February, after being given a series of verbal and written warnings.

Mr Lee suggested a compromise which would allow him to keep his job, but also hold onto the ownership of his biometric data, which was refused.

The Queensland man ended up losing an unfair dismissal case when it was first heard by the Fair Work Commission last year, with a commissioner at the time ruling Superior Wood’s policy was “not unjust or unreasonable” because it improved workplace safety, the efficiency of the payroll system and that the company “had the right to manage its affairs”.

But during the entire battle, Mr Lee argued the policy was a breach of the Privacy Act, claiming he owned his own biometric data, which he considered to be “sensitive personal information”.

He said his workplace was not entitled to that personal information, and that refusing to follow the policy was not a valid reason for his dismissal.

Mr Lee decided to appeal the decision — and represent himself.

And on May 1, the commission eventually ruled in his favour, finding he had been unfairly dismissed.

Jeremy Lee represented himself — and won. Picture: iStock
Jeremy Lee represented himself — and won. Picture: iStockSource:istock

In documents seen by news.com.au, the commission ruled Superior Wood “did not have a valid reason for the dismissal which related to Mr Lee’s capacity or conduct”.

“ … on balance we find that Mr Lee’s dismissal was unjust. It was unjust because Mr Lee was not guilty of the conduct alleged,” the documents state.

“As the direction was unlawful he was entitled to refuse to follow it. Mr Lee was unfairly dismissed.”

As for what happens next, the case is being referred to Commissioner Simpson to decide “what remedy, if any, should be ordered”.

But Mr Lee told RN’s The Law Report he was already happy with the win, after claiming his company had “tried to coerce” him into something he wasn’t comfortable with.

He said he did not have a police record or any other reason to fear using his fingerprint, but that he was simply concerned about the misuse of his personal data.

“If someone else has control of my biometric data they can use it for their own purposes — purposes that benefit them, not me. That is a misuse,” he told the ABC.

“My objection was that I own it. You cannot take it. If someone wants to get it or take it they have to get my consent.”

The case is the first unfair dismissal decision of its kind in this country, and one that’s likely to pop up again in future.

“It shows that employment law is at a crossroads with technology, and these kinds of issues are going to continue to come up as technology rapidly advances,” Shine Lawyers’ employment law expert Will Barsby told news.com.au.

“We are in an era where we are paying for a coffee with a mobile phone and we open our phone using our fingerprint, so it stands to reason we will see the same kind of tech advances in workplaces soon.

“Mr Lee’s concerns are genuine as we have seen so many hacks where personal data was misused.”

But Mr Barsby said the case did not actually set a legal precedent, as it was based around whether it was unreasonable to dismiss the worker for not complying with the request for his fingerprint.

“The case doesn’t change the general rule that an employer can dismiss an employee for not complying with a reasonable and lawful direction,” he said.

“Dismissal cases generally fall on their own facts, in this case the employer was not able to demonstrate compliance with the Australian Privacy Principles. There had been no process under the requirements to obtain an employee’s consent.”



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

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

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


24 May, 2019

How Accurate Is the Myers-Briggs Personality Test? (MBTI)

I have not bothered to keep the reference but I saw some internal reliablity statistics (alpha) for the various MBTI scales once.  They were deplorably low, around .3 -- showing that questions which were all supposed to be tapping the same trait mostly did not correlate at all.  They were all tapping different things.  That is the kiss of death for the scale concerned

There are two types of people in the world: those who believe in the Myers-Briggs personality test and those who don't.

Except that's not true. Grouping people into two, three or 16 categories, which is the aim of a lot of personality tests, has never quite worked. And even in the case of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which is simultaneously the most popular personality test in the world and the most frequently debunked, non-experts and psychologists alike take varying positions about the value of the tool.

About 1.5 million people take the test online each year, and more than 88% of Fortune 500 companies, as well as hundreds of universities, use it in hiring and training, according to The Myers Briggs Company, a California-based firm that administers the MBTI. Even fictional characters, from Disney princesses, to Harry Potter and Darth Vader have been assigned an MBTI type. [Which Personality Types Are Most Likely to Be Happy?]

Despite the popularity of the test, many psychologists criticize it — hardly a few months go by without a harsh take-down of the MBTI in the media, where a psychologist will say that the Myers-Brigg is unscientific, meaningless or bogus. But there are others who take a milder view of the test. "Many personality psychologists consider the MBTI to be a somewhat valid measure of some important personality characteristics but one that has some important limitations," said Michael Ashton, professor of psychology at Brock University in Ontario.

What is the MBTI?

The MBTI was invented in 1942 by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers. Cook, always a keen observer of people and their differences, was inspired by the work of psychologist Carl Jung and his theories; for example, the concepts of introversion and extroversion. The mother and daughter devoted their lives to developing the type indicator, hoping to help people understand their tendencies and choose appropriate jobs. The test uses 93 questions to assess the following traits:

Introvert (I) versus Extrovert (E)
Intuitive (N) versus Sensory (S)
Thinking (T) versus Feeling (F)
Judging (J) versus Perceiving (P)

Based on the combination of traits people fall into, the test ultimately assigns them one of the 16 labels, such as INTJ, ENFP, and so on.

Why do psychologists doubt it?

Psychologists' main problem with the MBTI is the science behind it, or lack thereof. In 1991, a National Academy of Sciences committee reviewed data from MBTI research and noted "the troublesome discrepancy between research results (a lack of proven worth) and popularity."

The MBTI was born of ideas proposed before psychology was an empirical science; those ideas were not tested before the tool became a commercial product. But modern psychologists demand that a personality test pass certain criteria to be trusted. "In social science, we use four standards: Are the categories reliable, valid, independent and comprehensive?" Adam Grant, University of Pennsylvania professor of psychology, wrote on LinkedIn. "For the MBTI, the evidence says not very, no, no, and not really."

Some research suggests the MBTI is unreliable because the same person can get different results when retaking the test. Other studies have questioned the validity of the MBTI, which is the ability of the test to accurately link the "types" to outcomes in the real world — for example, how well people classified as a certain type will perform in a given job. [Why Do People Ghost?]

The Myers-Briggs Company says the studies discrediting the MBTI are old, but their results are still being perpetuated in the media. Since those early criticisms, the company says it has done its own research to refine the test and assess its validity. "When you look at validity of the instrument [the MTBI], it is just as valid as any other personality assessment," Suresh Balasubramanian, the company's general manager, told USA Today.

Some of the test's limitations, however, are inherent in its conceptual design. One limitation is the MBTI's black-and-white categories: You are either an extrovert or introvert, a judger or a feeler. "This is a shortcoming, because people don't fall neatly into two categories on any personality dimension; instead, people have many different degrees of the dimension," Ashton told Live Science. And, in fact, most people are close to the average, and relatively few people are at either extreme. By placing people into tidy boxes, we are separating people who are in reality more similar to each other than they are different.

The MBTI may be missing even more nuances by assessing only four aspects of personality differences. "Several decades ago, personality researchers had determined that there were at least five major personality dimensions, and more recent evidence has shown that there are six," Ashton said. "One of those dimensions involves how honest and humble versus deceitful and conceited someone is, and the other dimension involves how patient and agreeable versus quick-tempered and argumentative someone is."

Not entirely useless

Some of the shortcomings of the MBTI stem from the complex, messy nature of human personality. Neat categories of MBTI make personality look clearer and more stable than it really is, according to David Pincus, a professor of psychology at Chapman University in California. Psychologists prefer other tools, namely the Big Five, which assesses personality based on where an individual lies on the spectrums of five traits: agreeableness; conscientiousness; extraversion; openness to experience; and neuroticism. The Big Five model has a better record of scientific validation than the MBTI, experts say.

Still, the MBTI is not entirely useless.

People are drawn to tests like MBTI out of a desire to understand themselves and others. "The four dimensions from which the MBTI types are derived are all useful ones for describing people's personalities," Ashton said.

And even when the MBTI's results don't quite match your intuition about yourself or are just wrong, they can still provide insight. Many people who've taken the MBTI have noticed this effect. As a former employee at Bridgewater Associates (a hedge fund almost as famous for having employees take personality tests as it is for its $120 billion in assets) wrote in Quartz, the MBTI labels never seemed to fully describe a person. Instead, the real value of the test seemed to be in the push "to reconcile the gaps between what the test results tell us, and what we know to be true about ourselves."

In this sense, the MBTI can serve as a starting point for self-exploration by giving people a tool and a language to reflect on themselves and others. The test is "a portal to an elaborate practice of talking and thinking about who you are," Merve Emre, an associate professor of English at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, wrote in "The Personality Brokers," a review of the MBTI's history.

Ultimately, it's not the MBTI label, but the power of introspection that drives the insights and sometimes fuels the motivation to take steps to change one's condition.


Somali Teen Mob Attack With Hammers: Targets ‘anyone who looked like they had money or were white’

A mob of more than a half-dozen Somali teens terrorized riders of a Minneapolis Metro train with pipes, and possibly hammers, resulting in two now facing criminal charges.

University of Minnesota Police were dispatched to the East Bank light rail platform where a mob of Somali juveniles were reportedly terrorizing riders with hammers and other weapons shortly before 10 p.m. on Friday, according to the UMN Police report.

The American Mirror Reports:

The Facebook page 2nd Precinct Minneapolis Crime Watch reported that university police requested assistance from Minneapolis police and Metro Transit police for “a group of 8-10 males chasing people with hammers” and reported injuries.

Minneapolis Scanner, another local Facebook crime page, also confirmed “multiple calls” regarding “10-12 Somali teen males armed with hammers chasing people,” from dispatch audio, Alpha News reports.

An alleged witness, Jay Hall, posted about the experience on the Minneapolis Crime Watch Page.

“ … It was a group of Somali young males with hammers and bars,” he wrote. “They were attacking anyone who looked like they had money or were white. I didn’t stick around all that long I’m not dumb and being pretty much unarmed I wasn’t taking on a bunch of dudes with blunt objects.

“I kind of hurried an older white lady away and walked a few blocks to catch a bus. They pretty much ignored me but I was in ratty work clothes and am half Arabic,” Hall continued. “Guess they gave me a pass. I didn’t see to much more I’m sorry and I really wish I had a concealed carry permit because then maybe I could have stopped at least a few of them.”

The incident occurred at the Green Line station at the center of the University of Minnesota campus, across the street from the UMN police department and a location popular with students and visitors, Alpha News reports.

When police arrived, they spotted a group of Somali teens as they tried to run off, but officers eventually caught up with the culprits, including two who had pipes with them. One of the teens gave officers a fake name and information, but one officer the scene recognized the boy from previous run-ins with the law.

Police initially detained seven teens involved in the incident, but only charged the two with weapons, identified as juveniles between the ages of 12 and 15.

Despite giving police false information, the teens were quickly identified through video surveillance and witness descriptions, UMN spokeswoman Lacy Nygard told the Pioneer Press.

“Two people harassed two male students and demanded their wallets. When the students refused, the suspects assaulted them and fled from the platform,” the Press reports. “The students were taken to the hospital for evaluation after they received bruising and cuts on their faces, according to the alert” from the school.

The teens were charged with misdemeanors for fleeing police, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, and hauled to the Juvenile Supervision Center, where one of the teens had visited earlier in the day for truancy, according to the UMN Police Report.

The incident comes amid volatile race relations between the city’s growing Somali population and others in the community. On June 7, former Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor, a Somali and Muslim, will be the first Minnesota police officer in recent memory to be sent to prison for murder.


New Study Shows America Is LESS Racist Under President Trump

According to a recent study, racism in the United States has significantly decreased during President Donald Trump’s first two years in office.

Two sociologists from the University of Pennsylvania, Daniel J. Hopkins and Samantha Washington, have been studying racial attitudes of randomly selected Americans since 2008.

The sociologists admitted that they expected to see an increase in racist tendencies. “Normalization of prejudice or opinion leadership both lead us to expect that expressed prejudice may have increased in this period, especially among Republicans or Trump supporters,” they said.

Much to their surprise, they actually found that racism has decreased under President Trump.

    Americans, claim Hopkins and Washington, have actually become less inclined to express racist opinions since Donald Trump was elected. Anti-black prejudice, they found, declined by a statistically-insignificant degree between 2012 and 2016, when Trump was elected. But then after 2016 it took a sharp dive that was statistically significant. Moreover, contrary to their expectations, the fall was as evident among Republican voters as it was among Democrats. There was also a general fall in anti-Hispanic prejudice, too, although this was more evident among Democrat voters.

When it comes down to it, President Trump may be the least racist President in American history.

He has employed people of color his entire life, he has supported the black community from day one, he has gotten record number unemployment rates for the minority communities.

    The only way the media have been able to smear Trump as a racist is through lies and deliberate misquotes. The Charlottesville Hoax is a perfect example, as is Jake Tapper’s serial lie about Trump mocking a reporter’s disability, as is Jim Acosta’s latest lie about Trump smearing all migrants…

    But no one had to misquote Obama’s rhetoric against the police on every single racially charged issue, his relentless attacks on Republicans as racist, his role (and CNN’s) in exacerbating the racial tensions that resulted in race riots in Ferguson and Baltimore, or his supporters’ relentless attacks on everyday Americans as racist…

    Trump, on the other hand, has offered only a unifying message about race and against racism. Despite the media’s lies, he condemns white supremacism, including after Charlottesville, and his focus on improving the lives of black and Hispanic Americans have resulted in record low unemployment for both groups.

The report was not too kind to Obama:

    Under Obama, racial tensions were always at a boil.

    Under Trump, racial tensions (outside of the lies screamed in the news media) have settled down considerably.

    Over the last two years, not only have blacks and Hispanics watched their economic conditions improve in ways Obama never seemed to care about, unlike any Republican over the last 30 years, Trump is actively reaching out and asking for the black vote. He is also willing to earn that vote through his economic policies, criminal justice reform (which Obama talk-talk-talked about for years, while Trump signed it into law), and immigration policies that restrict the illegal and cheap labor that disproportionately hurts working-class incomes and, by extension, black and Hispanic Americans.

When you block out the noise from the media and look at who Trump is as a person, you will understand that he is a man who wants to bring all of America together.

He is a man who wants the best for his people, no matter what their skin color is.


Australia: Gender quota ‘offends’ conservative new senator Susan McDonald

Incoming senator Susan McDonald has rejected a quota to boost the number of Coalition women in parliament, saying she would be “offended and humiliated” to be preselected because of her gender.

The 49-year-old single mother and businesswoman is Nationals royalty, a scion of one of the wealthiest cattle families in Queensland whose father was a mover and shaker in the party, state and federally. She supports diversity in the workplace and politics, but insists gender is only one element in the mix.

“I would be offended and humiliated if I ever thought I had been given a job based on what I was, as opposed to who I was,” Ms McDonald said. “If you’re willing to disregard all the selection criteria in favour of one, that cannot be a good outcome. I would never run a business like that and I don’t think it’s the way to run the national parliament.”

The Coalition stands to increase its female representation to 27 in the next parliament, up six, but continues to trail Labor, which is close to a 50:50 gender balance. In the House, the Liberal and National parties will have 14 female MPs against Labor’s putative 27, but the major parties are closer in the Senate, where Ms McDonald will lift the number of Coalition women to 13 against 16 for Labor.

She is stepping away from her role as managing director of the McDonald family’s five-outlet Super Butcher chain to enter the Senate on July 1 after being elected in the No 2 spot on the LNP’s Queensland ticket.

The business employs about 80 people and Ms McDonald said she had pushed to promote women provided they were qualified, a lesson that also applied to politics.

“I absolutely wanted more women managers but the moment I made that decision it was a four-year journey for me to ask women to enrol in an apprenticeship, graduate from that apprenticeship and then to start management training,” she said. “If we want to have more women in parliament we have to provide a pathway for them to understand what skill sets are needed to be a representative of the nation, in the same way that we should with men. This is not a gender thing. This is making sure that people are coming fully armed with the skills and experience that we want.”

Her own political journey has had its twists and turns. Her father, Don McDonald, helped rebuild the Queensland National Party after Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s state government was destroyed by corruption scandals in the late 1980s and went on to serve as national president. She grew up at the family station near Cloncurry in northwest Queensland, studied commerce and economics at the University of Queensland and became an accountant.

Ms McDonald understands why Tanya Plibersek bowed out of Labor’s leadership race. In 2006, she was being positioned for a winnable spot on the Senate ticket. But her marriage had broken down and the priority was her three children, then aged between six and two. “I could not be away from them as much as the job ­demanded,” she explained.

“I believe there is an age where women say they are not willing to make that sacrifice. Tanya Plibersek said that this week and I think we have to call out what this is — we need to make a job in politics possible and attractive to everybody, male or female.”

The stars aligned last year when she was preselected at the expense of veteran Nationals senator Barry O’Sullivan, dumped alongside north Queensland-based Liberal Ian Macdonald. Asked if the Coalition needed more women in parliament, Ms McDonald said: “It would be good to have a broader cross section of people in the partyrooms and in the parliament making decisions.’’



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

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

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


23 May, 2019

Posh privilege? Upper class people's 'belief that they are better than others' helps them to find jobs, study finds

This is just another example of the old halo effect.  In this case the halo emanates from the fact that a person is in a prestigious position. That tends to suggest other desirable attitudes in the person. I suppose the interesting thing here is the demonstration that the priviliged person himself perceives the halo.

And in this case there is good reason for the effects discussed below.  High status persons tend to have higher IQs and IQ does have wide-ranging positive effects.  So the privleged person has good grounds for feeling that he will do well on various tests.

So what we have is a demonstration of what Jesus said:  "For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance" (Matthew 13:12).

Self confidence is in some ways nearly as advantageous as high IQ

People from higher social classes believe themselves to be more capable than those of lower class, even if they are equally as qualified.

This leads to better outcomes in life-changing scenarios like job interviews as they are more confident than their less-privileged peers due to an inflated sense of self.

In a large scale study, scientists saw this to be true across the board, from business owners to undergraduates.

Dr Peter Belmi of the University of Virginia and lead author of the study, said: 'Advantages beget advantages. Those who are born in upper-class echelons are likely to remain in the upper class, and high-earning entrepreneurs disproportionately originate from highly educated, well-to-do families.'

Researchers from the University of Virginia conducted four separate investigations to look at the connection between social class and overconfidence.

In each study, they discovered that those from higher social classes tended to be more overconfident.

In one study, this overconfidence was shown to be misinterpreted by others as a higher level of competence.

In the biggest study, which involved business owners, researchers obtained information about the individual's income, education level and where they thought they stood in society.

The participants were also required to complete a psychological assessment that rated their self-perception.

'Posh privilege' occurs when people of a higher social class perceive themselves to be better than those of lower classes — even if such is unfounded.

Factors that lead to people developing posh privilege include higher levels of education, greater income and perception of belonging to a better  social class.

Others perceive this excess of assuredness as real and deserved confidence.

This leads to better outcomes in life-changing scenarios like job interviews as they are more confident than their less-privileged peers thanks to their inflated sense of self.

In a large-scale study, researchers found that this privilege applied universally — affecting everyone from students to business heads.

One experiment was a flashcard game where individuals were shown an image that disappeared after they press a key, before being replaced by another image.

They then have to determine whether the second image matched the first.

After completing 20 rounds, they were asked to rate how they think they performed compared to others on a scale of 1 to 100.

When the researchers compared the actual scores with the predicted scores, they found that people with more education, more income and a higher perceived social class had greater belief they performed better than others.

Two other groups each with 1,400 online participants found a similar association.

In one, the researchers gave participants a trivia test and those from a higher social class thought that they did better than others.

Again, when the researchers examined actual performance, no difference was found between the social classes based on this belief.

In the last experiment, researcher recruited 236 undergraduate students, and asked them to complete a 15-item trivia quiz and predict how they scored compared with others.

They were also asked to rate their social class and their families' income and their parents' education levels.

A week later, the students were brought back to the lab for a videotaped mock hiring interview.

More than 900 judges, recruited online, each watched one of the videos and rated their impression of the applicant's competence.

Not only were the higher social class students more confident, this overconfidence was interpreted by the judges who watched their videos as greater competence.

'Our research suggests that social class shapes the attitudes that people hold about their abilities and that, in turn, has important implications for how class hierarchies perpetuate from one generation to the next,'  they write in the study.

The study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.


Philadelphia’s Absurd Soda Tax Bombs… As Predicted

Back when Philadelphia decided to join the ranks of liberal cities fleecing its inhabitants with a soda tax to “improve their health,” we predicted here that it was going to backfire. The effects were felt almost immediately when workers starting losing their jobs at Pepsi. But still, they persevered and stuck with it. Surely people would start opting for healthier beverage options and those big tax revenues would begin streaming in to fill the city’s coffers. Now that they’ve been at it for well over a year, how did it work out?

Sales in local retail outlets have plunged by more than 50% and mysteriously people are still drinking soda.

The CNN report:

"Implementing a sales tax may help get Americans to stop drinking sugary drinks, if a new study about Philadelphia soda consumption is any indication.

In 2017, Philadelphia became the second US city to put a tax on sugary drinks and soda. In the wake of the tax, sales on those beverages dropped by a whopping 51% in the first year, according to a study published Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA.

The study compared beverage costs and sales in Philadelphia — following implementation of the 1.5 cents per ounce tax — with Baltimore, which has a similar demographic but doesn’t have the same sales tax. With the tax, beverages in Philadelphia jumped from 5.43 cents per ounce in 2016 to 6.24 cents in 2017."

Take note of how CNN chooses to open the story and the way they phrase the results. Having a sales tax of this type “may help get Americans to stop drinking sugary drinks.” Oh, so it “may,” eh? If all you read was the first few paragraphs, you might come away with the impression that this was the goal all along and it must have worked, right? A 51% decline in sales surely must mean healthier lifestyles are sweeping the city.

But that’s only if you stopped reading there. Just as happened in so many other municipalities, the report shows that soda sales in neighboring counties and towns mysterious shot up at the same time. From the article, emphasis added:

While researchers found that sales of sugary beverages fell in Philadelphia after the tax, beverage sales in nearby towns and counties without the tax went up. That suggests people may have been traveling to get their soda at a reduced price.

Wonders never cease. People stopped buying their soda in the city (and almost undoubtedly a lot of other shopping list items) and decided to shop where prices were lower. The study they reference also goes on to note that there was no corresponding increase in sales of bottled water or healthier beverage options. And as for the revenue question? They don’t even delve into that, but you can do the math easily enough. The tax on soda increased by 17%, but the sales fell by 51%.

So, let’s look at this assuming one million ounces of soda was sold anually before the tax went into effect. If sales had remained the same, the city would have realized $62,400.00 in revenue instead of $54,300.00. But with the volume cut in half, they managed to slash their revenue to $31,200.00. (I was told there would be no math. Apparently City Hall in Philadelphia was operating on the same assumption.) Great job, guys. You gutted your revenue stream, caused layoffs in the beverage industry and depressed sales in the city’s retail outlets, likely impacting entry level jobs.

But how can we blame them? I mean, who could possibly have predicted this? Well… anyone who was paying attention. The same thing happened in Chicago. It happened again in Seattle. And it nearly happened in several more California cities until the governor was forced to agree to a ten year moratorium on new soda taxes.

Dear Democrats. Please refer to the classic definition of insanity as being the practice of doing the same thing over and over again and somehow expecting different results.


British doctor under investigation for racism after asking Muslim woman to remove face veil

A GP forced out of work for asking a woman to remove her niqab has attracted more than 20,000 signatures on a petition demanding his reinstatement.

Dr Keith Wolverson could be struck off after “politely” asking a Muslim mother to remove the face veil so he could hear her properly as she described her daughter’s suspected tonsillitis.

The family doctor, who was practising at a walk-in centre at Royal Stoke University Hospital, says the woman consented without raising any objection, but that her husband turned up shortly after and made a formal complaint.

Dr Wolverson has since received a letter from the General Medical Council (GMC) informing him he is under investigation for racism and could be kicked out of the profession.

The locum, who has 23 years unblemished experience as a GP, says he has found it impossible to secure work since the incident last June and is considering taking on non-medical cosmetic work, such as injecting Botox, in order to pay the bills.

The affair has provoked outrage among many doctors and nurses online. A petition calling for the GMC to “treat this man fairly and look at all the evidence”, gained more than 20,000 signatures in little over a day.

“I’m not racist - this is nothing to do with race, religion or skin colour, it’s about clarity of communication,” Dr Wolverson told The Sun.

“I found it difficult to understand what the woman was saying behind her veil, so politely asked her to remove it. “I needed to hear what was wrong with her daughter, so I could offer the safest possible care.”

According to the complaint forwarded to the GMC by the hospital, the woman said she felt “victimised and racially discriminated against”, and that Dr Wolverson was “rude” and “gave her a dirty look”.

The family alleges Dr Wolverson refused to continue the consultation until she removed her niqab, which he denies.

GMC rules contain no explicit mention of patients' niqabs or face veils.

However, the organisation said doctors are expected to respect patients’ choice of religious dress and to consider the potential for distress if patients are asked to expose a part of their body they would rather conceal.

Dr Wolverson said most of his Muslim patients automatically remove the garment upon entering the consultation room.

He described the investigation as a “major injustice”, adding: “Doctor’s quest to perform the very finest consultation for the safety of the patient has been misinterpreted in a duplicitous manner to suggest there has been an act of racism committed.

“I absolutely no longer want to be a doctor.”


Australia: 'I'll burn for you': Pentecostal PM energises Christian voters

Scott Morrison declared his election victory a “miracle,” told an interviewer he saw people as “agents of God’s love” and used a National Press Club address to promise voters “I will burn for you” - a phrase used by some Pentecostal Christians to signify working tirelessly, often for Jesus.

One of his first acts during the campaign was to allow the cameras to record him worshipping at his church, Horizon.

Mr Morrison is not the first government leader of faith (John Howard, Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott were all Christians) but in his political language, the re-elected Prime Minister is arguably the most overt.

According to the Australian Christian Lobby’s Martyn Iles, this language - coupled with the PM’s support for religious freedom - is re-energising religious communities and turning them to the Liberal Party.

“It does give people of faith a degree of confidence when they see a Prime Minister who is clearly Christian,” Mr Iles said.
“It doesn’t surprise me when it seems like religious communities played a role in the rising support for the Liberal Party, because I think that confidence probably did play into the psychology of their vote.”

Macquarie University professor Marion Maddox, an expert on the intersection of faith and politics, said Mr Morrison’s overtly religious language was “unfamiliar territory for Australian politics”.

But it comes at a time when trust in politics has been eroded, so it could appeal to a much broader audience than just those who already have faith.

“It's saying: I have a belief in something bigger than myself, I have a belief in ideals," Dr Maddox said. "It's particularly useful when party ideology is no longer a ready reference point.”

Preliminary analysis of Australian Electoral Commission and census data suggests that a number of the key seats that swung against Labor overlap with higher-than-national-average rates of Christian households.

The seats include the Queensland seats of Herbert and Longman, where Christianity makes up the biggest religious grouping in those electorates (65 per cent and 62.4 per cent, respectively) and the Tasmanian seat of Braddon (58 per cent).

In Victoria, volatile electorates such as Deakin cut through Melbourne’s outer eastern “bible belt” and have a tendency to switch between the parties. But this also remained Liberal this year, defying Labor's hopes.

At this election, the Australian Christian Lobby also ran its first ever federal field campaign, which pointed out where the parties stood on issues such as “supporting faith-based schools to uphold their values”; “the legalisation of assisted suicide” and the “public funding of abortion”.

They distributed hundreds of thousands of leaflets, made phone calls, and undertook an extensive online campaign across six electorates: Chisholm in Victoria; Boothby in South Australia, Bass in Tasmania, Canning in Western Australia; Petrie in Queensland and McMahon in NSW. Most, with the exception of Boothby and Chisholm, recorded anti-Labor swings.

Mr Morrison’s social media platforms now show thousands of comments from people expressing religious sentiments in support of his re-election.

“Congratulations Prime Minister! We have been longing for a dedicated Christian leader here in Australia and we finally have one!!!” wrote one voter on his Facebook page. “Can’t wait to see how God is going to work in and through you in this term.”

“May God bless and guide your leadership, Scott! Praise the Lord for this miracle win,” wrote another.

In policy terms, the Australian Christian Lobby has called the Coalition’s victory a “win for religious freedom” and has urged the government to pass a Religious Freedom Act that would enshrine in law clear protections for faith-based groups. Such an act could guarantee that faith-based schools could uphold their teachings on issues such as homosexuality, allowing them to select staff on that basis.

In a written response to religious leaders on May 14, Mr Morrison committed to “providing Australians of religious belief with protections equivalent to those guaranteed in relation to other protected attributes under Commonwealth anti-discrimination law.”

However, in an apparent contradiction, the Liberal Party vowed during the campaign to “redouble” its efforts tackling discrimination against the LGBTI community, starting with the removal of exemptions allowing faith-based schools to expel gay students.

It also wrote to LGBTI lobby group Equality Australia promising to work with the states to tackle gay “conversion” therapy - an ideology and practice that is predominantly pushed by Evangelical ministries.

“We’ll be making sure they keep their promises,” said Equality Australia spokeswoman Anna Brown



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

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

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


22 May, 2019

Men are afraid to mentor women after #MeToo and it hurts us all: study

Feminist excesses are hurting women.  For their own safety from accusations, men now often avoid women. Women now get avoidance rather than help and acceptance. Frozen politenes is often now all they will get

LeanIn.org and SurveyMonkey’s new #MentorHer poll reveals Friday that 60% of male managers report feeling “too nervous” about being accused of harassment to interact with women in “common workplace” activities such as mentoring, socializing and one-on-one meetings.

That’s a 32% spike from 2018, with an additional 36% of men saying they now actively avoid women in junior-level positions — effectively chopping down their shot at climbing the corporate ladder.

“The vast majority of managers and senior leaders are men,” says Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and founder of LeanIn.org, in a statement. “If they are reluctant even to meet one-on-one with women, there’s no way women can get an equal shot at proving themselves.”

Widening the gender gap is actually an abuse of power, she says.

“We’re in a bad place — no one’s ever gotten promoted without a one-on-one meeting, I feel confident in saying that,” Sandberg tells “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King Friday. “Senior men right now are nine times more hesitant to travel with a woman and six times more likely to hesitate to have a work dinner.”

Women — and especially women of color — don’t get the same amount of mentoring as men, “which means we’re not getting an equal seat at the table,” Sandberg says. “It’s not enough to not harass us, you need to not ignore us, either.”

The study reports that the fear factor grew in concurrence with the rise of the massive #MeToo social media movement founded by activist Tarana Burke and fueled by a torrent of models and actresses accusing Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby of sexual harassment and assault.

In the last three years, scores of women — and some high-profile men, such as actors Terry Crews and Anthony Rapp — came forward to voice their experiences with harassment by people in positions of power.

Now Sandberg says it’s time for men to “step up” and “redefine what it means to be a good guy at work” — before it costs us all a whole lot of cold hard cash.

“There’s not a company in the world that can afford to leave talent on the sidelines because it’s female,” she says. “But that’s what will keep happening unless all of us — especially men — commit to doing better.”


Missouri House approves 8-week abortion ban, sending it to governor’s desk

Missouri Senate advances bill to ban abortions in the state
Ban would block women from receiving procedure at 8 weeks into pregnancy.

The Missouri House on Friday approved a restrictive abortion bill that would ban abortions after the eighth week of pregnancy -- one of a slew of similar bills in red states that have sparked a heated national debate on abortion rights.

The bill was passed by the Senate on Thursday, and now with approval from the House goes to Republican Gov. Mike Parson, who is expected to sign it.

The legislation would make Missouri one of the most restrictive states in the country for abortions. The bill includes exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for rape and incest. It also bans abortions based solely on race, sex or a diagnosis of potential Down Syndrome.

While women who have an abortion would not be prosecuted under the legislation, doctors could face as much as 15 years in prison for performing an abortion at eight weeks and beyond. Democrats opposed to the bill attacked the legislation in blistering terms.

"Laundry, bleach, acid bitter, concoction, knitting needles, bicycle spokes, ballpoint pens, jumping from the top of the stairs or the roof," Democratic Rep. Sarah Unsicker said. "These are ways that women around the world who don't have access to legal abortions perform their own."

The bill’s passage in the House comes after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a law Wednesday that would outlaw almost all abortions, making performing one punishable by up to 99 years in prison unless the mother’s health is at risk. That law, too, did not grant exemptions in cases of rape or incest.

Alabama passes strictest abortion ban in the countryVideo
"This legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God," Ivey said in a statement.

In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp this month signed a “heartbeat” bill into law that prohibits abortions in the state after a heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. That bill does allow exceptions in case of rape, incest and if the life of the mother is in danger.

"Georgia is a state that values life," Kemp said before putting his signature to the LIFE Act. "We stand up for those who are unable to speak for themselves."

The bills mark the latest shots in a looming fight over the legacy of Roe v Wade. The Alabama bill was written in part to reignite the battle over the controversial 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion across the country. Ivey noted that the bill is unenforceable because of Roe v. Wade and won’t come into force unless it is overturned.

Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have also approved abortion bans once a heartbeat can be detected. Laws in North Dakota and Iowa have been struck down by the courts. Some conservatives hope that, with the Supreme Court having shifted to the right in light of the recent appointments of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, there is now a chance the court will revisit Roe and overturn it.

But GOP Rep. Nick Schroer said the Missouri bill is "made to withstand judicial challenges and not cause them."

"While others are zeroing in on ways to overturn Roe v. Wade and navigate the courts as quickly as possible, that is not our goal," Schroer said. "However, if and when that fight comes we will be fully ready. This legislation has one goal, and that goal is to save lives."

Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Leana Wen on Thursday accused Gov. Parson of riding the "disgraceful coattails of 25 white men in Alabama who just voted to ban safe, legal abortion.”

If the courts don’t allow Missouri’s legislation to take effect, it includes a series of less-restrictive time limits (14, 18 and 20 weeks) that may be more likely to win favor with the courts.


Transgender Transformation: Even some radical feminists are realizing the danger to women posed by transgenderism

It’s been often noted, and rightly so, that transgenderism is not a meaningful scientific or medical area of study, but rather a political ideology with specific goals in mind that do not fit into any respected category of scientific thought. Those who support transgenderism — the idea that men and women can be born with a body and a brain that are of opposite genders — do not adhere to medical or biological facts, and worse still, they do not seek discussion or debate about the issue of gender “misidentity,” only blind adherence to their dogma.

The rise of this transgender ideology has been extremely harmful to our society. It puts young girls at risk because transgenderism says that men who identify as women should be allowed to use female bathrooms, locker rooms, and other personal spaces. It has thrown conventional society into complete disarray by arbitrarily changing standard gender definitions in education, commerce, sports, and entertainment.

Worst of all, transgenderism is harming the very people it purports to protect, those who are actually suffering from gender dysphoria. Transgenderism rejects the idea of psychological counseling for those wrestling with gender “identity,” opting instead to affirm their condition and let them go through the costly, dangerous, and harmful process of sexual reassignment. A process, by the way, that is just as likely to lead patients to suicide or self-destructive depression as they would be by being left unmutiliated.

The “transgender” community counts on bullying the opposition to keep the facts from coming out about gender dysphoria. Instead of treating it as a medical condition, leftists have latched onto this issue as one more way of tearing down our society, smashing our nuclear families, and deconstructing traditional gender concepts. They have found many in the media and even in the medical community to be their useful idiots in these endeavors.

They can no longer count Dr. Alicia Hendley among them.

Hendley, a career clinical psychologist who specializes in eating, mood, and anxiety disorders, was once a proud member of the transgenderism cult. She recently came out about how she discovered all that was wrong with the transgender movement. It’s a compelling read.

Hendley details how she was once a full-throated supporter of “transgender rights.” Transwomen were women and transmen were men, and biology meant nothing. She followed the movement to the letter, using social media to spread its propaganda, embrace its lies, and shout down and humiliate anyone who dare question it.

“When asked to elaborate, I pointed to vague notions of ‘knowing’ and ‘feeling,’ rather than terms that were rooted in science,” Hendley writes. “When asked to explain further, I resorted to circular reasoning: some men feel like women, and only women can feel like women, therefore some men are women. When pushed on the question of how it is possible to ‘feel like a woman,’ I’d argue that because I ‘felt’ like a woman, it must be true. Other times I resorted to name-calling, labeling women who said transwomen were male ‘bigots’ who were ‘stuck in the '50s,’ and didn’t believe in civil rights.”

Eventually, however, Hendley started to see cracks in transgender ideology.

“Was there any evidence that transgender people were at risk of imminent extermination, similar to vulnerable groups during the Holocaust? No. Were transgender people, as a group, more vulnerable than women? I had no evidence to support this claim. Was silencing women who say that transwomen are not women (and transmen are not men) a punishment that fits the ‘crime’? No.”

Hendley went back to her roots as a researcher and found some disturbing claims in otherwise respected Canadian and American medical journals on the subject of gender dysphoria. Trained physicians were actually promoting hormone treatments for pubescent children who expressed a desire to change sex. Such treatments virtually guarantee infertility, but the children were willing to go through the procedure and reject fertility preservation procedures like sperm or egg harvesting.

The doctors who support these treatments note this is common. Children at this age do not yet have the cognitive ability to understand the long-term implications of their decisions. Yet, these same doctors are willing to let them undergo a medical procedure that will irrevocably change their lives, mutilate their physiology, and possibly shorten their lifespan.

Having now emerged from this movement based on sheer madness, Hendley writes, “I’m chilled at how easy it was for me — a psychologist (now retired), ostensibly trained to understand the human mind — to become so caught up in the momentum of ‘trans rights’ that I avoided critical thought, much like a new member of a cult.”

Hendley further writes that she is reluctant to use the word cult, but a cult is exactly what transgenderism is. It boasts a complete rejection of criticism; bullies, smears, and assassinates the character of anyone who disagrees; and seeks blind adherence to its dogma.

“And, much like a cult,” Hendley continues, “those who push gender identity ideology discourage independent thought, and instead respond to requests for evidence and facts to support their beliefs with platitudes, mantras, and scare tactics, repeated over and over, until they become reality.”

Hendley’s story is a wake-up call to others in the scientific and medical professions about the dangers posed by the militant transgender movement. People we trust as experts in the fields of medicine are being fed a line of political garbage that is harming their ability to help people. It doesn’t serve our youth, it certainly isn’t serving women, and it is not serving our society. Enough is enough.


Immigration & Assimilation
The White House has released a fact sheet on President Trump’s new immigration reform plan. You can read it here.

But there is one aspect of his proposal that isn’t getting the coverage it deserves. President Trump wants our immigration policies to do a much better job of assimilating immigrants, of “Americanizing” new citizens. Here’s some of what the president said Thursday:

Throughout our history, we have proudly welcomed newcomers to our shores.  Out of many people, from many places, we have forged one people and one nation under God, and we’re very proud of it.  We share the same home, we share the same destiny, and we pledge allegiance to the same, great American flag…

To promote integration, assimilation, and national unity, future immigrants will be required to learn English and to pass a civics exam prior to admission.  Through these steps, we will deliver an immigration system that respects, and even strengthens, our culture, our traditions, and our values…

American citizenship is the most precious gift our nation has to offer.  When we swear in new citizens, we do more than give them a permit; we give them a history, a heritage, a home, and a future of limitless possibilities and potential.

Our nation used to pride ourselves on this capacity: our unique ability to instill the spirit of America into any human heart, into any human being… It’s time to restore our national unity and reaffirm our national purpose.  It is time to rebuild our country for all Americans.

I couldn’t agree more! We should be proud of our country and proud of our values.

Being an American means something. It should mean something to the people who want to come here. And as I have long argued, we should know a lot more about the people coming here. We should not be importing more hatred and anti-Semitism into the country.

Requiring immigrants to learn English, learn our history, understand our system of government and share our values is not unreasonable. It’s just common sense.

Pelosi Condemns

The president put a serious proposal on the table, which polls very well with the American people. But I had not gotten back to my car after leaving the White House on Thursday before progressives on Capitol Hill had declared the plan dead on arrival.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned the president’s immigration plan, declaring, “To say that this plan’s application criteria are ‘merit-based’ is the height of condescension.” Maxine Waters denounced the president’s plan, saying that parts of it were “very racist.” (See next item.)

There’s a narrative I am hearing among some conservatives that the only reason Democrats won’t consider Trump’s plan because they don’t want to give the president a legislative victory heading into the 2020 campaign. There is certainly some truth to that.

But here’s the problem with that analysis: It suggests that if we had a progressive president, Democrats would support securing the border, stopping the massive influx of illegal immigration and increasing funding for ICE and the Border Patrol.

Does any conservative really believe that? The reason some Democrats once supported border security is because they felt then that they couldn’t get away with saying what they really believed. This is a vastly different time.

Kristen Gillibrand has apologized for her past moderate views on immigration.

Beto O'Rourke wants to tear down what few border walls we have now.

Here’s what Rep. Ilhan Omar said Thursday: We need to abolish ICE, and end all inhumane deportation and detention programs. We need to fight back against the criminalization of immigrants and those crossing the border.

Joe Biden said recently that we have an obligation to provide free healthcare to anyone, including illegal aliens. And it’s part of the left’s “Medicare for All” plan.

This isn’t just a matter of political strategy. This is a struggle between two completely different worldviews.

The left is all in on open borders because they believe it is to their political benefit to do so. They have regularly reminded us that they believe the great heartland of America is “deplorable and irredeemable,” clinging bitterly to their “guns and religion.”

Crisis On Our Streets

There is a crisis on the border and there’s a crisis on our streets. The left is ignoring both.

The vicious gang MS-13 has claimed yet another victim right here in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. A 14 year-old girl was brutally murdered by other teenagers. The victim was hacked with a machete and beaten with a baseball bat.

As is often the case, the young victim was Hispanic. MS-13, a Latin American gang, preys on other Hispanics because the gang concentrates in other parts of the country where there are large populations of immigrants.

It is beyond absurd to suggest that securing the border and shutting down illegal alien gangs is racism. Perhaps Maxine Waters should visit the families of Jamiel Shaw, Jr., or Ronil Singh to get the perspective of other minorities who have been devastated by open borders and illegal immigration.

Inadequate Answers

I am pleased to report that Attorney General William Barr is pushing hard and demanding answers from the deep state. In an interview with Fox News, Barr said the following:

I’ve been trying to get answers to the questions, and I’ve found that a lot of the answers have been inadequate and some of the explanations I’ve gotten don’t hang together, in a sense I have more questions today than when I first started…

People have to find out what the government was doing during that period. If we’re worried about foreign influence, for the very same reason we should be worried about whether government officials abuse their power and put their thumb on the scale.

Barr’s comments come as former deep state officials have started pointing fingers and redirecting blame. That’s a good sign that Barr is starting to smoke the rats out!



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

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

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


21 May, 2019

Not all bad behavior, even when directed at a member of a minority group, is racist

But that seems to be a reality that eludes the internet mob.

Last week, Natasha Tynes, a commuter using the Washington metropolitan area’s Metro system, tweeted a photo of an African-American woman in a Metro uniform eating on a train—something that’s not allowed. She tagged Metro’s official Twitter account in her complaint, and later, gave Metro more details to help identify the employee.

Let me be clear: What Tynes did is reprehensible. She could have very well cost this woman her job—and what’s more, she made her complaint by posting a photo of the woman without her permission on a public internet platform. As far as we know, Tynes had no knowledge about what the woman was going through, and what circumstances she was dealing with that day. (Her union has since said Metro employees typically have only 20 minutes between jobs, and she needed to travel to the next place she was slated to work.)

But none of this means Tynes was motivated by racial animosity toward this woman whose eating offense apparently angered her—yet that is the assumption that many of Tynes’ detractors are making, and the assumption that led to her book deal being canceled.

And for that, she’s been smeared as a racist.

On the book review site Goodreads, people trashed her forthcoming book as revenge, giving it the lowest rating of one star. User Kali Villa-Leblanc wrote: “Written by a disgusting human being who would take time out of her day to put a black woman’s livelihood at risk for no reason. Wouldn’t read this book if it was being given out for free. Wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone who isn’t a privileged, racist, psychopath.”

User Chris Leo wrote: “This book is written by a truly evil woman who tried to get another black woman get fired for eating in Metro,” and user Vanessa said: “Natasha Tynes is a writer without empathy or humanity, a contempt at best and vicious malice for black woman at worst.”

Tynes did apologize, reportedly tweeting, “I apologize for a tweet I posted earlier today, which I have since deleted. I am truly sorry.” She later deleted her Twitter account.

Soon, her book “They Called Me Wyatt,” which had been scheduled for publication June 11, per Amazon, was canceled, with the publishing companies behind her book also accusing Tynes of racism:

If Tynes had lost her book deal for being a terrible neighbor or a humorless tattletale, fine.

But that’s not what happened—and federal lawmakers weighing in only makes this worse. Because the lesson here seems to be that any negative comment about any minority person is racist.

If that’s the standard, race relations will only get worse in our country.

Of course, make no mistake: Racism still exists in the United States. Just ask Republican Sen. Tim Scott, who delivered a powerful speech in 2016 about how he felt his skin color made him a target of police at times: “In the course of one year, I’ve been stopped seven times by law enforcement,” the South Carolina senator stated.

But there’s no contradiction between racism still existing and the conclusion that not every negative comment directed at a minority person is racist in nature.

The end of racism is stopping judging people by the color of their skin, not stopping judging people of certain races or ethnic groups entirely. It’s crucial to our American identity to judge and look at people as individuals, not fall into the trap of identity politics and tribalism.

Tynes’ critics may be celebrating now. But in the long run, they’ve hurt, not helped, race relations in the United States.


Muslim terrorist training camp found in Alabama

Authorities have discovered a second homegrown Muslim terrorist training facility owned by a terrorist organization presided over by the son of jihadist iman Siraj Ibn Wahhaj.

The FBI found the camp near Tuskegee, Alabama, and reportedly described it as containing a “makeshift military-style obstacle course.” Details are few.

Researchers at WPMI-TV, an NBC affiliate in Mobile, Alabama, uncovered the existence of the second facility after combing through legal documents and reported on it April 29 but the national media only picked up the story in recent days.

The April 29 report states:

NBC 15 News uncovered a heavily redacted court file connecting this property to an alleged terrorist training camp 1400 miles away in New Mexico. Using clues from the cryptic court filing, we found land records showing the Alabama property is owned by accused terrorist Siraj Wahhaj. The recently unsealed federal search warrant says on this two acre Tuskegee property the terror suspects built a second compound.

Researchers concluded that “the items discovered on the Macon County property mirrored those recovered in New Mexico.”

The TV station reports it “found tires, trash, children’s toys and respirators,” adding the FBI “believes the group spent at least several weeks here.”

Federal authorities appear to have made the Alabama connection with this group back in December 2017 when Siraj Wahhaj crashed his 2004 Ford Explorer on 1-65 in rural Chilton County, Alabama about an hour and a half away from the compound. The FBI says there were five guns in that car, a bullet-proof vest, and a bag of ammunition. Investigators say Wahhaj and a friend were allowed to remove the firearms from the Explorer into a box truck. They told police they were going camping 1,400 miles away in New Mexico. Eight months later, the desert compound was raided.

In March a federal grand jury in New Mexico indicted five Muslims who, among other things, allegedly trained children to carry out spree killings, formally charging them with terrorism-related offenses, conspiracy to commit murder, and kidnapping.

The defendants, all in their mid-thirties to early forties, are Jany Leveille, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, Hujrah Wahhaj, Subhanah Wahhaj, and Lucas Morton. Leveille reportedly used to work at Imam Wahhaj’s terrorist-linked mosque, Masjid At-Taqwa, in Brooklyn, New York. All five co-conspirators are related by blood or marriage.

The quintet was arrested after authorities found 11 hungry, filthy children living in squalid conditions in a makeshift militant training compound in Amalia, Taos County, a remote part of New Mexico, during a raid by local police on Aug. 3, 2018. The children were being trained to commit school shootings, according to court documents. The remains of a three-year-old disabled boy, since identified as the son of defendant Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, were discovered on the property which was filled with weapons. The indictment accused the defendants of kidnapping the special-needs boy and transporting him from Georgia to New Mexico. The defendants were previously indicted on weapons and conspiracy charges on Aug. 31, 2018.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj’s father of the same name is a notorious Muslim holy man. Wahhaj Sr. was close to Omar Abdel Rahman, the “Blind Sheikh” who orchestrated the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 that left seven people (including an unborn baby) dead. Imam Wahhaj testified as a character witness for the sheikh, calling him a “respected scholar ... bold ... [and] a strong preacher of Islam,” and that he felt honored to have hosted Rahman at his mosque, according to Discover The Networks.

Imam Wahhaj used to be a member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) national advisory board. He offered an opening prayer at an event called “Jumah at the DNC” at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 and has been called the spiritual adviser of jihad sympathizer and Bernie Sanders supporter Linda Sarsour. The openly anti-Semitic Sarsour sits on the board of the Women’s March organization and openly admits membership in America’s largest Marxist group, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

The terrorist cell’s religious inspiration has been identified as Leveille, who is Siraj Ibn Wahhaj’s wife and an illegal alien from Haiti.

According to FBI Special Agent Travis Taylor, Leveille depicted herself to children at the armed camp as a kind of prophet and claimed she was receiving divine messages from the “Angel Gabriel.” It is a tenet of Islam that Gabriel, an archangel, dictated the Koran to Muhammad.

Leveille and her husband “sought to recruit and train persons, including minor children, to be prepared to engage in jihad and train an army of jihad and to die as martyrs,” Taylor previously testified.

Leveille’s husband allegedly trained the children in the camp in military techniques, including the use of firearms and rapid reloading. He also reportedly told the children that “jihad” means killing non-Muslims.

The investigation in Alabama apparently continues.


Political Correctness Is Destroying Philadelphia

When most Americans think of Philadelphia—although probably fewer today than ever before, given the low level of history education in American schools—they probably think of the founding of the United States, the Liberty Bell, and the city’s nickname, the City of Brotherly Love.

Having been to Philadelphia at least 20 times, I am among the many Americans who have warm feelings toward America’s founding city. My daily radio show has a large and enthusiastic listener base there, and I have a son who lives nearby.

So, it is with no joy that I write about the transformation of Philadelphia into something far removed from the principles of the country it helped birth. Philadelphia’s leading institutions—such as the University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Flyers—provide depressing evidence.

We’ll begin with the Philadelphia-based University of Pennsylvania, one of the country’s Ivy League colleges. When Harvard professor Steven Pinker, a liberal and an atheist, recently described American universities as a “laughingstock,” he could have been referring specifically to the University of Pennsylvania, which, among other Philadelphia institutions, is committed to dismantling American and Western civilization.

For decades, a portrait of William Shakespeare, the greatest English-language playwright who ever lived and the most widely read playwright in the world, hung over the main staircase of Fisher-Bennett Hall, home to Penn’s English department.

Given Shakespeare’s stature as an English-language writer, what other writer would an English department so honor? But that question only makes sense to those who believe that excellence should dictate what writer’s portrait should hang in a university English department.

The idea that excellence is all that matters in assessing artists is fundamental to Western civilization and is a primary reason for its ascent. It took a long time for humanity to transcend ethnic, racial, tribal, and economic criteria for assessing art.

But the English department at the University of Pennsylvania, dominated as it is by those who equate Western civilization with “white supremacy” (aka leftists), voted to remove the Shakespeare portrait.

As reported in The Daily Pennsylvanian, the university’s student newspaper, “The English Department voted to relocate and replace the portrait … in order to represent a more diverse range of writers, according to an emailed statement from [Department Chair Jed] Esty, who declined to be interviewed.”

A few years later, in December 2016, students took down the portrait.

In its place they put up a portrait of Audre Lorde, a black feminist lesbian poet who died in 1992.

Equally nihilistic is a story out of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. On Aug. 9, 2017, tenured Penn Law professor Amy Wax and University of San Diego School of Law professor Larry Alexander co-authored an opinion piece titled “Paying the price for breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture.”

Its thesis was that the rejection of American bourgeois middle-class culture is the primary reason for most social ills in America today:

[American] culture laid out the script we all were supposed to follow: Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.

Within a few weeks, a petition was signed by 4,000 people calling for Wax’s dismissal, and the dean of Penn Law, Ted Ruger, wrote an op-ed in The Daily Pennsylvanian, ostensibly about Charlottesville but really about Wax, in which he implied her views were “divisive, even noxious.”

Most significantly, he wrote, “It is important that I state my own personal view that as a scholar and educator I reject emphatically any claim that a single cultural tradition is better than all others” (referring to Wax’s position that those bourgeois values are superior values).

After hundreds of her colleagues demanded Wax be fired, Ruger forbade her from teaching any first-year required courses at Penn Law.

Now to the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the world’s greatest. The orchestra recently received more than 500 applications for the position of assistant conductor.

According to my Philly sources, the four finalists included only one male (a black male, for the record), despite the fact that males make up the overwhelming majority of orchestra conductors in the world and therefore the overwhelming majority of the applicants for the Philadelphia Orchestra position.

There is little reason to believe that, as talented as they may be, the four were chosen on the basis of artistic excellence alone. The orchestra’s gifted conductor, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, has declared this the year of the woman conductor and the year of the woman composer.

Most musicians are on the left, but Nezet-Seguin makes it more obvious than most. In a recent concert, the Philadelphia Orchestra featured the premiere of Philadelphia Voices, “a political rant put to musical garbage,” as some Philadelphians associated with the orchestra described it to me.

In the fifth movement, named “My House Is Full of Black People,” the black teen narrator chants: “The county is full of black people/ All wanting to be heard/ While old white men draw lines on maps/ To shut all of them up.” Later in the movement, he yells, “If you would all just f—ing listen!”

And this year, the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team removed the statue of American singer Kate Smith that the team had erected in 1987. Her rendition of “God Bless America” was played at every Flyers home game since 9/11, and she herself sang it for the Flyers in the 1970s.

But last month, the team learned that Smith had sung a song with racist lyrics—“That’s Why Darkies Were Born”—in 1931. That Paul Robeson, the great black singer—and enthusiastic supporter of Josef Stalin—also recorded the song doesn’t matter. To the Flyers (and New York Yankees), Smith’s whiteness undid all the good she did for America.

Will Philadelphia next remove the Liberty Bell? After all, it was commissioned by slave owners and inscribed with a verse from the Bible.


John Stuart Mill warned of the coming ‘social tyranny’ that is taking root on social media

In John Stuart Mill’s magnum opus, On Liberty, which provides one of the most compelling defenses of free speech in human history, the philosopher warned how a tyranny of the majority could impose censorship that would be “more formidable” than even governmental censorship and that it could “enslav[e] the soul” with little room for escape. Mill said, “Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection also against the tyranny of prevailing opinion and feeling…” Are we in danger of a social tyranny on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, where members of the community are being singled out and silenced because they hold unpopular views?

Mill wrote, “[W]hen society is itself the tyrant — society collectively over the separate individuals who compose it — its means of tyrannising are not restricted to the acts which it may do by the hands of its political functionaries. Society can and does execute its own mandates; and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.”

Are we in danger of a social tyranny on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, where members of the community are being singled out and silenced because they hold unpopular views?

A recent example that has garnered a lot of attention recently has been actor James Woods being suspended from Twitter. Woods’ apparent crime? He paraphrased Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous response to Oliver Wendell Holmes’ criticism of Plato in 1875, where he warned against crossing giants: “When you strike at a king, you must kill him.”

Woods’ iteration was in reaction to the outcome of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. That, after three years of investigation by intelligence agencies, the Justice Department and eventually, Mueller, no coordination or conspiracy by President Donald Trump, his campaign or any American with Russia was found.

Woods wrote in April, “If you try to kill the King, you better not miss. #HangThemAll.”

For the duration of the Russia collusion investigation, critics of the President have routinely gone on social media to pronounce that Trump was guilty of treason, a capital crime. The #TrumpTreason hashtag remains a popular locale to call the President a traitor.

It turned out to be a hoax perpetrated by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, who hired via law firm Perkins Coie Fusion GPS and former British spy Christopher Steele to pen the allegations that Trump and his campaign were Russian agents who had coordinated the hack of the DNC and publishing the emails on Wikileaks.

But, apparently, if you suggest that those who pursued the false investigation of Trump were guilty of treason and should be punished accordingly, that can be a bannable or suspendable offense on Twitter. The #Treason hashtag includes a lot of posts like that, but also goes in the opposite direction and similarly declare the President a traitor.

The question is not whether or not treason should be punished by death, for it clearly is under federal law, 18 U.S. Code §?2381, which states “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death…”

So, if you declare that somebody is a traitor of the U.S., you are at least implying they should be executed. Let’s be clear. It is a capital crime. Woods was explicit. He thought the investigation into Trump, based on concocted evidence, was treason and should be punished accordingly. But, so what?

If somebody reacts to a murder and there is a prosecution, and that person were to take to social media advocating the death penalty for that capital crime, is that an incitement to violence, or a call for the rule of law to be vindicated? Or, what if somebody advocates for a war to be declared by Congress on a country in another instance, mindful that thousands or millions of people could die?

The point is it’s all pretty subjective. As noted above, it is extremely common in political discourse for opponents to accuse each other of being traitors. It happens a lot. Even if you think Woods was over the top, it does not seem to rise to any level that would merit a suspension on a social media platform. But that’s exactly what happened here.

If anything, that’s pretty tame in comparison to some of the stuff you see online that doesn’t get banned.

In a statement to the Daily Wire, Woods said, “Twitter demanded that I rescind my tweet paraphrasing Emerson. It now seems they have chosen to delete that tweet from my account without my permission. Until free speech is allowed on Twitter, I will not be permitted to participate in our democracy with my voice.”

This is just one example, but it underscores the point that even though Woods had more than 2 million followers on Twitter that took years to build, utter the wrong words and that can come all crashing down. Your business and access to your fans can be cut off.

It is censorship, no question.

To be clear, it is not be censorship by the government. Twitter is a private institution and is not bound by the First Amendment. But it is censorship all the same. And it is not something society has to take lying down.

Now, the White House is getting into gear and urging Americans to document instances where their voices are being silence on social media at http://whitehouse.gov/techbias. The website states, “SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS should advance FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Yet too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned, or fraudulently reported for unclear ‘violations’ of user policies. No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump.”

The reach of social media is undeniable. A Pew report found 68 percent of adult Americans use Facebook, or over 170 million. 24 percent use Twitter, or about 61 million. The ease of access on our phones and computers has made social media a go-to source for politicians, political parties, pundits, actors, companies and just about everybody to speak their mind.

In every way possible, social media is the “marketplace of ideas” that Mill and others championed. But now it is not upholding the spirit of free speech. Mill wrote, “Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection also against the tyranny of prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them; to fetter the development and, if possible prevent the formation of any individuality not in harmony with its ways, and compel all characters to fashion themselves upon the model of its own.”

Mill added, “There is a limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence; and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs as protection against political despotism.” The question for Mill and us today is where that limit is and ought to be placed. Mill called it “the principal question of human affairs.”

Mill laid out his principle, which was that “the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”

Now, terms of service on social media platforms like Twitter certainly forbid imminent threats of violence, but they also tend to forbid wishing for physical or other serious harm on others, as well. So, in the Woods example, calling for traitors to be hanged or executed — even though that is a potential punishment for treason under the law — seems like it might run afoul of the terms of use. On the other hand the terms of service that Woods supposedly violated say that the threat must be directed at an “individual or group of people.” “#HangThemAll” may not be explicit enough to warrant a violation. It does not really pose any specific or imminent harm to anyone.

But let me add that even if Woods had said a specific individual, one of the persons who investigated Trump, for example, was guilty of treason and should be tried in a court of law, convicted and punished to the fullest extent allowable, which is death, I do not think it would merit a banning. For nowhere in such an example is he calling for people to take matters into their own hands and is instead calling for due process, even if the reading of the law is not necessarily correct.

If a line needs to be drawn, I’d suggest a specific and/or imminent threat of violence would be a permissible threshold to prevent harm unto others, such as outlined in the Supreme Court decision, Brandenburg v. Ohio, in which the advocacy “is likely to incite or produce such action.”

This may not be something government regulation under our system could really touch upon under the First Amendment. Private institutions like social media platforms need to police themselves. But in their dominant market positions, they have an additional responsibility to society to find, in Mill’s words, the limit of “legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence,” for that limit is “indispensable to a good condition of human affairs.”

And even then, we should be mindful that in politics, words can get heated sometimes. In the marketplace of ideas, sometimes comments will get deleted, and not at all consistently, and if it is unwarranted, individuals in that marketplace will respond.

Mill’s antidote was discussion. Perhaps instead of deleting Woods’ tweet, somebody should have debated with it, and said erroneous prosecutions are not treasonous per se, even against a sitting President. And then those who thought it was traitorous could respond, and there’d be a debate. No harm there.

If on the other hand, we move toward more censorship of political voices, there will certainly be more calls for regulation, especially if the push seems to be aimed toward a one-party system. In April 2018, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey retweeted an article by Peter Leyden and Ruy Teixeira that called our political discourse a “new civil war,” with Leyden and Teixeira writing, “America can’t afford more political paralysis. One side or the other must win. This is a civil war that can be won without firing a shot. But it is a fundamental conflict between two worldviews that must be resolved in short order.”

It called for “Democratic One-Party Rule” in the U.S. as a means of reconciling the nation’s challenges and implementing the progressive agenda.

Dorsey called it a “great read.”

Is that the direction social media is moving now, to silence its political opponents? To create one-party rule? Sounds pretty undemocratic. One-party rule is the tyranny of a majority or a minority, but it does not condone dissent.

These platforms may want to come up with an industry standard that airs on the side of discussion and is more consistent. It’s easier to enforce freedom of speech than it is to effectively monitor billions of communications for fouls. User tools allow individuals to mute others already and allow groups and pages to monitor and remove objectionable communications on their own platforms.

Republics, at their core, are fragile things. To survive, the freedom from political violence must be maintained. It is not something I personally endorse. Nor do I think the power of law should be used for political ends to go after political opponents. But I acknowledge that such factionalism is an implication of free speech, and I’d rather have free speech with factions and its calls for political prosecutions or accusations of treason than a regime of censorship that seeks to police it.

James Madison wrote of this in the Federalist No. 10, “There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests. It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy, that it was worse than the disease. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.”

Madison continued, “The second expedient is as impracticable as the first would be unwise. As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves. The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government.”

So, too must the freedom from being silenced be maintained. Facebook and Twitter will not cure us of faction, and if that is their intent, they should stop providing platforms to anyone for what they might do with it.

There’s a good balance here and banning “#HangThemAll” may not be it.

So, let’s try free speech. Debate is the solution. As Mill wrote, “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”



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

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

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


20 May, 2019

Large glass of fruit juice a day increases risk of premature death, research suggests

The academic journal referenced appears to be this one. It's a parade of a small number of studies with inconsistent and weak effects so is essentially speculative.

And the conclusions are contra-indicated by other studies.  We read elsewhere for instance: 

"Compared with no consumption, pure fruit juice consumption up to 7 glasses/week – but not consumption of ?8 glasses – was significantly associated with reduced risk of CVD and CHD, with HR from 0·83 (95 % CI 0·73, 0·95) to 0·88 (95 % CI 0·80, 0·97). Consumption of 1–4 and 4–8 glasses/week was significantly associated with lower risk of stroke with HR of 0·80 (95 % CI 0·64, 0·99) and 0·76 (95 % CI 0·61, 0·94), respectively"

So is fruit juice beneficial or harmful?  Take your pick!

Fruit juice could be even worse for the health than drinking cola and lemonade, US research suggests. The study of 13,000 adults found that a 12 oz glass of juice a day could increase the risk of early death by almost a quarter.

Experts said the fructose content of such drinks could be driving up insulin resistance and stimulating hormones that promotes fat deposition around the waist. Both can lead to a greater chance of heart disease and diabetes.

The new research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), compared, for the first time, 100 per cent fruit juices with sugar-sweetened beverages such as cola and lemonade.

It found that higher death rates were associated with consumption of all sugary drinks.

A daily 12 oz (340ml) glass of a sugar-sweetened drink such as cola was linked to a 6 per cent increased risk of early death over the six year study.

And drinking an extra fruit juice of the same volume was linked to a 24 per cent rise in premature mortality.

Researchers from Emory University in Atlanta and Cornell University in New York, said the impact did not seem to stem just from the impact of the drinks on obesity, as the findings were adjusted to take account of this.

However, the study was observational, so it could not demonstrate that the drinks caused the increased health risks.

During an average follow-up of six years, there were 1,000 deaths from any cause. Participants had an average age of 64 at the start of the study.

British scientists said the findings were important.

They said many people drank too many juices and smoothies, disregarding their high sugar content, when they would be better eating pieces of fruit, which are more filling.

The NHS recommends a maximum of one portion of 150 ml of fruit juice daily, as part of “5 a day”.

Typically, people in the study got 8.4 per cent of their calorie intake each day from sugar-sweetened drinks and 4 per cent from 100 per cent fruit juice.

Dr Gunter Kuhnle, associate professor in nutrition and health at the University of Reading, said: "This is a very important study, especially as fruit juices are often seen as a 'healthy' alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages, even though they often contain much more sugar (especially smoothies).

"Fruit juices are a poor replacement for actual fruit consumption, in particular as they can be much more easily over-consumed,” he said.

"In the UK, the general recommendation is that a 150ml glass of fruit juice can provide one of the five-a-day, but not more.

"This is less than half of the amount found in this study to result in a modest increase in mortality, so there is no suggestion from this study that one glass a day is problematic,” he said.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: “This study is a reminder that consuming sugary drinks can contribute to dental caries, increased calories, weight gain, and associated ill health.

“Current advice is to swap sugary drinks for water, lower fat milks and lower sugar or diet drinks.  While fruit and vegetable juices can contribute to one of your 5 A Day, it’s important to limit juice and smoothies to a total of 150 mls each day as they can still contain high amounts of sugar.”


Mass: Jewish community centers torched at  Arlington, Needham

Authorities are investigating whether three acts of arson at Jewish institutions in Arlington and Needham within the past week are related, in what appear to be the latest in a troubling string of anti-Semitic incidents around the United States and world that have drawn widespread condemnation.

The home of Rabbi Avi Bukiet at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life Arlington-Belmont in Arlington was targeted by an arsonist on May 11 and again on Thursday, while another fire was intentionally set at the Chabad Jewish Center in Needham about one hour later Thursday night, officials said.

All three were quickly extinguished, and state Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey's office described them as "arson fires."

The Arlington fires targeted "not just a Jewish center" but also "our personal family," Bukiet said at a news conference Friday with his wife, Luna, local officials, and leaders of the local Jewish community. Acknowledging that "we are hurting," Bukiet said his family is heartened by the support they have received, has no plans to move, and vowed not to be intimidated.

"It just shows us that we are in a community where we want to stay, where we plan on staying, and where we plan on thriving," Bukiet said. "We will forever hold that message up to the community around us. We will persevere with their help, and with God's help."

Rabbi Mendy Krinsky of the Needham Chabad center said that while damage from the fire Thursday night was minimal, the incident was "very concerning." His wife, Chanie, said in a post on Facebook that she "woke my kids and jumped into the car" to keep them warm and protected.

As in Arlington, the Needham Chabad received an "unbelievable outpouring of love and support from all directions," Krinsky said, and he added: "We're not going to be deterred."

The regional director of the Anti-Defamation League of New England sent a notice on the eve of Shabbat Friday suggesting Jewish institutions "take added precautions and exhibit a high degree of vigilance."

"Attacking any place of worship is a despicable act, but since these buildings are also family homes where children live, eat, and play, we consider the apparent attacks to be extremely serious," Robert Trestan said in his letter.

Appearing at the news conference, Trestan said the ADL has contributed toward the $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the fires.

Anti-Semitic violence has been rising sharply over the past several years, a disturbing trend that includes the deadliest attack on Jewish people in the United States ever, the October 2018 shooting at a temple in Pittsburgh that killed 11 worshipers. Earlier this month the ADL released its Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents that counted 144 incidents in Massachusetts in 2018, the second highest on record, surpassed only by 2017 when there were 177.

The first fire started around 11 p.m. last Saturday at the rear of the Arlington center, which houses the Bukiet family and hosts Hebrew classes and religious services. Acting Arlington Police Chief Julie Flaherty said the small fire was quickly extinguished, but a second one broke out at the rear of the residence around 9 p.m. Thursday. Flaherty said an officer used a fire extinguisher to put that one out, limiting the damage to an exterior shingle.

Flaherty said police have released video footage of a suspicious person leaving the area Saturday and urged anyone with information about the case to contact law enforcement.

The fire at the Needham Chabad center broke out not much later Thursday night, and Ostroskey's office said that blaze was "intentionally set." Needham police Chief John Schlittler said his officers and Arlington police are reviewing whether the fires are connected.

Chabad houses are the center of religious and social life of the Lubavitch Hasidic movement. The Chabad Center for Jewish Life Arlington-Belmont describes itself as "a place where Judaism is celebrated joyfully and meaningfully, where Judaism sheds relevant perspective to our daily lives," according to its website.

The Chabad Jewish Center in Needham has worshipers from suburban communities including Needham, Dedham, Dover, and Westwood, and says on its website that it is "dedicated to serving the Jewish community with Ahavas Yisroel - an unconditional love and concern for every Jew, regardless of age, background, affiliation, or level of observance."


David Limbaugh: Democrats Unhinged Over Alabama's Abortion Bill

Alabama's mostly Republican lawmakers and governor passed a strong abortion ban this week, and liberals are fit to be tied.

"Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, a bill that was approved by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the legislature," said Gov. Kay Ivey. "To the bill's many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians' deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God."

In today's secular culture, the governor's invocation of God is almost as bold as signing the bill into law. But it's gratifying that some public officials are willing to observe that respect for life is fundamentally a spiritual issue.

I'm sure many leftists are horrified at the reference to God, but they have their hands full hyperventilating over the strictness of the law itself, and so, they will probably let this slide for now. The bill prohibits abortion except when the life of the mother is in jeopardy or the unborn child has a "lethal anomaly." The bill makes it a felony for doctors to perform or attempt to perform an abortion.

In her statement, Ivey acknowledged that the law might not be constitutional under the Supreme Court's notorious 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states. But she noted that the bill's sponsors hope the bill will prompt the court to revisit this issue.

Not to be unduly pessimistic, but frankly, I'm not sure why Democrats are so exercised. Justices Roberts and Kavanaugh have both expressed their abiding respect for longstanding Supreme Court precedent, apparently even if, like Roe, its rationale was manufactured out of whole cloth. The court's decision was not only egregious in substance — inventing a constitutional right to abortion out of imaginary language in the Constitution creatively referred to as "emanations" and "penumbras"; its effect on society was just as bad.

Before the decision, the issue of abortion was the prerogative of the individual states, determined democratically by their duly elected representatives. The court's fiat was not only erroneous on its face; it tyrannically divested the authority of the states. This federal judicial travesty sparked national acrimony over abortion. Judicial tyranny, where it occurs, is just as bad as executive despotism.

Here we are almost 50 years later, and the court still hasn't overturned Roe. But when any of the sovereign states dares to pass a law outside Roe's parameters, liberals become unhinged, huffing hysterically about the state's audacity to deviate from the court's ruling.

Yet every day, liberals around the nation enact measures they know violate existing constitutional precedent with the undisguised intent that they serve as test cases and that courts, under relentless pressure from their activism, will change the law. When liberals do it, it's noble activism; when conservatives do it, it's anarchy.

The Guardian, for example, framed the Alabama law in racial and gender terms. Why not? That's what liberals do. It's almost all they know anymore. "These 25 Republicans — all white men — just voted to ban abortion in Alabama," the headline reads. The law, according to the article, "will disproportionately affect black and poor women, because they are more likely to seek abortions, and less likely to have resources to obtain an abortion out-of-state."

Not once did the article allude to the only innocent party in the equation: the unborn baby. Nor did it mention that America's abominably liberal abortion laws result in the grossly disproportionate killing of innocent black babies. Pro-life leaders in the black community have said that "the most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb" and that abortion "is the most institutionalized form of racism" in America.

Planned Parenthood, the left's favorite abortion factory, was outraged at the bill. "Today is a dark day for women in Alabama and across the country," said Staci Fox, CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast. "Banning abortion is horrible ... We will take this to court and ensure abortion remains safe and legal and accessible in the state of Alabama." She forgot "profitable."

Democratic leaders were seemingly in a competition over who could condemn the law most harshly. Hillary Clinton said it is an example of "appalling attacks on women's lives and fundamental freedoms." We can safely infer that she was not factoring in the female babies' lives the law would protect. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said the "ban is dangerous and exceptionally cruel." She did not comment on whether the law is cruel to the unborn babies. Warren and Sen. Kamala Harris both noted that the law is an attack on Roe v. Wade.

Yes, that's kind of the point, and Alabama's Republicans are admitting it. Isn't it about time the court revisited Roe in earnest? What these Democrats don't say is that their best hope of preserving existing abortion law is for the court to affirm its lawless 1973 decision, either through some newly created legal fiction or in almost-idolatrous fidelity to long-standing but screamingly bad precedent.

As I say, I doubt the court, even as currently constituted, will overrule Roe outright, but it would be a glorious day for America, and for God's innocent unborn babies, if it were to do so.


Why freedom of speech should apply to Google, Facebook and the internet

“But, it’s a private company.”

It’s a familiar argument. Bring up the problem of Google, Facebook and Twitter suppressing conservative speech and many conservatives will retort that it’s a free market. The big dot com monopolies created their own companies, didn’t they? And we wouldn’t want government regulation of business.

In a FOX Business editorial, Iain Murray writes that breaking up dot coms like Google would be "a repudiation of conservative principles". He argues that "Twitter is a private company" and that "there is no positive right to free speech on Twitter or any other private venue."

“The same goes for the president’s attacks on Google and the complaints of conservative censorship," Diane Katz writes at the Heritage Institute. "These private enterprises are not obligated to abide any sort of partisan fairness doctrine."

The talking point that Google, Facebook and Twitter are private companies that can discriminate as they please on their private platforms, and that the First Amendment doesn’t apply, is in the air everywhere.

But it overlooks two very simple facts.

The driving force behind the censorship of conservatives isn’t a handful of tech tycoons. It’s elected officials. Senator Kamala Harris offered an example of that in a recent speech where she declared that she would "hold social media platforms accountable" if they contained "hate" or "misinformation".

“Misinformation” is a well-known euphemism among Democrats and the media for conservative political content. It was originally known as “fake news” before President Trump hijacked the term to refer to the media. The recent Poynter list of “unreliable” sites was stacked with conservative sites. Lists like these aren’t hypothetical. Poynter runs the International Fact Checking Network which had been empowered by Facebook and other sites to deplatform conservative content through its ‘fact checks’.

All of this got underway in response to claims by Hillary Clinton and her allies that “fake news” had cost her the election and represented a grave attack on our democracy. The call was quickly taken up by Democrats in the House and the Senate. It’s been commented on supportively by powerful Clinton allies in the tech industry, like Eric Schmidt, the former chairman of Google.

Dot coms like Facebook are cracking down on conservatives as an explicit response to pressure from elected government officials. That’s not the voluntary behavior of private companies. When Facebook deletes conservatives in response to threats of regulatory action from Senate Democrats, its censors are acting as government agents while engaging in viewpoint discrimination.

Free market conservatives can argue that Facebook should have the right to discriminate against conservatives. But do they really want to argue that Senate Democrats should have the right to compel private companies to censor conservatives?

What’s the difference between that and a totalitarian state?

It might, arguably, be legal for your landlord to kick you out of your house because he doesn’t like the fact that you’re a Republican. But is it legal for him to do so on orders from Senator Kamala Harris?

Defending abusive behavior like that is a desecration of the free market.

The second fact is that the internet is not the work of a handful of aspiring entrepreneurs who built it out of thin air using nothing but their talent, brains and nimble fingers.

The internet was the work of DARPA. That stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA is part of the Department of Defense. DARPA had funded the creation of the core technologies that made the internet possible. The origins of the internet go back to DARPA's Arpanet.

Nor did the story end once the internet had entered every home.

Where did Google come from? "The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine," the original paper by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the co-founders of Google, reveals support from the National Science Foundation, DARPA, and even NASA.

Harvard’s computer science department, where Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg learned to play with the toys that turned him into a billionaire, has also wallowed in DARPA cash. Not to mention funds from a variety of other DOD and Federal science agencies.

Taxpayer sank a fortune into developing a public marketplace where ideas are exchanged, and political advocacy and economic activity takes place. That marketplace doesn’t belong to Google, Amazon or Facebook. And when those monopolies take a stranglehold on the marketplace, squeezing out conservatives from being able to participate, they’re undermining our rights and freedoms.

"A right of free correspondence between citizen and citizen on their joint interests, whether public or private and under whatsoever laws these interests arise (to wit: of the State, of Congress, of France, Spain, or Turkey), is a natural right," Thomas Jefferson argued.

There should be a high barrier for any company seeking to interfere with the marketplace of ideas in which the right of free correspondence is practiced.

Critics of regulating dot com monopolies have made valid points.

Regulating Google or Facebook as a public utility is dangerous. And their argument that giving government the power to control content on these platforms would backfire is sensible.

Any solution to the problem should not be based on expanding government control.

But there are two answers.

First, companies that engage in viewpoint discrimination in response to government pressure are acting as government agents. When a pattern of viewpoint discrimination manifests itself on the platform controlled by a monopoly, a civil rights investigation should examine what role government officials played in instigating the suppression of a particular point of view.

Liberals have abandoned the Public Forum Doctrine, once a popular ACLU theme, while embracing censorship. But if the Doctrine could apply to a shopping mall, it certainly applies to the internet.

In Packingham v. North Carolina, the Supreme Court's decision found that, "A fundamental principle of the First Amendment is that all persons have access to places where they can speak and listen."

The Packingham case dealt with government interference, but when monopolies silence conservatives on behalf of government actors, they are fulfilling the same role as an ISP that suspends a customer in response to a law.

When dot com monopolies get so big that being banned from their platforms effectively neutralizes political activity, press activity and political speech, then they’re public forums.

Second, rights are threatened by any sufficiently large organization or entity, not just government. Government has traditionally been the most powerful such organization, but the natural rights that our country was founded on are equally immune to every organization. Governments, as the Declaration of Independence asserts, exist as part of a social contract to secure these rights for its citizens.

Government secures these rights, first and foremost, against itself. (Our system effectively exists to answer the question of who watches the watchers.) But it also secures them against foreign powers, a crisis that the Declaration of Independence was written to meet, and against domestic organizations, criminal or political, whether it’s the Communist Party or ISIS, that seek to rob Americans of their rights.

A country in which freedom of speech effectively did not exist, even though it remained a technical right, would not be America. A government that allowed such a thing would have no right to exist.

Only a government whose citizens enjoy the rights of free men legally justifies is existence.

If a private company took control of all the roads and closed them to conservatives every Election Day, elections would become a mockery and the resulting government would be an illegitimate tyranny.

That’s the crisis that conservatives face with the internet.

Protecting freedom of speech does not abandon conservative principles, it secures them. There are no conservative principles without freedom of speech. A free market nation without freedom of speech isn’t a conservative country. It’s an oligarchy. That’s the state of affairs on the internet.

Conservatives should beware of blindly enlisting in leftist efforts to take regulatory control of companies like Facebook. The result would be a deeper and more pervasive form of censorship than exists today. But neither should they imagine that the ‘free market side of history’ will automatically fix the problem.

As the internet has devolved from its origins in academia to a set of handheld devices controlled by one of two companies, and then to a set of smart assistants controlled by one of two companies, it has become far less open. Even if Google were to lose its monopoly, Silicon Valley hosts a politicized workforce which allies with the media to compel any rising new company to toe the same line.

And if that fails, there are always House and Senate hearings and harder laws coming out of Europe.

We have an existing useful toolset to draw on, from anti-trust laws to civil rights investigations to the Public Forum Doctrine. This will be a challenging process, but we must remember through it all, that we have a right to freedom of speech on the internet. Our tax dollars, invested over generations, built this system. It does not belong to the Left. Or, for that matter, the Right. It belongs to all of us.



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

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

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


19 May, 2019

AG Barr Urges Return to 'Comply First, Complain Later' in Dealings With Police

This is hugely important advice that could save lots of lives. The media are full of police treating blacks harshly, even killing them.  But it regularly emerges that the black concerned was being defiant to the police.  As defiance is always seen as potentially dangerous to the police officer, bullets then fly

In a speech marking National Police Week, Attorney General William Barr said resisting police officers -- an increasingly common phenomenon -- puts everyone in danger.

Barr said it's time to "get back to basics" when it comes to public dealings with police:

One of the factors that is increasing the danger to police officers these days is increasing toleration of the notion that it is okay to resist the police. It was once understood that resistance is a serious crime because it necessarily triggers an escalation of violence that endangers the life not only of the police office, but also the suspect.

It was not too long ago that influential public voices – whether in the media, or among community and civic leaders – stressed the need to comply with police commands, even if one thinks they are unjust. “Comply first” and, if you think you have been wronged, “complain later.”

But we don’t hear this much anymore. Instead, when an incident escalates due to a suspect’s violent resistance to police that fact is almost always ignored by the commentary. The officer’s every action is dissected, but the suspect’s resistance, and the danger it posed, frequently goes without mention.

We need to get back to basics. We need public voices, in the media and elsewhere, to underscore the needs to “Comply first, and, if warranted, complain later.” This will make everyone safe -- the police, suspects, and the community at large. This will save lives.


Women's Institute banned from baking cakes for local hospice due to council health and safety rules

This old idiocy again.  WI food is probably safer than some commercial foods

The Women's Institute has been banned from baking cakes for a local hospice after council health and safety bosses said that volunteers would need kitchen inspections.  

The Leicestershire and Rutland WI was told by the hospice that they cannot accept cakes from their members unless individual kitchens had been visited by health inspectors and issued with a hygiene certificate. 

The WI had been providing the hospice Loros (Leicestershire and Rutland Organisation for the Relief Of Suffering) with baked treats for 40 years.  

Glenice Wignall, vice chairwoman of the board of trustees of the Leicestershire and Rutland Women's Institute, said: "It is all very sad. We started baking cakes for Loros when they set up. Our groups took it in turns to bake the cakes but now that will all have to stop." 

Mrs Wignall, 75, has worked for the Women’s Institute for 30 years and had never encountered problems with health and safety before.

However, this is not the first time health and safety have prevented people from enjoying the delights of home baking.

Last year Prue Leith, a judge on Great British Bake Off, said that staff were not allowed to take home leftover treats. “We’re not allowed to take anything home though, because of health and safety, which is sad really,” she told OK! Magazine.   

Loros cares for 2,500 people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and runs 29 charity shops.   It is believed that bar began after Leicester City Council food safety experts inspected the kitchen of the Loros hospice in February and told staff about the regulations. 

A member of the Cossington WI, who did not want to be named, said this is “health and safety gone mad.”  

Loros facilities and operations manager, Helen Williams, said: "We did receive an inspection from Environmental Health and if we don't comply with their report then we could risk jeopardising our own food rating certificate here at Loros. 

She added: "We have loved receiving donations from so many generous supporters, just like the WI, but unfortunately, this is a decision made by the local authority, not by our organisation." 

A Leicester City Council spokesperson said: "The most recent food hygiene inspection of Loros rated the establishment as five - very good, the highest possible rating. 

"However, to comply with current food safety regulations, the cake maker that supplies the snack bar must be registered with the council as a food establishment.   "This process is simple, free of charge and registration cannot be refused." 


More on the fantasist the British police believed

Credulous police who ignore the rules of evidence are a danger to us all

The man who sparked Scotland Yard’s £2 million VIP sex abuse inquiry after claiming to have been raped and tortured by a group of prominent public figures is a convicted paedophile himself, it can now be revealed.

Carl Beech, 51, who was known as Nick throughout the Operation Midland investigation, was convicted of making and possessing indecent images of young boys and of voyeurism earlier this year.

On the second day of his trial for perverting the course of justice and fraud at Newcastle Crown Court, the jury was told that Northumbria police had found the child porn images on various devices when they were investigating him on suspicion of lying about his own abuse.

Tony Badenoch QC, prosecuting, described Mr Beech as a "committed and manipulative paedophile", and said he had even tried to blame his own teenage son when he was confronted with the evidence.

On Tuesday, the court heard how Mr Beech had gone to Scotland Yard in 2014 claiming to have been sadistically sexually abused by a group of powerful public figures including, Sir Edward Heath, the former prime minister, Lord Brittan, the former home secretary, Field Marshall Lord Bramall and Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP.

He even claimed the group had murdered three boys in front of him.

But despite Scotland Yard initially describing the claims as "credible and true", a subsequent investigation by the Northumbria Force had found his "most heinous" allegations were "totally unfounded" and "hopelessly compromised".

Mr Badenoch explained that as part of the police investigation, officers had seized a number of electronic devices belonging to Mr Beech and found indecent images of young boys, secretly taken photographs of school boys a covert recording of a boy using the lavatory at his house.

The barrister said: "These child sex offences were committed whilst he was speaking to investigating police officers. At the same time he perpetrated these lies about Harvey Proctor and so many others, he was also viewing indecent images of the gravest kind and spying on small boys".

The jury was told that when confronted with the evidence Mr Beech had initially pleaded not guilty, even suggesting that his son might have been responsible for the material.

But just as the trial had been about to get going in January he had changed his plea and admitted the offences.

The prosecutor said: "This evidence demonstrates that Carl Beech is a committed and manipulative paedophile, capable of deceit to investigators and limitless manipulation when required, including if necessary, framing his own child.

"The sort of individual concerned only for himself, unconcerned with the impact on others, whether it is falsely accusing them of heinous crimes, seeking to attribute blame to his own son for child pornography or gathering covert indecent images of small boys visiting his house."

Mr Badenoch suggested it was Mr Beech’s interest in child pornography that had prompted him to go to the police with his own allegations in the first place.

He told the court: "It all suggests that he also wants to be a part of it, and so he talked about it to the Metropolitan Police, intending for them to take it seriously and enable him to continue to do so."


Busybodies ensure gender bias has now gone full circle

It is now men who are heavily discriminated against but sexist policies continue to rule.  Comment from Australia:

Reworking a suggestion by US Chief Justice John Roberts, the way to stop gender discrimination is to stop discriminating on the basis of gender. The judge was dealing with race discrimination in a case before the US Supreme Court just over a decade ago. But it is high time we draw some honest conclusions about gender discrimination. Have we turned the tables of injustice so that we now punish men? Are we OK with that?

Parents with sons and daughters about to enter the workforce ought to be particularly concerned. Those with young sons should be especially troubled if the search for fairness for one sex causes unfairness towards the other sex.

For years, gender warriors, corporate social engineers and motley bands of busybodies have been preoccupied with dismantling unconscious bias against women in the workplace. Unconscious bias is said to take place when recruiters prefer candidates who are similar to them, or when there is group pressure to conform with the decisions of others. A wider culture of appeasement by people who don’t want to make waves has sustained this agenda, regardless of whether unconscious bias is real.

In fact, the idea that many employers fall back on a deep-seated bias that discriminates against women has become so ensconced that gendered recruitment has sped in reverse. Corporate fashion now favours conscious bias, system-wide positive discrimination that gives young women a terrific boost into jobs. The flip side is that the job prospects of young men, and their careers, are being damaged. Unconscious bias is bad enough, if it exists. But is cementing real conscious bias the answer?

Feminist warriors talk about corrective justice that addresses historical wrongs. The weak-willed go along with this social justice narrative and virtue-signalling men, including those Male Champions of Change who advocate for positive discrimination in favour of women, relish the halo effect of sounding so damn good.

But are any of these people doing good? Recruiters will tell you, sotto voce, that women continue to make very different career choices at key points in their ­careers, and without a hint of ­coercion. Recruiters won’t say this publicly because dissenting from social justice orthodoxy is certain social death, and a likely career-killer too.

But anecdotally, they explain cases where the numbers of young women applying for certain graduate jobs are dramatically lower than for young men. Take XYZ Investment Bank with an annual program to recruit 100 new graduates, split 50-50 for gender equality. The bank will often receive applications from 300 men and 100 applications from women (a not unrealistic difference in some professions).

This means that the 300 men will have a one in six chance of ­securing a job and the 100 women will have a one in two chance.

Are we OK with that gender inequity?

Clumsy quotas ignore the real­ity of women’s choices. From sociologist Catherine Hakim’s extensive research, we know that for every woman who regards work as the centrepiece of their lives, there are three men. In other words, men and women are not competing in equal numbers. Rather than some misogynistic conspiracy to clip the careers of women, women are deciding to work differently from men.

Social engineers don’t like facts that expose the new injustice against men in the workplace. Rather than a nuanced debate, the activists and their appeasers continue to artificially engineer a 50-50 gender representation in the workplace despite drawing from a pool that is not made up of equal numbers of men and women.

Corrective justice for past injustices is not a sound reason to discriminate against young men today. If XYZ Investment Bank has a pool of 300 male applicants, compared with 100 young women, the pool of 300 young men will necessarily reflect a wider slice of Australia, from exclusive inner-city private schools to public schools in the country. Are we OK with preferring private school girls from Abbotsleigh over working-class boys from Newcastle High?

Many are so wedded to conscious bias in favour of women that they reject moves that might dismantle it. This week, The Australian reported on a study that found removing names from public service job applications to confront unconscious gender bias has backfired. The trial was conducted by a behavioural economic unit established when Malcolm Turnbull was prime minister. The study of more than 2100 public servants from 14 agencies found that when recruiters reviewed gender-neutral applications, meaning names were removed, men fared better than they did under recruitment processes that included names of applicants.

In other words, gender-neutral applications expose the ­entrenched gender bias in favour of women that exists when gender is included on job applications. ­Instead of calling out conscious bias in existing recruitment processes, the study urges “caution” as de-identification of gender may “frustrate efforts aimed at promoting diversity”.

In a cute twist, last week, after being mobbed by school girls at St Joseph’s Catholic School on the NSW central coast, Bill Shorten committed a Labor government to gender-neutral resumes in the public service. The man should be mobbed by schoolboys who will benefit from an end to conscious bias that favours women. That’s not what Shorten had in mind, of course, as he committed his Labor caucus to 49 per cent women. But it points to the determined ignorance of facts over gender agendas. The indifference to facts gets worse the higher up you go in corporate Australia. The reality of women’s preferences is reflected in higher attrition rates among women who have different work-family preferences as they enter their late 20s and 30s. More women than men choose to leave jobs to raise children or to simply work less for other reasons, or to work differently. Sometimes that is not voluntary, but often it is.

The knock-on effect of this higher attrition rate is that an even smaller pool of privileged women reap even larger rewards at the expense of a bigger pool of men. Yet quota-seekers never address how quotas, drawing from different sized pools of men and women, inevitably deliver unjust outcomes.

By the time you get to the level of corporate boards, women become the Golden Skirts of corporate Australia. Good on them. But let’s not pretend it is fair or just.

The Golden Skirts phenomenon originated in Norway following laws that mandated 40 per cent of women on boards. The shallow pool of talented women means a few privileged women sit on ­multiple boards. In Australia, as of last year, 38 female directors from a smaller pool of female talent sat on three or more ASX 200 boards while only 25 men from a larger pool held the same number of board seats.

Conscious bias, at the graduate level or at higher levels, is not the high road to equity. It is a racket for a few lucky women at the expense of a large number of men. And Labor’s Andrew Leigh says a Shorten government will legislate that low road by mandating quotas for women on ASX-listed companies, cementing injustice into corporate Australia.

It is profoundly demeaning for women to be given a job because they are female rather than because they are the best person for the job. Sadly, ideas like this will remain unfashionable until more of us agree that the best way to stop gender discrimination is to stop discriminating on the basis of ­gender.

Which reminds me. At a small lunch in a salubrious Melbourne club last week, Institute of Public Affairs chairman Rod Kemp told us that he had an announcement.

He prefaced his news, that I will take over as IPA chairman come July 1, by saying he must surely have joined the saintly crowd of Male Champions of Change.

Then Rod burst out laughing, as did others, at the utter nonsense of those virtue-signalling men. Just as well. If Rod were serious about this appointment depending on my gender, I might have decked him.



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

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

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


17 May, 2019

Why you SHOULDN'T buy free-range eggs: Top vet says chickens prefer tight spaces and some don't like going outdoors

Free-range egg farming can actually be worse for chickens than being kept indoors, veterinarians have revealed. 

The shift from caged eggs to free-range has become more widespread in recent years based on the idea that the latter is the more ethical and animal-friendly choice.

However, Australian vets have debunked that myth, revealing free range can actually be harmful to chickens and cause welfare problems.

Dr Charles Milne, a chief vet from Victoria, told the Sydney Morning Herald that the birds, who are related to forest-dwellers, are more comfortable in closed spaces.

He said humans have assumed chickens prefer wide open spaces, only because they live in such a way.

RSPCA scientific officer Dr Kate Hartcher also agreed that chickens could live happily and healthily even if they are kept indoors. 'We don't say free-range is better,' she said. 'They can be perfectly healthy and have good welfare in an indoor system.'

However, the organisation maintains battery cages, the most controversial of chicken-keeping methods, are 'horrible', and endorse cage-free barn systems.

Cage-free eggs differ from free-range as the chickens are kept indoors, but they are not confined to tight and crowded spaces.

Figures show, however, these types of eggs make up only a small percentage of the ones sold at supermarkets.

In 2018, 45 per cent of all eggs sold in Australia were free-range - more than a 13 per cent increase from previous years.

In order for eggs to be sold with a free-range label, farmers must keep them in an outdoor range, have a stocking density of 10,000 hens or less per hectare,  according to ACCC guidelines.

But researches say being able to roam free isn't all that appealing to hens and it can even put them in predators' way. 

Professor Tamsyn Crowley, who runs research institute PoultryHub told SMH that having them outside all every day is 'not a good decision for welfare'. 'A chicken does not really like running around in a field where an eagle can come down and go "thank-you very much"', she said. 

In fact, she suggests it is more likely they would prefer to be cared for inside a bar as studies show the birds like shaded areas, indoor or outdoor.


NYU Journalism Teacher: The GOP Is 'A Terrorist Organization'

Just the usual Leftist abuse of language

Journalist Lauren Duca speaks during the Rise Up For Roe national tour. 

No stranger to controversy, the 28-year-old Fordham grad and author of How to Start a Revolution tweeted last year on the death of evangelist Billy Graham, "The big news today is that Billy Graham was still alive this whole time. Anyway, have fun in hell, bi*ch."

Me, I'm with Twitter user "VillainsMatter" who replied, "You know this whole acting like a complete asylum inmate bit, people look at it and vote trump 2020 because of it."

This summer, Duca will teach a class at NYU called "The Feminist Journalist." According to Wikipedia, the class will "focus on intersections of feminist ideology and the practice of journalism."

If Duca's work is any indication, feminism and journalism -- at least as journalism was once practiced -- make up a Venn Diagram of two circles with zero overlap. That NYU finds someone so viciously partisan worthy of training tomorrow's journalists tells you everything you need to know about the actual worth of an NYU journalism degree.


Don't let this hate group succeed!

By David M. Frankel, Chief Executive Officer, American Friends of Magen David Adom

You may have heard that a fundraising event we’re hosting this Sunday in Teaneck, New Jersey, has been targeted for a protest by a group that has been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an active Holocaust-denial hate group.

Among the most frustrating aspects is that the protest is focused entirely on the fact that Magen David Adom is Israel-based, while completely ignoring the more significant and overriding fact that MDA is an organization that saves lives — Israelis, Palestinians, and people around the world.

In fact, on countless occasions Magen David Adom EMTs have risked their lives to save Palestinians. MDA also works cooperatively with the Palestinian Red Crescent and periodically conducts joint training drills with the PRC and with the Jordanian Red Crescent to prepare to respond to potential natural disasters in the region.

In other words, planning a protest for a fundraising event for an EMS organization is very telling about the nature of the group’s ideology.

The fundraising event is being held Sunday at Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck. The best way to counter this protest is to show your support for MDA — and Israel — and show up. Or you can donate. Because hate groups won’t succeed if they see their methods are counterproductive.

As always, I thank you for your support.

Via email

Leftists reject the axiom that everyone is entitled to legal representation

I have no love for left-wing, Hillary-promoting Hollywood producer and accused #MeToo villain Harvey Weinstein. Nor am I a fan of those who perpetrated the cop-bashing "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" fiction involving social justice martyr Michael Brown. But I do strongly believe that a grave injustice has been committed by Harvard's witch-hunt mobsters against a law professor who joined Weinstein's legal team and had represented Brown's family in a civil suit against Ferguson, Missouri.

Too bad Ivy League elitist bubbles have purged themselves of people with the backbone, integrity, and courage to end the madness.

Ronald Sullivan, faculty dean of the undergraduate dorm Winthrop House, was terminated from the honored position after hysterical student protesters condemned his decision to take on Weinstein's case as "trauma-inducing." Protests, sit-ins, temper tantrums, an online Change.org petition and even litigation by offended female students created pressure on the university for months. The administration sought to appease the mob with a "climate review," no doubt hoping to quell the rebellion against Sullivan as the school year came to a close. No dice. Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana announced over the weekend that both Sullivan and his wife, Stephanie Robinson, co-faculty dean at Winthrop House, will be removed on June 30.

It is worth noting a few things about Sullivan that you would think would provide an immunity shield from the SJW pot-stirrers. Sullivan boasted impeccable liberal credentials: president of the Black Law Students Association in the 1990s and current adviser to the group; director of the law school's Criminal Justice Institute; former lead counsel at the Washington, D.C. Public Defender's Office; and head of the Brooklyn, New York, conviction review unit, which has exonerated 25 men to date and remains a model for similar units across the country.

"When he was first appointed," exoneration lawyer Oscar Michelen recounted this week, "I dropped everything I was doing and drove up to Otisville Correctional Facility to meet with my then-client David McCallum to tell him that finally, after years and years of struggle to prove his and his deceased co-defendant's Willie Stuckey's innocence, we at last were finally going to be heard. I couldn't guarantee his exoneration, but I could guarantee that we would be treated fairly with Sullivan at the helm. And we were right — not just because he agreed with us and recommended vacating the convictions, but because we were treated with respect and given all the time we need to plead our case. Sullivan set the tone and demeanor of the Unit, which was that justice would be served regardless of the outcome and with dignity and respect for all participants. And this — this is the man Harvard students don't trust?!? He makes you uncomfortable?!?"

Yes, this is the man that feminist mau-mau-ers accused of posing a threat to their well-being because honoring due process and the presumption of innocence shows he "does not value the safety of students he lives with in Winthrop House."

Danukshi Mudannayake, a staff member of the Harvard Crimson, spearheaded the lynching of Sullivan — and, in a flabbergasting demonstration of guilt-by-association vindictiveness, his wife. An ecstatic Mudannakaye told The New York Times she was "proud" of her school, which she said was indulging in a "celebratory" climate after the axe fell on Sullivan and Robinson. Scalpers love blood.

Never mind the horrific implications for any criminal defense attorney, any wrongfully accused defendant and any professor who genuinely believes in and practices the Sixth Amendment. Or the First, Fifth, Eighth or 14th amendments. All it takes is for unhinged rabble-rousers to heat up the "climate" and bam, you're outta there.

First, they came for Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh. Now, they come for model leftist lawyers with unassailable credentials. Lawlessness reigns in the ivory tower. Cowardice trumps sacred constitutional principles. This is the inevitable consequence of decades of identity politics uber alles indoctrination.

The "progressives" are eating their own. And, after persecuting constitutional conservatives among faculty, students, speakers and donors, there is no one left to stand guard against the rabid hounds. Good luck with that.



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

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

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


16 May, 2019

Rabbi Shmuley: Rep. Tlaib 'Is a Brazen Liar,' Arabs 'Brutally Opposed' the 'Jews Fleeing Hitler'

House Rep. Rashida Tlaib's (D-Mich.) remarks that the Holocaust produces a "calming feeling" in her because some of her Palestinian ancestors "lost their lives" to "create a safe haven for Jews" in Israel are deceitful, said the world-renowned Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.  Tlaib is a "brazen liar," he said, because the Arabs of Israel "brutally opposed" the "influx of Jews fleeing Hitler and in many cases massacred them."

On a related note, the New York Times reported on May 13 that, "Tlaib’s comments made others deeply uneasy because she was wrong on the facts. Far from a safe haven, pre-independence Palestine was wracked by violence, culminating in Israel’s war for independence during which both sides suffered civilian deaths."

In a May 14 tweet, Rabbi Shmuley said, "?@RashidaTlaib? is a brazen liar. The Arabs of what is today Israel brutally opposed the influx of Jews fleeing Hitler and in many cases massacred them. The Jews did not steal Arab lands. They drained the swa[m]ps and built their cities."

Discussing Israeli-Palestinian issues on the podcast "Skullduggery," on May 11, Tlaib had said, "There’s always kind of a calming feeling, I tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people's passports."

"And, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time," said the congresswoman.

"I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways," she said. "But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away, right? And it was forced on them."

Tlaib said critics were "twisting & turning" her words to "ignite vile attacks" on her. In a statement, her office said, "Once again, Republican leaders and right-wing extremists are spreading outright lies to incite hate."

In addition to the comments by Rabbi Shmuley, Middle East expert Aaron David Miller told the New York Times, “Palestinians suffered as a consequence of the state of Israel, but the relationship between the Holocaust and the creation of the State of Israel is highly arguable. Every institution for what would become the state of Israel was in place well before Hitler started killing any Jews.”

"Moreover, Mr. Miller noted, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, had allied himself with Nazis and fiercely opposed the creation of the Jewish state," said The Times. "Of Ms. Tlaib, Mr. Miller said: 'She recognized the horrific nature of the Holocaust. Then she deployed it to make a series of confused, unaware and even ignorant assumptions with respect to what that means for the Palestinians.'"

Another critic of Tlaib, Prof. Benny Morris, one of the leading scholars of the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 and the War of Independence in 1948-1949, told Haaretz, “Rashida Tlaib is either completely ignorant of the history or is a deliberate liar."

"Morris said Tlaib’s ancestors, meaning Palestinians, 'did nothing to alleviate the suffering of the Jews at Nazi hands,'" reported Haaretz.  "'Rather, the opposite: The Arabs of [British Mandatory] Palestine, during the whole period — and supported by the neighboring Arab states — did all they could to prevent Jews trying to escape Nazi hands from reaching the (relatively safe) shores of Palestine.'”

Morris further said that the leader of the Palestinian Arab nationalist movement, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was in exile in Berlin 1941-45, "called for the massacre of Jews in the Arab world on Nazi radio stations — an anti-Jewish ‘jihad’ — and helped the Nazis recruit Muslims from the Balkans for the SS and Wehrmacht," said Haaretz.


Pence: ‘Loudest Voices for Tolerance Today Have Little Tolerance for Traditional Christian Beliefs’

“Stand firm” in your faith when pressured to endorse things that violate it, Vice President Mike Pence urged the 2019 graduating class of Liberty University at Saturday’s commencement ceremony in Lynchburg, Virginia.

It used to be unthinkable that Americans could be persecuted for holding Biblical views, but, times have changed, Pence warned. Today, those who profess to be tolerant are anything but – when it comes to Christian values – the vice president said:

“Throughout most of American history, it’s been pretty easy to call yourself Christian. It didn’t even occur to people that you might be shunned or ridiculed for defending the teachings of the Bible.

“But, things are different now. Some of the loudest voices for tolerance today have little tolerance for traditional Christian beliefs. So as you go about your daily life, just be ready. Because you’re going to be asked not just to tolerate things that violate your faith; you’re going to be asked to endorse them. You’re going to be asked to bow down to the idols of the popular culture.”

Be prepared to face opposition to your beliefs, but respond with love, Pence told the graduates:

“So, you need to prepare your minds for action, men and women. You need to show that we can love God and love our neighbor at the same time through words and deeds. And you need to be prepared to meet opposition.

“As the founder of this university often said, quote, ‘No one ever achieved greatness without experiencing opposition.’”

By standing strong in faith and delivering a “message of grace and love” through word and deed, the graduates will be a blessing to the nation, Pence concluded:

“So, Class of 2019, my word to all of you is decide here and now that you’re going to stand firm, that you’ll put into practice all the things you learned here on Liberty Mountain, that you’ll never give up, that you’ll persevere, and that you’ll always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have, and you’ll do so with gentleness and respect. Because our nation and our world need that message of grace and love maybe more now than ever before.

“And as you do these things, in increasing measure, I promise you, you’ll be blessed, you’ll be a blessing to your family, to your coworkers, and you’ll be a blessing to this nation.”


Allen West: The Progressive, Socialist Left’s Latest Tactic – Economic Terrorism

We have seen it before, but now it has become fully recognizable in Georgia with calls from the Hollywood elite to boycott the Peach State. When the progressive, socialist left is confronted with speech, thoughts, perspectives, insights, commentary, and opinion of which they disagree, they call for boycotts. It has happened to countless conservative commentators as the left pressures what we must term as economic terrorism. It amounts to this: if you say anything that we deem offensive, we will call for economic sanctions against you.

We should not be surprised though. After all, this is what the progressive, socialist left has embraced and condoned when it comes to the state of Israel too. How inconceivable that the left would align itself with Islamic jihadism, terrorism, and seek to punish a multicultural nation. Yes, that is what the BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction) movement is all about, economic terrorism by the left. How can one justify that when it is Israel that is under assault from rockets and missiles of a designated Islamic terrorist organization, Hamas?

But, that is how the left rolls. If you disagree with their ideological agenda, regardless of how abjectly delusional and irrational it is, they will leverage any means necessary to punish you.

And so, once again, this is playing out before our eyes, this time in state of my birth, Georgia. It appears that the progressive, socialist left, the maniacal, radical lovers of murdering our unborn babies are throwing a fit.

As noted in Townhall.com,

“Filmmakers are now vowing to boycott the state of Georgia after the governor signed a controversial abortion bill earlier this week. The boycott is a big deal because, according to the state’s website, more top-grossing films are produced in Georgia than anywhere else in the world.

“So far, at least three major production companies have said they will no longer be filming in Georgia. One of those is Christine Vachon’s Killer Films, which produced the Oscar-nominated movie ‘Carol’ and Oscar-winning film ‘Still Alice.’

“‘Killer Films will no longer consider Georgia as a viable shooting location until this ridiculous law is overturned,’ Vachon tweeted Thursday.

“David Simon, whose Blown Deadline Productions is responsible for ‘The Wire’ and HBO’s ‘The Deuce,’ also announced on Twitter that he will no longer consider shooting in Georgia ‘until we can be assured the health options and civil liberties of our female colleagues are unimpaired.’

“‘Add my company to the list,’ Neal Dodson of CounterNarrative Films tweeted soon after Vachon and Simon announced their own boycotts. Many in the film and TV industry praised the production companies, and urged others to follow suit.

“The legislation in question is House Bill 481, otherwise known as the ‘fetal heartbeat bill,’ which was signed into law by Governor Kemp on Tuesday. The bill bans all abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected--usually at around 6 weeks. There are exceptions for cases of rape, incest, physical medical emergencies, and pregnancies deemed ‘medically futile.’ The law is slated to go into effect in January 2020.”

What is the message these entertainment elites are sending? Simple, you will acquiesce, surrender, to our ideology, our beliefs, and our whims, or else. The “or else” is simple to identify. They will enact economic terrorism against an entire state in order to ruin its economy. Who are these people that believe they have the right to control our thoughts, perspectives, principles and values? What these production companies are saying is that they – the elites – are the ones who determine what we can believe. And the punishment for such is siege warfare. They will seek to decimate you and your way of life. This has played itself out elsewhere, such as in North Carolina. When the Tar Heel state decided it did not want the Obama administration dictating who uses what bathroom, the entertainment elites decided that they would not do concerts in the state. In Georgia, previously, there were threats to not have the Super Bowl in the Peach State.

One must ask, who decided that these individuals determine our values, set the rules for culture in these United States?

The President and CEO of Levis Jeans has decided that he will support anti-Second Amendment organizations. He is also incentivizing his employees that do so. How does this CEO bestow upon himself the power to undermine one of our individual constitutional rights?

What could be next, some progressive, socialist elitist deciding what we can say, how we can express ourselves? We have already seen what happens to Christian business owners who dare to not acquiesce to the religion of the left and its radical elements. Who would have ever thought that a Christian baker, Jack Phillips, would have to appear before the highest court in the land to defend his constitutional right to freedom of religion, and the free exercise thereof? Mr. Phillips, Aaron and Melissa Klein, Hobby Lobby, and the Little Sisters of the Poor have found themselves having to stand in defense of their personal constitutional rights, their faith, against the onslaught of the left’s declared religion, same-sex marriage. In the case of the Oregon-based Klein’s, their lives have been destroyed, and their business decimated, due to the economic terrorism of the left.

You must ask yourself in the case of these movie production companies, are they so intent on murdering unborn babies that they would threaten to harm the economic opportunities for the citizens of Georgia? Just think about the second, third, and fourth order effects, consequences on other small businesses, and the locals in the Peach State. Can these elitist leftists be so tyrannical that they would seek the economic ruination of an entire state?

Why is it that the immediate response of the progressive, socialist left when they do not get their way, their ideological dominance, is to punish those in opposition? The answer is self-evident. The policies and ideological agenda of the progressive, socialist left can only be implemented by way of coercion, intimidation, threat, mandate, or violence, direct or indirect. The leftist tactic of economic terrorism, one of their favorites, is nothing more than indirect violence against their political opposition.

What amazes me is that when the Trump administration seeks to enact strong economic sanctions against the number one state sponsor of Islamic terrorism, Iran, the left balks. Yet, the same leftists prefer economic sanctions against Israel. And the same leftists use economic sanctions, terrorism, against American citizens who refuse to bow down to their philosophy of governance and ideological domination – their tyranny.

Kudos to Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia and those legislators who are taking a stand. There is one thing the progressive socialist needs to learn: real Southerners, Americans, don’t knuckle under to threats; we steel our resolve.


Democrats' Growing Problem With God

A House Dem omits "so help me God" from an oath — symptomatic of a larger issue.

The U.S. was founded upon the assertion espoused in the Declaration of Independence that people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” These rights are bestowed by the highest of all authorities, God, and therefore no mere human government or institution has the authority to remove these rights. No government has greater authority than God, and all humanity, including governments, are ultimately answerable to God.

The Left asserts that the separation of church and state is essential to keep God out of government, but that is in fact the opposite of the Founding Fathers’ rationale in the First Amendment. The intention was to keep the state from dictating to the Church what it could teach and believe concerning God, faith, and religious practice. The Founders recognized that if the Church was not protected from the state, the state would eventually seek to use the Church to dictate what was taught about the nature of God and the relationship of God to the state.

That setup leads us to the recent controversy reported by The New York Times. House Republicans objected to Rep. Diane DeGette (D-CO), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee, leaving off “so help me God” from the honesty oath she administered to a witness. DeGette’s response was dismissive: “This is the oath we use and that’s the oath we’re going to use today.”

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) defended DeGette’s decision, arguing, “I think God belongs in religious institutions: In temple, in church, in cathedral, in mosque — but not in Congress. God doesn’t want to be used.” It is true that God doesn’t want to be used, but diminishing His authority and presence is something He doesn’t want either. He is present not merely in houses of worship but everywhere, including the halls of Congress.

The fact that God’s existence and authority was recognized by our Founders in instituting our government is the very rationale that undergirds the rights that all Americans enjoy. Failure to acknowledge God as the source of our rights will inevitably lead to statists seeking to usurp divine authority on behalf of the state. The rule of men always leads to the eventual loss of rights and tyranny.

Democrats sought to remove any acknowledgement of God from their platform at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, only reversing course after an outcry from their own constituents. Clearly, there are those within the party leadership whose aim is to remove any reference to God, and by doing so remove any notion of an authority higher than the state. If the statists are successful, the Founders’ declaration of “unalienable Rights” will be attacked as a dangerous usurpation of religious interference into government. In fact, it already is.



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

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

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


15 May, 2019

California aids flight of felony DUI triple manslaughter suspect “illegally present” in the United States

Back in the 1970s in California’s Sutter County, previously deported Mexican national Juan Corona murdered and mutilated at least 25 American farm workers. California law enforcement worked three shifts to track down the killer.

Nearly 50 years later, previously deported Mexican national Ismael Huazo-Jardinez claimed three lives in a horrific felony DUI. California’s sanctuary laws protected the Mexican national, California authorities aided the suspect’s flight, and California’s establishment media kept the truth from the public.

On Saturday, May 4, Huazo-Jardinez was speeding down Highway 113 in the agricultural community of Knight’s Landing. The driver failed to negotiate a curve and smashed his 6,000 lb. Chevrolet Avalanche into a trailer home, claiming the lives of Jose Pacheco, 38, Anna Pacheco, 34, and their son Angel, who was only 10. The crash also left the Pacheco’s daughter Mariana, 11, with serious injuries, and the child had to be airlifted to hospital.

One of the first on the scene was neighbor Steven Bravo, who told Fox News that the driver “was so intoxicated I could smell the alcohol from 10 feet away.” Huazo-Jardinez attempted to flee but neighbors tackled him and held the Mexican until police arrived.

Huazo-Jardinez was facing three counts of vehicular manslaughter, possibly four if Mariana did not pull through. In this felony DUI California Highway Patrol recommended bail of $1 million, or that the suspect be held without bail. It was not to be.

Multiple reports said “a judge” disagreed with police and set bail first at $100,000 then $300,000 both trifling amounts with three people dead and a suspect who had already attempted to flee. The felony DUI and manslaughter suspect gained bail the next day, May 5, and as one report said he was “presumably” at his residence in Yuba City.

The suspect was not quoted and his lawyer was not named. Not a single story outlined the suspect’s blood-alcohol level and rate of speed, crucial information in a DUI felony that claimed three lives. Not a single story even raised the question of the suspect’s immigration status. On Tuesday, May 7, in the California Globe, this writer broke the story that Ismael Huazo-Jardinez, 33, was in fact “an illegally present Mexican national,” as ICE said, and a previous deportee.

CHP officer David Hernandez told this writer that immigration status was “not something we ever ask.” The officer had no information on the suspect’s blood-alcohol level or rate of speed, and he was sketchy about the way an obvious flight risk had managed to gain release on bail. Like local print and television reporters, the officer did not know the name of “a judge” who had granted bail.

Sutter County Deputy District Attorney Cameron King told this writer that judge David Ashby, a 2016 appointee of Gov. Jerry Brown, had granted Huazo-Jardinez bail of $300,000. King also revealed that the bail had been arranged through McMains Bail Bonds in Oroville, more than 20 miles away and in a different county.

A representative of McMains explained that the bail had been arranged through Jesse Santana, an attorney with Santana and Carlos in Yuba City. At this writing, attorney Santana has not responded to requests for information, and a May 7 email from Sutter Superior Court CEO Stephanie Hansel said “It would be improper for the court to comment on any pending matter.”

Apprised of the bail, ICE initiated surveillance on Huazo-Jardinez and arrested him without incident on the afternoon of May 7. It was only after the arrest that news outlets acknowledged that, as ICE verified, the suspect was a Mexican national illegally present in the United States. Still, an Associated Press story by Paul Elias claimed that Ismael Huazo-Jardinez, is “suspected of living in the country illegally.”

The illegal is actually suspected of driving drunk and killing three people. Landlord Frankie Gonsalves told reporters the Pachecos were a “model family. Two very hardworking parents, farmworkers, well-behaved kids. Really good people, pay their rent on time.” At this writing, Mariana has been upgraded to “fair” condition but the crash also claimed the trailer residence of the orphan’s grandparents next door.

Ismael Huazo-Jardinez remains in ICE custody “pending the disposition of his immigration proceedings.” If he fails to make a June 10 court date, McMains will be on the hook for $300,000. According to a May 8 statement from ICE:

“It’s unfortunate that current local and state laws and policies tie the hands of local law enforcement agencies that want and need to work with ICE to promote public safety by holding criminals accountable and providing justice and closure for their victims. Sanctuary policies not only provide a refuge for illegal aliens, but they also shield criminal aliens who prey on people in their own and other communities.”

The deaths of Jose, Anna and Angel Pacheco prompted no statement from California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a supporter of the state’s sanctuary law. Governor Gavin Newsom, who in his inaugural address said California offers sanctuary to “all who seek it,” made no statement on the Knight’s Landing vehicular manslaughter case. On the other hand, on March 12, Gov. Newsom granted reprieve to all 737 convicted murderers on California’s death row.

Had famous criminals Juan Corona and Charles Manson been sentenced to death and endured until the governor’s edict, they too would have gained reprieve. Mass murderer Juan Corona died on March 4, at the age of 85. His fellow inmate Charles Manson died at 83 on November 19, 2017.


Maxine Waters complains that HUD is no longer implementing the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to House Finance Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters’ complaint that, “In 2018, HUD Secretary Ben Carson halted implementation of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule…”:

“Waters’ complaint that AFFH is no longer being implemented is testimony to the value of fighting tough issues few are focusing on.  In 2015, Rep. Paul Gosar acted on the attempt by the Obama administration to take functional control over most of the local zoning decisions across America through a regulation known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.

“Working closely together, Rep. Gosar and Americans for Limited Government were successful in getting the House to pass language prohibiting the implementation of the regulation federalizing local zoning decisions but were blocked in the Senate even with Senator Mike Lee working overtime to try to convince his colleagues.

“After a couple of years pushing the prohibition through the House, in 2016 Senator Susan Collins of Maine proposed an alternative, less aggressive prohibition which passed through the Senate 87 to 9 as part of the Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill, was affirmed by the House and signed by President Obama as part of a bigger package.

“The truth is that HUD would be trapped enforcing the regulatory destruction of local control if not for the efforts of Rep. Gosar and Senators Lee and Collins.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby also deserve credit for steering this important policy rider through the Appropriations process and into law, and carrying it over into the Trump administration and in current law.

“Chairwoman Waters’ angst that D.C. bureaucrats using census maps are not determining which kind of housing can go into what parcels of land in every city that participates in federal redevelopment grant programs should be celebrated by anyone who believes in the Constitutional separation of powers and federalism.

“This on-going victory is a reminder that fighting the hidden battles to limit the size and scope of government matters, and as President of Americans for Limited Government, stopping this massive federal government overreach is an achievement which we are immensely proud.”


Mother’s Day: Honoring Moms & Teaching the Next Generation ‘The Noblest and Most Precious Work’

John Stonestreet

On Mother’s Day, most of us take intentional time and effort to show our moms how much we love and appreciate them, and how much we’re thankful for their love and sacrifice. I’m not always as intentional as I should be about honoring the moms in my life, especially the one who gave me life and the one who’s currently doing the really heavy lifting caring for our kids.

But especially in this cultural moment, Christians should be the first, not only to honor current mothers, but also to celebrate and encourage future mothers.

Andrea Burke, writing at For the Church, suggests that we’re not always very good at this. As a result, for too many young Christians, cultural attitudes toward motherhood are setting the tone. And it’s not a positive tone.

Burke calls motherhood “the one life dream that makes a girl blush.” In her work directing her church’s women’s ministry, Burke regularly sits down with single, young women to talk about the future. They often confess that although they could pursue further education or a successful career in any number of fields, what many of them want is to get married and raise a family.

By Burke’s account, these young women are smart and accomplished. They don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Still, they regularly talk as if choosing to be a wife and mom is a silly cop-out—somehow a waste of their lives. “When a 21-year-old sits across the table from me and tells me that she wants to be a mother,” Burke writes, “she blushes and gives a thousand caveats as to why she knows it’s not the optimal choice.”

Where do young women get this low view of motherhood? Well, look around. According to a New York Times article last year, the average age at which women become mothers is now at a record high—30 or older in some parts of the country. The Times reported this as if it were a good thing, talking up the wonders of a “fulfilling career” and all-but-openly suggesting that the only reason any woman would have children young is because she couldn’t achieve the ideal professional life, and needs a substitute rite of passage to adulthood.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the average birth rate failed to rebound after the Great Recession, and now sits at a rock-bottom 1.77 children per woman on average—that’s down over 16 percent from a decade ago.

So now there’s a gap in our culture between the number of children women want to have, and the number they end up having.

The Times explains, “it’s unlikely any future baby boom will be able to fully offset the baby bust of the last 10 years.” This means that “millennial women are likely to experience the largest shortfall in achieved fertility verses their stated family desires of any generation in a long time … .”

What does all this have to do with young women embarrassed about wanting to become mothers? Well, they need honesty from us—specifically from their parents, that whatever society says about the wonders of a successful career, they’re statistically likely to regret prioritizing promotions over parenthood.

At BreakPoint.org, my colleague Shane Morris recently wrote a beautiful letter to his six-year-old daughter, in which he encouraged her to think of marriage and motherhood as callings worth pursuing, not as afterthoughts. Shane described how his daughter already is in the habit of tucking her little brother’s trucks to bed. Shane is right in seeing in those nurturing instincts things worth celebrating and cultivating.

His letter reminded me of Martin Luther’s praise for nurturing tendencies in his commentary on Genesis: “How becomingly even little girls carry infants in their arms,” he wrote. “And how appropriate are the gestures with which mothers dandle the little ones when they hush a crying infant or lay it in the cradle … .” Elsewhere he says: “In all the world this is the noblest and most precious work.”

If you’ve got daughters (like I do) or granddaughters or even nieces, proudly tell these young women that if motherhood is their dream, they’ve got nothing to be ashamed of.


The brainwashing of a nation

From campus identity politics cults to the media, brainwashing is bigger than ever.

Brainwashing isn’t a secretive event that takes place in hidden rooms. No hypnotists or vials full of chemicals are required. It takes place every day on a massive scale across the United States.

Unlike Raymond Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate, brainwashing does not turn people into hypnotized zombies who would be ready to kill a presidential candidate at a command. Instead, it transforms them into the sort of people who would be willing to kill someone for political reasons.

The distinction is why so few people understand the sources of political radicalism and violence.

Brainwashing isn’t magic, but it can look like magic. The sleight of hand that causes us to think so is our firm belief in our reason and free will. It’s easier to believe in changing minds through hypnotism and drugs, than to understand, what the successful practitioners of brainwashing do, that the human mind is more malleable than we like to think, and that the subconscious is more powerful than the conscious.

The art and science of brainwashing is well known. We don’t know it because we choose not to.

Brainwashing happens every day. It doesn’t have to mean a complete transformation of identity. On the simplest level, it means compelling someone to believe something that isn’t true.

It’s as simple as two cops browbeating an innocent suspect into believing that he’s guilty. The officers and the suspect won’t see their interaction as brainwashing. The officers can honestly believe in his guilt. And, at the end of the process, the suspect will also believe that he committed the crime. He will even be able to describe in great detail how he committed it. That’s common, everyday brainwashing.

The key elements of brainwashing are present in that cold room with the peeling paint on the walls. Those three elements are control, crisis and emotional resonance. To successfully brainwash someone, you have to control their environment, force a crisis on them, and then tap into core emotions, fear, love, guilt, hate, shame, and guide them through the crisis by accepting and internalizing a new belief.

The belief can be anything, but the pseudo-religious ritual taps into an emotional core requiring them to believe that they were bad people, and that by accepting this new belief, they are now good people.

This false conversion is the essence of brainwashing and of leftist political awakening narratives.

The human mind, like the human body, adapts to a crisis with a fight-or-flight response. Brainwashing forces the mind into a flight response. Once in flight mode, the mind can rationalize a new belief as a protective behavior that will keep it safe. Even when, as in the case of the suspect, the new belief will actually destroy his life. Fight or flight mode inhibits long term thinking. In panic mode, destructive and suicidal behaviors seem like solutions because they offer an escape from unbearable chemical stresses.

There’s a good biological reason for that. Our minds stop us from thinking too much in a crisis so that we can take urgent action, like running into a fire or at a gunman, that our rational minds might not allow us to do. But that same function can be ‘hacked’ by artificially putting people into fight-or-flight mode to break them down and shortcut their higher reasoning functions. Decisions reached subconsciously in fight-or-flight mode will then be rationalized and internalized after the initial crisis has passed. 

When that internalization happens, then the brainwashing is real.

Almost anyone can be compelled to say anything under enough stress. Many can be forced to believe it. The acid test of brainwashing is whether they will retain that belief once fight-or-flight mode passes.

Cults, abusive relationships and totalitarian movements maintain ‘total crisis’, shutting down higher reasoning, creating a permanent state of stress by triggering fight-or-flight responses unpredictably. This leads to Stockholm Syndrome, where the captive tries to control their fate through total emotional identification with their captor, pack behavior, loss of identity and will, and eventually suicide or death.

Total crisis leads to burnout, emotional exhaustion, detachment from friends and family, and violence.

How do you brainwash a nation?

Control the national environment, force a crisis on the country, and tap into their fear and guilt. And then you can outlaw planes, cows, skyscrapers, straws, plastic bags and the rest of the Green New Deal.

The environmental crisis is just one example of how leftist movements can brainwash a nation.

The growing number of millennials who say that they will not have children because of environmental panic is an example of how brainwashing can make suicidal behavior seem like self-preservation.

Since the Left still lacks total control over the United States, it relies on repetition, itself a form of control and stress, to create fear and panic. It makes up for its lack of physical control by bombarding Americans with messages meant to inspire fear, love, hate and guilt through the media, through the educational system, through entertainment and through every possible messaging channel.

Global Warming panic is one of a succession of manufactured leftist crises in America that began with a class crisis. transitioned to a racial crisis, and then to an environmental crisis.

Each of the crises claimed that society was on track to an inevitable apocalypse, that the nature of the crisis, economic, racial or environmental, had been verified by experts, that we were all complicit in the crisis, and that the only solution was radical change administered by the crisis experts.

The panic over Trump is a micro-crisis of the sort that leftists detonate in the political opposition, but the fear, anger, terror, stress and violence on display are typical of the crisis mode of fight-or-flight.

The “Resistance” isn’t a political movement. It’s a political cult whose crisis was the 2016 election. Its irrational belief that Trump is a Russian agent is typical of the conspiratorial mindset of cults. Its inability to understand that its convictions are completely irrational show how brainwashing works.

The 2016 election inflicted on its members a loss of control. Trump became the crisis embodying their loss of control. Their fear, guilt and anger induced stress that altered their behavior and beliefs.

And, within the very recent past, millions came to believe that Trump was really working for Moscow.

This is brainwashing on a timescale so immediate that we can easily recall it. Yet most of us have trouble understanding how it works and why it works. And that lack of understanding is holding us back.

How can smart people fall for minor variations of the same lie in generation after generation?

Smart people make the best brainwashing targets. Cults recruit bright students on college campuses, they target aspiring executives looking for leadership training, and dissatisfied professionals searching for meaning. Cults are rarely made up of stupid people. They’re made up of smart, vulnerable people.

Human beings don’t behave rationally. We rationalize our behavior.

The more people rationalize, the more they can be brainwashed. Your old Casio digital watch can’t be hacked. Even if it were hacked, there’s not much it could be made to do. Your smartphone can be hacked and made to do more. Your desktop can be hacked and made to do even more. Intelligence doesn’t make us less vulnerable to being manipulated, it leaves us much more vulnerable.

The political brainwashing campaign in this country targets the upper class and the middle class. The best subjects for brainwashing are intelligent and emotionally vulnerable. They’re easier to manipulate by using the gap between their emotions and their reason, and their emotional instability makes it easier to force them into crisis mode. The ideal subjects are in their teens and their early twenties. In modern times, that’s a period in which identity is still developing, and can be fractured and remade.

That’s why the Left aims most of its brainwashing efforts at high school and college students. It’s why it prioritized control of the educational system and the entertainment industry above all else.

Both of these have become highly profitable brainwashing industries: one sugar-coated, and one bitter.

Classrooms and campuses provide physical control over students for nearly two decades of their lives. That control was initially used for simple dogmatic preaching. Then it escalated to cult behavior with classroom role-playing rituals encouraging mass expressions of love and hate, transformations of sexual and gender identity, detachment from friends and family, and violent displays of pain and rage.

The modern American identity politics campus looks a whole lot like Jonestown or a Hitler Youth rally.

Exploiting sexuality, triggering guilt and shame in children, to transform their identity was usually the work of the lowest savage tribes and the vilest cults. It’s now the American education system.

The techniques aren’t new. They’re as evil and old as time itself.

Like every cult, the modern campus claims to serve an educational purpose, helping students find meaning and purpose, but insisting that they must first be cured of the subconscious evils such as white privilege and toxic masculinity that are holding them back through a process that deconstructs their barriers, encourages confession, expressions of trauma, shame and guilt, to create new identities.

This isn’t education. It’s not even dogmatic lecturing. It’s the same basic set of techniques used by any major cult in the country. Once colleges began trying to cure their students of subconscious evils at closed sessions, under the guidance of unlicensed therapists associated with a movement, there was no longer any difference between them and that of any cult, except billions in taxpayer dollars.

The sessions at which white privilege or toxic masculinity can be cured, or at which students are put in touch with the trauma of their oppression as minorities, duplicate cult indoctrination in every regard.

They’re the successors of consciousness raising groups whose name even signaled their cultish nature.

Despite attempts to wrap leftist politics in the objective garb of the expert, the scientist, the scholar and the bureaucrat, its heart lay in its spiritual narrative of a struggle between an altruistic good and a materialistic evil, the inevitable historical triumph of progress over reaction, and the pseudo-religious induction of new recruits into the gnostic revelation of our oppressive world with its layered conspiracies of capitalism, sexism and racism. The original ‘red pill’. Or, ‘little red book’.

To non-cult members, it’s brainwashing. To cult members, it’s revelation. The distinction may seem like a matter of perspective between believers and non-believers, but it lies in the question of consent. Brainwashing always relies on removing control from the victim. The control may be taken openly, by force. It can be taken covertly through manipulation and deceit. But there is always a loss of control.

The victim does not understand the process by which they are being taken apart and put back together until much later. And if the process works as intended, he or she may never realize it happened at all. Brainwashing’s cruelest trick lies in using the intelligence of its victim as its greatest ally in building a trap for its own ego and its consciousness that it cannot escape from without a great deal of determination.

Like drug addiction, the aftermath of brainwashing transforms the mind into a convoluted maze of rationalizations for self-destructive behavior that are guarded by biology and the subconscious. It cannot be escaped without breaking down the defense mechanisms that were put into place to avoid reexperiencing the original trauma, and without examining the emotions behind the mechanisms. 

Brainwashing can create new ideas and realities, but it can’t create new emotions. All it can do is amplify them and use them to induce in its subject a new belief in an altered reality. It doesn’t create guilt, shame, fear, love or hate. It amplifies, exploits them and uses them as tools to create stress, force a crisis, and then transform a single belief or an entire identity.

That is why the Left cannot be defeated through policy debates and intellectual abstractions. It is a belief system. Though it traffics in seeming abstractions, these are a language, but not the meaning. The esoteric languages of policy and pop culture in which it speaks are vehicles for a deeper language of primal emotions. Behind the theories and manifestos is a great darkness of fear and terror, of love and hate, of emotional instability and vulnerability on which its lies and propaganda are built.

And it is within that primal darkness out of which all evil is born that the brainwashing does its work.



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

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

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


14 May, 2019

Why the Left Mocks the Bible

Dennis Prager
At PragerU, we have released about 400 videos on virtually every subject outside of the natural sciences and math. Along with 2 billion views, the videos have garnered tens of thousands of comments. So we have a pretty good handle on what people most love and most hate. For example, any video defending America or Israel inevitably receives many negative responses. But no videos elicit the amount of contempt and mockery that videos defending religion, explaining the Bible or arguing for God do.

Why is that?

There is a good reason. The Bible and the left (not liberalism, leftism) are as opposed as any two worldviews can be. While there are people who claim to hold both a Bible-based worldview and left-wing views, these people are few in number. Moreover, what they do is take left-wing positions and wrap them in a few Bible verses. But on virtually every important value in life, the left and the Bible are diametrically opposed.

Here are a few examples:

The biblical view is that people are not basically good. Evil therefore comes from within human nature. For the left, human nature is not the source of evil. Capitalism, patriarchy, poverty, religion, nationalism or some other external cause is the source of evil.

The biblical view is that nature was created for man. The left-wing view is that man is just another part of nature.

The biblical view is that man is created in the image of God and, therefore, formed with a transcendent, immaterial soul. The left-wing view — indeed, the view of all secular ideologies — is that man is purely material, another assemblage of stellar dust.

The biblical view is that the human being has free will. The left-wing view — again, the view of all secular outlooks — is that human beings have no free will. Everything we do is determined by environment, genes and the matter of which we are composed. Firing neurons, not free will, explain both murders and kindness.

The biblical view is that while reason alone can lead a person to conclude murder is wrong, murder is ultimately and objectively wrong only because there is a transcendent source of right and wrong — God — who deems murder evil.

The biblical view is that God made order out of chaos. Order is defined by distinctions. One such example is male and female — the only inherent human distinction that matters to God. There are no racial or ethnic distinctions in God’s order; there is only the human sex distinction. The left loathes this concept of a divine order. That is the primary driver of its current attempt to obliterate the male-female distinction.

The biblical view is that the nuclear family is the basic unit of society — a married father and mother and their children. This is the biblical ideal. All good people of faith recognize that the reality of this world is such that many people do not or cannot live that ideal. And such people often merit our support. But that does not change the fact that the nuclear family is the one best-suited to create thriving individuals and a healthy society, and we who take the Bible seriously must continue to advocate the ideal family structure as the Bible defines it. And for that, perhaps more than anything, we are mocked.

The biblical view holds that wisdom begins with acknowledging God. The secular view is that is that God is unnecessary for wisdom, and the left-wing view is that God is destructive to wisdom. But if you want to know which view is more accurate, look at the most godless and Bible-less institution in our society: the universities. They are, without competition, the most foolish institutions in our society.

For nearly all of American history, the Bible was the most important book in America. It is no longer. This is a moral and intellectual catastrophe. If you want to understand why, consider reading “The Rational Bible,” my commentary on the first five books of the Bible. The second volume of “The Rational Bible,” “Genesis,” is published today.


Nikki Haley on The Ben Shapiro Show: UN Is ‘Wasteful,’ ‘Bureaucratic,’ a ‘Lot of Talk’

Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration Nikki Haley on "The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special" Episode 49 with host Ben Shapiro. (Screenshot)
When asked about the efficacy of the United Nations during a segment of “The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special” on Sunday with host Ben Shapiro, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that the U.N. is “wasteful,” “bureaucratic,” a “lot of talk.”

“It’s wasteful; it’s bureaucratic; it’s a lot of talk and not as much action,” stated former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley. “There’s resentment. We’re being taken advantage of, but we would not have gotten those three North Korean sanctions packages and had the international community all on the same page against North Korea without the U.N.”

Below is a transcript in pertinent part of former U.S. Ambassador  to the U.N. Nikki Haley’s comments on the efficacy of the U.N.:

Ben Shapiro: “So, what is your, after having served at the U.N., what’s your overall view of the U.N.? So, I’ve been vocally anti-U.N. for as long as I can possibly remember. I have recommended that the building be torn down and that President Trump build condos on top of it. You’ve served there. What is the— Do you think there’s a purpose to the U.N.? Do you think it’s a useful organization? What should the U.S.’s involvement in the U.N. be?”

Nikki Haley: “The president actually asked me a year in. He said, ‘What do you think of the U.N.? Should we stay in?’

“And I said, this is the thing: It’s wasteful; it’s bureaucratic; it’s a lot of talk and not as much action. There’s resentment. We’re being taken advantage of, but we would not have gotten those three North Korean sanctions packages and had the international community all on the same page against North Korea without the U.N.

“So, I think the American people are going to decide. I don’t know that I’ve decided yet.

“But the U.N. has to really— We pushed some really big reforms. In the first year we were able to cut $1.3 billion, immediately. That was just low hanging fruit. When people see the big U.N. building, they think ambassadors are in there. That’s just staff. You have thousands of people that work in that building, and it’s all because countries want their people in there. The staff has doubled in the last ten years. That’s how ridiculous it is. The reforms were happening. We did work with the secretary general. It was starting, but it’s got a long way to go.

“And the U.N., more importantly, has to change with the times. They can’t keep talking about old issues they’ve always wanted to talk about. They have to take on issues like Venezuela, which they didn’t want to do. They have to take on those issues with Iran and call it out the way it is. In any way for them to continue to be relevant, they have to do what’s uncomfortable to do, and I don’t know if they’re willing to do that.”


Let Kids Be Kids Again: Their Future Depends on It

The kids are most certainly not alright. And as many of America’s employers are now finding out, this means that many junior employees are not doing so well either. New research details how rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders are drastically rising among America’s youth. Identifying the causes of these troubling trends and acting quickly to reverse them should be a national priority, and fortunately, there are ways to work toward that goal.

The scale of the current mental health crisis among American teenagers and young adults alone should be reason enough to immediately take up this challenge. Analyzing results from a recent national survey administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, San Diego State University Professor of Psychology, Jean Twenge describes the findings:

From 2009 to 2017, major depression among 20- to 21-year-olds more than doubled, rising from 7 percent to 15 percent. Depression surged 69 percent among 16- to 17-year-olds. Serious psychological distress, which includes feelings of anxiety and hopelessness, jumped 71 percent among 18- to 25-year-olds from 2008 to 2017. Twice as many 22- to 23-year-olds attempted suicide in 2017 compared with 2008, and 55 percent more had suicidal thoughts.

Many of these struggling young adults are still in high school or college, but, if they haven’t already, they will soon join a labor market that has been deeply affected by technology and increasing globalization. Researchers exploring how today’s workers are coping with the ambiguity that is now the hallmark of large portions of modern employment, found that “Younger workers show less capacity to cope with ambiguity than older workers.” Furthermore, the researchers explain that, “Generations Y [Millennials] and Z express just as much desire for novel, challenging work as older workers. But they lack the skills and confidence required to manage uncertainty when it occurs, and are more likely to become anxious.”

Employers are struggling to adapt to that more anxious young workforce. The Society for Human Resources Management explains how this trend has turned many HR professionals into de facto counselors. Some are recommending that companies begin looking for ways to hire professional therapists to deal with the influx depressed or anxious young workers. Companies like DuPont and the Price Waterhouse Cooper’s United Kingdom office have even implemented changes aimed at boosting the mental health of their employees.

While the causes of these worrying trends can be difficult to pin down, many researchers point to the effect of social media in reshaping the way kids interact with one another. Some experts, like authors of The Coddling of the American Mind Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff, have suggested that the rise in overprotective or “helicopter” parenting has played a significant role and has left a generation without the opportunity to build the skills they need to become resilient authors of their own lives. Whether it results from a misplaced hyper-emphasis on child safety or the desire to make sure kids have their schedules filled with all the right activities to ensure their entrance into a top university someday, kids have far fewer opportunities to engage in unsupervised or unstructured play time. The rise of so-called “snowplow parents,” parents who constantly clear obstacles for their children to spare them from frustration, disappointment, or even challenges, are depriving them of the opportunity to build important skills necessary to succeed later in life.

Ensuring that kids have the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to handle uncertainty starts early. Allowing kids enough independence to tackle new challenges, confront increasingly difficult obstacles, and even allowing them to fail and learn from those failures are crucial components in shaping kids into resilient teenagers and adults. Perhaps even more important is the essential role of unsupervised play, an increasingly rare phenomenon, in childhood development. Research Professor of Psychology at Boston College and Senior Fellow at LetGrow, Peter Gray puts it this way:

When children play independently of adults they learn how to make their own decisions, solve their own problems, create and enforce rules, negotiate differences, and maintain the peace and order necessary for the play to proceed. These are extraordinarily important skills, which cannot be taught but can only be learned through experience, and the best experience for learning these skills comes from play with other children, away from adults.

In addition to likely helping kids stay mentally healthy as they get older, the same skills they learn from unsupervised free play are also increasingly valued in the modern labor market. Psychologist Angela Duckworth famously documented the importance of “grit” in a child’s future academic and career success in her book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. For years, researchers such as Nobel Laureate and University of Chicago Economist James Heckman, have emphasized the role of “soft skills” in academic, career, and life success. Broadly categorized as a broad set of skills, competencies, behaviors, attitudes, and personal qualities, soft skills enable people to effectively navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals. Soft skills also include characteristics like motivation and socio-emotional regulation, the exact kinds of skills that kids learn when engaging in unsupervised free play.

As automation and globalization continue to change the labor market, the premium for soft skills is only likely to get more significant. David Deming, a Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School, has documented how over the past several decades, the jobs requiring high levels of social interaction have grown significantly as a share of the U.S. labor force. Deming notes, “Between 1980 and 2012, jobs requiring high levels of social interaction grew by nearly 12 percentage points as a share of the U.S. labor force. … Employment and wage growth were particularly strong for jobs requiring high levels of both math skill and social skills.”

Building these skills starts early and, although shifting the culture to help support the development of these skills is a daunting task, it is made nearly impossible by the existence of laws that prohibit parents from granting even mature kids the opportunities to spend some time unsupervised. Parents across the country are (rightfully) concerned about bumping up against laws that treat an unsupervised child as one who is being neglected. Laws vary by state, but there are countless disheartening stories of parents being arrested or otherwise confronted by law enforcement for allowing their kids a bit of unsupervised time.

Fortunately, some states are taking the lead on creating an environment in which parents can give their kids the independence they need to grow. In 2018, Utah adopted the first “free-range parenting” law, which is meant to help foster self-sufficiency among kids by allowing parents to give kids the ability to participate in independent activities. With such a law on the books, parents don’t need to be worried about being arrested for neglect just for granting their kids some independence, such as allowing them to walk to and from the park by themselves. Although Utah is the only state (so far) with such a law on the books, South Carolina and Connecticut are also considering protecting parents with similar laws.

Although passing legislation to protect parents who are interested in giving their kids the chance to build soft skills and become more resilient by granting them some independence is urgently needed, it will not be enough to ensure kids are equipped with the skills they need to succeed in life. Reversing the shocking trends in mental health among teenagers and young adults will require a cultural shift beyond what public policy can reasonably achieve. An ongoing and concerted effort will be required, and resources like those offered by LetGrow and from experts like Haidt and Lukianoff can help communities guide their efforts. Ultimately it will be up to parents though, and every parent has the opportunity to play a role in changing the culture to better prepare kids for a successful future.


Democratic society under attack from the Left

The dismal decade of Australian politics was defined by revolving-door prime ministers, loss of public faith in the political system and the rise of minor parties riding an anti-establishment wave.

Optimists believed the time of troubles was transient. It would give way to a new era on condition that political-media elites recovered respect for the inviolable principles of liberal democracy including freedom of speech, public reason, majority rule and loyal opposition. But the election campaign has exposed the fragile state of Australian democracy. The dismal decade may have ended, but the foundations of our democratic culture are under assault.

Democracy is both a form of government and a type of society. A liberal democratic culture is one in which citizens are taught to respect the mutual obligations that give rise to free society. They include recognition of the inherent worth of each person, equality before the law, freedom of thought and speech, freedom of religion and respect for private property. Civil society is sustained by accountable government, apolitical public institutions, the separation of church and state, and the principle of no (physical) harm. The cornerstone of democratic culture is public reason.

During the course of the election campaign, Australian democracy has come under siege from illiberal enemies within. Militant incivility is the order of the day. To date, most violence has issued from the green-left. Activists are using a range of tactics to silence dissent. Liberal MP Andrew Hastie’s bus was set alight. Greens supporter Amber Holt was charged with assault after allegedly attacking the Prime Minister. Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi reported a Greens representative had physically assaulted a female volunteer in ­Adelaide.

The man allegedly grabbed the conservative woman after she walked away from him following “a forthright discussion” at a pre-polling booth.

Conservative women have suffered intimidation, harassment and assault during the election campaign. Paul Bunney, a volunteer for the Centre Alliance, was charged with stalking Liberal candidate Georgina Downer. Bunney was a campaign volunteer for rival candidate Rebekha Sharkie and had links to hard Left group GetUp. He denies the charge.

Liberal member for Boothby Nicolle Flint reportedly filed a complaint of stalking. Police have cautioned David Walsh, leader of Adelaide’s City of Mitcham Residents Group. He denies wrong­doing. Former Mitcham mayor Glenn Spear supports Flint. Flint was targeted by GetUp earlier in the year. The group called her South Australia’s “most backwards politician”. It planned an event for the purpose of “removing her from parliament”.

Jewish politicians have been subjected to anti-Semitic attacks during the campaign. Posters of Liberal MP Julian Leeser were defaced with dollar signs. Leeser recognised the graffiti as a reference to “old anti-Semitic lies of an international Jewish banking conspiracy; that Jews control the world’s money supply. These sentiments were used by Nazis and others who have sought to spread hatred of Jews for centuries”.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg released a statement after a billboard for his campaign in the seat of Kooyong was vandalised with Nazi symbols. He used the anti-Semitic incident to encourage civility in public debate and remind people that “mutual respect is at the heart of a good society”.

However, there was little respect for Liberal candidate Jacinta Price after a Greens candidate used racist abuse against her. Greens leader Richard Di Natale supported George Hanna after he shared a Facebook meme that smeared Price with the racist term “coconut”.

Price is a Warlpiri-Celtic woman who rejects the politics of victimhood and cultural relativism. She embraces rational deliberation, women’s empowerment and the secular state. As such, she is anathema to the hard Left.

Price is not in the habit of taking abuse lying down. She rebuked the Greens: “To say that I’m black on the outside and white on the inside is to say that being white is something lesser. It’s a put-down based on race … just like any other slur based on race.”

The Labor leadership is also demonstrating a disturbing degree of contempt for democratic culture. In a previous column, I described Bill Shorten’s vicious smearing of climate economist Brian Fisher. After green activist Simon Holmes a Court posted Fisher’s residential address online, his home was attacked.

Last week, Labor senator Penny Wong violated the principle of loyal opposition when she refused to shake hands with Liberal senator Simon Birmingham after a discussion on Sky News. Yet a CNN article lavished praise on her and former race discrimination commissioner Tim Soutphommasane said: “She’s a role model for many people in Australian society who want to see a different face to our public life and our public institutions.” For other Australians, substance matters more than skin colour.

Labor and the Greens support the state censorship of politically incorrect thought. Shorten has become deeply hostile to critical questions from journalists. He has indicated his intention to target media critical of him while pledging more money for the comrades in the Left press. He is no friend of public reason.

The Shorten Labor Party is poised to attack the foundations of free society.

Do not reward a politician who fails to defend freedom of speech, universal equality and accountable government. To hand illiberal men the reins of democracy is to cast pearls before swine.



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

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

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


13 May, 2019

Are eggs bad for you again?

There was a great panic in the '90s and thereabouts that eating eggs could give you heart attacks -- Because they were chock-full of that evil cholesterol.  And people took that very seriously.  Once that old ticker stops ticking, that is the end of you.  The life support system for your brain is switched off. So, to their great rage, the chicken farmers lost a lot of business

Over the years however new studies came out that exonerated the old cackleberry.  So bacon and egg breakfasts are still allegedly wrong but not because of the eggs. NOTHING could be as evil as bacon!

I really should stop my bad habit of reading the medical journals but lately the old scare has had a bit of a revival.  A big study has come out with a lot of very small effects that incriminate eggs. See here and here.  I am tired of putting up nonsense reports in detail so I will not this time reproduce abstracts. Those links will get you the findings in all their glorious complexity.

For a start we are talking about effects that are probably too small to be taken seriously at all:  "The absolute differences in mortality and cardiovascular disease risks that we saw for dietary patterns that involve higher cholesterol intake ranged between about 1% and 4% over 17.5 years of follow-up."

And cholesterol does NOT give you heart attacks:  "When you look at the coronary heart disease end point alone instead of all forms of cardiovascular disease, you don’t see a significant association between dietary cholesterol and coronary heart disease"  If so, why are eggs bad?

But we in fact don't have to worry about any of the results from the study. It is a load of bull, to put it bluntly.  How so?  It is a meta-analysis of 6 studies so getting uniform demographic controls under those circumstances was "ambitious".  And at least some of the 6 studies had no control for income at all.  So you have no way of knowing whether you are looking at an egg-consumption effect or a poverty effect. 

If poor people are less respectful of official dietary dictates and recommendations (they are) it could be that the big egg eaters are the poor.  Eggs are cheap food. When I buy eggs it costs me around 30c per egg.  And a 3-egg omelette is a pretty good breakfast. Middle class people, in contrast, would often be aware of the great cholesterol beast threatening their health and would be having lots of nuts and broccoli to eat instead of bacon & eggs.  Sad souls!

So it's my conclusion that all the study really shows is that poor people have worse health, which is arguably the most replicated finding in the whole epidemiological literature.  It tells us NOTHING about eggs or cholesterol generally

Crushed by the Leftist Juggernaut: One Lawyer’s Story

By Adam J. Sedia

I went from almost a judge to being fired within the space of forty-eight hours.  Why?  Because it came out that I was a conservative.

I had read stories about conservatives being blacklisted, fired, having their careers and reputations destroyed because of their political views.  Never once did I dream it could happen to me, an insignificant lawyer in an insignificant part of the country.  But just this past week the nightmare happened, and I learned firsthand the consequences of running against the leftist hive that dominates our world.

I live in Lake County, Indiana -- the Chicago suburbs at the very northwestern tip of the state.  It epitomizes the Rust Belt, with the great steel cities of Gary and East Chicago, the oil refinery city of Whiting, and the surrounding blue-collar suburbs.  I grew up here and I practice law here.  It has been a stronghold of the Democrats since the New Deal, and its political corruption is notorious.  It was one of the last great political machines until the Bush Justice Department broke it up in the early 2000s.  Even so, its vestiges still remain.

I had built a career over ten years as a civil litigator and had developed a reputation as one of the top local appellate litigators. When a vacancy in one of the Superior Courts occurred, several colleagues whom I admired and respected encouraged me to apply.

While most counties elect their judges, Lake County does not.  It once did, but its judges were so notoriously corrupt and incompetent that the legislature abolished elections and put the county on merit selection.  (Except for one judgeship, which the state constitution required to remain elected, but this is a technicality that would take too long to describe.)  Under this system, when a vacancy occurs, a local commission of both attorneys and non-attorneys takes applications, conducts interviews, and submits a list of three names to the governor, who then appoints the judge.  The judge is then up for a yes-or-no retention vote for six-year terms after that.

The system vastly improved the quality of the judiciary in the county.  And it was no small secret that it was the legislature’s way of getting Republican judges in a county that would otherwise never elect them.

As a Republican precinct committeeman with a Republican governor, my chances were good.  Or so I thought.  You see, I had a deep, dark secret: I was open about my conservative views. In college fifteen years ago I expressed them in a column for the campus newspaper.  And until my son was born three years ago I expressed them on social media.  I toned things down as I settled down, but my views became more conservative the more I experienced.

Then it happened.  Someone had printed and saved my social media posts from three years ago and more.  There were nine of them, most of them links to publications like the National Review, Breitbart, and the Blaze: two were pro-life, one criticized illegal immigration, others made fun of radical feminism and warned about radical Islam, and several were critical of overreach by federal judges.  They were strident, but fairly innocuous for social media.  By no stretch of the imagination were they racist, sexist, or bigoted.

Whoever printed these mailed them anonymously to three of the nine members of the Judicial Nominating Commission, but the commission would not consider anonymous materials, and my name was among the three submitted to the governor.

Identical anonymous mailings went to a local Democratic attorney and the governor’s staff, but still no controversy materialized. Finally, several mailings went out – to the Urban League of Gary, the Indiana Chapter of the NAACP, Mayor Freeman-Wilson of Gary, the local Hispanic Bar Association, and the local black Bar Association. The Urban League complained to the local paper, which took up the story.  As a judicial candidate, I was limited as to what I could say, and I tried to play things safe. Let the process work out.  How naïve I was.

Of course the story ran, and of course it ran with glaring inaccuracies and outright misrepresentations.  The damage was done.  I was branded a racist.  The local Republican party, to its great credit, stood by me and conveyed its support to the governor.  But the governor caved and appointed a Democrat – a Democrat whose boss, the mayor of Hammond, had just called him a felon on the air.

But even that was not the end.  Two days later, the partners at my firm called me into a meeting.  Some corporate clients, they said, complained about my political views and stated that they could no longer do business with the firm if I remained there.  It was them or me, and the firm chose them.  My bosses were gracious about it.  They complimented my work and allowed me time to stay on and find new employment, but I was still fired.

I have some prospects, I have the support and commiseration of my friends and colleagues, and in many ways the end of my career marks a new beginning.  I have grown tired of private practice, its constant battle, its grueling hours, and its thankless clients.  If anything, losing my job has freed me from this drudgery.  Better opportunities await, but they all require me to abandon my home.  After this experience, I gladly do so.

This whole ordeal has taught me three lessons.  The first I already knew but had not yet experienced.  While Democrats always circle the wagons around their own, Republicans will fall over themselves to throw their own under the bus.  I had seen it in national politics, and learned the hard way that it holds true on the local level as well.

I also learned that to the Left, its enemies are not human.  The anonymity and persistence of the mailings put myself and my family in grave fear for our safety.  I cannot describe the sleepless nights, the caution exercised every time we stepped out of the house.  I made police reports, but without an actual threat, all they could do was document the mailings.  None of that mattered.  All that mattered was power politics and stopping me at all costs -- simply for my personal views.

If this anonymous mailer wanted to assert that I wrote what was in those mailings and that they should disqualify me from office, what shame was there in doing so openly and publicly?  They certainly had nothing to fear from me, my family, or my friends.  Keeping the process secret stifled open, civil discourse and left the process beholden to rumor and innuendo.

But what is even sadder is that this tactic worked. It set a dangerous precedent for future nominees to the bench.  This has shaken my faith in the judicial nomination process, the legal profession itself, and humanity in general.

Nor was I human to the business world.  Never mind the firm’s long and productive relationship with its corporate clients.  Those clients were willing to kill that relationship over one employee’s nonconforming political views.  And while my bosses were clearly sympathetic, the value of the clients’ business mattered more than the personal relationship I had developed with them.

But perhaps most importantly, it taught me never to hide or be ashamed of my views.  I knew the local bar would despise my opinions, so I tried to play it safe.  The mailings were anonymous, so I had plausible deniability.  I pled ignorance, hoping the storm would blow over, but everything ended up no different than if I had come out and stated openly that I was a conservative and that my views aligned with the President of the United States and those who elected him.

Finally, it must be said that all of this did anything but moderate my views.  Indeed, it has only confirmed my opinions.  The Left is a mindless, heartless, bloodthirsty mob marching in lockstep, out to destroy anyone who doubts its uncompromising and ever-changing orthodoxy.  It must be stopped at all costs.  The Republican Party is an ineffective means of combatting that juggernaut because its leadership lacks a spine when it counts most.  And finally, if being successful requires me to be a leftist, I choose failure every single time.


The First Rule of Social-Media Censorship Is That There Are No Rules

Yesterday, my colleague and podcast co-host Alexandra DeSanctis wrote a piece describing a confrontation between Pennsylvania state representative Brian Sims and an elderly woman who was apparently praying quietly outside a Planned Parenthood office in Pennsylvania. Sims’s actions toward the woman were absurdly aggressive. He mocked her faith, her age, and her race. He impeded her path, and then tried to get her address so he could go “protest” in front of her home.

Later yesterday, another video emerged, this one on Sims’s Facebook page, in which he mocks a small group of young protesters, tries to dox them, and attacks their race and religion. Most of the response to Sims yesterday focused on his ridiculous substance and demeanor. He’s a public official trying to bully and intimidate people who are quietly and peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights.

But I have a different question: Where are the social-media police?

Just last week, Facebook banned a series of extremist accounts for being “dangerous” after evaluating their content and their owners’ “activities outside of Facebook.” Twitter has launched its own round of bans against far-right figures, including — for example — banning Laura Loomer after she tweeted that Ilhan Omar was “anti-Jewish” and part of a faith in which “homosexuals are oppressed” and “women are abused.” Just today, Twitter suspended a clearly marked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez parody account, in part for attempting to “manipulate the conversations on Twitter,” whatever that means.

Shouldn’t the exact same rules that empowered bans of far-right figures apply to far-left Brian Sims? Let’s look at Facebook’s community standards. They prohibit “hate speech” and define it as “a direct attack on people based on [their] protected characteristics — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, caste, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disease or disability.” Moreover, they also prohibit “soliciting” certain kinds of “personally identifiable information,” including addresses.

On Facebook, Sims tried to dox young girls and explicitly attacked their race and religion. Sims’s post is still up, and Sims’s account is still active.

Twitter’s “hateful conduct policy” prohibits “directly attack[ing]” someone “on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.” It also explicitly notes that women are disproportionately targeted for online abuse.

On Twitter, Sims tried to dox an elderly lady and explicitly attacked her race and religion. He also chronicled behavior that was clearly physically intimidating. Sims’s tweet is still up, and Sims’s account is still active.

Moreover, if we want to apply the terminology of power dynamics, in both cases Sims is “punching down.” A male public official is engaging in abusive behavior against women who lack his platform and stature. By any fair reading of either social-media platform’s rules, Sims is just as guilty of violations as any number of far-right accounts. Yet he skates by with apparent impunity. Why?

The answer goes to the heart of the reason why Silicon Valley has lost the public trust of tens of millions of Americans. They know the rules are malleable. They know double standards apply. And they know that the campus-censorship culture is being imported online.

On campus (and increasingly also on social media), far-right anger and attacks are deemed dangerous and abusive. Far-left anger and attacks are instead deemed expressions of righteous outrage. Maliciously racialized far-right language is seen as evidence of white supremacy and white nationalism. Maliciously racialized far-left language is perceived as an attack on the privileged and powerful.

The result is that hate-speech policies exist not as easily interpreted, uniformly applied rules that provide all users fair notice of the conditions for using the platforms, but rather as subjectively interpreted, selectively applied weapons to wield on behalf of favored ideas and individuals. The result is that some people are more exposed to abuse than others because those people are deemed less worthy of protection.

Twitter will move to protect a U.S. congresswoman like Ilhan Omar — a highly visible public figure with a huge platform — from attacks on her faith, but it will not lift a finger to protect an unknown elderly woman from becoming an object of hate and derision on the basis of her age, race, or faith. How does this make any rational sense?

As a matter of principle (private companies enjoy the blessings of liberty) and pragmatism (social media is unlikely to improve under the watchful eye of, say, President Kamala Harris), I oppose government efforts to regulate social-media speech policies. But publicly exposing inconsistency and hypocrisy lays the groundwork for a market correction. The most powerful check on social media remains the user base; the companies’ economic models depend not just on user loyalty but also user growth.

I have long argued that social-media companies should voluntarily adopt First Amendment–based speech policies. A First Amendment analysis does not mean “anything goes,” but it does mean that rules and regulations restricting speech must be viewpoint-neutral. Harassment, incitement, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress are speech limitations with viewpoint-neutral definitions, and one of the fastest ways to violate the First Amendment is with selective enforcement even of viewpoint-neutral rules.

The great value of viewpoint neutrality is that it comports with our sense of fundamental fairness. It hearkens back to the image of the blindfolded Lady Justice, holding her scales, indifferent to the power or privilege of her petitioners. Twitter and Facebook have removed the blindfold, thrown away the scales, and chosen to wield only the sword. It’s the weapon of social justice, and when it’s wielded against a lone, brave woman on a Philadelphia sidewalk, it’s an instrument of bias, abuse, and hate.


Cultural assassins lie in wait

Last month former US president Barack Obama warned about a ­rising rigidity of ideas on his side of politics and the circular firing squads aimed at those who strayed from the party line. If only this phenomenon were limited to trigger-happy Democrats trying to destroy their own.

This scourge is deeper, killing our culture, erasing history, tearing down statues, cleansing books. More recently, modern firing squads roam free on university campuses, in schools, on the sporting field, in our workplaces too, just about everywhere except at the kitchen table. In fact, we had a boss of the Australian Human Rights Commission not so long ago who set her sights on what we say there too.

The aim is to snuff out dissenting voices by wrecking careers and reputations, removing them from the arena. Rugby Australia is effectively sacking Israel Folau on the same basis that university administrators boot out free-thinking ­professors.

These are defining cultural contests of our times. There is no intention, on any level, to engage with or debate dissidents. Unwittingly or not, the cultural assassins are ripping out the liberal component of the liberal democratic project.

Last month a [metaphorical] firing squad took aim at Sir Roger Scruton, one of the Anglosphere’s most distinguished public intellectuals. The 75-year-old polymath has written dozens of books on a range of topics from philosophy to fox hunting, operas too, and was in eastern Europe supporting those underground dissidents who fought for freedom in the 1980s.

Knighted in 2016, Scruton is a ­conservative who always assumed that even though campuses skewed Left, conservatives would nonetheless be tolerated.

That norm no longer applies. Last month Scruton agreed to be interviewed by the deputy editor of The New Statesman, George Eaton. For years Scruton wrote a column for the same publication about wine. After the interview, Eaton tweeted about “outrageous remarks” by Scruton, claiming that Scruton was racist towards the Chinese, denigrated Hun­garian Jews and mocked “Islamophobia as propaganda invented by the Muslim Brotherhood … to stop discussion of a major issue”.

The mob struck. Within five hours of the Twitter storm, Scruton, an expert in architecture too, was sacked by Britain’s Tory government from a public body called Building Better, Building Beautiful. Craven conservative politicians publicly con­demned Scruton in a virtue-signalling atrocity.

Eaton posted a photo on social media of him drinking from a champagne bottle, with the words: “The feeling when you get right-wing racist and homophobe Roger Scruton sacked as Tory government adviser.”

The firing squad had com­pleted its latest task. Until an audio recording of Scruton’s interview was published by The Spectator magazine, proving that Eaton’s ­social media posts bore no resemblance to Scruton’s words.

As Douglas Murray wrote in The Spectator’s expose, Scruton discusses each issue with Eaton in his usual measured, thoughtful way. Scruton’s “racist” rant about the Chinese? Here is what the professor said: “There’s something quite frightening about the Chinese sort of mass politics and the regimentation of the ordinary being. We invent robots and they are them. In a sense they’re creating robots out of their own people by so constraining what can be done. Each Chinese person is a kind of replica of the next one and that’s a very frightening thing.” Scruton clearly was talking about China’s communist regime.

Other “outrageous remarks” were stitch-ups created by Eaton’s editing. Conservative politicians offered meek apologies. Some called for Scruton to be reinstated to the government quango.

Eaton is defending his published interview but not his social media posts. But the damage was done. And as Murray wrote in his scathing ­biopsy of the Scruton affair, conservative appeasement of the cultural censors is part of the spirit of our times.

Note the seamless progression from editing words to save people from offence to the new mission of editing to create offence, whipping up a storm in the feral Court of Twitter to destroy careers.

It was bad enough when self-appointed moral guardians cleansed words from Enid Blyton, sanitised Sesame Street and then edited the deliberately unsettling language in Mark Twain’s The ­Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, replacing “nigger” with “slave”. The boneheaded censors missed the point: Huck Finn is a deeply anti-racist book that satirises southern prejudices of that era.

When censorious mobs were not stopped early in their tracks, mission creep was inevitable. Witness the white-out of other art. Paintings are covered over or ­removed for being too sexual, cultural appropriation has become a tool to stop people writing about experiences beyond their lived ­experience. Where would that leave Shakespeare? White men are told to shut up because of their skin colour. And outrage mobs are destroying careers, from Folau to Scruton. Is this what progress means to the “progressive Left”?

Cultural iconoclast Jordan Peter­son has had a target on his head since he questioned state-sanctioned gender-neutral pronouns barely three years ago. The attacks, though relentless, have been largely futile. Until March, when activists whipped up a storm over a photo of Peterson standing next to a fan wearing a spoof T-shirt that said he was proud to be an Islamophobe.

Cue the next move. Cambridge University’s faculty of divinity ­rescinded its offer of a visiting fellowship to Peterson. A university spokesman said the presence of the acclaimed psychologist, whose lectures on the biblical stories of Genesis have attracted 100 million views, would damage the univer­sity’s “inclusive environment”. Because inclusive environments do not include ideas that differ from mob orthodoxy.

Last December a firing squad of students and academics went after 28-year-old social scientist Noah Carl, who was awarded a research fellowship at St Edmund’s College at Cambridge University. The firing squad accused him of “pseudoscientific racism”. Carl’s peer-reviewed and exten­sively cited work extends to race, gender and intelligence, where he has argued that shutting down sensitive issues will cause more mischief than allowing them to be freely challenged. And the mob drew blood again. Earlier this month, Carl was sacked. The master of St Edmund’s said his work “could incite racial or religious hatred”. No fraud or inaccuracy was found in his research. No one expressed ­interest in debating his work.

In Australia free speech firing squads came for Peter Ridd too. The esteemed physics professor was sacked by James Cook University using a bogus claim of ­uncollegial behaviour, which was ­rejected by the Federal Court last month. Ridd questioned the quality of science about the Great Barrier Reef. In keeping with the spirit of our times, JCU will spend millions of dollars defending its right to censor an academic, rather than encouraging debate about important environmental issues.

What’s next? One suggestion is massive retaliation.

Speaking to The Weekend Australian this week, historian Niall Ferguson said “the lesson of history is that you ­either hang together or you hang separately”.

The Harvard professor and fellow of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, who has written 14 books ranging from The Ascent of Money to The Square and the Tower, has called for an academic version of NATO. NATO was created 70 years ago, a treaty of mutual defence “to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, founded on the principles of dem­ocracy, individual liberty and the rule of law”. To thwart the spread of Soviet tyranny, western Europe agreed, in clause 5, that an armed attack on one would be treated as an attack on all signatories.

“There wouldn’t have been much to stop the Soviet Union if each individual European country had to defend itself against the Red Army alone,” Ferguson told The Weekend Australian. “In today’s extraordinarily vicious public sphere, when you come under attack, when someone accuses you of what Orwell called a ‘thoughtcrime’ — though ‘hate speech’ is the more conventional term — typically you find yourself suddenly very alone.”

Ferguson speaks from experience. “You suddenly look around wondering where your friends are. Their heads are so far below the parapet that all you can see are their arses.” When you see someone under attack, go to their defence, he says. Write about the attack, use the Left’s preferred weapon of social media too, protest against what is happening.

The key to massive retaliation is numbers, Ferguson says. Not just one or two people speaking up but two or three thousand doing it. This may deter cultural firing squads from culling other voices. And remember, there but for the grace of God go I.

As Obama noted, the progressive firing squads aim at their own side too. Ridd is no conservative. After none of his colleagues at JCU came to his defence publicly, he has another suggestion. Speaking to The Weekend Australian, the quietly spoken professor says we need “kamikaze academics”, men and women close to retirement in a ­financial position to risk their livelihoods by getting fired for doing something noble to improve campus freedom. Ridd has written about this in his soon-to-be-published book. Only half in jest, he adds. “I would like to suggest to older academics that they have a duty to do something. It is not good enough to stand by and watch.” Drawing on history, Ferguson points out that we are watching “a ghastly parody of the Cultural Revolution” right across the ­Anglosphere.

“At universities, of all places, free speech and free thought are under attack. They’re under as much attack as if these places were under totalitarian governments. It’s extraordinary,” he says, over the phone after a dinner with Harvard historians.

“You see denunciations, behaviours by young people that could be the mind of the Red Guards in (Mao’s) Cultural Revolution.”

Totalitarianism comes in different forms. Even with hindsight, some people, especially the young, will struggle to recognise despots and tyrants of past eras. The new form of tyranny is even harder to spot for some. We are engulfed by new guises of an old tyranny, sweet-sounding laws, roving ­bureaucrats, ubiquitous codes of conduct, endless claims to inclusivity that exclude people with different views, the modern god of diversity, a most hypocritical divinity, that has no time for diverse opinions, a new lexicon of words slowly and surely strangling liberty. One day we will look back, ashamed of ourselves for not doing more to combat this new totalitarianism.



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

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

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


12 May, 2019

New Research Confirms We Got Cholesterol All Wrong

A comprehensive new study on cholesterol, based on results from more than a million patients, could help upend decades of government advice about diet, nutrition, health, prevention, and medication. Just don't hold your breath.

The study, published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, centers on statins, a class of drugs used to lower levels of LDL-C, the so-called "bad" cholesterol, in the human body. According to the study, statins are pointless for most people.

"No evidence exists to prove that having high levels of bad cholesterol causes heart disease, leading physicians have claimed" in the study, reports the Daily Mail. The Express likewise says the new study finds "no evidence that high levels of 'bad' cholesterol cause heart disease."

The study also reports that "heart attack patients were shown to have lower than normal cholesterol levels of LDL-C" and that older people with higher levels of bad cholesterol tend to live longer than those with lower levels.

This is probably news to many in government. But it's not news to everyone.

"In fact researchers have known for decades from nutrition studies that LDL-C is not strongly correlated with cardiac risk," says Nina Teicholz, an investigative journalist and author of The New York Times bestseller The Big Fat Surprise (along with a great recent Wall St. Journal op-ed highlighting ongoing flaws in federal dietary advice).

In an email to me this week, she pointed out that "physicians continue focusing on LDL-C in part because they have drugs to lower it. Doctors are driven by incentives to prescribe pills for nutrition-related diseases rather than better nutrition—a far healthier and more natural approach."

Cholesterol in our diets comes from animals and animal products—including eggs, meat, fish, and dairy. The government told us for decades that these foods were, to varying degrees, dangerous.

Federal dietary policy is shaped by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), which meets every five years to update its findings. The government touts the DGAC and the dietary guidelines it develops as "an important resource to help our Nation reach its highest standard of health."

The federal government's war on cholesterol, as early DGAC recommendations suggest, dates back decades. For example, the 1995 DGAC report stressed the dangers of dietary cholesterol.

"Most people are aware that high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet are linked to increased blood cholesterol levels and a greater risk for heart disease," it declares. "Choosing foods with less cholesterol and saturated fat will help lower your blood cholesterol levels."

Only in 2015 did federal dietary guidelines (mostly) halt the assault on cholesterol. Many hailed the news, while still stressing that high cholesterol levels in our bloodstreams is still a danger.

"There's a growing consensus among nutrition scientists that cholesterol in food has little effect on the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream," a Harvard Medical School blog post noted that same year. "And that's the cholesterol that matters."

"The government's new stance on dietary cholesterol is in line with that of other nations, which do not single out cholesterol as an issue," the Washington Post reported following the release of the most recent dietary guidelines in 2016. "Yet it should not be confused with officials' continued warning about high levels of 'bad' cholesterol in the blood—something that has been clearly linked to heart disease."

But this most recent study is throwing cold water on many of those continued government warnings about blood cholesterol.

What's more, if bad cholesterol isn't so bad, then the benefits of so-called good cholesterol are also under assault. Recently, *HDL, the so-called "good" cholesterol, was itself deemed suspect in some cases.

Dietary fat also appears not to be the danger the government says it is. Another new study, reported on by Ron Bailey this week, suggests, as he writes, that the federal government's warnings to avoid dairy products that are high in fat "is bunk."

I'm not a nutritionist. I don't know if the science on cholesterol is settled. But the federal government has warned us for decades about cholesterol in our bodies and in our food. The fact those warnings are now changing means the government has, despite what I'm sure are the good intentions of everyone involved, been handing out poor dietary advice and developing regulations that reflect that poor advice.

I'm one of many who has called out the DGAC and the federal government for foisting "decades of confusing and often-contradictory dietary advice" upon the American public. I also suggested, in a column last year, that one way the government might back up its claims to possess invaluable and unparalleled expertise in the areas of food policy and nutrition would be stop regularly reversing or altering its recommendations.

"The reason that we don't know about these huge reversals in dietary advice is that the nutrition establishment is apparently loathe to make public their major reversals in policy," Teicholz says. "The low-fat diet is another example: neither the AHA or the dietary guidelines recommend a low-fat diet anymore. But they have yet to announce this to the American public. And some in the establishment are still fighting to retain the low-fat status quo."

I am not your doctor, nor your nutritionist. I have no idea what you should eat. Maybe the government should adopt that mantra, too.


Sen. Cory Booker Says Aborting a Baby With a Heartbeat is ‘Health Care’

Sen. Cory Booker (D.-N.J.) sent out a Tweet today objecting to a law signed by the governor of Georgia yesterday that would prohibit aborting a baby who has a detectable heartbeat.

“Georgia’s ‘fetal heartbeat’ law is an all-out-attack on women that will strip them of their rights before many even know they are pregnant. I will fight to protect Roe v. Wade—abortion is health care,” said Booker in his Tweet.

On Tuesday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law that would prohibit aborting a baby with a detectable heartbeat. This made Georgia the fourth state to pass a law of this kind. The other states are Ohio, Mississippi and Kentucky.

Because Roe v. Wade, the current Supreme Court precedent on abortion, says women have a right to abortion in early pregnancy, the state laws banning abortion of a baby with a heartbeat will eventually need to be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

The Tweet that Booker sent out included a video in which he stated his opinion in favor or Roe v. Wade. “And so, I believe very strongly in Roe v. Wade as the law of the land,” he said.

“I believe that we should actually codify it in law through the legislature so nobody, no matter who you appoint to the judiciary branch of the government can ever overturn it,” he said.

“And I will fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions,” he said. “I will fight to make sure that a woman’s body is under the purview of that woman and not a bunch of politicians in Washington or in a state capitol.”


Another Obama Gender-Agenda Fail

Brig. Gen. Kristin Goodwin was removed from the Air Force Academy for poor performance.

At the end of April, the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA), without explanation, removed its Commandant of Cadets, Brig. Gen. Kristin Goodwin. It is unusual to remove an officer from command prior to his or her next rotation. According to the Public Information Office, “Effective immediately, Brig. Gen. Kristin Goodwin is no longer performing her duties as the commandant of cadets pending the results of an ongoing investigation.”

Goodwin is a ‘93 USAFA graduate, and spent most of her pilot years with bomber groups, but coming to the Academy from her staff job as a military assistant to Barack Obama’s inept and unqualified Air Force Secretary, Deborah Lee James. She was on a short list for the USAFA Commandant post with other qualified candidates, but she had one extra qualification important to the Obama administration — gender dysphoria.

Obama loathed our military, and disgracefully used its service branches and their respective academies to implement and enforce his cultural agenda. The Air Force Academy was his favorite target, having the most conservative culture of the service academies.

In 2013, we exposed Obama’s agenda to rid military oaths of the words, “So Help Me God,” starting with a quiet omission of those words in the USAFA officer and enlisted oaths. After our investigation of Obama’s subversive maneuver, veterans serving in Congress sent an official letter of inquiry to the Superintendent of the Air Force Academy asking for “a detailed explanation as to why the [AFA handbook] omits 'So Help me God.’” That put and end to the administration’s effort to alter military oaths, though we can tell you with complete certainty that the explanation given to Congress was a lie.

Goodwin arrived at USAFA for her new appointment with her “wife” and their daughter. Let me say again, while Goodwin’s choice of a mate is just that, her “sexual orientation” undoubtedly elevated her above other qualified candidates for the Commandant post. Unfortunately, with a few women in military leadership positions, they tend to be toxic leaders when endeavoring to prove they are better than any male counterpart.

According to our military analyst, former Marine officer Charles Paige, “Some female leaders are out to prove to everyone that they’re the Alpha. There are plenty of male flag/general officers who think fear and intimidation are good leadership traits, but percentage-wise there’s a higher proportion of female flag/general officers that demonstrate it, and of those, the LGBT even more so.”

Our sources in the Air Force community indicate that Goodwin’s removal was not based on criminal activity, but because of well-documented caustic communications with subordinates — the toxic leadership style which won her the nickname “The Duchess.”


Michigan Attorney General Ignores State Law and Targets Faith-Based Foster Care and Adoption Providers

Michigan passed a law in 2015 protecting the right of faith-based foster care and adoption providers to operate consistently with their beliefs.

But apparently, the Michigan attorney general thinks it’s ok to just go ahead and ignore that law.

The office of Attorney General Dana Nessel – in a settlement agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in March – agreed that the state will no longer provide funds to foster care and adoption agencies who desire to place children in homes with a married mother and father according to their religious beliefs.

Clearly, the attorney general has one goal in mind: to shut out faith-based foster care and adoption providers.

This is anti-religious hostility, plain and simple – and it forces children to pay the price.

That’s why Catholic Charities West Michigan has filed a lawsuit.

Religious foster care and adoption providers such as Catholic Charities West Michigan are driven by their faith to serve the most vulnerable in their communities. One of the ways they do this is by providing foster care and adoption services for the many children that do not have a home. With more than 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S., and approximately 13,000 in Michigan alone, we need more organizations like this. Yet, because Catholic Charities West Michigan believes that the best place for a child is in a home with a father and a mother, some government officials would like to single them out and punish them.

Michigan works with a number of foster care and adoption providers across the state to help children find loving homes. And protecting faith-based foster care and adoption providers does not interfere with other providers. It simply ensures that there are more providers working toward the best for children.

With so many kids in foster care, why wouldn’t Michigan want to use every resource at its disposal?

Eliminating faith-based foster care and adoption providers means fewer organizations working to find children loving homes.

We’ve already seen the effects of such anti-religious hostility in other areas. Laws demanding that faith-based foster care and adoption agencies act against their beliefs have forced Catholic Charities to cease their foster care and adoption ministries in Boston; Washington, D.C.; Illinois; San Francisco; and Buffalo. In Illinois, for example, this forced thousands of children and foster parents to leave Catholic Charities – displacing roughly 3,000 children.

This is especially concerning because religious foster care and adoption providers are often the most effective at finding homes for difficult-to-place children, including groups of siblings, older children, and children with special needs. For instance, 45 percent of all Catholic Charities adoptions were children with special needs in 2016.

These places shouldn’t be kicked out of the system. They should get an award.

After all, they get it. We must keep kids first.

While the Michigan law does just that, the attorney general has decided that political ideology trumps the law – and the needs of children.

But these kids are our future – and our present – and they deserve better than that.



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

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

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


10 May, 2019

Behind the hate

Donald Trump’s biggest crime was winning the 2016 election. For our political and media elite in the Beltway, that was the catastrophic, unforgivable crime, from which all the other (imaginary) crimes they now pursue him for originated.

How dare he win that election? Didn’t he know the election belonged to Hillary Clinton, who’d been building up to this very moment for three decades, courting every relevant constituency, remembering every useful politician’s birthday, and being as banal as possible to check everyone’s “lesser political evil” box?

How dare he win the election on his very first try?  If you scratch the surface, jealousy is one of the driving emotions among Washington’s elite against Trump and his electoral success. He achieved what many career politicians would die and sell their souls multiple times for. And Trump did it seemingly casually, almost effortlessly. How dare he? He must have stolen the election!

How dare he win that election with a shoestring budget and a ramshackle campaign apparatus? How dare he win without an army of consultants, strategists, advisers, pollsters, and fancy data interpreters? Didn’t he understand that our elections are an excellent jobs program for thousands of political operatives and media types?

How dare he win the old-fashioned way: you know, by having a simple, direct message; recognizing heartland voters’ economic woes; and campaigning in that retail-politics way of his? Didn’t he know that 21st-century elections are now won with Big Data, microtargeting of voters, and media-hyped candidates?

How dare he lie and exaggerate in that crude, undisciplined way of his? Doesn’t he know that Washington likes their liars to be polished prevaricators who know how to couch their fabrications in think-tankese?

To add insult to injury, how dare he win by just saying what he (and millions of ordinary voters) thinks? That’s just not done. Didn’t he appreciate that Presidential Campaign-Speak is an art unto itself—something that has been focus-grouped, poll-tested, script-driven, platitude-filled, that’ll give no offense whatsoever to any identity group in America, and bores listeners to tears. How dare Trump riff offhand and entertain voters? The gall of the man!

How dare he say obvious, common-sense things like spending blood and treasure on Middle Eastern quagmires isn’t okay anymore, that America can’t afford to be the world’s security underwriter anymore, that our global trade deals have shafted American workers for too long? Who does he think he is?

Doesn’t he know that on the issues of the day, he needs to consult our over-credentialed, corrupt, and inefficient elites before he says anything?  And doesn’t he know that the solution to every issue in our politics is counter-intuitive now: Up is down, war is peace, more illegal immigration is good, and having a wall on our southern border is bad.

How dare he care about ordinary American workers in the Rust Belt? Doesn’t he know that we live in a global economy now, and those Americans are toast? Dang Trump for forcing us to pretend we care about those white working-class voters Democrats had snookered for so long. Thanks to Orange Man, we now have to cater to the very people we despise and who cling bitterly to their God, guns, and religion.

And for God’s sake, doesn’t he know that caring about one’s nation and its citizens is passé? It’s all global now! Pretend-caring in a vague, generalized, feel-good way about global citizens while getting richer off their cheap labor is the fashion now.

For all his flaws, Trump is the best thing to have happened to our ossified, corrupt national politics. He ripped the mask off our political and media establishments. His election victory exposed the empty-souled hypocrites in the establishments of both parties and the national media who shill for them. He is the much-needed human defibrillator to the American political system.

What our ruling elites used to have (and lost) after the 2016 election was a powerful sense of control over our politics. Like millions of voters who are outside the hardcore Democratic base, I’ve been enjoying the primal scream emanating from the ruling and media elite. I may not like or agree with everything Trump does, but the spectacle of jittery, grasping-at-anything-and-everything elites has been enjoyable to watch.

With his unpredictable, heterodox ways of policy-making and communicating to the masses, Trump has, in some ways, neutered the media elite. What we have been seeing for the last two-and-a-half years is nothing but revenge on steroids: For the crime of winning the 2016 election, the elites have pinned all manner of crimes on Trump, hoping something will stick.


Barely sane attack on pro-life monitors

I seem to see a troubled mind behind those eyes

The mother of two teenage girls who were harassed by Democratic Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims for protesting outside a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood a few weeks ago told Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tuesday night that it was a "shocking experience," but they had prayed for him following the incident.

Ashley Garecht had taken her 13- and 15-year-old daughters and their 15-year-old friend to Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, which is in Sims' district, on Holy Thursday of the Easter Triduum to peacefully pray before they went to Mass.

During the disturbing encounter — which Sims live-streamed on Periscope — the unhinged Democrat offered $100 to anyone who could identify the young girls.

Garecht said the altercation that was caught on video was not the first interaction they'd had with Sims.

"He approached us about 20 minutes before that," she explained. "He came in yelling at us and really was yelling very directly at the girls — very specifically at the girls. So I moved myself in between him and said 'please talk to me, let's have a conversation, the two of us as two adults,' but he continued to yell at the girls and then eventually he left and about ten minutes later is when he came back videotaping us," she continued.

"So, after our first altercation with him, you know, I went and talked to my girls and told them, you know, 'I’m really sorry this happened. I’m really proud of you guys for being here,'" Garecht said. "This is something we wanted to do as a prayerful act of the service as we prepared for the Easter Triduum, which was going to begin that night with Holy Thursday Mass. And I told them, you know, sometimes it’s hard to do the right thing, but I was really proud of them."

She continued, "Sadly, ironically, the two older girls looked at me and said, 'Mom, that was nothing compared to what people were screaming at us at the March for Life in January.' They went to the March for Life with their high school. So, I guess I was grateful that they had had some experience before. They were prepared for it and because they were able to kind of stay calm, that helped my younger daughter stay calm."

Garecht added, "and, you know, we prayed for him then. I said we'd continue to pray for him and just try to do the right thing. And then he came back, again videotaping us."

She said the shocking experience had her "adrenaline running."

As Sims approached the group, he called them "pseudo-Christian protesters who are out here shaming young girls." And then he offered to pay his followers to doxx them. "I’ve got $100 dollars for anyone who can identify any of these three," he added as his phone camera panned the youngsters.

"I was concerned for my girls," Garecht told Carlson. "I was genuinely trying to enter into just a dialogue with him to try to bring the situation —  calm it down a little bit. And to say to him on film that we were just there just praying for these women and babies. We weren't looking for an altercation — I never come to clinics looking for a fight. It's always just with peaceful, prayerful intent," she explained.

Garecht told Carlson that Sims' threat to doxx her girls was concerning.

"I was concerned that he said multiple times that he wanted the identities of my daughters. We were at that point already done, we had finished our prayers and were leaving and so when I realized he wasn't going to enter into any kind of productive dialogue, I thought, we'll just continue our exit, we'll just leave," Garecht said.

Carlson asked her what she thought the Democrat's attack on their white skin color was all about.

Garecht said she had no idea what he was talking about.

"My daughters and I are Caucasian but we were there to pray for all women. We certainly don't look at the color of their skin as they come or go. My daughter's friend is non-Caucasian, and that is very evident," she noted, adding that the girl had "told him several times over the course of our interactions, 'I'm not white, sir.'"

"We kinda got a laugh out of that because what he was saying literally just didn't make sense," Garecht said.

Sims also videotaped himself harassing an older woman who was praying the Rosary outside of the same Planned Parenthood last week.

After both videos became viral sensations, Sims went into damage control mode.

Sims posted a video onto Twitter Tuesday that sought to justify his hateful outbursts by further demonizing the pro-lifers. Sims explained that he has lived near the Planned Parenthood clinic for 15 years, and had seen lots of people going into the facility for "check-ups, for pap smears, for breast exams, for STD screenings, and yes–for abortions."

He added: "In fact, it’s where I even treat for my life-saving PrEP medication and I’m grateful for the service they provide." [PrRP is a pre-exposure prophylaxis used by people who do not have HIV but who are at substantial risk of getting it].

Sims said that as a volunteer escort at the facility he’d seen "the insults, the slurs, the attacks, and the racism that those protesters aim at mostly young girls who go there for clinical care." However, the only insults, slurs, and attacks seen in the videos he took himself and posted online came from himself. He also accused the pro-lifers of "praying at" — not "for" — the people going in and out of the abortion clinic.

Sims added:

As a Planned Parenthood volunteer and supporter, I fully understand, respect, and appreciate the non-engagement policy that they have. I would not want to do anything that would interfere with the care that they’re providing to their patients. As an activist and an advocate, I know why pushing back against harassment and discrimination are a must even when they’re uncomfortable, but last week, I wasn’t a patient escort. I was a neighbor and a concerned citizen and I was aggressive. I know that two wrongs don’t make a right and I can do better and I will do better for the women of Pennsylvania.

 I will fiercely protect a woman’s right to make the best choices for her health & her body, unimpeded. I also know that two wrongs don’t make a right, especially on the front lines of a civil rights battle. I can do better, and I will do better, for the women of Pennsylvania.


The victim of crime in Britain CAN sometimes win

A pensioner who fatally stabbed a burglar who was trying to rob his home has talked for the first time publicly about the incident at an inquest.

Henry Vincent entered the property of 79-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks with an accomplice in the early hours of April 4 last year, before a struggle ensued and Vincent died after being stabbed.

In a statement given to police, Mr Osborn-Brooks said two men knocked on his door and after he opened it he was pushed inside, the inquest heard. On Thursday afternoon, coroner Andrew Harris has ruled Vincent was lawfully killed.

In an audio recording played to the hearing, Mr Osborn-Brooks can be heard saying to police officers: "I grabbed that knife out of the knife block and I threatened him with it... he yelled up to his mate 'he's got a knife'.

"His mate had a sharp thing in his hand, afterwards I realised it was a screwdriver... I said 'mine's bigger than yours'.

"He said 'come near me and I'll stab you'.

"He came toward me with the screwdriver... I just put the knife forward." Mr Osborn-Brooks can be heard saying: "It went in about four inches."

Talking via videolink from behind a screen, the pensioner said after he grabbed the largest kitchen knife from a six-knife holder, Vincent's accomplice fled out the front door.

The pensioner said Vincent then came down the stairs and brandished a screwdriver and said "get out of my way or I'll stick you with this".

The coroner, reading Mr Osborn-Brooks's police statement to him, said: "You said 'I think you're wrong because mine's bigger than yours and if you don't leave my house you will be sorry'."

Mr Osborn-Brooks said: "I was just showing him that the knife I had was actually bigger than the screwdriver. So if he was to lunge at me he would hit my knife rather than hit me first.

"I thought he would look at my knife and see it is bigger than his implement and he would take the opportunity to run out the front door which was open.

"My intention was to get him out of the house and away from my wife.

"I still think that Mr Vincent rushes forward intending to do me harm and he ran into the knife that I was holding between us.

"He definitely didn't try to get out of the front door, he came towards me."

Vincent's mother Rose Lee and sister Rosie Vincent were present as the hearing began at Southwark Coroner's Court on Thursday morning.

It is being led by senior coroner Andrew Harris.

Rosie Vincent told the hearing: "My brother was not a violent person. He was a father, he was a son, he was a brother. "No one deserves to die."

Asked what she wanted to come out of the proceedings, she replied: "Will we ever truly understand?"

Pathologist Simon Poole, who carried out the post mortem on Vincent, said in a statement the toxicology report indicated "a recent use of both cocaine and heroin".

He added Vincent "may have been experiencing the effects" of the drugs at the time of the raid.

The cause of death was given as an incised wound to the chest.


Australia: Like the Greens, Labor reserves a special rancour for media outlets that hold them to account

When it comes to Labor and the Greens, there is no doubting the sincerity of their climate policies. Both parties will make full use of public resources to reducing the temperature, as they have done before. No, I am not talking about the climate in the literal sense. Rather, I mean the “chilling effect”, that being legislation designed to make you self-censor.

This week Herald-Sun columnist and Sky News presenter Andrew Bolt revealed video footage of Greens leader Richard Di Natale telling his supporters last March of his plans to silence conservative journalists.

“We’re going to call out the hate speech that’s been going on,” he said. “We’re going to make sure that we’ve got laws that regulate our media so that people like Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones and Chris Kenny – and I could go on and on and on. If they want to use hate speech to divide the community then they’re going to be held to account.”

On and on and on? Di Natale’s list of journalists he intends to prosecute must be a long one. “We need to have new laws that make it a crime to engage in hate speech,” he said. “At the moment when you look at the regulators for the media ... they don’t have the power they need to hold these really powerful voices to account.”

There it is, that nebulous expression “hate speech”. It is a cliched, all-encompassing, and infantile pejorative often used by those who are either unwilling or unable to refute a dissenting opinion. The beauty of that phrase, at least for those who parrot it, is that it cannot be held to an objective definition.

Anecdotally, however, one might conclude the truthfulness of the offending remarks and the intensity of hate speech denunciations have a close correlation.

Strangely, Di Natale does not seem to regard certain racial insults as an example of hate speech. For example, he continues to support the Greens candidate for the Northern Territory seat of Lingiari, George Hanna, who shared a despicable Facebook meme that described indigenous woman and Liberal candidate for the same seat, Jacinta Price, as a “coconut”.

“As far as I am concerned, both these men (Di Natale and Hanna) resemble the epitome of racism and sexism,” said Price yesterday.

Interestingly, in 2011 during his maiden speech, Di Natale championed the Greens as “a party that represents the best traditions of liberalism, expressed through its support for individuals to make decisions without interference from government”. Now he uses his position as a senator to intimidate journalists and implies they will answer to the state for pointing out truths he finds unpalatable.

Presumably he would claim it would be hate speech for me to say this is proof of his hypocrisy and demagoguery and that the Greens leader is full of — well, let’s just say hate.

Last week shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus announced a Shorten Labor government would, if elected, “beef-up” the Australian Human Rights Commission in order to defend section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which makes it unlawful to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate someone on basis of race.

 He stated that hate speech would become worse if there was a “continuation of right-wing government in Australia,” claiming the Coalition had made “very serious attempts to allow more hate speech in our community in the form of their attacks on section 18C”.

Never mind that 18C is a deeply flawed section that relies largely on a subjective test to determine wrongdoing. The Coalition had unsuccessfully tried to legislate instead this test be determined by the standards of an ordinary reasonable member of the Australian community, not by the arbitrary pronouncement of a minority group. To suggest this, as Dreyfus did, amounts to licensing hate speech is disingenuous.

Exactly how Dreyfus proposes the AHRC utilise its increased funding to enforce 18C we do not know. Perhaps that august body will commission more of those risible videos, worthy of a Razzie award, featuring evil white men gleefully preventing people of colour from entering lifts or catching taxis. Or it could employ activist organisations like GetUp! and Sleeping Giants to monitor social media and report wrongdoers. Even better, let’s have an anti-racism campaign focusing on educating school children. We could call it the “Sadly you can say what you like around the kitchen table at home” campaign in honour of former AHRC president Gillian Triggs.

Lest you think that is far-fetched, remember Dreyfus’s response in 2017 when asked whether 18C should be expanded to cover gender and disability. “One of the things we’ll be looking at is this very point of whether or not we should set a standard about speech generally,” he stated. In 2017, Labor backbencher Anne Aly called for 18C to cover religious vilification, stating discrimination against Muslims was a “new form of racism”.

In fairness to Dreyfus, however, he is acting in accordance with a Labor tradition of curtailing free speech. In 2012 then Attorney-General Nicola Roxon introduced the draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill under the banner of consolidating the five federal anti-discrimination statutes into one act. Had this dog’s breakfast of a bill been enacted, it would have rendered it unlawful to subjectively offend someone on the grounds of their family responsibilities, industrial history, medical history, nationality or citizenship, political opinion, religion, or social origin in a work environment.

As one lawyer pointed out, these provisions were so ridiculously expansionist it would even outlaw sledging on the football field. Worse still, this legislation would have shifted the burden of proof onto respondents of complaints. It was withdrawn only after an intense campaign led by the Institute of Public Affairs and News Corp newspapers. Conversely, ABC and then Fairfax journalists were, for the most part, indifferent. As The Australian columnist Janet Albrechtsen observed, the ABC became interested in the free speech ramifications only when Triggs, then AHRC president, voiced concerns the draft laws had “gone too far”.

Labor’s obsession with suppressing free speech in the name of tolerance goes back a generation. In 1994 the Keating government proposed legislation that would have criminalised threatening to cause harm to another person or group based on their race, colour, nationality or ethnic origin, the maximum penalty being two years imprisonment.

The basis for this draconian measure was a report by the then Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, The National Inquiry into Racist Violence in Australia, which recommended both criminal sanctions and civil provisions for racial vilification. But its findings were based on flimsy, partisan and unreliable evidence, as then Canberra Times journalist and now Nine’s political correspondent, Chris Uhlmann, noted. His observations are worth repeating.

“The report is a shoddy base of research which does not attempt to disguise its own prejudices,” he wrote. “Racist violence was reduced to violence by ‘Anglos’ and inter-ethnic violence was not discussed.” While acknowledging some of the claims of racism detailed in the report had no doubt occurred, Uhlmann noted the evidence collected, “was not tested in a way that would stand up in court”.

Although the Keating government had consulted with the public about the proposed changes, Attorney-General Michael Lavarch announced the results had “been put to Cabinet” and “would not be released publicly”. As Uhlmann surmised, the reason for this was it was unlikely the results supported the government’s proposed action. When the criminal provisions of the bill failed to pass the Senate, Lavarch was apoplectic, saying this had sent worst possible message domestically and internationally during the Year of Tolerance. You might say these measures are as much about symbolism as they are about censorship.

Like the Greens, Labor reserves a special rancour for newspapers that hold its politicians to account, as demonstrated by its decision in 2011 on spurious grounds to commission the Finkelstein Inquiry into the Australian media. Had those recommendations been realised, it would have resulted in newspapers answering to a government-funded and euphemistically titled “Public Interest Media Advocate”.

The party’s paranoia during this time was also evident when The Daily Telegraph reported in November 2011 then Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd was being urged by backers to challenge then Prime Minister Julia Gillard for the leadership. Senator and left faction leader Doug Cameron labelled then News Ltd a “threat to democracy”, claiming the Finkelstein Inquiry should be expanded to examine the company’s “absolute hatred” of Labor. The story about Rudd, he claimed, was a “complete fabrication”. Rudd of course did challenge Gillard less than four months later. Cameron has passed the paranoia baton on to Rudd, who last year called for a royal commission into News Corp, blaming it for the downfall of his government in 2013.

Whether the subject is the “hate media” or “hate speech”, you can be certain those who obsessively denounce it are motivated by a combination of egotism, vindictiveness, zealotry and just plain stupidity. We need less regulation of speech, not more. We need political leaders to respect a free press, not compromise it. We need level-headed and practical people in human rights commissions to deal with complaints, not sententious, authoritarian and overpaid panjandrums. Most importantly, we need politicians to acknowledge the insidious chilling effect of so-called hate speech legislation, and to call these laws out for what they are — one almighty snow job.



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

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

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


9 May, 2019

NYT: Trump Is Right About Border Crisis

But the Times editors argue only for more funding to deal with the influx of illegals.

“President Trump is right: There is a crisis at the southern border.” But don’t take our word for it. That was The New York Times in an editorial over the weekend. The editors noted that there are indeed “record numbers of Central American families” overwhelming the border and “fueling a humanitarian crisis of overcrowding, disease and chaos.” Notably, they explain, “The Border Patrol is now averaging 1,200 daily arrests, with many migrants arriving exhausted and sick.”

The Times states flatly, “Something needs to be done. Soon.” Welcome to the party. If it wasn’t for Trump Derangement Syndrome, the Leftmedia could have been reporting honestly on the border crisis the entire time. Instead, activist journalists at the Times and elsewhere have attempted to paint Trump as a racist and a bigot for his repeated calls to address the growing problem of illegal immigration.

Even so, while the Times recognizes that there is a crisis, the editors still focus only on strained resources to provide more facilities to house and care for the influx of illegals. The Times hasn’t quite come around to calling for enforcing the Rule of Law at the border — which would actually stem the tide of illegals creating the crisis in the first place.


I Was Born at 29 Weeks. That’s Why I’m Pro-Life

“My body, my choice.” This is a common slogan among those who are pro-choice.

It’s a handy little slogan. Any pro-choice woman can use it to immediately shut up a pro-life man, since his opinion doesn’t count, no matter the merits of his argument.

But what about my story?

On March 29, 1997, my parents were driving through Minnesota when my mom suddenly began having contractions. Immediately, they drove to the hospital, and two days later I was born—11 weeks early.

When my mom gave birth to me at 29 weeks, I weighed just 2 pounds and 15 ounces, though I soon dropped down to 2 pounds and 9 ounces. The doctors had delayed my birth as long as possible to allow my lungs to develop. Those extra two days were the only reason I came out breathing on my own.

I needed a feeding tube at that stage because babies born that early don’t know how to suck. Other than that, there were no complications and no problems. For this, I praise God. I just needed more time to develop.

After a five-week stay in the hospital, my parents brought me home, and I’ve lived a normal, healthy life ever since.

Back to the slogan, “My body, my choice.” Someone who is pro-choice might say my views are irrelevant because it’s only the woman’s body that is affected and not my “male” body.

But what if my mother had lived in one of the nine states or the District of Columbia, where a woman can obtain a legal abortion up to the moment of birth? What if, instead of driving to the hospital, my mom had driven to an abortion “clinic” where, in nine states, she could have legally killed me?

Does my opinion not matter, even though it was me she would have been killing?

Think about it. In nine states plus D.C., a woman can legally abort her baby who is more developed than I was when I was born. And even in states with bans in place at a certain gestational age, some states have created loopholes so broad that a woman can get an abortion up to the time of birth for virtually any reason.

The left often says a baby isn’t a person until they are viable and can survive outside the mother’s womb. Let’s say that’s the case, and that a baby becomes a person when they are viable.

Can we not all then agree that abortion should be illegal after 24 weeks, when a baby is considered “viable?” Why should it be legal to kill a baby who is as developed or is more developed than I was at birth?

Does my opinion not matter, even though it was me she would have been killing?
Recently, New York passed a law expanding access for women to have an abortion in the third trimester, after 24 weeks.

Now, for years the left supported a woman’s right to an abortion, but they wanted it to be safe, legal, and rare. Remember that language? Hillary Clinton, when campaigning for president in 2008, said that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare, and by rare, I mean rare.”

Since then, the left has moved backward.

Michelle Wolf, in a horrifying display to rational people, performed a “Salute to Abortion,” saying, “If you want an abortion, get one!” while tossing confetti from a party hat.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, in a recent town hall event with Fox News, was asked if he believed a woman should be able to abort her child up until the time of birth. He answered that “at the end of the day, the decision over abortion belongs with a woman and her physician,” and no one else.

Sanders is apparently OK with a mom driving to an abortion clinic instead of a hospital to kill their baby at 29 weeks—of the full 40 weeks for that matter—rather than give birth to a live and fully healthy baby.

Indeed, the United States is one of only seven countries to allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. If this shocks and dismays you, it should. And if you want to do something to change this, you should.

Here are a couple suggestions on ways you can take action.

First, go see the new movie “Unplanned” in theaters. It is a very well done movie that simultaneously presents the truth of abortion, while encouraging a culture of forgiveness and love.

Second, raise your voice to elected officials. There are a number of pro-life bills sitting in Congress that would protect life, but are not moving with the speed they deserve.

I am forever grateful for my mother who cared for and provided for me, especially since I was born so early. I pray we all work for an America where every child has a chance at life—a chance that I am so thankful for.


Does genocide exist if the religion of its victims doesn't align itself with the agenda of the Left?

According to Open Doors USA, an organization that describes itself as “a community of Christians who come together to support persecuted believers in more than 60 countries,” an average of 345 Christians are killed, 105 churches and other Christian buildings are burned or attacked, and 219 Christians are detained without trial, arrested, sentenced, and imprisoned — every month.

Sadly those totals will only get bigger because violence against Christians is on the rise worldwide. Last Sunday, six people, including a pastor, were murdered in an attack on a Christian church in the African nation of Burkina Faso. The story barely made a ripple in the mainstream media.

A week earlier no one could ignore the coordinated atrocity that took place in Sri Lanka. A series of bombings at three churches, four hotels, and a housing project were all aimed at the country’s Christian population. Those attacks killed more than 250 and wounded more than 500 on Easter Sunday, one of Christianity’s most important holy days.

Yet what the media couldn’t ignore, they shamefully attempted to realign with the progressive agenda. “Christianity under attack? Sri Lanka church bombings stoke far-right anger in the West,” stated the headline of a piece by The Washington Post, which further noted, “The attacks, which targeted a religious minority in a predominantly Buddhist country, also resonated abroad — especially in Europe. To some, it was further proof that Christians in many parts of the world are under attack.”

Christian are under attack. Nonetheless, the WaPo article asserts otherwise, adding, “The theme of Christianity under attack has been a recurring one for many activists in the United States and Europe.”

The propagandist game being played here? The Post doesn’t like the fact that these so-called “activists” held Muslims accountable, and also criticized those that didn’t, especially those who embrace an odious double standard of quickly standing with “Muslim” victims while failing to identify Christian victims as Christian. People like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who instead referred to the Sri Lankan slaughter victims as “Easter worshippers.”

Pure coincidence? As columnist Dennis Prager doesn’t think so. “As they both spelled ‘worshipers’ the same idiosyncratic way and used the term ‘Easter worshippers,’ it is likely that either they had the same writers or Clinton copied Obama,” he writes. Prager further notes that when Muslims were victims of the New Zealand attack, both Obama and Clinton made it clear they were grieving with the “the Muslim community” and “the global Muslim community,” respectively.

In another effort to bolster the progressive narrative, the Post asserted that while Christian minorities “are targeted around the world, analysts say that the vast majority of terrorism victims globally are Muslims.”

What the Post didn’t say? The vast majority of those victims are killed by their fellow Muslims. Moreover as Open Doors reveals, Islamic oppression also fuels Christian persecution in eight of the top 10 most oppressed countries on their Worldwide Watch List.

Christians themselves are quite familiar with that loathsome reality. They have been fleeing their long-established Middle East homelands in droves. In Iraq, their numbers have decreased from 1.6 million to less than 100,000, and in Syria, from 360,000 to about 25,000. “I think we have no more hope,” declared Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, ecumenical director for the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Orthodox Church of America. “Middle East Christians have no nation that protects them openly.”

What about Europe? While France mourned the intensely covered burning of the Notre Dame Cathedral, the mainstream American media ignored the reality that 875 French churches were vandalized in 2018, with some being burned and others being smeared with feces.

The Washington Post’s take? The paper asserted “the vast majority of acts were minor.”

The Washington Post is hardly alone in the effort to downplay inconvenient facts. On Monday, a report released by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance recommended that the British media be barred from identifying the Muslim background of terrorists in its reporting. “ECRI considers that, in light of the fact that Muslims are increasingly under the spotlight as a result of recent ISIS-related terrorist acts around the world, fuelling prejudice against Muslims shows a reckless disregard, not only for the dignity of the great majority of Muslims in the United Kingdom, but also for their safety,” it states.

In other words, one is either silent or “Islamophobic.” Even more arrogantly, the report cited the Brexit movement as a contributing factor that “seems to have led to a further rise in ‘anti-foreigner’ sentiment, making it even more important that the British authorities take the steps outlined in our report as a matter of priority.”

Making the suppression of the truth a priority — more familiarly known as “banning hate speech” — is the real message being sent here.

What about America? “In the last 60 years, the anti-religious, anti-American left has conducted a relentless assault on believers and their beliefs, suppressing religious liberty, stripping the public square of religious expression and memory, and, in the process, removing the underpinnings of our democratic order,” stated author David Horowitz, whose new book, Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America, spells out that agenda in no uncertain terms. “What inspired me to write this book was the realization that the left’s hatred for Christianity is also its hatred for America itself.”

That hatred is driven by the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of our nation the American Left sees as the chief impediment to the “fundamental transformation” they so fervently desire. And perhaps nothing demonstrates that hatred better than their ongoing efforts to remove or destroy historical artifacts that “offend” them — even as they seemingly remain stunningly oblivious to the searing irony that their penchant for doing so makes them exactly like ISIS.

Realistically, the Supreme Court is the only institution standing in the Left’s way, with two rulings for the Little Sisters of the Poor and Colorado baker Jack Phillips overturning lower courts more than willing to elevate leftist dogma above First Amendment protections.

Nonetheless, the assault continues: California is proposing a bill that would force priests to divulge what they hear during confession, or face possible imprisonment.

As for the Left’s obsession with Islamophobia — even as “moderate” Muslims in Saudi Arabia are on an execution spree in a nation where homosexuality is a capital offense and women remain second-class citizens in adherence with Sharia Law — it is easily explained by an ancient proverb: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

And with friends like that, one can’t expect the American Left to acknowledge the reality of Christian genocide.


Australian radio guru slams anti-Bible verdict

If Rugby Australia have any brains, they will impose no penalty

Former Wallabies coach Alan Jones has blown up in a furious on-air tirade after Israel Folau was found guilty of a “high level” breach of his contract last night before the rugby star sent the broadcaster a message, breaking his silence on the verdict.

A three-person independent panel of chair John West QC, Rugby Australia (RA) representative Kate Eastman SC and the Rugby Union Players’ Association-appointed John Boultbee handed down the verdict and have now retired to decide on Folau’s sanction following an epic code of conduct hearing in Sydney.

RA boss Raelene Castle issued Folau with a breach notice last month following his controversial social media posts about homosexuals and other “sinners” and threatened to tear up his four-year, $4 million contract.

The 30-year-old devout Christian took to Instagram to proclaim “hell awaits” for “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators”.

While Folau may yet be spared the sack, termination of his contract is now a possibility.

After defending Folau on the airwaves this morning, Jones — who coached the Wallabies in the 1980s and now hosts 2GB’s popular breakfast radio show — relayed a message he said he’d received from the Wallabies star.

“I’ve just had a note from Israel, he won’t mind if I’m sharing it with you because I said to him, ‘Hold your head up’,” Jones said.

“He said, ‘Alan, I’m at peace, mate. My head is held high’.”

That message came after Jones said the “Orwellian treatment” of the rugby icon, combined with various recent attacks on politicians, painted a grim picture of the state of Australia.

“The Australia that our Anzacs fought for seems to be disappearing before our very eyes,” Jones said. “It prompts you to wonder what kind of society we’re living in.

“Nothing wrong with Israel, it’s the society and those who prosecute him who are sick.

“But the cancer won’t kill us, it’s the cancer that will be removed, not Israel. The Australian people won’t accept this.

“This is not the Australia our veterans fought for and we’re going to have to take our country back by argument and by the democratic and peaceful process — not by hate and revenge or vilification and intimidation.”

Jones also read from a speech politician Mark Latham is scheduled to give today in NSW parliament, calling it “one of the most magnificent political speeches I’ve read”.

In the speech, according to Jones, Latham says: “How did our state and our nation ever come to this?

“Those claiming outrage have fabricated their position solely for the purpose of censorship.

“By excluding a committed Christian, they (Rugby Australia) are making their game less inclusive.

“No Australian should live in fear of the words they utter.

“This is a stunning intrusion on workers’ rights.”

Jones continued his attack on the Folau decision after reading Latham’s words, saying he is now “ashamed” of the sport which he once played an integral role in.

“Israel Folau, with my support and the support of millions of Australians, will take this fight every inch of the way,” Jones said.

“Rugby union preaches diversity — they really mean uniformity. They preach inclusion but they exclude Israel.

“We take oaths of office in every court of the land. The Prime Minister is sworn in with his hand on the Bible — the same bible which Israel Folau has quoted and he’s now had his dignity, his integrity, his employment, his vocation and his income stolen from him.

“I coached Australian rugby, I was proud of it, I was proud of the boys and I was proud of everything we stood for. Today, I’m ashamed of the people who’ve inherited our proud legacy.

“The battle has just begun, and it’s a battle for all Australians. If we’re not free to articulate our religious beliefs and quote from the bible, and if we’re not free to speak for fear that someone affects a hurt or is part of the offence industry, if that’s where we’ve reached in this country, we’ve reached a dark place and we are all at risk.”

The best punishment Folau can now hope for is a suspension and/or a fine. The sanction is not expected to be handed down for several days, with RA not offering a timeline on any decision.

Folau also has the right of appeal, a process that would involve a completely new three-person panel being selected.

Should he be sacked, Folau — Super Rugby’s all-time leading try-scorer and a 73-Test stalwart for the Wallabies — would be the first Australian athlete dismissed for expressing fundamental religious beliefs.

Even before it potentially reaches the courts, the Folau hearing has developed into one of the most drawn-out legal stoushes in Australian sports history. The hearing stretched 22 hours over three days, with any hopes of a “common sense” settlement — as NSW Waratahs chairman Roger Davis had hoped for on Monday — blown out of the water by Tuesday night’s sensational development.

Folau spent more than twice as long holed up at the hearing than he has played for the Waratahs in 2019.

RA initially anticipated all evidence being heard in one day, with Sunday also reserved if more time was needed. The decision was expected to be handed down on Tuesday.

Instead, the hearing resumed at the offices of Herbert Smith Freehills in Sydney’s CBD on Tuesday after some of the brightest brains in the land spent the weekend arguing the complex case at RA headquarters.

As well as the extraordinary length of the hearing, the cost of the case is also mounting, with the two parties thought to have shelled out an estimated $300,000 on legal bills since Saturday alone.

Regardless of the panel’s ultimate decision, the expenses are almost certain to keep piling up.



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

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

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


8 May, 2019

Beauty contests go politically correct

The worldwide beauty ideal is Nordic. Even some Japanese ladies blond their hair. And a black man sees a blonde wife as a trophy.  So I am predicting that this year's all-black winners will attract much less attention than usual.  We will see

Winners of the Miss USA, Miss America and Miss Teen USA pageants are all black women for the first time in history

'The three young women who have focused their energy on demonstrating how standards of black beauty speak for American standards of beauty are to be commended,' said Thomas DeFrantz, a professor in the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke University.

'These three standard-bearers prove that black beauty is at the heart of a 21st century American ideal,' he added.

Franklin, from New York, won her title in September in Atlantic City, New Jersey, becoming the first woman also to win the Miss America crown without having to don a swimsuit. Garris, from New Haven, Connecticut, won her crown in April, and hopes to become a trauma nurse.

Kryst, a former Division I athlete and attorney at Poyner Spruill LLP in Charlotte, North Carolina, won her crown in Reno, Nevada. She holds an MBA from Wake Forest University.

'Mine is the first generation to have that forward-looking mindset that has inclusivity, diversity, strength and empowered women. I'm looking forward to continued progress in my generation,' said Kryst, after accepting her crown. She now advances to the Miss Universe competition.

The oldest of the three is the Miss America pageant, which began in 1921 but women of color were barred from participating until the 1940s by a rule that said contestants must be of 'the white race.' Frustration led to the creation of Miss Black America contest.

In 1970, Cheryl Browne became the first black woman to participate in the Miss America pageant.

Since then, more than a dozen black women have been named either Miss America or Miss USA, including actress Vanessa Williams, the first-ever black Miss America in 1983.

The Miss USA contest was created in 1952 and crowned the first African American contestant - Carole Anne-Marie Gist - in 1990.

A year later, Janel Bishop won the Miss Teen USA title, becoming the first African American winner. 


The FCC may be the last hope of defeating Leftist censorship

Why FCC Chairman Ajit Pai should look at how deplatforming and social media bias toward the left could lead to one-party rule

Thanks to social media and big tech companies, finding content on the Internet that you want has never been easier. Want to find your friends and family online? Log onto Facebook. Want to see what opinion leaders or celebrities are up to? Check out Twitter. Want to find your favorite podcast? There’s Youtube or Apple. Want to go shopping or sell something? Amazon. Want to research something? Google it.

It’s all there at your fingertips, and new and old media platforms have largely been net beneficiaries in the information age. Ideally, this has created a true marketplace of ideas and is most certainly the main attraction of the Internet — that is, so long as it remains a venue open to alternative perspectives.

That is the upside. The downside comes once these companies have achieved dominant market positions and can decide to offer competitive advantages to one side of the debate over others, even on the margins. Silo viewpoints deemed undesirable to keep them inside of echo chambers. Shadowban users without them knowing it. Or, deplatform users with millions of followers with no avenue of appeal.

It’s called censorship. And more and more, conservatives are complaining that their content cannot be seen outside of their spheres of influence. Social media companies have vociferously denied that this is occurring, and with good reason. They purport that anybody can use their services to grow their influence in media on the Internet. If users realize that their experiences are being censored, then these websites and apps will cease to be useful, and usage could drop off, and with it ad dollars.

The danger is how this could be used to consolidate political power in any country, including the U.S., to create conditions conducive to one-party rule, and the marketplace might not be able to respond fast enough with an alternative to salvage a two-party system that fosters robust political competition and at least disincentivizes rampant corruption. Politics works that way. If one party goes too far and fast in moving its agenda, there can be a pushback. Where it can get out of control is when those voices promoting an alternative viewpoint are suppressed.

What is scary is there is some evidence this is already occurring. U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) is suing Twitter for $250 million alleging defamation was allowed to occur against him on the platform and shadowbanning him and other conservative users.

Famously, Alex Jones’ Infowars has been kicked off social media platforms, along with Laura Loomer and Milo Yiannopoulos under the guise that they were promoting supposed hate speech or violence.

The Poynter Institute has published a list of more than 500 websites in its deplatforming crosshairs — including many conservative sites like Washingtonexaminer.com, Cnsnews.com, Breitbart.com, Zerohedge.com, Dailysignal.com, Dailywire.com and so forth.

Dr. Robert Epstein, Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology in California, has published studies showing how Google filtering search results has a significant impact on persuading undecided voters in elections even at the Congressional level.

Whether this is because the algorithm is being manipulated by third parties to affect search results or because of a conscious decision by Google, the results are still the same.

So, right off the bat, you can readily find examples of individuals and organizations with prominent numbers of followers being banned, shadowbanned and siloed.

On one hand, a tremendous part of the problem and challenge conservatives face is they do not have nearly enough media. They need to create more of their own. But to the extent that they do have access to media channels, there is ample evidence they are being marginalized.

Of course, the First Amendment protects these websites and apps like Facebook, Twitter and Google even if they show preferences favoring one side over another, and so the danger of government censorship is far less pervasive than the reality of corporate censorship we face today. It’s still censorship.

This was one of the major reasons why the Federal Commission (FCC) led by Chairman Ajit Pai should look carefully at this issue. The FCC was founded by Congress for precisely this reason, under 47 U.S. Code §?151, “For the purpose of regulating interstate and foreign commerce in communication by wire and radio so as to make available, so far as possible, to all the people of the United States…”

The FCC is supposed to prevent a consolidation of media ownership in this country. That’s what it’s there for.

In the past, Americans for Limited Government has opposed FCC regulation of net neutrality, and that remains true today. With 5G and Internet speeds poised to become 100 times faster than they already are, we were always confident technology would catch up to the limits of 3G and 4G infrastructure and that the fear of throttling Internet speeds would quickly become a footnote in history. In other words, that technology would rapidly overtake the stated rationale for the Obama era net neutrality regulations.

We’re not talking about throttling based on data usage. We’re talking about censorship. Again, not government censorship, but corporate censorship. We opposed ending the Department of Commerce’s contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a global monopoly that handles the entire world’s domain name system, resolving easy to remember domain names with IP addresses, for precisely this reason. Because those systems could absolutely be used to block websites in the root zone file and at least under government stewardship, the guise of the First Amendment or the possibility of rescinding the contract could serve as a counterweight in order to keep the Internet open.

Now, we must rely on antitrust laws that have been so watered down over the years they have almost no bearing on the media reality we face today. If so, and if antitrust has been too defanged to be effective in this environment, then the FCC may be the last game in town. What that means remains to be seen, but in the least we need to have this discussion.

Free speech is messy. It means that ideas that may not be popular to the vast majority of people can still get a platform and a large following. In a country of millions and millions of people that is inevitable. We are far better off as a society with an open and free marketplace of ideas, even if it includes some unpopular ideas, than one that is policed by a few extremely powerful corporate overlords.

Today, there is such a consolidation of power on the Internet that were these companies ever turned toward the aim of consolidating one-party rule in the U.S., it is debatable whether markets and alternatives would be able to effectively counter it before it was too late. It is a challenge but not one conservatives who believe in limited government should shy away from, because limited government will not long survive if its advocates in the virtual marketplace of ideas we now rely on are silenced. For our representative form of government to thrive, we need competition in the marketplace of ideas, not censorship.


Deadly Rocket Barrage: Tlaib Says ‘Our Palestinian People Who Just Want to be Free’ Are Being Dehumanized

Leftist projection again.  It is Jews who are constantly being  dehumanized by Muslims

Responding to news coverage of the firing of hundreds of rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip over the weekend, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) tweeted Sunday, “When will the world stop dehumanizing our Palestinian people who just want to be free?”

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have been retaliating to the attacks – which as of Sunday night are reported to have killed four Israeli civilians – by launching airstrikes on terrorist targets in the Hamas-controlled territory.

Tlaib, a Palestinian American, was criticizing media “framing” of the developing story, specifically in regard to who was to blame for the escalation.

“When will the world stop dehumanizing our Palestinian people who just want to be free?” she asked. “Headlines like this & framing it in this way just feeds into the continued lack of responsibility on Israel who unjustly oppress & target Palestinian children and families.”

She pointed to a New York Times headline reading, “Gaza Militants Fire 250 Rockets, and Israel Responds With Airstrikes.”

Tlaib retweeted a post from a pro-Palestinian activist who called the headline “stunningly irresponsible and misleading,” and called into question the implication that the rocket fire triggered the escalation.

The original poster, U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights executive director Yousef Munayyer, claimed that the actual spark for the upsurge was the killing of four Palestinians in Gaza on Friday.

(What Munayyer didn’t say was that two of those killed were Hamas terrorists targeted after Palestinian gunfire from southern Gaza wounded two Israeli soldiers. The other two were protestors among an estimated 5,000 Palestinians who amassed along the border.)

By the end of Sunday the number of rockets fired into Israel by Iranian-backed Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists in Gaza had reached around 600, according to the IDF, which said it launched retaliatory airstrikes on 320 targets in Gaza.

Egyptian officials were engaged overnight in efforts to secure a ceasefire, although air raid sirens in southern Israel were still wailing early Monday, signaling incoming fire.

A Gaza-based “joint command” of Palestinian terror groups said early Monday they would continue firing rockets “until the occupation responds affirmatively to our people’s demands,” the Times of Israel reported.

The Iron Dome missile defense system has intercepted more than 150 of the projectiles, the IDF said earlier.

According to medical services cited by Israeli news media, four Israeli civilians were reported to have been killed and dozens injured. One of those killed, a man in Ashdod described as a dual U.S. citizen, died of shrapnel injuries sustained while running to a bomb shelter.

Two men were killed in Ashkelon, one in a factory and one in his home, and another civilian was reported to have been killed when a projectile fired from Gaza struck a car inside Israel.

The IDF said targets it had hit in Gaza included terrorist weapons storage facilities, rocket launch sites, “terror tunnels” and observation control rooms. Also targeted were the offices of Hamas security services head, Twafiq Abu Naim, and a man named Hamed Ahmed Khudari, whom the IDF accused of transferring Iranian funds to Hamas and PIJ in Gaza.

The Palestinian Authority’s WAFA news agency, citing the Hamas’ “health ministry” in Gaza, was reporting late Sunday that 25 Palestinians had been killed over two days.

The same source claimed that a woman and her toddler were killed in an Israeli airstrike south of Gaza City; the IDF disputed that, saying the two were killed when an outgoing rocket fell short and landed inside the strip.

The PIJ in a statement named eight of its members “martyred” in Israeli strikes. The PIJ, which like Hamas is a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization, has been posting videos of its fighters preparing and firing rockets into Israel.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking on Fox News Sunday, said the U.S. as of that stage could “validate” that more than 400 rockets had been fired into Israel.

“These rockets were fired with civilians around them in order to protect from return fire,” he said. “This is terrible. The Israelis have every right to protect the sovereignty of their nation, and I hope that we can return to the ceasefire that had been in place for weeks and had been holding significantly before this.”

A delegation of U.S. ambassadors visiting Israel issued a statement saying the rocket barrage demonstrated “a cynical readiness to risk the lives and futures of the people of Gaza as well as those of the Israeli people.”

“The sole aim of these terrorists is to kill, maim and terrorize citizens of Israel,” they said. “These actions by Hamas and Islamic Jihad are simply unconscionable. No other nation on Earth would tolerate this.”

The ambassadors – accredited to Israel, Germany, Portugal, France, Switzerland and the European Union, joined by special envoy for combating anti-Semitism Elan Carr – urged “all nations to call these actions out for what they are – terrorism pure and simple.”

PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi accused Israel of “targeting defenseless civilians” and charged that the Trump administration’s “blind and amoral support” for Israel was emboldening its “extreme and ruthless military assaults.”


Teaching girls to cry rape

Bettina Arndt

Why are we teaching young women to cry rape? In many countries, including Australia, feminists are pushing for sexual consent courses to be introduced into schools which teach girls that ‘regret sex’ is rape, that they have a right to withdraw consent after the event, and that if they have anything to drink before sexual activity they are incapable of giving consent and their partners are committing sexual assault. This dangerous rubbish is playing with the heads of young women and setting young men up for real trouble.

This is all part of the campaign to promote enthusiastic consent, or ‘yes means yes’ laws, which require men to seek consent for every stage in sexual activity. I made a video last year, talking to Murdoch University law lecturer Lorraine Finlay, about the absurdity of promoting laws which would make most normal sexual activity illegal, given that most of us have no desire to constantly verbalize enthusiastic consent throughout lovemaking. Yet in NSW, the Law Reform Commission is currently investigating this possibility and is being bombarded with submissions from women’s groups arguing that not only should enthusiastic consent become law but the same principles should be taught in sex education courses in schools.  

This week I spoke to sex educator Tracy Sedman who is one of the people responsible for educating NSW teachers and health workers about the new sexual consent courses. Tracy is very concerned about the push in this direction, and keen to encourage people to speak out about the risks for young men from teaching girls to reframe their sexual experiences in this way. I’m sure you will be intrigued by a video we are showing you, which is an extraordinary example of how easily young women can be encouraged to redefine an unsatisfactory sexual interaction as ‘rape’, urged on by their friends. What’s really scary is this video, The Morning After, has already been seen by over 6 million people. That’s an awful lot of young women now primed to judge their male partners as sexually aggressive. It will make you very worried for upcoming generations of young men facing an increasingly hostile dating world.

Here's the video. I hope you will promote it so that more people are aware of this worrying development.


Via email from Bettina: bettina@bettinaarndt.com.au


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

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

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


7 May, 2019

YouTube: Now playing, everywhere

Can the world’s biggest video-sharing site police itself?

Below are some excerpts from a big article in The Economist which surveys the issues and difficulties of regulating social media generally and YouTube in particular.  It essentially comes to no conclusions. I think one conclusion is possible however.

On all social media platforms, the administrators are constantly urged to ban "hate speech".  But it cannot be done -- for the simplest of reasons: One man's hate-speech is another man's fair comment, or even part of his religion.  The obvious recourse in that situation is NOT to censor at all.  And that was the initial policy of some sites.

Fascist attitudes are however much more common than tolerant ones and the torrent of attack and abuse directed at site administrators had to have an effect.  All administrators have now been trying to please everyone  They have however  discovered a version of an old political formula:  You can please all of the people some of the time, some of people all of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time.

So the acceptable censorship of social media sites is an impossible task.  All we can hope for is some compromise that is not wholly unreasonable.

But if we cannot reasonably regulate ALL of the content on a site, can we reasonably regulate SOME of the content satisfactorily?  I think we can.  I think we can regulate it in a way that avoids political bigotry.  That is a much smaller ask than regulating everything but it should be possible.

What I propose is a variant on the ancient Roman
Tribunus plebis.  A tribune is someone appointed to safeguard the interests of a particular group.  I think social media platforms  should appoint two tribunes -- one for the Left and one for the Right.  And NO content should be deleted without the approval of BOTH tribunes.  Each tribune would need a substantial staff and he should be free to choose and train  his own staff.  The tribune himself (or herself) should be appointed by the head of the relevant party in the Federal Senate

That should do the trick

YouTube’s immense popularity makes the question of how best to moderate social-media platforms more urgent, and also more vexing. That is partly because of the view taken in Silicon Valley, inspired by America’s right to free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment, that platforms should be open to all users to express themselves freely and that acting as a censor is invidious. With that as a starting point platforms have nevertheless regulated themselves, recognising that they would otherwise face repercussions for not acting responsibly. They began by setting guidelines for what could not be posted or shared —targeted hate speech, pornography and the like— and punished violators by cutting off ads, not recommending them and, as a last resort, banning them.

As governments and regulators around the world have started to question the platforms’ power and reach, and advertisers have pulled back, the firms have gradually tightened their guidelines. But by doing so they have plunged deeper into thorny debates about censorship. Last year YouTube banned certain kinds of gun-demonstration videos. In January the platform said it would no longer recommend videos that misinform users in harmful ways, like certain conspiracy theories and quack medical cures. It also banned videos of dangerous pranks, some of which have caused children to hurt themselves. On April 29th Sundar Pichai, boss of Google, declared, in an earnings announcement that disappointed investors, that “YouTube’s top priority is responsibility”. He said there would be more changes in the coming weeks.

Governments meanwhile are taking direct action to curb content that they deem inappropriate. On April 21st, after bombings in Sri Lanka killed 250 people, its government took the draconian step of temporarily banning social-media sites, including YouTube, to stop what it called “false news reports”. After the Christchurch massacre, Australia New Zealand  passed a hastily written law requiring platforms to take down “abhorrent violence material” and to do so “expeditiously”. Even in America, where social media has been largely unregulated, members of Congress are drafting measures that would give significant powers of oversight to the Federal Trade Commission and restrict how online platforms supply content to children, an area where YouTube is especially vulnerable.

Ms Wojcicki says she needs no persuading to take further action against unsavoury material. Yet YouTube does not plan to rethink the fundamental tenets that it should be open to free expression, that people around the world should have the right to upload and view content instantly (and live), and that recommendation algorithms are an appropriate way to identify and serve up content. What is needed, she says, is a thoughtful tightening of restrictions, guided by consultation with experts, that can be enforced consistently across YouTube’s vast array of content, backed by the power of artificial intelligence.

Video nasties

YouTube’s record thus far does not inspire much confidence. Children’s programming, one of the most popular sorts of content, is a case in point. Parents routinely use their iPads or smartphones as baby-sitters, putting them in front of children and letting YouTube’s autoplay function recommend and play videos (see chart 3). Children are served up nursery rhymes and Disney, but sometimes also inappropriate content and infomercials.

YouTube has acted more decisively in other circumstances. Its crackdown on terrorist-recruitment and -propaganda videos in early 2017 used machine learning and newly hired specialists. There was an obvious incentive to do it. In what became known as “Adpocalypse”, big firms fled after learning that some of their ads were running with these videos, essentially monetising terrorist groups. There have been a couple of sequels to Adpocalypse, both related to children’s content, and both first uncovered by outsiders. This adds to the impression that YouTube lacks a sense of urgency in identifying its problems, and responds most rapidly when advertisers are aggrieved.

Ms Wojcicki disputes this, saying she began to recognise the increasing risks of abuse of the platform in 2016, as it became clear more people were using YouTube for news, information and commentary on current events. She says that was when she started to focus on “responsibility”. In 2017, as a result of Adpocalypse, she began expanding the firm’s staff and contractors focused on content issues; they now number more than 10,000, most of them content reviewers. Chris Libertelli, the global head of content policy, says that Ms Wojcicki and Neal Mohan, the chief product officer, have told him there are no “sacred cows” in deciding what content should be limited, demonetised or banned. Ms Wojcicki says that with wiser and tighter content policies, and the company’s technology and resources, she and YouTube can solve the problems with toxic content.

Everything in moderation

While the need for regulation might be clear, the details of what should be regulated, and how, are messy and controversial. Few free-speech advocates, even in Silicon Valley, are zealous enough to want to permit beheading videos from Islamic State or the live-streaming of massacres. Yet most of the questions about content moderation that YouTube wrestles with are much less clear-cut. YouTube appears to be weighing whether to ban white nationalists, for example. If it does so, should the site also ban commentators who routinely engage in more subtle conspiracy theories meant to incite hatred? Should it ban popular personalities who invite banned figures to “debate” with them as guests? Ms Wojcicki is conscious of the slippery slope platforms are on, and fears being criticised for censorship and bias.

Another important question will be how to go about enforcing restrictions. When you serve a billion hours of video a day the number of hard calls and “edge cases”, those that are hard to categorise, is enormous. The tech firms hope that AI will be up to the job. History is not reassuring. AI has been trained for straightforward tasks like spotting copyright violations. But even with low error rates the volume of mistakes at scale remains immense. An AI capable of reliably deciding what counts as harassment, let alone “fake news”, is a pipe dream. The big platforms already employ thousands of human moderators. They will have to hire thousands more.

Given the complexities, wise governments will proceed deliberately. They should seek data from platforms to help researchers identify potential harms to users. Regulations should acknowledge that perfection is impossible and that mistakes are inevitable. Firms must invest more in identifying harmful content when it is uploaded so that it can be kept off the platform and—when that fails—hunt for it and remove it as quickly as possible. With the great power wielded by YouTube and other social-media platforms comes a duty to ensure it is used responsibly.


Hollywood: Reaping the whirlwind of social justice radicalism

For decades Hollywood, along with academia, has been one of the two prime movers of cultural Marxism in America: promoting leftist causes and narratives, undermining traditional morality and social structures, and rewriting history. Increasingly, showbiz is now being choked by its own wokeness – just as our universities are – as the social justice whiners have inevitably begun to turn on their own.

Hollywood is floundering. This past Easter weekend at the box office was the worst in more than a decade. The big studios with their mega-budget franchises (where would Hollywood be today without Marvel Comics?) increasingly have to resort to overseas profits to keep afloat. Showbiz awards shows, which have degenerated into self-congratulatory displays of anti-Trump virtue-signaling, have been failing spectacularly, posting record low ratings year after year. Trump Derangement Syndrome has caused celebs to publicly double down on their contempt for all those unwoke Americans in the flyover states, pushing audiences farther away than ever before. Meanwhile, independent flicks like Gosnell and Unplanned aimed at underserved conservative audiences are succeeding despite media blackouts and social media subversion.

Instead of engaging in some serious self-examination and concentrating on projects that might win back the American heartland moviegoer, establishment Hollywood is now preoccupied with proving its commitment to identity-politics ideology. Enforcing diversity of gender and skin color (but not of worldview) in all the “above-the-line” fields (acting, directing, producing, showrunning, etc.) has become the dominant consideration in the entertainment realm now. Actress Brie Larson, for example, says playing superheroine Captain Marvel is “my form of activism”; she has has spent almost every minute of her movie promotions slamming “white male critics” and speechifying about gender equality. “Oscars are so not white this year,” CNN announced after a record number of non-white actors won awards in the 2019 ceremony. Deadline declared ecstatically that “Diversity was one of the biggest winners.”

Like all totalitarian environments, Hollywood is also purging itself internally of anyone deemed insufficiently woke. Likeable, nonpartisan comedian Kevin Hart, for example, was pushed out of hosting this year’s Academy Awards show because of a ten-year-old “homophobic” tweet. Actress Roseanne Barr was famously removed from her own show and denounced as a racist for joking that Iranian-born, Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett resembled a character from Planet of the Apes. And the industry which never tires of making movies condemning the Communist-era blacklist has taken up a blacklist in support of the search-and-destroy #MeToo movement. Showbiz hypocrites who slandered Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a rapist yet who knowingly covered for, if not engaged in, decades of systemic sexual predation are now demonstrating they #BelieveAllWomen by shunning the suspects among them, even over unconfirmed accusations.

Celebrated writer-director Woody Allen is the latest target, thanks to longstanding but unproven accusations of child molestation against him. Retail giant Amazon entered into a four-movie deal with Allen in 2017 knowing full well about those controversial accusations; but then the #MeToo movement swelled and Allen expressed concerns that it might “lead to a witch-hunt atmosphere.” As if to prove his point, Amazon decided to shelve his film A Rainy Day in New York. The director has since launched a $68 million lawsuit against Amazon, whose lawyers claim Allen breached their contract by making “insensitive” comments about #MeToo. In any case, Allen has become so radioactive that one consultant told Fox News, "Any company today that would do business or be involved with Woody Allen would put themselves in harm's way and be potentially burnt to ashes as a brand." Presumably any individual working with Allen would face the same incinerating ostracism. Many of his former cohorts have already publicly sworn off working with him or expressed regret over having worked with him.

Breitbart’s John Nolte called the blacklisting of Allen an “un-American smear” by Hollywood “moral cowards”:

This is objectively obscene to anyone who believes in artistic freedom, fairness, and the concept of free expression — but look at what we have on our hands again; a Hollywood that doesn’t have the moral courage to stand up, that once again refuses to do the right thing if it means risking a backlash in the industry or alienating a potential sponsor-employer like Amazon.

Pointing out that the Communist-era blacklist was an “abomination… because innocent people were destroyed, not just over their political beliefs, but with lies — lies told by liars with axes to grind,” Nolte says Woody Allen is being accused “of a #MeToo crime during a moral panic filled with the kind of false and spurious allegations that have already consumed Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush and comedian Aziz Ansari.” The #MeToo movement lobby is powerful and ruthless; when superstar Matt Damon, a card-carrying Progressive activist, expressed the reasonable opinion that allegations of sexual misconduct need to be “analyzed on a spectrum” because “a pat on the butt is not the same as rape or child molestation,” the backlash was so overwhelming he was cowed into a public apology.

On another social justice front: like gay and lesbian activists before them, transgender activists are now engaged in a full-court press for societal acceptance – and not just acceptance, but full-throated, culture-wide celebration. Hollywood, of course, is the key to advancing that mission, just as it was the key to bringing about the culture-wide embrace of homosexuality through TV shows such as the sitcoms Will & Grace and Ellen.

Breitbart News reports, for example, that trans activists are targeting the Internet Movie Database website (IMDb.com) for “deadnaming,” or publishing the birth names of trans actors, at least two of whom are claiming that IMDb has not replaced their original names with their new names as requested.

So far IMDb is resisting, noting in a statement that “to preserve the factual historical record,” it strives to accurately reflect “cast and crew listings as they appear in a production’s on-screen credits at the time of original release.” IMDb adds the new name to the trans actor’s page and credits, with the name credited on previous productions added in parentheses. That sensible practice is not enough for a few trans actors who, like all totalitarians, want to rewrite the factual historical record to conform to their preferred reality.

IMDb won’t be able to hold out long. Neither it nor any other Hollywood entity has the will or inclination to stand firm against the relentless, bullying LGBT lobby.

Social justice is never about justice. It is about power and payback. It is about superimposing the Marxist paradigm of oppressor-versus-oppressed on every one of society’s structures, traditions, and moral codes, then ratcheting up the pressure until they all collapse – to be replaced by the redistributive justice of the collectivist State. Like American universities, where the student revolutionary inmates are now running the asylum, establishment Hollywood has brought this on itself. It is now in the process of reaping the whirlwind of its own all-consuming progressive agenda.


Charlottesville Confederate Statues Are Protected by State Law, Judge Rules

A Virginia judge has ruled that local authorities in Charlottesville cannot remove two Confederate statues because they are war memorials protected by state law, a decision that came nearly two years after a deadly white nationalist rally there that was nominally organized to protest a plan to move one of the statues.

The ruling is the latest turn in a long-running battle over the statues of the Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

Some, including the city of Charlottesville, which was sued after the City Council voted to remove the Lee statue, see the statues as monuments to racism. But others, including a group of citizens who filed the lawsuit, argue that they are Civil War memorials.

Judge Richard E. Moore of Charlottesville Circuit Court said that the statues can be viewed as both monuments to the war and as symbols of racism, but only because both sides in the case agree that they depict Confederate military leaders. That inherently makes them war memorials, he wrote.

“While some people obviously see Lee and Jackson as symbols of white supremacy, others see them as brilliant military tacticians or complex leaders in a difficult time,” the judge wrote.


Rugby Australia is between a rock and a hard place

They are facing  the prospect of penalizing Bible quotations.  What Folau said is straight from Romans chapter 1. An attack on   the Bible is normally swerved away from by even the most "correct" bodies.  On the other hand the intolerant Left WANTS them to penalize Bible quotations they do not like.

And there are two additional factors.  Tearing up Folau's contract could end up sending them broke.  Rugby does not have a big following anywhere.  The big football codes in Australia are AFL and League.  So Rugby cannot afford to get it wrong. 

And the second factor is that there are a lot of Polynesian players.  Polynesians are often big men who are good at football.  And many Polynesians are also strong Christians who agree with Folau about homosexuals.  Some have threatened to strike if Folau is penalized.  So losing their best players is a prospect facing Rugby.  Will the fans turn out for second-string players?

So you see why the negotiations are not getting anywhere.  I think Rugby will have to back down.  If they do they will probably find that the Leftists are just a paper tiger after all

Israel Folau's family have defended him as his code of conduct hearing is set to continue for a third day, after no decision was made on whether his multi-million dollar contract should be ripped up.

The landmark hearing will resume on Tuesday following a weekend stalemate at Rugby Australia (RA) headquarters in Sydney.

The 30-year-old's loved ones have spoken out in support of his controversial social media posts, insisting it comes from a place of love, not hate.

Just four months into his four-year contract, Folau turned down a lucrative $1million settlement offer to end his row with RA, 7NEWS reported.

'The important thing for us is not so much the outcome, but how the glory of God is revealed throughout this situation and that his truth is preached to the whole world,' his cousin Josiah Folau said.

His father Eni Folau, a pastor at the family's Christian church insists that his son has done nothing wrong.

'Israel does not do any wrong at all, all the words he posted doesn't come from him, it comes from the Bible,' Mr Folau said.

Both his family and fellow church-goers insist the rugby star is pure at heart and a decent man.

They believe what he posted is not 'hate speech' but comes from a place of love, trying to 'save souls'. 

A three-person panel, with representatives from RA and the Rugby Union Players' Association, are determining Folau's fate on the field.

RA chief executive Raelene Castle was asked to provide further evidence on Sunday, with NSW Waratahs supremo Andrew Hore also called on as more than 15 hours of legal jousting wasn't enough for the three-person panel.

Folau is fighting to save his career after Castle issued the dual international with a 'high-level' breach notice last month and threatened to tear up his four-year, $4 million contract following his latest round of inflammatory social media posts.

Last month Folau took to Instagram to proclaim 'hell awaits drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators' unless they repent and turn to Jesus.

The full-back of Tongan descent was warned by RA last year after sharing a similar homophobic post that claimed gays were destined for hell.

Folau is being represented by high-profile solicitor Ramy Quatami and barrister Adam Casselden, who recently worked on the coronial inquest into the murder-suicide of Sydney family Maria Lutz and her children Ellie and Martin at the hands of their father Fernando Manrique in 2016.

The three-person panel is made up of chair John West QC, RA representative Kate Eastman SC and the Rugby Union Players' Association-elected John Boultbee.

If the tribunal determines that Folau has breached his contract, the panel must then decide if the breach was severe enough to terminate his career.  



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

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

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


6 May, 2019

HHS Issues Rule to Protect 'Conscience' Rights of Health Care Workers

On Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its final conscience regulation to protect health care entities and workers who, for moral or religious reasons, object to abortion, sterilization, assisted suicide, and related services and products. 

The rule fulfills a pledge by President Trump "to promote and protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious liberty, a promise he made when he signed an executive order in May 2017 protecting religious liberty," said the HHS in a statement.

"[T]oday we finalized new protections of conscience rights for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, teachers, students and faith-based charities," said President Trump at the White House. "They’ve been wanting to do that for a long time."

As explained by the HHS, this final rule replaces a rule from 2011 that did not adequately protect health care workers at HHS-fund facilities or programs from discrimination. The rule seeks to ensure that all of the conscience protections already passed by Congress over the years are fully implemented for people working in HHS-funded care facilities.

"These federal laws protect providers, individuals, and other health care entities from having to provide, participate in, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for, services such as abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide," said the HHS.  "It also includes conscience protections with respect to advance directives," such as assisted suicide.

Roger Severino, the HHS Office of Civil Rights director, said, "Finally, laws prohibiting government-funded discrimination against conscience and religious freedom will be enforced like every other civil rights law. This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professionals won’t be bullied out of the health care field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of human life."

"Protecting conscience and religious freedom not only fosters greater diversity in healthcare, it’s the law,” said Severino.

Maureen Ferguson, a senior policy advisor for The Catholic Association, said, “The Constitution and numerous federal laws provide robust protections for the conscience rights of medical professionals, yet these laws are being violated as doctors, nurses, and medical students are being compelled to participate in abortion and other procedures. "

"Non-discrimination laws such as these are foundational rights in a free society, and we are grateful to [HHS] Secretary Azar for issuing these new regulations to ensure the protection of basic conscience rights and freedom of religion," said Ferguson.

Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, said. “Those who serve our nation’s sick in the health care industry, or who are training to do so, should not be forced to violate their conscience in the process. The new Health and Human Services rule will ensure that the rights of medical professionals, guaranteed by the United States Constitution as well as federal law, will be respected."

"No one should be forced to participate in life-ending procedures like abortion or similar activities that go against their religious beliefs or moral convictions," she said.

Critics of the rule said it would prevent women from getting complete care.

Louise Melling, deputy legal director for the ACLU, told the New York Times, “Religious liberty is a fundamental right, but it doesn’t include the right to discriminate or harm others. This rule threatens to prevent people from accessing critical medical care and may endanger people’s lives. … Medical standards, not religious belief, should guide medical care.”

David Stacy with the LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, said, “The Trump-Pence administration’s latest attack threatens LGBTQ people by permitting medical providers to deny critical care based on personal beliefs. The administration’s decision puts LGBTQ people at greater risk of being denied necessary and appropriate health care solely based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Everyone deserves access to medically necessary care and should never be turned away because of who they are or who they love.”

HRC said the conscience protection rule would "sanction discrimination" because health care workers would be allowed to follow their religious beliefs.

“The Trump-Pence Administration will stop at nothing to strip patients of the care they deserve," said the National Women's Law Center in a statement. "This rule allows anyone from a doctor to a receptionist to entities like hospitals and pharmacies to deny a patient critical – and sometimes lifesaving – care. Personal beliefs should never determine the care a patient receives. This is a vicious and underhanded attack on the health and lives of patients, particularly targeting women and LGBTQ individuals."


Trump Condemns ‘Evil and Hate-Filled Attacks’ on Religious Communities in U.S., Worldwide

President Donald Trump used his speech at the National Day of Prayer service at the White House on Thursday to condemn attacks on people of faith domestically and worldwide.

“As we unite on this day of prayer, we renew our resolve to protect communities of faith and to ensure that all people and all of our people can live and pray and worship in peace. In recent months, it’s been pretty tough. We’ve seen evil and hate-filled attacks on religious communities in the United States and all around the world,” he said during the Rose Garden ceremony.

“One month ago, three historically black churches were burned tragically in Louisiana. In Sri Lanka and New Zealand, hundreds of Christians and Muslims were brutally murdered at their places of worship. In October, an anti-Semitic killer attacked the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. That was a horrible event. The first lady and I went to see. That was not even believable,” Trump said.

“And last week, a gunman opened fire at a synagogue in Poway, California, while Jewish families celebrated the last day of Passover. We mourn for the loss of one extraordinary member of that congregation – Lori Gilbert Kaye – who stood in front of the shooter and gave her life to protect her rabbi – an incredible man, an incredible person,” he added.

The president began his speech by sending prayers to “the people of Venezuela in their righteous struggle for freedom.”

“The brutal repression of the Venezuela people must end, and it must end soon. People are starving. They have no food. They have no water, and this was once one of the wealthiest countries in the world. So we wish them well. We’ll be there to help, and we are there to help,” he said.

The president said people are saying “God” and “Merry Christmas” more often now.

“People are so proud to use the word God, and they’re using the word God again, and they’re not hiding from it, and they’re not being told to take it down, and they’re not saying we can’t honor God. In God we trust – so important,” he said.

Trump said during his first campaign, people were “not allowed” or in some cases, were “ashamed” to use the phrase “Merry Christmas” in stores.

“They’d say, Happy Holidays. They’d have red walls, and you never see Christmas,” he said. “Take a look at your stores nowadays. It’s all ‘Merry Christmas’ again.”

Trump said he’s most proud of repealing the Johnson Amendment, a provision in the U.S. tax code that prohibits non-profit organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates.

“And one of the things I’m most proud of is the Johnson Amendment. You can now speak your mind and speak it freely. I said I was going to do that. I told Paula White, who I want to thank so much for everything she’s done,” the president said.

“That was one of the things I said. They took away your voice politically, and these are the people I want to listen to politically, but you weren’t allowed to speak. They would lose their tax-exempt status. That’s not happening anymore, so we got rid of the Johnson Amendment. That’s a big thing,” he said.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, in May 2017, Trump signed the Presidential Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty, which ordered the Treasury Department not to enforce the Johnson Amendment.

The executive order calls on the Treasury Department not to “take any adverse action against any individual, house of worship, or other religious organization on the basis that such individual or organization speaks or has spoken about moral or political issues from a religious perspective, where speech of similar character has, consistent with law, not ordinarily been treated as participation or intervention in a political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) a candidate for public office by the Department of the Treasury."

The executive order did not repeal the amendment itself, and congressional efforts to repeal it have so far failed. However, Republican lawmakers re-introduced a bill in February to do just that.

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Reps. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) and Mike Johnson (R-La.) re-introduced legislation in February to repeal the Johnson Amendment’s censorship of non-profit employees, including religious leaders, and restore their First Amendment rights.


Rise of Anti-Semitism Is Being Fueled by Lies

A 19-year-old man on Saturday opened fire in a synagogue filled with hundreds of Jews celebrating the final hours of Passover.

His hate-fueled act ended the life of Lori Gilbert Kaye—a woman dearly loved by her family and community. The bullets severed the finger of Rabbi Goldstein and wounded several others. The trauma, anguish, and terror will haunt the survivors.

The manifesto inked by the killer reveals the perverted ideologies that inspired his depraved actions. Jarringly, some of these anti-Semitic ideas can be found throughout our society. The problem is pure falsehood and lies about the Jewish people.   

Leading up to World War II, Adolf Hitler whipped up fury against the Jewish people by accusing them of treachery and blaming Jewish influence for societal decay and economic problems. This, of course, led to the Holocaust.

These same sentiments fester today, and the manifesto drafted by the monster responsible for the killing this past weekend echoes the anti-Semitism grounded in religious bigotry of ages past, along with the baseless accusations that were so common.

Symptomatic of the resurgence of anti-Semitism was The New York Times cartoon by Portuguese cartoonist António Moreira Antunes, published on Thursday of last week. The cartoon pictures Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog on a leash leading a blind President Donald Trump. In addition, a Star of David dangles from the dog’s neck while a kippah (signifying the “fear of heaven” in Judaism) rests on Trump’s head.

The apology for this blatantly anti-Semitic cartoon hardly seemed credible, given another cartoon by a Norwegian artist that the Times published days later. This one depicted the prime minister coming down Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments using a selfie stick.

Roar Hagen, a Norwegian cartoonist, released a nearly identical cartoon of Netanyahu leading Trump—each carrying one tablet of the Ten Commandments—in a journey down from the Golan Heights. The United States recognized Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights just weeks ago.

These are no mere critiques of the Israeli government, the Israeli prime minister, or the president of the United States. These cartoons depict Jews as a sly minority manipulating the world in a quest for domination.

How is this different in substance to the Nazi Germany periodical Lustige Blätter in 1940 picturing “the Jew” leading British Prime Minister Winston Churchill by the hand atop the globe? “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” published in 1903, once spread these myths. A mainstream media outlet now chooses to normalize these ideas for mass consumption.

Make no mistake: The “anti-Zionism” of the 21st century is but a manifestation of anti-Semitism. It singles out the 15 million Jewish people alive today (just 0.2% of the world’s population) and denies them the right to a nation in their ancestral homeland, while accusing “the Jew” of “hypnotizing” the world.

Sadly, our nation’s institutions are failing to sufficiently counter this hate. Congress has struggled to condemn with specificity the blatant anti-Semitic statements from freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who claimed Israel “hypnotized the world” and suggested Jewish Americans unduly influence politicians through their wealth.

Leaders of the Women’s March and other organizations embrace those with a history of anti-Semitic rhetoric—people such as Louis Farrakhan, who says the “powerful Jews are my enemy” and that he “has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through.”

Americans are growing disturbingly ignorant of recent atrocities against the Jewish people. In a recent poll, two-thirds of millennials were unfamiliar with the Auschwitz concentration camps where Nazis exterminated more than 1 million Jews, out of the more than 6 million who perished in the Holocaust. Moreover, college campuses provide a safe quarter for the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement—a movement rooted in anti-Semitism.

The answer to such hate in a free society is not to muzzle speech—even hate speech. For the power to suppress speech, once obtained, may ultimately be wielded against those who hold viewpoints the state disapproves of.

Nor is the solution to deny law-abiding citizens their fundamental human right of self-defense, a road demonstrably proven over the centuries to heighten the risk of tyranny, plunder, or mayhem.

No. The solution is far more complex, one which requires action on the part of all us.

People of goodwill must boldly condemn those promoting this hate. Parents must better equip the next generation with a grounding in history in order to inoculate youth from philosophical poison that seeks to corrupt their minds and destroy their hearts. Educators must dispel the myths. Political parties must deny those engaged in the traffic of anti-Semitic tropes a place in leadership, and donors must withhold funds from those politicians.

Each of us bears a unique responsibility to combat hateful lies with truth. Only light dispels the darkness.


Australia: Homosexual footballer reproves Christian footballer

The first Australian NRL player to publicly come out as gay has issued an emotional message to Israel Folau as the Wallabies star fights to save his rugby career.

Speaking on Channel 9’s Sports Sunday program, ex-footy star Ian Roberts delivered a sobering message to Folau about the tragic truth of the beliefs he’s spreading.

“I feel sorry for Israel but there are consequences to your actions,” Roberts said. “I don’t say this lightly and what I’m about to say, the language I use, is hard and it’s for a point, it’s to get that message across.

“There are literally kids in the suburbs killing themselves and I say that with the greatest sense of respect and I’m not saying that Israel is responsible solely for that.

“But it’s these types of comments and these types of off-the-cuff remarks when you have young people and vulnerable people who are dealing with their sexuality, confused, not knowing how to deal with it.

There's no mystery about knowing how to deal with it.   Homosexual males usually get on well with women.  From a Biblical viewpoint they should put in the effort to create a normal relationship with one.  If they really want anal sex, there is a   small minority of women who like it.  I don't like doing it but I have had two different women request it



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

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

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


5 May, 2019

Orwellian Attack on Parental Rights: Court Warns Father He'll Be Arrested if He Calls His Daughter a Girl

Last month, the Supreme Court of British Columbia issued an order that a father (referred to by the pseudonym "Clark") may not refer to his 14-year-old daughter (pseudonym "Maxine") as a girl or by her original name, whether in public or in private. Doing so has been ruled to constitute "family violence" because Maxine identifies as a boy. According to a separate protection order, police may immediately arrest Clark if they suspect he violated this Orwellian order.

Justice Francesca Marzari ruled that any attempt to persuade Maxine that she is a girl constitutes "family violence" because it would cause her "psychological abuse in the form of harassment or coercion." Since she is receiving "treatment" for gender dysphoria (the persistent identification with the gender opposite her biological sex), any encouragement to reconsider that "treatment" is considered violence.

Clark "shall be restrained from: attempting to persuade [Maxine] to abandon treatment for gender dysphoria; addressing [Maxine] by his birth name; and referring to [Maxine] as a girl or with female pronouns whether to [Maxine] directly or to third parties." The order will last for one year.

In addition to these gag provisions, the order prohibits Clark from "directly, or indirectly through an agent or third party, publish or share information or documentation relating to [Maxine]'s sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental or physical health, medical status or therapies," besides the Court, legal counsel, medical professionals, or any person authorized by Maxine or the Court.

The order also prevents Clark from allowing anyone besides his lawyer "to access or make copies of any of the files" relating to this ruling and order.

According to Canadian law, "The inclusive definition of 'family violence' recognizes that the risk of harm extends beyond the infliction of physical violence ... I note that in particular, the definition encompasses psychological abuse in the form of harassment or coercion, and unreasonable restrictions or preventions of a family member's personal autonomy. In the case of a child, both direct and indirect exposure to such harm may constitute family violence."

"This Court has already determined that it is a form of family violence to [Maxine] for any of his family members to address him by his birth name, refer to him as a girl or with female pronouns (whether to him directly or to third parties), or to attempt to persuade him to abandon treatment for gender dysphoria. [Maxine] says that the evidence establishes that [Clark] has done all of the above, and has continued to do so even after the Court found that these actions were contrary to [Maxine]’s best interests and constitute family violence," Marzari wrote.

The Supreme Court justice also faulted the father for speaking to the media and publishing posts about Maxine's status as a female on social media. Her ruling cited two articles in The Federalist quoting Clark, which reveal the father's determination that his daughter "is a girl. Her DNA will not change through all these experiments they do." The order went on to cite angry comments on the Federalist articles.

"I find that [Clark]’s sharing of [Maxine]’s private information has exposed his child to degrading and violent public commentary. [Clark] has nevertheless continued to support the media organizations posting this commentary with additional interviews, and has expressed a desire for further opportunities to do so," Marzari wrote. "I find that [Clark] is using [Maxine] to promote his own interests above those of his child, by making [Maxine] the unwilling poster child (albeit anonymously) of [Clark]'s cause."

"In conclusion, I find that [Maxine] is an at-risk family member who is highly vulnerable. I find that his father’s expressions of rejection of [Maxine]’s gender identity, both publicly and privately, constitutes family violence against [Maxine]. Finally, I find that [Clark]’s conduct in this regard is persistent and unlikely to cease in the absence of a clear order to restrain it," Marzari ruled.

After issuing the order, she proceeded to issue a second protection order making the father subject to immediate arrest without a warrant.

"Any Peace Officer, including any R.C.M.P. Officer, having jurisdiction in the Province of British Columbia, who has reasonable and probable grounds believes that the Respondent ... is in breach of the terms of this order may immediately arrest that person and bring him before a Judge of the Supreme Court promptly after the arrest, to be dealt with on an inquiry to determine whether he has committed a breach of this order or is in contempt of court," the second order states.

In other words, not only can this father not refer to his daughter as a girl or by her original name in public or in private, but if a police officer thinks he has done so, he may be immediately arrested. The father cannot even show other people the court documents issuing these orders.

These orders are horrifying on multiple levels. First, Maxine is still a minor. At age 14, she does not enjoy the autonomy to drink alcohol (the drinking age in BC is 19), to join the military (you may enlist with parental consent at age 17), or make binding contracts, but her self-identification as a boy is not only taken seriously, but protected by the force of law.

Second, researchers have determined that transgender identity is a social contagion, especially among young women. Teenage girls have teamed up to support their anorexia, sharing videos of rapid weight loss as "thinspiration" and deceiving their parents to protect their unhealthy obsession. Researcher Lisa Littman found that girls with Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) act in similar ways, protecting the gender identity that is now considered "hip."

Indeed, one psychiatrist even testified that children come to him seeking transgender drugs because transgender identity has become a fad. "Dr. Steve ... I want to be transgender, it's the new black," one child told him.

A great many transgender people have later regretted their transitions, lamenting the irreversible damage they have done to their own bodies. "I am a real, live 22-year-old woman, with a scarred chest and a broken voice, and five o'clock shadow because I couldn’t face the idea of growing up to be a woman, that’s my reality," admitted Cari Stella. Many former transgender people, like Walt Heyer, traced their cross-sex identity back to psychological damage in childhood.

Third, this ruling and order chills parental rights and makes parents afraid to speak up against transgender identity. Last year, a Christian couple in Ohio lost custody of their 17-year-old daughter because they would not affirm her transgender identity. According to courts in Canada and the U.S., transgender identity is more important than the rights of parents to guard, protect, and teach their own children.

Transgender identity is being championed for children at younger and younger ages. Some as young as 4 years old have been referred to gender clinics. Planned Parenthood encourages teaching transgender identity to preschool children. In 2017, a California school held a "gender reveal" party for kindergarteners, traumatizing the young children. Other schools pledged that they will not let parents opt out their kids, or even notify them, before transgender instruction.

This issue will not end with a gag order preventing a Canadian father from talking about his 14-year-old daughter. Threats to parental rights have already moved south of the border, and governments will push Orwellian laws forcing parents to refer to boys as girls and girls as boys. Americans must speak out about the biological reality of sex.


Discrimination and Disparities

By Walter E. Williams

My longtime friend and colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell has just published a revised and enlarged edition of "Discrimination and Disparities." It lays waste to myth after myth about the causes of human differences not only in the United States but around the globe. Throughout the book, Sowell shows that socioeconomic outcomes differ vastly among individuals, groups and nations in ways that cannot be easily explained by any one factor, whether it's genetics, sex or race discrimination or a history of gross mistreatment that includes expulsion and genocide.

In his book "The Philadelphia Negro" (1899), W.E.B. Du Bois posed the question as to what would happen if white people lost their prejudices overnight. He said that it would make little difference to most blacks. He said: "Some few would be promoted, some few would get new places — the mass would remain as they are" until the younger generation began to "try harder" and the race "lost the omnipresent excuse for failure: prejudice."

Sowell points out that if historical injustices and persecution were useful explanations of group disadvantage, Jews would be some of the poorest and least-educated people in the world today. Few groups have been victimized down through history as have the Jews. Despite being historical targets of hostility and lethal violence, no one can argue that as a result Jews are the most disadvantaged people.

Jews are not alone in persecution either. The number of overseas Chinese slaughtered by Vietnamese mobs and the number of Armenians slaughtered by mobs in the Ottoman Empire in just one year exceeds the number of black Americans lynched in the history of the U.S. From 1882-1968, 4,743 total lynchings occurred in the United States, of which 3,446 of the victims were black. Sowell concludes this section suggesting that it is dangerous for society to depict outcome differences as evidence or proof of malevolent actions that need to be counterattacked or avenged. Politicians and others who are now calling for reparations to blacks for slavery should take note of Sowell's argument.

There's considerable handwringing among educational "experts" about the black/white academic achievement gap. Part of the persistence of that gap can be laid at the feet of educators who replaced what worked with what sounded good. One notable example of success is the achievement of students at the all-black Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., from 1870 to 1955. During that period, Dunbar students frequently outscored white students on achievement tests in the Washington, D.C., area. Sowell, who studied Dunbar and other high-achieving black schools, says, Dunbar "had unsparing standards for both school work and for such behavioral qualities a punctuality and social demeanor. Dunbar's homework requirements were more than most other public schools. Some Dunbar parents complained to the D.C. Board of Education about the large amount of homework required."

Dunbar High School was not the only black school with a record of success that would be the envy of today's public schools. Schools such as Frederick Douglass (Baltimore), Booker T. Washington (Atlanta), PS 91 (Brooklyn), McDonogh 35 (New Orleans) and others operated at a similar level of excellence. By the way, these excelling students weren't solely members of the black elite; most had parents who were manual laborers, domestic servants, porters and maintenance men.

Observing the historical success of these and other black schools, one wonders about the catchwords of Chief Justice Earl Warren's statement that separate schools "are inherently unequal." That vision led to racial integration going from being a means to an end to racial integration becoming an end all by itself. Sowell doesn't say this, but in my view, integration becoming the goal is what has made diversity and inclusion the end all and be all of today's educators at many levels.

Dr. Thomas Sowell's "Discrimination and Disparities" is loaded with pearls of wisdom from which we can all benefit, and as such, this will not be my final discussion of his masterpiece.


UK: The Leftist lies never stop

A Labour MP has sparked fury by sharing a video he claimed showed Israeli soldiers 'beating up Palestinian children for the fun of it - when it was actually filmed in Guatemala.

Grahame Morris, outgoing chairman of Labour Friends Of Palestine, tweeted the footage of troops pulling the teenagers' hair and kicking them in the face at around 5pm on Easter Monday, promptly attracting a storm of criticism.

Shockingly, he had still not removed the tweet early this morning despite acknowledging its inaccuracy, claiming he was 'harvesting and documenting a few more of my trolls' before he would do so.

He eventually did so just after 10am and tweeted an apology. 

This clip, broadcast by Labour MP Grahame Morris, showed Guatemalan soldiers beating and kicking two teenagers - not Israeli troops as he claimed

The MP for Easington tweeted: 'Marvellous, absolutely marvellous the Israeli Army, the best financed, best trained, best equipped army in the world caught on camera beating up Palestinian children for the fun of it. 'May God forgive them. What would Jim Royle say on an Easter Monday.'

The official English language Twitter account of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) replied with a link to a 2015 Vice News article showing the real facts surrounding the video.

They wrote: 'The only marvelous thing here are your lies. 'These are not IDF soldiers. Apologies would be in order.'

Mr Morris has not responded to the IDF.

When another Twitter user pointed out his mistake, the  MP replied: 'TY [thank you] - you are right and many apologies for my honest mistake there are lots of verifiable documented examples of the IDF abusing Palestinian child prisoners I have seen for myself in Court in the West Bank - but am harvesting and documenting a few more of my trolls yet thanks.'

More than 1,000 people responded to the tweet, overwhelmingly calling for Mr Morris to delete, or retract, or apologise for his post. 

The Labour MP's post was a retweet of left-wing blogger Rachael Swindon, whose original tweet read: 'So @IsraeliPM. Why does this secretly recorded video appear to show your cowardly soldiers brutally beating up Palestinian children, again? Disturbing.'

Ms Swindon has since deleted her post and later apologised for 'not knowing the origin of the video'.

The appalling 1m43s clip, which surfaced in August of 2015 and was shot in late July of that year, shows two teens who allegedly ran from a military convoy in Chimaltenango, in central Guatemala, and defied an order to stop.


Trans 'Woman' Demolishes World Records; Olympian Decries 'Pointless, Unfair Playing Field

On Sunday, a biological man who identifies as a woman took the Masters world records for women's squat, women's bench press, and women's deadlift. A female Olympian responded by condemning the "pointless, unfair playing field" where biological women are beaten by biological men who identify as transgender women.

"What a day, 9 for 9! Masters world squat record, open world bench record, masters world dl record, and masters world total record!" Mary Gregory posted on Instagram. Gregory thanked the Raw Powerlifting Federation. "As a transgender lifter I was unsure what to expect going into this meet and everyone - all the spotters, loaders, referees, staff, meet director, all made me welcome and treated me as just another female lifter- thank you!"

Transgender activists may celebrate these world records, but former British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies condemned the basic unfairness of biological men competing with biological women.

"This is a trans woman a male body with male physiology setting a world record & winning a woman’s event in America in powerlifting. A woman with female biology cannot compete," Davies tweeted. "It’s a pointless unfair playing field."

Davies went on to lament that in many sports — especially in the United States — biological men may compete against biological women without having to undergo surgery or take hormones or even have a professional medical diagnosis.

"The reason we have men & women’s races are because we are biologically different," Davies explained. "Performance 100% confirms that. The reason steroids (including testosterone) are on the banned list is because using them gives you an advantage. FairPlay is racing by biology by sex not by gender."

The reason we have men & women’s races are because we are biologically different. Performance 100% confirms that. The reason steroids (including testosterone) are on the banned list is because using them gives you an advantage. FairPlay is racing by biology by sex not by gender

Indeed, Davis is correct. Men and women have important biological differences. Duke Law School Professor Doriane Lambelet Coleman testified that biological males have an inherent athletic advantage over biological females due to the chemical makeup of their bodies. Segregating sports on the basis of biological sex provides "extraordinary value" by inspiring young girls that they can measure up to the records set by their fellow biological women.

Americans and others should sympathize with people who suffer with gender dysphoria (the persistent identification with the gender opposite their biological sex), but that does not mean everyone has to agree that socially-accepted transgender identity is the solution to these struggles. In fact, encouraging transgender identity, hormones, and surgery for this struggle is akin to encouraging a weight loss regimen for teen girls with anorexia. The transgender movement may do more harm than good.

When biological men claiming to identify as women compete in these sports, they destroy fair competition. They break records that biological women worked hard to set, and set new records that will be harder for biological women to break. Mary Gregory's weightlifting is impressive, but he is still a man and should not be allowed to set world records in women's sports.



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

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

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


3 May, 2019

Victory Against BDS: Airbnb Includes Rentals in Judea, Samaria

by Nitsana Darshan-Leitner

Airbnb has agreed to completely retract its policy of delisting Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria, the Tel Aviv-based Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center announced on Tuesday.

Over the past few weeks, Shurat Hadin has been negotiating a settlement agreement with the online hospitality giant to rescind its discriminatory policy redlining Jewish-owned properties in the Judea and Samaria region. That policy, announced in November 2018, had banned Jewish property owners in Judea and Samaria from listing properties on Airbnb, while allowing Muslim and Christian property owners to list properties in the same area.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Airbnb has agreed to repeal the discriminatory policy, thereby resolving the discrimination lawsuit.

The plaintiffs, a group of 12 Jewish American families, had filed a civil rights lawsuit against Airbnb in the United States Federal District Court for the District of Delaware. The lawsuit was brought in Delaware because Airbnb is incorporated in Delaware.

The plaintiffs alleged that the policy of the San Francisco-based internet hospitality company discriminated against them based upon their religion.

When Airbnb publicly announced its redlining policy barring rentals of Jewish-owned properties in November, it stated it would no longer agree to list these homes due to claims that such properties are located in Palestinian-owned territories illegally occupied by Israeli settlers. The plaintiff homeowners, however, dispute that contention and contend that all the properties are legal.

Further, the plaintiffs asserted that Airbnb had succumbed to pressure from the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to delegitimize the Jewish state and challenges its right to exist.

The lawsuit was filed under the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, a federal statute which safeguards against discrimination in the housing sales and rental markets.

While the properties were located in Judea and Samaria, the plaintiffs alleged that the discrimination was being committed by Airbnb, which is located in the United States and is bound to follow federal policies of non-discrimination wherever it operates in the world. The plaintiffs asked that the court enjoin Airbnb from discriminatory practices against Jewish homeowners and sought compensation for any lost rental income from Airbnb.

Under the settlement agreement, Airbnb has agreed to adopt a neutral policy towards all properties in the region, allowing all homeowners to list their houses for rental on its web platform regardless of their religion, race or national origin.

A Powerful Defeat for BDS

“The rescinding of Airbnb’s discriminatory policy is, thus, a powerful defeat for the anti-Israel boycott movement. BDS is an anti-Semitic campaign which purports to care about human rights but whose real goal is to completely replace the Jewish State with a Palestinian one,” Shurat HaDin stated.

“Other international companies need to learn the lessons from Airbnb’s mistake and understand that boycotting Israel and discriminating against Jews are unlawful acts which will ultimately result in dire legal consequences, public condemnations, and embarrassment. No outside party can decide for Israel what its legitimate borders will be or where Jews will be permitted to live.


Evangelical Support for Trump Is Pragmatism, Not Blind Worship

The president isn't an exemplary man, but he fights for Christians' religious liberty

In the final weeks prior to the 2016 elections, Democrats and their mainstream media mouthpieces were giddy at the predicted landslide election by Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump.

Yet a constant source of irritation for them was their inability to figure out the unshakeable support Trump garnered from the unlikeliest place — Evangelical voters.

On paper, Trump should have been anathema to Christian Evangelicals. He’s a man whose moral failings are both extensive and widely publicized: multiple divorces, an adulterous affair with a porn star, and a payoff to a Playboy model to keep another affair quiet — and both affairs happened after his third wife had just birthed their son. Moreover, he’s crude, brash, and once said he doesn’t ask for God’s forgiveness. “I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right,” he said in 2015. “I don’t bring God into that picture.” That’s a lot of things, but it’s not Christianity.

And yet Trump’s Evangelical support has not wavered. Folks who are baffled by this have a fundamental misunderstanding of how Evangelicals (and Trump supporters generally) actually view him.

Democrat 2020 presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg insists, “God doesn’t have a political party,” and he’s made other statements claiming his homosexuality and pro-abortion stance are compatible with his Christian faith. The Reverend Franklin Graham responded in a series of tweets stating, in part, “Mayor Buttigieg says he’s a gay Christian. As a Christian I believe the Bible which defines homosexuality as sin, something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized. The Bible says marriage is between a man & a woman — not two men, not two women.” Reverend Graham is exactly right.

But in response to Graham’s tweets, National Review columnist and Never Trumper David French accused Graham of selling out his Christian faith for political expediency as an early and steadfast Trump supporter.

Said French, “The proper Evangelical position toward any president is not hard to articulate, though it is exceedingly difficult to hold to, especially in polarized times when one party seems set on limiting religious liberty and zealously defending abortion: We should pray for presidents, critique them when they’re wrong, praise them when they’re right, and never, ever impose partisan double standards.”

On the surface, French is right. But his comments reflect that fundamental misunderstanding of the support for President Trump by Evangelicals and the broader Republican base.

No Evangelical or conservative Republican has or would argue that we should praise Trump for his moral failings, or argue that these sinful acts are “no big deal.” Just the opposite.

But what Evangelicals and rank-and-file conservatives see in Trump is not an ideological purist, or a faith leader; they don’t look to him as a moral icon, or a political philosopher. They look to him as a happy, indefatigable warrior defending the Christian faith and conservative values, as counterintuitive as that might seem.

Mitt Romney was arguably the most personally moral, scandal-free Republican candidate in decades. George W. Bush was a born-again Christian. But both were gentlemanly fighters, adhering to the Marquis of Queensbury rules while their progressive Democrat opponents slashed and gutted them in a political knife fight. Bush saw his presidency weakened because he refused to really fight back against accusations of racism, bigotry, and lack of compassion. Romney was taken down by a brazenly dishonest Barack Obama long before he even had a chance to step foot in the Oval Office.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, is a fighter. He is a street brawler who matches blow for blow, and then some. He responds to every attack. He epitomizes the Sean Connery line in “The Untouchables” about how to take down Chicago gangster Al Capone: “He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue!”

The Christian faith and conservative values have been under relentless assault for years, and the choirboys that Republicans keep running for office don’t seem up to the task of defending them, offering platitudes and lip service as the lives of Christians are destroyed under attacks from the Rainbow Mafia and left-wing judges.

But Trump is up to the task. As our Brian Mark Weber noted last year, “For decades, Republicans at all levels of government gave campaign lip service to the hopes of Christians around the country only to turn their backs on those same voters once in office. Why, then, continue to elect these well-meaning but mild-mannered choirboys? Instead, why not throw in behind a serial philanderer who’s delivering the strongest pro-life message in our history and seating a conservative Supreme Court that will defend religious liberty for the next generation?”

Donald Trump may not be the best person to articulate Christian doctrine, but he has fought valiantly to defend religious freedom and Judeo-Christian values in the public square. His administration, much to the dismay of anti-Christian leftists, is stocked with faithful Christians, from Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo down to junior aides. He has been the most actively pro-life president in decades and arguably the most pro-Israel president ever. He has put two solid conservative, pro-life justices on the Supreme Court, partially defunded Planned Parenthood, and ended IRS harassment of churches.

No, Christians are not hypocrites for supporting Trump over the horrible Hillary Clinton. Nor are they the dimwitted lemmings the press paints them out to be. In fact, their support of Trump has turned out to be far more politically astute than anyone could have suspected. While there is only one Savior, which is Jesus Christ, in Donald Trump they see their political David, slaying their anti-Christian Goliaths.

And so long as Trump continues to fight for them, their support for him will remain unshakeable.


Post office ordered to stop mistreatment of National Guard Vet

A letter carrier from Auburn, Maine, last week won a legal victory when the U.S. Postal Service was forced to reinstate him in a job after he was absent for 14 years while deployed in the “Global War on Terrorism.”

John Patrie, who was called up by the Maine National Guard soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks, served almost continuously in U.S. military campaigns that included combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, before his honorable discharge in December 2015, the OSC reported in an April 25 release.  During those years, Patrie regularly provided copies of his orders to his Postal Service managers, maintained his job benefits and expressed a desire to return to mail carrying, the special counsel said.

But the Postal Service informed him in January 2016 that it would not reinstate him because he had “abandoned” his civilian post. His attorneys saw that as a violation of the 1994 Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, which is enforced for federal employees by OSC.

At first, Patrie filed a complaint with the Labor Department, whose investigation concluded that USPS violated the veterans protection law, for which Patrie had met the criteria. But after USPS again refused to reinstate him, the department referred his case to OSC, which took it to the Merit Systems Protection Board.  That board’s judges held an evidentiary hearing and ruled for Patrie.

“Patrie did everything he could under the law, and he had no idea how long he would be away,” OSC attorney Patrick Boulay told Government Executive. The veteran even kept his locker and union membership. “The whole idea of USERRA is to maintain the employment as an 'unburned bridge.' It is the service member’s choice whether to cross that bridge, but the Postal Service decided at the last moment to burn the bridge.”

The Postal Service, Boulay added, has been applying its own standards in such cases similarly for years, and is the only agency that doesn’t follow the exceptions to the law’s five-year limit on employment eligibility.

 “We are very pleased to have won this victory not just for Mr. Patrie but for service members everywhere,” said Special Counsel Henry Kerner. “Our country must honor its commitments to those who serve in uniform and defend our freedoms.”


Justice for Justine at last

The Minneapolis cops are good at coverups but this crime was so heinous that they had to let it go to trial

Why did the Somali cop fire?  His explanations are nonsense but I think I know why.  She was greatly admirable in her blonde beauty -- something he could never be.  So he fired in a jealous rage.  The constant Leftist shrieking about white privilege has now had a fatal outcome

The fiancé of Justine Ruszczyk Damond has spoken out against former police officer Mohamed Noor after the cop was found guilty of third-degree murder.

Don Damond told reporters on Tuesday that Justine's death exemplified a 'complete disregard for the sanctity of life.'

The Australian-American woman, 40, was gunned down outside her Minneapolis home after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her house in 2017. 

'Nearly two years ago my fiance, Justine Damond Ruszczyk, was shot dead in her pyjamas outside our home without warning as she walked up to a police car which she had summoned,' Mr Damond said.

'Ironically, the Minneapolis Police Department emblem on the squad door reads: "To protect with courage and to serve with compassion".

'Where were these values that night? That night there was a tragic lapse of care and complete disregard for the sanctity of life. The evidence in this case clearly showed an egregious failure of the Minneapolis Police Department.'    

Noor was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the 2017 death of Damond, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia.

A jury of ten men and two women reached a verdict on Tuesday after three weeks of testimony. The jurors were sequestered and deliberated for 11 hours.

Noor, 33, was found guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, and was acquitted on the highest charge, second-degree murder.    

Third-degree murder is also known as 'depraved-heart murder,' meaning the act was committed without intent to effect death, but caused by acting dangerously and without regard for human life.

Second-degree murder means the murder was intentional but was not premeditated.

Noor was acquitted on the second-degree murder charge. Second-degree manslaughter occurs when a person causes death through negligence.

He was immediately led out of the courtroom in handcuffs. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 7 and could face up to 25 years in prison. The former cop showed no reaction, but his wife cried as the jury's verdict was read at his trial.

During a press conference, Damond's father, John Ruszczyk, described the process as a 'painful journey' but said he was 'satisfied with the outcome'. 

Noor's attorney asked that he be released on bond pending sentencing, but prosecutors opposed that on the grounds of the seriousness of the case.

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office said it had concerns about Noor's safety if he was free.

The verdict is believed to mark the first time a Minnesota police officer is convicted on a murder charge for shooting someone while on-duty.

Damond, 40, was shot on July 15, 2017, shortly after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home.

Noor fired at Damond from the passenger seat of the police cruiser he was in with his partner, Matthew Harrity, when she emerged from her home.

The victim, a yoga instructor, had approached the cruiser after calling 911 twice to report a possible rape in the dark alley behind her home. No such assault was ever found to have occurred.

In court, prosecutor Amy Sweasy said Noor violated Minneapolis police training policies - and endangered the life of his partner and a teenage cyclist also present.

She dismissed speculation that Damond contributed to her own death.

'He pulled (the gun). He pointed, he aimed, and he killed her,' Ms. Sweasy said. 'This is no accident. This is intentional murder,' she said.   

Noor had testified that he believed there was an imminent threat after he saw a cyclist stop near the police cruiser, heard a loud bang and saw Harrity's 'reaction to the person on the driver's side raising her right arm.'

Noor added that when he reached from the cruiser's passenger seat and shot Damond through the driver's side window, it was because he thought his partner 'would have been killed.'

He said that after Damond approached the cruiser, his partner screamed, 'Oh, Jesus!' and began fumbling to unholster his gun.

Then, Noor said he saw a blonde woman wearing a pink T-shirt raising her right arm at the driver's window, identified her as a threat and fired.

The prosecutor, however, suggested that the officers should not have been surprised by a woman walking to their car, given that the 911 caller reporting the possible sexual assault was a woman. 

Ms Damond, a dual US-Australian citizen was to due be married to her fiancée a month after her life was cut short.

Her death sparked anger and disbelief in the U.S. and Australia, cost the city's police chief her job and contributed to the mayor's electoral defeat a few months later.

Neither officer had their body cameras running when Ms Damond was shot, something Officer Harrity blamed on what he called a vague policy that didn't require it.



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

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

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


2 May, 2019

UK: Fresh criminal investigation launched into hundreds of deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital

Another case of mass deaths in a single-payer system.  Also a case of how effectively government health care covers up its callous misdeeds.  Only the vast scale of this episode kept it under scrutiny

The retired doctor, at the centre of the Gosport War Memorial Hospital scandal, could face murder charges over the deaths of hundreds of patients who were needlessly given powerful opiate painkillers, the police have said.

A total of 456 people had their lives cut short and another 200 were "probably" given drugs without medical justification between 1987 and 2001.

An official inquiry last year concluded that Dr Jane Barton, 71, who worked at the hospital between 1988 and 2000, had presided over an "institutionalised regime" which had a flagrant "disregard for human life".

A damning report revealed how patients who were viewed as a "nuisance" were given opiates via syringe drivers, often resulting in their deaths within days.

Three previous police investigations have failed to bring anyone to justice, but yesterday senior officers vowed to get to the bottom of the scandal and determine whether the prescribing of the opiates led directly to patient deaths.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Downing of Kent Police, the force overseeing the independent investigation, said if causation was proved and suspects identified then “all homicide charges including murder” were on the table.

He said a team of up to 90 officers would focus on 456 deaths between 1987 -2001, but said the first phase of the inquiry, which would involve taking statements from relatives could take up to nine months.

It could see Dr Barton and other senior figures at the hospital face a range of charges including murder, manslaughter and corporate manslaughter.

In  2010 the General Medical Council found Dr Barton guilty of serious professional misconduct for failing in her care of 12 patients between 1996 and 1999, but she was not struck off and later retired to enjoy her hobby of wildlife photography.

The families of those who died welcomed the fresh police investigation but expressed concern that it might be too late to get justice.

Gillian Mackenzie, 85, the first person to go to the police about Gosport after the death of her mother Gladys Richards in 1998, said justice would not be served until a criminal trial was held.

Bridget Reeves, whose grandmother, Elsie Devine, 88, died at the hospital in 1998, after being admitted with a urinary tract infection, said the involved should face the full range of criminal charges available to police including “murder, manslaughter and corporate manslaughter.”

She said: “The failings by the CPS were catastrophic. The Gosport families were deceived and their relatives have been betrayed, this immoral disaster was perpetuated by a club culture.

“Even when concerns came to light all those years ago the officials just protected each other even when the fact shocking fact of death was staring each and every one of them in the face”

Ian Sandford, 75, whose mother Hazel died at the hospital in 1990, aged 80, said: "They should have sorted this out a long time ago."

Charles Farthing, 79, whose step-father Arthur “Brian” Cunningham died after being admitted to the Gosport hospital suffering from bed sores, said there had been a cover up for decades.

He said : “The level of corruption in a failure of the authorities to tackle this systematic killing is incredible

“But we’re frustrated that this is going to take a further nine months before we even know whether there is enough evidence to prosecute.”

She said: “The corruption in covering this up has been appalling. It stinks - this isn’t the country I was born in.”

In the wake of the inquiry last year Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the police and CPS would “carefully examine” whether new charges should be brought.

Following the publication of last year's report, Dr Barton, issued a statement insisting she had been attempting to do her best for the patients under her care.


Why Does Highly Religious America Keep Liberalizing, Drifting in Europe’s Direction?

German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once declared that “God is dead … and we have killed him.”

That famous statement rocked Europe nearly 150 years ago. His point was not that God actually died, but that people in the Western world no longer believed in God, and that this loss of faith would only spread.

Nietzsche’s prediction largely has panned out in Western Europe, where only 15 percent say they believe in God with absolute certainty. But America has been an exception to this trend, and remains so today.

A whopping 63 percent of Americans say they believe in God with absolute certainty, according to Pew Research. And although only 11 percent of Western Europeans say religion is very important in their lives, 53 percent of Americans say it is for them.

What’s more, new data shows that Americans actually want religion to play a larger role in society than it currently does. According to a new Pew study released Monday, roughly half of Americans say they favor a greater role for religion in society, compared to only 18 percent who say they oppose that.

That’s a surprising number, particularly when compared with countries in Western Europe, which are not so hot on religion.

But before we start cheering for American exceptionalism, we need to recognize something is deeply awry.

Yes, America is much more religious than Western Europe, but that doesn’t seem to be making much difference on the big-ticket cultural issues of the day. Despite our religiosity, we continue drifting in Europe’s direction on issue after issue.

Consider marriage. Same-sex marriage took hold in 13 European countries before it reached the United States. The U.S. lagged, but not for long. Public opinion in the U.S. has flipped in the last 20 years, from 60 percent opposing same-sex marriage in 1998 to 67% now supporting it, according to Gallup.

Or consider gender. Americans are becoming more accepting of transgenderism as pop culture, media, and schools promote the idea that gender is based on feelings, rather than an objective standard tied to biology. The result: 46 percent of millennials now say gender identity is a matter of choice.

Most Americans also are fine using transgender pronouns. An Ipsos survey from 2017 found that only 1 in 5 Americans would use the pronoun of a transgender person’s biological (real) sex, and even fewer would do so in Canada and the United Kingdom.

This cultural change has come at a dizzying pace, and it raises the obvious question: If America is so religious, why does it keep liberalizing on all the hot-button cultural issues? To put it crassly, what good is our religion?

The answer, it would seem, is not much good at all.

Bad Religion Is Almost Like No Religion

This is the argument that columnist Ross Douthat has made in pointing out the rise of “bad religion” in America. He notes that while we aren’t secularizing like Europe, we also aren’t strictly adhering to traditional forms of religion. Instead, we are “a nation of heretics.”

Americans increasingly view religion as a subjective thing with no bearing on the actual world. A recent study by Ligonier Ministries and Lifeway Research found that 6 out of 10 Americans say they think religious belief is a matter of personal opinion, not objective truth. Perhaps most shockingly, one-third of those identified as evangelical Christians also take this view.

This is the core problem, and it explains the paradox of America as a country with both vibrant religion and a liberalizing culture.

What we have in America is a radical separation of God from “reality”—the real world that we claim to live in. It’s not that we reject “God” per se, but we reject a God who comes with a certified worldview package—a God who orders the universe, sets moral norms, defines our being, and binds our consciences to a moral code in this world—today.

It’s not that we reject “God” per se, but we reject a God who comes with a certified worldview package.

We’ve kept God, but jettisoned the traditional package.

The problem is, this is almost the same as rejecting God completely. If believing in God has no impact on the way we view realities in this world—whether they be gender, marriage, or who counts as a person worthy of dignity and respect—then what God are we even worshipping?

Could it be that the atheists are right when they accuse us of worshipping a God of our own making?

The Tremors to Come

Nietzsche predicted that the spread of atheism in Europe would shake Western civilization to its core. He understood quite well that his culture had been shaped at every turn by Christian belief, and that pulling the rug from under that belief would send society tumbling like a Jenga set.

Nietzsche illustrated this in his “Parable of the Madman,” in which a prophetic figure—the Madman—hails the death of God. But the Madman goes further. He warns that tumult and chaos will emerge when people finally realize the consequences of their unbelief. Almost in pain, he says:

“What did we do when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing?”

But then, realizing his listeners have no idea what he’s talking about, the Madman takes a step back.

“I have come too early,” he said them; “my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than most distant stars—and yet they have done it themselves.”

It took more than a century, but the West is now feeling the tremors of unbelief. The lightning and thunder are raging as realities once known and cherished are lost—dissolved by the acids of secularism.

This secularism is more pronounced in Europe, no doubt. Yet it wields extraordinary power in America because so many of us—even religious believers—have conceded vital ground, saying that divine truth has little or nothing to do with this world. In relegating “belief” to the realm of private opinion, we have made our bed and are now living in it.

There will be many more tremors yet to come. The unborn, gender, and marriage are just the first to come under attack. In so many more ways than we realize, we continue to live off the remnants of a Judeo-Christian worldview that has set sail.

In relegating “belief” to the realm of private opinion, we have made our bed and are now living in it.

We would do well to remember Europe before the coming of Christianity. In Plato’s Greece, pederasty was widely practiced and accepted. Dignity was not recognized to be universal. Slavery was accepted. Might, very often, made right.

Nietzsche knew that the “death of God” meant such things would be back on the table in the West. And so they are.

Consider these questions: Without God-given dignity for each individual, what happens to consent as the basis for modern sexual ethics? The right of the strong over the weak already is granted as the basis for abortion—why not to the stronger party in bed?

What about the human-animal distinction? Without real value differences between the species (we’re all the same stuff, anyway), why not blur the lines between species? Why not create hybrid human species in the lab?

A Way Back?

The questions we face are more serious than we can fathom. America’s high levels of religiosity are cause for great hope, but also caution.

Many of our religious communities have not yet compromised with the cultural left on the major issues of the day. These communities offer a vital connection to the past and the resources for cultural recovery and renewal, should our culture become disillusioned with its current direction.

The surprising fact is that Americans actually want a greater role for religion in society, per the Pew study. Perhaps this may signal the beginnings of cultural regret—or at the very least, a yearning for something that’s been lost.

But if Americans return to traditional religion out of disillusionment, they will have to accept the strings that come attached—the package deal. This will mean allowing the divine to speak directly to our daily, real-world affairs, to matters of gender, marriage, the nature of the person, and more—to live as a nation, really and truly, under God.

Is that a bargain America will soon make? One can hope and pray.


DC Circuit rightly rules prayer in Congress is constitutional

The D.C. Circuit unanimously upheld religious prayer in Congress last week, following a lawsuit that attempted to halt the tradition of opening House meetings with invocations to God. While the lawsuit is unsurprising, it’s still good to see federal judges maintain the authority of the First Amendment, specifically the much-contested establishment clause.

According to the opinion in Barker v. Conroy, "a member of the House asked the Chaplain, Father Patrick J. Conroy, to invite Daniel Barker, a former Christian minister-turned-atheist, to serve as guest chaplain and deliver a secular invocation. Conroy denied the request, and Barker sued, alleging that Conroy unconstitutionally excluded him from the guest chaplain program because he is an atheist."

Barker also happens to be the co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an organization dedicated to separating church and state. If that little controversy wasn’t contrived, I don’t know what was. But I digress.

In its opinion, the Court said the House doesn’t violate the establishment clause when it limits its opening prayers to religious prayers, as opposed to secular ones, because our country has enjoyed a “longstanding ... tradition” of prayer prior to legislative meetings for more than 200 years. Organizations such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation are known for making this kind of pedestrian argument, which is more anti-religion than it is anti-establishment. It usually fails as it did here.

It’s still worth noting the Court’s opinion actually outlines the beauty of how the Founding Fathers drafted the First Amendment and what they meant when they referred to an “establishment.” I spoke with Eric Baxter, of the Becket Fund, on the phone. He filed an amicus brief in support of the chaplain and explained the decision further.

“When we analyze the establishment clause, we have to look and see what the founders meant by it. There’s a continuous history, back to the founding of legislative bodies, of starting meetings with prayer. It’s understood that this is not an establishment of religion. The founders had a very specific idea of what an establishment was: forcing people to worship, establishing a religion or church for the country,” he said.

Despite this decision, the Freedom From Religion Foundation continues on the warpath in an effort to strip religion from the public square, always claiming that any kind of religious statues, monuments, prayers, or documents endorse religion and violate the establishment clause. On Tuesday the Times-Reporter reported the Wisconsin chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation is now attacking Welty Middle School for having a plaque of the Ten Commandments at the school. Guess what they’re claiming? That a Ten Commandments plaque violates the establishment clause.

Like prayer at the start of a House meeting, the Ten Commandments don’t endorse religion, but they are a marker of this country’s origins and, in fact, the entire reason this country began: to enjoy religious freedoms unavailable elsewhere.

While organizations such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation certainly have the right to exist and can file lawsuits until the end of time, their relentless attempts to strip the country of its religious and historical foundation by forcing every single utterance to God to stop or monument about God to be torn down is a window into their vapid existence. I’m glad to see even the D.C. Circuit rely on Supreme Court precedent to recognize the real meaning of the establishment clause and honor the First Amendment.


What Immigration Reform Should Look Like
Immigration is one of the fundamental building blocks that help make America the unique nation that it is. But the debate over border security and immigration has become toxic because politicians have put politics before principles. And reasonable Americans find themselves trapped between zealots on both sides.

For over two centuries, the United States has welcomed millions of people from every corner of the globe.

And today, we lawfully admit over one million people every year. That is more than any other country in the world.

The debate is not about whether we should allow immigration – it’s about how we do so in a way that protects American sovereignty, respects the rule of law, and is beneficial to all Americans. So what does a thoughtful agenda for American immigration reform look like? Here are four guiding principles:

Number one: We must respect the consent of the governed, that is the will of the people. Individuals who are not citizens do not have a right to American citizenship without the consent of the American people.

That consent is expressed through the laws of the United States. Through those laws, we the people invite individuals from other countries, under certain conditions, to join us as residents and fellow citizens.

Number two: We cannot compromise national security and public safety.

Every nation has the right, recognized by both international and domestic law, to secure its borders and ports of entry and control what and who is coming into its country. A disorganized and chaotic immigration system encourages people to go around the law and is a clear invitation to those who wish to take advantage of our openness to harm the nation. Secure borders, especially in a time of terrorist threat, are crucial to American national security.

Number three: Becoming a citizen means becoming an American. We must preserve patriotic assimilation. The founding principles of this nation imply that an individual of any ethnic heritage or racial background can become an American. That’s why we have always welcomed immigrants seeking the promises and opportunities of the American Dream. Patriotic assimilation is the bond that allows America to be a nation of immigrants. Without it, we cease to be a country with a distinct character, becoming instead a hodgepodge of different groups. If we are to be a united nation, living up to our motto of e pluribus unum, out of many, one…we all must understand and embrace a common language, history, and civic culture. And that not only benefits America, but also those immigrants and their families who aspire to prosper here.

Number four: Our lawmakers must respect the rule of law and immigration is no exception. Failure to enforce our immigration laws is unfair to those who obey the law and follow the rules to enter the country legally. Those who enter and remain in the country illegally should not be rewarded with legal status or other benefits. When politicians condone such behavior they only encourage further illegal conduct.

Based on these principles, immigration reform should include transitioning to a merit-based system. We should end practices like chain migration, birthright citizenship, the visa lottery, arbitrary per-country immigration caps, and any form of amnesty for those here illegally. We must close loopholes that prevent enforcement of our laws and have overwhelmed immigration courts, allowing illegitimate asylum claimants and other lawbreakers to remain in the U.S. indefinitely.

And we must take on these issues one by one. A comprehensive “deal” subjects the fate of policies with universal appeal to the fate of the most controversial topics. The key is to begin by working on the solutions on which most Americans agree.

We must and can address this issue in a manner that is fair, responsible, humane, and prudent. This is too important an issue to not get right and too important an issue to be driven by partisan agendas. Let’s stay focused on what is best for the welfare of all Americans, both those of today and those of the future.



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

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

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


1 May, 2019

United Methodist Court Upholds Traditional Plan, Allows Liberals a 'Gracious Exit'

On Friday, the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church (UMC) — the denomination's highest court — upheld the key provisions of the Traditional Plan, the conservative policy upholding traditional Christian teaching on sexuality, and upheld the "Gracious Exit" policy, enabling dissenting liberal churches to leave while still holding on to their property.

These decisions finalize an unprecedented move in increasingly liberal mainline Protestant denominations. The Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA) have rejected the traditional Christian teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman and that homosexual activity is sinful. Liberals in the UMC wanted that denomination to move in that direction, as well.

Yet in February, in a special meeting of the UMC General Conference, the denomination passed the conservative alternative. White liberals accused black Africans of using bribery to uphold the traditional Christian teachings, but no evidence of any such activity came to light. No, the conservative position prevailed, fair and square.

In recent decades, as mainline Protestant denominations started rejecting the clear teachings of scripture, many congregations decided to leave. My church, the Falls Church Anglican, left the Episcopal Church in December 2006, following Nigerian bishops who remained devoted to the Bible. The Episcopal Church had ordained openly homosexual clergy, but it also had firmly rejected the Bible's teaching that Jesus is the only way to reconciliation with God and eternal life.

While the congregation — not the Episcopal Church — owned the church building (with a history tracing back to George Washington), the denomination claimed the building. In 2012, the Supreme Court awarded the historic property to the Episcopal Church. My congregation lost the building, worshipped in school auditoriums, and only recently raised enough money to construct a new church building, which is still under construction.

The UMC move to allow dissenting congregations to keep their property is extremely generous, given this recent history. While liberal denominations fight tooth and nail to take property away from local congregations who wish to uphold the Bible's teaching, the conservatives in the UMC not only upheld biblical teaching on sexuality but also approved a plan to let dissenting congregations leave the denomination with their property intact.

Many have attacked the UMC policy as "anti-LGBT," but the policy explicitly holds to the principle of "inclusivity" in addition to Bible teaching on sexuality.

"The United Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth," the policy states. "All persons without regard to race, color, national origin, status, or economic condition, shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, upon baptism be admitted as baptized members, and upon taking vows declaring the Christian faith, become professing members in any local church in the connection."

Yet the UMC does not cave on the Bible's clear condemnation of homosexual activity.

"The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church," the policy states. "Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches."

In defending the Traditional Plan, the UMC's Judicial Council struck down seven of the 17 petitions, leaving the most influential policies intact. Clergy who engage in homosexual activity or identify themselves as actively homosexual will be disciplined when the plan comes into effect next year.

The Traditional Plan defines a "self-avowed practicing homosexual" as a person who is "living in a same-sex marriage, domestic partnership or civil union or is a person who publicly states she or he is a practicing homosexual." Such persons are not eligible for leadership in the United Methodist Church.

Despite the passage fo the Traditional Plan in February and this recent decision upholding the plan last Friday, liberal members of the UMC are not yet leaving the denomination. The UMC General Conference will meet again next year, and liberals have decided they will attempt to fight back at this conference. If the Traditional Plan again prevails — as is likely — a mass exodus will begin.

When these liberal congregations decide to leave, at least they will hold on to their property — and they will not even have to wage a long legal battle like my church did.

It is tragic that Christian denominations like the UMC face such divisions. However, Christians must follow Jesus, no matter how counter-cultural His teachings are. Those who reject traditional Christian doctrine are distancing themselves from the gospel, especially if they reject the historic bodily Resurrection of Jesus or the unique saving power of the gospel.

The church should always be a welcoming place for struggling people — those with homosexual attractions and gender confusion emphatically included. However, that does not mean that churches must embrace LGBT identities and practices. Christians must preach the message of love and repentance — love and inclusion for those who struggle, but repentance from what the Bible clearly defines as sin.

Christians must constantly examine our hearts. We must offer love and grace, but without abandoning the scripture, the very basis for that grace and love. Jesus calls us to uphold traditional teaching while genuinely caring for those who struggle with same-sex attraction and gender confusion. Liberals cannot afford to reject truth, and conservatives cannot afford to reject love. Yet liberals must not pretend that holding to biblical teaching is somehow a rejection of love.

The UMC shows how conservatives can win with grace and love. Allowing liberal congregations to leave with their property is a gracious act, one befitting followers of the man who told His disciples to pray for their enemies.


Toxic Masculinity Deterred Synagogue Shooter

One thing you aren't hearing too much about in the news stories about the synagogue shooting is that a good guy with a gun stopped a bad guy with a gun.

The man who fired a semi-automatic weapon inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue in San Diego on Saturday froze, dropped his gun and sprinted to his car when he saw Oscar Stewart come barreling toward him, yelling so loud the priest at a neighboring church could hear.

“Get down!” Stewart yelled, according to his wife and others who were at the scene. “You motherfucker! I’m going to kill you!”

“I heard gunshots,” Stewart said. “And everybody got up and started trying to get out the back door, so I — for whatever reason — I didn’t do that. I ran the other way. I ran towards the gunshots.” TOXIC MASCULINITY, ladies and gentlemen.

“When I came around the corner into the lobby area, I saw the individual with a gun, and he fired two rounds. And I yelled at him and I must have yelled very loud, and he looked at me, and I must have had a really mean look on my face or something, because he immediately dropped his weapon and turned and ran. And then I gave chase.”

Amen, brother, amen.

The shooter was using an "AR-style" weapon, which may or may not be true since reporters think every black rifle is an AR.


Border Patrol Official: Central Americans Entering U.S. With Contagious Health Conditions

"Well, we're seeing an unprecedented number of people crossing the border illegally as family units," Aaron Hull, the chief for the El Paso Border Patrol sector, told "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo.

Hull said there's been a 600 percent increase in arrivals, most of them family units, in the current fiscal year to date, compared with the same period in the prior fiscal year.

And many of those people are sick, he said, a situation that forces Border Patrol agents to divert from their main mission.

Hull called it a "huge resource drain."

"Agents join the Patrol to secure the border, to enforce the law, but increasingly they're being tasked with things that they never thought they would be doing -- heating up baby bottles, literally changing diapers, caring for more and more sick people, because a lot of these aliens coming in are carrying contagious health conditions, things like chicken pox, scabies, tuberculosis, lice."

Hull said the Border Patrol has its own emergency medical technicians and paramedics, who treat the people they're able to help, and they have contract medical support for more serious cases, but it costs a lot of money to take people to the hospital.

"We have had to deal with pregnancies and all types of medical conditions that occur when you have family unit aliens."

Hull said 90 percent of the illegal aliens walking into the El Paso sector are from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. And he repeated what so many Americans have heard over and over again:

"Those people realize that as long as they're being apprehended by us, they are still likely to be released on their own recognizance. That's because the country, the U.S. government as a whole, does not have the detention and removal capability to hold them in custody until their immigration hearing.

"When they know that they are going to be released, even though they're caught, it serves as a huge draw to enter this country illegally."

"So they want to get apprehended," Bartiromo said. She was reporting from the El Paso border sector and watched several family unit cross into the U.S.

"Yeah, they're not trying to get away," Hull said. "They know that we're basically -- a period of time, they are going to be held in custody and then they're going to be released and continue on to all parts of the United States."

Bartiromo said one of the illegal aliens she spoke with told her she wasn't fleeing from danger:

"You know, yesterday when we were talking with some of the migrants, I asked one woman, I said, why are you here? She said 'asylum, asylum.' She spoke Spanish, and I said 'Oh, well what's happening there? Did they try to hurt you?' She said, well actually, I just want to get opportunity for my daughter. So they are seeing America as just an opportunity for their families. It's not necessarily that they're fleeing.

"That's exactly right," Hull said. "A lot of people refer to all of these family units as asylum seekers but that's really not the case. Matter of fact, most of those that we encounter when they're caught at this step in the process, they don't indicate fear of return. They indicate they want better opportunity."


Hand over your phones or see attackers walk free, British rape victims told

There have been many false rape accusations in Britain and this is an attempt to short circuit them

Rape victims will be forced to hand over their mobile phones to police or risk their attacker walking free under a controversial new policy being introduced by prosecutors.

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have revealed plans which aim to stop sexual offence cases collapsing because crucial evidence emerges at the last moment.

But the new policy has already attracted criticism, with privacy and women’s campaign groups saying it treats victims like suspects, subjecting them to a “digital strip search” and deterring them from coming forward.

Two rape complainants are already planning a legal challenge to the policy and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is currently carrying out an investigation.

One woman taking part in the legal challenge, named only as Olivia, said: "The data on my phone stretches back seven years and the police want to download it and keep it on file for a century.

"My phone documents many of the most personal moments in my life and the thought of strangers combing through it, to try to use it against me, makes me feel like I'm being violated once again."

The consent forms allowing officers to access messages, photographs, emails and social media accounts are being rolled out across the country in a bid to make it easier to identify and handle crucial evidence.

If the victims refuse to hand over their private data they will be warned that the case may not be pursued.

The move is in response to disclosure issues which have seen men held on bail for long periods, in some cases for up to two years, before walking free when messages emerge from their accusers that cleared their name.

Police chiefs claim the introduction of written consent forms is a “step forward in the right direction” and will reduce the current confusion in the system.

Max Hill, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said digital devices will only be looked at when it forms a "reasonable line of enquiry" and only "relevant" material will go before a court if it meets "hard and fast" rules. He said he hoped ultimately it would lead to more successful prosecutions for sexual offences.

Under the current legal framework the police have no legal power to seize phones or digital devices from a complainant.

Giving details of the new system, Assistant Commissioner, Nicholas Ephgrave, the NPCC Lead for Criminal Justice, explained that accusers "have the opportunity if they are uncomfortable with that for whatever reason to say 'I don't want that to happen' and record the reasons why.

“But we also make clear on the form that if that is the position they adopt for whatever reason it may not be possible for a prosecution to proceed.”

Once written permission is given allowing officers to examine and download anything relevant the data, no matter how private or personal, could then be shared with their attacker’s legal team under disclosure rules.

The new forms will not deal with the resourcing issues that senior officers have complained leave police struggling to sift through thousands of messages. 

The Centre for Women’s Justice is launching the legal challenge alongside the two alleged victims arguing the consent form discriminates based on sex, breaches the Data Protection Act and the right to privacy.

Harriet Wistrich, founder of the CWJ, said that whilst complainants understand the need for relevant material to be examined it is “disproportionate” for their entire lives to be downloaded.

"We seem to be going back to the bad old days when victims of rape are being treated as suspects,” she said.

Her concerns were backed by Claire Waxman, Victims’ Commissioner for London, and Vera Baird QC, the lead on victims for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, who have complained to the ICO about the policy.

Ms Baird said there was a “public safety issue” that could see serial rapists walk free if victims do not come forward because they don’t want every element of their private life examined.

“This is not consent,” she warned. “This is an authority figure asking you to sign a form as soon as you have finished an interview reliving what is one of the most horrific experiences of your life.”

She said the forms were  just part of the problem as police and prosecutors look to harvest third party material, such as school records and medical notes.

Ms Waxman said she was also “hugely concerned” by the requirement for complainants to “sign away their rights to privacy” in order for the case to proceed.

“We already know that victims who decline to grant access are having their cases dropped at alarming rates, while new Home Office figures show the proportion of rape cases being prosecuted nationally has drop to a low of just 1.7 per cent,” she said.

Adina Claire, Acting Co-Chief Executive at Women’s Aid, said: “We know from our work with domestic abuse survivors that many victims of rape and sexual abuse feel that they, not the suspect, are the ones being put ‘on trial’.

“The extent of personal data of victims of rape and sexual offences that is being routinely collected by the police and CPS is highly concerning. This can mean that a victim’s background, and even sexual history, is scrutinised in court.

This often deters women from trying to access justice; already one third of domestic abuse-related cases do not proceed due to the victim withdrawing her support from the prosecution.

"With the dramatic decline in prosecutions and convictions for rape and serious sexual offences in recent years, the police and CPS must take urgent steps to ensure that victims feel safe and supported, and not as if they are being put on trial themselves."

However, justice campaigners warn that if the accused cannot see all of the evidence pertaining to the case then there is a risk that innocent people will be convicted.

Nigel Evans MP said the importance of disclosure was highlighted by a number of cases including that of Liam Allen, a student who had the charges against him dropped after messages from his accuser were revealed during his 2017 trial.

“I understand that there may be discomfort into handing this information over,” Mr Evans said. “But that is nothing compared to the pain and torture that those who are wrongfully accused face.”

A spokesman for the ICO said they were looking at “concerns raised around the collection, secure handling and the use of serious sexual crime victims' personal information” and how that information travels through the system

“These are ongoing investigations and we will be reporting on the outcomes in due course,” she added.

A spokesman for the CPS said:  “Mobile telephones should not be examined as a matter of course and we have made that very clear in our guidance to police and to prosecutors.

"However, in circumstances when it is necessary – both for gathering evidence and meeting our disclosure obligations – we hope the clearer information we have provided will help complainants give free, specific and informed consent.”

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

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

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


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(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

Bible references on homosexuality: Jude 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Leviticus 18:32; Leviticus 20:13

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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